Saturday, August 27, 2011


My husband went on a trip for work this week.  He is two time zones away.  Even though his dad was coming down to help and I was in no way going to be winging it alone for the week, I knew in my heart of hearts that the inevitable was coming.

I was not disappointed.

You see, every mother knows there is a law of reality floating around out there in the universe that has to do with Daddy leaving town.  They know that, without a doubt, within 48 hours of Dad's departure, at least one of the following things will happen:

1. A major appliance will completely crap out.
2. One of the children will come down with a raging fever.
3. Someone will start throwing up.

Sean left Monday morning.  On Wednesday morning, the Law of Daddy Leaving Town (or LDLT) kicked in.  Joshua woke up crying at 4:00 am.  Thinking he was having a bad dream (I'm not real quick at 4am, otherwise I would have realized the LDLT was looming over my head), I stumbled into his room to comfort him.  Instead of a scared kid in need of a hug, I found a miserable kid in need of a bath.

"I accidentally threw up!" he sobbed miserably. 

(I don't know why he said accidently.  It's possible he thought he would be in trouble.  Joshua's not real with it at 4am either.)

I got him all cleaned up and put him in my bed so I could strip his.  While I was Cloroxing his plastic matress cover, I kept thinking "maybe he just ate something.  Maybe he just gagged.  Maybe, just maybe this isn't the stomach flu."

Oh, to dream.

Within the hour, he had thrown up again, and before the day was out, the poor guy had lost it 5 times.  What's worse, I am not in a position right now where I can stay home, so I had to leave a crying little boy ("But I want YOU to stay with me!!") home with his grandfather while I went off to school.  Mom of the year, right here folks. 

Thankfully, it was a 24 hour bug, and he was all normal by the next evening.  None of the other kids have caught the bug, and I am so thankful that my FIL could be here this week...especially since my baby-sitter came down with the same virus a day later. God is good.

But that still leaves me with that all-important question...


Sunday, August 21, 2011

Anna's New Game

"Let's play Catch the Cow!"

"Ok, Anna, how do we play Catch the Cow?"

"It's a game where you have to catch the cows and put them on your back."

"Where's the cows?"

"Oh, I'M the cow, and there's only one cow in the game!"

This was a conversation Anna had with her daddy this weekend.  What Anna calls a new game, I call a plot to get her father to give her a piggy-back ride.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Here's How It REALLY Happened...or Maybe Not

The kids have these little Spiderman figurines.  One is bigger than the other, so Anna has dubbed him "Spiderman's Dad."  Tonight, as we were waiting for her brother to get out of the bathroom (he takes longer than a teenage girl), she picked up both figures, crawled into my lap, and declared we were going to play with them. 

"Hello Dad!"  she made the little figure squeak.

"Hello Son," I intoned as the dad's voice.

"Let's go save some people!" declared Little Spiderman.

"Ok, let's go!" answered Daddy Spiderman.

Off they went, "flying" through the air and landing on the children's Bible sitting in my lap.  (This should have been my first clue.)

"Oh no!" Little Spiderman said. "Some people are in trouble, we need to save them!"

"Ok!" answered Spiderman's Dad.

"They are in the fire!" cried Little Spiderman.

So Spiderman and his dad went trotting off across the book to save people from the fire.

To clarify, Spiderman's Dad said "They are in the fire?"

"Yes," Spiderman answered.  "Shadrach, Meschach, and Abendago are in the fire."

At this point I broke in laughing and asked with my regular voice, "Shadrach, Meschach, and Abendago?  That's who we're rescuing?"

"Yes," Anna answered firmly.  Then a moment later, "Shadrach is out, but Meschach and Abendago are still in the furnace."

Laughing, I made Spiderman's Dad say, "Well, we better get them out."

Another moment passed, and then Anna said, "Ok, they're all out and they're coming to lunch with us."

Still laughing, I made Spiderman's Dad trot down my leg after Little Spiderman as far as I could.  Then I asked, "What are we having for dinner?"

Anna thought for a moment, and then answered, "Bird's Nests."

(She's not being weird, Bird's Nests are a recipe I got from a friend's blog.  Click here if you want to see it!)

As Spiderman and his dad traveled along my leg, Anna announced that we were going to the Bird's Nest Restaurant.  Once we "arrived," she asked me what I wanted to eat.  I told her bacon, simply because it was the first thing that came to mind.  She thought for a moment, then decided "Yes, they have bacon here."  I asked her what she was having, and she didn't even hesitate: "Ice Cream."

So, if you are keeping track, here are the changes to the Shadrach, Meschach and Abendago story:
1. They were rescued by Spiderman and his dad.
2. Meschach and Abendago almost didn't make it out.
3. Once everyone was rescued, everyone went out the lunch and ate bacon and ice cream. 

Don't misunderstand - I am not an advocate for rewriting the Bible.  But I can't help but think that Anna's Heavenly Daddy was laughing even harder at all this than I was!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Morning Bathroom Conversation with Anna

"I had a bad dream.  It was about fire and had Larry Boy and Alfred in it.  So I got in your bed and slept because my bed had a bad dream in it.  Daddy woke up in your bed but he went back to sleep.  So I went to sleep but then I waked up but Daddy was still sleeping and Joshua was asleep so I got up and I came in here.  And that's all I got."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

A New Adventure Begins

Tomorrow marks a new chapter in my life of Mommyhood.  Up to this point, I have been a stay-home mom.  I've had a few periods of time away from my children, but for the most part, it's been me and Joshua...then me, Joshua, and Anna...and then me, Joshua, Anna, and Matthew.  The four of us, marching through their childhood together.

That all ends tomorrow morning at 7:00 am.

For some time now - six years, in fact - I have been pursuing a dream.  I have been working towards a Masters degree in Special Ed for the past six years with the eventual goal of teaching at the secondary level.  Many life events have come during those six years - namely, the arrival of my three beautiful children!  Through it all, though, I knew this was a calling God had placed on my life.  I knew that eventually, I wanted to be out in the world, teaching those kids who need help the most.  Even as I pursued this with great excitement and fervor, I knew that it meant that one day, this moment would come: when I would no longer be home with my kids all day.

It's a good time for this transition.  Lots of changes happening.  Joshua starts kindergarten this week.  Anna starts preschool in a few weeks.  Matthew, well, he's the most adaptable of the three, he'll just go with the flow.  And Mommy is headed back to middle school for her student teaching semester.  In December I will have my degree, and I will hopefully have some job prospects.

I know that I know that I know that this is where God has us a family.  Everything has been aligned.  My childcare situation is one I could have only dreamed about.  I have scholarship and grants this semester to help with the costs.  The kids have been prepared.  All the details have come into place.

Beyond that, there is more that tells me this is the right place for us.  I am ready to do something else.  Let me be clear: I love my kids with a fierceness that frightens me sometimes.  When I drop them off at my friend's house tomorrow, I am going to cry buckets.  This is going to be difficult.  However, I am ready to be out of the house.  I am ready to pursue the dreams that God has given me.  It's not that I don't enjoy being a SAHM.  But I am ready for the next stage of life God has for our family.  I know He is taking care of us, and I know He would not have placed this desire in my heart or brought us to this moment if it wasn't the best for our family. 

At the same time...there is trepidation.  How will I get along all day without those three smiling faces?  I'm going to miss things.  I will miss out on some of Anna's crazy antics.  I will miss some first words of Matthew's.  I will miss the spontaneous hugs that Joshua gives me just when he knows I need them.   I will miss trips to the library, cuddling on the couch during cartoons, dancing in the living room with the music cranked.   I also fear for them - how will they do with all this?  Are they ready to be away from Mommy full-time?  Am I ready to be away from them full-time?

And is time.  When God says GO!

So with fear and trembling and excitement, I face my last night at home (at least for a semester) as a SAHM.  Tomorrow, I become a working mom.  I am excited.  I am thrilled.  I am scared to death.  But I know that my God is with me and has been and will continue to carry us through to the next phase in our family's life.

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.”  - Joshua 1:9

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Things Overheard in My house Part 6

"After they are done, do they get some candy?" – Anna watching a baseball game

"I had a good dream last night about eggs flying out of chickens’ bottoms". – Anna 

"Mom, there’s something dead in our house." - Joshua (it was a cricket)  

Mom: "Somebody’s cranky today."
Anna: "It’s me."

"Monkey Bun." - Anna 

"I don’t like to eat pickles, but I like to say pickles" -Anna

"We don’t want to put pickles in our bottoms." - Anna (good safety tip)
"Anna showed me her booger." - Joshua


Anna: "Mom, I love you!"   
Mom: "I love you too!"
Anna: "Hug my feet!"

"You’re a beautiful mom!" – Joshua

"I’m gonna try again, because the word is PERSISTENT!" – Anna

Mom: "I want to talk to your father."
Joshua:   "I just want to eat his nose."
Anna: "I have SO much work to do!" 
Mom: "Oh yeah, Anna? Like what?" 
Anna: "Oh, you know - meeting new friends, playing with toys, coloring, penciling, and hugging my MOMMY!"

"Here Dad – I found this spinach in my teeth. I got it out.  I don’t want it to be there forever."  – Joshua

Mom: "Anna, did you wash your hands?"
Anna: "YES!"
Mom: "Did you use soap?"
Anna: "No, I don’t have to use soap."
"ANNA-POWER!" - Anna (who else?)

"If God see you everywhere, but you hide under a blanket, how can He see you there?" - Joshua

"Thank you Jesus for Grania.  And backpacks.  And my shoe.  And pictures." - Anna during bedtime prayers
"I need a new belly button.  Mine’s broken" - Anna

"The ducks are pooping and peeing in the water!" - Anna  

And finally, in the way-to-make-Mom-cry section:
"I'm gonna MISS you, Mommy!" - Joshua, during a discussion over what to pack in his lunches for kindergarten

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Just Tryin' to Help

Today was library day, which meant the weekly household ritual of Searching for the Library Books. (I swear, library books multiply like rabbits the minute we get them home, and then proceed to bounce away like rabbits to the farthest nether-regions of our house. Since having kids, I don't think I have gone to the library without uttering the phrase "yeah, go ahead and just renew it, we're still looking for that one.") There was one particular book that was eluding us, and as we ripped apart the living room looking for it, Joshua and Anna started to get snippy with one another. The bickering finally got to a breaking point, and I called a halt to the search party in order to sit them down and talk to them about how we speak to one another.

As I called the two older ones over to me, Matthew perked up his tiny little 17-month old ears. He immediately recognized "that tone" in my voice and realized his siblings were getting in trouble. While I was having my talk with the older two, I noticed him toddling over to the time-out chair and picking it up. I didn't think much of it at the time - one of Matthew's favorite pastimes is rearranging the furniture. However, as we were wrapping up our "speak nice words to each other" session, he brought the chair over and sat it firmly behind Anna.

Being a slow, tired mom, I didn't catch on to what he was doing until he put his muscular little linebacker arm around Anna and tried to force her to sit in the chair. Then it hit me:

He was trying to put her in timeout.

Not in a malicious, "ha-ha you're in trouble!" kind of way. No, this was a "I know what's going on, thought I'd give you a hand" kind of move. He wasn't laughing or smirking mischievously - and believe me, this is a kid who knows how! He had just observed the situation, assessed it for needs, and done what he needed to do. His little engineer instinct took over. He was just trying to help.

And he looked massively confused when, laughing, I explained that no one was in time out and thanked him for the chair. He took another stab at putting his sister in the chair, gave me a look when I said "No," shrugged his little shoulders and went on to the next project.

Where would I be without all my little helpers?