Beware Machroe!

Construction paper? They should call it "What is in my child's mind and How did it get there paper." Here are some of Jack's recent drawings/stories for your viewing pleasure.

Jack and Daddy, in our spider dresses of course (very popular right now).

This is the story of Goldie Anna and the 3 Bears presented with some food stains (to keep it real yo!)

Croob the frog (Jack informed us that this is indeed the name that froggie, oh I'm sorry, Croob has and always will have, this is the same froggie from the plague of frogs story)

This is Machroe (pronounced Mac Row). I'm told he's a monster that will eat you all, but not my family, we're safe. Sucks to be you.


How to clearly identify Indian burial grounds

Have you ever watched The Shining? If you haven't you've undoubtedly heard stories of it, or at least know "Here's Johnny!!" Well, if you've seen it the creepiest scene ever (I'm talking creepy now, not shock or scare factor) is the twin girls in the hallway. There's just something about children in creepy scenes isn't there? I cant be the only one. Pet Semetary is equally as creepy with the "Come and play with me daddy."
With that said my girls can be pretty creepy sometimes. Now before you get all "Oh Erik how could you say that!" hear me out.
It was a dark and stormy night. Actually it wasn't at all, it was around 10:30 pm and the weather was okay, but if it had been dark and stormy this story would have been so much better!
I was sitting on the couch watching some television when I heard the ominous scurry of some creature (or another way of saying it would be: "Hey Lily's running!"). I turn around and see Lily flashing like a lightning bolt to the kitchen. She then turns around and says as fast as she can "DaddyIneedtogopotty!"
Bewildered I mumble "Uh, go potty?"
Lily heads off to the bathroom and I walk back to my spot on the couch and try and decide if I should even attempt to figure out what just happened. A couple of minutes later I feel the icy stare of death at my back. I turn around and find my oldest daughter Anna staring at me... WITH HER EYES CLOSED!!
In one fel swoop Lily's odd race to the bathroom (I forgot to mention that the bathroom is the opposite way from our kitchen) and Anna's eyeless stare compounded to become ultra creepy. 
Before I had a chance to think about it I ask Anna what she's doing. Anna was sleepwalking and she wakes up and wearily explains something about unicorns and a worm and then goes to bed. I decide it's time to check on Lily who is still on the toilet and as I ask her how she's doing I realize she's sleepwalking too!
Simultaneous sleepwalking is crazy creepy. 
I am now terrified to be alone in our living room after the girls go to sleep.
I am paranoid for the day when I look down the hall and hear my girls say in unison "Come and play with us Daddy." Which any other time that would be great, I love playing with my kids. Just not creepy kids. Don't be creepy girls!



How Daddies are Made

So if you're a parent and your child has lost his/her first tooth then I pray your experience went well, for ours did not...
About a month ago Jack had been playing in his room for a little bit when we heard his patented "MMMWHAAAAAHHH!!!" (interpreted as: I'm the oldest of five, but I'm going to do my darnedest to sound like the youngest. Also, I'm going to run from my room so fast it will take me about two minutes and ten "Umm's" before I remember what was bothering me. Also, I'm going to need to go potty.)
"What's the matter buddy?"
"Let's see." This is when I see his tooth moving back and forth slightly and in it's first stages of falling out.
This is when you have a choice as a parent and it seems like I have two options here. First, which is in fact a non-realistic option, but the easiest would be for me to say:
"Huh, how about that. I've got no clue buddy. Maybe it'll go back to normal if you leave it alone."
The second option is for me to step up as his dad and actually explain to him what's going on (which for me is like 90% of the time the absolute wrong thing to say).
So I sit him down (that works all the time for TV dads!) and tell him this is part of growing up. He'll lose his baby teeth and get his very own adult teeth like mommy and daddy have. When his tooth does fall out he can put it under his pillow and he'll get money for it that he can spend on something he wants.
Man, I was on it! Stephen Douglas and Heathcliff Huxtable look out for I am about to take the lazy-boy throne of fatherhood and join you in the  life-changing father-son talk annals of history!
So a couple of weeks go by and this kid is cool as can be. He's actually excited about his tooth falling out, he talks about it all the time. (and with what little climax I've built, you can insert a "or so I thought" right about here: ________________ ).
As luck would have it I was not there that fateful night. I have an accountability group from my church that meets once a week and as I was meeting with the group when I got the first text. It read:
 "Jack's tooth just fell out".
My reaction was "Ah, that sucks, I wish I could have been there". But then the next text came...
"Everything you told him about his tooth backfired."
Now, I bet your saying to yourself how could that possibly backfire (then you are as hopeless as me my friend, and Dr. Huxtable is laughing at us both from TV Land...)
Jack's interpretation of his tooth falling out went something like this:
"Does this mean all my teeth are going to fall out tonight? And if that happens will all my adult teeth grow in!? My mouth is too small how will I ever eat again!!?? I don't want to grow-up tonight!!! I DON'T WANT MY HAIR TO TURN BROWN!!! I DON'T WANT TO BE A DADDY YET I'M TOO YOUNG!!!!
Now to explain the brown hair bit, my hair is brown, so naturally when you lose your teeth and become an adult your hair changes color to your father's hair color and you instantly become a daddy. I don't know how this happens in Jack's mind I just know it was VERY real to him and so VERY real to us.
The look I received from my wife when I got home that night instantly vaporized me. However, as it turns out when you're vaporized it's easy to play the role of the tooth fairy and leave money under a child's pillow, who will apparently need all the cash he can get as he will be a daddy without a job in the morning.
Jack was ecstatic the next morning to find his money for his tooth, and in another twist, he keeps finding money under his pillow... Ever since he received his payment for this fallen enamel there has been loose change consistently showing up under his pillow. Now, either my son is finding change left around the house and adding to his collection of coin, or the tooth fairy has taken pity on him and has been trying to lift his spirits monetarily. I'm cutting my losses and going with the tooth fairy.


Pandas and Monsters and Daddy! Oh my!

There have been some things as a parent that I've been totally unprepared for. One of them being nightmares. Within the past month Jack and Lily have both experienced their first nightmares and in doing so made sure Jes and I were made totally aware of it.
Jack was the first to have his dream. Apparently a panda opened his window, climbed onto his dresser and jumped around his room. Obviously this panda was evil and out to get Jack.
Lily woke us up at about three in the morning screaming in her unique way about a monster. The monster "petted" her like the kitty cat... What?!
The thing I wasn't prepared for isn't the nightmares, obviously we all experience these. The thing that I wasn't prepared for is trying to explain to a two year old what a dream is. Trying to explain a dream is one thing, but I can't say I'm a great teacher at three AM either. Here is a sample of the conversation between Lily and I.
Me: "But Lily there are no monsters."
Lily: "The monster pet me daddy."
Me: "It was a dream Lily, it was in your head."
Lily: "In my head? Like my hair?"
Whatever I told her must of helped, because she did go back to sleep. Jack's conversation about dreams went a little better, but at his age doubt that daddy was right was definitely present. He still talks about that panda from time to time.
Pure EVIL!!!


Breaking a room

Greetings from a father at his wits end! Yet another post featuring Lily. I can not hold her entirely accountable however, as Anna had her small, mischievous hands in the deed as well.
The gruesome tale begins with a trip to my families hometown. We were visiting family on the weekend, and as my sister had recently moved back home we were fortunate (at the time) to have her families home offered to us for a night. My sisters family was visiting her husband's family out of town so we had the whole house to ourselves. For a family such as mine an offer like that is bliss.
We decided to put Jack and Max in my nephew's room, and Anna and Lily in my niece's room.
The police report (not really, just for dramatics) stated that my wife had checked on the kids twice before she went to bed. I checked on the kids a little after midnight as I got back home from visiting with friends.
All was well.
My wife got up first. She made her rounds and checked on the kids with an ear to the door as not to wake them. I was up about twenty minutes later. I did not put an ear to the door however. I decided on the girls first and as I opened the door my mind EXPLODED. I have tried and tried to convey to friends and family the scene that I walked into but whatever I can say does not come close to the destruction these two little girls wrought. I apologize that I did not think to take a picture of the madness, I was not thinking at all actually...
The day before the room had been spotless, cleaned to their cousins girly cuteness in every way. Now... now it looked like there had been a robbery. No I take that back, not a robbery as there would have been a purpose to the destruction. This was a lesson the mob would have sent someone. Everything that had a place was now out of it. A white bookshelf was barren of its books and small collection of keepsakes. a dresser was unpacked of its clothes and nick-knacks. There was no inch of carpet showing, just a wash of impending doom and sadness.
When I opened the door Anna was asleep in the bed with the evidence spread around her. Lily on the other hand was out of her play-pen, dancing at the foot of the bed having the time of her life. My niece crochets and the girls took her yarn and made a web worthy of any spider. They took a ceramic Canadian goose and broke it as I imagine it seemed like the thing to do. The biggest shocker came when I discovered the tea set my niece's grandmother had given her broken. The tea set was on a shelf about eight feet off the ground with a shelf below it and a table underneath that. I would almost put my two year old in an alpine climbing class, but for the fact after witnessing such destruction from her, I would fear for her climbing partners safety.
I am leaving things out that were burned out of my brain for shock, but I feel you get the picture.
Pray for my wife and I... we're afraid to sleep.


Happy Mother's Day!

I would be completely out of my mind if I did not thank my wife for being the mother she is to my children. Without Jes I would be completely insane, bald (not naturally), and quite honestly the kids would have chewed me up and spit me out by now. But it is not so, and God has blessed me with a wife who is an amazing person which can be seen through almost all of our children. That is why I regret to say that today was not a good day for her.
This morning we woke up and after we had our caffeine entered the girls room. It was horrible. Lily had gotten out of her crib, stripped naked and poo'd all over her and Anna's room. After we had cleaned the mess up we rushed out the door to church, which we were late for. And about three blocks from the church Jack started wailing and announced he had indeed poo'd his pants. I dropped my wife off at the church and then cleaned up the damage. The rest of the day was... ehh. And then Anna finished it up by screaming for forty minutes when she went to bed.
So Happy Mother's Day to my wife. I wish I could reflect on all the wonderful things that happened and say "you deserved it!", but I honestly wouldn't wish today on my worst enemy...


Public Enemy Number One and Top Tens

There are unexpected effects to any situation. Some are good, some bad, some are just plain weird. One of the  annoying things that comes along with having four children and those children being so close together is other people. Mainly those other people's reactions. The "Oh! You've got your hands full there." and "I bet you're busy!", but the cour de gras is "You guys know how that happens right?". Really!? Now I know people are just trying to either make small talk, or be funny, but I have to say get some new material. If you're stuck on those particular phrases try them in different situations like I don't know, public bathrooms. Once it passes there and no one gets upset or looks at you like your insane then use it on families. But enough of my ranting. I will change the tone of this post by leaving you with a list of unexpected perks from having four children.
1. We always have a valid excuse for the house being dirty.
2. I get to watch cartoons without my wife judging me (well without her openly judging me...).
3. I am absolutely never ever bored.
4. I enjoy the time between their bedtime and mine so much more.
5.There is always a game of "Where did they hide it this time" to play.
6. I have a mass applause on your entry home from work (my favorite).
7. My ice cream intake had quadrupled.
8. Four people in this world think that I am a genius (this is a temporary effect I am told).
9. Date nights are a million times more awesome (probably because they come once every month or two).
10. I can get a free massage by lying on the floor and letting my kids walk on me (don't knock it till you've tried it!).