1. I was at Zumba the other day (wearing Levi of course) and I went to pay with cash. Levi pointed to the money and matter-of-factly stated "Daddy's!" I would have agreed with him...except...it was HIS birthday money. Ha! Joke is on you kid:)
2. After all of his siblings were in bed Isaiah was laying in the living room reading a book alongside me when I noticed this....
Yikes! His feet are almost as big as mine! For the millionth time since becoming a parent I ask "how did THAT happen?!? And shouldn't he still be a baby?"
3. Joe recently texted me this picture...
And I was immediately horrified by how much older I currently look! Because that picture was taken on our 10th wedding anniversary...only 3.5 years ago!!! I blame medical school and residency. It has seriously aged me.
4. That picture might have sent me into a mini mid-life crisis which resulted in me purchasing some ridiculously expensive face lotion from my friend's aesthetician. I can't even admit to how much I spent on ONE OUNCE of cream. And now when I'm getting ready for the day Joe likes to ask me what's taking me so long and his favorite line is "What are you doing in there? Getting younger?" I wish!
5. I like to believe I used this life crisis for good though. It inspired me to purchase face wash and sunscreen for my kids to use every morning. And to make it easily accessible and presentable I bought two plain soap dispensers, put cute labels on them and filled them up. Now they are sitting on my kids' bathroom counter just begging to be used! So even if I can't un-do all my years of abusing my skin at least I can help prevent their skin damage. Hopefully.
6. I already knew Charlotte is my sister's (personality) clone. But yesterday after our homeschool co-op Valentine's party when Charlotte had all her Valentine's sorted and organized (and papers thrown away) within 30 minutes of getting home it was confirmed. And if that wasn't enough Charlotte was telling my mom about her two imaginary friends that apparently live in our bathroom! (Who knew?!) One is a girl named Anna and the other is a boy who is a ghost (because otherwise that would be inappropriate!). According to Charlotte she tells them "what I've done today each and every time I go in the bathroom". Which sounds EXACTLY like my sister as a child!
7. A few days ago my mom, Joe and I were sitting at the kitchen table. My mom and I were eating lunch. Joe was doing NOTHING. I'm not even exaggerating. He was just sitting there. Meanwhile Levi was trying to take Hannah's toy and Hannah did NOT want to share. So she took off running and yelling "Mom HELP! Bubba attack!!!" She was yelling this running circles around us. When I didn't respond she informed me that I was NOT acting like a mom because I wasn't helping her like a mom should! She was seriously frustrated with me. Meanwhile I'm wondering why Joe isn't being accused of bad parenting because he was sitting there doing NOTHING!
When we moved to Texas we bought our house. And we quickly learned that houses down here don't come with appliances! (Why?!? I don't know.) Considering our budget was close to zero we immediately hit up Craigslist for a fridge, washer and dryer. The fridge we found was big and solid and...filthy but most importantly it was CHEAP. A little elbow grease and a whole lot of bleach later and it was good as (almost) new! Shortly after that Joe found a cheap washer and dryer set. We quickly discovered that while the price was right the set left a lot to be desired. The washer randomly puts holes in our clothes and has rust spots in it. The dryer's timer DOES NOT work. As in it will run indefinitely unless I remember to stop it. Oh and while it has multiple heat setting options in reality it only runs on high. It's a bad combination! So most of the time I hang our clothes to dry outside on the clothes lines.
Oh and I almost forgot the first couple months we owned the dryer it smelt like tortillas. And I don't mean a faint tortilla smell. No it was like I was making tortillas when running the dryer!! And all our clothes came out smelling like tortillas! Which isn't a bad smell. Trust me I LOVE tortillas, especially fresh ones. The ten pounds of tortilla weight I've gained since moving here is a testament to my love of tortillas. But that doesn't mean I want to walk around smelling like a tortilla!
All of this to say that on laundry day I often dream of life after residency. Or as it is often referred to in the married-to-medicine world the "it gets better" stage. That stage when the years of training are done and you are no longer living student loan to student loan or paycheck to paycheck. The stage when buying a fully functional washer and dryer set is feasible. And if I forget to set the kitchen timer while drying clothes my clothes won't get burnt and/or shrunk! I also dream of things like a new(er) reliable minivan. And saying "YES" to more of my kids requests to go and do fun things...NOT more stuff:/. And I dream of having my husband around more to participate in our family life.
But then I have these moments that catch me by surprise. Moments when I'm hanging my laundry and I'm overwhelmed with gratitude. Thankful that I have the opportunity to live somewhere I can comfortably hang my laundry outside to dry all year round. And thankful that I have this house full of people to do laundry for. And I'm even thankful for the laundry itself. Because clothes aren't cheap. Especially when you have a child that outgrows them every time you turn around. Multiply that by four children and the amount of clothing you need is insane! And as I hang our laundry I'm thankful because 90% of our clothes are hand-me-downs or gifts or garage sale finds. And hanging the laundry reminds me of all the people that have lovingly and generously clothed my children for...well their entire lives! And while I do look forward to someday selecting my children's wardrobe for now I'm thankful for others' generosity.
So it might get better someday. But I'd say it's pretty good right now too.
I like to believe I'm more of a hands-off let them learn from the natural consequences kind of mom than a helicopter parent. For example when Hannah wanted to put a chair on top of a step stool (on uneven ground!) in order to climb a tree I tried to explain to her that it was a bad idea...once. Then when she wasn't convinced by my reasoning I sat back and watched as she attempted to climb the tree with the previously mentioned step stool and chair. I watched as she stumbled and fell and landed on her face. (She sustained no major injuries.) She hasn't attempted stacking objects to assist her climbing since. Lesson learned. And when the girls did not heed my advice to bring ALL their toys in from the backyard (because everything molds or rusts here) I let their purse sit outside for a few days before bringing it inside myself. I showed them the mold and tossed it in the garbage. Lesson learned.
Thursday when Isaiah informed me at 7:10 AM that he needed a recorder for music class that same day and oh-by-the-way music is at 9 AM my first instinct was to say "Sorry kid I can't magically produce a recorder for you with that short of notice. But I can get it by music class next week." But I didn't. Against my better judgement I turned to google and Facebook in search of a recorder. I asked on a local buy-sell-trade mom site if anyone had a recorder or knew where to find one. Unfortunately I came to the same conclusion from these sources: they can be purchased at the music store that opens at 9 AM. I was ready to call my search quits when another residency mom messaged me with this insider tip: dollar stores sell recorders. I called my local dollar store to confirm this little known fact. It was in fact true! I grabbed my purse and a sharpie marker and left my other three children in my parents' capable hands and was off on a recorder hunt by 8 AM! By 8:45 AM I had delivered the cheapest most obnoxiously neon orange recorder with Isaiah's name scribbled on the side of it to his school's office. I was equal parts proud of my accomplishment and embarrassed (because I'm fully aware that is exactly the type of recorder the music teacher does not want in his class). I decided a dollar store recorder was better than no recorder.
A couple hours later the kids and I returned to Isaiah's school to surprise him with a picnic lunch. (And by "picnic" I mean Little Cesar's hot & ready pizza.) A lunch surprise I had planned prior to the recorder situation. Isaiah was ecstatic to see us and the pizza! (Side note: I love that his face still lights up as a fourth grader when he sees me and his siblings at his school). I of course asked about the recorder and music class. Isaiah was quick to tell me that he thought the orange color was cool but the bottom part is too lose and falls off easily. You get what you pay for kid. Sorry. And then he told me that they had a substitute music teacher and did NOT play their recorders today!!
And in that comically infuriating moment I decided I needed to go back to being my more laid back let-the-cookie-crumble-how-it-will kind of mom. This helicopter parenting is too exhausting for me.