Sunday, December 25, 2011

Stories of Christmas

I love holiday stories...the craziness of all the family, the hustle and bustle of preparation, and the debacles that seem to ensue when you mash everybody into one house. This year is a little different for us. Baby #5 is due on Christmas day, and daddy is off saving the world. It's just me and 4 little boys...waiting on one to arrive...and praying for the safety of another. Obviously, there is no traveling on my part this year...but I still wanted to share one of my favorite Christmas stories.

Ghost of Christmas Past

I hope you and yours have a wonderful Christmas! Enjoy the hilarities of the family being together, and if you wouldn't mind, send up a couple prayers and thanks for all of those soldiers serving away from home this holiday season.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Not Sure If We Made The Naughty Or Nice List

I'd like to pretend that my boys (and myself) are perfect little angels all the time...but we all know that is quite impossible and most assuredly far from the truth. We all have our moments; some of us have our days (and some people are just born with a stick up the unknown) but that doesn't mean we are destined to find coal in our stockings....does it??

I tend to find the things my kids say and do (for the most part) pretty funny. Honestly laughing at them gets me through the days...especially now that I have to be separated from my beloved glass of wine in the evenings! But will Santa see it the same way?

* my 3yo busted in on me while I was on the throne (pretty typical, actually), bent his little hiny toward me, giggled and said, "kiss the butt"

* while mini golfing with my four boys at the end of summer I actually told our 3 yo, "Don't touch other people's balls". Ok...maybe that could be a life's lesson.

* the 5yo about the 3yo who was currently throwing a tantrum, "He wears me out". I agree, dude!

* the 3yo came running down the hall to tattle on his 5yo brother, "TJ plugged me in the toilet!" I'm not really sure what went down or who was guilty of what...but I'm going to stick with "all's well that ends well".

* this summer when the youngest was still 2 years old, he would always tell me with a scowl and a gruff voice, "I bizzy" (aka...I'm busy) whenever I would ask or tell him to do something. It's just too hilarious to scold him...I'm sure we know where he learned that phrase anyway!

* we were leaving the orthopedic surgeon for my oldest son. He and the 5yo went to the bathroom quick before we left. The oldest comes out of the bathroom laughing (always a good sign) eager to relay what his little brother asked him. As the 5yo looked in the mirror while washing his hands he asked his bigger, wiser brother, "Does this dark hair make my butt look big?" Ha!! Daddy needs to come home! He is OBVIOUSLY hanging out with mommy too much!!

* with the nausea that accompanies early pregnancy, we tend to eat out more often than usual. My oldest saw a Taco John's commercial and came to relay to me what he wanted that night for supper. "Mom! Can we go out for chuepalupas?" you mean chalupas??! HA!!

* my 5yo has always been quite attached to his daddy. This fall he came up to me and with the most sincere tone stated, "If I was a superhero, I could use my super powers to help dad. he could use my superhero sword to fight the bad guys. But I'm not a superhero." And he hung his little head and walked away. Kind of breaks your heart.

* We were watching the football game. The Jets were playing and in all of the innocence of a little boy, my 5yo states that he is, "cheering for the Rockets" know because Big Jet on Little Einsteins is always the bad guy. Gotta love how kids see the world!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

To Epidural or Not To Epidural? That Is The Question.

It's 3 days until my due date, but honestly, I probably won't have this baby for another week or so (I must have a very cozy womb...they are usually forced to leave!) Hubby won't be here for the birth. It's a decision we made together. His job right now is saving the world and taking care of his troops. I've got this end of things under control. However, with that said, I am slightly nervous about going into labor/delivery without him. He calms me...relaxes me...and knows not to say a word! Actually, by #5 we are a well-oiled machine. But he won't be in there with me, and that's where my problem starts.

I'm not sure how I'm going to handle the pain without him. His job is to rub whatever I need rubbing- usually my feet- until Dr says it's "go time". I can be bossy or snippity with him and know that he will love me tomorrow and not think any less of me. With two girlfriends subbing in for my hubby in the room with me, I'm going to be less comfortable bossing them around. So I'm a little concerned that I won't be able to relax and breathe my way through delivery.

Truth be told, I'm usually a "do-it-myself" kind of girl. The idea of an epidural has me freaking I've never tried it. (Plus, I'm a self-proclaimed tough girl who doesn't like asking for help.) I need some solid, un-biased advice from the "been there, done that's" of the world. What do you think? Am I going to be brave enough to get the epidural? And do you think it's a good idea??

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

I Feel Pretty, Oh, So Pretty, I Feel Pretty and Witty and Bright!

Actually, I don't find the pretty in the least not on myself. Honestly, I think OTHER pregnant ladies are adorable...maybe I'm too close to it to appreciate its beauty. But the truth of the matter survive pregnancy, you better have a great sense of humor. Yeah, you're creating life, and it's a blessing and blah, blah, blah. The reality is...being pregnant is a hoot!

Case in point: every Dr appointment, we preggos are privileged to experience the task of peeing in a cup. The first trimester this is merely an unavoidable task on a checklist that the nurses diligently employ. In the second trimester, this task begins to get a little more complicated but still very do-able. Bring on the third trimester! This task has become virtually impossible. Not only do I get to partake of this event several times a month, but it truly is now a task that has become laughable. I would love to be a fly on the wall as I attempt this feat! Well into my 39th week, my arms can barely reach around my tummy to even position the cup in the area I believe to be my hoo-ha! And "seeing" what I'm doing is a laughable suggestion. I enter this weekly task hoping to just hit the cup with enough "goods" to appease the nurse without spilling, losing my balance, or peeing (too much) all over my hand.  

Now...on to the current status of my once immaculately groomed nether regions! I haven't seen my yanna benieni in months...I have NO idea what her state of affairs looks like! Shaving my special place has become much less of a science than I would like it to be and more of a free-for-all. For all I know, I could have a patchwork design going on down there...hopefully delivery room nurses don't judge!

I have also been surprised to learn that I have become what is know to be a bad a**. I always wanted to be one of those super tough, edgy girls. Unfortunately, I missed the mark. Actually, the arse to which I'm referring has popped up...behind me. I discovered it in the mirror the other day staring back at me when I had the misfortune of trying to sneak a peak! I was shocked and horrified as, indeed, my bad a** was flashing me a fuller moon than I would care to admit. I'm SO glad my hubby is saving the world and isn't subject to my pandemic posterior problem!

Maternity apparel now resembles spandex...even the XL shirts I once thought I would never fit. Shirts are too short to cover the belly...and I don't even care. I'm considering buying myself some leg warmers and rockin' the complete 80's fitness instructor look! I think I could pull it off. It would be fun to try anyway. I actually quite enjoy the crazy looks I get from people!

Since there is really no way around the "changes" that come with pregnancy, I figure laughing about it eases the disappointment of realizing my body may never be the same. So I had my boys paint my toenails in "Trophy Wife"...I can't even see my toes let alone reach them, and I painted my  finger nails in "Pedal to the Medal"...I'm planning on finishing out my last days as an over-stuffed heffalump in style!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Let's Talk About Sex Baby!

I've been married for quite a long time...12 years in fact. And I think one of the perks of marriage is sex. Come on, have sex, too! 12 (ok...maybe a couple more years than that...shhh!) years of sex with the same person is actually a weird surprises, no worries about him calling in the morning, and hey, I know what my man likes! With your spouse there aren't many unfortunate bedroom debacles, you're allowed and encouraged to try new things, and judgement is kept to the minimum.

With all of that said (and now that I've made you all SUPER uncomfortable), I want to address the issue of sex...during pregnancy. I don't think its an area, issue, or act of torture that should be breached. Basically the possibility should be completely off the table! If there is any dude reading this: trust me, she doesn't really want to, no it wasn't good for her, and yes, she really just wants a back rub! There is already a 3-ring circus going on up in my uterus...we don't need to "send in the clowns" too. If the baby moves the wrong way, there is a high possibility that I'm going to pee my pants...or you! And the idea of what my vagina actually has to do at the end of this pregnancy is reason enough to leave her the heck alone!

I find it ludicrous that sex is actually encouraged during pregnancy and doctor recommended once you reach the ever-so-pleasant status of "OVER DUE"! Ew...I'm big, awkward, sleep deprived and frankly, when pregnant, full of gas! Do you really, REALLY, want to "tap that a**?"! Yes, the boobs may look fantastic, but they aren't for you! These babies have a very important, and not so glamorous, job to look forward to. They just want to be left alone! Not to mention that I both feel and look like an overstuffed turkey. You can keep your "garnish" to yourself, please.

So even though I think sex during marriage is one of the most important things you can do together as a couple, I am 100% against "marital bonding" while in the midst of pregnancy. Good thing for my hubby, he is off saving the world! Honestly, he probably has more "opportunity" over there...but I highly discourage that kind of extracurricular activity. So...unfortunately for him whether at home or at war, if I'm pregnant there is a "no touching" rule in effect!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Princess and The Pea...Or Watermelon

I've been pretty candid in the past about my diva-esque bedtime rules. As a mama, sleep has an entirely different meaning to me than it did before having kids. It's the most coveted prize at the end of my days. Once you enter pregnancy, sleep (and food) becomes the only thing of which you think, focus, and search to find. You can't possibly understand until you are actually pregnant...can I get a collective nod from all the mamas out there...because I know you know what I'm talking about!

However, even though sleep is the desire of my heart, pregnancy and sleep don't always mix...kind of like parenting and partying. They just simply don't go together. Blame it on the blossoming body, the growing baby, or the "other issues" that accompany this "beautiful time"...but sleep isn't as simple and easy as it sounds. I've become super high maintenance and unreasonable and without hubby here to take the fall, I've had to endure alone.

My bedtime ritual is complex and exhausting at best. Per doctor's orders, I ingest one banana and 2 TUMS every night before bed in hopes of avoiding the cramping that takes over every night from the waist down. I didn't even know that the muscles in the feet could cramp, but they can and will, and they are most unforgiving! Even the under-worked muscles in my gluteus maximus cramp! I'm very certain I've never had cheeks quite so tight as when the cramp is in full force! However, with the ever-growing babe taking up all space (whether it was previously occupied by something or not), I suffer from some kind of reflux from the banana/TUMS/water bedtime snack causing me to now have to prop myself upright for half of the night in order to keep everything else down. So with 5-6 pillows propped around me, I attempt to drift into la-la land for some sweet relief.

Unfortunately, my unconscious self truly enjoys self-torture! I am prone to back-sleeping which is an unfortunate position to find oneself in the middle of the night without anyone to help roll me over! I am literally a beached whale at that point swaying back and forth hoping to gain enough momentum to roll myself off the bed. Sexy to watch, I'm sure!

And if all of that wasn't enough, pregnancy seems to make than normal. Babies give me gas! And not just quiet, girly toots (you know we all have them...just walk away and pretend it NEVER happened), I'm full-on, able to challenge my boys, fumigating rooms, stinky! I have no idea what causes it...but at night it's in full force and I am stuck, literally, in the bed to suffer alone. Tormenting my hubby at this point in pregnancy is really the only joy in which I can revel. Misery loves company... the hubby should have to suffer through, too!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holy Crap...What If It Is A Girl??!!

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to see a snapshot of my family and come to the conclusion that we are shootin' boys. With kiddo #4 I was certain I was carrying a little princess. However, when that teeny tiny peeny popped up on the ever-so-clear sonogram, I was, once again in my life, proven to be incorrect. Now I've just come to expect little dudes. Good thing I like little boys. Actually, I'm quite fond of all-things boy. I find humor in their weird, dirty, stinky ways. I find comfort in the fact that nothing (so far...everybody knock of wood!) is new to me anymore. I have this boy-thing completely figured out...for the most part (well, until my oldest boy becomes a young blossoming man, and then I may need to call in reinforcements!) We tackle, fart, wrestle, roll in dirt, put holes in the walls, run, scream, and have energy to spare. It's ALL I KNOW.

So even though I'm 99% sure I'm creating boy #5 as we type...there is the teeniest, tinniest, ever-so-small chance that maybe, just maybe, we made a girl. And it scares the hell out of me! We are leaving the sex a that will eventually be revealed. It's only a matter of time. And let me tell you that from my experience, God has a much different sense of humor than we do. I learned this very clearly when a certain stick turned blue about 33 weeks ago!

Back to my panic-stricken state! I know nothing about girls! Ok...yes, I am a girl, but I didn't raise me. I was someone else's joy! I know dude...and I know it well! I am dumbfounded by the idiosyncrasies of girls, scared by their unusual emotional fluctuations, and secretly enamored with the idea of their cute clothes (don't tell the hubby). But that doesn't mean I would know what to do with one! Yeah I could dress one super adorable...but that is the extent of my knowledge!! I'm runnin' scared people!

What on earth am I going to do if the doctor indeed says, "It's a girl"???? I'm the queen of my castle, and I like it that way. In no way, shape, or form am I ready to be dethroned by a tiny princess. There are ZERO granddaughters on either side of our family. Everybody shoots dudes!! So the grandmas are a little too eager for a baby sans penis. And the hubby has made it very clear that his heart's desire is a daughter to which he can be wrapped around her little pinkie! If I fail in producing a weenie-whacker clad baby and indeed pop-out a mini yanna benieni clad chica, I will be dethroned and crown removed before my legs are even out of the stirrups!!

Not only will I be forced to deal with my imminent removal from the throne, I will also have to figure out how on earth to navigate the world of girl. I'm clueless! I'm going to need books, advice, suggestions...and clothes! Like I said...for almost 13 years all I've known is BOY. My house screams boy...clothes, blankets, toys, schedules, activities! I'm some point I'm pretty sure this baby is going to vacate the premises, and the hint of possibility that this could maybe be a girl...has me scared to death!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Panty Raid

It's no secret, I'm gigantic when I'm pregnant. Since I am mastering my 5th pregnancy, I am already aware of this unfortunate information and don't really appreciate being reminded of my ever-growing stature by each individual that has the misfortune of seeing me waddle through my day. For future reference, preggo ladies don't like to be reminded that they "look like they are going to pop", "are big enough to be carrying twins", or "will never make their due date" (by the way, I always go 9-10 days over...shut-up!) If there was some major medical calamity with my current status, I'm sure my OB/GYN would inform me. However, snapping at the random passer-by as they cautiously pass my way for fear that my water may instantaneously usually frowned upon in our society. So I generally smile, chuckle along, and wish them hemorrhoids, zits, and cellulite quietly in the confines of my own head. But, truth be told, at 38 weeks I'm starting to get somewhat annoyed by this behavior.

With that said, one would think that no individuals or place would be as sensitive to the needs, emotions, and sensitivities of a pregnant lady as the OB's office! I, however, have been proven wrong. At my appointment following Thanksgiving I was greeted with the wide-eyed stare of the nurse as she commented on how huge I have gotten. Awesome! Then I am asked to step on the scale only to watch it quiver under my enormity and blink a green horrible number at me. More awesome! Obviously at this stage of the game I am going to add a pound or 2.....or 8 or 9...whatever! But it should just be quietly written in my chart without comment.

Now, I should also mention that with each of my pregnancies I have suffered from a personal that tends to pinch, pull, chafe, rub, squeeze and generally cause untold discomfort and irritation. This "problem" to which I my reluctance to accept the fact that as my tummy grows so do "other" areas...requiring the purchase and use of larger panties! This is a battle to which I usually refuse to admit defeat wearing my regular-person panties until the end. Thongs, by the way, are not meant to be stretched in such a manner. Ouch!

However, after the barrage of well-meaning "compliments" regarding my apparent massiveness, the scary-as-hell weight that I must now claim to be my own, and my nurse's shock and awe as I rounded the corner of the OB's office...I decided to admit defeat. I hauled my "wide load" to the maternity store and bought myself some large...yes LARGE...preggo undies in which to encase my ever-growing posterior.

If you can't beat 'em...join 'em. I will say, however, that I will never again underestimate the power of a properly fitting pair of panties. Ahhhhh!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

i tawt i taw a puddy tat

I think I've alluded to the fact that my vagina has been under a lot of pressure. Literally. So why does my puddy tat have an affinity for my "puddy"? Our Chancey kitty mistakenly believes that she is the queen of this castle. Normally, I let her live in her delusional state. However, when I am pregnant, tired, huge, and hormonal I can't possibly let her live that lie. Especially when I insist on declaring my status as the reigning Queen of my Kingdom.

On the rare occasion that I let her lay her over-weight self on top of my over-stuffed self, she insists on pawing at my "puddy" until she is good and comfy. I'm not sure if that is something all cats do...kind of like how pervert dogs need to sniff your nether regions every time they see you. I'm not really an animal person so this apparent obsession they have with the cooch really bothers me, especially when I'm pregnant! Do I honestly need the puddy tat to remind me that my "puddy" will never be the same and may never recover??!!

Here she is trying to get as close to the "puddy" as possible.

Do you see my hand attempting to protect my precious "puddy" from the darn puddy tat?!

Again, me tolerating Miss Puddy Tat.

Obviously this is a personal problem! I just prefer to keep the puddy and the "puddy"...seperate!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Like Mother Like Son

Here's my boys in a session of making fun of mom! I thought it was pretty cute. Especially since mommy is the only adult they really see right now. I may, or may not, have a little too much influence on them. Hmmm. You might want to hurry home daddy!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Roses Are Red. Violets Are Blue

Roses are a symbol of love and romance; a way to acknowledge a special moment. I think they have become second nature to events such as Valentine's day, anniversaries, and birthdays, and many times we take them for granted. A rose is a rose is a rose. Admittedly, in the past several years I've come to expect my bouquet of roses so lovingly gifted by my hubby for those above mentioned special occasions. Sometimes we fail to recognize the "special" in what we deem "ordinary".

Hours after my husband's unit boarded the "daddy bus", as my boys heart-breakingly call it, to begin their year-long journey at war, I received the most meaningful gift in the most everyday gesture.  The house was quiet...eerily so. All 4 boys were napping after the long emotional morning, and I sat alone in the quiet of our house contemplating "a year". When the doorbell rang.

A dozen beautiful, big red roses were handed to me with a love note from my husband. I didn't give them much thought other than a heart-warming gesture from my hubby trying to bridge the distance that was now between us. Not much thought...until one month later when I was surprised by another delivery of flowers. This time, the bouquet only contained 11 roses...1 for each month that was left. In that moment, roses became much more meaningful to me representing so much more than love, romance, or gesture.

I've since received bouquets of 10, 9, 8, 7 and most recently...6. Six beautiful roses symbolizing 6 months left in our journey; 6 months of moments and memories and tears and missing daddy behind us. We've come so far...and still so far to go. Six roses.

I look forward to my delivery every month like a kid on Christmas eve. And even though I know how many will arrive each month I count them just the same. Each individual rose representing one more month we will have to face and overcome. Most see my monthly gift of roses as a romantic gesture from a husband at war. And it is.

But they are also so much more...than just a rose.

Friday, November 18, 2011

The Vagina Chronicles

I'm not sure how many of you actually stayed around to read what I have to say...but let me explain myself! I'm 34 1/2 (yes the 1/2 definitely matters!) pregnant with baby #5. Five! You do know where the previous 4 have escaped from, don't you?? And, as long as all goes according to plan, #5 will take the same path of departure.That's a lot of trauma to be expected for one, likes-to-be-treated-like-a-Queen vagina ( Mrs. Duggar is about to pop out #20. Obviously her vagina had a higher calling than mine). Mine, however, is starting to think that her job here is done. She's considering retirement, if you will.

Much to her dismay, however, she will still be called upon to do the unthinkable in about 6-7 (or 8 or 9 in my case...I hold them in for a long time. I think I must have a cervix of steal or something!) weeks! Poor girl...she never saw it coming really. One minute she's telling hubby "goodbye" and "here's to your safe return from war", and the next she is blindsided by this surprise (and not requested, by the way) "call to duty"! Will she get a badge of honor at the end of this??? No! Of course not. It is merely part of her job as described under "other duties as assigned by employer".

However, I don't think I have successfully prepared her for this upcoming task. All of the muscles surrounding her have apparently surrendered under the pressure of the upcoming battle. Walking hurts. Sitting to standing and visa versa hurts. Using my legs to push things (or kids) hurts. What is going on?! I've been so nice to her. I've even let her forgo her most undesirable task during pregnancy (we'll talk a different time about why pregnancy and sex doesn't mix).

SO until the trauma of D-day befalls her I need to be extra careful. She is the last one with whom I want to make an enemy. I'm gonna need her again someday....actually when hubby is done saving the world, I would like to reintroduce her to him. Hopefully, she and I will be back on speaking terms by the time he comes home. Wish her (and me) luck!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The On-going Challenge of Good vs Evil- Writer's Workshop

I've been a mama for a really long time...almost 13 years, in fact. And I've learned a thing or two about the ups and downs, ins and outs, and the good, the bad, and the ugly that accompany this mothering gig. As in everything in life, being a parent involves unique challenges and surprising joys that occur almost daily...reminding me that the battle of good versus evil never sleeps.

Sleepy-eyed morning hugs give way to mid-day throw-down tantrums. Slobbery kisses after morning snacks quietly turn into tears and a battle of wills at lunchtime. Nap times are met with growls and disputes. While the post-nap wake up graces us with snuggles and kisses on the couch. "I love you"'s melt your heart with the same fervor that their angry cold shoulders makes us want to cry. We crave alone time or a girls' night out...only to feel an ache and an emptiness in our hearts that can only be filled by the very kiddos we claim we are trying to escape.

It's a tug of war, really. One minute their sweetness and hold they have on our hearts is overwhelming and intoxicating. While the next, their tantrums, defiance, and frustrating nuances drive us to drinking and binging bouts with chocolate.

I can't imagine the joys of parenting being as rewarding or as sweet if we didn't have to face and overcome all of the challenges that also accompany this mothering path. With the good comes the bad...and in that lies the greatest joys and challenges I face in parenting. Doing the best I can in all situations for each individual child, and noticing, enjoying, and appreciating our daily victories both big and small. It requires grace, dignity, patience.......and a little bravery and a lot of wine.

This post is in response to Mama Kat's writer's workshop prompt 2.) Your biggest parenting challenge and/or joy.

Mama’s Losin’ It

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Curiosity Killed the Cat...Not the Kid

My boys aren't big on shopping. Actually, my two oldest boys view it as some kind of inhumane torture and treat it as such....with much whining, complaining, and begging for mercy. They also believe it is a mere necessary which demands adherence to a very specific list. Shopping for "fun" is foreign and unheard of to them. With that said, I try to do most of my leisure shopping without the presence of the older two "fun"-haters.

The younger two, however, seem to be quite fond of shopping with mommy and love to "help" me pick out new shirts, dresses, jewelry, name it, they put it in the "to buy" pile, cart, or my arms. It's actually quite sweet, and I enjoy their presence on my shopping trips....most of the time. Sometimes, however, my littlest gets...distracted. All that glitters, glistens and "lifts up"...must be investigated by my sweet, in training!

I'm not sure if it's a case of "boys will be boys" or if he is practicing for the future. Either way, I think I'll have to strike the word "innocent" from my vocabulary!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Breaking Up Is Hard To Do

Extracurricular activities for our offspring are necessary evils in most homes. "Every body's doing it" has broken many a mama that falsely believed she was "the chosen one" and may be able to avoid this mandated rite of passage. Once we set aside our own agendas, to-do lists, and schedules (for the next several years I might add), we get to enjoy watching our kids learn commitment, hard work, and valuable life lessons. Unfortunately, these attributes aren't learned will take several years of committing our Saturdays and weeknights to organized activities in order to reap the benefits. 

Doomsday aside, it is pretty sweet to see your tiny tot kick a goal (even if it was into the opponents net), actually hit the ball of the tee (three strike rule doesn't count for awhile), and tackle his first quarterback ( was flag football but whatever)! However, sometimes those shining moments can be few and far between. We all must start at the bottom, and after the joy of seeing your budding young athlete NOT pay attention to the coach, push his teammate down, and chase a butterfly (all of which YOU paid good money for) you come to realize this expensive, time consuming nightmare is soon to become your way of life...for many, many years. You can't take away their new-found love, and your presence IS mandatory at each and every event...for many, many years. So what is a mom to do? If you can't beat 'em...join 'em!

"What?" you say. Of course I don't mean join the game (this is actually quite frowned upon...our job is to clap, cheer, take pictures, and provide the ceremonial half-time or after-game snack!). This is a perfect opportunity to strike up some good old fashioned girl-on-girl socializing. Admit's well overdue and part of you is really excited to talk to another female adult that also looks less-than-thrilled to be shivering (or melting depending upon where you live) on the soccer game sideline.

I view this time as my weekly mom-dates. And after several seasons of a kiddo being on the same team, you start to create a "mom-clique", "home girls", "bosom buddies". Whatever you want to call it, you look forward to chatting up the sideline or bleachers with these ladies. It becomes a coveted time of desperately-needed adult conversation free from little ears or the intrusion of husbands (they do their own thing while we chat).

But what happens when the team gets split up?! Tears, drama, and adult tantrums that's what! And I'm not too proud to admit that I dread the inevitable time when my soccer/baseball friends get taken from me. These are the people you laugh with about your crazy kids, the ladies who roll their eyes with you at your husband's latest stupidity, and the ones who have offered an occasional shoulder to cry on. And it sucks when you are forced to bid them adieu!

So the next time you are forced to bundle up your minion and attend a soccer game in the snow, don't grumble, growl, and frown. Grab a hot cup of coffee (it IS ok if that coffee has "flavoring"!), an extra blanket and enjoy the girl time...oh, and get their cell number, twitter handle, and friend them on facebook because being a sideline mom is a lot of work. You're going to need your reinforcements!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Knight in Shining...Camo???

I love being a stay-at-home-mom. For years I dreamed of getting to have all of my littles' moments...and I remember painfully, jealously, and longingly watching other moms who were blessed to get to spend their days with their children. Until the day my desire was finally realized. Just me and my boys...every moment is mine...the good, the bad, and the ugly. And I love it....of course, when I don't...and then my refuge, my saving grace, my hero at the end of a long temper-tantrum-filled day is my hubby.

Stay at home mom or not, my house suffers from the same "bewitching hour" as everyone else...I don't like it any more than anyone else, and I definitely dread its inevitable arrival at the end of my calm, quiet, peaceful afternoon. After-school and nap-wake up madness is my demise almost every single day. I'm not a morning person (AT ALL!), but I'd much rather do a second morning every day than that time between school bus drop off/end of nap and when daddy thankfully comes through that door! And now with him gone for what seems like forever, I'm reminded just how important it is to have my knight in shining armor (or camo) come home each and every night...even if my doomsday text messages scared the heck out of him!

I look forward to his arrival so much, that my "countdown to daddy's rescue" starts at about...4:00pm. That's about all I can take especially once the weather is too frightful to kick the kids outside. When I hear his car pull into the driveway and the familiar squeak of his door, I have to stop myself from bull rushing the front door...knocking my captors- I mean kiddos down in my pursuit to hide behind- I mean hug my rescuer. He successfully saves me from the looming mommy-meltdown that threatens to boil

Ravenous snack monsters, homework questions/demands, "what's for supper" interrogations, bickering, whining,'s enough to make a grown woman run to her closet and hide! But every evening my knight in shining armor once again saunters through my front door, wards off the charging villagers, and holds me in his strong camouflage-encrusted arms. It doesn't matter that his beautiful horse is a beat-up old Buick or that his armor is sometimes dirty, sweaty camouflage. I'd let him scoop me up and carry me away to fade into the sunset any day!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Crazy?

Normally I am quite successful in reigning in my off-the-wall idiosyncrasies. Lately, however, I have not been as diligent about hiding-er-controlling my less than appealing nuances. I have to admit, that even when there isn't a surprise baby on board, I tend to like things the way I like them. Hubby lovingly refers to this as "high maintenance". I refer to it as "attention to detail", and without such surely the world would end!

However, I fear that the family doesn't see it this way and have been forced to suffer through my less-than-desirable over-reactions in silence for fear that my crazy will jump all over them. You see, with hubby home he can at least mask my quirks with humor or distraction. There in lies the problem...hubby isn't here. And I fear that without his intervention I am merely another victim to pregnant hormones run amuck! And my poor kiddos have no where to escape.

Nary a child wants to be caught leaving a random toy on the floor. An assault which surely justifies torture if not death. And my poor oldest boy had to suffer the wrath of my out-of-control OCD when he put the canned goods away in the pantry after grocery shopping. Upside down and backwards cans stared back at me when I opened the door...and I thought I was going to have a panic attack. I may not be to the extreme of the husband in "Sleeping With the Enemy", but I fear I may be just one over-turned can away!

Putting clean laundry away in the dresser should not require instruction or supervision, but I seem to have been proven wrong. Clothes hanging out of half-open drawers, clean shirts on the floor having fallen off their hangers, and discarded inside-out hoodies greet me when I attempt to enter the lair of the oldest two dudes. The horror of such a sight seems to send me into a mommafied tizzy. Luckily for the criminals, they are at the safety of their respective schools and do not have to witness my meltdown and the frenzy that follows.

Requests for special outings are met with a hefty pregnant-lady sigh and a possible flutter of my eyes. Acquisitions for family games in the evening hours are quickly rejected from my horizontal position on the couch. And extracurricular activities have become my verbalized nightmare.

I'm not sure if it's crankiness with age...although 30(ish) isn't exactly old, pregnant hormones and fatigue, or the absence of my hubby. You be the judge....crazy? or not crazy?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Once Upon A Before and After

There are lots of changes that come with pregnancy and new baby. Most are wonderful and joyous...if you like stretch marks, hemorrhoids, and sleep deprivation! This is how I see the transition through the eyes of my hubby.

Sexy bra before pregnancy:

Functional bra during and after pregnancy:

Sexy panties before pregnancy:

Functional and comfortable panties during and after pregnancy:

Ringing in the Christmas Spirit "supplies" before pregnancy:

Ringing in the Christmas spirit "supplies" post pregnancy:

Good thing hubby loves me....because this is quite a depressing story for him!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Cinderelly! Cinderelly! Night and Day It's Cinderelly!

With daddy gone and mommy more than a little pregnant, my boys have had to "pitch in" a little bit around the house. From kitchen duty to lawn maintenance, my boys have become my biggest helpers. 

Here is my #3 happily raking a pile of leaves...they will fly off those swings into that pile later!

Here's #1 mowing the yard. Don't feel bad for him. Some nice neighbors took care of the yard ALL summer (mom even mowed it twice!)

Again #3 pitching in. He's quite a happy helper actually. He loves to help mama with anything and everything. I hope he never outgrows that.

This is #2 and #3 scrubbing the shower. They may not make it shine, but trust me, they'll get more cleaned than mommy will at this point.

I honestly couldn't do this without my helpers! Gotta love these dudes (notice you don't see #4...he's not much of a helper. And since he's 3, he's declared himself the boss of this place.)

Let's hear for the boys!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Lurking around Every Corner

When darkness consumes the night, and the chill in the air slaps your face around every corner, the quietness that ensues seems eery and ominous. Each trepidatious step raises the hair on your neck and your heartbeat begins to race violently echoing in your own head. Safety is around the corner...but salvation requires travel through the looming darkness. There is no telling what lurks behind, under, and around the cover of night waiting to make you its prey.

This very scenario was my hell growing up with a big sis who basked in the glory of her little sister's fear of all things dark, unknown, and spooky. Every Halloween season when the newest, greatest and ghoriest horror films emerged, big sis would delight in not only scaring herself with the gruesome movies but also in reenacting that hell on her unsuspecting, innocent little sis...who, by the way, has been scarred for life by the lurking unknown behind every door and dark corner.

Being a lover of all things involving either a happy ending or light-hearted animation, I am not one to partake in the eery suggestives of the demented minds that create these horror movies. Big sis, however, gains sickly thrills from the mere mention of a scare-your-socks-off, you'll-never-sleep-without-the-lights-on-again thriller! Unfortunately her thrills don't stop with experiencing the grotesquely horrific for herself. No. Indeed, her thrills need to be filled by scaring the socks off of little sis. To this day, big sis still finds humor in the many successful moments of torment she lovingly offered to little sis.

After one particularly scary vampire movie when we were children (why on earth did my parents allow us to watch these things??!!), I cautiously made my way down our dark, cold hallway to the death trap I shared with big sis. However, my innocent efforts were foiled by demented big sis who ever so quietly appeared in the dark and sneaked behind my unsuspecting self. The horror that ensued still haunts me today as I struggle not to race through my house (even at the ripe old age of 30ish) once the lights are off.

Big sis put her vampire teeth around my sweet little neck, bit me, and hissed. I've never been so scared in all of my life as I shrieked trembling with fear....and then pee-ed my pants. First traumatized...and then humiliated as big sis AND parents laughed at my expense. I've never been the same since that horrid encounter with my deviant big sis!

Dark corners still scare me even though I'm a mom of 4, noises in the night make my imagination play tricks on me, and I struggle to put on a brave face when my boys express a fear of the dark.......because I'm afraid too!

This is in response to Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. I'm responding to prompt #3) Something that scared the Hell out of you when you were a child

Mama’s Losin’ It

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Give It Up Already!

I want you to try a little experiment with me. Oh come on! Play'll be fun! Give up something that you love and can't live without. Something that is hard to imagine a day without. BUT it can't be something trivial like soda, candy, or coffee. It needs to be utterly important to your day to day life and that you enjoy or experience morning, noon, and night. Something comes to mind...go along that line of thinking.

I'll give you a moment to think about it. You have to commit, however, and you get ZERO cheat days or moments. No sniffing, tasting, hugging, or even looking at this particular thing. Are you still with me? Or did some of you already throw in the towel? Once you give me your word there is no backing out. Not many of you left willing to participate is there?

Well, in case anyone out there is still playing my fun little game, I'm going to add one more teeny tiny rule. You have to give it up....for a year.That's right. You read that correctly. Give up something that you absolutely can't live without for 365 days! Does it give you a little anxiety just thinking about that kind of commitment? Or sacrifice? However you want to look at it. Are you starting to sweat the very idea of 365 days without ______________ (you fill in the blank)?

That is the very task you must accomplish, without cheating mind you, before you are allowed to utter one single word of ill-advised opinion, suggestion, judgment or advice regarding how to handle the deployment of my hubby (or anyone else's spouse for that matter). It's not open for discussion. Three hundred and sixty-five days without touching, seeing, smelling. Yes...smelling. Send your special something away for that long and the slight whiff of it will send you crumpling to the floor in weakness and emotion you have never felt.

I'm not giving up caffeine, sugar, or daytime soap operas for 40 days. I'm living and breathing without my best friend, lover, help mate...partner. The only other person in this big world that will ever love my kids with the same passion, fervor and craziness that I do. Just because he's a soldier doesn't make him any less of a loving, nurturing, protecting husband than yours. He isn't any less needed and wanted around the house than yours. And he's the only person the four most beautiful boys in the world call "daddy".

So...until you are able to tell me that you have successfully played and finished my game...then zip your lip. Don't chide about how quickly the time is going if you are still living with your "thing". Don't offer suggestion about how I could do things- anything- better or differently. And don't underestimate the daily challenge and struggle that it is to live without.

365 days. One whole year without. That is your task...your challenge...Are there any takers???

Sunday, October 23, 2011

You're Not a Kid Anymore

Fall is one of my favorite times of year...the colors, the smell, the falling leaves...I love it all. I even enjoy the sometimes laborious task of raking those beautiful carpet of leaves. Truthfully, even at the ripe old age of 30ish I still love to play in the freshly raked, fluffy pile of leaves. Blame it on my kid at heart, fond memories, or both. However their are some childhood games that I have long since given up. And with winter looming around every corner, I start to ponder my younger years and the shenanigans we enjoyed in the blustery cold snow. Albeit fun (and worthy of retelling), I am not the butt of the joke this time. No. That glorious title belongs hubby...who can't even defend himself since he is somewhere on the other side of the world. Please join me in making fun of him!

The winter our oldest boy was 4, we lived in an apartment building that was conveniently located on a perfect sledding hill. It was our most favorite activity especially since we merely had to walk out the door with sled in hand....and then...let the fun begin! We would schlep that sled up (and careen down) for what seemed like hours! There were even some balmy winter evenings that we would all three bundle up and head out in the dark of night to enjoy some sledding fun under the icy, star-filled sky!

Every time I think about winter, my mind wanders to those memories on the hill. However, my favorite memory about that winter deems telling...and retelling...for all to partake of the debacle my hubby faced when he forgot he was, indeed, a grown-up and too old to enjoy the games kids play!

Daddy and Ty headed out one afternoon that pregnant mommy declared she was in need of an UNINTERRUPTED nap. My excited 4 year old gave me a kiss, bundled up and ran out the door with daddy trudging behind. Now...much to my disappointment, I was honestly not looking out the window when the episode unraveled. I regret that decision every winter! I laid down promptly, ready to enjoy a long-winter's nap...when my crying and very upset son loudly entered the apartment barely 10 minutes after his departure.

Apparently, daddy got to have first run down the hill. And daddy being...well, daddy...he decided he was going to channel the young teens new winter craze of snowboarding. Unfortunately, (I actually think it was pretty fortunate, however!) at that time, we didn't own a snowboard. Not one to back down from a challenge...or crazy idea for that matter...daddy decided to use the sled as a snowboard and show his wide-eyed son how to really have fun on the sledding hill!

Firmly positioned on sled, daddy started down the hill. I'm not sure which attacked his efforts first...gravity, speed, or the effects of an ill-thought-out plan, but he didn't make it further than half-way down the hill when all three variables turned against him. Balance went askew, speed increased, and gravity took over. Gravity is a law after all...and it ALWAYS WINS! Daddy went airborne...and from the description he "caught awesome air"! Bearings must have been lost whilst in the air, and he landed on the hard, frozen ground flat on his back all the while the sled finished the ride sans rider. Poor Ty was left watching from the top of the hill.

Daddy was unable to continue the winter fun and made the now very upset 4 year old accompany him back up to the apartment. But not before the 4 year old had to retrieve the rogue sled...not ever having gotten a chance to go down the hill. Daddy was unable to get to his feet and had to crawl on all-fours through the snow, up 3 flights of stairs and into the apartment...where trying-to-sleep-pregnant-mommy was now fuming with zero sympathy for moaning daddy.

As mommy bundled up to take the upset child back out to go sledding, daddy was granted growl, glare, and no assistance for his now unable to move moaning, groaning body. I have since forgiven daddy for his ill-advised snowboarding adventure. However, I love to retell his story...and every ounce of me wishes someone, somewhere had that debacle on video!

Hopefully, he learned his lesson and leaves the "games children play" to the children!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Wind Chimes In The Background

As I lay here awake in the middle of the night not sure how to shut off my mind as it races from one thought to another and stressing over issue after issue, I hear a faint noise in the background. Through the cracked window that lets the cool night air seep into my room, I hear the quiet, distant sound and gentle song of the wind chimes in my neighbor's yard.

My grandpa was a hard working, creative man...always gracing us with his newest creation. One such creation happened to be hand-made wind chimes that, until this summer, I have never thought about. As a child, my cousins, siblings and I grew up in grandma and grandpa's yard...playing, laughing, and growing all while those never-thought-about chimes sang in the background. It was just the sound of their the never-sat-at table in the dining room, the always-present-containers of cookies on the counter, and the grandchildren's drawer with our own deck of cards. It just was what it was.

I noticed this summer a familiar sound when I sat outside with my boys...a sound I have never noticed before coming from a few feet away...the sound of wind chimes. My backyard became my sanctuary as the kids laughed and played until we crashed at night. I would sit on my patio furniture and soak in the giggles, the breeze, and the warmth of the summer sun...letting it calm my soul and ease my guard...if only for a moment. And the sound of those wind chimes never failed to wash over me, ease my tension and give me peace.

I'm not one to ask for help, cry on your shoulder, or complain about our circumstances. I usually hold my head high, my shoulders back, and carry a smile. But underneath,  questions, concerns and knowledge from the past never really go away. A year is a long time. War changes people on both sides, and I wish I had the luxury of not knowing what I know. Quiet moments are often a curse instead of a luxury...except when I sit outside and listen to those chimes caress my soul and feel the breeze gently kiss my skin.

We've lived in this home for 5 years, and for the first time I've noticed that comforting once forgotten song of the ever-present wind chimes next door. I sit in my chair and am soothed by their gentle lullaby spurred by the delicate breeze. Maybe they've always been there. Maybe the wind blows and makes them sing even when I'm not outside. But maybe, just maybe, it's a grandpa trying to soothe a hurting granddaughter.

I wish I had my own wind chimes...chimes to become the background to my home...chimes that warm my heart...chimes that I'm certain sing for my grandpa...

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Having My Baby...What A Lovely Way To Say How Much You Love Me

I'm ususally quite resistant to photos during pregnancy. But I've had some friends hounding, I mean asking me to document my bump. Plus, the hubby wouldn't mind seeing his preggo wife's tummy a couple times along this long road of pregnancy! So...I've relented and allowed my boys to attempt their hand at photography. Keep in mind my "professionals" were the ripe old ages of 8 and 12. They had zero care about which angles made mommy look good, sexy, or slim!

This is "Mommy assuming the night-time position after a loooong day of being single mama to four busy boys!"

This is "classy mommy going to church".

Full Frontal heffalump-ness

Profile: I still have 3 months left!!

This was the afternoon post "walk the kids to school day"! This mama needs a nap!

Obviously...ready for bedtime!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's For The Birds

When we first moved to the Black Hills I was enamored with the beauty of the landscape. And the fall proved to far exceed my expectations of the magnificent terrain. We only had one kiddo at that time (man! that was a LOOOOONG time ago...since I'm working on baking #5 as I type!). Every morning I would load up my 3 1/2 year old and drive to the park to partake of the falling leaves, cool temperatures, and wildlife that called the park their home.

It was always an excitement to take our old bread at the end of the week and feed the ducks and geese that would flock around us as we waved our delicacies their way. Ty loved tossing the crumbs for the ducks and seeing which ones were fast enough to snatch the prized treasure. However, some of the geese would get a little "bossy" if they weren't given their fare share of the treats. And often they would ever-so-slightly invade your personal space if you didn't respond quickly enough to their demands.

Most mornings we were pretty successful at avoiding the big, bossy geese. The ducks are more fun to watch anyway. Unfortunately, for Ty, those darn geese were very persistent! Normally I would give Ty one slice of bread at a time to disperse at will. However, on this particular morning, I let him carry the entire bag....which proved to be my son's demise!

If you have never been reprimanded by a hungry goose...then consider yourself lucky. They can reach easily past an adult's midsection when those scary necks are outstretched. But for a 3 year old, they were easily towering over his floofy, blonde head! The higher he held his little hand (which was holding the prized bread), the higher those geese reached and the louder the squawked with their ominous, flapping beaks!

Fight or flight took over...and fear won out. My 3 year old took off as fast as he could trying to escape their advances. They have obviously never been taught that "no means NO". Determined to save his bread Ty refused to drop the "booty" for the party-crashing pirates. And hence the chase was on!

Where is this young lad's mother, you might ask, to save the day...or the child anyway? I was cowering on the top of a picnic table trying to avoid the same torture as my son. It may not have been my proudest moment...but in my defense, he didn't heed my warning to "throw the bread!!!"

I believe in survival of the fittest...or brains over brawn. Whichever the case, my kiddo finally escaped the tyrannical geese. But he has never enjoyed feeding the birds at the park since that fateful day!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Penny For Your Thoughts

For the most part, I am handling this year long deployment pretty well. We had some unexpected surprises and hiccups...but I can usually handle them all with grace, dignity and laughter. I try to find the silver lining, the funny twist...the strip-and-go-naked alcoholic drink I'll make from the over abundance of lemons!

Sometimes, however, thoughts and emotions (and probably some pregnant hormones) overwhelm me...usually in the most inopportune moments. A malfunctioning washing machine has the potential to drop me to my knees in tears swearing to myself that I am going to throw in the towel. Praise and worship music on Sunday mornings never fails to leave me clenching my jaw, tightening my throat and fighting tears. Exhausted evenings without help causes ugly-mommy moments, growls, frowns and not enough hugs and kisses.

It's hard to understand how a good day can turn cranky or a morning at church can feel vulnerable and weak. But I'm trying...I'm doing my best even though at times it doesn't seem to be enough. And my mind questions...will we make it to a year? will we survive once their are 5 kids? will I be able to do  all things for everybody and maintain a smile and positive attitude?

I don't have the answers. So I focus on one day at a time...sometimes, one hour at a time. I try to ignore the to-do list to spend time with my boys. And I try desperately to forget that I miss and need my husband every single moment of every single day...........

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Call Me Crazy....

It's been awhile since I've compiled a list of reasons why I'm, I mean reasons I love my family of dudes! But let's face it, one pregnant mommy + daddy off saving the world + 4 busy boys = little if any alone time with my own thoughts. But all that crazy doesn't mean that the looney bin has vacated the premises. We are still just as silly, rambunctious, and, well...juvenile, as we always were.

* our 4 yo (he is now 5!) is quite the kisser (aka- slobbery kisser). He gave me a goodnight kiss and then wiped his lips saying, "I'm sorry. I have slippery lips"

* while at Grandma's farm for a quick weekend visit in August, all the boys were running around the house both upstairs and down as they played some wild, fighting, good-guy/bad-guy game. My 4yo (now the 5yo) came running up to me really excited with an arm full of Nerf balls, "Mom!! I have firefighter balls!" And he was off to chase the rest of the boys with his apparent "firefighter balls". I wonder if those are anything like "Soldier balls"....because I know a little something about those!

* Cooking and pregnancy doesn't always mix for me. So I was preparing a nice, healthy meal of....corn dogs! My 2 1/2 year old ran to tell his brothers what we were having (because they sing about them on "Phineas and Ferb"). I heard him yell, "I want a horn dog!!"  to which the 8 yo and 12 yo burst into laughter.

* the 3yo and 5 yo were playing in the living room after their big brothers rushed out the door for the bus. I was in making beds when I heard the 5 yo yell, "Help somebody! I'm getting married!!" His little brother was burying him with all the pillows. Married...buried....potato...potahto!

* "my nuts, my nuts, myyyy nuts" as sang by my 3yo while carrying around a container of Planter's mixed nuts!

* Right after daddy left for his year of saving the world, the boys were enjoying some skype-time with him. The 4yo asked daddy quite innocently and full of awe if he was fighting the bad guys with his swords. To see your daddy as a hero...priceless!

And now to state my case as to why my self esteem is in the pooper!!

* the 5 yo came up to hug me (remember baby is due Christmas day....and I have BIG babies!). He looked at me with those big blue eyes that I love with a sweet smile and said, "You're like a really huge girl with a huge tummy". It's hard to smack someone so cute!

* Out of the mouth of my baby (the 3yo), "You have a big, big one"...and then he left. I'm not sure if I was complimented....or insulted!

* we were shopping in Target this past weekend before scurrying off to the soccer fields when the 5yo announced, "I have to pee". I hurried him through the store where we went into the family restroom together...figuring I would go to in order to avoid the port-a-potty at the soccer game. As I sat down to go potty all the while my 5yo is intently observing when out-of-the-blue he states very matter-of-factly, "Mommy you sure have a big butt." He wasn't being mean...just stating an obvious fact!

Friday, September 23, 2011

He Did What In His Cup?!

Being pregnant allows for many learning experiences. Since I'm on pregnancy number 5, I figured I was way ahead of the learning curve on matters of the new and unexpected that come with this "joyous" time. I, however, stand corrected. Pregnancy #5 seems to have brought with it the new, unusual, and unexpected.

Pregnancy cravings are just as real, demanding and nonsensical with number five as they were with number 1. Chinese? Sure! Cheese steaks? Absolutely! Lettuce? Why not! They are crazy, unpredictable, and unrelenting. And without my go-to, middle-of-the-night cravings have had to suffer through inevitable withdrawals.

Cravings aside, I have been stunned by my apparent (and new found) inability to "hold it"! Bladder control has seemed to vanish with the onset of my heffalump status, and it has brought new meaning to potty breaks in our house. It is an unlucky child who tries to beat mama to the toilet after an outing. And the potty dance when displayed by preggo lady versus training toddler is much less adorable.

So with my incontinence in full swing, cravings running amuck, and body parts swelling at astronomical rates it's no wonder my emotions and hormones seem to have declared war against me. Normally, I'm a stone; not one to show emotion, not one to buckle under pressure or stress, and definitely nary a tear escapes my control.....until now. Malfunctioning wash machine sends me crumpling to the floor in tears. Favorite maternity shirt now too small to cover my ever-growing tummy will bring tears and subsequent ice cream indulgences. And unexpected events added to my calendar leave my blubbery and incoherent.

But with all of that, my biggest adventure with pregnancy number five has nothing to do with body changes, hormones, or AWOL hubby. Nope!

To what am I referring? I have had the pleasure of being accompanied to my prenatal appointments with the terrible two-some that I lovingly call my offspring.  My two youngest have just recently had birthdays and now boast the ripe old ages of 5 and 3. And let me tell you, those boys don't miss a beat. And since the nurse at my Dr's office has never cracked a smile, I've decided to keep my gruesome two-some by my side at all times while in her presence. Which means they are also in tow when I attempt to gracefully and accurately, albeit discreetly because my boys are watching intently, pee in that darn cup!

I can't honestly see where I'm aiming at this point so I'm very much driving blind! And to the horror of my youngest two darlings, I ruin the cup from which they had moments earlier tried to get a drink of water (of course, mommy STOPPED that experiment in its innocent tracks!). So not only do I need to be accurate and discreet, I am also required to explain myself and answer their, very loud, questions regarding my actions.

My only response from my curious crew, "Don't drink that mommy!", oh and every person we saw that day got to hear how their mommy pee-ed in their glass!

Monday, August 29, 2011

School's In Session

Today is the first day of school in our city. Most parents are overjoyed to send their high-energy, "I'm bored" complaining, kitchen emptying precious bundles back to school. But I'm not like every other mama. I enjoy having my entire crew at home all summer. It's my favorite time.

So I embarked on my morning with a fake smile and mustered excitement as my boys scurried around the house excitedly preparing for the "First Day of School". Morning chores...check. Special first-day-of-school breakfast....check. Backpacks and home lunches....check. And out the door they rushed for mama to drop them off for the first day.

The 7th grader has rejected first-day-of-school hugs and kisses since kindergarten, but my second born has been a mama's boy since day 1. I always get to hold his sweaty little hand as we stand outside the classroom door and wait for the bell to summon my departure. Then both of us give long bear hugs and fight to blink back tears. I kiss him as his teacher gives me a reassuring smile (as she does to all the other crazy mamas too), and I wave and blow kisses as I reluctantly leave my baby in the care of someone else.

I was prepared for that same scenario today as I carted my dudes off to their respective schools. First drop off...middle school. No kisses or hugs or shows of affection at this establishment. No...such behavior will likely get your child beat up in the parking lot. I've learned those hugs are required in the confines of my home...where no one 10 and up can be witness.

After my budding teen bails out of the barely stopped vehicle, we travel toward the elementary school...prepping myself to successfully let go of the little dude beside me. However...and much to my son unexpectedly rejected my presence on the playground. He didn't even let me exit the van stating, "I don't need you too, mom." A prompt kiss and hug were planted on this stunned (and slightly heartbroken) mama as he shimmied out the door quicker than I could unbuckle my seat belt.

I'm not quite sure when or where it happened, but my second born son seems to have grown up. As much as that should make a mama proud...I'm not. Yes, my goal is to raise Godly men to send out into the world...but there is a large part of me that wants to hold onto them forever.

This mothering thing is tough...where's the handbook? Where's the warnings that, indeed, someday they will no longer be ours? Someday my job will be done...but today I'm going to cuddle the two that are still at home....and cry while they are down for nap!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

One of These Things Just Doesn't Belong

I love the nuances that are toddler-hood...missing and misplaced items, trinkets stashed in tiny holes, and objects that seem to disappear on their own. Most of it makes me smile....I know it won't last long. That precious, quirky time in their young life is far too fleeting. But there are some things that make you question what is truly going on in their diabolical little minds.

Case in point; I walked into our bathroom (which is always a scary venture anyway), only to discover this:

I have no answers for this distrubing image. But I think I know the culprit. He's short, cute, and blonde! And yes, I threw that particular toothbrush away!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Return of Mommy Badges

My Badge of Mommy-Honor

Motherhood is full of wonderful moments, rewarding events, and heart-warming memories. This post includes none of those.  I want to share the real true nitty gritty that comes with this Mommy-hood gig. At some point every mama earns her badge of honor…and it’s not always pretty!

My badge has been earned (again and again, I might add) on many occasions by the squishy, squashy, stinky, slimy stuff that has come out of my teeny-tiny beautiful babes!  With each poo-up-the-back-of-the-onesie, every spit-up-soaked-outfit, and the inevitable puke-a-palooza moment, I get another badge to put on my Mommy-hood sash!

We had our first born at a very young age while still in college.  Needless to say, we were quite willy-nilly in our laissez faire parenting style. Oh get over it! He survived and is a wonderful, pain-in-the-butt tween. Anypoopstory, we were quite comfortable with our baby’s nudity…he was actually naked until about the age of 4…maybe we should talk about that at a later time…when the peer pressure of societal expectations started to rear its ugly head.

Every morning I would nakefy my youngster to free his nether regions from that constricting diaper, and then proceed to let his bottom breathe some fresh air while I got ready for the day. Who knows what parts of our apartment he assaulted with his little free-wheeling pee-pee…but we didn’t seem to care (as a side-note we have since begun to care where our four children pee).

I’m pretty sure I was paying zero attention to my little dude…he was happy, I was happy, all was right in the world. Actually, the memory is quite vivid in my mind. I was sitting in my glider/rocker eating a bowl of Honey nut Cheerios and watching the Today show…all of which was obviously more important than playing with, clothing, or interacting with my baby. OK…I was 20 and very laid back. Don’t worry…he gets his revenge!

Out of the corner of my eye I could tell he was playing with something….actually, he was intrigued with some toy that he was moving from one hand to the other. I look lovingly at my perfect creation… see him pat-a-caking his poop!! Yep! He was mesmerized by this wonderful new toy he discovered just lying on the floor beside him. He had it pushed in between his tiny sweet fingers that I loved to kiss. And it was smeared up his little arms that daddy always zurberted.  Not just a little bit of poo….a big, black, man-sized, giganotosaurus sized turd rolling around in my baby’s hands!!

Needless to say, I’ve since become much MUCH more aware of what my naked baby was doing!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

I'm Stuck on Bandaid Brand

Sleep is hard-pressed when a mind is unsettled. Very often I'm awake in my bed with troubled thoughts, worries, and fears. Thoughts, worries, and fears that some how, some way my scars that are buried so deep will tear open or worse, history will, indeed, repeat itself.

Many scars boast of dare-devil stunts or funny debacles. But some scars are deeper...harder to see...more difficult to explain. Some are hardly yet scars; resembling more of an open that was once thought to be buried deep and bandaged tightly.

I may not be the soldier serving, but my boots are just as dirty. My uniform may not be emblazoned with a badge from battle, but it exists none the less. My soul carries the burden, my heart carries scars of bitterness and hate, my memories are tainted with secrets and fears.  A soldier doesn't leave a follows him forever; it becomes part of who he is, who he was, and changes a family. What I once thought was forgotten is now ever present. I thought I packed it away to be lost in a dusty storage room. But now it is ever-present on my mind. No help was sought; no discussions were had; no closer was granted; no forgiveness was spoken. No need to declare a bad guy because all carry the title of victim.

The damage has been done. Unable to undo the past or circumstances or outcomes, I struggle getting past "the past". I struggle granting forgiveness for which has not yet been requested; I struggle letting go of hurts for which have yet to be apologized. I am more guarded and detached because of what resides inside deep within my soul.

What I once thought was a battle scar seems to be an open that chokes me in the dark of the that becomes more real with every passing that taunts me with memories I thought were that I fear may be revisited..............

Friday, June 24, 2011

A Solid Case of "Crotch-itis"

My history of self-destruction, self inflicted injury, and ungraceful debacles runs deep and wide. I'm a self proclaimed klutz, and the bumps, bruises and scars I have acquired are all evidence to support my case. I've sustained multiple black eyes as a child, several bouts with stitches, broken bones, and even a case of whiplash when I lost an ill-advised "tackling" match. But none have left quite the emotional baggage and unsightly bruising as my unfortunate miscalculation during a track practice while in college.

I was a hurdler back in the day. And as a hurdler, we were pretty accustomed to crashes, bonks and blood. It was a daily challenge to see which hurdler was going to leave practice with the worst battle scars (usually it was me). Such was the case this particular winter day a couple of weeks before our indoor conference track meet. And as you are about to see, my luck is about to get a whole lot worse!

Our last drill was practicing trail-leg technique by using several closely placed consecutive hurdles. Our task was to snap our trail leg over the edge of the hurdle...and so on, and so on. However, the hurdle at its lowest point is still higher than the length of my inseam making this drill a little more challenging for this not-so-graceful hurdler.

We had already accomplished the majority of our practice before this particular drill began. At this point, I had successfully completed a couple of run-throughs, and I'm sure my focus was starting to dwindle. Practice was starting to wrap up (hurdlers were always the LAST to leave...always!), and the college men's basketball team was starting to congregate around the entrances waiting for their designated practice to begin. Unfortunately for me, we were stationed right by the main doors into the facility and were practically the only athletes left on the track.

I'm not sure if fatigue or distraction led to my demise (although I'm not sure it even mattered after the fact), but I'm sure my punishment didn't match my crime! I miscalculated the hurdle and instead of coming down past the hurdle...I came down directly on top of that fiberglass, didn't-budge-an-inch, hurdle. My tenders never saw it coming!

I crumpled onto that cold, hard track holding my delicacies knowing I just ruined any chance at reproduction in my future. As my young, hot, hurdling coach leaned down beside me to assess my injury, I scurried off the floor and jetted into the locker room where I fell into a ball of tears and choked for air. Another hurdler (a female hurdler- thank goodness!) followed me in to check my status. Unfortunatley, the Trainer was not far behind and insisted that I go into the bathroom stahl to check my injury!! She truthfully wanted to assess the damage as well, but I insisted I could handle it on my own (this was obviously pre-mommyhood, because every healthcare provider under the sun gets to see my secrets when I am pushing a baby out of my tunnel! I've lost the will to care!!).

In the days that followed I was restricted from hurdling (thank God) barely able to even walk, let alone run. And my delicacies have never been so black-and-blue as far as the eye could see!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Got Milk?

We need to address this issue of the out-of-control boobage that happens when I am pregnant and then the subsequent "blossoming" that occurs when I am nursing. I'm not sure what happens...but my barely-able-to-fill-out-an-A-cup boobs are now barely-able-to-be-contained in my "big girl" C-cup (and a Z-cup when I'm nursing!)...and they aren't even working at their full potential yet!

I've been nursing babies or baking them in my mom-oven on and off for the past 13 years (more off than on...but still!) And I still haven't quite figured out what in the world is going on with the boobage that seems to take on a life of its own! And they aren't even for fun... they are all business, honey. In fact, in the first couple weeks of new baby's existence, my boobs seem to expand to sizes of which can only be described as scary...very often being bigger than the babies head!! That's scary people! How would you like that coming at you in the middle of the night?! I'd probably put up a fit too.

What seems to boggle me the most is how un-fun they are! You heard me...NO FUN! Aren't bountiful breasts the most coveted body feature?! (To be truthful, I wouldn't mind getting mine fixed once they've served their time.) Workin' boobs don't resemble a 20-something's bouncy, perky pleasures AT ALL! They are just big, voluptuous, bouncy...and completely in the way. Do you know how hard it is to squeeze those suckers into an athletic bra? Not an easy task. And the hassle of trying to find a sexy big-girl bra is one to which I have since thrown in the towel. And let me tell you, those bad boys need to be harnessed at all times...or somebody might just get hurt!

Now, don't get me wrong, I have always loved nursing my babes...but the boob phenomenon has me dumbfounded. I finally have the voluptuous curves I've long coveted....but it's on a swollen pregnant body or worse, a floppy, jiggly post-baby body. Neither of which are what I have been envisioning! And again, they are for functioning purposes only. Just imagine gettin' it on with the hubster and -oops- sorry about that milk in your eye! NOT VERY SEXY!

It deems repeating...These are workin' girls!!