Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Zufelt Family Feb 2015

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Baby Names

If we ever have another kid, (not likely unless and until Jacob stops screaming all day long) I've decided that I have a new requirement for picking the name. It must be the top option on my blog category listing for it's respective letter. It is just really convenient when I "file" them by tags that "Ben" "Maddie" and "Jacob" come up first. For instance if I push "M" Maddie is the first option. If I want to file under "Brian" I must type all the way to the I in his name to find him. Otherwise I might end up with it filed under Ben, Birthday, Blessings, Blogging or Bragging. See how rough life can be sometimes. I am thinking this is a pretty important rule to stick to as we choose names if that ever becomes and issue again. That is a problem because we really like "Courtney" which falls below cake decorating, camp, canning, cherry blossoms, christmas, church, cleaning, clothes, computer, consignment, cooking, couponing and finally...courtney. Our boy choice isn't quite as bad, Joshua. Jacob is the only other "J" right now. I suppose I could consider typing two letters without too much whining. Gonna have to talk to Brian and either choose a new name or get my tubes tied. UPDATE: No, this is not an announcement! More than one person has asked now. What, do you think I'm nuts? I already can't get over that I have three kids five and under. Suppose it could be "worse," right Cath? Five kids under four (almost)?? Wink, wink. We're not all as amazing as the Arveseths.

Maddie Mae Tonight

Running into kitchen crying after wrestling wtih Ben. "Mom!" wimper, wimper, wimper. "I hurt my forehead." Slight pause and a smile breaks out. "I mean I hurt my three head cause I'm three." She was totally serious. Ben calls from the other room, "Maddie, I have a five head?" Maddie, "No. You have a forehead." Mom finishes clearing the food from the kitchen table and goes to give the kids a five minute warning that we will be having baths tonight. Maddie Mae says, "Okay Mom, but not the Kristie way." I smile and ask why not. "Cause she dumps the water all over my head and it goes in my eyes and my mouth and then I cry, cry, cry."

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maddie Mae Today

Maddie Mae has had some trouble having any affections for anyone of the opposite gender. She even says she doesn't like Daddy, Ben or Jacob. All boys are mean and she doesn't like anyone of them. Today she told me, "I like you. And I like Dad. And I like boys a little bit now." Progress. When we went to the Hyatts today I knocked at the front door and waited patiently for them to answer. Maddie waited all of ten seconds and then grabbed the handle and said, "I can do it Mom." It was as if she thought I didn't know how to open the door. Kind of cute. I guess we know she's comfortable at the Hyatt's home. Finally, Maddie Mae asked this morning, "Is it a trick-or-treat day today?" I told her not today, we had to wait five more days. With some concern, she then probed, "Is it a lunch or a dinner day then?" Guess she was worried about starving to death. We got that all squared away. I promised that she could eat today.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

"I'm About Super-ed Out"

Though there were many a quote offered by Mitch Miles, that one is my favorite. Marti was doing the Super Saturday craft extravaganza in 2006 and had stuff all over the entire main floor of the house for weeks on end. Mitch remained silent. Until he was asked about it one day when we were over for dinner. With a very tight lip, he simply responded, "I'm about Super-ed Out."
That's how I feel right now. I'm completely super-ed out tonight. I did it solo in 2007 and it about killed me. Hundreds of dollars of widgets and junk were purchased so that everyone could have a great evening of fun together. I worked endless hours until the middle of the night often. My back and my body hurt. I made countless trips to Wal-Mart, AC Moore and Michaels buying and returning, using coupons and the like to save everyone money. The night turned out great. I made a mental "lessons learned" list and filed the experience away in the far corners of my mind. The only thing I remembered for sure was DON'T EVER DO THAT AGAIN! Way too much for one person to do.
Last year the gal in charge of the women's group delivered a baby about four weeks before I had put it on the calendar. She was wiser than I and cancelled it for the year. This September I was put back in the womens group and started to wonder if maybe I should consider doing it again, the old memories started to come back. When I was released from my job with the youth, I felt very much directed to stop all the extra stuff in my life and focus on my family. I made a firm decision to NOT get involved and to never suggest it to anyone.
We finally got a new leader for the enrichment committee (or whatever we are calling it these days). First item of business was a request from our president that we...have Super Saturday. And get this. Have it in four and a half weeks. Eeeekkkkk!!! Super Saturdays take two months minimum to get ready. But like a good little girl..."I will go...I will do...a super saturday" Isn't that the way the children's song goes? Anyway, here I am again. And I'm all super-ed out.
But since the work is already mostly put together and done, here is what we're doing.
Handmade cards $4 for 10
Personalized Hand Soap Dispensers (or Antibacterial Stuff) $3
Beaded Bookmarks $6
Nativity Story Cube $10
(roll the 4" cube, teach kids about part of the story that comes up)
Don't forget to sign up and come. Hopefully in three weeks I'll be recovered enough to enjoy crafting again.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Coming Soon - Maddie's New Look

Yep. Maddie Mae needs glasses. At least I didn't cry this time like I did when Ben needed them. When the doctor told me he would need glasses, I cried a deep, bottom of your soul, broken heart sort of cry for a couple nights in a row. Sadness consumed my thoughts. It was mostly because I feared for him. I was teased about my glasses and they were a large ingredient in my self esteem issues and they fed the ever present depression I struggled with as a child and adolescent. I just didn't want any of that for him. My heart broke because I want him to be happy. To feel good inside and out. To never be teased or put down for something he can't change. I want him to have a picture perfect life I guess. I didn't cry over Maddie Mae. It wasn't because I love her less. It still hurt. I still don't like it. I still want her perfect little baby face to be unblemished by signs of imperfection. I just was more prepared to accept it with a stiff upper lip I guess. I still gaze at her gorgeous profile and mourn the loss of it that is soon to come.
We went to the eye doctor last week for a Maddie check. I hadn't had any real signs she might need glasses, but I didn't really feel like there were signs with Ben until about a month or two before he got them. Then, I didn't want to see the signs I kind of knew I was noticing. He just seemed to get more clumsy. Since the visit only cost us $5 after insurance, I figured we ought to get Maddie checked in time to budget glasses if we needed to buy them next year with our flex spending and it's almost time to pick that magic number for 2010. If we did have trouble, I didn't want to wait another year until her pediatrician told me I had to go see an eye doctor.
Since Ben already has glasses and she always wants to have some too, I figured it would be an easy appointment. I worked for days to get her all excited about it. The morning of the appointment we played the spoon game, covering one eye and telling what we can see with the other. We guessed what color the doctors spoon would be. Turns out it was white. Once we got there, I had to do the paperwork. In the 60 seconds it took me to write her name and birthday on the paper she clammed up completely. Not good. She crawled under my chair. I had zero success at coercing her out happily.
When we went in the exam room, there was NO WAY she was sitting in the chair with or without me. For almost fifteen minutes she laid on the floor. Neither of us could get her to look in the magic glasses to see the floating butterfly or anything else. It was so frustrating. Then the office phone rang. The doc is a one man show. No secretary or anything, so I told him he might as well answer. He said he'd give us a minute to see if I could make any progress. The instant the exam room door clicked shut she perked up. Like we flipped on the happy switch.
Maddie started asking what is this and what is that and how many phones does the doctor have and what does that button do. After a few calm minutes I probed what was wrong with the big chair if she sat on my lap. I told her how she always makes good choices and this one could be a good choice too if she let the doctor see her pretty eyes. She got sad and looked at the floor as she explained that she makes bad choices and it makes mommy sad. I reasurred that she was a good girl and made good choices. She corrected me, "No I don't! I poop in my diaper." After some heart to heart talking I realized that she was feeling bad about herself because she poops in her diaper and it makes mommy sad. I asked if she wanted to poop in her diaper right now. She looked up and told me with a huge smile, "Yes!" I granted permission. She didn't actually do it, but knowing she could totally changed her mood. No problems the rest of the visit. I also promised her lollipops if she cooperated. As far as the doctor knows, that did the trick. I didn't know exactly how to explain the real root cause of her trouble. That was just a little bit too weird for me.
After a few minutes of looking in her eyes I was dying to know what he was finding. Is it okay? Are her eyes perfect? No glasses, right? I had a zillion questions running through my head. It took every ounce of self restraint to not ask what he was finding as he was examining her. I was only able to hold my tongue in fear of freaking Maddie out or distracting her from looking where he needed her to look and having the whole thing blow up in my face. Eventually, it was obvious to me, even through the iron curtain of denial I was facing in my heart. If her eyes were fine, he would have finished his inspections a long time ago. We had a problem. Finally, after eons of time, he confirmed, "Well, she has the Zufelt eyes." My reply was simple. "No. She has Robinson eyes. Zufelt eyes are better than perfect."
He did his best guess at a prescription based on her reasonable cooperativity. Then we picked frames. Of course she wanted the pink ones. Her little head is so small they don't have them in both pink AND bendy, indestructable, fold them in half then drive over them with a diesel truck style of frames more appropriate for the barely three year old that she is. Oh well. We got her a nice little pair all written up. I'll order them first of January. She is pretty excited. For now, she can wear the super stylish ones I made her of pipe cleaners in the picture. They make her pretty happy too. I'm sure there is a pink pair of glasses in our future not too many years down the road.

Friday, October 16, 2009

How To Eat A Giraffe

Jacob had a blast playing with the big girl giraffe today. Maddie would put her head down so the giraffe nose would bump Jacob's head and he would giggle and wiggle like a crazy person. It was adorable and so fun to see her having fun with her little brother. She is still exploring this whole scenario where she is the oldest one and can be the leader in the house. I think she likes it.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

My Daughter Named Mary

Ben and Maddie played the nativity story last Christmas. Every so often they will put blankets on their heads and play again, but it isn't often. Ben used to be Joseph and Maddie was Mary. The last two weeks they have played house nonstop. Ben is a cat. Maddie is the mother. Her name is Mary. Ben calls her Mary in everyday life too. Lately, he says Mary more than he says Maddie. It's cute and she loves it. Sort of makes me want to change her name.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Potsy...Still With Us

One day on Ben's way out the door to school, he put down Potsy to leave for the bus. He threw his hands in the air, rolled his eyes in his head and exclaimed, "I can't believe I STILL sleep with a doll!!! That's so CRAZY!" He threw his head back and laughed. Then put his backpack on and headed out the door to be a big kindergartener. I have a feeling Potsy is on his way out. We've already dealt with heart ache over Ben's purple Dragon Tales lunchbox. It has been replaced with a yellow plain one. He has been teased that his backpack is too big. That is true, but he picked it and really likes it. If the poor kid ever slips up and mentions that he has a doll, he's toast. That is of course, unless the ladies think it gives him a "sensitive side" that the other men in the Get Girls Club don't have.

Ben Joined a Club at School

Ben proudly announced that he is in a club at school. It's with Jacob and Joshua and Connor and Daniel. They are in a club at recess. It is called "The Get Girls Club." Now try not to laugh your head off over that one. They chase girls. He says, "Mostly we just chase girls the whole time at recess." He's also interested in being in Kate J's club. Her club is called "The 4 Sticker Club." Right now he only has 3 stickers. He got one today for being the only kid who could think of another kind of bat. They were talking about the animal bat that can fly. The teacher asked what other kind of bat there was and according to him, everyone was really, really quiet because no one knew the answer. "Then I just thought about another kind of bat and slowly raised my hand up and said, "baseball bat." Bada-bing bada-boom. One step closer to joining the 4 Sticker Club. Apparently you can be the leader of the club if you have 5 stickers. There are currently three clubs. If you have no stickers at all, you are in the guard club (guarding the climbing structure on the playground from bad guys). That's where you start out. It must be the bottom of the totem pole so to speak. Once you get at least one sticker, you can move into the "Get Girls Club." After you have four stickers you of course advance into Kate J's Four Sticker Club. This all sounds very complex and confusing to an old woman like me. I hope I can keep up. Mostly I hope we don't start getting hurt feelings. Ugh. Cute just the same for now though.

It's Officially Jakey

I'm a nickname person. Always have been. Always will. Benjamin became Ben almost right off the bat. Madison was Maddie Mae within two months if I recall correctly. Jacob is going on over ten months and he's still Jacob. Until today. The kids have called him Jakey for months and months and months. It's cute. Today I called him Jakey a handful of times without meaning too. I'm guessing it will stick. Time will tell.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Laundry - We've Crossed the Hump

No getting around it. We take four loads of laundry each week now. Yuck.

Mali, I'm Mad At You. At Least I Think I Am

It wasn't too long ago that I said something in public about Brian or our family or something. Brian refuted that it was absolutely not true. He has come to the conclusion that I dream in such intense and vivid detail that my dreams become reality in my head sometimes. So I have to get this one out "onto paper" before it fades from the foggy morning brain. Soon the memory will be lost to me and only the emotion will remain. What little I remember is this: I was home alone in my house when Mali rushed over. She had a few random knick knacks to bequef to my kids that they didn't want to pack up to go to Thailand. She was really in a hurry asked if I still had something they had loaned us for Maddie that they would need back for Jane. No problem, it was in my room, so we went up there and my closet door was open. She saw a shirt she had given me and got totally excited. She said she needed that back too. Okay. She ripped it from the hanger with an excited squeal. Then she went nuts taking back item after item. I couldn't take it, so I stepped out of the room so I didn't get mad. I came back five minutes later and she had a laundry basket heaping with clothes and a quick look in my closet revealed that I had only five tank tops left in my entire wardrobe. I was ticked! I told her she could take back the things she had given me, but that was only like five blouses. The other fifty things she had in her basket were mine and I needed them back. I helped myself to about five shirts from her stash, which totally miffed her. I was deciding I needed to cut my losses and keep her as a friend. Let it go I kept saying in my head. I was trying to figure out how to get her to leave my house without 90% of my wardrobe in her basket and a smile on my face when I heard Jacob (real life Jacob) crying for his morning snack in the other room. I knew I had to end the dream so I tried to hurry it up but Jacob was too loud, too insistent, too hungry. Alas, I woke up still angry at Mali for stealing all my clothes. And when I'm mad about a dream, I'M MAD! I stew and fume and think of how mean and awful the person was and still is. So I guess I'm mad at Mali. Really, really mad at Mali. I can still tell I'm bugged. I will try to forgive and forget quickly, but if that doesn't work out at least I have two years to work through it before she moves home from Thailand. I dream big and real almost every single night, but I recall only two other times that I've been mad like this. Once was Brian about a year ago. The other time was while we lived in Texas. It was about Brian's dad, Craig. No idea what either dream was about anymore. I do recall that when I was mad at Craig I was awakened by Ben in the middle of the night and was so angry I ALMOST took a swing at poor, innocent, sleeping Brian, I guess I thought it must have been Craig?? I don't know. I stopped myself before I hit him, but I was boiling mad and couldn't sleep well the rest of the night. Wow. This is like a true confessions post. I've never told anyone but Brian. Sorry Craig that you were the unlucky person to be the target of my dream. I really do love you. You're the best father-in-law ever.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Good Day

About six weeks ago we ran out of rice. Off to the basement I went to refill the cute glass jar we got for our wedding. I set it down to check which bin the rice was in and bumped it from it's perch onto the hard, cold concrete floor. It smashed to smitherines. It was sad. I cried. (okay, maybe not). So for the last month and a half, this has been my solution:
A burlap bag thrown on the floor next to the bookshelf two steps outside of the kitchen. Classy, I know. I've had it on the shopping list and checked every store I've gone into since. They were always too big, too wide, too tall, too expensive. Today I dropped Maddie at preschool then ran into Safeway to get potatoes to feed our dinner guests tonight. SCORE!
They had these perfect $9 Rice Bins on sale for $3.29. Excellent. So good, in fact, I bought two so I can shift stuff around. Now we're set. New bins. New life. The stars continued to align and look what I did to our countertop.
I found it. Pretty, isn't it? I cleaned it! You can even see the reflection of the fruit bowl it's so shiny!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Happy Birthday to Me!

I've only been up for 45 minutes. I've already had a bunch of presents.
  • got a text from Lauren. Olivia is here! I get to share a birthday with her baby girl. Fun!
  • the bathroom scale read the smallest number I've seen in years (like fifteen years). If Brian messed with the button, I don't want to know until tomorrow.
  • Maddie greeted me with a smile and is excited for my birthday.
  • Ben gave me four shiny pennies from his own money.
  • Brian checked his schedule and will be coming home from work by 4 today (so I can get a flu shot).

It should be a great day.

Happy Birthday to my birthday twin, Mali. I guess I almost missed your birthday since it's bedtime in Thailand. Happy B-day to you even if it's unintentionally late.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Growing as Fast as a Watched Pot Boils and Other Happenings

Seriously? Ben got his flu shot today so I had Brian check his weight while he was in at the office. This kid just doesn't grow. 36.8 lbs. Come on! He is 5 1/2 years old. At this rate he'll still be in a booster seat when starts his freshman year at college. Poor guy. Something must be happening though. While his pants are getting shorter, they are also falling off his waist now. While his body may not be growing, we know his brain is. He's become really interested in things around him. Kindergarten and the independence that has introduced him to has been a beautiful thing. He is exposed to so much good stuff at school. I learned quickly to not ask or probe too much about what he does everyday. It makes him really mad and frusterated to feel pestered. Instead, if we spend time together doing other things, he shares just about everything I would have wanted to know anyway. Thursday Kristie and I got out lawn chairs for us and a big basket of balls and orange cones for the kids to play with. Ben told me he had a great idea for a new game we could play. I guess they played it at school. He had me call out, "Start kicking!" He and Parker would start dribbling the soccer balls. Then I was to yell out a body part like, head, elbow, foot, ear, nose. When I told them the body part, they would stop kicking and put their body part on the ball. It was so much fun! The boys were laughing so hard they would fall off the balls when I called out "Head!" because they couldn't balance. Today while we listened to General Conference in the morning he got out some old wood shapes from the craft drawer and started tracing the school bus. He colored it yellow with black wheels and red stop sign just like his school bus. Then he gave it to Maddie. He liked it so well, he made another and another and another. It took a considerable amount of time, but in the end, he went to the basement to retrieve Brian. He had laid out all four buses on the coffee table for his contest. We had to vote which bus we liked best. The bus driving on the black road over an underground river was the winner. It was a close contest though. The bus driving up a volcano through the mountains was a really close second. Ben also told me that, "I am a really good bus drawer because I ride one." I'm totally enjoying this new kindergartener. He's fun and funny.

SWEET! I Got a Hit from Brisbane Australia!

My blog follower thing-a-ma-jig tells me someone in Brisbane Australia checked me out a few hours ago. That means my brother and his family are getting settled a bit. They even updated their blog after a wild month or two trying to sell off all their things (furniture, cars, house, etc), pack up the rest and move to the other side of the world. I'm so excited for them and jealous at the same time. Heck, we took the job in Virginia so we could go overseas. Four and a half years later, here we sit. Fortunately, we're pretty happy sitting here. It is absolutely gorgeous this time of year in Virginia. We love our house, our school, our church, our commute, our patriotic city, our neighbors, our huge field out the front door, our creek, our lake, our apple orchards and our friends. It will be hard to leave if the opportunity ever does present itself. I'm not 100% sure I'd still say yes, because my life is just to close to picture perfect. For now, I'll happily live vicariously through their experiences and be totally excited for their big adventure. And, of course, being a true decendant of my world traveling Grandma Robinson, I'll start looking for plane tickets so I can go visit them! Now our big question - take the kids so they can see the cousins or leave them. Ugh. We think only Ben would do okay. The other two could be a complete and total nightmare and not appreciate the trip in the end at all. It's flipping day and night almost completely. Nap time would be a disaster since we want to sight see. And can you say 14 hour plane ride twice in two weeks? I shutter to think how bad that could be. Suggestions? Comments? What would you do?