Thursday, August 29, 2013

Toddlers Escaping Death

Last night Katherine had a pretty big accident that ended without so much as a bump or scrape.  It was one of those things that could have ended badly.  Like, really badly.

We were over at Brian's parent's house for the evening so that I could attend a bridal shower for his sister.  Just as we were about to load all the kids in the car and head home, Katherine decided to make one very large end table her own personal jungle gym.  She secured her hands to the edge, lifted up both her feet and that's when the table, and the massive lamp that sat atop it, toppled over on top of her.  Except it didn't.  Miraculously both the lamp and table somehow missed her little body.  But the dent left in the hardwood floors is enough to make me a little nauseous.

There was a lot of panic.  And screaming.  And crying.  It was pretty traumatic.  And I'm not just writing that for the sake of drama.

Bobby ended up on the floor in the rush to the scene so he was crying.  William, not understanding everyone's sudden alarm, was crying.  At least half the adults were choked up.  And Katherine, scared out of her mind, was of course hysterical.

I secured Bobby and Brian took to Katherine.  It didn't take too long to realize that we had just narrowly avoided a major incident.  We combed through her little body upside and down.  After her broken arm earlier this summer I was having a bit of PTSD.  If there was a problem I certainly wasn't going to let it linger for a couple of days like I did before.

Nana offered ice cream and all was right in the world.

I think I feel the worst for Brian's mom who has called and texted me no less than five times since last night.  She knows it could have easily gone the other way and keeps rewinding and replaying the events in her head.

I admit to thinking about it a few times as I tried to fall asleep last night.  But mostly I'm unaffected.

The truth is, these things happen.  Kids are constantly just barely missing death's door or serious injury.  If you really think about it, it's a damn miracle any kid makes it to their third birthday unscathed.  And Katherine's guardian angel, in particular, seems to be working overtime.

Toddlers, by nature, are curious beings and you just do the best you can to keep them safe.  And then you pray like their life depends on it.  Because it does.
The Toddler
In other more light-hearted news, we are in the midst of a major heatwave.  Which is funny because we had a rather mild summer.  I would argue we had some of the best weather in the country for the better part of July and August.  But just like Old Man Winter never forgets about us, neither do the dog days of summer.  We're playing out the final days of summer vacation in the A/C or outside with our toes deeply submerged in ice cold water.

And so, with sweat dripping down our brows, we're crawling to the finish line.  That being the first day of school in four very long, very hot days.  Today has been so boring and dull that I described it to Brian as "a black hole of infinite nothingness."  Which is pretty dark now that I'm rereading it.  But when the most productive thing done all day was to relocate all the school supplies from the Target bag to the backpacks, well, we're struggling.

But at the very least today will go out with all my children still in tact and apparently, as of late, that's saying a lot.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Only 13 Day Until School and Other Less Important Updates

We're nearing the finish line, folks.  And I'm equal parts, "Whoop whoop! Homestretch, baby!" and also, "Omigosh summer is almost over--QUICK! What fun things have we forgotten to check off the Must Do to Make a Happy Childhood list?"

I had this one really bad day last week where nothing of any significance happened.  It was just a really looooong day with a lot of fighting and screaming and not listening.  When things get to that point I really want to overreact and send the Bigs to their room for the rest of the day.  The real reason I'm impatient is because their erratic behavior is getting in the way of me taking care of the babies who have more pressing needs.  So we all get a little annoyed with each other.

And that right there is the best illustration I can use to explain why a school routine does wonders for us.  I literally need another adult (their teacher) to take over for a few hours so that they get their activity needs met and I can devout time and attention to the babies for the lion's share of the day.

Everyone's happy and homeschooling is not for us.  The end.

All that said, the babies are progressing like crazy and I'm really starting to feel like maybe, just maybe, we won't be in this season of infants and toddlers for the rest of all eternity.

Bobby has been crawling for about a month now.  A full two whole months ahead of any of my other babies, who, it should be noted, were late crawlers/walkers.

This boy can move.  And also get into stuff.  I had forgotten, after having two back-to-back girls, just how active little boys are.  Say what you want about gender neutrality but I think it's a whole big chunk of baloney.  Little boys and little girls are innately different.  They just are.  For one, I'm pretty sure that every boy is born with a little bit of ADHD.  Which, I suppose, would render the term "disorder" unwarranted.  But I guarantee you every mother of a little boy at one time or another has wondered, "Should he get tested?"

The answer, in most cases, is no.  He's just a boy.

Last night I tried to get Bobby out of the bath but was failing miserably because he was obsessed with this little ball I had thrown in the water with him.  I had to grab both him and the ball to get him to cooperate.  After he was all jammied up he was still having a love affair with this ball so I decided, what the heck?  And I put him to bed with the ball.  I didn't hear a single peep after that.

Some kids have a blankie or stuffed animal.  Bobby has a ball.

In other sleep news, we put Katherine in a big bed this week.  Brian's mom took the big kids to her house for a couple of days so it seemed like the perfect time to give it a whirl since she had the bedroom all to herself.  I'm thinking Kate must have something else up her sleeve because this process was way too easy.  I do think, however, the fact that we didn't acknowledge the change AT ALL played in our favor.  We just simply placed her in the bed like this is what we had been doing forever.  She's been sleeping 12 hours at night.  And when she wakes up in the morning she just sweetly calls for someone to come get her.

But the big kids are headed home as we speak so the sleeping arrangements for tonight are already on the top of my mind.  I had Kate in Lucy's bed, which happens to be a full size.  So potentially I could put the girls in bed together and hope for the best.  Otherwise there is a trundle option for our model of bunk beds that I could look into purchasing.

Do any of your children sleep in the same bed together?  What are the positives and negatives?

As for my own personal updates, I've started running again!  I was sidelined for a couple of months by an ankle injury which I may or may not have remembered mention here.  Anyway, it's all healed and I'm back at it three mornings a week.  It is a total sanity check for me because if nothing else I'm getting out of the house for 30-40 minutes in the morning.

I'm having an internal debate about whether it's better to run with or without music.  I usually run without music.  I like to hear my breath and footsteps because it helps me get into a rhythm.  I ran with music for the first time last week and was surprised to find that I was completely wiped out after only two of my usual three miles.  I looked at my clock and realized only 16 minutes had passed.  An eight-minute-miler I am not.  The music propelled me to run faster which is great except when your goal is distance instead of time.

So maybe the key is run without music until I think I can't go any further and then let Bon Jovi propel me the rest of the way.

Yesterday I made my annual trip to Target to purchase school supplies.  Does anyone else get totally excited when you see all those racks stacked with office supplies?  All I can picture is how organized I could be (a giant dry erase calendar!) or how calm and quiet and crafty we could be gathered around the table drawing (new crayons!) or snipping (Fiskars!) or creating (construction paper and glue!).

Then the Target Lady rings me up and is all, "That'll be $177, please!"  I'm all, "Whaaaaaaa...?"

Fifteen-cent folders add up fast.

I didn't go supply shopping with the kids this year but spied this gem on Facebook this morning and had to share.  Enjoy!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Rolling With It

I thought we could just start out with this little gem.

If you have a Facebook account, or Instagram, or Twitter, or a blog it is common and easy to post the best of the best of your super idyllic life.  I am just as guilty as the next person.  Who wouldn't want their old middle school friends to see just how crazy awesome your life is now?

Except that most of those perfect pictures represent about .001% of actual life scenarios.

So here's my real life.  A lip curl smile.  A I'm-2-hours-past-nap-and-I-don't-want-to-sit-and-smile-ANYMORE! A diaper ready to burst. And an are-you-kidding-me look.

This is real life.  And it's so awesome.

Shortly thereafter Brian snapped this photo of me.
I'm posting it to show that sometimes if you give up on getting the perfect photo, you'll get one when you least expect it.

Katherine didn't want to sit still or look at the camera.  William wanted to look through the binoculars. So I sat down and chilled out.  It was past 1:00. We had just finished up at the Farmer's Market and took a stroll down to the ol' Mississippi to get a better look at the lock & dams.  We ate fresh local blueberries right out of the carton.  The kids sampled green beans.  The yellow kind.  Brian and I sampled whiskey. (For real!)  We bought buckets of corn and juicy tomatoes.  The kids ran and ran and ran.  And then melted down.  And we took it in stride because we were out and doing something.  All of us.  Together.

Last night we forfeited our normal routine again. We made a Target run at dinner time which was HI-larious.  Pretty sure we convinced a few people to go child free for the rest of their lives.

We bought cheese and crackers and grapes and hummus and baby carrots in addition to our list items.  Then we drove to the Sculpture Garden in downtown Minneapolis.  A summer family favorite of ours.  There was some sort of photography class happening.  And also some other sort of gathering with a lot of cheering that we couldn't quite figure out.  Either way our party of six was a traditional minority that stuck out like a sore thumb among all the local hipsters and shakers.

On the way home, in between over-tired baby screams, Brian said, "See?  We can do cool stuff."

Like he was previously doubtful.  Or nostalgic.

I knew we had it in us.  Even if I did get home, throw all the kids in bed and chug a beer like my life depended on it.

Friday, August 2, 2013

7 Quick Takes: 8.2.13

1. So this is my 1,001st blog post.  Wow!  I only noticed when I logged in and saw the number.  Six years, four kids and I'm still writing.  Not as frequently, I realize, but I've learned to let go of the guilt of not being a consistent writer and instead letting this blog be here for me when I need it.

Someday I still dream of writing a book.  But today I'm satisfied with just a quiet moment at the kitchen table click-clacking away on the keyboard.  A book though.  I'm putting it out there.  It's going to happen.

2.  My post on Wednesday wasn't supposed to be what it became.  I intended to sit down and write a little update on Casa del Nash but instead this is what came out.  I can always feel it inside me.  When I need to take all the little bits that are floating around and cluttering up my ability to be the best me.  I need to organize them.  Reconcile my feelings.  And get it out in the form of sentences and paragraphs.  And then my life feels real again.

I will never stop writing.

3. So enough of all the heavy stuff.  Updates, updates.

For the past couple of weeks our family has been playing this super fun game.  And when I say super fun what I really mean is the opposite of that.  What you need is this: Three bedrooms, four little kids, two cribs, a set of bunk beds and a whole heap of tolerance and patience.  Sometimes I forget to bring those last two things.

The game is called Musical Bedrooms.  The object of the game is to find the best kid combination within the space we have to get everyone asleep and happy before 9:00.  We usually fail.  But I think we're getting close.


Like I said, tricky.

4. This is the time of year when everyone collectively hangs their heads and somberly says, "Summer's over." And when I say, "Crap, still another month until school starts."  Aside from a gymnastics class here and a golf league there, I'm out of camps which means I have to go inside my own head to think up new and exciting things to do for the next few weeks.  It's going to be R-O-U-G-H.  Hang on, folks.

5.  On the up side, however, college football season is just around the corner.  And I have to remind any of my newer readers within the past year or so that I am not at all being sarcastic.  I had this idea of writing a series of posts on a girl's guide to loving football.  What are your thoughts on this?  If you like it, what would you want to hear about?

6 & 7.  And since I desperately need to shower before nap time is over, I'm going to burn my last two takes with cabin vacation photos since I never posted any.  ENOY!
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