Saturday, November 29, 2008

The 22nd day of off-track

On the twenty-second day of off-track, my true love gave to me, four cranky children and a toddler on top of the table!

On the twenty-third day of off-track, my true love gave to me, three hours of church, four cranky children and a toddler on top of the table.

On the twenty-fourth day of off-track, my true love gave to me, five loads of laundry, a toddler eating toothpaste, four cranky children and a toddler on top of the table.

On the twenty-fifth day of off-track, my true love gave to me, dragging kids to gymnastics, folding five loads of laundry, toddler eating toothpaste, four cranky children and a toddler on top of the table.

All right, you get the idea. I'm on a countdown. I have 9 days until I can send my fighting, attitude-giving, grumpy children back to their teachers. We will have survived a whole entire month off-track. It hasn't all been horrible, but I could do without the fighting. I could also do without the 'I'm bored, there's nothing to do.' (I got plenty to do kid, if you are bored, I have a whole list of things to do.)

I think whoever came up with the year round school schedule didn't have children. Otherwise, why would they punish us during a time of the year that we can't banish our children outside? It's just cruel and unusual punishment. I've tried to banish them to the outside, but they come up with the whole, 'it's too cold' excuse and the parent in me feels obligated to let them back in the house. Of course, they might not be cold if they WORE SHOES, LONG SLEEVES and PANTS!! What kind of kid goes barefoot in the middle of the winter anyway? Oh wait, mine do.

Oh, and I have a toothpaste obsessed toddler that can go with the rest of them too. The joys of parenting are many, aren't they?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

The day I forgot my anniversary

It's supposed to be a guy thing to forget your anniversary, but it's not. Apparently, an overworked, tired mom who is super-focused on cooking Thanksgiving dinner is quite capable of forgetting her own anniverary. My mother-in-law called me today to wish me a happy anniversary, but somehow I still had it in my head that tomorrow is the 26th.

Nope. It's today.

So my sweet husband comes home from work early with a card and a beautiful necklace and wishes me a happy annniversary. All I had to offer was a big hug, an 'I thought tomorrow was the 26th' and a cranky toddler. Nice.

At least I know how long I've been married. Eleven years. It seems like an eternity and a blink of an eye all at the same time. But in future years, I will write my anniversary on my calendar and not assume that I would remember such an important day. Lesson learned.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The headache fog

That's where I am today. You fellow headache sufferers understand what I'm talking about. In this fog, I do things that require the least amount of movement humanly possible, as movement will hurt my brain. I forget what I'm doing or what I was thinking two seconds ago. (Not that this doesn't happen normally, but headaches seem to exacerbate the problem!) Lound noises hurt, light hurts, children hurt. It's a lovely place to be.

The fun about being a mother is that life, i.e. children and their needs/messes, continue despite the fog. Unlike Dad who can sleep uninterrupted for two days, Mom continues to feed, clothe, clean, and take care of life. Though I have discovered that the house can fall mostly to pieces and be put back together again.

Another item of fun is that depending on the state of motherhood you are currently in, you may or may not be able to take anything that might actually help. I'm sorry, but tylenol is merely a placebo to me. I don't post this for sympathy, merely to document a fact of life. I suffer from headaches and occasional migraines. It's just how it is.

And so I sit, in my incoherent fog, sipping a Pepsi, contemplating the many things I should do, but knowing I'll just go watch Dr. Phil. I'll probably look back at this post tomorrow and think maybe I shouldn't post things when I'm in my headache fog. Oh well. Such is life.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Go Cougars!!

Need I say more?!?

Thursday, November 20, 2008


First, I want to report that it is possible to survive a ten hour trip each-way in a car with five children. It is also possible to only stop three times in the process, though we had slightly dehydrated children. Dad doesn't like stopping. Ever. But we made it. No one killed anyone else. There was minimal fighting and the baby did survive. Though we were illegal, because really, who can expect a one year old to stay strapped in for ten hours. Especially one that is used to climbing the walls.

But I digress. It really was a fun trip. We exhausted ourselves and we spent mucho time at all the various mountains (splash, thunder, space). Being pregnant, I was unable to join in the fun at times and I rode the Winnie the Pooh ride adjacent to Splash mountain ad naseum with Odessa for whom the novelty was never lost. Odessa still doesn't like riding in the stroller. But we found that she would sit on Katherine, who was perfectly happy to ride in the stroller. This worked well until Odessa was all done and dove off the stroller onto the sidewalk face first. Her poor head! We also got in a very foggy trip to the beach, which was a lot of fun for the kids! It was a fast trip, but a nice vacation.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Reflections on pregnancy

One of the most amazing experiences of my life are the now six times I have carried a child inside of me. There is nothing about the whole process of life growing inside of you that isn't a complete miracle. It doesn't lose it's novelty. It doesn't become boring. Most women are thankful when the nine months comes to an end, I'm no different. The aches and pains get tiresome, the sickness gets old. But the wiggling, squirming being inside is the most amazing thing. Evidence there is a God.

I got to hear my little one via doppler today. That whoosh, whoosh is such a lovely sound. The baby kicked and squirmed. We could hear it on the doppler. Though I'm not feeling this little one much yet, I know it's there. My body is expanding and grows tired quickly. And modern medicine has allowed me to hear the wonders of a tiny growing heart.

In three weeks, we get to see what flavor of little one we are having. What are we hoping for, I've been asked by many. First and foremost, a healthy child. But my heart is hoping that the chinese calendar is wrong and that a little boy will even up our little family. Though I will, of course, be thrilled with another little girl. It will teach their brothers patience!!

In a few weeks time, this little infant will grow bigger and stronger and I will begin to feel it's little thumps more and more. This is the most amazing part of pregnancy to me. And not something that is easy to describe. Men will never understand, no matter how descriptive I am. To feel a life inside you is truly amazing. I love sharing it with my other children. When I was pregnant with Odessa, they would come sit by me in the evening so they could feel the baby kick. Lillie could sit for hours waiting to feel that little thump.

There's not a day that I don't look at each of my children with amazement. I helped bring them into this world. And they grow so very quickly. My nearly five foot nine year old was once a tiny infant. I remember his kicks in my ribs like it was yesterday. Motherhood comes with so many challenges. Pregnancy is just the beginning, but what a beginning it is. What an amazing experience. I look forward to the next several months and all that it entails.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The call of duty!

The call of duty came at 3:35 a.m. I woke to loud crying and found myself stumbling down the hall, clutching my pillow and whispering "Shhhh, you'll wake the baby." In my half conscious state, I realized the crying was coming from Katherine. I stumbled into her room and realized a moment too late what she was crying about. She was throwing up. I ran/stumbled into the bathroom and grabbed a towel, all the while rubbing my eyes in an attempt to gain full consciousness. I shoved the towel under her face a moment too late. I then ripped her comforter off her bed in an attempt to avoid getting it yucky. I pulled her shirt off and yanked her out of bed, shoving her toward the bathroom. (I'm not at my most compassionate when I'm half-awake and getting to deal with a middle of the night puking.) I got her in the bathroom and instructed her to stick her head over the toilet if she needed to spit again. My dainty little daughter refuses to call it throw up, but prefers spit as an alternative term. I finished stripping her down and returned to her room.

All this time, I had random thoughts running through my head, most likely due to the state of half awareness I was in. I recall thinking that the pillow I had stolen from my husband wasn't helping, since I had still woken up with a headache. I think I stood in the hallway for a moment looking lost. I gathered up her clothes, and bedding and tossed them in a pile in the hallway. I redressed her, finally comforting her and helping her not be cold. I made her sit by the toilet while I remade her bed, found the febreeze and a plastic sheet, and got a bucket from the garage. I tucked her back in and went to start a load of laundry. I think I was finally awake by then, though I still had random thoughts running through my brain.

I climbed back into bed at 3:54, only to be called on again ten minutes later. After rinsing the bucket and getting a new towel to lay under her, I tucked her in once again and prayed this wouldn't go on all night. However, I was too awake to ignore my headache and my screaming muscles. I took some tylenol, stretched out my sad muscles, traded pillows with my still unconscious husband and finally climbed back into bed at 4:30. Ah, the call of duty. My dear sleeping husband groaned a little, for which I am grateful. At least on some level he may have known I was up. In the early years he was merely a dead man at night. Now at least he groans.

The rest of the night was uneventful, but I have braced myself for the upcoming week. If I have learned anything in my years of motherhood it is that where there is one puking child, there will be many.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Don't wish these years away!

Wise word spoken by Lillie's teacher after I apoligized for the millionth time for having to run after my rambunctious toddler.

This week has been very busy. Not that any other week is different, but we've also squeezed in scouts, birthday parties and parent teacher conferences. I feel a little like a chicken with it's head cut off, running in circles. We've survived, though not without some chaos!

My appointment Wednesday evening with Lillie's teacher was smashed between scouts, dinner and gymnastics. We hurried into the school only to find that the teacher was a little behind schedule. Normally this wouldn't be a problem, but Dess was rather antsy. So she and Lillie devised a game called run down the hall giggling histerically whilst being chased. Oh the joy! The problem came when it was our turn with the teacher. Dess wasn't done with this fun game and kept taking off. She would then scream at her brother who was trying to herd her back into the classroom. Meanwhile, I am doing my best to be attentive to what the teacher is telling me about my child. (She's brilliant, of course! Aren't all children?) Then I would apologize, track Odessa down, attempt to distract her without making her scream and once again attempt to listen to the teacher.

Needless to say, it wasn't working too well. Towards the end, as I was losing my patience, Lillie's teacher told me not to wish these years away because they are gone so fast. Wise words. Though part of me wonders if I can just wish away the tantrum, and the ill-behaved toddler for about five minutes!

Monday, November 3, 2008


I pull down the cobwebs and return from my month long sebatical from dusting. Dust is the essence of Halloween, isn't it? I pack away all my fun decorations and eradicate any indication that Halloween was just a few days ago. It takes amazingly less time to undecorate than it did to decorate, and within the next few hours my house will return to normal. The pictures will no longer be crooked and covered in dust. The spiders will return to their resting place in a plastic baggie in the basement.

There's a kind of mourning that goes with putting away the decorations. I feel the same way after Christmas. Another year is past. Gone. Never to be had again. I wonder if all the effort I put into the decorations and the parties is really worth it. But then I remember the smiles and the fun and I know it was. And I know I'll do it again next year. Because I love it and I love the end product. And while I may question the hours of work for a few hours of enjoyment, I know I do it for the kids, which in turn rewards me to no end. They love it. It's tradition. And what is family life if not activities centered around traditions.