Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New Beginnings

Today is the first day of school.  

Summer was good to us and it is hard to let it go.  (Especially because today is the hottest day of the year!)  But, alas, we must stop living like we don't have a care in the world.  Our home must stop looking like a frat house on a Sunday morning.  We've got to start being responsible for something, reporting to someone, and dressing like respectable human beings, not simply pulling over our heads the first crumpled and stained article of clothing that we can dig out from under the bed.  (The boys did that.  Not me.  Ever.  Ahem....)  

Hello to homework, schedules, soccer, copious amounts of school paper work, meal planning and healthy snacks.

And hello to some quiet time for me.  

You see, I just dropped Cora off at preschool for the very first time. 

So......here I sit.  

Absolutely, positively and completely alone.  During the middle of the day.  For an extended period of time.  And this will happen every day.  My brain is trying compute this new phenomenon.

I feel like a teenager who just got her license and I could go anywhere I want and even skip school and not get in trouble if I'm careful.  The whole world is my oyster!!!!!  The sea has parted and possibilities have opened up!!!!

I thought I would go to the shoe store and try on ONLY the shoes that I want without a 3 year old avid shoe-lover insisting that I try on every sparkly, bejeweled and 6 inch heel in sight.

I considered a leisurely stroll through the mall without having to visit the germ-irific public restroom every 15 minutes because, apparently, children's bladders are the size of a "kid"ney bean.  And FYI, the "kid"ney beans don't all sync up and have to empty at the same time.

It is too hot for a run today, but at least I could do that if I so desired.  Or I could eat my lunch in one sitting.  Or close my eyes and take a rest.

With the world at my feet and the possibilities only limited to the scope of my imagination (and the 3 hour preschool time limit), I decided on a plan.

I came home and went to the bathroom.   


No one was jiggling the door handle asking me where their missing shoe might be found.  No one was barging in in desperation to relieve themselves in MY toilet (which I would be currently utilizing) because for some reason the other three porcelain thrones were not good enough.
No one was pressing their bodies to the floor outside the door, pushing their lips through the crack of the door trying to tell me that someone took their cookie or looked at them wrong or called them a name or asking me when I was going to be done or what was I doing in there anyway? 

I heard no noises that would make me have to yank up my pants in an unladylike rush because either the house was about to fall down around my ears or a child was in grave danger.  

Nothing of the sort happened that was at all interesting or alarming.

I just heeded the call of nature and then casually went on my way.

And since I'm a rather efficient person and I had approximately 2 hours and 58 minutes left until my solitude was up, I did the things that mothers all over the world do, every day.  I turned on some music and swept the floor.  And "Happy" came on!  It is the song that I always insist everyone stop what they are doing and dance and clap with reckless abandon.  Kai gets the reckless part, Owen gets the happy part, Cora gets the dancing and clapping part and Drew gets the abandon part and tries to escape the dance interlude altogether.  While I danced to that song today, all by myself, I tried not to look at the clock.

I cleaned the counters and put in a load of laundry.  I thought of the apple, peach and raspberry picking we did yesterday when I saw the red stain on Owen's favorite fluorescent shirt.  (And I tried not to look at the clock.)

I put away the dishes and was assured that every item would be in its correct place because Drew wasn't the one unloading the dishwasher and getting creative with the pot stacking.  (And I tried not to look at the clock.)

I put dinner in the crock-pot for our stay-at-home-Taco-Tuesday event and remembered the reason we'll be staying home for Taco Tuesday in the first place: The last time we went out for the event, Kai spilled his red drink all over the table, the food, himself, me and the floor. And more egregious, I totally lost my temper. (And I tried not to look at the clock.)

I made a grocery list and was sure to include tissue because all Cora can talk about is bringing a box of "tiss-oo" to preschool just like her boys got to bring to their classrooms.  (And I tried not to look at the clock.)

Three hours is a long time.  Long enough for me to realize that, although I am many things, I am a mother who, above all else, loves her children.  I even like them most of the time!  They make me better and bring out the worst in me, too.  They remind me that life is full of rich experiences that have nothing to do with money or status or the size of my thighs.  I'm humbled to get to have them forever; pulling my strings, pushing my buttons, and jumping up and down on my last nerve. Hugging my neck, stepping all over my feet, kissing my cheeks and staining my clothes.

And just like that, it is 3:30.



Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Lunch of Champions

Today was THE day.

The long anticipated culinary experience of my third son was about to commence.

After being in school for 15 days, I finally let my kindergartener buy his lunch!  I'd like to profess that I did so because I'm an exceptional mother and wanted to fulfill his dream of bringing $2.35 to school to buy the institution food that had so caught his eye.  But alas, I confess I sent him with his lunch money in a ziploc bag because life got in the way of having a functioning brain and I made a run to my own person hell-on-earth (Wal Mart) and forgot to get more juice boxes.  And on top of losing in the home management game, I also couldn't bring my fingers to make one more peanut butter and jelly sandwich, AND I slept a little bit longer (7:30!!!) than I had anticipated.  Thankfully, the school cafeteria can provide for the dietary needs of my child when I just can't get it together.  

And day of all days!  The lunchroom gods were smiling down on him and it just so happened to be a stuffed crust pizza day in the cafeteria.

The news of that was almost more than his 5 year old heart could manage.

Following a quick warning about remembering to use his napkin to avoid getting greasy cheese stains on his nice school clothes and an empty threat about not being able to buy lunch ever again if he did not heed my warnings, he proclaimed, "This is going to be my best day EVER."

(Well, then.  Maybe I should rethink all those meticulously planned and expensive family vacations!)

After the cream of wheat and homemade bread were consumed and the floor was thoroughly littered with crumbs, teeth were brushed, hair was tamed and bags were waiting by the door......we settled down for our morning moment of calm.  (Ha!!)

Owen opened the Book of Mormon and we worked on our scripture for the week.  After each child did their best to memorize our scripture with minimal amounts of goofiness and mayhem, we were ready for our prayer before the boys rushed out the door for the bus.

Kai was more anxious than normal to be the one to say our family prayer.  After all, he had a big day ahead of him!  Not wanting to squelch the spiritual enthusiasm, I asked him to say the prayer and to be thoughtful about what he said.

This is the basic gist....

"Please bless that while I'm saying this prayer, the bus will not come.  And please bless that while we are at lunch today, grease will not get on our clothes."

Amen to that!!!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Much Ado About a Tooth

*I wrote this in the spring of 2012.  What made me remember this long-ago written post was that Owen lost his third tooth last night.  He failed to seal the plastic bag and now the tooth is somewhere floating around in his sheets or under his bed.  

"Mama!  Maaaaamaaaaa!!!!!!"  Owen screeches as he bounds down the stairs.

Ever accustomed to this type of bellowing I calmly asked, "Who is bleeding, what broke, is the house on fire, is your sister safe?"

"No, no NOOOOOO," he responds (rather exasperatedly, I might add)!
"My tooth is loose!  See?  Can you see? It is wiggly!"

Well, the long awaited event has finally occurred.  'Tis the season of daffodils and tulips popping forth from the earth and a tooth to pop out of the mouth of my child.  And as my rather dramatic red-headed kindergartener becomes fixated on his one tiny little wiggly incisor, I become fixated on tooth-fairy preparedness.  

The Tooth Fairy has failed the eldest Spencer boy on more than one occasion and caused my sweet little innocents (insert a roll of the eyes here) to doubt the abilities of the greedy pixy who comes like a thief in the night to add to her hoarde of exctracted baby teeth.

When my wallet was empty of spare change (and I didn't have the heart to take from the piggy bank of the very child who was expecting greater wealth), Auntie has saved the day and given a dollar or two to the great relief of the ill-prepared Fairy.  Not wishing history to repeat itself, I stuffed away a dollar and a small bit of change in my bathroom cabinet for the day that Owen's little tooth decided to come out.

Weeks passed with many conversations like this,

"Mama, wiggle my tooth.  How wiggly is it?  A little bit wiggly or just medium wiggly?"

"Mama, is it a lot bit wiggly?"

"Mama, I think the Tooth Fairy is going to give me $100 dollars."  (After I nipped that little fairy tale in the bud....)  "Well, maybe $20.  A kid in my class got $20!"  (I'd like to have a word or two with that kid's tooth fairy.)

"Mama, Austin's tooth just fell right out of his mouth while we were singing in music class today.  It just fell RIGHT OUT!"  (And off he skipped to wiggle his as hard as he could in hopes that his might fall out during art.)

A few more weeks passed and his tooth was just getting to be plain stubborn, despite Owen's best efforts.

He was reaching a state of despair waiting for his tooth to come out while other lucky kids had their teeth seemingly dropping out of their heads with no provocation.  And unfortunately, the biggest insult came just when Owen's tooth was advancing to the much anticipated medium-wiggly stage.  His older brother, who already had 8 Tooth Fairy visits to his name, came home from school in a frenzy with a tiny little plastic tooth holder and said, 

"I lost my tooth today!  It just came out in my granola bar.  And see?  There is a piece of granola still stuck to it!"

After appropriate admiration for the disgusting granola adorned dentifrice and Owen's longing looks, off Drew went to play.  And, since nothing in the tooth department goes well around here, Drew lost his tooth sometime between getting home from school and bedtime.  We tore the place apart looking for that thing because I explained that the Tooth Fairy would accept no more notes or shark's teeth.  Only the real deal would do.

As luck would have it, the Tooth Fairy was prepared for the unexpected event (I had no idea Drew's tooth was even loose!).  When the house was finally still, off she crept to her bathroom cabinet to retrieve the reward that was set aside for Owen's tooth.

Poor Owen.

On the precise Spencer Scale of tooth wiggliness, I was sure Owen was going to be stuck at medium-wiggly for a long time.  But noooo...... we had to have another tooth incident!

On our last night of Spring Break, after a wonderful week in Alabama at Grandma and Grandpa's house, I heard a ruckus on the floor above me coming from the area of the house where the boys were SUPPOSED to be sleeping.  We were looking ahead to a long drive the next day and I was NOT in the mood for them to be playing all night.  I stormed up the stairs and demanded to know "what in the world they thought they were doing when they were supposed to be snoozing!"

To my amazement, I saw the boys staring back at me with a frantic look in their eyes and the room torn apart.  

"Mama!!!  Owen FINALLY lost his tooth and now we can't find it!"

Great.  Here we go again.  Another lost, lost tooth.  

Just when we were beginning to think the tooth had disintegrated and Owen wasn't going to get the long-awaited-for visit from Madame Tooth Fairy, Auntie came up and found the tooth.  

When not a creature was stirring and the magic exchange of tooth for money was about to take place, I made a terrible yet not entirely unexpected discovery.

I had no cash.

And, letting history be my guide, I went to my sister/tooth-fairy bank manager and asked to borrow some funds.

Another tooth fairy fail.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Sunday: The Day of Unrest

 (I wrote this almost exactly a year ago.  I realize, after reading it, that perhaps I sound like I don't like my kids!  This just isn't true!  The truth is:  I like my kids BETTER on Saturday!  :)  The best thing about finding this long-buried post?  This picture of Owen hoisting Cora up like a scarecrow on a pole.)


The day of rest.  

The day to contemplate sacred things, search your soul, concentrate on rejuvenating for the work week ahead.  

It is a day of introspective reading, a leisurely stroll or a quiet nap.  It includes meaningful conversations and enjoying a peaceful family meal.  Sunday means a day of worship where you fill up your spirit with important truths and gain better understanding.

Yeah.  Well...

In my world, Sunday is opposite day.

Opposite from everything that is mentioned above.  Opposite from peaceful, restful, rejuvenating, leisurely or quiet.  

I read with longing about the couple that wakes up when their internal clock says it is time.  NOT when a 3 year old clock wakes you up by chirping, "I want some bress-sis" or a baby rattling her crib from the closet 8 feet away.

I hear that many people on the planet enjoy a nice cup of coffee (OJ, if it were me) and read the paper or do a crossword puzzle.  I drink the dregs of milk from the bottom of somebody's cereal bowl and dispense syrup to the ravenous horde.

There are khaki and navy pants to crease. (Which is Jay's particular part of the chaos.  That man knows how to iron!)  And button-up shirts to rebutton 127 times because one, two or three of the boys didn't quite match up the holes correctly.

And then there are the church socks.  Don't get me started on the church socks. They must be co-habitating with my bobby pins and Jay's collar stays.

Church shoes get pulled out from behind flip-flops and Drew has a fight with the slippery laces of his shoes.  Now he's reduced to tears and I'm scowling and thanking my lucky stars that Owen and Kai have slip-on church shoes.

There are bed-heads to tame and bald heads to adorn.

By the time my make-up is applied and we're all in the car, I'm sweating like a pig and my make-up has gone south.  I've yelled no less than 27 times, "Hurry up!  I don't want to be late!" which is met with exactly 8 eyeballs staring blankly back.

After I've lugged my hooligans and a 15 pound bag of "quiet books" into the church, we find Jay (who has had early morning meetings) and settle in a pew long enough for 12 people but somehow all of the kids end up leaning, sitting or resting on me and Jay.  I spend the next hour trying to stop my baby from yanking out my hair, pulling down my shirt and grabbing at my dangly earrings.  (Accessories are a thing of the past, I'm afraid.)  

I've got Kai putting his feet up on my lap, wrinkling my skirt, when I realize in horror that I'm trying to bring the ancient Chinese custom of foot binding to my own little corner of the world......Kai's shoes are easily a size and a half too small and his feet are crammed into those suckers.  

I blurt out the few words that I remember from the hymn we're singing because while my hands are holding a squirmy baby, they can't be holding the hymnal.

Partaking of the Sacrament bread and water is a perilous affair where baby hands are grabbing for the water and grubby boy hands are grabbing for a fistful of bread.  Owen still plugs his nose when the bread is near and Kai makes the tiny cup of water seem like he is gulping down a gallon.  

After his noisy swallows, he loudly says, "Ahhhh! Refreshing!"

At least someone is refreshed.

The speakers are certainly talking about important things.  Things that my soul needs and desires to hear.  But this is what I hear.....

"charity..."  (and then Owen has to go to the bathroom.)
"the pioneers..."  (now I'm thinking that we need to have a lesson on how to teach a 3 year old to whisper.)
"service..."  (Drew complains, "Owen is bothering me!"  Add the 8 year old to the whispering lesson.)
"prayer..."  (now Cora needs a diaper change.)


Well, at least I got "charity, the pioneers, service and prayer."  
Now I'm all agitated and frustrated and wondering when church will be like it used to be.....pre-kids.  I drop Drew and Owen off in their classes and Kai rushes into nursery.  Jay has Cora in his class and I'm doing my calling as a counselor in the Primary Presidency, trying desperately to keep 57 kids reverent while teaching them about keeping their bodies and minds clean and pure.

Just as I take a breather in the hallway I hear a familiar cry coming from the nursery.  Out pops the nursery leader with a tearful Kai in tow.  

"I think he's got something stuck in his nose," he says.  

Kai pulls his finger out of his nostril and says, "I can't get it out."  

I peer into the dark abyss of his nostril and see nothing up there.  I haul him to the bathroom and wonder how you do the Heimlich maneuver on a kid's nose.  Kai blows hard into a Kleenex 3 or 4 times and out shoots a Cheerio.  Kai is relieved and goes back into nursery to finish his snack.  Hopefully this time the food will be placed in the correct orifice.

Now it is time to go home, change clothes, remind the boys that their clothes go on hangers not on the floor of their closet, scrounge up something good to eat and focus on remembering the importance of the day.

Peace, be still.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Winnie the....

(I wrote this in late 2010!!!  Kai's vocabulary has evolved since then.  Now he says, "What the!" for things that surprise/confuse/baffle him.  I've chosen to pick my battles.  At least he doesn't fill in the typical last word of the phrase.)

There is just no getting around it in this household.  It isn't something that is acceptable to banter back and forth about in the world outside my home.  But inside my four humble walls?  There is plenty of poo discussion.  No amount of punishing, pleading, prodding or even pinching can get Kai to stop saying "poo."
He says it when he's happy, frustrated, angry or defiant.  For Kai, no occasion is complete without the inclusion of his favorite word. 

And so goes my life.  My high heels are getting dusty in the back of my closet.  My nails haven't seen a decent coat of polish since '09 and my feet would scare off even the oldest goat in the barn.  I'm going to have to haul my own hoof trimmer to the nail salon by the time I get around for a pedicure.  (Come to think of it, I'll just go out to Jay's uncle's farm and have the ferrier put horseshoes on my feet.  The boys would like that better than a pair of heels any day!)
I can't recall the last time I had a stimulating conversation about politics or music or literature.  In fact, I joined a book club that focuses on the classics to remind myself that there is life outside of hearing the word "poo" 2,153 times a day.  When I got 75 pages into the book and discovered that I had no idea what I had read, and more disturbing....didn't care, I dropped out in shame.  Hence, the loss of more valuable braincells.

But I sure have conversed about poo with a 2 year old.  When Kai is feeling particularly snarky and doesn't want to give his mother a break, our dialogue goes something like this...

"Kai, what do you want for snack?"
"Kai, you HAVE to tell me what you want.
"Poo." (said with a wicked grin)
"String cheese or crackers?  Which one?"
"Poo." (even bigger grin)
"That wasn't one of the choices, little boy!  Now just answer me right now or you'll get nothing to eat and you'll be hungry for a long long time!!!! AND I WON'T EVEN CARE!"  (I didn't say that last part.  But I thought it, though.)

"O-Kaaaay!  I want string cheese.....

And poo."

Friday, September 14, 2012

This Is What Your Face Might Look Like....

Have you ever wondered what would happen to you if you decided to lick an ornamental pepper plant in your neighbor's garden?

I now have 2 little boys that can give you a clue.

This is what your face might look like.....

For 45 minutes..... (I failed to capture the rolling on the ground bit.)

And this is what your face might look like when you are hoping that your Mom would make the burning go away instead of sticking a camera in your face on fire.

Apparently Clones are NOT impervious to the burn of an ornamental pepper plant.

(As a side note, I googled to see if the plant was poisonous so I didn't have to call Poison Control....AGAIN.)

And this is what your face might look like when you are almost 2 years old and your mother asks you to "smile" while your brothers are sweating profusely and drinking milk by the gallon.

This is what your face might look like when pandemonium is taking place in the house with your brothers' face-on-fire incident.  Smug.
 And this is what your face might look like when you need a nap.

Monday, August 20, 2012

House Guests

We have a few nightly visitors in our house that make the rounds from room to room.  Unlike Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy and the Elf on the shelf, these visitors aren't seasonal.  These guys are a nightly occurrence.

They've developed quite the reputation for being mischief makers of one kind or another.  Generally speaking, they aren't welcome in the boys' rooms, but they make themselves at home despite the protestations.

Their presence isn't known until the morning light streams through the windows across sleeping heads lying on pillows.  After the first flutter of eyelids, the first smacking of lips and the gentle stretch into a sitting position, the guests have left evidence of their visit.  When little boys wander down for breakfast we start the inspection to see how our visitor's handiwork looks on sleepy heads.

The report is typically the same each day.  Ralph the Midnight Hairdresser worked his magic on all the boys' hair, making architectural hair-do's that rival Frank Lloyd Wright.

Sammy the Squirrel generally skips Drew's hair because it is so thick, but delights in the fine hair of Kai and Owen.  Sammy builds his nest in their corn silk hair which requires some patience with the brush to unbuild.

Last night, however, I was informed that Ralph the Midnight Hairdresser strayed from his brush and comb and Sammy took a break from his construction business.

Kai came wandering into our room (just minutes after Cora decided that her crib in the closet wasn't going to be suitable for her slumber).  He told me very matter-of-factly, "There is something in my room that took my blanket."

He wasn't particularly afraid or distraught.  I asked him what it was and he said, "I can't remember what it is called."

Since our bed was presently occupied by the girl-from-the-closet, Jay took him back to his room, found his beloved blanket (which he clutched so tightly, nothing would ever be able to extricate it from his fists), and stayed with him until he fell back to sleep.

Fast forward to 7:00 a.m. (a measly few hours later), and Kai is back in my room and ready for the day.  With his blanket trailing behind him I take the opportunity to ask him about his night.

"Kai, you have your blanket back!!  Do you remember who took it in the middle of the night?"

"Yes," he replies.  "It was the guy who does my hair."

Well, Ralph the Midnight Hairdresser might need to stick to hair and leave blanket stealing to the experts.  He didn't make a very covert thief.

And a short while later, while assisting Kai in his bed making responsibility, I was informed of Sammy the Squirrel's new nocturnal occupation.

"Kai!  What happened to your bed?  The blanket is all pushed in a heap and the sheets are coming untucked!"

"Oh!", he exclaims as the thought hits him for the first time.  "It was Sammy making a nest!"

I can't wait to see what mischief the Tooth Fairy makes when Kai starts losing teeth! 

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Merry Christmas 2011 in July 2012

I wrote this back in December.  You know, when the events actually happened, when we were hiding the "Elf on the Shelf" in a different place every night and we thought we needed to buy a bigger home just so we could figure out a new place to hide him.  (Along with the magic of the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and now the Elf of the Shelf, the boys STILL BELIEVE!  And we've gotten really good at justifiable parental deceit.)  So..here is my attempt at describing our holiday in rhyme.

'Twas the night before Christmas and throughout the townhouse
Every hooligan was stirring, and there'd better be no mouse!
The stockings were hung on the half-wall with care,
Because two of the holders were the worse for wear.

The children were riled up and didn't want to go to bed
With visions of Lego's and Transformers in their heads.
We'd made Christmas cookies for Santa to eat
Even put out an apple for the Reindeer's treat.

Our Christmas Eve dinner we'd already had,
And the simplicity of that meal wasn't really that bad.
Hot soup and warm bread were devoured mighty quick
In hopes that soon they might sneak a glimpse of St. Nick.

The village was glowing and casting a light
It makes the boys wish they could sleep there for the night.
Christmas Eve jammies were adorned with great care
The first year for pink ones made everyone stare!

A new tradition was started with a funny contraption
Granny's old juicer was used for extraction
Of apples and pears into lovely fresh juice
For our own Christmas cider it produced was profuse!

A letter was written to Santa with care
By a boy who was uncharacteristically willing to share
His room and his bed if that was the need
For Kai to bunk in so that they all could read...

A Christmas story, a snowman and Santa's little elf
Were read with great gusto and put back on the shelf.
That elf had been wandering the house for some days
The naughty behavior not escaping his gaze.

The elf on the shelf had been this way and that
On candlesticks, mirrors, upside down by his hat.
It was time for his exit, on Santa's great sleigh
I couldn't figure out where to place him one single more day!

We'd had a Home Evening with lessons and songs
The topic was Jesus, and how He did no wrong.
His birth was the reason we celebrated that night
The boys needed to know and get the story just right.

After eating and singing and eating some more
Christmas Eve was just starting to become a chore.
And now that the kids were wound tight as a drum

The night was still early for parents like us
Who now had to wrap presents to fill a small bus.
An assembly line of scissors and papers and tape
No telling how long this process would take!

We did it with pleasure and smiles on our faces
Secretly wishing that we could switch places
With the small ones who were sleeping with awe and intrigue
They still were so little and their hearts still believed.

We listened intently for any small sound
Those boys would find any excuse to come down!
We snuck up the stairs and to our great delight
Kai, Owen and Drew were asleep for the night!

Cora was nestled all snug in her bed
Not knowing the treasures and wonders ahead.
Christmas day was soon nearing and she would find out
What all the hubbub and excitement was about.

We opened our presents and stockings and such
Feeling so thankful we'd been given so much.
We ate Christmas danish and candy galore
Not knowing if we'd be able to eat anymore.

Dressed in our finest we went to church, to sing
Knowing that was the least we could do for our King.
A feeling of peace made me feel just right
And I could gratefully say.....Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Christmas Morning

Santa let them tug on his beard.

Santa giving a lecture about being good (we like this guy).

She wasn't impressed.

He guessed Kai's age.  He must be Santa!

Santa made them pinky swear to mind their Mom and Dad.  (We REALLY like this guy!)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Cora's Photoshoot

The winter doldrums descended on our house and settled in for an extended stay.  The limited hours of sunlight did nothing for my energy or ability to take pictures.  So I have limited photographic evidence that we've done anything the past few months beyond a few grainy photographs of Christmas morning, dark/blurry pics of Cora's first Birthday and other random, uninspired photos.  (And if photos are the barometer of our existence, then I'm just a figment of the imagination.)

Now that Daylight Saving's Time has come (and stolen a precious hour of my sleep) and we have more daylight, I have a goal.  I've dusted off my camera and decided to do little photoshoots with my shortlings. 

I started with "our baby" (as the boys still call her, emphasis on the our).  She was dressed in her Sunday, pre-lunch finery so I thought it was a perfect time to capture her beautiful baby blues. 

Then she saw her brothers eating and she couldn't concentrate.

So I moved her to the living room and took off her sweater that was making her too hot (evidenced by the red cheeks). 

Then she decided to get a little sassy......

Stole a glance at one of her brothers......

 Exhibited some great feats of flexibility, strength and finger-pointing.....

Laughed at her Daddy making a fool of himself behind the camera.....

Gave us one last good shot of her bloomers before terminating our photoshoot and going off to fling her food from her highchair and finger paint with her yogurt.
 So if that was any indication of how my photoshoot project is going to go, it is only downhill from there......Kai is next.
Wish me luck.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Cora - 14 Months (Even Though She is 16 Months Now)

She stands with a whisk clutched in one hand and a spatula in the other, waving those simple cooking implements like she was conducting a 50 piece orchestra.  Her smile so big and gaping that a line of drool has no chance but to escape her mouth and land ceremoniously on her pretty black dress.  She doesn't care that her rear end is a bit odoriferous or that her top end is as bald as a que ball.  She may even lose her balance a time or two while the whisk is wildly spinning around her head in a moment of reckless abandon.  No matter.  She's having fun.  Living her life like no one is looking.

I envy this about a one year old.

Not a care in the world, simple joys, simple pleasures, the ability to cry it out and then move on.  Cora has it all....the world on a string and her daddy wrapped tightly around her finger.  At 14 months she is the proud owner of 8 shiny little teeth and 4 molars that work harmoniously to supply her with all the bread, Kix and yogurt her little tummy can hold.  She never met a sweet she didn't drool for and a Daddy that didn't give it to her if she flashes her baby blues at him.  Those little teeth are often visible in a wide and genuine grin when she sees her brothers but hidden when a stranger asks for one.

The percentiles at the pediatrician's office say that she is average in every way a parent wants their kid to be average.  She's healthy and vibrant, not too tall, not too short and her head is just the perfect size to hold her perfect brain.   

But not all is perfect.  She continues to want to party in the middle of the night.  After an hour of screaming, she knows that we've reached our limit and Jay gets up and holds her.  EVERY night it is the same party and we desperately want to be uninvited.  We've tried letting her cry, patting her back, wrapping her up in 3 layers to ensure warmth and putting Christmas lights in her room, but to no avail.  Cora hasn't slept through the night in months and hence our gas tanks are empty and our patience is running thin.

Thankfully our memory is impaired, because when "Cooey" (as Kai calls her) lifts up her shirt and points at her tummy when we ask her, or shows off her incredible smarts by knowing the difference between a giraffe and a cow, or goes and gets her baby doll and gives it a kiss on our command, we all just melt under her spell.  Her brothers show her uncharacteristic patience and love that they don't show to each other.

And as she prances about with her purse filled with Transformers, saying MAMA and A-DA (Daddy) or Uh-mmm (uh-oh), we continue to feel blessed that I was lucky enough to be able to have her so she could complete our family.

She is the perfect ending to our family symphony.