Monday, October 11, 2010

Real vs. Really Real

So this was real conversation with my night nurse last Friday:

Nurse: Hi! How are you?
Me: Good, thanks. You?
Nurse: Great, and we are going to have an awesome night. No bleeding or contractions…right!?!? (BIG grin)
Me: Sounds like a good plan to me.
Nurse: *Goes through the list of medications she will give me every couple of hours.*
Me: Ok.
Nurse: Well, I’ll be back in a bit. You know staying positive in here is key. Just think about that baby of yours!
Me: Yep

Here was the conversation in my head, the one with the REAL Amy;

Nurse: Hi! How are you?
Me: Same as yesterday and the previous 14 days. Read the chart, brainiac.
Nurse: Great, and we are going to have an awesome night. No bleeding or contractions…right!?!? (BIG grin)
Me: Are you a moron? You must have read Joel Olteens book.
Nurse: *Goes through the list of medications she will give me every couple of hours.*
Me: Oh, you mean the same meds I have been given every 3 hours around the clock for the last 14 days!?! Yeah, it would be a good idea for you to stick to that plan.
Nurse: Well, I’ll be back in a bit. You know staying positive in here is key. Just think about that baby of yours!
Me: So you are a moron. Please come closer so I can poke you in the eye.

Just for the record, I spend 16 hours a day staying positive, meditating, visualizing my baby fat and healthy, and breathing deep – you know, the works. Blowing happy fairy dust up my ass only irritates my bowels.


I am going slightly nuts and would be full-blown certifiable if it were not for the care of these nurses. Please don’t stop coming in here and yapping at me…you are my life line. However I am human and really, really have the urge to let loose on somebody.  

So strange to want to hug someone while pinching there neck really hard all at the same time…

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Small Things

Things I will be thankful for when I get home from this hospital stint…

1.       Not having hands and arms that look like I am a heroin addict who got in a street fight with my pimp.
2.       Bathroom ventilation. Let s just say the crap they are pumping in me does not make for a Bath & Body Words smelling moment when it comes out.
3.       Never watching TV again.
4.       Worrying about keeping my ass covered all night as to not throw an unsuspecting nurse into cardiac arrest at the sight of it.
5.       Food that does not come out of a can, chicken that does not taste like tuna fish, potatoes made out of an actual potato, and generally anything that the smell of won’t make me barf in my own mouth.
6.       Legs that no longer look like they belong on a pasty gray elephant.
7.       Fresh air.
8.       Not having to account for the texture, size and color of my poop.
9.       No longer listening to the shrieking of women all day as they give birth. I swear there has been at least 12 porcupines delivered in this place since I have been hear. What else would cause such hysteria?
10.   Being able to, in great detail, explain to my children what it means to truley be bored.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A Village; Every Family Needs One

Hello my friends! So life has been a bit busy for my family the last month. Well, busy may not be the right word – perhaps slowed to a standstill? I have been on complete bed rest keeping our little baby safe and growing until she can safely be born. Needless to say our family has been growing through many changes and modifications to our new (although temporary) way of living.

All was going okay…then…

As I have shared before I am a recovering “Type A” personality. I say recovering because I live in constant pursuit to be present in the moment and not micromanage my family. Eh, I am a work in progress. I do really well when things of course are going smoothly (otherwise known as “Amy’s Way”), but when life throws me a curve ball my gut reaction is to grab hold of my family and life and start owning and organizing all the pieces until I am comfortable again.

Last week life threw me a doozy. Due to increased complications with my pregnancy I have landed in the hospital until baby arrives (which will hopefully not be for another 6-8 weeks). Yep, that’s right, two months in the hospital.

The first 12 hours following my admission and being told I was here for the long haul are somewhat a blur of panic, crying and attempting to bribe doctors into springing me. Then something amazing started to happen. I started getting calls, texts, emails and Facebook messages from friends, neighbors, my husband’s co-workers, and our church family all reassuring me that my family would be taken care of and I could relax.

My family had become the center of our village. My children are being loved, hugged, reassured, played with and fed. Our home is being kept clean and laundry done. Our refrigerator stocked. The physical and emotional needs of my family are being cared for – by our very own village. By the end of the second day of my hospitalization I realized I had a new appreciation for what it means to have a village. In a very short period of time many things became apparent to me about the genuine love and goodness of others, about the resiliency of my family and believe it or not, I am not the only mother in town who knows how to do laundry, shop, scrub a toilet, make a yummy and nutritious lunch and even hug my kids. Go figure. But perhaps the greatest insight I have gained is realizing what a gift this experience is for my kids. Of course my initial reaction was “how will my family survive without me?” (yeah-yeah, I know – arrogant). However, I am seeing now that my children are learning that there is a community of people who love and care about them and will always help them when they need it. There will always be a loving teacher, neighbor, a playmates mom, or someone sitting next to them in church on Sunday who will offer a hug and reassurance that they are loved and safe.

My family is living within the love of our village. Thank you for all you are giving our home and hearts.

P.S. Have your own village story you want to share? I’d love to read about it. Really, I would. I have the time.

Friday, August 13, 2010

My Children, My Teachers

Oh my beautiful Rock Star and Itty Bitty – you have filled me and challenged me so much this week!
I was greatly challenged to remember that your needs are ever evolving, you are growing and changing both physically and emotionally; you need room, permission, and love as you move through your new feelings and questions.

This week you have reminded me that you have the right to move and feel on your terms. I cannot and should not force you to think and feel anything. You reaffirmed the lesson that I must spend time being still and listening to you; to your cries, your laughter, your questions, your silence.

Rock Star, you ask something important of me this week. I have learned that when I make assumptions towards your actions, feelings and thoughts is hurtful to you. You want to be listened to, to be fully and deeply heard. I need to validate your words and ideas. When you are given the respect of a whole listener you are in turn able to be open in your mind and heart.

Itty Bitty, my ever-growing independent one. I have spent many hours lately trying to figure out where your feelings of (what appear to be) anger and frustration are coming from and I was pleased this week when your daddy and I became aware that you want your space. You want your hugs and kisses, to be picked up and held, to have your space shared by others to be on your terms. You are transitioning from a baby who is content to explore the world in the arms of another and now you want to be free, you want your space, room to watch, listen and feel.

I have had to look at some of my time this week and choose to realize they were not bad days but days in which there was much to learn; perhaps this alone was my greatest lesson. I must set anger and frustration aside and search for what is to be gained; to realize there is always someone, something that is trying to communicate with me. To accept this I must keep my spirit open and anger only closes me off.

Thank you my little teachers. Thank you for not only helping me be a better mother to you but a better human being. I love you without measure.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

My Little Fighter

Last night after a very fun and active afternoon and evening I did something I hate doing. I yelled. I mean I really yelled. It was one of those over-the-top emotional, exhausted and extremely immature reactions to something small. It was the kind of reaction and behavior that leaves me feeling guilty, ashamed, regretful and fearful. The worst part is Rock Star was the recipient.

But here is the good part. I shouted and rather than cry, retreat, run away from me or any other reaction of defeat he went toe to toe with me. He shouted right back; he told me I was being mean and needed to stop shouting, he told me I was being rude. He told me he didn’t like me.

About this time the phone rang and caller ID said it was the hubs. I told Rock Star to go talk to his dad. We each spoke to daddy for a couple of minutes which was just long enough for us both to regain our composure. I immediately told Rock Star we needed to talk and I apologized for my behavior. I apologized for shouting, for losing my temper, for trying to make him feel bad. I told him I was tired and a little overwhelmed and I made a really bad choice in how to deal with it. He too apologized for shouting and saying mean things, he then started laughing and told me I was acting like I was “cookoo in my coconut” from here we both started laughing at ourselves, each other and our ridiculous behavior.

As I was reflecting back on this later that night, I realized how proud and happy I was he fought back. It was affirmation he has self-worth and he knows right from wrong, even when it is an adult. He knew my behavior and reaction was out of line and he was not about to be victimized by it. He was right, he didn’t like me right then – and he shouldn’t have. I didn’t like myself! It makes me feel confident that as he goes farther into the world without his daddy and I always there he will know he has the right to stick up for himself, to never let anyone take their anger or inappropriate behavior out on him. He knows he deserves kindness and respect.

Perhaps the title of this post is wrong. The truth is he is not a fighter, he is kind and loving. He is thoughtful and insightful and he is conscientious of the needs and feeling of others. But he is angered by injustice, by people being hurt or taken advantage of. I love that he is driven to fight for what is right, for what he and others need and deserve. I don’t just love this child, I respect and admire him.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Groundhogs Day

 Do you ever feel like you are living the same day over and over? I do. I get in these phases where it seems every day is exactly like the rest. Get-up, cook, clean, play with kids, cook, clean, errands, clean/laundry, cook, family time, clean, baths, bed. Not that this is a bad day, it is just so damn repetitive sometimes.

I have this belief that life should be a constant cycle of moments and experiences that give us something, an opportunity to learn, feel, enjoy – whatever. I want my kids to crawl into bed each night feeling like the day was really worth living. The truth is I want this for myself too. And here is the thing, I am not talking about “activities” or running around to play groups, kids play-warehouses, or other stimulate and entertain sort of things. I am talking about the ability to be really, really present in every moment of the day, to fulfill the need or reap the gift of it. Sometimes I find myself living and operating on autopilot. I loathe feeling robotic and emotionless about my time.

Is it realistic that I feel connected and present while doing the laundry and mopping floors? My immediate logical response is, "No Amy, lower your expectations.” But then I think, why not? While reading a book on Buddhism (forgive me as I have read so many I forget exactly which one it was!) the author spoke of eating a repetitive, limited diet and how even though he ate the same bowl of rice each day he was able to think of the life that went into providing this meal for him; the growth of the plant, the hands that harvested and prepared it – he was connected and in the moment. So is it unreasonable to desire this while doing the laundry?

Oh, but as with all things done in the midst of raising and tending to the needs of small children priorities must be set. So perhaps my laundry will remain mundane for a bit longer and I can focus on other things like making time with books, art even sleep a more beautiful experience for my kids and I.

I feel so very far from where I want to be, from the peaceful, settled place I want my spirit to be. I must remember this is a journey, not a destination and give myself space to grow and experience.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Being Beautiful

I am sure many of you saw this today (if you watch the Today Show) while drinking your morning caffeine but if not, check out Operation Beautiful. Simple concept, huge impact potential. It was interesting that I saw this as I was having many thoughts this week about what being beautiful means. Monday the hubs and I celebrated our 13 year wedding anniversary and since I was home all day with the kids and spent the day cleaning and doing laundry around 4:30 I decided the best “gift” I could give the hubs was to shower and dress with make-up and all. It is unheard of for me to do my hair and apply make-up in the evening if there are no plans to go out. So the hubs came home we spent some time with the kids and then started the bedtime routine. While tucking Rock Star in he said the following:
Mom, I always love you but I love you extra right now because you are so beautiful. Your lips are pretty and you smell really good.”
How sweet right? I felt good, great actually, I was showered and energetic, I was in a comfy summer dress and yes, I had lipstick on. Anyway, the conversation encouraged me in the days since to get up and get completely ready in the morning. This means real clothes (no sweats) with hair, make-up and a bit of jewelry.

But of course I had this little part of me that was bummed that my kids, and even myself, was viewing my beauty to be so external. I loathed the idea that my beauty and worth was tied up in whether or not I was wearing lipstick. I actually quit wearing make-up (with the exceptions of very special occasions) when Itty Bitty was a newborn because she had extremely sensitive skin and anything I wore would rub on her. To me, this was beautiful, granted my face looked haggard, but it was the face of a mother who wanted to kiss and snuggle her baby. However, this morning while watching this clip on the Today Show it dawned on me that perhaps what my kids were “attracted” to wasn’t the lipstick and eyeliner but rather my improved spirit and attitude. I felt better; I know my attitude reflected this. I was giving myself a few moments of pampering (funny how something so basic becomes “pampering” when you are a mom!) and it gave me just that little extra boost I needed. Rather than serving the kid’s breakfast in my PJ’s with crusty eyes and a prayer that I would soon come alive, I was dressed, energetic and felt ready to tackle the day. Yes, THIS is what my kids see and love. THIS is what makes me feel beautiful and happy. I have to remind myself that I love this body of mine not because of what it looks like but because of what it does, what it allows me to give and who it allows me to be and giving back to it a few minutes each day through a bit of primping is a part of its fuel.

My appearance has changed much from my pre-kid days. But I have never felt and believed I am more beautiful than I am being my kids mama.

What are you doing that makes you beautiful?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Space Please

I am Mama to Rock Star and Itty Bitty aka Woman Without Privacy. My kids live within 3 feet of me at all times. It does not matter what I am doing, where in the house I am – they are a there. The Omni-present space suckers. Okay, I joke but for the most part I love having my kids near me. Hanging on my leg while I cook, curled next to me while I read or write. Watching them tail me with coloring books and crayons from room to room repositioning on each floor without so much as a second thought. I am learning to love it.

Buuuut (yeah – you knew it was coming) I have had the same dream four nights in a row now. I am dreaming that I am trying to use the bathroom and the only toilets available to me are like in living-rooms or front yards filled with people just hanging out. No one seems to find it weird I am in the middle of the their gathering pooping. Hmmmm….

Now, I have been severely constipated (thanks to all the iron I am sucking down) and so I attributed the dreams to my clogged pipes. But this morning I decided to do a little research about the dream and see what I could find.

Here it is:
“To dream that you are in a public restroom with no stalls or that there are a lot of people around while you are trying to do your business, signifies your frustrations about getting enough privacy. You are always putting others ahead of your own needs. As a result, you are lacking a sense of personal space. Alternatively, the dream indicates that you are having difficulties letting go of old emotions. You are afraid that if you reveal these feelings, then others around you will judge and criticize you.”

I was recently going to the bathroom with not just my fat prego belly in my lap but my 20 month old as well.
I guess this means I need a bit more privacy? Yeah, like that's gonna happen.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Being of Service

My latest article in the The Pointe newspaper.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Rock Star

Five short years ago the world was blessed with your birth. I am still amazed that your daddy and I have you, that we were given a gift too amazing for words (although I will try…)

You often tell me that you missed me while you were in heaven waiting to be born and oh my son how I missed you too. It was hard waiting to be together wasn’t it? Your daddy and I waited for so long but I knew you in my heart and I always knew we would have you someday. I knew you were a boy and that your hair and eyes were brown. I knew your spirit was kind and generous and that you would love music. The day you were born and I was able to see you for the first time was completely overwhelming. I remember how I was shaking as I leaned into you and kissed your little fingers and told you , “Mama is here baby, we were now together forever."

You are such a joy to your daddy and I. You make us laugh everyday (sometimes when you are not around and we are talking about all the rotten things you did that day!). You leave me speechless many times with your insights and ideas. You are so kind and generous. I love that you are aware and concerned for the world around you. You think about all of Mother Earth’s beings and do your best to care for them. You love music and without question have a God-given talent. You can run fast and far and are looking forward to playing sports in high school and college and we are excited to watch and cheer you on! You are always welcoming to others and make all your friends feel special and important. Your baby sister thinks you are the center of the universe and is always happier when she is with you.

Tomorrow you turn five! You are now spending more time with friends and becoming increasingly independent, you need me less and less which I know is wonderful, but my love I still cherish the moments you do want mama’s help and snuggles. I also love just being with you. I have so much fun simply talking with you and hearing what you think about life.

Thank you for the gift of being your mother, thank you for being you. I can’t wait to see the rest of your amazing life.
I love you deeply, wildly and without condition always,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Know It All

This morning’s first conversation:
(I was in the back of my closet trying in vain to find something that didn’t make me look as big as a house and I hear little people sneaking in and hiding in the hubs part of the closet)…

Me: Get out of my closet you monsters (growl sounds)
Itty Bitty: (Laughter) Yep, Yep (her new response to everything)
Rock Star: How did you know we were in here? You are all the way over there and didn’t even turn around!?
Me: I know everything even when I know nothing.

Yep. That is what I said at 7:05am. I know everything even when I know nothing. What in the hell does that even mean? The best part? Rock Stars response was, “Wow!” with wide eyes and looking at me like I was Buzz Lightyear in the flesh and blood.
It’s gonna be a great day friends!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Misery Wants Company

I have this friend who is one of those spectacular home makers that always leaves me feeling like a schmuck. I can drop in on her ANYTIME and always find her home in perfect order. ALWAYS. I don’t get it. Last Thanksgiving while hosting the hubs family, my oven went out mid-dinner making. I called my friend (who is also my neighbor) knowing they were not home to let her know I needed to bum her kitchen. Now when I leave the house, especially after last minute making-a-dish-to-go preparations my kitchen will look like a before shot in a Mr. Clean commercial. Yes I leave it that way, FlyLady can suck it. Anyway, her kitchen was of course immaculate.
So this friend of mine recently had her second child and all I can do is hope that I soon catch her house a mess. How horrible am I? I am the worst friend ever. But it’s true, just once I want to see dishes on the counter, laundry piled in the living room and toys scattered throughout every room of the house. Oh, and yes and I would KILL to see her bed unmade just once. The only time I ever see anything out of order is when I am leaving after a visit with my messy kids. Ugh.

Please tell me I am not alone and that I am not unique because I am sitting here looking at a coffee table peppered with smashed up Goldfish crackers, colored pencils, a baby stroller on its side and a floor littered with toys and socks.

I would pick it all up but I have learned it is effort made in vain. I just wait until my little monsters are in bed. Sometimes I hope for a mid-night break in just so the police statement can show that my house was clean (yes, I would DEMAND they write that in). Otherwise I am not sure there will ever be any proof.

Monday, June 14, 2010

An Unexplained Connectedness

Rock Star seems to have a connectedness to nature that often leaves me in awe. He is highly protective of animals, bugs, trees, flowers and yes even weeds. He is currently reading books and learning things about space that is all new to me and he continues to be a sponge. Every once in a while he speaks of things that show me how united with the natural world he really is. The other night as I was putting him to bed and telling him all the usual bedtime things he ask me to stop talking and just be quite because Nature was singing him a lullaby. As I snuggled with him I heard crickets and trees rustling, but the next morning he shared he also heard the bunnies falling asleep in their grass nests, the baby birds curling under their mama’s feathers and the worms crawling down into the dirt. I believe him.

This morning he woke up and told me a story about how he woke up last night when he knew the storm was coming (we had a monster last night!) and he heard a baby bird that was about to fall out of its nest in the neighbors tree. So, he went over there and tried to catch the baby bird as it fell from the tree but he couldn’t do it because it started raining too hard. He ended the story by saying, “Mom I hate to tell you this because it is very sad but the baby bird died. I am so sorry.” I of course told him that sounded like a bad dream, and not to worry that I am sure the birds were fine. We went about our morning.
About an hour later, we walked into the driveway and our little neighbor friend came over and shared there was a dead baby bird in their driveway that had fallen out of its nest last night. Rock Stars response? “Yeah, I know. Pretty sad huh?” He proceeded to tell his friend the story of his previous night’s adventure.

I can’t wait to see the rest of my sons’ life; it is going to be amazing.

Thursday, June 10, 2010


If you are a member of my family this is a word you know well. I have an uncle who is notorious for accusing family members of “toting” his stuff. What this means is he leaves his stuff lying around, someone (usually…okay always, my aunt) puts it away and then he turns into a shouting banshee demanding to know who toted his stuff. None of us mind being accused of stealing his stuff, we all find it fairly funny. The only one who I think it bugs is his middle child who gets ruffled because she actually is a thief. If you need proof, read about her here and you will no doubt see that she is the type of person who if your cool shirt, nail polish or high heels go missing her room is the one to check. (close your mouth Nik, you know it's true) whole family is certifiable.
Anyway, I digress.
So today I heard myself say to my kids…and I am not kidding you, “If you kids don’t quit toting stuff out of my purse I am going to lose my mind!” Awe man! As soon as the words were out of my mouth I wanted to slap myself.
Then later ,while cleaning the fridge, I found my missing black and silver dangle earring. Yes, you read that right, it was in the fridge. I also had to call my cell phone three times today to locate it while in the house. I am pretty sure I can forget about ever finding my missing black and white flip-flop, my favorite pen or that tube of new lipstick I bought over a year ago and only used twice. This irks me because I am the one who cleans everyone else’s stuff. No one else in this house ever permanently loses stuff and yet they leave it laying everywhere; I put my stuff away and somehow it goes missing.

Darn those toters!
And darn my uncle for turning me into him…just when I thought I was in the clear.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I am pregnant
I am tired…very tired
I am sick of barfing all day
I am feeling overwhelmed
I am completely behind on everything

I must figure out a way to rejuvenate myself
I must quit feeling guilty
I must quit feeling like a failure

I want to enjoy being pregnant
I want to have the desire and energy to play with Rock Star and Itty Bitty
I want my house back in order
I want a nap.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Ever have one of those parenting moments when you know you are making a huge mistake but you have that internal shrug and “eh” reaction? Me? Yeah, about three times a day.

I hear it first. Silence followed by “the” giggle-times two. The naughty laughter is then followed by the patter of fast sneaking little feet running from one spot to the last no doubt toting something that should not be touched. I know what is happening: messes are being made, things are being shoved into the toilet, lotion bottles are being emptied, diaper cream is being smeared head-to-toe, markers have been discovered, food is being taken on the carpet, clothes are being stripped off (yes, my kids LOVE to streak), I know there is all around no-good shenanigans happening and yet I choose to ignore. I know my work will be doubled (at least) when I finally am forced to deal with it, I know something will probably get wrecked, I know I will be questioned by the hubs as to how “this” happened and yet I still ignore.

Why? What is wrong with me?
Am I lazy or just desperate for 5 minutes without a little person up my ass?

Last night I was up battling nausea and went into the downstairs guest bath, well I tried. I couldn’t quite open the door. Not a good sign. When I finally wiggled my way in I was faced with the harsh reality of my choice to ignore the naughty; I suddenly remembered a phone call earlier that afternoon when I knew they were in the bathroom but I chose to score a few minutes of uninterrupted talk and clearly forgot to go survey the damage after my call. As I stood in a sea of clothes, hangers, shoes, toys, cookies, a half eaten apple, a few DVD’s, books, diapers (clean, thank God), and of course the signature full roll of toilet paper soaking in the toilet I wanted to cry. I felt so guilty for being a lazy mom.

Then I realized it was 3am and I was cleaning a bathroom. Lazy my ass.
There are two of them. They work at warp speed. They are super-human. There is only one of me.


I am simply outnumbered.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Mommy Misdemeanors

I am currently hiding out avoiding charges for the following crimes over the last few days. Yes, I have no doubt been on a mommy crime spree…

I swiped all the purple and red Skittles for myself from the package before doling them out.

Driving Under the Influence:
...of exhaustion and severe snack passing-out distractions.

Disorderly Conduct:
I stood in the kitchen screaming and squawking about ALL of the three lower pantry shelves being emptied by little people, about the laundry AGAIN being pulled out the baskets AFTER being folded and about the full roll of toilet paper being thrown in the toilet. Shrieking decibels far exceeded that permitted within city limits.

Pulled down and threw out the 147 pieces of scribbled on paper scotch-taped all over the house while the “decorators” were napping. The artist and owner of this art made sure I was aware of the pain and suffering I had caused by informing me I had “destroyed masterpieces and taken away his feelings.”

Some other, and perhaps more serious crimes, include:

Forcing Hard Labor out of the Disabled:
Apparently, any part of a body that has a band-aid on it is rendered useless and without all functioning body parts it is “so-bad mean” of me to make the disabled individual clean up their toys.

Starving the Weak:
Yes, it is true. I refused to provide Pringles 8 minutes after leaving the breakfast table. This resulted in the accusation that I was “starving us kids to death!”

And of course my personal favorite…

Cruel and Unusual Punishment:
This one I plead guilty to. Yes, I ended outside playtime and insisted on baths…with hair washing and soap.

So there you have it little ones, I am one bad ass mommy. Bring it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Heartbeats and pickles make for a great day

Today we were finally able to hear our little ones heartbeat. I literally felt my soul melt from the release of tension. Although we have had a rocky start it seems baby is now doing well, growing and finally allowing us to know she (no, we do not know yet – just my mama gut) is well. It was amazing how I left the doc’s office with my two kids in tow at 1:30, which is normally when I am crashing on the couch praying for an hour of sleep, and I was FULL of energy. I felt like I was walking on air. My baby was well, Rock Star and Itty Bitty were excited to hear and see their new baby (although Itty Bitty kept looking around the room looking for the “bebe?”) and the sun was shining. So I decided to take the kids out for the afternoon; we played in a bookstore, played in Pottery Barn for Kids and ate ice cream.
We then came home and while Itty Bitty napped and Rock Star and the hubs flew a kite, I ate a “Big Papa” pickle – it was the size of a full grown cucumber. It really has been a wonderful day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

No really, this was my day. For real.

Sometimes there is a day that goes so ass backwards it leaves me wondering the following morning if the day really happened or if it was a terrible, terrible dream. Yesterday was one of those days. The hubs turned 40 and I had the best of plans – I should have known the shit would hit the fan simply based on the fact I had a plan…

The hubs office was throwing a luncheon for him and the kids and I were attending as a surprise. This meant we had to be there on time. Yep, if you are keeping track that is two strikes against me, a plan and a deadline. We HAD to leave the house my 10:30. Hubs was arriving at the gathering at 11:30, we have a solid 45 minute drive and needed to get into the location and settled before 11:30. Right, as if.

10:05 kids dressed, hair styled and settled in their rooms with books. I however still had not gotten into the shower yet.
10:10 exit shower to find both kids covered, yes covered in diaper cream. Rock star thought it would be relaxing if he put lotion on himself and the baby. How nice of him.
10:10-10:15 five very precious minutes spent yelling, and then yelling a little more.
10:15 wipe down two kids, change clothes and restyle Itty Bitty’s (formerly very cute and fluffy) hair into a greased slicked ponytail.
10:25 throw on my clothes; pack up some make-up as it will have to be applied in the car.
10:30 gathering items to walk out the door and catch the smell. Yep, full-blown poop blowout all over Itty Bitty. Enter round three of cleaning and dressing the baby.
10:40 I’m am now getting nailed with morning sickness. Of course. Barf, Barf, Barf.
10:50 Head to car, which of course is parked in the driveway, not in the garage and it is pouring cats and dogs. Without fail, in the haste and hustle and bustle of getting the kids to the car Rock Star wipes out…in mud.
Let’s just say we were slightly late for the party. But the good news is, the only person who runs more late than I is the hubs.

The really sick thing? The morning was the best part of the day. After lunch I had a million birthday dinner errands to run, yeah with two kids in a thunderstorm. The house was of course a wreck and we were having company for dinner. You know how there is two kinds of guests, the ones who really know how you live and don’t mind clearing a spot of the couch to sit or refilling the toilet paper holder themselves and then there are those who need the house to be in June Cleaver order when they arrive? I was hosting the second group.

Yep, that was my very, oh so very, real day.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tuesday This and That

This is great news….blood work indicates things are looking stable for our little one. Baby is still growing and seems to be developing okay. We will have a repeat sonogram later this month and will hopefully again get more good news. Thanks for all the thoughts, prayers and well wishes; I will keep you posted.

I got a two hour nap today and that was awesome! I have been exhausted lately and a nap was just what I needed. In case you doubt how badly I needed the nap when I woke up at two o’clock this is what was going on in our home:
-Rock Star was still in his PJ’s
-Breakfast was still on the counter
-The 5 loads of laundry I have to get done were still sitting untouched
-Two of the three bathrooms in the house were out of toilet paper and both had pee on the seat and floor (I don’t know and don’t want to)
-Lunch had still not been served
-None of the days to-do’s had been touched (there were 9 of them)
Despite all of this I feel fantastic. I swear a good nap is like a drug. I now just get to figure out how to get the entire day crammed into the next 3 hours.

And one final, random thought. Well, question really. As summer time is upon us the kids love to eat outside (breakfast, lunch and snacks) often with neighborhood friends. As I am trying to eliminate as much plastic in our house as possible I am finding myself stumped with how to feed the kids. I prefer not to give them plastic plates, anything disposable is not an option and glass certainly is not an option. I am thinking wood may be my only choice, which is okay but pricy. I guess I have to look at it as an investment.

Do you have any thoughts or ideas?

Friday, April 16, 2010

Digging Deep

A few posts ago Mommy on Fire left me a comment telling me to “dig deep” when I had shared I was struggling with sharing some feelings and fearing letting too much hang out for the world (or 12 readers anyway) to read. Well MoF…here goes.

We recently found out we would be blessed with our third child later this year. I am not sure there is ever a joy as great, as pure and indescribable as what is felt when you learn this news. Overwhelming does not even really come close. I am always left feeling small, amazed that I am being given something so huge, beyond scale or measure. I look everyday and Rock Star and Itty Bitty and cannot believe I live a life that is this wonderful. But motherhood, my journey in particular, has not been without sorrow. I have endured miscarriages and significant challenges with my body and reproductive system. Several years ago I ran a support group for women who have struggled with miscarriage and infertility – it was heart wrenching.

I have spent years being angry at my body for not doing what it is “supposed” to do. There is something so unnatural, so very, very wrong about a mother’s body turning on its own child. I have often felt as though my body was separate from my spirit and that it was waging war on my children. I have hated this body. After the journey of carry Itty Bitty and my body holding out and protecting her against all odds I began t forgive it. I was learning to again connect to it and even have gratitude for it. Perhaps my anger at my body is a form of guilt. There is no question I feel guilty that I could not protect all my children and bring each of them into this world healthy and strong. The questions are endless. What could I have done? Did I eat something? I had a drink, took cold medicine and lifted heavy things before I knew. Should I not be a mother? Am I not a good mother? Am I not capable of being a mother? Is God trying to teach me something? Is this karma for how I have mistreated people in my life? These are not logical questions – they are worse. They are fears of the heart.

So yesterday I had my first sonogram and it appears our little one is not doing well. We are sort of in this phase of limbo right now just waiting; waiting for blood work results, waiting for…an outcome. I feel powerless. My baby inside of me is struggling for life, I carry them with me and yet there is absolutely nothing I can do.

I am looking at the sweet faces of Rock Star and Itty Bitty and I know anything is possible. I know miracles exist. I also know heartbreak can be a heartbeat away. I am holding my breath. I am making breakfast, vacuuming the floors, changing diapers, will celebrate my birthday today and laugh with my kids, all while holding my breath.

I have been in this place before yet I am paralyzed with fear and sadness. I have no idea what to do.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

I have the child every mother (i.e. COOK) dreams of, but….

Since Rock Star was born I prided myself on never making “kid-friendly” meals. We cook real food around here and I never “hide” veggies in anything; I believe in fostering a healthy appreciation for good foods. By age two my first born was asking for couscous, broccoli and fresh parmesan for lunch. Although both my kids have a mild aversion to meat (which pleases me just fine) they love any lentil, pasta, fruit, vegetable and dairy product (Rock Star has quite the palette for cheeses) set before them. I have a firm rule you never have to like or eat more than one bit of anything; but we will try EVERYTHING with joy and wild abandon. I think the reassurance of knowing they have the final say on what they eat allows them to be more adventurous and anxious to try new things (and of course I am confident because they are only given good choices so there is no wrong choice on their part). I rarely get a “GAG!” but when I do I honor it.

This afternoon Rock Star once again ask for “a snack I have never had before” this kid loves trying new foods. Winter proved to be a difficult time for us as I typically rely on fresh fruits and veggies to fulfill snack time. Now that he is wanting to try something new every day, well lets just say this blessing of wonderful, healthy eaters is beginning to be a bit overwhelming.

My husband when ask what he would like for dinner often replies, “something different and unique” which prior to kids I responded with, “Great! Get your shoes and lets head out!” but now with two kids and a hubby who all crave new and unique foods on a regular basis I am hitting a wall.

Enter My Need…

Please share your best and most fun recipe and/or snack idea. The more unique the better, the more ingredients the better, and the more colorful the better. Healthy is of course key.

Can’t wait to see what you have!

Friday, April 9, 2010

For the Love of Tampons

Tampons, a necessity for Mama and pure joy for Itty Bitty. Yes, it is true, she loves to play with tampons. I know – it is weird and gross, but hey it’s me. What do you expect? Basically, she LOVES to hold them and just carry them around the house. They are just the perfect size to fit in her little hand and tote. Rock Star always carried Hot Wheels, no such luck with Itty Bitty. I tried for a while to break her of the love, but I have just given up. I actually had forgotten about them until the other day the mailman had to bring something to my door and I answered it with Itty Bitty on my hip and two fistfuls of tampons. He looked at me, then her, then her hands specifically and seemed to freeze. I wanted to say, “Dude, they are tampons not grenades. Chill.” Then I remembered, it is kinda weird.

So with all the tampons laying around I was careful to avoid calling them by their actual name (just referred to them as “mommy things”) because I just knew the minute I actually said the word TAMPON this conversation would happen…and it did:

Me: UGH! Itty Bitty, there are tampons everywhere!
(now I start to sweat because I know what I have just done)
Rock Star: What’s a tampon?
Me: (acting like I didn’t hear the question) Who wants a snack?
Rock Star: Mom! I ask you what is a tampon?
Me: It’s just something for moms.
Rock Star: I know, but what are they?
Okay, so this is one of those moments as a mother where I have absolutely NO idea what so ever to do and before I know it this stupid answer falls out of my face...
Me: They are for vaginas. (WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST SAY TO MY 4 YEAR OLD SON!?!?!?)
Rock Star: What? When you pee?
Me: (here I decide I am too unprepared for this so I will just lie.)Yes. They help me not pee when I jump on the trampoline.
Rock Star: How?
Me: Like medicine.
My heart is actually racing here. Am I going to claim to eat the tampon? Am I going to explain how to put “medicine” on or in my vagina? This could go so wrong I am about to pop a Xanax.
Rock Star: (Looking board) That’s weird.
Me: Yep. Want a piece of your Easter candy?
Conversation Over.
I will be reeling from this for days to come. Can you believe how terribly I handled this? I am shocked by my own stupidity.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Heavy Heart and Refocusing

Yesterday was one of those days where outside things made my heart heavy. Realization of damaged relationships, scary news for family I love deeply, dealing with an overscheduled week, physically ill, kids who were over tired from long nights of scary weather all left me feeling overwhelmed and powerless by the end of the day. I was awake most of the night, thinking, worrying, and trying in vain to come up with a quick “fix” for all of these perceived problems. At some point around 3am my mind and body began to weaken enough that I had no choice but to surrender to the realization that life circumstances are what they are – for me and others and all the lost sleep and worry in the world will not change them. So, deep breath, and now a day focused on the basics.

-With compassion and personal responsibility I believe in the ability to heal true friendships.
-My home, help and care are open and available to my family. Period. I need not worry about their safety and wellbeing, although life may require changes of them they are strong and capable and at the end of the day have people they can rely on.
-Appointments can be cancelled.
-I have the ability to work with my body to heal it, I just need to be patient and give it time.

I will live with the karma I create today. What do I want to live with tomorrow? Choices are everything.

Friday, April 2, 2010

The Art of Saying NO

Perhaps you have read it, I have. However I realized today this is one book Rock Star will never have to read. As I was buzzing through the house doing toy pick-up for the 967th time today Rock Star enters the room. Here is our conversation:

Rock Star: Hey Mom, what’s up?
Me: Just cleaning, I could use some help.
Rock Star: Uh, looks like a lot of bending over.
Me: Yes, it is; this is why I could use some help.
Rock Star: Mom, I would really like to offer to help you, but I just can’t.
Me: (Now stopped dead in my tracks) What? You can’t offer?
Rock Star: Yeah, sorry mom I just can’t offer. I have some resting to go do.
And he exits the room.
I'm left feeling a little pissed, but mostly impressed.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Your Mothering Heart Has a Home

To My Lovely and Dear Friend,

A while ago I wrote this, actually it really wasn’t that long ago. I was feeling, as you can tell alone in the world of parenting, both for my choices and for the needs of my children. I reached out to a few moms whose parenting styles I admired. They were kind and loving mothers whose patience seemed endless. I cried and I shared my struggles and fears; there words and support were comforting and in the end I pulled my children close to me and the hubs and I agreed to keep them protected within us a bit longer.

Never forget, your child was given to YOU for a reason, because you are the mother they need. You have the intelligence, heart and spirit to care for, love, protect and raise your child with what they need. Other parents with their philosophies are not raising your child – because their way is not what your child needs. You were called to raise your child; this was not a whimsical decision on Gods part. Be faithful to this calling, even in the face of others who wish to question and belittle your work.

After my own journey into “lonely parenting” and making the commitment that I would do what was right for my children even if it meant I had no friends in the process, I suddenly found myself surrounded by mothers who are raising children like mine. Children who suffer from anxiety when separated too early from home and the comfort and reassurance of Mama and Daddy, who are their best selves when they are given freedom of choice and expression and who always, always want to know we are here whenever they call for us. I could make choices that would make parenting easier. I could kick my kids out of our bed, I could insist they go to off to toddlerville pre-pre-education to learn to be socialized like puppies and I could tell them what they will do and when verses living a child-led lifestyle, but hey, then my kids would just be manufactured mini me’s and I like my kids too much to completely alter their spirits.

How are our children supposed to be amazing if we never let them BE amazing? And let’s not forget, becoming a truly amazing grown-up comes with some growing pains (you know, the loud, scary, needy, rambunctious, fit-throwing, co-sleeping, endless question asking, negotiating every rule in the book kind of pains!)

Welcome to the fold my friend.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Love My Hubs

I am not sure I say this enough in general, but I love my hubs. He is an outstanding man in many ways. One of which is he allows me to be me; this can be difficult because I change my ideas, thoughts, and activities often. I am hard to keep up with to say the least. One of the major changes I have made in recent months is my opinions on sleep sharing (or the “Family Bed”). When Rock Star was born he was of course in our room the first several weeks but by three months he was sleeping soundly all night and had been transitioned into his own room without any issues. This lasted until he was three and got the boot out of the crib because his baby sister was on her way. Prior to this he slept peacefully every night and seemed to simple love his crib. We would rock him each night, but about the time he was drifting off he would reach for his crib and enjoyed snuggling in. Enter Itty Bitty.
From the first moments of entering the world Itty Bitty wanted to curl up into my neck. She would inhale my scent deeply and fall into a nice deep sleep. She has never been fond of sleeping alone. At this same time we were still in transition mode of getting Rock Star out of the crib (and nursery) and into his Big Boy Bed/Room. He was not going for it. On a few desperate occasions we would allow him back into the crib and he would smile and fall asleep. He loved the security of that special place.
Forward 16 months…
New family home, new bedrooms and beds, resulting in two kids in Mama and Daddy-O’s bed every night. So I started researching the pro’s and con’s on sharing sleep with your kids and found the benefits to your children to be overwhelming. And once again Mama began changing the way things happen around here. Bedtime has become less about getting the kids off to sleep so we can enjoy our evening and more about offering a peaceful and reassuring end to our kids day which often means lots of snuggling, reading, music and laying with our kids as they fall asleep (i.e. time). I have had to stop looking at this as a “process” and just part of our life, like all the other parenting things we do. Our children sleep wonderfully when they are with us. I sleep better knowing they feel safe and secure and when they are next to us in a deep slumber my heart busts wide open. However, the hubs is now two little bodies away from me at night, and is often shoved to the far 6 (6 ½ on a good night) inches of the bed. He is not sleeping so well. Last night I enjoyed having Rock Star sleep with his head on my belly most of the night, not thinking that this meant his feet were shoved into the ribcage of the hubs. Ouch. Itty Bitty likes to lay on Daddy’s head and hold his nose like a handle (while me she just curls up against my chest). Yep, no doubt about it, Daddy is getting the raw deal here. Not to mention after a restless night for parents I get to hang out in PJ’s watching movies, reading and doing puzzles while he is up, showered, dressed and off to the office where he has to be a grown-up. ugh.

So, My Dear Hubs,
I thank you for being the kind of father to our kids, and partner to me, that makes so many sacrifices for the well being of our family. I know you give up a great many things for us, the least of which is sleep and much chick-a-bow-bow with me. I know we are raising wonderful, loving, secure children and all the time and energy we are giving them know, no matter how tired we are, is in their best interest and what we are called to do. Thank you for being my partner, support and greatest love while on this journey of parenthood.
I love you deeply, unconditionally and forever,

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Living Label Free

Labels: I.HATE.THEM.
Shy, Outgoing, Reserved, Smart, Musical, Christian, Funny, Bossy, Bitchy, Lost, Sweet, Dependable, Immature, Irresponsible, Saved, Loving, Gossip, Sinner, Saint…on and on goes the list of all the possible labels we give ourselves, our children our family and friends. I believe labels limit our possibility. When we label ourselves we put ourselves in a box. Good or bad we create limits. We begin to identify with things which are aligned with our label. So often I hear parents describing their children as shy, picky eaters or dare devils. It is important that we remember these are behaviors subject to change at any time, not who our children are. When children are given labels they grow up believing that is who and what they are. They end up in a box without even knowing it and grow into adults who are living a life unconnected to their true self or confused and frustrated trying to “find themselves.”
I think equally sad as parents imposing labels on their children are adults who accept labels others put on them. Sometimes, these labels feel good so we eagerly take them on as a definition of ourselves. When I worked in the corporate world I had many labels. Many of them I liked: organized, efficient, proactive, self-starter, leader. I also had some that were not always intended as compliments but oddly enough I like them too. Ones that described me as a hard ass, take no prisoners, get-it-done at all costs sort of gal. What is so interesting about these labels is when I left the corporate world to be a fulltime mother and home-maker I suddenly had no idea how to behave. My oldest in now 4 ½ and I am just now beginning to feel like I am getting connected to myself, to my true being. I am now learning to just be, living each moment just being who I need and want to be in that minute. Giving up reacting and behaving according to what would suit any label I may wear is hard. It requires honesty, a raw awareness to one’s self that has the potential to be a bit scary. Labels, as much as they bring limits, also bring security. If you take one of those (ridiculous, in my opinion) personality tests and it defines you as “Type A” and then gives you a list of behaviors, you have essentially been given a blue print of how to behave and live. So, there you have it. You never have to think about what to do, just look at your list. Furthermore, if someone is upset, offended or generally bothered by your behavior it’s ok because you can simply explain you are “Type A” and well, that is just who you are.

Living Label Free; My passion, my renewed mission.
I commit to not giving labels to my children.
I commit to not giving labels to my spouse, family or friends.
I commit to not labels to myself, and to not letting others give them to me either.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Don’t Be Discouraged

This morning a recall for Infantino slings was issued after being linked to infant deaths. Babies can suffocate while in this type of sling:

I always found this type of sling to not only be uncomfortable for me and my baby but it made me terribly uneasy and just felt unsafe. I tried it on once and decided it would never be an option for babywearing in our home. In addition to my baby being too “scrunched” it felt as though I was carrying them around in a bag verses using cloth to assist in keeping them close to me.

So although these slings are a no-brainer no-go, there are some other safe and wonderful options out there that will support you and your baby in being nice and close. Here are a few of my favorites:

1. Ring Sling – the ring is SO versatile. I have taken my babes from newborn to currently 4yr (and 40+lbs) in this one. You can safely and comfortably nurse in it as well. It is great for hip and back carrying for older kids too. I have recently started making these slings (they retail for $70-$100+) and I can do them much cheaper. This one is also really easy to get on/off and baby in and out of. (This is also the hubs favorite)

2. Moby Wrap – I like the moby for my newborns. You do have to be super carful to ensure legs are properly supported (when they are infants you can keep their legs tucked in the fetal curl position). I am not a huge fan of this one as my kids have gotten older but it is great when they are little; it keeps them very snug and warm. This one is more work to get on and off; lots and lots of wrapping!

3. Mei Tai – currently my favorite. This one you can wear front or back, infants and older kids. It is super easy to get one and off and hold your babe nice and snug.


Baby wearing is a wonderful way to spend time with your baby and child. Don’t be discouraged by this recall. Babywearing has numerous advantages for you and your baby. Of course it is critical, as with anything you do with your children, to keep their safety in mind.

Here are some important guidelines to remember when wearing an infant from Babywearing International:
• Check to ensure that your baby is not curled up tightly in a chin-to-chest position; this compresses your baby's airway. Making sure there is a fingers' width or two between their chin and chest is a good guide.
• Make sure your baby's back is straight and supported.
• Monitor your child at all times. Make sure nothing is obstructing their face.
• Be aware of how your movements affect the baby: avoid any bumping or jarring motions.

Happy Babywearing my friends!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Poop, Poop and More Poop

Okay, it has been awhile since the topic has been discussed in this blog, and we are overdue my friends. Our home has entered into many poop changes over the last several months. For starters after a bout of diarrhea (that is a HARD word to spell BTW!) and a scary moments of wiping Rock Star has decided he will never again wipe his own butt. Ever. In addition he has begun classifying his bowel movements as follows:
Clean Poop – this would be a firm, no mess poop. (His favorite)
Hard Poop – any level of constipation, at which point he will always ask for broccoli because he “needs more fiber” (I am not kidding you.)
Diarrhea – the most scary and dreaded of all poops.
Then there is Itty Bitty who as I have previously mentioned have begun cloth diapering. Ugh. What a ton of work! So she keeps me up to my eyeballs in poop management. All day, every day. On the positive note, she loves her organic bamboo cloth diapers and now despises disposables. Although, I still use disposables when we are out and about. The other day we came home and she was asleep; I laid her in her bed and about an hour later we hear Rock Star screaming from her room “Itty Bitty is awake and she pooped and is changing her own diaper! HURRY!!!” Oh. My. She was. She had. And she was stripping it off, yes in her crib. Then I get this, “Uh, what took you so long?” look from her. What!?
And now we come to my favorite one, me, or my jealously rather. Jealously of those who get to do their business in private. I am tired of having to respond to the immediate shout, “Mama! Where are you!?” followed by a stampede the second I enter the bathroom. I have finally convinced Rock Star that people (mama’s especially) need privacy when they are in the bathroom. But Itty Bitty is still insistent that she be held while I am…well…you know. I always knew motherhood would require multi-tasking, but this is just nuts.

I feel like the largest part of my day is spent on poop. Tracking it, cleaning it, discussing it, airing out it’s lingering odor, trying to do it in secrete… I love my life.

Bottoms Up!

Monday, March 22, 2010


Must my 4 year old son be subjected to ass in a thong at Kohls!?
So, I was in a desperate search for a bra that keeps the girls where they need to be without spending $65 a pop on them so I drug the kiddos off to Kohls this morning. They have a large selection and always have crazy sales. So yes I know I am asking for it a bit by taking him into the undergarment department to begin with, but it's Kohls, not Pricilla’s after all. So you can imagine my surprise when in the main isle we come across a mannequin with a bra (which really was nothing more than pasties with dental floss) and a thong! Really? I am okay with, and would expect there would be mannequins in bras and underwear, and no I would not expect to see granny panties and a Just My Size 18 Hour bra in stark white, but I think this little get-up was more like something I would expect to see in a porno store. I was actually a little a gasp myself at what I was looking at even before I realize my son was also seeing it.
Oh, how did Rock Star react you want to know? Yeah. He promptly reached out and smacked that ass as he walked by it. Such a proud moment; so proud in fact the first thing I did was quickly look around so make sure no one saw it happen.
Now here is the thing. My son DOES NOT go around slapping asses. He has never seen a bare ass get slapped so what in creation would entice him to do this? Yes, the hubs often gives me a hot smack on the rear but would seeing that little bit of playful affection between parents lead a young boy to smack the bare ass of a mannequin? And why the naked one? There were mannequins all over the place in there; how did he know, or what made him respond to the naked assed one? Sigh.
Well, I did the good mommy thing and pretended like I didn’t see him do it and hoping against hope that by ignoring it, it will never happen again.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Just in Case... need to recoil in disgust and laugh all at the same time.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Love This Kid

So, he is not a kid (anymore) but he is one of my many baby cousins and he is apart of something phenomenal. Watch.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Disaster Averted

Went to pick-up the dog last night, and he promptly pounced on Rock Star knocking him to the ground. This was good given the minute I saw him all I really saw was muddy paws and a winter coat waiting to shed off. Ugh.
But, the guy also had a trampoline he was looking to give away – score!
So, no dog – just the opportunity break lots of bones.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The Big Dog Decision

If you are a new reader read this before you go any further.
Yes, this is the story of the Damn Dog, which I am happy to say is no longer with us. He found a nice lady who had another damn dog just like him who needed a friend. Angel or Insane woman, not sure; I am just glad the little shit is gone.
Buuuut now, here we go again. Rock Star has been begging for a nice dog that he can play with and that will sleep in his room with him. Rock Star (as does Itty Bitty) sleep with us; if they do not start there they end up there before the morning arrives. Rock Star believes he would love his big boy room if he had a friend, “you know mom, like a dog.”
Me? I would rather have kids in my bed than a dog in the house. But as usual I am a sucker for my kids. And yes I know, Rock Star will not sleep in his room, we will just be adding a dog to our bed. Although I am a lover of earth and animals, I prefer not to domesticate them. So this morning I am reading the paper and come across:
Free to a good home. Border Collie/German Sheppard mix. 3yrs old. Very well behaved, house broke. Good with kids.
Sigh. How can I not call? So I call and turns out the owner is actually a neighbor that only lives a few houses away! (This is a large metro paper BTW, so chances of something like this are slim). It now seems meant to be. Oh, and also, the dog has the same name as the ONLY dog the hubs and I had pre-kids that was wonderful.
Called the hubs – DEAD. SILENCE.
Rock Star begging.
Hubs agrees to a “sleep-over” for a trial run.
I will be reading I Wanna Iguana this afternoon to the kids as a reminder of pet responsibility and what “trial basis” means.
I am an idiot. What am I about to do?

Quick, talk me out of it!

Monday, March 15, 2010

100 Posts

Break out the champagne! Light the fireworks! Start the music!

100 posts. I really feel like I have achieved something here. I have never been one to keep journals. I have tried many, many times in vain only to end up with five or six entries over the course of several weeks. A beautiful notebook whose first few pages are eventually torn out and used for grocery lists. So this feels good, a true document in a way. I recently found out how to turn my posts into a book, thanks to Jessica over at Days of You and Me, which is really exciting to me.

I hope I have shed some light as to who I am for the benefit of my kids. I hope I am using this to not only convey my love for them and their father but also the things I find important in life. I have many more things to say and to share, things that will come in time. Things that will cause laughter and tears, and oh my do I look forward to writing them. I love that writing this blog makes me think.

Thank you for reading. Thank you for thinking and pondering with me.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Writers. Block.

Too many thoughts
Too many feelings
My fear of over-exposure.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

My Tough Little Bugger

Itty Bitty started walking on Christmas Day. She quickly went from toddling to running and climbing EVERYTHING! However, she is still only 15 months so I pick her up into my arms and kiss boo-boos about three times an hour. I watch her fall onto her hands and knees while running to keep up with Rock Star all day long. Most of the time she just grunts and gets back up and is on her way as if nothing happened. I know some of these falls take a small toll on her but I think I have taken for granted how resilient she really is. This morning while taking a load of stuff out to the car before I loaded the kids (why is it I feel like I am moving out of the house whenever I have a day of errand running?) I totally bit it in the driveway. I slipped on an ever so small patch of lingering ice and went down like a bag of bricks. My stuff went flying and I was so hurt I actually started to cry. At the end of it all, nothing more than two bruised and scrapped knees and a skinned elbow but holy crap! I thought I was going to DIE! Now, I consider myself to be pretty tough. I have a rather high tolerance for pain (I walked around last summer on a broken ankle for three weeks before I finally had it looked at, and that was only because it was so swollen my toes were turning blue.) and typically walk injuries off fairly quickly. I suppose it is because I am ridiculously accident prone. I think I need to do more yoga to get more in touch with the movement of my own body...

Aaaanyway, I ended up reflecting on how often Itty Bitty falls like I did and it doesn’t even faze her! Yes, I know she is closer to the floor and all but she also does it about a hundred times a day! What a tough little bugger. I think I am going to give her a long warm bath with a full body massage. She certainly has earned it!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Readers of My Words

Sometimes I find myself getting caught up in tracking hits to my blog and worrying as to why I cannot get any of you to interact with me or each other via comments. Yes, it has bugged me. I read this other blog which is so damn boring it makes me cry but this chick gets over a thousand hits a day and has close to 20 comments for every post. Some aren’t even posts; one time there was a shopping list – OF GROCERIES! WTF!? And yes, people commented. “Oh, I like that brand of crackers too!” Are you kidding me!? I keep reading it trying to figure out what the appeal is. I can only guess she has a large family who are home-bound. I have a large family too, but unfortunately they have lives.

So anyway, I it got me thinking, what is my real purpose of blogging? Is it a personal outlet? A journal of family events? An update for friends and family? Or am I trying to market myself in some way – ultimately to make some cash? My initial response is, all of the above. But if I am completely honest, I think I may have a higher opinion of myself than others do. I think what I have to say is insightful, funny and relevant. And while I am at it I will also admit that because I find the things I have to say important I have felt entitled to readers. And income.
How shameful.
I find the events and day-to-day antics of my life hilarious, but the truth is, I don’t think my experiences are that different than any other SAHM and my stories any different from the other thousands of mommyblogs out there. So I started researching blogs, the top 50 mommybloggers, finding out who was doing what, reading tutorials on managing a successful blog, how to work the PR scene….ugh. Corporate greediness, yelling, shouting, infighting – all around internet temper tantrums with a gimmie, gimmie mine mentality. Nauseating.

Then I realized what my favorite blogs are. They are not the ones with a million sponsors and advertisements splashed all over them. They are quiet little musings of mothers, artists, poets and crafters. They share with their readers the sweet and funny stories of their lives, their broken hearts, their goals and triumphs. Occasionally they rant about the sometimes hurtful and crazy world in which we live, but are ultimately women committed to living in the good with their friends and families. They are honest writers. They are transparent.

I am inspired. The reality of my life is I left a well paying corporate job to stay home with my children and have my life work now be about them. I need to give myself the gift of time and exception from making a buck and remember what this season in my life is about. Being a good mother, wife, friend, being healthy both physically and mentally. Acknowledging this, the journey of my life can be the only focus of my writing. Readers or not.

Someday, my children will read my words. They are the readers I care about. They are the ones who I really want to feel my words and wear them in their hearts.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Supernova Kids

Do you ever have those moments where you sit and just watch your kids be? I swear there are times when I just can just see the radiant light of growth creativity exploding from inside them. Then, well…there are times when I sit back and think, “What the hell is going on in that kids head?” or worse yet, “That can’t be normal.” I mean, there are things that I understand are developmentally appropriate and there are things that have to be touched and even eaten for understanding. But then there are these things that happen…

-Two rolls of toilet paper in the bathroom sink, water turned on.
- Taking off shoes AND socks every freaking time we are in the car.
-Rolling onto the tummy with pro wrestler strength the second the poopy diaper is opened for changing.
-Bugger eating.
-Pulling out a toy that has JUST been put away even though it spent the better part of the day lying in the middle of the floor completely untouched.
-Watching the Beep-Beep Dot Com commercial with the movement of a coma patient.
-Claiming to be “awe-done!” with a meal then going DIRECTLY to the floor and eating the droppings before I can even hope of getting the vacuum. (BTW- I have learned to vacuum the floor and the baby BEFORE she is let loose.)

I am so freaking glad my kids make me laugh. Can you image having a child who never did anything weird?

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I need your feedback

I am working on a larger piece for the newspaper I write for and wanted to solicit your thoughts.

What allows parents, in particular mothers, to commit crimes that risk them being taken away from their children? In particular I am interested in white collar crimes, such as embezzlement. Excluding issues of addiction and abuse, what allows someone to do this and risk being separated from their children? I just do not get it.
What are your thoughts? Please share your comments. If you would like to share something less public, you can email me.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Apologies – what are they good for?

I received a call the other day from a distant relative (both in the family tree and geographically) who I had not spoken with or seen in nearly two decades. As with any out-of-the-blue call from a person from ones past I was excited but also skeptical. These are rarely the “hey I was just thinking about you” calls so I couldn’t help but wonder what was the real reason for the call. Turns out my cousin was calling to apologize for something that happened almost two decades ago when I was a young teen (very minor incident and one I never even knew took place). I think I actually laughed out loud, and knowing me I am sure it was a boisterous laugh, over being offered this apology. In part it struck me as crazy because I had no idea what she was even talking about and secondly, I could not believe this minor thing had been weighing on her mind and heart for so long. I probably lacked any sort of graciousness in the situation, again I laughed. It was important to her and I could have been more gentle and soft in my acceptance and forgiveness. Of course the problem was I really saw zero need for the apology and even less for forgiveness and this really had no impact on me then or now (like I said NO memory of the incident). In the end it was fun to catch up with her and reconnect with a distant family member.
But as with all things, it got me thinking….
Who is an apology ever really for? If you are truly regretful, isn’t the apology for you? You want to feel the burden of guilt lifted from your own back. Think about the words often used, “I need you to know how sorry I am.”
I need.
Yet, if the apology is really for the other person, could it not be offered even if you really are not sorry, or guilt ridden? But perhaps you just care about the other person enough to want them to feel better?

There are two people in my life I really have needed an apology from. When I explore why it is I need the apology I realize it is not about wanting them to accept blame or admit a wrong but it is because I need to know they really understand the hurt that was caused. I have needed them to know deep down in their bones what they did mattered. Perhaps it is not about getting the apology but rather the validation that my hurt was real. I guess at its core isn’t that was a true apology is all about, validating the emotional reaction to someone we have wronged?

On the flip side, how many times have you given your verbal forgiveness to someone because you love them and do not want to hurt them even though their words or actions are still causing you hurt? Why is it so hard to say, “I love you and know you love and care about me and I am thankful for that. I guess that is why I am so deeply hurt. I am sure we can heal in time, because we care and love each other.” Instead, so often we offer up, “It’s fine.”

I think this is where you draw the line between real relationships and encounters. In a true relationship one where love and respect are actually present, there is honesty. Where everyone can honestly say,
I am sorry I hurt you.
I forgive you.
I love you.

Oh, and just in case you read this and think perhaps I am living some quiet, contemplative life here; I just looked up from my laptop and saw Rock Star eat a bugger. Now I will go vomit.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Sound of Silence

Not something I hear much of these days. With Rock Star and Itty Bitty loving every second of playtime they have together there is usually an endless wave of sound echoing throughout our home from daybreak to bedtime. They each have and enjoy their own private quiet time to read and play, but of course it is never coordinated time! Ahhhh…but today we had a rare but beautiful morning. I had recently moved some of the kids’ books from the playroom to the family library room. As I was cleaning up breakfast after the kids had eaten and taken off from the table at warp speed I soon realized I heard nothing. NOTHING. Dead silence. The wave of sheer panic hit me hard and I went racing to the front of the house where I felt them to be. Sure enough there they were, each sitting as still as could be with a book on the floor of the library. Rock Star was thumbing through an old textbook on how to write a research paper (Yes, I know. I have no idea) and Itty Bitty was reading a baby board book about feelings and what they look like. I eased back so not to disturb the moment and contemplated getting my camera but I knew I would disrupt them and I really, really wanted them to enjoy the time so I just left them. About 20 minutes later Itty Bitty came tottering to me with a book asking me to read with her, soon followed by Rock Star and another book. We snuggled together wrapped in quietly read words for a bit longer and then the morning moved along.
Great way to start the day.
Deep Breath; Big Exhale.

Friday, February 12, 2010

One Step Closer to Nature

I am trying. One little step at a time I am trying to bring my family closer to nature through the food we eat, the items we use, how we consume and through an ever growing appreciation and care for the world around us. A couple of weeks ago I began making homemade diaper wipes (better for baby, cheaper, and reduces the purchasing of plastics and chemicals). I have been really happy with them. I feel better using them to clean up the kid’s faces and find them far more durable and skin friendly. So, my next big step is moving to cloth diapering. Itty Bitty is super-duper interested in the potty and although she has yet to go on it, she sits on it regularly. Although, I do not think she is ready and I will forgo any formal potty training processes for a bit longer, I thought the feel of cloth diapering may help some. I had planned to cloth diaper with any future babes we may be blessed with, so starting with my 15 month old is a rather new idea. But, I figured better late than never and given we go through about 7 diapers a day and she will be in them for at least another three months, I figure we can still save the landfills roughly 630 diapers (not to mention about $300). Not bad. Well, a step anyway.
So today is the first day. I used to change the cloth diapers of my many cousins when I was young and used to sit for them, so I am familiar with the cleaning and handling process and am not worried about it. I am actually really excited. The only down side is I suspect I will have a pinch of trouble getting the hubs on board, he will no doubt be worried about the whole “pin (i.e. sharp object) near the baby” thing, so I may be the primary (okay, only) diaper changer in the house. Eh, he can take over all the butt wiping for Rock Star.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

WHAAAAAT am I doing?

I have a total love/hate relationship with connection technology. I despise the idea of being connected all the time via phones, texting, email, blogs, tweeting, Facebook, television, etc. At the same time, as a SAHM I do like the ability to reach out. Obviously I enjoy my blogging, but I also battle the idea that rather than enjoying and sitting with the small moments in life we spend them sharing with the masses. People who tweet as their children are being born for example blows my mind! Put the phone down and get present in your own life already! Trust me; I get the notion of sharing the funny interesting things and thoughts in a day. All of my family lives out of state and I love that I can keep in touch with them and the push of a button. I love that my kids get to talk to and have books read to them via skype with their godparents who live in NYC. I love that I can toss jokes with my cousin mid-day who lives in the woods of Wyoming and that I can get photos of my kids in front of grandparents in Michigan within minutes of taking them. It is wonderful to have the ability to stay connected with the people who I love that are far from me. But I have set some boundaries for myself (those of you who know me and have been reading for a while know I am all about the personal boundaries!) I dropped off of FB late last year because I was just spent on all the mindlessness of it. I had a growing list of friends and friend requests that I did not really know or quite frankly care about, and an endless list of friend request from people I really, really did not know that sat there just making me feel guilty. It was time and energy totally wasted. I decided rather than spending an hour surfing FB on info I didn’t care about I would spend the hour reaching out to people with whom I wanted to foster a healthy relationships. Great move. I have recently gotten back on FB, but again with the boundaries, I am only “friending” my first cousins. As you know I love these guys and gals and since we are so scattered about and all keep odd hours between kids, happening social lives, work and school, it is a great way to keep track of each other.
Okay….I think I am rambling and digressing a bit…lets see where was I going with this??? Oh yeah, I signed up for Twitter. WTF?!?! I hate the entire concept. I loathe the idea of telling the world that I am stoked that I just got eggs for 0.49 or getting excited that Ashton Kutcher just went to CVS. Seriously I do not care. So whaaaaat am I doing???? Well as you know I write a weekly column for The Grain Valley Pointe newspaper and they tweet about local stuff. I clicked on their home page and was reading some of their tweets and given my business here in town and that the hubs is on the P&R Board I figured it would be good stuff to know. So I signed up just to get the GV news. Of course though I am now feeling the pull to tweet something. WHY? It goes against everything I believe in and yet it is calling my name…tweet…tweet….tweet…..tweeeeeeettttt! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! For the love of all things good and pure, I will be strong and reject the urge.

Uh…just in case you want to check and make sure I do not start tweeting you can follow me @mamacomedy.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Monday’s 3 Quick 3’s

3 Things I think about when I watch TV…
1. Why do you think shouting at me will make we buy your product?
2. I hate you for making my children think Pop Tarts are healthy because they are made with “real fruit”.
3. When I ponder which brand of tampons to buy, I promise you I am not thinking about which one will best protect me while dancing in my stilettos and red flowy dress but rather which one will survive not having time to use a restroom for 9 ½ hours straight.

3 Things I love about myself…
1. My hands
2. My really, really loud obnoxious laugh
3. I am learning to avoid people and relationships that are void of trust and respect; and put the extra time and energy into people I can trust and respect.

3 Things that make my days a bit brighter
1. Coke-Cola (yeah, for the record – probably not giving it up)
2. My iPod
3. Art Supplies

Thursday, February 4, 2010

I aspire to be …Dora?

When I was young I thought of being something great in life. You know an aerobics instructor, a department make-up counter lady, the next Tiffany or Debbie Gibson …you get the idea. But never, oh never did I think on any given day of my life my true aspiration would be to be Dora the *Freaking* Explorer. My kids, and yes I sorrowfully say kids as Itty Bitty is much aware of the mind grating “I’m a Maaaaaap!” song, are obsessed. So much so that Rock Star requests I play Diego and Dora with him daily. Multiple times a day in fact. I find it interesting that he continues to ask me being as I apparently suck at being the almighty Dora.
No Mooom! Not like that!” Argh! So here I am day in and day out try to be the best little Dora I can, only to achieve tremendous failure and have myself esteem shaken-again. I mean really, I already had to give up on being the next hot teen pop star, now this!? Life is so unfair.

Oh Dora, what a love –hate relationship we have evolved into.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Update to below...

Just for kicks I posted my blog on Bullies on the Dr. Phil website:

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Battle of the Bulge

Ugh. I have been seriously fighting the battle of the bulge since giving birth to my daughter 15 months ago (who was only a mere 6lbs btw). I actually gained very little during the pregnancy but have had totally out of whack hormones since and have gained more since her birth than I did during. And, in the interest of full discloser I was carrying extra weight before I got pregnant with her. So I have started a few natural things to help stabilize the hormones and increase my energy, but now I must commit to hitting the gym and being extra vigilant in healthful eating and lifestyle habits. Now I tend to be fairly conscientious of what I feed my family as a whole. We eat primarily organic, lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains and beans but I also have a few really, really bad habits.

So let me confess:

1. I drink coke (regular, not diet) daily. Usually 2-3 cans a day.
2. We eat dinner pretty late (usually during the 7-8pm hour). By this time I am tired and starving and greatly overeat.
3. I am not formally exercising. I am in constant movement with the kids, but I am not getting any serious cardio or strength training.
4. I will tell you I do yoga but I do it in my living room with my children climbing on top of me like I am their personal jungle-gym. Thus it really is not that effective.
5. I do not sleep well, and am therefore tired all the time. This is extra bad for me because I am a fatigue eater. I eat mindlessly when I am tired. I will find myself perusing the kitchen with no direction just munching on anything I can find when I am not the slightest bit hungry, just tired. The few times I have forced myself (and had the opportunity) to take a power-nap, the munchies magically go away.
6. I reward myself with food.
7. I am a social eater. It is hard for me to imagine a social situation without something to nosh on. I think this is the equivalent to an alcoholic not being able converse with a group of people without booze.

I have joked for awhile now that I am a reverse-anorexic (no I do not think anorexia is funny). I think of myself, and even see in the mirror, the skinny me. But pictures…oh the pictures do not lie. So, today I begin the journey. I am going to the gym tonight for my first (alone) workout in a long time. I am starting the menu planning and will slowly and steadily work on the list above. I am thinking of starting another blog just to chronicle the process. I would use actual numbers (YIKES!). Other than to be nosy to see what my fat bootie actually weighs in at, would you read it?
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