Friday, October 5, 2012

If You Give A Mom A Muffin...

As moms, we've all read the books by Laura Numeroff...If You Give A Dog A Donut, If You Give A Pig A Pancake, If You Give A Cat A Cupcake, etc.

Yesterday morning I made myself a cup of coffee and by yesterday afternoon, I found my cup of coffee...cold, still sitting in the microwave where I had left it to reheat for the third time..  So,  I thought about this and related to these books.

If you give a mom a muffin, she'll say thank you and tell you how thoughtful it was for you to think of her.  She'll probably want a cup of coffee to go with it.  So, she will make herself a cup of coffee, and ask you how your muffin was.  While you're answering her, she'll see that you have muffin all over your face, so she'll go get you a napkin.  When she brings you your napkin, you'll reach for it and knock over your glass of milk.  So, your mom will get a towel to clean up the spilled milk.  While she's doing this, you'll start to whine because your shirt is cold and, she will take you upstairs to change your shirt.  Your younger brother sees that you changed your shirt and now he wants to change his shirt.  Your mom will say, "No, the shirt you're wearing is fine.  You're not going to make extra laundry for me to do."  That will remind her that she forgot to switch the laundry over, so she'll go downstairs and pull the laundry out of the dryer to fold.  Your little brother comes down crying because, "Bubba gets to wear long sleeves and I don't!  It's no fair!  I hate short sleeves!" Your mom will set your little brother in time out because of his ugly attitude.  When she turns around, she sees the dog staring at her and she'll wonder if he's been let outside this morning.  She'll let the dog outside and then go give the dog food and water.  While she's doing this she pulls some hamburger out of the freezer to thaw for dinner.  When she's putting the hamburger in the refrigerator, she moves over the container of coffee creamer.  Seeing the coffee creamer will remind her about her cup of coffee.  She'll go to take her first sip and realize that now her coffee is cold, and she'll put her coffee into the microwave.  As she's doing this, she hears the baby crying, and goes to get him from his crib.  She picks up the baby to see that he has had a diaper blowout and now his jammies are messy.  So, she'll change the baby's diaper and jammies, and take the dirty jammies to the washer, where she realizes the wet laundry in the washer has been sitting so long, that now it needs to be rewashed.  She adds soap and fills the washer up with water.  Meanwhile, your little brother is screaming from timeout that he's ready to get up.  She'll go to him and ask, "Why did mommy put you in timeout?" As she's trying to remember herself, why exactly he was sent to timeout, the baby starts crying.  She goes to check on the baby and sees that he's hungry, so she takes the baby to the rocking chair to nurse.  As she's nursing the baby, she takes a moment to herself to check her Facebook account.  She sees interesting posts from her friends about what they pinned on Pinterest, so she tells herself at nap time, she's going to get on Pinterest.  She finishes nursing the baby and makes you and your little brother lunch.  She then serves lunch, empties the dishwasher, loads the dishwasher, clears the table, sweeps the floor, mops the floor, and lets the dog back inside where he then tracks muddy paw prints on the newly cleaned floor.  She begins to look for the mop and realizes that she can't mop the floor because she's out of floor cleaner.  She goes to write down "floor cleaner" on her grocery list and hears you and your little brother fighting.  She walks upstairs to check and sees water all over the bathroom floor and you and your brother in soapy wet clothes.  She looks at you with big eyes and says, "What in the world is this mess about?  I can't leave the two of you alone for five minutes!"  Wearily she takes a big breath and says that she wishes this day was over already.  She starts to clean up the mess and tells you and your brother to change into some dry clothes.  While changing into dry clothes, your brother starts yelling, "I want to wear the Cars underwear."  You tell him no and say you had them first.  He keeps yelling and the yells turn to screams when you finally have enough and hit him.  He starts crying, the baby starts crying, you start crying, because now you know you're in trouble.  Your mom comes in and says, "I've had enough.  Everyone down for naps."  Your mom gets everyone down for a nap and takes a deep breath.  She goes to fold the laundry and remembers that she was going to browse Pinterest during nap time.  She hears her stomach growl and remembers she didn't eat any lunch.  She decides to grab something easy so she can get on the computer and she sees a plate of muffins.  She grabs the uneaten muffin...and chances are....if you give a mom a muffin, she'll want a cup of coffee to go with it.

Monday, July 9, 2012

First Loose Tooth

On March 24th, 2012, Jackson lost his first tooth.  He had been working on wiggling it for a couple weeks.  I was working in the yard and my nephew came running up saying Jack's tooth was bleeding.  Jackson showed Jon and Jon helped to pull it.  The sight of blood usually sends Jack into hysterics.  He thinks he's dying.  But once we cheered and high-fived, he was pumped.  I started to get emotional.  I thought of how that was the first tiny tooth in his little baby mouth.  I remember the picture I took of him in Easter Bunny ears with those two little teeth gleaming in their full glory.  I thought about how this is one of yet another step of him growing up and leaving me.  I waited til he left the room to cry...just a couple tears.

Sampson AKA "Bat Dog"

Sometimes I feel envious of Sampson.  Napping all day...taking a break to eat, go lie in the sunshine, go to the bathroom alone.  Rough life.  But, I don't envy when the boys do things like this.  Batman and Robin needed a partner to fight crime in Gotham City, so Sam graciously stepped in as "man's best friend" is dutifully required to do.  He cannot leap tall buildings in a single bound...he's getting old and arthritic.  He won't chase after the boys unless they're running with a hot dog.  When they say, "Come on, Bat Dog"...he usually yawns and lies down.  But...beggars can't be choosers.  Benji is a much worse choice of a third superhero.  Maybe he likes it.  Maybe he enjoys feeling needed for a few minutes...or even like someone cares.  Because honestly, most of the time I forget he's even sad.  So enjoy your moment in the spotlight Sam..."Bat Dog."

A Little Baseball

A couple weeks ago, we took the boys to a Redhawks ballgame.  I didn't get many pictures of the boys, because I spent most of my time laughing hysterically.

I have the best time watching my boys when they don't know that I'm watching.  The dynamic between the two of them is comical.  Cole is the typical annoying little brother, tagging along with Jack and his friends.  He's mostly a nuisance to them, but I think they kind of enjoy having a little brother that will do just about anything they tell him too.  They seem to use this to their advantage.  I feel badly for the people sitting directly on the third base line.  The boys went down to hopefully catch a fly ball and ended up standing there the entire game.  Cole did have to come back to our seats when I caught him trying to climb the wall and get onto the field.  He said he was just trying to get his cup that he threw at the third baseman...punk kid.

A photo op with Rowdy, the Redhawk.  Jackson had the best time with his buddies, even with no foul ball.  There's no crying in baseball!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

First Dinner of Summer

I've tried really hard since we've had children to make Sunday evenings our special family dinner night.  I wanted to make a tradition that my boys will remember and hopefully, continue to come to long after they move out of our home.  On Sundays, I try to fix something a little fancier than sandwiches and I use real dishes and silverware.  I even use cloth napkins because I have a goal of teaching my boys how to eat like gentlemen at dinner.  It's a losing battle, really, I don't know why I even bother.  Someone inevitably gets sent to the corner for burping...or worse, but, hey...a mother can dream, can't she?
This past Sunday, we enjoyed our first summer cookout.  We had barbeque chicken, squash and zuchinni, and tomatoes, all from our garden.  While Jon grilled, the boys had some fun on the Slip n' Slide and we finished the night off with roasting marshmallows and making s'mores.  Perfect Sunday dinner if you ask me.

This boy loves a chicken leg.  Notice the winter was only about 100 degrees outside.  Weird kid.

Jack making sure his "mallows" were just right.  I like mine a little burnt, Jackie.

Yeah, that's about perfect.

What a mess...but totally worth it.  Sticky goodness.

Son of a gun...that one was hot!  I'd burn all the skin of the inside of my mouth for a gooey marshmallow...I don't care that bad.

Even Sampson enjoys a s'more every now and then, which makes me giggle.  He loves them, but he hates that his paws get sticky.  I love watching him going crazy picking at his tacky, fuzzy feet all night.  It drives him bonkers...and makes me laugh.  I should've gotten a picture of him.  Enjoy a family dinner this Sunday with your family!

One of Those Days

Yesterday was one of those of those days that I didn't enjoy my job.  The boys woke up at 6:45 that morning.  I promptly sent them back to bed and told them that just because the sun was up, didn't mean that they had to be.  They went back to their room, but not to sleep.  Pretty soon I heard fighting and I gave up and sent them downstairs for chocolate milk and cartoons.  My midnight bedtime and Benji's 3:45am feeding had me feeling a little grouchy that early in the day.  The morning started off with a bang and it continued that way as Benjamin wanted to nurse and be held all day.  My back was and is still killing me from all the holding and nursing and lack of stomach muscles for the last few months.  I had to let him cry it out a lot, which I hate, but I make myself do.  The boys are going stir-crazy already this summer, since we haven't gotten out like we have done other summers.  It's harder now with a newborn in tow.  Seems like the simplest of errands leaves me feeling erratic, overwhelmed, and sweaty....very sweaty.  I never used to sweat in my younger days, but since I've become a mother, stressful situations with my children make me sweat.  For instance, grocery store trips, frantically trying to feed everyone as quickly as possible, "leisurely" neighborhood walks where in our neighborhood, people drive like their on motor speedway, or trying to get all three boys loaded into the car to head out the door.
We had decided to go swimming at a friends' house yesterday afternoon.  I had given myself a two hour head start to pack everything up, make lunches, change into our swimsuits, and get out the door.  Sounds like plenty of time and even a little extra for the unexpected things, but no.  These days, it seems like no matter how much time I give myself, I'm always running 15 minutes late somewhere.  The math does not add up no matter how hard I try, I don't get it.  I break up a couple fist fights, send one to time out for the 17th time, change Ben's diaper...again, I try to get out of my pj's and into my clothes...for the 3rd time.  Somehow, I manage to get everyone packed up and heading toward the car...Ben still screaming (he hates the car seat).  As I'm walking to my car, I remember thinking, "That dumpster smells terrible," referring to our trashcan.  Only, I open the car door and realize the smell is worse inside my car.  Jackson starts yelling, "Gross! What's that smell?" I'm looking under the seats, for shoes or dirty socks, a spoiled bottle, anything to blame the stink on.  I open the back hatch and notice a forgotten grocery bag...with a chicken in it.  "OH...MY...GOSH! Daddy forgot a bag in the back!" I say, just as Cole starts gagging and dry heaving.  I pick it up only to realize it's liquefying and dripping out of the sack.  I toss it in the dumpster and go to grab Cole out of the car before he get sick and makes the smell worse.  Now Cole is crying saying, "I want to go swim, but I don't want to ride in the stinky carrrrrr!"  Ben....still screaming.  Jack...asking a million questions like, "Why did dad do that?  Will our car smell like this forever? Are we going to have to buy a new car?  Can we still go swim?" sweating...profusely.  And leaking milk through my shirt...and cursing my husband's name.  Motherhood is NOT for punks.
I clean up the mess and hang the car rug on the fence to dry...which reminds me, it wasn't still hanging on the fence when I got home, so either it blew in the backyard from the Oklahoma wind yesterday or someone stole it.  Note to self, go look for that in a few minutes.  Anyway, we get to the one piece.  Jack, however did look a little green for a while.  Poor baby.
The day eventually turns better when I look through the pictures on my phone and see this...

Gosh, he melts my heart and makes me forget about all the things I hate about my job.  All of them do.  They say the sweetest things, or bring me flowers, or make me a wedding ring out of a flower stem.  I love my boys...and the "paycheck" they give me.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Benjamin Lynn

This post is long overdue, but nevertheless, meet Benji...

Isn't he the most precious thing?  My delivery started out a little unexpected.  I picked the boys up from school and headed to the car wash, where my water broke.  Ironic, huh?  I thought maybe I had left a window down accidentally before driving through the wash.  That, or I wet my pants, but no...water broke...almost three weeks early.  The contractions were brutal, but everything was worth it when I saw this sweetheart.  I'm in love.

6 pounds, 13 ounces, 21 inches of pure love.

I think Jon is pretty crazy about him, too.

The new family...

Three boys...Three, wild, loud, dirty, smelly, mischievous, rambunctious, funny, delightful, wonderful boys.  Frogs, snails, and puppy dog tails....

A Little Summer Fun

Yesterday, we spent the afternoon at my sister-in-law's house.  The boys enjoyed a little summer fun playing on the slip in slide and eating watermelon.  The summer fun turned into messy fun when it became a mud fight, but that's what little boys should be allowed to do once in a while, so we rolled with it.  

Cole enjoying some lemonade.

Cousins and best friends.

Oh, to be a kid again carefree and running in the backyard in your undies...or naked, depending if it was before or after the mud fight, running with tons of energy...nothing concern for the way you look...not caring about the mess...laughing hysterically.  I want to be a kid again.

Friday, June 8, 2012

It Starts Early

Today I took the boys to Target to grab a few items.  While we were there, I decided to stop and take a look at the Father's Day cards for Jon.  Jack and I are picking out funny cards and reading them to each other.  Meanwhile, Cole has been standing in the same spot for the last few minutes...very still, very quiet.  For anyone who knows Cole Andrew, you know this doesn't happen to often.  It didn't make sense to me until he handed me a card and with a guilty look, he asks me to read it.  This is what it looks like....

Geez...I can't imagine what he was staring at!  I've been praying for Cole a little extra hard since the day he was born.  Perv.

Jack's Alopecia Update

A little update on Jack's Alopecia...ladies and gentlemen...we have hair growing back!  I took Jackson to another dermatologist to get a second opinion.  The news was pretty much the same, although I liked him a lot better than the last doctor.  He seemed to have better bedside manner and he eased my mind when he said, "If it were my son....".  That's exactly what I wanted to hear...not statistics, false hope, or "It's very common, don't worry."  I want to hear what the doctor would do if this little boy was his child, because I know every person wants the best for their child.  He didn't give me any magical insight, the verdict was still the same.  It is Alopecia Areata.  It may be progressive, or not.  It can't be cured with anything.  He did suggest a different medication than the last doctor prescribed.  He said this one was a little more aggressive at getting hair growth back and I have noticed hair growth!

Monday, May 28, 2012

The Pursuit of Happiness Update

In my blog entry titled, The Pursuit of Happiness, I blogged about my new goals for the year 2012.  While I had good intentions on keeping up with reading the book and blogging about the process...I haven't.  And since the birth of boy #3 two months ago,  I haven't blogged at all.  My world has flipped upside down and this once organized mother is embracing organized chaos as my new motto.  And, by using the term, "organized chaos", I really just mean chaos.  I haven't cleaned the bathrooms in 8 weeks and you can imagine how those look with two little boys and one big boy (Jon), using those daily.  My laundry is piled in a mountain in my bedroom and this is after my mother-in-law washed and folded all my laundry last week.  She felt sorry for my family, I guess.  She was also trying to help me out since I had surgery...hemorrhoid surgery.  Yes, I've had a pain in the ass for awhile, and this time it wasn't Jon.  It was however, caused by the delivery of all three of my little blessings though.  As embarrassed as I was with admitting to needing this surgery, I'm slowly losing all modesty I once had.  Giving birth and motherhood has this crazy way of doing that to you.  At some point, you quit caring how many people in the delivery room are staring at you as you're spread-eagle in the stirrups giving birth, or when you're trying to breastfeed a screaming infant in public with a blanket over you in 98 degree heat, and your baby yanks the blanket off, or when you're little boy shucks his pants down at the playground and pees.  All these things happen to every mother, every where and so what's the big deal with admitting a little surgery, right?

Anyway, back to the update.  One of my goals was to challenge myself to do more fun things with my boys that were spontaneous and creative, yet cheap.  So many times, our fun involves going somewhere or buying something and I feel like I'm cheating them if I don't try to challenge my generations' way of entertaining kids and bring it back to simplicity.  What I should be embarrassed about it is how my six-year old can operate an iPhone or the remote as well as he does.  A couple things we tried: making rocket packs with old two-liter bottles and pretending to be "rocketeers",  building a blanket fort and eating a picnic lunch inside, using masking tape to make road pathways through the house to drive hot wheels on, "painting" with dyed shaving cream in the bathtub, and last but not least, using glow sticks in the bathtub and taking a bath in the dark.  The boys really enjoyed this last one, and I have to say, I thought it was pretty cool, too.  I love Pinterest.  I can feel like mom of the year, just by copying someone else's ideas...brilliant, since I have no brain cells left these days from lack of sleep.


Now to work on my other goal of taking better care of myself.  These days, this could just include getting a shower or brushing my teeth.  I know...gross.  Even to my husband, me taking a shower has become something special.  He walks upstairs and smells my soap and it's almost like hearing Marvin Gaye sing, "Let's Get It On."  He considers it an invitation of  Anyway, I'll keep you posted on how that goes.

True Love

I saw this the other day and it reminded me of me and my husband. I hope it is me and my husband in 50 years...this is true love.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Our Hurdle

We've had our first real hurdle this week to contend with in raising children...finding out our child has a disease and it's out of our control. It happened Sunday evening. I was getting the boys out of the bathtub when I noticed a bald patch in Jack's hair. It was about the size of a quarter, right there on the top of his scalp. Needless to say, I was alarmed, and thinking of all the possibilities of what this could be. I asked if his hair got pulled..."No, mom." I asked if he played with my razor..."No, mom. I didn't." I asked if it hurt, if he noticed it, if he felt okay. "I feel fine mommy, I don't know what happened."
In the pit of my stomach, I had a feeling something wasn't right. Jon fixes his hair almost every morning, he would've noticed something like this. Brushing his hair, it was actually difficult to cover up. This couldn't have been there for a long amount of time. Someone would have noticed.
The next morning while getting Jack ready for school, I first checked his head to make sure I wasn't dreaming. Still there. I had been doing research on Google the night before about what this could be and I was almost positive this was Child-onset Alopecia. I hoped I was wrong. Technology can be scary, especially in situations like this. You almost wish you weren't able to get quick information at the touch of a button, online. Then, you worry yourself sick. Jon took Jack to school, and as I walked into our den, I saw it. There was the hair lying on the den rug. I'm not talking a few pieces of was a handful. There was no way this much hair could've been pulled from his head without him screaming and blood being drawn. This was a lot of hair! It would've taken a lot of force! I noticed all the dark roots were still attached to every strand of hair. His scalp was a perfect pale peach roots showing. It was almost like the hair never existed there to begin with.
We got Jackson into his doctor yesterday morning. She took one look and said, "I was certain you were wrong, I thought this was going to turn out to be ringworm or something, but I'm afraid you're right." My heart sank. Jack was diagnosed with Childhood Alopecia Areata. It's an auto-immune disease where basically the body's immune system, for whatever reason, sees the hair as a foreign invader and attacks it, causing it to fall out in huge clumps. This disease is tricky to treat since it seems every person loses hair at a different rate. Some children may develop one patch and hair grows back, some kids have many giant patches all over their scalp. It can be in remission for years, and all of a sudden come back with a vengeance taking all hair on head, face and body. There's only three treatment options and the doctor said all of them are about as effective as pure luck. There's no cure for this and side-effects of medications bring in a new list of concerns. The good news seems to be that of all auto-immune diseases, this seems to be the least terrible. He's not going to be in pain or have other problems come along. His immune system won't weaken making it harder to fight off other illnesses or diseases. It's not going to kill him....physically, at least. This whole time, I've been telling myself, the worst thing that can happen is that he loses all his hair. But, as a mother...that's not the worst. The worst is that I can't fix this. The worst is that I can't keep people from staring or making fun of him. The worst is that I wonder how this will shape his life and his self-esteem and how he will overcome this hurdle.

Jon was tucking Jack into bed last night. I stood at the bottom of the stairs and listened as Jack said, "Daddy, I don't want to lose all my hair." Jon began telling Jack about the bible story of Job and how Job had it all and lost everything. He lost all his riches and became poor, lost his family, his health. He became covered with sores and was in excruciating pain. Satan tested Job in every way possible to see if through all of this disaster, if he would turn away from the Lord. But, Job didn't. Even in hardship, Job praised the Lord. Jon told Jack about his hurdle in life. Ever since Jon was a boy, he wanted to play baseball. He dreamed, and worked, and planned. After he got many college scholarship offers, he took probably the worst offer just so he and I could attend college together, in the same state. Injuries kept coming up one after the other and no matter how hard Jon tried to get stronger and nurse wounds, his body wouldn't let him keep playing. He was devastated about that loss of that dream. But Jon told Jack, how he knew that God was telling him that baseball wasn't what he had planned for his life. Jon said to Jack, "God allowed me to not succeed in baseball, so that I could marry mommy and have three boys to love. God had a better plan. "
I walked into the room and Jack asked me what my challenge was. I explained to him how I didn't have a great childhood and how I longed to be a part of a close, loving, family. My mom's mental illness has been my hurdle. We talked about kids in Jack's class. One little boy is in a wheelchair and still wears diapers. He will never walk. I asked, "But, he hasn't lost his joy, right Jack?" "No, Malachi is still really happy even though he can't run with us on the playground." I asked him to name someone else in his class, and what their challenge might be. He mentioned his friend who doesn't have a dad. "His dad lives a long way away and he has another family and he never comes to see him."
"So, everyone has a challenge right, Jack?," I asked. Jon chimed in, "And just like Job, we're going to praise God in easy times, and in the rough times."
Please keep us in your prayers as we are referred to a dermatologist next week. Hopefully, he will have some more answers for us then.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Pursuit of Happiness for 2012.

I've taken a very long sabbatical from blogging recently. The holidays really take it out of me, especially being pregnant. In all the ways in which I really TRY to be a supermom....I can't do everything, so some things must take a back seat. But, with the new year, I've had a some time to sit and think and self-evaluate my life and I what I want for the upcoming year.
New Year's is not my favorite holiday. I think it's a little because I have some sadness that Christmas is over. All the build-up and anticipation is gone in just one day. It's a little disheartening. I think it can be especially for women because you realize all the work that goes into baking, cooking, decorating, shopping, wrapping, and memory-making for those you love. Moms and women in general, are superheros this time of year.
But also, the new year leaves me feeling a little defeated that I have to start all over again. One year down, many more to go. And, I'm supposed to make some sort of resolution? For what? To lose weight? Be healthier? Watch less TV? Read more books? Invest money into my 401K? Do home improvements? Run a marathon? And, why?
It's been said that up to 80% of New Year's Resolutions made, fail. So, why do we make them? I want a life change, not a goal that I won't attain and leaves me feeling like a failure in the end.
For Christmas, my bestie gave me a book, entitled The Happiness Project, by Gretchen Rubin. I've only read a couple chapters so far, but I feel inspired by this woman's journey to figure out what exactly makes her happy and then pursue it. Of course these things are not necessarily what everyone would agree as quick fixes for happiness. I probably won't ever win the lottery, or build my absolute dream home; the world won't ever know my name. But, do these things really bring happiness, anyway?
The first goal of the book is to establish exactly what makes you happy. This was actually quite difficult as I thought it through. All the things in my life that I've accomplished thus far, I remember years back, longing for theses things and thinking then that once I had them, things would be perfect. I wanted so bad to be married to Jon...done. Have babies...done. A big house...done. But so many times, these things I take for granted and keep wanting more. What if LESS is actually what is needed for happiness?
So, I thought about when I'm most happy. I love being outside and enjoying nature, taking long walks. I enjoy blogging and writing and being creative. I like things being organized and clutter free. I find I tend to really enjoy things that I thought I would hate and things that challenge me. I'm happier when I'm well-rested and have had taken time for myself. I'm my best when my relationship with my husband is close and and we're "in-tune". I'm at peace when I've had my time with the Lord every day. I'm able to give more of myself to my family when I've had time to wake up early in the morning and drink coffee before the demands begin. I have the most fun with my children when we're doing things that don't involve spending money or the latest toys.
So, this is my goal for this pursue happiness through doing more of what I enjoy and doing it with less "stuff". I'll keep you posted on how it goes. Wish me luck!

"It is by studying the little things, that we attain the great art of having little misery, and as much happiness as possible."
-Samuel Johnson