The long week is over

This has been a rough week, hasn’t it?  I don’t know about you all, but I feel drained.  My psyche is exhausted.

I’m ready for some good news.

Who’s with me?

The good news, I guess, is that today is Friday.  I wish that because Sunday is a holiday that we had a three day weekend to enjoy but… not so much.  Harry does have a half day today and Spring Break next week.  But that’s not quite what was I was hoping for.  What it does mean is days on end where Harry is alternately bored, playing Rockband, wanting to play with my laptop and complaining about Sesame Street on the TV.  Happy, happy, joy, joy.

On the roster for today: making Easter themed chocolate chip cookies (yum) and perhaps dying eggs later on tonight.  I used to love dying eggs when I was a kid.  Now I find it tedious.  What the heck, Adult Self?  You’re such a lamewad.

Am charmed by Evie giggling at Abbie Cadabby on Sesame Street.  I just had to interject that.  I may just eat that little girl.  Liam is not as charmed by Sesame Street, at least at the moment.  He’s too busy with his nefarious plans.  I’m not sure what those plans are but I’m pretty certain they’re nefarious.  Just wait till Word World comes on.  That kid loves himself some Dog and Sheep and Ant and Duck and Pig.

Anyhow.  Where was I?

Oh yes.  The end of the week.  Anyone have any fun/special plans for the weekend?  Anyone getting dressed up on Sunday?  I have some cute stuff for the kids to wear.  Myself?  I think I forgot that part. Whoops.  Of COURSE there will be pictures.  What do you take me for?

Happy Friday, ya’ll.  Go have a beer.  You’ve earned it.

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Preference

A blog is a funny thing.  It’s easy to read someone’s blog and because you are getting daily (or nearly daily) updates on this person’s life, you can therefore easily believe that you know more about this person and their life than you actually do.  It’s an easy mistake to make.  After all, you have no idea what details the blogger is leaving out.  A person’s blog is a VERY subjective thing.  There could be five major things that happen to a person that day and they could only mention one.  Or none and instead choose to talk about the weather.  As a reader, you are following what that blogger wants to share and are kept in the dark about what they don’t.

Such is the case with me as well.  Particularly when it comes to my children.

Don’t get me wrong.  I can understand the average reader wondering WHY I don’t talk about my oldest very often.  Does he even exist anymore?  Is she ignoring him in real life as much as she does on her blog?

And that’s the dangerous path right there.  Does love = blog exposure.  Certainly NOT.  You can hardly judge how much value is placed on a person due to how much a person talks about them on their blog.  I think of several bloggers who rarely mention their husbands because the husband has ASKED not to be mentioned.  And then the readers then wonder if she really is married, does she even care about her husband?  Is there DRAMA here that we can wonder about?

I hope you see how silly this line of thinking is.

I didn’t have my blog when Harry was very young.  But walking through our home, 90% of the pictures on the walls include him in his various stages of life.  Harry was the center of our world for MANY years.  And the harder it was for us to have another child, the more we held him to us.  I used to take him to get professional pictures done every month or so for the first two years of life.  I would take him to storytime at the library, MOPS, the park… He made me a mother and that holds a special place in my heart.  But he IS nine years old and in the third grade.   He needs more privacy now.  I don’t want something I write about him today to be the thing that gets him picked on at school tomorrow.  I make a studious effort to recognize and respect this.

I did have the blog when Liam was young.  If you notice the tag cloud in my sidebar, LIAM is the tag with the largest font.  Which means he has been mentioned more than just about anything else (at least since I’ve been doing tags).   Just look back at my archives for 2006-2007.  During his first year of life, my posts were filled with stories and musings and photos, photos, photos.  I love myself a baby, you know.  And I love photographing babies, while they still lay around and LET you photograph them.  I’d say about 10-20% of the photos on our walls have Liam in them.  I haven’t had as many professional pictures taken of him, but I did take a few of the photos I took of him, print them out and hang them up.

The thing is, Liam is 2 1/2.  He’ll be three in a few months.  This is pretty much THE MOST ANNOYING AGE EVER.  For any kid.  He is a challenge and a struggle.  This does not mean we do not love him.  It means he EXHAUSTS me.  I figured out that I spend the majority of my day dealing with him in one way or another.  Kissing his booboos when he falls (he is the clumsiest child alive), disciplining him when he deliberately disobeys me or thwacks Evie on the head for the 15th time that day, trying to get him to eat, changing him, dealing with naps, letting him sit on my lap when he’s feeling needy… He’s a different child than Harry was.  He requires a lot more energy.  And often, when it comes time to write on my blog, I don’t talk about him because I NEED A BREAK.  The mental break of not discussing him helps a lot.  Again, this does NOT mean that we don’t love him.  Quite the opposite.  He charms and delights us on a daily basis.

And, let’s face it.  Evie is the baby.  Like I said, I love babies and I love to photograph and muse about them until the cows come home.  I’ve often said that thank goodness Evie was a girl because otherwise she might not get any attention at all.  She would have the blog posts, the stories, the musings and the photographs.  Because I love babies.  But as it is she is in TWO photographs on our walls here at home and both of those are either family portraits or taken with her brothers.  She has zero representation by herself.  And I haven’t done a thing with her baby book in MONTHS.  And often I have to leave her to play while I deal with Liam.  And yes, I do generally work more with her than the boys but again with the BABY thing as well as the NURSING thing (she will NOT take any sort of plastic nipple, no matter how hard I’ve tried).  When we go out as a family on the weekend, I generally wrangle Evie while Kile wrangles Liam.  It works easier that way.  Which isn’t to say that if Liam needs me that I completely ignore him.  Just that Kile puts him in his car seat while I put Evie in hers so that we’re not standing out there in the parking lot all day while I do both.  Heh.  Makes more sense that way, don’t you agree?

When anyone suggests, no matter how benignly, that perhaps I have a preference for one child over the others, that hurts me deeply.  I’m sure other mothers who have more than one child can understand what I mean when I say that.  I doubt it is possible to love one child more than the others.  I love all of them and yes, in different ways.  The way I love Liam is entirely different than the way I love Harry or Evie.  This is because of their wildly different personalities.  Sure I feel different, but that doesn’t mean what I feel isn’t love.  And I simply cannot conceive of anyone even HINTING that a preference exists.  It is a cruel thing to say.  CRUEL.  Not just to me but to my children.

I have been wondering what the answer is, if any.  What do I do?  Not talk about ANY of my children, for fear of slighting one or more and thereby inciting the naysayers?  What would that mean to this blog as it is a mommy blog and I generally am here to talk about being a mommy and that sorta requires talking about children?  I’m not sure what to do.  How to evolve this blog while I myself am evolving as a mother.  No more babies, that’s for sure, so who do I talk about?  Do I “schedule” days that I talk about each child?  That sounds perilously close to work.  And if there’s one thing I despise, it’s feeling like blogging is WORK.

Ugh.

So I think the only thing I can do is to just keep on and talk about what strikes me.  Whether it be Liam or Evie or even Harry.  Or none of the above.  It’s all I can do.  But I never want to hear again that maybe I have a preference for any one child above the other.  Ever.

"Normal" kids

(OMG, I thought I posted this on FRIDAY.  Apparently… I didn’t.  So here it is now.  TWO days later.  I suck.)

Today was a busy day that had a lot of things for us to get done out of the house. On the way home, Kile and I got to talking about “normal” kids. And how THANK GOD, so far our kids don’t seem entirely normal.

When kids are little, I think EVERYONE strives for normality. The parents, the kids, society…

But the fact of the matter is that quirky kids, most of the time, make awesome adults. When you’re a kid, it’s all about fitting in and not standing out in a crowd. Parents worry if their child seems different from other kids because maybe that will mean they’ve done something wrong. Society m mistrusts anything or anyone they can’t lable neatly or otherwise compartmentalize.

I noticed it when Harry first started school. There were the other kids that all seemed to fall in line so neatly. And then there was Harry, who would suffer a mental collapse if someone asked for a turn on the tricycle before we was done with it. I worried about him. I wondered how my sensitive, quirky child would ever fit in.

I think I worried because I too was a quirky child. I struggled a lot while growing up because I could never seem to quite fit in. And it’s natural for a mother to want her children to have it better, easier, than she did.

Of course, I have to remind myself that his quirky perosnality will make him a more interesting adult.  And his ability to entirely himself is part of what makes me love him.  Would I want him to change?  Not on your life.

Though it might be nice if when I ask him to carry a glass to the kitchen for me, quickly, and to not look down inside the glass while he’s doing this, that he actually LISTEN to me instead of looking down at the glass, seeing the spider sitting inside it and throw it across the kitchen and basically act like a complete nutjob.

Perspective

It was just 4-7 years ago or so (yeah, that entire span) that we would be out on the weekends, eating out at Mimi’s or shopping at the mall, and we would see a family with two or more children and twinge with jealously.  We would think (wrongly, I’m sure) that this family was so lucky and surely took their superior fertility for granted.

How foolish.

Now here we are, a family of three turned into a family of five in a relatively short period of time.  It never rains but it pours, they say.

Now we are that family that people with one (or no!) child give askance looks when we are out and about.  I feel the stares as we unload the van at whatever destination we have arrived at, packing a shopping cart full of children or wrangling two separate carts just to handle it all.  At restaurants we take up big boths and often have two high chairs.  Liam throws his sippy cup while Evie shrieks with delight over whatever it is that has caught her eye and I feel the stares.

Which isn’t to say that everyone judges us harshly.  I think there are probably a few out there who are a similar position that we were in.  And they see our large and noisy family and feel wistful.  Wondering how THAT family got so lucky when they have been so UNLUCKY.  And of course, there are the people who think anyone with more than one kid shouldn’t go out in public.  But that’s another story altogether.

I just think it’s interesting, that the tables have turned.  We were once on the outside looking in and now our cups runneth over.  Kile and I often have to step back and just marvel over our little family.  There were many days when we never thought it would happen for us.

And now that it has I can’t be anything but grateful.

The family

Yule Thoughts

I am EXHAUSTED, ya’ll.  We went to bed after midnight last night, the wind kept me up quite a bit and general Christmas excitement woke me up early.  I figure I maybe got four hours.  AM TIRED.  But things are far too exciting and noisy and confused and chaotic right now to take any sort of a nap.  Plus, Evie is all kinds of needy today.  So as soon as I close my eyes, she’s sure to need me.

***

Did you all get what you wanted?  While I knew I wouldn’t be able to get everything on my list, I’m very happy with what I did get.  I got a sewing machine and a bunch of doo-dads and what-nots to go with it.  Everyone here did very well, actually.  Kile is thrilled with the cookware, cutlery and cologne that I got him.  The kids are beyond ecstatic (Harry went apeshit over Rockband, Liam is obsessed with the play kitchen and Evie has a surprising level of fondness for her Cabbage Patch baby doll).  The living room?  Is a nightmare.

***
WTF??  The sun is out??  GO AWAY SUN.  You’re not wanted here.  Go on!  Get!

***

Have I mentioned I’m sooooo tired.  Because I am.  SOOOOOO tired.

And the soul felt it's worth

Merry Christmas, everyone!  I hope everyone is having a top-notch holiday.  After having a serious bout of the “bah, humbugs” yesterday, I’ve finally come around to this whole “Christmas thing” and am officially “feeling it”.  For the moment.  I’ll keep you posted.

And so this is Christmas.  It was a rough night, what with The Wind That Wouldn’t Get the Hint and LEAVE TOWN ALREADY.  Plus, you know, good, old-fashioned Christmas anticipation.  Between the two, I got little uninterupted sleep.  And I was up shortly after 5am.  Evie woke up about an hour later.  And a half hour after she woke up, we heard the boys giggling in their room so it was finally Time.  We descended the stairs and the children were greeted with:

Santa Wuz Here Recession?  What recession?

And what about me?  Did I get what I wanted the most for Christmas this year?  Did I get what I had been (not-so) patiently waiting for?  Here is what I saw out the door this morning:

White Christmas Woo hoo!  SNOW!  About friggin’ time!

I hope you all got what you most wanted this fine, wintery morning.  Merry Christmas to you all, from my house to yours.  As my little gift to you, here are some snaps from the last day or so.  No new camera to take pictures on, but I suppose the other one will do for now.  Besides, I know there’s a MacBook in my future.  (Come on, tax return!!)

Pretty Dress

Pretty Dress

Christmas Jammies

Light blur

Lights

Christmas Lights

White Christmas

White Christmas

First Christmas

Christmas morning

Carnage

Proof of The Cute

I mentioned in my earlier post that we got some pictures done at Sears on Sunday.  And, yeah, I gotta admit, the process there is a lot better than it was years ago when we would take Harry there.  For one thing, they have gone digital so I was able to see some of the best pictures the moment after they were taken.  Let’s hear it for digital photography!  Another nice side-benefit:  Getting to see your pictures online within hours of your session.  Hot damn!  So I’m here to share some of the best ones with you.  Say it with me: Aww!!

That one of the three kids is my FAVORITE.  I want to stare at it all day long.  Luckily, when the pictures come in a couple weeks, I’ll be able to do just that!

So tell me about your own adventures in Family Portraits.  Nightmares?  Raves?

Normal?

Harry is back home, as I mentioned yesterday, and now my mother and sister in law have returned to Elko and it’s starting to look an awful lot like NORMAL around here.  I guess you could call it normal.  If normal is two boys charging around the living room, wrestling over control of a nerf football, the dogs scrambling to get out of their way, Liam whining when he’s getting the short end of the stick (which is often), “Jack’s Big Music Show” rocking away in the background and Evie cooing happily in her bouncer seat, where she had been sleeping a few minutes ago but WHO COULD SLEEP with the racket the boys are making?

At some point, I am going to have to put the cushions back on the couch.

Before I go, a couple of things to note:

  1. I got my blood drawn!  I’m not sure when this will translate into a doctor appointment and a refill, but I’m thinking I should give the doctor’s office a call or something.
  2. “Fringe” totally freaks me out but I cannot look away.
  3. Liam has laughed more in the past couple days since Harry has been home than he’s laughed all month long.  I think he missed his brother.
  4. I’m going to try to learn how to knit.  HELP ME.  What are the best “learn how to knit” websites out there?  I have a “starter kit” with needles and other accessories and a skein of yarn.   Now I just need to know what to do with them.

Okay, back to my kids and the wreck they’re making of my living room. (Literally.  I just had to say “Stop jumping on your brother!”)

Back to School

Ready for SchoolWell, maybe not back to school since the boy hasn’t technically been to school at all yet. But you get the idea. Yesterday was my one and only child’s first day of kindergarten. A day I had both been anticipating and dreading. Good, because now he’ll have the stimulation he’s been craving, learn new things, be out of my hair for a few hours a day. 😉 Bad, because there’s no denying now that he’s not a baby anymore, he’s growing up and there’s nothing I can do to stop that. True, its just kindergarten, a little over 2 1/2 hours a day, but it’s the start of a new era in his life. K and I will no longer be the only influences in his life. And that’s pretty sad.

Handsome devil Papa and Son
Click the images to see a larger versionThe day went pretty smoothly, no tears on either side, no conflicts, no accidents in anyone’s pants. I don’t think we could have asked for a better first day of school. Watching him line up with the other kids and file into the classroom, into experiences I will not be able to join him for, was pretty sentimental, but I held it together. Some of the other mothers weren’t so lucky. So I was proud of that. But we were some of the first parents back at the end of the school day, waiting at the gate when the kids came filing out of the classroom. I craned my neck for a peek at my son and there he was, at the back of the line. He seemed whole and happy, so I felt immense relief there.

Pay no attention to the big blob next to the boy All lined up, ready to learn
Click the images to see a larger versionToday is day two of the Great Kindergarten Experiment. Keep your fingers crossed that today goes as well as yesterday. What a big boy now!