Wednesday, June 29, 2011

mischief making...of one kind or another

i'll tell you what happens after the 4th kid.  of course, this is nothing new to those of you other crazies out there who have four (or more) kids...but i have found that i have ended up having to master the art of letting ways that are sometimes painful.  it actually hurts my heart that i didn't get the meal taken to the friend who just had the baby; or the gift to the across the street neighbor (whom i hardly know because they moved in, just several months back) for the baby she just had a month ago; or that the friend from church who had her baby didn't get a hot meal and visit from me; and i didn't attend the shower for another couple who is anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first baby...(ALL of these precious bundles girls, by the way...except for 1.  he's going to have plenty of chicks to chose from in a couple of years.  :)  we also skipped out on the anniversary party for some other new friends.  we didn't get to go out to dinner with that couple to reconnect and we also didn't have that other couple over, as intended.  i had good intentions...truly i did.  i'm not going to rattle off all that i did get done, but do know that it is a list just as long and just as important.  tomorrow evening we leave for the rest of the summer.  i am very excited and feel that anticipation that you feel when you just know that lifelong memories, bonds, learning, and fun are due to occur as a family, summer adventure begins.  but, there are a few things that i NEED to squeeze in before we go.  i must see some important people...even if they are very smallish individuals that will never know that i was there.  they are just too lovely and snugly to not see. no time, flat...they will be like this one.  this one...she breaks the mold that i am accustomed to.  what happened to control?  what happened to order?  what happened to rules and appropriate behavior and response?  what happened to tidiness and cleanliness?  what happened to finishing?  what happened to peace and harmony and quiet days of play?

i'll tell you what happened...........

 she did.




this one?  she likes to climb.


 and she doesn't play with toys. all.  she prefers to constantly be getting into things.  exploring.  figuring.  messing.  disrupting.  breaking.  learning.  loving.

"i know i've seen her use this for her hair.  i think i can make this work.  it's like this." 

"or this."

"if i could just get some hair in this thing."

"maybe i can get it to work on him."

"oh wait.  i'll just leave my pappy here and enjoy a cold one."

"here it is.  i got it."

"if i could just get this top thing off..."

this girl, here...well, she's just always making mischief.  of one kind.  or another.


and i have to say.  i love her, and her climbing, and all of her mischief making more than bears love honey.  and everyone knows...that is an awful lot.


through it all, however...we have been able to squeeze in a little of this...

lego making...

and an impromptu movie night out and possibly, a tad bit, immature after toast at a little place called "twin peaks."  and i do wish that i could say that the "peaks" were in reference to the actual mountains...but alas...they weren't.

it's no different than hooters people.

but, none-the-less...


to this guy...

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

first impression

our neighbors moved last week.  the couple that bought the house are from Venezuela.  they have lived in the U.S. for 5 years and wanted to be in this school district, so they moved from deer park to the house next door.  we saw them for the first time late one evening when they had come over to check on things in the house before the movers moved them in that coming weekend.  i told them that i wanted to make them dinner as soon as they got moved in.  they seemed appreciative and we settled on monday......tonight. 

so...i waited for annslee to wake up from her nap and ended up dragging all four kids to target to get the groceries.  let's not even discuss how the huge TV (that my parents handed down to us) that was in the back of the suburban fell out when i went to get the stroller out.  nor how i lifted it back in.  nor my pulled back muscles. 

i have gotten off track. 

we were rushing around target like crazy people...trying to get everything we needed for turkey chili frito pie, corn bread, and cinnamon cream cheese squares for all the stuff we needed for our upcoming trip to iowa and south carolina.  my goal was to get dinner done and to them by 6:30 and it was 5:25 as we entered the check out line. 

i had spent the weekend doing all of our laundry...which was probably 10, or so, big loads.  as it came out of the dryer...i piled it in laundry baskets which i then emptied out on the living room floor today.  my plan was to fold it all tonight after the kids were in bed.  so...when we came in from target...we flew in the house and i started cooking right away.  groceries were everywhere.  kids were everywhere.  laundry was everywhere.  grocery sacks that had turned into children's art projects were cut up and colored on and were everywhere.  after i got the corn bread in the oven and the chili simmering, i ran to the neighbors and let them know that dinner was almost ready and that i'd bring it in over in about 15 minutes or so.  she looked at her watch and said, "is 30 minutes okay?  melvin is not home yet."  i thought that the response was kind of weird, but shrugged it off and thought that maybe she wasn't comfortable with me bringing it over without her husband there because his english is better.  i said, "sure.  no problem.  i'll have it here in 30 minutes."

i came home, and continued getting everything ready, and packed up in tupperware.  annslee had become rather fussy, so i decided that tonight would be the time to let her go ahead and feed herself.  i took her clothes off of her, tucked her into her highchair, and gave her the bowl of chili, cheese, frito chips, sour cream and a spoon and told her to go at it.  she was thrilled!  some of it made it into her mouth.  i think.  she looked like she had used chili to gel her hair into a nice, spiky do like her brother's. 

this is before she spiked her hair with it.

after the neighbor's dinner was all packed up and ready to go, i called chad and the kids to the table to eat.  they started eating and colton helped me carry the neighbor's food out the backdoor and across the side yard to their backdoor.  they didn't answer.  "hmmmm?  that's weird.  and my hand is getting really hot from the chili."  chase appeared in the driveway and said, "mom...the neighbors are in our house."


i hurried back in the back door, and they were in the front foyer with chad.  she was dressed in a nice, silk blouse; designer jeans with heels...holding a pie for us.  their 2 year old was neatly dressed, with his hair perfectly gelled into that cute little boy do and the dad was dressed for the country club.  they had arrived for the dinner party.

boy, were they in for a treat.  i guess there is something to be said for being authentic.  an authentic clarkson household is what they got...

not only did they get a laundry covered living room; a kitchen that looked like a bomb went off; being served out of tupperware and a naked baby covered in chili...but chad in his boxers, fresh out of the shower.  luckily, he sent one of the kids to answer the door while he grabbed the first pair of shorts he could find.  don't worry.  he didn't have to go too far.  they were all on the living room floor.  sigh.

thank God they didn't need to go to the bathroom.  when i went in hadn't been flushed since the last time one of the kids had used it.

 what do they say about first impressions again?  never mind.  i don't want to know.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

new kids

you may think that i don't realize that i am entirely too old for such ridiculous reindeer games...but i do.  i swear it. 

last night the new kids on the block were in concert here and i wasn't there.  this is probably the only new kids on the block concert that i have missed since i was, like, 12...except for one, when i was out of town.  oh, my friend and i were going to go...but when i went to purchase the tickets, the cheapest one i could find was $70.  and that didn't include all the tax, handling, and the "you-30-some-odd-middle-aged-crazy-girl-clearly-trying-to-re-live-some-childhood-dream-so-therefore-will-pay-with-your-oldest-child's-college-savings-just-to-see-these-boys-from-a-view-that-needs-binoculars' fees. was going to end up costing around 85 big ones just to get in the doors.  that didn't include dinner, drinks, and parking. 

so.  we didn't go.

i just can't believe i said that.

but i just couldn't do it.  i was needing a dress to wear to a wedding this summer.  and the new, black, cowgirl boots to go with it, brown ones don't match.  and we are headed all over the U.S. here in a couple of weeks for, like, a month and a half of vacations and i know i will find some "must-haves" on this one.   plus...we just made some serious upgrades to the house.  plus, i got that proactive face stuff i'd been wanting.  so...i just sort of thought, "wait a second here!  i have spent a ginormous amount of money on these fellows, and what have they actually done for me?  the way i figure it...they owe me.  i, single handedly kept their careers going in the early 90's and i even let them call me "mindez" for years due to an unfortunate typo.  why should i pay this much to sit that far away?"  it really was like that moment in the movie father of the bride where george banks goes to the grocery store in a too-tight, 70's tux and starts "removing the superfluous buns because some big shot over at the weeny company got with some big shot over at the bread company and decided to rip off the american public."  there were only 8 hot dogs to a package and 10 buns to a he removed the superfluous buns.  and got thrown in the slammer.  the point being...i'm not spending colt's college fund on the new kids.

which reminds me...when i was still planning on going to the concert, one night i asked chad if he would get online and buy the new kids tickets for us.  the kids were in the room and aiden piped up, "WE ARE BUYING NEW KIDS????   BOYS OR GIRLS???"  example number 1 as to why it may be time to let go of the dream.

let me take this moment to just give my husband a big shout out for even tolerating all of this nonsensory.  remember babe...this unbridled passion is why you fell in love with me in the first place.  smile.

the ship has sailed.  i'm not going to marry joe and be mindy mcintyre and use one big M to write both names the way i signed all of my notes back in the day...and thank the sweet Lord, really.  i don't really like the name "joe."  i like "chad" way better.  they will never know how many concert t-shirts i have or how many times i have gone to see them.  they will never know how we talked my dad into spending all night in the grocery store parking lot where the tickets were going to go on sale the next morning, and how i slept in a gross grocery cart.  they will never know the money spent on teen bop magazine and other memorabilia.  they will never know that i have a trunk filled with all that stuff to show my kids some day up in the top of my closet.  they will never know that they got me through jr. high because i loved them and they never rejected me the way the other boys did.  i'm not going to meet them.  they will never know that i exist or that my bedroom walls were wallpapered with their faces.  joe will never know that i slept on his face because i had a joe mcintyre pillowcase.  they will never know that i honestly thought i was going to attend boston college so that i could meet them one day.  they will never know the number of hours that i spent daydreaming of our meeting, pining over them, and listening to their music or talking about them with girlfriends.  they will never know that the punishment that i remember most vividly from childhood is when my mom grounded me from watching their special on TV because i didn't clean my room and how i sobbed until my eyes were swollen into little slits when i accidentally hung up when i was the 9th caller because i thought that i wasn't the winning caller on the radio station backstage pass give away and then the radio station said that the 9th caller winner had hung up and they played it on the my dad called back for me because i was so distraught and they said that there was nothing they could do about it and i knew then and there that i had blown my chance and that i was the dumbest girl in the world for not knowing that #9 was the winning number.  they will just never know.

oh well.

it's time to let go.

so, instead of going to the concert last night, i hung out with my family.  and when 9:30 rolled around and i knew that they were probably on stage singing please don't go girl, i sent the kids up to clean the playroom because i swear to you, if i have to pick up one more item of clothing and toys of theirs off the floor after i have already asked them to clean it up my head is going to start spinning around and pop off. 

maybe...just maybe...if i can get chad to agree...we will go with aiden's way of thinking.  we will buy a new kid.  it's a different way to live out my new kid dream, but way better.  don't ya think?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


because when i think about and write this blog, i usually ALWAYS picture it as a book being read and looked at by four, laughing, adult children in the distant future...i feel the need to apologize to them for a.) anything embarrassing (but i'm really not too concerned about that); and for b.) not being too great at keeping up with stuff on the blog lately.  but alas...sometimes it's just necessary to jam pack a post with pictures and short stories over the past weeks.  it is what it is folks.  and p.s.  i love you.

the girls did my hair.  i think it looks nice.

i went to go hear the spazmatics (an 80's cover band) play with these guys.  hey you remember your fourth grade teacher?  well...she's the brown headed one in the middle.  this night was fun.  really fun.  i may or may not have ended up on stage.  don't be embarrassed kids...none of your friends were there.  i promise. 

you kids went to spend the week with granna and grandaddy for, what we like to call...CAMP GRAN.  this was the night i took you over.  a.j. didn't get to stay.  there is an age requirement for camp gran and it is called "old enough to go to the bathroom by yourself and go to bible school every morning."  but she sure enjoyed this evening.  grandaddy and m & m's...a great combination. 

she did get to go swimming with y'all one day.  luckily granna got in the pool with you...because i was just not ready to tackle the bathing suit situation yet. 

mainly because i had been working my fingers to their long, skinny bones paper bagging and painting walls like this... 

and these...(what we now call "the lodge") 

and this one too...(what we now call the homework room)

and i did this one all by myself.  and you can tell.  it's not perfect...but i am pleasantly proud of it. 

we did take some time out from all that painting and working to do a little of this... 

and go to a wedding... 

to see these guys tie the knot in my new favorite way...on the water at sunset. 

it was a nice break from all the hard work. 

i have a new respect and love for using my own hands to do something artistic and unique. with all the technology and computers and the like, we are slowly losing our appreciation and abilities to use our hands for more than pushing buttons. the paper bagging and glazing the walls was hard work...but each person's hands do it differently.  i look around my house and see more movement and art than i do walls.  and i love that.  i even love all the blisters i have on my hands to prove that they did it.  those will fade...but the art won't.   and now that it's done, and you kids are home...well...i love that the most.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

thus far...

it doesn't seem that the first week of summer should already be coming to a close.  but isn't that just like summer?  always just flyin by...right before your eyes.  we haven't even gone to the pool left.  we are gonna have to make that happen this coming week.  although...i'm not gonna lie...the mental picture that i have of taking all four kids to the pool by myself does not conjure up feelings of relaxation.

the kids have enjoyed their down time.  they've been doing things like:


and i have been doing things like this...

we planted two flower beds in our backyard.  we chose the hottest day of the year, thus far, to bust this project out.  it. was. hot.  i planted two sioux grape myrtle trees that will bloom pink; gardenia bushes along the fence that smell amazing; and purple angel mists with zenias along the front.  i like the way it turned out.  now...onto the patio project.

annslee's been doing stuff like this...

and being entertained by things like this...

colt's been busy winning the little league city championship.

not too shabby, eh?

i have to chose a color to paint the foyer.  i want my house to have a rustic, woodsy, cabin feel.  the living room is dark brown and the kitchen is dark, rust red.  any suggestions?  whatever we chose has to go in the two story foyer and then be taken upstairs to the arched hall that overlooks the balcony...all seen by the front door.  please help!!!  i just know some of you have a good eye for that kind of stuff!!  here is a picture of the area to get you inspired.  ready.  set.  comment!!

happy start of summer...and cheers to all of our summer projects.

Monday, June 06, 2011

i'm so behind

so many post little time!  to say we have been busy is an understatement.  i can't type fast enough to keep this blog updated!  the end of the school year came with parties that i was solely responsible for planning; blankets for their 3 teachers that i was mostly responsible for making; plays that my son was partly responsible for starring in; talent shows; poetry readings; more baseball games...the national league championship, thank you very much; graduation parties; sleep overs; celebration dinners; weddings; and a plethora of other most important events are just a few of the mentionable goings on around here.  so, it's not shocking that the poor puddin cup and her sugar plum sister have killer summer colds.  their coughs sound horrible.  you know...the real chesty type.  i must's been fun.  a blast, actually.

i will attempt to post a few of my favorite pictures, as my basketball loving boys are watching dallas catch the heat...hoopin and hollerin here in the living room.  they really are a good, little sound track to my "this is our life right now" post.  colt just yelled, "TAKE IT TO THE FREAKIN HOOP!"  okeedokee.  on to the proof of the extreme cuteness that surrounds me on a daily basis...

        first off...who doesn't just love watching a baby who has just learned how to run?  and don't even get me started on how that top flows in the summer breeze... may come as a surprise to some of you that my very favorite animal in the whole, wide world is a deer.  and here i got to hug one.  i was BEYOND excited.

i just can't help but love this picture of aiden on her field trip to the wild life park, (where i got to hug the deer.)  she borrowed her friend's hat and looked like she stepped right out of a modeling shoot.  not that i'm bias.

my girl got to pet a deer too!!  she wasn't AS excited as i was...and didn't do any hugging either.

kindergarten field day.  she doesn't loooooove running...but gets the job done when she has to.

she did better than expected in the potato sack race.  now...that's a waste of time and energy in my opinion...but the kids seemed to love it.

this is colton's mile relay team.  they were favored to win by a long shot.  they ended up coming in second...due to these four having to run the long distance mile and some sprint races right before the relay.  who was in charge of scheduling the events of fourth grade field day????  that's what i'd like to know!

annslee was obsessed with the coconuts.  she wouldn't take them off all night long.  i'm pretty sure she ate dinner in them.  fourth kid.....whatever makes them happy is what i say!!  she can wear the coconuts to church if necessary.

chase wrote a poem called "school days."  it was amazing!!  and he dedicated it to his mother...which made it all the more better.

these were "my boys" from the fourth grade field trip to the houston museum of natural science.  those 4 and i had a blast together...and formed some lasting friendships. we had a picnic outside for lunch on a big hill that we ended up running down over and over.  i also climbed this amazing oak tree and made all the kids jealous.  i enjoyed being a kid with my oldest kid!  let it also be said here that the teacher gave us a big packet of questions that we had to find the answers to in the texas exhibit.  it was a challenge and contest between the whole class.  there were tough questions that we had to find the answers to and we won!!!  we got to have a pizza party in the classroom for lunch that friday.  my competitive nature maaaay or may not have reared it's ugly head during that experience.

just because i love it...

and this is how i get through all the crazy business.  i kid.  sorta.  wink.

this is annslee comforting her sister after she stubbed her toe.  i just found it very endearing.

here we have annslee showing her true obsession with her pappy.  i'm pretty sure this is going to become a problem at some point.  but for now....whatever her sweet, little, baby-ness wants regarding the pappy is what she gets.

oh boy...when it comes to the littlest sister's biggest brother...she's got stars in her eyes!  she is trying to get the hand positioning juuuuust right. 

her first painted piggies just made my day.  all of us girls have matching toes for the summer.  coral is our official color this season.

we went to pappasitos for dinner with some good friends on the last day of school to celebrate.  they gave all the kids tortilla dough.  this is how they chose to utilize that...

don't you just love colt's handlebars?

marching to the beat of her own drum, once again...aj insists upon wearing sunglasses in the bath.  who knows?  i don't even pretend to understand anymore.  i just smile and take pictures.

me and my kid after he and his team won the national league championship.  the city championship game is this wednesday.  i'm pretty sure i'll be one of the obnoxious and embarrassing parents in the stands.

this was on the way to a friend's of the only times chad and i have been alone together in a loooooong time.  i borrowed a cute, little, sun-dress from my friend.  thanks cara!!  i loved it!  i also decided to sport a summery, somewhat hippyish do...which may or may not have been a little young for me.  i really don't know the rules about that.  but...does it look like i care?

this is colton headed to his first sleepover.  yeah...yeah...yeah.  it's with a girl.  it's a long story.  you're just going to have to trust me on this one.  and his sister was there too...if that makes any difference.  these two are like brother and sister.

my kid batting.  i'm pretty sure he's going to be a heart-breaker.  i love a man in uniform.  again...i could be bias.

colton and his idol.  literally.  this man could have hung the moon and the stars, invented sugar and created sports all together as far as colt is concerned.

me and the sickies.  don't they just melt your heart.  (insert a wet, snotty, chesty cough here...)

they love each other so...

aiden and mrs. holloway  (colton and chase's kindergarten teacher as well.)  i think we could be long, lost sisters.  don't you?

chase and ms. owens (last day of 2nd grade)  she said that he was the kindest young man she had taught in all of her years of teaching.  and i believe her.

colt and mrs. brown...who is, pretty much, the best teacher in the whole school...if not the whole district.  we have all come to love this pretty lady.  and it's not hard to see why...

so...welcome to a little bit more of our world.  it's a great place to live.  you may want to visit!!