October 30, 2009

Scary Feeling

I have had a nagging bloggy block this past week. I know that there is something I want to say, but thoughts elude me when I sit down to type. Also life is so crazy right now. How on earth did I do this alone for 6 months? I must have had angels on every side of me. Because with two parents home we are struggling to keep our heads above water most of the time. Yesterday I had a moment where I just snapped while looking for something in the pantry. That place had gotten so out of order it was disppppicable! (said like Sylvester the cat).

I started organizing and didn't stop until it was Martha Stewart ready. Then I had the kids test me later blindfolded pointing in the direction of whatever item they called out. Pedialyte? Right there! Baked beans? Down there! They were impressed to tears. (Well almost). Now if I could just work the same magic on my linen and coat closets that would really be something!

So with that one organized space behind me I think I have the strength to go on with the many tasks before me today. Frosting cupcakes, attending kid Halloween parties, making chilli, painting faces, helping at the ward party, and trying to ignore the fact that I am getting sick. Should be a blast. Even though it's way busy, I love Halloween so much! I am sitting here now trying to convince my 8th grade son to at least spike his hair before going to school. Maybe just a handle bar mustache to show enthusiasm for the hallowed day. He's a big 'no' on both ideas. But he did just perk up at the idea that it's a weekend and he can play Wii today. Sigh! Long gone are the days when I could dress him up as a teddy bear.

So this year our family costumes are as follows:

Baby Girl: a Korean Princess (I had the dress from when we lived there-she's gonna rock with a white face and chopsticks in her hair)

Big Girl: A fortune teller. She was sold on the idea when I told her she could pretend to read people's palms and tell them the end is near- she's got a dark side that one....

Little Boy: A mad scientist inspired by the Dr Horrible sing a long blog. Please check it out if you are unfamiliar- it's a classic! His father has agreed to go as Dr Horrible's nemeses Captain Hammer.

Middle Boy: Undecided (see above). He and a friend are doing "something" together....

Big Boy: Always a good sport when I come up with the right thing for him, this year he is being the actor from the iMac commercials. The cool young one, not the guy who is the PC. Easiest costume ever- blue hooded sweatshirt with light blue T-shirt under. We'll see if he covers up his red hair with the awesome black straight wig I bought him. I think it's essential. He argues otherwise. Surprised that I have a 15 year old who argues? Don't be.

Me: I am going as the Cat in the Hat, which I am tickled to tell you totally delights the daylights out of Baby Girl every time we talk about it. Please never grow up Baby Girl! I will keep dressing up for you forever...

Well now it's 15 minutes until show time when the busy day begins. Wish me luck my friends! Photos to follow!

October 25, 2009

What a Difference a Week Makes

Since my return to Maryland I have noticed some changes in my children. My two year old Baby Girl now says "never-mind" and "actually" with regularity. My Big Girl is well on her way to losing her second tooth. My Little Boy has a new classroom crush. My Middle Boy has changed his mind about being a leprechaun for Halloween (thank goodness; I think the nerd factor there was pretty high), and my Big Boy has grown to a height above my five feet four inches. Seesh! It's true what they say about blinking and missing the growing up process. What's a mom to do? Have more children? Not likely. Start binding their feet to stop the growing? Sounds like some form of abuse. Or just try and enjoy them as much as possible. Probably a good plan.

October 23, 2009

Back from Utah

Yes I am back from my break in Utah and it was so lovely. I had a wonderful time at my sister's wedding. She was a beautiful bride and I just loved stepping in as an escort for her and dressing her in the bride's room of the Mt Timanogos Temple, just the two of us, on a Tuesday when no other brides were there. It was supposed to rain but we got lucky with just a bit of wind instead. I know my mother in heaven was helping us out there. I felt her near at least once. It was so great to see my sister so happy. It was also great to see the fall colors and the mountains that I adore.

While in Utah for 5 days I noticed the following

1-Utah county drivers are totally aggressive and rude.
2-Pregnant women at every turn (not a surprise).
3-More people buying beer and smoking than there used to be (surprise!).
4-I missed being around people of color. Coming home to the Baltimore airport was like coming home to my peeps. I love extroverted black people.

The best ever was coming home to my sweet husband who took time off from work to stay at home with the 5 kids. His comments to me were like the best turn on ever. (too much?). He said this to me: "Wow the laundry stacks up like crazy around here doesn't it? Oh and we need more laundry detergent stat!" He also said that he would be making a much better effort to be home early enough to have dinner together. Since I have been gone he has a new appreciation for how crazy the dinner hour can be and also how nice it is to sit down for a meal together. The things I have been complaining to him about now have new meaning since our roles were reversed for a week. And to think that before this he was actually thinking that it would be nice to take a break from the stress of work to be at home relaxing. Ha! I just love it when a man realizes how right his wife is.

Totally great!!!

I wish the same good fortune for my sister the bride.

October 16, 2009

Just Breathe

Have you ever been so busy it seems like there's no time to catch your breath? That is what life with 5 active kids and a busy husband has been like for me lately. I look at my super full calendar each night before I go to bed and just wonder how I am going to get everything done on the next day. I see things like soccer, early morning seminary, orthodontist, violin, cross country, brownies, meetings, babysitting, appointments, carpooling, volunteering, etc.... Miraculously it all seems to fall together every day. Even when the kids have to wait for me to pick them up after XC for twenty minutes on occasion.

Traffic seems to be a big issue in making me insane. When T's commitment is finished with the army (2.5 yrs from now), I am hoping he goes for a job at the unprestigious crap hospital down the street from us just for the 5 min commute. Wouldn't that be dreamy? We've already seen they are advertising for a neurologist. I think he could take it sight unseen just so we could have dinner together again regularly.

At night when T and I get 5-10 minutes to talk before we doze, we brainstorm for ideas on how to streamline the paperwork process at work for him. Can he bring a lap top home to do notes? Can he get down on his knees and beg for an assistant so they can stop paying a fellowship trained neuro-opthamologist to scan and send the x-rays and other tedious paperwork? Can he just walk away when the clock hits 5:00? Can he shift some of his temporary chief duties to someone else? They gave him that position because of the huge "sucker" sign he has plastered on his forehead I think.

The army, sadly, isn't about one of my favorite things (efficiency). But life goes on. And I keep reminding myself that even when it's nearly 8:00 and he hasn't walked through that door that at least he is not in harm's way and I will see him at some point. AND OH! The homecoming scene when he returns is nothing short of an LDS commercial. One can have a job that is shorter on hours but it doesn't much matter if he just comes home at watches the news for endless amounts of time. He is not one of these guys who comes home to engage himself with the internet, the remote control or the newspaper. When he got home late last night, he pulled a tooth out for Big Girl (who btw is absolutely thrilled to be finally losing her first tooth at 6.5 yrs she was just giddy!), he stressed out with me over falling grades for he in our home who will no be named (not Voldemort). He stood up for me with sassy teenagers, downloaded the videos off my flip camera, helped me balance the checkbook, and we went over things that will be important for him to know while I am out of town for 5 days (Utah here I come- oh mountains precious mountains take me away!), and then we watched 15 minutes of a cheesy movie that I rented- I am so canceling our Netflix. We have no time to update our que to get the good movies coming, let alone get around to watching the dang things. Yes, it's time to cut the fat. Prioritize and limit ourselves to doing just the good stuff. Like loving, serving, and oh yes- breathing.

October 08, 2009

Scary Pants

This morning my son couldn't find any pants. After searching the drawers and coming up empty we consigned ourselves to looking through the dirty clothes. Hey, I am the first to admit to sending my kids to school in less than perfect clothing. What's a grass stain or two under the desk between friends in school? Alas the stains were too prevalent to go to school. So I suggested the dryer. I just know I did laundry for that kid like yesterday. Still no dice. Only girl clothing in there. There was no time to wash more clothes so I directed him to his brother's pants drawer. Score! As it turns out Little Boy is closing in on Middle Boy's size. Middle Boy seems to be at a stall growth wise. Ask the orthodontist. Middle Boy has lost less teeth than his little brother. I'm glad he doesn't seem upset by this news. I however wonder if I should be concerned. It would not be the first time with Middle Boy. When he was a toddler the pediatrician had us bringing him in for weight checks. My husband was in medical school at the time and suffered from an overly anxious imagination while studying all the pediatric diseases out there. He was sure Middle Boy had some sort of growth disorder.

So now that they wear the same pants all kinds of opportunities to avoid folding laundry are coming my way! Yeah!

Then in my haste to get dressed myself for the 4 minute drive to school I accidentally grabbed my husband's jeans and pulled them up. Half way to my destination (my waist) I realized my mistake. My first thought was this: If I pull up these pants and they don't fit I will feel like crap. My second thought was this: You knew this day was coming sweetie. I have been the one popping out children over the past 15 years. I'm the one who inherited my mother's apple body. It's not that un-natural to have a pooch at 40. It's just there is this little imaginary world in which I tend to place myself where I am not as fat as I really am. I see myself in a department store mirror and go "oh who is that poor woman-whoops it's me!" Then other days I'm like, "oh who is that cutie? Yeah it's me!!" It all depends on the day (and the outfit).

So it's too late to back out of the pulling-up-pants move (we were late). Up go the pants. They fit. Not loosely, but they fit. I walked out and showed my 15 yr old and... here's where things fall into perspective... I say "look, these are Dad's jeans and he says something like "Aren't you proud that you fit into them?" And I was like. "No- I'm sad that we are so close to the same size that I can wear his pants! In my mind I would have been glad to keep imagining that we are not the same size at all, but that I am still the 115 lb bride that he married.

Yes it was a scary pants day indeed.... Very scary.

October 04, 2009

Why I Like These Guys

Aren't they the cutest? Well I think so. Tonight I was watching a movie where the main characters are in Paris and I swooned. Baby girl noticed my admiration of Paris and asked me where they were. I answered her that they were in a beautiful city called Paris and she asked if we could go there. I said we could. I hope she takes me up on it someday. My mind fast forwarded to our future where she and I could sit on a sidewalk cafe somewhere eating pan d`aux chocolate together.

Then yesterday Big Girl made the most beautiful marker drawing of flowers. She did the background just like a Monet painting. I swear! How could she know how much I love the impressionists? She couldn't I guess but I made such a big deal over her drawing that I notice she keeps slipping it under my nose for no apparent reason except she knows it makes me happy. If only she didn't make so many messes all over the house. Maybe it's the artist in her.

Tonight Little Boy had an afghan that he had slipped each of his fingers through and told me that his hands were claws that had once been made for good but that they had somehow turned evil. And I watched helplessly as they attacked him. This made watching conference on TV today so much more entertaining.

Some days motherhood is the best.

October 02, 2009

A Look Back

This time of year one year ago I had my emotional wind knocked out of me. We had just 3 weeks notice and T would be gone to Iraq. Possibly gone for good. Perish the thought. Perish it forever I say! That was some growing experience indeed. One I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. Although it made us stronger as a family. That is one thing I am grateful for I guess. Time has made me relax though. I have been forgetful lately. Forgetful of my blessings. Forgetting all the service that was rendered on my behalf.

The other day I was reminded. We needed to get dinner on the table fast due to evening activities and I needed "all hands on deck." I used that term a lot while I was 'single' for six months. "All hands on deck" meant everyone had to be moving together helping out, moving us in the same direction to get things done together. The kids learned to do or die. It was awesome how we sometimes gelled and got things done that one would have thought less likely to happen (impossible is indeed too strong a word). So when Dad was working late and the quesadillas needed flipping and the table needed setting and the clock was ticking, we all worked together and I looked over at my 15 year old young man and said "doesn't this remind you of when Dad was gone and we worked together all the time?" He agreed that it was a lot like that.

Then a friend had a birthday and I didn't remember it until 2 weeks after the fact. I recalled how on my last birthday that same friend (who was even less familiar then) took me out to lunch on my birthday. She knew it would be a hard day for me celebrating it without T. I was thinking about that today again. I told her I should have taken her out on her day! She just smiled.

I guess the only way to repay a favor like that is to pay it forward. So I am off this afternoon to bake something for a friend who is having surgery. Will it be enough? What else can I do, for who? Who's bucket is low? It will likely be mine tomorrow, so I better start stock piling good deeds in my favor.