Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Who's Clever?

Who's clever? Not the parents in our house, that's for sure. We thought so, but our oldest daughter, at the ripe old age of just-turned-3, showed us we're so out of our league.

On Sunday night, we the perfect plan. Or so we thought.

The neighbors down on the end of our cul-de-sac were having the first bonfire of the summer and all the neighborhood was going. Since we have the three youngest out of the 16 total kids, we decided we'd be the lone parents and get our kids to sleep before heading to the party, just three houses down. The fire started at 7, and by 8, our house was quiet and peaceful.

DH and I each grabbed an ice cold beer and sat out on our front porch, visiting, basking in the serenity as we watched the sun drop lower in the sky. At about 8:30, we checked once again and all was quiet. I cleverly called DH's cell phone from mine (unlimited mobile-to-mobile, after all). I left my cell phone on top of the hamper in between the girls' rooms, which are right next to each other. DH then set his phone on speaker and we skipped off to the neighbors, ready for another beer and some s'mores. (And Jiffy Pop.)

At a little after 10, I decided I'd check on the kids, even though the phone was nice and quiet. Plus, I had to tinkle, so it was time to head home for a little bit. As I walked up, I realized the lights were on in our house. I could see a small child's silouette in our entryway, sitting on the floor. When I opened the door, Breanna looked up and calmly said, "Hi, Mommy."

I asked what she was doing and she replied, "Just playing with some shoes." With a little prompting, she told me she'd woken up from her nap and was playing Hide and Seek with me. She asked where I was, so I told her I'd been outside. She said, "Oh, fixing Daddy's lawn and pulling his weeds?" Sure. Not filling up on s'mores and popcorn, but working on the yard in the dark. I asked if she could see how dark it was outside and she simply replied, "Yep. I better go to bed then." And off she went, all by herself. Within about 38 seconds, she was snoring softly.

Once she was out of sight, I nearly fell down laughing silently with full force. As I began shutting off the lights (she'd turned on every single one in the whole house - even in Lillian and Grant's room - they were sound asleep, thankfully), I remembered the cell phone. Our very clever daughter had pushed the mute button. Her "clever" mom hadn't even realized it had mute functionality until that night.

If she can outsmart us at age 3, I can only imagine what the high school years will bring.

Friday, May 15, 2009

I get to go home

I get to go home this weekend and I'm practically doing cartwheels in my jammies as I think about it. Due to our daycare lady's vacation, we've been working some creative childcare hours to accommodate DH's and my differing work schedules this week. Last night I brought my kiddos to my folks' so they could enjoy Gramma Pamma's day off with her today. And then I left, gloriously driving a car - as in - low-to-the-ground carseat-less freedom - all the way to the mall and then shopped my little heart out for a tiny bit before grabbing a Starbucks and hitting the road home.

For the record, I snatched up the steal of the year. It is a bulky, wool, beautiful cable-knit red turtleneck sweater. At Christmas time, I ogled and drooled, but the $178 price tag was just too much for my level head to wrap itself around. Last night, I discovered a pile of these very same sweaters on a wonderful rack at Herberger's - all priced at $2.99. Not two hundred ninety-nine. Read it and weap: under three bucks. Woo hoo! Patience finally has paid off!

I gleefully drove home, talking on the phone to a dear friend the whole time, and then enjoyed putting the kids' laundry away with the lights on and not having to be so incredibly silent when opening and closing drawers. And then I went to bed with all the doors open. What a liberating night!

Now this morning, with a cup of coffee in hand and a full 45 minutes to myself with no kidlets under foot, I can enjoy a blog posting and the start to the day in which I get to go home. Right after work tonight, I'm going to head up there for the weekend. A dear friend is going to join us for pizza tonight, then tomorrow, I'm going to help my dad build a fence. That means that my wonderful DH will be home alone all weekend, able to work on our basement with no interruptions. Hooray for all of us! Happy weekend, everyone!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Middle Jesus and God Who Already Went to Bed

Absentmindely, I forgot my cell phone at the office yesterday. I didn't realize it until after I unloaded the kids at our house after daycare. Darn! So after supper, they had baths and the kids all got into jammies, then we piled into the minivan and went to Mommy's Work. It was their first time seeing where I spend my days.

As we walked into the Pastoral Center, the girls saw the open doors to the chapel where we film TV Mass, the sun welcoming them through the windows, so they raced in. "Look, you have a church in your work," exclaimed Breanna. They explored all over the place, overflowing with questions. Lillian spotted the crucifix up above and said, "Look, Jesus is here." Breanna told her that that was not Baby Jesus. Lillian said he's Big Jesus. They argued about it a little bit, and since that particular Jesus is about as tall as the twins, they determined he's "Middle Jesus."

A few moments later, Breanna asked, "Where's God?" I replied that he's right here with us. "Where?" she asked. I told her he's with us everywhere we go. She said she didn't see him. I asked if she could feel him. Lillian put her hands out in the air, trying to "feel" him. Then Breanna spotted the door to the sacristy and explained that God was back there. She asked to go see him, so, knowing the door was locked, I encouraged her to go see if he was there. She tried it, found it locked, and proclaimed in a loud whisper, "He already went to bed. We have to be very quiet and not wake him up." And off the girls went, exiting the chapel.

Baffled by all this, I wondered when and how they made the connection between God and church. It was then that I realized I haven't been the best mom at church - I haven't been explaining what we do or why we do it - I simply expect my kids to sit angelicly and take it all in. With all the wiggling and playing and teasing that occurs in our pew, I am absolutely shocked and delighted that they are able to put it together, with no help from me, mind you. How fast they're growing up!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

As our birthday season wraps up

What a wild rush of birthday fever!

Earlier in the week, the daddy of our house turned 29, so we surprised him with a lunchtime visit. We grilled and then ate out on the new kiddo picnic table and sang him happy birthday over his favorite cake, which the girls helped make. We gave him some gifts, which the kids unwrapped for him, and wished him a wonderful day before heading back to daycare and work. He seemed to really enjoy the time.

On Friday, one of my cherished colleagues (who has lots of grandsons but not a single girl) gave me her fancy teapot and dish for holding the teabags, just in time for our tea party birthday party for the twins this weekend. As I set the table with her pretty pot, I realized I was a dope in not thinking about inviting her to join us. She lives out of town, but what if she was looking for something fun to do, especially since it's so icky out outside. Someday, I hope to be graced with more grace and thoughtfulness at the right times, instead of always being after the fact.

We did have a fantastic tea party for the girls, with nine little girls and a grandma and two aunties and three neighbor moms and myself all present and pretty. We had grownup treats (cream puffs, petit fours, piroulenes, mini eggrolls, and meat/cheese skewers) and licorice tea and orange spice tea in fancy teapots, complete with real cups and saucers for every girl. Each cup came with a pretty necklace to keep and a goodie basket, too. Our neighborhood gang is just wonderful - even the older ones play well with the little pumpkins.

We played hot teacup with purses (like the hot potato game) and visited and had a truly lovely day. After church today, the girls asked if they could have a tea party again since it's so darn cold outside, so we had more tea in the real cups and saucers, complete with cream, sugar cube, and a piroulene on the side. Easy to please!

Now that birthday fever is done in our house for a while, I look forward to finding a slowdown. Although, I suspect it will likely not happen until we become empty nesters. Is it terrible that I'm thinking about empty nesting already? Gosh these kids tucker me out.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009

And the Terribles are Gone

Now that the girls are officially three, I hope this means we're officially out of the terrible twos. I've heard that the reality of twins is that it's more like the terrible threes. We'll see. So far, so good. Mind you, it's only been three days.

It was a mushy gushy kind of weekend for me. More so than the girls' first and second birthdays. I just kept thinking about their odds of survival - less than 5% we'd even have one make it. That's a really horrible statistic. And to think they've come out completely healthy and beautiful and curious and creative and perfect, it really is overwhelming.

I've used the example of the miracle of their survival with lots of friends and family lately, as they've been dealing with some scary health issues. What a beautiful example of how anything really is possible with the power of prayer. You just never know what God has in store.

The girls had a wonderful birthday - we went to church, which is one of their favorite activities - they're both so very social. Actually, we all really enjoy it. Grant made the lady in front of us swoon with all of his eyelash batting and giggling. After church, we came home for a nice lunch and a surprise visit (at least a surprise to the kiddos) from my folks. They brought a kid-sized picnic table, complete with a red and white umbrella, which the kids all love. We spent the evening out in the yard with half the neighborhood, marveling at what a wonderful neighborhood we have, how great the kids all play together, how fun it is to see our three goslings come up on shore, and how very blessed we all. The kids tumbled and danced and ran their little hearts out. What a joy-filled day for all of us.

The fun will be extending - we're having an official tea party for the girls this Saturday and inviting the neighbor girls and their moms. I'm not sure yet how many are coming, but I'm certain we'll all have fun. That means I still have lots to do before then, so it's time to sign off. Here's to a great rest of the week to us all!