Friday, August 29, 2008

Not Even So Much as a Moment of Silence

We have to keep a chain lock on the outside of the Beast's door. He's an escape artist, and we don't want him wandering the neighborhood when he wakes up at 3 in the morning. When he wakes up in the morning, he just opens his door as far as he can, and yells to me to come get him up.

Yesterday, I was on the phone taking care of some appts. when he called to me. So, it took me ten minutes to get in there. He is used to this, and just goes back into his bed and reads while he waits.

When I came in to get him, he was happily reading a book. He didn't appear to have a care in the world. I flashed the lights to let him know I was in there, and he looked up with a look of delighted surprise. "Mom! You're NOT dead! It's good to see you!"

So, at some point, my kid decided that I must be dead due to my late arrival time, but none of that seemed to bother him. He could have at least faked a tear or two, couldn't he?? Nothin'. At least a moment of silence would have been nice.

Monday, August 25, 2008

A 3rd Grader, A Football, A Tutu, and an Itch

I've had some great stuff to post, and just haven't gotten around to it lately. Today, I promised myself I wouldn't do anything else until I got them all blogged. Since I stink pretty bad and could really use a shower, I decided that I'd best go ahead and do it early in the day. Plus, Snort has his 9 month well-check today, so I need to get moving.

A New Third Grader
First, Number One started Third Grade today. He's beyond excited. That won't last long, so I made sure I took a picture. We have a tradition of always taking a first day of school picture next to our front yard tree. The Beast starts head start next Tuesday, so his picture is coming up next.

Number One has the BEST teacher in the third grade at our school. It's a brand new school in the district, but I knew several of the teachers coming in. Hey! It pays to be nosey sometimes. While he's a little bummed that a lot of his guy friends aren't in his classed, he is quite pleased about a couple of the girls in there. Should I be worried about that? Probably. Anyway, here he is on his first day of third grade.

A Football
Those of you who are loyal followers of my blog are aware that Number One also signed up for football. Last week was his first week of practice, and it was hilarious. These kids can't even do a sit up with their helmets on because it's too top heavy for them. I go to practices just for a good laugh.

Number One is by far the smallest kid on the team, but I have to say he is pretty scrappy. He tackles with the best of them, and run pretty fast. He's most proud of his cup. My personal favorite moment was when he put it on the first time and proudly said "Hey, Beast! Kick me in the balls" while standing as tall as he could. Ummm...I'm thinking that's not a habit he wants the Beast to get into, but I'll let him figure that out.

Here he is on his first day of practice with his daddy trying to help him put on his new equipment. I'm sure you'll see more pictures as the season goes on.

Tutu Unimpressed
Lots of my MOFia friends have been making these adorable no-sew tutus for their little girls, and posted a tutu tutorial. I was so excited to make one for Pretty. Just imagine how cute she'd be prancing around in her fluffy tutu like a princess. I made her two. Let me just say I put hours of blood, sweat, and tears into that thing. HOURS I TELL YOU!!! One is purple and white with ties on the ends to make it look more like a pixie. It has a big bright pink ribbon in the back to tie it into a pretty bow. I couldn't get a picture of her in it because she wouldn't even let me put it on her.

Then there's the pink one. It's a little more wild looking, but so fun. As you can see from the photos, she's less than impressed with it. She cried the whole time I had it on her, which was about 2 minutes. As soon as I got it off, she ran to find the Beast and play legos with him. Seriously, isn't there anybody who can help her realize it's okay to be a little feminine? Hilary and Martha, get ready. She's coming over.

I Told You So. Neener Neener Neener.
Many of you may recall my unfortunate run-in with a poison ivy plant back in June. The King insisted to me that it couldn't possibly be poison ivy, even though a good friend with a post-graduate degree in horticulture identified it as poison ivy. He still didn't believe it was poison ivy after a doctor told me that the rash covering a huge portion of my body was a "classic case of poison ivy". He still didn't believe me after I got online and researched it showing him detailed descriptions and photos of what was growing on our house being identified as poison freaking ivy!!! I purchased a gallon size container of poison ivy killer. Spray that stuff on the thing, and wait a week. The sucker will be dead. Totally dead, and you can remove it without any problems. The King decided that he didn't know where I'd put the container, so he just went ahead and pulled the stuff himself. After all, it wasn't really poison ivy, so he had nothing to lose, right? When I came home to find him playing in it, I told him to go straight to the shower and wash carefully to get the oils off. Nope. He was a man and was doing man's work and wasn't done yet. He said he'd shower later.

He did get around to showering. But it wasn't until a couple of hours later. Guess who doesn't always use a washcloth, and prefers to use his hands to spread his soap around? Guess who insists on using bar soap instead of bath gel and used the same bar of soap for days in a row after playing in POISON IVY? Guess who got poison ivy over every inch of his body?

You've got that right, folks. The King believes me now that it is indeed poison ivy out there. When I see him itching, I so want to feel sorry for him. I do. It's just that I get such satisfaction from being able to point and laugh while singing the neener, neener, neener song and pointing out that I told him so. (It's not often that I can do that).

In an effort to not make everyone throw up, I didn't take pictures of ALL his parts that are covered. And, ahem, I do mean ALL his parts. But, I did just have to take a few pictures to prove my point. Don't worry. These are modestly done. It's okay to snicker at his expense, though. He's much less itchy now...well, sort of.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Do What is Right, Let the Consequence Follow

Sometimes, being the mother of four is challenging. Stake Conferance is one of those times. For those who don't know what that is, it's the twice a year meeting for everyone in our local area (two counties) to come together for a special Sunday meeting. We are spoken to by local and worldwide church leaders. It's a blessing to have this meeting, but it's two hours long and a 45 minute drive to get there. With four kids, that's like a suicide wish.

The King is in our ward choir, and our choir was asked to sing at Conferance this time around. Do you know what that means? Me, alone with four kids in a two hour meeting. What kind of sane person would ever choose to do such a crazy thing?? Certainly not me. There isn't enough valium on the planet to make something like that a good idea.

I had every intention of not going. Yes, we're asked to attend all of our meetings and promised blessings for doing so, but this is surely the exception, right? I mean, come on, people. No one would do this. And, really-what could I possibly have to gain from struggling through two hours of church with four wiggly kids?

Pretty had her ears tubes put in and her hearing test on Friday. (She did great, by the way, and her hearing is PERFECT!!) She was cranky beyond cranky. Picture a mama bear whose cub has just been taken away. Pretty was grumpier than that. She was grumpy enough that she could probably have made the mama bear cry and shrink with fear. No WAY was I going to take her to church like that. No way.

Then, yesterday I came down with some sort of ear infection thing. My ear was really hurting. I was tired, Pretty was still cranky, there was laundry to do, and the thought of enduring such a long meeting with the kids was not even something I wanted to think about. No one would ever blame me for not going, would they? Well maybe a couple people. But those would be the freaky people who have never had kids and think that raising goldfish is the same as raising human children. My mind was made up. I wasn't going. Period.

Around 8:00 last night, I got a phone message from our friend, Linda. She and her husband, Jim, were coming to conferance and would look for me. They were going to sit with me and help with the kids. What??!?!?! Were these people nuts??? They've met my kids. How could they really want to spend two long hours with them trying to keep them still and quiet? At this point, I was starting to feel a little lame for using the kids as my reason not to go. But, I still had good reason. Pretty was still fussy, and my ear was really hurting.

This morning, I woke up to a perfectly happy, normal little girl. Crap! That excuse was down the toilet. Well, mostly. There are never any promises that she'd stay that way. She is a female, afterall. And my ear. What about my sore ear? Wha? Wait a minute! The pain was GONE.

So, I sucked it up and off we went. We had to go a full hour early so the King could practice with the choir. What was I thinking? This was not going to be a good thing. Was it?

I arrived to discover that there was cozy seating in a pew near the front and close to an exit should I need it. Then, our friend, Bea, came in. She's like the kids' adopted grandma. She took Snort off my hands. And kept him. So, now I was down to three kids. Just before the meeting started, Angela and Alicia came and sat with me. Hmmm...was this turning into something doable? I now had three kids and three adults. It seemed to good to be true, so I braced myself for what was to come. Since we'd gotten there so early, the Beast and Pretty were already tired of the toys I'd brought. Figures.

Finally, the meeting was getting ready to start and Linda showed up. She informed me that she and Jim had seats behind us and were fully armed with toys, books, and snacks. And they were planning on taking the Beast and Pretty to sit with them. I was stunned beyond words. I reminded her how crazy Pretty and the Beast can be, and she calmly smiled as she took them by the hand and led them to their seats.

I don't really remember all that was said throughout that meeting. But I know I felt a sense of peace. This was more than I've gotten out of church in years. Years!!! I always live in the lobby with noisy kids. I'm usually frazzled and exhausted shortly after the opening prayer. What a huge blessing for me!

Snort started fussing about an hour and ten minutes into the meeting, so I reclaimed him and took him out where I met up with Linda. Pretty was running the halls, so Linda and I traded kids. I'd gotten so much just from being in the first half of the meeting that I didn't mind having Pretty back for a while. I'd sort of missed her anyway.

Pretty settled down and sat quietly with me in the lobby and even spent some time playing with her friend, K. They're buddies, and played nicely together. Even in the lobby with a wiggly two-year-old, I was calm and collected. It was great!

I did get to hear the last speaker over the intercom thing. He talked about how great it was to have the little children in the church with their parents, and how important it was to have them there. This is how we set an example for our children of the importance of doing what we're asked despite how hard it may seem to do it. I needed to hear that.

SO, the saying is true. If you do what is right, the consequences will follow. I made the right choice (not without dragging my feet, but I still managed to get there), and I was blessed for it. No, angels didn't come and bless me with riches and gold. I didn't suddenly become famous or anything. But, I had a sense of peace. I realized how many people there are in the world who are willing to help when you need it, even if you don't realize you do need it. I felt refreshed and ready to take on the rest of my day. And that's big. I am truly blessed. And I know these are blessings I wouldn't have realized had I chosen to take advantage of the many possible excuses not to go.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

And We Have a Baby Name

We thought it'd take us ages to decide on a name for this baby since we'd only chosen girl names, and were still not totally settled on that yet. Mostly, but not quite there. This baby must be meant to be because we both knew his name the minute we heard it. It's perfect.

Those who know me know that my children are typically given slightly unusual, though still very beautiful first names, and more common middle names. As a kid, there were always a million Amy's in my classes and I hated going by my first name followed by my last initial. Let me just tell you how much therapy it's going to take to get over being called Aimee P. for years and years. It didn't help that I was not a cute kid by any stretch of the imagination. AND, it was impossible to spell my first name. So, I've always hated oddly-spelled common first names.

The King had a different experience. His name was totally unusual, though not unheard of. It's a great name, very strong and regal sounding. But, no one ever remembered it or they thought it was weird. So, he hates wildly unusual first names.

When we married, we never could have known that we'd have very different goals in mind for our children's names. He wanted to be sure his kids had a common name that no one would forget and maybe even have some friends who shared the same name. I wanted to make sure my kids had names all their own, so they could be the unique and amazing little people they were meant to be.

So, we compromised. They have mostly unique first names (or at least less popular ones), and more common middle names. As they get older, they can have the option of falling back on their middle names. So far, it's kind of worked out.

Number One's name was completely unusual when we gave it to him. Now, it's on the top of the popular names list, and even girls are using it. (I hate that, but that's another post). The Beast won't ever let us call him by his middle or first name. We've always called him by his initials, and that's just how he likes it. He gets deeply offended if we call him by his given name. Silly kid. Pretty has a fairly common, but not often used, first name. She seems to like it. If she hates it later, that's okay. Her middle name is stunningly beautiful. It's my mother-in-law's name, and one of my favorite names ever. As for Snort, well...I think he knows his name. He turns when we say it. I don't know if he cares how it sounds. I think he's just glad for attention. (Hey! Attention can be hard to come by when you've got the siblings he has!)

This baby is following the same trend. He will have a great name. It's perfect for him, and matches those of his siblings well. His middle name is my favorite boy name ever, and is classic and beautiful. And, as luck would have it, his initials will be CTR. You Mormon people will think that's kinda' funny, if not a little cheesy. We didn't do it on purpose that way, but I think it means we really did Choose The Right name.

My favorite part about this baby's name is that we're keeping it a secret. We're not telling until he's here. Then, he can help introduce himself.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Gender Revealed

Well, I was completely sure I knew what I was having. 100% sure. I was even considering not going to the u/s appt. because I was so sure I knew what I was having. It wasn't even a matter of wanting one gender over the other. It was just that I was completely positive of what was cooking inside me. I was wrong. Here are scans of my u/s today.

Yep! You saw it right, folks. The beautiful little girl I just knew I was having has a rather large, hard to miss PENIS. I guess that means it's a boy. And I was wrong. I have literally not one single name in mind. Got any ideas? Suggestions are being accepted.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours...And What FUN That Can Be

We've really felt the long, hot dog days of summer around here. Number One has reminded me repeatedly just how boring it is to be home all summer when all your friends can be having fun at daycare. I've heard how unfair it is that he and the Beast are home doing *gasp!!!* chores while their friends are apparently off living the high life on some unknown planet. At least, it must be another planet because, according to my children, not one of their friends has to do chores. Ever. I am the only mean mom who makes their children suffer through the summer doing slave labor like picking up their own socks and putting them in the hamper.

They're just sure everyone else is having a ton more fun than them, too. Forget our amazing trip to New England which included amusement parks, beaches, and hot girls at a local park. That's not fun. Playdates, children's museums, dollar theater movies, Blockbuster rentals, and season passes to the pool aren't fun, either. They live deeply neglected, underprivileged, deprived lives.

Every now and then, though, something happens and they actually slip up and mention that their mom is "so cool" or "way fun". Yesterday was one of those days. They'd been wanting to play in the sprinkler all day long, but I'd been sort of slow in getting housework done and asked them to wait, preferrably without the Beast and Pretty doing some sort of science project in the bathroom this time. They waited. And they waited. And they waited. In my defense, I'd been up late with them having fun the night before and the Olympics is on. I'm baffled as to how they could just find no interest in that at all, but whatever. I guess they're kids.

Anyway, finally around 4:45 they asked if I'd play a computer game with them. They love downloading search and find games, and they're good at it. So, I agreed. I'm really astounded at how good they really are at finding some of the items requested. They have better eyes than me. We were happily playing when we suddenly heard an unusual sound. Pitter patter spatter drippity drop drop plop spatter pitter patter drip drop drip. I knew that sound well, so I opened the window. RAIN!!!!! Glorious rain!!!

The boys were just beaming with excitement. "Please, Mom, please can we go out and play in it." "Sure! Let's go!" Stunned silence. "Really, you're letting us play in the rain?" "Yep! Go have fun." And off they went. And fun they had. Just look at these pictures.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

So, I've Added a Poll

I have an ultrasound scheduled for Wednesday morning to decide if what lives inside me right now is a boy or a girl. I have my own suspicions, very strong ones actually, but I'll reserve those until after we found out what we're having.

If I wanted to have more balance in the force, a girl would be helpful. Pretty and I are the only girls in this house unless you count my cat. But, honestly, the cat is a snob and really pretty useless. And she drools.

Logistically, though, a boy would be easier. I still have all my baby boy clothes for winter ready to go. Since Pretty was born in the summer, I don't have any winter girl clothes. With the exception of learning how to actually pee IN the toilet rather than on it, boys are easier. Pretty is all drama. My boys just go with the flow.

So, I guess I don't have a preferance really. Well, maybe I do. I know the King does. He says he doesn't care, but "it would probably be nice to have another girl".

I don't know if any of this information helps you in your all-important vote, but there you go. Vote away. I'll post with an answer to what we're having Wednesday night.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tagged Again

Amy had this up on her blog. I'm sure I'll see it on some others soon.

You can only type one word. Do the first word that come to mind. Consider yourself tagged if you read this!!
1. Where is your cell phone? chair
2. Where is your significant other? couch
3. Your hair? scraggly
4. Your mother? crazy
5. Your father? sperm donor (okay, that was two words)
6. Your favorite thing? sex
7. Your dream last night? nothing
8. Your dream/goal? happiness
9. The room you're in? living
10. Your hobby? laughing
11. Your fear? failure
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years? rested
13. Where were you last night? Meeting
14. What you're not? infertile
15. One of your wish list items? dishwasherr
16. Where you grew up? CT
17. The last thing you did? eat
18. What are you wearing? underwear
19. Your TV? cheap
20. Your pet? stinky
21. Your Computer? sticky
22. Your mood? silly
23. Missing someone? Erin
24. Your car? shrinking
25. Something you're not wearing? bra
26. Favorite Store? target
27. Your Summer? looooooon
28. Love Someone? infinately
29. Your favorite color? blue
30. When is the last time you laughed? today
31. Last time you cried? No clue

Saturday, August 2, 2008

I Must be a Glutton for Punishment

I spoke too soon when I mentioned that things around here are slow. What the crap was a I thinking??? I should know by now that commenting on the ease of my life is like getting a bull horn and yelling directly into the heavens that my life is far too easy and I'd desperately like copius amounts of adversity. And, without fail, the heavens always see fit to answer my pleas. Yeah. I feel so blessed.

This time, though, I don't even know that I can complain a whole lot. I may have actually brought this on myself. It's not my fault, though. I'm functioning on a pregnant brain. I'm not hormonally capable of making a logical decision.

Number One attended a bunch of free sports camps through our city this summer. It was great because he got to try out a lot of sports that he'd never played before. This, of course, just had to include the one and only sport that mothers lose sleep over. It's the dreaded sport that renders boys unable to ever become fathers and drives up medical bills faster than...well, faster than anything I can think of. You guessed it, people. I let him try out football. And he liked it.

I wasn't too worried because the football camp was only two days long. Yes, he has talked about it ever since, but I was just sure that starting piano lessons again when school starts would have been plenty to get his mind off it. I mean, seriously, what eight year old wouldn't rather be safely seated at the piano than outside in the hot sun having his peers run screaming at his gut with every intention of knocking him senseless?? My kid. That's who.

So, the phone rang on Thursday and I decided to let Number One answer it. Big mistake! How could I ever have known that the city would decide to bring back youth football and that the coaches would call every single kid who played over the summer?? And, how could I have ever known that kids going into third through sixth grade would be playing TACKLE football? And, how could I ever have known that's would be who was calling when I let Number One answer the phone? (Honestly, I'd have listed the wrong number if I'd known those people actually intended to use it.)

Number One excitedly passed the phone to the King and listened to every word being said on the King's end of the conversation. Somehow, by the end of that conversation, we had agreed to sign him up for tackle football. Number One REALLY wants to play and the King totally regrets having been too much of a weenie to try it when he was younger. So, I allowed it.

We went today to sign him up. Can I just say that I came home with a LOT of padding?? His head had to be measured for a helmet. A helmet??? Does that mean someone might bump him in the head somehow?? Did I mention that this is my first born baby? He's got special pants with all sorts of padding in them. He is going to have huge shoulder pads (I mean HUGE! Bigger than the shoulder pads we saw women wear in the late 80's and early 90's). And then there was the "big" purchase. Honestly, I think it's pretty small, but Number One is beyond impressed with it. You guessed it, folks. My kid is the proud owner of a protective cup. Yep! There is apparently some risk of him damaging his family jewels.

So, now my kid is going to proudly wear the uniform of our city's high school. Of course, that means Pretty will need a cheerleading uniform to be worn at every game. And a matching hairbow. And some matching twisty-cutesy things that go on the front of her Keds. And a bull horn (as if you can't already hear her).

I tried talking Number One out of this, but one of the seniors who just graduated from our high school team lives across the street. Apparently the excrutiating surgery he had to have doesn't deter Number One. He just wants to be cool like his neighbor. And, our home teacher is going to be a senior this year. (Oddly, he had the SAME surgery as our neighbor, which also doesn't deter Number One). When our home teacher came over, I had him tell Number One all the risks involved. The part where he made it sound really fun and really safe didn't really help deter him. (You know who you are, ROSS!!! I'm watching you, Mr.!)

So, there you go. The heavens have decided it would be funny to watch me sweat through a season of tackle football with my first born baby. And the Beast is starting soccer. And Number One is still playing soccer. And Number One has scouting. And piano. (Just in case he decides piano is way more fun than being tackled.) I'm not going to be spread too thin at all...right? Yeah, I will. And, I'm stupidly just sure I can absolutely juggle it all. Why do I believe I can handle it all? That's easy. I'm a glutton for punishment.