Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Calgon Moment

Do you remember the commercial when the lady with the screaming kids said, "Calgon, take me away", cutting to her in a tub of bubbles looking serene? Today, I feel as if I could oust that lady and become their new spokesperson, that is if they don't mind eyes with dark circles and greasy hair.

My sleep of five and a half hours was interrupted three times last night, leaving me in a groggy daze. What has really left me chanting the Calgon plea in my mind is the disaster called my family room. A quick survey of my family room floor reveals a carpet of gift bags the little girls were playing with, the stuffed animals and books that were the "gifts", and the tissue paper that the ceiling fan blew everywhere. Baby dolls are tripping hazards and the individually wrapped toilet paper rolls the girls helped me put away from Costco are not put away at all, but lay scattered on the tile after falling from various toilet paper towers. My fridge houses fruit my friend gave me along with all the tools to make two batches of jam, and at this juncture in time I have no desire since I have stomachache.

I'm still fuming over Brynna calling home to say, "I feel like I need to vomit." When the phone call came, I had just put Vance, Keely and Ryleigh down 10 minutes prior and I thought they were already asleep, so I called my neighbor who went to pick her up. The girls however had fooled me, after my discovery of them dancing around the room it took more then an hour for them to finally fall asleep. Brynna on the other hand took a 20 minute nap, which was evidentially a miracle cure because after waking she was looking to play, not vomit. Play? Fat chance, a tired cranky mom with no plans for dinner will never allow that, don't you worry. Crab Appley, nap lusting, Calgon-needing, mom will not allow anyone to enjoy anything for that matter. I am feeling borderline crazy but, I realize what needs to be done to regain sanity, but it's just out of my grasp, and no I'm not referring to Vodka. A nap.

Right now a nap would part the clouds, would bring forth the sunshine, birds would sing, and flowers would burst with color. A bath might do the trick too, personal hygiene has become a luxury as of late, but I know that I would just sit there and think, "is that soap scum", while the kids pounded the door. No, I need a nap, I need to block out the world and just catch a few precious "ZZZ's". Calgon,nor Mr. Bubbles, will be of no assistance to me, I need the sandman.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Islands in the Stream

I have just sat down to enjoy a moment of peace and to write. The little ones are down for naps and the older kids have not gotten home yet. I think it's kind of crazy that when I actually, have a spare moment for me, this is where I want to be, sitting on the couch with my laptop. Maybe it's because I can finally have a complete thought and at the end of the time I have invested I have something tangible. I think that this has been the hardest thing for me being a stay at home mom, results aren't seen. Housework is undone within hours if not minutes, laundry within a day or two, and then there's the kids it will take years before I can tell if I've really done right by them. But, right now after a few minutes I have a whole paragraph. An accomplishment.

In case you couldn't tell I sat down today without a decisive thought of what to write, I had a few ideas but nothing really said "blog me, blog me". I considered writing about how my shower could be a Discovery Channel show with the infestation of ants. I so hate those six-legged pests! They have found a chink in our fortress and have yet again invaded our bathroom of all places. Partially my fault, I'm told since I don't allow them to take the bait back to their queen. I just immediately spray them with ant spray or squish them with my thumb, making their absence only temporary until more workers can be sent out. So this time I am being patient, allowing millions, yes there are that many of them, to see me naked and hear me sing in the shower as they travel across my shower ledge to the bait. My only comfort is knowing that if the sights and sounds don't kill them their time will surely come when their queen takes ill from the fruits of their labor and keels over and dies....(tapers off with an evil laugh). No, I couldn't make this a whole post.

Maybe I could blog about how Vance's tooth has some how disappeared? A tooth that Jace, Brynna, and I all saw trying to pop up through his little white gum has some how gone in reverse and disappeared. It never pressed its way through the tender skin yet it was right there. This is why you never refer to yourself as a "seasoned mother", you will quickly be proven wrong. Although, a phantom tooth, doesn't really warrant a whole post, this situation needed to be mentioned, so when Vance is a one year old and toothless people won't think I'm a liar.

When I woke this morning and saw how I resembled a thirteen year old just passing onto the threshold of puberty with my pimple filled face, I thought I should blog of the injustice. How is it that as teenagers we have the impression that as we enter adulthood our clogged pores are no longer? If I am going to keep anything from my pubescent years why can't it be my ability to stay up all hours of the night? That would sure come in handy instead I get pockets filled with puss...great deal! Then I thought poop is probably enough for my few readers to handle I shouldn't discuss gunk that could shoot out of my flesh if I by chance make my face too taunt with a smile. Next...

I thought back to earlier today and Keely's hellish hairstyling. How she empties a whole spray bottle of water onto your head, then every stroke of the brush starts with a thorny bristle whack against your skull, followed by a brush stuck in your locks which is then pulled loose, managing to rip visible amounts of hair from your cranium. Cute, in a sadist kind of way but really that's the whole story so it lacks the length of one of my typical posts.

Wait! This is why I love writing so much! I can see that my stream-of-consciousness has led to a complete posting. The floor I swept today is yet again dirty with play doh, the dishes just taken from the dishwasher are once again in the sink, the freshly vacuumed carpets are covered in dog hair, but this which I have typed, a hodge podge of thoughts, has come together to make something I can see and others can read and it will last until has a glitch and looses it all - but until that time I can see I've finally accomplished something today.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Not the Last Laugh

"Who is a cute baby? Who loves his momma," I asked Vance in a sing-song voice. He responds with peals of laughter and a shriek.
"Isn't it weird," Brynna asked me, "how you're not the funny one and Vance always laughs at you and Dad is funny and he never laughs at him?"
"I am too funny," I argue with the 7 year old.
"No you're not, you only make me laugh if you tickle me or something," she retorted.
"Maybe you have to have a sense of humor to think I'm funny," I thought, my maturity showing.

Mind you this all occurred on Monday the first day back to school. My ego had already been bruised by my oldest thinking his dad was cooler than I and now, evidently, he has the humor market cornered as well? When did I loose my mojo? I have always been funny, if for nothing more then out of necessity. In High School, it seemed as if I befriended all of the beautiful girls so if I wanted a guy's attention it normally came through making them laugh. I was the crackup and now it seems that my comicality has fled.

You might be thinking, for Pete's sake, why are you taking a person whose idea of good humor is an ice cream bar (get it?) or a knock knock joke, but really her comment is just a straw that has been beginning to collect on this camel's back. I've had several reminders lately that I am not the funny girl I once thought I was. You would think with age, self confidence would be a well stocked resource, but it's not. Year by year it's been depleting in the humor department and I've called it growing up.

In my youth I would put on comedy shows for my family and friends dressing in 60s polyester dancing around like an idiot and imitating people. I would have a jocular response for almost everything said to me. Now I only dance unreserved in front my children, the world outside my home gets the sway and snap. As for the rest of my humor, I'm guessing it has been shoved aside by cooking, cleaning, ironing, chasing kids, packing lunches and changing diapers. It does on occasion rear its jovial head, when stress is at a minimum and I can enjoy the moment and actually reason appropriateness or when stress is at its peak and it functions as a coping mechanism.

So as I search for my funny alter ego in my ever increasing domestic chaos I will try to push the insecurities aside and show the world how I really bust a move, I will learn some new knock knock jokes and I will strive to keep this blog alive so that I can see my life for the humor it truly contains. In the interim, I will keep up with my imitation of a sweet mom with a kind voice that makes Vance laugh so much. Maybe I will emulate that soft spoken mother with my other kids, instead of the screaming irrational mother who is constantly referring to her children by both their first and middle names . I think it might conjure up a chuckle, if they don't think I've gone crazy first.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Between a Rock and a Cool Place

Ahhh, The first day of school! The kids were excited to wear their new outfits and carry their new backpacks. The thought of the snacks I had set aside for only school lunches was enough to get Brynna out of bed without a squabble. As sad as it it is to admit my kids have only eaten "baby" carrots and never realized that carrots could grow well over two inches long. Now that Brynna has made this discovery, she packed the biggest carrot she could find in her lunch, minus the plumage. Such simple pleasures.
They were dressed and ready before breakfast was on the table. Jace looked the part of a young skater (Hurley shirt, plaid shorts and slip on shoes) and Brynna went back with her Punky Brewster mismatched style (brown monkey shirt, green and ivory floral pants, and orange floral print shoes). I took the first day of school picture outside the front door like always and put the camera in the stroller for the photo ops at school. "You can take Brynna's picture at school but not mine", Jace commented. Fair enough, I got my picture and I don't want to embarrass him with making him strike a pose at his classroom door.
The kid's school is about a 3 blocks from our house which made it easy for the entire family to walk over and witness the festivities. We dropped Brynna off first, did pictures, she found her BFF and was running toward the playground before even saying good-bye. Next our brood headed to Jace's classroom, which was locked so we went to the playground where his new class was already lined up. I assumed that he would saunter off in his I'm-too-cool-for-life way and join his buds but he stood there for a minute. "You want us to walk you over", I asked. "No", he replied. "Well, maybe Dad could."
What??!!?? When did I become that uncool? When did Brian rank over me? I bit my tongue and stood on the sidelines with the youngest three and watched as Brian walked over with him and just stood with him at the back of the line. The whole time I'm thinking, "Why is he just standing there? I would go up and introduce myself and Jace to the teacher. The teacher doesn't even know Jace joined the line. What is he doing? He's not even making conversation with the kids surrounding them. If only Jace had asked me..." Then it dawned on me, maybe it's cool just to be there with him. Jace seems pleased just standing there with his dad not speaking. Could it be that I talk too much? Humbling.
This afternoon I walked in 100 degree heat to meet the kids at school, because this morning at breakfast they asked me to. Go figure I was late; Vance was fussy so I was packin' him while trying to do some computer work, Keely was naked, and Ryleigh was spitting on the floor while she was being punished with a timeout. I knew leaving the house I would be late but I wanted to do it, I didn't want to disappoint and I wanted to try the skill of just being. I did make it 3/4 of the way to the school when Jace came running full speed toward me and talking just as fast. As we waited for Brynna he talked about how great his outfit was , how people didn't recognize him with short hair, how he doesn't have any friends in class that are guys, and how nice his teacher was. He saw some friends a few times along the way and would run up to talk with them but then he would let them go on ahead and he'd wait for us continuing his conversation where he left off. I just let him talk and was just there. I know that my time of on the sidelines will become even more frequent as time progresses but I guess I don't mind not being cool as long as I can be his rock.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ouch

Good news, Vance did not contract the crud that circulated through our home, which is amazing that he and I have been able to avoid the coughs, nasal drips, and saliva smears. So what has been causing my youngest babe to cling like an infant monkey to his mother and why wouldn't he sleep for the past 5 nights? Teeth! You might think, "How could a 'seasoned' mother (not a descriptive I normally use when describing myself, but I'm going for dramatic effect) miss that option?" Well considering the earliest any one of my other four teethed was 8 months, the thought didn't enter my mind. So instead of a runny chapped nose, I'm dealing with a runny mouth with a chapped chin. Instead of coughs, I hear cries all day long, that is unless I'm holding him. Unfortunately unlike my primate example, Vance can't cling to my back without apparatus and so I front pack him all around the house while trying to accomplish normal everyday tasks. It's like being pregnant again except now my bump can grab things that come within his vicinity. Aside from oral gel, constant nursing, and Vance becoming an extension of my abdomen I just have to wait it out and eventually my easygoing kid will return. The bad news is that I think it's periodontal neighbor is moving in. The ouch, I'll let you figure out for yourself.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Who Got My Baby Sick? S'not Me

My little Vance is a wonderful baby! Sometimes, I'm afraid he's good to a fault. He only fusses when hungry, tired, or needs a diaper change, so it seems when not napping a majority of his day is spent in his chair watching all the action. Well my little guy is not happy today, in fact I now am typing this with one hand so that I can cradle him with my other arm while patting his bottom. His clingy behavior might be brought on because of my bragging about my sweet baby, just yesterday, I jinxed myself. I should have counteracted the jinx by mentioning the jinx but did I, no. Now here I sit with Vance trying to sleep yet not willing to shut his eyes all the way, I'm sure not because of superstitious curses (at least I hope not, knock on wood) but because the other children have been battling a small cold and have passed it on.

It started when Brynna the other day complained she had a sore throat, two days later Ryleigh, her roommate, was not feeling so hot. Ryleigh being the lover of all things shares her hugs freely and unfortunately sometimes her coughs. So Keely caught it and yesterday Jace began to feel symptoms as well. I have been trying like mad to keep the kids away from Vance and enforcing oodles of hand washing, especially the two younger girls, but I'm guessing my attempts have failed. Keely is my biggest offender, her nose is a sieve and she is normally oblivious of the fount until she gets a hankering for a snack. At that time she either picks a treat or opts to blow her nose on the back of her hand and lick it. As you can imagine, I am at the sink absurd amounts of time daily. Keely was accosted the other day when I saw her within inches of Vance's face, saying, "Hiii Bance" repeatedly. Although the snot that was running out of her nose was not found on his face the spittle from the raspberry she blew while being pulled away was. As a mother you have to realize that despite your best efforts, kids will get sick. The more children you have, especially if some of them go to school, the more illness circulates. My only hope is that all these little coughs and bugs will one day build up their immunity levels to super human proportions and they will never have to suffer a serious illness. At least this is what I tell myself to feel better about Keely sometimes eating out of the trashcan. Do you think I have a good argument?

Well my typing has finally put my baby to sleep and the slits where his blue eyes once peeked out of have given up and closed. I do hate when my kids are sick, mainly because I hate to see them not feeling themselves, but it also seems to slow things up and I can't get done the things that I normally have to do. At the same time I kind of enjoy when my kids are sick, because I do get so caught up with what has to be done or what I should be doing that it's nice to sit with my children all snuggled up and wanting comfort. I know that eventually I will have to get dinner ready and clean up the dirty dishes from lunch, but for now I'm going to stop multi-tasking and just enjoy this little boy resting quietly in my arms that is until Keely decides to eat another mucus featured entree.