Posts Tagged ‘dad’

Bedtime is one of my favorite parts of the day.  It’s not just the peace that comes after a long day of noisy boys.  Nor is it the moment when all the kids disappear into their rooms and I can have an adult conversation without any arguing or fart noises, without any sounds of armed attack or crying or complaining.  That is nice though.

It’s the whole bedtime routine I love.  The reading and the cuddling, the singing, the tucking in, the million drinks of water, the giggling and talking long after they were tucked in.  I especially love it when Dave is home and he sings to the kids.  Dave has this amazing ability to remember any song he’s ever heard.  He can sing all the words, he’s got the general tune.  From a tone deaf wife, who can’t remember the words to the “Wheels on the Bus”, I’m constantly amazed.  I rarely participate in this nightly singing ritual.    It’s too much pressure for me. I am glad that my children haven’t inherited this fear of performing.  Nathaniel will sing along whether it’s the hundredth time or the first he’s heard the song.  He’ll sing along even if the song’s in a different language.  It’s rather sweet.

Dave’s song selection runs the gambit from Contemporary to hymns.  The twins especially love the duck song, it’s usually their first request, it’s the Freebird of our house.  They also regularly request The Man in the Moon Song,but Dave normally saves that one for the eve of a business trip.

When Dave is gone, the song repertoire is much smaller (and sometimes replaced with an extra chapter or picture book).  I class it up with songs like: Jesus loves me, The Barney Theme song, the ABC song, George of the Jungle, or Jingle Bells Batman Smells (as an aside, my cousin taught the kids this song when he came to visit.  When he left the twins told me how impressed they were that he had made up such an amazingly awesome song right on the spot. I let them go on believing he was the author of that little gem.)

Some nights, when Dave is singing, I’ll walk down the hall and hear Our God is awesome God, in Spanish.  Or maybe some B.I.G.G.Y.  Nothing is really off limits for Dave, but each session is normally ended with a hymn.   Nothing sounds sweeter than a couple of five-year-olds singing about Jesus.


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I am so incredibly blessed to have an amazing group of men who love and support me.

Like my Grandpa whose love shows no boundaries.  He’s the kind of guy who goes skydiving on his 70th birthday, because you’re never too old to enjoy the things you loved when you’re young.  He’s also shown me that when life is hard and doesn’t go like you’ve planned, you need to roll up your sleeves and get to work to make it better.  His great patience, compassion, tenderness, and steadfastness during the long years of taking care of my grandma as her health steadily declined, was such a huge testimony of his love that touched everyone that knows him.  (Phew that was a long run on sentence)

And this guy, my father-in-law.  I can not tell you, internets, how thankful I am for in-laws who love me and whom I love.  When Dave and I started dating we each had long checklists for the attributes we wanted in our spouse.  I’m not quite sure what was on his list.  Maybe something like “During our first conversation when I ask her where she sees herself in five years she’ll reply ‘Married, with more children and hopefully pregnant.’  (Thank God he didn’t hang up the phone and run!).  One of my top ten was that he would have a wonderful family.  The very first time I met Bill, he said “You are our Rachel.  We have been praying for you!”  How can you not love that?

And my Dad.  How do you sum up how much you love your Dad in one paragraph?  You don’t.  I could write forever about this amazing guy who will sit through the freezing rain for two hours to watch my kid play baseball and then move onto the next set of bleachers to watch his next grandkid play.  He’s the sort of guy who will fly up and build me a chicken coop because I have ambitions of being an urban farmer.  And then he’ll call me daily to check on his chickens.  He’s the guy who knows me so well that he understands exactly how I feel with just one word.

And then there’s Dave.  The guy who is my perfect match. When we were dating we were amazing gift givers.  I made him a quilt of our 9 first dates.  He hand carved me a picture frame.  I wrote him copious love letters.  He made me a scrap book complete with all the memorabilia of our first year together, including ticket stubs, street maps, and our first emails to one another.  But then we got married and moved in together.  All of our free time is spent together.  And we have 5 kids with very busy schedules.  Our amazing gift giving turned into plastic dolphins and Wine of the Month Club subscriptions.

This Father’s Day I decided to bring back the homemade gift.  I found an Eric Carlesque book that someone had made on pinterest and decided that I could totally do it. Of course I procrastinated and did this all the Friday before Father’s Day.  There were no directions so I winged it and here are my directions (unfortunately without pictures, so imagine the mess).

Step 1:  Plan what you’re going to write.  Be thankful that Eric Carl did all the hard work with “Brown Bear, Brown Bear What do you see.”

Step 2:  Decide what you’re illustrations are going to look like.  Maybe even go so far as making a rough draft (which will totally remind you that you’re not an artist).  Think about buying him a gift instead.

Step 3:  Break out the paint and convince your 5-year-olds to paint sheets of paper.  Realize that no five-year old wants to paint a solid color on paper.  Bribe with candy.  Realize you have 12 more colors to paint.  Give them different household tools to create texture on the paint.  Wash paint off of everything.

Step 4:  Start cutting.  Prematurely think you could be the next Eric Carle. Realize that you will need glue.  Search for glue.  Find 14 glue sticks without lids.  Find 2 bottles of glue completely dried out.  Break out the craft glue. Peel a layer of skin off of the craft glue.  Mentally chastise yourself for not doing enough crafts with the kids.

Step 5: Decide to have the older children make their own portraits.  Realize that your teen’s apathy for the project will lead her to paint on her lips rather than look for the red paper.  Mentally bang your head against a wall and wish for wine at 2pm because your 9-year-old cries that this is too hard.  Think your 12-year-old may actually have a future in paper arts.

Step 6:  While the kids are bickering about their portraits decide you should look on the internet for someone who can print the photobook and express ship it to you in 2 days.  Learn that Walgreens will do same day printing for photobooks.  Do a quick coupon search and find a 40% coupon for Walgreens Photo.  Pat yourself on the back for being a procrastinator  Think about writing them a thank you note from procrastinators everywhere.  Decide to look on the internet for a procrastinator group.

Step 7:  Join the children in finishing up the artwork.  Decide that the work in making lots of different Dad’s is impossibly too much to finish before Dave gets home from work.  Instead cut off arms and reposition them.  Congratulate yourself on your mad scissors skills.

Step 8: Start to take pictures of the artwork and creating the photo book.  Realize it won’t be as quick as you thought.  Call Dave and hint he should stay at work late. He doesn’t bite.

Step 9:  Recruit the older two to make portraits of the  younger two.

Step 10:  Be awed with your daughter’s creativity when she gives her little brother highlights.  Realize that you must have never taught your teenager the saying “When using a glue, use a dot, not a lot”.  Break out the hairdryer because Daddy’s going to be home in 30 minutes and we need to hide the evidence of this massive project!  Wish you had used glue sticks which dry clear.  Break out the markers and color the glue.

Step 11:  Frantically  finish taking photos of all the artwork and run around like a crazy women trying to get the kids to help you clean up the huge mess.

Step 12:  Come up with a brilliant plan and have Dave stop at the grocery store on the way home.  Realize you need an actual photo of the kids to round out the book.  Coordinate them on the picnic bench.  Take 87 photos in which not everyone is smiling in all of them.  Abandon a sweet photo,  opt for a crazy face photo.  Realize this is more typical of these monkeys anyways.

Step 13:  Finish the photobook.  Open a bottle of wine.

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