Friday, February 26, 2010
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Thursday, February 11, 2010
This morning Paul and I bundled up the kids and ourselves and headed up the street to investigate the neighborhood and grab breakfast at our favorite local coffee shop. I never realized how fake snow in this quantity can look. It's so funny to me. This kind of snow is surreal. The way the sun hits it and it glistens reminds me so much of the Christmas decorations around a Santa's Workshop display in a mall. And the icicles! Paul keeps commenting on how many photos I'm taking of the icicles, but these babies are three and four feet long. They're incredible! While we walked (and slipped and trudged), I took a few pictures and contemplated my next blog post. Today I'm writing about a few lessons I've learned from the incredible winter that we are enduring.
1. There can indeed exist too much of a good thing. And I'm not just talking snow. I'm talking cookies, s'mores, and playtime.
2. A winter like this brings out the best and the worst in people. For the most part, people are feeling some sense of community, some excitement. On our walk this morning, I felt this warm energy exuded by our neighbors, even those deep in the hard work of shoveling. There's this we're-all-in-this-together feeling being shared. And I love it. But there are many people who have hit their limits. And I'm not judging. I'm trying to remember, while I'm off of work and enjoying spending time with the family and romping around in the snow, I have no idea what the next guy is going through. Which brings me to my next lesson . . .
3. There's always somebody who has things worse. We are so lucky (and so thankful) to have power--MANY people do not. I have no idea what we would do without power. I guess we would dress in many layers and bundle up with blankets. I have a friend who offered to bring over a small grill so that we could heat up a few things to eat. And I suppose we would survive with candlelight and lack of radio, TV, and Internet access. So, we would survive, but life with power is so much better than life without. There are also many people with several days of lost wages, which is crippling to the working poor. We are very fortunate to be receiving wages even though we're not responsible for our regular work hours these few days.
4. Know your limits, and be okay with them. After all, there is only so much Candyland a mom can play before things start looking like a scene from "The Shining," and before you know it, someone is muttering "red rum" or hacking at the bathroom door with an axe. When cabin fever sets in, it's okay to turn on your child's favorite video for a few minutes and take a nap, take a bath, or read a book that contains no pictures.
Saturday, February 6, 2010
Thursday, February 4, 2010
I'd like to send out a message to our loved little ones who live south of here and are DYING to have snow to play with: Our prayers are with you. :) As we await our fifth (or sixth?) snow (which is promising to be another blizzard), we are asking God to send the giant piles of snow your way, too.
Here are just a few pics of us playing.
Wednesday, February 3, 2010
So, I'm not here to whine or build myself up like some kind of hero, but my life isn't nearly as glamorous as it may seem to the outsider. There is a lot of poop (when somebody was potty training and I had three babies here, for instance, I once changed 9 poopy diapers and cleaned up one accident in one day). There are lots of squashed peas to wipe up (I probably sweep and wipe the floor underneath the dining room table three times a day). Then there is the challenge of putting three kids (only three because, of course, Charlie no longer naps) down for naps in a two-bedroom condo. They all have to go down at the proper times and without waking each other up. I have to get food into them, even if they don't want it. Then I have to handle the unexpected like diaper blowouts or falls or gigantic spills of soup. And on top of all the logistical stuff, I must reserve enough energy to give each little one the "Essence of Mom," that little special touch or cuddling that every baby craves. I also have to give Charlie the attention that a four-year-old needs, which will soon include homeschooling.
Then I get everyone happy, fed, and changed, and just when I think I can sit down for five minutes, somebody cries, and I have to reach deep within my soul and cry out to the Almighty for the strength to stand up and care for the upset child. I tell you, a day at the office sounds like a vacation. Unless your office is in the middle of a volcano or something.
Yesterday was Groundhog Day (or Candlemas, for you more-Waldorf-less-Punxsutawney types). Groundhog Day marks the half-way point between the beginning of winter and the beginning of spring. I've always thought that February was the harshest month. Maybe that's why it's the shortest. But Groundhog Day always brings a glimmer of hope (I know this sounds ridiculous, but I spent my teen years in Pennsylvania, and both of my parents are from PA, so there is quite a lot of PA in me. If you were from there, you'd totally get it). It's the idea that it won't always be this way (Aha! I finally just got the irony of the movie!).
Which is precisely what Paul said to me this morning when I was complaining to Paul that sometimes I feel like I'm jailed in this house. I just don't get out enough these days. Part of it is the weather, part of it is just my chosen profession. Part of it is simply being a young family. So to put things into perspective, it won't always be winter, our kids won't always be this small, and then we'll have older kids. And then our kids won't even be kids, and Paul and I will be empty nesters. And in the VERY long term, we won't even be on this earth anymore. We'll be in eternity with our Creator, where we've been longing to be all this time.
In the grand scheme of things, this is going to be a very short time. And because of that, we had better make the most of it. I'm learning to offer my daily pressures up to God and view my work (both raising my own children and watching the others) as a ministry. When I see things this way, it's so much easier to wipe the runny nose, pick up the crying baby that doesn't want to nap anymore, or change the nasty diaper that just couldn't stay contained. But I also need to learn to cherish these times, not just endure them. Please don't think that I'm saying that my life is difficult, all work and no play. I do enjoy my work, and the kids do have a great time here. They're small for such a short time, and they're such a joy right now. That's partly why I blog, actually. It helps me to focus on what the daily task is teaching me.
So we are heading out into the snow today, to make the most of wintertime. I'm heading out there with Charlie and two just-barely-walking toddlers. There will inevitably be a fire to put out, but I will cross that bridge when we get there. In the meantime, we are bundling up to build a snowman and have some fun.
So, I hope this wasn't too much rambling for you. Thanks for always humoring my stream-of-consciousness kind of writing. With that, I'll leave you with these photos of the kids coloring a cheerful depiction of our Punxsutawney Phil.
This is the first time Judah ever colored a picture:
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
I haven't posted these in a while, and I have a few recent additions, so I thought I'd post again. Please pass along any that you'd like to add! If you're not familiar (I'm sure you can figure it out, but), this is a running collection of ridiculous things that we moms and dads find ourselves saying to our very creative little ones. If you stop to think about some of the things that actually escape your lips (and your good sense, for that matter), it might go something like this:
- No, we don't want to eat the poopoo snakes.
- Get your hands out of your pants and eat your cereal.
- Hold on to your pee pee. I'm tired of cleaning pee off of everything.
- That's okay, honey. Thanks for helping, but Mommy can wipe her own bottom.
- Well, Momma is driving so wipe your boogy on your pants.
- [Said to the professor]: Excuse me a moment, I need to use the potty.
- No, Mommy doesn’t want to see how big your penis can get.
- Please don't pull on Mommy's pubic hair to get yourself up off the ground (said while changing clothes).
- Hand the poopy to Mommy.
- Mommy told you to stop hitting her booby with the duck. Now you have to leave the bathroom and let Mommy take a bath.
- Stop hitting me with your fork.
- Books do not go in the refrigerator.
- Who stuffed toilet paper down the sink drain?
- Stop wrapping your brother in tape.
- Bye-bye, poopoo!
- Don’t headbutt the baby.
- Don’t shoot the baby.
- Can you please just eat your boogers?
- No, please don't tear off my mole.
- That's enough with the acrobatic nursing; you're hurting my boobies.
- Get your shoe out of your mouth.
- Can you hold on a second? I think Clara has poop on her hand.
- Stop drinking out of the pirate’s head!
- Please stop dropping banana into Mommy’s shirt.
- That was so funny that if I hadn't been doing my pelvic floor exercises, I would have peed in my pants.
- I can't understand you while you're holding your tongue.
- I've told you I'm busy! I can't come eat you right now; you'll have to occupy yourself some other way until I am done!
- If you fling your panties around one more time and hit your food with them, you’re going to be put in timeout.
- No, I don’t want to suck on your fingers anymore.
- No barking at the dinner table.
- [Said father to son] No, No, No! It's not okay to hit other people's ding dongs!
- Then why do you have dried poop on your butt?