Thursday, November 27, 2014

Rose Family 7th Annual Thanksgiving Day

I wasn't sure if we would make it this morning on our run.  The weather was not ideal, and I had a headache from a long night with Heather.  (nightmares?)  It was decidedly our coldest Turkey Run yet, beating even last year's frigid temps.  Last year was below freezing, but this year it was even more below freezing.

There was some whining and even some crying, and Devin said something like, "why can't they just be tough, and enjoy being outside?" and I said, "I think it's probably something to do with the fact that they are little girls, and not grown mountain men.  But they will grow up to be tough women because we are giving them these experiences when they are young, showing them that their bodies are strong, and they will survive, and it can be fun, and hot cocoa is the best thing ever invented.  That's what we are teaching them now, but they are still just little, and still learning the lesson."

My favorite bit from today was at one point Hallie began complaining that there was a thorn or something in her shoe.  Devin told her to take it out.  She said she couldn't, because "I don't know what it is though!"

She couldn't get it out, and it was still bothering her, so eventually Devin got down on the cold pavement to try and get it out.  He was also unsuccessful, so I came over to investigate why my whole family was sitting on the ground instead of running with me.

I got the full story from beginning to end, and Devin showed me where something poky was lodged in her brand new grey tights.  She had chosen to wear her tights over her leggings, for reasons unbeknownst to me, and so it covered her foot.  To get the poky thing out, the only thing Devin could think of was that we would have to take her socks off, then her shoes, then the shorts, next her pants, and then finally the tights and at least we would be able to remove the whatever it was that irritated her.  But by the side of the road? In serious sub zero temperatures?  To strip down like that was just short of crazy.  What made the situation extra exciting was that Hanna standing just off to the side kept saying that she also had a rock that was bothering her and could I get it out when I was done with Hallie?

Devin was itching to be off again running, and Hallie was crying at the thought of taking all those clothes off.  I said, "I'll deal with this. I'll think of something."

I rolled the little irritant around, trying to figure out a way to force it out through the tights.  That wasn't going to happen, so I said, "Hallie, mommy's just going to have to reach in and get this out."

And with that, I shoved my hand down her pants.  There on the side of the road, for all the early Thanksgiving day traffic to see, I hoped that my arm was as long as her leg.  The effort knocked us both flat on our backs, and we lay there in what was undoubtedly one of the top three most awkward positions of my life, and Hallie began yelling, "This does not seem to be going well, Mom!"

I will always love the sound in her voice when she said that.  Then she continued screaming, "it hurts! you're hurting me! everything hurts!"

Hanna began shouting, "My rock is out now Mom! Guess what, it's all better!"

I said, "Hallie, sometimes you have to go through a little pain to get rid of the thing that is causing you bigger pain.  Do you want that thing out of your tights?"

She was almost crying again. "Yes. I want it out."

"Ok," I told her, "This is the only thing I can think of to do. I will have it out... now! I got it!"

I pulled my hand back out of her tights as quickly as I could, and showed off for all to see the tiny white rock that had been lodged against the arch of her foot.  I asked her if it was worth what I had had to do to get it out, and she said it was.

I pretty much felt like a hero.  We began walking again, and Hanna said, "Oh wait, I guess that rock is still in there!"

And now, pictures.

 Devin laughed when he saw how tightly I had bundled Hazel.  She pretty much couldn't move, and Devin declared that I had transformed her normally round body into a solid square.  She was the only one of the girls that didn't cry though, so there's that.

 The warm up! 
Which is funny, because it's impossible to "warm up" on such a cold day. 
Ha ha ha ha ha.
 Hallie, going after the mystery thing in her shoe, round one.

  Super, super cold.

That tiny black speck in the distance is Devin.  I meant to get a better shot of him but it was just a moment or two after this that everyone gathered around Hallie, and I went to investigate, and then I just forgot all about pictures after that.  Sorry, mister.

Also, a note to Nebraska: You are beautiful.  Don't listen to anyone who tells you differently.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

My Currency Is/ Mother Is

My currency is
your hugs and kisses
and so
I am
wealthy beyond measure.

My power and influence
is your
first word
first step
first "watch me, mom!"
and so I am
queen of my domain.

My peace in times of trouble
is your body snuggled in
warm blankets
as you snore
and so I
sleep too.

My fashion
is a burp cloth
on one shoulder
and spit up
on the other
but your
toothless grin
opens any door
I care to enter.

Mother is the one who
holds you
while you
cry and throw up and
cry and throw up again
puts you in the bath
and washes it all away
puts you in new jammies
and nestles you in her bed
pulls your little body in close
your head resting on the pillow
just below hers
and mother is
the one who
though the smell

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Pizza and Kissing and Memories

I sat there at the kitchen table, eating my slice of pizza, my four daughters sitting around me talking and laughing.  They were each eating pizza of their own, in their own ways.  Hallie had a slice of pizza with ham, and she was eating the slice whole, bite by bite starting at the small end and working back toward the crust.  It made me smile because when she was tiny she would start at the crust and work toward the other side, and we always wanted to correct her and then I realized, who was I to say that was the wrong way to eat it?  Hanna had a slice of cheese pizza, and with a butter knife she was carefully cutting it into bite size pieces.  Heather also had a slice of cheese pizza, she had requested that I cut her slice up into bite size pieces for her and she was eating them with a spoon.  Hanna had donated one of her crust pieces to Hazel who was happily gumming and gnawing on it.  She is eight teeth strong, and waking up twice nightly as the pesky molars burrow their way out.  I was nibbling through my sausage/ham/bacon combo.  Of course, I wanted pepperoni but, as crazy as it sounds, I just couldn't find any.

I sat there on that night, cold wind blowing outside, residual heat from the oven warming the kitchen. Listening, half listening, not listening.  We make homemade pizza about once a week around here, but usually its on the weekend and Devin is home with us.  We make it all together, the girls helping us with toppings and dancing around the kitchen.  That night it was just the girls.  Devin had come home early from work while I was still picking Hallie up from school, packed his bag, and by the time I got back from the school he was in the kitchen in his work clothes with an apron on finishing up the dough for the pizza.  "Just put it in the oven for 15 minutes when you get back from taking me to the airport and you can have it for dinner." he said as I grabbed him and kissed him.

So there I was, my mister gone for a few days but not before making sure that his family was provided for.  He just barely remembered to take the apron off before we went out the door.  I thought about how much I love that man, and how well he cares for us.  Usually the pizza is crispy if the dough is thin, and like a hearty dinner roll if the dough is thick.  That night though it turned out rather floppy, probably from all my greasy meat, and as I looked at my droopy slice of pizza, the memories began to come.

A long time ago, a lifetime ago, I sat in a little corner pizza place in a tiny tourist town, on an island in Maine.  I sat at a table surrounded by some of my very best friends and a group of boys we had recently met and began spending time with.  We called them the Blue Hill Boys, and while some of the details have faded from memory, the image of a droopy slice of pizza comes clearly back.  The pizza was greasy and gooey and could be molded any which way.  I remember as I sat there trying to eat, one of the Blue Hill Boys began to teach us the "proper" way to eat our pizza.  Somehow along the way it became clear that "pizza" was in his lesson a metaphor for "kissing".

Everyone laughed, and everyone stared at me, because everyone knew what he was referring to.  I am sure it had only been a few nights before that I had asked him to kiss me.  In a few days.  Before midnight on the Fourth of July, was my precise request.

That kiss a week or so later would be my very first kiss, ever.

It made me smile, the memory of that gooey pizza, and the awkward (for me) lesson on eating pizza, kissing, and the whole scenario of how I came upon my first kiss.  I sat there with my four girls eating pizza my husband had made for us, and I wouldn't trade my beautiful life for anything.  But memories are fun too, aren't they?

Should I try to scrounge up some pictures of the Blue Hill Boys for you?  Maybe.  We'll see what I can do.

First Grade

We got Hallie's school pictures today.  The process went so much better than last year.  I did call them once, but that was more my fault than theirs, and one quick, painless phone call is completely different from numerous phone calls where you are never fully satisfied that the person understood you and is going to get you what you wanted.

I think the main reason for this: we went digital.  That's it. Just email me a high resolution version of her picture and let's be done with each other, Lifetouch.

Thus, I present to you, first grade Hallie:

and for contrast I give you Kindergarten Hallie:

I know.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

The Fours

Hanna is four.  That age thus far has sort of been my nemesis. I just don't know what to do with the fours.  Age one is my glory year, and two and three are fun, and five and six have been pretty solid.  But four makes me wring my hands and question my sanity.  Four keeps me up at night wondering what I'm doing wrong and if I'm broken as a parent.  Four scares me, makes me doubt, and is very, very tiring.

Hanna is four.  This week alone she cut all the hair on the doll house people, cut Heather's hair, wrote her own name on Heather's forehead, scribbled on the walls with marker because she "forgot that she was big and knew that we aren't supposed to draw on walls", drew on the dollhouse with marker, cut two notebooks into tiny little slivers of paper, locked her sister in the car on purpose just after I told her not to, and had many more adventures that I didn't even know about, I'm sure.

Hanna is four.  She likes to take pictures on my phone.  This is what she looks like.
Pretty terrifying, right?

I'm shaking in my boots.

Good news: She turns five in a few months.  Phew.