Friday, November 12, 2010

Bread And Circus

Yesterday was Veterans Day, so that meant that Ariel had the day off from school, but, Aurora still had her gymnastics class in the morning. So, all 5 of us piled into the spaceship and zipped to it. Thankfully, there are some awesome mama's there who are willing to help me out by holding a baby when they both want attention. We spent most of the time talking baby wearing, strollers, breastfeeding and sleep issues, ya know, typical mommy chatter... which I love. It's funny how that happens, once you become a mom. Suddenly your favorite topics of conversation are the contraptions in which you transport your child, what you feed your child, how your child sleeps, and the color and consistency of their poop. Yup.

After class, I had to go to the mall to make a return. Hmmm... was I really up for this challenge? I'd done it alone before, but not after already having had an activity in the morning, maybe it would be too much... but, the kids were hungry and food was low at the house, so, it was really between the mall where we could have a quick lunch by the pretty sea shell fountain, or Trader Joe's... where I would spend half the time removing random items from my cart that the girls think we can't live without... one baby strapped to me, another in their car seat in the cart, and a 5 and 3 year old walking in different directions.... Aurora chiming "Mommy! Are these happy chickens?" while pointing to, and balancing, precariously, a carton of eggs in her tiny arms... Ariel raiding the sample counter nearby-- um... mall it was!

How I ended up spending nearly 2 hours in the mall, and made it out alive, is still a mystery. I think a soundtrack of circus music following me around everywhere I go would be appropriate, considering all of the looks of shock and awe I get whenever I attempt such an adventure alone with the whole crew. First, we ate. Sweet potato fries, quesadillas, and a veggie wrap at Tacone's. Yummy! Then the girls had to go potty, which, let me tell you, is fun stuff when you've got 4 kids. Luckily, the big stall was open, so I could park the stroller inside while I helped the girls and made sure they didn't touch anything gross. Then, when they were done, I made sure everybody was out of the stall before flushing with my foot and hopping out because toilet water sprays up to 15 feet when flushed- big eew. Then it was hand washing time and a nice lady held the door for us and we were done. Whew.!

Then, we headed to Pottery Barn Kids because... it's kind of like an indoor playground, right? After a little while in there, we then went to a large craft table that was set up in the middle of the mall and the girls made cornucopia's out of paper, stickers and yarn. The babies had been rotating from stroller to Ergo all the while, so I could feed them and walk, which saves time. I even met a twin-mommy-to-be who took my stroller for a test spin to see if it's the one she wants to get. I swear, I should be a spokesperson for the Baby Jogger City Select Double stroller- I'm obsessed with it and I think I've convinced just about everybody I've met to get one. I find myself getting a little too excited to tell them about all of its features and even offering demonstrations like a crazy person!

I knew it was time to go when I noticed that Aurora had no shoes on, and I honestly couldn't remember how long she had been walking barefoot through the mall... though she had them on in the bathroom, they were now in the basket underneath the stroller... yup, mom of the year!


  1. Oh, Lisa! I am happy you have such a keen sense of humor. That's one of the things that helps one get throught the difficult events even if enjoyable. And as a mom, you never know what is lurking ahead. Great job!

  2. and who said being a mommy isn't an adventure or work for that matter. i love your stories about the kids and your daily adventures into motherhood. it takes me back to when my son was little so thank you for sharing.

  3. It appears you have mastered the art of getting through life with 4 little ones. Humor..yep that's the best way!

  4. Great blog! Lookin forward to reading it. We have 4 kids as well (9, 7 boys - 5-2 girls) my wife stays home as well so she feels your pain/joy too. If you two ever come back to Longview we'll have y'all over so they can play in the back yard etc. My wife would love to hold twins.

  5. As the mother of three girls, who at one time were under the age of 5. It is amazing how life changes when you have children. What I constantly heard was why did you have 3? Oh, I guess you were trying for a boy. Like if my last girl wasn't a boy I'd give her back, or love her any less. Life has cycles, soon it will be car pools and PTA meetings. Then Girl Scouts and homework. Then the time passes and it's boyfriends and dances. Now for me it's colleges and high school. Doing it alone I know that no matter what having their Mom there is precious. Your husband is going to be there for the good and bad. Hopefully you will look back like I do and miss the sticky hand prints on the windows and hand holding. It goes by so quickly so hop in the Mom wagon and enjoy the ride. :0

  6. Brilliant Idea!
    Afix a tin cup to the stroller and attach a card that reads...."If our traveling circus has entertained you..please drop a few coins here"

  7. Lisa - Thank You - Fun to read and you got a picture too! Kids are really cute. Don't know how you found time to write this. Hope the kids all were happy and sleepy after that outing. Wanna try that in the snow&ice? LOL!! Come visit me in a few weeks and the girls can make make snow angels like Monte is prolly doing while he's touring!!!

  8. Lisa, your adventures brought me back to my 7, when they ranged from ages newborn to 8. Yes, bravery, patience, humor, energy & a master of multitasking is what it takes. But most important, the love & support of a great man! God Bless you all!

  9. Lisa, you are wonderful. I love that Aurora decided to take her shoes off and put them in the bottom of the stroller. It is great that you are a writer because you can keep track of all the wonderful things your children are going to do. When you are a grandmother, those memories will be there for you to tell your grandchildren about their parents. It seems hard now, but believe me, when you look back (with your sense of humor) there will be many laughs for years to come.

    Also when you look back, you will know in your heart (no matter how rich and successful you get) that these were the best years of your life.

    Keep writing and venting. Your children are absolutely beautiful. I love the pictures of the kids that you put on Twitter. Please keep them coming.

  10. You are living my life 20 years ago. My husband is in the film industry, and when we were raising our three children, he was often gone for six months at a time on location in various parts of the world, staying in the best hotels, eating the best foods etc while I was at home cooking up macaroni and cheese for the kids...

    It was hard, and sometimes lonely, but the good thing is that we all made it through. I have three great kids. The oldest is married with a baby of her own now.

    My two sons are following in their father's creative footsteps. One is a touring musician and one is a filmmaker.

    All three of them love each other and still love us. I can't complain.

    My marriage is stronger than ever. It has come through some tough times, and at some point, I finally completely learned to enjoy the moments we were together without resentment for the moments we were apart. I made a decision somewhere along the line that if I were choosing again, I would rather choose living part of the year with my husband than the whole of the year with anyone else. After that, I just accepted how lucky I was to have the husband that I have. I still feel that way.

    Separation does have some plus sides, and I chose to mainly concentrate on those. I became very independent, created my own space and life, and really consciously appreciated the good things my husband added to my life when he came home. Every time we came together again, it was like a honeymoon. Because we are sometimes apart, we appreciate each other more that some other couples when we are together. We never take each other for granted. It is still that way today after all these years, because he is still on location at times, and at times, I can't go with him.

    Anyway, your blog brings back many memories. :)

    I really appreciate your husband's talent. I have been following his tour and am loving the music. Your husband seems to love you all very much and to have his priorities in the right place. You have a darling family! My very best wishes to you all!

  11. Lisa, I still think you should get a Mom of the year award, your a saint. I enjoy reading your blogs, brings back memories of our girls when they were little, only had two tho. It won't be too much longer and Monte will be home to help out.

  12. Lisa! I just LOVE you! You have such a wonderful attitude. My god, that Monte is a lucky man! I could barely manage with ONE child! Now I have three grandkids (same family) and I'm a Nomma-in-training!! I just love the chaos, gotta admit! I taught 7th & 8th graders for many years, so I'm somewhat used to chaos. Keep trucking, Momma! You're doing it PERFECTLY!

  13. Lisa, you are so amazing I have no words!! I have ONE girl plus the luxury of a domestic helper and I already consider it a circus going out! You can leave Christmas shopping to Monte!!

  14. Thank you, everybody! Your comments mean so much to me!

    @Jason, someday we'll visit Longview and have a visit! :)

    @Bernice, people say that all the time only it's "Oh, you must've been trying for that boy and finally got him, aren't you lucky!", or if I just have the twins, it's "Oh, you got your boy and girl, so you must be done!", then I inform them that we have 2 others and they give me that look of pity, haha. I love all of my babies, even if Atticus was a girl, I'd adore my 4 girls! ;)

    @GeralynK- Wow, 7! My hat is off to you! Talk about an adventure, but so much fun, I'm sure! Yes, all that you listed: bravery, patience, humor, energy & a master of multitasking- that is the key. Thank you :)

    @Irish1139- Thank you for that. I know that no matter how hard it is now, I will look back at this as the best times of my life. I am so glad to have it all documented in this blog, my virtual baby book! :)

    @NBlake- it's so comforting to hear about other people in similar situations because I almost never meet them. You shared some really inspiring thoughts and ideas. I feel the same way, that I would rather choose living part of the year apart, than with anybody else. Thank you for that! :)

    @Terbear14, @Sue, Thank you!

  15. Lisa kudos for starting the blog. Scribble scribble scribble. You've got a great voice & a wealth of material.

    Keep it up & one day you may very well end up in the mommyblogging stratosphere along with Dooce. :)

    -Shaunna (@shaunna2)

  16. Love your blog. Love your tweets too. It's very cool - inspiring - seeing lovers like you and Monte living and loving in unconventional ways. Reminds us there aren't rules for relationships and we can make it up as we go along.

    Missing each other for those months you are apart must make your hearts so strong, so fit. Lucky kids to have parents whose hearts are powerful and whose love is constantly being renewed. Thanks for sharing with us. YAY!

  17. What can I say that others haven't...when you look back years from now there is no where you would have rather have been (with the exception of having Monty home). I am the mom of 3, stepmom of 2. My stepsons were young when my husband and I married and they lived with us. My husband worked shift work and was gone many evenings. I somehow found my way between sports practices, school functions and work. 15 months after marriage we had our first and 2 more followed within 4 years. I did quit working and took on motherhood full time after my second child. Try having teenagers and tolders and potty training. What fun!! Somehow I am still alive and love my children. All of them. Now 2 are married with families of their own and 3 in college, but commuting (their choice), I truly dread the day they move out. Somehow the time has flown by. When I look in on my youngest sometimes(a girl, almost 19) I wonder where did the time go and who is this wonderful young woman who has taken her place. My boys are now young men that I am equally proud of. I shed a tear or two for the time that has pasted, much to quickly, but look for to their futures. Always be a parent first and later a friend. They need guidance and boundries mixed with lots of love and trust.

    I love that your are finding humor in all of this with your children. It's how you'll get through this time. Your story brings back fond memories, kinda kidding. We somehow adjust to what needs to been done, but years from now you won't know how you did it and survied. Wishing you and your family much love, happiness and health.

  18. I am a mother of a little girl that's now nine. I chose to be divorced. You see she ws born with Spina Bifida, Does not walk. Does not have bladder or bowel control.She can't chew. It takes 4 hours for her morning care and ongoing until bed time. I never feel over whelmed. I'm to greattful for all the things that go well.She's smart and alot of fun. She loves Adam's videos along with MJ. When I feed her and the food stays down I'm to greatful to be anything but happy. When I cath her and everything is fine I am just to greatful to think about the hour it took to do these procedures five times a day. I never feel nothing but happy and blessed because all the things that most kids do naturally, is so awesome when she do just a little. We both look at all things postively and she's never complained not ven once. She's happy but mostly content.I never feel overwhelmed. Just very greatful. It is all worth it when everynight I transfer into her bed and she's smiling. Peace

  19. Hey Lisa,
    Still thinking that eventually you should write a book, and edit these great blog posts & your tweets into some sort of collage..

    Sending hugs from San Fran, L

  20. Hi Lisa, wow, you've got your hands full...
    I've "only" got two boys, now 10 and 13 years old. But I do remember the trips to the mall, alone with them - and it was no picnic...
    Children are a blessing, even tho it doesn't always feel like it when you're covered in food, puke, poo and feeling (and looking) like something the cat dragged in.

    I'd always thought that I was supposed to have 3 kids, but I'm happy with my two handsome boys :)
    Now they both are able to care for themselves when they are home from school, and me and my husband are at work, it's great :)

    Our next challenge is going to be girlfriends, my 13 year old is a good looking guy, girls running down our doors... Have to make sure he acts like a gentleman! lol

    Hugs from Monica in Norway :)

  21. This is such an awesome post-made me laugh and smile throughout. I remember those days and as they get older you will begin to discuss the eye rolls, the girl attitudes....among other things. Then come the teenage years and all the drama, pms....boys you tend not to have that as much. Anyways we enjoyed all that so much we wanted to do it all over again with our now 6 year old who in reality is so good and so easy-somehow I don't remember the other ones being as good as she is but we survived and must of done something right since they seem to still be living with us at home and they are all over the age of 20 and do not seem to have any desire to leave anytime in the near future. Just want to say we think your husband is an awesome guitar player and such a joy to watch live on the tour. Those guys/girl all seem to have a great chemistry on and off stage and we hope they are together for years. We had wished we had a chance to meet him at one of the shows we traveled to but maybe the next tour. I am sure you and your kids are looking forward to the winding down of this tour and the holidays spent home with all of you together again. This was my first time on your blog and I love it and enjoy when you post pics of the kids-they are all so adorable.

  22. It's great to read this! I am inspired! I only have two, ages 4 and 6 and I find myself struggling. My husband is executive chef of a well known restaurant being opened where we now live (reason we are here). He is gone 24/7 so I'm doing it alone. All of our family and friends are on the other side of the planet! He does come home for a few hours a day so I can't imagine being totally without him. It REALLY helps to read that others are doing it in situations more challenging than mine! GOOD LUCK and I look forward to hearing more!

  23. Oh Lisa i was so happy to get to finally read this chapter today..
    you always brighten my day.and yes you still are mom of the yr to me..
    Question have you thought of a shoe design yet that will stay on the foot of a 5 yr old..
    can't wait to see more of your journey with the 4 children.and i am so happy you got to go out for the day..
    it is good for your heart soul and mind

  24. Lisa -
    Just caught up on your blog, and it's super entertaining! The flu story with your husband on the laptop, and Pirate walking on the babies were the best parts! I totally commend you for taking all those kids to the mall by yourself! Keep it up! You can do it!

  25. Hi Lisa! I just read this for the first time! This blog could have been written by my best friend! Reading your words was like listening to her. I didn't know you were a proponent of attachment parenting. :) so cool. As a pediatrician I love that. I should have guessed from the breastfeeding and cloth diapering. Hey since you are into baby wearing, I have a couple of pretty wraps to pass on. Do you know anyone who uses wraps to where their babies? They are much better than the baby bjorn type carriers.

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  27. Thank you all! Your comments are wonderful :)

    Joy, yes I am very AP, it's the only way for me, and I love it! Fortunately, I have a lot of babywearing friends. It's pretty common around here from what I've seen. I only wish I could somehow wear both babies at once... I will try two Ergo's (front and back) when they're bigger, but I imagine it would be pretty awkward (and heavy)!

    Thanks again for the nice comments :)