Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Just another day in Paradise

The forecast for today said it would be in the 90s! So I decided that if we were going to get out to play it would have to be in the morning before it could get quite that hot. My plan was good. When Gracie woke up from her morning nap, I'd get the kids ready really quickly and we'd have time to play before lunch. Except that I forgot that it takes a half an hour just to get us all sunscreened and bug-sprayed. And then I had to bring up the laundry from the basement and find the clothespins and everybody's hats and Isaac didn't want to put his shoes on until after he put his COAT on which he doesn't know how to do. Finally I convinced him that I'd help him with his coat once we got outside if he would just put his shoes on NOW! Of course he forgot about the coat as soon as we stepped out the door...PRAISE THE LORD! By then it actually was about lunchtime so I brought out crackers and cheese and turkey and peanut butter and we had a little picnic. Once the clothes were hung, the mail retrieved, the neighbors's cat chased away and his departure mourned ("Where kitty go be?"), I put away the stroller, 2 bikes, all the sandbox toys, and the lunch fixings and dragged us inside. Then came the removal of the sunscreen, bugspray, and sweat. Two baths, a shower, and a completely trashed upstairs later, the kids went down for their naps RIGHT ON TIME! GO ME!
Speaking of Supermama, I also took both kids grocery shopping BY MYSELF yesterday! I know, I know, I am completely crazy! But I got one of the carts with the car on the front and Isaac got a free cookie from the bakery, a free slice of cheese from the deli, and a new "Thomas" book (not free but worth the $4) and he stayed right in the cart and there were NO tantrums the WHOLE time! Well, there was one in the parking lot on the way out when he dropped part of his cheese and was so so sad that I wouldn't let him pick it back up (Him: My cheese!/ Me: I'll get you more when we get home/ Him: Me want that cheese!), but since that was outside of the store, I'm not countin' it!
So I guess it pays to be a little crazy once in a while. Like my cheesy but sweet husband always says when I tell him he's crazy, "Yup! I'm crazy about you!" And I am crazy about those kids! Which is a good thing since they're the ones that made me crazy in the first place...
Before I sign off (which I probably should do before I hurt my brain- I'm a little scattered today, huh?) I just wanted to give my Hubby some credit, you know since I've shared his shortcomings with the whole world (or at least all 5 of my readers). My birthday is this Thursday and I've already received a present from him! A wonderful, thoughtful present that I absolutely love but that I did not hint about, did not order myself, did not make the arrangements for him to order! I had nothing to do with it and it's an awesome present and it's here on time...EARLY even! Oh yeah, and it's a pair of PINK CROCS!!! Ok so they're the wrong size but that's only because he remembered my old size and didn't realize that 2 pregnancies had made my feet bigger. And he's doing all the work to exchange them for me! New shoes delivered to my door...what more could a girl ask for? I LOVE YOU HONEY!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Can I get an AMEN!?

"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it." 1 Timothy 6:6-7 (NIV)

I was talking to a friend last night (in order to protect the innocent from association with my blog we'll just call her Friend A) about another friend (Friend B of course) and how Friend A thinks that Friend B looks up to me or maybe even is a little bit jealous of me. This sounded very improbable to me since in addition to having a family (which is about the only Earthly thing I have) Friend B has a new car, a college degree, her own home, lots of things that I know are very important to her that I don't have. I listened patiently (as patiently as I know how; I once even let 10 seconds worth of silence go by without breaking in) as Friend A and Hubby (who totally understood where she was coming from) tried to explain to me that it is because I am happy and have what I want in life even if it's not the same as what Friend B's has. While I think that Friend A and Hubby were on the right track, after thinking it through this morning, I think that they weren't quite putting the whole puzzle together for me. I mean, I don't care if a person is the absolute happiest person in the whole world! If they don't have a family there is no way that I'm going to envy them even if they have everything else a person could have (and I am seriously prone to jealousy!) because a family is what is important to me. I don't think that Friend B could envy me for the things I have when I don't even have the things that are important to her.
I think perhaps that what I have that she wants (even though she doesn't realize it) is true contentment. And I'm no expert but I think that true contentment is can only come from God. I KNOW that in my case, it is from Him alone! Here's an example. A few years ago I was going through a time of wanting my own home SO badly. I was definitely coveting but I don't think that adequately describes how I felt. I wanted it so bad I could TASTE it, so to speak. I had been working toward it for a long time and out of the blue a friend of mine called me to tell me that she'd bought a house (and she had not been working towards it the way I had). When I heard the news, it made me physically sick. The bitterness I felt was like poison. So I avoided her. And avoided and avoided until I couldn't avoid anymore. The time came when I had to go see the house. I didn't know how on Earth I was going to be able to walk into that house and be happy for her when the very thought still made my stomach sink. Well, the day came and as I was driving to her house I was hoping so hard that the road would take me into a city, would take me to a house that was nice but not at all what I would want, so that maybe I could somehow be happy for her. I was also praying. The entire drive I never stopped. It's a good thing too because the road was taking me out into the breathtakingly gorgeous countryside. I was praying over and over for God to take my envy away but as I pulled up to my dream house, it was still sitting like a lump in my stomach. I walked into my friends amazing new house and the envy suddenly disappeared. She gave me a tour and I was able to sincerely compliment her home without even the threat of tears. If I have ever witnessed a miracle, that was it!
All this is not to say that I'm perfect or that I never get jealous anymore. Like I said, it is something that has always been a big struggle for me. In fact, right now we are in the process of trying to buy a house and I have been praying all morning because I'm having a really hard time not obsessing (please pray for me!). I guess what I'm saying though is that it makes all the difference in the world to know that I can be happy with what I have no matter how little it is, if I will just give it to God. True contentment is GOD-GIVEN and I am SO BLESSED to have a God who will give it to me when I ask!
Anyway, I hope you were blessed by my little foray into theology today.
Even if you weren't I know I really needed the reminder!
Have a wonderful weekend!

Monday, June 18, 2007

For my Daddy on Father's Day (or a day late- sorry!)

Thank you for always loving me unconditionally. Thank you for always taking the time to talk to me and to teach me about big things and small ones. For teaching me about God and life and how to open a checking account and how to drive (which took no small amount of courage I'm sure). Thank you for teaching me that it's not important to have a lot but it is important to be generous even when you don't. Thank you for teaching me that honesty matters. Thank you for making me feel safe and taken care of and at the same time encouraging my independence. For being proud of me even when I make different choices than you would. Thank you for being understanding when I make mistakes and for always being willing to admit your own mistakes. Thank you for teaching me how to forgive and how to stand up for myself. Thank you for always treating me like a person that matters. Because that taught me not to surround myself with people who don't think that I matter. Thank you for reading to me when I was a little girl and for brushing my hair. Thank you for putting notes in my lunch and for making sure that there were many hugs and "I love you"s every day.
I could go on but the keyboard is getting blurry. Thank you for being my Daddy. I love you!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

So much for one-on-one time but at least I get to blog today!

I had vowed to myself today to spend more one-on-one time with Isaac. I was a little sad that I was going to have to give up some of my usual coffee and computer break during Grace's (too short) morning nap but Isaac has been acting a little bit more jealous of her and I think maybe he just needs some more attention from me. But then Elmo came on. And of course if it's a choice between listening to me jabber on or listening to Elmo's words of wisdom, well we know what Isaac's gonna pick! But I'm ok with that. Good morning sweet sweet coffee!
So this may not really be a very cohesive post but here are a few of the things that are on my mind.
Ya know how Isaac is saying new words all the time now? Well, a few minutes ago he was looking out of the glass door and got very excited about something that he could see outside. He came running over to tell me about it but I couldn't understand what he was saying. "Big ones" maybe? So I went to the door to see for myself and sure enough, there were 2 BIG crows hanging around the garbage cans (it's trash day!). "Oh yeah," I said, "those are some big birds aren't they?" But, as I turned away to go back to what I was doing, he said the word again. And this time I understood. Did you just say "PENGUINS"!? I almost didn't have the heart to tell him that he hadn't seen actual penguins but mere crows (albeit big ones!) My boy, you are too cute for words!
As for my girl, she is laughing all the time now! And it's a jolly little laugh, which is fitting for someone who looks so uncannily like a dwarf baby (storybook dwarf I mean, not to offend a real person with dwarfism) with those oh-so-round cheeks and the tufts of hair gracing her ears! Often she sounds a lot like a goat bleating but lately she's been doing whole peals of laughter too. They come out of nowhere, surprising us and of course absolutely melting our hearts. And guess who has turned out to be the funniest family member of all? Drumroll please... it's Isaac! Now, I have 2 theories about this. The first, which is the one that I like to believe, is that she just absolutely adores him and that they will grow up to be the very best of friends. The second, which is probably the more realistic of the two, is that she likes physical comedy. And Isaac provides plenty of physical comedy! Either way, he got to delay bathtime last night and jump on the bed for a little while longer because we just can't resist watching Grace laugh at her big brother!
I guess that's all I have for today. Isaac really wants me to play with him and I did promise myself...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

and a partridge in a pear tree

Isaac slept terribly last night. It's not that unusual. We think it's because of teething, blah, blah, blah. The real question is why did I forget that so quickly? I was feeling pretty sorry for myself this morning wondering what did I do wrong with this kid? Is this really just the terrible twos? Is Isaac trying to torture me? Only after several small tantrums over none of the computer games being the one that he wanted to play, and him not wanting to let me close enough to the computer to try to help, did I catch on. Duh! He's really really tired. It didn't help that I hadn't had coffee yet.
Luckily Grace went down for her morning nap unexpectedly early. "There," I thought, "Now I can get dinner in the crockpot and give Isaac some attention and maybe that'll help." Do I need to say it? WRONG! SO SO WRONG!
Isaac started saying this word that he's been saying lately that I've not been able to translate before. At this moment I can't even remember how he pronounces it and to be honest, I don't think I could do it justice anyway. All I can say is that it always makes me think he's saying "Hepzibah". Today being my lucky day though (or so I thought) I finally figured it out. "OH! Popsicle?!" So, I got him a strawberry (fruit juice, no sugar added) popsicle, seated him at the table, stripped off his white t-shirt, and you should have seen that sunshiney face! I breathed a sigh of relief and basked in the glow of his beautiful smile. For 30 seconds. What happened next can, I think, best be described as several popsicle-related tantrums culminating (when it finally fell off the stick) in THE MOTHER OF ALL TANTRUMS!
Now, when tantrums occur, we have a way that we sometimes deal with them that involves removing the offender to his or her bedroom (ok, ok, I admit that we only use this for Isaac. My tantrums take place wherever I choose; this is not a democracy!) to work through it on his own. The method is pretty simple but it requires great discernment to decide when to use it. If the tantrum is just for attention or to get his way then it works beautifully. If he is really and truly upset then it will backfire because he will never, ever get himself under control on his own. It can be tricky to figure out which situation you're in at the time. This morning it wasn't; he clearly just needed a hug.
Too bad I felt more like paddling him. Nevertheless, I gathered his sticky little self up (meanwhile transfering the stickiness to Yours Truly) and put him in the bathtub. I cleaned him off, wrapped him in a towel, and held him tightly. Eventually the hysterics subsided and we went downstairs to watch "Thomas" and get back to work on dinner. But Grace was awake and the dvd player wouldn't eject....
The morning went on but I won't. I'll summarize.
This is my ten o'clock inventory: Unsatisfactory computer game experience addressed with multiple small tantrums, computer-game tantrums ignored, 2 keys removed from computer keyboard, timeout administered for removal of computer keys, keys replaced. 3 popsicles (or partial popsicles) consumed, transfer of sticky popsicle residue from popsicles to Boy to Mama completed, Boy cleaned, Mama still sticky, one MOTHER OF ALL TANTRUMS soothed, one Baby-nap finished. 2 partially thawed pork roasts, 2 dirty stove burner guards and a dirty frying pan needing to be cleaned before pork roasts can be further prepared. One cold cup of coffee, a microwave too raw-pork-germ covered to heat said cup of coffee in, a Mama who has not yet had a break nor a single sip of coffee, a broken dvd player, and a partridge in a pear tree.
Well, except the partridge in a pear tree. But with 7 and a half hours left of the day, who knows what could happen!
Have a great day everyone!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Blessed Beyond Measure

Isaac had his 2-year-old checkup on Tuesday. I don't usually like to bring both kids to the Pediatrician by myself because Isaac gets very nervous there and needs to be held. So if Grace needs holding (which happens often since she's just a wee little baby) then I'm screwed. Her last appointment was a nightmare. They came in while I was in the middle of nursing her so I had to pull her off mid-feeding for her checkup and she screamed the ENTIRE time. The nice Dr. had to yell so that I could hear those very important questions and reminders of hers like "You know not to let her drive the car yet, right?" and "Don't give her steak knives to play with already." Is this standard at all Pediatrician's offices? I think it must be some sort of government regulation or something because the Dr. always seems embarrassed and kind of apologetic about having to assume that I'm mentally deficient. Anyway, that appointment seems to have made Isaac even more nervous about the Dr. than he used to be. Not surprising since they were obviously TORTURING his sister!
So, back to this Tuesday. It went ok. As soon as we pulled into the parking lot, Isaac got worried. As usual, he didn't say a word or crack a smile the entire time. Just gave that poor physician's assistant the icy blue stare. Hmmm...maybe that's why they ask me the idiot questions? Obviously I'm doing something wrong since my child apparently doesn't speak or show emotions at all? Oh well. Like I said, the visit was pretty successful. I only had to hold both of the kids for about half the time and Grace wasn't crying so that made all the difference. Still, I didn't want to press my luck so we brought Daddy with us when we went back today.
Yup, back to the Pediatrician's office three days later. We played outside most of the day yesterday and when we were heading up for bed last night I noticed that Isaac's hand was swollen to about twice it's normal size! I gave him Benadryl but this morning it didn't seem to be any better so we took him to the Dr. It turns out that it was just a strong reaction to a mosquito bite and probably nothing to worry about. Sigh... At this rate they'll never stop asking me the idiot questions!
By now I'm sure you're wondering if I have a point. And I actually do although it's probably not what you think! My point is this.
I know how blessed I am to have these 2 beautiful children who make my days so chaotic! I know how blessed I am that when we went to the Pediatrician's office today, it was because of a simple bugbite! I know how blessed I am that I didn't have to think twice about taking him in because we have good health insurance! I know how blessed I am that I don't have to miss the over 10,000 hours that I would spend away from them in just their first 5 years if I had a full time job.
I'm reminded of how blessed I am EVERY SINGLE TIME that we're in public. When we're in a store, I can't go 20 feet without someone telling me how beautiful my children are. And EVERY SINGLE TIME it happens, I think how blessed I am that I get to take them home with me! One day when we were on our way out of Panera, a woman saw Doug walk by with one of the children and then saw me coming with the other and she asked me if they were brother and sister. I said yes and she said, somewhat accusingly, as if I must not realize, that I was really lucky. I didn't really know what to say. I think I just thanked her and kept going. I should have told her though. I should have said, "No! I'm not lucky! There was no luck involved here! I AM BLESSED BEYOND MEASURE AND I KNOW IT!"
Oh yeah, I'm also really blessed that the last time I had to give Isaac Benadryl (another bugbite) when the pharmacist told me the wrong dosage, that it was way too small a dose instead of way too big! No wonder it didn't work!

ps. Never mind the video. I wanted the song and that was all I could find. LOL!

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Fun with Food

Do you ever have those moments when you're trying not to notice what your kid is doing because it's keeping him quiet and if you don't stop him then you might actually get to sit and drink your coffee (or blog) for 5 minutes? Then you accidentally look straight at him so you have to go ahead and admit that you're letting your kid take all of the spoons out of the silverware drawer and put them in the sugar dish. No? Me neither. I was just checking.
Seriously though, these are some things that I've let Isaac do just for a few minutes to myself.

1. Play with cups and water in the kitchen sink (with clean cups, not dirty ones!)

2. Play with oats.

3. Play with flour.

4. Peel the wrappers off of all his crayons.

5. Open a new box of crayons to peel because the old ones don't have any wrappers left.

6. Watch too much TV.

7. Peel the skin off of a garlic bulb.

8. Play with uncooked macaroni.

Ok, I'm starting to notice a pattern here. I think I'm going to need to make a donation to the food pantry at our Church this weekend to alleviate some guilt. It's a good thing he got a sandbox for his birthday! He does so love to scoop and pour!
Anyway, now that I've confessed, I just want to make an excuse explain. I'm really not a lazy Mom... just tired. There was this whole month between taking up caffeine again and finding out that I was pregnant again where I was such a good Mom. We even walked to the park almost every day! Then, BAM! The morning sickness hit and it was back to laying on the couch all day trying not to fall asleep on the job. But I digress.
I guess I just needed to remind myself that this really uninspired style of mothering is just temporary and more a product of the timing of my children's arrivals than a reflection of me as a mother. And since it was an accident on my part God's timing, I guess it will all work out just fine. Anyway, confession is good for the soul, right?
Gotta go! Trash truck is here!

Friday, June 1, 2007

"Fairy-tale" and "Vintage" Living

Well, it seems that we can't decide whether we're going to rent a house or buy a house or what. One thing we do know is that we want to move. Mostly I just really want more of a yard for the kids but there is also the matter of a third bedroom. My very (very, very, very) practical Father-in-law pointed out that he shared a bedroom with his sister until he was 9. All well and good. No problem. EXCEPT that Gracie is not sharing a room with her brother; she is sharing a room with her PARENTS. And as much as I'm enjoying that right now, 8 years and 8 more months of it is just not going to cut it!
We looked at a house for rent earlier in the week and I loved it! The yard in particular was dreamy. The problem was mostly just that it reminded us a little too much of the 3 dwarves' house. Yup, I know there were 7 in the story...but they wouldn't all fit in this house! If you know me you're probably thinking, what's the problem Shorty? And yes, you're right. I would fit quite neatly into that teeny weeny house. The kids would too, at least for now. But my dear husband has a tendency to get very, very, VERY frustrated by spaces that are too small for him and alas, he is better suited for a part in "Jack and the Beanstalk" (remember the giant?) than "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves". Soooo....
Today we looked at a house for sale. We knew it was "vintage" (1820s) and yes, we knew that that's realtor-speak for OLD! But we knew it had a lot of history too and we looove history. Plus, we could tell by the pictures that it has a fantastic yard AND it's in our price range. That should have been our first clue. A 4 bedroom house with a large lot in our price range? Something doesn't add up there. But, we deluded ourselves into thinking that it was worth looking at and off we went.
And it was a great house! In 1820. Let me put it this way. Everything looked original. Also, it maybe hadn't been lived in or cleaned in 185 a few years. Ok, so I'm exaggerating a little. But STILL! It wasn't for us.
So the search continues. I don't think I even know what I want to do. The next door neighbors have an RV. Maybe we should borrow that and take this show on the road! Just kidding! Really! Please don't email me and tell me how we're not allowed to move farther away!