Friday, January 30, 2009

Mommy #2

Gary has been gone all afternoon and evening on a hike and camp out with the scouts. That means I was fielding all the kids through homework, dinner, bathtime etc, as well as all the cleaning up. I got Nathan ready for bed first, reading him a story and putting him in bed. I was then going to get Leia and Spencer ready. I supervised the teeth brushing and then prepared to break out another story. Leia says. "Don't worry about it Mommy. I'll read to Spencer and you can get your stuff done and watch the news."
I have tasted of Nirvana and am hungry for more.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Sore throat

I don't know what it is about a sore throat that disables me but whenever I have one my world seems to come to a standstill. I could feel it coming on last night and I knew I was in for a bad night. I woke up several times feeling like my throat was on fire. I knew I didn't have anything around the house that would help so I stayed in bed and just toughed it out. This morning I got up to discover that Nathan had decided to decorate the basement with an entire roll of toilet paper. He had also squeezed a bunch of soap down the toilet???? Now I'm not asking my children to be completely rational but sometimes Nathan's behavior in particular leaves me scratching my head.
As I drove Leia to the bus stop, the bus driver made me smile. He's an older guy - maybe 60s, and he always looks happy to see the kids. Leia tells me that he jokes with them and they all fight to sit on the seat right behind him. I think this comes from two years of riding the bus to school myself but there is nothing worse than a grumpy bus driver. I think it's adding insult to the injury of being up so early often in the bitter cold.
Now this morning the temperature is in the teens and it's snowing. With feeling so yuck I couldn't bear to take off my sweats. They are the ultimate in comfort especially since the scent of the fabric softener I use is so comforting. I decided to just keep them on while I went to the store for some sore throat relief.
As we drove toward the store instead of going back home once Leia was on the bus, Spencer said, "Where are we going?"
"To the store", I replied.
"In your pajammies?" he asked incredulously.
"Yes", I said.
"But everyone will laugh at you", he observed.
Thankfully no none batted an eye. My sweats don't really look like pajamas either!
And after I had loaded up on throat lozenges, Vicks Chloraseptic, Tylenol, noodles, fruit juice, and yes, even chocolate I was able to finally collapse here on the sofa. All I really want to do is go to sleep but with two energetic sons it won't happen.
It's strangely quiet downstairs. I guess that means my reign here on the sofa is at an end.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Birth order? Yeah right!

So far, it seems that Gary and I have two molds when it comes to our children. The mold that produced Leia and Nathan and the mold that produced Spencer. According to the studies done on birth order, Leia should be conscientious, tidy, a high achiever, and sensible. I wonder what happened there? Today I received a phone call from Leia's teacher asking me if we could discuss Leia's inattentiveness in class and messy handwriting. Gary is going into school tomorrow early to discuss these issues. Here's hoping her teacher lets us know what exactly we can do about this at home beyond our usual struggles with keeping her focused on the task at hand. Her room is constantly a tip, and tonight Gary asked her to go downstairs and put on her pajamas. 5 minutes later the job is not done and so Gary asks her what is going on. She says "But I was showing Spencer a dance move". And tonight at dinner I was watching Nathan. He was on the move the entire time. Whether it was pulling a face or wagging his head from side to side, he literally could not keep his body still. Something tells me we're going to have the same issues with him once he goes to school.
I reflect on my own school experience. I wouldn't have dared to talk to my neighbor instead of listening to my teacher. I was never satisfied with less than an A, my handwriting always has been particularly neat and tidy, and I had a healthy fear of authority figures.
Don't get me wrong, I adore Leia with everything in me. As someone recently put it, she is a quality little girl. But it's definitely a labor of love to understand her and help her to be everything she is capable of being. There's one thing that you can always say of her and that is she is a lot of fun to be around.
As for my little Spencer. He has tested me to the edge of my limits and patience more times than I care to remember but lately things have begun to change. My Mum noticed it over Christmas. He is calmer, less confrontational, and more willing to accept what I say. He will go straight to his room and clean it when I ask him, not that it ever gets really bad. He more often than not puts his clothes away at night, and is very well behaved in school. He can sit for a long time building legos and at dinner, he remains in his seat without dancing a jig until he has cleaned his plate.
I always hope I can guide my children according to their unique personalities. It's not as easy as I perhaps thought it would be especially as they are so different to myself. I have to remind myself that there's no reason why they should take after me. After all, I have a sneaky suspicion that Leia may end up having a better social life than me.
And speaking of my social life, all I had going on today was a trip to the dentist in which I was informed that my lack of flossing is catching up with me, and treated to the most painful cleaning I've ever experienced. Seems like I will be nursing my bruised jaw all evening as I ponder these thoughts I've outlined. And I daresay I'll be making a date with some dental floss every night from now on!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Cheyenne Mountain Canyon

Have I ever mentioned how great it is to live in Colorado? To illustrate the point, we were able to go on a hike yesterday with snow on the ground. And it's January! We didn't want to spend the whole weekend indoors so we decided to get out. We hit a little hike in Cheyenne Mountain Canyon where you get to see two waterfalls. We wrapped up and gave it a shot. The ascent to the top of the waterfall was quite steep and we had to hang onto the railing for dear life. And then coming down was even more hairy. I think we would have done better with a toboggan or a sled! But the view was fantastic. And despite the thick layer of ice over the falls you could hear the rushing water underneath. We can't wait to go back in the Spring.

Here are the kids giving me a pose to get things started

The view of Colorado Springs through the Canyon

A couple of the crazies, proving how they got their nickname

At the top of the falls

A little peek at the water through the ice

Now here were a true bunch of crazies. These people were climbing down the iced over falls. NUTS!

Trying to get down the steep slope. We ended up on our butts more often than not

But the kids found it very funny

As you can see we made it down safely, no worse for the wear!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


As I sit here tonight, my heart is so heavy. My day started out okay but then it ended on the worst possible note. The morning was pretty ordinary with a trip to Target to buy some stuff to make a soup I had been wanting to try. Since I have three very energetic children at home, I told them as I do frequently that they could have some candy if they behaved in the store. Both boys chose bags of Swedish fish. When we got home we had lunch and then they wanted to go outside to play. They took their candy with them. After less than 5 minutes Spencer came running in with a skinned finger and a bruised face. He had been holding onto his skooter handlebars with only one hand as he was holding his candy in the other. As a result he fell down. No big deal really. The finger got a band aid and the bruise on his face was not that bad. Typical 5 year old stuff.
Well by about 4pm, the kids were entering what I call witching hour. They seem to get that much more hyper. I sent them downstairs to play since I was tired of them jumping on my furniture. And don't feel sorry for them. The whole basement is devoted to their entertainment. Toys, train table, TV, couches. I was turning my attention to vacuuming and dinner when I heard a bad scream coming from downstairs. Up came Leia with Nathan. She told me that he and Spencer had been wrestling and Spencer had pushed him backwards and he had hit his head on the edge of the train table. I took a look at his head and sure enough he had a very bloody gash, worse than Spencer just had from falling off the stool in McDonalds.
It would be an understatement to say I felt like throwing up. Luckily Gary walked through the door at that exact moment and took him immediately to Urgent Care. He also insisted that Spencer go to witness what it would be like to see Nathan receive his 5 staples. As it happens, the gash was too close to his neck to be able to give him an anasthetic so Spencer got quite a show. It upsets me quite a bit to think that Nathan had to just get the staples and scream all the way through but a part of me is glad that Spencer got to see it and I hope it brings home to him the seriousness of his actions. Gary told me that while I was out yesterday with Leia, Spencer pushed Nathan backwards fairly roughly and got disciplined as a result. So what do you do when they just continue the behaviour?
Right now, I just feel like I have nothing left in me to give. I spend all day trying to bring these children up to be good people with a sense of responsibility and respect for others. It takes all I have on a daily basis. And Spencer does this.
At the Urgent Care where we took Spencer last month for his staples, the staff were apparently looking at Gary with a certain amount of suspicion. On the way out, the doctor looked at Spencer's face and asked him how he got the briuse. Spencer, no doubt shocked by the proceedings said nothing and Gary and I had not had a chance to discuss our days since he walked in the door and then walked right out again with a banged up Nathan so he could provide no explanation.
That right there deflated Gary. He walked in the door and he was tense. And when he told me that I became tense and am still tense to tell the truth. Parenting is hard enough without the thought that you are being judged and could easily be reported to Child Protective Services. I don't want to be a nervous mother but the next few weeks are going to be difficult. Thank goodness that school starts again tomorrow. It's going to be the boys and myself in the morning and just me and Nathan in the afternoon. It's so obvious to me that Spencer has been bored this week and he needs some more stimulation. I don't know what I am going to do about letting the kids play downstairs unsupervised now.
Needless to say, Spencer has had strict instructions that there is to be absolutely no more wrestling under any circumstances. But then what evidence do I have that he is going to obey us? He pushed Nathan again today after he did it yesterday and got into a lot of trouble.
I sometimes wonder what it would be like not to love these children like I do. It's so emotionally taxing. Would it be easier if I loved them less?
For anyone who might be reading this I am sorry to be on such a downer but that's the way I'm feeling right now. I think that by the time these kids are raised I will weigh 5000lbs due to all the chocolate I need to get me through the day to day. Now come on cyberspace. I seriously need some good vibes tonight!

Monday, January 5, 2009


1. Post rules on your Blog
2. Answer the 6 "8" Items
3. Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving them a comment.

8 Favorite Shows

Dancing with the Stars
Masterpiece Classic
The Biggest Loser
Hardball with Chris Matthews
World News Tonight with Charlie Gibson

8 Things I Did Yesterday

Made Loaded Baked Potato Soup
Bore my testimony in church
Wore hot high heeled boots (hehe)
Read "Comforts of a Muddy Saturday" by Alexander McCall Smith
Played Peggle
Had a webcam chat with my Mom and sister
Saw the cutest nephew in the world walking with a walker
Ate chocolate

8 Things I Look Forward To

Seeing my Dad again
Selling our house in Ohio
Raising my family
Upcoming visits with family - on Leia's baptism and England in the summer
Sleeping in
Reading great books
Peace and quiet
Dates with Gary

8 Favorite Restaurants

The Old Ram
The Chip Inn
Olive Garden
Red Robin
The Ultimate Buffet in Colorado Springs
A Taste of India
Taco Bell

8 Things on My Wish List

That I don't have any sinus problems
A library
Nikon D300
To live close to my family
To travel with my husband
To sell our house in Ohio so we can buy one here in Colorado
The continued health and happiness of my family
A BIG tax refund

8 People to Tag

I don't normally do tag things so I couldn't expect anyone else to do it. But if you want to I will be pleased to read it. I found this really hard to do. Especially the wish list. I guess that means I'm a happy sort of person. :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas fun

First and foremost I know there are those who want to see Spencer's staples. They actually came out yesterday and it has healed extremely well. The scar will be very difficult to see. We were in a McDonalds on Christmas Eve and he was sitting on a rotating stool. Suddenly he fell off backwards and got the gash on his head. He was very brave though. The worst part for him was that he got a scooter for Christmas and was not allowed to ride it for several days. Torture!

Spencer was very controlled on Christmas morning. He was beaming the whole time but he calmly opened his gifts and placed them carefully by his side.

Leia opening her Hannah Montana styling doll. She did a lot of screaming and jumping around as she opened her presents.

Nathan opening a Monster Truck. He was another enthusiastic present opener. But all in all we had three patient children. We took turns opening so we could see what everyone got and they even waited without complaint or nagging as the adults took their turns.

The view before we dug in.

Leia and Nathan in their new clothes from Nan and Grandad Foster

Spencer in his new clothes also from Nan and Grandad Foster. He's such a handsome chap

Here we are in Garden of the Gods. I'm taking the picture of course!

One evening we found Nathan fast asleep in his Halloween costume. This would have been fine except he was wearing fleece pajamas underneath and the costume is made of Nylon.

On the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. It was fantastic and we loved every minute.

A view from the train. Those mountains in the distance are in New Mexico believe it or not. It was breathtaking.

We made a stop around 9000 feet to take a look around.

Leia with her bear Jessica, a gift from Grandma Joan.

If you can't tell, it was COLD up on the mountain.

Leia and Spencer in our new Papasan chair.

The crazies in their new Sunday clothes from Nan and Grandad Foster.

Here I am lecturing the children on proper behavior before went into the Manitou Cliff Dwelling museum.

Enjoying the Cliff Dwellings

I love History. This museum was so great.

Inside a Tepee. Good fun.

A candid.

This is where the Anasazi Native American Indians once lived. You can roam all over it and can touch anything. Amazing for kids.

A view of a two story, two family dwelling.

The kids thought it looked like a castle.

Christmas this year has been warm, cozy, filled with traditions, and thoroughly relaxing. Mum goes home tomorrow and we will miss her very much. But once again the memories will sustain me until the next time we meet.