Scenes from Casa Kauffman

Me, after a trip to the dentist: It’s been a rough day. I have a cavity.

Seymour: *sadface* Do you need a hug?

Me: As a matter of fact, yes. I’ve never had a cavity before.

Seymour: It’ll be okay.

Me: But I was very proud of my no-cavity streak.

Seymour: Look at it this way – after having a cesarean, getting a filling will be child’s play.

Miss Tadpole: Dad, that pun is a bit childish, don’t you think?

Me: I love my family.

Have you ever had a cavity? What’s the lobgest you’ve gone without one?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Time to smell the roses

I’ve been crazy busy the last couple of weeks. Between being swamped at work and having a crazy schedule at home, I feel like I’ve been running around like a chicken with my head cut off.

If you’ve never seen that, let me just tell you – it’s really something.

To say I’ve been frazzled lately would be putting it mildly, and tonight it really hit home just how frazzled I’ve been. And what has all my rushing over the last couple of weeks gotten me? Achy muscles and tension headaches.

I sat down after supper to get some work done on my computer, and Cricket insisted I watch a movie with him. It wasn’t just any movie; it was a movie he’d brought home from school that was full of pictures from his year in kindergarten. Pictures of him and his classmates faded in and out to the sounds of Randy Newman and friends, and I couldn’t help smiling. I’d seen some of the pictures on Facebook, but others were new.

Still, after about five minutes, I started getting antsy. I had things to do, things that wouldn’t get done if I put them off much longer. And somewhere in the middle of “Thank God for Kids” it occurred to me – I need to slow down.

I heard another song then, but this one played only in my head:

I’m in a hurry to get things done,
I rush and rush until life’s no fun.
All I really gotta do is live and die,
But I’m in a hurry and don’t know why.

My Thumper will start kindergarten in only a couple of months, while Miss Tadpole heads off to high school. It seems like just yesterday was her first day of kindergarten, while he wasn’t yet a gleam in our eyes. If I don’t slow down a little bit, I’m going to miss an awful lot.

So in honor of slowing down, here – have a story on me. Thumper loves to read stories, and here he is at three years old, reading Little Blue Truck by Alice Schertle. If you know the story, you may be able to decipher what he’s saying. And if you don’t, well, it’s still awfully cute. 🙂

What kinds of things remind you to stop and smell the roses?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Just a boy and his cat

A funny thing happened on my way to bed last night…

Bubbles asked me casually if we could have another cat. One of his classmates was looking for a home for a kitten she’d found. Ours are outdoor cats (Seymour’s allergic), and you can almost never have too many of those when you live out in the country, so I said, “Sure – why not?”

A little while later he came up to me again. “They’re on their way, Mom.”

“Say what?”

It was late. I hadn’t expected said pretty little baby kitty to arrive till sometime the next day. Instead, he arrived just before 10:00 p.m. that night, accompanied by one quiet girl and her tired mama.

This adorable little ball of fluff is called Spitfire. Goodness knows how he came by the name, but Bubbles and I agree that it suits him. After all, he’s not shy about letting us know when he wants our attention (all the time) or when he’s upset that he’s no longer the center of attention (any time we’re not actively adoring him), but his little tiny baby kitty meows are just about the cutest thing I’ve heard in a while. And he’s so tiny! How can you not love something this tiny?

He’s like Baby Groot – too cute to handle! 😀

So tell me – are you a cat person, a dog person, or somewhere in between? Do you have any fur babies?

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Days Like These

Thanks to the wonders of sharing (read: Sick Kid #1 shared with big brother (and also, apparently, with Dad)), I ended up spending today at home. Okay, I thought, I’ll get him all tucked into bed and have a nice quiet day. And then I remembered that it’s spring break and, unlike last week, I would not have the house to myself.

So much for that nice, quiet day.

I had planned to finish a short story today while Sick Kid #2 slept off his headache/fever combo. I had planned to get a little revision work done on another project. I had planned to be productive, but in the end, I didn’t do any of that.

Instead, I calmed down an upset little Cricket, who wanted to watch a movie instead of going to lie down in bed. I gave him some Tylenol to get his fever down, tucked him into bed, and read him a story before turning his bottom bunk into a nice, dark cave. Then I sat down and stared at my computer screen for a little while. Didn’t really do anything, just stared (and scrolled through Facebook). Thumper played on his Leapster, which he loves, and I love that he’s so into the educational games. Kid loves to learn. 🙂

I ended up running to the store while Miss Tadpole watched her brothers for a few minutes, because Cricket wanted some 7-Up. A quick stop at the library for a print job led to an unexpected yet exciting conversation with the librarian (watch this space for details). When the caramel apple dip in stock at the grocery store proved terribly disappointing, I decided to make my own and then prayed I had all the ingredients.

I did, and it was amazing. I have my seventh grade home ec. teacher to thank for the cookbook I got the recipe from, and a longtime bestie for the recipe itself. And, thanks to the wonders of Facebook, I was able to thank them both. 🙂

Miss Tadpole and I spent the afternoon eating apples with our homemade caramel dip and watching movies. It is my considered opinion that one can never see The Cutting Edge or Emma too many times (which is probably a good thing, since I have two versions of the latter). We talked, and laughed, and it was so, so wonderful.

What I thought was going to be a less-than-fun day at home (I hate when the kids are sick because I feel so powerless and all I want to do is make them feel better, but I can’t) turned out to be pretty fan-darn-tastic. Between sick kids and bored kids and moody kids, it could have been a not-so-nice day. But with Cricket eventually content to sleep away the day and with Thumper absolutely absorbed in his animal-catching game, it was actually pretty peaceful.

In some ways, I think the teen years are even harder than the newborn and toddler years because there’s just so much going on, and sometimes it’s hard to remember what it was like to be that age. After all, fourteen was a lifetime ago. And fourteen was hard.

But I think in the end, days like this will count for something. I think in the end, days like this are what the kids will remember when they’re all grown up and struggling with how to raise their own kids. And I hope that, in the end, they’ll want to recreate days like these. Not the whole staying-home-with-a-sick-little-brother part, but the part where we had a ton of fun.

Days like these are what make family time so much fun, and life worth living. Days like these are when memories are made. Days like these are rare and special.

Days like these were meant to be treasured.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Kids say the darndest things

IMG_20160615_195025Seymour: “Okay, Cricket, time to get ready for bed.”

Cricket: *instant tears*

Seymour: “What’s the matter, buddy?”

Cricket: “Now I don’t get to do chores!”

My sweet little Cricket came home from CCD the other night with a collection box. Apparently they’re collecting money to buy rice for those less fortunate, and he is so excited to help. He told Seymour on the way home from church that he needed fifteen dollars, expecting Seymour to just hand it over, from the sounds of it. Seymour told him he could earn some money by doing chores, so he came home all excited to help Bubbles do the dishes.

And then the world ended when he didn’t get to stay up past bedtime to help.

This isn’t the first time Cricket’s been so gung-ho about helping others in need. When a local family lost literally everything but the clothes on their backs the day after Christmas, he was all set to donate half the things in his room (whether they were his to donate or not). And when I told him that they probably didn’t need his old copies of Ranger Rick as much as they needed clothes to wear and that his were either too small or too big to give them, he decided that his classroom  at school might want them.

The older I get, the less sure I am that I have this whole parenting thing down. But for my six-year-old to have a heart this big, I must be doing something right.

(c) 2017. All rights reserved.

Triumph

My triumph today was all about smiles, both mine and my kids’. See, it’s been a rough day. It started early when my car died on the way to work. *sigh* Luckily, I have a pretty awesome coworker who came to pick me up and a husband who had the day off and was able to get my car back on the road.

I also have something delicious cooking in the kitchen. 😉

Apparently Cricket had a hard day, too. Bubbles beat him at football and refused a rematch due to dark and cold conditions. Luckily, Miss Tadpole had a fluffy bunny with which to cheer him up:

And now that all is well with the world (or at least with my kids), I’m off to enjoy a nice and hopefully relaxing evening at home. Have a great weekend!

What puts a smile on your face when you’re feeling down?

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.

Double

For today’s challenge, I had a little bit of fun:

My younger two boys go everywhere together, and they’re so similar in size that I get asked all the time if they’re twins (they’re not). The first image is of my father-in-law exploring an auction with them. The second image is my husband exploring our new farm with the same two boys. I love that I was able to create two such similar photographs. These are two of my favorite pictures of my boys.

Do you have favorite candid shots of your family?

(c) 2016. All rights reserved.