Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I Forgot What It Was Like

Thanks to the bubonic plague that's been turning my Princesses into complete cranky nightmares and filling my home with nasty germs, last Monday instead of babysitting my charge, Miss E. at our place, I went to her house instead. Hubby had the day off so he stayed home with the coughing, feverish, and short-fused Princesses, God bless him.

And oh, how heavenly my day was. I didn't realize I had completely forgotten how wonderful it is to have just one baby. I watched daytime TV (and it wasn't Sesame Street). I READ (yes, an actual book, like with pages and everything!). I ate bonbons (OK, not really, but I did have a Girl Scout cookie, so I think it counts). I did actually care for Miss E. as well, but since we were working on man to man defense rather than zone, well, my day was SO easy!.

Funny thing is, although I don't really remember what it's like to only have one baby around, I don't actually remember it being quite that carefree day in and day out when I was home with my first princess. I was working fulltime at the time and took 10 weeks maternity leave. I do remember taking naps with her on the couch, and watching A Baby Story on TLC (I was obsessed, admittedly. I cried every.single.episode). But I also had bills to pay, laundry to do, dishes to clean, meals to make. I also had a baby that liked to wake up every three hours at night, so I was working on little sleep. In other words, real life.

When E's mom got home from work on Monday, I told her I wanted to do this at least once a month. Just suspend reality for 8 hours a month. Just to hold a baby, sit and read or watch TV, eat cookies and for 8 short hours pretend I have no other responsibilities in the world. I love my life, responsibilities and all. But sometimes it's rejuvenating to leave it all behind for awhile. So if I claim the reading and cookie eating makes me a better mama, then it's OK, right? That's not too much to ask?

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It's OK, We Made It

I promised I'd check back in tonight. Today was pretty much hell. But we survived no worse for wear. I should have invested in ear plugs. Then the whining would have been contained to a dull roar.

Poor babies. It's not their fault. I know they feel like crap.

Just FYI

This is one of those days where I just pray that I make it through without losing my mind or doing bodily harm to something, or someone.

If you don't hear from me by the end of the night, check with my hubby. I've probably run away. Faaaaaaaaaaar away.

Friday, February 19, 2010

They Don't Know That We Know That They Know

I am a Friendsaholic. I unabashedly admit to owning every single season of Friends on DVD. I've watched through the entire series at least twice. I was young enough when the show aired that I didn't fully understand everything they were saying. It's a heck of alot funnier to me now.

One of my favorite episodes is The One Where Everybody Finds Out. Monica and Chandler have been secretly dating and Phoebe and Rachel find out and the four of them engage in a hilarious game of "They don't know that we know that they know" (say that 3 times fast!).

This morning hubby and I were discussing Princess #2. She's our sneaky one. The one that tries to get away with things. Her biggest offense, pretending to go to the bathroom when we ask her to, and even worse, pretending to wash her hands but actually not (yes, ew). She comes out of the bathroom after spending all of 1.2 seconds in there, claiming up and down that she went, when I know full well there is no way in the world she could have unbuttoned her pants, done her business, buttoned back up, flushed AND washed her hands in that amount of time. I call her on it all.the.time. Each time she looks at me like "HOW did you know?" I'm the mom, that's how.

So I told hubby today, we need to keep astounding her with our mad parenting ESP while she's still little, so that it's firmly established that WE ALWAYS KNOW. That way, when she's a teenager and is tempted to sneak out of the house with a boy we've told her to not get within a mile of, she'll be too scared to try. The mantra of our house, a la Friends, needs to be, "We know that they ALWAYS KNOW". We don't need to let the princesses in on the little secret that most of the time we DON'T KNOW, but that their guilty faces and loud protesting give them away every time. We'll just keep that to ourselves. Shhhh.

Joy in Normal

Yesterday was horrible. I spent the day feeling overwhelmed by the mundane. I was bored, worn down. I wished for something exciting to perk me up, to bring me joy. But I spent the day cleaning, carrying around a whiney baby, taking temperatures, and singing along to High School Musical. I was sad. And then this morning, I was doing my normal blog perusing, and this quote showed up in a post on Enjoying the Small Things:
"Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow. Let me hold you while I may, for it may not always be so.
And I was chastened. We all need reminders from time to time, right?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Waiter

I know I sang the praises of hubby just a few days ago, but I just have to give him a shout out. Today was the day from heck. Princess #1 has pneumonia, Princess #4 is trying to get pneumonia, I was stuck indoors with all 4 girls all.day.long while I was subjected to a High School Musical marathon (1,2 AND 3) and faced with magically making food appear for dinner from our bare fridge and empty pantry.

Hubby walks in the door an hour late and I promptly told him that I needed TIME. I locked myself in our bedroom and laid on the bed, wiping tears from my eyes. When I finally gained control of myself and emerged from our room, hubby had all 4 girls sitting peacefully at the kitchen table, joyfully engaging in an imaginative game of "Restaurant". The "Waiter" served my princesses hors d'oeuvres of Eggo waffles spread with jam and peanut butter, followed by a first course of green beans and a second course of mac n cheese (told you I needed to go grocery shopping). I watched as he cheerfully referred to the princesses as "ma'am", and as they politely asked for more water for their glasses and second helpings of mac n cheese. Dessert of Valentine conversation hearts followed. All my frustrations and anxiety melted away in that moment and I was reminded of how good we really have it.

And I fell in love with him all over again.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

I'm Lovin It.. Or Not

There's this new commercial for McDonald's that I love. I looked all over YouTube but couldn't find a copy of it, so you'll have to bear with my description.

A mom and dad purchase a Happy Meal in it's distinctive box (which I've noticed our Happy Meals come in paper bags these days. Cheapskates. But I digress...) and head towards home. Clearly they are racing to be the first one to walk in the door, each snatching the Happy Meal out of the other's hands as they leap over obstacles and push each other out of the way. Finally the dad emerges victorious and smugly hands the Happy Meal to his young son immediately upon bursting through the door. The boy looks at the Happy Meal and then with exuberance cries out "Thanks Mom!" and throws himself around her as she walks into the room behind the dad.

I busted up laughing the first time I saw this commercial, because this is SO our life. It doesn't seem to matter that there are TWO perfectly capable adults living in our home. Mom is ALWAYS the go-to person. Sometimes I feel badly for hubby, especially in instances like this commercial depicts. But mostly it just annoys the heck out of me. Because unlike this commercial, the favor towards Your Majesty tends to happen at the most inconvenient times. Why am I the one that is awakened at the crack of dawn (or earlier) to get breakfast for hungry tummies, when daddy is snoring right next to me? Is there a reason that I am the one called away from very important duties (you know, laundry, cooking, uh... computer time...) to break up fights, even if daddy is actually in the room? Or my personal favorite: Is it really necessary to interrupt my shower to ask for a drink, when your daddy is right there in the kitchen?

I know, I should be flattered, right? It makes sense that I'm the first they come to. I'm around the most, I oversee day in, day out life for the most part. But sometimes the oversight of daddy is downright exhausting. I'd be more than happy to let him take the credit for a Happy Meal every once in awhile. At least let me get through my whole shower in peace.

Monday, February 15, 2010

One.



Today you are one.

How did that happen?

365 days ago you took your first breath, so fragile, so dependent

Now you march around like you own the place.

Well, maybe you do.

You are the baby afterall.

MY baby.

I still see glimpses of that precious newborn from time to time.

Early in the morning, when we cuddle in the rocking chair, before you're off and running.

I'd sit there and hold you all day if I could.

Smell your hair, count your toes.

Of course, you are too busy for that.

You aren't afraid to get into it with your sisters.

You keep us moving.


From the shock of learning of your existence,

to your dramatic entrance into the world.

You've changed us.

You've changed me.

Our family is now complete.

You have filled the hole and filled our hearts.

You.
Happy first birthday my sweet Princess #4.






Sunday, February 14, 2010

Love The One You're With

Do you have a Valentine? One that makes your heart go pitter-pat when they enter the room, catch your eye, or hold your hand? One that makes your heart skip a beat? One that knows your thoughts before you speak them?

What about one that drives you crazy with his snoring, has a habit of leaving cabinet doors open or God forbid, the toilet seat up? Does he tune you out when he's concentrating on that new melody he's picking out on the guitar? Do you feel like you have to say the same sentence over and over and then he taunts you with mock attention just to pick on you?

Do you have a Valentine that loves your babies? One that loves you? One that daily works his fingers to the bone without complaint? Does he get down on the floor and play princess with your girls, or spend hours cuddling on the couch with your baby when they're sick? Does he pitch in when you're overwhelmed, throwing in a load of laundry or emptying the dishwasher when you just.can't. do. it. anymore?

Do you have someone who completes you, who is your other half? One that makes you feel as though you must be living some sort of fairytale or romance novel? Do you have a Valentine that is as comfortable as an old pair of jeans? One that is just as happy with familiar silence as he is with a deep conversation? Does he make you feel as giddy with the easiness of everyday life, as he does with the spontaneous excitement of special moments?

Do you have someone who you can't imagine life without?

I do. And he is mine.

Happy Valentine's Day love.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just What You've Been Waiting For

I start to get all panicky if I let too many days go by without blogging. It's like I'm afraid that all my readers (enter self-depreciating "ALL" here, ha!) will *poof* disappear if more than 48 hours passes without an update. Maybe you will... will you? Should I be worried? Is your faithfulness conditional upon mine? Am I too needy? Does that bother you? Are you ok? LOL Ah, this reminds me of Junior High romance. Oh the joys of self-induced angst. Just don't break up with me in a note ok? "It's not that I don't like you, because I do... as a friend..." Ouch. That stings.

ANYWAY, usually what happens when I start to feel all pressured to get something written down is that inevitably I can't think of anything interesting to say. So instead you get a jumbled up concoction of random thoughts, as if you cared. Well, guess what today is? Whoo hoo! Random thoughts! You're excited. I can tell.

1. So I'm thinking about learning how to knit or crochet. I'm only a little bit embarrassed to admit I don't know the difference between the two (is there a difference?). Is it hard? How long before I can knit (crochet) a cute little beanie? I don't want to get stuck just making pot holders. One can only give away so many pot holders.

2. I think it's so interesting how one of the first instincts a baby has when exploring her world is to put things in her mouth. I'm so glad that we lose that instinct along the way... unless of course it's something chocolate.

3. My baby's first birthday is in less than a week. Can't believe a whole year has gone by. With our first princess, we went all out for her first birthday. We had a luau, invited an obscene number of people, decorated in a way that would make Martha proud. Poor Princess #4. She's getting a party decorated with discounted Valentine's Day decor, a homemade birthday cake and a modest guest list. My how things have changed.

4. I read a birth story on a blog this week (well, I think everyone and their neighbor read the story this week. At last check she had over 700 comments on that entry. Isn't the internet amazing? I'm giddy if I get more than 5 comments.). If you haven't read it, click here, then do like me and cry, run and hug your babies and thank God for your many blessings - both the obviously good ones and the ones in disguise.

5. American Idol FINALLY got to the good part this week - Hollywood. All I have to say is Andrew Garcia. I hope he goes all the way.

6. My friend Melissa has inspired me to be a better mommy with her new bento blog. If the way to a man's heart is through his stomach, maybe it works for kids too? It will at least make mealtime more enjoyable. I love her ideas because they're so accessible. Now if I want to get overwhelmed and feel totally inadequate, I go here. But mostly I don't. Because Melissa rocks.

7. I'm considering sharing more pictures here, but I haven't totally decided yet. Obviously I've kept some level of anonymity here since I know most, but not all of my readers. You probably won't be seeing pictures of my beautiful princesses' faces anytime soon, but maybe you can see their cute toes or the backs of their heads? Now THAT will get you coming back, won't it?! Ha!

8. On a somewhat related note (ok, not really)... if you are reading this over at Facebook, do me a favor and click on this linky and read here. It's alot more fun that way, at least I think so!

9. I'm about to undertake the huge task of painting our living room. I already think I'm crazy and I haven't started yet. I'd love nothing more than to outsource, but dang it where is that money tree? Hubby and I are still debating shades. We're thinking an olive-y, taupe-y, greenish. That's a color, right?

10. I really need to think of one more random thought because I'm anal enough that I can't stop the list at 9. That would bug me all day.

There, now isn't your life more enriched? You just spent the last few minutes (or seconds) reading a completely useless list of my inner thoughts. It really IS like Junior High all over again and I've just passed your time in math class. Just make sure you check the right box:
Will you be my friend? ____ yes ____no

My word, how DID we survive Junior High?


Friday, February 5, 2010

The De-Pacification... Part III

I thought we were through the worst of it. But parenthood came back to laugh in my face. I should have known better.

Tonight was hell. I won't go into the nitty gritty, but it involved alot of screaming, kicking and crying (not on my part!) and a few hairy moments where I was sure my sweet Princess #3 was possessed (extreme exhaustion will do that to an almost 3 year old without her beloved comfort of the paci).

We both came out physically unscathed, but boy does my mama heart hurt. As I held her wrenching body close to mine while her tantrum climaxed, she wailed out in hiccuping gulps, "I... don't... know... how... to... stop....!!!!! In that moment my heart tore open and my mama bear took over - protecting her not from evil outside forces, but from herself. This tiny little person, so full of passion and fierce love, she has no reason to hold back, no reason to deny herself the indulgence of letting out every emotion she feels in that moment. And it's just too much sometimes for a little almost 3 year old to handle. And my responsibility overwhelmed me. As her tiny body finally relaxed in my arms, the silence and stillness broken periodically by deep ragged breaths and shuddering, I held her an immeasurable amount of time. A calming sleep eventually enveloped her.

It's moments like these that remind me what parenthood is all about. She couldn't handle it. She needed me to handle it for her. Even though every thrash of her body and every cry from her mouth indicated otherwise, she needed me. And I vowed to myself that I would hold her again, as long as it took, over and over. Though she may kick and fight, scream and yell, I would hold her. Long past her childhood, her teen years, as an adult - it wouldn't matter. I'll be there as long as she needs me, to be the one to help her to stop, when she doesn't know how.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Almost A Little Bit Grown Up

I overheard this conversation between Princess #1 and Princess #2 a couple mornings ago, while they combed their hair and brushed their teeth in the bathroom:

Princess #2: Today was just a horrible day. I didn't get to play outside, I didn't get to watch a movie, I didn't get to do ANYTHING! (stomping feet)

Princess #1: (ominously) Just wait until you're in first grade.

Princess #2: Why?

Princess #1: Because then you have homework. (a pause) REAL homework. And you don't play at all. Just work.

Princess #2: (in awe) Wow.

Yeah, first grade sure is a kicker.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The De-Pacification Of An Almost Three Year Old Part II

We are now approaching night four with no paci. I hesitate to say it is going smoothly, because you know, I don't have any wood to knock on.

Seriously, Princess #3 is handling it much better than I expected. The first night WAS heartbreaking. She kept asking over and over for it, kept refusing the alternative comfort items we offered. It eventually progressed to tears, but we survived. She finally fell asleep with Your Majesty's arms around her, following an hour long snuggle with daddy on the couch, long after her big sisters had fallen asleep.

Night two went a little bit better. She didn't get out of bed that night, but did require that I sit with her and stroke her hair until she was able to relax. She didn't wake again until morning. Night three I was actually out of the house during bedtime (shocker!!), but daddy did awesome. We'll see how things go tonight.

Although we weaned her off the use of the paci during the day about a year ago, sometimes now I catch glimpses of her missing it. Just little things here and there, chewing on a blanket or sucking on her fingers. These actions didn't surface until this week, but I'm ok with it. I know she's going through withdrawal. It really hurts my mama heart to take away something that brought her so much comfort. But she's surviving. And I will too.

*I had to come back after I wrote this post to add that Princess #3 just climbed up on my lap, put her arms around my neck and sighed, "I know you love me."

So clearly, this is much harder on me than it is on her. I think I'll sleep better tonight.
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