Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm a Chick Magnet

I'm a chick magnet. Not the kind like Justin Bieber, Rob Pattinson, or Ricky Schroder à la Silver Spoons era.... swoon... No, I mean more like the momma hen and her little chicks following her around, never a moment alone, always a trail of little feet– THAT kind of chick magnet.

I have come to the realization that it will be approximately 5 more years at minimum before I have any privacy again. I remember the days when I could go to the bathroom and did not HAVE to lock the door. I remember watching my own TV whenever I wanted to. And I even remember being able to eat a dessert without sharing.

I realize that having children puts privacy on hiatus. I can deal with that. But what I didn’t realize, however, when I dove into this adventure known as parenthood, was that said children would be drawn to me as if I was one of those super duper magnets that always end up in movies whenever there is a scene in a junk yard. “Hurry Lassie, run tell dad that Sally is in stuck that car being carried by the super duper magnet up there!” The force field is undeniable.

I have now come to accept this reality. It’s just how it is. And now that I’ve been at it for over 7 years now, I know that my magnetism goes into overdrive on specific occasions. It is at these moments that either my electrons shift, or theirs do, and our negative and positive charges attract like my hands on fresh baked chocolate chip cookies after a stressful day. Here’s a brief synopsis of those moments:

1) When I am on an important phone call: it never fails. There will be one screaming for me from the bathroom to wipe their bottom. Another one will insist that this is THE moment to talk about the important issues in life like why is the Wii remote not working or why can’t I use the Sharpie markers on thin paper on top of the dining room table. Sheesh!

2) When I want to sleep in: Any other morning they will sleep later. But not on a day when I get to sleep in. Nope on those days they get up and climb in bed with me. And they will just lay beside me because they don’t really want to play or watch TV and they can’t fix breakfast them selves because of course there will be no cereal or fruit in the house and I will have to get up and actually use a knife or the stove top or the microwave to make breakfast. It seems like the stars always align that way

3) When I have a deadline: It seems like whenever I have a deadline for work, their dependence goes into over drive. My name will be uttered, screamed or sung 7,324 times before lunch. Paleez children! 10 minutes of uninterrupted independence would be fabulous.

4) When I’m trying to cook. Toddlers are notorious for this. This is the time that they always feel the need to be cranky and pull on your legs and lay at your feet… why oh why do they do this to us? It’s a miracle that there have been no limbs lost from falling knives.

So the hiatus continues, my magnet is on and the chicks continue to follow. And until life settles down into the phase of caring for pre adolescents (God help me) I will dream of the day when I can once again pee in peace.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

How I Know I'm Through

I had a dream that I was pregnant - Fear ran through me like I imgained the venom from James's bite ran through Bella's blood...The pain, the agony!  I woke up in a cold sweat shreiking "Please God No!!!!!!!!!!!.  OK, so maybe I didn't really scream that out loud, but believe me, I wanted to.  It was at that moment that I knew for sure I was done.  Here are a few other reasons I know that 3 is enough.

If we have another baby, one of our children will be either riding in the trunk or strapped to the roof of our PT Cruiser, 'cause we sure ain't buying a car.  I guess we could paper, rock, scissor it before each trip.  The kids would like that, right?  

I have zero capacity to do any more laundry than I am currently doing. 

I DO NOT want to pay that $1,000 maternity copay yet again.

I'm afraid a new baby would be bigger than baby girl in a few months.  Poor little chunky monkey...  How would her esteem ever recover?

Baby girl is still riding in her infant carrier, and again, I am not buying a new one.

I'm tired of poop.

I enjoy sleep.

I still have my dixie cup-full of brain cells left.  I'd rather not reduce it to thimble size.

I really don't think it would be in the best interest of the other children if I was committed. 

Thank you God for the three sweet things you have given me.  I am blessed, but please know that I choose to be done.  I would appreciate it greatly if you agreed.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

God so loved the Sanfords that He gave us Saturday Night Service

It is a well known fact among us mommas that the devil doesn't want us to make it to church happy on Sunday mornings. I don't remember what I did to get in trouble on Sunday mornings as a kid, but I know it happened. What I do remember is going outside of the church and having to pick a switch --And our kids think they have it tough. I'm pretty sure that since mommas have been having to feed, clothe and transport children to worship, the devil has enjoyed the torment that ensues. Those poor little Israelite children probably even got their share of "the rod" way back in the desert. As if having to eat insect excrement (did you know that's what manna is?) wasn't enough to deal with - those mommas I bet had to deal with extra rotten children on the Sabbath.

My children are no exception. They are BAD on Sunday mornings. As my sweet grand mother in law, Mom Eastling used to say "The devil done jumped into 'em." The whining, the screaming, the hitting, the resulting crying.... CALGON TAKE ME AWAY! But alas, there is no time for a bath in luxurious boxed bath salts, nope. We have to load the little demons into the car screaming and kicking, bottoms still stinging from a fresh "gentle love pat", buckle those flailing and tormented things in their seats and take the entire 3 minute drive to church to calm down.... the commute is too short for that though... Still screaming - yes me too - as we pull into the parking lot, we prepare to make it the building without having any children run over by a car. This results in some yanking and dragging because inevitably at least one of the children will think that this will be THE week that they can run through the parking lot unassisted. Next, we have to check all the children into the children's program. At least one will complain and another one will cry and we leave anyway without turning back.

Now - put on a smile, find a seat, and worship....

But God loves me, He really does, and I now know it. He gave me (and I'm positive 12Stone Church did this thing just for me) Saturday Night Service. We had our first experience this past week, and can I tell you no children were spanked in preparation for church? We got to sleep in, picnic at the park, spend the afternoon playing and then take our time getting ready for church. no rushing. And 5:00pm is the perfect time because fresh from a snack, the children aren't starving.. I love you God, I love you 12Stone, and I love you children, because the devil doesn't know about Saturday night service yet.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

I Am Jealous Today

I rarely get jealous anymore.  I really don't have time for it.  I've just got too many things to do to constantly be comparing my stuff  and skills to everyone else's.  or maybe I try not to do it because it does no good to compare, because out here in the suburbs it is so easy to be caught up in the sickness of keeping up with the Jones's. For a while there I really did feel the pressure, not so much to keep up, because for us it is financially impossible, but I did feel the obvious tension of not fitting in.  There's not a luxury car in our garage.  No paid extracurricular activities for the kids.  Our kitchen sprayer is still broken.    We are making do with what we have in this tough economy.  I'm done with those comparisons.

But today I was jealous.  I read through some blogs and came upon one of my favorites: 
Jennifer is a friend of mine from church.  A fellow momma, cook and blogger.  I always love chatting with her, and am always surprised by her dry wit.  She is an amazing woman.  And today when I read her blog, I realized that I am jealous of her.  How in the world does she manage to be so thoughtful and articulate in her blog?  How does she have so many brain cells left?

There was a time, about seven years ago when I was smart.  You may not know this about me, but I was valedictorian.  Granted, there were only 95 people in our class, but still.  I was number one.  Numero Uno. 4.0 The top... all that Jazz.  I got to give a speech at graduation and it was good.  In college, I was still good.  No speech, but I still had pretty cords and ribbons and trims on my robe announcing to the world as I crossed that stage...  "Kristina is smart"

Then I had children.  

My brain cells started melting away when Sweet G's fertilized egg implanted into the wall of my uterus.... like ice cream outside of the Mayfield Dairy at noon in Mid August.  I noticed it most in my vocabulary.  The bigger, fancier words that used to decorate my language like my expensive glass ornaments on my beloved Christmas tree vanished.  I still had the ability to decorate and coordinate my language with my cheaper Walmart and Target words. But nowadays, three children later, FORGET ABOUT IT.   I can't even think anymore much less articulate those thoughts.  It really takes so much more effort to decorate that proverbial Christmas tree than it used to, and most times I know it looks like Charlie Brown was involved.  

Maybe I like blogging because I have more time to coordinate my words. I can spend more time focusing on their arrangement and I can even use a dictionary and thesaurus and spell check.  It's not as exposing as conversation is.  It's like comparing the live, raw American Idol performances, to a Miley Cirus or Britney Spears single.  Maybe I can fool my high school friends into thinking I'm still smart, just like Miley can fool those 10 year old little girls with her albums. All it takes is some extra time, some editing and auto tune.   That works until I really compare.  Jennifer Davis, you my dear, are smart.  no fooling done there.  I've heard your live performance and your studio recording....  You shine at both conversation and blogging.  You are always thoughtful and intellectual AND you have three small children.  sigh...  so now you know... I'm jealous of you and your Christmas tree.  You still have your pretty ornaments and can still arrange them so perfectly.  

OK, so I feel better.  You all now know that I'm just a mediocre studio artist.  I can no longer shine "live."  I've outed myself and the pressure is off.  I'm no longer smart, but I have to say I still enjoy decorating my little online Christmas tree using the dixie-cup-full of braincells I do have left.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Things I Say

There are a lot of things that motherhood brings about that I never thought about before the line turned pink on that little plastic stick.  For instance, I never wondered when my next shower was going to be.  I rarely got excited about a clean floor.  And I never, ever questioned my ability to get an uninterrupted night's sleep.  But what shocks me the most about being a momma are the things that actually come out of my mouth.  I mean sometimes I am amazed about the things that I have to say.  Not just those things we expected we would say just because our parents did to us when we were kids:  "Because I said so"  "How many times do I have to tell you"  "You just wait 'till your father get's home"  "Go pick a switch" (yikes)  What really gets me are the things that a person just shouldn't HAVE to say.  It's like we are raising little nincompoops... These are all things that I have conjured in my brain* and have exited out through my lips:  

(*please note, I will not express here the things that were conjured in my brain that I actually caught through my filter and never allowed to exit out of my mouth.  I will not be held responsible for said thoughts...  I am only human and if we all actually said what we thought, our poor children would be in counseling forever)

"Stop licking me!"  This one was said to Wild Man J just moments ago.

"Please don't ride your bike in my bedroom." Sweet G thought for some reason that this was a good idea.  What's even more surprising is his puzzled "Why not?" reply.

"Why are you in my bed naked?"  nope - not said to my husband.... Thanks for waking me up this way Wild Man J.  apparently, he didn't want to snuggle with me in a wet pull up.

"I'm gonna tear your butt up"  This one I must have picked up somewhere growing up in Pelion.

"Why is there another apple core on the floor?"  sigh... a constant battle

"I can't come right now, I have poop on my hands!"  Thanks for that nice little diaper change 

"Please don't run over your sister" -- the bike is still in my living room.

Last but not least -  "Momma loves you,"  and I never can say it enough.

Monday, June 28, 2010


I find it amazing how quickly things become furniture in my house.  I don't mean real furniture, but figuratively.  Those things that are so constant and unchanging that they are as familiar and certain as your couch sitting in the middle of your living room floor, or your bed in the master bedroom.  You know when you walk through your front door that they are going to be there for you barring some disaster.  I know, I have boys and that disaster could come on any day, but you get my drift. On most days you don't have to worry about sitting or sleeping on the floor.  You have furniture.  

In my house, other things quickly become furniture.  Other people may have things that become "fixtures," like the neighbor's cat that keeps sneaking in when your wild boys leave the door open, or the Wii balance board in front of the entertainment center, or the toothpaste splatters on the bathroom mirror.  We have those too -- but we also have furniture -- things that have become so certain, you can rely on them when in need.  

First of all, there's the sofa cushions, they aren't just a means to an end, they are the end.  They can be dislodged from the couch and scattered about to be roads, cliffs, hideouts, tents, bad-guy caves.  they are furniture in and of themselves.

Toy containers - not just for storing anymore.  They are the perfect step stool for vertically challenged three-year-olds.  Can't reach the stick mom put away on top of the mantle because I turned it into a gun and shot my baby sister repeatedly and then poked her for good measure? no problem, I have furniture for that.  I can go to my room, dump all of my pirate stuff out of its container and .... instant step stool!

Finally there's the laundry basket.  This is a special case.  I confess I have a problem keeping up with laundry.  It owns me.  I can never keep up.  I feel like I spend hours each day, but it's never enough.  Inevitably, at the end of each day, I have a basket full of unfolded, or folded clothes at the foot of my bed in the laundry basket.  I really hadn't taken the time to think about how often this takes place.  But apparently, it has occurred so much, that it is officially furniture.  It has become so certain it can be relied on when in need.... of a nap:

Where's Wild Man J?

Uh, I don't know - let's check all of the FURNITURE...

precious baby..... can you fold that stuff when you wake up?

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

My Little Life Coaches

I've always found life coaches a little annoying.  How do I know so much about them?  No, I've never been "coached" personally, but there have been some examples out there for us in the best form of education known to man -- reality tv.  Come on, isn't it the best information out there?  I've learned quite a bit over the last 10 years from reality tv.  1) how to back-stab  and then back stab again, and then once more -- and it's all OK to keep that tiki torch burning--Survivor is only a game right?  2) Feathers and human hair make perfectly respectable couture - thanks Project Runway for that tid bit  3) There is a technique to table tossing.  only the best tossers can toss without breaking a nail or harming a curl, all while cursing like a sailor, of course -- this info compliments of Real Housewives of NJ.  4) the best way to lose weight is to get someone to make you cry.  Thanks Jillian.  

You see, Jillian from the Biggest Loser is not just a fitness trainer, she is also a life coach.  I suppose she's just the person for the job, because I'm pretty sure anyone who weighs 450 lbs could use some training and coaching.  I do, however, get a kick out of watching this life coach work (and any other one I have ever seen).  I have boiled their job description down to pushing and pushing and screaming at the top of their lungs "WHAT ARE YOU SO AFRAID OF?!?" until said subject breaks, cries and confesses some deep hidden anxiety or traumatic experience.  I have also decided that sometimes I bet that traumatic experience is completely fabricated just to get a break from the "coaching."  Kinda like those cooerced confessions in dark, smoky back rooms of police headquarters.  "Yes it was me, in the library with the candlestick.  Please, Please get me out of here!!!"

All of this to say, I don't need to drive down to Decatur or Little Five Points to find a hippie life coach to push and push and push...  Nope not me.  I have two little life coaches that sleep in our middle bedroom every night.  Their style is perfect.  It's that delicate balance of observation, brutal honestly and total lack of tact that make them so successful.

Wild Man J used to be the king of the "pushing."  My favorite used to be when as a small toddler he would constantly poke and prod my arm fat and love handles.  so sweet of him to make me aware.... Then Sweet G pulled up from behind when he asked me why the skin on my leg always jiggled.  Thanks for that observation, son.

They have really left me alone for a while.  I guess they gave me a break while growing and birthing another human being, but my sabbatical is over.  They apparently conspired to do a double attack last night.  

J:  "Momma, you have a baby in your bellly."
Me: "No I don't son"
G: "No she doesn't - It just takes a long time for your belly to go down after having a baby"

Would have been sorta nice if he would have stopped there.  nope - not Sweet G...

"Cause your belly got soooo big,  and it takes a long time, a really REALLY long time for it to go back down."

I left the room before they broke me.  No crying last night.  They need some lessons from Jillian.  too bad their bedtime is 7:30.

Friday, June 4, 2010

I'm Obviously Not Good at Blogging

I'm obviously not that good at blogging.  Well, I think I'm at least a pretty decent writer, I just stink at doing this on a regular basis.  I really don't know why that is.  I constantly think to myself.  "Now THAT is blogworthy."  but the thought or story or picture just never hardly makes it to the screen.  

I'm really sad to admit my failure as a good blogger.  I had high hopes really, but 4 blogs in a year really won't put me up there with The Pioneer Woman or Homemade by Jill or For the Joy of Food.  A girl can dream though.  I had a dream of a REAL page with more than 2 hits a day with advertising links and cute little tabs and a cookbook and a tour and lots of cute babies wanting pictures with me...  OK, not really, but I did want to at least be able to say "I have a blog" with out feeling like a little half liar.  

But in my life I have learned to settle with being a dabbler.  It's really what I am best at.  and I really feel that living a life dabbling in lots of different things, is better than devoting all of my energy into one thing and not getting to even try all of the other things.  And I have also learned as I dabble, that if I dabble in those things really well, making those moments worth while, then I don't get burnt out. I keep enjoying them.  

So I love my dabblings:  blogging, sewing, singing, cooking, painting, designing.  I also love the fact that because I am a dabbler and not an obsesser (have I said that I love making up words?)  I have room for my real passion - being a good Momma and friend.  So I love my friends and family hard and dabble in a lot of things a little bit and probably should do more than dabbling in cleaning and organizing and exercising for that matter, but I do love my life, and am thankful for all of my outlets... even my pitiful little blog.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

I'm Running a Hospital

I never knew that when I pee'd on that stick back in 2002, and the magic line appeared, that I was signing up for medical management.  That's really what mothering is all about I've decided.  or at least in my hospital, I mean house.  I will have to type quickly, because I currently have three children with three different ailments and I'm sure at least one of them will need me in the next 5 minutes. 

This is what I know of parenting.  SOMEONE IS SICK CONSTANTLY!  Maybe not at your house, but we are particularly affected because my children are allergy children.  Somone is always reacting to something, random rashes, spotty hives, eyes swollen shut, vomiting episodes... oh the joy.  But then there's the regular crap on top of that.  and then, for some reason, the NON-regular (I guess I could say irregular, but I like making up new words).

Case in point.  The last month:
The first week in January, Jaxon has what I think is an allergic reaction because his eyes are red and swelling.

Then Grant's eyes start up a few days later. Thank GOD I have the pink eye medication from last year so no doc visit required.

That same week, I notice pain while nursing.  I should have known then that it was a fabulous case of thrush in the works, but nope.  I go on with my life

Juliette then starts to get pink eye, of course.

By this point my girls are screaming with pain and I now realize I have thrush, which of course means, Juliette has thrush.  Here we go with the battle of the yeast.  If you've never fought that battle, then there's really no way to describe it.

But by then my boys are well, even if Juliette and I aren't.  So why don't we throw a stomach virus into the mix?  Thanks Jaxon.  Oh, and you'd like to share that with Grant?  OK, sure why not. And Grant, yes, please why don't you go ahead and puke on the floor at school, so at least I don't have to clean it up.  Very thoughtful dear. 

Then, of course Juliette has her first fever.  Bless her.  She didn't smile for 2 days.  Really quite pitiful.

Then she started up with rashes.  Doc says probably still yeast.  The battle continues.

Yesterday, Jax decided to take on a cold.  Please let's try to avoid breathing treatments this time.

So that brings me to this morning.  Grant has THAT LOOK about him.  That ambiguous look that tells us mommies that all is not right in the world, and please don't let it end up with more than one day out from school. 

So, yes.  I'm running a hospital...............  and asylum. and church. and juvie.  and prison.  and daycare. and amusment park. and restaurant. and counseling center.   I don't get paid enough.

Monday, January 11, 2010

I've Gone Too Far

I have come to think of myself as a foodie.  In the past few years I've noticed my tastebuds have altered to like only really good food, in most cases (I can still rock a Coke and some peanut M & M's).  And what I really love is homemade food, from REAL ingredients.  In other words, from scratch.  No boxed mixes. 

I thought that I really couldn't dive any further into the deep end than when I started grinding my on wheat.  But apparently there is a new low.  It's really an airtight case.  I have no alibi. Go ahead and convict me based on this startling confession. 

Exhibit A - and only one exhibit is needed, that's how bad it is:

In church on Sunday, KQ was giving a really great sermon about the archeological evidences of Christ's story, and he shows us the picture of Caiaphus' remains.  The point being that up until 1990 when this box was discovered, there was no other evidence that this man existed other than the Bible itself.

I should have been thinking something profound when I saw the picture.  Like, "Wow, I love when God consistantly backs up His story."

Nope, not me, the foodie that I am.  What am I thinking?

"That's a really cool box.  Look at those designs.  That would be soooo perfect on my kitchen counter right beside Julia, my new flame orange dutch oven, only if it were about 12 inches wide of course, I can't really tell from the picture"

"I could use it to store my sour dough starter.  That is--if I even had any sour dough bread starter."

But still, wouldn't that be a great pairing?  Just move the radio out of the way and there you go.  I'll stop short of photoshopping it in, but you get the picture...

Then I realized what I was thinking and pulled myself out of my spiraling internal conversation and back to reality...  God help me.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Facebook might be Pandora's Box

I'm beginning to wonder if when I joined Facebook perhaps I might have unwittingly opened pandora's box. Sure there are benefits. We know immediately when we can expect our children to get the stomach virus because everyone's status tells us it's heading our way. We always know when there are sales at stores, thanks to the mommas out there who actually leave their houses during the day. And most importantly, I can always depend of Facebook to let me know that there are other people out there with lives very close to mine. Empathy is a comfort.

But, I think perhaps that the negatives might override the positives.

1) I can never-ever gain weight without everyone knowing. It's like we have a living weight chart on the world wide web. "Kristina looks like she's packed on about 15 lbs. since last June. See this pic versus her brand new profile pic." Don't post pictures of yourself you say? I don't have to, because there are people who take their annoyingly addictive I-phones around, take pictures and tag you in them. Then the tag tug-o-war begins. I'm tagged, I untag myself, someone else tags me, I untag myself again... so on so forth... I and my seesawing weight are forever immortalized on the internet. It's kind of like the tabloids with Oprah or Kirstie without the headlines of course. Thank GOD there are no headlines....

2) I can never surprise anyone with a fun factoid. "Yeah, I saw that on Facebook" Really ruins the enjoyment of quasi gossip. e.g.: Did you hear that so and so is pregnant? Did you know about so and so's new purchase? it goes on and on... every body knows everything instantly.

3) It causes me to almost sin on a daily basis. My friend Amy says it DOES cause her to sin. My other friend Cheri says it's not sinning if you realize that it might be...? I call it Facebook Coveting. Before Facebook I didn't have to see my friend's delicious meal that is sitting right in front of them at this very moment at S.A.B. while I'm having Cheerios for dinner. Before Facebook, I didn't have to see a bajazillion pictures of Hawaii while I am swimming in rain (I love you Kimberly).  I'll stop now, before I tell you the times when I've REALLY sinned while reading stuff on FB.

4) I constantly think about my life in terms of status updates and postings. Is this event status update worthy? I should post that on Facebook. I bet that would get tons of comments on Facebook. It's kind of like in 10th grade when I was addicted to Tetris. (yes, I played video games too much, yes, I was a dork, and no, I didn't have a boyfriend... I was too fat for one -- thank heavens there was no constant pictorial documentation back then...).  We rented it from the movie place, and I played non-stop. It got so bad that I begin to try to fit imaginary Tetris shapes into various silhouettes in my real life. STOP THE MADNESS!!!

But the box is open, and quite frankly I don't think I can stop, but curbing back is highly in order. We'll see. So, signing off for now. I need to go post a link to this posting on my profile.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I Resolve.

It's a new year and time for the obligitory list of resolutions.  So here goes:

I, Kristina Sanford, momma to three and wife to one in this Two Thousand and Tenth year of our Lord resolve to:

1) take a shower before noon at least three times a week. I usually  still have on my pajamas at 4:00, when I normally get my shower in.  That's only because I have a competent 6 year old home from school who can baby sit for about 3 1/2 minutes...  I cringe to know what actually goes on while I'm in the shower.  I'm sure there is some mischeif that I'd rather not know about.  Maybe I should just take longer showers and swim in the wonderful abyss of ignorance as long as I can...

2) wear something other than my pajamas to the bus stop.  Pretty doubtful any of Grant's friends or the bus driver for that matter think I'm running for the fashionista of the century.  They probably don't even realize I have real clothes.  You know the kinds with buttons and zippers and cloth other than fleece, jersey and spandex.

3) actually fit better into my real clothes. You know the kinds with buttons and zippers and with cloth other than fleece, jersey and spandex.  My father gave us Wii Fit for Christmas.  I'm sore already and I've really only just plugged my name into the thing.  I may need some anti depresants after seeing what that awful thing did to me yesterday.  I innocently stepped on that little rectangle box and typed in my wee little height and the next thing I know, my little mii figure blows up like a balloon and this little sqeeky, creepy voice tells me that I'm obese.  nice.

So in a nutshell, this year I want to be freshly showered as I workout in real clothes on my Wii before noon.  I'll let you know if that happens tomorrow.  I seriously doubt it, but maybe, just maybe, by 2011 that little squeeky, creepy voice will tell me I'm just overweight, not obese.