Monday, February 28, 2011

Here we go again.

Large Fry came upstairs after school for a short nap and stopped in my room to give me a hug before dozing.  "My froat hurts," she said.

I felt her forehead and it didn't feel too warm, so I had her go lay down.

But when Hubby went to leave, taking the Fries with him for worship team practice tonight (it's payroll week, and I've got a zillion things to do), Large Fry nearly cried.

So she stayed here, and I came downstairs.  She's got a mild fever.  Nothing too high.  I tried to peer down her throat with the penlight I got for Christmas (thanks, Dad), but she can't quite seem to say "aaaah" and get her tongue out of the way enough.  However, her throat does look swollen, and I think I see little white patches.  I gave her a Cepacol Fizzler (I love these things) for her throat.

Large Fry won't be going to school tomorrow, and she'll get to go see the doctor.  And probably Hubby will have to take her, since I need to work, depending on the time.

I'm hoping she doesn't have strep.  But I think that's a likely possibility.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Always and forever. And Terrible.

Medium Fry has just been disciplined for stomping and throwing a tantrum.

Through her tears, she cries my name.  "You'll still love me, wright?"

"Always.  I'll always love you."


"And you'll nevewr..." *snuffle*

"I'll never say I don't love you.  I will always love you."

And Hubby recently outlawed telling me that I'm mean.  The other day, Small Fry was being belligerent, as only a four-year-old can, and really mouthing off, shouting, "You'wre MEAN!"  (I told her to get dressed.  I'm awful, aren't I?)

It's waaaaaaaaaay past bedtime.  But the Fries were in desperate need of baths, so I'm supervising the two not getting bathed while he does the bathing.  The twin Fries are clean, and Large Fry is getting a bath, and I realize that the twins are pulling out toys left and right.  And now wearing dress-up clothes over their jammies.

I told Small Fry to take off the dress-up clothes and put them away, even the animal hats.  This caused Medium to have a conniption, which then resulted in more discipline because she started shrieking and screaming and stomping her feet, gearing up for a major tantrum.  I know she's tired, but still...I confiscate the animal hats.  Then Small Fry refuses to put away toys.

Her arm hurts, she says.  The same arm that had the sequined armband on it.  "Did you break it?" I asked.

"Yes!" she says with a grin and a giggle.

"C'mere."  I squeeze her forearm and bend it at the elbow several times.  "You're fine.  Go put away toys."

She dawdles.  And fiddles.  "Put. Toys. AWAY."


"Put. Toys. Away."

"I have to tell you somefing!"

"No.  You have to do what I told you to.  Put toys away."

Small Fry almost growls.  "You''wre..."  You can almost see the wheels turning as she searches for an adjective other than mean.  "You'wre tewwrrible!"

Friday, February 25, 2011


Medium Fry is playing with the LeapFrog toy that Gramma and Boppa got for her for Christmas.  It has a full QWERTY keyboard, and is designed to help little ones her age learn their letters by playing games.

Medium is "typing."

"Deawr Auntie J, Medium and Small and Lawrge Fwry all love you.  And so is Uncle D!"

And, a few minutes later...

"Deawr Auntie J and Uncle D, Medium and Small and Lawrge Fwry all love you!"

As she bounces into the kitchen for a late lunch, she says happily, "Uncle D, I wrote you a techt message!  It said dat I and Small and Lawrge Fwry all love you!"

Somewhat Inexplicable...Unless You Have Kids

Small Fry calls my name.

"What, honey?"

"The poopy can't come out!"

Of course, Hubby is on the phone talking to one of my parents.

"Well, tell it to come out anyway."

"It can't!"

I opted to ignore that one.

"The poopy came out!"

"It did?"

"Good job, poopy!"

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Quote of the Day

"Auntie, God da Faddah told me to wake up."  ~Medium Fry

Said, of course, about 45 minutes after Uncle D had read her the riot act and sent her back to bed because she was making so much noise and fighting with her twin and generally misbehaving in our room.

And, conveniently, right after I turned on the TV so that Small Fry could watch Disney Junior.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

1 a.m.

That's about the time I went to bed last night.

Er, this morning.


But my stomach was churning with nerves about the hearing this morning, and I had stayed up to tire myself out, so I wouldn't have trouble sleeping.

I turned off all the lights downstairs, grabbed the basket of the kids' clean laundry, and went upstairs.  I hoped I could sneak into the twins' room to put away clothes without waking them.  I knew I could with Large Fry; she almost never wakes up when I do that.

Medium Fry woke as I put undies and camis away, and she followed me out into the hall.  "I hadda bad dweem."

I put away the rest of the clothes, and gently tucked her back in to bed.  I pushed the sleep button on the clock radio, and soft classical music began.

I leaned over and kissed her forehead, and took a step towards the door.

"De big giants awre stuck in hewre," Medium mumbled sleepily.

I crossed my pinkies (because that's what Uncle D says makes monsters leave) and whispered, "Okay, giants, back out of the room."

"Yew fowrgot to say 'Ladies an' gennelmen."

I smiled.  "Ladies and gentlemen," I said softly.  "All giants and monsters need to leave."

"An' wombats," Medium reminded me.

My smile quirked again as I remembered the first time I'd done this little ritual.  I'd wanted something else besides monsters and giants, that didn't sound threatening.  Something silly.  Wombats was the first thing that came to mind.  The list has continued to grow.

"And wombats.  And birdies and bunnies and elephants.  Time to go. Woo-ahhh!"  I kicked out my right foot, because ever since I told the twins that I'd kicked out the giants and monsters and friends, I have to do a real kick, or the routine isn't complete.

Small Fry mumbled from the other side of the room.  "Yew fowrgot to kick."

I bent down and kissed her head too.  "No, I didn't.  I kicked when I said 'woo-ahh.'"

Small Fry sighed sleepily and settled back down into bed.  I tiptoed out and slipped into Large Fry's room to put her clothes away.  She slept peacefully on.

When I got back to our bedroom, I found an assortment of stuffed "friends," and I returned them to their rightful owners--all three Fries had left a trail of stuffed animals that morning.  As I closed Large Fry's door and headed back to our room, I heard Small Fry call my name.

"What, honey?" I asked as I poked my head in the doorway.

"I wanna s'eep in youwr wroom."

"No.  You need to sleep in your room."

She sniffs, signaling impending tears.  "But I wanna s'eep in youwr bed!"

"No, honey.  You need to sleep in your bed.  I'm going to sleep in my bed," I said gently but firmly.

"And Uncle?"

"Yes.  Uncle D is already in bed.  Go to sleep.  I love you."

 "Say, 'I love yew punkin.'"

"I love you, punkin."

"Say, 'I love yew, baby."

"I love you, baby.  Now go to sleep."

She gave me a sleepy smile and snuggled back against her pillow, hugging her little piggy.

I love these moments.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

He believes he won.

At first glance, that title sounds almost...annoyed.  Or sarcastic.  Or something less-than-complimentary.

It's really not.  To be quite honest, that's the best summation of today's events, and I'm happy with it.

Today was the hearing for Bro's appeal of the child support finding.

I was half-relieved this morning to hear that the court was operating on schedule (we had enough snow that there was no school today), and half disappointed.  I was nervous about having to go back to court, especially since this particular case is me v. Bro, not Hubby and me v. Bro.  Which meant that Hubby would have to sit in the gallery while I sat up front with the DRS staff lawyer, Bro, the court reporter, the bailiff, the security guard, and the judge.

The judge hearing the appeal is the same judge who heard our custody complaint.

We arrived on time, and sat down in the gallery.  It was very interesting.  We listened as a number of defendants stood before the judge, all of them delinquent on child support for one reason or another.  Hubby commented at one point, in a whisper, that he ought to bring teen boys to watch these kinds of proceedings, and remind them that this is what could happen if they don't keep their pants zipped.  There were several defendants who had multiple cases of support delinquency.

Bro was almost a half hour late, which was okay, mainly because the judge was still hearing contempt charges.  The last case before ours was almost comical.  I thought the defendant was almost as verbose as Bro, and nearly as sure that he was in the right, as he informed the judge that the receptionist at Domestic Relations had told him that three filed papers would bring him current...after the judge had already ruled that he was at least 7 in arrears.  (Doofus.  First rule of appearing in cannot fight the judge in her own courtroom and expect to win.  It just won't happen.)

Our hearing was scheduled for 10.  We didn't get before the judge until 11.  She apologized for the delay, and the hearing moved forward.

It ended up taking an entire hour, which I hadn't quite expected.  Then again, Bro's company's method of pay calculation is on the high end of weird, almost to the point of downright quirky.  That alone probably took twenty minutes to explain.  When Bro had finished with his remarks regarding his complaint and the requested reasons for the appeal--namely, that my income and SIL's income were not considered, and that his pay had decreased since the original support hearing--the judge asked some questions, and then turned it over to the DRS staff attorney who was representing me.

In regards to his first complaint, there are two factors: one, SIL is not even a party to the action that he's appealing.  It's me v. him, not me v. him and her.  (I had filed against SIL, but upon learning that it was going to be exceedingly complicated because of her military service and that I could end up with the same, more money, or less money, I opted to go with the known quantity of what the Army is currently requiring SIL to pay in child support.  So I asked for the filing against SIL to be dismissed.)  Two, our county's rules for findings of support in the case where the plaintiff is a 3rd party to the biological parents (which I am) state that the 3rd party's income is set as zero, as that party is not a biological parent, and then the incomes of each parent are separately considered (as had been done in our case, with a filing against each parent).  Domestic Relations then takes the total obligation that they have determined, and cuts it in half.  Thus, the 3rd party gets 50% from each parent.  So he's only paying half of his determined total obligation.

That left his claim that he's making less money, and on top of that, his wages are being garnished in addition to the child support.

And that's when the DRS staff attorney proved her weight in gold.  She systematically went through his argument, by the math, and showed that, despite his decreased hours, he's really making more now than he was at the time of the original hearing on support, and that his other garnishment is really only 10-11% of his total gross.  Erego, he's not really as hard up as he's claiming.

The judge then asked the attorney how she would like to have this handled.  The judge didn't think that the 10-11% in additional garnishment was necessarily a hardship on Bro, and wasn't inclined to rule that his support amount be reduced by $100-200 like Bro was requesting.  The judge also asked how much debt Bro had and how long he expected the payments to be garnished out of his wages.

The attorney said that she felt that either the support amount could be recalculated or that there could be a slight waiver, but she didn't feel that a 10-11% garnishment was a huge hardship.

The judge then informed Bro that she would be willing to offer him an additional 5% deviation on his support for the time that his wages are under the additional garnishment...if I would agree to it.  She then posed that question to the DR staff attorney, who said she could certainly ask if the plaintiff would be willing.

The attorney turned to me.  I quickly said, "I'm willing to accept that five percent."  I knew it was the right thing to do...not so much because I'm so thrilled with Bro and his job history.  Or because I was feeling forgiving.  It was more self-preservation.  If I agreed, then I was being kind and generous and flexible in the court's eyes...and, to a very small extent, in Bro's (although he'll probably think that it was only what was right, what was due to him, which may make him a bigger pain to deal with in the future).  The judge issued an order that the 12/28/10 finding be refigured with a deviation at 55% rather than 50%, and that all other provisions of the order not in conflict would remain in effect.

Bro asked if that meant that his support would be completely recalculated.

The judge said no; if she sent the paystubs that he had submitted as evidence back to DRS and had them recalculate, since he is actually grossing more now than he was before, his payment would likely go up.

So he's getting a break of somewhere around $30 a month, if the judge figured right.

I'm still getting money and "losing" about $5ish a week.

He gets to be all happy that the judge is "so proud" of him for holding his job for six months, and walks out with the thought that the judge sided with him and agreed to lessen his support amount, even if it's not as much as he wanted.

Win-win, I suppose.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

For Your Amusement

Actor John Cleese, on Terrorism....

The English are feeling the pinch in relation to recent terrorist threats and have therefore raised their security level from "Miffed" to "Peeved."  Soon, though, security levels may be raised yet again to "Irritated," or even "A Bit Cross." The English have not been "A Bit Cross" since "The Blitz" in 1940 when tea supplies nearly ran out.

Terrorists have been re-categorized from "Tiresome" to "A Bloody Nuisance." The last time the British issued a "Bloody Nuisance" warning level was in 1588, when threatened by the Spanish Armada.

The Scots have raised their threat level from "P***** Off" to "Let's get the Bastards." They don't have any other levels. This is the reason they have been used on the front line of the British army for the last 300 years.

The French government announced yesterday that it has raised its terror alert level from "Run" to "Hide." The only two higher levels in France are "Collaborate" and "Surrender." The rise was precipitated by a recent fire
that destroyed France's white flag factory, effectively paralyzing the country's military capability.

Italy has increased the alert level from "Shout Loudly and Excitedly" to "Elaborate Military Posturing." Two more levels remain: "Ineffective Combat Operations" and "Change Sides."

The Germans have increased their alert state from "Disdainful Arrogance" to "Dress in Uniform and Sing Marching Songs." They also have two higher levels: "Invade a Neighbor" and "Lose."

Belgians, on the other hand, are all on holiday as usual; the only threat they are worried about is NATO pulling out of Brussels.

The Spanish are all excited to see their new submarines ready to deploy.  These beautifully designed subs have glass bottoms so the new Spanish navy can get a really good look at the old Spanish navy.

Australia, meanwhile, has raised its security level from "No worries" to "She'll be alright, Mate." Two more escalation levels remain: "Crikey! I think we'll need to cancel the barbie this weekend!" and "The barbie is canceled." So far no situation has ever warranted use of the final escalation level.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I'd be worried, but...

Medium Fry [singing]: I'm a pwince and I'm gonna mawwy Lawrge Fwry!

Me: You're a prince and you're going to marry Large Fry?

Medium Fry [still singing]: Becawse Lawrge Fwry's gonna marry meeeee!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Rules

Moons ago, B.C. (that's Before Children), we met these friends.  On Valentine's Day, actually.  I remember this, because it was the first time we visited this particular church in our quest to find a new church home, because the pastor preached an acrostic message using the word "valentine," the pastor wore a very loud tie with bright red and pink hearts all over it, and we got invited to the small group at our new friends' home that night.  Why?  Because we were new, and Supermom got bored during the sermon, decided we looked harmless enough (think they know better now?), and drew a map to their house with their names, phone number, and the small group meeting time.

We went.

I should mention here that Supermom and Snarkydad had two and eight-ninths kids.  The oldest was a little girl who wasn't quite three.  Next was a little boy who was almost two.  Slow-cooking still was baby #3, who wasn't due for another month.  And given that Supermom was a relatively small, slender woman, she looked like she was trying (ineffectively) to smuggle a basketball.  (It was cute.)

As I said, we went.  Small group started at 6p.

Everyone else had left by 8:30p.

We left at 1a.

What can I say?  This was twelve years ago.  We were young, stupid, and kid-less.  The cats (two of them at the time) could fend for themselves well enough.  We laughed ourselves silly.

Innyhoo, that crazy night started a friendship with this couple that we've come to cherish.  They are among our dearest friends, and I think of their kids--who now number 7, from ages 14 to 5--as nieces and nephews.  These aren't just friends; they're family.

Given that we didn't jump into parenthood until almost three years ago, having them to go to for parental advice and commiseration has been invaluable.

Not much of it has really changed, mind you.

We hadn't known them long before we learned their three rules of parenting.  And let me tell you, I love these rules.  They've been sanity-restoring at times.

Here they are:

The Rules
  1. Sometimes it's better not to watch.
  2. Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answers to.
  3. Everything washes.

 Man, oh man, have those been important.  I can't express how much.

So, if (by chance) you see a Rule mentioned in any post, well, there you go.  Now you know what I mean.

And I'm telling you, every other parent I've told about these rules has laughed in a rather long-suffering way and agreed with them.


...five ducks in a ... ummm ... well ... sink.

...four methods of stalling bedtime: need more hugs & kisses; need to eradicate monsters, giants, wombats, elephants, birdies and bunnies; need to throw hugs and kisses to Pooh, Tigger and Toby; and need to insist that I don't have to go to my bed right now, despite how much I'm neeeeeeeeded.

...three times of climbing back up the stairs to deal with stalling tactics.

...two (twin) Fries responsible for those stalling tactics. five-year-old who thought that picking at a scab on her chin and making it bleed necessitated humongous crocodile tears and a visit from Auntie J.  Oy.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 15, 2011


Tonight, during dinner, Hubby was going through Large Fry's bag of Valentine's party goodies from school.  I helped him translate some of the scribbles of the other kindergarteners as they mangled their own names on the valentines.  And, Hubby told all three Fries, if they ate all their dinner, Large Fry would share some of her candy haul and they could all have some candy for dessert.

However, inbetween the reading of the valentines and the admiring of the candy, Small and Medium Fries weren't eating.  They were paying more attention to the candy than they were to the food still on their plates.  (Can't imagine why.)

Hubby stared down Small Fry as Medium Fry pulled ahead in the food-finishing race.  (By this time, Large Fry had finished and was munching on "dazzling" candy hearts.  Yes, they sparkled.)  "Eat," he told her.

"Someone's mean!" Small Fry accused.

Hubby just looked back at her.

"Someone's mean!"  Small Fry scowled rather adorably.

"Yes, and it's you," Hubby said.

Small Fry still scowled.  "Dat's wight!  It is me!"

It's payroll week again.

And that means I'm insanely busy for about three days.  (I know, I know; and here I am, blogging.)

So I'm hiding out in the bedroom today to finish up payroll, but I had to go downstairs to put more paper in the printer and retrieve my printouts before coming back up to work.  While I was downstairs, I toasted a cinnamon raisin bagel for breakfast and grabbed some sinus meds and a Dr Pepper to bring with me.

Which is when I realized I don't have enough hands to carry the laptop, the printouts, the highlighter pen I now need, my stapler, my bagel, my phone and my Dr Pepper.

"Who wants to help Auntie J?"

The twin Fries eagerly volunteer.  Medium gets my soda can and my phone, and I hand Small my stapler and the orange highlighter.

"C'mon!" Small Fry says cheerily.

I get back up to my room with my little entourage and retrieve my items from my helpers.

"Bye!"  Small Fry says, just as cheerily, with a wave as she walks toward the door.  "Have a nice work!"

Sunday, February 13, 2011

We won't be watching "Tarzan" again any time soon....

Given that Hubby and I are happily married, the Fries often see us kiss.   The Fries are now old enough that this is grooooooooss, especially for Large Fry.

So, we've had several previous conversations about kissing.  And how we don't kiss boys.  And how there's a short list of acceptable boys to kiss: Uncle D, Boppa, Daddy, Uncle C, cousin Ruben, and the soon-to-arrive baby brother of cousin Ruben.

All other boys are off limits.

I told you that, because I'm about to tell you this.

It's Sunday.  And that means Hubby gets the Fries dressed for church while I shower and get ready.  Medium Fry is flipping up her skirt to nearly her chin.

Hubby: What are you doing?

Medium Fry: I need to fix my leggings!

Hubby: Well, if you need to do that here, that's fine.  Just don't do that at church.

Medium Fry: Why?

Hubby: We don't want any little boys at church to see your panties.  That's not polite.

Medium Fry:  But you see my panties!

Hubby:  Yes, I do.  And it's okay if Uncle D sees them, or Boppa sees them, or Daddy sees them.  That's fine.  We just don't want other boys to see your panties.

Medium Fry: You don't see Auntie J's panties!

Hubby: I do see Auntie J's panties.  But that's okay, because we're married.  And when you grow up, and get married, it'll be okay for your husband to see your panties.  But NOT until you're married.

Now, I told you that story to tell you this one.

We're watching Disney's Tarzan.  This is somewhat scandalous, because Tarzan only wears undies (gasp) throughout the movie.

At the end, Jane--having decided to stay in Africa--jumps out of the dinghy first, runs back to Tarzan, and they kiss.

Large Fry: Eeewww!  Don't kiss a boy!

Small Fry: She can kiss him, 'cause she's big.

Medium Fry: And if they get married, he can see her panties.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Kids Say the Darnedest Things

...and they usually constitute utter sweetness, TMI, and information you didn't expect to get but are glad you did.

Consider that a disclaimer for the following conversations.

Hubby has been sick.  A front moved through, and his barometrically-sensitive head had a conniption.  He's been miserable.  And, for the good of us all, spent the last several days in bed.  The twin Fries, however, used to having him around during the day, miss him.  At one point, Small Fry came up to me yesterday with a question.

Small Fry: Auntie J, I wanna take Unca D a soda.

Me: Okay, you can do that.  And give him a hug to help him feel better.

Small Fry happily got a can out of the fridge and went upstairs to give the soda and a hug to her favorite uncle.  It wasn't until tonight that I heard the rest of the story.

"Yesterday," Hubby said, "Small Fry came upstairs and handed me a soda.  Then she said, 'It's okay, Unca D.  I shook it up for you.'  I decided I wasn't going to drink it just then."


Then, there was dinner tonight....

Hubby: Large Fry, are you digging stuff out of your bottom?! [She had her hand down the back of her pants.]

Large Fry: has fur!

Hubby [trying to keep a straight face]: Go into the bathroom.  Do you need to wipe your bottom? [Large Fry shakes her head.]  And wash your hands.  You can't eat after touching your bottom without washing your hands.

Large Fry disappears into the bathroom to wash her hands, and I keep my hand over my mouth while Hubby pulls his shirt up over his lower face.  I concentrate on hitting the keys right on my BlackBerry, so I can send this jewel of a conversation to my parents.  (Dad's reaction was "TMI.")

Now, Hubby had picked up dinner tonight from KFC, because neither of us wanted to cook, and I was still fuzzy from the headache meds I'd taken earlier in the day.  He told me he'd bought the chocolate chip cake because the salesgirl had twisted his arm.  ("She said, 'Would you like our chocolate chip cake for $3.99?' when I ordered.  How could I say no?")  So, not two minutes after Large Fry returned to the table after washing her hands, this happened:

Medium Fry: I love you, God! [pause]  He says he loves me, too!  And he'll never say, "I don't love you."

Hubby: That's right.  He'll always love you.

Small Fry: Does God want our cake?

Hubby: No, God doesn't want our cake.

Friday, February 11, 2011

A New Game

Small Fry: We'wre pwaying "Down Chaiwrs"! [runs back to toy room]

Hubby [who has been sick for three days]: Do we know what this game is?

Fries: [General squeals of delight, movement of plastic chairs, and other mild girl-rough-housing]

Hubby: Do we even know if this game is safe?

Me: Nope!

Hubby: Rule #2.

Futile Argument Revisited

We're coming downstairs this morning, the twin Fries and me.  They are making demands.  I am not acquiescing.

"You'wre mean!" Small Fry pouts.

"You'wre beautifuwl," Medium Fry counters.

No, I tell them, they may not wear sticker earrings until after they're dressed, have had breakfast, and have had their hair done.

Medium starts to strip off her clothes as I head into the kitchen and start poking around, deciding what I'm going to fix for breakfast.  Small Fry follows me.

"Go get dressed," I order.


"Wanna try that again?  Go get dressed."

"I caaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaan't!  I don't know how!"

"Yes, you do.  Go get dressed."

Major league pout.  "You'wre mean an' disobedient!"

"Go get dressed."

I pull eggs and shredded cheddar out of the fridge, deciding on eggs and bacon.  Five minutes later, Medium Fry is dressed, but Small Fry is running around, only wearing panties.  "Get your clothes on!"

"I don't know how!"

I resort to the time-honored tradition of counting to three, and then I "help" her get dressed (which isn't pleasant).  I instruct Medium Fry to get socks and put them on.  I tell Small Fry the same thing.

She refuses.

I tell her again.

"I can't!" she shouts.

"Yes, you can.  You WILL put socks on."  And I stare her down.

Wailing and tears commence.  "You'wre mean and byootifuwl!  And disobedient!" she howls.

I have to ask her twice more to put her socks on.  She does so, but grudgingly.  "You'wre mean and byoootifuwl," she shouts accusingly.

I've been accused of worse things.

"Get in your chair," I say to Small; Medium has already clambered up into her booster seat and is happily awaiting her scrambled eggs and bacon.

She scowls at me.  I tell her again.  She climbs in.

You'll never guess what she says to me.

"You'wre mean and byootifuwl and disobedient!"

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Random Thought

I truly dread the day that the twin Fries will no longer need to nap.

Because then I won't be able to, either.

And I really like being able to nap.  Especially now, when Hubby's been sick because a front moved through (he has a barometric head), and for some reason, I'm more wiped out than normal.

That being said, I believe I shall carpe dormio this afternoon, along with the twins.

I'm pooped.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Reminscings on the Evening

My poor father seems to think he has the total appeal of chopped liver to his grandchildren, simply because he sort of fades into whatever background there is when Gramma enters the room.

Nonsense, because he IS loved by all three Fries.  A lot.  But Gramma plays dress up with far more enthusiasm than Boppa does.  And Gramma gives longer horsey rides on her foot.  And Gramma is just...well, she's Gramma.  But he IS loved, and I wish to point out that Boppa is the one who kept Medium Fry safe from the waves at Daytona Beach; Boppa is the one who let Medium Fry decorate his head with Play-doh; Boppa is the one who will help make sand castles; Boppa is the one who pushes Fries in swings.  Boppa is the one who takes them trick-or-treating with Unca D (while Gramma and Auntie J stay home and pass out candy).  And, yes, the Fries have requested specifically to Skype Boppa, not Gramma.  Really, he IS loved.

Honestly, I think that the difference is that Gramma shrieks back in delight.  Boppa is a baritone.  Baritones don't shriek.


So, tonight, we're doing our little nightly prayers.  We're at Mom & Dad's.  Medium Fry is choosing the order in which we all announce what we're thankful for and say our little short thankful prayers before we all pray our little memorized prayer together.  When Medium decides it's her turn to say what she's thankful for, she announces that she's thankful for Boppa and that she's glad she loves him even though she forgot to hold his hand.

Medium rambles through a prayer, thanking God for Boppa even though she didn't hold his hand.  When she finished, Dad looked at me and said, "This had better end up in the blog!"

We here at The Parenthood Experiment do aim to please.

Awhile later, the Fries are in bed, and we're debating which of Dad's DVRed programs to watch (I vetoed American Idol in favor of The Mentalist).  We ended up watching The Mentalist, with the occasional notes from the music playing downstairs to help the Fries sleep coming up through the monitor over on the counter.

About halfway through the show, I looked over at Hunny and said, "I think someone's whimpering downstairs."

He listened as Dad fast-forwarded through the commercials.  "Last night I heard that, and went downstairs and it was just one of them groaning in their sleep."

However, the whimpering continued.

"It's Large Fry," he said, "and it's an attention thing.  And I already told her what would happen if I had to come back downstairs."

"You sure?  I think it's Small Fry," I said.

"I'm 90% sure it's Large."

I decided he was probably right.

"Besides, if it was Small, she'd be calling our names."

"Good point," I admitted.  He was right about that.  She'd be screaming a name by now, since her whimpering had gotten no attention.

"Want me to go down and check?" Mom offered.

"No," I replied.  "It's an attention thing."

Mom settled back into the loveseat, but it was obvious she didn't like the idea of one of her precious grandies whimpering and crying.

The whimpering continued, and about five minutes later, as it increased in volume, Hubby got up to investigate.  He grabbed a wooden-spoon enforcer from Mom's utensil cache and went downstairs.

Expecting wailing and gnashing of teeth to be heard both through the monitor AND the closed door to the downstairs, it was surprisingly quiet.  I heard Hubby's voice murmuring.  Then he came back upstairs.

He closed the door and returned the enforcer to its previous location.  "It was Small Fry."

Eyes boggled.

"I think she was humming, not whimpering," he said.  "I asked her what was going on.  She said the music had turned off, so I'm guessing she was humming to make up for it."

We all chuckled.

"So I told her she had to be quiet now, because it was time to go to sleep."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Dinner Conversation

Hubby: Large Fry, how was school today?

Large Fry: [head cocked to the side]  Hmmm.  It was good.

Hubby:  Did you pull any tickets today?  [This is a bad thing.]

Large Fry: [aghast] Nooo!

Me: [holding up finger-goggles to my eyes]  Did you focus like Miss B wants you to?

Large Fry: A little bit.

One of Many Things

Today, I am a mommy.

Just like I was yesterday.

Today, I am showing it (not as if I didn't yesterday, but you understand what I mean), because, right now, I am holding a tiny baby doll who, Small Fry informs me, "just got shots."

So, when she said, "Auntie J, can you hold my baby?" I did.

That was about five minutes ago.

I'm still holding her baby, and occasionally patting it on the back with a finger or two, and I've actually caught myself rocking.  And Small Fry isn't even in the room.

Because I'm a mommy, and a darn good one.  That's why.

A Family Brokenhearted, But Not Hopeless

Zachary's auntie speaks out.

It's worth the read.

There are no words.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

My thanks...and a final request.

Little Zach, my friends' preemie son, passed away this evening.

My thanks to any of you who upheld him and his family in prayer over the last 21 days.

Zach had such a short little life, but it impacted people around the world.  I'm sure his parents are grateful to have had those three brief weeks with him, than to have lost him without ever meeting him.  At the same time, I'm sure they would love for Zach to have made it past this crisis, to have grown into a healthy little boy, grown up to be a strong man.

Their comfort now is their faith, knowing that their precious little boy no longer has to struggle for breath, no longer needs tubes and wires and IVs to offer him nourishment, no longer needs a quiet, dark NICU isolette to feel safe.  He is with Jesus now, and he is perfect.

Please continue to keep his parents especially in your prayers, for they'll have to find some way to explain to their four-year-old son why it is that his baby brother isn't coming home.  They have to find a way to make it in this "new normal" of their lives, going on with life when they know they have two children, but have already buried one.  It's not supposed to be that way.

His extended family is also heartbroken.  There are aunts and uncles and grandparents and cousins who never got to meet Zach, but feel his loss keenly.

So, if Ron and Wendy and their older son and family come to mind in the next few days and weeks, please say a prayer for their comfort, peace and strength.

Futile Argument

Me: EAT your sandwich!!!

[Yes, this has been going on for awhile.]

Small Fry: No!  You're mean!

Me: You're disobedient!

Small: You're disobedient!


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Parental Quote of the Day

"Does percussive maintenance work on children?" ~Hubby

Quote of the Day

Medium is screaming and wailing in the corner, as if the world was ending.

She got caught lying, and was sent to the corner since she 'fessed up to her lie rather than continue it.  (Otherwise, the consequences would be worse.)

However, she'd shrieked as she went into the corner, which I told her she had to stop.  The wailing continued.  "Close your mouth," I ordered.

I let her cry (somewhat muffled) for a few more minutes, and then decided that was enough.  "Enough!" I shouted over the wails.

She hiccuped and coughed and sniffled and was starting to settle down while Unca D was dealing with Large Fry over her bout of pointless tears.  As Hubby released Large Fry to go play, Medium began to wail again.  "Medium!  That's enough!  No more crying!"

She wailed again.  "I can't hear you when I'm CWYING!"