Monday, January 31, 2011

We were outnumbered

Our dear friends came to visit this weekend. Actually, they were escaping a kitchen remodel and we have indoor plumbing and electricity. There were 3 adults and 5 children. Not a good ratio for battle. The kids very quickly realized this and staged an effective coup. We retaliated by stuffing them so full of food they were begging for naps. A couple little rugrats even started asking for dessert after breakfast. Despite the noise and chaos, we had a great time. It was so nice to kick back and a few laughs. We used to spend so much time together back in Michigan that we have become like family, sibling rivalry included (I'm even hoping I'm in their will). I'm a little offended I wasn't consulted on the kitchen remodel. They even turned down my suggestion of a gargoyle or cherub peeing pot-filler over the stove. But, we did agree on a kitchen table that holds both families comfortably.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Winter Wonderland

It's January in Indiana. For me, this means snow, more snow, cold and wind. For Paul, it means three days at a posh hotel in Florida. A better wife (not me) would be happy for him. This wife is lugging trash cans down the snowy driveway, plowing the snowy driveway and praying there are no snow days in our future and dragging Christian out in his pajamas. OK, so the last one is my fault but still.....

I bathed Christian early tonight. He asked for his footy pajamas because the kid loves to have his toes covered. It's pretty funny to hear his panicked "oh no, mommy, my TOES!". I fed them early because Sara had choir practice. I even baked cookies. I was on a good mommy roll. Tonight the streak was broken.

Usually, I can drive right up to the door and walk her to the choir room three feet from the door. Tonight, Her Royal Highness took forever to get ready. I thought only old men spent that long in the bathroom. Now, we are running late. As a self-respecting Roche,. I do not handle this well. I stuff Christian into his coat and we rush out the door. The church parking lot in completely full and I park in Siberia. Now, I get to carry Christian (a.k.a. Tons of Fun) across the snowy parking lot into the church. Yes, tonight, I was that mom. I couldn't even pretend the other parents were not staring and (not so) silently laughing at me as I lug my child through the church in his bright red footy pajamas. No need to worry. I have already laid out his clothes for preschool tomorrow. And his boots. I promise.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

The world according to Sara

Sara has a plan. Actually, Sara always has a plan. They are usually very elaborate, thought out, entertaining and involve a lot of work for others (usually my dad). This plan is no different. Lately she has been studying all about tigers and lions. She plans on opening a "predator zoo" when she grows up so the animals can roam free and hunt. She promised my dad a job as a tour guide but warned him she didn't plan on paying him. The other day she decided that when she is 7, she would like my dad and Aunt Joan to include her on their annual trip. She has it ALL planned out. They will be going on an African photo safari. Being a bright and practical girl, her packing list includes her $26 (mostly conned from my dad), her camera and her field journal. Joanie can come but only if she buys a pair of boots because her "typical Joanie heels" won't be safe if they need to run from a predator animal. In the Jeep, she will sit in the middle so her Grumpy (my dad) can protect her. She thinks they should all stay in a cabin. She may bring a sleeping bag. But she may just decide to snuggle in with Joanie. She plans on bringing her Lambi because she cannot sleep without her Lambi and Lambi's biggest job in the world is keeping Sara safe. However, if shots are required, then Sara might change her destination to Disney. Either way, I think Joanie better start boot shopping.

Monday, January 17, 2011

It's a brand new year

Welcome to 2011. So the choice is - make resolutions I have a prayer of keeping or setting really idealistic, lofty goals? You guessed it - modest goals that I can guilt myself into keeping. This year my goals are to keep up my workout routine, have more patience with everyone in my life and complain less (especially about the little mundane things that don't really matter). The first month of the new year isn't even over yet and so far, I'm maybe 50/50 on goal achievement. I've kept up with my workout routine for several reasons. One, I feel better when I do it. I get an instant sense of accomplishment. My back hurts less and I'm losing weight (slowly). Two, it is a great escape from the kids after being cooped up watching dozens of inches of snow fall. I can hop on the treadmill and zone out all the chaos and clutter in my life and home. As for my goals of patience and less complaining? Still trying with mixed results. I have my good days and my bad days.

On a positive note, Christian has met his goals as outlined by his speech therapist. This is a mixed blessing. It means that he is making real strides in his speech. Sadly, it means that Mike, our amazing therapist won't be visiting weekly for much longer. Christian loves "his Mike". It's funny to hear my son speak with a slight Texan drawl in imitation of Mike. He still calls Sara "Lea" and bananas are "mia". My dad is still "Boppy" (instead of Grumpy). Paul always wanted to have a secret language with the kids that Mom didn't understand. He hoped it would be Spanish. I guess he will have to settle for 'Bubba-speak'.

Happy New year to all!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Surviving Christmas Vacation

Christmas 2010- We had it all planned out. It was going to be magical and wonderful. Our friends invited us to celebrate Christmas Eve with them. However, they did seem surprised when we accepted. (It may have been one of those "let's invite them, they'll never come" invites but who are we to turn down free food and drink? They really should know better. It was a wonderful night of friends, fun and laughter. As usual, we walked away with many goodies - a DVD, various hostess gifts and a set of cross country skis. We spent Christmas Day at my Dad's house. The kids ripped into their gifts like Ethiopian kids staring down a Happy Meal. We had Christmas dinner at my brothers. This involved my kids fighting with each other over every little thing and us trying to referee (ok - mostly we ignored it). Christian spend half the night trying to stab my brother with a dinner knife. Not sure why - it seemed pretty unprovoked but, then again, I didn't exactly interrogate the little deviant. We got the chance to see some friends the next time and celebrate her new job. The celebration involved us swigging champagne while my kids tried to steal and destroy their son's new toys. We kept our kids up way too late every night. It was not our best idea. Tired cranky kids are not fun to travel with. Upon our return to Indiana, I spent 2 days unloading the stack of presents and doing insane amounts of laundry. Paul took the kids to see his mom. I laid around the house and did absolutely nothing. It was wonderful. I watched really bad TV and read books. Today was the bright spot - Sara went back to school. No more breaking up squabbles over toys, fending off demands for computer, TV, or Wii time all day. Christian woke up this morning and was stunned that Daddy and Sara weren't home. He didn't take my word for it. He looked around the house for them for a good 10 minutes. He expressed his joy at her return from school by chasing her around the house trying to hit her with the nearest toy. Welcome home, Sara!