Friday, September 30, 2011

I’ve Gone Sailing

I'm so very excited to say that I’m being featured over at Momma Made It Look Easy.


Jennifer has a fabulous linky over there called Share YourAwesome!  So I’m over there doing just that today!


So please GO and visit me over there.  And Link Up with Share Your Awesome!  Because lets face it, who doesn’t love a linky??  And all of you are AWESOME!



Momma Made It Look Easy
 
 
If you are here from Momma Made It Look Easy,
 
WELCOME!!  I'm so glad you're here.  May a pour you a cup of Starbucks Coffee?  A little wine perhaps??  I'd love for you to get to know me better.
 
Like what I say when people ask me are you Gonna Try For A Girl?
 
Or my thoughts on Murphy's Law now that I'm a mom.
 
Did you know I have a Superhero living in my house?  Yep!  I do!
 
But after all is said and done, I owe my crazy happy life to one very special gift.
 
I would love for you to ride the waves with me, so leave a comment so that I can get to know YOU better too!! 

Thanks so much for visiting!
Hopes
 
 
 

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Next Best Thing to Mommy

All three of my boys have had or still have a second mommy.

This second mommy takes over for me when they are napping, long car rides, or at nighttime.  It follows them to sleepovers, and on vacations.  It makes them feel safe, secure, and loved until I come into their rooms with a smile, open arms and a smothering of kisses.

These second mommy’s are my children’s lovies.

Big T who is now eight just bravely gave up his lovey this year.  It started out as a thermal baby blanket that was sky blue in color.  It ended as a white fabric rendition of a massive spider web.  I’m not kidding!  It had so many holes and rips in it that we were throwing it away piece by piece.  Finally this summer, Big T took it upon himself to throw away the last peace.  And he cried about it.  He was so sad to have to give up his second mom lovey.  But he’s past that now…he’s growing up. 

His little brothers still have theirs.

Sweet Pea has a lovey that is very near and dear to him.  He HAS to sleep with him during his naps and at night.  He even tucks him in right next to his head.  If his nose isn’t right he will yank on it to fix it so that “he can breathe better.”  He talks to him like he is a person and never ever goes without giving kisses and hugs to him multiple times a day.  For years he pretended to be his lovey's mommy.  Just recently he realized that only girls could be mommy’s so he changed to being his lovey’s daddy.  Everyone, I’d like to introduce you to Bay Bear:


Bay Bear doesn’t just have a special place in Sweet Pea’s heart; he also has a special place in mine, because of when and where Bay Bear came into our lives.  All of us first met Bay Bear in the hospital when Sweet Pea was born.  He was a gift to Sweet Pea from his big brother and the very first gift Sweet Pea ever received.  Big T was very proud to be a big brother and he was VERY excited to give his new baby brother a gift.  From that moment on, Bay Bear was always in Sweet Pea’s bed to provide love, comfort, and safety.  Big T made sure of it! 

So to say Bay Bear is special is an understatement! 

Buggy’s second mommy is one that was given to us by a family friend before he was born.  The two weren’t introduced until Buggy went into his crib at 3 months of age, but ever since then it has been a match made in heaven.  His second mommy is currently named Lovey Bunny until he has the words to name his lovey himself.  Without further ado…here he is:


Half Stuffed Bunny, half blanket and ALL LOVE.  Buggy loves to hold his ears, to roll them in between his fingers.  Not his arms or the blanket part…his ears.  Buggy is not at the point where he has to have him in the car, in the shopping car, or in the bathtub with him (yet).  But he absolutely cannot rock or sleep without him.

I am extremely thankful for my children’s second mommys.  For the warmth, the softness, and the security they give my children when I’m not there.  It is because of them my children are able to sleep soundly and peacefully.  It’s because of them that I get a break during their naps, and don’t have to run into the boys’ bedrooms 17 times a night (I don’t know where I got the number 17, just go with it).

But mostly, I’m thankful for the memories they are giving my children, and for the memories they are giving me.

Does your child have a lovey? 

I’m linking up with my fabulous friend Christine at Quasi Agitato because she is hosting a linky about lovies.  Yeah, I know…she rocks!




Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Socially Challenged

Back in the day the words “Socially Challenged” would not be ones that I would use to describe myself.  I was always an extremely social person.  In school I was involved in sports, and choirs.  I sang in front of a stadium FULL of people in high school when our basketball team went to the state championships.  I was rarely home, I was always out doing something, somewhere with my friends.



After my school years I maintained my social abilities.  I was always able to talk to people, strangers, and clients.  I made new friends with my co-workers easily, we hung out a lot.  I was considered the closer in my office.  I could, as my dad put it “sell ice to Eskimos”. 



Once DH and I got married we made “couple” friends and had a blast.  Going out to dinners, having BBQ’s, going here and there, doing this and that. 



Fast forward to present day and I have to say I feel like a friggin hermit. 



I’m pretty sure the movement towards being socially challenged happened during my second pregnancy. 



You see, my first pregnancy was golden.  After a small bout of nausea for a few weeks in my first trimester I felt fantastic!  I had energy, even traveled to Hawaii with my family.  I felt “normal”. 



But with my second pregnancy, I was really sick up until 23 weeks.  I was nervous about going out and about because I never knew when it would hit.  And when it would hit, it would hit FAST!  So we stopped going to our friends houses as much because really, who wants to hear someone throwing up as the background music to a party?? 



My third pregnancy was more like my second but the sickness lasted even longer this time...27 weeks. 



So for about the last 6 years I feel like I’ve been house bound.  Other than taking the kids to school, and running errands we are here.  Unless we do the occasional outing to the zoo, aquarium, one of the boys friends birthday parties, etc. but again, that’s with and for children.  Which, let’s be clear I’m more than happy to do. 



These days if you put me in a room of children I am the bomb-diggity (did I SERIOUSLY just type that…I SO can’t pull that off…my apologies).  I can entertain, make them laugh, get their minds working and we all have a great time.



But put me in a room with adults, people my own age and one of two things happen.  I stay in the background and just watch all that’s going on…very wallflower’esque.  Or if I’m engaged in a conversation I will talk that poor person’s ear off and not let them get a word in edge wise because OH MY GOD I’m actually talking to an adult and I can’t remember the last time that happened so I have to get it all out before I have to go back to talking to children 99.9% of the time. 



I’m uncomfortable in situations that used to feel like home to me.  I get nervous instead of excited on the way to outings.  I worry more about what people will think of me and what I can contribute to a conversation than I ever have in my life.



It’s a strange dynamic.  One I’m working really hard to rectify.  I keep putting myself out there.  Accepting invitations to outings even if I think they will make me uncomfortable.  Joining groups and volunteering to help at the schools.



Because this mama really needs to get her social groove back in play.  Because this life as a hermit?  Totally not working for me.



Do you feel socially challenged sometimes?



Monday, September 26, 2011

The Blogging Bible for Newbies

If you blog and you are anything like me you started it to keep a written record of everything that happens with your children and family. I had people telling me “you should write this stuff down” or “you say some of the funniest things, you should really start a blog”. 


So I thought to myself…Why not?  It’s just like an online journal, what a fantastic way to share my voice and to chronicle all the happenings in your life while saving paper at the same time.  WIN-WIN-WIN!


So I hopped onto Blogger (because I thought that was the best place to start) and signed up for a free space.  Then BAM!  It hits me, I have to name this thing, choose a format, and design it.  “Okay, okay” I said to myself, “you can do this…no reason to panic…yet”.


But as I started navigating the blogosphere, I started to realize that there are some fantastic blogs out there.  I don’t want to compete with them by any means because my blog is mine and mine alone.  But I’d like it to look awesome, and I would love for it to draw more attention like some other blogs out there. 


Then the questions in my head started.  But how did they get that fantastic header?  How did they create those nifty buttons?  How in the WORLD did they generate all that traffic and get all those followers?


So I set on a quest to make my blog better.  But where to start?  There is SO much information out there.  Too much for me.  I have three boys and don’t have time to filter all of the websites to find the exact information I’m looking for. 


Thankfully, I don’t have to spend hours upon hours doing the research.  Because Melissa at www.momcomm.com  has created a FABULOUS DIY Blog Critique eBook.  How cool is that?  All that searching online done for you and put together in one easy place?  Yes please!


 
People, let me tell you.  As a newbie blogger this eBook has it ALL!  From designing your blog to make it stand out, to understanding what the heck a SEO is (yeah, I’m still working on that one myself), and even content.

When I started blogging I had no idea that it only took three seconds for someone to form an opinion about my blog space or that “your header is the most important branding element on your blog…It’s a powerhouse that holds your name, tagline and visual identity all in one spot”. (page 12)  The great news is that with this eBook I now know the keys and tricks to make my blog design and header POP!  Not to mention how to find rocking social media buttons and how to make my very own blog badge (currently in the works here at Staying Afloat).

There are things in the blogosphere like site navigation and SEO that I’m still trying to figure out.  But I’m thankful to have this eBook to use as a reference and quite frankly a dictionary because I’m telling you I had no idea what a SEO was, let alone what it stands for.  For those of you that are like me it stands for Search Engine Optimization.  Don’t worry, with this eBook you don’t need to be the next Bill Gates to understand SEO, it gives you the basics.  Which is exactly what I needed. 

We all want to be good hosts to the visitors of our bloggy home so we want to make it easy to find things, easy to get around and easy for our visitors to give bloggy love.   And this eBook tells you just how to do it. 

Content.  My words, my thoughts, my feelings…that’s what blogging is all about for me.  But I also don’t want to feel like I am the only one out there feeling this way, or thinking these thoughts.  So I definitely want to connect with my readers.  Through the DIY Blog Critique eBook, I’ve realized that I need to tell my readers something about me and the purpose of my blog in an “About Me” page.  It’s kind of nice to get to know the person behind the words.  I’ve also learned that if I want to eventually branch out into working with brands, I need to say so right there on my blog.  There’s no way people will know otherwise. 

There is so much in the blogosphere that can make your head spin.  Melissa’s DIY Blog Critique eBook is a fantastic tool to help stop the spinning, and give you a step by step, easy to understand process to take your blood, sweet and tears…your blog, to everything you’ve ever wanted it to be.  Which is why I think it should be in the hands of every new blogger out there.  It is what I consider to be the Blogging Bible for Newbies.


*Disclaimer: I was given a copy of the DIY Blog Critique eBook for review.  All opinions, thoughts and words are my own. 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Life Lessons: The Little Things


It has been a rather tough and draining week here on the testosterone sea. 


There have been more battles than normal with the boys over silly things which have tried this mommy’s patience.


There has been a TON of things on the “to-do” list. Enough to make this mommy’s head spin.


But I’ve also learned some things.


Life With Baby Donut

1)       Even if things are rough, sometimes all it takes is a little thing to help you make it through.

2)      Like a smile, kiss or a snuggling session with Buggy.

3)      Or an “I love you the mostest because you are my mommy and the bestest mommy EVER” from Sweet Pea

4)      Sunshine in Fall goes a long way to help my mood.

5)      Or a shoulder rub given by my husband.

6)      A empty house for a whole hour while my husband takes Big T to soccer practice and offers to take all the boys with him to give me a bit of peace and quiet…ahhhh.

7)      Or a nature walk with the boys after school.

8)      Having my Starbucks coffee in my hand before 10am helps to move the day in a positive direction. 

9)      So does a phone call with a girlfriend where we can praise each other for our accomplishments or commiserate with each other over our frustrations.

10)    Or when my mom calls out of the blue and invites me down to watch a “chick flick” and have dinner and wine with her.  Then everything seems more manageable somehow.


What little things help you get through a rough day/week?

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Semi- Wordless Wednesday ~ Beam Me BACK Scotty!

Beam me back HERE...


For this...


With this...


Or this...

With this...

And perhaps this...

And end it with this...


Wailea, Maui Hawaii you ARE perfection.

Thank you for the memories, can't wait to be wrapped in your warmth and beauty once again.


{Linking up for Wordless Wednesday with By Word Of Mouth Musings , Merry With Children , Angry Julie Monday and  Live and Love...Outloud}




Monday, September 19, 2011

Packages


The saying goes “Good things come in small packages.” And they do, they really REALLY do.  Anything that comes wrapped in a small square, or rectangle box makes any girl’s eyes start to twinkle.



But good things also come in extremely large packages. 



At least it did for me--once.



It was the summer before my senior year.  It was filled with volleyball at the beach, basking in the sun, and time making memories with friends.  It was one of those summers where I didn’t have a care in the world.



One day in August, some girlfriends and I decided to get some ice cream at our local Baskin N’ Robbins and we took my younger brother with us.  After filling up on too much Cookie Dough Ice Cream we went back to my house to do something, or get something…I don’t remember.



As we were leaving in my friend’s car and heading up the steep hill that we lived on I remembered that I forgot that I told my mom I would drop some clothing off at the dry cleaners that day for her.  I told my friend who was driving a 5 speed stick shift that we had to go around the block because I forgot something at the house.  She decided it would be quicker to just back down the hill. 



Instead of putting the stick shift into Reverse, she put it into neutral.  We started backing down the hill and the car started going too fast.  My friend got scared, slammed her foot on the brake which caused them to lock up.  We swerved (did I mention we were going backwards?) and the back tires hit the curb directly across the street from our driveway. 



When the tires hit we were going at a fast enough speed that the car flipped up (we were literally sitting on our rear bumper) and started falling backwards.  Thankfully there was a line of holly trees that slowed our speed some.  I remember the holly branches coming in the windows of the car and immediately taking residence inside the entire cab.  The roof of the car hit the holly tree, taking it out by the roots and then the car fell to the ground.  By the guidance of the holly tree and goodness knows what else, the cab of the car miraculously landed into a rockery bank in our neighbors’ yard.  A rockery bank that just so happened to fit the cab of the car perfectly.  A rockery bank that if the car had moved an inch either way would have smashed the car and everything in it, flat as a pancake.



But it didn’t.  It held the car up, which gave us a space that was only a foot high on one side for all four of us to crawl on our hands and knees over broken glass out of. 



Surviving that accident was a gift.  A gift that was wrapped in bent metal, broken glass, and prickly holly branches.  But it was the greatest gift of my life because it allowed me to receive so many other wonderful, breathtaking, and life changing gifts ever since that summer’s day. The most important of these are:



The gift of my best friend and the love of my life, who did me the honor of becoming my husband.



The gift of the three beautiful boys we created together.



The gift of memories we create as a family each and every day.



On that fateful day I was given the gift of time.



So while I absolutely adore things that come in small neatly wrapped beautiful packages. 



I have a soft place in my heart for the one package that was given to me that was wrapped in dirt, stone, twisted metal, skin cutting glass shards and prickly holly leaves. 



For it gave me this, it gave me my life as I know it today, and I am forever grateful.




Linking up with LaurenNicole Gifts talking about the BEST gift you’ve ever received.

cookies_chronicles_BOTB_button

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sunday Sweetness ~ One of The Sweetest Sounds


In a house with three very active boys, there is a LOT of noise.  So much sometimes the walls shake, and my eyelids twitch. 



Right now I have baby noises, 5 year old noises, and 8 year old noises in my house.  Combine them together it is like an orchestra that is completely out of sync with each other which results in the patrons asking for their money back.


Big T is in a phase.  My extremely literal everything-is-black-and-white-so-don’t-show me-any-gray son is catching an attitude.  I don’t know who he caught it from, but we’d like to give it back ASAP.  He’s testing his big 8 year old boundaries and his mother’s patience.  But that is a post for another time, or it could possibly be a book.  Only time will tell.



But I have to say that there are things that are said and/or done by my 8 year old that is music to my ears.  I’m not kidding.  It’s the kind of sound that creates a heart-swelling-with-pride-and-happiness feeling.



Since Big T has been back at school, he comes home, has his snack, does whatever homework needs to be done (if any), and then can’t wait to get his nose into a book.  Pure heaven!  Not for the fact that he is reading to himself quietly…okay, I’m not going to lie…that is a HUGE bonus.  But for the sheer fact that he is reading and it isn’t a battle to get him to do it.



But the sweetest sound that Big T is making these days isn’t just reading.  It’s that he is reading to his brothers.  It makes my jaw drop when he actually asks to read to Sweet Pea.  The very brother he has just spent the last two hours trying to get away from OR trying to pummel into the ground. 



But with books, they are on the same team.  Big T loves to read, and Sweet Pea loves to hear the stories.  Sweet Pea is focused and absolutely captivated when his brother reads to him.



In fact, since Big T started reading to Sweet Pea (and occasionally Buggy if he will sit still long enough…fat chance) not only has his reading improved a ton, but now I find Sweet Pea sitting on the couch trying his very best to read to himself.  Can you feel my mommy heart swelling with pride?



That sound, the sound of my oldest son reading to his younger siblings.  That is the sound I’m choosing to hold onto this week.  The one I’m choosing to remember and the sound that I will never let go of.  Because there is seriously nothing sweeter to my mommy ears, and that’s what life is about….remembering its sweetness.    



What is your “sweetness” from this past week? 

Friday, September 16, 2011

The Sleep Stealing Culprit

By the time my two older boys were the age Buggy is now (15 months) I was sleeping comfortably, at peace, and…this is the key….through the night. 


Buggy is on the same schedule that my other two boys were on when they were babies and has been sleeping through the night for months upon months but yet, I’m still waking up. 


I’ve been wracking my brain for the last few months wondering why… oh WHY sweet sleep gods/fairies am I not able to sleep through the night when Buggy is sleeping without issue during the night?


Other than the obvious reason….my husband’s snoring, I simply couldn’t figure it out.


Buggy isn’t waking up in the wee-small-hour-of-the-morning for a feeding, or night terrors, or just general “I want to be with you, where did you go?”


So what the heck is going on?!?!?!?


Then this morning, in the shower while I was trying to wake every ounce of my body with the warm water running over my head it finally came to me!! 


When Big T and Sweat Pea were babies, we were in a different house, our first home.  It was a rambler so there was no running up and down the stairs to check on the baby during the day.  All I had to do was go around the corner.  It was small so I could hear just about everything no matter what part of the house I was in.   The nursery was right next to our bedroom.  I didn’t have to try very hard to hear them.  All I had to do was put my ear to the wall and I could hear them breathing (it was an old home). 


Once we moved to our current home 4 years ago, which is two stories, Sweet Pea was still considered a baby, and he was still sleeping peacefully in his crib for naps and at nighttime.  In fact he was just about the age Buggy is now, 15 months old.  I used the monitor for naps during the day when I was downstairs, but didn’t need it at night because he was right across the hall. 


When Buggy was born, we decided to put the nursery down in the bedroom at the other end of the hall for a few reasons.  Both older boys go to school and we didn’t want to risk them waking up for 11pm, 2am, and 5am feedings when Buggy was an infant and as a result have them be tired at school and not be able to function.  On top of that, both boys have been used to having their own space and at this time in their lives they NEEDED space from each other.  And the room is simply a perfect size for a nursery!  It’s awesome! 


So Buggy isn’t across the hall like his brother was (and still is).  He isn’t in a place where I can hear him if he’s having a bad night.  Sure, I could hear him if he is hysterical, but I tend to not like letting my babies get that way, especially in the middle of the night.


So I have the monitor next to my bed, just in case.  Wait…


The monitor….the friggin MONITOR!  That’s it!! That’s the damn sleep stealing culprit!  I’ve finally caught it red handed!


Monitors are wonderful things!  Especially the ones they make now with video cameras…how friggin cool are those little babies?


But, they do have a downside.  Whenever he adjusts himself, groans, takes a deep breath…I hear it.  It wakes me up, makes me push the button to “see” if he will be able to get himself back to sleep or not or if he will need his mommy.  We are almost at 100% with the getting himself back to sleep (unless he’s sick). 


But yet it’s become a habit, to have that monitor right next to my head “just in case.”  Why?  Mostly because I want to make sure I hear him if he needs me.  That I can get to him quickly if there is really a problem.  That he knows his mommy is there. 


So is the monitor more for me?  Or for him? 


Heck I don’t know…I just figured out that it was THAT little piece of amazing technology that has been stealing my sleep for the last several, several months.  It will probably take another 15 months to figure out why I still feel the need to have it on.  And by that time I will be so sleep deprived it simply won’t matter!  OH, and if Buggy is anything like his brothers he will be able to scream “MOMMY” loud enough that I won’t need it anyway. 


Does something or someone steal your sleep?  Who or what is the culprit in your house?
Let's BEE Friends

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Adjustment Period


We have only been back at school for a week now and everyone is adjusting to their new routines.


Big T is in second grade this year.  So he is adjusting to being back at school all day long.  As always, the first week or so they spend their time reviewing spelling, math, sentence structure, and just basically getting back into the swing of things while trying to just waking up the brain a bit.  But with that wakeup comes the backlash at home. 



There is the growling protest that is given every single morning when I say “good morning sweetheart, I hope your dreams were sweet, it’s time to wake up and start the day, new adventures awaits.”  Followed by the ever so popular dragging of the feet to get out to meet the bus on time.  



When he gets home, the whining and backtalk when he’s asked to do his homework is back in full effect.  Then there is the attitude that appears when I apparently have NO CLUE what I’m talking about when it comes to spelling and/or math.  The battles that occur over the simplest requests (like please don’t put your sweatshirt on the floor) because he’s spent all his energy and mental abilities being good and behaving at school.  He’s adjusting. 



But apparently my little genius is still learning something at school. 



It’s only the first week and he’s already learning something.  I should be so proud right?  What mother wouldn’t?  But let me tell you what he is learning has nothing to do with academics.  Nope, Big T has learned that when a soccer ball comes at him and hits him in his boyish area…he’s just been hit in the ‘nuggets’.  That’s my boy!!!



Sweet Pea just started pre-K.  He’s adjusting to going to school for 4 days instead of 3 and it’s 30 minutes longer each day.  You can tell he’s using all his energy to do what is expected of him in school now that he’s a lion (the name of his pre-K class).  He is excited and ready to go each and every morning.  He bounds out the door ready to take on the day and whatever it may bring.



But by the time he gets home mommy pays the price.  My sweet always-want-to-tell-you-I-love-you angel is growling when he’s not getting his way.  He’s saying things like “frustrated” and “SO MAD” because his bread on his sandwich is too soft (WTF?) or if it is time for his quiet time.  He too is adjusting.  I’m choosing to look at these verbal explosions in a positive way.  At least he is using his words…right?



Buggy is adjusting to having his mommy all to himself for a few hours every day.  This is precious time for both of us but can be good or bad depending on the day.  Sometimes he is more than happy to sit and have me read to him, or we play with toys or just sit and snuggle.  Other days, he’s testing the limits on what he can and cannot touch with a “I saw my brothers do it so can I” attitude.  His general question every single day is “How many times can I get mommy to say no?”  Adjusting.



So, while all three children are adjusting to school and boundaries.  I’m adjusting to their adjusting and this mommy is worn out, spent and fried.  But at the same time, I’m so very proud of how they are doing.  That they are giving their all while at school but feel comfortable to let go and release at home. 



So as we are figuring it all out.  I’m reminded of the song that is on constant repeat in my mind and in my life.


How are you handling the back to school adjustment period?  Is there a song that you feel is on constant repeat in your mind?

Monday, September 12, 2011

A Number I Am Not


I am not just the number that pops up when I step on the scale. (SO not telling you this number)


I am not 36-24-36 thank-you-very-much Sir-Mix-A-Lot.


I am more than just “when was your last cycle and how long was it?”


I am not just the number on that little annoying, itchy tag on my bra. (Yet another number that will stay a secret)


I am not defined by the number of children I have. (3) And how many are girls (0) and how many are boys (3).


I am not just number 14 in line.


My worth is not wrapped up in the number of Facebook friends I have, or the number of followers I have on my blog and Pinterest, or by my Klout score.


What I am cannot be defined in numbers.


I am a woman with thoughts, feelings and ideas. (ask me, I’d be happy to tell you them)


I am a wife, a mother, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter and an auntie.


I am a lover, a kisser and healer of all boo-boo’s.  I am a creator of fun and imagination and I tell the best stories. 


My arms are a safe place for my children no matter what.


I relish the taste of new foods on my tongue and I have a fantastic wine palate.


I am a singer (if only in the shower or in front of my children), a dancer (even if the dance floor is just my kitchen), and a lover of the written word.  I like to pretend I can write.


I am me.  Not a number.


And that is enough.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Not My First Rodeo

This is a saying my dad used a lot when my brother and I were teenagers and trying to pull a “fast one” on him.  This and “do I look like I just fell off a turnip truck?” (which to this day I have no idea what that is suppose to convey but it got our attention…which  was no doubt the action he was going for). 

My dad has several of these off-the-wall sayings.  Like saying “go pound sand in a rat hole” to someone you don’t care for.  Or this tasty little saying “tighter than a bull’s ass in fly season” which can range from a bolt that is too tight, or someone who is too cheap (Like how these can cover multiple situations?  Yeah, me too).  Then there’s the “sweating like a Norwegian writing a letter” that refers to when one is sweating because of the heat, or from working so hard, etc but it always makes me laugh when I hear it because of the picture it conjures up in my head.  Now before all my fellow Norsk folk start bashing me…I AM Norwegian, my father is 100% Norwegian so we eat all the strange food, wear the hot-as-hell sweaters, and think pewter is better than diamonds…and we are proud of it!  Okay?…no need for hater comments thankyouverymuch.

But the saying “Not My First Rodeo” fits my life right now, right here, in this stage.  I am a mom to three boys!  I’ve been through this baby to toddler stage 2 times before this.  This is definitely NOT my first rodeo. 

But some days it feels like I’m riding a bucking bronco and can hardly hang on for two seconds let alone the whole eight.  

Why is that?

I should know by now what to expect when Buggy is frustrated and doesn’t have the words to express himself.  Yet at times my eyelids twitch from the shrieking he does to get my attention or to express his frustration. 

I should know that even at 15 months old, babies still go through non-sleeping periods and will put me into a perpetually exhausted state for several weeks.  Due to teething, growing pains, nightmares etc.  But yet I’m still surprised and end up saying to myself “I don’t get it!  A 15 month old should be able to get through the night with no problem, what the heck is going on!!??”

I should remember that at this age they go through yet another wave of separation anxiety and I should have my patience locked, loaded, and ready to go every single day.  But most of the time I feel I fall short.

I should remember that at this age a baby’s favorite pastime is throwing food on the floor and getting it all tangled in his hair.  Yet I still let out a quiet sigh of frustration whenever I see Buggy drawing a new and improved Picasso in his gorgeous golden blond hair. 

Do I have rodeo amnesia?  I’ve been through this two times before, why are these things still frustrating?  Shouldn’t I have built up some sort of tolerance by now?

*sigh*

The good news about a rodeo?  Variety!    

Sure there are days where I feel like I’m being bucked off by a bull due to shrieking, lack of sleeping, clinginess, or foodie Picasso, and the clowns (aka my two older sons) have to distract said bull before I get a horn in the tush.  Days like yesterday when all Buggy did was scream the entire time we were in a store, screamed when we got home, screamed when he was away from me, screamed as he went down for his nap, screamed when he woke up and screamed on and off through the night (mommy is thinking it’s teething).

But there are other days where I feel like I am riding a horse and running the barrels without a single mistake and in record time.  Getting the kids everywhere they need to be. Like this weekend when we were cramming all our summer activities into 3 days.

But my favorite times are when I feel like I am riding a beautiful stallion around the arena and it feels like I’m gliding, flying even.  Like I can’t even hear or feel the hooves touching the dirt.  Days where everything is running smoothly from sunup to sundown.  Days like today, where I’m greeted with a smile the minute I walk into the nursery and he is happy all day long.  He naps like a rock star, and plays nicely and happily all day long only to go to sleep peacefully in my arms.

Yep, I’m thinking Motherhood is like a Rodeo.  Every. Single. Day.  No matter how many you’ve been to each one is different.  You just strap on your boots not knowing which event you will end up doing, you might ride a bull, or you might even end up stepping in a big pile crap…but you also just might get the stallion!!  And that is just flat out worth it all! 

Does motherhood ever make you feel like you are part of a rodeo?
 
 

Let's BEE Friends

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Ready. Set. CRAM!

Here in the Pacific Northwest we are known for our rain, and we get a lot, I’m talking A LOT of flack for it.  But we have a secret, and I’m going to share it with you. 


You see as a native to the Pacific Northwest I know that if you get through the rain, and the wind, and the rain, and the never-ending cloudy days, and the rain, and the hail/sleet/snow (on occasion), and the rain…well then you get to summer. 


And summer in the Pacific Northwest is simply perfection.  You have temperatures in the upper 70’s to mid 80’s most of the time, absolutely no humidity and the view, oh my heavens the views.  Snow-capped mountain ranges, water everywhere, and everything is as green as green can be. 


Well this year Mother Nature completely screwed us.  Yep, I said it, and I’m not kidding.  She flat out screwed us out of our summer.  We’ve had a summer phenomenon that has been titled “The 78 Minute Summer.”  Which means that we have had exactly 78 minutes of 80 degree or warmer temperatures.  This after all the rain, wind, and grey days, really isn’t much of a summer at all.


But this last week we got a glimmer of hope, local meteorologists in our area were hinting at nice weather for the weekend.  Could it be?  Could we really see temperatures up in the 80’s?  Somebody pinch me. 


Of course it has to hit the weekend before the kids go back to school, so in order to not hear “but MOOOOMMM we didn’t have a summer, I can’t go back to school” out of the mouths of my children set on repeat what did we do?


Why we did what any good Native Pacific Northwesterner would do, we crammed every single summer activity we could think of into three itty bitty teeny weenie days! 


For me the fun started on Friday!  I finally went and got Buggy’s 1 year pictures taken (hey better late than never) and then that evening I went out with my girlfriends for an epic Girls Night Out full of smiles, laughter, karaoke, dancing and did I say laughter?  It was so much fun, and just what I needed.  Well, with exception of the 1:30am walking through the door.  THAT was brutal!


Saturday we got up bright and early so we could take the boys to the State Fair.  We go every year and always have a fabulous time.  We saw all the animals, learned about sheep’s wool, watched cow’s getting milked, pet some dogs, fed horses, ate enough greasy food that it will no doubt be coming out of my pores for the next few months, and rode all the rides we could.  We had a fabulous time but by the end of the day we ended up with three crabby boys, two of which didn’t want to go home and a baby who never took a nap.   As we were heading for the exit I received a swat on my butt from my sweet 5 year old boy in protest because he did not want to leave before going down the slide.  After I got out of my state of shock I was the “mean mean mommy and told him how sorry I was but that he already chose his last ride to be the bouncy cars and that we are now going home.   Besides, the slide was the only ride that had a line the length of a football field in the whole friggin fair!  It would have taken him FOREVER to get up there.  He screamed all the way back to the car, and then was fine.  *sigh*


Sunday we woke up bright and early AGAIN!  I’ve got to find things to do where we can start at a reasonable hour.  This time we were taking the boys boating.  It was a gorgeous day, not a cloud in the sky and it was WARM…perfect boating weather.  We went to a gorgeous local lake that had beautiful views of the mountains and foothills.  We were so excited!  We had a day filled with swimming, tubing, sunning, singing, and screaming.  Wait…what?  Yep!  Screaming!  Buggy, who once again didn’t have a nap, absolutely hated wearing a life jacket!  So he spent a lot of the time screaming bloody murder!  *sigh*  I told my husband that I just realized that the next time we would be able to be on the water and be relaxed is when our boat is 25 years old! 


That brings us to today!  Today is where we are pulling out all the stops.  We will have swimming in the pool, slip and sliding on the grass, running through the sprinkler, having epic water gun fights, throwing water balloons and basically doing any other water activity we can think of in our backyard.  Followed by a BBQ with wonderful friends and family!! 


I do believe it is safe to say that we simply could not fit anything else into this last weekend of summer.  It’s been a blast and I’m thankful that we had these last few days be as nice as they have been.  And when the kids come to us tomorrow morning with “but we didn’t do anything allllllll summer”…


We can tell them “yes we certainly did.  We did it allllll last weekend!”


What is your favorite thing you did this summer?  What favorite memory will you take away from this summer?






Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Power of Music

I have always been a music lover.  I have been surrounded by it my whole life.  My grandfather used to play the saw (like an actual saw you would use to cut a branch off a tree) and sing.  My mother used to play the piano.  My father used to sing in school and therefore was always singing to songs on the radio.  He would always create a harmony that wasn’t there in the original song, and I always, ALWAYS marveled at it.    

As a child I played the clarinet.  In high school I sang in a choir and a select choir, and continued to do so in college.

So it’s safe to say, music is in me.  It’s a part of who I am.  Much like it is in everyone.

I’m always amazed at the power that music has.  If you are hearing something for the first time it can give you chills, make you teary eyed, or laugh until you are quite certain you will pee your pants. 

Music has the amazing ability to recall a memory to the point of not only remembering it, but feeling, and smelling the memory. 

To this day if I hear any song by Def Leopard I’m transported back to the Skating Rink trying to “Shoot The Duck” or waiting on the wall in complete embarrassment for “Gentlemen’s Choice”. 

If the song “Push It” by Salt n’ Pepa or “Mony Mony” by Billy Idol comes over the radio waves (YES, I still listen to the radio sometimes. Not ALL my songs are from iTunes) my mind immediately goes to the dances at High School.  Good LORD there was a lot of butt shaking going on!

Whenever I hear a song by Collin Raye, or George Strait my mind goes immediately to the homemade collaboration tapes (yes TAPES…they were how we listened to music and were created before CD’s for all of you youngsters out there) that my husband (then only friend) made for me and I remember the day he handed them to me standing next to his black car that had the cheesy ass dice hanging in the mirror.  I remember the touch of his hand and the smell of his cologne as he gave them to me.  But more importantly, I remember how I felt when I heard the songs.  How he had handpicked them just for me so that had to mean something, but what? Oh it couldn’t be anything…we’re just FRIENDS!   

Now that I’m an adult, what?  By age I AM an adult thank-you-very-much!  And I have my own home, with my own family.  There is music going on in the house all the time.  We use Tupperware for drums, hairbrushes and wooden spoons as microphones, spatulas as guitars and we SING!  Oh my, do we sing.  We sing about getting dressed, cleaning up the playroom, or going on an errand.  We sing about how much we love each other and then we sing just to be silly.  In my house of boys, there is always a song from one of the littles that involves poop, and THAT is when I turn on the iPod. 

Once the real music starts there is more singing…but this time not about poop.  And there is dancing.  There is so much booty shaking that we could create our own mini earthquake.  We dance as a group, I will slow dance with each of my boys because I’ll be damned if they are the ones that just step from side to side at school dances during slow songs.  I will dance with my husband while the boys watch.

Music fills our home and I LOVE IT!

My only hope is that when our boys are listening to music in their space age all-you-have-to-do-is-push-a-button-on-your-arm music players and the “oldies but goodies” come on…that their memories will transport them back to where we sang into wooden spoons, played the heck out of our spatula guitars, and they danced with their mother on the hardwood floors shaking their booties and learning how to properly dip a girl while the smell of dinner cooking on the stove filled the air. 

What role does music play in your home?  What song has given you your fondest memory?

  Let's BEE Friends