Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Ins, Outs, & TMIs of Motherhood

The boys call this their clubhouse. Shaun calls it their man cave. However, I secretly call it the "please give mommy a break" room!

Someone on facebook posted a newspaper article this week titled, Why don't friends with kids have time!? I absolutely loved it! It's everything I think and feel... I've just never been able to explain. The craziness of having little ones is hard to put into words. So, I was very pleased when Carolyn Hax of the Washington Post did it for me!

A reader wrote in and asked why don't my friends with kids have anytime for me? I work long hours and manage to get everything done... Why can't they?  I want to know what a typical day looks like for them... And I don't want to hear about the library, grocery store, or dry cleaners because I do all those things too.  

Carolyn at first wanted to respond with her forehead to the keyboard because she couldn't believe the question. However, she thought this lady might actually be serious so she decided to give her a real answer!

When you have young kids, your typical day is: giving them constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, cleaned, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any of which produces checkout-line screaming.

It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15. It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier. It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense. It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, maners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.

She does also address that it is a choice and it is a joy!  

So, here are just a few things I do on a daily bases:

When leaving the house I have to make sure three little boys are fed and fully dressed. This includes making sure Blake has a fresh diaper, that I have double knotted Isaac's shoes, and that Parker has gone potty. Seems easy but, let's break it down now. While I'm chasing down Blake, I'm asking the big boys to go and get their shoes. Then, while I'm telling Blake to stop kicking me, while I'm changing his diaper, I'm still asking the big boys to go and get their shoes. Once the shoes and one sock have been brought to me, I have to go in search of the other sock that has fallen to the bottom of the bin. In the meantime the boys have found a toy to fight over and I now become a referee. As Isaac is putting on his socks, I am trying to convince Parker to follow me to the bathroom to go potty. From the bathroom I hear Isaac telling Blake to stop putting carpet in his mouth. I leave Parker, who did have to go, and go fish hook the carpet out of Blake's mouth. But, as I approach him I see that his face is red and he is pushing hard. I go back and get Parker off the potty and then try and finish putting on their shoes. As I try to un-tie the double knot from yesterday, I bend my nail back and grunt from the pain. No time for tears... Back to Blake. As I pull back his diaper to see the damage, I end up getting poop under my nail because the "damage" came to the top of the diaper! One more clean diaper, turn off all the lights, grab my cell phone, and we are finally out the door! Easy huh!?!

Another exciting time is dinner. Meals are VERY simple the nights Shaun's at work. If it takes more than 15 minutes, it's not happening. While I'm in the kitchen cooking (or microwaving) the big boys decide to get in a fight. I send one to the stairs and the other to the dining room. Because this is the first time they've held still all day, they realize they have to go to the bathroom. Isaac heads to the downstairs bathroom and Parker flies up the stairs to another. While they are both humming the Star Wars theme song at the top of their lungs, I'm trying to keep the food from burning in the pan while fish hooking more carpet out of Blake's mouth (sometimes he even pretends that he is putting carpet in his mouth and then laughs at me when I check). I decide to put him in his high chair to eat some real food. Five minutes later I hear, "I'm done!" And then five seconds after that I hear, "I'm done too!" I quickly wipe the downstairs hiney and rush up to the other. When I get to the top of the stairs I hear a loud crash and then Blake crying. I panic, tell Parker to keep on waiting, and rush back down. This rushing is quite painful too. The cardio tennis class I do has me moving a little slower due to sore muscles. I give a sigh of relief when I realize Blake is still in his seat and just knocked his tray on the floor. I put it back on and head up the stairs again. Parker is now in the loft playing but, reassures me that he never sat down on the carpet. Another hiney wiped and it's time to rush back to the pan on the stove. After feeding the boys (I'll spare you with those details), we head back up stairs for baths. On our way I realize I didn't feed myself! Oh well...

Night time routine... I'll keep it simple. I have eight armpits to wash and 74 teeth to brush!!!

I am on constant duty. No bathroom breaks for me. Yes, I get to go but, I'm not alone (see picture below) or I have to rush because someone is screaming, crying, or having a crisis over a missing toy. Or heaven forbid it's a commercial and I need to fast forward! I am on call for every nose, hiney, and germ wipe. I know where every toy lives and how it work. Grocery shopping is planned around which store has the coolest and most spacious carts. When renting a movie from the Red Box there is only enough supply of patients to rent the kid's video. Unless, I have previewed the parent's movies on-line the night before! I am a mom of little people and my daily goal is to survive! A verse that I live by right now is Galatians 6:9. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up! How encouraging is that!?! I love it! This is the job I signed up for so I continue to say... Bring it on!
See, never alone!

At least I know I'm well protected!

Don't let the length of this blog fool you about my free time... This probably took two weeks to write! ;)

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Growing Bond

A few weeks ago Parker saved Blake's life! Well, that's what he says. All three boys were in the bath tub and the "winds" came. The water got a little rough and Blake started to fall backwards. Parker was quick to catch him by putting his leg and arm behind Blake! Not only was I proud of Parker (because I was right there the whole time) but, Parker was beaming! He was so proud of himself! He stopped Blake from falling under the water!

Ever since then Parker has been so affectionate and loving towards Blake. He wants to protect him and keep him happy! Parker was never mean before, there just wasn't as much interest. Parker has always been a great big brother but, now he realizes his position and is taking his roll more seriously.  

Isaac has been at tennis camp this week (with Iso) so Parker and Blake have had more time to interact. I love how sensitive Parker can be. He usually has to play tough and watch his back around Isaac but, with Blake, he can relax. He even talks to him in a high pitch baby voice. In a way I was still viewing Parker as the little brother. He may be a little brother but, he is a big brother too! Poor middle child! ;)

Chaos usually happens when all three boys are together so it's nice to split them up every once in a while! I realize how much personality they each have and how much fun they can be when I'm not having to break up fights! Awwww!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Kauai: Departure

Packing up a family of five didn't leave a whole lot of time to think about how sad I was to leave! and I think I did pretty well remembering to empty out all of the drawers. Well, except for one of Shaun's. The next guy that stays in the condo won't need to do laundry... He'll have plenty of undies and socks! :/ Oops!

One last walk along the beach and one more shopping trip with the girls left us racing for the air port! It rained on the way so we said that even Hawaii was crying for us... She was sad that we had to go!

The memories that were made, the adventures that were taken... Priceless!    

Showing off our matching shirts!

It's super obvious that the boys weren't around when this picture was taken... We're holding hands! I love the automatic timer option!

and we WILL meet again!

Waiting to board the plane. they were ready to go home!

Kauai: Day 5

Today was bitter sweet. Sweet because I got my favorite pictures from the trip (so even if you stop reading here, make sure you scroll to the bottom to see my Hawaiian boys) and bitter because it was our last full day! Even though blogging about our vacation has taken forever (forever), it was really just a blink of the eye! Never long enough!

Everyone seemed to be moving slower today... Taking it all in, soaking up the last day, simply relaxing. Maybe we were finally learning the island way. I wish life back home could be this chill! Can you imagine driving 30 mph on the freeway? Or someone letting you go in front of you even if it's their turn? Or giving you an extra large shaved ice even though you paid for a large!?!

The boys got to enjoy one last park and then headed off with Ammah and Papa to see wild animals. Shaun was able to devour more shaved ice, and I was able to take a long walk (alone) on the beach.     
Mr. Bed Hog!

Since there wasn't any room left in the bed I got up and took pictures of these beauties. They were right outside our door!

A cool park!

Yes, I did sit on this log and cry! It's part of my love obsession sickness with these islands.

Passing of the birthday month!
My birthday is June 1st and Matthews is June 30th. I usually hog the whole month but, this year I was willing to share! ;) 

Vanilla bean and cotton candy WITH snow cap... Not very tropical but still the best!

Banana-pineapple and mango WITH macadamia nut ice cream!


Below are my FAVORITE pictures! 

Of course the leis turned into weapons!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

11 Months

I'm in disbelief that I'm deep into planning this little guy's first birthday! Really? Where did the time go!?! I'm struggling with the fact that there won't be any more babies in the house but, I know I have to stop at some point... Sooooo I'm looking forward to the next stage of life! Ok, moving on. this makes me want to cry!

Blake finally joined the other 90% of 11 month olds and is now crawling!!! I'll admit... I was a bit lot worried! I even called the doctor to talk it through with her. Of course that conversation ended up being the day he started crawling! figures! He really is just chill and all about taking his time. I should have known it would take him this long though... You see, there was a formula. Isaac, born in '07, crawled at seven months. Parker, born in '09, crawled at nine months. Blake, born in '11, crawled at 11 months! If I had figured this out sooner maybe I wouldn't have been as worried! ;)

Blake still loves giving kisses... Open mouth, right on the cheek or blown from a distance. He's become quite the copy cat too. Whether it's growling or shaking his head back and forth, he loves joining in on all the action! He is happy by day and demanding by night! Yes, he still has trouble sleeping through the night. Too many colds, teeth, and trips has made this a sleepless first year. We were never able to work into a schedule. It'll happen though...

When we're out, Blake gets mistaken for a girl probably fifty percent of the time! His curly hair, long eye lashes, and big blue eyes make him so pretty! I love God's sense of humor. I asked for a girl and he gave me a pretty boy instead!  

My yummy boy!

Parker never looks but then gets mad at us because he tells us he is looking!

No way was Blake going to look!

Can't forget about daddy!

My heart just skipped a beat. So much cuteness!

These pictures were taken at Sea World yesterday... We'll see if I ever get to that post!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Kauai: Day 4

On this particular morning I was feeling a whole year (or more) older... A few aches and pains. I was hoping that it wasn't because of my age but, instead, because of all the sand walking and activity that we were doing!

We packed up early and headed to the west side of the island. Seeing as how I'm from the Grand Canyon state, it meant I had to see Hawaii's big hole in the ground too! Obviously, it was way prettier than the one in Arizona... Smaller, but prettier! We took our time heading back to the condo. We had shaved ice for an appetizer and then got subs for lunch! What? I know, that sounds more like we had dessert first. However, when you're in Hawaii, shaved ice comes first! We even had seconds for dinner! I didn't get a gold star in parenting this day because this was way too much syrup in one day for my boys. It's not good when you're kids go to bed telling you that their stomachs hurt and you know it's your fault! Oops!

After we visited another waterfall we realized the boys were done and we needed to head back to the condo. They slept on the way and then we're full of energy once we arrived. And, of course, there was only one thing they wanted... The pool! These little guys are surrounded by water and they just want to go to the pool! But, we do whatever it takes!

Exploring the trails!

Shaun makes fun of girls that bend their front leg when they pose for pictures. So, here I am dramatizing it a little!

Kauai's grand canyon

Chickens, chickens, and more chickens!

Kauai's forbidden island, Ni'ihau

Voted the best shaved ice on the island

Yummy! Enjoying the sweet treat!

Mr. Happy driving Papa's car!

The waterfalls from Fantasy Island

The boys favorite spot!

Trying to relax while others play with the boys!

round two! Don't worry, we shared!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Kauai: Day 3

Dang it! Pictures recovered... I'm now 30!

I woke up to texts from family and friends and smiles from all my little men! I couldn't help but be excited that it was my birthday... Even if it meant I was getting old! To some I am still very young and me calling myself old may be a little offensive... sorry! it's all in fun! My boys got me a sympathy card and Shaun's family got me cards with tons of candles and jokes about needing to call the fire department to put out all the candles!

After opening a few presents with my boys, we headed down to the water for a few family pictures! This is what I was most excited about so this of course meant that at least one child had to be mad and cry through the whole thing. Thanks Parker James!    

Today's adventure led us down south to Poipu. This was another highly recommended snorkeling spot we wanted to test out! Sadly, we weren't impressed. The fish were beautiful but the water was murky and the coral was colorless. however, just when we thought it was time to pack up, Kimberly (or was it Courtney:/ ) spotted a turtle right where Shaun and Matthew were snorkeling. It was huge! After I got a few pictures I grabbed my gear and jumped in the water with them (and Ammah and Papa). Snorkeling in Hawaii, with a turtle, on my birthday... Yes please!

Another sight to see in Kauai is their state bird, the chicken! I do believe they have more roosters and chickens than they have palm trees and fish! Seriously, when I say they are everywhere, I mean EVERYWHERE! North, south, east, and west. Highways, dirt roads, beaches, and backyards! They are the last thing you see when you go to sleep and the first thing you hear when you are waking up! Cock-a-doodle-do! They eat food out of your hand and shade themselves under your umbrella and on your towel at the beach!

In the evening Shaun and I dropped the kids off with Ammah, Papa, Aunties, and uncle and went to dinner! Of course we added in shopping and shaved ice! It was relaxing, relaxing, and relaxing!    

We ended the night with more presents and strawberry cake with cream cheese frosting back at the condo! What a wonderful day it was!

Thank you to my family for the gifts and for making my birthday so special! I hope you're ok with the fact that I made us celebrate in Hawaii!?!

My wake up call...

...And my wake up party!

My card - Thinking of you in your sorrow! ;)

Facing the water so you can't see Parker's melt down!

The beauty of Poipu!

Brotherly love!

All the lava rock reminded me of the big island!

Shaun and Mr. Crush (from Finding Nemo)

Chasing and feeding the state bird!

Dinner! I put make up on for the first time and Shaun put deodorant on for the first time! Great!

Blake's in shock that his mommy is so old! Hehe!

We wanted a group shot but there wasn't anywhere to set the camera... This was the best we could do!