Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas 2010

Hope you had a cozy Christmas

filled with family,

sweet friends,

adventures big and small,

joy in the simple things,

lots of pictures,

and the perfect present.

I know I did.

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Week Before Christmas

Twas the week before Christmas
and all through the lot
not a creature was barfing
or running for the pot.

The laundry's been hung
but the house is a mess
still I won't let that rubber band
return to my chest.

I've not MUCH to do
just binding and wrapping
and cleaning and painting
oops... no time for napping.

No matter, for Christmas
will come anyway
in the midst of my mess
or my perfect array.

The kids have been naughty
(they should get some coal)
but giving's the part
that is good for your soul.

And, thankfully, Jesus
comes and gives the same way
for all of us whether we feel
that we're ready or nay.

So grace and peace to us all
love, forgiveness (and sleep!)
Merry Christmas to all
and to all a good week!

(On a sadder note, my Father-in-Law lost his mother last week. And, while I am certain Christmas in heaven must be lovely as anything, we will miss her sweet spirit here with us. I was sad to have missed the services and to see out-of town family, but glad we were not there to give anyone a GI virus for Christmas! My love and prayers for Paul and all his family....)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Inside Outside

One of my favorite books as a kid, was Stan and Jan Berenstain's Inside, Outside, Upside Down. "Mama, Mama, I went to town. Inside, Outside, Upside Down!" I am thinking of that this morning where, inside, it looks like this:

Yes, that is a barf bowl in front of Ellie. Cal has his own on the other side. Tate had his turn with this thing last week, so he's fine. I just need the energy now to get him ready for school. And, YES, that is a dog on the couch lying on my pillow but, NO, I did not put the pillow on the couch for the dog. That was my station this morning after the kids came down to vomit less and watch tv since I felt like I had been up all night cleaning people up. I have to admit, GiGi is rather nice to snuggle with, but she does sort of think she's people.

Outside, we've got this going on:

No snow days for us. I sort of get one, as I don't have to drive Ellerie to school, but Tate will need to make afternoon kindergarten. Oh blech. The snow IS slowing down, but the weather button on my toolbar is telling me it is 12 degrees out. That's 12 fahrenheit people. Want me to look up the wind chill? Yeah, I don't really want to know either.

As for upside down, that's pretty much my whole house, my budget and my coffee pot. But oddly enough I am feeling pretty happy today, now that I'm awake enough to appreciate anything. I'm happy to have a warm house, I'm happy it's nothing worse with my kids and I'm happy that I don't have to go out in this today. Wish Pip didn't either.

Oh, and yesterday I finally unearthed my sewing room, or at least my sewing machine, and got cracking on Ellerie's quilt and some ideas for some other stuff. And that feels energizing, so I hope I make it back there this afternoon. You know, after I wash ten loads of stinky jammies and sheets. If anyone wants to get me new pillows and extra twin waterproof mattress pads for Christmas, I would not protest ;-)

Happy Tuesday. I hope you're warm whether you're inside or out!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Birds of a Feather...

...wait for their boys


Thursday, December 2, 2010

Laughter is the Best Medicine

Yesterday was "one of those days." Ick from the start with screaming, mouthy kids and nobody listening and me finding myself at noon with nothing "done" other than putting away a bit of laundry and feeding my kids. I could think of nothing better than curling up on the sofa with some coffee and a good movie as the snow was coming thick and slushy, but I knew it wouldn't happen anyway and we were out of milk. I told myself that as soon as Tate was on the bus, Ellie and I were going to run to the grocery store, grab a few necessities and fly home so I could have more than two minutes to breathe before the boys came home at four. Tate was on at 12:30, but as things go I didn't step out of the door for another hour. One pants peeing incident (not mine) and one picking up of the clothes on the floor which were the ENTIRETY of Elle's dresser AND closet and several punishments due to lack of cooperation in the picking up department and some feet dragging and loss of interest in getting dressed and winter clothes and boots and letting the dog out and then getting her in the crate later, we managed.

Kids are funny. Ellerie wanted NOTHING to do with helping pick up the clothes she had dumped all over the place at home but, suddenly at the store, she was feeling super helpful. First she asked to ride in the giant cart with the truck attached to the front of it. That lasted all of 5 minutes before she just HAD to help me push. No, scratch that, she was all about pushing it herself. Seriously? I can barely push those beasts of carts. Yeesh. So between pretending I wasn't steering the cart with the hand I kept on it and walking slower than molasses in January while Ellie OOHED and AHHED at everything like she'd never been in a store before, I managed to get the 15 odd items we needed and proceeded, what felt like an hour later, to the checkout.

It should have felt like triumph, making it that far. I was moments free of shopping with a toddler and getting home to an awfully messy house but maybe a nice cup of tea. Having started my day a tad grumpy and agitated, every little thing was making me feel more and more stressed and impatient. The slower we went and the less I managed to do off the 30 different lists in my head, the tighter the rubber band in my chest pulled. So there, even at the checkout I couldn't feel calm. The fastest-looking lane was a narrow one and the cart barely fit. Then on top of it, Ellerie wanted to look at the candy and help me load things on the belt, but there was no room to squeeze by the cart. Of course we bumped the lady in front of us in the shins. Pardon us. But that woman parted ways with the register and I heard the beeps of the scanner begin. I was looking down, trying to convince Elle that she'd like to get back in the cart and ride. I flipped open the top of my bag, commenced digging for my wallet and a little pang of panic rose in me. I looked. Yep, no wallet. Bother. I started to ask the cashier to stop scanning and to tell her I had no way to pay for any of it, but I wasn't really looking up at her as I began to speak. I was still sort of rummaging for the wallet that I knew wasn't going to appear. The beeps kept coming. That got my attention and I made eye contact and started to talk again, to explain.

No, no, no, no NO. My cashier was....... wait for it.....


Please don't misunderstand, she was so nice. But NOW? She reassured me it was okay as she tried to speak to me and tried to read my lips and we had a hard time communicating. I had no issues that she was deaf, except that I was kicking myself for never learning more sign language. The Signing Time videos I did with Calvin as a baby wouldn't get me too far. Milk? Grandma? Eat? Dang. We did manage to get this sorted out and she held my groceries and my receipt until I could come back and pay. But I felt the stares of the lady behind me the whole while we navigated our conversation. And then there's the fact that I THEN had to load The Bird in the car, drive home, find the wallet, drive back, unload Birdie and go get the groceries in a snow squall.

I calmed down as I shoved the cart through the 4 inches of slush in the parking lot. I was done and it was sort of comical, but only in a dramedy sort of way: like laughter on the verge of tears.

But I recently made a new friend around here and we hung out at last night while our kids were at church and I didn't feel like crying anymore when I shared the story. We laughed together and pretty hard. Cuz a lot of us have those days. Especially those of us with multiple uncooperative kids. It feels good to laugh about the crud in our lives that we can't really do anything about. It's freeing and it keeps us humble. And to quote my brother-in-law: it's not supposed to be all fun, we're making memories.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

It's How December Rolls

Around here, December brings with it snow. (Truthfully, often October or November have already brought it, but this year December is making a grand entrance.) I always love snow at this time of year. All fluffy and bringing promises of snow play and a white Christmas.

And, of course, the kids dig it.

And, apparently, GiGi is not slowed down at all by it.

But it doesn't last folks.

After the holidays are done and we settle into the cold gloom of Feb and March. Then the snow is not as pretty and certainly not as exciting. So happy December 1st from Mother Nature. It's just the, ahem, tip of the iceberg so to speak. ;-)