Thursday, January 13, 2011


Kyle is off in some faraway land living and eating it up and our camera card went with him, so a recap of the full season of Christmas will have to wait. However, I was able to recover quite a few gems from Ma's camera. Here's just a wee sampling of what we've been up to the past month.

Post-Christmas clearance rack raids,

Bean box adventures (most of which have consisted of emptying the box of beans as quickly and wildly as possible... is this truly better than sand?),

Yes, all that Christmas stuff (including a complete FAIL at that "slim Christmas" I'd hoped to create),

New matchy-matchy church clothes,

and some assorted odd encounters...

Ma has been saintly to stay with us (and Bob, too) while Kyle's gallivanting from one Chinese urban center to another. Bob has another dr. appt. so they'll stay until next week for that. Having another mom around is oh-so-helpful, and yet I'm most grateful for Ma's presence when I hit the light at night and all the morbid stories she's lovingly shared over the years come flooding into my memory.

The kids (actually just the boys) have been awful crazy lately, and I cope by going on clearance rack shopping sprees on a regular basis (and devouring entire batches of cookies at a time-- no shortage of food junk around with Ma in town). It makes me feel a little better, at least until Kyle's sees the bills.

Every seasoned mother would tell me to cherish this time when my children are young and malleable because "they grow up so fast," but so far they're growing up terrible sluggish-like. Seriously. Way slower than average, I'm pretty sure.

And yet, I'm sure my dissatisfaction is rooted in selfishness and ingratitude. When I get humbled out of my moodiness, I'll realize that someday I'll look back and won't remember how crazed and ultra-stressful these days are.

That's why I'm writing this now. I don't want to forget how awful raising my boys is right now. It's the PITS, for the record. Let's just say that I'm glad I had Ellie first so I would want to have more kids. If Erik was my first toddler or Charlie was my first baby, there may not have ever been siblings.

Alas, there will be more. I've pinky sworn to Ellie she'll get a sister.


Emily said...

It's nice to see what you've been up to. I'm glad you're so candid about raising your children. I don't know what the Man upstairs was thinking when he blessed us with Brooks first. Does He really want him to be an only child? :) That's sure the way it's going to be after tonight! Miss you guys terribly. Love the cute church clothes, and your hair cut.

Cathi said...

Ahh, Tiff, you always leaving me wanting to have more children :) Looks like you had a great Christmas. I love the clearance rack shopping! I'm glad you had a great Christmas. Enjoy your Ma! Someday I'll figure out how to call you between 3 time zones- really.

Mary said...

Was that an announcement? ;)

You're such an awesome mom, and I love your bangs.

It's so hard to be without a husband. I'm sorry. Really.

Thomas Family said...

Boys are a roller coaster that is for sure. Everyone tells me that they get easier while the girls get harder...hmmm. Hang in there!! Call us up when your mom leaves too. :) Oh and did you get my text about the potluck here on sunday after church?

Karrot Soup said...

I know Scott misses his family a lot -- I really sympathize -- but if I REAALLLY had to pick only a small number of relatives I could live right down the street from, it would be sisters. All the way. You're the best. Though I hate to tell you, you will remember how awful and crazy-making these years are, but it will only add to your incredible gratitude for the amazing kids you have in 5 years or so. Stick with it, girl, you're one of the awesome and great ones!

Amy said...

CUTE matchy match clothes! What a beautiful family. What is Kyle doing in China? I've never heard of a "bean" pit, but, every year, I fill our plastic turtle with new sand and the kids throw it out until the turtle is empty. Brian hates it. I feel like it's just the way it is.

I think you ARE a seasoned mother (you do have three kids after all), and you know what every seasoned mother in your stage of life knows -- it takes a lot of strength to make it through most days. You are a fantastic mom and you're becoming a better person every day because of those challenges. I'm glad your mom is there to help out. Can't wait for more of your delicious recipes!

sara said...

I'm with Mary, was that an announcement?

I love the matchy-matchy church outfits. Way cute!

Mish said...

I've been waiting to see if anyone comments on the picture that I TOOK of Charlie daintily stepping into the bean box. Am I the only one who gets a kick out of that? Anyway, cute post. miss you.