Monday, December 29, 2008

Or Maybe You gave It To Me

Noel: Who is the oldest kid in your family?

Me: Your Uncle Lonnie.

Noel: Who is the oldest girl?

Me: Your Aunt Cori.

Noel: So it goes Lonnie, then Rod, then Cori, then Holly, then Rachel and then you?

Me: Uh huh.

Noel: So you're the baby?

Me: Yep. I am.

(A moment of silence as this information is digested.)

Noel: Well, if you're the baby then how come you have the most white hairs?

Me: ..... Uh.... Well.... I guess I just must be the lucky one.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

All About Adam

Yes, today is Christmas. No, I'm not posting some fuzzy wish of Christmas cheer. The freeway is closed and I'm waiting to see if we'll get to go to my mom's house. Morgan had to go into town, a trip which should take 20-30 minutes round trip tops. He has now been gone for about an hour and a half. Bleh! I love the snow, but I'd sure like to make it out to Mom's. So, to keep me busy while I wait, I've decided to blog about my adorable-yet-oh-so-naughty toddler.

I updated my status on Facebook the other day to read "Julie is the mother of the world's naughtiest toddler" or something similar. I've had a few inquiries as to what he has done to earn such a title. Well... gee. That's actually really hard to explain. You see, there aren't a lot of stories about Adam. I don't call my mother every day and say "You'll never guess what Adam just did!" There aren't events to describe; it's really just the essence of Adam. If I ingested nothing but speed and Red Bull, I still would not have the energy required to keep up with him. I guess I deserve it, really. Michael was the perfect baby. Quiet, reserved, content to play by himself for hours, rarely got into things. Noel was a little more rambunctious but nothing more than normal. Adam, on the other hand... wow. Just... wow. People who see me in public with him always make a comment along the lines of "Boy, you sure have your hands full, don't you?" This is when I have only Adam with me. When I have all four children in tow the looks go from jaw-dropped stares of incredulity to meek glances of pity. Really, I don't need the pity. Except on really bad days. Most of the time I just laugh and take whatever the kid can dish out. If you know me at all, you know that I'm not the most laid back sorta gal. No-siree, I like things to go in an orderly fashion. I guess Adam is testament to God's infinite wisdom. He knew that if I were to be given the challenges that a child like Adam would give and said child were to live, that it had to be the child that I had asked, nay begged, for for three years. He couldn't give me a child with the disposition of a chipmunk hopped up on caffeine if the child just came along at its own time or was (gasp) unplanned. God must have known that when I had saved Adam's baby brother from almost certain death for the fourth time in a day that I would shrug my shoulders and say, "Well, I did ask for him."

Oh, I love that boy.

There actually are a few tales of Adam that I'd like to share.

Introductions first. This is Adam.

He is 19 months old. He loves all things with wheels, especially trucks and tractors. He also loves his baby brother Jack.

This is Jack.

He is three months old. Yes, your math is correct. He and Adam are 16 months apart. This is not the result of poor planning. This is the result of no planning. This child will be lucky if he lives to see his first birthday. Why, you ask? He is in danger of being loved to death by his big brother. Which sort of reminds me of the kitten that was loved to death by my good friend Emily's giant dog, Pepper. Actually, I think it was kittens. But back to our subject...

If Jack does live, he will be one tough SOB.

Jack has a little electronic swing which he loves to sit in. He was sitting in the swing this morning as I was making breakfast and cooing and gurgling at me. The swing with Jack in it was behind me and I heard Adam say "Beebee!" which translates into "baby" which translates into "I'm paying attention to this little bundle of joy that I love so much." Immediately my mommy sensors began flashing red and in my mind I was hearing that blaring siren that they play on military movies when they go into red alert. In the time it took for me to dry my hands at the sink and turn around, Noel had screamed "Look what Adam did to Jack!" I spun around with my heart in my throat. Jack was lying on the cold tile floor five feet in front of his swing, the front of his pajamas bunched up in Adam's fist. Upon seeing that he had my attention, Adam promptly sat upon the floor next to Jack, (who was smiling up at the little devil with total love and adoration written all over his round little face) again said "beebee!" and made the sign for "more". (Side note: I have been attempting to teach Adam a few signs to help him communicate with us and the one he does best is "more". I have found that when he signs "more" it doesn't really mean "more" as much as it means "I want". Like going to the door and signing "more" means "take me outside!" and bringing me a truck and trailer and signing "more" means "hitch 'em up!".) So, he was saying, "Look! I want to play with Jack and by the look on his face the feeling is mutual!" Gasp. Never mind that the floor is cold ceramic tile. Never mind the possibility of head injuries. He wanted to play. You gotta love him. Because the alternative is illegal.

*Note from the author: Please do not send me messages inquiring as to whether or not the swing is equipped with a restraining buckle. It is and I rarely use it because a) the seat is very very deep and it would take a natural disaster (yes, the allusion to Adam as a natural disaster is intentional) to get an inert infant out of it without outside help; b) I have never had reason before now to think that Jack would end up on the floor without me knowing about it and; c) Jack is baby #4. After one or two babies moms tend to get pretty lax about such petty things as safety and sanitation.

Rest assured, readers, that henceforth Jack will be securely buckled into his swing, bouncy seat, or any other device.

Another story that goes right along with this one is that Adam has recently discovered that if he pokes Jack in the eye, Jack will startle and jump, which apparently is hilarious and good for hours of fun. Adam usually accompanies the eye poke with an exclamation of "beebee!" which is one of the reasons my sensors went off when I heard that before Jack was drug from his swing. Along with all the kisses on the eye from a snotty-nosed Adam, conjunctivitis is most assuredly in the near future.

We recently took our kids to eat at Denny's, an experience which always makes me feel as if I'm in need of a good de-lousing. I don't know about Denny's restaurants in other towns, but the one in Chubbuck is skeeze-tastic. There were dried spit wads plastered to the wall behind our table. Mmm, appetizing. After we had finished our "meal," Morgan went to pay while the kids and I lounged at the table. Adam and I passed the time feeding each other french fries. He thinks it's hysterical when he feeds something to Morgan or me. As I absentmindedly opened my mouth for him to pop a fry into, I happened to glance down and saw that what I thought was a fry was actually one of the dried spit wads that he had pried off of the wall. Eeew. It's a good thing I had already eaten because my appetite vanished faster than glazed donuts at a Weight Watchers convention.

Hey! It looks like we're getting ready to try to head to my mom's. I will close for now with this promise: I may not know when, but there will most certainly be more stories from my sweat-hearted little devil. Stay tuned!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Jack's Blessing

Today was Jack's blessing day. He was blessed by my oldest brother, Lonnie. After the blessing we went to my mom's for lunch. Two of my sisters and their families came and also Lonnie and his family. It was nice to visit with them. I was in Boise for Thanksgiving so I missed out seeing everyone then. I think the idea of having people that know you for your whole life is great. Whoever invented families is a genius. : )

Adam love love loves his baby brother. So far Jack seems pretty indifferent. His only reaction is, "Hey, you're squishing me!"

The handsome man of the day.

All four bunyips. Anyone who has ever taken pictures of kids knows that there will never be one shot in which all of the children are smiling or at least not making weird faces. This was the best one. Sorry Mike.

Cute Pics

As promised, I am posting some pictures of the cutest kids on the planet.

This is Adam. I like him a lot.

Jack. I'm rather fond of him as well.

Bathtub Santa.

This is Adam's newest "thing". He puts Matchbox cars and trucks into his jammies. The average number that I pull out is 11.

This was Halloween of this year. Adam was the cutest little spider. It had a hat that he hated to wear until we were actually out collecting loot. You can't really see them in this picture but there were little purple antennae on the hat. Jack didn't trick-or-treat this year. He stayed out of the cold and kept his grandma company.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Christmas Conundrum

This year I'm wondering how to get into the Christmas spirit and how to share it with my family. For most of my life, Christmas has been my favorite time of year. Scratch that, Christmas has been my favorite for ALL of my life. But my dad died during the Christmas season nine years ago and, understandably, Christmastime became a reminder of that depressing holiday season. Then life happened and we added children and years to our marriage. We added debt and stress and school to our lives and Christmas became just another "thing" to do, never mind the blatant reminders of the loss of my dad that I felt every year.

This year is different. While I still miss my dad so much that it hurts, I'm ready to move on and get back into the game of living. (It only took nine years, how's that for progress?) I guess my problem is that it's been so long since I felt that Christmas-y feeling that I don't know how to get it anymore.

When I think back to when I was a kid and try to define what exactly this mystical feeling of "Christmas" is, these are the things that I think of:

  1. Mom's homemade candy, especially the stuff without nuts.
  2. Listening to Christmas carols.
  3. Snow outside the window.
  4. A fire in the fireplace.
  5. Dragging out the worn out cardboard box that contained all of our Christmas treasures.
  6. Picking out the perfect tree and decorating it.
  7. Crawling under the tree to find the presents with my name on them and then trying to guess what each tightly wrapped package might contain.
  8. Seeing if I could "accidentally" find some of my unwrapped presents.
  9. Attending church the Sunday before Christmas and singing Christmas hymns.
  10. Going for a drive with the whole family on Christmas to look at the light displays in town.

I want my kids and my Scroogy husband to enjoy this time of year as much as I used to. It wouldn't be so bad if I got a little enjoyment out of the deal, too. : )

This year I vow to:

  1. Make Christmas candy (without nuts) even if I'm dead tired. I will then share this candy with friends and family but keep a secret stash in my bedroom for myself.
  2. Keep a cheery attitude at all times, even when there is laundry to do, diapers to change, dishes to wash and discipline to be meted out.
  3. Play and sing Christmas carols with my family, despite any protesting I may hear from the peanut gallery (read: Morgan).
  4. Put up a real Christmas tree because despite the hassle and the mess, it really isn't the same without that great piney smell.
  5. Decorate my house, including the outside, even though no one but my family and the ducks will likely ever see the decorations.
  6. Pray for snow.
  7. Remind my children of the reason that we celebrate Christmas, reinforcing the value of gratitude.

I hope that all of you have found a way to find joy in this season. Take the time to go the extra mile. Give what you can, share what you can, love all you can.

Merry Christmas!

Everyone Else is Doing It...

I've decided to join the blogging community here on blogspot, mostly because I really enjoy reading the blogs of those I know (and some that I don't). I hope that this can be a way for friends and family who don't live nearby to keep up with our family. I plan on posting photos of the world's cutest children and sharing stories of the fun things that they do. Mostly it will just be me making it up as I go, which is basically the way I roll. Okay, well, that's not really true. I do love me a good plan but being the mother of four small children often requires improvisation...

But I digress.

I hope that all who read this are entertained, enlightened or amused.