Monday, June 30, 2008

Greetings from Canada

Well, I've been here in Canada for 5 days now.....and it has been absolutely wonderful. It is great catching up with family and friends that I haven't seen (some for many years). The kids have been having a great time getting to know their cousins, and the best part is -- that because we aren't in the sweltering TX heat, they can actually play outside for more than five minutes at a time. It's been great.

Anyway, not a whole lot to report...but there is one thing. The day after I got here, and great family in my hometown lost their entire home and all it's contents in a house fire. So, if any of you get a moment, or think about it, could you please pray for Bro. & Sis. Jack Stone and their family. They are truly remarkable people, and my heart is going out to them.

Anyway, I may not write again for a month, until I'm back home. I' m having too good a time, and want to spend as much time with friends and family as I can.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I Needed That

Yes, I'm still here. The Babysitter's Club wouldn't return my calls. Dang that Dawn (and Stacey, and Claudia and Mary Anne....). So, I hope that the rest of you Mommies out there are having fun in Mexico. Have a shot of tequila in my honor, would ya?

Ever notice how you can be having "one of those days" and then all of a sudden, out of the blue, the simplest thing can happen and it makes all of the screaming and yelling and fighting and arguing and mess (Oh man, the's going to take me all morning tomorrow to clean up the playroom!) disappear? Our two younger boys had bunk beds in our old house. They seperate into seperate beds, but we only had 3 rooms, so the younger two had to share. Our boys slept together in that room for an entire year and a half....which considering Ryker just turned 4, was a long time for him. They both enjoyed the comfort of sleeping with someone else and it really helped Ryker transition out of our bed and his crib into his own bed.

Every now and then, Ryker will sleep with one of the other boys in their rooms. It happens very rarely. The past three or four nights, however, Ryker has been asking to sleep with Rand almost nightly. We didn't think much of it until tonight, when she asked Ross if it would okay for the fifth night in a row. We were suspicious. When Ross probed a bit, Ryker started to cry. He said that he had had a "bad dream" about falling out of bed and he was scared to sleep alone now. I do believe his dream, but I also know that he's got a bit of anxiety right now what with just moving into this new house, and our impending trip to Canada (without daddy for a whole month), etc. This is where the magic that I so needed to witness kicked in. As soon as Ryker started to cry, Randakk, who up until this point had been struggling with his PJs, held out his arms and hugged Ryker tight. He said, "It's okay, Ry. It's okay. Don't cry. Don't be scared. It's okay". There is a connection and a bond between them that surprises even me some days. And tucking them in tonight (we let Ryker sleep with Rand after Ryker asked Randall, who replied, "Sure!" with the understanding that tomorrow night everyone will have to sleep in their own beds), I was grateful for being able to see that magic and that love that exists. I needed that.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Calling All Mommies

I've had it. I really mean it this time. I've really had it. And I'm done. The summer just started and the boys are driving me insane. I can't take any more of it and I'm scared I'm really going to lose my mind this time and they'll have to haul me off to the insane asylum. I'll be drugged and bound and put into a rubber room all alone... Uh...wait, that doesn't sound that bad. The kids aren't coming to the asylum, are they? They aren't? Oh. Okay, well, then put me down for a single rubber room. I like my eggs over easy in the morning.

But until the authorities come to take me away (don't worry, I'll put on a good show!), I'm calling all tired, frustrated, fed up Mommies out there to join me in running away from home. If you're like me and are already counting down the minutes until the school bus arrives so you can shove your child onto it and fall into a heap as it pulls away, I've got a plan. And, what the Hell, if your child is still in school but you're still dealing with the trauma from the thoughts of the upcoming summer, you can come, too. And lastly, if your child(ren) aren't going to school because they're still too little, well, you can have the front seat!!I've got a plan....

First thing we have to do is figure out where we're running. From what I can gather, we're all coming from completely different parts of the nation, so we need a good, amicable spot to gather. Every movie I've ever seen about people running away has taught me that all roads lead to Mexico. That's our destination. Mexico. Now, I can already hear your questions and worries: "But who is going to take care of my children? Who will be left to hold down the fort? The house will fall apart if I'm not here!"Don't worry, I have a plan for this, too.The Babysitter's Club.Remember those books? Well, I'm sure that Mary Anne and Claudia and Stacey and all of the others would love to have a re-union!

So, we'll call them, tell them to sharpen their crayons and pack their Kid Kits and get moving!! It's a Babysitter's Club Emergency! The Mommies are all on strike! Does that ease your mind? You read the books when you were younger, didn't you? Before you realized that caring for children wasn't actually that much fun half the time? They were always such responsible young adults, we'll have nothing to worry about! Are you still pretty sure that the house will fall down around your family if you decide to leave? I'll let you in on a little secret....They'll be fine. Really. It's just their natural survival tactic to tell you that their whole world will fall apart the minute you aren't there. It's the only way your husband can survive in the parenting world. And your kids, too. They actually won't care that much once you're gone. Kids are like stray dogs...they just love whoever is feeding them. Trust me. Plus, one of the members of the Babysitter's Club always had food hiding around and I'm sure she'll share....

Right, so we have a place to go. And someone to watch the rug rats. Now we just need a departure time. I'm leaving right now -- as soon as I post this plea to all of the Mommies. I'll meet you there.....

Monday, June 16, 2008

Okay, so I'm not Jack Handy

That's right, Jack Handy's wit and wisdom are not lost on me. And I know I'm not him, but I do however have some deep and random thoughts that occassionally occupy my mind.....usually when I should be working or concentrating really hard on something. So here are some random thoughts I've had today:

Random thought number one:Why do they make toilet bowl cleaner that smells like peppermint? It's an incredibly intense and incredibly nauseating smell that attacks me every time I pee.

Random thought number two: Is there ever going to come a day when my fair skinned children and I can spend a day at the water park and not get sunburned? Even with a super strength SPF 70 waterproof sunscreen......the intense summer heat was determined to turn us in to a family of lobsters.

Random thought number three:I bought myself a new bathing suit on Saturday. (I haven't had a new suit in about 5 yrs). Now I'm feeling guilty, as usual, about spending the money on myself. Why is that? I will buy new stuff for myself maybe once or twice a year, and then I am wracked with guilt over it and swear of shopping for months at a time.

Random thought number four:Is it September, yet? Because I am so ready for the rug rats to go to school. I love my children, but even when they are in school it feels like I never get a break from them. I just need some "mommy time" once in a while, and I wish my family could understand that without taking it personally.

Random thought number five: Only 9 more sleeps until we go to Canada. I can hardly wait.

Random thought number six:I have gained some weight. Not a whole lot. Just a couple of pounds. But I am determined to get back on track and shed the ice cream muscle.

Random thought number seven: Sometimes this blog is the only thing that saves my sanity during the day.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Independance Day

Why doesn't anyone warn you about four? I mean, there are entire books devoted to the "terrible twos" and everybody has a horror story about the time their little Junior took off all of his clothes and ran around the playground buck nekkid before finally peeing on the slide all in the short time it took for Mom to fetch a juice box out of the diaper bag. "Oh, those terrible twos!" Insert nervous laughter here....

But four....Well, like I said, nobody warns you about the ferocious fours. Nobody tells you about Independence day. Ryker turned four this past May. This is my third time around with a four year old. And I'm having a bit of deja vu.It's almost like somebody flips a switch the day a child turns four. And gradually, they become more and more adamant about their abilities to do everything (and I do mean everything!) by themselves. No help required. Even if it takes forty minutes to tie their shoes, they do not want help! In fact, should you intervene and try to assist, let's say because you have someplace to be and can't play the "let Ryker tie his shoes by himself, he is a big boy now, who cares if it makes you drastically late for the doctor's appointment" game, screaming and crying ensues, as well as a general hatred directed towards Mama.

Ditto for pouring milk into a cup. Which is what happened this morning while I was trying to tidy up the kitchen. For the record, Ryker has never poured anything into his own cup before. Ever. Unless you count water from the bathtub, but I don't count that because that water was usually destined for his brother's head and it didn't matter if it spilled everywhere. Don't get me wrong...I want my children to go up to be confident, independent people. I want them to be able to do things for themselves and not be totally reliant on their mother at the age of thirty ("Mom, I'm late for work, could you pour me a glass of milk?"). And I'm all for learning. I realize that their little minds are at their peak right now, taking everything in and digesting it and turning it into knowledge. I get it. My only issue is that there is no lead up.

Ryker just woke up this morning and decided he was going to make his own breakfast and pour his own milk. Again and again, I might add. The little snot had four glasses of milk. Probably just because he wanted to keep pouring! I seem to remember going through this with Andrew and Randall. By the time they hit four, there was no going back. They were going to conquer the world all on their own, backpack and shoes and milk included. They got over it. They learned what they were able to do and what they needed help with. And now they're relatively independent children who are not totally reliant on mom, but they also knows when to ask for some help.

Just like the terrible twos, they do grow out of the ferocious fours.I can hardly wait.

Friday, June 13, 2008

I am the momma

Before I venture any further into this, I think I should pose the question to end all blogging questions. "Why am I doing this?" Further more, why are any of us doing this? Is it what the title suggests? Are we ego maniacs, desperate to hear ourselves speak (or rather, read what we've typed) and desperate for somebody, ANYBODY, to hear us? I'm sure we're all fairly busy people. I know that I am. My life is full to the brim, threatening to spill over at any moment. So why do we choose to sit at the computer, day after day, spilling our guts onto the screen and secretly jumping for joy every time we find out that somebody read our words?I don't know what your answer is. I only know my own.

"Mother" is what defines me best these days. And as mothers, most of us are desperate to share our stories, compare notes (and let's be honest, compare children sometimes, too!) and bounce ideas off of one another. Motherhood is so different for so many women and the way that we define ourselves as mothers varies just as greatly. I only know what kind of mother I am, what kind of mother I strive to be. I'm curious to find out what other "kinds" of mothers are out there, which is why I started reading blogs in the first place. Now I'm feeling the need to put my own two cents into the mix. And, yes, I'm secretly jumping up and down every time I get a comment which proves to me that somebody read it.

Lately, I've realized just how deep my sense of motherhood runs. It affects so much more than just the day to day humdrum of chasing after kids and wiping bums and tidying up the never ending avalanche of toys. There was a quote I read several years ago that has stuck with me. Unfortunately, I don't remember who said it...but here it is anyway. "Fatherhood is something you do. Motherhood is something you are". This is my truth. Becoming a mother has shaped me and challenged me in ways I never expected. My children are the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about when I go to bed at night. I think of them no less than two thousand and sixty-two times throughout the day. Because I truly believe that at the end of the day, it all comes down to Mama. The buck stops here. And that is a tremendous amount of pressure! And yet, it's almost ingrained in us, isn't it? We don't give it a second thought's not what we do, it's who we are.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Once again proof that I'm an idiot

So, yesterday I got into a drag down knock out fight with my dryer. AND I nearly lost.

Don't you hate when you're just cruising along, with a plan and something comes around and screws it UP?

I'm getting ready to head out to the store, have a few errands, don't want to go, so I figure, let's just get it over with so I can get back home and play Yahtzee with the kids or something. (by he way, Yahtzee is such a cool alternative to those multiplication mad minutes I make my son do, he doesn't even realize that I'M getting over on him, not the other way around)

Ahhh....., but I digress, which actually, is the point.

I'm getting ready to jump in the shower and go to throw in a load of clothes. Dryer won't start. Oh man. It's this fancypants Whirlpool with too many setting and lights to ever figure out. Anyway, there's a hundred reasons it's not starting (the most obvious of which we'll get to in a minute) One time this happened and my husband discovered that the dryer actually runs on two separate fuses, he resets the breaker box and Voila! So I try it.

No Voila! Dang it. So, I shut off every circuit (in the process pissing off my son who's upstairs playing video games and yelling, YOU COULD HAVE WARNED ME SO I COULD HAVE SAVED ......Quiet kid, you don't want to get on my bad side this second.

So naturally, I do what's next. I pull out the dryer and.....look at it from behind. You know, that same look you see when your car breaks down and you lift the hood and as if that's going to fix it on it's own.

In the process of moving the dryer, I manage to tear a gigantic hole in the vent...great! Then I notice how much lint and dog hair are back there, must clean that, can't pretend it's not there....

Dryer still isn't working, no matter how much I curse at it, push buttons or reset the fuses. MOOOOOMMMMM, you ruined my game again!!! comes from the upstairs media room.


I know the dryer isn't 'broke' because the little light is on inside of it.

So I go to the whirlpool website to try to get some answers. I read the troubleshooting guide:

~tried that

~did that


~What?!? Do I look like an idiot...."check the door, it might looked closed but your dryer may have an upper and a lower latch...blah blah blah....I grumble over to the dryer...."shut the door, whatever, like that's going to wor......nevermind. I never felt so stupid in my life :p

Sooooo, I then proceed to contort my body in ways that would make an exotic dancer blush and fix the vent (who invented that jackass ring/screw system anyway?) put the dryer back where it goes and now I'm ready for my shower. A well deserved and earned shower at that. Although now I'm feeling like a nap and not wanting to do my errands even more than before. Ugh! Mondays!

Easy Ways To Be Happy

In the monotony of daily life, chasing after happiness can seem like an endless, really big project. And sometimes, it is. But sometime...