Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Doing His Best

Dan and I are sick.  It means something when Dan admits he's sick.

I feel like crawling back into bed.

Despite this, my littlest one is doing his best to convince the world that babies are the coolest and we should have them around at all times.

If my day turns out like the last five minutes had been then it'll be great.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

So Much Good

I see so much good in life and in people.

I see so much hate and anger in life and in people.

I see lessons being taught to my children and myself daily from every possible side.

My daughter was born six years ago this week.  

My son was born one year ago this week.

I've been thinking about them almost constantly and what I wish for them (all of them) so fervently with all my heart.

There are so many thoughts in my head they seem squeezed through my limited ability to put words to them.

Simply put, I wish for them to look to the good.  It is there.

There are so many good things for them out there in life for them to associate with and to build up.

There are sacrifices that they can make that will mean something to them and to those around them.

I feel that we become better people as we search out the good in the people that surround us.  

That right there, is the simple statement that motherhood has taught me.

I know I certainly become a better mother when I search out the good in my children.  I have never experienced a positive change that came from me bringing out the negative in anything.

Find the good in your life and go after it with all you've got.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Happy Birthday to Me

Yesterday was my birthday, or more commonly known in this house as six days before Charlotte's birthday.

I woke up at 5:45am to my cell phone ringing.  It was the school calling to tell me school was on a two hour delay and so none of my kids would have school that day.  And it was really cold and really windy and we'd be cooped up inside and did I just hear the baby wake up from the ringer I forgot to silence before going to bed last night?  Yeah, my birthday.

But I forgot to mention that even though I woke up at 5:45 my first thought after cursing the school for calling was, "hey, why can't my eye open? And why does it hurt so much?"  Eye infection city!  Not exactly pink eye so there isn't any meds to take, but annoying none the less.

So lets chalk all that on the bad side of the day, there were many good sides to the day too and here they are:

My two older children are sleeping in the bedroom in the basement (yeah!) so they didn't wake up early.

We did have pancake cake and I did blow out the candles (even if I did make the cake and light them myself.)

Charlotte consented to taking a bath with Lee in the morning.  They stayed in there for a half hour and all I had to do was just sit there.

I got to shower for as long as I wanted because I waited until after Lee was down for a nap.

My friend Mindy came over to my house and brought lunch with her which is ten times better than what I did for her because I never had to leave my house.  Did I mention that I had a hurty red eye?

Just as lunch was done Dan came home and to prove that he has a great sense of humor he had shaved some of his facial hair off leaving only a long scraggly soul patch with thin line mustache.  It made me laugh so I think he might keep it around for a few days before shaving it off.

Mindy, to further her greatness took Greg with her to play with her boys.

Then I napped.  And napped and napped some more while Dan entertained the baby and did the dishes and hung the curtains.

I spent some time with my neighbor just chatting.  I haven't talked to her for a while and it was nice to catch up.

When I came home I needed to figure out dinner.  Keep in mind that I was supposed to go grocery shopping Monday, but then it was snowy and gross and I hate the grocery store on the best of terms.  It wasn't happening.  So I knew I'd have to be creative.

And here is where the surprise birthday present from my mother-in-law comes from the back of my freezer.  I knew I had nothing in the pantry so I went to the freezer in my futile effort to find something.  Why is it that I always think some sort of inspiration will strike from the frozen hunks in there?  I'll tell you why.  Today I discovered hearty, delicious homemade meat sauce in there.  We ended up eating a delicious dinner and all I really had to do was heat up mix up and serve things.  Happy birthday to me.

Later we had some friends come over for cake!  Cake I didn't make, or clean up after or anything.  Mindy made me a brownie and peanut butter cup cake and it was delicious and I loved it.

So there is the whole of my birthday story this year.  Sorry no photos, but did I mention the eye infection?  No photos of that are needed.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Birthday Happiness

We create memories through traditions.  The small things at we do over and over again that imprint on our minds.  Hopefully, when they are effective, they help us to feel connected and loved.  Like that time my sister secretly drove from Colorado to Utah overnight so that I could have a pancake cake breakfast on my birthday.  There are many traditions and memories that I have of my birthdays growing up.  Like my mom singing me awake with so much excitment I knew, just knew, she was glad I was born and that I was hers.  This memory though was not a tradition, and might not even be from my birthday.  The strength of the memory isn't in the details.  They have faded away through the years with the ever changing tides about my life.  What is most important is how totally loved and important I felt that day.

I was in the third grade (I think) doing my school work when a knock on the door brought everyone's attention in that direction.  The door opened and in came someone carrying a white bear with a Mylar balloon tied to it.  It was for me.  My teacher let me keep in on the edge of my desk and my heart was filled with joy.  It made me know that my mom was thinking of me and thought enough of me to go out of her way for me.

Why do balloons fill a person with joy?  My kids love them too.  We currently have a Mylar balloon sadly, slowly loosing its helium the farther we get from Valentine's Day, but I can't bring myself to get rid of it because as each of the children happen on it they start to pull the string and play with it and the joy starts over again.  I hope that I can find things that mean as much to my kids.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Maybe I'm crazy

Shh...don't tell Dan, but I don't think my kids should be eating red meat.  Or processed meat for that matter.  Or really any meat.  As I'm thinking through this I revise my former statement.  I think it should be eaten sparingly, like on special occasions, but certainly shouldn't be the qualifier for the "real dinner" nights.  Do you have those nights too?  It doesn't feel like a real dinner unless some sort of meat dish is present?  Otherwise it feels like a collection of side dishes without a real purpose?  The side dishes look at one another on the table whispering, asking each other why they showed up so early and when will the real party start.

But here's what I've noticed.  My kids are happy having an apple, carrot sticks, cheese, and a banana for lunch.  They were fully satisfied with tonight's apple German Pancakes, and cottage cheese and pear in the shape of a mouse for dinner.

Also?  Meat is expensive!  Really expensive.  I would really like to find ways to not spend it on not eaten dinners that end up in the dog's bowl. Sorry Percie, but that chicken I made wasn't meant as a super nice food for you.

Probably I'm crazy and my kids are healthy and we are doing fine financially and why does this thought keep nagging at the back of my brain?  But maybe it's there because I should give it a try.

The biggest hurdle in all of this though is that I make meals for my family all day every day.  That's three meals and two snacks that need to be healthy and things they will eat every day.  That's 21 meals and 14 snacks in a week.  Coming up with that many things is hard.  So what do I do?  I do what I did before.  Turkey sandwiches and peanut butter and jelly and pot roast and mashed potatoes. There's nothing wrong with any of those foods, they just need to take a passenger seat.  I don't think ascribe to what feels like vilifying foods either. I love food in all it's many forms.  It's just that possibly (probably?) we've been eating a little too much of one form.

But I also want my husband and I to feel like we are eating a real, delicious, great mouthfeel type meal too.  I don't really like cooking things that aren't going to be appreciated and I don't like feeling like I'm eating "kid food" you know what I mean.

So then I look at all of those hurdles and my brain cramps up and all I can do is yell GAH! And nothing significant really changes.

But there you have it.  Those are my thoughts on the subject.

PS. The don't tell Dan part was totally a joke.  Of course I talk to him about this kind of stuff.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

To Remember February

The Trauma Service is hard.  I'm glad there's only three weeks left.  It feels a bit like our family is hibernating and when trauma service is over it will be spring and then we can thaw physically and mentally and emotionally.  But February wasn't all permafrost.  So here are some photos to remember February by.
One of many walks at Quarry Hill.

Kanani (Charlotte's doll) had a birthday so we had a party.  This is the pinata.  Dad, not wanting to get hit with the stick held the pinata with some of his clamps.

Lee finally got big enough to fit into his camo pajamas.  The first night he wore them Daddy wore his shirt and they do blend together.

Another walk up Quarry Hill.

My hair was wet, but I still went along with it.  What we didn't know right then was that Lee's diaper was dirty too.  Let's just say yuck.

Greg's favorite thing to do at Quarry Hill.  There are angels all over the place  there.

Greg also loved eating the snow.

The kids loved this idea and Percie seemed to like it too!

Friday, March 08, 2013

You might miss it

I realized Wednesday that Lee likes books!  I hadn't really read him any up until now because he's a baby and my experience has shown me that its kind of ridiculous to try and read to someone that isn't interested and my babies haven't been very interested.  And he wasn't.  So I would look for times when he was napping to read to the others.  And then suddenly he likes books!  Mostly lift the flap books and mostly just one at a time, but books!

And then I noticed that he said Mama and he meant me.  I am mama and I will fix whatever is wrong and so he will come to me when things are wrong and I will fix them.  I love this time of life because I can fix them.  There are things that I can't fix for Greg and things that I can't fix for Charlotte, but for Lee the things he needs fixed I can fix.  If that doesn't make you feel like a million I don't know what would

Then today we were talking during breakfast and he looked over to his brother and said Geg.  I wouldn't have believed it if Charlotte and Greg hadn't heard it to, but they did and we all knew what he said.  Charlotte was hoping that he would say her name and then I had to break the sad news that her name is really hard for babies to pronounce.  He probably won't be saying Charlotte any time soon.

Yesterday he was playing in the drawers and cabinets of the kitchen, a favorite game of his.  I was trying to be patient with it and really wasn't.  He didn't care one way or the other.  He wasn't understanding, or maybe listening to me.  I picked him up and said, "give momma a kiss?"  He stopped squirming for the floor turned his head to me and opened his mouth wide.  The slobber all across my cheek was what I needed as a happy gift from a happy boy.  I set him back down and let him get after rearranging the kid dishes.  Again.

Wednesday, March 06, 2013

In like a lion

March is a magical month in our house.  We have a three scoop sundae of birthdays within 10 days and then Easter like the perfect cherry on top.  I finally got tired of answering the how many days till my birthday question and had Charlotte make a paper coutdown chain.  Now the question is did I already tear off a ring today?  Naturally after Charlotte got a chain Greg wanted one.  The wait until his birthday will be long and hard for him I suppose. Poor guy.  He still can't get over how Lee cut in front of him in the birthday line.  Dad in January, then Mom, then Charlotte and next should be him, but Lee cut and his birthday comes very last.   I can't wrap my mind around the fact that by Charlotte's birthday it will be spring.  Last year it was so warm we had her party outside.  Right now my kids have the beginnings of a killer snow fort in the front yard that the Pacific Northwest kid inside of me is so jealous of.  Then again it's supposed to rain on Saturday.  That's spring though right?  Snow and rain and sun and then possibly some more snow.

You know what else I love?  Dan and I went into Trader Joe's the other day.  This was a very rare occasion wherein we were wasting time before going to another resident's house for dinner and I made him stop over because I didn't want to be early.  I don't like to be late when someone else is providing a dinner, but I also find it equally flustering as a host when people show up unexpectedly early.  Turns out we needn't have worried, but that's beside the point.  I made us stop at Trader Joe's.  Right as we walk in the front door I smelled the fragrance of freshly cut flowers.  Oh how I love that smell.  It is heaven on earth I tell you and quite possibly the only reason anyone should need to get out there and garden.  I'm getting the itch to garden.  Unfortunately all of our "gardens" are covered over with rocks making it virtually impossible to get any gardening done.  I suppose this is probably
a good thing since we don't have the money to invest in a garden, but I did rebel last fall and poked some bulbs in the ground.  I'm not holding out much hope for them since there isn't really adequate levels of anything below the weed guard cloth I had to cut through.  Wouldn't it be so wonderful if some of them actually poked their little heads up for me though?  That's the kind of magic that March brings.

Tuesday, March 05, 2013

A post about mostly nothing

Sorry about the lack of posts lately.  It isn't the case of lack of topics in my head or lack of desire to update. It's more like lack of space carved out of my life to fit this in to.  This January was perhaps one of the best ever.  I feel safe to say it was the best since Dan started medical school and I attribute that entirely to a week in the Denver sun while my kids had a fun filled week with Grandma.  I came back refreshed to a household of happy people.  It was great.  Then we had the worst February.  It finally warmed up enough here to snow and snow it has.  Plus the last two weeks of February were spent sequestered in our house because of illness.  We caught a stomach virus that just never quit.  Every time I thought we were out of the woods someone else would come up to my pasty white and say they weren't feeling well.

But I'm optimistic now that I think that has passed.  Yesterday Greg and I had a rocket ship day with different rocket ship crafts and then learning about what Aunt Katie does.  We looked at NASA pictures and then at a few rocket launches and then two really cool animations of all the things the Orion space vehicle can do.  It is very cool.  The hardest part was to impress Greg with how big the rocket ships are.  When it is lifting off there is nothing in the background to show how big it is and how huge the blast is when it is ignited.  Oh well, I guess that will come later.

In other super huge news, Lee can walk.  He is funny and totally unique in this journey from my other two.  He is simultaneously getting better at walking and crawling.  He's sort of at the anything goes stage of moving.  Perhaps that is more like how other babies learn this task, but my other two were completely different.  Now that he's walking/crawling/climbing the stairs he has become the perfect undo-er.  Good gracious!  The milk, surely I didn't want that on the shelf in the fridge.  The recycling must look much better when scattered across the kitchen floor.  It is his personal mission to never let the dog food be inside of the bowl.  He must think Perci likes to eat it better when across the floor.  And the toilet paper.  Pretty sure that's all I need to say about that.

Today is a snow day.  We're projected to get 8-10 inches before noon.  School is cancelled.  Lets hope we can come up with some activities to enjoy the day.