Thursday, September 30, 2010



The theme for this week's You Capture is Togetherness.  Love the theme.  And today Togetherness looked a bit different.

When I went to pick up Tommy from school the weather was 70 degrees and beautiful.  Because of said lovely weather, and the fact that my boys are hard to say "no" to, I reluctantly agreed to let the boys play on the school playground with their friends instead of speeding home to make their lunches and get them down for their naps as soon as possible.

Bad decision.

Just as I was about to tell the boys that it was time to go Tommy took a bad fall from the top of the playground.  He landed on his head and his arm.  When he didn't calm down after a few minutes went by I began to wonder.  When we got home and he didn't want to move his arm I was pretty sure.  When my boy, who doesn't ever flinch when he gets shots, could not keep himself from crying I knew it.  It was broken. 

Grandma came over to watch Ben and Grace as I took my poor little boy to the doctor's office.  Once there the doctor confirmed it was broken.  Tommy got a temporary cast put on until the swelling goes down a bit.  Then it is back to the doctor's office for the real cast on Monday. 

(Sportin' the sling before they put on the temp cast.  Such a toughie!)

The kid was a real trooper.  I think I winced more as the doctor moved and manipulated his arm than he did.  He kept saying, "I'm just glad that I didn't die.  That would have been worser."  Yes.  Heavens yes.  That would have been much "worser".  I told him mommy didn't even want to think about that.  With that he decided to lighten the mood.  "Good thing I didn't break my penis off because then pee would have been spraying out everywhere!"  Hmm.  Now why hadn't I thought of that?

When Tommy got home his brothers were equal parts impressed by his bravery, sorry for his pain, and jealous of his cast and ice packs.  Still, they both decided that they NEVER want to break their bones.  Wise decision.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Finding Me

On this very day last year I was unpacking all of our belongings into our new house.  It was windy, cold, and rainy outside and empty, bare, and too new on the inside.  I was feeling pretty sad despite the fact that we had just moved into our dream home.

Today the weather has been hovering around 70 degrees with plenty of sunshine and a beautiful, warm wind.  There are curtains on my windows.  Artwork on my walls.  The house has been better than I could have ever dreamed.  The kiddos are happy.  The husband is doing well.  And yet I feel like a zombie these past few weeks just going through life, but not really enjoying. 

I love fall.  Not quite as much as summer, but very close.  The warm golden, rusty colors of the leaves.  The musty smells in the air.  Cool crisp nights.  Baking cookies and making soups.  Decorating the house with massive amounts of scarecrows and ghosts.  I love it all.  So why aren't I able to enjoy it this year?

I get why last year was tough.  I was really missing my dad.  The move was rough.  Life with a newborn is never easy.  The weather was lousy.  What's my excuse this time?

It's not like I haven't been trying.

Perhaps it is the constant motion.  Running from one thing to the next to the next.  Never really being able to enjoy the moment.  It has been crazy busy.  But is that really the reason?

I think I've just been feeling lost.  Lost in the shuffle.  I've been so busy trying to get everything done for everyone else I forgot about myself.  I haven't been reading.  Who has time for that?  I haven't been running.  When could I fit that in?  The only time I have been getting for myself is an hour or so at night when I sit down with a cocktail and watch some pointless tv.  And that can't be it.  While I do enjoy it, that can not be all I give to myself.  I need a little more.  Perhaps something that makes me feel a little less like a slug and maybe even makes me feel good about myself. 

I know what the answer is.  It's just making myself do it.

When Todd came home for lunch today and told me that he didn't have to be back at the office right away I saw an opportunity.  I threw on my running clothes and took off out of the house.  I haven't run in months so I knew it wasn't going to be easy.  Add to that the fact that the wind was gusting 30-40 mph and it was an uphill battle.  My legs felt strong but I struggled for breath almost the entire way.  A few times I thought I was going to vomit.  But I didn't stop.  I kept going.  Watching The Biggest Loser last night gave me the push I needed to push myself.  And you know what?  I didn't vomit.  Or pass out.  Or get a migraine.  I made it.  And after the run I felt better.  Better than I have in weeks. 

I only went two miles but it was still an accomplishment.  It was a start.  It is not so much about shedding these last 10 pounds I've been hanging onto.  It is more about knowing what I need to feel like me again.    Knowing what makes me happy and actually making time to do it.  I never thought I really needed something like this, but I guess we all do. 

I think it is going to be a beautiful fall.  

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just One Of Those Days

I don't know why some days it is all so effortless and other days it seems I have all I can do not to rip every hair from my head and peel the skin off my face.

Some days this mothering gig is filled with warm, golden light. Smiles and giggles and snuggles. And other days I look at these little creatures and wonder how I'm going to make it until 8:00.

Before I was a parent I had no idea of the things I would be dealing with.

Yesterday after Tommy was done using the bathroom I heard a shuffling behind me and when I turned around I saw him baby-stepping into the room with his pants and underwear around his ankles. Before I could ask him what was going on he turned around, bent over, put his hands on the floor, bootie in the air, and said, "Mom, I wiped my butt by myself! Could you look in there and make sure it is clean?" And the kicker? It wasn't clean. At all.

There are times when I see Ben licking the door handle and seriously question whether there is a brain cell in that head at all.

There are only so many times I can point to something in front of the boys' faces and say, "There! It is right THERE! Go get it! See it? Look where I am pointing! Right in FRONT OF YOU! Boy! Look THERE!!!!!!" without questioning if they have a serious mental deficiency. And I am actually proud of myself when I don't ask them, "Where is your brain?"

Sometimes I actually LIKE going to the bathroom without a screaming, whining person following me in. Not that I ever actually get to do it.

The boys ask me why I wait to eat until they go to school or go to bed, but sometimes I like to eat my food without stopping 800 times to wipe a butt, or stop a fight, or grab food for someone, or share my dinner, or refill a milk glass.

I've often heard people ask why no one ever told them parenting is this hard. I think people do tell you but you choose to ignore it. And, really, you can't even comprehend it. A person may try to tell you that parenting is tough but nothing they say can prepare you for it. It is like trying to explain labor. You can tell someone that it is the most pain they will ever feel but you can't make them feel it. You can tell someone how all consuming parenting is but you can't make them understand it. It is nonstop. All day long. Putting every single need of your own way on the back burner. Trying to teach them every single thing that they need to know to get through life. Trying to reason with someone who has zero reasoning skills. Trying to communicate with a little person that can not speak. Nevermind all the sleepless nights, running them to football practice, boy scouts, doing their homework, swimming classes, three (or five) meals a day, keeping them safe and clean. That is just the busy work. These littles just happen to be watching your every move to learn how to become either a wonderful, loving person or a complete psychopath. Awesome. No pressure.

There are so many days I wish I were better at this. Much more patient and loving and kind. But I guess I am just human. Just like everyone else. I do the best I can. There are days I am super awesome. And there are days I am a miserable failure.

And there are days like today where I am somewhere in between. Just trying to laugh it all off.

This morning as I was getting Grace's breakfast ready Ben came in the kitchen to watch what I was doing. I saw him bend over, lift up his shoe, pick something off the bottom of his shoe and put it in his mouth. I held back my vomit.

"Oh honey. Don't do that. Don't eat things off the bottom of your shoe." I tried to say gently.

"Why not?" He asked innocently.

"Because that is really dirty. And who knows what that was that you just put in your mouth. Icky." I answered.

"Well, it was pretty good. It definitely had honey in it!" Ben responded happily.

Some days I am just thankful for a laugh.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Quality Time


With all of the boys in school on Thursdays it gives Grace and I a chance to spend some quality one on one time together.

Safe to say, it's going really well.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

WW- Time Flies...

when you're having fun.


Friday, September 10, 2010


PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and Lolli

Ben has started school now. For two mornings a week he is officially a big boy. And he relishes those two days. The other three days of the week are a bit harder on him.

I am always interested to see how the younger sibling handles it when the older siblings start school again. Will they soak up as much mommy time as possible? Will they enjoy the personal attention? Or will they miss their playmates and count the minutes until it is pickup time?

It seems Ben is a bit of both. He does like to be mommy's helper but he sure does miss his big brothers. I hear "I miss Tommy" at least 25 times until we finally pick up Tommy from kindergarten at 11:45. As soon as Tommy jumps in the car Ben is saying, "I love you so, so much!" It is actually very heartwarming to see how much the boys really enjoy each other, despite their many fights and teasing.
But sometimes, even though I know it is good for a child, it breaks my heart to see Ben playing alone. Sometimes he just looks a little lost.
Just one more hour to go, Benny.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Goodbye Summer

Here I sit with my cup of hot tea trying desperately to keep myself warm. I guess it is a good sign that we've had a wonderfully hot summer when 60 degrees feels very cool. It hasn't gotten over 65 degrees the last few days, a sure sign that fall is here. It is strange really, because one day last week it was 84 degrees and super humid and sunny, and the very next day it was 54 degrees, brisk and cool and crazy windy. It happened just like that. Goodbye summer. Hello fall!

This past weekend we took part in one of our favorite summer traditions and we went to the county fair. Another sure sign that summer is over, but we enjoyed it all the same. It was probably the most fun we've had at the fair in the last 8 consecutive years we've gone.

Of course we took the obligatory pictures of the boys sitting on the huge tractors. That is always a highlight of theirs. But what got me the most were the ride pictures.

The very same rides that terrified them last year were exciting and fun this year. The giant slide that I begged the boys to go on last year was ridden with ease. I thought my cautious boys would give those rickety old steps some pause when they saw how high up they were but they didn't even seem to notice as they climbed up the slide and were all too thrilled to race each other all the way down to the bottom.

Last year I rode this ride with them and they were full of nervous energy and screamed at me when I spun them too fast.
This year they wanted to do it by themselves, spinning faster and faster and laughing the whole time. I was so proud watching my three little guys branching out on their own.

Lucky for me, there were a few rides that they still needed me for (only because they weren't tall enough). I was happy to assist,
even though I got a little squished.
Maybe next year they'll even go on the Zipper with me. They were up for it this year but were just a bit lacking in the height department.
The whole time Todd and Grace were all too happy to wait patiently as we ran from ride to ride. And I must admit, there is something so sexy about a man pushing a stroller. And a pink stroller at that.
We had such a great time. And I'm happy to see that I will not have a shortage of thrill seekers to accompany me on any type of ride in the future.
If summer has to come to an end this was a great way to end our lovely summer and to welcome in fall. I have a feeling I'm gonna like fall.

Thursday, September 2, 2010



Mornings have changed around here this past week. It used to be we would get up whenever we felt like it, ate breakfast whenever we got hungry, and got dressed when we finally decided to venture outside.

Now that school has started we actually have a routine again.

Morning begins around 6:45 a.m. with a cup of coffee. At approximately 7:00 the boys venture downstairs and eat breakfast almost immediately.
They pose for silly "First Day of School" pictures.
And head off to school with mom and dad following closely behind.
Repeat on the second "First Day of School".
Only this time it wasn't raining.
Soon, once the boys have established themselves in the classroom routine, we will drop them off in front of school, wave goodbye, and eagle eye them until they are safely inside the school. But for now, we walk them in, embarrass them with too many pictures sitting at their desk, and at their coat rack, and with their friends. And though they act slightly annoyed I know they secretly love this new morning routine.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The First

Today was the perfect morning to sleep in. It was so dark and cozy in my room. I could hear the rain tap, tap, tapping at the window right next to my bed. I pulled the covers up to my ears and settled further into my pillow happy to get a bit more sleep after the middle of the night awakenings by the boys.

Two seconds later I shot out of bed when I remembered this was no day for lounging. This is the first day of school!

I jumped into my bathroom and started readying myself before I had even had my morning coffee. This, for me, is no small feat. When I was dressed I came downstairs to see my anxious boys sitting on the couch watching the news with daddy and chatting about the excitement this first day brings, and they too were already dressed.

Breakfast was had, lunch was made, and backpacks were packed. I put the "Have a good day! I love you!" notes into each of the boys' bags and we headed out to school.

The ride to school was filled with questions and advice. Though Ben's first day of school is not until tomorrow (he only goes to 3K on Tuesdays and Thursdays) his older brothers were giving him the low down on what happens at school.

Tommy: "Ben, don't be upset if no one talks to you at school because I remember when I first started school no one would talk to me but now they are all my friends!"

Ben: "'Mmm-kay."

Me: "Well, sometimes people are nervous or shy and they don't know what to say. I'm sure everyone will want to be your friend but they might be too scared to talk to you."

Ben: "I not gonna wear a sca'y mask or somepin! Why dey sca'ed?"

Me: "Sometimes people are scared or nervous when they don't know anyone."

Joe: "Yeah. Sometimes you just gotta talk to them first!"

Ben: "Yeah."

We walked into the school with "We Are Family" blaring down the hallways and the principal and teachers greeting everyone as they entered. Seeing all the excitement I was sure that Ben would be a grumpy mess watching his brothers start school and knowing he had to wait until tomorrow, but I guess the promise of making cookies with me was enough to hold him over.

We took Tommy to his Kindergarten classroom, took pictures, and got him all settled in. Then we walked Joey to his 2nd grade classroom and did the same. As we prepared to leave I said to Joey, "Well hon, I'd give you a kiss but I know you don't want me to in front of your friends." And he quickly said, "Yes I do!" It warmed my heart and put a very large lump in my throat at the same time.

We've done this all before. But it always feels like the first time. And each time I leave those school doors I have to fight back tears. Overwhelmed with love and pride. And I will do it all over again tomorrow. And no doubt I will be fighting back tears again as my baby boy starts school for the very FIRST time.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson