laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Love The Ones I’m With


This last week, I have been a terrible mother. Ok, so maybe not like worst mother in the universe, terrible, but the kind of terrible where if you knew me, and you witnessed my mothering this last week, you’d think I lost my marbles. Maybe I have.

This week is the 3rd due date anniversary to our sweet baby we have yet to meet. I have been preparing myself for about a month, and this week I have been so busy busy-ing myself and being so wrapped up in my own inner stuff. Grieving a life not known, but not unloved. I became so focused on what I had lost, that I’d all but forgotten to pay attention to the ones things I still have. I don’t mean that to say they take the place, or make up for, the baby we lost. Because as any parent knows, one child can never replace another. No matter how much you love any of them.

This week, I have taken my loves for granted. I have cried, and moped, and yelled, and been all around cantankerous. I did not explain it to my husband, until yesterday, because I was in my dark place, and in that dark, cavernous room, I expect him to remember and to know, even though his body doesn’t remind him the way that mine does. I have wanted all my closests to just know what I was going through, and to not have to explain it. So instead, I spent my days in the dark place and cried to myself.

And then there’s the people kids things that are too young to understand, even had I explained why mommy was behaving like a crazy person… when my irrationality, my irritability, my lack of patience… none of that was their fault, although I’m sure, at least at times, it must’ve felt that way to them. :/ Although they do understand so much more than we give them credit for. Littlest has been in a mood that can only be compared to my own, and yet I still wonder why he seems so out of control. (Hello, pot, I’m kettle.) Miss, well she keeps looking at me, with a look that can only be described as one that says, I will be tiptoeing around this crazy lady. And she has asked me repeatedly, You’re just sad, aren’t you? And Biggest… well, he’s always been the most intuitive. Last year, around this time, he came up to me crying, big, crocodile tears. When asked why he was crying he said, I just really miss my sister. When I was very confused and said, but she’s just in her room. To which he replied, “No, not Miss, the sister that was the baby in your belly that went to go be with God.” Yeah, that happened. A little Heaven is For Real, right? {sidenote: we do not know the gender of the baby we lost, but I have always felt that it was a girl, but Biggest did not know that.}

Ok, so back to me… I’m out of control. I finally told hubbyman yesterday. He came home with a big thing of bright, cheery flowers for my table. I love them. And him. And strangely, as soon as I told him…I felt so much more at peace. Maybe the whole problem was that I’d convinced myself I was in it alone, and I’m not.

But in the midst of all the emotion, I was so focused on what I didn’t have, what I couldn’t have, that I lost sight of the blessings that I do have.

Biggest's teeth are falling out! It's so cute!

Biggest’s teeth are falling out! It’s so cute!

oh, my Miss.

oh, my Miss.

Littlest. He's not staying so little. But he's still napping. Hallelujah!

Littlest. He’s not staying so little. But he’s still napping. Hallelujah!

My E's

My E’s

Today, I’m going to just love them, hug them, encourage them, support them, laugh at with them, chase them, run  them ragged with them, hide with them, seek with them, and enjoy them. And then put them to bed before they can drive me too crazy early.

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The Dog Is Wet


This will kind of go along with my last post, but you know those days where you wake up gently, you stretch, yawn, and smile… embracing your day happily? I think I can remember waking up like that. But I was probably 11. How did I wake up this morning, you ask…

Moooom, I peed!

What?

I think I peed on the dog!

What?

I was cuddled up with him and I peed.

I’m going back to bed.

What?

Go get in the bath while I get my coffee.

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The Tale of the Master of Distaster (And His Sidekick)


So… you know those days where you feel like you’re so on top of it all? The dishes are done and put away. The laundry is washed, folded, and put away. The children are bathed, fed, and napping? If you do, leave. Right now. And never return. Unless you’ll tell me your secrets, and then I’ll wait patiently at your feet. Either that or I’ll out you as a bold-faced liar.

I will admit, lately, I have felt pretty on top of things. Laundry got caught up on. Dishes get washed. (Ok, so they’re not put away until the next time I need to wash more, but I can live with that.) My children have been fed. And bathed before public appearances. I even rearranged and did some redecorating of the house. For the most part I’m feeling more zen these days. More in control. More like I can actually survive having had three children in three years. (Ok, 3 and a half years)

So I did my salsa making and canning with a girlfriend. While it’s debatable whether or not it took less time to do it together, with all of the children between us, it was definitely more fun that way. Well, my dear friend is recovering from meningitis and left me all alone my own with two 5 gallon buckets of tomatoes for sauce. I got brave (or the fear of  having to admit that the tomatoes went bad before I got to them to my husband took over). I took out all of the tomatoes and set them on the bench to make sure they were all good, throw out the bad ones, etc. After I did that, I started getting out the pots and pans, and bowls and everything I needed to turn these lovely ‘maters into even more lovely pasta sauce.  And then this one called to me from her room, downstairs….

The Miss E

So I went to go help her with whatever crisis she was currently facing.

I returned to find that between these two, disaster had ensued:

Littlest E …aka The Master of Disaster

Sidekick of The Master of Disaster

What did I find when I came back upstairs? Well, I’ll tell you. I found all of my tomatoes being thrown on the floor, off the table and bench. I found the dog either trying to do a grape stomp, or eat them, catch them… whatever he was doing, he trampled them. In hindsight Littlest was probably clearing the bench and the pup was probably trying to catch them. That or they really were trying to ruin my life. Regardless. I found my tomatoes being smashed on the floor with the sidekick trampling them. Upon finding them in this state, I immediately yelled for the dog to get away from the tomatoes. I forgot our dog is a big, huge baby who gets his feelings hurt. He immediately began to pee. All over the tomatoes. The trampled, peed on tomatoes. There went any thoughts I had of rescuing them.

Thankfully, this one was a good helper during clean up.

Biggest

Thankfully, a glass of wine helped. And in the end, I still love them.

 

Next time, I’ll just buy my pasta sauce.

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The Lowest Of Blows


I know, I know… I’ve been MIA, continuously. And I’m still clinging to the fact that I will be back to blogging on a more regular basis! Last weekend (yes, just shy of two weeks from when hubbyman fixed my laptop) hubbyman accidentally knelt on top of my laptop’s screen. Don’t ask how it happened, I’m still not sure. I saw it coming, and even though it seemed to happen in slow motion, I was not able to react in time. Sadness. But at least he had practice in fixing it. I teased joked half-joked seriously told him to buy two screens, just so we were prepared. As a good hubbyman, he immediately ordered a new screen the next morning. And yesterday, it arrived! He tried to tell me he wasn’t sure if he had the tools to fix it at home, but I caught him trying to fix it a short time later. And he did! Yay! So now he’s not allowed to use it. I may have to hide it from him.

That fun stuff said… I couldn’t help but include you lovely in something I witnessed in our crazy household this morning; I heard some yelling and went to investigate and this is what I witnessed:

MissE is standing at the top of the stairs and delivers what those who know her best is the lowest of all blows, yells down to her brother:

FINE! You are NOT handsome anymore!

When there’s no response, she continues yelling it again.

Finally, her smart brother responded by yelling back up to her,

FINE! You ARE the prettiest girl!

Oh, I am so thankful for those funny, fleeting moments that get me through the day! And the kids who spurt them! And I’m also thankful that I get to go and babysit my nephew tonight! A few days ago- he smiled at me! I need to keep up with that trend and since I won’t see him for a month! (He’s only just a month old, so the idea of not seeing him for a whole month is a little devastating!) Anyhow, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to get a few more smiles, solidify my role as Queen of all Aunties, and maybe give his parents a bit of a break. I’m also thankful for the Kings of the Uncles who will have my kiddos on Saturday while we go have a day/afternoon/evening of fun and outdoor games with friends (and cocktails)! And I’m thankful for a hubbyman who is able to fix most of the things that he breaks.

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Just Run


I woke up this morning not feeling so hot. I’m hoping it’s just my allergies, and not whatever Biggest had. Because a)Hubby got a promotion/new position and they’re having a happy hour for him that I get to attend (which means we also have a babysitter! Thanks My Big Cloth Adventure!), b)I’m supposed to watch the Little Pumpkin that belongs to the mama from My Big Cloth Adventure on Friday night. and lastly (and probably most importantly!) I am awaiting “the call” from my sister-in-law to let me know it’s time to get my doula shoes on and go! So let’s all cross our fingers, say a prayer, send out some light and love… and have me not be sick! I am actually feeling a ton better than when I woke up, so I *think* I’m in the clear! My grandma is in town from another state, to hopefully be around for the baby’s birth, so I have been staying up late trying to get things in order and cleaned and prepared so that I can steal her away from my parents for a couple of days! Things are now all organized! (I even reorganized my pantry closets!)  I just have some CLEANING to do (you know, dusting, vacuuming, mopping… the fun stuff.) Anyways, I thought maybe you would enjoy this snippet of conversation as much as I did!

MissE: Why do we have to walk everywhere?

Me: We don’t have to. We like to. And the store is really close, so why not walk.

MissE: Can’t we just drive?

Me: Well, Daddy’s at work, so he has the truck.

MissE: Can’t Daddy just walk to work?

Me: No, it’s too far to walk. It would take too long.

MissE: Then he should just run.          

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Well, This Is Fun


So after a busy, very full weekend (Can I say that if Saturday was the only busy, full day? It was really busy and full!)… and we like things to end with a bang around here. Unfortunately, Sunday’s “bang” came in the form of Biggest getting a stomach bug that really got the best of him. I sat in front of the computer screen yesterday, willing myself the energy to type, but when you go to bed at 6am and get up a couple hours later… blech. Biggest seemed much better by afternoon, and by evening we’d thought he really kicked it. Until he marched into our room at 5am to inform us that he really needed to throw up. I, of course, was like, Go, child! Go! He did sleep in until 10 and I’m hoping to do a better job of encouraging him to nap today. He claims he’s all better today, but it still unwilling to eat. He is very thirsty, so that’s a start. Anyone else feel like this last month or so has just been on kid getting sick after another? I feel that way.

And I was totally on a roll and knew *exactly* what I wanted to say today… and then the Jehovah Witness folks rolled up and squashed my momentum. *Sigh*

For those of you parents out there (AND Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, Babysitters, Nannies), do you ever struggle with finding projects or things for you kids to do when they’re still sick enough to stay home and out of the public, but not sick enough that they feel like sitting still? C’mon, it can’t just be me! Well, this last weekend my sweet little family, along with some friends, attended The Great Cloth Diaper Change. It was fun! They had an awesome table that was brought by Let’s Talk Kids, who’s byline is Giving you the tools to raise healthy, happy children. They have a variety of ideas for activities, arts & crafts, recipes, and more! And they e-mail you weekly with a new activity/recipes/answers to frequently asked caregiver questions! It’s pretty awesome!

Their activity at the Change? Take a circle of paper, I’d think construction paper would work best (that’s what they used). Put a few drops/glops of different colors of paint all over the circle and….. get this, you stick in a salad spinner! I have a cheap, plastic one (I’m totally going to get more, just for this purpose!) so I am more than fine with it going the way of the kids! And it makes a really fun design out of the paint, after being spun. I, of course, forgot my children’s art pieces, but never fear, we will be doing this again!

I was going to let the kids do this again now, but Biggest is back to putting the basin I carried around in pregnancy to good use. (Sad face) Hopefully he can keep something down today so he doesn’t have to go in for an IV. *big sigh*

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My Eyes! My Ears! They’re Everywhere!


There’s something about this last week that has left me feeling like I have a newborn. Up in the night, crowded bed, awakened by crying… except with a newborn all you have to do is feed them and they’re happy again, and you get to have a teeny-tiny personal all snuggled up to you. These things need specific foods, and it’s never what I’m trying to give them. And where did that stupid box of Kleenexes go? Or the other three of them I just bought? And Littlest pinched Miss. And Miss is trying to shove Biggest out of the rocking chair because she was sitting in it first. Because she was the last to sit in it last night, that counts as first for today. Even though her older brother has been cozied up in it, quietly reading a book for the last half hour. Other than that book he just threw as I walked by- so that I could put it away for him and get him another one.

Suddenly, I find myself wide-eyed, and frustration burning in my ears. They get very quiet and lean as far back as they can, away from me. They know it’s coming. They can hear the kettle’s steam whistle a’whistlin’… I take a very long, deep breath. I close my eyes and I pray outloud. Lord, let me love these crazy, little children. Let me see them the way you see them today. 

They looked back and forth between each other. They looked at me skeptically. Are your eyes not working? I hear a small voice ask. Another one chimes in with, Do you not have eyes everywhere anymore? Followed by a whisper between them, Maybe she won’t be able to see us when we’re playing in my room anymore. C’mon, let’s go.

I don’t even bother suppressing my laugh. I just laugh. And I see them. Finally starting to see some relief from the cold/allergy plague that’s kept them down this past week. Tired from their coughing waking them up at night. Stir crazy from being trapped inside, between the sudden cold snap and their colds. But from amid all of that, they see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Mom may have gone crazy enough that she no longer can see us getting into trouble when she’s not there. 

And just like that, I am snapped back to reality. I see kids who are tired of not feeling well. MissE has asked several times in the last few days, What can I do to feel better? or Will this make it so I don’t feel like this anymore? And I have made homemade chicken noodle soup, which then turned into chicken pot pie (apparently adding peas and corn made it the most amazing meal for them!). I have made fruit smoothies and poured countless glasses of orange juice. I  have taken more showers in the last week (while holding a little one) than I normally do in a month. Ok, that may be an embellishment. But honestly, not by much. And finally I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Snot is drying, coughs are abating, and a little bit of sleep was even to be had. So there is the light. I may have to drag them by their shoestrings, or lure them with chocolate… but I’m dragging them to that light.

{Overheard}

(Biggest E:)You need to flap your wings some more.

(MissE:) Like this? Ok, here I come.

(LittlestE: )Turn! Turn! Mine! Fly! Me!

(MissE:) Do you think Littlest should take a turn?

(Biggest:) No, MissE, he’s too little to fly. Oh, I guess he wants to. Ok, let him try.

(Me:)  No more jumping off the top bunk, and for the hundredth time, do not teach your brother to fly!

(Biggest:) Do you think all her eyes are working again?

(MissE:) Yeah. [whispers] Least she doesn’t have ears everywhere so can’t hear us being naughty.

(Me:) Yes, I do. And I heard that.

(All): Scream.

Biggest: We’re never going to have any fun!

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Lego Land


So we missed out on visiting my brother yesterday. And Biggest spent a good chunk of time, unmoving, on the couch. Which is pretty unusual for him. By lunch time he was willing to go for a quick stroll to the store for smoothies (hello! pump this boy with Vitamin C!) and ham! (2 of my Bigger Two’s favorite foods. Roll it in spinach and they’d be set for life. I know, my kids are  funny, little creatures.) Ok, so I maybe, might have, insinuated that he could pick out a redbox movie. But that wasn’t until we were already on the way to the store. If he really didn’t feel good enough, I would not have taken him. He’s not like death bed sick, but he’s cold sick. Where he has a cough when he lies down, has a bit of the sniffles (thankfully it’s not like the snot running down his face kind), and is all around stuffy. Which, obviously, doesn’t feel very good. But we were down to our last box of tissues and Biggest thought it would be cool to pick out his very own box.

The trip was rather uneventful. Littlest fell asleep while walking around the store. (And of course woke up as soon as we strolled into the driveway.) On the way home we received a phone call from another brother of mine. Whatcha Doin’?  He asks in a tone, that for him, always means, I’m a little bored and wondering if you have something to do that I’ll think is fun. That or, I miss the kids. Or I’m hungry, what are you making for dinner? But I digress. I told him of Biggest’s congestion woes and said we’re mainly just having a snuggle-up-on-the-couch kind of day. Having a feeling he’d be showing up, I picked up a couple of his favorite snacks and headed home.

The kids quickly snuggle up on the couch, munching on their ham, to watch a movie while I try to quickly do some “sprucing” before their uncles arrive. Thankfully our deck is arranged in such a way (with lattice for sides so that there’s no railings or slots or anything to worry about children slipping through) that a baby gate keeps Littlest in and he is free to “color” to his hearts content. By color I mean, eat chalk. Since that’s mainly what he seems to do.

Can you see the chalk on his face and the corners of his mouth (from eating it)? Its also all over his legs and arms.

Lo and behold, the Uncles show up. Along with over 15 lbs (that’s right, POUNDS) of legos. Biggest squeeled in delight. MissE squeeled in delight. Littlest dumped it all out, in delight. I also knew hubbyman would love this as well. In fact, I’m not sure who enjoyed building legos more. Biggest or his Uncles.

the tower started out as the chrysler building, but between all the other things being built, he ran out of blue and yellow. The tower is close to 4 feet tall.

While he is still a little sniffley, but he slept all night through- in his own bed. Wanted breakfast. And wanted to play legos vs watch a movie. So I’m thinkin’ that’s progress.

Welcome to Lego City

So…. I’ll just get to it. I am soooo thankful for such wonderful brothers who are amazing uncles!

I am thankful that even though visit with one uncle didn’t work out, we were able to reschedule for this weekend!

I am thankful Biggest didn’t get really sick.

I am beyond measure thankful that Littlest is more than well on his way back to his happy, clowning self.

I still can’t eat in the same room with him (or he won’t eat. He’ll just climb out of his high chair and cry and fuss and WILL.NOT.EAT.), but he has started eating more. And is overall happier. Which means hubbyman can come home without me bursting into tears for the first time in weeks.

I am thankful for a girl who is so mothering that she takes all of Littlest punches with humor. Sometimes literally. (*Sigh*)

I am thankful for warmer weather. (I’m just itching to get the garden all planned out and started)

I am thankful for all the flowers I transplanted from the house I grew up in. It is so fun to see them grow, and know where they came from.

I have more to be thankful for but they’re not quite ready to be shared (No, no baby news… why does everyone go there?). Hopefully next week there will be more to be thankful for, that can be shared out loud! (Or online…)

 I’m thankful for hubbyman. My feet get so cold at night, I could never sleep without him.

Also, I am thankful for legos.

I am also thankful they're keeping them off of the floor and out from under my feet!

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DumbA of the Week Award


Want to feel like mother of the year? Well, let me tell you some things you should maybe not do then…

  • Do not forget to change baby IMMEDIATELY. Unless you want to be covered in pee.
  • Do not forget to take Littlest potty (first!) before letting him take off naked. Unless you want the floor to also be covered in pee.
  • Do not forget to read the labels of all foods. Even if it’s something you think they’ve had before. Especially if it’s a different brand. Unless you want you Celiac-ridden child to be sick to her stomach, unwilling to do anything but lay around like a wet noodle.
  • Forget to feed you oldest breakfast, unless you want to be asked why you’re trying to starve your children. And that you don’t really love him anymore.
  • Don’t decide not to pick up milk the night before so that you ca just take a walk to the store. Unless you want you a guarantee your day won’t go as planned. And you’ll still have no milk.
  • Don’t give the baby a bottle of water (when he’s requested milk). Unless you want said bottle thrown at your head. And then to be asked if you’re not feeding Littlest because you want him to shrink and starve too (said Biggest).
  • Don’t wear your favorite, new, or anything else you’d like to wear again when you have a kid with an upset stomach. Unless you want a visualization of what’s making said tummy upset.
I feel I should also mention that last night I locked my keys in the car. We were meeting my dad to pick up biggest’s car seat that had been left in their vehicle. The whole trip was spent with MissE going on and on about how unsafe it was to ride without a car seat. Only to have her have to ride home without one. And then get so caught up talking that the fact that you’re heading to Dad’s house, and not where the truck is, goes by unnoticed…

I could go on, but I won’t, for my own sanity’s sake. Let’s just say, today is not going as planned. And my reactions to it, well, they’re not winning me any mother of the year awards. So I’m going to make some of MissE’s favorite soup (broccoli and cheddar) and do some cuddling. And hope that’s enough to win back some of their mother love. And maybe some of my own.

I wonder if I can use my wine slushie mix with Vodka? Seems like a good day to investigate.

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Siblings


I planned to write earlier this morning, but well… life. Actually, I planned to write this yesterday, but the fact that it was the last day of winter and  over 80 degrees, well, it begged to be appreciated. And with a yard full of oak trees (which means half fall in the autumn and the rest fall in the spring), the grass was also begging to be appreciated. So the kids played chalk, dinosaurs, and spent time on the swing set while I raked, and raked, and raked some more. The only things not appreciative of this day are my hands and their numerous blisters. (Note to self: Next time wear gloves. Or better yet, use the leaf blower.)

As I raked, I listened to my children playing together. Biggest is into the classic (or vintage) Spiderman, so they spent some time pretending that one was Spiderman, one was Iceman, and Miss was Firestar. Biggest would generously ask his siblings every half hour or so if they were thirsty, and then run in and get them glasses of water. It was very sweet. Until Littlest put 3 things of chalk inside his water glass, and then continued to drink it. His shirt is now a little bit tie-dyed. I’m choosing to continue viewing those moments through my-children-are-so-sweet-to-each-other glasses.

Growing up,  my brothers and I certainly had our share of disagreements, as all children do. But the majority of the time we just were playmates and friends. The same is true today. My brothers and I are very close. They are my best friends and the greatest babysitters. One of my brothers and I would get into trouble together, another only ever got in trouble when covering for the other one and I. When I’m hurt and crying, my brother is who I call. When I am excited and have news, my brother is who  I call. When I am lonely and need a friend, my brother is who I call. When my brother (who restores and refinishes vintage furniture) comes across an exciting find, he calls me. When my brother is sitting in an airport waiting for a flight (he is a missionary who travels out of the country frequently), he calls me. When my brothers are in need of assistance, they call me. When they are in need of nephews or a niece, they call me.

I can only hope that my children will continue to grow to be friends, supporters, encouragers, playmates, secret-sharers, and secret keepers for each other. That as they grow they will find the love and support of family along with the  fun and laughter of friends in their siblings.

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