A place by no means "perfect", but full of life and all the lovely mess that goes with it.Read More
8:33am I am going to take my pants off. And, I think it's probably a really good idea to remove my diaper.
8:40amNobody has noticed that I'm awake so I think I will stand up and pee in my crib.
8:43amThat was so cool so now I am going to pee on my blankets too.Read More
Standing perfectly still in the dewy meadow was a majestic deer.
His large, velvety eyes blinked as his ears moved back and forth. His breath hung above his head in tiny clouds. He was beautiful and perfect, but most of all, he was there for our eyes to see.
"Deer", I barely whispered, scared I would make a sound and awake from a dream. We seemed to all fall together against the window, pressing our hands against the cool panes. We watched him in silence until he turned toward the forest. He took a few powerful bounds, and was gone.Read More
I arrived home from my girls' getaway weekend to South Beach well over a month ago. I think I wrote the following post, like 3 weeks ago, and now I am just hitting "publish". Good timeline right?! No, I didn't lose my computer or go off the grid. It's just, y'know, life. Regardless of my excuses, here are my thoughts and brief reflections on my brief escape, finally..Read More
So, instead of putting a band-aid on, I am pulling one off! I am doing something I have been too afraid to do... go. I just had never gone anywhere since I first heard, "It's a boy!" almost six years ago. I think when we get too comfortable, we need to make a change. We need to challenge ourselves. We need to buy the ticket. As moms, we are always giving ourselves away, often to the point there is nothing left to give. I don't want to get there. I don't want my cup to be empty.Read More
In the blink of an eye, they will be wriggling out of your arms. And, before you know it, you will be called just "Mom", and then sometimes "Megan" and then "Grandma". They are growing up. By the day, the hour, even the second. This morning may have been the last time my baby called her big brother "Da chi". That may have been your last time sitting in the carpool line. Tomorrow may be the last time your pre-tween son lays his head on your shoulder. And we may have just been too busy to notice. We may be so consumed with the craziness of life, that the "substance of life" just slipped through our fingers.Read More
Well, after I saw that video I didn't eat much of anything for quite some time. It's painfully obvious this little girl is me, just sort of grown up now. I still "talk" to animals, now I can just blame it on my kids if a rogue neighbor happens to appear in my yard. Yes. I was a vegetarian. I couldn't bring myself to eat an animal that had lived a life in squalor and filth, perhaps never even knowing that sunshine existed. I have always believed that some animals were created to be consumed. I believe in the forces of nature and the cycle of life. I know that animals must one day die, perhaps at the hands of man or another predator. I just don't know how to justify treating living creatures as objects. I don't know how to enjoy eating something that lived a life of misery.Read More
So there we were. Just a few moms huddled together in a cozy, little cafe on a cold January morning. We brought with us; sticky I Phones, 2 babies, a few hours of sleep, a lot of under-eye bags, and things to confess... "I realized this morning that my kids haven't had a bath in 6 days."
"I spanked somebody today."
"I locked myself in the closet and cried."
"I threatened everyone in the house this morning. Even the dog."
"We had the morning from hell."
"My boys were up late last night watching Rocky IV."
We weren't discussing anything out of the ordinary. Really just an average Tuesday morning. Albeit a bit more rough than usual, but a regular 'ol Tuesday none-the-less. The babies were surprisingly quiet and occupied with their snacks, and we moms sat back and chugged our coffee. And laughed. At each other. At ourselves. At anyone who might think we were nuts. An unspoken acceptance existed around that table. We didn't whisper. We didn't explain anything or make excuses. We didn't edit the truth worried that someone might judge us. The coffee and the confessions flowed.
"This time of year I have to call in for some medicinal reinforcements."
"My van could be condemned."
"My kitchen sink could be condemned."
It sure feels good to get things off your chest. And what feels even better? Not having to apologize or make an excuse about any of it. We all know that we love our children more than life itself and we put our families first, no matter what. There is no question about that. So, the rest is just life. The dirty van, the unused tub, the empty bottle of Xanax. The kids are happy and healthy. They are safe and loved. Does it get a little ugly ensuring that they feel like this? Oh yeah. Real ugly sometimes. But they won't know it. We moms do. So we gather around the table with our buttered toast and our tales of horror. We "laugh" each other up instead of putting anyone down. There is nothing to explain. We know.
Another thing I know... I don't really do a "New Year's Resolution". I just figure I am sort of a year round work-in-progress. I already have so many daily resolutions, that I don't think I can handle adding a bunch of new potentially unattainable goals. Most days, I try to focus on little things like... Provide meals for offspring. Remember, the laundry pile is not trying to suffocate you in your sleep. Do not check work emails at 3am, but Bravo shows on DVR are totally acceptable. Keep the children alive. Wear shoes. Instead of some sort of official "resolution", I think I am just going to go with this new flow... NO EXCUSES. I mean.... I am not making excuses for ANYTHING. My kitchen doesn't look like Food Network set? Hmmm, maybe it's since people actually live here. You see me pumping gas while eating lunch (yes, it happened). I multi-task, okay!? You see me barefoot to pick my kids up from school? I can guarantee you there is a good reason. Like, perhaps the hot coals I just walked across after lunch. Don't believe me? Who cares. I promise that no matter what I do, I have put my children and family first. And my dignity second. Well, not entirely, I rarely leave the house without makeup. Shoes missing, maybe. But not makeup.
And I would like to extend the same courtesy to you, whoever you are. Don't explain anything to me. Don't make an excuse for why your 2-year-old is laying face down on the sidewalk. I already know. And I don't mind one bit. You can look at me in the grocery parking lot and shrug, I get it. I will offer you a smile, or a hand with your bags. Next time, the "gravel muncher" will be one of mine. If you are a mom, I just go ahead and assume you are just like me. Often a bit of a mess, sometimes a rock star, occasionally barefoot. But always, without a doubt, 120% of the time, doing it all for the love of your little ones. So, no apologies, no explanations, no excuses. The only excuse I will possibly entertain... is the kind where you lament why you are 15 minutes late to meet me for coffee. I get it, it's called life. So, fill your cup and tell me all about what happened this morning.
'Twas the Night Before Thanksgiving, and all through the house,
kids were peeing and pooping,
and I was throwing candy out.
I was told that it was the meanest thing I could "ever do",
and meanwhile Baby Girl was chewing a stick of glue.
While I glared at the blurry Christmas cards I'd ordered with a pout,
and called customer service a brutal Brother fight broke out.
Little Brother was cross when I told him to stay,
right there in the den, no talking, no play.
So cross in fact, he decided to pee
all over the carpet and floor to upset me.
He had to stand in his puddle and was handed a towel,
and as I did the dishes I smelled something foul.
Baby Girl had decided to remove her diaper,
and a trail of little poop-lettes were scattered beside her.
I cleaned up the poop and scooped her to the stairs in a whirl,
Big Brother touched the gate too hard and it fell on on Baby Girl.
The baby jumped headfirst right into the bath,
while I stood there beside her as one second passed.
Meanwhile I heard some shrieks down the hall,
some Brothers thought it was fun to throw pillows and into a bathtub to fall.
Next thing I know I begin to hear screaming,
and banging and pounding, please tell me I'm dreaming!
An epic battle of suckers-in-Ziplocs had ensued,
and Little Brother was crying that Big Brother was a "bad dude"!
And through his red hair I could see a big knot.
Was this the 4th, or 5th, or 10th time they'd fought?!
I calmed them all down and went straight to my work,
dusting, and cleaning, and chopping while the kids danced and "twerked".
Trying to get this madhouse ready for the big Turkey Day,
while dreaming that the kids are all in bed after an evening of quiet play.
But the truth is... it's dinner, and diapers, and craziness right through bedtime.
And I know how things will seem later as we open some wine...
I will feel my heart fill with love, as I turn out their light
that I have my little trouble-makers to be grateful for this 'Before-Thanksgiving-Night'!
The sun is just peering above the treeline and the air is already thick and wet with Indiana August. I stretch and pause at the edge of my bed just as I have 2,098 other times in this home. But this time it is different. This time it is the last.Read More
15. You say things like, "I don't think we could make it there by noon on Saturday. That's a little too early." 14. You like your house to be clean and organized.
13. It takes you a while to realize that when your sister said 3 different people needed her assistance last night, at varying intervals, covered in their own feces, she wasn't on a shift at a nursing home.
12. You believe that Pottery Barn Kid's diaper changing tables are so expensive because they actually change the baby's diaper for you.
11. You are confused to find out that you really can't take a baby into a bar.
10. You see a haggard-looking woman with 2 kids in their pajamas and another screaming on the curb outside the grocery store and believe that she is homeless.
9. You think a case of diapers costs less than a case of beer.
8. You are not aware that there is a chance that words like "cervix", "mucous plug", and "hooter hider" may be part of your daily conversation.
7. You think that when your friends-with-kids say they "Had a blast in Disney World!" that they are joking.
6. When you hear others complaining about potty training issues with their 3-year-old, you boast how you had your dog potty trained in 3 weeks.
5. You enjoy sitting down with your family and friends for a meal without screaming, crying, child-wrangling, cleaning peas out of bodily crevices, or vomit.
4. You think only surgeons are capable of pulling a craft fuzzball out of a toddler's nose with tweezers, while scanning through the DVR.
3. You have mailed holiday cards with your pet in an outfit on more than 4 occasions.
2. You occasionally park in the "Expecting Mothers" spot at the store, stuff a sweater in your shirt, and run inside to buy vodka.
1. You enjoy sleeping.
So, here is the thing about life with little ones and a mom who suffers from perpetual "mom brain". Some days seem as smooth as glass, and some days, well, go a little something like this... 3:30am Suddenly wake up from a deep sleep with a surge of design ideas for new house we will be moving to in a couple of months.
4:15am Fabulous design ideas are replaced by dark, looming thoughts about how much work we have to do before moving.
4:35am Dark, looming thoughts are replaced by frustration that I cannot go back to sleep.
4:55am Fall back asleep.
5:02am Baby girls cries out.
5:05 Decide to move alarm clock time from 6am to 6:15am. Every little bit helps, right?
6:15am Tear myself out of my super cozy, comfy bed and begin working on packing up the house, clean base boards, drink coffee, do yoga in the garage, shower, feed baby, check email, and play with Baby Girl.
9:00am Leave a little early to meet my in-laws and pick up Big Brother and Little Brother who had a sleepover. So early in fact, I have time for Starbucks.
9:11am Pick up a steaming cup of Starbucks, turn up the radio so I can sing to Baby Girl since she doesn't complain, and hit the road. Life is good.
9:12am Glance at gas tank.
9:13am Interrupt singing to begin swearing at myself. The tank is on empty.
9:28am Roll in on fumes to closest gas station.
9:29am Realize my purse and wallet are at home. Of course, I didn't notice this earlier since I used a gift card I have conveniently stowed in my car.
9:30am Call Mother in Law and begin lamenting about how uncooperative my brain is. In-Laws decide it would be fastest (and probably safest) for them to just drive all the way to my house.
11:02am The Brothers are safely home and already outside trying to capture birds with their empty laundry baskets.
11:14am While changing Baby Girl's diaper on the couch, I find myself lost in deep thoughts about kitchen wall colors in our new house.
11:15am Something wet is running down my leg.
11:16am Snap out of my interior design fantasy and realize Baby Girl has peed all over herself, the couch, me, and it has dribbled down to the carpet. She thinks this is hilarious and I am wondering why I was changing a diaper on a couch.
11:20am Clean up, lunch, feed Baby Girl, pack, home-staging, bribe everyone into the car with the promise of playing with new bubble machine this afternoon.
12:12pm Pull into a parking spot in our quaint little downtown. Husband is going to take the boys for ice cream while I run to a doctor's appointment with Baby Girl.
12:13pm As Big Brother hops out of the car, he announces "Beautiful day! Sure is a nice breeze!" A group of women look up from their Bible study and smile.
12:15pm As I pull Baby Girl out of the car, the women respond with, "Oooohh! Aaaah! Adorable!"
12:16pm Then comes Little Brother. As he jumps out of the van, his red hair gleaming in the sun, he excitedly shouts, "Let's pretend we are big kids and that we love beer!" The women gasp. I see their eyes narrow and turn to look at me, Mother Of The Year.
12:43pm While waiting on the doctor I receive text from husband explaining that Big Brother was licking the glass barrier over the ice cream bins and informed the staff that he was spelling his name with his tongue.
1:47pm After a quick trip to the library that involved only a small incident of The Brothers making a shuffleboard game with DVDs, all kids are home and preparing for "quiet time". I even tell Little Brother that he can rest on the couch today instead of napping in his room.
2:08pm Little Brother begins moaning and groaning that we are being too loud. He sounds like an old man as he grunts and tries to get comfortable on the couch.
2:24pm Little Brother continues his complaining as he tries to get comfortable on the floor, "Are you kidding me!? C'mon. Are you kidding me?! Everything is so loud!"
2:55pm Still trying
3:25pm And still trying
4:00pm Once Husband is home, run with Big Brother to CVS since the bubble machine didn't come with batteries.
4:05pm Big Brother asks me at CVS checkout, "How in the world did the cash register guy get that big nasty ring in his nose?"
4:08pm Engage in deep conversation with Big Brother about other people's feelings in the car. I glance in rear view mirror for his reaction. He is licking the window.
4:15pm Walk into family room to find Little Brother sound asleep.
5:00pm Begin trying to wake up Little Brother.
5:45pm Little Brother is finally somewhat awake and laying on the floor mumbling, "C'mon, are you guys kidding me?! C'mon!"
6:30pm Pack the whole fam in the car and head to neighborhood concert.
7:00pm Little Brother is laying face down on the blanket instead of running around like a crazy person.
7:15pm Little Brother is still laying face down. I check his forehead and he feels like he is burning up.
7:17pm I inform Husband that I will be heading home with the younger 2 and he is in charge of Big Brother's well-being. I ask where Big Brother is. Husband is unsure.
7:20pm A neighbor asks if the soaking wet, barefoot kid wrestling with his friend in a drainage ditch is Big Brother. Husband and I reply, "Definitely" with our proudest smiles.
7:25pm Arrive home, discover Little Brother's temperature is 102! Administer Tylenol, give baths, jammies, and get him in bed.
7:45pm Baby Girl is starving! I grab a bottle and can't find a burp cloth so I snatch the closest thing I can find... a pair of the boys' underwear. At least they are clean.
8:20pm Big Brother is calling from his room that he feels fine and wants to play. Begin evening negotiations.
8:40pm Still negotiating with Little Brother who marches into the hallway, shouts, "Mommy! I don't even know you anymore!" and slams his bedroom door. Darn Tylenol.
9:30pm Husband and Big Brother arrive home after chasing a loose dog around the neighborhood.
10:00pm Finally have Big Brother in bed when I hear Little Brother announcing that he has to go poopy.
10:03pm Husband informs Little Brother that he will be wiping him tonight. I am downstairs hiding in the hall closet with red wine.
10:07pm Little Brother shouts that he appreciates that Daddy wiped him, but he has "Made another piece of poopy so that Mommy can wipe me because I love her so much!"
It sure is nice to be loved that much. Now goodnight everybody and let's do this all over again tomorrow, with a little less "mom brain", limited bathroom and beer references, and a lot of love.
Hi Mama, it's me, your 4 month old. It's 6:00am and I know I usually sleep until 8:00am, but today I felt like getting up early and blowing bubbles and working on my new shriek noises. I hope you don't mind. You do look a little flustered, trying to get everybody's lunches made, and shower, and make breakfast, and pack up your computer for work, and get my brothers dressed for school on time. I just wanted to see you because I love how you smell and I love YOU. I think I will tell you why...
Thank you for growing me in your tummy. For letting it stretch and itch and not be able to fit behind the steering wheel. Thank you for wearing that full-leg compression hose all last summer, pretty cute, right!? Thanks for gaining all that weight and not really caring, since it was for me. Thanks for giving up craft beer for 10 months. Ouch, I know.
Thanks for letting me take my time being born. I just wasn't really sure if I wanted to leave my quiet, peaceful water world. Thanks for walking for 2 days. Around the basement, the stairs, at Meijer, the mall, the hospital halls with a bag of apples. Sorry my hand was above my head and I got stuck on your pubic bone. I heard a lot of muffled yelling and shouting, but then I came out and I heard Daddy clearly screaming, "It's a girl!" And then I heard you cry. Happy cry.
Thank you for all those diaper changes. Sorry I had a blowout at 4am and it shot across the room. I know you had to clean the picture frames in the dark. I feel badly, but they were just of my brothers.
Thank you for letting me have my own room. I was getting kind of sick of everybody's snoring in your room. No offense. Now, how about my own bathroom? I see you cleaning the toilet in my brothers' loo like everyday. I hope their aim in sports is better.
Thank you for coming in my nursery 4 times last night. I know you don't like doing that, but I really wanted my paci so I cried a little bit.
Thank you for my Daddy, I just love it when he comes home. Do you see how he likes it when I bat my eyes at him? Last week he slow danced with me in the family room to "Daughter" by Loudon Wainwright III. I hope he will dance with me to that song at my wedding some day.
Thank you for my big brothers. Why do they spend so much time jumping off of furniture and taking their shirts off? They say they will protect me from bad guys forever so I feel pretty lucky. Even if they are always talking about potty stuff and building forts out of the couch cushions when you turn your back. Whoops, did I say that?
Thank you for packing all that stuff for me all the time. Why do you think I need so many things every where we go? Don't I just need you? Umm, I thought you might need to know that Little Brother just took glue, a shoe horn, and 2 rolls of toilet paper out of the closet. Not quite sure what that means.
Thanks for always laughing and talking to me in those crazy voices and making silly faces. I do really like it, but you could tone it down a bit. I'm just sayin.
Thank you for taking a billion pictures of me. I'm just gonna say it... I look pretty much the same today as I did yesterday, so back off. Plus, I am starting to think you are secretly taping me all night on the Dropcam thing. I guess if I had a baby this cute I would be recording and preserving every single, adorable second too.
Thank you for all my grandparents and aunts and uncles. I can't really eat much yet, but I heard from some certain older siblings that they pretty much let you eat whatever you want and shower you with gifts and let you stay up late. Sounds pretty sweet.
Thank you for always feeding me. Then you always hold me and say, "Never grow up!" But, then I hear you talking about how happy you are I put on weight with the doctor. So confusing.
Thank you for always singing those pretty songs to me. Your voice is... mediocre at best. But it's your voice. So to me, it's the best voice in the whole world.
Thank you for all these play things and toys. I really can't use half of them and the songs are getting pretty lame, but at least it's something to do when the boys aren't around. Is there a reason they are all manufactured out of like 50 different colors? Yikes! Oh, by the way, I just saw Big Brother take an entire bag of pretzels and a can opener out of the pantry and head upstairs.
Thank you for holding me all the time. I just really love it. You are so cozy and always know just what I need. I just love to pull on your hair and feel your skin. You have to know that I am going to eventually grow up, right?! I'll tell you what, let's make a deal. You keep doing the best job you can being my Mommy, and I will grow up. But, I will always be your baby.
Ok, deal too. Now will you just hold me until I go to sleep Mommy? Cuz if you don't I am probably going to start crying really loud and wake my brothers.
Ahhh, I love laying here in your arms. You look pretty tired, maybe you should go to sleep too. I will just be real quiet most of the night, but I might cry for my paci once or twice so that you come in to see me. Because I love you.
Recovering from Spring Break...
Super heroes watching Mickey Mouse...
Thinking of excuses why I don't need to unpack #3 out of 4 suitcases.
Getting ready for Easter. See an easy and FREE Easter decorating idea here!
Working hard in the office...
Yes folks, this is my office. It also used to be known as a family room. Now it is a recreation of the beach, according to some toddlers.
What's trending in your nest today?
It's that time of year again. Spring break!!! Or as many moms think of it... Just another week, but with an exorbitant amount of sand, close quarters, and a really small washing machine. No matter what you call it, or whether you are traveling to Fiji or enjoying a "stay-cation", it is a week of no school and hopefully some days off for Mom and Dad. Needless, to say, the additional passenger in every family's car or plane is... the smart phone. I am openly "technically challenged", but still more often than not, find myself always with a little 6 oz electronic addiction in my hand. I will not be controlled by a bunch of wires and over-priced plastic! I am going to beat this addiction with a good old-fashioned family vacation! Sans electronics. No phones, no laptops, no nothing. Okay, except for the plane. The kids can use approved electronic devices on the plane. But, this is strictly for the safety of other passengers. Every year we travel down south to Longboat Key, Florida. A tropical little island paradise with gleaming white beaches and azure foamy waves. I have gone there for spring break every year since I was 5 years old. And for 25 fabulous years, I had a lovely, relaxing time. Then one year, we had a stowaway. He was a little 20 pound butterball that woke up 3 times a night and successfully ended every dinner out by competing for "world's longest high pitch shriek". This little condo-crasher seemed to think the whole vacation revolved around him! He was wide awake and ready to take on the day, every morning by 4:30am, and his only beach skills involved being able to stuff an entire fist-full of sand into his tiny mouth.
Gone were the days of basking in the afternoon sun and staying up late at the tiki bar. Gone were the days of actual...vacation. Of course, it was great to be away from work, but, wait a second! This was kind of harder than work! My clients didn't usually wake me up during the night, spill my beverages, or poop in a diaper. It probably didn't help that I was 10 weeks pregnant with #2. So, no liquid comforts. I couldn't drink alcohol, but my husband and I were definitely consuming a big 'ol dose of reality. We realized that just like the first months of parenthood, we were wildly unprepared for the changes that came along with a new baby, on vacation.
Fast forward a few years, and we are sitting with our lounge chairs sinking into the tide. The sun is setting and we are sipping frosty Coronas. Two sun-kissed little boys run and dip into the waves, wielding their sand shovels. Our little boys. We have figured it out. How to vacation with kids. It's different then vacation used to be, it's harder to enjoy at times and a lot more work. But it is much, much more fulfilling. We learned that once you are a parent, it's just not always about you. It's usually about them, and more importantly... it's about time together as a family. Even if that time is spent removing sand from all sorts of crevices. Even if your "basking in the sun" is about 14 minutes on the deck while everyone is briefly asleep at the same time. Even if, you eat dinner out so early that the tiki bar isn't even open yet. Vacation with kids is about learning, observing, sharing, and adjusting. It's about the adults taking turns. It's about finding the peaceful moments to sit and soak in the memories. Before someone has a fight over a beach bucket. You won't remember how cold the surf feels the 11th time you go to the sandbar in a row. You won't remember what you ate out at dinner, or if you even did. But you will remember dancing in the sand with your little ones to a steel drum band. You will remember watching your child cautiously find their way closer and closer to the waves, building their confidence and forging a life-long love of the sea, just as you did. You will remember your first trips to the shore, and for a few days, you will begin to be a child again. You will dig in the sand, forgetting about your manicure. You will search for the perfect shell and chase the sand pipers. You will fall asleep, your hair soaking with salty water, wrapped in a Disney beach towel.
Most importantly, they will remember. Your children will remember watching the golden sun melt into the ocean, with you. They will remember special morning walks with just Daddy along the shore and spotting a school of dolphins. They will remember that first sunburn and the smell of the cool aloe as Mommy spreads it across their arms. They won't remember if they had to go to timeout for kicking sand at their brother, but they will remember how they loved the warm days, together. Distraction. Isn't that really what a vacation is? A distraction from your daily life, a chance to escape some of the monotony? I know I use my phone as a distraction. I just don't want to distract myself from my vacation. So, au revoir phone!
I can absolutely promise you, that you will not remember that awesome YouTube video you are watching while your daughter finds a perfect conch shell. I can assure you, that voice mail from work is not as important as riding the waves with your son. I am positive that the Facebook news feed will not bring you as much satisfaction as filling your spouse's empty hand with your own. We will get used to our lack of electronics, just as we did to braving the security line with toddlers. Vacationing with kids is about enjoying, adjusting and growing. And being able to laugh at yourself when you need to(have you ever changed a blowout in an airplane bathroom?) But most importantly, being present. Be there, with your family, and don't miss a single sunset.
So please join us as we give ourselves the gift of a technology-free vacation. Don't let your children remember you on the beach with your face buried in your I-Phone. Use it to capture a picture of them buried in the white sand, change your profile picture to this new memory, and then... put it away.
Safe travels everyone! Enjoy your time together!
Playing new game called, "mean animals". Involves crawling around and howling as a pack of wolves and speaking in very mean voices. I get to be the three-legged wolf with 1 eye who carries about 30 beanie babies back and forth to our "mean wolf den".Read More
Last Thursday was just like any other cold, snowy winter Thursday here in Indiana. Maybe your Thursday went a little something like mine. Or maybe you think I am totally crazy. Either way, here is what happened... 4:55am Hear Baby Girl crying in nursery
5:35am Finish feeding, diaper change, and swaddling
5:40am Perform yoga moves on nursery floor
6:00am Fall back asleep in bed
6:35am 4-year-old wakes up
7:00am 3-year-old wakes up
7:01am I am in denial that they are awake and continue to lay in bed. Hear husband head downstairs so I can doze. God bless him!
8:00am Notice that Big Brother looks pretty crummy for the 10th day in a row. Miss call-in-hour at doctors office
8:00am-8:30am Make breakfasts, distribute medicine, start laundry load #1, unload dishwasher, chug coffee, pillage pantry for healthy breakfast
8:30am Call doctor and get 10am appointment
8:35am-9:15am Talk incessantly to The Brothers about being ready to leave for doctor on time, feed baby, change everybody's clothes, pack bag, clean kitchen, argue with The Brothers about cleaning up the "airport" they built out of the couch cushions, realize I am in my pajamas...
9:18am Little Brother removes clothes because being "cold is my favorite". Refuses to put on any clothes besides Cincinnati Reds shorts and t-shirt he has been wearing since last June
9:27am Little Brother is still laying naked on floor
9:30am 2 outa 3 in car and ready to leave on time. Bribe Little Brother into clothing himself and getting into car. He refuses to get in car seat until his hair is, "how I like it". I submit to brushing his red hair into a comb over
9:50am Arrive at parking lot 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Excited to beat other 10am appointment people to the check-in window
9:51am Realize there is absolutely no where to park due to construction
9:52am Stalk lady sitting in pickup truck holding the "Vehicles with Small Children" spot hostage
9:53am Give up on evil woman in truck ever moving and park in Illinois
9:56am Hobble with infant car seat, bag, and 2 toddlers to pickup truck
9:57am Walk up to lady in truck and administer death stare
9:58am Notice other mom with 3 kids running into office building. Begin dragging my offspring across the parking lot
10:00am Admit failure and sign in behind other family
10:01am Try to find corner of waiting room at least 3 feet away from any of the 18 kids that are coughing
10:02am Begin prayer that The Brothers do not start chanting, "Money Money Money!!!" while beating on the fish tank like our last visit
10:10am The Brothers stare at older boys crawling around waiting room and screaming. They are either in shock, or getting ideas.
10:16am Notice Big Brother is standing in the middle of room, picking his nose and eating it
10:24am Begin to realize that everyone else is getting called in before us
10:27am Little Brother begins talking to random people and telling them that the other little boys in the waiting room are "really bad and mean people"
10:32am Little Brother asks me, "is my hair like I like it?" for the 20th time. Yes, your comb over looks amazing
10:46am Finally get called back for 10am appointment!
11:30am Finally leave doctor's office and coast home on fumes since everyone is screaming that they are starving and I don't think we (I) can make it to a gas station. Safely.
11:45am The Brothers now say they are not hungry and that they want to play outside. It is the warmest day in about 4 months so I agree. Big Brother swears he feels all better. This would have been useful information earlier in the morning
11:55am Make lunches, clean bottles, get laundry load #2 going, constantly check on boys out the window
12:03pm Realize The Brothers have been climbing a snow hill and are soaking wet and covered in gravel
12:04pm Baby is screaming
12:06pm Nimbly dress The Brothers in snow pants, change socks, coats, hats, gloves and boots while in squatting position with baby in Bjorn. At least 1 squat is done for today
12:10pm Feed baby in dining room so I can watch The Brothers jump in giant mud puddles
12:30pm Walk in 32 circles around cul-de-sac with baby in Bjorn for exercise
12:55pm - 1:20pm Undress and re-dress The Brothers, feed children, cleanup, change poop diaper, entertain Baby Girl, start laundry load #3 and #4
1:25pm Realize I am eating sandwich that fell on the floor that I meant to throw in trash can
1:35pm Lure Little Brother up to his room for naps with his Cincinnati Reds outfit
1:36pm Little Brother informs me that he will probably "only get up 5 or 6 times to pee during naps"
1:45pm Big Brother promises to stay upstairs for quiet time and not come down until the secret message is enabled (a Jake and the Neverland Pirate ship at the top of the stairs is the signal that it is safe to come downstairs)
2:14pm I hear suspicious noises coming from the pantry. Either Big Brother is performing one of his famous and stealthy "pantry sneaks" or we have a very large rat on our hands
2:17pm "Catch" Big Brother with large bowl of cereal sitting behind a curtain in master bedroom. Not surprisingly, he acts like he just doesn't know how this big bowl of cereal got upstairs. "It was probably Chippy." That's our Elf on the Shelf. It's February dude, he has been back at the North Pole for weeks.
2:57pm Pretend to be asleep on couch as I hear Big Brother coming downstairs for a second offense
2:59pm Big Brother gets as close to my face as he possibly can and asks 12 times, "Are you asleep? Are you asleep? Are you asleep?"
3:45pm Both brothers are allowed to get up. Apparently they are upset that I wouldn't let them eat cookies and have staged a coup
4:00pm Realize I have been barricaded from Big Brothers room
4:03pm-4:35pm Feed Baby Girl, make dinner, continue loads of laundry #s I don't remember, balance check book, call cable, refill prescriptions, do 5 minutes of pilates with Baby Girl on my stomach. Briefly think how cute it is to hear The Brothers playing so nicely upstairs
4:41pm Glance in mirror and notice I only put mascara on 1 eye
4:44pm Realize it is WAY too quiet upstairs
Oh. That's why.
I have been barricaded from the room due to my unwillingness to provide chocolate chip cookies.
5:30pm-6:30pm The Evening Hustle. Husband comes home from work sick. Make dinner, feed Baby Girl, maybe I did laundry, make school lunches, might have cleaned up
6:30pm Sit at dinner table with 2 tiny food critics. I gently explain that what we have for dinner is what is on our plates. No, I will not be getting chocolate chip waffles. Big Brother asks why I am so grumpy and Little Brother "accidentally" throws his plate on the ground.
7:00pm-8:00pm The Bedtime Hustle. Tubby time, try to wrestle with boys since daddy isn't feeling well, feed Baby Girl, PJs, break up fight over which bedtime story to read, distribute medicines, potty one last time, fill humidifiers, ensure proper night lights are activated, prayers, and final tuck in.
8:09-8:27pm Silence. Eerie silence.
8:28pm Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Little Brother is up and back at it. In our efforts to enforce our "you only get tucked in once" rule. We ignore him.
8:35pm He is still calling for me so we decide to investigate.
8:36pm Find Little Brother standing in the bathroom with no pants on and bath towels covering the floor. He informs us that he "accidentally pooped while he was going pee pee and hid the poopy."
8:37pm Begin exciting scavenger hunt for poopy hidden under bath towels
8:40pm During poopy hunt, Little Brother informs us that he also happened to step in it and walk down the hallway
8:41pm Husband cleans up hershey trail from hallway, cleans up Little Brother, brings new load of towels down to be washed and tucks him in, one last time. Ensures him it was just an accident and is no big deal, and that yes, his hair is like he likes it so there is no need to sleep sitting up
8:55pm Hear Big Brother calling "Mommy" from his room. I lean over him and remind him I've already tucked him in and he needs to get some sleep. He yawns and asks,
"Can you tell me a really good story about Jesus and chocolate chip cookies?"
I weave a brilliant and captivating tale involving these two subjects, say an extra prayer, tell him the crescent moon is out watching over him, kiss his little forehead, and creep out of his room as he sighs. Probably already dreaming about Jesus. And chocolate chip cookies.
Wow! I cannot believe how many moms, dads, grandmas, and grandpas, read my most recent post composed of foggy thoughts made clear one night around 4am. I just thought a few people might read it and relate. I had hoped I could just make somebody smile. I had NO IDEA millions of people would come across my story. So many mommys said, "I needed that". That they were up with a sick child, exhausted, or at their wit's end. That they are a single mother trying to play both parenting roles and unsure of themselves. A stay-at-home dad. Those who still need their mommys, and talk to them in Heaven. That they were a grandma who just needed a memory of holding her 1st child while listening to broadcasts as The Bay of Pigs unfolded. I think we all just need a little reassurance that we are not alone. That we are doing the best we can. That somewhere out there in the dark night, some other parent is up rocking their colicky baby. The needs I spoke of in this post were the basic physical needs of young children. And I know there are oh so many more. Many more experiences and adventures to come in this journey of parenthood. I can't wait for the memory-making to unfold like the pages of a book. I think I am only at about Chapter 3. I pray there are 100. Thank you for visiting my page. Thank you for sharing your advice and tears. Thank you. I am honored. What do I need? Well, I often need a kick in the rear. Or a glass of red wine. I need the sunshine to come out (pretty rare here in Central Indiana these days). I also need a maid, but I don't think that is going to happen either. I know for sure I need my mommy. I need her to watch my baby so I can get out of the house or just to join me on a trip to the mall. I need my dad to be a different male role model to my boys than my husband. One that is full of train rides and trips to Steak N Shake. I need my sister to pick up my oldest from pre-school and take him to her house to bake cupcakes. Most of all I need my husband. To be my boys' "superhero", and mine. I have been a parent for just 4 and 1/2 short years. I need wisdom. From my mom, my mother-in-law, my cousins, friends, from you.
I am counting on my children needing me in their teen years. Just as I needed my mom to stop me from leaving the house with ridiculous hair or take me to the dermatologist's office for my acne. I assume they will need their dad just like I needed mine to walk with me along the beach in Florida as a child, and to walk me down the aisle to my husband. I am counting on my children needing their father to drive them to baseball practice, host insane wrestling matches, and to have talks with them that I cannot.
My children need their grandparents. They need them to form those special and unique bonds that a child can only have with a grandma or grandpa. I needed my grandpa. I needed him there to celebrate his 91st and final Christmas, because, even though we celebrated it in a wonderful assisted-living community instead of his cozy living room in Lafayette, IN, it just wouldn't have been Christmas without him.
I know my children will need me in my "golden years", just not in that same aching way they need me now. I sure do need my parents now! Probably more than ever. Or maybe now I just realize it, and say thank you. Something I am pretty sure my 16-year-old self didn't do. Those of you who know me know I am only half-kidding about a wheelchair in an assisted-living facility. The ones I know of are wonderful places full of loving and caring staff. I will be the first to wheel myself down to happy hour if I am lucky enough to have my kids put me in one with a bar.
Being there for the people who need us. Saying thank you to the people who are important in our lives. Laughing together. Having a beautiful memory that brings a tear. God. Love. Isn't that what it's all about? It's really pretty simple, even when it's not. Please remind me of that one day when I sit in my room at Shady Acres with plenty of free time. I just pray that in my arms will be my great-grand baby. And at the table next to me, a well-worn book, an empty baby bottle, and a glass of wine. Red wine.
*** If you NEED something to laugh at, you can laugh at me, I don't mind. Here is a sneak peek at tomorrow's post...***
There are 2 little superheroes in this picture. Somewhere.