Saturday, October 30, 2010

Are You Ready To RUMBLE??!!

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Things That Make Me Giggle

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

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Mirror, Mirror on the Wall

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 25, 2010

People That Need To Be Slapped

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

Friday, October 22, 2010

Puke-a-palooza of 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I Believe I Can Fly

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 18, 2010

Pet Peeves

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

Saturday, October 16, 2010


By Jamie Knapp

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, October 15, 2010

Happily Ever After

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

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

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

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

Thursday, October 14, 2010

To Teach a Child

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

SITS group- BAAA tribe

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

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

Demented Humor

It seems that I have quite a demented humor. Let me preface this explanation by saying I love my family dearly; my kids are delicious treats and my hubby is the cherry on top! With that said, I apparently take joy in their demise! Trips, crashes, bonks, blunders...all end in giggles from mama. But nothing seems to bring me more pleasure than the calamities that have assailed my hubby. I'm sick. I know. But if my family had a video camera running 24/7, I would be the winner on America's Funniest Videos!

When baby #4 was born, my husband was in the throws of volleyball season-all consuming, time-taker-upper, volleyball season. Hence, newborn-dom was ventured into and conquered solo. After getting home very late from a weekend away coaching volleyball, my husband offered to change new baby boy while I "rested" (seriously, 5 minutes, that's all I get!!) If you've ever breastfed a baby then you have been privy to the mustard seed explosion poos. (hee hee hee- I can't stand the suspense! This story is killing me!!) My dear, loving hubby gently placed sweet baby #4 on the bed in front of him and had all needed supplies ready for his disposal. He's not a rookie- this is #4, remember. Loving daddy opens cute little diaper to discover that his beloved son has filled it with incomprehensible amounts of mustard yellow poo. How can something so gross come out of something so cute? With game face on, daddy proceeds to complete his daddy assignment while mommy enjoys her rejuvenating 5 minute break (5 minutes might be pushing it). However, baby.......wasn't done! To daddy's horror, and mommy's delight, sweet babe projectile poos....all over daddy! Redemption!!! I burst into uncontrollable, jiggling everywhere (I just had a baby- don't judge!), tears running down my face laughter....pure enjoyment! Sweet justice! It went everywhere, top to bottom on mortified daddy who left that cute little assaulting bootie as it was to go take a shower. So mommy took over diapering, clothing and cradling the apple of my eye. I will take that over a chincey 5 minute break everyday.

But my desire to see my hubby suffer doesn't end there. You see, coaching takes up a lot ( I mean a lot) of my husband's time, and sometimes when he is absent I start to become resentful....or vengeful...po-tay-toe, po-tah-toe. Well, my hubby is a marathon runner and is a freak about his running shoes. He had just purchased a new pair- for a hefty price tag, I might add, and they were still a novelty. I was on the swing watching the boys play- mad at hubby, can't remember why- as he strolled out to win back his favor. I wanted nothing to do with his attempts and was ignoring him quite successfully. That is until he stepped into a hot steamy fresh pile of dog poo.....big-dog poo! To my delight, hubby squished stinky gross poo all over his new shoes. Again, uncontrollable snickering and guffaws enraptured me and echoed through our back yard making evident my obvious enjoyment toward my hubby's misfortune! Oh yes, there is a God, and He is on my side!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

"I"said the Mother

motherhood comes with surges of love
whether natural or adoption, they come from above
like grace and peace that arrive with the dove
motherhood surpasses all that we know to be love

"I" said the mother when she found out the news
"I" am the mother that God so did choose
I will watch over and comfort when you snooze
"I" said the mother will love, protect, and amuse

"I" said the mother who picked up the child
I will still love you even when you are wild
I have been called to mother the meek and the mild
"I" said the mother will take home this child

"I" said the mother, through giggles and kisses my heart they uplift
I treasure the blessing, any child is a gift
I'll love him and raise him and to God our hands we will lift
"I" said the mother will treasure this gift

"I" said the mother with tears in her eyes
I understand. My Lord-He is wise.
I will wait for my mommy-dreams to realize
"I" said the mother as she wiped tears from her eyes

"I" said the mother will take this child as my own
I will give praise and let Christs' name be known
I am so thankful for the gifts you bestow
"I" said the mother, let this child in another's belly be sewen

through teardrops and joys God never ceases to amaze
I will love Him and praise Him and follow all my days
even when hurts and tears blurry my ways
my God, my Father is waiting at the end of this maze

Monday, October 11, 2010

To Grandma With Love

I long for the days of chasing leaves from the great big oak tree outside my grandparents front door. My cousins, siblings and I would walk to Grandma's house after school- all 5 of us- and go racing through her front door. Grandma always had treats and homemade goodies for us to devour....and chocolate milk just because. She never seemed to mind that five ravenous children rummaged through her cupboards and fridge everyday at 3:30.

Grandma (or Top Grandma as we called her) smiled and giggled in a way only Grandma could. She delighted in our presence. The special memories that only a Grandmother can offer her grandchildren linger warmly in my heart. She always had Double Mint gum in the top drawer of the hall dresser. And the bottom drawer was where Grandma stashed the colors and coloring books that we loved to use.

 There's something special about a Grandma's house...a Grandma's love. I never remember Grandma getting stern with us. I remember smiles, hugs, and laughs. Grandma loved life-she was jolly and loving and warm. Grandma's house was the designated meeting place on be comforted by her homemade cookies and hot apple cider. Her's was the home where we waited impatiently during the football game as grandma prepared the turkey and stuffing for our Thanksgiving meal. Her's was the home where Christmas Eve memories were made....and every year chili was eaten. Her's was the house that we hid Easter eggs for the others to find....all day long. It was the hub of our family; the place that our childhood was spent; the refuge we mourned the loss of Grandpa; and the abode Grandma vacated when Alzheimer's attacked.

So my memories are just that.....memories. They are heavy in my heart burning with sadness from what has become. No treats and apple cider, no waiting for turkey during football, no homemade chili while waiting to open gifts, no Easter egg hunts in the trees. The laughter that echoed no longer greets her grandchildren, and her great grandchildren will miss out on bear hugs, stories, and rock-a-byes.

We wait for the Lord to take her walk with Jesus, to giggle with grandpa, to play cards with Grandma Hazel, to chase her grandson Rydell, and to rock her great granddaughter Reagan. Until that day, we wait, we pray, we hope, and we love as Grandma taught us to love.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I Wanna Talk About Me!

The Questions:
1. How many candles will go on your next birthday cake?
2. Where were you born?
3. Hey, Baby… what’s your sign?
4. If you could get a $100 giftcard to the store of your choice, which store would you choose?
5 And what would you buy with that $100?
6. Do you have a party for your birthday? Details!
7. What’s the best birthday you’ve ever had?
1. How many candles will go on your next birthday cake?
Weelllll, I tell everyone I'm 30....again. But honestly, there will be 33 candles on my cake. AND I'M NOT HAPPY ABOUT IT!
2. Where were you born? a the backseat of a the parking lot of a liquor store (Shopper City Liquor to be exact) Mitchell, SD
3. Hey, Baby… what’s your sign?
I am a Pisces- we are a sensitive lot.
4. If you could get a $100 giftcard to the store of your choice, which store would you choose?
I think I would go to Kohl's. I love their clothing, they are always having a good sale, and they let you use a discount ON TOP of the sale price. More for my money!!!
5. And what would you buy with that $100?
Boots. Boots. Boots. Gotta love a great pair (pairs!) of boots.
6. Do you have a party for your birthday? Details!
No- but in our defense, there are 6 of us in our little family. SO we usually make spaghetti and garlic bread (because it is everyone's favorite), then we have a special BD cake- w/ candles ablaze, and then we do gifts (my hubby SPOILS me!)
7. What’s the best birthday you’ve ever had?
I honestly think it was the bd when my hubby was in Iraq. My oldest (5 at the time) wanted to get mommy a cake. He picked out a camouflage-frosted one and purple candles. We lit it up and he sang to me- it was super late at night, but we sat down and ate cake together. He was sooo happy. And to top it off, my hubby found a phone and quickly called on my birthday to say "love you". This was a big deal because he was in Iraq in 2003- when the war just started. We communicated mainly through letters....which had a 3-4 week turn around. And phone time was few and faaaaar between. To say the least, it was very, very special!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Buying Everything

My home is pretty "plain Jane". No fancy decorations, no color coordinating, and no Zen aura. We purchase what is needed and usually at a bargain-basement price. And decorating is pretty much a foreign word in our house. Functionality is key. Practicality is mandatory. And price matters.

My girlfriends' homes are so expertly coordinated with up-to-date design, decor,  and furnishings. I long for my home to resemble the magazine pages that I tear out and store for "some day" use. We are very careful with our money, however, and don't spend what we don't have. I guess there's something to be said for owning -truly owning- everything in our home.

I have been molded to this way of thinking. Frugality and purchase-only-out-of-necessity isn't a philosophy that I embraced quickly or happily. It was somewhat thrust upon me. And self-discipline in this area is a constant work-in-progress. The store is merely a temptation that I long to indulge but resist just the same.

My son likes to go to the store, however,  and seems to be endowed with the love of shopping. He insists on carrying his own basket and joyously adds trinkets and treasures that are "musts". And saying 'no' isn't always easy- I would love to buy him the "I wants" and the "I needs", but, alas, I am swayed by my new found (that's forced upon) frugality, financially responsible, and simple minded self. So we forgo treats and small toy purchases, decorations and accessories, additions and apparel.

But there was a part of me at the store today that wanted to join my 4 year old on his stated quest to "buy evrysing" which he announced proudly and frequently as we ventured up and down the aisles full of shiny, new, and exciting items just waiting to be placed in our baskets. I wanted to buy the new gotta-have toy, the fun fall decorations he wanted so badly, and the dishes to match! Bring on the coordinating pillows and sheets, grab the candles and artwork, and a new lamp to boot! Let's fill the cart with knick-knacks, accessories, and apparel just to spite!

We headed out of the store with the items for which we (for our date night), blow dryer( because mine is 11 years old and my hair gets sucked into the motor), deodorant (my son's was stolen), and facial wash (he's a preteen and paranoid about the prospect of-acne!)..................and a package of Color Wonder for my kiddo that wants to "buy evrysing" but never gets to.

He held onto his package as we left the store as if it were the last one ever made. He protected "his purchase" and carefully held it all the way home. Immediately upon getting home, we opened the coveted package, and he sat coloring in his new book. I left him sitting there to get our lunch, when I heard his quiet little voice, "sanks for buying evrysing, mommy".

Friday Blog Hops

If you are visiting on one of the blog hops, please leave a comment so I can visit you back. Also, I follow back- please leave a comment and "follow" and I will do the same!! Have a great Friday!


Thursday, October 7, 2010

Thursday Blog Hops

Welcome to Thursday blog hops that I am joining. Thanx for visiting - please leave a comment and your blog link so I can visit you back. Have a great Thursday!


A Mother's Heart, Linky List

freckles n' fudge

Letting Go

My oldest is 11- he will be 12 in 2 1/2 short months. I see him growing up, pulling away and then running back. He needs me and then he pushes me away. He hugs me and then he doesn't have time to talk. It's a tough life lesson for a mama...letting them let go.

It was a cold day on a December morning when I went to the hospital for my induction. It was the day that I would become a mommy. Nervous, anxious, excited, and more than a little scared. I was only 20. By all measures, still very much a kid. I was on the verge of being responsible for a tiny, helpless baby. No person, no class, and no experience can prepare you for this moment.

When that little (meaning 8 1/2 pound) boy was placed in my arms, everything I knew and thought about this world......changed. I never believed in moments that could affect you in such a dramatic way, until I met this little boy. A love I had never felt before overwhelmed me....a warm burning that started in my heart and pulsed outward. I couldn't kiss him enough, hold him enough, love him enough. When the Grandmas wanted to hold him, it almost felt like an intrusion on my time with him. Selfish, I know, but that's how I felt.

My oldest has always been my shadow. He follows me everywhere- even now at almost 12. He seeks me out wherever I am....just to get a hug and say I love you. And I fear the day that he stops.....stops hugging me from behind when I'm busy making supper, stops texting me after school that he loves me, stops asking for a mommy-Tyler date night.....stops needing me.

Is this hurt how it feels to watch your child grow? I know it is how God planned, and at some point I need to loosen my grip....but how do I tell that to my heart? My little boy is growing into a man. Somehow, someway, if only for a moment I want to press the pause sit and hold my son. I no longer get hugs or kisses when I drop him off or pick him up. Mommy-love is now reserved for the secrets of home-behind closed doors and away from the world of "growing up". It's no longer cool to love your mom....and it breaks my heart. Did you know that a mother's heart really, truly aches....for moments with her children, for pains that they experience, when the hugs and kisses disappear, and for the inevitable time when we have to let go.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

What up Wednesday

freckles n' fudge

1) What is your greatest fear if any.
     Ok. I would have to say I have 2 great fears. One is that I am very, very afraid of the dark-I blame that on my sis who constantly scared me growing up. One person's torture is another one's joy! Second, is the the lingering can't shake fear that my hubby will die at war (sorry to be a downer).

2) Coffee, tea, or cappuccino
    coffee- with a bagel

3) Do you bend over backwards to lend money to friends/family
     No. Only recently have we even had money to lend, but even then, our money is pretty much spoken for in our budget. Anytime we have a little extra, the van seems to require maintenance.

4) Reader, writer or both
   Writer. No reader. Ok .... both.

5) If you could go anywhere to escape, where would you go?
     I know this sounds crazy, but Disney World. My hubby left his cell phone home. It was just me, my hubby, and our boys! Awwwww!

6) Do you sleep with a fat or a flat pillow?
    In between. Too flat...and I get a headache. Too fat....and I get a headache. I know- high maintenance!

7) How many times a week do you have sex?
    It depends on the week. Twice if I'm lucky- but I'd prefer 4 or 5!

8) How well do you deal with confrontation?
    Super, no-doubt-about-it, off-the-charts terrible! I hate it. I avoid it. It gives me shaky, can't-sleep anxiety.

Wednesday Blog Hops

Photobucket   ***My "Weird Me" item is that.....I was born in a car in the parking lot of a liquor store!! I think I've faired pretty well since my start to this world was so shaky.

   ***Remember to leave a comment and your URL so I can visit you and follow back. Have a great Wednesday!!

Who am I? (Part 3 of 3)

(continued from part 2 posted on Tuesday, October 5, 2010)

I am simply another person lost in a world of confusion. Never being forced to question myself, I feel "I" have defined myself. I am as others see me, and their reactions to me form my personality. The only person I am truly comfortable and honest with is "myself". I am afraid to reveal my identity to others for I fear their reaction. "Will they like 'me'?" So quietly I hide who I am never risking the chance of rejection. Everyday people see me as who I am not, until that has become who I am. We work so desperately to become someone else physically and socially that we lose sight of who we are mentally and emotionally.

I asked before, "Who are you?" Hopefully one can ponder the many points of that particular question. By the by, I am but a single nobody lost in the realms of society. No one knows me, yet many know of me. Wandering in and out of a wakeful sleep, I live my life...My life?...I look at my life through eyes filled with question. I am merely another soul wandering aimlessly searching for direction, but no one sees the loss or confusion because I hide it well. Our intricate world is merely "cookie-cutter designs" participating in a game of "follow the leader". No diversity.

I wander alone and confused by my thoughts with a permanent facade indistinguishable from the rest of society. I am protected if I am alone. If I remain hidden from others, then I will be safe and void from harm. No one knows me, yet no one wants to know me for they fear the prospect of the unknown and the different. Is there beauty in difference? Only in the eye of the beholder. "I", myself, am ugly to the world and repulsing it with my inner self. I shelter my thoughts hoping to relate by conformity. I lack the will to be my own person for I fear the consequences. I am safe in a life that does not accommodate my being. Comfort is not a determines my defines my life. A life of service for a character in a play. It is not "me" that is seen. Perfectly I display who they want me to be. I am nothing...I am no one. Who are you?................................

There are parts of this that still very much plague me in the quiet sleeplessness of nights. I still struggle to let people in to see and know me...the real me. I try very hard to be what others want me to be, and I often find myself lost trying to be like every other wife and mother. "Keeping up with the Jones's" and trying to appease the should's and should not's of every role that I'm in: daughter, sister, aunt, in-law, mother, wife, Christian; can leave me feeling unsure and full of uncertainty. Rules and expectations that can overwhelm. But when I am in the still of Jesus and walk closely with Him, I find I am at peace with myself. I appreciate the blessings of who God made me to be, and I try to embrace it...and share it.

This is a much heavier post than I have done. I apologize for its dramatic feel- I just wanted to share it. I hope it touches someone, speaks to someone, brings about a stirring inside.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Tuesday Blog Hop

To-the-TOP Tuesday  ****Please leave a comment and your URL so I can visit you at your blog. When you follow me, I always follow back. Have a great Tuesday- have fun hopping!!!  

Who am I? (Part 2 of 3)

(continuation from Part 1 posted on Monday, October 4, 2010)

"I", like everyone else, entered the world as an innocent and easily influenced person. "I" was shaped and molded into an image continually shadowed by the portrait of a statuesque desire. The vision of the statue has a constant plague in my life dooming me for my eyes. I struggle to change myself to conform to the views of society. I make gallant efforts to become another image of excellence all the while quieting the person I could be.

Constantly, "I" struggle to escape the bondage of life, but I have already entered a life of lies. The lies that bind and determine how I am perceived by others. It is not me though, now I am a depiction of a life no longer in my control. Only in the darkness am I no longer constricted by the straight-jacket of my daily life that I have personally, yet subconsciously developed. Confusion is no longer a question but an inevitable cause to my actions. I look without seeing, and I hear without listening. The displacement from my life is slowly yet steadily burning into my conscious being, and happiness is an unreachable luxury lingering in the distance like a mirage on the horizon. To comfort myself, I plunge deeper into who I am not, ignoring the constant reminder of who "I" am.

Society is numb to the presence of my heartache and confusion. I am but a face; another willing prisoner that has succumbed to the picture of "perfect". My smile is bright and tenacious as I vivaciously work every day. Unwaveringly I enter the streamline of people rushing to work, determined to leave my mark in the world. All along, my life conforms to the skeleton-like structure followed by the rest of society. Yet, "I" am seen as "my own person" creating my individual success. The revelation of true life is unbeknownst to us as we falter to make an unhindered appearance.

Yet, we are "happy". Never having a chance to become acquainted with ourselves, we do not long for that missing person. Our views are similar to those of our neighbor, thus, we get along. We look the same...we talk the same...we expect the same things. This pattern continues throughout our lives, and we accept it because it is "who we are"...and it is safe. We change ourselves so we can be alike. We change, however, only in retrospect to how we are perceived. We allow the notion of "fitting in" to hover over us shadowing the "me's" yearning to be set free...........

(to be continued)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Monday Blog Hop

 I love meeting new people. If your here on the blog hop be sure to leave a comment so I can return the favor.

Luxury Living Frugal Style

Who am I? (Part 1 of 3)

I've written a lot about my children in previous posts. They are a huge part of who I am and what makes me, me. But sometimes as mamas, I think we forget that we are also individuals....with personal hopes, dreams, fears, insecurities. I fear many times we lose part of ourselves for this greater calling of.....Mom-dom.

I have always- and do still today- put parameters on myself according to what others think, feel, want. I don't always stand up for myself; I am hesitant to share my true opinion for fear of upsetting someone; I avoid conflict to the point of sometimes causing myself (and my family) undue amounts of stress; and there are very few people that really know me because I am reluctant to share myself with others. But when I am walking closely with the Lord, I am much more at east with whom He has created me to be and the process through which He is molding me.

I want to take you back a ways....before I was a mama. I think I suffered delusions of grandeur ( I knew I was going to be a neurosurgeon and great writer/researcher), but I was trapped by the uncertainty and un-realization......of self....and God. Travel back in time with me to my mind's-eye at 18...............................

Who am I? Better yet, who are we? Names are not necessary for they do not constitute who we really are. A name is a name is a name...not a meaning. Hence, I will let you determine who "I" really is.

People live their lives from day-to-day failing to establish the essence of persona with the actual person. yet, we all manage to live our lives without a definitive aura. We become what others perceive us to be not from what we display or our "inner selves". Do we even really have an inner self? Are we stifling who we are through societal expectations?

Look at a city bustling with people trying to define themselves in a world of competition. What makes each of those individuals distinct? Will we ever know? Probably not. Everyone strives to meet the great expectations of the world, and somewhere..."we" were lost. Lost in our every day rituals.

How long has it been since you have thought about who you are...or are you still trying to determine who "I" am? Apply that question to yourself. "I" am a person, a nameless face searching for my path in life. A path that will hopefully please the norms of society. A society thriving on monotony. A society fearing change. A change that would reveal society for "who" it is.

(to be continued)

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Little pieces of childhood

the magic of childhood through the eyes of my small
palydoh creations and blocks stacked so tall
elmer's glue and glitter for a masterpiece to keep
blankies and stuffed animals and lovies to help sleep

weebles that wobble but just won't fall down
tonka trucks and matchbox cars to drive around town
markers and crayons and coloring books galore
legos to imagine spread all over the floor

scooters and tricycles and dirt bikes to ride
playsets with swings and places to slide
sand to find treasures and buckets to fill
rocks that are special for mom's window sill

snowmen and sledding and cold outside fun
swimming and sprinklers in the hot summer sun
magical moments fill their childhood days
treasure their moments and the games that they play

Things I didn't know I needed to know....until I knew them

Newborns don't sleep
Daddy doesn't get up with that non-sleeping newborn
Nursing HURTS!
You need to point little boys DOWN
Marriage really does require a lot of work
Sometimes.....I'm not right
Sleep training is wonderful-once you're through it.
It's ok for mommy to nap too...and not feel guilty about it
War changes....the soldier that left.....the family that stayed
It's ok to ask for help....but I still don't do it
Things really DO change after 30
Breastfeeding is amazing....but it wreaks havoc on your boobs
Sometimes it's necessary to end a friendship
It's ok to stand up for what you believe
Becoming a mom changes how you see the world

Friday, October 1, 2010

Ok....just one more Hop

1. Did you have a pen pal when you were little (or now)? Where were/are they from?Yep- I think her name was Valerie. But I can't remember where she was from. I do know she had blonde hair, though!!

2. If you could do a different job for one day, what would it be?
I think a hairstylist- maybe I could learn some clever trick.Ooooh or maybe a makeup artist--yeah that's what I would do.

3. Do you remember your biggest fear from when you were little?
YES! I was afraid of the dark....and still am! My older sister used to love to scare me...she came up behind me one time and bit me in the neck like a vampire. I peed my pants-what a meaner!!

4. What do you think is a waste of time? Why?
Cleaning!!! They just get things dirty again-irritates the snot out of me. But if I didn't clean, with 4 boys, can you imagine??!!?

5. What is the oldest item you have in your closet?
hmmmmm...I think my winter coat. It's 11 years old and the zipper doesn't work anymore, which is a problem in South Dakota winters!

Reasons Why...........

I Love My Husband
He makes me laugh
He tells me I'm beautiful.....everyday...even when I am in my sweatpants and t-shirt while camping
He asks for my advice
He values my opinion
He is very good at listening to me ramble on and on about my feelings
He encourages me in whatever I do....and always believes I will "knock it out of the park!"
He's an athlete
He is always ready to eat dessert with me...even in bed
He needs me
He gave me 4 of the most amazing, beautiful boys IN THE WORLD
He rubs my feet the ENTIRE time I'm in labor to relax me (I'm a "no drug" kinda girl-ouch!)
He goes out of his way to do errands for me so I don't have to pack up the kids
He scoops the snow out of the driveway
He goes sledding with me
He mows the yard...and never asks me to help
He takes the garbage to the curb on trash pick up day
He looks for me in the crowd when he is coaching a home game
and he comes to give me a kiss when the game is done

I Love My Boys
They make me laugh
They tell me I'm beautiful...everyday...even in sweats and a t-shirt while camping (they're a lot like their dad)
They look at me with eyes that believe I can do anything.
They come to me when they get hurt
They always forgive me when I mess up
They love to help me
They are truly honest (even if I don't want them to be)
They think I "smell good"
They don't ever want me to be upset
They WANT to do everything with me (games, sledding, family bike rides, catch, and football)
They come to me first with good OR bad news
I'm the one they find for a hug
They look for me in the crowd at their games
and they come to give me a kiss when the game is done

I Love Being A Girl
We get to wear makeup- I love makeup
We have really cute clothes....and a huge variety in every store
We can love shoes and not be seen as weird
We get to be pregnant- it's a very personal, private, selfish love
We have sexy curves
Our bodies are beautiful-even when we are naked
We are very resourceful
I get to be the "mom"

I Hate Being A Girl
We have to have a "monthly visitor"-how is that fair??!
Labor-It really, really hurts!
Wearing high heels....a) I fall A LOT     b) they hurt     c) you need multiple pairs
We have to work really, really hard to look this good
We have to care about how we look
Why am I still getting breakouts???!!!??
My body has to expand to support just doesn't always "bounce" back

Friday Hops

I've declared today my "sick day"!! Join me as I visit some super amazing women (and their blogs!). I'm not getting out of my jammies today...and I'm saying "NO" to laundry. Join one or all. If you are stopping here to say hi just remember to leave a comment so I can return the favor. Have a great Friday!!!!!

Photobucket  .         BoostMyBlogFriday