Friday, November 30, 2012

How's Your Week Been?

My husband is on a business trip, and he made the mistake of asking, so I told him.

"Why, yes.  That is the pile of dirty laundry.  It is taller than the kids.  The part for the washing machine arrived and can you fix it, like, as soon as you get home?  Clearly,we are desperate around here.  Everyone is starting to complain.  At least they all have enough underwear to go for about a month.  Or they’re supposed to.  Will can never find any of his.  Don’t ask.   

The door to the laundry chute can't even close.
Will wore shorts today to school.  It was 27 degrees this morning and there was frost on the car.  He tried to sneak out with shorts and a short sleeve tee shirt.  I give up.  I don’t even have it in me to fight anymore.  The thing is, the other boys at the bus stop think he’s lucky, not an idiot.  Which just illustrates the convolutedness of 11-year-old boy logic.  

Speaking of Will, he ate a 12-piece chicken nugget meal from Chick Fil A before swim practice last night because I was trying to cram some dinner into everyone between karate and swimming, and got a cramp that lasted the entire practice.  Whoops.

Why do we have so much Christmas stuff?  I got it out of the attic to start decorating, but now the hallway is crammed with it and I can’t even begin to find our Elf on the Shelf.  I think he might be stashed in our bathroom somewhere?  I may or may not have seen him lurking amongst the painkillers and muscle relaxers and creams and linens…and I think I might like to join him.  

Tate desperately wants to find your old Elf on the Shelf so he can play with it.  That thing is creepy with a k.  It’s going to give him nightmares.  He already insists there’s a ghost living in the attic that walks around at night.  I told him maybe it was that elf we were looking for, that maybe he was hiding up there and spying on us all as we slept.  It probably wasn't my best idea.  His eyes got really big and he got really quiet.  And now he’s probably going to have nightmares, FOR REAL, but I couldn’t resist.

Tate also has made it his mission since yesterday afternoon to scare me at every opportunity.  The thing is, he’s pretty good at it.  I think it’s because he yells in such a demented high-pitched squeal.  It’s freaky.   He is tickled to death every time. Will is, quite frankly, confounded by Tate’s success in this endeavor.  Of course, that kid is about as subtle as an elephant.

Meems still thinks anything added to 0 is 0.  Also, if you subtract 0 from a number, the answer is 0.  Sigh.  Unfortunately, this will probably reverse itself when we get to multiplication and she’s actually right.  However, she doesn’t neglect to fight me on it every. stinking. time.  And she’ll fight me then, too.

In other news, she was honored in front of the school yesterday when she won a most-deserved award for Compassion.  Of course, our day ended with her melting down screaming “WHATEVER, FINE, WHATEVER, ARRRRGHHH” at me while she tried to slam the bathroom door that was stuck on a towel so it kept bouncing back open.  What didn't help?  Me laughing.  Compassion fail.  I think she was hungry. Girl needs some protein.

Super proud.
Tate slept in my bed last night and in the middle of the night, he threw his arm around me and giggles “Come here, you!  Let’s snuggle.”  Which is kind of weird, maybe??  It might be time for me to tone it down a little.  

Wow, look at how filthy that glass is.

And this.  I swear I kept feeling like someone was watching me the other night.  Reminds me of Batman in the Nativity, which Tate mentioned the other day.  Then he pressed his fingers together and gave me a crazy face followed by "mwah ha ha."  

That’s all.  Have a good meeting.  Oh, BTW, that jeep thingy IS $2650.  Love you."

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Every. Single. Morning.

There is an inordinate amount of senseless noise when the kids wake up.
every. single. morning.

Kids are told to keep it down.
every. single. morning.

There is a fight over a particular chair in the kitchen.  
every. single. morning.

There is a mess with cereal, despite their protestations that they are being neat.  
every. single. morning.

They try to pour their milk down the drain, and get caught doing so.  Then whine when they have to finish it anyway.  Yet they insist on a cup of milk.  
every. single. morning.

Someone breathes morning breath on someone else until there is screaming.  
every. single. morning.

Someone doesn’t know what to wear.  But knows what he/she doesn’t want to wear.  
every. single. morning.

No, you can’t wear the same shirt you slept in.  
every. single. morning. 

Someone forgets to brush their teeth, then stomps up the stairs to do so once they are reminded/caught.
every. single. morning.

Someone forgets to brush his hair. 
every. single. morning.

I squeeze toothpaste back into the tube.  
every. single. morning.

All these things are translated by the kids as parents yelling. 
every. single. morning.

You think you’d learn -- "The Conversation." 
every. single. morning.

Someone stinks/clogs/monopolizes the shared bathroom to the chorus of much voice raising by their siblings and parents.  
every. single. morning.

Tate spends more time dancing to his Tooth Tunes brush than actually brushing his teeth and has to be told to settle down.  
every. single. morning.

I remind at least one child to wear a coat.  
every. single. morning.

Somehow we make it out the door on time.  
every. single. morning.

I walk them to the bus to see them off to school, then wave to the bus as it departs. 
every. single. morning.

I give a good morning kiss and snuggle to each child, whether they want one or not.  
every. single. morning.

And the routine starts all over again.  
every. single. morning.

And I am blessed and thankful for it all.
every. single. morning.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans' Day

Today I am thankful for the veterans and soldiers who so bravely put their life ahead of mine each and every day.  

Today, I am thankful for the brave veterans in my life.

My Dad

My Brother

My Uncle Butch

And cousin Michael Johnson (sadly, I do not have a photo of him).

Here's a little girl who loves to sing patriotic songs.
A (hopefully) little smile for the veterans in my life, and maybe veterans everywhere.

Thank you for your service to your country.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

6-Year-Olds Know What Makes a Good President

The other day, I called upstairs to the playroom to see what Tate was doing.

Although I love the fact that my children are old enough to play on their own, sometimes the quiet makes me...nervous.  When this happens, I either start hollering names until someone answers me and then make them each report on what they are doin, or, I quietly find them and peek in on them.  I prefer to just stand in the doorway silently until they notice me with a startle.  Gotta leave them guessing, but knowing that you are always hovering around somewhere checking.  It might make me sound crazy, but the way I see it, the days of not being able to look away for just one second are not over – the things they can get into are just scarier.

Obviously, I do let them have the freedom to play independently.  I just like to monitor.  It is, unapologetically, who I am.

Back to Tate.  He was in the playroom.  I called up to see what he was up to.  Remember, this is the kid who quietly sliced his finger a couple weeks ago, then tried to doctor himself up, then tried to mop up the bloody bathroom.  All in a matter of 15 minutes or less.

“I’m trying to put underwear on this guy.”

Words you don’t really expect to hear.  This is a new one, even for him.

Upstairs, I see he has stripped Construction Man down to his birthday suit.  {Construction Man is like a “Ken” doll, but duded up in work clothes with a massive tool belt.  I believe he was given to my husband as a joke when he had some troubles with a construction project, and he made his way into our toybox, only to be unearthed many years later by Tate, who has a knack for finding completely random stuff.}  Tate has fashioned underpants out of blue tissues and is trying to staple it all together.  He looks up at my face, and based on my expression, immediately asks “what?”  I mean, what’s so weird about making underwear for your boy Barbie?  Dude needs some skivvies.  Construction Man apparently prefers going commando +  there is a girl in the house = Inappropriateness.

“Can you help me?”  I swear, that kid has the sweetest little voice and face.  And I am putty in his hands.

“Sure.”  And so I get to work. But it’s diifficult getting the bottom part of the stapler down the pants to get the stapler to work and still get a nice fit on the underwear.  So we noodle it around a bit, add some tape (Tate’s favorite binding tool) and, voila!  Construction Man is now Diaper Man.  But, I have to sadly explain to Tate CM’s pants are going to rip the tissue.

“That’s OK.  He doesn’t need pants.”


I go back downstairs to endless election coverage where the networks are prematurely calling elections in a bid to be the first, and changing out my purse.  Momentarily, he appears, and now Diaper Man also has a blue tissue cape stapled around his waist.

He is the first super human super hero Presidential Candidate.  He will help people.  He will not be mean.  He is smart.  He has big muscles to fight the bad guys.  He doesn't brag.  And he’s always honest.  He has perseverance, integrity, compassion, a commitment to quality, and will be a good collaborator.  {These last five are the character traits taught to my children by their school in an impressive character development program it has in place.}

And it occurs to me – isn’t it remarkable how children so innately understand what it takes to make a good leader?  It’s simple really:  be good, be true, be honest, be kind, be generous, be humble, be accountable, be brave.  If you have big muscles, even better.  When, in our journey into adulthood, do we lose that ideal?  Should we have to?

Diaper Man for President 2016?  Yes, he was created by a 6-year-old.  Yes, he wears only blue underpants.  But somehow, I feel certain we could use a candidate like him.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Happy Monday, and Happy Birthday

Today, I am happy for this guy.

Today is his 11th birthday, and later we'll open presents, but really, I'm the one who gets the best gift every year.  

After years of struggle, he gave me the gift of motherhood.

I could not be more grateful for him.  He has changed my life in so many wonderful ways.

He is an amazing child.  Strong, independent, silly, smart, fearless, trustworthy, energetic, funny, sensitive and quick witted.  

A good friend.  A good brother.

A good kid.

He has given us an eventful week.  Last Monday, he was admitted to the hospital with blood poisoning.  Which is no joke.  
An "impressive" streak.

IV's are no fun.  Look at his little jammies.  They say "tired little tiger."  We had a good laugh over those!

Happy to be going home in time for trick or treat.

This Monday, we're happy to be home and that he's still with us to celebrate.  It could have been much, much different.  

I'm happy for energetic friends who made his birthday extra special with a sleepover.  I am also grateful for good weather, as they were outside playing football by 8:00am yesterday morning.
All that energy is much, MUCH better spent outdoors.

Happy happy birthday to my most wonderful Will Man.  Although I miss the days when you were happiest to nap in my arms, I welcome and embrace the kid you've become, and the man you're growing up to be.  You make me laugh every day.  You make me smile constantly.  You have introduced me to a world I never knew and have given me the wonderful gift of a mom's bond with her son.  You're so easy, and always have been, that sometimes I worry I take you for granted, especially when I'm struggling with whatever crises your siblings or life in general might present.
I don't.  It's those moments that make me appreciate your quiet strength and sensitivity even more.  

Your dad and I are so blessed.

Love you baby boy.