Friday, August 13, 2010

When Mary Poppins is on Vacation

Doug started working late nights and Saturdays this week. After our trip to Southern Utah (the first with all five kids), losing him was like losing my right arm. No one to hold a baby, cut up hot dogs, throw kids around or read stories. Wednesday night was a rough one. Our first day back in town brought swimming lessons in the morning, bags and suitcases scattered around (still packed) and Gordy sporting a nice low-grade fever which said in no uncertain terms, "Hold me! And don't put me down!"

The girls wanted Daddy for bedtime routine and by day's end I was a ragged (and not so chipper) replacement. Snarling under my breath, I washed dishes at 10:00 PM, picked up tiny pieces of snowflake cuttings (yes - snowflakes in August), wiped markers off the wall and peeled scotch tape off the furniture.

Saying yes to every project the girls pulled out was fine and dandy in the moment, but later I reaped the reward. Major clean-up. Even the couch cushions were piled high in the middle of the living room in lieu of a trampoline. While heaving them back into place I just wanted to make a bed for myself and drift into la-la land.

Where was Mary Poppins when I needed her? Bermuda? Aren't magical nannies supposed to show up within minutes after tossing a letter into the hearth? I looked longingly out the window for her black umbrella and turned out toes. No luck. No snap of the fingers. No games.

So I got to thinking, if Mary's not available, what's the next next best scenario? Maybe a fast-forward button? Let's say 45 minutes of lunch and clean-up crammed into two minutes of high-speed efficiency. Like this (see below).

Yeah... now we're talking.

Inspired by my amazing friend Saydi (professional photographer and impressive mommy), I put the camera on time-lapse video for lunch last May, right before we moved. Now don't get me wrong, I don't want to fast-forward Mommy work in general - just nights like Wednesday when I'm so tired I want the house to magically clean itself up. Or, if that's not an option, I want to do it at MOC speed so I can read my book without drooling onto the pillow.


PS - Tell me one funny thing you notice. Personally, I like the back and forth feeding of the boys. It's like watching the US Open.

16 comments:

  1. I can't watch the video. It says that the video is private and requires an invitation to watch. I am sure it's pure chaos:) Also, so fun to see you in this morning's paper Looking forward to our visit.

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  2. Cristine! I fixed the link - thanks for cluing me in. It should work now. Did you get my email? I want to come visit and meet baby!! Let me know a good time for you.

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  3. This was great! My favorite part was trying to catch you finding a second to actually eat your own food. Thanks for sharing. Bonnie has got a lot to look forward to with comes time to start feeding the twins in high chairs.

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  4. One thing that sticks out to me is that whenever you're in the frame, most of the time all eyes are on you. Not funny exactly, but another reminder that you are the sun in this particular galaxy.

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  5. There was a whole lot of you moving, but not much of you eating....good way to stay thin! Two weekends ago Dave's back conked out on him big time. It meant a week of me being supermom, he couldn't lift up the baby, cook, do dishes, honestly, he couldn't even stand up or walk. It was the longest week of our lives. I do much better when I know in advance I'll be on my own, but when it comes as a surprise, I find myself getting resentful and frustrated easily, which is completely the OPPOSITE of what I should be doing. I'll take Mary Poppins any day!

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  6. oh my gosh...! I am tired just watching it! Did you get to eat?

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  7. Hilarious! I need to remember to do that when I'm a mom. I think it adds a sense of humor to the job. By far, my favorite part was when you had to crawl underneath the table to find Gordon. :) Good luck Cath....

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  8. David - oooh - you're astute. I DID eat! Mouthfuls in between cutting and spooning, but I did eat! And yes - Bonnie is going to have oodles of fun dishing out food for two. Sometimes I get going so fast I forget to give them time to swallow.

    Dave - I loved your comment. I was just talking with a friend the other day about the Mom magnet: where ever you go, your kids follow. Laundry, kitchen, into the family room to clean - they migrate with you. I agree with you, mothers are the "sun in their children's galaxy." Thanks for the wonderful observation. And please tell me your back is better!

    Michelle - Man, I feel for you! I agree - it's always worse when you haven't prepped yourself for a solo flight. I'm SO sorry for Dave. I hope he is on the mend. Dave's the kind of Dad you don't want to be without.

    Amy - I know. I get tired watching it too. But if you watch carefully, I did eat. Leftover salmon and rice :)

    Mary - you noticed my other favorite part. Searching for Gordon (I think you're right - it is Gordon - I'll have to go back and look) and finding him under the table!! And for the record, you're really the best Mary - by far! xo

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  9. That was fun to watch. I loved Ali and then Sami on the end of the table eating and swinging their feet. Such happy girls!!

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  10. Wow, I´m I happy that my baby days are behind me... I´ve raised 8 children and the youngest is now 6 and do you know what, it´s all worth it! Hang in there, you´re doing the most important job in the world and they will thank you both in this life and in the eternaties.
    Love, Monica in Sweden

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  11. Deb - I love the girls on the table too. They loved looking out that window.

    Monica - Thank you so much for your encouraging comment. From a mother of 8!! You're seeing it from the other end. We know it's worth it, but sometimes we need to hear it again when the trenches get tough. Thanks for wisdom. Blessings to you.

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  12. That is GREAT! I loved when everyone left the kitchen except the boys who were still in their high chairs...it was almost like a deep breath because the rest of the craziness stopped. I also LOVED at the end when everyone left and then Sami came back in and ate something and then left and then came back in to put her bowl in the sink-so cute! But I will say-you are WONDERWOMAN!!!

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  13. cath, this post was so fantastic! i laughed out loud watching the video. i loved you feeding the boys as well - it made my arms tired just watching it! but since you already said that, i think my other fav part was sami (was it sami?) sitting at the table by herself at the end finishing up her bowl of goodies. and then she even took it to the sink by herself. what good kids! you are such a great mom. and blogger. whew! i hope you are getting some rest now and then.

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  14. Hillary - me too... I love those frames with Sam alone at the table. She's munching popcorn - completely content. Can't wait to get our girls together!

    Corinne - Nice observation. Sami DID take her plate to the sink, didn't she?? Awesome. Maybe some of the things we say DO filter in! BTW, I almost said HI to you at Target a couple days ago. Until I realized it wasn't you. But she was tall, had your features, and two little ones in tow. Seriously - do you have a sister that could pass for your twin??

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  15. All I can say is wow, the video was hilarious and exhausting. Your kids will absolutely love looking back on that, and this blog. Way to go with such a great documentation of your crazy life!

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  16. I just came across this post in reading some of your older ones. In a word - awesome. Love it. I only have 6 month twins, but still feel like I never get to eat more than a bite at a time (or after the grilled cheese has sat on the counter for an hour, post-feeding/diapering/naptime rush). It was fun to see how you just kept rolling, whether kids were on or under the table, etc. I only wish this had sound to it somehow.

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