Thursday, February 26, 2009

A letter from my children

Dear Mom,
Here is a list of stuff we like/want to do (choose 1):

Move our mattresses and make a fun house with them and go to Boondocks. And go to the movies to see Ice Age 3: Age After the Dinosaurs and go skydiving, and go Bungee Jumping and go to the store and they let us raid candy and go to the store and play dart guns, and go to the jungle, and ride a helicopter over the Hollywood sign and over Antarctica, and go to a shelter and we babysit all the animals, live on the beach, and go explore caves and a volcano, and own a cruise boat, and ride the biggest roller coaster in the world and have a band. Get a house of starburst. Play with a penguin in Antarctica. Drive a monster truck. Eat whatever, whenever. That wizard world was true. Fly. Have Christmas every day. Own a phone. Camp at the top of the mountain. Live on another planet. Go 30 feet under the ocean in a submarine. Swim in the ocean with dolphins. Be in a life size dollhouse with stuff in it. Go to the moon. Be on American Idol or Survivor. Own 9,999,999,999,999,999 cats. Play at Lillie's gymnastic place. Be able to float in midair. Go to China. Go to India. Be the author of a NY bestseller of all time. Live at Classic Skating. Own every game system in the world. Be a trillionaire. Not be able to get hurt. Shrink. Become a cat. Discover a shipwreck.

Your kids

Now who can pick just one? At least no one can accuse them of not having any aspirations!! So far they have succeeded in making a fun house with their mattresses, and although we are going to Classic Skating, we will not be living there any time soon.

Monday, February 23, 2009

More reflections on pregnancy

There's a tiny person growing inside of me. She is making me large and round. I can't wait to meet her, but I'm glad we still have some time left, the two of us. This part of pregnancy comes with mixed emotions for me. There's nothing more amazing than feeling a little person wiggle and squirm inside me. I can tell when she has hiccups. I know when she's sleeping and when she's awake. It's amazing how much I already know about her.

At the same time, I lug my cumbersome, large, body around, and think how nice it will be to reclaim my body. I can't bend over very well anymore. Getting up from the recliner is all but impossible at this point. I have many aches and pains. Sleeping is becoming challenging as I have to lift myself, my belly and all my pillows just to roll over at night. And I still have two months to go. Approximately sixty-six days.

But I'm not ready to have her here yet. We still have things to do before she joins us. Things to buy. A toddler to prepare. And I know I am approaching the end of this particular part of motherhood. This pregnancy part, though neither of us are ready yet to say "this is it", it very well could be. We will have six children, and that's a lot.

All this thinking takes me back to our first child. The one we lost. The one we hardly knew about before it was gone. We were so young and when I suffered the miscarriage, the following months filled me with such uncertainty. I knew too many women that couldn't have children, or struggled for years before being blessed. We had no idea for months if that would be our struggle as well. I remember how incredibly happy and nervous I was when, six months later we finally conceived our son. And here we are, so many years later, never having thought we would be blessed five more times. Each time I am eternally grateful.

Childbearing is filled with such pain and happiness, yet I think many are reluctant to leave those years behind. I know I will be. I think there's a sense of relief to be done with those years, yet I wonder if I will ever not miss feeling a little being growing inside me, knowing that I am able to provide such sweet spirit's life.

It's such an amazing ability we women have been given, such a privilege. Yet, as I was taught as a child, with privilege comes responsibility. And as I've since learned, a great deal of work.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Moms and sickness

Once you become a mother, you aren't allowed to get sick. Ever. And if you do, you still have to be THE MOM. Gone are the days of sleeping and watching television and having someone cater to your needs. Gone are the days of someone tending to you and patting you on the head commiserating with whatever illness you may have. You can get sick, but somehow you still get to do everything you always do. The children don't feed themselves, you know!

I spent the majority of Monday with a migraine and yesterday with some sort of stomache bug. It's been a long week, to say the least. Somehow the children survived, though the house has seen better days. I'm not sure how moms survived in the days pre-microwave, pre-television and pre-gaming systems, because honestly, that's what my kids have done this week.

Mom doesn't really get to be sick. Mom can pretend for a short time, but then duty calls. And children don't let mom lay in her misery without "helping". By "helping", I mean crawling all over mom, needing mom's attention and otherwise doing anything and everything they can to prolong mom's misery. Mom is THE MOM, no matter what.

My advice to children and anyone without children, enjoy being sick, as ironic as that may sound, because once you are THE MOM, you are ALWAYS THE MOM, and don't plan on getting sick. Ever.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Lillie's turn

After Andrew's foray into picture taking, Lillie had to have a turn. I'm not going to post her more adventurous pictures, but she took a couple of sweet ones!

Our poor cats are so loved they just don't know what to do!

Aaaack!! Who is the scary pregnant lady? Oh wait, that's me! That's what happens when you give your kids the camera...they take pictures of you!

Sisters!! Oh how they love each other!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I'm wiping off chocolate covered fingers while correcting math problems. Then I'm being asked which hemisphere various countries are in while I read with Michael. I'm chasing Odessa and swinging her up in the air while listening to Lillie practice the piano. I'm reading with Lillie, tying a princess skirt on Odessa and correcting Andrew's homework. Dinner comes around and as I haul Odessa on my hip so she doesn't scream, I set the meat to defrost and call the lady in charge of Lillie's valentine's day party so I can volunteer, in the midst of which I am having a helter skelter conversation online with the husband I've barely seen in two days. I check on Andrew, who is still working on hemisphere's and drag Odessa off the computer.

I set children to various tasks. Clean the artwork off the table. Set the table for dinner. Go wash up. I drag Odessa away from the computer where she is happily clicking. Then we eat and fall into our after dinner chores and I find myself working in harmony amongst my children.

Some days things just flow. I multi-task with ease and everything gets done. The children cooperate and no one fights. These are the days I love.

But most days, the chaos level in my house reaches insanity near dinner time. There are usually screaming, fighting children. Children banging on the piano out of frustration from their required practicing. Homework that isn't getting done and me telling someone for the billionth time to go do this, that or the other. Most days harmony is far from the experience, but on the rare occasion that things just flow, I feel as though maybe I've done a thing or two right. Maybe I've taught my children how to work and accomplish the tasks they've been set to do. Maybe, just maybe, I'm being an effective parent.

When I'm asked how I do it all, I usually answer that I just do. Because most days, it's true. We just do it. There's no grace involved, life just happens. And I close my eyes, pray a lot and count to ten. And then we just do it. Because who else is going to?

Of course, there's always tomorrow. And tomorrow may be complete and utter chaos and I may resign as a mother. But for today, I'm thankful for the ease with which my multi-tasking motherhood is going.

Monday, February 9, 2009

I'm amused

According to the live traffic feed on my blog, I've had quite a few more readers arriving on my blog lately. These readers seem to be arriving from various search engines on my post titled, 5 reasons not to give yourself a hickey. I find it amusing that people would think a mothering blog might actually contain information on how to give oneself a hickey. I also find it a tad bit frightening. Are there really that many people in the world anxious to give themselves hickey's? I remember getting them in my younger years, and they aren't all that attractive, if memory serves me correctly!

So to all you hickey researchers...don't do it! It just looks stupid! And anywhere you could give it to yourself, well, that's just sheer desperation! There are much better ways to create jealousy in the one you are seeking after than a self-inflicted hickey!

Friday, February 6, 2009


Organization is one of those things that I constantly struggle with. It's not my strong suit, though I'm organized in my own unique way, I'm very unorganized in many more ways. My lack of organization will bother me for a while, then it goes away. Maybe it's the winter months that has me contmeplating this major character flaw, or perhaps it's the realization that most people are better at organization than I am.

Quite honestly, I have a general out-of-sight out-of-mind attitude. If I can't see the toys, then it doesn't matter that they are a disastrous mess(i.e. the basement). If I can't see what's in the drawer, then it doesn't matter that you can't open it because I just crammed more stuff into it that I didn't know what to do with. If you don't open my coat closet, you won't know that the games are mere inches from tumbling off the shelf because I shoved them back in helter skelter.

Really, the only time my lack of organization bothers me is when I'm getting into a drawer, can't find something or have to curse as bowls fall out of the cupboard as I'm attempting to find the one I want. That's when it really irks me. That's when I have grand plans to reorganize every drawer, cupboard and closet in the whole house. But as my dear husband has pointed out, if it REALLY bothered me, I'd do something about it. And in all honesty, as is evident by my cupboards, it must not REALLY bother me because I still have mass chaos surrounding me.

It also irks me when I see the ideal staring me in the face; the perfect example of how to organize my life. Going to other people's houses is sometimes a bad idea because you see them at their best and you start thinking about your own house and your own downfalls. I'd love to be one of those people that had all toys in sets, organized in separate bins with pictures on the front for easy clean-up and storage. Just not enough to actually do it. I'd love to have an immaculate house, but not enough to give up computers and reading.

I suppose the moral of my ramblings is this: I will most likely continue in my organized chaos. Perhaps my children will grow up to be neat freaks because of my lack of desire/ability to organize my clutter. But they'll survive. I have. And if you are like me, close the laundry room door and magic happens! The mess is GONE!! And if you stop by unexpected, I won't hide my mess. I may apologize, but what you see is what you get. I do have five kids for pete's sake. That has to be good for something!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

How to Wrestle an Alligator

I've never wrestled an actual alligator, but I dare an alligator wrestler to dress a toddler that does not want to be dressed and compare the two. My guess is, the toddler wins.

So here's instructions on how to dress/wrestle your alligator/toddler.

First, locate toddler and direct toddler to the area used for dressing. This can be done in one of two ways. Either by carrying screaming, limp child to designated area, or, if child is more cooperative, by herding child. Odessa tends to opt for the screaming, limp mode of transportation.

Once you have seated yourself and your toddler on the floor, the fun begins. If you are not quick enough you will get to play the 'catch me if you can' game. This game consists of toddler running away and staying far enough away from you that you can't reach her. At this point, you have a couple of options. One is to get up, chase toddler down and return to the point of origin. In my current state, this is a last resort as getting up and down from the floor tends to be a bit difficult. Your other option is to coerce child to return to you through some sort of bribery. Wet wipes often do the trick for Odessa. I have also resorted to having an older child drag her back doing the screaming, limp carry. That's always fun.

Once you have toddler in your control, do not, I repeat DO NOT, let them go. Otherwise, you'll be starting all over.

Now for the diaper change. If toddler is unwilling to lie still, then you'll get to watch whilst they scream and contort themselves in an attempt to get away. You can either hold onto their leg and hope it stops quickly or do the feet in the armpit trick. This is where you pin their arms down by sticking your feet in their armpits whilst quickly changing the diaper. There's a lot of screaming involved, but I always feel a sense of triumph when I've completed the diaper change.

If toddler has not succumbed to the idea that getting dressed WILL happen, then you will have the pleasure of wrestling their current set of clothes off them, and attempting to put on the new set of clothing. All the while, toddler is screaming, contorting and or attempting the limp body move in an attempt to avoid getting dressed.

Once you have succeeded and toddler runs away, take a deep breath, do some yoga and hope they don't get dirty or need a diaper change any time soon. Then say to yourself, "Take that, alligator!! Mom always wins!!"