Thursday, April 30, 2009

Trip to the library + kids = serious time frame that should not be messed with

So, I had been looking for good reads the other day- trying to drum up some response on FB, and got some good replies. Unfortunately my trip to the library was made before the responses came so I have yet to look for any of them.

What I did encounter at the library was a tired-out baby who was in bad need of a nap by the time story hour was through. So there I was, scanning the books in the new fiction section as fast as I could desperately hoping for one of my old faithful favorite authors to jump off the shelf at me while Hannah was squirming in my arms trying to tear through the books I was holding... Because the other two decided today that I had the honors of carrying their choices through the library. Last time I couldn't pry them out of Jack's hands longer than it took to get them up on the counter and scanned without him throwing a fit.

Anyways, it didn't take more than a minute or two for Hannah to decide enough was enough. Her selfish mother was trying to look at books for herself while being oblivious to the impending needs of her child. How dare she! I obviously wasn't getting the message that she needed to leave, like, ten minutes ago so she began to scream causing me to grab the first book that happened to be sitting in my line of vision at the moment. She screamed unrelentlessly, I raced to the desk to check out the books (flustering the poor high school boy that was working behind the desk, I think), and we left.

Well. Finally got around to opening the book today and I'm kind of disappointed. Not too impressed with the author's style of writing- or the story itself for that matter. I do have to commend her on choosing red for a cover, however, because it obviously caught my attention quickly.

Speaking of red- I found a red toaster oven at the L girls' garage sale and I'm already enjoying it! And not just because it's red either (although that does have a huge positive going for it.) I told my sister I'm turning into my sisters after all. Red is just so... alive.

Still- back to the whole library mishap- I think from now on I bring the kids to story hour and then return at a completely different time sans kids to browse at my leisure. Oooh. And then drive down to the water and start reading it after I purchase a 25 cent coffee from the BP. Now, that sounds luxurious. My idea of a five star mini vacation.

But I will just settle for going to the library alone. Can't get too carried away, after all.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Where did April go?

So, I see it's been awhile. I've been preoccupied with the end of the school year. And chasing around my one-year old who has suddenly morphed into a calloused-knees, babbling, cupboard-emptying, busy-body.

She never stops. Up at seven, bouncing in her crib, ready to go.

Therefore, I've decided to forgo house cleaning until further notice. It's no use. And you think I'm kidding. I organize the cupboard, she dumps cereal all over the floor. I fold the clean clothes, she throws them in the bathtub (while the other two are taking a bath). I mop the floor, she reaches up on the table and finds a cup of fruit punch that someone left sitting too close to the edge. She's constantly beelining for the bathroom and I'm constantly digging hairbrushes, combs, and barrettes out of the toilet while yelling, "This door HAS to stay closed!"

I know you've all seen one-year olds before... but this one... the one I had pegged to be laid-back and easy-going... hah. She's reminding me never to think that again- no matter how sweet and innocent they appear in the early months. Laid-back. Pshaw. What's that again?

Anyways. Other than that... I'm ready to find some good books, or get into a good sewing project, and let the tornado swirl around me. And hoping for warm weather so I can park my lawn chair in the sun in the backyard.

Oh- funny thing. We have a fence around our yard and a rowdy group of neighbor kids in the house behind ours. Our kids like to stand on the back steps to see what those kids (who are a bit older than mine) are doing- and then copy them. For example- today two of them were playing baseball so Lydia finds a busted ice scraper and starts using that as her bat.

Well, the other day Ryan poked his head in the door and suggested I look out the window. One of the neighbor kids was using a garbage bag for a parachute and jumping off their garage roof. And all I could do was wonder how long it will be before my own kids are falling off the porch steps in a heap of broken bones with garbage bags around their heads.

So, are you garage saling? Finding deals? I've been out a couple times but haven't found much yet. More on that later, though... This is getting lengthy. Starts to happen when I forget to post for awhile. I'm impressed if you're still reading.

Okay, that's all.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Five minutes?

As I was sprawled across the couch this evening after supper, begging please kids... just let me close my eyes for ten.... okay, for five minutes, I understood why I'll never be able to give up coffee. Never. Five minutes- even three- must violate some code somewhere about mom taking a rest because as soon as I hit the couch I had three little monkeys lined up alongside me with all intents to disrupt my shut-eye as much as possible.

One is prying my eyes open (making the other two giggle right above my head), one is climbing up and down on top of me, and the other is obsessed with making sure I'm comfortable- do you want your feet covered, mom? Hmmm? No, thanks, I'm warm. I'll just cover them for you. Oh. Well, yeah, sure. Whatever.

Then one had the brilliant idea to throw the kiddie vacuum under the couch- while it was running. Please take that out, I asked trying to keep my voice neutral. Why, they ask, will it go dead? Uh, yeah. That's why. That combined with the fact that napping while having what sounds like a chainsaw running under my head is, come to find out, nearly impossible. No biggie, though.

Catch, mom! yells one and an orange rubber ball with a picture of Bugs Bunny on it connects with my forehead. The baby cries, the other two laugh, I roll over. Not surprisingly, the baby cries louder because now my eyes are not there for her to poke and prod to her content.

At last, I staggered into the kitchen, made some more coffee refusing to count how many cups I've already had today and admitted defeat. I'll just remain in my caffeine-induced stupor and we'll all be okay. Never mind that as soon as I stood, they all scattered to the other side of the room and suddenly became engrossed in some activity that did not- in any way- involve me or the couch.

As it turns out resting while you're still raising kids is against all rules. Huh. Who knew?

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Bubbles & New Beginings

We've been too busy chopping away at the snowbanks over here to be indoors, therefore I've neglected this blog. It felt so good to see the sun so early this morning, and to go off to story hour with no sweatshirts- just jackets- then return home for a walk and lunch on the back steps.

While the baby took her afternoon nap, the other two and I made tracks through the snow left in the backyard. They were attempting to dig out their sandbox with sand shovels and pails. It might be a tedious process but it kept them occupied for hours. They did, however, spend much of the time yelling, "Go away bugs!" at the top of their lungs while I offhandedly wondered what the neighbors were thinking.

The highlight of the afternoon was unearthing buried treasures left out in the yard before the snow settled last fall. A broken shovel, a set of wheels that once was a truck, a sparkly bouncy ball, and an extremely weathered, piece of sidewalk chalk.

After supper this evening, the kids happily marched back outside- each clutching the bubbles they got in their Easter baskets. They plopped themselves down on an overturned diaper box that just happened to be sitting in the backyard (please, please don't ask me why- it makes a good bench, okay?) and proceeded to blow bubbles. Suddenly, Lydia had the bright idea to chase after the bubbles- tossing her bottle of bubbles down on the box where they promptly spilled all over the box, all over Jack, and soon both kids were wailing- Jack was soaked, Lydia's bubbles were gone.

But wait. Not to fear, mom is prepared for these sorts of emergencies. So... off I trucked to locate the mega-size bottle of bubble solution from last summer to refill her bottle and stop her tears. All was well again for a few minutes until I ran inside for something and Jack decided to follow me. He got as far as the door before he dropped his bottle of bubbles on the porch floor- completely spilling the entire contents of his bottle.

And then we decided to call it a day. The kids came inside, I slipped off to class (1 of 2 left to go!) and returned after they were in bed.

I'll take the mud tracked across my kitchen floor, a slimy porch floor where the bubble solution spilled, and three pairs of soaked jeans because it means... spring is here. (Hush. I know snow is still lingering in the forecast, but I'm not thinking about that, okay?)

It might also be fair to say I'm overly tolerant of all of this because today my husband got a job! He'll start as a nurse-tech and then move into an LPN position once he passes his boards. Such a relief, I'm quite certain the kids could have moved an entire muddy snowbank into the kitchen then sat in it while it melted and I wouldn't have minded!

Enjoy the weather. Lift your face to the sun and breathe in the muddy, fresh, "funny good smell" (as Lydia calls it). Throw open your windows and let winter's stale air dissipate. Welcome the new beginings, because it's spring.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Finding quietness

Returning from a quick skip out of town today I was once again reminded (as I always am when I'm on a trip) how nice it is to come home. And wow, do I feel old writing that because I distinctly remember my own mother saying that while I sat in the back seat not really old enough to care. I crave the change of scenery and change of pace that comes with car trips, but the older I get the more I realize I am right where I want to be if I just stay here.

I've been really trying to focus lately on finding peace in the moment in which I am living. This has not always been an easy task for me- especially when the kids are screaming and yelling in the backseat well into hour four of the return trip- and I've completely run out of options to entertain while once again they're bawling for the pencil/bear/book/water bottle that just got tossed to the floor for the seven hundredth time. Well, quite honestly at those points I just revert to a nice extreme noise-reducing pair of earplugs to regain sanity while chaos richocets around me in the form of soft, gentle little thuds and wordless, distant chatter.

But I'm learning. I'm learning to really concentrate on breathing and consciously relaxing because I'm tired of feeling tense. I'm tired of waiting for the next minute to come as I can often (and yes, reluctantly) find myself doing. So I'm pulling myself back to right now. Being still, thinking slowly, feeling quieter (without the aid of earplugs). Tomorrow comes and goes too fast, leaving dusty reminders of what it was, yesterday can often be remembered yet never relived, but today is the moment in which we create the life we want to be living.

That's not to say I'm not looking forward to things (like the upcoming end of the school year or warmer weather), but I'm just trying to pay attention to the scenery on the way there. It's easy to say, it's probably over said, but it still deserves repeating: slow down enough to enjoy the journey.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

What it all boiled down to...

Well. Several tries and a few changes of clothes later... He decided he wanted a diaper back on. Oh well. Perhaps it sparked an interest. I had the feeling it was just too soon for him.

So instead, I...

  • Washed the clothes
  • Made some jello eggs with the kids
  • Got puked on by the baby
  • Crossed my fingers it was just a side effect of her cold
  • Drank, like a pot and half of coffee
  • Tried to study
  • Tried to stay awake
  • Checked the forcast for the next ten days
  • Wished I didn't
  • Found it called for daily snow showers and highs of 33 degrees
  • (No kidding)
  • Checked on the availability of some books at the local library
  • And found they all had a wait
  • Tried to convince the kids to clean up the living room
  • Tried to study some more
  • Rocked the baby
  • Read some books
  • Put the kids to bed early
  • Put my feet up
  • Had some dark chocolate (and another cup of coffee)
  • Ahhh...
  • Life is good

This joke better not be on me

Disclaimer: If talk about potty training, snot, and dirty diapers makes you squeamish please read no further. If not, well then my friend, read on!

Here's a subject I would've never thought I'd openly discuss several years ago: potty training. It's right up there with the other subjects that I find so freely flowing out of my mouth possibly to the utter disgust and discomfort to those around me. Hence the disclaimer. If you're still reading, then it's your own fault now.

Hah! We're doing a test run over here this morning with Jack- he just decided he wasn't going to wear a diaper today much to my amazement. I've heard about kids doing this before. Legend has it that one morning they just wake up and decide they're going to wear undies. And just like that they're trained. I'm not, however, believing for even a second that we could get that lucky. My mind is still scarred by months of accidents that followed one first good week with the last one. And I'm wondering if I'm ready for that again.

So far no accidents... But no success either so I guess that might suggest we're treading neutral ground at the moment. The treat bag is set up, the potty chair is waiting, the funny vocabulary used to describe ordinary bodily function is being used in a high-pitched overly excited voice (by me, not him)... And the Lysol, paper towel, and carpet cleaner are lined up on the counter. Because as much as I'd like to be I'm not an optimistic potty trainer as much as I pretend to be for the trainee's sake.

I'm trying not to think of the fact that he's decided to wear undies on April fool's day. That can't be a bad sign... right?! I'm usually not superstitious like that but this is the same kid who- when it's even mildly suggested to wear undies- usually replies with a belly laugh followed by an adamant "NO undies! I wear diapers!" So you understand my skepticism then.

Oh wait. There's accident number one.

Just had to be April fools day today, didn't it?