Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Confession #21: I play games.

I love playing games.  I love children.  I despise playing games with children.

By nature, I am a competitive person.  No one who knows me well will argue with this statement.  When it comes to playing, I want to win.  That is my objective.  Mix this with competition with a child, and tears will naturally ensue.

When my daughter asks me to sit down and play Go Fish, I am more than happy to drop everything to do so.  Halfway through the game, I realize this is a big mistake.  I'm out for blood, and she's my victim.  She yells at me that I'm changing the rules just so I can win.  Unfortunately, I can't turn it off.  I tell myself that not letting her win is teaching her a life lesson.  It is, isn't it?

Candyland?  Tears.
Old Maid?  Tears.
Guess Who?  Tears.
Chutes and Ladders?  Tears.
Crazy Eights?  Tears.
Perfection?  Tears.
Connect Four?  Tears.

As Christmas approaches, I realize that there are some hidden opportunities to cry beneath that wrapping paper.  I'm only hoping that one of those games is one where she is better than I am.  I'm tired of wiping the tears when I beat her over and over again.

Ahhh.....I think I have finally remembered the one game she shall win:  Memory.  After three kids, I have none.  I see some success in her future.  I have a feeling that her tears will turn into sunshine, and for this, my competitive nature will subside.....just this once.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Confession #20: I never said I was a good mom.

This weekend I was given a gift.  A really nice, extravagant, over-the-top gift.  My children were all out of my home from 1:45 p.m. on Friday until 1:05 p.m. on Sunday.  Do the math, count the days, the hours, the minutes. I was child-free for that much time.  Blissful is the way to describe those moments.....that amazing gift I was given.

In the middle of all my celebrating and whooping it up, I had a conversation with another mom.  I made mention that I had been childless for a day already.  I said, "I think this might be the first time Michael and I have been in our own home without all three of our children.....ever."  I continued to speak, uttering these words, "And I felt....."

At that time, my co-conversationalist interrupted me with one word, "Lost?"  My heart, I did not feel lost without them.  I felt happy.  I felt relaxed.  I felt free.

I struggled to continue the conversation because I felt like such an ass for not missing my kids.  I lied and said, "Yeah, it's like I don't know what to do with myself."  However, I did know what to do with myself the entire time they were gone.

1.  Showered -- uninterrupted
2.  Put on make-up from start to finish -- uninterrupted
3.  Sat on my couch and watched football -- just because I could
4.  Ate some chips -- without sharing with anyone
5.  Used my small purse -- the one that doesn't have bottles, formula, diapers, and wipes
6.  Listened to my iPod -- the songs I wanted to hear
7.  Drank a pop -- without having to fill up sippy cups of sugar-free Kool-aid for anyone else
8.  Talked to my husband -- like a real conversation and everything
9.  Left bubble wrap on the floor -- just because I could
10. Slept in -- twice

As I look at my list of things I did in my own home, none of them are grand gestures of freedom, yet every parent knows how liberating it is to be in charge of only yourself.  I didn't organize, clean, or launder anything.  This weekend was about me.  Not about me getting stuff done.  And, damn it, it was amazing.

That brings me back to my original confession:  I never said I was a good mom.  However, when those little ones returned home, I was ready to take back the role of mother, and boy, did it feel good.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Confession #19: I didn't go to McDonald's.

How many days in the week?  Seven.
How many meals in a day?  Three.
Quick math problem:  7 x 3 = 21.
Then, when you take 21 x 52, that equals 1,092.
Add in miscellaneous snacks, drinks, bottles, baby feedings, etc., and that's a lot of shopping for, preparing, serving, and cleaning up after kids when you're at Stay-at-Home Trophy Wife.

I realize that it's all part of this glorious job that I have, but 1,092 feedings for children who don't strive to eat balanced meals is a hell of a lot of cooking....not to mention the complaining from wee ones when something green hits their plates.

So sue me if I take them to McDonald's and listen to them gleefully cheer at their new Smurfs that came in their Happy Meals.  Sue me that sometimes I want an easy afternoon of making lunch.  Sue me.  I don't care. Well, I guess I do kind of care....I hate feeling like a slacker that I couldn't even throw an Uncrustable on a plate and call out, "Lunch is SERVED!"

It's my little least it used to be.  Once those little boogers became old enough to rat me out to my husband, it became a game of hiding cups and saying, "I didn't go to McDonald's."

Do you know what's even worse than trying to hide a quick lunch in the drive thru from my husband?  Telling your former student who works in the drive thru and recognizes you every...single....time...., "We really don't come here that often.  We just came for the Smurfs.  Honestly."  Even I didn't believe myself on that one.

However, I have figured out that McDonald's calls them Happy Meals for some reason....because this mom drives away with lunch made and satisfied kids....and that makes her happy.  Oh-so-happy....and that's one less meal I'm making this week.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Confession #18: Life is a vacation, and I'm the help.

I'm sure every mom feels overwhelmed by day-to-day tasks every now and again.  I'm no different.  My kids aren't more challenging (at least I hope mine are quasi-normal).  However, I had a revelation the other morning as I was getting ready.  Travel along this journey with me.

You know how when you go on vacation, you sort of act like standard rules don't apply?  You stay in a hotel room, and though you always make your bed at home, you leave these sheets in an utter mess.  You always hang up your towel when you're done with it at home, but in a hotel, you leave your towels -- six to be exact -- in a wet mess on the bathroom floor.

You have all your meals made for you, and you always get to pick what you want.  If you don't like it, you can always send it back.  On vacation, you eat dessert more than you would if you were just at's an extra little splurge, and it feels good.

You have no household responsibilities when you're on vacation. There's nothing to clean, wipe, dust, vacuum, tidy, mow, or launder.  You're pulled away from all of those tasks to live blissfully unaware that such tasks even exist in this world!

While on vacation, you seek to be constantly entertained.  Whether it's movies, swimming, drinks at a bar, golf, people-watching, sunning yourself, you find yourself being entertained and happy....oh-so-happy.

Doesn't that sound nice?  Isn't that why people go on vacation in the first place?

Welcome to the life of a child.  It's just one huge vacation.  How kids feel as though they have anything to complain about is beyond me. 


Mommy:  "Because it's the only damn thing I've asked you to do all day while I've been conquering my mile-long to-do list before leaving the state for 10 days while also managing three kids and all their needs/wants/insane requests.  I would think that putting your shoes away would be the least you could do to contribute to this household."

Child 2:  "You're mean, Mommy."

The life of a child is a vacation, and you can call me Consuela.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Confession #17: I run late.

This confession is short and not-so-sweet.  Now that I have children, I run late.  It's not ever because of the children that I'm running late, it's because of the children that I run late.  This might not make sense yet, so read on.

My personal sense of timing is impeccable.  I know exactly when to get in the shower in order to be ready by 6:15.  I know that I need to be in the car by 10:38 in order to get to the doctor's office by 10:50.  I know this.  I can do this.  However......

I have now realized if I get any place a little too early, I must be the sole entertainer for three children.  That's a tough job some days.  I would rather walk in late somewhere, possibly causing others to be frustrated, than to have to put on a dog-and-pony show for my Trio of Fun (as I affectionately call them) while we wait for Activity XYZ to begin. 

If you're the type that is okay with wrangling the herd while you wait, wait, wait, then good for you.  I'll be at home, making another cup of coffee in my Keurig.  I'll see you when I get there.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Confession #16: I wonder if these tendencies are for always.

Now that I'm with my children more hours than ever, I have begun to notice their tendencies more than I did before.  Sometimes it's a blessing because you fall head-over-heels in love with your child's little mannerisms.  Other times, you pray away the behaviors in hopes that your child grows out of them.

Example conversations people have with each other:

"L really loves to play with her stuffed animals and read about animals."
"Oh, really?  Maybe she'll be a vet."
"Yeah, that'd be great!"

"Q is great at throwing the football."
"Oh, really?  Maybe he'll play football for the Chiefs!"
"Yeah, that'd be great!"

"H is a really happy baby!"
"Oh, really?  I bet she'll have lots of friends when she's older."
"Yeah, that'd be great!"

Could you imagine if people did the same with the less-than-desireable traits?

"L seems to really like to put things in containers and keeps every single thing she's ever gotten."
"Oh, really?  I bet she'll be on 'Hoarders.'  What a pig!"
"Yeah, isn't that great......."

"Q likes to shut cabinets and open doors.  He just can't stand them being open!"
"Oh, really?  I bet he'll be paralyzed by obsessive-compulsive disorder, completely altering his every decision."
"Yeah, that'd be great......"

"H is only happy when she's eating."
"Oh, really?  I bet she gets trapped in her house when she weighs 1,000 pounds when she's 25 years old."
"Yeah, that'd be great......"

As a parent, I get too consumed by my children's tendencies, whether they're positive or negative.  I must stop thinking that every marvelous thing will lead to world-famous status, and I must stop thinking that the little annoyances will doom my child to eternal social exile.  Kids are kids.  They grow in and out of things, and I'm gonna love my children at the end of the day, no matter what.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Confession #15: I'm not very good at guessing.

Fresh from playing a guessing game with my daughter, it turns out that I'm not a very good guesser.  She would draw something, and she would give me 11 chances to guess what the items were.  I failed horribly on these three, and she told me I was horrible and that I wasn't even trying.  Let's see what you think:

Drawing #1: 

I began to wonder if maybe I should be taking her to some sort of therapy on a weekly basis after seeing her budding drawings.  I guessed at least three times on each item, and I just couldn't get my mind far enough out of the gutter to get the right answers.  Let me know what you think, and from here on out, I'm going to be the one doing the drawing.  No matter how crappy my footballs or flowers may be, at least they don't resemble man or lady parts.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Confession #14: I committed a parental sin.

I let my daughter's pants get too short.....and took her out into public.

Please forgive me.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Confession #13: I only like the idea of toys.

Ahhhh....fresh off the thrill of Christmas and on the cusp of my son's birthday, I must make another confession:  I only like the idea of toys.  In all actuality, those little things drive me nuts and only cause me headaches and more opportunities to play referee in my own home.

You're with me, right?  You go to Target in search of the perfect toy for your little guy or gal, niece or nephew, random stranger kid from preschool, etc.  It's amazing how you eye the wares in the toy section and think about how much fun your little person will have with the toy.  You spend lots of time (10 minutes max.) hand-picking the proper Batmobile, Littlest Pet Shop creature, or sand art kit.  It sounds like the kiddo will have endless hours of fun with the selected toy allowing the parents to sit back and enjoy some kid-free moments of bliss.

Reality:  the kid never loves the toy as much as he should.  Reality:  the parents hate the toy more than you will ever know....even if you're the parent who purchased the gift.  Reality:  the little pieces don't matter and always get lost or eaten too quickly.  Reality:  toys seem like fun, but they're really only fun if you drop everything and sit down to show your child how to properly play with the damn thing.  Reality:  who has time for that?  We buy the toys so the kid can spend some time "exploring his imagination".....alone. 

The harsh reality, no matter how much or how little you spend on toys, is that they will never be just right and there will never be "enough," yet there are always too damn many.

Confession #13.  Deal with it.  I've got a birthday party for which I must prepare.....including wrapping another set of toys......*sigh.*

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Confession #12: Reading is overrated.

My oldest child is learning to read, and while I should be celebrating this, I am not.  I just spelled a naughty word to a friend on the phone, and she sounded it out.  When she said it out loud, she looked at me questioningly, as though she had never heard it before.  I felt a small, very, very small, victory at that moment that her virgin ears hadn't heard that expletive. 

Then I felt very deflated that life is changing.....the life with a juvenile reader.  They can sound out enough stuff to cause trouble, yet they read at a snail's pace, which makes reading together torturous.  I know this phase will pass.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Confession #11: I maintain false composure.

So I just endured one of the worst 20 minutes of my parenting life.  You know that damn saying, "If it can happen, it will...."?  Well, it did.

The sweet Valentine's Day holiday is upon us, and since I am basically the slacker parent we all know and love, I began working on a treat to bring to my daughter's class that would dazzle in the eyes of the kids.  However, when my daughter told me last night that she was starting to not feel very well, I told her, "No.  You're fine.  You're going to preschool tomorrow."  I was in denial that my hard work might not be recognized by the 5 and under set.....and, who am I kidding, their parents as well. 

So I shouldn't have been surprised when she awoke in the middle of the night to grab my husband and tell him that she didn't feel well.  She ended up getting sick, etc. and ultimately stayed at home from preschool.  However, in my selfish desire to have the cupcake treats I made with the My Little Cupcake cute-as-a-button cupcake creator pounced upon, I kept telling her, "Oh, if you're feeling better, which I'm sure you will be, we'll still go to the party."  (Translation:  You're going to the party, no matter what, and you'll wear that darling white dress with hearts all over it, as well as the matching tights, so everyone can marvel at the glorious creations I slaved over.)

Let me try to Reader's Digest this part of the story.  L wakes up at 2:40 and is dressed immediately.  Q is awakened at 2:43 and is dressed immediately.  H is already dressed, and is awakened and placed in car seat at 2:46.  The three children are placed in the car at precisely 2:49.  Cupcake pops loaded at 2:51.  Arrive at preschool to unload three children and cupcake treats balancing precariously in cardboard box at 2:53.  Enter class, children (and parents) oooh and aaaah over cupcake treats.  I beam.  I thank My Little Cupcake for creating such an adorable treat maker.  L makes craft.  Q plays with dinos.  H wets through her diaper.  Change diaper.  Get snacks for L.  L eats carrot.  L throws up carrot.  I pack up H, Q, and L, and carry remaining cupcake treats out of preschool, lug children and snacks back to car, and arrive back at home at 3:18.  All of these tasks are completed while maintaining complete composure, class, and tact. 

Enter home:  throw down box, plunk down car seat, yell at children to put away shoes, get Q in seat to eat treat.  Q potties in his pants and in his booster seat in kitchen, and I try not to scream, stomp, and pout in my utter frustration at what has occurred in the past 25 minutes.  H decides the only thing that will calm her is a bottle.  Yet, I am dealing with pukey L, potty Q, and pouty me. 

Where is that composure that is ever-present in public?  How can I keep it together when I know others can see me?  How in the world have I ever received compliments from strangers on my ability to diffuse children's temper tantrums when I go all "Mel Gibson" when I get at home?  I have no idea.  This one is a stumper that will last until the end of time, but I guess I'm just glad that I can keep up a false front while under scrutiny in public.  And hopefully, just hopefully, my children will forgive me some day.....

Monday, February 7, 2011

Confession #10: Parenting is tiring.

READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

4:55 a.m.:  fed baby
5:37 a.m.:  couldn't go back to sleep
5:39 a.m.:  looked in mirror and decided I didn't look that bad.....thus my day began.....
Went to Hy-Vee (strutted and strolled at being only shopper)
Drove throughStarbucks
Put away groceries
Checked e-mail
Skipped breakfast
Checked Facebook
Fed child
Hard boiled eight eggs
Started laundry
Researched random shit
Went back through bookmarked sites
Dressed child
Celebrated potty-training successes with fist pump
Redressed child
Changed underwear due to lack of interest in chosen superhero into Transformers undies
Redressed child
Checked Facebook
Cleaned dishes
Ran dishwasher
9:15 a.m.:  Got baby from crib
Changed baby's diaper
Dressed baby
Fed baby
Texted while feeding baby
Rescheduled doctor's appointment for children due to the fact that doc didn't want to come in so early....12:30 is too early?
Got kids into car
Mustered strength and rallied troops
Took kids to Joann Fabrics
Bought stuff in record time
Wiped sticky hands from bribery sucker residue
Looked for plaid wrapping paper at TJ Maxx
Gave up on plaid wrapping paper
Battled son with bathroom door while trying to convince him that not everyone wants to watch Mommy go to the bathroom
Helped son go to bathroom
Cheered for successful potty
Continued shopping
Went to Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Chatted up salesman to find best machine to make mochas at home
Bought Keurig!!
12:00 p.m.:  Went to Burger King to celebrate no meltdowns on son's part
Ate lunch
Put kids down for nap
Checked Facebook
Sent e-mails
Read random craft tutorials
Sorted sweaters for new craft project
Sighed with despair when noticing that the dishwasher "clean" light went off because I opened the door.  (can't feign that I didn't know the dishes were clean.....)
Geek Squad man arrived to hook up speakers
Crafted while kids napped and he worked
Sent e-mails, texts, and searched for dinner recipes
Squad guy left for part at Best Buy
Dashed upstairs to shower the stink away
Dressed and dried in fast forward
Missed IMPORTANT phone call
Spoke with Squad
3:00 p.m.:  Discussed project with neighbor
Learned about new speaker system
Talked with friend about projects
Fretted about missing important phone call
Drank wine from box
Refilled wine
Obsessed about missing phone call
Made pork chops
Made sweet potato casserole
Returned important phone no avail
Cleaned dishes from dinner preparation
Sighed and remembered there were 30 other things I could have/should have done today.....
6:30 p.m.:  Tuned out children's whining about dinner
6:45 p.m. to 8:22 p.m.:  mothered my children exclusively.....and it felt good to have their little bodies pressed against me as we read together 
9:30 p.m.:  Blogged while watching my guilty pleasure "The Bachelor"

That's a fairly typical day in the life of a "stay at home trophy wife." 

I'm tired.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Confession #9: Alone, I am nothing.

I have just wrapped up a marvelous trip to Arizona with my bitty baby!  It was marvelous, relaxing, and rejuvenating to my parenting soul!  I came back ready to swoop up my older two children in my arms, listen to their sweet voices, and take care of their every need!

Did I learn a lesson about parenting while I was gone?  You bet I did.  I learned that my baby makes me special.  Being alone makes me.....alone.

During both flights, security checkpoints, shopping at the mall, in line at Starbucks (yes!!!!!), trying to get my bags from baggage claim, eating out at restaurants, until the very last second of my trip, my baby made me special.  There wasn't a soul that didn't give me a special look or smile.  I heard countless words of admiration and affection towards my smiley baby.  People went out of their way to be nice to me and make my baby feel valued in this world.  I was overwhelmed with pride, love, and gratitude. 

Then, all of a sudden, I was overwhelmed with puzzlement.  Why am I not as special when I am alone?  What is it about my little companion that made me worthy of others' kindnesses?  Why does my baby make me someone with whom they should converse? 

It's because parenting is a universal knowledge, language, and understanding of one another.  Babies' sweet faces and innocence make other people a sucker for that unconditional love.  There's a sense of accomplishment when you make a baby smile.  You feel a renewed sense of pride when you can talk to someone else about your children.  People without children can still get sucked into that dreamy look in a baby's eyes and melt.  It's just plain and simple:  babies are miraculous.  Being a parent is even more of a miracle, as you are the one guiding that little blessing through life.  Hopefully the next time I am not alone at Target, the craft store, or a restaurant, I will remember how special I have become because of  those people that surround me.....and surround me with love, and then I'm left with one question:  Why do I ever want to go anywhere alone when I can feel like this?

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Confession #8: Amber Alert!!!!

I have a very serious announcement here:  I cannot locate my husband!!!!!!  I am putting an Amber Alert out for him, and this is not the first time I've had to do this.

I've been looking for him for a couple of weeks now.  He is a tall, dark, handsome man with a great sense of humor.  He has the ability to make every person in the room laugh at a joke he hasn't even finished telling.  He is a very loyal, dedicated man, to friends, family, and his job.  He has a smile and dimples that are infectious.  He is highly intellectual and has the ability to remember nearly every thing that has ever happened in his life.  He is the father of three beautiful, unique, and beloved children.  I miss him dearly......

OH WAIT!!  I just located him.....he was sitting across from me at dinner tonight.  It was just the two of us, and I found the man that I married almost seven years ago hadn't left, he'd just been overshadowed by the little people in our family.  But, he gave me that amazing smile, laughed at a bad joke I had made, and I knew that he was back.  You have no idea how relieved I am......

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Confession #7: Parenthood is appalling at times.

Let me put down my glass of wine freshly filled from the tap.  Yes, I am drinking wine from a box.  Parenting three children requires a box.  Bottles just will not do.

The inspiration for this entry of the 'truths' of parenthood comes fresh from the nostrils of my littlest babe.  I just got done picking the biggest boogers from her teeny little schnozz.   This prompted me to think of the things we do as parents that are absolutely shocking to others, whether they're parents or not. 

This list is not all-inclusive, obviously, though it is based 100% on truth.

1.  I drown out my children's sobs as I extend their nostrils to their very limits getting every last booger out of their noses.  I pick any and every booger I can.  It makes me feel like a success.

2.  I will wait out my husband's arrival home in order to avoid changing a nasty poopy diaper and then pretend the dirty deed just happened.

3.  I dole out an extra 1/2 teaspoon of cold medicine in hopes that my children might sleep a little better.  I don't feel guilty.

4.  I have eaten food that my child has spit out.....without even noticing.

5.  I let my eldest daughter watch "Gossip Girl" until the first sex scene.  If it never happens, she watches the whole show.  She claims it is her favorite show on TV.

6.  I ask my children to get me another beer.  (and they know which kind I drink)

7.  I will let my children watch two hours of TV or a movie just so I can read stuff on the internet or make dinner.....or just do nothing at all.

8.  I let my son sit in his booster seat with no pants (or diaper) just because it's easier than fighting him.  This is not the only thing I give in about.  He also stands on the countertop and spends 30 minutes washing his hands and feet in the toilet.

9.  My children don't bathe nearly as often as they should because it's a pain in the ass.  I tell them it's because I don't want their skin to dry out.

10.  I would rather catch puke in my hands than have to clean it out of the carpet.  Nothing makes me run faster than a child who is sick.

On the other hand, while I sound like a shitty slacker parent, I love the absolute crap out of those kids.  I hate to see their tears, I hate to hear their cries, and I hate to see their hearts hurting.  I would do anything to let my kids know that they are the reason I smile when I'm sitting in the chair staring into space.  They are my pride and joy, and every moment I share with them, no matter how rocky it seems at the time, is another moment that I couldn't imagine spending any other way.  Parenthood makes you do and say things you never imagined you'd do and is, by far, the most important thing I'll ever do in my life.  So while I drink my wine, my heart grows wistful to see their little faces again in the morning and know that they love me like none other.  And guess what, so do I.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Confession #6: I drink during dinner.

On the nights that I make dinner for my family, which is most nights, I have to drink to survive.  This confession is quite simple:  I can hardly stand listening to the whining and complaining emanating from the mouths of my sweet, young babes.

I will NOT make dino chicken nuggets, pizza rolls, or noodles every single night of their lives, and this obviously causes major angst among the 5 and under set.  How dare I put together a well-balanced meal incorporating all the food groups?  How am I to expect them to eat more than two bites?  How dare I ask my children to try something that is not dipped in a hot vat of oil and served in a paper sack?  Maybe I should try that next time.  Sit in the car in the garage for 10 minutes, walk in, hand them my delicious homemade chicken noodle soup out of a Schlotzsky's bag, tell them I paid $25 for dinner, and then watch them scarf it down.  Nothin' else I'm doing is working.

So, the moral of this story?  I drink to survive.  It's the only way to handle dinnertime on our block.  Please excuse me while I go fix another grape vodka and Sprite dinnertime has only just begun.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Confession #5: I'm gonna miss this.

Please be prepared for the sentimental, sappy thoughts that are prevailing today.  If you don't like emotion, it's time to go to someone else's blog for the day.

I was in the bathroom today, looked at the dinosaurs that were watching me, and I sighed at first at the fact that there were toys in the bathroom.  Then I smiled.  I was in the shower today, saw two dinosaurs watching me, and sighed that there were toys in the shower.  Then I smiled.  I thought to myself, "Some day you're going to miss the dinos." 

*(pause for sniffling and a few tears being shed.....)*

There are so many things about my itty bitty children that I'm going to miss in the next few years, not to mention when they've all moved out of the house.  Here's just a random sampling:

*The handprints on the windows
*The toys everywhere:  counter, pantry, drawers, bathroom, car, etc.
*Q drinking cheese out of plastic containers
*L helping me bake (really just to lick the beaters, but I don't care)
*Seeing H's smiling face when I get her from her crib in the morning
*Clapping when my little boy goes potty on the toilet
*Helping my kids pick out their clothes for the day
*Solving their problems with a hug and a kiss
*Getting a smile just by singing "I love you, a bushel and a peck!"
*Hearing a little voice shout, "LOOK AT ME!" as he or she does something silly or amazing (or dangerous!)
*Having all children believe in Santa
*Being able to spell the words I don't want the kids to hear
*Picking little boogers out of little noses
*Hearing Q say "dy-soars" for dinosaurs, and "booty" for Sleeping Beauty
*Helping little hands get washed in the sink
*Having children come out of the woodwork to shout at me when they hear the phone ring
*Watching L read books and photo "ottoms" to Q
*Having a dance party in the kitchen when the kids are just a little too crabby
*Hearing little baby noises when H is eating
*Watching Q get mad at the washer because its lid slammed on my hand....yet again
*Seeing all of our bedroom pillows on the landing as the kids play fort or picnic
*Hearing people tell me that I have my hands full.  Because when they stop saying that, it means my kids are too grown up to be considered a handful anymore.

With parenting comes the fair share of crabbing about doing everything for your children and having no time to yourself.  They need you for almost everything.  Their needs are never-ending.  Their needs are oh-so-urgent.  Yet I know that they won't always need me, so I am going to revel in this time of their lives make sure they know how much I need them, too.