Sunday, December 23, 2007

And This Is Love

What I hope you remember this Christmas season...

God gave
His Best for the worst;
His Highest for the lowest;
His Greatest for the least.

Merry Christmas to all my dear readers!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

This is the way we do... Family Get Togethers

My title depicts such a peaceful and calm event. You are probably immediately thrust into a world of reflective nostalgia just by reading my title. You may even feel a bit cozy and warm inside. If so, come to a Nelson Family Get Together and experience something you may not experience with any other family. Peaceful and calm are the definition of what's not at our gatherings.

It ALWAYS goes like this...

After months and even years of not seeing each other, new babies being born, going for weeks of only poor mail communication, rarely experiencing the togetherness of your entire family walking on the same continent at once and enduring months of sickness and trial while separated from the rest of the family, you'd think we'd all be gushy, warm and tickled pink. Not so.

The guys delve into hefty church topics, sort the world's problems and figure out what's wrong with their jobs and the ladies jump into wild shopping trips and unimaginable sewing flings. The kind of sewing that produces a new dress for every female family member by the following Sunday.

The kids? They are here and there and everywhere. Considering the Nelson family is doing a fine job repopulating the earth, we are in our 8th year of reproduction and so far have 11 children 8 and under. That includes 2 new uncles as well. What noise future children lack in now, the current bunch more than compensates for.

We are a colorful family that has members of Haitian, Mexican and Wisconsin ancestry. Plus the usual German and Norwegian here and there.

Eventually during a typical evening, a dad or two will be sprawled on the floor or a couch sound asleep, a grandpa on the computer, another dad reading a book and another dad wondering when his wife is ready to go home. A baby or two will be screaming, the 8 year olds will be trying to stay away from the 4 and 3 year olds and the 2 year olds will by crying for the toys the 8 year olds have. The 6 year old will come up with a gotta-do-it-right-now art project involving lots of paper, a pair of scissors and a handful of crayons. The 4, 3 and 2 year olds will be climbing on, over, under and around the table the 6 year old is designing art. The 8 year olds will suddenly race through the entire maze of children and out the front door to go watch the noisy train and suddenly the whole flock of children will stampede out the room, tripping, falling and pinching themselves through the door. The said dads will remain sleeping, the said grandpa will continue the computer and the other dad will scratch his head and look for his wife.

The wives will be discussing the family reunion. While coming from all parts of the earth (or so it seems), the art of planning the annual, First Ever Family Reunion is a task that should really only be expected from those who have received a degree in such matters. Combine all the criteria with the fact that it is rare, almost entirely completely unexpected that we'll all be on the same continent again in the near future. So, this needs to be a well planned reunion filled with quality time.

Did anyone see the two year old come out of the bathroom yet? And who's kid stinks this time?

So, I get the box of popsicles out while assuring all the sugar concerned parents that these popsicles indeed are made with natural juice and contain no sugar or dyes. Suddenly, I am swarmed by children like a hive is swarmed with bees. I come to find later that in the haste of reading the ingredients label, I miss the fourth ingredient which is composed of a sugar defining ingredient. But, for now, I am only trying to stay standing in the swarm of children at my feet.

He wants his popsicle to match his. She wants a popsicle that's yellow. He wants a popsicle just like hers. And she can't have one tonight since she didn't finish supper. A child that is not mine is pulling on my skirt saying, "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy...." while his parents are yelling across the room that he is supposed to say please. 4 other kids are sitting around the table asking for their popsicle and a little 18mo. old is down by my feet signing "please" in an attempt to get his own popsicle. A dad is sitting across the room on a couch feeling dejected and wondering why I didn't give him one yet, as if I intentionally kept him from having one. "Can I have one please?" continues to circle around the table while I quickly rip open packages of popsicles before being completely stampeded by the flock of children. And bear in mind the box of popsicles has only been out of the freezer for 45 seconds.

Finally, all the children have their popsicles at last and as the noise dies down, a thoughtful aunt sitting in the living room offers to help me. She probably didn't offer to help until then because she knew I wouldn't be able to hear her anyway. That was so thoughtful of her but unfortunately, I had to turn her offer to help down considering the herd of kiddos was quietly and contentedly corralled with the popsicles.

When the rounds of "Can I have another one?" began, hails and shouts of "NO MORE!" came sailing from the living room back to the popsicle craving children. Being obedient children, they all rambunctiously jumped away from the table and dispersed to all ends of the house in a cloud of popsicle wrappers and sticks.

And so ended another Nelson Family Get Together night. The dads relaxed peacefully on couches until the time came to leave and the mothers despaired over another evening spent without concluding the plans for the upcoming family reunion.

I just remind myself in the hubbub of activity that 10 years from now, we'll have two 18 year olds, a 16 year old, a 14 year old, two 13 year olds, two 12 year olds, an 11 year old, two 10 year olds and a 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 year old and a baby or two, at least. And when we're on the same continent 10 years from now, it'll be a whole lot more interesting than an evening eating popsicles and figuring out family reunions; it'll be a busy evening spent conversing with children turned adults.

The innocence and simple excitement of youth is precious and one I hope none of the littles in our family grow out of. Then again, I think that the Nelson Family Get Togethers have enough excitement in them to keep even the oldest of us young.

If I do say so myself, we look like a normal and civilized family afterall! Even the little guy in the front knows how to do a picture in style.... or does he?

Monday, December 17, 2007

A Housewife in Training

I came into the kitchen (a couple weeks ago- notice no snow out the window) and found a busy little bee...

Wow, I didn't think it was this big of a job.It's a good thing dishwashers are easy to reach for short people.
Even if you do have to stand on the door to reach the cups.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Beware of Nebraska Snow

There's a lot of things Nebraska does that are good. Like, they grow corn. And they put "Bridges May Be Icy" signs up year round at the brink of every bridge. And they use gravel on country roads to save tax dollars. And they even keep the sides of the roads clear when it snows.

But, they do not know how to deal with the snow ON the roads. For instance, when it snows any amount of snow, the snow plow dude gets in his big orange, county truck and proceeds to move the snow on the streets in town. He simply moves snow on the streets. Let me repeat: he moves snow on the streets, not OFF the streets. All the snow is piled in the middle of the street, right down the yellow line. I'm not kidding. They give it a technical term too: Snow Row.

When that is done, he plows the sides of the highways and gets them cleared off.

Then, he'll go down side streets about three or four days after the last snow fall (usually around the time when it all starts to melt) and with his plow truck, he'll drive back and forth, neglecting his plow but sprinkling small amounts of gravel at each intersection. Never mind there is usually about two to three inches of snow packed on the road, at least the intersections have trace amounts of gravel to help you stop.

I am from the North where feet of snow can be cleared of roads within just hours of the end of a winter storm. I lived on a country road for years that only us and our few neighbors used. That road was cleared and graveled and salted well shortly after the storm ended. So, on this winter day as I prepared to head into a nearby town, I didn't even think twice when I prepared to go out one day about 4 days after the last snow fall. I mean, I wasn't heading down a vacant farm road or anything real primitive; I was heading into a busy town. I just automatically neglected the fact that snow-on-the-roads would still be an issue so long after the last snow storm. (And just so you know, the "snow storm" consisted of like two inches of snow. Seriously.)

I drove into town and was suddenly enlightened that even the well traveled roads still had snow on them. The only reason there were a few bare spots were because the good Lord had sent a couple hours of warm sunlight that melted a few bare spots in the road.

This is ridiculous! I thought to myself. I mean, it had been a few days since the last flake of snow had fallen and this bustling town acted like the whole arctic had moved to their spot on the prairie and ended life as they knew it. And they submitted as martyrs to it's elements. If only they knew how to use their snow plows, this arctic experience would immediately end.

While driving no more than 25mph down one sloping road, I hit the breaks and slid several feet before coming to a stop. I was tempted to stick my feet out and get the van to stop sooner but decided to wait and see how long it took to stop. This was a well traveled road, folks. It led to the only Christmas light display in the park of the town I had come to that wintry day. Ice skates would've proven safer than my airbag-outfitted-front-wheel-drive-mini-van.

I slowly and cautiously edged my way towards the edge of town where the highway was safely glazed with salt. And what should I find after leaving the snow covered roads of Seward, Nebraska but a huge grater truck clearing the sides of the road. Yes, sides of the roads. What do we do with the sides of the roads that's more important than what we do on the roads themselves?

I just don't get it.

Nebraska can grow corn well and caution all drivers about the bridges possibly being icy. But, when it comes to snow, they could take a few lessons from Wisconsin. I'm sorry for my racism or whatever it's called when you think one state is better than the other but that is just the honest truth.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Blessings and Burdens of Motherhood

I couldn't figure out why a level of frustration and despair had risen to a new level in our home recently. Was I losing my mind? Were the kids really that bad? Was I becoming the parent I never wanted to be? What was happening in the life I had always dreamed of having and actually had? Why wasn't motherhood manifested in more blessings than burdens? Why was I so weary?

These honest questions were on my mind as I woke up early one Monday morning. I determined to make this week better than the week previously had been.

So. I forsook my bed. I forsook the phone. I forsook the computer. I forsook all my preconceived plans and determined to just do what needed to be done to keep peace in my home. I forsook everything that, you know, busy mothers really shouldn't do when they have small children.

And then Janae got up. That was fine until the baby got up. Even that was fine until Landon got up. And then disaster struck.

Just so you know, I have a confession to make. I had taken a short shower. I know. That was bad and selfish of me. But, I guess I really just thought it was a good idea at the time. For a brief 10 minutes, I splurged in warm, clean water. I don't mean to be defensive or anything but while I was in the shower, I really tried not to be too selfish. I had Janae come in the bathroom and play on the floor with her toys. Landon wasn't yet up and the baby was secure in his swing. So, it should've been alright, right?

It wasn't. It was as if the walls of this house heard the shower as their cue and said, "Look at that girl run off to the bathroom like that! Let's get her before she has too much fun." That short shower was the only extra thing I did. Seriously. I had poured a cup of coffee earlier and didn't get to even sip it until 2 hours later.

At the dusk of my destructive shower, Alex began crying for his second breakfast and for his diaper to be changed. Landon woke up bawling because his groin area hurt from a fall he had sustained the night before in the bathroom while using the toilet. (don't ask... I have no idea how it happened.) Janae decided that right then was a good time to throw a fit.

I wasn't even dry let alone dressed yet. Who do I help first?

As I groped around for my clothes (read, house coat), I began to fill the tub for Landon to have a warm bath in hopes that would soothe his soreness. Janae wanted a bath too. Alex's diaper was oozing into the new outfit he had on. Landon didn't want a bath and declared that thoroughly through his tears. Janae wanted to watch Landon take a bath (read, get wet playing in water) and declared that thoroughly through tears. Alex needed his diaper changed and was starving and declared that thoroughly through tears.

Where do I start?

I quickly pulled my clothes on, stepping into my underwear while walking out the room. Couldn't waste anytime, you know. Nothing like killing two birds with one stone.

I finished the tub and got the boy in.

I changed Alex's diaper.

I washed the poopy clothes out in the bathroom sink.

I listened to Alex screaming in our room.

I listened to Janae throwing a fit because she couldn't have a bath.

I secured Janae in her room.

I found the baby and started to feed him.

For a few seconds, no body was crying! I couldn't believe it.

Meanwhile, the kitchen was a mess with dirty dishes stacked from the day before. I couldn't start breakfast until they were put in the dish washer. I couldn't put the dirty dishes in the dish washer until the clean dishes were unloaded from the dish washer and put away. And I couldn't do that until the baby was fed.

So, to all you people out there who think that motherhood is only baby lotion, cuddles and kisses and at it's worst, a few poopy diapers, I am sorry to burst into your dream and be the first to admit that it's actually a little different than that. If you don't understand, that's fine. Not even spellchecker knows about poopy diapers but "poopy" really is a word. Just so you know, I love being a mom. But, I am learning that loving it is a lot different than I thought it would be. I love things that I never even knew existed.

Like the joy of coming out to the kitchen and letting Janae empty the dish washer. She has so much fun that I have to stop her when it's empty; she'd reload and re-stack all day if I let her. Or the joy of kissing my little boy goodnight and having him ask me to stay in his room for a little bit so we can talk about the moon some more. Or, even the joy of getting up in the middle of the night to get a baby from his swing and tuck him in bed with me so he can nurse.

It did me good this morning to realize that having 3 little people living with me, all under my care and all age 3 and under is like living 3 lives at once. Plus living my life too. It just takes a lot of work and concentration. It's hard to think of everything that I must do in a day, let alone everything a 2 year old will try to get done. I am the kind of person that hates leaving things undone so it's hard to let one thing go just because I'm too busy to finish it. No wonder why I feel so weary.

A good friend asked me recently if I feel like I babysit all day long. Actually, I don't. I feel like I save lives all day long. I'm a Lifesaver, not a Babysitter. I couldn't count how many times I've walked in on somebody on the brink of killing themselves (unintentionally) or finding someone just seconds away from permanently brain damaging their brother.

And then there's the laundry that perpetually threatens to grow mold and mildew. Or the dishwasher that always needs to be emptied/loaded/emptied/etc. Or the dining room floor that must literally grow spots on the carpet. (carpeted dining rooms should be illegal). Or the sheets that always get peed on the morning after they were changed. Or the toilet that never-endingly needs to be cleaned. Or the meals that are almost forgotten to be made. Or.... you get my point.

I don't want to sound like I have answers or anything because I don't have any. The only thing I can conclude right now is that I need to sign off here and put my baby to bed before he starts bursting windows from the decibel of his voice. He was sitting here fine until I got to the end of that last paragraph. That's how mother hood is though... it never stays the same. As soon as you think you have the answers, it throws you for a loop.

Like just now, the baby got quiet and so did Janae. I caught her just in time before she bit the baby's toes. Just for the fun of it. She wasn't mad or anything. I guess his toes just looked too good to not eat.

For me, the hardest thing about motherhood is realizing the challenge that the hand that rocks the cradle is the hand that rules the world. I'm rocking 3 cradles right now... what will this world come to?

Friday, November 30, 2007

Can You Hear Me Now?

Thanksgiving is over. Traveling is done. About 1400 miles on the road proved to be safe once again. And I am glad. God is good.

After arriving home safe and sound, we were hit from within. We got sick. Or, at least I did.

I am nursing a bad cold and cough that has paid me with a hefty dose of laryngitis. Or something like that. I cannot speak. I cannot speak sweet nothings to my hubby. I cannot speak babytalk to my baby. I cannot speak Toddler. I cannot even speak English. I call the homes of my family and my husband's family and all the kids want to get on the phone and hear me talk. Or make noise. Or whatever it is my voice is doing. They ask if I'm tired or sick or something. Or if my voice hurts. Or if I just got out of bed.

Actually, I feel almost fine. Except for a slight lingering cough. Oh, and for one other thing: no body hears me. My voice is so pathetic.

I tell my son to not touch the computer after I catch him chewing on it. He flips the "online" button to off.

I tell my daughter not to touch the cereal one more time. She takes the container and spills it all through the house, ending finally in her brother's room. I can't count how many times I've vacuumed Frosted Flakes in the last week.

I tell the baby when he's crying that everything is fine. He only cries louder.

I tell the dog to come. She runs the other way.

I tell my husband the garbage is full and would he please take it out. The garbage sits for another day in the corner of the kitchen.

And then I come to my computer to turn it on. And does that listen to me? Nope. Nothing. Zilch. Won't flicker. Won't do anything. So then you can't hear me either.

So what do I do? I get up and pick up cereal. Or hold a fussing baby. Or take the garbage out.

And then when I get really desperate, I smack the computer, punch the "power" button and the light flickers. Wow. Who knew that was a proven technical support method? Thanks to the good friend who told me to do that. (You know who you are.)

My computer is back! I can write again! I can speak without my voice! Finally, someone listens!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Alex Daniel

Look who was 5 months old the other day? Yeah, I'm always a day late and a dollar short but at least I'm a strong believer in better late than never.

And, oh yes! he is as fun in person as he looks on camera. Always ready for a smile, a hug, a cuddle and a little one-on-one time saying "ba-ba-ba-ba-ba!" For giving us such a hard time the first 4 months of his life, he has definitely made up for it now. A very happy and content baby but still loves to eat when he's hungry. (read, starving.) As you can tell from the pictures, he is never late for a meal.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Update in Pictures

Since I promised a certain grandma that I had a post already to put on here today of some certain grand children, the following blog is a fulfillment of that promise.

As a side note, a certain husband surprised his certain wife with a new camera! Our old one was despairing of life itself and making it sorely difficult to capture Kodak moments. I am enjoying our new Canon PowerShot SD750 and am realizing just how fun and easy it is to take pictures again. For those of you that have bemoaned the fact I hardly post pictures anymore, hopefully you'll see a few more around here than you have in the past. Now that I can actually take pictures and upload them without banging the camera or the computer just to get the "upload pictures" button to actually work or threatening to manually dismantle that thing we called a camera, I think you just might be able to finally see more picture updates.

Typical hair day.
Sisterly love.
Almost as big as my sister.
Hitching a ride.
True manhood. Camo pants. Cowboy boots. Biking.

Yes, she does sit still sometimes.
Celebrate Autumn! Make pumkin muffins!
Brothers for keeps.
Life is so serious.
But, I'm still cute.

That To-Do List... Again

Okay, so I remembered my to-do list again. This time, I decided to revise it and make it a little more like something the average person could get done in one day.

So it goes like this:

Get up (check)
Make lunch for Hubby and Son (check)
Find Son's only winter coat - it could be any where in house (check)
Remember forgotten spoons for the lunch box before Hubby drives off (check)
Drink coffee (check)
Check email (check)

Do you get my drift? This is actually a new version of a to-do list; more accurately, we could call it a "it's done" list. My long and endless and never getting-anything-checked-off-to-do list was really depressing me. So, instead of dealing with the depression, I dealt with the list.

No seriously. I mean, yes seriously.

But, in all honesty, my plans today include laundry (and all that entails) and painting the window trim in our dining room. After that, I will be a happy person for actually getting something finished. Done. Completed. Checked off.

Did you notice a very important aspect to my day? Above in my "it's done" list, I mentioned packing lunch for Hubby and Son. Of course, the "Son" part is singular and not plural and since I do have two sons, you will be wise to remember that it's only one son that is with his dad today. But still. Since the other son was up most of the night (don't ask why because I just honestly do not know and if I did, I would make sure that doesn't happen anytime soon again), I should have several hours filled with the prospect of work completed because that son is now finally catching up on a sleep. (Wouldn't that be nice to catch up on that?)

As for that girl who's arm falls out of socket, yes, she is here today. (Read previous post.) But, we are treating her carefully. I decided to put a "Fragile: Handle With Care" sign on her and maybe a couple "This Side Up" signs on her as well. I'll wrap her in "Caution" tape, bubble wrap her head (not her face) and give her some Sleepy Time Tea.

If only I could funnel her energy and use it on my own to-list.

Friday, November 16, 2007

On Being a Superhero and a Supermom All in One Day

I really shouldn't be here. But I am.

Today just has been too original and unique to not blog yet totally mundane and normal all at the same time.

It started at nap time. NO. It actually started first thing this morning. Janae asked for milk. No big deal, she can have milk. BUT, I told her to be patient and wait. She kinda waited and was kinda patient until she threw herself on me and in no uncertain terms demanded milk.

That was it. And that was how my day started. I should've known then that this was a day unlike any other.

After crying and sobbing and throwing a fit for nigh up to all of 15 minutes (or was it hours? I can't remember), I declared a state of emergency and got my tape ready to strap her to a chair until she'd agree to no more tears. And no more throwing herself. Just like that, she dried her tears, wiped her face and happily went on to the next thing.

Wow. And I didn't even have to use the tape!

So, our day went on as normal. By lunchtime, I had unloaded the dishwasher, loaded the dishwasher, cleaned the kitchen, made our bed and decided by about 1:00pm to get dressed. After that, we ate lunch and then loaded the kids up and ran to my sister in laws house to drop something off. I definitely hadn't had a very productive first half of the day but I promised myself the last half would be better. (And then I sit here.)

No big deal. All seemed normal. All seemed right.

We get home. Landon doesn't want a nap and is letting me know that. I promised Janae she could feed the dog so she precariously spills a cup full of dog food in the dog dish. Alex is screaming in the middle of the living room waiting to nurse. Landon still doesn't want a nap. Alex continues screaming. Janae finds out she has to take a nap too and decides she doesn't want one either. She joins in the screaming and crying.

Okay, this is where it gets exciting so sit down if you're not yet and hold on to something stable...

I take my daughter by the hand and we calmly walk towards her room like any normal mother/daughter duo would. Suddenly, Janae lets her legs go under her resulting in a position that put her in the vicinity of needing to be dragged if she continued to hold the hand of her walking mother. I, not wanting to give in to her resistance of going to bed, continued walking. She continued balking. As we both walked and balked, something happened.

But, at that point, I had to attend to Landon. And walk past Alex who was still screaming. Landon didn't want his nap and Alex was screaming louder. Above the boy's din, I thought I could here wails of their sister coming from the other end of the house. Before I began to manually pluck out my hair, I was able to get Landon calm and down for a nap.

And Alex was still screaming when I walked past him.

I went to Janae's room and found her in there. I was surprised she stayed in her room considering her balking while I was walking her to her room just moments earlier. But I noticed something strange.

I noticed her hand was not grand. Her arm showed a tinge of harm. Her tears were of pain and fell like pouring rain. I knew something was wrong; the day would now be long. I was not a nurse. Nor was I a maid. But, I knew right then that my daughter had Nursemaids Elbow.

The phone was near and from there I spread my fear to the dad of my child that is sometimes bad. (It's my child that is sometimes bad; not her dad. He is good and acts as he should. Thought I'd make that clear incase you had a fear and thought our dad was sometimes bad...) Many miles separate us and for that reason I had a fuss. What would I do to my child that was only two and had a elbow hanging loose?

Remember also that the baby was still screaming and that there was no way Toby could come home from his job almost 2 hours away. I was in a bind and about to lose my mind. At least what was left of it.

So, I tucked Janae in bed, propping her elbow carefully and went to feed our starving 18lb. 5 month old baby boy. While nursing, I looked up a site Toby had used in the past to correct this problem once before. I read the instructions, stories and testimonials. Looked at the diagram. Decided to do my best -- especially after evaluating the situation and the fact that my daughter was in pain.

Our nurse friend left on vacation this morning. She couldn't set it.

The chiropractor was out of the office. He couldn't set it.

It's Friday and the ped. was sorely booked. Not like they couldn't have worked us in but at 45 minutes away, it would've been a long and painful ride with a screaming baby, a screaming kid and a child that needed the nap he didn't want.

So, in the best interest of my child, I did it. Yes, me. I set her arm. And it went in just like they said it would. "Pop." Totally fine. Seconds later, she was reaching for things with that arm that before she wouldn't even move. Touching my nose and laughing.

And just now I looked and found this:

Before I did the maneuver, her hand lay painfully on her belly and could not be raised at all. Now she has her arm comfortably pulled up and her hand tucked by her face. Sleeping the way she normally does.

So, yes. I feel like a superhero.

But, I won't feel like a supermom until I get this done:

And that's only about half of it. But, at least my child is happy and not in pain anymore, my baby's tummy if full while he sleeps contentedly and my son is sleeping peacefully in the nap he didn't want.

Now to get to that laundry...

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Things I Hope You Never have to Do, Say or Think

It's a bad situation if you have to tell your son to get out of the fridge. Literally, "get out of the fridge." And then he steps down and gets out. Literally. I mean, it's good that he gets out but the fact that you have to tell him to do that, is probably not a good thing.

Hopefully you'll never have to say that like I did today.

It's a rather pointless situation if you have a fire safety guy over to your house and while he's there, you put a pot of water on to boil and you unintentionally put the pot on the wrong burner. That is just not a good thing. I mean, it's like saying, "Hey, we play with fire at our house! C'mon over and show us how to stay safe!" I happened to do that just last night when he was here and came into the kitchen to find a flaming red burner in one corner of the stove with a cold pot of water sitting in another corner of the stove. Duh. That was really dumb. Good thing we had the fire safety guy over. It also didn't help that I had several candles burning around the house while he was here. I think I was really helping him prove his point for the need for high quality heat and smoke detectors.

Hopefully you'll never be as clever as I was. I'm sure Mr. Fire Safety felt his visit to our home was well worth his effort last night. (Now those people know what live flames can do to their home.)

It's a despairing thing to have to have such intelligent conversations like this at your house:

Mom: What are you doing up there? (son is precariously leaning over the deck rail with a tool in hand.)
Mom: Oh.... (mom dashes to said son upon seeing that said "tool" is actually a kitchen gadget.)
Mom: We don't cut the deck with a cheese slicer.
Mom: The cheese slicer is not for cutting the deck.
Mom: No, it can't take the deck off the house.
Mom: We just don't use the cheese slicer for cutting the deck.
Mom: Don't ever try it again.

Hopefully when this happens at your house, you will save your cheese slicer in time like I did today.

Other things you'll hopefully never have to say in one day:

Don't throw your food across the room.
You only need to cry like that if someone is chopping your foot off.
That smoke alarm is your friend.
Don't spit on the baby.
If you pull her hair, I'll pull your hair.
And no, I won't spit on you.
You both stop spitting.
If you spit again, I'll put tape on your mouth.

And hopefully by the end of the day, you'll have not completely lost your sanity. Because what the kids didn't try today, they'll be sure to try tomorrow. Or the next day. Or the next time you turn your back.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blog: No Time To

I just can't figure out it out. Everyday I read blogs written by mothers with lots of kids and almost always, their blogs are updated. Daily. Sometimes several times a day. And the part I can't figure out is the how-do-they-have-time-to-do-it part.

I have only 3 kids. Some of these women have 3 times as many as I have. Others have twice as many. Some have as many as I do. But they all blog daily. Or several times a day. Or at least several times a week. Plus besides having kids, they do tons of other things like.... home school, have a clean house, cook 3 times a day, decorate their house daily, sew all the time, paint anytime they want, live frugal, and never seem to be tired. I do none of that. And yet my blog goes for ages without having any sign of present life. That just seems wrong. I don't get it.

I reconcile myself with the fact that I do have three kids. And this is the first time I've ever had three kids. And it wasn't long ago that I had the third one. So, life is relatively unique, unusual and unrelenting.

Exciting too is another way to look at my life; never a dull moment. Not that those other moms don't have exciting lives but apparently I haven't figured out how to balance exciting with blogging. It's a mystery to me.

--- Like this morning when I opened the fridge and found a cell phone in there.

--- Or, going to church without a hem.

--- Nursing my baby all night -- and not just every 3 hours but rather for 3 hours at a time. And then for 3 more hours at a time. I'm tired and drained by morning --in more than one way.

--- Making a meal for a family and not getting the potatoes in the oven until an hour after we should've. (and we were going to serve the meal hot so an hour makes a big difference. Especially for potatoes.) Oh, and then the oven started smoking and Janae started hitting Alex with a horse and Landon threw a temper tantrum (I could almost safely say that was a first for him) and the phone rang twice with calls from friends I rarely hear from and the hubby was late coming home from work and was hurrying to get ready for jail Bible study when he finally did get home and I strapped Janae down in a chair just to keep the environment safe -- as well as the baby -- (she thought it was funny to be strapped to a chair...) and the baby needed to nurse and the house smelled like it was on fire, thanks to the oven, and the baby was screaming and the clock was ticking and the potatoes weren't getting done and I was running late with my screaming and hitting kids.

It just never slows down. It doesn't help either that I'm tired lately. Not just the oh-it-would-be-nice-to-take-a-nap kind of tired but the I-need-to-sleep-at-some-point-in-this-24-hour-period kind of tired.

So I drink coffee. Not just for nostalgia or for the smell or because I like aerosol bottles of whip cream to swirl into my coffee. I drink it because I need to. I used to not understand why some people talked about needing coffee. Now I can't understand how people live without coffee. Literally, that's my lifeline.

On a more positive and sweet note, Toby has been romantic lately. And I always like that. The good and romantic husband he is, Toby has thoughtfully considered the plight of his wife and her unquenchable need for one-on-one time with her spouse... especially at the beginning of the day. Not that he's not usually romantic, it's just that this romanticism is a rather new found routine he's settled us in. But, he is a morning person and I am a night person. Actually, right now I'm a anytime person -- as long as I got sleep at the other end of the clock. The morning setting is so fresh and sweet and new-dayish. There's something about facing the day ahead with the one you pledged your life to at your side. But I'm so tired in the morning and so can't keep my eyes open. He lovingly pleads me out of bed and tantalizes me with hot cups of coffee fixed just right.

And then he says (after I'm standing groggily in the kitchen) that it was my choice to get up and he's glad I made the right choice. (I'm thinking, "CHOICE???! You call that a choice?) I'm still glad he's so romantic and good though and helps me stick to my plan of getting up even if I only did get 3-4 hours of sleep the night before.

We sit on the love seat (a fitting place), and enjoy our steamy and creamy bean juice. We read the Bible, talk about the day's plans, discuss our kids and then pray. It's been a wonderful start for both of us and for me, this is the ultimate of romantic. I mean, I like flowers and that kind of thing but I LOVE one-on-one time just talking together. No kids, no distractions, no phone, no blog...

Okay, that last one was just plain mean, wasn't it? I do enjoy a good blog moment when it hits but I'm glad to sit quiet with just Toby and not think along blog lines or anything else.

By the time he leaves for work, Janae and/or Alex are usually up and BAM! just like that, the day starts. Tired or not, I'm still the mom.

So, that’s what is going on here, on the other side of my blog page. Countless times I can sit down with my laptop only to have to jump up, set the laptop down, hop/skip/run/fly to the other end of the room and rescue a baby from his sister. Or dash to the door where my two toddlers just escaped from. Or save a young man from being bitten by his sister. Or set up a train through the living room and dining room. Or make a snack of crackers and cheese and "neg nok" (egg nog). Or give coffee to my two year old. And by the time I find my laptop again, I've lost my blog moment.

And then nap time comes and I breath a sigh of relief (or is it exhaustion?) and tuck my children all soundly in bed. But, if one goes right to sleep, another one will insist on taking no nap that day. If the older two do go to sleep, the baby will decide that today is the day he will nurse through his entire nap. Or else. And if all three of them sleep, the phone rings. Or I decide to blog. But, rarely do I nap anymore because as soon as I go to sleep, within 10 minutes someone will wake up. It’s as if an alarm goes off or something. Now I know why my own mom used to talk about only getting 10 minutes for a nap. She always said it was just enough to keep her going through the rest of the day. That is so true for me. Plus, it’s all my kids will let me have and at this point and I take every second I can get.

So, if days go by without an updated post on here, know full well that life is just too exciting to have a minute to sit down and blog. And not only is my blog being neglected, my pillow is too.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

5 Years Ago Today...

A courtship began.

He was single; I was single.

He wanted a wife; I wanted a husband.

He "risked, reckoned and rested his faith" by asking my dad. (an excerpted quote from the letter itself.)

I rested in the risk he took to reckon his faith.

We began a week of emailing 6-8 pages a piece a day. Never talking on the phone until our relationship was several days deep. Every discussion was documented in those emails.

Okay, it was such an intense beginning, it caused us to get married a mere 3 months later.

He never told me once that he loved me... until he asked me to be his wife. I loved this part about him. And I'll never forget the first time he said, "I do love you." It was immediately followed with, "Will you be my wife?"

Do courtships like ours ever end? After 3 kids, 4 houses, 4 vehicles, 5 year's time of trial and error, I don't think so. We only love each other deeper.

5 years ago today, we fell in love for the first time, ever. And we stayed that way.

Happily Ever After is nice.

This Is The Way We Go To Church

So, my husband is the Sunday School Superintendent at our church. That means that every Sunday, he opens the service (after 2 songs) with a devotional that correlates with the day's lesson. So what. It's really no big deal. Except for one thing: we have to be about 15 minutes early. Yes, early. Every Sunday. Not just when early might happen, but every Sunday.

Did you get that yet? Early every Sunday. Not on time. Early.

Okay, I think you understand that I said early.

So, we left this morning to get to Church early. We had done an impressionable amount of preparation before Church since we were planning on having company for dinner. We even had the table set and everything. All was ready. And we were still early. We were half way there when suddenly, my husband moaned and gasped and sighed and slammed on the brakes all at the same time as he swerved on to the shoulder...

"I FORGOT MY BIBLE!" he groaned.

We turned around and went home, passing several fellow church members heading to church themselves. Wonder what they're doing? I'm sure was heard in every vehicle we passed.

So, we get home and we get the Bible and we leave for Church again. The kids were counted for, the diaper bag was counted for and the Bible was along this time.

We made it to Church. Toby and Landon ran into the building while I unfastened Janae and Alex. We were still early so everything had turned out fine. Technically, this should be the end of the story, right? Well, it's not.

I stood Janae on the ground and happened to glance at my dress. My dress that I had made a couple years ago and never worn. My dress that wasn't wrinkled or anything when I put in on that morning. "How convenient" I had mused earlier as I rushed around getting my family ready for Church. My dress that was supposed to be finished. And what should I find as I stood in the Church parking lot but that my dress was missing a hem. THE hem.

There were no extra hems in the van or in the diaper bag and I knew I couldn't borrow one from anyone at Church. So, I went home. Again. And I got a dress with a hem this time.

So, tonight when we leave for Church the first time, you can bet my husband will double check for his Bible and I'll be sure to check for my hem.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Becoming a Man

He's got the leg cross down and everything.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

On Outfits and Outlaws

Last week took an exciting turn of events for us. We embarked on a fast trip to Montana to visit family from Toby's side. His dad grew up in Sidney, MT. and many of his family members still live there and in the surrounding area. So, the last minute people that we are, we decided to set sail and see the world beyond our immediate horizon.It was a blast to say the least. And never a dull moment. From the 8 kids, 8 and under in our vans for 18 hours at a time to the way Aunt Lois laughed when she tried to tell us a funny story, we just really had a good time. Montana is a unique and rugged countryside. It almost feels like you step into a different country when you cross the great divide that is called South and North Dakota and enter the rough land of eastern Montana.
We were greeted by gigantically antlered deer, roaming the dark desolate highway as we sailed 70 mph in the pitch dark of Halloween night.
At one point after I had driven over 12 hours, I decided to look out the wind shield. The roads were so helplessly straight and boring, you could safely activate auto-pilot on your vehicle. Actually, I had been looking out the wind shield but had hardly looked up out of the wind shield. And what should I see but the Big Dipper straight ahead, just a couple feet off the road. I mean, it was like right there. Bright, obvious and straight. (I've always seen it crooked.) My mother-in-law commented that this was big sky country; my sister-in-law asked if that was the same big dipper we could see in Nebraska. It was that much different; you had to wonder if you had actually seen this Big Dipper before. There were so many things about this land that were unique and the more we drove into it, the more I noticed things I had never seen before. Such as 3 rows of cowboy boots all belonging to one person.
The night was so dark as we traveled west. I had never seen such darkness before. When we finally got closer to Montana, we reached a location that happened to have the moon on it's horizon. The moon was hazy, only partially there and barely off the ground. Even in it's vertically challenged state, I could hardly understand how it could shed that much light on the earth below. I think that's how desperate Western ND and Eastern MT are. They just don't have many conveniences out there -- except for a vivid view of the Big Dipper. After arriving at Toby's aunt and uncle's house (who so kindly hosted our entire 3 families and made us all feel right at home), I made the mistake and happened to ask out loud how far away Walmart was. Uncle Johnny said 80 miles; Ellagene said 50 miles and Lois assured with complete confidence that Walmart was only all of 45 miles away. Not wanting to be outdone by his sister, Uncle Johnny admitted that it just depended on what side of Sidney you came from (Sidney is a very small town) and Ellagene seemed to concure that maybe Lois was right but she really thought it was more than 45 miles. Then, they all three began to discuss at the same time when they had been there last, why they went, where they were travelling to when they went and finally, one of them admitted he had never actually been there before. A sister pointed out immediately that he had indeed been there and then launched into a story that surrounded her brother being at this Walmart, while he objected the entire time then finally admitted that he had been there once. Not wanting to be outdone by another sister, he quickly told me that he still couldn't remember being there even if he had been there like Ellagene said he was. Lois finalized the conversation with, "Really, Walmart is only 45 miles away." I snuck away quick before they began to argue again. That was the gist of every conversation. I finally understand now where Toby gets this tendency. I never have won an argument with him. Even when I am right, instead of admitting my rightness and his wrongness, he'll just say, "That's what I'm saying." It's very confusing. I've always told him that even when he is wrong, to him he's still right. I know that sounds complicated and maybe confusing but the fact you can't understand it, is probably a good thing. It also confirms that you are not a Nelson and don't hold title to this interesting and sometimes strange family. Not only do the Nelson's have a related blood line, they also have a related language. To put a plate under a soup bowl brings "sturbility," not stability. To own a Reverse Osmosis water system is to have a "OR system," not a RO system. Before I get myself in trouble naming too many Nelsonisms, I'll stop right there. This side of the Nelson's never surprised me on our whole trip because Toby's dad is notorious for changing words and even making some up. But, I didn't know this was such a strong Nelson trait until we went on this trip. This may sound scary to a non-Nelson but it doesn't really get that scary unless you find yourself saying phrases that sound just like a true Nelson. I was making a clear point about a deep, theological topic the other day and launched into a Nelsonism. My sister-in-law asked me to interpret what I said and say it in English so she could understand what I was saying. That was a scary feeling. I was intrigued with the way Montana was. The native tongue (though English) was unique. One day Lois was talking to her son, Bo on the phone and made reference to his arrival. She wondered if Bo and his friend would come in one outfit or two. I could not understand why anyone would need to share a change of clothes with their friend and both wear it at the same time. This I had to see.
When Bo showed up in his own car and his friend came later in another car, I realized outfit meant vehicle. But, not only does it mean the rig you drive, it also can define any electronic device, the clothes you wear and/or anything else you wish to call outfit. John and Lois did a tremendous job of showing hospitality and making us all comfortable and insuring that we felt at home. After driving 18 hours straight, I thought to myself as we neared their house, "All this driving and I don't even get my own bed." I didn't miss my bed in the least when we stepped in their lovely home. They were so loving and kind. If Sidney Montana ever opens a potato products factory and Aunt Lois runs it, be assured that each potato will be peeled and carefully sliced or diced by the woman herself. She has OCD (Oppressive Compulsive Disorder) when it comes to potatoes. Well, not quite to the extent that you're probably thinking but I couldn't believe how that lady would stand there for literally hours on end slicing potatoes in perfect slices. She said it was therapeutic. Someone told her she had an interesting therapy. She fixed the best meals I have had in a long time but seemed to somehow balance hosting and cooking with mingling in the crowd and visiting. Both her and Ellagene did an amazing job at rocking the babies to sleep and keeping up on the cooking and cleaning. Once, Gail, Ellagene and I all hopped in Ellagene's F150 outfit and headed to the Pamida. I couldn't believe the sky rocketed prices for such a primitive town. And the gas prices too. With oil rigs more prominent than green grass out there, no one could understand why gas was so high. Other prices were noticeable as well. Like, they told me that it's not unusual to find a gallon of milk at a convenience store for over $5. Wow. The morning we left, a couple cousins and an aunt put together an amazing breakfast at a early and ungodly hour in the morning. We were told it was going to be a quick breakfast of fruit and muffins but they meant more than just fruit and muffins when they said fruit and muffins. Fancy little quiches, hot ham, a large selection of cold cereal, several bowls of berries and fruits, huge muffins, cold juices and hot coffee greeted us when we stepped into the Church basement they hosted us in. We could hardly believe the incredible effort they all had gone to, just to see us. It was a nice start to our long trip home.
It was a fun trip though the hours in the van were incredibly long -- 18 hours out there; 15 coming home. We left Wednesday and came home Saturday. Crazy, I know, but it was well worth any effort. After 5 years of being in this family, I was so glad to finally meet the rest of the bunch. It was also a relief to find out that my own husband is only one of a kind. And to also learn that he's not as worse as they get. :) I haven't laughed so hard at the simple natural abilities of anyone in a long time. His uncles about take the cake over anything -- except for their sisters. L to R: Ellagene, Johnny, Lois, Nels. Seated: Gary. (Nels is Toby's dad, incase you can't see the similarity.

L to R: The Toby Nelson Family looking normal. Or, would this be us looking abnormal since we normally never look like this in real life?

I just went away and came back and found this: gtyguy5ujon4idf hfhgtyrrvhgrhbghyhfg. A guilty face on a cute little boy said it all. I wonder who he is related to...?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

1st Hair Cut

At almost 5 months old, Alex was ready for a hair cut. After being dubbed as "The Wild Man," I took pity on his character trait (wild hair) and decided to civilize him and spiff him up a bit. The first picture doesn't give enough credit to his hairy image (his hair was wet in the picture) but it was really getting long and straggly. Alex's aunt Vicki did the honors of cutting his hair and I think she did a good job.

Before the show began

When it started getting exciting

Performing the Lock Down

Utilizing the Lock Down (yes, I was laughing at him....)

The handsome boy!

Monday, October 29, 2007

Catastrophe # 5,874

If you persistently run out of hot water on bath night and you have a generous sized hot water heater that was inspected and deemed very functional, don't panic: you probably really don't need a new hot water heater just yet.

If you have two and three-year-olds in your house that are healthy, active and energetic and they enjoy playing in your basement - especially within the vicinity of the hot water heater, they are probably actually the problem. Especially if the shut off valve on the hot water heater is within 48 inches to the floor.

If you don't believe me, just go check your hot water heater.

Or you can come check mine.

Tip: check them before you attempt to use the shower.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Ever Wonder Why You're Not Married Yet?

Check this site out here to find out why.

Just another reason why men should ask for directions...

(Link courtesy to this dear gal, and of course her sweet blogger cousin who first posted the above quote.)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

12 Reasons Why I Love My Mother-In-Law

She likes to talk.

She likes to listen.

She never leaves me wondering what she's thinking.

She is a firstborn just like me.

She always has time for people.

She lends a hand and helps every chance she gets.

She likes to take my baby to her house just for fun.

She did a ton of my laundry.

She cleaned our house when we had to leave on an unexpected trip.

She made us a good supper tonight and brought it over.

She loves the Lord.

She raised my husband and he's a good man.

Don't Eat Those Bugs and Other Things I Never Thought I'd Say

Don't eat cookies that you find on the floor.
How did the baby get in our bed? (said in the early darkness of the morning.)
No, eagles are not people.
Yes, eagles can walk. Sort of.
No, eagles don't say, "I will attack you."
Eagles are birds.
Eagles can fly.
Eagles can't talk.
Why are you asking me about eagles?
Who's wet diaper is under the bed?
Go wash your hands but don't use any soap. (long story... don't ask.)
Why would you want to pee on your toys anyway?
NEVER pour gas all over the garage floor again.
No, you can't drive. (said to a three year old.)
Are you putting those chips in your pocket?
Who cut your hair?
We don't shoot Janae.
Don't put your fingers in the baby's mouth.
Eat your candy.
Where is Mommy's credit card Landon?
No, you can't have a vitamin yet.
Where is Mommy's wallet?
Who put Daddy's shoe in the toy box?
No, we can't live at Grandpa's house.
Landon, how did you get this $20 bill?
Don't eat those bugs.
We don't pee back there.
We only pee in the toilet.
Stop licking the window.
If you slam that door again, I WILL take it off the hinges.
Why would you step on your sister's head?
Would you like it if people walked on your head?
Don't stand in the dog's water.
I'll give you something to cry about.
Remember, you're not the mom. (said to a three year old having an apparent identity crisis/bossy attitude.)
Don't walk on the baby.
Don't be mean to your sister; she will bite you.
If you don't want to get bit, then don't be mean.
Boy's can't nurse.
Curious George doesn't nurse either.
Only mommies nurse.
Don't. eat. the. dogs. food.
Don't bite the baby.
Don't step on the snakes.
That bee will sting you; don't touch it.
Never climb on the oven door.
Don't hang from the freezer handle.
Don't climb the fridge.
Do you want some coffee? (said to a two year old.)
A headache is in your head.
That is not your jaw; that is your chest.
Don't throw your bike.
It's not getting dark yet; it doesn't get dark until night time.
That squirrel won't get you.
We can't go to Mississippi today; it's too far away.
Stop asking me if we can go to Mississippi.
The lightning won't get you.
No, the dog is not your daughter, Landon.
And Grandma is not your husband.
Yes, Mommy and Daddy got married.
Why are you bringing that axe to the grocery store?
No, we can't do school right now.
Don't put your foot on the baby's head.
Where is your shirt? (said to a half naked child that just came in from the frigid outdoors.)
I don't care if you're hot, put your coat back on.
If you want Grandma to get your card, we have to give it to the mail man.
Watch out for that wall.
Don't put tic-tacs in your nose.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Sanitary Sunday for the Sane

No baby crying, no kids starving and no phone ringing. Ahh! The bliss of a blog moment.

Okay, you noticed my title and probably wonder what in the world would inspire such a subject. I never seem to participate in Wordless Wednesday, or Works-For-Me-Wednesday, or Kitchen-Tip-Tuesday, or Friday Funnies, or any of those catchy phrases that define the topic for the day on several of the blogs I visit. Instead, I've decided to make up my own just now. Actually, I was going to write this post last Thursday but then didn't get a chance. I never could come up with a good one for Thursday anyway. As is the custom of things put aside, I didn't get to it until today... Sunday.

I've had a heavy topic on my mind lately. A real heavy one. We could call this post, "The Topic" since it falls in such a stark category. Hopefully we won't broach this subject again, at least for a real long time, but for now I think we need to discuss the following.

The topic at hand involves a toilet. I know, I know. It doesn't get much heavier than toilet talk. Especially when I'm referring to a toilet commonly used by a little boy who utilizes his full height for something that needs all of his stature and then some. I think you agree that this is a pretty weighty topic now.

So, the fact that we have only toilet in our home and no urinal, I was desperate. I mean, I hate to be so brash in my honesty right now but I was finding it frustrating to find small puddles of, well, of THAT and realized early on that simply wiping the puddles up with mere toilet paper was probably not very sanitary.

For the record, I LOVE cleaning toilets. Toilets and sinks are my favorite to clean. You probably think that's gross and perhaps your least favorite chore. Let me assure that yes, dirty toilets and dirty sinks are gross. But, in hardly anytime, a little elbow grease can have a bad toilet looking really good. And I love it when my work has a fast turn-around rate -- you start the project and the thing looks bad; in a matter of seconds, you are finished and the thing is a shiny piece of porcelain. Unlike laundry where you sort it, wash it, switch it, dump it, fold it, put-it-away and then start on the next load. Takes forever to see progress... unlike toilet cleaning.

But, I don't like cleaning toilets constantly. I like to enjoy my progress; not keep repeating the chore over and over every time my child has to use the bathroom. I was honestly getting a little weary with the fact that my little boy seemed to arrive in the bathroom just on time every time so was only given enough time to aim in the general direction of the toilet instead of aiming precisely IN the toilet. Aiming AT the toilet and aiming IN the toilet are two entirely different things. Plus his stature is a little wanting so that makes a difference too. Teetering on your tip toes into something that is a tad too tall anyway is enough of a road block from keeping you from getting the job done efficiently. And not being efficient in the bathroom when you're a little boy is just not a good thing for whoever regularly cleans the bathroom.

As if the puddles weren't bad enough, I investigated further one day when the bathroom smelled especially ripe. I found by looking in just the right light, that there was a spray of dried, well, STUFF on the wall and I realized that a little velocity practice had been going on in our civilized house. Folks, I live in the United States of America and reside in a modern Midwestern town; this isn't a third world country. I believe in freedom but not the kind of freedom that allows, well, THAT to be relieved anywhere it strikes your fancy. It's one thing to use a tree for such talents but we do not use anything inside our home for, well, THAT STUFF.

Upon examination, the top trickles were almost 4 feet high. And my son is only about 3' tall. While observing his achievement on the bathroom wall, I had to wonder if he thought he had succeeded in his pursuits. I'm sure he was impressed but I sure wasn't.

I washed all the walls in the vicinity of the toilet a good way up and sanitized the entire toilet. I had a good talk with my boy's father, who by the way, was more than slightly amused by what our son did. Though he was almost impressed, he still promised to talk to Landon.

In the meantime, I needed to find a solution for all the little "accidents" that happened several times a day in our bathroom and have been ever since our son became "potty trained." For those of you with baby boys still using diapers, I have one words of advice for you: don't potty train your son until he is tall enough to stand in front of the toilet. In case you don't know this, potty chairs are for girls. Boys stand. Even when they can't reach, they still stand. Trust me on this. Potty chairs with pee guards big enough to contain an elephant should he try out the plastic little throne, is only deceiving: potty chairs are a girl thing. A pee guard does no good when the boy stands at the toilet instead.

Normally what I did to these obnoxious puddles of what-the-pee-guard-on-the-potty-chair-that-my-son-doesn't-use-since-he's-a-boy didn't get, was attack them with generous sprays of Fantastic cleaner and evacuate the areas with sterile paper towels. But, keeping both in our tiny bathroom and trying to stay on top of the messes with constant bathroom upkeep similar to what most people do once a week, was getting weary.

I decided to splurge: I bought antibacterial cleaning wipes instead. In no time, I can have the entire toilet area spic and span WITHOUT using clumsy paper towels, rags and a spray bottle of disinfectant that I don't have room for.

This keeps me sane, the bathroom sanitary and is even simple enough to do on a busy Sunday. Now Landon can continue to grow big and healthy and hopefully smart and tall and someday, just someday, I might actually have a clean bathroom in between the times that I clean it.

A weighty topic indeed but reality all the same. Especially when you live with a little boy like I do.

Friday, October 19, 2007

A Pointless Post

With everything going on at once and not much happening at the same time, it's just plain hard to blog.

Take for example this evening while holding my calm (not) placid (not) delicate (not) 15+ pound baby boy on my lap while trying to catch up online. He kept kicking me and finally, I realized his intention had never been to kick me but actually kick at my warm cup of decaf coffee. Ahhh! What a warm sensation coffee can bring when you consume it in more ways than one. Especially while wearing an offwhite shirt. Talk about a double whammy.

Both of my older kiddos have fevers and I myself am a tad under the weather. Just got the sniffles. It's not like a full blown cold or anything, just an annoying nose is all. Not a big deal except when your nose is dripping, the baby is screaming, the phone is ringing and supper is cooking and you can't find a kleenex.

As I sit here now, I can see Alex just past my screen laying on the floor flopping and rocking from side to side. He's turned himself like the hand of a clock in an attempt to change views, reach for toys and look at me. He has almost rolled over several times. It would take two flies zooming past his fat bottom to upset his balance enough and cause him to fully roll from his back to his tummy. But, so far, I only see one fly down there. He is so close to turning.

What is it with flies this year? We have them so bad in (yes, even in) our house that you'd think we lived on a pig farm. Everyone I talk to says they too have the same kind of problems with flies. Mealtime is the worse. I have decided to set the table with the usual mealtime utensils but also add a fly swatter.

Yuck! you say. I know, that would be gross to have a dirty fly swatter. But, I figure that's better than a husband who tries to kill them with his bare hands all through the meal. Not only does he try, but he usually succeeds. He is especially inspired to kill when he sees more than one fly in an area the size of his palm. Ewww. I know. That's what I say too. But, men will be men and no amount of germs will keep men from being men.

Yet with those same hands, my husband will clean up a puke covered little girl while I sit and gag and look the other direction. He is so brave. So, I guess I'm glad most men aren't afraid of germs.

Well, Alex has about decided that his time alone has come to an end. He needs his mother, the poor neglected child. He just loves to always be right with me. Which wouldn't be so hard if he didn't weigh almost 20 lbs. at 4 months old and knew how to kick coffee down my chest. He's talented. Oh, and he LOVES to go shopping. Seriously. He does. I wear him in my MobyWrap and he just peers out and grins away at people until he gets too tired and then droops his head and takes a little snooze. I wonder if I could try something like that with my husband in order to help him enjoy shopping.

This isn't much of an update but like I said, not much going on lately yet everything happening at once. Then again, that's kinda how life is around here lately.

So yeah, this is an update.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

What Kids Don't Need

I was shocked when I read the news headlines on this evening. I've hardly been able to see straight since I read it. It was something about parents being shocked at the age their kids should start taking birth control pills.

Apparently some good folks who have been licensed to educate our children have determined it's best to give our 11-year-olds birth control so that they will not have their lives ruined by an unplanned pregnancy.

How thoughtful of these "good" folks.

Okay, I'll say that the way I really feel it...

Some whacked "educated" professor that has been stupidly trusted with our children's well fare and knowledge, has been watching our children use the playground for things other than just child play. Instead of saying, "No, we don't do that here," (a simple command all children understand) he chose to turn a blind eye and deaf ear from the immorality being explored on the school grounds and instituted the idea of confidential birth control in order to not "ruin the lives" of these small children. That is such a good idea! Why don't we allow our kids to play in the street while we're at it and just amputate each limb that may get injured by any passing vehicle?

So, our kids are having sex and taking The Pill. Any doctor will tell you that The Pill is not 100% effective and that abstinence is the only form of trusted birth control. But, since the teachers and mentors we have trusted are now telling our kids it's okay to have sex, when will we start seeing maternity clothes in children's clothing stores? I mean really, if we can give our little girls birth control (does that come with instructions for children under 12 like Tylenol does?), why not let them sport their bulging bellies in style?

If they can post on gas station doors, "No Shirt, No Shoes, No Service," and everyone obeys the simple rule, why can't they post on school room doors "No Sex, No Drugs, No School?"

What would probably happen then is we'd end up with a bunch of uneducated, immoral people wandering around squandering up our welfare system. Oh wait! What am I saying... that's not what we WOULD end up with; that's what we HAVE ended up with. From such children, come other children.

What gets me is the fact that having sex with a minor is illegal BUT if you are a minor, then just make sure the other minor is taking birth control. Then you're fine. Then it's okay. I mean seriously, even your teacher will make sure you get The Pill without your parents even knowing about it. But, if a pregnancy occurs, THEN it's a "oops." It was a no-no. Otherwise, keep your belly flat, the population down and you're fine.

These kids are seeking true love and acceptance. Not sex. They are seeking creativity and productiveness. Not sex. They are seeking purpose in life. Not sex. They are seeking stability and sense in life. Not someone giving them a pill so they can go have sex. They are KIDS! for crying out loud, not wild animals with insatiable desires to do things that no one can stop them from doing. They want boundaries and limitations. They want safety. They want security. They don't want sex. And they don't need it either.

Seriously folks, a baby is not the worst that can come of immoral sex. A baby doesn't leave you with a life-long disease that you'll share with anyone and everyone you may ever be intimate with. A baby doesn't make you give that some one you do want to spend your life with, an infection that they too must suffer. A baby doesn't increase your chance of a fatal illness, an STD does. A baby can be adopted off and even forgotten about but a STD stays right with you, increasing your likelihood for cancer, other diseases and sickness. All because someone said, "take this pill, don't tell your mom, and have fun."

What these kids don't know is that a pregnancy is not the worst of it. They don't know that by what The Pill is enabling them to do, is the very thing that could be the cause of their death. That a disease could come from their playmate that could kill them both. They will suffer pain and agony all because no one said, "Don't touch." (Another simple command all children understand.) They will bear the scars on their heart from something that could've been prevented had someone who was *supposed* to care for them, made it impossible for them to defile their spirit and their body.

A Pill will do them no good then.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

So Much To Say Yet Nothing At All

This blog has been sorely neglected.

I know if I don't post something soon, Blogger will shut me down.

Of course, Blogger hasn't done that to any blogs but I just know that if I let this blog go another day, they might decide to dust out a few neglected corners of their system and poof, I would be gone.

All because Blogger dusted, I would be gone.

Does Blogger dust?

Perhaps they do; perhaps they don't.

Either way, I haven't blogged lately.

And if I don't blog soon, Blogger will have every reason to dust me off.

Of course we haven't established the fact that they do dust but as mentioned already, in case they do, and in case they do it tonight, I should just give them reason not to dust me.

So, there's my blog.

I hope Blogger is happy.

And that you are too.

In other news, I have made several sore attempts at a post. But, as you probably well know after many vain visits to my blog with no new posts recently, it's resulted in nothing more than a draft. I hate drafts. I need to dust out my drafts folder and polish up some posts. Or, maybe I don't need to. I have had such controversial topics on my mind lately that I fear if I let them spill anywhere near here, I would cease any and all future blog moments. So, I digress.

I blog best when I'm glad, sad, mad or bad. But, if I'm all four at once, I do not blog well at all. Not at all.

So, there you have it. I have been glad, sad, mad and bad lately. Don't ask about the bad. I'm really not that bad. As for the glad right now, that's really good. And the sad and mad are just, well, that: sad and mad.

The topics on my mind and the situations in my life right now leave me fired, wired and tired so I just don't have that 3 letter formula left over for blogging: N R G. (insert a couple E's and drop a Y on the end and you get the correct form of spelling.)

So, before you all feel as neglected as my pet guinea pig has lately, I just wanted to assure you that things will pick up here again. I was going to say soon but I can't promise anything. I just better reaquaint myself with a proper frame of mind before I embark on any topics at hand.

With that, I bid thee adieu while hoping for a more collected string of thoughts.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request

We just received some awful and shocking news. My uncle (Mom's only brother) took his own life last night. Please pray for our family. We are devasted and completely shocked.

Though I received this news just minutes ago, I have learned that when someone close to your life dies, it's hard - we all know that - but when the life was taken on purpose by that person them self, the grieving is unlike a "normal" death. Not only do we feel the pain of his death but also the pain of what he did. You want to ask them "why" but you know it's too late. It's a shocking and sharp feeling that leaves you feeling numb.

He had a family, though very broken. Pray specifically for his 3 teenage sons. They need Jesus and especially so now. Your prayers are appreciated.

A Question on Ministry ::Reviewed::

Thank you to all of you that commented on my previous post concerning balancing our ministries as mothers with ministeries to other people. I appreciated each thought and word of encouragement shared and saved every one of your comments. Please feel free to continue sharing thoughts in the comment box.

I was reminded again recently at how refreshing it is to view issues in life through other's perspectives. And by each of the comments that were shared, I found myself renewed with a freshened vigor to continue my quest towards godly motherhood and to view that as my ministry today.

I was challenged to rethink my perspective on priorities and I have come away with a renewed hope and joy. The result of this entire discussion has multiplied in more than one blessing and I can joyfully say that "there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus."

The previous post "A Question on Ministry" has been modified here. What is your perspective on how a busy fulltime mom of young children should venture into the opportunities of ministering outside her home? Feel free to share.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

On Motherhood and Zapping Wires

Fully realizing the desolate plight I depicted about myself in the last post, let me just say that sometimes 5 hours of sleep gives good reason to grab a cup of coffee and sit on blog spot to do something there other than one of the trillion things on my To-Do list.

That's why I'm here today.

About that list though, I did actually give myself the opportunity to cross something off! (I hear cheers from everywhere! Thank you, thank you, thank you folks! Oh, not a standing ovation....! [dabs eyes in appreciation]... ) Yes, you did hear right; something is finished on my list: The Bathroom.

Right now I really should be installing curtain rods in the livingroom but something about that drill in the drill box is telling me that it won't be an easy job. Especially since my husband won't be home for another 7 hours and it's already 3 in the afternoon. Can you say long day?

Long day indeed but I'm making the best of it. The guinea pig's cage is clean, sparkling clean I might add. The laundry is almost half-way done and boy, does that feel good. (The done part of the half way laundry is really making the difference in my outlook on laundry today.) The house is actually clean and picked up and looks like children don't live here. The kitchen is semi-in order which is actually a good thing for me since this kitchen seems to have a magnetic force that attracts magnets of clutter. The kitchen floor is (you better sit down before I say this) swept AND mopped. Wow. I won't have to mop for another 2 months now. The baby is sleeping. The oldest is sleeping. The girl is wide awake.

Yes, the girl. She is my trouble today. Although her brother helped her out a few times in enabling more trouble to produce from her sweet and angelic nature. After turning on the hose outside (an off limits action), he created enough reaction between water and dirt to cause a generous amount of mud to which his clean and well mannered sister became tempted by. Lets just say it was time for a bath. The kind of bath where you run bath water twice.

Because of the difficulty it's been to teach my son not to play with water when he's outside, I was running out of creative punishments that really hit home to his energized 3 year old heart. But, today he is learning on his own. The reason we don't jump off the arm of the couch onto the cushions of the couch is because our sister might be sitting there and her teeth just don't feel too good when you hit them at such a high speed.

So, I'll admit that I was glad to hear that some where in the process of playing in the mud he created, he had inflicted upon himself the sting from low voltage phone wires. This punishment was doubly applied since 1) he wasn't supposed to play with the hose and 2) he wasn't supposed to touch the wires. We all know that if we touch electric looking wires, we will most likely get zapped to some extent. We all also know that if we don't touch those wires, we amazingly won't get zapped. Before you think we have live wires within reach of our children, let me assure you its worse than that. We also teach our children to play on hot stoves and chase mean dogs. Okay, I'm kidding.

These wires I'm talking about are those tiny wires installed by the phone company that most normal people have behind a small, discreet box connected to outside of their house. You probably don't even know where it is unless you have phone trouble or if your kids take the box off and play in the mud with it. And then the dog chews on it or the screw gets lost or something happens to cause the box to somehow just not fit right anymore. So it falls off everytime the sun sets or the earth makes a turn on it's axle.

Without the box on anymore, it looks like we have a live bomb attached to the outside of our house. Not sure when the bomb will go off but with the way Janae is acting in her room today, I have to wonder if it went off and is projecting itself on my sweet, quiet, calm little girl. This tangle of wires is right outside her window.

Ironically enough, it's amazing our phone even works anymore -- or our internet for that matter. The entire contraption gets as much rain as our rain gauge and the only drawback we've had from it (besides the boy getting a little tingle on his finger today) is sometimes phone conversations will be a bit garbled up if we make or receive a call during a rain shower. If you ever wonder if it's raining at my house, just call and see if the connection is clear. That's more predictable than the weather alerts online.

Back to what I was saying about who was my trouble today, since putting the kids down for naps almost two hours ago, I have spent untold trips to Janae's room and back again. That 2 hours is longer than her normal naptime is. And she doesn't seem to get it that she must go to sleep before she can get out of her bed. "I'm happy now" she keeps saying when I tuck her back in. Ugh. Everytime I go back, there's something else on the floor, something else missing from the wall and another piece of creative evidence that she was out of her bed. I've changed her diaper twice and covered her up a million times. Besides sitting on her until she falls asleep, I'm not sure what to do since she just won't go to sleep. One thing I have never done is let my children get up by themselves if they haven't slept during naptime. I'm really not sure what she thinks she'll get out of this. Maybe she's hoping for the impossible... "Oh here Janae, you got out of your bed and are such a darling girl! Would you like to walk to the park and eat some candy?" I don't think so.

I am amazed at the amount of wisdom that is required when you live with little people like I do and call yourself Mom. Wow. I never thought it would be this hard. I've learned that it's hard to be a mom but it's even harder to be a good mom. I think Janae is just making me be a good mom today.

I had someone say to me once that I should reconsider my priorities. I agree 100%. My ultimate goal is to have my priorities straight. But for some odd reason, there is a great confusion on what priorities should be first. Are there other needy people that I should make an effort to help out? YES! But, my priorities are mixed up if I make it a point to be available to other needs at the same times that my children need my attention in a special way. Not that I don't desire to help other people but if I run off and pick up another burden not meant for me to carry, who is going to carry my load? Will someone be as willing to care for my children as I was to care for another need? The thing with raising a family is that when you are the mom, YOU are the care provider. YOU know what is needed there. You won't walk into church and find a sign-up sheet with your family's needs on it:

Train Landon
Discipline Janae
Care for Alex
Love Landon, Janae and Alex

Nope. These are the silent callings of motherhood on me. These are heavy burdens that everyone else sees as pleasant little people, not desperate impressionable souls. These are my little people. My mission fields and my treasure chests. What I put in them will be saved for all eternity. I fulfil each of those callings and I carry out the task in style, not in duty.

As I step back into my day today and resume The List and not the irrational temptation to take up solo jogging this afternoon, I am endeavoring to remember that at the top of my list is a 4 letter word that can never be crossed off: KIDS. But, not only are they kids; they are also MY kids. (so that's why they live here... I get it now!)

So, I am mothering with style today! (But, please come home soon hubby...)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Down With the Deer Landon Style

"Bang, bang, bang.... Mom, I'm shooting at you!" Landon called across the room. I quickly redirected him the ways of hunter safety and told him in simple words, "We don't shoot people, we only shoot animals."

"Oh. Aminals?" He clarifies.

"Yes, animals. You can shoot things like... um..." (I was trying to think of a good animal to shoot).

"SHEEP!" He interrupts my thinking. So, I agree with him; sheep are good to shoot. I mean, we count them in our sleep only to get an idea of how many there are to shoot the next day.

As Landon goes on his hunt, he eventually ended back up in the kitchen with me.

"Hey Mom," he says. "I'm shooting sheep and bears and moots!" he declares excitedly.

"Moots?" I asked him, "What's a moots?"

"Um... a moots is small.... really REALLY small... and it's an aminal... um.... its a moots," he finished with as if the name alone gave the definition. But, then he went on while deep in thought, "A moots pees really REALLY hard on deers and a moots poops on them too," he stated very matter-of-factly, as if this was a good character trait of an animal.

Wow. I was speechless. I was having a sudden vision of these rodent-size creatures that ran around the forest jumping on a deer's back with an intense fury while, well, doing what Landon says they do to deer.

And since "deers" are scarier to Landon than the bogey man is, I'm surprised he would have the desire to shoot an "aminal" that sounds to me like it is as against the deers as Landon is. Who would've thought a moots could be so detestable though. And where does this kid come up with this stuff?!