I Got Nothin'

You know it's bad when your husband, who lives in the same house with you, makes some kind of blithe remark about someone else who posts very rarely but still posts more than you do.

OK. I get it. I need to keep the blog up. But I've got nothin.' Or at least no way to say it in any kind of interesting way. But just for a post's sake, I'll give you a little list:

1. I'm sapped. Tired. Probably mostly lazy, but tired sounds better. And is quite possible, really.

2. Despite Item No. 1, I have exercised almost every day since the January 1. And I have lost several pounds and one inch off my waist.

3. I'm trying to fit into a smaller bathing suit by March, when we are thinking of going to Thailand.

4. My kids are cute and smart. Still. But I can't think of any specific examples right now. Just trust me.

5. It's crazy cold here right now, and the sidewalks are pure ice. You get brain freeze just by breathing. I actually kinda like it because this is what I expect out of winter in Ukraine. Last year was a disappointment.

6. I am serving as Young Women's President in our little church branch here. There are two girls, sisters, and I am clueless. This is a calling that is seriously stretching me - not because the girls are problems, but because it's out of my comfort zone (I struggled relating to teenage girls when I was one myself!) and I just want to do it right and make it a meaningful experience for them.

7. My hair is staticky and falling out at an alarming rate. I think it's something in the water. Or else thyroid again. Not cool.

8. I have fallen in love with fizzy water. If I could remember to make ice cubes, I would have heaven in a glass.

9. Only seven more months until our post in Kiev is up. Which supports my theory that a person can do anything for two years. Just put a three-month London break in the middle if you can. Heh. No, really. Kiev has been a great experience. I need to document it a little better, don't I?

10. I undecorated a couple weeks ago but our naked Christmas tree is still standing in the corner of the living room waiting for David to pack her up. Hmmm. Looks like he gets to his honey-dos almost as frequently as I get to my blog, eh?


How Do I Blog Thee?

Let me count the ways...

This is my 500th post!!!

Almost four years, two new babies, a few blog identity crises, and one foreign living experience later, Code Yellow Mom is still going. I honestly never knew if I would stick to it very long and at the beginning it was with so much trepidation that I clicked "post" each time that I didn't know if I'd hold up under the self-inflicted torture of wondering if anyone would read and, if anyone did, would they like it?

You are witness to the fact that I've obviously gotten past the idea that I need to say something profound in a completely eloquent way every single time, but I still have aspirations of saying more and writing better. And I still think of you every time I click "post."

I started the blog partly because my friend Nobody convinced me to, but mostly because I don't live near my family and thought they would like a regular glimpse into my life. Only a few family members have enthusiasticlaly taken me up on that opportunity and offered support and encouragement, but I've also gained a circle of friends and family that otherwise I would never have come in contact with. It makes me feel good to know there are people who are interested, no matter how I express it.

Recording my daily snafus and observations, sometimes with humor, sometimes with apathy, and sometimes with tears, has been a fabulously rewarding experience. As I look back on posts from when Calvin and Henry were very little, I realize that this blog is a journal and a coping mechanism, a tool for learning and for going forward as a mom. I don't think I'm the same frantic and stressed, perpetually exhausted young mother I was in April of 2006. It's nice to be able to look back and see that.

500 is a big number. A super big number, as my boys would say. And I've reached it. It feels like something to celebrate, but I don't know exactly how. Except to say thanks to those of you who have read along, commented, commiserated, advised, empathized and enjoyed with me. I love you. I really, really love you.

Where does Code Yellow go from here? I'm still thinking. I'm still growing into being a mom of four, and it has overwhelmed me more than I'd care to admit. I think it's the tipping point for either becoming a lot more organized and articulate and pulled together (in more spheres than just the blogoshpere) or else falling off the deep end. I'm pulling for the "get it together" side of me. So we'll see. I'll try to blog about it...

Here's to 500 more!

And truly, thank you for being along.


Ten for Tuesday

Today is just a small list of things to tell:

1. Happy Birthday to my Dad! Nothing can change how much I love and appreciate you and I wish we could spend more time with you. Hope your day is great.

2. Charlie wants everything "deep." It's his way of explaining that he wants more. It originated with wanting deeper juice in his cup, but has now grown to include snacks and toys. He wants deeper train cars, and if you only give him three chips, he tells you that they aren't deep - that means he wants at least four.

3. Henry - our family's most likely to fall, trip, topple, or stumble even from a stationery position - has a nearly perfect Center of Balance on Wii Fit. Hmmmm....

4. Calvin has been really snuggly lately. He will sit close to me on the couch or lay his head on my lap. I like it a lot, because he has always been very particular about his personal space. I think there's a leeeeetle part of him that still wants to be my baby. And that's fine by me.

5. Jane's first little tooth poked up on the bottom and another is right behind it. OK. So the process is not making either of us happy, but she looks cute. Now I just have to figure out baby food. I have to make my own because there is a totally different idea of "first foods" here, not to mention that added sugar doesn't seem to be a problem in baby foods and juices, and other ingredients on the label are not intelligible to me. Pureed carrots, anyone?

6. Overheard: (After Henry started some potty humor monologue and Calvin was laughing hysterically, Henry was trying with all his might to get Aunt Jo to crack up, too.)

Aunt Jo: Yeah, girls don't really think that kind of thing is funny.
Calvin: I do!
Aunt Jo: You're not a girl.
Henry: But it is funny!
Aunt Jo: And you'll think it's funny for the rest of your life. That's the sad thing.
Calvin: (all serious) Why is that sad, Aunt Jo?

The other sad thing is that most guys also wonder why that's sad.

7. I turned Aunt Jo into a brunette.

8. Overheard:

Charlie: I want some juice, stupid-head!
Dad: No way. I don't get juice for people who say ugly words.
Charlie: OK. I want some juice, nice head.

9. It has snowed and snowed and snowed. And neither sidewalks nor streets are plowed here. The main roads are mostly driven and melted clean, but the road on the little hill in front of our house provides continual amusement. Video footage coming soon. I'm also a bit home-bound because of the snow - we've gotten stuck several times coming or going to the store and church. Not fun with littles along.

10. David and I went on a date on a blizzard night. After getting stuck trying to get out of our alley drive, we decided to leave the car in the garage and walked to a sushi place a few blocks a way. It was eery quiet and foggy and dark and very Soviet feeling out as we took one step, slid a half step back, all the way. But it was fun! He has a very busy (late-night working) few weeks coming up, so we were so glad ot get out a while, just the two of us. (Thanks, Jo!)

And now, boys are back in school and my life can settle just a little during the days. We'll see what that will do for Code Yellow Mom.

P.S. I've lost 15 pounds since Jane was born. Trying not to psych myself out because I want to keep on it, but I feel really good. None of my pants stay on very well.


The Jane: Five Months Old

I'm not sure what it says about my life that the only thing I manage to post on the blog is a monthly photo shoot of the baby.

Maybe it says I have SO MUCH going on and I can't find time to blog?

Maybe it says I have TOO LITTLE going on and I can't find anything to blog?

Maybe it says my blogginess is waning? Because certainly three little boys in Ukraine should supply plenty of blog fodder, one would think.

Maybe it just says I have a fourth baby. And that says it all.

Well anyway, here's Jane at five months old.

She cut teeth this week, which accounts for the copious amounts of slobber in some of the photos and some funny little smiles. I actually think she's been teething since birth...She is the only one of my babies who has absolutely loved teethers and rattles and rings to chew on at this age. (All the boys chewed stuff later, after they had teeth. Oh wait, they still do it. Like puppies, really.)

Jane rolls over like crazy and practically crawls, if she could coordinate the arms a tiny bit better. She can pretty much scoot and roll around the whole living room, but she doesn't sit up on her own yet!

She answers back with funny sounds, trying to copy whoever is talking to her, and her best smiles are still reserved for her brothers. (Calvin helped with this month's photo shoot.)

She is outgrowing her 3-6 months clothes more quickly than I would like, but she is not outgrowing her need for mom and only mom. It is seriously uncanny how I can put her down to sleep soundly and decide to run to the pharmacy on the corner and the minute the door clicks shut behind me, she is wailing unconsolably until I get back. She knows when I leave her. And no one else will do while I'm gone. I'm not exaggerating, either. Sigh.

It has been nice that Aunt Jo is here to snuggle and bathe and rock Jane a little - she's a good substitute a lot of the time. And Jane is trying to give Dad a chance, too. Someday I will be able to go on an errand without the haunting feeling that my baby is screaming the whole time I'm away.

In the meantime, I'm all Jane's. Or so she (and the blog) would have you think.