Monday, March 28, 2011

It happens...

This morning I work up to giggling. Normally this would have been cute, but the sounds were accompanied by a smell that -if I was to describe it- would be what they were referring to in 'Labyrinth' when they spoke of the Bog of Eternal Stench. It hit me why Nicholas was giggling- he knew what I was up against.

Upon undressing him, I saw what looked like a sewage treatment plant that had exploded. If I hadn't been afraid of the backlash (him peeing all over my bed), I would have just left him there and turned tail and headed for the hills. So, I continued on, praying he had been completely finished when I had taken off his diaper. He wasn't. Time to wash the sheets. Again. Nothing new- we had the cleanest sheets of anyone I know when Nicholas was first born- every day he pooped on them. Every day I had to wash them. Apparently, sheets were not enough for Nicholas to “mark”- he decided to let loose on me, too.

Unfortunately, this is not the first time I've been scarred by my kids. When my oldest was born, he initiated me into motherhood by peeing a stream straight over his head, hitting the hospital wall behind him- talk about aim. He also initiated his gramma into the Grammahood by peeing all over her. Of course, in his defense, she made the conscious choice to hold him while he was diaper free. No diaper+cool breezes+boys= a change of clothes for you. At least his accidents were all of the pee variety, though.

If I REALLY wanted to bring up “crappy” memories, Jacob would be the one to take home the gold. Some parents call their kids “monkeys” as a term of endearment- me? I'm just stating the facts. Monkeys swing from trees- my sweet boy swings from furniture. Monkeys love bananas- Jacob loves bananas. Monkeys throw poop- Jacob pitched a few handfuls, as well. I'll never forget the morning I peeked in on my sweet boy to find out that -sweet, though he may be- sweet smelling, he was not. Somehow, he had figured out how to unbutton his onesie, pull off his diaper, and proceeded to make wall art with the contents. A few days later, when we had gotten over the shock, we forgot to put pants on over his onesie AGAIN, and he did a “Take 2”. Get it? As in Number 2?

I spend FAR too much time around my boys.

My FAVORITE memory, though, was right before Nicholas was born. Jacob came running out of the bathroom and went up to my husband, “Dad! I really had to go to the bathroom, but nothing came out so I went *GRRRRARGH* and it came out!”

Corey, looking at Jacob, “Well... that's great Jacob!”

You'd think that's the end, but no.

“It was HUGE, dad- come look!”

Not only did he inform Corey of his accomplishment, but he saved it to show it off.

What's worse? Since I didn't experience this first hand, Corey saw fit to repeat this entire incident -complete with sound effects- to ME later on. Thankfully, he didn't have Jacob save his *ahem* accomplishment.

Needless to say, not long after this, I started praying the baby I was carrying was a girl. God either thought I could handle a lifetime of poop stories or he was laughing so hard, watching me deal with 2 boys already, that his finger slipped and the 'XX' became another 'XY'.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Things I've learned from my 4 year old

1.  The '5 Second Rule' is less of a RULE and more of a GUIDELINE- it just depends on how much you spent on the item, or in his case, how much you really wanted to eat it.
2.  Do unto others as you would have them do unto you... the first time.  If they continue to piss you off, throw your juice cup at them.
3.  Clothes are ALWAYS optional.  Save yourself money and time- wear your birthday suit.
4.  Sharing is nice- unless its candy or a toy you really love.  If that's the case, give them your runner up and make it seem special.
5.  Man CAN live on chocolate milk and bananas alone.
6.  Toilets are optional- God gave us the 'great outdoors' for a reason.
7.  Be your own person.  Don't do something just because that's the norm.  Just because most individuals put their socks on and THEN their shoes, it doesn't mean YOU have to.
8.  If you jump off the couch and fail to actually fly, try, try, try again.
9.  Sometimes you don't need to "just try it" to know you won't like it.
10. You can TOO have multiple best friends, and its even better if they're imaginary because then you don't have to share them with anyone else.
11. Everyone has days where they wish they were someone else, and on those days, its perfectly acceptable to be Mario, Luigi, Bowser, or -in my case- Princess Peach.
12. Think outside the box- if your big brother won't leave you alone, lick him.  He's sure to stay away, then.
13. Nothing starts a conversation quite like a good poop joke.
14. When in doubt, throw it in the laundry- after all, YOU know the type of days you've been having.  That's probably the safer choice, anyways.
15.  Sometimes nothing can make it all better except being held by someone you love.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Living with kids- its not for the weak

"I think I can, I think I can, I think I can..."

These are the words that keep flowing through my head as I find myself going through the motions today.  Its just another one of those days that has decided to zap the last of whatever it is that keeps me going.  Let me take you on a mental tour of my home right now, shall I?

As you walk though the front door, you're greeted by something that's akin to Hurricane Katrina with just a hint of "God, what's THAT?!"  You check the address outside the door in the hopes that you've made a mistake- this cannot POSSIBLY be the right place.  But it is, so you attempt to trudge on.

Easier said than done.

You wade through the mounds of toys and -God help you- empty boxes that you realize were SUPPOSED to be turned into cars, trucks, playhouses, etc., but have now been broken down into unrecognizable forms.  You look around, wondering where FEMA has disappeared to, because this should most definitely qualify as a state of emergency... and then you realize that if they ARE there, you couldn't find them anyway.  Suddenly, it hits you that you've only made it through the front door, and the rest of the home is waiting for your inspection.  After trying -unsuccessfully- to brush off the shudders that are now coursing through your body, you put one foot in front of the other.

In the dining room, you look under the dinner table and you see crusty breakfast cereal that was never cleaned up and has now permanently attached itself to the carpet.  No need for a baby book, here!  Dynamite will not loosen it!  You'll be able to point out to the kids -once they're grown ups- the ACTUAL food they used to eat.  Astounding!

You walk- well, you shuffle, anyways- into the living room, scream, and search for another room -ANY other room- to run to.  You at once think about attaching yellow caution tape to section off the unnatural disaster, but in the end, all you REALLY want to do is find a safe zone.  Every man for himself- if someone else is crazy enough to enter, that's THEIR problem.  You hurry past the living room, trying desperately to rid your mind of the horrors you just witnessed, as well as trying to find your footing on a floor you cannot see.

You say a small prayer and work your way toward the kitchen- or, what, in an ideal setting, MIGHT be a kitchen.  You know that before this place was inhabited there was a sink.  You look to where you saw it last and gasp- a pile of dishes 50 feet high now engulfs the entire left side of the room.  No wonder you couldn't see the kitchen through the pass-thru- the pass-thru is now a wall consisting of dirty cereal bowls, pots, pans, and the rest of what must surely be all the dishes and utensils the home holds.

What's that smell?  Oh, GROSS- one of the kids must have found a moldy sippy cup and set it on the counter.  Better late than never; and at least it shows that they were cleaning out their room, right?  RIGHT?

To keep from gagging, you hurry on your way to check on the rest of the apartment.  First stop?  The guest bathroom- a.k.a. the Boys' Bathroom.

Upon entering, you pause at the toilet- can males NEVER learn how to aim properly?!?!  You feel a need -an uncontrollable URGE- to get clean, but that's not going to happen in THIS sink.  Somewhere along the line, the middle child felt the need to squeeze out an entire tube of toothpaste into the sink.  The bathroom is smelling minty fresh, though, so you thank God for the little things and back on out.

That's when you feel the need to run.  To run fast and hard and long to escape what -in some distorted definitions- might be described as a room, but OH NO!  Not THIS place!  Much like a 20 car pile up or a nuclear explosion, you want to look away, but can't.  As you gaze from the door -because that's as far as you can make it- you think you see the faintest of outlines of a set of bunk beds and possibly a small table and -HA!- and organizational device that must have been left for comedic purposes because its OBVIOUSLY not in use...

Did something MOVE in there?!?!?!?!?!

You slowly creep away -to avoid being attacked by whatever is currently occupying the space- and turn to head toward the master bedroom.  You want to wash your brain to get rid of the scenes you've just encountered, but you can't.  You realize with a resigned feeling that once you're out of here, you will need to undergo therapy for PTSD.

The master is the only room where you aren't scared.  The bathroom is clean!  The bed is made!  No toys to be found!  Serene music coming from the iPOD set up, and...

-what's that rocking back and forth in the corner over there?

THAT would be me, people.  And, let's be honest now- if you were living in the place I just described, wouldn't you be going a little crazy, too?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What did you say...?

I didn't think French would help me, so I chose to learn Spanish in High School instead.

I ended up messing around in Spanish- making up phrases like “The camel jumped through the window” and “My pants are on fire and my legs burn” -and, really, those phrases can only be used in isolated instances- so my Spanish is confined to “Adios”, “Vamanos” and “quesodilla”... or anything else that Dora the Explorer can teach me.

When Jacob was born, I was determined to have a child who could speak another language.  I had heard that sign language was a great way to increase his verbal capabilities, so I bought the most expensive Baby Sign kit I could find- after all, the fact that it cost millions of dollars must mean it works. The bonus was that I knew I would end up learning a little something along the way since I would need to teach him. I learned a few things, he learned that he liked the cartoon it came with, and neither of us became bilingual at the end of it all.

Little did I know, though, that with each child that was born, I was becoming more and more adept at a new language- Baby-ease. The problem is, none of the sounds translate well and the most it does is make your baby laugh and make you sound like you're speaking some sort of weird tribal tongue. It was brought to my attention the other day by my sons' uncle that whenever we talk to Nicholas, we find ourselves making clicks, clucks, whistles, and other random noises. This would be great if we were attempting to speak Zulu or wanted to impersonate an African bushman, but it doesn't do much else.

Hey- can I count myself as bilingual if I don't know what I'm saying? Because I'm sure that I was saying SOMEthing to Nicholas all those times- I just didn't know it.

I have friends who have sworn up and down that they hate baby talk and would never do it, but, first of all, clicks and clucks don't count as baby talk in my opinion. Also, though, much like the cartoons I swore I'd never let my kids watch, if it works, why worry?

After all, baby talk can't possibly be more detrimental to a child's health than, oh, say... duct tape.

Sing... sing a song...

Today I was running around town like a mad woman, attempting to get everything done on my insanely long list: registration for the two older boys, doctor's appts. for their physicals, a "quick" trip to the grocery store (which, if you've got 3 kids- boys- and you ever try to describe something as "quick", you're fooling yourself), and a few other things that seemed to last forever.  Somewhere between the dairy aisle and the baked goods, though, I started to hum a little hum.  It wasn't until I got to the canned vegetable aisle that I realized what it was and I wanted to scream.

"Neeeeew friends put a smile on my face- I'm so very happy that you're visiting MY place..."

It happened.  I was humming the words to a Yo Gabba Gabba song with the same passion that I used to save for, well, songs that ARE NOT from a kids show.

I remember the days before I had kids and I used to make fun of shows like Barney and Sesame Street.  Songs describing the demise of the purple dinosaur creature were sung all around the school, and I sang as loudly as the rest.  Its funny to watch Cameron sing the same songs now, thinking that he's discovered something new.

Yeah, son.  No.  I was a Barney hater LONG before you were born.  Now, though, I've learned a couple of things:

~Barney might be annoying, but he's making a WHOLE lot more money than I am- and no one knows who he is in real life.  THAT is pure genius.

~Barney is only an annoying purple dinosaur creature until that moment your 2 year old lets go of your leg to sing "I love you, you love me".  Then?  Barney is amazing- a God-like creature that monuments should be built for.

And its not just Barney.  I remember the first time I sat down and watched an entire 'Yo Gabba Gabba' episode.  It was about sharing, and while Jacob was rockin' out, I couldn't help muttering,"Oh good golly- they're brain washing children.  Sure, they're full of good moral ideas, but lets call a spade a spade, shall we?  When you repeat 'Sharing is good.  Sharing is fun' 50 times in one song, its a rhythmic scrub brush for the brain."

And, me being me, I couldn't help wondering if I could write a song encompassing all I want my kids to hold near and dear to their hearts:

"Your bladder's full- oh can't you see?  Get out of bed and now go pee!  You know that you are beat, beat, beat, but mom doesn't want to wash your sheets- Go pee!"

"Please don't argue with your mom- don't argue with your dad.  They both know what's best for you and arguing is bad."

"Eating candy night and day leads to lots of tooth decay.  Before you munch on all those sweets, just know the tooth fairy will yank out your teeth."

Ok, so the last one needs work.  You've got to admit its got potential, though.

The question is, though, would I someday be walking down the snack aisle and hear someone humming one of MY songs?  One can only hope.

Until then, I'll leave the brain washing of the masses to the professionals.  I mean, after all, if they've got me singing about how "its not fun to get lost" while hunting down animal crackers, I'm pretty sure they know what they're doing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Date Night

My husband and I had our “Date Night” last night. We call it “Date Night”, but ever since having had children, “Date Night” has morphed into something completely unrecognizable; so far removed from the idea of the Saturday Night Date Night's of old, that I think we refer to it as such just to make it seem as though we haven't lost that one part of ourselves since becoming parents.

I remember when Date Night used to actually MEAN something- I'd get dressed up fancy (fancy for me is something other than jeans and a t-shirt, of course), fix my hair up nice, do my make up, and then we'd head out to a nice restaurant- you know the ones. They don't have a drive thru option or paper place mats. After dinner, we might have even gone to a movie- one NOT G-rated, thank you very much.

It never ceases to amaze me how kids can change your life.

After Cameron was born, Date Night morphed a little:

~No longer did I get dressed up. Now, I just got dressed. Nothing fancy. Jeans and a t-shirt. But hey- there are some really nice jeans out there. Just because I didn't OWN any of them, that doesn't mean anything. If a super model could walk down a run way with a pair of jeans on, I could pull off my $15 pair I bought off the clearance rack. And who says that you can't wear your maternity shirts after you've given birth?

~I'd fix my hair- usually curl it, but occasionally I'd straighten it. The point was to do something OTHER than the pony tail.

~Minimal make up. Mascara. Lip gloss. Blush. Possibly eye liner. Okay, so it wasn't totally minimal. I didn't want to look DEAD, though- I'm pasty as it is.

~When choosing where to eat, we knew it would have to be somewhere where babies cries would go unnoticed. And going to the movies was laughable; watching TV at home was hard enough- why would we pay money for THAT?

After Jacob was born, Date Night morphed even further:

~Date Night now meant finding something to wear that wasn't stained- for all of us. Clothes without holes was preferable. If it was clean, it was optimal. Clothes that matched, however, was an option.

~I embraced the pony tail. After all, ponies like them, right? What's so bad about that?

~Make up consisted of cover up, and that was it. With the amount of sleep I was getting, cover up helped with the black circles. And the crows feet. And, in all honesty, if I didn't at least put on cover up, I might have missed the post pregnancy acne, and there fore, would have gone around looking like a Clearasil drop out.

~As for where we headed to after we were all finally ready, it was usually a place that wouldn't immediately kick us out once Cameron started acting up, Jacob started crying, the fighting began, or all of the above. More often than not, all of the above.
~And Movie? As I said before, what movie?

Now that Nicholas is here, Date night has officially gone from scant to non-existent:

~Outfit- Pjs. The way I figure it, if it makes him think of the bedroom, that's a good thing. On the other hand, if it doesn't, then I'm just being prepared. Like a Girl Scout. Guys like uniforms, right? Or is that just the Catholic school girl thing?

~Make up- None. I've got 3 kids now- 10, 4 and 2 months. Make up takes up valuable life saving minutes. Like when one of them is hurling a piece of furniture at the other, getting all dolled up is using up minutes it takes to keep that furniture from causing a concussion. I'm saving lives here, people. I'm a hero.

~Hair- I'm lucky if I can wash it now. Styling is a foreign word. Besides, if I'm lucky, all the stress of raising boys will undoubtedly cause me to pull all my hair out, saving me hours of primping and loads of money on hair products. *fingers crossed*

~Restaurant- Che' Home. Home is where the heart is. The way to a man's heart is through the stomach. The kitchen is the heart of the home. These are not coincidences. And, as is the case for many families, our boys have successfully drained us as well as our bank account. We aren't completely unromantic, though- the boys are in bed... most of the time. Dinner is only occasionally punctuated by Nicholas crying to be held... or Jacob getting out of bed for no reason... or, as was the case last night, an unforeseen diaper catastrophe followed by what will forever be known as “The Cheesecake Incident”.

~And Netflix was created for a just a couple such as us.

Look- we finally got our dinner and a movie back. A little unconventional, but I never said we were normal.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Fine print

I love babies.

They're sweet and cuddly and they smell good. I love their smiles and coos and the way they can make your heart melt with just one little half-cocked grin.

Really. I love babies.

That is, until they're mine.

That's when I can no longer give them back when they discontinue their sweetness, start squirming to get out of my arms, and constantly smell as if something is either proceeding to die or already rotting in their diapers. Its when they only smile and coo when they are trying to get their way. It when the moment I refuse to give in or am unable to decode their incessant babbling that they give up that half-cocked grin right before they give out a blood-curdling scream or spit up all over me-

-and less had gone in than came out-

THAT'S the time when I start wondering if its really all THAT illegal to sell your kids on eBay. I mean, a guy sold his entire LIFE- how wrong IS it to just want to sell one TINY little part... a part that's only 23 inches long.

So, yeah- babies are cute until they're mine.

Always discuss the refund policy, people. And read the fine print- they'll ALWAYS get you with the fine print. That's where those sneaky hospital personnel put in the “extras”. Things like, “You MUST leave the hospital with your child” or “Your maximum stay time is 2 days- after that, we'll be throwing you out, regardless of whether or not you're ready” or, my personal favorite “We will NOT be sending you home with a nanny”. You might think they don't mean it or that you will be looked upon as a special case, but trust me- they DO mean it.

At least, that's what the nice security guard told me.

Always read the fine print.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

My one and only

Have you ever seen any Discovery specials on bugs?  More specifically, have you ever seen any Discovery specials on bugs with heat sensors?  That's my child.

I don't mean that he can sense when there's a live body next to him.  No.  What I'm talking about is that my little almost 3 month old son has an innate sense of when his parents are sitting down to eat food.  He can be asleep for an hour or just a few minutes, passed out cold or stirring in his sleep, and it doesn't matter- that child will wake up the MOMENT we put the first bite into our mouths.  I'm convinced that if we left him with a sitter and went out to dinner, that when we got back, the sitter would tell us when he woke up and it would be the EXACT moment we began to eat.

Its a little frustrating and a tad bit scary.

However, this is definitely a GREAT diet program.  I start to take a bite of food, he screams, food gets put down, no calories taken in to collect as fat.  I never walk away from the table with that "I'm so stuffed" feeling.  I'm gonna be skinny in NO time.

However, I'm starting to feel a bit woosy from lack of nourishment. 

Oh well, maybe it'll be like the sleep I'm starting to lack.  Before long I won't even miss it.

I hope.

Besides, all new diet plans have their downsides.  At least I don't have to count calories- the math is simple:  0+0= starvation, I mean, 0.  Who wants to count to 1200 anyways?

Food is overrated.

He DOES leave me amazed, though.  It'd be one thing if he was eating solid food and his blood-curdling screams were due to jealousy that we were starting without him and anticipation of getting his own portion; I'm pretty sure that his cries, though, are due solely to his wanting to be my one and only- and that goes for what sustains me, too.  Maybe its a weird twist on what Sigmund Freud said about little boys being jealous of the relationship their mothers have with their fathers- only, Nicholas is jealous of my relationship with a hamburger.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Zoology is the study of my home

Wanna know the difference between my house and a zoo? There really isn't one.

Sure, the animals are different, but in the end, if not for certain safety precautions taken, my little animals would eat us alive. Yeah, they LOOK cute and cuddly, but there's a reason why they have a sign out in front of the bear cage that says 'Do Not Feed The Bear'. Its not because they're trying to cut down on the costs of diet products for the poor guy- its because if you get up close, he's likely to rip your arm off!

Cute and cuddly looking, they may be- friendly? Well, that's to be questioned.

Today has been - how shall I say it?- difficult. Of course, if you were to look up 'difficult' in my specialized dictionary (that I'm planning on having published one of these days because it really is remarkable), you'd see some poor soul about to jump off a cliff rather than face the burning flames about to engulf him.

Have you ever heard the warning sound that they play on TV announcing,"This has been a test of the emergency broadcast system'? Now, have you ever wondered what it would be like to listen to that sound for an entire day??? I do! I can tell you! Its the sound of a screeching 4 year old when he starts to get annoyed at his 10 year old brother who is INTENTIONALLY annoying him!

All day.


Up until about an hour ago.

After that, they banned together- with Cameron's friend-, rode a skateboard 4 feet in their room, slammed it into the mirrored closet doors, and cracked one. Amazingly, when asked what happened, neither one could come up with stories that matched.

That's when I shut them up in barrels like Mark Twain spoke of and fed them through the knotholes.

No, I didn't do that- although, don't think the thought never crossed my mind. No, that's when they were confined to their beds. Come on now- I'm not a monster.


Anyways, so to say that today has been "trying" is putting it lightly. Part of me is already questioning my sanity for having a third, but I'm sticking to that old saying (IS it an old saying?) that you can't lose what you've already lost. There's really nowhere to go but up from here, so there you go. Besides, we've made our beds- now all that's left is to hide under the blankets.

Besides, I'm banking on the hope that ONE of them will make it big in life and support me and Corey in the lifestyle we'd like to become accustomed to.

And then, when they're older and have little hyenas of their own, I can look at them adoringly and say,"Some animals eat their young."

Hey- I just want my boys to know they have options.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Coffee does, too, count as a food group!

As I sit here in the wee afternoon hours, eyes drooping, body beginning to collapse from complete exhaustion, I'm staring at my coffee maker with longing. I'm typing with one hand while holding the tiny dictator with another, so I'm praying that by using “the Force”, I can start another pot. The phrase “If you don't succeed, try, try again” comes to mind, but Jacob is staring at me, asking me why I'm making faces and squinting at the kitchen, so I should probably get up and practice my one handed coffee making skills and leave the Jedi tricks to Luke Skywalker.

My gramma would disapprove. She has told me more than once that I need to wean myself off of my black liquid of love and acceptance, but I'm not a quitter. I know that I love coffee more than a normal person should, and in all honesty, I've been drinking it so long that it doesn't REALLY have an effect on me anymore- so why am I trying to get all “Jedi Master” on my Black and Decker? Because, if nothing else, my mind has started to associate coffee with mental clarity. Plus, it keeps my hands busy so that I don't end up trying to strangle my adorable children when they start imitating the wild apes on the Animal Planet.

I used to refer to my love of coffee as an addiction and coffee as my drug of choice ; used to, that is, until the day that Cameron went to his first grade teacher and told her that his mommy was addicted to drugs. Mental note: kids listen to everything, they repeat everything, but they don't stop for explanations. It took some doing, but I'm pretty sure that I was able to convince her that I didn't need to go to rehab. I probably didn't help the situation, though, when I jokingly went into a small rant about the health benefits of coffee and how, really, the USDA should include coffee as a main staple for nutritional completeness. APPARENTLY, pointing out how a single cup of coffee can be everything from a serving of protein to a serving of fruit (depending on what area you're lacking in at the time), makes you look like a lunatic.


I'm going to go now and make a pot of probiotics.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Its just a dent- it'll buff out

My youngest, Nicholas, no longer has his new baby smell.

Just so we're clear, I mean that in the metaphorical sense, not the literal. Personally, I could do without the dirty diaper/spit up smell that comes in most brand new models, so I'm definitely not going to complain about losing that.

No, I'm talking about him officially losing his “newness”. With cars, it might be that first scratch or spilled soda on the interior; with a new house, maybe its the family dog peeing on your brand new carpet; with my brand new baby, though, I let him roll off the bed.

Its not like I intentionally invited him over the edge into the abyss. I set him on the bed in a mound of blankets and then turned my head for a millisecond.  Unfortunately, that was the millisecond my sweet little 2 month old decided to roll over for the first time.

Just so we're clear, he's ok. However, the new baby feel? Right out the window. He made it through his first tumble alive. He's no longer a baby- he's a warrior. He stared death in the face and mocked it openly.

Ok, so I might be overstating the direness of the situation.

Its funny how parents' reactions change with each child that comes along. When my oldest son fell off the bed-

Yes. He fell off the bed too. Its nearly a right of passage for the boys in our home. I don't know why- it just is.

Anyways, when my oldest son fell off the bed for the first time, I practically wanted to take him to the hospital to get an entire work up- EKG, EEG- the works. When my 4 year old fell off the bed, I was scared, cried, but then started to laugh when my husband pointed out that if he makes it nowhere else in the world, he'll have a lucrative career in the circus because his flip technique was impeccable. Today, when Nicholas fell off the bed, I sat down at this computer, updated my Facebook status detailing my failure as a mom, and then proceeded with this entry. 

Not that I want another child- I've said that a 3rd boy was God's way of saying "don't do it again"- but I'm wondering if I would just toss him off the side of the bed to get it over with, saying,"You're going to do it anyways..."

Too much? 

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Self Esteem? What's that?

I've figured out that becoming a mom can really mess with your self-esteem.

Sure, you did something that no man could do- and kudos to you for doing it!- but I'm pretty sure- no, I'm positive- that if men were actually ABLE to give birth, the human race would have ended with Cain...

and I'm not so sure I would have blamed Adam in the least.

So, maybe boasting about my ability to run the race that is "labor and delivery" is less of an accomplishment and more of a walking, talking testament to my insanity.  When you really think about it, all moms are masochists.  Even if you didn't willingly go through labor or a c-section- if you took the adoption route- you still made a conscious decision to let your heart walk around outside of your body.  If that's not asking for pain, I don't know what is.

And then, after its all said and done, not only do you have a baby to show for your efforts, but now you have many other "badges of honor": bags under your eyes from lack of sleep, a saggy stomach, stretch marks, and swollen- well, yeah.  I'm actually in awe of the women I hear about with kids only 10 months apart- with them, for WANTING their husbands near them so soon after, but also with their husbands, for not being scared off.

Me?  I did everything but put up a barbed wire fence around my side of the bed.

Of course, my husband is wonderful.  He tells me I'm beautiful everyday.  I love his dishonesty.  Its like that song that says "Tell me lies, tell me sweet little lies"- it NEARLY changes my perception of myself momentarily when I look in the mirror.


Until my  sweet, honest 4 year old climbs onto my lap and says,"I love how fluffy you are, Mom."

Monday, March 7, 2011

“So, you wanted boys, huh?”

Noah was given an ark to build. Moses was sent to lead God's people through the desert to the promised land. And me? God gave me boys.

Its funny how after you have one boy, people ask you with every succeeding pregnancy, “So, are you going to try for that girl?” My answer is a resounding “NO”.

I'm pretty sure that God wanted to ensure that I never try for another child by keeping my hands full with 3 boys. Yes, we wanted 3 kids- 3 boys? Debatable. Sure, we knew what to expect with boys... but there's the problem: we knew what to expect with boys. Well, we THOUGHT we knew what to expect with boys. I'm starting to wonder more and more as they get older.

Today I walked in on my 2 oldest sons using whatever wasn't nailed down as projectiles. These items included, but were not limited to, blocks, crayons, and -at one point- a plush Elmo chair that actually sang as it hit Jacob. It was as if Elmo was singing out a war cry, which seemed to instigate Jacob, who retaliated by picking up a tee ball bat and swinging it at his older brother's head. Cameron quickly used a pillow as a shield while wielding a plastic drumstick, but Jacob couldn't have cared less because he was already on top of a craft table they have in their room ready to jump on his brother's mid-section.

I'm unsure of why I allowed the fight to go on that long-

Eh, who am I kidding? It was a long day and if they knocked each other out, I wouldn't have had to listen to another fight later.

Which I did.

Because I ended up stopping that particular fight just in time.

Eh, give me a break- blood is difficult to get out of fabric surfaces.  I couldn't have let it go on too much longer.

And no, I won't tell you who “won”, although, in the future, if you see Jacob's name in lights at a boxing match, don't hesitate to place your bet on him. The kid has some moves. Its as if he's being positioned by some unseen force...

When I finally stepped in, though, to stop the madness, that's when I realized that this -these boys- are my mission from God. They looked at me with pissed off looks and whined, “But mom! We were having fun!” Yeah. Fun. Its all fun and games until Elmo takes you out.

If I can raise them up to adulthood without them killing each other (or me killing them- I'm kidding! Sort of.), then I'll win God's favor.

I have to tell myself this, honestly, because its either this or God is up in Heaven right now saying, “HA! You asked for 3 kids! Well, here you go!”

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Mommy Guilt

In the last 10 years that I've been a mom, the biggest annoyance I've found isn't with kids that argue- although that IS annoying; it isn't with finding the curdled milk sippy cups stuffed under the couch that I had told my preschooler to put in the sink...a week ago- though, that IS disgusting; it isn't even with the constant battle over messy rooms.

No. The biggest annoyance? Mommy guilt.

Its like a fly that won't leave you alone.

“You should take your kids to the park!”


“You should be spending more time with your kids!”


“Your kids should have nicer clothes!”


“You should be breastfeeding!”


Now, usually these statements that go through my mind are followed by the tiniest, most pitiful of whimpers in defense of my actions, and they usually all stem from me trying to do something for myself or something out of my control:

But its raining.”

But you're trying to eat, sleep, clean, etc.”

But you can't afford it.”

But your boobs were getting ripped off by that little creature and you look SO much nicer with a set.”

The problem is that they're merely whimpers and its difficult to hear whimpers over loud, blaring THX surround sound volume.

Its a bit pathetic, actually. Personally, deep down, I know I deserve a medal just for keeping them alive. I mean, if you knew me, you'd understand- I don't have a green thumb. Mine is black. Plants only come to me if they're looking for a way to die. I've tried growing plants from seeds- they die. I thought that my problem was that I didn't know how to nurture them into mature, strong, independent plants, so I bought plants that were already mature, strong, and independent. All that did was prove that I know how to take away the will to live from plants of all ages. In fact, I'm pretty sure I saw one plant take its own life when it realized who was taking it home, because it was slumped over the stake in its pot (describing the type of plant it was) as if it was trying to drive it through its heart. That one was brown by the time we reached my house.

All that to say, I'm doing a pretty awesome job of just keeping 3 kids alive and thriving, so I shouldn't feel bad when things don't go EXACTLY according to my wacked out fairy tale idea of mommyhood, right?

So, I'll TAKE that shower so I'm not stinky and dirty looking! I can wrestle 5 minutes to myself. I washed my hair last week anyways.

I'll eat that sandwich- heck, I'll eat it at the table sitting down! Ok, that's pushing it. The counter maybe. I'll eat it AT the counter. A half a sandwich. Ok, a piece of bread! I'll eat that piece of bread without fear of neglecting my kids!

And I won't worry about the breastfeeding, bottle feeding battle!  If I choose to breastfeed, well, God gave me 2 boobs for a reason, right?  Isn't one of them supposed to be a spare?  And if I choose to bottle feed then I will accept the consequences of possible BPA poisoning and psychological damages that stem from not having a mommy who gave him her boobs to give him life.

Oh, who am I kidding?

I WILL win the Mommy of the Year award!

Um, can you send it to the tired, dirty looking, boobless, anorexic gal rocking back and forth in the corner? Yeah, that's me.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Ah, the sounds of nature

As you slowly open your eyes, you can see sunlight overhead.  In the distance, you can hear water trickling and smell coffee brewing.  You've barely raised your head off your pillow when you hear the sounds of something akin to a National Geographic special on animal packs- growling, hissing, screeches of pain...

One might think they were camping somewhere off in the wilderness.  Not you.  You know that you're home, and those sounds you hear aren't TECHNICALLY animals- they're your children trying desperately to thin the herd.

Unfortunately for me, I cannot afford ignorance.  I know all too well that I'm not camping, although the question of whether or not the  sounds are coming from wild animals is debatable.  I've read in books about small children who awaken their sleeping parents with cereal, convinced they're helping guard their parents' hearts against the evils of cholesterol-

-or was that a Cheerios commercial?-

-either way, I've heard the tales of small children who behave in a way that makes their parents go,"Awwww....", but so far I've only experienced small children that make ME go,"Ahhhhhhh!!!!"  Small children (with not-so-smallish intentions to maim and destroy) who awaken me with the gentle blood curdling screams that only a mother could ignore.  Sounds of crashing and evil laughter gently rouse me from my peaceful dreams, while every nerve in my body screams at me to run as if a hungry bear were on my tail.  But, much like you wouldn't be able to outrun the bear, I can't escape my job as mom- or, as I lovingly refer to myself, zookeeper.

Suuuuure, camping is great if you want fresh air and scenic views, but if you want to save a few bucks, let me know.  I have a big living room where you can pitch a tent and wait for the howling to start.

Friday, March 4, 2011

The Greatest Diet Plan EVER!

Tired of all the weight you gained during pregnancy- either your own, or your wife's? I've got a GREAT diet plan. I guarantee you that if you follow this -to the letter- that you'll be back in your pre-pregnancy pants in no time. As a precaution, I must inform you that -before starting any diet plan- you should check with your doctor first.

First, make sure your baby has colic. If you're baby doesn't have colic, but is just difficult (i.e.-a normal baby), this will still work, but you might have to try a little harder. If you were one of the blessed individuals who had an easy baby, whisper a prayer of thanks and stop reading here. Chances are you were also one of the ones that wore your pre-pregnancy pants out of the hospital, and therefore you have no need to read any further.

Now that you have your colic-y/ difficult baby in hand, you are permitted a brief moment in which to cry hysterically and throw a brief tantrum. Its good for the soul, but its also good for getting your heart rate up. There now- you just lost a few warm up calories. I bet you're feeling skinny already!

The next step in this incredible diet is to listen to your baby cry hysterically until you finally give in and walk him/her around the block a couple of times. Since most colic-y babies have their witching hour around the same time every day for longer than a half an hour, this will ensure that you not only get the doctor recommended half hour of exercise, but you'll probably rack up some bonus hours as well. “But his crying will cause the neighbors to think that I'm torturing him!”, you might say. All the better, I say! You'll be forced to walk faster (since the cracks in the sidewalk will help to tame his demons), thereby increasing your heart rate and metabolism. Presto! Quicker fat loss!

After you've walked around the block until the soles of your shoes have worn off, you'll probably be hungry, which brings me to my next secret of dieting success- little food. I don't mean eating small objects. I mean, eating small amounts. Let's face it, if you're experiencing the horror that is a colic-y baby, you epitomize the definition of “fast food”. Anything that can be held in one hand and eaten quickly is your meal of choice: sandwiches, corn/hot dogs, small hamburgers, Snickers candy bars, etc. “But none of that is very healthy!”, you might complain. Well, #1, neither is skipping meals altogether, but also, you're only eating what can fit into one hand, and isn't portion control what doctors everywhere stress when speaking to their patients? And, let's not forget- you're burning off all those unwanted calories (see last step described).

If you're either unable to walk around the block for some reason; it has no positive affect on your baby's cries; or you're just looking to increase your workout benefits, you also have the alternative option of what I like to call “Rocking Sit ups”. In this twist on an oldie but goodie, you sit on the edge of the bed and rock your body back and forth while holding your baby. If you'd like, you can combine a couple of the steps- maybe try this while crying? Screaming burns calories, as well, but I wouldn't recommend adding that to the routine unless your baby is out of ear shot, as it has a tendency to cause your tiny dictator to increase his own volume. This exercise also has a fun twist as you can change it up once your kiddo is older: when you're past the point of frustration and starting to lose it, find the nearest corner and rock back and forth.

If, however, you've reached a point where you're just too tired to walk or rock, here are two routines you can try that are more of a band-aid than a solution, but they still work. Sometimes you just need a quick fix to boost your self esteem, anyway:

Once your baby has you in tears from exhaustion and frustration, take a quick peek in the bathroom mirror- the tears will instantly distort your vision and take away your ability to see your body fully. Voila! Instant fat loss! Sure, at the back of your mind you know its still there, but before you allow that to drive you into deeper depression, remember that your red face with puffy eyes and snot running out of your nose is now bound to draw a LOT more attention than those few pounds you gained during your pregnancy.

Yeah, your right- that doesn't help nearly as much as the other routines I just posted. Well, as I said, these non-exercise routines are merely band-aids- not solutions.

Now, the next routine only usually works for first time moms (since most well-seasoned moms said good bye to sleep LONG ago), but if you've got 2 or more kids already, you MIGHT be able to do this step, due to the pure exhaustion of the multitude of tasks on your already full plate. I'm talking about INSOMNIA. During this step, the lack of sleep causes you to LITERALLY forget who you are, what you originally wanted for yourself in the first place, as well as, the inability to care about what you look like. A word of caution in performing this routine, though: performed incorrectly, there's a chance you could alienate everyone around you, defeating the purpose of losing weight.

Sure, you could argue that you're trying to lose weight for HEALTH reasons, but who are you fooling?

I must also point out that BORROWING someone's colic-y baby to lose non-pregnancy related weight gain is not only allowed, but its encouraged!  I'm sure the parents of that baby would embrace the idea of handing over their crying baby to you to further your weight loss goals, if you so chose.  You might want to do one of 2 things if you take this route, though:  either, 1- write up a contract stating that you'll take the baby for its first 6 months of life (since continuous work on the program is the fastest way to your goal weight), or 2- find out the times that the baby is most colic-y, and write up a contract stating you'll take him/her during those times.  This will help you tremendously, as the parents of colic-y babies quickly fall unknowingly into this weight loss routine and you don't want to lose out.

As I said at the beginning, I urge you to check with your health care professional to be sure that this diet is the right one for you before trying it, but I'm sure that there are many of these routines you are already performing- its just a matter of combining some of them and working on them daily. After all, dedication to the diet plan is the surest way to ensure optimum results.

Let me know if any of these techniques work for you! I always love to hear feedback!

And I made this choice 3 TIMES...

I want the instruction manual that was supposed to come with my kids.

I also want to know why I was never allowed to register my kids to receive a longer warranty.

Ya know, you bring home this soft, sweet smelling, adorable little bundle and you think "Wow, he's all mine." And that first night you start looking around for the missing manual.

Its nowhere to be found.

Still, you think "I can do this", so you stick it out. Little do you know that he's prepping his lungs because- like any other muscle- he knows that if you don't use it, you lose it.

You tell yourself "At least he's healthy" and then its "Wow, do his lungs really inflate THAT MUCH?".
Then after awhile you find yourself sleep deprived muttering useless things like "Now, now. There are coyotes in 3rd world countries that don't have lungs as strong as his".

Doesn't make much sense, huh?

Did I mention "sleep deprived"?

As you continue to rock this child (secretly starting to wish that you could rocket him into orbit) it hits you that you'll never be able to give him back.

You think about calling the hospital and asking about the return policy, but you remember how they gave a nervous chuckle when you joked about taking one of them home to help out, and you think better of it.

You console yourself with the fact that he won't always be this age- needing you so much. Days turn into weeks, weeks into months, months into years. Suddenly you're looking at this CHILD who isn't a BABY anymore and you find yourself thinking "He's not a baby anymore. He doesn't need me at all."

From somewhere in the distance you hear a subtle ticking.

As it gets louder and louder, the logical side of your brain tells you "Run!!! Run while you have the chance and don't look back!!!"

Yet you reminisce about the soft, sweet smelling, adorable little bundle you brought home from the hospital.

You don't stop to think about why hospitals have decidedly short stay times for new moms.

Baby with colic?

No problem- he'll be going home in 1 DAY!!

As the ticking becomes the only sound you hear, the logical side becomes less of a yell and more of a pitiful whimper in anticipation of what's to come.

For months you hear nothing but joyful thoughts of cribs and play pens.

And then it happens.

Your blessed first born starts to realize that he isn't going to be the only one, and the acting out begins.

Suddenly, the logical side of your brain wakes up from the self-induced coma and starts to wail- too late.

Now you're back at the beginning, and its not so bad.

The labor wasn't THAT difficult- now that its over.

And he's just this tiny, little, helpless thing.

So soft.

So cuddly.

A sweet scent of baby powder.

Oh, poor baby... he's crying...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Take 3

When I was in high school, I had a specific view of what my life would look like:  somehow I would be both a stay at home mom and yet have a very successful career in some chosen profession (it all depended on how I felt that particular day); I'd be married to the man of my dreams; we'd have a little white house with a little white picket fence; there would be a big oak tree in the yard and on it would be a tire swing; sitting on the front porch would be our lazy family dog; and playing out in the back yard were our 2 kids- a boy (oldest) and girl.  Sometimes there would be a third child in this dream, but its gender never really mattered.

I've now been out of high school for 12 years, and my reality is just a tad different from my dream.

I went to college to get my "very successful career", but after graduating, I realized it wasn't quite the field for me.  I also realized that I was pregnant and my boyfriend and I weren't married.  After running up some credit card bills, our credit took a nosedive, so the possibility of getting the "little white house with the little white picket fence" wasn't in the cards, and there aren't many apartment complexes with big oak trees right out your front door, so there went that picture, along with the tire swing; and since most apartment complexes either don't allow pets or else they're too small for them, we ended up with a lazy cat instead.  And the kids?  I now have 3 boys- all male.

In fact, the only part of my dream that came true was marrying the man of my dreams.  I know- its a mushy statement.  Well, I'm a girl- I'm allowed to be mushy.  Heck, in a household full of males (our cat is a boy- even our fishes have boy names!), its my God given right- no RESPONSIBILITY- to be as girly as possible.

You'd think that I'd be disappointed that not all of my dreams came true, but God never promised me that life would be like Disneyland- where all your dreams come true.  And, honestly, I wouldn't change a thing.

Well- right now.  Ask me if I would toward the end of the day when I'm watching the clock, waiting for the boys' bedtime,  and wishing I could have a glass of wine.

So, why 'Take 3'?  Well, for an obvious reason- my youngest was born on Dec. 30th.  3rd child.  3rd. boy.  3rd chance to get the 'Mommy of the Year' award...  You'd think that wouldn't be so hard, but apparently they have really high standards for the definition of 'Mommy of the Year'.  I've heard they frown on some of the things I do as a mom, but I'm still crossing my fingers.

This is also my 3rd chance to get back the body I had in high school.  Of course, there's the very real possibility that the only way that'll happen is through extensive plastic surgery, but I always was a sucker for lost causes.  I think, though, that if I put it out there into the ether that I'm on a mission to shed the "baby weight", that maybe I'll become a MILTSDAHCW ('Mom I'd like to sit down and have coffee with'- what?  You've never heard of that one?) by Christmas.  We'll see.


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