Coming Up for Air

GASP! Sputter, sputter, cough.

Ok, so when I originally began this blog, my goal was to post every day, six days a week. I realized pretty quickly that that was not feasible, a foolish idea at best. So I set my posting goal at three to four posts a week; after all, a lot goes on in a family with lots of kids and let's face it, I have a lot to say. But, not too terribly long into that plan, I realized it wasn't going to happen and so I set my goal at two posts a week. I really strived to pay attention to all the details of our family life in order to come up with what I hoped were two good weekly posts. And I really kicked myself when I didn't meet my own expectations. This goal setting thing went on quite a while until I finally caved and set a mostly realistic goal of one post a week. Happy now Goal-Eating-Monster? (It just doesn't know when to stop!)

That was 300 posts ago. The Graceful Chicken blog has been in existence now a little over 3 years. So I figure, if you average it out I am actually doing pretty darn well keeping up with, even exceeding the one post a week goal. And then....and then these last few weeks hit......sheesh....you'd think I had walked out on the writing hobby altogether!

I can't seem to recall what I ate for breakfast any given day, much less what happened the rest of it. It is like we awake each morning with grand plans of summer fun, adventure and relaxation (with a little clean up along the way) and when we arrive at our destination (bed) each evening, we have a brief, peaceful moment in which to ask ourselves: what on God's great Earth just happened?

And you have to know things have gotten rough when we are looking forward to getting down to Florida at the end of the week so that we can get out of this heat! Talk about crazy! Thank goodness we had to replace our entire air conditioning and furnace combo last week as we actually had a cool house to hide in today. (I can also get excited about spending $36 on two bottles of wine just so that I can send in for a $5 rebate....I'm THAT good with home economics math! Matter of fact, just yesterday I convinced myself that buying all THREE of the bathing suits I couldn't decide between would actually be a good deal in the long run because I wouldn't wear them out as quickly....really, I'm good like that.)

Anyway, as the days turned into weeks turned into a month and not a decent blog post was written, or at least not finished, I started getting so anxious about it that I had to write something, anything, to post that wasn't just a B.Y.O.B. I have a handful of half-written posts: my sister's wedding in New York for example, just sitting there, waiting for me to return. But, no, I needed to start fresh, bore you with something mundane like Aidan explaining to Lily recently that there was no such thing as magic:

"Lily, there is no such thing as magic," he told her after she had mentioned that her friend could do magic. "The only person who can do magic is Santa......oh yeah, and the Easter Bunny, oh and the Tooth Fairy, and maybe the Leprechaun. And GOD. I mean, God can do magic." And he was so know-it-all sure of himself, I just smiled. But I couldn't help but spur him on a little.

"Aidan, God doesn't do magic," I said, just for clarification.

"Well, it's not magic but God could call what He does magic if He wanted to, I mean, He is God after all and He can do whatever He wants," Aidan told me. I'm pretty sure he wants to be God when he grows up, you know, if the opportunity should ever arise.

Anyway, I also learned that it is an inherently bad idea to take four kids to IKEA on a Saturday morning. I learned this last Saturday when a recently potty-trained Liam, having already been to the bathroom twice in the last ten minutes, sat himself down in the middle of the extremely busy walkway, took his shoes off, pulled off his pants, and started pulling down his underwear screaming "POTTY, POTTY" so that everyone would know that he needed to go to the bathroom and his terrible mother wasn't taking him, again. And of course, when I finally got him there, half undressed, still screaming bloody-potty, he calmed down, looked at me and smiled:  "Me want cookie," he said. And no, he didn't go.

He's lucky I didn't leave him there.

Cookie. Ffffffffffffffffffffff.

The thing is, in the last few weeks, so much has happened I can hardly process it all. There were funny things like Liam begging for a shot at the doctor's office because Lily got one at her last well-visit: "Me too? On my arm?" he asked so sincerely I almost believed it. And there were some not so wonderful moments, you know a gagging kid here or there, Liam puking at the pool after inhaling water (I was alone with all 5 kids as I dragged him out of the water just in time to miss the pool...not our best moment....), an ultrasound to check out a suspicious lump (thankfully benign),  and the list goes on and on. I am guessing the kids are just swimming in the delight of the chaos, wondering what will happen next, who's will will break, which parent will fly off the deep end and how will they land. And they are onto us I think. They keep asking me for things, as if all of a sudden my position on spontaneous purchases to spoil the kids has changed. Just the other day Madeline and Lily ganged up on me, asking if I would buy them Rollerblades. I told them they could put them on their Christmas list (my usual response) but that we simply didn't have the extra money to buy them right now.

A few hours later, Madeline asked Kurt and me if we could buy a lake house. Rollerblades? Nope, can't afford it, but sure we can buy another home! (She must get her money-math skills from me, poor thing.)

All this is to say, we are still here, just really busy. Next up, Florida. Perhaps in the cool climate down there I'll have the energy and time to write more. Or not. But please know, I think of you readers often and pray that your summer is nothing like ours. :)


  1. Your post made me smile:-) I can just imagine you in IKEA with four kids...and Liam having to go to the bathroom. I was just talking to a friend about how I try to avoid IKEA because my one item purchase ends up being a two mile walk/jog...and I even try to use the short cuts. The strategy of not being able to exit out of the door you came in...I guess forces you to see what's in the store and to eat Swedish meatballs and chocolate cake!

    BTW, I loved Aidan's comments about magic.

    I pray you all have a safe trip to Florida and it's good family bonding time!


  2. Wow. I hear you about the loud potty screams in the middle of a large store. I hear you about being the only adult in charge of 1500 kids (well, I usually only had 3 at a time, unless there were some of my nieces or nephews added into the mix). It definitely requires strength.

    And you are blogging in the midst of it all! I say CONGRATULATIONS to you for being able to write while also caring for young children.

    As for the heat - I am in Western PA which I think is near you. But we went to Baltimore, MD this past week. It was 105 on Thursday. I am SOOO glad to be back home where it is only 91 degrees! I hope Florida is cooler.

  3. We were just in Mercer....beautiful weather the entire time we were there!


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