I think I only had the nativity scene out for 30 minutes, 45 tops, when Perry alerted me to our celestial being's lack of a cranium. Oh yeah, an arm too.
That was a couple of days ago. I still haven't found it. I wonder if Daisy ate it? Oh well, I remember Jo-Ann's had individual nativity pieces for sale a couple of years ago--they probably do this year too. I guess we'll just have to have a mix and match set.
The kids don't seem to be distressed about it, though, so maybe I can just let it slide. I'll let you know how it goes.
I'm hungry. I have needed to go to the grocery store for two days now but haven't gotten out there. We've been living off of frozen burritos and cheese grits (our emergency foods). I must go shopping tomorrow, though--we're out of cheese. I think the hardest thing for me right now, with three little ones, is shopping. I can plan a menu and write down a list, but getting out to the store is the hardest part. My best choices are to either go while Perry and Daisy are napping or when they are all down for the night. The problem with both of these is that I'm tired too and would rather be in bed right along with them. So then I'm left with the other option of taking Perry or Daisy along with Calvin and I. But then I have to find creative places to put my purchases since my cart is already full of babies.
But it seems like I can only get one thing done a day. Yesterday I washed the dishes. The kids and I never got dressed, but the kitchen was clean. The day before that I did the laundry--and that's when all the dishes piled up. Today I went out and got the emissions tested on the car as well as our new Tennessee license plate. This evening we went out to see David's art hanging in a new gallery.
I rarely go out and when I come home I feel so confused. My day is such a tight chain of events that when I come home I'm thrown off course. I don't know how to pick up from where I've left off. And so the house is a reck today and I don't think I cooked anything--just kind of threw snacks together.
Tomorrow when I come home from the store, I probably won't get anything else done. Except maybe cooking since I'll finally have food in the house.
I guess I'll just go eat a frozen burrito now. Yuck!
The kids are in bed for the night. David and I are in the brown room. I'm checking my e-mail and he's painting. He looks at me and says, "Oh man, I got paint in my nose."
I look at him. "Yeah, it's on your cheek too. Just hold still, I'll get a damp paper towel."
I get one and clean up his face. He starts to make faces, just like Perry and Daisy do, and I realize he could have gone to the bathroom and cleaned himself up. Why did I volunteer to help him? Probably for the same reason I used to open my mouth as I spooned food into Perry and Daisy's mouths (before they could feed themselves). And for the same reason I make kissing sounds in the air before I kiss David (as though I'm kissing the kids). I just get so caught up in Baby Land.
But there's nothing I can do about this, and it's not really that big a deal anyway. I'm a mom. Baby Land is where I belong and this is just one more realization of it.
I finished wiping the black paint from my husband's face and kissed his clean cheeks, just like I do when I wash the kids' faces after lunch.
Can you hear the Monty Python's Flying Circus theme song? The end is coming and instead of the awaited foot it's......me. I bet you (whoever you are) thought I was never going to post again. In truth, I post so infrequently that each time I attempt it, I have to try at my username and password three or four times before I get it right. So, to reward you, I will post all these lovely pictures!
Pictures, ha! The only reason I even have these pictures is because my brother Miles took them when he was with us for Thanksgiving and then e-mailed them to me. For that matter, the only reason I even had Thanksgiving was because Miles came over from Knoxville to fix it for us. Oh, the ambition was there, but, in retrospect, I think if it had been left up to me, we would have had the green bean salad that I fixed and nothing more. Perry and Daisy take a lot of comfort from blankets. Or, for that matter, anything blanketesque--like a paper napkin or a shred of (clean) toilet paper they have managed to snag while I had my head turned. But what's even more like a blanket is my skirt or apron (yes, I wear an apron while I cook--I make too much of a mess when I cook not to don one). Anyhow, the babies like to grab ahold of either of these two things and suck, Perry on his thumb and Daisy on her fingers. They stand in the kitchen doorway and wait for me to light in front of the sink or the stove--then they pounce upon me like a mosquito would, so that I don't even know they've attached themselves to me. Until I take flight again and nearly trip over their soft little bodies and hopefully manage to keep hot particles of food off of them. And so, green bean salad was all that I fixed and left, by virtue of a lack of time, the rest to Miles: turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato casserole, creamed pearl onions, butternut squash gratin, pumpkin pie and pecan pie. David was actually able to take Wednesday and Thursday off and keep Perry and Daisy happy while I attempted to cook. But then there was Calvin, who seemed to need to nurse every time I turned around to start something new. And yet, by the end of the day I felt I had missed the entire day with them. What good was Thanksgiving if the main things I'm thankful for, my family, were distant from me all day? Any older moms out there who wish to offer any advice, I'd love to hear it. Maybe I can employ it next year, or if I'm really crazy, for Christmas if I attempt to cook Christmas Dinner.
One of the things I love about a growing family is the addition of things along with the people. I don’t mean twenty-five thousand versions of the newest toy or baby gadget, but the simpler things.
Today I did the laundry for the first time in about a month or so. Since we had been living with my in-laws when Calvin was born I hadn’t done much laundry (or at least not the whole family’s laundry) since his triumphant entry into the world. I was so overjoyed to be able to add another little person’s stack to the crowd. And then this evening we celebrated a first for Daisy. She brushed her teeth.
Yes, she is a little old for this to be her first experience with dental hygiene, but I have a reasonably good excuse. She didn’t cut her first tooth until she was 14 or 15 months old. And what about the last four months? Well, we’ve been pretty busy. We were making the three-hour trip down to Ft. Lauderdale from Frostproof once a month for a while. Each trip was a visit with the mid-wife and a stay overnight with my in-laws. Well, then we had to start going every two weeks. And then we had to just move in with down there until Calvin was born. So you see, it was just a little hectic. I use the same excuse for not having Perry potty-trained yet.
Anyhow, Daisy did wonderfully—at brushing her teeth, I mean. I let her pick out her toothbrush from a package of four brightly colored brushes David bought the other day. Daisy chose pink—she’s such a little girl! She walked all the way from the kitchen to the bathroom saying “awh” and resting the toothbrush on her protruding little tongue. Then she sat on the toilet seat and let me brush her teeth and watched Perry as I helped him. She was having so much fun she didn’t want to stop.
The warm reminder of this event hit me this evening when I went to put something away in the bathroom and I saw Daisy’s little toothbrush resting next to Perry’s. I look forward to the day when I have the entire kitchen table filled with stacks of everyone’s clothes and the day that we have to bring a second or, Lord willing, even a third cup into the bathroom to hold all the children’s toothbrushes.
Did you know that I I live with Wess Stafford? Or that my son's name is Howard Dayton? Yes, that's the same Wess Stafford who is the president of Compassion International. And the Howard Dayton of Crown Financial.
Ok, so these two men don't really live in my house. But when Perry hears them on the radio in the mornings, he comes up to me and repeats their greetings. "Hi, mommy, I'm Wess Stafford! I'm Wess Stafford" or "This is Howard Dayton!" He'll usually look at me and pat my leg while he repeats this a few times, until he's sure I understand.
Daisy, I've decided, is a strong willed child. David has been saying so for a while now but it's only this week that I've decided I think I agree with him. The funny thing is that when I mentioned it to my mom and my mother-in-law, they both responded as though this was common knowledge and had been for quite some time now. Where have I been? I live with this little girl and yet I couldn't see it until now! Maybe it's just that I didn't want to see it...
I don't want to label her as thought she now has some syndrome I have to fix or fight against. It's just so amazing how determined she is. But I know her determination could make her very useful to God as she gets older. The trick is...the trick is what, exactly? I want to say I'll figure it out as I go along, but I'm afraid I won't--that I'll never quite figure out how best to parent her and will have ruined her unique opportunity in the world. But Perry is unique too, and so this fear extends to him as well. It's just that I feel more capable of parenting him. Though maybe not this week...
He is beginning to test me, and I'm afraid he's winning. Praise God I'm married to David and that he is able to counterbalance me and show me how I need to handle Perry. Perry has been doing disobedient things over and over again even though I've told him to stop. David heard me telling Perry, for the millionth time yesterday, not to throw something and came out of the bedroom to see if he could help. I told David the entire incident and he asked, "Well, did you spank him?" I hadn't. It's not that I'm anti-spanking, just that I forget! But you can see the difference. When David tells Perry to do something, he does it. I'm praying that I'll catch on before Perry wins entirely and I've lost the war for his disposition altogether.
That's David and Daisy. See how much she's grown? She's standing up while holding onto things now. I think it won't be long until she's walking. She's more fun every day. There are more and more things you can do with her. She likes to roll a ball. She'll wave bye-bye. She has started giving kisses. She likes looking at books. And she likes throwing her little body around on the bed and giggling.
David keeps nagging at me to write something on this blog. He said if I went in now and did it, he'd clean up the kitchen. Can't argue with a deal like that!
Perry is saying so many words. If I tell him to ask for something nicely, he'll say "May I have xyz please" just like a good little boy. And today he asked for something without first whining for it in two-year-old speak first. I think we've got a break-through! However, we are still struggling with the potty training. To tell you the truth, I'm just too lazy to pursue it like I should. I started out one day sitting him on the potty every 15 minutes. My mother-in-law, before she knew how I was going about it, said that Perry seemed ready for potty training and that she only thought it would take him three weeks or so. Well, after that first day, I was so exhausted! The idea of sitting him on the potty every 15 minutes for three weeks was just too much for me. Now I think I was probably going about it the wrong way. My friend Kaycie suggested sitting him on the potty every time I changed his diaper. I told David that this was the new rule in the house (and then he told me that his new rule was that I would change all Perry's diapers). In actuality, though, I've only done this probably twice in the span of three days. I know I've got to do better or else I'm going to end up with three in diapers.
And yes, I said three. For those of you that don't know by now, we're expecting our third baby in July. We're so excited! Gosh I love babies. My uncle Oliver, who just had his first baby the other day, asked me how I could keep having them-knowing the roller-coaster of pregnancy and birth that he just went through. I told him, and this is what I firmly believe, that children are such great blessings that the troubles of pregnancy and childbirth (and all the other hiccups down the path of parenting) are so tiny compared to a lifetime with these little gifts from God. Does that sound silly? I think I used to think so, before I had children. Whenever someone mentioned children as a gift from God I think I used to picture little packages--like the ones you get on Christmas or your birthday. But now I understand. Children are a gift like going to the beach is a gift. Like a great meal is a gift. Like spending time with family is a gift. It's the feeling that you get to be a part of Life. And, in the case of children, God has chosen you for this task. I often hear people say discouraging things about raising children. They talk about going crazy with the little ones they have and don't understand why David and I have chosen to have more (and "so close together" too!). But, just like God has made children a blessing, He has also made me capable of mothering them. Why is it in our society that we see women as capable of pursuing any and every career outside the home while we have made mothering something she is incapable of? Do you think I'm wrong? I don't consider giving birth and shipping your baby off to daycare where you pay someone else to "mother" them just another form of mothering. You think I sit at home every day and eat bon-bons and watch soap operas? Think again. I work every day. The only difference is that I don't get paid for it and I don't get any recognition from my boss or co-workers. But I'm not complaining. On the contrary, I find my work very fulfilling. I just want you to know...
I don't think I'll send an e-mail update on this blog. I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. Those that want to read it may, but I won't advertise it. I'm entitled to my opinion, but I don't want to shove it in anyone's face. As I was saying to my mother the other day, I haven't found that happy medium between being supportive and being pushy with my views. Consequently I tend to keep my mouth shut. But I guess this time I just needed to vent. Thanks for allowing me this venue.