Friday, December 31, 2010

Dear God, Please Stop Time

I'm watching videos of last year on the dawn of the next year and I notice something. My little ones are growing up. Caleb's hair has changed. Looking at last year he still had the sweet angelic whisps of blond, uncut as of yet, and he still fell occaisionally and grunted to tell me whatever he needed. The girls are a bit pudgier than now, and still have a babyish lisp that makes them slightly tough to understand on video. And God, I know I complain alot... way too much, about life with little ones, but right now I want to stop and beg you to freeze time. No more advances, please.
My little ones still look at me with stars in their eyes. They still want to play games of Candy Land, and bake cookies. They don't know yet what "cool" means, and they still dress only for themselves. Artwork is simply for the sake of joy, no worrying about realism or coloring in the lines. Chores with Mommy are a reward, not a burden, and learning is an ecstatic process of ingesting new discoveries thru play. Christmas is a gleeful celebration of fun and song, not simply a wish list to be fulfilled or being drug to church by Mom and Dad. And Daddy is still the knight in shining armor, hailed by wild jubilation upon returning home from work. The mismatched clothes with tutus, glitter and glue explosions, the squeals of joy upon seeing a dog being walked down the street or the trash truck approaching, and the excitement over their daily gummy vitamin will all be so sorely missed if you choose not to grant my wish.
Sure, I'll get to see their scholarly achievements grow, and their faces mature in beauty, and greater independence dawn every day, but I can't bear the heartbreak of losing my babies. Already Caleb can talk and run and jump and torment his sisters in new ways every day, and the girls are learning so much about the world... more than I care for them to. So though I know you won't truly stop time... I'm hoping this blog will serve as my time capsule... and serve to remind me to appreciate each day and not long for it's passing, but savor each hug and dance and night night kiss. Thank you God for my perfectly perfect, wonderfully innocent, sweet little ones. May you guide me as I guide them and help me cope as they grow.
Your Loving Daughter,

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

From the Mouths of Babes...

Sarah tonight at the dinner table was asked if she liked Daddy's new giant TV. This was her response:
"Yes! It's so shiny! Not dusty and dirty like the old one!"
Dangit Sarah, quit reinforcing Daddy's idea that I'm a bad housekeeper!

Monday, December 27, 2010

King of the "Nation of Woosies"

"Dis mor yike it Mommy"

"Yay Cocoa!"


Sarah's Snowball

The day after Christmas we got a snowstorm that rivals any in my memory. It began while we were in NJ visiting Ryan's parents, and while I was hoping we could ride it out there (they were expecting 10-20 inches there... would've been great to go sledding), Ryan insisted we drive home ASAP so he could run point for shutdown of his plant during the snowstorm, and he was very afraid we'd be stuck there in NJ for several more days. So we high-tailed it outta there, with me clinging to the car frame all the while like a nervous cat on the way to the vet, worried that we'd be stuck in the blizzard on rt. 13 with kids in tow. My worried mind kept thinking of scenarios where we'd be trekking thru the cold snow on foot, having surrendered our car to traffic jams of epic proportions, searching for "room at the inn", and having to sleep in the lobby of some over-packed motel in Po-dunk VA, all the while procuring umteen new species of bedbug to bring home. All I can say is thank goodness for in-car DVD's, because the kids had a marvelous ride and barely made a peep the whole way, all 7 1/2 hours it took us to get home. When we arrived home, we found we had returned to 13 inches of snow on the ground, with three kids squeeling to "PLAY IN THE SNOW" despite the fact that it was dark, bitterly cold, and time for dinner.

Now Hannah is my one child who MUST take a nap. I don't care where we are or what's going on around us, if that child doesn't take a break for a mid-day siesta, all hell breaks loose, and that's what we came home to last night. For some reason, she doesn't sleep in the car. Maybe it's the fascination with whatever movies are playing, or maybe it's just that she enjoys the scenery, but even when she was a baby she just would not fall asleep while we were driving... hardly ever, anyway. So yesterday her lack of a nap led to meltdowns of epic proportions once we got home. At one point while unpacking I found her despondant and weeping on the floor of the living room with her doll clutched to her chest: "Mommy, I can't find my Dolly's shoe!!! Wail!" Literally, I lifted the Dolly half an inch and found the shoe sitting under Dolly's butt. That signaled bedtime.
Then, this morning bright and early we had the kids suited up in their 14 million layers of snowclothes and off we headed to make snow angels and snowmen... well, ok, maybe Ryan spent the majority of the time shovelling walks, but he did it with a smile, so that counts as fun, right? They even made the snowman they so desperately wanted, though we all found out I'm a bit of a snowman nazi, insisting that everyone leave "Snowy" untouched after he was completed and hollering at little ones when arms repositioned led to breakage or their attempts to add snow caused him to teeter. Thank goodness Daddy talked me down and made me sit it out while the kids got to enjoy their creation a bit more.
Caleb was the only dissenter from the fun. He spent the entire time wailing "I stuuuuuu-uuck!" in a piteous voice, as if we had plopped him down into the Labrea tarpits, rather than the 6 inches of snow at the transition from the garage to the driveway. You know, after the snowfall ended, the Governor of Pennsylvania made the remark that we're becoming a "nation of woosies" because the game between the Eagles and Vikings was cancelled due to the oncoming snowstorm... well, if we're becoming a nation of woosies, I think my boy must be the king. Must be from my end of the gene pool... I'm with him, pass me a cup of hot cocoa and turn on a good movie... that's my perfect snow day :) It is so nice to see the girls having a blast, though.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Not quite Pavlov, but close...

My kids are an excellent example of Classical Conditioning... you know, like how Pavlov once trained his dog to salivate at the sound of a bell? That's it. Except, instead of a bell, my kids are trained to the sound of a phone ringing... that is, whenever they hear a phone ring, something aggressive triggers in their little brains that causes a full-out smackdown resulting in tears and screams.
Another example: the moment hot food arrives on Mommy's plate and they sense my butt nestled happily in my chair at the dinner table, it signals their little tummies to HAVE TO poop... all of them, in succession, until my meal is one big blur of wiping hineys, gasping and gagging for fresh air, and then scooting people back up to the table in booster seats. For those un-initiated to parenthood, you may be thinking, "Aren't your kids 4?! Why not make them do it themselves?" The answer, my naive friends, is that 4 year olds can, in fact, wipe, but it's a horribly messy endeavor ultimately ending up in my having to scrub walls, sink handles, door knobs, and toilet seats, not to mention undies and hynies anyway... so I say why double (or quadruple) my work, when one quick wipe of the tushie saves me a full bathroom and child scrub down.
One more example, you say? Well lets talk meal preparation. I have my children fully conditioned to come to the dinner table at the sound of the smoke alarm. When that baby rings, it must mean Mommy's almost finished cooking. Yep, some day the firefighters are going to arrive at my house in the middle of the evening and find my kids seated at the table with fork and spoon in hand, and even a little drool...
Pavlov would be proud.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

What I do all day...

I feel that I should write today about what I fill my time with all day, since my dearest hubby seems to come home every day to a bomb and must be wondering what I've done, why it's justified that I bring no income into our home, and why the chocolate and coffee continue to dissappear in large quantities each day. Also, it would help to offset the reports our kids give him that would make it seem that we spend all day every day at playdates and on fun outings. And so, here it is, in one run on sentence (since that's how mylife feels).... what I did yesterday:

Wake up and hit the ground running, must find out and gather what supplies I'll need for school today, have my cereal and coffee, empty last night's dishes from dishwasher, and read 1 blog page (time splurge!)... put a load of bedding in the wash...wake/dress/diaper/brush teeth for all three kids and make my bed... rush them down and make breakfast and drinks for all three, start grinding flour for bread baking later, clean up after breakfasts, load dishwasher, sweep up (no. 1), notice hall is filthy and sweep it too... begin school: bible lesson, songs, calendar time, craft (ohmygoodnessamicrazy. whatwasIthinking "glitter!?")... intermission to sweep up lots of glitter and wipe glue off counters, children, and tabletop... laundry load #2 changeover...remove 2 year old from behind Christmas tree and rehang ornaments, silence tantrumming 2 year old with goldfish and milk snack, regather kids for math lesson, reading lesson and computer time... laundry load #3 changeover... (mind you, nothing is folded and all three kids' bedding are still either drying or sitting in baskets waiting to be put on the beds)... start 4 loaves of bread in the mixer with three kids "assisting"... wipe flour off three kids, sweep up the floor, set kids to work cleaning up the toy areas, then end up "helping" with most of it because I'm anal and nothing is in the right spots...
Shoo three kids upstairs and begin making their beds with clean bedding, make them clean up the toy area upstairs that they've trashed while I'm making the beds, yell for someone to "please-come-flush-the-daggone-nasty-toxic-toilet-and-stop-leaving-their-yuck-for-ME-TO-FLUSH!" Go back downstairs with kids, prepare lunch, clean lunch, feed self scraps of whatever I can throw together quickly, sweep floors, put kids down for naps.
Knead bread dough and transfer to pans to rise 2nd time. Check email and facebook, begin balancing checkbook... crapcrapcrappity crap it didn't balance the first time! Go over math twice before figuring out that Ryan went to Sams last night and there's an extra deduction that hasn't figured in online, find the amount and balance checkbook finally. Change over new load of laundry #4. Watch 15 mins of the end of "Little Miss Sunshine"... looks cute. Begin heating oven for baking. Eat half power bar because I'M STARVING.
Rescue 2 year old hollering "MOMMA, WHERE ARE YOUUUUU?!" in crib and proclaim an end to naptime... get 2 other kids up and tell them to wait in the upstairs playroom... make/deliver snacks, get/read mail, begin baking bread, change poopy and throw the diaper on the porch till I have time to put it in the outer trash, return upstairs and start "Cars" for the kids. Remove fresh bread from oven, Finish last load of laundry to the dryer and look tiredly upon the 4 loads of laundry waiting to be folded sitting in baskets in the hall... Wipe 4 year olds' bottom.
While all three are watching "Cars" grab a shower and order the older two to make sure their brother doesn't kill himself or destroy anything in the next 20 minutes.
Aaaaahhhh... shower nice.
Return to playroom (begrudgingly) and begin folding laundry. Tell sweet boy I can't read to him right now even though he's bored (already?) of the movie. Tell him he can go play in his room. 15 mins later go check on the boy and find him sweetly looking thru his favorite books on his bed all by himself and decide to chuck the chores and read to my baby for 20 minutes... then begin folding laundry AGAIN.
Finish laundry and return downstairs with 2 year old to "assist" while I empty the dishwasher, wrap and stow 4 loaves of fresh bread, and cook dinner... cook, serve, clean up and fill dishwasher, sweep up after dinner, and begin knitting Sarah's poncho because she can't wait one second longer for me to start hers. Ryan arrives home 6:45 and kids clean up the downstairs toys and head up for bedtime routines... kids go down and we head downstairs where I wrap 70 gajillion presents for delivery to our sponsored family this weekend. Finish at 9 and watch a program with Ryan because you-can't-be-serious-if-you-think-I'm-gonna-play-wii-after-all-I've-done-today. I love my hunny, but I just don't understand how he can have energy to play video games at the end of the night that involve standing and pretending to play a sport. I'm pretty much good only for laying around and drooling on myself at that point in the evening.
Hope that sums up why, though, hunny. Gotta run, time to put the laundry away now, and I believe I forgot to throw a poopy diaper in the outside trash can... ew :)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

No good deed goes unpunished...

We had the Sandbridge Chapel Annual Tour of Homes last week, a benefit function at our church to raise money for various church programs, and Ryan and I volunteered to work in/run the cafe portion of the event. This year, Ryan ran the food prep/service area whilst I functioned mainly as the runner, which literally meant I was schlepping large quantities of food back and forth between the church and community center and literally running most of the day. It also meant wearing a hat and apron around for food safety, which apparently isn't a good look for me. At one point, trying to be nice, I stalled my run just short of the door in order to stop and hold open the door for a group of elderly gentlemen. Smiling, I waited for them to pass with my best "Merry Christmas" face on and an effort to stop panting from the constant running, when one of the gentlemen looked up at me and said, "What a nice young gentleman. Thanks again!"...
I walked in to Ryan's prep station and said, "I'll be taking that plastic surgery now, thank-you-very-much."

Friday, December 3, 2010

My little buddy is "Tuesday"!

"Dis Nommy in my Tummy, Momma!"
Happy Birthday (belated for publishing this post, though) my sweet little buddy! Caleb turned 2 yesterday, and everywhere we went, when asked how old he is he sweetly and enthusiastically answered "Tuesday!"... and once again Mommy melted into a little puddle over his cuddly boy-ish cuteness. It's such a cliche, but they DO in-fact grow up way too fast. But watching him grow up, learning to pretend and play games with his sisters that he could not, hearing full, correct sentences come out of his tiny little mouth, and watching him conquer the playground is such a blessing to me. And he still loves a good cuddle with Mommy, so he's not too grown up... yet. Love you Caleb Michael... you'll always be MY baby boy. :)