Wednesday, February 28, 2007
NOW. I. CANNOT. STOP. THE. ITCHING.
Took the boys for an immediate haircut (cutting their hair very short) to hopefully eliminate the possibility of them getting it. Hannah has been combed over and picked at like she's a baby chimpanzee.
So far, we appear to be nit-free.
PRAY for me that we remain that way.
We had our turn with this vile pest a year and a half ago, and I think I am still emotionally scarred from it. Truthfully, it is not that big of a deal, but it is SUCH A PAIN that I can't bear getting it again.
All the washing of the linens. And the washing of stuffed animals. And the vacuuming of furniture. And the spraying. And the shampooing. Oh, and the nit-picking. For hours. Days. Weeks, it seems. And every little absent-minded scratch of the head sends me into a frenzied round of head checking. Please, if there is a god in heaven, DO NOT let us get it.
It does lead me to wonder...could this explain Britney Spears' new hairdo? Probably makes picking nits much easier if there's no hair to do it in. Hmmm...
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
"Actually, I'm not pregnant. "
"Oh. But you look so...SKINNY! "
Don't you hate the taste of your foot in your mouth? I know that taste all too well.
Lesson for us all: NEVER, EVER ask a woman if she's pregnant. EVER. I mean EVER. I thank heaven that I was only eavesdropping, and that I was not the party asking, or the party that got asked.
Monday, February 26, 2007
We have been battling knee pain with him for almost a year now. I. HAVE. ABOUT. HAD. IT. The poor kid - I know he's suffering, but the doctors tell us there's not much we can do. We've done rounds of x-rays on hips, knees, and spine. We've consulted two different orthopedic surgeons, as well as begged the free advice of doctor friends. Everyone tells us the same thing - growing pains. The cure? Nothing. You just have to wait it out.
Either that or stop growing.
It's made me think about change and the inevitable growth that we gain from it. I can't think of a single time in my entire life that I had an easy growing experience. Never did shopping happily at the mall ever teach me any life lessons (BLASPHEMY, I know), but true nonetheless. All my life's lessons have come through hard-fought, painful experiences that sometimes seemed more than I could bear. Times when my load to bear felt so heavy that the only thing left to do was cry. Times like trying to sell our house last year. Times like struggling as newlyweds to survive graduate school, bad jobs, and pregnancy. Times like sick kids and all THAT entails - bodily fluid so endless you feel like you're bathing in it.
But as time passes, and I gain the wisdom that hindsight provides - the leftover that remains is growth. Growth that only comes as a result of the hard times. But it's a good thing. Change is good. Sometimes it hurts, OH, IT REALLY CAN HURT, but the reward you get is greater than the suffering you bore. And the lessons you learn make you strong enough to handle the next thing headed your way. It's as if you need to learn that lesson in order to be ready for the next one. Line upon line, as they say.
So we'll keep on icing that little knee of yours, buddy. I'll stumble down the stairs to that box of Tylenol when I'm not even awake. I'll help you stretch it out so you can sleep. For what we are gaining is a strong little body that will carry you for the rest of your beautiful life.
But like everything in MY life, I just wish it was all a bit more convenient for me.
And I'll get over it.
Saturday, February 24, 2007
Hannah, oh Hannah. I looked at you today and realized that you are growing up - right before my eyes. It seems like just yesterday that we found out the surprising [read terrifyingly panicked] news that you would be joining our family. But the minute we saw your tiny arms and legs kicking around on the ultrasound, I knew it would be okay. And every day since then, it's been more than okay - it's been fantastic.
You are still little enough that you say some of your words wrong - words like fink (think); free (three); busketti (spaghetti); and sum-ping (something). McKay tries to correct you, and every time I stop him. I don't want to lose that last little baby in you. I'm not ready to give you up just yet. I know it's coming - and far too quickly - but I'm just not willing to let it be accelerated by anything.
Sometimes you startle me with the articulate way in which you ponder the everyday. Like tonight when you matter-of-factly lifted up your nightgown, pointed south, and told me, "That's where babies come out." How you figured that out, I'll never know - BECAUSE I'VE AVOIDED THAT TOPIC LIKE IT WAS A TOXIC POISON. But that's you - just tell it like it is. You have the ability to observe, analyze, and process life in such a way that is well beyond your years. I truly believe you are an old soul.
It makes me laugh sometimes when you make Daddy work for your affection. It's kind of like you've already got men all figured out - and you know you can use your charm to make them come to you. But you are in reality putty in his hand - it's him you seek when you come screaming after you see a bee or find a spider.
You are sensitive - OH, THE SENSITIVITY. But with that comes a heart so big, so full of love that it gets us through the tough girl moments. You have helped us all see the world from your eyes, which has brought a good balance to this house full of rough boys. You have become my ally, my partner in crime, my teammate. You are my tiny, talking shadow - following me from the early morning to bedtime at night. I know I will miss your constant chatter this year when you go to school. I will miss each baby part of you that disappears as you grow. And although I can't wait to love and cherish the girl you are becoming, I will always long for my baby girl. And until every last bit of baby is gone, I promise to treasure those thousand little pieces that make you who you are. I love you, little chica.
Friday, February 23, 2007
- When I have out-of-town visitors and we are planning outdoor activities, a freakishly large rainstorm will blow in, rain ALL DAY, and ruin our plans.
- Sea World, the day after said rainstorm, should be avoided like the plague. All the people who were rained out will try and go the next day. Lines will be hours long. We will leave in disgust.
- Reading to my kids truly makes me happy. (Current read: Bridge to Terabithia)
- Do not attempt to tease Hannah about the messy state of her bedroom by calling her "Templeton." It will "WEALLY HURT HER FEELINGS!"
- Grey's Anatomy is the best show ever.
- School vacation week in February is so much better without snow on the ground.
- Taking dinner to a friend who's just had a baby will make me want another baby. FOR ONE WHOLE SECOND. Then it's gone, and I'm glad to have my big kids.
- Critter Camp (a day camp for the boys while they're out of school this week) is made much more exciting by the turtles "fighting" each other [read: MATING].
- Drastic life changes are good.
- Favorite thing of the week: Colin Hay on the I-Pod.
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Hannah: Did that song say all you need is love?
Yeah, isn't that great?
Hannah: That's not great. You don't just need love.
Well, what else do you need?
Hannah: You need cousins, grandpas, brothers. You need bunnies. Oh, and you really need food. You can't do ANY-FING without food. See, Mom, you need more than just love.
Pardon me. I stand CORRECTED.
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Why the disgruntled child, you ask? Because, quite simply, he wants the computer for himself. He strode in to my desk with hope in his eyes, only to leave disappointed and bummed that it is my turn at the moment.
Chase has recently begun reading and writing in earnest, and as a reward for that rite of passage, he gets his own email account, just like his older brother. He checks it religiously, about 18 times per day - and if he's lucky - Grandpa will have forwarded on a joke or I will have remembered to send him a little something. I am hoping the novelty wears off soon. This little friend TAKES FOREVER to type a one-line email to me about his love of frogs. While I enjoy frog emails as much as the next mom, I find that I just am not a patient woman.
Sometimes he likes to log on Google and search for stuff. Stuff like frogs. Or fencing swords. The other day he said, "Mom, how do you spell seven-year-old?" When I came in to see what he was googling [so love, by the way, that googling has become a verb!], he was searching for "weapons for seven-year-olds." As if we don't own enough plastic swords, guns, sling-shots, and daggers.
In case you were wondering, we pulled up 1,310,000 hits on that topic.
No wonder I never get a turn on the computer anymore.
Tuesday, February 20, 2007
Can't say that I'm complaining though. These newly-discovered tools of destruction allowed me a few hours of peace and quiet to reflect on the beauty and wonder that is our Pacific. To reflect uninterrupted on the fantastic life that I do lead.
There was no whining for snacks.
No need to race screaming to the bathroom gripping our privates, desperately trying to make it in time. Seagulls became enemy soldiers. My blanket was base camp. Hannah went blissfully un-teased.
There was no fighting.
We found peace through pretend violence. How much more of a paradox can we be? I love it. Life is good.
[P.S. No seagulls were harmed in the making of this imaginary world (Chase, our own PETA representative, saw to that).]
Friday, February 16, 2007
As you can tell, Chase does a great Lincoln. He worked for weeks on his poster, presentation, and costume (yes, IT DOES take me weeks to put together a simple top hat, bow tie, and beard. Not as easy as it looks, PEOPLE, when you're kind of retarded like me). But we dutifully did our research and learned more about Lincoln than we ever thought possible.
Highlight for Chase: Describing in great detail to his entire class just where the bullet went, how much blood there was, who shot him, and how he died. All the great gory details. (Apparently, we're very into violence around here. I say apparently because I'd like to pretend I'm not aware of that fact. I am. Kinda hard to miss it.)
I thank my lucky stars we didn't get Clinton...I can only imagine what great detail Chase would present on THAT wily fellow.
- Josh's disease-fighting "guys" are not as tough as he thinks they are. He WILL get sick like the rest of us.
- Chocolate-covered strawberries will not keep and should be eaten as soon as possible.
- Chase makes a fantastic Abraham Lincoln, and will knock the socks off his first grade class.
- Rediscovering The Phantom of the Opera on DVD makes me happy, and makes running on the treadmill go by like THAT (insert finger-snapping sound here).
- It really does make me feel old that my baby brother is now somebody's father. (CONGRATS ANDY AND MELISSA!!)
- I do love my new cell phone, even if it's a nasty, bright pink.
- When running late, I will always make wrong turns and get stuck in traffic.
- Cleaning the bathrooms will ALWAYS be a chore I detest. ALWAYS.
- I cannot start reading blogs in the morning when I only have 20 minutes to shower and get out the door. I will be late, and I will end up looking like a mess.
- When strangers in the grocery store start asking you about baby back ribs, DO NOT, under any circumstance, admit that you use bottled sauce. It will make them angry.
- Favorite gadgets this week: TIVO and my camera.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
I'm thinking of inventing earplugs so tiny that children performing nightly concerts cannot see them and will think you are listening.
They will be impervious to ALL sound.
I will make millions.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
Tuesday, February 13, 2007
Five years ago, my closet was filled with khaki, white, black, and gray - and for those days I felt really wild - maybe red thrown in. I opted for a simple, blending-in kind of look. Maybe not the most fashionable, but I was a mother of two boys and - truth be told - didn't have much time or inclination for frills. My life was spent making sure these rough and tumble boys were safe. Heels would NEVER have worked as I chased after them, saving them from passing cars. I never got manicures and pedicures. There was nobody to tell me my earrings didn't match my shirt. Nobody shoved me out of the way so they could get to MY make-up. We never had to have matching plates and cups. Nobody cared what color our hand soap was. Nobody wanted to hang up hundreds of Valentine's Day decorations.
I was in control.
And I had a black cell phone.
Fast forward to today - my closet is filled with all the colors of the rainbow. Yes, I even wear pink now and then. ME. The person who ordered loving grandmothers not to buy anything in pink for their new granddaughter. I now have my outfits critiqued by a four-year-old who would dress like a Disney princess every day. I get weekly mani/pedi treatments. I wear shoes that were not designed solely for comfort. Things have changed. I now have this tiny, talking shadow. I have a daughter.
And this precious angel, with powers of persuasion stronger than any communist interrogator, TALKED ME INTO GETTING this phone yesterday:
I was powerless to resist. The store clerks found her hilarious and charming. They just don't know her like I do. They don't know that I have surrendered complete control of my life to this CHILD. She has a way of nagging/pleading/asking until you will give her whatever she wants - just to get THREE MINUTES OF QUIET.
While I certainly don't attribute my new self solely to this little person, I do feel glad to have some girly company in my otherwise boy-oriented life. I look forward one day to many Broadway shows, shopping trips, and spa days with this little friend. (I also feel certain that someday McKay and Chase will fully appreciate having a sister as they will not be forced along on these kinds of outings).
Yeah, I do love her to pieces. Even if I have no say in the color of my cell phone.
Monday, February 12, 2007
- A third-grade squid dissection is not "gross;" it is "interesting" and clearly I don't have a very "scientific attitude."
- It will rain all day Sunday, except for the time you spend at church.
- Strawberries always taste better with angel food cake and whipped cream.
- Making a beard like President Lincoln's is not as easy as it looks.
- Playing baseball with my family is really, really fun.
- I should always check to make sure the shower head is actually pointing INSIDE the tub, and not at my face, before turning on the hot water.
- When your husband asks you out on a date and you assume he's asking your four-year-old daughter - it has been WAY too long since you've been out.
- Babysitters are worth their weight in gold.
- When cleaning out the garage, do not be surprised that you will throw out more than you thought you had to begin with.
- Getting takeout is always better than cooking.
- Favorite stores of the week: Costco and Banana Republic.
Anything you've learned that you'd like to share?
Friday, February 9, 2007
It's a puppyThis life lesson brought to us courtesy of The Wonder Pets.
he has to go pee-pee
But he caaaaan't
Becuase he's stuck in the house.
This is serious...
Sooner or later, everyone has to go pee-pee.
It is serious. And sooner or later, everyone does have to go pee-pee. So there you have it.
Thursday, February 8, 2007
Some of my less-than-cool moments included:
- Daily lugging a huge alligator-skin case (filled with a huge tenor saxophone) on the bus, whacking everyone in the head as I passed. When presented with the choice of taking band or art, I convinced myself that I was not an artist and should therefore take band. A mistake of COLOSSAL proportion. That saxophone was my constant companion for four years. Why the saxophone? I honestly don't remember. Don't think I could play a note today to save my life.
- Racing through the halls after getting off the bus in the morning to get a library pass. My even nerdier older brother had convinced me that this is where the cool kids hung out during lunch. It wasn't. Took me a few rounds of dungeons and dragons to figure that one out.
- The baby blue eyeshadow pasted from eyelid to eyebrow...seriously don't know what to say there.
- The permed mullet. If I had any digital pictures of this, I would post them so you could appreciate just how beautiful my hair is now. I topped off those lovely feathered sides with about a gallon of aqua-net. That hairdo wouldn't have moved in a tornado. Oh, and I got really cool when I figured out how to mousse the back so it stayed crunchy, while the top was smooth and feathered. Yikes.
- Big, red, Sally-Jessie-Raphael glasses.
- Turquoise-blue flood pants and pink high top sneakers.
- Future Problem Solvers of America - does anyone know what that club is? I never really figured out what I was supposed to accomplish, but I was a proud member.
And my most shameful moment (can't believe I'm baring this sad part of my nerdy soul):
- Sending myself a valentine. It was sixth grade and for a dollar you could send a "secret valentine" to anyone in the school. I was wise enough then to recognize that I was so pathetic that nobody would be sending me one, so I paid my dollar and sent myself a balloon. It CANNOT get any more tragic than that.
The good news is, my story has a happy ending. I figured out (somewhere between high school and college) how to be a little more cool. I married a GREAT, smart, good looking, ambitious man who loves me, I have three beautiful children, and a fabulous rack. Oh, and maybe, just maybe, I won't have to buy myself a valentine this year. Here's hoping...
Wednesday, February 7, 2007
"Because if you use up all the resources of the world, there won't be anything left. WE HAVE TO TAKE CARE OF THE ENVIRONMENT!"
First, it's not even eight o'clock in the morning yet. Conservation and peace talks should never begin before eight. Secondly, I respect your position and have a truly GREAT [read mildly concerned] interest in preserving the environment. But can't we work on saving the world once I've had some breakfast? Can't I at the very least have had a diet coke before you start accusing me of destroying our planet? No, I actually can't. Because I know that once I have a diet coke, greedily consume its lifesaving contents, and throw the can in the trash - you will angrily open the trash and pull it out. I will then get a long lecture on recycling. Which will, no doubt, lead to your passionate plea for the preservation of animal habitats all over the world that are being destroyed. You've come to tears before when talking about this issue. REAL tears. And if by some small chance, I can get that can in the trash when you're not looking, you will dig through garbage to find it. I have reduced you to recycling BEHIND MY BACK. You are forced to sneak around when we're not looking and right our wrongs. I gotta love and respect you for that, kid.
"But Chase, these paper plates come from trees that have already fallen to the ground," I vainly attempt to say.
All right, stop looking at me like that. "How about this, I promise to recycle my diet coke cans if you will let me occasionally use paper plates. Deal?"
"Deal," he says.
And considering the large quantities of diet coke consumed daily in this household (not to mention the three or four I'll guzzle to get me through this morning), we ought to have preserved a few acres of rain forest.
Now go eat your pancakes.
Tuesday, February 6, 2007
1. Serial killers (and in particular, cannibalistic serial killers). I. AM. NOT. KIDDING. My fear of this began in college when I watched for the first time (and last) The Silence of the Lambs. That Hannibal Lechter scared the bejeebers out of me. I kid you not, I didn't sleep for two full nights after I saw that movie. Since then, I have been unable to watch movies or shows that involve any sort of serial killing. And yes, I know they're now making a "prequel." One movie I will not see, I can promise you that.
2. Heights. I hate being up high. My fear of heights includes ski lifts, bridges, roller coasters, and sky trams. I do not feel safe unless my feet are firmly planted on the ground. I mean, seriously, you honestly expect me to trust my life to a cable or rickety old roller coaster? No way, not this scardy cat.
3. Bobble head dolls. I've blogged about this one before, but I seriously am freaked out by them. That large free-floating head bobbing around, independent of the body. It's not right, I tell you.
4. Death. I truly am afraid of dying. I'm afraid of never being able to do all these things floating around in my head. I'm afraid of what something like that would do to my kids.
5. Snakes. I hate them - hate hate hate them. The slithery, scaly body twisting and writhing around...just gives me the willies. I think I've touched snakes like twice in my whole life, and it was enough. Nasty creatures. Bleach.
So tag, you're it...what're you afraid of?
Monday, February 5, 2007
I'm still not used to what they call "winter" around here. So used to wind chill, snow boots, gloves, and blizzards. If I had known there was a place this fantastic in February, I would have put us all in a truck and moved there long ago. However long this paradise lasts, I will NEVER, EVER take it for granted.
Sunday, February 4, 2007
This little thing (or alien, as Josh was fond of saying) rocked our world. We became THOSE kinds of people that talk of nothing but naps, diapers, breast milk, and bowel movements. We were newly unafraid of touching body fluids that were previously unimaginable. We saw the man in our house change diapers (and become REALLY GOOD at it, too). We learned to stop and take notice of simple things like a smile or a first step. We learned what it meant to really love and give of ourselves. We learned to be parents.
This little baby grew to a happy toddler, and is now a very happy boy. He still never cries, and always strives to please. He is athletic, smart, clever, and can tell a mean knock-knock joke. He was the beginning of what would become the family we know today. We can't imagine our life without him - and the others that would soon follow. How is it possible that he's now nine? How is it that I have stood still while time has gone on around me? Hug your babies tonight, memorize every tiny feature, and take a picture with your heart. Before you know it, they will be big boys that like to eavesdrop and get embarrassed of you in public. Don't blink - or you'll miss it. I've decided to tape my eyelids open, less I blink and this big boy is 19. Happy birthday, Mack!
P.S. I've almost forgiven him for being born a full week late. I said almost, as there are some things you never get over.
Friday, February 2, 2007
Okay. So here is my little rant for the day. We have a classmate of McKay's who is an only child. A very nice boy, to be sure, but victim of parents who decided to have children later in life - and only had one. Looking back on my own life, maybe an easier way to have done it, but not the choice I made. This particular child/mother combo calls us about twice a week just begging to get together.
I am not opposed to playdates in general, but there emerges a tricky balance when one is on the table. If one child gets to have a playdate, they all cry and scream for their own playdate. Suddenly, by ridding myself of one child, I am left with two resentful, unhappy ones. And bringing the playdate here does not always solve the problem. No, invariably three becomes a crowd and one of the brothers is left odd-man-out. It's a rare kid that can enjoy the dynamics of McKay and Chase equally (Sam W., you know I'm talking to you).
My kids play really well with each other. The boys will work violent sword fighting into any princess game so they can include Hannah. She will, in turn, happily mother her little soldiers and send them off to war. I sometimes resent this little world becoming unbalanced. I empathize with the poor mother of the only child - I'm sure he's bored to death and looking to expand his world with other friends. But we already have built-in friends. Why is it my job to make sure your kid is entertained? Mine are quite happy, thank you very much. And maybe if she called less often I'd be more willing to share my kids with her. I'm kind of selfish that way...
Of course, if someone is willing to take all three children...THEN BRING ON THE PLAYDATE, BABY. Otherwise, I believe this is why god invented caller I.D. (that, and to hide from the missionaries).
What is Molehog Day?
That sounds awesome. I hope he doesn't see his shadow then.
No, it's in Pennsylvania.
Yeah, sorry. They don't close school for Molehog Day.
Thursday, February 1, 2007
- Sniffles will always turn into bacteria-infected, green slimy nose kinds of things.
- If you take Hannah with you to go birthday shopping for ANYONE, she will make it a point to announce to them what they are getting.
- If you take Hannah with you to go shopping for anyone else, she will beg and manipulate you into buying presents for HER. You will be powerless to resist.
- Green slimy nose kinds of things always turn into ear infections.
- An hour in the doctor's waiting room does not a happy mother make.
- Making homemade bread will make everyone happy.
- Kids run the highest fevers at three o'clock in the morning. By eight a.m., they are annoyingly chipper.
- Mutual just is not fun for me, no matter what the refreshments are.
- It is truly paradise here. Don't listen to me when I complain.
- Hannah lacks the desire to blow her own nose.
- Homework can be fun when you're drunk on M&Ms.
- Frogs can hide for days in a tiny backyard, loudly croaking all night long, taunting you.
- A warm bath and a scrapbooking magazine can fix anything.
- The way to win favor with Chase is to let him run on the treadmill (after all - he's begged for a week). What? You want to exercise? Why don't you just sit here and watch t.v. some more, you silly kid... He'll be like putty in your hands after that.
- Josh practicing the guitar makes me happy.
- Greatest invention ever: the crock pot.
So there you have it. What did you learn this week?