Monday, August 18, 2008

Goodbye Lazy Summer Days

When you read the title to this post don't you see me lying under a poolside umbrella, drinking some fruity summer drink and reading a good novel?

You would be wrong. (Ah. but a girl can dream...)

Picture me poolside at the neighborhood baby pool with a 2 year old boy who's afraid of the water and usually stands at the side of the pool and a 12 month old who sits in the shallow end of the baby pool. The 2 year old walks over to a pool lounger chair and tries to walk up the end. I run over to save him from tipping the chair over. In the meantime, the infant has crawled out of the pool and across the concrete to the small stones outside the fence and has just begun to put one in her mouth. Place 2 year old by pool. Grab baby and place her back in pool. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

Yep, that's my lazy summer pool days.

The rest of my summer days aren't much different. Six different kids with six different needs means that I'm in my car a lot, or cooking or doing laundry or changing diapers. I'll pick up a room and then come back 10 minutes later and find this:

That would be my living room/family room. Did I sleep through a tornado last night?

The playroom. Yep must have been a tornado and it got this room too. Or perhaps a tropical storm named Jenna/Ryan/Emma.

The entryway. Fifi the guard dog is covering her beat.

So that's where my tongs went! What in the world are they doing on my entry way table? Perhaps I should sterilize them before putting them back in the kitchen drawer.

You get the picture. My house is a mess. Some days I look at the mess and I want to run and hide. Other days it drives me so crazy I can't stand it. I'm the first to admit that this house could use a little more organization, so OK-- a LOT of organization. But sometimes I stop and make myself think about what's REALLY important. Will my kids remember a messy house or will they remember moments like this:

Yesterday morning the 3 little kids woke up and all got in my bed. Well, technically Emma was already there. But we spent about 30 minutes laying around, Emma giving kisses to everyone and play peek-a-boo like she is here. (Its one of her new latest things to do.)

Yesterday morning is what I will miss starting tomorrow when the girls start back to school. The lazy way we start our day, wearing jammies until sometimes lunch time, not even eating breakfast until 10:00 some days. Taking our time and just hanging out until I start kicking into Crazy Momma overdrive.

But I admit that part of me is looking forward to the start of school. Four less children will be in the house during the day which means that I have more time to devote to the babies and have more one on one time. Hopefully less spastic days.

I worry what people think when they come into my messy house. I admit that it often bothers me a lot. And I know that I am not the only mother who is having issues with managing it all. I have recently talked to one about this very subject. The craziness of life gets in the way of enjoying our family and just enjoying the small moments in our lives.

But again, I go back to what's really important. When Darrell died did we all spend time thinking about how prompt he was at mowing the lawn? No, we thought about the time he took us on a progressive snack trip while we were living in Tulsa. First was a trip to Quick trip for beverages, an then to another convenience store for candy and the final destination was Rib Crib for appetizers. It was stupid but it was fun.

I asked Jenna the other day when she thought about me what kind of mom did she think I was. Her answer? A silly mom. GOOD! That means we're having fun, even if I don't always feel like it. I want my kids to remember lazy mornings hanging out in Mom's bed, Mom dancing and singing in the front seat of the car pretending to be a back up singer/dancer to Alvin and the Chipmunks "That's how they roll." I want them to remember nights like tonight when Julia wanted to help me chop up peppers and onions for dinner and part of me REALLY wanted to do it myself so I could get it done. So I gritted through it in my frustration to finish the job. I will remember the frustration. Julia remembers, and has already bragged about, how she was helpful and how I taught her how to chop them.

Darrell's death has taught me how fragile life is. I want to fill up my children's minds, lives and memories with incredible memories of Mom. For sure some will be bad, Mom was cranky, Mom was unfair in that decision. But if the good far outweighs the bad then I have accomplished something good.

But I my cluttered house still drives me crazy.


I am in the process of writing a series of posts on my Vietnam Adoption. I had thought it would be one post but at this point it is four. I have been working on this for a couple of weeks now and didn't want to start posting them until I am completely finished writing them. I hope to start posting them by next week.

These posts are a serious subject and I admit it has been hard to write. One of my concerns at this point is posting several days of serious posts so I am still struggling with how to handle it. I might post the adoption post and another family post if I have one on the same day. Or I could post all four spread out over a couple of days. I will give you some notice as to how I will do it before I start posting them.


Lindsey's mom said...

Your posts continue to amaze me! you are such a great writer and have such good insight! I do agree that life is about moments. My DH and I try hard to not worry about things since the death of our daughter and enjoy our kids and each other. Life is just to short! I started back to school on Aug 14 (school nurse). I so enjoy reading about your family!
God Bless
Kathy T
Anchorage Ak

Anonymous said...

my house looks like a tornado hit and stayed! The oldest said, "we are having company, mom is cleaning up the clutter" or "are we moving?" lol ahhh kids

Shelly and Family said...

Hi...I have been following your blog since you were in China and I must say, I so enjoy reading it and love following along in your family's adventures!

I too love the photos of your "newly" cleaned area....that looks like our house amd I only have one lol! How do you do it!

Tommi-Lynn said...

I lived in that tornado for over 5 weeks and we would live in your tornado anyday! You are the most amazing mom and an inspiration to me everyday.

Mom2Three said...

I have been cleaning like a mad woman today, so this post from you is especially hilarious to me right now! I couldnt' take it anymore!! I declared it "Entertain Yourself Day" and wouldn't you know it, the girls followed me around for a while helping, and then spent over two hours playing outside in the backyard! 1/4 of the house is CLEAN now!

Give them 10 minutes.

Kristin said...

Thanks for the kick in the pants. You absolutely know how much I needed that!
I will email you later---

The Sharp Family said...

Girl, if DSS saw my house right now they would for sure take my kids away! But wait... that would give me a good 24 hours to really clean! I agree that time spent with your kids laughing and being silly is far more important that getting the dishes done. Hope you are doing well. I look forward to your blog entries. Miss you!

JHS said...

This is my first visit to your site, so I presume that Darrell was your husband? Please accept my condolences. I can't imagine raising so many kids on my own and will definitely be back to read more later when I have a spare few moments.

Secondly, I'm very happy to see that you are participating in this week's Carnival of Family Life, hosted by Karen at Write from Karen. Be sure to stop by her site on Monday, August 25, 2008, and check out the many other wonderful submissions include in this edition of the Carnival!

I hope you will contribute in the future. Obviously, you have a lot to say on the subject of family -- your kids are adorable & I too would be proud of being called a "silly" mom. I think my kids would say -- at the ages of 21 and almost 17 -- that their mom is weird, but that's ok, too. :-)

Have a wonderful week.

Shen-Li said...

Hi Denise. I just wanted to say, you're an amazing Mum - six kids! Wow!

Anyone who has ever lived with children - especially young ones - will realise that keeping a house neat, clean and in order is impossible - definitely not if you plan to be present for your children and not always cleaning up things.

My MIL is a real neat freak, but even she has relaxed her requirements since my son was born. You just can't have all those toys around and expect that things will remain as they were before.