Sunday, June 27, 2010

Deer babies and DHS (Sometimes I come a bit too close to crazy)

This weekend was wonderful. Jeff was back in town and we got to enjoy the sunshine and spend some time outside - and besides Carter stepping on a nail that punctured the bottom of his foot and Jack getting a tick embedded in his skull - it was mostly uneventful.

Not much out of the ordinary happened (besides said injuries), but the following paragraphs will explain why my husband will never let me forget what, in his opinion, was one of the "highlights" of the weekend.

We live about 20 minutes outside of town so it's a nice drive and sometimes (actually pretty often) we get to see some wild life in the fields on our way. Jeff spotted a doe (a deer. A female deer) on the side of the road and I gasped as I saw her along with her two spotted babies. "TWINS! She has twins!" Anyone who has known me for long knows that I've prayed for twins every time I found out I was pregnant. Admittedly there are times when I get overwhelmed with the three kids I have, but if I knew I could have twins I'd be all for getting preggo again. Right now. Anyway, back to the story. The kids and I are super excited to see the deer and as we get even closer Jeff says, "Wait, look! She's got three babies!"

This is where I sort of lost it. I admit now that I was being a little (a lot) dramatic and it's ridiculous, but pretty much - embarrassing as it is - this is the tangent I went off on:

"WHAT!? She's got THREE babies!?! Why does she get triplets when I didn't even get twins? Look at her all smug-like just walking around with them, showing them off to everyone who wanted but never got multiples - Who does she think she is?" And possibly some other stuff about calling DHS because she was walking all of her babies on the railroad tracks (hello! Safety violation!), but you already get how unreasonable I was from the little bit I shared.

In my defense.... okay. I've got nothing. I was in a jealous rage over a deer-mom who had what I thought I always wanted (wait - three deer babies?? - mass confusion). I'm over it. Really. But I'd still have twins if I could. People-twins, not deer-twins, just to be clear.

Oh, and Jeff canceled my pre-scheduled DVR recordings of "Make Room for Multiples" on TLC just to help tone down the crazy.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Getting emotional over grapes. (Yes, you read that right. Grapes.)

It is possible that I'm being slightly emotional. It's been known to happen. But this morning I woke up and was just sort of having a hard time. Jeff left at 3:45am to catch a plane for a business trip until Friday and the kids came storming in my room fairly early ready to start the day, so I did what any (admittedly) "normal" stay at home mom would do during the first "official" week of summer (and will probably do every week of summer that her husband is gone on trips). I gathered the kids and lined them up snuggly in my (now mostly empty) king sized bed and I turned on PBS kids cartoons so that I could sleep another hour. Pure bliss.

Sounds like a good start, right? Well, that start was pretty great but it doesn't count because I barely remember any of it. The part I do remember is Jack walking up to me when I was attempting to make a pot of coffee, which was a rookie mistake on his part; you don't whine to mommy until after she can smell coffee brewing (he knows that too, it's the part we stress the most in orientation). He was practically falling on the floor in frustration. I mean this kid was frustrated. Mad like I had never seen him mad before (and he is perfectly capable of getting mad). He kept saying, "Help me, Mommy! HELP!" I was looking down at him trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with him, but I could see nothing. I finally got him calmed down enought to get him to talk to me. He shrugs his little shoulders as a surrender and opens his hands.

In one hand he has a little vine of grapes with exactly seven grapes still attached to it. "Do you want Mommy to help you take those off so you can eat them?" Met with, "Nooooooo!" I finally pry the other hand open to find one single small lonely grape all but mashed in his chubby little palm. "This, Mommy! Help with this!" He was trying to put the grape that apparently fell off the vine back on. "Mommy, pplleeaassee!" The pathetic little look on his face showed how very badly he wanted this grape back on and I have never felt more useless. There was literally nothing I could do. I couldn't put the grape back on. I couldn't "fix" it. I am not super-mommy today.

Like I said before, probably (obviously) an over emotional morning. Seriously, am I really going to be mad at myself that I can't magically put a grape back on it's vine? This was the first of many times that I won't be able to fix it for him and the first of many that I will watch him slowly and simply "get over it." Maybe I should take note from him, and start doing exactly that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Dear Summer...

Dear Summer (vacation, not weather),

Thanks for showing up. The kids are home and they are running around the house like a bunch of clowns at a rodeo. They are insisting on wearing their new swimsuits even though it's barely sixty degrees outside and you know? I'm fine with it. Fine with the swimsuits, fine with the kids running around and fine with the weather being a little chilly.

It feels like we've been waiting a long time for you to get here, but now that you're here it feels like you sort of crept up on us. We're happy nonetheless.

We are so excited to get to go camping, fishing, turn 6!! (Carter), and the big 3-0! (Jeff). We're excited to sleep on the floor in sleeping bags (the kids, not me). and not have to get woken up before we're ready (again the kids, not me). We are excited to go to the ocean and play on the beach. We get to finally put up the fence in the back yard and build shelving units in the garage. We get to leave the kids at Grandma and Grandpa's for a few nights while I fly to Alaska (a.l.o.n.e. YAY!).

Oh, the possibilities feel endless when you're around. The list is long and the months are short, but we're determined to pack as much in as we can while you're here. Thank you for coming and I hope that when it's time for you to go we will be able to say we enjoyed the time we had, took advantage of every minute, and feeling how blessed we are never forgot to cherish each other's company.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Raising Boys (I should have taken a class)

This morning I picked Carter up from school and took the boys into town to run some errands. Our last stop was grocery shopping (you know, saving the most painful for last). As I was shopping in the produce section Jack accidently dropped a little box of blackberries on the floor. I looked down and noticed that they fell everywhere and so I asked Carter to pick them up quickly and put them back in the box. I turned my back from the boys to pick out some other fruit and when I turned back toward them I saw (along with what I swear half the people in the store were gawking at), Carter scrambling all over the floor (on all fours) shovelling all the berries from the floor into his mouth as fast as he could. I gasped and said, "Carter!? I said put them in the box!" He just looked at me with a purple grin and blackberries all over his face and said, "I just remember you saying to pick them up quickly. That was pretty fast, huh Mom!?"
Do you think there's any chance that when I glanced at the people all staring at my son, they were shaking their heads out of sympathy and not complete shock and awe over what he was doing?
Yeah, me neither. It was judgement all the way. He was fast though, I'll at least give him that.

Lesson in humility #452. Check.

Family Reunion

We had a super fun and sun filled weekend. We haven't had the sun shining on our translucent white faces for quite sometime (seriously, we were starting to resemble the characters of Twilight) but we finally got our fix (of sun, not blood) and it was wonderful! We had a family reunion this weekend at the lake (Jeff's-Dad's-Mom's-family--you follow?). Technically we weren't camping (as when it was time to go to bed we piled into the Suburban and headed down to Jeff's parent's house to crash while they camped at the lake) but we got to spend some great times with family and we all had such a fun couple of days. I can honestly say that I L.O.V.E. his family. Laughing, teasing, and getting slaughtered at Cribbage all weekend. It was nice (besides the Cribbage beatings). Since the sun was out, the kids got to play in the lake, which they have been waiting for for about 10 months. Their smiles and laughter are so contageous I could listen to it for hours. I know it sounds obvious to say but seriously, I love those kids so much! They're pretty awesome, and it was a good weekend.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

"Pants. She wears tight pants." (Think "France. We come from France.")

Side note: I know. But this is the first "side note" in a while, give me a break. Anyway. The side note is that the title is a bit much, but after writing it I read it over and laughed out loud at how dumb it was. So it stays.

I'm writing this on my blog because I know less people read my blog than a status update on FaceBook and it's too hilarious to keep to myself, but too embarrassing to post to FaceBook. Here it goes.

After my run today (in the garage on my treadmill; I don't just leave the kids in the house and take off) I came back in and sat down at my desk drinking some water and trying to cool down a bit. Natalie walks up to me, looks me up and down and goes, "Are those your pants?"

"Yes. They are."

"Oh... So they just had to really, really stretch to fit you?"

*Cue crickets.*

Admittedly, my running pants are tighter than any pants I'd ever wear in public (they have to stay up when I run for goodness' sake!) but it still didn't prepare me for that. If nothing else, my kids have repetedly taught me humility. For this I'm... thankful?


I am wondering if it's because Jeff and I rock-paper-scissors to solve most of our disagreements (not really, but apparently we rock-paper-scissors often enough) that Natalie and Carter have discovered the art as well. They will rock-paper-scissors over who gets to check the mail, over who gets to sit in the middle, over who gets to pray first, over who has to take a bath with Jack and over who lets the dog out. Pretty much over anything. It's a great problem solver in our household and I love it because it saves me from the headache that is remembering who got to (do whatever) last time.

However, times are changin' and a certain little one is growing up too quickly. Jack is observing everything his older siblings do and he is taking mental notes of every single move. Apparently he thinks that any request is now a negotiation... thanks to rock-paper-scissors. I (very nicely) ask him to put his plate on the counter.... "Rock-paper-scissors, Mom!" "Uh, no. You need to do it." "Nooooo! Rock-paper-scissors! You do it!" Yeah, nice.

I admit, I love his creativity, the fact that his little brain is working, and that at such a young age he is already trying to figure out how to get out of work and do the least amount of whatever possible (sense the sarcasm). What I don't love so much anymore? Rock-paper-scissors.

This is a video clip (super short) of Jack demonstrating Rock-Paper-Scissors. He doesn't know what it means, he just knows that afterwards there is a winner (and it is always him).

Monday, June 7, 2010

Goal: A Servant's Heart

I have it pretty great. I'm not trying to brag, just trying to stay focused on the m.a.n.y. blessings in my life so as to not get discouraged when I'm doing the "little" things like laundry, dishes and mopping (etc.) today.


I have a husband who would literally die for me. I know he would; he loves me that much. I do hope he never has to, though. I'm a fan of having him around.

I have three amazingly wonderful children who I am so very much looking forward to spending the summer with. They are crazy-fun and quirky and they come up with stuff that constantly keeps me on my toes.

It is for these four people that I happily do laundry (happily is the goal, anyway). I am honored to wash their dishes, clothes and floors. I scrub the toilets and the sinks and wash the windows and mirrors so that they never have to think about it because I love them. I want to love them and serve them in this way because Jesus first loved me. I want to have a servant's heart-- even when I get treated as a servant (by Carter who thought it was hilarious to call me the butler. Once.). I don't get paid monetarily to do all of these things, but I feel like it's a huge blessing that it's the only "job" I have.

Don't get me wrong, our kids are learning how to help around the house and they have their "chores," but there are things that I do and I want my attitude to be right as I do them. I want to remember that it is a priviledge to have a house to clean. It is a priviledge to have a family to do all of this for. I don't want to take any of it for granted. I am grateful for the life that I have. I am grateful for my amazing husband and for our beautiful children... even when I am folding their clothes and finding (my) waterbottles full of worms under their beds as I clean.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Jean Diaper

Apparently Huggies has come up with a new line of diapers. They're called "Jean Diapers" and they are shaped like (because they are indeed) diapers, but they are the color and "look" of jeans. They even look like they have fake pockets on the back.

I (personally) think they're a bit much and I'm not a big fan of the jean diaper look per se, but after seeing the commercial for the first time I will admit to laughing out loud when I read the ending tag line:

"The Coolest You'll Look Pooping Your Pants."

I don't necessarily like the whole "jean diapers" idea (and my view on disposable diapers has changed a lot since my first baby was born and if I could do it all over I would certainly do it differently, but I'll save that for a different post), but that tag line... that is hilarious.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Trusting and Trying

Why on earth am I so afraid? What am I afraid of, failing? Who cares (I mean really--do you, who I apparently think judge me as harshly as I judge myself) -- and what do I possibly think you are going to do with the information if I do fail? Tell someone?! (Gasp!) I have a feeling I think people judge my words, actions and non-actions much more often than it happens in reality (are we all so self-centered? No? Just me? Oh, okay.)

I'm "training" for a half marathon. (See, I can't even just say training because I don't think I'm good enough to actually be doing it... hense the quotations.) I started last year and then set it aside for a bit (8 months) and now I've been working at it again for 3 1/2 weeks. Friday I ran 6 miles (SIX MILES!) and yet for some reason in my brain it doesn't count. For anything. Maybe because I'm not a thin person. Maybe because I've never been a "runner." Maybe because I just don't want people to get wind that I've been trying to achieve a personal goal for fear that I might not see it to fruition and word will get out that I failed. I'm not sure. Probably all of those things. I'm not even sure why I'm writing all of this down, except that I know that if I don't it will boil in my brain and I will be unable to set it aside. I just need to get some things straightened out.

I might not be the fastest, thinnest, most capable, or best, but I can do my best. I might not be training to win (I'm actually training to not die before the finish line) and that's not just fine, it's great because it's my goal. I don't want to be the person who never tried anything because I was afraid of failing. I don't want to be the person who never took risks. I don't want to simply survive my life, I want to thrive in it. God gave me abilities (I might not run fast, but I can run) and I need to simply trust that He'll help me if I set my pride down and give Him the glory long enough to actually use them. I want to be proud of myself for trusting and trying even if I fail instead of kicking myself for walking away and not even giving it a shot. If I fail, I fail. But is it really even failing if you try your best (and especially if you learn something along the way)? I think that failing is not trying in the first place. Anything above that is sticker-worthy... so lay one on me because I'm not only giving it a shot, I'm writing to tell about it.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Opening Weekend of Camping Season

End of May and the first camping trip of the season. We went to La Pine and as we were packing up the Suburban to head home after 3 days, Carter says, "I really like camping. This is the Pine I want to go camping at next time too." To which Jack says, "I yike pinecone!"

We really, really had a great time. It was so much fun watching the kids build forts on the property. (In the picture is Natalie, Micah, Shayna and Carter... but also note that Grace and Jack are hidden a bit in the fort-- bottom left corner of pic. It was a really great fort!)

We loved watching them explore with their walky-talkies in hand, make Smores, shoot their bows, and get so dirty that their formerly white socks were literally completely brown. When we got home and I started a load of laundry I contemplated just tossing all the socks in the garbage. Don't worry, I didn't... but that did teach me that I would probably not do well with a baby in cloth diapers--- and no, we are not expecting a baby. Sorry, Mom.

Jeff and I took the boys in the boat for a float down the Deschutes river (I should get a medal!). Jeff was stoked that I had a good time on the water and it was actually relaxing. I can't even describe how beautiful it is on that river (so I'll post a picture).
We had a good time relaxing and hanging out with family and just spending a couple of days away from "regular life."

But now "regular life" is back on. School is wrapping up and we are all looking forward to summer (apparently the weather didn't get the memo that the kids are out of school pretty soon though because the rain is POURING DOWN outside right now). I get to go on a field trip with Carter tomorrow morning (that is outside-- seriously, someone give the weather the memo already!) and we're both really looking forward to it. It's at the "Raptor Center." I think it would be fair to say that Carter's a little more excited than I am, but I love seeing him get excited about... everything!

I'm trying to get back into my routine of running after 4 days off and seeing some unflattering pictures of myself, but man! it's not easy after taking a "break" to jump right back in, especially when I've got so many excuses, like laundry... and... and... okay. Maybe I should just do it, like laundry has ever really kept me from doing something... Who am I trying to kid? So, when my Dad gets here tomorrow morning to spend some time with Jack while I go to the Raptor Center with Carter's class the house will be a mess and the laundry won't be done but I will be 5 miles closer to my goal of... well, I'll be 5 miles closer to "goal."

After the long camping weekend and needing a day of recovery (yesterday: Tuesday) today is the refreshed Monday (and it's just a super-short week). Here's to the first (WET) week of June!