The Kids

The Kids

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Looking Cool

I thought I had years until Abby was embarrassed about what she was wearing to school. Nope. It happened yesterday.

She was getting dressed for Pajama Day, which was a huge deal to all of the five-year olds in her class. All week she talked about wearing her purple, cuddly pajamas. She made sure I washed them in time (five days before the anticipated date) and she carefully kept them in her drawer, never to be touched in the off chance that they were to get dirty again.

These special pajamas are like a dress and since it was about 24 degrees outside that morning, I reminded her to wear pants underneath.

Well, that was just about the worst thing that I could have said.

She started crying and saying they would not match. When I pointed out that these stretchy pants did match and actually looked cute as an outfit, she disagreed. She finally yelled out, "I'll just be so embarrassed!"

I tried not to laugh because I remember being at an age where I was horrified at the thought of wearing a winter hat to school or even zipping my jacket. Who cared if I was freezing-I wanted to look cool. A hat would mess up my carefully crimped hair with the bangs that flipped down and up. (You children of the 80s know exactly what I mean.)

(Can I just say that one of my favorite parts of college was the fact that absolutely no one cared what you wore? Everyone bundled up in thick, zipped coats and wore cozy hats on their walk to class and that was cool.)

Anyway, since my daughter suddenly developed a fashion sense at age five, I kept my ground to keep her warm and she finally got dressed for school. When we arrived, she continued on with her grumpy face and even her teacher explaining that it was the right thing to wear pants with her pajamas did not help. Her teacher and I exchanged the knowing look of "ignore her and she will deal it" and within a minute, she was smiling and going through her routine of unpacking her bag and writing her name on the board.

My favorite part to all of this was when I picked her up from school later that morning. Her teacher told me that another girl had to wear pants under her pajamas and she and Abby never left each other's side.

And it begins.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

My Shameless Plugs

Help out our cousin Emily by ordering through her website!

Also, I have crossed over and started selling Mary Kay. If anyone wants to order their favorite MK product or is interested in hosting a party, let me know!

Monday, February 22, 2010

Sunday Mornings

My heart should be ready to worship God on Sunday mornings. But, for some reason, my Sunday mornings are filled with feeding, dressing, and rushing the kids out the door, while grabbing my Bible and journal, packing a lunch for the kids to eat on the way home, writing a check for the offering, packing extra pants for Caleb in case he has an accident and quickly eating some breakfast. I usually remember to get fully dressed and brush my teeth, too.

Nick gets up, takes a shower, gets dressed and leaves.


Yesterday was another one of those days, but with the added bonus of Nick staying in bed because he was sick. Keeping to my chaotic schedule plus the kids taking extra time to keep checking on their dad led me to slowly lose my mind.

Is it wrong to be upset with my dear children when I have to repeat myself over and over and over again to get ready? Both of them can feed themselves, get dressed and brush their teeth without assistance. However, there is something about Sunday mornings that makes them forget how to function like humans.

By the time we got in the car, they knew I was steaming. Seriously-little puffs of smoke were coming out of my ears. Okay, so maybe it was the cool air blowing by, but I choose to believe it was my anger exploding out of my body.

I have to hand it to them-they know when to sit still and be quiet when I have reached the boiling point. After I finished counting in my head (I got pretty high) I let myself speak. We eventually had a talk about what it means to love others. They are both really good about saying, "I love you" quite often, so I explained that when you love someone, you should show it.

We talked about ways to show it, the biggest example was obeying me when I ask them to do something. I just do not understand it-I take care of them 100% and they have yet to appreciate it. Why can't they just listen to me as a sign of respect and love? Oh wait-they are five and three years old. I guess I have to wait until they are parents to earn that kind of attitude.

As my heart began to soften on my drive to church, I was once again reminded of my Father's love and how I continually take advantage of it. My love for my children does not even come close to God's love for me, yet I forget about Him, I often do not listen to Him or obey, and my appreciation is very little.

My prayer is for patience for my own children considering how much patience the Creator of the universe bestows upon me.

Friday, February 19, 2010


The first time I watched the movie Parenthood, I laughed a bit and cried at the end when all of the family is together with the new babies. Now that I watch it as a parent, I laugh and cry through the entire movie and sob uncontrollably at the last scene.

What have these kids done to me?

Perhaps my attachment to this movie is because so many things that happen in the movie have actually happened to us. No, I do not have a daughter who has secretly been married while still in high school and I really hope I never have to deal with that scenario! But, I have seen my son proudly walk around with nothing but a hat on.

I have also seen my daughter get extremely emotional over the simplest of things. And my son has been known to bump things with his head-just for fun. My husband has been completely goofy just to make the kids laugh and I have already had intense battles with my daughter. We have definitely been thrown up on, among other fluids touching us.

As parents, we try really hard not to get too competitive watching Abby play soccer so that we can teach her that it is about fun and how she plays the game. But, when her team wins and we see the joy in her face, there is a part of me that wants to jump across the field, fall on the ground and beat my fists in happiness.

I am finally at the point where I realize my parents did not do too bad of a job raising me and perhaps I can learn from them after all. And my brother and I are now friends in which the eleven year gap no longer matters.

Nick and I have discussed the strong points to not having more kids, namely financial ones. But, we both would love to ride the roller coaster a bit more and see what turns and loops are before us. I really do crave an orderly life, but what fun is that? What kind of stories are there to tell if everything goes according to plan?

I still think my favorite scene is the opening one, in which the parents with three small children are leaving a baseball game. The parents are juggling bags, hats, foam fingers, strollers and, oh yes, their kids. They struggle with car seat buckles and random kids running out into traffic. The kids are covered with dirty faces and are hyped up on sugar. The dad breathes a sigh of exhaustion and relief when everyone is safely placed in the mini-van, then continues to drive into the night while the kids sing songs about diarrhea.

I feel his pain.

The beauty of Ron Howard's movie is that it is timeless and most likely every family can relate to at least one of the scenarios displayed in this movie. Watching it makes me feel like perhaps our family is "normal" and it is okay to laugh and cry as much as we do.

It also reminds me that parenting is never over. Just because they leave for college does not mean the job is done.

Suddenly, I am very tired.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Date Night

Nick and I are not ones to follow the usual tradition of having a date on Valentine's Day. Why do it? It is just another day. Tonight, however, we broke down and went out for a nice dinner-without kids. I must stress the "without kids" part.

We went to a fancy place downtown (thanks to a gift card), but it really could have been a fast food place and it would have been perfect, simply because we were kid free!

This has me thinking back to dates we have had in the past. Here are a few of my favorites...

First date: We went out for pizza after church with a couple of friends. This was considered a date because it was the first time we were out as "more than friends." The beauty of this story is that Nick tried to be a gentleman and dish out my pizza. He then proceeded to drop the slice on my khaki pants. After apologizing over and over, he tried again (amidst my pleas for him to stop) and, yes, the second piece also fell on my lap.

While he was thinking, "This girl will never go out with me again," we walked to his car. I climbed into the front seat and felt my pants rip. Anyone who knows Nick's car from college can remember the wire that stuck up out of the front passenger seat. I must have forgotten about it while focusing on my pizza sauce stain and officially ruined those pants forever.

For some reason I kept on dating him and the stories got better.

The One Month Anniversary: We went to Jamaica on a mission trip within the first month of dating. The last night of our trip, we were treated to a candlelight dinner near the ocean, with a man walking around serenading couples with a broken guitar. I looked at Nick and said, "This is a great one month anniversary. What are we doing next month?"

I cannot leave out the night of our two-year anniversary: He came over for dinner (when I made the only meal I knew how to make at the time-spaghetti). He gave me a beautiful necklace which I was very happy about, but secretly disappointed that it was not a gem for my finger. He went back to college while I went to lead the youth group at the church I worked for.

After work, I went home and when I entered my house, I heard music coming from upstairs. It was the song that I knew I eventually wanted to walk down the aisle to. I went up to my room and there was Nick, standing in my bedroom, with candles lit and the music playing. He got down on one knee, said all sorts of things that I swore I would never forget, and proposed.

Apparently, he went straight back to my parents house while I was at youth group. He asked their permission and then they sat around and watched Jeopardy, waiting for me to come home. They all hid in another room waiting for my answer, which of course was "yes" :)

I still think my favorite date was the night we found out we were expecting Abby. I had just taken a pregnancy test and we were in shock at the result. We went out to eat at a restaurant near our apartment and just stared at each other with big, goofy grins on our faces. We had absolutely no idea what we were getting outselves into, but we were excited to find out.

Thank you, Nick, for eleven years of dates and simply time spent together.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

My Mom Purse

Nick bought me a beautiful dress for Christmas. His reasoning? He wanted to give me something that would make me feel pretty since every time I get dressed up, I go through the same agonizing routine...

My favorite dresses are from college, meaning they are pre-baby and do not fit. More recent dresses are bridesmaid dresses and we all know what that means-"You can totally wear it again" is one of the most polite lies I have ever heard. Yet, we all say it and nod with agreement when we hear it. I still fit in my little black dress, with a few extra rolls around the middle that were not there years ago. Regardless, it is depressing to get dressed up and contantly feel huge.

So, my loving husband did a good thing and bought me a dress. Unfortunately, with the type of material is is made of, I decided to take it back and exchange it. He did a great job picking out the style and size, but the material is clingy in the middle (aren't they all?) and it would do the opposite of making me feel pretty.

I went back to Macy's with the instructions that I had to buy something to make me feel pretty, meaning I could not have a shopping spree in the kitchen or bedding area. I looked at some dresses, but really did not see anything that was worth my gift card. I decided to wait until some more spring stuff was available, but in the meantime, I found myself lost in the purse section.

Yes, ladies, it is a dangerous place to be.

I own many purses of different sizes and colors. They are fun and most of them are from college so they hold many wonderful memories. However, I have outgrown them. I did not want to admit it, because I like to cling to my younger self and these purses hold some of that personality. Yet, when I find myself taking three bags to church on a Sunday morning (my purse, a bag for my Bible & journal, and a bag for Caleb's juice and back-up pants) I knew it was time to admit defeat.

So, there I was, lost in Macy's purse section and low and behold-a sale! After searching the entire section (twice), I found a perfect, black Nine West purse. 40% on sale. It has all the goods-three main compartments, individual places for lip gloss and my phone, a zipper section for my pens that always seem to end up on the bottom of any other is just perfect.

I proudly take it everywhere now. I carry my mom purse (it is still called that as long as Caleb continues to need pull-ups) to church, the store, the gym, and on nights out. I have to admit, I love the reactions. On my first night out with my purse, I met girl friends for dinner. Apart from "Hey, how are you?" the first thing I heard was, "Is that a new purse? It's so cute!"

I love that we women all get it.

Nick is still trying to understand how this small item makes me feel pretty. Trust me, it does.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Repeated Mistakes

It must be a rite of passage. In Caleb's case, it is one he felt he needed to go through twice.

One would think he would have learned his lesson after putting peas up his nose. I can still remember the phone call of panic from Nick, wondering what to do. Thankfully "sneezing" it out helped and all was well.

Last night, I began cleaning up from dinner while the kids were still finishing their meal. Suddenly, Caleb looked at me with panic in his eyes. And a piece of macaroni hanging out of his nose.

Thankfully the first piece fell right out. Then he warned me that there was another piece still jammed up in there. Terrific. I used the bulb syringe (or, as the kids refer to it, "the booger snatcher") to suck it back down. It finally came out, but he kept crying that there was yet another one in there.

After sucking and having him blow his nose and looking up his nose with a flashlight, I came to the conclusion that it was out. He finally agreed and so far, he is still breathing.

Again, when will he learn? Did he think it would be a different outcome this time? Once something produces the wrong outcome, do not do it again!

Okay, so my sinful heart repeats the same sins over and over again. But, they are not as stupid as putting food up my nose, right?

Please do not answer that.