As much as a love it, I am starting to crave a regular schedule.
I am almost tired of the kids running out the door to play before I am even dressed. 3 months later it is still quite embarrassing to be running outside after a dog or someone at 8 a.m. braless, teeth not brushed, and smelly. You think I might have learned my lesson and will get up and get myself dressed upon rising. Nope. And by the time it happens I am cursing my way out the door because I always run into someone. Quite typically someone dressed all nice, smelling all pretty on their way to work. And here I am barefoot with a baby just in a diaper draped in my arms, coffee breath, boobs down to my belly button, running after my dumb dog. It's awesome. I am a terrible mother that way. I like to laze in the mornings, I have 3 small children, I don't get what I want in regards to that, and promptly upon my arrival back through the front door, I am on my way up the stairs to throw on something, that will get snot, pee, popsicle drool, and what not all over it, kissing my sweet summer morning away.
The darling oldest starts preschool in September. We can all hardly wait, sort of. Kendall is beyond excited, I am excited for her, and that's it. This child needs school like cereal needs milk. You can eat it plain, but it is much better with it. She would be fine going to kindergarten without it, but is much better for going to it. And it's simple like that. She needs a place that is special Kendall time that only Kendall goes to and not the boys. She needs a place where she is not the boss. And she needs a place to give her that final bump out of little girl stage to just girl stage. It's so sad. E, Jake, and I are going to sit in the parking lot and cry the first day. Well I will cry over Kendall, they will cry because their crazy mom is keeping them pent up in the van for 3 hours.I am going to beg Andy to stay home on this day so that he can take her. I won't be able to bear it. As much as I am ready for it, was she not my baby not to long ago?
We have been so busy this summer I feel as though it really didn't happen. I know it was hot out, man was it hot out, but I feel like I need to go and roll around in the sand or something and eat a few more ice cream cones on the front steps with the kids.
Last weekend we went to our annual end of summer event. And though it is really in the middle of August, once that weekend goes by, Labor Day is here. This year it becomes a bit more meaningful as Kendall goes to school, and I am left with my little men. Can you tell I am for sure going to be a blubbering mess? It is just preschool, but it is away from the nest. Envision the mother bird hanging on to the baby birds little leg it is flapping away to get free, the mother bird is me. It's pitiful.
I look at the pictures of last weekend and I am like, what the heck!?!?! She looks older. They all grew to fast this summer. I mean Ethan decided he was going to ride a pony and carnival rides, what is that about? I mean Jacob is sitting in a Bumbo, I will say it again, I can't believe it. They are adults now. Ok, so maybe not. But now am 100% convinced that with the good Lord willing, Jacob is not my last. I love babies. I love to smell them, cuddle them, watch them, its fascinating. Not that I am about to go and jump in the sack. I am no fool. We shall wait. Practice being chaste for a few years. Just kidding babe, we are not Trudie Styler and Sting, and I don't believe them anyway. But you know, get them all ready for the world, and then pop out another one that I can tremendously spoil because he or she is the last one.
But I am supposed to be talking about the summer, no wonder it went right by me, I am thinking about things other than the season.
So we were off to the Grange Fair. My kids love it. Kendall has this love for animals like I do. It's this deep sympathetic connection, that some people think is crazy as anything. We even think that this is cute:
I mean he us just so gross that he is cute because you feel bad for him, because no one really likes a pig, unless of course it is Wilbur from Charlotte's Web, but even he grows up to look like this. And we eat pork. ewww...they roll around in poop.
That people is a connection. I have yet to tell her that the meat she eats is from the animals she loves to see at the fair, this would shatter her world.
So we walk along taking in the smell of manure and funnel cake. We comment on the best in show, and get real up close with them...
(Why are my children staring at the camera like they are some scary Amish kids in horror movie, I don't know, this pic sends me those vibes, I had to share.)
Sometimes they got a little too close. Here is Mr. Goat just before he nipped Kendall's shirt, to which she replied, thankfully, 'that's just what goats do, they like to eat clothes.' With some nervous laugh I have never heard before.
Kendall sat and watched the sheep show. You get this girl near anything that resembles a beauty pageant and she will sit. I think she was probably sitting there thinking, so when is the formal wear segment coming?
We made her wait off any of the carnival rides until it was dark. It's more fun that way with all the lights, too bad kid. So we took a pony ride, and like every time, we ask E if he would want to do it. Low and behold, he said yes!I turned and said, 'Wait, What?!?, he said yes!?!?' I am so inclined to him saying, 'nah,' that the change almost sounded like he was speaking german. We could not believe it. And he did it with a smile on his face...my baby!
We then decided it was dark enough to do carnival rides, and again offer it up to E. And he said yes! Ethan went on carnival rides. He took the tickets from his Pop's hands and he went on rides. Who is this child and where is my sissy? Gone. I tell you. He is growing up and I can hardly stand it. He plays tee ball and he is good, he takes the bat and he throws it after he has hit the ball because that is what the 'guys,' do.
This summer Ethan became a little boy, not a Mama's boy. Time to smother the next one.
So summer. Thanks for the sunny days. Next time you come around we are going to the beach, please be as nice as you were this year.
This one is a bit tricky because Ethan has quickly become the in house comedian. So there are lots of fine lines. Like when is it name calling and teasing as opposed to just being silly? When is it lying and not telling the truth or just being goofy to make me laugh? And do I tell him to stop when it is annoying me, but clearly everyone else thinks he is hilarious? I have said it before this child is going to be the one setting the chickens free in the high school as a senior prank. This is the child I will sit and listen about at parent/teacher conferences as the boy who is intelligent, but needs to stay focused and apply himself because under arm fart noises will get him nowhere in life.
Three year old humor is a hard one because it consists mostly of, 'potty talk,' and repetitiveness, because if they laugh at it once, sure,they will laugh it on the 49th time also.
Even when he is fighting back with his sister he attempts to be funny. Example,'Dendall I not like you right now because your datitude smells like Baby Jacob's poopy diaper! Ha Ha, you so mean you smell like poopy diapers!' You know you smiled. But I am the mother, and even though Kendall's attitude, does in fact stink, we don't use potty talk. See that fine line?
Right now he refers to Andy and I as Stinky Pete when we ask him to do something. This is a character from Toy Story 2 if you live in a cave. This character got his name because he lives in his store packaging and he farts in it. Very funny to E. So essentially he is referring to us as a fart box. 'E will you come and take your clothes to the laundry mountain?' 'Ok Stinky Pete.'
He also thinks it is just hilarious to do this:
And he will laugh incessantly and do it over and over again.
He is getting a little more creative now:
'Hey Mommy, Stanley pooped on the floor!'
Again this is lying, not telling the truth; fine line.
Or he will say;
'Oh No Mommy, you have something on your behind, I'll get it!'
And then he swats my behind, while sceaming, 'HaHa, Gotcha!
Everything is also 'something-head.' Now he has gotten that he cannot say, Poopyhead or Farthead, after a few encounters with the wooden spoon. Now he resorts to other names, like, Sillyhead, or IceCreamhead. They aren't exactly mean, but they are name calling, but they can be funny. It's a mess of confusion. 'E please pass me the salt.' 'Ok Butterhead.' He acts like he is going to say butt, starting out nice and slow, and then adder the -erhead, real fast when I am ready to say something. And now that is just so funny to Kendall.
Ethan will also try some things out that others say that he thinks are funny. I am not going to mention any names as to implicate someone, however, Ethan recently has been trying out the word 'Weirdo.' And I don't like that. You can call someone a sillyhead, but not a weirdo. I am the mom, these are my rules. So he calls Kendall a weirdo, and I say, 'E, I do not like that word, you don't call people that.' To which he says, 'Daddy says that.' To which I say, well it is not nice and I will tell Daddy that too, it is not nice to say that.' And I get back, 'Yeah, Daddy is a weirdo for saying that.' E!!!!!
E is also a story teller and can think of excuses on the drop of a dime. One day I am cleaning up his room after he had been in there and see a wet spot on the floor. 'Uh, Ethan, you want to tell me who peed on your floor?' To which he replies, 'Uh, not me.' Kendall chimes in, 'Not me neither!' I ask, 'then who did?' And Ethan replies, 'Baby Jacob!' I say, 'Ethan Baby Jacob has been in my room all morning, if I find out you are lying, you are going to be on punishment.' And I get a sweet, 'Ok Mommy.' I go on, assuming that he is riddled with guilt for lying, and will tell me soon enough, this is what Kendall does. So then I find the wet clothes. 'Uh E, if you didn't do it why are your pajamas and undies all wet here on the floor?' Without even missing a beat, 'Well when Baby Jacob was peeing I held them out there to block his pee!' What in the world? Again, 'that is impossible Ethan, Baby Jacob is in my room, if you are lying, you are in even more trouble.' And he replies, 'well Mommy his pee shoots real far!' So I just later read him a story about the Bernstein Bears and lying because they have a story about every life lesson, and tell him that I know he was lying and I am not happy and there is going to be punishment. He says, 'I sorry Mommyhead.'
Wouldn't you want to come over and gnaw on those cheeks too? And what is this about growing so fast. Sitting in a Bumbo? This is just insanity. Wasn't he just coming out of me? In 2 weeks he will be eating cereal and fruits. Not fair.
So the personalities I am referencing in this post are the darling older children. Goodness parenting is hard, right? I mean because now I have to decide between if it is something that they are doing because that is just what they do, or if they are doing it to annoy me to the point that I want to sky rocket out the side window. How do I encourage a born leader as she asserts her assertiveness but at the same time try and explain to her that not everyone wants to listen to her and do what she wants to do all the time? That if she doesn't stop trying to get everyone in the neighborhood to be characters in some play she has made when they clearly do not want to, and thus she is upsetting them, then she will need to go inside.
With Kendall, I have now attempted to take a back seat with some issues. This is two fold. One, I am trying to get her to solve her own problems. And then there are some issues that just exacerbate me so I just let her work it out, so that I don't send her sky rocketing out of the side window.
Kendall is at a point right now of pointing out constantly what is just and unjust to her little mind. She is also all about making the profound statements that are profound, I suppose ,to a 4 year old. Today she told me with absolute seriousness on her face, 'uh Mommy, this house is bigger then us.' Thanks Kendall. 'And do you know why?' Why's that? 'Because we are people that is why, and people are smaller then houses.' Deep, right? To be 4, and to have these be the things that run through your mind must be just wonderful. And then she walks away from me with a look on her face that mimics Aristotle's.
Kendall has also recently taken her big sister role quite seriously. I mean any chance to be in charge, this girl is all over it. Some recent conversations I have overheard between her and Ethan are as follows:
(while brushing teeth)
K: Hey E, you should spend some more time on your bottom row.
E: Can I use your bubble gum toothpaste Dendall?
K: Ok, then I will show you how to floss, and swish this stuff around in your mouth.
a few minutes after brushing-
K: E, the dentist told me it is important to floss with this string and to rinse with this stuff, here.
K: Now, swish it and spit it out, it's poison, and can't touch your belly.
E: WHAT!?!? I not want that Dendall.
K: Well then if you don't your teeth will fall out. And you know, I don't want your teeth to fall out.
E: Me neither.
K: Because if your teeth fall out, everyone will laugh at me 'cause I have the brother with no teeth.
It's always good to hear where her concerns really are.
And over snack time:
K: E, when you chew like that it makes me sick, chew with your mouth closed, like this.
E: But Dendall, you have crumbs coming out of your lips.
K: Yes, but my mouth is closed, and that is minding manners.
I am going to go ahead and say that most first born girls are really like this. I am constantly reminding her that I am the mother. Like when Ethan is getting mad at her and so she tells him, 'E, if you can't get it together, you are going to have to go upstairs to your room and get it together because I have had it.'
But she is going to preschool this year. And this will do her wonderfully. Just yesterday she said to me, 'So uh, school starts in 2 weeks, are you guys gonna get me a school bag or something, it is coming fast you know? What do you put in those things anyway, like your toys and stuff you might miss and some make up?' Priorities.
So I love the beach. I think if I could choose to place a house anywhere it would be on the beach. Ok, so maybe not right squat on the beach, because then you have to worry about beach erosion and your house going right along with it, and waves crashing through your windows, and jelly fish on your kitchen floor. But most definitely ocean front. I want my bedroom to have a wall of windows facing the ocean and the sunrise, or sunset, but I really don't want to live in California, I heard somewhere that is going to fall into the ocean someday, and I don't exactly want to live in the ocean, just be able to look at it and hear it. I really don't think that is asking too much.
I love the beach in all weather, in all seasons. I love salt water effected hair, sand in my ear canals, and lying in bed at night still feeling as though you are being rocked by the waves. Don't you just love the smell of the beach? The sticky air? I even love the smell of the stinky sludge in the bay. That is love ladies and gentlemen.I love sand between my toes, I love getting home from the beach and seeing the sand in the carpet of the car, some might get annoyed by this, I love it.
I love the summer because I can decorate my house with shells from the beach, that I found, and this giant one from my Pop Pop's home that I took after I was living there for a bit. It isn't exactly stealing, it was outside, it had spider webs in it, this conch shell was left for the taking, so get off my case. It reminded me of him because he too loved the beach. I mean loved it like no other. He would be tan all summer, and inevitably most of the year. I honestly think the sand in his hair would stay there until at least christmas time. My ocd behavior would beg to peel his back when he returned home from the beach. That's gross, I know it is, try being me, I swear I was meant to be a dermatologist. I am obsessed with pores, skin, etc. Anyway, I got to keep this conch shell and his hat that said, 'Plumbers have Bigger Tools.' That my friends, is some good memorabilia of a grandfather.
So,our family was coming from out west to visit again, and they wanted to go to the beach for the day. Now I have not been on a beach vacation since Ethan was born, so I am suffering from some major withdrawal. Not only that, my kids don't even remember the beach! Can you imagine that? This is some major neglect going on.
In preparation for this day, I explained the beach to Kendall and Ethan. I told them all about the waves and what we could do with the sand. They asked about sharks, I promised there was no sharks, what are they crazy?!!? I went to bed each night leading up to the day praying that the Lord would not bless Harvey Cedars with a shark sighting on the day we were to be there. They wanted to know why we were not taking a plane to the beach. I mean, we hardly ever went there, it must be far, like Disney World. I explained we would be taking the van, that it would take a little bit of time, but we could most certainly drive, Daddy is not Donald Trump, and we were not hitting up Atlantic City.
Jacob was running a high fever the day we were to go. I was panic ridden the night before, certain that we couldn't go due to this illness, and I would break Kendall's heart because it was all she talked about. I mean E talked about it too, but really, he talked about it because Kendall talked about it, much like everything else he talks about. In his little head, I am certain that the beach was simply a pool surrounded by sand, and we can do that any old day. So back to Jacob, you know him, the third child? Well he was burning up, and not only is it just plain difficult to take a newborn to the beach, but a sick one did just not fly. I didn't want to leave him sick and all with just anyone so I could worry and feel like s terrible mother all day. So in swept our hero, Daddy Dearest, who said he would take the day off to stay with Jake. What an awesome man, have you met him?
And we get there, much to Beatrice's, the british lady on the Tom Tom that wanted to get me lost, dismay. 'Turn right in 50 yards.' 'Opps, continue to the nearest turn around point and head back, make a left in 25 yards.' Seriously? Why are they british, telling me how to get somewhere in America, and how do I know what 25 yards is exactly? My grandmother informed me that a football field was 100 yards, so that should give me an idea. Again, what? Stupid GPS'.
So we arrive on Long Beach Island. Not only have I not been to the beach in a few years, but, I have not been to LBI since I graduated high school. I forgot how much I loved this little town. It's a classic beach town, nothing gaudy, and people ride the street on beach cruisers in bare feet. I guess you could do this anywhere, but doing it here makes it all that more nostalgic. We get all ready, load up our arms, and begin the walk to the beach. Because that is what you do, you set up a mini camp on the beach, you take all your arms can carry, because you never know what you might need, and the car is a 5 minute walk away, and that is far.
Ethan insisted that he be the leader. And he is getting pretty clever, more on that in another entry, but I can read that kid's mind like it's my job, which it is I suppose, and we are still attached by an umbilical cord, it's a medical phenomenon. So he does not announce aloud that he wants to be the first person to see the ocean, because that would mean he would have some competition, so his little legs picked up speed on the little boardwalk to the beach. Almost to the top he exclaims, 'I am going to see the ocean first!' And when he reached the top, of the dune he froze. His head slowly went from left to right taking in the size of it all. And then he takes off again.
Mind you. This child is the cautious child. Always proceeding to something new with a little trepidation. So I for certain thought that he would either a. take the entire day to even stick his feet in the ocean, and then love it when we had to leave, or b.not want to go near it at all and scream like he does at the sight of clowns at the mere suggestion of sticking a toe in. Did I ever mention this kid and clowns? I mean terrified, he screams like a mass murderer is coming after him with a hatchet when one is near. Panic takes over his face, and his facial expressions are so large and animated that you swear he is about to fall over and just die from fear. He looks at a picture of a clown and shudders. But he is not stopping and here I am tossing everything into a heap and racing to grab his hand before the first wave hits him. Thank goodness Jacob was not with us, he might have landed on top of the umbrella. It smacks into him and I let him fall. First lesson of the ocean, it is really strong. Since he was showing no fear, I wanted to instill a little, I have that healthy fear of the ocean, like if you don't mind your manners, you are getting a huge mouthful of salt and sand to choke on. But he gets up laughing hysterically, wanting more. Kendall right beside him, thinking that it is just hilarious that the water is not flat like a pool. She wants her swimmies so she can go swim out in it really far. Wonderful. You never think about the exact opposite of a situation being worrisome also. I found that out real fast. Kendall found out real fast about sand in the pouch of the bathing suit. That it feels real comfy. Nothing like feeling like you have a load in your pants that is chafing you at the same time.
So after some battles with the waves, they took to the sand. And they looked like sand monsters, sand sticks so well to suntan lotion, what fun!
Kendall and E played with Carson and Kaitlyn all day long.
At one point my sister took my begging daughter out into the ocean in between the yellow flags. I will just go ahead and say, that is what just plain sucks about the Jersey Beaches, you have to swim between the yellow flags so the life guards can save you a little easier. I call this laziness. So everyone is all crammed together like a public pool, and people who insist on body surfing in this tight space get to annoy the crap out of you. Kendall quickly learned that it is not so fun way out there with or without your swimmies since a wave took them in the first two minutes. Kendall was screaming and crying telling me she was 'never going in the deep end of the ocean again!' 'How could Aunt Chelley do that' to her!?!??! But once we got back to the 'little end,' in front of our chairs, she was happy to jump and splash again, and scowl at her aunt.
Now my grandmother. I say it like I am nothing like her, but I am just the exactly the opposite, and just like her. She believes firmly that when you go somewhere you are going to experience it all. And when you go to the beach, you get the sea gulls. She decides it might be fun for the kids to feed them and watch them swarm. Yes, she was the person on the beach you want to drop kick because they are feeding the seagulls.
Once it was done, this one gull didn't take the hint, and stuck around for leftovers. Carson named him Bob, and a friend was made. He just sat there amongst us. We fed him by hand and Kendall even stuck a goldfish cracker in her lips, and Bob came up and grabbed it right out. Now had she not thrown the goldfish crackers into the air, we would have never met Bob. See what I am saying? Experience life a little, feed the seagulls.
When it was time to leave Ethan did not want to budge. It was 6 pm, and him and my mother could have stayed there till dark. A beach bum in the making. We promised him that next summer we would stay over at the beach for a lot of nights in a house. OBX we are coming home...