Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

I am a fairly low maintenance gal when compared to some of the demanding divas in this world. I can patiently wait while we save money for our home improvements. Some of my shirts and jeans are ones that were worn in college. And my shoes mainly consist of fuzzy blue slippers, flip flops, and sneakers (well, there is that one pair of over-the-knee boots...but that's a different story).

However, when it comes to my personal sleepy time and the rules and regulations that coincide, I am slightly demanding and more than a little particular. I have lost way too many hours of sleep to uncomfortably-overdue-pregnant-body, sleepless newborns, and all-nighters with sick dudes to take the necessity for sleep lightly. It is a basic need to human survival, and I have learned that my body requires its undivided attention.

Have you ever seen "Dirty Dancing" when Johnny tells Baby "This is my dance space. This is your dance space. I don't come into yours. You don't come into mine." OK that may not be the exact words but work with me. Instead of saying "dance", say "sleep". Do you get what I'm saying? I don't want anybody, ANYBODY, entering my sleep space. It is a sacred zone and not meant for visitors or intruders. I don't like to spoon, cuddle, canoodle, or whatever you want to call it. Sleep is for sleeping. I'm very specific about that...much to my hubby's chagrin.

No body parts or freezing cold appendages should cross the imaginary  (but still very real) line that exists down the middle of the bed once I have declared the commencement of sleepy-time. I do not appreciate anyone, either big or small, thinking that it's acceptable to lay their sweet (read heavy and hard to move), slumbering head upon my pillow. Sweet-nothings whispered into my ear are not required for me to drift into La-La Land. On the contrary, I prefer that no air be exhaled toward my designated sleep area at all. Stinky-breath is not conducive to a great night of sleep.

Also appreciated is the absence of air-floofing under the sheets and across the bed as you roll over or adjust your position. That cold rush of air agitates your sleeping mate's slumber by disturbing their optimal sleep-temperature. And if you have, heaven forbid, farted in my Black Friday sheets that stinky butt-air will smack your partner right in the face!

As you can plainly see, I have a couple stipulations when entering and trying to share my sleeping space. However, it is merely for the betterment of my family members and to spare them the negative results that occur when mommy receives either not enough or disturbed sleep. So my attention to detail is actually done to improve the general lifestyle of my spouse and offspring.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Loss of Inocence

Twelve years ago today, I was on the eve of a day that changed my life forever. My body was stretched to its max as the previous 9 months of pregnancy had spread like butter. Everything about me seemed bigger...wider...weightier. I was only 20...barely a woman in my own right, but something felt right...felt purposeful. I wasn't scared to me a mom or even scared of all the responsibilities that come with that title. I was excited to meet this person I created, nervous at the unknown of labor and delivery, and calmly assurant of my purpose.

Hubby and I sat in our apartment dozing on and off as we watched TV unaware of what tomorrow would bring...what it would change...what it would offer to our lives. It was our last day of innocence...of ignorance. We knew not what to expect, but we were filled with hope and excitement ready to welcome our bundle into the world.

Today, twelve years later, we sit watching TV contemplating what tomorrow will bring somewhat fearful and anxious. Tomorrow our oldest will turn 12. 12 years old...not really a boy and not quite a man. And tomorrow will be his last day of innocence...of ignorance. The last day that his heart will not carry a burden...a hurt and a fear that I can't prevent. After his birthday, we will be telling him that his dad will be leaving for Afghanistan in a few short months to fulfill a year long deployment that I, myself, am struggling to wrap my mind around. I can't protect him from the adult questions that he will wonder and ask. I can't protect him from the fearful thoughts that will surely haunt his sleep. And I can't protect him from the responsibility that will befall him. By virtue of being the oldest, he will bear the greatest burden, he will be charged the greatest duty, he will suffer the greatest pain. The reality of war will not be lost on the innocence of his age. He will wonder and ponder and question and fear.

I am more unprepared now for this encumbrance than I was 12 years ago when on the brink of becoming a mother. Fears...I have many. Questions...they fill my head. alludes me. I am at a loss as to what words we will say, and how I will support my son who will bear the burden of a man. He will indeed lose a piece of his innocence. My heart aches as I don't want tomorrow to come and go. But it surely will...and his life will be changed forever.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Day Before Christmas!

Twas the day before Christmas and excitements abound
Giggles, and squeals, and laughter could be found.
The stockings bring arguments over which one is who's
But Santa is the one who, mama says, will choose.

The children are giddy and hopped up on sugar
Except baby who is sick and brings mom a booger.
And mama is busy in the kitchen all day
While daddy, that stinker, gets to play and play.

With no snow out our window just icy streets
I hope I have all needed to make holiday eats.
I run to the pantry checking my list
Counting my blessings; there's nothing I've missed.

The children and daddy are playing the Wii
The sounds of their giggles are music to me.
Occasionally I hear a little one whine
With a hug and a kiss I assure they are fine.

The tree is now drooping from the wight of the lights
Hoping it will make it to Christmas night.
The branches are brown and the needles, they sprinkle
But the ornaments still hang and the lights still do twinkle.

No Aunties! No Uncles! No Papas or Grandmothers!
Just daddy! And mama! And Pets! And 4 brothers!
To the computer we head! To the web-cam we go!
Grandma can then see the excitement we show!

As the children race through the house to pass time
Mama says "no" with less effect than a mime.
So through the house they chase just the same
Running and jumping and playing their game.

And then as they tackle, one falls into the tree
Children now in panic but with giggles try to flee.
And hoping that parents were out of their sight
They run from the scene in frantic and fright.

Our jammies are worn from morning 'til bed
The kids too excited to rest their head.
They know that their waiting is almost done
The countdown -exhausted- now dwindled to 1.

The presents are waiting. Tomorrow seems so far
And it's crazy to imagine that dark night lit by one star.
An Angel appeared lighting the way.
This is the story to re-tell today.

Routine out the window! We try to get them to sleep.
The hopes of Santa in their hearts they keep.
But mama reminds them of the real reason.
Jesus! Our Savior! He makes the season!

He was placed in a manger in swaddling clothes.
A hope and a promise through the dark night arose.
A son for our sins. A sacrifice so great.
Accept Him as savior before it's too late.

For God knows us all and loves us the same.
He calls to our hears and knows us by name.
He gave us His only to save you and me.
The reason for the season is Jesus, you see.

Our sins and our worries and bad habits galore
Can be given to God who is waiting for more.
Walk with Him. Talk with Him. Give Him your Praise.
And your soul will be spoken for all of your days.

Salvation is waiting on bended knee
For the young and the old. For you and me.
So rejoice and be merry and let your spirit shine bright
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gettin' My Sexy On

A couple weeks ago hubby brought home a germ...a germ of all germs. Somehow in the 48 hours that it dwelled in my loving hubby, it mutated and became drug-resistant, and then took up me! For two weeks now I have been a super un-sexy, phlegm producing, Vick's smelling, loogie coughing-up wife. And I've contemplated throwing an all-out adult tantrum! Nothing seems to provide any relief. NyQuil, Robitussin, and Sudafed have failed in the battle against the mucus monster that I have become. Rudolph's services won't be needed to find my bright red shining nose can light the way all by itself. And if Santa can't possibly see my shiny, blown-too-many-times nose, then he will surely be able to smell the Mentholatum that has become my signature scent from miles and miles away.

Every night I throw back a shot of NyQuil and toast the hopes of a good night of sleep. Then slather -from head to toe- my body with Vick's. If some is good, then A LOT has got to be better, right? With Breathe-right strip in place and steamer blasting, I suck on my Hall's cough drop while propped up with pillows optimistically hoping it will deter my cough and gain a few precious hours of sleep. I'm sure my hubby is struggling to resist the sexiness of his wife!

But every night the same result...coughing and gagging on mucous and phlegm that refuses to loosen or vacate the premises. Hubby, convinced he is married to a Phlegm producing monster, has invested time, energy, and money into supplying our ever-growing-array-of-medicines in our medicine cabinet in hopes to cure t"he crud" that has overtaken his wife. He lovingly rubs my back as I gag and cough and sniff and snort and asks if there is anything he can do to help (secretly he knows that no "boom-boom" will happen while the mucous maintains-nor would he want to)!

I've become my own pharmacist mixing different concoctions and drinks hoping something-anything- will cut through the phlegm. Water, honey, lemon, tea...I've become a human experiment. And nothing has given positive results for any length of time. So I sit here hoping that I can wake up in 2 days to a Christmas to get through presents without gagging, coughing, blowing my nose, or choking down another clump of phlegm.

Merry Christmas to all...and to all a good (not coughing, choking, moaning, gagging) night!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ghost of Christmas Past

Don't most families have some level of dysfunction? I mean, if we truly dissected birth order tendencies, dynamics within, and varying degrees of toleration, wouldn't we find families that are 100% in-every-sense-of-the-word hurtful, dysfunctional, and slightly corrupt? But we still travel across the country to get together, change our plans to accommodate the masses, and get feisty and defensive when someone-anyone- else tries to "wrong" them. Families are crazy, annoying, frustrating, get-under-our-skin-to-the-point-of-growling....and yet, they are comforting in our time of need, restorative to our damaged souls, the ones with whom we share our best laughs, and the ones with whom we can truly be ourselves.

Holidays can truly be stressful; we step on each others' toes, the kids get too loud and rowdy, differing parenting styles run a muck, and somebody always eats the last piece of dessert on-the-slye. So why do we continue to stretch our budget, change our schedules, and travel great distances to deliberately entangle ourselves with those people that can drive us crazy? Because there is something about family ties and the comfort of home. The memories and experiences we gain from those visits are priceless, precious, and purposeful.
I would like to venture to a past filled with light-hearted joy and jovial spirits. Every Christmas my siblings and our respective spouses (and now gaggle of kiddos) gather at my parents' farm for festivities, traditions, and generally  good times creating memories and laughter. My two oldest boys were the only grandchildren at the time, and #2- well he was in the process of learning how to do 1 and 2 like a big boy. For some reason he was commando under his swishy pants during a round of present opening. I actually think we were doing birthday presents for #1 right after Christmas (he was born right after Christmas so often it gets celebrated while everyone is home for the holidays).

Let me paint a picture for you so you can really "see" the debacle that is about to happen. Grandma and Grandpa had recently added a huge addition to the house complete with all the bells and whistles...and carpeting. Having worked very hard to be able to get this remodel, my parents were more than a little protective. So kiddos were on high alert not to spill, drop, or knock anything over onto "Grandma's new floor".

Ok back to excited little boys with gifts calling their names. So as not to hurt poor little #2's feelings, Grandma made sure he had a present to open, too...even if it was, technically, #1's birthday. With unwrapped gift in hand, he joyfully played with his cool new G.I Joe off to the side while #1 frantically ripped through his mountain of gifts (have I mentioned that Grandma spoils?) I must say, no one was really paying little #2 any attention until from somewhere behind the gifts someone mentions the discovery of a suspicious pile of something on "Grandma's new floor"! The room erupted into a frenzy as the rumor was proven to be true when #2 moved his little foot...stepping into the poo mushing it further into the carpet and sprinkling some more little pebbles, to boot! All hell broke loose.Grandparents panicking, mother scurrying, toddler scared and now crying, aunts and uncles giggling uncontrollably, daddy hiding behind the tower of gifts so as not to be noticed and asked to help....and highly prized, designer puppy belonging to my brother and his wife comes dashing around the corner to snatch and gobble up the "treat"!

Adults of all ages are reacting in all kinds of inappropriate emotions. Auntie N is still laughing too the point of pants-peeing, Uncle K is gagging because puppy is still trying to eat more poo, Uncle T is frantic and panicked because precious puppy just...ate...poo, Auntie S is directing Uncle T to rescue her puppy, Gram and Gramps are not enthused with anything that is going down in their house, daddy is STILL not offering suggestion or help, and poor mommy is frazzled (and slightly panicked at the now prospect of being disowned and thrown out into the snow...poopy #2 and all).

No sympathy or help was offered as mommy juggled poopy kiddo in one arm and  paper towel and carpet cleaner in the other as people demanded that the mess be cleaned even though the giggles and gagging continued. But every time I turned, little #2 dropped more poo out the bottom of his pants! The horrified look on the Grandparents faces was no laughing the time. And Aunt S and Uncle T were more than displeased that their pooch just munched on-and really seemed to enjoy- and golf ball sized chunk of toddler poo.

With little #2 now stripped of his apparel, he was shoved, without compassion or empathy, under the not-even-warmed-up-yet shower by the finally-engaged daddy to wash the remnants of the assaulting poo down the drain. All the while, guffaws, snickers and chuckling could still be heard echoing from the other room. Puppy has now been restrained...and given a treat to clean her teeth and breath. Grandma and Grandpa are meticulously inspecting possible damage and directing the clean up efforts. And poor #1 is upset because birthday present opening has been interrupted with no sign of its eventual commencement.

Eventually the laughter, horror, and resentment subsided, and the birthday bash was able to be continued. Forgiveness has since been granted, although some still struggled to find the humor in the traumatic event.
All in all, no child -or designer puppy, for that matter- was hurt in the making of this treasured family memory.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The List

We received my husband's packing list of all the things we need to put in his conex box for war. It needs to be ready by the next guard 3 weeks. Hubby handed me the list without much emotion or inflection in his voice...just very matter-of-fact. Have you ever felt your heart drop and struggle to choke the tears stinging to erupt?

My calling is to be the strong army wife...I owe it to him. I can't break down, I can't scream uncle, I can't throw in the towel. No complaints about what is being heaped onto my plate for my burden compared to his is quite painless. This is not a choice...for either of us. So I will hold my head high, I'll keep my shoulders broad, and I'll secure my boots on tightly...for the world seems to have gotten heavier, darker...doom seems to have weighed down my heart.

It all seems to be getting so much more "real". For months now "it" has been the unspoken of our family, the elephant in the room, the taboo subject we never brought up. But I can see it on my horizon...and I'm scared. But I won't let anyone see that fear. My game-face is on. I owe it to my hubby to be strong- not just strong, Army strong. I must be mother and father to 4 little boys. I need to reassure them that it will be ok...and that we will pray for daddy's safe return.

We haven't broken the devastating news to our sweet babes yet. They will struggle with the news, but one child I pray for daily. My sweet #1. He was 4 when daddy left for his first tour...and he is scarred. He will need help; more than I can give. I feel panic and anxiety and my emotions are constantly threatening to boil over. So I push them harder and harder into that dark place in which I don't dare venture. I clench my jaw...and shut the door on the outside world.

Lord please help me with this path You have set my family on. I want to accept this challenge, this burden...with grace and dignity...and strength. Lord please give me strength. Give me the wisdom to know where to seek help and support for my boys...and give me the courage to accept it when offered. Lord please take away this bitterness that poisons my heart...this anger that chokes me. I don't know if I can do this. I don't seem to have the answers...please help me to trust in You. Lord please give #1 courage and peace- he will struggle so much with this information and saying goodbye. Please wrap your arms around #2 with love and understanding- he won't be able to control his tears. Lord give #3 peace and love- he will be so confused and scared. Please give my sweet baby #4 comfort and the blessing or memories- I am so afraid he will forget his daddy- Lord please keep his daddy in his heart. Mostly Lord please keep hubby safe- please bring him home to our family.


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Truth About Mothering

I enjoy, and appreciate other moms, getting sentimental and talking about all the things that we love about being a mom. There are countless blessings both big and small that accompany this glorious season called "mothering". However, there are also some "other" things that come with the title....some unpleasantries, if you will, that we dare not reveal to the rookie mom-to-be for fear that she will not embark upon this truly blessed endeavor.

Those "unmentionables", however, are often the surprises that are most shocking...and traumatizing. I feel that these motherhood secrets are indeed the notables that we should bring to light, share with the rookie, scare off the unknowing and naive, and file our own grievances against. No. Mothering is not all snuggles, grins, and rosy cheeks. It is accompanied with shock, horror, and a wake of destruction.

The atrocities to my yana benieni alone are worthy of scaring off a rookie. Who knew what torture my "special area" would endure...and the vast array of spectators and strangers who are invited to partake during my moment -and those leading up to-have left it feeling more like a super highway. To add insult to injury, my "special area" wasn't the only body part that suffered mass destruction...spreading, widening and dimpling (not the sweet ones on your new super delightful babe) occurs, my breasts will never, ever be the same, and tummy skin can only "bounce" back so many times before it is left broken, as my boys like to point out. No matter how much I torture myself on the treadmill and in workouts, I will never get to enjoy my pre-baby physique again. And to my own chagrin, I never appreciated what I had until it was lost to me....becoming an urban legend.

To the horror of many mommies, we have been cursed with increased hair growth brought on by that sweet "bun in the oven". No, not longer, shinier, more glorious hair on my head. No such luck. On the contrary, it shows up and rears its ugly head everywhere -and anywhere- else that it is unwanted, and requires continual removal so as not to look like the crotchety old lunch lady who's sportin' the mustache! And will the bags under my eyes ever cease to give way my exhaustion?! Probably not. It is, after all, part of the curse that our mothers cast upon us when we rolled our eyes and snapped our teenage mouths one too many times in her direction.

Motherhood brings with it innumerable blessings, but behind those very blessings sit hemorrhoids, constipation, occasional incontinence, and a lack of sleep that even the Geneva Convention would deem cruel and unusual punishment. All of this is nothing when compared to the countless diapers that will be changed, butts that will be wiped, bodily fluids that will be deposited upon us, and the morals, ethics, and beliefs that we are required to bestow upon our offspring.

Nobody mentions these particular details; items of which I'm sure reside in the fine print. All moms experience and tolerate them. However, there are some days when I question my own sanity since I chose this path. And as many days as I sit and count my blessings there are as many moments that I have wanted to put them back where they came out of in order to enjoy toilet time alone, listen to my own thoughts and voices bouncing around in my head, or to experience a night of uninterrupted sleep. Alas, the possibility of that endeavor seems I will invest in a push-up bra, spanx, and "specialty" cream for my nether regions.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My Kids Crack Me Up....It's Why I Drink Wine!

* When #2 was 5 he picked up a discarded nut-cup off the floor (happens more than you think...don't ask) and put it over his face and started talking through it like Darth Vader. I screamed at him (it wasn't even HIS), "Tys, your breathing someone else's penis air!!" My dudes still laugh at me about that one.
* #3 was standing w/his pants and undies by his ankles (again...happens a lot), no shirt on, playing with his yo-yo. No that's not what we call it in our house- that would be a weenie whacker! He was actually playing with a real yo-yo..but it was the best sight!
* #3, currently 4 years old, is always shoving his knee or hand in his mouth. When I asked him why he was exhibiting such strange behavior, he stated simply and very matter-of-fact, "this is how I stay quiet". Well, carry on then buddy.
* Our family was talking about first kisses (trying to convince or persuade #1-who's almost 12- to stay away from girls...nothing but trouble as far as I'm concerned!). Our 7yo (#2) chimed in asking daddy if his first kiss was his sweet and innocent......testosterone will ruin that in future years.
* "bobbily girls" aka "Volleyball girls"- this is how #4 (currently 2yo) refers to daddy's team.
*"Nooooo-ahh" how that particular says "no"
* my current 7 year old (#2) was uncontrollably crying outside during a game of football with #1. He was upset that he lost his temper w/his brother. He felt terrible, hugged his big brother and asked him to forgive him. God truly has sent me angels!
* "Trie Scoots"- this is how #1 (almost 12!!) said "Triscuits". We still give him a hard time.
*the 2yo (#4) insists on checking his business every time I change his diaper. What's weird about that (he's a boy, give him a break) is that them he sticks his fingers in his mouth!
* my older 2 boys are baseball fanatics- both are catchers. This fact means that the afore mentioned nut-cup is necessary and very common in our home. I have no problem with that. What does tend to bother me is that #1 has NO PROBLEM whipping that bad boy out and setting it on my kitchen counter after a game or practice! WTH?!! I don't know about the rest of my family, but I could do WITHOUT the penis-flavored counter tops. Maybe it's just me???

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

If Daddy Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy

Let me preface this by saying I love my hubby. He takes care of our boys and myself and has nothing but love for us. OK. Now on to the nitty gritty. Hubby texted me yesterday (that's really the only way we talk anymore) that he was feeling achy. It was more of a warning than a statement. Maybe on some level he knows that his tough-guy, army-strong persona is disintegrated the moment his nose starts to sniffle. Or maybe he is completely oblivious to the fact that the common cold leaves him in a whiny, whimpering, moaning pile of wuss. Wussitis really- and yes that is a medical term.

I am not sure if this phenomenon happens to all men or just mine. And part of me hopes that every wife out there has to suffer through the same WMS (Whimpery Man Syndrome) that I am forced to endure every time my big, strong soldier gets sick. Maybe I am being a be-yotch, an unsympathetic wife, an unloving devil woman...but let's think about how this scenario is going to play out once my loving hubby has so generously passed these germs to the children and inevitably to me. First of all, I will be the one at home with the sickies...which I actually don't mind as long as there in NO VOMIT! A sick toddler is much, MUCH, easier to comfort than a sick hubby. My little boy will just cuddle into my chest with his blankies, we will rock-a-bye, and watch cartoons all day. Maybe we'll even snooze a little demands, no moans, no groans, and he doesn't ever mention that he thinks he is dying.

Once I have been targeted by said germ, I will be left take care of the kids, the house, the laundry and the meals. Supper will still have to be served to my demanding (read: unwilling to help) rulers, diapers will still need to be changed, and sensing my obvious weakness the little ones will be relentless in their need for my assistance and attention. Contrary to my counterpart, I will not be granted the comfort and refuge of my bed. Indeed, I will still be expected to carry on business as usual.

Don't get me wrong. I don't think hubby is even aware of the error of his ways. He doesn't intentionally whimper and whine or even leave me ailing and wounded to fend for myself on purpose. I think it is a case of  ignorance. They do say ignorance is bliss. Bliss indeed! My proposition is that loving hubby take a nice my shoes. And I get to pick the shoes. I think the 4 inch black over-the-knee stiletto boots would suit the situation quite nicely. In fact, he should be required to take care of the kiddos, house, meals, and laundry all while waiting on my every sickly whim, whimper, and whine........wearing the boots and a smile, of course. Maybe then, and only then, will hubby's perspective me forcible molded into one I deem appropriate!

Monday, December 6, 2010

It's A Bird. It's A Plan. No! It's Super-mom!

I've realized that there is no more use in trying to hide my secret identity anymore. The commoners with whom I dwell will surely be getting suspicious. After all, I seem to have eyes in the back of my head, I complete the work of 3 men, and I still look amazing when the hubby comes home at night. Therefore, I've come to the conclusion that I need to break out my super-hero costume complete with cape and mask for all to see. I am going to shout it to the world..."My name is Mom....and I have super powers." My super-powers are becoming quite obvious, however, and it's only a matter of time before I am discovered.

The evidence speaks for itself. I am the only person in a house of 6 that can see the invisible laundry baskets that reside in almost every room of our house. Therefore, I am the sole individual who is successful in getting my dirty clothes into their designated receptors. Not only that, the piles of clean clothes, also invisible, are only detectable via my super-mom vision which inhibits my family's ability to put them away on their own. It's an astounding discovery really...what other super powers do I have, you might ask? I also possess super-human strength. Not only can I lug the 2 year old on one hip while the 4 year old is latched to my free hand, I can simultaneously wrestling with bags and bags of groceries overflowing with my family's rations...not an egg to be broken, a slice of bread to be squished or a child dropped! I can also complete a day's work of cleaning, cooking, changing and wiping butts, laundry, playing with the kids, assisting with after-school homework, and taxi-ing to and from events all with a smile on my face and a tune in my heart.

With each addition to my brood, I have noticed my "mom senses" have gotten more and more heightened. I can smell "foul play" (aka-poopy) from 50 yards, and a child in need of a bath can be detected before they enter the front door. My ears are constantly on alert for tears, whines, and bickering. And who knew the sounds of sleeping children could be so loud. I haven't slept soundly for years detecting every sigh, sniffle, sneeze and snort that my tiny terrors make at night.

Becoming a mom has created in me the ability to go days and days without sleep, proper meals, or showers. The other sex couldn't possibly endure such torture....that level of commitment and strength is bestowed upon us as we claim the title of "mom". And once a mom has been submerged into a sea of little boys, her super-powers grow exponentially! The atrocities that occur in the bathroom, alone, are enough to make a grown man cry for his mommy...or wife. But super-mom comes to the rescue...restores order...replaces toilet paper...returns toilet seats to their designated positions...and ends the reign of the toothpaste-sludge monster lurking in the sink.

Even though these feats seem quite honorable on their own...super-mom accomplishes them all without detection...making her truly amazing! No one is the wiser. And no one questions how the clean clothes are always in their drawers, why the bathroom smells better, or to where the dust-bunnies have escaped.

All in a days work for a....super-mom!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Stuck Like Glue

Eleven years ago I was scampering around my parents' home fussing over hair, makeup, nails...and our one year old son. It was my wedding day (sometimes the baby in the baby carriage comes first), and I don't remember feeling nervous. I remember being really excited to finally, finally say "I do" to one of the greatest men I had known. We were so excited to make our little family official.

Like every other 20 and 21 year old (I know we were young...get over it!) we thought we had everything under control...didn't need any advice...and thought we knew everything. Of course, we didn't...we should have welcomed some veteran advice...and we couldn't have possibly known what was laid out before us. You see, everyone goes into their marriage with high hopes, lots of love and patience and no thoughts of troubled waters ahead. It is a season of joy, anticipation, and excitement. But when troubles, adversity, and hard times inevitably knock on your front door, the character of your marriage comes shining through.

There have been moments in our last 11 years (don't I sound like that old wise grandma?) that I'm not very proud of. Words have been said that have hurt and torn down; angry moments and actions that now make me cringe; and I haven't always lived up to the promises I made to my hubby. There could have been more gentleness, more compromise, more apologies, more touching, more love. The beauty in our marriage, in any marriage, is that forgiveness often comes without asking; compromise is learned; and hopefully anger can melt away to understanding.

My hubby and I aren't perfect. We've made a lot of mistakes along the way. But my hope is that the storms we have weathered together have made us better spouses, parents, and friends. Learning from our mistakes is our mantra...and we take it very seriously. Growing up has its pains, especially when you are doing it with a spouse and child. Our journey may have been backwards, but it worked for us (and I can't tell you how many people told us it wouldn't work). Hubby knows me better than anyone else; he's been privy to the good, the bad, and the ugly.....and he still chooses to love me each and every day.

Happy anniversary, babe! I love you....and I'd do it all over again (having learned from our mistakes, it should be smooth sailing!!!)

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Wanna Be Your Sledgehammer

Thump! Wham! Pound! Slam! The pounding echoes...the throbbing super cedes any other sensation I might have otherwise experienced. And it feels as if my brain will, at any moment, come oozing out of my ears...which is almost a welcomed experience if it would promise to reduce the pressure my poor cranium has had to endure....for the last 48 hours!

I am pretty accustomed to headaches; I've experienced them my entire life...even as a little girl. Most of which are tolerable...meaning I can still get through my day without growling at, offending, or otherwise chastising anybody. But every now and then, I get slammed with a doozy; one that takes over my day- and sometimes night- and interferes with everything from changing my kiddo's diaper, to making lunch and helping with homework. And every sound that my kids make causes my head to swell and my eyes to bulge and the prospect of my head just simply exploding like an over-filled balloon....well, doesn't sound all that awful.

Night #2 proves to be another bust and the sweet relief of sleep alludes all of my senses. When I lay on my back the pressure on my neck is too excruciating to allow my body to relax giving me an upset tummy. As I roll to my side, flopping like a fish out of water, (hubby is so sweetly sleeping...and it kind of urks me) the sensation of my over-inflated head makes it impossible to find any comfort. My eyelids are too much pressure when I close them (did my eyeballs get bigger?) and opening them feels as if I'm ripping apart a garment at its seams. No sleep.

Drugs are clearly the answer- so says the rookie. But I've already overdosed my poor body on ibuprofen and Excedrin. Even the Pepsi and migraine medication proved no match to this gift from Satan himself. Maybe it's dehydration? So I chug-a-lug water all day and most of the evening....which lands me with frequent visits to the john...headache still in tow. With no other ammunition in my arsenal, I revert to coffee...and lots of it. A little Starbucks, a little Dunn Brothers, and some extra-strong home-brewed Joe, and I am feeling like my old self. Only remnants of the headache remain.

Hindsight is 20/20, and I should have visited my chiropractor (as hubby urged) immediately as I felt that headache grab my ankle and creep up my body...but $40 is a lot of money...and sometimes the idea of packing up kids and fighting with them (because they HATE that man to touch their mommy!) to get through an appointment just makes my headache thump even more. Plus, what if it truly doesn't give me relief...then I'm out 40 bucks and STILL have a headache!!

Maybe a relaxing day with my dudes my the Christmas tree, a family nap, and then movie night with the Grinch may be just the cure I've been looking for. Here's to wishful thinking!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Sticks and Stones

One, two buckle my shoe.........a tisket, a tasket, a green and yellow basket.........London bridge is falling down.........ring around the rosie, we all fall down. I never put much thought into childhood riddles, rhymes, and songs. It was just a sweet part of how we played. I grew up with my 2 siblings, 2 cousins, and the neighbor boy. My mom had a daycare, and this was my childhood group. We ran around the farm singing, playing, chasing, dodging, teasing....having a great time; learning from each other, helping each other and growing up together.

Sticks and stones

Most of my early childhood memories involve those 5 kids...and they are amazing memories. What I also remember, and now notice as a mom, however, is that once a child goes to school, those innocent childhood songs and chants can become taunting and hurtful jeers coming from children who are supposed to be our friends. I grew up saying, "sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." And I've even said that same little chant to my boys. But the truth of the matter is.....that names do hurt. They have the potential to hurt us for a lifetime and scar us deeply.

may break my bones

I still see a "four-eyes" when I look in the mirror, and I've never been comfortable in a swimsuit ever since my "best friend" said I had baby fat and then patted my tummy. A lot of my "friends" in high school would call me "bookworm" and get mad at me if my grade on a test was too high because it would "throw the curve". I would always laugh it off, but underneath my smile, my heart ached. Words hurt, and they replay in our minds over and over and over and over again. Broken bones and scratches heal, but words have the potential to stick with us forever.

but names will

I think about that every time I am talking to- or disciplining- my boys. I don't ever want a negative or hurtful thing that I recklessly say through anger to replay in their heads. What bothers me the most, though, is that I have no control over what is said on the bus or the playground. When my son calls home crying because the neighborhood bully has targeted him, yet again, calling him names in front of the other kids, my heart aches and that hurt little girl being called "four eyes" on the playground that cowers inside of me doesn't know how to respond. What do I tell my son to do when the mean girl at school constantly showers him with a barrage of hurtful words spewing out of her mouth uncontrollably. We very quickly label the bully who is physical with others, but what about this new form of bullying that is running rampant.

never hurt me.

I know that teasing, bullying, joking all come with the many lessons of growing up but we have to remember what it was like to be that kid. Yes, my friends, words hurt. We need to stop telling our kids that words will never hurt them because they do...and they will. Cyber bullying, text message bullying and whatever else kids can think up are out of control, and it is scarring a generation full of greatness that is yet to be discovered. It is our job as the adults to help kids, teach kids, and build them up. Maybe we need to listen more and talk less. Maybe we need regress to simpler times. Maybe. I'm not sure what the answer is but I know that words are very powerful; they can give us hope, they can give us motivation, they can make us laugh, they can make us cry.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names most definitely hurt me.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Black Friday Adventures- Rookies Need Not Apply

Sale! Sale! Sale! Early bird opportunities abound for those brave enough to weather crowd, dark of night, and turkey hangovers in order to partake in the after Thanksgiving sales that launch the holiday shopping season. Deals lurk around every corner of every department store as the wishful shoppers search for their treasures and stake their claim. Everyone is hoping to find and conquer the deal of the day and claim the title of "Best Gift Giver".

Regrettably, I have never attempted to negotiate the Black Friday sales events...always tapping-out last minute in fear of the expedition and an unsuccessful hunt. The gamble of playing and losing is too much for this shopper to bear. Although, the idea of saving money and scoring big has always beckoned to my inner shopping diva. Unfortunately, the hubby is allergic to spending money and is a vocal non-supporter of the Black Friday shopping extravaganza.

Uncharacteristically, hubby allowed - encouraged actually- me to sample some Black Friday sales in 2007. Honestly, I think he was still hungover with victory from his volleyball team's recent state championship the weekend before. He knew not what he was encouraging and agreeing to. With hubby's approval, I ventured out to partake of the great sales event. However, an early-bird I am not. I didn't venture out until well after the morning crowd had dissipated....or so I thought. Rookie mistake #1.

My first stop- Victoria's Secret- no "needs", just "wants". And the "wants" were definitely fulfilled- free tote with purchase and everything! Starting to get the hang of this Black Friday thing, I ventured to store #2 in hopes of scoring some new fancy sheets and towels. Much to my disillusionment, women were frenzied over the discounted sheets, comforters, and pillows. I was coming into the event unprepared without list, plan, or previous Black Friday experience (Rookie mistake #2), and the chaos and haphazard spending of the seasoned participants was contagious.

Mob-mentality took over this self-confessed rookie shopper as I found myself sucked into the frenzy of the moment; grabbing whatever everyone else was grabbing (even if it wasn't on my non-existent list) because it must be amazing if all of these women are tripping over each other in hopes of scoring those fantastically discounted pillows! In my nonchalant quest for new sheets, I found myself barely able to carry my loot of pillows, towels, sheets (2 sets), and comforters to the checkout line...only to return moments later for another look (and purchase!) of items throughout the store. The sales had to be great deals right? I wouldn't want to miss out on these money-saving items, right? Rookie mistake #3.

However, by this point, I was a shopper out-of-control off to my third store. With nothing specific to be searching for, I successfully purchased on-sale toy items that my children obviously needed to unwrap on Christmas morning, and new wash clothes and candles just because the sale was so amazing! I was drunk with my apparent spending savvy and delirious in the frenzy of grabbing, snatching, scoring, and excitedly-participating holiday shoppers!

With my treasures loaded in my vehicle I ventured home to show-off my rewards earned from 2 victorious hours of shopping. Hubby wasn't as excited as I had envisioned, and not nearly as thrilled with the new bedding as I had hoped. Although, he was quite approving of the Victoria's Secret purchases. And much to my chagrin, those highly coveted and extremely expensive pillows were horrible. We hated them! They have now been passed down to whichever kiddo can tolerate them. And I have learned some very valuable lessons in regards to Black Friday shopping. You must start with a plan. You must approach this adventure as if on a mission....that involves a very specific list. Rookies should not be allowed to attempt this alone...they should be accompanied by a seasoned Black Friday participant. And NO ONE needs $50 pillows!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Giving Thanks

Sitting here Thanksgiving eve at my mother-in laws house, I find myself contemplating the start of the Holiday season. I love the holidays....the spirit, the snow, the music, the cheer, the nostalgia...all of it warms my heart and speaks to my soul. I love the house filled with family...cousins playing, Grandma's loving, and Papas getting into trouble with the kids. It's a feel-good moment.

The kids are winding down, getting ready for bed, anticipating the turkey, gravy, potatoes, and pie that they will indulge in tomorrow. Grandma is preparing dishes, ingredients and the such in the kitchen. And my hubby and I sit here looking out the window at the frozen tundra. All seems right...all seems complete...all seems joyous.

But in the quiet of my heart, there is a that continues to disturb my sleep and haunt my days. No matter which house I spend Thanksgiving at next year, something- or someone- will be hubby; my boys' daddy. He will be spending his Thanksgiving- his second one- in a foreign country fighting for and defending our freedom. It's an honorable mission.....but my heart aches for his absence already. My soul is angry and bitter that we have to make this sacrifice.....again. Yes, it is his duty, and he answers the call gracefully and courageously. But my heart doesn't care about the glory in the mission. I want him here...with us. When you send a soldier on deployment there are many sacrifices that the family endures both big and small. The holidays are lonely...sad...nostalgic...and scary. There is no guarantee that your soldier is coming home. But as I sit here in the quiet of my mother-in laws family room....I can't help but wonder.....but worry...but give thanks that God allowed him to come home after the first war.....give thanks for the beautiful children he has made with me....give thanks for the amazing extended family that has welcomed me as one of their own....give thanks....and a couple prayers.

Monday, November 22, 2010

The Sign Of A True Champion

In a world that idolizes victors, emulates champions, and glorifies the elite; perfection, championship and victory reign as the ultimate goal to be achieved. We strive to be the victor leaving our blood, sweat, and tears on the practice field and share our hopes and dreams with the teammates who shoulder that same desire. Championship, indeed, tastes sweet.

So the goal is set. The practices are planned. And the hard work that the team has undergone is visibly obvious when they achieve success during competition. Those victories are celebrated; chanted about by elated fans, and accolades are granted by local media. Confidence abounds...both inside the ranks of the team and throughout the supporting fans as the prospect of championship grows more desirable...and attainable.

But what becomes of a team-of those young athletes- when circumstances, performances and luck doesn't go their way? What is the answer when victory- championship dreams- are shattered with a game gone wrong? Disappointment, frustration, tears, heartbreak all overtake the once hopeful and determined team. After all, no stories are told and retold of the team that didn't win; no victory chant for the team that didn't capture the championship.

In those moments, heart and character of the athlete are revealed. To be a champion one must not only know how to win...they must also know how to to humbly congratulate the victor and come back tomorrow determined to do their best, give their all, and play with heart. I witnessed this display of a champion this weekend as our beloved volleyball team suffered great loss, painful defeat, and then redeeming victory. We placed 7th in a championship tournament we all believed we would conquer as victors. Heart breaking to say the least- my 4 sons were devastated when daddy's team lost; believing with all their hearts that daddy and daddy's girls deserved to win.

Lessons in winning and losing are tough. We all love to win...and hate to lose. But in the sting of defeat, I saw champions rise up holding their heads high, joining together even tighter as teammates and supporting the opposing teams as they powered on to the desired victories. My boys learned more in that loss than we would have in the victory. Our girls maintained to be positive, upbeat young ladies with humble spirits and hopeful hearts. And I dare to say.......that they indeed emerged as champions.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Isn't it Ironic? Don't Ya Think?

My hubby and I have had our fair share of ups and downs accompanied with varying degrees of unfortunate luck. None, however, have been quite as memorable (or scarring!) as the "event" which occurred on our anniversary several years ago. I now lovingly refer to it as "The Anniversary of 2005".

Hubby had been home from Iraq for over a year...a very rocky, tumultuous year (trust me...that is an entirely different post). His December guard drill had always been a family Christmas party where the soldiers could bring spouses and children to introduce, show off, mingle, nice (not always my strong point...again, best saved for another time).We had never attended it with him before mainly because his unit is stationed hours away from where we lived, traveling in South Dakota winters with little kids isn't always pleasant or safe, and I don't particularly care for meeting new people! I like to stay at home in my nest with my dudes, and I find idle conversation with strangers, well- painful!. Never the less, the amazing wife that I am, I agreed to join hubby on this cold trip through the frozen tundra with our kiddos in order to make hubby happy.  He is so lucky to be married to such a pleasant wifey-poo.

Our trip was basically uneventful...the kids played nice with the other military kids, mommy played nice with the other wives, roads weren't terrible and the drive there was good. Sunday morning we packed up our little family into our vehicle, started a movie and set off on our 4-5 hour drive across the frozen state. Did I mention this was our anniversary? So we chit-chatted, almost a hope-filled conversation, on our drive....about where we've been, what we've been through, and where we hope to go. Maybe that was a little too much for fate to handle...a little too much joy and far too less drama for fate to turn a blind-eye and let our anniversary drive go smoothly without any unfortunate events.

About 2 1/2 hours down the road we stopped in a little town for a bathroom break and to get some snacks and drinks for the kids. Everyone back in car seats and seat belts, movie started, and we ventured off for the second half of our trip. Just outside of town something went wrong. Our vehicle was move! Hubby revs the engine...nothing but high RPM's and a lot of noise. Do you know that feeling? You know...the one where it's 20 below zero, no cell phone coverage because it's the middle of nowhere and the can-you-hear-me-now guy hasn't made it to our remote area yet, my babies are in the backseat unaware of the dilemma we faced, and the car......won't.....move! Plus it's our anniversary!!! "Happy Anniversary babe! We most likely need a new transmission, I don't know how we are going to get our family home, and I think we are going to get an overdraft charge for that candy and soda we just bought. We don't have any extra money for Christmas presents...let alone a vehicle repair. We charged the gas for this trip. And I can't possible afford a card, let alone a gift, for our anniversary. But I love you!" It's not the most secure and confident in my future that I've ever been, to say the least.

Oh, and here is the irony in the whole situation. The town we are now stranded in, the town that we are indeed finding ourselves penniless and without a moving vehicle, the town that now symbolizes what our lives have been like post-war; that town's name is.......................... "Faith". Yep, "Faith". At the moment I didn't find any humor, or comfort for that matter, in the name. I actually thought it was s sick twisted way for the Lord-my savior, the One I am to put all of my trust into-to make a point. I realize everything happens for a reason and blah, blah, blah. But our reality at that point was zero money, zero transportation, a struggling marriage, and lots and lots of tears threatening to emerge.

Luckily, another soldier and his girlfriend were also traveling our way. They generously loaded us up into their vehicle and carted us back to our abode leaving our vehicle parked in "Faith". It was a long, silent drive home with fears, concerns, worries all racing through our heads. We weren't even making ends was more like we were getting them just close enough to bob our heads out of the water to catch a quick breath before being pulled back under again. Needless to say, it was a disheartening position in which to find ourselves.

When you have nowhere else to go but up...up seems to be the most logical direction to head . However, sometimes "up" requires help, prayer, and a little faith. My parents offered the help paying for our vehicle to be repaired...and they answered our prayers by getting our boys some Christmas gifts (including those from Santa) because they weren't getting any otherwise. And "Faith", although our lowest point, seemed to put us on the direct path to "up" where blessings abound, post-war turmoil ended, and happiness was reinstated.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tunnel Closed. Use Alternate Route.

I've had 4 my ob/gyn is well versed in the very personal idiosyncrasies of my female anatomy. By the pregnancy of #4 it's really "been there, done that" for both of us. I mean, he's already seen and explored more than possibly my hubby has, and he's definitely discussed and examined more of my "areas" than I would care to remember.

Pregnancy is such an invasion of privacy. My delicate areas, I soon learned with baby #1, were no longer mine...indeed, they were now property of the medical team. Property that needs to be examined, felt, touched, maneuvered, pulled, stitched, checked, checked again, checked again (seriously, I just had a baby; I could use some sleep!) and in 6 weeks checked again! You tend to lose some of your modesty with each child that you are blessed to bear.

As I had said earlier, my doctor has now been privileged to investigate my "tunnel" on several memorable occasions. I'm sure it was just as meaningful to him as it was to me. And after 4 pregnancies, I had learned to somewhat detach myself from my tendency to be Prudence McPrude, and started to view my appointments as social time to be enjoyed rather than dreaded. Of course, I still made sure my girl bits were in tip-top shape and always presentable. One still wants to make a good impression! I mean, I don't want my doctor to think I'm letting myself go or anything...I definitely don't want to be the one he laughs about at the OB/GYN conventions! 3 babies may have already shot out of this tunnel, but it's still valuable property, and I treat it as such.

Now, I'm sure you have all been sitting in that paper gown with nothing but your full glory underneath when the nurse comes in to ask if the medical student shadowing your doctor can be present during your appointment. This is the point where my butt-crack starts to sweat, my heart beat thuds so loudly I can't hear myself stutter, and even the baby starts to wiggle with a little apprehension which is now giving me the urge to fart. I don't generally introduce myself to strangers with this particular area of my anatomy...I mean, "Hi. Nice to meet you. You look about 17 years old...would you like to check my tunnel!" So from somewhere inside me I mustered the strength to say, "No thank you" with an uncomfortable little chuckle and awkward smile. To my relief, the nurse leaned in close and said, "I wouldn't either" . Whew! So I'm not the only crazy lady out there that doesn't say hello with the glory of my vagina!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Happy Veteran's Day

Since hubby is in the National Guard, we receive a magazine for the national guard soldier and family called, "Foundations". The November/December issue had something I would like to share on this Veteran's day. Regrettably, it isn't written by me, although I truly wish it had been. Nonetheless, here is the:

 "Recipe for an Army Wife"

1 1/2 cups  patience
1 lb. adaptability
3/4 cup tolerance
1 tsp. courage
A dash of adventure

Combine above ingredients. Add two tablespoons elbow grease.
Let sit alone for one year.
Marinate frequently with salty tears.
Pour off excess fat and sprinkle ever so lightly with money.
Knead dough until payday. Season with a lot of
international spices. Bake for 20 years or longer, until done.
Serve with pride!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

This Path Is Not Easy

No, this path is not easy. Accepting the Lord as my savior was freeing and full of grace and mercy. However, following and being bound by my faith proves to be strenuous, difficult and even hurtful at times. The call of a christian is not an easy one. I think many view it as a protective umbrella that we "Christians" use- lip service, if you will. We throw the label of "christian" around so often and in such a general way that it has somehow lost its power. I, too, used to view the "Christian" as simply a belief system that provided me with a little fire insurance-a way of having asbestos lined underwear, you might say, to insure my safety from the fiery pits of Hell.

No, this path is not easy. I have come to learn that carrying the load and responsibility of the position of "christian" is not always comfortable, is not always appealing, is not always rosy. By walking this path, I have opened myself and my family up to ridicule, heartache, and constant defense of our beliefs. Is it not easier to hate than to offer forgiveness before it is requested? Is it not easier to spat the ugliness and anger of how we feel justifying the validity and worth of our emotions and point of view than it is to be still and silent and guided with our words through prayer? That which makes me human, which makes me fallible and sinful in nature, is what I am called to resist, to overcome, to rise above.....all the while knowing that I am a sinner and will fail...daily.

No, this path is not easy. At times we walk alone, against the flow of society, in a different direction of those we love. But if we are following God's plan, His laws, and His voice then we see the light beckoning us from our sin. But at times, does it not sound condescending when we hear someone say, "I'll pray for you" or "God doesn't give you more than you can handle"? That very lip service too which I alluded seems disingenuous and far less than empathetic. I know. I've felt that way...I've said those phrases...I've rolled my eyes at that "christian" who spoke of a "changed heart" and "never being the same". But until I knew-really knew-Jesus and walked and talked with Him I couldn't possibly understand what being a "christian" meant, entailed, required....offered.

No, this path is not easy....but I choose Him, I choose to humble myself and rise above my pride and my sinful tongue to touch the feet of Jesus. I choose to be chastised for my beliefs from ones I love to bow before my Lord when He calls me home. I choose to defend my decisions with Bible verses to spend eternity praising my Father. I choose to teach my boys to overcome evil and stand up to bullies in order to hear "well done good and faithful servant".

No, this path is not easy....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Middle Of The Night "Service"

The experience of your first baby is changing. It doesn't matter how many baby, nursing, new mommy/daddy classes you attend, nothing truly prepares you for the jolt of reality about to smash you in the face when you bring baby nurses or nursery, no adult to take over the night shift, no magic cream to make your nipples stop hurting, no yanna beninee spray to make your "area" feel better, and no secret weapon to make that baby sleep! Your on your own.

I was falsely lead to believe that daddy and mommy should share the responsibility of waking with the baby from the hours of midnight to 8 am. It seemed very logical to me that we would take turns even if I was nursing the young Prince. In my mind, it only seemed fair for daddy to bring baby to mommy (I'm super sore, remember) and burp and change him in between nursing on each side. Daddy could then help get little man back to sleep and into his crib, and we could crash into bed together once that was accomplished. Even as I am saying it, I feel sorry for the rooky who has this belief. What....a....load....of....crap! mommy's job especially in the wee hours of the night. Needless to say, I didn't take too kindly to this way of thinking. And on more than one occasion I'm sure I "accidentally" woke sweet sleeping hubby during the process of attending to baby; especially since I rescued my newborn from daddy's slumbering comatose body one of our first nights home. Baby has NEVER been in our bed since!

I woke in the painful hours of the night to crying baby and brought him to our bed to proceed with nursing, burping, changing, nursing, burping, lulling to sleep-it's quite the process! Daddy, however, was not in the bed which was puzzling. We had a tiny apartment (we were 19 and 20 people!); there wasn't anywhere for him to go to escape middle-of-the-night baby noise. But playing hide-and-seek with daddy would have to wait. Baby demands attention NOW!

Once I had successfully gotten baby satisfied and sleeping sweetly again, I went on a hunt for hubby (actually, we weren't married yet; so technically I was searching for my baby-daddy). I tiptoed as to not...make...any...noise to our living room -  first-baby mistake a lot of rookies make  - where I find my baby-daddy fully reclined in the lazy boy (indeed!) "au natural", TV blinking in the darkness, sound asleep. Of course, it was my duty to wake him from that sweet sleep and demand to know what he was doing. He was clueless as to how, why, what, and I was too tired-and annoyed-to bother. As he stammered clumsily to the bed he did an about-face and headed toward the bathroom. Whatever, I'm going to bed.

He made a lot of noise in there with the drawers and sounds of objects being moved, but I didn't bother to see what that fool was doing. I finally heard the toilet flush, and he came stumbling to bed. I didn't give it a second thought as to what he could have possibly been doing in the bathroom...other than the obvious.

However, in the morning I was enlightened as to the extent of my soon-to-be-hubby's craziness when he is awakened from his slumber! The contents of my bathroom drawers were lined up neatly along the edge of my bathtub....and there in my empty vanity drawer.....was my baby-daddy's pee! Yes, pee! Not only did he remove all of my things (thank you for that, though), pee-ed in the drawer, but then he flushed! I remember the flush in the middle of the night because I thought it was going to wake my precious Prince that I just got back to sleep (remember this is my first baby and when he slept NO NOISE was made). That fool pee-ed in my drawer and then flushed the toilet!! 

Of course, he doesn't remember any of it...from me waking him from his in-the-buff slumber in our chair to the urinating in my drawer...none of it sparks any part of his memory. This is not the last time that he will be crazy and inexplicable in the middle of the night but those experiences can be shared on a later date. I, however, have learned to make sure he is good and awake before requesting his assistance, movement, or otherwise "services" in the middle of the night.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Things That Make Me Go Hmmmmmm

* Where do the missing socks go?
*  I am the only member in my family who seems to get my dirty clothes into the laundry baskets. Maybe they truly are invisible. And maybe I really do have super powers.
* I put that precious item in a place I knew I would never forget.....and for the life of me I can't remember where that unforgettable place is.
* Didn't I just pick up these toys?
* Someone must be hiding the dirty underwear because it's never in the laundry.
* A little person inevitably needs my assistance the moment my naked posterior is placed onto its throne.
* This is also true when I am desperatly trying to watch "my show".
* A freshly scrubbed floor demands a spill.
*  A family picture always has an unhappy participant.
* When we are in a hurry or running late, chaos and mayhem lurk around every corner.
* The new recipe I worked on all day is "digustin".
* On the weekends when you can actually sleep in, the kids get up earlier than they do on school days.
* When it pours.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Are You Ready To RUMBLE??!!

Why do moms feel the need to judge, berate, and compete...with other moms? Whether we stay at home, work at home, work on the job site, travel for work...we seem to always be in competition with and tearing down the the moms that occupy the opposing classification. Whatever group we affiliate ourselves with, it appears, to me, that we become very un-accepting of moms classified in the other groups as if it is our own little unspoken sorority. Exclusivity reigns supreme. Non-members need not apply.

I have experienced being a full-time working mama, a college student and working mama, a work at home mama, and now currently holding steady as a stay at home mama. And trust me, in every group I have been a member, I have noticed and joined in on the judgement and ridicule of every other "group". We tear down, turn up our noses and ultimately disregard other possible mothering styles other than that associated with our assemblage.

And I don't understand it. Fundamentally, all moms want the best for her children...and how she achieves that -whether working out of the home or working in the home-is not for other mothers to judge. The very fact that we share "mothering" in common should cause us to rally behind the other; lift her up when she is burdened and down-trodden, rejoice in her victories and accomplishments, help her cry when tears need to be shed, and join in her laughter as we all try to tackle everything that accompanies the title of "Mom".

This is a tough enough job already without heaping onto ourselves and others the stress of "which group of moms is better". Don't we put enough pressure upon ourselves without ridiculing and judging the other moms we encounter at the park, at school pick-ups and drop-offs, at practices, PTA meetings, check-out lines and classroom parties? Shouldn't we stand behind each other by virtue of belonging to the sisterhood of moms?  Is it ludicrous for me to suggest the possibility that we could not only support each other but also learn from each other?

Moms vary greatly in our talents, backgrounds, experiences and skills. We range in differences as vast as economic levels, religious preferences, and ethnicity. Each of us have unique tips, tricks and skills to share with the other....if only we would ask for and welcome each other's advice and knowledge. Just imagine how comforting-and relieving- it would be to not worry about the preconceptions and misconceptions we have previously held over each other. I dare to say that not only could we all benefit from the wisdom of the mom sitting beside us...but she might even be able to help us be a better mom, a better wife, and a better friend.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things That Make Me Giggle

* the 4 year old was wearing summer jammies-you know, those small little, cute shorts-commando style. He looked up at me smiling and said, "mom, my ball is out!"
* the 7 year old showing me how to Zumba
* the 11 year old practicing his "moves" for the middle school dance (eesh! I hope his friends have the same "moves". I don't want him to stand out.)
* the 2 year old saying, "what the hell". Of course it isn't appropriate...there's just something funny about naughties coming out of something so cute and little!
* while watching the boys play in the yard, the 4 year old was pretending that pirates were coming to get us. I acted worried and said, "what are we going to do?". My brave little 4 year old acted exasperated and declared, "Mom. Don't get excited. I've got it under control." Ok.
* the 7 year old telling me that learning to dance makes his head hurt.
* the 2 year old and 7 year old taking their job as "dog poop finders" VERY seriously. They don't miss a pile-every one gets pointed out to mama.
* my 4 year old was naming his brothers and saying everyone's age. "Mama, how big are you?" "32, babe". His eyes got super big, "Whoa, you are really big mommy!" Yeeaaah, thanks baby.
* I was being cutsie with the hubby, and lept toward the bed.....but missed...and landed on the floor!
* My 4 year old had to go #2 and I am the designated wiper. But I was downstairs dealing with a flooded bathroom floor. I heard him yelling at me, and I told to just wait a minute. When I got upstairs he was standing in his full glory in the living room watching TV. When he saw me, he did the pants-at-your-ankles run to the bathroom so mommy could see his "awesome poop".
* the 4 year old's and 7 year old's Christmas list. I must have told them about the newly-discovered money tree in the back yard.
* When declaring to our boys that some of their Christmas requests are too expensive, they confidently state that it's ok, they're just going to ask Santa for it. Awesome!

Ahhhh. Life may be stressful sometimes....but these are the moments that I choose to remember, share, and enjoy! Laughter truly is the best medicine.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, mirror on the wall? Who is the fairest of them all?

I learned as a little girl that there is always someone better than older sis was better at helping mom, my younger bro was better at helping dad, friends had better clothes and toys, and others always acted and reacted in a way more pleasing than myself. My childhood was always compared to my older -more perfect- big every setting. We grew up in a very small town, so every teacher or coach I had already had my big sis. Good or bad, we were always compared. In our family, she picked, teased and tormented, but I would get in trouble for losing my temper or lashing out while she would walk off giggling and delighting in her victory. Since she was always participating and competing in activities before any of us, she was put on a pedestal of greatness by both my immediate and extended family members. All milestones were already achieved and surpassed by the time I reached them. I learned at a young age that I would have to work harder to get noticed, be quieter because other stories were more important, and that being the middle child lacked pizazz, excitement or uniqueness.

Mirror, mirror on the wall? Who is the fairest of them all?

Everyone's teenage years are filled with excitements and disappointments, goals achieved, mistakes made, roller-coaster emotions, first loves and heartaches, dances, slumber parties, bad hair-do's and acne. I was a brainy-nerd yet also a successful athlete...which saved me from "geek" status, most of the time. Growing up in someone's shadow causes an unnatural, guttural desire to Whatever I did, I did with passion, commitment, and focus. I wanted the highest scores in the classroom and in every sport I played. I beat my big sis off the 1600 meter relay team, but couldn't be excited about it because it would hurt her feelings. Although, she was allowed to make snide comments with her friends at school and at home, refuse to talk to or even be civil to me, and not cheer for me when I raced. I was an honor student and received academic scholarships, a top athlete, and a scholarshiped runner for my college track team. But all of that was out shined by big sis's trouble, teenage/college rebellion, and "issues". My goal became "never dissapoint".
Mirror, mirror on the wall? Who is the fairest of them all?

I got pregnant in college-before we were married-with my one and only true love. Together, we have a beautiful family, an amazing home, and a wonderful life. However, I am pretty reserved, very untrusting of others, and don't have many close girl-friends. I pour myself into my home and family...worried that another mother, another wife is doing "it" better than me...always worried that someone is judging how I'm mothering, housekeeping, meal-planning, wife-ing. I am told constantly how good of a mother big-sis is to her only child...never being able to remember a time when I received such a compliment from family. However, when any of my children lose their's discussed and pointed out; when they are deemed too loud or wild at Grandma's house...they are ridiculed; when they were unnecessarily snapped at this summer....I was told that it was ok. They suffer the fate of being born to the "middle child"...lacking pizazz, excitement, or uniqueness...sandwiched in the center where the shadows are big, dark, and tough to shine through.

Monday, October 25, 2010

People That Need To Be Slapped

* the neighbor lady down the hill who calls and chews me out every time I tell her son my kids can't play right now
* the couple on the airplane when we were traveling home from Disney World on Christmad Eve who kept leaning across the aisle to kiss; but would glare at me every time our baby let out a whine
* my neighbor up the hill who put a note in my mailbox that said my kids were a nuissance
* the Safeway checkout lady who gave me total's your job, deal with it
* my other neighbor who told my 2 middle boys that he would spank them if he saw them outside while he was paving his driveway
         (Obviously, I don't get along with many of my neighbors-it says NOTHING about me as a person!)
* that skinny beautiful woman holding her newborn baby-she should be jiggly and sleep deprived
* that mama who will not stop yelling at the top of her lungs at the youth soccer game
* people who give you the evil eye when your toddler is having a throw-down tantrum
* the mechanic-they've had our vehicle for 4 weeks- who keeps telling me to be patient
* the Dr that came into the ER room after x-rays of my son's broken arm and told me they found something very interesting
* the teacher that told us she thought our son had ADHD. We paid for tests and appointments to find out, he's a normal, active young boy
* the coach who said that my son needed to choose a sport....when he was 9
* people who are critical of how you parent your kids
* that group in the theater that won't....stop....talking!
* the checkout people who comment on my $600 of groceries every single month

Friday, October 22, 2010

Puke-a-palooza of 2010

It had been quite awhile-over 2 years, in fact-since my family had been struck down by the dreaded and much feared "stomach flu". Much to my delight, we had never all been inflicted by any germ at the same time. Of course, many had made their way through our family taking their turn to strike each one of us down resulting in weeks of sickies inhabiting our home. But an epidemic so violent that it attacks each family member simultaneously we believed to be merely hearsay, the likes of which we had only heard horror stories and rumors.

Being naive to the existence of the "Puke-a-palooza", my family was a perfect target; sitting ducks, if you will. It creeped ever-so-quietly through our front door, suspected to have been hiding in a backpack, on a Thursday. And by supper time, it had struck down its first unsuspecting victim. Poor #2 heaved and hurled and moaned and groaned as the intruder assaulted his young 6 year old body.

With a positive outlook, I assumed  that poor #2 would be the only one to be preyed upon. Alas, naivete is for the foolish. We bedded down sickly #2 on the floor in our room so we could assist throughout the night if needed. However, soon after climbing into bed (still confident in our success of dodging a bullet) we heard a horrible noise and suspicious smell coming from the room of young #3-only 3 years old. Once in the room, the scene of the crime (and smell!) was overwhelming. Walls, bedding, floor, blankies all were victimized by the effects of the voracious Stomach Flu Virus. Certain we were in for a looooong night, papa bear and I suited up and prepared for battle (or course first we had to clean, disinfect and dispose of the affected area(s)and possessions). Good parents that we are, we positioned the victimized child-again near mommy- on our floor so we could monitor and help him aim his little face into his designated bucket.

However, we were caught off guard. Daddy was now feeling "funny" and staked claim of the bathroom. Sounds emitted from that room still haunt me! He spent the night on the floor close to the toilet with his head resting in his bucket. I wrestled with the 3 year old forcing his face into his "puke pail". Much to my chagrin, he is a fighter (and very strong!) and resisted this procedure with force and vocal protests! It was a back-and-forth night of wiping, washing, and trying to to capture as much flying vomit as one mom can.

By morning, daddy looked like death, #2 still had a fever, #3 was still heaving and puking and moaning...and protesting. And now, mama bear was starting to feel the affects of zero sleep, marathon vomit catching (and being covered with it in the process) and breathing germy, "Puke-a-palooza" air all night long. My hopes of being "the chosen one" were crashed as I positioned myself with bucket in hand and joined in the chorus of moans and groans. Hoping that the rest of the family could take care of themselves, my plan to suffer in solitude was short-lived and foiled by an addition to our chorus. #4- only 15 months old- was the next to fall victim. Papa Bear claimed him as his puking partner which left me with the violent puke-throwing 3 year old.

The baby was a puking champ, however, and hit his targeted bucket every time, with the help of daddy. In hopes to save the oldest from suffering the same trauma, we sent him to school. The rest of the day consisted of round-robin puking, groaning, moaning, heaving, and wailing....a nightmare, really. One which my family hopes to NEVER repeat.

By 3:30, it was discovered that #1 would not be spared. He crawled through the front door and secured a bucket of his own slinking to the basement where he could wallow in self-pity. The "Puke-a-palooza" lasted through the next night and by morning we were feeling much better. The event, however, left much damage in its wake. Victimized blankets, sheets and pillows lay in a stinky pile waiting to be assessed. Buckets that suffered much assault scattered the house. And a smell like no other emanated from our premises. Much needed to be done and cleaned and scoured and sanitized....which was mostly left to mommy since everyone else thought they had already suffered enough already.

We now tell stories of the "Puke-a-palooza of 2010". Most laugh at our expense, chuckle along with our story....but secretly fear that it will not strike them too.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Believe I Can Fly

In previous posts, I have relayed a couple stories documenting my lack of gracefulness. It is actually an ongoing joke with my husband and kids because I am constantly displaying evidence to support the theory that God simply didn't endow me with that particular quality. Ironically, I am quite athletic...but it is more of a  "bull in a china shop" athleticism than anything else. It is a good thing I breed little boys, because most have them have been blessed (or cursed as their daddy would say!) with the genes of their mother.

With that background information, I can now proceed with divulging one of my most painful, albeit hilarious, series of unfortunate events. I bring about most of my trouble (and bumps and bruises) myself. After 30+ years of knowing myself, one would assume that I would have "learned my lesson". Alas, I am a glutton for punishment...or so it would seem.

When moving into our first home, my hubby was already in Iraq which left me in charge of "the move". Unfortunately, I had just given birth to little boy #2 and the idea of  moving - even out of my rocking chair- was more than a little overwhelming. Luckily for me, my mother-in-law organized an "army" of sorts to coordinate and execute the details of getting my little family from point A to point B.  I was merely put in charge of directing traffic. God bless a MIL on a mission!

I didn't care where any of our stuff went except for my devoted rocking chair, kids' necessities (which really was a lot) and my breast pump. Everything that I didn't feel that I needed immediately was designated to the newly-purchased storage shed. Included in these un-necessities were ALL of my hubby's possessions (he was going to be gone for the next 12 months...I had plenty of time organize it....later). And as you can imagine, when working with a crew who I've never met and didn't know me from Jane Doe down the street, none of my possessions sparked an emotional connection or feelings of protection from our "moving crew". Items were piled, stacked, shoved, pushed and tossed into the storage shed. I loved having all of the help, don't get me wrong, but the mission was "move" not "careful". But in that moment of relief, I didn't care how they got our stuff into our new house or storage shed.

Fast forward a couple months and I am feeling a little more ambitious and wanting to tackle the nightmare we so lovingly called "the storage shed". Maneuvering wasn't easy or tactical. The stuff I really wanted to get to was at the back of the shed. So of course the most logical way of getting to it.....was to scale the mountain of our items. In my mind that was obviously the "path of least resistance"...or physical exertion.

Now, I was a young strong woman (read determined and stubborn). I was confident in my physical and athletic ability to not only scale the rickety mountain of things, locate and rescue the desired treasure and then jump (yes, I said jump!) down the precarious mountain and out of the shed....successfully. Unfortunately, scenarios that I envision in my head don't always play out as planned (you've read All the sexy mammas, right??) 

As I negotiate my take off, descent, and landing I apparently didn't factor in the trajectory and unstable terrain. Not only did I have to jump down and out at an angle, I had to make sure I didn't hit any part of the door frame, or land on the toys that scattered the ground like land mines waiting to join in on my demise. None of this crossed my mind before attempting my exit. Hind sight is 20/20 people!

I take off (I'm strong and athletic, right) certain that my landing will score at least an 8. My feet get tangled in some piece of crap that was sticking up which deters my original flight plan causing me to make an emergency (read devastating) landing on top of the "Riding International Tractor with scoop" that grandpa so lovingly bought my son. Despite my obvious pain, I was too worried and horrified that any of my new neighbors may have witnessed this failed attempt at flying and wander over to check on my status. I jumped up threw the assaulting toys back into the shed and walked ever-so-delicately into my house where my 2 sweet boys were none the wiser to mommy's "accident".

In the house, I proceeded to lay on the floor in a heap of bruises, scrapes, damaged ego and what felt like brokenness everywhere and cried my little heart out. I had to call in sick to work the next day because not only was it painful just to breath, but my face, neck, and shoulders were black-and-blue. I was certain someone would report my poor unknowing, out-of-the-country hubby for suspected spouse abuse all because his overly confident wife had a moment of disrespect for the laws of gravity.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pet Peeves

* abandoned dirty socks in the middle of the floor-usually missing its mate
* board games that are missing their instructions
* the 15 pieces of cereal at the bottom of the box-left by someone too lazy to finish the cereal and recycle the box
* litter bugs
* telemarketers calling my phone during nap time
* that sneaky thief at school-so tired of replacing items for my dudes because they were stolen
* when people don't return your message
* unsolicited advice from strangers (and sometimes family members)
* unflushed toilets
* the phantom in my home that leaves all of the lights on and the TV blaring
* clothes in the dirty laundry that have been taken off and left inside out as if it were banana peels
* comparing kids -on any level or item
* filling up the vehicle with gas-that's what hubby is for
* when the kids leave the back door WIDE open letting all the cool or warm air escape into our backyard
* kids who bully- both of my school aged kids have been bullied
* people who suffer from "poor me" syndrome

Saturday, October 16, 2010


By Jamie Knapp

About 20 of us sat around the campfire tonight in the hills roasting hot dogs.  It was youth night tonight and each teenage boy got to reminisce about how they achieved their most memorable battle wound..I was the only female.  Most kids had more than one story making the point of how proud they were to wear the scar from doing the dangerous, and risky.  Bravery..."I survived it and have the scar to prove it story".
My 6 year old was too shy to tell his story, so momma did it for him.  He sat right by my side wanting my arm around him, without the thought that "I cant let people see me needing mommy."  His innocence still in full tact.  As mommy, I thought..."It wont be long before he wants to sit on the opposite end of the bench as me, hanging out with the other kids as in "its not "cool" for mom to love you in front of your friends"!  I was stuck in that moment for a bit and savored it, absorbed it.  I loved it.  Guess where my preteen was during this?  You got it, -at the other end of the bench.

 Boys + Campfires = Dangerous Experiments ...You know- who can manage to hang on to the shortest stick while one end is in the fire sorta thing, and holding the scewers in the fire till they are glowing red, taking off shirts and attempting to clear the fire in a long jump....Apparently teenage boys don't know the value of their "jewels".

We sat around listening to story after story until the youth leader told of his once broken ribs.A scar that could not be seen. The moral of the story was that some of us have scars that run deeper than the physical, scars that have been acquired emotionally, and mentally that leave behind emotional scar tissue...scars that can not be seen.  Boys normally dont like to talk about those scars.  They are tough to show any sign of pain, to cry or to admit they hurt would be called a "sissie, or a softy".  But Jesus showed his scars to Thomas without shame.  He is alive today and so when these boys hurt, they were made clear that Jesus can heal their deepest wounds.

Scars will happen, campfires are fun, Weiners were roasted (not those weiners although came close), and star trippin is something you should try:) but your sons, savor every moment they NEED You because it wont be long before they sit on the other end of the bench.

***This was written by my friend Jamie Knapp. She is an amazing mama, a loving wife, and a devoted Christian. Give her some bloggy love!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happily Ever After

I grew up watching Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast over and over again. I loved the beautiful, song-filled princesses and the handsome, graceful princes that captivated my TV screen. Every twirl of their dresses, each glimmer of their eyes, and the enchanting songs they would sing enraptured my imagination convincing me that life would be played out as in the fairy tale. Some day my Prince would surely come...he always does. Right?

Anytime my world was wrong, I would imagine that I was that princess...just waiting for my Prince to rescue me from the rapture of the evil step-mother or the wicked step-sister (sometimes these rolls were assumed by my mother or sister depending upon who displeased me more). Needless to say, this was a scenario that played out in my head frequently. I would "lock" myself in my room and twirl and dance and sing...and wait.

As a young girl, the role of Prince was always played by my daddy. What little girl doesn't picture daddy as her knight in shining armor, the perfect image of a man? But as my little girl whimsies grew into big-girl dreams and wishes, the role of Prince changed. I waited and hoped and longed for that "tall, dark, and handsome" Prince to find me, sweep me onto his horse and take me away so we could live out our perfect fairy tale ending.

Disappointments abound when perfection is one's expectation. No boy met all of my princess-ly standards for being named my Prince Charming. And even after I said "I Do", I longed to be whisked off to my kingdom on a grand statuesque horse lead by my strong, gorgeous Prince. So when the blunders and misconceptions of life landed on my doorstep, I have to admit, I was taken aback and more than a little disheartened and disappointed. Lessons learned, compromises made, and with the facade of perfection thrown out the window of my castle.......I realized that "Happily Ever After" was waiting just inside my front door.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

To Teach a Child

I have been ramming my head against the wall- trapped between this huge rock and a really hard spot. My kiddo #1 is struggling in middle school. It is painful and frustrating, overwhelming and distressing. I feel "lost in the system". When i seek help the response i receive is that my child is responsible for his own education, that he is being lazy, and they frown upon his excitement to answer every question. The mama bear in me jumps to the defensive....very, very quickly...and demands to know why an 11 year old is tasked with the responsibility of his own education. I sarcastically ponder why wouldn't an educator be thrilled to have a student that is so excited to learn? And my protective instinct requisitions answers, answers, answers. My perception is (and perception is reality!)  "we can't care about we won't care about anyone".

I struggle with these thoughts that bounce around in my head. My son has been left beat down, dumped in a hole, and ordered to figure out his exit....all by himself. I want my son-all of my sons- to love school, to love learning, to enjoy these years of growing up. But I am now left with uncertainty in the process or the outcome of success. Shouldn't we strive to reach each child? Idealistic? of course it is, but shouldn't that be the goal? On the contrary, I and my son are left to drudge through these middle school trenches without navigational assistance. We are told he needs to talk less, listen more, and that life isnt' fair. Boy that's an undersimplification of a life's lesson! Whatever happened to the prospect of transition, assistance, and genuine concern about the student's positive experience. Lost is the sincere regard to the child's ability and potential to achieve and experience success. At least this is my

I am obviously disheartened and do not mean any disrespect to those in the educational field...although I'm sure that is how it is perceived. Shockingly, my husband taught for many the middle school my son now attends. There in lies a big problem. Sides inevitably will be taken...I on my son's, hubby on the teacher's. I have many friends and family members that teach, and I'm sure they are doing the absolute best that they can. And I'm sure that after reading this I have most certainly been marked as "that mother".

There are too many kids and not enough teachers or money to fund education properly. I get that- let's address that. We can take sides, we can dig our heels in and butt our heads together vowing not to budge on our beliefs. But there in the middle, lost, scared, confused is a young boy. He's not just another student. He is my son. He has a huge heart and would run in front of a moving car for his little brothers....or your child! He needs to here "I love you" and be reassured that he is valuable and validated that he is important in this world. He stands up to bullies and gets bullied because he does so. He has certain character flaws that need molding, shaping, and possibly some preening and tweaking (don't we all?). His name is Tyler. At home, he goes by Ty-guy.

We can get all wrapped up in agenda and policies, theory and points of view. My my view points to my son. I have always advocated for public schools, it's potential for success, and the teacher's who give their life's work to the success of children. I am not "that mother". I am a mother, and I, like all parents, want my kid to fell like he matters and to experience success- whatever that is specific to him.

I realize I am stirring-the-pot, so to speak. And that many are going to spit my way, label my student, and stand their ground. But the problem will not get addressed and the solution will never be found. We need to work together instead of argue about who's right and who's wrong. I am speaking from my perception and experience. I am begging....someone please help us!

Let's focus on the person, the child, the individual...they all have a story; they all have fears; they all have joys; and they all deserve our best.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

SITS group- BAAA tribe

I am working with some amazing ladies through SITS (secrets in the sauce). And they have helped me with oodles and oodles (that is a technical term) of  the ins and outs of blogging. I'm giving them a shout-out and would love for you to visit their blogs. Share the love!

This is the Baa Tribe (SITS Girls forum group):