Tuesday, July 29

another sad story in the news

Read this first:

This type of story seems to happen a lot, but every time I hear about it I get mad. And sad. I wish I could take that whole family into my home and show them what a caring and attentive family life should be like.

It still baffles me how people can think families aren't important. Families are what have the greatest influence in people's lives, whether for good or bad. So why aren't more people working to make them stronger, to make them better, so that they do more good than bad? This mom should have just written it in a note, because what she did to her kids clearly says, "I don't care about you children, who I made and choose to keep instead of giving away to a family who would care for you. I care more about alcohol than I do about you. And if I don't care about you, why should you care about yourself?" If anyone else in their lives had done this, a babysitter, a neighbor, a teacher, it wouldn't send quite as strong of a message as it does when their own MOTHER neglects them. And now those kids get to sit in foster care and in shelters, waiting for their mom to get her act together, bouncing from place to place with nothing secure to hold onto. It's beyond sad, and I'm praying for them that things will get better.

Monday, July 28

It's that time of year...

...when every lawn on the block is littered with brown spots because the water can't keep up with the heat of the sun.

...when it takes a matter of minutes for the laundry on the line to dry, but you still leave it out there for hours because you can't bear to go back outside.

...when people get so desperate to be cooled off that they spend hours filling up little tiny water balloons, only to spend 5 minutes throwing them at each other and wasting half of them because they hit the grass first. Just spray yourself in the face with the hose people, it's the same result with a lot less hassle.

...when you'd rather stick your head in an oven than get back into your hot car that's been sitting in the sun all day, because at least when your head is in the oven your butt is still in the air conditioned house.

...when I start to get sad because more than half of my summer is gone.

What's this time of year mean for you?

Friday, July 25

I think I jinxed it

Last night before going to bed I said to Jeremy, "Do you realize that Alexis has been pretty good lately?", meaning that we haven't had much of the stuff I complained about last week. Fortunately my almost 4 years of parenthood has hardened me and I knew better than to think we were out of the woods with this child just yet. That night we experienced one major meltdown around 2 AM, a time when none of us are at our best. She had to use the bathroom and dad can't help her because "wiping is a girls job" so she needed me. But was this said in a nice manner? Of course not. The fit she threw was so huge that we began to wonder if the devil himself had entered our child's body. Eventually she fell asleep and things calmed down...until she woke up. And most of the day she has looked like this:
Now she is napping, despite all her protests that "naps are boring". A blasphemous statement if I ever heard one, but I'll forgive her, she's only a child. And this afternoon we have a family birthday party to attend, so she and I will have limited interaction, which is usually safest on days like this.

Now. Here's a video of Tyler. I usually try to keep the videos I share on here around a minute and a half, but this one is approaching three minutes. I think it's worth your time, but that's because I think my kids are the cutest things since baby Gap. If you have cleanliness issues or problems with people who have food on their face, then this will probably make you sick and you are excused from watching it. Jeremy hasn't seen it but it would probably drive him kind of nuts. Anyway, we've tried to teach him how to say "I love you", so lately he says "love...YOU!" and points at you. It's very (need I say it again?) cute! So that's part of what he's doing in the video.

video

Thursday, July 24

cleaning out the cobwebs of my mind,with color!

Again, it's about 2 AM and I'm awake posting on my blog. I really am kind of lame that way. But child #1 woke up to tell me about some bees that were flying around her head tonight. And then child #2 woke up cold, and when I tried to go back to sleep I couldn't. Want to know why? Because my arms and fingers feel like they've been replaced with seaweed and pencils respectively, which makes typing this a little bit hard. My visiting teaching companion and I went rock climbing with two of the girls we visit teach tonight, and I haven't been in so long that it was extra, extra hard. And it sucked all the muscles and bones out of my arms and made my fingers stiff.

Plus, my stomach has been hurting for about 2 weeks. Now, I know that because I'm a certain age in a certain time period of my life and my youngest is almost 2, you all are about to jump on the "Lisa must be pregnant" bandwagon when you hear this. Well, jump right off. I've been feeling pretty nauseous fairly consistently throughout the day (and night) lately except when I do certain activities. For example, I went to the pool for three hours with my kids this morning and didn't have a single bother from my stomach. But when I walked in the house and was immediately faced with the tasks of getting the kids into regular clothes, making them lunch, and doing the laundry, all of a sudden my stomach hurt. Then I went rock climbing tonight and the whole time I wouldn't have even noticed that I had a stomach, but when I got home and saw my dirty kitchen, BAM, pain in the stomach. So here's what I've concluded: work makes me sick and I shouldn't have to do any. Those of you reading this, feel free to come on over anytime and take over for me. Don't worry about me, I'll stay out of your way; I've already got a stack of books that should get me through the first week or two. I'll work on getting more, though, because who knows how long this condition will last, it could be permanent.

So anyway, while laying in bed suffering all my many sufferings, I thought of something brilliant! Word processors and other computerized typing places need to have a "sarcasm" format. You know how they have italics for emphasis, and CAPS when you want to YELL ABOUT SOMETHING, and bold for...whatever bold is used for, well they need a little "sarcasm" format so when I want to say something sarcastic (which is often), but my writing is not strong enough to convey it (which is also often), I have the option of formatting it. For example, if I were writing some story about the grocery store and I wanted to say sarcastically, "I love those shopping carts with the kid car attached to the front that require a class A license to steer" some people might catch the sarcasm, but some poor soul out there might say, "Oh, me too, those are my favorite, how do I get that license?". However, if there were a universal format for sarcasm than we'd all be on the same page about the dumb shopping carts. Maybe it could be a combination of a color and italics. That part is still in the brainstorming phase, but frankly I think this is a genius idea and I don't know why something hasn't been done about it already.

Well, I suppose that now that I've got this heavy topic off my mind I can get to sleep, as long as my arms and my stomach cooperate. And of course all my legions of fans that have been waiting days for a new post can relax too.

Sunday, July 20

On the way home from a friends house tonight

Alexis: "Mom, what's the name of that place we went to with the rides?"

Me: "Liberty Land"

A: "Oh yeah, LiVerty Land"

M: "No, LiBerty Land"

A: "Yeah, that's what I said, Liverty Land"

M: "No, Lib-buh buh buh-erty Land"

A: "Liverty Land"

M: "No, say 'buh'"

A: "buh, Liverty buh Land"

M: "No, it's not buh land, it's liBBBBBBBerty Land"

A: "Oh, Liv-buh-erty Land"

M: "Yeah, Liberty"

A: "Okay, Livberty Land, right?"

M: "Sure"

A: "Mom, where are we going tomorrow?"

M: "To the fabric store."

A: "Yay, the faVric store!!!"

____________

On a completely unrelated note, look what I finally finished:

It's full of flaws and I got too lazy to quilt a wave border on it like I wanted to, but at least it's done, and I kind of like it.

Friday, July 18

Tyler, lately

Tyler seems to have entered that self-destructive, daring stage that most little kids (especially boys) go through. At least I'm hoping its only a stage and not a permanent way of being. He's standing on things that have no business being stood on, jumping off things that are too tall to allow for a graceful landing, and just being crazy in general. Within a matter of 24 hours he managed to inflict a head wound (that fortunately wasn't deep and didn't require stitches) and chip off a chunk of his front tooth.

Exhibit A:

Exhibit B: I'm just glad that this is the worst he's done. I know this is mild compared to some kids out there!

Fortunately he's still as sweet as can be and makes up for his recklessness by giving me about a thousand and one kisses a day. He also kisses every kid that will let him. He starts out by hugging them, then he grabs their cheeks so they have no choice, and he plants them one right on the lips. He repeats the process until the child either starts crying or runs away. Surprisingly no one has hit him--I think they are too stunned to know what to do.

Exhibit C:
You can't really tell from this picture, but poor Jane's cheeks are too small, so half of his hand is on her eye, yet she didn't complain. He does this to girls or boys, tall or short, he's not picky. And when you go talk to him at the end of a time-out session he gives you a hug and a kiss; it's tempting to put him in time-out all day. Also, he says baby cow all the time, but when he says it he uses a high pitched voice and it sounds like "beebee tow". Alright, enough gushing. I hope I've painted an accurate enough picture of just how. freaking. cute. he is.

Wednesday, July 16

more of the same

See this sweet face?


Try picturing it screaming:

"YOU'RE NOT MY BOSS!"
"YOU'RE NOT MY MOMMY!"
"YOU'RE NOT MY BEST FRIEND!"

Now welcome to my world.

My brain knows, KNOWS, that in order to be a good mom I cannot be her best friend (although maybe someday we can be when she's grown and her children are yelling the same things at her.) My brain knows that, but my heart is another matter. And it aches when she yells this at me. Because though I may not be her best friend, she is still mine. How am I supposed to handle these situations unemotionally?? I say it's not possible.

This morning after swimming she threw a HUGE, and I mean HUGE, fit because I wouldn't let her pick what shirt to wear. Never mind that I let her pick the shorts and the underwear, she just had to pick the shirt. So she spent a lot of time locked in her room crying and screaming and carrying on. And I cancelled everything we had planned, because part of the plan was to be babysat by grandma...and that is too much fun for behavior like that. So now we'll take a nap, after she's done with lunch. Which by the way, she requested "butter and frenchy and sugar and toast", and she just told me, "thanks mom, this is yummy. I love you mommy. Mom, I love you."

I tell ya, I've been on better roller coasters than the one we seem to be riding right now.


p.s. thanks for your encouraging comments from the last post. I could still use them if you've still got more to say
!

Sunday, July 13

puzzling

I sat down to write a nice pleasant post about something somewhat boring: schedules. But then I had to deal with putting Alexis to bed* and now I'm in the mood to vent.


Do you ever feel like banging your head against a wall because it has to be more enjoyable and less frustrating than what you are currently doing? That's how I feel after dealing with Alexis most of the time lately. While she is chalk full of wonderful attributes, she's also got some extremely difficult ones. Her main problem is that she is too smart for her own good. That might not make a lot of sense, but if you spend much time with her you'll realize it. She seems to mentally exhaust me everyday before 11 AM, and then I spend the rest of the day hanging on by my fingertips. Not only is she extremely curious and full of the never-ending "why", but she's also very persistent and doesn't know when to say when. You give her an inch and she'll take a mile. And lately she cries at the drop of a hat, which is really wearing on my patience. Right now she's crying possibly harder than I've ever seen, yet I don't want to give in to what she wants. I don't want to teach her that that's the way to get things. So what do I do? Really, I'm asking, what do I do?


I've been trying to be better about taking the kids out to do fun things, just them and me, so that I'm interacting with them more. But it seems like the more we go and do the more she acts out. She's almost acting like spoiled kids do, when they can have everything they don't appreciate anything. Maybe I am spoiling her too much. Maybe even though she is extremely social, too much noise and craziness really does affect her negatively. Maybe I just need to be more inventive with the activities we do at home where it's quiet and familiar. I know there are a lot of great moms that read this, so give me some more ideas of fun things to do at home!

I think I'm just going to have to draw a harder line. With her, no HAS to mean no, I can't give her any wiggle room. Which I hate because I don't like being hard on her all the time, and I don't like having to constantly tell her no. I guess I've got to step up my game and really think harder before I respond to her questions and demands. I need to increase my brain power somehow, maybe I ought to be taking those Omega 3 vitamins my dad gave me...


This child is definitely a blessing in so many ways. She forces me to step outside of my shell, and she definitely makes me work harder than I normally care to, but there's so much of her personality that I don't understand. She is a very complicated puzzle--like a 1000 piece puzzle of a cloudless sky. So wish me luck and give me lots of words of encouragement, because clearly I'm feeling a little defeated right now.


*She's normally very easy to put to bed but occasionally she wants to be impossible.

Tuesday, July 8

a bit morbid

I tend to be a nature loving, friend to the animals (except the ones I eat) kind of girl, and that includes insects. My philosophy is if a bug is outside I will not harm him or his habitat because that's where they belong, but if it comes in my home I'm allowed to kill it.

However, there are occasions when I make exceptions. Remember the bees, or wasps rather, from last summer? Well, they came back and this time I decided to be proactive about it since we do live right next to the pool. I didn't want them to ruin some one's family party by stinging everyone. Well, these wasps, after being politely asked to leave the front yard, traveled all of 15 feet to our backyard. I noticed them but they seemed to be nesting up pretty high (when actually they were in the barbecue) and I'm lazy, so I didn't do anything about it. Then one stung Alexis--and I got mad. So I (actually my dad) set a wasp trap and left it out for a few days. Nothing happened. I gave the wasps some credit and assumed they knew what that trap meant and left my yard to go bother someone else, so I let the kids out in the backyard again. This time they stung Tyler. On his face. And I got really, really MAD. They stung both of my kids in a matter of days, which meant I was no longer a friend to wasp-kind. I went to the store, bought some spray and I (actually my dad) fumigated their brains out. Later Jeremy and I went out and picked up all the dead ones so we wouldn't step on their stingers. But when I went out to fire up the BBQ tonight I saw two more out there that I had to spray.
This time I left their little wasp bodies out there as a warning to all the other wasps in the neighborhood. I hope they get the message before it's too late.



**As an aside, here's a picture that my sister in law took from our 4th of July weekend. I didn't realize we had it or I would have posted it sooner. Alexis loves fireworks, all except for sparklers. This is how she looked after a little spark from a sparkler touched her leg. It was tragic, to say the least. What was even worse was the reaction she got. I laughed, her aunt took a picture, her brother laughed, and her dad who was laying on the grass right next to her didn't even sit up to see if she was okay. Good thing she has a grandma who cared, or at least pretended to.

Sunday, July 6

6 years

6 years ago today, Jeremy and I got married. I don't want to get all mushy on you guys again, or quote another kids song (though "You Are My Sunshine" would work nicely), so I'll mostly just post pictures and you can all laugh at how young--and skinny--we looked. But first, in lieu of writing Jeremy a card ('cause I didn't get around to that) I will say that I am about 80% aware of how lucky I am. It amazes me everyday that while there are so many horrible marriages with men who take the commitment of marriage lightly, I've got an amazing husband. Jeremy loves me and he shows it. And I say I'm only 80% aware because I'm sure he does more for me and makes more sacrifices for our family than I currently know. He is truly more than I deserve. I'd also like to mention that we've both got parents who are approaching their 30th anniversaries and have been great examples to us of what a marriage takes and the proper way to treat your spouse. So thanks for that! Now onto the fun stuff. This was before digital hit it huge, so these are scanned in pictures...not the best quality.

I think that nice fat rock accentuates our skinniness, don't you?

ewww, kissing

Every time I look at this picture I just wish that I had rolled a marble or something down the train because to me it looks perfect for sliding something down. Weird, I know. Oh, and I also think "what a pretty dress!"

Pondering our future life together. Or thinking, "i hate cheesy poses!"

Look how young! This picture should teach you that I'm the kind of girl who's not afraid to squat in a wedding dress.

Wednesday, July 2

some summer shots

We're enjoying our summer in all sorts of watery ways. We've been swimming so much that my hands are permanently shriveled. To give myself an occasional break from the water I turn the sprinklers on in the backyard and let the kids run through that. And when we camped, we were by a creek, where Tyler would have spent hours throwing rocks...if I'd let him. Unfortunately I can only squat behind him with my hand on his pants (to keep him from falling in!) for so long.


He started with a diaper ON, I swear!


Grass on your face...the hazards of sprinklers.

Now if only I could get an invitation to go wake boarding from my in-laws, our summer would be complete! (Clearly I have no shame in dropping obvious hints.)