Monthly Archives: January 2011

Schedule? What Is That?!

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So after two days of complete fun, I’m pooped.   We had happiness personified on Saturday, where we played and baked and played and ate pig stomach and made many jokes, and laughed till our bellies ached.  On Sunday we had a lot of fun with a tea party Sunday morning with DudyMomma, a failed attempt at an impromptu nap, and a birthday party for Mom-Mom.  We rounded out the night with a sleepy trip home and a round of screaming upon arrival thence.  After two days of unparalleled fun, I think we’re all funned out.  Ever had that happen?  Its like eating too much of a delicious meal.  It tasted SO GOOD while you were eating it, then your stomach realized what you’d done, and BAM!  It lets you KNOW life ain’t gonna be pleasant for awhile since you overdid it.

Hopefully more adventures ensue… once we get our fun back in gear!  I need to go find something funny to do.  Maybe if I leave the peanut butter out, lid open, they’ll be like sharks.  I can see it now: Sarah and Emma, circling the table, sniffing out the pungent odor, teeth bared!   Then; WHAM!  They go at that jar in a feeding frenzy!

(Can you tell I’ve gone slightly batty?)

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Tune In At 7am For: Mornings With Emma!

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Pig stomach was pretty good!  I enjoyed the company, the conversation, and the food!  All in all, a very good evening!  I enjoyed some adventures that may make it into the Liz storybook, like the great poop festival, my first tasting of pig stomach, finding out my children can be the life of the party, and discovering a couchful of family, asleep.   It was a great evening, not to mention the visiting, laughing, and zingers flying.   I felt a little off my game as far as wit…  but thats ok, Mom brain will not be so virulent eventually… right?  or maybe it was the two glasses of wine?  Either way, I had a wonderful time!

This morning I awoke with a little face in mine

“Hello Mommy.  Its Emma!  I hide your eyes…”

*my hair is summarily flipped into my face by Emma, effectively hiding my eyes*

“I find them!”

*Emma flips hair back away from my face*

“oh look!, Emma! there they are!”

“oh, Mommy, you SO SMART!! you find your eyes!”

I enjoyed this little wake up ritual, however jarring the initial contact was…  But, as anybody knows who knows Emma, jarring contact happens from time to time…

Sarah started the morning off right with peanut butter and a banana, and The Great War ensued, Emma not being left out of anything including peanut butter!  The whining was phenominal.  I do think Sarah has some kind of radio signal when she whines, it is so piercing.  Tune in mornings at 7 to hear Sarah say:”Mommmmmmmyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!  Emma took my PEANUT BUTTER!!!! waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh!”  I assure you, it is a riveting morning show!  But, alls well that ends with peanut butter in individual cups!

I’m a loner today, so expect many good stories to ensue.  Allen has traipsed up to Philly to see the car show, and will no doubt come home with many flyers and samples in tow, exhausted beyond belief, sometime after supper!  We are looking forward to a tea party with DudyMom this afternoon, and some much needed R & R (for the kids, I’ll be cleaning.)

Losing It!

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No, I am not referring to my mind, that was lost LONG ago… I am referring to my virginity.   I am a pig stomach virgin.   I have never had pig stomach before, in fact I will admit to habitually avoiding it, simply because my lack of a PA dutch palatte has been a bit of an impediment in convincing me to try it.  But today of all days, today is the day I will try pig stomach!   My friends, the Mecks, have been eating this dutch delicacy year after year, and they are still here, and some of the most openhearted, caring people I know!  Funny as all get out, too!  Its always a good time at the Meck house, so I’ve decided, if the Mecks like it,  I can try it!  I am throwing caution to the wind, and I may try a little liquid courage, and then go for the pig stomach!   Wish me luck folks!  I am all fired up about the good company, great friends, and delicious food I always find at Bruce and Jane’s house!  So here’s to friends, laughter, and a grand time!

I’m also excited to get to catch up with my friends Abbe and Van at the Mecks, Van has a blog: http://furiousball.com/inmydiatribe/ and has been a huge help in starting mine!  I don’t usually get to visit with them often, since they reside in the fair state of New Jersey, but today I will get to visit with them!   I will also get to nosh with Rachel C, and her baby Mia whilst we do the mommy rock.   (Every mother acquires this, and it never leaves her, its an innate thing, that when you hold a child you sway automatically…)

My only hindrance to all the glory of a Meckfest, is that my car is on the fritz.  Yesterday was but a harbinger of doom, a prophecy of things to come.  A reminder that my car SUCKS.  Allen is off being my knight in shining armor, at this very moment, tinkering away in the hopes of bringing about actual function to that car.     Until then, I will be cleaning frantically, since my house has now reached heights of mayhem and destruction that are heretofore, unimaginable.

All in all, this will be a good day!  I know it will ensue in lots of good stories, and great fun!  I can’t contain my excitement!

So Here’s To Big Messes! Bottoms Up!

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We’re having an utterly crazy weekend, and as a result my house is suffering.  I almost dread coming home from all the activities we have planned, because I know I am walking into a tremendous wreck of a house, and I don’t really feel like tackling it.  It is big, it is ostentatious, it is overwhelming.  And frankly, I’m sore from snow shoveling, so I feel a little entitled to some rest.  But, I also feel entitled to a clean house.

So how do I motivate myself?  I am resisting the urge to call my mother and ask for her help.  If there is anything I’ve learned this maternity leave, its that I CAN do it by myself, and I DON’T need someone else to step in when it comes to my housecleaning.   I used to think for some odd reason, that if I could get from rough patch to rough patch in the housecleaning battle, those times when I feel completely overwhelmed by the ever growing mess, and I could JUST get SOMEBODY to help me!  I could do it!  But this is not the case.  I can do it!  I can keep my house clean no matter how overwhelming or never ending it seems.  And it does seem never ending!  I clean, and minutes later, my house is covered in barbies, trucks, trains, and plastic food.  Laundry piles grow, dishes breed, and my house is a mess again!

I just need to take this like anything else that takes perseverance.  One step, one task, one day at a time.  Commit, clean, repeat.  Commit, clean, repeat.  There are so many things in our lives that are overwhelming, never ending, constant drains on our energy, emotion, and ability.  It  takes the will to keep trudging on.  Nobody said doing our duty is rewarding, fun, easy, comfortable.  It is there, it needs to be done, and its NOT going away!  As a parent, is it not my responsibility to model this for my children?  It never hurt anybody to keep up with the housework, no matter how much drudgery it is.  It HAS hurt people to neglect it.  If there is anything I’d like to teach my children, it is that hard work, perseverance, and reliability is its own reward, no matter what others tell us.   I’ve never been glad I let my housework go, but I’ve always been glad I accomplished something that made my life a little brighter, a little better, a little cleaner.

As with anything like this, I hate the difficulty in cleaning, the hard work it takes, the exhaustion that follows, but I love looking around at the clean smelling home, the bright beauty of clean.   How many times do we try to avoid doing the right thing?  Its hard to follow the rules, obey God’s laws, think of others first, maintain a code of behavior that values others, do the things we hate to do to be what we know is right.  It was hard to be a mother so young, but if I’ve learned anything about life, and what God has planned for me, its that obedience is its own blessing.   When I do what he has planned for me, follow his laws, no matter how hard, and I look around at the clean sparkling life that ensues, it is worth it.  I could have followed my heart, taken the easy way out, let somebody clean up my teenage motherhood, but I didn’t.  I am so so glad that I didn’t.  For all the hard work, it is worth it to hug my beautiful children daily, enjoy their bright clean smiles, and love with all my heart.  Hard work is just that, hard.  But it ends up in achievement that is all the sweeter for all the blood sweat and tears that built it.

Oh, Hey There Officer…

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So this morning started off harmlessly enough.  We packed up the crew to go and have an interview with Al Zetner at Lighthouse Academy.  We are excited as we consider all the different education options for our children.  This is a whole new part of parenting, which is just as terrifying and exciting as the previous stage.  So here we are!  Allen and I had a great tour with Al, and felt really good about Lighthouse, and their unique perspective on education.  Now, we will see if we can manage to enroll Sarah, or if she”ll be going the more traditional route, public education.  If anybody has any thoughts on this decision, feel free to weigh in!

On the way home, we stopped at the post office. My car was stalling, and I knew fuel was low, but hey, the gas station was less than a block away, so… (facepalm) I let the car run while I was in there.  Driving up the hill to the gas station, the car stalled when we stopped at the light.  Didn’t start again.  so, less than 100 feet away from the gas station we were effectively marooned.  This was not ideal, since I had known fuel was low, and hadn’t felt the need to mention it to Allen.  Also, I waited to check the gas gauge, till after we were on the road.  Not cool.  So we sat there, left out big sighs, and Allen trudged off down the street to get to my parents (about a half mile away from this spot,) and procure a gas can, while I turned on the hazard lights.   I enjoyed the music of screaming children for a time, and in about a half hour Allen returned with the can.  At that moment, I tried to start the car, it didn’t even turn over, and RIGHT then, a police car pulled up behind us.  The policeman informed Allen that we could not sit there, since we were “on” the road, and its a truck route.   So what choice do we have?  let the car roll backwards down the hill until we find a side street or driveway to accommodate us?  Or, do we push through the busy intersection up ahead with THREE kids in the car?  hmmm.  decisions decisions.  Allen told the police officer he was heading up to get more gas, and see if we could start the car again.  Having gotten the gas then, car still didn’t start.    Hmm, battery maybe?  So, realizing kids were in the car, the policeman agreed to jump us.  As he jumped our car (and anyone who knows us, will know our car…) He asks Allen “So, have much trouble with this thing?”  I was so amused by this question, that I let out a VERY loud spurt of laughter, which probably wasn’t the politest thing I could do.   Thankfully, at this point, the girls were busy, Sarah with old keys, Emma with pen and paper, and Ava with a pacifier.  So, we finally got the car started, and thrilled to death, headed out to a cheaper gas station down the road.  Hallelujah we escaped!  All in all, as miserable as it sounds, this kind of adventure is usually fun, despite the brief inconvenience.  The kids had enjoyed their car time, once I’d pulled out the “emergency toys” (read: things I scrounged out of nowhere) and Allen and I were left laughing over the whole ordeal, because of that officer’s incredulity at our car breaking down at such an inconvenient spot.  (Sorry we PLANNED to break down here officer… we really should’ve picked a better spot!)  All in a good days work for the Sacks family!

We got home, and chatted for some time about our options with schooling, and everyone’s future, and as big of a decision this all is, it still hangs over our heads, but not with the same urgency.  So here goes a ton of prayers we make the right one!   I love my family, and I love my husband, who can laugh at a day gone wrong, and that we can both have the best time having the worst time!  Some days, a sense of humor is invaluable in parenting, in marriage, in life.

Snow Snow EVERYWHERE!!

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Last night, the snow was beautiful.  This morning.  It was nasty.   Sarah was THRILLED it was snowing, she always is!  When its a few inches…  We went out to begin shoveling, and bundled the kids up to come along and play.  As they’re playing, Sarah heads to the back porch.  She yelled “Mom!  I’m back heeeerrrreeeee!”

Yeah.. and? I kept shoveling, and doing my thing.  I heard crying,

“MOM!!!!! MOM!!  I’M BACK HEEERRREEEE!”

Ye Gods what has happened now?  I head to the back porch to find her sitting on the snow covered couch, (yes. we have a couch on the back porch, but thats fodder for another post…  I DO have a little of the redneck in me…)  sobbing, WITH HER BOOTS AND GLOVES OFF!  What the heck?!  I asked her what was wrong?

“I took my boots off, and my feet are WEEEETTTTTTTTTT!!! WAAAAAHHH!”

Now, at four, I would think that it may be a logical decision to keep your snow boots on?  At any age, really.  I put her boots back on, as she wailed to go back inside, so I promptly sent her back in to snuggle under blankets.  Allen traipsed back in with the girls while I continued to shovel with my neighbor.  (Who kindly helped me dislodge my car, thanks Chris!) about a half hour later, Sarah comes back out.

“Mom!  I want to try again!”

Thats my kid!!  Trying again!  It’s a little difficult snow shoveling, whilst she’s playing in it, chucking it all over, but overall, I’m proud she didn’t let one incident ruin snow forever …wait a minute, she’s making up a song about how nasty the snow is!!!  I wish I could remember the exact lyrics for you all, but, alas, I can’t.  It went something like “nasty snow don’t come back again, don’t you get in our boots.  We don’t like when you come snow, so don’t come back… etc. etc.”

I’ll take what I can get with this teachable moment… I’ll think of it this way, at least she’s learning how to make music!

Another Sarah moment of note:

Sarah: Holds Barbie up “I don’t have any money? What do I do?”

Me: “Get a job.”

Sarah “No! My Dad says I DON’T WORK! This is my friend Donna, (holds up purple beanie baby) she gives everybody money! now we all have MONEY!”

Great. I wish I was friends with Donna…

Lateness Becomes Me? And Brooke Sniffs An Onion!

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I write my post a little late today, but then many things have been late lately.  I’m just not feeling very motivational.  Yesterday was busy as all get out, and well worth it!  We spent our morning with Rachel K. and kids at Chick Fil A’s playland (McD’s was outdoors.  ugh.) Our children ran amuck while we chatted about grown up things and enjoyed adult company.  I know I’ve said this before, but it is so encouraging to know other women are experiencing what I experience in motherhood.  Its nice to sit with another mother and know, I’m not alone!  It was a rousing success, since my children fell asleep on the way home, after devouring some chicken nuggets from the best chicken place ever!

Upon getting home, I left the children to nap with Allen and sped up to the daycare.  The more I experience of motherhood with 3, life with 3, and energy levels with 3 kids, the more I think a full time job just isn’t in the cards!  Thankfully, my employer is flexible, and willing to work with me, and we had a wonderful chat sorting it all out.  I am very thankful to have such a family friendly employer! I got to visit my coworkers downstairs in my classroom, and enjoy the oohs and aahs over Ava.  Every mother enjoys fussing over, and watching others fuss over our baby.  Maybe she’s not so exceptional as I think, but I’d like to think she is!  I am partial after all, so I think she’s the cutest baby around!  Its nice to have others smile and giggle at her too.  I know, I’m shameless!  But there it is!  Motherhood is shameless in its promotion.  What can I say?

Brooke came over, Thankfully we had chosen Tuesday over Wednesday before this nasty snow was forecasted, so it all worked out for a weekly dose of Anti-Insanity time with Brooke!  The girls were full, and happy after Allen cooked supper (I love my husband!) He also put the girls to bed for us.  🙂

We finished the movie Emma, alternately tearing up, uttering “awww!” and swooning over Mr Knightley! Jane Austen, the original rom-com was there to supply a much needed bit of grown up introspection.  During the movie, many Brooke/Liz adventures ensued.  We spilled a bowl of popcorn, and made another, drank tea like all get out, and contemplated cold remedies for Brooke. We settled on a modified onion pack, so I chopped up an onion for her to breathe in.  It did its work on poor Brooke in no time!  She cried more than I did the whole movie!   All in all, the second half redeemed this adaptation of Emma, and it is growing on me!  It was very sweet and endearing.  Brooke and I finished off the night chatting.  This is where the real fun began.  We attempted to solve a real life mystery only to be thwarted by incomplete information, but had fun being Columbo and Monk, respectively.  A stinkbug scared the poop outta me, which scared the poop outta Brooke, who thought someone broke into the house!  We spent the next ten minutes looking over both our shoulders, for various reasons.  All in all, print cannot convey how much fun we had,  it was one of those evenings that unless you were there, it doesn’t hold the same weight.  Either way, we had a grand time, and this will go down in Liz and Brooke anecdotes as a biggie!

Now I shall enjoy the remainder of the day staring at the overwhelming pile of dishes I am doing ANYTHING to avoid…

The Ogre Has Arrived And Betty Crocker Is Goin’ DOWN!

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Not all days are good days.  Not every day are you the Betty Crocker, smelling like baked goods and wearing lipstick , a skirt, and pearls, bedecked in oven mitts in a sunny kitchen pulling delicious things from the oven.  Not every day is the day you’d like your child to remember as their childhood.  Yesterday I was the Ogre Mom, with beady red eyes, crazy hair, stomping around in my pajama pants meting out vegetables with a fury unmatched.  I’d like to say I’m Betty Crocker and sunshine all the time, but to be sincere, I’m not.  No mother ever is.  We just have bad days.  Days we regret before they’re even snoring away after we’ve put them to bed with a HUGE sigh of relief.   Often times, Ogre Mom comes out when she’s experiencing the chicken children.  As Bill Cosby says, parenthood is very similar to being pecked to death by chickens.   I was pecked into a frenzy yesterday.  In times like those, when a Mother turns Ogre, sometimes what we need most is to be told we’re really not an ogre at all, and that whether or not we’re Betty Crocker, we’re a good Mom just as we are, mistakes and all.  Moms need encouragement too.  We clean up after, dress, bathe, change, encourage, teach, talk, play, feed, clothe, and support everyone, and sometimes we need a little kickback ourselves.  Sometimes we need to be told “for all your faults and troubles, I still love you”  like we tell our children every day.    Moms need to learn from teachable moments too.   Thank God for tomorrows, when we can face a new day with our own confidence.  (Betty ain’t got nothin’ on us ladies!) We can face a new day with that confidence built from our own failures, and successes.

Encounters Of Another Kind…

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Emma found Sarah’s water pistol, after experimenting with it a bit she walked up to me, and posed a question quite cheerfully, holding forth her treasure.   “Mommy can I shoot Ava?”  This is perhaps the most bizarre question I’ve gotten from a child of mine to date. The answer was “No! You don’t shoot ANYONE!  Least of all babies!!  When its summer though, you can play with that water pistol outside!”  I removed and hid the offending article.  I immediately thought, note to self:  Have another gun safety chat.  You can never have too many.

Although it was a water pistol, and Emma was likely referring to the ‘squirt’ function as ‘shooting,’ the question stick out to me.  How is it that my adult mind takes something utterly innocent, AKA Emma’s query regarding the squirtability of her little sister.  Rather than being struck by the thoughtfulness that must have accompanied such an idea, and being proud of the fact that she asked first, all I heard was the word “Shoot” and instantly added a sinister meaning.  This goes back to yesterday’s post, and the change adulthood brings.  So, maybe my reaction may have been a bit overboard, but either way, eventually Emma will get the “respect guns” chat.  She already had a bit of a version.  Sometimes when I’m making parenting decisions I wonder if I don’t confront things differently after the fact, or define things better.    If there is anything I’ve found its that parenting is a journey, I need to pace myself.  Also that, however nice it would be to have the “right” answer apparent, it isn’t always.  I’m still wondering if I goofed that “teachable moment.’

The Ultimate Change

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Started this morning off with a visit to my parents church.  We came home, napped, and now we’re off to a birthday party for Lisha!  Such an exciting day breeds an unexciting post! I will update after the party though if anything interesting happens!

Thoughts from the day:

It seemed like today’s mantra has been things will never go back the way they were.  This morning, while getting dressed I noticed that I’ve lost weight, but not inches, stretch marks have compounded from all three pregnancies, and that my hips seem to get wider with each pregnancy, and my shoes a little tighter too.

At church I noted that the whole experience, though the people were the same, and the philosophy was similar, it wasn’t the same experience.  As a parent I appreciated a different viewpoint, as an adult I had come back.  It was like being the prodigal and going back home.  I realized that although in some superficial points I disagree with my parents, music choices, style of dress, the way I converse, in the principles themselves, I have come to see their heart was in the right place.  As parents, they wished to teach me the most important thing in their life, their faith in God, and tried to protect me from others who may attack that childish faith.  As a parent the last thing you want to see ultimately is a loss of that beautiful innocence every child holds till everyone else disenchants them.  I understood that today in a way I never did before.

I also noted that as a mother EVERYTHING has changed about my marriage.  Our priorities, our goals, our ideals, they’ve changed with the advent of parenthood.

Today, I just feel that there is no going back on my life as it is, only moving forward, regrets are useless, and so is wishful thinking.  I am what I am.  A mother of three beautiful daughters, with wide hips, stretch marks, extra worry lines, and an unwillingness to see my children lose their childish faith.   Not that I wish I could go back, well, except for one thing, I do still wish I looked like I did in high school!