Sunday, June 26, 2011

Highs and Lows-June 4th


Blueberry picking!
I meant to take the camera this time for blueberry picking, but forgot.  Friday was opening day at the local blueberry farm so we headed out there with some friends and came back with almost 5 lbs of the yummiest blueberries ever.  The people that run the farm use no chemical pesticides so you can snack right off the bush while you pick.  D actually did a decent job of filling his own little plastic bucket - at least for as long as you can expect a 4 year old to do so.  Belle, on the other hand, spent an hour and a half pulling blueberries off and popping them right into her mouth.  The farm's policy is that it's fun for people to snack while they pick, but did they intend that to cover 90 minutes of blueberry grazing?  Still, they never let me give them extra money for the amount she eats.

Me: Belle, pick one and put it IN YOUR BUCKET!  That cool BLUE bucket!

Belle: OK! (Picks blueberry) Like this one?

Me (in that over enthusiastic voice people use to get children to do something): YUP!  That's a GREAT one!  Now, PUT IT IN YOUR BUCKET!!!!

Belle:  OK! (pops it in her mouth.)

Me (no longer enthusiastic): Really?

We had that conversation about 500 more times.  The couple on the other side of the bush seemed entertained by the rest of our conversations.  Things like:

Me: Do you understand the difference between your mouth and a bucket

Me: Do you understand that when you say "OK" you are agreeing to do what I want?

Me: NO!!!!! Don't pick up handfuls of beautiful berries from my bucket, say "These are YUCKY!" and drop them on the ground!

Me: Notinyourmouth! Inthebucket!  OK, put the NEXT one in your bucket. No WAIT!  OK, the NEXT one.

Me: Don't you love your BLUE bucket?
Belle: Yup!  I put blueberries in it!
Me:  You don't actually speak English, do you?

Cool weather:  We've had gorgeous cool, cloudy weather forever.  It's been marvelous.  Since I've been dreading 3rd trimester pregnancy in Missouri summer, this has been a lovely respite from the heat.  I'll TRY not to be bitter when it returns to normal June weather. 

Library summer programs:  Our small-town library is sadly disconnected from the library world across the country, so it doesn't have great things like inter-library loans, but they do have good summer kids programs.  Both kids enjoyed this weeks storytellers/singers/animal people who came and sang and let them touch a live python.


Hospital visit: (Note before reading this: the baby is fine...) The biggest low of the week was when I woke up last Saturday morning and realized it had been well over 12 hours since I'd felt the baby have his normal active movements.  After drinking a bunch of water and lying still for a half hour and still not feeling much, I panicked, caused my husband to panic and then rushed off to the hospital by myself (since I was unwilling to wait the time it would take to figure out a good babysitter at 6am Saturday morning...) to be evaluated.  I have no idea what the child was doing, but he's perfectly fine in there.  

It really ended up turning into a high since while Medman stayed home and wrestled children through breakfast and such, I laid in bed hooked up to baby moniters for an hour and a half, was fed breakfast in bed, got to watch 'Can't Buy Me Love' on the fancy new flat screen in the fancy new OB room at the hospital, then got an ultrasound which again looked great. 

And that's really the only Low I can think of.  It's nice to do this post since it reminds me of how great most of my weeks are!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Don't you love it when a topic comes up more than once in a day?  Especially in a way that makes you feel like a jerk?  There are many times when I'm glad that I'm the only person that is continuously around during the day so that no one else can witness how lame something I said or did earlier was.  Although there's a good possibility that an outsider would recognize my lameness right away and not need the smack on the head later to prove it.

Yesterday we had our weekly play date and picnic at the park with our friends.  It was a small group and for the picnic it was just myself and my friend Erika.  (oh, and the kids, but do they count, really?) We were chatting and venting about how frustrating it is when our oldest boys come out of their rooms a thousand times during rest hours with all sorts of crises that cannot possibly be solved without their mother.  Like the fact that a tower 23 mega-legos tall will not defy gravity any longer and will inevitably crash to the floor.   Or that 7 pieces of train track will not fit in a space 6 pieces long.  Things like that.  Because we all know that mothers control the laws of physics and can easily determine that yes, two objects can occupy the same space if I say so.  And no, gravity doesn't have to apply in that corner of your bedroom.

But I digress.  The point is that I enthusiastically, perhaps even vehemently, agreed with her that it makes me murderously angry to have my "me-time" interrupted during rest time.  And why shouldn't it?  There are rules.  You can come out of your room if you can prove that your bladder is going to explode or if you are bleeding more than you can stanch with a wadded up sock.  Reasonable rules like that.  And yet daily they are ignored.

Then I get back from the park, toss the kids into their respective rooms for nap time and grab my computer to get some Etsy shop stuff done.  I decide to take a quick glance to see if any blogs I follow have posted anything interesting and I see one called, "Jesus Stopped": On Interruptibility. by Richard Beck.  My brain first read the word as "Irritability" and I thought, "When did Jesus stop because he was irritated?  I have to read this!  I had no idea I was so Christ-like!"

But I did soon realize that it was "Interruptibility".  The article was mentioning how Jesus allowed himself to be interrupted.  He allowed a blind man and a bleeding woman stop him.  He allowed children to come and undoubtedly cause complete chaos in the middle of trying to teach.   And it is significant that he did it without irritability.

Me, on the other hand?  Well, I get annoyed if I'm trying to cook and a child has a crisis because there is a spider by her shoes.  Or if I'm trying to get us out the door and a certain boy has a melt down because his sister is putting her sandals on the wrong feet.  Or worse yet, I get annoyed if I'm trying to do something super-fun like cleaning toilets and a little girl won't leave me alone because she wants something miserable like a story.

The article discussed how we fall into the corporate mindset that interruptions are only acceptable one way.  A boss can interrupt a peon at any time.  But the peon can not interrupt the boss.  Because the boss clearly has more important things going on than the peon.

And around here, I'm the boss.  I'm judge and jury.  Law maker and law enforcer.  And to be honest, that is how it should be.  Our house would certainly not run in a safe or healthy way if the munchkins were in charge of rules.  But I definitely fall into the trap of feeling corporate.  It is my prerogative, as boss, to interrupt anything and everything the kids do.  But if they interrupt me, especially if it's while I'm doing something important and boss-like, then woe unto them. 

And since I'm fairly certain you could make a legitimate case that Jesus had more important things to accomplish during his day than I do, I was convicted that if he can respond graciously and patiently and lovingly to the people who had the audacity (and sometimes desperation) to interrupt him, then I should certainly attempt to respond lovingly to my own children when they reach out to me out of their own desperation (or pain, or curiosity, or chatter-headedness, or boredom...). I'm not the boss anywhere else, and there's a decent chance I never will be, but changing my attitude to be willing to be interrupted, especially by my children, is so essential.  Both for them to feel like their mother is a trustworthy person to go to, and for myself to keep my sanity and a sweet spirit in the house.  Because it is a sad but true fact that my own attitude usually determines the day.  And it will certainly determine a good deal of my children's attitudes in life. 

So, in an effort to really make a change, here is my post telling all of you that I am going to pray and try to graciously allow interruptions in my day.  To open my eyes to the fact that my agenda, as earth-shakingly important as it is, should not be allowed to tyrannically control my time and temperament.

And, ironically, would you like to know how annoyed I was when my son interrupted me trying to write this blog?  Well, you probably would like to know, but I'm not going to admit it.  Let's just say I have a teeny bit of work to do in this area.  

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day

My kids are blessed with a great dad who adores them, plays crazy games with them even after getting home from a long day of work, takes over and exhibits patience in situations when I'm just done, and is all around fantastic.  He is greeted like a rock star whenever he comes home.  And I'm so grateful that I'm married to him.

I'm glad my bloggy friend Jennifer told me what she was doing for her husband for Father's Day because it reminded me that I did this last year with the intention of doing it every year and almost forgot all about it!   So I bribed the kids with chocolate chips, gave up the battle of getting D to take his socks off and got about 100 pictures of them together in the hopes of having 3 turn out. Then made a little photo with the pictures spelling DAD and a quote that we say to each other around the house.

Then I saw another post for a personalized Motivational Poster which I couldn't resist making.  I thought Medman was in need of a little motivation to finish his last year of residency.  But I found four good quotes instead of just one, so made four posters.  Gotta love photoshop for making little projects like this so easy!

One that is too true:
If you can't read the little print it says:
Anyone who thinks the art of conversation is dead ought to tell a child to go to bed. 
 Robert Gallagher.

One that makes me laugh:
I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.  
Woody Allen

One that is sweet:
Affection is responsible for nine-tenths of whatever solid and durable
happiness there is in our lives. - CS Lewis

And my very favorite:
Dad always thought laughter was the best medicine, which I guess is why several of us died of tuberculosis.
-Jack Handey, "Deep Thoughts" Saturday Night Live

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Highs and Lows of the week- June 14th


  1. Took another road trip this week.   Medman had a conference in Madison, Wisconsin and since there are some tempting job opportunities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Northern Iowa, we all climbed into the car and went along.  Children were angelic again.  It was almost creepy.  We let them room together again and they were complete chuckle-heads all night long, but all day while we drove (and we drove a LOT) they did things like sing Old MacDonald Had a Farm together.  I'm not kidding.  It was weird.  Like maybe there's a small carbon monoxide leak into the car or something.  Of course, if there is it's obviously not fatal and it just seems to be making everyone really happy, so I'm not going to worry about it.  
  2. Went to the Madison zoo.  It was FREE and since we have young kids and only had a couple hours to kill, its tiny, sort of pathetic zoo-ness was perfect.  We saw lions, tigers, giraffes, flamingos, grizzly bears and bison.  Oh, and a weird little prairie dog colony that I'm fairly sure wasn't supposed to be an exhibit, but since they had moved into the zoo the zoo keepers just stuck up an educational sign by their dirt and pretended they wanted them there.
  3. It was a cool, cloudy day when we went to the zoo and I've never seen animals so active. The lion cub wrestled with his mom.  The big bad male lion roared loudly and impressively (ok, once he sounded like he was trying to cough up a fur ball, but besides that it was impressive), the tiger roared back and all the commotion made the giraffes run around kicking up their feet in skittishness. 
  4. Feeling remarkably knowledgeable as a parent.   Not because I'm doing any better job at it than normal, but my sister and her husband have just been licensed to be foster parents and got their first kiddos.  THREE kids ages ONE, TWO and THREE!  Medman snorted an evil sort of snort when he heard that and said, "They're so screwed!"  So in comparison to people who have never had children but just got 3 toddlers dropped into their house, I realize that I have, in fact, learned quite a bit about children over the past 5 years.  Not that I display any of that competency on a daily basis as I mother them, but the knowledge is tucked away in my brain somewhere.   And actually the three foster kids are really sweet and well-behaved.  My kids had fun playing with them yesterday.  Besides convincing the one year old that sleeping is better than screaming at bed time (yes, all you parents can wince in sympathy at that situation) things seem to be going well.
  5. Only 9 weeks of pregnancy left! 
  1. Still have NINE WEEKS of pregnancy left.  NINE!  58 days, to be exact.  Ugg.  C'mon baby.  Let's finish up this stage so I can at least have different things to complain to my husband about.
  2. It took Belle 2 years and 3 weeks to do what we've known she would always do: climb out of her crib.  She seems determined to be taller than she is, so climbs absolutely everything. The other night we heard distraught crying and Medman went in first.  When I got there I was surprised to see him holding a little girl with blood streaming down her chin!  Eww!  Really, with climbing out of a crib and falling twice your height to the floor, just biting your tongue so badly that there are 4 clear holes matching your teeth isn't the worst injury she could have suffered.  And apparently a very painful tongue was a good learning tool.  A couple nights later she looked at me and said very seriously, "Mommy?  When I climbed out of my was NOT good."   True fact, honey
And a couple pictures of D:

Already WAY better at xbox than I am.

Our little maestro at his violin recital last month.  (Yes that's a one TENTH size violin. It's adorable.)

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