Thursday, July 16, 2015

In which a summer routine continues to elude us

So that measly summer cold I was telling you about? Well, it turned into a full-blown sinus infection. We're talking fever, ear infection, sore throat, gagging on my coughs and, today, nearly voiceless. My kids love this part. On a positive note, I can actually take cold medicine for the first time in, oh, like 7 years since I'm neither pregnant nor nursing. So hello, NyQuil!!!

Her favorite spot at Target--the Disney Princess Barbie turnstile that plays each theme song. She KNOWS Belle is my favorite. So she always plays it for me and then dances in the aisle.
I've also rediscovered one unfortunate side effect of meds--drop dead sleepiness. I totally forgot Jon would be coming from work early this week. He may have found me passed out on the couch yesterday afternoon while the little 'uns had free reign of the house. Well, not all 3. Joci was taking a nap herself, because I'm super responsible like that.

Proud mama of girls that insist on wearing all the dresses ...

... and of boys who refuse to change out of the jammies for the day.

While we're discussing my mad mom skills, lemme tell you about a play date we had this week. My friend Kim and I are running a Play Group at our church that meets for fun times twice a month. Kim is on vacation this week, so I was on my own yesterday--entertaining 20-some moms and their miscellaneous kiddos--all on a few random hours of fully-interrupted sleep and with a barely-audible, scratchy-throated voice.

This is your potty-training update ... 'nuff said.
I let myself sleep in until 7:04am because, well, it felt like I hadn't fallen asleep until 6:58am. So we started off the morning running behind. And then the kids were all fighting over Lego missiles and insisting on wearing Christmas dresses and fancy shoes to a play date, and crawling up into my bathroom sink to paint the mirror with mascara and clog the drain with lotion. You know, the usual. So we were lucky enough to make it out to the car in a timely manner and with a packed lunch to enjoy with friends after the play date.

House painting update--"we've" finished another side!
Except that "packed lunch" was really just me throwing a container of old fruit salad, some graham crackers, and a jar of peanut butter into a bag. And then I put off sitting my kids down to "lunch" for as long as possible because I didn't want the other mamas to notice my big fat failure. Eventually it was becoming too obvious that my kids were the only ones not eating. So I grabbed a seat with my friend Rachel (on the outer limits of the Mommy group) and set out my container of mushy fruit salad, pulled out the pack of crackers (the corner of which had gotten soggy from the leaking fruit salad), and the jar of peanut butter, and handed my kids a wad of napkins and some forks. Dig in, loves!

She got whacked in the face a split-second before I snapped this photo. Fun times!

More proof that I cannot take my eyes off her EVER!

She makes a mess, I clean it up, she makes it messier... 
I did think to throw their (empty) water bottles into my bag at the last minute, but they had been drinking water all day and were kind of over it. And since I was already feeling so bad at this point, I decided to treat them all to a can of Sprite from the vending machine--served in Dixie cups. It was such a big hit they convinced me to get them a can of Ginger Ale too. And then, feeling refreshed by their luncheon of one bite of PB cracker, no mushy fruit salad, and entirely too much soda, they all started running around the church, jumping over furniture and hiding in all the places I never knew existed in the church lobby before.

Just call me super mom.

He's the cool dad that brought a basin of water balloons to the park!

This dog! He wouldn't know a treat if it was sitting on his nose!
In my (feeble) defense, my morning dose of DayQuil had worn off and I was having a hard enough time holding a conversation, much less keeping track of four little roadrunners. It may not have been the best morning, but it did make for excellent dinner conversation that evening. I decided to share the details of our day with Jon after his usual "So, what did you do today?" (you know, right after he found me napping on the couch.) We got a good laugh. Well, he got a good laugh. I ended up in a coughing fit that quickly sobered me right up.

Our family takes up all the swings.
But in relaying the hazy events of the day, I suddenly remembered the mom of three I passed on the way out to the car after our play date. She had just come out of the bathroom with her brood. The only reason I ran into her was because I had forgotten the bag of sand (the 40 lb. bag of sand that we only needed approximately 3 oz. of for our craft that day) that I was carting on my hip while chasing down a escaped 2-year-old.

This is where all that sand went to.
"You impress me," she said, "You have four right?"

And I wanted to laugh and cry all at the same time. But I couldn't, because right about that time we walked out the church doors and me and my 39.7 lbs. of sand had to herd small children (now feeling the sugar rush that was previously a can of Sprite) away from the road and in the general direction of the car.

Bathing beauty.

The only thing better than great neighbors are great neighbors with a pool!

It wasn't until later that I began to wonder just what exactly this mama was impressed with. My two boys, some of the oldest kids there, that hogged the Legos the entire morning and made little babies cry? My preschool daughter who kept sneaking seconds (and thirds and fourths) of the Goldfish snack that was for everyone to share? Or maybe my nearly-2-year-old, who threw herself down in the hall, feet and fists pounding the floor, because she thought I was dropping her off at Sunday School (and we all know how much this girl loves to be separated from her mama!)

Jack says, "Mom, we're working on our tans."
I began to feel a little guilty that I didn't sit closer to her while we enjoyed "the lunch that wasn't." Maybe then she'd see how completely unimpressive I really am (or at least not in a positive way.) I could have explained to her that yeah, I have four. It wasn't exactly intentional, and I certainly never had all these babies to prove how capable I am. But I know that God gifted my husband and I with these amazing little people. And over the last few years I've learned that he chose me to be their mama, fully knowing that I struggle with pride and self-centeredness, idolize performance, have a tendency to yell, and give in to too easily to television and sugary drinks. And yet still He made me their mama. And He made you your kids mama.

And I'm pretty confident that God knows what He's doing. So I'm going to praise him for the victories--those times I "catch" my kids sharing, when I see them practicing lovingkindness, and when I realize they actually are listening at church, "Hey mom, God's ways are perfect 2 Samuel 22:31!!!" And I'm also going to praise him in spite of those mom fails--for the opportunity that motherhood has given me to work on my rough spots, to be the mama to these Fantastic Four and to be molded into the image of God at the same time. And for all the kisses and hugs that come along with it that remind me that right here is exactly where I'm supposed to be.

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