Monthly Archives: May 2011

My kids got mobbed at their first Memorial Day parade.

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I took my kids to a parade this morning.  They’ve never been!  (To a Memorial Day parade.  We’re not that uncultured!)  You should have seen their faces when I asked, “Do you guys want to go to a parade?”  They jumped with joy, faces all lit up, and said, “Thank you, Mommy!”

Now the only reason we went is because our hometown of Greencastle rolled their parade through town at 10:30am.  The other two towns close to us had parades at 9:00 or some other ridiculous hour. =)  Dee was doing backhoe work for a neighbor up the road, so I had to wrangle all the kids up myself.  I told them to get dressed, grab shoes, and hop in the car while I got myself dressed.  (And gulped the rest of my coffee down.  Which is just wrong.  Coffee should never be gulped.)  I didn’t even have to dress Moosies, since Kbug has taken over the diapering and dressing of her sister!  Mmm… life is so easy right now.

We parked right at the circle downtown, around 10:00am.  That meant we had 30 minutes to kill, in the 90 degree heat, but kids are pretty resilient.  We walked up and down the sidewalk a bit, hung out under one of the five trees on the circle, explored an alley, chatted about the trucks driving past, watched “I Like to Move It, Move It” (cow version) on YouTube, got flags, and had our picture taken.

A couple of times!

Right before the parade started, a female photographer stopped us on our way to grab a curb spot, and asked if she could take my kids’ picture.  She lined them up, flags and smiles (mostly) in place, and snapped a picture.   Said it was going on the front page of her paper tomorrow.

As we were waving our flags and watching the paraders march by, another photographer knelt in the street and took a candid picture of all of us.  Meaning big-bellied mama too.  I have to admit, I sort of felt like a freak show!  I was thinking, Are my kids really that adorable, or is it just that we’re an oddity — four kids and a pregnant mom?

Anyway.

As this nice young man was getting our names and ages to accompany his picture, the first photographer came over.  “What are you doing?” she asked, very jovial-like.  “You don’t want to put their picture in your paper!”  Guy photographer was a little unsure of how to respond, but he asked a version of “why,” and lady photographer said, “Because I’m putting their picture in MY paper!  There’s some kids over there — go take their picture!”

Again, more than flattered, I felt like a circus side-show.  But it was fun, and I was laughing at the whole thing.  Not to mention Kbug is thrilled that her picture is going to be in the paper!

And, maybe some people DO think my kids are adorable!  I know they’re uber-cute, but my vote doesn’t count.  I’m the mom.  If we do end up in a paper or two, I’m anxious to see how the “let-the-kids-dress-themselves” look appears in print!  Cboy was the only one wearing red, white, and blue.  Plaid shorts, and a blue Assateague Island T-shirt, with ponies running across the front of his chest.  Kbug had her pink Assateague Island shirt on, with matching pink shorts.  Moosies matched me, with denim and green.  CJ was wearing red rubber rain boots, with navy shorts and a teal polo (with a palm tree or two), so that sort of counts, right?  He was just missing the white.   Oh, I’m also interested in my look.  Will the “just-rolled-out-of-bed, no make-up on” look be as cute as my husband and sister-in-law insist it is?  The jury’s still out.

I’m not fighting the water war

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I just realized that tapping on the window and shaking my head, mouthing, “No water!” will be a losing battle.  Every time.  Even if I go outside and speak right into the ears, I’ll be ignored.  So I’m going to make one of those “pick your battle” decisions and back down from this water fight.

So what if the entire side of the house gets sprayed while the kids are “getting a drink.”  Free siding wash!

When kids spray the cars, I’ll just hand them soap and sponges too.

If my baby flowers die because they get soaked and then fried by the sun, oh well.  They’re just flowers, and they’ll be dead by the end of summer anyway.

If the kids take sips from the kitty bowl, um… remember what I said about germs?  Good stuff.

If the yard turns to mud puddles, stomp away!  I will choose to be grateful that I’m not Ma Ingalls, washing everything by hand.

And if the laundry on the line gets soaked, it’ll dry.  Plus, I’ll recruit free help to teach about wise choices.

The cats, they’ll dry too.

The kids (that don’t have the hose), they won’t melt.  And it will toughen them up and teach them to kick the “victim mentality” now.

Water down the slides, now that’s just FUN!

Mud balls, mud pies, mud soup, mud baths, it’s all good.

Then there’s all the water my children play with IN the house!  Thinking, thinking… Okay, I’m done being positive for today.

Resolved. Until next time.

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Thanks everyone, for your encouraging words!  I teared up once or twice, reading your sweet comments.  Told you my pregnancy hormones are raging.  I think I read somewhere that chocolate helps with that… Nah.  I made that up!

So me and the man, we did finally work things out.  After another “episode” shall we say?  Maybe it was because he didn’t walk through the door, like I planned.  I met him at a park, with the kids and McDonald’s junk food in tow.  We got to talking, while the kids played, and all the hurt came up again.  Yeah, he had some too.

BUT after the kids were in bed, we talked again.  I almost giggled at how “Wifey, this is how it is!” the whole talking time felt!  We resolved stuff, and kissed and made out up.  The end.

I wish!  I know there will be more of these marriage issues.  (Why can’t the marriage books be wrong for once?!  Wait, wait — I know.  Because they’re all based on the fact that our sinful, un-dead, old self will keep popping up.)  But I know God’s grace and glory was shining by the end of the evening, and that’s what our marriage is about.  It’s about God’s glory.

Me and the kids, we’re fine too!  Sure, there were some more lying/hitting/snarky/smashing/whatever-you-can-think-of problems.  But there was even more pure, giddy love flying around!  Literally.  My wild banshees.  (I’ve heard that wild banshees are technically “screaming women,” but you know what I mean.)

Rotten attitudes are worse than rotten days (although I HATE to admit that)!

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It’s been a rough 36 hours.  Yesterday, all day, was one of those days where I just wanted to lock myself in my room and have a good cry.  But I didn’t have time.  (So I did that this morning!)

Rough list to my rough day…

One of my boys lied to me all day long. 

The other boy destroyed and disobeyed all day long.  This little dude fell off the lawn mower after he climbed up to fill it with gasoline.  He also took a knife (a SHARP one!) from the barn and mutilated one of Grammy’s apple trees.  Stabbed it all over and peeled off huge chunks of bark.  He took Dee’s drill, a few saw blades and a flashlight outside to dig in the dirt.

Ripped a book, smashed a frog, flooded the basement with poopy toilet water (*sigh*… that one wasn’t on purpose), and then you know how when you’re already frustrated EVERYTHING is upsetting?  Yes.  Good.  Glad I’m not the only one.  So, I also had school to do, flowers and veggies to plant, a huge bowl of strawberries to wash and cut and throw in the freezer with some sugar, and of course the never-ending laundry and dishes.

Then my husband came home and went on and on about this new TIG welder he’d been admiring at Dressel’s Welding.  That’s when I cried.  Just one of those camel-back straw things!  The welder is $25000, so “not right now, maybe one day” Dee said.  And I retorted, “Or, maybe one day we could spend $2500 on a road trip or plane tickets?”  (Yeah, I was being testy.)  “Um… but tools last forever!” he said.  That’s when I cried again.

And my testiness (can I blame it on pregnancy hormones?) and moodiness didn’t make him swoon with affection and sensitivity.  Nope.  He didn’t say “I love you” when he left this morning.  He ALWAYS says “I love you.”

And I was really hoping my day with kiddos would be easier this morning, but NOPE again.  My boys woke up at 6:30, with pee-soaked sheets.  More laundry.  While I was drinking my coffee, the destruct-O boy went outside and dumped my entire container of fertilizer in the fire pit.  There’s also been name-calling, rose-smashing, and more lying to deal with.  You know, nothing major.

It’s been one of those days where I just WANT MY MOM!  Or my sisters.  I wanted them to stop in for coffee, and just listen, and tell me it’s going to be okay, and this too shall pass, and I’m a good mom, and my kids aren’t really such bad kids, and then, after telling me all that, maybe take the kids away for a few hours.

Oh, and tell me that Dee and I will work everything out too.

You know that verse “Love covers a multitude of sins?”  It’s been running through my head.  Not just today.  It’s such a great marriage and mommying verse!  It’s so easy to hang on to hurt.  TOO easy!  Nursing resentments and crushed feeling… I totally know how.  But LOVE just covers each others’ sins right up.  Sins little AND big.  That verse doesn’t have a catch phrase.

(I’m not saying sin should be ignored, and never confronted.  Not at all.  There are times for that, and for just discussing hurt feelings.  I’m saying that husbands and wives, and parents and children don’t need to attack each other over every injustice!)

The other week I was nursing hurt feelings over something fairly large, but my husband had asked my forgiveness, and it was my choice that I was still hurt.  So I finally just let it go.  I rolled over in bed one night and planted a kiss on Dee’s head, and life was sweet again.

Dee’s got this “love just covers it up” trick down WAY better than I do.  (Maybe because he’s had more practice?)  He’s always loving me even when I’m snappy and bratty.  He just pushes the sludge away and loves the soul inside me.   I don’t know exactly where my hurt feelings originated this time, but I’m convinced that tonight, when Dee walks in the door, I just need to let the hurt slide away and cover that man with kisses.  My kids too, they need this love-covering!  And me.  Sinful old me.  I need this covering, maybe more than anyone else.

Tornados, green stuff, and babies

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…from last Thursday, May 19…

A tornado touched down a few miles from us the other night.  So freaky!  I’d let Kbug watch “Twister” earlier in the day, for a school movie.  Not smart, considering the impending weather!  I had NO IDEA we were getting a tornado that night!  She was terrified when Dee announced that a friend texted, saying a tornado had been spotted.  I managed to calm her down though, and let her stay up until we were sure the tornado was long past us.

The tornado didn’t do much damage, if I’m recalling the news correctly.  Just some ripped off tree branches and house siding, maybe a flipped trailer… stuff like that.

But doesn’t it look like a mild tornado could’ve touched down in our yard?

Nope.  That was just me, pruning ferociously.  I spent a good six hours outside yesterday, in between rain showers, pruning and weeding in my flower beds.  Now if it would just stop raining so I can plant my flowers in something besides mud.

BUT.  This is what our yard looked like last year…

…so I’m not really going to wish the rain away.  Bring it on!

My clematis vines are BEAUTIFUL this year, climbing up that pretty arbor some hunky trucker welded for me…

 And since I’m posting pictures…

This is what Baby looks like these days!  I’m 25 weeks along, with 15 weeks to go.  Unless this baby decides to follow in half of his siblings’ footsteps, and arrive two weeks late!  (Please don’t, Baby.)

And… my still-baby for these next 15 weeks…

My not-so-great eating and drinking habits.

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I had to rescue my sister-in-law yesterday.  She’s such a cute damsel in distress!  Her car wouldn’t start, so I packed the kids in the car, picked Erin up in the ACT II parking lot, and drove her home.  (Seven minutes away.)  I was a little bit jealous that gone are my days of spending the morning shopping!

After we dropped her off, I figured I already went through the effort of getting all the kids peed and shoed and in the car, so why not run errands?  We stopped at the post office to mail a late wedding RSVP.  I can’t believe my kids are old enough to argue about whose turn it is to drop the mail in the box!  I let my kids get out of the car and go to the mailbox by themselves?!

My boys found a trench/culvert thing to climb in, and found a bunch of dirty rubber bands.  You never know where treasure awaits!  And yes, I let them keep the filthy treasure.  Germs are good for the immune system, I hear.

Greencastle Coffee Roasters is right next to the post office, so the kids convinced me that fresh roasted peanuts would be the perfect snack.  And Oh My were they good!  Still hot, fresh out of the roaster.  The peanut ladies were even better!  One girl let my kids dip their hands in the peanut barrel to sample a freshly roasted peanut.  (Remember, germs are good — we’re helping other people get healthy…)  The other lady was my favorite.  She gushed, “Wow, you have four kids?  How is that?”  She was even more in awe of me when I told her I was also pregnant.   (She couldn’t see my belly, under the checkout counter.)  She came around the counter and told my kids they were so well-behaved, and “Do you always listen to your mom?”  Then when I turned to leave the store, she said “And you’re still so SLIM!”  I’m thinking, Okay, yes!  I will come buy more peanuts  — lots of them!

I can’t say I snacked so healthily the rest of the day.  I ate a big pile of potato chips, and then Dee brought me home TWO Starbucks frappuccinos!  (NO!  I didn’t drink them both!)  I’d been wanted to try the coconut mocha one, but wasn’t sure I’d like it.  So Dee also bought me my old standby — the peppermint java chip.  I didn’t like the coconut one, so I fed it to the kids.  I’m nice and sharing like that.

I had a meatball sub supper packed up and ready to go when Dee got home, and we took the kids and food to City Park for a picnic.  All the ducklings and goslings were adorable!  The baby groundhogs too, whatever they’re called.  We got rained on, which was probably the most fun of all, and ran back to the Suburban which Dee started driving the wrong way home Well, just a long way home, by way of Krumpe’s Donuts.  See?  I told you I totally blew my healthy pregnancy diet yesterday!

At least I’m drinking lots of water.  Trying to anyway!  Sometimes it’s hard to remember to turn on the faucet and get a drink.  I’d much rather pour liquid from a coffee pot!  BUT, two midwife visits in a row I got yelled at for having too-low blood pressure.  One time, it read 70 something over 50 something, and Rosie basically told me my kidney’s would shut down if it stayed that low.  Kinda bad.  Plus, I could go into premature labor from being dehydrated.  Also bad.  At my midwife appointment last week, I checked in with 90/58, which is average for me.  Rosie said it’s still low, but acceptable.

Oh, and in case anyone was wondering, I did get a late Mother’s Day card!  (Actually just a regular, lovey-dovey, romantic card — that he also WROTE in — since all the Mother’s Day cards were already stashed away for next year.)  Me and Dee did have that little chat I mentioned.  I was very proud of myself for expressing my extreme gratefulness for the year-round cherishing he does, but also a desire to feel extra special on special days!  And then we broke his mom’s dishwasher.  His fault.  He was trying to grab me.

P.S.  Moosies just told me, “That’s water coming out,” as I was getting her a drink at the kitchen sink.  How does she know I need help?