Wednesday, April 22, 2015

A Little Bit of Our Normal and Detinitely Not Normal

 
 
Not that I know what normal is. At All. But we can pretend can't we.
 
Last week, I somehow found myself home alone. With the just the babies. I can't remember how I let that happen. I feel like such a spoiled lightweight. I mean when the big kids were little, I did it everyday. Meaning I packed them up and we went to my mother-in-laws. Every day. I'd call Shane and tell him where he should come if he wanted dinner. I remember at one point he said to me,
 
"You do know we have our own house. Where we live. Right?"
 
I knew we did. But I also knew there was no one there to talk to whose diaper I didn't have to change. Or who could make me a cup of coffee and a scone. So down the road to Grandma and Grandpa's we would go. And that was how I survived the early years of being the sole toilet-trained person at home.
Maybe not the most impressive parenting strategy, but the early years are just a survival game. And I think it was a great strategy everyone should be able to have. I would ask Audrey what she wanted to be when she grew up and she was answer , " A Grandma!" It was a good time for everyone.
 
But back to my Lone Survivor Day. Actually it was only a few hours, but it felt like I'd been sliding down rocky cliffs and suffering constant ambushes without backup for a week. It started with Shane taking Cyril to an appointment. Which Malachi was very upset about . Having none of it, he broke through the gate Shane installed to keep him from escaping and headed right after them. Cyril noticed and jumped out of the truck to walk him back up the driveway where I was just headed with crying Fi, who also does not like to be left out of any social excursion beyond the confines of our house. I don't know who has been telling her tales of the great big beyond the front door, but she is into it and will take any opportunity of attempting to get there. Fortunately she has not been successful in breaching the gate though I'm sure its just a matter of time before Muffin gives her lessons.  
 
 I wrestled them back behind the defensive zone, if that works. Shane did not marry me for my love, or knowledge of anything sporty. Though, him being as big a fan as I am, I think I can say whatever I want. Then, being the clever wife that he may, or may not, have married me for, I picked up a scarf and tied the gate shut. Malachi was again upset at being thwarted and quickly went on the offensive by suggesting we foam sword fight. Somehow he had left his sword on the back porch so I would of course have to unlock the back door for him to get it. I couldn't carry both kids and either kid would bolt once the door was opened so I, naïvely, opened the door and told him to go get it, while I held wiggly Fi back. And of course he went out the door with no intention of ever coming back. Peacefully. Or any other way. Eventually I bribed him with some promise of something to come back in. And quickly locked the door.
 
I searched my mental data base of things to do when the only thing both kids are capable of doing together is destroying the house and came up with this:
 
 
It worked for about 30 min, during which I had to remember the protocols for de-tubbing and dressing two kids both of which have the singular life goal of discovering just how much a toilet is capable of sucking down in one flush. Bing turned up no results to said query so I  winged it by letting them air dry a bit and then offering another bribe to let me get close enough to throw a diaper and some bit of clothing on them both.
 
And then I thanked the parenting gods when I heard the doorbell, heralding the return of the three older kids from their lessons. Again, thanks to Grandma Trudy for ferrying them.
 

 Speaking of Malachi and toilets, potty-training is going swimmingly. Meaning you can almost swim from one room to the other, what with all his 'accidents'. It's not that he doesn't get it.  Really he just has a penchant for peeing on most anything. But we can call them accidents, if that makes you/me feel more comfortable. I'm thinking it might be time to get him some big boy shorts. He could really use a new receptacle for his, umm, gifts. And I could really use more laundry to wash. apparently, he could also use some lessons on how to wear said shorts. Or maybe he's trying to start a new trend. Keep an eye out for it next Fashion Week.

If you can use a laugh, Shane took Cyprian shoe shopping but nothing in the store was his size so they ordered some through the store. Two days later, this arrived:

 
At first I thought these little ones were like a hood ornament for his tennis shoes box. But realized they had sent a little kids 4, instead of a big kids 4. Cyprian was not so amused.
 
 
Fiona, on the other hand, was thoroughly amused when Shane and I took her to dinner last night for a final Harrah!
 
 
Is that water really for ME?

 
Ok, Fiona. I think you've had enough.
 
Everyone's pants were wet by the end of dinner. We did discover in addition to the feel of cold water dribbling down her chin, she also likes beets, limabeans, mahi mahi, and raspberry sorbet. Not so much panna cotta.  Hey, more for mom. She also does not like nursing quietly and discreetly while not exposing mom to a room full of strangers. Not that knowing them would make it any less annoying or difficult to attempt while eating. That is where the Last Harrah comes in. Until she can use a steak knife. Which will probably also be soon, courtesy of Malachi.
                               


Sunday, April 19, 2015

Watch Your Back!

Last night we had a bit of a scare. Kateri and Cyprian came running into the room shouting,

"I think there's something wrong with Cyprian's nose!"

Cyprian had his hands covering his nose and half his face. I didn't see any blood, so at first was not to concerned. Cyprian asked in a muffled voice,

"Does this mean there's something wrong with my nose? Is it supposed to sound like this?"

He pushed with his hands, moving his nose side to side. As he did there was a disgusting stomach turning crunching/grinding sound.

Before we could even try assessing his injury they both burst out laughing  and showed us the uncooked spaghetti noodles they were crunching with their teeth.

Apparently they had spent some time researching  practical jokes and were excited to 'share' the fun.

 Later, it was not so fun, when Pippin 'splashed' an empty cup on Audrey, who was heroically eating her breakfast while holding Fi, to whom practical jokes are a way of life, and taking advantage of Audrey's temporary distraction, reached out, grabbed the bowl of cereal, and deposited it and its contents on the floor.

So then we had a little talk about what kind, and when jokes are funny. And when they are not. And unintended consequences and who gets to clean up the mess. As far as practical jokes go, so far they are pretty harmless. Growing up with 5 brothers, and 3 sisters, we had our fair share of practical jokes. It seemed sometimes like we were a frat house and hazing was just a way of life.  It wasn't surprising when you went to get in your freshly run bath only to find out someone had put dishsoap in the running water and you now had a huge bubble bath that  made you smell like freshly scrubbed dishes. I think I used Dawn. And I'm pretty sure my mom was not pleased. Nor was my brother, the intending bather.


But that was not as bad as the times when someone would catch you while you were at your most vulnerable, after you had already started your bathing routine. We only had one bathroom so there was no monopolizing it just so  You could relax in your shower. That's what curtains were for. 

There you were, enjoying your nice shower. The sounds of the water drowning out the noise of the rest of the household, and unbeknownst to you, the sound of someone opening the bathroom door. You were only alerted to the presence of an intruder when the Sneaker, who had thoughtfully filled a large pitcher with ice water,  dumped the contents over the shower rod and all down your exposed and  shivering body, turning your warm shower  into an ice bath. Then before leaving, Sneaker would flush the toilet  to take up all the cold water and run. Leaving you with   streams of scalding   water blasting out the shower head.

Our pranks came in waves, some favorites lasting longer than others. I think the longest reigning and most popular prank was creating short circuits by secretly wiring appliance plugs. The shower tricks we kept to the kid crowd, but this was one the whole family, or even an uninitiated guest, could participate in. We'd get some thin copper wire and wrap it around the prongs of an electrical cord, creating a short circuit when someone was not on their guard  and plugged in whatever appliance they needed without first checking for booby traps. It was great because you could set a trap and no one would know  by whom or when it would be set off. Even if you were still in bed, you could  enjoy the loud pop, the surprised #$%^*!! And say to yourself,

"Ooh. Somebody's about to grind coffee."

And on a great morning you'd get to hear a second *zap* meaning they assumed there was only one rigged plug. And they were about to turn on the coffee maker.

All the outlet covers sported residual black smudges. Evidence of someone's carelessness. And sometimes the victim's fingers, if we were really lucky.

 There really wasn't much damage done, mostly just to peoples' nerves. Nowadays, with all the safety features, such a trick would flip a breaker you'd have to go out to the garage  to reset it and it would be a pain, so I don't recommend it. Just last month, Cyril decided to connect a bunch of small magnets he gathered from a broken toy, and then casually go around testing how strong it was. Oh look, it can pick up the entire metal napkin basket! That's pretty strong. He tested a few appliances for magnetic materials. Oh look, the screws on the switch plate. Maybe it will stick!

Immediately the whole kitchen went dark.

I sent him out to the fuse box. No matter how many times we turned it all the way off and back the breaker would not stay on. So I hung up some Christmas lights and we waited for Shane to investigate when he got home. It was a three switch plate so he replaced the one Cyril had stuck the magnet to. No dice. In the end he had to replace all three. So Shane is not a huge fan of that trick, though he did like the twinkle lights, which are still up and add a festive feel to the whole room.

As science experiments have been at a minimum this year I'm going to put the whole experience in the educational department. And hope that is it for the year.

Monday, March 23, 2015

The Quarantine Chronicles


 But first, and way more importantly, this little girl turned one last month!!

 
She was thoroughly delighted (as were we all) with the  caramel cream cake provided by Grandma Trudy. Who also provided the meal.
 
As lent had just begun two days previously, a Fi(st) day was a welcome reprieve from our onerous Lenten observations. I am still working on trying to get back up to my prepregnancy weight and was directed to not give up anything which contained calories. Or fat. Or pretty much anything. Fi is a major calorie consumer (those thighs don't some easily) so until she stops nursing I'm pretty resigned to wearing Audrey's hand-me-downs and eating like a fatted calf. And then eating the fatted calf for dessert. It's rough having such a freaky metabolism. Know what it's like being cold and hungry all the time? Take  me out to  lunch and I'll tell you all about it.
 
We all enjoyed the nice party. And then a week after the festivities, a nasty cold descended on the house and we've been shut-ins since. It hit some of us harder than others. Thankfully the little ones had a light version and I was mostly unscathed and got to play Florence Nightingale for the duration of the plague. I didn't have to do any amputations, which was a relief, mostly just keep up the feeding and medicating of the invalids. Which I was able to do because our supplier (aka Grandma Trudy) left a huge cache of goods on our porch. Shane and the four big kids were hugely scathed and missed weeks of work and schooling.
 
This week  I'm hoping we can transition from  the land of the not-dead-yet to the living. Or, in my case, the gimpy-but-still-not-dead-yet crowd. Which seems to be the new normal. At least for  me.
 
A few weeks ago, in addition to the plague fairies, I got a visit from the Frankenstein fairy. Which left me with rubberbands in varying lengths and elasticities wrapped around my legs. Which were turned into ice, then stone, then wood.  At least that is how they feel to me. Shane assures me it doesn't look that way. Though I have not tried running or anything that requires quick foot work. Because, let's not add injury to insult.
 
I emailed my neurologist, which is a new feature the clinic has set up, which is awesome but also surprising that it is 2015 and this is new feature. She offered a course of steroids, and for the first time in 24 years, I said I'd consider it. Which I did for a couple days and then decided no. In addition to not wanting to have interference with breastfeeding- I'm still a little scarred from the cold turkey weaning with Malachi-I didn't want the other side effects. Insomnia- oh because our sleep routines after two years of crazy have finally become bearable. Irritability, aggression, oh, and the munchies. I don't have time for any of that. So in the end I passed. It's been three weeks and typically a relapse starts calming down after 6 weeks so we'll just figure it out as we go.
 
I'm curious to talk more to my doctor in May. Last visit I didn't have much to report. When I  brought up some of my latest internet researches, she  suggested I focus my investigations more in the line of the anti-brain-atrophy therapies being worked on, as opposed to the anti-inflammatory drugs.  Which seemed a covert way of saying I've transitioned to the second part of the party. Progressive MS. She explained it as the difference between  a fire that periodically lights up versus a hot bed of coals that just sits and smolders. So in addition to my swagger, I've got smolder. Gary Cooper, you've got competition.
 
If the transition proves true it would also mean a new field(albeit smaller field) of therapies would be options and other therapies would be ixnayed. I don't mind passing on any more of the needles, for sure.  I am still intrigued by the HSCT I mentioned in a previous post. There are trials going on, even in Seattle, but they want fresh meat. Not aged and smoldering for 24 years. Mostly because they found it most beneficial when done in the still relapsing stage. Which, because of the most recent gimpiness, I might still be in. So there's a silver lining. Or maybe Shane will take me to Germany and get it done there. He totally would if I wanted to. But for now we'll just wait and see how it all goes down. And hope no one gets their leg broke in the process.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Sorry For Beating A Dead Horse...

Though if it helped I would do it in an instant. And maybe poke a few pins in it just for good measure. Though what I think I really need is sleep. That might change everything. For example:

Yesterday, my sister came over for a visit. It had been while due to kids sickness, some family vacations, and just life. She showed of her nice winter boots that did not make her legs look like toothpicks, talked about her yoga classes as she cooked a fat pork hunk for dinner with her husband and boys that night probably with a cozy bottle of wine and a nice fire. I know I desperately need to exercise and eat more, and even more. Every shower I'm reminded how slack my skin is over less than toned muscles. My belly looks like a goofy-grinned Cyclops  in desperate need of a face lift ( big shout out to daily Copaxone shots for smiling crescent and to pregnancies for the rest.) But lately I'm too tired to really care and I rarely go anywhere I can't just throw cozies on for. So no big deal.

Shane had already warned me he'd be late so I wasn't surprised when I didn't see his headlights until 9:30. But I was surprised as   the minutes continued and he didn't come to the door. I got the kids, babies included, to bed and waited but still no Shane.

"Maybe he fell asleep, " I started wondering. maybe he doesn't want to come in. Why would he want to? Its usually crazy and whiny in here. And messy. Of course he would rather eat dinner somewhere else with someone else and then it still wouldn't be enough of a break so he would need to just sit alone in his truck. Or maybe he has bad news and he is not sure how to tell me. Maybe he doesn't like me anymore and he's hoping I'll just go to bed before he comes in?

After 15-20 minutes, I gathered up all my nighttime paraphernalia- water, baby monitor etc.-and headed up to our room. Shane walked in the door just as I reached the staircase. We exchanged greetings in the mostly dark and quiet  hallway. He seemed beleaguered and weary. I was too tired to be curious about his absence and thought it could wait until morning. He asked if I'd be up for foot rubs and chatting but I said no. Too tired. So we went up to bed.

And of course I couldn't sleep. Shane fell asleep quickly and I lay there slightly regretting my turning down the offer of  company and happy feet. So I grabbed my phone and was surprised to find a text from some unknown man asking for my mailing address. And that his wife, oh sure you're married, had been trying to contact me about a contest I'd won and to please respond.

Really dude? Don't you know Facebook is riddled with  strangers, some not so bright, and others who can spot a scam when they see it and I am not telling you where I live but thanks for the heebie-jeebies just as I'm trying  to sleep.

Then Fiona started squirming. I was glad to have something pleasant, grounded, and real to do.  I lay there feeding her and she drifted back to sleep and I contemplated leaving Facebook forever.

I finally fell asleep after 1am, despite or maybe due to the Benadryl I took before getting in bed. Not for long as Malachi started his 'mama' calls just after. I tried to talk to him from our bed and see if that would work. It didn't  Then Fiona decided she just needed a little snack and started grunting.  Shane got up and I settled in with Fi thinking we could finally relax. Then Malachi called out again at which point I realized Shane did not get up to take care of  Malachi. He didn't even realize it was Malachi's calling that had woken him up and thought it was just his bladder which  caused him to bee-line it to the bathroom and out of hearing range. I was praying the noise would not disturb the baby into complete consciousness.

Shane came back and handed Malachi his sippy cup finally. Which Malachi did not want. So after only a few minutes of lost sleep, Shane decided it would be better to just put him in our bed. Which usually works. But this was not usually. Malachi still complained about his not-baba (I'm hoping/trying to get him used to no bottles of milk at night in the hopes that he will finally start eating in the day. When normal people eat.) But eventually Shane went down to make him a bottle and get ibuprofen. Malachi has been teething- like since he was born-but more so lately and was/is working on clearing up his pneumonia.  The fever is not gone for good yet so ibuprofen was a good bet.

By that time Fiona, who adores Malachi, had noticed the company and was so excited she started chatting a mile a minute only pausing a second before slipping into  tongue clicking mode. Which, even at that ungodly hour, is so ridiculously cute I couldn't help but smile. Then someone somewhere told a funny joke and she broke into belly giggles. Also insanely adorable.

Malachi was only mildly disturbed by Fi's antics and after an hour or so settled back down. Fi decided she was a tiny baby again and could only nurse with me sitting up. Which put her in prime pulling big brother's hair, or kicking his face territory. 'Sleep? That's for old people. I'm young and energetic and have a super clicky tongue. Want to hear?'

Finally, after a few hours of tortured sleep, Shane got up for work. I tried to prolong everyone's sleep but Fiona decided I probably needed to start my caffeine drip early as I would need a lot to make it through the day. Thoughtful girl.

But after a coffee and a shower and a little communication, yesterday turned into an entirely different day.

Yes, my boot-wearing sister came over. And yes she did yoga. Also  it did something to her back in   that makes her wince when getting out of chairs. She also brought a toy vacuum cleaner for Malachi and walked Fiona to sleep for a nap. And showed me and my kids there is a world still out there not populated by zombies. And we can go there too. Someday.

Shane did work late and had a dinner meeting with a co-worker. Which wasn't much in the way of sustenance but at least he got dinner. Some days he has to skip lunch  When he got  home he sat in his car to take a call for a sync-up with his India team. When you have teams spread across time zones somebody is staying up late or getting up early. He did hear Malachi and gave him a  pat  BEFORE going to the bathroom and Malachi seemed fine. When he realized he wasn't he went down filled a bottle and gave him Motrin  and sat by him comforting him for a long  time before deciding it would be better to just put him in our bed for the little time he had left to sleep. Before he had to get up and do it all over again.  He did hear Fi and the clicking and also couldn't help but smile at her cleverness.


And the Facebook stranger really is the husband of the husband-wife team running an out-of-print  Catholic book printing shop. And I had legitimately  won the free book contest  they were running which I had entered. I just didn't  know his name.

Moral of the story, get some rest. And if you do come across a dead horse, give it a swift kick from me.














Thursday, November 6, 2014

Follow-Up


Shane is not a huge reader of blogs. At least mine. Which makes me feel better about stating 'facts' when I write. Typically if the main point of a text I send him is not in the first paragraph, he won't get to it. If I need five items from the grocery store, I need to communicate it in the first three words. In emails, he will often skim for the main points. So I usually distill as much as possible. I know he's busy doing whatever he does and I respect whatever that is.

So I was surprised the other night as we got into bed and he  looks at me and asks in amazement,

"You really don't know what I do?"

"Kind of. Maybe. I mean you've had lots of different roles. I wouldn't know how to explain it someone else. Can you tell me in one sentence I can remember?"

"Sure" he says.

"In words I can understand" I add.

"Oh. Hmmm. Lets see." He thinks a bit.


"Ok. This is really over simplified. You can just say I build systems that run Microsoft."

"Right now you could say I work on Cosmos."

Thrilled with the chance to show off that I have gleaned a tiny bit of knowledge over the years I look at him and say,

"But isn't that just a tool?" It seems to me all the languages, you know, like C# and SQL (pronounced sequel)  and methodologies like SAP and Hadoop- I might be totally off, but I do know Hadoop was named for a kids toy elephant. I can understand things like that.

So tool seemed like a safe bet. It worked.

"Yeah, you could say that. Do you know what it does?"

Oh shoot. Why does he always ask for verification. Now he'll find out that I am totally faking it, kind of. Can't I just intuitively know Cosmos isn't a product or project therefore it has to be a tool? Or it is one of those others but can still be classified as a tool. Why can't he just be impressed and we can go to sleep?

"Its a tool for organizing data" I state, feeling the odds are pretty good whatever it is or does could be described that way.

He seemed a little surprised.

"Yeah, actually." He admitted. It was dark but I'm pretty sure his face would have shown how impressed he was with my knowledge of geek speak. Or he was stifling his laughter at my poor attempts to converse knowledgeably on things I was clueless about and just pulling my leg. If so, please no one tell me. Ignorance is bliss and then I might feel tempted to ask him to really explain it to me.

But just to show off some other words, did you know that a yodabyte is bigger than a petabyte?  And if you do something to either of those you can turn them into yobabytes and pebabytes? I think one of those has wings or can't live within 500 yards of a school. I can't remember which.

Also to my credit, I know I couldn't be fooled like this:




 
 
I know you would need a much bigger box.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

TMI

Linking up with Grace Or Copycatting because it has been a long time since I've been here and it seemed an easy segue to get back into writing, if it works. And not too much energy wasted if  it doesn't. Lists are easy, so I'll go with it. Also, if I finish this post before next month, I'll only have to come up with 36 bits of useless information. Who doesn't like to save a little?
Here we go:

1. I have not slept a full night's sleep in 3 years.

2. I do not have a sleeping disorder.

3. I do have 6 children, two of which are two and under, and the main bestowers of nighttime fun.

4. I complain a lot. In my head, if  Shane's not home.

5. I could not buy alcohol when I got married or had our first baby.

6.I never went to college. I like history. And learning. Though I have been known for embellishing some events when describing current hardships, and minimizing others when it comes to dents in vehicles.  According to some historians, named Shane.

7. My breakfast usually consists of two tall breve lattés. And maybe an egg and toast later when the big kids are making their breakfasts and I put an order in.

8. I hate schedules and start panicking the minute I commit to one especially if it involves all children dressed with shoes and a starting time.

9. I wish dreadfully that my kids would be amenable to a sleep schedule. But they take after me.

10. I am an INTJ. Shane is an INTP. Supposedly that is the most difficult combination to make work. Thanks to Holy Spirit, its been working for almost 17 years.

11. I absolutely hate the cold and, much like transition, feel like I'd  jump out the nearest window if it would make the feeling go away.

12. Growing up, my favorite TV show was Night Hawk. For all of its 11 or so episodes. Rex Smith. A motorcycle. Say no more. ( I was 8. Or  9Then I saw Pirates of Penzance. It was a quick soup d'jour.

13. I don't know French. I took Latin.

14. I am terrible at math or anything with numbers.

15. I don't know how many more line items I can come up with.

16. I am horrible with new technology, including the handsfree system in my car. How  does  'Text Shane' turn into "Calling your 'deceased grandmother's name' ".The best I can manage is knowing my ABCs and the backspace key. Shane does everything in that arena and I don't understand  how other people get by at all.

17. I didn't have to be sold on the 'Geek is the new Sexy' trend. Our priest said to always maintain a little mystery. Marrying a computer geek is a pretty surefire way for me to always have some perpetual mystery in my life. Shane is super patient and still tries to explain what he does for a living. He leaves. He comes home. Money appears in my account.

18. Often I find being an introvert and having 6 kids isn't lonely enough.

19. I don't mind going to the dentist. Though I would rather spend the time away from the kids doing something other than saying 'AHHHHH' for 45 minutes.

20. I do like my annual MRIs and look forward to a cozy, albeit noisy, alone time.

21. I was diagnosed with MS when I was 13 and introduced to MRIs. They have improved greatly, and now with the added heated blanket option, I almost consider it a spa visit. Just a very expensive one that does nothing to improve my hair.

22. I hate clothes and especially shoe shopping.

23. If I am feeling unenergized about making dinner, I always default to a breakfast dish. Luckily my kids like French toast.

24. I am not sure of the last time I formally exercised. If it were not for the 2 yr old's antics I would not be getting any exercise. If it were not for the 2 yr old's antics, I might have time to exercise. But probably still wouldn't.

25. Kateri just now informed me said 2 yr old peed under the table.

26. I am ok with waiting to finish this list before asking one of the kids to clean it up. Fiona doesn't crawl yet so I've got a little time. I call it relaxed. Shane says it is bordering on lazy.

27. I was not gifted with any graces in the arts.  I usually just mouth the words to Happy Birthday. My kids tell me all my animal drawings look like llamas. No matter the intended species.

28. I like comedy better than drama. There isn't really anything I would not prefer to drama. Maybe Horror.

29. I like red wine and dark chocolate. Together or not.

30. I love dirt. Maybe it's the Irish in me. I even wrote a poem about it in 2nd grade.

31. I can't get the picture in the right place and Shane is not home so it is at the end of the list.

32. I've drinking coffee since I was 12. This is Seattle!

33. I was homeschooled from 7th grade through high school.

34. I cleaned the under the table mess.

35. This list has taken me ridiculously ,embarrassingly, long to write.

36. I have a cold so feel that #34 was especially heroic of me.


I wasn't kidding about #27.
 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Enjoying Summer, A Little Longer

The past few days have been really nice and it is supposed to be even nicer this weekend so we are trying to fit a little more summer in before the weather changes and we start school. Shane took a few of the kids camping and brought back some gorgeous pictures of landscapes I will never see in persons, unless he helicopters me up there. Hiking/camping is still not my thing. I am glad the kids like it so Shane has someone to enjoy it with. Everyone had a good time.
 
I decided to be a mom and took the four younger kids to the park yesterday. It was almost as fun as blowing bubbles with Muffin the other day. One bubble. Two bubbles. A flock of bubbles. And there go the bubbles. Maybe we can smear the wand in the pool of bubbles we spilled and get a few more out. NO? Ok then lets run our dinosaurs through the soap, maybe smear some on our feet so we can slip and track it around everywhere. Or we can skip to the end, take a bath, and stay inside the rest of the evening.
 
I'd forgotten how boring it is to be home with just little ones. Fiona liked watching the bubbles from her bouncy chair but couldn't really get into the whole soap smearing bit, got bored, and started fussing. I really don't know I survived the first 10 years. It is sooo much easier now. And there are adults  to talk to. But Shane was gone with the bigger kids overnight so there we were. Kateri was left home to help but I'd given her some much-deserved time off to play with her friends out front. Commence bubble blowing.
 
 Then yesterday I let the little kids convince me to take them to the park. Fiona likes the stroller and with school in session there would be limited numbers to witness my kids stellar observance of playground etiquette. Running UP slides is so much fun and then you can avoid all the lines to wait your turn to go again.
 Malachi actually just wanted to crawl on the benches and bark like a dog.


Because he never gets to do that at home.


And then he wanted to follow the big kids through trails the stroller was not really built to go on but when your toddler is running away down the path and there is a road near by you just make it work and hope the turbulence doesn't cause too much damage to Fi's brain. Or the stroller.


After about an hour of our magical adventure we came home and luckily they have not asked to go again. Although I probably would. With a leash. And the bigger kids.

But it was a good pre-schooltime excursion. (And yes, I do consider the park an excursion and I like the kids to think that too or else they'll think of it as an easy and often to be repeated distraction.) But if they think of it as an annual event, like Christmas and Thanksgiving, they won't add it to the list-of-things-to-ask-mom-for-every-30-minutes.