Sunday, August 18, 2013

10 things that make me truly happy...

1) A really hot, great smelling bubble bath. (Even when little people run in repeatedly asking for juice and swiping handfuls of bubbles thereby turning the tile floor into a deadly slip and slide)

2) The perfect cup of coffee. Really hot, a little creamy and a tiny bit sweet. (Even though it has to be re-heated in the microwave 3 times before I am able to finish the entire cup)

3) Being in my bed, the only sound the white noise around me. In the summer, the air conditioner. In the winter, the heater. And my husband's breathing, a comforting constant. (Even though morning will come sooner than I'd like and I'll never feel truly rested)

4) A happy, singing trio in the back of my van. (With none on key and so many incorrect words that make me laugh at their simplicity, innocence and outright silliness)

5) A dinner that the entire family eats without complaining. (Even though someone will undoubtedly fall out of his chair, or spill her juice)

6) The smell of warm, sleepy children. (Even with their morning breath)

7) The perfect that catches my child looking joyous and candid. (Especially after having spent time in that 10th ring of Dante's Inferno, also known as the portrait studio)

8) New shoes. (Even though 9 of 10 times they are now for kids' feet rather than mine)

9) Summer Vacation...unscheduled, extra curricular free days of the beach, the pool, naps and travelling. (Even though each day includes a little arguing and name calling)

10) Back to school...the bittersweet pride of my little ones growing, living and taking on the world. (Even though I miss them so much it's physical)

Because the "even thoughs" in my life are what make it beautiful, real, unique, blessed, and MINE.  The "even thoughs" and the "buts" are where the crux of life hide.  The "even thoughs" are constant reminders of what might not have been, and how truly worth it being a mother is.

Monday, March 11, 2013

10 things that offended me today

Everyone is so offended these days....and to be quite frank...I am weary of it. I am tired of worrying about what is PC or what the proper terminology for everyone and everything is this week. I am all for kindness. I believe we should be understanding and supportive and open-minded and open hearted.  But I have a vehement dislike for people who are always offended. Folks who look for things to find offensive. In fact, the phrase "I am so offended" is one of the few things I find offensive. And that's really just because it irritates me so badly.
I get frustrated and angry...but offended? The act of being offended is so narcissistic, as if every comment someone makes is directed at you. And at the same time, is such a victim's stance. To give another that much power over you with their words and actions and to relinquish your own feelings of self worth based on someone else's drivel.  If you don't like what someone has to say...don't listen to him or her.

Now let me be clear, hence I offend someone: There is a difference in being truly hurt, and being offended.  I find negativity and cruelty towards any group of people, especially children, abhorrent. But not offensive.  Just awful, and stupid.  But I decided to be offended today...and here are the things that did it:

1)  That bitch in the drop off line at preschool....I know she saw me smile and wave and she pretended like she didn't recognize me. So offensive

2) That old man who works at the grocery store...he asked me if I needed help to my car. Do I look like I need help?  Just because I have three little kids and a cart full of groceries does not mean I am not capable of handling all this. Was he insinuating that I don't have my shit together?

3)  The DJ on the morning radio show made a sexist joke..after I laughed and rolled my eyes, I was royally pissed. It didn't ooccur to me to change the station, I just kept listening so I could become enraged.

4) I read a few status updates. I cannot believe I virtually associate with people who have views which differ from mine. Facebook is a petri dish of comments, suggestions and updates which I know people post with me in mind, to send me passive aggressive messages about how they really feel about me and my new haircut.

5) Speaking of my new husband said it was cute. But it's not what he's how he said it..he doesn't really like it..I can tell..he is just humoring me and it's offensive.

6) Foul language on the internet...the damn offensive

7) Some chick at the Optometrist's office asked my kid to stop spinning the magnifying mirror. Mind your own business lady...just because I have three kids running amuck in here and am trying to pay attention to the person adjusting one kid's glasses does not mean I appreciate an extra pair of eyes making sure my children do not sever an artery on broken glass. She was really just judging my parenting skills.

8) Someone posted a bible verse...she was just pushing her religion on me...and judging me. I know she posted that verse just to shame me, or force her views on me. It had nothing to do with her personal faith...Christianity is so offensive.

9) I watched someone throw away a Coke can. He didn't recycle it. The HORROR.

10) I saw someone bottle feed her baby and put a diaper on it. When she totally could have breast fed and she should know her baby's "rhythm" and hold her over the potty when nature calls...anyone who does not mother as a verb the same way I do is not only offensive, but irresponsible as well.

So how'd I do?  Are you offended yet? If so then we should really just end our association right now because I probably don't have the tact or patience to maintain a friendship with you...but it's not fact, it's really not about you at all. 
Let's look for things to enjoy in life, shall we?  Look for things that make us smile rather than enrage us...things that empower us rather than anger us. And sometimes, let's just laugh..because it feels good.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Mommy Friends

Girls are mean, spiteful things some times....I wote a blog before about can read it here.
But as we grow up..we can also appreciate the women in our lives as the friends they are, and have been.  Some come in and out of your life, seemingly inseperable one day and then gone for months or years..but always holding a significant place in your life, shaping memories as well as your heart.

I could wax poetic about friendships in a sappy way..but I won't. Instead I want to focus on one particular type of friend..."The mommy friend".

When I quit work to stay home with the twins, I was ALONE. My friends all still family lived out of state. I was managing sick babies and that took all my energy.  Since they were preemies we were essentially quarantined for months...and I had very little time to do anything other than meet their basic needs.  Adult, friendly interaction was not high on my list...until I started missing it.

It took me a while to make "mommy friends".
You meet them at church, or the kiddie gym, or in my case physical therapy for your kids.  You meet them through other friends..or even online...

Friends who understand when you tell your kid to shut up when you're on the phone.  They understand when you cancel 3 playdates in a row because someone has a fever, or just really needs a nap.  They get it when you leave a scheduled outing early because your kid fell in the Koi pond outside Barnes and Noble.  They'll even brave a restaurant with you and your brood of chuckleheads.

They get it when you say you may have to home school because your kids are always sick but they know you'd never really homeschool because you'd go crazy.

They live next door and will keep your kids at the drop of a hat if you need them too.  They always share recipes and baked goods, and try your new ones as well.

They laugh with you about man colds and how your kids are so much better dressed than you are.

They teach you to respect the environment and hug trees, and then vote Republican.

They make you want to eat better and feed your kids better, but don't judge when you hit Dunkin Donuts weekly.

They have  multiples, like you, and understand that quiet is not a concept recognized in your home, and also how exhausting these little blessings can be. And that sometimes you just want a pedicure.

They are your cousins with whom you shared your childhood, and now you share each other's journeys of parenthood. You compare milestones and concerns and stories that should not be funny but are hilarious.

They are friends who you had before you both had kids, and now your friendship means so much more because your lives mean so much more.

Sometimes they are your child's teacher, who has taken such a keen interest in your child, and taught your baby so much, that all you can feel is grateful.

They support you in realizing you are still in an individual, not only someone's mom...and that you have your own personality and interests and talents that still need to be recognized and appreciated.

They are your mom and mother in law, whose advice is truly welcome for two reasons:
1) they raised some pretty great kids already
2) they love your kids as much as you do

They are the people who make you realize you're not totally crazy, but it's ok to be a little bit crazy.
Don't get me wrong, at some point they were probably melodramatic and catty teenage girls, but today they are pretty awesome.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Do you know what I know?

"Said the Shepherd boy to the mighty king, 'Do you know what I know? In your palace warm mighty King? Do you know what I know?
 A child, a child, shivers in the cold...."

from "Do You Hear What I Hear?" lyrics by Noël Regney and music by Gloria Shayne

I have heard the Christmas Story all my room at the inn, born surrounded by animals, placed in a manger. It's something I've known, believed, and accepted. Jesus Christ was born in a barn, and the Wisemen followed the North Star to find him, praise him, glorify him.

But wait...Jesus Christ, King of Kings, was BORN IN A STABLE. OUTSIDE. In the FREEZING COLD.  I'm sorry if you have truly thought about this and processed it before, but I don't think I have.  Although I know the story well, I don't think I ever truly appreciated it. 
While other kings of the time were born in palaces, and adorned in fine silks and surrounded in luxury, our Lord was wrapped in swaddling clothes that were most likely filthy and then he was placed in a manger full of hay. Our King was brought into the world under circumstances that could be described as humble at best. And this is amazing.  Everything about his birth and life are amazing. He lived like a man, not a king. He was never surrounded by riches and luxury. His wealth came from spreading peace and love. His luxuries were healing and saving others.  His life was about what he could give, not what he could acquire.

And his death?  "He was crucified under Pontius Pilate, died, and was buried". How many times have I recited this creed in Mass without truly absorbing it. He was CRUCIFIED. As is exCRUCIating pain. I won't go into the details of crucifixion as I am sure we are pretty aware of what it details. But my mind has blocked me from the reality of how He died, which was not gloriously or humbly, but tragic.

But back to his birth, as that is what Christmas is about. What a gift we received that night, those of us who call ourselves Christians. When a woman gave birth in a barn, surrounded by donkeys and sheep, to the baby who would grow up to be the greatest King of all time. And he shivered in the cold in a manger, not comfortable in a luxurious, warm palace. A humble and real beginning to the life of a humble and real man, who is also the Lord. I've known this for a long time, but have been pretty slow in coming to understand it. Knowing and appreciating are two very different things.

Merry Christmas and I hope you and your loved ones feel Peace and Grace this Holiday Season. I hope your kids squeal when they open their presents, and that their delight is a balm to your soul. I hope nothing is mundane and ordinary for you this Christmas, that it is filled with love and happiness. And if you feel inspired to sing Happy Birthday to Jesus with your kids, I hope you do it. I know we will.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Road Trip...

My husband had a business trip planned, and the kids had a long weekend from school, so I decided to pack up the chuckleheads and visit my parents.

500 miles, one mom, and three preschoolers, in the new minivan. Watch out...crazy times ahead....

Packed up 4 days of clothes, a few favorite toys, some snacks,the required blankets and the "what ifs".  You know, what if we need the nebulizer, the prescription cough meds, the under-the-arm thermometer, etc.  I mean I'll be honest, my kids are sick, a lot. It's best to always be prepared.

So, we are packed and the plan is to get on the road early so we still have some of the day to play when we arrive.
The kids were excited. Up at 530 excited.  My husband loaded the suitcases, everyone peed, I had coffee in hand, and we were on the road by 6:27. The Adventure begins! 

Alvin and the Chipmunks were chirping loudly from the DVD, three hand held games were beeping in the backseats, and I was unsuccessfully trying to find a good satelite radio station. I gave up and settled on a top 40 local station and heard Kesha and Maroon 5 each three times in the first 37 minutes.  Which is the first time I had to stop. Because someone dropped his game and a meltdown followed until I could pull over and retrieve it. Might as well pass out some snacks while we were stopped.

The trip is a jump on I-95, a few skips on I-10 and then a long cruise on I-75.  I stopped for gas and breakfast and bathroom breaks just as we hit 75.  So far so good.

If you have not had the joy of travelling north through Georgia on I-75, let me break it down for you, close your eyes and picture it. Well, it will be tough to read if you close them both, so close one and use your imagination:

Adult Toy store, cotton field, strip club (with trucker parking!), cotton field, adult store, "spa" (with trucker parking!), cotton field, strip club (we bare all!!), strip club, adult super store, spa, cotton field, Atlanta.  That's pretty much it. 

Music is station, country station, Christian station, country station, top 40.  Don't worry, as you near Atlanta you can add a lot of rap to the mix.

Just after a cotton field and sign for peanuts and pecans, but just before Atlanta, we stopped again.  I did not want to have to stop in Atlanta, or get stuck in traffic with a little one that needed to peeeeeeeee.

Here is how you travel through Atlanta.
You get in the HOV lane (when you have three kids your vehicle is always high occupancy so it should never be an issue) and you just GO.  Seriously..ignore the beltways and the bypasses. Stay away from exits and intersections leading to other interstates and highways. Get in the HOV lane and go. Don't look left or right, and by no means exit the interstate.

I was in my stride...the travel endorphins were about to peak...I was nodding my head to T-Pain or T.I. or Ice Somebody. And then I heard it from the way-back...."Mom, I have to poop". 

Nooooooooo...we were in the stride. We were in the HOV lane.  I started to feel panicky.  This was not good.  I was going to have to find an exit in downtown Atlanta...I was going to have to leave the HOV lane and possibly get lost trying to find a Starbucks so I could get coffee while my kid pooped and I'd be stuck in downtown Atlanta forever...or until I found a kind police officer to escort us back to the interstate..

"I don't need to poop anymore, I just needed to fart". Thank the Lord, crisis averted.  And this is why I put the boys in the way back. They can just smell each other's stink and hopefully I can be spared once in a while.

So we made it through Atlanta, and through Georgia, and soon were at my parents house in the mountains of Tennessee. 

We had a lovely visit, though as predicted, one of the chuckles did get sick.

The drive home was similar...same music, same strip clubs (with trucker parking!), same cotton fields..there was only one major difference.  Just south of Atlanta, all of the kids were sleeping. Never wake sleeping children, right? Well, I had to peeeeeeeee.  So I exited by an adult super store, found a semi abondoned Waffle House that backed up to a cotton field, and copped a squat. The kids kept right on sleeping. I waved at a few truckers on the way back to the interstate.  As my friends who are moms said, "you do whatcha gotta do".  Especially if you are on a road trip with three kids.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Today we celebrate my twins' fifth birthday. It is full of conflicting emotions. The day they were born came after months of uncertainty and anxiety, laying in a hospital bed feeling like I was losing a battle at keeping them safe, keeping them alive.

The day they were born came more than 10 weeks early. It is hard to celebrate your babies coming into the world at 2 lbs 11 oz and 2 lbs 13 oz. Hard to celebrate the tubes and ventilators and monitors. Hard to celebrate the fact they know only pain and struggle.

But five years later, today, I can celebrate how far we have come. I can celebrate their struggle because it ended in triumph. I can celebrate the funny, sweet, smart and strong little boys they have become. I can celebrate because they are here, and they are amazing. Happy Birthday to my boys!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012


I thought I would be that cool mom. You know, the kind that my kids and their friends loved. The kind they asked
for advice and hung out with. I never wanted my kids to be embarrassed of me. After all, don't they know what a cool mom I am? Won't they be proud to say , "This is my mom!"

Apparently NOT. Because at the ages of four, four and three, each have put me in my place. Unless they are hungry, sick or sad, I will be merely tolerated at best.

The twins started 4k a few weeks ago. I
was a little choked up but determined to stay up-beat in case one of the boys
became upset. My worry was a waste of time. After walking twin A to his seat, he immediately struck up a
conversation with his teacher's aide
and his neighbor. I sorted his snack and pencil box into his cubby and leaned down to kiss the top of his head.
"What are you still doing here?". He

Well then. Guess I'm dismissed.

I continued on to B's class. B is
a mama's boy so I was certain I would need a little extra time with him anyway.

We said hello to his teacher and got him situated.
"Your snack's in your back pack
Babe, and a juice box too". I
told him.

"OK, get out".

I shit you not, he told me to get out.

Wait, what??? Hmmmph

Better than crying and begging though right? Right?

That weekend I took my three year old
spoiled little adorable princess of a daughter to see The Fresh Beat Band Live in Concert. We were so excited for a girl's night.

After a few minutes of the first song,
she was up and dancing with a small group of girls in our section. As the song finished they all jumped around and cheered. Their enthusiasm was
contagious. I clapped my hands high in the air and yelled some nonsense like "Yaaaaaay". She stopped dancing, marched over to me and said, through her teeth, "Mama, put your hands down". Then she rolled her eyes at
me and walked away.

Ummmmm, you're three.

When a particularly catchy song was being performed I stood up next to her and was twisting and bopping my head. I'm tellin ya, those Fresh Beats are pretty good. Again, I got the three year old stink eye and a "MOM, stop dancing".

Stop dancing? But these moves are CLASSIC I tell ya. The others moms just wished they could Kid n Play and MC Hammer like me. But alas, I was embarrassing my youngest offspring.

I can't even imagine the teen years......sigh.