Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Celebrating May Day~ The Forgotten Scandinavian Holiday

The windows are open again today, and the fresh air is intoxicating as it wafts through my home, encircling and lolling me while I rock an extremely stubborn baby. He is exhausted, his eyes are constantly creeping closed, yet when he realizes, he will jerk them wide again, shaking his head in annoyance that his body would sell out on him like that.  Vince can hear Beth and Taelynn running around, laughing, and playing outside, and he wants so desperately to join them. And yet, his body's desire to sleep is being fought and losing to the desire to go outside and play. Not that I can blame him. Every day, as I cuddle him and hum his lullaby, I gaze out my front window and am beckoned by that gorgeous green canopy that is growing thicker each day. I have decided that I am going to hang a hammock between my front yard trees. It will be glorious to lay out there in the green sun filtered glow of the maples, book on my swelling belly as I listen to my children running around and playing. Smigh.

Why no, I am not a romantic at all. Why do you ask?

Yesterday was May Day. I love May Day. It is my grandparent's anniversary and when I was a child, every year we would dance around the May Pole. If it was too cold and rainy, they would set it up indoors, and all of the cousins would grab a ribbon and we would weave in between each other, creating an intricate dance and design when we were finished. And the May Pole always looked so beautiful! My Grandma and Grandpa would go for a walk every year, rain or shine on May 1st, to celebrate another year together, and another year of Spring. I loved welcoming the spring with my family in this way. And so, yesterday I was determined that we were going to celebrate, and in my own small way, I will make May Day a beautiful day and memory for my children to look back on when they are grown.

While they were at school Lisa Johnson and I made May Day baskets.

We filled them with treats and displayed them on the piano for the kids to see when they got home from school. I was quite proud of the handiwork and thought they looked beautiful. The kids didn't care about the baskets, they were just thrilled for the content!

After they had thoroughly gorged themselves on treats, we set out for a May Day walk. Keith was grumpy through half of it. He either ran really far ahead, or lagged behind, dragging his feet. But once we got beneath the leafy umbrella of trees, he was happy again and walked with us as we admired the lush emerald elfin land around us.

We heard baby birds calling to their mamas, and other birds warbling the most delightful songs! There were wild tulips growing here and there, and the smell of new life, a beautiful future and the hope that comes with Spring was inebriating. On our way, we paused at the duck pond to look at the way the ripples and small waves teased the light into a frantic dance upon its surface.

The ducks and geese either joined in the frolics, or stood aloofly by, judging from the log.

It was difficult to leave such splendor, but the children were anxious to play.

We got to our destination, which was a park, and I let the kids run around.

Poor Vince, though. He had only been out of the stroller for 3 minutes before he tripped and got a little to intimate with the gravel paved ground. I instantly picked him up and his lip had swollen already. His nose was scraped, and he had so much blood coming out of his mouth! I felt so bad, as I hadn't brought anything to clean him up with, or his binki. I took off his jacket and used that to try to clean up a little of the blood. And my shirt got a lot of it as he buried his face into my shoulder and sobbed. I looked at the clock and said a little prayer. Jeffrey gets home from work around 4:45, and makes dinner. He doesn't usually get on the computer until after dinner is finished and the dishes are washed. I prayed that he would get on his computer so I could send him a message to come and get us. And he did! He doesn't have a phone because he never used it anyway so there was no point in paying for it. So we communicate through the computer when we need to. He got on the computer and I was able to ask him to come pick us up so I wouldn't have to walk a screaming baby all the way back home. Plus, we could get him cleaned up quicker and ice on that nose and lip! Jeffrey came right away and I was so grateful!

These pictures of Vince are about 3 minutes after he fell. Blood encrusted and swollen, but smiling. He is such an incredibly resilient boy, and so happy!

Not the best way to  end May Day, but it was lovely while it lasted. I hope to be better prepared next year, but we'll see.

I know it seems silly to get so excited about the weather and seasons, but it makes me laugh. It really is something I thrive on! I am just so happy to finally be able to have all the windows open again, and to have my house engulfed in the smell of the outdoors, and Spring.

And Beth has been bringing me as many dandelions as she can find. Too bad I am terribly allergic to them (and by allergic, I mean, that I get seasonal problems). I can't bear to tell her to stop, though, as she gets so happy when she presents them to me. I just have to put them in a vase and display them on my counter! And they really do brighten up the place, so that is wonderful. I just throw them away each night before they wilt too much.

Happy May!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring, Mister Holmes, and Crocs.

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Spring has finally come in and settled down. I am so excited to see my maple tree beginning to bud and for us all to be awakened by birds singing. I don't understand how anyone could possibly not feel a lightening in their very soul as the world is beginning to stand up and put on its best.

I am back to babysitting. It isn't as difficult as I remember it. Possibly because the babies are a lot older now, though. It can be exhausting work, but for the most part I love it. Jack is the happiest baby, and so mellow and even tempered. Vince just adores him. I caught him going out of his way to hug Jack today, and it melted my heart! I tried to capture a picture, but by the time I got the camera open on my phone, Jack had wriggled away.

Vince has just makes me laugh. He started to walk a few days after his birthday. He loves shoes, and he loves to make them clomp when he is wearing them. If he finds shoes on the floor, he will try to put them on, regardless of whether or not he is already wearing any, or whose they are. He walks around the house, inspecting things, with his hands behind his back. That is his comfortable stance, and I adore it. It was brought to my attention today that he looks like a mini Sherlock Holmes, inspecting and deducing. He absolutely loves balloons. If he sees one in a store, he will shout out, "boon!" and try to reach it, even if it is on the other side of the store. And man, can that kid talk! He surprised me today. As I was buckling him into his car seat, I asked him if he wanted to go get food. He nodded his head and said, "yes." The kids is 13 months old! He can say all of our names, but "Mama" is his favorite. Of course. At the moment, though, I can't remember any of his other words, although he is talking and communicating so much! He also has his front two top teeth, and the ones on either sides of those are coming in right now. Nothing on the bottom yet, though. It is darling. I simply adore this stage of kids. From 1-3 is my favorite. They are so full of wonder and excitement, and so very little sass.

I started a new rule in our house. I was so sick of finding the kids clothes and shoes and backpacks and toys all over the house, that I bought a tupperware and call it the mom box. If the kids leave their stuff out, they get a warning and then it goes into the box. They then have to do extra chores to get it out. If something is in there for longer than 2 weeks, it goes to the DI. Last night I asked Faye to clean up the living room. She found a pair of Keith's shoes on the floor, next to our shoe box. His only pair of play shoes. She brought them to me and asked if I would put them in the mom box for her. I told her I would, absolutely, if she brought me her shoes, coat, backpack, and notebook, all of which were also scattered on the living room floor. I explained how that wouldn't be fair to only put his things in the mom box since her things had been left out too. I then asked her to take his shoes and put them in the shoe box, or bring me all of her stuff, and I would put everything in the mom box. She said she would put his shoes in the shoe box.

This morning, Keith's shoes were nowhere to be found! Luckily that boy is a quick thinker, and has big feet. He decided he was going to wear an old pair of my Chuck Taylor shoes, except he could only find one. And then he pulled out my gardening shoes. Aka Crocs. And he wore them to school. Because what other choice did he have?! They are incredibly comfortable, I will admit, but Crocs?! He liked them, though, and I guess that is what matters. I was worried he would have to call me from school, to bring him a new pair, which would be difficult as I didn't know where his shoes were, and Faye was claiming innocence. Flash forward to tonight. The kids were getting ready for bed, and I told Keith and Faye they had to find his shoes, or heads would roll! Keith started to play in the bathroom, making faces in the mirror, and Faye went straight to the large food cupboard in the kitchen and began rummaging in the back. I asked her if she had put his shoes in there, and she said no. I asked her why on earth she was looking in there if she knew they weren't in there. She said she just wanted to be sure. Two minutes later I hear her exclaim that she found Keith's backpack. I didn't even know it was missing! And then, somehow miraculously, his shoes were there, too! She still maintains that she didn't put them there, but who does she think she is kidding, we all know the truth. At any rate, I am very grateful that they were found.

Not much else is going on at Moon Hollow. School is wrapping up and Keith can scarce contain his excitement. I know he will be bored all summer, though, and so dread when school lets out. Especially since I will be babysitting still, and I know that the older three kids don't always get along. I am not looking forward to breaking up fights all Summer long. But I guess it can be a wonderful learning experience for all involved. My kids can learn tolerance, patience, and how to get along with someone who sometimes rubs you the wrong way. Again, I am talking about Keith. Faye doesn't usually have a hard time. It will be an interesting summer, that is for sure. Everything is going to change in September. Again. When I was in high school, I was chatting with one of my best friends, and he said that the best number of kids to have is an odd number, because then there is always a tie breaker. I laughed at it at the time. I came from a family with 7 kids, he came from a family with 4. We never had a tie scenario, so I had never thought about it, but I guess they had. For the past year, we have been a family with no tie breaker. However, come September, we will become a family of 7. 3 boys and 2 girls, plus mom and dad. We are so excited! I won't be babysitting after that, though. It will be sad to say goodbye to those kids, as I have really grown to love them and their little quirks over the year or so that I have been able to watch them. I don't think it is possible to be around a child for that long and not just love them to pieces. Even on their bad days.

For now, though, I am going to savor each moment. Or try to, at least. The open windows, the sweet smell on the breeze, and the lilacs that are going to be bursting any day now. I am watching them with so much anticipation! Spring is here!

"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want--oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!" 
~Mark Twain

Saturday, March 4, 2017

The World Begins With a Wail

With a tiny mouse like wail, my world was forever changed.

This past year has been a whirlwind of diapers, and giggles. We have grown as a family and as individuals. A year ago, I was going in to the hospital to see if they could manually turn my breach baby.  I was terrified because a week prior they had tried, and it hurt SO much! Jeffrey and I dropped Beth off at my parent's house after the kids went to school, and we went up to the hospital. The doctor walked in and said the baby had turned on his own, so we decided, rather than risk him turning again, I was far along enough that I could have the baby that day if I wanted. And so my midwife broke my water and started me on petocin.

And into my world burst the happiest, sweetest little boy ever born. I realize I really didn't blog much this past year, and I certainly didn't post about babyhood for that darling and precious little guy. So I am going to try to get caught up.  

Vince was simply the best baby we have had yet.  He started sleeping through the night at 2.5 months. I was overjoyed, and well rested, which had never happened before in the history of my career of motherhood. Vince laughed and smiled and played a lot. He is simply a delight all around!

In September he got croup and that interrupted his sleep patterns. At that point, he quit sleeping through the night. I was very sad, but felt I couldn't complain too much, as I had been spoiled essentially the first six months of his life. Right when he was beginning to sleep well again, he got sick again. RSV this time. Not to be confused with the terrifying land you in the hospital RSV, but just a really bad mucusy sick. And then he got an ear infection. This was January. I am happy to report, though, that for the most part, he is back to sleeping through the night.

Because that is obviously what I cherish. A good night's rest. 

But there is far more than sleep that my little man brings to us.  

Last night, I was cleaning late into the night because I have been so tired lately, I just have a hard time getting it done during the day. But that is neither here nor there. The point is, I was up cleaning. And Beth decided to get up. She lay on my bed, whining while I picked up things on the floor and vacuumed, Les Miserables playing in the background. I slowly made my way to vacuum the clear parts of my floor as they emerged. And then, Vince woke up. He cuddled for a bit, his hand in his "special pocket." When he is tired, he insists on putting his had down the front of anyone's shirt. He prefers cleavage, but if Jeffrey is holding him, his shirt front will do as well.After a bit, Beth's giggles woke him up and he decided it was time to play. Which had put a bit of a stop to my cleaning. And I was again reminded why I rarely get much cleaning done when he is around. But he giggled, and followed me around, chasing the vacuum, trying to steal anything I was attempting to pick up and put away. He then began playing peek-a-boo with Beth over the edge of the bed. By this time, it was nearing 2 am. I was exhausted! After many pleas to Jeffrey who had been down in his office, he took pity on me and came up, taking Vince so I could get our bed cleared off, Beth back to her bed, and myself happily tucked in. 

We have recently discovered that the baby is a bottomless pit.  He is always eating, and always hungry, and part of the reason he has started to wake up in the night.  We try to stuff him full before he goes to sleep, but those nights when he wakes up, and I can't rock him back to sleep, so I lay him next to me, and he spends the majority of the night kicking me in the face, and tossing and turning. For some odd reason, when sleeping in my bed, the boy must have his feet in my face, or he is not comfortable and cannot sleep. I am happy that he can sleep, but it makes it incredibly difficult for me to get any shut eye.  The other night I had gone to bed at 10:30, he woke up at 1, and by about 4, I was just done. I was so tired and irritated with having been repeatedly kicked in the face.  Jeffrey was an angel and about 4:30 he picked Vince up, took him into the kitchen and gave him some food. Beth had awakened as well, of course. Those two are as thick as thieves! Anyway, he fed Vince some cheese and bread, gave him some water, and then brought him back to me so he could get ready for work.

And the boy passed out, cuddled up on my arm. 

I did some ninja mommy moves and transported him back to his bed, convinced Beth that if she were to continue whispering she would have to go back to her own bed, and then... it was time to get up anyway because the older kids had school.

The moral of this story, though, is the baby likes to eat. He actually seems to eat more than me! I am not sure where he puts it, but that little body is continually chomping down on something, or trying to, anyway.  When he has a completely full tummy, he sleeps a lot better. So, before bed we focus on things like mashed potatoes, cheeses, anything with high fat, that is filling. It seems to have helped so much!

Vince loves going places. I mean he really loves it. When we are walking into a store, or anywhere new, he gets very excited and starts waving to everyone in sight. He squeals, kicks his little legs, and does a sweet little greeting, bringing a smile to everyone who sees him. That little guy just makes my heart pitter patter. Also, I love that he loves outings. It makes them so much more enjoyable for all of us, and we love our outings! 

Vince is trying to walk. He basically has it down. He has for a long time. He just lacks the confidence. A lot of times he will take a few steps, then raise his arms in triumph and shout, "Yay!" He is doing quite well with talking, and with understanding me. He points at the picture of the temple in my bedroom and say, clear as day, "temple!" When I call for Beth, he will imitate me, and yell "Be-eh!" He also tries to call for Keith and Faye. It is adorable! 

I love love love his nose scrunch. There is nothing more adorable in this world than Vince and his little grin with the scrunched up nose. He is so lovely, and will tackle you with hugs. His favorite toy right now is a ball, though he does love duplo and building blocks as well.

Oh mercy, I could go on and on about this little munchkin of mine, but I would much rather spend my time loving on that little crazy goof ball.  

Happy birthday, Mister Vinster! You have changed the world and mine is a better world because of you!

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

The 3 Foot Tornado

Well, it appears I have become one of those bloggers.  The kind that only blogs every once a blue moon, and only when something big happens. Forgive me. I actually sort of lost my laptop. Meaning if I had actually looked with intent I am sure I would have found it, but I never actually got around to it until tonight. Because today...

What a doozie!

It all started this morning. Keith and Faye were out of school for the day. They are amazing helpers, and I was feeling under the weather so I asked them to please watch Vince for a bit so I could sleep a little longer. And they really stepped up to the plate and watched Vince so I could pretend to sleep while listening to them shout playing in the living room, cringing when I would hear something bang or crash, and pretending to be completely out of it when they would peak their heads into my room. I don't know why I didn't just get up and be a Mom. I should have because I really didn't get any extra sleep. But the longing, and the promise of sleep if I could just lay my head down on that soft satin pillow, the cool side ready to greet me and lull me into a sweet rest, everything would just be perfect.

Except I forgot about the power of Beth.

The three foot-living-breathing tornado

She has a knack for getting into trouble.

After a little more of me pretending to sleep, wishing I were sleeping, Faye burst through my door, and said in her all important queen of everything voice, "Beth is pink now. She is playing in your purse and she is pink!"

I let out a sigh of defeat, bid my pillow adieu, and dragged my fake sleeping body out of bed. I threw some clothes on (pulled out of the hamper. Dirty. Who knows how many times I have worn that shirt since it was last washed. More than three, I know that for sure. Good thing tomorrow is laundry day!), and moped out into the living room where I was greeted with a harsh reality.

Kids are messy. And when you put 4 of them together, with no adult supervision, there is some sort of cosmic force that summons all the messes in a 5 mile radius to settle in their vicinity. My living room was the current black hole of chaos. The high chair was parked in the middle of the room. The tray for the high chair was 3 feet away, upside down and covered in applesauce. The computer desk had about 12 cups sitting on it, all with varying amounts of fluid in them, some recognizable, some not. A Hansel and Gretel trail of ground up bread crumbs led drunkenly throughout the room, and there had obviously been a strip party, judging by the amount of discarded clothes lying on the chairs, floor, piano, and any other surface available.

In the corner, as if trying to hide, which I am sure she was doing, sat a very naked and very pink Beth. She was covered in my new hot pink lipstick. She was creative in its use, at least. And I wasn't too upset, because honestly, I thought I would like the color a lot more until I put it on, and I look like the 1980's Jem rockstar Barbie. Beth had put it on her eyelids, all over her cheeks, on her lips, and the surrounding area, and then, of course that wasn't enough, she then had to put war paint on her arms, legs, and (remember she is naked) all over her stomach. Meanwhile, she has completely emptied the contents of my purse and is counting my change, and trying to find places to hide it, albeit unsuccessfully since she was still naked.

I wish I had taken a picture, but honestly, she just makes me tired to my bones. I scooped her up, and plopped her in the tub with the water running, picked up Vince, and attempted to hide in my room, willing the mess to disappear while I fed the baby and rocked him to sleep. I put Faye in charge of staying with Beth and helping her to get cleaned up. Faye is an incredible helper and I would be lost without that girl! Except right when Vinny was about to drift off, Beth started screaming. She had gotten soap in her eyes. Keith was coming into my room right then with a problem, so I simply handed the baby to him, and went to help Beth. We got the war paint off, and most of her "makeup" and the soap out of her eyes. I drained the tub and scooped her out, plopping her into a lush towel. I quickly finger braided her hair so there wouldn't be tangles, and tucked her into bed, because I did not want to deal with any more problems from her, and I knew there would be more problems from her if she was awake. The only safe place for Beth when she is in her rampaging mood is asleep in bed!

And then I went back to getting the baby to sleep. Which was pleasant, and went about much too quickly.

And then I went into my room to clean up the mess that happens when kids are in there alone while I was getting Beth out of the tub, and I saw my bed, and suddenly, I didn't feel well. So I succumbed to the beckoning of my bed, so grateful that I have a sleep mask for my eyes, and nestled down in the covers.

It was a very short lived nap. As in it didn't happen at all. 

Beth got up right as I was smiling my way into dream-land. And she is not the most quiet person. Keith and Faye helped her get dressed (because I had put her in bed naked, I just couldn't muster the ability to care about clothes at that moment), and they all traipsed outside, slamming the door behind them.


Thus, waking up the baby. Sigh.

My mother had called and asked if we wanted to go to her house for lunch. I jumped at the chance to get the kids out of the house, and away from the black hole of chaos, and into a more secure backyard where they could play and swing, and have a lot more fun than was available at my house. Because I don't have that awesome swing set that is both terrifying and intoxicating at the same time. Nor do I have those amazing climbing trees, or a dozen chickens to play with.

 Not to mention, grandparents spoil their grandchildren. And it was my mother's birthday, so really, how could I say no?!

While I was getting ready, Faye and Keith were again watching Vince because I hate him following me into the bathroom, which he always does if I don't have someone else watching him. And then I came out, and his face was covered in sparkly, minty fresh blue.

~Kid's Crest toothpaste~

My heart plummeted. The baby had been eating toothpaste. **Flashback to when I was a kid and tried to eat the toothpaste and my mom got really upset and told me that eating toothpaste could kill me!** I rushed to my phone, and pushed the speed dial for Poison Control. With a Beth in the family, PC has to be on speed dial. I think they know me by name, now. So I called, and the guy, Daryl, was so calm and friendly, and talked me down from the precarious peaks of Panic of Motherhood. We determined that Vince had probably ingested about a tablespoon, and so it wasn't very harmful yet. He instructed me to give him something with calcium immediately, as that would bind the fluoride and keep it from being absorbed into his little body. As luck would have it, we didn't exactly have any dairy in the house. Today was supposed to be shopping day, you know. No cheese, no yogurt, just cow's milk, which I have never given to Vince before. I tried breastfeeding him, but he didn't want any. So, I filled up a bottle with cow milk (figuring he will be drinking cow milk in just a few weeks anyway), and we set off for my mother's house and her always bursting cheese drawer.

All of this happened before 1 in the afternoon.

Vinny didn't want the cheese, and then he threw up, and then he played, and slept, and was as good as new. As predicted by Daryl from Poison Control.

The kids had a lot of fun playing at Grandma's house, though.

There was a lot of running around outside, which just makes my heart soar. And the cupcakes and ice cream, of course were on point. It is my mom's birthday, after all. And it isn't considered a proper visit to Grandma's without eating ice cream! That is a tradition my grandma (my mom's mom) had when I was a little kid, and I love that my parents are continuing it.

Needless to say, the kids had an early bedtime tonight.

It's days like this that leave me in such a confused state. A small part of me wants to curl up and cry, but the majority of me can't breathe from laughing so hard. Because when the madness that is Motherhood happens in droves like that, it is just funny! The irony! The odds that everything would line up so that so many things would conspire to drag me down is just mind boggling and hilarious!

Now I need to catch my breath, and recharge for the craziness that will ensue tomorrow!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Beth Vs The Piano

Little sweet Beth.
Of all my children, she is the one who tends to be the most accident prone.
She is the one who has been to the hospital the most.
She is the one who I got me on first name basis with Poison Control.

I don't remember the day, exactly. It was either a Friday or a Saturday night. Keith and Beth were playing, and Beth fell and knocked her head on the corner of the piano. 
The piano won that round.
And then I was able to discover where we need to go for urgent care.

Except I drove her to the wrong place. The nurse at the front desk we so sweet, though. She gave Beth a teddy bear that she absolutely loves and has named it Snuggles. She carries it around all day, and she sleeps with it each now. It is adorable!

And then we got to the actual urgent care. The doctor was really nice. We chatted about the old McDonald's song.
"Two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun."
We may have sung it. I am amazed that I remember any of it!
And the old characters! Grimace, the Hamburglar, the Fry Kids! Good times.

He looked at Beth's head, commended me for cleaning it out so well. That would be the hydrogen peroxide I dumped on it before we left. He commented that it was rather deep, but a very clean cut. He decided that the awesome glue would work and she wouldn't need stitches. She did have a concussion, and he told me to wake her up every couple of hours to check her coherence and limb movement. Because the cut was so deep, he worried about brain bleeding.

And then, Beth got her favorite thing in the world. French fries, and ice cream! Those two things are her favorite things to eat. Especially the french fries. 

I did enjoy the date with her. Even though it wasn't an ideal beginning to a Mommy/Daughter date, we did have fun. 

Her head is healing beautifully. She will most likely have a scar, but hopefully it wont be too big, and I'm sure she will invent an amazing story to go along with it, though. Whenever anyone asks her what happened, she asks me to tell them, so I am wondering if she is self conscious about it. 

The night prior to that, Faye had been an amazing helper all day. Any time I asked Keith to help me with something, Faye jumped up and did it first. It was so sweet! And so, because of that, I took her out on a date. We went to Target, because that place just makes me happy. We then went to Zupa's Cafe. I love that place. They had one in Colorado when I lived there, and I would eat there nearly every day for lunch. After we got our food, we brought it home and watched The Jungle Book while eating our delicious food. Once the food was gone we did let the other kids join us in watching the movie, though. I am so lucky to have such a wonderful little girl. She is amazing.

Vince likes Nesquick. Beth discovered this while I was attempting to shower. She is also getting good at spoon feeding him, although he does look like an adorable chimney sweep.

Finally, I have to tell you about my wall. I have hated this wall since I moved into this house. I should have painted it before we moved in, but I was determined to be living here before Christmas, and that only gave us 4 days to get the house cleaned and moved into, so I put it off. But the red! 

It wasn't a bad color, but the kitchen is so small to begin with. And all the dark appliances, the black back splash, and my dark concrete counter tops was just a bit much. Don't get me started on the 80's drop ceiling that the put in the kitchen. Why? Why on earth would they do that to such a tiny space? It made the whole thing dreary and minuscule. I mean, you can't even open the dishwasher without it practically hitting the counters in front of it. It is just small. And that color scheme really emphasized the lack of space.

Except I never had time, I would tell myself. 
I put it off for three years because I kept inventing excuses. I wanted my house to be clean before I focused on any new projects. I had too many little kids running around who would get paint all over themselves and the rest of my house. I was pregnant and shouldn't be around the fumes. I had a newborn who shouldn't be around the fumes. And the list goes on and on and on. But the truth is, I was just nervous. Big projects always seem to intimidate me to the point that I don't want to start them. Because what if I mess up, or what if I fail? 

And so I lived in that dreary terrible kitchen that I despised for 3 long years. Until my new friend Lisa told me that she was coming over to paint. And she did.

We painted it, and I am SO in love, and wish I had done it before I ever moved in. The kitchen is so much brighter, happier, and airy. It doesn't feel like the walls are closing in on my anymore. I am constantly amazed by how light it is, and I can tell from the living room that it is much brighter! My whole house seems to radiate more light. 

And now I am trying to figure out other things to paint that color. I can't wait to get started on the cupboards! They are going to be a country white color, and will amazingly tone down the once dreary kitchen, soon to be bright and cheery, and oh so welcoming! I'm not sure why the color isn't showing up in the second picture, but it is still just as cheery and beautiful, and I am SO in love with it!

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Life, Christmas, and Everything Before.

I recently read a book that described my life perfectly. The girl wrote that her life seemed to be like a book left on the porch in the wind, the chapters fluttering quickly from one to the next, scarcely resting on any to feel the breeze. How apt that description is!

Quick recap:

The week before Christmas was lovely. All my siblings came into town and it was lovely to visit with them all. I did have to balance watching my friends cute kids and family visits but it worked out. Friday, 2 days before Christmas was difficult, though.

The kids were just naughty! Taelynn and Beth found some Sharpies and went to town on the bedroom wall while I was feeding a baby.

When I discovered it, I had them scrub it off with a magic eraser.

Except Tae shoved Beth, she hit her head on the bunkbed. I asked her why she did it, and she just kept whimpering, "I don't know," and so I told her that she needed to scrub alone, if she was going to injure her helpers. After a little while of scrubbing alone, and she did a fairly good job considering it was Sharpie. After Tae scrubbed for a little while, I went in to comfort her, because she had been crying the whole time. I scooped her up on my lap to comfort her, and felt her head. She was hot. Oh dear, that is NOT what I needed! But her excessive grumpiness suddenly made sense. I tried to take her temperature, but she nearly gagged trying to put it beneath her tongue, so although it isn't nearly as accurate, I put it in her armpit. Yes, she had a fever, poor girl. And then she tried to get sick on top of it all, to top it all off.

While I was taking care of Taelynn, Beth dumped a bottle of orange soda all over my floor and commenced trying to slurp it up, giving herself an orange chin and nose tip stain. It stayed like that for a day or too, even. Her nose and chin, not my floor. I also found cute little footprints tracked through the soda, around my kitchen, and then down the hall.

I honestly laughed as I was cleaning it all up because when it rains, it pours! Meanwhile, babies were tired and didn't want to sleep, someone dismantled the baby gate, one of my favorite Christmas books got Sharpied, and the older kids were at each other's throat, and Brynlee decided she was sick. I think she just wanted the medicine because really, she was fine.

When the other kids had gone home, I pulled out the egg nog and the ugly sweater cookies to decorate.

I wanted to do them with the girls I watch, but there was way too much fighting and I couldn't find a moment of peace to pull them out. But Keith and Faye had a blast decorating and listening to Christmas music with me.

And then we had a family party that night. See the entry picture of Faye with her cousins, sporting their matching shirts. Keith didn't want to wear his.

Christmas Eve Jeffrey got sick. In all honesty, I really did laugh at all the chaos. I mean! It was like I was being given material for my blog! The kids and I watched Home Alone for their very first time. Of course they loved it. What 9 year old little boy wouldn't? Slap-stick comedy galore! Jeffrey went to bed early, and I stayed up making some shirts for Keith, and a journal. I then put all the gifts beneath the tree and had to write a letter from Santa to Faye because she had left him a three page letter. And I had to make sure the carrots were nibbled on. Jeffrey had eaten the sandwich and drank the milk.

Needless to say, I didn't get to bed until too late. But all that snow that just dumped! was amazing! There really is nothing like waking up Christmas morning to a fluffy blanket of snow all wrapped up cozy around the house. It was absolutely idyllic.

I really wanted to go to church before we opened the gifts, but we were sort of snowed in, so we had a gloriously tranquil day of pajamas, cocoa, and the kids going berserk over their gifts. 

And this is just Beth in her preschool program. She spent most of the time on stage admiring her skirt, and it was adorable! She insisted she wear that skirt.

Friday, December 16, 2016

Vince, the Fashionista

As I was reading back over last week, I had to laugh. Yes, laugh again.

How funny that it was so similar to last week!

Last week ended with sickness. First Vince, and then Faye and I got it on Sunday. It was terrible. Especially since Keith had a Celebration of Learning on Monday, and I missed his last one because it happened right after Vince was born. So I couldn't miss this one! Except there was no way that I could go, I was so sick, and so was Faye. And I was also still babysitting. And so I called in the reinforcements.


I am so glad that we live near them and that they were able to go to it with him. His teacher is just a doll and took pictures and sent them to me. I love her so much!

Wednesday was a really rough day. It was just so hard. The girls were ridiculously difficult, the babies were so fussy, and I was still recovering from my bout of sickness. I had a stomach ache that had been going on since Monday. I was so incredibly tired. And I was exhausted. Taelynn was just cantankerous, and Brynlee was very grumpy and obstinate. But no worries.We got through it, and I did mange to laugh at some of it. I am very grateful that her school teacher is my cousin, though. That helps things tremendously! As we were trying to do her homework she kept telling me things like she isn't supposed to read, her teacher said that she doesn't have to if she doesn't want it. Or that the Y is silent, and she doesn't have to read any words with Y in it. I could easily ask her if she needed me to call her teacher to verify.

She hates that I know her teacher.

Thursday happened.

I felt gross on Thursday and so was determined to shower. I got the babies down for their naps, and then did something I had never dared do before. I put Taelynn's favorite movie on, threatened them to not move from my bed, where they were watching, and hurried through a shower. It totally worked! I got a shower and I was thrilled.

I felt like I could conquer anything. I felt like the day would be fabulous and so much better than the day before.

My friend called me and asked if I could watch her daughter for an hour or so while she ran her son to the doctor. She later told me that she didn't know I watch other kids. But I am always happy to help my friends when they ask. Besides. I had just taken a shower with all 4 kids in the house. I could do anything!

Except her son was a lot sicker than she had thought, and had to be on a nebulizer, so the appointment lasted a lot longer than she had expected. Which was fine, clear up to the end. I put Taelynn and Beth down for their naps. I was holding Vince in one arm, Jack in one arm, and had my friend's daughter in front of me.

That was when Vince decided he didn't like my outfit. He threw up all over it. I had Jack in one arm, Vince in one arm, and my friend's daughter in front of me. The throw up came in gushes and I prayed he wouldn't get it on anyone.

Just me.

Thankfully my friend came right then to pick up her daughter. She held Vince so I could go and change my clothes and then she had to rush home to care for her sick son.

Beth and Taelynn were not sleeping. They were getting into things, and being the force to be reckoned with, that they are.

Like I said, Beth has been regressing with potty training. I went into my room to change a second time (Vince was not happy with that outfit choice, either), and found a puddle as well as poop on my floor. At this point, I was just so tired and the previous day's drama caught up with me, and I did something I didn't find easy.

I sat down on the couch. Beth was making more of a mess in the kitchen, and I didn't have the strength or energy to correct her. Jack and Taelynn were asleep, thankfully. Vince threw up on me again. And I just sat there, holding a bowl under his chin for him to throw up in, and I started to cry. It was so hard, yet nothing was so very difficult. It isn't like I have never dealt with vomit before, or cranky kids, or cleaned up bathroom stuff. I have done all of that. Many times. I really don't know why I couldn't cope with it yesterday, but I couldn't.

I called Jeffrey. He didn't answer.

I called Adrienne and hoped that she wouldn't answer because I didn't want to ask for help, even though I needed help.

She didn't answer.

I cried some more from relief and a tiny bit of disappointment. I didn't know how I would ask her for help, anyway. I didn't need help. I just needed... help.

I sat and pondered my situation a little more, and before I really realized it, I had called Lisa. I tripped over my words, clumsily explained that I was fine, I didn't need help, and she rushed right over. Because she is the greatest.

Adrienne called me. I explained to her that I was fine and just losing my mind, but really, I was fine.

Lisa showed up and held Vince so I could change my clothes and clean up my room from Beth's present. I then pulled out the Lysol and went crazy on everything either his spit or his vomit had touched. And then Adrienne showed up. Because I didn't need help, and she knew that it was a big fat lie, and even though I was very capable of coping on my own, in my own way (which at this point would have been huddled up fetal style beneath the table), she should just come over anyway.

My two dear friends held babies and talked me down from my ledge of crazy, and even helped me straighten up my kitchen a bit! And then they were off, as quickly as they had come. Because kids were getting home from school, so they needed to be home.

The rest of the day went much smoother after that.

Keith and I took a gift to his school teacher because she wasn't going to be at school today. We then went and got dinner at a place that was doing a school fundraiser for their school. All in all, it was a good close to a very difficult day.

Today was so much better. Again, nothing great happened. I took the baby to the doctor's office. They said it is either the tail end of the original virus, or the beginnings of a new virus. Here's hoping it is the tail end!

I'm so glad I am sane again, though. Just saying.