Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Absurdity of it all…

Thomas has developed this horrible habit of pushing his mini-beetle car out into the street. We live at the top of a hill and so the vehicle will roll down the hill picking up speed as it goes and then rams into someone’s nice pickup that’s parked on the street (there are mostly pickups on our street – mini-vans are definitely the odd ones out). It is horrifying. And he’s doing it on purpose. I think he likes to watch me run, swearing, down the street trying to catch up to it before it actually dents something. I realize the absurdity of this. How can this: February (750)

hurt anything? It just can, it’s the Thomas-touch. The opposite of the Midas-touch.

So today I chased his trike down and caught up to it just as it swerved, avoiding two parked cars and then crashed into someone’s fence. Fine, this is on the low-side of Thomas-inflicted damage. But 10 minutes later Anthony sounds the alarm and I go flying out the front door only to see the mini-beetle careening down the hill heading for the intersection. At this point I am not even trying to do my “dignified mini-beetle recovery run”: lightly jogging – trying to play off my embarrassment and flipping my hair in a care-free, “I’m breezy” sort of way. No this time I have just let loose.

Then I see not one, but two cars approaching the intersection. Great Scott. The last thing we need is a mini-beetle-caused collision. So I start yelling for the cars to stop – interjecting “I’m so sorry!” – periodically. As I’m running I have plenty of time for the absurdity of my situation to sink in and I’m very tempted to fling my apron over my shoulders like a cape – just to really drive the point home. And yes, I was indeed wearing an apron. Somehow this just made the whole thing worse. Maybe because wearing an apron seems sort of pretentious, in a housewifey 1950’s sort of way. And the humiliation of the pretentious is much worse then the humiliation of a normal person. In the end no one crashed and everyone was very kind, of course – people really are very forgiving and kind toward strangers. And I took off my apron – just in case I am called back into action. I must keep my secret identity under wraps – at least until pretentious stay at home mom’s are recognized for our true glory.

Saturday, March 26, 2011



If I were going to have a WTF moment…this would be it.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Bad Day to...

Awesome day!

Problem: 2 more streppy kids
Solution: 1 phone call to docs office and 1 trip to pharmacy. EASY.

Problem: Sump Pump broken. 1-2 inches of standing water in the basement.

Saving Grace: Water was ONLY in the play area which had recently (and uncharacteristically) been cleaned up recently. There were no stuffed animals on the floor, no dress up clothes, nothing that we couldn't wipe dry. The only wet thing to contend with is the rug which is already named, "The Sacrificial Rug" due to it's role in protecting the carpet of a dining room in a previous home. So it, as usual, has lived up to it's name. Also, the water did not touch a single book. We have hundreds of school books in the basement and the school room was untouched. I can't tell you my gratefulness.

Solution: Listen to this crazy God moment. Yesterday when I posted about our fun trip to the doctor my friend showed up at the house with chicken soup not an hour later. It was wild. I felt like I pressed "Post" and then turned around and she was there. It was such a blessing in so many ways.
So this morning Anthony send up the alarm about the flooded basement. Chills go through my spine. I will share this FB comment that I left not 2 weeks ago. "I am dreading a basement flood. All of our schoolbooks and toys are down there so if it ever happens it could be a complete disaster. Nothing like living on the edge." That was March 9th.
So we take a survey of the damage, breath a huge sigh of relief and thankfulness for The Sacrificial Rug and I say to John, "Well. Maybe we should get a dehumidifier. That's something that people do when this happens." He replies something about calling the plumber to fix the sump pump. Then I recommend that we call my chicken soup friend's husband as he is a carpenter and contractor and a generally "useful engine" as Thomas the Tank Engine would say. He's also extremely generous with his time and talents. As we are discussing this the kids have gotten their raincoats and boots on and are marching down to the giant puddle inside. "Fun times", they are thinking. (The picture is us baling the water - it was fun - for some.)

John gives chicken soup husband a ring and starts explaining the situation and Fred says, "OK, here's what you do. Walk to the front door." And suddenly I can hear both sides of the conversation and there is Fred, in my kitchen. I think to myself, "Wow. The L's response time to the Love's crises is really improving. That couldn't have been more then one minute after we called them this time."
Fred goes and hits the motor which he explains is the first line of defense when this happens (good to know) and then declares the sump pump dead. He tells John to run up to the local hardware store and when he gets back Fred installs the new pump. Problem solved in under an hour. Unreal. We didn't even have time to freak out. Much. Then he brings us his dehumidifier to borrow (I knew that had something to do with floods).
Next Fred pops on up to our bathroom and fixes the leak that's been stumping the best minds in the house (and the master plumber we called in) in our bathroom for over a month. Now we can re-drywall our foire ceiling. And although I will miss the bathroom plumbing being the first thing that people see when they walk in the door I am very happy to not have to pull out a bucket every time we bathe the children. This is apparently the reason Fred was in our driveway when John called him this morning. He had taken the morning off from working on his own project to fix that pesky leak for us. I know, I know. What makes us so lucky?

So, I think the lesson learned is that I no longer have to worry about anything anymore. The next time a pipe bursts or I have to run a kid to urgent care I'll just tell John, "Don't worry honey. I'm sure the L's are on their way. Just have a little patience."

God is good and today He was good through my friends. Thank you!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

And Here We Go Again

Just got back from an epic trip to the doctor's office. I've been putting off going in because, well - I just couldn't stand the idea of driving there AGAIN. But my sore throat keeps getting worse and this sinus thing is going on 3 weeks now and to top it off CeCe woke up with a fever. So off we went.
They were going to "work me in" this morning since they were all booked up and that meant that I had to take all 4 kids with me unexpectedly. This is something that I do not ever do. Ever. Because when they all get into a doctor's office or church pew something snaps and they become the most humility-inducing crew possible. They know that I can't do much immediate damage in these places (the doctor's office b/c you don't want SS called on you and church because you can only threaten in a hissing whisper) so they take advantage of this to act like thugs.
We were put in a room with a variety of loud toys. Fun was had by all but then the doctor walked in and I couldn't get them to stop making the noise. He has seven kids but they're grown now so I'm not sure what his tolerance for crazy is. But this was topping out my meter so I can't imagine that he was able to function well. I very much wanted his brain to be thinking about health and medicine and such but I'm sure it's hard to do that with "I love you, you love me. We're a happy family", playing loudly in the background.
So we turned to pretzels. And this was a serious miss-step. They bickered, they screeched, they stole, they crunched, they horded, they blatantly disobeyed. In spite of this, after I was seen and found to be positive for Strep (the one thing I was proud of for not having this year) I asked if they could check the Cecers out too on account of the fever and all. Our family has had run-ins with Strep so we don't like to mess around with it. Luckily we go to a family practice so they see her too and it wasn't a separate trip to the pedes.
This meant that not only did they have to work us in today but also give us a whole extra slot for the baby. But...I mean, I had to ask, right? And sure enough she does have it. Thomas probably does too but by then we'd really overstayed our welcome. Pretzels were crunched into the carpet - there were books spread to all four corners of the room, 1/2 the small people's shoes were MIA and Anthony was doggedly proclaiming Green Eggs and Ham over the fray. I was trying to clean this up ("could you, would you in a train?"), I turn around and there are Thomas and Rosie taking turns drinking out of CeCe's sippy cup. Fab. ("Eat them, eat them! Here they are!")
They continued to bicker about who was going to get the next drink (thirsty due to my brilliant move with the pretzles) all the way out to the front desk. Next, out of the corner of my eye I see Rosie reaching up for something. It's a cup - a cup in a little cubby in the wall - and yes, yes - it has "Urine Specimen" clearly written on it. The receptionist and I both holler at her to stop and catch her right before her hand clamps down on it. So, all in all I'd say the trip was a success.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Blessing of Limits

I am finding March to be quite difficult to get through. The daffies are out, the crocuses are still holding on we've had a couple days of crazy good weather - so what is wrong with me? We have been sick in one way or another since the beginning of February. It started with the Flu. And since then we've had non-stop colds that have not let go. Turning into ear infections, sinus infections, conjunctivitis. WE ARE SO BEHIND. I had hoped to be almost done with school by this time to give the kids a great Spring, full of roaming freetime to make mud soup and climb trees and catalogue each new bloom in the gardens. When I am behind in my duties I struggle against feelings of worthlessness. I recognize that this is built into my temperament and it will not change. I should not find my worth in what I do but in who I am - who He has made me to be. But this is a struggle for me. In some ways my emotional life is very simple. Lots of visible accomplishment = good girl. Few-no visible accomplishment = bad girl. (BTW, this is not some sort of reflection on how I was raised, at all. OK, mom? It's not you, it's me.)
Here we are, on the 2nd day of Spring and I'm feeling like we are never going to make it to the end. CERTAIN people, who shall remain nameless, might be a bear to teach when certain people are not feeling well. So, it feels like it's just time to pack our bags and go home. Oh wait, we're already home. And here-in lies the problem. I am addicted to homeschooling. It gives my days structure and purpose and when it is all kaflooey like it is right now I get all kaflooey internally too.
But in all this there is good. I am trying to keep this passage from Fr. Tissot's "How to Profit from One's Faults" in mind.
"The limitations we experience in carrying on our external work and internal affairs are very much a part of humility. And humility in it's turn begets and sustains generosity."
So February, and now March this year is not so much Spring as it is the season of embracing my limitations. Well, trying to. It appears that I am limited in this too.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rosie Today

Anthony hugs Rosie really hard. "Anthony, I love you my brother but you are too hug-idy."

"Do you know who made you that dress?" "Yes, Aunt Reenie! She's a really good uncle."

Practicing her "R" sounds. "W-w-wain. W-w-wocket. W-w-Wabbit. W-w-WOSIE!"

Friday, March 4, 2011

Here comes TROUBLE.

March 008

My kids are climbers, every one of them. I had sincere, but misguided, hopes that Cecilia was going to be a horse of a different color. I can hardly claim naiveté at this point, can I? Rosie was our first extreme climber. Recently she has actually mastered scaling the fridge from the front door of the fridge. The front door. Thomas is a master climber in his own right and far more energetic and persistent. He has forced the removal of sweets from four different places in the kitchen as he has been found repeatedly stuffing chocolate into his mouth on all manner of inappropriate occasions.

John and I have noticed that while observing the toddler world you can tell at a glance who is going to give you a run for your money and who you are safe to leave unattended for hours on end 2-3 minutes. The bad climber starts his ascendency by placing one leg atop a chair and pulling up with his arms. This is a child who is not going anywhere. Perhaps he’ll someday conquer the dining room table, but he better dream low because true heights are unattainable to him. The toddler who really has a future in harassing his parents knows that his legs are practically negligible in the equation and the arms play only a supporting role. It’s in his head that the real power lies – his disproportionally large cranium. “It’s like Sputnik!” He simply walks up to the first tier object (take the stool in the above picture as an example), places his arms on it and lowers his head. The body follows as a matter of course. Repeat the scenario several times and lo and behold, you have once again come upon Mommy’s secret store of Godiva.

CeCe has quite a large head. Sigh.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Happy day of 1st color!

february 097 


                 february 062february 054



                                     february 072february 082



                  february 088february 079