Wednesday, May 30, 2012

What you know

As I was making my bed (for the one of three times I will actually do that this year), I wondered to myself, how many people really know how to make a bed?  Obviously, my good friend Katie does, as she gave us monogrammed sheets for a wedding gift, and the monogram is printed so that it shows when you fold the sheet down.  And that means, you have to put the sheet on upside-down...did you know that?  You should sleep sandwiched between the "nice" side of the sheets. Or, that when addressing a couple, you put the "Mrs." first so that "Mr." is in front of the last name, as he was the original owner of the title.

I often wonder these things.  And then wonder how many little details I just don't know.  I think I should spend more time with my mom and grandma.  They are such a wealth of knowledge in everything domestic.  I should spend a night with my mother-in-law learning how to make and ice perfect sugar cookies.  I love decorating and organizing my house.  And I do it well. Pretty sure if I had decided to be a stay at home mom, I would be the BEST stay at home mom ever.  As it stands, I'm a pretty decent cook, but give me a lot more time and little more experience and I think I would be come a damn good cook.  None of this is because I am overly talented at any of it.  It's because I like to strive for excellence in every part of my life.  I don't want to make food if it's not enjoyable. I don't want to make my bed if it's not perfect.  I just do not enjoy doing things, if I am not doing them right. In fact, I quickly give up and abandon projects that aren't turning out right.  My house is a mess more often than not, because I can't organize and clean it as thoroughly as I desire.  Ugh.  Please, can we just have 37 hour days!?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012


George is happier for longer and longer stretches during the day. He seems to be genuinely curious. He is still very sweet and soft spoken...until he is mad. Then, phew, lookout.  That kid can scream. I mean literally scream. He has always had an extremely shrill cry. It gets your attention, I'll tell you that.  Lately, I haven't been around much, and I think it is affecting him. I don't think he is as comforted by me.  He used to be such a momma's boy.  But I guess he was going to have to learn to fend for himself sooner or later.

As I have noticed with the previous 2, George became an expressive fun little guy right at 3 months.  It's what they do.  He smiles. He reaches. He reacts. He plays. He is transitioning from that newborn phase. It is sad and exciting all at the same time. I look forward to him eating baby food, and crawling, and playing with toys.  But I will miss the little goo's and coo's, and sweet baby noises that only a very new newbie can create. George reminds of Brock with his bug-eyed moments, his intense desire to stand, his fickle eating habits and his frustrating need to fight sleep.  He reminds of Curtis, because of his happy, smiley demeanor, and the chub. He is ticklish. Everywhere.  And laughs just when you make eye contact in a certain way.

Most of all, George is a little mystery, showing me a new piece of himself every day.  More than the other 2, I am extremely curious as to what he will look like as a toddler, a kid, an adult. Maybe it's because he looks like a goofy, little, old man right now, and I know that won't last forever.  Or, maybe it's because I have 2 older boys who shock and amaze me everyday with their wonderful and unique little personalities, mannerisms and quirks.  Whatever it is, I know I miss George all day, and cannot wait to get home to him, and meet the ever so slightly changed baby he has become.
One day, I am going to come home, and he will be grown. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

I want 6 kids.

It's a problem. I have a real problem. With every child, I increase the number of children I want.  And it is for so, so many reasons. 

Originally, I wanted 5 kids, because I am one of five.  I loved it.  I loved every minute and every day of my crazy, chaotic, busy upbringing.  I am still extremely close to all of my siblings. We are all in Kansas City.  We have dinner together at least once a month, and sometimes every weekend.  My son and my sister's son are obsessed with one another (Brock more with Xander, than Xander with Brock I think...but, he got my OCD gene, so that is expected).  Matt wanted 4 kids.  Because he is one of four.  And when I say "originally", I am talking, way back in high school, when we had only been dating for a few weeks.  I remember the moment we discussed this, walking back to my house from a party at Courtney Reardon's. And I remember thinking how dumb it was to even talk about anyone who dates in high school actually stays together. But loving that we both wanted huge families.  I even remember thinking, "oh, he will come around, there is no way he will want to stop at 4 kids."
Now?  I think part of me panics at the idea of never "expecting" another child.  I have NEVER liked surprises until now.  And every child is a new, amazing experience.  I feel like I grow and become and new, better person with each birth.  Does one travel to a new, foreign, beautiful place and have the experience of a lifetime then think to themself, "there I did it, I am done, no need to ever go back." Or do they say, "when's the next trip!?" 

With each kid, you see a different side of yourself.  You see all the potential you feel in yourself passed on to a new generation. You wonder what they will make of themselves, and you know, whatever it is, it will be great.  At least in your mind, anyway.  You also see the many characteristics of your spouse.  You are surrounded by little pieces of the love of your life.  It's like having a bowl of ice cream every night, which I love, but now, suddenly, I have caramel, and a warm brownie and some coffee to go with it.  Can I please have some hot fudge, whipped cream, and heath bar crumbles to go with it!?

Don't get me wrong.  I constantly fight myself about this.  I think, am I just being totally selfish?  Bringing more and more lives into this world. There are plently of people, the population isn't hurting.  I work long hours (hopefully in a few years it will only be 4 days a week though), so I don't even get to spend lots of time with the 3 I have, why have more?  I constantly rely on family to watch them. In fact, my family is probably reading this thinking, "for heaven's sake, I hope she is kidding."  But THAT is only another reason I want more...I want my kids to have lots of siblings to rely on for help.  It's a viscious cycle.

And probably, what trumps every other reason, is that I love babies. I have said it before, babies are one of the very few things, perhaps only true thing that calms me.  Sitting still, letting my mind shut off, relaxing, is a rare thing.  In fact, I am not sure I ever truly knew that I could relax until Brock was born.  I let my body and mind have a break. I stayed home. I sat in the recliner all day and took care of my newborn.

Lastly, I am not being totally honest if I don't add in the part about how I have really amazing babies.  I mean, if all babies were this cute and healthy and "easy" then a lot more people would probably have a lot more kids.  I am sorry, it's just the way I feel.  And I wouldn't be a good mother if I didn't feel this way about my own kids.  So, don't take it the wrong way. 

And at this point, I wouldn't even mind if all 6 were boys.  These guys are the joy of my life.  And I also wouldn't mind if I did stop at 3.  I never said I needed 6 kids, just that I want them. Oh, and Brock wants them too...just the other night, after dinner, Matt jokingly told Brock there was a baby in my belly after I had told Brock he couldn't sit in my lap.  Brock's eyes lit up and he said, "really!?"  I said no, and then told Matt not to do that.  Brock then said, "you will next time though, right?  We are going to have lots of babies, right?" This isn't the first time that boy has informed me he wants lots of brothers and sisters.

So, in summary, I am crazy {about my kids}.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mr. Personality

Last night, my mom offered to watch the boys for a bit while Matt and I enjoyed a dinner to ourselves after my 94 hour work week, and his week of taking care of the boys, alone, overnight.  Se had a work party to attend, but it was just pizza at a nearby friend's house, so the boys' were more than welcome to join her.  When we pull up to pick up the kiddos, I am greeted by all my mother's co-workers informing me that my boys were the entertainment of the evening.  One person even brings me his phone to show me the photo he took. Of Brock. With trousers to his ankles. Peeing in the middle of the yard.  I just sigh. Matt takes a peek over my shoulder, then looks up, beaming with pride, "that's my boy!"  And everyone starts laughing.

At three and a half, this kind of thing is a frequent occurrence (not the peeing in the yard in front of everyone - but kind of - but the making everyone laugh thing.)  Despite his endless energy, exhausting curiosity, lack of patience and trying stubbornness, Brock creates amusement for all in almost any situation.  Or at least, something to look back on and laugh about, even if in the moment it's not exactly fun.

Recently, as I was downstairs giving the 2 babies a bath, I called up to Matt, "Will you bring down a towel for Curtis when you head this way?"  To which he replied, "sure".  Unbeknownst to me, Brock had also responded, "ok, mom!"  So Matt looks over at him quizzingly, and says, "so, Brock. You going to go get that towel for your mother?" To which Brock replied as if Matt was loony, "No. I was just trying to  make her be quiet."  What!? I feel sorry for that boys future spouse if he already behaves that way!

Monday, May 14, 2012

Curtis is a Year and a Half!

Time again to brag about Curtis. He is a year and a half now. Though, he did shatter a votive today.  But I blame it more on his lack of coordination than him purposely making trouble. Curty, Curty, Curty, you put your borthers to shame because I could gush about your ridiculously wonderful demeanor and habits all day long. This child has still, yet to make me reach my boiling point. Ever.  Pretty sure Brock does it daily, and has since birth.  And George has had his moment or two. 

Every single time. I walk through that front door, Curtis immediately ditches whatever book he is reading, toy he is eating or push toy he is roaming about the house with, to come bumbling toward me with an ear to ear grin chanting, "Maaamaaa, maaamaaa" in his raspy little voice. Makes my day. Every single time. Yes, he is starting to approach those "terrible two's" and the stubborn, testing little toddlerisms eek out every so often, but right now, it is just stinking cute.  I mean, how can you not laugh when he sees you open a pop tart, therefore, instantly takes out his paci and throws it to the ground, then throws himself to the ground when he sees that you plan to eat it yourself and not give it to him. I mean, he has already had much can one 18 month old eat!?  I love his little temper tantrums.

I don't love that he insists on doing the stairs himself now. This child is anything but coordinated.  He falls.  Bumps his head. Trips. Drops things. Stumbles. And knocks into things, constantly.  He is niether tall enough, especially with those stubby little legs, nor skilled enough to be traversing the stairs in an adult like manner.  Yes, he has fallen all the way from the top to the bottom, at least once.  I guess that is darwin for ya...make the fumbling kid the fat stubby one.  Plenty of protection from the falls.

Besides food.  And me.  Curtis' favorite thing, in the entire world, is bedtime.  I think he looks forward to bedtime from the moment he wakes up (wonder where he gets this from...Matt).  He still takes 2-4 hour naps in the afternoon.  And still begins wandering the house, in a zombie-like fashion, starting around 7:30pm until we are finally ready to help him to bed.  When he gets to that point, you merely ask, "Curtis, you ready to go night-night?" And his little eyes perk up, he says "eh?" and runs off to find Blanky Bear and his paci.  From that point on, you can not get him in bed fast enough.  And when you finally finishing changing his diaper and putting on his PJ's and lying him in bed, he honest to God, lets out a huge sigh of relief.  Lies down, and goes to bed. Not to be heard from for the next 10-13 hours.  We did rock the boat a bit recently, by moving him upstairs to share a room with Brock.  I have never felt so bad. For the few nights it took for Curtis to adjust, we had stollen away from him, his favorite part of life.  On the upside, he loves brushign his teeth and reading a book with his big brother before bedtime.  The two of them fight over the stool.  

He is getting old enough to fight!  Brock and Curtis actually interact and play with one another more and more everyday.  Brock even gets mad when Curtis leaves an activity too soon.  He likes to take all the pillow cushions off the couch to create his own "house" and Curtis is usually expected to be a tenant.  Brock will yell at him to get back in the house and eventually come crying to me because Curtis won't comply.  Haha. They wrestle.  They hug. They kiss. They play with their kitchen set. They love one another. They are adorable.

Our house is just gushing with love.  Curtis kisses everyone goodnight, and always makes sure to make a kissy sound when giving George a wet smootch.  He is such the perfect, wonderful, middle child.  Should I start worrying about the teenage years now?  Cause something has got to give. Right?   

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Really Matt? Really?

One Saturday, I was off doing volunteer sports physicals for the Boys' and Girls' Club, therefore, Matt and Matt alone was in charge of all three boys.  I had been caring for them all day, on my own, for the previous 2 days, and they were awesome. We even ventured out to Crown Center to eat at a Fritz's (a sit down restaurant - that delivers food by train) with me as the only adult.  It was easy as pie...but I would be lying if I didn't admit to a moment of panic during lunch.  Suddenly, it hit me; the number of things that could go wrong with a unleashed 3.5 year old, a stroller bound 1.5 year old and a bjorn strapped baby.  What if George had a blow out in the bjorn?  What if Brock decided to run off? What if any one of them started screaming uncontrollably? Anyway, none of it happened, the day was great.  But back to Matt's day...

...needless to say, I thought Matt would have no issues watching them for one morning.  The first clue I recieve that things might not be going as smoothly as I had expected, was a text from Matt, informing me that the baby carrier smells like Ninfa's (a greasy spoon, whole in the wall Mexican food establishment, my mother and I had enjoyed the day earlier.)  When I queried as to where he was going, he texted, "For a [bleeping] car ride".  Not good.  The next clue?  A facebook status stating, "Somebody better come stop me before I shake a baby."  Honestly, both of these things just made me laugh.  I mean, with 3 kids, days like this happen.  So, I finally get home - around 11:30am!  It's not even after noon yet.  I hit the door to greet an exasperated Matt, who informs me that George has not stopped crying all morning.

I take George, feed him, and he is out.  I then head to the basement to put in a load of laundry, only to find a floor decorated with things that Fannie has destroyed: a towel, a bunch of diapers and a burp cloth.  This behavior from her is usually a sign that she has accidentally been locked in the basement for a good hour or two.  But Fannie has been on a run of bad behavior - only while I am out of the house - so, I assumed she just got down their while Matt was otherwise occupied and went on a cloth destroying binge.  When I see Matt again, I mention the destruction in the basement.  Matt acts flabbergasted, and bewildered.  He states, "I have no idea when that could have happened."  Umm, I know exactly when it happened, sometime between 7am (when I left) and 11:30am (when I returned home.)

I tell him this and a few other things, and he continues to maintain that he has no clue how it could have happened, as she has basically been locked in the kennel or outside all day.  During this entire discussion, I am not mad, because it is nearly impossible to keep the puppy in line while the 3 boys are on the loose, and especially when one or all are unhappy.  But she got down there somehow, and the amount of items that got torn to shreds would take even the biggest, most awful puppy some time.  So I tell him, "It really looks as if she got locked in the basement for a while, like that one time we forgot to lock the kennel."  Then, a little smirk from Matt.  "I may, or may not, have let Brock be in charge of locking Fannie in her kennel."

Really Matt?  Really?  You let the 3 year old be in charge of locking up hurricane Fannie May?  A dog that maims, chews, and ruins items directly in front of us. And then you leave the house for an hour or two? Great idea.  And, you were really THAT bewildered when I told you of the mess?  It didn't pop into your head that your young son might not have, in fact, securely locked her in her kennel? That cage is hard for even me to maneuver.  And Brock has less patience than I do, so if it didn' t lock on first attempt, it didn't get locked.  Matt knows this.  He then goes on to explain, that he also let Brock be in charge of letting her out...therefore, he never stepped foot in the basement and was clueless as to what had gone on down there.  Sigh.

I mean, parenthood isn't easy.  But there are certain things, that are easily preventable, which don't take too much extra effort.  And certainly takes less effort than the result if you don't prevent it in the first place.  Like locking the dog in her kennel, yourself. 

Or not teaching your children to light things on fire...
...big or small, boys will be boys.