Friday, May 25, 2007 middle child

We are entering a new phase with this little one. She is five, though she will tell you she is 6. She is the most tender of my three girls, but the most sneaky and devious. She loves me dearly, but I'm pretty certain she thinks I'm an idiot. This will be exemplified in the following soliloquy. We have had a rough week. We, Kayci and I, have grown in both respect and fear of each other this week. For this I can only say, I'm glad this week is over and she is still alive.

The first occurrence this week is titled, "I Can Sleep With Gum in my Mouth and Mom will Never Know It." Anyone with children knows that gum is a treat straight from heaven for kids. Especially the type that makes bubbles. If I have a pack of gum anywhere in the near vicinity of my children I am bombarded with three, "Can I have gum?" questions. Of course, being the kind and gentle mother I am, I relinquish my "stash" of gum to my sweet little girls. The rule is: If I see it or hear it, it's in the trash. Usually the girls are good about it. Before naps I say, "Spit out your gum; if you fall asleep with it in your mouth you could choke or worse it could get caught in your hair." (Yes, that is worse than choking in my opinion because getting gum out of hair is torture for both parties). This particular day I yelled my usual request, double checked with a loud "Did everyone spit out their gum?" To which was responded an enthusiastic trio of "Yes!" This is where I begin to show why Kayci thinks I'm an idiot. You won't believe this is true, but I was here and it happened. Two hours pass and my beautiful sleepy girl, Kayci comes stumbling out of her room. I love the tussled hair and sheet lined faces. I gather her up into a warm embrace and notice that her hair is not innocently tussled, but strangely matted in place on one side. "Matted with what?" you ask in surprise. Gum. Yes, blasted gum. Here's the kicker though. I asked Kayci if she slept with gum in her mouth and she looked me straight in the eye and said "No, I put it in the trash." I don't remember much after this point except she now has a short spot on her head and she is not allowed to have gum for a very long time.

Picking pieces off plants is a new fun past time for this child, we call Kayc Baycer. (pronounced case baser). At the place at which I play tennis, the grounds are immaculately groomed. Every beautiful flower and bush is strategically placed to make the grounds just gorgeous. The spread of color is well plotted and well planned. The crew it must take to keep this place looking like something out of the Huntington Gardens must be extensive. Kayci decided to pick a couple of leaves off of some nicely sculpted hedges...I think they are in the shape of bears. I firmly told her to not do that, clearly, I thought, explaining that a lot of hard work goes into making everything look nice. You may think, "What's the big deal Jenn, it's just a couple of leaves." To this I laugh haughtily and say, "It never stops there." Sure enough within literal minutes of my very detailed and eloquent dissertation on "Why we Don't pull leaves off of People's Plants," she pulled an entire stock (about 3 ft long) of a not yet fully bloomed purple flower. The end of the stalk was actually dripping plant juice. With this plant juice I traumatized my child by saying, "You see this dripping? This is like blood Kayci. You killed it!" Her response, "Mom do you love me more than you love plants?" ....Maybe I am an idiot.

Today after a week long battle to keep the kids out of the cookies we had left over from the soccer party, I accidentally left the cookies on the table overnight. Sweet Kayci, after getting herself dressed, throwing away her pull up, nicely laying out clothes for her sister and snuggling up with me, said, "Mom, I think you should put the cookies in a higher place so none of us will sneak any." At this time I looked down at this angelic face: beautiful brown eyes, cute little dimples and Oreo crumbs surrounding her little perfect mouth. "Kayci," I said calmly, "Did you have a cookie?" She carefully calculated her response. I could see her 5 year old mind working hard to come up with a worthy retort. She stuck that precious thumb in her mouth and nodded innocently and said, "Go ahead and spank me...I couldn't help myself...Mom, this is what kids do." My swat...all is forgiven.

In summary: I love this kid. Soooo much. She makes my life better just being in it.

Monday, May 21, 2007

8 minutes

Please take 8 minutes and 48 seconds to watch the following clip. Oh to have such an impact for Christ!! Thanks JRG for sending it to me.


The following takes place between the years 1973 and 2007...

In honor of the 24 season finale tonight I thought I would start my birthday blog off with a familiar segue; however, that's really the only parallel I can think of between my life and the show I so love. But that won't keep me from trying to continue this allegory throughout this blog. It's my blog, so I can TRY anything I want.

The most inviting and addicting thing about my favorite show 24 is the non-stop adventure, cliff-hangers, plot twists and sheer intrigue of the characters. In comparing that to my life over the last 34 years I can easily relate. My life has been a non-stop adventure: from the first time I tried to ride a bike, to learning how to drive a stick-shift with my mother in the car, to leaving for college, to getting married, to having kids and to has been one exciting turn after another, sometimes full of welcome and other times unfortunate plot twists. Has it been much different than others' lives? No. But for me, so far, I can't think of a dull moment.

Cliff hangers are also very prevalent in my 34 years. I really feel like I'm hanging from a cliff most of the time. And seriously, if one more kid asks me for a snack, I am letting go!! It seems like I have found security in hanging from this cliff. Making those closest to me wonder, "Will she make it through this?" or "Why in the world does she continue to hang onto THAT cliff?" or "She has been hanging from that cliff forever...she should try swimming instead." The unknown is attractive to me. I think that is why I like the show 24 so much. I love saying, "Will Jack make it out of this one?" Of course he always does. And so far, I've made it through most of my cliff hangers. No, I'm not being chased by terrorists, but I am being bombarded with little tiny requests everyday that threaten to turn me into what could strike fear into even the fiercest terrorist, a crazy Mother.

And there have definitely been interesting characters along the way. I could write pages on the characters that have influenced my life both for the good and some for the bad. However, I should highlight the important ones that have contributed to the fact that I am still alive and trying to hang from the above mentioned cliffs. PKS, JRS, JRG, and little've known me the longest have seen me through most cliffs and still continue to cheer me on. Here's to at least one more season!! Diana Berry, long time friend, teacher of how to keep cabinets closed, and how to play should receive an Emmy for the role you have had in this show. My slightly liberal friend and blatant answer to a desperate prayer...thanks for pulling me back up off the cliff I was on 3 years ago. To my swim coaches both past and present...letting go of some cliffs sometimes, just lands me in the water that you have taught (and are teaching) me to swim in. Let's just hope I can survive the fall. Then there is the man closest to me who has taught me what true loyalty is. A lesson that I could have only learned from you. Last but not least is my Savior...who has seen me through every cliff hanger, every "intriguing" character, and every plot twist in the 34 years. I'm so thankful that the director of this show loves me and wants the best for me.

So in summary... as I write from my current cliff I am content. In 34 years, I have learned a lot, and continue to learn. I think in another 34 years I won't even know where the nearest cliff is and I will be making a million requests to my children who will be forced to listen to my assessment of their lives and how they can get off the cliffs they are hanging from. Oh, how much fun that will be!!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Day Belonging to Mothers

Mother's day is tomorrow, and I would like to dedicate this particular blog to some of the mother's I know. If this is done correctly, my faithful readers should be able to find themselves somewhere in this tribute. However, I would like to first say, in all honesty, it really is Mother's Day everyday. Not that I always feel celebrated, not that I receive cards, and not that I am even noticed all that often, but everyday my primary personality (of which those closest to me know I have several) is that of mother. The apostrophe in Mother's indicates that the day belongs to the mother. When something belongs to someone, that someone controls most aspects of that thing to which belongs to that someone. (This is completely clear!) Most days are somewhat in my control, so therefore everyday is mother's day. Right? My decisions are ALL made around my persona of mother. And everyday from start to finish is based on my role as mother. The schedule is set by me, the routine is set by me, the jobs are done by me, the shopping is done by me, the food choices are made by me, the day really is ALL ABOUT ME. (Ha!!) Therefore, everyday is Mother's Day. A day that literally means Day belonging to the Mother. That's my exegesis on the Day Belonging to Mothers.

Mother #1...JRG. Oh how I admire this particular mother. There are few mothers in the world that will actually admit that this is the life they always wanted, and this is what they were created for. But JRG is one of those mothers. She should have about a dozen kids, because she is perfectly crafted for the job. Her organization, patience, and desire to do what she can to make her kids' lives better are just a few of the qualities she has that make her a brilliant mom.

Mother #2...PKS This particular mother I am especially fond of. No one has ever loved me more. No one has sacrificed more because of me. I'm sure she feels invisible sometimes, but no one has shaped my life more or influenced my abilities as a mother more than this mother. She is my mom and I love her more today than ever in my life.

Mother #3...JSP This mother is a faithful friend as well as a mother to two small kids. I am thankful everyday for this mother and so proud to call her friend. Her priorities are her kids; hands down, no question and I admire that in her. Hang in gets easier.

Mother #4...TJC Another faithful friend and precious mother. I always marvel at her ability to focus on what is important when it comes to her kids. She doesn't stress about the small stuff; she pours her life into making each day a fun adventure for her 3 kids. I love her attitude toward life and try to emulate it in my own.

Mother #5...LMB I don't know how this mother does it, but she deserves every reward there is. She is a mother to four energetic kids and devotes her life to making a happy home for them and their dad. I admire how she handles the pressures of being a mother with such grace. She is a constant encouragement to me in her devotion toward making the lives of her family members full of joy. She is an example of strength that is not often found in this life.

Hats off to those of you who call yourself mom. Speaking of wear many. Wear them with pride. You are needed and appreciated everyday. You are not invisible. You are valued. One day "your children will rise up and call you blessed."

Happy Day Belonging to Mothers.