Monday, October 26, 2009

A pretty croupy birthday

We had Claire and Finn's birthday party yesterday. Duncan is almost completely recovered from his croup, if not completely. Claire was still about 50% and I could see the look in Finn's big baby blues that he was not feeling great. Party on! What kind of mother would I be if I cancelled the party because the guests of honor were coughing their little rapidly-forming brains out?

To be fair, Finn did not start to go downhill until after church. I knew when he took back to back naps, then threw up all over his aunt Becky (a dead give-away, huh? Yes, I am a genius.). But, after he threw up he bounced back nicely and enjoyed his singing, cake, and presents until he could stand no more and went to bed all wheezy.

We are so blessed to have our family, and to have them close by, and to have them love our children so very deeply.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I think these two may have a future.

Duncan with his great friend Grant, embarking their career. So heartbreakingly cute. They walked in and announced their concert, set up the chairs and proceeded to sing for us. Rock on boys.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Home Alone

When I was working, and more importantly had no children, if I felt sick I just made a phone call, hopefully got voice mail, and left a message that I was sick and would not be coming into work today.

*Note that oldest is pouring Nerds from plastic pumpkin onto floor while I type and I'm remaining quite calm*

I would lie on the couch, drink hot tea, sleep off and on and watch TV (oh, if we'd only had DVRs back then.) Good times.

So now, as moms, we power through these days on Advil, Sudafed, tea, water, coffee, whatever your drug of choice. I happen to find Advil and Sudafed particularly effective...that and the promise of bedtime. I did have to call for backup one time in particular that I was hit with the flu in the span of about ten minutes. I "only" had one child at the time (so child is not an "only"...they take up 100% of you too, but I digress) and immediately called my mom and sister to come get him so I would not die in his presence. Okay, not that I actually was going to die. But I wished I would at that point with that particular flu.

So yesterday and today I am powering through! At least God in His infinite mercy saw it fit to strike Duncan with croup while I was sick. So while I would never wish illness upon any of my children, I am grateful for it sometimes.

As a side note, I have a fort in my family room that is growing by the hour...slowly taking over the house.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fake Pearls of Wisdom

Hey, happy Monday everyone! We have croup, out-of-town husbands, and sick mommies for you. Whee! But seriously, folks, this day really didn't start out (or end) too badly. Iain left before I even got out of (Duncan's twin) bed. By the time we got up at 7:00 he was gone and the Keurig was off. I quickly realized how bad I felt and took Advil. Then, started my day with a cup of Emeril's brew. Oh, and just to let you read the last page? It's 6:09 p.m., both babies are in bed but not asleep by any stretch, Duncan is in the tub and I am sitting on one of the chairs to his kids' table at my computer. A tiny, little person chair. My neck is even with the surface of my desk.

So, knowing Duncan felt bad I just resigned myself to some down and dirty parenting today. He really didn't feel well and is probably on the tail end of croup. He lazed around most of the day with fits and spurts of energy which required my attention. And, as some of you know, paying attention to one child requires ignoring the other one, or two as the case may be. The above scenario did not end well. But what do I do? I take pictures.

So, by noon Duncan decided that he was hungry and that noodles with butter sounded good. Fair enough. I make them, butter them, put them in a bowl and then (here's the tricky part) put them on a table near the couch so he can eat them while he lies and convalesces. You can see where this went, can't you? See picture above.

Now, fortunately, my new Shark steam mop came the other day. I've been told I simply have to have one so I ordered one from Canada...because I'm sure the Canadian steam mops are better! **Excuse, I hear loud crashing from the bathtub. Must go.**

Crisis over.

So, back to my new mop. I am excited because I have some old, dried green beans or something that I found today, stuck to my floor and I'm thinking this is a good way to get them off. To be fair, they are under the highchair and not in my direct line of sight. I am sure they are not alone, however.

I also think the lady on the box lives in my neighborhood. So, now my day is getting brighter! I will have a clean floor AND I can wear my khaki pants while I mop. So, our day goes on with various messes until Duncan decides he wants to build a fort. Most boys are probably similar, but a fort around here entails every single blanket and pillow in the house, various tables, couches, ottomans, baskets and table leafs (leaves?). I will post pictures. This one also has The Fortress of Dining Chairs around it in an effort to keep Finn and Claire out. Futile. So, here I sit at my "desk" (that's another story) in one of Duncan's little chairs. But I think I should go get him out of the tub and into bed so I can eat my dinner, drink some tea and sit and look at that fort. Because I don't dare disturb it.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oh, that must be one of Duncan's socks and one of Finn's socks, you say? Ah, no, gentle reader. Those are both Duncan's socks. The one on the left is his new sock, purchased just last week. The one on the right is the one I've been trying to cram his foot into for a few months now. Guess his feet have grown a bit. And really, for way too many weeks, instead of oh...buying him new socks...I just kept cramming his poor bloody feet into way too small socks. Okay, they weren't really bloody but you get the idea.
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

What I Believe and What I Don't Believe

  • I do not believe everything happens for a reason.
  • I do believe that when someone says, "everything happens for a reason" that they are just trying to make sense of your tragedy and make themselves feel a little bit better.
  • I do not believe that babies who have died become angels.
  • I do not believe that God needed my baby with Him in Heaven for any reason.
  • I do believe that my child who died was important and an integral part of my entire life.
  • I do believe that because of him, I am a different and better person.
  • I do believe that I was always meant to have all of my children. All four of them. How it all fits together, though, is still a mystery.
  • I do not believe I will ever understand why he died.
  • I do believe that I will see him again, but no longer pine for that day.

For all the babies who have died, and the moms and dads, brothers and sisters, aunts, uncles, grandparents, cousins and friends who no longer have them to hold...remembering on this October 15th.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Pics II

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Pics I

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A Family A-Fair

Sooooo...we took all three kids to the State Fair of Texas today. It was all you can imagine it to be. The day started out drizzly and gray, but not too bad. Just left Claire and Finn in their footie pajamas because, hey, they are babies and besides, I don't want their feet to get cold (foreshadowing). When Duncan is excited about going somewhere, he can be tough in the morning and it's best just to get loaded and go. So, even though he had a terrible headache (whee!), Iain loaded up Duncan so that they could ride the train and I would follow shortly with Claire and Finn and we meet at Big Tex.

Got to the fair, got Big Red unloaded. Did I mention that this sucker weighs 46 pounds? Which, with both babies in it makes at least 90 pounds, not counting accoutrements? Met up with D and I at Big Tex as planned at started our day. Oh, there was plenty of whining, feet dragging, puddle splashing, and some tears. But there was also corny dogs, trains, new cars, Big Tex (oh, so many times, Big Tex. We love you so much.), the dog show, the petting zoo and the creepy midway. And, speaking of the dog show, our sweet Claire is a bit like a drunken sailor at shows, we have learned. Lots of screeching and clapping and laughing. Loudly.
And on and on we dragged. Saw all the people selling the crazy showers with lights and DVD players, people using those personal scooters who don't need them, all the school children on field trips in their red t-shirts (hey! I put my kid in one too! So he'd stand out! Except he didn't so much.) and all the zany-ness that is the fair.
Oh, and remember those nice footie pajamas I talked about earlier? Yes, well, the clouds broke at about 2:30 and ohgmygawditwasthesteamiestdayever. And we had run/ran (cannot ever remember which is correct) out of water (because we are thrifty and bring our own environmentally correct nalgene bottle) and I was not about to hoof it all over that fair with 90 pounds of stroller and hot sweaty baby to find it. So I got a little whiny myself. Until we found some water fountains. Whew!
Had an awesome day. Pics in next post.

Thursday, October 08, 2009

What I Have Come to Accept and Know

  • My early postings to this blog had much more clever titles.
  • My right index finger is just going to hurt. Think I sprained it a few months ago opening a jar of baby food.
  • I have hairs on my chin and they must be removed.
  • It is okay to feel sleepy. Deal with it.
  • Children continue to grow and change. For better or for worse.
  • It is okay for husbands and wives to be angry with each other.
  • Church makes me feel good.
  • Family is critical. Friends are very, very important.
  • I love to eat. I must move more than I eat.
  • It is okay to be a little late.
  • The book is always better than the movie.
  • Kids do not need or want lots of things. We only think they do.
  • Toilets do not clean themselves.
  • My mother was usually right.


So, my daughter, the one I was (secretly) the most afraid of raising is turning out to be a very interesting, engaging child. She still only has two teeth, compared to her twin brother's seven, so she still has that sweet, semi-gummy smile. And she is loud. She squaks. She protests. She defies us to lie her down in her bed and just leave her there. I am intrigued by her. Oh, and me? The mom who said I would never do bows, but probably just do cute, preppy, grosgrain ribbon headbands later? Is Googling "bald baby hair bows". It's a slippery slope, people. Had a friend in MOPS make me some little ribbon hair clips and I'm completely sucked in.

However, my sweet, bald, almost toothless baby girl has this scratching problem. She really can go to town on her forehead at night. Not sure why she's doing it, and it has gotten better but there are some days that I get her out of bed and she looks like she's been in a barfight. I suspect allergies...and we've started her on Nasonex. And let me tell you how fun that is.
So, why is it that I think of all these great things to blog about when I'm in bed adn my Ambien is taking effect? Just kidding about the Ambien part...really, I am. I just got through sobbing my way through yesterday's Oprah with the mom of four who was severely burned when her small plane crashed. She was in a coma for three months while they treated her burns and says she had a death experience where she was given the choice to die and go to Heaven or return to life on earth and live a hard life, but with her husband and children. She chose her family and says it was an easy decision, even knowing how hard her life would be. She is almost completely burned, but you can see how lovely and beautiful she is. Inspiring.

Duncan is at his Aunt Becky's and Granny's and I miss him like crazy but it's so nice and peaceful here, y'all. Claire and Finn are sleeping. Big Daddy comes home tonight from L.A. Oh! Spoke too soon! Babies awake. More later.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


Duncan woke up a bit too early for me, so I let him come into the living room with the promise he'd sit quietly and watch TV until I was ready to get up. Ahh...hello friend, your name is futile. I got up a bit later, and came in here with him (by now it was almost 7:00 so I was not completely grumpy). By 7:30 Claire and Finn were ready to be scooped out of bed and gotten out of there completely soggy diapers. Note to Pampers People: Your overnight diapers are crummy. Back to Huggies for me.

It's now 9:01 and Duncan is already asking to make Halloween cookies. Why do I even give him a glimmer of hope before I'm ready to do something? He has gone to get the flour out of the pantry and I'm still not dressed with only one cup of coffee in my system and both babies no where near ready for a nap. As I speak, they are both crawling towards the electric outlet in the floor with a gleam in there eyes. Said outlet is babyproofed. Finn now has my reading glasses in his hands. I should go. More later.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Out of the Mouths of Moms

Things I said between breakfast and lunch yesterday:

  • "Duncan, get off the television"

  • "No, you cannot eat the fish frozen"

  • "Don't eat your boogers"

  • "You cannot chew on that pee pee diaper"

  • "One jelly sandwich, no ya for those scissors"

  • "Get off your brother"

  • "Get off your sister"

  • "Hockey is not an indoor game"

  • "Okay, you can play hockey in the hallway"

  • "We have to keep your brother out of the refrigerator"

Grateful for Granny's and Aunt Becky's visit yesterday afternoon to break things up while Daddy is in Los Angeles.

Saturday, October 03, 2009


I broke down in tears tonight when I saw Duncan's little jeans in a pile in the middle of the kitchen floor. Not because I'd have to pick them up (sigh) but because he still wears little jeans. I want him to wear little jeans for a long, long time. I'm also sad because his feet are too big for Keds Scooters. I've saved every pair he's had...the red ones.

October. You are a mess for me. You bring so many emotions. Ziggy. My precious first born. The boy who made me a parent. I miss you so deeply I can't even find words to write about how much. You have given me so much. Right after you died I would not have believed how happy I would be eight years later. Because of you, I am somehow able to (almost) daily reflect on how grateful I am to be able to be a mommy to these living, breathing children. So, at night, when they are all finally in bed and I go in Duncan's bathroom and see all of his bath toys in a pile in the empty, just-drained tub and his underwear on the floor I am grateful I am the one to clean it up. I am grateful that we have so many diapers to throw away and bottles to wash and mouths to feed. I wish I'd been able to clean up after you, my sweet child, and to feed you and hear your voice but to think of all I've lost is just too much for me most days. Some days I let myself feel it but even then it is hard and scary. I have to do it, though. So, in these early days of October you are heavy on my heart and the sadness creeps back in. How has it only been eight years since I held you? The pain is too acute, still, to think about it for too long.

Then, October creeps along and we have a chance to celebrate the lives of your baby brother and sister and I reel in the fact that I've got three more children! Three beautiful, happy, healthy, wild, seeminly insatiable children. They truly are a poor man's therapy and most days there is a nugget of wisdom to be attained. Patience. Love. Tolerance. Self-Examination. Truth. Respect. Honesty.

It's raining now, and all three of the kids are sleeping. I go check on them, watch them sleep and breathe and thank God that they are here and that in the morning, they will be doing their best to drive me nuts.

Friday, October 02, 2009

Sideways Dancing Okapi

Our family is not the most orderly or organized. Our home is a bit out of order, with some piles lying on the floor and the dishwasher almost always needs to be loaded or unloaded. Five people and one small house can be a bit chaotic. And when I say small, I mean small. As is about 1600 square feet. One living area. No play room. No media room. All three bedrooms just a stone's throw (if you are a two year old) from the living area. Not alot of places to be alone around here.

But, we laugh alot. We have alot of fun together. Our kids are always with us, usually in the same room and if not, they are within shouting distance. We have one TV and while right now it's just really Iain and I who share the TV, when our kids are old enough to watch TV with us at night, I believe we will all five be in front of the same one.

We have a few rituals that have evolved, that probably make no sense to anyone else. When we talk about them, we don't even try to explain them because, well, we can't. One of them is the Cheetah Run. I can't even say where it began but every night, Iain and Duncan run around the family room, in a chase, pretending to be cheetahs. Thus, the Cheetah Run. Lately, Duncan decided that he was not going to be a cheetah anymore but wanted to be a sideways dancing okapi. So he is, and he dances sideways during the cheetah run. Finn and Claire and I usually sit on the sidelines for the race and watch Daddy and Duncan run through the living room, dining room and our tiny galley kitchen, in circles. Everyone laughs, and at some point during the race, Iain grabs Duncan and cheats by pulling ahead of him or cutting through the kitchen backwards and backtracking through the dining area. It's just a thing. We do it. We look forward to it and our kids seem to take some crazy comfort in the ritual. Lately, Finn and Claire have gotten to be more a part of the action while Iain carries one of them.

Baby Sideways Dancing Okapi.