Wednesday, April 15, 2020

And in the losing...

We’ve reached the point of no return. 

Our new “normal” has descended upon us and looks less like choice and more like a forced house arrest, the punishment for a crime I don’t remember committing. Don’t get me wrong, yes this can be viewed as a gift of time with our kids, a blessing of slowing down and simplifying life and a chance to enjoy more moments with our family…less rat-race and more quiet time, less To Do’s and more family games, less schedules and more time with God. But some of those things that there are now less of were, forgive me for saying, a blessing in and of themselves. School was a routine and calm and scheduled learning from qualified educators who loved my kids. And…well, we are missing that. We miss school, schedules, friends, teachers, activities. There! I said it! We are missing all of that. It was taken. And in return I wasn’t given time or rest or calm. I was given disorder, confusion, frustration, madness. Be kind to those who aren’t frolicking in the woods with their children right now. Some of us have kids who are dealing with a lot, and we probably haven’t shared that struggle with you...because well, you would probably greet my struggle with a “enjoy the blessing”, “take a deep breath”, “learn something new”.

I approached this whole “uncertain times” with excitement and positive energy if I’m being quite honest. I had all of these grand, euphoric ideas of what I would do with my kids, what we would learn together, and the many Hallmark moments we would share smiling at each other and proclaiming our love and enjoyment of each other’s company. None of that is happening. I’m overwhelmed. I. Am. Overwhelmed. I’m out of my league. I’m exhausted. I worry that MY kids will be the ones grossly behind next school year because they had a mom who couldn’t do it right, do it better, impart more knowledge and wisdom, do it happier and with more creativity. And after all that runs through my head, I’m left wondering why? Why am I struggling so much? Why can’t we figure this out? Maybe my kids aren’t actually as smart and as capable as I thought.

I push those thoughts and feelings further and further down because if I let them cripple me and I allow myself to sit in that “unknown and lost” place for too long things won’t get done. If I don’t run this show who will? Nobody has time for a Mama breakdown. So, I keep going. I keep smiling even if it doesn’t reach my soul. It’s easier to lie and express how “blessed” I am and to share a funny family debacle to make you feel like “all is ok" then it is to choose to admit the struggle. There’s always someone who wants to judge or give observation of my perception of “hard”; someone always has suggestions or advice of how I can parent and teach my kids better; there will always be someone who comments about how strong or tough I am. That’s easy to say. Easy to see, I suppose. Sometimes "tough" is a burden, however. Constantly proclaiming how "tough" someone is or how well they handle things disallows any sort of admittance of struggle, discomfort or negative emotion. And yet, I do struggle. How I struggle, indeed. To cover the uncomfortable display of "struggle", I wear the cover of "I've got this" because it's what is absolutely expected of me. But oh, the battle that wages behind closed doors can be quite difficult...even for the "tough".

Don't misconstrue my words. My kids are fine…they are safe; they run around in their underwear most days wreaking havoc on what was once a clean and organized home. It’s me. I’m the one, the one struggling the most; the one with the burden of teaching, molding, embracing, empathizing, pushing, directing, cooking, cleaning, praying. All me. And I’m sure that isn’t much unlike any other home. I’m not unique or special or “the chosen one”. There are days I want to hide, but there is no corner in which to hide that my kids cannot sniff me out- because I rarely get a shower. I wake before the sun and there is still no time for me to take care of me. Filling your cup is hard when there are holes in it. But I hold a very valuable title: MOM; I don’t take it lightly. And with that title tattooed across my chest, I rise daily with shoulders squared, jaw clenched, smile affixed, hair atop my head ready to teach, train, mold, and love my smallish clan of men.

Yesterday was hard. It was. But yesterday was just a small moment in my time with these little humans. I’m in it for the long run, after all. With forgiveness granted after hugs and a heartfelt “I’m sorry” from mom to babe, we’ve started yet another day filled with some laughter, probably tears, learning and hopefully a smile or two that resonated deeply within each child. I can’t win every day. That’s a laughable concept that I learned long ago doesn’t exist. I refuse to set that expectation for my babes. We fall. We fail. We try. We get up, wipe the blood and tears and try again.

But every now and then as Moms and sisters and friends and humans traversing this world together, it’s ok to offer hugs that hold on a little longer than normal; words that are less “you can do this”, “you’ve got this” and more “this sucks”, “I’m sorry”, “do you need to talk”. The load can be heavy at times; we truly have no idea what each person is bearing. I cry very little but yesterday I cried. I held my babe and we cried together.

And it’s ok.

I cried out to the Lord awake in bed most of the night asking for His help, His wisdom, His comfort. And today…He brought me sunshine because it soothes my soul.

Maybe my kids and I won’t emerge with A’s for effort at the end of this.

And that’s ok.

If we can walk through this with more patience for each other, a deeper walk with God, funny stories of science experiments gone wrong, brother’s reminiscing of the laughs shared at each other’s expense while dawning flashy underwear or stories of Nerf gun and airsoft gun battles in the backyard, THEN WE WIN.

Make no mistake, we lost.

We lost for sure.

But, oh think of the things we will have won.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

I Smell a Smell That's Smelly

Being a parent is full of yucky things, smelly things from the word GO. Within hours of having that sweet-smelling, squishy, helpless mini-person placed in your arms, they start producing horrible oozes and projectile liquids that are equally distributed from both the north and south tunnels. And it will be a main priority and concern for years and years to come. As the creator of this human, you are now in charge of both tunnels and that which exits those said tunnels is, without a shadow of a doubt, your new duty-pun intended. Fortunately, the newness and grossness of that responsibility wears off quickly and can eventually be earmarked as "something I never thought I'd do". It never truly becomes an enjoyable task, but as a parent we learn quickly that there are many many things that can be classified under "other duties as assigned". That list, quite frankly, can go on and on and on and on. And we do it...because that's what parents do. We deal with the gross, stinky, disgusting things our children either do or create with their bodies. Parenting isn't for the faint of heart and it's far from glamorous.

Once all of your offspring are pooping and wiping on their own- not wiping efficiently or effectively, just merely "wiping"- and 7-8 times out of 10 can hit a bucket with their puke, and if you have boys hopefully hitting the pee-targets on a daily basis the gross things we have to deal with should be coming to an end. Right? Well let me poke a couple holes in that pipe dream onto which you are desperately holding. IT DOESN'T END. Well, not for me anyway. I seem to be the Commander in charge of a stinky, disgusting little army of dudes who are neither aware of their disgustingness nor care how it makes their mama's face contort. I fear I've handled all of their nastiness a little too well, and I've desensitized both myself and the humans of whom I'm in charge. They seem to be accustomed and even comfortable with their own gross tendencies. So much so that I have a real concern about their future ability to reel in a female and convince her to stay. Because boys are gross by nature even without this unique-to-a-Lien grossness my children seem to possess. Maybe it's our DNA....potentially Captain Hubby + Crystal = gross, smelly boys?

Yet...and here is where my concern starts to bubble up...T6 isn't a creation of our cauldron of DNA. We hired out for his production and now just take the credit and blame for all that is and is yet to be for the babe of the family. So that leaves me to believe that the nastiness and grossness must be a product of the nurture principle of child rearing. And that means that I am the common denominator in this Boy-dom that oozes, creates and encourages all things disgusting. Awesome! And as they say, the proof is in the pudding...and in this very specific case, the proof is in the rotten eggs. Save your gags because this is about to get really, really smelly.

Imagine  Easter weekend. More specifically, imagine Good Friday. It's finally over 70 degrees here and sunny! It's been quite a long winter here so the sunshine and warmth it produces is quite welcome. Since the kiddos don't go back to school for 4 days, we haven't worried ourselves too much about all that lies within the mysteries of a child's backpack. Hang onto that thought for a minute-put a pretty little pin in it.

Since it's warming outside, at least for this particular 4-5 day period, our garage gets quite warmish. And being a mama who was cursed with the super power of heightened smell, I've become quite aware of a weird, almost rotting smell. Now, I have a really terrifying and long history with mouse invasions and all the horrors you can imagine that accompanies that security breach-even the smells that permeate from dead mouse. I'm now the appointed blood hound of the family as I sniff every single nook, cranny, corner and entry point in our garage. I'm sure I was a sight to behold as I made it my mission to seek, find and destroy the smelly smell that smelled smelly!

This went on for days. Every time I entered my garage I was slapped in the nose with the smell that alerted me that something somewhere needed to be addressed, but I was failing to sniff it out. And every day the smell seemed to become stronger and stronger. Let's fast forward to today-10 days post discovery of  "the smell". I casually mention while taking out the garbage that I still smell something gross......and happened. The innocent confession-actually it was an innocent "thought you should know" tattling of a brother that has left me horrified, disgusted and mortified. The child revealed that our sweet little T6 had Easter eggs that he dyed at school two Thursdays ago in his front pocket of his backpack! By the time a big brother discovered the culprit of the smell while Mom and Dad were away, they were "oozing" all over the backpack. AND they decided not to tell Mom so their beloved little brother didn't get into trouble. Now, I love that they have each others' back, but we will most definitely be having a family meeting later and we are going to discuss smells, rotting eggs, and when to keep and secret and when to rat that brother out! To add insult to injury, the brothers also inform me how badly brother had been smelling on the bus- so much so that people wouldn't sit by him!

I don't know if I should laugh or cry or both. Never in all my parenting years have I thought I would be the owner of the Smelly Kid...but here we are. I'm the owner, creator, encourager. Yep, that's me Mrs. Smelly Kid. I can't imagine all of the poor teachers, aids and bus drivers that for a WEEK AND A HALF have been dealing with rotten oozing egg smell and couldn't locate the accuser!

I probably shouldn't be allowed to have any more kids. I'm obviously neither qualified to handle the children's curve balls nor adequately trained in the art of Smellometry to sufficiently deal with boys and all that comes with that gender. And in case you are wondering...the boy will have a new backpack come Monday morning.

Friday, November 16, 2018

If You Give a Girl a Minute, You'll Get a Lot of Thoughts

And just like that it's been months over a year since I've even considered coming to this space, my place, and purging the thoughts, ideas, and hilarities that never stop running through my mind. As they say, life happens. Such a simple statement. Too simple sometimes when you actually start to try and unpack that word "life". But it does, just the same and that time just keeps marching on at a break-neck pace that often ends up with me nursing my skinned knees and scuffed hands because, once again, I've fallen and, most assuredly, can't get up.

In all that has transpired in all of these past months and months and more months, my Momdom has become a very hectic little world. I'm not so much a fan of hectic. You see, I'm an introvert. I love people, don't get me wrong, but in small doses and on my terms. When life gets too peopley I can feel my energy drain, exhaustion-the soul kind- sets in deep and my joy for life seems hard to muster. Us introverts aren't cranky on purpose; we aren't trying to be rude; we just need- physically need- some alone time, home time. For my very survival, I need to hear the clock ticking in my home on the regular.

Couple an introverted personality with people-pleasing tendencies and you've created yourself a recipe for a disaster that looks a lot like Mr. Hot Mess and Miss Meltdown procreated. It's not a pretty picture. Enter my current situation. I'm somewhat at the edge of what I think is my sanity. I can actually see it dangling by a tiny little thread at the edge of my new reality. And it's all pretty much my own doing- for the most part.

You see, my baby, the youngest little dude of 6, went to school this year. As sad as that is, I didn't really want to deal with being home alone and "not having anything to do" or the idea that I'm probably not getting to have any more babies-either homemade or otherwise. Through lots of prayer and self-evaluation I decided to somewhat reinvent myself. I've basically been the Soldier's wife or the mom-of-all-the-boys for as long as I can remember. It was time to figure out who I actually was. And I did. Only a little too well, and now I'm tired

You see, I jumped into a hobby turned-way-too-quickly career with both feet! I hit the ground running and never looked back! Only, I am now paying the price. Between not knowing how to meet the demands placed on me and not being fully confident in saying the word "no", I've placed myself in a position of plain and simple exhaustion- of mind, body and soul. I'm tired-deep down into the depths of my soul tired. And that "tired" is weighing me down and taking away from my true joy- raising Godly men. I'm too tired to be the mom I've always sought to be. My patience is lacking. My gentle words are fewer and fewer. My cuddly moments don't happen because I'm either too tired or too busy. And it's very obvious that I am not the type of woman who can "have it all"- although I've never wanted "it" all anyway.

My "all" was always raising happy, well-rounded, God-fearing men while being a Godly wife and help-mate to my husband. Since at this stage kids trump spouse, my ability to be an ok wife-I'm not even shooting for good; to hell with great-is seriously lacking. It's all very "Mrs. Meltdown-Hot Mess", and she's started to look a little rough around the edges. I cry through praise music. I pout when I have more studying to do (still- all my own doing). I cringe when another request for my craft comes my way. It's a double-edged sword. I want to be able to fulfill these requests and help people achieve their goals-I love helping people! I love fitness! And I love leading classes! Yet, I'm simply exhausted- too exhausted to even do my own workout which has always, ALWAYS, been my personal release, my comfort-zone, my place of personal care.

That all leaves me with a brain jumbled with thoughts and worries and concerns and stress and ideas and suggestions and research topics and exercise modifications and training plans. I don't even have the sweet release of restful sleep anymore. It left when my sense of peace and calm left. When I no longer got to rest in my safety net of alone time at home- my peacefulness, calmness, overflowing joyfulness also left. I yearn to drink coffee and soak in the Word- my soul needs to drink in hours of the Lord, but that has been cut down to a measly 30-40 minutes.

And I can feel it; I can hear it in my thoughts, sense it in my panting soul, feel it in my racing heart. I worry that my kids are having to suffer because I'm gone more- and others tell me it's good for them when I express concern, and I'm left wondering, "Is it really?" No one knows my children like I do. NO ONE. I have to throw the bull sh!t flag on that one because if my child is begging me to sit with them, I have to believe that's where I should be. I worry my husband is deprived of ...well, me. I'm too tired to have a conversation let alone anything else that a husband and wife should enjoy. My body and soul are equally tired and sore. And I worry that NOT saying yes to every request for more from outside my home will leave me irrelevant and passed over. None of this is a win-win. If this is the reality for all those seeking "to have it all", "be all things", "bring home the bacon and make it too"...then I don't want it. I've never ever felt unworthy by staying home and being a homemaker. Never. Until I told my own damn self that it wasn't enough.

And I'm tired. Too tired to cry the tears that feel like they want to spill down my cheeks. Even though they sit in my throat almost daily waiting for their cue to release. Only not yet...I have a class to plan, a method to research, a test to study for, a supper to make, a wrestler that needs nutritional advice, children that need a story and spelling words help and a bath, a husband that eventually would like a conversation...and in all of that I really could just use a hug. And permission to say no. And a nap. And time with God.

But there just isn't time for all of that. And even as I try to wrap my mind around a million little thoughts and worries and attempt to make them make sense in this small space, I'm thinking about the test I should be studying for, and the Bible study I'm desperate to dive into, and the laundry that I can smell, and the complex carb options I should prepare for my wrestler, and the friendships that used to be friendships but really aren't anymore and should I even deal with that or let it go, and the Christmas shopping and December birthday shopping that needs my attention, and the budget that I'm sure won't stretch far enough which makes me think I should take on more classes to help which means I should probably seek more training and professional development which all leaves me in a heap on the floor wishing for a moment or a nap or a soul-exhausting prayer.

And if you ask me, "so how are you?" the people-pleaser and joy-seeker and happiness-giver inside of me will most assuredly smile and say, "I'm good. Busy. But that's life." I'll leave you with a dimply smile and bright blue eyes- because my burden is not your burden. But I'll gladly help you carry yours. Because at the end of all of this heaviness, I'm still a daughter of the King and I know He's in this with me...and I know I'm here to be a light that shines joy. Even if it kills me.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Puke-Ocalypse happened. Again. IT happened again. One would think that in a house with children that 1 time is normal expected even, 2 times should be chalked up to bad luck and unlikely to happen again, but 3 times?! Three times seems absolutely ridiculous and extremely inconceivable! Well, color us unlucky with shades of inconceivable because we are currently recovering from our THIRD bout of stomach flu this school year. I'd put up a fight and boycott or form a picket line or something along those radical lines but I'm too damn exhausted; and quite frankly, I'm a little nervous! I mean, I've just been beaten for the third time. Three strikes and you're out, people! No one should be allowed to try again after failing so miserably three consecutive times. Not once have I acquired a victory in this war against the puke-a-palooza!

Clearly, I've been outmatched. Clorox, Lysol, essential oil concoctions. None proved able to rid my family of this pestilence and none were victorious in protecting me, MAMA, from suffering the same fate of the germ-wielding petri dishes I lovingly refer to as my offspring. I'm hosting a freaking puke and diarrhea festival over here complete with the Spinning Wheel of Explosion Poo, the Untrustworthy Fart, The Up-Chuck Station, and the Roller Pukester! The rides won't cost you much: a bottle of useless disinfectant and your ability to control your own gag reflex. Feel free to ride as long as you'd like. However, I warn you that nary a person has exited a victor from the Puke-capades ala Momdom. You really do "Enter at your own risk" when you step foot in this Castle of Vomit.

In full disclosure, I actually have only personally fallen victim to the Vomit Fesitval the most recent time. However, who do you think is responsible for cleaning up the aftermath, aftershock, and collateral damage incurred from the torrential downpour of unauthorized exit of bodily fluids?! I was bound to catch something- whether it was from before, during or after the Poo-Pocolypse! I've put on quite a brave and confident face through all of the malady, and truth be known, I was starting to get a little cocky. To successfully dodge two rounds of consecutive pukes must mean I've developed some kind of immunity or super hero powers of some sort. I clearly must have been the Chosen One! Only...I wasn't. Pride definitely came before the fall. And oh the horror that is to come when mama succumbs to the unmentionable!

Round 3 came guns a blazin' with a multitude of assaults. It's shock and awe assaulted both the southbound and northbound lanes of traffic on all victims. Truly, my posse couldn't trust a fart for about 2 weeks! And since no child has ever been known to listen to the advising parental unit as to what should and should not be consumed during these bouts of tummy troubles, the assault seemed to go on and on and on and on. Heed my words! Stick to bland and boring foods and liquids! My children seem to insist on learning this life lesson for themselves eating a vast array of foods and drink while in the midst of the pukes- all of which made their presence known as they vacated their poor little unwilling bodies. The horror that has occurred in my bathrooms is downright throne abuse. And mama? Mama gets to clean it, do it, clean it again.

I'd like to throw in the towel, but we all know that as mama I'm not afforded that luxury. I wanted to walk away; every man for himself, but I was already afflicted with the plague before I attempted an escape. So the couch and a bucket held me hostage for two days as I floated in and out of consciousness hoping my offspring would take care of me. They didn't. They stayed quite clear of me and my yuck, and I can't totally blame them.

Alas, we all survived and have lived to fart another day! Onward we will march...until the next round of germs renders us incapacitated. Until then, peace out and never underestimate the luxury of fearless farting!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Let It Go

Well, here we are. Less than 2 short months before my oldest son's graduation. It has happened in the blink of an eye. Before I was mentally (or emotionally) prepared for it, it came and has been sauntering all cocky and confident up my sidewalk getting closer and closer to my door. One would think that I would have seen it coming; somehow I should have known that this day would happen whether I wanted it to or not. But, I have to tell you, while parenting I've rarely contemplated this actual day. I mean, we don't generally enjoy releasing our prized creation into the wild!  I've been so consumed in the thick of it that I haven't even considered the magnitude of this next step. Nevertheless, it will be here before I know it and whether I like it or not.

And so it begins. The very real "letting go" of a child. There it is. That's the rub. The hidden agenda of this whole parenting gig. No...the sleepless nights and tantrums aren't the hardest part. The letting go is. You see...this boy, this little boy that has grown into a handsome, mature, ready-to-conquer-the-world young man holds a huge chunk of my heart; quite frankly, a piece of my very soul strolls around with that little boy-er- young man. And I am expected to gracefully and joyfully open the door and allow him to walk into the world...all on his own...while I watch and pray and trust that the world will love him back.

We put all of our efforts, time and money into these little creatures...they've even spoken for money Captain Hubby and I haven't even earned yet! They quite literally get our blood, sweat and tears. Every ounce of energy; every waking moment; several supposed-to-be sleeping moments; all of me as a mother has gone into raising, grooming, teaching, molding, rooting for, supporting and defending this boy. Of course, that doesn't end the minute he crosses that stage all proud and determined and convinced that he's leaving home. But it surely changes things. It changes the dynamic of our mother-son relationship; it changes the ebb and flow of our little family; it changes the camaraderie between him and all his brothers. He will no longer be "one of the posse", he won't be part of the 6 when I count my crew; he may never ever again be considered one of my Woozles. And that makes me sad.

No longer will I have 2 "Bigs" as I'm gathering my crew. No longer will I set his place at the table and curse under my breath when he doesn't arrive promptly because he was engrossed in an Xbox game; No longer will we juggle our schedules to accommodate the oldest teens' schedule. Nope. That's all going to change. And for some crazy reason, people seem to think I should be excited, happy and ready for this moment. This moment that's been 18 plus years in the making.

Eighteen years is a long time...a really long time...a really, really long time to fiercely mother someone and then simply go cold turkey. I'm not sure it's for me. I'm not positive I'm that trusting, graceful mama that will wave and smile and watch him drive off. No! My name is Crystal, and I'm 100% addicted to this human that I created with my own body. I won't comply! I'm throwing the proverbial bull shit flag on this entire production! As mothers, we've gotten the short end of the stick. Explosion diapers, baby puke running down my back, so many pee-in-the-face moments that it hardly phases me anymore, tantrums, injuries, spelling tests, teaching a teen how to drive (who's brilliant idea was that?!), numerous rogue nut-cup sightings and now that I have finally groomed this drooling little fart-machine into a well-mannered, respectful and functioning human I'm EXPECTED to just unlock the door and let him go?! What the what! Did I wrong someone in some previous life? I have 2 that still don't even wipe their own butts, take one of them! Don't take the individual that laughs at my jokes, has civil conversations with me, takes care of bathroom business without involving or alerting me and (for the most part) cleans up after himself. Take any of the other 5! Not because I don't love them as fiercely, but because I'm certain that they are SO unprepared for life without me that they'll barely make it past the driveway before they come rushing back to me.

I'm certain that there is going to be some ugly crying, a tantrum even, that is going to ensue when he attempts to break free of this Mom-dom. To hell with letting them spread their wings and fly. I'm much more on board with breaking those wings and keeping them safe and sound in this nest.

Sick and twisted. This whole thing is sick and twisted. On behalf of all of the mamas of the Class of 2017, "Nuts and bolts! Nuts and bolts! We got screwed!"

Sunday, March 5, 2017

Just Me And The Lorax

I think I was born in the wrong time period. Quite honestly, I've felt that way for as long as I can remember. My soul, my very most inner being longs for a much simpler time. A time of more community, sock hops, malt shops, and drive inn movies. A time when small communities were the thing- alive and thriving! Ma and Pop shops were on every corner and people actually got together in person for that thing called "socializing". Less schedules and more picnics on a blanket in the park. Less social media and more meeting for coffee and donuts. More lemonade stands without worry about safety of the kiddos running it.

Call me an old soul, traditional, or crazy. Whichever. It doesn't change the fact that my soul yearns for porch swings and acres for my boys-in-the-hood to roam, build, destroy and grow. I want a quiet country road that sings of birds, dust and wild flowers. I want kids on bikes, pick up games of flag football and fresh cookies in my oven. Falling asleep under a big oak tree while reading a good book and the sun warms my skin sounds like the best afternoon.

That's what my childhood was filled with. Laughter, hay bales and bike rides- riding so fast and so hard we thought our legs would fall off. No worries about juggling our sports' schedules and practice times. We swam at the local pool daily; all our friends meeting up at the corner, dropping our bikes and rushing in with towels over our shoulders. Never concerned about what would come later. Ahhh. It calls to me.

Maybe it's because life as an adult isn't nearly as ideological as we make it out to be as teens; or maybe it's because all the weight of parenting is on me right now in this season; or maybe I truly have an old, old soul. I'm not sure what it is that pulls my heart. Overwhelming feelings, schedules and emotions probably brings out the desire for simple in all of us. But for me, it almost pushes me over the edge. I don't like to be so busy that we can't fit in a family meal around the table. I don't enjoy rushing to event after event. I don't enjoy not sitting and reading stories with my children. I thrive in long, lazy days in the warmth of summer. I love spending those days with my kiddos, eating popsicles quicker than they can melt and deciding if we are going to go to the pool or run through the sprinkler. It truly is what I enjoy. I have no desire to run any kind of rat race, punch anyone else's clock or miss out on any moment- no matter how small- that pops up in my boys' lives. I'm selfish like that I guess. I want all their moments; every single one. I don't want to miss out on any. And lately, the running around, jostling people from one practice to another, filling my calendar up with everyone's schedules and the sort just doesn't seem to offer the same appeal as it has in years past.

Give me a swing under my tree and the sweet sounds of laughter of my kids and I've found my happiest of dwelling places. I would have enjoyed being a parent in another generation because I have no desire to serve anyone outside my home. I want to cook and sew and bake desserts and make my home a peaceful retreat for all seven of the boys I've been blessed with in my life. Give me a 100 year old farm house with some acreage and oak trees and you may never ever see me again. It is where my old soul wants to be for eternity.

Just me, my boys and some trees.

Friday, March 3, 2017

Hug it Out

Here I stand, wobbily at best, in this season of motherhood on the verge of stepping onto the slippery slope of an almost welcomed deranged psychosis. As appealing as it is, I'm trying desperately to maintain my grasp on sanity. I remain, however, frozen at this fork in the road one foot firmly planted on the side of calm, serene, normalness and one foot sinking uncontrollably on the path leading down a labyrinth filled with hectic busyness, uncertainties and overwhelming mania.  I'm quite literally on the very edge looking over a chasm of the deep dark abyss of chaos, schedules, To-Do's, expectations, letting go's, and obligations. It's been a long 3 and half months of being the one and only functioning adult managing this less-than-tiny dynasty of boys. And slowly but surely the weight of all of it has gotten heavier and heavier and exhaustion has become my new normal. There is a foggy haze that has enveloped me, and I am desperately trying to decipher the dim lights of the EXIT sign.

Don't get me wrong; I am not crying out for help. Honestly, I don't even know how to do that even if it was necessary. What I am doing is screaming as loudly as I can muster a need for a reprieve, a break, a moment to exhale. Six kids brings with it six times everything and even though I do the lion's share of "kid duty" when Captain Hubby is in the same country, I at least have a battle buddy that's willing to get down and dirty in the trenches with me and take on every battle that parenthood throws our way. It's a sense of not being alone in the day to day process that we call life. As much as I am an introvert, I am drowning in this sea of lonliness.

Honestly, I need a hug. A long, strong hug from stronger-than-mine arms; arms that can carry the weight that I'm struggling to hold up; arms that bring with them ears to hear without judgement all that has my mind spinning and twisting and tying into knots; arms that bring soothing words of God- breathed scripture void of suggestion, opinion or observation. I'm quite aware of all I'm doing wrong. No need for it to be highlighted. I just need...need to not be the only one in this village that's raising these young men; need to not hear "just ask for help" because I don't know how or even what to ask help with; need to have the bravery to lighten my load without letting the devil heap mom-guilt onto my plate; need to figure out how on earth a mother let's her child leave the nest without holding on for dear life; need strong steady arms that squeeze tight, tight enough that the tears I never let see the light of day feel safe enough to escape and release their burden on my soul. Because my soul is tired.

Be that as it may, there's no time to pout and count my "whoa is me's" because I'm a mom. And being a mama means doing your absolute best to meet the needs of your children. This is not just shelter, food, water and clean clothes. It so much more than that. And its becoming quite apparent that solo parenting isn't God's design because my children's needs are not being met. One sweet little boy cries daily. There simply isn't enough of me to go around, physically, mentally, or emotionally, and he desperately needs his daddy. I have another trying-to-be-a-man boy that has found himself lost- surprisingly lost without the constant, daily tough love followed with jokes-only-dad-can-make presence of his Father. And for whatever reason, I wasn't prepared for my kiddos to struggle during this experience. Sometimes I forget that they are just little people in this big old world and have far less life experience and defense mechanisms to help them through. For me to focus completely on those 2 kiddos has left the other 4 lost in the middle of existing and being forgotten. Nothing about this is fair...or easy...or going quickly...or "been there done that". No amount of deployments or TDY's makes a family experts in the area. Each age, each child and each situation is different every single time. That realization alone is enough to drop me to my knees, but when I add the actual reality of having to manage and deal with all the children, ages and circumstances I've realized how inadequately equipped I am to be Momming alone.

So day by day and sometimes hour by hour is how I'm existing. I'd love to think that it'll get easier once we get through this valley, but I know all too well that life never slows down. We DO have six kids, afterall. And short of pulling them out of all extra-curricular activities- which just so happens to be my one and only viable option, one I'm actually considering, I can't see a moment of refuge in our future. So my daily routine has seemed to suffice in soothing my nerves and anxiety, however simplistic that sounds. But more and more I've discovered that there's less and less time in the day for all the things that need my attention. There's less and less time with my oldest son before he leaves for college. There's less and less time to help my boys grow up and grow tougher while dad is gone. There's less and less time for me to remember to set the example and teach the lessons that need to be learned. And such is life...that's how it goes...and by what we overcome and conquer during hard times is what we will hopefully be able to pass along to the children desperately clinging to us during our shared storm.

And that's life. It is what it is. We all do our best with what we have. But sometimes hugs should be given without request and without worry. Because sometimes a strong and heart-felt hug just might save a mama from stepping over the edge.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Hickory Dickory Dock

When Captain Hubby is taken away for long periods (ya know, saving the world and all), I always make it a point to come to a mutual understanding with the worldly powers that be that this particular moment of single parenting wouldn't be the ideal situation for any untimely shenanigans, Murphy's Law type scenarios or unforeseen disasters. However, the cosmos always seem to align perfectly to cause some sort of complete and utter chaos, trouble and usually an ER visit or two. Each deployment in the past has left me baking another installment of a boy to eventually reign in this kingdom and thus sufficing the world's need to see how much I can actually handle. However, this go around left me childless; correction, I still have my six original dudes but I was vetoed on the war-baby tradition and hence left with no new editions in the making.

All was well and good with the no-new-children-for-Crystal deployment battle drill. Everything was going according to plan. While Captian Hubby was gone my plate would be filled with the senior year and college search for our original boy. Followed up with a graduation and then the dreaded "dropping off at college" was all going to have to happen, like it or not. I'll also have the privilege of taking kiddo number five to kindergarten and kiddo number 2 to high school...all by myself. I'm not actually looking forward to any of that. All of it makes me want to hide under the bed in a fetal position while sucking on my thumb. But, everybody seems to think I can handle more than I really care to and insist on telling me I'm strong enough to do it "all by myself". All while handling Boy1 and the senior year frenzy and then Boy5 and his eventual start of his academic career, I will have 4 other dudes to nurture, raise, teach, taxi and basically parent.

Great! Again, all is going according to plan. Cue month number 2. Everything was just going a little too swimmingly, apparently. I was handling it all a little too well. I got cocky...this was sensed by the universe which subsequently aligned the cosmos in a most terrible, hitting below the belt way. Bring on the plague of rodents that started with one teeny-tiny unsuspecting little mouse. His presence was disturbing but somewhat innocent in nature. We all get mice, right? None of us; NONE of us are immune to those little creatures. So without a man to aid in my rescue, I put my ninja panties on and trapped that little jerk of a rodent in a jar. A damn jar, people! I channeled my inner ninja warrior, crept behind that little guy and trapped his ass under a Ball canning jar. Victory! Women for years will be telling my story and inquiring of my super secret ninja stealth mode.

Not quite.

That small victorious step for all-military-spouses-left-behind, that tiny little victory that made me feel like "I've got this!", and "Ain't nobody got time for that!" actually became more than just a giant leap for the lowly mouse that spilled a rodent-sized can of worms. This 1 tiny mouse became a disaster equivalent of Pandora's box! What started with one errupted into an all out assault on my home, my nerves, and my sanity. I dare say, I've taken care of all of the mice in our entire county. Generations of mice seemed to be living, reproducing and wreaking havoc in our garage. What with the dog food, rice sensory bin and heat, my garage proved to be a full fledged rodent spa.

Snap traps, sticky traps, pest-control sized traps...all used to seek and destroy these horrible little creatures. Multiple times a day I'd hear a snap, see a mouse, hear the squeakity squeak squeak of mice in the live traps. It has been the worst kind of torture I could ever imagine for a woman who is terrified by mice. And to top it off, no one would help me dispose of their sad little carcasses! It's been all me! I'll gladly shed my ninja suit and tap out if anyone would just simply step up to the plate and help a lady out. This has been the least amount of fun I've ever had. Actually, it's been 45 times less fun than anything in my entire life! 45? Yes! That's the number of mice I've caught, killed and disposed of. I'm done, y'all. Done!

If this deployment doesn't drive me to being a full-fledged wine-o, nothing will! Hickory dickory dock, I'm about ready to not give a f***

Friday, January 27, 2017

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

I struggle from time to time balancing the "fill my cup first" moments and the "momming" moments. Very often the "momming" moments have to come first; they simply do because necessity dictates that reality. Being a mom is a full time job whether you work at home or away from home, and I think we can all agree that the mom-job (and parenting job, for that matter. Dads, you know you keep these families afloat!) doesn't really have any days or moments off. All of us, for the most part, realized that our parental role was going to take over most areas and dimensions of our lives when we excitedly saw the positive results on that pee stick way back when. But I would guess that we never knew the extent of that "take over" effect until we were elbow deep in the trenches of parental warfare. There is never a down moment or dull time of life in this path from womb to dorm and every other step, fall, bump, bruise, broken bone, tantrum, teenage attitude or drama in between.

So...We know parenting is hard. What happens when we throw some hiccups, pot holes, unexpected events, and bumps in the road? Well, life is very often unpredictable and notoriously known for uncertainties and changes in plans. We've all come to expect those things, and trust me when I say I'm not looking for any sympathy or words of encouragement during our own unpredictable situation. But I am maybe trying to figure out what to do when being both mom and dad isn't going as successfully as I'd hoped. You see, I love being mom and wife. I love staying at home and selfishly having all of my kids' moments. With that said, I seem to be more successful at those two jobs when my husband is in the same country as me. Actually, it's most successful when he's under the same roof.

What I thought would be an old hat really hasn't proven to be the truth of the matter. Deployment is a difficult experience...every single time. And every single one is equally hard....not "been there done that" as maybe is assumed. It's simply not. Just because we've "done it before" doesn't necessarily mean I'm some kind of master or role model in this less-than-ideal experience. My six boys are all- all of them- handling it differently and none of them are handling it in the same way they did 5 years ago. Things change. Times change. Children grow and change and are faced with different challenges and stresses all the time. This isn't the same. And trying to feed their minds, bodies and souls all differently isn't easy. I'm very much struggling to meet each individual boy's needs at the time they should be met in every individual situation that presents itself a hundred times a day...each day...every single day.

Basically, I'm failing this mission. Not in the sense that the house is falling apart or the kids are struggling emotionally and in need of an intervention or that I simply cannot function any more. But in the sense that the house IS quite messy and more unorganized and dustier than usual and the boys often are sent to bed without their love language being completely met or getting a one-on-one talk with their parent or simply having a bath. We eat leftovers more than we ever have before. There is quite often dirty clothes crawling out of the baskets. The kitty litter is almost always stinky and in need of attention. The turtle tank is murkier and stinkier more often than not. I show up late and usually frazzled to my kids' events. There's college information that needs to be addressed and decisions that need to be made. There's additional expenses that don't quite fit into the designated budget which is requiring more math than I'd ever like to use. Sheets and bedding hasn't been washed since Captain Hubby left. And, quite honestly, I can't remember when I last bathed (with soap and deliberate washing) my youngest two. This is the real nitty gritty. It's the "real" of this moment. It's not graceful or pretty and sadly it doesn't feel very close to my family's motto of  "I've got this". Not at all. It feels more like "well, maybe I'll get it".

You see. My cup is so empty right now- emotionally, spiritually, physically- that I'm struggling to get drops into each of the six kids' cups. And because of that amazing thing we all know as MOM GUILT, I'm not very forgiving to myself. It's actually my job to make sure these boys are filled with love, security, attention and not to mention food, clean laundry, a clean healthy home, and the feeling of a safe, calm haven to which they can seek refuge. It's just not the case right least not all of it and not all the time. I'm trying really hard to yell less and smile more. I'm making a conscious effort to make eye contact when the child wants to tell me another story about what happened at school or a joke they heard that is "so funny"! I'm doing my best to keep my eyes focused and ears open longer into the night than I'd like so I can have another oh-so-precious conversation with my college bound oldest babe. These moments are fleeting. So fleeting. I'm watching them grow and mature and handle life without their dad in such an amazing way that it makes me sad. Nostalgic even. It needs to slow down. I need to linger in their moments longer. Inhale their beauty and stinky smells on a more regular basis because I know I'm going to miss it. When did the ugly, busy, craziness of life become the most beautiful thing I could ever imagine? When did these moments that seem so insignificant and so overwhelming become the beat of my heart?

And at the end of it all, I'm hoping that through the exhaustion, leftovers, not always as-clean-as-I'd-like home and all too often a short response instead of really giving them my full attention...that they'll know I did my best and gave them all I possibly could in these moments. I'm doing my best by these 6 boys; giving all that I have in me to get them through this as unscarred as possible and perhaps with a life lesson or two.

And maybe, just maybe they'll have learned enough through three deployments that grace and patience and love was the answer the entire time. And maybe...maybe they'll declare without any irony or doubt that "we've got this"...

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Do You Want Fries with that #2?

So...I'm a mom, right? It's who I am; it's what I do; it's pretty much how I will be defined by this life that I'm living when I pass on to the next world. Most days I love what I live. It's my purpose for which I was created...more or less; am I right? But all ooey gooey sentiments aside, sometimes, SOMETIMES, momming doesn't bring out my best, or my most gracious soundbites. Anyone worth their salt as a parent wouldn't be caught dead -without very impressive disguise, I suppose- buying a parenting How To written by yours truly.

I'm hardly a guru in this area. Actually after 18 years, I'm more of a rookie than I'd care to admit. I mess up constantly; get things wrong continuously; take the easy road quite often when my give-a-crap meter gets too low; and...I've been known to let the TV or other electronic entertainment babysit my kids for a few precious moments of "me" time. Oh I'm not proud of it, and I'd rather not shout it from the roof tops. But let's be honest...this shit is hard and sometimes mind numbing...and very often this Mom job we wouldn't trade for the world is the very thing that could be sucking the life right out of us! Like a leach! A blood-sucking leach.

I'd like to think that I'm the master of my domain; the cream of this crop; the place where the buck stops...but if I were to be honest with myself, my kids hardly even know I'm here. Other than the fact that I'm the laundress, cleaning lady, chauffer and personal chef my children believe in mom being seen and not heard. Not heard...unless I growl, snort and breathe fire which will always perk their sweet little ears. The poltergeist that comes out of me at those moments will most assuredly be the image and memory my children will speak of in hushed tones once they leave my nest. That will be my legacy...Chuckie's mistress-an evil, fire breathing demon that turns into a Gremlin every couple days. The Gremlin-like state is most assuredly brought about via sleep deprivation, repeated inquiries of "put these away", "pick that up", and "who used the toilet and didn't flush". Too many of those unanswered inquires coupled with a mom-tired state always spurs the spawn of satan that was once lovingly referred to as "mama".

Again, I'm not proud of this metamorphosis that transpires at least once a week. In fact, my New Year's goal was to be less grouchy, less yell-y, less...well, me in those stressfull, I'm-gonna-blow moments. I don't really want my kids to be subject to that experience. If any other person came into my house and growled at my kids I'd probably lose my poop in ways that would make the evening news. Nobody messes with this mama's cubs...nobody except me apparently. I truly beat myself up after these "ass chewings heard 'round the world"; but every now and then my sons seem to need mama to blow up in order for their listening ears to find their way to the ON position.

Just this morning I walked in on a sight worthy of a horror movie. Poo water on the floor, poo filled toilet, garbage everywhere...the smell was horrid. Mama's crazy was unleashed! I can always tell when the kids know I'm at the brink because they forget how to speak and their eyes merely blink blankly in my direction. The "not me" fairy comes out of hiding and apparently "it wasn't me" is my 7th son because he seems to do everything around here. My growl was in full swing but the fire didn't come out of my eyes, ears and nose until during the ferociously anger-filled plunging while lecturing the children on the fact that this ISN'T a Frat house caused poo water to splash...onto my face! MY FACE! I know!! There's no coming pack from poo-water face. Needless to say, the bathroom is cleaned and now off-limits since I've put "caution: crime scene" type tape up. Hopefully a lesson was learned by all of us. The children (fingers crossed) learned that mom doesn't appreciate a poo-filled toilet simmering and waiting patiently for her to discover. And I've learned not to lecture and plunge.

And now I'll spend the rest of the day searching the internet on how to get new skin for my face...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Little House on the Prairie?

It's been awhile. Like a long while. This big ol' family packed up all of our treasures and otherwise worldly possessions and moved far away from all we knew and loved. And guess what? We've all survived...more or less. Change isn't easy for anyone especially when its fought tooth and nail (guilty as charged), but...we came, we saw and we are in the process of trying to conquer. And in all of this I've realized something. Some things really never truly change.

What's that you say? Let me try to explain. But first, do me a favor. Take a long, deep, cleansing breath in and let it wash over you. OK, now another one. Do you smell that? Nope! That's the passing winds of change. Dodge that bitch! I mean that other smell. Yep...that one. That lingering dirty-toddler-diaper scent mixed with overdue-for-a-shower boy stink being covered by the always-musty-smelling tween wrestler masked by teen boy stench that's sprinkled with man smell. Yep! That's the one! That mother f@$&ing smell followed my tail across the state! What the what?! It's surrounding me on every side! I can't escape it. I'm actually quite concerned that maybe I possess the same demented smell. I mean...when in Rome, after all.

Anysmellychild, I digress. I was contemplating the inevitable winds of change...or lack there of. This smallish family with seemingly very little relevance in the grand scheme of the world successfully moved, and it seemed that "change" possessed the very real threat of being our destruction. Only it wasn't. Don't get me wrong. Change happened. That it did! Probably more changed than didn't in regards to everything that my family knew, our comfort zone, our common grounds. Nonetheless still things in a somewhat peculiar way stayed the same...different...but the same. I mean...I'm still too busy to shower and too exhausted to care, and I'm continually trying to juggle more itineraries than should be allowed, and Captain Hubby (not sure I ever promoted him officially in my Mom-Dom...maybe I should do that!) is still an ever-constant absence in this castle. So what on earth changed other than our physical location? I'll tell ya! Me. 

I've ever so slowly started to let go of some bitterness and anger and feelings of being "let down". I'm not as devastated as I once was. I'm trying to put my money where my mouth is and "go where I am sent". I know the task of moving one's family seems simple and unworthy of a fuss. I've actually taken lots and lots and lots of heat for my reluctance to jump for joy over the biggest change of my life. What has gotten lost in the grand scheme was that other than my parents' home my previous home/city was the only place I've put down roots and lived for more than a decade. Even with that knowledge, I was on more than one occasion openly chastised for not being more flexible. Nothing like being kicked when you are down. But, as I'm learning, such is the human way. However, in hindsight, I can now consent with my naysayers and admit that I could have been more agreeable (for the record, that's not really my way so my reaction shouldn't have been as shocking as it was).

What was overlooked as a teeny, tiny detail was MY two wars both of which were fought in my previous my previous town...with MY previous "battle buddies". It's not just the deploying soldier who goes through things and is left with hidden little scars. I have many scars, memories, moments, fears, nightmares that are hidden down deep and deep they shall stay. But what impacted me most was the friends and perfect strangers in my last community that rallied around my little family, extended a helping hand and aided in my very survival. Simple as that all sounds...that experience, those people, those moments, they become a part of you. A part that is hard to let go. THAT is what hurt the most to leave.

So...yeah. I'm a work in to whom the Almighty continues to extend undeserving grace. I'm lonelier than I've ever been but not alone. Conflicted in my hopes and dreams and plans for my future yet I'm slowly accepting that I truly have no control over plans for this family. But I'm also learning to lean into God when loneliness hurts...when disappointment closes in and somewhat mocks me. I pray more and cry often but in the same moment try to hide my head in God and welcome this new, deeper relationship. Aw! There's the rub. It's not that I have more time for God, but my attention is definitely His and I find I desire His moments.

My heart may be changing...little by little. I'm trying to be more open and slightly less controlling. Dare I say...I'm growing up!

I'm still slightly crazy, smell like one of the boys, tough as nails while being secretively sensitive and posses a raging mama bear. But I'm learning...and waiting...and letting go more than I ever have. I guess I'll embrace the loneliness and learn to cry without apologizing. I'm practically Laura Ingalls Wilder on my new "prairie" home...I pray, play card games with my crew and rarely bathe.

Look for my book series and "made for TV" mini series soon!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Lost But Not Found

I've always believed that God would never give you more than you can carry. In my adult life, the road has not been paved my rainbows and unicorns. We've had our fair share of crap-storms, but I've always stood on the rock of God. Time and again I've been told (and retold) that God only wants good things, is in the details, and is a refuge. But what happens when in the storms of life you are unable to sense, see, or feel God?

For I am lost.

My heart and soul feel attacked and injured. Everything I value and love in my life, except my children, is being taken away or at best is being threatened. Even the very details surrounding my children's joy and opportunities is being stolen. The specific details in all of it isn't important, and neither is anyone else's opinion, advice, suggestions or point of view. This is how I feel...and I feel it deeply. I cry Every day. A smile is rare and laughter has been lost. And if you truly know me, you would know that my ability to smile and laugh through whatever life deals is my best quality. I've always been tough as nails, but I feel deeply broken. 

For I am lost.

Questions, doubt, anger, deep sadness all consume my heart and my head. And since I can't growl at and attack those truly putting this burden...this trial...upon my family's doorstep, I've gone after the next closest thing: my husband. He's directly affiliated with "the enemy", at least that's what I call them. I'm not saying it's fair or justified. I'm just saying it is. And it makes me sad. My marriage was in the best place it has ever been...and I now have a front row seat to watch it buckle and deteriorate under the weight of this burden. I want to cling to my husband in his strong embrace and let the storm subside around us, but I can't. The devil has his talons in deep. He whispers to my soul and dances around my house...I hear him...and it scares me.

For I am lost.

The exhaustion of this wrestling match with God is taking its tole. My smile has laughter has joy got taken away. And the sadness. Oh the sadness. It has found a home in my heart. I don't have any answers. I struggle with the idea of just trusting God especially since He hand delivered this trial upon my family. Not one positive...not one...can I see at the end of all of this. Not one. All I see is the negatives, the heartache, the loneliness, and the eventual loss of a marriage. That's all I see. 

For I am lost.

I seek this solace, this place of rest, that God proclaims. But that trust struggle of mine is cemented deep within me. If God desires to break me...He has won. My soul desperately wants to trust God...but my heart and my head stand firmly on the desire to have some say, some control. Answers, directions, paths all allude me...

For I am lost.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ooh Yeah!

I've recently been made aware of an adult activity that was previously unbeknownst to myself. It is the kind of activity I've possibly read about in a dirty book (or Cosmo), maybe seen the notion played out in a make-believe TV show or possibly even heard rumors...musings, if you will, about the idea. But never did I actually think it existed! My appaull over the idea that real people participted in such activity was quickly displaced with the confusing feelings...of being left out and upset that no one has ever considered requesting my presence. Frankly, I may have left-out-itis or a really strange case of jealousy.

The practice of being a "swinger" is apparently not just for TV...or bigger cities, and is seemingly more common than I ever would have imagined! It apparently exists and thrives right here in middle America. I was enlightened by a good friend (No. She wasn't inviting me. Dammit!), how the parties go down and even the interesting details of what goes on when these couples go on trips! And all I could think about was why the hell haven't I been asked to partake in this event?! I'm not saying that I would do it. Quite the contrary, I'm more than Lt Hubby can handle, and I don't want him testing anyone else's waters on the off chance that he really liked the grass on the other side of the fence! As for myself, I truly have zero desire for any man other than my own to partake in the oohs, ahhs and unknown adventures of this carnival ride. But I still want to be asked! Why hasn't this self-proclaimed Queen of Mom-dom been asked to join the fun?! 

This dilemma totally has me doubting myself! Not only has my sexual allure been denied and rejected, but now I fear others are doubting my sense of adventure, fun and ability to tap into my wild side. I'd like to think that I'm a big ol' barrel of laughs wrapped in a nicely decorated package that holds the promise of a really good time! Sure the 6 little ducklings following me around may send off some red flags suggesting that this party not only has too many poopers but may also require a little more calendar juggling and organizing for me to grace them with my presence than appreciated. And the idea of Lt Hubby being a two-time War Veteran may have the possibility of deterring some potential inquiries. Nobody wants to mess with my G.I. Joe! But still!! Is this couple seriously not young, hip, and attractive enough for even a half-hearted invite?! I dare say...I'm offended! 

Nobody wants to be left on the outside looking in, and I admit I'm more than a little curious. My feeling of being completely left out may have my judgement momentarily fuzzy. If I was asked nicely, I may say yes out of excitement to be included and my overwhelming curiosity as to how it all goes down. I mean...aren't YOU just the teensiest, tiniest bit curious as to how a night full of "swinging" proceeds?! People aren't sexually attracted to any random Joe-blow (he he...I crack myself up) they get assigned to. What if you get a complete and total duh-da?! It would be a huge wah wah waaaah kind of let down. OR! What if the sex sucks?! That may be my biggest concern. Dude! I have a very busy schedule that barely allows for enough time and energy to rock my own hubby's world. If I have enough gumption at the end of a crazy week to have a well-deserved night "on the town", and I'm left without even a single ooh or ahh, I'm gonna be pissed! With Lt Hubby, I have the luxury of knowing that he has my exact combination that unlocks those oohs and ahhs memorized. That dude knows what his woman wants...and there is something very comforting in that.

I believe I speak for Lt Hubby and myslef when I state that this marriage is visitors allowed!  But that doesn't stop me from thinking that the idea sounds...kind of fun and exciting! Maybe I need to employ some of my very best girlfriends to help plan a couple's party or getaway that rivals any risqué swinger-esque rompapalooza! I believe I have some friends that I could get drunk enough to learn a pole-dance or strip-tease with me. And the hubbies can do...well, whatever it is that hubbies do to bond while the ladies get their "hot and heavy" ready for their one and only man!

Sounds like it could be a win-win for all involved...just as long as everybody leaves with the same person with whom they came. It's a lot less complicated that way!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Slippery When Wet

When Lt Hubby is TDY (military talk for "away on business") for anything over a week, I try to celebrate his return with a little "Welcome Home" sex. It's one of the perks of having a hubby that travels and is away...well, more than he is here. But I worry that things will become far too same-old, same-old so I try to spruce things up every now and then. Ya know...a tend-to-the-landing-strip-in-preparation-for-his-arrival kind of way. Everyone likes to be greeted after their travels, right?! And what better than a soft, smooth surrounding for Lt Hubby to nestle into?

Hold onto that thought for just a moment, and cue my online infatuation with Pintrest. It's a new obsession really, but I am simply amazed at how crafty and clever...and thrifty...some people in this world are! Since my skill-set for all-things crafty was left in the womb, I've gravitated to the at-home beauty tips, tricks and treatments. I'm amazed at the things people concoct and subsequently apply onto themselves for the sake and pride of saving a few dollars. Amazed...and intrigued! And it leaves me believing that "if you can do it, then why can't I?" THAT... Was my first mistake. I am now convinced that people on Pintrest lie! They lie about the results and their experience and about how fanfrickingtastic all-things natural truly are! Obsessions can often lead to one's demise which, unfortunately, is where I have found myself. 

It was a classic case of bait and trap; hook, line and sinker...hook, line and sucker is more like it! My mind got lost in fancy words like "silky smooth", " more cost effective" and "my husband couldn't stop touching", and common sense flew right out of the bathroom door. In theory, I believe the baby oil and sugar body scrub could be effective when you used cautiously and sparingly. The copious amounts of haphazard slathering that I employed was nothing short of a blood bath! Leg hair and down-there hair are completely different beasts and need to be addressed as such. I was lost in a slippery slope of silky smooth thinking. "If some is good then more must be better" is not a safe method of lady-bit-loofah application! There are just some things in life that shouldn't be exfoliated!

LADIES, HEED MY WARNING! THE VAGINA IS DIABETIC! Where one man goes....the sugar scrub should not!! 

Now, in my defense, my demise wasn't totally "intentional". It was an innocent for which I have been punished enough. The baby oil-sugar concoction leaves for a very slippery when wet tub, and since I'm a self-confessed klutz, I responsibly opted to perch my hiny on the floor...which is mistake number two!  The tub floor is exactly where the oil/sugar kiss of death was waiting patiently to seek and destroy the delicacies of my girl zone! I was completely blindsided. What originally started as my attempts to refurbish Lt Hubby's favorite playground resulted in shock and awe on a torturous level. The rolling hills surrounding my southbound tunnel may never again allow Lt Hubby to bask in a two-day pass for R and R! His smooth flights are over! He will from now on have to forage the forest if he desires the pot of gold and the end of this rainbow!

Instead of getting to enjoy my lollipop guild, I have declared this yellow brick road CLOSED! My lady bits have enjoyed hourly lube jobs since "the event", and none have been very enjoyable...nothing remotely close to what I had envisioned would be experienced on these slippery slopes! There is gauze pads, antibiotic ointment and medical tape up and over, in and out and everything in between. And the application of aforementioned medical treatment requires hand mirrors, legs on sink and bent over positions. There is trauma on either side of the circus tent and the gauze/tape/bandaid situation has pushed some "things" together in a most uncomfortable kind of way. Not to mention that there is medical tape across my butt crack! And the only thing i can think about is how in the hell am I going to get that tape off sans ripping it off my nether region which is currently under duress! This is not the welcome home scenario I had in mind! 

To hell with welcoming Lt Hubby home in style! Next time I'll invest in some "toys" and he can just take matters into his own hands. My imagination station is Out Of Order!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I've Got A Feeling

Three and a half years ago Lt Hubby and I decided that we were done having kids. D. O. N. E. With the then upcoming deployment and the four already existing dudes, we conceded to the fact that our plates were full enough. But without making any of those decisions "permanent", we apparently left the door open for unseen options, fates idea of a practical joke, or otherwise divine intervention to have its way with us. Thus, in two years we found ourselves with two new babies being added to our clan; one courtesy of a pre-war rendezvous that ended with me peeing on a stick, and the other courtesy of someone else peeing on a stick. Either way, both moments of stick-peeing resulted in a very real "Detour Ahead" realization and left me very grateful that I had kept all-things baby from the first 4 dudes.

I've since learned that keeping baby stuff only tempts fate to exercise its own free will...once bitten, twice shy! And I refuse to be "bitten" by any additional ill-advised rogue male spermies. Hence, Operation "Sort, Donate, Purge" needed to happen sooner rather than later.  Since there is no time like the present, I submerged myself into the daunting task. I've saved and used and reused all the baby gear, clothes, and equipment from the original dude 14 years in the making. It. Is. Time!

I was more than ready to say adieu to all this "stuff"...or so I thought. It seems that touching, holding, caressing and reminiscing over items that cuddled, swaddled, and clothed my 6 babes with the intent of purging...FOR...EV..ER (this must be said like Squints from "Sandlot") was emotional, nostalgic, and borderline painful for this mama that is 100% done having babies. I mean...I think I'm done...I'm pretty sure I'm done...yeah, I'm done. You see, my house is overflowing with kids and kid stuff, my vehicle is a borderline clown car masquerading as a Taxi, and I have to be able to feed, clothe and educate these 6 somewhat demanding, time consuming people! And someday I would like to hang out with Lt Hubby without swollen ankles, injured perineum, suspicious lingering kid odor or a demanding kid calendar battling for our time, energy, and attention. We. Are. Done!

Something strange happened, however, while surrounded with baby clothes that my smelly stinky dudes once wore in their most innocent, dependent, delicate state. My uterus skipped a couple beats! It actually ached and seemingly longed for those quiet stolen moments that I alone got to experience of my unborn baby's movements. It was my own selfish moments of the most heart wrenching unexplainable love that I will ever experience. And I'm never going to get to have it again. In that moment of letting the realization of done-ness sink in entire body mourned for this apparent "loss"...and yearned to capture those memories. 

But...We. Are. Done! No part of me really wants to do middle of the night feedings, explosion baby poops, or contractions! Hello?! Labor sucks...really sucks, and I don't ever want to do it again. But try to tell my uterus that when faced with purging the baby stuff, and you will be faced with a real vagina problem! It seems that my body feels the need to procreate...or at least practice the art of potential procreation! I'm horny as hell, and it was spurred on by Operation "Sort. Donate. Purge."  I keep trying to get Lt Hubby's "attention" to quench my apparent burning loins! This is so unlike me! I equate it to a black widow trying to lure her next victim. Lt Hubby better watch his back because I'm sure it's a trap (by the way, you need to say "It's a trap" in the same way as Sheldon from Big Bang makes it funnier!) I fear I may sink my teeth into him in order for myself to seemingly conquer this unexplainable quest! I'm out of control! I've never found Lt Hubby more irresistible! 

Since I am apparently unable to control myself I need to call in the girl posse. I need to be restrained and quarantined until this "feeling" passes...or dies! Send in the boycotters, "Hell no! She won't blow!"; the army needs to fulfill their call of duty of no man left behind and rescue this soldier...he may very well be my next POW. I'm sure his punishment didn't match the crime, but since I'm certain he isn't going to complain too loudly, someone needs to save him from himself. A man being tortured by his horny, seemingly-needs-to-procreate wife probably can't be trusted alone with his own judgment anyway. We need reinforcements!! Consider this our S.O.S (Stop. Offering. Sex!)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Does A Bear Sh*t In The Woods?

Traveling is fun! I enjoy hotels, airports, and road trips. I don't, however, get to partake in a weekend adventure very often...what with the masses of people I'm responsible for carting around, it is less leisure and a lot more work leaving the alternative of staying at home the more appealing option. My older two boys seem to be more and more involved with activities that require us to pack up and leave town, and since mama is as mama does I pack my posse and follow my athletes wherever the wind takes them. And the wind has taken us "east river" each of the last three weekends. We've gotten to pack everything but the kitchen sink, load my mama-mobile, travel great distances and stay in hotels. Each and every time the kids are overly excited and giddy about the untold adventures and events that a trip promises. And secretly, I'm pretty excited too, except for a small part of the adventure that I manage to keep on the down low.

Sporting events and hotel fun aside, I do harbor one teeny, tiny personal issue, if you will, when it comes to traveling. I tend to be a party pooper....well, quite the contrary, I actually leave the "pooper" part at home. The good, the bad, and the ugly of my dilemma is that I am an at-home-only kind of girl. Call me crazy, but I save my crowning moments for my own personal throne, and it only becomes problematic when we are...well...away from home! Traveling and all of its fun can be slightly overshadowed when the "unmentionable deed" ceases to happen. Case in point, three weekends of baseball travels also mean three weekends of  "traffic backup on the interstate"! I think you know what I'm saying, but for those of you who are struggling to read between the lines...I can't poop anywhere but at home, and my ability to "free the chocolate hostages" comes to a sudden and complete stand still!

I'd like to think that I'm not super high maintenance, but apparently in this particularly demented arena, I am! However, as a side note, I think more people should practice the art of at-home-only pooping. Leave the "stalling of the brown sedan" to the likes of solitary confinement behind locked doors in your own abode! I actually think more women subscribe to this theory than will admit, however, or at least that is how I choose to view the world. It is highly uncommon that a public women's bathroom emanates with the odor of the unmentionable deed, but when it does (or God forbid someone christens the throne  and "launches a corn canoe" whilst I am in their presence!) I am completely offended! That particular realm of affairs needs to happen AT HOME! I have several lady friends that feel as strongly, if not more so, about this as I...that's probably why we are such good friends...and we have discussed (in alarming detail, I might add) the art of self control and waiting to make this business transaction until you are safely at home. "Drop the kids off at the pool" on your own time and leave the rest of the public bathroom users out of it! If I had my druthers, I'd request you to withhold from fumigating afore mentioned bathroom as well. I don't want to be privy to your gaseous state...respect the patrons surrounding you and suck it up ladies!

Public sewer-snake-dropping aside, I can't even perform the "daring do" in our hotel room! First of all, quarters are way too close and enclosed for that kind of nonsense to be happening. No one should be subject to anyone else's butt odor! Second of all, I always seem to try to occupy the throne after one of my minion who always succeed in secretly barricading the one-way street! I'm left with plunger in hand cursing all poopers in all of mankind! What horror to be told if I would actually succeed in releasing a "chocolate banana" only to have it refuse to leave the premises! I would have to do the walk of shame to the front desk and request maintenance on our toilet!! Is there any worse torture?! Nope! So "hold it" is my traveling mantra. By the end of our 8 day Disney World trip, I was up a jean size, uncomfortably bloated, and bordering Defacation Inability Induced Toxicity (oh it's an me!) which results in irritability and mood swings! Disney magic can only last so long when trap doors have to remain locked. 

Truth be told, I don't even want Lt Hubby to know that I occassionally "drop a load"! That's not sexy at all! I have him trained and under my spell that my deposits come in chocolate covered strawberries, and until this euphoric bubble is popped, that's my story and I'm stickin' to it! I rarely excuse myself to "talk to a man about a horse" when Lt Hubby is home. And as long as I can control his mind, I'll have him believe that girls don't poop!

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

My family is never lacking for entertainment. Every adventure...either near or far...boasts of hilarities a la the dude crew! For the last two weekends, my all-male posse and I have traveled across the state to partake in a little (actually, it was a lot of) baseball. And by "baseball" I, of course, mean "staying in a hotel and relishing in the joys of their super fun pool! Since only the middle three dudes traveled with me my trip was almost a laissez faire vacay of sorts....with some baseball thrown in the middle. Fun was had by all...even those around that were privileged enough to witness our debacles, shenanigans and otherwise normalcies! 

Of course any adventure is not complete without a hiccup or two. Round 1 was marked by Mama Catcher forgetting Son Catcher's all-important-and-always-necessary nutcup! And I have since learned that not all nutcups are created equal. What I thought would be my crowning, mama to the rescue moment turned out to "rub" someone the wrong way. The moral of this debacle would be "if it ain't broke, don't fix it"! From this day forward, I will always stay with the brand of nutcup my son is used to, likes, and requests! Rubbed-raw-itis in the heat and humidity after game 1 of 5 does not produce a happy camper...or in this case, a happy ball player. 

Even our debacles have debacles, however. I enlisted some ball player dads with the all important task of purchasing some lube for my dude. I assumed that men would know more about my son's "junk" than me...a woman, and they were very eager to help my son with his issue. Apparently, however, something must have been lost in translation between momese and dadese because delivered to my hotel room door was a tube of............wait for it............cortizone 10. I requested Vaseline to lube my dude but anti fungal cream was the chosen remedy. Not wanting to question a man's knowledge of all things penis, I instructed my dude to apply the ill-fated cream to his delicate (and incredibly raw!) nether region. The horror that followed need not be mentioned in detail. I'm sure one's imagination will do the scenario justice. Needless to say, an emergency intervention was in order. What's a mama to do when her normal arsenal of first aid is not at hand? She improvises! Lip balm...Blistex to be exact...seemed to fit the bill. I swiped my lips one last time and handed my boy the tube with a "rub this all over your area" suggestion and a "DON'T PUT THIS BACK IN MY PURSE!" warning. I think it goes without mention that I will be changing lip balm brands...what once went down under should never again grace the presenceof my lips!

All's well that ends well, I suppose, and the burntastrophe was avoided....ok, not avoided per say but soothed! I have now been deemed, by myself and son, a penis expert! I am, after all, in charge of 7 penises...most men are only concerned with 1, and I'm not sure what I was thinking letting another person purchase anything for my son's weenie! So "Queen of the Penis" I shall remain. And it's a good thing, too, because the middle two tag-alongs continuously lost their "worms" (or as the 4 year old says, "my wom")  in the hotel pool...all the live-long night during our second baseball adventure! Through teary eyes, I was hounded, harassed, pleaded with for help, S.O.S.ed to death and interrupted constantly during my attempts to enjoy adult conversation to organize a search and rescue for the missing woms (I feel that I should mention that these worms and other dime-store crap were won at the arcade for the measly price of $20!)....much to the amusement of every other adult in our group. I was reminded that men are just big boys and every one has a "wom" joke to share! Here a penis, there a penis, everywhere a "wom" "wom"! Needless to say, night two at the pool was as wom-free as I could make it. 

For better or for worse these are the scenarios one will encounter when traveling with my crew. Once the burn subsided my ball player cracked a tiny grin about the "situation", and since being home neither of my middles seem at all concerned with their costly "woms"! All in all our trips were a success...and after trip one, no penises were harmed in the creation of this baseball memory!

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Don't Be Tardy For Keeping Up With The Real Military Housewives

Even though our fate in this permanent-employment-seeking fiasco has yet to be signed, sealed and delivered we are inexplicably calm, cool and collected. Despite the very real prospect of my minion and myself living in one city while Lt Hubby resides and works in another dangles over our heads, I am more confident than I have been in a very (very, very) long time. Decisions and uncertainties are a mainstay in this home, and from what I have gathered after 13 years of being an "Army wife" this status quo is fairly typical for most military families. Typical or not, however, there are moments that change and transition, uncertainty and sheer exhaustion and the prospect of stepping out of our comfort zone aren't always what we bargained for. Life is tough, people! But I've learned (again and again. I must be hard-headed or something because this is a recurrent theme/lesson for me!) that slapping on a smile and laughing about the crap that happens in life seems to lift the spirits...even if only slightly. And, hey, (totally channeling my inner Si) slightly is better than not at all!

So...onward and upward; Keep on keepin' on; One step at a time! Whatever mantra you want to slap onto this made-for-TV special, our crew is tough and ready to take whatever this world has to offer. With that being said, I've had a epiphany, if you will...of maybe a little something that my army of men and I could offer to the inquiring minds that want to know. From what I have heard, my family is fairly entertaining, and entrainment pays good money. Are you following me? You know where I'm heading with this right?! We are totally reality TV material! Seriously! Scan through some past posts...there is never, EVER a dull moment in this world ran by boys! We have drama, comedy, suspense, tragedy...and sometimes we are even a little sexy! I have little Kardashians in the making! 

People always seem to be intrigued with the ins and outs of military life. This would be a perfect way to let them have their fill. The tearful goodbyes, the exuberant welcome homes, the uncomfortable adjustments...our lives are perfectly scripted curtesy of  government overlords who are void of "after school special" emotions. I think we could be the next big thing!

Only one teeny, tiny, minor little problem. Reality TV families rarely stay together. They take a lot of hits from people that truly believe others need to hear their opinion, and America has never been short of stone throwers. I'm not sure my skin is thick enough to take the bad that would come with the good (good being the money that would accompany "fame" hence providing a solution to our not-sure-if-we-are-going-to-have-a-job-so-how-will-we-support-our-kids-and-pay-our-bills dilemma). So until we receive any such proposition we will have to resort to finger crossing, hoping for the best, and succumbing to the idea that mama may need to walk the streets in my stripper heels to make ends meet. At least my "bedroom boots" can see the light of day a little more often (well, to be honest, they've never seen the light of day hence "bedroom boots"...and street walking is usually left for the darkness of night...but I'm splitting hairs at this juncture!) 

See...I have a positive spin on all things!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Boys R Us

  In my realization that I am indeed becoming one of the dudes, I've realized that my home isn't equipped properly to handle the needs and demands of all-things-boy. What I used to believe was adequate in making a house a home I have now discovered isn't practical in regards to the male species. Pretty things, delicate or fancy decor, items meant for seeing and not touching or anything that cannot withstand being tackled, jumped upon, tipped over or stabbed with a pirate sword are not meant for a home filled with boys. I would love a home worthy of a magazine but that is hardly practical in my testosterone-filled world. 

I seek a renovation worthy to be labeled "Boy friendly". I want people to walk in and know this home belongs to dudes...and I mean that in a good way. I need a locker room-esque that can be power washed if necessary and containing multiple showerheads in a row and at least one urinal. There are 7 weenie whackers in my home...I NEED a urinal! If you only have girls or mostly girls you are probably laughing at my suggestion...maybe you are even questioning my sanity, but I'm completely serious! Boys are dirty, nasty, smelly creatures, and a hose-downable bathroom seems like an answer to a dude-mom dilemma. And a urinal (maybe even two!) makes complete sense to me!

Instead of a standard entryway, I would prefer a washable, stain-resistant room worthy of receiving 6 boys in all of their glory ever singly day. I'm thinking stainless steel from top to bottom that again can be hosed down. Springtime rain mud messes, snow and ice covered winter gear and the baseball field amount of dirt that accompanies my crew home after every stint at the ball fields wouldn't stand a chance in such a room. It would be a wash, rinse and repeat kind of home! And the idea has me all excited! But why stop there?! My kitchen resembles a natural disaster after meals. How simple would my life be if I could just power wash it and walk away!

I think my remodeling ideas have merit! What I need is some evil renovating genius to come in, take over, and make my house a boy home...complete with some kind of turf for my backyard (and maybe a padded room with Velcro walls, a ball pit, and maybe a punching bag). This is my S.O.S call to any of you HGTV/TLC/home makeover/hottie carpenter TV programming people. I need a dude-haven home makeover! If you need to let your inner boy out or get in touch with your inner rough-and-tumble, this challenge is for you. 

I don't even think these are wishful thinking indulgences...we are talking practicality here. Someone, do I get my hands on a urinal?!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

If You Can't Beat Em, Join Em

 It's become glaringly obvious that my girl time is not only's almost nonexistent. Even though I desire girl nights, girl weekends, or even a spa day with anyone with two X chromosomes, those dreamy ideas never truly come to fruition. They're but a dream...a wistful hallucination for which I secretly long. Alas, my connections with anything female tends to be few and far between, and the poor female sap that mistakenly engages with me in idle conversation usually tends to find herself trying to escape my death grip on the fleeting moment! I find myself clinging to her...desperately trying to win her friendship hoping she will want to hang out with me. I'm constantly searching for the chosen one that will be my partner in crime as we navigate this man's world all the while staying in touch with our softer, feminine side. Unfortunately, at this point in the game, most of the possible confidants with whom I feel a connection already have their girl posse in place, and very much like Fort Knox, adult girl posses are all but impenetrable to outside forces.

So I've resorted to forging into this all-male battle alone. Well, not completely alone...I'm surrounded constantly by all-things boy. Seven "things" boy, to be exact! Lucky for me, I don't really know any different anymore. After 14 1/2 years of  "the boy, the whole boy and nothing but the boy",  I'm fairly accustomed to the dude-dom in which I now dwell. In fact, one could say, I'm in my element...whether by choice or not is still undecided, but whichever the case, I've become quite versed, and fairly savvy if I do say so myself, with the boys in the hood! 

My knowledge of and comfort with the elements and idiosyncrasies of those containing the XY chromosomes is almost scary. Farts and other bodily noises haven't phased me in years. I'm fairly comfortable in a world of stink no matter from where it is emanating either north or south of the border. I've learned that food is more precious and valuable than air and am amazed at how much the male species can consume. Showering, I've discovered, is simply a formality forced upon dudes by their mamas. And laundry baskets are truly invisible to anyone other than a female. 

I'm not's just the way it is. What does have me somewhat concerned, however, is my desire to, in some ways, be like them! This is something I've noticed recently, and I'm starting to wonder if my second X chromosome is morphing onto a Y...kind of in the same way that girls who live together will start cycling at the same time. Occasionally, I've noticed a new tendency of  NOT holding in farts so as not to offend others. I'm breaking wind and bragging about it...and every now and then challenging my stinkiest offspring. I've long ago given up the need for personal hygiene...I'm hairy, stinky, and dirty, and I seem to like it like that. I often envy my male counterparts ability to not only poop in public but to not even care who knows. And I've even considered the idea of adjusting my lady bits without a second thought! 


In the very near future there may be a need to stage a serious that involves massages, pedicures, beautifully smelling lotions and potions, wine, dark chocolate, and fits of laughter with those that are of the female variety. I fear that without afore mentioned salvation I will need to be referred to as Chris (or Pat, for all of you SNL lovers from yesteryear!) because no one will be completely certain of my gender. 

Until such an intervention takes place, I will continue to cruise with my dudes hoping that my male mutation slows down. My estrogen levels may be dangerously low, and I worry that my fate may already be sealed. So I leave you with the same adieu with which my boys impart upon that is of the silent but violent variety! 

Peace out peeps!