Friday, November 28, 2008

Turkey Time

Thanksgiving, like nearly all of the holidays evoke in me a kinda "Martha Mania" in which I have these grand plans to create a picture perfect holiday complete with the delicate and perfect balance of tradition, and hallmark, commerical and homespun, these "good things" as Martha would say that my holiday would not be complete without. I am proud to say however, that the advent of our fourth child in four years has led me to part with some of my "superhero" ways in exchange for actual dare I say it, enjoyment of the holiday.

Our family was lucky enough to be hosted by the Mr.'s little brother and his fabulous wife. Who invited us to come early, and didn't seem too put out when we left late. It was quite fun to be indulging in good conversation, while trying what can only be described as gourmet cooking. (Let's just say the side dishes were quite a departure from my crockpot or 30 minutes or less meals, and quite delicious I will say!!) I will also say, that I warmly welcomed and took full advantage of the opportunity to hold Sleeping Beauty, and let someone else tend the dishes, the children, and all the other stuff. It was thoroughly enjoyable to spend time with Uncle Josh and Auntie Abby and have a little glimpse into the way things were before the Mr. and I brought forth all these children. It is afterall quite fun to reminisce about how life used to be. I just hope we didn't scare their pants off with what the next phase could be!!

So we of course had the obligatory turkey dinner with many trimmings, including a fantastic homemade apple pie by my sister in law, and a pumpkin cheesecake that was amazing. Perhaps one of the tenderest moments for me was watching the Mr. teach Cubby, Miss H and Little Daddy to make "his" cranberry sauce that he learned in four year-old school. I am a sucker for tradition, and watching this man that I have been in love with since the moment I saw him (11 years ago and counting) teach our own children this tradition was, well, overwhelming.

I realized after the trip was over that I neglected to take very many pictures, probably because I was enjoying myself, and holding the baby so much. Naturally, the children were still wearing coordinated outfits, but this year I only made Sleeping Beauty's, and the children ate on handcrafted placemats, but this year I let Miss H and Cubby design their own. It was fun, and relaxing, and for me a great opportunity to reflect on how many gifts we have been given. For me, I count not just the Mr. and our great children, but the knowledge that these are gifts to be appreciated and are given in love by a Heavenly Father. In asking the kids what they are most thankful for we were none too surprised:

Miss H-- All the things, especially a baby sister.

Cubby-- The Cubs

Little Daddy-- owl book (Peek A Who) and Tonner too.

Although it's not a Hallmark card, it sure tugs at my heartstrings to have them express thanks for one another. Probably, this post is getting a tad long, but here are a few "flashback pics" although as I was preparing to put these up, it occured to me that The Mr. and I had 6 Thanksgivings together before we had kids, and somehow I don't think I have a single picture of them.. funny how that works..

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Here's hoping you enjoyed your Thanksgiving and that the simple things bring you the greatest pleasure.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

All The Small Things...

It finally happened (I knew it would someday but I was hoping to put it off as long as possible) a friend called and invited Miss H on a playdate, but not Cubby. (Now for all of those who are judging this friend I will explain that this friend did not have enough seats in her car for both Cubby and Miss H, and happens to have a daughter.) Not only was it a trip to see a newborn baby (you know how we love those) but also a trip to the science museum. Needless to say Miss H accepted without delay, and Cubby promptly went into a disappointed tear filled tantrum. Graciously, he excused his teary self to his room (perhaps less than graciously) where the moaning reverberated down the hall. Miss H and I made a list of all the things that needed to be done so she would be ready on time. Locate jacket, brush hair, choose hairclips, retrieve shoes, find matching socks. about halfway through this process she lost focus, and I realized it was taking an inordinate amount of time for the hairbrush to be presented. I went into her room, honestly prepared for a battle, and found her vigorously shaking Mrs. Potts (her piggy bank). What are you doing? I asked not even remotely betraying my growing frustration; "Cubby is so sad Mommy, I thought maybe I could get him a little something when I went." Well talk about melting a mother's heart. I forked over my last five dollars, (you know the one I save to bribe the kids with a trip to the Number One Dollar Store when I am ready to tear my hair out).

Miss H did indeed go to the museum, and at the end of trip she selected from the gift shop a dinosaur stamp for each of her brothers. Thinking of course in her super thoughtful way of something each of them would like. Saying, "I will get this for Cubby and this for Little Daddy, and maybe next time I can get something for myself." There was enough money for her to have gotten something for herself, but she didn't, knowing that the money was given to her to spend on her brother. How blessed we are to have such a great reminder of generosity and thoughtfulness. I love knowing that just as I hope to grow these little people, so also will they teach me to grow myself.

More Small things...

There have been a myriad of moments these weeks that have made me grateful for the opportunity to be a mother (probably brought on by the realization that Sleeping Beauty is our last lil bit). We had corn on the cob the other night and I got a glimpse Little Daddy's pure enjoyment. I tried to recapture that look, but this is the best I could do.

Speaking of being Little Daddy, The Mr. Captured this "Kodak Moment" in which Little Daddy, replicates The Mr.'s favorite posture.

Finally, the squirrels were right!! Because for the first time in a very long time (perhaps since the twins were born) we had snow before Thanksgiving. Here the Cubby makes an angel on the deck. Now there is nothing in my mind that compares to the gift of a few extra hours with your husband and children, and while the snow had completely disappeared by lunchtime (prompting a series of pleas and protests from Cubby) the blissful two hour delay was yet another reminder of the small graces our Father in Heaven sends our way.

So many things to be thankful for this year. And for those of you wondering where the pics of Sleeping Beauty are.. well the girl has got to be awake so we can get her picture, but here is a little video of her smiling, because as it turns out.. that really was a smile. And, we have been seeing it everytime she opens her eyes.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A day in the DAZE

There is a reason I chose to label this blog Summer Daze, and that is because sometimes, well I ask myself..."Is this really my life? How did I get here, exactly? What happened to my abs of steel?" All kidding aside, a few days ago a very dear friend of mine brought over a fabulous chicken tortilla soup cookies and and entire, homemade derby pie. The gift of cooked food at this point in my life ranks right up there with sharing a kidney, as I already dread the idea of having to do grocery shopping with all these kids in tow. See funny Costco story I will post someday.

Well after devouring the tortilla soup, I prepared the kids for their flu vaccinations (which I know I am totally building it up, but really only consisted of making sure they looked clean, had on shoes and were buckled into the car). I was thinking about how delicious that pie would be once the kids were safely in bed, vaccinated and snoring. How the Mr. and I would snuggle up with our favorite things, each other, baked goods and the TV (not necessarily in that order) and enjoy a rare moment of blissful togetherness. I just have to survive this appointment I was thinking. Mr. will be home from his church meeting just in time to tuck the kids in, and then "Pie" I giggled in triumphant glee.

I schlepped those kids to their appointment, I cajoled and comforted Miss H into inhaling the flu mist, (which probably won't even absorb she was chortling so much). I snuggled and tickled and pinned Little Daddy so he could get his injection, I complimented Cubby on his bravery I returned kids in tow, properly vaccinated and prepared them for bed. The Mr. Returned just as we were finishing "stories" and said a little sarcastically from the kitchen. "I hope you weren't planning on having any pie." "What" I called.. "you can't eat a whole pie MR. you have to share." "There's an empty pie tin on the floor he said.. the words bouncing all around me.. "what" I said.. did you look on the floor (I was I'm not even kidding, fully prepared to eat it off the floor.) "The dog," he said, "The dog must have gotten it".

Now I am the first one to say I am always encouraging the kids to have kindness in their hearts, to love one another and be generous. Let's just say that is not what I felt for Roger (the dog) who ate my pie. Let's just be glad that that I do not have Jedi powers because the absolute rage I felt for the dog that ate my pie.. well I'm not proud of it.

SO we got the kids to bed, halfheartedly I snuggled up with my husband and prime time tv, and fell asleep, only to be awakened at an ungodly hour of 1:30 unexpectedly by the baby. What I thought.. no no no... she gets up at 3:30 this is all wrong. So I nurse her, and then just as I have drifted off I am awakened by a strange sound... the Mr. sits bolt upright (a very unusual occurrence) it is the dog. He is throwing up. I have to sleep I think.. because the baby will be waking up soon. And that dog is throwing up MY DERBY PIE all over the room. Well, the Mr. springs into Mr. Clean action, and although he is grumbling about it he is definitely cleaning up. Put him out I politely suggest from under the covers. (What I meant though was GIVE HIM AWAY). So the commotion, disturbs Little Daddy who now needs to be shushed and quieted.. a lulluby version of "Take me out to the ball game" appears to do the trick. And I stumble back into the bed.


Sleeping Beauty gave up her 7 hour stretch of nightly sleep that our pediatrician labeled "remarkable" as I basked in the glory of bringing forth what was obviously another "Super Baby". This absence of this extended sleeping period has left me less than desirable in the personality department and is wreaking havoc on my patience (already thin). So while the Mr. was away at this exotic locale he refers to as "work"; a mythical place where I am told no one spits up on you, requires you to wipe any of their parts, (hands, nose, or buns) and even the most irritating children are required to vacate your room every 45 minutes, the Daze part set in.

In my exhaustive and exceptionally inhospitable mood.
I had cleverly sent the older children, all three of them into the brisk fall morning to play in our fenced backyard while I nursed Sleeping Beauty and attempted the inevitable 30 minute shushing and soothing that she now requires to go back to her sleeping state. So as I began the nursing, I heard that delightful flushing sound I mentioned before that she makes when she's filling  her diaper, no cause for alarm we all know poop happens... only the sound did not stop, and then you guessed it.. we were both requiring a change of clothes. "Yay more laundry" I thought, because humor is one of the first things to go when I am sleep deprived. As I began to wrestle our newborn out of her layers of clothing I heard the distinct cry of Little Daddy from the backyard, "danddaid" he exclaimed clamouring towards me.. bloody finger extended... "

"What happened ?" I asked trying to determine the best method for changing the the the poopy beauty and myself while simultaneously retrieving and applying a bandaid. "Tonner throw my booball in the buu" I wracked my poor sleep deprived mommy brain trying to translate toddler to english only to be interuppted by another teary eruption this time by the aforementioned offender. What happened to your head? He didn't even get to begin his answer because a sqwaking Miss H was on his heels to defend her good name, while grabbing her own nose. Connor threw the football at my nose!" " Hannah.. catch..... hit... shovel"  "Boo ball.. buuuu" I tried to sort it all out, while stripping out of my poopy clothes, while holding the naked squirming baby while applying the band-aid. Just when I thought I had it all sorted out, the thought was interrupted by the horrible retching sound of that DOG vomiting up the last of my beloved DERBY PIE."

"The dog is throwing up your derby pie on the rug, Mom." Miss H explained helpfully. Her tears suddenly abated "It's disgusting, ewww gross." Added a charming Cubby. hmm I said, the last of my resolve fading.. "How did I get here?" I wondered, this must have been in the fine print at the hospital, where is the nanny? Is this really what I traded my skinny thighs for? All these thoughts swirling around in my sleep muffled brain.  

I think we need to watch a movie. I said aloud. And then more confidently, "yes yes yes, we need to watch a movie..."

First Smile?

SO you will have to be the judge, although it took the Mr. and I 75 frames to capture the tail end of what we think to be Sleeping Beauty's emerging smile, we are approaching extreme sleep deprivation so we could be wrong. Thus, you will have to weigh in with your vote.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

One Month of Beauty Rest...

Well, She's bigger.. she's louder and she fits right in!! Sleeping Beauty has been here one full month... and so far her party tricks include "urping" down my shirt, or on anything that has been freshly laundered (only when the "urp cloth" is out of reach), making a "flushing sound" whenever she fills her diaper, bringing her hands together in the same "excellent" way as Mr. Burns on the Simpsons, sticking her tongue out in nearly every picture, as well as delighting and amazing us at every turn, (as long as those turns are not between the hours of 2 and 5 am).

I will also say, that I already pity the poor boy who tries to date this one, because Little Daddy and Cubby are in LOVE with her. We have had several disagreements in this house about who Sleeping Beauty is "looking at" (I have to admit I'm a big instigator in these disagreements because of course she is looking AT ME!!) There is always a commotion if I mention that someone will need to hold the baby for a minute, because they are all clamouring to find the boppy (thank you Auntie Nea!!) By the way don't let Little Daddy hold her unattended because when he calls out "Dun" you have 1.5 seconds to rescue the baby before he shoves her off onto the floor. (I guess there are limits to his affection).

Below is a little walk down memory lane witha picture of all the kids at one month for comparison sake..
Miss H

just who does she look like?


Little Daddy

The Voter-ama

Okay so it is nearly embarassing to admit, but as much as I complain, until yesterday I had never exercised my right to vote. (I really meant to in 2004, but I was so tired because miss H and Cubby were only 2 months old). Although I am definitely more tired this time around, there is no way I was going to miss it, so the Mr. and I took turns schlepping the kids down to the polling place (I think that's what's it called) and explaining to them the significance and importance of using this freedom. Naturally when Cubby understood there was going to be a winner and a loser he was very excited about voting. So here of course are some pics of us, proudly wearing our I Voted stickers because we are good americans. Also, if you didn't know, poeple wearing their sticker were entitled to a free Krispy Kreme donut and a cup of Starbucks Coffee, talk about positive reinforcement!!

Congratulations to President-Elect Obama-- I certainly hope you're prepared to live up to Cubby's expectations!!

Monday, November 3, 2008

We're Going on a Leaf Hunt

So in case you didn't notice.. it is totally fall, and in honor of Fall my preschoolers today did a little "Fall" activity. After reading We're Going on A Leaf Hunt I (with the help of a parent volunteer) traipsed them outside to collect some leaves of their own. We then sorted these by color to enhance our "study" of colors. I've been working pretty hard to get the kids (Especially Little Daddy) to notice and name colors. So far, he can say nearly all the colors (if you say them first, the little mimic) but calls just about everything blue if left to his own devices. Anyway, here are some pictures of Miss H (probably my best pupil ever) enjoying the activity this afternoon.

Just thought you might like to try it!!