March 18, 2010

out to dinner.

sometimes, i love the pictures even when i'm not loving the moment.
sometimes, i love the real life more than the picture.
i definitely love the pictures more when they really show the moment.

tonight, we went to Applebee's.
because, jakob picked going out to dinner as his one fun thing during spring break.
i picked Wednesday night, kids eat for $1 on Wednesday.
(up to 4 kids per paying adult- see, we can have 2 more kids and be fine!) 
that includes FREE REFILLS on drinks.
and trust me, my kids definitely drink their dollar's worth.

here's our pre-dinner smiles.
when i look over these pictures i notice how happy my kids seem.
they are lively, happy kids.
i also notice their messy hair and mismatched outfits...
but, i remind myself that i worked HARD to let go of my perfect children ideals.
allowing them to dress themselves is something i worked hard to be ok with.
so, that makes me smile.
and, the fact that leah is wearing lily's size 18 month shirt, is just a sign that i have a sweet husband who helps, but doesn't care about the details.
and, isn't lily getting so big?
and, my boys... they really are growing up.
(i think jakob wears that shirt every day.)
they're about to leave elementary school and they almost LOOK LIKE middle school kids (almost).
and drew is SO FUNNY when you tell him to smile.  (what a sweet brother he is.)
those pictures really capture my life and happy, not perfect moments.

i had the professor take another picture of us inside the resturaunt.
honestly, this was my day.
finished a book.
did laundry.
fixed lunch.
put the little girls down for naps.
planned to take the kids skating while the professor stayed here with the napping little girls, but anna fell and really hurt her face.  i got scared to take her skating.
so, we went with some friends from church and some neighbors to the $2 movie.
i took 6 kids with me to see Princess and the Frog and the boys went to see The Spy Next Door.  Only, it wasn't playing (the internet was wrong), so they saw Alvin and the Chipmunks.
Then i drove 9 kids home and got ready to go out to dinner.
i was tired.
and, sick of kids.
leah is loud.
and funny.
at the resturaunt she stood up and pointed to the old people next to us...
"See MOM!! Two grandpas, just like SANTA!"
hushed and sitting near me.
"Mom, remember we saw that guy before."  (Pointing to my dark skinned waiter.)
"There are two of them, THEY MATCH!.... See mom, they both have BLACK on their skin!!"
she wanted "HONEY" or ketchup for her fries and lily wanted every drink that wasn't her milk.
She would drink it and then try to get the ice cubes out with her hand.
Since she's not a big talker, she yells when she wants something.  It's not a long tantrum, just a quick, "HEY!!"

my goal is to blend in.
having 6 kids makes this a bit more difficult.

having lily makes it near impossible.
so, by the end of the dinner, i was covering her hand with my mouth whispering for her to say please.
she will say please, but only after she screams.
she screamed for some ice in the middle of our picture moment.
i was VERY done with 6 kids at a resturaunt.
and, i expected the pictures to show a CRANKY momma.
see for yourself.
i may have just been posing for the pictures, but i honestly think i've learned a skill...
just keep smiling!!

if you are a mother, no matter what is going on around you, if you can keep smiling you look like you have it together.
i remember one young mom coming up to me at an institute class in Michigan.  she said, "i only have two kids and i'm going CRAZY.  then i look at you and you have four young kids and you ALWAYS have a smile on your face.  How do you do it?"
i still laugh at that sweet mom...
that's the trick.
paste that smile on there and endure.
i'd say 10 seconds after the last picture was snapped, we were out the door.  we waited in the car (little girls in carseats, country music on the radio) while the professor paid the bill.
we pulled into our driveway and i promised a surprise to the first 3 kids with teeth brushed AND flossed, pjs on and lights out.  it was a race.
the little girls were bedded (leah only came out of bed twice)
now, my home is silent.
my husband is reading in bed nearby.
i'm almost done with this blog, then time for my jammies, teeth AND floss, quiet reading,
and a big REAL smile.
i made it through this day.
i enjoyed some moments and endured some moments.
and, i kept SMILING.
today, that is good enough for me.

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