Monday, June 11, 2007

eyes wide open

Last night, as I was tucking our children in to bed after saying our evening prayers, I thanked each one of them for coming in to our world. There is nothing like the end of the day to make me appreciate just how wonderful these little people are and how truly blessed we are to have them in our lives.

And then the sun rises.

And a new day begins.

And there is nothing like the start of a new day to make me realize just how high-maintenance these little people are and if there was one thing I want more than anything other, it would be a supply of un-ending patience. And a tranquilizer.

It never ceases to amaze me how a little bitty, adorable looking and adorable sounding 30-pound person can fry your patience in such amazing ways.

For example, this morning, as Charlie set about trying (again) to fix our defunct toilet and the construction crew set about ripping the carpet out of William's room, while he cried "My cwib!! My woom!! OH NO!!!!", I tried my best to keep everyone entertained.

After playing in the house for a while, we moved the "party" outside. And while we were outside, I watched our children destroy the hydrangea that just recently erupted in to the most beautiful hot pink blossoms. I love this hydrangea and look forward with great anticipation to when it will bloom, so that I can enjoy it's beautiful flowers from our bedroom window.

Unfortunately, the plant stands no better chance this year then it did last.

This morning, I tried, once again, to stop our three children who were hell-bent on killing it.

I did.

I told them no.

I scolded them.

I redirected them.

But they were directed right back.

What I soon realized is that our children needed the hydrangea blooms for some special "project" they were completing. Apparently, they also needed buckets and buckets of sand - taken from their sandbox and dumped all over the patio, in to our planter boxes, and on top of their play kitchen.

Apparently, sand is no fun IN a sandbox.

Of course not!!

It needs to be carted around and dumped all over everything.

I really wish I could remember who told me purchasing a sandbox was a good idea for our children, because they need to be tarred and feathered. And sprinkled with sand and hydrangea blooms.

The dog, who was ousted from the garage because that's where the construction workshop has been setup ... was running around the yard and pooping in various locations ... and suddenly, I felt like my head was going to explode.

Rather than catapulting our children to the moon - I grabbed my camera. Because taking pictures instead of launching them in to space is always a better option.

Soon, Charlie heard my cries arrived on the scene and I retreated to get some work done.

Then, what seemed like no more than three minutes later, Charlie told me that he had fed the children lunch and put them down for a nap and was going to run to the store to buy MORE parts for the defunct toilet, because the line leading in to the commode cracked in two and water was spraying all over our bathroom.

When he returned home, Charlie was planning to hang the rest of the pictures that are currently scattered all over the floor in our dining room. AND, he was going to 'quickly' finish painting the 10x10 area in our kitchen and 10x5 area in our bathroom so that baseboards could be installed.

(At some point I need to write about "Charlie Time" - the incredible ability to believe that you can accomplish 72 hours worth of work in a mere 2 hours.)

My job was to finish working and keep my ears peeled for the kids. Who, just today, are all rooming together again - and will continue to room together for the next few months - because that's a drawback of having a three bedroom house when you'll have guests in town.

Seconds after Charlie walked out the door, I heard crying.

William was standing in Carolyn's crib.

Carolyn was standing in William's crib.

Elizabeth, was laying on the floor and bleeding, after having catapulted herself out of her crib and smacking her face on the dresser.

I remained in the room with all three of them for the next 45 minutes and actually fell asleep while on my feet, waiting for the kids to succumb to beautiful, heavenly slumber.

When Elizabeth and William were asleep and Carolyn looked like she was about to doze off, I stepped out. I picked up my laptop and began to work. Moments later, Charlie returned home with his toilet parts. Less than 10 minutes later, I heard William - a child who typically naps for 2 hours when in his own room - stirring.

When I went to investigate, I found Carolyn standing in her brother's crib, peeling open his eyelids.

After struggling with Carolyn and William for the next hour, it became clear that naptime was over. Even though Elizabeth was still sleeping, which means bedtime tonight will be horrific.

Tomorrow, I'm going to see about moving one of them in to our bedroom in a pack-n-play. Or, I'll just use a roll of duct tape to keep them all contained.

To recap:

The toilet is still broken.

There are still pictures scattered about our living room.

The bathroom still needs to be painted, as does the kitchen.

I haven't finished my project I was suppose to do while the children were napping.

However, I have updated my blog so that when my mother arrives in California this Saturday, her eyes will be wide open for what's in store.

Although, even if her eyes aren't wide open, I suspect Carolyn can help her out.


  1. Please do not disturb the kids sleeping arrangement. Virginia has invited us to stay at her place and we are coming to help ---not make work for you. How about at Nap time, putting one child in each bedroom if y ou are not sleeping there? Me and my ideas. Nevermind, they will be thru with naps soon and go to bed earlier.
    Help is on the way---I hope we will be help!

  2. Jen,

    Why don't you get crib tents? We're still using them on our three at 3 1/2! I tented mine at 2 (before they ever climbed out) because my niece broke her arm doing that. You don't HAVE to move them in to big beds because of the baby....will you really need that much extra work? The days are so hectic, give yourself some peace (and peace of mind) during bedtime.

    Good luck!

    PS Found your blog through Michele S, it's great reading!

  3. lol! It's not just your husband that is in his own time zone, I too have the same insane ability(or lack thereof) to squeeze 72 hours into a mere 24. One can dream, right?

    Great post:)

  4. Have you considered getting some crib tents instead of using duct tape? I'll grant you that the tape might be cheaper in the long-run, but the annoyance might be much greater.
    Oh wait, I just saw that someone else recommended the tents. Seriously though... check it out. Three toddlers safely zipped into their own bed might make your days a little saner.

  5. HEE! Great sandbox visual....been there done that. At my 1st house, my dh was so proud of the sandbox he built (as was I). UNTIL we discovered what a ROYAL pain in the behind it was for the exact reasons you expressed.

    New philosophy: sand is for the park and beach :)

  6. LOL, I can't believe how much this sounds like my everyday! Thank You for making me feel like I am the only one running on the hamster wheel!

  7. Dear Jen, Charlie and all:
    Love to you from peaceful Costa Rica. You will have this someday, too!
    We still like the suggestion of keeping William stable in his own space in his own room. Switching rooms too much for him, with new baby coming? gate his doorway, tho. Having been there overnite, we both feel that converting the living room into a guest space for your mom and Jim......put a door on it by the dining table. that way, William and girls can have their own secure spaces, you can bond with new baby, have some form of peace and safety for all who live and come there?
    We still like the idea of extending the dog run more into back yard for Molly with an outdoor dog house. She can interact with you all and would thrive more. Also, the children would have another diversion when new one comes? this, too , would free up great kid's playroom in garage. Just some thoughts as we parents are such pros, you know.
    We all live and learn. love and peace in the process is what counts. Blessing to Mary and Jim.
    See you in July. Poppa off to surf.
    Love, Dad and Kathleen

  8. Good grief, Jenna. Bring those adorable kids over to play. Get them out from under your feet (off your nerves?) for an hour or two, or three! Have I ever invited you over to Grandma Shirley's with us? The boys LOVE playing over there, and she has a whole section of dirt, er garden, primed for wee ones' shovels. Your kids would love it. She dynamited her sandbox, though. She, too, fell for the "Hey, wouldn't a sandbox be fun?" idea and lived to regret it.

  9. "Charlie Time"...
    My husband suffers from the same disorder. It's pretty bad. Our bathroom was to be remodeled in A FEW DAYS...two months ago. (April 14th to be exact)

  10. Everything takes 2 hours here. No matter what the project, it takes two hours. New bathroom? No problem, Greg could do it in two hours. He started ours 11 years ago.