Sunday, September 21, 2008

That fallish feeling...

Sunday afternoon. No, a QUIET Sunday afternoon. A thing of dreams, yes?

Here I am - Sunday afternoon and the only noise I hear is the chirping and swinging of the baby swing. My 4 month old, Dawson, is stung and twisted a little so he is better able to suck on the little pillow behind his head. He is in heaven.

The two older children are downstairs playing in the rec room, once in a while I hear one asking the other a question about her Barbie, but otherwise, no yelling, no screaming, no hitting, no noise.

My in-laws are here. Mom-in-law is stug in her room taking a little nap.

My Dad-in-law, husband and two year old Bethany are outside doing some Sunday type chores.

The football game is on, but I am so used to ignoring Football, I hardly notice.

Here I sit. And you know what?

I'm bored.

Sure, I could be cleaning. I could be cooking. I could be doing anything. In fact, I should be cleaning. I should be cooking. I should be doing something. But, I don't wanna. Sometimes in the life of a mom, boredom is a luxery.

Remember when we were kids and we would whine to mom and say "MOM, I'm bored."
My mom would always reply, go clean your room, play with your hamster, play with your sister/brother, go do something. She never told me to enjoy - boredom is a luxery you won't always get!

I do plan to try a new recipe. I know it isn't fall yet, but I have that fallish feeling. My in-laws are visiting, the weather is starting to chill (at night) and it feels like apples and raisins. I am in the mood to get out all my pumpkins and leaves and scarecrows and decorate the house. Make a big apple pie, and maybe some raisin and oat granola bars. I do plan to use this time of peace and quiet to enjoy things I don't typically get to do. If I actually get to do any of it - I will take some pictures so that someone besides me can enjoy those fall decorations! LOL. Of course as soon as I log off with the intension of doing something, well, that is when the in-laws will wake and begin to stir, the baby will start crying, the girls will start fighting and the toddler will play in the mud and need a bath! With a house full of people though, perhaps this day and others like it - I will find myself with the ability to do what I enjoy. That is if I can remember what it is I enjoy!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Better full than empty...

I am stealing that saying from a friend of mine. She states that in one of her blogs. The reason - she states that she is tired of people telling her that she has her hands full. Isn’t that the truth? She, like me, has four children. In a society that the norm is what, 2 and 1/2? I still would like to see that 1/2. My two year old is about a 1/2 of the size of my nine year old, but about five times worth the work. Oh, I am not saying she isn’t worth the effort, all good things in life take effort, but she is, none-the-less, effort, and definately not a 1/2.

Anyway, back to better full than empty. What is Brenda’s point? That people stare at her expanded and “large” family and comment, “WOW, you have your hands FULL!” Her comment back, “Yup - but better full than empty!” I like that. Brenda is a real woman. She is a self proclaimed tree hugging hippie. In many ways, we differ greatly. We don’t share the same religious or political views. She is much more “natural” in her approach than I am. There really isn’t any level we should connect on, but we do. We are moms. I appreciate her and respect her for who she is. She is busy raising her children to be responsible, caring, intelligent people that will better society. That is my goal with my kids too. Now granted, our kids will most likely be on different sides of the issues - both passionate in their cause and both feeling that the other side is wrong, heldfast in their convictions.

Above all else, I hope that they will see the person on the other side of that issue and give them respect. We are all different. We all have our opinions and pigheadedness about us. I like to think I am right all the time, but as I have pointed out in other blogs, even my nine year old has proven me wrong on more than one occasion. I like that. I don’t like being wrong of course, but I like having a child with a mind of her own and a voice that she isn’t afraid to raise. That is the biggest lesson and gift that I would like to see each of my children receive. Along with that gift comes great responsibility. A mouth to voice our opinions, but ears to listen to others. We aren’t always right, we aren’t always wrong, and sometimes we have to agree to disagree. At that point, my hope is that they will have the discernment to know to still love the issue, but love the person more. There isn’t a lot in life that is worth the sacrifice of love just to get our point across.

I read Brenda's blog everytime she blesses her site with a new insight. Like I said, we don't always agree, but I do always learn something that I can take and use in my life. Her words are like mana to my soul. She is a mama who loves her husband and loves her children and strives to do the very best she can with the gifts that God has given her, as I try to do the best I can for mine. That we can always agree on!

I wonder if she too gets the comment, “WOW. Four children. Haven’t you figured out what causes that yet?”

I think next time I get asked that, I may have to tell them that we have a little too much free time at night!

Above all else, as moms know, Brenda is right. Life is better full than empty!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Surely he didn't pee that much!

Well another day, another flood. However, today I got blessed two times with two floods from two different children. Yup, you guessed it, Mischief woke up with no diaper on. Surprise, surprise. Same routine as yesterday.

Pan over to the potty, she is on it. She is admiring it. She has a huge smile on her face.

“Mommy, LOOK. Pee pee.”

Sure. I roll my eyes in disgust. We have been through this many times before.

“Mommy, I pee pee. NUM!”

Okay - num is gum in her two year old language. I know, it is awful, but I have reverted to flat out bribes.

“No, gum, Bethany. You have to actually pee pee in the potty to get gum.”

“Mommy, look in dere - dere is my pee pee.”

I walk over and sure enough there is a TON of pee pee nice and neatly in the potty and this child is PROUD. I started to cry. Wow - hormones are a funny thing. I want her to grow up, I want her to pee in the potty. I do. But with emptying the pee pee into the toilet from her little potty and flushing it, I realize, as I am saying bye-bye pee pee, I am also saying good-bye in part to my toddler that suddenly became a big girl.

As we walk proudly from the restroom, her with a shirt but exposed hiney because she still refuses to wear anything - I hear Dawson from the master bedroom crying. I smile. One down, one to go.

I walk in to pick up my son, and water starts flooding out of his diaper. He is wet, his clothes are wet, my bed is wet. Wet, wet, wet. Noah found a new place for his arc. This time I laughed. And then, I put him in the bath, changed my linens, put another load of laundry in the washer and we began our day.

Now Bethany hasn’t had any accidents, yet, though while in the bathtub she did announce that she went pee. I told her no pee pee in the bath Bethany. She laughed.

As I sit here and blog my day thus far, I have to ask myself, what is up with these diapers? Dawson’s diapers say right on the package that they are good for 8-14 pounds. Surely he didn’t pee that much!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Bless you!

What a day today has been. Ever have one of those days? You know the ones. The days when you feel like the center of some big joke and you are the butt of it?

My dear husband is still out of town with my older children. THEY are having a grand time. Meanwhile, I am at home with Chaos and Mischief. My precious in-laws are coming into town in the next few days. The house is a wreck and last week I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. So - there is a lot on my plate and a lot more to tackle.

After what seemed like already a very long day - see previous post about potty time (Yes, that was this morning) I was exhausted. Mischief had more energy than usual, and she is talking, A LOT. Where is Ka-Ka? (aka Katelyn, my eldest) Where is A-A (Ashley my second oldest) Where is Daddy? (You know my most precious and handsome husband who is always missing during life lessons) ALL day long. No joke. Every minute of the day. EVERY. Seriously.

My husband works from a home office so Bethany is used to having Daddy at her disposal and of course the older girls are home schooled, so we are always together. I explained and explained where they were. She was so offended. Why did she have to stay home with - gasp - Mother?

Back ground - husband is the fun one and I am, well, not so much. He takes off and plays - rides bikes, swings, rolls around on the carpet wrestling, you know FUN. I on the other hand, I am washing dishes, washing clothes, feeding babies, changing diapers (he doesn’t do potty) and picking up after my litter - of pigs! So my reputation in this household is that of, well not so fun.
I tried being fun once, but in the process we lost a kid in the piles of laundry and haven’t seen her since. HA. Okay, maybe not, but things did get pretty messy.

Anyway, after battling Bethany and her endless quest for Daddy, Ka-Ka and A-A, I was exhausted and frustrated and ready for a major break. So, I put Bethany down for a nap, early. That didn’t fly well with my little 2 year old. She had a melt down.

Frankly, I didn’t care. Dawson was asleep and I needed a break. I was sitting on the couch wondering if I would make it another day without my husband.

Ah - Ah - CHOO. I sneezed.


“Bess you!” came a little voice from her bedroom.

And then I remember, that is right. I am bessed, er I mean blessed. God granted me the honor to be the Mother and keeper of these children for a season and even when things are tough, I am blessed!

So if you are a mother or a father - Bless you!!!

It's potty time!

Today I have decided it is time for my daughter to become potty trained. She turned 2 in May and frankly with a new baby in the house we are overloaded with diapers. We have been encouraging her for a while, but she is stubborn and doesn’t appreciate the need to be clean. In fact, if she is running around the house naked as toddlers do, and the feeling strikes her she will quickly into her room grab a diaper and bring it to me. I put it on, she pees, she removes it and the saga continues.

This morning I heard “Mommy, I want out!” Yes, she is still in her crib too. She refuses her big girl bed and I am too tired to fight it. So, she is trapped until I can get in there and get her out. Which sometimes, I must admit, I stall! “Mommy, I want OUT!” Now she is getting a little more demanding. I go on about my business. “In a minute” I think. “There are still a few more things I need to do before I can get her”.

“MOMMY!” Okay, I think she means it now. “I went PEE PEE!”

Okay, news flash. She goes pee pee daily, and a lot. I call her my pee pee hound. She drinks and therefore she pees, a lot. This just didn’t strike me as odd.


Enough already!

I enter her room.

The arc was loaded with animals because the flood gates had opened. Bethany, my sweet precious pee hound had decided last night that she didn’t need a diaper. So, she took it off and neatly hung it on the side of her crib. It was folded very neatly and it was dry.

So, when pee pee hound slept - she peed, and peed, and peed and peed. Well you get the idea. Literally, the waters were flowing over the side of her bed. Everything in her bed was soaking wet - including her and her hair. It was pretty. Fortunately I have wood floors, so the puddles just kind of spread over the room. I am not kidding, there was some major pee in there. I truly thought at first that a pipe had broke somewhere. But, there is no plumbing in there - except well, for Bethany’s personal plumbing.

So there she sits, wet and splashing in the little pool she created. YUCK.

Now if you have read any of my previous posts, you will know that when these things happen - dear hubby is gone. Well, he took my older children camping and left me with Mischief and Chaos. So Chaos, aka my four month old Dawson, is lying on the bed in my bedroom SCREAMING because his breakfast had been cut short.

So I take Mischief, aka pee pee hound, aka Bethany and put her in the bath - no water, just the tub. I strip her bed as quickly as possible and stuff everything I can in the washer. I run as fast as I can,start the water, give her a quick bath. Get her out and dressed again (I should have duck taped that diaper on), finish feeding Dawson, take the pee pee clothes out of washer and put them in dryer and take a breath. A breather. I sit down. Five seconds to “relax”.
Pan over to living room. Bethany is sitting on the leather couch and lo and behold I see skin! Yup, diaper has been taken off and again neatly placed beside her.

So, she has spent the last 20 minutes on her potty watching YouTube with Elmo on the potty. No pee pee yet but I would imagine as soon as she needs to she will take that diaper off again and give the couch a good soaking.

The Gerbil Chronicles, Part 2. The saga continues.

I called the pet store today and told them my story. I asked if the little pups survived, could I bring them to the pet store to sell. Afterall, they are the ones that sold me the defiled gerbil in the first place.

She stated, and I quote “Only if we have room, and currently we are being over run by them”.
My jaw dropped. I paused. Silence. No one spoke. You could hear a gerbil wheel run.
“Hmmm,” I said. ” Should I explain to you the breeding process?”

She was silent.

I asked her, “Then what do you suggest I do with all these gerbils that I didn’t want? No one told me they were buy one get 4 more later for free”.

Her suggesstion? Put an ad in the paper. She didn’t tell me what to list. Here is what I am thinking…

“Wanted. One hit man to take out all staff at Active Pets. Will pay handsomely in gerbils”

The Gerbil Chronicles, Part 1

Oh the life and saga of a normal American household. At least I think I am normal. Somedays, I gotta wonder.

Mom to 4,including a new baby, diagnosed with Graves Disease and new home school mom to 2. I think I should write a book - it would be a family drama and a comedy, sometimes even a dark comedy. Oh, yea, back to the subject line, gerbils. How the mind wonders….
So about three weeks ago we get this great idea to buy the girls a new gerbil - one for Katelyn, one for Ashley. I specify my needs to the pet store, “two girls please, we don’t want to teach that lesson yet!” I say with a laugh.

Fast forward 3 weeks. Last night, Goldie had gone missing! Gone, vanished from thin air!
”Ashley, was the cage locked tight?” I foolishly ask.

“Oh, yes Mommy, I checked.”

Ut oh, I thought. Dead gerbil. Life lesson. Here we go.

Now my dear huaband had ran off as he usually does when life lessons happen. So, it is up to me to clean out cage and find stiff gerbil. Yea for me. Screaming baby upstairs, my two year old is fingerpainting with the toothpaste in my bathroom, two hysterical girls, and one missing or dead gerbil. Joy. So, slowly I start weeding through this mass of nests that the gerbil had made. Yuck. I kept thinking, one of these handfulls I am going to find that stiff little bugger and the life lesson will begin. Hours go by (Okay, minutes but you know how it would have felt…) no gerbil.
“Mommy?” Ashley looks at me with those great big blue eyes of hers, filled with great compassion, and concern. “Um, do you think if the lock wasn’t actually tight that she could have gotten out?” Yeah. Not tight. Didn’t we cover this already?

Search begins. If you were a gerbil where would you hide? Among the piles of dirty clothes, left out toys, school work? Hmmm. “Girls, clean your rooms and maybe you will come across her. I am outta here.”

Now, in the meantime,my eldest daughter, Katelyn for some reason has wet/dry vac in her room. “Mommy, gerbils like tubes, maybe Goldie ran up the tube?” Dumb idea, I thought. “Katelyn, just do as I say and get your room cleaned,please?”

I sneak upstairs, grab the cell phone and call dear hubby. “Missing gerbil.” I report “Get some mouse traps. I will put them down after you guys leave to go camping and dispose of dead body before you return. I will tell them the gerbil left the building and lived to a ripe old age outside in the yard somewhere. I do NOT want a missing rodent scampering through my house.”
I hear hysterical noises coming from downstairs.

“What in the world??” Katelyn flies upstairs, BEAMING. “Mommy, guess what?” I roll my eyes, now what?
“What Katelyn,and why aren’t you cleaning your room?” In other words, I don’t want to hear anymore about the rodent running loose in my house!

She brings her arms forward and shows me the missing rodent. “I found her!” Yes, and guess where she was? Yup, thewet/dry vac. Oh boy, humble pie. “Uh, Katelyn, I guess you know gerbils better than mommy. You were right, Mommy was wrong. I am sorry and good job!” I go puke. I hate to admit I am wrong,especially to little kids and husbands. Let’s face it, sometimes nine year olds know what they are talking about. I won’t tell them if you won’t! We will keep it our little secret!

I call my husband. “Nevermind, crisis over. Rat has been found. Don’t need mousetraps.”
Fifteen minutes, life is back to normal and quite. I go outside to greet David in the drive way. The door flies open - hysterics again! What now?????

“Mommy!!!” Ashley this time, excited, big smile. “Come here, come here!”

I go reluctantly to Katelyn’s room. Proudly Katelyn opens the lid to the vaccuum canister. I peeked down…. four of the smallest, ugliest pinkest babies you ever saw. That little rat had four more little rats! Aren’t they sweet? Yeah, they’re bright bubble gum pink, bald, UGLY, wiggling and whiney. We put them in the cage with Goldie. Locked tight. Reunited. Oh how precious.

We all look in the cage. Katelyn is boasting at what a gerbil hero she is and how right she is about everything. I take a big sigh of relief. The only hard lesson here - keep the gerbil cage locked.

I peek adoringly into the cage again, secretly relieved that mom has her pups back. What does she do? She pushes them out of the nest and does a baby dance over them. Like they weren’t even there. The pups are screaming, she is dancing. OWE - on the neck, oh turned over now a belly stomp. A whole new lesson begins.

Okay, people, have you ever had a rodent that had babies? These new mothers are vicious! I had them when I was little and you would be admiring the cute little pups one minute and the next the mommy would literally bite their heads off. YUM. I am panicked. I told the pet store I wanted no babies. I wanted a virgin gerbil. They assured me this thing was a baby herself. That was 21 days ago. Gestational period for a gerbil is 28 days. Something wrong here. I have avirgin rat and miracle babies. Oh yes, I will make millions!

Okay, so that theory is wrong, so she was defiled before we got her. Do I take her outside and stone her to death? Tempting.

So, here it is 24 hours later and everybody is still in one healthy piece and she seems content with her babies. So, if by chance she doesn’t decide that they talk back, whine about their homework, or keep a messy room and eats them (that is one solution I hadn’t considered before with my own children, but with gas prices and food costs going up, well it may be worth considering)

I plan to call the pet store and give them a little piece of my mind, and four gerbils. Maybe I will charge them $10 apop like they charged me. Maybe I will wait until they have all mated and give them the four-fer one special they sold me!

Oh, I also have four precious kittens that are approaching their 6 week birthday. I had considered giving each kitten a baby gerbil for their 6 week birthday… Now where would I put a candle?

Oh a day in my life….

The good, the bad, and the uglies of being a mom

It is true. It is a blessed thing to be called Mom. You are born a daughter, you may even be fortunate enough to be a sister, sometimes even an aunt. Eventually you become a Mrs., and then you are blessed and honored when someone can call you Mom.

It is also true, that being a Mom can be good, bad, and sometimes a little ugly but always unpredictable. We can go to bed at night and beat ourselves up with a bad parenting choice, feel the woe is me - I am under appreciated and over worked, or we can go to bed and laugh.

I choose to laugh.

Sure, when there is flour all over the floor from the children’s desire to try their hand at baking, or a gerbil goes missing, or when the little one decides to make potty art in her crib; sometimes at those exact moments, laughter is far from our thoughts. But when they are all nestled in their beds and they truly look like angels, then we can rewind our day and get a chuckle -maybe even journal the day’s activities to use against them on their wedding day, or better yet remind them of it when they complain about THEIR children!

There are times I look back on my day and think “surely I am making this stuff up.” However, if you are a mom, you know you can’t make this stuff up. It happens. It is the good, the bad, and yes, the ugly of being a mom.