Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Home cooked meal.

I love to cook. Let me rephrase that, I love to cook alone. I love to have others enjoy what I have prepared in the kitchen with no one underfoot. Most of the time, there are many people underfoot. I decided to cook a meal with a notebook close by so I could record just a few fun facts about our meal time prep.

I had to run to the grocery store for carrots. Just carrots. They are essential to one of my favorite meals. Upon returning home, Sean had some of the kids outside cleaning dog doo off the garage floor. He was super happy about that whole experience.

"Where's Jude?" I asked.
"He just went inside," he replied.

In the 30 seconds to 1 minute that he was unsupervised, he found my makeup bag.

Thus began the dinner hour. He used my eye liner to gouge out my packed powder. It's now very unpacked. He managed to rub concealer and lipstick all over his face and poke one dab of mascara onto his cheek.

After scrubbing his hands clean(I left his face, who cares?), I began pulling food from the refrigerator. The first step to this meal is throwing an onion in the food processor. As I'm pulsing it to a fine chop, Jude brought me an onion peel from the trash.

"It's a fwower, Mom. Sniff it. It's a fwower. MOM! SNIFF! IT!" All this as he's scootching the stool across the kitchen floor, screetch, scratch, screeeeeeeeeetch to the sink. He decided the flower needed water. He soaked the kitchen floor and got bored with the sink. As I cleaned the water up, he found my wallet and emptied it. Awesome.

As I cleaned up the wallet contents, he took advantage of the stool still close to the sink, scootched it to the food prep area and started to lick the raw biscuit dough off the spoon. My fault. I decided to load what dishes I could/should. As the dishwasher was open and blocking all forms of counterly trouble, he decided to see if there were any flowers under the raw chicken trays I had just thrown away. Another round of hand washing.

I push the trash all the way down to dissuade the little dumpster diver. Not a minute later, "I break-a egg shells, Mom. Wook! I good at cracking eggs." Another round of hand washing.

I'm to the point of the meal that the stove top is hot so I'm constantly pushing him out of the kitchen. Every time I go to the fridge or pantry for an ingredient, he tries to get me to hold him. He snatched a piece of my apron and got mad because he couldn't get to my belly. He's all about patting my belly.

Once he started climbing into the cupboards, I stopped shooing him out. Until the second kid came in and started climbing in cupboards. A game of tag is only second best to hide and seek. Somehow the honey bear joined the game and Jude nailed Titus in the head. With a bear full of honey. How does this happen? To make matters hilarious, Titus was more sticky than injured, but the whole debacle got Jude sympathy crying pitifully.

By that point, the rolls were in the oven, the chicken and rice were simmering, and I was wondering why we can't be like every other American and just eat at McDonalds for dinner. I'll answer the why with a picture and a recipe...

Chicken and rice: 
 Do yourself a flavor and make them both. I make the chicken dish at least 3 times a month. nomnomnom

I work out.

Well, three times so far. Sean is killing me with these workouts he was doing while he was away. The man came home ripped. The results are undeniable. I decided I could hang with him. "Gym dates will be fun," I said.

Ha. So far, my results include not being able to walk up or down stairs, open anything with a twist top or lift my youngest child.

To be honest, Bob is my motivation for going back. I hope I'd be able to whoop up on someone better than this in real life. If it ever comes down to fisticuffs, I'd like to be able to do more than slap my opponent. For now, I'll avoid bar room brawls(Judith ;)).



Monday, November 02, 2015


I read some comments on a blog the other day that were more than discouraging. The comment was talking about how stupid blogging is and how all these blogger personalities are fake. I get that. I stopped reading blogs of people I don't personally know many moons ago. I applaud people who made a go of blogging and got famous somehow. Good for them for not having to get a real job. I mean, really, why hate them for winning the job lottery? I ain't mad atcha.

I do realize blogging is a dying hobby. All of the friends I made via this blog have since stopped blogging. I've closed the blog down a time or two, but I'm not quite ready to end it for good. Whenever I go digging and find a picture of Feefs as a baby or a post about things Simon said when he was the same age as Titus, I'm reminded why I ever started this thing in the first place. So maybe blogging is on the way out. Maybe this form of social media has been replaced by pithier methods. I do still prefer using full sentences to get my point across. I don't use Facebook as a memory keeper. Ain't nobody got time for digging through Facebook posts to find something funny, and so I blog. Still. For now.

Lame? Maybe. I'm not trying to be a "Mommy Blogger" whatever that means. Is it as horrid as it sounds? Is it, like, somebody with a baby who gives advice to all the other moms who don't want it? Is it a mom with a nanny whose kids always look like mini hipsters? I can't stomach advice from other mothers. Jude was reaching for a toy the other day and I had a lady tell me (as she looked on with a condescending smile), "I usually let mine hold it while I shop and then take it away at the register."

Apparently, my look said what I was thinking: "How does that work out for you? Well?" My mouth only said, "Yeah, I've tried that before." Thankfully, I didn't have to eat my words (that time). Jude took no for an answer (that time) and we ended the shopping trip peacefully(that time), with no toys toted around the store or purchased. All that to say, I don't read advice blogs or take advice from random strangers in general.

I write here as a way to keep my family updated. I write here as a reference for Project Life. I write here because if I'm away long, my fan club calls(grandparents) and asks why pictures of the kids are being withheld. I write here because my kids are funny and my memory bank is broken. I write here as a personal priority. It's like any other hobby. It's important to me and so I attempt to make it happen. Just like my memory books. They're kinda cheesy, but my boys like them, so why not? I heard a comedian once say something about finding out a friend was a scrapbooker. The audience laughed with mockery, but what's wrong with memory keeping? Some people knit, some people sew, some people drink heavily...whatever gets you through motherhood, I say!

On with the point of this post! Funny stuff my people said this week...

As I was buckling Jude into his seat a few days ago, he wrapped his arms around my neck and said, "We are two brothers. Let me hug you." 
I replied, "You're so cute!" 
"Yes, I am."


In the kitchen, while wrapping up breakfast. 
Felix to Titus, "Don't ever waste your money in wishing wells. They are a waste of money."
"What have you wished for?" I asked him. 
"Oh, I've wished for a lot of things and they do not come true," whispering conspiratorially, brows raised.


Simon pulled his math grade up an entire letter grade with a 100 on a big exam. I reached over to give him an enthusiastic high five and knocked my almost full coffee over. 
"Well, it wasn't worth all that," he said. 


Jude is all about play phones right now. He loves calling people and involving anyone and everyone in his conversations. He smashed the phone up to Simon's ear and sweet big brother played along. 
"Are you coming to arrest Jude? Jude! They're coming to arrest you!" he said with a gasp. 
Jude snatched the phone out of his hand with attitude and said, "I'm calling dem back!"


While referring to their uncle, one of my children said, "He has, like, a 1930's phone!" 
It's just not a smart phone. They cannot fathom that flip phones were once all the rage. They really can't fathom the thought that once upon a time their ole ma 'n pa lived in an age without cell phones. How I wish for their sake they could know what it was like way back then. In the olden days of corded telephones and rabbit ears. 


Titus had an assignment in which he had to use adjectives to describe dinosaurs. I prompted him, "Describe the T-rex's teeth." 
"Bananas?" he guessed.
"Um, no. What word would you use to describe teeth?" I asked again, looking for the word "sharp."
"Well, they are yellow..."

I'm not sure if he was talking about me or the dinosaur. 


My beloved was obnoxiously cut off in traffic yesterday. As the car swerved a little to correct it's path, Sean says under his breath, "If I didn't give a crap, I'd run you off the road."

"There's that Jesus shining through..." 

I hope he doesn't turn that line around on me. I give him ample opportunity. :)


The boys go through random "Yo mama" phases. We have hit one over the last few days and they are driving this mama legit crazy. Titus did come out with a knee slapper all on his own. 

"Yo mama's so fat...that's it. Your mom is fat." 

Yep, we do a lot of laughing around here. I'm glad I'm surrounded by funny people. 

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Not today, Satan.

Ah, Sunday.

We woke up bright and early. The sun was shining, the temperature was perfectly Fall. Three quarters of the boys were dressed for church and fed. I got a shower and had coffee brewing with 40 minutes to spare. There was no way we were going to be late today.

And then I remembered it's Sunday.

I only had Judelet to dress. Given the chilly weather, I had the perfect sweater in mind. As it turns out, it's his only sweater. Somehow, an entire bin of 3T clothes is missing. I could've sworn I just saw those clothes, yet now they are *poof* gone.

My mind's eye knew that sweater was in his middle drawer. He's never even worn the sweater and it has resided in that drawer since my Gap clearance shopping spree in March up in DC. I went right to the spot it should've been and it was not there. I searched the drawer again. And then again. And the drawer above it and below it, just in case. Then I searched Tito's drawers because he tends to just shove stuff in there. Titus's side of the dresser would be the logical place for a misplaced sweater. Not there either. I searched and I searched and I searched in every nook and cranny of those four small drawers. I searched the big boys' room. I searched the laundry room. I even searched the donation basket and hand-me-down basket, just in case. I searched for a solid thirty minutes.

I got mad. I felt myself going down a bad road when I yanked all four drawers out of the dresser and upended them in the middle of the little boys' room. Still no sign of the freaking sweater. I gave myself a quick "get it together, Amport," and yelled out, "Not today, Satan. Not today!" and abandoned my plan for the grey sweater.

We ended up at church ten minutes late, but all were fully clothed. Felix was in two forms of plaid, even, and they matched so perfectly that it deserves some sort of documentation. He did end up in his brother's pants, but that got an, "Eh, who cares?" from both brothers.

My precious little has decided it's hilarious to pee his pants now. He also thinks it's awesome to announce, "I have to go pee pee!" loudly, and with an audience. He managed to hold his liquids at church all day. He managed to hold his liquids while shopping. He managed to hold his liquids through a nap. While playing outside. While eating dinner.

Jude decided just as I'd gotten involved in cleaning up the mountain of clothes to relieve himself. At least he kept it off the carpet. This phase is courtesy of dad's TDY, I assume. Just another thing I'd like to publicly thank the military for. Go blue. I'm totally joking. Not biting the hand that feeds us. As I started in on all the ways he's a big boy and big boys don't pee their pants, I got the bathwater running. He loves baths. I'm thinking this positive reinforcement after he pees himself could be part of the problem, but what else am I supposed to do? It wasn't until I put his towel on the towel rack that I noticed the stinking grey sweater.  Right there for ALL to see! Hanging bold as Dallas on the stupid towel rack. Every single one of us had walked passed it this morning. Such is life. Such are Sundays.

As the grey sweater had been found and I still had a pile of clothes to deal with, I decided to seek out the missing tub of 3T clothes. I hit a church yardsale in DC when Titus was in 3T, so I knew there was a whole wardrobe of winter 3Ts somewhere in my universe. While shuffling away the summer stuff, I found the whole tub in the attic. I must've forgotten how old two of my children are and ignored them when pulling out winter clothes last week. Even now, I can't reconcile how Titus could possibly be in a 7 and Jude in a 3. That's just not right.
 Speaking of hand-me-downs...Titus was wearing one of Isaac's old shirts and vests. It's one of my absolute favorites. I can't believe it ever fit Isaac and I can't believe it already fits Titus. It freaks me out thinking how quickly the big one grew from the size of the little one.  
Jude wearing a shirt Titus got right before his third birthday. My goodness...it goes fast. If you're on your first kid, I suggest you splurge on the better brands...trust me. :)

1. It's worth the extra couple of bucks.
2. That said, retail is for other people. Clearance is King.
3. Boys do not need to be dressed in crap simply because they're dirty all the time.
4. Boys will destroy the knees on all pants from the age of 3-12. Still, knees on elastic waste pants look dumb. Get the good jeans and learn to like the way ripped knees look.
5. Hand-me-downs will allow you to relive happy memories(and save loads of cash!).
6. And, no, you're next one will not be a girl. It's a lie. 

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Reconciliation, part 3

I almost titled this, "Reconciliation, the end." But, this isn't the end. However, I didn't expect part three so soon.

Sean's father, Gerry, passed away last night. I had just fallen asleep when the phone woke me. In an effort to silence the ringing, I missed the call. Everybody knows you don't answer the phone in the middle of the night, you simply shut it up to keep from waking children. The message was from someone we don't know and she said she had bad news.

Sean was pretty calm about it. He expected it more than any of us, I think. I'm so sad for Mickey. Gerry's health was bad; this is not out of the blue, at all. It's not so much that he's gone, I'm sad for the same reason I miss my baby. It's the loss of what could've been.

I envisioned Gerry and Mickey at Thanksgiving with us. I envisioned fishing trips and many photo opportunities. I wanted to hear more stories and document the similarities between him and his son.

All day long I've been wondering what he's experiencing. What is Heaven like? Who has he met? What conversations has he had?

I don't read the Bible on my phone often. I like having a good, solid, paper version. But I do have an app and it has a verse of the day. Today's didn't strike a chord with me, but I looked at yesterday's.

Psalm 73:26: "My flesh and my heart fail; but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."

It seems appropriate for a day that will forever go down in our history.

Gerry isn't resting in peace, he is rejoicing in Heaven. He is breathing freely. He is experiencing a peace that we can't even understand. I am so thankful for the hope that we have through Jesus Christ. I am so thankful that he snatched that hope up, even right there at his eleventh hour.

Oh, how I wish that I had taken more pictures...

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

One year later.

October 2014
 October 2015

I drank coffee at 8:00. Being wide awake in the quiet sometimes leads to a bit of thinking. I got to thinking about Fall, which leads to thoughts of Ohio. I decided to let my heart go there. I gotta admit, I miss the place. I love Virginia. I love my house. I love two very important relationships we're building here. I know why we're here and it has nothing to do with the military. I see how God is using us in this place.

But I miss Ohio.

I miss the people. I miss the weather. I miss our house. I heard a siren the other day and was immediately filled with nostalgia. I miss our church. I miss my friends. My boys miss their girls. I miss having a friend that would drop everything to go on an adventure with all fifty million of our kids. I miss the parks. I miss the boys that were in that top picture because they are surely different people now.

My tough boys. They adjust so much better than I do.

Listening to Spotify while digging through old pictures was not the greatest idea. The song from my Tito Burritos birth video popped up. My melancholy mood is now full on, "Why did my babies have to grow up so fast?!"

*sigh* I think I'll go clean instead. Missing my friends and missing my husband and missing my babies and wishing I had friends...this is not how I wanted to spend my evening.

Ha! And now on Spotify,
Nobody said it was easy
It's such a shame for us to part
Nobody said it was easy
No one ever said it would be this hard
Oh take me back to the start

I gotta get some peppier music. Dang.

Sunday, October 11, 2015


I'm not one of those moms that reads to my kids every night. I read to them a lot, but not every night. We go through spurts, it ebbs and flows. Sometimes the cards don't fall right. Sometimes I have four kids that refuse to do what I say. Sometimes I have four kids that aren't willing to go to bed before sunset(that's a joke). Sometimes I have four kids, period. Sometimes I have one kid who doesn't want to bed down for the night and that one unwilling kid can get the others on board with his devious plans. Sometimes dinner doesn't happen until late, thus pushing everything else back. Sometimes I don't flippin' feel like reading. Sometimes I've given so much during the day that I want to rush through bedtime and turn inward for a minute before collapsing. 
Sometimes I look up and realize I only have two littles left to read to. Sometimes I don't let Titus see the page, preventing him from reading ahead. Sometimes I'm selfless, even after dinner runs late and bedtime runs late and I just want them to go to bed. Sometimes they're so into the story that all our worries of the day melt away. Sometimes the two year old gets so engrossed in the story that he talks about it for days. Sometimes it's magical. And it's those nights that make me want to read every night.

Usually I sit on the floor to read. Titus will brush my hair if he knows I'm getting ready to wrap it up. Jude plays an excellent me. My voice is a little deeper, though. And the dog in the book we're currently reading is named "Tornado," not "Tomato." :)


"I-ant to pet him. His 'hear' is like a goggie." Jude, while waking up Titus. Perhaps it's time somebody got his 'hear' cut. That has nothing to do with my birthday, I just don't want to forget the moment. :D

My birthday celebration began around my brother's birthday, actually. His is the 6th, mine is the 10th. My parents are part of the Halfpap club, too. ;) Our friends have four littles; three have October birthdays.

I was able to surprise Jim with a cake and had our sister and fam FaceTime in to sing.

My birthday was awesome. I started receiving suspicious packages a week ago. A Lodge skillet from Jude's namesake. 
Some packages from another friend that I opened before she could tell me to wait until my actual birthday. :D

No lie, I had been looking at fabric to make an apron the day I got this package. The original haircut is all that's wrong with this picture.

This is the picture I brought with me, by the way. You can see the "fixed" version in the later pictures. Obviously still not quite right, but I'm hoping it'll grow out into this. 

The night before my birthday, Jim had me over for dinner and cake. He wouldn't let me help, so Jude, Titus and I played in his backyard. 
Yes, this is his backyard. So, so, SO beautiful!!

Who wants cake?!

My brother told me at dinner that Simon had called and asked him to take him to the bank. Simon wanted to trade in all of his 1/2 dollars so he could buy me an extravagant birthday present. Still not sure what present he had in mind, but Jim(thankfully!) talked him out of it. 
Jim told me, "You've got an awesome kid. He wanted to trade in his treasure for his treasure." TEARS.

Because I'll take any excuse to eat donuts, we opted for our local joint on Birthday morn'.
I ordered myself a mocha latte and the boys all had hot chocolate. I'm 99% sure Jude's and my drinks were switched. Thankfully, he didn't eat the donut. THAT on top of a mocha may have done me in, energy wise. I was dragging, he was ready to climb mountains.

A delivery came mid-afternoon. My beloved outdid himself this time. I had told my friend that morning that I was hoping he'd send flowers. "Wouldn't you rather have him take you out when you get home?" she asked. "I'd rather have both," I answered. :)
The florist note that he sent filled up the front and back. Nevermind that it was the florist's handwriting, his heart wrote the words and they were perfect. 
For dinner, the boys took me on a date. 

One of my dates had to have my help tucking in their shirt. 
One of my dates was wearing pull ups. 
One of my dates took a solid thirty minutes tying his tie. 

They had minimal guidance from their Dad. I did mention that dates require dressing up, combing hair, and smelling good. Doors are to be opened by the gentleman and chairs pulled out for the lady. As their father had already provided the flowers, they were off the hook there, but they did pay for the meal with their own money. 

At home, Felix got my door. 
At the restaurant, Titus beat him to it. 
We arrived to an empty porch and live music at one of our favorite restaurants. Patriot's Grill in Gloucester. The owner is the sweetest and their bread pudding is amazing. 
Girl was good! I requested "Hey, Jude," of course. 
It was all fun and games until her fan club showed up. I'm all for people having the freedom to smoke, but I surely do not enjoy smelling cigarette smoke when I'm trying to eat. Especially not when it's being purposely blown in our direction. Not at us, but at a girl that was sitting close to us. Her date was puffing his breath in her face. It was so obnoxious. 

Speaking of obnoxious...I told one of my dates that if I was his actual date, I wouldn't return his phone calls after the way he acted. Not a minute later he told me, "You're just like the sunset...beautiful," and I told him he'd redeemed himself. 

Jude kept dumping pepper on napkins. 
Titus kept balancing his plate on his head. 
Felix kept pinching his nose so his nostrils would stick together and then inhaling loudly while going cross eyed. 
Simon had a pretty apparent bad attitude towards some of his brothers that he was not successful at hiding. 

Food cured them all. Before dessert, I asked that we move inside because it was cold and none of my dates had coats big enough for me to steal. I did tell them that it's smart to wear layers on dates, because if their lady gets cold, it's up to them to shed a jacket or shirt. 
Jude fell asleep on our date and missed all the stellar advice his brothers were handing out. 
Simon asked, "So, Mom, what do you think is a good date car? I'm thinking about a BMW Z8."
I answered, "Well...you're going to want to buy a car that leaves you enough money to take your girl on dates."
Felix said, "So like a Nissan Quest?"
Simon replied, "Yeah, and you'll have to tell your date, 'Don't wear heels! You might have to push!'"

Minutes later as one of the brothers farted loudly and I reprimanded, "That is NOT something you do on dates!" the other brother ended the date with, "You're never getting a girlfriend!"

I beg to differ. The disgusting one is the most romantic. He said earlier in the day, "You know what! I don't care if Titus does tell ______ that I love her! That's just breath I don't have to waste!" How romantic...? 

Saturday, October 10, 2015

GHS parade.

We aren't really parade people. I've always wanted to be that mom that gets up early and makes it to the small, local parades. I've failed at that. As it turns out, we move a lot and I never know about small, local parades until after the fact. It helps to have an insider.

My nephew mentioned a parade a while back. There was one he was supposed to participate in a few weeks ago and it was canceled due to weather. Someone, I got the two parades combined in my mind. So when he called while we were at Rosewell, I was a little nervous we wouldn't make it in time to his high school homecoming parade.

He told us it was at 5:00. Plenty of time. At 3:40 he called back and said it was at 4:00. We made it to Main Street and got a pretty sweet parking spot. I figured it must've been a small parade that nobody knew about. As it turns out, I was simple early. Very early. The street filled up pretty quickly. No biggie. It was a beautiful day and Main Street is a beautiful street. Other than Jude repeatedly setting off the car alarm while he played on my lap, everybody was fine chilling in the car.

By 5:30, we finally saw the beginning of the parade. Now that my kids know parades involve candy throwing, we'll probably be in attendance a bit more often.
 See the giant white dog? Jude kept saying screaming, "Hold me! Polar bear gonna get me! Polar bear gonna EAT me!"

 Not sure what this mascot is. I think it's a Duke? I initially thought it was a pirate, but my perception was a tad skewed as he attempted a high five with Jude. A screaming Jude literally climbed me. Scaled right up the front of me like a cat. 

 Luckily he chilled by the time the main attraction marched by. My nephew happens to be the sharpest looking kid in the bunch. He needs to teach the other guys how to keep step. My goodness, what a bunch!

 I couldn't see what I was capturing as the sun was all up in our business, but I actually kinda like these. 

 Only in Gloucester would trucks be a main attraction in a parade simply because they have big tires and rev loudly. 
 Jude was still pretty worried about the mascot coming to get him. Not worried enough to refrain from scrounging on the street for tootsie rolls, but worried enough to grab "Unca Je-yum's" hand when the tootsie rolls were all collected. 

 He's a nice guy, that Unca Jeyum. 
 "Why are we going to a parade?" Titus asked.
"Because it's Isaac's parade," Felix explained. 
I think Titus may actually believe it was a parade in Isaac's honor. 
Considering he was the only reason we went, they're right. 
Good times, good times.