Jesus and Chocolate Chip Cookies

Last Thursday was just like any other cold, snowy winter Thursday here in Indiana.  Maybe your Thursday went a little something like mine.  Or maybe you think I am totally crazy.  Either way, here is what happened…

4:55am Hear Baby Girl crying in nursery

5:35am Finish feeding, diaper change, and swaddling

5:40am Perform yoga moves on nursery floor

6:00am Fall back asleep in bed

6:35am 4-year-old wakes up

7:00am 3-year-old wakes up

7:01am I am in denial that they are awake and continue to lay in bed.  Hear husband head downstairs so I can doze.  God bless him!

8:00am Notice that Big Brother looks pretty crummy for the 10th day in a row.  Miss call-in-hour at doctors office

8:00am-8:30am Make breakfasts, distribute medicine, start laundry load #1, unload dishwasher, chug coffee, pillage pantry for healthy breakfast

8:30am Call doctor and get 10am appointment

8:35am-9:15am Talk incessantly to The Brothers about being ready to leave for doctor on time, feed baby, change everybody’s clothes, pack bag, clean kitchen, argue with The Brothers about cleaning up the “airport” they built out of the couch cushions, realize I am in my pajamas…

9:18am Little Brother removes clothes because being “cold is my favorite”.  Refuses to put on any clothes besides Cincinnati Reds shorts and t-shirt he has been wearing since last June

9:27am Little Brother is still laying naked on floor

9:30am 2 outa 3 in car and ready to leave on time.  Bribe Little Brother into clothing himself and getting into car.  He refuses to get in car seat until his hair is, “how I like it”.  I submit to brushing his red hair into a comb over

9:50am Arrive at parking lot 10 minutes ahead of schedule.  Excited to beat other 10am appointment people to the check-in window

9:51am Realize there is absolutely no where to park due to construction

9:52am Stalk lady sitting in pickup truck holding the “Vehicles with Small Children” spot hostage

9:53am Give up on evil woman in truck ever moving and park in Illinois

9:56am Hobble with infant car seat, bag, and 2 toddlers to pickup truck

9:57am Walk up to lady in truck and administer death stare

9:58am Notice other mom with 3 kids running into office building.  Begin dragging my offspring across the parking lot

10:00am Admit failure and sign in behind other family

10:01am Try to find corner of waiting room at least 3 feet away from any of the 18 kids that are coughing

10:02am Begin prayer that The Brothers do not start chanting, “Money Money Money!!!” while beating on the fish tank like our last visit

10:10am The Brothers stare at older boys crawling around waiting room and screaming.  They are either in shock, or getting ideas.

10:16am Notice Big Brother is standing in the middle of room, picking his nose and eating it

10:24am Begin to realize that everyone else is getting called in before us

10:27am Little Brother begins talking to random people and telling them that the other little boys in the waiting room are “really bad and mean people”

10:32am  Little Brother asks me, “is my hair like I like it?” for the 20th time.  Yes, your comb over looks amazing

10:46am Finally get called back for 10am appointment!

11:30am Finally leave doctor’s office and coast home on fumes since everyone is screaming that they are starving and I don’t think we (I) can make it to a gas station.  Safely.

11:45am  The Brothers now say they are not hungry and that they want to play outside.  It is the warmest day in about 4 months so I agree.  Big Brother swears he feels all better.  This would have been useful information earlier in the morning

11:55am Make lunches, clean bottles, get laundry load #2 going, constantly check on boys out the window

12:03pm  Realize The Brothers have been climbing a snow hill and are soaking wet and covered in gravel

12:04pm  Baby is screaming

12:06pm Nimbly dress The Brothers in snow pants, change socks, coats, hats, gloves and boots while in squatting position with baby in Bjorn.  At least 1 squat is done for today

12:10pm  Feed baby in dining room so I can watch The Brothers jump in giant mud puddles

12:30pm  Walk in 32 circles around cul-de-sac with baby in Bjorn for exercise

12:55pm – 1:20pm  Undress and re-dress The Brothers, feed children, cleanup, change poop diaper, entertain Baby Girl, start laundry load #3 and #4

1:25pm  Realize I am eating sandwich that fell on the floor that I meant to throw in trash can

1:35pm Lure Little Brother up to his room for naps with his Cincinnati Reds outfit

1:36pm  Little Brother informs me that he will probably “only get up 5 or 6 times to pee during naps”

1:45pm Big Brother promises to stay upstairs for quiet time and not come down until the secret message is enabled (a Jake and the Neverland Pirate ship at the top of the stairs is the signal that it is safe to come downstairs)

2:14pm I hear suspicious noises coming from the pantry.  Either Big Brother is performing one of his famous and stealthy “pantry sneaks” or we have a very large rat on our hands

2:17pm “Catch” Big Brother with large bowl of cereal sitting behind a curtain in master bedroom.  Not surprisingly, he acts like he just doesn’t know how this big bowl of cereal got upstairs. “It was probably Chippy.”  That’s our Elf on the Shelf.  It’s February dude, he has been back at the North Pole for weeks.

2:57pm Pretend to be asleep on couch as I hear Big Brother coming downstairs for a second offense

2:59pm  Big Brother gets as close to my face as he possibly can and asks 12 times, “Are you asleep?  Are you asleep?  Are you asleep?”

3:45pm Both brothers are allowed to get up.  Apparently they are upset that I wouldn’t let them eat cookies and have staged a coup

4:00pm Realize I have been barricaded from Big Brothers room

4:03pm-4:35pm  Feed Baby Girl, make dinner, continue loads of laundry #s I don’t remember, balance check book, call cable, refill prescriptions, do 5 minutes of pilates with Baby Girl on my stomach.  Briefly think how cute it is to hear The Brothers playing so nicely upstairs

4:41pm Glance in mirror and notice I only put mascara on 1 eye

4:44pm Realize it is WAY too quiet upstairs

The Baricadecoup2 coup2

Oh. That’s why.

I have been barricaded from the room due to my unwillingness to provide chocolate chip cookies.

5:30pm-6:30pm The Evening Hustle.  Husband comes home from work sick.  Make dinner, feed Baby Girl, maybe I did laundry, make school lunches, might have cleaned up

6:30pm  Sit at dinner table with 2 tiny food critics.  I gently explain that what we have for dinner is what is on our plates.  No, I will not be getting chocolate chip waffles.  Big Brother asks why I am so grumpy and Little Brother “accidentally” throws his plate on the ground.

7:00pm-8:00pm The Bedtime Hustle. Tubby time, try to wrestle with boys since daddy isn’t feeling well, feed Baby Girl, PJs, break up fight over which bedtime story to read, distribute medicines, potty one last time, fill humidifiers, ensure proper night lights are activated, prayers, and final tuck in.

8:09-8:27pm Silence.  Eerie silence.

8:28pm Mommy.  Mommy.  Mommy.  Little Brother is up and back at it.  In our efforts to enforce our “you only get tucked in once” rule.  We ignore him.

8:35pm He is still calling for me so we decide to investigate.

8:36pm  Find Little Brother standing in the bathroom with no pants on and bath towels covering the floor.  He informs us that he “accidentally pooped while he was going pee pee and hid the poopy.”

8:37pm Begin exciting scavenger hunt for poopy hidden under bath towels

8:40pm During poopy hunt, Little Brother informs us that he also happened to step in it and walk down the hallway

8:41pm Husband cleans up hershey trail from hallway, cleans up Little Brother, brings new load of towels down to be washed and tucks him in, one last time.  Ensures him it was just an accident and is no big deal, and that yes, his hair is like he likes it so there is no need to sleep sitting up

8:55pm Hear Big Brother calling “Mommy” from his room.  I lean over him and remind him I’ve already tucked him in and he needs to get some sleep.  He yawns and asks,

“Can you tell me a really good story about Jesus and chocolate chip cookies?”

I weave a brilliant and captivating tale involving these two subjects, say an extra prayer, tell him the crescent moon is out watching over him, kiss his little forehead, and creep out of his room as he sighs.  Probably already dreaming about Jesus.  And chocolate chip cookies.

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I Needed That

Wow!  I cannot believe how many moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas, read my most recent post composed of foggy thoughts made clear one night around 4am.  I just thought a few people might read it and relate.  I had hoped I could just make somebody smile.  I had NO IDEA millions of people would come across my story.  So many mommys said, “I needed that”.  That they were up with a sick child, exhausted, or at their wit’s end.  That they are a single mother trying to play both parenting roles and unsure of themselves.  A stay-at-home dad.  Those who still need their mommys, and talk to them in Heaven.  That they were a grandma who just needed a memory of holding her 1st child while listening to broadcasts as The Bay of Pigs unfolded.  I think we all just need a little reassurance that we are not alone.  That we are doing the best we can.  That somewhere out there in the dark night, some other parent is up rocking their colicky baby.  The needs I spoke of in this post were the basic physical needs of young children.  And I know there are oh so many more.  Many more experiences and adventures to come in this journey of parenthood.  I can’t wait for the memory-making to unfold like the pages of a book.  I think I am only at about Chapter 3.  I pray there are 100.  Thank you for visiting my page.  Thank you for sharing your advice and tears.  Thank you.  I am honored.

What do I need?  Well, I often need a kick in the rear.  Or a glass of red wine.  I need the sunshine to come out (pretty rare here in Central Indiana these days).  I also need a maid, but I don’t think that is going to happen either.  I know for sure I need my mommy.  I need her to watch my baby so I can get out of the house or just to join me on a trip to the mall.  I need my dad to be a different male role model to my boys than my husband.  One that is full of train rides and trips to Steak N Shake.  I need my sister to pick up my oldest from pre-school and take him to her house to bake cupcakes.  Most of all I need my husband.  To be my boys’ “superhero”, and mine.  I have been a parent for just 4 and 1/2 short years.  I need wisdom.  From my mom, my mother-in-law, my cousins, friends, from you.

I am counting on my children needing me in their teen years.  Just as I needed my mom to stop me from leaving the house with ridiculous hair or take me to the dermatologist’s office for my acne.  I assume they will need their dad just like I needed mine to walk with me along the beach in Florida as a child, and to walk me down the aisle to my husband.  I am counting on my children needing their father to drive them to baseball practice, host insane wrestling matches, and to have talks with them that I cannot.

My children need their grandparents.  They need them to form those special and unique bonds that a child can only have with a grandma or grandpa.  I needed my grandpa. I needed him there to celebrate his 91st and final Christmas, because, even though we celebrated it in a wonderful assisted-living community instead of his cozy living room in Lafayette, IN, it just wouldn’t have been Christmas without him.

I know my children will need me in my “golden years”, just not in that same aching way they need me now.  I sure do need my parents now!  Probably more than ever.  Or maybe now I just realize it, and say thank you.  Something I am pretty sure my 16-year-old self didn’t do. Those of you who know me know I am only half-kidding about a wheelchair in an assisted-living facility.  The ones I know of are wonderful places full of loving and caring staff.  I will be the first to wheel myself down to happy hour if I am lucky enough to have my kids put me in one with a bar.

Being there for the people who need us.  Saying thank you to the people who are important in our lives.  Laughing together.  Having a beautiful memory that brings a tear.  God.  Love.  Isn’t that what it’s all about? It’s really pretty simple, even when it’s not.  Please remind me of that one day when I sit in my room at Shady Acres with plenty of free time.  I just pray that in my arms will be my great-grand baby.  And at the table next to me, a well-worn book, an empty baby bottle, and a glass of wine.  Red wine.

*** If you NEED something to laugh at, you can laugh at me, I don’t mind.  Here is a sneak peek at tomorrow’s post…***

The Baricade

There are 2 little superheroes in this picture.  Somewhere.

What I Learned on a Beach Vacation. With Toddlers.

We just arrived home from a week-long family trip to the Gulf of Mexico.  So, once the vacation is over I am finally finding some time to relax.  Which is what I thought I would be doing on the actual vacation.  Parents of toddlers, you know what I’m saying.  Here are some of my thoughts and reflections of our little sandy, sunny getaway…

1. I am writing the script for a new movie starring Samuel L. Jackson titled, “Snacks on a Plane”. It’s a horror film.

2. My husband and I should swallow whatever pride remains and start using one of those beach gear transporters that looks like a shopping cart from Kohl’s with off-roading wheels. The “older folks” on the beach looked quite comfortable pushing their hat and one towel in said transporter. Meanwhile we are both dripping in sweat carrying our towels, lotions, sippy cups, balls, shovels, trucks, kitchen sink… Maybe using those beach carts is like buying a minivan. Just go ahead and do it. You’re really not that cool anymore anyways.

3.  You can get sick on vacation in a tropical climate.

4.  Sick kids like to share their wisdom at 3am while on vacation.  “Mommy, did you know your computer keys sound like raindrops?”  “Mommy, I have decided I will be having a pirate party for my birthday.”

5.  Brothers sharing a room on vacation can lead to some pretty hilarious late-night chatter.  I am actually impressed at how advanced their bathroom humor has become at such a young age. Pack a monitor, sit back, and enjoy.

6.  Ziploc bags are THE greatest invention ever.  Ever.  I will fully explain this in a later post.

7.  No matter how tired you may be lugging all the beach gear down, rubbing lotion on every inch of pink skin, attempting to follow a responsible bedtime, packing the bags, unpacking the bags, wiping sand out of eyes, and wiping sand out of other places.  Nothing compares to watching four happy little feet scamper through the waves and hearing their hearty giggles as they splash in the sparkling sun.

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A Day in the Life of… a Diaper Bag

Hi there.  I am a diaper bag.  I used to be pretty cute, black and gray, Coach.  I’ve been slugged and flung through every restaurant, airport, playdate, doctor’s office, front seat, back seat, zoo train, elevator, drive thru, story time, church pew and escalator this side of the White River.  Now, I’m not saying “The Mom” doesn’t love me, I know she does.  She held me so tight when her husband gave me to her for her first Mother’s Day.  She used to clean me out every couple of weeks, now I think it’s been a few months.  I’ve just been feeling kind of down lately.  Maybe it’s this long winter, or maybe it’s because I am stored down, down on the bottom shelf of the coat closet.  I guess it’s because the little brother doesn’t pull all my contents out any more and scatter them around the entire first floor.  “The Mom” used to get so upset when he did this, but I didn’t mind.  I thought it was pretty funny, and the little brother sure did too.  At least I was getting lots of attention.

I love warm weather!  That means I get to go to so many great places and work hard.  I love to work, I mean, what do you think all these pockets, and zippers, and compartments are for?  Sitting on the bottom shelf of a closet?  So, here is what happened today…

6:30am  I hear footsteps upstairs.  Someone is up!  The day is starting.

6:35am  The coffee maker starts running, and yes, that is the closet opening. Yippee!  I am going somewhere today!

6:37am   False alarm.  The mom was just looking for her yoga mat.

7:23am  I’m being set on the counter!  This is happening!  I am going somewhere!

8:03am  Help!  It’s a stampede!  It’s buffalo!  Oh, it’s just breakfast.

9:15am  I am being filled with snack bags and water cups.  While you are in there lady, do you think you could take out a few of the Cheerios that have been down here for about a year?

9:38am The big brother has to go potty, and I get a front-row view now that I am sitting in the back hall.  He is trying to teach the little brother how to go on the potty.  No! Don’t do it!  I need you little brother, don’t grow out of diapers yet!

9:41am  Phew.  The little bro announced that he will “not be going on the potty until I am much bigger”.  The mom looks upset, however, I am smiling from zipper to zipper!

9:47am  I survive the back hall chaos.  Shoes are flying, coats are landing on me, someone is crying.  Oh, wait, watch out!  Don’t bite, don’t land on me!  Oh brother, brothers.  Can’t you just put your shoes on and get out the door like your mom is asking?

9:48am  Little brother sneaks a milk cup inside me.  I can already tell it’s leaking.  Oh great.

9:54am  I finally make it into the big, shiny minivan!  We pick up a grandma and head to the shoe store.  Shoe store?!  Perfect.  Little brother always has to go #2 there.

10:17am  I am in the shoe store and watching big brother try on some shoes that light up.

10:18am  Where is little brother?

10:20am  Found him.  In the corner, going #2.

10:21am  Off I go with the mom to the bathroom.  Please let them have a hook, please let them have a hook!

10:22am  No hook.  Man, if only I could reach that Lysol from down here on this dirty bathroom floor.

10:41am  Back in the minivan and someone is throwing stickers on me.

11:28am  Are we pulling into the Dr.’s office?  Again?

11:59am Still waiting to see the Dr.  I am being ransacked!  No!  I do not have 3 Etch a Sketches!  Calm down people, have a snack!  I, I think I’m blacking out.

12:55pm  I am coming to.  I think I am back in the van.  Wow.  What happened in here?  Is that someone’s sock on the dashboard?  The mom looks like she could use a glass of wine or something.  Wait, please tell me that is chocolate on her sleave!

1:15pm  I am set back in the hallway as the kids take off their shoes, coats, scream, run, kick…

1:18pm Little brother is rummaging through me.  He found his milk cup.  And he is eating the year-old Cheerios.  Gross.

1:23pm  Toddler fight!  Someone took someone’s Jake and the Neverland pirate ship.  Blah, blah, blah.  Must be about nap time.

1:28pm  The mom is wiping big brother’s tears in the back hall.

“It’s ok Buddy, I love you.”

He wraps his chubby little arms around her neck.

“Mommy, I love you all the way to the North Pole and back”.

I’ll take a front row seat for that any time. I better rest up.  They might need me later!  It’s a good day to be a diaper bag.