Monday, May 20, 2013

Countdown to Summer: May 20, 2013

Summer is here!  Not that it is ever anything but in South Florida, but still.

We're planning to take full advantage.

Devon's five-hours-a-week school lets out mid-May, so I'm savoring these last few girls only mornings.  The girls have developed a swing addiction and a preference for their own instead of back-to-back in one.

It's so nice to walk with the girls instead of putting them in a stroller, like we have to if Devon is with us.  I keep thinking that at some point I will have to develop a plan for outings with all three on foot.  Baby leashes?  Hold on to the rope?

Three years old means learning how to serve others.  Mommy's Big Helper feeds Carrie her oaties sometimes.

Melina is not interested.

Mommy tries not to mind the extra mess generated by a helpful boy.  She's trying to teach her kids that serving others makes for a happy heart.  At the rate she is going, she should be very happy by now.

Carrie is very impressed by big brother, and always wants to do what he does.

Sometimes Devon wakes up silly in the mornings.  Sometimes he Skypes with Grammy:

Grammy: Are you having a crazy day today, Devon Boy?
Devon: Yes
Grammy: What made your day so crazy?
Devon: God

At a birthday party, Devon gets a wipe and goes after the chocolate cake on the girls' faces.  Onlookers are amused.

Devon: These are MY girls.  They are not your girls.  They are MY Carrie and Melina.

He gestures to the correct girl with each name, so I am wondering if he is finally starting to tell them apart.

Remnants of chocolate cake are still on the girls' faces after Devon's scrubbing, but we swing anyway.  Carrie and Melina have to make do in the same swing when Devon is around, but they don't mind.

Devon is usually the one to suggest that we wake the girls up in the morning.  The first fifteen minutes with all three awake are usually the sweetest in my entire day.  Devon is tanked up with Mommylove and Daddylove from waking up earlier and enjoying some undivided attention, so he is exceptionally patient and charming with "the girlies".

We usually go into the girls' room together and help them take their Gucks off.  Then the three amigos get busy: reading books, passing their sippies back and forth, or just climbing on the cribs and laughing hysterically.

One morning last week Devon found my phone and had fun talking to Siri.

Siri: Please say the text of your message to 'Dad'
Devon: holds the phone up to Melina
Melina: Uh-oh
Devon: sees the 'send' button appear on the  touchscreen and pushes it

Siri interpreted Melina's exclamation as "Hi!" and didn't know that my dad and Devon's dad are two different people.  That is how my children independently texted a greeting to Grandpa at 5:55 am California time.


Poor Siri.  She has a hard time understanding what my children are saying to her.  I had to screen capture this little gem last week.

I'm pleased by the strides the kids are making in the important skills of sharing, turn-taking, and keeping hands to oneself.  They've been hard lessons these past six months.

We watched Orb win the Kentucky Derby three weeks ago, sniffling a bit because the kids don't remember their Old Kentucky Home.

Two weeks ago was Mother's Day. My best gift was Craig taking Devon to do the grocery shopping, and their faces when they came home and presented me with my flowers. 

Last week was Daddy's Birthday.  Craig turned 40 with a celebratory trip to the zoo and an 80's dance party as we made our Sunday Soup Night offering.  I know, right?  Friends are always surprised to know Craig is 40.  Whether he's playing hide and seek with three shrieking littles or bringing his Thriller moves out of mothballs, he never acts his age.

This week's blog wouldn't be complete without noting that my nights have gotten hectic again.  Melina is teething, and Devon has inexplicably started nightwaking again, running to get me several times a night.  It's so much more difficult than newborn night feedings with tiny snuggles and a silent house to enjoy. 

Insult to injury that the offender is, without fail, up early and ready to be a handful because they didn't get enough sleep.   I marvel that more sleep-deprived parents don't fall asleep at the wheel from the general exhaustion they experience.  I know I shouldn't be driving today!!!

Staring into my morning coffee after yet another night of screaming, I ponder how the experience gives us something in common.

Right now, I want MY mommy to hold me until I fall asleep.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Happy Easter (?) May 10, 2013

I just got our Easter pictures back from my talented friend who took them.  They're definitely worth the wait!

I think this one is the first time I've ever seen all three posed, looking, and not buckled into something to keep them from running away.  It helped that it was taken at the community Easter Egg Hunt where plenty of friends were there to help them keep still.

I know, I know.  My kids running through the grass looking for pagan fertility symbols.  Some Christians are bothered by the more secular celebrations of Easter, but we aren't.  Besides, my quip from last year still bears repeating.  Just look at these darlings.  Three kids born sixteen months apart!  We're way past the point of being scared of a little fertility!

The temperature on my phone said fifty degrees, so I put the kids in warmer outfits instead of their usual perpetual summerwear.  Of course, when I got to the park, it was plenty hot so I probably should've let them wear their Easter clothes.  Oh well.

One more shot.  These are Devon's three-year-old pics as well, seeing that his birthday was on Good Friday.  This was his first big egg hunt.  He was ecstatic!

Group picture of the participants.

 Our wagon got a lot of use.

These were our REAL Easter pictures.  I tried hard to get the girls posed in their new dresses and headwear.  Wasn't going to happen.

Easter itself was pretty anticlimactic.  Craig made our lamb stew while I took Devon to church, and we ate it in our pajamas as the kids napped.  We were tired from Devon's party the day before, and we didn't have family close by to cook for us and at least outnumber our kids for a few hours.

Jesus is risen.

He is risen, indeed!

It doesn't matter what we do or how we feel.  Our daily sacrifices for our kids can seem pretty overwhelming at times, but He did the real heavy lifting.  

We think about it on Easter, and every day.

His body... broken for us.

His blood... spilled for us.

We do these things in remembrance of him.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Why? May 7, 2013

I'm in heaven.  We've been in the "why" phase for three days now.

In the Kitchen

"Devon, we do not put our banana peels on the floor!"
"Because it makes a big mess and Mommy just cleaned the kitchen!"
"Oh, is THAT right?"

In the Car

"Mommy, I just want to sit here and not be buckled."
"No, I have to buckle you."
"Because it keeps you safe.  Even Mommy has to buckle herself when she sits in the car.  When policeman drive by, they make sure that we are all buckled in because they want us to be safe."
"Of course, Mommy!"

In the Bathroom

"Devon, do not throw water out of the tub!"
"Because it makes the floor slippery so people could fall!"
"And then what would happen?"
"Well, if Mommy or Daddy or Carrie and Melina slipped and fell, they would hurt themselves.  They would feel really bad."
"And they would cry!"
"Yes, they might even cry it hurt so bad."
"And then what would happen?"
"Well, depending on how badly they were hurt, Mommy might fix their owies.  If they were hurt really badly, I might not be able to."
"And then they would have to go to the HOSPITAL!"
"And they would ride in an Ambulance with Trey's mommy!"
"Yes, Trey's mommy and the other paramedics would buckle them into a special bed and ride with them to the hospital!"
"But riding to the hospital in an ambulance is not fun.  It is very scary.  It is only for people who are very hurt and not doing very well."
"And it goes 'whoo whoo whoo whoo'"
"Yes, it does."
"And then what would happen?"
"When they got to the hospital, the doctors would fix their owies.  They would use big machines and sharp needles.  People get better at the hospital, but it also hurts a lot.  It would be much better if we were just careful so our family is safe and doesn't get hurt in our house."
"Oh, is THAT right?"

Why do I love the "why" phase?  It's cause and effect!  Devon is exploring the consequences of his actions and the impact he has on other people and his environment.  He is finally figuring out that his behaviors have very predictable antecedents.

It's a pretty important step to learning.  I get a little frustrated when there's a pretty predictable pattern and he just doesn't seem to be catching on.  Like the spanking he gets every time he squirms out of my grasp in a parking lot, only to do it again at the earliest opportunity.  Or the time I swore I was finally going to get him to tell me how many...

"Let's count the ducks, Devon!"
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, EIGHT!"
"How many ducks?"
No, let's try it again.  Let's count the ducks!"
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, EIGHT!"
"How many ducks?"
No, let's try it again.  Let's count the ducks!""One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, EIGHT!"
"How many ducks?"
No.  (deep breath)  Eight ducks, Devon.  EIGHT DUCKS! Let's try it again.  Let's count the ducks!"
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, EIGHT!"
"How many ducks?"
No, let's try it again.  Let's count the ducks...."

I'm glad the tables have finally turned.  The past six months have found me asking HIM 'why' plenty of times...

WHY did you lay in your bed for an hour refusing to nap and then fall asleep on the five-minute drive to the grocery store?

WHY did you just lick the top of the salt shaker?

WHY do you wake up at five minutes to seven o'clock every morning regardless of how late Mommy let you stay up the night before?

WHY is a table more fun to color on than a piece of paper?

WHY is a pink princess sippy more attractive than a red-topped Lightning McQueen sippy?  Does milk that you swiped from somebody else really taste better?

WHY must you remove your shoes and socks as soon as I start the car?

Don't get me wrong.  These aren't things that make me particularly upset.  I just really want to know.

"Mommy, I need hugs!"
"Just a minute, Devon.  Mommy is writing."
"Because I love you and I want to remember all these interesting things about you.  Can it wait five minutes?"
"You're right, Devon."

I gotta go.