laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

Mommy Poppins


Look, I know that there are always going to be fads, and that diets are no exception. Kale is a phenom today and tomorrow it might be dandelions. I get it. Fads happen, people grab on for reasons from wanting to be healthy to just liking to stay part of the crowd. Or worse, to be “trending”. (I feel like that should’ve been accompanied by a #hashtag) See, I do get it. And still, I find myself disheartened when someone finds out that we’re a gluten free family. Especially when their response is similar to the one I got this morning.

Oh, you’re one of those.

Excuse me? One of those whats?

Oh, you know, one of those mommy-poppins where you make all your food from scratch and you’re an organizational freak, you homeschool, and your children are always perfectly polite. And with an added eye-roll (just in case I couldn’t feel the distain dripping off her words) I’d think you were one of those moms who just likes to make other moms look bad or feel guilty, if it weren’t for the way you’re dressed. 

At this point, I couldn’t help but laugh. I am….reserved. I’m quiet if I don’t know you and hate confrontation. So this morning was almost like an out of body experience when I found my timid self voicing the things that would have normally just been left to scream in my head. I laughed, out loud style, Like, really laughed. Enough to make her look at me with eyes wide in a way that I’m pretty sure said, oh good lord, what have I done?

Once I regained composure of my unkempt hair, makeup-less face, and sweat pants and shirt covered self, and looked at her well-manicured, make-uped, hair done, business attired self and tried not to burst out laughing all over again. And then I shared with her some of my thoughts.

Some of your assumptions were correct. I do make lots of things from scratch, and I really do love organization more than the average person, and my children are usually polite… but there is nothing about me that does any of those things for any reason that is outside of my family. We’re gluten free because two of my three children have Celiac Disease. And well, you know, we’d like to keep them alive, and thriving, even. And the from scratch part, well, that’s simple. It’s a third of the cost than buying gluten free things store bought, and it gives us more options. So I don’t really have much of a choice. If I bought every meal from a store (vs homemade/from scratch), we’d spend over $1,000 on groceries. And that is not an exaggeration.  And homeschooling, well, that’s a bigger issue. But my oldest has dyslexia like his daddy, and learning is a struggle. So we keep him home and practice being patient every single day so that he can have a different learning experience than the handful of people we know that struggled with dyslexia as children that the school system left feeling stupid. And as far as the organization goes…I love it, I really do. But I have three children. I have a demanding day time schedule, and often have to stay up until three am just to keep up with the laundry and the food prep clean up, and everything else. And that’s when I’m not working, if I am there are usually several nights a month where I do not get to sleep, at all. I have learned to function on very little sleep. Which is why my hair is in a pony tail and my face is plain, and my clothes are frumpy at best. I would never try and make another mom feel bad about the job she’s doing or that she’s not doing enough. I would like to believe that we’re all trying our best. Sometimes I wish that celiac, or dyslexia, weren’t a part of our daily lives. It would certainly make things simpler. And would open up some more time for all of us. But it’s the life I have and I do everything I can for my children to feel that it’s a normal one, and that they’re not missing out on anything. 

The lady didn’t look at me, and didn’t say anything for a long time, and we just stood in silence, watching our children playing together across the playground. Just before she round up her children to head home, she (without looking at me) did quietly say,

Well, your children sure are cute.

Um, thanks. 

 

I’m not sure if that was her version of an apology or if she realized that we’ve all got struggles and whether we look like we’ve got it together or not, it’s probably not. I hope so. I hope the next mom who says, Oh you’re one of those really means, Oh, you’re one of those moms that struggles just like the rest of us, your struggles just look differently than mine. And I hope that the next time I find myself thinking, Oh you’re one of those about anybody, that I remember that their struggles just look differently than mine.

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Love The Ones I’m With


This last week, I have been a terrible mother. Ok, so maybe not like worst mother in the universe, terrible, but the kind of terrible where if you knew me, and you witnessed my mothering this last week, you’d think I lost my marbles. Maybe I have.

This week is the 3rd due date anniversary to our sweet baby we have yet to meet. I have been preparing myself for about a month, and this week I have been so busy busy-ing myself and being so wrapped up in my own inner stuff. Grieving a life not known, but not unloved. I became so focused on what I had lost, that I’d all but forgotten to pay attention to the ones things I still have. I don’t mean that to say they take the place, or make up for, the baby we lost. Because as any parent knows, one child can never replace another. No matter how much you love any of them.

This week, I have taken my loves for granted. I have cried, and moped, and yelled, and been all around cantankerous. I did not explain it to my husband, until yesterday, because I was in my dark place, and in that dark, cavernous room, I expect him to remember and to know, even though his body doesn’t remind him the way that mine does. I have wanted all my closests to just know what I was going through, and to not have to explain it. So instead, I spent my days in the dark place and cried to myself.

And then there’s the people kids things that are too young to understand, even had I explained why mommy was behaving like a crazy person… when my irrationality, my irritability, my lack of patience… none of that was their fault, although I’m sure, at least at times, it must’ve felt that way to them. :/ Although they do understand so much more than we give them credit for. Littlest has been in a mood that can only be compared to my own, and yet I still wonder why he seems so out of control. (Hello, pot, I’m kettle.) Miss, well she keeps looking at me, with a look that can only be described as one that says, I will be tiptoeing around this crazy lady. And she has asked me repeatedly, You’re just sad, aren’t you? And Biggest… well, he’s always been the most intuitive. Last year, around this time, he came up to me crying, big, crocodile tears. When asked why he was crying he said, I just really miss my sister. When I was very confused and said, but she’s just in her room. To which he replied, “No, not Miss, the sister that was the baby in your belly that went to go be with God.” Yeah, that happened. A little Heaven is For Real, right? {sidenote: we do not know the gender of the baby we lost, but I have always felt that it was a girl, but Biggest did not know that.}

Ok, so back to me… I’m out of control. I finally told hubbyman yesterday. He came home with a big thing of bright, cheery flowers for my table. I love them. And him. And strangely, as soon as I told him…I felt so much more at peace. Maybe the whole problem was that I’d convinced myself I was in it alone, and I’m not.

But in the midst of all the emotion, I was so focused on what I didn’t have, what I couldn’t have, that I lost sight of the blessings that I do have.

Biggest's teeth are falling out! It's so cute!

Biggest’s teeth are falling out! It’s so cute!

oh, my Miss.

oh, my Miss.

Littlest. He's not staying so little. But he's still napping. Hallelujah!

Littlest. He’s not staying so little. But he’s still napping. Hallelujah!

My E's

My E’s

Today, I’m going to just love them, hug them, encourage them, support them, laugh at with them, chase them, run  them ragged with them, hide with them, seek with them, and enjoy them. And then put them to bed before they can drive me too crazy early.

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The Dog Is Wet


This will kind of go along with my last post, but you know those days where you wake up gently, you stretch, yawn, and smile… embracing your day happily? I think I can remember waking up like that. But I was probably 11. How did I wake up this morning, you ask…

Moooom, I peed!

What?

I think I peed on the dog!

What?

I was cuddled up with him and I peed.

I’m going back to bed.

What?

Go get in the bath while I get my coffee.

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The Tale of the Master of Distaster (And His Sidekick)


So… you know those days where you feel like you’re so on top of it all? The dishes are done and put away. The laundry is washed, folded, and put away. The children are bathed, fed, and napping? If you do, leave. Right now. And never return. Unless you’ll tell me your secrets, and then I’ll wait patiently at your feet. Either that or I’ll out you as a bold-faced liar.

I will admit, lately, I have felt pretty on top of things. Laundry got caught up on. Dishes get washed. (Ok, so they’re not put away until the next time I need to wash more, but I can live with that.) My children have been fed. And bathed before public appearances. I even rearranged and did some redecorating of the house. For the most part I’m feeling more zen these days. More in control. More like I can actually survive having had three children in three years. (Ok, 3 and a half years)

So I did my salsa making and canning with a girlfriend. While it’s debatable whether or not it took less time to do it together, with all of the children between us, it was definitely more fun that way. Well, my dear friend is recovering from meningitis and left me all alone my own with two 5 gallon buckets of tomatoes for sauce. I got brave (or the fear of  having to admit that the tomatoes went bad before I got to them to my husband took over). I took out all of the tomatoes and set them on the bench to make sure they were all good, throw out the bad ones, etc. After I did that, I started getting out the pots and pans, and bowls and everything I needed to turn these lovely ‘maters into even more lovely pasta sauce.  And then this one called to me from her room, downstairs….

The Miss E

So I went to go help her with whatever crisis she was currently facing.

I returned to find that between these two, disaster had ensued:

Littlest E …aka The Master of Disaster

Sidekick of The Master of Disaster

What did I find when I came back upstairs? Well, I’ll tell you. I found all of my tomatoes being thrown on the floor, off the table and bench. I found the dog either trying to do a grape stomp, or eat them, catch them… whatever he was doing, he trampled them. In hindsight Littlest was probably clearing the bench and the pup was probably trying to catch them. That or they really were trying to ruin my life. Regardless. I found my tomatoes being smashed on the floor with the sidekick trampling them. Upon finding them in this state, I immediately yelled for the dog to get away from the tomatoes. I forgot our dog is a big, huge baby who gets his feelings hurt. He immediately began to pee. All over the tomatoes. The trampled, peed on tomatoes. There went any thoughts I had of rescuing them.

Thankfully, this one was a good helper during clean up.

Biggest

Thankfully, a glass of wine helped. And in the end, I still love them.

 

Next time, I’ll just buy my pasta sauce.

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Wanna See What Happens?


So you all know about my love for coffee… and it’s led to many very interesting conversations between fellow bloggers, family, friends, ad a couple strangers. Some share my love, some try and convince me of it’s demonic powers. I awoke to the latter in e-mail form this morning. Before I’d had my coffee.

They obviously didn’y get this memo…

For the record, this is really tongue-in-cheek. Especially because my coffee habit is ONE CUP of coffee in the morning. With the exception of some Saturdays, then it’s two.  Now I’m not touting the benefits of coffee drinking because I believe that while there probably are some benefits… I believe we find benefits to anything we like (wine, chocolate, brussel sprouts…). And  I’m not denying that there are downsides to any drink with caffeine in it. However, this is my vice. Leave me alone. At least until I’ve had a full cup of coffee! With that noted, here is my ode to coffee.

I LOVE this… it will find itself on my kitchen wall! (I already know just where it would go!)

“I believe humans get a lot done, not because we are smart, but because we have thumbs so we can make coffee”- Flash Rosenberg

“I never laugh until I’ve had my coffee” – Clark Gable.

And lastly….

i dare you!

All of these lovely photos, sayings, and quotes were found on the facebook page of Whole Latte Love!

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The Lowest Of Blows


I know, I know… I’ve been MIA, continuously. And I’m still clinging to the fact that I will be back to blogging on a more regular basis! Last weekend (yes, just shy of two weeks from when hubbyman fixed my laptop) hubbyman accidentally knelt on top of my laptop’s screen. Don’t ask how it happened, I’m still not sure. I saw it coming, and even though it seemed to happen in slow motion, I was not able to react in time. Sadness. But at least he had practice in fixing it. I teased joked half-joked seriously told him to buy two screens, just so we were prepared. As a good hubbyman, he immediately ordered a new screen the next morning. And yesterday, it arrived! He tried to tell me he wasn’t sure if he had the tools to fix it at home, but I caught him trying to fix it a short time later. And he did! Yay! So now he’s not allowed to use it. I may have to hide it from him.

That fun stuff said… I couldn’t help but include you lovely in something I witnessed in our crazy household this morning; I heard some yelling and went to investigate and this is what I witnessed:

MissE is standing at the top of the stairs and delivers what those who know her best is the lowest of all blows, yells down to her brother:

FINE! You are NOT handsome anymore!

When there’s no response, she continues yelling it again.

Finally, her smart brother responded by yelling back up to her,

FINE! You ARE the prettiest girl!

Oh, I am so thankful for those funny, fleeting moments that get me through the day! And the kids who spurt them! And I’m also thankful that I get to go and babysit my nephew tonight! A few days ago- he smiled at me! I need to keep up with that trend and since I won’t see him for a month! (He’s only just a month old, so the idea of not seeing him for a whole month is a little devastating!) Anyhow, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to get a few more smiles, solidify my role as Queen of all Aunties, and maybe give his parents a bit of a break. I’m also thankful for the Kings of the Uncles who will have my kiddos on Saturday while we go have a day/afternoon/evening of fun and outdoor games with friends (and cocktails)! And I’m thankful for a hubbyman who is able to fix most of the things that he breaks.

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Cherish It All


I should get a tattoo of this. Ok, maybe not seriously, but seriously…  I don’t think it’s a surprise to anyone that I love me some coffee.

So as I was sipping coffee I was thinking about/listening to my children talking amongst themselves, and just so I don’t forget one precious minute, I’m going to share some of our latest things.

Big kids, older siblings, teach their younger ones lots of new things. Occasionally, it works backwards. Littlest says thank you as soon as you give him anything or do anything for him (dress him? thank you. change his diaper? thank you? feed him? thank you. kiss an owwie? thank you.). It’s very sweet, and an obvious homage to my parenting prowess. Or he’s just a big copycat. One of those. But lately, it gets better. Every thank you is followed by a Wuv Uuuu! (= love you… obviously!). Heart melting. And his siblings have taken note. They all now follow all their thank yous with Love Yous. And this mama is totally lovin’ it!

Another thing that has passed from one kid to another. When saying our I love you’s, I frequently followed it with a series of questions: the most? forever? always? 16? (It was Biggest’s favorite number and when he was under 2, 16 was the biggest number he could think of, when asked… and it just kinda stuck. He occasionally tells me that it’s now one hundred and 81 hundreds. His love for his mama is growing. Or he’s more aware of higher numbers, one of the two. I’m picking his love is growing.) Anyways, Littlest now does this too and it is just sooo cute. Even daddy can’t help but stop whatever project he’s working on to listen to littlest say these things. I tried to catch it on video to share with you all, but his siblings kept chasing him by trying to get themselves in the picture. Aaaand, all his kisses still end with the MWAH! sound. I love that boy.

And Miss, well she eats like a 14 year old boy. And I am not kidding you. My MIL says that she’d put my Miss up against any teenage boy in an eating contest, and that my girl would win. She eats a million times a day. It’s to the point that by the time I need to be making dinner I am so burnt out from getting meals together allllllllllll day that it’s not as fun as I usually find it. And she’s freakin’ tiny. Seriously. Found an outfit she wore as a baby (it’s 3 months I believe) and she could get it on her little body. Granted it’s capris instead of pants and the shirt is more of a belly shirt, but it fits. Metabolism of a horse, I tell ya!  We can frequently be overheard muttering the words So much attitude in someone so  tiny! Seriously!  The way this girl can express herself and articulate her thoughts is amazing. Especially when you remember that she’s still only 3! And she’s so literal, in a way that you would never expect/believe from a 3 year old. I’m telling you- It’s mind blowing!

And Biggest, well, he’s going through a stage that he finds exciting and scary. He’s growing and learning. Becoming more independent, even. Stages where more independence is learned is usually accompanied by some clingy-ness/whining while they adjust. Lately, he’s been declaring that I love Littlest more than him. I respond with, I love all my babies, and you were the very first baby I ever loved. He hasn’t been saying I love Littlest more lately, but I still get an occasional, Was I really the first baby you loved? And he’s becoming embarrassed about things. He doesn’t like me to share things he’s said and especially to be laughed at. And he’s starting to notice that girls are cute. He and I  had a date last night and I caught him staring at a little girl. When I turned to look at her, he turned red, grabbed my hand, and said Mooom, don’t look at her! I looked at him, smiled, and just said, What, it’s ok! To which he sighed and said, ok you can look at her, but it’s just one of my big kid friends. (We’ve never seen this girl before.) When recounting this story to his daddy, he walked into the room midstory, and was pretty horrified that I would tell daddy about it. Hubbyman had a good laugh and was like, Ah! He’s starting to think girls are cute! He then told Biggest that he thinks girls are cute. Which made Biggest eye his daddy curiously. Hubbyman responded with, Yeah, I think Mommy’s cute. Biggest rolled his eyes and said, Dad! Mom is not cute, she’s just a mom! (Thank you, very much, for that ego boost, son I labored with for over 24 hours.) *Sigh*

My babies are growing and changing. And really, none of them are babies anymore. How did that happen?! When did that happen?! Moments, all these little, tiny, lovely moments… they go fleeting by. I hope I cherish all that I possibly can.

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High-Larious Collections


I sat down at the computer to e-mail a couple of clients while I sip guzzle my morning coffee, and happen to catch a snippet of conversation going on between my “older two.” It was too good not to share.

Biggest: Miss! Don’t open that!

MissE: Why not? I just want to check.

Biggest (emphatically): Because! That’s where Mommy keeps her poopy diaper collection!!

MissE (turns to me): Why do you only have poopy diapers in your collection? What about all your necklaces?!

 

That girl has priorities, and jewelry top the list. Poopy diapers, not so much. Apparently, she’ll just leave that to me. Since apparently I’ve got a collection going, I’d better get to some laundry…

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Life Begins After Coffee


Well, folks… there are some changes coming. Our family had agreed to do in-home daycare for some dear friends of ours. And they’ve since changed their minds. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled to have been asked and excited to have a tiny baby in our home again… but I am relieved. I can’t say I’m not at all disappointed, but overall I feel like this is the best for everyone. They will likely use a center so that they don’t have to worry about what they’ll do if I get sick, and I will have the freedom to continue taking on doula clients instead of only being able to do “scheduled” ones. Plus, it means I have some freedom still with the kids- we can go on day trips to visit friends and family, and we can still leave early for weekend getaways, without having to wait until pick up and leaving at bedtime. These are real advantages. I figure I’ll settle for being friends and maybe they’ll let me babysit once in a while! (Yes, I do love babies *that* much!)

So… it means I need to set up a website for doula clients to find me, refine what my services will be, and fun things like that. Plus, we’re wanting to start selling some of our homemade personal products! So you can be looking forward to some giveaways in the near future! We’ve decided that since natural and organic and living with intention are things that we’re passionate about and believe in, we will offer the recipes along with the products! So if you want to make it yourself- fantastic! We’ll help you! Just want to try it out, before you invest in the ingredients? Perfect- we’ll sell you some samples. Or you just don’t want to go through the hassle of making it yourself, no big deal- we’ve got you covered! Sound exciting? I think so too!

And… my hubby is fixing my laptop!! I’m not sure if it was becomes of the time lapse, or just a different customer service rep, but they were no longer willing to cover shipping, and we will had to pay for the repairs… so he took it to work today to take it apart and check out if he could just buy a replacement screen and exactly what kind he’d need. Apparently it’s cheaper. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it happens before our big trip in June! Between no laptop and my tablet dying… (which we’d always used in place of getting a new portable dvd player) it may be a really long trip for the kiddos. So that’s pretty exciting. I’ve been waiting since February for that!

And because I have so many new and exciting things and adventures that I want to begin… I need some organization. At home. At my desk. In my life. So I’m signing off here (for today) and getting to it… but I couldn’t help but leave you with this first:

I need this put onto a tshirt. Then I could rotate between that one and my current favorite T, which reads: Life begins after Coffee. 

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A Love To Last


So, I’ve been thinking, lately about the way children grow. This weekend I attended the beautiful wedding of one of my cousins. Now this cousin happens to be one that I carried on my hip for years. I’ve always loved children, and especially babies. And he was “my” baby. And I just witnessed him becoming a husband. Thinking about how old that must’ve made me feel? I hadn’t thought of that, but thanks for rubbing it in pointing it out. And it left me thinking about how just a few minutes ago, it seems, I was a tween, and he just a baby… it makes me realize that in seemingly a few more minutes, I’ll be watching my own children walk down the aisle. And that is truly mind blowing.

While I thought about what it would be like to watch one of my babies pledge their lives to someone, other than me, I couldn’t help but think of all the things I hope they find in a partner. I mean, how many times have we watched friends and family in relationships where we’re like Ugh, what do they see in him? Or How can he not see the way she treats him? But, let’s face it, it’s fairly safe to say that lots of us have been in a relationship like that. Where we couldn’t see what was right in front of our faces. So how do I teach my children to avoid that? How do I tell them about the things to look for in a spouse?

The long and short of it is that I show them.

I teach my daughter that although sometimes it feels like she will never stop talking, all of her words are worth listening to. I teach my sons that honesty is more important than being the one that is right. I show my daughter that true beauty is in showing kindness to those who are undeserving, because in reality, everyone deserves a little kindness. I show my boys the importance of gentleness. I show my daughter that her dreams are as important as anyone else’s by living out my own. I show my sons that raising a family is thing to be proud of, by having pride in our daily interactions. I show my children what commitment looks like. I show my children that their father is a man worthy of respect, by the way that I respect him. I show my children that I am not servant to their father, who follows behind him, but a partner, who walks along side of him. I show my children these things because this is how they will choose their partner. These are the ideals they’ll carry with them. The way their father and I relate to each other, and the way we relate to them. I can only hope that they see all the things I am trying to show them. And that I can remember to behave in a way that is intentional, so that I am showing them, and teaching them patience. With each other. With me. With their future partners. Because heaven knows, in marriage, and in life, you need a lot of patience to get you through.

To my baby cousin, who is now a married man, and his sweet wife: Hold hands, even when you don’t feel like it. Kiss each other goodnight, even when you don’t want to. Have a tradition that you stick to, and really stick to it. Because when you continue to behave as if you’re madly in love, it’s hard for those feelings not to follow. And in the hard times, that will get you through. And DO go to sleep mad once in a while. Sometimes you do need some sleep to think clear-headed and not to just say words out of frustration, anger, and sleep deprivation. Don’t look at arguments as an end, rather as a beginning to learning better forms of communication between each other. And from a former young bride to another, remember that while others may think you young and naive, really it just leaves you with all the more years of growing old together- and making fun of those that stood in your way.  Love you!

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