Sunday, September 23, 2012

Lucky for Mess

Thank you Lord for all the gifts in my life, for all the mess.

This morning finding baseball pants while tripping over football gear while searching for winter clothes for the little girls I felt a bit overwhelmed. I have 10 bins of clothes to switch, uniforms, winter gear, church clothes, a whole bin of khakis, and then the sports and dance bins that keep multiplying. It was a moment of "I really can't do this all and still be a balanced human being!" You know those moments,  when the sheer to do list outweighs the looking forward to list by a page.

I found the baseball pants, tossed shoulder pads into the labeled football baskets (They have the bins, why don't they use them?) and found fleeces to put off turning on the heat one more day. Downstairs Sheff had made coffee. He had to hobble to do it, if anyone has noticed he looked a little gimpy Friday night he had a nail go through his foot during the day, he pulled it out and is good for tetanus (yes he went in) but even tough guys limp. Coffee made, foot propped, kids cozied up, baby spilling oatmeal on the floor.

Sometimes I think they should actually live in a barn, with Lucy's beloved Moos.
It is a lot to maintain, it is a heck of a lot to clean up after, it is a pain to cook for, but what a tremendous blessing. Eight healthy kids, kids who can make mess, lose and win games, fight over toaster strudel are not to be taken lightly. As I trudge through the to do list of the season change this year I am focusing on how much I love fall, on how dang lucky I am to deal with this mess.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Sports Highs and Lows

Sports start early around here:)
One of the kids received some sports news today that was mixed.

Initially I went the direction of a "little league mom" and thought the breakdown did not seem fair. Then the more I thought it out I realized how key my reaction to the news would be. When he emailed me from school (a new development!) it was my turn to spin the news. Great news, you are going to have a rock solid B team this year! Not A not C, this will be a fun year.

When they got home from school he was feeling a little disappointed, said his highlight was seeing Lucy.

We talked on the front stoop. He said a plus of family is you can feel bad, mess up, and say all the wrong things and there is still a house of people that love you. In this case he really did not do anything wrong, but that is how he feels which I need to respect and process with him. We talked about how to work out disappointment and how to celebrate the parts that are good. Not making the team he wanted to make will turn out to be a blessing. He will have fun, grow and give it his all.

As a mother my job is to love my kids up, to support them and encourage them. The kids job, especially in athletics, is to do their best and grow as individuals. They will win and they will loose. Over time it is the attitude, follow through and conduct that will stay a part of them as they emerge from the chrysalis of childhood into the wide wings of adulthood.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Mom Might be an Alien...or Immigrant?

Feeling the back to school burn. After kids are in bed I try to run on the treadmill to clear my head. Wednesday night I hear a conversation start up in the hallway. Kids sitting outside bedrooms. I run in the spare bedroom at the end of the hallway. Spare bedroom? They all prefer to share rooms :) They think I am tuned into my music and not able to hear them. I took notes.

John: I think mom might be an immigrant
I can hear the pause, maybe James did not hear him, James doesn't pause he talks.
Mark: Mom is an alien??
Mickey: No dummy, an immigrant, like you know from Ireland.
Mark: Oh, she does eat a lot of green things but she is not green.
James: What are you morons talking about?
Annie: John thinks mom is an immigrant
John: I was reading this book...
James: I guess miracles do happen..
A pointed silence or someone whispered Shut up, can't hear perfectly over the treadmill whir
John: Anyway the mom in this story always tells the kids "Remember! You represent the family!" when they leave for school, she goes to church ALL the time and makes food that will help bones be strong.
A collective OHHH from the kids
Annie: And she does make us eat foods other kids don't have to eat
Mickey: This might explain somethings, but did she take a boat? And what type of immigrant is Dad?
John: I don't think Dad is an immigrant
James: I think everyone out here is a moron
Annie: not very helpful
Mark: What do we do about it
John: I could finish the book I guess.
I hear someone come down the hallway.
Nate: You guys are supposed to be in bed, none of you have brushed your teeth and I just tripped on football gear. You guys are terrible, Dad said if anyone is up when he comes up you will be on kitchen for a year.
Mickey: Clearly Nate is an immigrant too.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012


I had two phone calls from the nurses office today. The first the nurse was taken aback because James came in with a cut up knee. I figured if he was walking he was likely good to go. She was appalled he did not break a sweat and asked "for something sharp to dig some gravel out" before he put Band-Aids on the cut. I talked to him, he sounded fine.

 The second call Nate had hit his head. She had him laying down for a bit. He had a big egg she reported, he did not cry but was eager to get back to class.

So far we have had no broken bones, we have had 1 fracture in the last decade of parenting. Some stitches, major and minor. And lots, and lots of cuts. The kids don't cry when they get hurt very often, and if they do I run because it is rare. I really appreciate their ability to clean out a cut, put ice on a fall and dust off their hands when they wipe out.

Kissing an ouch on a little James age 5, now I have to get him in a headlock first:)
Hopefully tomorrow no Otis kids visit the nurses office. Although I have to admit if I ever get a call and they are actually crying I will be there in a heartbeat.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Back to School & New Routines

We are back in school. Lunches being packed, folders being checked, kids being quizzed and uniforms being washed. This first week is always such a blur of activity, I think I should feel more on top of the new routine than I ever actually do a few days in.

The kids all seem to be in great spirits. James is now middle school, in 6th grade. I have to get him a locker divider deal today! John & Annie are in 5th and poor Annie is already reminding John about everything he needs to get done. She stays up late after sports and goes over everything twice,  he gets oatmeal on the pages rushing through in the morning while Annie raises disapproving eyebrows. Mickey is in 4th with new kids in his class, this seems like a big year for him. Nate is in 3rd and over the moon to be back in school. Markie is in first and had 2 green light days and one yellow (warning). James' sage advice to Mark,"Dude get green in class and save red for the football field" So far so good.

The little girls are home with me, Daisy has preschool a couple mornings a week and Lucy is learning new words and ideas daily. This is a stage of development I wish I could capture in a bottle. Everyday is so new and it is a joy.

So off to the races. Back in the game. We also are living on football, baseball and soccer fields. It is busy, it is great and I have a dancing night on Sat when I won't be mom for a few hours, as much as I love life as homemaker getting out makes me able to tackle my job with new energy.

Happy Back to School to ALL!!