Sisterhood of the traveling sister…

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So I drove 14 hours or so yesterday to visit my sister in Denver. To get here (Denver) at a reasonable hour I got up at about 2:30 am and left at around 3:15. With stops, we arrived at 8:30 here (that is with a time change so it was more like 7:30). I did this all by myself. I say this not to brag…but to help you understand if this post is totally not coherent. I have not recovered…and while this all seems to make perfect sense to me, I am not exactly lucid at the moment. The entire trip was surprisingly uneventful until the very last two hours of the trip. That is if course when kids always decide they are DONE with the car. It doesn’t matter if you drive for four hours or fourteen hours…they seem to know and it’s aways the hardest leg of the trip. First we drove into a rain storm that turned to hail. Apparently all the kids thought this was awesome…King Toot squealing with excitement and joy while the girls chant in the back, “Faster! Faster! Faster!”. (never fear, I do not take advice from two and four year olds). Then after that we hit a heavy downpour. This is when King Toot no longer wishes to be in his car seat and expresses it by screaming for an hour. The girls keep shushing each other and tattling to me and crying if someone looks at them.
I get there, a joyous reunion with my sister, brother-in-law and two nephews. That night I go to bed after being up for over seventeen hours. This is the night that the kids decide to wake me up about three times. 1 am King Toot wails…I calm him down. His wail wakes Urpling who then wakes King Toot who won’t calm down so I have to feed him. 5:00 am…King Toot wakes up and wants to play. I get so mad I swaddle him tighter than a burrito and he finally falls asleep. As I am drifting off…again…Sasquatch wakes me up with moaning. When I ask her what’s wrong she responds, “Nothing’s wrong, I’m just making noises.” Yeah…that went over well. Total I managed to slog about six hours of sleep together. But one can only hope and pray that tonight goes a little better. But even so, I have truly enjoyed seeing my sister and her family!

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It’s my party…

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So we’re having a party at our house tonight. It looks like it’ll be pretty big too. So of course, I go into a flurry of cleaning and planning. But I missed the key part of my planning…timing. When you are childless (and petless I suppose) you can clean as early as you want to and it’s no big deal. But when you add kids to the mix there is something vastly more difficult and tiring than cleaning. It’s KEEPING the house clean once you’re done. So I usually try to time it so that I get the house clean just before people start arriving. It may look like disorganization, but trust me…it’s planned.
But here I am at 3:30 with everything done…and the party isn’t for another three and a half hours! Keeping three kids and two shedding dogs from totally destroying a beautifully cleaned home is no easy task. I confess…Pixar has played a huge role in keeping the kids quiet and occupied. I am not a huge fan of using the TV as a babysitter…but there are moments of desperation and this is one of them. The dogs were banned outside until the hubby complained it was too hot. So now they are gated into a back area of the house in a futile attempt to keep the vast amounts of shedding fur confined to a small area of the house. Now to strap in and make it until 7.

Note: This is in no way supposed to make those who are coming to my house tonight feel guilty. I love having people over, and if it weren’t for guests my house would probably never be cleaned. I am super excited for tonight. I was just aggravated that I timed my cleaning so poorly. I could have slept in a few hours…or taken a nap. I blame my dad. He came and watched the kids for me, resulting in astonishing cleaning times. (kidding Dad) It’s amazing what I can get done when the children aren’t underfoot or “helping”. 😉

A Quick Pit Stop

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Sir Smiley was at work, and had just received a call that had the potential to be quite long. He was running on full, so decided a quick pit stop at a local gas station was in order before he strapped in for a long night. He was in the bathroom for about 30 seconds, doing his business when he hears, “Officer?” come from behind him. Great. What is so important it couldn’t wait 30 seconds for him to finish? Does he need his gun? And if he does, what should he do with his…um….”secondary unit” as he turns around? He responds, “Yes?” to which the voice replies, “I think there is a drug deal happening right now in the parking lot.” Sir Smiley sighs, finishes up, and heads out. He sees one car leaving after they spotted the patrol car in the lot. He hops into his car and pulls behind them as they pull into the Mecca-of-crime shopping center (his words, not mine). The first words out of the driver’s mouth was, “I might have this warrant.”. That always bodes well. The driver ended up having two warrants and was driving on a suspended license so Sir Smiley arranges to have the car towed and the driver arrested. In the meantime he searches the vehicle and finds medication bottles stuffed into the dash where the radio should be. Eureka! It has to be their stash! Wait, no…they have just stuffed some brads and other random objects in there. Pile after pile he pulls out, but no luck. He never found the stash, but was still able to arrest the driver based on his warrants and driving on a suspended license. All in all, a very productive bathroom break.

100th Post

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So this is my 100th post to my blog. It’s like the 100th day of school, or the 100th episode. I should do something thrilling, unique and maybe artsy craftsy. Maybe I should make a macaroni necklace with 100 noodles on it, or create a blog where my whole family is in an alternate reality and what would that look like. Maybe a collage where I choose 100 objects that reflect aspects if myself and pontificate about what it all symbolizes. But I’m a mom of three little ones and that just sounds exhausting. I’ll have my kids eat 100 Cheerios to commemorate the occasion. But as it is, I think I’ll just ramble on in a windy road of self reflection.
First, I am amazed that people seem to read my blog still…or ever. I expected my family to red it occasionally, but other people seem to actually read it too. Very flattering….but it might be that my thoughts are like a car wreck, you just can’t look away. Or like Jersey Shore. But anyway, I actually seem to be writing to actual readers. A bit intimidating, so I’ll go back to pretending no one reads this. Done and done. Some things I’ve learned in 100 blogs? Well, I suck at grammar. I just gave up, satisfied that at least I don’t look like I’m texting my blogs. btw, I’m omw to get gas, I’ll brb and then I’ll rofl as I watch you try to decode what I just said. (I am laughing right now because my iPad just tried to autocorrect each of those into their actual phrases…I can’t even begin to describe the thoughts that come up when I realized that). So as far as grammar goes…I’ll just try to stay ahead of the curve. Oh, I have also learned that typing on an iPad is good and bad. I am learning some very bad habits. I never use an apostrophe in my contractions as the autocorrect automatically puts it in for me. Double space automatically puts in a period. If I were to ever type on an actual computer keyboard it would look like a monkey took my place. (well, to be fair, a monkey would probably have better grammar). But the autocorrect has been a lifesaver for me. Especially since my spelling leaves something to be desired. I have also learned I am probably the most random person alive. I already knew this, as my friends all through high school would take great joy in teasing me with the bizarre subject changes. But I managed to hide this flaw until I started blogging. I also love using the dot dot dot to show a mental break…I also put in an obscene amount of parenthesis and I have issues hitting the space bar correctly on this iPad. So I’ll look up and an entire sentence is one word.
Second, (if you can really count that whole long ramble as a first thought) I have been pondering why I blog. I used to think blogging was silly. What on Earth would I write about? (see, here is where my grammar incompetence comes in…do you capitalize earth if it’s part of a phrase? Got me.) I have no particular talents…I tend to dabble in everything. My van has the cheesy family decals, a scuba decal, a half marathon decal and a decal for the Horde (world of Warcraft) just to give you a sampling of how random I am to the core. But people who blog are crafty, talented cooks, deep philosophers….and then there’s me. But I did notice something. Across the board, we people are the most judgmental and rigid creatures. Just go to any political post and watch the ugliness ensue. We shake our heads at those with signs or bumper stickers or posts we disagree with…without knowing anything about the person carrying it. What life events caused them to make choices different than you? Are they really worthy of your disdain simply because they have made a political choice that differs from you? Obviously, the other party is evil and is plotting the downfall of man while our party is full of angelic beings and our political leaders are practically the next Messiah (insert sarcasm font here) It gets even worse when you add our children into the mix. I have seen a mom lecture an old man who gave her son some candy from the candy machine her son was checking, Why? Because it had high fructose corn syrup in it. I mean…the guy had to be about eighty. How hard would it be to thank the kind man, and then when they were out of sight throw the candy away? Moms who shake their heads at kids who are having a meltdown, climbing the outside of the play place (yeah, that was me and let’s be honest…I was sitting in McDonald’s…on what basis am I judging people?), using a nuk too long, etc. We all want to look amazing as a mom and then lord it over each other. So, as I said in my About Me section, I blog to make people feel better about themselves. Parenting is the most aggravating, stressful, frustrating, beautiful, rewarding, fun, painful roller coaster ride. I wanted to attempt to demonstrate the emotions of failure surrounded by a deep love and a desire to do better. Success softened by the knowledge of how easily it can slide the other way. For other parents to gain comfort knowing that it won’t always be unicorns and rainbows and fuzzy puppies. I mean, unicorns don’t even exist, it storms before a rainbow appears and fuzzy puppies eat things and shed all over everything. I rest my case, anyone who acts otherwise is lying. We have all hit the point of crying in the short, screaming into pillows and finding ourselves wanting to punch something to release the frustration and hurt building inside us. We have all also melted into little puddles on the floor merely at the sight of our kids smiles. It’s totally normal!
Third, I also decided to blog because Sir Smiley has some fantastic stories from the job and I figured they needed to be written down in some way. It seemed such a waste for these stories to go untold.
Oh, and I needed a place to vent, as my pillows weren’t taking the beatings very well.

So I have made it to 100 posts, and I actually have people reading my blog. Amazing! Thanks to all of you for actually taking time to read the craziness that comes out of my head, and hopefully the next 100 posts will be equally mesmerizing…or horrifying.

The Fortress of…fun

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I was totally going to have the fortress have some amazingly awesome name that would just wow you and draw you in. But yeah, my brain is on strike so you’ll have to settle for the mundane alliteration instead.
It’s been a rough week. Not that anything catastrophic has happened. But it’s just one of those weeks where no one seems to be happy. The girls are constantly fighting and crying and I have the motivation of a sloth…a lazy sloth. It’s way too hot which only adds to the irritability. I digress…into whining. I have not been enjoying motherhood this week. It happens, there are just off weeks where no one is happy. But in an attempt to break the vicious cycle I decided it was high time the girls built a fort. We used the typical couches/bookshelfs/coffee table-draped-with-blankets configuration. It was magic. The girls crawled in and out, in and out, in and out for at least an hour. King Toot thought it was fantastic. He has finally managed to scoot…not crawl but he can get around now…so he scoots right on in and starts pulling on things and giggling and laughing as the girls yell at him to stop. It was hilarious.
Of course, after the hour was up they started melting down again and I shoved them in bed. Urpling spent most of the time in the nursery at church this morning torturing the poor workers with high pitched shrieks and cries if anyone dared to play with anything she had looked at. But at least I had that one hour where my kids were happy and I was actually able to enjoy them. Releasing the inner kid aways feels good.

Note: the fort is still up, as Sasquatch has decided grandma and papa have to see it. I need my living room so if my parents don’t visit soon, a special Skype session with Sir Smiley’s parents will be needed. (Really, I think a special Skype session is needed anyway…hmmmmm)

Choking Hazards

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Choking, the fear of all mothers. My four year old still doesn’t get popcorn as I’m sure it will lead to certain death. I cut up hotdogs into little bits. I will be honest. I am not a “helicopter mom”. I don’t hover very much, and try to give kids their freedom. But any mom who is honest will always worry. It is constantly in the back of your mind. King Toot is starting to pull himself up, so as I was showering today I suddenly wondered if he would fall out of his crib while I showered for 5 minutes. I digress. Choking is bad. With Sasquatch it was a bit easier to baby proof. Once she started scooting and crawling, I crawled around the house and scoured every inch of the house and put up anything that she might choke on. (rule of thumb is anything that can fit in a toilet paper roll is hazardous.). There are always a few mishaps, but she was the only one moving anything around. By the time King Toot has now started scooting I have a new problem. His sisters. They of course want to play with toys a baby shouldn’t have. They also dote on him and want to share their toys. So my first solution was to ban those toys to the girls’ room. You can guess how long that lasted before the girls we dragging those toys out to play in the living room. So now they are banned to upper shelves and closets until King Toot is a bit older. But unfortunately this house seems to have a choking hazard fairy. Running around and leaving bits of paper, cardboard, and little plastic pieces I have never seen in my life, for my baby to try and eat. Every night I search the house and confiscated any offending items. But it doesn’t matter, King Toot manages to find them and stick them in his mouth before I ever get a glimpse. If it’s not an evil fairy, it must be a sixth sense or something. His special gift is finding objects that are perfect esophagus sized bits that perfectly block his airway.
Sasquatch has become my canary in the mineshaft. She always comes running to tell me that King Toot, “has a choking hazard in his mouth.”. I may need to take a room, pad it all around, and have absolutely nothing in it; but even then I have the suspicion that he would be able to rip the stuffing out of the padding and get in his mouth in the time it takes me to pee. Lots of prayer will hopefully preserve this little boy with the talent for finding the dreaded “choking hazards”. At least until he’s old enough to bring on a new set of fears.

Note: After I wrote this, King Toot found a plastic grocery bag. OMG…where do these things come from?!

Don’t mess with the Sheriff…

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Today we had a very satisfying driving experience. Sir Smiley and I were in the car with the family, headed out to do some shopping. Sit Smiley was going about 80 in a 65…so a tad fast. We start to catch up to a sheriff who was in the right lane, so Sir Smiley slows down to 75. “You don’t want to fly past the Sheriff going 80?” I ask. He looks at me and laughs, “No! He’ll pull me over and ticket me for sure, even with my badge!” Just as he says that, a white car goes whipping past us doing well over 90. We glance at each other and then at the sheriff, who has now started merging across several lanes of traffic. “Here comes the Sheriff” was all I got out before he had his lights and sirens going. Moral of the story…don’t mess with the sheriff.