Friday, December 28, 2012

Misadventures of Global Commerce

On a recent shopping trip, Erika, Alex and I found ourselves out and about at lunch time. We stopped at a food court to get something to eat. After eating just her hot dog, Erika carefully separated the two sides of her hot dog bun. She then handed one side to Alex and an epic battle commenced, the hot dog buns standing in for swords. With a magnificent swish of his "blade" Alex broke Erika's weapon in half. Sadly, Erika picked up the pieces of her bun and remarked, "This hot dog bun must have been made in China, it broke way too easy!"

Saturday, December 15, 2012

An Angel's Prayer

I write this with a heavy heart in response to the Sandy Hook shootings.

An Angel's Prayer

Dear Teddy, who's guarded my sleep all these years, please snuggle my Mommy and catch all her tears.

Dear Pillow, that still holds the scent of my hair, please comfort my Daddy and let him feel me near.

Dear Blanket, that has tucked me in cozy and tight, please warm their hearts on this darkest of nights.

Dear Snow, that falls on a grief stricken face, please help her feel kisses you give in my place.

Dear Daddy, who could always quiet my fears, please know that I'm fine and finished with tears.

Dear Mommy, who held my hands and my heart, please know that I'm here though we seem far apart.

Dear Savior, Who's welcomed me home with such love, Please give them the peace from our Father Above.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Misadventures of Excess Verbage

My folly in writing this is that I feel it will be too short to justify a blog entry but far too long for a status update.

It has been a difficult month at our house, we have had stomach flu, pink eye, and ear infections all while Daddy was traveling. The result was several weeks stuck at home, surrounded by children who didn't feel well. People have needed me every hour of the day and night. I haven't had many waking moments of peace and I have felt a little (putting it very mildly) frustrated.

Finally, today, I took a day to myself. I had a playdate with my Mommy and my sister in law.  At the end of a wonderful day, I found myself making the 50 mile drive home in the midst of a bad snowstorm.   Driving, with my jeep in the slow lane, I noticed that all of the other cars were flying past me. I got to thinking about what I was going home to. I would find my husband who would welcome me home with a kiss, but would probably grab my bum, because he can't do one without the other. There would be four children, clamouring to tell me about their day or the mistreatment they received from their siblings or maybe a new episode of their favorite cartoon. I would have at least two children fighting over my lap wanting me to read them a story. I would probably hear some complaints about their chores. I would find that none of their chores had been done. I would hear, "Hey, Mom!" at least 57 times before I was able to finish tucking them into bed. As these thoughts came to my mind, I found myself driving just a little bit slower through the snow. I wasn't, however, driving slower because I was dragging my feet, I was slowing down because I was going home to so much love that I wanted to make sure that I got there safely.

Many of my dear friends have been expressing their gratitude this Thanksgiving season and I have been reticent because many of the things that I feel grateful for may seem trivial to others. Tonight, though, I feel that I need to express my gratitude. I am grateful for the chaos, the noise, and the maddening joy that is my life.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Misadventures of My Personal Ad

My folly this time is thinking through my actions before completing them. Though, if I hadn't thought this through, who knows what the consequences would have been.

My Personal Ad:
Looking for a good home for a Never Removed From Box 29 year old.

Legal: Unfortunately, the previous claims are so spurious that we are unable to print them.

My Revised Personal Ad:
Seeking a good home for a former 29 year old in mint condition.

Legal: Ahem

My New Revised Personal Ad:
Former 29 year old in gently used condition needs a good home.

Legal: Gently Used?

My Next New Revised Personal Ad:
Slightly worn, former 29 year old is looking for a safe haven to rest her weary head.

Legal: We wash our hands of this.

My Amended Next New Revised Personal Ad:
Help! Someone get me out of here!

Legal: We apologize for what has obviously been the rantings of a slightly unhinged mind. This is, undoubtedly, the result of someone grounded on a lovely summer day.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Misadventures of Misplaced Modesty

I feel that I am really making progress with my children when it comes to modesty and respecting personal space and boundaries. Now what would give me that impression? Since it's my blog, I will tell you.

As I was getting out of the shower the other day, I had one foot over the edge of the tub and was just reaching for my towel when the bathroom door burst open and Erika came trooping in. With complete disregard of my unclad state, she pulled down her jammies and climbed up on the potty. I quickly wrapped my towel around me and gave her my sternest look of disapproval. Her response, in a rather scandalized tone, "M-O-O-O-M, don't look at me! I'm going potty." At least she's respecting her own personal space and boundaries.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Misadventures of Motherhood

Recently, a friend of mine has been posting some of her thoughts on what Motherhood means to her. It has gotten me thinking about what Motherhood means to me. Should I lead off with the tender moments, or maybe the grotesque? Perhaps I should start with the monotonous? or the unpredictable? the laughter? the tears? Where to begin? Pondering on that question brings me to my first thought:

Motherhood is a whirlwind often going from one extreme to another(and sometimes back again) within seconds.

Motherhood is snuggling a sick child, feeling so much love, and then having that child throw up all over you. Motherhood is bravely snuggling the child again and having them say, "Mom, you make me feel better."

Motherhood is making perfectly rational statements and then realizing that you have used words that have no business going together in this world or the world to come. For example, "Why is there mayonnaise on the vacuum cleaner?" "If I catch you eating Jello powder in bed one more time..." or my personal favorite, "Who put toothpaste on the cat?"

Motherhood is reading Dr Suess so many times that you find yourself speaking in rhymes.

Motherhood is the tragic day that your children don't want to read Dr Suess anymore.

Motherhood is talking to your old friends, with whom you used to have important conversations about boys and evil math teachers, and discussing which PBS shows are educational and which are just annoying.

Motherhood is trying to come up with words to use instead of "why". You may be wondering to what point and purpose Katie is trying to stop using "why". A few conversations with my 3 year old should clear up any questions on that issue.

Motherhood is .......having to take a break from your blog because someone wants to 'nuggle you.

Motherhood is preparing to yell because you tripped on a pair of shoes, only to discover that they are your shoes.

Motherhood is knowing the fastest way to the bathroom in any given place. (this one actually starts during pregnancy, it just never goes away)

Motherhood is a laundry cup full of dandelions because the children know that you love yellow flowers.

Motherhood is discovering a great series of books with your children.

Motherhood is wondering why you have to have the same conversations at least three or four times per week.

Motherhood is reliving your childhood, and not in a good way, and realizing that you don't have any more solutions to give your child than you had for yourself.

Motherhood is reliving your childhood in the best ways and discovering the joy of discovering.

Motherhood is trying to put thought into things that you do automatically in an effort to teach your children how to do them.

Motherhood is discovering the adventure in things. For example: The sprinklers you drove by that were crossing to form an X must indicate the location of buried treasure. Grocery stores are great places to play spies. A mess-monster that is threatening the castle is more likely to be cleaned up than a dirty family room.

Motherhood is thinking that if you hear "What if..." one more time you'll be driven into the assylum.

Motherhood is swelling with pride at preschool graduations.

Motherhood is packing a suitcase for a trip to the grocery store.

Motherhood is shouting, "Will you please stop making all of that noise?!"

Motherhood is seeing the boy that you dated and fell in love with walking down the hall with a child on his back and one on each leg and really knowing what love is.

Motherhood is tucking sleepy heads into bed with rituals that belong to each child and then sneaking back for one last kiss.

Motherhood is never knowing whether you should scold, cry, or laugh out loud.

Motherhood is the relief on my readers faces as I cut my thoughts off to go be a Mother.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Misadventures of Misplaced Expectations

I once heard that ALL disappointments in life are caused by un-met expectations. Because the speaker was a "Communications Expert", his belief was that un-met expectations were caused by poor communication. Judging by the disappointed crying, my folly this time was definitely a failure in communication.

A few days ago, I had to take Alex in for his birthday check-up. He didn't like to have the Dr look in his ears, and he cried. He didn't like the Dr to look in his mouth, and he cried. He didn't like to lie on the crinkly paper, and he cried. He REALLY didn't like to get his shot, and he REALLY cried. After the appointment, we had a little over an hour before we would need to get Erika from school. Since the pediatrician's office is close to Target and since he had had a difficult morning, I asked Alex if he would like to go to Target to get a cookie and look around. He responded that he didn't want to go to Target. He said that he would like to take his car home to be with its friends. I thought that going home and playing with his new matchbox cars would be a fun way for us to spend the time, so I agreed. After we got home, Alex took the car that he had brought with him to the Dr's office and ran into the family room. He carefully placed his car on the couch where he had left the others before his appointment and said, "The car is with his friends, we can go to Target now." I'm sure you see now where my poor communications had led me. I interpreted his desire to bring his car home as a desire to be home himself. The drive to Target from the Dr's office would have been about a mile. The drive home from the Dr's office was closer to ten miles. Hard hearted woman that I am, I was unwilling to drive 10 miles back to Target after I had just driven the 10 miles home. I sadly explained that we would not be able to drive back to Target, it was too far and we had other things that we would need to do. Many and bitter were our tears at this unhappy outcome.

I now realize that when people say that you need to stay one step ahead of your children they are actually referring to the need to know the chronological order of the steps your children wish to make.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Misadventures of a Lesson Unlearned

Once again, my folly lies in finding a mountain instead of the load of mole hills I was expecting.

Once upon a time there was a young woman (very young, in fact, she had just recently celebrated the anniversary of her 29th birthday). This young woman had spent the better part of a Monday doing laundry. At one point in the afternoon, her dryer finished running and she knew that she needed to change the loads or she would never get through it all. However, our heroine felt unable to face folding one more load. So, she turned her back on the laundry, refusing to acknowledge that the dryer was finished. Although, always lurking in the back of her mind, she didn't face her demons until right before bed. Working up her courage, she reluctantly walked into the laundry room. Imagine her surprise (and feeling of stupidity) when she opened the dryer and discovered, not the piles of children's clothing that take forever to fold, but a huge comforter that didn't require any folding and which the dryer is unable to dry completely in one cycle.

Now, I wish that I could tell you that the moral of the story is to face your fears, as they are seldom as bad in real life as they are in your mind. Unfortunately, the real moral of the story is that if you don't pay attention while doing your laundry, you may be stuck washing clothes on TUESDAY.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Misadventures of Family Love

My folly this time was having a birthday. However, I don't think that there is any way out of that one without saying that I wish I had never been born. That seems a trifle over dramatic, so perhaps I should say that my folly was expecting my family to be other than it is.

There is nothing quite like a birthday to show you exactly how much you mean to your family. Yesterday afternoon, I told my sweet children that the very best birthday gift would be for them to do their chores without me having to hound them into it. Austin , in a voice reminiscent of Nicole asking why she had to wash the juicer, said, "But, M-o-o-o-m, you already got your gift." I really had to rack my brain over that one, as I couldn't remember getting any gifts other than the weekend trip that Rick had taken me on. With great exasperation, Austin reminded his obviously ungrateful Mother about the chocolate covered strawberries that he brought home from church. Now, chocolate covered strawberries (with a delightful creamy center) would not usually be a gesture that I would ignore. Perhaps some of the tremendous love that he was showing slipped my mind due to the fact that he dislikes strawberries. His primary teachers had given him the strawberries for an Easter treat and, disliking it, he came home and gave it to me. Judging by the fact that it took many arguments and much hounding to get the chores done, my worth is exactly that of disliked strawberries.

P.S. To anyone reading this post, I actually love chocolate covered strawberries. I guess that I shouldn't judge the motive behind the gesture.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Misadventures of The Worst . . .?

My folly this time lies in the fact that I decided to have children. I'm hoping that a similar scene has played out in other homes proving that I don't actually have the worst children (and am therefore the worst parent) in the world.

This afternoon, I was just finishing washing up my juicer when Nicole came and asked if she could use the juicer when I was finished with it. I groaned inwardly, but said that she could use the juicer. I helped her put the juicer back together and then showed her how to feed the apples in and push them down. When the juicer was finished, I showed her how to take it apart and scrape the extra pulp into the trash. Then I took her to the sink and started handing her pieces to rinse off. After the second piece, she tossed her saucy little head and said (in a voice that I'm sure most parents could identify), "Why do I have to wash the whole thing?" I'm afraid that I couldn't answer that question, as all of my retorts involved language that I didn't really want to teach my "sweet" little girl. After a few moments pause, I was able to explain that she had to wash it because I had just finished cleaning it when she asked to use it and got it dirty again. Her response, "Can't we just stick it in the dishwasher?" I think that it must be time to start washing all dishes by hand.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Misadventures of False Modesty

I sincerely hope that this post is not offensive to anyone. It has been my experience that false modesty usually is a little offensive.

My folly this time lies in being either too specific or not specific enough when speaking to my children (girls especially) about what is considered modest.

I have had many talks with my girls over the years discussing modesty. Not usually big sit down talks, but when we're out and about and we see advertisements with clothing on them we discuss why we keep our bodies covered. We love and respect our bodies so we cloth them modestly. We show this respect by covering our shoulders (though, to tell the truth, I don't have as big a problem with this as Daddy does) and our bellies and not wearing short shorts.

Please try to imagine my utter horror when little Erika came to me a few days ago and said that she had found a magazine that showed ladies' private parts. With great trepidation, I asked her to take me to the magazine. My astonishment grew and grew as I followed her to my nightstand. I can't even begin to describe my relief when she picked up one of my fitness magazines on which the model was wearing a tank top that was lifted a little to show her nice, flat tummy. "See, Mom, you can see her shoulders and her belly."

I guess that it is time to have a big, sit down talk as it seems some explanations need to be made.