Dressing Up

Libby is already helping Penelope play dress up. Sisters rule! I told my mom about catching them doing this so I thought I'd put up the picture so she could see it. Also, I wanted to move my last post down since I laid in bed last night thinking of how depressing it sounded. Life really isn't all that bad. It's going to be a good day today. I'm thinking about going to play dress up now...


When mom is sick...

It is totally impossible for me to be sick. Which is why I don't allow myself the option. I remember after I became a mother, my mom said to me, "You're not allowed to be sick." Meaning: You have someone depending on you 24-7 and you can't turn that off. If only there was an off-switch I could flip just long enough for me to lie in bed and heal. Sometimes, when I have to pull myself up off the couch even when I think I can't, I think to myself, "maybe I'll pass out and I'll have to go to the hospital and get a saline drip and I'll stay hydrated and sleep in a place where there won't be dried spaghetti on the floor..."

So, yes, I'm sick. I have a persistent sore throat, white nastiness on my tonsils, fever, swollen glands, do you really want to know? But anyway, it's been with me for six days now. I started antibiotics this morning, even though my strep test was negative. We'll see how I do.

The crazy life that I referred to in my "slow down life" blog has not really slowed at all. We just got our van back after it was in the shop for a WEEK, which means any time we had to all go somewhere together, it involved me sitting next to Jackson in the front seat and sharing a seatbelt with him. Being such a good example of obeying the laws of the land. We passed a cop more than once and I would push his head down into his lap so he wouldn't be seen and I made him cry once. I'm not proud of this, but I was way to proud to get pulled over and be seen with four kids crammed in like poor white trash.

The tropical storm FAY came, and totally flooded "the cave" which is our glorified crawl space under the house that holds all my stuff people usually put in a garage. Thankfully nothing of great importance was damaged, but that did involve Jimmy having to buy a pump and pump out water, while I'm inside totally sick having to keep things seeming normal and trying to meet everyone's needs.

In the middle of all this, I decided to start home school this week. What kind of drugs am I on exactly? The kind that slapped me in the face and said, "This is never going to slow down so you might as well go for it because that 'normal' day you're waiting for is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN!!" So, as long as you're quiet enough to listen to my muffled sore throat voice, you could probably learn something around here. About tonsils and water pumps if nothing else.

I don't currently have health insurance and my doctor is no longer at the practice I used to go to, but I suspected all I needed was a quick strep test and a script for antibiotics, so I decided to go to the free clinic, since we are currently unemployed. This experience, let me say, was a learning one. If only the nurses, desk help, and doctors had learned something before they decided to work in a health clinic. It wasn't all that bad, but all I do is watch the doctor and health shows and I'm pretty sure I could have done a better job. Not to mention the roach on the examining table, and the 101 signs about getting tested for HIV.

So there you have it. Oh, and tonight I hacked and spit out something hard. We think it was a tonsil stone. I lost it down the kitchen sink trying to rinse it off so we'll never know for sure. Jimmy was disappointed. He's been taking care of me and was nice enough to be interested in phlegm and bloody mucus. He's watched the kids and done chores galore but it's taking his toll on him. He needs a healthy wife, just like the kids need a healthy mother. I want to be able to be and do the things I usually do as my part in the family. So hopefully I'll start to improve very soon, but if not, I've been prepared by all this craziness. It's my new normal. Pain, deep breaths, patience, gargle. Rinse. Repeat.


My New Friend--Dirt

Today I was sitting on the floor in my school room trying to clean up a little bit and play with Libby at the same time. I saw the accumulated dirt and dust against the wall where the brick meets the tile and remembered how not that long ago, the bricks were freshly painted and after painting them I had gotten on my hands and knees (pregnant) and scrubbed every square inch of the floor. I thought to myself, "I just need to be friends with the dirt." (Oh the things you think when you're sleep deprived and overwhelmed.)

Dirt, dust, and I have a very strained relationship. I hate them, and they are not welcome in my home. But I've learned to live with them since it seems there is nothing I can do to make them go away. Sometimes they even bring their friends Mold and Mildew but that's where I try to put my foot down. Yet even they somehow find a way to move in and take up residence in the bathroom and on my windowsills when it's cold out.

I've heard it said (and agree) that I'd rather be remembered as a Mom who took the time to play with her kids versus a Mom who kept her house spic and span. But if I'm really honest, I'd rather be remembered as a Mom who could do both. I've decided I'm tired of trying. What I've come up with is that I teach my kids how to do chores and we all have fun working together as a family. But even though my kids have learned a lot already and can do quite a bit, they are not quite big enough to play the roll of bouncer to those unwanted visitors. In fact, they seem to invite them in. Mud waltzes in, laughing at me, on the shoes of my toddler. Germs score points when my baby eats random dried food off the floor. Grime sneaks up on me, victorious once again. And my freshly cleaned floors prostitute themselves at any cost. They call to the children, "Hey baby, we're clean! Don't you want to pee on us or spill your sticky juice? Come on over! I'm yours!"

So I think the friendship idea is a good one. Me and my mess might as well learn how to live with each other; get along even. Sometimes you just have to swallow your pride and make a new friend. Because I'm tired of letting them get the best of me. I hereby refuse to let them make me feel guilty, make fun of me, or cause me any more lost sleep. I promise to remember that at any moment I CAN obliterate them, for I hold precious weapons such as bleach and oxy clean. But when they decide to take over sometimes, I'm just going to smile and say, "Hey, how are you? Come on in, let's be friends." And then, like a seventh grade temporary friendship with the popular girl, I'll sweep them up and stab them in the back. Take that.

Me and dirt. BFF.


Slow down, life!

There is never a lack of entertainment under our roof, but the majority of the time it's just the normal day stuff. You know, someone dances around in their underwear, the baby cuts a tooth, someone makes a really cool drawing, there's hitting, fighting, hugging, and kissing all in the space of five minutes. The normal craziness of four kids.

But last week for some reason everything abnormal that could happen at once, did. And it made for an exhausting week which culminated in a two hour nap for me today that finally gave me enough fuel to write a blog about all the unusual things that have been going on around here.

First of all, Jimmy's mom (or as everyone around here calls her, Granny) came to stay with us for a week. We were all looking forward to this and I decided to take advantage of her unending willingness to help me out by painting and redecorating our bathroom while she was here. I figured with two other adults besides myself, I could actually get some project stuff done in the mornings and afternoons instead of just at bedtime.

I painted the bathroom for two days and wasn't done, but almost. On the way to church last Sunday, our van, which we knew had transmission problems, acts up so badly I turn around and drive the car to church instead. Then, Sunday night Libby gets a fever and I am up multiple times in the night with her for multiple nights. Jackson catches it, along with a pink eye. We take the van in to get fixed. It needs a new transmission. Honda vans in a span of three years have a transmission glitch and there are thousands of people on the internet up in arms about it. So our van is broken and it isn't our fault and they offer to pay half but they still want $2000 to fix it. This stresses out my husband. As it should. I'm on the phone multiple times trying to figure out how to get them to pay for it.

My parents hit Tallahassee on their way home from Alaska, and stayed with us for a little over 24 hours. Dad shows up with a full beard and all the hair he can grow in 8 weeks, and after they were here about two hours, Libby quietly said to me, "Mom, I'm tired of looking at Pop-Pop's beard." And even though I know Dad wanted to have a beard when he saw his dog for the first time again, he shaved it minutes later so Libby would not be freaked out any longer.

All the while Libby and Jackson still have a pretty high fever and are lying around the house using all their sapped energy to say pitiful things like, "Mom! Water!". By the time Thursday rolls around, I'm pretty stressed with that and all that's going on and I make an appointment with the doctor Friday morning. Jimmy's mom leaves to go home after I get home from the doctor, finding out that it's possible Libby has a bladder infection but not likely since Jackson caught it. We decide to continue to wait it out with no antibiotics. (As I write this, they are totally better. Finally.) Friday afternoon, with no luck from Honda people, we squeeze all six of us into Jimmy's five seater car (breaking multiple child car seat laws--ask me if I cared) and I go in person to talk to this guy at the dealership who I'm hoping will have mercy on me. While he seemed to feel pretty sorry for me, the guy would not fix our van for any less so I take Penelope from Jimmy and send him home with the remaining kids while I wait to retrieve our van because we decided NOT to pay the money, but to wait through the weekend and call Honda directly again and see if anyone will have mercy on us.

While I'm waiting for the van, I discover Penelope is dirty (the reason why she was screaming in the car) and OF COURSE I have no wipes. I did have a diaper so I took her into the bathroom at Honda and stuck her poopy booty directly in their sink and cleaned her up. Take that, Proctor!

Yesterday I helped give my friend Carey a baby shower for her twins and wished it had not come at the end of such a crazy busy weird week. But it was fun regardless and I forgot my camera but grabbed hers and took some pictures. The blueberry muffins I worked so hard to make for the shower didn't really come out that great and though they tasted okay, they looked pretty much exactly how I felt. Tired. I had planned on doing some practice baking the days before, but due to the above it didn't happen. Can I get a do-over please?

Meanwhile, across the globe, the OLYMPICS are happening! As all this activity was going on, all I really wanted to be doing was sitting on my non-athletic booty and watching the Olympics, all the while living vicariously through these ultra-disciplined, mucho-buff, world class athletes. I did get to watch quite a bit of it, even if it did involve staying up late a few nights.

So I'm sure a few other things happened, but that's all I can remember right now and I'm ready to eat my snack and sit on my rear and become an Olympian for a night. Tomorrow I will rise, renewed and ready to fight a battle with Honda, go to the dentist, take Penelope for a well check, and tackle approximately 3.5 loads of laundry. If only they had an Olympic event for changing a baby's diaper in a car dealership. I think I'd be a contender.


Yes and No

So today I was changing Cash's dirty diaper and he said "Mom, hurt!" probably because I was having to wipe so hard to get all the poop off, or maybe because I have to grip his ankles with a death grip because he is so big, heavy, and strong. Anyway, I went into this lecture about how if he would just poop on the potty, then I wouldn't have to to change his diapers and therefore it wouldn't hurt. These lectures, by the way, are TOTALLY POINTLESS. But somehow it makes us feel better as mom's if we just tell them how logical it is that they make in the toilet, even though from birth we teach them the exact opposite. I think that maybe, just maybe, if I use enough random logic and big boy words, then my two year old will all of a sudden look at me and say, "Yes mother, you're right. I've been so silly. Of course I will poop in the potty from now on. Please forgive me. You will never have to wipe my rear again." Humph.

I ended my lecture with, "Cash, it would make me SO HAPPY if you made your poo-poo in the potty. Don't you want to make mommy happy?"

To which he responded, "YES nnNO!"

So all day I've been thinking about this "Yes and No" answer. There seems to be so many questions in life that are just that. Not a "Yes" or a "No" but a "Yes and No" because of the war that wages within us. It just took a toddler to sum this up. Yes I want to do the right thing, but No I don't because that would mean submission to someone bigger than me. Children provide quite a window into human behavior. May we all learn to poop in the potty in our own time. Hopefully sooner rather than later.