Life as we know it

I’ve been away too long. Is this really what the calendar says?

When the New Year begins, I always think life is going to move slow. January has 31 days, after all, and we all know that 31 days in January is longer than 31 days in just about any other month. Especially August. August could have a hundred and 31 days and still not be enough. I hate to see summer end, even when I can’t stand the high temperatures. Or May. I’d take twice as many days in May as what the calendar gives us.

But now it’s February. The shortest month. The one that always seems to drag.

Our cluster of four doesn’t have any family milestones in January, and with the seminary semester picking up speed, I feel like I blinked and missed much of what happened to us this month. So, for posterity, and to shake the winter blahs, here’s a recap of what we’ve been up to.

We’ll start with the little guy, who’s not so little anymore. 14 months old and he runs this joint. At least, that’s what he thinks. Walkin’, talkin’, destroyin’, makin’ noise. I’d like to say he’s ALL boy, but then he goes and does something like this.

Phil assures me it’s fine. But what does he know? He likes to wear pink.

When he’s not showing off his bling, Corban likes to color. Well, he holds the crayon and sweeps it across anything in his path. If a coloring book happens to be within reach, then we call it coloring. Otherwise, it’s a “No, Corban” moment. We have a lot of those.

His favorite food these days varies from “nana” — a banana, which he would eat at every meal if he could. He looks straight at them, grins as wide as his face and shouts “nana” at the top of his lungs. His grandma is also called “Nana,” but unless she decides to wear bananas on her head like the Chiquita banana lady, she might have to change her name — to “crackie,” which is NOT any kind of illegal substance unless there’s something I don’t know about Wheat Thins, Honey Maid and Kashi TLC products. Jesus said man cannot live on bread alone, but I’m pretty sure Corban could live on crackers alone.

Then, we have the drama queen.

 She’s going on 3, but some days I’d swear she’s going on 13. She flips her hair across her shoulders. She wants to “get holes in my ears.” (Mom is not on board for this yet.) She says she wants something then immediately follows that statement with “but I don’t.”

Example:

Mom: What do you want for a snack? Apple? Cheese and crackers? Yogurt?

Isabelle: Apple!

Mom pulls apple out of fridge as Isabelle yells, “I don’t want an apple!”

Sigh. Parents whose children are older than mine tell me it gets worse after this. I. can’t. wait. (Insert sarcasm if you can’t read into that statement.) I cling to the hope of kindergarten. I once thought we would homeschool our children, but now I know better. Someone would end the day in tears and it would probably be me.

Isabelle would go to kindergarten tomorrow if we would let her. She’s sad when the yellow bus speeds by our house without stopping to pick her up. Lately, she’s been really interested in letters, the ABC’s, and wanting to write them. She’s in love with “Chutes and Ladders.” (See previous post here.) And puzzles. I don’t mean to brag, but she can put 8 pieces of a 24-piece Spongebob puzzle together without much help from me. It’s for 3-7 year olds. She’s brilliant, right? (When you read that, think humor, not stuck-up. Please?)

What about this guy?

He’s the cheese to my macaroni. The colored marshmallows to my frosted oats. The fizz in my soda.

In other words, he makes life interesting. He taught Isabelle to play hide-and-seek recently, and she loves it. Except that she doesn’t exactly get the concept of hiding. If Phil walks through the house wondering, “Where is Isabelle?” she’ll giggle and come out of hiding saying, “Here I am!” But she loves to count and then find him hiding wherever he might be. Our house is small. We may have exhausted our hiding spots, but to Isabelle the game is not old yet. He’s a good daddy.

He’s in the second half of his third year of four for seminary. Which makes him somewhere in the neighborhood of five-eighths of the way to graduation. (Somebody get a calculator and check my math.) He’s also in training to win a weight-loss competition at work. Grand prize is $100. It’s like a mini-“Biggest Loser.” First weigh-in after the initial weigh-in is tomorrow. Hope he’s on the right track!

Then, there’s me.

Yep. There I am. Honestly, in front of a computer is where I’m usually the happiest, but I’m learning to give it its time and walk away. For the children. For my family. For myself.

I’ve been blessed with a couple of opportunities to expand my writing horizons, so I am. And that’s one reason you haven’t seen much on this blog lately. Maybe you hadn’t noticed, but I’d like to think someone out there missed me! (OK, enough self-pity and searching for significance!)

I wish I had something profound to tell you tonight, but mostly I just wish you could experience the joy of our house, even in times of trouble. This is as close as I can get you. We can’t bring you to our house, so I’ve tried to bring our house to you.

Winter’s half over. Soon I’ll look back on February and wonder where the time went.

Until then, I hope to keep in better touch.

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