Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Ready... Or Not?

Sometimes these little people send quite the mixed message.

Devin decided a while ago that Hanna seemed ready to start potty training.  She shows a lot of interest in the potty, and that Hallie doesn't wear a diaper. She likes to pull on Hallie's panties over her pants and rock out like that.  Devin doesn't think I should let her do that, but who am I to say no to hilarity?

I wasn't quite sure if she was ready, because she never wants me to change her diaper, and I thought one of the signs that a child is ready for potty training is when they want the dirty diaper off... fast. But maybe I made that up?  Anyway, she fights me and fights me at diaper changes, which, admittedly, does make the idea of her going on the potty very enticing.

So, we got out the old potty chair and put it in the bathroom, and at night when Hallie is going her pre-bedtime you-know we have Hanna sit on the little potty chair.  She loves it. But it's really more of a game for her. She'll yell "wee-wee!" and sit on the potty for two seconds. Then she jumps up and yells "done!" then when you try to put the diaper on she rushes back onto the potty and yells "wee-wee!"  Until you tire of this and force the diaper on her.

This afternoon, while Hallie was still napping but Hanna had woken up, she decided she wanted to sit on the potty.  I took this as a sign of progress.  "Wee-wee!" she kept yelling, pointing to it, as I took off her diaper.  She sat down and I wondered if we would end up just playing the usual game.  Yep. Two seconds down. Jump up! Repeat and repeat.

Hallie woke up from her nap and came stumbling into the bathroom.  I smoothed back her hair and talked to her for a minute, sort of ignoring Hanna and her potty routine.  Just as I was turning my attention back to her, she peed all over the floor.  "Wee-wee!" She yelled, to which I immediately started saying, "Potty!" and trying to shove her little bum onto the potty while there was still something coming out.  "Diaper! Diaper! Diaper!" she responded, at the top of her tiny lungs.

She would not stop yelling diaper and pointing at the wee-wee (to use her word) on the floor.  So, I wrapped her little bum up in a clean Elmo diaper and sent her on her way.  I can't help but wonder what this means. Clearly, when she originally asked me to go to the potty she really did have to go.  Did she know that, or was that just dumb luck?  Because if she did know that, and asked to sit on the potty, that is clearly a flashing sign saying "READY!!" But, if it was just dumb luck and at the first sign of wetness coming from her body she wanted a diaper, that is clearly a flashing sign saying "NOT READY".

I'm stumped. You?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Results Are In

Once upon a time...

There was a man and a woman, named Devin and Amy.  They started out building their family by adding a little girl.  Two years later they had another little girl.

And, it looks like, come February, we'll be having

another little girl.  The girls came with us to the ultrasound, and at one point Heather (yes, Devin is finally getting his Heather) waved her little arm at us.  It was pretty sweet, Hanna said "arm? arm?" When she first showed up on the screen we got a good shot of her head and Hallie said, "Head? Is that the baby's head?"  It is always so fun to see these little babies and feel like they are really starting to be a part of the family.  I'll put up a picture of the ultrasound tomorrow.

For my own notes, the final vote on this poll was 61% voted boy, 38% voted girl.  Which doesn't actually add to 100...?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

41 Hours To Go

There is a comfortable silence that sometimes falls between couples that have been together for a while.  In our home I am frequently recognized as being "the talker", but lately when we have lapsed into silence it is Devin that breaks it.

"Our lives are going to change forever on Tuesday."  He will suddenly say, his voice unable to conceal his excitement.  At first I thought this statement was overly dramatic, something more in line with what I might say than Devin.  Yet as I have heard him say it over the past few days as we get nearer and nearer to 10:15 on Tuesday I can't help but agree.

When we find out if we are having a boy or a girl so many of our thoughts will begin to revolve around that new knowledge.  If it is a girl, Devin worries about creating a "sorority" somewhere in the house for all the girl stuff, (his big plan is to have them all bunk in the basement once we get it finished.  Wouldn't they love that?!)  If it is a boy, then he has to worry about teaching him how to be a good man.

I think about things like: if it is a girl, then I don't have to worry about getting a lot of new things, we're pretty well set in that area. But if it is a boy then I get to go shopping! SHOPPING!

When we ask Hallie if she is getting a new brother or sister, without fail, every single time she tells us that it must be a brother because she already has a sister.

On my poll (you can still vote!) Devin voted that we were having a girl, because that is what he would like to have again (because by now he is familiar with their ways) but he actually thinks we are going to have a boy (scary new territory).

People keep asking me what I think we're going to have.  I think I have purposefully tried to avoid thinking about it, because I don't want to feel disappointment with whatever we find out.  Boy or girl, I will love this little baby.

I did however, vote girl on my poll - but I was just trying to even out the numbers.  You know me.

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Past

Is it coincidence? Is it an accident?  Just plain, dumb luck?

When I go to the library, sometimes I have a planned list of the books I am going to look for, books that are on my to-read list over at Goodreads. But if I haven't had the time to sit down and look through that, then I just head to the library and quickly browse for titles that look interesting, meet my content criteria standards, and take as many of those home as I can find.

And I don't know what it is, be it pure chance or fate. The first time it happened, I came home with two random titles, and they both ended up being novels about mermaids.  Huh, I thought to myself.  Then a while later, I came home with a stack of books and two of them were about women who lived through tragically horrible building fires.  That's when I really started to question just how random the picks of these books really were.  This most recent trip to the library, I came home with a really huge stack (most of which I had actually requested the librarians get together for me based on my goodreads to-read list).  And as I was reading through these books the last week or so, I noticed yet another trend.  Nearly all of these books were set in the late 1800s or early 1900s.  What, I ask you, WHAT are the odds of that?  I can't help but wonder what theme of novel I will come home with next.

As I read book after book set in this time period I noticed another trend.  Each one filled me with some sort of undefinable longing.  The more I read, and the more I thought about what I was reading - and in particular thought about the lives of the women described in this stories, the more I was able to begin defining this longing.  It pretty much boils down to this: sometimes, I wish I had been born in that time period.

Call me crazy. I mean, I know and I am grateful for the wonders of the modern world. I am happy to have a dishwasher, washer and dryer, refrigerator, hair dryer, car, modern medicine.  Yes, I recognize the advantages of having these and I am appreciative of the luxury they are in life.

But... but... but...

I wonder if I would appreciate my days more if they truly ended when the sun went down.  Would I appreciate the beauty of a good night's rest more if I could see the stars winking out my window?  Would my daughters value their possessions more if they only had one toy?  Would I think more about how and where I spent my money if each dollar - even each nickel - still had actual value?

I guess what I'm muddling my way through trying to say here is that I do appreciate my life. I know I have it easy, and I know I have it good.  I just can't help but wish that I could appreciate it more.  Live it more.  Embrace it more.

And that is why, I have made the final decision.  If ever faced with the option of transporting into a fictional place, or past time, I would choose the late 1800s over Narnia, over NeverNeverLand, over the Shire, over any other place or time ever written about.  The Shire comes in second though, just so you know.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


You know, friends aren't the only ones who can play that multiplication trick.  Families do it as well.

It is a simple formula really.   
You take this:

 and introduce them to this:

and almost five years later you can easily get this:
*Results are not guaranteed.
(From left to right: Emily, Hanna, Tabitha, Hallie, Daniel, Annibelle, Jill, Callie)

This time, I searched for about ten seconds to find old pictures. But don't worry, my sister didn't fail me. She sent me some pictures of the three of us in high school.  Thanks, Meems.

 Sometimes, late at night, when I don't think anyone will hear me, I cry for that hair.

I think Sarah looks exactly the same as she did ten years ago. (Pictures in reference to this post.)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Isn't it amazing how three people, in a matter of a few short years can go from this:
(and here I really REALLY wanted to put a picture of us in high school, but, and Sarah will probably praise the heavens for this, I couldn't find one and didn't search longer than three seconds. Maybe Mimi will send me one?)
to this:
note: there is one small person missing in this picture. I think Daniel was already sleeping?

 I love your cute little family Sarah, and it was so good to see you.  Let's try not to make it four and a half years this time, yes?

Thursday, September 15, 2011

What We Did

So yes, my last post was probably a little depressing.  And the fact of the matter is, even though we found out the tragic reason we had been sitting there/would sit there for so long, we still had four small people to keep happy.

 The girls really did do a pretty good job of entertaining themselves.  All things considered.

 Don't you love how happy something as simple as taking them out of their seats can make them? I mean, check out Daniel!

Monday, September 12, 2011


I returned home last evening from a little vacation.  My mother had been planning it for months, and we had been looking forward to it for just as long.  The plan was that I would fly from here to Ohio, where my sister would pick me up, and then we would drive from Ohio to Hershey, Pennsylvania.  In Hershey we would meet up with my mother, and my two sisters-in-law. Oh yes, and all the babies. For those who haven't been keeping track, or don't know my family, that's seven girls three and under, and one bubbling, bouncing baby boy.  We'd spend a week in Hershey, eating chocolate and whatnot, and then I was to drive back to Ohio with my sister, and then catch a plane back home, where there would be a happy reunion with Devin.  That was the plan.

Isn't there some sort of phrase about the best laid plans?  The thing about plans is that you really only have so much control over life.  There comes a point when, after having made your plan, you just have to let it play out as it will... and sometimes the outcome is not at all what you had planned it to be.

The drive from Ohio to Pennsylvania was supposed to take us ten hours, and we left at six in the morning, anticipating that we would get to our destination in time for dinner.  It was fairly smooth sailing, until we hit mile marker 119.3 on I-70, I-76.  I suppose someday I will forget the exact spot, but right now that's hard to imagine.  There was a flashing sign warning us that traffic was stopped up ahead, followed by two police cars pulled off on the shoulder with full lights and sirens blaring to alert us that we needed to slow down and prepare to stop.  And stop we did.  For three hours.

Did I mention it had been raining all day?  There is not a whole lot to do with four children in a van on the freeway in the rain - especially when said children and adults had already been in said van for seven hours.  We got out coloring books and colored for a while, we shared m&m's, and then when it became desperate my sister found an umbrella and took the little people for walks in the rain.  We watched a numerous host of men wander over, across the muddy grass to the fence, and women all up and down the freeway cursed nature's inequality.

My sister and I took pictures of the kids and we tried to keep a lighthearted attitude, making jokes about plans for awesome blog posts with titles like "What to Do with Four Babies in a Van in the Rain for Three Hours".  These jokes pretty much stopped when we learned why we had been sitting there for so long.

Apparently someone on a motorcycle had been going 90 miles an hour, despite the rain and fog and general low visibility and slick roads.  The car in front of him put on his brakes and the motorcyclist did not have time to stop.  The smiles vanished from our faces as we heard about this.  My sister took the kids four cars down to meet a nice dog and I sat in the van watching the drops of rain slip down the windshield.  I couldn't help but wondering why he had been going so fast in such awful driving conditions.  Was it a desperately important errand, as in he had just learned of a loved one in the hospital that he was rushing to see?  Or was it an errand of over inflated importance, such as being late for a job interview?  Or was it something incredibly trivial and ridiculous, such as the bike being new, and he was young, and doesn't it feel exciting to have the wind and the rain rushing by so fast?  I will of course, never know why he was going so fast, and so close to the car in front of him.  I will never know what family he left behind, and in what situations they now find themselves.  I suppose all I can really do is pray for his family, pray for the person in the car in front of him who had braked who has to deal with what happened, and urge caution for people everywhere when traveling.  Wherever you are going and for whatever reason, don't you think the most important thing is that you get there?  So please, make sure you get there.