Monday, April 12, 2010

An Embarrassment of Riches. And An Embarrassment.

Late at night, when I check on my sleeping children, I always experience a little heart-squeeze. Do you know what I mean? I look at their sweet slumbering faces, completely relaxed, safe in the cocoon of home. I love those moments. And I must admit that, sadly, they don't happen too often when the yahoos are awake. Somehow, I think quiet is required for those tender moments and that is a true rarity in this house full of loud, raucous, rowdy boys.

Because these moments are so rare, I take note when they happen, and lately, I've been taking note more often than usual. I'll share some of them . . . but first, something to ground even the highest of fliers.

Ahem. I have a mouse in my car. Or, I did. Which, I guess, is better than the petrified dog poop found by a certain old friend of mine in the back of her car. But still. Last Saturday, we piled into the van to go out for breakfast. As I put on my makeup (which lives in the car, and no, I never put it on while driving, but the light in my driveway is great, and my kids, so far, patiently stay strapped in while I apply the little bit of cosmetics it takes to get me from "she's a man" to "she's not half-bad" . . . but I digress), I found myself in need of a tissue. Those are stored in the glove box. Oh, how I wish I had taken a picture of what I found when I opened it. All 50 million of those shop-lifted fast food restaurant napkins had been chewed and torn to bits, creating the happiest little rodent nest I have ever had the pleasure to encounter.

Last Saturday was CPod's first day off in weeks. He had plans. In that moment, they all changed. He cleaned that van so well you'd think he's trying to hide something from CSI. The good news is CPod saw Little Mousie in the garage, so at lease he's moved out of our vehicle. I'm not all that okay with vermin in my garage, but somehow, it's better than my van.

So, in the midst of all that car-cleaning, intermingled with General Conference sessions and other general Saturday tasks, CPod managed to take each of our big boys on an individual date: errand plus ice cream equals confidence boost and behavior upgrade. GDog's date involved the purchase of mouse traps at the Big Blue Home Improvement Store. During the course of his conversations with CPod, GDog realized that mouse traps do a bit more than just snap off little mousie tails -- and he was distraught.

So his solution was to warn off Mr. Mouse. "Mommy, I told him that he has two days to vacate the premises. After that, we'll have to put out the traps." He was serious. And somehow, it worked. Oh, I love that boy. Heart squeeze number one -- my tender-hearted, big-mouthed, bossy-just-like-me GDog.


We took the boys to see How to Train Your Dragon (highly recommended by our entire family). The movie started at 4:20, so CPod met us there after his last patient. He was a few minutes late, and those first few minutes contain key plot elements and some serious excitement. He joined us in the dark theater, and the boys just jumped on him. They could not get the words out fast enough. Their sentences tumbled over one another as they raced to convey with abject adoration and uninhibited enthusiasm their total excitement about what they were seeing. They love their daddy. Heart squeeze number two.

 ConMan, GDog, MayDay -- and I can't even remember how he got that black eye!


Last week, I spent a day at MommyJ's house. We cooked and boned four whole chickens! We filled her freezer with enough food for her husband to be able to take care of dinner for several weeks after her baby is born. Our kids played so well together, and if you know how much I love my sister, you know how happy this makes me.

We ate lunch outside on MommyJ's front porch. MayDay and Henry, who are just 6 months apart in age, shared a chair and some cantaloupe. My little MayDay looked over at his cousin and said, "Henwy, you're my favorite one to pway wiff." Heart squeeze number three -- my train-playing, thumb-sucking, baby boy MayDay.


The other day, the boys clustered around the Lego bin. "Mommy", GDog said, "I need a human for my car. Will you help me find one?"

I'm a singer. And he said "Human". So I dug through the Legos and began to sing, "Are we human? Or are we dancer?" And ConMan totally picked it up. "My sign is vital, my hands are cold . . ." He kept going, so I turned on the CD: The Killers -- Live from Royal Albert Hall (also highly recommended), and ConMan sang his little heart out. Heart squeeze number four -- my Lego-building, Killers-singing, ladies-favorite, ConMan.


And let's not forget Miscellany. She's growing so quickly . . . too quickly. She's beautiful. She recognizes her name. She reaches for me. She's so, so happy, and she smiles like a Muppet -- as though some puppet master opens her mouth as wide as it will go every time she grins at her brothers. GDog plays a little rough, and I spend a lot of time warning him off of the baby, but her reaction to him does not exactly reinforce my position. I have a little heart squeeze just about every time I pick her up and smell her lovely auburn head.

Oh, it's fun, isn't it? Even though it's peppered with moments like this one (look away if you're squeamish):

 The ones like this never fail to make up for the unpleasant patches:

I love watching my children . . . become.

post signature


  1. She is beautiful! That poop picture is not. That is going onto my "cons" list. :)

  2. What a sweet post! I can never be reminded enough to savor those moments.

  3. Your babes are completely adorable. That poopy picture reminded me of when my #1 was little. I was sitting in the sun-shiny porch with my folks, and gramps was playing with her upside down. She let out this huge noise that had no business coming from someone weighing less than 300lbs, and that mess went all the way down her back and all over my dad's lap. Good times, indeed, but I don't miss scrubbing messes like that!

    P.S. My kids love the Killers too. There's just something extra cute about kids who know lyrics to cool songs, don't you think?

  4. Oh I have so much to say after reading this post that my comment may look like another post on its own :)

    First, I have been thinking about the feeling I get when I go look at my son and daughter at night after they had fallen asleep and is indescribable, there's something about the fact that they are peacefully asleep, their sweet faces look so adorable you just want to stare and kiss them ... well you know the feeling I don't need to try to describe it, right?

    My son went to see the dragon movie too, at 4:20 too but on a Thursday and he loved it, I asked him what was his favorite part of going to the movies, his reply? "Watching it" :)
    (It was his first time going to the movies! I'll have to post about it too).

    I love the fact that you took a picture of Miscellany when her back was covered in poop, such a memory keeper! We've had similar to those but not to that extend, although I had to bath her after a massive poop last week, which was the perfect excuse for some bonding time, we were by our selves at home, she loves bath, I love her ... it was perfect!!

    I would have had a heart attack if I open my glove box to find a nest. Recently we had a mousse in our basement and I did not step down there until I knew it was dead! (my heart is not as sweet as your GDog's) I seriously asked my husband to park my car outside because I WAS NOT going down there and I didn't until one of the 7 mousse traps that my husband put down there got the little creature (I bought 4 different types to make sure one would work).

    Ok I'm done now ... can you tell I'm in need of "adult conversation" :)

    Great reading you - as always -

  5. Me too! Me too!! Watching your kids is almost as fun as watching my own. Nieces and nephews are the best.

    In the car the other day, while listening to Coldplay, the live album from the concert, Jordan said to me, "Mom, please take me with you to the concert the next time they come close by."

    Then I hit fast forward and thought what it will be like when Jordan is 20 and coldplay is the music that he grew up listening to, like Simon and Garfunkel and the Beatles and John Taylor was for us.

  6. I just love sleeping kids...and this post, too. Especially new baby pictures!

  7. A mouse in your car? I could barely stand when I had a cricket in mine. I might would sell the car if it was home to a mouse.

    I had FINALLY gotten that song out of my head, and now it is there again. Argg.

    It took me 4 kids to figure out it is better to just throw out the onsies like that instead of trying to wash them. I can be a little slow (and cheap) sometimes.

  8. I might have squealed out loud during that first segment.

    I definitely laughed out loud at the poop picture.

    I love heart squeezes.

    And your baby is HUGE! already!

  9. Oh the sweetness! And I just grinned from ear to ear over CPOD doing the daddy date thing. Neil does the exact same thing. Every time he runs an errand he takes one of the girls with him for some one-on-one time. They come back just glowing and happily chattering away about what they did with Daddy. I just love being married to a guy like that.

    And these kids of ours. Wow. They are stunning and maddening and loveable and exhausting and, all in all, it's such an incredible gift to, as you say, watch them become.

    Beautiful post!

  10. My heart "squeezed" while I read this post. Precious moments that indescribable and unforgettable.

  11. You've managed to capture the sweet little moments that we too often let slip through the cracks.

  12. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful.

    (And the poo thing? A beautiful reason to look forward to grandchildren whose mommies will be responsible for taking care of nastiness like that!)

  13. It's these little heart squeezes that keep me from killing my toddler. My mother-in-law says Heavenly Father makes them cute so they can survive. I'd like to bear my testimony that this is SO TRUE.

  14. I am new to your blog and really enjoyed this post, feel like I already know a bit about your family....thanks so much for sharing your experiences :0)

  15. Ditto Melanie! These moments are what makes being a mom worth it! The pictures are awesome.

    And I winced a little at the yellow sludge picture. I haven't forgotten how much I hated it when that happened.


Sock it to me!