Friday, March 30, 2012

Tiny Man's Ten

I've spent the last several minutes looking at pictures of this little thing when he first arrived and still wonder: What was I thinking???  Obviously, I wasn't.  And I am so very thankful I had that lapse in judgement.

11.  Responded to "dude", "doodle", "doodlebug", "tiny", "tiny man", and occasionally his own name.
10.  Loved Kleenex.  It was not at all unusual to see him stand on his tip toes, grab a tissue, actually blow his nose, and then toddle off to throw the kleenex into the bathroom trashcan.
9.  Spent a good chunk of time in my arms this morning watching a solid waste truck picking up people's branches and tree limbs. "Truck! Mommy! Truck Tree!!!"
8.  Called Little Sister "Wobbie" which is nothing at all close to her real name. But you can be darn sure we reinforced that cute little misnomer so it would stick.
7.  Had a slapstick sense of humor at a very young age. The girls used to take turns jumping off their chairs, from sitting position....not even a big jump, and he'd laugh his head off. 
6.  Pronounced "thank you" "Gum". I think it started as him copying "you're welcome". It got even cuter when he started combining words to "Gum, Mommy, Gum" when I handed things to him.
5. Loved the hair dryer.  Sat on the stool in the bathroom every time I dried my hair and patiently waited for his hair to be "dried".
4.  Called anything with feathers "duckie." Last week, when we went to Sea World, we saw a show with an acrobat lady suspended from a ring above the water.  She was dressed as a parrot or some exotic bird.  Mine was the child screaming "DUCKIEEEEEEE!!!!!!!" for about half of her performance.
3.  Clearly, soooo clearly, grew up around three girls. He loved playing babies and wearing heels and carrying purses and putting on chapstick as much as any other kid in this house.
2.  Was the world's most considerate roommate.  Tiny slept about 6 feet from my head. If he woke up before I did, as early as he could stand, he'd grab a book off the nightstand and "read" rather than waking me up.
1.  If he loved you, he petted you on your arm or your head. Wobbie was petted on her arm during dinner on a regular basis. I was petted on my ponytail every night before putting him in his crib.  The cats were petted as much as they would allow. When he wanted held, he often lifted his arms and said: Pet Mommy. As crazy as it sounds, I'm going to miss my ponytail being petted.

A year ago, I had NO idea what a baby would be like. When he was on his way, I had to call a friend from the baby aisle at the grocery store so I knew what to buy. I remember being somewhat startled when she said: Did you get formula? (WHAT??? He's gonna need FORMULA?!). Thank you, Tiny Man, for being my learning experience. Any baby who walks in after you will appreciate what I have learned in the past year.

And in case I've ever left any doubt in your mind how much I love you, Doodle: Right up to the moon--and back.

GG's Ten

Two days short of a full year with the Glamorous One.

10.  Took a sudden interest in nonfiction recently. Particularly animals. Even more so, SEA animals. I'm still wondering why the National Geographic kid series found it necessary to put a picture of some surfer with her arm bitten off by a shark in their shark book.
9.  Did not subscribe to the motto: Less is more. With chapstick, how many markers one might need, clips in hair..nothing.
8.  Could eat me under the table when it came to chips and queso.
7. Thought juice pops, ie. frozen apple juice, were the best dessert ever. When she moved today, she held a brand new package of popsicle molds and a full bottle of apple juice on her lap all the way to her house.
6.  Had an affinity for acorns. No telling where you might find one in the house, car, or washer.
5.  Favorite thing to do during one on one time: BAKING. Though I think ultimately it was really just the licking the beater part that she loved so much.
4 1/2. Loooooooooved BACON.
4.  Was a master tree climber. Except for the day she decided to wear her bike helmet in case she fell so that she wouldn't hurt her head, but when she DID fall, the helmet got stuck between two branches so she was suspended about 3 inches from the ground till I could get her unstuck.
3.  Called the shower "up water" and the bath "down water."
2.  Was a veggie eating queen. Especially carrots and raw spinach with Ranch. The other night I asked her which she wanted: carrots or spinach. She looked at me and said: Why can't I have both? ...well, of COURSE you can!
1. Waited until last night to show any sort of outward loving any of us by singing me Tiny's lullaby song and staring me in the eyes on the "I love you" part. I knew all of my and the Sisters' work to love her was paying off on her inside.

Missing you already, GG. Never forget how loved you are!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Should I Be Insulted?

My adorable talking Tiny Man has "titles" for many of his favorite books.

This one he calls "Brown Bear," pronounced "Bwa Ma."

This one he calls "Fergus" but Fergus sounds remarkably like a four letter word with an -ER attached to the end.

But this one? This one he rummages through the book basket for daily. When he finds it, he turns to the first page and says:


A New Invention

Something one of my patients said to me today reminded me that I didn't want to forget this.

We do not watch TV very often here. By "very often" I mean maybe an hour every other month. Big Sister probably saw 15 hours of TV in her 15 months here, and half of that was probably the first week after GG and Tiny arrived.  It is a VERY SAFE ASSUMPTION that she is allowed to watch much more TV in her new home.

On her recent visit, two weeks after moving, she said to me in disbelief something like: Mom! Did you know you can actually turn on the TV and there will be a show on there, like Dora or a cartoon, or something like that, and you don't even have to put in a DVD?!!!??? It's for real! You just turn it on like you're gonna put in a DVD, but if you don't put in the DVD, there will STILL be a cartoon on! And if you push a button on that button pusher thing, you can see a DIFFERENT SHOW even!  Isn't that AMAZING, Mommy?

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Here We Go Again

Round two
 Admittedly, the goodbyes are getting tiresome.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A Different Kind of Spectacle

I remember hanging out with Ladybug and her mother in public.  Bug didn't call me mom, but clearly we had some sort of relationship. She didn't call her mom "Mom" either, so that alone raised some eyebrows, but probably not near the eyebrows that have been raised lately.

I can't help but smile when situations happen where I am with all four of my kids and the dad to two of them out in public.  We've been at McDonald's, parks, and the dentist together.  All four love on him as if he's daddy to them all.  All four love on me. All three talkers call him Daddy and me Mommy. We are nowhere near the same age, nor do we look like we'd run in the same crowd.  But to strangers, we have got to be the oddest couple or the biggest mystery around.  Makes me chuckle every time I see some woman at the park, eyebrows raised, pretending to watch her kid on the slide while giving us a sideways glance. Don't you wish you could figure us out, Lady?

Reunion of the Four

We had a Fab Four reunion today and it was FABULOUS. The four and I hung out at our familiar places--our favorite park and home--and got to soak in the fun for one last time before GG and Tiny move.  Big, Little and I will continue to see each other, but I don't think the pairs of siblings will have that opportunity again. It was fun to see the best friends playing again.  It was more fun to see their reaction to seeing each other again after two weeks.  Even more fun was holding my girls for probably about six of the eight hours they were here.  And best of all was this, which I will carry in my heart till my dying day:
"You're not my mommy anymore but you are my best, best friend, right Mommy? I can still see you and love you and it won't ever stop."
Agreed, Baby Girl.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

You May Disagree

GG: Why you never had a baby in your tummy, Mommy?
Me: Because I don't really WANT a baby in my tummy. Some people do.  Some people don't.  I like getting my kids from (caseworker)'s work.
GG: Well, how do you tell God that you don't want a baby in your tummy?
Me: Um,'s not really up to Him, I guess.

Monday, March 12, 2012

On Four

A friend asked me the other day what I gave up for Lent.  "My sanity." was my response.  To that she replied something like: "You gave that up a year ago!"

No one's arguing with her there. A week without 1/2 of my Fab Four has let me step back enough to see how hard four under four was initially.  And four under five eventually.

Things that were tricky:
1. We really never got good at getting in and out of the car gracefully (gracefully = me not nagging) or quickly.
2. There is no denying the fact that corners, many corners, were cut over the year. I killed trees from using paper plates, made PBJ for dinner at least twice a week, relied heavily on carrots with ranch as our vegetable of the day, and actually, God forbid, let kids skip brushing teeth from time to time.
3. I'm pretty sure I never sat through an entire meal, even cereal, without getting up at least 5 times.
4. Sometimes, I had to pick which screaming child got the attention first.  I know the sound of each kid's cry for help, pain, attention, and frustration. Pain wins first, attention second.
5.  The laundry situation was OUT OF CONTROL. Not just the washing/drying, but the keeping growing kids in clothing that fits and sorting out the stuff that doesn't.  It was never ending.
6.  I am not sure a day went by that I felt like I really met everyone's needs on the first try.  Someone was bound to hear "in a minute". Someone was bound to have to remind me that I said I would do something "in a minute." Someone was bound to have to wait to be held.  Sometimes for longer than I'd like to admit.
7. There is a reason that God does not allow for four kids to span just 29 months without science involved most of the time. In April 2011, no one wiped their own bottom or put on their own shoes.  Or cleared their spot or buckled their carseat.  By Christmas, two kids had all those things mastered. By March, three kids could do it. While life got easier in that regard, all four ultimately learning to talk and wanting to be heard became the challenge.

But there were so many things that were wonderful, that I would take back in an instant with one fast phone call (are you listening CPS and LSSS??), that cannot be separated into a list.  It was the gradual forming of our family and the friendships within it. The idea that 11 months ago, it was two against two with a grown up trying to make things mesh together.  It was the watching one kid grab another's hand crossing the street, bring someone a toy, just do anything nice for someone else really. It was watching the babies become best friends.  It was the pointed effort it took to ensure that the big girls got their mommy dates and that everyone got one on one time daily.  It was always having a kid to hold, to show something cool, and to make me laugh.

It was chaotic. It was tiresome. It was crazy. Yes, all of those things. But it was fun. It was entertaining. It was rewarding. It was a year I'd willingly repeat over and over and over.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Feeling Old

Regarding the movie Parent Trap that I told Glam Girl that I saw when I was a little girl:

"Did your mom take you to Target to buy it?"
"No, baby, we didn't have videos and DVDs when I was a little girl. You had to go to the THEATER to see a movie."


We've had a little obsession in our house for a couple of months now.  He looks like this (and no, he's not IN our house, but he gets talked about an AWFUL lot):
Meet Cesar.  I am not sure I support Cesar's profession...his owner apparently parks him whereever and charges $5 to ride Cesar around a parking lot.  The guy is making a killing based on what I've seen.

We first saw Cesar here at the corner of Ben White and S. 1st in a Chuck E. Cheese parking lot. We were at the light and Big said: What's that big horse doing at Chuck E. Cheese?  Because it was one of my cooler Mom moments AND because it was Friday in rush hour AND because we were four lanes away from Cesar, we went around the block, flipped a Uturn, and parked to see Cesar.  I remember GG being the bravest and Little Sister never leaving my arms. But none of the girls shut up about this camel for a good two days.  Until we saw him AGAIN that Sunday in a car wash parking lot.  Again, we went out of our way, parked, stared, oohed and ahhed (and no, did not pay to ride).

Cesar was in the paper recently. I cut out the article. It lasted till Little and GG fought over who was going to get to stare at Cesar and the page ripped.  The fact that we all allude to Cesar by his first name should say something about how much he's come up in conversation.

Today, GG, Tiny and I were driving home from the park.  "OH MY GOODNESS! IT'S CESAR!!!!!!!!" Who's not going to turn around for THAT response? So we saw him once again, took a picture of him to text to the girls and then went on our way.

For about two months, Tiny has been saying the word "gamma" all the time. We first thought it was "Gramma," but he has no context for that. Then we thought it was something to do with eating.  Today, he said it in the parking lot while staring at Cesar.  GG and I figured it out at the same time.  She looked at me at the same time it clicked in my mind. "He's saying "camel", isn't he?" Yup.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Little Sister's Ten

10. Somehow ended up with the nickname "Moo." It started with an alliteration of her name, but eventually her name was dropped.
9 1/2. Once woke up crying "I don't want a donkey, Momma!!!"
9.  Fell in love with broccoli. She'd eat it like crazy. Her favorite stuffed "animal" was her broccoli. When she first learned to talk, she called it "bwatahtee". We were all sad when she learned to say it correctly.
8 1/2.  Was soooo serious outside of our house or off of the playground. She was a completely different kid when home. And a monkey on the playground.
8.  Had a herniated belly button that we called her "buzzer."  When she arrived, this thing was really big, but as she got older it got smaller.  This appeared to make her sad as one day she came up to me, lifted up her shirt, pushed on her belly button, and said: Mommy, my buzzer broken!
7.  Called me Daddy for about six weeks.
6.  Was Tiny's absolute best friend. Never have I seen two babies adore each other like these ones did.
5.  Partied in her bed at bedtime on a regular basis.  Eventually though, she rubbed her legs together about five minutes before she was going to fall asleep. It was a sure indicator that things were about to get really quiet.
4 1/2.  Liked to sit on the kitchen counter and watch me get dinner ready.  She did this from when she was 14 months old all the way to the end.
4.  Had two favorite books: The Pout Pout Fish and 10 Trick or Treaters. There were bits of each one that she could recite from memory. I loved her rendition of Pout Pout fish best, but could never get her to do it for a video camera.
3 1/2. Recently learned the phrase "long time ago." Which she pronounced "Yong time ago!!" She used this in the context of finding something that in her mind, she hadn't seen in a long time. It could have been a pair of pajamas or a jacket. She said it so frequently though that the older two started mocking her toward the end.
3.  Got some dark blue animal footies from a friend. She wore them every time Tiny wore HIS blue animal footies. And there was drama to be had if they were not clean.
2.  Spent more time in the baby carrier than the baby did. She figured early in the game that I was a sucker for carrying her around on my back.  I often cooked dinner and cleaned up the living room with her on my back.
1. Very early in her stay, learned the appropriate response to "Who loves you?" was "Mommy." But as she got older, she liked to trick me and name different people or animals in response. "Who loves you?" " Mommy do!" Last week, it sounded like this: "Who loves you?" "Mommy. Tooooo much."

You are so right, Moo. I do.

Big Sister's Ten

I haven't had to write a list of ten in ages. Which is fine by me. But these girls are easy to do. The hard part will be stopping at ten.

10. Once screamed from the back of the car: "MOOOOM!!!! LOOK!!!! There are HORSES on the playground!!!" She was mildly disappointed when I explained that they were dogs called Great Danes.
9.  Thought it was so cool, "so super awesome" actually, that she could walk backward. As a four year old.
8 1/2. Did not like thin mint cookies. Which worked to my advantage, obviously.
8.  Never really mastered the art of using her index finger to point.
7.  Was 2012's Punky Brewster. NOTHING matched and the more patterns one mixed together, the better.
6 1/2. Still thinks that God is the guy who hands out communion, and was so disappointed the day before she moved when she figured out she wouldn't get to go to church again.
6.  Could not pronounce the word "lasagna". Which was mildly entertaining till one day at dinner she exclaimed: "Mom, I LOVE veggie vagina!"
5.  Was sure to announce to anyone walking their dog near our house that dogs "kinda freak me out so I'll stay back here."
4 1/2. If someone was crying, she'd go up to them, give them a little back rub and say: "It's ok, GG, you can be my sad friend."
4.  Was the world's worst back seat the point of questioning right turns on red and speed limits. This was the main reason that she was the kid in the 3rd row of the car.
3.  Did some pretty crazy stuff while sleepwalking.
2.  Went up to every single kid in her class on the last day of school and said, every single time, "Let me give you a big hug because you are never going to see me again."
1.  Spoke from her heart so often that sometimes it killed me.  She is loving and appreciative and I can only hope that she takes that lifeskill to her grave. It was not uncommon for her to say something like "Thank you for thinking to tell me that my sausage might be too hot to eat." or "I just love you so so much, Mama."

The good news here is that we already have a date that we'll get to see each other again. It's way too far in the future for me, even though really it's not that far away. Until then, Sister, I'll be missing you like crazy.
I love you, Baby Girl.

Saturday, March 3, 2012


We disbanded the Fab Four today.  I watched in the middle of a driveway as two sets of best friends gave hugs, at least two of them completely unaware of the significance. I have heard Tiny ask for Big and Little no fewer than 50 times today and have kept GG busy enough that the magnitude of change has not completely set in. Big Sister planned out almost 24 hours of celebrating including Stacy Park, Phil's (which she pronounces Feeeeeels), ice cream, breakfast out, and a playground stop on the way to her final destination. It was an awesome 24 hours. And a wonderful 15 months.