What I've Learned In a Year of Hearing, "Mommy, Somebody Needs You"

What I've Learned In a Year of Hearing, "Mommy, Somebody Needs You"

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.

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"One of Those Days" Leads to One of Those Nights...

Warning:  Zombie typing on computer... Many of you were in contact with me yesterday via text, and it seems I was not alone in having "one of those days".  Something about a 2 hour delay here in blustery Central Indiana just seemed to set everyone's day off on the wrong boot.  After a real adventure-of-a-day, I decided I better get to bed early to avoid having anything else ridiculous happen.  The last thing I thought about before lights out at 9:00pm was a sleepless night I had back in October of 2013.  I chuckled to myself, "Hah. Good thing I don't have to worry about nights like that anymore!" Not so fast lady...

I was up. all. night.  People were crying, laughing in their sleep, coming into my room to tell me they had to pee.  The wind was howling as the Polar Vortex settled over the Midwest and created a "monster" noise here in our new house(we've checked and have yet to find a beast of any kind chained in the basement.)  Babies were beating on their cribs with pacis, people needed re-tucked in. Again.  I was starving around 3am.  So on and so forth...

Funny how things work out!  Just when I am confident I have a cozy deep slumber ahead of me, life has other plans.  This is that night from long ago which originally appeared on another blog I used to write pregnantcrazylady.wordpress.com  I don't update it anymore since I am no longer pregnant.  Still crazy though.  Read if you dare.  Just don't jinx yourself like I did.

Good Night and Good Luck.  Good Luck Sleeping.

October 15, 2013

Aaaaahhhh, bedtime.  A warm bath, a little story, a quiet song.  The children nestled all snug in their beds.

Yeah, well it’s nothing like that at my house.  It’s more like someone is face down on the floor refusing to go potty one last time and the other someone is scrubbing toothpaste all over the hallway since I didn’t put enough on their toothbrush.

Eventually they do fall asleep and stay asleep.  I feel very fortunate to usually be the only mouse about the house, most nights.  I believe I have established a beneficial bedtime routine.   Which I feel I have the  maturity level to actually handle like a responsible adult.  Others may disagree.  Since my bladder is under assault right now from a very active little boy or girl, I start my evening routine by eliminating most liquids after 6pm.  I eat a healthy dinner.  Light candles.  Go for a walk.  Unwind with some television.  20 minutes of relaxing yoga poses.  Lightly spray my sheets with lavender.  Say my prayers.  Read briefly.  And out I go.  And then up I go.  To the bathroom.  But some nights, it’s not just the loo calling my name.  Here is what happened last night during the wee hours…

10:45pm Lay down in bed.

10:46pm Open my book to read.

10:47pm I’m sound asleep.

11:30pm  I am up for bathroom break #1.

12:30am  Bathroom break #2

1:22am  Quiet “Mommys” coming from Little Brother’s room.  I go in and administer a breathing treatment for his wheezing and asthma symptoms that have been acting up.

2:49am  “It hurt!!!!!  It hurts!!!!”  coming from Little Brother’s room.  I run in his room assuming he has a dresser or ceiling fan laying across him.  Nope.  He is just laying in a pool of pee.  I change his sheets as quickly as my carpo tunnel fingers will let me.  He sits there watching me drop the sheets over and over.  An older man would assume I was drunk, not just a numb-handed zombie.

3:39am  “Hoot.  Hoot.” The giant barn owl my kids were harassing earlier this evening is back to haunt me.  I turn my sound machine up louder, but not too loud.  I wish it could be “too loud”.

4:01am  Bathroom break.  Might as well go in and do Little Brother’s breathing treatment early since I’m up.

4:30am  “MOMMY!!!!!!!!!”  “HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Big Brother this time.  He tells me he had a bad dream and that if you “play quietly in your room the sun will actually come up faster”.  Nice try.

4:35am  I nestle myself back in bed and hope I can get a wee bit of slumber before my alarm goes off.

4:44am  “Woof.  Woof”  Not you too dog!  I get up and look at him at the foot of my bed.  He is requesting that I lift him onto the bed even though he has a step stool.  Is there a conspiracy against me?

4:45am  Finally, I hope finally, back in bed next to my snoozing husband.  Did I mention there has been a peacefully snoozing husband this whole time?

6:00am  My alarm goes off.  Shower and head downstairs.  Tiptoe downstairs.  Make kid’s school lunches, unload dishwasher, lay out everyone’s medicine, make coffee, get breakfast ready, start a load of laundry, etc, etc, and so on…

7:23am  Down comes sleeping beauty.  Husband performs an overly dramatic stretch/yawn combination.  I swear he is standing extra close to me, showing off that he doesn’t have dark circles or even a hint of a bag under his eyes.  He scans the kitchen, appears satisfied with himself and asks,

“Did you elbow me last night because I was snoring?”

“Yep.  That’s it.  That’s all that happened last night”.

goodnightpost

Last Thursday, Uncensored.

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.

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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.

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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!"

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2:55pm Still trying

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3:25pm And still trying

LastThursdayChach

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.

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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.

Thank You Mama. With Love... Your Baby.

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... 20140507-163227.jpg

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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

"Deal."

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.

 

Jesus and Chocolate Chip Cookies

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

The Baricadecoup2 coup2

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.

I Needed That

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...***

The Baricade

There are 2 little superheroes in this picture.  Somewhere.

What I Learned on a Beach Vacation. With Toddlers.

We just arrived home from a week-long family trip to the Gulf of Mexico.  So, once the vacation is over I am finally finding some time to relax.  Which is what I thought I would be doing on the actual vacation.  Parents of toddlers, you know what I'm saying.  Here are some of my thoughts and reflections of our little sandy, sunny getaway... 1. I am writing the script for a new movie starring Samuel L. Jackson titled, "Snacks on a Plane". It's a horror film.

2. My husband and I should swallow whatever pride remains and start using one of those beach gear transporters that looks like a shopping cart from Kohl's with off-roading wheels. The "older folks" on the beach looked quite comfortable pushing their hat and one towel in said transporter. Meanwhile we are both dripping in sweat carrying our towels, lotions, sippy cups, balls, shovels, trucks, kitchen sink... Maybe using those beach carts is like buying a minivan. Just go ahead and do it. You're really not that cool anymore anyways.

3.  You can get sick on vacation in a tropical climate.

4.  Sick kids like to share their wisdom at 3am while on vacation.  "Mommy, did you know your computer keys sound like raindrops?"  "Mommy, I have decided I will be having a pirate party for my birthday."

5.  Brothers sharing a room on vacation can lead to some pretty hilarious late-night chatter.  I am actually impressed at how advanced their bathroom humor has become at such a young age. Pack a monitor, sit back, and enjoy.

6.  Ziploc bags are THE greatest invention ever.  Ever.  I will fully explain this in a later post.

7.  No matter how tired you may be lugging all the beach gear down, rubbing lotion on every inch of pink skin, attempting to follow a responsible bedtime, packing the bags, unpacking the bags, wiping sand out of eyes, and wiping sand out of other places.  Nothing compares to watching four happy little feet scamper through the waves and hearing their hearty giggles as they splash in the sparkling sun.

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A Day in the Life of... a Diaper Bag

Hi there.  I am a diaper bag.  I used to be pretty cute, black and gray, Coach.  I've been slugged and flung through every restaurant, airport, playdate, doctor's office, front seat, back seat, zoo train, elevator, drive thru, story time, church pew and escalator this side of the White River.  Now, I'm not saying "The Mom" doesn't love me, I know she does.  She held me so tight when her husband gave me to her for her first Mother's Day.  She used to clean me out every couple of weeks, now I think it's been a few months.  I've just been feeling kind of down lately.  Maybe it's this long winter, or maybe it's because I am stored down, down on the bottom shelf of the coat closet.  I guess it's because the little brother doesn't pull all my contents out any more and scatter them around the entire first floor.  "The Mom" used to get so upset when he did this, but I didn't mind.  I thought it was pretty funny, and the little brother sure did too.  At least I was getting lots of attention. I love warm weather!  That means I get to go to so many great places and work hard.  I love to work, I mean, what do you think all these pockets, and zippers, and compartments are for?  Sitting on the bottom shelf of a closet?  So, here is what happened today...

6:30am  I hear footsteps upstairs.  Someone is up!  The day is starting.

6:35am  The coffee maker starts running, and yes, that is the closet opening. Yippee!  I am going somewhere today!

6:37am   False alarm.  The mom was just looking for her yoga mat.

7:23am  I'm being set on the counter!  This is happening!  I am going somewhere!

8:03am  Help!  It's a stampede!  It's buffalo!  Oh, it's just breakfast.

9:15am  I am being filled with snack bags and water cups.  While you are in there lady, do you think you could take out a few of the Cheerios that have been down here for about a year?

9:38am The big brother has to go potty, and I get a front-row view now that I am sitting in the back hall.  He is trying to teach the little brother how to go on the potty.  No! Don't do it!  I need you little brother, don't grow out of diapers yet!

9:41am  Phew.  The little bro announced that he will "not be going on the potty until I am much bigger".  The mom looks upset, however, I am smiling from zipper to zipper!

9:47am  I survive the back hall chaos.  Shoes are flying, coats are landing on me, someone is crying.  Oh, wait, watch out!  Don't bite, don't land on me!  Oh brother, brothers.  Can't you just put your shoes on and get out the door like your mom is asking?

9:48am  Little brother sneaks a milk cup inside me.  I can already tell it's leaking.  Oh great.

9:54am  I finally make it into the big, shiny minivan!  We pick up a grandma and head to the shoe store.  Shoe store?!  Perfect.  Little brother always has to go #2 there.

10:17am  I am in the shoe store and watching big brother try on some shoes that light up.

10:18am  Where is little brother?

10:20am  Found him.  In the corner, going #2.

10:21am  Off I go with the mom to the bathroom.  Please let them have a hook, please let them have a hook!

10:22am  No hook.  Man, if only I could reach that Lysol from down here on this dirty bathroom floor.

10:41am  Back in the minivan and someone is throwing stickers on me.

11:28am  Are we pulling into the Dr.'s office?  Again?

11:59am Still waiting to see the Dr.  I am being ransacked!  No!  I do not have 3 Etch a Sketches!  Calm down people, have a snack!  I, I think I'm blacking out.

12:55pm  I am coming to.  I think I am back in the van.  Wow.  What happened in here?  Is that someone's sock on the dashboard?  The mom looks like she could use a glass of wine or something.  Wait, please tell me that is chocolate on her sleave!

1:15pm  I am set back in the hallway as the kids take off their shoes, coats, scream, run, kick...

1:18pm Little brother is rummaging through me.  He found his milk cup.  And he is eating the year-old Cheerios.  Gross.

1:23pm  Toddler fight!  Someone took someone's Jake and the Neverland pirate ship.  Blah, blah, blah.  Must be about nap time.

1:28pm  The mom is wiping big brother's tears in the back hall.

"It's ok Buddy, I love you."

He wraps his chubby little arms around her neck.

"Mommy, I love you all the way to the North Pole and back".

I'll take a front row seat for that any time. I better rest up.  They might need me later!  It's a good day to be a diaper bag.