Wednesday, March 25, 2009


I'm not a big fan of shopping and not just because I have small children. I've never really been a shopper. I'm a 'get in, get it and get out' kind of shopper. Having children, however, has changed my shopping into a 'only go if I can't avoid it' kind of shopping.

Yesterday, I had four billion errands to run, two to three children to tote along, and a giant, protruding belly, which is starting to attract way too much attention. The first few places we went, I only had the little girls. Unfortunately for me, Odessa was NOT in the mood to go shopping. At all. Zilcho. She threw her first of many tantrums at the bookstore. Lovely. So I'm waiting for Lillie's scriptures to be engraved, and Odessa is screaming bloody murder because she wants to leave. In a bookstore. Bookstores are as bad as a library. I sat with her and pretended to ignore the fact that she was screaming and that people were staring at me. But I was THRILLED that they were quick. They probably just wanted the noise to stop. I know I did. I got her in the car and she proceeded to scream most of the way home. This, of course, set Katherine to crying, covering her ears and hollering "Mom, make her stop!" Boy howdy kid, I would if I could!!!

We made it home, and I fed the beast, which seemed to help, and then it was back out for more errands, this time with three kiddos. We actually survived round two with surprisingly little trauma, other than Miss I'm-gonna-do-it-myself thinking that she needs to cross the street without holding my hand. That's fun. And thankfully it was naptime when we got home. Hallelujah for naptime.

Round three came after the kids got home from school. I managed to only take Odessa and Lillie, and I was actually looking forward to shopping with my oldest daughter. However, Odessa was not. She was fine wandering through the mall, running and looking around. As soon as we entered the dress store, it's like there was a monster that escaped. She immediately started to cry, fuss and attempt escape. Luckily, it didn't take us too long and Lillie made her selection. Of course, this was in the midst of Odessa taking off, dumping out all the puzzles kindly provided by the establishment, and being a little stink. Lillie took her out into the hall whilst I paid, and she was a perfectly happy, lovely little thing. So I decided to go to a couple of stores on our way out. Well, she would have NONE of it. As soon as we stepped into a store, the most unholy sound would begin to escape her, she would go limp on the floor, and kick her legs.

Picture this: Large pregnant lady attempting to bend over to pick up screaming toddler. Toddler so limp, large bellied woman can't get a hold of her and it takes several attempts. Many people staring as large bellied woman carries potato sack style, said toddler screaming from mall.

Yeah, I was ready to sell her. And we still had to go to Walmart. I nearly sold her in the Walmart parking lot! And believe me, it will be a good long while before I take her shopping again.

Ok, so we have to go on Friday, but that's a couple of days away, right? I should recover by then!

Monday, March 23, 2009

How to get children ready for school

1. Wake children up early enough so they have time to dink, dawdle, throw tantrums, cry, fight, dink some more and still get to the bus stop on time.
2. Serve a nutritious breakfast consisting of cold cereal. Ignore all whines about the lack of choice even though you know there are five different choices in the cupboard and three more in the basement.
3. Repeat the following phrase ad nauseum: "Eat your breakfast."
4. On bad mornings, prevent World War III by separating the offending parties. Namely, Andrew and Lillie.
5. After twenty minutes of breakfast eating, make children go get dressed whether they are done eating or not. A certain child could sit and eat breakfast all day if you let him. (*cough* Michael *cough*)
6. Endure the much noise involved with three children pushing, fighting, and annoying one another in the bathroom. On a bad morning, go play referee, once again avoiding World War III.
7. Torture all children by making them let you do their hair and insist they brush their teeth.
8. If much dinking is occuring, give the five minute warning and let them know they will go to school in whatever state they are in if they don't hustle.
9. Send children to get socks, shoes, backpacks and homework. (And yes you have to wear socks Lillie!)
10. Gather children for family prayer and send up much thanks for surviving another morning.
11. Watch as children race to be first out the door, pushing, shoving and screaming as they vie for position and wonder to yourself what you did wrong that they think everything is a competition, including who gets out the door first.
12. Breathe a sigh of relief and go watch Dora with the little kids.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

He was my baby first

Odessa is just a tad possessive of her mother. If Katherine climbs in my lap, Odessa will come from wherever she is to voice her loud objections. She's little Miss Independent unless someone else occupies my lap. I do realize that this will pose a problem for the baby when she comes. Poor thing!

This week was better healthwise than last, but Andrew came down with an ear infection. And there's nothing more heartbreaking than my child, whose head I can rest my chin on, in tears and in pain. As I was snuggling my oldest baby, Odessa began voicing her loud objections and I had to tell her that he was my baby first. She just looked confused, but it made me think about my oldest baby who is now so very big. Sometimes it seems like he was my baby just yesterday, and sometimes I wonder how it's possible he was ever my baby at all. He's just so big! But when he's sick, he's still just my little boy who wants mom to make it all better. I love that I can still take care of my oldest who was my baby first.

As children, we often don't want people to tell us how much like our parents we are. And I've discovered as a parent that when I see myself in my children, it's not always good. It does seem like we pass on all of our bad traits! Why is that? But my Andrew is much like his mother. (I'm sure he'd deny this wholeheartedly!) He's sweet and considerate, to the point that we had to give him permission NOT to pass the ball in basketball this year and that it's ok to go for it sometimes! He doesn't understand the point of spelling tests as the kid can spell nearly anything. (I never understood either until I married my husband and then saw that not everyone is blessed with the ability to spell!) I'm not bragging about myself, by any means, but I often see myself in him, moreso than my other children. Even in his mannerisms and attitude. For better or worse, he's a lot like me. Always and forever my baby first!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patty's Day

Happy St. Patty's Day!!

I know it's a day late, but I still thought I'd share. Every year the kids get more and more creative about attempting to catch our tricky little leprechaun. Here is this year's attempt.



They raked in the many chocolate gold dollars and green wrapped milky-ways. The leprechaun raked in about thirty cents in pennies and the children tricked the leprechaun by supergluing one of the pennies to their trap. But lo and behold, the leprechaun still escaped! And yes, that is green milk. It was proposed by Andrew that we needed green milk for breakfast and the leprechaun agreed wholeheartedly!! What funny children I have!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Lack of blogging due to illness

I thought I was in the clear since it was March and we'd avoided any major illness this winter. Boy was I wrong! We've spent the last week hacking, coughing, wheezing, ear-pulling and otherwise lost in the throes of mucus. That's right. I said mucus. Ewwww! Odessa kicked it off with fevers reaching 103.5, coughing and ear-pulling. And I learned to ALWAYS trust my mother's intuition and not the moron doctor at the insta-care. She ended up with an ear infection and bronchiolitis which was treated with antibiotics and albuterol. It was fun. (Sense much facetiousness here.)

Then, of course, I am not allowed to get off scotch free, so I've had a ridiculous cold to deal with. As well as several snotty children, though none of them got nearly as sick as Miss Odessa. Thank heavens for small miracles. Though I've learned not to count my chickens before they hatch, so I'm still expecting at least another ear infection or something from someone. The verdict is still out. But I think overall, we are on the mend. I am determined to resume my gym-going habit this week, despite the fact that I can't breathe. So hopefully, my children will provide more interesting topics to blog about than mucus!

Monday, March 9, 2009

The precipice of spring

I'm sitting here realizing I haven't posted since last Wednesday. I'm looking out the window wondering where the semi-warm weather went and who gave winter permission to return. I walked the yard a little bit ago, shivering, looking at the buds of my bulbs poking through the hard ground. Spring IS coming, just not today.

I've survived this winter more readily than last, though my burgeoning belly reminds me that a baby will arrive with spring this year. I feel we are on the precipice. We are almost there. The world just forgot for a day or two, though my children did not. They are staring out the window, longingly, just like me. Maybe if I take my Let It Snow sign down off the wall, the weather will behave appropriately.

It's so dark this afternoon. It's hard to remember the warmth of the sun on dark, dreary afternoons like this one. Though it is conducive to long naps for sick toddlers. Even so, I'm ready to stick my head out the window and yell "Enough already" at the sky. My neighbors already think I'm nutty, this will only convince them it's true.

It's hard to be motivated on days like today. When the seasons turn backwards, it feels as though all the hard work we've done to get this far has been undone. I often feel my work unraveling before my eyes anyway, the snow is not helping. Isn't that what motherhood is though? Constantly redoing things that have been done a million times over? Yes, I think so.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Maternity insurance

My sister and I were discussing the other day that maternity coverage was created by men. Men who know nothing of how taxing pregnancy is on a woman and doesn't take those things into account when writing the policy for maternity coverage. So we came up with our own ideas!

Here's a new policy created by women for women (already including the usual medical care):

1. Monthly massages until the last ten weeks, then weekly massages
2. Free childcare once a week for two hours
3. Free childcare at the doctor so you don't have to bug all your neighbors or take a less than cooperative child with you, thus torturing the medical staff
4. After last child is born, a tummy tuck and boob job is included (redeemable at some point in the future when mother is ready)
5. A trip to the spa, once before and once after baby
6. A maid
7. A five star hotel for one week after birth of child (which is WAYYYY better than the hospital when they wake you up all night. The medical staff at the hospital is worse than a newborn). Older children are not allowed to visit, and your every need is catered to.
8. A cook for two weeks post-partum

I'm sure there could be more things to add to this policy, but these are the ones that I came up with (with some collaboration with my sister). And who would pay for such a policy, you might ask? Any man married to a pregnant woman, that's who!!!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Winter camping and bathtub swimming

Winter Camping

The children have been off-track for the last week and we have one more week to go. The weather has been decent, which has saved me, but somehow the evenings feel eternal. So the other night, I decided to get out our old small tent and put it up in the living room and we went camping! The children brought down their blankets and pillows. We turned off all the lights and used our lantern and then we read stories. The funniest was reading We are going on a Bear Hunt. Odessa and Katherine were completely captivated and the older kids did their best to make it scary at the end. Then we sang some songs around the 'campfire'. Odessa is at the perfect age for action songs, so we sang 10 little monkeys swinging in the tree. At the end of the first verse when the alligator gets the monkey, she jumped. Pretty funny!Since then, the children have gone 'camping' without me a few times, and I can't quite bring myself to take the tent down!

Bathtub Swimming

I was left alone with my two youngest daughters on Saturday evening, and truth be told, I was in a grumpy mood. Odessa was crying and driving me nuts and all I wanted to do was soak in a tub. Knowing my girls, I knew I would have an audience, so I decided to make it an activity for all of us! I got into my swimsuit, and filled my tub with bubbles and toys. We three had a grand time 'swimming'! Then we ate ice cream, painted toe nails and watched Cinderella. (A movie Katherine never gets to watch due to being outvoted by older siblings.) All in all, it turned into a great, yet very girly evening! Now if I could only be so creative every night!!