Friday, February 18, 2011

Laundry day

I've been having this competition with my laundry. Kind of like a stare-down, or like a wait-out. You know?

Like when you wake up way too early in the morning to one of the kids crying, and you know your husband is awake too, but you are both too tired to move and so you each figure you can pretend to sleep the longest so as to avoid dealing with the situation.

That's what's going on with me and the laundry, your basic wait-out. When the laundry piles up, I throw it in the basement, and there it sits. End of story.

My logic is that that if I wait long enough the laundry will get sick and tired of sitting around, and wash itself. Then dry itself. And iron, fold, and hop in drawers all by itself.

(We have smart phones. So why not smart laundry? Are you with me, people?!)

Anyway, Sharks went to bed without any pants last night. (I was out.) Apparently Chet couldn't find any pj's or pants for the poor buddy so pants-free was he.

Really I think it was Chet's way of telling me that the laundry won.


Laundry: 1, Erin: 0

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Children are people too

I wasn't really a kid person before I had kids. I didn't like to babysit, didn't know how to play with kids, and just generally felt awkward around them. After Sharks was born, I read all these baby books about how it was important to play with your baby and talk to them and engage with them, and I was like, huh? Babies don't do anything but sit there, and poop sometimes.

Then my friends would come over and would be all cute and sweet with Sharks and come up with all these games to play with my baby and I'd think, OH! That's what I'm supposed to be doing. And I was a little jealous because it just didn't come naturally to me.

Anyway, as Sharks grew and after we had Deedo, I was able to see that these little babies pretty quickly develop personalities, and all of a sudden I was the one baby-talking and coo-ing and tickling. And come to find out I am actually a baby person after all.

The thought that these little guys are real people, and the older they get the more we see and shape their little selves became an encouragement to me during those wakeful nights and scream-filled days.

I have no idea what my boys will be like when they grow up, but to see certain traits already cracks me up. For example:

Every day before nap time, I lie down with each boy individually and ask if they have anything they want to chat about. Sharks usually asks if we can talk about Why Pharaoh Didn't Obey God And Let The Israelites Go, or maybe Will Jesus Know Where To Find Me When I Die, or even Does The Street Sweeper Come On The First Tuesday Or Wednesday Of Each Month?

On the other hand, after I get all snuggled up with Deeds, he says, Let's Laugh! So then I have to bust into an uproarious fake laugh. That's all he ever wants to do, just laugh and laugh.

Obviously I don't want to label them or force them into a particular personality box, because we all grow and change. But that right there is a picture of their little personalities at the moment. And I can't wait to see what Finn will be like as he grows.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Weirdo runs in the family

Ever have one of those moments when you look at your children and you think, Wow. They are only 3 and 2. How did they get so weird already?

The boys have been doing this thing where after they go to the bathroom but before they put their pants back on, they pull their shirts down over their knees and waddle around like ducks. Except.

They call it Playing Naked Mole Rat.

So they are like, Mommy! Mommy! Don't put my pants on yet! I want to be a Naked Mole Rat.

See what I mean? Weird.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Tom Sawyer style

Yesterday I gave the boys a bath. Okay, actually what happened was the boys scrubbed the tub for me. They needed a bath (boys get stinky sometimes) and the bathtub needed to be scrubbed, so we did things Tom Sawyer style (you seriously have to read Tom Sawyer if you haven't, and even if you have, re-read it. Classic.)

I have this mixture of baking soda and castile soap that makes a "natural" soft scrub and I told the boys they could each have their own sponge (what a thrill!) and I would let them go crazy with some scrubby stuff and they could knock themselves out scrub-scrub-scrubbing the tub-tub-tubby. (They like rhymes so it was sure to be a hit.)

That way they got clean, the tub got clean, and I got a chance to clean the rest of the bathroom while they "played." So we were all together and managed a lot of cleaning in a very short amount of time and I am very okay with that.

It was sort of a way to work in some work without stressing too much.

Post-bath, and they wanted to run around naked for awhile. I was thinking maybe up and down the hallway a couple of times, then they'd be ready for clothes. But no. Sharks told me he was running a half-marathon so we (Finn and I) should sit and cheer for him like we cheered for Pops at his race.

He then proceeded to run for half-an-hour straight. Up and down the hallway. Over and over and over. One time I made the mistake of cheering, "Go Sharks! You can make it!" and he said, "I am not Sharks, I am pretending to be Pops, so say 'Go Pops!'"

It was insane. I can't even run that long. About ten minutes into the "race" he said his side hurt. I was like, Yeah, that's called a cramp and sometimes runners get them but you just have to power through. He whispered "power through" to himself and started running faster.

The only running phrase I know is "Put down the hammer!" and actually I am not sure if that is legit or if that is just a Chet-ism, but I started saying that to Sharks and then he was running with his arm up and down like he was hammering. (I think it is in reference to your legs hammering down on the ground, but I am not sure.)

He would get tired and I'd tell him he could stop, but he kept saying he was in a half-marathon and that it was a very long race and he couldn't stop til the very end. I finally had to set the timer for ten minutes and told him once it beeped he had to be done. Those last few minutes were tough for him, but he kept going.

I have never seen anything like it. And now, I am off to exercise, with my three-year old as inspiration.

Monday, February 7, 2011

This is the face...

...of a man who has a job!

Praise the Lord!

Unbeknownst to Chet, I had been praying that he would be offered a job by the start of the semester (Monday, January 10). My reasons for praying this prayer were mostly so that Chet would be relieved of the stress of job-searching (which in itself is a full-time job) before school began.

We hadn't heard anything, and after many "no" responses last semester, we had no reason to believe a yes was on it's way so soon (not that we doubted God's provision, we just assumed it would take some time.)

Then on Thursday, January 6th, Chet received a phone call offering him a job. I have no doubt that this is the job I had been praying for.

After much prayerful consideration and conversations with family and friends, we have decided to take the job. This means that Chet is going to be a JAG Corps Officer in the US Army.

There are still quite a few steps in the process, including passing the bar, passing a background check, and passing the physical. And we don't know much about the where or the when. Even so, we are very thankful.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

How to warm up on a cold winter's day

I'm supposed to take soup to our Kingdom Group dinner tomorrow. No big deal, right? I went to the grocery store, picked up all the ingredients, and came home to start cooking.

After chopping and sauteing all the shallots and opening all the cans of beans, I realized that I had forgotten to buy chicken broth. Rookie mistake. So I figured I'd just make a simple vegetable broth, with onion, celery, and carrots.

Are you sensing the impending disaster?

(I wasn't.)

Just as I was measuring the broth to add to the soup pot, I knocked the whole pot of boiling hot broth all over myself.

I totally lost my cool. (Why do I love puns so much? Somebody stop me.) The only thing I could think of other than AAAaagggh the PAIN! was, "Get these clothes off of me!!" so I started ripping my clothes off and crying. I mean, it really, really hurt.

Then I screamed for Chet, and he came running, and poor Sharks saw the whole thing and was just standing there, stunned.

I hopped in the shower for some relief from the burning. And then, at the advice from a doctor friend, I headed to an urgent care since my stomach was already blistering.

But due to all the snow, I couldn't get our van out of the parking space. (We live in the city and our streets aren't plowed and it's a real lose-lose situation for everyone.) So that was fun. I was thinking, Forget this, I'll just lie down in the snow for a few minutes.

Thankfully my husband is awesome and got me on my way. The doctor asked how I got the burns and I told her that I poured boiling vegetable broth on myself. She said, "By accident, I hope."

Ummm, yes. If I wanted to pour boiling liquid on myself, I would have just used water and saved myself the trouble of chopping all those veggies. Anyway. The nurse "dressed my burns" which is just fancy talk for "covered it with a couple big band-aids," and gave me some ointment.

On Facebook this morning I was joking that I'd rather give birth again than cut Deedo's hair (which I did this morning - bad idea #1 of the day.) Now I know that I would also rather give birth than pour boiling broth on myself.

Friday, February 4, 2011

How to live life

(for the record, this isn't supposed to be a complaining's more just searching for answers from other moms who have been there.)

Finn is at the stage where he puts everything in his mouth, knocks over stuff he shouldn't be playing with in the first place, pulls out toys we've just put away, and so on. He's a sweetie; he just happens to be a curious sweetie.

I used to do my daily jobs with the boys (making beds, getting dressed, doing dishes, vacuuming, sweeping, mopping, laundry, all the basics.) But add Finn to the mix, and it's more than I can handle. I used to put him in the Ergo, but now my body is too tired from exercising to even contemplate that. Plus he's heavier now.

So I've stopped doing those things while the boys are up, thinking that I'll get to them during nap time.

But guess what? Nap time rolls around, and I'm tired too. So I take a nap (or exercise), thinking that I'll finish up the dishes after dinner. And the laundry and whatever else I've neglected.

Suddenly dinner is over, and who wants to tackle a mountain of laundry or a whole day's worth of dishes? Or move at all?

Usually by then I am so wiped out, it's all I can do to organize the dirty dishes into the sink to soak until morning. That way I feel like I'm doing something without really doing anything.

Which means that nothing substantial gets done, and the cycle continues the next day. So, basically, I need help. Without the daily jobs to give us a routine, the days seem very long.

For the most part, the older two boys play pretty well together and I can manage to get quite a bit done while they play if the baby is sleeping, but then I feel like I am wasting the time we have without the baby (usually we read together.) Or I feel as though I am too task driven and never stop to play with them.

In all honesty I am not a big fan of housework (who is?!) and would gladly not care about it, but I have just enough house-pride to be embarrassed if someone came over and saw this place. Plus, I really like the idea of having the boys work alongside me throughout the day because I think it teaches good work habits, I am just not sure how to put it into practice.

I have a feeling that some of the experienced moms out there would just tell me to get down to business and deal with the inconvenience. That simply being with the boys, whether working or playing is what is important. And that is probably the truth. Good results take hard work.

So, I've got the theory, I just need the practical knowledge (and encouragement!) Any suggestions of how to do this with three little ones?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Things that made me laugh

1) Last week at MOPS: "Erin! You look really pretty today, I didn't even recognize you!"

Ummm, thanks?

2) Finn's first word: "Amen!"

Unless you count fake burping. He's had that under control for a couple of months.

3) Sharks walking backwards, pants at his ankles, dragging Finn by one foot out of the bathroom. Now that was a sight. I guess somebody wanted to pee in peace. (I know the feeling.)

4) Three snow days with all of us at home. Chet looks at me and asks if he looks as rough as I do. Answer: yes.

5) And Deeds. The kid remembers. I knew he would. Every time I put on his pjs, he says "Don't zip it on me!"

6) Finally, another Jeopardy moment. So, we watch Jeopardy pretty much every day. And we bet on who's going to win. And my favorite part is that the boys go crazy and jump up and down when someone picks the Daily Double. Jeopardy is just THAT exciting. Right now you can actually take the test to become a contestant!