Friday, August 27, 2010

Grown Up

Leah and Mary are playing together in the other room. Mary is deciding to assert her ownership over a few My Little Ponies, and Leah is becoming more and more upset. Finally I hear Mary concede:

Sure, you can play with them, Leah... when you're grown up.

But Mary! (she's working herself into tears) I won't be grown up for years. It is going to be at least 20 years before I am grown up!

I know. (Mary says - nonchalantly and without a hint of pity) You'll just have to wait.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Crazy Boy

Caleb is a crazy boy. Seriously. I hear other families talking about their boys, and how they do wild things, but Caleb takes the cake. Besides lacking impulse control, short term memory, and fear he has this uncanny ability to chose only those activities that could kill him.

Case in point.

The kids were playing in the backyard and schoolroom one afternoon while I was trying to get some rest with the two smallest children. Our home has hardwood floors, so noise travels. As a result we use white-noise machines to help reduce break-through sounds during naps and bedtime. The kids adopted the nickname "train" and so they are called to this day. Anywho, I had my train on but could still hear the muffled sounds of kids playing hard. A couple of times I thought about getting up and asking them to be quieter, but they were getting along and that was more important than silence. Then, just as I was falling asleep I heard someone running upstairs.

Wait. I don't have an upstairs.

I heard it again.

I sat up to really listen, but couldn't quite make out what I was hearing. I could tell there were kids on the trampoline outside of my window. I could tell there were kids in the schoolroom laughing. I could hear someone squealing on the swing. Everything seemed normal. I laid back down, and started to drift to sleep once more when I again heard the thump-thump-thump of someone running "upstairs." I finally realized that it was someone running down the hall, but the hardwood floors and train combination were distorting the sounds. I settled in for my nap.

An hour later I emerged from the back bedroom. I was met by Bethany telling me that Mr. Coleman came over to say that he saw Caleb on the roof.


I sat down with Caleb to get the scoop.

Apparently I wasn't as crazy as I thought when I heard someone running "upstairs." Caleb had used the brick arch over our side yard gate to climb onto our roof. Running around on the top of the roof didn't make the "fun enough" cut, so he decided to use the roof as a diving board onto the trampoline. That was more like it! In fact, it was so much "fun enough" that he talked his younger sister, Leah, into taking the plunge and together they began a circuit of roof-jump-trampoline-roof-jump-trampoline...

I am not convinced that this is ordinary boy-ness.

Friday, August 20, 2010

non sequitur

Mama, watch my dance.

Okay, Leah.

Lala tra-lala laaa (singing her own theme music)

That's beautiful! Well done.

Yep, because my superhero is cooking.

Don't look for an explanation. There is none.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cell Phone Sense

Our girls, probably like every other tween out there, are constantly inquiring about the date when they will receive their first cell phone. The discussions range from simple suggestion (You know, if I had a cell phone I could take Daisy for a walk, and if you needed me to come home early you could just call me on my phone.) to bribery (If you got me my own cell phone I would make sure to always answer your calls, and do whatever you asked.).

A few years ago a product called Firefly was introduced. The cell phone is specifically designed for kids, with no numerical keypad so only preprogrammed numbers can be accessed. My girls instantly recognized our "need" for this new phone, and Bethany, in particular, has been reminding us of the many features we must surely appreciate about it. Christopher and I keep touting the party line:

You are not getting a cell phone.

It's really that simple. The girls just don't require a phone. Their social calendar is not independent enough to necessitate one. On top of that, we feel rather strongly about developing independence. What does that have to do with cell phones? More and more adolescents are failing to achieve common sense, and logical problem solving skills. Why? We believe that a significant part of the problem is the false sense of security that comes when mom or dad answer all your questions - immediately. Changes in plans, unexpected possibilities, and circumstantial unforeseens are handled by calling home to receive instantaneous feedback on the right or wrong option. The problem is most clearly seen when you remove the potential for cell phone use (i.e. dead battery/no reception). We use these hypothetical situations to help our girls understand why we don't want them overly dependent on cell phones.

Yesterday, the conversation again turned to cell phones, and when the girls' archaic parents would get the knack and buy them one.


Bethany was utterly unimpressed with this answer and left the room, but Hannah hung on and played the game.

But it would really help you if I had a phone. Then you could call me whenever you needed anything.

Hannah, we have already gone over this however, we can do it again if you wish. When you are accustomed to using a cell phone for aid whenever you are in a questionable situation what happens when you no longer have the cell phone? Daddy and I want to be sure that you are safe without a cell phone before we allow you to have one. And until then, we aren't going to allow you into potentially unsafe situations with the false sense of security derived from a cell.

*blank stare from Hannah*

Okay, say you are driving along a road when suddenly your car breaks down. You are in an unfamiliar town, and your cell phone has no reception. What do you do?

Well, if you were accustomed to always having a cell phone then you would probably run to the nearest phone booth, and call a tow truck. But, if you knew how to solve the problem without using a cell phone then you would just siphon gas with your mouth and drive home.

Maybe we should buy them phones.


I really love to write. There is something immensely cathartic about organizing my thoughts into neat little packages that can easily be communicated to others. Well, "easily communicated to others" when I do it right. Unfortunately, I have a dilemma with engaging in one of my most satisfying past-times... it is diametrically opposed to my responsibilities. You see ideally I would spend a set amount of time each and every day scribbling out... something. Anything. But instead of doing just that I:

-nurse the baby.
-shuttle my children to and from events.
-home educate my kids.
-prepare nutritious meals for a small tribe.
-rock the baby.
-change the baby.
-scold the toddler.
-engage in a soul-searching conversation with my adolescent.
-check facebook.
-clean up the dishes from the nutritious meals I previously prepared.
-wash laundry.
-play tea-party with the smaller girls.
-chase the toddler.
-buy groceries.
-check email.
-answer the phone.
-answer the phone.
-answer the phone.
-prepare for bible study.
-teach ethical behavior to the wayward son.
-imagine writing a quirky, hugely popular book of complied anecdotes from my children's lives.
-converse with my husband.

I am trying to find what I can cut out, and from my perspective I'm thinking sleep is overrated.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Absence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder

Is it true? Does absence make the heart grow fonder? If it does, then you should be absolutely enamored with me right about now! So, what has kept me from my adoring fans? Note my tongue in my cheek.


Yep, that about sums up all the stuff. There have been so many times I wished that this blog could simply stream from my thoughts. Alas, it has to actually be written. So, here is a summary of my thoughts surrounding life, and the details that have kept me from writing them down.


No, really. She has taken my life by storm, and does not seem remotely interested in giving it back to me. I thought that I would have this whole infant thing cracked after 6 babies. How difficult could a seventh child be? Wow, was that the wrong question to ask!

Phoebe is proving to be my humbler. She evades all my best efforts at parenting, and reduces me to a blubbering pile of jell-o. Schedules and routines - out the door. Independence - not even remotely. What happened? Where did all my best intentions of a well-ordered home go? At nearly 16 months she still doesn't consistently sleep through the night. She won't regularly eat well. It is anyone's guess whether she is going to play contentedly or whine in frustration through the afternoon. And to top it off she insists on climbing onto anything vertical. Anything. Vertical. The result of all of this sanctification is me spending much of my time wandering the house bleary-eyed and confused. Should I try to get her to take a nap, or try to feed her? Should I rock her, or leave her be? Should I...

So, my blogging life continues to get pushed to the back burner. I continue to promise myself that someday I will write to my heart's content. Someday I will post every day. 

Yeah. And someday I won't think that leaving the house with only one spot on the front of my wrinkled shirt counts as, "dressed for success."