Friday, February 15, 2013

It's been way too long...

The girls are doing very well in all their endeavors.  Today Angelina will be Ezra Meeker in the school's fourth grade wax museum presentation.  Alexis has girl scouts, and Annabelle is dressed as Jane Fonda for 80s day at school.  I finally found a use for those kiddy leg warmers! 

Alexis conquered her fear of the deep end yesterday while practicing for swim team. I'm sure the coach was questioning whether or not this kid was supposed to be there, but she actually did great last year.  With the kick board she made it across the deep end repeatedly and then realized she didn't need it after all.  She wound up diving off the side of the pool while Angelina, looking so lean, long and elegant dove off the blocks.

Annabelle has been talking more and more.  She flips some consonants so muffin becomes fumin.  Castle becomes sackle.  Rather princess brideish.  "Have fun storming the castle..."  Sounds like she's sacking the castle and put it together.  Potty training is not going all that well, but it's a process and she's making progress.  She had another bout of croup last night.  My husband is my hero.  He and I took shifts with her.  That said, I'm off to take a nap...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Annabelle decides to drive.

Well Annabelle's first driving lesson didn't go well.  We had had a lovely trip to Rasar State Park, and had spent my 48th birthday picking wild huckleberries for jam, and learning about a fish taxi system that helps salmon get around the dams that make Baker Lake.  Found one of the best pizza joints ever in Concrete, Washington. Spent a lot of fun time "decoding" messages in the Junior Ranger program put on at the park and generally avoided the Skagit River which was running so high as to be scary.

The RV is so huge it's quite a chore for Doug to haul it, and since we have the 3 seater truck and there's 5 of us, wherever we go, we have to take the minivan too.  Oh well, live and learn.  Next time a Class C.  Doug and I often disagree about the whole, take it home or take it to storage thing, but since I have to clean it out and change sheets and all, that's a bit of a chore to do down at the storage unit and I invariably forget something and there's no power there for a vacuum etc...  So Doug succumbed to my badgering and we took it home for a clean out. 

Annabelle saw the open door to the truck when we got home, trailing Doug by about half an hour.  WOOO HOOO, thinks she, and climbs in to do her pretend driving as all kids do.  Doug hollered at Angelina to get her out of there.  The emergency brake was on, the truck was in gear, the wheels were chocked.  I climbed in to the RV to clean out the fridge.  Next thing I know I hear a loud sound and we're rolling -- backwards -- down the hill -- with Annabelle in the driver's seat, not that I could see that since I was hanging on for dear life, surfing backwards in a 3 ton RV.  It came to rest in the blackberry bushes below our house, hitch hung up on a huge pile of rocks and jack-knifed. 

I had overheard Lexie talking to Daddy while picking huckleberries and for whatever reason she was telling him that her Mommy was "unscarable."  True, it's pretty hard to get me really rattled over something -- standard daily kid chaos not considered.  Yeah, well.  I was literally shaking as I climbed out of the RV into the blackberries and bushwhacked my way to the front of the rig. 

Doug was sprinting down the hill to assess the damage and see that we were all OK.  We were phenomenally lucky that no kids were behind that juggernaut or between the truck and the RV or they would have been crushed.  The rear stabilizer jacks got jacked.  The bumper of the truck got bent, and a couple other minor things were damaged, but on the whole, it's absolute BLISS to only be worrying about some bent metal, not praying in an emergency room somewhere. 

So the argument between Doug and me has been forever settled and the RV will be loaded at the storage place.  Our friend Lani came to our rescue and took care of the girls while we got it back to storage and cleaned it out.  Closest thing we've had to a date in forever and I had to spend about 90% of it listening to Doug say I told you so in about 1,000 different ways.  The accident happened at about 3:45.  Finally at about 5:29 the words "I'm glad you're not hurt" came out of his mouth :-).

It was like that line from the movie "Airplane."   "Guess I picked the wrong day to stop taking blood pressure meds!" 

Rasar State Park
fish taxi
Skagit River

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Hard to believe, but Angelina turned nine last week. I was bemoaning that a bit when Lexie shook her head in sympathetic agreement and said "she's growing up so fast!". That from a six year old!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Our Beautiful Bodies

Oma just had surgery last Friday.  In true Kraut style, she's up and running again already.  And when I say running, I mean it as the surgery was for incontinence and all the problems haven't quite been solved yet but will as her body heals.  You should have seen her at the hospital.  When she was first asked to get up and move, the pain was pretty intense, so she was offered and accepted some Dilauded.  If you've never seen an 81 year old woman stoned, it's quite priceless.  Her loopy smile and her "Wow, I've never felt so relaxed!" were hysterical.  We ordered her dinner -- mac and cheese -- and she says "Don't forget the salad dressing!"  I looked at her funny as we hadn't ordered any salad.  She said, in the painstakingly clear way people talk when they can't feel their lips "It's for the macaroni, I always do that, it's not like a pregnancy craving or something."   At 81 years old, pregnancy cravings aren't the first things that pop into one's head when looking at her!

Of course I brought her back with me to my ambient level of chaos.  I had assumed that I would continue to take all three kids with me as she isn't to lift and needed to rest.  Sure enough, Monday morning, she assures me she's quite all right with taking care of the two little ones while I dash up with Angelina to drop her off at school.

Mom always has a bit of an agenda when it comes to visiting.  If she can quietly prostheletize my kids, she's going to.  If she's going to tell a story, it will just as often as not be a Bible story.  While this annoys me, I find it opens topics for conversations and I don't want the kids to NOT believe, but as we are coming up upon Easter, I also don't want them to think that THEY, because of their sins, are responsible for Jesus' death.  That's way too heavy for little kids.  At this age they don't have sin, responsibility, or need to know anything but that God and Angels love them.  Mom has found a receptive audience in Lexie.

I on the other hand, will often try to teach important points in a less conventional way.  The unloading of the dishwasher has always been a source of strife, so I was trying to teach them that we should function as a family, and as a team. As is often the case, I teach in the car -- when they're strapped down they listen better and strapping them down is rather frowned upon in other circumstances.  I'm sure there are a million stories that would be more appropriate, but I told them the joke about how the brain was boasting "I am the most important of all, without ME, none of you would know what to do!"  The heart chimed in as to why IT was the most important, then of course a chorus of body parts claiming and defending their claim as to why their function was all important.  Then the butt hole calmly and quietly decided to show them all that they needed to work together, and that he, the lowliest and most contemptible was just as important as all of them.  He shut up.  Soon the brain felt sluggish, the heart felt listless, the other body parts were feeling ooky and woozy and they called down to the butt hole to see why he wasn't working.  He told them that they'd all been boasting so much about themselves, that he thought maybe they weren't acting as a team anymore.  He made each one admit that without him, and all the others, they didn't function as well.  He made them see that they needed each other and needed to work together.  Of course they had great fun trying to tell each other that THEY were the butt hole.  "No YOU are!"  "No YOU are!" This made me want to bang my head on the steering wheel. 

Sometimes kids don't quite get the takeaway you intended.  And sometimes my choices come back to haunt me out of the mouths of babes -- usually Lexie.

Mom is always seeing beautiful things in our environment.  She's fun to have around as she'll point out beautiful clouds or flowers.  She finds reasons to be thankful and grateful. As I was dashing around to get Thing #1 ready for swim lessons,  I heard her talking with Lexie about how brilliant God is to have designed our bodies the way they are.  She explained how she was healing from the surgery, and Oh, look at that pretty cloud, isn't it fun that we can see?  Didn't God do a wonderful job making us so we can see?  And our brains!  So that we can understand what we see?  Mom begins extolling the joys of each body part when I hear Lexie, in quintessential Lexie volume shout "Don't forget the BUTT HOLE!"  Well if THAT doesn't stop a dashing Mom in her tracks, I don't know what would. 

To Mom's credit, she didn't miss a beat -- although I did hear an odd choking sound for a moment --, and just agreed that the bum bum was very important too, and off they went with their discussion. 

It's a match made in heaven.  My 81 year old charmingly church lady mom, and a too smart for words five year old.  Oh what a laugh of pure delight God must have had watching them.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Contact Sport?

Angelina lost a tooth during soccer ... during practice ... well, really AFTER practice ... she knocked herself in the face with an orange cone.

It dropped into the grass and we couldn't find it.

Good thing the Tooth Fairy takes signed affidavits.

Heart dripping

Lexie was cuddling with Annabelle in the car while I dashed about getting things ready for swim lessons. "Mommy" she called "Mommy, Down Syndrome is just too much!" I was a little shocked and asked her how she thought it was too much. "It's just too much, it just makes me love Annabelle so much I feel like it's dripping out of my heart!"

What a beautiful thing for a little 5 year old to say about her darling little 3 year old sister.

I told Lexie that I agreed with her, but it wasn't the Down Syndrome that made me love Annabelle so much that it dripped out of my heart, because I loved HER as much as I love Annabelle, and Lexie doesn't have Down Syndrome.

May all of us love so much and so purely.

Like I need another reason.

Annabelle has been achieving her milestones at a pace different from those of typically developing kids. She achieved the operating-a-pump-dispenser milestone just a few days ago, right when she was dressed for school, and sitting in a puddle of shampoo.

I took Angelina to soccer practice, leaving Doug in charge of two little people. Lexie and Annabelle were hanging out, watching TV when Annabelle achieved her taking-off-the-diaper milestone. He didn't notice, however as she was wearing a dress. It was, however, shortly after dinner. The trampoline is in front of the TV, so she decided to go for a bounce. This, along with dinner inspired her little intestines. Annabelle dropped a load and kept bouncing. She doesn't get grossed out -- she hasn't hit that developmental milestone -- so she just kept bouncing. Doug didn't notice until she'd traipsed a trail across the carpet.

I got home after things had been scrubbed with a toothbrush and 409. When he told me I thought I'd fall over from laughing so hard! I told Doug now he knew what kind of things happened during those days when he came home and I looked frazzled and nothing seemed to have been accomplished.

Like I need another reason to love this kid!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Not in my job description!

I didn't realize, when I took on the role of Mommy that there would be so many things in my job description that I didn't expect.

Sure I've swabbed poopy behinds, and more puke than I care to recount. Sure I've dealt with squabbling and screamers, but I expected that.

The latest one that has me flummoxed... Sea monkeys. Every kid growing up who has ever seen a comic book has seen the ad in the back for sea monkeys. You didn't have red blood in your veins if you didn't want your own tiny tank of sea monkeys. My sister in law got some serious "cool aunt" points for getting the girls sea monkeys for Christmas.

We've successfully raised them. We've even successfully bred them and there are baby sea monkeys swimming around now. Of course with this duration of success, the tank was getting a little gross, so I dumped in some fresh water, but how to get rid of the goop on the bottom? I thought back to my days of having an aquarium and remembered the vacuume sucky thing that cleaned out the bottom and came upon the idea of using a miniature version thereof, to wit, a straw. I thought I could just delicately suck sea monkey poop up into the straw a couple of inches and then blow it out into the sink.

It was a good plan.

I sucked too hard and wound up with sea monkey poop IN MY MOUTH!

I have now found the limits to my dedication to my children. Their sea monkeys can drown in their own poop, but I'm not cleaning that thing again.

I want HER kind of handicap!

Annabelle is amazing. Sure, she's "handicapped" but on some level or other, who isn't? Her's just has a lable, Down Syndrome. Interestingly enough, you give her a playground, or a room full of people, she'll pick the people every time. She'll high five that guy, then give this dude a hug, then climb into that woman's lap, and giggle with the little girl over there. And heaven help you if there's music, she won't stop dancing even when the music stops. The great thing about it is she doesn't realize that "that guy" is actually a jerk, or that "this dude" is a wife beater, or that "that woman" is a manipulative bitch. She doesn't see the subtexts that make people dislike each other. She's just happy and wants everyone to join her in it.

If that's a handicap, I want it.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Lost tooth

Angelina lost her second upper incisor this morning, courtesy of Annabelle, who kicked it out.

Angelina asked what the tooth fairy's name is.

I told her I didn't know. She was shocked. "I thought grown ups knew everything."

At least she's only seven. When she's 14, I just hope she thinks I know anything!

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

History Lesson

So this morning I was telling the girls some stories about history. The topic was "resistance behaviors." This is the behavior engaged in by slaves, prisoners, and conscripted soldiers to sabotage the mission of the oppressor. I went on with examples. Breaking machines needed to do their work, bodily fluids in foods, and such like.

Lexie left the room.

I told Ina that I was telling them about resistance behaviors because I had discovered someone engaging in resistance behavior AGAINST HER. You should have seen her face. Complete shock. I told her she should imagine what I saw the other day. A naked blonde four year old bouncing up and down all over her bed with a grin from ear to ear. This wouldn't be a big deal except for the hundreds of times Ina's made a HUGE fuss about how she doesn't want "Lexie butt germs" on her bed.

Lexie had no intention of being discovered by me (I just gave her a hairy eyeball and tried not to laugh out loud), she had no intention of boasting about it to Ina. (Bounce, bounce, grin.) She was just deriving calm quiet satisfaction of getting back at Ina without Ina even knowing it. (Bounce, bounce -- hey, I should make sure to hit the pillow -- grin.) She would never have bothered even doing it if it weren't for Ina's hystrionics about it.

Ina actually thought it was pretty funny and proposed that she pee on Lexie's pillow.

I showed her by pushing our hands together, that either person can decide to give up causing the pressure on our hands. Either I, the oppressor, could stop oppressing, or she, the resister could stop. So if she STOPPED CARING about "Lexie butt germs" then maybe Lexie would have no reason to bounce naked, grinning like a canary eating cat on her bed.

Heaven help me if they start perceiving ME as the one to be resisted!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Bubble bees

At Angelina's birthday party we had a bubble machine. Lexie shouted excitedly, "Oh LOOK, They're bubble bees!"
The girls were talking about ages...

Ina -- you're 55 now, right?

Me -- give her the hairy eyeball

Ina -- OH, you're FORTY five, right?

Me -- Yeah, you're gonna wanna get that right.

Ina -- (trying to fix her faux pas) I wish you were sixty hundred and eighty five.

Lex -- That would be the level of DEAD...

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Need a new Costco

Thursday. Doug leaves for hunting. Nothing unusual...

Ina started throwing up within hours of his leaving. This lasted all night. At least she had the good grace to throw up on his side of the bed. I encourage his hunting, but the prospect of having all three kids puking was not something I was looking forward to while he was gone.

I had to keep her home from school, but I was also out of soy milk -- the only kind Annabelle drinks. I was also out of thickener, and with her issues, all her liquids have to be thickened. So considering that within hours I could easily have all three kids and/or myself worshipping the porcelin goddess, I decided we should go to Costco, buy the "going west" pack of thickener and a couple of cases of soy milk. With these supplies we could hunker down with buckets and towels until daddy came home. At least that was my plan.

Angelina had kept breakfast down for a couple of hours and the window of opportunity between waking and Annabelle's nap was closing. I loaded them up in the car. About a mile from exit for Costco, Angelina started moaning. No matter how many times I say "use your words" in situations such as these, she persists in just moaning. And what an insensitive mother am I that I bark at a wretching kid "USE YOUR WORDS!" I have experience with car barfing as I had very bad all-day-sickness with each of my pregnancies.

I had a cup from the prior day's McDonald's run in the cup holder. I dumped the left over soda out the window. If you've ever done this at freeway speeds, you not only piss of other drivers, but a goodly percentage winds up all over and back IN your car. Annabelle wound up with a soda shower. Angelina managed to puke IN the cup and I figured that the episode had passed and was probably the last one. Yeah, right.

She obviously felt better, and I was still in a pickle about the soy milk and thickener, so I figured we'd soldier on to Costco. Apparently she really DID feel better as I heard "Mommy, can I try that?" as we walked past all the samples. WHAT was I THINKING? Sure enough she starts feeling punky. I had two kids in the shopping cart so I put her in my back pack. I know it's weird looking, but she still fits at nearly seven years old and isn't much past the 40 pound weight limit.

I rushed to the check out and was loading the groceries on the band when I heard -- you guessed it -- moaning. The kid is STRAPPED TO MY BACK! I had no plausible deniability. ("that's not MY kid puking over there") I couldn't just get out of line, half the stuff was on the band. Of course because she was behind me, I couldn't see how bad off she was. I asked her where her cup was (we'd brought it in from the car) and instantly the expressions of nauseated sympathy of those around me turned as they realized that I had come prepared and thereby KNEW she was sick.

I heard a splash.

There was puke on the floor, on her boots, on me, and a little in the cup. If it weren't that it would have pissed her off, I would have laughed out loud at the absurdity of it all. The bagger was NOT happy as he came over with rubber gloves on and a roll of paper towels. I quickly loaded everything else, paid and made for the exit.

Lexie, seeing that we were fleeing Costco as if my butt were on fire, shouted "But Mommy! Why aren't we stopping for a hot dog?"

I am definitely going to a different Costco for the next few months!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Off the charts!

A neighborhood boy mispronounced my name, as so many do. I became "Eleven." I told him that was on a scale of 1 - 10. Some days I just crack myself up. Then it's even funnier when I'm the only one laughing and an 8 year old is looking confused.


I jokingly tapped on Lexie's forehead, pretending it was the computer and I was programming her to remember not to touch her sisters during a meal -- something I have to say EVERY meal. When I was done, she poked her head and said "Mommy, I pushed 'delete'." I asked her if she wanted me to use the big button on her butt.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Fwog Pwince

The girls saw the frog and the princess movie today. I tried to find out what the story was since I was home with Annabelle. I asked about the plot and Lexie said "The pwincess saw the fwog on the bawcony and hitted him with a book, but he wasn't squished, and that was the mowal of the stowy."

According to Ina, the mowal of the stowy is more like "You already have all you need." Or "You get what you get, don't throw a fit."

I don't know what the mowal of the stowy is, but I like the idea of unsquishable fwogs.

Going Commando

I'm trying EVERYTHING to get through to the kids. My sister said that some expert she knows said kids are physically incapable of remembering things until they reach a certain age. I say BS. I don't have to tell them every single time which car to go to when we go to the garage. I don't have to tell them to go sit at the counter when they first get up for breakfast. They know which bed is theirs. In the middle of the night, they know which side of the bed holds Mommy and which side holds a growly bear.

So my pet peeve is panties on the floor. I can work with just about everything else, but panties on the floor make me CRAZY. I decided, therefore, that if they left panties on the floor, they lost their privilege to wear panties. Nothing came between Lexie and her Target Leggings the next day. Apparently this was not noticed by Ina who left her panties on the floor on a Sunday night. I made the announcement that she would have to go commando the next day. You would think I'd ripped the head off her pet puppy. Oh the hysterics! She went to bed sobbing for any other consequence. She woke up begging for another consequence. She was so upset I realized this could spin out of control. I actually had to e-mail her teacher the following:

Subject: Well into the realms of TMI

So I'm trying to banish screaming mommy from the house by simply and calmly implementing consequences. One of my pet peeves is to have worn panties simply cast on the floor. The rest of the clothing one does theoretically have a hope of wearing again (except for me, since with Annabelle's VPI, I usually look like I've lost a hard-fought battle with about 100 slugs).

So if I'm calm and the kids are screaming, that means I'm getting through. The consequence for leaving panties on the floor has become that they lose the privilege of wearing panties for the following day. We call this "going commando" although I really don't know why. Angelina, of course, "forgot" and left worn panties on the floor and will be arriving at school tomorrow completely bent out of shape 'cause she's "going commando." Please DO NOT send her to the school psychologist for an unexplained change in behavior or sudden outburst with vague reference to commandos. She is not a danger to her fellow first-graders.

She went to bed completely bent out of shape. I don't expect her to be calm tomorrow morning either as we get her dressed. Here's wishing us all luck.