Sunday, November 27, 2011

Art Appreciation

You know how they say "be careful what you wish for?"...well, I'm living it out around here in the area of crafts.  When I was working, I loved crafts.  I used seasonal crafts as activities to target all kinds of speech and language goals.  It was great.  Organzied. Orderly. And controlled.  By me.  Just how I like it:).

I always envisioned doing such crafts with my kids. And then I had a boy and he would not sit still for .2 seconds and any talk from me about paints, colors, or glue was ignored. I only had one child then and I thought sitting around painting and taping sounded like great fun, and an excellent way to pass the time--an alternate to exploring every blade of grass and pinecone--which is what Garrett wanted to do all the livelong day. And then Miss Lilah came along...she loves crafts, but her joy for eating the materials outweighs her love of production and I usually run out of steam after I have to dig crayon wax out of her teeth.

Now I'm too busy trying to keep everyone alive and fed and stuff like that. And when I wasn't looking....just when I least suspected it, as Garrett says.....I have a little craftsman on my hands. It happened overnight--one morning about 2 months ago, he woke up and wanted to draw--and it hasn't stopped since. It was awesome. For about a week. And then I started to get increasingly aggitated about the crafting supplies and post-production stuff always laying about. I know, terrible. I'm Type A like that....I hate things lying around. I justify it by saying that if I wasn't a raving lunatic 'on top of it', the Burch household would be the next Horders episode. Who knows how many dead cats they'd find under piles of masterpieces, scraps of tape, and broken crayons???

Anyway, Garrett creates, like 10, "things" at home every, models, letters, paintings. And he also comes home with at least 4 from school 4 days a week. Needless to say, I've had to start "thinning out" the production. Proud momma I am, but many of these can you keep?

Well, of course, the little rascal is on to me. "Where is that teepee I drew for Daddy? I left it right here", he'd say.  I started by playing dumb, shrugging my shoulders and looking the other way.  But, then he found something in the trash.  Busted.  "Why did you throw my letter to Jonathan away?" he said. I did what anyone would do, lied like a dog and said it was an accident.

I'll be darned if he hasn't started checking the trash when he can't find something.  So, if you live in my neighborhood and see me sneaking my trash into yours, you know what's up.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! My cup overflows....too many blessings to count, literally.  All that I have and all that I am, thanks be to God. 

Here are the things in the front of my mind as I think of all I have to be grateful for:

--my turkeys.  each so different and all so special.  garrett, lilah, and ada have stretched my mind, heart, and body (haha) in ways I didn't know were possible or that I needed.

--my him so much and am really thankful to run this race of life with such a great partner.

--family and friends....we are blessed with both, and most are equally friends and family.  it takes a village to make it and we have been blessed with a beautiful village.

--to live in this great country where freedom is the normal

--that I take less and less for granted as the years go by....I am learning that nothing I know or love is guaranteed--except God's promises.

We are in happiness and wonder with the ways He has blessed our family.  May we remain thankful in all things in the year ahead.  Wishing you full bellies and warm hearts!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


I told you all I was addicted to Pintrest, right? It started out great because I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, believe it or not...but only with one hand, as the other is holding a baby or a feeding tube.  My love affair with the site, where you can mark pictures of things you find interesting, is becoming a bit of a love/hate relationship--because it is making me feel very inadequate. 

Pintrest is full of 'how to's on everything you can think of---make your own soap, 101 homemade christmas ideas, original teacher gifts, recipes, handcrafted this, that, and the other.  I love stuff like that.  Scratch that.  I love the idea of stuff like that.  But when it comes down to it, the process of learning, getting, and doing all the steps involved in making an 'oragami turkey that swoops down over your thanksgiving table proclaiming a blessing' is overwhelming to me.  (Ok, I made that one up, but you get the idea).

Pressure, people, pressure. 

I took the bait and decided to try a simpler craft that would preserve the sweet handprints of my babies for posterity.  Here are the steps:

1.  go to Hobby Lobby for supplies.  find paint aisle.  become overwhelmed with varieties of 'brown', and 'washable' and leave store with a multipack what contains neither.  get canvases.  leave store and realize I forgot to use my 40% coupon. 

2.  tell family the plan.  i'm not totally positve they weren't excited, but let's just say, i didn't hear any cheers.

3.  get supplies ready.  mix paints on paper plate to create perfect brown (not easy).  realize i have no paintbrush--use baster from

4.  decide i should start with garrett and would need an assistant (paul)

5. bribe both.

6. lose my holiday cheer with both.

7. paint hands in order of age

8. have a glass of wine (should have moved this up in the order)

9. vow to quit looking at Pintrest

Friday, November 18, 2011

The holiday season is upon us and nothing says holidays to me like...wait for it.....Starbucks.  I'm spiritual like that.  It's not just a $4 coffee, it's a feeling--like it's snowing, and you live in NYC, and you are shopping in the Macy's, and you're in love, and it's Christmas Eve, and it's exciting, and.....oh.....just me?? Well, anyway, Fourbucks (as my husband likes to call it) has some great drinks and I feel like it's my civic duty to provide you with this friendly PSA:  1/2 Holiday Drinks from 2-5 until Nov 20!!!  That's incredible, it's like getting a drink for only double what it should cost.

I had the Skinny Peppermint Mocha, which was like liquid cheer (not to be confused with liquid courage) and delightful, although not nearly as good as the definately-not-skinny Salted Caramel Thingy the hubs got.  I can't wait to go back tomorrow....when I'll save 4 more dollars:).  Capitalism at it's finest (a good thing).
I am fairly brave and have a pretty high pain tolerance, but I have a major chink in my armor (besides my kids)....the dentist.  I am very, very afraid of the dentist.  The dentist and the movie "It"--scariest things out there.  I get the gas for cleanings.  Not kidding.

I'm not sure if my fear started when my childhood dentist snipped my frenulum (the piece of skin under your front lip) to get my front teeth to grow together (pretty sure this is something witch doctors do) or when he pulled 7 of my baby teeth so that he could put braces in my tiny mouth in 5th grade!!!, or the time that another dentist hit a nerve while drilling and I literally levitated from the chair 2 feet.

Anyway, I'm scared.  Which is why it's unfortunate that I experienced a minor toothache, that led me to the dentist, and an x-ray, and a diagnosis of "ROOT CANAL".  I might have cried.  In the office.  Like a 5 year old. Then I swiftly walked to the car, so I could call my husband and cry like a baby.

Because he's my hero, he went by my dental office and paid-off arranged the dentist (who is a very good friend) to see me on Friday so 1) I could get it over with, and 2) I wouldn't embarrass myself in an office full of regular non-scaredy-cats.  The only problem was that there would be no office staff, so Paul would have to be the assistant, and hand him the tools.:).

I survived it and learned a few things.

1.  "sedatives" work.
2.  their effects are not immediate and might leave one still nervous in the chair and yet like a tranquilized  zoo animal after the fact.
3.  2 is enough.
4.  an unskilled assistant might suck up your uvula with the hose intended to suck up sawed-up tooth and spit...and it feels like your brain is coming out the bottom.
5.  there is a place you can go and be put completely asleep for dental procedures--it's called the hospital and I'm going to look into it.  I'm pretty sure my dentist will be relieved:)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Look at this proud! Lilah loves Ada's exersaucer--she's probably only 2 feet and 20 pounds too big for it, but that doesn't stop her.  It's an Act of Congress getting her dangly little legs into it, and pulling her out of it probably doesn't help our back issues....but look at that face...who could say no???  Love her.
I haven't written lately because I am devoid of logical thoughts...I'm tired and my last remaining brain cells after pregnancy #3 have now left the building.  (my other excuses are: i've been busy playing with my new phone and I am a.d.d.i.c.t.e.d to Pintrest).  It is no wonder "they" use sleep deprivation as a form of torture in war--it is real and powerful.

I've told you all: I'm much more laissez-faire with Ada than with the other two (not that I was that uptight with them either).  I do not have the time or energy to get that worked up over anything, even sleep.  Example: when I'm up with her for the [insert # here] time of the night, I'm thinking in my head: must get this child sleep trained or shouldn't have let her fall asleep in the car 3 times today or we've got to get her out of our room...but then, by my second cup of coffee, I've forgotten all about it and can't even remember how we slept the night before.  And then it's a new day week month.

A few weeks ago, my kids got the croup and it has been a downward spiral of nighttime peace ever since.  Humidifiers, saline, Advil, bulb syringes, taking children outside to breathe cool air, setting off the alarm in the middle of the night, the coughing...yada, yada.  Armies of small people needing rocking, or milk, or clean sheets.  There were several nights where Paul and I were literally passing each other in the halls, headed to different rooms--you'd think we have 10 kids, or are running a boarding school.

Anyway, they recovered from what ailed them--and then--the time change.  Don't even get me started on the time change.  While the rest of the free world is boasting about gaining an hour of sleep, I'm wondering how to bribe my children into not waking me up at what is now 5:30.

Speaking of, I knew someone once who brewed their coffee in the bathroom, after walking down the hall on pillows, in attempts to keep from waking up his kids.  Funny stuff.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

my little cat before school

the yearly costume line-up...we were missing a hamburger, Buzz, and a golfer...but we had a bee, Anikin Skywalker, a bat, Darth Vader, a ghostbuster, a cat, princess leia, a duck, a fairy, tinkerbell, and a butterfly!!!

princess leia and my little duck Ada, and  tinkerbell

was Paul not the best Abe??

Pre-trick-or-treating with my parents.
Halloween was great! We had so much fun dressing up and seeing all the other kids (and adults) in costume.  I love that Halloween is so festive here...