Ahhh Hawaii. Calm shores, balmy breezes, perfect humidity, peaceful mountains. Not that I would know, I've never been there. But Jon has. In fact, that's where he was this week. Must be nice. But meanwhile, back in the real world...
|Major fat lip, more on that later.|
|In case you haven't noticed, he's most definitely in the "I can pick out my own clothes" stage.|
Okay, enough about the brownies.
|Her self-defense skills have really improved!|
Of course, there is that whole preparation element to having guests, and we've been busy doing that as well. I started cleaning on Monday. I'm getting smarter though. I began with the dusting since that's something that my kids can't undo. Moved on to outside stuff. And then finally got down to cleaning the bathrooms and mopping the floors. Hmmm, tough choice since the best case scenario would be doing them all in the last 5 minutes before anyone arrived.
Instead, I cleaned all the bathrooms last night while the babies slept ... and then carefully monitored each and every visit the boys' took to the restroom, making sure it looked just as good after they left. And then Jack and I took care of the floors this afternoon. Yes, I let him help. Because the alternative would have been fielding questions, doling out snacks and keeping him from walking off the rug all while trying to do it myself. Just give the kid a sponge and a bucket of water and he's good to go!
And then there are the groceries. A necessity for any good holiday weekend. I've been taking all three kids out shopping with me more and more often lately, simply because Jon's not home enough to allow me to plan otherwise. It's not easy because a.) handling three kids anywhere, even home, isn't easy and b.) I require a lot of concentration whilst grocery shopping. I try to be organized. Sometimes I even re-write my list in aisle-order just to avoid having to push that massive cart any more than necessary. But in the end, when you throw a preschooler, a toddler and a baby in the mix, it doesn't usually make much difference.
|She spends a lot of time on her belly these days, but cannot roll to her back. And she likes to let me know every morning around 5am.|
But we did arrive and were able to track down a cart big enough for my small brood. Can someone please tell me why those toy car carts never have functioning seatbelts? Forget the fact that the wheels are never in line or that the horns don't beep. I just want working straps. So I don't have to remind my boys 33 times in a row to stay in their seats. It would definitely make my life a little easier.
But before the seatbelt battle there was the bouquet battle. You know, the floral area, that is right inside the front door. I never buy flowers, but today I decided I needed to. And Jack wanted in on the decision. Except we both had very different ideas of the perfect bouquet. I wanted something reminiscent of end-of-summer: wild and assymetrical. Jack was stuck on the flourescent daisies - neon blue, green and pink. He put it in my cart, I took it out. He put it back in, I took it back out. We'd hardly been in the store two minutes and I was ready to head right back out.
But we hadn't reached the oranges yet. And when we did, Jack was certain he needed some oranges. But they weren't on the list and they weren't on sale. I won that battle but somewhere around the potatoes Jack decided to venture out on his own and before I knew it I couldn't find him anywhere. And neither could the friendly associate working in produce. He was just about to get on the loudspeaker when Jack rounded the corner carrying a box of pasta.
And so I gave the boys another "stay in your car ... or else" speech, and the results of that lasted until we passed the bathroom. I purposely made everyone go to the bathroom before we left home just to avoid such a fiasco. But you don't argue with a toddler boy about whether or not he has to go potty. It's an interesting process. Holding a baby while also assisting a two-year old with his pants, and then holding them both up and keeping Jude's aim true. But we're used to it by now. I may only have two hands, but I've learned to use other means to balance children. And Julia has learned not to move a muscle when Mom has her dangling over a public toilet.
We finished with the potty and made it all the way to the final aisle without further mishap. And that just happens to be the bakery... where they put donuts in shiny display cases with bright lights. So while I was trying to figure out the best deal on pita bread Jack asked if he could go "look at the donuts." Meanwhile Jude is right behind him echoing: "Looka donuts. Looka donuts..." I crossed the final item off my list and Jack wants to lead the way to the counter but Jude still wants to "Looka donuts." So I'm running between two aisles, telling Jack to stop, freeze, don't move until we catch up. And then back to the bakery to tell Jude hurry up, lets go, get in the car. Back to Jack, who forgot he wasn't supposed to move. Back to Jude, who isn't moving. Meanwhile Julia is getting dizzy in the Ergo. In the end I ended up carrying Jude to the cart myself, while also carrying his sister. And we get everyone back in the cart to wait in line. And wait. For the sake of fellow shoppers they should let moms with kids check out faster. But instead, they let the guy just buying lunch and the lady just buying a gift card, but who also wanted to pay with a check and then get cash back, yada, yada, yada ... in front of the lady with three small children. No problem, I'm all about being adaptable.
I asked the boys to help put the items on the conveyor belt just to keep them away from the candy rack. But they can't reach the bottom of the cart. So it ends up that I hand them the stuff, they put it on the belt, and then I move it so that everything actually fits. So we're checking out, Julia is one lullaby away from falling asleep in the Ergo, Jack is eyeing up the candy and Jude is crawling up the side of the plastic car. And then he slips and bangs his already fat lip (from tripping on the bunk bed steps while trying to run away from mommy) on the way down. Screaming child. Blood everywhere. And a line of customers wondering what that crazy mom did to her son to make him cry like that.
Jude just wants held. I just want to contain the blood in my cupped hands. And the cashier just wants me outta there. She picks up the phone and makes some special code announcement over the loudspeaker that apparently translated to "this lady needs assistance to her car" because soon another associate was there, offering to push my cart while I cleaned the blood off my coupons and grocery list. And then she escorted me out and loaded all the bags into my trunk while I loaded my other "items" into their carseats.
And then I said "thank you." What I wanted to say was "I'm so sorry. I try not to take all the kids out on my own. My husband is out of town this week. He's in Hawaii of all places, hahahahahahaha! And I'm just a crazy mom surviving off a few fitful nights of sleep and whatever scraps of food my kids leave behind when I'm finally able to sit down to eat." But I didn't say that. Probably a good thing. In the end, I'm just relieved it wasn't our car. Because now they won't recognize me the next time I visit. I'm sure that my three littles won't give it away or anything.
We did eventually make it back to the house and to naptime in one piece. And then the garage called to say our car was finally fixed. And the best part of all is that they didn't charge us for a completely new transmission or the rental car even though the warranty had run out, just because the car had such low mileage. (Thank you Lord!!) And while thinking about getting the children out the door and into the car, driving to the gas station and garage and then going through the paperwork, car switch and car seat transfer ... I suddenly realized I was making spaghetti for dinner. And that I had just mopped my floor. And that I needed to feed 3 kids 3 and under. Dumb, dumb, dumb.
|Crawl tactics: "Julia, touch Mommy's toes!"|
|Her frustrated response: "Mommy, YOU bring your dumb toes to ME!"|
|Two seconds later: Oh look, a small seed. Or is it a rock? Maybe a giant booger. You never know around here.|
|That's flatbread, in case you're wondering what I'm feeding my kids. It's my second attempt and still not a sucess. Which is also why I'm feeding it to my kids...|
|She looks so big when her mama actually remembers to put her in footwear.|
|The playground, so much easier to navigate with 3 kids than a grocery store.|