Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Cute Factor: 1000x

On the way to swimming lessons this morning:

Isaac: Oh no, no tummy, no, not now.


Isaac: Mommy, my tummy is getting all nervous butterflies but I don't want it to be nervous. I want to have fun at my lesson today!

After dinner last night:

Anna was drinking, or rather attempting to drink, milk from her brother's cup. She was making quite a mess so Jesse offered her a sippy cup instead. Anna has thus far rejected all sippy cups and everything they stand for. Jesse filled the cup with the vitamin D milk we keep on hand just in case she decides that a sippy cup might fit into her plans. She took a drink, spit the milk all over herself and flung the cup away with a thoroughly disgusted/irritated look on her face.

Confused as to why she was rejecting the very liquid she had just been consuming from her brother's cup, we realized that the milk in Isaac's cup was skim, not vitamin D. We refilled her cup with skim milk and voila! She drank the whole thing.

Is Anna counting her calories already??? In her defense, if she inherited her mommy's thighs this might not be such a bad idea. Considering her varied and oh-so-nutritious diet of skim milk, watermelon, banana, yogurt, Jesse's cardboard flakes in a box-I mean cereal, guacamole, Spanish rice and my home made chili, it is probably a darn good thing she is so hell bent on continuing to nurse. No I am not joking, those are the foods that she eats most regularly and rarely does she deviate from this menu. She LOVES spicy food, it is the funniest thing. She did meet her match in a chili con queso the other day, but that is the only food I have ever seen her reject due to spice level. She is definitely her daddy's girl!

This evening at Cold Stone:

Esther: Um...did you see what your youngest son just did?

Cherith: No..Nathan, what did you do?

Nathan grabs himself and does an excellent imitation of one of Michael Jackson's more appalling dance moves.

Cherith chokes on ice cream and tries not to look the complete strangers who are now laughing hysterically in the eye.

Cherith: Nathan! Where did you learn that????

Nathan: The Little Mermaid.

Enough said, I am going to sleep.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Why hello there! Liz, we are not dead. You were spot on when you guessed that we walked away from every phone and computer within a 12 mile radius.

The S Family completed a rather grueling 8 days during which the kids endured much babysitting, I drove 4 hours a day, we ate more fast food than we want to remember and saw very, very little of each other. This past week capped off a month during which every weekend included an obligation away from home. Convinced that we deserved a break, we decided to take a few days and get out of town, away from jobs, computers, phones, etc. and just relax and spend time together.

Considering that we had only two days to work with, travel too far from home was not logistically possible. Instead we opted to enjoy some of the lovely scenery of our beloved home state. Honestly, we love living here and it was nice to be reminded why.

We took the boys hiking and for a trip on a scenic railroad. They LOVED both activities. Previously our trips with the boys have been marked by significant griping and complaining about the heat and how hungry they are and how much they just want to go home. Regardless of the excitement they express prior to the event, they never seem to enjoy it much once we arrive. I am not sure of the explanation for this phenomenon. Perhaps they were too young? Well whatever the reason, they thoroughly enjoyed this extended weekend.

I FINALLY got around to purchasing the Ergo Carrier that I have wanted for Anna. I could have mail ordered 24 of them by now, but for some reason I never got around to it. Fortunately, a retailer that sells this item was conveniently located on the way to our hiking trail.

If you have a child who weighs 40 pounds or less and either walks very slow or has a tendency to wander, frequently need to take that child with you on your daily excursions and desperately need both hands free at the same time, I highly recommend an Ergo. It weighs almost nothing and is very comfortable. I LOVE IT!

I have included a slide show of our activities. Please forgive the unsolicited and somewhat biased commentary that I am sure you will notice.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Everybody's Crazy 'Bout a Sharp Dressed Man

This past Friday the boys attended their first semi-formal evening event and what a splash they made. I did not bring my camera or I would have some wonderful pictures of them tearing up the dance floor. I did snap a few pics of their snazzy togs before we left and thought you would enjoy seeing what they look like when they are clean and well dressed. A tad unsettling to see them looking so sharp, isn't it? Personally, I think they look adorable if unusual.

Anna was being a complete goofball and when she realized that pictures were being taken and she had not yet been invited to join the fun, she invited herself. WHAT A HAM!

I have just completed two 10 hour work days for my job, have Monday off and then have 3 more work days that will probably be about 12 hours each. You will likely not have another S Family update until sometime next week.

I must now be off as it is Sunday night and I am only on page 67 of the new Harry Potter book. THIS IS UNACCEPTABLE!
Have a great week!

Thursday, July 19, 2007


At 2:50 pm Friday, my sister Mary embarks on a new chapter in her life. This chapter is set in the lovely, albeit humid, state of Tennessee.

Mary is the first, and thus far only, of my 5 siblings to move out of this state. Having lived in the same state near family and friends for...well however many years old she is (when you have 5 siblings to keep track of, you may feel free to judge my lack of knowledge of their actual ages)this move has been a tad difficult and not a little traumatic on everyone who loves Mary, her husband and their darling little guy, Sammy.

We will miss you family West! Whenever you feel homesick or just need to smile, the boys ask that you refer to following videos, written and recorded just for you.

And honestly, the world is a much smaller place than it used to be. When in doubt, simply consult with my dear friend Liz. She is a great friend and I love her dearly, but we see each other "in the flesh" probably less than once a month. IM, e-mail, Skype, the phone, blogs, the list goes on and on, are fabulous ways to keep in touch and maintain relationships from a distance. We might not be able to go on our little play dates or have lunch as often, but our relationship will not change and you will not be alone.

Have fun and enjoy your new adventure! Whenever Sammy acts up, tell him that Aunt Cheri said he is to be a good boy for his mommy!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Nothing in Particular

Nothing particularly interesting happened today. Well, nothing that anyone other than an S might find interesting.

A lack of interesting events is clearly not a good reason to deny you the adorable pictures of my kiddos that I captured today. The boys will be attending their first formal event on Friday, an occurrence that warrants actual haircuts as opposed to their typical summer buzz cuts.

When we do actually get their hair professionally cut, we take them to a fun shop that caters just to kids. They always offer to put some colorful goo in their hair after the cut. Today Isaac opted for red and Nathan for pink. Nathan's shows up better in the picture. Does he not look about 12 years old with his hair done like that???

Yes Isaac IS still wearing his new Spider Man costume. It has not left his back since entering our home. Fortunately, he has two more costumes on the way. Maybe they will get here before this one disintegrates.

Anna spent the better part of her evening trying to swaddle her baby and bring it outside to show daddy. I put together a little slide show to help you appreciate her efforts. Pardon my partiality, but she is just so darn cute! I have NO idea what happened to other shoe, a complete bummer considering that we just bought them yesterday.

PS You may or may not be able to tell from these pics, but we did break down and trim Anna's bangs. We absolutely REFUSE to call this her first haircut. I totally regret doing it, in case you are wondering.


Monday, July 16, 2007

Errands or Erin's

The other day I told the boys that we needed to run some errands. During these errands, Isaac became the proud owner of a new Spider Man costume. Very excited about his new togs, he asked if he could wear it while we went to errands. Chuckling over his lack of understanding of the word errands, I told him he was welcome to wear his costume while we did our errands.

As we headed home from those errands, he exclaimed in outrage, "But mommy! I was going to wear my costume to show errands!!"

Confused, I told him that we had just completed our errands and now we were going home and that he did wear his costume.

Still outraged he insisted that we had not yet been to errands and that he really wanted to wear his costume when we got there.

I tried to explain again.

Near tears, he informed me that he REALLY wanted to show errands his new costume and could we please get Esther too because she might want to see errands as well.

It dawned on me that he was talking about Erin, not errands. When I said errands, he heard Erin's. Poor baby! He thought we were going to go to Erin's house to show her his new costume.

So Erin, for your enjoyment, the above picture of Isaac in his new bad Spider Man costume.

PS I fixed the poll so that you can actually vote in it. DUR!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

It's a Mystery

I have decided that the mystery of the LC must remain just that.

Many have applied their mental prowess in an effort to crack this code but none have proven victorious.

Clearly I suffered from some sort of grocery related dementia when I wrote that.

I think Lemon Chutney was my favorite suggestion.

Esther, Mary, Erin, Liz and Jesse, thank you all so very much for your suggestions. Apparently this is one of life's little mysteries that prefers to remain mysterious.

Lesson learned: NO ABBREVIATIONS. ABBREVIATIONS ARE BAD. Everyone take out a piece of paper, write the word abbreviation, circle the word and then cross it out.

Edited to add: OMG! I was just watching the corn video again, has the sound always been messed up like that or is it just my computer? Must not have uploaded correctly. Sorry about that folks!

Saturday, July 14, 2007

For your consideration...

Do you expect your child(ren) to live a better life that you have lived? Better seems a rather crass and simplistic term, given the infinite characteristics by which a life can be measured, but I am really tired so it is the best I can come up with right now.

Consider your life. Is there any glaring issue that you see as "wrong" in your world? Small issues? Assume now that your grown child(ren) have lives in which those issues are "fixed." Would you be happy for your child(ren)? Would you be proud? Would you feel threatened? Jealous?

Friday, July 13, 2007

Support the Arts

Self reflection is a lost art. The ability to think about and reflect on one's actions and when necessary make amends for those actions seems pretty low on many peoples' lists of priorities these days.

This is a rather unfortunate societal problem, in my opinion.

This particular dysfunction seems especially prominent in people in positions of authority. I am amazed by the number of educators and parents who honestly believe that they are actually always or must always figure out a way to be right about everything.

Why is it so difficult to say you were wrong? What does it cost to say to a person that you made a mistake and you are sorry? Do people who rationalize, justify and make excuses for their every action and sentence honestly feel good about themselves? Is such a self deceiving way of life fulfilling? Can they look themselves in the mirror every morning and feel good about the person looking back at them?

I am by no means a perfect person. Many a fault I have and I have no problem admitting that. I do, however, try to be self aware and reflect on what I say and do, in the hopes of not causing pain to the people that I care about.


Liz, I am sorry I was so inattentive and distant on the phone the other day. My anxiety and fear does not make it ok for me to be rude and inconsiderate when you are talking excitedly about your new undertaking. A gracious friend who be happy for you regardless of their own situation.

Isaac, I am sorry that I did not purchase those roses you picked out for me in the grocery store the other day. You are such a sweet little boy and I know you were just trying to make me feel better about loosing my ring. I know that I cannot and should not buy every pretty thing that you pick out for me when we are shopping, but those flowers were very special, you put a lot of thought and energy into picking them out and you do not appreciate that there is money involved in actually bringing them home.

Isaac and Nathan, I am sorry I spoke harshly to you when I was talking to the pool manager about my lost ring. My stress and grief did not make it ok for me to be impatient and angry at you.

Esther, I am sorry I hopped into the front seat of the van, completely and totally forgetting how carsick you get when you have to ride in the back. I am especially sorry that it took me over 24 hours to figure out why you looked so distraught at the time.

People who are willing to admit when they are wrong and atone for the pain they may have caused are trustworthy and credible in my opinion. I am about ready to write the others off.

Hopefully without sounding preachy or annoying, please consider what I have written and think about whether or not you may have hurt someone and might want to make amends with that person. Words can hurt. They can hurt a lot. You may have unintentionally hit a very sensitive nerve or touched on a topic that a person has a lot of insecurities about. Or if you did mean the hurtful thing you said, maybe a rational discussion between the two of you will accomplish more than harsh words spoken in anger.

Personally, I plan to continue to believe that most people are kind and that they really do not intend to cause pain in those they love. I have been burned by this optimism before and I will likely be burned again, but I hope I will never get cynical enough to assume that most people are jerks who would just as soon step on your face if that made it easier for them to get to their desired destination. I came close to that level of cynicism this week and I needed to write this in an effort to organize and understand my thoughts. Sorry you had to come along for that ride. I hope you are not scared, confused or offended.

In Other News
*A new S Family poll is up! Now that we have all had the chance to view the summer sequels, which one did you like best?

*No word on my ring. We are casually shopping the replacement possibilities. I am still very sad about the loss but I am trying to appreciate the big picture. My darling Jesse went to the pool and posted signs offering a reward for the ring's return, but I am still not holding my breath. Any prayers for its safe return are much appreciated. I DO find ring of power jokes amusing, so feel free to go there if you like. :)

*I dropped the center piece of a rather heavy kitchen table on my foot. Very painful. OW.

*Still no clue about LC. ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGG!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*We have new license plates. The last 3 letters are OVY. Jesse thinks that our license plates say ovary and he is mortified. I personally think they are quite appropriate for a mini van. I am pleased.

Happy weekend all!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Advice Et Al.

If, like me, you suffer from acute short and long term memory loss due to an intimate moment between your head and a car windshield, please take the following dos and donts under advisement.

DO keep a running list of needed grocery items as you think of them. If you don't you will end up dragging three bored kids around a store, unable to remember a single thing that you actually need and come home with 12 new toys that were on clearance and a frozen food item that you will put in the freezer and never think about again.

DON'T abbreviate on your list. Consider that since you are keeping the list so that you do not have to remember what you need, abbreviating is rather contrary to what you are trying to accomplish.

DO (and this is for everyone, memory loss or not) help me figure out what on earth I was referring to when I wrote the letters LC on my grocery list. I have wracked my mind, nearly to the migraine point, trying to figure out what I meant when I wrote these letters on my grocery list. I remember that I was looking in the fridge when I wrote it. I remember that I thought to myself that I should not write letters, I should write the whole word, but it was two long words and I was convinced that I would remember with the abbreviation prompt. I remember that it was something I needed but did not necessarily want the rest of the world to know I needed, hence my choice to abbreviate.

That's all I have. Thoughts? Ideas? HELP ME!!!

Et Al.

*I saw gas for $2.99 today!

*The pic above is Anna's first mini skirt. She is only allowed to wear them until she is 3 so we figured we needed to get started. :)

*I have lost, likely forever, my wedding ring. Devastated does not even come close to expressing how I feel. Sick would probably be a better word for that oh so unpleasant feeling in the pit of my stomach. We are offering a reward and posting signs in the location of the loss, but recovery is not likely. I have been given much advice, some good, some not so good, some down right hysterical, on how I might go about locating and/or dealing with this loss and I am grateful. But for the moment I still feel pretty darn lousy so please be gentle if you feel the need to comment. Any joking or teasing will likely earn you an uncomfortable silence and a good look at the back of my head. Not trying to be unkind, just very upset, emotional and raw for the moment. Perhaps we can joke about it in a few months.

If you happen to see a tall, dark and handsome Hispanic man with three cute kids and a ringless white chick, please do not assume that I am his mistress. We are married! I swear!

Pictures and a video below. Anna discovered a non purred veggie that she actually likes!

Corn Princess

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

We are BACK!

Did you miss us? We missed you.

Despite two power outages today, we actually have Internet again! I am completely ashamed to admit that I got a LOT of things accomplished around here when I could not be online. Clearly I spend too much time online. {Cherith hangs head in shame.}

This past weekend was one of the last semi-free weekends that the S Family has for the next few weeks. We decided to make the most of our time and visited a few local attractions. Below you will find several slide shows and videos. I solemnly swear that no animals were harmed in the taking of these pictures.

In case you are wondering, I have been very thoroughly lectured regarding the germy aspect of reptiles. I figure as long as no one licks a snake and they wash their hands afterwards they are safe. Life is too short to not pet a 9 foot Burmese Python or have an Australian Tree Snake around your neck, don't you think?

Tree Climbing and Petting Zoo

Renaissance Festival

Isaac on the bungee jump (Of course I forgot that if I turn the camera sideways I get sideways videos. Send me those chiropractor bills folks!)

Nathan on the bungee jump

Tuesday, July 10, 2007


There are TONS of things that I could and would love to write about, pictures I would love to show you. Unfortunately the S Family's Internet was knocked completely out by a lightning strike a few days ago. I am currently hacking a neighbor's wireless signal to bring you this very brief update. Very low signal, not even going to try and upload. Must go, don't like to steal when I don't have to. ;)

Friday, July 6, 2007

Little Patriots

The S family happily celebrated our first illness free 4th of July in the last 3 years. We spent a lovely evening picnicking with family, waiting for the fireworks to start. Unfortunately the end of our evening was plagued with a very tired baby, wind and rain, but all in all we had a great time and the boys loved it.

I have no idea why, but my computer and/or Internet have decided to run very slowly. I am having a nearly impossible time uploading video and pics to my usual hosting site. I will patiently keep trying, the slide show and video below took over an hour to create, but we might be a bit mia for a while.

Anna has started blowing and giving kisses. It is absolutely adorable. That is Esther coaching her in the background.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Baby Steps

Anna has been rather uncooperative when it comes to letting us take video of her wobbly first steps. As soon as she sees the camera she drops to a crawl and zooms across the room in the hopes of getting her hands on that shiny, cool looking, silver box. For now, she actually does prefer to crawl. She CAN walk, but in her mind it is a slow, cumbersome process and she has a much faster alternative so why bother?

We did catch a few of her cute steps on video today. I know you will be very amused by the Nathan interlude towards the end of the clip. Enjoy!

PS The S family washing machine was unable to handle the load(ha ha)and collapsed from exhaustion. Unfortunately, it quit working WHILE the water was running to fill it for a new load. Even more unfortunately, it quit working about 5 minutes after I went to bed the other night. The water ran and overflowed all night long. If not for a drain in the floor of our laundry room, the S house would have suffered a lot of damage. We are very thankful the flooding was not worse. I am seriously rethinking our plan to remodel our 2nd floor and move the laundry room upstairs OR to purchase a home with main or 2nd floor laundry. If the machines are going to occasionally quit working and send water spewing forth, the basement seems a much better location for such activities, don't you think?

I have taken some clothes to the dry cleaner and sent a load home with the divine Esther and another with the divine Mary. I also bought new undies for the boys, Nathan is quite proud of his as you will soon see. We are going to try and tough it out until the end of the week when the repair service is coming, so please forgive us if we look a little disheveled in the meantime.