The Truth of Dads and Moms

Sometime in June I mentioned to Jonathan that we would, sometime this summer, have a "Video Game Night" where the boys could stay up as late as they want, play video games, eat junk food, and generally have fun. I know, what a fun idea, right? The truth of how great ideas start and finish in my house was never more evident than yesterday.My great idea was to have the video game night. Jane Anne- made cookies, made sure the boys took naps, made some excellent trail mix, bought other goodies, made sure we had movies for Thomas to watch because he's not a video game aged kid, and made sure we had pizza for dinner. She stayed up and helped get the boys in bed when one of them melted down at 2:30 AM.
So- behind every time I seem heroic to my kids, its because momma is doing all of the work in the background to let me look good.

Home, Sweet Home...

It should be rare that you turn on Fox News and see an article about my home town (Knoxville, Tennessee) unless it is about football.

Twice in the past 30 days there have been violent acts in safe places that garnered the attention of the national media. A man walked into a "church" (Unitarian Universalist type) about a month ago and killed several people. Then yesterday, two kids at Central High (famous graduates include Todd Helton of the Colorado Rockies)were arguing, one pulled a gun out and shot the other in the chest. He died before getting to the hospital. I write this as my seven year old is slaughtering countless little Lego-men on the XBox 360- the irony is not lost on me. I received the book "Stop Teaching our Kids to Kill" a few months ago. The premise is that we are, through video games, movies and stories, making it very easy for our kids to make the jump between bullying/ playground fighting to pulling the trigger. I will be off on the facts here, but not by much- The kid who shot and killed 7 people in Paducah, Kentucky several years ago had never once fired a gun or rifle in real life. He had fired them hundreds of thousands of times on his video game in the 1st Person Shooter games he played. (Jonathan just blew away about 25 Storm Troopers- Go Jonathan!). When the kid started firing from a semi-concealed position, he fired 10 rounds- 7 of which were head or torso shots. The average law enforcement officer (including CIA/ FBI/ US Army) does not hit more than 3 of 10 under duress (firing when it counts).

My point is convoluted. Having guns in the house does not matter (Paducah boy went next door and took the gun out of the neighbor's house). Teaching children to deal with their problems without resorting to violence is important. Also- letting children repeatedly kill on games and watch killing on TV desensitizes them to killing. They do not see the person on the other end of the front sites as a person, but another pixel on the video game- and they now have an easy way to solve their problems.

"Hey Mom, why is that fat guy running?"

I ran this morning. On purpose. Completely unrelated, today marks my one year anniversary with Target.

I used to enjoy running, a little. I used to think I enjoyed the health benefits more than the actual running, but than I discovered I was doing it wrong. Not the actual running, that's pretty straight forward (one foot, other foot, one foot, other foot, and so on until you get tired). But I was running with the wrong clothes on. My choice of clothes used to be a gray shirt with the word "ARMY" screen printed on it. Somehow, that shirt made running nearly unbearable. And as I looked around, there would be upwards of 300 people with the same shirt on that looked just as miserable as I felt. And they would yell. Trying to run in step with each other and yelling things like, "I DON'T KNOW BUT I'VE BEEN TOLD..." and other similar things that hardly made sense. Google "Running Cadences" if you don't know what I'm talking about.

But this morning was different. I woke up at 4:30 AM, not so much on purpose, but because of a result of a seven year old biology experiment in procreation. As I was lying in bed, I decided I would give it a shot. I mean, I used to run 11 miles at a time. I could certainly make it to the stop sign and back, right? Well, probably not, but I thought I should try anyway. I mean, I ran at least three times a week, 50 weeks a year for 10 years at no less than three miles a day....carry the zero... that means I ran a lot.

I have wanted to start running again for a while, but I lacked the proper motivation. Apparently, that motivation comes in the form of me seeing myself in the mirror one too many times as I step out of the shower.

So, here is something I learned. At 5 AM while running on rural roads, every sound you hear is probably a skunk. And one time, it really was. Skunks, even when it is really dark, can easily be located because people are running away from them... and they have a very peculiar white stripe. No, I didn't get sprayed. Also- Walmart is a lot further away than I thought. The sprinkler at the guys house down the street is set WAY too high, but the cold COLD water feels good. Geese do not have a sphincter muscle. (I didn't actually learn that today, but was reminded of it a moment ago when the third flock of geese flew right over my head. They missed me.)And one last thing i learned: it is really peaceful at 5 AM in Lebanon, Oregon. Running is a lot more enjoyable when there aren't 300 people yelling and puking around you. Just me, the sound birds chirping, cows mooing, and my 220 lbs hitting the ground.

I may have to do it again on Friday.

When you don't think things can get worse...

Those who don't think things can get any worse, lack imagination...

David woke up last night with a belly ache and got in our bed to keep us up... I mean, to be comforted by his parents. That's an hour of sleep I didn't get back. Then When I had a classic day at work today. It was busy and tiring. I knew that when I got home tonight JA was going to be heading out and going to a MOPS meeting. I'm not saying that I don't enjoy every moment of taking care of my passel of kids, but there are some days that I look forward to quiet. Anywho- the headache hit just before JA called me at work and told me that the the baby had diarrhea. I was SO looking forward to going home. I got home, JA gave me the high 5 as she was walking out the door and I think she looked a little too happy to leave :). I had just set down the crying baby because my stomach wasn't exactly feeling great, two of the boys were borderline fighting, I was cooking dinner and trying to find 12 seconds to go to the bathroom. That's when I thought, "Oh things are just about as bad as they could get..." Then I heard it...

"Daaaaddyyyyyy.... I pooped in my pants."