Thursday, December 30, 2010

Tea parties

There are so many things about raising children that continue to amaze me (too many to count, really). But, for one example, it seems boys are boys and girls are girls no matter what you try to do. When Connor was born, we were so careful and thoughtful about what toys we provided to him. We bought him babies and kitchen sets along with balls and sports equipment. And, aside from a brief (but memorable) princess phase at age 4, he's remained addicted to Legos and "boy things". The girls are equally hardwired. They are just drawn to pink things and princesses, tea parties and dress up shoes. I find it to be absolutely fascinating. The thing that most amazes me (as I've commented before) is that my girls are not picking these things up from me. I don't wear make up, nor high heels, nor do I host tea parties. My daughters, however, do.
(Does everyone serve steak and fish at their tea parties?
I wouldn't know, having never hosted one before...)

Well, the fun thing is that I get to enjoy some
things that I never did when I was younger;
thanks to my girlie girls!

~Can't complain about that~

Threat level=Red

This morning we had a true emergency at our house. The coffee maker wouldn't work. I know. Take a minute to compose yourself'; I'll wait.


I tried several things to get it to work again; being so technically savvy and all. I unplugged it and plugged it back in, tried plugging it into a different outlet, and then I pounded on the side of it. Somehow those things still did not work.

The only option was to run to Dunkin Donuts to get a coffee.

Let's remind ourselves here, I am home alone for the week with all four kids. None of them are old enough yet to stay home alone. (Don't think I haven't thought about it....) So, it was time to shuffle them all into the car. All of them. All four of them.

Those of you that have met my children will understand that this process can take up to an hour. First there's phase one: get dressed. This includes the Find the Boots process, then the Put the Boots on the Right Feet process, finally there's the Find the Other Mitten process. Next comes phase two: Walking to the Car. This involves me helping Wyatt slowly make his way to the car while yelling at the other three to stop running all over the front yard and throwing snow at one another and For Crying out Loud Pick up the baby She fell into a Snow drift!!! Next is phase three: Buckle In. This involves finding seatbelts, complaining over who gets to sit in the middle, yelling that there isn't enough room to buckle in, and finally, actually buckling in.

Today int he midst of phase three; one of my best friends Simone stopped by. She had a gift for Siobhan, her God daughter. (she also had a coffee maker for me to use tomorrow... Thank God!) Because Siobhan is her Goddaughter, she only brought a gift for Siobhan. Aisling and Connor get their own special gifts from their Godparents; just not at that particular moment. (You totally see where this is going, don't you?) Connor was so peeved about this particular grievous oversight that he took it upon himself to pound on Aisling. (obviously that makes sense....) His punishment for that assualt was that he had to stay inside and could not go next door to play. Why? Why is that our punishment when kids misbehave? Shouldn't it be that we send them away? "You hit your sister. Therefore you will go next door and bother the mommy over there. See you in three hours". That would be so much easier for me, just saying.

Finally we all piled in the car and actually made it to Dunkin Donuts. By that time I needed a large coffee (and maybe a shot of something...) I bribed the kids with munchkins, you know, because I am a behaviorist and all.

Next it's time to make lunch. This should take about three hours.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Fun outside!

Aisling had a friend over today. The kids all played outside for a little while. It was so nice out today. It has been really cold and windy the past few days, but today, not so much. So, it was a great day to get the kids away from me send the kids outside for fresh air.The kids thought it was hilarious to put their faces in the snow and lick it up like they were dogs. How is this funny? I have no idea. After I tried about 6,000,000 times to get them to stop, I just gave up. Maybe I should start serving their meals like that; no one ate any of their vegetables tonight. Do you think if I put them on a plate of snow and allowed them to lick them up they would eat them? Aisling's friend thought it was hysterical to throw snow in the air and have it land on her head. Yup, super funny.
If this kid doesn't look like trouble, then I don't know who does...
But the girls are obviously angels:

Thankfully, when they came in for hot chocolate they drank it normally,
not slurping it up like dogs!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Guess what we did tonight?

If you guessed: "covered our kitchen counters with a sugary glue like substance that will take weeks to come off and filled our children with so much sugar they'll never get to bed" you'd be right.

Our house building skills need some work.
Epic Fail.

At least Connor's cookie turned out okay:
(It's a wizard)
(Duh. It's so obviously not Santa. I mean, who would ever think that was Santa?)

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

My middle!

I so rarely get to spend time with just one child. When I do it's just so wonderful. I often think of my children as a whole unit. How they interact with one another, and what they are like as a group. I don't often have the opportunity to really interact one on one with them. When I do it's fantastic. I think of all my children, the one who gets overlooked the most is Aisling. She's stuck in the middle! Often times things are happening with Connor or with Siobhan, and Aisling is sometimes just along for the ride. Like a typical middle child, though, she is so willing to go with the flow and just take what comes her way. She is so good natured it's amazing!

Today, though, I was able to go to her classroom's holiday party. It was so wonderful, and she was so happy to have me there. It was a special morning. Last year, with working part time, I was able to go in their classrooms much more often. This year I am not able to volunteer, so it was nice to be there.

She decorated cookies:

Yes, I assure you there are actually cookies under all those decorations!

She opened presents: a book from her teacher, and a book swap gift!

She got a candy cane!

She made a snowflake ornament:

Beautiful; I think.

And, of course, had snacks!

(Today was also pajama day!)
Thanks Aisling for letting me share your special morning!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Doubt, redemption, and love

This evening was an evening of doubt.

I was doubting my abilities at work; having had a rough afternoon of wrapping my head around things.

I was doubting my abilities as a parent; having been running late to dance class (which I actually forgot about) and realizing that I simply would not have time to bake for the first grade party.

I was doubting my abilities as a wife; realizing that I was coming home just grumpy and unforgiving about foolish things.

I was doubting my abilities as a giving person; realizing that I may not have time to play my french horn at the Christmas Eve service as I promised to do.

In short, I was grumpy, teary, and full of self criticism.

Then, I checked the mail. There was this:
A box.

Not just any box. But a box full of love and surprises from one of the most special families I know.

A box of love from David and Susan Feinberg in New York City. I have met them in person only a few times (3?) but they remain one of the most important and loved people in my life. David and I emailed back and forth almost daily when I was in college and beyond. They are similar in age to my parents and provide an amazing influence in my life. We have lost touch and contact with one another a few times throughout my life; but they always seem to come back exactly when I need them. David also has ADHD and we have served as a support network to one another.

There was also this:

A hand-painted sign saying "Shalom".

And this:

chocolate galore for the babes!

To David and Susan: thank you. Thank you for your never ending long distance love and mothering. Thank you for being there at just the right time.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

just cool.

(Go to the bottom of the blog and pause the playlist before watching this video)

Pictures from Santa's Village

(Click on older posts (at the bottom) to read about our trip)

Ready to start!

I love this Nativity!
Feeding the Reindeer
Making Presents!
Aisling's a pretty good driver!