Sunday, July 8, 2012

07.08.2012 -- Downhill

I am now thirty-six years old.  The only quote that has stuck in my head about this decade is what my mother-in-law said about when she was thirty-five years old.  It was her favorite year ever.  So if I'm like my mother-in-law....IT'S ALL DOWN HILL FROM HERE.

But I don't really feel that way...and I don't think that she would agree with that conclusion, it just appeals to my sense of humor (which is my go-to coping mechanism--hollah)!

You know, I have an inner critic that gets all snippy when I write.  Sometimes I feel like just shutting the computer down because as hard as I try, I'm sure I'm getting this punctuation wrong--probably more than I even fear.  ...And then, well--anyone who reads this will probably be laughing at me.  And then, well, any genuine friendship or relationship we ever had will become a charade where you pretend that you like me to my face only to scorn my English composition skills in private.

So why even try, if I know how it will all turn out?!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is another sampling of my sense of humor.  ...Getting it done.


How many times have I fallen off this blogging horse?  I'm tired of hearing my own excuses.  If I were to embrace my schmaltzy side, I would type something schmaltzy like, "It doesn't matter how many times you fall off the horse.  What matters is how many times you get back on."  But I'm tired of schmaltz.

What I am going to embrace tonight is this:  there are at least two good things about writing here.  First, it's therapeutic. Second, it can serve as some sort of record for our family.  That should be enough, shouldn't it?


Maybe a week ago, Charlie bit me.  This is nothing new (although it has become less frequent).  I put Charlie down.  Charlie was pretty distraught at being demoted to standing on the floor by himself.  After a few seconds of stern looks and words, I picked him up again.  Charlie then said, "Sah-ee," wrapped his soft and strong little arms around my neck, and gave me a big kiss.  Guess who has been paying attention to the apology instruction I give Lucy and Gabe all the time? 

Today was Charlie's first official day in the church nursery.  This means that instead of hanging out with either me or Brian, he gets to hang out with other 18 month - 3 year olds for two hours, playing, doing puzzles, singing and having snack time.  Today I felt like I had come out the other side of an obstacle course.  From now on, at least the last two hours of church should be much more relaxing.


A few weeks ago, Lucy had been grounded for being rude.  After giving some warnings, I said the words that I always regret, "You're grounded for the rest of the week."   Abolishing time with friends is the worst possible thing that can happen to Lucy.  Well, I held strong for two days.  In the middle of the second day, I was looking hard for an out.  It is so much easier to have a child playing with friends than grounded.  I did some heavy duty pondering and came up with a solution.  I explained to Lucy that I would give her an opportunity to earn her way out of her grounding.  There were two and a half days left in her sentence.  I explained that when she completed 4 chores of my choosing, she could work off one day of grounding.  In order to work off the rest of the week, it would be 10 chores.  Lucy jumped on it.  It took her a couple of hours, but she earned freedom (for both of us).  In exchange, I got my dishes done, the kitchen cleaned, the living room picked up and vacuumed, all of my bathrooms cleaned, windows washed and help with Charlie.

This was amazing to me.  I hadn't known she was capable of all of that before.  Now when I ask her to do chores, I have a better idea of her true capability.

The story doesn't quite end there.   The day after Lucy "earned her way" out of being grounded, she was ready to do the 10 chores she had done the day before in order to stay ungrounded.  I confess to waiting for a few seconds before I explained to her that she had done all that I had asked her to do the day before and she wouldn't need to do extra chores to stay ungrounded.


Gabe's imagination is on fire these days.  He wakes up recounting dreams almost every morning (like the one where a gigantic fish swallowed him and I came to the rescue).  Everyone is a potential bad guy who needs beheading...and then there is the potty humor.  To Gabe, any word or phrase becomes hilarious by adding "poop" or "butt" to it.  He has two favorite songs these days--which he sings and dances to himself.  Tooty Ta, and I Like to Move It.  His moves vary from a kind of pre B Boy to pretty basic bum wiggling.

Gabe: Mom, I wish boys didn't have these (points to eyelashes).
Me: Well, those eyelashes keep the water from rolling into your eyes when it rains.
Gabe: I wish boys didn't have them.  ...We could just all wear raincoats and (demonstrating by pantomime) pull the top down over our faces.

I'm not sure if I have recorded this yet.  When Charlie says "uh-uh," it means "yes."  When he says "no," it means "no."  This picture was taken during a stay we made in St. George.

 This picture could use some explanation.  This is Lucy after her 3rd shunt revision (having not had her hair washed for days since the surgery) AND having lost 7 teeth!