Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Candy and Sardines

I don't know why I just can't get enough of this little lady.  Maybe it's because after 4 kids I'm finally realizing how short this time is and that before I know it she'll be slamming doors and quarreling with her brothers and sister.

After having our third child, I settled in on the theory that anyone that had more than 3 kids seriously had to have some loose screws upstairs.  In my mind it also catapulted my mother into sainthood for having raised 8 children.

No matter how much I knew another child was waiting to join our family, I was still certain that having a fourth child would earn me a front row seat to the Heckofalottakids Crazy Club.  But here it is and I could watch her all day, furiously wiggling her toes and bubbling spit as she concentrates with eyebrows furrowed on the task in her pudgy little hands.  Usually it's trying to eat something twice the size of her head.

Last night while Dennis was out playing racquetball, I taught the kids how to play Sardines.  I loved hearing their squeals and giggles throughout the house as we played.  I told them about how when Luke was little we starting to play hide-and-seek together.  It was amazing how he could sit so quietly for so long when we were playing starting as young as 18 months.  I told them how there were times when the only way I could figure out where he was hiding was to call out, "Hey, Lukester!  I have some candy for you."  Then I'd hear a mad scramble from wherever he was hiding as he'd call out, "Coming!!!"

They got a good laugh out of that.  A few minutes later while Lauren and I were hiding, the boys were becoming frustrated that they couldn't find us.  Pretty soon I heard Camden call out, "Hey, Lauren!  We have candy for you!"  From the darkened laundry room where we were hiding, she shot me a look with wide eyes and opened her mouth to claim her stake on the candy goods. I told her to hush and that her brothers were just teasing her.  She squirmed a little and settled back down, obviously disappointed and disgusted that they would do such a mean thing.

About 30 seconds later, I heard the second call, "Lauren!!!  Where are you?  We have the candy!"  Once again she wiggled and whimpered wanting so badly to call out to them.  I reminded her again that it was just a trick.  She pouted her lip and let out a little, "Hummph."

Finally on their third promise of candy, she decided she couldn't stand it any longer and shot to her feet and squealed, "OOOOOOOkay guys!" as she burst out of the laundry room.

What a disappointment.  No candy in sight and two brothers practically rolling on the floor laughing.

So we settled for two-day old cream-filled cupcakes that I had made (which tasted awful) and another good laugh.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

...And that's the rest of the story

This reflects the way most people feel about the following subject.  
Please consider yourself  fully disclosed.

A girl can only listen to so many Taylor Swift remixes and perverted DJ's on the radio.  So I made the switch to the one station that in the click of a button not only aged me 15 years but surfaced yet one more of my father's genes.  Talk radio.

What intrigues me the most is the chance to hear someone's point of view that given my everyday life as a busy mother of 4, would never happen otherwise.

Take this issue for instance:  whether people infected with HIV should be required to notify their partners of their diagnosis.  I used to think the issue was a no-brainer-- hardly worth arguing.  Of course someone should notify their partners of the chance that they might become infected with a life-threatening virus.  The right to privacy is not superseded by the right to live.   End of story.  But after listening to a compelling 15 minute segment with bullet-proof reasoning as to why it could create more potentially lethal problems than it would ward off, I now stand where I used to think only half-brained fanatics stood.  

Hmmmm...interesting.  That got me wondering what else I may have bought into when I hadn't bothered listening to the other side of the story.

As expected, much of talk radio focuses on the unfolding political scene.  I feel sometimes that I'm seen as a blasphemer of all things conservative by voicing my political views, many of which are supportive of Obama.  I'm a far cry from being any sort of political expert. I’m more of a wannabe enthusiast.  But with so many of the media sources muddled in outrageous biases, it's a little hard to tell the difference between what Obama passed through and what came out as a legislative belch from the belly of a hissy-fit-throwing Congress. 

Immediately after he was elected I saw a large movement on Facebook claiming that the apocalypse had just gone underway.  We had just elected the anti-Christ.  As the good, conservative, Christian girl I thought I should be, I had believed a few of the grossly embellished tall tales and emails about the havoc that this non-American, terrorist-advocating heathen would wreak upon American soil.  Stories about him advocating live-birth abortions, funding terrorist movements, raising gun taxes to outlandish proportions, ending the war in Iraq 30 days after coming into office, vowing to squelch any allegiance to God or the American flag were just a few of the swarming rumors.  

After foolishly believing one of the hair-brained emails, which I'm ashamed to admit led me to vote for a nominee I didn't even like, I swore that never again would I buy into the garbage that so often circulates among fanatics and believers of all things WWW.  I felt insulted and a little betrayed that someone would think I was daft enough to buy into that kind of nonsense, which apparently I was.  So in a partly "Oh-no-you-didn't" (*insert head bob with hand on hip*) retaliation to those emails, I decided I'd listen to what he had to say with different ears.  And by golly, who woulda wasn't all that bad.

Bill Maher summed up my feelings when he said, "I want to just take a moment to thank the Teabaggers.  Thank you so much for helping us pass health care, for resurrecting the Obama presidency.  I know they're saying, 'Why are you thanking me?  I was so against it, I marched on Washington with tea bags hanging off my Founding Fathers costume, with a gun on my hip and a picture of Obama dressed as Hitler, screaming about his birth certificate.'  And America saw that and said, 'I think I'll go with the calm black man.'"

As much as I enjoy learning about politics, my opinions are fairly superficial, gleaned from reading news websites and listening to NPR. While I advocate many Republican values, the little bit of hippie in me gravitates towards many of the Democratic platforms as well.  It's interesting to me to listen to those who covenant to only support those with the (R) (or (D) for that matter) next to their name and then blast Obama because of what he stands for in terms of ethics.  Does that mean if Gingrich became the Republican nominee- who is a reported adulterer, who stands a fortune in debt, and who lacks the support of his former Republican constituents- that he would be the more ethically sound alternative to a man who has been married to his wife longer than most politicians and who grows a garden on the White House grounds?  (That's a "He** no!" from this Republican Hippie.) 

Paul Harvey used to sum up each of his segments with "...and that's the rest of the story."  But I don't think anyone has the rest of the story when it comes to this.  Each story is too tainted by biased reports and cultural dogmas.   While we may never know the rest of the story, it would serve us all well to at least listen to the other side of the story.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Days like today

Just when I think I've got myself figured out I go and have a day like today.  For the past few days we've all either had a nasty stomach bug or a killer head cold- the kind that makes you want to stay in bed all day sulking with a box of tissues and a humidifier.  That combined with lack of sleep and a raging case of cabin fever started me off on the wrong foot this morning, to put it mildly.  That same wrong foot marched me right on through most of the afternoon too.  With a pounding head and a water faucet for sinuses, all I wanted to do was crawl back in bed and hibernate until March.  

As Dennis headed out the door to go to church, I wanted to sit right down on my pity pot and have myself a party.  

Why, when I feel so dog-gone miserable and Dennis is gone, do my kids seem needier than ever?  

Lauren with her endless nonsensical jabbering, Camden and Luke hollering over who's turn it was at the Hot Wheels track, and Calista getting irritated with being ignored through it all.  

For crying out loud, why can't I ever have myself a real sick day- or a couple for that matter?  A few days where I can check out and read books, and do whatever it is that floats my boat until I get to feeling better?  

After biting off a few heads I decided I needed to keep my mouth shut and keep to myself as much as possible.  So while Calista was napping I was reading a book on photography and decided some camera therapy might be just what I needed.

It's amazing how looking at things through a little plastic lens, even if just for a few minutes, can bring things all back into focus- both literally and figuratively speaking.  And suddenly, things didn't seem quite so bad after all.

Calista checking out her own image on the computer as I worked on the editing.

Friday, January 6, 2012

My little sis

This past week my sister, Cristina and her family came to visit after Christmas.  When we were kids the poor thing endured more than her fair share of dress-up sessions.  I guess things don't change much in 25 years.

I had been thinking for a while that it would be fun to take some 1950's style pictures and as I plotted on who I could ask, she kept coming to mind.  Being the great little sister that she is, she once again let me talk her into getting dolled up, this time in 50's style clothes and hair, and allow me to take pictures of her.  She is such a beauty.  I only wish I had the skills to do her full justice.  Once again, please excuse my very, very embarassingly-so amateur photography skills.   Here are some of my favorite pictures that we took.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

New Year's Resolution

I recently saw this quote on the kitchen counter of a friend.  When I read it, it stopped me in my tracks and it left me thinking for the rest of the day.  I've decided to make internalizing this quote my only New Year's Resolution for 2012.  

"We women have a lot to learn about simplifying our lives.  We have to decide what is important and then move along at a pace that is comfortable for us.  We have to develop the maturity to stop trying to prove something.  We have to learn to be content with what we are."
-Marjorie Pay Hinckley-

What an amazing woman, this Marjorie Pay Hinckley.  As I browsed through her quotes on a website in search for this one, I decided I need to learn more about this lady.  

As for the pictures below, they really don't relate in anyway to the post.  I was just looking through some pictures from last year and realized that there's a bit of a pattern in Luke's reaction as soon as he sees me take out the camera.