Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I had always thought of myself as a patient person.  I did not mind waiting in lines, at stop lights or taking turns.  I was not a yeller or quick to anger.  
And then I had kids.  Specifically three kids.  Not sure if it is the number or the fact that the older ones are at unique stages of development that really irk me at times.  Seriously how long do I have to humor my 4.5 year olds desire to be Yoshi and talk with that whiny voice of his?  I want to encourage his imagination and let him be who he wants to be, but that voice is seriously like nails on a chalkboard at this point.  The Little One is still hitting me and thinking it is very funny when I tell him that it is not okay to hit.  And Hockey Boy is constantly obsessed with fairness and telling me how I never let him or I always or something.  All while ignoring what that I just told him to put his shoes on and get in the car.  
I am losing whatever patience I had.  I feel like I was born with a tank of patience and I am going on fumes that often results in blips of me shouting for everyone to just stop.  Not moments of greatness on my part.  
I guess I believed that I could just be patient.  I am finding that is no longer true.  What I need to remember is that God is the fountain of all patience and can fill my tanks if I let him.  If I can figure out how to do that, especially before I lose it.  

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Post Christmas Blues

Anyone else feeling the post Christmas blues?  It started when I ordered my usual Starbucks Eggnog latte two days after Christmas and they were already done with eggnog for the year.  That sort of crushed me because I was still very much in the Christmas spirit.  Tonight I went to buy some more of those delicious Mint M & Ms that come out I guess only at Christmas time.  And my grocery store which had hooked me and got me addicted to begin with was out.  I was so desperate I tried two other stores.  All out.  And it is only December 28th.  Oh and in their place were Valentine pink and red M & Ms.  Really people.  Already.
I always hear people complain about the Christmas displays, music and merchandise starting earlier and earlier each year.  I personally love it.  I sort of think of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years as one big holiday season full of Christmas music, eggnog lattes, twinkling lights and all the sugar cookies you can eat.  But this year I am terribly annoyed that the stores and eateries that get us all hooked on Christmas earlier and earlier each year are now cutting us off earlier and earlier.  I still have a full week of kids home on Christmas break but according to the stores I should be gearing up for Valentines Day.  Not gonna happen. 
Tonight I made more sugar cookie dough and tomorrow I am pulling out more Christmas movies to watch while I make trees, snowmen, star and gingerbread men cookies.  I am off to drink some eggnog!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

"I Need a Silent Night"

I love Amy Grant's Christmas albums so this year I checked iTunes to see if she had anything new.  Now this song probably is not actually new, just new to me but I loved it and wanted to share some of the lyrics.   

"I need a silent night, a holy night
To hear an angel voice through the chaos and noise
I need a midnight clear, a little peace right here
To end this crazy day with a silent night

December comes then disappears
Faster and faster every year
Did my own mother keep this pace 
Or was the world a different place?

Where people stayed home wishing for snow
Watching three channels on their tv
Look at us now rushing around
Trying to buy Christmas peace"
Written by Chris Eaton and Amy Grant

We have tried to keep Christmas simple this year and are enjoying a quiet Christmas Eve without rushing around with last minute things.  So glad we did...


So we decided last night to put all the presents from family under the Christmas tree.  They had been accumulating in our closet over the last month as packages arrived from our families far away.  Each time the brown truck would stop at our house the boys would get so excited.  Unfortunately for them most of the time it was Amazon delivering my cereal order or a new carton of paper towels.  But intermixed with the boring Amazon boxes came packages with beautifully wrapped presents from across the country.  So last night we opened all the boxes and packages and arranged them under the tree.  I had my doubts about this because I did not think our Little One could handle so many presents and not being able to open them.  But my husband wanted to let them see and feel the gifts.  Maybe even shake a few and try to figure out what they are.  So this morning I sit and listen to my boys excitedly talking to each other, pointing out a gift or shaking a box from Grandma.  They are filled with anticipation.  The fun kind that makes you wake up early with a smile on your face.  Ready to jump out of bed and face the day.  And this anticipation is contagious!  So now I sit here with a smile on my face filled with joy listening to my boys being kids.  
Oh and so far we have only had one present unwrapped by the Little One.  I think his brother Yoshi who gave him the gift sort of instigated the unwrapping  hoping that Little One would get away with it and they could all play with the new car.  And just think of all the patience and delayed gratification they will learn between now and tomorrow!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Meeting Santa

So for the past 5 years we have seen Santa at the Mall, in Parades, on tv.  We have walked past his house in the mall and stood and watched him every time.  They loved seeing him from a distance and watching all the kids sit on his lap and get their picture taken.  But never have the boys wanted to actually talk to Santa.  Until this year.  
We were at the mall Monday morning getting coffee and a treat so I decided to walk the kids over to look at Santa.  I think this was their first time this year.  We stood and watched a few kids get their pictures taken and then lo and behold, Santa came over to my boys standing at the decorative fence and gave them all high fives.  And suddenly Yoshi wants to go get in line and talk to Santa.  Unfortunately we had to head home because we had friends coming over.  But I told him we could go back in the afternoon.  
So after Little One's nap we put on the boys cutest Christmas shirts and headed to the shopping center.  At 9:45 am it is easy to find a parking spot.  At 4:00 pm I was a little worried I might not find one.  But we eventually found a spot and headed to the big guy's house.  At 9:45 am the line was about 5 kids long.  At 4 pm it was 40 minutes long.  Thankfully I packed my secret weapon for long lines.  Lollipops!   Did you know how many great parenting lessons you can do while standing in a long line.  I got to remind the kids about personal space every time Yoshi bumped into the man in front of him.  We talked about being patient, especially when you are in line to see Santa!  I got to remind them yet again, not to climb on line fences or the fake rock formations around us.  So many fun lessons to learn.  And the whole time I was thinking they were going to chicken out in the end.  I could not imagine that all three would actually sit with Santa.  But they did.  They loved it.  
And more importantly, at least to the grown ups, was that they were all actually looking at the camera at the same time.  Our first picture with Santa!

Boss' Holiday Party

Okay so I just want to know who thought it was a good idea to make everyone go to a holiday party hosted by the boss?   Better yet, who thought it was a good idea to invite spouses?   Now my husband works for a very nice man, who has a lovely wife and who hosts a nice party.  So the problem is not the boss as a person.  The problem is expecting me to hang out with my husband's colleagues on a weekend while using my limited babysitter budget to do it kid free.  
See my husband works not quite constantly but it is starting to seem that way.  He works for a start up so there are a lot of demands, not enough money and few people to do the work.  I laugh because our goal right now is for him to be home "for dinner", really in time to read bed time stories at least two nights a week.  Because on the other three nights I am lucky if he is home by 9:30.  And on the nights he is home, he is back on the computer working after he puts the kids to bed.  The only night he does not do any work is on Saturday nights.  We have been on two vacations this year and both involved multiple work related phone calls, computer time and emails.  Nothing like being in line for "It's a Small World" at Disneyland and having your husband have to take an investor call.  How am I supposed to keep the kids quiet for that?  Though it is much easier to entertain three kids alone in Disneyland than at the beach with three none swimmers.  
So the gist is I am a bit bitter about his hours.  I know he is doing the best he can.  And I know that we are blessed in this economy to have a job!  But to expect me to be charming at the holiday party on one of my few nights alone with him...  Then add champagne and all the women telling me how hard he works, such long hours.  Oh and the one guy who actually says in front of me how much harder it is with two working parents.  Harder on who, the two working parents who have to figure out whose turn it is to go to the preschool performance or take the kid to the doctor?  Or harder on the family who has the stay at home doing all those things because the working parent misses everything because they really cannot get out, probably because they are covering for the working parent who has to leave to take care of those few tasks the nanny cannot do.  
Okay I am bitter.  But I did manage to get through the party without saying anything too damaging!  :)

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Christmas Letter?

Let me start by saying that I love Christmas letters.  I love reading about my friends' years, especially those that live far away.  It is fun to see how people condense a full year into a one sheet page of writing.  I have written a family Christmas letter every year since my husband and I got married so 11 letters so far.  We have always had big news to announce in our annual letter.  A new address (8 times), a new job (8 times between us), or a new baby (3 times).  But not this year.  We have no news.  So if I wrote a Christmas letter it would look something like this...
Dear Friends and Family,
Today I cleaned up cat poop from two different locations.  Changed diapers six times.  Fed kids three meals and two snacks of which they ate maybe half the food provided and none of the vegetables.  Exceeded my pediatrician recommended screen time by more than I care to admit. Had Hockey Boy (6) tell me that I never let him, fill in the blank.  Listened to my middle child (4), who wants to be called Yoshi from Mario Kart, tell me he hates me as he goes to his room for knocking apart the little one's train track that I spent 30 minutes building all over the dining room floor.  And was hit on more than one occasion by the Little One (2) because he did not like what I needed him to do, like put on shoes so we could pick up one of his brothers.  I ate leftover frozen pizza for dinner while feeding my kids dino nuggets and cold corn.  My husband who came home around 9:30 ate the leftover kids nuggets and whatever else he could find in the fridge.  I stayed up way too late watching useless television and playing computer games.  So now I will be tired and grumpy tomorrow.  
Merry Christmas!
This is my truth but really not something I want to share with the world.  Of course, I could write all the great accomplishments of the year, the big boys learning to read, Hockey Boy scoring his first goal, Yoshi going on a special trip with just Daddy, Little One walking and starting to talk.  The sweet moments where Yoshi runs over and hugs me for no reason or Little One holds tight and leans in just before I put him to bed.  Seeing Hockey Boy being so sweet to the kids at school.  But all these things while amazing and sustaining are just not where I am day to day right now.   So I will post my truth here and save my friends and family from the bitter letter in my head.  I will send the family picture we finally got of all five of us at Disneyland because I still love getting cards and don't want to risk getting dropped from someone's list.  

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Cooking with Hockey Boy

So I just had one of those moments that reminded me why I love being a mom.  It was the end of the day and I have all three boys fed, bathed and in their pjs.  I had turned on a video for them which the younger two immediately became glued to.  But not my oldest, who I will call Hockey Boy. He came over to me as I was cleaning the kitchen and asked if we could make something from the cookbook we got from the library.  He looked through the book and found a recipe for S'more Nachos.  Now you need to know that Hockey Boy is a very picky eater.  But today, he not only tried 5 whole bites of plain pasta but he wanted to try a new recipe.  So of course I said yes.  So I then got to spend about 10 minutes with just Hockey Boy.  We got our ingredients.  He read the recipe to me.  I love hearing him read!  We put the treat together.  And then we got two of the small chairs and sat in front of the oven watching them cook.  I just looked over at his precious face and was filled with love and joy.  I am so glad he still lets me give him kisses (even in public) but know that will end soon.  So I am going to try to enjoy these sweet moments before he realizes he is really a big boy.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Out of Control

So yesterday as I was sitting in my minivan listening to my three boys fighting and shouting I suddenly knew clearly why God had given me three children.  With three small kids (ages almost 2, 4, and 5) you cannot even pretend that you are in control.  I like to think that I am on top of things and in control of my life, my kids, my surroundings.  But let's be honest.  The minivan is full of crumbs from snacks that the baby had to eat while being dragged to preschool pick up.  There are school papers and crafts strewn about and at least one book floating between the back car seats.  It is a mess.  When I take the van to the wonderful car wash that vacuums and cleans inside and out and not an hour later there are finger prints on windows and water bottles rolling around the back.  I turn on the radio and Laurie Berkner's singing about a rocketship blasting off.  We are late for the mom's group at church because shoes were missing and my middle son decided to have a meltdown in the Starbucks doorway because his little brother touched him.   So as I sit in my van waiting for the light in front of me to turn green so I can get to church before my youngest son's childcare room is full, I am reminded that I am not in control.  But amazingly, I have a God who is in control.  He gave me the three most wonderful, challenging, delightful boys in the whole world (yes, I know I am very biased).  And I like to think that He did give me a parking space right in front so I could get my coffee.  And when I got to church late and the class was full, He gave me a wonderful teacher who said, "don't worry honey, we'll find room for him" because she knew I needed a moment to sit down and hear God's words.  He is in control of the big.  He is in control of the small.