Monday, September 22, 2008

a weekend away!

well, i just returned last night from four whole days alone with my husband. that's right, FOUR DAYS! we've previously never left our kids for more than 48 hours, so this was heaven. it's not that i'm one of those moms that thinks i would miss them too much ( i was counting the minutes till we could leave) it's just that who on earth can i ask to keep four kids? so, we decided that we needed to get away and the only way to do so is to split them up. we carted them all of off to different people. my parents, sister in law & best friend. now, as if packing and preparing for six people isn't enough, last sunday we get a hurricane. in ohio. i'm not making this up. we had the remnants of hurricane ike here which produced winds up to 80 miles an hour, downing thousands of trees and knocking out power to 40.000 people just in our town. so we stayed here sunday night and when i awoke on monday, still no power. that means not only can i not turn on any lights, but i can't make coffee. somebody call FEMA, this is an emergency. as soon as my kids woke up (it took all my self control not to wake them) i got everyone ready and in the car. first stop, coffee shop. they didn't have power either, but were open making iced drinks. hot or cold, i don't care, as long as there's expresso in there somewhere. next stop was picking up breakfast for the kids and then off to drop off all of our groceries that had survived at our pastors house since he still had power. turned out, we didn't get power until tuesday night. we stayed at the in laws (who didn't have cable or phone, but did have electricity) thankfully, i really love my in laws. my mother in law is the best. she's so fun to be around, and so wonderful. not once during that time did i feel that she was put out by having us there. if i had raised all my children and had finally arrived blissfully at the stage of living alone with my husband, i think my children and four grandchildren might drive me a little bit crazy. but they were wonderful. my father in law is the man every person would want for a father. he tends to be on the quiet side, but when he speaks it's either very insightful or hilarious. and he would literally give you the shirt off his back. he'll drop anything and come and help you. i have a lot of friends who have less than desirable relationships with their in laws, i'm so blessed to have the ones i have. so after that beginning of the week, we were finally out of here! some plans had to be rearranged, since one of my childcare providers still didn't have power, but we were finally on the road. i was nervous about leaving my youngest, because he's my baby :) but i knew he was in good hands. we went to cleveland and stayed in a really nice hotel downtown. (pic above) we walked all over downtown, eating and talking and laughing and people watching. we went to cedar point, the rock and roll hall of fame, and took lots of naps! it was so nice to be able to have no schedule! with four kids, our life is very regimented and very scheduled. it's the only way to maintain sanity. so a break from that was so nice. we came home sunday and all the kids did great. on top of the wonderful love and care they were given, every single person sent their respective child home with a suitcase full of clean clothes. can you believe that? after keeping my kids for four days, they did their laundry too. it overwhelms me that i am so blessed to have the people in my life that i do. even the puppy had been given a bath and had a nice new collar on! we were so happy to see them all. we lasted an hour or so before we remembered why we needed a break in the first place.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

a few random pics

just a few pics. the girls at libby lu for the bean's birthday, samson

(the puppy) & an afternoon at young's dairy!

just another day in the life

yesterday was a long day. much longer than 24 hours. there is NO WAY that was only 24hrs. two kids with a cold (which makes them snotty and grumpy) and a vomiting dog. not to mention no husband. i think i cleaned up more human and animal bodily fluids yesterday than a zoo keeper and a nurse put together. i went through an entire roll of paper towels by noon if that tells you anything. so by the time naptime rolled around, i was ready. got allll the kids down together, the dog outside, and peace! there is nothing more wonderful than naptime. i love those kids and i love being home with them, but naptime is the only reason i can make it through the day without having a nervous breakdown. as i was putting them down, my four year old looks up at me and says "mama, am i still your cutest yittle grill?" (she has an adorable speech impediment). of course i melted :) i swear God puts those moments at exactly the right timing to remind me why i'm here. why i gave up a career i loved, why i don't get to shower every day, why i am still in my husband's boxers at 3 in the afternoon. it's all for these moments. when all the stress evaporates and you're reminded that you are here for them. it ain't always fun, it's definitely not glamorous, but the rewards are infinite.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

in Remembrance

today, the seven anniversary of 9/11, i cannot in good conscience write my usual humorous, sarcastic post. as i sit here, remembering that day with a clarity that i can't attribute to many other days in my life, i am humbled. there are those days in history, where everyone can tell you where they were, what they were doing when they heard. and somehow, sharing those stories is healing. i was on my way to work ( i was a case manager) and had just found out the week before that i was pregnant with my second child. i was running late that day and as i was driving i heard them talk about the first tower being hit on the radio. the dj's kept saying that if you were anywhere near a tv, you just had to see it. so i went back home (hey- i'm already late, what's a few more minutes?) i think at that point i assumed it was a small plane, just an accident. when i turned on the tv i was shocked by what was before my eyes. as i'm watching this report, live, the second tower was hit. at first, i thought they were replaying the first tower. then i realized what was going on. my mom, at that time, was a school nurse. i called her at work and asked if they knew what was going on. nobody did ( i wouldn't think anyone would have a tv on at the beginning of the school day). they turned on the tvs in all the classrooms, not realizing what horrors the kids were about to see. people jumping out of windows, firemen running out of the building holding small children, people running through the streets bloodied and hysterical. they quickly had to turn it off and my mom said she spent the rest of the morning comforting children who were having panic attacks. my husband was working at the dayton airport that day. they had no idea what was going on either until planes just started coming in all over and landing. finally, the foreman turned on a radio and they found out. he called me to make sure i was ok and to tell me not to go to work ( i was already there). my office was about 2 miles from Wright Patt Air Force Base, which is one of the largest in the country. i remember spending a good part of the day, holed up in our supervisors office, watching in horror. all i could think was "how can i bring another child into this world? we're going to war". that afternoon, our boss sent us all home. when eli got home, again, we just sat in front of the tv. suddenly, he looked at me and asked "did you hear that? it's a plane". we ran outside and before our eyes, air force one flew over our house. it was so low, you read the insignia on the side. every neighbor on our street was standing on the sidewalk watching, in complete silence. the thought that the president may be just a few miles from our house scared me even more at that point. our church had an emergency service that for worship and prayer. we went and i think i cried through the entire thing. those of you who know me would know that's not normal for me (i'm not a crier:) each year, on the anniversary, i watch foxnews in the morning. they replay their newscast in real time from that morning. although it's still upsetting to watch, i want to remember. i am honored to live in a country that stands up against terrorism and banded together in a way i've never seen before or since. i thank the firefighters, policeman and other service members who were heroes in manhattan on that day. i thank our president, who stood tall and made the right choices with the information he had, and has kept us safe from attack for the last seven years. i thank the men and women who have sacrificed it all to fight a war for our protection. i pray today for the families still grieving their loss. and i'll never forget.

where were you the day the earth stood still?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

fall is here

so, school has begun, which means i have resumed babysitting. i do daycare each year to pay for my children's tuition to private christian school. normally, i watch one child full time. this year (being the princess' last year home) i decided to do two part time jobs so that i would always have at least one day a week with just my kids. it just turned out that this week, i would have both jobs today. that's my two younges (21mths & 4), a 22mth old, a five year old, and another 21mth old. normally, i take my two oldest to school before any of these kids get here. i'm a big believer in teaching kids to be independent, so mine pack their own lunches and put their clothes out the night before. that way in the a.m., i only have to supervise them getting ready and get the two little ones ready. but this morning, i get in the car and it won't start. the battery is dead. now, my husband and i keep jumper cables in both of our vehicles (i've never had to use mine). but two days ago, i loaned mine to my brother. so i don't have any. i have to call my dad to come and jump the van. (and thank goodness he could do it, i wonder if i'll reach an age where i won't need to call my dad in emergencies?) by the time he gets here and it's taken care of , two of the babysitting kids have arrived. so i load all six of them in the car (that's right, five in carseats!) and off we go. we come home just in time for child number three to arrive. it's smooth sailing for about an hour, as we play outside and read a few books. suddenly, it's time to take the five year old to kindergarten. i get everyone in the car, five more carseats, and it won't start again! i have to get everyone back in the house and make some calls to get her a ride. that accomplished, it's time for lunch for the little kids. Note to self: never make three one year olds spaghettiO's for lunch. one of the three actually ate them, messily, but he tried. the other two decided it would be more fun to fling them at each other with spoons. that lasted about 30 seconds when i cleaned them up and removed them from the table. ( i also have a firm "i am not a short order cook" rule. in this house, it's eat it or starve.) so after a few minutes of being down from the table they decided it would be worth their time to return and finish lunch. luckily, after lunch, i let the puppy in and he cleaned up all the food on the floor :) ok, one more hour till naptime! we play blocks, watch blue's clues, and only have to break up one fight. finally, they all go down for a nap. thank you Jesus for naptime! so the moral of the story is this:

Watching 5 kids under 4: $50

Spaghetti O's, carrots & apple slices for lunch: $25

Getting them all down for a nap at the same time: PRICELESS

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

the most mature parents ever

last night, my husband and i had a standoff. let me preface this by saying that in general, we get along very well. we are one of those rare couples who very rarely don't get along. we just really like each other. but last night, we were both very tired and very stressed out. so we manage to get all four kids to bed, lunches packed, laundry put away and house clean. we sit down to watch a movie together. about five minutes in, it starts skipping. i ask eli to clean it off and he wants me to. i refuse and the standoff begins. we probably sat there for ten minutes, each waiting for the other one to give in and do it. the phone rings and i answer it, a call i need to take. when i'm finished, he's still sitting there. eventually, I get up and clean the DVD. by this point, i'm furious. so for the remainder of the movie, a comedy none the less, i refuse to smile or laugh (even though it really was funny). afterwards, we go to bed, still not speaking. as i think about it today, i realize how COMPLETELY ridiculous the whole thing was. just goes to show that sometimes four kids gets to even the happiest couple! i know when he gets home from work tonight, i'll need to apologize for my lack of maturity, which i really dislike doing :) maybe tonight we could try movie night again. and if it starts skipping, it's HIS turn to clean it.....