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.

While Surveying the Smoking Ruins

* * * Written December 10th * * *

This life is so we can have experiences and learn lessons.

A valuable lesson I have learned is how to just laugh.

Because life sometimes blows up, and that is all you can do,bwhile standing in the rubble and surveying your smoking kingdom.

Thursday was just a hard day. The kids were having such a rough day! There was an unbelievable amount of hitting, and name calling, and telling fibs. Crying, and tantrums, and the whole bit that happens during a full moon, or when the weather changes. The girls were at each other's throats, and I was just tired. Plain and simple tired.

I had book club to go to, and I very nearly didn't go. I was so tired, and could feel that I was coming down with a cold. I wanted nothing more than my bed. But I convinced myself that I actually needed to go since we were doing the cookie exchange and it was my idea in the first place. And we were discussing a lovely classic, which as you well know, is my genre. And so I mustered up the emotional strength and I went out into the snow.  It was magical. It was everything I needed to catch my breath and start a new day. Which was a very good thing. 

Vince woke up in the night just sad. He didn't feel well. He then puked all over Jeffrey. And I mean allllll over him. My poor baby. But it was quite funny. I mean, it was funny to me. Jeffrey didn't think it was funny, but I am still laughing about it, and so very grateful that it was on him and not me! Mister Vinster proceeded to have a terrible night of not much sleep, which of course meant that I didn't sleep. I was supposed to go to a school thing for Faye, but I couldn't take a sick baby there. Happily, Jeffrey's mother went in my place so Faye was fine with it. Instead, I went to the doctor.

Vince has a gastro-intestinal virus. Yesterday was full of vomiting, and the next few days will be diarrhea. Which has already began to come to pass. My doctor has a great sense of humor and as we were leaving, he said, "Great. See you next week with your other kids." We are sanitizing hands like fiends around here. We are putting every poopy diaper in a grocery sack and then taking that outside so as to keep the germs out of the house...

...However, Beth isn't helping one bit.

She has just now done some serious regression and I can't figure out why.

Today, for the third time, she has found a quiet corner of carpet and done her business there. What the what? What is going through that girl's head? How on earth am I going to stop this? Sigh. I hate this part of parenting. She thinks she is cute and funny. She isn't understanding how awful it is.

And she is cute. Just not when she does that.

She is funny. But not when she does that.


She has also recently been a little... pill. She had an accident the other day, and so took off her wet undies. She then went over to Faye, bent over, waggled her bum in the air and said in a sing-song voice, "Faye, welcome to the naked bummy show!"

It is a very good thing I was in the other room because I lost it. I laughed so hard! And then I corrected her, of course. Because we can't stand for that sort of behavior on a regular basis, but my goodness, that girl makes me laugh so much. She was playing with her friend Katie the other day and I overheard her saying, "Pretend we lost our girls to Folk music," and then they got in a doll car and drove away. What?! Where does she come up with this stuff? She is so stinking funny! Who knew folk music could be so hard core? Hahaha! 

And so, you see the conundrum. Because she IS funny. She just walked in my room while I was typing this and said, "Mama, I got married today!" She then proceeded to tell me that her other parents who work at the dentist office and play with the toys all day are the ones who paid for it, and she even has a ring.

There is a reason I love the toddler and preschool age so much!

Last night, after dinner, Keith and I cuddled on my bed and watched The Christmas Orange.

I laughed repeatedly throughout the movie because Keith kept wailing, "Why did they have to make this movie so sad?!" He is so tender hearted, that boy. When it was over, we had to watch an episode of Animaniacs so he could laugh and not be sad anymore. 

Keith is the one who made dinner, though. He made corn dogs, and we ate them in my bed while watching the show and cuddling Vince. I was so exhausted from having only gotten 2 hours of sleep the night before. The show got over, the kids went to bed, and I was just snuggling down in my blankets when I heard a constant beeping going off. At first I thought it was from the show, but then realized there was no show on. I jumped up and ran to the kitchen and saw that there was an error on the display of my oven. It was crazy hot, and there was a crackling noise coming from inside the oven. I opened the oven door, and ran down to talk to Jeffrey and see if he could remember where we had placed the manual. Instead, he went upstairs and merely unplugged it. 

After that, I got a little slap happy. I was laughing at simply everything!

I am so glad that this is the lesson I learn from all of this:

Laugh amidst the rubble of life.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

My Kingdom for a Shower!

When I was a kid, I completely romanticized motherhood. But what little girl doesn't? I mean, no one pretends that their baby doll has just had a serious diaper blow out, or that they are covered in spit up, or that somehow, the baby managed to pee into their mouth (yep, that happened to me a few weeks ago during diaper change). No little girl pretends that she hasn't had a shower in about a week, feels slightly haggard, and desperately longs for a quiet moment to herself. It just doesn't happen. When playing dolls, little girls pretend to feed the baby, rock the baby, sing to the baby, and sometimes play catch with the baby, or use said baby as a weapon when an older brother comes along and is bothering them. 

As it should be. Because those moments dwarf the less convenient times of being a mother.

I completely love babies. They are just precious, and funny, and sweet, and a big ball full of cuddles, and I am so thankful that I get to play with two of them every single day, despite the minor hiccups. Not only do I get to watch Brynlee and Taelynn every day, but I get to play with their 4 month old little brother, Jack. He is such a good baby! He lays in the bouncer, doing little baby crunches, trying to sit up, but not quite ready to. I did sit him up on the floor yesterday and took a picture to send to his mom. 

That little dude is impatient to keep up with his sisters and will be mobile before long! But he is so good! He lays in that bouncer, and he just grins. He smiles, and he grins, and he does that all day long! And he has the sweetest little crooked smile that will just melt your heart to see. 

Vince adores Jack. He gets so excited when Jack comes over, and rushes over to see him in the car seat. Of course, he wants to mush Jack's face, so there is constant vigilance when Vince is roaming the room and Jack is on the floor. Vince seems to have a Jack radar and always finds his way over to be by him. And I adore it. Every single moment of it. I find myself constantly thinking that I must be the luckiest woman alive, to have such sweet little babies to fill my days.

Today was one of the days that little girls don't romanticize, though. It wasn't a bad day, please don't misunderstand. It was a lovely day, it just didn't go how I had planned. I had one goal for today, and I had been trying the whole day to reach that goal, but things kept coming up.

If nothing else happened today, I was going to get a shower. At some point in time. I can't decide if it is funny or sad that I actually have to schedule in a shower into my schedule, but there you have it.

When I went to bed last night I sat down and looked at my planner. I made note of the things I had going on. Babysit, check. visit my friend who just had a baby, check. Bake bread, check. It seemed like today was going to be a fairly simple day. There was just one thing that I really wanted to do all day. I didn't care if nothing else got done, I was going to feel clean!

Vince didn't have a great night last night. I really have to be more careful about what table food I give him. I feel like it might by hurting his stomach. Potatoes apparently don't agree with him much. Or it could possibly be the butter that I used in the mashed potatoes and forgot about until 3 in the morning when he was sobbing in my arms for no apparent reason. In 45 minute increments for the rest of the night. He finally fell into a good sleep around 5:45. I collapsed onto my bed exhausted, and woke up when Beth came into my room at 7:20 this morning. I groaned and asked her to go and wake Keith and Faye. She takes great delight in waking them up, so she scampered out of the room and turned her bedroom light into a strobe, trying to get Faye out of bed. Keith came up on his own.

We barely got out the door on time,

I hurried home to babysit, but found out that that had been postponed. "Perfect!" I thought, "I can get Vince down for his morning nap, and then jump in and have a quick shower before the kids get here."
Except Vince wanted to play instead of sleep. And so I paced the house, sang every lullaby in my repetoire, and played with him for a bit on the floor. He wasn't going to have it. But then finally, he did fall asleep! 5 minutes before the kids showed up.  Jack usually sleeps for 3 hours in the morning and at least 1 in the afternoon. But he hadn't had his nap yet, so I was excited. Maybe I could get him to sleep, and all of the kids could go down for their naps at the same time and I could do it! But Jack had other plans. He just didn't want to sleep. He stayed awake the whole entire time he was at my house. That has never happened before! He is such a good sleeper, normally, I couldn't figure it out! They were both very good and happy, so it wasn't a stressful afternoon at all, I just wish they had slept because I really needed them to. Which is precisely why they didn't.

I did impress myself, though. I was able to bottle feed two babies at the same time! Vince has started drinking a little bit of juice and water before bed, and Jack takes formula. Sometimes they need to eat at the same time, and it has been very stressful in those moments. Today, I figured it out. 

Tandem feedings, and keeping Vince's elbow out of Jack's eye.

But then my friend came and picked up her kids. I rocked Vince again, and got him down again. Success! I looked at the clock and saw that I had about 5 minutes before the bigger kids got home. I had to be there to tell them to be quite and to not wake Vince or Beth. They were both napping. 

They woke Vince. 

And so, I made some snacks, and tried to devise a way to get a moment away, uninterrupted. 

Hahaha! Because that never happens!

Eventually, Jeffrey got home from work, and I still had not reached the one goal I was desperate to get for the day. I mentioned that to Jeffrey, and like always, he came rushing to my aid on his white stallion, his armor so shiny! He scooped up Vince, took over dinner preparations (we had chips and salsa, apparently), and banished me until I felt like I smelled better. He gave me a hug and told me that I smell wonderful, but should go and reach my goal if that would make me feel better. What a catch he is!

I reached my goal today. Barely, and it was a lot of hard work, but I feel fantastic now! My hair is super frizzed out because I used baking soda for shampoo today, and vinegar and water for conditioner. It is super frizzed out, but it feel so soft and clean, and that is what I was going for. I can handle a bit of frizz.

Tomorrow: Why I cancelled Christmas.