Saturday, October 29, 2011

You all will be happy to know the Burch family is back to eating out--in restaurants (kind of), that is.  Actually, we've only tried a few...b/c eating out with 3 children is a risky proposition.  But--as you may know--an important part of our family culture.  When I met Paul, he was 30 and single (obviously) and had not eaten a meal in his house...well, maybe ever.  The first time I looked in his fridge, I was scared.  It had tulip bulbs and 2 European beers.  And butter.   Anyway, the man likes to eat out.  We eat most meals at home these days, but still 'out' a good bit--b/c Paul has found a partner in crime in his oldest child.

Littons is Garrett's favorite (well, it was an Indian restaurant, but after they failed 2 health inspections, I dropped the hammer on eating there.  we are at the hospital enough as it is) and we went last night.  Lilah makes meals out tricky enough...b/c you have to have a supply of fake cheese snacks for her and your iPhone battery charged (so she can watch YouTube)....but adding Ada to the mix has upped the ante for sure.  Just getting out the door is a challenge--pacis, toys, diapers, bitter biscuits.  It's a lot of pressure if you are a girl scout like me--I like to be prepared!

Which is why, when we pulled in the parking lot to get out, I realized I was wearing this:
halloween fashion.  far-east style.
Dinner went well, if you don't count 2 trips to the bathroom, a few threats, ketchup on Ada's face, and a full styrofoam cup of water that "someone" sawed in-half with his steak knife.  The burgers were great.  I think.:)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Parenthood is full of emotions, and, I think, parenting a child with so many struggles, even more so.  Paul and I always say, the highs and lows are, somehow, much more intense.  You expect, whether you know it or not, a typical child to do new things....they are constantly changing--nothing surprises you about what kids are capable of doing.  
But, with Lilah...not so much.  Months go by where she, literally, does not do anything 'new'--where she just 'ooches', bit by bit, closer to a goal that was meant to be achieved over a year ago.  And, it is not uncommon for her to lose one skill as she gains another.  New abilities are so slowly arrived upon that they are almost old news by the time she gets them--there is hardly ever an 'ah-ha' moment, if that makes any sense.  
But today, we had a big one.  "Ahhhhh-Haaaaa".  You could see it in her face...a light bulb flashing.  Quickly and clearly.  And she moved.  From across the room, to her Cheetos, on the shelf under the bar.  And it was the closest thing to effortless I've ever seen her do (unless you count swiping her sister's paci).  It was beauty.

 Lilah got her stand-up walker today.  Seeing her in it absolutely un-did me....I cried like a baby.  (I would say I felt bad for the equipment guy, but he's used to me by now) So happy for her to have the tiniest bit more freedom of movement.  So glad to see her body upright, stretched and tall (relatively), as it should be.  Hopeful that she may gain a little independence in her ability to explore the world.  But (and there is always a but), also an incredible sadness.  It breaks my heart to see her in any 'contraption' know that it takes all that (bracing, brackets, metal, padding, etc) so that my little girl can even hold her body up in space.  It sucks that everything is so darn hard for her.  And there is nothing worse in the world than seeing the look in her eyes that lets me know she 'gets it'....she knows she's different and she's frustrated.  I hate that the most--that she is smart enough to know her body and mind do not work as they should.
One of the Lord's great provisions in this rocky trail is that, at the end of most days, no matter the events or trials, we are thankful.  Thankful for this precious child and all the ways that our family is stretched and strengthened and blessed by who she is and how she loves.  Thankful that, by His grace, she has all that she needs (medicines, therapies, equipment, doctors, etc).  Thankful that we made it through the day and hopeful for the next.  And Hope is where it's at.  Well, that and Faith.  And of course, Love.
Check, check, double check.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

I hesitate to tell you this story (shocker, I know) because I think it just makes me look (more) crazy, but then I figured y'all already knew most of my here it goes.  It's cold weather season again and I dread it for many reasons, the least of which not being that I live with a small child capable of making an entire household miserable over seasonally appropriate clothing.  I know, right? How many posts can I write about how Garrett hates cold weather clothes? Well, this one is about shoes.

Last year, I let him wear flip flops in the snow.  Not all the time.  But sometimes.  Playing the 'I'm not going to make a mountain out of a molehill' parenting car.  Then I realized the joke was on me, because, while I think forcing the issue on clothing is usually a lose-lose battle....allowing your 4 year old to essentially go barefoot in the cold might be a one-way ticket to an appearance on Super Nanny.  And, I am afraid it might lead to me looking back 10 years later, saying "It all started there.  With the flip-flops. That's when I lost control.  The tattoo, earring, and hoochie girlfriend are all my fault.".

So this year, I've laid out the boundaries and have let Garrett know that the flip flops are being put away until soon as it gets cold.  Luckily for him, we have bipolar weather and he's been rockin the flops though mid-October.   Two weekends ago, we set out on a family adventure to purchase a new pair of winter shoes.  (This is where I start to look crazy).  I have no idea why we all went.  We are just exciting like that.  Oh, wait.....I do know.  The last time I let Paul buy him footwear, this is what he came home with.

uggliest shoes ever

Anyway, I'll set the scene:  New Balance.  !6 year old employee who I feel certain will never have s.e.x. for fear that she will end up like us. One crying baby.  One child picking her nose and grabbing shoes to eat as we wheel her past the displays.  And one 5-yr-old cowering behind his father, as if in fear of tennis shoes.  I am not kidding--he literally cried because he did not like any of them.    So, we said we'd try another place.  No big deal.  Lots of shoes in the sea.

We hop in the car (you would laugh at this phrase if you'd ever seen Burch Party of 5 load up to go somewhere) and I start in on "children in Africa have no shoes.  they are thankful", which totally backfired because G said, "you mean they get to go barefoot all the time?", as if that would be mecca.  Not exactly what I was going for with that lesson:(.  Three shoe stores and 2 very angry parents later, we abandoned the mission and headed home.  All the shoes were 'too tight', 'too big', 'not handsome' , or 'not fast'.  He did find a few that he liked, which the team vetoed (i.e., black, light-up, DarthVader).

Then, after beating my head on the wall and calling my mother to ask what I'd done wrong, I remembered my own personal love affair with Zappos.  So, I ordered the little darling 9 pairs of shoes that I deemed acceptable.  They were all rejects.  Not kidding.!!!!!!! Then, like any stupid, blinded-by-first-born-child-love mother would do, I ordered 'round 2' of shoes from Zappos.  I'm leaving out a lot of the gory details in between here...but you can imagine....tears, yells, power struggles, apologizes, vows to change behavior (by all parties involved).

The end goes something like #2 arrives, G declares before opening it that he doesn't like any of them and I throw down the ultimatum and vow to chose for him.  He wants to know which one I will chose, so, clearly, he can chose the opposite.  And, we end up with the exact same darn pair we've had for the last 4 years, except bigger.  Two weeks, several stores, hundreds of dollars on my credit card, and an ulcer and he choses the same pair!!
Suckered and out-controlled by a 5-year-old again!

The flops are gone....and the meltdowns over shoes (and pants, and sweatshirts) have begun.  Is it spring yet?

Monday, October 17, 2011

My precious little Ada spits up.  A lot.  All day.  It's like a Dr Suess book...she spits up on the floor, in the car, on the bar.  Ada pukes here, there, and everywhere.  It's ok.  I honestly don't care.  I'm not sure if I'm so beaten down by the antics of the other two or the drama in the last 3 years or if I've just matured so much since Garrett was a baby that it doesn't bother me.  Probably the 2nd:).  When he was a baby, it grossed me out...I got tired of always smelling like spit up (these days it might be an improvement), changing my clothes before leaving the house (this, I've found, is not really necessary for preschool pick-up or Target, the only places I go), and cleaning up the piles of 'splat' (now, I just drop a paper towel over it and leave it for later, or rub it in with my socks--that is gross, I know).

I felt like sharing this, because tonight, she set a new record for disgusting--love her little heart.  In past weeks, she has spit up in my shoes (many times), down my shirt, in my hair, in a basket of clean and folded laundry, on a pair of freshly ironed pants that were still warm and folded over a chair, in a drawer, and all over my new People magazine.  But the worst was tonight--when she spit up in my bowl of salad and on my fork, as it was going into my mouth.  I have no idea how it happened, but I think it's a true testament to the power of my stomach...because not even a bowl full of baby puke could ruin my appetite.  But, don't worry.  I did not eat the salad.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Look at this girl....cuter every day! I cannot get enough of her--breathing in her baby smell, holding her hand, rubbing her head.  I cannot believe we've only had her 4 months and do not know what I did without her.
Ada's getting too big, too fast for me.  And she thinks she's bigger than she is...she has swiped food from my plate 3 times in the last week and acts like if she could just move her arms and legs a bit faster, she might be able to get somewhere.  She is sweet and determined and has a mighty temper.
Not that you would know it to look at her.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

We are working on some positive attitude, thankfulness, and helpfulness goals at the Burch house.  I'd say the (relative) biggest strides are coming in the helpfulness category.  The only hold-up seems to be if G deems the task important to him (e.g.,  please get me my phone so I can call your teacher and tell her you are too sick for school) or fun.  The fun part is tough, because, no matter how many cutesy songs you sing--a 5 year old boy is not going to take the bait that setting the table is a joy.  

 I did discover that pouring rain makes getting the newspaper might have taken him 10 minutes to get his gear on, but he was very proud!
Rain or Shine...he delivers!
After the delivery, he tried on every item of rain clothing we own...hats, boots, ponchos, umbrellas to test them out.  Isn't that helpful?  :)
Tragedy has struck the Burch home.  My tall, strong (and handsome) husband has thrown out his back.  A lesser, weaker wife would be all I told you to lift with your legs and I knew we should have been doing Pilates together when the kids went to bed (instead of eating popcorn)....but not me.  I'm happily serving the invalid man, stepping over his camp-out on the living room floor, while doing everything that involves lifting anything heavier than a glass.  Oh, also, the driving.  I'm doing the driving because his doctor has him on a little cocktail of prescriptions that made me hide his keys.  Because the only thing that would make me more irritated than an injured husband is a dead one.  Talk about no help.

As it turns out, every single household and child rearing task requires the use of your back, did you know that? Luckily we only have two children that are totally helpless in every way, and Garrett is such a joy in terms of helpfulness and positive attitude, that he makes up for it.

Now we know that Paul has 2 bulging disks and I really do feel sorry for him.  Sorry for him and totally panicked for myself because he and I are 'in this' together and a big part of 'this' is lifting our 35 lb darling many times a day...which, unconincidently  is the cause of this excruciating pain.  I counted 30+ lifts of Lilah the other day, just for necessities (in/out of car, highchair, bed, etc) and she's only going to get bigger.  So, Paul and I are getting our acts together and starting some core training...he's thinking CrossFit and I'm thinking one of those electronic belts from the 80s that stimulate your muscles while you watch TV.  Kidding, I've started running again--which is maybe not that good for my core, but awesome for my attitude....which might be weaker than my core:).

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I love watching my kids together.  I should note:  they do not fight, at all, yet.  A fact that is both wonderful, and sad.  But,  adding a 3rd increased their all their interactions by a lot, and the fighting is sure to come.  For now, I'm enjoying the new dynamic.
  Garrett, having his antics appreciated by the newest sister, gives more attention then to Lilah, hoping for a similar response.  He doesn't normally "get much" from Lilah, but she at least seems a bit more 'present' lately.  Lilah loves her baby sister...seeking her affection much more so than with anyone else (except, of course, her daddy).  She reaches for Ada constantly, wanting me to stop and hold Ada near her for kisses or pats.  Lilah will scoot across the floor more quickly to be by Ada than anything else.  Ada is just her speed.  For now.
 The thing about typical babies is that they change.  Quick.  I forgot how every day brings a new skill.....Ada is literally changing before my eyes.  And it's bittersweet. I am beyond thankful that she's strong and healthy, obviously.  And, none of her little skills go unnoticed around here.  I think she's a genius....a very strong genius.  But, it also highlights all the things that Lilah never did.... skills that we 'worked on' for a year, that Ada gets in a day...areas of development where my 3-yr-old is behind my 4 month old.  And it makes me really sad that Lilah has to work so darn hard for little things (like making a sound, or rolling over) that should be so easy.
As for Ada, she loves her siblings.  Garrett can make her smile in a nano-second, and her curiosity over what he's 'up to' far outweighs any residual fear over the "Lego Incident".  And Lilah, she's still trying to figure her out--waiting for her to talk, I think.

I love these 3 so.  So fiercely.  So equally.  So differently.  What a blessing it is to be their mother.  Especially at times like this.....when they are moments away from sleep.:)