Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Lessons *Take II

* Oops! Didn't mean to post quite yet. Just added/edited a bit. :S

This time of year is one that brings out the reflective nature in people, causes them to examine themselves and their life. We take a closer look at our family and loved ones, and our relationships with them. Goals and attitudes are given the once over. People seem to generally (of coarse there are exceptions) be kinder and more generous. The world can cluck all they want about how you don't have to celebrate the "reason for the season" but it seems to me that reflectiveness is the affect of the one who came to save us, bringing grace and forgiveness. Santa sure doesn't do that for me.

Here's a couple things I learned over the last few days.
  • When you strip everything away, all the plans, the fancy food, getting dressed in your finest, Christmas eve service, the big family gathering, when you have to lay that all down and it's just "you", (you know, cuz of the pukies), you realize how much you love your family, how blessed you are, how beautiful are your children, and how all that stuff doesn't really matter - what matters is what's right there before  you. You miss your husband like crazy who was still hard at work, you take a deep breath instead of getting caught up in the hustle and hurry of all that must be done, and you take pleasure in those little beings buckled tight into carseats for a last minute trip to Wally World for milk. Not that I don't normally think of my children as blessings, but I was brought to tears more than once on our car ride home, just listening to them and seeing who they are.
  • Reindeer really do talk, it's just "growl-ish." (Complements of George)
  • God is so sweet. So gentle. And He can even catch the attention of a busy scatterbrained mom.
I have been really selfish, self-centered, and greedy lately. Lacking in the grace I so proudly think I sport. Man, did He get me. And so gently pointed it out to me. Not "in your face". Not in church. Not with some great bible verse or awesome song on the radio. Nope - in the kitchen, cleaning up the remnants of whatever meal, while all was quiet. I saw my own self flashed before me, brought to my attention. It wasn't early shattering. It didn't, at that time, drop me to my knees in shame. It was just quiet. Quick. Uneventful. But I saw it. Yuck.
At the cross you beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees
And since then, I have been reflecting on my self, my attitudes, my words, my affect. After taking a moment to think on it, it's not hard to notice my selfish bad attitude, so lacking in grace, sticking out like a sore thumb. Not everyone can see it (thank GOD) but I do. Even my husband did.
I forgot to have grace when I so quickly judged everyone else's motives. I forgot to look at who they are, how they feel, and who they have been to me (a blessing). I failed to stand in their shoes, and be thankful to even know them. I forgot to see their struggles and remember I am exceedingly blessed, despite my own life's struggles or challenges.
At the cross you beckon me
You draw me gently to my knees
And I am lost for words
So lost in love
I am sweetly broken
Holy surrender
What a great Christmas lesson, eh? But really, it is a gift. The sweetness. The love that comes with being broken. The freedom you feel in that correction. Weird, but true.
  • My baby loves me... a LOT. Oh wait. I already knew that. But still. He's just happiest with me. And I'm perfectly happy with that arrangement.
  • A glass of wine is a wonderful idea after a tour of the wall marts on *Christmas Adam.
  • When your neighbors know you're a mom of five little kids, they will go out of their way to find you a corkscrew when yours mysteriously goes unexplainably missing. Even in a snowstorm. They will search in boxes untouched for five years, they will drive to other neighbors and bring one back to  you. My neighbors ROCK.
  • Small children puking is a real buzz kill.
  • My long-time habits of procrastination and being unprepared are very much alive today.
  • There are not enough brain cells to remember all the funny things your kids say.
  • Children think McDonald's, drive thru even, is a great Christmas eve supper.
  • I have no guilt (ok, a little bit) taking my kids to McDonald's on Christmas eve.

*Christmas Adam - the day before Christmas Eve. Courtesy of Jason and Taya Gray.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Oh, it's gonna be a memorable Christmas

Know what the great thing about puke is? Nothing.

My 2 littles (baby excluded) began the fun puke-a-thon at precisely 11:37 pm tonight. Or rather, yesterday. I would have been asleep but I was still nursing an apparenly ravenous baby, and when I tried to wrench myself from him (to do things like go to the bathroom, take out my contacts, eat supper) he just screamed bloody murder. Like he did for about 25 minutes while I was helping Cheeks and Boots deal with their barfed on selves, and beds, etc. I managed to get it all over myself, even in my hair, so I had to take a shower before I could even go pick him up. Poor baby. But I really don't want to infect him, if at all possible. Now he's in la-la land, blissfully unaware. I wish I could join him but I'm still walking that line of "are they done puking yet or not." So I wait. We're going on round two of ToyStory.

I'm actually surprised they haven't fallen asleep yet. They're just so mesmerized by the tv, it's odd. Even as they're hunched over a bowl, they try to keep their eyes on the tv. I guess it's an ok diversion from the really sucky part of dry heaves. Except, it's not really a diversion. They're still painfully aware that it's no fun at all.

It always works out that the Kong isn't home for this stuff, either. He's got a crazy work schedule this winter so anything home related falls in my lap. Except the snow shoveling. He's done all that. But the regular stuff, plus Christmas shopping and now barf-o-rama, that's all me. I'm not sure we're gonna make it for family stuff tomorrow. We probably shouldn't do family stuff. You know, to keep the germs contained.

So fun.

I just wanna sleep.

Monday, December 13, 2010

When the kids are grown...


When the kids are grown the house will be clean.
'Til then, make a path.

I love this saying.

I came across it about 7-8 yrs ago, I think. It suites me.

I'm not completely domestically challeneged. I mean, I can clean and be tidy and I like to be organized... but I'm a FAR CRY from the obsessive compulsive cleaner my MIL is. My mom wasn't a bad housekeeper, but 'anal' would not even make the top 100 in words I would use to describe her home-keeping qualities. I wasn't raised in that sort of magazine quality tidybowl wonderland. My dearest hunka hunka burnin' love, Kong, however, was. The kind of clean where you scrub the kitchen floor on hands and knees kind of clean. (I remember my mom doing that... once... when her anal housekeeper mother was coming for a visit. She hand-waxed the kitchen floor. I don't recall any other time she did that. Not to say it didn't happen.) And, his mother is also very gifted in the crafty/home decorator department, so everything always looked beautiful, and back then, she wouldn't probably have let you in the door even if you were on fire or being chased by an axe murderer if there was one thing out of order. (She's a bit more relaxed now.) Given the differences in our upbringing, my hub had different expectations. Expectations of me and what our house "should" look like. Since we, um, cohabitated dated for 3 yrs before marriage, he knew that it wasn't going to be like that with me. That didn't change him wanting it that way, though.

Ah, how much has changed. lol

Not to say that I don't strive to be clean and tidy and clutter free (a MAJOR issue), but some people just seem to be gifted in this area, and I am not one of them. It's harder for me, not automatic. I think it stems off my procrastination tendencies - the whole "I'll deal with this later" pattern. But I digress. Actually, having many monkeys is probably challenging me to be better, work harder, at achieving and maintaining domestic blissdom. (Thus, the entry way project that I almost but not quite demanded pre-baby.)

I will forever deal with piles and putting things away now rather than later (when multiple small people are screaming for supper, it's easier to pile up all those things on the table in one fell 3-second swoop and set it aside for "later" than to take 15 minutes to "deal" with it all, in effort to curb the madness). It's a bad bad habit. Worse than nail biting. But I have grown and improved, and I do that to "please my hubby" and to challenge myself. It just feels good to have a clean home.

Though I'm sure it would feel even better to have a home that actually has storage. Like closets. And cabinets. And with an upstairs bathroom. But I'm happy I have a home at all. Some don't. So I count my blessings there.

Today, I recalled this saying, after my 2 babysitters, 3 of her sisters, and her mom, showed up unannounced, to see the baby. (Boy am I glad I had clothes on.) And there we stood, them looking upon my as-is house, with laundry piled 2 feet high, taking up chair and couch. Dirty diapers on the floor next to the garbage can (I will never be a basketball star). Toys strewn from here to kingdom come. And my ever-cluttered entertainment center that is the bane of all catch-alls. Nevermind the counter full of dishes etc. I am who I am. Tidy is not my strong suite. I have 5 children, one of which is in the "major time suck" stage, suck being the key word - as in suckle, not aweful. Another who is busy, naughty and 2, as if that needs any more explanation. And a third who just loves to play her heart away and leave a path of her creative juices fancy dresses.

So... when the kids are grown, or at least all in school, the house may, or may not, be clean. Til then, you'll just have to love me for who I am, and make a path to the couch. I sort of promise there won't be anything dangerous or gooey there. I would say it would be Lego-free (cuz every parent knows how much it hurts to step one one of those things) but that would be last week. This week, it's a complete dangerzone.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

In what should be a FB status posting...

 The good thing about Danskin moisture wicking apparel that you never thought of before is...

... the shirts are good not only for keeping moisture off your body, but it also does a mighty fine job of not displaying such moisture. You know... like sweat... or breastmilk leakage.

You're welcome.

A very handy characteristic when you are at your childrens' school "Holiday" program, baby in sling, and about 20 admiring adults are swarming, and checking out your baby, which consequently, is resting right next to your, um, leakage.

And you clearly see why I didn't post that as my FB status. Seeing as a certain riot of sorts errupted the last time I mentioned breasts or pumps or things of that nature.

Have a good day. My ever-ravenously hungry boy is calling. LOUDLY.

Oh, and thanks to Heather for the shirt. I can already tell I'll be wearing this one a LOT.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Full Circle Moment

I had two conversations this evening, in which I had opposite perspectives, that collided into one great defining and teaching moment for me.

I love those. It's like a big fat HELLO! from God.

I was talking to my mom on the phone about another family member. I was remembering how, growing up, this person was a great listener, and that was something that impacted me positively. I always knew that I could go to them to talk, and be listened to, that what I had to say mattered, my thoughts and feelings, there was no judgement, no "parental"-like argument about what I should/should not do. It gave me the chance to think through my own thoughts and come to my own, maybe slightly guided, conclusions about life, love and all that lay in between. There was no need on the part of the other person, as my mom eloquently stated, to be the professional, the fixer, the solution finder. Instead, they offered love and support in the form of a listening ear.

At another point in the conversation, my mom made a statement about remembering who we are in Christ, that I am a child of God, and that's where our identity lies, not in our profession or status or whatever marker society has flagged for us.

Fast forward about 20 minutes when I put the kids to bed. I had lost my temper, George getting the brunt of it, in my frustration over last-minute "I'm hungry's" and the never ending stalling about going to bed. After rescuing Mr. Huggyface from the dreaded couch pillow that attacked him while I was upstairs (poor guy was wailing something fierce), I retreated back upstairs to re-check on things. Girls were tucked, Koko lovingly reading a story to Cheeks, Boots was zonked, and George asked why I had come into his room. This just led into him getting a very sad lip, and I knew I needed to apologize for my temper and hand out a few hugs to smooth over then jagged edges my flare had left behind. Boy, I just didn't know what was coming.

George has never been a fan of school. There are a million and one reasons why, all valid, but as a parent I get tired of the whining and complaining and obstinance in regards to all things school related. Undeniably, my listening skills go flying out the window; I just don't want to hear it anymore. And the same applies to "mama's time", when all kiddies are supposed to be in bed, and one trots down with reason #547 as to why they should stay up or can't fall asleep, etc. The last thing I want to do is listen to more kid stuff. I want to be selfish and have "me" time and relax, do what I want, have a nice snack, etc without interruption, without someone demanding/needing something from me. I do not want to hear about how he hates math or whatever the case may be. But tonight, I knew I needed to sit, hug, and listen.

There's nothing that pulls at your heartstrings more than when your child, alligator tears streaming and sad lip protruding, says he doesn't have any friends, no one likes him, and no one will play with him. My first inclination was to ask why, and what can you do, etcetera and so on. You know... FIX. But this became a very circular conversation, in which I eventually just said, well, sorry and go to sleep. Loving, eh?

So down I trotted, babe in arms, to have as much "me" time (on FB) as I could, dismissing the complaints of my eldest child. But as I sat down at the computer, the mommy guilt set in. What did I do? What could I do? What was it that we may have done wrong in parenting? Were we not rich enough? Cool enough house? Fun enough parents? Have we failed at providing good examples of friendship relationships? Is there something wrong with my child? Was this because I was not a "popular" kid in school? Was I passing my "misfit"-ness along to him, to suffer the social torment I experienced from third grade on?

Such heavy questions.

It was a comment from a Facebook friend that zinged in and hit the bulls eye, smack on center.

"Just hug him and tell him how much u love him and remind him how much God loves him too!"

Listen, affirm his feelings, remind him of the truth, love. Do not fix.

Not that as a parent we can't do things to help, but ultimately the best thing is to let them figure out how to "fix" things themselves.

By this time he had come downstairs to continue the argument as to why I should let him stay up late and skip school. So I got up and went to him, gave him another hug. I told him that I was sorry he had hard times at school, that people saying mean stuff to him hurt my feelings too because I knew what a great kid he was, and I love him so much, and so does God.

And then, he went to bed with not much arguing.

A very big reminder to listen first, love more. But don't rush in to "tell him all the stuff he needs to know in this life lesson." He'll figure it out, I'm sure. Life has a way of working itself out. My ability to listen to him, to offer my attention and my love, to teach him who he IS, that he has worth in my eyes and in God's, speak more to his heart than any grand schemes at play dates and friend making I could conjure up.

Bingo. Past and present unite. And I just reminded myself of what kind of parent I want to be.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Sweetness and Light

This Thanksgiving, we were very thankful. Who wouldn't be with a gift like this...


Lucas Wendell was born (by induction) on Thanksgiving day, just before 4pm.

Lucas means 'Bringer of Light' or 'Luminous'.



This Thanksgiving turkey weighed a "whopping" 8 lbs 5 oz.

He has jet black fuzzy-spikey hair, just like his sisters, though daddy is convinced he'll turn out "blond, just like the others." (I don't think any of them are really blond. A very dark dishwater blond maybe, but I'm more apt to call George light brown. I'm sure it'll darken, anyway.)

Little "Wookus" has the. softest. cheeks. ever. and I love
kissin' on 'em and rubbing my face against his, every chance I get.
And I get to a lot. Cuz I'm a baby hog. It's a proven fact.


We feel very blessed to have been gifted such beautiful and healthy children.
Our house may not be quiet or tidy, but it's never dull, lifeless or lacking in love.

Thank you, Lord, for these enormous blessings.
May we honor you in our parenting.
We ernestly ask for your wisdom and guidance, as our charge is not taken lightly.
Thank you for your grace and unconditional love that is undeservedly lavished upon us.
May we bless you back, as our show of thanks. In Jesus name, Amen.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

My aesthetic inspiration

I feel like I should mention my inspiration for my living room, and why I painted my entry a dark blue. Besides the obvious reason of many small dirty hands.

My hubs said today that he could imagine getting a rustic red and painting stars and stripes on one end wall.

Uh...


Yeah. About that....



NO. Sorry. You must have forgotten that this is my house.

er, I mean, um, that it's the woman's place to decorate the home. Or.. um. You can decorate your garage, basement and pick up; I get the inside.

Something like that.

But that's very sweet on the Americana vibe. But no.


Anyway. When I lived in Madrid, Spain during 1995-96, I visited an exhibit of a certain Spanish painter named Joaquin Sorrolla. At the exhibit they sold a few of his prints for really really cheap, and being a poor college student in need of nice decor, plus also thinking of souvenirs, I bought a couple. These two are the ones I bought, and I love them both.

But since it won't let me copy the photos here, you'll just have to check out the links.



They both have that sort of impressionist feel to them. I love the light, and the colors. And probably the fact that they're Spanish.

My plan is to paint the living room a light orangish- terracotta color. Hubs has always said that the ceiling needs to be replaced first. I had decided I wasn't waiting for that any more, but it might be in the nearer future. We'll see.

But, actually, if it was left up to him, we'd have white walls (we don't but they're a really hideous off-white and very banged up and dirty, which might be worse), white tab-top curtains (which we do - they were given to us for free), and leather furniture (which I do like). I just think white is so institutional and cold. I like warm, fun, inviting, comfy. He likes white. He doesn't clean, though. I do. And I hate white. So I trump. For the cleaning. :D

Oh gosh I couldn't wait!

yeeeeeee. New things are so exciting.

I couldn't wait to show you. It's so pretty. He's not even done painting and the paint is wet, but look how perty!


Nothing more exciting that doing things to spruce up your home.

Unless of coarse, you count having a baby.

Which I'm not doing right now.

sigh.

But yay for paint!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Because I know you're dying to know...

Here's a few updates on what's been going on in this zoo over here...

My LIST. And to include in it, I have done just about every stitch of laundry in the house (even washed some dress-up clothes today), done some mending, gone shopping for last minute baby items, cleaned out some closets, and normal housekeeping stuff, like today when I cleaned the bathroom, kitchen, stove, swept (under the fridge even, which is where I found the missing mp3 player!!) and mopped the kitchen and bathroom, picked up and vacuumed the living room, not to exclude vacuuming under the couch cushions and under the couch - things I don't always do. I know this is all fabulously fascinating, but it's a true testament for myself if nothing else that I'm nesting like crazy, which, as I said before, I've never done in previous pregnancies. And let me tell ya, it's truly miraculous that I've done all this. It's soooo not like me. Trust me.



The Entry. My project of choice, in the push to get things done before baby. Kong has been a rock star in working is fingers to the bone, both at his job and here, and made like a bandit on Sunday getting the sheetrock mudding done, sanded and primed, and the flooring installed with the heat duct slots cut out. It still needs the ceiling and walls painted, and the light fixture installed, but here's the progress so far.

Looking towards the far corner, door and window to the left.

Rug is a 4x6 industrial floor mat from Lowe's. SO happy about that. 
 
From the far side of the living room, looking at the entry.
 It's very weird that the stop sign showed up so clearly.

Our (or at least MY, haha) plans (for hubby to do) are to trim out the door, window, baseboards and around the entire divider/half wall in oak, I think (as we can afford it, some time after Christmas), and build some sort of system to house all the backpacks, boots, mittens and jackets that flood our home from November to April. Cubbies, hooks, lockers... I don't know. Just so it's easy for the kids and out of my way.

And because I realized I don't think I've updated on this guy in a while...

Squirt. Here are some recent pics of our beloved Western Painted turtle (since I just cleaned his tank). He has grown quite a bit in the year and a half since we got him, though I don't think he's grown much over the last 4-5 months. And he's not really eating right now. Not sure if it's a water temp problem (too cold and they sort of shut down) or seasonal or he's just not liking his food. Maybe a protest of all the crap that was floating in his tank? Sorry Squirt. I'm a bad bad turtle-mama. I'll buy you some crickets as a reward.

If you may remember from this post, he was about as big as a quarter when we got him.

Giving the camera some attention. He posed for a long time. He likes me. Probably because I feed him.

Showing off his plastron (underside).

And that's all I have for today. I think I'm going to power walk my living room in an effort to move myself into labor. I have accomplished enough that I feel ready to go. All that was needed has been done and taken care of, and in my opinion, it's time for baby to come out. COME ON, BABY!!! (who I think has a name. :D)


Friday, November 19, 2010

Tick tock

I have no time to waste, and I'm like a whirling (albeit fat and waddling) dervish trying to get stuff done. (Man, if only I had this much energy when I wasn't prego and ready to pop!) No time to blog, and really, I shouldn't even take time for FB but I'm an addict, plus, a girl's gotta sit sometime. My "to-do" list is getting tackled quite nicely and that leaves me with that wonderful feeling of accomplishment. It probably helps, though, that every time I do something not of the norm, I add it to the list just so I can cross it off.

Maybe I'll post a pic of it later.

I think I have everything set for baby to come home from the hospital, at least. Or close. Car seat cover and going home outfit are purchased. Bassinet has been dug out. Diapers are ready and waiting. I found some suitable pajamas in my drawer, though no luck on a nursing gown. Ooh... fun!... I found the nursing cover (Maria) I had gotten for free + shipping a while back when I figured it would just be a good baby gift, AND I ordered a kangaroo sling (Autumn Blaze) with the same kind of deal online this week. SO EXCITED to have new baby-mama toys.

The Kong will be doing local work after tonight so he can be closer to home in case I need him, and hopefully he'll be able to knock off some more stuff in terms of getting the entry closer to done. I don't think it'll have painted walls AND installed flooring, but ya never know. It would be glorious if we could get some coat hook system up before then too, but that's reeeaaally dreaming big. That's the whole goal of this project, though; to have actual flooring and some place where the kids can hang their own coats, and I don't have to be the one doing that for 6 people. When you live in Minnesota, there's just way too much outerwear to deal with and have strewn all over the place. So I'm really excited to have this project underway.

We have a mouse. He likes butter. It's gross.

Nothing like little footprints in your butter when you go to make toast in the morning.

**shivers**

Gotta set a trap tonight. Blech. We've only had one before, and that was this summer. Now it seems as though another one has gotten in, and we're at a loss for where they might be coming in at (we've got a nice high basement and have never had a prob in the 7+ yrs we've lived here). My best guess is the dilapidated side door that needs to be removed altogether. But... I'm fixin' to spray foam the door shut (to help keep out the cold air) and then plastic it (yeah, sounds so "trailer") so hopefully that will keep any further furry friends from seeking warm shelter in my house. Knock on wood.

Man... I'm just so excited. I don't suppose you can tell. Filled with anticipation. I can't wait to meet my newest babe, and I think Kong is really getting excited too. He loves babies. Now, if I could only get him to agree on the name I want, we'd be set. Though, he's sort of coming around on that, though, since I: 1. have been stressed out really bad lately 2. am about to give birth, and 3. I "let" him get a new pickup this week. AND he got to pimp it out a little (chrome door handles, a topper, and duel exhaust. Boys. *shakes head*). Already we've gotten the flooring that was my first choice, and he did a little more work on the entry first before going and doing what he wanted to do - at my "gentle urging." lol He may have mentioned something about letting me choose the name I wanted since he was tired of talking about it. We'll see if that sticks. And actually, it's the name that George suggested. I really think it's the one. I hope so.

OK OK. really.... gotta go.

:D :D :D :D

Monday, November 8, 2010

Nesting

I've been nesting like crazy. I've never really done much of that in previous pregnancies, so it's weird. Maybe? with George, but we were so deep in home renovation projects, just to make our house habitable enough to bring an infant home to, and hubby was as much or more on that band wagon as I was. (Consequently, my water broke 3 weeks early, after a weekend spent on hands and knees rolling out the new flooring in the kitchen. And no, he was still not in the right position, and came - or tried to - sunnyside up. OUCH!) This time round it's me dragging him along. I wish men understood nesting. But he's working hard (at his job) and so has not been as gung ho about working more when he comes home. I get that. But....

Needless to say, I've got a list a mile long. Much like the list of Summer 2010.

I was like a crazy woman on Saturday. I mean, I washed my front door with a toothbrush, people!!! And cleaned the fridge, did some laundry, washed some windows, did dishes, cleaned the stovetop, sweeping, vacuuming (the kind where you get out the hose and do all the nooks and crannies), etc. Yesterday, after church and groceries, I raked leaves. Then I was tired.

Projects I've currently got in the works: painting a dresser, storing/organizing kids clothes, painting the stairwell/hallway, and doing something to the entry to deal with winter gear.

Today, I'm working some more on painting a dresser (for me) but have met a snag. So I decided to write down / organize / prioritize a "to-do" list. That way Kong can look on there for his possible contributions, or when he asks me I can whip it out and send him on his way. I also like to put things on the list that we / he may have already done. It feels good to have stuff marked off the list, get those accomplishments noted somewhere.

So in conversation about the entry, I may have just accidentally hijacked my hubby's hunting plans and got him to volunteer to build a half wall and put down flooring. Hm. Volunteered, that is, once he found out I was considering spending $90 on temporary floor mats to cover the plywood flooring that's in there currently, which is not much less than flooring would probably cost. So... :D

Hope that works out.

Otherwise, some deer meat would be good too.

Now I gotta run. I have kids to pick up and leaves to rake. (And I had BETTER have gained at least one more centimeter by my next OB appointment after all this.)


Friday, November 5, 2010

The problem with apples...

.. is that they can be hard to chew...


... especially when...


... you're missing a lot of teeth.


Thursday, November 4, 2010

Another run in with scissors

You might be a little shocked to see this on your floor...


And think you might need to cry.

 But then you'd see this...


And this...


And you'd smile too!


When she looked in the mirror she came back and said, "Oh, I'm so beautiful!" Love it.

And thanks to my friend Sarah who "saved the day". You can hardly tell what a mess it was before or that there was a major error there. AND!! we didn't even have to leave the house. Woo hoo!!!

My girl is happy and her mama is happy. Plus, the added bonus of less to brush (and cry over) will be such a treat. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

So glad it's over.

Well, it would be safe to say that I'm glad Halloween is over. I enjoy the festivities, but we seemed to have a few glitches this year that wanted to steal the fun. In the end, fun won, but I was one tired Mrs. Bananas (and trust me when I say 'emphasis on bananas').


Cheeks - Kitty, Koko - Heart, George - Storm Trooper 

We did manage to get our pumpkins carved (well, except mine) before trick or treaters came. It was a late night finale for George, who enjoyed every minute of that late night hanging with is idol, King Kong, and having some one-on-one time, while mama diligiently carved away. I'm all for non-traditional carving, and love to get artsy with it. Given the time (and energy) constraints, I printed off some easy-to-choose-from designs for the kids (online templates ROCK!), and we went to town on those pumpkins. George was happy attacking his with the markers, while Koko and Cheeks scooped the goop to their hearts content. Cheeks took a while to warm up to the slime factor of it all, but once she did, she wouldn't leave the bowl of innards alone. George's pumpkin was the only one that was a more free-handed ordeal. I found a pumpkin pattern he liked online, but there was no option to print out a template, just a pic, so I just "copied" it best I could. Came out great, and all were happy.

Then came the costumes and hitting the streets.

A certain child, who's mother spent the most on and looked the hardest for his costume not so kindly refused to wear it. This did not make for a happy mama. After "joking" with my mom about putting a sign on him that said "2 and stubborn" I put on his jacket and said, let's go. But... as we were heading out the door, me still slightly frustrated, I kept thinking what I could do when I came up with this wonderful idea:


Yes, you read that right. It says 'STUBBORN.' I told one of the girls to grab a marker, and I plastered it on his forehead. Total stress reliever. lol. It's not unkind; It's the truth. :D Both parties left happy, and everyone thought it was funny.

Then we had this princess who just rocked the Snow White. When she had her school party, she trotted around in the hallways like a true queen. It was so cute to see. You could tell she felt like a princess. Then mommy put lipstick on her for the actual event and, well, she hasn't stopped asking to wear lipstick since.


Next was our beautiful belly dancer. What's so funny was her modesty when trying on the costume, concerned that people would see her tummy and laugh. I told her that when she wore her swim suit you she wasn't worried about that and this was no different. That worked fine for her. She also enjoyed the make-up part of the evening (and to tell you the truth, mommy had fun putting it on them), but I also saw my future as mother of a heartbreaker. She is unargueably a beauty.


And if eating, sleeping, playing, and breathing Star Wars wasn't enough, we managed to obtain a Darth Vader costume for George, which pleased him to no end. (Thanks, Grandma!)


So after I lost Cheeks costume suddenly and spent two hours looking for it (and stressing and pacing and crying and tearing my hair out), I found it, and we finally made it out the door, albeit 2 hours late. It was a good finale to a less than stellar day as we enjoyed our first-ever jaunt around the neighborhood as trick-or-treaters.


And after hitting a couple blocks, we came home for gloves and coats, and hit the streets some more.

The End.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Normal

I just got totally lost in a book for the last three hours. Can't believe it's so late. And I still have to get all the costume stuff together (and let's not think about that hemline amendment with a little lace contribution I was going to make. Uh oh. giggle).

It took me about a day to get over the hair incident. Only to be replaced by a new incident of losing the order form for the Girl Scout nut sales. Did I mention that most people paid already... in cash? Uh, yeah. That kinda sucks. I pretty much worked myself into a tizzy looking for the dang thing, and so I just stopped. Now I'm praying it shows up. Especially since I ordered a whole bunch of stuff in anticipation that it will.

Now we're on to Halloween prep and strep throat.

And may I just say, regardless of your own personal convictions regarding all the fanfare of this season, if your kid gets those vampire teeth at their party at school... just throw. them. away. My preschooler had her party early (and totally rocked the Snow White thing, sorry, no pics) and got no less than TWO pair of teeth, that then proceeded to make the rounds of all my children's mouths, despite my feeble protests. Well, today George tested positive for strep, and I'm just waiting for all others to follow suite. Fun fun.

So it's just normal here. And I can't help but laugh at typing that. What IS normal, anyway?

I think this winter is going to be a very interesting one. At least God kind of prepares you. Or warns you.
The outcome will be good, regardless.

Baby continues to rock and roll. "Play" times are more distinct now, usually. Just trying to figure out the best time to plan the labor is what stumps me. You know. Like you can plan that kind of thing. Haha. I'm sure it will all end up just fine.

Oh wait. Huggyface is having a dance party. Woohoo. I always wonder just what they do in there that feels like a certain movement. Little tickles on the side, or a certain limb pushing up in a particular spot. Wish I had a magic camera, with xray vision, that I could use to see inside.

I have really bad reflux at the moment from 2 fajita/burritos I ate. Ugh.

I found my UdderCover! Yay. (Mine is the Maria.) So excited to try new things. I'm still trying to figure out a way to put legwarmers on a boy. They weren't really the fashion when I had my girls. Neither were they cute knit caps with big bows, of which they sell millions of on Etsy. I didn't know about etsy then, either. I don't think I can get away with bows on a boy, but legwarmers, maybe. I'm probably buying a stroller/carseat combo tomorrow. Off Craigslist. Actually, I don't think I've bought anything off Craigslist either. I suddenly feel so behind the times. Help! Help! Save me from becoming a fuddy-duddy!

Well, I should go sew or bake cupcakes or something. I think I've rambled enough here, right?

Thanks for stopping by. :D

Sunday, October 24, 2010

I don't even know what to call this post except "I want to cry"

We have been growing her hair out for a long, l o n g , VERY long time. I thought I posted about her cutting her hair, but was unable to find such a post. I did find this one that was written, what, in March 09 I think. If you scroll down in that post you will see pics of Cheeks and a rather nasty hair-do, particularly in the bangs area. And please notice I said March of 2009. Not 2010. We have had so very many episodes of hair cutting here that I have totally lost track of when they happen. Hers have always been a doozy, and to be fair, she may not have been the initiator of the last one. But, again, we have been growing out these lovely mistakes for months. Many many months. Now, it's straggly, the odd bits have grown out some, her bangs are in her eyes. It's time. Past time. It's been on the docket to get her into a salon, not just a mommy chop job, even, and get her be-a-U-ti-fied. I just haven't had the opportunity yet (and now, I'm waiting for payday).

Tonight the kids were watching a movie, Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium, while I made supper, then I called them in to eat. And after that we all sat down to finish the movie, when it dawned on Kong, that some inspiration may have come from this movie.

While we were eating, Miss Cheeks got up from the table because she was done, and went to the bathroom. Later, she came into the kitchen, and I have since forgotten what she said, but it clued us into the fact that she had CUT HER HAIR... again. Well, what she was saying and the long strands on hair hanging oddly from her head and the HUGE GAPING HOLE around her forehead where hair once shaggily covered.

At this point, what do you do? I was so mad. So devastated. So frustrated. Sad and mad. And I wanted to ring her little neck and cry at the same time. How long, oh how loooonnnggg I have suffered the absolute mess and disaster that is her hair, patiently waiting for the day when all could be rectified and she could finally have a nice haircut, something cute, that doesn't make her look like some kind of street urchin or negelected child.

Seriously? The only fix that will even it up would be a buzz cut. Yes, it's THAT SHORT in the front. See?

See how there's a raggedly line, and then just above that there's a kind of bald spot or more skin showing? Yeah, that's a 2-level cut. The pic doesn't really do it justice in showing the damage.

And just to give you and idea of the quantity of hair we're talking about here, because there are pieces cut from the sides and even the back, here's some of the hair. This is what Kong found in the bathroom.

And these long strands laying on the floor, those are similar to what was hanging off the back of her head, as well as trailed through the 3 rooms she walked through to get to the kitchen to show us her lovely new do.

Wouldn't you cry? It took all the strength I could muster, and THEN SOME, to not scream and shout and spank and tell her it looked ugly. Because it does. I'm so tired of her having this *(&(dkf$%*^ldkf!#%jsld hairdo. I just want her to be cute. And with a nice NORMAL hairdo.

We think she may have gotten some inspiration from Natalie Portman's very short, pixie-ish hair in the movie. And while that may be what we come to, Natalie Portman doesn't have very round chubby cheeks, unlike my Miss Cheeks, and I don't imagine it will bear the same level of cuteness on my girl.

Sigh.

Sigh some more.

My friend says I should laugh. Maybe 10 yrs from now. Right now I'm just working on not crying. Or taking a buzzer to her head.




Monday, October 11, 2010

Belly Shots

Not of the vodka variety. No six-packs here (unless you count the amount of stretch marks in a 3 square millimeter area).


They probably all look pretty much the same. (And it's weird I'm wearing my glasses in all of these, when I usually don't wear my glasses.) This was more of an experiment in playing with collages on Piknic. I wish they had a "tool" for removing double chins. In real life. (yeah, it's called a gym membership. :D ) lol I'm trying to decide if I actually look skinnier. I know. Should not be my goal. But I still have only gained about 6 lbs. And now, my "fancy-free" eating is about to end as my blood sugar is becoming more sensitive. sigh. (What sucks is that Halloween is always a time when I, ahem, enjoy the "bounty" of the holiday.) At least it's only for another "few" weeks. Not much time left. FREAK!

And actually, I was thinking today that I really need to talk to doc about inducing and when she thinks that might happen. (With GD that is usually what she does.) Friday after thanksgiving would be good, but it all depends on how they mess with the hub's work schedule.

Baby moves tons, but he definitely has times of sleep and awake. The kids are enjoying putting their hands on mama's tummy to feel baby move. Yesterday I thought about getting out the video camera as he was really rockin' and rollin'. Have you ever seen those videos on YouTube of crazy belly moves? I can't say I've ever had the kind of alien movement that some of them show. It's still cool. And the vids are fun to watch.

I'm measuring great. I haven't had any more problems with contractions. My back doesn't hurt too bad... yet. I have gotten a massage twice, the last one just before my ob appt. When she checked the heartbeat it was in the 130's. Usually it's 150's. I commented that that seemed pretty low. She said baby's just relaxed. Now I know why. It's a good thing. I still worry about baby's head being down. I can't wait til my next ultrasound.

Oh, and we have a  p r o b l e m .  WE NEED NAMES!!!! Kong likes names that start with Br-, and I don't. I like Levi or Judd or Jude or Eli or Evan or ... ones that he doesn't. The only one we both were like, hmm... was Dixon, and that one didn't pass the test for, ahem, obvious reason. Just asking for trouble and teasing. What I do know is, the kid won't leave the hospital without one. What I hope doesn't happen is that he leaves with a name like Brock. Or Brett. (Nothing against those names, it's just they don't really fit us. imo) Less common is better but not too weird. (Not that I care, it's hubs that likes more "normal" names.) Suggestions?

Oh, and just the first name. Middle's picked out. Decided long ago. Not that it was ever a choice. When you give all of the rest of your children your own middle name, you can't really break protocol with the last one.

I can't think of anything else to say. Other than I'm addicted to Teen Mom and 16 and Pregnant. (Oh, and they filmed a 16 and Pregnant here this summer!!! Not that that's cool, really, but maybe ? a little?) I haven't even watched any of Grey's Anatomy because of it. GASP!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Crash Bang Boom

The sound of cars, blocks, buckets-o-stuff.

It's a boy thing. Boots loves to dump. I think it's just for the sound.

Or maybe the satisfaction of making a mess that mommy just cleaned. (another of his favorite activities, undoing that which I just did). Which drives me crazy. Which is why the title "Mrs. Bananas" is appropriate for me. That, and I'm the mom of many monkeys. And that I will have birthed 5 of them, all within 7 yrs. (But hey, living next to a family of 10, with some other neighbors who will have 11, and countless other large families I know, I feel pretty normal. As normal as I can, at least.)

But I digress.

Maybe it's just the concept of dumping. Cause and effect?

That leads to this...

Please note that this is a scrap of carpet that is covering mere plywood underlayment. I would NEVER let my carpet get that disgusting normally. Besides being the entry to our back door, it's where the kids do crafty stuff like painting and playdough and coloring my door with waterproof mascara, and, apparently, dump out cereal. I would shampoo it but the plywood... yeah, no. So just don't look. 

I mean, in this case, it wasn't the loud crash bang boom. Clearly. I suppose Cheery O's do make a nice sort of whooshing sound when an entire box is dumped on the floor.


I was alerted to the fact that this event had taken place not by any crash bang boom or whoosh, not by a child shouting out "Mooooooom. Boots dumped out the cereal." I didn't walk into the kitchen area and feel the crunch under my feet. Oh No. My two youngest tots kept merely running back and forth, from addition to den, checking on me, and trailing that stuff throughout the entire main floor. It was the crunch-crunch under their feet that hadn't been there before in the room I was in, that made me look up and wonder, what's that sound?

So I followed the trail. And brought "you" with me.

The song in the background is JJ Heller's Your Hands. Awesome song.
video

 And yes, I know that the wood flooring needs a coat of paint. Desperately. But since it's in the room that leads to our ONLY bathroom, it's kind of hard to cordon off that room for a week to let the paint properly dry. Nevermind finding the time with 4 young children.

My house needs much repair. But you should have seen it before. Uffda.

I guess I should be less upset when it's the tub of blocks or potato head pieces that he's dumped. Much easier to clean.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Daily deposit

I just found a load of laundry that has been in the washer, forgotten, since sometime over the weekend. Probably Saturday. Can we just say, "Grody to the MAX." Whoops!

I think I have some psychic connection to the world around me. I can't tell you how many times I totally unconsciously pick out outfits for kids and myself that are the same color, so then we look like a bunch of weirdos all running around in green. Or red. And then one of the kids will also pick out their own outfit that matches. And Grammie will be wearing the same color. Stuff like that. It's weird. Completely unintentional. Now this cosmic connection is invading my cooking. I rarely plan meals more than 20 minutes ahead of time (and yes, I realize how much of a problem this is and how much it complicates my life and stresses me out) but twice, no, thrice in the last week and a half I have planned the same thing for supper as the kids had for lunch. Both times involving pizza. Only, this time, pizza is what I planned for tomorrow, but we're having it today instead of tacos. Unfortunately, homemade pizza takes a long time (dough rises for an hour). So once again, we will be practicing European meal times and eating post- 7:30 pm. Oh well.

I hope the yeast works this time. I'm not really a fan of flat-bread pizza. Actually, it's more like deadbread.

My contractions have basically stopped, which I'm glad for. It is very possible that it was linked to dehydration, though my normal response is to get a raging headache. The thing I don't like about dehydration, not that there's much to like about it, is that it takes so freakin' long for my body to rehydrate itself, so I must endure whatever misery for days. Today I'm hydrated, and now I have a headache. Go figure.

And now my kid is banging on the xylophone. A w e s o m e .

In response to the contractions, I have tried to do more things sitting down, like food prep and cooking. So when I'm making a meal, the kids tend to come sit at the table with me. Naturally they want to help, which is all fine and dandy (ok, no it's not, but I can't help it) except for all the sneezing and coughing they do all over the contents of our meals. Greeeaaaattt. I think I may actually get a flu shot this year. At least we're not feeding guests today. (And Sarah, they were not at the table for chicken pot pie prep. :D)

I'm tired of the rain. I need for it to dry up a bit outside. Little boys need to run, and mommy needs it to be mud-free.


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Out of the Mouths of Babes. And Moms

I don't really think about the things I say to my kids. Well, I mean, I DO, but then again, I don't. Not always. (And sometimes those moments I wish I did pay attention come in retrospect, but that's another post.)

So as most moms do, I was multitasking / trying to entertain some littles so I could do other things, all while talking on the phone to my friend. I had put Cheeks and Boots in the bathtub while I paid bills/cleaned the kitchen/made cookies/etc. Boots of coarse was in and out after about 15 minutes but Cheeks was still playing away. I went in to check on her. She had injured herself.

This is what my friend on the phone heared:

"Honey, you can be a monster but just don't hurt your peepee."

She sort of giggled and said, "Well that's not something you hear everyday."

Hm... giggle. I guess not.

Last night, George quickly downed his supper beverage, hopped off his chair and said, "I think I'm drunk." Stunned, I asked him what "drunk" means. He didn't know. "Well, where did you hear that word? (because he certainly didn't hear it from me)" "Martha Speaks." Um, yeah, I don't think so. I never did figure it out.

Makes our recent family conversation about feces, and all the names for feces we could think of, seem pretty normal.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Long story... long.

Well, not that long.

But how else would *I* tell a story.

So I've been having lots of contractions since mid-day Friday. Mild, but they seem essentially continuous. And since I'm only 29 weeks, and I've never experienced this before on any of my previous four pregnancies, that's been worrisome for me.

Today I had my regularly scheduled appt. As expected, my OB checked me and hooked me up to monitor the contractions, baby's heartbeat etc.

If there are any boys/men reading, this is the point at which you can probably just come back later when there's real news to hear. Now, girls, on to the gory details...

So my cervix checked out completely closed and ?long. (I'm assuming that means thick or not effaced.) It was, in fact, "longer" than she expected considering how many pregnancies I've had. So that's good.

She also did an fFN which came back negative. (A test to check if preterm labor is possible or likely within the next 2 weeks. Neg means 97% no, Pos means - it's possible but not for sure.) Also neg on bladder infection/UTI kind of thing.

The monitor showed that I definitely am having contractions. Though they are mild, they are basically constant, rolling up and down frequently (which makes the online info of "more than 4 per hour" a joke for me). And boy, do they make this baby MOVE! He's surely protesting, and I don't blame him. The funny thing on the contractions is, when I was last monitored (with ?Cheeks?, maybe around the 35-36 week mark) my contractions registered around 30 or 40 at least, and I didn't even know I was having them. The nurse pointed it out to me, oh you're having one right now. And I was like, really? Now, they are registering at around 15 and I can definitely tell I'm having them, as they are uncomfortable. Not debilitating, just uncomfortable. And low.

So, I guess the verdict is... nothing, other than I'm having contractions. (Nooo.. really!?!?) Call her if something changes. And try harder to test my sugars. Which I'm not worried about anyway. I think I need to buy a timer that will clip onto my shirt. I just can't remember to check, or recheck, them at the correct time, and it's pointless to do if it's not at the correct time. blah. So boring and tedious, that part. Surprisingly, she never said to stay off my feet. But don't tell my husband that. I'm gonna work that aspect of this whole thing as much as I can. hehe

Hey, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.


Saturday, September 18, 2010

What's new?

What's new in my house? Why, underarm farts and spitballs, of coarse. I have yet to ascertain the answer as to WHO in the bleepity bleep taught my son how to make these offensive things. His father's response to learning of these new skills was to laugh an "oh yeah. hahaha." Well, I'm. NOT. laughing. Let's see you clean those things off the inside of my backseat car windows, Buck-O!

I finally got Koko to stop belching for sport, and now this. We were in Walmart yesterday in search of maternity underwear (which Walmart no longer carries. Old Navy doesn't carry maternity in store anymore either. Ask me how I know. sigh.) because I can't find my "old" ones and I'm getting tired of my draw's either falling down or cutting off circulation. And if being a pregnant mom of 4 children under age 7 doesn't call enough attention to oneself, there's my son farting his armpits. Gosh that's embarrassing. Let's also not forget the 3 yr old then getting left behind in the "Intimates" department, bawling her eyes out.

I think I liked the "butt" phase better. Because "butt" isn't a bad word, and eventually it does become funny. Armpit farts... NOT FUNNY. yet.

Ah, the joys of 6 year old boys.

Let's see... what else? Well, I had contractions yesterday from about noon til well past midnight, which is kinda freaky considering I'm only 29 weeks. It's got this little bugger moving around like crazy, too. Which I like. I have never had contractions, that I knew of anyway, this early. I suppose I need to space out my cleaning tasks a bit more. I do really well, normally, by taking reeeaaalllllyy long breaks parked in a nice comfy chair updating my Facebook obsession needs, but the problem is, when I sit down, I usually never find the motivation to get back up. I'll have to work on that. So yesterday, in a cleaning spree, I picked up "the addition," dismantled a broken table, dealt with some boxes that were stashed there (and coincidentally, found the Mother's Day card for my mom. I'm gonna give it to her late. I don't care. I don't only love her on Mother's Day, right?), moved the furniture around and vacuumed up a ton of popcorn, washed my dishes/pots-and-pans, cleaned the stovetop, flipped the chairs up on the table, swept, mopped, picked up the living room and vacuumed, all in about 2 1/2 - 3 hrs. That probably was overdoing it a bit, which was evidently clear to me when I did sit down, and then promptly informed the Kong that I would be doing essentially nothing on Saturday. Partially due to the history of me doing lots one day and then being totally wiped out and in pain the next. (Let's see how that pans out. A mom doing "nothing" is basically a joke.)

I have actually been a bit worried about premature labor. Not sure if it was triggered by something (maybe one of the many episodes of Teen Mom or 16 and Pregnant I've watched lately. And boy could I write a blog post/rant on each episode I watch. It could be intuition though, so that's disconcerting.) but it certainly got me wondering if I should head to the hospital or just wait it out. The rational side of me said wait, the mom of 4, who recognizes that 2-6 am is not a convenient time to find a babysitter to come over, couldn't sleep. But they weren't too painful, so it really didn't make sense to go in. Thankfully, my mom and a friend were praying for me and I'm certain it helped as I woke up at 6am to make my long travel to the loo, and noticed my belly was seeming better. But man do my tummy, thigh and gluteus maximus muscles hurt today.

All the kids (well, the ones that will go) are in school now, and I'm feeling the relief settle in a bit. Too much time together, not enough time off for the mama. I was getting to be one weary soul, in terms of parenting. And going the whole summer without getting much time for myself just reaffirmed to me how much I NEEEEEED to have that time. And how much I need my Women's Bible Study group. Even with the older ones gone all day, and Cheeks only gone 2 mornings a week, Boots likes to make up for the lack of other noise makers. The first day of school, he walked around shouting and banging as much as he could. I swear. He's toned it down a bit, but let's face it, he's still two. He does seem to like the "alone time" with mama. He makes a little face that's so funny. Kinda like this:


It's sort of smirky while trying not to smile. It says he likes something, but he's trying not to show it. So cute.

And as I alluded to earlier, I'm having problems finding clothes that will fit me that aren't a sort of financial rape to obtain. Even on eBay, maternity clothes are expensive. For USED ones. I did get a great deal on a pair of jeans - I have yet to recieve - but normally there's a huge mark-up on maternity, and it doesn't seem to go on sale much. IMO, 20% isn't really that great of a sale. 40% and now we're talking. Sorry, I'm not paying $45 for one pair of jeans I'll be wearing for a mere 2 months, much less buying two or three. Of coarse I gave away all, or most of, my maternity clothes after Boots was born (because 4 kids is enough, right? hahaha), and the one thing I'm really lacking in, now that the weather has turned cool, is pants. Shorts and white capri pants probably won't carry me til December, I'm thinking. Well.... :D ... Yesterday I happened upon a garage sale where they had a good bit of maternity clothes, and seeing the opportunity and confering with my hubs, I bought up a bunch and am going to try to make a little dough by selling it on eBay myself. I don't think there's any possible way for me to lose money on the deal, so... Wish me luck.

Other than boys stuff and contractions, I'm nesting a little. Mostly in seeing the need for things to be done, and wishing my husband would do it. Haha. That or I'd magically have enough energy and time to do the growing list of things. Some of which can be found here. Things like trimming windows, making curtains, clearing out boxes/getting rid of junk, repainting the entire interior of my house. You know, simple stuff.

So, what's new with you?