one joint to rule them all.

we had a birthday get-together for tom's 29th last week and it was just for "grownies" as my kids would say. however, even though no kids were in attendance, we ended up sitting around in a huge circle bouncing a balloon around, trying to keep it up in the air. our friend joe has a way of turning any social activity into hilarious feats of strength. so, his rule was that whatever body part you hit the balloon with, you would have to consider it removed from your body - from the joint down, unable to use it more than once. all the grownies were sitting around using different joints - an elbow, hip, a shoulder, even a desperate pelvis was once used - trying to keep that balloon up off the ground. it sort of made me question the difference between a party with kids, and a party without.

don't try to figure out why i wrote that. there is no real explanation for this sort of behavior.

my sister, bethann, her husband and their two boys just left. they came from michigan, my motherland, and stayed for the week. we had a great time with them, as usual, and the kids did quite well together i must say. the week was wonderful with my sister. we talked, we saw a movie in the grown-up movie theatre (for a small fortune) and we overhauled her whole wardrobe. we even took pictures of newly assembled outfits as a guide for when she returns home and panics.

having five kids in the house was a wake-up call. they did great together, but i just kept imagining doing it myself because i have definitely always thought we will have five kids. we talk about adopting one more time, and having one more biologically. five kids. that is a lot of humans. right now we are a family of five. but a family of seven? i am afraid we would become that family with a million kids, that nobody knows any of their names (probably not even us), and people just think of us as the family that sort of looks like the united nations. i hate thinking of myself walking around with really frizzy hair, looking haggard, calling out a list of names, with a blank stare on my face, hoping that a herd of children (with collicky hair and some sort of sticky mustache) will come running. why, oh why is that the image that i have?

people can have five mustache-free children right? kids that have hair that lies normally on their head? this is possible isn't it? i can have kids whose names i remember. and even if we do look like the united nations when its all said and done, i may not necessarily look haggard right? i mean, i have seen mothers with a lot of kids that don't permanently wear a robe... or a long floral dress. why do i have this idea that if we have five kids, i will be issued a long, pastel, floral jumper as my permanent uniform? do i have to wear blouses? will i start serving huge pots of off-brand franks n' beans? where are these images coming from? does anyone even know what i am talking about? more importantly, will somebody out there stage an intervention if i am ever able to sit on my own braid?

everyone says that you will know when you are done having kids. i would like to know i am done. we already have a house full. money isn't exactly overly abundant. harper produces enough drool to rival lake ontario. i can't remember that last time i showered. i haven't gone to the bathroom alone since 2004. i spendapproximately 1 million hours of every year sorting through kids clothes that are too big, too small, too stained, out of season, or too ridiculous to wear in public. haven't i had enough!?

maybe i love kids. maybe i trust god to provide. maybe i am clinically insane. maybe it is a combination of the three... but i just know i'm not done. when consulted on the matter of how many children to have, my daughter marlie (3 1/2) holds up both hands (showing ten fingers spread impressively far apart) and says "mommy, you should actually have this age of kids." it's a bad sign when i am taking family planning advice from someone who just told me she was "choking" because her pants were too tight.