Monday, April 23, 2012

Dandelion Bouquets, Pockets Full Of Rocks, and Windy's

Motherhood isn't always easy...or enjoyable...or full of gumdrops and rainbows. I often find myself feeling guilty for NOT enjoying all things diapers, tantrums and endless activities. We lift this "motherhood" role up to be the image of perfection. Gentle kisses from mamas to babes, a toddler grasping his mama's hand as they walk through the park, and quiet cuddles on the couch before bedtime. Of course, motherhood is all of those things, but it is also the most labor-intensive (pun intended), dirty, exhausting job a woman will ever have the blessing to do.

Very often I get overwhelmed with my brood of young men, frustrated with their constant, never-ceasing antics, and annoyed that they need my approval and attention for absolutely everything that they do. I complain about never having any "me" time, rarely occupying my throne without witnesses, and the extreme, overwhelming exhaustion that has befallen me this past year sans the hubby. The "mommy?", "mommy!", "mommy" parade grinds my nerves, teenage drama causes me to secretly roll my eyes, and 9 year old jokes seem to have hidden humor that I just don't understand. Tattle tales fill my house and seek my ear for the latest and greatest house-rule debacle. And hiding never seems to work...they smell me out like hound dogs.

Through all of that craziness that can make a mama put Kahlua in her coffee...there is also the sweet, simple moments that keeps us coming back for more. The dandelion bouquet squished in my toddler's hand as he proudly shows me the prized possession he picked especially for me; the pockets full of "special" rocks that make their way into my home and into designated treasure boxes, and the "windy's" that cost an outrageous $4 but provide hours of amazement to my "littles".

Yes, motherhood can be mind-numbingly exhausting...but it is also heart-warmingly intoxicating. From the excitement of bubbles in the backyard to the simplicity of flying kites together, it's all of those simple moments that mother's treasure. My treasure box will be filled with memories of slobbery kisses, dirty little hands that want to be held, late-night teenage talks about girls, and giggles from a 9 year old's jokes. Being a mommy is full of many, many moments...moments that encompass the good, the bad, and yes, even the ugly. But it's what we put in our own treasure boxes that matter most.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Anatomically Correct?

I love making snowmen in the freshly fallen snow, and I think most of us can summon up childhood memories of snowball fights, snow angels, sledding, and snowmen that we lovingly tied scarves around, topped with hats, and adorned with whatever we could find to make a happy, smiling face. You can drive through any neighborhood in the winter months and find front lawns proudly displaying their snowmen. Each looks similar with three tiers of snow atop each other. The only differences are accessories each snowman boasts. Not in my yard, however! My brood of dudes are unique in every...single...way, even down to how they "accessorize" their snowman.

Hence, the snowman to be found in my yard this past January:

Obviously the top carrot is Mr. Snowman's nose, you can't see the rock eyes very well through the "dirty" snow. Blueberries were the mouth (a certain 3 year old ate them, though, before I could snap the picture). And the bottom carrot? Well, this particular snowman is a very well-endowed snowman! Yep, my boys made sure everybody knew this snowman was indeed a MAN. Hence, the "wiener"(my boys' words, not mine!). They proudly insisted mama exit the house to see their snowman...their anatomically correct snowman!!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Let Me Tell You 'Bout the Birds and the Bees

Most of you by this point probably already know a thing or two about the birds and the bees...but what about the birds and the birds?? Don't get all excited...I'm not switching teams or anything crazy like that. I like my men ( Just one man. I love you honey!)  just the same as all of you. But let's be honest, as women we can admit that another woman is beautiful without anyone doubting our femininity or sexuality. Guys aren't allowed that luxury. I doubt any of you have heard your hubby, father, brother, guy-friend talk about how "hot" another man is. He would most assuredly get looks (good and bad, I suppose!) from every direction!

I'm not too proud to admit that there are some hot women out there. And, yes, I have some mom-crushes! (Don't have them too!) I think all of us, men and women, can agree that there are some amazingly gorgeous celeb moms. Anyone can look hot with an entourage of "yes men"! With that said, there are some undeniable freaks of nature that, even as a woman, I don't think I would kick out of bed: Miranda Kerr- um, hello! I hate her...but I secretly want to be her; Heidi Klum- she is nicknamed "the body", need I say any more?!; Brooke Burke- humina, humina, humina!; Halle Berry- she could totally be the chocolate on top of my sundae! I could honestly go on and on. (I'm sure all of you just added 2 or 3 to that's judgment!)

It's unfair for that level of perfection to be the standard, and I'd like to think the universe will get it's revenge someday. What's more unfair, however, is to know actual real moms that could rival some of these beauties! You can find them at the grocery store, little league, soccer fields, and even at your work walking around looking amazing! I love them as people but secretly I wish them acne, stretchmarks and hemorrhoids! Bitterness aside, I still appreciate their beauty...and harbor an ever-so-small crush (all of my mom-friends out there...please don't avoid me like the plague now. Just enjoy the fact that I think you're hot!)!

Face it...the woman as a creature is beautiful (some more so than others...but still!). I can't blame men for being intoxicated by their wonders, wiles, and ways. As women, the cards are clearly stacked in our favor, and our poor guys don't really stand a chance. God clearly broke the mold when he created woman...and as a society, I think we should thank Him for that!

Honestly, there are some women that I want to lick chocolate sauce off of (you do too, you're just too ashamed to admit it!). So the next time you see a hot mama pass your way, just thank her creator...and then curse her with wrinkles and bloating. It only seems fair!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Hey Big Spender

I'm all for new stuff...actually shopping, any kind, seems to soothe me (I think my hubby really hates this idiosyncrasy about me) especially when the hubby is gone on an extended "vacation". Something about the excitement of "new", even if it's as simple as a fun, flirty scarf or dangly, sexy earrings, gives me something on which to focus and consume my mind. However, at some point enough is enough. From day 1 of this "vacation", we have been inundated with expense after expense, problem after problem, unexpected purchase after unexpected purchase (but only one trip to the ER....hmmm...interesting). My hubby tends to grow weaker and weaker every time I swipe our card (I have told you that he is allergic to spending money haven't I?) So I am starting to get very concerned about his health!

Case in Point:

* Leaky skylight (took 7 months to finally get someone to actually fix it...awesome!)
* furnace/air conditioner dying without notice (those were some hot June days!)
* Kitchen light and ceiling fan spontaneously malfunctioning...and smoking (Yikes!)
* new washer and dryer (ok...not totally necessary...wait, they really were)
* new water heater and water softener (ahhh...the luxury of a hot shower!)
* passenger window in the mama-wagon (seriously! $500 so it will go up, down, and up again. Eek! Add mechanic to my brother-hubby list.)

Can anyone else feel my hubby's pulse starting to slow?! I'm seriously worried about him. Deployment is dangerous for one's more ways than one. If a future deployment rears its ugly head again, I may have to plead my hubby's case. We can't possibly afford for him to continue to "vacation" abroad (his wife is wrecking the home!)

You would think after that mega list of mishaps I would be done. Nope! The "Service Engine Soon" light came on in the family vehicle, the driver's side window is now being a beyotch and I fear may need to fixed much in the same way the passenger side was repaired, the tie-rod and shocks need replaced...but I'm tired of throwing money into my mama-wagon, the garage door seems to be on its last days...and I fear that will not be the end of the list since I still have almost a month left before hubby comes home from his extended "vacation".

I would ask "what else could go wrong?" but I'm worried about tempting fate (and my hubby's health)! What if fate sees that statement as a challenge??!? I think fate and Murphy (you know..."Murphy's Law") have a personal vendetta against me.

The next expense I want is for hubby to "spend a little time with me"!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Brother-Hubby Plan

As I sat awake with my babe last night, wishing I was laying flat in my bed sound asleep, I pondered how on earth I was going to successfully tackle this next month on my own. Several evenings require me to be in 2 or 3 (or more!) places at once. Now, I know I'm amazing and all, but how am I going to master teleportation?! It's a conundrum is what it to which I need to find a solution.

A light bulb went off last night sometime between the hours of 2am and 6am. It could quite possibly be delirium induced by severe sleep deprivation but my current state of mind thinks it's brilliant! I'm not sure why I hadn't thought of it before...guess I've been a little busy to indulge myself with spontaneous ingenious plans. It seems obvious now in the light of day what needs to happen. I'm just sorry I didn't think of this 11 months ago!

I need to get myself some sister-wives...actually I need the male brother-hubbies! Isn't that a great idea!? I know all of my military wives that face these same predicaments (being in 2 or more places at once, endless lists of things to do, constant household issues, and exhaustion and stress worthy of a trip to the psych ward) are nodding in agreement right now. How silly that none of us thought of this before! It's perfect! This should just be another step in the process of preparing for deployment: "Equipping spouse's home with ample brother-hubbies"!! Check!

Now...I'm going to have to move quickly on this process since my tour of duty is almost over. I don't want this great idea to go to waste...waste not, want not! With that said, on to requirements. I may be tired, stressed, sleep deprived, and overwhelmed...but I still have standards! I'm going to need 2 or 3 qualified, talented (and hot) applicants. Preferably, I would like at least one to be quite skilled in the handyman area (no...that isn't code for anything...sickos!) I am also going to need one that is great with kids and doesn't mind being awake with the babe all night long. And while I'm making a list, I would really like one to be quite skilled in the kitchen (again...not code for anything...get your heads out of the gutter!) Don't get me wrong, a year without a tune-up, and I am more than eager to reintroduce myself to my one and only, true hubby...but I prefer (as does he) that the brother-hubbies aren't granted that high a level of security clearance. My tune-ups are left to my partner in crime!

I can see no real issues or hiccups in my plan. It's flawless! Flawless, I tell you!! Brother-hubbies are a perfect way to end this deployment. All qualified applicants can send me their resume and references along with a current picture. What's love gotta do with it?! We're talking about survival!

Match. Set. Point. Winner- Crystal. This deployment didn't know what hit it!

*Obviously this is more humorous than serious (although, part of me thinks it's a great idea). Please DO NOT send me your information. Take a joke crazies!! Although, David Beckham, if you are reading this, you don't even need to apply...just come on over!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Just A Moment

Ah! The spring is upon us here in the Black Hills....and I love it. The smell of the fresh cut grass and families grilling in the neighborhood. The feel of the warm sunshine on my skin. The sound of the birds singing and children playing. It is a pleasure to my senses. For just a moment today I had the privilege of sitting quietly outside...all by myself. Just sitting...feeling the sunshine, listening to the birds, and watching the clouds dance across the ever-so-blue sky. Only a moment...

Every season offers something new to behold. A new treasure to be found in the midst of the change. Here, the spring promises longer days, brisk nights, and evenings filled with hustle and bustle to and from baseball. Far off are the lazy days of summer that we will bask ourselves in. Now is consumed with schedules and busy-ness...and far too few quiet, gentle moments.

But just for a moment on this Easter weekend, I sat by myself. The moment was fleeting and quickly interrupted by my crew, but for only a moment I breathed in the new, spring air letting it fill my lungs. The slight chill in the air was refreshing. And in that far-too-short moment I watched the clouds travel gently across the perfectly blue sky as I listened to the excited and constant songs of the birds busying themselves in the trees. Just for a was quiet and calm. A perfect stolen moment to renew and refresh my spirit...a spirit that has been broken and tired. A spirit that has been certain that God mistakenly laid this burden on the wrong woman. Just a small, secret moment...where I saw and was gently reminded of the perfection in God's everything...

Even if for only a was a moment that God had my attention...a moment that a King held His princess...and moment in the presence of God. Maybe a moment is all it really takes...

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Truth, The Whole Truth, and Nothing But The Truth

We may say that the truth is the best policy...but do we always believe that statement. The truth isn't always what it's cracked up to be. It can be dirty, harsh, and a little messy. And when it comes to telling the truth about emotions, frustrations, and fears surrounding a deployment, I think the truth is best left somewhere in between black and white. I can't speak for all military families but I know mine prefers to leave "the truth of the matter" in the background. But lately, I've been struggling...and I'm too sleep deprived and over extended to attempt to put on my strong, brave face and conquer the world today. So I'm about to purge a whole lot of truth. You might want to turn back now!

I'm tired. I'm lonely. I'm tired of being lonely. I'm exhausted from holding up the world. I'm overwhelmed from the never-ending list of things to do that I never seem to have time to address. If one more thing goes wrong, breaks, or otherwise malfunctions I am going to lose what's left of my sanity. And quite frankly, I'm not nearly as strong as everyone thinks I am.

Nothing about this twelve month deployment has been fast or easy. The last month is just as hard as the first, the fifth, and the ninth. It may have gone quickly for those around me...that statement is best kept to yourself. Because for my boys and I, THIS HASN'T GONE FAST! I miss my husband Not one day have I NOT thought about him, wondered what he was doing, worried about his safety, and prayed for his return. His absence affects our daily, hour-by-hour lives...I'm just really good at making YOU think I've got this all under control. My smile and brave face isn't for anyone other than my five princes who are forging this journey with me.

And after I'm done feeling sorry for my tired, over-extended, out-of-shape, would-sell-my-soul-for-a-nap self...I feel guilty for complaining. Because, quite frankly, my hubby would slay dragons to be here to ease my stress and take on the burdens I face here at home. He would face the evils of Hell to have these last 11 months back with his children and to have been present for the birth of his fifth son. And for that, my heart grieves...for every moment of the last 328 days that my boys have missed their daddy and their daddy has missed them. Make no mistake...these last 37 days will be just as hard as the rest.

Make no mistake.