Saturday, November 15, 2008

Where in the world have I been?

What can I say? I'm a dreamer...and I've been busy working on my next dream over here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Death of a Wardrobe

Something very sad has been happening around here. My wardrobe is dying. A very long, slow and painful death. And while I'd like to say that I have just discovered that the shirt I've been wearing around town for the past year is "so eighties," (as is that phrase,) sadly enough, I'd have to admit that I saw signs.

I'd say it probably started about 6 years ago. Strangely enough, it was right around the time I gave birth to my firstborn, my source of delight--my daughter. Yes, come summer of that year, I realized that even though I had lost all of the weight I had gained while pregnant, somehow, someway, my body had changed(became permanently deformed), and the clothes that once fit me, now did not.

So I began to shop with the mindset of, "I will buy whatever fits me in this entire store, as long as I don't have to go up a size." And with this, as you may have guessed, brought home some questionable pieces.

Shortly after my daughter turned one, came my pride and joy, baby number two--my son. (AKA: the baby who turned my thighs to jello.) This time around I remembered what I looked like after my first, and I tried to cut back during the pregnancy in hopes of lessening the aftermath effects a bit. And for the most part, I did, and was able to fit into a lot of the after-pregnancy clothes from my first. While I had hoped this size was just a "transition size," (defined as: the size we moms are, after we have our babies; sometimes months after, sometimes years after,) unfortunately while pregnant with my son, I ate too many Tostitos with Lime, and this became my new size. Luckily, I had an abundance of fashionable clothing from my last pregnancy, so updates were only needed for family events and Christmas parties.

While the two years in between my second and my third may seem short to some, it was a breath of fresh air to, well, my wardrobe. I managed to cut down my thighs a bit, and in turn, managed to pick up some new clothes here and there, just enough to make me look somewhat put together.

And then there were three. Clothes weren't about fashion. Clothes were about not being naked. (My wardrobe begins to get sick. Very sick.)

And just about the time I begin to lay some pieces to rest, my sweet baby number four arrives, my second baby girl, my love, the one that makes me wish I could fit into post-pregnancy clothes from baby number one, and the one that makes me know that I never want to sport a "post pregnancy" wardrobe again.

At this point, my wardrobe consists of a mish-mash of clothes from past years, clothes that are stained, and either clothes that are way too big, or way too small. My wardrobe is ill I tell you. Very ill.

And from the way the events unfolded today in the dressing room with my infant and toddler, I'm pretty sure it's going to stay that way for awhile. I almost think that they want me to dress like a bag lady.

Unless of course, one of you out there nominates me for TLC's WHAT NOT TO WEAR.

Wait, I guess you'd have to see me to do that. Scratch that idea.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's never too early to learn about the Trinity

Despite their sometimes questionable policies, I have resumed all activities at the library. And yesterday when I took my four kids, I struck up some interesting conversation with my two year old, while reading a book.

MY SON: "Mama, those are stars." (He feels the need to narrate everything.)

ME: "Yes honey, you're right. And do you know who made the stars?"

MY SON: "Jesus."

ME: "Yes, God made the stars."

MY SON: (With puzzled look on his face) "God made the stars? I thought Jesus made those stars."

ME: "Jesus is God."

MY SON: "Jesus is God?!?"

And I was just about to quote some scripture and go into the biblical truths behind this, but luckily a daddy long leg caught his eye, and that was the end of our conversation.

These few moments, however, along with an in-depth conversation with my daughter last week about how Adam and Eve "weren't born," have caused me to reprioritize my daily schedule to include a much more detailed and fact driven quiet time in the Word.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Two things that are sure to ruin my morning

1. Quaker chewy granola bars

My sleepy two year old asks for one every morning, but because they are chewy they almost always break in half when you open them.

This is an action that sends my son into a tizzy that is impossible to pull him out of. Needless to say, there is a half of box of half opened granola bars sitting in my pantry.

2. 3/4 in. sleeves

My six year old wears uniforms to school that consist of a white collared shirt and navy blue jumper. For some reason my daughter is very sensitive to minuscule droplets of water, and any kind of constraining device on her forearms--ie. 3/4 in sleeves.

Typically after I've meticulously opened the Quaker chewy granola bar, I attempt to stretch the armholes of my daughters cotton dress shirt, so that her arms freely slide up and down the shirt.

And I'm expected to get four kids out of the house by 7:30 every morning.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

The costumes that broke the bank

It's that time of year again. The leaves are falling. There's a chill in the air. And the seasonal section of department stores are lined with every Halloween costume known to man. Whatever your kid wants to be, they've got it. We're talking a real diverse collection of costumes here--Spiderman, Transformers, Elmo...
My husband even found a "Diva" costume today. I'm sorry but how in the heck do you dress up like a Diva? Gold chains and big hair? Who knows. One thing I do know is I guarantee some little girl is going to walk right into Target and pick out that very costume.

That is, only if she can afford to be a diva! I'm telling you what, I just about passed out in the aisle today when I saw how much these costumes were! Twenty, thirty, some even forty dollars! For a Halloween costume! It's crazy!

And what's really crazy is that I almost bought three! Luckily, my kids are still young, and can be easily swayed into changing their minds. Mommy has a way of making certain things sound better than others.

"I bet they have a ton of costumes on E-bay. Orrrr...mommy can make you a really awesome costume! Why don't we go home and search on the computer?"

So, to avoid my family's financial demise, and the need to be "bailed-out," I swayed my children and am now responsible for putting together three very "cool" costumes.

The irony of this whole predicament, is that we are not big fans of Halloween anyway, being that we are against pretty much everything it stands for.

What can I say?

We like candy.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Manners for manners

I've recently come across a problem, that I did not see coming. For the past six years I have been teaching my children to use their manners, to be polite, to say please and thank you, and excuse me when it's appropriate. And for the most part, they have done very well in this area, and have turned out to be very polite little people.

However, while I was able to teach them manners, I have failed in teaching them couth. Like if someone has a boogie in their nose, it's not polite to point it out. Or in this case, if someone passes gas on the sly, you don't always have to point them out and tell them to say excuse me.

This is what my two year old did this past week. While I also noticed the faux poi's, I of course didn't mention it. Unfortunately my little darling couldn't help but say something.

At the time, I must admit, I was kind of proud. I didn't know whether to say, "good manners, sweetie," or pretend I didn't hear him and walk away. I opted for choice B, and I walked away, completely oblivious to the mumblings of my two year old.

Oh well, guess it's just one more thing to add to my list of fears in public.

Friday, September 26, 2008

My week in a nutshell

Monday morning, my son decided to style his own hair and put half of the container of gel into his hair, while sitting on my couch. He looked like Frankenstein.

On Tuesday, I caught my two year old son eating a half a stick of butter. For some strange reason, he enjoyed the taste, and continued to grab chunks of it and shove them in his mouth, as I attempted to pry it from his hands.

On Wednesday, it was clear that the butter did not sit well with my son. He tried to run to the bathroom, but didn't make it in time and pooped on the floor in front of the toilet. Lesson learned.

On Wednesday night I went out to an evening writing class and came home to my three month old, who had not eaten in three and a half hours. For a breastfed baby, that mineswhile have been three and a half days. Apparently, all bottle attempts had failed. I went to bed with terrible mother guilt, and resolved to never leave my baby again.

Thursday seemed to be going by without a glitch, that is, until my hubby came home. We seem to have some sort of crazy fertile soil in the front of our house, as all of our perennial "shrubs" have grown to massive sizes. My husband volunteered to trim down our butterfly bush. Twenty minutes later the entire landscaping in our front yard had disappeared. Vanished. It looked like a tornado had come through our neighborhood, ripped up all the plants, and left the house. (Sorry honey, I know I told you I would never mention it again.) What once looked like an amazon jungle, now looks like a desert. I will now spend an unmentionable amount of money, replacing all plants that were lost.

Today is Friday. So far, the morning has been pretty uneventful, but I imagine it will not stay that way. I guess we'll have to wait and see...

Sunday, September 21, 2008

A picture is worth a thousand words

Yeah, but is it worth a thousand dollars?

Definitely not if it was taken at one of the department store photo labs. I'm not going to name names though, I'm only going to warn you not to waste your PENNYS at any of those places.
Unfortunately, I am a tough learner, and realized this only after my 25Th time there.

If you're a mom, and you have more than one child, chances are, you can relate to this story. Pictures mean the world to me. I just love them. I love capturing memories, especially since I have four kids now and can barely remember all their names.

I want pictures of every moment of every day.

I want a picture of my baby's feet, because I know one day, I'll forget just how tiny they really were.

And I want a picture of my boys with their spiky hair, because I know that one day, they won't let me rub hair products in their hair, just to get it the way I like it.

One day they probably won't even let me touch their hair.

And even though I didn't love the thought of getting my kids all dolled up and driving forty minutes to get their picture taken, I decided, the picture would be worth it. The memory would be worth it.

So, my husband and I did just that.

Unfortunately, our picture perfect moments were not captured. In fact, the only moments that were captured, were these cartoon-like, wide-angled photos of children with enormous heads. Not my children, more like bubble children.

Now, I'm not a professional photographer by any means, but I'm pretty sure if you use a wide angle lens up close on a child's face, their face is going to look, er...wide.

Besides the terrible shots, the photographer's people skills were less than desirable. I mean, what kid is going to smile at someone who's shouting at them to move their feet?

And to round out the entire unpleasant experience, when I refused to buy any of the photos, they explained to me that I would need to pay the $40.00 sitting fee. Can you imagine?

Unfortunately, I don't remember the end of this story, as I blacked out shortly after that.

I do, however, know that when I came to, all of my money was still in my wallet, and...I didn't have handcuffs on.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Why two year olds shouldn't make homemade pizza

Because they may or may not grab the garlic salt and run around the house dumping it all over the carpet.

And the couch.

And their sister's head.

Surely, we will not make that mistake again.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Politics? What are politics?

I've noticed that a bunch of bloggers have been writing about politics and the upcoming election. Until about a week ago, I would have nothing to say on the topic. Mainly, because I know nothing. Politics just doesn't interest me. Not one bit. Heck, I've never even watched a debate before.

But, when I heard a mother of five kids could possibly be Vice President, I just had to find out about her. So, I watched her speech...and she blew me away.

She inspired me as a woman and as a mother.

She made me proud.

Proud of a fellow mother. Proud of a fellow American.
Proud of a fellow Christian.

As I watched this woman speak on possibly becoming the second most powerful position in this country, and then walk over to her family proudly embracing her five children, I was brought to tears. One of these children, being a baby which some Americans wouldn't have even valued as worthy to be born, only months ago, and another, a teen who will probably be looked down upon, and deemed foolish by some, because she sinned.

But her children, nonetheless.

From the few moments I heard this woman speak, I knew. I knew that we shared the same values. I knew that she believed in the same God as I. I knew that she valued human life. And I knew that she believed in forgiveness.

Her family isn't perfect. She isn't perfect.
But as Palin walked over to her children and kissed each of their heads, she painted a picture for me, of the kind of country I want my children to grow up in.

A people that believes in God.
A people that values human life, even when others don't.
A people that needs and gives forgiveness.

Come election day, I know where my vote is going.

That is, as long as I can figure out those poll machines. (Just pull the lever, right?)

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Death by laundry

I'm pretty sure if you laid out all of my laundry, end to end, the pile would go around the world 13 times. Maybe more.

The strange thing is, noone in my family ever has any clothes to wear.

So the obvious question would be, whose clothes am I washing?

Monday, September 08, 2008

When two year olds begin to reason

Somehow my son managed to drag his bubble lawnmower into my living room, and up onto my couch.

As soon as that caught my eye, I told him to put it back outside on the porch.

He responded with, "but then my lawnmower can't see me!"

Who can argue with that? The kid is smart. Makes his mama proud.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

Change of plans

As I dropped my big girl off at her first grade classroom this week, I couldn't help but feel as though I was losing her for good. Sure, I know, it's only first grade, I mean she's only six, for crying out loud. But...I wasn't prepared for this.

I wasn't prepared to rush out in the middle of the night searching for dress shoes and navy blue knee highs. Or prepared to be cutting off the crusts of her peanut butter and jelly sandwich at ten o'clock at night. I wasn't prepared to drop her off and leave her for six whole hours. Every day. For the next 180 days. I wasn't prepared for it, because it wasn't my plan.

My plan was to homeschool my daughter. My plan was to see her every day, all day. My plan was to teach her how to add and subtract, take her on field trips, explore and dissect things together. All the while providing her with all the foundation in God, and the academic education she would need. I could do it. I knew I could.

People looked at me like I was crazy. Homeschool with three kids and a newborn? "That sounds really difficult," they'd say. Or at least they'd think it. But I was determined, I knew what was best. Or so I thought.

As I sat down at the kitchen table with my eldest daughter and began to recite the instructions for the lesson, something didn't feel right. It wasn't that it was too hard to follow, for me or for her. Sure, I was somewhat distracted by my two year old attempting to bite my four year old in the butt, but I remained as composed as possible. And my daughter, she whizzed through page after page. She stayed focused and neat, the picture of a perfect student. But again, something didn't feel right.

Still, I pressed on with the lesson. As we closed up our books, I began to feel this gnawing feeling. Maybe, just maybe, homeschooling wasn't the right thing for my girl. Maybe, this wasn't enough.

The huge grin that once adorned her face as she ran out of her classroom, just wasn't there, as we sat down to work together. And the beaming smile that she had, as she performed "Grand Old Flag" on stage with her peers, wouldn't be there either.

Sure, I had big plans. Plans for groups of other children, and science and music lessons, but for my girl, it just didn't seem to be enough. She needed more. She needs more. And though it was hard to admit, for the first time, I couldn't give her what she needed.

My plans of homeschooling my girl, and knowing and being a part of every single thing she learned, turned out, not to be the best thing for her. I struggled with this decision. I wrestled with it, going back and forth in my brain. I even resorted to telling myself that if other people did it, why couldn't I? She'd be fine, I thought. But in the end, I decided, fine isn't enough. Not for my girl.

I want her to thrive. I want her to be happy. I want her to fulfill the plan God has for her. Not the plan I have for her. So, I let go. I let go of my plans, and began to take hold of God's.(Not without a good fight, of course.)

So now, my girl will go off to a good Christian school for six hours every day for the next 180 days, and I can't be with her. I can't watch her learn how to multiply, or make sure she's being polite to her teachers, or even eat lunch with her.

I'm just thankful He can.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Three things that have changed since I had my fourth

1. I have found that I need to make lists, in order to remember to do things. Go pee is on that list.

2. Dinner time used to be a time for our family to talk about our day. Dinner time has now officially been renamed, "quiet time."

3. My husband and I are so busy running around during the day, that the only time we have to talk, is when we're sleeping. We call it multitasking.

Wake up call

I recently aspired to waking up in the morning with a much more enthusiastic and positive attitude for the day, even if I am run down and exhausted.

This morning I awoke around 4 am to my toddler lying next to me. Unbenounced to me, sometime during the night, he snuck into my bed and curled up between my husband and I.

I also awoke to a wetness streaming down my back.

He peed in our bed. A lot.

So much for aspirations. Better luck tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Interesting bedtime conversation with my daughter

On our recent weekend family getaway, this is what my daughter said to me as I laid her to sleep one night.

My daughter: "Mama, did you know that today the policeman brought my baby brother back to our room?"

Me: "What are you talking about honey?"

My daughter: "Yeah, when daddy brought us back to our hotel, the policeman found (brother) in the hallway, and knocked on our door."

Me to Husband: "Honey, what the heck is she talking about?"

Husband: "NO, it wasn't like that at wasn't a policeman."

Me: "Yeah??"

Husband: "It was just a security guard."


With the recent addition of my newest baby, our fourth, the family dynamic has changed a bit. What was once a sometimes rambunctious household, has now turned into an all out every-man-for- himself, chaotic zoo. Some days I feel myself attempting to block out the myriad of "mamas!", and waterfalls of tears, but to no avail. Some days I am in such a exhausted stupor, that I forget things, like putting the stroller in the trunk, before I back out over it in the driveway. Yes, rare is the occasion that I can even hear myself think, but this morning I found myself drifting off into my brain, for just a quick second.

It all began as I pulled up to the gas pump and began pumping, as I listened to the screams of my six year old. She had gotten her hair entangled in the seat in front of her, while she was picking up the gum wrapper for her "collection." In doing that, she bumped into my two year old who was already screaming about the water bottle that he had dropped on the car floor. As the tears welled up in my eyes, (just a reflex), I found myself comparing the many facets of my job, to other jobs out in the world. And to my surprise, I concluded that the level of stress that I endure on a daily basis, is that much like these other high-intensity occupations. I have discovered that I am in fact, much more qualified for these positions, now, as a stay at home mom of four, then I would be if say, I went to a four-year private college. The following is a list of jobs that I might apply for when I retire:(Please add any additional occupations you think we moms, might be qualified for)

1. Hostage Negotiator--impeccable bribery skills

2. the next Survivorman--with the amount of food that I "save" in my minivan, a family of four could stay alive in an amazon jungle, for at least a month

3. Captain of a Cruise ship--my sense of direction is unwavering, even with passengers in complete pandemonium and disarray and all out fist fights

4. Wrestler--I can pry a bottle of body lotion away from my two year old faster than that baby jaguar on Diego, can climb a tree

5. Lawyer--let's face it, I read my kids like a book. I know when they're tired, when they're hungry and most importantly, when they have to go potty in the middle of a fancy restaurant

Sunday, August 17, 2008

One reason why I know God has a sense of humor

I just came across this very interesting post...

"Ask, and it will be given..."

Friday, August 15, 2008

The Beginnings of a Perfectionist

Last night, my husband and I awoke to the unconsolable screams of my two year old. We waited for him to stumble down the stairs to us, and when he did, asked him what was wrong. I had assumed he was either thirsty or had a bad dream, but to my surprise, his response was neither. Through sobs and tears, my little darling cried, "my room is a mess!"

O-kay. Not exactly your typical toddler trauma, but understandably upsetting. I know that I've felt like waking in the middle of the night and screaming about the nine loads of laundry that were waiting for me in the basement.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Place to Poop

Let's just say our town library probably won't be extending any personal invitations to my family, to return any time soon. Can someone please explain to me why my children insist on pooping every time we go to the library? I mean are they pumping microscopic fiber molecules through the ventilation system? Are they serving raisins and apple juice for snack time? I just don't get it. What is it about the library, that makes them have to go?

Not more than five minutes had gone by when my nine week old decided to do some major pooping, with sound effects mind you, at exactly the moment that I bent down to pick out some books for my kids. The embarrassment from that little incident alone, was enough for me to hightail it out of there. Boy was I naive. The real torture hadn't even begun. After I changed my daughter's diaper, I proceed back to the main children's area to pick out some more books, only to find my potty-training toddler holding the back of his pants saying, "pee-pee, mama!"

This of course turns out to be entirely false, as I go to help him up on the potty, and to my surprise, receive a handful of poop as a thank you. Yeah, did I mention my son mixes up the names of his bodily functions? It gets worse. Because I wasn't aware of this major accident when I placed him on the potty, by now there is poop his pants, down his legs, on the potty.

I attempted to clean up my squirming toddler and the library facilities, all the while using an appropriate library inside voice. Unfortunately, my attempts at remaining discreet in my mission failed, as my infant screamed in hysteria for me to pick her up. Did I mention how those bathrooms echo?

So, I finish the cleanup and head back out to my older two, who are patiently waiting to pick out some books. Just as I lay my baby back in her stroller, I hear the same daunting words all over again..."pee-pee mama." Yup, that's right. Poop mission number two, except this time it's even worse because I have no more wipes, and no more changes of clothes. Needless to say, after the second attempt to sanitize my son and the library bathroom, I promptly packed up my four children and headed home. From now on, I'm renewing my books over the phone.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

One ticket to crazyland, please.

After a long, hard day with the kids, I received a very interesting phone call from the telephone company. One that kept me wracking my brain for hours:

"Tiffany" the phone operator: "Hello, I'm calling because you have an outstanding portion of your bill that has gone unpaid. And in order to prevent an interruption of service, you're going to need to pay this portion."

Me: Oh, yes I know all about it. Yeah, we actually don't owe that, we returned the DVR box(babysitter), and we were told we would receive a credit."

Tiff: "Yes, there is an outstanding $300.00 on your bill for the box and I see no credit."

Me: "The box was returned, I know, I did it myself."

Tiff: "Right, but we are showing no record of that. The box would've gone to customer service, so you're going to need to work that out with them."

Me: "Okay, can you transfer me?"

Tiff: "Uh, no ma'am I can't. But I can give you their number."

Me: "Ok, I'll call them now."

Tiff: "So how would you like to pay your bill ma'am, to prevent interruption of service?"

Me: "umm.. I don't owe anything, but I was going to call customer service to work it out."

Tiff: "Yes, you'll need to work that out and then call us back...but as soon as you hang up, you will receive an interruption of service, unless you pay this portion of the bill."

Me: "Okay, so as soon as I hang up, my phone will not work?"

Tiff: "That is correct, ma'am. Unless you pay your bill."

Me: "But I don't have a bill. I have a credit."

Tiff: "Right, but we have no record of that, customer service does."

Me: "So, how exactly can I call customer service if my phone won't work after I hang up?"

Tiff: "Well, ma'am if you pay this portion of your bill, your service will not be interrupted."

Me: (banging head on table) "I'd like to speak with your supervisor."

"Please hold..."

This conversation resulted in the phone company admitting their mistake and crediting my account. They assured me my service would not be interrupted, and I no longer owed anything. I got off the phone and just as they said, it was not shut off. Later that day, I went food shopping and came home and mysteriously, my DVR box was shut off...

All aboard....

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Do we really need bread?

Four things. I only need four things. This was my mantra as I pulled into the grocery store parking lot yesterday, with a minivan full of children. My children to be exact. Although outings these days aren't as easy as they once were (yeah,right), I decided to forgo the risk that accompanies four small children in a grocery store. After all, I only needed four things.

I unloaded my gang and allowed my two year old the freedom to walk and hold hands with his sister. First mistake. I managed to walk my parade the 30 feet across the parking lot, into the store and right up to the redbox movie machine, (AKA: Date night.) And the meltdown begins. I tried to wait patiently for my two year old to slide the movie into the return slot. I noticed my eight week old begin to stir, and I knew my window of opportunity was closing in. I watched as my two year old stretched as tall as he could to reach the slot and tried to assist without him knowing, but my feeble attempt had failed. The second my finger grazed the machine, the wailing and body thrashing began. I decided I would not be completely controlled by this kid,(at least not this time), and I quickly pried the movie from his hands and shoved it into the box. Within seconds he had flung himself to the ground. And to top it off, at this very moment my hungry infant begins to cry.

As I picked up my baby, I couldn't help but notice the stares, some sympathetic, some just plain annoyed by the commotion. I strained my voice over the screams of both my children and managed to lure my two year old to follow me towards the bakery. I attempted to regain my composure and my thoughts long enough to remember what the heck I had needed at the store in the first place. But as my mind wandered, so did my son--right up to the freshly baked italian bread where he began to slide the loaves out of their paper bags, all the while telling me, "we need this." I motioned for him to put the bread down, and when he didn't comply, I grabbed his little wrist and made a bee-line for the diaper aisle. This pattern continued on as I maneuvered through the store looking for my four items.

We neared the registers and as I pulled into the lane, my sweet child proceeded to grab numerous candy bars and throw them into the cart. With my infant on one arm, I used my other arm to wrestle the candy from his hands and lifted my son into the cart. A feat that had to be seen to believe. As the screams intensified I tried to remain calm long enough to scan my items and pay. Gotta love self-checkout.

I was pretty much to my boiling point as I headed out to the car with two of my four children screaming at the top of their lungs. I lifted my two year old out of the cart, and wrestled him over to the driver side to put him in his carseat. Unfortunately, I could not even get to the driver side, as a large orange pickup had pulled into the parking spot next to mine, so close that only a paper thin person could fit through. And unfortunately, paper thin I am not. At this very moment I actually thought to myself, "Now I understand why people key other peoples cars." Terrible thought,yes, but sadly enough, true. So, I head back around to the other side of the car with my kicking and screaming toddler and catapult him across the baby seat, into his car seat. Once all my children were securely fastened I jump the passenger seat to get to my seat, and sped off towards home.

The moral of the story is this: If you're thinking about going on an outing with all of your children, ask yourself this, "do we really need bread?"

Monday, June 23, 2008

Number One Sign that Your Kid is Bored

This morning my two and a half year old playfully drove his Imaginext safari jeep into the living room. Alongside his "bounty hunter," (thank you husband), was one spankin new nursing pad. Shortage of toys, you say? Afraid not.

And Then There were Four...

Here she is, born two weeks early...

Grace Kathryn
June 6, 2008

7lbs. 3 oz
20 in. long

Keep checking my posts, as this mama will be back in service very soon.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

A CHIP off the Ol' Block

My husband has a problem. A serious problem. Actually, it's more of a condition, then a problem. He's a chronic thrower-outer. And yes, that is the official medical term. You see, he throws everything out. And I mean everything.

Any type of food that has had it's temperature altered for more than thirty seconds, is game for the garbage pail, at any given moment. That last, juicy piece of Easter ham that you had been craving all day--gone. Oh, didn't you see? A smidge of mashed potato cross contaminated it while you were transferring it into the tupperware Sunday night. Yeah, it had to be thrown out.

And that Reese's peanut butter cup that you had hidden in the fridge, for that late night chocolate fix--Sorry...freezer burn, had to get rid of it.

This has been the story for many a food item at my home in the past seven years. And for the most part, I've gotten used to it. Typically, if I want any food that I don't eat in the first 24 hours after I bring it home from the grocery store, I try to make it well-known. And I have somewhat established the rule of, if there is nothing growing on it in the fridge, then it is still edible, and it is off limits to the garbage man. I've also adjusted pretty well to the fact that the term "leftovers" is null and void at our home. The Good Lord knows leftovers don't stand a chance next to my husband.

So, as a good wife, I've put up with many disappearing food disappointments, and I've accepted the numerous stories of my husband's bouts of "food poisoning"... If I had a nickel for every food poisoning episode...

As adjusted as I am, in this state of pregnancy that I am in, certain things are just unacceptable. Like the disposal of a perfectly brand new bag of sour cream n' onion Baked Lays--completely unacceptable. I had bought them about three days ago, and then like most things I bring into my car, they were stranded to my front seat since. (It was either carry up the chips, or my sleeping two year old.)

This evening, as I felt a crunchy craving coming on, I asked my husband what he did with my brand new bag of Baked Lays. I should've suspected their fate, as I watched my husband's face droop, and his words begin to stutter. He couldn't even look me in the eye. I knew it.

"You threw them out???"

"I didn't throw them out."

"I cannot believe you threw them out!"

"I'm telling you I did not throw them out. While I was cleaning out the garage with the kids, we opened them up and started eating them."

"And then you threw them out?"

"NO! I did not! We started to eat them...and then...(he totally was trying to make it up as he went along,) our son was eating them all, so I put them on top of the car."

"Wait, let me guess, the old man up the street walked by and asked if he could borrow some potato chips?"

"NO, I'm telling the truth."

"Okay, so what...technically you didn't throw them out...the kids probably dropped them on the floor, and all these bugs started to come, so you had to vaccuum them up real quick...right?"

"No, I didn't."

"Okay, so if that didn't happen, and you didn't throw them out, then could you please go down to the garage and get my Baked Lays?"

"Okay, I will."

My loving husband proceeds to walk down the basement stairs. I heard him get halfway down and then head back up.

"OH, I remember what happened...the kids were starting to eat them all...and so I let them eat some, and then put them on top of the car...and then when we drove to the park, I forgot I had put them on top of the car, and I drove off."

"So, you are honestly telling me that my chips are spread out through our entire neighborhood?"

"Yeah, they're probably down the big hill, ya know, the one with all the bumps?"


I had no more words. I could not and still cannot, grasp the untimely demise of my chips. Undeserved I say, undeserved.

And so the reign of my husband, the garbage man, continues on, and one more innocent food item gets thrown into the trash bin...or in this case, pavement.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Hormones...what hormones??

How bad is it when your five year old nephew tells your sister that you were "grouchy" yesterday?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

So, just how many days will they let me stay in the hospital? of the many fleeting thoughts I had this afternoon, as I attempted to keep composure during my two year old's 30 minute tantrum. Thoughts that shortly followed that, "how invasive is a tubal ligation?" and "I wonder if I have enough cheddar for dinner."

So, it's been awhile. I'm sure all six of my avid readers(family members), greatly missed my sarcastic rants. My apologies for my lack of commitment, but lately my days consist a great deal of driving back and forth to kindergarten, peeing every seven minutes, and catching at least 45 minutes of the ever popular American Idol, right before my husband and I doze off to sleep at approximately 8:56 p.m. Sadly, that is a pretty accurate description of my days. Throw in some daunting sciatic pain, an expanding backside and you have me, a just turned 27 year old, mother of three, who is 25.4 weeks, towards being a mother of four. And yes, the .4 matters. A lot.

Back to my original question...As of today, I have decided that this time I give birth, I am going to stay at the hospital as long as I possibly can. To some, the hospital may seem sterile, and smelly. A place where comfortable sleep is nearly impossible, and the food is worse than tv dinners. But to me, at least this time, the hospital will be my little paradise. I'm pretty sure our vacationing will cease to exist the second my fourth baby takes her first breath outside of my womb. So, I am going to treat my short stay, as a little treat, a little break, a little breath of fresh air. I mean sure, the food is pretty bad, but...I don't have to cook it, and that there, is worth its weight in gold. And ideally my vacation wouldn't include hours of painful labor, but hey, they've got epidurals. And typically I would prefer more "spa like" accommodations, rather then the "break down" beds they currently offer, but hey, at least I know I'll be sleeping alone there. All in all, not such a bad deal, I mean going from three kids at home, to one kid in the hospital? Sounds like a vacation to me...
Beggars can't be choosers, you know.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Dear Carol...

It seems that lately I am a magnet for running into very interesting people, on my day to day journeys. And wouldn't you know it, I always seem to run into them on those days when everything seems to be going wrong, and I'm just about to my breaking point(signing myself into an asylum), and then BAM!--there they are, smack down right in the middle of my chaos. Hmmm...maybe He is trying to teach me something? You think??

That's what happened this Tuesday--after my two year old had been complaining he had a boo-boo back for three days, and then woke up with a fever. Wouldn't you know I landed myself right in the x-ray department of the local 9 a.m....with three kids...ALONE...
And there she was.

I wouldn't have guessed it when I saw her, she seemed nice enough--just doing her job(Or so I thought). Now, I could go through the whole story of how I met her, but I decided instead, I would just write her a letter...a letter in honor of our meeting:

Dear Carol,

If only we had met at a different time, or even a different place...maybe we could've been friends. Okay, maybe not friends, but I know for sure, we could've at least been friendly.

Sure, our meeting definitely could've been better. I can still remember looking up when those elevator doors opened, and then closed again, as I wrestled with my two year old to stop arching his back and dragging his feet, just long enough so I could actually exit the elevator. Yes, I remember your face as I finally squeezed my troop out of those doors. And although I could hardly hear you as my toddler screamed blood curdling screams, I'm pretty sure when I asked you if the wait would be long, that I sensed a bit of irritation in your voice. Was I bothering you Carol? Did I disturb your work that day? Or were you just annoyed that you couldn't concentrate with the screaming toddler in the background? If that's the case, I surely can understand. Maybe you can get some earplugs though, as I'm almost positive I am not the only mother in the world who totes around a screaming toddler. If I am, however, scratch the ear plug thing, as my children typically scream at higher-than-normal decibels.

Nonetheless, I sensed the irritation when you answered me, yet I wasn't bothered, as I figured maybe you too, were having a morning like mine.(although I highly doubt it)
I must admit, I was so involved in trying to appease(shut up) my screaming toddler, that I didn't even notice you were still staring at me, that is until you spoke. Yes, as I threatened my child with the all too familiar and yet completely uneffective "time-out," I couldn't help but hear a small voice in the background. It was your voice Carol. While I would've hoped for maybe a more helpful voice, or even a Higher voice, I heard your voice.

"Don't say that!"

I'm pretty sure those were the three words that once vocalized, would annihilate(at least for a time), our chances of ever becoming amigos. I questioned you, just to make sure that you were in fact speaking to me...and you were. You may have noticed my mouth drop as you went on to protest me telling my son that he would receive a time-out in of all places, the hospital. And though I think I may have passed out for a second or two, as you went on and on, I'm pretty sure I heard most of your argument claiming that I would make him afraid to come there--there, being the hospital--the place where sick people go--the place that typically doesn't evoke happy feelings in children.

Nonetheless, you stuck to your did I. Though I didn't agree with your position, or even your involvement in the disciplining of the child whom I birthed, I find it somewhat kind--your concern for my child, and his future fears. I'm not sure I told you that though. Umm...yeah, I'm pretty sure I didn't tell you that. So for that, I am sorry.

And when I told you that you obviously didn't have children...well, I suppose I could've jumped the gun there. Maybe you do have children, but maybe, just maybe, you slept through their toddler years. So, for that unnecessary comment, I am sorry again.

As far as you calling out another hospital employee, and claiming that I was causing a problem...I'm not sure that was necessary. In response to that action, I've got to ask, what did you think a pregnant woman with three small children, was going to do in an x-ray waiting room? Just curious.

So there you have it--our meeting. Not exactly a pleasant one, for either of us I'm sure. In closing, I just have one question for you Carol: Do you actually know what a time-out is? Because to be honest, it really isn't all that bad. Just sitting in a chair, that's all. And for my toddler, a two minute time-out, is usually completely forgotten about in, well, two minutes. I thought I'd tell you, as you may have mixed up time-out, with the word for midieval torture device. I can understand that.
So, my only hope is the next time we run into eachother, (there aren't any other hospitals to deliver my baby in), that we could be cordial to one another, maybe even smile at eachother. Maybe you won't even remember my gnarled face, and we could start fresh, meeting eachother all over again, for the first time. Yes, I think I hope for that.

My Best,


Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Christmas Present

Some of you may think I'm completely confused and delusional, because Christmas was just about a month ago, but I can't help it. I feel like I have just received another Christmas present...the best Christmas present.

Remember that first morning after you brought your first baby home? Do you remember what it felt like to look into the bassinet and realize that it wasn't all a dream, and you actually are a mom? That always felt like Christmas morning to me--I was so excited, I just couldn't wait to wake up. (Yes, maybe I am delusional)

So, if you did the math, you'd know that I did not have this baby yet.
But my Christmas present...I am getting a GIRL! Yeah!! I've prepared the ol' "I don't care either way speech," as much as the next guy. But honestly, with one girl and two boys, I really wanted to even up the teams over here. Lord knows, if one more Hotwheels car enters this house...

So, if you can excuse me, I am going to celebrate with a trip to the baby girl clearance aisles at Target...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

A Tale of Two Tummys

As I flipped through the latest pregnancy magazine, I can't help but think that the pregnant women in them, are not really pregnant. Actually, I'm thinking that they aren't even moms.

Take pregnant lady A, for example: She's lovely alright...long, wavy hair, soft glowing skin, perfectly rounded tummy. I say....complete fraud. Okay, so maybe it's her first baby. I know for sure she doesn't have more than one, because if she did, she would have not one rounded tummy, but two. As far as I know, you only get that perfectly rounded belly the first time around. Once baby number two hits, you've got yourself, what I like to call, "double trouble." Consider it a pregnancy gift, or a little memory book you carry around with you forever, either way you slice it, you've got yourself a small belly looking pouch from your previous baby, and then you've got your larger, more substantial belly containing your, now growing, new baby. I want to see the pregnant woman who looks like that. Where is that lady?

And never mind a perfect, little, inny belly button. After four pregnancies, I'm not even sure I have a belly button anymore. I think mine got swallowed up by pregnant belly number three, never to be heard from again.

Clue number two that this would be this woman's first baby...her long, wavy hair. Lord knows, if this woman was a mom already, her hair would have some sort of crusty, unidentifiable substance in it. Either that or sprinkles of baby powder--due to her inability to find the time to wash her hair that day.(you all know that trick, don't ya?) And the long part? Well, if it were her second, third or fourth child, her hair probably wouldn't look so healthy and long. I imagine her hair would be falling out in clumps from the surges of pregnancy hormones, not unlike my own. But the good thing is she wouldn't realize it until that one day she finally found time to clean the shower. Then she'd notice, for sure.

So, maybe it's better they don't show the real pregnant women after all...the shocking photos might deter some of the more put together women, to question the whole motherhood route. Luckily, I'm not one of those more put together women.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sincerely Sunday

The Perfect Plan
Have you ever wondered why God chose to bring new life in the form of newborn babies? I mean, besides the whole size aspect and the need for new life to be able to fit in our womb, think about it. He had the perfect plan when He designed new life to be brought forth by a woman, in the form a tiny, newborn baby. I mean can you imagine if instead of having newborns, every time you had a baby it would be a two year old? You see, but He knew us. He knew us, because He designed us. And He knew that if new life would come in the form of a screaming, biting, tantrum throwing two year old, there is no way in this lifetime, that we would ever, ever, EVER, have more than one child. We just wouldn't. But He knew that, and that is why He chose to bring new life in the form of a perfect, sweet, pink, tiny baby. And that is why we, most of us anyway, choose to have more than one child. Want to know how I know this? Because I have lived through two two-year olds, am in the process of trying to live through one more, and wouldn't you know it, am choosing to have one more child, which consequently purposes me to yet one more round of the "terrible twos." Aren't you glad God knows what He's doing?

Thursday, January 10, 2008

You Know You're Pregnant If...

1) Your non-maternity underwear are so tight, they put a semi-permanent indentation in the top of your thigh.

2) You pack two peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and no drink in your daughter's lunchbox.

3) Your eyes well up with tears as you watch the new Bank of America commercial, or even just think about it.

Ummm...spoken from experience.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

Saved By a Fly

Let's see, it's about 10:43 a.m., and the desperation set in at about 8 o'clock this morning. I know, it's too early to be desperate, too early to be negative about the day, but I am...well, I was anyway.

My cries of insanity started because my two year old has taken a real liking to all types of destruction--dumping things, spilling drinks, knocking down chairs, he's pretty much like a bull in a china shop, and well, I'm not gonna lie, it's starting to get to me a bit. But it's because he's two right? His utter defiance is completely normal, right??? Right??? Normal or not, it's making me feel the need to find a new career, outside of my home. Paper route, anyone?

So, the combination of the cornstarch spilled on the floor, the lotion squirted on the carpet, the fact that not one single spoon was clean and remembering that my husband would be working a double shift today, I knew that if I didn't gain just one minute of sanity, the day was headed for disaster. And then it happened...

I didn't even see it coming. It was like the good Lord above, came down to my home for just a minute, answered my prayer, and sent a little the form of a fly. My son caught sight of it by the bay window, and was completely enthralled. In fact, he was so excited as he watched it fly up and down the window, that my daughter heard him, and came over to try and catch the fly. Not only did they watch the fly for at least ten minutes, their interest sparked a whole little play scenario, where my daughter acted as though she were a reporter interviewing my two year old, the fly catcher. So for about 20 sweet minutes, I had peace. There were no screams, no pulling hair, no knocking down picture frames, no dumping out sippys on the carpet...just peace...the kind of peace that could only come from a fly.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Newest Addition to My Kitchen

As I ate the last bite of my homemade pizza this evening, I looked up directly across my kitchen and saw this bottle of soda. Come to think of it, I saw this bottle of soda when I was making the pizza. Even worse, I think I might have even seen it in the middle of my kitchen floor when I woke up this morning. And as I watched my children do their usual insane laps around my kitchen after dinner, I noticed that they ran directly around the bottle. I think that they think it belongs there. Actually, I'm starting to think it belongs there.

Save a Life