Friday, January 29, 2010

Survival Skills


Someone once told me that if you can survive an 8-yr. old boy, you can survive anything.


I believe it.


Our son's birthday presents of a season each of Man vs. Wild and Survivorman, coupled with his 10-yr. old "mentor" Justin's earlier exploits and the presence of a 7-yr. old neighbor GIRL, produced the following:








Open this Sunday 2010.


Last Tuesday I grossed out a girl by eating a worm. She was realy grossed out. She almost threw-up. ((P.S. Tell to Jeremy and Justin.))



Actually, he grossed out TWO girls. I was napping at the time. Lily woke me to say in an awed voice, "Mama! Ben just ate a worm!" His lively description at dinner that worms taste "salty at first, but then sweet" did nothing to help my appetite. But my reaction greatly heightened his experience.


And I have at least two more boys to live through?


Monday, January 25, 2010



Our 8-yr. old, Benjamin, has been known to say on various occasions when he is called upon to help clean up a younger sibling's mess, "And THIS is why I'm never getting married." He will then elaborate on how getting married means having kids and having kids means picking up their messes.


This is true.


The other day, after Lily (6) had just finished sweeping up a cup's worth of scattered wheat kernels from the floor and Jonathan (19 mos.) had just finished dumping said swept kernels and the rest of the trash's contents back onto the floor, Lily let out a moan. "JON-JON!!!"


"See?" said Benjamin. "Do you still want to get married?"


"Well," Lily hotly answered, "I'm NOT marrying Jon-Jon!"


Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Princess Birthday

Eden turned three yesterday. She made it quite clear that she wanted a Princess Birthday, with a flower cake. And that she wanted "The Allisons" to give her presents. And "The Allisons" to sing to her. And "The Allisons" to clap when she blew her candles out. I tried to tell her that technically she did not have call us "The Allisons" since she is, indeed, one of us, but she was uninterested in my blabbering.


So yesterday, after Ethan's session meeting two hours away, he picked up a pretty pink flower cake and we sang to her and gave her some gifts.


And then today, we went to Grandpa and Grandma's for another Princess Party.


Eden was quite pleased. Three was a success.



(The slug book? "Because every princess needs some common sense," said my mom. Ewww.)




Happy Birthday, Princess.



Friday, January 22, 2010

Difficult Things


It is difficult not being able to clean things as thoroughly as I'd like nor being able to sustain my children's attention long enough to get them to clean things as thoroughly as I'd like.


But it is also difficult having someone else show up to do "whatever I can do to help." Especially when they come bearing more than a meal's worth of food and when they show up more than once this week.


And when there are TWO people that come independently of each other, and one of them has two children that WANT to play Play-doh with my children, well.


It is still not easy watching someone else vacuum while you sit with your feet up (feet that they just massaged without your having to barter, beg, or cajole), nor is it easy to give directions to the bathrooms for cleaning. And I haven't even given birth yet!


Sitting and visiting when they're done, though ... that comes surprisingly painlessly.


I am blessed.


And the next time I have a friend who is sick or pregnant or just generally down, I'm going to her house, uninvited, to rub her feet and vacuum her floors. And if she's embarrassed to death (and who wouldn't be?), I'll just say, "I have eight children. You think you have ANYTHING gross I haven't dealt with, and probably in the last few days?"


And then we will visit, or not, depending on her mood. But her floors will be vacuumed and her feet will be rubbed.


Just give me a couple months.


Thursday, January 21, 2010

Miss Understanding


The other day, we were all in the car and I was looking at our almost 3-yr. old, Eden. In all of our children, I can see snippets of my husband and very strong resemblances to family members further out (mostly his sister, Michelle). "You just don't look like MY daughter," I said.



"Well," said one of her older sisters (Miriam, 4). "YOU look exactly like my mama, and HE looks exactly like my papa. And Edee looks exactly like your daughter."



And I suppose she's right.


Monday, January 18, 2010

Let Me Rephrase That


You know how they say, “Never say never”? I realized today that the last post I wrote had the idiotic statement, “Twins never go to their official due date.” That is just asking for trouble.


I am beginning to think I may be one of those women who carry their twins to forty weeks.




We went to church yesterday, where I was greeted with all manner of sympathy and distress at my being there, twins still intact, feet shoved into men’s brown slippers two sizes larger than I normally wear (but their indoor/outdoor soles make them appropriate for worship, right?). If “cankles” are when your calves and ankles are the same size, what do you call it when your thighs, calves, and ankles are the same size? Cedars of Lebanon?


I look ridiculous. I have one pair of pants that fits, and that is only because they are made of a super-stretchy material and the waistband elastic is shot. And it’s not like I look *good* in them, just presentable. Sort of. Think, “pair of pants on a beach ball.” All my other pants/skirts/shorts? Either the waist is slipping over the top of my belly, at which point I feel like wearing loose support stockings around my ankles, a peach-colored cardigan, and smacking my gums; or they are slipping down under my belly, at which point I feel naked.


My children mock the way I walk. “Mama walks like this,” they say, and then they do this Lollipop Guild waddle while they giggle. I would make them stop, but that would involve lifting my excrutiatingly heavy belly so that I could sit up from this reclining position on the couch. And even then I’d need their help to stand up so I could scold properly.


ANYHOO. I was looking at some pictures we took over the last year, and they made me smile. I’m so glad we got to spend time in Montana. I will always have a soft spot for her mountains and lakes and flowers and wildness. And I hope my children remember the time we spent there.


And I hope they DON'T remember the way I waddle.












Monday, January 11, 2010

When Are You Due? and Energy-laden Video

My father has been complaining about my lack of writing lately. Actually, he was complaining about my posting a picture of him and my brothers in my Turkey Post, but the foil he used was that I am taking the lazy road in posting pictures.


And he's absolutely right.


Not because anyone cares (although everyone asks), here are the baby twin stats for the moment:


  • I'm 35 weeks along. I went 33 weeks with Abraham and Miriam, our first set of twins (those words "first set of twins," are ones I NEVER thought I would say).

  • The "official" (as in 40 weeks) due date is February 14, 2010.

  • Twins never go to their official due date. If you know someone who had twins born at 40 weeks, you need to hold that person in very, very, very high esteem. People, that's two babies, two placentas, and lots of extra fluid and weight.

  • Being this big is not beautiful nor fun. The maximum amount of time I can spend up and around (you know, laundry, dishes, cooking, chasing a kid who needs a diaper change) is 15 minutes. Then I must sit again, preferably with feet up.

  • Sitting with feet up does not make the swelling go away. It just makes it less.

  • The swelling is so bad that it is hard to bend my ankles to walk. The only shoes that "fit" are my green crocs I bought at Costco in the summer because they were cheap. They don't even really fit; my heels hang out the back. But that's what I wear - in the snow, in the rain, in church.

  • You do not instantly become more patient with your children because you are "in waiting." You become less patient, more irritable, less able to handle the normal stresses of life. Like a pregnant mother moose, you want to shoo your existing children to some far-off slough. You send your husband emails at work begging him to put your children into public school despite your core beliefs. You do not smile when he comes home, says, "Tough day? I don't think now is the time to be making drastic life decisions." You respond, "Now is exactly the time. I have clarity I've never had before," and he says."That's not clarity. You're going to have to rely on my clarity."

  • You reach a point where you are just READY. It doesn't matter that you don't yet have enough car seats or benches in the van or clue where the newborn clothes are.

  • The actual thought of childbirth is only a little bit scary. Even having given birth 5 times before, every time brought with it a sense of dread. That dread is miniscule right now. I don't care how they come, I don't care how much it hurts, I want them OUT. I'm tired of not being able to find a comfortable way to sit or lie down, of constantly having a very itchy belly, of physically having to hold my belly as I climb stairs (and we live in a tri-level). And, I just want to go back to normal life. Enough of the waiting, the wondering, "Is tonight the night?", the frustration at not being able to vacuum a room full of Sunday School paper scraps and wheat kernels (don't ask).


Having said all that, I feel I am allowed to post this video without guilt. I'm not sure that's the material my dad (or anyone else) wanted to read, but ... who cares.


THIS is amazing. I mean, I can't even fathom how they do this. (And thanks to Amy at Amy's Humble Musings for sharing this link!)  


Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Pet Peeves

It being past the seasons of thankfulness, joy (those are only seasons, right? ahem...) and grandiose resolutions, I think it's high time someone posted some pet peeves.


And I'm happy to oblige myself.


Here we go...


  • Play-doh

  • Markers

  • Crayons

  • Stickers

  • Cats (and yes, we own two)

  • Sunday School papers

  • Sunday School crafts

  • Any kind of craft

  • Bath mats that shed a whole sheep when you wash 'em

  • The inevitability of someone wetting the bed or throwing up in bed the night after I change the sheets. Do you know how hard it is to change bunkbed sheets?

  • Pregnant bloggers who post pictures of their cute little bellies

  • Dress-up clothes

  • Dress-up shoes

  • Cabinets, hutches, entertainment centers, rolltop desks, and refrigerators that don't come with a parental voice-activated lock

  • Carseat laws

  • Carseats in general

  • Clichés


I know there's more, but I've got to wash some sticky faces and get ready to go to prayer meeting. You don't know how much joy it gives me to imagine the horror that sentence must cause some people.


Disclaimer: Just for the record, probably part of this list is due to my being so very huge that a picture of my swollen feet - let alone of my belly -  would not fit on this screen. And part of it is due to the fact that I have six smallish children already (one kid with crafts is cute [I guess]; six kids with crafts is a recipe for emergency home renovation). And part of it is due to the capriciousness of things. Someday I may love play-doh (no guarantees on the Sunday School papers, cute little pregnant bellies, or carseats, however). 


Anything you'd like to add? I'm ASKING to hear your pet peeves. Misery loves company, and all that.



Sunday, January 3, 2010

Too Close to Home


So. True.  (And my deepest apologies to anyone who has seen the inside of my van and lived to gag.)



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