Monday, September 27, 2010

You know it's gonna be a long day when...

It's going to be a long day when:

I find empty fruit snack wrappers on the livingroom floor before 7 am. Who ate them? Nobody.

Tommy (6) is reading a DORA book in his underwear 10 minutes before the bus is suppose to be here.

We have no clean knives to cut the watermelon, and that's all anyone wants to eat for breakfast.

Everytime I leave the room the puppy gets up on the couch. He obviously doesn't understand NO!

The house looks like a cyclone hit, and I swear it was clean when I went to bed at 11:00 last night. What DO they DO when I am sleeping???

I check Tara's (8) lunchbox and see she has 2 lunchcakes, a jelly sandwich (hates peanut butter)and 3 string cheese. Really, Tara? You only have 15 minutes to eat it all!!!

Where are Mere's (6) glasses? Oh, mom, they are in that purple bag in the basket of toys...oh, found them last where did HE put them?

We can't find shoes. Not those, the black ones. Who wore them last? Not me! I have to have the black ones!! eek!!! 2 minutes to bus time....didn't we get all this together before bedtime? oh, yeah.....that's where my black shoes are....

Bus!!!!! Out the door, 2 seconds to you all....

Now midst the peace and quiet, I look around. Yes, it's gonna be a LONG day....

Sunday, September 26, 2010

It's a Dogs Life

Bella(3) and Meredith (6) came downstairs this morning with arms full of dogs. While my nieces stayed with us, Mere and Nila could hardly stand going to school, because that meant their playtime was interrupted for things that, although fun, were not nearly as important as tending their huge litter of dogs.

Now, this is not new to our house. Tara(8) has been an avid dog lover her entire life. We house dogs in every color, shape and size. We have long haired mongrels and short, sassy diva dogs. Some have collars, and names, whereas others are just part of a hoard of nameless, but extremely valued, pets.

In real life, we share our livingspace with just two, airbreathing, toy chewing pets. Carl, the youngest of the two, was the birthday present my husband loves to hate. He has poor house manners, gets into everything he is not suppose to, and nips and bites at the kids. We hear, "NO, Carl!" several times a day, and I trip over him at least 6 times a day! But, we love him. Alot. He has the sweetest eyes and when he sleeps, he is simply adorable.

The second dog is perfect. She never messes in the house, never chews anything she is not suppose to chew, and is loyal to the point of perfection. She can tell time, we assume, because she knows exactly when Tyler's (13) bus is due to arrive. She came to us named Butterscotch, but most of us call her Baby. She is sweet, gentle and perfect as a family pet. She mothers Carl and the 6 month old kitten, Martin, and does a fine job of it.

I tell you about Baby and Carl because they are dogs. They are real. They are a part of our family. But as far as the kids are concerned, they are not really real dogs. The real dogs are the ones that they can pile on top of each other in their play carriers. They never have to go out to potty, although they spend alot of time outside with the girls. So much, in fact, that dogs are a large part of our weekly laundry.

The dogs that are real to the girls do not eat much. However, I continually find little kitchen containers full of dog chow in hidden places in our home. Sometimes I even see little feet sneaking into the bathroom, and then little hands carrying small bowls of water out of it. I know they are feeding their dogs. They are not as sneaky as they think they are.

What this dog fantasy world has created in my girls is wonderful. Mere is quite the animal lover, to the point that she often refers to her dog pets as her friends. She is nurturing (mostly) and is totally absorbed into her play world. Her dogs talk to one another, unless she is in the barking mood. She even has taught Bella how to drink her milk out of a bowl like a puppy, and they often walk on all fours.

Tommy (6) is quite content to play his fantasy worlds on the Wii game system. He builds people with facial hair, personalities, and eye glasses. He does not bark. He likes the music that beep, beep, beeps without ceasing when he has the controller in his hands. But Mere and Bella like the real life. Dogs. Dogs. Dogs.

Some moms are not supportive of children who walk on all fours, bark and drink their milk like puppies. I love it. They are learning to care for those who can not care for themselves. That is a good trait. A trait I want to foster in each of them.

I do not even pretend to know all the names of their dogs. If I call one of them "Tinkerbell" or "George," I am politely reminded that I am calling the dogs by their wrong names. No wonder they don't come running when I call.

It's an facinating world living with dogs. Oh, yeah, and kids.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Puppling

My niece brought home her 4 lb. baby today. Not only is it a miracle that we was born at 32 weeks gestation, and has had NO medical issues, but he also is the long-awaited sibling to 3 beautiful children, all of whom have been with us for the past seven weeks while their mom kept the baby safe.

My niece loves children like I do. When friends would ask us why we volunteered to keep three small children and love them like our own for nearly two months, we had a hard time putting words to it.

I think we defined it, eventually, this way: because we could.

Having 7 kids at home, some of them the very same ages of my great nieces and nephew, means we are set up for kids. And once you hit seven, 3 more doesn't really seem that much more.

I don't work outside the home, like all the other family members. Plus, I love children.

My great nieces and nephew were used to being here, since their mom is also my friend, we have spent alot of time during this past year running around together, going to movies, and scrapbooking. We enjoy each others company.

I love her children, they are my family.

God places us in situations where we can help others. This was a situation where I could help.

I knew her fourth pregnancy was not planned, but she has a wonderful husband and enjoys her children, so from the very beginning, I knew I would help out if she needed me to.

Her pregnancies don't ever make it full term, so when we went on our vacation towards her seventh month, it made sense to take the kids with us, "just in case." She was already on bedrest, so the goal was to keep her pregnant as long as possible. We almost made it home, but my niece was taken to the hospital when her water broke, on a Saturday night so we knew the most likely ones to keep the kids would be us...they had been with us to Jersey and back, and were settled in here. It made perfect sense.

Fortunately, the time on complete bedrest allowed my niece to keep the baby safely below her heart for a few weeks longer, making his birth 2 weeks ago a much healthier birth for the baby.

So, as we all waited for updates from the hospital on this tiny, sweet miracle, he grew and got stronger. So strong that today he was able to come home to a very excited family who welcome him.

Today also marks the last night of my little visitors. They will be returning home tomorrow to begin the adjustment to their newest family member. We will reposition our kids in their own beds again, and get back on our regular family schedule. I will pack their clothes and toys tomorrow, and gather up the things I can find that need to go home with them. I will close the door to our nursery, waiting for the Ethiopian children that will join our family soon.

Until then, I am thankful for the time to love my niece, her children, and welcome such a precious new baby into the family. My 6 year old, Meredith, called him a little Puppling today. Somehow, that really fits.

Welcome little baby Jack. See you soon, Nila, Macy and Liam. Thank you, Tona and Billy, for allowing us to love your children. It's time for you all to be together and build your family. I will miss seeing them day to day. It's been an exciting seven weeks together which none of us will ever forget.

Holding baby Jack today made every bit of the past seven weeks worth it.

Welcome to this crazy world, Baby Jack. You are much loved. And you have a wonderful family that I am especially fond of.