Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy 2010!

We had a great, albeit super busy Christmas and New Year's. We had out of state company four weekends in a row. It was wonderful to finally have a house where we can fit not only ourselves, but a bunch more people! lol But it was tiring keeping up with it all. Thankfully our New Year's company are almost as rambunctious as us and we mostly just sat around the fire and relaxed!

My FIL graciously took our computer home and took it completely apart (he sent pics of it- I have no idea how he gets it back together - all those parts!) and is fixing it up for us. My SIL is graciously letting us use her computer in the meantime. I don't really want to load her computer up with our family photos (your welcome Ames!) so I don't have any photos to share today.

Instead I'm going to share some stories from this week. This could get long and boring so if you want to stop reading, I don't blame you. :) However, I decided I might want to look back at these crazy days a few years from now for a laugh.

Daniel was both a rabbit and a dalmation this week. While Honey (our bunny) was hopping around Emelyn's room, I came around the corner to see Daniel IN the rabbit cage! Unfortunately, he got out before I could take a photo. (yes obviously he's our 4th! lol) The next day, we were watching Little House and Daniel was being so good and quiet. (yes, he's our 4th - why didn't this set off an alarm??) The girls walked into the hs room and started hollering about a dalmation. I got in there to see Daniel, with a black marker in his hand (washable thankfully.) He had a large black spot colored in around his right eye, and multiple other spots on his face, hands, and body. After my initial groan, it was rather cute. lol

We started school back up this week and Garr started a new position/schedule at work. He's basically working 2nd shift now, which is nice that it is a more steady sleep schedule (rather than 2 weeks on days and 2 weeks on nights.) I'm used to him being gone most evenings, but I guess because he had been on vacation over the holiday, I'd forgotten how hard it can be to juggle everything alone! So the kids and I had a couple rough evenings this week...

I mentioned that we are starting school up again. We've been staying up too late and, subsequently, sleeping in too late. So I had plans of everyone getting to bed by 9 and up by 7 (yes that's early for us!) Tuesday night, I did my workout (not really a New Year's resolution - more of an "It's about time I get in shape no matter what time of year it is!" resolution.) So I waited too long that day and had to do it in the evening. Then I was supposed to catch up with a friend at 8 on the phone. I figured I'd get the kids into bed at 8, talk with my friend for an hour, and get myself into bed at nine. Ok, I knew we'd talk for two hours, but 10 pm isn't bad! lol

Well that's not how my night went. My friend called at 8:30 and because of my late workout, I still didn't have the kids settled into bed. I was trying to get the fires lit with the wood Garr had just brought home (not working well - smoking a ton!) Then I could hear our dog outside barking. So I ran out to tell him to come back inside (he was not on a leash) and he looked at me like, "yeah right!" and continued to take off across the road. I ran back inside and called Garr to see if I could open the front door to release some of the smoke, now filling the living room. As I opened the front door, I could hear Rocky barking and the neighbor across the street yelling at him. (Meanwhile Daniel was in his crib, supposed to be going to sleep, crying instead.) I ran out the front door (still in my shorts and t from the workout and it was freezing outside), across the road and over to the neighbor's. He was outside with a pretty little pug that Rocky was checking out. She was holding her own against our 100 lb blockhead puppy. After exchanging niceties with the neighbor, I grabbed Rocky by the collar and start pulling him home. Or maybe he was pulling me. It kind of went back and forth a few times. He does weigh nearly as much as me, so needless to say, it was a struggle to get him home.

After giving him some discipline, I went outside to carry in some other wood to burn. Once I got the fires burning, I finished getting the girls to bed and then got Daniel (who was still crying) out of bed. I collapsed in a chair, feeling like crying, and decided to call my friend instead. She can always make me laugh - even if it was 10 pm and I had wanted to be in bed asleep by then! So I gave her a call, and her sweet "Hey you, how are you???" put me right in tears. I had a good cry and a good whining session. By the time I got Daniel into bed (midnight) and myself I went right to sleep.

I felt much better the next morning. I managed to get up at 8:00 am (after getting up at 6 to load the fires - Garr loaded them at 3.) Then got the girls up and we started school around 9. Everything went well with school. I was feeling so good I decided to take the kids out for the evening... Do you see it coming?

We went to the library and then to Chickfila for dinner. I even let the kids go inside and play. While there, Daniel finished his food and wanted to go play (I was seated right outside the playroom door.) So I let him down and sent him in to play.

Emelyn immediately looked alarmed "Mom, are you sending him in there alone?"

"Um yeah, it's a glass wall, I can see him."

"But he can't do the slide alone!"

Realizing she wasn't going to let him stay in there alone, I said, "Ok Eme, just eat, I'll go in and watch him."

A few minutes later, she comes in, "Mom do you want to go eat now?"

"Are you done eating?"

"No, but you can go eat."

"No sweetie, you finish and then we'll trade places."

That girl gobbled her food up to get back into the playplace to care for her baby brother. A lady looked at me the first time Eme came in and asked, "Is she your daughter too?" I said yes. She told me she could tell because Emelyn looks just like me and then commented on what a little mother she is. Oh yes, she sure is.

She came in to play with him so I went back out to finish eating. By the way, Daniel was doing just fine going up the stairs and down the slide by himself. He didn't need someone right with him. But about 10 minutes later, Emelyn comes out "Mom, are you finished eating?" "Yes honey, why?" "Well, I was wondering if you could watch Daniel so I could play?" Oh my goodness! That kid! She is the sweetest! I didn't realize she thought she was watching him still. Even though I had been watching right through the glass, she was still worried about him. So I went in the room to watch him so she could feel free to play.

After Chickfila, I decided to go to the local "super store" to get our groceries. I should know better by now. I totally should. After fighting the crowds to get all our groceries, we got into line. A very long line. With a very slow cashier. Man, I know how to choose 'em. Every time! While we're in line, Daniel is obviously tired out and sick of being confined to the cart. Especially since he could see the candy right next to us. He is grabbing grapes out of the cart and eating them. (I know I hadn't paid for them but I figured if it held off the screaming, a couple grapes wasn't a big deal.) Then he was half chewing them, and throwing what was left of them at Olivia. lovely. So I move the grapes so he can't reach them, and then the bread, and the eggs, and the cookies ... you get the idea. While I'm trying to change the overflowing cart around, he is wiggling out of the restraint and standing up. After that, there was no way he was getting back in the seat. So I was holding him, and I wasn't about to put him down. So there we are, wrestling - I'm trying to hold him and unload the cart (finally it was almost our turn to get checked out!) He's crying and trying to get down. Can you say frustrated and tired? We finally get through and pay! I took the kids over for a pretzel, which I had told Emelyn she could have after dinner (instead of ice cream.) I had also told the other girls they couldn't get one (because they chose ice cream.) But at this point I am so tired and worn out that I choose not to fight about it and everyone gets a pretzel. Amazingly Daniel sits in the cart, smiling, and eating his pretzel.

This is my fourth child. Shouldn't I have figured all this out by now? Why do I push myself? And why didn't I buy the pretzels before we stood in line for 15 minutes with him screaming and carrying on??

So we head home and the girls are wonderful and immediately start carrying in groceries while I deal with the way-too-excited mutt and the wood stoves. We'd been gone quite a while so they needed to be reloaded.

Once I get that done, I join the girls in carrying in and putting away groceries. As I juggle a gallon of milk and another fridge item, I realize I can't fit the milk into the fridge. So I try to pick up the item in the way and maneuver the milk into place. Unfortunately I lost my grip on the milk. I didn't just drop it because I thought I could catch it and so I ended up fumbling it higher into the air. You know what's coming next. Yep. It exploded when it hit the ground. Milk flew all over. me. the fridge. the counters. the table. the window. the kids. the dog. my Uggs. :( not pretty. The girls (probably sensing I was about to blow!) immediately started running around to get towels and help mop the mess up. The dog, we found out, loves milk and did his part too. We did finally get it wiped up and the floor mopped and the other groceries put away.

Then the phone rang. At this point it was after 9 pm (remember our new bedtime, yeah that one.) I checked our phone - we never get calls on it unless they're sales - actually my mom didn't even know we had a home phone until today. lol really. so I check and it's a local number.


"Hello? Is Patricia there?"

Now I'm exhausted. I haven't yet lost my temper or cried, but I feel like I could, if I wasn't so numb. "No you have the wrong number."

"Is this --- - -----?"


"Then I don't have the wrong number, I have the wrong name!" all perky-like. And then.... "Can I speak to your mommy?"

Yes, she did. "Ummm, I AM the Mommy."

And then she went on to tell me how young I sound (really?) and also to give me the great news that we have won a 3 day vacation, blah, blah, blah... Meanwhile, Daniel came in crying and whining, and the kids are asking me a hundred questions. I finally said, "I'm sorry, this is a bad time, I need to go." click.

What a night. The next night the kids were wanting to go do something. (It's cold, we feel cooped up some.) I kind of wanted to do something too. Garr's firm response? "Honey, don't do this to yourself." Right. So we stayed home and I cleaned our bedroom! Love it! And I got curtains hung in Daniel's room and it was so great! And I re-evaluated my goals for us. I get up at 8. I get the girls up at 8:30. We start school at 9ish. (I still try to get them in bed by 9 and myself by 10) Maybe we'll move it up as we go but for now, it's fine!

School rocked this week! We had homeschool rollerskating on Fri afternoon, so the girls understood they had to get their work done and done well! (no whining!) (if they wanted to go...) And they did. They are amazing. Liv is starting to read SO well. We've switched some things around (not really using the curriculum anymore - just books I've pulled together) and she is taking off in reading and math. I'm so proud of her. Eme and Abby are doing great also. They took their exam in geography on North and South America. They scored 97% and 99%. Their test was to take a map (no names on it, just numbers.) They filled in all the countries' names (correct spelling!) - 13 in South America and 17 in North America. They also had to know all the country capitals of South America and a few for North America. They did awesome! It's great to see them loving geography! And now when we are reading, and I mention "Quito" they go "Oh we know where that is! That's the capital of Ecuador!" Wow.

And we did go rollerskating and it was SO fun. Garr came and watched Daniel so I could skate! I was nervous at first (it's been years!) but it came back quickly. Then he let me go out to dinner and some fabric shopping with a girlfriend and it was a much needed, fun time!

All in all, a great week, with a couple difficult nights. But hey, it's life, we're alive and healthy, and for that I am very grateful.