Thursday, April 29, 2010

Homework - the GRADING papers edition.

I'm pretty sure that this time of year is even worse for the professors then it is for the students.

Homework, by Russell Hoban
Homework sits on top of Sunday, squashing Sunday flat.
Homework has the smell of Monday, homework's very fat.
Heavy books and piles of paper, answers I don't know.
Sunday evening's almost finished, now I'm going to go
Do my homework in the kitchen. Maybe just a snack,
Then I'll sit right down and start as soon as I run back
For some chocolate sandwich cookies. Then I'll really do
All that homework in a minute. First I'll see what new
Show they've got on television in the living room.
Everybody's laughing there, but misery and gloom
And a full refrigerator are where I am at.
I'll just have another sandwich. Homework's very fat.

So, why do they assign it then? Wouldn't it just be better for all involved if they would just lighten up? This is the argument I'm continually making to my oh-so-conscientious resident professor. Or I will continually make it when I see him again in the middle of May.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Trick

Having children who are so close together gives me the opportunity to enjoy pretty much all of the ages and stages of early childhood at once. It's a time of great richness and joy. IF you have a moment's peace to actually notice how amazing each individual and each age is. And therein lays the trick.
I'm striving to "stop and smell the roses" (or sometimes the actual Rose) these days. Just trying to get enough alone time and distance to actually observe and enjoy my children, rather then just be trampled and depleted by their various needs. Ironically it is often leaving them that really helps me to appreciate them. Not always but often. If I take one hour "off" after Daddy gets home from work then I, believe it or not, enjoy bedtime and all of their bedtime delaying techniques, snuggles, snail-paced teeth brushing, stories of the days events and plans for the next day and what they want for Christmas (does that end at some point in the year or is it year-round?).
Another way that I've been learning the art of seeing them, not just being with them, is to read articles, books and blogs of older mothers who have learned by experience that this time is as brief as it is intense. In the middle of the apparent chaos of life in a home where there is a ratio of children to adult that no daycare center would allow (at least for the majority of our waking hours) there is also a simplicity. They are a pack of little bodies - careening around with reckless abandon.; they are a bundle of sheer enthusiasm; they are very easily impressed (Daddy can jump up and TOUCH the ceiling!!!); they are still awed by God's great, beautiful world; a pack of M&Ms can fix any problem; they all eat the same five foods (oatmeal, hot dogs, pizza, mac&cheese, and chicken nuggets); I can wash all of their tiny clothes for a week in one load; they can "ride their bikes" for an hour straight just traveling the length of one house; going to a McDonald's playplace satisfies everyone's need for exertion; they all want to sit right next to me, all the time. Ahhhh. If only there were time to really know these things about them.
Well, time must be made because, for me, it is in realizing these things that peace resides. And one thing that we are quite short on in this house is peace. Who ever knew any child under 6 to be peaceful, let alone four of them?
I will not always have the joy of watching a five-year old learn to read and draw blueprints of his forts before he builds them. I will not always have the joy of watching the complete dearness of a three-year-old girl twirl in her billowy dress in the spring. I will not always have the joy of hugging a 1.5 year old's precious Winnie-the-pooh shaped body and feel him pat me on the back in return-affection. I will not always have the joy watching a sweet pink baby's face completely light up with a smile at the sound of my voice.
And it is very likely that I will never again be able to enjoy all of these things in the exact same minute. "The days are long, but the years are short." And peace does actually reside here, if you can just see it through the chaos.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Poop Chronicles, vol. 4

The Pony Edition

I found Thomas sitting in the horse-poo that's waiting to be mixed into the garden. So, being the good mom that I am I ran and got my camera. And when he had gotten up and moved on I put him back for this shot.
But then we followed up with a bath in the ultimate kitchen sink. Because I am actually a decent mom.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

A Sour Morning Rose - caught on camera

Rosie and Anthony are sitting next to each other eating breakfast. Anthony is having frosted mini wheats and Rosie, o-gret (yogurt). Anthony leans over and kisses Rosie on the cheek. She gets a mad face and responds, "Daddy, Aferny kissed me and got me all wheat-ey."
They turned to each other and smiled and said giggling, "Wheeeeaaatyyyy".
And then she returns to the scowl. Some days a girl just wakds up on the wrong side of the bed. It's going to be a long day for the rest of us. And this is why it's important to have a camera without a delay.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Poop Chronicles, vol. 3

This morning Anthony had another "accident" in his underwear. This is extremely unusual for him so I started to ask the series of personal and embarrassing questions that only a mother (or doctor?) would ever want/need to know. So, naturally, I'm sharing them with you, oh internet world.
Me: Are you having diarrhea?
A: No. It's just that it's all hard.
Me: Oh, so your poop is all hard. Is it hard to push out?
A: Um, actually it's all hard and soft. See, when I start to go I push and it's easy. Then I push and have to wait. And then I push and if it still doesn't come out then I need to wait longer. So that's when it's hard.
Me: But is the poop actually hard to get out?
A: Well, sometimes it's easy and then hard.
Me (thinking that we are not really getting anywhere useful and that I do already understand the mechanics of having a bowel movement): OK. Well, do you have an accident in your underwear before or after you are sitting on the toilet?
A: Before. See, I just THINK it's a fart but really it's POOP!

Ah. That is what I was getting at. I still don't really know if he's constipated or not but at least I understand that it is both hard and easy for him so he can't be too badly off.

Here is another mystery of Anthony pooping that I have not yet been able to untangle. Given his extreme need for privacy in the restroom you can understand how too much prying or (heaven forbid spying!) is not really an option. In the aftermath of a visit to the bathroom I frequently discover small streaks of poop in floor AND THE WALLS of our bathroom. Dis. Gus. Ting. John and I have both spoken quite severely to him about this but every once in a while it still happens. It's just so bizarre. So completely bizarre. I have taken out stock in Clorox Wipes and am working out what would be appropriate disciplinary action for whatever it is that he's doing in there (I have images of that commercial where the dog is dragging his butt around on the carpet and the woman gets her carpets cleaned). Anyway, that's your dose of poop for the day. At least I hope is it. I wouldn't want the poop fates to get you for looking askance at us! Beware!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

A Few of my Favorite Things

My own personal garden gnome:
Saturday morning bike races that start with: "Let's pretend that you got a headstart..." just to even the playing field.

This curl: On this head:

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Poop Chronicles, vol. 2

From the other side of the Love-child spectrum. I have discovered that there is one, just one, thing that is not to rave about in regards to the Bumbo Seat. I LOVE: how it has a small footprint (not like a bouncy seat); how her head is not leaning on anything and should give her flat spot a chance to round out; how she is sitting up before she is capable of sitting up; how she can be right smack in the middle of everything and therefore constantly entertained; how she's just as happy in the Bumbo as in a carrier so my back is feeling happyyyyyyyy.
But. When she poops, while seated in the Bumbo, the poop takes the path of least resistance and bubbles and oozes up and the over her diaper, down the outside of her pants and inside of the Bumbo. Ew.
Moving down the spectrum to the wild and woolly Thomas...yesterday was his inaugural take-the-diaper-off-during-nap-and-spread-poop-all-over-the-crib experience. Luckily for me John was the lucky one to be "on duty" this time. But I'll get my turn, never fear. The poop fates are out to get me.
One more person up the Love-child spectrum, Rosie's addition to the last 24 hour poop-tales is rather mild but for the sake of thorough reporting I'll include it. This morning I was in a rush to get out the door to an earlier mass then we usually "attend" (by which I mean wander aimlessly around outside in an effort to give other people a fighting chance at prayer). So, I recklessly took Rosie's diaper off while she was standing up and glancing inside noticed some "racing stripes". I thought it was odd but assumed that she was in the middle of doing her business when I rudely whipped off her undergarment. But after a few minutes realized that no, she had been done with her business and there it was on the floor, having fallen right out of the diaper in my haste. Ew. Lesson to glean: there is no Mass that can not be arrived at late - take poop-related duties slowly and cautiously.
After Mass today Anthony immediately visited the restroom (a regular occurrence after the victory recounted in vol. 1 of the Poop Chronicles) and afterwards went to change out of his church clothes and into his "play clothes". I told him to hang his church clothes on the row of hooks in his room because they weren't dirty and he would wear them next week. As he's changing I notice that he's changing all the way down to the underwear and saw that he had hung his underwear on the hook with his church clothes. I asked him why he had done this and he informed me that he had a little accident in the underwear but he had wiped it out.
So, my best guess is that he was planning on letting them air out for the week and put them right back on with the rest of the church clothes. Double ew.
You may think that with 4 children and 4 poop-related incidents within 24 hours we would be right on track but then you'd be wrong. It looks like the IHOP poop fates are visiting their revenge upon John now. This is why you should just stick to PANCAKES at IHOP and skip the hollandaise sauce. Unfortunately for him it's not just the poop-fates, it's also the puke-fates.
Ew and ew and ew.
Look, no one said that this blog was for the feint of heart, or stomach. Just be glad there are no accompanying pictures.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Age of Reason, revisited

I wrote a post a long time ago about approaching the age of reason and the age of innocence. In that post David was the "wise as a serpent" and Anthony was "innocent as a dove". My how the tables have turned.
This morning while John and I were still trying to wake up the kids were padding around on the first floor being suspiciously good. Anthony walked in and with a transparently leading comment said, "Rosie found the cookie dough. She saw the bowl, tipped it over, looked into it and saw the dough. Then she just felt like she had to have some. So she did."
Daddy: and then you had some.
Anthony: Noooo, ROSIE had some.
Rosie then walks in with chocolate around her mouth and very openly recounts the story of how she has been eating dough in the "hiding place. It was dough. With chocolate."
"Did Anthony have any?"
Well, well, well. First Confession is only a couple years away now.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Anthony on Easter...

"So, Jesus died so we don't have to? So it's kind of...good that he died."
Ahhhhh. Beat that, Satan.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

He IS Risen!

A week in the life of our family altar:

For Holy Week everything gets draped in purple (the altar cloth has been purple for all 40 days) and stripped the altar...
except the Pieta

Stripped completely for Good Friday

And here we are at Easter, just a short 40 days in coming!
Our only store-bought flower, the lily didn't bloom in time. Luckily Easter is an octave :)
I hope that helps, Beccy (and any other moms who needed an idea for bringing prayer into the home).
The tomb is empty and He is Risen!