Thursday, June 30, 2011


Say what you will about me as a mother, but-- twice now in as many weeks I have allowed my seven-year-old to style my hair, and then I've gone out in public that way. Today, I even forgot I was in an Elisabeth Braid, and I got a compliment on it. Of course, it was from the stylist's father...

Wait-- does the fact that I'll go out in a seven-year-old's hairstyle tell you that I'm a loving, proud, patient mother; or does it tell you I just recognize my limitations when it comes to hair?

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Texting with the Fishies

As the sun was setting over a beautiful evening on the lake, my cell phone was plunging to the bottom of the lake. Now that I think about it, it's really kind of surprising this kind of thing never happened to me before. It was totally accidental... but totally my fault.

You see, Madeline was getting kind of antsy but the other kids were not ready to go in, so I pulled up the "Balloon Pop" app on my phone. Apparently, the balloons were not popping fast enough for Maddy, so she started banging the phone on the seat of the boat. Before I could stop her, the phone slipped from her hand and into the water. I yelled at Todd to "Stop the boat!" Like, what good was that going to do?

Benjamin cried and cried. I never realized he was so attached to my phone. It might have had something to do with him not getting a nap today.

Libby wanted to know why she didn't get to throw a cell phone to the bottom of the lake. And, if I was planning to spank Maddy, could she help?

Todd shrugged and said, "No big deal. We have insurance. It's totally covered." But I suppose it is a big deal to be without a cell phone in the 21st century. It sure does feel weird.

I know certain aspects of life will be completely inconvenient until we remedy this situation... but I really hated that phone-- and I am glad it's swimming with the fishes.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Definition is in the Question

Amanda asked this evening, "Mom, what does 'naive' mean?" Well, Honey, by virtue of you asking that question...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Here Comes the Sun

Just when I was starting to think we'd never see the sun again... The clouds part and the rays shine down. Yay! Last evening, I watched the girls softball game in long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a hoody and a jacket. Grandma wrapped up in the blanket, after she said her butt got frozen to the bleacher. The girls actually got to wear shorts to summer camp this morning-- what a concept! And I am avoiding housework, electing instead to soak up rays on the deck. Oh, yeah, the deck. I remember the deck.

Even one of my dwarf lilac trees is rejoicing!

Nearly five years in this house, and this is the first time it's ever bloomed. Now, if it could just inspire the other:

Thursday, June 23, 2011

The Day Camp Tan

Elisabeth walked into the house after her day at camp, plopped down and peeled off her stinky, wet, filthy socks.

"Look, Mom," she said, "at my tan line. Wow, I got really dark today." Really? Dark? Today? True, she was outside all day-- but the temperature never climbed past 61 degrees... the clouds were thicker than my pre-Lasik eyeglasses... and Libby was clad in long pants and a hooded jacket.

Yep, dirt. All dirt. I'm bleaching the socks and the rest of her clothes. The tennis shoes cannot be salvaged.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Stick Person

After the first day of Y camp, Amanda and Elisabeth sat at the kitchen table, devouring the contents of the refrigerator for their afternoon snack, while I emptied their backpacks so I could launder bathing suits, towels, and sweatshirts for the next day. I unzipped Libby's backpack to find it full of... sticks.

I inquired about said sticks. Libby told me one of the day's camp activities had been building a fort out of felled tree branches. The fort her group made was apparently so cool-- she claimed five people could fit inside-- that she wanted to bring home some of the branches to build her own fort.

Yesterday, Elisabeth climbed into the car with a stick as big as she is. "What's that?!" I asked. She told me it was her walking stick. Against my better judgement, and out of sheer pleasure that Libby was enjoying camp, I let her hold onto the stick. And, so, the ride home was full of "accidental" bonks on the head for siblings and "surprise" skips of the radio, which had never previously been operated from the back seat.

I know kids collect sticks. My mom tells stories of my brother filling his pockets with rocks and then walking into church that way. My other children have brought to me all make and measure of lake flotsam and yard jetsam. I guess I'm still giggling just because my Elisabeth does not strike me as a frontiersgirl. Now, if she found money at camp... or nail polish... I'd expect her to bring that home.

I'm excited to go pick her up now, to see how the collection grows!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Andrea's Inferno (Which Circle is Camp?)

I have often been known to say, "I don't camp." If asked to elaborate, I have explained, "It's mainly about being clean. I wouldn't mind being outside all the time and sleeping outdoors, as long as I had hot, running water and could use a real bathroom, shower and brush my teeth at will."

Well, that's not exactly true. I really love the great outdoors only in small intervals, with optimal weather conditions, and from prime vantage points.

I don't know which I hate more-- bugs or bug spray. The stickiness of sunscreen is also so annoying I've pretty much switched to just a daily facial moisturizer with SPF 15 for use on my whole body. I enjoy grilling or cooking over an open fire as much as the next pioneer, but I lack the skills or the open-mindedness to expand a menu beyond hot dogs and marshmallows... and it doesn't take long for that diet to get really old. I love to be barefoot, but I hate the feeling of sand or pebbles or twigs stuck to the bottoms of my feet. I love to swim, but I can't stand to sit around in a wet suit-- and don't even get me started on the "smell of lake."

Last summer, Auntie Lisa took Benjamin as her tentmate to an annual family reunion, held at a campground. He had the time of his life. She was going to keep Amanda and Elisabeth the next night, but thunderstorms drove them to the car and home. I was thrilled to be left out of the equation.

Amanda has been begging me to go to camp for a couple years. She says she's ready for sleep-away camp. I say, "Baby steps." So, this YMCA day camp she and Libby are attending is right up their alley. Among the list of must-haves for camp are shoes for hiking, jackets, bug spray, and sunscreen. The girls loaded their backpacks again this morning, and it was a good thing.

In these parts, we're experiencing unseasonably cool weather, with lots and lots of rain. When I checked the forecast last evening and saw an 80% chance of rain for the camp location (one town to the north) today, I knew we were in for it. Krinkeland got pounded with thunderstorms all night. While packing up, Amanda looked at me as though I was certifiably insane-- and totally uncool-- when I suggested they might want to bring their rubber boots.

We dodged water hazards all the way up the dirt drive to the camp office. The gnats and mosquitoes swarmed our car so heavily my vision was obstructed. I'm hardly exaggerating. Libby begged to be sprayed down before making the 50-foot dash from the car to the building. And, yes, you better believe we used the stuff with DEET.

Another mother saw me waving my arms in front of my face and she laughed. Once the girls were out of earshot, I muttered, "I don't know why anyone would want to spend the day at this Godforsaken place." If one of the girls had even slightly protested, I would have been happy to put her back in the van, and drive her to the nearest shopping mall.

As it was, they both bounded off for the outdoor amphitheater, chattering about activities like archery (translation: West Nile virus) and nature hikes (read: Dengue fever.) As for me and the younger ones, we drove back to civilization, stopping at Wal-Mart to stock up on calamine lotion.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control report that the insects kill more than one million people a year just through the transmission of malaria.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Parade Must Go On

How much fun is it to march in a parade in the rain?

The mommy in me says, "Not much." But the kids loved every minute of it.

Friday, June 17, 2011

All Shot Up

Elisabeth made it through this morning's surgery beautifully. She had Deflux gel injected in her left ureter to treat the reflux, and Botox injections throughout her bladder to treat the spasticity. It will be about two weeks' time before we are able to realize the full effects of this treatment.

Even though this was a very minor procedure with very little risk, we still rode the roller coaster of emotions. When it's your kid, you feel for her when she gets a hangnail. And this is a situation that's been going on with this child for about five years. It can be painful and uncomfortable, and it's definitely embarrassing.

Libby was very upset to miss the sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's (the other kids got to spend the night last night because we had to leave for the hospital very early this morning.) We promised Elisabeth a night at home with Mom and Dad, doing whatever it was she wanted to do on her one night as our "only child." She wanted nothing-- no card games, no movies, no craft projects-- the only consolation came from snuggling between Mom and Dad in our bed. Mommy got NO sleep in this arrangement, but Daddy and Libby were happy, snoring, kicking clams.

Elisabeth actually woke up ready to go at 5 a.m. (Big UGH.) She was chatty and responsive through the drive in to the hospital, admission, and the pre-op routine with her fun nurse. But she did an about-face when it came time to discuss the i.v. line and the anesthesia mask. I discussed my concerns with the anesthesia team-- it helped to preview and review the situation with my SIL CRNA-- but, by this time, Libby was all in her head. She became first withdrawn and weepy, and then downright hysterical.

I know this was all psychological... and the children's health professionals are some of the best in their field... but it didn't get easier. Finally, Daddy and I gowned up and accompanied Elisabeth into the operating room. She was really screaming by this point, so the CRNA just held on the mask and put her out in a matter of seconds. It was hard to watch, but we were so thankful for their expeditiousness.

The procedure itself was very short. Libby was in recovery for a while longer. Then, they returned her to the post-op room where we were waiting. Elisabeth was calm, still sleepy, and she seemed relieved. Hopefully, the results will be good and long-lasting. Time will tell.

The highlight of the morning was when Elisabeth's pre-op nurse told her about the "FatBooth" app for her iPod. Daddy downloaded it during the surgery, and Libby perked up once she figured out she'd be able to take photos of all her nurses and doctors and then distort their faces in grotesque ways. Sometimes, it's the little things...

Thursday, June 16, 2011


The past few times I've suggested going to the park, Elisabeth has said she doesn't want to walk or ride bikes to the nearest neighborhood park; instead, she's begged me to drive the kids halfway across town to the playground at the girls' school. I know, you're thinking, school's out for the summer-- why would Libby want to go play at school? Well, it didn't take too many trips for me to figure out her motivation: the monkey bars.

When I was Elisabeth's age, I, too, desperately wanted to master the monkey bars. I never did. I'm a wimp. I'm not strong. I'm a chicken, too. I was about Libby's age when at recess one winter day I fell off a hanging bar while attempting a penny drop and bit through my bottom lip. There was a lot of blood on my garage-sale, faux-fur coat... and I'm pretty sure I left most of my pride on that playground.

But our Libby is one stubborn simian. It's only mid-June and she is already Queen of the Monkey Bars-- months before second grade even begins! She can swing across the traditional ways, scoot across on the side bars, and even pull herself on top of the monkey bars to balance in ways that make a mother's heart flutter.

In the morning, our Libby Lemur will undergo a minor surgical procedure called Deflux. We both have some anxiety about anesthesia, following our wretched run-in with nitrous oxide earlier this spring. But, Auntie CRNA will check on us between her own cases, I'm sure. Please keep Elisabeth in your prayers.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mommy's Here

Madeline just started crying. I wasn't sleeping, but I waited a couple minutes to see if she would settle back down on her own. When she didn't, I got out of bed and went to her room. She was just coming to the door, wailing away, as I pushed it open and walked in. She's two, so she didn't exactly verbalize the problem, and, as is often the case with a kid in the middle of the night, I don't know whether she had a bad dream or was feeling ill or just woke up and was out-of-sorts.

When Madeline saw me, she turned and went back to her bed, still sobbing. As Maddy laid back down, I knelt down and covered her with her blanket. Then, I smoothed her hair and whispered in her ear, "Shhh, Mommy's here. Mommy's here. It's all right. Mommy's here."

How many times have I done that? How many other mothers, at this very moment, are bent over their babies, soothing them in the same way? "Mommy's here." How many times did my mother say it to me? And her mother to her?

Madeline quickly went back to sleep and I returned to bed. Mommy's here.

I am reminded of this book, "Love You Forever." You know the book. Everyone knows the book. My MIL gave the book to us before our first child was born... and we have read it, over and over again, to all of our children. It's sweet and it's sappy and it's oh-so-true.

So, here's where sweet becomes weird and weird becomes a message for me, for us all. I don't believe in coincidences; I do believe in the hand of God-- in everything. I did a quick Google search on the book title so I could provide a link for you, and that lead me to author Robert Munsch's website, a place I'd never been. Here's what Munsch wrote about the book:

Love You Forever started as a song.

“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.”

I made that up after my wife and I had two babies born dead. The song was my song to my dead babies. For a long time I had it in my head and I couldn’t even sing it because every time I tried to sing it I cried. It was very strange having a song in my head that I couldn’t sing.

For a long time it was just a song but one day, while telling stories at a big theatre, it occurred to me that I might be able to make a story around the song.

Out popped Love You Forever, pretty much the way it is in the book.

My regular publisher felt that it was not really a kid’s book and I ended up doing it with another publisher.

One day the publisher called up and said “This is very strange. It is selling very well in retirement communities in Arizona. It is selling in retirement communities where kids are illegal. This is supposed to be a children’s book. What is going on?”

“Grownups are buying it for grownups!”

In fact, it turned out that parents buy it for grandparents and grandparents buy it for parents and kids buy it for everybody and everybody buys it for kids.

As a matter of fact, everybody buys it for everybody. That’s why it sells a lot of copies. I think it’s my best book.

I worked a shift this evening in the Birthright office; this organization, with which I volunteer, helps women in crisis pregnancies, with this mission: "Every mother has a right to give birth and every child has a right to be born." Recently, I attended the grand opening of the offices of Missing GRACE Foundation, another non-profit for which I have done volunteer work. Missing GRACE supports women and families through infant loss, whether miscarriage, stillbirth, death due to illness or disability, infertility, or adoption challenges.

These middle-of-the-night events are not happenstance. I soothed my daughter and recalled a story book and discovered the author's words because they are just the message I needed to receive right now. Maybe you need it, too.

Mommy's here. Love You Forever. My baby. My babies. All babies.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Our Little Swashbuckler

This is a two-pronged tale about a delightful, but mischievous-- and super-fast-- two-year-old urchin with a yen for buckles and a growing ability to "parrot" everything her siblings say.

It is safe for me to say I am no longer concerned about Madeline's speech. I never was really concerned... It just seemed odd to me that the girl did not talk-- AT ALL-- when all her siblings were early, fluent, ebullient talkers. On one hand, it was kind of a relief when Maddy stayed silent. On the other, it was really annoying when she would just grunt or scream and we would have to hop from object to object, pointing or holding and asking, "Is this what you want?!" All. Day. Long.

Now, she still speaks in a tongue foreign to all of us most of the time, but Madeline is also beginning to string together words and to carry on those abbreviated two-year-old conversations (if you can get her to stand still long enough to listen and respond.) For a while, it seemed her response to everything was, "Inunno," accompanied by a shrug (getting ready for teenagehood and Daddy inquiring about the dent in the car's rear fender or her date's actual age.) She also utters some approximation of "I love you," so all is forgiven for those "I don't knows."

This morning, Benjamin asked me to blow up a balloon and Maddy was watching, when the balloon burst in my face. We both jumped in surprise and Madeline exclaimed, "Whoa! Wha hah-peen?" It was so funny. We all giggled and spent much of the rest of the day trying to get her to repeat herself. Sometimes, she did.

When Maddy is not speaking-- when she is silent-- you know she is up to something. Usually, it's buckling. The child is obsessed with plastic, snap-in fasteners. When it's time to leave our house, my brother spends a good five minutes scratching his head and trying to figure out how Madeline twisted and tangled together the baby's car seat straps, and then buckled them. She throws screaming fits if you try to place Maddy in her own car seat, settling down only if you comply with her "me do" commands. Of course, she doesn't have the strength-- yet, maybe tomorrow-- to actually buckle her own seat belt... but she has to give it her all.

Here, Maddy is buckling the safety straps on her booster seat at Grandma's house. She'll do it again and again, as long as I keep unbuckling them. She has another trick that Todd thinks is really wonderful: Madeline loves to buckle the straps on Dad's sandals. He stands in the mud room and yells, "Maddy, come do my shoes!" She comes running, bends down, and snaps each one in place. I think Daddy has a Jesus complex.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Thrill Seekers and Pet Petters

Kids are always up for a good time. Mine are adventure seekers, especially that little one.

Yesterday, as we were leaving church, the kids first heard-- and then saw-- a trick plane leaving smoke trails and twirling spirals in the sky. I remembered it was the day of the annual air show, so we drove over to the airport to take a closer look. It was a cool, dark day but, boy, did my kids' eyes light up when they saw the little plane going up and down and all around. No sooner did the trick pilot land and the other small planes began taking off from the fly-in... so it was more oohing and aahing from the end of the runway.

watching the skies

That trick pilot is too fast! Missed him again! Great Pumpkin...

Madeline squealed every time something flew overhead. Even as we headed home, she was pointing out the window, yelling, "See? See?" The other kids are asking when they'll be able to take an acrobatic plane ride. Yeah, right.

Later on Sunday, Daddy left for Munich, so he got to ride on a big airplane, like he always does. I packed up the kids for their favorite kind of adventure-- a sleepover at Grandma's! When I called to check in with them this morning (following a night of uninterrupted sleep-- thank you, Grandma and Grandpa!-- that could have been a lot longer had I not elected to sit by the lake, drinking wine with some friends) they were planning another excursion, to the A Maze'n Farmyard. So, they came and picked me up and off we went.

These young 'uns are Animal Lovers, capitalization deliberate. It was a cool, breezy day, so the farm was not packed with people, just animals. My children chased kids (the goat kind,) hobbled on horsies, and cuddled kittens. They all came home filthy and spent... but we all had a ball.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Hope for Us Yet

Benjamin opened the door and walked out of the bathroom this afternoon, gesturing over his shoulder, "Mom, the toilet paper was all gone in there, so I put on a new roll." Even a four-year-old recognizes complete befuddlement. "Whaaa?" I managed to utter. "Yeah," Ben repeated, "I used up all the toilet paper, so I took off that empty roll and put on more toilet paper." I stumbled into the bathroom and, sure enough, there sat a new roll of toilet paper on the holder. OK, so he positioned it to unwind against the wall, whereas I always put it unrolling outward... minor detail.

I cannot recall the last time I felt this much hope. I have finally done something right with that child. I realize he's still a preschooler, but with this new evidence, I do not believe it is too early to begin accepting dowry offers. Who isn't going to want to marry a man who has already proven himself capable of changing the toilet paper roll?!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Oh, To Be Four-- or Nine

I overheard Benjamin musing to himself in the car: "I just don't know what I should be when I grow up-- a doctor... a race car driver... or a farmer."

Then, the jaded oldest sister piped up from the seat behind him: "No-brainer-- you want to be a doctor. They make the most money."

Friday, June 10, 2011

Friday Night Notes

This evening was the annual piano recital for my sister's studio. Current pianists include my two older girls and my sister's two older boys. Enjoy!





Thursday, June 9, 2011

Fish Fry, Anyone?

Benjamin has become obsessed with this huge carp carcass that washed up on our beach. I was going to take a picture of it before I started this post, but I looked out the window and noticed it was gone. I suppose some kid scooped it up and threw it in the fire pit... or else an animal made off with it. Now, Ben is obsessed with what happened to the carp.

Anyway, he's been talking non-stop about this dead fish, especially what it looks like and what it smells like (real and imagined.) He also has this revolting notion we should eat it. "Now, Mom, we can make homemade fish sticks!" he proclaimed. When I wrinkled my nose and made a face, he suggested, "Well, then, how about sushi?"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011


I know "Kids Say the Darndest Things" is not exactly a new theme. Still, one of my favorite things about being an at-home parent is the great conversations I have with my kids. I've never gone down the baby-talk-fake-name-sugar-coat road; I talk to kids like they're real people-- because they are. But, on a daily basis, children astound me with their honesty, their astuteness and their imagination.

Recently, my husband asked our five-year-old godson Solomon, "What are your plans for the summer?" Sol sincerely replied, "Um, mostly to squirt people with water guns."

While volunteering at Birthright last evening, I kept getting text messages from Todd, or from Elisabeth using Todd's phone. Most were to the effect of "We miss you" and "When are you coming home?" A bit later, I got a longer text from Daddy that read: "Oh I forgot you are going out. They wanted to go on the boat but not tonight as I don't have the energy to wrangle 4 on the boat. Tomorrow." It was followed about 10 minutes later by: "Will be on boat."

This morning, while helping the big girls get ready for their last day of school, I remarked, "I can't believe you guys talked Daddy into taking you out on the boat again last night. Do you know how tired he was? Do you know how much work it is for one adult to take four kids out on the water?!" Amanda said, "You know, it's really not that hard to talk Daddy into most things; it really isn't. BUT, when Dad does say, 'No,' it's NO!"

Later, out of the blue, Benjamin asked me, "Can fish be pregnant?" I replied in the affirmative and he looked back out the window at the lake and asked, "You mean they have hospitals down there?!"

Further on in the same conversation, Ben asked me how fish die. We went through different methods and reasons for fish demise, including being out of water. I explained, "Fish breathe in water, but they can't breathe in the air. People breathe in the air, but we can't breathe in water." Ben argued, "People can breathe underwater." I assured him we cannot. He countered, "But I saw it on a Barbie movie."

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

In the Heat of the Moment

I poured out a half-gallon of spoiled milk this morning. Who wants to drink dairy when it's this hot?

Around noon, I saw a cable guy sitting in his running, air-conditioned truck, appearing to do nothing, for a full hour. Now, that observation relates to the heat and to the reason we have a satellite dish.

Madeline hobbled down the landscaping steps in the back yard, whimpering, "Hot! Hot!"

The girls weren't even allowed outside for recess because the level of ozone in the air and the UV index were both too high.

100 degrees the first week in June? It could be a long summer.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Call Your Mammary

I have one of those early-generation smartphones... which is really a dumb phone, by this point. The thing doesn't work half the time, and I've been begging Todd to buy new phones (he has the same one) ever since our contract expired about six weeks ago. Of course, Todd is "researching" the best phone to get next, and since he is horribly averse to Apple products, my lobbying for a new iPhone is falling on deaf ears.

In the meantime, the touch screen on my current phone is out-of-touch. Sometimes, I cannot pull up applications. Sometimes, I wait 10 seconds for each character of a text message to register. Often, I cannot answer or dial the phone because the screen does not sense my touch. Other times, the touch part works painfully well. In the past couple weeks, I have pocket-dialed and butt-dialed more contacts than I care to admit. When they call me later to report my phone-paux, I don't even have the energy to apologize, anymore. I just wearily say, "Oh. I hope I wasn't talking about you."

Today, it's hot. I'm wearing a skirt without pockets. On the drive home from lunch (Happy Almost-Birthday, Lisa!) I hung up the phone and got out of the car, to remove an already sleeping Madeline from her car seat. With nowhere to stow my phone, I shoved it into my bra. As I was laying Maddy in her bed, I heard ringing. I had boob-dialed my MIL. Now, if anyone could actually get away with keeping her cell phone in her bra, it would be that well endowed woman. I was kind of waiting for her boob to answer.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

They're Hooked

The kids and Todd... or the kids and Grandpa... or the kids and Todd and Grandpa... have already been doing a lot of fishing this spring. The lake level has been high, the weather has been nice, the worms have been plentiful-- just right fishing conditions.

I remember loving to fish when I was a kid. Not that I was born into some serious angling family. The big joke was that I was such a twitchy kid, I danced my rod around the edge of the boat and eventually hooked a prize-winning bluegill in the eye. Still, going fishing was a big treat. Years later, when Todd and I were dating, his dad lived on the lake and we would often take out the boat and "fish." OK, mostly what we did is lay in the sun, gaze at each other, dream about the future, and kiss.

But I loved just being in the boat. I don't like to eat fish, by the way... and I'm certainly not cleaning them so someone else can eat them. My love of fishing is kind of like my love of golf. I have enough patience for the game to last about two holes-- less if there's some know-it-all in the foursome trying to correct my swing. But golf courses are so beautiful and quiet, I would love to "go golfing" if I could actually just walk from hole to hole, or, better yet, ride in the cart.

So, my children also love to fish. Elisabeth even baits hooks. Amanda is getting pretty good at taking fish off hooks. And they are SO lucky: between our house and Grandma's, they get the opportunity to fish every week, if not every day. This evening, they went fishing with their cousins. I tell you-- six kids on the end of the dock is a fish story all its own!

Friday, June 3, 2011

On Track for a Great Day

Today is what I secretly suspect is one of Todd's favorite days of the year: Track and Field Day at school. And, yes, I said Todd. He takes the day off from work, gets assigned to "coach" either Elisabeth's or Amanda's team, and just has a ball. This year, Track and Field Day was hot, hot, HOT! Everyone had as much fun as always... they just had to drink more water.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Don't-Sit-Down Day

Today was a Don't-Sit-Down Day. I know fellow mothers require no definition of the term. But, for the uninitiated among us, it's a day when I literally do not sit down. All day. Among today's activities:

change laundry
take shower
make lunches
set out breakfast and medications
clean up breakfast
meet extra kid who's waiting for the bus at our house
set up garage sale
get kids on bus
rearrange and reprice at garage sale
make more coffee
fill out softball registration forms
cut apart Madeline's photos
meet kids off bus
take Elisabeth to pick up her glasses
shut doors on garage sale
take girls to piano lessons
take girls to softball
clean garbage out of car
put away enough of garage sale leftovers to protect from rain
pick up Benjamin and Madeline from Grandma's
return movie
wash dishes
change laundry
put kids to bed
put away laundry

At some point in the evening, this kind of day becomes a Definitely-Don't-Sit-Down kind of day... because I know if I do sit down, I will be unconscious before I know what hit me. I seriously don't sit down because there's more work to do and I don't want to fall asleep. Todd and I have had that "discussion" (read: argument) dozens of times. I will be walking circles, ranting and putting away crap along the way, while he lays down on the bed, moaning, "I'm just so tired... I can't get up." So, I respond, "THAT'S WHY YOU DON'T SIT DOWN IN THE FIRST PLACE! YOU CAN'T BE TIRED UNTIL ALL THE KIDS ARE IN BED-- AND YOU WON'T FALL ASLEEP IF YOU KEEP MOVING!"

Well, I've stopped moving now... so have my eyelids... so have my typing fingers...

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

In Love and Nerdiness

We went for a walk this afternoon, one of those rare times when the weather is beautiful, the children are content, and we are not in a hurry. Elisabeth held my hand. It seemed like a good time to ask:

Mom: "What's this about this boy who likes you?"
Libby: "Who?"
Mom: "You know who. (Names boy.)"
Libby: "Oh, him."
Mom: "I understand he likes you."
Libby: "Yeah. Who said that?"
Mom: "Your friends say he likes you. Amanda says he likes you. Even Grandpa told me he likes you. When Grandpa had lunch with you at school today, (the boy) told Grandpa you are really nice."
Libby: "Yeah." (Rolls eyes.)
Mom: "What?"
Libby: "Well, he's kind of a nerd."
Mom: "So? That's good. Your daddy is a nerd."
Libby: "Yeah, I know."