Monday, June 1, 2009


Last night we went out for a lovely Sunday evening stroll with the family. It had rained a bit during the day, but had cooled off with a nice breeze and was quite pleasant. "See?" Ryan said, "Don't you love Miami?" A few minutes later he was telling me a story when I became a little distracted. I was looking a few buildings up the block, wondering if a pipe had burst because there were just sheets of water in front of their building. And then. "Oh no." I started pushing Ryan saying, "Go! Go!" But it was too late and within seconds the "pipe" that had burst was over our head and the rain was pouring down. On us. With our three kids in the stroller. In the middle of the park. So we ran and ran, children screaming and made it back to our apartment. Completely drenched, every one. "Yeah," I muttered as we dripped into the building, "I love Miami."

The thing is, this isn't exactly an isolated incident. It's not the first time this has happened to me. Not even the first time this week. It is, in fact the third time within a week we've been caught in a downpour. And seriously, there is about zero warning. One of the times I was walking and I heard one clap of thunder and tried to hurry home, but of course didn't make it in time, although it wasn't nearly as heavy a rain as yesterday's. Another time I was driving and decided I would just have to valet park my car and it took five adults, still getting soaked in sideways-blowing torrential rains, to get me, the kids, and all our gear in to safety.

It's been this way for weeks. It's rained every day for the last few weeks as far as I can remember. And with such little warning, and such a bad collection of getting-drenched experiences, I hardly dare venture out anymore.

But it's not the only thing limiting me. The list seems to be growing. We've already discussed bathroom limitations, which loom as large as ever. Not only can I not go to the bathroom, I can't even put anything away that belongs in a bathroom because of the ensuing tantrums and the following sour mood it puts everyone in. Which is actually what happens after any of the following events are put to an end. And the going to the park by myself limitation. Still in place. Beach limitation - check.

In addition, I can no longer take the dirty diapers out to the trash chute every time someone poops because I have three little shadows following me out the door and into the hallway where they promptly scatter in all different directions. It's great fun to them, and when I'm geared up for it, provides some sort of outing, but I've yet to have it lead to anything less than a half-hour, hit every floor in the building excursion. Then trying to get them back to our apartment, or any other coordinated direction is a total joke (Ryan always says it's like herding cats). And in a couple more inches when the little guys can reach the elevator button, I'm sure I'll have one running down to the elevator, pushing the button, getting on and going who knows where; one running out the door to the garage, should anyone happen to open the door; and one screaming blissfully as he runs down another hallway to make his escape.

So the poop must fester. Until nap time, high chair time, or some other confining moment. Like throwing all three in someone's crib (which happens fairly often. Like daily shower time).

Then there's household chores. I can't empty the dishwasher when anyone is around or I have two babies pulling out knives, breakable dishes, and nearly sixty pounds worth of baby sitting on the open dishwasher door. Nix that.

Computer time. Gone. Three kids pulling the mouse, clicking on advertisements, minimizing my screens until I can't see a dang thing, sending messages to people unbeknownst to me, and probably chatting with people in China for all I know. At present, Phoenix has just started a 91 page print job on the printer that startled him so much he hasn't stopped screaming for 5 minutes.

Which I guess means that's my cue to go. But really, what in the world do I do with all these kids as I see my options dwindling to just about nothing??

Well, plenty of this, unfortunately:

Seriously? You still have to stand this close even with the huge tv and life-size Elmo?

And the tv-induced thoughtless stupor:

(But see, they're at least changing positions. That counts for physical activity, right?)

And eating. If you can't tell, every one here is really good at that. Hmm, maybe that's why I have such chunky kids...

But I'm up for suggestions because we're all going crazy in this house. Oh yeah, and coloring and play doh or anything else crafty - no can do. Everything gets eaten.

Anyway, Happy Hurricane Season. It officially starts today.


katya said...

hmm I can think of edible crafts,well just one at the moment (finger painting with pudding!), but that's probably not what you meant.

I'll put it on the back burner of my mind and see what pops up. :)


Angela said...

The best thing that has kept my sanity when I have a child in that phase (A child, mind, not two :), is to hang out at a friend's house who also has young children and, hence, doesn't have many breakables around. That way it gives me an outing without all of the chasing kids around of any other outing, and the kids have exciting things going on because they are out of the house, new friends, etc. But usually what goes around comes around and you have to take your turn hosting someone else's outing at your house, and all the craziness that ensues. Totally worth it though. Then you feel like at least you are doing something. But I bet for you, just getting into the car when starting from scratch on any given morning takes 2-3 hours, best-case scenario. "Limitations," indeed!

Maybe instead of all that, just make one of those paper chains to rip off one link every day until the next time you either come to Utah or your Mom comes there!

Susie said...

I remember receiving a letter from my mother-in-law where she said, "You are accomplishing more than you realize." Over the years I have clung to that line. One doesn't feel like she is accomplishing anything when she has so many diapers to change and mouths to feed over and over and over. . . Another line that resonated with me was from a friend's Christmas letter, "mouths and cupboards are open more often than shut".
I think all work has it'd tedious, repetitive aspects, which makes me think there must be some necessary purpose in it. What are we becoming as we persevere?
Hi Katya! Nice to hear from you. Congratulations on your magnificent accomplishmnet! Is there anything tedious about your work? Do you have a blog?

Rich said...

I like Angela's idea too!! lots and lots of play dates!!

Sharon said...

OOps!! sorry that was me not rich!

Lima Bean said...

someone told me when we first moved to oregon (i'm sure i was complaining about the rain at the time) that it actually rains more in miami than it does here, but it just comes all at once in a few months instead of just drizzling for like 8 months in a row. i don't know which is better.

Julie said...

I hate to say it, but now do you see why my kids were always watching TV! I just wanted them to be entertained so I could have a few minutes to enjoy with you guys or other adults!!!!


Anonymous said...

One word, LEASH

AnnaMarie Ferrell said...

Get your hands on a big box (refrigerator, filing cabinet, etc.) and make it into a house by cutting doors and windows out of it. You can let Cash color it with crayons (the other ones probably eat crayons; Katie still does!) and it can keep them busy for awhile. I'll post any other ideas I come up with...

Anonymous said...

Absolutely hilarious post. I can certainly see it all now and imagine it well, having just been there!

Large box idea was a great one -- and wouldn't you know that Phoenix would be the one to do the printing!

How about story time at least twice a day? Do you need some new books? There must be some books they would all enjoy together in a seated-nearby position with TV off. But thank heaven for the TV! A couple of months during hurricane season will not ruin them, that's for sure. Did you speak to management about installing a high hook on the door? Does not need to require a lock and key, just a hook.

Tonight Nancy Grace (yes, I do watch her occasionally) mentioned that she was walking her twins in the park next door at 6:30 a.m. this morning. Just be thankful that yours are usually asleep at that hour, safe in their beds and not into mischief, and that you do not have to deal with the papparazzi while you are taking your babies out, requiring you to go at 6:30 a.m!

The paper chain was a great idea too.

Much love to all, Grammy

LuAnn said...

I'm going to try to make a list of 10 activities I can do with these 2 little boys inside. No matter how you look at it getting out is complicated even with just 2. I think I should learn to make being home more enjoyable and less frustrating. I'll share what I come up with. One thing I know for sure...the more time I am with them the happier everyone simply sitting on the floor while they play. Though it can get boring quickly.

katya said...

hi Susie,

I probably shouldn't reply to this here as it's not about Jen's blog, but I am not sure how else to respond to you.

Thank you :) I really appreciate the encouragement (I'm not quite finished yet).

I don't have a blog. I spend entirely too much time reading other people's blogs tho and maybe someday I will have one. For now, I can be reached by e-mail. I should get my grandma to give me your e-mail and send you something so you have mine.

oh ps. YES, there are many tedious things about my work. I can bore you to tears/or maybe sleep if you're ever interested.

LuAnn said...

Check my blog and tell me if you have a problem with anything I said. I didn't think you'd mind me referring people to your blog for entertainment, but if you have any concerns let me know.

SuburbiaMom said...

Yikes! I remember this stage... At least they take naps and go to bed earlier than grown-ups. I think that's why kids nap--so mom can catch her breath and be ready for the evening busyness.

Diaper genies or any other really good diaper pail would help keep the poop from being smelled in the house, since it's too hard to go out.

Hang in there. It doesn't last forever--really it doesn't!

Goeb Life said...

Oh, Jen......

What a handful you have there....Just wait a year or two and your will be mobile, mobile, mobile. :) I can't believe that the twins look so different from Cash. Cash is definitely Ryan and the twins are YOU!

BTW....I did use the pacifier chains with Eva, but I don't want to use them while Brady sleeps, for safety reasons and such. (Sam won't let me :)) I should put them in the car seat!! Thanks again...