Tuesday, January 31, 2012

date nights.

my mom insisted that she come over a few nights this week and watch the kiddos so that my babies and i can go on dates. one on one.

best mom ever.

(by the way, my accountant husband is working 12 hour days for tax season. in case you thought he was a scum bag.)

i love dating my children. for some weird reason it always surprises me how wonderfully we get along. family is the place to find best friends.

can i just say that i adore spending time with my oldest child? i really, really do. he and i have so many similar interests and we think, talk and act alike. he's easy going so we can just walk out the door with no plans and let the opportunities for fun fall on us.

he feels most loved when he spends time with someone, face to face, talking. me too. he likes to hear how spectacular he is, and i like to tell him.

sometimes he gets sad. he can't come up with a cause for his pain but he hurts inside. sometimes he cries. i love being the person who understands his sad feelings. i love that he can sit with me and cry and cry, and that i know he'll be okay soon so i can just hold him and wait.

he didn't cry on our date but later he did. maybe because the escape was so lovely and real life is so hard for him right now.

while we were out he told me it was really nice not to have to worry about his brothers getting into trouble. i didn't know he worried so much about that.

he talked about angry birds a lot. he told me that he wants a real, working watch for his birthday. he wondered aloud why girls get to wear sparkly stuff and boys don't (glitter is just so awesome).

when we walked through a clothing store in the mall he pointed at almost every woman mannequin and said things like, "mom, that necklace would be nice. do you want it?" or "that would look really cute on you." i say this all the time, but someday he's going to make a lucky lady very, very happy.

oh, he even went into bath and body works and smelled all the lotions with me. and i raced around a parking garage with him. he really is a phenomenal friend.

i am endlessly thankful that my mom offered to help so that we could go out.

is there anything greater than a date?

how about three in one week?!

tomorrow is iggy's turn and he's already got it all planned out. i can't wait so see where he takes me!

Monday, January 30, 2012

what "two" looks like.

zip line.

i love their little bodies.

i love that almost any rope holds their weight.

i love that the distance from the ceiling to the floor is very long to them.

sometimes i still think i'm that small. like the other day when we were playing sardines and i hid in a packing box. i prayed that someone would find me before i broke my back in two.

i watch them climb the door frames and i remember when i could. i remember how high-up i felt.

i love that we all start small. my dad jokingly says the house he grew up in is smaller than he remembers. imagining the way his mother saw him makes me smile.

once my brothers and i made sheet hammocks in a tree. we ripped holes in all of the sheets. i bet mom was not happy about that, but i can't remember that part of the story.

oh, i hope they squeeze into all the tiny spaces they find. that they hang off of flimsy lines. that they climb the piano and feel like they're on a mountain top. while they can.

my, how i love that a rope with the pvc pipe for a handle and a mattress near the bottom is as good as any fancy carnival ride.

yes, i love their little bodies.

thanks and thoughts.

thank you, friends, for your parenting advice and support. i feel like i have a full tool box of solutions and i am excited to try your ideas to help the boys be kind. keep the helpful hints coming.

the phrase "we love those we serve" has been playing on my mind's loop for a couple of days. this inspiration has been so subtle that i almost missed it. when the light-bulb flipped i realized that i need to do more to serve them- not just the regular things (which are hard for children to notice). i have so many opportunities to speak love to them and in turn feel my love for them grow.

no more fighting fire with fire. contention with contention.

for some time i have been feeling like the first person awake sets the mood for the day. i want to be that person but i'm failing in that goal. they're always up first, uttering a hurried good-morning and rushing to the computer for netflix.

i needed a way to change the routine. but awaking early is too ambitious for me these days, especially when i wait well into the night for duke to come home.

"aha!" i thought. "i might not be the first one up, but maybe i could influence the mood of the first one up!"

a spotless room to brighten their morning. with kind notes addressed to them in the stairwell.

heck yeah.

i tell you what, they came right into our room like it was Christmas morning to tell us about the hearts. then we sat on the stairs together to read all the compliments i wrote to each of them the night before. even in my most groggy mornings i can read prepared compliments.

my next plan is to involve each of them in secret service (not the Secret Service) for one another. maybe they'll sneak and draw someone a cool picture. or make them a snack. or do their job for them.

because we really do love those we serve.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

shouting over the noise.

Truth is, my kids have been beating each other up.

Truth is, I have no idea how to make them stop.

I feel like I can't always be supervising every communication in the household, but it seems like that's what they need. Like they need a mediator to work out any toy exchanges or ideas and execution of games.

Lawlessness. Only not, because they have all sorts of ideas about the way things should be run. "Sharing" has been forced with swift kicks to the head. "Not listening" leads to throwing toys and mad dashes through the house.

They have their own horrible world of malicious punishment for arbitrary crimes. And I hate it.

Sometimes their meanness brings a horrible spirit to our home. (Does that make any sense?) And since I can't beat it, sometimes I join it. I punish over the punishments, like yelling louder to be heard over a shouting brawl.

Obviously that doesn't work.

The other day I yelled and yelled. We fought a pointless battle of wills for hours. I got so upset when I found my oldest digging through our pen and marker drawer, without his having asked, that I sent him to his room.

Then I found this on the table...


I know that many have weathered this storm before my time.

How?

common scenes from the past week.

so many supers.

plenty of paint.

sick of sandpaper.

tens of twinkies.

fast food feeding frenzies.

dirty diapers.

and attitude problems all around.

entirely exhausting.

whew.

my weakness.

generally speaking, i'm alright with getting rid of things.

when it comes to books, though, i think i boarder on hoarder.

my sweet husband has been so very patient with me as we've moved our little home-library from house to house.

presently i have so little time for reading. i think owning these books keeps my hope for some alone time alive. someday i'll sit in a comfy corner and explore these waiting worlds.

for now i'll walk by them every day and try to come up with an inexpensive and aesthetically pleasing way to store the darn things.

oh, heavns. we adore you.

Baby girl. Your laugh will brighten the lives of many folks you'll meet.

Brightening starts here. Now. In the lives of your folks.

What a privilege.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

nap snaps.

Since moving last week every day has been so tiring. Duke and I stay up much too late each night putting the house together but the kids keep on waking up early, you know? I'm sure you know.

Nap time is glorious. Glorious, I tell you.

I thought I'd share just a little bit of the sweetness of sleep.

When they sleep I paint. Or clean. Or organize.

Maybe in a little while I'll be able to nap along side them.

My sleep-photo montage would not be nearly so adorable.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

one last romp.

goodbye backyard.

you have been so very good to us.

thanks for always being there when we need you.

we will miss your vastness. your shaded splendor.

we just had to enjoy you one last time, even if it is the rainiest part of winter.

but for comfort after a rain-run there is always a warm bath.

awe, sad. bye bath tub.

you've been so good to us, too.

guys, we'll miss you both.