Meet The Nat Pack!

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The Nat Pack: The super fashionable, super mod, super hip family consisting of Nat, Pete, Jakob, Brock, Troy, and Ivy. Like The Rat Pack, only younger, cuter, and not as rich or famous.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Heartaches and Heart Attacks

We've already had a couple of "adventures" since Jakob started Kindergarten.
First, the heartache. Jakob came home from school on Monday (third day in, mind you). And he started telling me a story.
"The door was locked at school, and I was locked out, and I was so so sad. And I started to cry, because I was so so sad. And the big lady came to open the door. But some kids started to make fun of me, and they called me a freak. And I am kind of a freak."
Oh, my gosh.
My heart just broke into a million little pieces for my boy.
The translation: Apparently, they have a recess time during Kindergarten, and the door locks behind them automatically. Jakob was trying to open the door again, and he realized it was locked which scared him for some reason. There was a duty out there, and she had a walkie-talkie to get someone inside to open the door again. But then I guess some kids thought Jakob's crying was funny, and they called him "freak".
Of course, I told him he wasn't a freak, and I'm not even sure he knows what that means, but I think he understood the intent behind the name. I wasn't sure what to do, but then I talked to him about it again yesterday, and he said that no one called him names. So, I think I'll hold out on any action unless he reports it happening again. I thought about emailing the teacher to see if she or the duty had seen any of this, but since he's over it I'm not now. I did talk to him, however, about name calling, and how it can be mean. I think sometimes he gets picked on and he doesn't really realize it.
Now for the heart attack. Jakob gets on and off bus 11. All the Kindergartners in our neighborhood ride bus 11 to school, but then all the elementary kids get out at the same time so there are a couple of buses in our neighborhood; it splits up the kindergartners.

Yesterday was the first bus day. We waited outside for the kids to get off the bus. There was Ila, and a few other kids getting off at the stop. But no Jakob. Robin, the bus driver, peeked her head out of her window and said, "Did you pick Jakob up from school today?" Uh, NO. So she gets on her intercom thingy and starts asking the other bus drivers if they've seen a little Kindergartner named Jakob on their bus.

My heart fell into my stomach.

Where was my little boy? I pictured him sitting outside the school crying his little eyes out. I pictured him walking along the very busy road, trying to find his way home. I pictured him on a different school bus heading who knows where and crying there, too.

We saw the other bus on an adjacent street stop. Jakob got out of that one, and started running toward home. He acted like it was no big deal.

He sat by Ty on the way to school; he sat by Ty on the way home too. Just on the wrong bus.

So, we drilled bus 11, bus 11, bus 11 into his head yesterday and today. And I made a little tag to put on his backpack: bus 11. In case the same thing happens again.

I'm just so glad that he has such a resilient spirit. He's just so dang cute. And I know I can't protect him from the world forever, but I'm sad he's had to have so many mishaps all at once. Things can only get better, right?

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Three Tag

Cute Alyssa tagged me, so here we go:

List 3 joys, 3 fears, 3 goals, 3 current obsessions/collections, 3 random surprising facts about yourself. Tag 5 people at the end of your post by leaving their names.

3 Joys
1. Ivy's laughter. Well, any of my kids' laughter. But Ivy's is so fun because she's new at it.
2. Cuddling with Pete when we go to bed. Lately I've been SO stinking cold! I think it's still the post-pregnancy hormones at work. Pete says that I'm warm to the touch, but I feel really cold. I'm glad I have a heater for a husband.
3. Coca-Cola. I'm a die-hard, 4th generation Coke lover. My great-grandma drank it every day, and it's passed on to my kids, too. There's nothing like a good Coke to make life seem better.

3 Fears
1. Don't know why, but mirrors at night scare the crap out of me. If I have to use the bathroom in the middle of the night, I have to look down at the sink while I'm washing my hands. If the light is on I'm all good-usually.
2. I'm always scared that my kids will get kidnapped. Only recently have I allowed Jakob to ride his bike out front without me out there. I constantly check on him while he's out there though. Or when we're at the store I have to make sure I see my kids at all times.
3. Spiders. A big huge spider made its home by our sliding glass door, and its web was just getting more and more spread out. I was hoping it wouldn't lay eggs there or something. Luckily Pete went outside and sprayed it down, and I cringed while watching. I hate the movie "Arachnophobia".

3 Goals
1. Start an exercise program of some sort. I'm thinking of doing a little Dance Dance Revolution or something before the kids wake up in the morning. That game can really get your heart pumping.
2. Getting our food storage. We have a little. Very little.
3. Someday I want to be a Certified Financial Planner and work out of my home. But first I have to relearn my degree (it's been a while since I've used the stuff), get licensed, etc. etc. And I don't want to do it until all the kids are in school, so it's a few years down the road.

3 current obsessions/collections
1. We collect turtles, apparently. People just started giving us turtles from trips that they went on. Not that I want 400 of 'em, but we have 5-ish, and they're cute. (Um, not real turtles. Like, little figurine turtles. Just to clarify.)
2. My awful yard. I don't know what we've done or haven't done, but it's so, so sad looking right now. I sit and stare at it, and get frustrated, and shake my head in disbelief that we can't even keep grass alive.
3. Today I was obsessed with cleaning my house. Probably because it was beyond disgusting. I vacuumed up and down and the stairs, I cleaned all three bathrooms, I did a couple loads of laundry, I cleaned my kitchen sink and stove top...Yeah, I think that's all, but that's a lot for me for one day!

3 Random Surprising Things
1. I've had a really hard time drinking milk lately, unless it's chocolate milk. I used to guzzle milk down when I was a kid.
2. I have found virtually no difference in Campbell's Cream of Chicken Soup and the Great Value (Walmart's) kind. I use it in casseroles a lot. The bonus is the Great Value one costs half as much as Campbell's.
3. I love to be organized, but looking at some areas in my house you wouldn't be able to tell that. Like under my stairs, my pantry, my scrapbook, the list keeps going. Maybe I'm not as organized as I thought...

I tag
1. Brianna
2. Mindy
3. Pete
I'm only doing three. This whole tag is all about three, so why mess up the rhythm and do 5? (YAY, OCD!!!)

Sunday, August 24, 2008

The Creepy Fly

I'm not really a "bug" person. Anything that creeps, crawls, buzzes, flies, and has more than two eyes turns me into a sissy crazy lady.

Lately we've had a lot of flies in our house. The kids call them spiders. One lunchtime a fly kept landing on the kids' heads, and Jakob would say, "Mom, a spider is on Brock's head!" and Brock would immediately start crying hysterically. I said, "It's a fly, just wave your hand around and it will fly away." Then it would land on Troy's head, and the same occurrence would ensue.

Anyway, a couple of weeks ago we had this big, huge fly buzzing around. And it was creepy. It didn't look like an ordinary housefly outside of the fact that I knew it was a fly. First of all, it was iridescent instead of black. And I swear it knew things. And, did I mention the hugeness? And the creepiness?

In "Get Smart", the nerds of the company make a mechanical fly that spies on people. This fly was so that fly from the movie.

I would wave my hand by it to make it buzz off. It just...stared at me. I would walk into the other room. It would follow me. It watched me. It was keeping notes of my very very boring life. I noticed it in the house for at least a week. And then it just...disappeared. If a big huge iridescent fly were to die in my house, I would be able to see it lying by a window or something, right? Nowhere to be seen, this creepy fly.

I only wish I was a secret agent that needed to be spied on. (Hey, maybe I am, and there are all sorts of hidden messages in my blog that only CIA agents can interpret. But no one would ever know...) Then I could be cool and hang out with people like Steve Carell and Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson.

Until then, I'll just have to live with the normal flies, and be on the lookout for future creepy ones. (Note to the CIA: a housewife would be the perfect cover up. As long as I don't have to do the laser room gymnastics.)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Sunrise, Sunset (or, First Day of Kindergarten)

Is this the little girl I carried?
Is this the little boy at play?
I don't remember growing older
When did they?

When did she get to be a beauty?
When did he get to be so tall?
Wasn't it yesterday
When they were small?

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly flow the days
Seedlings turn overnight to sunflowers
Blossoming even as we gaze

Sunrise, sunset
Sunrise, sunset
Swiftly fly the years
One season following another
Laden with happiness and tears...

Today was the first day of Kindergarten. I asked Jakob if he was excited, and he was like, "Yeah, I guess." I kind of had a nervous butterfly feeling all morning. Jakob was excited to see his Ironman backpack again. We had put it away until today because he was playing with it, and I didn't want it wrecked before school even got started.

Side note: My camera had a fingerprint on the lens, so the pictures have that "soft focus" look to them. A nice touch for a semi-sentimental post.

Anyway, things went great, until it was time for me to leave. Then Jakob said, "Mom, stay here!" I gave him a kiss, told him he'd be okay, and I'd pick him up in a couple of hours. He started doing a nervous cry; he was just kind of unsure about it. But hopefully he did well; there were other kids full-out bawling and running to their parents, so at least I didn't have to deal with anything like that. I've done that enough times in nursery with all three boys.

There were a few kids I knew from our neighborhood also in class. That's a good thing, since I had a moment of insanity and volunteered as one of the room mothers, so now I can pick on people I know to help out with parties and stuff. Jakob sat next to Cardon O., and I drove Ty W. home from the day. And when Mrs. D. asked the kids to put their baskets under their chairs, little firecracker Sydney P. said, "Why should we?" Here are the two little red-headed best friends, Ila L. and Kaylan M.

When I went to pick them up, Jakob didn't see me at first. He started getting a worried look on his face again, like maybe I had forgotten him or something. But when he saw me he looked relieved. My mom, who came over to watch my other kids (thanks, Mom!) asked him how it was, and he said, "Uh, okay." I'm sure he'll warm up to the idea of Kindergarten after a few days.
I asked Ila, Ty, and Jakob what they did at school on the way home, and they all went, "Uh..." I asked, "Did you color?" "No." "Did you play games?" "No." "Did you talk about rules?" "Um..." "Well, did you have fun?" "YEAH!" So, apparently they had fun doing who-knows-what.
And, because you know you love it, a little back to school homage: (the sound is really quiet on it-sorry)

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

4 freaking 30 a.m.

The cry. The squint at the clock.

Really? Really? You've been sleeping through the night lately, yet tonight you already got up at 1 a.m. Ugh. Maybe if I just lie here she'll go back to sleep.

Crap. I hope she doesn't wake Troy up. He's probably asleep on the floor by the door instead of his big boy bed. Should I get a bottle or a pacifier? Bottle, pacifier... Hm. If I knew where her pacifiers were.... I think there are two downstairs. Do I want to go downstairs? Ugh.

*Sigh* Okay, she's not falling back asleep. Maybe I'll just get the bottle. I'm so glad I clear a path to the kitchen every night. Oh yeah, I put a new fridge lock on the fridge. Okay, turn the head so as not to get blinded by the bright bright fridge light. Nope, not that, not that it!

Should I heat it up? Yeah, I'll be nice. Okay, turn the head away from the microwave light, and...where's the start button? Hm, the microwave light is kind of pleasant compared to the fridge light.

Alright, let's put the lid back on and---*gasp*! Are you kidding me? My 4:30 coordination just knocked over the bottle? UGH! Kill me now! Alrighty. Just what I wanted to do while half asleep, clean up milk and make a new bottle. Now I have to measure it out and stuff. Sheesh.

Okay, Ivy, I'm coming. How's your diaper? Eh, it'll hold till morning. Well, the real morning when I'm slightly more coherent, anyway. And off to the rocking chair.

Dude, for real? You're going to fall asleep before even drinking anything? WHY didn't I go for the pacifier instead? No way am I going to waste my efforts on you sleeping. Maybe if I shake the bottle a bit in your mouth. A bit more. Okay, and time for me to tilt my head a little... Dude, it's been 15 minutes, how much have you had? An ounce? That's it? Dude, I'm going back to bed.

Let's put you down slowly,, man, the blanket fell over your face! Please stay asleep, please stay asleep...And, blanket removed successfully. And, turn the head from the fridge light. And back to bed.

Wait, do I have to pee? Should I go now or just wait till morning? No way am I turning on the bathroom light. I hope I don't wake Pete up when I flush. Is that Ivy again? Are you kidding me? You are so crying it out if you wake up completely. Just...don't wake up completely. Sleep is good. Sleep me likey.

So why am I not sleeping again? I'm so tired, why am I lying here awake? Come on, body! Crash, baby, crash! Squint at the clock...5:15. Pete will be getting up any second, and then his shower will keep me up. Grr. And he's up. His shower starts, and now the bed is 10 degrees cooler because he got out of it. Must. Get. Warm. Must...get...*snore*.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


Arin is my hero. Being the amazing woman she is, she saw my sad mess and offered her cool Bissell carpet cleaning machine. I used it last night, and you should have seen what it pulled out of the carpet! I used it again today to see if it would get any more kool-aid out, and lo and behold:

It's a little bit darker right now because it's still damp, and I think it may stay slightly pink since I didn't use said fabulous machine as soon as it happened. But my carpet is saved from a life of continuous blushing.

I'd like to thank all you Becky Home-Ec-eys, too, with your suggestions on how to clean up after little boys. You all came to my rescue with the carpet and the cabinet. Rubbing alcohol totally worked on getting the permanent marker off of my cabinet (thanks, Heidi)! The things you learn...

I've decided, though, that I've gots ta get me one of these:

Thanks a million billion trillion, Arin!
But I think the next house we move to will be all plastic, so I can just hose off the walls, floors, etc.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

why Why WHY???

I told you: every second. Betcha thought I was joking.

I promise I watch my kids.

I wish more flavors of Kool-aid came in the "invisible" variety. (The flavors that are invisible my kids don't like. Go figure.)

Yes, we've tried a fridge lock, which lasted all of 24 hours.

We also have a downstairs doorknob cover. All the boys can open the door regardless.

I've been wanting to clean my carpets anyway...


Girl Hair

For all you girls with little girls:

My sister-in-law told me about this website. Thought I'd pass it along. I think Ivy will be lucky if I slap hers into a ponytail when she gets older.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Every Second, Part 2

Troy has such a sweet, innocent face. You'd think just looking at him that he would be a perfect little angel, only playing with the things he's supposed to.
But, I'm his mom. So I know differently. I'm glad that he used the permanent marker on the inside of the cabinet door only, and the wash off marker on the outside.

And here's a video of our Houdini, performing his newest stunt of climbing out of the crib. We'll be investing in a big boy bed sometime this week.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Ironman's - I Mean, Jakob's - 5th Birthday!

My little boy turned 5 on Saturday. Craziness. Oh, and I registered him for Kindergarten on Thursday. I have no idea when he grew up on me. Does anyone know how to make it stop?

Anyway, Jakob has been wanting an Ironman party for months and months now. And I figure 5 is a good age to start the friend parties. I am so NOT doing a friend party every year, though! Every other year is plenty for me.

We invited over a few of Jakob's friends, who incidentally are the kids of my friends that happen to be the same age. It ended up being Jakob and Brock, Gavin and Myranda, Dylan and Sadie, and Zack.

I went to a website my sister-in-law recommended called They have tons of ideas for any kind of party you could imagine. Except for Ironman. Oh, they sold Ironman plates and napkins and cups, but no ideas. I was going to have to be creative all by myself.

I ended up with a few activities: Pin the Heart on Ironman (think Pin the Tail on the Donkey), coloring Ironman pictures (I Googled Ironman coloring-how awesome is the internet?), making Ironman necklaces out of string and Fruit Loops with a heart (a circle out of foamy stuff-I'm glad Ironman's heart is very simple), and...

playing Silly String tag. The "It" has the silly string, and to tag someone they had to spray them. The kids wanted to be "It" more than "Not It", so they didn't do much running. It kind of turned into a spray fest. And I think the adults had just as much fun, if not more than, the kids did with that one.

After the games, Jakob opened up gifts. He got an Ironman cartoon movie (which we've been watching repeatedly ever since), a puzzle, Ironman and Ironmonger figurine guys, racecars with ramps, and an Ironman mask and glove that shoots little discs. That night we had family over; he also got clothes, jammies, a truck, a book, and a different Ironman figurine. Can you sense a theme?

Here's our little poser:

Here's the yummy expensive cake:

And here are more pictures. I think the slide show thing is very handy.

And some Jake-isms, for your reading pleasure:

The other day I said to Jakob, "You're becoming a little man," to which he replied, "No, I'm becoming a BIG man!"

On the 3rd of July, the high school band was practicing, and marched right down our street. Jakob ran to the front window, and said, "Mom! It's the circus!" I told him it was a marching band. After that he called it the rubber band.

Jakob picked up a can of pop and started drinking it. I said, "Jakob, that's Dad's pop." Jakob said, "I know," and continued drinking.

The other day he was mad at me. And he said, "I'm a jerk!" I thought it was funny he called himself a jerk instead of calling me the jerk.

Oh, my little boy. How time flies.

Roaring River Youth Jam

This last weekend my brother-in-law Mike and his family came up to visit. And once again, I'm a winner with the camera, as I got two blurry shots of Mike with his son Evan, none of his awesome wife Marci, and only a couple of Zack, their oldest son. Goooooo, ME!

Anyway, Friday we went to the Roaring River Youth Jam with them, my mom, and my sister Kar and her kids. They had all sorts of activities for kids to do, mostly painting, coloring, and crafting stuff. I really wish I had brought paint shirts for the kids, because I barely let my kids do the painting stuff for fear of them getting it everywhere.

My kids ended up making cards, coloring, making bookmarks, and getting their faces painted. They also had "drums"-garbage can lids and the like-set up for the kids to bang on. It was the perfect weather-not too hot with a slight breeze. We had so much fun! Brock even had a meltdown at the end because he wanted to stay and draw when we had to go. That was fun, too.

Here's a slide show of our adventures! Next year: paint shirts, better pictures, and starting there earlier to beat the lunchtime hunger.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


Guess who can climb out of his crib now?

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Sunday was Troy's 2nd birthday. What a cutie! He definitely keeps me on my toes, but his mess making and mischief is purely the result of his curiosity and experimental personality. He's a great talker, a great eater, and loves to copy cat and keep up with his brothers. Troy is very self-sufficient and has no qualms about letting you know when you've crossed him.

This year he knew what to do with wrapping paper, but he still had plenty of help from his brothers. Troy (and Jakob and Brock) got a couple of movies, a xylophone/piano, a driving toy, and a cash register. He also got boring stuff like clothes, jammies, and shoes. He sang "Happy Birthday" to himself all day. And when you asked him how old he was, after a prompting of "two", he would say "TWO!" and punch up his hands, holding up one finger on either hand.

Here's a video and a slide show of Troy's "Awe-sahm" day!

P.S. Sorry I don't have more pics of everyone there. I really should try to take more pictures of events. I post all the ones that I take, though, and put it in slide show form so you don't have to scroll for a hundred years. And if you don't want to sit and watch the slide show, just left click on the slide show, and it will take you to a new window; you can then click as fast as you want through the pictures. Just so you know.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Me and Code: Oil and Water

I took a Java class in college. My first mistake was that it was at 7:30 a.m. Yikes. My second mistake was taking it from a new masters student from Hong Kong. I felt like I was learning 2 foreign languages at once: Chinese and Geek (sorry, computer guys, but you know it's true).

That's the only class I had to repeat in college. It was awesome. And I barely made it through the second time by the skin of my teeth. I think the next college professor realized I had no idea what I was doing, felt bad for me, and let me pass anyway.

So for me to change my background AND get three columns on my blog is a miracle unto itself.

I think I'll go reward myself with a Coke now, even though it's 10:30 in the morning. YAHOO for emotional addictions!

Update: Check out for help on doing fun things with your blog. They have great step-by-step instructions! Thanks, April, for the link!

Update part deux: Check out for awesome backgrounds. They also have great step-by-step instructions. Thanks, Amy, for finding this!