To My California Girls...

To Ellie, my snugglishcious Victoria, Noell, & Joscelin:

FYI: I love this picture of the four of you...so loving...I think I might ask the Mrs. to frame it and put it near my corner of the couch!

Followed by a picture of me. LOOK! Remember me, girls?

Hello Ladies! Things are going well here. They still bathe me when I smell and I get to run around with the kids all day long. The boy here, he likes to wrestle and so that is something I enjoy doing now. Although he likes to sneak attack me when I am sleeping, not so enjoyable. They give me a new bone when I lose mine or devour mine. The Mrs. says that my behavior is improving. I don't run out the door to escape down the block to see my friends anymore. I simply just ask, and she takes me. Imagine that. She told me there was no need to run like that, but goodness do you know how good it feels to run like that sometimes? Too many pats on the bottom with her flip flop made me stop. She tells me it is too much for her to go running all over the neighborhood with the newborn in her arms and the little ones racing all over. Hey, all I want to do is socialize. Maybe we can reach some agreement. Playdates? Everyone else in this house gets one.

I have some good friends. Right next door is my girlfriend, Maddie, she is this little fluffy thing...so cute. She comes after me when I try to run away. I can't resist her beauty so I come right back. She has this little brother Chase, he is a funny little dog, but loves to run in circles like me. There is this giant Golden Doodle, Ellie, HaHa, isn't that funny Ellie? Anyway. She is a crazy beast who also likes to run out the front door without permission, and she always comes here to my stoop! Bunkley lives across the street with Bella. Bunk is a big guy who typically lazes around, no matter how hard I try and get him up to play, and Bella is a little Yorkie. Then there is LugNut. The biggest beast of all. He is an American Bulldog with the head the size of a soccer ball. They all laugh at us when we play together, but he is the greatest.

Lily, the cat, continues to pretend not to like me. However, she lets me get close enough to her to get a quick sniff. And sometimes she lets me sleep on the opposite end of the same couch as her.

They let me drive with them in the van alot. I love to stick my head out the window. We go to pick up the girl at school, or to the farm, and to visit relatives. I have now taken to running around with the donkeys when we visit the farm. They hate me nipping at their legs, but it's all in good fun.

There is the new baby. Often times I try to snuggle up to the thing, or sit on his legs when he is lying on the floor. Someone has to watch him. The Mrs. says something about it being her third child, she is less stressed. Uh, hello!?!?! He's an infant. Oh she is just crazy sometimes.

I still snore in their bed. She tries to get me to stay in the boys room, but he moves around too much. Something about my snoring being too loud, I don't know.

So I hear you are really moving. WOW! Wasn't that why I moved to this nut house in the first place? But it's been so long, I am sure you can't believe you are actually going! She had to show me the picture of the house for me to admit it was true. I love it.

I hear California is really nice. I hear the weather is just lovely. I hear there are some dog parks there. Actual places where dogs can run free with other dogs. I hear there are palm trees. Do you know how awesome it would be to pee on a palm tree? I hear they put dogs in real clothes there. Please don't do that to Charles, he would be humiliated.

Maybe you can come and see me or I can come and see you before the big move. But I am sure you are super duper busy, so if not, Have a Super Fun Time! I am sure you will meet lots and lots of friends, no worries. You have each other anyways, who else are you able to fight with and sit at the dinner table with every night, and be loved unconditionally? That's a sisterly bond you've got, love it up. What you are doing is super courageous! And don't you worry about me, I am spoiled silly here.

Have your Mama send the Mrs. your new address, she has some pictures of me to give to you. Four shots, one for each of you, so you never ever forget Stan the Man.

When you come back here, to visit, make sure you come and see me.

And just so you know, anytime you want me to come for a visit...

My bag is packed! I can get up and grab a flight at a moments notice!

Love you...and sending you lots of slobbery licks,


P.S. Send Charles my love.

**** As a side note, a little about this deliciously cute family, well besides Trip, because referring to him as deliciously cute is just plain weird. Because for those of you who don't know the back story, you might be like who are these girls and why is Stanley writing to them?

These are our friends, the Forgengs. Jess and Trip are the parents, of those four little girls, who we know from college. They, obviously, are moving to California, Culver City to be exact. We inherited Stanley from them because there was no way they could take 4 girls and two dogs across the country to start pretty much anew. We volunteered to take the guy off their hands last year, since we were in the market for a dog, and not just any darn dog. However, these girls are extremely fond of Stanley, I mean how can you resist him, so keeping in contact is a must, and I will use the blog to do so every now and then for them.

They are moving to the LA area to build churches in a surprisingly unfed culture. I mean you see LA and you imagine it to be very worldly, but to actually here about the teeny tiny number of christian churches is disheartening and disappointing. As of last I understood, they are going to be part of this church, http://www.paradox.la/, go ahead and visit it.

Having Stanley in our home wonderfully leaves us easily connected to them, and is a daily reminder to pray for them! Knowing, that this move, although exciting, is not going to be easy.

Remember them, if you can, in your prayers. What an awesome thing they are doing!


Sir Chunky

So on the first day of preschool, since we were not busy enough that day already, we had a check up for Jacob. This was the old 4 monther.

And as you get to the third one, it becomes routine, you know what shots they are going to get, you know the milestones they are supposed to be reaching, you know the questions the doctor is going to ask, and you know what homework they are going to send you home with. The poor third child.

He was 17.5 pounds, a certified heifer.

His length, I can't quite remember, I just heard the doctor saying, 'yeah, he is right over the 100th percentile in that one.' Again, sympathizing with Shaq's mother.

And the head circumference? That was in the 40th percentile. That one made me perk up and turn the ears at full attention. Now what is that all about? Both of my other children have heads the size of large pumpkins, much like their mother, and always were into the 80, 90th percentile on head size. They teetered right on that line of whether or not to get it scanned, and I am all, 'have you looked at my head, do you see the size of this sucker? It doesn't fit in most hats.' It's a real shame I tell you. E never fit into any hats for his age group, and in fact is presently fitting into a bike helmet that is made for 8 year old boys. I marched right on home and put a 3-6 month old sized hat on his head and it slipped a little down to his eyebrows. Imagine my elation! We have a normal noggin!!! I lifted him up and twirled him in the air like he had just pooped gold into his diaper. It's so wonderful, you have no idea unless you have a large head.

They then send you home at the 4 month visit with permission to introduce solids, if you think your little baby is ready. This kid would sit down and eat a steak dinner if you offered it to him. They say do just rice for 4 days, then introduce a fruit, yada, yada, yada. We had the applesauce mixed in there at the first sit down and we haven't looked back. He loves food. He smiles the entire time I am feeding him like it is the best invention in the world. Food. Imagine that. He is eating the veggies and the fruit like it is going out of style. He houses. I have never seen anything like it. I am going to have to put a padlock on the pantry. If I had a pantry. Someday I might, and when this offensive lineman walks in the house, we secure that sucker up.

The first supper.

So this child was born to eat. As if him taking to the boob in his first 5 minutes of life were not indication enough, this intense gluttony over rice and summer squash and peaches pretty much lays it all out there.

But oh I love this little man. I chomp on his cheeks any spare moment I get. I tell you that all the time, but they are so cute and saggy, oh I have to go and kiss them right now.


B is for Busy

The Student

You know someone could have warned me. Someone could have said, 'yeah you think you're busy now, wait until one of them starts school.' Because I tell you, week one down of just preschool and we ran like ravaged beasts.If Kendall heard me call it 'just' preschool she would have a cow right in front of me, but I say it because we haven't even entered into the full realm of my children's education and I am spinning.

Ethan and the student. Apparently he does not do mornings either.

My morning begins with the slamming down of the toilet seat. My darling boy taking his first leak of the day is my shot gun sound to start the race, and it is non stop from this point on. I am not a morning person, which you may have gathered. And so as a result, I enjoy a leisurely prelude into the day. A nice snuggle on the bed watching the morning news and toons, while sipping on coffee. I know, right? It sounds just splendid. I have now embarked on a journey that will take 20 plus years until it is complete. Of course you get the summers off, but something tells me that once you are on a schedule, you are on a schedule. And it is go time, giddy up, and buckle up Mama.

I race up and down and everywhere to get them ready. Because monkey see, monkey do. I cannot for the life of me explain to Ethan that we are simply dropping the student at school and coming right back home. He can stay in his jammies, he can wait to eat a nice breakfast until we get back. We will be returning within 15 minutes. Nope, no way, not gonna fly for E. So as I toss an outfit to the student arguing with her that she can choose to wear whatever she wants to wear on the other 4 days of the week, I choose what she wears to school, I am changing a baby, and digging for the 'right,' undies that Ethan wants to wear on that particular day. This kid has an agenda, and if he plans to wear Buzz Light Year on his butt that day, well than that is how it is going to be. I mean there are battles that I choose to take on, but when you are trying to get 3 ready in a set amount of time, he gets to leave his streaks on Buzz.

I then get to try and find the student's brush which is left somewhere with some pile of Barbies, while holding a bottle to the mouth and dumping cereal in a bowl as I fly past. I then beg of the student to stay clean as she shovels in the cereal dripping milk all along the way. We then get the backpack, hope that the lip gloss is in its rightful spot, because god forbid we go to school without the right accessories to reapply with. And the onslaught of just what shoes to wear begins. The ones that were fine yesterday pinch her pinky toe, and the ones that match her outfit make her feet slippery with sweat, and you just can't run properly and fast with sweaty feet. The ones that she wore all summer just don't feel right, and the ones she wants to wear resemble banana peels with high heels attached, and that is just not how we roll, much thanks to Molly and Brynn.

And out the door. Putting baby in car seat while attempting to scold Stanley who is desperately trying to escape to go with us. And he has. And by the grace of God he runs into the van and not up the street to visit his friends and pee on their bushes. Then the argument of who is sitting where. Really? But you know you remember doing this. I used to always want the middle seat in the backseat and would inflict bodily harm if someone threatened to whine to our mom about how they never got to sit there.

And the marathon is still going. Because upon our arrival Ethan is grabbing at anything his grubby little hands can get a hold of on the way out of the van and asking, 'Mommy, I bring this with me?' I swear he thinks that the van is gonna blow sometime after we exit it, and he needs to take things he just might miss. Presently it is a catalog with Halloween costumes in it. I don't know. I can't explain how his mind works. Just smile and nod when what you really want to do is raise an eyebrow at his strange ways. Tick Tick Tick goes the clock. And Kendall is stuck behind him in the van screaming to get out. Hair.Flying.Everywhere. So now we get to redo the hair.

At this point I just want to scream, 'A Drop Off Lane would be a real novel idea!!!' Because every mom that drops of their child there has more then just this child and we all parade in and out; strollers, carriers, screaming toddlers, so on and so forth. It's a production that could be resolved in 2 seconds.

So I literally blink and it is time to pick her up. And I am moving Hector the Collector along. I have to make sure Jake is fed, changed, etc, and again wrestle Stanley all to be there on time. Because I won't be that Mom. I won't be the Mom who is late and picks up their lonesome child who is just standing there grief stricken with their teacher. Nothing against that Mom, it is going to happen at some point this year, but just not in the beginning when you are one of the new students and families at this preschool. Probably not kosher.

So you race in all the while E complaining his legs hurt and he just can't walk another step. Again...drop off/pick up lane. I'm just saying. So you try and hold it together because you are in public, but what you really want to say or I don't know, perhaps shout is, 'Ethan, if you don't move it, the pain in those legs is gonna be nothin' in comparison to what your fanny is going to experience!'

And there she is! The student!

On the first day Andy and I could not wait to hear what she had to say about it, however, the student typically has her own agenda, and on this day she proclaims once we are in the van, 'Please don't ask me lots of questions Mommy about school.' Who made this child? But once the monster was fed she 'shared' her school experience with her brother and I, secondhand I suppose, oh and her Daddy who was on speaker phone and she didn't know.

Apparently she was the counter for the day and there is 17, 30 kids in her class. I am going to go with the first number. And she is the newest one in the class. There is also a girl named Jasmine in her class and she wished that was her name. They forgot to feed the gerbils, and they had goldfish for snack again.

That night we had the Back to School Feast. The student ordered tacos for the menu, and we just celebrated the ensuing chaos in my life and to future college tuition. I asked the student to list three things for me she wanted to learn this year at school, and on the last day, we will read it to see if it was accomplished.

1. Be a better painter
2. How to do tattoos on my hand
3. Write my name

I don't know. It's interesting, right? At least she has some priorities?

Back to School Feast Set Up, Pre Taco Explosion

On the night before the second day of school we get home a little later then bedtime and the student was tired so she was all emotional. And as Andy is putting her to bed, he says, 'Kendall, if you cannot get yourself together and asleep, you will either not be able to go to school the next day, or not stay out late for birthday parties.' And she replies in what will surely be an Oscar winning performance, sobbing, mind you, 'What's the use in going to school? They don't even teach me how to read!!!!' Apparently someone has set the bar a little to high for preschool.