Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ahhhh . . . heavenly

Yesterday a crew of 4 lovely ladies came to my home to CLEAN . . . yes clean, not just any clean, but that "really, truly MOVE things so you can dust under them" clean. Can I tell you how thrilling that was . . . so thrilling in fact that I was speechless - literally speechless watching them scrubbing the floorboards, blinds, and toilet bowls (by HAND mind you). OK, for those of you that get your house cleaned by other people on a regular basis the "I'm so happy right now I could cry" aspect of having someone do your dirty work for you may have worn off by now. OK, so I'm not kidding here, I actually called Chris to tell him "thanks SO much, this is the best day of my life" and left an emotional voice mail. When he called back I could just see him rolling his eyes while he asked, "ok, were you really crying when you left that message?"

I stayed for a few minutes after they got to work to gather my things and Elizabeth as I watched in amazement. It was wonderful - i took off for a walk through the neighborhood and then to a friend's for a visiting teaching appointment. OK - so, here's the best part - when I came home the first thing I saw was our piano with the cabinet wide open and just gleaming (wow - no dust), it was so inviting that I couldn't resist and since the entire house was sparkling clean I had all the time in the world to do something just for me. So, I got Liza settled with her crayons - one of her favorite activities is drawing while i play, she tells me: "you go play piano and i'll sit and color" - and I sat down and played and played - for 90 minutes in fact. It was nirvana. Mom, if only I could have enjoyed those long practice sessions when I was fifteen, right? I clearly remember the pains of practicing in my youth and how the thought of sitting at the piano for an hour or more was really quite dreadful, however, now with no one making sure my scales and finger exercises were accurate and my recital piece was polished, playing the piano has taken on a whole new meaning. Oh, and mom, I'm loving the music you gave me for my birthday - when I play out of that book Chris says he feels like he's wallking through the English countryside, which is just what it sounds like.
Hey, I took pictures - here's Liza in our "dining room," well, that's what it's supposed to be, but for now it's the arts & crafts room and yes, that's our guinea pig Daisie over against the window. It's a great room for the kids and keeps them close when I play . . . oooohh, and do you see how awesome the floor looks!
FYI - here's my recommendation for the most excellent cleaning company, oh and guys pay attention, it's also the perfect Mother's Day gift: "Super Ant professional house cleaning services" - #265-0082

Sunday, April 27, 2008

"Way Cool Mom" - really?

OK, so on my profile my occupation is listed as "way cool mom." Let me explain so you all don't keep wondering what makes me believe that i'm all that "cool." When I was putting this blog together and came to the part about an occupation I asked Sophie who was in the room what it is that i do - for my work, what is my job. She thought for awhile and asked, "hmmm, you take care of kids?" "Well, yes," I told her, "yep, you're right, I do indeed take care of my kids . . . i'm a mom." Then she responded, "oh, you're not just a mom, you're a way cool mom!" I loved it and told her she was the sweetest thing ever and gave her a big kiss and posted "way cool mom." Now, if I had asked Ryan, I highly doubt the "way cool" part would have even entered his mind - moms aren't cool anymore once your child enters jr. high school - believe me.

From age 5 until about 7 or 8 are magical years. These are the years when you as the mom are just about the greatest thing around, second only to a Disney princess. What I love most about this time is that you little ones think you have all the answers, and that you are so full of wisdom and information that they don't even question you. The barrage of questions at this age definitely gets a little tedious . . . "Where do all the potato bugs go during the winter? . . . "Why doesn't it hurt when I get my haircut?" . . . "What will happen if we put Daisie (our guinea pig) in the bathtub?" However, you are practically perfect (well, not "Mary Poppins" perfect according to Liza) in their eyes and they haven't begun to recognize that you do indeed have shortcomings and weaknesses.

It's an age when they delight in having you walk them into school and help in the class (compare that w/my darling 13-year old who can't get out of the car fast enough). They are years filled with "i love yous," and "you're the best mom in the world," and a neverending supply of notes, pictures, and letters delievered personally by your 6-year old. This age just makes me smile and I've kept several of these sweet notes from Ryan, Caroline, and Sophie - they are so precious to me. It's also comforting to know that I still have one child who has yet to turn five, and I'm SO looking forward to it!

Friday, April 25, 2008

4th Child Musings

So, tonight during one of our dinnertime conversations where everyone has something so important to say that we're all basically talking over each other, I happened to hear Liza mention something about school pictures. WAIT a minute . . . pictures? You mean pre-school pictures - the ones where you stand together as a class with the teacher and all your little 4-year classmates take them home to their adoring parents . . . those pictures? My mind started racing . . . ok, was that the day I caved and let her wear her favorite royal blue velour frilly dress-up over her regular clothes, complete with tap shoes (minus the laces which went missing years ago) to school? Nope, that was Monday and this dinnertime revelation puts pictures on Wednesday. What in the world was she wearing on Wednesday? Please don't tell me it was her favorite orange striped pants with that one flower shirt she loves, or the cowboy skirt with the same tap shoes . . . wait, did i even wash her face after lunch before sending her out the door? And please tell me her hair was out of her face - did i even do it that day? All these thoughts crowded my mind in a matter of seconds and before long our dinner conversation had suddenly switched to nothing but the details of Liza's attire on Wednesday. As the kids argued about exactly WHAT she was wearing and if indeed her hair had a bow or not, I suddenly remembered something Liza had told me earlier today. She walked into the kitchen, hair out of place, and jam smeared all over her face and announced simply, "Mom, I want to live with Mary Poppins."

Before long I was laughing so hard I was in tears (really, the only way to experience true laughter) as I began contemplating the difference between my first, second, and even third child compared with little Elizabeth Jane. I clearly remember Ryan's first day of pre-school down to the neatly combed hair, tucked in red and white stripped shirt and even (heaven forbid) matching red tennis shoes. Caroline must have had a neatly pressed smocked dress, curled hair, and a matching bow. And I at least REMEMBERED the day Sophie had her pre-school pictures and sent her to school somewhat presentable. Something mysterious has happened from the first three kids to my last. For one thing, I let Liza wear light-up, character shoes - something that was outlawed for the first three children. I also allow Liza to dress how she pleases, despite Caroline's protests of "Mom, you CAN'T let her out of the house looking like that!!" Finally, I don't get embarrassed by anything Liza says or does in public, even if she annouces quite loudly, "That guy with the green hair is SOOO freaky!" Usually, I just smile and agree with her because she's usually right and because as a child she doesn't feel the restrictions that social etiquette requires of the rest of us.

Unfortunately, I'm now "that" mom in Kindermusik class who, when the teacher asks all the children to get out their homemade boats, gets that blank stare that translates into "what boat?" I suppose it's the fate of all last children, but I don't think they are traumatized by the lack of attention. Just look at Liza - she's by far the most independent, creative, not to mention funniest kid in the house. As for the picture, it looks like we're going to have to wait for the actual printed school pic to come home to see what she wore that day.
But this thought just came to mind: Wednesday was the day I let her do her own hair and I do clearly remember her teacher walking her out to the car after school with her hair combed and the little clippy Liza had originally haphazardly placed in her hair was now in a different place entirely, pulling her bangs out of her face, and I thought to myself: "how nice, her teachers fixed her hair." Now I know why ;-)

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Welcome to our blog!

Well, here goes my official entry into the blogging world . . . I've been aware that it's one of those things that i've just got to do, but how to go about the whole thing is still a little strange. But, whatever, i'm doing it for all those family members who tell us we never stay in touch or don't call - you know who you are :-). As for the rest of you, read what you want, stay informed with the insanity of our household, or just log on for a good laugh. We're far from perfect and after reading posts on this blog you'll realize it soon enough. Caroline and Ryan are both embarrassed beyond words that I'm starting a blog, and it makes me laugh thinking of all the fun i'm going to have telling you all what's going on in their lives! Chris thinks it's fabulous and secretly hopes that i'll be so popular as to have ads posted and it becomes a full-time job so he can retire, and the little girls don't have a clue that their antics will now be display for all of you to view.

So to all my wonderful family members and friends: i hope you find some enlightenment, if not amusement from our blog as you check it periodically. As soon as my dear, but somewhat forgetful husband gets around to downloading the pictures from the past few months onto this computer, i'll write about some of our most recent events - with pictures - what fun!!