Monday, February 28, 2005

The Loud crashing sound is a good thing

Most people would never think of taking a large group of children bowling unless coerced by the evil birthday party gods. However, since we tend to take a large group of children around with us just about everywhere, we didn't let it deter us from some "family fun." OK, so it took a two years for us to go after our son started begging, but hey, can't give in to begging, right?

So we show up and get the shoes. Four children immediately sit down on the carpet in front of the counter to change their shoes. Guess we forgot to tell them you are supposed to take your shoes to your lane and change there. so we create a traffic hazard for ten minutes while my children try to get their laces figured out. Shoes are on, time for bowling! except the three year old insists on running off and daddy already took off to the lane with the baby . . . without the diaper bag, coats, or any of the other kids. thanks, dear.

Three year old rounded up. we find our lane, explain the rules, and get our score card filled out. Rules completely escape our children. The whole sit down while other people bowl seems to have been explained in a foreign language. I try again to explain it. nope. still don't get it. Daddy trips over somebody. Bound to happen, of course. We threaten to take away their turn. Now they fight over the scoring seat, but they are sitting.

The kids take their turns. They crack me up. I teach them the granny ball rolling thing. They all do it with their bums up in the air holding the pose for at least a minute while their ball creeps down the lane. And the balls do creep. It takes more than a minute for their balls to travel the the length of the lane. Daddy gets impatient at one point and tries to play pool by throwing another ball after the first to knock it faster. It doesn't work and Mommy gives him a good talking to.

Somehow in all this, I bowl my best game ever (love the bumpers!) The three year old gets a spare, the four year old doesn't even realize how badly she's doing, and the others are laughing.

We decide we should do it again sometime. but not before I teach the kids to sit!

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Late Nights

I need sleep. Lots of it. I do best on eight hours or more. Needless to say, it's very hard on my body to have a baby in the house. Especially this one. My youngest isn't much of a sleeper. She seems to think a cat nap here and there is good enough. Going to bed after eleven is routine. Of course, I have to be up at six thirty to get the other kids to school. (We won't mention the two times she wakes up to eat.)
So, I'm pretty tired lately. I find myself falling asleep everytime I sit down on the couch. I'm sure it's normal for a mommy with a new baby. (I can't say new mommy; I've done this before, after all.) It doesn't make it less frustrating. It doesn't help my body function any better to say "oh, well, it doesn't last long." Because, quite frankly, it lasts long enough, thank you.
I'm sure one day I'll look back on these months and just remember how sweet and innocent my baby was, how proud she was of her little accomplishments, and how much her siblings loved to hold her.
Right now I think of those things. Unfortunately, instead of the vision being clouded by rosy time, it's just clouded. I avoid doing things like math and driving between two and four in the afternoon. I thank my lucky stars my children don't need help with homework and I don't have a job where quick thinking is required.
I'm trying to coax the little rug rat to sleep right now. It's a bit early for her, but since I seem to be falling asleep even in my uncomfortable computer chair, I think a little coaxing is not out of line. She's getting quiet. I'll give her a few minutes.

Shhhhhh! Don't wake the baby! Please!

Here's your cake. too bad you can't have it.

It’s not just a birthday cake; it’s a red velvet birthday cake. That means it’s for my dad. Every year for his birthday, my mom always made one of two cakes. Either German chocolate with home made pecan coconut frosting or a bright red, heart shaped, fluffy frosting-ed red velvet. They were as inevitable as the pan of lasagna, and just as welcome. Red velvet cake always makes me think of my parents.
So this cake isn’t really about the cake. It’s about my parents being halfway around the globe.
It’s not been easy having them so far away. Life goes on and there haven’t been any major blips because they haven’t been 15 miles down the road, but still there is a hole there. They missed seeing my youngest born and blessed. They missed watching Matt learn to really talk. They missed Sarah singing at a competition for the first time. There have been times when I really needed my mother.
But then again, there were a lot of people who needed my mother worse than I did. My parents are doing a job that needed them to do it. They are having an adventure of a lifetime. How could I be sad when my dad has finally gotten to go back to Japan?
So I make a cake. It’s not much, but while my family eats it tonight, it will be Dad’s birthday in Japan.

Happy Birthday, Dad.