Thursday, January 22, 2015

Our Insta-Sort of Life

I had a good phone conversation with my friend Allyson the other day. Among all sorts of other woes we were discussing (solving?), we talked about blogging versus Instagram.

The pros of Instagram, is recording one photo with one simple blurb, rather than write a whole blog post about a particular photo or experience. Instagram captures little moments so succinctly and perfectly, and if you know me well, you know the little moments and things are my favorite parts of life.

But, I'm not a big Instagram-er either. I don't post photos usually more than once a week, and I'm not blogging a ton either, so I'm feeling a little pressed for recording my children's memories. Although, I have been photocopying the family update letters I write to my mother-in-law on a mission to put in my personal journal. I mean, heaven forbid I forget the day-to-day details of running a household of seven...

I mean, as though I want to forget that Luke has a foot issue that is leaving a orthopedic foot doctor "baffled" and him in constant pain. Or that Ellie was a little apprehensive about a new school teacher the first day of 3rd term. Or that Megan baked 150+ peanut butter bars last Saturday for a fundraiser (I think I forget to tell my MIL that part), and then a few hours later came down with a fever and sore throat. (We're hoping none of the PB bar customers caught the germs...) I don't want to forget that Drew had his first lesson on cheating when he dealt out our UNO game and he had all Wild Draw 4 and Draw 2 cards. So much for letting him deal when I'm busy finishing up a task in the next room. I don't want to forget Joshua's dirty knees from playing football outside every afternoon, although I do want to forget the dead grass that is tracked into my house every afternoon.

None of the above have any photos, but I think all could have made some type of Instagram post. But they didn't, and now they are nothing more than a passing sentence on this post.

But here's a few things that were captured in a sentence or less on an Instagram post...

Cookies at the bus stop. Once a month or so, I bake a gazillion cookies (side note: do you know I don't really like chocolate chip cookies?, but I LOVE the uncooked dough) and stand at the junior high and elementary school bus stop. (I did the high school bus stop once this year, but this day Megan had driven to school.)

I try to ignore the germs of a million hands inside the cookie container, and I try to look past the rude children that don't say thank you but instead say, "How many can we have?" I love the junior high kids that get off the bus a stop early to have a cookie, and I love a few of the junior high kids that think they're too cool to get excited about a cookie, but the suppressing of their smiles is awesome. I love most of all the look on my own kids' faces when they see me standing there with cookies. (I never tell them in advance.)
 I told Drew that he needed to practice the latest round of sight words for another day or two before returning it to school. He was obviously too anxious for the full size candy bar they get after passing the testing (I so disagree with the candy bar thing...) that he signed the paper himself. I am hoping this is the first and last time he forges my signature.

(In his defense, I really don't think he had a clue I was supposed to sign it, he just was signing his name and taking care of business himself.)

Somehow, we  have turned into NFL fans, and our last few Sunday afternoons have been spent cheering on the Green Bay Packers. Since before last year's Superbowl, my kids have also loved the Seahawks (but clearly 2nd to the Packers). Sunday's game was a major disappointment to my kids and even hours later I was feeling bummed for my boys.

My brother Casey is thrilled to hear we are sports fans now and the texts between him and I on Sunday made me chuckle. In reference to me still feeling disappointed 4 hours after the Packers loss he sent a text that summed up my life well, "hahahahahahahahahahah...This is almost as good as you now owning farm animals."

Yep. Farm animals and NFL fans. I'd never have predicted these parts of my life!

There's some more serious parts of life I'm gearing up to write about (maybe), but for now, this will suffice as a permanent tidbit of our life.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Parent. Sleep. Repeat.

If I end up in a mental hospital one of these days, I have no doubt it will be because of monotony. It will be because the same words come out of my mouth, and my body physically does the same things over and over again. It will be the result of days and weeks and months and years of repetition.

My words and actions will be similar to these:

Answering the question at least 6 times every afternoon, "What's for dinner?" I thought I once solved this by placing a little chalkboard on my kitchen counter. I instead found myself saying at least 6+ times, "Read the chalkboard." (If every individual could even just limit the question to only once, it would be easier on my mental state. But no one seems to remember they asked 10 or 20 minutes earlier and I'm repeating myself far more than 6 times.)

My body will be stuck into a permanent position of wiping off kitchen counters. It doesn't seem to matter how much older my children get, or how many kitchen tasks they can now assist with or do themselves. I feel like multiple times a day I am wiping off the kitchen counters.

I'm not sure my mouth will ever stop uttering the words "Make Good Choices" when saying goodbye to my children. They seem to naturally follow the words, "Goodbye. I love you." or any such variants such as, "I love you. Have a good day." or "Have fun. Love you." Even the little boy next door that I drive to kindergarten each day now chants, "Good choices" as soon as the word, "Make" comes out of my mouth each day as Drew and his friend hop out of the car at the kindergarten pull-up.

I think I will forever be in the notion of fixing the next meal, or the next snack. And if not actively making it, I'll likely be planning for it, or shopping for it, or cleaning up after it.

My hand will be stuck in the perpetual movement of signing my name. In this day of electronics, I feel like the need for my signature should be dying out. Yet it seems every afternoon, evening, and morning, I am met with a stack of papers that require my signature. Thank heaven, Mike had a stamp made of my signature for the office. I think he was getting scared tired of asking me (the president/owner) to sign papers for the business.

My brain will always be calculating exactly how many minutes a child read the previous night. I will never understand why it can't just be assumed my children continue to read every night as they have since toddlers. Reading isn't hard for us to do. Remembering every book read and the approximate time taken to read said books is.

I feel as though my car will always be on auto-pilot to some type of grocery store. Doesn't matter if it is Walmart, Dicks, or Costco. I'm quite certain a day doesn't pass without somebody needing something.

I'm not sure there will ever be a day that passes without me saying at least 10 times the phrases, "Close the door!" "Turn off the light!" "Put your shoes away!" "Close the fridge!" or the questions, "Have you practiced?" "Is your homework done?" "Is your room clean?" "Are your teeth brushed?"

(Speaking of teeth brushing. I dream of the day we don't have more toothpaste in the sinks than in all the toothpaste tubes combined.)

Best go now.
Drew has just requested a snack.
Oh the irony.

(This photo is completely unrelated. But the amount of nonsense photos I find on my i-pad and cell phone are sure to contribute to any questionable mental state of mind.)


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