August 29, 2011

School's Back

Today was the first day back at "school" for James and Stella.  I didn't drop them off, because they tend to wail, gnash their teeth and cry like crazy if I come within ten feet of the school.  If they see me...they want to spend the day with Mom, not teachers.

However, when our nanny drops them off, they are usually just fine and understand that tons of *fun* is about to happen at school.

Our nanny just texted me and said, "Tons of tears and screaming from the other kids at school, but James and Stella were happy as two peas in a pod."

I love that about those monkeys of mine.  James and Stella, despite the fact that they are nuts, seem so well-adjusted, roll-with-the punches type kids.  We usually have a sitter come one day on the weekends, in the morning, so the Expert and I can go on a bike ride for our triathlon training.

The kids have a blast with the young girls who come to "play" with them, and the Expert and I can get a few hours of "us" time.  Then when the Expert and I return home, we take the kids to the pool, ice cream or whatever they want to do. It feels like a balance that way.

Last night, at bedtime, James looks at me and asked:  "Mom, who's coming to play with us tomorrow?"

I was heartbroken at first, thinking, OMG how sad that my kids think they are always getting left. 

However, right after I started feeling bad, James says: "I really really like you, Mommy. And I really really like all the friends who come play with me and Sissy. We play with bubbles, and coloring, and have stickers and...."

Of course, that doesn't award me the "Get Out of Mothering Free" card, but it does make me feel a little better.

I want my kids to love me, to want to spend time with me.  But to have fiercely independent children is also very important to me. So I think... so far, so good.

I can guilt myself to death about being a working, triathlon training, blogging, busy mom.  But with all my endeavors and tons of different "jobs," I hope the kids can see that life is busy and most of the time... you gotta entertain yourself and roll with the punches.

They are good kids. I am proud.

August 28, 2011

A Big Giant Fat Whale

I love love love love this picture.  

"It's a big giant fat whale," James says.

My kid can SO draw better than your kid.  Hahhahahahhha!

August 25, 2011

Rapid Fire Thursday

Stella and James are exiting the dark zone.  What I mean by the "dark zone" is the terrible toddler years.  I can almost feel myself breathe. (Almost).  They (sometimes) listen to my instructions.  They (sometimes) eat their vegetables.  They (sometimes) are sweet and don't hit each other.

The conversations between the two of them are hi-lar-ious.  They use little catch-phrases they have picked up along the way, in completely inappropriate places, and it's tickling.

For example, last night, James tried to open the door and couldn't because he had lotion on his hands. The Expert stepped in front of him and opened the door for him.  To which Stella responded, "Good job, Daddy!"

And they jump conversational topics like rapid fire.

Just a few minutes ago, here went the dialogue:
James:   Stella remember the time you were a little girl?  And you cried like a baby?

Stella:    I no cry, Bubba.

James:   Yes, you did, oh yes, you did.

Stella:    No way.  You go to timeout.

James:   You have a snack, baby dinosaur.  Sit down baby, dino!

Stella:   Snack?

James:  Sit down, baby dino! Here's some peanuts! Cookies, animal crackers, and you can eeeeat if you want.

Stella:   Mmmmmmm!  [Acting like dinosaur]

James:  Be a dino like this Stella!

Stella:    NO! I am dinosaur, Bubba.  I eat!  I eat!  

James:   Let's go to school.  You are the teacher!

Stella:    I in class.  Yes, class.

James:   I forgot!  I am late!

Stella:    Oh, no Bubba.

James:   You be a sheep, Stella.  Say "Baaa!"

Stella:    Baaa! Baa!

James:   No, Stella... Baaaaaaaa!  Not "baa baa"!

Stella:   Baaa! Baaa!

James:  Stelllllllll-uh, no.  Go see Mommy.

August 21, 2011


The Expert decided that he would cook game hens for dinner.  

And he would give each kid their own hen.  I told him, There is no way they are going to eat that. No way. No way.

Well...I've been wrong before.

And the Expert is right.  Again. 

James:      Oh, my.  Look at this bird!

Stella:       Yes!

James:      I eat his leg.

Stella:       I eat leg too!

James:      This bird is tasty, Mom.  You gonna eat your bird, Mom?

Stella:       Eat! Eat! Eat!

I'm rolling my eyes. I can't believe it.  Hilarious.   

August 9, 2011

Healthy and Fearful

I was put in touch with the story of baby Caden and the Stanley Family via a blog.  A new baby boy, born with a heart defect, now in the critical period post-surgery.  Things like this make me feel grateful, but sad and completely and utterly unworthy to have the happy (yet crazy) and healthy children we have.

I showed James pictures of baby Caden on the computer, and we prayed for the baby.

Me:      Let's pray for baby Caden, okay?
Stella:   Yes, the baby.
James:  Oh, okay, that baby looks like Stella.
Stella:   Stella!  That's Stella baby.
Me:      That baby is sick and we need to pray for him, okay?
James:  Yes, let's pray for the sick baby.

[we fold our hands and pray a little prayer]

James:  Remember when Stella was a little baby?
Me:       Yes, I do.
James:   She was not sick.
Me:        You are right.  We are very lucky.
James:   I was not sick too. Except the time I burped. Remember when I burped, Mom?
Me:        Yes, baby.  You and Stella are very healthy.
Stella:    I not sick.
James:   No, you not sick too, Stella. And Mom, you not sick, right?
Me:       That's right.

And round and round we went, just as usual, only this time the conversation turned into a fight about James being less sick than Stella ("I not sick!" "No, I not sick, too!").  

My two healthy happy kids...fighting over who was less sick.

The Expert's maternal grandmother, "Nannie," is in and out of hospice care right now.  The babies do not know she is sick, because I think it's just too early to convey this kind of sickness to children.  We are all praying for her to pass out of this life with peace and no fear, no pain, with the sense of a life well-lived.  My mother-in-law is watching her and tending to her, and I know this time is full of fear for both of them.

Times like this, I find that I am holding my breath in worry.  More than I realize.

I have complete faith in God.  I trust Him to lead me, my family in the right direction.  And I have never been led wrong, and I have found nothing but blessing after blessing poured on us.  Yes, there have been terrible, trying times.  This time with Nannie is painful for our family - and what my mother-in-law is going through is indescribable.

Then there is the Stanley family who is suffering...and others who have lost husbands, wives, and babies...and children....and adult children.  

I just fear it all.

So, with this post, I guess I aimed to write yet another post about gratitude.  But also a very honest word about fear.

When life is good, I fear that God (or life, or happenstance, or an idiot driving down the road) is going to say, You had your shot. You weren't appreciative enough. Now, time for the rollercoaster.  I fear that the rug will be yanked from beneath me, and I will be hit with the heavy hand of tragedy.

Fear, fear, fear.  Then I see this photo/icon on the Stanley blog.

Be still.  Wait.  Quiet.

If the Stanley family can be still in the face of what they are suffering... then I sure better learn.