Sep 28, 2005

Love Analogies

9/28/2005 — cori
We love traditions in this household. Actually, I'm not sure if it's the tradtion or the routine we love, either way...we like doing things the same over and over and over again. I'm not sure what this says about us. Maybe that we're boring or route or can't think outside the box. I prefer to think of it as stability for the kids. A sense of comfort comes from knowing what to expect. So, everyday, along with our list of other endless 'traditions', you will find us giving each other love analogies.

This is how it typically starts off:

Mommy - "Have I told you guys I loved you yet today?"
Boys- "Nooooo."
Mommy - "Well, I love you guys as many fish that are in the sea."
Gavin - "Well, I love you as many roads that are in all the world."
Bennett - "Well, I wuv wuu as much dirt dare is in duh land."

The purpose here would be to try to 'out-love' the other person. Of course there has to be a winner. Someone has to love all the rest more than everyone else. I tell them that the Mommy always loves the kids more. But they don't buy into that. They have informed me that the kids always love the Mommy more. Whatever!

Here are some other analogies we've given recently. These go on and on. They are endless. So, I'll spare you the time and just write down a few so that I don't forget by time my kids are 13 and 16. Hopefully, this tradition will still be going strong...but just in case it's not, these should help jog my memory of one more crazy family tradition that I wouldn't trade for the world.

Mommy - "I love you guys as many stars that are in space."
Bennett - "I wuv wuu as many zass (grass) dat is in all duh fields."
Gavin - "I love you as hot as the sun. No, wait, as hot as the lightening. It's 4 times hotter than sun."

Mommy - "I love you as many wires as are in the whole world."
Bennett - "I love you as many vicks (sticks) dat are in duh whole city and on duh road."
Gavin - "I love you as many houses as are in all the world."

It's amazing to me, that no matter how hard we try, we can't seem to capture in words how much we love each other. It just doesn't get any better than this!

Sep 20, 2005

"Mommy, I have a tummy ache"

9/20/2005 — cori
If you ever hear those words fall off the lips of my beloved middle child, Bennett, you might consider two options at your disposal. One, run and hide. Or two, reach for the the nearest HAZMAT suit. You might even want to have an extra one on hand.

These words were spoken to us the other night as we were on our way to a small gathering at church. Bennett never acts sick until he is. The malodorous odor permeating the minivan should have clued us into the fact that this was more than just a 'tummy ache'. We were about to be dealing with harmful, chemical odors here.

Chuck & I both figured that the lunch we ate (6 hours ago) did not sit well on poor Bennett's tummy. Before we left him in the hands of the unsuspecting and innocent child care worker, Chuck decided to take him to the potty. Come to find out, the odor that enveloped us in the car was not only in the gaseous state - there was matter attached to it. Actually, more accurately put, the matter was attached to Bennett's Batman underwear. We no longer own that particular pair anymore. Chuck had no idea how to clean diarrhea out of big boy pants - so he opted to let his son go 'commando' instead. Great. Now I have a somewhat smelly child running commando in the church. We are looking like the great Christian parental influence they desire to become apart of their congregation, I'm sure.

We enjoyed visiting with the other adults for nearly an hour. At that point, I thought I should run and check on the kids. The babysitter said that Bennett was rather quiet, choosing to just sit in the corner. I remember thinking how odd it was that the room still smelled of Bennett's previous episode.

I went over to my sweet child and asked him how he was feeling. He said he was fine, except that his tummy still hurt. I asked if he would like me to take him to the potty (there was a bathroom attached to the room). The rest of the events are still rather blurry to me. After you see a large, wet, tan colored mass fall out of your son's shorts as he rises from the corner, one tends to fall into a trance like state (I should know, it has happened to me often enough). Thanks to Daddy, we were commando, so there was nothing there to catch the mass as it landed on the carpet. The malodorous smell magnified. I almost fainted. My knees grew weak. I don't deal with smelly situations well - especially in front of other people.

With all the dignity I could muster, I continued to walk across the room with my poor child. The bathroom seemed like it was a mile away. It was the only safe place I could think of going. More remnants fall as we pass the onlookers and maneuver our way through toys. No one who witnessed that event will ever be the same. You may as well throw away the toys.

Once we made it to the bathroom, I had not a clue what to do. I asked Bennett what happened and he said he didn't know. The poor child never had diarrhea before and was unaware of the particular urges associated with that awful phenomenon. My mind was blank. I could think of nothing. I felt myself falling away to a far off place. Then a whiff of reality brought me back to the here and now. Suddenly the solution was clear - run and get Chuck. I did not have to handle this crisis alone! Thank God!!!

As I make my way back to the small gathering, it was obvious that I was interrupting. It didn't take much for one to figure out that we were having issues with a child and an 'accident'. I guess I gesture with my hands way to much when I talk (or even whisper, for that matter). The kind pastor offered to let Bennett sit in his office for the remainder of the meeting. We declined rather heartily for fear of being banished from the church - we still had our pride.

Feeling confindent that Chuck was in control of the situation, I calmly sat back and enjoyed the rest of the gathering - far, far away from any smells that didn't resemble coffee. However, once Chuck made it back to the 'war zone' he was overcome with that same sense of gagging that rendered me useless. He said that he stood there for a good 5 minutes just talking to Bennett stalling for time and ideas.

Being that Bennett is almost 4, we don't carry an extra set of clothes or big boy pants with us everywhere we go. After this experience, however, you will see a duffel bag in my trunk that is packed with an extra change of clothes for my entire family. Experience dictates that you NEVER know when you will need an extra change of clothes. Chuck decided to sit Bennett in the sink and rinse him off. This was a pedestal sink. It took him 20 minutes to accomplish this task. We couldn't take him home in the condition he was in. And, we couldn't parade him through the church naked on our way to the car. We had a dilemma. Thank God for size 6 diapers. I think Bennett was more mortified by the fact that he was wearing a diaper than by the entire event that just played itself out before him.

Why couldn't this have happened at home before we got to church? Why did it have to happen that day? Why did it have to happen at all? Haven't I had my share of poopy stories to last me 10 lifetimes? Haven't I learned anything from my years of potty training Bennett? Hasn't Bennett learned anything from those same years? If you think these things seem to happen to me quite frequently, you are right. We need to form some type of committee to look into this phenomenon.

God, in His mercy, knew this was going to happen, when it was going to happen and how it was going to happen and he let it happen anyways. I guess God can even use poopy to teach us. Evidently, we listen faster and learn our lesson quicker when overcome with a malodorous odor.

Sep 16, 2005

Unsolved Mystery

9/16/2005 — cori
I knew something was going to be awry today when I woke up, glanced at the clock and it read: 18:88. You can not have a 'normal' day when you wake up at 18:88. I thought I was in some dream world, you know, like in the movie "Groundhog Day".

My suspicions were confirmed when I went to find my jean shorts in my drawer and they were not there. "Hmm, that's odd", I think to myself. I'm the only one in this house who does the laundry and I know that I just cleaned them. So where could they be? I then spent the next 30 minutes searching the house high and low for my jean shorts.

I had a dogged determination. I refused to give in to this craziness and just wear any old pair of shorts. Shorts just don't get up and walk away - they had to be here somewhere. My senses aren't too keen early in the morning...actually, I really had no clue what time of the day or night it was since it was 18:88. I'm assuming it was morning. Now that I think about it, it is a little strange that everytime I glanced at the clock during my shorts investigation it consistently read: 18:88. You'd think I'd catch on or something...

I know the suspense is probably killing you - it was me. I was flabergasted as to how such a thing could happen to me. I'm normally a neat and organized person. I started thinking back to the last time I wore my jean shorts. That's not a good activity to do at 18:88. I have the WORST short term memory. I can't even remember what I wore yesterday. How in the world would I remember some vague event in the not too distant past? Things are going from bad to worse.

I decide that this is too big a job for one person. So I enlist the troops. I call Deputy Gavin and Bennett to look upstairs. There is no way in the world they would be upstairs, but I was getting desparate. This mystery was more than I could handle. I even checked in the boys' drawers thinking that maybe in my absent-mindedness while I was folding clothes, maybe I thought my shorts were theirs. No outlandish idea is beyond the scope of reason now. I am accepting any and all leads.

Bennett finds me walking in circles down stairs with a dazed and confused look on my face, still in my pajamas. He runs up to me holding gold - my jean shorts. I pick him up and hug him and swing him in a full circle. I am overjoyed that he has confirmed that I have not actually lost my mind. I ask him where in the world did he find them. He tells me they were in his hamper. Who would have thought?

I reward my deputies appropriately, with a dime and a quater and send them on their merry way as I slip into my precious jean shorts. Job well done. There's something to be said for persistance! Had I chosen to put on another pair of shorts this mystery would remain unsolved for who knows how long. Now I'm on to my next task, trying to understand the digital clock by my bed that is possessed with a mind of its own.

All this and I am only an hour and a half into my day. I can only imagin what the rest of the day holds for us. :)

Sep 14, 2005

Date Night

9/14/2005 — cori
It doesn't get much better than this...going on a date with your three year old. The boys get soooo excited when they know they get some alone time with just Mommy. Of course, we are big fans of routine around here, so each child knows exactly what is about to transpire for his date. But the anticipation and build up through out the day is almost more than they can handle.

Bennett & I left the rest of the crew after dinner and headed straight to DQ for a yummy blizzard. I decided that we would split a medium sized one since he never seems to quite finish his own ice cream. He made me promise that if we were going to split, that I would only have two bites. I conceeded, knowing that there was no way he would finish that huge thing alone and I would be allowd to eat the ice cream at the bottom. Boy, was I wrong! :)

We opted to eat it in the comfort of our parked car, both sitting in the front seat together. Before he even took a bite he told me, "Mom, you can have your two bites now." Then he proceed to count to ensure that I kept my word. This was serious business. He then comandeered the ice cream and remained mostly quiet as he let the sweet, cold flavors linger on his palate. You could tell he was in heaven.

Since I was pretty much sitting there with nothing to eat, I suggested we drive over to the baseball fields and watch some games while 'we' ate ice cream. He loved this idea. Once at the fields we had fun talking and eating 'our' huge ice cream. I think it took him at least 30 minutes to finish the whole thing.

I asked him what he'd like to be when he grows up and he answered, "I want to be a foleece (police) man. Foleece kinda like superheroes cuz they get bad guys." I loved the priviledge of seeing how his brain thought things out. He also added that he was "very bwave" - this is key to being a 'foleese man' and a superhero. I told him he would make an awesome police man because he is an awesome superhero. You could see his chest swell with pride.

He started thinking a little deeper about this subject and found a glich that he felt needed to be discussed. My little superhero has mosquito bites (bumps, he calls them), up and down his legs from playing out in a field the other day. He deduced that he probably wouldn't be able to be a 'foleese man' because of his 'bumps'. "Foleece mans don't get bumps, do dey, mom?" I told him in no uncertain terms that sometimes they do and went on to give an example of a foleese man chasing a bad guy thru a field and getting bitten. Thankfully, he feels that he can still qualify for 'foleese man' school.

He then began to wonder why Daddy wasn't out here playing baseball. Good question. Daddys need to have fun too. We both agreed to bring the rest of the family back here next week. He probably thanked me for taking him on a date at least 10 times while we were out. He also told me that he "loves me too much". What mom's heart wouldn't melt at the sound of such sweet words?

Once 'our' ice cream was finished we were able to have all sorts of endless fun on the playground. Once it started getting dark, I piggy-backed him back to the car to go in search of 'the belt'. However, the night wouldn't be complete without a life question thrown in there somewhere. You know, one of those questions that I have no idea how to answer. Tonight's question was, "Mom, why is our pee yellow?" What a great question! We knew Daddy would know, which increased our desire to get home more quickly.

Bennett's been longing for a Batman belt. I told him I would look for one while at Target earlier in the day, but I didn't find one. His response was, "well, dank wuu for wooking anyways, mom." Affection and thankfulness was on the top of his agenda. He was tickled pink to end up getting to pick his own (brown) belt out at the store.

As we were driving home, he got the giggles because it was way past bed time. He also got a stomach ache, surprise, surprise. :) He ended our night with, "Mommy, I wish I were woo." God put the most sensitive and loving heart in this child and he gave him to me as my special gift. What an amazing life I have!!

Sep 5, 2005

The 'Popping' Sound

9/05/2005 — cori
The other day I was upstairs playing with the kids. As I bent down to get on the floor there was a loud popping noise reverberating from my shoulder area reiterating the fact that I'm not as young and agile as previously thought. I asked Gavin, "Did you hear that noise?" I didn't want him to think that his Mommy had tooted. I felt compelled to explain the unkown noise emanating from my body.

I told him that was my shoulder popping. He quickly sat down on the floor and gave me a demonstration of how he can make that exact same noise only from his leg and hip. Since it seemed to be show and tell time, I showed how I could make the same noise with my hip too. I was not planning to be outdone by a 6 year old.

At which time, Bennett pipes up, "I can make that noise with my bottom." I told him that wasn't the same kind of noise Gavin & I were making. I told him that the noise that comes from his bottom is called a toot. Whereas, our special noise is the result of double jointedness. I don't think he bought it. Thankfully, he didn't feel the need to show us exactly how his bottom makes that particular noise.

Sep 3, 2005

Super Strong Man

9/03/2005 — cori
I was privy to a private conversation the boys were having during a recent 'draw time' they were engrossed in one afternoon. Bennett was intent on drawing his latest alter ego - "Super Strong Man" he is now called. This action figure has a head the size of a watermelon with two stick figure legs poking out of the bottom of the head and two stick figure arms protruding from the side of the head (where one might typically see the ears).

Gavin, ever ready to give advice when he sees the need, explains to Bennett that if he really wants him to look like a super strong man then he should draw 'bumps' on his arms to show how strong he is. Then he lifts up his arms and flexes them for Bennett to admire. Gavin says, "See my bumps". Bennett replies with a "yeah" as he is looking at his wrists. Gavin then culminates Bennett's learning time with the following admonition, "The bigger the bumps, the stronger you are. If you really want him to be 'Super Strong Man' than he has to have bumps."

Bennett gives this advice some thought and determines that this is sound advice and proceeds to draw 'bumps' on his super strong man stick figure. His 'bumps' look more like a vertical line pertched atop a horizontal line (the arm). He is now satisfied with his creation. It looks life like and real now. Brother really does know what he's talking about.

Moral to the story: every super hero must have 'bumps' if he is to appear 'real'.

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