Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Things that make me laugh

I know, I missed last Friday, and today is Wednesday, but whatever.

Things that have made me laugh lately:

Adia referring to McDonald's as "Old McDonald's" - as in, the guy with the farm. Oh honey, if there were a closer connection between ANY farm and MickeyD's you might get to go there more often. . .

Trea giving Adia advice on the way home from school:

Trea: Adia, why won't you let me be your preschool teacher?
Adia: I don't need a teacher. Mommy's teaching me.
Trea: You won't learn anything from her, she's too busy. You should let me handle it. I know Chinese.

And Dylan, when we sing "Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam," jumps so hard that he usually loses his balance and falls over. But he pops right back up!

Mailaya mostly makes me laugh by giving me the biggest, cheesiest grins ever.

And finally, happy anniversary to my sweet husband! Nine years, four kids, and seven moves later, I'm still glad I married you!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Just cause it's Friday

I've decided Friday is my day to blog, even if I have nothing to say. Today was rough (Mailaya has decided afternoon naps are not required, I disagree) and I'm exhausted. So, just a quick update for tonight.

Trea has started her Chinese immersion program. It's through the local school district, part of a regular elementary school. She has Mandarin Chinese in the morning and English in the afternoon. On the way home from school on the second day she told us that every kid has a behavior chart, and her entire class stayed on "green" the whole day. And Adia exclaimed "Even YOU, Trea?"

She is very frustrated with me, though, because I still can't count to ten in Mandarin. She thinks I'm kinda slow, since she can count to 100. She sings "Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes" to the babies in Mandarin, and tries to teach Adia too.

Her school is twenty minutes away, which is NOT convenient, but we feel like it's worth it. She's so much happier this year than she was last year, so excited about everything she's learning.

The things we do for our kids. . . .

Friday, September 09, 2011

Preparing

My mom died on July 15th. She'd had cancer for about a year, and been through chemo and surgery. It spread anyway, and she decided to discontinue treatment - well, I don't know exactly when she decided, I found out on July 5th.

After she died, a friend of mine was expressing his condolences and I mentioned that we had time, we knew it was coming. And he said,"How do you prepare for something like that?"

I've been thinking about that ever since. How do you prepare to lose your mom? So this is my experience.

You tell her thank you for the things she taught you. You reassure her that she did an amazing job as a mom, that her efforts to teach you about faith, honesty, kindness, and forgiveness worked. You tell her you'll be ok, that she doesn't need to worry because you are as strong as she raised you to be. You thank her for as many things as you can remember, knowing you'll forget some but hoping it will kind of count.

And then you start praying. First, for a confirmation that this really is the Lord's will. You pray to be reconciled to it. You pray for comfort, for peace, to know how to comfort and help her. You pray for strength to endure, and for her to have the same.

All this so when the time comes that she asks you to pray for the end to come quickly, you can. Even though the very last thing you want to pray for is your mother's death, she taught you to have faith, that death is not the end. And you know that if YOUR mother, with her almost limitless capacity to endure, has reached her limit, then, well, she also taught you to be compassionate.

You pray and you pray, and when the phone rings, you know she's gone.

And that's how you prepare for something like that.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

What makes you think that?

We walked to school again today to get Trea. Beautiful day!

As I was leaving the school with Trea, Adia, two of the neighbor kids (who are 5 and 3) and the babies in the double stroller, the crossing guard asked me if I was running a daycare.

No, no I am not. You couldn't pay me enough!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Open Letters

Dear Universe,

Bad things come in threes. You are over your quota. BACK OFF!

Me


Dear Dylan,

Just because you CAN open the oven and CAN scale every piece of furniture in the house doesn't mean you SHOULD.

Your loving mother


Dear Trea and Adia,

Just because I choose to ignore much of the noise in this house, doesn't mean I'm deaf. When you are laughing and shrieking when you are supposed to be asleep, I CAN HEAR YOU! Knock it off and get some sleep.

Mom


Dear Insurance Company,

If my house happens to burn to the ground when no one's home, and all our really important keepsakes just happen to be in storage, does that look suspicious? Not that I'm trying to get out of cleaning it or anything. . .

Me

Saturday, April 30, 2011

I speak Spanish too!

So, for those that may not know, I am secretary of the women's organization in our church, hereafter RS. We have a president, two counselors, and me. We met last Thursday for a meeting, and as we were scheduling our next meeting, had the following conversation:

President: How about next Wednesday, May 4th?
Counselor: That's probably good. When is Cinco de Mayo this year?
Pres: Um . . . it's on the cinco? You know, the fifth?
Counselor: OH! Cinco de Mayo means the fifth of May? I NEVER made that connection!
Me: Did you take Spanish? (I wasn't being snarky, I was just really curious)
Counselor: Well, yeah, but I don't remember DISCUSSING that Cinco de Mayo was the fifth of May!
Other Counselor: I always thought Cinco meant May! You know, because May is the fifth month!

I swear we really are a reasonably intelligent group. . .

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Pictures

Because 1) I haven't posted pictures in a while and 2) I have nothing interesting to say right now.

Mailaya:




Dylan:



Adia:



Trea:



I'm never bored!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

One cool cat

This is actually a story from a few months ago, but it needs to be recorded for the sake of posterity.

Adia and I were playing cat and tiger. This is one of her favorite games. She pretends to be a cat, and I pretend to be a tiger. I swipe at her with my claws, growl, and tickle her. She giggles alot.

So, we are playing, and she says "Mom! Pretend to eat me!"

And I nuzzle her tummy.

"Did you eat me?"

"Um. . .yeah."

"Okay, now I'm dead."

Lays still for five seconds, before springing up and shouting:

"And now JESUS CAT makes us all alive again!"

Um. . .Jesus Cat?

Apparently, Adia was under the impression that each species has its own savior. There's a Jesus for the dogs, for the birds, for the cats, etc. I'm not sure how specific this gets (do finches and hawks share? Wouldn't that be complicated?) but she was sure there was a Jesus cat.

Who turns water into milk, probably.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

She's in!

Trea has been accepted into the dual immersion program for next year!

We are so lucky to get a spot - it's done by lottery, and there's a lot of demand. She'll be learning Mandarin Chinese, spending roughly half of every day in the "target language." They have a summer camp, too. Right now, the program is in 1st and 2nd grade, but the plan is to expand it by a grade every year. And in jr high/high school, they plan to have both subject and advanced language classes available to kids who have completed the elementary level program. Now that she's in, her siblings get priority placement, too.

It means a 20-minute drive each way to her new school, but. . .she'll be able to read, write, and speak CHINESE! How cool is that?

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Did you know I do magic tricks?

At least according to John and the kids, I do.

I conjure tasty food at a moment's notice. I untie knots. I wrangle dolls (and real babies, too) into impossible clothes. I find long-lost shoes; I can always find clean socks. I can get the computer to suddenly start working. I know all the words and actions to dozens of songs.

John, although impressed by all of the above, has even higher expectations. Like, expecting me to keep four kids, six and under, alive and well for twelve hours a day while he's earning a paycheck. And making that paycheck cover all the essentials, including the medical bills for the four children mentioned above.

I can see why they have these expectations. One, I have produced entire human beings from scratch in the past, and proceeded to magically produce their food. And I've been doing all of the above, so they seem to think it's easy.

Now excuse me while I go pull a rabbit out of hat (after I find the hat).

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Mailaya's birth

I can't believe I haven't posted since I was first pregnant with Mailaya! Sheesh. You'd think I'd been tired and busy and feeling like crap for the last nine months. . .oh wait, I was/did!

But, I'm not pregnant anymore!

This is mostly for me, because this blog is as close to keeping a journal as I come these days. And I though Mailaya deserved her own post. :)

Mailaya was born Jan 22, at 2:30 am. On Jan 21, I had an appointment with Pete the midwife, and asked him to strip my membranes. I was 3 cm dilated and 50-60% effaced (I had been using Evening Primrose Oil like crazy, trying to dilate enough to be a candidate for membrane stripping. It worked!) I'm not usually so desparate for my babies to come (see Adia and Dylan's birth stories, 16 and 11 days late, respectively) but I was up against a wall this time. Tax season was already starting, so John could take one week, and one week only, and sooner rather than later. My mom was unable to come out because of her chemo. I really, really needed baby #4 to come somewhat on time, so John could help me that first week.

Lucky for me, stripping my membranes worked. I had contractions on and off all day. We were joking about how to determine when, exactly, active labor started, because they were so irregular for so long. At 9:25 pm, I was walking on the treadmill, and John said something (I don't remember what) and I told him to shut up. And he threw his hands in the air and said, "It's official! You really ARE in labor!"

Apparently I only tell him to shut up when I am in labor. Huh.

Even after that, the contractions just weren't that strong, and weren't getting closer together, although they were getting more and more regular. Finally, around 11 o'clock, I went upstairs and told John that I felt like it was time to go, even though the contractions were still 7 minutes apart. They weren't that close together but I felt shaky and nauseated. John took one look at me and said, "It's time." I took a shower, and had three contractions spaced 6 minutes apart. We got in the car, and in the 30 minutes it took us to get the hospital, the contractions went from 4 minutes apart to 3 to 2 and a half. We got to the hospital at 12:30. I was five cm upon admission. My midwife arrived at 1:30, and broke my water at 1:45; I was seven cm at that point.

The next part seemed to take forever. Based on past births, I figured breaking my water at seven cm would throw me into a quick transition, I'd push for a few minutes, and BAM! baby. Instead, even though I dilated almost completely very quickly, I didn't feel any urge to push. There was a tiny lip on the cervix that wouldn't resolve. I moved from the bed to the rocking chair to the bed again. At one point I looked at John (it was a few minutes before two) and said, "This will all be over by 2:30," and he agreed. I was trying to gear myself up for a set amount of time. At 2:15 I STILL didn't feel like pushing, and I thought about how I was wrong about the time.

Shortly after that, I sat on the bed, looked at Pete, and said that I really didn't think I could do it much longer.

I didn't notice at the time, but Pete told me later that he and Amy, the nurse, looked at each other; then he pulled on his gloves and uncovered the table with all the birthing supplies. Good thing, because I started to push with the next contraction, and Mailaya was born at 2:26 am.

Pete says when a woman who's birthing without meds says she can't do it any longer, it usually means it's time to have a baby.

So even though it FELT like forever, it was only 45 minutes from hitting 7 cm to holding Mailaya in my arms. She is beautiful (full lips, lots of dark hair, long fingers) and opinionated. Dylan was the most laid-back baby ever. Mailaya has less patience, but that's probably a good thing. Being the fourth, if she DIDN'T stick up for herself she might never get mom's attention!