The Kids

The Kids

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Conspiracy

I have decided that there is a conspiracy to weaken women's self-esteem by marking clothes in the wrong sizes. Specifically formal dresses.

I have come to terms with the fact that I have gone up a size since carrying those lovable children in my body. It is okay. I can live with being my current size. However, while getting fitted for my bridesmaid dress the other day for my sister-in-law's wedding, I suddenly found myself in a much larger size.

Let me take a moment and ask how is it considered appropriate to even be fitted in the first place? Yes stranger, please take a measuring tape and wrap it around my body, specifically the parts I am the most self-conscience about. Touch my boobs? Sure-of course you are allowed to measure those.

My favorite part of this particular experience was after she measured me, she asked me my size. I'm sorry-did you not just measure and violate me? After telling her my normal size, she frowned, looked confused and declared my measurements have me two sizes larger according to her chart.

Oh...well...the chart. Of course. We cannot diagree with the validity of her chart.

As if this news was not bad enough, she then found the dress we are ordering and wanted me to try it on. She handed me a dress that was a size smaller than I normally wear (you know, my pre-pregnancy size). I am not sure if she did not read the size or if she did and just felt like rubbing it in a little bit. After I pointed out there was no way I would fit in it, she found another dress that was completely a different style, but a size up from what I normally wear.

It was tight. Really? So I really have to order a dress two sizes larger than the clothes I actually had on my body and that fill my closet?

If these stores really wanted to make women feel good about themselves, they would mark the dresses larger, not smaller. Would it not be a delight to walk into a store, try on your size and be utterly thrilled that you need to get a smaller one? Now there is the real marketing.

But, alas, our culture has it backwards. Those in charge find it more fun to have us try on dresses that are marked smaller than they really are, have them try them on in ridiculous lighting that even the darkest person would have vampire-like skin, and then they size us up, declaring we need a larger size.

Oh, and then we get to spend money in their store for a dress we cannot believe we are about to fill out.

It is a conspiracy, I tell you. And something needs to be done about it.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


While at the Creation Museum yesterday, I was impressed with the kids' attention span throughout the entire place. In particular, Caleb's attention to detail during the short video we watched about the six days of creation.

When he saw the earth appear for the first time, he yelled out, "Hey, God made that!"

After a couple of days went by, he asked (loudly and excitedly), "What's going to happen next?"

And, my personal favorite, when they showed Adam and Eve for the first time he exclaimed, "They're naked!" (Do not worry, future parents taking their children there-it was tastefully done. Just bare shoulders.)

At least he was paying attention and already giving God the glory.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Bite

I finally gave in and started reading The Twilight series, just to see what all the fuss is about. So far, they are okay. Definitely targeted at teens, but, like most women, I can easily get in touch with my teenage-self and enjoy the stories.

I have learned not to read them right before falling asleep, because my dreams have been ridiculously crazy. Lots of vampires and werewolves mixed in with my daily activities. Not the most peaceful way to rest.

Regardless, I can separate fiction from reality. I just found it ironic today when Caleb decided to bite me.

We were swimming at the King's Island waterpark (season passes just might be one of the best purchases we have made this year) and suddenly I felt a stab of pain in my right inner thigh. I looked down and there was Caleb, standing there with a grin on his face.

My first reaction was swift. I bent down, looked at him with "the look" and spanked his butt. After I realized spanking a two-year old while his bottom half was in the water was worthless (and not smart, given the large audience that could have turned me in for child abuse), I used "the tone" warning him never to do that again.

I forgot about the incident until I was at home changing my clothes. I noticed two red marks on my thigh and could not think where they came from. Then I noticed they were teeth marks and could not belive my child left me with such a bruise.

I never knew when I referred to him as a little monster that I might be right.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Daddy's Day

I have always been a daddy's girl. Not in the spoiled, princess, get everything I want kind of way. But, in the way that I love my dad with all my heart and never once doubted his love for me.

All week, I looked for a Father's Day card to send him, but I never found one that said what it needed to say. How does one find a card that thanks a man for his daily sacrifices for his family, for his unconditional love, for his neverending giving of time and for his example of how a husband should treat his wife?

Most cards only touch on maybe one of those subjects. Hardly ever do they mention the last one, even though it is so important. Watching how my dad treated my mom made me hold out for one of the good ones when it came to a husband. I looked for a best friend to marry because I saw them constantly talking and being each other's confidant.

I know my dad keeps waiting for his break. A farmer's life never ends-something always keeps coming up and it is such an unpredictable occupation. He watches those around him see the end in sight with retirement just around the corner, while he faces another day of cows, their manure (another word comes to mind for manure, but I will keep it "clean"), and the uncertainty of his future.

I want him to know it is not in vain. My brother and I grew up with fond memories of having our dad around instead of him working late hours at an office. We had the house our friends wanted to come over to because it was unique and adventurous. We grew up to be people of strong work ethics. We had a godly father who instilled in us good morals and compassion for others. My friends always said, "Your dad is just so nice!"

One of my favorite memories is staying up late, having a snack and watching late night television in the dining room with my dad. It did not matter what was on-the conversation is what I cherish. That was always the time he would really listen to what was on my mind. It did not have to be about anything important-just the ramblings of the day.

I love you Daddy. Thank you for your time. It has made all the difference in my life.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

What Was That?

Caleb was playing with his toys today and suddenly started yelling one particular word over and over again. It sounded so much like something we did not want to hear that both Nick and I immediately said, "What did you say, Caleb?"

He replied, "Funck."

Grateful that he added the "n," I asked him what "funck" was. He simply said, "It means funck."

Sure. Okay. Just keep adding that "n" my little one.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Visiting "Grandpa With The Cows"

My dad decided to bring up a calf from the barn for the kids to pet. Then he decided to show off by attempting to ride it. What happened is what we call the pride before the fall.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Look At Those

While snuggling with me on the couch today, Caleb randomly pointed down my shirt and asked, "What are those?"

I stuck with the most simplest of answers by replying, "That's just part of Mommy's chest."

Apparently that was not good enough because he said, "I want to look at those!"

And the male obsession begins.

*A side note to my family-Caleb says "look at those" exactly like his Uncle Billy said, "I got to look at that" the first time he saw Jennifer Grey shaking her buns in Dirty Dancing. It sounds like "wook."

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Bath Talks

Our normal routine is for Nick to give the kids their baths while I help whichever child is out to clean up and get ready for bed. Tonight he is running an errand for me so I was left handling the ritual on my own. I realized during this time how many funny conversations I miss when I am so busy doing instead of just sitting with them. Tonight was a lovely example of such talks.

I was snuggling with Caleb after his bath while he was all wrapped up in his towel. I held him like a baby and told him how I remembered when he was just born and so tiny. He then said, "I remember being in your belly. There was lots of water."

When asked if he really remembered being in there, he continued, "I remember lots of water. And there was a starfish in there!"

Okay. Sure. Why not?

Abby delighted me with her views on marriage. She was playing with her foam dolls, more specifically the princess and the prince. She kept pushing them together and was making up voices for them. She told me they loved each other very much and that is why they were dancing together. Then she kept moving them further and further apart, saying they were living in different houses but it was okay because they could get on an airplane to see each other.

When I asked her why they just did not get married and live in the same house, she replied, "They don't have kids, yet."

Apparently, to be married, one must have a child. When I told her that some people get married and never have kids, she looked shocked. She kept asking why and eventually the conversation went down the road of me trying to explain why some people do not want kids or are not able to have them.

Which is about the time when I changed the subject and declared bath time to be over.

God help me when the questions become harder the older they get.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

What Stain?

I was so frustrated. Caleb was sitting on my lap at Nick's softball game and his grandma was letting him drink her iced tea. He kept spilling drops on one of my favorite t-shirts (last year's camp volunteer shirt) and I remember thinking, "I hope these stains come out."

Within ten minutes, that was no longer my concern.

While attending to Abby's skinned knee from falling on the pavement, I looked away from Caleb, who was quietly playing in the dirt near Nick's dugout. I suddenly heard some commotion around him and saw blood pouring out of his nose.

It was one of those moments where I could not get up and run fast enough.

I felt torn between hugging him and putting all of my concentration on pinching his nose. I heard something about a bat hitting him in the nose, but could not listen well enough for the details. All I know is that my heart was being pulled in a million directions and I could not figure out where to follow it first.

I heard adults offering advice on what to do, I had strangers from the other team handing me piles of baby wipes, I heard the man who accidently hit him apologizing over and over, I saw Abby standing around, looking concerned, I heard Nick run in from his stance at bat-it all just blended together while I focused on this little two-year old with a smashed nose.

We rushed him to Urgent Care and after a great toy in the lobby and a terrific lollipop, he calmed down enough for a quick exam. I stood with him through the x-rays, watching him trying to be brave (it is amazing what a child will do when told, "stand still and you can have anything you want at the store"). We found out it was broken and looked forward to seeing the ENT the next day.

What was finally an amusing part to this story was our quick stop at Meijer to buy the aforementioned bribery toy. Nick was covered in dirt from his game, along with some dried blood soaked into his shirt. Abby was holding her own in the filth department, after playing in the sand at the park. Her skinned knee was an additional bonus. I looked particularly lovely with blood covering my entire right shoulder in addition to random spots all over the rest of my top. And Caleb, poor little Caleb, with a black and blue nose, still some random spots of blood on his upper lip and a soaked shirt of blood and dirt.

Why they did not call the authorities on us I will never know. Then again, we do live in Clermont County. Maybe we did not stand out too much.

(Wow. I just sunk to the level of the people I judge for judging our county.)

Regardless, I did not care about the stain. People could stare all they wanted to. I was just grateful for the little boy who was thrilled with picking out whatever he wanted in the toy car section.

After talking to the ENT at Children's the next day, we heard good news that it might not be broken. After the swelling gradually goes down over the week, we will see the doctor again to determine if it is broken and what to do about it.

The pain that I felt when I saw him suffering was tremendous. Now I know why it is so exhausting to be a parent. My life is nothing compared to theirs. I would gladly take the pain of a broken nose (or whatever pain my kids will eventually go through) for them to not feel it.

Which got me to thinking about God's love for us. I always think of Jesus' love, knowing the sacrifice He gave, dying on the cross for my sins, so that I do not have to suffer the death I deserve. But, I tend to forget about the pain God must have had watching His Son suffer for others. His innocent Son, suffering and dying for people who will never fully understand.

It appears that my life is no longer my own. My heart stretches for these little ones who for some reason God thinks I can handle.