Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Because I Said So

Our older kids have started to ask why my answer is often, "Just because I said so." Perhaps I just don't feel like I really need to explain to them why they can't eat cookies a half hour before dinner, or ride their bike in the snow, or stay up until 10:00 on a school night. Or perhaps I believe they just need to accept authority for the sake of authority, without always having a reason. In "real life" we often don't get explanations behind the decisions made for us by our employers, lawmakers, and our ultimate authority, God Himself. But most times the thoughts that fly through my head as I'm justifying the "I'm your mother and I said so" logic go something like this:

Dear Child,

I carried you for nine months. I lived with nausea and vomiting and peeing every half hour while you tap danced on my bladder. You gave me stretch marks and a bruised tailbone that has never been quite the same since. I endured hours of painful labor, a not so pleasant delivery, and stitches in places where no one should ever have to be stitched. From late night feedings to bed wetting and bad dreams, I have lost more hours of sleep than you can fathom. I’ve sat on the edge of your bed watching you sleep when you had a fever, dragged out the humidifier and Vicks in the middle of the night when you had a cough, held back your hair and waited with a damp cloth while you vomited in the toilet, and cleaned it up when you didn’t make it to the toilet. I have encountered more pee, poop, spit up, snot, and vomit than you can imagine. I have stopped in the middle of necessary tasks to put cream on invisible mosquito bites and band-aids on miniscule scrapes. I have endured the humiliation of letting you scream your way through the grocery store, hoping to teach you that you will not always get what you want. I have waited many half hours for you to learn to dress yourself, when I could have done it myself in two minutes. I have gone through alphabet letters, counting by two’s, and memory verses enough times to make me want to put my head through the wall. I've sat in the freezing rain at football practices, listened to tone deaf children sing in Christmas concerts, nervously prayed that you wouldn’t forget your lines during class plays, and cheered for you like a mad woman at all of it. I have searched for more lost shoes, toys, and homework than I care to think about. I have stayed up until 2:00 AM on Christmas Eve wrapping presents, then awakened with you at 6:00 on Christmas morning with a smile on my face. I have dealt with playground bullies and unfair situations on your behalf in ways that you will never know about. I have stood in your doorway for hours to make sure it was done right while you cleaned your room, hoping to teach you responsibility. I have worn in public the ugly jewelry that you so proudly gave me, and displayed countless pieces of “artwork” simply because you made it for me. I have sacrificed things I would love to do and have, so that your needs and wants could be fulfilled. I daily serve as your cook, maid, chauffer, and entertainer. I have listened to hours of mind numbing chatter, and answered thousands of childish questions. I have held back tears while I watched you fall and make mistakes, so that you could learn for yourself what not to do, and picked you up again without an “I told you so.” I have dreamed for you, grieved for you, and prayed for you, while you live your life in innocent oblivion. But despite all the sleeplessness, struggles and “inconveniences,” I love you more than my own life, I humbly count it a blessing to be your mother, and I call you a gift from God. And for all those reasons, “I’m your mother and I said so” IS a perfectly acceptable answer. Thank you.


Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Playing Catch Up

I can't believe I haven't blogged since early June. Mack keeps telling me I should keep it up, that he misses it. I guess I feel like I should have something profound to say, or at the very least funny, and I guess I just don't feel that I have had anything to say that meets that description. Or if I do, life goes by too fast to sit down and process it.

Well, our 3 "big kids" are all in school now- Faithie is in 2nd grade, Apple in 1st, and C-Ray in kindergarten. When I look back to the days when they were all tiny, I felt like I would be trapped in toddlerhood forever, and that the day when they would go to school would never come. It seems like an eternity ago, yet also like it has gone lightning fast. Now, it's just Little One and me here most days. Not sure where all the "extra time" I thought I was going to have disappeared to. I often still feel like I need a clone or 3. Having just one at home has allowed me to volunteer and be more involved at the kids' school though, which is great.

We had an awesome Thanksgiving and long holiday weekend. It was "just us" this year, which is always bittersweet- nice because it is more relaxed and we get to focus our attention on the kids rather than "entertaining," but the fact that we are not surrounded by our other loved ones lingers in the air. Anyway, we decorated for Christmas and watched the Huskers on Friday, took the kids to Sesame Street Live on Saturday morning, and to a small town Christmas parade on Saturday night. Mack and the 3 "big kids" actually drove a vehicle in the parade, which was fun for them.

Looking forward now to Christmas. We are going to Texas this year- we haven't celebrated Christmas there in 5 years (C-Ray was just 8 months old, which is hard to fathom). The kids are so excited about being with Grandma & Grandpa and Nana & Papa! I think maybe the grandparents are a little bit excited, too...

Wednesday, 3 June 2009

Scattered Thoughts

So I am the world's worst blogger. No posts, no pictures. In my busyness, I forget about it. Same old stuff here- kids keep me busy, they say and do cute things but I forget to write them down, only 2 more days of school for the summer! We've been to Nebraska, we've been to Minnesota, planning to go camping in a few weeks, Mack and I will go to Seattle and California at the end of June and my mom and dad will stay with the kids. Thinking about going retroactive on the blog and writing some stuff about the "early years" with the kids before I forget it all. The other day Apple asked me what her first word was and I had to respond, "I have no idea." A little frightening. Celebrating nine years of marriage today. It has flown and it has crawled, if that makes any sense. It seems like yesterday, but we've crammed a WHOLE LOT of stuff into nine years! Someone told me the other day that we make marriage look easy. I had to laugh. It's definitely not easy, but it's wonderful and worth the effort! Sorry for the randomness- will try to put up a real post sometime :)

Monday, 27 April 2009

Bye Bye Birdies

Well, we had an incident today involving, C-Ray, the cat, and the birds in a confined space. The birds are fine, but Mom was traumatized enough that she decided it was finally time for the birdies to find a new home. I have arrangements with a lady who is supposed to come and get them tomorrow. I broke the news to Faithie, who cried her eyes out and locked herself in a room with them to "spend some time with them" before they left. Let it be known that she hasn't spent more than 5 consecutive minutes with them since a week after they arrived in our home. After those tactics garnered no sympathy from me, I found a note on my desk. There is a picture of a bird drawn on one side, and the following note on the other:

Dear Mom,
I wish you could give me another chane (chance). I konw (know) I haven't been giveing them food and water. I promie (promise) I will tack (take) better care of them. (Picture of a crying face drawn here)

I must be a horrible mom because I wanted to laugh hysterically. And I don't feel the least bit bad about giving her birds away. I am proud however, of her writing skills and knowledge of proper format for a letter- I think it's pretty good for a first grader- all that tuition is paying off!

Friday, 24 April 2009

"The Three Little Pigs," as Told by C-Ray

"There were 3 little pigs. One had a house made of bricks, one had a house made of sticks, and one had a house made of straws."

Can't you just picture in his little 5 year old mind a house built out of thousands of drinking straws?

Ponderings of a Tired Mommy

I have decided that there must be a flashing neon sign above my bedroom door that says, "Please Come In and Wake Me Up." The curious thing about this sign is that it is only visible between the hours of 1 AM to 5 AM and to people under the age of 8. How Little One can see it from her crib, I'll never know. Maybe it sends out an audible signal to her. We seriously need a king-sized bed so a child or two can fit without my having to cling for dear life to the edge of the mattress. Somehow, I was deluded into thinking that once babies "slept through the night," my sleep would be returned to me. No one told me that kids never really "sleep through the night." There is always one with a cough, or a bad dream, or needing to go to the bathroom, or wanting a drink, or an itchy mosquito bite, or cold, or hot, or any other number of reasons why the mysterious sign beckons them to my room. Mack tells me that when they are big, and no longer need Mommy in the middle of the night, I will miss it. That's because they don't come to his side of the bed.

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Chivalry is Dead

C-Ray was heading out to play with the girls yesterday, with his pirate sword in hand. As he was leaving, I said, "Cool sword, buddy."
C-Ray replied, "Thanks, Mom."
Me- "Are you going to protect your sisters with it outside?"
C-Ray- "No. Why would I do that?"

But on the flipside, he gets upset if any of us "girls" opens or holds a door while we are out, because that's "a boy job." Maybe there's hope.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Starting 'Em Young

Apple's favorite job to help with is washing dishes. I told her that was very convenient because it is my least favorite job. Anyway, this time Little One wanted to "help." They were SO cute!


I love Little One on her knees here- trying to get a better reach

Friday, 20 February 2009

Lessons in Eternity... From a Toddler

For those who can't keep up, Little One is our youngest- she is about 20 months right now. Apple is our second-born- she is 6. The other day, I was upstairs sorting laundry, and Apple and Little One were downstairs in our dining room. The spot where I was sitting provided me full access to hear everything going on with them. Apple was working on her Valentines for her class, and Little One kept trying to climb up onto the table and get to them. Now Apple is a GREAT big sister- she loves Little One, loves to play with her and help out with her, but she was getting frustrated and annoyed. After listening for a little bit, I finally called down, "Apple, she just wants the suckers you are attaching. Give her one of your extras and she'll leave you alone." Apple replied, "Mom, I don't have any extras- I gave them all to C-Ray." Pleased with her reason for not having any extras, I said, "You can give her one of Faithie's - her box is in the kitchen."

My intent was for Apple to either give Little One one of her own, then go get one of Faithie's to replace it, or to go by herself into the kitchen and get one, and bring it to Little One. But, in typical 6 year old fashion, Apple had her own plan. I begin to hear her say, "Come on, Little One. Let's go in the kitchen and get you a sucker! ...Come on!... Let's go!... We'll get you one from the kitchen... Little One... Mom, she's not coming!" Chuckling, I thought to myself, "Yeah, good luck with that, Apple- getting a toddler to leave the candy she can see to follow you for something she can't see." Suddenly, the gravity of that thought hit me.

That is exactly what we are called to do as Christians- forsake the tangible rewards and desires of this world, to follow something completely intangible- a God whom we have never seen with our eyes, based on a promise of things to come in heaven, and a faith that we truly will find fulfillment in this life by doing it His way. And, like my irrational toddler, how stubborn we are in our view of the tangible objects of our affection. We refuse to listen to the promises of God through Scripture and the wise counsel and instruction of those who know more than we do, which would actually help us attain the things that will satisfy our souls. Instead, we staunchly hold fast to our desire for worldly things we can't attain, and that wouldn't truly satisfy us even if we did.

As I sat upstairs listening, I kept thinking how foolish my Little One was being- to stay focused on something that she was never going to get, when Apple was promising her exactly what she wanted, she simply had to trust and follow to receive it. How must God view us- with our foolish stubborness leading us to frustration and emptiness, when all we have to do is simply trust and follow Him?

"He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose."
Jim Elliot

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Public Service Reminder

A four year old boy plus a can of soda stolen from the fridge without permission plus a cable box will result in an inconvenient trip to the cable store to get a new one.

Which Animal Says...

Yesterday, Little One was laying on the floor while I changed her diaper. Apple was sitting next to her, showing her a book of animals and telling her what each says. Little One was doing a great little job repeating all of her moos, quacks, and chirps. Then Apple coughed, and Little One repeated her with the cutest little fake cough!


A follow-up note to the story of C-Ray saying that the cleaning aisle at Wal-Mart smelled like Aunt J: Apple was not with us that day and had no idea that he had ever made that comment. She did come with us this week, and as we walked down that aisle, she said, "Mom, it smells really good right here. It smells like Aunt J's house!"

Monday, 19 January 2009

Old as the Hills

This morning, as I was combing Faithie's hair for school, she asks me, "Mom, did they have a vaccine for chickenpox when you were born?" I replied, "No, it hadn't been invented yet." Her answer? "Yeah, I didn't think so. We learned in school that way back in the old days, like when you were little, they didn't have the vaccine for chickenpox yet." Gee, thanks...

In the Mind of a Four Year Old Boy

Some recent conversations with C-Ray:

We were in his room getting pj's on. Mack had indeed come home, but I'm not sure if Colin saw him or not.
Colin: "It smells like Dad is home."
Me: "Oh really? What does Dad smell like?"
Colin: "Strawberries."

At Wal-Mart (the very next day), we were walking down the cleaning/air fresheners aisle.
Colin: "Mmmm... it smells good right here."
Me: "What does it smell like?"
Colin: "Aunt J"
I'm pretty sure he meant Aunt J'shouse, not Aunt J herself, but it was still good for a chuckle.

Colin steps on the bathroom scale and exclaims, "Mom! I got even taller!"