Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Fine Print

I thought I knew what I was getting into when I had our first baby almost 10 years ago. I would have a cute little person to dress up in perfectly cute little outfits and push him around in my overpriced, fancy-pants stroller while carrying my fabulously fashionable diaper bag. I would take him to the doctor for checkups (never considered 2 sets of ear tubes, countless colds and stomach bugs, various other trips to various other medical professionals). I would take him to playdates and to the zoo and to get his first haircut. I never really thought past "baby" - 3 year old tops. The past 10 years have brought not only 3 more of these small male people, but also the cold, hard truth that there is a whole lot more to this whole thing.


Things they don't tell you before you have kids:

You might find one of them (around age 3) peeing in your bedroom floor for reasons only known to him.

You will be required to explain serious illness, death and the birds and the bees to them. Not necesarily in that order.

You might have to hold a baby on your lap while using the bathroom while talking on the phone.

You will want to punch the bully on the bus in the face.

You will be responsible for cutting all their fingernails.

You will have to hold them down for medical procedures including, but not limited to shots, finger sticks, spinal taps and allergy testing.

You will sit across a table in very small chairs while teachers talk to you about your children.

You will instinctively hold out your hands if your child throws up in public.

You might lose it and scream like a banshee before 8:00 AM.

Another day, another story,
Em

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

They're baa-aackk!

We met the crew of not-so-weary travelers at limabain's soccer game tonight.
After the game we headed out for a recap while enjoying Tennessee "Mexican" food.
They had an incredible time: train rides, Georgia O'Keefe immersion, rattlesnake museums, Indians, fishing in the Rio Grande, and Lots of jewelry....the list is endless!
We've got a lot of catching up to do!
At least for the next 24 hours, I won't mind hearing my named called incessantly!
Lib

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From the mouths of babes

Number 3, on the way to preschool this morning, with complete seriousness says, "Mom, after school when you pick me up, can we rock and roll?"

Then as I am unbuckling them from their car seats to go into school, Number 4 (21 months old for those keeping score at home) says, "I walk?". And proceeds to walk, no looking back, all the way through the parking lot, into the building and into his classroom like he is a second grader! I just followed along wondering how and when we got here.

Another day, another story,
Em
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Monday, April 27, 2009

The Power of YES!



If you've seen Jim Carey's recent movie Yes Man, you know he undergoes a metamorphosis from a guy whose answer to everything is "no!" to one who says yes.

I channelled the power of yes at the Main Street Festival in Franklin this past Saturday. All the big bains are still in New Mexico with their grandparents, and the Mainbain had other plans. So I put butterbain in the car and headed up to meet my sister. It took a few booths for the power of yes to sink in , but by the end of the day, I had it down pat. In the first booth he wanted a tomahawk...well, YES, you can have it, it's only 5 bucks.

Then he wanted some sweet tea: sugar and caffeine, YES! When he saw his cousin's sword and shield he had to have one of those too. Not a problem, YES! Could he have some popcorn - the answer...YES! Seriously, I haven't had so much fun with one word in a single day in forever! Will I have a beer in the middle of the day...oh wait that was me, but you guessed the answer...YES! Probably since stringbain was about 3, so that's 9 years. Of course I didn't have the perspective with string that I have with butter, so that made it all the sweeter.

Usually, with 4 kids in tow there's no way I can say yes to every body's request. It's not possible to be in 4 different booths at the same time, carrying 4 bags of popcorn and 4 sweet teas, not to mention a wallet stuffed with the necessary cash to BUY.MORE.STUFF. I love having a big family, I love all of my bains, but truly appreciated a break from my usual reality for this event.

At the end of the day, the few of us there could actually fit around a table at McCreary's Irish Pub and talk and drink and people watch.

The reward for all my yes-action came in the restroom before we left. Butterbain caught me checking my reflection and how much sun I'd gotten during the day and crowned me with, "You are so pretty, Mom!"

Gotta love one on one time,

Lib

Friday, April 24, 2009

180 Degrees

...and then other days, it's just fully-potty-trained 3 year olds peeing on the carpet and pooping in their pants.

Another day, another story,
Em
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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Field Trip

Two shifts of babysitters, a 30 minute drive and a soggy sack lunch later....I went on the first grade field trip to the Memphis Botanic Garden with Number 2 yesterday.

I, being a "boy mom", was in charge of mine and 2 other first grade boys. This consisted of briefly stopping by a few activity stations at the Botanic Gardens, in between running through the woodland trails, throwing rocks in the lake and acting out numerous Star Wars battles. I compared notes along the way with several other "boy mom" chaperones. As suspected, we were right on track.

By the look on his face, it was obviously worth the juggle.

Another day, another story,

Em

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Mexico update

Talked to my Dad yesterday, and this was the highlight:

Tickets for 7 to Albuquerque: steep

Lunch for whole clan @ DFW: costly

Look of astonishment on mexicanjumpingbain's
face when the plane took off: priceless!

Lib
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Monday, April 20, 2009

8:00 AM

Barely 8:00 AM, and I've already been pooped on. Going to be one of those days.

Another day, another story,
Em
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Sunday, April 19, 2009

Oh yeah!

They are gone. After one hell of a packing frenzy (3 kids in one bag to accommodate American airlines) my parents just drove off with the top 3 bains. Butterbain was deemed to young to keep up with their adventures in New Mexico.

After cleaning out closets and getting the house back in order, I wondered for about a minute what I was going to do without piles of laundry, homework and fights to referee.

Oh yeah....now I remember....a glass of wine and an uninterrupted movie.

Peace. For the next 9 days.
Cheers,
Lib
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Thursday, April 16, 2009

2 things

I've written before about our family meetings. In an effort to raise emotionally healthy and available boys we recently added a feelings exercise. So we ask each boy a feeling question (i.e. how do you feel when you help someone?) and then give them a list of feelings demonstrated by different faces and they point and talk about that feeling. It's fun, no real huge breakthroughs yet, but I am in the camp that progress in incremental. So we plod on. Slow and steady wins the race, right?

We had a meeting last night and hours later as I was helping butterbain get his pj's on he asks, "How does it make you feel when I put my boots on?" I guess he has been paying attention in spite of all the squirming around....

This morning at breakfast we were talking about a movie that just came in from Netflix. We were discussing the possibility of watching it tonight. As I was explaining the basic premise, mexicanjumpingbain cut me off with this zinger: "Mom, what I need to know-ooww is there ANY action?" And for the record, his favorite movie is The Italian Job.

I think this puts me at 1 for 1 -

Lib

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Mixed emotions (almost)

We went to the zoo a little over a week ago. From our farm it's a pretty big trek up to Nashville just for an afternoon zoo trip, but well worth it.

Got to the zoo and started looking (digging, really) through the car to see what we had to take in and what we could do without. All we ended up with was our zoo cards, id and a bottle of water. Purse, stayed in the car. And there's no diaper bag to carry any more. We've actually crossed the threshold to self-sufficient kids. Stringbain carried the water bottle in his cargo shorts and refilled it at the water fountain as needed.

Walking around, enjoying the beautiful spring day it occurred to me how much I was enjoying the zoo. I couldn't remember how long it had been since we went on a family outing without some kind of bag to carry, sweatshirts to hold, stroller to push, goldfish to hand out, whining kids to contain, you get the point.

I was free. I went to the swing set and got to swing like one of them. I didn't have aching shoulders by the end of the afternoon. No one cried and everyone had a great time.

Here's the thing, though: I feel like I should feel more nostalgic about how quickly they are growing or how I don't have a baby-baby any more. However, all I can do is bask in the miracle that this will be my first year in 12 years to not change a diaper. Sorry, I'm just too thankful to be nostalgic.

Lib

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Royalty runs deep around here!


Notes to self about next Easter:

1) Get boys to stuff at least 200 eggs prior to weekend.
2) Stock up on libations.
3) Sign up to make only 3 EASY dishes for the Easter feast.
4) Have fun friend come in town, so I can't overdo anything.
5) Get some of the single people to head up the egg hunts on Sunday.
6) Do the deep cleaning after 50 guests leave!
7) Sit on the porch and enjoy the sight of pastel clad boys running around enjoying life!

Best Easter ever!

Lib

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Lessons

Lesson 1
When you are the verge of bursting into tears about your almost-8-year-old's back lighting up like a Christmas tree during his allergy test, thankfully a friend will remind you to pray for her cousin having brain surgery tomorrow.

Lesson 2
It is perfectly OK, sometimes WAY better than OK actually, to say "No", "I can't", or "I'm just not up for it". No explanation is necessary.

Lesson 3
When you believe there is no possible way you are going to be able to make it until bedtime before you even put your feet on the floor in the morning, miraculously both your babies take a nap AT THE SAME TIME.

Another Day, another story,
Em

Friday, April 3, 2009

In the Gutter



Yep, I actually let my kids play in the gutter. Technically, I let them play in the rain puddles AND the water running into the storm drain. The gutter all the same.

I have a terrible memory. I don't remember important dates, names or anything very well. But I vividly remember all the kids on the cove where I grew up, playing for hours "in the gutter" after a big rainstorm. Here's hoping mine will remember that too (and not contract any water-borne bacteria).

As a side (and equally memorable) note, about 5 seconds after I snapped this photo, my really sweet neighbor and equally sweet daughter came out to chat. About 5 seconds after that, Number 3 stripped his shirt off, pulled his pants down and peed in that very puddle he's standing in. A mother's pride knows no limit.

Another day, another story,

Em

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Seeing is believing...or...this is what boys do for fun!


Just got called outside by my SIL with "Look at what they are doing...." Ran back in to grab my camera, because I knew from her tone it was going to be bloggable.

It may not be the first ever, but it is the first human pulley device ever created on our farm. That's limabain hoisting cousin P up in the tree. It was totally his idea, and P was in complete compliance. No screaming let me down, my brains are spilling out, etc. Lima is fairly proud of himself; it took him all afternoon to find 2 sturdy points to base his "system" on. We might turn it into a science project, at least I know he' be interested!

Never know what they'll come up with next....
Lib

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