Tuesday, January 31, 2012


From the day Scott's family left Pennsylvania, someone in this house has been sick. Truly. Each of the kids, Scott went down, and I'm trying desperately to come out on the other side. I think Elyas had the worst run with 104 temperatures over the course of 4 days. And just when he recovered from that bug came another, this one accompanied by double ear infections. Sigh.

Many people ask if it's exhausting to have a big family when we all get sick. To which I usually think, "Duh." Of course it is!! But there are so many blessings that come even then. We had many people to take turns snuggling sweet Elyas, who just wanted to be held for days (and nights) on end. So many people means that there was always someone able to put peanut butter on bread and steam some frozen vegetables for a quick meal. Laundry was done, floors were cleaned, books were read aloud, water was fetched.

The true joy of a big family isn't just the fun times. For me, it's watching the entire group suddenly pull together without much complaint to fill in the gaps as we lose one Rutherford after another to illness. It's hearing an older offer to sit up with Elyas so others can rest, or rush to help comfort someone who has just gotten violently ill.

Rutherfords, I'm proud of you. You've done an amazing job.

Monday, January 30, 2012

wii monday

I find the inner workings of the testosterone influenced mind to be a continuous puzzle. There are many daily choices and desicions which completely befuddle me. And in our land of 6 v 4, there is plenty of opportunity to ponder this difference.

Now, please understand that I am very much a viva la difference gal. I like that Scott and I bring such different views to our mutual life. We make each other stronger by our diversity than we could ever be if we approached things the same. I'm okay with the daredevil antics which landed Dawson with a mild concussion as long as he leaves me out of it. Scott is usually game for an all out wrestle fest with himself in the middle of the action.

But there are consistent behaviors which puzzle me completely. For instance, any day of the week will find the little boys asleep until 6:30 or so while Dawson will reluctantly enter the land of the awake only after much prodding, poking, cajoling, or (worst case scenario) when Scott's stern, booming voice cuts through the nonsense once he arrives home.

That is, any day but Monday.

Monday is our Saturday. It's the one day of the week most of us are home and awake without commitments. And so, in place of Saturday morning cartoons (which was a beloved memory from both Scott's and my childhoods) we have Monday morning Wii. And what I find incredible is that without alarms, roosters, sunlight, ice cubes, or any assistance whatsoever, the average Monday morning wake up in the boys room is usually 5:30. For ALL of them.

I'll come down for coffee to find five boys in pjs and sleep mussed hair sitting before the soft glow of the tv, clutching remotes, and planning strategies. Their chores are complete without any reminders required. There is no thought of food, bathroom, or mouthwash. Instead there is an contented intensity directed at Mario and his chums.

The girls have chosen to spend this time sleeping in which is followed by breakfast and then their individual pursuits: sketching (Isabelle), working on photography (Shelby), or whatever suits her fancy at he time (Abigail). After a while, the girls will trickle in and begin rotating into the games.

Tomorrow, we'll be back to business as normal when it comes to waking up the boys. They'll drag themselves down the stairs, grumble that they're hungry, do their chores under duress, and in general be grouchy until their coffee kicks in. And if I bring up how cheerful and easily they functioned Monday morning and wonder why they're having such trouble now, they'll look at me like I'm from the moon, shake their heads, and go back to their drooling state.

I just don't get it.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

teeth & toilet paper

Keats has lost both of his front teeth within the last week. He is very excited and anxiously awaiting the family being healthy enough to head over to the dollar section at Target in order to spend his hard-earned tooth-fairy money.

And I do mean hard-earned.

Keats is the most patient tooth loser I've ever met. Most of the kids take the same approach I did. The tooth is a little loose so you push, prod, and twist that sucker out whether it's ready or not. Not Keats. The tooth can be barely hanging on by a snippet of something and able to be completely inverted in his mouth, but he just keeps on wiggling it.

The secret, I am told, is toilet paper. You must have a small piece of toilet paper with which to grip the tooth while gently moving it back and forth. Without toilet paper, one would have to hold the tooth itself, and that would be gross. Also, without toilet paper, one would have to see the blood on one's fingers, which would also be gross. And the faster you move the tooth, the more blood appears, which is definitely gross.

And so, my patient 6 year old gets his tiny piece of toilet paper (two squares are really all you need) and gently works on his loose tooth for a matter of days until the tooth finally drops into the toilet paper out of sheer exhaustion.

And Scott and I breathe a sigh of relief that the kid isn't going to choke on it in his sleep when it just drops out, without toilet paper.