Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Preponderance

Yesterday marked the official end of tax season (since the 15th fell on a Sunday this year). We are one happy troop around here, knowing Daddy might be home for dinner the rest of the week. (I'm crossing my fingers as I type.) Unfortunately, things don't mellow for Doug until the end of April, but mentally I feel the big sprint is over and we've crossed the finish line.

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Leg hugs were the most common form of a welcome home.

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After a preponderance of busy evenings, late bedtimes, dishes after 9PM, failed tests of patience, one whopper of a good cry followed by a walk outside at 10PM (yes, I was the one crying), and Doug burning the candle at both ends, we're still standing.

To give you a sense for how my brain has been functioning (or not functioning) during the last leg of the marathon, here's what went down at church on Sunday.

We were late. (This whole trying not to rush things is hard.) I value people who are on time. I want to be on time. But I am determined to go easy with the boys, and not stress everyone out trying to hustle them into the car so we can arrive one or two minutes earlier. And that means some Sundays we are late. And that means we sit on the folding chairs in the gymnasium where there are no pew boundaries to reign in the kids, everything that hits the floor makes a sound, and the distractions in front of us are myriad.

So we settled into our metal chairs and immediately Sami and Eliza were fighting over a marker. The boys were talking LOUDLY about EVERYTHING. They still don't seem to understand the word "whisper." Gordon and Spencer were climbing all over Doug and the chairs, running the small space in between the rows. I kept trying to pull one of them onto my lap but they just squirmed away.

Finally Gordon sat on my lap with a book. A few minutes later I looked side to side and saw Spencer with Doug, but no Gordon. No Gordon on the floor, no Gordon behind me in the gym. No Gordon anywhere. I motioned to Doug and whispered, "Where's Gordon?"

Doug looked at me blankly. So I asked him again, "Doug! Where's Gordon???" He looked at me with one eyebrow raised and then said, "He's on your lap."

Ah! Well, of course he is.

We chortled over that one for a couple minutes.

Speaking of the boys, this is how they are wearing their pajamas these days.

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Yep, backwards.

And let's take a look from the rear.

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A quick zip up the back is faster than duct taping their diapers (would you believe they figured out the masking tape?) But we use both.

Here are some other happenings that fall into the definition of preponderance. Meaning, they happen frequently around here.

A few weeks ago I walked into the pantry and found this.

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Eliza has taken to stacking styrofoam cups in the pantry, in all sorts of forms and layers. Love the butterfly on top.

She also spent a considerable amount of time in the bathroom one evening with the door locked. After she'd gone to bed, I walked in to find the toilet paper stretched from the dispenser to a cupboard handle. Perfectly balanced in the swing of toilet paper was a bottle of lotion. Quite the physics experiment.

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And I could devote an entire post to the many creations she's been working on, one of which was this scarf she designed and proudly wore to church.

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Ali seems to think her name belongs on every flat surface or piece of furniture in our house. The hilarious thing is that she denies it every time! Despite the incriminating evidence.

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That girl has used up an entire magic eraser over the last six months trying to remove her signature from walls, moldings, and bed frames.

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Yesterday, while folding laundry, I noticed small brown smudges on everything. Hmmmm.... I dug a little deeper into the dryer and... Aha! A plastic egg with chocolate candy had somehow made it into the cycle. Awesome. The jury is still out on whether I can salvage the girls' clothes. Is lipstick worse than chocolate? I'm not sure.

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Last week it was the daffodils that were preponderantly lopped off and carried inside (or stuffed into milk jugs.)

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This week it's the tulips. Looks like we'll be enjoying them inside this year, rather than outside.

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And poor Spencer. Sami got a hold of him yesterday. Must have hog-tied him and pinned him down to slide those polka-dot shorts over his pants. Doesn't he look cute? Stripes and Dots are the next big thing. I'm sure of it.

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Sami has also been setting up the boys' toys for them before she goes to bed. Here's how she arranged the train table one night. A parade. Complete with dinos, poodles, and engines.

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And some nights, Doug sets up the Dinosaurs when he gets home. Strategically placing T-Rex right in the middle.

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The boys love finding this line-up in the morning.

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Me? I'm looking forward to a preponderance of this guy.

We all are.

What about you? What kind of preponderant happenings have been filling your days/weeks?

14 comments:

  1. Cute! Love your blog. Our Sundays in Sacrament meeting sound really similar :)

    http://westernwarmth.blogspot.com

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  2. Oh, I love laughing at my own life through yours. =)

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  3. Well, we are on our last week of school holidays. The weather is chilly, so we have been inside most days and I have been spending way too much time in my PJs!!

    I love reading your blog, and your photos always capture the moment perfectly!

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  4. Your "Where's Gordon??" story reminded me of a similar story from my cousin's wife. Her second son was still a little baby, and some friends or relatives were over, and she was nursing him while the adults visited. All of a sudden, she looked at my cousin (he might have just entered the room, I can't remember) and asked, "Wait...where is he??" My cousin, confused, came to the conclusion that she was referring to their cat, Max. "Um...he's on the bed," he replied. "You left him on the bed?? By himself??" she asked, incredulous. "Max?" My cousin responded, even more confused. "No, DAVID!" she insisted. "Where's the BABY??" He looked at her and gently pointed out, "Honey...you're nursing him." So you're not alone!

    I love Eliza's creative spirit :) And arranging my son's toys on his train table after he goes to bed is one of my favorite little Mommy pleasures. I don't know if he really notices yet (he's still a little guy) but I still enjoy it.

    I certainly hope you are all getting to enjoy more Daddy/husband time in the weeks to come :)

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  5. The only perponderant thing in my life is dishes. They just don't stop! Lance always says, "didn't we do those yesterday?" Yep, and there are more to do today. With only the two of us, you would thing dishes would be easy, but they are not. Especially since neither of us want to do them.
    We don't have a dishwasher and our kitchen is not set up for us to install one. Our only hope is a portable dishwasher, which Lance is set on purchasing before long.

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  6. Cath, I really do hope the rest of your April is not super crazy! Hopefully, your guy can just be with you most dinnertimes.

    I love Ali's signature in different places. Gotta love her thinking that no one would figure out who had done it.

    That story about finding Gordon was absolutely classic! Trying to keep track of five little ones! Whew. Even with my older kids, there are times when I have to count a few times...one, two, three, four...yes, they're all here.

    Sending you best wishes as you try to get back your hectic rather than hectic hectic life. xo

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  7. The perponderance (if I have the right meaning of the word) I'm feeling, heavier each day, is failure. Failure to teach my kids responsibility, failure to remind them how much I love them, failure to keep a house of order, to enjoy the moments that are most dear, to prioritize the right priorities, to stick to a healthy diet, oh, where does the list end? You have those weeks? It's all going to change in the next few days-I know it. I am going to start some job charts so I am not made out to be the monster as I nag for completed chores, I'm going to try fasting once a week for my children like I heard in conference-why did I not think of that before?, Thank you, thank you, for your posts. I know I say that everytime, but you help me greatly. Church on the metal chairs is just dreadful, I evaluate my strength and patience before heading into the gyn when we're late-hooray for you for sticking to it.

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  8. I had to look up what preponderance meant....how awesome is that?! For me, it's an excess of a lack of direction. So many things are up in the air right now, for a planner like myself, it's a bit too preponderant. (Did I use that correctly?) I need to make some decisions soon and just don't have enough information. A preponderance of questions.

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  9. Oh I loved this post so much. So glad those were chocolate stains and not from the zippered up the back boys. lol

    Enjoy a week of maybe Doug bringing home take-out for all for dinner. ;)

    Love you. xo

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  10. Western Warmth - you mean I'm not the only one duking it out on the metal chairs? Oh, bless you.

    Tricia - loved your comment. Isn't it nice we have someone to laugh with? xo

    Mika - it's always wild to me how opposite we are with school days and seasons. Lounging in pj's sounds mighty nice. And your trip into the rain forest looked like such a great experience! Sending love your way.

    mouse - "you're nursing him!?" What a riot. Thanks for sharing that great story. Would you believe the disconnect hasn't improved for me? Yesterday I wrote a check, not onto an actual check, but onto the plastic check guard that is supposed to slide beneath the check you are writing. Imagine my surprise when I went to rip the check out. I now have a check for $100 with my signature permanently etched onto plastic. Awesome.

    Sarah - do we need to start a dishwasher fund for you? I'd donate. Seriously, some days I load and empty our dishwasher TWICE! I'd be in a bugger of a mess without one. Glad Lance is on it. Love you.

    Anne Marie - we've struck out every night so far in having Doug home for dinner. I guess crossing my fingers as I typed didn't work too well. But he should be home tonight and we're hoping next week is better. Sure love you. Just finished a book on stuttering and I'm looking forward to starting the one you sent me. Thank you again sweet friend!

    Meagen - I'm fascinated by your comment. For a couple reasons. I definitely have those weeks/days. Last Th was one of them. By the time Doug came home I was in tears, purely over the weight (as you say it) of failure. It had not been my most "glowing" of mother evenings. I often have similar concerns - that I didn't give enough attention, enough love, I was short in my words, the house is disorganized, making healthy meals isn't the norm like it ought to be. I definitely understand. But I love your attitude. That it can change. And maybe we can change too, let go more, ask the Lord to take more, bridge the gap more for us. I'm actually working on a piece right now about the concept of "being enough." I'd love your input when it finally goes up. And who, please tell me, spoke about fasting for our children? I must have missed that talk! What an excellent idea. One that never occurred to me but I need. Sending you love and support, and encouragement, that you are the perfect mother for your little ones. xo

    Bec - Excellent usage of the word! And I agree with you. The unknowns are thick about you and your family right now. That is one of the most difficult places to live. And you have done it, for so long now, far better than anyone I know. You are disciplined, wise, faithful. Still praying for you that all will work out as it should and you will know the Lord has been mindful of you always. Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow.

    Tracy - Funny enough, it was the brown smudges on the underwear that tipped me off. Alarming to be pulling out CLEAN undies and find... you know... that. Yes, thank heavens it was chocolate. ;) And take-out sounds just right! Love you friend.

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  11. loved this post. The details of your life are funny to visualize. Church....isn't it tempting to sneak off and sit alone in the front row. I fantasize about this. Now that I'm ward chorister I get to sit on the stand 2 Sunday's a week. Dreams really do come true. I'm so glad Doug will be home more!

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  12. daddy looks pleased to finally be home too. xox

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  13. Heart-warming and memorable post. I don't know if you read comments that are added so long after your original, but I just have to say that your entry of April 18 brought back the kind of memories which perhaps only the mother of a large family can truly appreciate, specifically, my "Where's David?" moments. Twice. But he was not on my lap either time. The first time, we were half-way across town on the way to piano lessons--early, for once--and after the first reply of "he's in the back" (of our station wagon, in those pre-car-seat days), my query "Are you sure? Please look again" was met with "He's not there." Panicked, I turned around and went home, to find him waiting for us on the front porch; after I'd given instructions to get into the car, he had made a detour for the bathroom.
    And then there was the time a year or so later when I'd taken a friend's children with mine for an outing and had to run a quick errand on the way to take them home. No way was I going to leave 8 children in the car for even 5 minutes, so as we arrived at Target, each of the 3 older girls was assigned a younger child to put into a cart and head to the check-out stand while I got what I needed and met them there. By the time they got everyone loaded up and got in line, I had what I needed, met them, paid, and we were out the door again in less than 5 minutes. Very efficient. Dropped off our extra guests at exactly the time I had promised their mother, and 30 minutes later walked in my door just as the phone rang. I answered and heard, "Mrs. W? This is Target. We have your son David." Me: "No, you don't." Target: "Um, yes we do." Me: "Just a minute." [Calling out to the daughters still straggling in from the car:] "Is David out there?" And of course, even as I'm asking, my mental gears finally mesh and I realize that of course, he won't be "out there," so before the girls can even reply with "I don't know where he is," I tell the nice lady from Target "I'll be there in 30 minutes. I'm leaving right now." Again, he'd made a detour to the rest room, and because he was old enough to not have to be IN a cart but had been one of those assigned to simply hold on to a cart, his announcement had gone unheard by both sisters and me. (Fortunately, he had learned our names and had learned to sing our phone number...so I'd done something right!)
    After that, I made everyone count off before I even started the car--faster and more effective than saying their names.
    I'm tempted to think that perhaps mothers with smaller families cannot identify with such a scenario, but then I remember the time when I just had one child and got home from the store, unloaded the groceries, and then some time later remembered that I'd left the baby sleeping in her infant seat in the car....
    And so I think maybe I'm not the only one, after all, to experience such harrowing mind-lapses, and when I trade stories with other mothers, I discover that, indeed, I am not alone, but even as we laugh about our experiences, beneath the shared sense of relief that all was well, after all, is the knowledge that things could have turned out quite differently, and that, indeed, for some mothers in similar situations, there is not a happy ending.

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