Sunday, January 29, 2012

The Lotion Song

When I had my first baby, everything was so fun and exciting. Brandon and I would fight over who got to dress Jack for the day, and then who got to do jammies at night.  Side note: now we fight over who has to help the boys get dressed. Just kidding, sort-of.  But when Jack was a little baby, dressing him was one of the highlights of the day.

It wasn't just dressing him, that I enjoyed, but also, rubbing baby lotion into his skin.  Besides helping his dry skin issues, it also made him smell so yummy.  Being by yourself all day with an infant, can make you crazy. Which is the only reason I can explain this song.  You see, I couldn't just rub lotion onto Jack's legs, I also had to sing.

Lotion, lotion, lotion,
Lotion on your legs
Lotion, lotion, lotion,
Lotion on your legs

We've got to lo-tion up your legs
We've got to lo-tion up your legs

Lotion, lotion, lotion,
Lotion on your legs
Lotion, lotion, lotion,
Lotion on your legs

Additional verses:
Lotion on your arms...
Lotion on your belly...

You get the idea.

Why am I sharing this with you?  Because, even though, I rubbed lotion onto each of my boys and sang them this sweet, lovely song, each of them has hideous dry skin.  Jack and Micah are the worst culprits. Their hands feel like sand paper, with dry, red, chapped skin. I feel that it must hurt, and yet, I can not help them.

You see, as soon as I say, hmm, you need lotion. They run screaming the other way.  Seriously.

I'm not sure if it's the way the lotion feels on their skin or if they are afraid I will break into song.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Every Now and Then

For those of you who know me, you know my family lives a scant 45 minutes away.  Considering that is the farthest we have to drive to see both sets of grandparents and the majority of our aunts/uncles/cousins (Sorry, California family!) we are very blessed. Or cursed, depends on the time of the year.

When I was first married, I was sure we would eventually move to my hometown. Even though my brand new husband had been very clear that we would NEVER live in such a little town, I was convinced he was lying. Well, he wasn't and 14 years later we are still living in the big city I moved to, just to go to college.  But within this large city, we have created a community of friends, neighbors, preschool families, and now school-age families, that I could not imagine living without.  It is a very different life then what I had pictured when I first got married, but it is a good place for us.

And most of the time I am just fine, living where we do, 45 minutes away from my mom and sisters. But every now and then I wish for the life I had thought was a given.

Last Wednesday, our entire neck of the woods was shut down due to a snow storm. And, yes, other parts of the country laugh at our snow-wimpyness, but seriously, we have hills and no skills!  On our second day of snow, and no school, I called my mom to say hi. Just to see what she was up to. Oh, not much, just at work with both of my sisters and her best friend. Eating doughnuts, sipping coffee, and talking. It was too snowy for any patients, but the clinic must be opened just in case, and since all three of them live so close they were able to head into work together.

And that is when I wished I was there. Or close enough to pass the kids off to my husband, and walk up in the snow, to sit and chat over coffee and doughnuts.  I envied my younger sister who has similar aged boys as she was away from them for the day. I envied my older sister who, even though, her kids had a no school day, they are old enough to be on their own and she too, left everyone behind. I was jealous that they were seeing other adults, talking, and laughing. I was also sad to miss out on the story telling, the laughing, the inside jokes that go with being a family.

I know I love where we live, the community we have built here, how close it is to Brandon's work.  Whenever the boys say, "We want to live near grandma!", I list all the things they would miss from our town.  But last week, when I hung up the phone and turned back to my boys, I would be lying if I said I wasn't sad. Just for a moment, I wished I did live on the same street, and work in the same clinic, and go to the same church....

Every now and then.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snowed In

Okay, it's been three days and the snow is still here.  I was doing okay because in the back of my mind was the knowledge that I was leaving on Friday. A girls-only weekend was planned. I only had to get to 5:30 on Friday and I would be out the door. No kids, no husband.

But, the snow is still here. Plus ice and freezing rain.  Which means, no girls weekend.  Three more days stretch out with no real relief.  We've done afternoon movie matinee, made popcorn, cleaned our rooms, played duplos and star wars, even completed a craft. And now I am done.

I love time at home, and I love the break from the constant running, but I am feeling a little bit of cabin fever.

I wonder if I go hide in my room if anyone will notice?  I might give it a try.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Day, Take Two

30 minutes ago this post was going to look very different. I was forming the basis for what I wanted to say while ushering two wild boys into solitary confinement.  What would have been our movie/rest time, was now going to be "Mommy's Alone Time".

I had already had a playdate with 2 friends from preschool, bringing the total number of kids in our house to 7.  Driven in the snow with no phone or license to the bus stop, waited at the bus stop for 20 minutes, only to decide the bus was not coming. Driven home with a very sad 6 and 3/4's boy who desperately wanted to go to school.  Continued the playdate that I had put on hold when I tried to take Jack to the bus stop. Found out that school was in effect cancelled. Made lunch, put the littlest one down for his nap, and reached my breaking point.

In my mind today was going to be a playdate with friends, Jack would be at school, tonight I would have Bible study with my friends, and tomorrow we would have a snow day.  One day of planned activities, one day with the boys to myself! It was perfect.  But then it wasn't.

After sending the boys to their individual quiet rooms, I made my lunch, and sat down on the couch with my blanket. I was trying to decide if I should:
1. Fold clothes and watch TV
2. Just watch TV
3. Read blogs
4. Write a blog

I was pondering my options when I realized what I should do was have a bit of a quiet time for myself.  I opened the book, Jesus Calling, and read today's devotion. And then I stopped. Because, it was of course, exactly what I needed to read at this moment.

I want you to rejoice today, refusing to worry about tomorrow...... I can weave miracles into the most mundane day if you keep your focus on Me. (Jesus Calling by Sarah Young)

Instead of moping and complaining that I have everyone home today, and most likely tomorrow, find the blessing in that.  Even when Jack and Micah are crazy wrestling and someone is bound to get hurt, enjoy the time with them.  Instead of looking ahead to the long stretch of time before dad is home, plan something out of the ordinary to do. Pull out the tents they got for Christmas, make a huge fort, make popcorn as a snack, get out the water colors.  Or just watch a movie.

I am a planner, have always been and always will be, I have my week's outfits picked out on Sunday night even.  But I have to learn to be flexible with my plans and to know that in the end, I have absolutely no control over what happens day to day.

And to be okay with that.

15 more minutes and the older two boys will be out of quiet time.  Take a deep breath, drink more coffee, gather myself together. And be ready to enjoy this unexpected day with my boys.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

What's For Dinner?

This is one of my least favorite questions. Ranks second right after, "are you going to try for a girl?".  And it is a question that I am asked daily, sometimes more then once a day.

Tonight I made a new recipe, Curried Noodles with Tofu. I actually was going to make this last night, but at 5:45 when I started cooking, I realized that I was missing the key ingredient: coconut milk. That combined with my husband calling me to tell me he had his second flat tire and was walking to a local bike store, I decided to ordered pizza. 

Tofu, take two. When dinner was done, I realized it hadn't made as much as I expected it too. This may surprise you, but Brandon eats ALOT. I dished up small plates for the boys and myself, and a big plate for Brandon. Two out of the three boys were not impressed and refused to even try it. Jack was the only one who ate it but that was with the promise of a popsicle.

It wasn't awful, it actually tasted just fine. But halfway through my plate I had a thought.

"Why am I eating tofu, when I have an absolutely delicious pot roast turned french dip, waiting for me in the fridge?"

I ate a few more bites of cabbage, while debating if I wanted to give up my planned lunch for tomorrow. 

Tofu or beef. Hmm, tough call.  I looked at Brandon and said, "You know..." and he said, "You've got a roast in the fridge." God, I love that man.

I put my fork down, jumped up and quickly began to assemble the best french dip sandwich in the world. 

While the boys played, I savored every last bite. Did I feel guilty about eating a fat slab of meat on vegetarian night. Um, sure, but seriously, did I mention how good it was?  

Beef, it's what's for dinner.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Best. Gift. Ever.

At Thanksgiving, my mom asked me if she thought Brandon would like a backyard fire pit for his Christmas present. Mmm, I think so, we don't have one, so sure.  My mom and step-dad, love Black Friday shopping and stood in line to get not one, but two, of these fire pits, to give to their son-in-laws.  I totally forgot about the gift until Christmas day when we opened presents. Brandon was thrilled. It was what he always wanted.

Unfortunately, I forgot that I have not one, or two, but 4 pyromaniacs. I'm not so sure giving a fire pit to this group was such a good idea.

Micah is very protective of the firewood


Blowing on the flames to 'help' the fire
Safety is our first priority

Gratuitous shot of Elsie
With the help of the iPhone app
 Watching the boys dance around outside, waiting for the fire pit to be put together and then the excitement of lighting the log, was priceless. The boys begged to eat dinner outside, because we had the fire to keep us warm, unfortunately, I was too late with dinner and the fire was out by the time it was ready.  Such a shame.

Brandon and Micah sat outside together, poking the fire, looking at stars, and making "magic" according to Micah.  Right there, I realized Brandon was right. This was: The. Best. Gift. Ever.

Thanks Mom and Randy!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Date Night

It's a "Where's Waldo" moment
A few weeks ago I wrote about taking Jack out to lunch, just us.  Now, I am not obsessive about making sure everything is fair and equal among the boys. This may not seem like a big deal but I come from a family where fairness means everything. My mom used to count each piece of chocolate candy that would go into our stockings, just to make sure they were the same. I don't even give the kids the same amount of gifts at Christmas. GASP! I can see my sister cringing, she who uses a spreadsheet to keep track of the equality of the Christmas gifts among her kids.  While I may not make everything fair and equal, I do know that one-on-one time with any of my boys is something very special.

Checking out where the ingredients comes from
So the other night Micah and I went on our date.  Earlier in the Advent season, I had mentioned something about Molly Moon's ice-cream. I think I was just wondering if they had a peppermint Christmas ice-cream for the holiday season. Micah suggested we go to Molly Moon's and look at Christmas lights. Just us, he said.  And so we planned to do a date night, just Micah and Mommy and some yummy ice-cream. Life being what it is, the date was postponed many times, but the other night we finally made it happen.

And it was good. Cold ice-cream on a cold, wet night, means no line. We sat at the bar, watched them make sundaes for customers, and even watched one of the workers make a grilled cheese sandwich on the waffle iron.  I ate maple bacon ice-cream, and Micah had kiwi sorbet.  We both agreed the other person's choice in ice-cream was terrible.  When it was over, we grabbed a pint to-go, and hurried home to the rest of our family.

Blink and you will miss him
When is it Finn's turn? Well, about that.  Being the youngest means he has three days a week where it is just the two of us. Mostly we are at preschool, running errands or cleaning the house. But every now and then we sneak in a quick stop at Top Pot doughnuts.  See, I can be fair and equal with the boys. Sort-of.