Thursday, January 31, 2013

Math Parent-Style

Math word problems. Always a blast in school. Super fun figuring out train arrival times and hourly wages and the such. i'm fairly certain it's been awhile since you brushed up on some word problems... mental exercise for the day momma (or daddy) style:

1) There are 2 children who start out with 1 inflated balloon. There are 2 melt downs over who is playing with said balloon. There are two more balloons added to the fun. There are then 4 more melt downs. One over the younger sibling being better than the older at blowing up balloons, 2 over balloons popping, and one over rules to an invented balloon game. It is 11:24 AM. Will both children have to take "sleeping naps" after lunch?

Answer: 100%

2) You went to bed at 10:30 PM last night. It is now 2:52 PM. You were awaken during the night 2 times to feed babies, one time due to power flickering off and on, 6-12 times due to loud frozen rain and super wind gusts, 2 times due to storm door being blown open, 1 time due to middle of the night poopy diaper incident, and 3 times due to spouse sleeping restlessly. Drinking caffeine after 4 PM will make you lie awake for 40-60 minutes at bedtime. You've already ingested the one cup of coffee your stomach allows you to have without complaining. Do you chance the second cup in hopes of accomplishing something today?

Answer: Skip the second cup of coffee and actually finish first cup that you thought you already finished but really just hid in the microwave for awhile... quickly before 4:00.

3) It takes child #1 4.5 minutes to get dressed, 47 seconds to brush teeth and hair, 1.8 minutes to re-brush teeth and hair after mom checks them, 13 seconds to locate book bag, 6.1 minutes to explain why she is super excited about last weeks music class project, 2 minutes to put on shoes and jacket, and 3.1 minutes to locate book bag again before heading out the door. Child #2 takes 2.6 minutes to get dressed, 8 minutes to locate socks that are put away where they belong, 42 seconds to turn his clothes around so pants and shirt are not on backwards, 1.4 minutes to brush teeth, 0 seconds even thinking about book bag, 3.2 minutes wandering aimlessly around, and 20 seconds to put on jacket and shoes (on the wrong feet of course) before heading out the door. Child #3 & child #4 are infants. They take a combined total of 3 diaper changes at 38 seconds per change, 3 outfit changes (including 1 outfit change for parent due to diaper changing incident) at 2.4 minutes per change, 2 feeding sessions at 9.7 minutes per session, 1 diaper bag prepared at 4.6 minutes of preparation, and 3.9 minutes of buckling and bundling into car seats while infants protest loudly. What time would this family have to begin preparing to leave in order to make it to school by 8:37 AM?

Answer: Seriously. This is an honest question. i need to figure this out. Please crunch the numbers and let me know. Mind you that i don't function kindly before 8AM so no answers including mention of the 6 o'clock hour will be accepted.

4) The cookie recipe calls for 1 box of cake mix, 1 egg, and 1 melted stick of butter. Children spill 1/23 of the cake mix on the counter. Four pieces of egg shell .17 cm in diameter fall into the mix. 2% of the stick of butter explodes on microwave walls during melting process. Children take turns mixing the dough at approximately 20 beats per minute. There are 2 cookie sheets each 11 inches wide. 16 cookies fit on each sheet. There is only 1 rack in the oven that is 20 inches wide. It takes 8 minutes to bake cookies to gooey perfection. How long will it take the parent to give in and just eat pre-made cookie dough straight from the freezer?

Answer: Mmm... cookie dough...

5) There are 6 people in the household. 2 of the 6 are miniature humans who use very few dishes. 2 of the 6 are grown adults capable and willing to put dirty dishes in dishwasher and clean dishes away. 2 of the 6 are learning to care for their own dishes... slowly. There are 15 metal spoons, 16 metal forks, 21 plastic spoons, and 11 plastic forks (that we can currently find). If 2 of the 6 eat lunch outside of the house 5 days a week, and 4 of the 6 eat supper together off of plates (or bowls if cereal is the main course), how many hours does it take to keep the kitchen from looking like a disaster?

Answer: All day, every day

How'd you do? Feel free to grade yourself on a sliding scale. Consider that your mental workout of the day. Bonus points added for clever answers posted in the comments. Also please note that my dear friend explained how to add a nice "follow by email" option to my page so you can put in your email if you'd like to see when i post :) Smile, stay warm & help those who aren't today!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Payne-filled Truth

Lest you be fooled by posted photos of grinning babies and hugging siblings...

Lest we lose the celebration of passing trials in the time that passes with them...

Lest we forget what the start felt like when our normal has been adjusted...

Let me be clear...

The babies do cry. Sometimes in tandem. Sometimes in alternating shifts so that no moment goes uncovered. Sometimes in the midst of me trying to cook, or sleep, or pee. Sometimes it makes my brain shut off. Sometimes it makes my heart break. Other times the angry "L" sounds make me chuckle. Sometimes I take pictures... Because I'm ultra compassionate.

We do fight. Sometimes loudly. Sometimes silently stewing in our icey corners. There are obnoxious bickerments. There are heated discussions about real, true, hurtful issues. The dangerous combination of moderate sleep deprivation and slight hormonal irregularities (feel free to guess who) creates the perfect environment for short tempers. Sometimes fighting comes too easily... While other times you step into it knowing its going to hurt... but not nearly as bad as ignoring the issue and pretending it doesn't exist.

Working out hurts. I don't always feel motivated to run. The lack of core strength makes me feel like my guts are going to spill out mid-stride. Sometimes I dread going to the gym. My abdominal muscles always complain about my workout in the middle of the night when it's time to get up to feed a baby. Sometimes I celebrate a 10 second plank. But I get stronger each time I push thru the pain... and it's worth it.

i'm not super mom. There's a sliding scale of "dirty" when it comes to laundry in this house. i aim to bathe our children twice a week... and often fail at achieving that lofty goal. My children's coughing annoys me. My infants watch TV. Cooking is not my forte. Maverick sleeps on his belly. The preschool teacher sometimes calls me to see if i was planning on picking up Mic. More often than i should admit supper consists of popcorn & yogurt in front of a movie... i'm not advocating for any of these things... Just giving you an honest glimpse into my mothering reality.

Medical needs are demanding. A single tube feed requires pumping (or mixing special formula), cleaning the button & site, attaching the tubes, priming the bag, dissolving & mixing & adding the medicine, rinsing syringes, hanging the bag, setting the dose, remembering to actually press "run" before the irritating beeping begins, snuggling & practicing latching & sucking, waiting for feeding to finish, unhooking, detaching, rinsing & storing tubes, storing bag... Until the next feeding... Which needs started in about 2 hours. Having the oxygen tube in means that one baby has to stay in the living room. No carrying him to comfort him while getting a quick bite to eat or bringing him with me to sort laundry. Also said baby is incredibly Houdini-like with getting the cannula out of his little nostrils. The tubes cause nose bleeds and tripping hazards. Spot checking his O2 sats with a home machine means spending 3-8 minutes holding the sensor on his foot trying to get the pulse ox to actually read his levels. It means running out of bags on Christmas Eve & formula over the weekend. It means phone calls daily about medical coverage & appointments & supplies & deliveries & therapies... & SO much paperwork. It means 3 specialists, 2 general care doctors, a home nurse, a therapy team of 5, 2 medical supply companies... We regularly drive 2 hours for his appointments & go once a week to his local doctor for weight checks... And have already had an emergency room visit on a weekend. This is a lot... A lot of blessings we never imagined. The people who help us care for him are amazing & we get the privilege of adding them to our family. We rejoice over the fact that I simply get to nurse both babies now... A different perspective than if we hadn't started with tubes. We recognize that God has healed & strengthened his lungs instead of taking breathing on his own for granted. I don't add this paragraph to complain, but to remember clearly and to rejoice.

Life in our family is messy, loud, crazy, stressful, busy... Laundry & dishes & toys & papers & dirt pile up... Boo boos happen, hands don't always get washed, things break... We need help just to function... but that is some of the beauty of life. It's real... and hard... and full... and worth it!

So never judge other lives based only on still shots into it... And most definitely don't compare your private worst with other's public best.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Resolving Resolutions

i'm going to use my blogging time to do a little bragging right now...

i'm 50% finished with my New Year's resolution!!! That's right, folks, it's January 2nd & this chick is almost there! Be jealous. I'm THAT productive.

Sure, my New Year's resolution declaration was made around 8PM on NYE (after the kids were already asleep) and it went something like this"i vow to bathe our children this new year... like they all need baths tomorrow." Brice, in his usual support of my aiming for high goals, agreed... Later the next evening he assured me that since i had made it as a New Year's resolution that i have all of 2013 to make it happen (since it wasn't happening yesterday as needed). i love that man.

So here i am... sitting with 2 freshly bathed baby boys feeling like a resolution rock star. i'm not focusing on the crusty older kids who may or may not smell kinda like Fritos (and they aren't getting showered tonight either because they're at AWANA). After all i'm probably way ahead of reaching my New Year's goal than other slackers :)

This has got me thinking about New Year's resolutions that i should make but i'm not making... want a list?

Get Organized. Papers sit in piles around here & reproduce. i'm fairly certain they feed on the important papers that i placed in specific places in order to regenerate more work pages and receipts for things i don't even recall purchasing & most certainly don't need. i have multiple baskets set around my house so that i have lots of places to search through what i don't need looking for what is vital. But the filing cabinet we bought 2 months ago is still in its box & "sort thru papers" has been on my "to-do-list" for so long it's permanently burned into the dry erase board... so instead of resolving to be more organized i've decided to just call "searching through papers" my hobby. That way i can also skip the resolution to start an interesting hobby.

Eat More Whole Foods. i'm gonna instead just aim to actually finish the whole poptart that i started for breakfast before it's time for lunch. That way i can eat my kids leftover gogurt & american "cheese-product" without failing on any resolve. i'm totally laughing at the cringing my fitness friends are doing just imagining the junk in poptarts and american cheese slices... hehe :)

Begin Couponing. If i don't start this one then i can kinda claim that it's a offensive strategy in my war against paper, right? Coupons are super. They save money. They should be used by all who are capable. In fact... if any of you are really good at couponing & have extra deals you want to pick up for me while you're at it i'd gladly pay you back what you spend.

Have a Date Night Weekly. Since we have 2 nursing infants i'm instead going to resolve to go on a date any time it's even slightly possible. This shall include trips to Kroger or Walmart or to doctor appointments in Morgantown or catching a movie on Netflix... as long as i'm with my superb husband i'm just going to enjoy him. Although this resolution might suddenly appear at the Hunger Games movie release...

Lose Weight. i'm already bummed out from typing that. So instead i'm gonna pull from my "Waist Management" arsenal & decide just to focus on enjoying what i eat. Even if it's eaten over my nursing baby... or off my preschooler's plate... or while doing 6 other things. Food is yummy. i don't want to be too busy to notice that.

Recycle. Can i just complain about not having road-side recycling pick up & call that close enough? i'm already terrified that our weekly "burn" pile is going to come to life one night & consume a small child (we have a few around & none of them run very fast).

i'm not against making resolutions at any time of the year. i sincerely believe in doing what's hard for what's worth it. But lists like these can often lead us to feel inept & give us the false sense that we're failing at some unseen race. So as we start this New Year i want to share with you what Jesus often whispers in my ear... "kimmy, kimmy, you are worried and upset about many things, but ONLY ONE thing is needed. Choose the better thing of sitting in My presence & it will not be taken from you." Check out Luke 10:38-42... insert your name in verse 41... and have a year filled with sitting at Jesus' feet. You won't regret it.