Monday, October 30, 2006

What We've Been Doing . . .

The home of the Peanuts is not an abode of peace this evening, dear reader.

No. Rather, it is a den of germs. The sounds of snorting, sneezing, coughing, and hacking fill the air. Restless sleep plagues us all, as we toss and turn in a futile attempt to find a position that will allow our clogged sinuses to inhale much-needed oxygen.

I am coughing and battling a wicked-sore throat.

Mr. has begun to sound like Darth Vader, in both the wheezing and deep-voiced senses.

Miss has roused me each of the past few nights by declaring: "Mommy, *sniff, sniff*, I am not feeling very well, because I have coughs, and I need some MORE MEDICINE!"

Master. Oh, poor little Master. He is the worst off of us all. Fever. Nose running profusely. Coughing from deep in the chest. Eyes watering. Looking like he's been hit over the head with a mallet. So very pathetic. He is spending a lot of his time on my lap during the day, and with his head rested on my shoulder as I comfort him at night.

Have I mentioned that this results in very little sleep for us all?

This may lead you to ask why I am writing this at 11:15PM, when I could be in bed.

Because of Mt. Laundry, which must be climbed this evening, whether or not we are sick. In fact, the mountain is a little bit higher than usual this evening because of all of the spilled Benadryl and other unmentionable fluids that have been spewed around our house this week.

I wish that I could say, "Stop, please. I'd like to get off," when times like this come. But, I can't. None of us can. And so, we keep on pushing forward, and soon this seemingly never-ending icky time will come to an end. It will be forgotten within a few days, I'm sure.

I will find, once again, that I am always more than willing to complain when any of us are sick, and that I am not nearly so quick to be thankful when we are well.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Best Husband Ever

Blueberry Muffin:

STUD MUFFIN:Today Mr. P has proven himself to be the best husband *ever*.

I have not gotten much sleep over the past few nights (for various reasons having to do with the littles). This morning, without any prompting from yours truly, Mr. offered to 1) help with the housework, 2) take both children grocery shopping so that I could lounge about, and 3) take care of the entire bedtime routine / juggling act tonight.

He is currently handling task #3 by talking Miss through her nightly concerns about the Rainforest Cafe (darn that darn place).

I think I'll go watch the World Series with my husband. He's the best, and I am so blessed to have him around.


Monday, October 23, 2006

More Award-Winning Parenting . . .

After our stellar parenting choice involving dinner at the Rainforest Cafe (see below) a week or so ago, I thought that my mommy batting average could only improve. Wrong.

First, I had the bright idea of showing this video to Miss. We received it as a gift over a year ago, and it remained in the shrink wrap until a few days ago. I decided to take it out for our viewing pleasure, and we have heard *nothing* but princess-talk ever since. She is now thoroughly obsessed with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Belle, and every other female Disney character that you can name. They are all showcased in this tea party extravaganza, which came with an enclosed subscription offer for "Disney Princess" magazine. Ugh.

Second, I was called on the carpet for a blatant attempt at bribery. Miss decided yesterday that she was ready to try sleeping through the night without wearing a pull-up. Though she has been completely potty-trained for over a year now, Miss has yet to get the nighttime "control" down pat. And so, doubtful that she would succeed last night, I told her that we would go to Toys-R-Us and pick out a new toy if she woke up with a dry bed.

The result:

A Doctor's Kit from Toys-R-Us, complete with white coat and various doctoring tools. On the bright side, we heard much less talk about the princesses today, and she no longer has to use the i-pod headphones for her 'stepascope'. On the not-so-bright side, we each had several 'zaminations' throughout the day. At least we know that we are in good health.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Loving the Fall

We continue to enjoy the Minnesota Fall. We have been taking crunchy walks through fallen leaves, with the littles tucked into their double stroller and covered with a blanket. We rake *a lot* (in fact, I have sore hands tonight from this activity), but we make the chore a family event. Miss has her own little rake, and Master is content to examine the leaves carefully, and toddle around the yard.

Yes, it has been quite cool, but it is wonderful to come inside, and to enjoy homemade chili and cornbread. Or pumpkin muffins. Or cups of tea.

After our walk yesterday afternoon, Miss declared, "OK, it is now time to go inside and get warm and snug."

We all agreed. And snug we were.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our Little Tenderheart

Five minutes ago, Miss came tip-toeing down the basement stairs, calling "mommy? mommy??"

"What are you doing out of bed?" I asked, smiling at this little girl in her fuzzy, footed pajamas.

"Well, Mommy, I need you to take me back to bed, and pray with me about that scary restaurant."

Ah, the scary restaurant. One week ago, Mr. and I had the unfortunate idea of taking the children to the Rainforest Cafe in the nearby Mall of America. If you have dined at this establishment, you know that it offers so-so food in a jungle-themed setting. Gorillas descend from the ceiling and dance at appointed times, and the sound effects of thunderstorms punctuate your meal. There are many colorful and bright decorations meant to attract children, including aquariums scattered throughout the dining room, and there is even a man who roves from table to table fashioning balloon animals.

We should have know that this was not the place for Miss. When she was but a year old we took her to the same chain at Downtown Disney in California, and she was thoroughly horrified by the experience. She was shaking and crying and had to be removed from the premises immediately.

Now, at the ripe old age of 3 and a half, we thought that perhaps she would enjoy it. We happened upon it as we walked through the mall, and asked her if she wanted to go in. She thought it looked like fun, and so we decided to give it a try.

Bad decision.

All was well at first, and we placed our dinner order. Miss looked at the aquarium, Master took it all in stride, and Mr. and I had a discussion about how we would rather *die* than have the job of our safari-guide / waiter.

Then, the gorillas began to dance.

It was all over. Miss was in my lap, crying and holding onto me for dear life. She has had bad dreams ever since.

Miss has a very tender heart, and we are beginning to realize that this aspect of her character will not be changing drastically anytime soon. And so, we will work to protect her. We help her hide her eyes when we pass by a store with frightening Halloween costumes on display. We fast forward through Veggie Tales songs that make her uncomfortable.

And we most definitely will not EVER be going to the Rainforest Cafe again.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Best Birthday Presents of All . . .

. . . are these people:

And having conversations like this one:

Me: Sweetie, your class at Bible Study is called the 'Little Lambs,' and brother's class is called
the 'Caterpillars.' Isn't that cute?

Miss: Awww, that is so cute! What is your class called? The cows??

Me: Uh, no.


Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Back Home, Back to Blogging

As I stood in the reception hall following my Grandpa's funeral, I found myself smiling and laughing. I was perusing a poster board covered with photographs of Grandpa. Some were pictures of him as a young man with curly hair and a big smile. Others were showed him as a young father, standing proudly with his four children in their front yard. The one picture that encapsulated how I will always remember him showed my Grandpa conducting our family in a round of "Happy Birthday" at someone-or-another's birthday party. I will always remember being a little girl at those parties. I was always so excited to go to my grandparents' house, because my grandparents were so wonderful at being grandparents. They cared about their grandchildren genuinely. They always listened to us, talked to us, and made us feel important and valued. As we grew, they came to all of the important events in our lives, and were at most of the not-so-important ones as well.

After my Grandma passed away, and my Grandpa met and married Mary, they continued to show that same love and concern for all of their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Grandpa was a loyal reader of this blog, and always told me how much he enjoyed it. He loved to know what was happening in our daily lives and in the lives of our children (his great-grandchildren). I hope that I can give my little Peanuts, and all of the people in my life the same gift that my Grandpa gave me. The gift of feeling loved, of knowing that you are important to someone. He never made me feel as though I was bothering him by talking on and on. Which I did. Often.

Instead, he listened. I know that he *really* listened, because he remembered.

I will always remember him.