Now, you should know that before all of this, he was changing light bulb after light bulb from the fixture--even going so far as to wear special gloves to screw in the light bulb for fear of it exploding from the oils on his hands. This was all entertaining to me... especially waiting for the light bulb to self destruct like a mission impossible message! Long story short, after 3 trips to Home Depot, he was able so successfully replace the light fixture and to this day when I walk into the kitchen I say a little pray before flipping on the switch--Praise the Lord it still works! He was able to retain his hero status in the family and life went on.
Well, last night as I was giving the little one a bath I noticed that the wood around our toilet was looking damp. After some investigation which entailed me getting on my hands and knees and wedging myself between the tub and toilet to take a look at the rear of the toilet--which most moms know is the "danger zone" and should only be done with a surgical mask and iron clad gloves on, I discovered that the toilet was in fact leaking. What to do... What to do! I stuck a towel back there and finished bathing the little one, got her dressed, read her a story, said our prayers, put Holy Water on her head (she cannot go to sleep without this last important step) and turned out her light. I headed back into the bathroom to check my towel placement-and low and behold the towel was pretty well soaked. DANG!
My first instinct was to not tell my handyman husband and to just call a professional handyman in the morning. But then I started to panic... what if he walks in the bathroom and yells "WHO LEFT A TOWEL ON THE FLOOR?" I could do two things at that moment, I could ignore it and let the kids take the fall (which is mean, but this is survival here people) or I could tell him about the leak. How to tell him, How to tell him... OK, so I decided to tell him that I was going to hire a handyman because there is a leak in the toilet and we need to get it fixed pronto (did I mention that we have family coming in town tomorrow and this is the bathroom that they will use?)
I walked down the stairs and tossed this statement nonchalantly at him in hopes that he would say "OK" and return to watching American Idol (which he loves to watch but will never admit that). Well... my luck for the day must have been used up in traffic because he instantly got up off the couch and headed for the bathroom. After some discussion and so forth he determined that it was just a simple bolt that needed to be screwed tighter-"Simple fix babe-no worries." Famous last words.
In the end... we somehow managed to get a cracked toilet tank and water was a'flowin! It happened so fast and although he turned off the water to the toilet, the tank was still full and flowing out. ARGHHHHHH! After some quick thinking he flushed the toilet and that took care of most water in the tank since it could not fill up with the water turned off. I did not know this-I know many things, how to diaper a newborn, how to juggle three kids in the grocery, how to pump gas, how to make dinner while talking on the phone to the bank and quietly reprimanding our son to the point that he is shaking in his boots without missing a beat on both the bank conversation or the stirring of the dinner... but I did not know this. Men must go to a different school where they get to learn all of these little helpful hints... it is called "Husband to the Rescue School" where they learn to rescue their wives even when the disaster has come at their own hands!
So now we no longer have a little hand towel at the rear of the toilet... we have a bucket. I get to go purchase a new tank this morning at the Toilet Tanks R Us Depot where Bubba and Gomer work--I am calling this a school field trip. Hopefully this will not fall under the "how NOT to install a toilet tank" lesson 101. I am going to leave my son and my husband at home tonight to complete this handyman task while the girls and I go to the grocery. I think we will be safer out of the house...
I was enormously proud at that moment to be an American. So many people say that we should just mind our own business, but how can I possibly say that to a Marine who was recovering in the floors above me. We are a Christian Nation-it is our duty to defend those who cannot do so. I think of the strong Marines at this hospital, and then I think of my fragile precious infant that will be born there. I cannot think of a better place to be-surrounded by strength and courage. Surrounded by those who saw need in others and stood to defend them. To be surrounded by all of the guardian angels of those Marines... it is a good place to have a baby.
Babies represent new life. Marines represent protection. I have been so nervous about giving birth with this baby--because I know how much it is going to hurt. Today, as I left the hospital I felt calm. I am an American-my baby is an American, and she will be protected by all means by our Military when push comes to shove. She will be free-because of those who have fought for her freedom.
I pray all of the Marines at Bethesda can have a little less pain the day that I deliver... I pray I can offer up my pain for theirs and that they may somehow feel comforted knowing that this American mom, this military wife, is ever so grateful for all that they have done. God Bless them all~
Can I just say that I am sick and tired of Saxon Math 7/6? My oldest is doing splendid with it... but I am doing really poorly. I have to re-teach myself what my dear old 7th grade math teacher was trying to pound into my head ages ago! And what is with these Investigations? I loathe the Investigations. Here we are rolling along happily doing lessons and the occasional test when WHAM! an Investigation pops up and it leaves my daughter and I in a "Huh? What are they talking about?" kind of funk. Personally, who really cares how to do a model of a bathroom and then figure out the actual length and width of the bathroom-rounding to the nearest foot mind you. Just give us the cold hard facts folks-teach us how to simplify fractions, how to figure out the sum of the angle measures of triangles and quadrilaterals, and how to find a whole number when a fraction is known... because that is what you will use the rest of your life right? UGH!
I talked to my sister Colleen today and asked her if she had done all of these blasted Investigations when her daughter was doing Saxon. She said "Oh Good Lord no!" That was good enough for me because my niece Jessica is a top student in her freshman class, so obviously those Investigations were printed in the Saxon books by mistake... they are somewhat like a yellow street light, you can ignore them and roll on through~
Actually, my daughter really enjoys math. Saxon is challenging-especially since she is in 6th grade and doing 7th grade. Next year she gets to skip on to Algebra. That is when I will start sneaking the book into my bedroom at night and re-teaching myself the lessons before we start them. I will tell you, it all makes so much more sense now than it did when I was a kid! This math stuff is a piece of cake to understand now that I don't need to learn it.
I am just thankful that we are homeschooling math-seriously! When I was a kid I did not understand this stuff and before I knew it, the teacher was moving on to Chapter 23 and I was still confused about chapter 11. Homeschooling gives my children the opportunity to be confident in what they have learned before moving on to the next challenge... or in my son's case, it offers him the opportunity to finish his Phonics and then go stuff his little sister in the hall closet while he stands guard in full military gear until I say "Hey! Get over here and get started on your math!" Not many kids can make such bold claims about their school day.
Having said all of this about math... I intend to keep a deep dark secret from my children that the day I fear most is the day my battery dies on my trusty calculator and I have to add and subtract my checkbook using long division and so on (yes, I am aware that I would not use long division to add and subtract my checkbook totals... please don't email me and tell me this).
As the teacher to my children for their math, all I can say is "Thank God for the solutions manual!"
Next year I need to make up a chart of who I have bought those darn cookies from and who I have not. I am going to get it laminated and post it right beside our front door so I will know just how many boxes we have ordered and how much money we owe... so far this year we are in the hole over $40~we obviously have a problem.
It is just that those little girls look so cute ringing my door bell asking if I would like to buy some cookies. I am overwhelmed with gratitude that they would think of ME when it comes to cookies, and subsequently, I start checking off box after box giddy with the thought of eating such yummy morsels. Another thing that gets me is when they say those magical words-"you don't have to pay until the cookies are delivered." Now, this must hit some kind of weak synapses in my brain and I think to myself "I don't have to pay now??? Ohhh, this is like ordering from a catalog in November and not having to pay until February!" But then February comes and I have forgotten all about the purchase I made in November and... you know the drill.
I was never a girl scout. I was a brownie... then I crossed the bridge to the girl scout world, looked in the mirror (pretending it was water) and then quit. If any of you were ever a brownie/girl scout you will know what I am talking about. I remember wearing my new clogs to the "bridge" presentation--they were wooden, and I loved them. I never sold any cookies though--I don't even know if they did cookies back then. You would think that if they did my family would have known about it... especially my Dad and his love for sweets.
My daughter was a girl scout for a little while. We did the cookie thing and let me tell you, it was exhausting! I have to hand it to all of the moms of all of the girl scouts out there--because they are the ones who are doing all of the "behind the scenes" work when it comes to cookie sales. Sure, the little girls get to put on their little uniforms with all of the patches that they have accomplished and sell the cookies, but we all know it is a mom's job once all of those cookies are delivered and ready to be sorted, accounted for, tallied, delivered, and if the money comes short... it is mom who ends up writing a check. So, to all of you girl scout moms out there-I salute you~
As for me, I am not answering my front door anymore. Our freezer is full of cookie boxes, the cabinet above the stove (the snack cabinet) is stuffed with boxes, and I even have a few boxes hidden under my bed. I have already eaten an entire box of Samoas and now I am eyeing a box of Tagalongs... *big sigh*
Next year when those little sweet girl scouts ring my door bell I am going to have to just hide in the bathroom and pretend no one is home.
I had a birthday while I was in Florida. I woke feeling rested (since the little one was sleeping with her older sister... I had no middle-of-the night wake ups!) My husband turned to me and said "Happy Birthday!" as he gave me a kiss. Now, before I go any further, it should be known that my children and my sister-in-law were fabulous on my birthday and I loved every moment of being with them, but my husband must have thought it was HIS birthday because as I padded out to the kitchen ready to get all of my hugs from my children, I see my husband slinging his golf bag over his shoulder and waving good-bye. HUH? I decided to stay calm... he must have something planned for later in the day-surely.
Now, if any of you had read my anti-Valentine's Day blog, you would think that my husband would have made sure he did not mess this birthday up. No such luck. He must look at that gold band around his finger as his security net. Besides, how far can I get with 4 kids and a dog?
Anyway, the day went on and my sister-in-law and I headed out to see a movie. When we came home, we found that my husband had gone golfing AGAIN (that is twice in one day--he was pushing it let me tell you) and he had left his brother and my son to watch my little one and their little one. Two little girls who need constant supervision, or a house can have a "DO NOT ENTER-DANGER ZONE" sign posted on the door in no time. Well, we found said brother-in-law and son in front of the TV and the girls were upstairs in the craft room buck naked jumping on an air mattress. How does this happen? The girls say they were exercising. Now, I don't know about you and I am going to search the Internet fully, but I have never heard of exercise that required one to get naked. If there was such a sport, I could guarantee I would not be a participant as I would either lose my uterus jumping up and down naked, or I would make the spectators run in horror yelling "Godzilla!" No joke. How do little 3-year-olds think of such things?
little one: "Phew, all of the jumping is making me hot!"
little niece: "me too! I bet if we take off our clothes it will be cooler."
little one: "oh, you are so smart! I feel so much better already!"
little niece: "let's shave the dogs and paint them with finger paints next!"
So the day turned into night and still my husband had not done anything for my birthday. As my mother said, "A birthday is the one day that REALLY is all about you!" This is true, because the good Lord can look around my house and see that I am a mere servant to all of these people who live here. I did notice that my husband jumped into the photo of me with the kids in front of the cake they had made me and decorated with pink icing and sprinkles-what every mom dreams of. I wonder if he thinks I will look at this photo years from now and forget that he went golfing twice on my birthday and did not even get me a card and will simply say "Oh, how nice. All of my family celebrating my birthday." No such luck on that one either--it will be a cold day in you know where before I forget. You see, I have to go to confession and ask forgiveness all the stinking time for these grudges-I have also asked Fr. D. if I can confess some of the sins I think my husband has... he told me no. Dang.
As the sun set on my birthday and I was now in full anger mode, my husband had no idea the things I was saying about him in my mind. No, he just sat on the couch as snug as a bug not knowing that inside my brain were things like "I have given this man children!" or "I am 35 for goodness sakes-and pregnant with this man's forth child!" and even, "I am never buying him another thing or baking him another cake for any of his birthdays EVER AGAIN!" There were the occasional curse word thrown in there as well... but I will spare you.
Well, a day or two later, he finally figured out that he was in the dog house. He has a way of figuring out that I am angry with him wayyyy after the fact so that my anger has diminished and I just blow it off. Basically, he gets away with it! I am sure he would tell you that he does not get away with anything--but that is just him talking and his track record on the lack of holiday rememberings should be enough proof for all of you to just shake your head in sadness for him.
OR---it could all be a part of his plan. You see, a few days later, my sister-in-law and I were heading to a spa to get a pedicure that her Aunt Faye had given us for a gift. Ahhh, sweet Aunt Faye, now here is a person who knows how to give a gift! Our pedicures were at a very posh spa and we were very excited to get pampered for a bit. My feet really needed some help too--what with walking and such! When we arrived everyone was so nice and they kept making comments that they had time left over so if we wanted any other services done it would be no problem. Now, I am the keeper of the checkbook in our house so I was going with the gift pedicure and I was good. As I walked back to the little pedicure area one of the technicians said "Your husband called and said you could get anything done you wanted to." Now... knowing my husband, I thought she was just being funny-you know like those signs you see at some boutiques that read "Your husband called, he said to buy anything you want." Then another girl said it to me and another when finally I had to stop and say "Are you serious?" I guess my husband had called the spa and told them it was my birthday and that he was in the dog house and to give me any treatment I wanted. His brother was quoted in the background yelling "The same goes for my wife!" Finally, after about 20 minutes of interrogating the girls at the spa "Are you sure it was MY husband?" "What exactly did he say?" "How did he sound on the phone?" I began to believe them. Wow--how sweet. My sister-in-law and I decided to get a manicure as well. I sat torn--for three days now I had been mildly perturbed at my husband and then he goes and pulls something sweet like this and I have to be nice. Oh the wicked web he weaves! Mid-way through my manicure I did ask how my husband said to pay for this... and the girl replied, "Oh, he said you would pay for it." I just nodded--I already knew that answer.
After our 2 HOURS at the spa (oh it was bliss!) We met our husband's for dinner at Olive Garden. I smothered my husband with hugs and kisses and laughed when he said "I thought you would get a facial and a haircut as well!" He beamed knowing that he was the hero and I was just the simple peasant girl that accepted his gift. He was relieved that I was no longer giving him the silent treatment, and I was happy to know that he remembered my birthday... three days after the fact.
He claims it was his plan all along to call the spa and add to Aunt Faye's gift. This was a good out for him until I asked him why he would make me sad for three days before giving me a gift... he recanted his words quickly and then asked for a lawyer. My sister-in-law and I have decided to blame all of this on our mother-in-law.
Seeing as today is Friday and the day before we leave for a week... I have a to-do list out the wazooooo! Answer me this riddle: Who is it that will pack? Put sandwiches in a stack? Get out the luggage rack? Take all of the children's flack (can I take 7 pillows and my comforter?) Eat 11 sandwiches by the name of Big Mac, Yell things like "DON'T TALK BACK!" and still be as sharp as a tack? Why ME of course--or any other mother who is getting her family ready to go on a trip by doing all the laundry, cleaning the house (because who in their right mind likes to come home to a dirty house), packing everyone's clothes (how did I get this JOB?) and making sure the heat is turned down, the doors are locked, the bills are all paid, the dog is at the kennel, the guinea pig is being fed, the newspaper is stopped, the mail is on hold, the van is gassed up, and we have not forgotten anyone's beloved stuffed animals or blankets? PHEW! All this and I have a hair appointment today~if I am going to be frazzled, I may as well look good.
When I was a kid we went on a lot of road-trip vacations. I remember sitting in the station wagon all loaded up with my dad honking the horn yelling "What is your mother doing in there!" Well I will tell you dad... she is making sure you have enough underpants to get you through the week!
How does the burden of packing and being in charge of not forgetting anything fall on the mother? I am sure if my husband could speak on this blog (which he has threatened to do) he would let you all know that what he does is of the utmost importance upon leaving on vacation... he pays for it all! Yeah yeah yeah--I could pay for it too if I had a paying job, but instead I have a job that offers only fame and fortune... I am the packer of the clothes, the keeper of the dvd's for the trip, the reader of the map, the "Can everyone just get along!" yeller and the glue that holds this happy forced family fun driving day together.
Oh, it can be rough--all of us stuck in a small space for 11+ hours. I will be lucky if I do not end up like Goldie Hawn in "Overboard" when she snaps and just sits staring into space saying "bubububububuubububu" for the last stretch of the trip. But I am optimistic. My husband has been away for the past week so I am really looking forward to seeing him again. I will cherish doing the little things that annoy him like saying "listen to this" and then start to read him an entire article out of People magazine on a woman who fell in a well and only had red hots in her pocket to keep her alive for the 4 hours before she realized that she could just stand up and climb out. I will also start philosophical discussions on what exactly to call a male flight attendant... a Stuart, or a male Stuartess? My husband loves conversations like those.
So think of me tomorrow... well no, think of me on Sunday when we are safely in Florida and not wearing any snow gear and the only white on the ground is sand by the beach! Pray for me tomorrow--or maybe you should pray for my husband. Some days I wonder what it is like to be married to someone who is always sarcastic and so darn funny (I am talking about me here). I am sure he has his moments of "why me" but then I just give him a hug and tell him that I can't live without him and all is right with the world again. He is so easy~and I am so lucky.
If you don't hear from me in a few days do not panic! I will check in to let you all know how much fun I am having...
little one: "a cheese burgerrrrrr"
after taking a bite of said cheese burger:
little one: "Hey! They put cheese on this!"
While driving son and oldest to Drama class after picking up son from karate (he has to change in the van on the way)
little one: "brother, why do you have your pants off?"
brother: "because I have to change to go to drama."
little one: "but, you're nekid!"
brother: "well thank God we have tanned windows!"
Oldest sister: "don't you mean TINTED windows?!"
I have no idea when we will stop referring to our tinted windows as tanned windows...
My mom was smart... but with each child she became more soft. My older brother never was allowed to sleep with my parents, my older sister would only make it to the hallway and fall asleep propped up against their door. With me, I would make it into their bedroom and ask my mom if I could sleep with her and she would let me crawl in--but only gave me 2 inches of bed and no covers. Now, I would lay there as stiff as a board for as long as I could, but eventually I would give up and head back to my own bed. I say my mom is smart because she never had to get up and lead any of us back to our beds-she didn't give an inch when it came to her sleeping and we knew it! When my little sister came along-my mom went soft. Claire slept in my parent's bed all the time--and in the middle I think, with all the covers.
The same is true for our family. My oldest never ventured out of her own bed. She would even call for me in the morning when she woke up and ask if it was time for her to get up yet. When I would sleepily call back "no, lay your head back down." SHE WOULD DO IT! Wow... I thought I was a brilliant mother! My son never slept in his bed-or in mine. I would go to him throughout the night getting him back to sleep--this is the kid who broke my brilliant streak and made me a slave to his sleep cycle. Our youngest did really well until she went to a toddler bed--and this just happened! She is 3.5 and we just moved her into a toddler bed--because we need the crib for the little lamb I carry around with me 24/7 who gives me heartburn and hemorrhoids. Anyway, we just completed a sleep deprivation trial here at our home with the little one and I know I am causing another string of sleepless nights by letting her crawl in with me while my husband is away with work.
Now, you need to know that I am taking a great risk by posting such a blog. You see, I always thought that my husband would read my blog every once in a while-but only skimming, never truly reading (kind of like the birthday cards the kids and I spend HOURS searching for and he will skim the contents and ask for cake-sheesh!) Well, after my "Valentine's Day stinks" post yesterday, I found out that he does in fact read my blog... good thing he hasn't figured out how to post a comment yet.
So just consider this post a warning to my hubby. The little one has taken over your side of the bed, and it does not look like she will be relinquishing her newly acquired throne. Oh, and Ralph next door did come out and help the kids finish shoveling the drive after he asked our boy if you were out of town. (This was after he received the cupid poop in his mailbox!)
We can't wait til you come home on Friday~I miss you!
When I was a little girl I used to run around without a shirt on in the summer. I was such a tomboy that I used to pray to God to make me a boy. My mom and dad let me run around half naked because it was the 70's. Everyone was half naked! I remember one night in summer when my Grandpa was over for dinner, we were all in the backyard and the sun was just going down to where the day is touching night and the lightening bugs are just starting to blink. The summer air had turned a bit chilly, but being a kid I did not care. I ran up to my Grandpa and he wrapped his arms around me and asked "aren't you cold?" I can still feel the warmth of his arms that night. It was one of those wonderful moment hugs-the kind that are given so freely and accepted without hesitation. The kind that you will remember long after the hug has been released and will touch you forever.
My Grandpa used to come over every Wed. night for spaghetti dinner at our house. After my Grandma Mac died (I was only one-oh how I wish I had known her longer) my Grandpa would rotate houses for dinner. My mom has 2 sisters and a brother, so it worked out well. We had Wed. night. Well, Grandpa would come in and sit in the big chair in our living room and turn on the news. Now, when I was a kid any other night of the week before dinner we watched Welcome Back Kotter except for this one night. I didn't really mind though-I would snuggle in between my Grandpa's feet and sit. Grandpa Mac had one wooden leg and one regular leg. He would sit watching the news and I would creep my hand up his pant leg feeling his wooden leg. I would pull his sock up and then push it down and then pull it up and then push it down. I was always amazed at how smooth the wood was and how his sock was able to stay up! I also remember my grandpa never tiring of me playing with his wooden leg. He never told me to shoo, or to stop. He just sat there, watching the news and making me feel fully accepted by him.
Grandpa also had a pocket full of caramels ready to give out to all of his grandchildren. He also had a special smell to him. Now, many of my close friends know that I have a very sensitive nose. I associate events and people with the smell of it all. I used to go into my parent's bedroom when I was a little girl and pick up my mom's pillow and take in her scent when she was not home. I still do that when I hug her-I breath in deep so that I can take her in fully. Anyway, I remember my Grandpa's scent. When I was pregnant with my son, I would be walking or driving in my car and all of a sudden I would smell my Grandpa. I also craved caramel candy-I felt my Grandpa near... I felt like he already knew my son.
I was just an adolescent when my Grandpa passed away. I was in that horrible stage of girl/woman where you want so desperately to be cool, yet at the same time your emotions are still as a child's. Well, I sat at the funeral of the man who I loved most in the world and did not cry... I tried to play it cool. Then something happened, my cousin Dave (who is a big-time Doctor now... so proud of him!) broke down and started to sob. Here was Dave-who I had always thought was cooler than me-was crying. I started sobbing as well. My grandpa was gone, and he apparently meant as much to my cousins as he did to me--he somehow made all of us feel as if we were the most important one in his life.
I watch my own father with my kids today and he is the same kind of Grandpa as my Grandpa Mac was. He loves my kids enormously and they think he is the greatest. What a gift-to have the love of your Grandpa on your side... always!
Happy Birthday Grandpa Mac. I love you~
Cut squares out of tissue paper, plastic wrap-or whatever.
Drop a handful of red hot candies in the middle of tissue paper, plastic wrap-or whatever.
Twist and tie up so that the red hots do not fall out.
Attach little poem:
My husband and I have maybe been together 2 Valentine's Days in our entire 17 years together. As I sit here I think "who really cares about Valentine's Day? It is just a Hallmark holiday anyway." Yeah, well, I never buy that. I want to be pampered, I want to be showered with gifts and kisses and made to feel special. I want something other than the usual housewife day. I want to feel like the ladies on the cover of a Harlequin novel damnit!
Well, this year is no different and my husband is out of town for work. I awoke to snow-pretty as it is, it is not cheering me up. My neighbors all have snow blowers and they have already cleared their driveways--mine is still snowed over. I guess I have a snow blower as well--it it ME! This is where you should know that my husband also has the knack of being out of town when we get snow. You think I may be lying--but I speak the truth! I was about to call my friend Lori this morning and tell her that my husband is out of town and yes, it snowed. She is the one who pointed out to me last year that he was always gone during a snow--thanks Lori. Isn't it Valentine's Day? Wouldn't you think that someone would think that maybe the pregnant lady whose husband is out of town would need her driveway cleared--but noooooo. I will go out with my son and huff and puff and clear the driveway--then I will turn around and realize that I gave birth half-way down the drive. Happy stinkin' Valentine's day~
Now you should know that when I was packing for my husband to leave, I stealthily placed TWO different cards in his pant legs for him to discover throughout his trip so he could think of me and long to be home cuddled with me in front of a fire sipping hot coco and whispering Shakespeare in my delicate ears. Well... he had not even mentioned my cards!
Now many of you may be saying "Poor guy! Give him a break! He is working hard so that you can stay at home and he has others who are breathing down his back this week and he needs you to be kind and understanding right now." To you I say "Go jump in a lake!" I am his WIFE! He asked ME... it is not like I asked HIM. He should realize that I only need extra attention on two different days-my birthday and Valentine's day. I really do not ask for much more.
The sad truth is that he will never know that I sit here feeling like no one has asked me to my Senior Prom today. He will go on with his day unaware that he is stomping on my poor precious heart-no, I am strong. I can press on... I will launder his boxers when he gets home and I will make sure his favorite meal is on the stove (OK, that is not true because his favorite meal is meatloaf and I cannot make a meatloaf to save my life! ) so his second favorite meal (anything that comes after meatloaf) is on the stove and I will never mention my blog breakdown. *big sigh*
That is of course unless he reads today's blog--if that is the case... well HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY! I love you my husband, but you will have to ring the doorbell when you come home as I have had the locks changed.
My heart skipped a beat.
My oldest saw the paper sitting on the counter and said "Mom, we should keep this up all the time"
I responded "Yes, so all the ax murderers and crazy people can just walk right into our house without ringing the doorbell first..."
My oldest looked at me and just said "Oh, would you stop Mother." This was followed by some serious hand-on-hip attitude and eye rolling.
I just get so teary eye'd when she calls me "mother"
When I was a little girl my mom had a brown sweater that she wore everyday. Hers was a zip up and I recall her wearing it for years (along with a pair of purple polyester pants... my mom was a trend setter). I don't know when it happened but one day the brown sweater was gone. Did my mom finally give up this security sweater for the more traditional sweatshirt, or was it somehow mysteriously "lost" by my father? These are questions that will forever go unanswered-much like the Big Foot mystery or the Loch Ness monster sightings.
Today, I was chilly so I asked my son to please bring me down my beloved sweater. He did so and when I walked back into our school room, which doubles as our formal dining room, my daughter had on her comfy red robe over her clothes and my son had on his Bears robe over his clothes. I just smiled. I love homeschooling! Kids who go to school do not bond with their lounging clothes the way that homeschool kids do.
One day I am sure that my blue sweater will get "lost." Until then, I will wear it proud, I will embarrass my kids by wearing it when I pick them up from their activities (they also really hate when I wear my Lands end slippers as shoes out of the house!) and my husband will just have to look past the blue sweater and find the sexy woman that resides beneath it. My sweater is a part of who I am... a little worn out-but always willing to bring warmth.
Phew! This is one tough crowd! My youngest just started taking ballet last month, so I am a "new mom" to this group. Today I sat under the disguise of reading a book, when I was actually taking in all of the happenings in this room that would make a seasoned politician and world leader crack under the pressure. I kept thinking that this was like high school with the barriers that were silently made.
On one side of the room you had the nursing moms. They all had a baby stuck to their body and sat happily chatting quietly with one another. Now, watching them I knew that their conversations were about babies and nursing them. I could see some of them trying to form a sentence but then forgot what they were about to say...because as any mother who has nursed a child knows that these precious little lambs are simply sucking your brains through your boobies at rapid speed.
The other side of the room were the moms with the older toddler boys--these boys were maybe 4 and came complete with Gameboys and made sound affects such as bombs being dropped and guns being shot. Now, having a son myself, I am fully aware of the sound effects and I swear boys have an extra gene that enables them to sound like a machine gun. I have tried many times to make this sound with my son--but he says I do it wrong and am no longer allowed to even try. Whatever.
Throughout the room were other groups of moms-some who just decided to talk to the person next to them, some content with reading a book, and some catching up on their checkbook balancing. I am one of those moms. I just sit and read and will talk to the person next to me if they deem me worthy... usually I bury my head in my book and enjoy the semi-quiet.
But... smack dab in the middle of the room is the "I am such a good mom and so important" mom group. We all know who I am talking about. They are in every waiting room across the country. They are the perfectly manicured moms with the perfectly styled hair that drive up in a newly washed Lexus or Hummer and their purses are full of survival tips that would make any Army Ranger feel inadequate. Today one mom pulled out a dryer sheet that was neatly folded in a zip-lock baggie and rubbed it on her daughter's head to combat the static cling. I sat amazed! Another one pulled out a necklace that she and her daughter had made yesterday during "craft" time at home and it looked to me like it could have come directly out of a Tiffany's catalog. I have craft time at my home too... it entails cut open grocery bags and finger paints and it usually ends with finger paint on the walls, the chairs, the floor, and the dog. I can't fit all of that in my purse.
I was listening to them say things like "did you hear about so-and so" or "my husband bought me a yacht last weekend just because" or "I am going to fire my cook... she is putting too many carbs in little Ashley's lunches!" and I started fighting with myself inside. Part of me wanting to be a part of this group, much like I wanted to be a part of the popular group in middle school so desperately that I swore my devotion to Duran Duran and ignored my friend who I had had since kindergarten. The other part of me said "now, I am sure they are perfectly nice women-why am I judging them?" and another part of me said "no thanks, I will sit here in my hand-me-down maternity top and read my book happy with who I am!" That was the hardest part to listen to.
Why is it that we judge other women and either want to be like them or want to loathe them? Oh how I long to be the type of lady like the Grandma that comes in with her hot pink ball cap and her "World's Best Lover" t-shirt and happily chats with everyone in the room not caring what they think of her. I end up sitting in judgement of myself mostly. Why don't they talk to me? Why do they look at me and then just look away? Do I have a boogie coming out of my nose? Does my hair look that bad today? Is this top really that bad? Then I settle on old faithful--the answer I use to appease my insecurities... they must be jealous of me right?
What is it about other women and friendships that makes us all (or at least me) lose our bravery? I am a military wife for goodness sake! I run this household with my husband having full faith and trust in me. I raise my children the best way I know how and I can be the voice of calm reason when there is chaos surrounding my family... why then does the ballet waiting room make my pits sweat to the point that I have to sit down and scratch the heck out of them (which may be one of the reasons why I sit by myself come to think of it.)
I would like to fast forward this waiting room to one year from now. I will probably still be one of the moms that sit on the outskirts reading my book and listening to the "important middle-of-the-room moms" say things like "I just don't think one nanny is enough for our family, I am thinking of getting an assistant for our nanny." I only hope that when I look around see the new mom sitting by herself that I will have the courage to get up and go talk to her. You never know-she may be the treasured friend that God has planned for me.
I was able to shower, but I had to walk out of the house with semi-damp hair and no make-up. I also could not find matching knee-highs in my drawer. How does that happen? I put them in my sock drawer, but they must have a party when the drawer is closed and pair off with different socks-darn promiscuous socks! I had on one black knee high and one navy blue one-close enough.
So I am driving to Church while trying to write the offering check on the steering wheel and think... why is Sunday morning so much easier when my husband is home??? I will tell you why-he gets the kids moving. He makes sure they have shoes on (and socks--my son forgot to bring his socks into the car to put on with his shoes so he just wore his dress shoes with no socks today) and my husband makes sure the dishes are put away, the dishwasher is turned on, the offering envelop is filled out and all children are in the car with coats and waiting for me to simply walk down the stairs and put my coat on (that my husband has set next to the door) and get in the car. I don't think of this on normal Sundays when he is home-if anything, I grumble under my breath that he could be doing more to help. Oh, my humble pie is tastey today!
Anyway, we made it to Church with 1 minute to spare! We rush up the steps only to see Fr. D looking at me a bit puzzled. I must have looked completely disheveled--so I wonder if when he was on the altar with his head bowed and his eyes closed if he was saying a prayer for me... I won't tell him that I brought this whole frazzled morning on myself. Well, we walk in and THERE IS ANOTHER FAMILY IN OUR PEW! Oh the horror-the nerve! I say that with great sarcasm because when I was a little girl my father had a certain pew that he had claimed for our family and if someone else sat in our pew, we heard about it the entire drive home from Mass. This morning we had to sit on the opposite side of the church than usual and my youngest refused to get into the pew. After some pushing and poking-she gave in only to look around and say first... "It smells like my brother's breath! ewwww" and then "Mowma, why is that lady dressed like she is on fire?" It turns out the woman behind us had red hair and dressed entirely in red (I am sure because of Valentine's day). I just closed my eyes and tried to catch my breath from running across the parking lot-with a pregnant belly and carrying a 40 lb. child. I needed peace and I was full of complaints in my mind.
Then Fr. D said his homily. It was on how not to have Christ call you a woe. He reminded us to count our blessings-not to tally them up, but yet to remember them and be ever so thankful for them. He told us about his father who is very educated and has many degrees. He also has 8 children-6 married and 2 in the religious life, and 15 grandchildren. His father works for the government-and in the government/military world, many people have "I love me" walls in their office. This is where they place all of their degrees and awards, with photos of Presidents and World Leaders they have met and so forth for all to see (not that these are not blessings). He said his father keeps all of those things in a box in the garage... his "Love Me" wall is full of pictures of his wife, children and grandchildren.
I turned and looked at my children-my oldest so beautiful and brave, my son so kind-hearted and protective and my youngest so sweet and innocent. I turned and looked at the elderly couple in front of me who sat sharing their Magnificat with their heads tilted toward one another-I thought of my husband and the life we have ahead of us. I thought of my parents who have been married for 40 years and who love me and love my husband. I thought of my sisters who are always supportive of me and who I love so much that I ache when I think of them. I thought of my husband's brother and his wife who without their faithful friendship I would be lost and I thought of my 6 nieces and nephews (#7 and #8 on the way) who are all such happy fun-loving kids who hold my heart and I thought of my friends who are my treasures. With all of this, I sat in complete awe of my blessings. I was finally able to take in the refreshing breath that is the Holy Spirit and I felt peace.
Take time today to count your blessings. Look at life through less frazzled eyes--we forget that each person is a deep mystery to be explored and appreciated, someone with whom we can connect and for whom we can pray--BLESSINGS!
I recently read in "Following Christ in the World" by Seton Press this: "All men and women are called to the universal priesthood of the faithful by virtue of their baptism. All of the baptized can participate in the sacrifice of the Mass and receive the sacrificial Victim in the Holy Communion. All Catholics should stand in awe of this great privilege and thank God that He has called some men to receive the power to renew the covenant for us."
This all being said... someone told me the other day that they think the Catholic Church needs to "get with the times" and Priests should be allowed to marry. They went on to tell me that they thought the Church would eventually be dry of Priests unless something is done by way of Priests being able to marry.
Let me get this straight... times are a changin' and therefore the Church has to bend? Correct me if I am wrong but it looks to me that the change that is happening in our world have come about through sin, because of sin, and a result of sin.
I about tossed my shoe through my television when this "priest" on the news made the claim that we have all heard... the Church would not be having so many priests abusing children if they would only be allowed to marry. First of all, I am a warrior when it comes to abused children. I will fight and protect any child I know-or any adult that I know who has been abused as a child-until the day I take my last breath. This is not something I take lightly and I firmly believe that if a person abuses a precious child... a little lamb, they they deserve to be punished to the fullest. Here on earth and how God sees after death. I say that so you understand when I say "HA!" that you do not think I am undermining what children have gone through-in and out of the Church. But, correct me if I am wrong... but there are pedophiles that are married are there not? There are pedophiles who are leaders in other religious churches and there are pedophiles who are school teachers, bus drivers, youth ministers, uncles, grandfathers, and fathers. Do I believe that priests will be judged more severely because of their sins here on earth? Yes... Fr. D has always said that the road to hell is paved with the skulls of priests. This is because a priest holds the sins of their Church on their shoulders. Remember, "Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my bothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly." James 3:1
We need to pray for our Priests. They are married to the Church and they have devoted their lives to our salvation. Just as I fast in order to teach myself to control my desires to demonstrate my love for God, so a Priest practices the fast which is celibacy. It is a wholesome and pure thing that is incredibly difficult in the world that surrounds them. We need to realize that this is not an easy fast and that it is a lifelong lesson of discipline that offers these chosen men the ability to be completely devoted to Our Lord and to offer complete concentration on the Will of God.
To read more about this, the article The Truth, the Young, and Married Priests http://www.catholic.org/featured/headline.php?ID=2043 is a great read.
Too often we look for things that will make us more comfortable with our sins rather than taking on the courage to stand for what we believe and for what is right in this world. We all sin, we all make dramatic mistakes... I pray that we all discover the meaning to God's Word in our lives. Proverbs 4:20-27 basically tells us to Look straight ahead and fix our eyes on what lies before us. To mark out a straight path for our feet and stick to it. Don't get sidetracked.
You are all in my prayers
Last night we talked about home management tips. Well, first we talked about everything else under the sun and the last 20 minutes or so we talked about the main topic of the evening... but still. I gave the best tip I had... hire a cleaning lady. I was so surprise that no one else in the group had thought of this! My favorite day is the day I get to walk in my house and someone else has cleaned it and I can just enjoy it. I think this is something that all homeschooling moms should have--heck, all stay-at-home moms should have a cleaning lady!
Now some of you may be saying, "But that is my job-I am the one who is supposed to clean and do the laundry and educate the children, and discover a cure for cancer and conquer world hunger" Yeah Yeah Yeah... I am not that proud.
Now, please do not think of me as a snob who has a Alice tucked away in the room next to the kitchen (wouldn't that be nice though?) I just have someone come in once a month... and to be honest, 48 hours after the house has been completely cleaned, my children have once again "kidded" it up and it needs it again-so I do still clean... A LOT! But there is something wonderful about that one day out of the month when I can walk into my house and just say AHHHHHH! Those are also the days I pretend I am a size 6 and chocolate has no calories!
Aprons- Y/N- Nope... I do have one that my husband wears when he is carving the turkey on Thanksgiving, but that is the only time it is pulled out. I like to live on the edge and see if I can make it through a dinner prep without sploshing sauce all over me.
Baking-- Favorite thing to bake: I am not a good baker-I can cook, but I cannot bake. My daughter is the baker in the house--her specialty is a big cookie.
Clothesline- Y/N-- My parents had one, and I always hated the feel of sheets dried outside. They were just too rough and they never smelled good. You know those commercials that have a skinny woman dancing to imaginary music in her head while she takes the sheets off the line and smells them like they are just heaven sent? Yeah--that is not how it is. The sheets smell like they were just slept on to me. Yuck. We basically used my parent's clothes line to hang our pool towels
Donuts-- I used to love Dunkin' Donuts' but that was back when I was young and could eat a pound of sugar a day and it had no affect on my body--now if I eat a donut I have to skip lunch and dinner and I still gain 5 lbs. Stupid donuts!
One homemaking thing you do every day-- I wipe pee drops off the toilet seat everyday. I also wipe sticky stuff off of various surfaces around the house, and dishes... dishes are a never-ending job that I do. They just keep reproducing... dishes must be Catholic. I need to get me some protestant dishes that do not reproduce so much! HAHA
Freezer-- Do you have a separate deep freeze? Are you talking about an extra fridge? We have one of those in the garage. It is full of beer, and milk.
Garbage Disposal-- Y/N? I would not buy a house that did not have one! We did not have one when I was a child and we had to scrape the dishes into a little plastic bag that had just gross stuff in it from the entire day. Blech! It is amazing that I survived my childhood-seriously. We were so deprived.
Handbook-- What is your favorite homemaking resource? The Bible
Ironing--Love it or hate it?These are all things that my mother did... I do not do any of these things, because I am June Cleaver AFTER a six-pack... not June Cleaver circa 1952! I do not iron, I go to the dry cleaner and pay an arm and a leg to get a pair of shorts pressed. I remember my mom used to iron my dad's hankies. What the hek? That is how I actually learned how to iron, but pressing my dad's hankies... little pieces of fabric that he was going to blow his nose in! He didn't know how good he had it let me tell you.
Junk drawer--Y/N? Where is it? We have one junk drawer in the kitchen... but I have children who empty the dishwasher so all of my cabinets are discombobulated. I can never find anything and I swear I am going to put a big ol' bell on the kitchen scissors because those suckers never make it back to their proper place. It is a game I play every day, "where or where are the kitchen scissors?'"
Kitchen: Design and decorating? It has a table and we eat in it. That is about it.
Love: What is your favorite part of homemaking? The paycheck... the recognition... the fame!
Mop Y/N -- I am more of a "hands and knees" kind of gal. Those darn mops just don't get the corners or the base boards... man am I anal.
Nylons-- What are nylons?
Oven-- Do you use the window or open the door to check? I open the door-if it is burned, it is dinner time!
Pizza-- everything but anchovies. I am from the Chicago area and I have not had pizza as good as from back home-so I am not real picky-it isn't going to be as good as I have had it.
Quiet-- What do you do during the day when you get a quiet moment? This is the funniest question I have ever read in my life! Quiet moments, well let's see, I scarf down the stash of chocolate I am hiding before any children/husband/dog comes in and asks me for a bite and I go to the bathroom and read.
Recipe Card Box Y/N? Nope, I have all of my recipes on the computer now.
Style of house--Virginia Colonial
Tablecloths and napkins? Nah-we just tear off a piece of paper towel to wipe our mouths... and any other part that needs a good cleaning at the moment.
Under the kitchen sink-- organized or toxic wasteland? Pretty organized. One side is sponges and soaps, the other is cutting boards and Olive Oil.
Vacuum-- how many times per week? I love to vacuum. I love the look of carpet that is clean. We only have carpet in the bedrooms so the kids have to vacuum their own and I do my bedroom about every other day. I used to vacuum our old house which had all carpet, every day. I was obsessed... I have received help for this and now if I vacuum more than 4 times a week my electric shock collar sends me enough volts to curl my hair!
Wash-- How many loads of laundry do you do in a week? I do a load a day. I switch between whites and colors. It makes life easier-really. When I was a kid my mom did laundry on Mondays-I hated Mondays because I would get a pile of clothes to put away that was the size of a totem pole. It is much more manageable for me to do a little each day.
X's-- Do you keep a daily list of things to do and cross them off?-- Only when I have a lot to do. My kids have a school schedule that we check off each day for each subject. If I am cleaning I am anal and put down every detail that I have to do. I can't help it. If I do something that was not on the list, I will go back and add it just so that I can cross it off. I need serious psychiatric help...
Yard-- Who does what? There are two things I do not do... mow the lawn and change light bulbs. I will garden and weed and plant pretty flowers, but the lawn mowing is my husband's job. We are always out there together, me puttering in the flower beds while he mows. He also changes all burned out light bulbs. He has a hard life...
Zzz's--Locking all doors, brushing my teeth, checking on the kids, saying the rosary and then praying for sleep to come...
Temptation is a cruel thing. I always think I am doing really good at being obedient... but then someone goes and buys Jr. Mints and it is all over. I caved-I denied three times before the cock crowed.
I hid the evidence and went straight to the store to buy another Jr. Mint box to replace the one I ate... and just moments ago, I finished the last stinking one from the box. I am so weak.
The alarm went off at 5am and I got up to drive my husband to the metro. I was amazed that our little one did not wake up because although my husband claims to be quiet and I believe he genuinely tries to be quiet... he cannot do it. It is like asking an elephant if he could please tiptoe across thin ice and make it to the other side successfully. I woke our oldest and let her know I would be gone for a few minutes and then left her door open so the little one would go directly into her room upon waking. The temptation of her older sister's door open would be too great to pass up and this way I would not have to worry about her going into my room and freaking out because I was not there. I took the dog with me because she has separation anxiety issues and if I left her in the house she would surely start running from window to window barking and waking the kids... so she was blessed with a ride in the car. Taking the dog with also offers me some early morning humor because when my husband gets out of the van along with all of the other husbands getting out of their wives' vans, ours comes complete with a crying whining dog that cannot bear to watch her owner leave her. She is loud, she is obnoxious, and my husband hates it--or so he says. The kids and I personally love this outward sign of love and devotion from the dog, but I can see where my husband may have looked like the kid in school who's mom comes to bring him his lunch and kisses him leaving a lipstick mark on his face in front of the class. So not cool~
When I returned home I was SURE the little one would be awake and ready for the day... after all, the sun was not up and it was just past 6 a.m. Well, to my surprise she was still sound asleep-not a peep out of her. It was surreal. I giddily climbed back into my bed and rolled over to sleep... when I hear her door open. How does this happen? Then I remembered something-survival training 101! My husband, being the military man that he is, takes every opportunity to teach our children survival skills. He has taught my son to survive in our back woods by building a shelter and bed and pointing out what to eat (just in case he gets lost on the way back from the creek which is within view of the kitchen window). He has taught our youngest how to drop into a ball and cover her face and ears if an angry dog is coming toward her, and our oldest daughter... well let's just say he is teaching her survival skills against boys. Last night I was listening to my husband teach our youngest how to survive if a bear comes near her... since there has been an unusual amount of bear sightings in the Washington DC area this year-not. The only bears we have seen are at the zoo, but that is not the point. He taught her to lay perfectly still and pretend she is sleeping.
When my little one walked into my room, I pretended she was a bear and did not move. She climbed on my bed, got up close to my face, and may have even sniffed me like a bear... and I did not move. To my surprise, it worked! She left (taking the dog with her) and went back into her room to play. She may have fallen asleep again because the next thing I knew was that my clock said 9 a.m. The house was amazingly still standing and everyone was quiet. You have no idea the joy I felt! I had done it! I had slept! It was bliss and I woke up refreshed and happy. This is what it is like to walk upright and return to the land of the living... not the land of the severely sleep deprived. Ahhhhhh
Now, you should know that the dog has been snubbing me all morning so I do not know what she had to endure during my blissful sleep, and to be honest-I do not care. She doesn't get a free ride around here and if I need her to sit pretty and get dressed up by the three-year-old from time to time in order for me to return to sane mommy, well than that is the path she must take. I feel no guilt.
Now, my only concern is this... how will I get my little one to sleep tonight since we all slept in this morning? I am having the ladies from our homeschool group over for a kid-free night of alcohol and sweets, but now I am afraid I will not be getting the little one in bed until half past midnight! Do I start giving her Benedryll now and see how our day goes or do we scrap the schooling today and head straight for the bowling alley, roller rink, and park ASAP? Decisions decisions...
My sister-in-law has found herself in a new position. It seems she no longer has a name. She is a military wife like me and has recently taken the name "XO Wife" and she will soon be "CO Wife" Now, these are very important positions, but she is having to get used to people stopping conversations when she walks into the room and when she is introduced to children as "your daddy's boss's wife." She is also having a lot of fun with the drama that comes along with being a military spouse in a military squadron. After talking to her on the phone the other day, I started to think of my last position in the military spouse world. I am going to only say this once and some of you military wives out there may disagree with me, but I don't care... this is my blog. :) I do not think that young wives should hold "important" roles. That being said, let me explain. When my husband was a Captain, I became the president of the OWC (officer wives' club). I did not know what I was doing, but I surely thought I knew it all. Drama ensued with other wives-as it usually does when more than one woman gets involved with something-and this became the worst year of my life! I was overrun by the higher-ups (my husband's bosses wives) and I dug my heels in with a lot of petty things that looking back, really did not matter. I mean really, it is a big deal what color napkins are at the Valentine's meeting? Today, I could care less, but back then something came over me and I fought for pink when they wanted red. UGH! I do feel that young wives need to be involved with the squadron/base/wing/office and so on... but on the level that they know. Leave the other stuff to the higher-ups who have been married to the military for more than single digits and have endured deployment after deployment. Leave it to the higher-ups who do not know what it is like to spend a birthday or a Valentine's day with their husband and Christmases have been moved to December 15th because their loved one is on their way to the great sandbox and will be gone by December 16th. Leave it to the wives who have listened without judgement to their husbands thoughts/complaints/accomplishments and so forth about his job and have learned that what ever their husband tells them at home, STAYS at home.
Now, when we moved from that base where I had the worst year of my life, I told my husband that I was going to take a pause from the military wife world. He was fine with that and I asked him to tell me when he needed me to step back into things. My time is coming-and some may say that my time has come again.... but I am just ignoring them. Instead, I am enjoying listening to my sister-in-law and am happy I am not yet back in the trenches with the other wives.
My sister-in-law is doing a fabulous job and she should... she has been around long enough to have learned a thing or two. When my number is up and I am called back to duty (serious eye rolling going on here) I will be comfortable with the fact that I may have learned a thing or two as well, and I will be sure to go with the flow on napkin color and so forth... so help me God.
My husband woke early-as he usually does and so I was up at 5:30 to see him off. Most mornings I stay up puttering around the house-trying to make as little noise as possible so I do not wake the three-year-old. Today I decided to go back to bed--because I was cold and because my body really wanted to sleep more. Well, my three-year-old has super powers. She can sense if anyone is awake in the house and she will shoot out of her bed faster than a speeding bullet! She was down the stairs before I even had a chance to turn out the kitchen light. After a few back-and-forth words with her--- me:"you need to climb back in bed, it is night time." her:"no it not! I hear'd Daddy" me:"yes, Daddy went to work early, but mommy is going back to bed because the sun is not peeking through your window yet." her"wook! It snow'd! Can I go outside and make a snow angel and a snowman and wear my mittens, and my scarf, but the scarf is your scarf, can I borrow'd your scarf mommy? Can Sophie go with me? Get my coat mommy! Can you make hot chocolate?" me: "nope-it is bedtime, you can go out later--after sleep." her:"I don't wike you mommy" and then there was crying--me not her.
So after my early morning banter, I was back in bed by 5:40. My three-year-old was up at 5:50, 6:05, 6:15, 6:30, and finally at 6:45 she started playing the game "Behind which door." This is her favorite game. She goes from room to room opening doors and closing them. The bathroom was first and I must have drifted off a little because I woke like a shot when I realized she had been in there for at least 5 minutes. Now, my little one and the bathroom just spells trouble. I swung the door open to find her sitting in a pile of unravelled floss trying to clean the dogs teeth--floss that belongs to my 12-year-old who does not like ANYONE touching her things... especially not her little sister, and especially not the dog! So I saved the dog once again from experimentation and suggested that the little one does something productive with her morning, like watch some TV. Looking back, I should have just gotten up, but something happens to my body when others are up and needing me... it just wants to go back and hide under the covers. This is exactly what I did. I continued to hear my daughter pick door #2 which is my son's door and I could hear her playing with his toys-I knew it was a matter of time before WW III started so once again I trudged myself out of bed to redirect my little one to a more quiet activity... TV! Back in my warm bed again, I hear door #3 opening up. Now, opening this door is like opening up Pandora's box. The three-year-old decided to open the 12-year-old's door, waking her older sister by taking various treasures out of the numerous trinket boxes that decorate her room. I have to give her credit because she made it out of there with $3, nail clippers, one earring and crumpled up paper with "My favorite songs" scribbled across the top before she was apprehended and frisked by one angry older sister.
FINALLY the little one, having opened all the doors she could decided to watch the Wiggles. I have to say, I LOATHE the Wiggles! 4 grown men dancing and singing children songs is just creepy to me--but at this point I did not care because she was quiet and I was back in bed under my covers.
Cue phone ringing. It never fails. I do not know why I try and get a little rest around this crazy house. It is my husband on the phone. Now, before I answered the phone, you should know that I figured it would be my husband and so I start to feel guilty for climbing back in bed when he had to go off to work--so in order to cover up my sleep voice, I say hello a few times, clear my throat, say hello a couple of more times until I am satisfied that I DO NOT sound like I have been lounging in bed. My husband is frantic when I answer--which I expected. He cannot find his wallet--which I figured a phone call this early would only mean that he has lost something. My husband-God Bless him-loses things. He does this when he has a lot on his mind, which has been the case this week with work. Usually when he loses something our house goes on lock-down and everything and everyone has to partake in the finding of the lost item. It is never something easy like a comb, or his wedding band... nope it is things like his wallet, his military id card, his car keys. This morning I was able to convince him that he did actually leave it locked in his glove box in the car-which is at the commuter lot-which is far from where he is. Satisfied with that answer, he continued on to work relieved that I validated his idea that the wallet was safe.
By this time, my head was pounding from in and out sleep and I gave in... FINE! I WILL GET UP! Now, if I have to be up--everyone has to be up! I dressed the little one from head to toe in snow gear and sent her outside to shovel with her brother and the dog. The oldest retreated to her room to assess the damage her sister caused and practice her piano And me, well I had a Nutty Bar and Diet Pepsi for breakfast alone-in peace and quiet. It is the small victories that I cherish~
I think that over the years, well it is more quality than quantity. When my husband and I were first married it was great fun having sex, and over the years it became more and more fun, but it was the kind of fun that only comes along every so often... kind of like the ice cream truck when you were a kid. You would be playing happily and all of a sudden hear the faint sound of the ice cream truck miles away. You yell "ICE CREAM!" and run in the house for your quarter and than wait and wait and wait for that truck to come. Some days it would... but other days the happy song would just grow fainter and fainter until it was gone... or a solar eclipse-which every analogy you prefer. My husband is the type that will ask for affection every night of his life. Even if he is sick and dying, he will always throw in the comment that he is not so sick that he would pass up a chance for some love. Me on the other hand, I am constantly tired. I could go to bed and not think of making love to my husband for weeks... I am pitiful I know, but I am damn tired people!
In Danielle Bean's blog today, she wanted everyone to say one nice thing about their husband. She is correct in saying that television shows seem to make the husband out to be the punching bag. We love "Everybody Loves Raymond" in our house. Mainly because it is my life. If any of you knew my mother-in-law you would agree. I am sure I will visit that subject more in future blogs... ANYWAY, my nice thing to say about my husband is that I love the familiarity of him. I know him completely and he knows me. I am comfortable and open with him. I have no secrets-because he knows them all. He loves me at my worst and he will offer himself to me even when I am cranky and ugly. He knows just how to open my arms to him and for that I am grateful.
I remember talking to a friend of mine (Lori) a long time ago and I was complaining that I just didn't feel attractive anymore-that I just wanted to be noticed. She pointed out to me that my husband always notices me and is always attentive and willing towards me. This is so very true. Women worry so much about their appearances-the baby weight they gain, the thinning hair after each child, the not-so-tight buns. We long for our 18-year-old bodies, but eventually give in to the fact that 18 was a long time ago and we need to be comfortable with our 30-something bodies-stretch marks and all! My husband helps me with that a lot. He rarely comments on the fact that my arse now goes down to my legs, rather than my legs going up to my arse.
My father called yesterday before the game to tell me in his irritating "I am a new Colt's fan" tone "The best team will win." I told him to keep it up and not only would he find himself in a nursing home, but I will put him in one in Indianapolis if he loves it so much!
Actually, I did not watch much of the game. The fist quarter was great, but then all of the snacks were making me sick and my children were in rare form last night--well, they were normal, but I was not feeling well so their constant jabber and body movements were making me want to tear my hair out, so I had to retreat upstairs and watch "The Barbie Nutcracker" with my youngest. At one point my son (who lives and breathes Bears) came upstairs and yelled "I can't take it anymore-I just can't watch anymore!" as he flung off his Grossman jersey and proceeded to give me the play by play. By 9:30 I tucked all children in bed and headed there myself. My husband came in looking so sad and defeated after the game. Poor guy. Actually, I have to say poor Rex Grossman, because if I know my beloved Chicago the way I do, Chicagoans will be looking for his head on a platter. He is going to have it rough for a while... maybe I should add him to my prayer list.
Speaking of prayer lists... my daughter came home from her Religious ed classes yesterday and said that one of the kids asked the teacher if it was OK to pray for someone else to have "no luck, or bad luck" they told them YES! UGH! Now, as you all know I homeschool and therefore I teach religion with every subject. We send our children to Religious ed classes through our parish because a) Our parish does not look at homeschool taught religion as credit for the year--which irritates me completely! and b) because we recently moved here, I wanted to offer yet another chance for my kids to meet other (nice) kids in the area. Well, so far I have had to pull my son out of his original RE class because of what they were "teaching" and switch him to another, and now I have to scratch my head at my daughter's class. Having said all that--I was sure that some people in the world were praying for the Bears to have bad luck last night... obviously all misguided by their RE teachers when they were children.
So, even though they lost I still love my Bears and Brian Urlacher. I had to put that in for my little sister because she and I just think he is the greatest! I refer to him just by his first name when I watch the games because I am such a fan I feel he and I are on a first-name basis. He feels the same no doubt.
To all the Colts fans out there--congratulations and so on... blah blah blah. To all the Bears fans out there--go easy on Rex (again, first-name basis) he is just a kid.
Years and years ago after I gave birth to our oldest, my good friend Mary told me that if she ever had a child she would name him Tiger. I thought this very weird, that was of course until a few years later Tiger Woods came on the scene and took the golf world/Nike world by storm.
People seem to nickname others by animal names as well, especially in the military flying world where no one goes by their God-given name that their mother loving chose for them-no they go by names like Turtle or Hamster... names that drunken military mates have given them. When I was a little girl, I would play at my grandmother's home often. Next door was a little boy named "Poo." My mom told me it must have been because he resembled Winnie the Pooh, but now that I am a mother of a son-I bet it was because of his smell that he got this nickname. Now, I ask you, what kind of future does a kid have who has been branded with the name Poo? Anyway, I digress...
Why do people name their children after animals? What ever happened to the good ol' Bible names? If you are going to name your child something like Bear, or Tiger, you had better be sure they are going to make something out of themselves. Which leads me to wonder-does giving a child a strong or interesting name help them to be strong or interesting? Let's look at "Meatloaf" shall we, sure he is a great singer and performer--but he does sort of resemble a meatloaf.
I wonder if a bear would ever consider naming their cub after a person. You laugh-but bears do talk-just look at the story of Goldilocks. This is what that conversation may look like:
Papa Bear aka "Frank": Lois, I have been thinking, people are starting to name their children after animals so I thought it would be nice to name our cub "Human!"
Mama Bear aka "Lois": Yes but Frank, do you understand the pressure our cub will have to walk upright all the time if we name him "Human?"
Papa Bear: Sure, but think of his future Lois! The world will be his playground!
Mama Bear: That is true-and maybe one day he could wear a pair of shorts and ride a unicycle in the circus!
Papa Bear: That would be a proud proud day!
Now, lets look at the conversation of proud human parents naming their baby after an animal:
Dad: (stumbling in the house with a few beers under his arm) Lois! I just hit a bear with our truck!
Mom: Just great-my water just broke!
Dad: This must be a sign-let's name this baby "BEAR!"
Mom: You can name this kid anything you want if you make these labor pains just stop!
Dad: here--have a beer to dull the pain! Welcome to the world Bear Francis O'Leary!
So, I do not really know the reason for this blog entry today... but as I lay in bed this morning at 5am after being woken up by my youngest because her blankets were not perfectly straight and she could not find her Dora the "Horrible" doll, I started to have these thoughts. What would you name your children if you named them after animals? Think about it....
- pull on maternity underwear and bra that is not maternity (because I refuse to start wearing a nursing bra when I am only 28 weeks!) and listen as the wires in the bra basically squeak from being pulled to the limits. It is no joke, my bra makes sounds. When I am walking I can hear the faint squeak with every stride. One of these days my bra will go on strike and start picketing.
- pull on maternity jeans that do not look good on anyone... not even the model on the tag! Sway back and forth as you pull the pants up over the rear and belly alternating hips to and fro so that you get the pants at just the right spot on your hips, only to have them fall down the moment you sit down or bend over. (My sister-in-law, who is also pregnant recently had the "underwear peek show" with her maternity jeans--I feel for you sista!)
- Pull on a "Bella band" a new thing that I have for this pregnancy. It is a fabric band that goes over your pants/belly and is supposed hold up your pants. It is a pill to get on though, this may be because I ordered a size one (for pre-pregnancy sizes 0-8) Well, any sane woman knows that pre-pregnancy size has NOTHING to do with pregnancy size, but there was no way I was going to order a bigger size--I already know I am big, I do not need to be mocked by my clothing! Getting this Bella band on is about impossible-but after a few minutes and some heavy panting it is snugly in place. It is like a girdle for pregnant ladies, and like Dolly Parton said in Steel Magnolia's "These thighs haven't left the house without lycra on them since I was 12."
- Put on support tank top. This is to aid the bra in the job of holding up the twins who have surely increased in size and weight but I am still in denial about this--as #1 explains.
- Put on top that makes it look like I just went out in the garage and found my husband's Coleman tent and put it on. I am talking about the two-man tent, the family size tent with the extra rooms would be just silly.
- Finally-it is sock and shoe time. They ought to make an Olympic event out of this because it takes a lot of training and skill to achieve this feat without either falling over, or passing out from lack of oxygen to your brain because you cannot breathe when you are bent over your belly for longer than2 seconds.
So, after I was finished dressing I realized that the only tan I probably had left was on my elbows but I no longer cared. Why was I trying to get tan anyway-I am fully covered by layers of clothing!
I headed to the grocery store with the kids-but we first stopped at the BX (the Base exchange on our military base). I flipped through the maternity clothes but decided not to try anything on because I did not have the energy and I did not want anyone calling the MP's because of all of the grunting and moaning that is involved in trying on clothes. I decided to stick to an area that was safe for me--the make up aisle. My children and I proceeded to spend the next hour going through make up and jewelry. My youngest daughter and my son entertained themselves by switching price tags on items while my oldest daughter and I turmoiled over what shade of blush for me to buy. This is a good time to let you know that I do not wear blush-I do not wear a lot of make-up. I am basically a mascara only kind of gal unless I am going out for the evening. My husband calls make-up "war paint" and I figure I have lost the battle so what is the point.
We walked out of the BX with 3 shades of nail polish, 2 shades of blush, jewelry cleaner, and a scale. Why a scale you ask? Well, I want to be prepared the next time I go to the Doctor and they INSIST on weighing me. I don't want to stand like a deer in headlights when I hear to the nurse gasp and "tsk" as she writes down my weight and compares it to last months and I don't want to feel guilty when my chubby male doctor tell me that I need to lay off the fast food. If he gets me on a bad day, I may just tell him the same-and then some. No, I want to be ready-no more preparing for the worst and hoping for the best with my weight... I am going to be aware that all hope is lost and when I leave the Dr's office I will not feel guilty going through the Arby's drive thru for a large curly fry! I am pregnant woman-HEAR ME ROAR!
After all of this, I could not face the grocery and came home. It took me a total of 10 seconds to pull off when took me 20 minutes to put on this morning and I replaced my outfit with sweat pants and a sweatshirt. Then I went to try my new blush-I have one color on each cheek... it is a look that I am sure will be the next fashion craze--just you wait and see!
After Church 2 weeks ago, my husband walked up to our dear friend and priest Fr. D and asked him to send up a blessing for our Bears (I think he was trying to do it in the Rocky Balboa fashion "yo Father, I'm fighting tonight, can you send me up a blessing"). Fr. D jokingly said that football was the work of the devil because it keeps men away from Mass on Sundays. Thank God above that the Superbowl is in the evening this Sunday!
I do have one bone to pick with my father though... all of a sudden he has become a traitor and started rooting for the Indianapolis Colts. This is crazy! Here is a man who has worn Bears clothing to every family function and even to Church on Sundays and he is now saying he is rooting for the Colts?!! I fear Alzheimer's is starting to set in with him and we will soon be sending him to a nursing home... or at least that was the threat I gave him over the phone the other day. He needs to get his mind right! I don't accept traitors well. Back in the day when Michael Jordan was a Bull he made a comment-no, not a comment, a promise that he would never play for any other city than Chicago. Well... he retired, then came out of retirement, then retired, and then went and played for someone else. I was so traumatized that I do not even recall the name of the team he went and played for--I think it was Crapville. Anyway, I view MJ as a traitor and have held a grudge against him ever since. I am sure he is cut up about this--but he will have to get right with Chicago before I forgive him. I tell you this story so that you understand the severity of my father rooting for the *gag* Colts. Ew, I think a little throw up just came into my mouth. My little sister is just as appalled by this--although she really is teetering on the line with me sine she married a Broncos fan and even expressed her loyalty to the Broncos in one of the email "50 questions about you" forms. She has said that she is "both" a Broncos and Bears fan-that is like saying she is a Republican and a Democrat-it just ain't right. The Bears vs. her husband. No question... "Da Bears!" One last question for you all... Lovey Smith vs. the Taliban.... no question "LOVEY!"
Has anyone else been watching American Idol? (only 8 million of you right?) Well did anyone see it the other night when the curly haired kid named Chris came on? He sang amazingly and he was dang funny. He said he wanted to be an American Idol just to make David Hasslehoff cry like he did when Taylor Hicks won. I laughed so hard-my kind of humor! I am getting my speed dial ready to call... although I have never called for my favorite performer and then I get ticked off when the are booted (Daughtry)! My husband asked if people really think they sound good when they sing, and then he turned to my daughter and asked if she thinks she sounds good when she sings (we hear her singing all the time locked away in her room... to say she is off key is being kind), well she matter-of-factly said "yes, I am a good singer." Point made--even the bad ones think they sound good.