Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Mama's luck

I realize it's a terrible association, but every time I hear the lyrics to "Get Lucky" I think about those first few weeks of being "up all night" with newborn Joci and it makes me all sentimental. Of course, I also get choked up whenever I drive by the birth center, walk by the maternity section of Target, or see an infant or baby belly at church. Thankfully, I've also figured out the perfect antidote to baby fever, or whatever you want to call it, and that's a 22-month-old.

Newborn Joci ... all sweet and innocent despite her midnight trysts.
Let's take it a step further and add "potty training a 22-month-old" to that elixir. So now we have a pee-pee practicing, furniture scaling, high-pitched screaming, nap fighting almost 2-year-old to keep my mind off any future babies. For instance, in the time it took to type these last few sentences, Jocelyn has screamed over and over again to wear her "'Rella" skirt, dumped the dog's food into his water dish, turned on the oven, requested a snack, and asked to go pee-pee twice.

Double the trouble ... starting at 5:50am every morning!
Wait, hold up. Make that THREE TIMES! Ugh. This nearly-2 stage gets to me every.single.time. One minute I'm all "ohhh, you're so gosh darn cute I don't even want you to grow up" and the next minute, while trying to scrape nail polish off the curtain/rug/wall/her clothes, I am SO DONE with toddlers. I just don't know what I want.

Yes, she absolutely climbed up here all on her own!
But anyway, back to the potty training. It's actually not going too bad. It's not going great either. And with my other 3 kids, it was going great at this point. I also didn't attempt to train my other kids before they turned 2 either. But she was interested, and she's more than proven herself capable, it's just a matter of distraction. She gets distracted and forgets to get herself to the potty and I get distracted with, I dunno, maybe all these other children or that dog, and I forget to remind her. And so we end up with a lot of dirty laundry these days.

We're here so often, it only seemed natural to document it!

Actually, I was headed to the checkout line at Target last week and glanced down at my cart and had to smile at its contents: one kiddie potty, a pack of little girl panties, a pack of pull-ups, a huge bundle of paper towels, and a bag of Kit-Kat bites (for bribery, of course!). I wonder if the cashier knew what I was up to?!?

Sooo yeah, it's slow going. But at least it's going. And her little voice is just too cute--"Pee pee, Mama!" "I did it!" "Tweat! Tweat, Mama!" (because she's already figured out that by simply tacking on "Mama" to the end of her sentences, she's suddenly more persuasive.) And "Help, Mama! Help me!" which is usually yelled from her perch on top of the bathroom sink, or Daddy's desk, or her dresser, or Lia's bunkbed ... nothing is off limits to this girl!

She's figured out how to get in the swing all by herself!

I was trying to read while getting a tan and she wouldn't leave me alone ... so I asked her to dance for me.

She did not want her picture taken!
And fortunately for Lil' Sis, she has a willing accomplice. Joci can't climb up into Julia's bed on her own, but she can if someone pushes a stool over the the ladder. And she can't empty out the game/craft closet all over the guest room floor ... unless someone opens the closet door for her. And she can't get into my makeup bag by herself ... unless someone positions the trash can like a little stool in front of the bathroom mirror.

That face has GUILTY written all over it!

So yeah, while I'm grateful to see my girls getting along so well, I was kinda hoping for more of playing dress-up (not with MY clothes and jewelry), reading books together (not dumping them off the bookshelf), and playing in their pretend kitchen (not crawling up onto the "real kitchen" counters, opening the cabinet, and dumping out half my spices.)

But, as I like to remind myself, the advantage of having "so many" kids is that I can look to my older ones for encouragement that "this doesn't last forever!" (Although that works two ways!) Jack and Jude used to have a thing for emptying the game closet too (as well as peeing all over the house, climbing the furniture, and dumping books.) And look at them now! Such calm, collected boys ... ha! Perhaps I'm taking it too far, but I look forward to someday having my girls, as well as my boys, fighting over who gets to scrub out the toilet (don't ask my why it's such an enviable chore!), actually being an asset in the kitchen, and discovering a newfound respect for books, games, and toys. Someday.

Mother's Day 2015--Jon was working but this mama got all four kids ready for church EARLY!
Speaking of those big boys, they helped their daddy honor me for Mother's Day this year with breakfast in bed. Actually, I'm not quite sure what their role was, but I do know that I was allowed to sleep in that Saturday (Jon had to work on Sunday) and that Jack walked in behind Jon, who was carrying the breakfast tray, and then kept me company all throughout my eating while trying very hard not to jump on the bed. He kept saying, that day and nearly every day afterwards, "Mom, wasn't that the best day ever?!?" And I said yes, yes it was. Because I'm hoping he catches on and learns to bring me breakfast in bed on his own someday soon!

Speaking of Jon working on Mother's Day, this is our FINAL week of nights and 12-hour shifts. Hallelujah! We had an early celebration at the beach on Memorial Day. It's become a tradition in our little family to make the 2-hour drive to Fenwick Island during summer holidays. The weather was perfect, although the water quite frigid! The kids got lots of sand time and this mama got to work on her "bridesmaid dress" tan.

You can't see it too well, but she's got bright red ice cream dye running all down her arm and leg ... and it didn't wash off for several days!
We'll actually be back in just a few weeks for our annual weeklong family vacation, but we're willing to soak up as much east coast beach time as we can this summer since it may be our last! Yes, here we are again starting plans to PCS (military-speak for change jobs.) The official list of choices should be out very soon, but I got a glance a the preliminary list and honestly, it's not too bad. I'm feeling pretty hopeful. But since it's practically out of my hands, we're just going to focus on the where we're at now.

This is Lil' Sis desperately trying to escape from a picture with the big sibs.

And this is the picture I finally got of Jack smiling ... only because he finds himself hilarious.
And where we're at now is looking pretty hopeful, too. Jude graduated from preschool last week. Jack is almost done with Kindergarten. Joci will certainly be potty trained very soon (right?!?). Julia hasn't yet realized that I threw away all her nail polish. And we got the dog a super-long leash on a pulley so he can roam the yard without me having to escort him. And I think that covers everyone!

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