McKenna: Dear Elohim, Thank you for being a good God. Thank you for forgiving my sins. Be with Daddy. Keep him safe on the way home from Lafayette. Thank you for my family. Amen. Hey mom...did you know Elohim is another name for God?
Me: Yes, I know.
McKenna: Mrs. Swingle taught me that tonight. She's great. Anna, it's your turn to pray.
Anna: Dear Halloween. No, that's not it. Dear Heloise. No. Dear Eloise. No. Dear Mayonnaise. Shoot, that's not it either.
McKenna: Anna, maybe you should just say "God" instead. I'll teach you the other name tomorrow.
And with Samuel...
God, thank you for giving me a mommy. And thank you that my mommy is my mommy. (That's reason number 578 that I love three year old boys.)
The next running grocery list has been started. I saw it tonight when I thought about adding something to it. I decided against it because I thought it was cute that someone (ahem, Anna) had already started "the list". In cute little kindergarten manuscript it reads:
Mom and I took the kiddos out to dinner tonight (where McKenna was shocked to find a "carving knife" in her silverware wrap) and then did a little bit of hunting for a coat for Anna this winter. We ended up at Kohl's, naturally. There were only a couple of styles that we could find. Before heading for greener pastures (home...bedtime) Mom asked an employee if there were any other girls coats. The woman said, "It's a little early for those." From her place in the store's stroller McKenna piped up, "Well, then why are you playing Christmas music and selling Christmas things when it's still summer?" The Kohl's lady had to admit, "You make a good point..."
On Tuesday of this week Rebekah and I were laughing about the way it is when you get toward the end of a degree. You approach the start of a new semester with a different question. It's no longer a question of "what will this be like?" or "how will I manage?" It becomes the question of "did classes start today? or yesterday? have I missed it?"
Oh, the foreshaddowing.
On Wednesday morning I was enjoying a bagel as I read the newspaper. I was just into the front section. I always leave my favorite sections for last. I enjoy the paper much more if I end with Baby Blues, Mallard Fillmore, and oh goodness...the strip with Jeremy and his parents. The name escapes me. At any rate, I was enjoying the paper and really enjoying my bagel. I was thinking about how nice it is to have homemade jam. It was toasted perfectly. Chris and the kids were all omletted and pop-tarted up in the other room. It was quiet. I had coffee. It was still hot.
And the phone rang.
My fellow nursing student is on the other end of the line. "What are you doing?" she whispers. I reply with a chipper voice, "reading the paper and eating a bagel. What are you do--" Oh dear. I realize before my sentence is finished that perhaps if she really wanted to know about my breakfast she would have asked in a different tone. It hit me like a ton of bricks that I was not where I was supposed to be.
I was, at that moment, creating a first-impression with my clinical instructor. My clinical instructor who was sitting at the Marion County Health Department with 9 other students. I was already 45 minutes late. Not showered. Teeth not brushed. (Because of course, I had to finish my breakfast before I headed out to the dental appointment that I had scheduled for later in the morning.)
Nice. I really did miss knowing when the first day of class was.
Also, I had a tough conversation with Sam this week. He was BEGGING me to go over to his friend Master's house. Master is is newest imaginary friend. Newest being third in line after Jonathan and Jennifer. But they're not gone yet. Master is also Jonathan's friend. You might remember that they live in South Harbor.
Anyway, I play along and tell him that I haven't talked to Master's mother and that he won't be able to have a play date tonight.
We go inside a few minutes later and Samuel immediately goes to the toy telephone in the dining room. He punches a few numbers and begins a one-sided conversation. He covers the phone to tell me that he's talking to Master's mom. Apparently, she says it's OK for him to come over.
The poor boy was heartbroken that I still wouldn't let him go. Real tears for an imaginary friend.
Last weekend Samuel informed me while we were driving that I was no longer to call him Sam or Samuel or Sammy. Apparently, his new name is "Cute and Cuddly". He has maintained this for 10 days and has introduced himself to strangers (at the high school band's ice cream social) as such. He gets quite the reaction.
These children are playing with the "swirling sawdust workshop" by little tykes. It's a nice toy. Samuel likes his a lot. He likes it so much that today he decided to see if he could use it for more than just playing with tools. It became a stepstool. He pushed it into his open closet, climbed onto the blue top and cleaned off the tops shelf in his closet and got a new shirt to wear (that he of course put on backwards). He pushed it over to the bed where he climbed onto the blue part and took all the pillows off of the top bunk bed. He pushed it over to the other side of the room and got the trains off of the shelf. You know, the ones that he's not allowed to play with. And he got Chris' childhood toys to play with. Perhaps the tree-climbing and rope-swing swinging have been TOO good for his strength and agility. Maybe tomorrow we should just work puzzles.
Our weekly trip to the library netted an interesting choice. McKenna chose 3 Barbie books and a Dale Earnhardt Jr. biography. Huh. Weird.
It's true. Sometimes I get irritable. Irritated. Sometimes I'm not proud of the way that I respond to situations. Sometimes I wish I could push a "do-over" button.
Last week I took the kids to Chick-fil-A and had to bring the food that we planned to eat there home to eat (because McKenna threw up all over the dining room as we waited in line to order our meals. Did I mention that it was cow appreciation day and that the kids and I were all dressed like cows? It was a crazy mess.).
Anyway...we brought our food home. McKenna didn't eat hers and I put the her lemonade in the fridge, thinking that she might want it the next day.
Later that night Samuel waltzed into the kitchen, opened the refrigerator door, and asked if he could have the lemonade.
I CALMLY replied (with no irritated tone whatsoever) that no, he could not have the lemonade.
He swirled around and dramatically left the kitchen swinging his arms and saying, "Grumpy, grumpy, grumpy. Mommy's grumpy, grumpy, grumpy..."
We braved the late night and took the kids to see the fireworks (that started about 3 hours after usual bedtime). The kids and their buddies from church were having a grand time with the glo-sticks that we took along for the pre-firework entertainment. After the main show was started, progressing, and entering the finale, Samuel yells with enthusiasm, "IT'S LIKE THE FOURTH OF JULY!!!"
Samuel is into everything lately. It doesn't seem like we had this issue with him when he began crawling or with the girls at all. Maybe I was too tired to remember.
Tonight Sam came out of the bathroom sporting an impish grin. I could hardly ask him "what" before he proudly announced, "I shorted my hair!" He then showed me the little blue safety siscors that had early been used to trim thistles by the grill. (We're all about repurposing around here.) He told me that his hair was getting too long so he shorted it.
My response? Yank out the video camera and have him retell the story. For posterity. Of course.
This week I did not (cough) fix my cell phone by using scotch tape. I did not just look at my computer and cause it's demise. I am not currently afraid to plug anything in and then wonder if it will work. Not me.
I did not have a conversation with my children about the water cycle. I was not trying to explain to them that rain does not come from Jesus urinating from Heaven. My children would never come up with something so proposterous.
I did not laugh out loud when Samuel got so excited about seeing a "fire department" on the corner tonight. It was not really a fire hydrant.
I did not let my children make new friends with the nicest (really) people sitting next to us at a track meet tonight. I did not catch my daughter asking the nice lady if she had any gum in her purse. The nice lady did not go rummaging through her purse and show said daughter it's entire contents.
At the conclusion of the track meet I did not realize what time it was and still decide to let my little runners take a lap around the track. I did not smile when they ran past me and made it a good half mile before I had to pull them off the track. I did not think the funniest thing was Samuel running backwards past a group of girls doing a cool down and yell "YOU CAN'T CATCH ME!" That would not have been funny at all.
This is not for Rebekah's benefit who currently shares the MckMamma fascination with me.
1. Samuel has not spoken of "Jonathan and Jennifer" (his imaginary friends from winter) in over a week. For a while, we couldn't go more than 10 minutes without hearing about them.
2. My summer break is 4 days long. School starts back up in 4 days.
3. Anna began packing for the beach today. She packed a hat, three undershirts, four pair of socks, a pair of tights, and a HelloKitty stuffed "face" (not the whole animal). She admits it's too early to pack pajamas because she might want to wear them and then forget to repack them.
4. I let Samuel pee in the grass outside this week.
One of the (many, many, many) things that I love about McKenna is that she calls 'em like she sees 'em. Tonight we had sausage in our dinner. This is still kind of a big deal for me because I've been anti-sausage since attending Christmas on the Prairie at Conner Prairie when I was in 6th grade...but that's another story. McKenna wonders aloud why we weren't having bacon. Um, because it doesn't do as well mixed with noodles? She often catches me off guard. The next question was the one that made me laugh (the other was just the lead-in). "So...what kind of animal do you have to shoot to get bacon?" Not where does it come from like most kids ask...McKenna just cuts to the chase.
Or this one...
Anna and McKenna were talking about the possible drawbacks of going to the beach this summer sans parents. Anna was hesitating a little bit. She wanted to make sure that she could call us and get the rest of the details ironed out before making a decision. I guess McKenna thought she was taking too long to decide. She cleared her plate and as she walked to the kitchen she said emphatically, "Welp...It looks like just one kid is goin' to the beach." I love that kid!
...is plant a sunflower. After the homeschool convention today, I feel energized and ready to tackle the academic and social rigors of kindergarten with Anna! I'm certain that she's going to fly through her math. She was whizzing along tonight. I'm glad she's excited about it, but how do I keep her under control until we "start" teaching her? It'll fill in any gaps, but I anticipate that we may end up looking for some extra material by, say, September. McKenna is chomping at the bit to start her handwriting book, too. Samuel didn't ask for anything but chocolate milk when I got home. (sigh, he's so cute) He's happy to be read to and I'm loving that. I'll read "Wocket in my Pocket" (I mean, recite....) for many more months with joy. This is a lot of rambling. It's just how I'm feeling after getting all pumped up about homeschool. Oh, and we're letting Anna choose where we start in her sciences. She picked birds over planets (sorry, Laura) and plants. She'll be delighted to know that she gets to learn about bats and butterflies, too.
Oh, and since it's time to come up with our school name I suppose I'm open to suggestions. Anna thinks it ought to be "Clark Family School". I can ramble well right now, but thinking up some clever or meaningful name is a bit too focused for me right now.
OK, I know that with vaccines, especially live vaccines, there are risks. I firmly believe that the befits outweigh the risks. Seriously, I think if people had to see all the miserable diseases that they prevent on a regular basis that there would be fewer people who choose not to vaccinate their children.
So, when I took the girls last week to get their vaccines, I was cheery about it. I'd much rather have a grumpy girl for an afternoon (likely) than deal with the full blown disease. I was probably the most giddy person to visit the health department that day.
The experience was miserable. Bad idea. Not the vaccines. Taking all three kids by myself. Bad idea. Anna went first. I knew the nurse giving her the shots. She had to call in reinforcements. I knew her, too. Anna is strong. I got a nice upper body workout just holding her still for her turn. McKenna? Wailing in the corner before her turn. Samuel? Wailing in the chair. He isn't due until next year. McKenna is little. But she's fiesty. And much stronger than she looks. Again, it took three of us. Anna? Cowering in the corner. Still wailing. Samuel? Still wailing. Never moved from his perfect posture in the chair. He's NEVER been so still. Or so loud. And he's a loud little guy.
Good thing they tried to give them toothpaste (with sparkles, no less!) to make up for the pain. No such luck. I even took them through the secret underground tunnel from the new(er) judicial center to the old court house. Seriously. They continued to wail through the secret tunnel under the road. What kids don't love a secret tunnel? The ones who have just been given the gift of not getting hepatitis, I guess.
The funny part is that McKenna developed her usual spring cough that day. She starts coughing after we get home and despondently tells me that the shots didn't work. "I've got the disease!" For days, "I've got the disease!" over and over and over.
What an experience.
(And somewhere in there, we took Samuel out of his crib for good. It's out of his room. I'm not crying about it. Really. I'm not. I'm glad he's growing up healthy and strong. I am. And I'm not crying. Well, maybe a little bit...)
What a glorious day! Seriously...75 degrees in mid-March? We enjoyed a full day today...parent conferences for McKenna (she's doing well, no surprise), a special morning just with McKenna (Barnes and Noble--that's my girl!, a picnic, and time at the park), a perfect day at the zoo with all the kiddos, and more running around in the yard. It was great. Just great.
However, if I ever had the chance to do-over the day, I'd reconsider the wardrobes. On a beautiful St. Patrick's Day, I wouldn't take three kids to the zoo who were wearing green t-shirts. EVERY kid at the zoo was wearing a green t-shirt. It would be have been much easier to ID them in a crowd if they had been wearing red.
Samuel's MDO teachers were teaching about Jesus' miracles last week. They thought that perhaps the kids might not know what wine was, so they decided that for the purpose of having the kids understand that the water became a different kind of drink, they would substitute "kool-aid" for the wine. They are telling the story, they talk about the the water turning into kool-aid, and Samuel yells out, "MY MOM CAN DO THAT!"
I could go a couple ways with this post...but I'll stick with the one I originally intended. Anna and McKenna had dental visits today. (I think I owe Kate Gosselin a thank you for showing our girls that her kids did so well at their televised visit.) McKenna was a champ. Anna was, as usual going into something stressful, anxious. The verdict on Anna is that, even without her molars in, there's not much room in the back of her mouth. Enter molars. Enter wisdom teeth. I'm no dentist, but that sounds like the making for braces or something in the future. Since neither Chris nor I had braces, I was hoping we could get through without the kids needing them. Things could change, but it didn't sound good today. Free (nice insurance!) today never sounded so expensive in the future.
I was studying last night and you wanted to help me. We finally decided that the best way for you to help me learn neuro and fluid/electrolyte material was to draw eyes and ears. That didn't satisfy you for long, but knowing that you couldn't read, and didn't have the knowledge bank to quiz me...you had to be more creative.
Please remember that you said, "Mommy, you don't need to study. You're already a nurse. (with emphasis...) AND YOU ALREADY KNOW EVERYTHING!"
It's hard to imagine the future. I often wonder what things will be like, but it's hard since we never really know what will happen. Sometimes I think that McKenna will just be 4 forever because I can't imagine anything else. The real challenge, I guess, is in the remembering. Remembering the little things. Like how the kids imitate the noise of the coffee grinder...perfectly. Like how Anna doesn't like to have her hair brushed. Like how McKenna much prefers a barette over a ponytail of any sort. Like how Samuel says "twains". Like how sad it is when dress up clothes go from too big to too small. Like how McKenna agrees with me mid meal every night, "You're right! It is good!" Like how Anna sleepwalks into our bedroom every night. Like how fun it is to watch Samuel identify letters and the girls to identify words they know as we read. Like how amazing their memories are. Really, I don't want to forget any of it. The kids' scrapbooks are evidence of my not wanting to forget.
Tonight I was so honored to be a part of something special. My friend, my sister in Christ, asked me to come be with her for the birth of her beautiful baby girl. It was so simple, so painfully beautiful. I walked in having the experiences of birthing three children, but never having witnessed a birth without being the laborer. What a joy...
McKenna now knows that The Disney Store is not the same as DisneyWorld. We kept it going as long as we could! Now she wants to go to the DisneyWorld that's outside...with REAL princesses. We had a good run...