Gumby World

My kids, my life, my need for a sanity check.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

A Certain Sadness In Having More Kids.....

I'm finally reading a book that has been on my shelf for a long while. The book is Jewel by Bret Lott. Jewel, the main character and mother of 5, has found out she is having another baby. Her kids are in the kitchen being kids. One was crying, 2 were picking and the oldest girl was being longsuffering. As the chaos was going on Jewel is thinking to herself (p. 32).....

They all wanted me to break, I knew; they all wanted in their own way nothing more than what they'd lost when the next child had been born: just a hug and a soft word from me. My full and undivided attention, what I knew I would never be able to give any of them again. That was the sorrowful part of being a mother: each of your children had to move up a notch toward some end of childhood with the birth of the next child.

That has always been my stuggle and sadness. I knew each time we had another the "baby" of the family would have a role shift. He or she would have a adjust to having less of me. I know it is part of life and growing but I still have that sadness when I watch Charlotte knowing she is in for a shift. It still brings tears to my eyes.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dear October Baby......

Dear Surprise Baby,

Wow. I wasn't expecting you. I have had to readjust my thinking about what my life was going to be like these next few years. See, Charlotte is almost 3. She was going to be out of diapers this summer and my long love/hate relationship with diapers would end after 11 years of constant changing. No more breastfeeding. I saw that in my future. My body would become my own again. I saw some me time. In the fall Charlotte will begin a preschool program and I would have 2 mornings with just myself. Sleepless nights. Charlotte still keeps me up some nights but we have moved into the phase of me getting more sleep than I have in a couple of years. My work. I saw myself being able to focus on my teaching and maybe going for some more education so I could teach full time. I had to adjust just a little to the change. You are 8 weeks in the making already and not slowing down. But you know what? That is ok because I also started thinking of some of the things I would miss without you...
  • That baby smell.... nothing like it!
  • That first smile. Bliss.
  • The joy my kids had when we told them that we get to fill that last seat in our van. The excitment was such a high.
  • Feeling you move around. I admit that is something I have LOVED during my pregnancies.
  • Watching your first steps.
  • Hearing your laughter added to your brother and sisters.

I had to adjust. Please be patient with me. I"m getting old and set in my ways (I'll be 38 when you are born. Your daddy will be 40). A happy and healthy 7 months until I see you....

Love, Mom

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Happy Birthday Juju!

Wow! 11 years old. I can't believe how much you have grown up, even during this past year. You were the beginning of our parenting journey. You started it all. I look back and almost laugh over how scared, careful, precise, worried we were bringing you home. You joined us 2 weeks before your due date. We were taking some pictures to send to the family since we were in California. As I was walking around the pains started. Just little ones, not too bad. We waited until 3 in the morning to go to the hospital. You could not wait to join us. Looking at you know I find it amazing that you only weighed 7 lbs 11 oz. You were a long baby. Even in the womb you made your feelings known about how I did things. If I laid on my right side you would kick and kick until I turned over. If Dad wanted to feel you kick you would just stop. Poor man had to wait forever to feel you kick and then you kicked him in the head. You knew what you wanted outside the womb too. You hated to be left alone. You knew the swing would put you to sleep and you hated that, so when I got even close to the swing you would scream. You were exhausting. ~grins~ I remember going to my 6 week check up and telling the Dr. that you were broken. The books all said that babies slept between 18 to 20 hours a day. You did not do that at all. At the time you were in your carrier just looking around, taking in everything. The Dr. told me that it would be ok, just think about all that you are learning and how smart you will be. I just thought about all the sleep you didn't do. But he was right. You are so smart, funny, good sleeper (NOW), thoughtful, helpful... a joy. Thank you for helping your Dad and I get started on the right track. Happy Birthday Andrew!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Me And My Sore Throat....

I'm sick. I hate when I get sick. On Wednesday I had a scratchy throat by Thursday night I was in full, can't swallow pain. I kept thinking of this commercial where the little kid keeps clutching his throat and saying "It hurts when I swallow" over and over again until he yells for his mom. I didn't like that commercial but that is what it was like. Yesterday I only ate 2 pancakes, bowl of rice and 3 eggs. Because it hurt when I swallowed. I got some meds and am feeling just a little bit better.

I don't get sick often. Charlotte kept coming up to me and patting my cheek saying "You ok Momman". Makes life just a little bit better. Other things that made life a little better yesterday:
  1. It snowed.... The kids loved it. Catherine and her friend Erin walked home from school in it and proclaimed it "The Best Day EVER!". It didn't stick but that is Arkansas for you.
  2. My babysitter volunteered to come and get Charlotte for the morning so I could sleep when I called and cancelled for the day since I wasn't making it to my classes. Allison, you ROCK!
  3. Soft Fleece blankets.... Where have they been all my life. Since it was freezing yesterday the blanket Andrew won at a Christmas party kept me toasty.
  4. A husband that came home and cooked and entertained a 2 1/2 year old as much as he could. Their favorite game is her sitting on his shoulders and leaning over to say hi. Then she tries to psych him out and they both laugh. I would laugh but it hurt when I did that.
  5. A friend that volunteered to come and get Catherine and Georgia and take them to the night out at Gymnastics. They loved it, We loved it. Sabrina... You ROCK! Thanks. It didn't end until 10 pm and we had to fight to stay awake until then. Jeff was elected since I was sick. WOO-Hoo. OR does that make us old that we had to think about who was staying up till 10pm?

Did you know people actually take pictures of their sore throats? Go ahead, google "sore throat" and click on images. Who does things like that? AND that you can buy a sore throat toy? Here is a description incase you just had to know:

"a cuddly toy in the shape of a virus! But, these cuddly characters are incredibly endearing and educational too. Each one comes with a detailed scientific description and photograph of what he looks like under the microscope, along with medical tips on how to avoid picking up these 'bugs' in daily life. Children seem to be totally fascinated by them, and it really helps when explaining all about why they are feeling poorly. The perfect gift to accompany a Get Well Card. A brilliant present for medical students, doctors, nurses, etc ? You can soon understand why they are becoming amazingly popular! Start collecting now."

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Mystery Meat Anyone?

Does anyone remember these? We used to have T.V. dinners all the time when I was growing up. It was just another quick meal my mom would throw in the oven. They ranked up there with Banquet Fried chicken and pot pies.

I LOVED pot pies. I could eat my weight in pot pies. I still could. It's just hat my kids do not like them. The Banquet Fried chicken, not so great. We had it every Sunday unless we had money then we went to KFC. Now there was chicken. Not counting my Grandmother's fried chicken which was the best ever! My mom never fried chicken that I remember. I think she just decided to not even compete so the box chicken was it for us.

Then it was the T.V. dinners. OH, the choices. The dry potatoes. Carrots and peas. A slab of meat. Who could ask for more. We loved them. Our freezer was always stocked. So I decided to walk down memory lane and bought the kids T.V. Dinners. They LOVED the Salisbury steak. Who knew that slab of meat was so tasty. They even box it up by itself. No sides needed. Just that wonderful meat. 6 to a box and all under $2. I bought more. I cooked it last night and you would have thought I had filet mignon wrapped in bacon. Andrew had 3 pieces. Catherine had 2. Georgia did have to have ketchup to eat with it and Charlotte just ate the ketchup. A supper fit for a King... As long as you don't expect much from that king.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Parenting Laws....

I know a lot of you have seen this before. It is making it's way around the e-mails again. I just find it so darn funny and true that I had to share without cluttering your e-mail box. It's also my lazy way of creating a blog post when I really haven't had time to sit down and muse recently. I promise I'll post something profound soon. Anyway, enjoy!

Laws of Forbidden Places:
  • Of the beasts of the field, and of the fishes of the sea, and of all foods that are acceptable in my sight you may eat, but not in the living room.
  • Of the hoofed animals, broiled or ground into burgers, you may eat, but not in the living room.
  • Of the cereal grains, of the corn and of the wheat and of the oats, and of all the cereals that are of bright color and unknown provenance you may eat, but not in the living room.
  • Of quiescently frozen dessert and of all frozen after-meal treats you may eat, but absolutely not in the living room.
  • Of the juices and other beverages, yes, even of those in sippy-cups, you may drink, but not in the living room, neither may you carry such therein.
  • Indeed, when you reach the place where the living room carpet begins, of any food or beverage therein you may not eat, neither may you drink.
  • But if you are sick, and are lying down and watching something, then may you eat in the living room.

Laws When at Table:

And if you are seated in your high chair, or in a chair such as a greater person might use, keep your legs and feet below you as they were.
  • Neither raise up your knees, nor place your feet upon the table, for that is an abomination to me. Yes, even when you have an interesting bandage to show, your feet upon the table are an abomination, and worthy of rebuke.
  • Drink your milk as it is given you, neither use on it any utensils, nor fork, nor knife, nor spoon, for that is not what they are for; if you will dip your blocks in the milk, and lick it off, you will be sent away from my presence.
  • When you have drunk, let the empty cup then remain upon the table, and do not bite it upon its edge and by your teeth hold it to your face in order to make noises in it sounding like a duck: for you will be sent away from my presence.
  • When you chew your food, keep your mouth closed until you have swallowed, and do not open it to show your brother or your sister what is within; verily I say to you, do not so, even if your brother or your sister has done the same before you.
  • Eat your food only; do not eat that which is not food; neither seize the table between your jaws, nor use the raiment of the table to wipe your lips. I say again to you, do not touch it, but leave it as it is.
  • And though your stick of carrot does indeed resemble a marker, draw not with it upon the table, even in pretend, because we do not do that, that is why.
  • And though the pieces of broccoli are very like small trees, do not stand them upright to make a forest, because we do not do that, that is why.
  • Sit just as I have told you, and do not lean to one side or the other, nor slide down until you are nearly slid away. Heed me; for if you sit like that, your hair will go into the syrup. And now behold.....even as I have said, it has come to pass.
  • Laws Pertaining to Dessert:

    • For as we judge between the plate that is unclean and the plate that is clean, saying first, if the plate is clean, then you shall have dessert.
      But of the unclean plate, the laws are these:
    • If ye have eaten most of your meat, and two bites of your peas with each bite consisting of not less than three peas each, or in total six peas, eaten where I can see,
      and you have also eaten enough of your potatoes to fill two forks, both forkfuls eaten where I can see, ..........then ye shall have dessert.
    • But if ye eat a lesser number of peas, and yet ye eat the potatoes, still ye shall not have dessert; and if ye eat the peas, yet leave the potatoes uneaten, ye shall not have dessert, no, verily I say unto you, not even a small portion thereof!
    • And if thou tries to deceive by moving the potatoes or peas around with a fork, that it may appear that thou hast eaten what thou hast not, ye will fall into iniquity. And I will know, and ye shall have no dessert.

    On Screaming:

    • Do not scream; for it is as if you scream all the time.
    • If ye are given a plate on which two foods ye do not wish to touch each other are touching each other, and your voice rises up even unto the ceiling, while ye point to the offense with the finger of your right hand; but I say unto you, scream not, only remonstrate gently with the server, that the server may correct his transgression and peace shall prevail throughout the land.
    • Likewise if ye receive a portion of fish from which every piece of herbal seasoning has not been scraped off, and the herbal seasoning is loathsome to you and steeped in vileness, again I say, verily, refrain from screaming.
    • Though the vileness overwhelm you, and cause you a faint unto death, make not that sound from within your throat, neither cover your face, nor press your fingers to your nose. For even as I have made the fish, and it is as it should be; behold, I eat it myself, yet do not die.

    Concerning Face and Hands:

    • Cast your countenance upward unto the light, and lift your eyes to the hills, that I may more easily wash you off. For the stains are upon you; even to the very back of your head, ...and there is rice thereon.
    • .....And in the breast pocket of your garment, and upon the tie of your shoe, rice and other fragments are distributed in a manner beyond comprehension!
    • Only hold thyself still; hold still, I say. Give unto each finger in its turn for my examination thereof, and also each thumb. Lo, how iniquitous they appear. What I do is as it must be; and you shall not go henceforth until I have done.

    Various Other Laws, Statutes, and Ordinances:

    • Bite not, lest you be cast into quiet time. Neither drink of your own bath water, nor of the bath water of any beast of the field, or any fowl of the air nor of any kind; nor rub your feet on bread, even if it be in the package; nor rub your feet against cars, not against any building; nor eat sand.
    • Leave the cat alone, for what hath the cat done, that you should go forth and afflict it so and bindeth it with tape? And hum not the humming in your nose as I read, nor stand between the light and the book. Verily I say unto you, you will drive me to madness.........

    Neither forget what I said about the uses of the tape......

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Rain, Rain Don't Go Away.....

    You have to stay and play all day. We are in need of so much rain. The poor state of Arkansas is more than 17 inches behind in rainfall. Not that you really care about that. Amazing what adults pay attention to and what children pay attention to. To them, rain = play in this house. They know that certain types of rain can lead to an enjoyable hour of "How Wet Can We Get" and "How Many Towels Does Mom Really Have Folded". They love the rain.

    I love the rain. I used to be able to do my favorite thing and rain made it so much better. Read. Books were so much better when you listened to the thunder and rain. It also represents my favorite movie. "Singing in the Rain". How many of us can belt out at least the first few phrases of that song. And watching Gene Kelly dance, sweet.

    I'm listening to the thunder right now. For my mom is was fearful. She was so afraid of loud noises. She would have the house closed up, windows covered, ear muffs on, eyes covered and me banging (I mean playing) the piano so she wouldn't hear all the noise. She was so afraid of passing on that fear to us. It didn't happen. I loved the noise, the sounds of rain on my tin roof over my bedroom, the beauty of lightening. I love the rain. My kids love the rain. If it isn't still raining when they get home from school then we move on to their next love, mud puddles. They love jumping in them, sitting in them, splashing everything and everyone. They also beg for me to drive through them when we are out and about. The cool mom that I am, I drive to all the best spots to we can make as big a splash as possible. Although they are begging me to do this, I have to admit I LOVE doing it also. Kids are the best. I love watching life through them.