Friday, January 28, 2011

Things I'm happy about

This has been an interesting week, to say the least.  I'm actually pretty proud of how I've held it together so far, and we have less than two full days before my husband comes home.  (I think I can, I think I can...)

I've been trying to focus on the good things, and remind myself that toys strewn all over the living room isn't always the tragedy that I make it out to be. So here, in no particular order, are things that made me super happy today.

~The box of fresh tulips that were waiting on my doorstep when I came home following very long drive from violin lessons.  Somehow, my husband managed to send me flowers from clear across the world, and they couldn't have arrived at a better time.  And they're tulips, which to me are a reminder that Spring might someday actually reappear and melt the three feet of snow that's outside my doorstep.

~Max's new words and expressions.  Our newest laughs all center around his responses when you ask him to do something.  Often, he responds with a cheerful "Sure!"  Other times, like this morning when I asked him to get out of the bath, it was "No thanks."  And a few times, I can tell he's channeling his nine year old sister, because he'll stomp his feet, roll his eyes, and shout "Fine!"

~I may have designed the world's best Pandora station.  I don't care how good yours is.  LIly Allen+Regina Specktor+ just  touch of Coldplay and U2.  Perfect.  I don't even listen to anything else anymore. 

~And thanks in part to the word's best Pandora station, all of my bathrooms have been scrubbed top to bottom today.  Yes, I now have three clean toilets.  You may all come over and ask to use the restroom, and I won't even have to apologize before I let you go in there.  You might have to step over a pile of dirty clothes on the stairs, ignore the 17 balls strewn all over the living room, and pretend you don't see enough peanut butter and jelly smeared on my counter to make a sandwich all while making your way to my sparkling clean restrooms, but who cares!  I even scrubbed behind the toilets.  I may be in the running for homemaker of the year here, watch out.

~Max's head of crazy messy curls.  I should probably cut it.  But I can't.  It's his third head of hair, and this is the longest he's ever gone growing it out before someone takes a razor to it so they can cut open his skull.  Besides, not everyone can work the curls like this handsome little boy.
~Messy faces, the chocolate ice cream cones that make the messes, and the cell phone cameras to document them.  By the time I got this one cleaned up, he had chocolate ice cream behind his ear.  Now that's good ice cream!  
~ The sound of two little boys snoring away heard through the baby monitor.  Time without one little person or another clinging to me has been severely limited lately, so of course, what am I doing?  Blogging about said little people.

~Watching my daughter, who after years of early morning violin practices and tears, is starting to turn into a capable, sensitive musician all on her own.  She has a recital coming up next week, and I was teary-eyed listening to her rehearse the Vivaldi g minor with her accompanist today.

~This picture that I found on my bed this morning.  I am continually surprised that anyone will even talk to me after spending some time with the wicked grumpy mom who takes my place in the mornings, but for Ashlynn to color this for me and suprise me with it after the morning that I had assures her place in heaven. 

~Remember how I have a baby?  He's the easiest baby in the whole world.  (and yes, I did just knock on wood.)  I didn't know babies came this easy.  He sleeps.  For a good part of the day.  And here's the kicker: he puts himself to sleep.  He doesn't want to be rocked, nursed, cuddled, swayed or patted to sleep.  Just swaddle him up and put him in the bed, thank you very much.  It's a little bit weird for me actually.  And he nurses great, but only when he's hungry.  For about five minutes, and then he's done. And his smiles are the cutest thing ever.  I just want to eat his face off.  In a totally not-weird, non-cannibalistic way, of course. Now before you all start throwing poopy diapers at me, I earned this baby thankyouverymuch.  I earned him with the whole first year of Abby's life where she wouldn't sleep for more than 40 minutes a day when we wore a track in our carpet from pacing up and down the hall, listening to her cry for her first 18 months solid.  I still marvel every time I set Ian down in the bed and watch him settle himself in for a three hour nap.  If he would have come first, I would have been convinced that I was the world's best parent.

~Did I mention that my husband is coming home on Sunday?  And that no one has yet had to visit the emergency room or the doctors' office?  (And yes, I just knocked on wood again!)

How about you? What's making you happy today?

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Our newest addition

And no, before you ask, I did not get a positive pregnancy test.  (Can you imagine?  Never mind.  Let's not imagine.  Too scary.  I'm going to have nightmares from merely writing the words "positive pregnancy test.")

So now that I've built up the suspense, I present to you the newest addition to our household:
Yes, ladies and gents, it's a clothes dryer.  What's so exciting about a clothes dryer you ask?

Well.  Let me tell you.

It all started Saturday night when my husband was frantically trying to pack for his trip to Singapore.  Much laundry ensued.  I went downstairs to switch the laundry like a good wife and found the load of whites was still wet.  Since I'm a little bit disorganized, scatterbrained, busy, I thought I had maybe forgotten to turn the dryer on. 


Two complete drying cycles later, the load of underwear was still dripping wet. 


Let it be known that at this point, I told my husband he should probably just take the items he needed out of the dryer, drape them all over the house, and let them dry overnight.  He insisted that one more cycle in the dryer would do it.  I have to admit I laughed a little bit when he had to pack his underwear in the suitcase still wet, hoping to find a washer/drier combo in his hotel.

So not only was I without a dryer, I was without a husband.  And without many clean clothes.  And since letting your kids run around naked is considered bad form when it's what feels like 12 degrees below outside, I had to find a dryer.  And fast.

So I did what every good daughter does.  I called my dad.  And begged.

And my sweet father spent most of the day today buying a dryer for me (since he actually lives in civilization!), hauling it up to me in the middle of a huge snowstorm, unloading it, installing it, and loading the other one out. 

It works brilliantly.  Clothes are dry.  And we solved the great "where do the missing socks end up?" mystery.  Because when we pulled the old dryer out we found enough socks to fill an entire sock drawer and enough washcloths and dishcloths to stock up a newlywed.  I was going to take a picture of our findings, then decided that even I wasn't up for being that humiliated.  It was bad, I tell you.

I am celebrating being excited about doing laundry.  And i"m marking the occasion, because that excited feeling is only going to last for approximately one more load. 

And hey, if a broken dryer is the worst crisis I face this week, then I'm not going to complain. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Pray for me...

A year or so ago, my husband took his first international trip, to Ireland.  He flew for a ridiculous amount of hours, got off the plane, took a shower, then had a full day of meetings.  Just as he crawled into bed and fell into the sleep of the dead, he was awoken by a panicked call from me, telling him that Max was choking on a random object, was in the ER, and was about to be transported via ambulance to another ER where he would most likely require surgery.   Luckily, Max didn't require surgery, and we were released that night only slightly worse for the wear.

His second trip was to Germany, and he managed to be there a few days before he received another panicked call from me telling him that Abby had gotten in a horrific bike accident and ended up with stitches in her chin and scrapes and bruises all over her body.  He started laughing at the timing of it all and I nearly hung up on him.

He was supposed to go to Hong Kong at the end of October, when I was 35 weeks pregnant.  His boss forever endeared herself to me when she told him that there was no way in you-know-where that he was getting on a plane with a wife who was 35 weeks pregnant and was threatening pre-term labor.  To this day, I believe that had he gone on that trip, I would have gone into labor the minute the plane took off.

This morning my husband left for his third international trip.  8 days in Singapore.  I think I'm going to head upstairs, wrap all four kids in bubble wrap, lock them in their rooms, and then lock all the doors. 

I'm only halfway joking.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Don't pat yourself on the back too hard

You know, there are days where I make the mistake of feeling like I have it all together. 

Like last Wednesday, when I was sitting in the pediatrician's office with a certain one of my children who had been throwing up all day long and was getting dangerously dehydrated.  (Any of you who have read my blog for any length of time get one and only one guess as to which of my children it was...!)  Despite the fact that he had been throwing up all day, and that my baby had as nasty cold and pooped all over me at the pediatrician's office, and my 9 year old was home with a fever, when my husband called to ask what I wanted him to bring home for dinner, I congratulated myself when I told him that I had managed to get a loaf of bread made and rising to make a sub sandwich for dinner.  He was suitably impressed. 

Until, that is, I had to call him about 30 minutes later and ask him to bring home dinner after all because after I gave the puking toddler a dose of Zofran the wonder drug, and put my gorgeous loaf of homemade bread in the oven to encourage it to rise for a few more minutes, I accidently turned the oven to broil instead of warm, lighting a kitchen towel on fire and nearly burning my house down in the process.  Needless to say, my loaf of bread was a total loss, my husband couldn't stop laughing, and we had KFC for dinner.

Or take last Friday.  Just as I was feeling proud of myself for running a bunch of stupid errands without the baby screaming, the toddler throwing a tantrum, or me losing my cool, I started unloading grocery bags to find that the one I had just purchased from the grocery store wasn't there.  Unfortunately, without it, I was missing one very important ingredient for dinner.  So I loaded the baby (who was now screaming), the toddler (who had a major meltdown at the prospect of getting back in the van,) and myself (very much about to lose my cool), back in to the van, and schlepped back into the grocery store.  I told my sad story to the nice people at the customer service desk, who handed me my bag while having a good laugh at my expense, and headed home, wondering why I thought it was a good idea to leave the house at all. 

And then there was yesterday morning.  My mom and dad were coming for dinner, so I had been cooking up a storm all morning long.  I had Cafe Rio pork simmering and a gorgeous masterpiece of a cake in the refrigerator.  My daughter and I had rehearsed the special musical number that we were playing that afternoon in church, and all four of the kids were bathed, dressed and fed.  My husband came home from whatever it is he does on Sunday mornings and proclaimed himself impressed.  I was feeling really good about myself until we were two minutes from church and Ashlynn said "Mom!  I have to give the talk today!  You told me to remind you, remember.  I'm reminding you!"  Yeah, thanks kid.

And then of course, we left the diaper bag at church.  With my phone in it.  Which incited a major tear-the-house-apart-looking-for-the-phone panic this morning, and gave my bishop a good laugh when I asked to borrow his keys to the church this afternoon so I could go retrieve the diaper bag and my lifeline to the outside world.  (It might be a little ridiculous how addicted I am to my iPhone.  I might need a support group.) 

So the moral of all these sad stories?  I'm never quite as together as I think I am.  And the minute I declare myself to be amazing, I should expect the sky to start falling.  And to reassure you that if you didn't try to burn your house down with a dishtowel this week, you're doing better than me.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

I might not have to turn in my two weeks' notice after all

Being a mom to a new baby is a thankless job.

First, there's the labor and delivery, which I'm (obviously) still not talking about.

Then there are the infamous sleepless nights.

Add to that the sore nipples.

And the leaking breastmilk.

And the approximately 47 diapers you change a day.

Don't forget that the baby won't let you put him down most of the time,

And refuses to nap on any kind of predictable schedule,

So you become hopelessly behind on laundry,

Grocery shopping,

And you start to consider peanut butter and jelly a well rounded meal because that's what the girls can unearth the ingredients to and actually make themselves without burning down the kitchen.

Having a newborn means constantly having a little person attached to you.

And never feeling like you have a moment to yourself.

It means constantly teetering in a state of exhaustion, where you're not sure when you last showered, what day of the week it is, or even what your first name is.

But this.  This is my paycheck.
 And this is my bonus.

I love my job.  

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

In which I buy stock in Pampers, Huggies and

Enquiring minds want to know:

Just how can two tiny humans make so much poop?

And how do they know to always do it at the same time?

And why is it always when I'm trying to do 57 other things?  (Finish the practicing, pack the lunches, will you please find your snow boots, your ride is here you have to go NOW!)

Anybody know how many diapers it takes to fill up a landfill?  Beacuse I'm well on my way.

(Yes, I know.  I'm a "crunchy" mom.  I should be using cloth diapers.  I know I should.  But I realized a long time ago that I only have so much time and energy, and I can't even accomplish the laundry that's already mine to do, let alone adding in a few more loads of diapers. Plus, my husband told me (and I fully 100% believe him) that if we switched to cloth he would never change another diaper.  Do I feel guilty?  A little bit.  Enough to switch to cloth.  Nope.) 
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