Psst, Do Your Halloween Shopping Here!

If you celebrate Halloween, you’re probably starting to grab candy and costumes and get your decorations in order. A lot of people use Amazon for this and so, if you’re planning on ordering online this year, can I suggest using my link? You don’t pay any extra, but I get a small percentage.

Usually, I make money from my Squidoo lenses over Halloween, but since Squidoo shut down, that part of my earnings is GONE. So, if and only if you plan to use Amazon anyway, I’d really appreciate if you clicked on the image below before you do your shopping. Thanks!

By the way, any time you shop on Amazon after clicking an Amazon link on my site, it helps us out and doesn’t cost you a penny! You can always click on the link in my sidebar to get there and the cookie will last for 24 hours.


Rainbow Sky

A couple of nights ago, Dorian ran inside, shouting excitedly for us to come and see. “There’s a rainbow in the sky! A really cool rainbow!”

I figured he was just excited because he hasn’t seen many rainbows in his life. And then I stepped out the door and saw this:

rainbow sky

We were in awe. The photos do NOT do this sky justice, but you can get a little glimpse of what we saw. It was like an oil spill in the sky. I half expected an alien mothership to come bursting through the clouds at any moment.

rainbow sky

rainbow sky

The colors smeared and bled and then finally faded to golds and greens and disappeared. It lasted for a good 20 minutes, though, and we stood out there watching the whole time. What an amazing spectacle!

Update: Apparently this is called a fire rainbow cloud. You can read more here and see a much better photo of one. I need a new camera, apparently.

Hi, Spammers! Plus a Little Update

Apparently, leaving your blog without constant updates encourages spammers. Every time I pop over to check, there are more spam comments telling me I have great tips for beginner bloggers, or asking what theme I use, etc. Even my spam filter isn’t catching them all!

I guess it’s good that my blog is big enough to attract the ‘bots and spammers? :P

In other news, things are chugging along here. My uptick in work hasn’t slowed down, so I’m still writing for long hours and trying desperately to maintain some semblance of balance. It’s all moot though, we basically get school done and I’m working until late at night. But, I never expect these things to last long, so I’m just going to enjoy it while I can. At least the kids like eating the fast meals I throw together every day!

The good thing is that I happen to love each and every project I’m working on right now. My clients are all awesome, pay quickly and the projects are all things I really enjoy learning more about. It’s made for a rather pleasant change from my usual dreary tasks of writing automotive descriptions and payday loan blog posts.

Irving has been super healthy lately. His blood sugar levels are great, even when he cheats and sneaks two packets of Oreos. Ahem. We’re all eating healthier, though, of course, it’s easier when I’m not working so much that I forget people around here neat to eat!

Potty training is done. Dominic has proven himself both at home and in the street, though he has had a few small accidents. In general, though, he does very well and is great about getting to the bathroom on time, on his own. I am still stunned to have a two year old who is potty trained, except for night, but it’s pretty awesome. We’re saving tons since we only need a few diapers each month.

The older boys are also doing well. They’ve been working hard in school and trying more foods and basically just showing how grown up they’re getting. I see more responsibility in them every day. Of course, they still fight and complain, but there are definite signs of being more mature, which is much appreciated and much encouraged.

How are my readers doing?

Potty Training: The Third Time Around

Potty training is not something I feel like an expert in, despite having three kids. The older boys were hard to train, though I tried to follow advice that suggested waiting until they were ready on their own . . . which they never were. I’m convinced that if we hadn’t had our trip to Canada to motivate the big push, they would both still be in diapers!

Dominic showed interest in the toilet around 9 months, but since he couldn’t walk yet, I didn’t do much with it. In retrospect, that was a terrible idea. Later, he was completely against it and told me he only wanted diapers. I was still contemplating how to handle this when we decided to try training in segments. Every morning, we would have him pantless and use the potty. It was hit and miss and we had more accidents than success. When work was heavy, I would forget to tell him to go every 15 minutes, which didn’t help.

Last week, Irving put pants and no diaper on the kid, which has historically resulted in 0% success. He threw a tantrum and fussed about it all morning, but after one accident, he started to calm down and get more interested. The first 100% diaper free day was a long one, with a lot of laundry, but by the end of the day, he was asking me to pause his show so he could go to the bathroom.

Fast forward 5 days and we are potty trained! Virtually no reminders are necessary and he just heads to the bathroom when he needs to. It feels so strange to reach this stage of life, where diapers are only a thing we deal with at night or if we are in the car for a long time. My baby isn’t a baby anymore. It’s a little bittersweet, but I certainly don’t miss changing stinky diapers!

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Episode 87

Dante: “I wrote this, Mama.”
Me: “It’s a little hard to read, you need to . . . ”
Dante: “I know, use more spacebars!”
Me: “Dominic, do you need to go pee?”
Dominic: “No.”
Me: “Do you need to go poo?”
Dominic: “No.”
Me: “Do you need to go rainbows?”
Dominic: laughing “YES!”
Me: talking to myself, “Hmm, why is there something hard inside this ball of yarn?”
Dorian: “I don’t know! I don’t have any life experience yet!”
Me: “Do you want to watch a show on my computer?”
Dominic: “Yes. But NO BROTHERS!”
Dorian: “You don’t want us?”
Dominic: “No! You guys . . . . not do ANYTHING!”
Me: “Good job with the potty, Dominic! You’re really a big boy now.”
Dominic: “Yes. I go up on da bunk bed now!”
Dante: “You look stoned, Mama.”
Me: “Um, excuse me?”
Dante: “You look like you’re made of stone, not moving.”
Me: “Do you speak English?”
Dominic: “Yes.”
Me: “Do you speak Spanish?”
Dominic: “Si.”
Me: “Do you speak Arabic?”
Dominic: “Arabic? No.”
Me: “Do you speak Japanese?”
Dominic: “Apanese? No.”
Dorian: “Do you speak Chinese?”
Dominic: “Yes!”
Me: “What do you say in Chinese?!”
Dominic: “Ni hao, Kai-Lan!”
Dominic: “Mama, look at the sun!”
Me: “That’s not sun. The sun goes away at night, that’s why it’s dark.”
Dominic: “LOOK! SUN!”
Me: “It’s lightning. Remember we talked about that? Lightning in the clouds?”
Dominic: “Mama, what is lightning?”
Me: “It’s electricity in the clouds.”
Dominic: “Mama, what is electricity?”
Making a cake . . .
Dominic: “Wash your hands! Wash my hands! You can’t do ANYTHING afore you wash your hands.”

Growing Up Too Fast

Dominic is two and a half now and he never, ever shuts up. He’s such a bright, energetic little bundle of happiness in our lives, I can’t imagine not having him around. But, there is one thing that makes me sad about him. He is growing up way too fast.

Part of this is due to the fact that he has two much older brothers and is exposed to a lot through them. Part of it is that he’s just so darn eager to learn and picks up everything like a sponge. And part of it is just normal toddler stuff that hits me a little harder this time because he’s the last.

The other day, we were in the car, waiting for some people we were meeting and Dominic repeatedly asked to get out of his car seat. I told him no, the people were coming soon and then we’d leave. “WHEN?!” he cried. Irving and I looked at each other, surprised that he even understood that word at this age. But then, he knows a lot of things that surprise us. Like:

- The letter B. He names it if he sees it and assumes any word with B at the beginning is “banana.”

- How to make coffee. He will instruct me each morning on how to make the coffee for the day, while perched on the counter with a serious expression on his face.

- How to be a zombie. He will stagger around the house, growling and groaning, like something straight out of the Walking Dead, though he’s never seen that show, of course.

- All about patterns. I gave him a kindergarten workbook the other day to keep him busy during school (he insists on doing school with his brothers) and he said, “These are patterns, Mama!” And then he did them all flawlessly. He could also match things like creatures and their shadows or two pieces of clothing that go together. I was very surprised since I’ve never worked on this with him. I blame his obsession with Umi Zoomi.

Though he’s growing fast, I love the little person that Dominic is turning into. He’s smart and funny and really lives up to the third born’s clown status. He can make anyone laugh and frequently uses his charms to calm his brothers down when they’re upset. He also is very good at getting what he wants, by offering hugs, kisses and sweetly uttered, “I love you!” (though if he’s saying it to get what he wants and you say no, he will burst into tears and yell, “But I LOVE you!”). And sometimes, he just wants to snuggle, though not for long.



Writing on 3 Hours of Sleep

I’ve been absent lately because I have been getting tons of work via Elance. Probably too much. I have a tendency to overbook myself because I hate to say no to jobs that pay well, particularly since there is often little or no work.

Last night, I worked until four am and then slept for three hours before getting up to feed children, teach and start all over again. This is only temporary, of course, but it is allowing me to get a little ahead and save up some money. Next week should be much calmer! Unless more work comes in, of course. ;)

Kids Say the Darndest Things: Episode 86

Me: “I’m going to take a quick shower, can you make sure everyone survives for 5 minutes?”
Dorian: “Sure. If any zombies come, I’ll fight them off and make sure no one gets eaten.”
Dante: “Mama, when you’re old and you die, do we get to be the bosses?”
Me: “Yup.”
Dante: “So, when you die, I can get into the school markers?!”
The boys were playing tag outside.
Dorian: “Okay, this is a boss level. Whoever wins gets a very, very, very big trophy!”
Irving: “Here’s your banana, Dominic.”
Dominic: “No. I don’t want it. It’s dirty!”
The banana had two tiny spots.
During a thunderstorm.
Dominic: “What was that, Mama? That light?”
Me: “It was lightning. It’s electricity going between clouds or down to the ground in a flash of light.”
Dominic: “It’s a lighthouse!”
We were learning fractions.
Me: “So, draw a line to divide the circle into halves. It’s like if you had a cookie and broke it in half to give one piece to Dorian and one piece to yourself.”
Dorian: “You know, it works so perfectly on paper, but in real life, the cookie never breaks that nicely.”
Dante: “Did you know that if you can’t find something, you can eat chicken or an egg and you can find it?”
Dorian: “Can you look that up on YouTube? ‘Can eating chicken help you remember?’”
The boys were watching Dora the Explorer and a chicken got its foot stuck in a bucket.
Dorian: “Well, they could get scissors from Mochila and cut the chicken’s leg off. Then she’d be free.”
Dante: “I was just thinking that!”
Dominic: “Foots!”
Dante: “We call those toes. And for babies, we call them tootsies!”
The boys were working on their Snap Circuits.
Dorian: “HEY! We have GOT to make chest paddles!”
Dorian: “Dante, what’s 3 times 3?”
Dante: “I don’t know, I’ve never done times!”
Dorian: “Well, I’m about to teach you. And if you don’t get this, you’re going back to minus.”
Dorian: “There’s monkey spiders?!”
Me: “Spider monkeys, yes.”
Dorian: “What do they do? Jump on your face?”