Tuesday, April 27, 2010

In Hiding

I'm hiding.
From my toddler.
In the far corner, beside my enormous desk. Oh, I love you, desky-hiding-place. I could almost climb inside you and type this.
Hush! It's not that mean! Don't pretend you have never hidden from your kids!
He's not feverish anymore. But he is not well either.
He is however, well enough to cause trouble, in the small moments that he has chosen to get off my lap.
Like throwing toys, repeatedly, at Cole while he does homework. And pouring juice out, all down the hallway.
Oh, and he's well enough to order me around like a small Castro, in between whining bouts.
"Mommmmeeeeee! SIT!" "Mommmeeeeee! Duice! 'Ont DUICE!"
"Mommmmeeeeee! Meet-ah! MEET-AH! 'Ont SHOW!" ("Meet-ah" = Mickey)
Oh Mickey. Your cuteness has waned. Oh recliner, your comfiness is gone.
Oh Phoenix. Get well, bud-bud.
Even a mischievous toddler is better than an under-the-weather one.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Photos! Fevers!

My pal Traci perked up my day spent holding a feverish toddler, with a dual post photo reveal!

You can see one shot here, and several more at T's new photo blog Traci Lord Photography. I will have a hard time choosing which shots to frame, I can tell you!

Enjoy... :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

As a follow-up to floors and photos

See me pat myself on the back?
And all because I remembered to fill you in on some things I mentioned last week. Majorly noteworthy! Stop the presses!
I have not been good with the follow-through around here.
Lo, many months ago I planned to write character sketches of each child - and only wrote about Jadyn.
Then, I planned to post about interesting & odd things people do in their yards - and I only took one lousy shot of a tree in full leaf. (It still has the playhouse wedged up high!)
So allow me one small smirk that I vaguely recall telling you about family photos and new flooring.
I am only bringing up the photos again (Traci!) because Traci! apparently got lost in 200 bags of mulch this week. Trying to soothe the ache of Mama's departure, and yardwork does it for our girl. I hope you got good and earthy, T! My back hurts for you. :)

And flooring! Oh, flooring! The purchase hath been made, and oh my heart is pitter-pattering!
The hardwood selected is sakura maple, with a black olive stain. Oh the beauty... oh the aged, distressed look it already bears... I have been assured that any new dings that it gets, say within the first hour (I'm betting - any takers?) will be easily filled in and only add character. We will be all about the character!
It will be two weeks to get it shipped and only 2 days max to install - oh joy!
While we were in the store paying up, I *accidentally* mentioned the rug shopping that will soon be necessary, and Rick got wide-eyed. (*cough*)
Me in a month - That rug was always there, sweetie! The Easter bunny brought it!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Notable Quotables

After a discussion on who our children look like, I stated emphatically that Phoenix should look like me, since he has cost me so much sweat equity.

Cole responded: "Mom, you get the dignity of having the babies, we get to look like them."

Jadyn, after we giggled all through lunch at Phoenix being a ham:
"Mommy, I think we're gonna miss Phoenix when he grows big."

Isabella, after a discussion on smoking & lifestyle choices, while Rick was having a cigar:
"You should only have ONE cigar, and then talk with your mother."

(This is mostly funny because of Isabella's personality, and penchant for off-the-wall remarks that crack us all up.)

And now the debut of Phoenix's first Notable Quotable! He is becoming quite the chatterbox, and has just exploded with words and sentences. I absolutely love this phase. We find ourselves repeating everything he says, and by "we" I mean all of us. The kids are as proud as if they birthed him themselves.

Phoenix: " 'Ont see dat spider!" (most of his sentences begin with "ont" - want.)

Whatever sentence doesn't start with "ont" starts with "Tole" for Cole. This is a case of absulote hero-worship. Phoenix wakes up each morning and starts asking about Tole.
"Sssh... Tole sleep." "Tole da bus." Tole downstairs."

He narrates Cole's day in short phrases all day long, and his day is made when he wears hand-me-downs of Tole's. Chest puffed proudly: "Dis Tole's toat." (Cole's coat) But sometimes it goes a little too far. As yesterday, when he knocked on the bathroom door.
I said "Who's there?" and Phoenix replied: "Iss Tole!"

Lastly, another Bella Boo remark. We were riding through town last week when an ambulance passed by.

Isabella yelled out: "Is Jesus in there?"
Me: "What?! Why do you ask that?"
Isabella: "I thought they could fix him up at the hospital."

A news program on the Shroud of Turin had stuck in her head, and she obsessed over the wounded Jesus for weeks after Easter...

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Flashback

I was looking back at pictures from last April, and it seemed so far away. One small year... so many sprouting sweeties.

Hello Rickey. Love of my life.

It's already happening. The memories of Phoenix crying 24/7 are fading, and being replaced by memories of this.

This about sums it up. Sweetness and light, in the moment. Bundles of kinetic energy frozen in time.

This is one of my favorite shots of the elusive photo-phantom Jadyn. Gotcha!

All photos taken on Apple Hill, in Moravian Falls, NC, April 2009. Steps away from where Rick & I met, 14 years ago...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

In Which I Own Up To My Bloggy Name

Hi! I am now borderline. Living in the borderland. It's true.
I don't know why it's more true now than before - it just feels more borderish. Like any day... might be that tipping point. And I might become That Mom. We have all seen That Mom. Either in person, or my personal favorite - on Oprah! For example, every time I consider having a drink around, oh, say noonish - I stop. I stop and I think to myself that it is only a small slide downhill from one drink at noon to being on Oprah as That Mom. Right? Though sometimes I also think, oh what a sweet slide down that would be...

At any rate, I am still safely perched on the near side of the borderland. I only wave over yonder now and then. This week was a "then" week. Like a week when all the juggling balls in the air might not get caught and re-tossed. Responsibilities at home, concerns about my mom and grandmother, extra projects, and work.

I haven't told you about my "job" and hey! - I don't know why I just put it in quotes. Like it's a fake job! If anything is truly a "job" then taking care of 7 children is A Job. That's better. Capitalization to the rescue.

My Job is helping my neighbor friend Rachael 3 days a week.

From 9-1 MWF I help juggle 7 children under 3.

Take a deep breath with me. Release. It's going very well, and all in all I am happy with the decision. Good thing, since I am up for doing it again in the fall, if we have enough babies to merit 2 adults.

So it was a week of keeping things under control, and on track, and all that. Next week will be another week. But thank goodness I am one of those "focus on the moment" people, so next week might as well be a world away. Or something like that. For now, I have 2 big things to look forward to.

Number One: The reveal of our First Family Photo Shoot! I am so excited to see the results, but have been very low-key, so as not to *bug* my friend Traci. :) Her dear Mom was visiting for a week. But really, I am already deciding which wall to clear off so that I can hang every picture on it, in a giant Lear Montage. Woot! The sneak peek she and I took, after the shoot, got me very excited about the possibilities. So, sometime in the near future you will be sharing the excitement with me! I can only tell you that I was wearing my favorite color, which would make any shoot seem dreamy. Blue! I can also tell you that in one solo shot of Rick & I, I had a come-hither look on my face. Shocker! Considering the anxiety of keeping an eye on The Four, and trying to look pleasant and composed - well, I don't know where THAT look came from. Mysterious.

Number Two: We are in the process of selecting hardwood for our family room and breakfast area floors. Woot, woot! This project is near and dear to my heart, as it has been a long road of savings that lead to it. A l-o-n-g road. It has also been a long road of drippy stainy kiddos, dripping and staining on our once-white carpet. But soon, no more! And the prospect is exciting, oh so very exciting. I may have to post an Ode To The Hated Stained Carpet, in celebration of its demise.

And there you have it friends. From here to there, and all along the borderland.

See you soon!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

A grandmother

I am thinking about my grandmother today, and also reading a story of mothers and daughters.
My mother tells me things about life. Things that she wishes she had known; things that she feels I need to know. Unsettling insights into bodies and aging - things that I cannot hope to avoid and so may as well know about.
My mother aches and weeps for her mother, and the trials that time has brought. It brings to mind her own grandmother, and the years that this same dance was done. Caring and feeding for another. Loving them with a heart that is cracking open with the sense of impending loss. My grandmother has clear sentiments on aging. No minced words or polite untruths. My mother has blunt sentiments on it as well - hoping desperately to remove the unknown future burden from us.

Oh to be a woman.

I am thinking about my grandmother, and her hot pink bathing suit. I am small, splashing in the river, most likely eating a fun-size candy bar. She is sunning on the pier, near the shore. Thinking on those days brings back a wash of small memories: the damp, cool side of the house we trotted along to reach the bunkhouse bathroom. The refrigerator drawer full of small candy bars, so cold and crisp in the heat. Still tasty, even dunked in the river. Our small feet all covered in sand, sneaking in and out of that kitchen. The cold smooth concrete of the carport.
I don't remember her stopping us. I only remember her reminding us to close the door, and not track on the carpet. We ate as many chocolates as our bellies could handle. And still showed up at the table for homemade mac 'n cheese. Fresh popcorn shrimp. Fresh corn, scraped off the cob so sweet and crisp.
We have had a lot of years together since then, and still those days stand out. Maybe it's the recent Easter, and remembering all the egg hunts at that river house. She didn't make it easy, my grandmother. Oh no - that hunt lasted. She put eggs under pine straw, and actually hid the candy. Not like plucking treats from broad daylight, no ma'am. We could all hunt and hunt, and still find hidden treats days later. She was tricky, my granny.
I can recognize it now, having been bystander to an egg hunt for 4 that lasted 5 minutes. Good grief. What wimps we are raising.
Next year, no more eggs out like sitting ducks. It will be a hunt, or it will not happen.
And maybe I'll get a hot pink bathing suit.

In her honor, this mother of us.
Lovin' you, Gig...

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Spring break day 1

Game, set, match - Phoenix.

At the end of the day, when the full milk cup was thrown at the flower vase - I conceded the match.

In the middle of the day, when the baseball bat walked into the house in his hands, in arms a-swinging, I was still going strong.

In the early morning, when the sippy cup flew toward my coffee mug, I was at my peak.

It was going to be A Good Day.

We'll be here all week folks! Thank you!
The girls are running around in utter delight, having raided the closet and found all the summer clothes. Yee-ha!! New clothes!!
Phoenix is running around, terrorizing the masses with a stinky diaper. Cole is encouraging the stinky-sharing, egging on the madman.

The day awaits and it promises to be beautiful.
Another Good Day, right?