The Mother Trail

I so long for the baby to nap and see my older ones off to school so that I can have a rest from the neverending journey of mamahood. Maybe I'll get a nice warm shower or mop the floors?  Maybe I can watch a sitcom about other pretty showered moms (who are actually dressed) with clean homes and children you never see. I need a break from the diaper changes and housework; a clearing on the trail, to just take a moment and to see the beauty of what I have.
I imagine that being a parent is like climbing a mountain. You start out on a lovely open trail that is relatively flat. You are just so ready and excited to get going. You lead, your children happily follow. It is easy to look down and admire the wildflowers and pick some pinecones. You tell the kids, 'We have to get moving now, come on, let's go." You continue on, enjoying the view, but the trail begins to get tougher as iit winds on. You have to stop to catch your breath.  Your legs burn a bit as the trail becomes uphill. The trees become more dense and it's harder to see the view. You wonder how you'll make it any further. Just then, you come to a clearing. You feel the warmth of the sun and a field of long grass. You take a break, pick a few wildflowers, and watch the children run through the open field. You relax for a bit and enjoy the view.

But you cannot stop for long; the uphill trail is waiting and the kids are ready to go.  You are so tired, but have no choice but to go on. The kids will not wait and they run ahead without you. You push yourself a little harder and try your best to keep up and enjoy the hike.
Soon, you notice the trail has thinned and you suddenly realize you are completely lost. Which way to go? The kids say, "This way Mom!" but you just aren't sure that's the right way. You consult the map, the book of Love and Logic, but it doesn't have the answers. You try desperately to find a sign, leading you to the right way. You look upward. No wait, you look inward and follow your gut. It leads you back on the right trail. No longer lost, but tired and you want to stop for a break. The kids just want to keep going, so you keep up with a smile.

You see another clearing ahead and look forward to feeling the warm sun. You reach the field, but the sun is behind a cloud. You are still happy to rest. But the baby wants to nurse. It's not as sunny and warm as you expected, but you really do enjoy this view. 
Back on the trail. It's so steep! You are leading the way with true enjoyment.  According to the map, no more clearings ahead, but you find a nice unexpected bench to take your rest. The kids are running ahead, but notice you opening a bottle of water. They run back to you! Delighted they came back, you give the kids your bottled water to share, which happened to be the last one. You are truly more than happy to give it to them. You are just happy to be together. You enjoy watching the kids gulp down the water. Hiking is hard work!
Off you go again up what feels like a 90 degree angled trail. You try hard to show your kids that you are enjoying the journey as much as they are. Can they see that you are struggling? Can't they see how tired you are? Just then, your child offers you the last few sips of that bottled water. You remember how sweet they are, how thoughtful they are, how wonderful it is that you are turning out thoughtful, kind-hearted people. Both the water and the enlightenment give you the strength to make it through, just as you knew you could, and you create your own places to stop every now and then to enjoy the view.
I am still on my way to the summit. I'm sure the view will be the most beautiful thing I've ever seen and felt. I'll let you know when I get there!


Eating Cascade and Ice Cream

So yesterday's photo journal of Princess didn't come out how I hoped as it was a near insane day. I'm talking everything from having to call poison control, vomit, broken eye glasses, and a naked 5-year-old.

Big Boy had a sleepover with his buddy last night and poor Jackie always wants to hang. Big Daddy was working last night so i had to be the ref and it was just crazy. Big Boy doesn't want his little bro to bother him and princess is just all over this poor boy who does not have a little sister or little brother, so he probably thinks our house is totally weird. Exactly what Big Boy tries to avoid. I think when Princess was returning the blanket she stole from them and had it wrapped around her naked body was the highlight. "here's you blanket, boys" as she ripped it from her wearing only NOTHING underneath! Then Jackie was chasing Big Boy and his buddy around the house. jackie was crying because he wanted to hang with the big boys. Jackie, why would they want to hang with you if you are chasing them? Poor Jackie.

Oh and then I was cleaning up after dinner, loading the dishwasher, I turn around and baby Indy puked all over the floor with a Cascade Action Pac in her hand with a nice bite in it. Oh my God. What's the number to poison control? How do I not have that posted on the fridge? I gave her a drink of water which is what it said on the package. It also said "Do Not Induce vomiting". Shit! She just vomited!
I think of that movie "Heathers" when she drank the bleach...and dies! I can't believe I was thinking about the movie "Heathers" at a time like this. I dialed frantically and talked with the nicest lady who assured me she would be fine. She said it happens all the time (that's scary) and she told me there was a 99% chance that she would go through the rest of the night totally fine. And she did.

During the whole thing, it was actually dessert time for the other kids; ice cream. Indy was screaming that she wanted some. It was good that she was being her spunky self, both I and the lady at poison control thought. The lady at PC told me that the Cascade was irritating, so I thought I would give her some ice cream in case her throat hurt. Not that I normally give my 15-month-old ice cream, but this was an emergency. I felt so guilty that I let her eat ice cream right out of the tub while she was sitting on top of the table. I just hope that Indy didn't learn the lesson of "Eat Cascade Action Pac...get ice cream."  

Oh and being I mentioned Big Boy's broken eye glasses, I don't really know the story behind this. In the midst of the Cascade ingestion nightmare, I discovered the glasses in the hallway floor...in two pieces.

I almost forgot about the marinara sauce! How could I forget that! I was cleaning up the playroom so Big Boy and his buddy could settle in and watch a movie. They made mozzarella sticks and the bowl of marinara dipping was on top of the Lego cabinet. I picked up the empty plate, a few empty soda cans (Hansens- no caffiene), and the bowl of sauce and the sauce, the RED sauce i might add, went flying across the room, on all the blankets I just nicely layed out, the carpet and on Big Boy's friend's butt. Fun stuff. More laundry and cleaning. I could blame the boys for not cleaning up, but this was really my fault.

Oh Jeez, what a night. What will today bring? I'm scared! Who says you can't have adventure and excitement without leaving your house?


A 24-Hour Chronical of a Princess

Here's what I'm dealing with here...

So, Princess, who loves to dress-up was in 7 different outfits yesterday. I guess I never even realized just exactly how many times Princess changes her clothes until yesterday when I thought it would be fun to count. 
So today I thought I would chronical a 24-hour photo journal of each outfit she wears today and I will be updating it all day, so keep on checking back! I am not telling her i am doing this as to keep her natural flow. I'm just snapping photos of her everytime she gets dressed.                                                 
 8am:  Pajamas

8:15: Dressed for the day. Or so you thought!

9:02am:  Another fancy dress

9:30am: Snow White appears for a late breakfast 
Note: 3 changes and it's only 9:30 in the morning!

2:30pm: Dressed exactly like her Moxi Girl

Note: Her Moxi Girl is an equestrian and I even had to make the 1st place ribbon to match her doll.
She was in her Snow White dress for 6 hours -that's kind of a record! She even wore it out to pick up Big Boy at basketball.


Celebrating 2012..oh How We Evolved!

Happy New Year! Well I had a pretty exciting night on New Year's eve last night. Compared to back in the day, it probably was not at all exciting, but in 2012 our parenting and technology have evolved. B4K, (aka - before kids, or before 4 kids) I would have been at a Phish concert or a Widespread Panic concert danicing my ass off until the wee hours of the night along with 10,000 other people. But no, not in 2012. In 2012 I was enjoying being with my family and friends in my own home. Making strawberries and cream, jello fizzers for the kids and cappucino for myself to aide in staying up til midnight. It was a fabulous night!

Yesterday morning Big Daddy had the opportunity to fly to NYC for the Phish show at MSG. He almost went, but decided against it right before he was supposed to leave. Our great friend, Melfi, our son, Jack's Godfather and great longtime friend had an extra ticket. Big Daddy's stepmom works for United and we are able to fly anywhere for about $150 on standby. Stepmom checked the flights and he would've been able to get on a 2pm flight and in first class taboot. He turned it down. Big Daddy must be growing up!

That would have been the normal NYE I've celebrated the past 5 or so years. Just hanging with the kids and waiting for Big Daddy to come home after a show. However in the year 2012, we have the best of both worlds. The technology of 2012 allowed us to stream the Phish NYE show live and online and watch it on our flatscreen...in our living room! We danced in our living room with about 3 of our friends as opposed to 10,000 and got to dance with our kids. Even baby Indy was catching a groove to Fluffhead. And our kids had to listen to us telling them that if it weren't for that band on the TV, they wouldn't have been born. B4K, Big Daddy and I used to be "Phish heads" and follow the band across the country and that's how we met. It was an amazing time in our lives. On Phish tour, at a gas station in Wisconsin outside the Alpine Valley venue in the summer of 1999, I met and fell in love with Big Daddy. Big Boy was born about a year and half later.

Megan, one of my besties, also used to tour with Phish and she enjoyed the show on the TV just as much as us! Oh boy, times have changed for us all! She has 2 kids and had to deal with Mommy stuff as well.  As she was on her way to our house last night, her 9-year-old threw up in the car. driving 75 mph, her son puked in the back seat and half out the window. A far cry from hanging out in the "lot" getting ready for a Phish show. He was fine when they got to our house and was happy to play with my 9-year-old as they are besties too. When it got late, we set up all the kids in the playroom to watch School of Rock.

We welcomed 2012 with our best friends and kids all around us. I got to give Big Daddy a really smoochy kiss at midnight which I haven't done (on NYE) for years. After we kissed, he said "that made it all worth it." So I really do believe that for us, being home, being together, watching the Phish show live, was about the best New Year's eve I could've ever imagined.