Monday, October 31, 2011

The Dirty Card

Well it finally happened.  My child was inadvertently exposed to "adult humor" in the greeting card aisle at the grocery store.  We stopped there to look at cards and consider one for my dad's birthday.  My parents always send the kids those singing cards so I thought it would be appropriate to send my dad a really obnoxious singing card.  Plus, those are the most fun for the kids to pick out.

You know those singing cards, right?  The new breed of singing cards feature a "jiggling" component.  I really don't know what else to call it except that inside the card, a portion of the picture is cut out and attached to some sort of vibrating mechanism.  It's silly.

Wolfie picks up a card with a squirrel.  Inside, the squirrel is holding barbells and they start jiggling while the song "Everybody's Working for the Weekend" plays.  Silly.

So the cards are all pretty benign and Wolfie and I start looking through all of them and laugh at each and I figure we are safe.

Then - BLAM - Wolfie finds the first "naughty" card.

Okay, those of you with children slightly older than my 6-year old who are smirking at me right now and thinking "oh, it's only the beginning" can just let me tell my story in exasperation, okay.

SO...this card is not nude or anything, but the picture of the lady inside is quite buxom and of course the portion of the picture that is highlighted with the jiggling mechanism is her bosom.  She's not topless, but quite ample and wearing what I would recognize as a push up bra.

Wolfie starts giggling.  "Oh, that's a funny one!" he smiles.  I need to make sure.  I say, "Yes, that one is funny too.  Why is that one funny?"

He says, "Her breasts are jiggling."

And I think...what a good boy.  He says "breasts".

Sunday, October 30, 2011


We went to a Halloween party this weekend; it was our first with kids.  So, I guess it was more about this kids than us.

But the great thing about our youngest being 2 plus is that for the first time in over six years, I don't have an infant at a get-together.  The kids run off and play with other kids.  My children are pretty friendly, like adventure, and are really good at entertaining themselves at parties.  And, better still, they are not too wild or destructive so I don't have to hover after them making sure they are not pulling anyone's hair or breaking any toys.  Luna does like to climb, though, but this other great thing happens at family events which is that everyone there is part of a family and knows what it's like so all these moms and dads have each other's backs. 

But the most delightful thing was watching Tulip make friends and play with another little girl her age.  I guess I was a four-year old girl once and behaved the same way but I don't remember those days too well and it's just so much more joyful to watch one of my own delight in being a little girl.

So here's what little girls do at a party, especially a party where everyone is dressed up.  They become the best of friends and hold hands all night.  They take turns saying to each other, "Come on..." and take each other by the hand and lead each other to different areas of the house.

They hold hands.  It's just such a dear, dear thing to witness; childhood joy and innocence and frivolity and just plain happy faces at a party.  And Tulip likes to dance.  And so did this other little girl so there was hand holding dancing.

But really the best thing is having friends who love children and family and friends and will host a party so all these moms and dads and, of course, the children can just delight in whatever suits their fancy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

I've Done This

I've ditched the elaborate homemade Halloween costume project due to either procrastination, the fact that I haven't used my sewing machine in 7 years and thought I could just unearth it and remember exactly how to use it, or the fact that I thought a glue gun could do the same thing as a sewing machine and sometimes it just can't.

However, we (I mean, my husband) replaced the costume with another homemade Halloween costume that is ultimately cool. 

At least this time I've been more inspired than any time in the past 7 years to actually use my sewing machine again.  The taste it there.  Look out - I'm going to sew something soon.  I mean it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'm Brilliant (or maybe just late)

One of the best things about being a mom is discovering how awesome you are at being a mom.  My kids are 2, 4 and 6 so that means I've only been a mom for 6 years.  It's relatively new to me.  I mean, I've been other things for a lot longer like a teacher, a wife, just me in general.  And in terms of being the mom of a 6-year old - I'm totally new at that!  And even though I've been a mom for 6 years, I've only been a mom of a girl for four, so cut me some slack there, okay.  And I think that being a mom makes you find shortcuts out of necessity and, well let's face it moms, some shortcuts are simply brilliant.

Here are the two things I discovered today and I think it's pretty awesome.  You may read this, think "seriously?" and click that X never to read my blog again because you may think that I'm totally lame for finally getting this, but I finally got it so now I think I'm brilliant.

1.  Washing the girls' hair in the bathtub.

My technique all these years (ha!) was to fill up this big plastic handled cup with water from the faucet, while the tub fills up, and pour it on the girls hair to get it wet, then shampoo it, and fill the cup again and again to rinse.  Clearly, I don't use the shower head and I know that would be the simplest thing to do but it just doesn't work in my bathtub, okay.  So, the girls are getting bigger and bigger which means their hair is getting longer and longer and the wetting and rinsing is taking more and more effort.  AND - the girls want to fill up their own containers with water from the faucet or, press their hands to the underside of the faucet spraying water everywhere and it's turning into the battle of who gets to fill up their cup first - little girls who like to play or Mama.

TODAY, I figured out I could just scoop up water from within the tub quickly and effortlessly and wet, wash and rinse the girls' hair.  Brilliant!  Maybe, duh to you, but I figured this out today so I am a brilliant mom.  Or I've just been so flippin' exhausted for the past 6 years it took this long to figure it out.  No.  No, I'm brilliant.

2.  Folding my husband's socks.

I love my husband very much and this is not some passive-aggressive attempt to get him to change his ways.  No.  Not.  At.  All.
Once upon a time I met a man, we fell in love, moved in together and finally got married 8 years later.  So, you see, I've had a domestic relationship with my husband for a long time.  And while our laundry routine and roles have changed over the years, I seem to have always been the folder.  At the beginning of our relationship, when newly formed couples have to sort out all their quirks and discrepancies with each other, and make compromises, and put the honeymoon on the shelf and take a month or two to figure out the mundane stuff like chores, preferences, and paperwork, we had a "discussion" about sock folding.  When my husband pulls off his socks, they turn inside out.  They end up in the laundry basket this way, the washer this way, the dryer this way, and again in the clean clothes laundry basket this way and I had to fold them.  I, apparently, do not by happenstance turn my socks inside out when I pull them off (because, I don't know, I'm kind of perfect that way I guess) so I rarely had to deal with inside out socks prior to meeting my husband.  So I was faced with a, a, a thing, about having to turn socks outside in before folding them and I brought this to his attention.  I was young, our relationship was new, I felt that bringing these types of things to the attention of your partner is what you do in grown-up relationships.

TODAY, after 17 years of abiding by my "this is not my battle to fight, I will just turn the socks inside out and then fold them together" attitude regarding folding my husbands' socks, it hit me!  I just folded them together the way the came out of the clean clothes laundry basket.  Revolutionary!  I fold 'em the way I see 'em.  I mean, am I awesome or what?

In conclusion, am I brilliant?  Awesome?  Or did I just do some lazy shortcut out of pure exhaustion that I then perceived as brilliant or awesome because the understanding that I could have done this years ago made me realize how lame I've been?  You decide.

Monday, October 24, 2011

"H" is for Topless Barbie

This week is "H" week at Tulip's preschool.  On Monday, students may bring items to school that start with the letter of the week.  The teachers do a counting lesson with the items while reinforcing the letter and letter sound.  I'm sure you know the drill.

So far, Tulip brought a quarter to school for "Q" week, a football for "F" week and a turtle for "T" week.  This morning, she grabbed her one and only Barbie.  If you know me, you know I'm not the biggest fan of Barbie.  I'm not a mom that thinks Barbie is evil, I just think that there are other types of dolls out there.  Generic dolls that your daughter can name all by herself.  Dolls that don't wear make-up.  You know, dolls that look like little girls and not grown women.  Not to sound like a hypocrite, I will admit that I had a few Barbies when I was a little girl and, really, it was all about the clothes.  But still.  I'm the mom now so I am trying to steer my daughters toward different doll choices.

Anyway, Tulip has this one Barbie that she got for her birthday from a little friend.  Tulip named her Barbie "Lovie" which is very telling, don't you think?

This morning she announced that she changed her Barbie's name to Heart.  It's H week.  Get it?

Barbie/Lovie/Heart came with a bathing suit.  Luna is obsessed with taking off Barbie/Lovie/Heart's bikini top - also very telling, don't you think? 

Gabe couldn't find that top anywhere.  He tried convincing Tulip that Heart would be too cold to go to school but Tulip insisted that Heart would be okay.  So he let her bring her topless Barbie to school for H week.

They visited Grandma after school for lunch.  Wouldn't you know, Grandma has a whole trunk full of Barbies and Barbie clothes that she has just been itching to pawn off on my daughters.  Gabe sensibly thought it would be a good idea to bring home some new clothes for Barbie/Lovie/Hear.

At least when Barbie/Lovie/Heart decides to make a new appearance at preschool, perhaps when she changes her name to Rainbow for "R" week, she'll be dressed a bit more decent in a satin evening gown.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My little pumpkins

Today was a good day.  A great day.  One of those perfect family days that makes you wonder "How did today become such a great day?" and then you realize that five good happy people that make up a good happy family will just happen upon a great day.  Again and again.

I might also be a little high off of my date last night.  Gabe and I hired a babysitter and had dinner with another couple who found a babysitter for their kids.  We've done this never.  It was awesome.
But today.  Today was great.  We went to Merrie Acres, a darling family-owned pumpkin patch farm in LaPorte, IN.  It was perfect.  There were a few giant inflatables, a barrel train, a tractor hay ride, a kiddie playground area which included some teeter-totters, and, get this, a bunch of corn boxes.  The corn box was amazingly cool and the attraction my children gravitated toward for most of the day.  It was soft, very interesting.  Like I said, we hung out there a lot.  Oh, and what do you call those things where your kids stick their face in the cut-outs?  It's driving me nuts.  The one above is pretty cute though, huh?  Tulip is wearing her vampire teeth, her prize for watching the pig race.  So there was that too.

Best of all Merrie Farm was the perfect size - a lot to do if you are 2 to 6, yet small enough to run off and do it while Mama and Papa sit in a rocking bench feeling good about their date last night.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

I've Done This

I've been able to tell what time it is by the behavior of my breasts.

Breastfeeding moms and partners to those who nurse babies know what I'm talking I right?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

I don't get out much

My husband, Gabe, is a stay at home dad, and here's where I get to brag, so he does ALL the grocery shopping and pretty much ALL the cooking.  And he's good.  I make breakfast.  But he cooks us all a family dinner every night.

Needless to say, he has a routine which includes shopping at COSTCO on Friday afternoon with the girls while Wolfie and I are at school/work.

For whatever reason we decided to take a family trip to COSTCO tonight.  I admit, I was downright giddy.  It has been quite a while since I've been at COSTCO.

There were gloves, right at the entrance, next to the gigantic TVs.  I shoved my hands into every color.  "Ooooh, I like these gloves."  Gabe says, "Take it easy.  It's the first aisle."

The next aisle was Christmas decorations; the aisle after that, toys.  "Ooh, ooh, ooh from all of us."

We ate pizza, all five of us at one of those little tables for four.  Then we heard the screaming.  Blood.  Curdling.  Screaming.  At one of the checkouts a boy was face down on the floor screaming his lungs out.  Oh my.  My kids looked concerned.  Why would someone cry like that?  He must be hurt or really, really, really sad.  Gabe and I know what's going on.  I don't turn to look anymore, but Gabe does and then he whispers, "Oh man, they're twins."  We hear a second screaming.  It's not quite in harmony but it's close.  The parents are heading towards the "diner" because you have to pass that area to exit.  It turns out they need to get some dinner too.  The mom enters the diner area and announces, "He sad because he's not getting toys." and Gabe and I crack up.

I mean, she had the best attitude.  I would not laugh at someone else's misfortune and let me tell you, wailing 3-year old twins at a store is quite a misfortune, but she was so "whatever" about it and so was her husband.  You know, there could have been harsh words or worse.  Adults screaming type of worse.

My kids were still confused.  By now, one twin was wailing over there, one was rolling around on the floor over here.  Gabe says, "I think this one is my favorite" and he points to the twin punching the table next to us.  Wolfie and Tulip giggle.  They finally get it.  I giggle too.  I was just so giddy.  From the gloves.  From the pizza date.  From my children sharing one lemonade between the three of them and how my whole family knows how to make the best out of a Thursday night at COSTCO.  Papa's got a routine.  Luna goes in the cart.  But I'm there so she wants to shake things up.  "No, I want Mama!  Mama, I carry you."  Translation - I want you to carry me.  So I do and I whisper, "If I get to carry you, you get to smooch me."  Watch this Papa - big sloppy kisses.  Again and again and again to the soundtrack of the wailing twins.

I guess it doesn't matter if I don't get out much.  When I do I can enjoy it all with all of my family.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

my sweet heart

Wolfie and Tulip were holding hands.  He said to Tulip, "Your skin feels like Emily's* skin."
I asked Wolfie, "How do you know how Emily's skin feels?  Were you holding hands with her?"
He said, "Yes.  We were holding hands in the hall."

Just to be sure, I asked, "Did the teacher tell everyone to hold hands with a partner or did you and Emily just want to hold hands?"

He said, "We were just holding hands while walking together."

Oh my sweet heart.

*Emily is not her real name ;)
edited on 10-16-11 to add
** It's also actually not Emily, another girl in Wolfie's class who he has befriended recently.  He told me this after I wrote this blog.  That complicates matters further; I'm not going to re-assign the girl in the story another fictitious name, though.

Meet my toddler, the con-artist

We took the kids to JumpZone today.  It's actually called something else but we just call all of those inflatable jumping places JumpZone - kind of like Kleenex and Q-tips.

What's terrific about bringing a 2, 4, and 6-year old to JumpZone is that they can go play/jump by themselves.  We don't have to follow, hover, catch or shove the littlest one up the ladder.

Gabe and I got to sit together and chit-chat and delight in our kids' delight. 

Of course, every now and then the kids feel compelled to check in with us.  And I feel compelled to go sneak a peek at what they are doing. 

So I caught Luna doing this:
She was about to climb onto an inflated dolphin.  Another girl, maybe 4 years old, got to it before she did and in her enthusiasm to jump on the dolphin's back, this girl bumped Luna on the cheekbone.  Not too hard.  Hard enough for Luna's hand to go to her cheek, but she wasn't hurt.  HOWEVER, the girl didn't apologize and that's okay because she probably didn't know she bumped a littler girl BUT she also got to be on the dolphin. 

Luna fake cried. 

I know it was fake because it took her too long to decide to cry about her cheek.  AND, once the girl got off the dolphin (which was immediately, because you know, when you're four who wants to hang out next to a crying 2-year old), Luna hopped on smiling.  Smiling!  How has she learned this?!  Oh, she has a four-year old sister and a six-year old brother and probably does this to them all the time.  The girl knows how to get her way.

Well, that does it, I'm officially unconcerned that Luna will be able to make it in life.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Entertaining our guests

I started a new childbirth class tonight and it was pretty awesome.  I didn't realize how excited I was until my husband pointed it out while we were having one of those conversations where the topic is actually a bit mundane but the tone of the conversation is pretty amped up.

The kids were excited too.  It was infectious.  One of the couples showed up at 5 minutes before 6:00, mistakenly, as the class was to start at 6:30.  They were actually a bit relieved because that meant they had time to go get some dinner.

Then the kids were in full "entertaining" mode.  Wolfie ran to the kitchen and started opening the pantry and the "snack drawer" simultaneously announcing that he wanted to help serve snacks and asking if we were serving any snacks.  I had to wait for a break in his mania to remind him that our guests left to go eat dinner and they would be back in a half-hour so we didn't need to serve any snacks.

When the doorbell rang again, 30 minutes later, Tulip squealed, "Our customers are here!"  Customers?  Oh, that made me laugh out loud.

And then Luna had to make an appearance or two or three during class to pretend cook, pretend be a dog and pretend be a teacher.  We've been doing a lot with flashcards lately, with all three kids, so she was flipping through my class binder.  She would ask what a page was about, I'd tell her, she'd repeat it.  It went something like this.

Luna:  What's this say, Mama?
Mama:  Folic Acid
Luna:  Folic Acid?  (she's really into inflection too)
Luna:  What's this say, Mama?
Mama: The importance of drinking water.
Luna:  Drinking water?
Luna:  What's this say, Mama?
Mama:  Breastfeeding
Luna:  Breastfeeding?
Luna:  What's this say, Mama?
Mama:  Natural Alignment Plateau
Luna:  ..........................................................

I've Done This

I've denied my children ice cream for dessert (or a second or third cupcake, or four more cookies) and then had it myself after they have gone to bed.

Who can't say "word to that" to that?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Happy, Baby


Two words that should go together, that do go together.

Yesterday, Luna fussed a tiny bit in order to get into my lap but then asked, "Mama, you happy?"
I said, "Yes I'm happy.  Are you happy, Luna?"
"No, I no happy.  I baby."

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sometimes I'm a little...


Once upon a time when I was a teenager, one would hear me yell at my mom, "Why do you even care if my room is clean or not?!"  or  "What are you, the clean room police?!"  or  "Why does it matter if my room is not clean?  It's not like you are going to hang out in there with your friends."

My mom just wanted to keep a clean house.  And she did.  Every room in our house was clean and tidy all the time except for my room.

If you think this is the party of the story where I admit that I am now my mother and my house is clean and tidy and it's driving me nuts that my kids' rooms are always a mess....hahahahahahahahahahaha!

Whew, I had to catch my breath there for a minute.  That's funny, you thought that.

No, that has not happened.  But, I am finding myself much more anal about certain things.  What is that?  A maturity thing?  A mom thing?  I think it's an exhausted mom thing.

Once upon a time, I had a friend with 1 1/2 kids while I had only one.  Not that I would ever say it, but now 7 kids later between us, she admitted that she was a little anal at the beginning of her motherhood journey in regards to the sandbox.  Again, her words, not mine, "I used to only get the expensive sand and made sure it stayed in the sandbox and now I'm like whatever."

I remember relishing in the fact that I was so non-anal regarding the sandbox and my only child.  I even told my husband once that I liked the feel of sand on the floor of the house.  It made me think of my childhood when we would rent that little a-frame cabin on the beach in Door County.  My husband totally agreed!  (okay, I'll admit that dialogue was code for "we're okay with the house being trashed all the time and sandy, right?")

So when my friend admitted that she had once been anal about her sandbox, but not so much anymore, it made me realize that I have become anal about our sandbox.

1.  Cheap sand stains and ruins shirts.  Buying new shirts is expensive.
2.  Expensive sand is expensive (but it won't ruin clothes).
3.  Expensive sand needs to STAY IN THE SANDBOX because buying new expensive sand is expensive.
4.  Three kids are SO much sandier than one.
5.  No matter how much you trick yourself into believing that a sandy bed is so, vacationesque, you have to clean it up sooner or later.
6.  Same thing with the floors.

About to clean the floors?  Re-read number 4 and then ask yourself what you can do to improve the situation.  The answer is - get anal about the sandbox.

I didn't like this about myself.  I mean, I guess I would prefer that our house and yard wasn't in a continuous state of clutter but I'm just not the model-home type of mom-housewife.  Neither is my husband.

So I made a conscious choice to relax about the sandbox this past summer.  Here's how it went down.  One day, a friend and Tulip decided to put mud in the sandbox.  I tried to nip it right away.  There was some of that expensive sand in there!  I said, "It's a sandbox and not a mudbox."  But then I did my personal particular type of parenting where I realize that a mess means fun, and I want my daughter to use her hands, I want her to interact with nature, I want to foster her creativity, and we are not girly girls afraid of getting dirt on our clothes, hands, whatever.  So the next time, I let it go.  And believe you me, it went and went and went.

Summer vacation ended and we ended up covering the mudbox for a few weeks once school started and we had to acclimate to our new life and our shift went from swimming in the pool and playing in the sandbox in the backyard to drawing with chalk on the driveway and riding bikes around the court after school.

Then it got really really warm, right?  And someone opened the sandbox and Holy Terrarium! it was gross in there.  There was a green film over every square inch of sand.  Lots of critters.  And a moist heat.  Blech!

We scrubbed, had a family meeting, bought new sand, and implemented the new-again family rule of no dirt in the sandbox.  This evening, when I went out in the yard to cover the sandbox for the night, I discovered that some sweet little girls decorated a mound of sand with some grass blades and a few limp dandelions.  I meticulously picked them out one by one.  Yes, I'm anal again because scrubbing that sandbox was exhausting and I haven't yet decided which is more a waste of my precious time: picking out blades of grass or cleaning my house.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Funny girl

This morning's breakfast conversation:

Tulip:  Mama, I had something stuck in my nose but now it's out.
Mama:  Oh, that's good.
Tulip:  Yeah, I kept sniffing and sniffing it out.
Mama:  Oh.
Tulip:  It was an onion.

(I guess I wasn't reacting as strongly to her statement as she wished)

Sunday, we were at Menards and all the Christmas stuff is on display.  I guess if you are four it really does look magical and winter wonderlandy with all those illuminated trees and lawn decorations.  We passed a nativity scene, just Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, and Tulip said...and I quote..."Mama, I bet this reminds you of when you got married."

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Big and Warm

It's October and 80 degrees. 
We're raking leaves. 
Making a pile. 
Jumping, of course. 
Look out - here comes a cute blue baby dinosaur. 

Wolfie announced, "I want to take the training wheels off my bike."

We forgot to do that this summer.  

Gabe pushed him twice in the grass.  Then once in the street.  Wolfie totally got it.  He was ready today.  He knew it and he told us. 

How can five types of happy all happen at the same time?  Today was a great day.

Friday, October 7, 2011

I've Done This

I've used the remote control for the baby's electric song-playing, twirling mobile so I wouldn't have to get off the couch.

A few points to clarify:
1) I'm not a typical couch potato.
2) Someone gave us this mobile as a shower gift when I was first pregnant with Wolfie.  You know how you used everything anyone ever gave you for that first baby?  I mean, if I had been given the electric wipes warmer I would have used that too before I learned better.
3) The mobile played for 15 solid minutes.
4) Baby Wolfie loved it.
5) In our small four-room condo, from the couch, I had just enough of a line of fire into the nursery to be able to activate the mobile via remote.
6) I only used the remote one time per session - after the first 15 minutes in order to activate the second round of 15 minutes.
7) This technique allowed for me to be interrupted only once during a 30 minute nap.
8) Please, please, re-read #7.

What toy, gizmo, novelty do you ashamedly admit to owning and using?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

pull, not push

We played outside this afternoon and sooner or later everyone split up.  Our neighbor has a swing set in their backyard on which my children are allowed to play "any time".

Wolfie wanted to play badminton with me, and Luna and Tulip were climbing and sliding and it was so great to see Tulip being such a big sister because I didn't have that as a child.

I even heard her say to Luna, "Mama's not here so I am in charge of you."  Okay.  I guess that's how it goes.

But she started crying and I thought she got kicked in the face or something so I went to see what was the matter.  She was frustrated.  Really really frustrated.  She wanted Luna to sit on her lap and go down the slide together but Luna wouldn't do it.  I told her that she couldn't make Luna do something she didn't want to do and, I'm telling you, Tulip kind of stomped her feet and kind of howled that cry she sometimes does when she wakes up in the middle of the night and is inconsolable and it doesn't make any sense to us because we have no idea what could be so upsetting to her but she is just in it.  That low guttural cry that sort of sounds like "oh" or "no". 

We repeated this dialogue a few more times and that foot stomping caught me so off guard because, I'm telling you again, that is just not like Tulip.  I was about to discipline her - something along the lines of saying, "I don't like the way you are behaving.  Maybe you should sit on your bed until you are in a better mood..." but I decided to embrace the moment instead. 

My friend Mindy, who is one of the most intuitive mothers I know, once said, "Whenever I have the urge to push my child away, I realize that what she needs most is an embrace."

Oh, poor poor Tulip.  I just don't know what it's like to be a middle child.  Is this what it's like?  Given the opportunity to be the big sister instead of the younger sister, to be "in charge" of the baby that it becomes such a drive to create a scene where the baby does exactly what you say and you get to direct all the play?  And when it doesn't go your way?  Frustration.  Disappointment.  Isn't Wolfie usually in charge, just because he's bigger, older, and can initiate the games and assign the roles faster and Tulip is just so agreeable and delighted to play that she goes along with everything.  And here was her "in charge" moment and that Luna was just not cooperating.

I'll hold you Tulip.  You bet.  Even if you are stompy because I just don't know what else you need, sweetheart.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Sarcasm is generally lost on a two-year old.

It was one of those mornings...a rough going morning.  Following a rough night.  The kind of night where I stayed up a little too late to begin with and then the baby visited me and I had to carry her back to bed which is getting to be more and more of a chore because, well who are we kidding, she's not much of a baby anymore.  And my back was feeling a little too tender from some other sort of carrying-the-baby-the-wrong-way event from earlier in the day.  And so I tried to sleep on the couch where it was, ahem, quieter (and that's all I'm going to say about my bed-partner) and softer and so it felt nice for my back even though I'm not sure how my chiropractor feels about that but I was able to do that thing where I put the pillows between my knees and under my chest and I get to sleep on my side but with my back leaning against the couch cushions.  Until the baby found me again and replaced my chest pillow with herself and then Tulip found me later and actually said all sleep-walk like, "It's okay Mama, there's room for me over there" and got in the space between my bent knees and the couch so that I could not stretch my legs out which is what my little too tender back needs sometimes but what my daughters obviously needed more was to cuddle Mama at 4:00 in the morning.  Again.

So it was the kind of morning that follows that kind of night.

And our plan was to go to the apple orchard after breakfast and then to the outlet mall to get new jackets for the kids after that.

And I ridiculously thought I could crawl back into my own bed for a quick power nap after breakfast and before we left for the orchard.  This sort of behavior on my part seems to be an invitation for the children to pester me.  It is as if the rule is: When you see Mama is tired, and is trying to sneak a nap, you must pester her relentlessly.  And they are so good at that.  They are just delightful pesterers.  My husband is giggling.  Tulip said, "How long are you going to stay in bed because I'm really worried about you not being out here."  Oh brother.  Worried?  She has never expressed that emotion or said that word ever.  Where did she learn that?  Who signed her up for soap opera school?  How can I nap when I'm giggling too?  Who do I think I am anyway trying to nap when we have an orchard to go to?

And so we're getting dressed and Luna puts on a tank top and tulle skirt.  She hasn't learned seasons yet.  Then Tulip is helping her put on some boots.  Nice sistering, Tulip, but I still have to take off those boots to put a diaper and some leggings on her.  Gabe tries to help but Luna is in some sort of "I want Mama to do it" phase.  So there's that too.

Gabe helps by announcing, "I'm getting in the van" which mobilizes everyone into action.  Shoes, check.  Jackets, check.  I have to remind everyone to pee before getting in the van which sabotages Gabe's directive by making the children retreat back into the house.  Going pee turns into some great big thing with Luna.

And it's time to go.

And I realize that I'm still wearing the clothes I slept in.

Luna says, "Let's go, Mama."

I said, probably a little too loudly, probably like I wanted everyone to hear, "Mama is still in her pajamas.  Mama is not ready to go.  Maybe if everyone could give Mama a break, I would be ready to go.  I guess you want me to stay home."

"Oh," Luna says, nonchalantly walking away, as if this were fact and joins her father and siblings at the door, and announces to the waiting crowd, "Mama stay home."