Apr 20, 2012

My week via instagram

Just because everyone else is doing it...
Well, actually, the truth is, I stay much better connected with daily doings through instagram and facebook because I snap pictures throughout the day and then have them quickly posted simultaneously to instagram and my facebook page.  How's that for quick social media?  But then if most of my daily life gets put there, I thought maybe I would start doing a quick post of my instagram pics of the week so one can get a better daily dose of my "real" life here on the blog too.  Too often my blog becomes the dumping ground for deep thoughts and tutorials, when really, my life is quite more mundane. Boring, if you will.  I usually am NOT full of deep thoughts and crafty inspiration. I'm much more shallow than that. As you will see below:

1. Our Easter outfits. As discussed earlier, the nerdy "matchy matchy Easter nautical photo" for the kids and I went vintage and wore purple gingham and red heals.  I was watching old movies with the fancy gloves, pretty dresses and glam heels (with Cary Grant and fancy movie stars) and felt Easter was one Sunday I could actually wear this dress and not feel funny.  I restrained myself and skipped the fancy gloves though.

2.Tessa snapped my pair of glasses in two so $200 later...I asked Ainsley after putting them on today if she liked them. She wrinkled up her nose and said, "Mmm, yeah I kinda do juuust....not on you." 
3. Back porch dining. Bring on summer!  And we ate our first artichoke out of our garden.  The kids love them! Weird.
4. Most people see a cute kid and flowers. But to me this just says trouble.
5. Breaking out the wading pool
6.This kid has the dirtiest shirts ever! At the end of every single day she is coated head to toe in grime. So not feminine!
7. Making a pitcher of peach iced tea with mint from the garden is my favorite summer drink. Ever. Bring on summer!
8. Guess which kid has the most fun banging on Tone's drums. Yeah no surprise here. 
9. The street is a river of rain. This torrential downpour has ended my tulips but I am hoping my newly blooming irises survive. 
(Post note: they did and are going crazy out there)
10.  Pouring rain. So it's a jammy, sesame street on TV, baby dolls, popcorn and tons of blankets and pillows on the living room floor kind of day. 

11.  Her travel bed which folds up flat to the size of a pizza. She hops in and then we zip her in. So yeah, she's crate trained.

12. I mean I WOULD decide to straighten my hair on pretty much the windiest day of the year. Well that was a waste of time.
13.  First spring bouquet from my garden today. Roses, lavender, jasmine, chives. It smells wonderful.
14.  Cleaning hallway carpet. What a guy...and I have seen such nasty water. We were living in that. Eww!
15.A little princess is thrilled to be helping me make cookies. She bakes in style.
16.   Only because I love him.  I hate ants.

17.  Wading pool, Popsicles, crazy kids, sunshine.
18.  We may need to break this habit by high school... and it was an optional pants kind of day.

So there you have it.  My week in quick photos.  Not pretty ones from the fancy camera, but the daily ones documenting what we were doing hour by hour.  A few observations:
  It poured for three days and we also had our first hot weather days of the season.  Odd.  
My kids dress kinda weird.
My themes seem to be my kids, garden, and food. Interesting.

Tessa in Spring Time

Spring sprang up in my garden this month and the flowers are blooming in all their glory.  Tessa is also blossoming into quite the young lady...or at least into something.  With number three, we got a wild child.  I've heard that that is often the case with number three, but I just never bargained on how loud and wild our number three really would be. I adore her, I can't help but squeeze her a million times a day, I think she is the cutest little thing with her big cheeks and squishy thighs, and I can't help but want to pull my hair out a million times a day as well.  She's a conundrum that one.
 She is unique and all to her own.  Each of my three is so completely different, it's hard to believe that they came from the same place.  Tessa is the one who will run me ragged however. I feel that if I successfully keep her alive and healthy until age five, I will have done a major accomplishment.
 She looks innocent enough her in her Easter dress.  I am completely shocked that that dress made it through church without getting completely destroyed.  It was a major first for us.  And yes, as a side note, I totally did the matchy matchy nerdy "all blue, in stripes, nautical themed, Easter outfit".  I can't help it.  Something is in my blood that says I have to do it every Easter.  Even though we go to a church where most people wear jeans.  It's like my one free pass a year to go all out on the nerdy matchy theme and I take it for all it's worth.      I'm sure there is some type of intervention for this.
Whatever, we were talking about Tessa and not my need for an Easter outfit intervention.  We can re-discuss  next year when I do it all over again.  Anyhow, Tessa is my physical loud child.  And by loud, I don't mean talking.  Because while my other two really talked early and were stringing together sentences nonstop by Tessa's age, Tessa maybe has a dozen garbled words she can say.  Tops.  The rest of the time she screeches.  It's ear piercing and so enjoyable for the entire household. Sarcasm intended. She really would like to talk actually.  We work on new words every day, we try not to speak for her, and she attempts them but can't quite master forming with her mouth what she is hearing.  She gets frustrated easily and yells her head off.  Actually, she was born yelling and hasn't quit.  The first few months months of her life she basically just screamed. I would love it if she would outgrow it anytime soon. She never wakes up happy.  Usually I know she is awake and ready to get up when I hear her yelling and crying for me.  It takes a few minutes to calm her down after a nap.  I have learned that the only way to help her wake up is to snuggle her for a few minutes.  Sometimes I get impatient, but that's what my daughter needs. She charmed us all despite all that yelling.  

Tessa is my most observant child.  She tries to do everything the older ones do and is their silent mimic.  She currently is in a tight-rope walking phase.  Meaning if there is a curb, ledge, wall or anything she can get up on and walk the edge, she does.  I have daily heart attacks when I see where she is climbing, and am in a state of hyper vigilance when we go out.  She also is in a "steal everything in the house that could possibly be a writing utensil and mark every surface with it" phase. She is only interested in her piece of paper for the first 10 seconds and then the budding artist in her needs a much larger work surface.  We are repainting the walls this week from the waist down through our hallway.  They could only take so much scrubbing before we decided they just needed a complete rehaul.  We have also tried to hide or put out of reach every marker, pencil and crayon in the place. Much easier said than done.
 Tessa is always in a state of motion.  She loves to run, jump, dance, slide, swing, wrestle.  Her favorite thing to do is to climb up and stand on the arm of the couch and then dive bomb as hard as she can into the pillows.  I can't tell you the amount of bloody lips she has gotten.
 We make the attempt to do her hair everyday.  By noon, her pigtails are almost completely out.  She also has the very unfortunate problem of inheriting my hair is which is extremely coarse.  She always has a fuzzy rats nest on the whole back of her head by the end of the day.  I can't get a comb through it without copious amounts of detangler (and more shrieking).
 She is also my dirtiest child.  She cannot stand my help eating which means she is always covered in food, she spends lots of time floor wrestling so she is always grimy, and clothing doesn't last more than half a day before coming just absolutely filthy.  She is so darn full of life and tenacity to do everything everyone else is doing and by herself too.
 I wish I could bottle up her laugh.  Like everything else about her, it's larger than life.  So is her smile.  She has a huge smile and can turn it on at a moments notice.  Usually, she stands back and observes the world with a very serious blank stare with huge blue eyes.  Actually, this is what scares me the most, because I know she is calculating.  Once she figures out what everyone is doing and how they are doing it, she launches and there is no holding her back.  She tries to do it exactly the same and has zero fear.  When Tessa has made up her mind, she is completely stubborn about it too.  The little girl will not give up and telling her "no" will not be listened to.  She is so persistent about what she wants and has a complete meltdown when she can't get her way.

Today at the park she climbed up a high chain ladder that was made for much bigger kids to a platform and then launched herself off into my arms.  Finding that fun, all she wanted to do was do it over and over again. I'm telling you the kid freaks me out with her lack of fear.
 Because she doesn't talk, she uses hand motions and signs for many things, and also grabs my hand to show me.  She pulls me over to what she wants and points and gestures until I get the point.  She also has been gently but urgently patting my cheek to turn my head as she says, "Mama! Mama!"  If I don't look right away, her pats and calls become more urgent until I do.  While Ainsley was into girly things already at Tessa's age, Tessa could care less.  She loves animals.  If there is anything is this world that makes Tessa the happiest its animals.  Both real and in pictures.  She can find the tiniest pictures in obscure places and gestures to me until I find and acknowledge it too.  As the most observant of the three, she may understand a far greater vocabulary than they did at this stage.  She just can't say the words that she understands, but from clues and books I know that she understands a great deal so that's how I talk to her.

Tessa clings.  She snuggles more than the rest.  She wants to be near me at all times.  She gets furious when I snuggle or give the other two hugs.  She wants me to be her own personal territory.  She has staked her claim as the baby.
Tessa is my challenge.  While my other two were and still are a challenge to figure out and learn how to best parent, Tessa is the one who stretches me to my limit.  I love her wildness, and her stubborn tenacity.  I am frustrated too when she can't find the words to communicate to me what she wants to tell me.  It hurts my heart that she can't express herself.  Somehow, Tessa and I are finding some sort of communication rhythm by eye contact and gestures and we get excited about new words mastered.  The look of pride on Tessa's face when she says a word is priceless.  Every time she gently pats my face and calls my name to show me something, my heart melts a little.  Sometimes I don't want to stop and pay attention and her calls become more urgent and she never gives up.

Tessa is one of my greatest teachers about my own heart and impatience.  She is teaching me about what to truly value.  She makes me take time to snuggle her.  I can't just let her go off to play while I absentmindedly do something else.  She is teaching me that walls and furniture aren't more important than the people who live in the house as she slowly destroys it.  She is teaching me that I can't just absentmindedly answer, but I have to look and pay attention as she urgently tries to communicate.  She is teaching me to purposefully engage in my children's lives, and not just care for physical needs, as I sometimes do in my tired and busy life.  Tessa is hard for me.  I don't like the lessons Tessa is teaching me as sometimes it's incredibly annoying or frustrating.  From day one, Tessa has been the one to teach me the most about surrender and my wants and needs.  This is also the child who clings to me and seems to need me the most.

Tessa, baby, thank you for being born and being the beautiful tenacious child that you are.  While I instantly loved you, I am still learning daily HOW best to love you and your brother and sister.  I fear I am going to need copious amounts of forgiveness as the years go by.

Apr 6, 2012

Understanding Easter and the Resurrection

I promised a post on what Tone and I have been learning and working on lately.  While I can't speak for Tone as that's his own story (and quite a good one), I can share what I have been learning about marriage, being a mommy, and living for my Savior.  
This is personal.  Deeply so.  And it deserves a long post to explain. This has been my struggle for the last ten years of marriage and it's only in the last few years have I started to understand and feel liberated from a tremendous weight I have been carrying. The last two years it has especially been on the forefront of my thoughts and walk with the Lord and my life is changing. When Tone and I got married almost ten years ago, we had no idea marriage was a purifying agent.  Lately, Tone and I have been hearing the phrase a lot, "what if marriage  was to make you holy, not happy"?  We wholeheartedly agree after much soul searching through the years.
Instead of grasping at happiness as selfish people asking what marriage can get me, we are seeking to learn how to love and serve each other and it has brought far more than happiness.  It has brought refiner's fire on our heads, it's been painful, and it has brought a great deal of joy and satisfaction.  Confused?  I had been too. That really doesn't sound like what I signed up for?  Yeah I know. I'll start at the beginning. 
I should start by saying that in my life, I felt my self-worth came by how "good" I could be. I should also start by saying that most of my married life I have struggled with the unrelenting, nagging voice that tells me, "You are failing at this wife and mother stuff.  You play a good game, but it a big charade.  If you were better, the house would stay cleaner and uncluttered, the kids would be better behaved, your family would eat more nutritiously, you would stop sleeping in, you would have better control over finances, you would be a better hostess, you would have a better attitude, you wouldn't get so overwhelmed, you would be better organized, you would be on time..." and the cycle of self doubt would continue as I read Christian books that were supposed to "help" me in all these areas, but each chapter left me feeling like I was coming up so short. I felt like the hamster on the little wheel who worked harder and harder to no avail.  The voices and feeling of defeat would NOT go away.

Feeling my frustration at times, Tone would look at me sadly and ask, "Who are you measuring yourself up to, Baby?  Show me the verse where you have to do all these things?"
I would mumble something about all these studies, speakers, and books I'd read or heard directed at people like me. They always seemed to have plenty of verses to back up why I should be doing quite a bit better in each area. I could always find someone else who was and willing to impart their wisdom. I'm sure they were all well-meaning, but the Christian community wasn't doing anything to help my feelings of defeat at all times.  But perhaps it just my perception as I was blinded by "perfection sickness".  I thought, I DO love God, I know without a doubt He saved me, and I just want to show it and please Him.  Why isn't this easier?  Sometimes I would pull up my boot straps, suck it up and make a grand run for about a week or two, which would inevitably, every single time, send me to bed with the flu by the end.  I would burn myself out from sheer exhaustion.  Friends and family were encouraging.  Apparently, everyone thought I was doing a great job except me.  I knew the real picture of what the fly on the wall sees everyday, and I always came up short of where I thought the bar should be.
You see, I did not grasp the power of the resurrection, and in my mind, I was unknowingly stopping at Jesus's death.  Easter this year has far more significance for me than it ever has.  I had always defined myself as a sinner saved by grace.  And that's stopping at the Cross without making it to the empty tomb.  Hang with me here.  I know that phrase is everywhere, but I think it's actually not telling the full picture, and if you stop there, you are telling a false story because there is so much more.  Sin brought the law of death on my head.  I couldn't ever measure up.  Not then, not now.  But by Christ's death, He put an end to the law of death which barred our way to Him.  That part I understood. I get it. I am saved by grace. I can't measure up. I am no longer punished and have access to God and He loves me.  But if that's all I've understood, that I'm just a sinner saved, then I have missed the most significant part of the whole Easter story.  I miss the part where I'm a saint.
You see, not only did Christ die and abolish the punishment of death that I deserve, He also made a new beginning of life for me.  A life I was not seizing and not even understanding that it was available to me.  I was still attempting to live on my own power and strength, that would never ever measure up on any level.  Shamefully, I never understood why Jesus didn't go straight to heaven after the cross and I always kind of wondered.  I mean, He did what He came to do and abolished sin and made a way for us. I thought the cross was the main point. What point was the resurrection except to show He was God? I conceded that was a good reason, otherwise, how could He show that He wasn't just a man? I didn't realize what it should meant to me personally except that it was "proof" that He was God. 

Oh, it's so much more! You see, the same body that was killed, was brought to life.  In identifying with us in His own body, we likewise are also given new life. By giving the hope of the resurrection, Jesus destroyed death itself, and all the power that went into raising Jesus from the dead is now available to me.  Yes.  ME!  I have a new title.  It's not "sinner" anymore. That part died with Christ all those years ago. It's "saint".    Holy Moly Cow.  I truly don't feel like I deserve a title like that.  I mean look at me and this crazy life I lead.  With respect to my Catholic friends, the Bible refers to a saint as anyone whom Christ indwells. It is not about Jesus being separate from us and us working ourselves closer to Him (and falsely believing those who really do the best at this are the only saints), but rather it is Jesus is in us that makes me a saint.  He is the only way we can have the power to live as Saints.  Now I knew Jesus was in me, and it was by His power in my weakness, but honestly, I had no idea how that worked or how to tap into it.  I honestly thought being good should just get easier because He was living inside and with me now, and instead, it really wasn't.  I just knew of a high standard because I was a Christian, and getting there seemed unattainable.
(Sidenote:  This is on our way home from church.  Yes, he did sneak those sunglasses into his Sunday school class and wore them all through church.  Told ya I'm not the world's best mom.)

Did you know "in Christ" and "in the Lord" occurs 164 times in Paul's epistles?  I think that means it's super important.  
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.  The old has passed away; behold the new has come." 2 Cor. 5:17

"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but it is Christ who lives in me." Galatians 2:19-20
James Bryan Smith says in his book, "The Good and Beautiful God" that "When I hear a Christian say, 'I'm just a sinner saved by grace', I want to say, 'That makes as much sense as saying, "I'm just a worm with wings."'"  He was referring to the butterfly which some use to show the complete life change a Christian goes through.

He then says later, "Because I am now a new person, a new creation, I also must live a new way." 
(This was the part I understood, but unfortunately I was not much farther in my Christian walk.  Luckily, Dr, Smith keeps writing) 
 "As one indwelt by Jesus, I can now live as Jesus did: in utter dependence on God, in a deep and intimate relationship with Him, fully relying on God - not my willpower - to live the Christian life."
And here's a verse for ya:
"Abide in me as I abide in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in me.  I am the vine, you are the branches.  Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing." John 15:4-5

So reading that all these years, I thought, "Well, I'm a Christian, so God lives in me, so that must mean if I fight hard enough, I can measure up.  I mean, sure, I'll never be perfect, because I'm still a sinner, but I should be able to get better at things, right?  God's gunna help me with this."  I am a bit ashamed to say that I never understood how that would work out.  Thus began the "try hard, do good, fail again" cycle.  I felt like the greatest of hypocrites.  
So if the key is to abide, then how does one go about doing that?  Thankfully, I'm starting to get an inkling and it's so liberating.  I know finally what Jesus meant when He said, "My burden is easy, my yoke is light."
Lest I mess this up, I think I'm going to quote a little bit more from Dr. Smith's book because he nails it. He starts by quoting another book by James Stewert, "A Man in Christ".
"Christ in me means something quite different from the weight of an impossible ideal...Christ in me means Christ bearing me along from within, Christ the motivating power that carries me on, Christ giving my whole life a wonderful poise and lift, and turning every burden into wings...not as something you have to bear but as something by which you are borne."

We certainly can and do sin as Christians. But it no longer has a hold and power over me. This actually is what confused me.  If it no longer has a hold over me, why do I still feel defeated all the time? You see, I will still make wrong choices and I am free to make my choices and choose my priorities.  But I am free. I am no longer under an impossible set of rules and they don't define whether I am good mother or wife or sister or friend.  I am no longer defined as a sinner. I rediscovered this verse in Romans this last month, and I was so astounded it took my breathe away.  Listen:
"But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you." Romans 8:11

Oh my goodness.  Did you catch that?  The very same power that physically brought Jesus back from the dead, is the very same power that resides in us every single day.  

"So then brethren, we are under no obligation, not to the flesh to live according to the flesh." Romans 8:12.
That life of being enslaved to a list of rules and do and don'ts has been broken with the resurrection.  It has no power over me any more.  The spiritual life is not a life of laws and precepts but a life of participation, affection and love, a life of mingling and mixing with God.  This is what it means to abide, and apart from that I can do absolutely nothing.
The more I dig into my Bible, the more I know without a doubt that God is good, holy, and loving.  He is all those things.  When I reside in this knowlege, soak it up everyday and roll around in it and percolate in it, His love just sort of streams out of me.  I struggled to be perfect and rolled around in a deep sense of failure.  Tone would ask me, "Well, what exactly IS that bar that you are measuring yourself up to?  What would that look like?"  I could never say, but I just knew I wasn't hitting it. I have now discovered that my glory is not in what I do, but in who I am.  I am a new creation, a child of God.
Henri Nouwen writes:
"The question is not: How many people take you seriously?  How much are you going to accomplish?  Can you show some results? But: Are you in love with Jesus?...In our world of loneliness and despair, there is an enormous need for men and women who know the heart of God; a heart that forgives, cares, reaches out and wants to heal."

I never before understood how God's strength was perfected in weakness.  It just seemed like my weaknesses were keeping a tighter stronghold on me.  How was God going to use that?  Well, you see as I fall in love with God and His love fills me up so much that it spills over, then for example, I can be more loving to my children.  Which then has nothing to do with me and my tendencies to yell at them.  When I yell,  you know what that means?  I need more of God's love.  More time with Him.  More reflection and prayer and meditation.  Only He can erradicate those things in my life by replacing them with His thoughts, His love, His goodness.  It also doesn't mean I am a failure, that I don't measure up.  It means I am simply a work in progress as He transforms me day by day.
So how does this play out in my daily life now?  How does this look now that I am free?  What does a new life walking as one who has the very Spirit of God walking around in them look like?

For one thing, I take life slower.  I sit outside on my back porch and read my Bible and sit and think and soak up life lessons that busy-ness doesn't let me hear. I have taken room for God to soak into my life by letting there be time for a still quiet voice.  

I also realize that daily choices are made out love for God and others and not a set of rules.  When I fall in love with my beautiful, good and loving God, I see everyone around me in that light.  For example, that means if I make a choice to play with my kids, I realize that a loving choice was made and the former "rule" that dishes should get done no longer holds me in a feeling of a lose/lose situation by picking one over the other.  When I make a choice to discipline my children, rather than yell at them, I am doing much better at loving. When I do yell at them, I don't feel defeated.  Yelling doesn't define me as a terrible mother.  I know that walking with God has peaks and valleys and some days are down in the valley but I'm still a child of the King who is teaching me His ways.  Because I walk humbly submitted to God and am washed in His love, I can submit when I yell immediately and apologize to my children.  I no longer have to be right and perfect and defensive.  I also can make decisions that may be different than someone else's and not have to defend them. If they are made out of love for others and line up with what God is showing me, then I'm OK.  I can be soft.  I can be weak.  I can be brave because He is shining through all of that.  Perfectionism is gone, and a heart humbled before the throne is the one I yearn to have. 

Sometimes I caught this is the last few years.  I certainly would have said that I knew I was a child of God and that I wanted a humble heart. I certainly had a heart that bleed for others. I wanted to serve only an audience of one.  I begged God to help me do better.  I knew I was weak.  But it was like having the puzzle pieces and no finished puzzle.  I just couldn't connect those dots to see how doing better was actually pointless.  Doing better just meant I was trying harder.  The great paradox to me is this:  The less I try and the more I just desire to know God's love and show it to those around me and bask the in the beauty of His love and holiness and perfect goodness, the better all those other things get.  I have a lesser desire to yell.  I enjoy cleaning the kitchen because my husband likes coming home to a clean house.  I am more willing to be a little late rather than flip out because a child can't find his shoes and my heart goes from peaceful to frantic and angry in about .25 seconds.  I lovingly cut my son's hair into a faux-hawk because I know in the grand scheme of things, the conservative might judge me, but I really don't care because my son was so delighted with it and it was loving to him.  I am free from feeling judged.

Easter is amazing this year.  I finally get the power of the resurrection.  I have partly kept myself in that tomb, beating myself up for being a sinner, when all I had to do was look up and hear, "Why do you seek the living One among the dead? He is not here, but He is risen." Luke 24: 5-6  All I have to do is seek Him as the living One.   The One who walks with me.  So I'm not stopping at the cross this year.  I am not just a sinner saved by grace.  God doesn't see me as a sinner anymore but a saint that He loves, indwells, and wants to use in all it's weakness.  Yes, especially that weakness.  

Apr 5, 2012

On a Date

Just for the record...spending an afternoon at this place was totally my idea and planning. I think this puts serious brownie points in my favor. We had a blast!

Just for the record...I'm also scared of heights.  Somehow I thought a harness would fix this issue.  I'm smiling here because I'm only 3 feet up out of the 48 I have to go.
Halfway up I thought I'd look down to figure out where to put my foot because I wasn't finding a good foothold.  It was such an idiotic, beginner move.  I realized I was now two stories off the floor with much more to go.  I seriously had to refocus for about 30 seconds and pull my brain back into gear.  It was a bad moment in my climbing career.  I pushed past and conquered. 

Just for the record....I totally made it up there.  More than once.
Just for the record, Tone is a much better climber, but I am a much better rope tier.  He practically would have died had I not checked his knots first (at least I like to think so because I need the emotional boost to my psyche). And I DID catch a knotting rookie mistake.  Just sayin.
See that little tricky outcropping up above on the right with the big black rock on the bottom?  Well, Tone is pretty proud he climbed up and around that to the top.  I sure the heck couldn't.  I was the emotional support down below.  Oh yeah, and his life line so he doesn't fall.  Guess who's on the other end of the rope trying to take an iphone picture?  I'm sure it was a super safe maneuver.  I'm totally into safety and stuff here.
I liked this straight up and down wall.  I look all hunky dory and stuff here.  You know, casually hanging like a pro.  In reality, I'm yelling, "Take the picture, I'm dying!"  Because who knew climbing walls was so tough on your forearms?  
I do know.
Oh that and that's an awesome angle for picture taking.  Good thing I'm not self conscious or anything.

So we left my kids with my sister so we could go to lunch, take the climbing class and then climb for a couple hours.  She's a rock star, an angel, and crazy all mixed together.  She had all three kids for four hours.  She tried to sit and read and Hunter told her she was "lazy" because Mommy plays all day. According to Hunter, apparently the whole day I am there for their entertainment purposes only. The funny thing is that she totally bought this majorly outlandish line and played with them the whole time.  I arrived and she looked half crazed and ready to bolt.  There was some manical laughter and an eye tick (just kidding...kinda). 

 I set her straight.  
She now knows Hunter is a big fat liar, that she doesn't need to play with them one iota, she's there simply to ensure the house doesn't burn down and nobody dies.
Hunter is doomed next time.