Friday, July 17, 2009

Lesson Learned

Ok - so I've read several books on the 'Stubborn Child', trying to understand my daughter better, but after yesterday I realize that she comes by things naturally. As if my experiences last weekend with Calum, some flour, and his bedroom weren't enough, yesterday I finally learned that I needed to remove ALL powdery substances from the kid's room. Why you ask? Well, if you have to ask then the following has never happened to you & probably for good reason, you're smarter than me. Let me set the scene...

My friend and I are catching up in the kitchen. She's eating some lunch, I'm folding some clothes. Babies are asleep and three little friends are playing in the bedroom. It's that 'sensitive period' for closing doors around here - 'I need my privacy,' so the door to the bedroom was closed/ajar. I start smelling the sweet scent of baby powder but it doesn't even register as a potential hazard...I'm folding laundry remember, all baby laundry smells to some degree of baby powder. Until WHAM! The scent is so strong and my slow-ass synapses finally fire in my brain - oh shit, baby powder, a closed door, and three kids. I best investigate.

I open the door only to be greeted by the thick fog, yes fog, of baby powder. It was as if I'd stepped into a smoky bar at 2 in the afternoon. I had to close the door quickly so the children wouldn't see my face - the huge smile and heaving chest from laughing would NOT indicate that this scene was unacceptable. Once my friend and I regained our composure we opened the door and dealt with the kids, picking them up off the floor as they practiced 'swimming' in the layer of powder. It's amazing we didn't hear coughing or choking. We dusted the kids off and sent them out! Funny - for the whole hour prior to this incident they were all over us -- Mommy this & Mommy that -- but for the hour and a half it took us to clean the room, the kids were miraculously able to play on their own - no fights, no interventions, no attention needed from the mommy's. Nope - they left us to our work/ a room full of baby powder. Where do you even start on a project like that one?!

So, the next time I say to myself, 'Sometimes Ella and Calum just have to learn things the hard way, ' I won't be so judgmental. I'm the idiot that had to clean flour & baby powder up from a bedroom twice in one week. Oh, and I forgot to mention the petroleum jelly that was smeared on the wall. Yeah - nice. Needless to say but all jelly, lotion, powder, oil - anything of this nature, that would require more than two minutes to clean up if spilled or smeared, has now been removed from the kids room. And we don't close doors anymore. Lesson learned.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Topic of conversation

Just a quick list of conversations from yesterday:

First thing in the morning:
1. Mommy to Calum - 'Calum, we use the flour in our kitchen, NOT in the bedroom. Help me clean your mixing off the bedroom floor and furniture.'

2. Mommy to Daddy - 'Daddy go get the camera, this will be a funny memory once we get past the cleanup.'

3. Daddy to Calum - 'Stand by your mess, son, so you have some evidence for the judge.'

Sometime, mid-morning:

4. Ella to Mommy - 'But Morgan was using the toilet and I really had to go.'

5. Mommy to Ella - 'You can use the toilet in Mommy's room anytime. Please don't pee in the sink anymore.' and 'Please don't tell your brother why we're throwing his toothbrush away. He can't use a toothbrush that's been pee'd on.'

Later that evening:

Mommy overhears Morgan to Ella - 'Ella, why don't you talk when you come to my house but you talk all the time at your house?'

And the last conversation before bedtime:

6. Ella to Mommy - 'But I have been to church before. When Uncle Tyler & Aunt Gwyn got married, so I should be able to go to church with Morgan. I love her.'

7. Mommy to self - 'I don't want to have a conversation about church and God right now - it's 8:30pm. I want to watch Food Network.'

8. Mommy to Ella - 'I'm glad you have found a friend that you love but little girls go to church with their mommy & daddy's first. When you get older you can choose to go to church with Morgan but not now.'

9. Ella to Mommy ------ no words, just the 'I hate you right now' look that only a girl can give to her mother.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Bee stings, Boyfriends, and Bowel Movements

Ella got stung by a bee yesterday. She ran out into the clover and stepped on the sucker. All was fine though. No abnormal swelling or closing of her esophagus. I knew she wasn't having breathing problems by the screeching that was going on right outside my ear. My eardrums are still vibrating today. This was another very clear example of the differences between boys & girls. Well, a clear difference between my boy and my girl (oldest.) Calum was stung by a bee a few weeks ago. We heard the cry across the yard. He walked over to Adam holding his finger high - this is where he was stung. His crying stopped after a few minutes. He whimpered for another 20 minutes or so, holding his hand gingerly and saying 'boo boo.' We moved on. Cut to last night. Ella runs out into the yard and after a few moments begins screaming and crying as if her arm had been ripped off. She lays there, waits for Adam to come get her. Granted, she was stung on the foot and probably couldn't walk well but she laid there the clover, with the bees. She screamed for 30 minutes - top of her lungs 'I got stung by a bee.' SCREAMING, CRYING, SCREAMING. The dramatics were worthy of a Tony Award. We had to process the incident throughout the evening, as a family. She seems better today - perhaps this experience will only be worthy of one therapy session. I truly believe she wills these things onto herself. She wanted so badly to have the same kind of 'medicine' as Calum when he was stung. But this time we were smarter and simply chewed up some plantain and put it on the sting. Worked wonders. Last week she was disappointed because Calum had a fever and was given some Tylenol. The next day she got the fever...the first thing she asked for was Tylenol. Oye! I cringe to think about high school and 'experimental drugs.' And that covers bee stings.

Boyfriends...Ella had her boy Brady over today. She hasn't seen Brady in over a year but she asked for him this morning every three minutes until he got here. A little shy at first but soon was running the halls with him. I might have to say he's her love. She just treats him different. At one point they were playing in her room, sitting on her bed reading books or something. We called for them to come out and Brady jumped off the bed and Ella followed. Her hair was a bit mussed up - again, high school crept to mind. If they were teenagers we'd be yelling at them to leave the door open. So fun to see them together again, sharing food, playing, doing things for each other. A sweet little friendship.

Lastly, I had to laugh the other morning when I realized I had spent a full hour wiping bottoms of poo. It's the first hour of each morning, when all the kids are finally awake together. It's like round-robin pooping. Poop, wipe, diaper change. Poop, wipe, diaper change. It has to be the most unglorified part of this job - motherhood. Even Ella needs help in this category so I don't even have a reprieve from her. Oh well. Once you become a mom you realize that poop is a barometer of health so I guess it is really best that I wipe and change. And by having four, I'm surely guaranteeing that at least one of these kids will wipe my bottom when it comes time. Ha - planning. Always plan for the future - ;)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday Tornado

Today I successfully managed five kids. Everyone lived, the house didn't implode - neither did I, only two 'time-outs' were used, and everyone wants to do it again tomorrow, though I'll have more mommy hands around. What a great day for me as a mom, and for my kids because now, finally, life is getting back to normal. Friends are coming over, they are playing, I am playing. Just me, my kids, their friends, my friends. I miss my family and all their help, don't misunderstand, but after today I now know I can do it. I can mother these kids, allow them their lives, and still be sane enough to smile at the end of the day. No promises for tomorrow but today worked.

Pause -- who is my husband talking to outside? I don't recognize the car but it must be a neighbor. This is the dynamic of a stay-at-home mom. We know EVERYTHING in the neighborhood. I know that if my neighbors don't open their blinds by 8am then they are sick, out of town, or at the hospital. Seriously. If someone gets a new car, I know about it. I know when the school kids from down the block bring home friends. I can set my schedule to the mowing routine of my neighbors. So - who is this newby taking up space in the road. I'll just have to wait & see. Yep - I'm nosy. But nosy isn't a bad thing when you're home all day with kids. We have to be aware of the workings in the neighborhood so that we send the signals of concern when something doesn't add up.

Back to the day.... Ella told me she was going to be a grown up, when she grows up. Calum fell asleep while hanging off the couch. Imagine a small child leaned over the seat part of a couch with his feet dangling, not touching the floor. This is how Calum slept for 45 minutes. Ella's friend told me today that gum makes a tummy happy --- in response to my 'no' when asked for some gum. Drew & Oliver are sitting next to me right now in their respective bouncy chair. Oliver is slobbering bubbles and getting a work out - don't come a knockin' if the chair is a rockin'. Drew is having quite an angry conversation with a bird. I retract, she's having an angry conversation with the backside of the bird. Now she's smiling because I turned the toy around. Funny -- all of my babies have a love/hate relationship with this bird. I might have to rip the thing off the chair as a momento. But ahh - who will get it when I die; they've all loved it so.

Dinner is waiting for attention. Leftovers tonight from one of the freezer meals we prepared last week. I think we have 14 dinners in the freezer - all prepped and ready. We won't have to think about a main course for for at least two more weeks. This coupled with the occasional meal with family - we're good to go. So nice not having this be a main focus of our everyday. Adam can come home and catch up with the kids and we can have a home cooked meal every night. Now if I could get on the same sort of rotation for desserts...

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Death talk - to a four year old

Ok - so when we went out today Ella saw a cemetery and started asking questions. Three hours later we're still talking about death. What it means to be dead. Where you go when you die. When will I die? Who died today. Who will die tomorrow. I used the example of my grandmother dying to help Ella understand. So now - three hours later - Ell is reassuring me that even though my Grandma is 'died' she still loves me. And she just now asked, 'Are beetles eating your Grandma up?'

To be continued....

Moving on from the death talk - Calum sprayed Oliver in the face/body today with the hose. We were all out 'cleaning' the playhouse, Calum got ahold of the hose. Not a bad thing except for the infant babies unaware of their fate, swinging away in summer bliss. I guess Oliver looked in need of a spray - he was soaked and screamed bloody murder. Thankfully he recovered quickly as soon as I rescued him from the typhoon.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

New Blog

With my friends as inspiration I've decided to start blogging. I realize my computer time is now much more limited than ever before but so is my time to chat on the phone. I'm hoping my blog will help document my days (& not in a Jon & Kate 'document our lives' kind of way --- I'll try to keep the Winchester paparazzi down to a minimum.) Hopefully the blog will help family & friends whom I'm less able to keep up with, keep up with me and my family.

So - as I write my first blog I look out the window and see Ella & Calum out in the street riding their bikes. Adam is there talking with a neighbor while wearing, yes I said wearing, Oliver. He has started to wear the babies in the wraps to save my back a little. I appreciate his help and any respite I can get from carrying both of them -- one is in the front and one hangs out back. I may not give them as much individualized attention as I once gave Ella and Calum as babies but I do wear these two ALOT more than the others. I'm hoping that balances things out a bit.

Calum learned to swing on the 'big boy' swing for the first time this 4th of July weekend. So proud. And Ella has spent most of her weekend in the pool. Every day it's something new for the two of them. We're discovering that Calum gets in trouble when he gets tired so a few minutes in his room usually turns into a short nap - just enough rest to get him to bedtime. They're so wonderful - and I'm very proud of them. Ella just wants to help these days. Today it was the laundry though she realized her lap was too small for folding a towel so proceeded to fold it on the ground. We were outside in the yard.... I just looked up at Adam and remarked that I'll need to redefine my thoughts about what's 'clean.' I love this reworking of ideas - this organic way of living. Find what works for the day and go with it but no strings attached. I woke up yesterday so grumpy and spent an hour grousing (word?) at the kids. When my mood finally lifted I felt it important to apologize to the kids for my grumbling. Maybe this will teach them that it's ok & natural to sometimes be angry for no reason, but it's not ok to treat others in a mean way. No ones perfect.

Well - we've managed 11 weeks as a family of 6. Eleven? or Twelve. Hold on. I need to check. TWELVE!! My babies are twelve weeks old. OMG. Oh - how sweet. I need to re-lable some of the pictures I took today. Ha - my brain on six. It's not a brain on drugs it's just a brain on 6. Six Levy's in this house. Couldn't be a luckier number.