Thursday, December 27, 2007

Hits and Misses

Like all the rest of us, Santa wins some and he loses some.

Take, for example, the simple game of Uno that he left in Sam's stocking. This is a winner, pure and simple. We all enjoyed playing it together tonight and are left looking forward to the next go-round.

In sharp contrast, we have the Baby Alive that he brought for Julia. I don't know what he was thinking. This baby is constantly hungry, eats disgusting glop and then actually poops it out into her diaper. She went through her entire supply in the first 6 hours Julia had her. Does Santa not know that we have two real babies here that do this? This is not an area in which we needed a simulation.

Again in the "hit" category is the giant bed he brought for Trooper. Trooper loves it and no longer leaves fur balls on my family room rug. The dog is happy, I am happy. The kids are happy because Santa remembered the dog. This is all good.

On the other hand, we have the take along castle he brought for Sam. The box boasted that it had a gazillion pieces, as if that was a plus. These pieces are now spread throughout my house with no hope of ever being reunited with one another in their entirety. Sigh.

Ah, well, we can't blame Santa. He's only human. (Or IS he? Hmmm...)

A Belated Merry Christmas!

Between preparations and recovery, I did not get this posted when I intended to, but the sentiment remains the same: Merry Christmas to all of my friends in the blogosphere!

I hope your Christmas was as lovely as ours has been and continues to be.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Quote of the Day

Julia, in a fit of four year-old defiance:

"I am going to do what I want and nothing is going to stop me!"


"Except a spanking."

Monday, December 17, 2007

True Humility

As a mother of six young children, I am never lacking opportunities to practice the virtue of humility; my children humble me constantly. Yet, there is nothing quite as humiliating for me as a trip to the carwash.

I always go to the same carwash because it is cheap, fast and fairly friendly. I can't tell if the quality is great because, given what I start with, there is only so much they can do. Nevertheless, it works for me, so there I go.

I am quite certain that they know me and my van by now. I am sure they must pray, every time they see me drive by, "Please, God, don't let THAT turn into our driveway today!" When I do turn in, I am guessing that the workers are busy calling in favors, changing their workstations around and working whatever deal they can, just so long as they don't end up being the poor sap stuck on vacuum duty for my vehicle. Perhaps they use me as a hazing ritual for new employees.

And, really, I can't blame them if they do. By the time I carve out the time to go to the carwash, I can assure you that my van is disgusting. The amount of crumbs on the floor could feed a small country. The trash could cave in a landfill. And did I mention that the cats pee in my car whenever a child leaves the door open? I might actually quit the carwash job rather than vacuum my own car. It is that bad.

Do you want to know the scariest part? Before I even get to the carwash, you can be sure I have invested nearly an hour cleaning the jackets, shoes, socks, wrappers, crafts, school notices, books, toys and cups out of the three rows. Worst of all, I do this fairly regularly.

So far, I've only mentioned the inside. Want to know what the rest of the car looks like? Outside, the kids have written their names and "Wash Me" in the dust on three sides, top and bottom. The car-length scratches from somebody's toy car stand out, even beneath all the dust, like a garland of silver tinsel on a Christmas tree. To top it all off I am missing a hubcap, as if I needed any more help looking like I should be playing a banjo on my front porch.


Some days I wonder, what is wrong with me that I let this get so bad? Why don't I discipline the children more about what they leave in the car and what they bring in the house? Why do I let them eat in the car, play cards in the car, take their shoes off in the car?! But I know the answer...I do what I can, where I can, and I fight the most important battles. If I tried to fight them all, there would be no peace in my family. For me, the car is one of the areas I am not willing to fight, because by the time we get home from wherever we have been, I am generally exhausted and the kids can't wait to get out of the car. This is not a good combination for the state of our car, but often it's great for my sanity to see them dash away into the house, especially after a long time in the car together. So what's a mom to do? Be humbled by the car washers for now, I guess.

I must thank my dear friend who sent me this link a few days ago, to let me know that my situation is not all that unusual. I laughed so hard I actually cried. It made today's car wash visit, well, a little less humiliating.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Story of Christmas

She gave birth to her firstborn son...

...and wrapped him in swaddling clothes and laid him in a manger because there was no place for them in the inn.

Mary treasured all these words and pondered them in her heart.

Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

But a sword will pierce your own soul too.

Surely from now on all generations will call me blessed, for the Mighty One has done great things for me, and holy is his name.

What a beautiful narration of the Christmas miracle, as presented by the 72 three and four year olds at Mission Bell Preschool. Are you thinking I cried as I watched? You bet I did.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Nine Months Old Already

And then some! I have been so distracted by Thanksgiving and Christmas that I almost left off a month in Isabella's first year posts. Since this is the only baby book she currently has, I must not fail!

At any rate, my nine month old baby finally has a tooth, has discovered the fun of tossing out the plastic cups from their oh-so-reachable drawer and loves to "help" me unload the dishwasher. She is everywhere, constantly in motion. But best of all, she has a brilliant smile that lights up her entire face and, consequently, mine.

Although I do not have evidence of this smile in the above photo, I was so pleased with her cute little outfit that I had to post it anyway. Plus, she hardly ever sticks her tongue out anymore, so this may be the last evidence of that baby habit that had us so concerned.

Happy nine months, Isabella!

Monday, December 03, 2007

I Just Don't Get It

Why, oh why, would a car sit in the Costco parking lot, watching me unload a cart very full of groceries (and a number of small children) for more than 10 minutes, with its blinker persistently letting me know it is waiting for my parking spot, when there are a number of spots open about 6-8 slots down from mine? Or one row over? HOW LAZY ARE YOU PEOPLE?!

(Sorry. Had to rant, just a little.)