Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Some days are trying.

This post is simply to put in perspective that although I mean it when I say kids are an incredible joy, the fact that they are extremely difficult at times is also very true.

A simple thing we do every Tuesday is go to Story Time at our local community library. We usually go a little early to return our books from the previous week and fill our book bag with new ones. This morning we did just this. Pike found his book, an Iron Man adventure book. When Crew laid his eyes on it, he had to have it too. Thus the fight began. I quickly scoured the shelf for another super hero book and thankfully found one that looked very similar with batman! I ask the kids to come with me to browse the parenting books (I need all the help I can get!) but along the way, Crew and Pike decided they needed to pull all of the category tabs off of the shelves. Thankfully they had only pulled 3 by the time I noticed and that was easily fixed. We reached the parenting books but nothing caught my eye. On to checking out. Normally the kids each get to scan their own books. Well, this week there was already a lady with her children using the stool and the shorter counter that allows kids to scan. So I said I would scan the books this week. Pike's response, "But I want to do my books!" I say quietly, "Well, Pike, if you can reach up here, you can scan yours." He manages on his tippy-toes and with a little help. Next we charge off to Story Time in the meeting room. Name tags! (Why do they have kids write their own names on tiny stickers WITH A PERMANENT MARKER?) Pear and Jovie quietly make their name tag and sit down. Pike starts his, "Ah nuts! Mom, I messed up." (Remember all of the talking that Pike does is in his only volume: LOUD.) I give him a new one. Now Crew wants one and he thinks he needs to make his own. Now I have two boys with blue sharpie all over their hands. Pike still has his Iron Man book in tow but Crew lost his somewhere on the way to the Story Time room. This is going to be trouble. It began the moment we sat down. Pike was curiously looking through his book and Crew wanted to look at it as well. So, I tell Pike we are going to put the book away until after Story Time. This is when the fit came in. While all of the other kids are listening quietly to the story, Pike is yelling, "Mom! I Don't want to! But mom! I want to look at it! Why won't you read me IRON MAN!" I tell him that I will have to sit on the bench outside with him if he can't obey me. So he yells, "OKAY! I'll put it away! Mom! Hmph!" (Now, I should have taken him out and disciplined him right then and there. But it's not so easy with 4. To take him out, means that in a way, Pear and Jovie and Crew have to suffer for Pike's misbehaving. What do you do? This is where I need that parenting book to advise me.) The rest of Story Time Pike sat sulking and we ended up cutting out about 5 minutes before it was finished because Crew was crying for lunch. It was only 10:55 am but he couldn't wait a second longer. Thankfully I packed sandwiches in the car and he was able to eat on our way home. The end.

Just a glimpse into 30 minutes of my trying day. If you want to get a full picture, just multiply this by about 20, mix in some laughs and you pretty much have it. :)

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Maui, Hawaii 2013

 As I'm sitting in the house on this cold wet rainy day in March, I am thinking of the glorious days in Hawaii. Maui really is my happy place. I love it. I love the sun. I love the relaxed feel. I love the beach vibe. I love the iced coffees. I love the saltwater in my hair. And I am looking forward to going back. During our most recent trip, we stayed at Makena Beach and Golf Resort. It was luxurious. Each morning we dined outside to a smorgasbord of a breakfast. And then we'd mosey on down the beach to enjoy the view. We'd lounge in our lawn chairs and read a chapter or two of a book. And then go for a swim. 80 and sunny every day. We took the Road to Hana and found it to beautiful but we'd rather be on the beach. We went to Old Lahaina to browse the shops and eat at Cool Cat's Cafe. Back to the beach, our favorite spot. We really spent 75% of our time relaxing on the beach and snorkeling.

Now, we are on a mission to go back again. Our hope is to go with all of the kids in a year or two and spend a month there. The ultimate goal is to buy a condo there, rent it out for the majority of the year and then be able to live there for a month or two out of the year FOR THE REST OF OUR LIVES! We are dreaming big, working hard and with God's blessings, we can't wait to see it unfold!

People are baffled. They don't even know yet that I'm expecting a fifth and they look at my ducks in a row and ask, "are they all yours?!" Sometimes I catch them looking and shaking their head, not necessarily in a disrespectful way, just in an astonished way, as I walk into the store with four in tow. I smile. I am blessed. I wouldn't have it any other way. And this is what baffles people. Why?

These kids make me laugh. They bring so much joy. The way Crew scrunches his nose and furrows his eyebrows while talking gibberish that I honestly have no idea what it actually means. The way that Pear is so entranced at ballet, watching herself dance in the mirror while making funny faces and doing her own little jig while everyone else is following the teacher. The way that Pike incessantly talks in his loudest volume (his only volume,) about anything and everything. The way that Jovie says "mom, watch this!" and proceeds to jump or do some silly little thing that in her mind is an amazing act. And I applaud in awe while holding back a chuckle. It's the little things that bring me joy.

And then there are the crazy instances where I walk into the grocery store, plant the boys in the ginormous race car shopping cart and before we even get through the door, my flip-flop breaks. So off I hobble, one shoe on, one shoe off to find a new pair of flip-flops while my boys are racing and Pike is talking about my broken flip-flop in his only volume. It's these humbling moments that make me laugh.