Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Breezy Life of a SAHM

So, apparently, EVERYONE is more compassionate than I am.  After my last blog post I got phone calls, texts, comments on Facebook, etc. all from people concerned for my general welfare.  For all those that were/are concerned I AM FINE.  Seriously, as I lay there on the floor willing myself to get up I was thinking I will have to write about this on the blog - this is hilarious that I just collapsed and cannot get up.

This humor is what gets me through motherhood, I think.  Well, I know that it does.  Like a few weeks ago when Francesca woke up and proceeded to throw up everywhere.  Another load of laundry and another day of not going anywhere, plans canceled......AGAIN.  I get Fia off to school and I go back to see where Francesca is - in her room, with poop about 6 inches from her body.  It had squirted out with such force that it wasn't touching the floor around her body.  Of course, it did manage to get ALL OVER her actual body - that was fun.

I love playing the game of how to get poopy clothes off a poopy child without getting poop in the child's long blond hair.

I lost the game that day.

I texted a picture of it to my brother.  He said he almost vomited and he wasn't even there.  I won't lie, one of the biggest reasons I can't wait for Matt to have kids is I want to see how many times the first year or so he vomits while changing a poopy diaper, getting vomited on or any other disgusting thing that happens when you have children.

So I threw Francesca in the tub after using almost an ENTIRE CONTAINER OF WIPES to clean her off.  I threw Nico in too for good measure because, really, bath time is a rare and precious thing around here and I might as bath two kiddies with one bath :)

Then it's 9:30 and they are on the couch in towels and our plans are done for the day and I was a bit flustered by all the poop and vomit and was getting to that slightly hysterical place that stay at home moms get to when they are tired and have inhaled the fumes of too many bodily fluids not their own.  So I decided it's time for an interpretative dance because, well, that's what EVERYONE does when they have a bit of downtime with the kiddies, right?

I titled it, "The Journey of Francesca's Poop" and I narrated it as well.  It was quite moving (pun intended).

I started as the food coming down through Francesca, there was a great deal of spinning and spiraling downward.  It continue through the stomach and intenstine, where I threw my body around the room in all manner of positions, until the great finish when I hunched down on the ground and rocketed up and out while making the appropriate noises.

The kids thought I was hysterical.  Frankly, I was laughing quite a bit, too.  Completely inappropriate for so many reasons.  But after a morning of poop and vomit I wasn't complaining, I wasn't whining, I was laughing and I figure that has to count for something.

Sometimes I think I may have trouble adjusting to my life after kids, the life I will lead after all are in school and I am required to have some kind of life outside my house.  Not working but being more of a presence at their school or within our church life.  I wonder if I will be able to conduct myself in the proper manner when I don't have my interpretative dance outlet.

I mentioned once to friends that sometimes when I was out with the kids I would forget I was in public once again and I would feel as comfortable as I did at home.  You know, when you are really comfortable and suddenly there is a backdoor breeze passing thru the aisle at the grocery store.  I said I always blamed it on the nonverbal kid at the time.

I thought this was common practice.

Apparently not.

Ashley was a bit horrified.  Well, as horrified as she gets when I say anything like this to her.  Ashley, my classy friend who is used to her nonclassy friend by now.  Ashley who also understands that classy does NOT equal gassy.  In fact, this conversation confirmed for me that what I always suspected was indeed true.  I am sure that Ashley NEVER has a problem with backdoor breezes passing through her home or local grocery store.  Because, again people, CLASSY does NOT equal GASSY.

By the way, I had to google synonyms for fart because I was too embarrassed to write that word in conjunction with my name.  I try to have some standards even on this blog that as I am writing this I am remembering that Sofia's teacher - the revered Mrs. B - told me she reads now.  Hmmmm......well, anyway, I googled that word and urban dictionary has an ENTIRE LONG list of synonyms.  I rather like backdoor breeze, don't you?  It sounds refreshing and almost dainty, don't you think? Like, ahhhhh, what a refreshing backdoor breeze I feel coming through....................

Ok.  Seriously.  I am done.

I am going to go grow up now.


Monday, April 23, 2012

The Apple, Again, It Doesn't Fall Far........

It's Friday night.........Joe is in Columbus helping his brother make/put together boxes or something for his sunglass business.   This is what Anthony wanted for his bachelor party - yes, I know, weird.  But his business just expanded, doubled actually, and apparently when you pay over 300 dollars for a pair of sunglasses  you get them in boxes assembled by the owner himself and his fiancee and his brothers and anyone else you can rope into assembling these boxes that these very cool, very cutting edge sunglasses come in.  My 88 cent sunglasses from Marc's didn't come in ANY box and the tag that was on them was not very classy AT ALL.  Anyway.............Friday night........

I come home from a leader's meeting which was my church, love the people in it and if it had I steeple I would love it too.  I had a bit of a cold and my head was hurting but I thought, hey I will watch a little hulu, wrap up my Mitch Rapp book and be asleep in no time, tomorrow is Saturday which means Saturday morning cartoons and I will be good to go by 10 am the next morning..........

Fast forward to 2:30 am............I am SO. NOT. OKAY.  In fact I am laying on the kitchen floor curled up in the fetal position looking at a bottle of medication, sobbing.  MY HEAD HURTS SO BADLY.   It seems I developed a migraine on top of having a cold and sore throat.  I call Joe because I haven't slept, the pain is UNBELIEVABLE at this point and I can't remember how to take the medication that I have.  Plus I want some sympathy and have been crying for an hour or two.  In fact at some point in the night I was in bed, crying and saying help, help, help over and over again.  This is so not me.  I hate to ask for help and I do try my best to just suck it up and not complain when I don't feel well.


Because I am an amazingly stoic person who deals with pain well?

Not so much.

I am an amazingly uncompassionate person who would rather not deal with other people's pain.  It's an area I have been working on since becoming married.  I did not realize I had this problem, exactly, until I was married.  Joe would stub his toe or bite his tongue or have a cold or some other malady and I would not register the appropriate amount of sympathy or have the correct facial expressions.  Apparently it is NOT funny when someone jumps out of their seat when biting their tongue.  The first time it happened I had thought that perhaps his tongue had fallen out of his mouth and I was a bit perplexed when it was just nipped but THIS HURTS ALOT and deserves sympathy and I have been working on that.

I swear I have gotten better.

It would probably help if after I conveyed the correct amount of sympathy if I would stop asking.....wasn't that SO compassionate, I think I am doing so much better, don't you?  It seems an authentically compassionate person would not feel the need to point out their's a work in progress......... poor husband gets the 2:30 phone call from his sobbing wife when he is 2 1/2 hours away and he didn't even drive there.  His brother, Vince, drove.  He calls his mom, finds out the specifics on the meds and calls me back.  I take a huge pill and then have to take another one in an hour.  It is 3:40 until the pain starts to lessen.  It is about 5 minutes after that that I fall asleep for the first time all night...............ahhhhhh............sweet relief.

4:15 am..........Francesca crawls into bed with me.......can we read books?


Oh my word.  She asks about every half hour until finally at 6:15 I drag myself from bed and go to the living room.  I tell her she can watch.  I go up to the TV cabinet and open the doors.  I feel a bit woozy from the lack of sleep and most likely the medication.  I start to feel a bit heavy.  I kind of gently collapse to the floor.

Francesca says watch?  Mom we watching?

Ummm.........hmmmmmmm, well, let's see.  I try to lift my head, no go.  I lift my arm about an inch and  it falls back down.  I cannot move.


Ummm, Francesca?  Can you get me the phone?  Just crawl up on the counter and get it....

She brings it over.  I lay there a few more minutes thinking if I can just get myself up and the movie in I can lay on the couch for as long as I want.  Just need to get myself up there.  I do not want to call anyone at 6:15 in the morning and have them picking me up off the floor.

I drag myself up.  Put the movie in.  Collapse on the couch.

Francesca?  Was she worried?  Was she concerned that she watched her mother collapse before her eyes and not be able to get up for a little while?


I guess she gets her compassion from me............we'll have to be working on that so that one day she doesn't get married and find that she is completely missing this component from her personality.  Maybe we'll do some role playing today or maybe just wait til dinner and see if Daddy bites his tongue again.  It's always a good place to start :)

Oh, and by the way, what makes this all so much worse is that my husband is one of the most compassionate people I know.  He is a WONDERFUL caretaker when I am sick which is so much more often than he is.........FABULOUS, really.  I actually try to mimic what he does when I am sick for when he is sick.  I am getting better, aren't I, babe?

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Sometimes It's Enough......

Sometimes it's enough to get up and read books, drinking hot coffee and munching on muffins together on the couch......all three fighting for a position closest to mama..........

Sometimes it's enough to run from one place to the next, going on adventures altogether - from kiddie exercise to the library to visit favorite librarians and onto the park to feed ducks and play.......

Sometimes it's enough to eat fudge pops on the porch of grandma and grandpa's house then off to home for fruit and toast in front of the tv - relaxing from the fun we had in the morning - while mama runs about the house cleaning.........

Sometimes it's enough to plop on the couch with lunch and a good book - nothing more than a novel, nothing important or big or good for me - just a novel to escape into for the moment..............

Sometimes it's enough to recharge, regroup, not to be looking to change the world but to change your own heart for the remember what you love and who you love as the homemade chicken noodle soup bubbles on the stove, the children slumber in their beds for the afternoon and you breathe in and out.........thanking Him for this time, this moment of peace that has been carved out just for you.

May you find the time to breathe within your day today................because sometimes it's enough just to breathe deep and breathe long, finding peace in Him.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Nico's Late Night Musings..........

Mom?  Am I going to be five tomorrow?


Yes.  Am I going to be five tomorrow?

No, buddy, not tomorrow.  

When......when am I going to be five......on my  birthday?

Yep, on your birthday.

I wish my birthday was every day, mom. (pause)  Do you like jellybeans?


Here I have some.  You want these?  You can share them with whoever you want.  I don't want them anymore.  You go 'head and have them.  You can eat them anytime you want.

Thanks, buddy.  I will put them right by my bed.

You know I am not wearing any underwear (giggling).  I forgot to put on my underwear and it's too late now, I have to go to bed and I can't put it on now.  I have my jammies on.  I can't take them off.  

Oh my.  Goodnight, buddy.

Giggle, giggle, giggle.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Late Night Musings......

I am little bit terrified............just a bit.

I like to be good at things.  I like to have it all together.

I am a good mom.  I say this because I love my kids, I spend a ton of time with them, I read books, I take them to the park, I try to teach them about the important stuff.  I am guessing you are a good mom too.

I am a good wife.  My good times make up for the times when I am not so great.  So overall I would say I am a good wife.  I am guessing you are too.  Love and grace and mercy and all that good stuff make for a good marriage and, thankfully, forgive those times when I become that other person that isn't so lovely.

That's been it for a few years.  Wife and mother.  Challenging, yes.  But mistakes go unnoticed by most and the ones who notice are the ones who love me best.  And, well, I thrive in this role, this life I have been living.  I love it.  And when I don't I have a few friends I call and we laugh and share and compare days and all of a sudden it doesn't seem so bad.  Plus my rockin' husband helps.......and my precious kiddies.

But a few weeks ago we opened up our family, our home to others.  We want to lead a group in raising kids in Christian community.  We want families to have the time and space to learn about God's plan for them, to pray together, to delve into His word together.  We want to share ideas and plans.  We want accountability for families.  We want to serve together.  We want to camp together, eat meals with one another, pray together, live life together.  Sounds great, huh?  We think so.

But did you catch it?

We are suppose to be the leaders right now.

This seemed like a good idea at one point.  I am not sure when because it's feeling a bit uncomfortable now..........especially when the pastor and his wife want to come hang out with you at your house and I am pretty sure that their 5 year old son has a better understanding of God's word than I do.  Plus he said that the disciples had dirty feet at the Last Supper because of all the walking they did and there was poop on the ground from the animals and that kid did not even crack a smile while I giggled just a bit.  I think that says something about his maturity level as compared to mine. (By the way, this is one of the coolest kids I have ever met.  I could sit and listen to him for hours, literally.  He's seems to be amazingly mature and then the next second you realize he's still just a little kid as his eyes light up and he talks about going on a bunny hunt in the backyard.)

So I like to be good at things.  I like to have it all together.


Because it's easy.

I don't have to rely on anyone else or admit to my shortcomings or be humbled.

Funnily enough I have been asking God to humble me.

It looks like it's happening.

I am so not good at this.

Time to get down on my knees, ask for help, acknowledge my inability to do it all on my own.

Time to stop using google as my main search engine and look to His word.

Time to listen, to seek, to ask, to hear.

Pray for me, for us?

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Sometimes I Just Want to Hit the Pause Button....

These days of digging holes big enough to stand in,

Of clowning around with a sister that gives dirty looks,

Or simply eating out of doors and not caring that most of the meal ended up on your face.......

Even these days of sagging diapers and dirty feet,

the days filled with creating and pretend baking,

And, oh, the sweet laughter of a giggling boy........

I want to just soak these days in, it's almost an ache at times, how much I want to slow this time down.

I wonder if they can even guess how much I love them, how I could just watch them forever, paused in this moment of baby teeth, fly away hair and messiness.

I want to remember this time of tattoos on hands, every toenail a different color and jammies at a bonfire............

And how much sweeter it is when there are three, all scrunched up in giggles and love......

 Is there a pause button?  Can there be........maybe, for a moment?

I am afraid my heart can't take all this growing up, growing older and all those small steps towards walking out on their own.............

Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Other One.....

The other one..........this one makes me sigh, too - a sigh filled with bubbling laughter, exasperation and complete love.  And I usually am shaking my head as I sigh.  This one has done things, discovered things, thought of things that the others NEVER WOULD have.  In fact my own mild-mannered childhood hasn't prepared me for her.  Yes, I had attitude.  Yes, I was bossy.  Yes, I had my moments but overall, I remember being afraid of stepping too far over the line.  I wasn't perfect but I was easily intimidated.  Not so with this one..............

I remember when she was young, just walking.  All three were still at home and I was occupied with one, not aware of the youngest - where she was or what she was doing.  This was always a mistake and still can be.  I look about the house, searching because the silence is disturbing.  I walk into the bathroom................oh my.  My angelic looking child was rifling through my makeup bag, putting on lipstick.   

Oh, and she was on the toilet.

With the lid up.

Splashing in the water.

Where her brother had forgotten to flush.

A big, laugh-filled, love-filled sigh..................

A few weeks ago we were playing hide and go seek at an aunt's house.  Zia Maria expanded the game to include her front yard.  Everyone scattered.  I went inside to go to the bathroom.  Joe went up into a tree in the front yard.  The older kids and Zia Maria went in the backyard.  Francesca?

She went to a house four doors down.

In the front yard.

"Hiding" in front of a small, skinny tree.

Also, hiding behind all the bushes and cars that happen to be between four houses.

It was 10 minutes before we found her.


She told Joe, "I love you, dad.  Don't be sad, dad."

With this's not if she'll get in trouble, it's how deep will it go.................

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

This One

Let me preface by saying, once again, that I love all my children equally -  I love them high and wide and big and long.   Yet.......yet, I love them all differently because they all are so different.  They are parts of me, of Joe, some parts from places unrecognizable.........some parts I am proud of, some I am amazed at, some I wish we hadn't passed on, some are infuriating simply because they come directly from me and I wonder at how perfectly they can become the person I try to hide from other's sight.

And it is this one that causes me to sigh - a deep, loving, heart-filled sigh..............

I look at this picture and wonder where she came from.  This girl with blue eyes, sun kissed skin and long blond did we create such beauty?  But perhaps all parents wonder at that......this isn't exclusive to my heart, my eldest girl, for the others - my adventure and my joy - have beauty I wonder at, too.  But this one..............

This one I love to sit with.  I love to hear her ideas.  I love to hear what she is thinking about because it is never what I guess and is almost always something that goes beyond her years.  Just the other night before bed I ask her what her favorite part of kindergarten has been this year.  She tilts her head, ponders the question and answers that it has been learning.  She says she hasn't even noticed it but that she has been learning.  She has learned so much and has never noticed.  She says that Mrs. B will tell her what to do and she does it and she doesn't even notice.  She wonders if first grade will be the same. She seems to develop a little worry, one she has probably thought of before.......will she know what to do in first grade?  Will her teacher tell her what she needs to do?  How will I figure it out?   We talk.  I tell her that she will do just fine and assure her that her first grade teacher is a bit like Fia herself - organized, with a certain way of doing things, she does fun crafts, they have a calendar, a weather chart, so much will be the same just a bit harder, a bit more but that Mrs. B has done a good job preparing her and she will do just fine.   She's actually visible......she smiles and it's off to bed with dreams of a new day, perhaps a new year.

This one is the one I could spend days and days with, wrapping ourselves in a comfy cocoon of our own choosing.  We would drink hot tea, play games, make doll clothes, create new crafts and read books.  We might pause to snuggle under the covers and watch Little House on the Prairie or stop to bake cookies or a cake.  I am not sure we would leave the house or if we did it would be to simple places we would go, maybe to Target to browse, the bookstore to read, the coffee shop to eat a decadent dessert and read books together.  Sofia, on her own, is easy and easy to please because all she wants, really, is you.  She wants your time and attention and love.  Things are not her thing.

This one showed how much love there is, how good it is to be a mom, to have miracles running about your house.  And so it is because of this one that more had to what becomes of a child that is everything to their parent, the very center of their world..........I shudder to think.  I had no ability to divide my time when there was just one, especially a seemingly easy one at that, this smaller version of me :)  She's a good big sis, partly because she is a woman who loves to be in charge (and yes, this is a strength and weakness I share with her).   It's been an adjustment for sure.  There is less time, less attention when the wild ones are around.  They demand attention while not treasuring it as much as she.  When there is a crowd it is the wild ones that most surely are at the center of it.  And I love my friends that take the time to spend with my heart, my girl.  I have noticed them - talking over rocking babies, reading books quietly on the couch, talking over dinner.  I treasure this.  I love them for this, as surely as she does.  They notice.  They notice my heart and as Jani says she is an old soul, she loves to talk with the people she sometimes considers her peers, the adults that come in and out of our home.

And might notice..................this one.

The one that no one has followed..........yet.  Just a few weeks ago our caseworker came out for a visit.  She was apologizing for no calls.........yet.  We both looked over at this one and started laughing, saying there was no rush :)  More on this one later........................

Sunday, April 8, 2012

This Day

I awake to emptiness..........but not a hopeless, black emptiness but rather a life-giving emptiness, an emptiness which is symbolic of a world, a place of no sin, no death.

Lord, let me be a reflection of that emptiness today - empty me of an agenda, of selfish desires, of impatience, of anger and fill me with LIFE.


Thank you, thank you, thank you for this day.

May my expectations begin and end at the tomb -- nothing else matters on such a day.

Perfection is not to be found in a dress, a dish at the Easter table or a tradition but in YOU, LORD.

Let my quest for perfection begin and end at the tomb..................always.


Wednesday, April 4, 2012

It's All A Numbers Game............

I am 34 years old.

I am 62 inches tall.

I weigh 135 pounds.

This was my goal weight, my oooh I will be so happy if I reach that weight.  For the past two years I have been creeping and then that creeping began to speed up and stay steady.  My low was my once upon, I will never reach again number and if I do I will so something about it.  Then I passed that number and I thought I must do something or this will continue.  I am tired of taking too much time trying to decide what to wear because nothing fits the way I want it to.  I am tired of feeling heavy and not good about myself.  I am tired of making excuses about why I am gaining weight or why it's ok because I am a mom, a cook for 5 (21 meals a week, 52 weeks a year), getting older, getting busier.

I finally asked for, and paid for (to be honest), some help.  It did help.  I am a people pleaser.  The nutritionist told me I was good at this, that I always have been, that I could do this and other, more harsh things that always work for me.

So it came off.

I was hungry.

I still am, at times.

Because I realized that my goal was perhaps the wrong thing, the wrong number.

I am happy I lost the weight, I realized that it needed to happen, for my health, for my peace of mind.  It's barely an extreme number :), just a comfortable number that keeps my in my clothes and in a place of health.

But now I get on the scale and see 135 and, if I am honest, I am a teensy, weensy bit disappointed.  And then I get mad at myself because I know it's stupid.

What is a life chasing after a number?  Chasing after a size, a weight to bring happiness?  After you are healthy and in a good place what are you chasing after?

You are chasing after something that will never be caught.

Contentment in your ever changing appearance.

You will get old.

You will get wrinkly.

You will sag.

Things will pop up on your skin, your face, your hands that you cannot control.

Controlling a number brings false happiness, false contentment.  It is not lasting.  And you will have to work harder and harder and spend more and more time getting that number lower and lower until one day you realize you have become a slave....... to a number.

A number which doesn't receive love, doesn't give love.  It will never comfort you like you want it too. It will leave you.  It is a fickle thing.  It is dependent on what you give it, what you do for it.  It is not an unconditional thing.

And oh my you are missing out on true joy and contentment if you are looking down at a scale, at that number, instead of up at God.

He is not fickle.  What He gives is not dependent on anything you do, you cannot do enough, eat enough, say enough for Him to turn His back on you.  He will never leave.  He does not care what that number is.  He cares only for you.  He will comfort, He will love.

135 is my weight.

It is not my God.

He is my God.

Pray that my life and my thoughts reflect that.