Category Archives: Ministry of Reality

So many thinks to think . . .

and not a think to write.

My Boy has been home sick since yesterday around 11:00.  The phone rang around 10:35, and my caller ID said, Name of School.  And the school’s just not whom you want to hear from in the middle of the day.  Particularly when your pre-K-kid is in the bathtub and you have a massage scheduled for 100 minutes hence.  I told the nurse she must have some sort of complex because no one is happy to hear from her in the middle of the day.

So, I picked up my Boy from school.  After, of course, shooing the ever-so-easy-going Ruth out of the bathtub ahead of schedule, brushing and drying her hair as quickly as possible, skipping over the waiting-for-the-van, marathon bubble-blowing session to which we’ve grown accustomed, and rushing her over to the school twenty minutes before she was set to arrive for her own school day.  Poor Boy was green.  Thankfully, the nurse–who really is a lovely woman–offered to take Ruth to sit with her sister in the cafeteria until it was time for her school day to start, so that I didn’t have to drive her home simply to buckle her into the school van approximately 85 seconds later.

So, poor green Boy.  So sad.  So very sad.  My Boy is supposed to be full of energy and intensity, not lying like a lump on the couch.  So sad.

A good mother would end the post there.  But I make no claims about being a good, conscientious mother.  This mother, while sad for her poor, sick boy, is also sad for her poor lazy self.  I really wanted that massage I had scheduled yesterday.  I already payed for it with a Groupon-like thing.  And I waited for just the right day for it.  And yesterday was it.  And then it wasn’t.  And then, today I was desperate to just hang out by myself for a while, and my poor Boy is green once again.  So sad!  So sad for poor green Boy who loves food, but whose food is now playing tricks on him and seeking to jump right back out after it’s swallowed.  And poor, lousy, selfish mother who’d like to sit in silence for a while, to stew in her own frantic thinkings about major life changes and class schedules and childcare for two hours each of two afternoons a week . . .

Run on sentences.  They be my thang.

Poor green Boy appears to be less green now.  Actually he looks quite pink.  And he’s now enthusiastically looking at pictures of the Titanic in National Geographic.  I think he’s all better.  And I’m glad.  Because this is my Boy:  enthusiastic, full of non-fiction tidbits, and wild speculation.  That’s better.

I’ll think my thinks tomorrow.  Oh.  Never mind.  I won’t.  Ruth has no school tomorrow and the kids who do go to school will be home a little after 1PM.  I’ll think my thinks next week.  For, after all, next week is another week.



Filed under being The Mommy, Isaac, Ministry of Reality, SAHM, sick kid, silliness

The morning after . . .

This is actually my second attempt at a post today.  I accidentally canceled, and thereby deleted, my last post.  Whoops.  It’s OK.  It was no real loss.  I talked about how my kids are cute and my husband is wonderful.

But since a friend told me how my adoring public was desperate to know how last night’s dinner turned out (I added the “adoring” and “desperate”), I figured I’d do a follow-up.  And give further testimony against my nomination for Homemaker of the Decade.

Yesterday afternoon, after wasting time plotting out my agenda, I sat and had a leisurely lunch.  Because no time is better for a leisurely lunch than when one is totally pressed for time with a big agenda to complete.  I did indeed make my voyage to the next town over to procure ingredients for dinner and cake and, somehow, 60 more dollars’ worth of who-knows-what.  Upon returning home, I remembered that my guest water-closet was . . . er . . . how you say . . . in need of freshening up.  So, I added that to my to-do list, along with “Close All the Doors!!” of my second floor so I could bring my parents up to see our newly renovated full-bathroom without their being exposed to the frightening messes that lay behind every other door of the upstairs hallway.

Then I baked a cake.  Let me say that again.  Slowly.  I.  Baked.  A. Cake.  I baked a cake.  I baked a cake.  Lee done baked a cake, I kid you not!  (and they said it couldn’t be done!)  Then I made ganache to top the cake.  Then my parents arrived.  Over an hour later than anticipated, which was just fine by me.  As I was cleaning up the last of the cake-making mess, at 4:20, I said to my dad, “I have all the stuff to make some chicken dish for you for dinner, but pizza is sounding awfully good right about now.”  And he said, “We had chicken for lunch, pizza sounds great.”  And, who am I to argue with the Birthday Boy?

So, pizza it was!  A simple call to Ry and he arrived home from work at 5:10 bearing boxes of pizza.

That, my friends, is how it’s done.  “How what’s done?” you might ask.  How one gets oneself stripped from the list of nominees for Homemaker of the Decade.

And right now I’m attempting to keep myself forever off that list by delaying preparing the chicken dish tonight–like I planned last night–to tomorrow night by coming up with excuses such as, “Isaac has his piano lesson this afternoon, and I have to take him and pick him up during the prime dinner-cooking time slot.”  And, “Doesn’t that salmon defrosted in the refrigerator need to be cooked tonight?  Won’t it go bad?!” (Obviously, Ryan is the only fish-cooker in this house.)  And “Hey!  There is still a whole pizza pie leftover from last night.  Ryan and the kids can have the salmon while I eat the pizza!”

See?  See how it works?  Yes.  No prizes for me, friends.  Unless there’s a Homemaking Slacker of the Decade award out there somewhere . . .

Leave a comment

Filed under homekeeping, Ministry of Reality

Just warming up . . .

So, I’m wondering if I’m the only one who noticed that I said there were 18 months between August 25th, 2010 and January 30th, 2012 . . . good to know I still can’t add . . .

I’d like to write every day, just to get back in the habit, but I can’t make any promises on content.  I’m going quantity over quality at this point, in the hopes to just get some words on . . . screen?!  really?  that’s what we do now?  We get words on screen?  That just doesn’t sound as good as words on paper.  I like paper.

Today’s my father’s birthday and on a whim, this morning I invited him and my mom to my house for dinner and birthday cake, welcoming them to arrive around 3 o’clock, when the kids get home from school.  It all sounded so nice and lovely and kind and fun when I came up with the idea at 11:45 last night.  But at 11:40 by the light of day, it’s sounding a little crazy as I’m looking around at my messy house–I won’t even mention the dirtiness!–and dinnerless, cakeless kitchen.

Hmmm.  I guess this post is going the way of my old Ministry of Reality posts . . .

So.  Here are the things I must prioritize:

1.  It would be awesome if I fit a shower in here somewhere.  I won’t tell you how long it’s been . . .

2.  I promised dinner, therefore I must provide dinner.  To do so, I must
A.  Go procure the ingredients for said dinner.  I’m planning on a little chicken strip/mushroom/garlic/saucy/over rice thing.
B.  Cook the dinner.

3.  I promised cake, therefore I must provide cake.  To do so, I must
A.  Go procure the ingredients for said cake.  Chocolate.  Ganache.  The RyLee Special.  Except the Lee part of RyLee hasn’t baked  a cake in for. ever.  Note to self:  in the future, come up with brilliant plan to have people for birthday cake with enough notice for Ry to make the cake.
B.  Bake the cake.

4.  Dining room table is nearly cleared of crap.  Miracle of Miracles!  Yet I still must clear it of the bitty bits or who-knows-what-kinds-of-documents-on-paper.  I hate paper.*  And must clear off all six of our dining room chairs plus one more, so that everyone can sit down to dinner simultaneously.  Crazy standard, that.

5.  There’s some kind of pile of crumble on the living room floor.  Must vacuum it.  Must shovel clear a path from back door to living room so that my parents don’t trip and fall along the way.  Because it would suck to break my dad’s hip on his 66th birthday.  Probably would take away some of the charm of the whole birthday dinner and cake thing.

6.  Gee I’m hungry, I might like to actually partake of some lunch at some point this afternoon.

7.  And the shower.  Did I mention the shower?  I optimistically listed it as number one, but I really think it belongs here at number 7, which means it probably won’t happen till after the kids go to bed except then I’m going to be too tired to shower and will just want to collapse on the couch with my husband and my friends Mr. Goose and Mr. Mind-Numbing Box, which will mean the shower gets put off until tomorrow’s list of priorities, which could include a visit from you, if you call ahead.  I just recommend that you not sit too close to me.

See how nicely I outlined that?  (weird WordPress format notwithstanding)  And how well I procrastinated the task at hand by spending all sorts of time outlining it?  Yes.  That, my friends, is a demonstration of the mad skillz of the English major there.



*The irony is not lost on me.


Filed under blogging, Family Life, homekeeping, Ministry of Reality, SAHM

Ministry of Reality M – – er Tuesday

So, I can never seem to post on Monday.  It’s our Saturday.  Or Sunday.  Or Saturday and Sunday all tied up together, the day we collapse into a heap.

So, Tuesday it is.  This week at least.

We just had some of the busiest funnest craziest days.  County fair, electronic wonderland mouse-hosted play space, two amusement parks, an overnight trip to family/friends house (a sermon written and delivered), all between Wednesday afternoon and Monday night.  I don’t live like this.  This is more than my kids do in any given year.  This is more than my kids did in one three-year stretch between 2004 and 2007.  Oh.  And except for the final day, which included the second amusement park, my husband was out of town for these days.

What better chance than this for a Ministry of Reality blog post?

I thought I’d focus on today’s nutrition, continuing to bury my head in the sand over the who-could-count-that-high? number of hours of TV today.

As an indication of the depths of my exhaustion, the extent of the depletion of my energy and enthusiasm, and the heights of my apathy, I share the following:

Our lunch today is brought to you by the color white. In various configurations, my children have eaten white cheese puffs, white popcorn, and white macaroni and cheese (both the cheese and the macaroni are white).  And Hannah kept the white theme going by drinking about a quart of milk today.

You know what is the craziest part of all?  I feel compelled to justify the healthfulness of it all by sharing that the cheese puffs are all natural, the popcorn is homemade using organic, raw coconut oil, and the mac ‘n’ cheese is organic.


My kids are now happily, contentedly ensconced on the couch, watching the day’s zillionth minute of TV, entranced in a white-induced stupor.

It’s a good day.  🙂

Leave a comment

Filed under being The Mommy, Family Life, Ministry of Reality

Really real.

It occurred to me right after I published my Ministry of Reality post on Tuesday that it really wasn’t very Ministry of Reality-y.  I waxed poetic about the joys of sleep deprivation.  You’ve got to be kidding me!  It sucks to be tired, even if you’re doing it for a good reason.  Really.  It sucks.  In fact it sucks the life right out of you.  I forgot to say all that.  To make that post really real.

So I thought I’d make up for it by posting some reality of today.  I’m ready to sell my children.  I just wrote my husband an email telling him I had and received enough of a profit to renovate our bathrooms, replace our 86 year old windows, and have enough left over for him to retire tomorrow.  When reality bites you in the butt, dream big, I say.

Much screaming.  Much gnashing of teeth.  Accompanied by some intentional torture with a few lies tossed in.  And what do you have?  A crazy mother ready to resign.

I would like to continue this train of thought, ending it with some uplifting thoughts about these being the good ol’ days (and they are) or how God is blessing me through this time (of utter insanity) (and he is).  But maybe I’ll just end it with the vision of a lady hiding herself in her dining room, living an imaginary life through the pretty screen in front of her, paying no attention to the bathing-suited, life-vested, helmeted girlies running through the backyard sprinkler, and wishing she knew how to make a Margarita and lamenting the fact that even if she did know, she probably shouldn’t be drinking one at 3:00 PM when she’s the supposed “responsible one” at home charged with the care of three small children.

Yup.  That’s all I’ve got.  Just one big ol’ run-on sentence.


Filed under being The Mommy, Family Life, Ministry of Reality, SAHM

Ministry of Reality Monday, the morning after

So, apparently, there was no reality yesterday. I was just living in a dreamworld. And all was butterflies and roses.

Actually . . . there was a butterfly in my house yesterday. Ruthie somehow caught it the day before. Yes. Ruthie. Caught a butterfly. And no one knows how. She just showed up inside with a butterfly in Hannah’s butterfly habitat. Who could know how the three year old was able to capture the elusive butterfly? So, we kept the butterfly all that day, with Ruthie occasionally shaking the stuffing out of the net habitat thingie. That evening we put in a sugar water solution for it, as per the instructions of the well-informed eight-year-old Boy. Then yesterday afternoon, I was informed by my dear husband that at some point during the day our very delicate flower of a third-born pinched four of the butterfly’s legs off. “And the remaining ones are both on the same side of his body,” adds the Man, as if a lopsided butterfly is somehow worse than one who has to drag himself around. The butterfly mysteriously disappeared in the night. That’s our story and we’re sticking to it.

So, that had absolutely nothing to do with my intended goal of this post. Sometimes my brain just wanders off course, veers off my intended path. Probably not unlike a lopsided butterfly . . .

Anywhooo . . . I went with the “morning after” title because I lived my reality du jour–or is it du semaine, given the goal of this little blog project?–last night. Back when I first entered the wonderful land of Mommyhood, I was under the delusion er impression that the absolute worst mommy mistake one could ever make was to invite one’s offspring to sleep in the marital bed. Don’t do it. Not even once. They’ll never leave. It will ruin your marriage. I don’t even know all the reasons I was given, but it was a huge No-No.

Obviously I went against the grain. The Boy would not, could not sleep next to another person. So, with him it was no problem to maintain that carved-in-stone rule. His first sister, however, would not, could not NOT sleep next to another person. And you know what? Neither can her father. So, out of desperation and inspired by some new-found crunchy imaginary friends, I put Hannah in bed with me. And there she slept. Ever so well. So, we attached her annex and away we went. Both of us sleeping better than we had since several months before she was born. That’s where Ruth started, in the annex, the crib attached to our bed, but in time we discovered she, like her brother, preferred to sleep alone. Lo and behold! our babies appeared to have their own little personalities and preferences. Go figure.

Fast forward a couple of years. Everyone has settled into sleeping in his or her own bed. They each go to sleep at night rather quickly and easily. Except the used-to-be-a-perfect-sleeper Boy. Who has fits of insomnia at times. Not unlike his father. Go figure. The mini-me Boy can experience the same sorts of sleep disturbances as his predecessor. Even though he’s just a kid. Apparently he didn’t get the memo that insomnia can’t impact you until you’ve hit a certain age. I guess that age is somewhere around the point at which it will no longer impact your parents. Not until the age of “you’re on your own, kid.” But I digress . . .

Mostly everyone sleeps great, right through the night, right in their own beds, despite all the dire warnings of eight years ago. But sometimes, one or the other will have their sleep disturbed by stresses of developmental spurt, or changes in routine or life’s circumstances, or for no real apparent reason. Sound familiar? I’m pretty sure these are the sorts of things that inspired pharmaceuticals to invent Ambien. Except, again, these sleep disturbances are only permitted once one has passed the age of “you’re on your own kid.”

And now, 660 words in, I get to my point. Between last night and the night before, every kid in the house (and in the night it felt like surely there must be thirty of ’em in this place) had a sleep disturbance. Vacation, while fun, has certainly exacted a toll on the children’s little psyches. Isaac and Ruth both are suffering some severe sleep deprivation. Isaac’s results in insomnia. Ruthie’s results in random acts of violence against her siblings, but that’s a-whole-nother post.

I know it involved two nights, but it’s all one big blur. Maybe it was three nights. Yes. Three. Mostly as a result of getting back on track after vacation. One night, when it was super, crazy hot, Isaac and Hannah both went to sleep in our bed because I didn’t have the heart to make them try to fall asleep in their hot attic bedroom when my bedroom has an A/C unit. So, when Ry and I were ready to go to bed, Ry picked up and carried upstairs both sleeping children. (He really must stop doing this with the 80-lb 8-year-old, however.) About an hour later one of them returned; we all fell back to sleep.

This is when the last three nights all look very similar. At some point, I wake up and ask Ry to return the sleeping kid back to his/her own bed. Mostly because Ruthie is in the habit of coming in sometime shortly after the sun rises, thinking it’s actually morning and not 5:30, and if she’s not disturbed, she’ll lie next to me and sleep another hour or two (or even three, but that only happens on Sundays, when I need to be in the pulpit at 8:30).

So, with Ruthie’s habit ever in mind, I kick the older two out at some point. With our new King-sized bed, I barely notice they’re there, I can sleep and sleep. But for the last three nights, it seemed that a half-hour after we’d return one to his own bed, another would arrive. And again, put her back, then the third one comes, and so on until, I’m pretty sure, the whole neighborhood has shown up in our bed at some point during the last three nights.

Crazy? Yes. Tiring? A little. But you know what else it is? Sweet. And warm. And cozy. And butterflies (with all appendages accounted for) and roses. Because it’s real. Because sometimes people have trouble sleeping. Sometimes our nightmares wake us up, sometimes the stresses of our lives keep us up. But how wonderful to grow up in a world, and continue living in a world, where when the things that go bump! in the night can be soothed away with compassion and love and warm–though groggy–words of comfort and snuggles abounding. Don’t we all want to live in that world? I do.

And some day, very, very soon, my children will stop crawling into bed with me at night. And, if every older friend I’ve ever had can be trusted, I will miss it. I will miss the late-night snuggles. I will miss the Super Mom ability to soothe all ills. In the meantime, I hold my babies close and pray that they will someday find someone else who will not mind a little sleep disruption for the sake of offering them comfort as their much bigger, much scarier adult-sized boogie men crawl out of the shadows in the night.

Powered by Linky Tools

Click here to enter your link and view the entire list of entered links…


Filed under attachment parenting, being The Mommy, Family Life, Ministry of Reality, sleeping

Ministry of Reality Monday, Vacation Edition

We are on vacation.  One would think we would leave our reality behind and have an other-worldly trip of bliss whilst enjoying our days of together time in some mountains not our own.

Ha!  One would be wrong.  Very wrong.  Because, really, nothing brings out Reality like a trip with three small kids.  Shall I start with the never-ending drive?  I could.  But it would be so depressing.  And long.  The short version is the drive wasn’t.  We’ve had some trips where we average 50 miles per hour over the course of 529-mile journey, stops included.  This time we averaged just under 20 mph.  Ryan tells me we could have taken the stage coach to make better time.  Now, we did stop for an overnight in a hotel where we all got some really good sleep.  However.  That’s not the only problem.

Why is it that two girls who have to be begged to empty their bladders so as to maintain health and wellness every other day of the year needed to stop every half-hour during our 665 mile journey?  Why is it that it took us two hours to drive the first 50 miles?  Oh.  I know why.  It’s construction season in my home state.  And we had to drive past all those pretty orange barrels.  It had to be simply a barrel display, because I didn’t see a lick of construction.

All in all it took us 27.5 hours to arrive at our destination, 2 hours of which were spent listening to the song “Remarkable Cows.”  Now, I realize I can’t be trusted with numbers, but that is a factual account.  2 hours.  One song.  The way I figure it, since Ruthie sits in the wayyyy back of the minivan by herself, she gets to pick the music.  And she really, really likes “Remarkable Cows” and screams at everyone to sing it with her.  Fun times.  If you’re wondering what music accompanied the other 13 hours in the car, that would be “Mine Favorite Bob Songs.”  AKA, Veggie Tales.  I did get to listen to one whole Ella Fitzgerald CD (during which Hannah pointed out that one of the songs sounded like the music from Dumbo and I thought that was pretty cool) and, if I recall correctly, two other CD’s of my choosing.  Just one time through with each of them.  What we did learn, during the last 20 minutes of the journey, is that Ruthie’s quite the fan of Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young.

Oh.  I wasn’t going to talk about the drive.  I guess I did.  Oops.

What I was going to talk about is the fact that all three of our kids were in bed by 7:40 last night.  Asleep.  So I went out to get some Ben & Jerry’s for Ry and me (we eat ice cream pretty much every night before bed.  And sometimes I actually wonder why I’ve gained all this weight since marrying this man.).  I also took advantage of the fact that in the state we’re visiting one can buy Adult Beverages pretty much anywhere.  I think the lemonade stands are likely selling the hard stuff.

So, here we were, Ry and me, getting the kids back on their regular sleep schedule, ready to hunker down and enjoy some booze and frozen, sweetened fatty goodness, and lo and behold! the Boy has a night terror.  Followed by his mostly-conscious-but-still-not-right crying jag.  So, he came down to sit with us on the couch for a bit.  Then we sent him back to bed.  His head can’t have had more time than to just touch his pillow, when Hannah came walking out of her bedroom (they’re sleeping in separate rooms this trip), whimpering that she couldn’t sleep.  The timing was impeccable.  Then they repeated it, once more, for good measure: Hannah to bed, Isaac back downstairs, like a seamless passing of a baton. If you saw it on a movie screen, you would have declared it contrived.  Unless, of course, you have children.  Then you’d just call it Reality.

I so wanted to end my blog post there. I really did. Because it’s so pithy. And witty. But you know what? It’s not Reality. Because the reality is, I’m writing this on Sunday evening, when “last night” took place, so that I don’t take time away from my kids to write it on Monday, and it’s 10:20 PM and I last saw a kid about 5 minutes ago when Hannah came out of her room for the I-don’t-know-how-many-th time. She had been out and back in and back out and hungry and fed a cheese stick (teeth be damned, tonight) and sent back to bed then back out and lonely (despite the fact that her little sister is in the bunk bed beneath her, where she begged to have her sleep, refusing to share the big bed with her upstairs) and back to bed upstairs in the same room with Isaac (could that be the problem? She’s used to sleeping with Isaac?) and back downstairs and hot so back to her original bed and back out because her water bottle got stuck behind the bed (somehow, I’m not sure how).

I’d like to yell and threaten and throw a fit, but the Reality is, it’s late and I’m exhausted, but you don’t see me going upstairs to bed. Nope. I’m too charged up with being in a new and strange place, it sounds funny and smells strange and we have a big day to look forward to tomorrow and the bed is squishy. And I still have my usual bed-mate, and don’t have to sleep alone. It’s hard to get upset with a five-year-old girl who’s having the same sleep problem I am but who isn’t allowed to help herself unwind and relax with the use of an Adult Beverage.

Poor baby. I think she needs a snuggle. I do.

If you go to soggymommy, you can find more Ministry of Reality blog posts. And you can add your own to her Blog Hop thing. I can’t figure out how to add the thing to my post.


Filed under Family Life, Ministry of Reality, sleeping