Family Photo

Family Photo

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Confession: I want to be glamorous.

My church has this amazing photography ministry and I love to see all the photographer's pictures on Facebook where they take a model out to these beautiful remote spots, style her, and then take beautiful pictures and post them on Facebook. Every time I see those pictures, I secretly yearn to be one of those models. So, when I saw the above picture, I decided to ask Djae (the talented photographer) if he would take pictures of my family at this place with balloons. My idea was brilliant. I could just picture it: Me, in a flowy earthy type dress, with flawless make-up and perfect hair (like the models of course), with my beautiful family all giggly with joy playing with the balloons in an open field at sunset. Perfection...

I don't know why I still fool myself. I should know by now that I cannot be beautiful and glamorous while caring for 3 children ages 5 and under in the "wilderness." Our family photo shoots are the furthest thing from glamorous.

There I was in my newly purchased earthy flowy dress hiking up a hill with a runny- nosed cranky 1 year- old on my hip and two pre-schoolers close behind whining about the bugs flying in their faces and the weeds scratching their legs. By the time we reached our destination my perfectly done hair was sticking to my sweaty forehead and my make-up was being washed off by the sweat beads dripping down my face. I am sure the models have their make-up person waiting in the wings to touch up in such occasions...not me. Instead, I had two pre-schoolers announcing that they had to go pee reeeeeally bad. Nice! So, I did what any good mom would do, I sent my husband down the hill to the car to get the wipees, ordered Noah to find the nearest tree, left the baby with the unsuspecting photographer, and ran to a faraway bush with Maia. By the time all kids' bladders were empty, poor Malakai was crying and the poor photographer was probably making a mental note to tell future clients that under no circumstances may he be used as a babysitter.
We proceeded to try to get some decent pictures with a fussy 1 year old who seemed to be terrified of the camera, 2 kids complaining about "pickers" in their socks and on their legs , and 1 very un-glamorous sweaty mommy begging and bribing everyone to comply while trying to ignore all the prickly things that were stuck in my dress. All the while, I pictured myself running through the field like one of those glamorous models throwing my head back and laughing like I was having the time of my life with my perfect hair, make-up, dress, and jewelry.

Reality: I have missed my window of time to be glamorous. That word is no longer in my vocabulary.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Resurrection Roll Fail

In one fell swoop, I have thoroughly screwed up my kids' Christian theology with my failed attempt to creatively illustrate the "empty tomb." Shoot!

I should have known better than to try to do something "crafty." I have no "craft" skills whatsoever, but I thought there was no way I could mess up on this simple project. I talked myself into doing it because it would be a great way to talk about Easter and its true meaning with my kids and I thought it would be a great tradition to start doing with them. So, I went for it.

The blogs I read which described these "resurrection rolls" made it look so easy. You just roll a marshmallow in butter cinnamon and sugar and wrap it tightly in a crescent roll, bake for 15 minutes, and "VOILA" you bite into an empty tomb because the marshmallow (the body of Jesus) has melted away (risen from the dead). So, we followed all the instructions as I talked to the kids about Jesus being put in the tomb after he was nailed to the cross. The only hitch in this portion of the project was keeping my kids from eating Jesus' body (the marshmallows). After all the tombs were filled, I put them in the oven and hyped the kids up with excitement over "Jesus' body" disappearing because He "rose from the dead!" I could barely keep myself from peeking into the oven! When the timer beeped, we all rushed to the oven and pull out our empty tombs. To my dismay, this is what we found...

The body oozing all over the tombs.

Noah: (Totally bummed) "Awww man, Jesus didn't rose! He's still in there."
Me and Ricky: (Stifled laughter...more stifled laughter...still more laughter)
Me: "It's ok buddy, just go have a seat and I'll fix them."

I proceeded to "fix" the tombs by scraping the oozing body off of them and then serving them to the kids. When Noah bit into his, he discovered that the tomb was in fact empty. However, Maia was a different story. She informed me that she had bitten into a piece of Jesus' body. I asked her to show me where it was and upon further inspection, I am happy to report that it was just a dense part of the tomb. Phew!

Needless to say this illustration contained many flaws...some may even say blasphemy probably due to my ineptness in the craft department. All this to warn you moms out there who are creatively challenged to proceed with caution when doing a creative illustration with core beliefs. You could be doing a lot a clean up.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Before and After

People say that when you have kids, you discover a whole new level of love. I completely agree. But, there is something else that is quite disturbing that having kids has revealed to me.

You see, before I had kids, I thought I could almost walk on water. I mean I was a sweet, kind, honest, good person. However, my view of myself has completely changed since having kids. I have discovered that who I really am is a thief and a liar who needs anger management classes and intense psychotherapy.

The other day after breaking up the 50th fight in the first hour of the day, repeating myself countless times, changing the 2nd nasty poop explosion, and being yelled at for an hour straight by my 11 month old for not bringing him food fast enough, I lost my temper and and threw a tantrum and told everyone to just stop and leave me alone. Then, I lied and told them that if they didn't stop fighting, the police would come and get them. Later, I stole a piece of candy from one of their goody bags (because I deserved it, of course) and when they asked if they could have some, I lied again and said there was no more.

So, there it kids have revealed that underneath that honest and calm facade was an angry thief and liar waiting to reveal herself...anyone know of a good therapist?... preferably one without kids...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What the Kids are Wearing

I've mentioned it before here on this blog, but since the topic of this blog has to do with this particular subject, I am going to say it again. I lack fashion sense. Yup. I don't actually own any accessories (besides my kids) because I don't really know how to pair them correctly with an outfit. As for clothes, you can always count on me to wear plain basic items that are quite safe and can be worn with comfortable under garments...ahem...that is no strapless or spaghetti straps. Thus, my wardrobe is boring and underwhelming. So, when I attended a wedding a couple of weeks ago, my good friend Kathy and I decided to scope out what "the kids are wearing these days" in order to try and spruce up our mom wardrobes. By kids we meant the kidless 20 somethings who are so stinking fashionable and cute. There we were, the two moms (me in a 4 year old very outdated dress, flashing unshaven legs, and zero accessories) scoping out all the "kids" and trying to decide if we could pull off the hip Spring looks that they were sporting. I took good mental notes and tried to figure out how to fit a shopping trip into my luck.
But...this past Thursday, I realized that I will be on stage singing this Sunday in front of thousands of people. I cannot look like a drab fashion-less woman in basic cotton mom clothes! This is my chance to go shopping and put all my mental notes to the test plus I stumbled upon a $50 gift card in my purse which was begging me to spend it. So, I did. I went to a store that I am sure all "the kids" shop at and ventured to buy an outfit complete with feather earrings and bangle bracelets (because that was in my notes). I am now praying that I do not look like a complete mismatched mess on Sunday. Hopefully, "the kids" like it!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

My Purse: A Symbol of Me?

This is my purse. This is what it looks like all the time. The good thing is that I have everything you could ever need in that thing. The problem is that it may take me years to find it. I don't think it symbolizes who I am as a know, put together on the outside and a complete mess on the inside. I think it is more of a result of being a mom to 3 kids who hand me things all day long. Since, I need my hands free at all times, to carry a kid or collect another kid item, I naturally throw whatever they give me into my purse and before you know it, I am getting a call from the show Hoarders telling me my husband called them about my purse. I really don't see any way around this problem though. I mean, between the stuff I need in my purse for me and all of the kid's snacks, and their trash, and sippy cups, and treasures, and socks, and toys etc., it is impossible to have a clean purse. Can I get an "Amen?!"...No? Okay then, let's play a game. See if you can locate the following items!

Medical receipts that should have been mailed in weeks ago
A check book that has no more checks in it
2 of Maia's hair bows in case we ever need to spruce up her look
A baby spork
2 pens
A Sharpie
Paper clip
Lots of pennies
A variety of healthy snacks: plantain chips, cashews, gluten free kid cereal
2 viles of lip gloss
A piece of a candy cane
Maia's sunglasses
Broken pieces of spearmint gum
Empty gum wrappers and package
An iPad Stylus
And Purell to clean my hands with after searching around in my purse for anything.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Parenting Strategy of the Season

I have learned after 4 years of parenting that I will never get the hang of this parenting thing. Right when I think I've got a handle on things, my kids begin a new phase or take on a new personality. Now, instead of getting disappointed and surprised by the curve balls they throw me, I am always on my toes, reading parenting books, and changing up my strategies. I'm always ready to reach in my back pocket and pull out a whole new play book. The season I currently find myself in consists of weekly doctor visits, 2 preschoolers who feel the need to fight constantly, and a baby who is always moving. The strategy of this season is "Diversion and Task Assignment."

Exhibit A:
At our weekly trip to Kaiser, I am on my own with my three tornadoes, waiting for the second time in the World's slowest moving line to pick up Malakai's prescription. The pharmacy is packed with people, my purse has been emptied of its snacks, my voice is nearly gone from all the reprimanding, I am sweating from trying to hold my extremely squirmy baby, and my full-of-energy preschoolers are being extra loud and are on the verge of breaking into a full blown fist fight. I am all out of bribe material and am doing a great job of avoiding eye contact with all the patrons for fear of the murderous looks I might catch. Here is where my "Diversion and Task Assignment" strategy comes in handy. I call the two older children over and miraculously they obey. I have them stand on either side of me so that they will not touch each other and I assign them 10 jumping jacks each. They begin to jump while I count. As they jump, they giggle hysterically and forget about the fight they were about to start. Malakai stays still for the first time in the whole day as he is thoroughly entertained by their uncoordinated jumping jacks. We are quite the spectacle but I have successfully avoided fist fights and melt downs and we have made it to the front of the line without the entire pharmacy being demolished by my tornadoes. The strategy of the season has worked.

Now it's back to the drawing board for a new play book!

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