November 29, 2008

Never too young to mess with...

Tonight Savannah came into our bedroom holding a small, white scrap of paper in her hands.

In a worried little voice she asked, "Mama, what's a consumer (pronounced 'kahn-soomer')"?

Thinking that she had been watching television reports on Christmas spending or something similar, I replied that it's a person who buys something.

She silently held out the slip of paper, ripped off of her mattress just moments before:


"Will I get in trouble if I take this off?" was her next timid question.

My motherly response, said with a completely straight face: "Oh man, I'm sorry, but you are sooo going to jail..."

Sometimes I really don't know what gets into me, but I can't seem to help myself. What fun is having children if you can't mess with their minds, just a little!

November 26, 2008

Mommy Melt-Downs

Every so often, my children push me into what I have come to not-so-endearingly call my "mommy meltdown mode." You know, the kind where after you're done, you're not sure who's older, you or them. Or you suddenly realize that you've reclaimed your own "inner child" when you're stamping your foot and whining like a 2-year old. I know I'm not alone in this, even though, like me, most of us are probably more than a little embarassed to admit it. At least, I HOPE I'm not alone in it!

Anyway, life has been kind of stressful for the last several weeks, both at work and at home. You'd think, after being raised by such a calm, caring, incredibly PATIENT mother, the adorable offspring would be more than willing to lay off of each other so as to bring peace and harmony to their stressed out mother.

Yeah, not so much at my house either.

Even though the work-week has been a short one, it really has felt like MUCH longer, and I was sooooo looking forward to just coming home and relaxing. Before I could even pull out of the parking lot, my cell phone rang with marching orders from the teens in my life to rent a certain movie, pick up McDonald's french fries (I promise I'll pay you back as soon as you get here!) and purchase highly-sugared and caffeinated soda. Since it's Thanksgiving-eve, I thought I'd do them the favor and comply with the demands.

I went to 2 Redboxes, a grocery store, and finally the drug store before I could find the movie in question. I rushed home, french fries in hand (literally - I only ate 4! It's a good thing I have to watch the stupid salt-thing or I probably would have gobbled them all) to spend time with my lovely children. Unfortunately, all 3 of them had school off today, so they'd been home doing apparently everything except their chores. So, mean mom that I am, I started barking out orders to get everything done. Then, I noticed my camera on the kitchen table (emphasis on the "my" - the kids don't seem to understand that). Somebody, the universal "Not Me" that abides in the home of every child, has taken the memory card out of it, and nobody knows where it is. We have torn the house apart looking for it, but it's just gone. The card has all the pictures that I've taken in the last two months: halloween, Evan's birthday party, the trip to Bear Lake, etc. GONE. Nobody knows who did it, and honestly, nobody cares. Here she goes again... you can hear in their deep sighs. They're just so picked on!

It wouldn't drive me quite so crazy if this were the first time that I've dealt with this particular problem. But it's not. Not quite 2 years ago, "Not Me" took the first card which had all of our summer hiking pictures on it; it eventually turned up AFTER it had been through the washer in somebody's pants pocket. When Josh came home on leave this past summer, Evan took his memory card from his camera to download all the pictures onto the computer and then promptly lost it. The good news is that we have now found that one in the search for mine (I'll mail it to you!). Words cannot tell you how frustrated I am...

Then, as if by mutual agreement, they've all been particularly hyper tonight. Bray and Savannah were wrestling around. Here's how that conversation went:

Mom: "You two had better settle down before someo....

Savannah: ** Cries of Anguish **

Mom: " gets hurt."

Gosh, who saw that coming?

I really am thankful for my family, but at this moment, I'm most thankful that tomorrow's a holiday, and I get to sleep in!

Deep sigh of my own...

November 15, 2008

I may have to disown him... :)

Sorry for being gone so long... I don't know if it's just because I've been in a bit of a funk (true), if my children haven't been overly cute (somewhat true), if they haven't been overly obnoxious (untrue, but there are only so many blogs you can write about beating your head against the wall), or if I just have no life and, thus, nothing worthwhile to write about (also true). :)

Anyway, I figured it was time to get back to it before silence becomes a habit.

The other night, after driving home in the darkness (can I just say that I really hate the time change) I entered the house to see that Braden was asleep on the couch and therefore had not even started on cleaning the kitchen, his chore for the week. I powered on the laptop and settled in to check my email, read my favorite blogs, and check my facebook account. I recently replaced my mp3 player, which had been broken for the past several months, so I've been happily listening to my favorite tunes again, something I haven't done FOREVER. I don't know about other people, but I absolutely love music. There's nothing else that I can think of that speaks to my soul in quite the same way, regardless of my mood.

I know that my musical taste is a bit different, especially for a girl who came of age in the '80's. I sat at the table happily listening to my tunes, while Braden kept taking "breaks" from his dishes to come steal the headphones out of my ears. Two of my all-time favorite singers are James Taylor and Jim Croce, and I find them especially comforting when I'm feeling like I have been. There's just something so soothing about each of their voices and their songs just capture my mood. Anyway, every time Braden would steal from me, he'd find me listening to some slow ballad. After about the third time, he pronounced that James Taylor "sucks." In the words of a favorite book of mine, he "took out my heart and stomped that sucker flat."

Obviously, today's kids have absolutely no musical taste! I guess that I have truly arrived as a mother, fighting with my child about what is or is not music. Fortunately I know better than he...

Anyway, this probably-boring story makes me want to share the story behind my blog name. When I first thought about starting the blog, I could not for the life of me decide on a name for it - something that kept me stumped and not writing for at least a month after I decided to take the plunge. It finally came to me one day as I was driving to work, listening to the radio. My man James' song Up On A Roof was playing on the radio, and once again, the words really spoke to me:

"When this old world starts a-getting me down
And people are just too much for me to face,
I’ll climb way up to the top of the stairs
And all my cares just drift right into space.

On the roof, it’s peaceful as can be
And there the world below don’t bother me.

So when I come home feeling tired and weak,
I’ll go up where the air is fresh and sweet.
I’ll get far away from the hustle and crowd
And all that rat race noise down in the street."

So, there you have it. These ramblings of mine, as I've often said, are here to record the varied goings-on in our life, but it has also provided me my own "rooftop at the top of the stairs" where I can go to get refreshed.

Happier postings soon... :)

November 5, 2008

Diary of a Tooth Fairy

Tonight Savannah came to me to let me know that she had a loose tooth. When she first started losing them, she'd come to me at the first sign of a wiggle, but now she waits until they are literally ready to leap from her mouth, which is much better from my perspective. I've never enjoyed that portion of motherhood that asks me to put my delicate fingers into a slobbery mouth... Ewwww! Anyway, it took me all of 30 seconds to reach in and wrest it from it's perch, and another 30 seconds for her to grab my wallet so that the "tooth fairy" could visit. There's no mystery there anymore since the night the tooth fairy couldn't outlast her and then didn't wake up early enough to slip her the loot! Actually, Evan came to my rescue that time after hearing her cries and slipped some money on the floor beside the bed for her to find. Stupid tooth fairy anyway!

Savannah doesn't have too many teeth left to lose at this point, and I swear if she loses many more in the coming days I'm going to have to use the blender to prepare all her food. She seems to be on a streak, and the tooth fairy is going to have to take out a loan at this rate!

Every time one of my children has ever lost a tooth, it has always reminded me of my Grandma Mary. Born blind, she was a truly amazing woman who could do anything. What many people didn't know about her, except for her still-traumatized grandkids, is that she was a frustrated dentist in disguise. And not one of those kid-friendly, pastel-clad dentists like my kids go to today, but one of those that are nicknamed "the Butcher!" :-) I learned at a very early age that if you had a tooth that was even thinking about coming loose, you'd better keep it to yourself for as long as you could because if Grandma found out about it, that baby was coming out now! I have vivid memories of her trying to get one of my teeth out. She tried her fingers, pliers, tying it to the door with a string (you should have seen my leap after that door when she shut it!), and making me eat an apple, all to no avail... After that experience, I kept loose teeth well-guarded, more closely than state secrets!

When I had Evan and Braden, I was lucky enough that she was able to provide daycare for them as she had with all of us other grandkids when we were growing up. The boys were her pride and joy, and she loved them dearly. However, that inner-demon,, had not gone away. I can remember when Braden was teething that she would use her fingers and literally "massage" the tooth through the gums. I know it had to hurt like crazy at the time, but he sure didn't suffer through teething as long as other babies. I would never have the heart to do that myself, but she really became gleeful at the prospect!

It's funny how little things like Savannah's tooth tonight can bring up such fond memories. She's been gone several years now, but when I think about losing teeth, her smiling face and her silly "Oh goody!!!" leap immediately to mind.

November 2, 2008

Say What?!?!

Part of the reason I wanted to start this blog was to have a record of the strange/ comical/ touching things that come out of my children's mouths. Many times all three can even be rolled into the course of one 2-minute conversation. Last night was a perfect example...

Yesterday I did my weekly shopping with both Evan and Savannah in tow, which is usually a recipe for pushing me completely over the edge. As usual, I was teetering on the brink and once again asking myself "WHY, WHY, WHY did I bring them both????!!!" I'm a fairly bright woman, and I should KNOW how it would turn out... But alas, there we were. Evan has an uncanny ability to know when he's reaching dangerous levels, so he then employed his "I'm too cute, you can't kill me" method of survival: turning on his considerable charm and wit. Both he and Braden can do the most authentic Australian accents you've ever heard, and they both were huge fans of the late Steve Irwin. Soooo... Evan spent the last 30 minutes giving the running voice-over in his best Crocodile Hunter voice: "Crikey, let's take a look at this she-devil! Look at those eyes..." And on and on it went. Unfortunately for me, I couldn't help but laugh along with both of them.

Then, while cooking dinner in the kitchen (my most-awesome lemon-chicken spaghetti), Evan was playing on the laptop at the kitchen table and being his usual smart-alecky self, giving me a hard time about everything. I turned around to give him a retort, and saw that he had stuffed one of my little ceramic frogs up his nose (mind you, he IS 16 now; you would think he would be past this in the child-rearing stage, but anything to get mom's goat!).

Without even thinking about it, I snapped: "Evan, get the frog out of your nose!" Braden just happened to be wandering through on his way outside and drily commented, "Now there's something you don't hear every day..."

Well, maybe not in other peoples' homes! I know that I find myself saying things like that all the time, and they're so commonplace that I don't even find it odd anymore. :-)

Then, even later in the evening, Savannah and I had to run into Logan. On the way back, she asked me "Mommy, can I ask you something?" I learned several years ago on a "just-us-girls" weekend trip to Idaho that those are dangerous words. It was apparent that she had been thinking about MANY intense things for quite some time, and now I was effectively held hostage. That was the LONGEST, most PAINFUL trip I've ever had!

Anyway, there were those words again. I'm a big believer in being totally honest with your kids, answering their every question to the best of your ability, but being mindful of age-appropriate explanations. Taking a deep breath, I shored myself up for whatever was coming. "Sure honey, what's on your mind?"

"Why do you and daddy kiss all the time?" But it wasn't just the word "kiss." It was "KEE-YISS," dripping with the most disgust and horror that can only come from a 9-year old girl's mouth. First off, Tom and I don't Kee-Yiss all the time: I get a hug and a peck in the morning, and another when he comes home from work, if he remembers... :-) That's it each day, sum total. But apparently for Savannah, that is just too much!

Sheesh... Is it any wonder that I'm ready for the funny farm?