Thursday, September 30, 2010

Four-Spider Days and Whack-A-Mole Weeks

** warning ** some of this might frankly be TMI for some of you. Read at your own risk.

Life is a bowl of cherries! I wake up every morning refreshed and full of energy! I never leave the house without my hair perfectly blown out and with my makeup perfectly done and my kids perfectly dressed, clean, and hair done in cute, perfectly done braids! My house is always clean! AND I cook wonderful, healthy, 5-course meals every day for my family!!!

Let's be real here. Life is hardly perfect or simple when you're a mom of 4. Otherwise I wouldn't have pictures of me that look like THIS:


Or have stories to tell like these:

You know it's going to be a questionable day when you kill two spiders in the kitchen and two in the bathroom before 7 am. And I'm not talking little-bitty, barely-know-they're-there kind of spiders. I'm talking big, brown, hairy-legged wolf spiders with bodies the size of dimes that watch you try to kill them and hustle out of the way Looong before your foot comes down on them like those big 'ole spiders in Brazil did.

At least this year we seem to just be dodging the small-to-medium sized wolf spiders. I can handle dime sized bodies with hairy legs.


But I CAN handle them.

The ones we had a few years ago, though, with bodies the size of quarters and legs that resembled fingers... not so much. Those things will keep you up at night with the lights on so you can see them coming and grab the shotgun if they approach your bed. And give you nightmares if you ever do manage to fall asleep.

But back to my current story.

The four-spider day just happened to be a Sabbath morning when my fourth kiddo was almost 3 weeks old and we were attempting to go to church. The spiders were just the beginning of the fun.

In between the circus accompanying the dressing, grooming, cleaning, feeding, and disciplining of the big kids there was the blowout. Even after 3 previous babies which have all proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sabbath mornings and picture days are inevitably christened by blowouts, I still found myself unprepared. Or maybe there just IS no "preparation" for a blowout?

I'm not sure there is a mother out there who doesn't look at the yellow streak up the backside of her little one and think, "Uh... how do I get these clothes OFF, exactly?". Or more specifically, "How do I get these clothes off without getting this goop all over this kid... and myself?!"

Sometimes these things can actually be managed with half a package of baby wipes and sometimes it requires a bath for baby and a shower for mommy. Maybe that shower doesn't actually happen for another two days, but hey, when you're a new mommy you count yourself lucky to get a shower more than once a week.

Just don't count on that once-a-week shower happening on Sabbath morning, though. While I was busy wondering how I could mask the spit-up smell in my hair without half a bottle of perfume, I actually SAW myself in the mirror and realized it had been a little bit too long since the last time I used a pair of tweezers. I didn't even WANT to look at my legs or count up the days (ahem...weeks) since I'd used a razor.

The real fun started, though, once we'd finally made it to church. The kids actually caught the last 15 min. of Sabbath School (yay!) thanks to the help of Grandma! I'm not sure we would have made it at all without her. Exactly 10 minutes after arrival I realized that while I had appropriately stocked the diaper bag with all the necessary items for BABY, I had NOT stocked it at all for Mommy.

What does Mommy need, you ask? Well, for starters, disposable nursing pads (hereafter to be known as DNP so I don't slip up and say "breast pad" or worse, just refer to them as pads). Again, you would think that somewhere along the way with THREE previous babies I would have realized how important this is. Or how important it is to replace the DNPs after EVERY time you feed the baby. Because there was a very uncomfortable moment while standing in the foyer when I realized I had ONE DNP in place, not TWO. While my baby began to fuss...

Let me follow that little PSA by another PSA: Whatever you do, when you find yourself in that sort of situation, do NOT use toilet paper as a substitute for a DNP. Unless you like having TP mush in your bra and have some sort of plan for how to clean it OFF before the next feeding. Really, if I'm ever in that sort of situation again (which, I hopefully won't be thanks to a now fully-stocked-for-Mommy diaper bag) I will go for the full-size sanitary pad DNP-substitute and pretend I have always had a very lopsided chest.

The other thing that I learned MUST be stocked up on? Oh yes, that's right - pads and pantyliners. Because why stop at just one embarrassing leak? No, no, let's go for the full-body betrayal here. And might I just stop right here to say THANK YOU to the lady who made sure there were extra supplies stocked up under the sink in the ladies' room?


I mean, I KNOW I've learned these important lessons already, but I seem to have a VERY hard time remembering them!

Apparently I have a hard time remembering a lot of things.

Later that day when we were at home, my mom had a headache so I went to the kitchen to get her some ibuprofen. I grabbed the bottle, shook out a dose, and then went to the sink to get a drink of water for her. But then I remembered she already had a bottle of water with her in the living room, so I got myself a drink, turned around, and walked into the living room. Once there I stood in the middle of the rug looking around, confused. I was SURE I had just had some ibuprofen in my hand. Where did it go? I looked down at my two empty hands and KNEW I had just lost my mind. Maybe I was dreaming? Sleep-walking? Something was wrong, here. I retraced my steps, even squatted down and looked on the floor... and then I burst out laughing. Well, I didn't have a headache to begin with, but after that I was SURE I wasn't going to GET one, either!

Now that's some scary memory loss. And that's not all of it.

This is my second full week of packing up all 4 kids and getting two of them off to school on time without the help of grandma. It has been busy, but we have not been late once! I have, however, had at least one of these thoughts go through my head on almost every single morning:

"Did I brush my hair?"
"Did I brush my TEETH?!"
"Am I wearing exactly the same jeans and hoodie I wore yesterday?"
"Will I ever find the time to put some makeup on again?!"


Maybe my memory will come back right about the time my night sweats let up and my hair starts to fall out. Gotta love those hormones. Or lack thereof.

At least I know I'm not alone, here. Yesterday morning I saw places on the road where there was distinct evidence that at least two people were going to arrive at work and wonder what on earth they'd done with their coffee... until they got out and saw the coffee stains on the trunk. And it wasn't even Monday.

Ah, there is bit of companionship in shared amnesia!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Swiftly Fly The Years

My son has a large collection of LEGOs. And every day roughly half of them end up on his bedroom floor, despite many efforts to achieve some sort of organization system that keeps them in bins, on tables, or in the queen size flat sheet that can be laid out so they can be dug through and then picked up by just grabbing up the four corners!

Just when I thought my next step as a parent would be to remove some of the LEGOs from his collection until the time came when Josh could prove to be more organized and responsible... his other parent... *ahem* a.k.a. "the LEGO king"... proceeds to go down to the basement and retrieve A FEW of his old LEGO sets.

Yes, that's right, my 30-something husband has kept ALL of his LEGOs from his childhood, has taken extremely good care of them, and now owns complete sets from the 80's that are worth, together, a couple grand on ebay. Go figure. And I thought those bins and boxes in the basement were just taking up space.

You should see the collection of large tonka trucks and other similar sized equipment.

At least those stay out in the shop.


So, last weekend Colby pulled out one of the boxes of his old LEGOs and proceeded to build two large pirate ships in the living room, complete with pirates, parrots, monkeys, and canons that shoot! Joshua was beside himself with joy.

They played for hours, both of them lost in their LEGO world, until at one point Joshua stopped, sat back, and grew pensive. After a while Colby turned and asked him, "What are you thinking, son?"

Without hesitation his response came back, "I think you love me, Dad."

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Love You Too, Toad!

We were talking about relatives and how people are related to each other while driving home from school today. Josh was full of questions for me. Like this one:

Joshua: "What is Auntie Raini for you?"

Me: "Auntie Raini is my Sister-In-Law."

Joshua: "Sister what?!"

Me: "My Sister-In-Law. That means that she is not my sister by birth, but she is my sister by law because I married her brother."

Joshua: "...Oh."

Me: "But I love her like she's my sister!"

Joshua: "And I love you like you're my momma!"

Well, okay, then!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

While Waiting

While I was waiting that extra week for our little Evelyn to be born, I crocheted this cocoon thingy for a photo prop. Finally got around to putting her in it and snapping a few shots yesterday - good thing, too. She's just on the edge of too big to be sausaged into it!

She slept so well in it that after the photo shoot I laid her down still in it and she slept for 2 more hours!

Sunday, September 05, 2010

In the Quiet

It is just before 6 am. In the silence of the predawn stillness the only sound I am aware of is her breathing.

Her cheek rests against my skin and her tiny fingers grasp a fistful of my shirt. her eyelids flutter open and closed, open and closed.

We sit together in the stillness and rock in our chair.

I could go back and crawl in under the covers and try to steal a few more minutes of sleep, but these moments with her will never be mine again, so I stay.

She breathes. I breathe. I close my eyes and feel the weight of the little bundle in my arms. She fits perfectly and it seems as though my arms have been designed by God just for this.

No, I don't want to sleep.

I want to make this memory stay. I want to shove every little detail into a little box and put it somewhere safe and never, ever lose it.

She sighs.

Something tightens in the base of my throat, and my heart begins to beat in a painful little way.

Thankful beyond words, I hope my Father above hears what I cannot say.

Saturday, September 04, 2010

Birth Announcement

Evelyn Claire
born August 29, 2010 at 1:50 am.
7 lbs. 15 oz. ~ 20.5 inches long.

I thought I'd take a minute to add this to the blog. Someday I'll add a birth story, you know, someday when I have enough time to put two thoughts together in a row again! lol!


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