Another one bites the dust.
Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Welcome to the continued saga of:

"SUPERHERO-o-o-o-o....... DESTRUCTION-tion-tion-tion! [echo, echo, echo]"

This episode is especially gruesome.

Younger viewers, look away. This is not for the faint of heart.

The man of steel has again been taken down by our two inventive villains. (Rumored to masquerade as rowdy little boys with the last name Cliff.)

Superman has, sadly, has his skull completely crushed. The clues seem to indicate a toy box lid was somehow involved.

His ear and perfectly coiffed hair are mangled beyond repair.

Repair was nevertheless attempted, and which point his head became fully decapitated. There will be no miraculous recovery.

The only hope is that this household is running out of plastic superheros. They've all been brutally taken out. You can feed your thirst for destruction by reading previous installments:

1. Batman

2. Sharkboy

3. Robin

4. Superman


Snow, snow everywhere but not a hill to sled on!
Thursday, December 24, 2009

See the entire collection of snow pics on my Flickr set by clicking here.

Virtual Christmas Wishes
Sunday, December 20, 2009

Photos by Jubilee Photography

He's sooo over coloring sheets.
Sunday, December 13, 2009

Looks like Ryan thought about coloring this Nativity scene for about .24 seconds (see the tiny speck of blue crayon on the angels foot?)....

....before he flipped over the paper, abandoning the manger scene in favor of his own creation. A robot head and two fighting lizard creatures. Doesn't it just scream Merry Christmas?

Singing Praises For the Passage of Time
Thursday, December 10, 2009

I become quite melancholy regarding the passing of time. I can't help it. Seeing my kids sprout up before my very eyes tends to make me a bit sad instead of celebratory - "They're growing up too fast!!!" Cliche', but true. It's like the sand passing through the hourglass represents the limited amount of time I'll have them under my roof.

But occasionally a revelatory light shines forth from heaven and I rejoice at the glorious benefits that accompany growing up.

Last night, I told Ryan, "When you wake up in the morning, you need to hop right in the shower, first thing."

And lo and behold. He did it! Praise be.

Woke up on his own. Put his clothes in the hamper. Took a shower. Used soap (that's a milestone people). Dried off. Got dressed. ALL WITHOUT MY ASSISTANCE. Glory to God in the Highest.

He did leave his wet towel in the floor. But I still do that some days myself so I really can't complain.

So what can your kids do independently that's worth celebrating?

Birth Order: A case study
Tuesday, December 8, 2009

We don't talk a lot about "birth order" around our house. Obviously the concept has some value, but I personally think a lot of discussion about those stereotypes or "natural tendencies" can guide kids in certain directions.

The oldest shows some responsibility and organization, and everyone notes: "Oh, wow! He's such a first born. He's so responsible and organized." The kid hears that enough....and guess what?!? He turns out responsible and organized! It's amazing! Hear something about yourself enough times, and you start to believe it.

I'm deliberate about pointing out when all my kids are being responsible and organized, and don't just take special note of those attributes when displayed by my first born. In the same manner, I celebrate when each of the kids are witty and fun and the life of the party, and don't just note those great attributes when they occur in my middle born. Anyone tracking with me here?

That said....

There are always those cases around here when I can't help but notice that the whole birth order business does have some merit, whether we point it out and talk about or not. For example:

Today the boys were playing a game; they blindfolded each other and lead each other around the house. I'm not sure what the objective was....actually, that probably was the objective. Just to blindfold each other and walk around the house. Gotta love boys.


One blindfolded the other. One brother, the leader during this first round, said to the other, "Okay. Hold on to me. We are now passing the couch. Watch out, because I'm leading you around a toy on the floor. You need to be careful to stay near me. Okay, in about three steps we're going to turn down the hall. Great job!"

Now the roles are switched. The blindfold is taken off and it's the other brother's turn to be the leader.

Blindfold is tightly secured. Then, relishing his role as leader, he grabs his brother's wrist with a firm death grip, and takes off pulling him through the house, RUNNING as fast as he can and laughing hysterically.

So any guesses as to who was the cautious and thoughtful leader? And who was the leader out for adventure at any cost?

Oh that Kevin Leman. Sometimes I think he might really be onto something. (As if he needs my endorsement after the millions of books he's sold.)


Edit: In this case, the "cautious and responsible" stereotype of the firstborn held true. Ryan was slow and easy when he was the leader, careful to shield his brother from harm.

Dylan, the middle child, was the no-holds barred little brother who ran through the house at top speed, without a care in the world. Including if he rammed his big brother into some immovable object. (That object happened to be the ladder to the bunk bed.)

Those pesky gender roles!!!
Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ryan was complaining about having to fold and put away his karate uniform.

He'd attempted it twice, and it looked a lot more like "wad up and throw in corner" than "fold and put away."

So as I sent him back to try a third time, he whines: "I just can't fold it. I'm not very good at girl jobs."

Gasp!!! WHAT?!?! Did he seriously just say that?? A girl job?

He earned himself a new job of folding and putting away much more laundry that just his karate uniform.

He also inspired a new commitment in his mom to NOT raise a helpless man child who lives in filth all through college because he's unaccustomed to doing simple "girl jobs." There may also have been a teeny lecture wherein my 7 year old was very confused about why I was asking him if he wanted to still depend on his mommy when he goes to college. It seemed a productive conversation at the time.


I've been hmph-ing and muttering "girl job" under my breath for two days now. Maybe I'm cranky. He picked the wrong day to gender stereotype. Especially heinous for it to be about laundry, my constant and ever-powerful nemesis.

A very Monday kind of moment.
Tuesday, December 1, 2009

When I picked the kids up from school yesterday, I was a little frazzled. It had been a long day.

I was trying to have a conversation with another mom, with Ryan throwing his backpack and school papers at me, and Dylan bouncing off the walls attacking/hugging every friend that passed by in the crowded hall. Lauryn, meanwhile, had wandered into Dylan's classroom to give his teacher a hug.

My friend and I wrapped up our conversation, and I said,

"Boys. Let's go. Where's your sister?"

[blank stares]

So I said again, louder, and with much authority: "BOYS! WHERE is your SISTER?"

I earned another completely dumbfounded look before Ryan finally said, "'re holding her."

Well sure enough. She was propped right there on my hip with my arm around her. When did she crawl up there?

It's like looking for sunglasses that are propped up on your head, right? Right?!? Yeah. Exactly like that. Sure.

Cliff Familyt

I'm Starr Cliff. A domestically-challenged mom, climbing over mountains of laundry to bring you my stray observations and amusing stories about my kids. (more)



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