Tuesday, February 25, 2014


I took Sweet Pea with me to a baby shower on Sunday.  She spent a good chunk of it with a tiny 6 week old baby girl sleeping sweetly in her lap, while I walked and swayed the snoozing twin sister. 

Ever since we left the party it’s been a full court press from both kids about having a baby brother or sister.  Sweet Pea has had the Birds n’ Bees talk, so she is advocating for adoption.  William, on the other hand, is totally bent that he never got to experience being the big brother to a belly bump.  So he would like me to have another baby please and thank you. 

Both kids are working it.  Yesterday they wrapped up Sweet Pea’s Baby Alive Doll (who was inexplicably only speaking Spanish) and carted her around while we ran errands.

At some point in our endless driving across town, Will decided that all my age appropriate answers to his very advanced biology questions weren’t cutting it.  About that same time Baby Alive started speaking English again…

Will: So how does the baby get into the Mommy’s tummy?

Me: When a Mommy and Daddy love each other very much…

Will: I KNOW that the Mommy and Daddy love each other.  But HOW do they put the baby in the Mommy’s tummy?

Me:  Well, God helps because it is the miracle of life.

Sweet Pea: Seriously??  I had to wait until the third grade to hear this, and you’re going to tell him RIGHT NOW?

Me:  We are just having a discussion.  Much like the discussions that we had when you were 6 years old.  It’s not THE discussion.  Just A discussion.

Will: You had to wait until the third grade to hear what?

Baby Alive: Mommy, I’m thirsty.  Can I have a drink?

Me: (I wish I had a drink.)  Will, do you remember that I told you that men make sperm and women make eggs?

Will: Yes, but not like chicken eggs.

Me: Correct.  Tiny eggs that are so tiny you can’t see them unless you have a microscope.

Will:  What about sperm?  Can you see those?  What do they look like?

Me: They are also tiny, but if you have a microscope they look like…uh…little bugs.  No, wait…like um...tadpoles.  (pause while I panic about the confusion I’m sure I just created.)  Anyway…so the sperm and the egg get together and start to form cells.  And then those cells split and grow into more cells.  And pretty soon the cells are big enough that you can see them without a microscope.  (I think I’m brilliant now because I have totally sidetracked him with fascinating science talk.) 

Will: How do the sperm and egg get together?

Me: Weeeellll…God helps.  That’s the part God helps with.  Because it is a miracle, making life.  (……silence……) You know, your body is always growing new cells too.  Your skin, and your bones, and your brain make new cells all the time.  Also your blood and…

Will: So I used to be a sperm?

Baby Alive: Mommy, can I please have a drink of water?

Me: (Frantically looking for a place to pull over and get poor Baby Alive some water.) Uh…well, not really because a sperm can’t make a baby without an egg.

Will: I was a sperm.

Me:  No, you were a sperm plus an egg.

Will:  Mom, can you tell me that whole long story again?

Me:  Er…you mean about when a Mommy and Daddy love each other very much?

Will: No, the one about how I was in your tummy and Sissy wanted to name me a girl name…
~Clover

Friday, January 31, 2014


I was just about to type something about not having made a New Year’s Resolution for the last few years.  And then I remembered posting that fireworks picture that you can (sadly) still see just a couple posts below this one.  So I reread last year’s resolutions. 

Geeze-o-peet.  Cranky much?  Last January was kind of a craptastic time for our little crew.  I am happy to report that while we are still working through some things, the sun is shining and I am not quite as angry as I was at the start of 2013.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t mean that the money tree in the back yard has sprouted any Benjamins yet.  But we took those resolutions to heart, and we are on the road to recovery.  Which is to say that we’re still broke, but we don’t care as much. 

Ironic, because I started typing this so that I could, for posterity’s sake, announce my New Year’s Resolution for 2014, which is:

I feel like that sounds waaay to deep for me.  My resolutions are generally more along the line of “eat more leafy greens” or “get and stay organized at work.”  This one is weighty and philosophical.  Spiritual even.  (I’m thinking I probably heard someone else say it and co-opted.  But no matter, it’s mine now.) 

Here’s the deal.  I had actually decided not to even make a New Year’s Resolution this year.  I was trying to think of one, but I don’t have time to get organized.  I would rather eat ice cream than go to the gym, and I’m for freaking SURE not cutting back on alcohol consumption.  So I was all, “You know what self.  You are a mom of two very busy short people who works a full time job, eats reasonably well, goes to church several times a month quarter, makes Halloween costumes from scratch, and maintains several friendships despite not really having time for any of that.  You do not have to have a resolution this year because you are already excelling at AWESOME.  Take a break.” 

But then we were at Girl Scouts and I asked my troop of 9 year olds what their New Year’s Resolutions were, and when it was my turn I just blurted it out.  “To be content.”  And that was that.  Not only did I say it, but I instantly felt really, REALLY committed to finding contentment. 

Then I spent the next several days railing at my husband and kids and anyone else who would listen to me about how there are piles of paper and candy wrappers, and rainbow loom rubber bands and clean and dirty laundry and toys and shoes and headbands and pop cans and dirty dishes and miscellaneous byproducts of living EVERYWHERE in my sphere.  I daydreamed about hanging a huge sign in the kitchen that said, “MOM IS ON STRIKE” and then refusing to get out of bed on Monday morning.  I wrote my angry mom manifesto in my head, and swore that the next person to leave their lunchbox in the car was NEVER getting cold lunch again.  EVER. 

Last Tuesday while I fumed and folded socks at midnight I thought about how the mess was making me really tired.  Except that the thought crept into my head that it wasn’t the mess that was making me tired.  It was the fuming. 

Oprah would be so proud of me, because the real “ah-ha” moment came next. 

You can’t kill yourself trying to make everything perfect so that you can sit around contentedly enjoying it.  You have to just figure out how to BE CONTENT even though it’s a total shithole up in here. 

Unfortunately for me, I like my stuff the way I like my stuff.  I have never been happier in my whole life than when I was a stay at home mom who ran our house like the CEO of a global organization.  We had structure.  We had systems.  We had really, really clean counters.  But those days are long gone.  (And quite frankly I am probably remembering it all wrong.)  This is our reality.  We like our reality.  We love parts of it.  So I need to figure out how to function in the disaster of it all.

2014, we have 11 more months to get that all figured out.