That “Snot” Funny

January 24, 2011

Having three boys I am always amazed at how easily entertained they are with their bodily functions. They have contests to see who can burp the loudest or the longest, they break into uncontrollable laughter when someone farts and they think that their poop and snot are interesting enough to share with others.  “Wow, you gotta come see how big this poop is!”  or “Look Mom! I laughed real hard and this huge booger came out of my nose! See, it’s right here in my hand!”  Really, boys?  Do you think I really want to see it?  But, boys will be boys and even when they grow up they still have this fascination. I worked up at summer camp when I was a teenager I remember the boys on staff would sit out on their porch and have burping contests . It was more of an advanced competition at this age … they would see if they could belch the alphabet.  They even knew the best combinations of food and drink to create these prize-winning sounds …. I think Mt. Dew and Cheetos were often the ammunition of choice.

In Kindergarten, when Ethan and Emma were learning German at school Ethan asked me one night, “Hey mom – do you know how to say ‘black’ in German?”  I shook my head and said “No, honey I don’t. How do you say black in German?”  Ethan got this big, silly grin on his face and answered, “She farts!” and then waited for my reaction.  “What! Did you just say ‘She farts’?” I asked. “Yep” Ethan proudly said and then burst into laughter.   He went onto tell me that he and all his friends had laughed through most of German because of this new word they learned and the joking and laughing continued on the playground and bus ride home.   I don’t know any German so I was not sure if “she farts” was the correct way to say “black” in German.   I called my Dad since he took German in school and asked him. He said the word for black was “Schwartz”, which when said with a German accent does sound surprisingly close to “she farts”.  I’m not sure how thrilled Ethan’s teacher was with this interpretation the boys were amusing themselves with.

Since we are on the subject of amusing oneself I don’t want to leave out the entertainment Caleb amused himself with last night. I heard this hysterical laughter coming from the bathroom and I went in to find Caleb laying on his back in the bathtub and watching his own little “fountain” of pee.  He would pee a little, then giggle, then pee a little more and giggle a little more.  Emma came in and asked what Caleb was laughing about and I told her and she said “Awesome!” and then went and told Ethan who replied with  “Cool!” and then proceeded to try this trick when it was his turn to take a bath. 

You never know how their creative little minds will work to come up with the most unusual (and often gross) ideas.  Ethan got a snowball maker for his birthday and he was talking about how excited he was to use it the next day when he went out to play in the snow.  He was looking at the plastic mold and then said, “Hey, Mom … what if they made something like this but it was called a ‘snotball maker’?  You could make balls of snot and throw them at people. That would be so cool!”  He thought for a moment  and then added, “Well, maybe not so fun for the person that got hit with it. I bet the person that got hit would say that ‘snot’ funny!”

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Three Weeks Already?

January 23, 2011

Wow – it’s hard to believe I have been doing the post-a-day blog challenge for three weeks already.  Twenty-one posts in twenty-one days!  It’s been more of a challenge to find the time to sit down and write than it has been to find what to write about. With four kids I have plenty of funny quotes and interesting stories to write about, but with four kids I have very little time to sit down and actually write.  I had a good rhythm going for a while and would write in the evenings right before I had to start the kids bath and bedtime routine and then schedule the posts to publish the next morning. But this past week with snow delays, snow days, sick kids, etc. our family schedule has been off and so I haven’t been able to stick with it as well. I’m glad that I was still able to post each day, but I hope to get back into a better routine and rhythm so I don’t feel so rushed and can enjoy the whole writing experience. Thanks to all of you who have been following my blog and the adventures of the pastor’s kids!

To make things run smoother in the mornings I try to lay the kids clothes out the night before. Ethan, Caleb and Drew wear pretty much whatever I lay out for them, but with Emma it’s always a little more challenging. She will complain the shirt I picked out is too itchy or she doesn’ t “feel” like wearing green. Sometimes she just wants to switch the top or sometimes just the pants but then there are times she rejects the entire outfit. One night I was laying out their clothes and I said to Ethan, “Here is a sweatshirt and some jeans for tomorrow. Is that OK?”  He answered, “Yep” and then I added, “Of course it is because you aren’t picky”  Emma, who had been quietly drawing a picture, stopped, looked up, and said to me with a cold tone in her voice, “Are you saying I’m picky?”   Well, Princess Emma you are a little picky, but with three brothers I think you have earned the right to be picky.

Loads of Fun?

January 21, 2011

 I wouldn’t say laundry is my least favorite chore (cleaning the bathrooms would win that award), but it is probably the most demanding.  I look around the house and see a mountain of laundry on the couch that needs to be folded and piles of folded clothes that need to be put away.  And don’t forget the clusters of socks, underwear and other miscellaneous clothing items, whose cleanliness is yet to be determined, scattered on the floor throughout the house.  Then if I dare to venture into the laundry room there is the dirty laundry that is semi-sorted into piles of lights, darks, reds and towels.   Could it be I am destined to a life of laundry?  It’s like my own sort of Mission Impossible and I really would rather NOT choose to accept this mission (as if I had a choice).

I read in an organizational book somewhere that if you just do one load of laundry a day you will stay on top of it and it won’t seem overwhelming. Well, I find that I can do 3 or 4 loads of laundry a day and still not conquer Mt. Laundry.   One of my biggest challenges are the socks … oh, yes … the socks. There are socks in a large laundry basket waiting to be paired up with their perfect mate. Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the time nor the desire to sit down and spend an hour or two playing the sock matchmaker.  So they sit in the basket until we need a pair of socks and then I spend 15 minutes digging though the basket looking for two that match (or at least come close).  As I’m digging through the basket I swear I will sit down that evening and match all the socks up so that I won’t have to waste time when we are in a hurry to get out the door. But, alas, another day comes and goes and still the socks remain.

A couple of years ago for Halloween I dressed up as “Laundry”. I figured since that was pretty much my life I might as well.  I cut a hole in the bottom of the laundry basket and added string suspenders that went over my shoulders so it looked like I was in the laundry basket. I then glued an empty bottle of Tide and box of Bounce onto the basket and used clothespins to pin socks all over myself.  It was a fun costume to wear and all the mothers that saw me totally “got it”.  At least I knew I was not alone in my battle with the laundry.  Moms in every city and town are all on the same mission ….the mission to keep our families clothed in clean socks and underwear and unstained shirts and pants.   Loads of Fun ?  No, I wouldn’t say that …. Loads of Laundry …yes, yes, we have plenty of laundry.

McMarriage

January 20, 2011

Ethan came running into the room one evening and said, “Hey mom, what’s it called when you like someone a lot and dream about being their boyfriend or girlfriend?” I thought for a moment and asked, “Do you mean a ‘crush’?” Ethan replied, “Ha ! Yes!! I’m right …. Emma kept telling me it’s called a ‘mush’ !”  Ethan ran back to the room where he had been playing with Emma to perform one of his favorite duties : announcing that he was RIGHT and she was WRONG.

I listened as Emma fought back by teasing Ethan over a girl at school that he had a mush .., I mean CRUSH on.  “Is she your girlfriend? Are you going to marry her?”  Ethan sighed and said, “I don’t think I’m ready for marriage yet …. It sounds like a lot of work!”  He continued on and said, “But when I do get married if me and my wife are rich we will have maids to do stuff for us. We might even pay them if they do stuff the way we want and do a good job.”  Ethan paused and then asked Emma, “So who’s going to be your husband?”  Emma looked up at him with her big brown eyes and said, “I thought maybe you would.”  Ethan was silent for a moment and then Emma said, “Well, that is unless you don’t want to be my husband.”  Ethan thought about the offer and then replied, “Yeah, well, I guess I could be your husband and then we could go to Mc Donald’s together. That would be a pretty fun life.”

Mom! I’m thirsty!!

January 19, 2011

“Mom!” I’m thirsty!”  comes a small voice from the backseat.  We are racing down the road, late as usual, so I counter back with, “Swallow some spit!”  Silence for a moment and then the small voice pipes back up again with, “What?  How is that gonna help?”  I chuckle and think back to my childhood when I was the one in the backseat whining that I was dying of thirst and wondering the same thing when my Dad’s solution was to “swallow some spit”.  Of course I tried it (as did my kids) to see if it would quench my thirst.  As a child I thought it might work – I mean spit is kinda like water so maybe it would help.  After a few times of trying it I realized I was still thirsty – spit just wasn’t the same thing as a REAL drink of water.

Sometimes we think we will fill a void or stop pain in our lives with a fix of our own. We have a plan and think we don’t need God. Maybe we think that a big house, a nice car and lots of money will make us happy.  Maybe we try using food, TV, and other distractions to forget about our problems for a while and pretend that they don’t exist.  However, these things will only temporarily make us happy because although they seem like what we thirst for, nothing is as satisfying as a relationship with God.   God offers us living water that we may thirst no more.  So when you are down and things seem hopeless, know that God is right there waiting to offer you the love that you thirst for.

More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit which has been given to us ~ Romans 5:3-5

Let God pour his love into your heart so that your thirst may be quenched and you will never be thirsty again.

(This is part of a blog  hop for Women of Faith. Click here to view other Women of Faith Talk Back entires)

Surprise!

January 18, 2011

“There’s baby # 1 and there’s baby #2” the doctor pointed to the two fuzzy objects as I sat straight up and stared in disbelief at the ultrasound monitor. I was in my fourth month and had just recently come to terms with how I was going to handle a third child, but a third AND a fourth?  Dwight and I had been married 9 years and had 2 beautiful little boys : Drew, who was 5 and Caleb who was 17 months old.  We had always planned to have 3 children, and although I had gotten pregnant sooner than expected we were very excited and we were already talking about names and deciding where we would put the crib. However, we had no idea that we were getting the two-for-one special (aka: twins) “Where in the world are we going to put them?” I wondered as I continued to stare at the two heartbeats on the ultrasound.

This pregnancy had gone much like the other two except for 1) I had been eating non-stop and 2) I was gaining weight at a much faster pace.  However, since eating and gaining weight are related I just thought I really needed to cut back on the pizza, french fries and cheeseburgers I had been craving.   I had come in for my monthly check-up and thought this would be a pretty uneventful visit.  However,  I was measuring larger than normal for 18 weeks along and so the doctor had decided  it wouldn’t hurt to do a quick ultrasound there in his office to check and see if there might be more than one baby.

“Well, all I can say is that God must have a sense of humor” I said to the doctor as I tried to wrap my brain around the fact that I had two babies growing inside me.  “Of course he does” the doctor replied back with a smile.  Dr. Blake had been my doctor for all of my pregnancies including my first which was only 8 weeks and ended in miscarriage.  He and his staff were all wonderful and I knew I was in good hands as far as the pregnancy and delivery were concerned – it was what would happen after the birth that scared me. There was no way I would be able to return to work after this  – how would I afford childcare for 4 small children ?  How would we feed four children if I wasn’t working ? So many questions – my head was spinning and I know that it must have shown on my face because the nurses were very encouraging and kept saying things like “Everything will be work out”  “If anyone can handle this we know you can”, etc.  Very sweet of them, but I wasn’t as confident in myself and my mothering skills as they were. 

The rest of the pregnancy with the twins went quickly and the closer I got to my due date the more scared I became.  I was put on bed rest at 32 weeks because I had already dilated to 4 cm and was having contractions 5 minutes apart.  I was also given medicine to stop the contractions.  This medicine did not help at all with my nerves because it made me very jittery and high-strung.   I had to go in for a non-stress test every week.  It’s a good thing these tests were measuring the babies stress levels and not my own personal stress level because I felt like I was having a nervous breakdown. With all the worrying about the impending birth of the twins, the racing hormones in my body and the side effects of the medicine to stop the contractions I was an emotional wreck.  I was torn between just wanting to have the twins and get it over with and wanting them to stay in my uterus where they were a lot easier to care for than they would be when they came out.  At 36 weeks the doctor decided it was time and we welcomed Ethan Thomas (7 lbs, 5 oz) and Emma Nicole (5 lbs, 8 oz) into our family.

When we brought the twins home from the hospital their oldest brother Drew was very excited and wanted to help bring diapers, pacifiers, or whatever else we needed and even wanted to help entertain the babies when they were cranky.  During the pregnancy he had been a little unsure how he felt about adding to our family. One night he had told Dwight and I that once the babies came he would be moving in with Grandma and Grandpa Brock.  “It’s been nice living here, but I think it’s time for me to move on.”  Dwight and I were shocked by this news and asked him why he didn’t want to live with us anymore. “Oh, it’s not that I don’t like it here … it’s a pretty nice place and the food is OK, but once the new babies come there won’t be room for me to live here anymore.”  Drew is a smart boy and he had counted up the bedrooms and knew that there weren’t enough rooms for two more family members.  Since he was the oldest he assumed it was time for him to move out.   We explained to Drew that we already had plans to build on an addition to our house with two more bedrooms and another bathroom, but that even if we hadn’t we would never kick him out.  “Whew, that’s a relief!” Drew said as he gave me a big hug. “I’ve really kinda gotten used to you guys and I think I might miss you.”

Caleb was not even two when the twins came to invade his home and he was not happy at all.  He had been the baby of the family and he already had been upset that during the pregnancy Mommy’s lap had continued to get smaller and smaller. Now that the babies were here it seemed to him that Mommy was always holding one of them and these babies sure were noisy for being as small as they were.  If I were holding one (or both) of the twins he would walk past me by going out to the other side of the room, making sure to be as far away from the babies as possible.  He once found one of Emma’s socks and brought it to me but he carried it by a small string sticking out from the toe of the sock as if it had cooties or baby germs that he wanted no part of. 

Caleb was first diagnosed with Autism when the twins were only around a year old I remember worrying that I had been given more than I could handle.  I know they say God doesn’t give you more than you can handle, but maybe God had more faith in me than I did in myself.  However, looking back I can see how the twins being born when they were really was perfect.  They have helped Caleb so much that I know he would never have made the progress he has without his little brother and sister to keep him engaged in the world around him and to help include him and love him just the way he is.  Emma is like a second mommy to Caleb and she helps watch out for him and make sure he is safe. Ethan is a great buddy for Caleb and when we were teaching Caleb sign language Ethan made up a special sign for “chase” since that was a game that he and Caleb loved to play together.  It’s amazing how an unexpected surprise turned out to really be an unexpected blessing.