Friday, December 30, 2011

Amelia Jayne Richardson

Announcing the arrival of

Amelia Jayne Richardson

Born 12:36 pm on December 29, 2011
5 lb. 15 oz.
17 3/4 in.

We LOVE her!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Six hours from now I'll be at the hospital getting ready to have a baby! Nervous, excited, terrified...I can't believe I'm going to be facing down labor again.  What was I thinking?  I told Chance, I feel like I've gotten on a roller coaster and have started up that terrifying incline.  My heart is pounding and I just want to get off the ride, but its too late....the ride isn't quite over yet.  The scary part is coming...

The good news is that no matter how awful it turns out to be, it is only temporary.  And in the end I'll get to finally meet my baby girl.

"We have a secret in our culture, and it's not that birth is painful. It's that women are strong." 
~Laura Stavoe Harm

Friday, December 9, 2011

Wednesday Wednesday

Warning:  long post ahead.

Wednesday was an insane day.   I haven't had time to organize a post about it until now.  It started out fine.  I spent the day being somewhat productive.  I made a baby blanket for our mystery girl.  I bought myself received a new sewing machine last year that rocks.  It's not too complicated, works perfectly and is called "The Audrey" which I interpreted to mean Audrey Hepburn and that makes it even cooler.  I'm still learning all the sewing terminology:  bobbins, pressure foot, thread tension, etc. (Whatevs.  I just want the needle to poke the fabric and sew it together.)  Over Thanksgiving, Danielle and I found some adorable flannels on super sale.  I decided to make some receiving blankets because I thought to myself ... "It's a rectangle.  How hard can that be?"  And "that's such a good mommy-ish thing to do for my new baby."  Of course, I didn't factor in the fact that I'm pregnant and completely brainless these days.  It really is just a rectangle and isn't all that difficult for normal people; but I'm sewing impaired.  I had to make two phone calls (to my grandma and MIL) and study the machine's instructions for 20 minutes before I figured it out.  (Yes, the machine is easy to use, but I forgot how to thread it.)  And then... Success!  TaDa!  Here is blanket #1:

Not bad, huh?  I was so proud of myself.  Unfortunately, Chance didn't praise and admire it as much as I deserved.  He's so ... masculine about everything.  How hard is it to say the blanket is adorable and I'm the sexiest wife and mother ever for making it?  So I had to post it on Facebook to pump up my ego.  Thank goodness for Facebook friends who made me feel like a domestic diva.  I also made another one Thursday:

My baby is so lucky to have a mom like me, right?  Um.....sure.

Back to the rest of the day....It was in the midst of sewing and other things that I noticed baby girl wasn't moving around much.  She wasn't responding to the usual stimuli - eating, ice water, lying on my side, Reese's pb cups, etc.  Her movement counts were unusually low - not her usual self.  I had to call the doctor's office about other matters and mentioned the decreased movement.  Remember my high risk pregnancy status?  I go in for check ups twice a week to check for placenta problems and possible preeclampsia onset.  After a brief consult with one of the doctor's I was ordered to come in for an emergency NST/ultrasound in Tacoma.  Saying "come in right now" to a pregnant mom is stupid.  I freaked out a little.  I looked at my clock and noticed that the kids were getting out of school in 4 minutes.  So, I frantically called the school, my neighbor to watch the kids and Chance and got on the road while sobbing like a crazy emotional pregnant woman.   And then I worried the whole way there.  I ate most of a bag of mini Reese's peanut butter cups as I tried not to think about the people I know who've lost a late term baby or the fact that Chance was probably dying in a car accident at that moment as he raced from work to meet me.  And of course, there was an unexpected construction detour along the way.  Plus, I have never felt so disgusting as I did that afternoon.  I looked at myself in the mirror and realized my face was bright red, I hadn't combed my hair or done anything with myself all day.  And I could smell that I needed a shower .... badly.  Thank goodness doctor's and nurses are so forgiving. 

But...all is well!  Baby girl was just sleepy.  She performed wonderfully in her ultrasound and all my other vitals, etc were perfect.  It was an exhausting afternoon that ended with good news.  (Oh, and a side note about the Reese's pb cups....its OK that I ate them.  I have gestational diabetes, but my doctor told me I can have a little somethin' if my "mood" calls for it.  Plus, I'm on a pill which means I can cheat whenever I want totally helps out if I accidentally eat too many carbs or something.)

We returned home, picked up the kids and immediately ran to the school for Tyler's very first 5th grade band performance.  He started playing the trumpet a couple of months ago just like his dad did when he was younger.  It was an interestingly discordant musical experience that went on and on.  Emma and Noah practically passed out from boredom.  But baby girl woke up and kicked and wiggled all night to the "music."  Tyler's group was the youngest band with only a couple months experience.  They were adorable and very ... squeaky.  I loved it.  I even recorded their last song "Jingle Bells" so that I could share it.  Tyler is right in the middle behind the girl with the horn (I can't think of the name of that horn right now.  I was never in band.  I played the piano, OK?)


[Update:  Well, it turns out that blogger hates me or hates my video or hates 5th grade bands.  No video clip for now. Sorry guys!  I'm sure you're really sad about this.  But just imagine a bunch of 10 year olds playing instruments that they picked up for the first time 6-8 weeks ago.]
Aren't they adorable?  I smile every time I watch it.  And Tyler was pretty happy with himself, too.  After a worrisome afternoon, it was nice to watch my boy proudly toot his horn!  (Chance is groaning out loud right now.)  Here he is with his with his cool new trumpet and clashing belt.  (*Sigh* Will that boy ever learn?)

"Of all the rights of women, the greatest is to be a mother."
~Lin Yutang

And speaking of bad days....Here is my favorite iPhone auto-correct right now.  It is actually from early this year and was voted one of the top most hilarious auto-corrects of the year.  So, if you're into this stuff, you've probably seen this before.  Chance just showed it to me the other day.  It made me laugh so hard, I cried. And then I went into a full-blown low blood sugar attack - uncontrollable sobbing due to low sugar. It took Chance and the kids a few minutes to figure out what was happening with me.  Ah...pregnancy is such fun.  Enjoy!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Trimming the Tree

Decorated the tree tonight. I only lost my temper twelve times. Noah and Emma each had an emotional meltdown, Tyler had two; and Chance hurt his back. But it's done! Merry Christmas!

The pictures aren't great; not unusual when we do anything indoors in the evening.  The lighting is terrible.  Chance purchased these elf hats and reindeer antlers last year on clearance.  The antlers light up and are fun to see in the dark.  He was so excited to give them to Emma.  She sobbed for 30 minutes because she didn't want to be a reindeer and only wanted to be an elf.  After that the boys started fighting about their hats so I took all of them away until they could appreciate them.  About 30 minutes later Emma decided that she didn't want to be an elf afterall and that reindeer antlers are where it's at anyway. 

Every year, one child has the honor of placing the the star on top of the tree.  They rotate each year, but for some reason, we cannot remember who did it last year.  I'm hoping there is a picture somewhere.  Anyway, all the kids insisted that it is their turn this year so we decided to let each of them have a turn putting the star on top.  That didn't help Chance's back pain, but no more fighting and no tears.  So, even though we had a load of drama and fighting over ornaments the night ended happily with a few shots in front of their masterpiece. There wasn't any rhyme or reason to their decorating, but the tree turned out pretty good. The house feels a little more cozy now. 

P.S.  Don't ask me what Emma is wearing.  She is growing out of all her clothes and that was the first ensemble she put together that didn't show her tummy or underwear.  Tyler has on a weird outfit because he's 10 and doesn't care about outfits.

"You call this a happy family?  Why do we have to have all these kids?"
~George Bailey, It's A Wonderful Life (1946)

Song in my head right now:

So tonight we pray for what we know can be
And on this day we hope for what we still can't see
Its up to us to be the change and even though we all can still do more
There's so much to be thankful for

~Josh Groban, Thankful

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Case of the Grumps

Everyone is so grumpy lately.  You'd think the Christmas spirit and all that would have taken over by now.  Maybe its because we haven't decorated our tree yet.  Maybe its my hormones.  I am so tired of the grumpy around here.

The kids freak when I give them chores after school.  Honestly, this isn't new.  Why all the protesting?  They have a snack and do their homework.  Then they have to do whatever quick cleanups need to be done - put laundry away, clean up rooms, take out trash, whatever.  Its not like I'm making them clean the oven or scrub the showers.  But all three of them stomp, flop onto the floor, cry like two-year olds and make me want to sell them to the gypsies.  Emma is particularly bad these days.  She tells me everyday that I'm "ruining her life!" "this is the worst day EVER!"  "you hurt my feelings!" and that I'm "the meanest mom!"  I need a good tantrum cure.  She's six.  How are we going to handle puberty?

Noah is driving me to the edge with his laziness, too.  I know that on some level this is funny; but not in the moment.  Yesterday, I asked him to put away his book several times.  Each time, he jumped up and ran to the task.  First I found it on the coach, then the kitchen table, then under the Christmas tree and finally on the floor outside my bedroom before I really exploded.  That is classic Noah.  Sometimes he is just lazy and sometimes he gets distracted.  He loses things all the time because he can't remember where he set them down.  Usually because it's in a totally-random-makes-no-sense-to-put-it-there kind of place.  Example:  cereal bowl in the bathroom drawer?  I discovered that a couple weeks ago.  I don't even want to think about why someone would have their cereal in the bathroom.  Gross.

Tyler has good days and bad days.  My biggest frustration is that he's such a bully of an older brother .  I know that is somewhat normal.  He has such a short temper, but I have noticed he's trying harder to control it.  He'll explode and then I'll make him sit it out for a bit.  And I can visibly see him take deep breaths and calmly speak an apology to me.  Its almost like I can see his thoughts while he's talking himself down from that angry place.  I just hope he's not plotting dark adventures for the future.  Overall, though, he is the most helpful around here when he's on his game. 

And Chance?  Well....he's rather grumpy these days, too.  He's going through another rough patch at work.  I won't go into details other than I pray he'll find a new position every day.  I fantasize about his boss calling while I'm in labor so that I can yell and swear at her for all the horrible things she's done over the last year.  Because I'd be in labor and you can't hold a woman accountable for things she says during labor, right?  Just ask my sweet Aunt Toni. 

I'm probably the grumpiest of all.  Of course, I don't feel like I am.  In fact, I feel like I've been remarkably patient with everyone for being nine months pregnant.  I'm sure I've got a distorted view here, but since I'm the one writing this, there's no one to argue the point.  Actually, I wouldn't call what I'm feeling "grumpy".  I'm more worried than anything.  Worried about the baby, worried that Chance will have a heart attack because of stress, worried about the kids and their individual problems, worried my water will break while I'm at Target.  Worried, worried worried.  Sometimes it is so hard to be an adult.  It would be nice to just run to the playground and swing for a couple hours or go and color a picture or two.  My Emma loves to do those things right now.  It makes me want to freeze time so she doesn't have to grow up and worry about anything.

"Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise."
~Victor Hugo, Les Miserables

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Monkey #2

Emma makes me smile.  Sometimes she seems so grown up and then a moment later seems so small to me.  This week she was involved in the Missoula Children's Theater's production of The Jungle Book.  She was Monkey #2 and she was adorable!  I tried to capture some video, but it's not the greatest quality.  I'll have to take a closer look at it - maybe I'll post it later.  It was a long, tiring week for her full of rehearsals, brown bag dinners and late bedtimes, but she seemed to love every minute of it.  Spending each afternoon without her was strangely sad for me.  I missed her happy little face dancing into the house after the bus ride home.

Emma started walking around the house talking on an old cell phone today.  Something that she hasn't done since preschool.  She scolded us several times for being too loud while she was on the phone and then had to check her "texts".  She refused to tell me who she was speaking with or texting, but it was entertaining to hear her pretending.  After a week of feeling like she's growing too quickly, it was nice to see her do something so young again.

My favorite quotes this week:

Emma:  "Where's the tree's dress?"
~Meaning tree skirt, after Chance set up the Christmas tree.

Emma (in tears):  "What if Santa puts me on the naughty list?"
~After a 'time out' for being a mean sister.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Thankful Thoughts

We had a nice, quiet Thanksgiving last week.  My sister Danielle came up to visit for the week by herself.  We usually have a house stuffed with people every year, so this was very different.  I missed the craziness of having all our family here, but really enjoyed the quiet.  Due to possible difficulties with the pregnancy and lack of energy(!) we didn't plan a big weekend.  Plus, my mother was on her honeymoon and Nicole's family was sick with the flu.  So, it all worked out for the best.  Chance's parents and Gauge came over for dinner on Thursday and we spent a nice afternoon chatting and eating too much. 

Danielle spent the weekend helping me get the house organized for the new baby.  Thank goodness for her!  She is amazing.  It helped that I had a surge of energy (or "nesting" urges) over the weekend so I was very motivated.  It has carried on this week, too.  We just might be ready for this baby before it comes!  That has never happened before!  I'm usually too early to be prepared for anything. 

I'm 35 weeks now.  And its December!  Almost there.  If baby hasn't arrived by the 28th, then my doc will induce me.  So, we'll definitely have a new baby before 2012.  I continue to try to finish Christmas shopping, but it is hard.  It's Chance's fault.  He's ... frustratingly difficult to shop for.  I hate it!  I recently found a blog post full of DIY gifts for dudes.  The post included all sorts of projects to make for the guys in your life like hand sewn ties and stuff like that.  Chance would hate everything on that list.  Especially since everything looked too feminine to be for "dudes".  I seriously wish I could think of something manly to make but I'm not able to build computers or anything that plugs in.

I keep trying to feel the holiday spirit, but it is eluding me.  I am loving the holiday music though.  Maybe I'm feeling this way because I'm so consumed with getting ready for baby and having all the holiday shopping done in the next few days.  I can't believe we are so close to having this little girl!  I still have a hard time imagining another little person living here and loving her as much as I love all these other little ones.  I always feel a little worried about this.  But somehow even though I can't imagine having more room in my heart and soul to love another person so much; I always do.  My mother in law says that babies are born with the love; they bring it with them when they arrive.  Its true.  And we're counting down the days....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


We're down to five weeks until this baby arrives.  I'm 34 weeks tomorrow and my doctor promises to induce me the week after Christmas if this little one hasn't arrived yet.  It feels like forever and not enough time all at once!  I'm not ready to bring a baby home.  My house is a disaster and I have nothing organized here.  But there is hope on the horizon...  My sister Danielle arrives tomorrow night for Thanksgiving and she is going to magically get this place in order over the weekend.  I don't know how she'll do it; she has special organizing powers that I can't understand.  She is the master.  I have total confidence in her.  Especially since I'm basically going to be sitting around being huge and watching her.

All three kids are including a new phrase in their prayers these days:  "Please bless Mom will be able to to survive the pain when the baby comes."  Isn't that lovely?  They are so thoughtful.  Every time I hear it, I want to scream.   I swear my ears start to bleed.  I'm ready to start banning prayers.  Doesn't it feel like we're praying a little too much anyway?  Somebody has to put a stop to this.  I can't start thinking about pain all the time.  I'll have an anxiety attack.

"The pain of the mind is worse than the pain of the body."
~Publilius Syrus, 1st Century Roman author

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blessings of a Blog

My kids love to hear stories from when they were babies or very small.  Emma pesters me every day for more of her and the boys.  It's gotten so bad I'm running out of stories.  And I've come to the realization that I have a horrible black hole in my memory for most of Emma's younger (baby) years.  Every time I tell her I need more time to think of another story, she looks at me with such disappointment and sadness that I can't bear it!  I know there are stories out there, I just need to locate them in my mind!  Maybe its the pregnancy or maybe its the sleep deprivation from the last 10 years of motherhood.  Whatever the reason, I've lost something precious.  I hope I find them again.

Last night, Emma and Tyler were both begging for a story or two - or twelve.  I got desperate so I looked up this blog and started reading old posts, both published and not.  And we had a great time reminiscing together and laughing at their silliness.  What a relief and a blessing! 

And can guess what I'm feeling.  Guilt!  Horrible, guilty worry because I haven't kept up posting all these months and life has carried on with no new stories recorded in a place I can reach them whenever they are demanded. 

And so, I am going to try again.  And again.  And again.  I'm going to edit some of my unpublished posts and post them.  I'm going to share some of the "fun" of this pregnancy and what I can remember of our year so far.  And maybe I'll get back in the habit one day soon.  After all, baby number four will be arriving soon and in a few short years will begin demanding stories of her own. 

"No one is commonplace, and I doubt if you can ever read a biography from which you cannot learn something from the difficulties overcome and the struggles made to succeed. These are the measuring rods for the progress of humanity.  As we read the stories of great men, we discover that they did not become famous overnight nor were they born professionals or skilled craftsmen. The story of how they became what they are may be helpful to us all.  Your own journal, like most others, will tell of problems as old as the world and how you dealt with them."
~Spencer W. Kimball, 1975

"Memory... is the diary that we all carry about with us."
~Oscar Wilde, from The Importance of Being Earnest

Jibber Jabber

A conversation with Emma about her school friends Kevin and Summer:

Emma:  "Kevin's my friend.  But Summer keeps pushing me away at the playground."
Mom:  "Is she playing?  What do you mean?"
Emma:  "Well, I started all this and she keeps pushing me."
Mom:  "Started what?"
Emma:  "All this.....romance!"
Mom:  "Romance?  With Kevin?"
Emma:  "Yes!  I like Kevin."
Mom:  "Why do you like Kevin?"
Emma:  "I don't know...."
Mom:  "Is he nice?  Fun?  Smart?"
Emma:  "Yes, yes, yes....He gave me a candy bar."
Mom:  "He gave you a candy bar?  That's why you like him?"
Emma:  "Yes!"  (spoken in a "DUH!" tone)
Mom:  "I see."

Ordering McDonald's Drive Thru:

Tyler & Noah:  "I want a cheeseburger with only ketchup.  No mustard!"
Emma:  "Well, I want a cheeseburger with ketchup AND mustard.  Why don't you want mustard?  Can't you guys handle the mustard?"
Tyler & Noah:  "Yuck!  Mustard is gross!"
Emma:  "Haha!  You guys CAN'T HANDLE the mustard!"

During bedtime madness the boys got into trouble for talking instead of sleeping...

Noah:  "I wasn't talking to Tyler.  I was talking to .... my blanket."

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Surprise - Part 2

You may remember this post regarding "the talk" we had with Tyler about puberty and sex.  Well, I forgot to mention Tyler's reaction in my announcement yesterday.  After the initial excitement from the boys about having a baby, Tyler stopped and looked at me.  Then he said ...

"so, you mean....the sperm made it to the egg then?  And...." 

Ahhhh!  I cut him off right there as I didn't want him going down that thought process too far about what had happened in order for me to be standing here pregnant at this moment.  I'm sure his mind already went there, but I didn't want to hear his thoughts out loud!  Not to mention there were two younger siblings listening to everything he says.

Rudy (interrupts Cliff trying to kiss Clair):  "Dad?"
Cliff:  "Why is it every time I try to kiss my wife, a kid pops up?"
~Quote from The Cosby Show, 1989

Tuesday, June 21, 2011


About a year ago, Emma and I had a conversation about being the youngest.  She hates it.  She begged me to have a baby so that she could be a big sister and help take care of it.  She professed the greatest desire to hold her own baby and promised all kinds of sweet attentions to it.  When I told her that I was not going to have any more babies, her tears broke my heart.  Chance would have twelve more children if we could.  Every time he reads or hears a story of a child suffering from bad parents, he longs to rescue them and bring them home.  He's also like that with dogs, but I'll divorce him if he does that to me.

I was never supposed to be able to have children.  In college, I was diagnosed with a disorder that causes infertility.  When Chance proposed, he declared complete faith that we would one day have a houseful of little ones running circles around us.  He was so confident.  And right.  Six years ago, I found myself caring for three beautiful children, ages 4 and under.  It was a wild ride that Chance never doubted we would be on.

Although we adore our kids, I've had two terrible pregnancies in the past.  My first was especially frightening and difficult.  Without all the boring details, its dangerous for me to be pregnant because my body likes to try to kill me until the baby is out.  Because of that, we have been "retired" from the baby making industry since Emma was born.  Until now.

Drum roll please ......

We are pleased (and surprised, shocked, terrified) to announce that
Richardson Baby Number Four
will be arriving Christmas 2011! 

*Please send all cards/flowers/gifts  "c/o Completely Insane, Kinda Old Couple"

We finally shared the news with the kids last week.  How do you think Emma reacted?  Joy, hugs, clapping, dancing, bursting into song?  Nope.  Anger, tears, sadness and many statements like "I won't be able to sit in your lap anymore"  and "You won't love me anymore."  Nothing ever goes the way I expect with her.  She's a mystery.  The boys, however, are thrilled to have a baby.  Because we're idiots, we explained that it is still a little early and that sometimes babies just don't make it.  Now every prayer over dinner or at bedtime is full of "please bless that the baby will grow and not die in mommy's tummy" and stuff like that.  I cringe every time I hear it.

I am twelve weeks, tomorrow.  And everything I see or smell or think of makes me want to throw up.  Here we go!

PS - I should also mention that I have an amazing doctor who specializes in killer pregnancies like mine.  He is full of enthusiasm and has all kinds of plans for me should I start to go downhill.  I'm in good hands.

"Love is all fun and games until someone loses an eye or gets pregnant." 
~Jim Cole

"Life is always a rich and steady time when you are waiting for something to happen or to hatch."
~E.B. White, Charlotte's Web

Friday, March 18, 2011


Mom:  "Noah, did you go to the bathroom?"
Tyler:  "Yeah, he did.  I listened."

Emma:  "Mom, did you like my prayer?"
Mom:  "I did.  Thank you."
Emma:  "There was a little love in it."

Tyler:  "Noah, you should get a Mohawk!"
Noah: "Yeah!  A Mohawk!  Yeah! .... (excited fist pump)'s a mohawk?"
Noah:  "Is a mohawk when you put a hawk on your head?"

Emma:  "Mom, you smell good.  I smell like macaroni and cheese....(shrugs)... I didn't take a shower today."

Going out for ice cream:
Tyler:  "Hey, there's Firestone!  Isn't Firestone an ice cream place?"
Dad:  "No, Tyler.  That's Coldstone."

Noah:  "I want Baskin Robbins!"
Mom:  "Finish your lunch first.  You might not have any room left after you eat."
Noah: "I always save a spot for treats ... its right up at the top."

Monday, March 14, 2011


Yesterday afternoon we had the "sex talk" with Tyler.  I was completely worried about it and Chance was completely calm.  Chance did most of the talking - in fact I left the room for the first part so they could talk ... man to man about  .... uh ... man things.  Tyler was visibly uncomfortable at times, but I think it went really well.  I am relieved that he truly seemed in the dark about the whole thing and I don't think he believes he'll ever actually want to engage in sex.  I'm so happy he was clueless!  YAY!  You never really know what is happening with kids when they're on the bus or playing when the adults aren't around. 

I won't share much about the conversation except to say that I was really grateful that Tyler has a spiritual foundation that we could lean on to explain choices and consequences, morality and standards.  It became a teaching moment on more than one level and I felt the calm assurance of the Spirit guiding us along.  Although I worried,  it was surprisingly easy to talk about.  

But even though it was a serious conversation, Chance and I struggled not to laugh when he said the following things:

"...uh...I don't think I need to know about this...."

"My friends and I don't talk about this stuff!  We talk about Pokemon!"

" guys are doing this all the time?"

and then when it was over:
"Can I play my DS?  I need to do something to get my mind off this stuff..."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Diamond Rings & Other Things

Browsing at the jewelry store:

Mom:  "You're going to have to buy a ring like one of these someday.  You know, when you get married."
Tyler:  "What?!  One of these expensive ones?  What about one of those kind over there?"
Mom:  "No, she's going to want one of these ones - the kind with diamonds."
Tyler:  *sigh* "OK, which one is the cheapest?"

Noah to Uncle Mark:  "Look!  I pulled out my tooth and you didn't even have to punch me in the face!"

Noah woke early last Saturday and found Uncle Mark downstairs.  Noah walked up to him, got inches from his face and whispered:  "What's for breakfast?"

Emma:  "My foot is fizzy!"
Mom:  "Fizzy?"
Emma:  "Yes!  I need to hop on my foot to make it stop!  Its all fizzy and then it starts to freeze and get frozen!"
Mom:  "Why is it fizzy?"
Emma:  "Because I wore my socks for too long ... And because my foot is growing bigger!  I have to make it stop before my foot grows too big!"

Emma:  "Pterodactyls are very expensive.  If you get close to one and get on it, it will give you a crazy ride!"
Mom:  "What does expensive mean?"
Emma:  "I don't know." (Hand on her head)  "I'll talk about it tomorrow."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Wrestling is Stupid

I know that last post was lame.  I know, OK?  I realized where all my missing blog posts have gone.  Every night as I go off to sleep I think over everything that is going on around here and compose posts in my mind. But, I can't drag myself out of my awesome bed to actually blog.  My bed really is THAT amazing.  But tonight (lucky you!) I'm posting. 

I can't sleep.  Someone is snoring in my bed.

During the first six months of my marriage, I rarely slept.  I don't know how I got through it. It's a blur, kind of like when a newborn baby arrives.  Sleep comes in small bursts - you grab it whenever and wherever you can.  Chance was a very loud sleeper.  Crazy loud.  It was impossible to sleep next to that kind of noise.  And it's a truth universally accepted that people who snore, fall asleep first.  We were living in a strange basement apartment in Northgate and the kitchen was the only place I could escape.  For months, I slept night after night on a hard wooden chair with my head resting on our table.  Seriously.  Sometimes I would switch it up and drag our old velvety (non-reclining) chairs into the kitchen to sleep on.  If you've ever been to my house, you've seen them.  Here are some pictures:

This picture was taken on January 2, 2003. I have a really good memory for things like that.  You see the red chair on the right?  That was one of my beds.  I slept there.  That white couch was the first couch Chance and I bought together.  And that table ... I miss it.  We lost it in a flood in MN.  And wasn't Tyler adorable?  He's almost 10 now and I don't call him "adorable" much anymore because he rolls his eyes and stops talking to me.   

And here is one of Emma sitting in it, just because it made me laugh. She was about one and didn't have any real hair yet.  I love that face!

And just so no one can say I play favorites, here are a couple of Noah with one of the chairs.  It turns out I don't have a good picture of the chairs, but they do appear in almost all our birthday party pictures, so that's cool.  I'm always saying we need our own family traditions.  What's better than birthday chairs?  These pictures were taken on September 9, 2006.  It was Noah's 3rd birthday.  I bought him that chef outfit, a bunch of wooden food toys and a play kitchen.  Chance didn't think a kitchen was a very manly gift for his son and gave him some super heroes or something.  It turns out he was probably right because I think the boys spent most of their time jumping off it like Superman. In less than six months the kitchen was demolished and in the trash.  So, it was one of those rare times when Chance was right and I was wrong. 

ANYWAY......... back to me.  After about six months of sleeping at the kitchen table and on the red chairs, my body finally found a way to tune out Chance and sleep.  Kind of.  Mostly.  But he'll tell you I just hit him every night until he rolled over. And then in July of '09, after 11 years of torture, Chance had his tonsils removed and his deviated septum repaired. Translation:  the doctor fixed his nose and removed everything in his throat that could make noise. It was a whole new world of sleep! I had forgotten that kind of sleep.  It was glorious!  And I've been enjoying it for almost 2 years. Then.... tonight Chance was wrestling the kids.  In all the fun, Tyler's heel somehow made contact with Chance's nose.  Wrestling is stupid.  That deviated septum?  Yeah, it might need to be repaired again.  And it will be another 11 years before we can afford that surgery again.

So, I can't sleep.  Someone is snoring in my bed.

"Fatigue is the best pillow." ~Benjamin Franklin

"People who say they sleep like a baby usually don't have one." ~Leo J. Burke

"O bed! O bed! delicious bed!  That heaven upon earth to the weary head."
~Thomas Hood, British Poet
From Miss Kilmansegg - Her Dream

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

How I Make My Children Miserable

Noah this morning:
"Mom, I don't like it when I have to come in your room to find socks. I like it better when they are folded in my drawer."

I hate laundry.  It's the bane of my existence.  I don't mind washing, but the folding and putting it away drive me mad.  There are so many other things I'd rather be doing.  If you went to the same laundry school that I did, then most of the time there is a basket full of unmatched socks for everyone to dig through.  I keep our sock basket in my bedroom because no guests are allowed in there.  There are times when the socks are all sorted and put away in the right drawers - but it is rare.  I'm not a perfect housekeeper/cook/laundryman/mom/wife.  But I tell myself that being a good mother is about more than socks and vacuuming.  It's about discipline!  OK, not really.  Its mostly driving to soccer practice, finding missing things, forcing vegetables and lots of hugging. 

And so the only good thing about laundry is that it makes my children miserable.  It's the easiest form of discipline in my house.  Laundry is powerful!  When the kids misbehave they get to be my  *special* laundry helpers.  It kills two birds with one stone. I am happy and they are miserable.  I go read a book and they fold the towels.  So I have good reasons for my lame housekeeping skills.  I've got to have a bunch of laundry around for misbehaving kids. Its important to their development.  I'm trying to raise happy, responsible adults who have a good work ethic and all that.  And what better way to do that than to have them do my work for me?

"A clean house is the sign of a boring person."
~Author Unknown

"My idea of housework is to sweep the room with a glance."
~Author Unknown

"If your house is really a mess and a stranger comes to the door, greet him with: 'Who could have done this? We have no enemies.'"
~Phyllis Diller

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Once upon a time .... there was a blog.

Once upon a time there was a blog. It was written by a mom late at night in the quiet hours after bedtime.  It was fun. Then people started commenting and she realized people were actually READING the blog.  And then it wasn't fun.  Then it was work.  And stressful.  And worrisome.  And then there was a blog coma for a year.  But then a strange thing happened.  The mom realized she missed her blog.  And so she started writing again in the quiet hours after bedtime. The end.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Five Year Old Wisdom

"I can't clean up or I'll get my germs all over the toy room."
~Emma, milking her strep throat diagnosis

Emma: "Can dragons be pink?"

Me: "Yeah, sure."
Emma: "No, they can't!"
Me: "Why not?"
Emma: (rolls eyes) "Because pink dragons don't exist!"

Emma:  "Its not OK to kiss at school."
Dad:  "No, no kissing allowed at school."
Emma:  "But, it is OK to kiss at home ... and at the mall."
Dad:  "No, no kissing at the mall either."
Emma:  "Yes!  I've seen people kissing at the mall!"