Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sleeping Beauty

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 27, 2010

Loss of Inocence

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 24, 2010

Twas the Day Before Christmas!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Gettin' My Sexy On

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Ghost of Christmas Past

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The List

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, December 13, 2010

The Truth About Mothering

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 10, 2010

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

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

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 6, 2010

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Stuck Like Glue

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 3, 2010

I Wanna Be Your Sledgehammer

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

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

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

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

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

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