Tuesday, September 25, 2007

the girl who is just putting this on repeat

You know how you get tired of telling your kids the same thing over and over? Well, I'm just going to start playing this everytime they act up!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

the girl is already over it

I usually have very few privacy issues--I mean, with four boys in a small house, I can't really expect much. But what is it with the bathroom? (TMI alert) Why is it impossible for me to go to the bathroom by myself? You would expect a closed door would be a signal of sorts, but not so. Apparently a closed door is an invitation to corner Mommy while she is trapped on the toilet. And it doesn't matter WHAT is going on in the bathroom, the boys want to be part of it. Locking the door has no effect, other than to encourage the child to stand outside the door banging on it over and over and getting worked up--which translates to LOUD!

Mommy's taking a shower? Let's leave the door open so it gets ice cold and then ask Mommy why her nipples are hard enough to cut glass and what do they do and can I come in with you and here's a bath toy for you Mommy and I want a drink Mommy can I have some juice and Mommy, so-and-so called me a name and Eli's crying Mommy and Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY!

Mommy's is trapped on the toilet offending herself? A perfect time to come in and discuss the fact that you would like some Boo-bah toys (don't know why Ian is on this kick, right now. It's a resurgence.) and by making this request, you expect immediate, as in get up and let's go now, action or time to come in and stay just out of arms reach while going through all the toiletries and ignoring Mommy's cries to put down the lipstick now or, even better, come in and just sit and chat while asking Mommy questions about her bodily functions and (even better) inquiring about the sanitary products Mommy is currently using and wanting to know if Mommy is ok.

So let's say Mommy is getting ready for work. Now is the perfect time to come in and ask about book fair money or to insist on using all of Mommy's hair mousse, deodorant, et all, or again, with the sanitary products, only add breast pads to the list because I'm nursing, and again with the request for juice, expecting immediate action.

There have been times when the entire family (including the cat!) have taken advantage of the fact Mommy was trapped to converge upon the bathroom and just chill out. It's amazing, really. So my embarrassment quotient is pretty high and I actually had to go, huh? when that body guard of Britney Spears testified she spent time naked in front of her kids. Between the lack of bathroom privacy and breastfeeding, my kids are very well acquainted with female nudity.

So normally, its not really an issue. I'm kinda used to it. But today I just wanted a little alone time and when the bathroom barrage began I ended up growling and snapping at the kiddos. Of course, they each had to beard the lioness in her lair and each got their own dose of "CAN'T I JUST GO TO THE BATHROOM IN PEACE!!!!?"

Where did I put that Valium? Yep, Valium and some duct tape and a maid (or bulldozer) and I just might make it through the day. More importantly, my kids might make it through the day!


So, Little E got snipped this week. Poor baby! He couldn't have it done before because he was so small, and then there was a slight (ahem) insurance snafu which took some time to get resolved, so at ten weeks the little guy went in for his procedure. The little porker is up to 7lb, 14 oz! Yes, that is "normal baby" size. But keep in mind, his corrected age is just three weeks, so I'm pretty satisfied. He, however, was not satisfied. On top of having his turtleneck altered to a crew neck, the Dr. had to add insult to injury by giving him four vaccinations! I guess its better to get it over with all at once, but still--poor baby!

This is him before the dreaded procedure. Isn't that hat and baby blanket combo adorable? They were made by a lovely girl that DH works with. I met her once very briefly when DH took me all around his work to show off 11. She stood out from everyone and I remembered her out of all the people I met that day. I tease DH and call her his GF. But you have to be careful when you tease like that in front of the kiddos. Zachary now refers to the blanket as "the blanket Daddy's girlfriend made." Lol! So thank you, Laura, its adorable and I love it and can I get those cute hats made for each of my boys?

Speaking of all these little shorthand acronyms I use, my Darling Hubby isn't familiar with all of them and when he spotted me using DH in reference to him, he translated it to something completely different and got himself quite worked up and offended. For the record: "DH" is not an acronym for Richard Cranium.

Lastly, gotta share this lo I did for a scrappy contest recently. I love these pics of Matthew and you might recognize them from an earlier post. I had a ton of fun with this lo and it was good enough to advance me to round three of Top Designer at the Bad Girls website.

shake it, Matthew!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

the girl who wants her medal...NOW!

So yesterday, the fabulous Miss Island Jen hosted a party for her little guy, Draven's 3rd birthday. She chose Lake Lotus Park waaaaaay on the other side of town from me. I mean, really, Jen. You should be more considerate and host all of your get-togethers close to me for my convenience! tsk! tsk!

Anyway, so I loaded all four of the kiddos into the car, got a full tank of gas and off we went. The boys had thoughtfully wrapped Draven's present (using more wrapping paper and tape than I believed possible. And yet, there were still plenty of gaping corners and Draven could have breathed heavy near it and the wrapping would have come off. Some weird kid physics I must have forgotten when I grew up.) so that was one chore I didn't have to do. I did, however, dress them all in pirate shirts since Draven's party had a pirate theme. Poor Matthew didn't have a pirate shirt, so we remedied that with a foam stamp and some acrylic paint. Pretty proud of myself for that one!

Matthew's improvised shirt

So off we go, fortified with Gatorade bottles and directions from MapQuest. Let me tell you, those directions SUCKED! I got to the very end to the critical part and got lost. Someone out there needs to come up with "Directions for Chicks" you know, "Drive down until you see the McDonalds next to the used car lot and take a left. Drive until you see the pepto bismol pink house and then look for a street to the right. Turn there and when you see the house with the tacky mermaid statue in the front yard start looking to your left, we're about three houses down. If you run into the dark purple house with the green trim, you've gone too far." You know, directions that make sense!

Not "Travel East 2.9 miles on 414-W going towards N.Lake Destiny Drive. Turn right on Gateway, travel <.9 miles and arrive at your destination." NOT!!! And I am not even exaggerating. I am quoting!

We arrive at the party an hour and a half late after three stops for directions and four complete circles. But we got there. As soon as I got off the tram with my crew, it started to rain. Typical. Luckily it was only a brief shower and enabled me to get my kids under cover. I think the party was running smoothly up to that point!

Jen gets ahold of Eli

Within five minutes of our arrival, I had dumped Eli into Miss Jen's arms, prepared three plates of hot dogs and chips, Matthew had received his first face bruise by falling on the playground, I had improvised an ice pack, the park ranger came by with animals and I had to juggle the kids, food and baby while trying to get my camera to take pictures of the kids with the baby alligator, Zack was interested, Ian was terrified, Matthew was missing and Eli was sweating. The ranger brought out a tortoise, Zachary was bored, Ian was interested, Matthew tried to take the Ranger's golf cart for a joy ride and Eli was sleeping.

meeting the critters

I retrieved Eli so Miss Jen could take pictures of her own and then I tried to eat. The entire day was me trying to keep track of where each of my kiddos was. Zack was constantly underfoot trying to be the boss of everyone. And he had a willing follower in a cute little girl named Parissa. (I think) She was adorable, obviously infatuated with Zack, and he was oblivious. Ian kept going off to play on the sidelines, as he is prone to do and Matthew kept trying to leave completely. There was another party being hosted at the next pavilion over and he kept crashing it. Unfortunately, this meant either someone else was always either chasing my kids or holding my baby while I chased my kids.

Zack and Parissa

After trying to rein in Zack's eagerness to "help" with the present opening, Matthew's method of "eating" the provided cupcakes (licking off all the frosting on top, dumping the actual cake part and then going back for more), and Ian's tantrums over his party hat breaking, I took advantage of Jen's offer to take the baby into the car's A/C to cool down. It seemed like a good opportunity to feed him too so I gratefully accepted. So that left my kiddos running wild and free under the watchful eye of Jen's dh, TJ.

the boys hard at play

After 20 mins or so of blissful silence and cool, I buttoned up and decided we should probably pack up as the party was winding down. I do a head count and come up one short. Ian is missing, but so is TJ, so I'm not panicking yet. I figure they are together. Then Jen gets a call on her cell from TJ requesting my presence at the bathrooms.

Poor Ian! He had evidently let loose before he had his pants completely down and had dribbled, um, a "mess" all down the back of his pants. Did I have spare clothes for him? Of course not. That would imply that I was prepared! So we improvised by taking a bath in the restroom sink and rinsing and twisting his clothes out thoroughly. I'd rather have a wet child than a "dirty" child and to be honest, in the heat, he was probably more comfortable that way. The strange thing is, that his underwear disappeared somewhere along the way. I asked TJ to check the men's restroom, but they weren't there. I am deathly afraid that my son may have flushed them down the toilet to get rid of them.

So once I get rid of that problem and start heading back to the pavilion, I come across Matthew eating "grapes." I think it was a flower and not an actual berry, and I would assume that the Park Rangers would not plant a brightly colored, berry-looking plant next to a playground if it was poisonous, but we did a quick manual clean out of the mouth and had him rinse and spit, just to be safe. I woke up this morning with as many children as I went to sleep with, so I assume everything is ok.

the flower/berry culprits

As I pack up to leave, I tell Jen that I my feelings won't be hurt if we don't get an invite next year, and laugh nervously....

saying goodbye

When we get home, I immediately go into the frantic "clean up and make it look like you accomplished something in the house before DH gets home" with three wound up kids and one somnolent baby (Thank God!) Apparently the (much shorter) ride home was just long enough for them to doze under the blissful tunes of radio Disney (I am a masochist, aren't I?) and refresh themselves. So they had fully recharged and were bouncing off the walls when we got home. I put them to work, cleaning when I had this conversation:

Ian: (to Matthew): "You're a Loser!"

Matthew: "Am Not! Mommy! Ian called me a loser!"

Me: "Boys! We don't call each other stupid, or losers or anything bad."

Zack: "Yeah, because if you do then you're bad and you'll get yelled at. That's the Circle of Punishment."

Such wisdom at such a young age!

So I survived, my kids survived and even Draven's party survived. I still think I deserve a medal, especially after this morning.

This morning, Mr. Mouse came at me with this:

"I don't like you Mommy."

Said very matter-of-factly, with just enough attitude to let me know he was serious. This after trying to poke me awake this morning, giving up and leaving after giving me a sloppy kiss on my forehead. I have no idea where it came from. I, of course, responded with MY Mom's standard response of, "That's too bad, because I love you!" It didn't do much to change his mind. I switched tactics and said, "Too bad, because this is my house, so you're going to have to live with me even if you don't like me." To that, he replied, "Mommy, I leave the house."

Ahh, if only!

I kid, I joke. I know that one day, 18 to 20 years from now when I do have a completely nest, I'll probably be lonely. Of course, there's a good chance I'll be a grandma by then--the kids are 8 years apart after all. Then, one day, one of their children will come at them with the infamous line: "Daddy, I don't like you!"

And the Circle of Punishment will be complete!

Monday, September 10, 2007

the girl who has some reading to do.

Madeline L'Engle is dead.

I loved and still read on occasion her Time series. Just last month my Mom came to visit me and while looking for a book for my chapter reading son, I found "An Acceptable Time" the last in the Time series that I never knew it existed!

I think my preference of that series would be:

1. A Wrinkle in Time
2. Many Waters
3. A Wind in the Door
4. A Swiftly Tilting Planet
5. An Acceptable Time

Although "Wrinkle" is the ultimate manifesto of "Be yourself, even if it goes against the crowd and won't make you fit in or be popular," "Many Waters" is a close second in popularity for me. It's actually the fourth in the series, but probably the second in terms of amount of times I've read it. Hell, it might be the first, but "Wrinkle" should hold the top honor since it got me into the series.

A big thanks to Mom too. She bought me my yellow covered Dell paperback before a roadtrip. It mysteriously sprouted what I think was Mylanta stains at some point, and still has them. Yes, I still have that copy of the book. It is one of the ones I have saved for my kids along with the Chronicles of Narnia and the Chronicals of Prydain.

It seems odd that I just now discovered the connection between the Murray's and the Austins. I read some of the Austins books but only "A Ring of Endless Light" appealed to me. And now, 15-20 years later, all I can remember is that I liked the poem in it and it had dolphins.

From "The World" by Henry Vaughan

I saw Eternity the other night
Like a great Ring of pure and endless light,
All calm as it was bright ;
And round beneath it, Time, in hours, days, years,
Driven by the spheres,
Like a vast shadow moved, in which the world
And all her train were hurled.

I remember this poem just spoke to me. And now I need to remember why.

Thank you Mom for making me love reading (even if buying books for a kid who get carsick reading was maybe not the smartest thing, but it made nights in the hotel along the way bearable.) and Thank You Miss L'Engle for writing such good books.

I have some reading to do.