Monday, February 11, 2013

"Grit" and Bear it.

I am not a perfect mother. For some reason, when you have six kids running through your house, or trucking along behind you at the grocery store, people draw a number of conclusions. The first is something like "Wow, you must really have it together." I don't. The second is "Man, your marriage must be a fairytale." It's not. And the third is, "You must be rich." We aren't. In fact, most of the things that "people" think it must take to raise six kids, we don't have. The biggest of which is endless patience. I will admit that yesterday was a sad example of my sometimes less than desirable length fuse. For starters, I just could not get my head in the game. Honestly, I probably need to get out more. We didn't go to church. We could have, but the ability to sleep in took over, and Sunday ended up being the day of rest but certainly not one of spiritual renewal. It wasn't really the spiritual renewal I needed though, it was just a chance to put on "real" clothes and a little bit of make-up and remember what the world looks like beyond the corn fields outside. Second, I have a teething, almost two year old. Which is in my opinion is way worse than a teething infant. I mentioned, he's almost two, which equals loud, persistant, belligerence. Third, we have a super old farmhouse. It's wonderful in many ways, but the steps in this house isn't one of them. They are steep and slippery and well....they just stink. They are also configured in such a way that they're almost impossible to gate off. We figured out how. He figured out how to climb over. Sigh....we taught him to climb them safely which he can do. Then we taught him to bump, on his bottom, back down. He's good at that too. But sometimes between the travel up, or the trip back down, he gets undecided on the direction, and won't move. This happened yesterday. And after a nearly full day of listening to him whining and complaining, and yelling, and asking to be picked up, etc, etc, I was DONE. Then the stair thing happened. He wanted to go up and play in his brother's room. He got halfway up, and stopped. He sat there. I tried to get him to come down, standing at the bottom with an infant in my arms, and his brothers stood at the top and tried to entice him to come didn't matter WHERE he went, as long as it wasn't ON the steps. Yes, I could have gone up and carried him down (which I eventually did) but the point is for him to use the steps independently, and get from point A to point B without assistance. So as I stood there, asking nicely, attempting to get him to WANT to come down, I got increasingly frustrated. I said Evan, please come down, he yelled MOMMMMMY, annoyed that I was bothering him. I said You can't stay on the steps, come down and play blocks, and he stomped his feet and shook his head. And I found myself gritting my teeth, trying to remain calm, and not yell. I gritted my teeth so hard in fact that I. chipped. my. tooth. ---- time for a mommy time out. I handed the baby to my son, walked up the steps, tucked that toddler under my arm and marched him down to his room, and left them to play. I locked myself in the bathroom. Half for the quiet, and half to check out the damage in my mouth. It's minor, but it needs to be fixed. I read once that a mother's patience are like a tube of toothpaste, never really all gone. I'm not sure I agree with that. Mine are more like a box of Cherrios. There is a definite end, and they just get crummier the closer you get to the bottom. With any luck, the weather will start to improve and we will be able to spread out in the yard, soak up some much needed Vitamin D, and begin to feel alive again. In the meantime, I have a dentist appointment to make...

Friday, February 8, 2013

Hey Nemo, it's not snowing!

There's nothing but rain to be seen here in Central PA, at least not yet anyway. So how are we filling our time on this rainy day? First, we have some sensory play going on in the kitchen. (That's a fancy way of saying that I put some pasta in a baking pan and am currently watching it get spread around the floor) And, we have some fun art projects going on. Thanks to my love-hate relationship with Pinterest I found a seemingly simple but fun coloring project.(pictures below) Which interestingly appears to be more fun for the adults in the house than the kids. Although we have all spent time on these, and really enjoyed ourselves, and they're super easy to draw out yourself. Perhaps a tutorial is coming? In the meantime, for those of you who are seeing a LOT more snow than we will, stay warm, stay safe, and enjoy the white stuff!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Like sands through the hour glass...

My Dad is always telling me to enjoy this season of life, it's fleeting, and when it's gone, all I'll have are memories. This season-the one I've begun to affectionately refer to in my head as "The Tribulation", I fear,due to my sleep deprived, over caffeinated fog, I may not remember at all. So this morning, I decided on a small but meaningful project. I set out to spend no more than 5 minutes capturing our life exactly the way it is right now, messy as it may be, it is our "now". In reality I spent more like 10 minutes taking pictures and about that putting them into black and white, but 20 minutes is a small amount of time to invest in freezing the sands of our hour glass. -'til next time...

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I can only do what I can do...

Lately I'm finding I have a lot of things want to do. (and let's face it, the invention of Pinterest isn't helping) These days my activities are almost exclusively limited to baby care, and more often than not walking my ever fussy three month old daughter in circles around the house. (She's not actually fussy if I'm walking) But as I wear a path through the house, I see all of my unfinished projects laying about, almost taunting me with their undone-ness. (note my word invention there) My sewing machine is sitting out, taking up needed space, because I am certain that putting it away is admitting defeat. I move my knitting basket around the house, maybe managing to sneak in a row or two of that precious baby blanket I started, before that precious baby wakes from her ten minute nap. Today, and most days I can't DO much. But what can I do? I can blog from my phone while I pace the floor (as I am now). I can ignore the growing knot between my shoulders and just enjoy the smell of this sweet head of hair under my chin. I can allow my older children to sit and paint for what's going on 3 hours now, and know that while it might not be the academic heavy activities I had planned in my head, it IS art, and they ARE learning, and we are together. I can help my 7 year old read "The Giving Tree" even as I walk, filling in the words he can't sound out yet, and hear just how far he has come since we started this whole thing in July. My mental list continues to grow, but I am holding fast to the idea that I am here, present, loving them, doing my best to school them, watching the dishes and laundry go undone, the crafts unfinished and the chapters of my book unread..
But I can only do what I can do... Keep walking.