Jun 30, 2007

Wedding Worries

6/30/2007 — cori
Last weekend we attended a wedding. I had no idea the impact this would have on my children. Chloe just wanted to dance. She couldn't understand why we weren't dancing the moment we got to the church. She had on her 'tap shoes' (black patent leathers), therefore, she was there to dance. However, seeing the pretty white princess (a.k.a, the bride), calmed her down just a bit. But then she got to thinking about it and all she wanted to do was dance with the princess and she wanted to do it now. I'm afraid I put just a tad too many happy tales of dancing at the wedding into her susceptible little brain and failed to pass on the solemnity of the event preceding the reception.

Bennett was a hoot! That kid is Mr. Romeo. However, on this special night, he only had eyes for me. I wore my special, little black dress that is reserved for special dates with Daddy to places like the symphony where you get to dress up. I've never gone on a date with Bennett in my fancy, black dress before. You would have thought I put it on just for him. He didn't take his sweet, little eyes off me all night. He tried to sit next to me whenever possible so he could put his arm around my shoulders. He would wink at me from across the dinner table. When asked by other pretty grown-ups if he would like to dance with them, he replied, "No, I'm only dancing with Mommy tonight." and he'd look at me and smile.

Dancing with him was hilarious. You would have thought I had a magnet in my tummy and his head had the other magnet in it. He would lay his head, actually press his head is probably more accurate, against my tummy and just look up at me as we rocked back and forth to various tunes. He also placed his hand securely on my back side - again, another magnet issue, I think.

Then there was Gavin. The surprise of the night. He's highly confident, yet doesn't show it, a huge planner, a have-to-know-how-to-do-something-before-he's-taught-how-to-do-it kind of kid. Very meticulous. He doesn't necessarily have anything against girls, but he doesn't really notice them. So, you can imagine our surprise when out of the blue, as soon as the bride walks out the back door of the sanctuary, he exclaims, "Now I'm really worried!"

"What on earth could you be worried about right now, Gavin?"

"Well...I don't know who I'm going to marry yet. I don't know who I'll invite or where it will be."

He's dead serious too. This scenario obviously never presented itself to him before and and now he is forced to think this whole thing through right here and now. And it gets even better. We get to the reception hall and see the wedding cake. Gavin is speechless at it's beauty. It has a waterfall in the middle of it! Could a cake get any cooler?! Gavin doesn't think so. As, the servers are cutting the cake, he leans over and whispers to me, "Mom, can I go up there and ask them if they'll save that waterfall for my wedding? I REALLY want it!"

I told him, "I'm sure they'll make even cooler waterfalls by time he gets married." I guess that will help him narrow down his choice in brides. The one who goes for a waterfall on the cake must be the one.

Lego Lunatics

6/30/2007 — cori
As you can see, we have alot of Legos. And now we have alot of Legos in nice, neat, color-coded, little, organized piles all over the floor. Ahhh, this is an anal person's heaven. I LOVE to organize! I convinced the boys that this would be a fun activity. Bennett held on longer than I expected, so I'm giving him a participation ribbon for: A Job Well Done For A 5 Year Old Attention Span. Gavin, however, was as excited as me at this venture. I could see the organizational flow chart taking shape in his neatly compartmentalized little brain. Only a few more years as my apprentice and he me might just outdo me in this category. But the icing on the cake was that we actually had FUN doing this for 3 hours straight.

And color coding isn't the only thing we did. That was just the beginning. We went out and bought our very own Lego Container (and got it 40% off too!). Not that Lego makes such a thing, but we invented our own. Boy does it feel good to be efficient, thrifty and organized all at the same time! Gavin and I were giddy with excitement at the challenge that lay ahead. How were we to organize all these Legos? Should we separate by color, piece, size, length? This challenge was growing by the minute.

Daddy is also willingly sharing in all this fun - with equal, unabashed excitement. I mean, if this is how you're willing to spend an entire Saturday afternoon, you have to really believe in what you are doing. Organizing the kids' Legos is an area near and dear to Chuck's and my heart. We put our heads together and came up with a game plan. We delegated responsibilities between the 4 of us (Bennett was still slightly more happy to be doing this than taking a nap) and never looked back.

Here is just one of the seven modules we pain-stakingly devoted our afternoon to. To be honest, I'm slightly disappointed that I had to combine colors, but at least like pieces were put with like pieces. I had to concede on that one. Otherwise, we would have probably ended up with 30 perfect bins and one Mommy highly over-protective of her perfectly organized Legos that they would be for-looking-at-only. That probably wouldn't go over very well with my kids. Therefore, I have proposed an adequate solution. Whenever they would like to play Legos, I will be ever present to help retrieve and/or replace a piece in order to keep them in sound structural and maximum operating condition.

But the truth of the matter is, this organizational masterpiece will probably incur it's first few misplaced items early tomorrow morning. I will just have to practice mustering up my best, "this doesn't bother me" face and smile as I walk away with a twitch in my head. Really...this was all about the kids - THEY wanted it organized, right?

Jun 13, 2007

The Fly Hunter

6/13/2007 — cori
We have been plagued with flies this summer. It was probably due to the endless rains we've had all spring. Whenever we open the door to the house, we have to almost sneak in so that no flies feel invited. But inevitably, 2 or 3 manage to make themselves at home each time the door is slightly cracked.

Bennett keeps asking me, "Mom, why did God make flies? What is their purpose?" Good questions. I have no clue! Chuck seems to think that their only purpose is as food for other creatures. I guess that answer is better than, "just to annoy us and remind us that life isn't all about us."

Anyways, we seem to be constantly shooing away flys, at the dinner table, sitting on the couch reading, laying in bed, while brushing our teeth. They are very non-discriminating. They don't care who they bother, as long as they bother someone. My favorite is the "fly by". This is a different breed of fly altogether. They are brazen, shameless, purposefully trying to irritate the human inhabitants of the house. They get their little wings humming as fast as possible and then calculate how close they can get to your ears, eyes and nose before being swatted. I think they do this as 'dares' from other flies.

So, the other night I'm getting ready for bed and brushing my teeth. There are no less than 3 flies as my companions with me in the bathroom. My irritability factor is rising exponentially. I ask Chuck if he could "PLEASE DO SOMETHING!" His solution? He grabs the closest hand towel and starts attempting to pop them. He's whipping everything in sight. He pops the mirror and anything in the path of the towel becomes a casualty. But it's worth it for the small piece of mind that comes with knowing that there will be no more 'fly by's'.

In order to getting out of the 'whipping zone' I perch myself upon the bed where I have a perfect view of Chuck in action. There is my protector, armed with a towel, speedy eyes, an acute sense of hearing and those strong muscular arms ready to whip any flying, annoying, creature who dares enter the solitude of our bathroom. Talk about being territorial.

How can one describe the sense of pride that wells up in your chest your husband yells, "YES! I got him - he's dead, or at least injured - now I just need to find him." Ah, all my fears seem to fade away. Love bubbles up in my heart as I watch him spin around the bathroom like a madman whipping at apparently nothing, but knowing he's doing it for me. He doesn't care about looking foolish - he's in 'hunter mode'. He will not rest until every last fly is accounted for and his dear beloved (that's me) can sleep peacefully. At one point, he even trapped one of the trespassers in the water closet (the polite name for the toilet area). He shut the door and all I heard was the flailing about of arms, the towel repeatedly hitting the walls and sounds of the hunt such as, "AHA - now I've gottcha ". It only took 15 minutes of bravery and a keen sense of knowing the every movement of his enemy before we could go to bed knowing that there were no unwanted guests in the house.

Then Chuck came up with a brilliant idea. This might just be a new family business for us. We could advertise ourselves as the "Fly Hunters" and accompany people at their family reunions, church picnics, company bar-b-q's, you know - any large celebration that involves alot of people and a cookout. That invariably draws the flies. Then there we would be - wildly thrashing about, wielding hand towels to pop the flies with. We may look like fools, the people may accidently get hit once in a while. But what a peace of mind we would bring to your party. You would know that as long as we're there, you need not worry about the flies. Kind of reminds me of "Ghostbusters", huh?! Think about it - I think there's definitely a market for it!

Jun 5, 2007

Twice the Work

6/05/2007 — cori
I have memory issues. There, I feel better now that that's out in the open. I have THE WORST short term memory and this post is here to prove it. Either that, or I just love to do things over and over again since I can't remember doing them the first time around.

Yesterday was laundry day. I have my little routine where I bring a load into the laundry room in a basket, transfer clothes from washer to dryer then put clothes from basket into washer. Easy. Doesn't require much thought, preparation or genius. I just follow the same order time after time.

Who knew I could mess up something so easy? The day had been rather busy and I was in and out of the house most of the day. I prefer to stay home on laundry day...you know, keep up with the rhythm. And yes, there is a rhythm to doing laundry - at least if you want to have all the clothes folded and put away by the end of the day and not all in one big pile on my bed. So, now you can see that my rhythm was messed up and evidently when that gets messed up, my memory is not far behind.

Another thing I like to do is multi-task. You would think this might be hard for someone with my mental condition...on the contrary, I seem to thrive. My mental lists are rather astounding. I don't even have time to transfer everything from my head onto paper - it would take way too long. I tend to scurry around the house in 5 different directions, on some sort of mission. Often times, the mission is accomplished. But then there are those times when data control gets locked up and I walk into a room and just stare because, for the life of me, I can't remember why I even came in there. Thus sets the stage for my laundry mishap...

Taking the clean clothes out of the dryer was only one of the things my mind was thinking about. I was also getting dinner ready, talking to the kids, feeding the dog, yada, yada, yada. So, clothes are now safely deposited into the basket. Default mode kicks in and I transfer wet clothes from washer into dryer since that is what I always do. Then without thinking, I put more soap and water into the washer and transfer clothes from basket into washer and walk out of the laundry room.

Then about 10 minutes later it hits me...What did I just do??? Don't tell me I just put the clothes I just cleaned back into the washing machine!!! Arghhh!!!! I still have 3 more loads of laundry and its already 6pm. Why was I on auto pilot? Why didn't I think? Why did I just create double the work for myself? Where is the turn off switch for my brain? Actually, I would prefer to CTL/ALT/DELETE and reboot myself. How many other times have I done this and not even realized it?

But I would like to say that we have VERY CLEAN clothes this week! There is always something positive in every situation - sometimes you just have to look very hard for it.

Jun 4, 2007

Utah or New York?

6/04/2007 — cori
I was just privy to some pretty important life planning on the part of Bennett and Chloe today. As we were driving all around town, those two decided now was the time to decide on a plan of action for their future. They decided that they do, in-fact, love one another. And the ultimate end to loving one another is marriage, right?!

So, Bennett asks me, "Mom, what's that rule about marrying someone in your family?"

"Uh", I stutter...where is he going with this..."Um, why do you ask, honey?"

"Cuz I want to marry Chloe." Awww, how sweet. I decide to let them in on a loop-hole in the law.

"Well, you might not be able to marry Chloe, but there's nothing wrong with a brother and sister sharing the same house."

Now that he feels he has the green light, they commence the planning phase of their future little lives. They were so giddy. I sat there and soaked it all up, listening as their two little pip-squeak voices volleyed back and forth with ideas.

Then, in all seriousness, being that he's the male, and in charge of things and wanting to protect his sister, he decides to get expert advice from me, the one who seemingly knows all things (at least to a 5 and 3 year old). "Mom," he asks "is there the ocean in Utah?" Thankfully, I know that one, "No honey, but there is a desert, mountains and a very big lake." That answer suffices and they animatedly continue their discussion. I wasn't able to catch it all, but this was enough:

Bennett: "Chloe, keep this in your mind forever...mountain lions like to pounce."

Chloe: "Will they eat us?"

Bennett: "Probly...but maybe if we have the chance we can run back home and get some sticks and a fire and then go back and throw it at him."

I'm assuming that this conversation came on the heals of possibly moving to the mountain in Utah...just one of their many options. Neither of them were very excited about this possibility, Bennett, not being a big fan of risk taking and Chloe, not liking to get eaten by large animals. So Bennett asks, "Mom, what other States are there besides America, Utah or Hawaii?"

Thankfully, I'm full of answers today and was able to spout off a good 5 or 6 more State options for them. By the end of our drive I heard them putting the final seal of approval on their latest plan:

Bennett: "Okay...we'll both have a convertible car, live together in the same huge house and live in New York."

Chloe: "An I will be a lellow pincess."

Bennett: "Ya."

As I open the van door to get the kids out, I notice them sitting in the back seat hand in hand. This is a first. I told Bennett, "Honey, you're being so loving today." He shrugs nonchalantly and replies, "Well, I am going to marry Chloe, so I better start showing her love."

How I'm going to miss these days the older they get.

I Don't Understand

6/04/2007 — cori
In the wee hours on the morning, Gavin descends upon my side of the bed proclaiming that he has had a bad dream. I'm never really sure what to do in these instances. They normally just stand there after they make their statement....like I have magic powers and can undo the 'bad dream'.

I'm not so quick on my toes at 2:05 in the morning. Somehow, sleeping with Mommy in the middle of the night enables one to go back to sleep with ease and nips the 'bad dream monster' in the bud. That's how Gavin ended up sleeping with us last night.

Not even 5 minutes later, another little person enters stage left (meaning my side of the bed). I never really made it out of REM sleep while listening to Gavin, I kinda just faked it....mumbled something that sounded semi coherent and calming at the same time. I really should set up a video camera in my room in the middle of the night so I could better relate these 'non-conversations' I inevitably carry on. But anyways....all of the sudden I hear Chloe's little voice and am instantly confused. I thought it was Gavin I was just talking to...or maybe I was dreaming it was him and it was really Chloe. What was going on here...

I asked Chloe, "What are you doing? Why are you here?" I know that doesn't sound like the most loving thing a parent can say to a child in the middle of the night. The odds of both of my children having a nightmare at the exact same time on the exact same night are just too great - something else was up. I just didn't know what.

Chloe responds, "Gavin tripped over me." HUH??? I don't understand. Your room is on the opposite side of the house from Gavin's room, plus you sleep on a bed. I reasoned with myself that I didn't need to understand and just pulled her up on the bed to join the ever expanding party on my bed.

Come this morning, I asked Gavin, "What was that that Chloe said about you tripping over her last night? Did you?" He responds, "Ya, I did. She was laying at the top of the stairs when I came down to your room at 2:05am." Hmmm....clear as mud. What in the world is my daughter doing laying at the top of the stairs in the middle of the night? This could be a dangerous habit.

The investigation continues as I ask Chloe, "Why were you sleeping on the floor at the top of the stairs?"

"Cuz I wanted to see liz-uh-buh (the dog)." Made perfect sense to her. At her vantage point at the top of the stairs, she was a safe distance away, yet could still see her - but in the middle of the night??? I don't understand....

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