Sunday, March 28, 2010

I Shouldn't Be Alive

Hi. My name is Becky, and I am addicted to shows where people face tragedy and certain death and then miraculously survive.

I Was Bitten. Untold Stories of the E.R. Mystery Diagnosis. Monsters Inside Me. I watch them all. Morbid, I know, but what can I tell you? I'm a sucker for a good runner-fell-off-a-cliff-and-shattered-every-bone-in-her-body-but-survived story.

One of my more recent discoveries is an Animal Planet show called I Shouldn't Be Alive. (A better name would be I Shouldn't Be On Animal Planet Because I'm Usually Not About Animals, but whatever. As usual, no one asked me.)

The more I think about it lately, however, I'm starting to thinking that some of the near-deadly catastrophes many of those people have faced are less awe-inspiring than they probably think.

I'm sure a few years ago I would have thought differently.

A decade ago surviving eleven days in the bitter cold snow with no shelter, food, or drink would have seemed heroic. Living through a month at sea in a tiny life raft with no fresh water and sharks eating your shipmates would have struck me as downright amazing.

Now that I've had children, I have to wonder.

Yes, being so desperate that you're considering cutting off your finger just to have something to eat (that seriously happened on the last episode I watched) is pretty horrendous. But, has that boy ever pushed a baby - an honest-to-God, living, breathing human being - out of his body? I would have cut off six fingers if it would have gotten the anesthesiologist there with my epidural sooner.

Sure, sharks are deadly, but what about the gauntlet of knees and elbows I have to survive just to get out of my bed on those mornings when five people inhabit it? Just to be clear, that's TEN elbows and TEN knees. Not to mention ten little projectile feet and hands. Sharks may have sharp teeth, but you'd be surprised at the force with which a four year old princess can smack her foot onto a person's face.

Yes, trying to hike through endless miles of snow in your bare feet must be treacherous, but how about driving with three little ones in the car? Granted, these days it's much easier because my kids are 4, 5, and 7. But once upon a time they were 3 months, 1, and 3. I challenge anyone to find an activity more fraught with peril than driving 70 mph while trying to hold a bottle in the mouth of a rear-facing baby, retrieve a fallen pacifier from the floor for a one year-old, and listen to a three year-old pitch a royal tantrum because HIS CAR SEAT IS IRRITATING HIM!!!

The list of ways in which those car trips could have ended in disaster is endless, but it would undoubtedly include a high-speed collision, a broken neck from contorting my body into positions God never intended, or sudden death from a nervous breakdown. That's possible, right?

I'm thinking they ought to devote at least one episode of that show to me, the unsung hero. If not that show, they could create another one just for stay-at-home moms who had three children in three years (hey, it's my show, I can limit it however I want): I Shouldn't Be Sane!

Vignettes . . . granted, they're sort of long vignettes

We have sleep issues.

Pee-in-the-mattresses issues to be exact.

Lauren graduated from pull-ups at bedtime around the first week in February. Awesome. No more money being thrown in the trashcan every morning. Three kids in undies 24 hours a day. She did great for the next month - three accidents, all of which occurred after forgetting to have her go potty right before bed.

In the past two weeks, however, she has wet the bed five times.

Sadly, I did not know she wet the bed a few nights ago until I went to put her to bed the NEXT night. (She says she told me when she came to my bed during the night. I have no recollection of her telling me this, but truth be told, I have no recollection of her coming to my bed at all. I just know she was there the next morning.)

So, when I put her to bed the following night I found her bedding and mattress soaked with pee. Soaked. It being past bedtime already, I decided I would just let her sleep with Josh and deal with it tomorrow.

Because I'm very Scarlett-O'Hara-like like that.

I should have foreseen what would happen next. You don't need me to tell you, do you? Yes, she peed on Josh's bed during the night. (It was actually Ethan's bed, but Ethan won't sleep with Lauren, so Josh was on the bottom bunk with her while Ethan slept on top. Ethan's a smart kid.) So, now both Josh and Lauren came into our bed during the night.

Of course - OF COURSE - there was no mattress pad on Ethan's bed. So now I have two, count 'em, two mattresses that reek of pee.

I've googled remedies and have found some suggestions, but what I have not found is time to implement said suggestions. So, for the past two nights David has slept in our king-size bed with all three kids, and I have taken up residence on the couch. Clearly Ethan got those smart genes from me.

(You're not really wondering why all three are in our room are you? You didn't really think there was a chance that Joshua would sleep in his perfectly clean-smelling, non-soiled bed when the other two are in our bed, did you?)


Speaking of nasty smells . . .

We have two and a half bathrooms. Two upstairs and a small half-bath right off of our kitchen. Of course, when we have company this half-bath is the one they usually use. Which is why I'm not wild about my kids using that bathroom.

You'll recall that two of my children are boys. Boys with bad aim and even worse cleaning skills. That leaves it inevitable that said bathroom is going to smell like pee.

Okay, I can deal. I'll just buy stock in C.lorox wipes. However, is it too much to ask that when they have to go #2, they do it upstairs? Is there really any reason to add that smell to the kitchen?

I'm constantly reminding the other inhabitants of this house to please take all serious bathroom business upstairs, but they are constantly "forgetting."

Joshua apparently decided to help me out today because when I walked past that bathroom this afternoon, this is what I saw:

I think I may leave it there.


Seems like the last two weeks have just been a blur of travel. First, we went to Harrisburg to visit David's parents two weekends ago, traveling down on Wednesday and back on Sunday. (That was a great drive; gave the kids anti-motion sickness medicine and made both legs of the trip without a single stop!)

Four days after that trip, I drove to Williamsport and back (a 4hour round trip) to watch our high school mock trial team compete in the regional finals of the mock trial competition. I'm the attorney adviser for the team, which I have really enjoyed doing. In fact, I think sometimes I like helping teenagers pretend to be lawyers more than I like actually being a lawyer.

Then two days after that, I headed down to D.C. to spend the weekend with two of my best friends from law school. That is easily a 6 hour drive when one arrives on a Friday afternoon, which meant a 12 hour round trip for a less-than-36-hour visit.

Luckily, it was worth every minute.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New bikes

Somehow we found ourselves in a situation this year where all three kids needed a new bike. I found one for Lauren on Craig's List down in Lancaster, so David's parents picked it up for me on Saturday. When I stopped by their house on my way home from D.C. yesterday to get it, his dad and I found a guy selling used bikes in his yard, and I ended up getting bikes for Josh and Ethan, too.

Of course the kids had NO idea that I might come home from my trip to Washington, D.C. bearing new (to them) bicycles, so their delight over my homecoming was at least tripled.

Joshua loves his because it's a "trick bike," which I think means the handlebars turn all the way around, and it has pegs you can stand on.

Lauren was by far the most excited of all. She is in love with this bike . . . and honestly, who wouldn't be?

Notice the zebra-pattern seat cover.

Sadly, the bike I bought for poor Ethan did not work out. The kids wants a bike so badly, but this one I bought is just a little too big for him. So, while Josh and Lauren were riding their new bikes this afternoon, Ethan helped me cook dinner.

Ethan is so good at rolling with the punches on things like this. I have forgotten his monthly "special day" at school twice, and he didn't even tell me about it the second time. He handles disappointment much better than Joshua and Lauren do . . . which of course just makes me want to run out and get him a new bike as quickly as I can. Hope I can find one before next weekend.

Friday, March 19, 2010


I would like it duly noted that this makes my fifth post in five days. Apparently, I'm trying to make up for all that lost blogging time. I haven't actually written all five days; I wrote two posts a couple of times and scheduled them to post on different days. Because I'm smart like that.


I'm thinking Lauren does not have a firm grasp on what "accidental" means. She broke a toy yesterday, and I asked her what happened.

Lauren: I accidentally broke this.
Me: How did you accidentally break it?
Lauren: Well, I was just bending it to see if it would break, and it broke.

Huh. Imagine that.


Looking forward to girl time with my law school peeps this weekend.

Don't worry; I only use words like "peeps" when I'm with them or referring to them . . . something about them just brings out my inner gangsta. I'ma be hangin' and partying all up in Funk's crib.


I'm pretty sure QT #3 is exactly why I should not write blog posts after midnight. Nothing good ever comes of it.

I typically am not up past midnight these days. I crash nightly during the opening scene of Scrubs or Unwrapped, which both come on at 11.

Not sure what my point is.


Ethan came to me tonight about 20 minutes after I put him to bed. He came in the room with tears welling and said, "Mommy, I'm crying but I don't know why!"

I held him for a minute and asked him if something hurt or if something had made him sad. "I don't think so, but I just don't know."

I said, "Buddy, I bet you're just tired."
"Actually, I think I might know why I'm crying."
"Really? Why?"
"Because you didn't answer me when I said I couldn't sleep."

Seriously? Do you know how many nights anywhere from one to three of my children call out from their beds that they can't sleep? Um, try seven out of seven. Every night. Multiple times.

"Mommy, I can't sleep!"
"Mom, my head hurts."
"Mom, my eyes won't stay closed."
"Mommy, I think my tummy hurts."
"Mommy, I've been closing my eyes but I'm still awake."
"Mommy, Ethan won't be quiet."
"Mom, Josh is keeping me awake."
"Mommy, I'm scared!"

What's that, you're tired of reading these? Trust me, I feel your pain.

I did not feel Ethan's.


Don't forget to head over to Conversion Diary for some great Quick Takes.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Passive aggressive much?

Brace yourselves; this will be a shock.

Last weekend the boys were wrestling, and someone got hurt. I know, hard to believe since it only happens about every three and a half minutes in our house.

This time was a little different from usual, however. This time Ethan was the hurter, and Josh was the hurtee. (Sorry, too much law school.) Apparently, Josh was holding Ethan's legs, so Ethan began flailing his feet and accidentally kicked Josh in the nose. Hard.

Naturally, Josh was unhappy about this turn of events, and we had to really work with him to get him to control his anger. He was livid, which is his usual reaction to getting hurt. We're working on that.

So, David talked with Josh upstairs and tried to calm him down. Then Josh came down and hoped that I would share in his indignation and spank Ethan to within an inch of his life. When that didn't happen, Josh got even angrier. After a bit of serious intervention, I convinced him that he needed to control his temper and forgive Ethan for hurting him, especially when it was accidental.

At least I thought I convinced him.

When he and I finished talking, I went over to the dishwasher where Lauren was trying to make words with the magnetic letters. (Our fridge is stainless steel, so we have to do magnets on the dishwasher.) As Lauren and I were putting together words, I noticed that Josh had joined us and had spelled out Ethan's name with the letters.

Thinking I knew him oh-so-well, I said, "Joshua, what mean thing are you about to write about your brother?"

"Nothing," he replied innocently.

He then proceeded to put a Star Wars Jedi magnet next to Ethan's name, make a shooting sound, and knock the letters E-T-H-A-N right off the dishwasher door.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Holy Navigator

"In 800 yards, turn left, then stay straight."

This is what the GPS navigator told me to do; it's not what I did.

I like using the GPS for roads I'm unfamiliar with. It keeps me from having to get directions or use a map. But on roads I already know, I tend to ignore it. Sometimes I persist in going my own way until it finally catches on and adjusts its instructions. Other times I turn it off altogether because I know I do not want to do what it is telling me to do.

As I was ignoring it during my drive to Williamsport today, it occurred to me that this was very much like what I do to the Holy Spirit on a regular basis. In fact, I had done it just a few hours before.

This morning I was talking to my secretary and found myself smack dab in the middle of gossip junction. I knew better than to be there. I heard the navigator in my spirit telling me, "No, this is not the way to go." But since I wanted to go that way, I ignored it. I shut it off. I was enjoying this route too much to exit now.

Of course, I made everything okay by saying helpful things like, "I shouldn't gossip, but . . . " as I proceeded to take part in the decimation of another person's character.

How often do I turn off or ignore the instruction of the Holy Spirit as if He's nothing more than a Tom-Tom?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Thankful, but . . .

I love that my kids delight in surprising me with acts of kindness. The joy they get from surprising me with their clean rooms, made-up beds, or an unloaded dishwasher brings a smile to my heart every time.

But . . .

I really wish that when they decided to surprise me by cleaning the upstairs bathrooms tonight that they had not used every towel and washcloth in the linen closet. And, I mean they are all completely soaked.

Even more, I really wish that they had not used them to "clean" the toilet.

Thanks, kids.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Some thoughts as I sit

So you know how long it's been since I last blogged? I'm pretty sure that's how long it's been since I sat down.

Somehow in the last couple of years since my kids have all become old enough to walk and talk and wipe their own rear ends, I began to take sitting down for granted. I remember that when they were very small I never sat, but recently I've done lots of sitting. Plenty even.

Until I went back to work.

Granted, I do sit when I'm at work, but sitting in a tense, hunched-over, must-deal-with-this-emergency-now-because-I-haven't-worked-in-over-five-years-and-I'm-constantly-afraid-I'll-screw-up-and-lose-my-license manner doesn't really count, does it?

Lately my life has become a blur of laundry and dishes and handling cases and transporting children to lessons and babysitters and going to court and more laundry and traveling and coaching mock trial and more laundry and cooking (notice how late in the list that one came) and handling work phone calls from home because they justcannotwait until I'm in the office again and did I mention laundry?

I so don't mean to be a whiner. I realize that I have a truly great life wherein I'm able to spend lots of time with my kids, work with my husband, and live in a warm home with plenty of food and a comfortable - oh, I'm so tired I shouldn't mention my comfortable - bed.

But I'm tired, and the only thing that seems to be able to give lately is my blog. Well, that and my cooking, but that was never all that great to begin with.

So I apologize for the ever-increasing time between posts. I stand in awe of women who take care of their families and work and blog. I bow down to you.

Or at least I least I will if I ever decide to get my butt out of this chair. It may be a while.

Friday, March 5, 2010

7 Quick Takes


Since I can't seem to make it to the gym anymore, I've started doing my Biggest Loser workout dvd again.

I'm pretty sure Jillian and Bob are trying to kill me.


While leaving her babysitter's house yesterday, Lauren said to me, "Mommy, I want to keep these two big pieces of ice for my ice collection."

"You don't have an ice collection."

"I do now!"



Day # 7,312 stuck in the house in the middle of winter: marshmallow/toothpick creations.

The Big Dipper (or maybe it's the little one)

Marshmallow Man


Sure, they can all get on daddy's shoulders

But, then what?


Going to Elmira on a double date tomorrow! Excited to be within within spittin' distance of a Target, a restaurant that seats more than 15 people, and a theater with more than one movie. (I started to say "in close proximity to," but "spittin' distance" just seemed more Southern, and I have to cling desperately to what I have left of my Southern, ahem, charm?)

And, yes, we are driving an hour and a half to go to dinner and a movie.

Those of you who live within twenty minutes of your date-night destination, bow your head and say thank you when you go to bed tonight.


Can a person eat too many bananas? I eat at two or three a day. Sometimes more. I mean, I buy an INSANE amount of bananas every time I go to the grocery store.


Okay, I have officially bottomed out with the Quick Takes. For what I'm sure are far more scintillating Quick Takes, head over to Conversion Diary.