Dec 31, 2007

My New Job

12/31/2007 — cori
Yesterday, Bennett had a major revelation and just couldn't wait to share it with me. With the most adorable look of excitement on his face he looks up at me and says, "Mom, I know what you can be when you grow up!", like he's been pondering my future career goals for a while now, "A librarian!" He ended it with one of those looks that seemed to say, "good idea, right?!" Then he added, "I just know you'll love it because you love books and you love to read." It was almost as if he just walked into a wall when the idea came to him - of course - it has to be that - those two things go together like peanut butter and jelly. He was so proud of himself.

But my question is, what's this whole 'when you grow up' part? Is he thinking that I act too immature and couldn't possibly be a real grown up yet? Or maybe he thinks I'm too young to have a 'real' job. Or maybe he meant when they all leave the house at some distant point in time, then I'll be a grown up (although he vows he will live with me forever). What age constitutes a grown up in a 6 year old's mind? Do I need to have white hair before I'm grown up?

I'm so glad he's looking out for me and carefully planning out my retirement from 24/7 mommyhood. I only have one stipulation - I'd definitely have to work in the children's section of the library!

Dec 30, 2007

A Blonde Moment

12/30/2007 — cori
How could I ruin a perfectly good evening? Easy...by simply opening my mouth and then ever so carefully inserting my foot. I've become very good at that in recent years. Here's how it all began: We were out of town visiting friends this weekend when my friend's sister and brother-in-law stop over. We've met before and it had been several years since we last saw each other, so we enjoyed catching up. It took me a while to get warmed up, but then I let loose.

First it might be helpful if I explain a new term to you. Most of you might know what I mean by the term "fauxhawk", while others may blank out. It is actually a nifty, new, men's hairstyle. You can see it sported here by the ever stylish David Beckam:

This hair style is paramount to my mouth problem. Chuck was actually the one to bring me up to speed on such coolness. I was previously unaware that hair like this had a name. My friend's brother-in-law successfully wears this exact same hairstyle. And since I have zero social skills and don't know how to small talk very well, I decided to compliment him on his "cool hair". Except for I didn't say "cool hair" like I should have. Instead I said, "I really like your mofawk."

WHAT???? Did that just come out of my mouth? Everyone was kind of talking at the same time so I thought maybe my statement got drowned out in the sea of noise. If only I was so lucky. Instead of being drowned out, everything turned strangely quiet and then everyone looked at me. So, of course I had to say something, so I played blonde and said, "Did I just say mofawk? Ha. I meant to say, Fauxmawk, uh I mean, uh....Chuck, what did I mean to say?"

When will I ever learn? Sometimes its okay to just sit there and smile and nod every so often. I can do that. Things just seem to get too garbled up in the short trip from my brain to my mouth.

The poor guy took it all in good humor and did not act as though I had offended him or just called him a bad name. Next time I think I'll just write down what I have to say and pass it around on a sheet of paper - that way I HAVE to think before I talk.

It's funny though, I don't even have blonde hair.

Dec 27, 2007

Christmas Fun

12/27/2007 — cori
Last night we thought we'd institute the "Dress Up for Dinner Night" rule again. The children couldn't have been happier. With all the creativity we could muster, we finally decided on a theme....Christmas. Highly original for this time of year...but actually, it doesn't really matter what theme we give to it, the kids will always come down in some crazy outfit that leaves you wondering whether or not they comprehend the English language. A visual aide might better enlighten the reader regarding our lack of creative flair.

You will see two of our offspring clad in bathrobes. Bennett, or, when in character prefers the name "Ernie", is your run of the mill elf (with underwear on his head) and your typical elf make-up. The one leaning against the wall is not pregnant, nor is he trying to impersonate Mary. He is in fact Santa. He said he couldn't find his bright red underwear, so he opted to don a green Santa hat instead. When asking Chloe what type of Christmasy get-up she was, all she could do was respond, "Pink Princess". I have a sneaking suspicion she might be a pink princess every time we do this. You will have no trouble locating the snowflake in the bunch. I thought the doily on my head was the perfect touch. Notice the white make-up so deftly applied as to appear to look as if snowflakes have landed on my face? A true artistic flair. And then you have the leader of this motley crew - the ornament. He thought long and hard and came out of the closet with a hanger on his head. I had to encourage him to add a hat and gloves in order to make the ornament a slight bit more festive. And there you have it. Another lovely night in the Mallott household. But that was just the beginning. We ended our night of festivities with a fun game of Twister.

Dec 19, 2007

Chloe's Alter Ego

12/19/2007 — cori
I was a bit unsure as to whether or not the boys ever got around to sharing the "Secret Code of Kid Rules" with Chloe. But I can now rest assured...they have. You know, the handbook all kids are issued (at some undetermined time, unknown to the parent - Santa probably brings it) that prescribe important methods and phraseology that all children need to know and follow in order to survive childhood in their predetermined homes.

I have never actually seen this so-called 'handbook' but I know it exists because all my children have followed it to a tee. Here are a few things they have all done and I know must be listed in the "Survival Guide":

1. When brushing your teeth, after applying a generous amount of toothpaste to the the brush (and sink area if at all possible), stick the brush under a faucet that is running at full blast long enough to get all the toothpaste off the toothbrush. This will create the appearance of brushed teeth, but will leave your breath unaltered from it's previous state. Your teeth will soon be falling out anyways...so don't waste too much time.

2. When helping your parents dust, always dust a circle in the middle of the furniture. Leave plenty of dust all around your clean circle to highlight the awesome job you did. This will garnish much praise.

3. When cleaning your room, shove as much stuff under your bed or in your closet. And never fold your clothes. Wad them up and try to shove as many as possible into the same drawer for quick and easy access. Try not to wash them too often either. Parents like efficiency, so keep the same underwear on as many days in a row as you can get away with.

My kids have let these few rules slip out over the years. I'm sure they're unaware that I have caught on. But it is this last rule that leaves me in awe of how powerful this handbook really is.

4. You must always have an alter-ego, a secret identity. At any point in the day, you should be ready to tell anyone (grown-ups included) what your super powers are, what your super-hero name is and what your logo looks like. If you can spell it all on your own - that will really impress them.

My oldest two have that one down to a science. There are numerous blog posts to prove it. But I've been wondering about Chloe. Was this only a gender specific rule? The answer is no. She, too, has an alter ego, I'm proud to inform you. It is "Sair-wuh" (Sara). For whatever reason she LOVES this name. This is who she is when she is a "mommy" or princess or impersonating any type of grown-up wearing high heels. She has to say this name in her high-pitched, airy, sing-songy voice. And when speaking with her, you too, must speak in a high-pitched, airy, sing-songy voice.

Sometimes I make the mistake of calling her Chloe when she abruptly chastises me and says, "My name is Sair-wuh". Oops. Even today, while we were working in her "workbook", under the name section she wrote it out as: FENII. As she was writing it she was sounding out Sara. Obviously we have some work to do on putting together proper letters and sounds...but she's trying, very adamantly, I might add.

Way to go Chloe...uh, I mean, Sara! I'm proud of you for sticking by the "Kids Handbook".

Dec 16, 2007

Bennett's Future Employment Options

12/16/2007 — cori
So...we were doing our typical morning cuddle when we got on the conversation of what Bennett wanted to be when he grew up. He answers me with, "Well, I can tell you what I'm NOT going to be...a baker or a cooker. Cuz if I was that I'd eat all the cake I made and never give it to the people." Good point. What else is there? "And I definitely don't want to be a bowling teacher." Alrighty then, anything else? "I think I want to be a football player." I'm sure you'd make a great football player, honey. "But if the coach asked me to eat yogurt on the field, I'd have to say 'no'." You gotta put your foot down on certain issues, Bennett. I'm glad you realize that early on.

Cuddle time conversation never ceases to amaze me...it's filled with humor, creativity and randomness...wait a minute...so is my life!

Dec 12, 2007

Unconditional Love

12/12/2007 — cori
In a rare lapse into seriousness today, Bennett gave me a glimpse of the magnitude of love he holds in his heart. He came to cuddle me this morning. I don't know how long he was laying there staring at me. I was able to pry open one eye and give him a knowing nod and half smile to acknowledge his presence. We lay there in silence for a bit until the most profound statement escapes his mouth, "If there ever was a beautiful woman, it was you, Mom".

My heart fluttered. I was able to open both my eyes to a squinting position in order to look at him. I asked him if he was joking. He said no. I asked him if he meant when I'm all dressed up and have my make up on and he said, "No, right now." And I said, "Like this, sick, with bed head, jammies on and my teeth not even brushed?" To which I got a huge grin and a YES.

I told him how much he just made my heart smile and how he already made my day and it hadn't even begun yet. God sure knows the exact moments to reach out and show you his unconditional love.

I'm sure he was just trying out lines for future use on whomever has the joy to become his wife. But that moment will stay in my heart forever. He sounds just like his Daddy. They must both have been issued the same rose colored lenses in which to view life and those around them.

Dec 10, 2007

It's All About The Fun

12/10/2007 — cori
I love to see families having fun and playing together. It makes my heart happy. I love to see people who can laugh at themselves and not take themselves too seriously. Life is fun and funny. And when it stops being that way, it's time to take a step back and re-evaluate where you are.

For instance...my favorite NBA player, Michael Jordan once said, "Just play, have fun, enjoy the game." It sure seemed to me, in his hay-day he was having alot of fun on the court and it was contagious. He loved what he did, it showed and it got other people, who wouldn't ordinarily like basketball (such as myself) interested in the game.

Another hero in our family is Tony Romo. Especially after his amazing 'come from behind touchdown with only 18 seconds left in the game' play. His attitude is one of excitement. He's even quoted as saying, "You try and work hard and get better each week. I play the game with passion. I enjoy the game. It's a lot of fun when I'm out there. That's the way I play. For some reason, people like that." You can see it all over his face, his smile makes you happy, whether you're a Cowboy's fan or not.

Even Thomas Edison had this to say about fun, "I never did a day's work in my life. It was all fun." And we all know what he accomplished with all his 'fun'. It makes a difference loving what you do, loving life, loving those around you. Look how many people you affect.

I've also noticed this same trend in our homeschooling...when learning stops being fun, we stop learning. When what we love to do becomes a chore, it's clear to me that its time for change. Hard work can be fun, as Romo and Jordan have already attested to.

I believe you stop having fun when you start looking inward at yourself, your needs, your failures and your circumstances only. There's nothing wrong with looking at those things, but they can get rather depressing at times. But remember...there will always be people better off than you and always people worse off than you. So, having fun is a choice. You learn more, affect others for good and make a greater impact just by looking at the fun in life.

Dec 7, 2007

Dress Up For Dinner Night

12/07/2007 — cori
We decided to institute a new family tradition. I read about the idea in a book recently and thought it would be fun. I'm sure the author was referring more to actually dressing up for dinner, meaning put on your Sunday best when you come to the table once a week. But obviously, 'dressing up' means something totally different in our household.

It's no secret that my children are slightly addicted to costumes and that their room contains a plethura of costumes. So, it was easy to pick what our very first "Dress Up For Dinner Night" theme should be. We had no shortage of animal costumes. Here were the ground rules:

1. you have to pick your own costume (mommy is not responsible for picking anyone's costume but her own).
2. you may use my make up to accent a certain feature, say whiskers, noses, cheetah dots - but only the make up I give you.
3. mommy and daddy come up with the theme and will announce the theme the day of "DUFDN".
4. everyone must participate - even guests.

I'm thinking this should supply us with a wonderful host of memories and hopefully a very fun tradition to pass on as well as many embarrassing moments.

We added a unique twist on this, our very first night of fun. We decided that since we were all dressed as animals, we may as well see what its like to eat like an animal. So we told the kids to put their forks down and start eating from their plates with their mouths only, no hands. The kids were overjoyed and showed much enthusiasm for this aspect of dinner. We all gave it a try and I must admit, it WAS nice to throw off the 'rules' for a bit and not worry about everyone's manners. Here's a few lovely pictures as proof that we all enjoyed the moment. In case you can't tell, Gavin is the roaring lion (by the way, he's had this costume since he's been 3 and he still fits into it, go figure), Bennett is the cheetah, Chloe is the ferocious dog, I am the panther and Chuck is the giraffe.

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