My Little Kingdom

A day in the life of me and my kingdom. Thoughts of a mother of four amazing little boys, a wife of an incredible husband and a woman trying not to forget about herself.

October 25, 2004

Questions of the Universe

Have you ever been consumed by an unanswered question. Questions about physics, pyscology, the universe or maybe you've always wondered how much chocolate syrup it would take to cover the kitchen floor. Well we deal with these inspiring questions on a regular basis. And luckily I'm surrounded by little Einstiens who are not only capable of thinking up such awe inspiring ingenious questions of the universe but they are willing and able even compelled to find the answers. This particular one occured on a Sunday morning. Cameron was gone from 9am to noon as usual with his many auxillary meetings. While it happened to be my Sunday to teach. I teach every third Sunday of the month at our church. I missed my shower before Cameron headed out for his meetings so I had to slip one in while things were calm or at least seemed as such. Upon my resurfacing from the shower I came to find that the boys had decided that they needed to know how much scotch tape it would take to cover the sofa downstairs. And they did, they found out. It took the entire roll. And they also found out how long it takes to clean up.

A short while later I put Isaac down for his nap and it being 'calm' I thought to myself, I'll just go over my lesson while things are quiet. Things remained quiet as I skimmed through and made final notes. That should have set off an alarm right there, but by this time I was on a roll and was determined to get through my reviewing. I heard Cameron pull up and then heard frantic footsteps coming up the stairs. Now, the alarm set off. They were not rushing out the door to greet their dad with open arms they were running up the stairs. I quickly put my notes and books down and met my oldest on the stairway. In his hand was a bottle of Hershey Chocolate Syrup. I froze not wanting to know what awaited me down around the corner. Cameron came in with a smile for everyone smelling the chocolate he thought I had been baking. Sorry, honey not this time. His smile faded as he laid eyes on the kitchen and I knew then there was trouble. Apparently the forces of the universe had once again been tugging at the boys ingeniousness and they were over come with the desire to know how much chocolate syrup it would take to cover the kitchen floor. And without hesitation they set out to find the answer. They had used the entire bottle which was brand new.

How do I know this was a quest for knowledge. Well for several reasons. The fact that the chocolate actually stopped at the end of the kitchen floor. It was up to the very edge of the carpet, but very methodically it never went beyond the hardwood floor. The fact that they left evidence of their first intentions of simply trying to make chocolate milk for themselves. Opened sippy cups on the floor. I can just picture them hunched over with the chocolate barely dripping out when they wondered to each other just how much chocolate is in this bottle and then proceded to experiment with the science of liquids and measurements. The fact that even though at first glance it looked as though they had skated through the carefully squirted strands of syrup upon further noticement I realized that there was not one drop of chocolate on their socks or anywhere on them for that matter, not to mention there were no chocolatey footprints. This along with a few napkins wadded up in the middle of the floor covered in chocolate, Trying to clean up after discovering their answer. And the final fact that instead of running for cover knowing they had done something wrong they ran to me in order to plead their case. This indeed was an act of science.

Well, they were required to clean it up. And I in my dress already was tiptoeing around trying to figure out where to start. Cameron supervising the boys and I with a cloud over my head not needing this this morning. In my logical thinking I thought I'll just use a rag and water to clean it up, no soap. Soap will leave a residue and I'm going to mop it after the chocolate is wiped up anyways. Cameron in his logical thinking thought that you always use soap to clean up any mess and proceeded to ask, 'aren't you going to use soap'. or something to that effect. Not the thing to ask me at that moment. I lost what little control I had and snatched up the dish soap and then squirted a long streak of soap in what I thought was a rather artistic pattern if I do say so myself. However, in my deliberate act of frustration I managed to squirt the dish soap across his nice new and stylish black dress shoes and up the pant leg of his suit. Needless to say I stopped right there and quickly regained control avoiding the urge to burst out into laughter (mostly to relieve the tension of course). The boys frozen watching the events, Cameron not knowing what to do and I waiting for the worst. Which wouldn't be all that bad from my wonderfully loving and understanding husband. He quietly and calmly sent me to my room. I declined, needing to work out my frustration by scrubbing the floor. There we all were hunkered over with cleaning rags wiping and scrubbing. And I did have a whole lot of soap residue to mop up, but that was my fault. Later he informed me of what the boys punishment was and I quietly asked with a small smile 'and what is mine'. In return he replied with a little smirk 'I'm not sure yet.'

So there you have it, the all consuming questions of the universe and the process of how they come about and how they are answered. Not to mention how they effect us all. :)

October 07, 2004

Rocket Boys

The newest and latest craze in our household is the mighty rocket. Cameron as a boy loved and built rockets. And has kept them along with some of his airplanes all of these years. One evening for the guys night out Cameron pulled out his rocket and took the boys to the park. Later that night they burst through the front door excitedly jumping up and down and talking as fast as they could, demonstrating with their bodies how the rocket shot into the air. We had little boys blasting off all night. And they’ve never been the same since. When Cameron mentioned we had a rocket movie(October sky) it was all over. That is now their favorite movie, replacing The Rookie (baseball). I fast forward to all of the rocket scenes for them. Everything is now a rocket as they place blast off all day and all night, jumping behind tables and chairs to cover themselves from the exploding force of the rockets blasting off into space. Our home has literally become their launch pad and at times I have to run for cover.

One evening we took them to the hobby shop and bought them each a small inexpensive rocket kit. And as Cameron was paying I took Isaac out to the car to keep his busy little fingers out of their merchandise. Edison and Everest came out excited and jumping all around. I asked them ‘what do you say to daddy?’ expecting the usual response of thank you. However, without hesitation Edison pipes up, “GET HOME”. He wanted to get those rockets together and in the air.

They had a blast building them. And then that Saturday they took them to the park. Edison chose a safe distance to watch the rocket launch and Everest was right up in there pushing the button with Isaac at his heels. There was a little bit of wind so when Everest’s rocket launched not only were we surprised at how high it went but how far it drifted. Instead of coming right back down as usual it went a couple of blocks and landed on our friends house. We waited for the wind to die down and tried it a couple more times. The boys just as excited with each launch.

And so it continues, rockets, rockets and more rockets.

Cub Soccer?

Well not much progress has been made in regards to cub soccer, though, Everest has become a rather fine negotiator in the process. He still will not go on the field alone nor without a whole lot of coaxing and convincing. One night Cameron was unable to attend the game due to some last minute crunches at work. I loaded the boys up and took them to the game. WHAT WAS I THINKING? I was already sick and the cold wind was not making matters any easier. Every one was bundled up in jackets and blankets and the boys were more interested in finding sticks. My mother-in-law came down to watch her grandson play and to help out. Or maybe it was more of to get some good laughs in for the day? At any rate, I was finally able to get Everest onto the field with me coughing and hacking as we raced up and down the field. ( As I raced pulling him along side me.) I was trying so hard to get him involved that I almost kicked the ball. That’s when I decided this was useless and if he was more interested in sticks then let’s go find some. Team pictures were that day too. Yah, right! If I can’t get him on the field, do you think he’s going to sit for pictures? And I really don’t think the parents want me in their kids’ team picture. So, I declined and we went hunting for sticks.

A week or so earlier we had attempted another game. This time it was all about Edison. He was out there dressed in full uniform kicking and running with his fancy foot work on the side lines when all of a sudden his concentration broke, by none other than the coaches little girl who plays on Everest’s team. She was sitting on the side with her ball and Edison’s eyes were fixed on her. He then began to slowly meander his way closer and closer never losing sight of her. Then he grabbed some of the treats (it was our turn to bring team treats) and then sat down beside her a foot or so away and began to inch his way closer and closer, until he was right up beside her rubbing elbows. I believe the plan was to share his treats but, she was called into the game. A little disappointed he got up and started working his ball again. Although this time he kept an eye on her. I asked him, “she’s cute isn’t she?” and he replied with a big grin and a very affirmative nod. He’s not even three yet! And that little look of star struck, head over heels kind of thing was so evident. Oh, do I have my hands full with my big blue eyed, long eyelashed, poutty lipped heart throbs, and they’re not even teenagers yet. All three of them are so lady’s men already.

Well, that ended quickly when a wasp flew up out of the grass and stung Edison in the eye. It was all over. I couldn’t figure out where it stung him until a saw a little drop of blood surface just below his eye. We were able to calm him down and get a cool rag on it and then the swelling began. Cameron was on the field with Everest and I was back in the distance doctoring Edison and suddenly the game was over and everyone had gone home. We took ‘em out for ice cream afterwards with grandma and grandpa, part of Everest’s negotiating.

That was another adventure in itself. They took pictures for proof. By the time we were done, Isaac looked like he had just steam rolled the table he was covered with ketchup, mustard, chocolate ice cream... Drinks were spilling, shirts were dragging through French fries and ketchup, Isaac was using french fries to eat his ice cream, the boys were stripping themselves of shin guards and soccer gear, Isaac was painting himself and styling his hair with condements…it looked like a battle zone. We faired rather well without too many casualties. We were pretty successful in not coming into direct contact with the weaponry. Only a few fingerprints here and there. But, we were glad to be done. Needless to say it wasn’t one of the calmer more mild mannered meals we’ve experienced. Maybe the excitement of the day was just too much to handle. So we cleaned up our mess, cleaning them out of napkins and loaded ourselves up and went home. It was exhausting and we were all ready for naps.

Edison’s eye had gone back to normal by the next day with medicine and careful attention and Everest still wants to go to his games. He loves the idea of going and being on a team. He just wants to sit and watch though. You know that doesn’t sound so bad to me.

October 05, 2004

Camp Out II
Well it was the end of the summer and after the begging of our boys we decided we better slow down and squeeze in one more campout. This time we went with Cameron’s sister and her family. So we had reinforcements. Our campsite was nestled up against the steep incline of the base of the mountain. A rather cozy campsite with plenty of space to roam and beautiful towering trees. Speaking of roaming it didn’t take long for the boys to do so. They discovered a path that led half way up the steep mountainside and Everest was the first to make the trek up the steep slippery slope. The dirt was thick soft and powdery. He made it up to a small tree that acted as a anchor for him and was pretty high up there. Then it began, he slid all the way down. Edison and their cousin Austin were right behind him in this brilliant adventure. Isaac was right there in the thick of it as well. All of them sliding, skipping, slipping, bouncing, rolling, belly flopping, tumbling and scooting up side down, side ways, backwards, feet first, head first… you name it they did it and then some. Clouds of dirt filled the air along with the thunderous laughter of them and us. By this time the sun had set and Uncle Jason had built a roaring campfire. We couldn’t see the boys anymore. Their faces and clothes were so covered in dirt that they blended in with the night air.

It was a tragic moment but it needed to come to an end. We called them over to the fire and Aunt Karissa had attempted to warm some water but the mountain air had cooled it too quickly to do much good. At least it took the chill out. So there we stripped them one by one doing our best to wipe the dirt out of every nook and krany of their little bodies. They had a dirt layer over their entire body. And once we cleaned that off we discovered another layer of dirt. We were dumping dirt out of their shoes, underwear and diapers and shaking it out of their hair, scooping it out of their ears, I saw the biggest dirt boogers I’ve ever seen. And we discovered it’s possible to have dirt wedgies. (In the morning we still found yet another layer of dirt) After we had stripped ‘em and sponged ‘em down we bundled ‘em up in warm pajamas and then sat them next to the campfire to roast marshmallows. There is just something so mesmerizing about a campfire, it appeals to all of your senses. The crackling and popping, the dancing flames and smoke as it draws up into the heavens. The smell of the wood burning and warmth radiating from the circle of flames is so comforting. It’s all so very soothing giving you a sense of security and peace.

The boys didn’t care too much of the idea of putting a flaming oozing mass of goo in their mouths so they just stuck to the pure enjoyment of watching the marshmallows roast, burn and melt in the flames. Cameron was determined to make the jiffy pop popcorn work. I found the kind that came in foil with a handle. Except we learned that they don’t make them for fires any more. We tried it on the grill and when that didn’t produce any popcorn Cameron tried the flames being careful not to melt the container. When all was said and done there were a few edible kernels amongst the burnt ones. It was a valiant effort though and the few small edible kernels were a reward in itself.

It was bed time and I knew Everest hadn’t gone to the bathroom since arriving. That boy is like a camel, it’s amazing the capacity his bladder has. However, I was determined to get him to go before bed. Wanting to avoid any possible midnight runs to the latrines in the frigid night air. But, he refused to go into the stinky, ‘ol facilities. We brought his old training potty just incase. However, he would not use it even when I demonstrated how I could cover and shield him for privacy. So finally after many words of negotiating and talking turkey he consented to take his port-o-potty into the ‘outhouse’ for privacy. I don’t blame him, though the thought of sitting on (and possibly falling in) a huge hole of disgustingly foul smelling poo is a bit much for a four year old to accept and agree to. Meanwhile we oohed and ahhed at the kabillions of stars out that night. The boys were really impressed the magnificent sight.

That night went rather well compared to our first campout of the summer (see Whhheeee, a previous blog). Isaac actually slept much better with only a couple of bumps through the night. The other two were so excited to be in the tent they did their happy happy joy dance for a good twenty minutes while they ran circles around the tent. Finally after sheer exhaustion and a story or two they fell fast asleep. It was rather warm in the tent with all of our bodies acting as a heater, it wasn’t as cold as I was expecting. Thankfully.

At breakfast we had another warm fire and sat around relaxing and watching the boys melt leaves in the campfire. We went down to the creek to float their boats that Cameron had widdled for them the night before and then we started packing up camp. When I realized it was diaper duty time. I took Isaac to the car to change him and in doing so I didn’t realize he was still chewing on some food. So as I laid him on his back and started changing away, he started to choke a little. Quickly I scooped him up, pants down and all, put him over my knee as I was kneeling beside the car, and began to gently whack on his back. Just then a woman was walking by on her way to the latrines when she looked up at Isaac screaming as I’m whacking him. By the look of horror and shock on her face she must have wondered what this poor baby could have possibly done to deserve a spanking on his bare bum either that or man, that mother sure is tough when it comes to discipline. Probably more like what an abusive mother that is. Though it was awkward at the moment I can now chuckle a little.

Once we were done we all went for a hike. It was pleasant and enjoyable but, too close to nap time. So we headed back to the campsite and loaded every one in the already packed car and headed back down the mountain. Asking ourselves, why haven’t we done that more often?