Vitamin D- I needed you!

I've returned from my "Mama's Me-Time Getaway." It was wonderful. Meaningful conversations, exotic animals, southern fried food (ever tried "garlic knots"?), historical landmarks, a sandy beach, and OH THE SUNSHINE! All the pleasure of the four days was almost worth having Tisha move away. NOT REALLY. But we're making the best of it.
Fortunately Miriam was only mad at me for about 20 minutes upon my arrival home. She refused to make eye-contact for a while, but then finally relented and melted my heart with an unsolicited kiss on my nose.

girl power

This man went through an experiment of simulated labor pains to test the theory that men have a higher pain threshold. To his credit (he turns out to be a bit of a wimp) there is no real baby to keep him motivated. But it's fun to watch anyway.

I am not intending to argue that one gender is better than the other, I don't believe that. But I must admit this video left me feeling totally deserving of all the sympathy and admiration we women get after going through childbirth. It must be said that I have had an epidural with all three of my children, so more power to those who do it naturally. BUT I am 100% confident that before receiving an epidural or during windows of time when the epidural didn't work I endured more than this brave fellow. If you have the 10 minutes it takes to watch, let me know what you think.

social recluse

According to the Urban Dictionary a social recluse is someone who voluntarily removes themselves from social situations or society altogether. I've become one. It is interesting that I have, because I wrote in my journal on December 28th the following quote from Elder Russel M. Nelson.

"Each day of your life strive to enlarge your own circle of friendship."

I fear that I have done the exact opposite and every day of my life since I wrote those words I have decreased my circle of friendship. Sorry friends.

I'm not sure why this is. Nesting has taken over and I have become slightly obsessed with things like organizing closets, cleaning carpets and yardwork (in January?!). It might also be related to the fact that none of my clothes that fit me and are comfortable are acceptable in public.

Even Richard has been converted to my anti-social mentality and we spend our weekends together just the two of us reading books or watching movies after the kids go to bed.

I'm not sure what to make of it all, except that it really is exactly the opposite of what I want. Or maybe not, maybe what I think I want isn't actually what I want...

In any case, next Tuesday I get to board an airplane by myself and enjoy a long flight of quiet time across the country. Then I get to spend three full days with a dear friend in the sunny (hopefully) state of Florida. After which I will enjoy another day of quiet travel without hearing any whining from a five year old, losing my patience with a three year old or picking boogers out of the nose of a one year old.

Perhaps I'm saving all my social juices for my trip. Maybe I'll return a new and more friendly individual.

Eli after the dentist

There is a saying, "The shoemaker's children have no shoes." I suppose this is because the shoemaker is too busy making shoes for everyone else to take time to make his own children's shoes. Such is not the case when it is said that the "dental hygienist's children have cavities." (Is that ever said?) I am certainly not too busy cleaning everyone else's teeth to properly care for my own children's teeth. Quite the contrary, I am diligent with my children's oral hygiene. So then why did my three year old have to have two fillings!?

Because it is what I am always encouraging the parents of my young patients to do, I waited anxiously in the waiting room while my trusted employer took care of Eli's wounded teeth. I heard him crying and resisted my motherly impulse to rush to his side. Shortly after, the dentist came out to give me the summary. After a little coaxing and a few tears all was accomplished as needed and Eli was "cooperative." (If not also a little sensitive.)

(Poor little Eli with his numb mouth. Reminds me of David after the Dentist.)

airing Miriam's "dirty laundry"

Miriam has become obsessed with carrying around dirty laundry. This has necessitated some courses with the boys about properly closing their closet doors after putting their dirty clothes in the hamper. They are getting better, but she is particularly fond of their dirty socks and undewear. When she can't get her hands on those, she'll settle on this particular pair of her own pajamas. She becomes a force to be reckoned with if you take them away. I'm content to let her carry the pajamas, but I draw the line at dirty underwear.


What do you suppose this says about my five-year old's subconscious?

I asked what the sheep were doing. His response was: "It's half-time."


all I can say about Eli

My children, or presumably all children, are made up of such a complex combination of characteristics that sometimes seem contradictory. (10 literary points for that alliteration!) Eli for example, is both our most tender and affectionate child but also our most obstinate and disobedient child.

He is a mystery to me and is challenging my parenting. His apathy is so great that consequences carry no weight. No cartoons? No problem. Take away my toys? Ain't no thing. Guilt or remorse? Never heard of them.
And yet, if you can get him on board with a task or project he is 100% committed to the job. For example, Richard had the boys help vacuum up pine needles with the shop-vac. Cameron couldn't wait to get his hands on the machine but lost interest in a matter of minutes. Eli waited his turn and then when Cameron was finished Eli saw it through until the job was complete.
But his devotion to an idea is not always so productive. For example, yesterday a particle of sawdust fell from the piano bench, landed in Eli's eye, and rocked his world for the next several hours. At first it was endless crying, during which time period Richard and I tried to determine if in fact he was in pain, if in fact there was a beam in his eye or if it was just Eli drama. Just when we were sure he needed to be ignored until his tantrum passed, we would question ourselves because what normal child cries that hard and that long over nothing?
I guess Eli does.
He finally fell asleep and we were sure that once aroused he would have forgotten all. We let him sleep for awhile but a birthday celebration awaited so we woke him and it was drama all over again. He ate his dinner with his eyes closed, stubbornly refusing to open them. At one point it was one eye, then the other eye. He would be temporarily distracted only to resume his wailing when he recalled his ordeal. It was pathetic to say the least.
Eventually he forgot his situation entirely, although how and when that took place I'm not exactly sure. But the remainder of the evening passed without any mention of his eye.
Oh our little Eli, with his hyper-sensitive senses and a pain threshold to be feared by all healthcare personnel.
The boys take turns feeding Misha, Cameron in the morning and Eli in the evening. The other day he retrieved her dish and filled it with dogfood without incidence. But he has to set the bowl down to use both hands to open the back door. Once the door was open and the cold air rushed in, he froze. He was completely immobilized by the cold and cried and stood completely still until I closed the door. For Misha's sake, despite Eli's ridiculous behavior, I agreed to open and close the door for him so he could quickly place the dish on the back patio. Even that was almost more than he could bear.

These stories are amusing to Richard and I when taken out of context, but in the situation we find ourselves completely frustrated and baffled as to the appropriate way to handle it. I've heard many parents say that they wish their children came with a manual. These days, I couldn't agree more.

our bow-legged babe

This might explain why she is so bow-legged. The little girl loves to ride!

(Or maybe it was her position in-utero, or maybe it's because her dad is bow-legged and it is genetic...)