Wednesday, February 18, 2015

The Why's behind the What's

This was my status on facebook a couple days ago.  I don't think I have to further describe how absolutely grotesque a situation the wood floor vomit thing was...

Yesterday was more vomit and diarrhea.

Last night, I had three kids with fevers- Chloe and Christian with coughs and the big D, and poor Phin was still throwing up.  I got about 5 hours of choppy sleep and Phin was so miserable he didn't want me to leave him so I carried his mattress and bed things onto the floor of my room about 3 am.

This morning, I had a massage scheduled during the two hour break I get while Chloe and Christian are in preschool.  Instead it had to be cancelled, as I have three littles home sick.  Bless Ava's heart, she's representing the healthy side (a time her OCD handwashing tendancies actually may be her life saver).  I am Clorox wiping every surface and toilet and washing sheets AGAIN.

Did I mention my hubs is at a crucial meeting this week that he really cannot miss unless it's an absolute emergency (like if I go down with the troops)?  It's in sunny Florida so that makes it all the more lovely to think about when I feel like the smell of diarrhea and vomit may be forever trapped in my nose.

Livin' the dream....livin' the dream.  I mean this is the stuff I imagined as I nested during my first pregnancy, right?;)

A little comment on my facebook page (cough- Jenny) made me think.  The comment was good- natured from a kidless dear friend, "You're not helping the cause Kim! Feeling so bad for you all right now!"

I Laughed, but then it made me stop to think.  Why does everyone encourage this parenthood thing?  I mean it's grotesque and inconvenient.  It's filled with sleepless nights and frustrating moments.  Are we all just insane?

The insanity part is undoubtedly debatable;)  But what makes these moments worth it?

1)Snuggling a scrunched up newborn to your chest and feeling your hearts beat as one as they sleep.
2)Being the one to see the first smile, and hear the first laugh.
3)Being the one a baby reaches for with squeals of delight the moment they see you.
4) Hearing Mama for the very first time...
5) Watching babies explore the world with wonder and figure out how to use their little bodies to move about the world.
6) Being so desirable, that YOU are the one they work so hard to tottle toward and take their very first steps.
7) Watching them unashamedly grimace as they poop their diaper....I mean gross, but hilarious.  What parents don't laugh at this?  It had to make the list.
8) Toddlers mispronouncing or using similar words in the wrong context...hilarity.
9) Seeing kids personalities emerge- each different and unique
10) Seeing them fall in love with toys and books and their imagination
11) Being amazed at the brains ability to learn and memorize (hello two year old who can recite Moo Baa La La La)
12) Hearing toddlers sing
13) Family dance parties
14) The absolute gratitude and delight my kids express at any and every gift- no matter how big or small
15) Breastfeeding....I was skipping it cuz I know not everyone loves it, but I do and this is my blog, so on the list it goes!  I will forever be grateful for those quiet moments of solitude, breastfeeding my littles in the still of evening hours.  I think some of my most content moments in life were spent in my leather Lazy Boy gazing at my contented baby.
16) The awesomeness of them dressing themselves in ridiculous combinations that they are so very proud to wear.
17) The lack of filters in toddlers mouths- never have to wonder what they are thinking about you or anyone you pass in Target
18) Watching a child learn to read
19) Seeing a kid ride a bike independently for the first time
20) Watching their unabashed self delight at every thing they accomplish, no false modesty in kiddos- nope not a shred of it
21) Laughing hysterically at knock-knock jokes that makes absolutely no sense to anyone but the tiny teller
22)  Pig tails and tiny painted nails
23) The pure joy kiddos find in running around naked
24) bedtime stories
25) Hearing belly laughs (Phin's especially) while kiddos watch movies ( eg.Home Alone;) or America's Funniest Home Videos
26) Seeing my daughters have absolute confidence in their beauty and bodies
27) Watching kids fall in love with Jesus
28) Hearing their heart and passions for the world around them develop
29) Realizing you have a budding artist whose abilities far surpass your 37 year old self when they are only 8
30) Hearing positive things from teachers and friends parents about your children's kindness
31) Playing Wii as a family
32) Snowball fights and sledding
33) Getting homemade birthday cards
34) A jam pile of morning cuddles
35) Being forgiven instantly, EVERY time I mess up as a mom.  No questions or qualms about it.  I apologize and ask forgiveness and every time they answer as if I didn't even need to ask.
36)  Hearing about school days on the car ride home
37) Seeing my husband be the best dad ever...I could NEVER have even imagined he'd be so stinkin' good at it
38) Watching ballet class (It cannot possibly get any cuter)
39) Seeing my kids care for each other (eg. walked in last evening to Ava sitting next to Phin's bed reading aloud to him while he lay and listened.  She knew his eyes were kind of hurting from his fever so she read for him.....)
40) Little boys in Teenage Mutant Hero under-roos

The list could literally go on ad nauseum...and boredom certainly would never be listed.

Here's the thing, even IF someone had told me that I'd one day be digging vomit chunks out of the cracks between the hard wood, or wiping pee off the bathroom floor on a weekly basis (what is it with boys?!), even if someone would have told me that my kids would try to climb my closet shelves, breaking them all in the process or stick coins in my car CD player and cause $600 worth of damage, even if I would have been able to not just hear about sleepless nights but KNOW how hard they'd be, even if I knew how hard it would be to get out to the movies or find a babysitter for 4 kids, even if.....

I WOULD DO IT ALL AGAIN IN AN INSTANT- ALL OF IT.  Motherhood is hard and exhausting and in those moments, sometimes I just want to run away with my Visa and see how far away I'd get before someone caught me.  It's hard.  But here's the truth, most beauty in life is discovered in the hard stuff.  I'm by far a better person- God has chipped off lots of crap and revealed much more yet to be extracted from my heart.  Motherhood takes and takes and sometimes it feels like there is nothing more to take...until I stop and realize that somehow in all the taking it has given me tenfold in return.  I could take my Visa and run, but I guarantee after a couple days on the beach, I'd high tail it back.   Words cannot adequately express the joy of being a mom- the ways it completes you in ways you never knew you needed to be completed.  I know I am better for it, so bring on the vomit, diarrhea, and disobedience- I happen to know those little things come wrapped in MUCH bigger, better things.

Thursday, February 12, 2015


It's my birthday and today was a great day.

My life is obviously pretty chaotic.  I am a mess, but I love and I am loved.  I couldn't ask for more.  Still, my family made today pretty special:

My kids came in bright and early (a bit too early perhaps;) singing Happy Birthday and bringing me their gifts that they have been dying to give me all week;)

Each gift fit them well.  Chloe got me a Barbie card and red purse.  Christian got me an Elmo card and a wonderful smelling candle.  Phineas got me a Rock star music playing card and Sunglasses.  It was Ava's gift that nearly had me in tears.  She's old enough to put a LOT of thought both into the message of her card and gift.

She wanted to spend her own money and she decided to plan a date for the two of us.  There was $5 in her card with a map for our special date. 

Her card says, "Mom, I may not always show it and sometimes I may blow it, but I want you to know it- I love you, Mom and I'll never outgrow it!  Happy Birthday."  and then my precious girl wrote, "Dear Mom, I chose this card because it is true that I may really blow it, but I love you no matter way.  I love you!  Happy Birthday.  Love, Ava"

I came down to Marc already playing the "Happy" station on Pandora and we danced a bit, one of my very favorite things to do with my hoodlums.  

Then my hubs had my favorite breakfast ready.  If I ever have to chose a dying last meal request- it would be chocolate croissants and Earl Grey tea with why not eat it while I am celebrating being alive;)

My sweet sisters watched my littles while Ava and Phin were at school and Marc and I went shopping and out to lunch....yay! for perusing Nordstrom Rack without children.

Dinner will make most people laugh.  I am a girl who loves food- fancy food and not fancy food and for some reason, often on my birthday comfort foods from childhood make me smile, so we had Totino's pizza;)  It is a guilty pleasure...we grew up on it.  It probably isn't even real cheese, but man, do I love it;)

(notice all the help I have blowing out one candle;)

Marco put the hoodlums to bed and he sat with me and watched Mom's Night Out.

(Ending each day with this of my favorite things;)

A day doesn't have to be fancy to be special.  My love tank is overflowing.  So often life passes by unnoticed, and I am thankful for birthdays and anniversaries that allow us an opportunity to stop and savor.  Today I am savoring the simplicity of just being in my own shoes.  I love that I am 38, comfortable with myself- well aware of the beautiful mess that is me, humbled by the way God uses that in ways that somehow bless others.  I love that I have a husband and a rockin' marriage that we have fought and worked for and can be proud of.  There is no one I'd rather have a lazy day with.  I love the four children that run me ragged but love me with every fiber of their tiny beings.  I love my extended family and dear friends.  Life is hard and broken- but I have a God who never leaves me and a legion of people who see me, get me, and love me anyway.  Happy Birthday indeed.

Kimmy and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good Very Bad Day

I love the book Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day  it makes me laugh.  Our entire family enjoy the film by the same title.  Sometimes when everything is going wrong the best thing to do is laugh so I am dustin' off my computer keys and stretching my neglected blogging fingers to record this one for the history books.

Let me first say, my plan for the day was to clean my house because my birthday was the next day (today) and I wanted to wake up to a clean house and empty "to do" list.  Chloe and Christian had preschool, so I had a nice couple hours in the morning and then during nap to get it all done.  It was the makings of a productive, stress free day.

6:40 am- I received an email reply to a previous night's email.  I hadn't received any details on worship practice (which is abnormal) so I emailed the coordinator to see if I was still scheduled.  Her reply was "I didn't hear back from you so I wasn't sure what you were doing?"  I NEVER got her email.  I hate starting the day, feeling like someone thinks you ignored them and slacked off and really it was lost in some email black hole.
7:00am- Realize I have NOTHING for Phin's lunch.  Spend thirty minutes scraping together a lunch...a mismatch of crackers, baby bell cheese and some salami slices, canned peaches, and a granola bar.
7:30am- rushing out the door to get Ava and Phin to school and I remember it's everyone's library day, so I say, "Everyone has their library books, right?"  They all say, "yes".  I literally then think, "I think my Hashimoto's really is finally getting under control.  I cannot believe I remembered that without looking at my calendar.  Maybe the brain fog is finally improving."
8:15am- return home and sit down to grab breakfast and check my email.
8:25am- The phone rings and Ava is frantic because she has just learned the class Valentine's Party is at 2pm and we didn't do Valentine's yet.  WHAT?  Why is the class party on Wednesday?  I feel totally confused and it is 100% my fault.  The room mom sent an email asking people to sign up for food and sure enough it says 2pm Wednesday.  I guess I just figured parties are always at the end of the day before the holiday...lesson learned.
8:45am-Drop Chloe and Christian off at Preschool.
9:00am- Return home to put Ava's Valentines together and the phone rings almost immediately.  Apparently, I put Chloe's library folder in her bag, but her book isn't in her library folder.  We forgot her book last week so I needed to bring it back.
9:10am- I grab the Valentines and bubble tape to go with them, the library book and head out the door.
9:15am- Drop off Chloe's library book
9:30am- Run in Target to get the Marshmallows I have signed up to bring to Ava's class party.
9:50am- I sit in the parking lot at Ava's school, fill out all her Valentine's and tape the bubble tape on them.  Then take them inside.  The sweet secretary invites me to stay for chapel, where Ava is, and give her the Valentines when it is done.  How do you say, "no, I actually do not want to stay for Chapel?"  You just do.  I said, " I have one hour left with no kids, I love Jesus, but I don't want to stay for Chapel.  Can I please just leave these in her classroom?"  Ba ha ha...

I do an errand because running home is kind of a waste of time at this point.
11:30am- I pick up Chloe and Christian from School
11:40am- My cell phone rings, it is Phin's teacher.  She says, "Did you think Phin had hot lunch today?  We don't have him on the order, but he doesn't have a lunch?"  She probably was a bit caught off guard when I just started LAUGHING.  WHAT?!  I packed him a hodge podge lunch- where was it?!  It wasn't on the counter anymore!  She asked me to bring lunch.  Mind you I've already driven to their school TWICE and it's 20 minutes each way.  I told her I could come but it would be 20 minutes before I got there, plus I'd have to stop and pick up subway because we didn't have any lunch food left.  I found out lunch would be over before I got there and she said she'd hodge podge something together for him.
12:30pm- After lunch (Mac N Cheese if you are curious) for my preschoolers, I finally got them to nap and settle in for a good couple hours of chipping away at my "to do"s.  I probably don't have to even tell you that my little guy was a pill.  He almost always goes to nap easily...NOT THIS DAY.  Finally, his overtired grumpy self fell asleep.
2:30pm- I have to wake up Christian who is dead a sleep and crying hysterically that I woke him up.  I give him and Chloe candy to stop the tears (judge away, my friends, desperate times call for desperate measure).  I drive to school and think to myself, "WHY didn't I set up a play date for Phin?!"  See, Ava was going home with her friend Isabella (planned 2 weeks ago), which means I pick up Phin 20 minutes away at 3pm and return home only to pick up Ava at 5:15 the same direction but further 30 minutes away.  I need a taxi hat.
3:00pm pull into pick up line when Isabella's mom (Rachel is awesome and I totally love her) comes up to the car with my kids and says, "I was just here for the Valentine's party and Jake (a year older than Phin) doesn't have anyone coming over today.  He wants Phin to come too, would that be okay.  I started laughing...sure, why not...whatever.
3:30pm- back home putting laundry away and I realize I FORGOT THE DOG!  See, the day before I had dropped off Ollie at the dog daycare because I was going to be gone all day at my friend Christina's helping her unpack.  The problem was I got a flat tire and I couldn't pick him up before they closed, so I called and explained and they boarded him, but I was supposed to pick him up before noon...
4:30pm- head out, pick up Ollie, get charged for a second day of boarding.
5;15pm- pick up Ava and Phin, and get cluttered in crazy traffic so realize I have to feed my kids dinner in the car.  Mama is going to splurge and get Steak N Shake.  I mean have you ever had their Parmesan garlic fries.  That is some GOOD stress food.  I pull into the drive thru and I order a Steak Frank with ketchup only and those heavenly friend and food for my kids.  The drive thru takes forever.  I hand the kids back their food while driving home, sort of stressing that I will be late for worship practice (and she probably already thinks me a flake;).   It is dark, I grab some fries...THEY ARE NOT Parmesan garlic- they are plain.  Not even salty- PLAIN.  Argh.  I'm not going to wallow- I move on to the hot dog.  I bite into it...have you even drank or eaten something expecting something else?  That horrifying, "what is going on?" feeling when it isn't what you expect?  Yep, had that cuz my hot dog, which I ordered with KETCHUP only has on it MUSTARD only.  I start kids know I am crazy so they just laugh hysterically too.  We are a driving bunch of laughing hyena's.  They don't even know why we are laughing
6:00pm- we are just about home when sweet Chloe says, "These are the best fries ever."  NO!  It cannot be...I say, "Chloe Roberta, hand me one of those best fries ever please."  She happily shares....THEY ARE MY FRIES.  My fries are in her kid's meal!  I say, "Those are my fries!"  TO which she says, "That's okay, I don't mind, they WERE yummy."  The curly Q ate almost all of them....seriously.
6:05pm-We are home, I am quickly giving Marc the pass off. I ask him to have the kids clean the rooms, fold the laundry in the dryer (trying to salvage the plan to wake up with a orderly home) and help Phin with his Valentines.  I instruct him to make sure Phin writes them all, but to help him fold them and then tape stamps on top because they aren't allowed to bringing candy.
6:30-10pm- worship practice.  It was fun.  I love to sing.  I drive home, thinking, "well, that was a great way to end the craziness."  I should quit having thoughts.
10pm- I walk in the door and am chatting with Marc and I notice this:

"Why are the stamps still here, did you forget the Valentines?!"

He says, "No, we stamped them all."  
Seriously, I could not stop laughing and thinking I somehow woke up in an Amelia Bedelia book.  After I explain he said, "Oh!  I wondered why you bought so many stamps."

It was the perfect end to the day where few things went right and certainly wasn't the stress free day I planned.  It's a mixture of my brain farts and circumstances, but really, a mom who plans quiet time to herself should just know better.  If kids are involved, especially four of them, something's going awry.  Throw a husband and Hashimoto's in the mix and we are just happy we are all alive and laughing.  It's a crazy life, folks, and it's 100% mine.