Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Desperate Measures

I know all of you have done it. Maybe not as drastic as mine, but nonetheless, we have all done things that if we would have been asked before having children, we would have sworn we would never do anything even comparable. I call these moments of choas and confusion...my desperate measures. Here are just a few.
1. Literally jump over the side of my child's crib rail to sleep with him. Anything to get him to stay in his crib.
2. Drive across the parking lot with a baby in my lap. 200 feet is just not worth the shrieking screams, shrills and stress to strap them back down into their carseat.
3. Not even punish William when he poured a 10 pound bag of rice all over my carpet and up and down the hallway. By the time I found him, I was so tired from scraping the vaseline off of Jake's body and pulling it out of his hair...I didn't have the energy to punish. I turned on a movie and cleaned the mess in peace.
4. Tie my son's door shut with a rope so that he couldn't escape. I was afraid if I saw him one more time, I might do something that I would regret.
5. When at play group, I noticed my son hit another child. I quickly looked over at the parent of the helpless victim. She didn't see it. Neither did I.
6. I couldn't handle my boys beating each other up one more time. I was so tired of constant crying, yelling and applying bandiads, I threw my kids in the car and took them to Chuckee Cheese. Punishment enough.
7. Make my baby sleep in a urine soaked onsie. I was way too tired to change her...and I knew that it would dry soon enough.
8. I decided that I needed to live my life in a way so that I am not allowed to do, say, eat or watch anything that my children are not. Oftentimes I am caught drinking a coke. Jake, naturally asks for some. Keeping my rule, I always give it to him. Lately I have realized that it has gone to far. He asks me, "Is this diet or regular...I hate diet." I might have to change my rule...cause I'm not changing my coke addiction.
9. Let my son out of the house in his Spiderman costume...everyday. You cannot believe the number of comments that I have recieved. Note to self: if I see that there is any inkling that I might give in to a power struggle with my toddler...don't even start the battle. It is better to give him the power freely right from the start, than to have him rip it out from under me...
10. My biggest desparate measure...even if the day could not get any worse, my sanity any less in tact, the house any more messy or my headache more painful, there is still a part of me that when I tuck them into bed each night and whisper "I love you," I truly mean it every time. I would have never thought five years ago that my patience and love could be tested so much...the greatest test I've ever had.

Saturday, September 27, 2008


The morning started out a little bit crazy. We were to be at the parking lot by 8:15 to meet our friends and head down to the race. William (my alarm clock) slept in till 8:00! I guess I should really start using a real alarm clock. We scurried around, got dressed in our Race Day clothes and left the house...breakfast-less. I was faint (my blood sugar was low...it always is (an excuse to eat more frequently))by the time I got all three kids piled in the car, so I ran inside, grabbed a granola bar and drove off. Upon registering, the kids were given their Race Day T-shirts. They were sweet. A classic white with the race name on the front. Completely original. And Free. We all started out doing some stretches and warming up. A 1K isn't as easy as one might think.

It was finally time to line up. And then a mother's worst fear. "Mom, I'm hungry." I guess I forgot to grab snacks for the kids. I must not have been thinking about their blood sugar getting low. I unpacked the bottom of Naomi's car seat and fished through my purse. Perfect! A smushed granola bar and a bag of 100 calorie cheez-its. They were satisfied. After what seemed like hours...it was finally our turn. The kids lined up anxiously on the starting line. It was as if a years worth of training had built up for this one moment. The anticipation was almost unberable. The man's voice blarred over the loud speaker. "On your mark..get set...the kids flung forward as he yelled, GO." We were off. The start of the race was bumpy and Naomi almost flew out of her car seat, but that wasn't going to deter us from taking this thing head on. We had come to win. Moments into the race, Jake seemed to get tired. Soon after, William came running back to me in tears. It was too hard. I told them it wasn't an option to quit. We had come to race and we were going to finish. Afterall, if mom had to hold them...they wouldn't get a medal. William's mouth dropped as he gasped, "Oh." He was off. We were all panting when a nice lady started cheering us on. "You're already half way!" "What?" I said. A 1K can seem extremely long with three kids and no husband to help. After the medal comment, William never stopped running. He had a goal. Jake, on the other hand, was a different story. I picked him up and ran after William. We finally crossed the finish line. We had done it! Our Firsr 1K. As we crossed the finish, all three kids were handed a medal. We immediatley hit the Goody Bag line and found some super cool prizes and a bagel for breakfast. I will never forget looking over at William with his hands on his kness, and his head down panting. "That was hard, mom." I know dude...but you won a medal." He looked around him and in distress noticed, "Mom, it looks like everyone got medals."

We were exhausted. Perhaps, everyone did get a medal. Perhaps, we would have done better had our blood sugar not been so low. Perhaps, maybe if daddy would have been there to run super fast with the boys, Naomi and I wouldn't have slowed everybody up. Perhaps, a lot of things. But most important, our first race was a success. We did it! All four of us! Daddy will be so proud.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My Little "Aunt Jemima"

I think that Naomi looks just like Aunt Jemima. One of my friends let me borrow all of her daughters old bows...and I love them! So, anyone who knows me, knows that I love the color RED. Hence, I think these pictures are adorable. Long before I even knew I was having a girl, I bought these red patent leather shoes. As my mom would say, "they just jumped into my bag." Some people may give me a hard time and say, "red patent leather is not really in season right now." My response, "when isn't red patent leather in season?"

Sunday, September 21, 2008


"Even Spiderman Has a Bad Day Every Once in a While"

I want to make a poster out of this and hang it in the Children's ER becasue James says that there are way too many accidents that could be prevented if kids wore their helmets. We are now Big proponents of Bike Safety.
The poster is going to say,
"Even Spiderman Wears a Helmet"

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Our Fairytale

We were just sitting there in my living room. My neighbor and I. We talked and chatted as our children played in the other room. Our conversation turned to my religion: Mormonism. I told her she could ask me any quetions that she wanted. In fact, I love to be asked questions. It cracks me up to hear what people think about our "crazy" ideas. We laughed and had a good time. And then she said something that I hope that I will never forget. I was telling her that James and I had never tasted alcohol, never tried a cigarette. And craziest of all, neither one of us had sex before marriage. Her jaw dropped. She sat there speechless. She questioned, "Are you serious?" I nodded. Her response, " That...that, that's...like a Fairytale." I sat there stunned as well. Why is it that sometimes it takes experiences like these to bring to our knowledge how blessed we are? Yes, I guess my marriage is like a Fairytale. Our Fairytale. And yes, James is one of my greatest blessings that all to often I seem to take for granted. So I guess all that I have to say is this: Thank you James. Thank you for making all of my dreams come true. I love you.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

You Know You're the Third Child When...

I love this kid. She has brought so much joy to our home over the last four months. I thought that it would be fun to share some changes that I have noticed in our parenting procedures now that we have been through it twice before.
You know you're the third child when...
1. Your dad shows up to the hospital AFTER your mother's water breaks. Someone had to stay home and watch the other kids.
2. Your dad can't come pick you up from the hospital until he finds your car seat somewhere in the garage. Upon finding your seat, he realizes that he will spend hours cleaning it while trying to get the smeall of urine and mildew out. Oh, and it's not your gender color...but it works.
3. You come home from the hospital to find out that you will be sharing a bedroom with your parents. No cute painted walls, no new bedding, and no princess decals on the walls.
4. I think it tooks months for us to leave the boys with a babysitter...even grandmas. By the end of your first week of life, you probably thought that grandma was actually your mom.
5. Your family decided to take a day trip to visit your cousins in Michigan. The car was packed, the doors were locked, the ignition was running. Right before your dad started driving away, mom asked, "Where's Naomi?" We went back inside to get you.
6. Pictured above: You have realized at four months of age that the jumperoo can actually double as a crib.
7. Pictured above: Your very first food was not American Academy of Pediatrics reccomended. However, it was delicious. Nothing better than to start out the world of solids than with a Hostess Cupcake. Yum!!!
8. And Best of All. You don't just have two people (mom and dad) to adore you. You actually have all four of us wrapped around your tiny little finger.
9. We love you Naomi. Thanks for being part of our family.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Time for a Costco Run

William had his very first friends over from Kindergarten the other day. They all needed an after school snack. As I looked through my cupboards, their chioces were few. The only thing I had enough of was vanilla ice cream. They agreed but told me that according to the food pyramid they didn't need a lot of sugar and so ice cream probably wasn't the best after school snack. I responded by telling them that ice cream was about their only option and they all agreed that it would be o.k. Just this once. William has also been reminding me that he needs iron. I love 5 year olds. I realized that it was time for a Costco run. I live for Costco, but here in Ohio, the closest one is 45 minutes away. In fact, I hadn't been since we have lived here. Today was the day. I dropped Jake off at pre-school and journeyed out to Costco Land. I had an extremely short time since I had to pick up Smooch from school. I ran through the aisles and threw in everything that we needed. I preceeded to the checkout with about 45 minutes before school would be over. I had to hurry. My items were scanned. My total blazed on the screen in front of my eyes. I literally strated shaking. ""We can't afford $370," I thought to myself. I handed the lady my credit card. I was thinking about throwing up. I pushed the cart toward the exit. Instead of leaving out the exit door, I swerved my cart over to the "Return Merchandise" line. I was humilliated. I looked through all of my items looking for returnable merchandise. Anything that wasn't absolutely neccessary would have to be returned. I felt my eyes starting to water. "This is so embarrassing, I hate being poor, I hate being poor, I hate being poor." I caught myself. I began thinking, "I am so blessed, I am so blessed, I am so blessed." It didn't last long. "I hate being poor, I hate being poor." The return line was taking forever. I felt as if everybody was staring at my cart. It ws so full that items were hanging over the sides. The lady at the register even asked what I was doing in the line. I told her I had stuff to return. She smiled. It was fianlly my turn. I put a pack of unnessasary "Webkinz" up on the counter. Jake had seen them at a store weeks earlier and begged me for the frog one. They were a great price at Costco. Two for $20. I was thinking that it would be a perfect stocking stuffer. Not anymore. I then put the bags of Tulips and Fall flowers up on the counter. I thought that it would be a good teaching moment to teach the kids that the Prophet told us to plant a garden. "Maybe next year," I thought to myself. The only thing left that wasn't absolutely neccessary was the pack of $9.99 socks that I picked up for the boys. I have noticed that they need new socks with the Fall coming. They both have to wear socks to school everyday and we are running low. I picked up the socks and looked a them. A rebellious spirit entered into my heart and I said to myslef, "I'm keeping the socks." It felt good. I drove the long way back to Jake's school in the pouring rain and arrived 20 minutes late. Poor Jake. I felt terrible. Luckily, as he came running outside in the pouring rain, I noticed a huge smile on his face. He didn't seem to care that I was late. He didn't seem to care if we were poor. He would never know that he almost got a Webkinz that day. All he cared about was that I loved him and had come to pick him up. I guess sometimes it's good to be a three year old. No money, no Webkinz, no garden. He would never know. Thank you Jacob for your example. A smile is all I needed. As long as I have your smile in my mind, I will try to never be embarrassed at the return counter again.

If You Think She's Happy Now...

I love that when somebody finds out that my husband is a pediatrician, they all say something in the way of, "oh, you are so lucky," or, "how convienent". If they only knew. James and I both had physicain fathers. As a result, James lived with a herniated disk in his back for over a year. His dad told him just to live with it and to stop playing basketball. James finally took himself to the doctor after a year and was scheduled for surgery. When I didn't feel well, my dad would just prescribe me something that was probably the drug of the day and sent me one on my. I have promised myself to not let my kids be victim of a physicain father who claims that if his kids are still breathing... let them be. This promise to myself was put to the test yesterday. Naomi woke up yesterday morning screaming like I have never before heard. Her nose has been running for about a week and she was slobbering all over her clothes. The shrieking scream that lasted for over two hours was finally becoming less and less toleralbe...both for her and I. Luckily, Jake didn't seem to phased. Probably neglected middle child syndrome. I paged James and told him Naomi's symptoms. His response. "Don't take her in. She probably just has a virus." I hung up the phone and was at the end of my rope. This was not normal behavior for my four month old. The shrieking continued. I waited 15 minutes and decided to give in to my maternal instinct. The phone call was made. Two hours later I was in the pediatrician's office. The very office that James was scheduled to work at in less than two hours. He would be on his way from the hospital in a short time and I had to make sure that I was out of the clinic before he arrived...just in case nothing was wrong. The nurse checked us in and I threatened her life that if nothing was wrong with my baby, she was not to tell James that I had been in that morning. She laughed and said that she would let the other nurses and doctors know. The doctor saw us and within 5 minutes I had a prescription for a "very nasty" ear infection. I was elated. Instead of telling the nurses to let let James know that I was in, I gave them permission to do the exact opposite. The physicain that James works under told me that he would give him a hard time for me and that he, himself, let his own son live with a broken wrist for a year. Poor physican's kid. It's not like they don't have health insurance. Upon James' arrival home, we greeted each other with a warm smile. He simply asked, "how was your day today?" "Terrible," I retorted. "How was your day?" "Great, as soon as I got to the clinic everyone in the office found me and said, "ohhhh, you're in trouble tonight." He said that they all had a good time making fun of him. I am grateful for a husband who can laugh at life and the experiences that we share. We both had a good laugh. James told me that the nurses said that the funniest part of our visit was that Jake was dressed in his Spiderman outfit and as I was waiting to check out with a screaming baby, Jake was running around the clinic webbing everyone. They said that I was completely clueless to what was going on. Again, neglected middle child. My son, dressed as Spiderman, was off shotting people with pretend webs while I was rocking a screaming car seat, signing papers and pacing back and forth. I smile when I think of the image of our family that was left at the clinic yesterday. A pediatrician who doesn't believe when his own kid is sick, a mother coming in thretening the nurses not to tell her husband that she was there, a 3 year old dressed as Spiderman webbing everybody he saw, and a four month old baby shrieking at the top of her lungs. I am sure that the office on West Market Street sighed a big sigh of relief when they said good bye to the Ford family...even if only for a few days.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


I love my Smooch. Now, we all know why he has his nickname. Ever since he could eat, he refuses to eat off off his own plate. I mean, it used to be funny, and sometimes it still is, but sometimes, it's not. Some nights I choose to eat standing up, becasue I know if I sit down, Jake will get a huge grin on his face, jump, up, say, "I want momm'y's food," walk across the table and sit down right in front of my mouth...where I usually like to eat myself. Just thinking of that huge smile endears me to this spirited kid we call "smooch". Today was Smooch's first day of preschool. He did awesome. Since it was Jakey's Special day, he chose to make a Spiderman Cake to celebrate his first day of school. William helped him frost it. Note: Black Spiderman is laying caught in his own web. A very interesting thought.
Jake is my little boy who lives on the edge. By doing so, I also live on the edge. The edge of his edge. When watching Jake, one cannot sit down. There can be no sudden head turns, twists or tucks. A movement by the person in charge signals to his three-year old brain that he has a second of freedom...and you will pay. Jake's constant activity is a constant reminder to me to live every breath to the fullest. Life is too short to sit...so he makes sure that none of us do.
I will never forget when Smooch was running in the middle of the street in Iowa. I sternly went over to him and told him that he could not go past the curb. If he did, tabasco sauce was waiting for him. I went to sit down. I shouldn't have. There he was...teetering on the curb. He looked up at me and smiled. An innocent smile. There he went. He fumbled on the curb as he walked, and walked and walked. The curb was the line of tabasco sauce. He got as close as he could...and never got off.
As I think about my one and only Smooch, I cannot help but smile a great smile. He is the boy who wakes me up at night, refuses to let me eat a meal in peace, and walks through life on the curb. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for this little guy who has taught me that a beautiful, innocent and bright eyed grin can make anything and everything seem so wonderful.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Paydays, Promotions and Praises

As a mother, I have found that unlike my husband, I do not recieve the wordly definition of paydays, promotions and prasies. I Never get paid, the only promotions I have recieved is going from one kid to two, and than again from two kids to three...if that counts as a promotion. The praise I get is usually self-recognition. When I really need to feel appreciated, I will hint to James what a great mom I am and he usually agrees. Praise enough...I guess. This weekend I have found another aspect that seperates motherhood from the workforce. Sickdays. This weekend I have felt incredibly worn out, tired, and have had a horrible sore throat. I really think I might have mono. I have been battling this thing for a couple months now and it never seems to go away. However, no matter how cruddy I feel, I am never able to take a day off to recover. Not only am I not able to take a sick day, I find myself taking 5 kids all by myself on a nature walk through the woods, play in a stream for two hours, watch my three year old catch his first frog, empty out a similac container and help him make a "natural habitat" for our new found froggy friend so that we can take it home and show daddy, feed kids three meals a day plus snacks, put kids to bed and wake with them in the middle of the night, and everything else that all mothers already know. Why can't I take a "sick day."? It is a very interesting thought. I paged James yesterday and told him how sick I was and asked if he could get off early. I knew he wouldn't be able to, but I thought I would throw it out there. I thought about calling a babysitter. However, I would have to put all three kids in the car, pick her up, and of course, pay her. I didn't have the energy. Here's the deal. Motherhood is not a job. It is a lifestyle. It cannot qualify as a job becasue I cannot quit, I cannot take a day off, I do not get paid, I cannot expect promotions or praise. I will never be able to kick my feet up on the golf course enjoying a relaxing retirement. I will never be able to go shopping without thinking first, what my kids need. This is motherhood. Perhaps, for some, this may not seem like any way to live. For me, it's the only way. I couldn't imagine missing my three year old catch his first frog, my three month old smiling with the first bow that I have ever made in my life, and seeing my five year old imagine up mud pies and imaginary adventures in the midst of good freinds. Yes, I would like a sick day. Perhaps today. But I must be truthful and answer this question. Would I take it? I am not sure. I never want to miss a moment. So yes, I could complain that motherhood is hard, that there are no breaks, time-offs or prasie. As for the pay-days. I still can't afford new dining room chairs, but for some reason, I think that I would rather be making natural habitats for frogs.