laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

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!

9 Comments »

She’s Not Qualified


I know, I know… it’s been a week, and I haven’t posted anything. I promise you I’ve been using my extra free time for good. I witnessed the birth of my nephew, I’ve visited with him multiple times (I keep threatening to -gently- shove him in my shirt and take him home with me.) and can’t get enough of him! I’ve had my grandma from out-of-state here visiting. It’s so fun to watch my children getting to know her, and her them. It’s just so sweet. My sister-in-law and nephew also came in for a surprise visit from China! And I’ve gotten to meet and/or talk to some really lovely mamas-to-be about providing my doula services to them! It’s been a fantastic week!

We’ve got a fun family wedding this afternoon, and the “big” Es are at their grandparents’ house to visit with their cousin, so we are soaking up Littlest and all his dramatic flair- he’s currently a dinosaur.

Before I go, I want to tell you about a post I was tagged in on Facebook this morning. A friend of mine got a card from another friend, and she uploaded a photo of what it said and tagged me. I loved it SO much that I decided I couldn’t help but share it:

she said “So! you’re a stay at home mom…”

in a way that insinuated

she wouldn’t be caught dead in that job

…and I laughed until I cried

because

I knew

she wasn’t qualified.

Have a wonderful weekend and remember that sometimes

how you’ve enjoyed your life is more important than what things you got done!

3 Comments »

Just Run


I woke up this morning not feeling so hot. I’m hoping it’s just my allergies, and not whatever Biggest had. Because a)Hubby got a promotion/new position and they’re having a happy hour for him that I get to attend (which means we also have a babysitter! Thanks My Big Cloth Adventure!), b)I’m supposed to watch the Little Pumpkin that belongs to the mama from My Big Cloth Adventure on Friday night. and lastly (and probably most importantly!) I am awaiting “the call” from my sister-in-law to let me know it’s time to get my doula shoes on and go! So let’s all cross our fingers, say a prayer, send out some light and love… and have me not be sick! I am actually feeling a ton better than when I woke up, so I *think* I’m in the clear! My grandma is in town from another state, to hopefully be around for the baby’s birth, so I have been staying up late trying to get things in order and cleaned and prepared so that I can steal her away from my parents for a couple of days! Things are now all organized! (I even reorganized my pantry closets!)  I just have some CLEANING to do (you know, dusting, vacuuming, mopping… the fun stuff.) Anyways, I thought maybe you would enjoy this snippet of conversation as much as I did!

MissE: Why do we have to walk everywhere?

Me: We don’t have to. We like to. And the store is really close, so why not walk.

MissE: Can’t we just drive?

Me: Well, Daddy’s at work, so he has the truck.

MissE: Can’t Daddy just walk to work?

Me: No, it’s too far to walk. It would take too long.

MissE: Then he should just run.          

1 Comment »

My Eyes! My Ears! They’re Everywhere!


There’s something about this last week that has left me feeling like I have a newborn. Up in the night, crowded bed, awakened by crying… except with a newborn all you have to do is feed them and they’re happy again, and you get to have a teeny-tiny personal all snuggled up to you. These things need specific foods, and it’s never what I’m trying to give them. And where did that stupid box of Kleenexes go? Or the other three of them I just bought? And Littlest pinched Miss. And Miss is trying to shove Biggest out of the rocking chair because she was sitting in it first. Because she was the last to sit in it last night, that counts as first for today. Even though her older brother has been cozied up in it, quietly reading a book for the last half hour. Other than that book he just threw as I walked by- so that I could put it away for him and get him another one.

Suddenly, I find myself wide-eyed, and frustration burning in my ears. They get very quiet and lean as far back as they can, away from me. They know it’s coming. They can hear the kettle’s steam whistle a’whistlin’… I take a very long, deep breath. I close my eyes and I pray outloud. Lord, let me love these crazy, little children. Let me see them the way you see them today. 

They looked back and forth between each other. They looked at me skeptically. Are your eyes not working? I hear a small voice ask. Another one chimes in with, Do you not have eyes everywhere anymore? Followed by a whisper between them, Maybe she won’t be able to see us when we’re playing in my room anymore. C’mon, let’s go.

I don’t even bother suppressing my laugh. I just laugh. And I see them. Finally starting to see some relief from the cold/allergy plague that’s kept them down this past week. Tired from their coughing waking them up at night. Stir crazy from being trapped inside, between the sudden cold snap and their colds. But from amid all of that, they see a light at the end of the tunnel.

Mom may have gone crazy enough that she no longer can see us getting into trouble when she’s not there. 

And just like that, I am snapped back to reality. I see kids who are tired of not feeling well. MissE has asked several times in the last few days, What can I do to feel better? or Will this make it so I don’t feel like this anymore? And I have made homemade chicken noodle soup, which then turned into chicken pot pie (apparently adding peas and corn made it the most amazing meal for them!). I have made fruit smoothies and poured countless glasses of orange juice. I  have taken more showers in the last week (while holding a little one) than I normally do in a month. Ok, that may be an embellishment. But honestly, not by much. And finally I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. Snot is drying, coughs are abating, and a little bit of sleep was even to be had. So there is the light. I may have to drag them by their shoestrings, or lure them with chocolate… but I’m dragging them to that light.

{Overheard}

(Biggest E:)You need to flap your wings some more.

(MissE:) Like this? Ok, here I come.

(LittlestE: )Turn! Turn! Mine! Fly! Me!

(MissE:) Do you think Littlest should take a turn?

(Biggest:) No, MissE, he’s too little to fly. Oh, I guess he wants to. Ok, let him try.

(Me:)  No more jumping off the top bunk, and for the hundredth time, do not teach your brother to fly!

(Biggest:) Do you think all her eyes are working again?

(MissE:) Yeah. [whispers] Least she doesn’t have ears everywhere so can’t hear us being naughty.

(Me:) Yes, I do. And I heard that.

(All): Scream.

Biggest: We’re never going to have any fun!

9 Comments »

Most Important Of All


A friend of mine recently shared this post, and wants it framed for her son’s room. She said it’s her favorite post of mine. And actually, the post I wrote yesterday already had me thinking about the things I want to teach and show and model for my children, which led me to think of those posts (there was one for my daughter too). So I’ve decided to repost them, and I hope you’ll forgive me. But sometimes, in life, you just need reminders. And today I’m wanting a refresher on all the things I want to teach my children, and really, things I want to (re)teach myself as well.

My Sons, I Want For You…

  • Be respectful. To everyone. Everywhere. People have hurts that sometimes aren’t visible, treat them accordingly.
  • Talk to others in a way that wouldn’t leave you embarrassed if you found out your mama was listening.
  • Learn to listen (for most men this is an acquired skill, I’m pretty sure). Really listen, not just hear someone making sounds, but the words that they’re saying.
  • Treat all women in the manner you should treat your mother: polite, respectful, helpful.
  • Be courteous- even if you think it’s not appreciated or deserved. Maybe especially then.
  • Be honest.
  • Violence (against anyone) is never really the answer.
  • Never look down on someone for the way they dress, how they look, or what they believe.
  • Be compassionate.
  • Never treat people as disposable. They’re not. Even if you date her for a week and find out she’s suuuuper annoying (even if I agree)… you will still treat her as an individual with feelings. Just not an individual you’ll marry.
  • When you are dating, try and behave in a manner you won’t be embarrassed to recount to your wife. Or your mother for that matter.
  • Never make fun of tears. No matter if they’re from a girl or a boy. Pain is pain. (Compassion, my sons!)
  • A strong man is someone who knows and accepts his weaknesses (or tries to strengthen himself in those areas).
  • Feelings are not a weakness in a man. Embrace them.
  • Don’t be run by emotions (or hormones), think things through.
  • Think before you speak.
  • Don’t let anyone push you around. Be your own man.
  • Learn to take charge and to be responsible for things. It’s ok to know what you want- and to go for it.
  • Don’t just follow ANYONE just for the sake of a) trying to look cool or fit in, or b) not having to make an actual decision yourself. Neither reason will suit you in the long run.
  • Know that you were made to be EXACTLY who you are.
  • Know that life really isn’t all about you.
  • Reach out a helping hand, whenever you possibly can.
  • A man of faith is a lot stronger than a man with no beliefs.
  • You’ll stand a lot taller, the more time you spend on your knees.
  • Family is a blessing. (Whether you like it or not!)
  • Dream dreams, wish wishes, and love your loves. No matter what others may say or think. (Except for your mother, of course.)
  • Be secure in who you are, because you will always have people that will support you.
  • No matter what else you do in life, what you wear, who your friends are, what your job is, how much money you make, or where you live… remember that your mama loves you. And please always live nearby.
***
***

Yes, some of these are similar to things I want to tell her brothers, because let’s face it, the basis of how we live and treat people (or the ways we should), don’t change depending on which gender you are.

My Daughter, I Want You To Know…

  • The most beautiful people in the world are not movie or rock stars, but the people that are true to who they are and the things they believe.
  • While you are a beautiful girl, you should not look for validation through your looks. You will never find it, and it will leave you unfulfilled.
  • It is more important that you attain inner beauty than outer.
  • The way you treat people is much more important than the way you look. (Yes, I know these first ones are all similar, but in today’s society everyone comments on how cute or pretty or well dressed little girls are, instead of focusing on how polite or well-mannered they are.)
  • All that said, I hope you always know how beautiful you are, inside and out.
  • You cannot find validation through others. That is between you and God.
  • Never talk to anyone like you are better than they are (no matter what their circumstances are)- because you are not.
  • Talk to people in a way that shows that you are listening and that their thoughts are worth hearing.
  • When you have a difference of opinion with someone, consider their side.
  • Treat men the way you would treat a child. Kidding! Just wanted to see if you were paying attention! Treat men the way you would your father- with honesty, respect, and a little bit of fear. (ha!)
  • Don’t let anyone (man or woman) tell you that you are not good enough. You are. Always.
  • Don’t let someone treat you as though you are disposable. If they do, dispose of them. And quickly.
  • Embrace your feelings and emotions- but don’t let them run/control you.
  • Be a take charge person! Don’t follow anyone else who’s path does not lead to yourdesired destination.
  • Be responsible! And take responsibility for your words and your actions.
  • When you are dating, try and behave in a manner you wouldn’t be embarrassed/ashamed to recount to your future husband. Or your mother for that matter.
  • Think twice before you speak. Think three times before you act. And then go ahead and run it by your mother first.
  • Know that you are EXACTLY who you were made to be- and be proud of that.
  • Know that life really isn’t all about you, don’t expect others to act like it is.
  • A woman of faith is a lot stronger than a woman with no beliefs.
  • Family is a blessing, even when it doesn’t feel like it! Where else will you find people who will love and support you, no matter how crazy your ideas are?! (you are your father’s child)
  • You will never regret reaching out a helping hand, whenever you can.
  • Be secure in who you are and be the best YOU you can be because I will always support you. Maybe not without voicing my opinions, but I will still support you in your journey.
  • Don’t be afraid to dream your dreams (and follow them), wish your wishes (and turn them into reality), and love your loves (with your whole heart). No matter what anyone else says or thinks. Except for maybe your mother.
  • No matter what else you do in life, what you wear, who you know, how much money you make or have, or even where you live… remember that your mommy loves you. And I’d really prefer if you lived close by.

Leave a comment »

Ode To Sangria


This week has felt like it’s been a taste of extremes. We’ve had moments that felt like they were tastes of heaven, and nights that have surely been a taste of hell. Last weekend Biggest spent the weekend with his grandparents, and so I was left with just the younger two. And we had so much fun. Miss usually hangs with her bigger brother, so it was fun to see her and Littlest learning about playing together.

These two are something else. Miss is a chatter box and Littlest is the proverbial head strong bull in the China shop. They’re a little yin and yang, but usually, it works out. She’s mothery, and he’s fearless. She taught him to climb up all the ladders, and he taught her that the biggest tunnel slides are not so scary.

I just love that I captured their expressions!

On the way back we took a path through the “jungle” (a wooded trail), and Miss paused, looked closely at this pile of birch logs, followed by a sigh and a shaking of her head, nope, those aren’t diamonds.

Our weekend was followed by the crankiest, angriest Littlest boy we have ever seen. He has those terrible “2 year molars” coming in. Seems a little unfair, since he’s not even two. At least if he were 2, he’d have more words to convey his feelings. Yesterday was the first day all week for his nap to last even an hour, and last night he only woke up twice. Which in comparison is pretty good. However, his second waking was at 3:30 and while his teething medicine calmed him quickly, he lay restless and awake until around 5:30. Let’s just say this mama is going to need a lot of coffee for survival purposes today.

In the midst of the sleeplessness and the fussing, I am thankful.

I am thankful for the fun I had with my 2 littler ones.

I am thankful for the fun Biggest got to have- even if it was without me.

I am thankful I was with my dad when I locked my keys in the truck.

I am thankful that teething doesn’t last forever.

I am thankful for my hubbyman.

I am thankful for my family.

I am thankful for my friends.

I am thankful for friends who come over “just to hang out.”

I am especially thankful for the full pitcher of sangria I have sitting in my refrigerator.  So thankful, I’m even willing to share. Some.

(for my sangria recipe, go here. Do it. It’s worth it.)

3 Comments »

DumbA of the Week Award


Want to feel like mother of the year? Well, let me tell you some things you should maybe not do then…

  • Do not forget to change baby IMMEDIATELY. Unless you want to be covered in pee.
  • Do not forget to take Littlest potty (first!) before letting him take off naked. Unless you want the floor to also be covered in pee.
  • Do not forget to read the labels of all foods. Even if it’s something you think they’ve had before. Especially if it’s a different brand. Unless you want you Celiac-ridden child to be sick to her stomach, unwilling to do anything but lay around like a wet noodle.
  • Forget to feed you oldest breakfast, unless you want to be asked why you’re trying to starve your children. And that you don’t really love him anymore.
  • Don’t decide not to pick up milk the night before so that you ca just take a walk to the store. Unless you want you a guarantee your day won’t go as planned. And you’ll still have no milk.
  • Don’t give the baby a bottle of water (when he’s requested milk). Unless you want said bottle thrown at your head. And then to be asked if you’re not feeding Littlest because you want him to shrink and starve too (said Biggest).
  • Don’t wear your favorite, new, or anything else you’d like to wear again when you have a kid with an upset stomach. Unless you want a visualization of what’s making said tummy upset.
I feel I should also mention that last night I locked my keys in the car. We were meeting my dad to pick up biggest’s car seat that had been left in their vehicle. The whole trip was spent with MissE going on and on about how unsafe it was to ride without a car seat. Only to have her have to ride home without one. And then get so caught up talking that the fact that you’re heading to Dad’s house, and not where the truck is, goes by unnoticed…

I could go on, but I won’t, for my own sanity’s sake. Let’s just say, today is not going as planned. And my reactions to it, well, they’re not winning me any mother of the year awards. So I’m going to make some of MissE’s favorite soup (broccoli and cheddar) and do some cuddling. And hope that’s enough to win back some of their mother love. And maybe some of my own.

I wonder if I can use my wine slushie mix with Vodka? Seems like a good day to investigate.

13 Comments »

I SHOULD Be Napping


I was hoping to do a post on maple syruping today… but I left my CD with all the pictures I took during the season in the truck… that is currently being driven by hubbyman. And can I just reiterate how annoying it is to have letters that don’t work on your keyboard! I had no idea how often I used those letters! Ugh. So I may still do the post later today, as he should be coming home for lunch. But the day has yet to unfold so we will see how it turns out! But you will see a post on it eventually, because I love the photos, I love the season, I love the syrup, and my syruping family!

I stayed up waaaay too late trying to catch up o the ever mountainous piles of laundry. It was pretty successful, but I am completely exhausted. I am hoping that it means we can just enjoy our day today. So far we’ve had movie snuggles, breakfast, and we’re currently doing some school work. Littlest is coloring Elmo. (Or Melmo as he calls him) MissE is requesting she get new letters in her name so she can try writing something else. I told her that she could just write other letters, but apparently she can only write letters that are in her name. And biggest is practicing his number writing skills. I am so thankful they enjoy learning and sitting and doing their lessons. Even if it’s just for now.

Aaannndddd since it took forever to write this with the on-screen keyboard… here are some things I’m really thinking.

(credit: designismine.blogspot.com)

(credit: www.someecards.com)

This is why I live in Minnesota!

(credit: pinterest.com)

(credit: someecards.com)

(credit: someecards.com)

And lastly….

(credit: someecards.com)

3 Comments »

My Words…Kinda


My B button and my N button (on my keyboard) are not working. And so I’m having to use my on-screen keyboard. While I am thankful for this handy-dandy feature, it is not conducive for blog posts. So today I am attempting to tell you how I feel, or things I’d like to say, in other words… All found on pinterest. I tried my best to find their original links. Or as close as I could get (I tried!)!

(photo credit: Urban Walls on Etsy)

(photo credit: chphotographics’ photostream)

(photo credit: i.imgur.com)

(photo credit: Pinterest/Deb McFadden)

(photo credit: BabyRabies.com)

Hope you find some reasons (and strength!) to forgive, edure, love, play, energize, and giggle your way through your Moday!

Leave a comment »

My Daughter Is The Color Pink


My daughter just came upstairs in a pair of my shoes (heels). She wanted to tell me that she thinks my shoes are very beautiful. She heads back downstairs, but pauses at the base of the stairs to yell up to me, Mommy, all your shoes are very beautiful. But don’t tell daddy I said that. And don’t tell him I was wearing your shoes. He freaks out when I talk about beautiful shoes.

(photo courtesy of:parent24.com)

Now I like shoes and hangbags as much as the next girl. But if you ask me to choose between shopping and a day spent on the four wheeler in the mud… I’m gonna be covered in mud. Growing up, I attended classic car shows and had car posters on my wall. I ditched my barbies long before I ditched my Ferrari barbie car. And while I appreciate the art of makeup, I only practice it in theory. You know, in theory I would like to be perfectly made up and coiffed. But in reality my daughter ooohs and awwws when I wear my hair down because all she knows is mommy in a pony tail. And I never know where my makeup is when I want to use it, because I use it maybe bi-monthly. And I usually forget it in the car, since it’s normally done while hubbyman drives us to wherever we’re going. I’ve just never been the girl who gets up an hour earlier than necessary to curl (or straighten) my hair and get my makeup on. And at this point, I think it’s safe to say that I’m probably not going to evolve into that either. I’m ok with that.

I have all brothers- three of them. And since mom was a nurse and dad a teacher, most time at home (at least in the summers) were spent with dad, and said brothers. Suffice it say, we didn’t spend time doing a lot of girly things. Scratch that. We didn’t spend any time doing girly things. I’m not complaining. I didn’t really think about it. I enjoyed cars. It served me well while working at a Dodge dealership. I even enjoy helping hubbyman do work on the truck. Seriously. I don’t mind. I love football. (Like loooove.) And not just my team, football in general. I like sports. You won’t find me complaining over a date night spent at any sporting arena. I have spent many a sunny afternoon splashing in the mud, either in boots, or on the 4wheeler. I love to go fishing. My grandpa has a cabin in Canada that’s so remote that the last little bit has to be traveled by plane, the kind that lands on water. And I’ve caught the biggest fish of the trip before. Time well spent. Memories forever remembered. That’s the kind of girl I am.

I didn’t grow up wishing for sisters. I loved my brothers. (I still do.) They are still my best friends. (I do love my sisters-in-law!) So when it came to babies, I really didn’t have any feelings of longing for a daughter. My only longings were for a baby in general. I understood boys, I figured they would come easy as far as parenting. And the birth of Biggest E just reaffirmed that. I mean, I can puddle-stomp with the best of them. So when we found out we had a Miss on the way, I was a little uneasy. As month by month went by after she was born, I found myself enjoying my little girl more and more. And I have to tell you, I am so thankful I have a daughter.

That said, I am also incredibly confused. She is one of the girliest girls you will ever come across. Pink and purple are her favorite colors. She is a strawberry blonde-haired child and she loves that she has “pink” hair. She’s not really fond of anything that’s not pink or purple. And rarely willing to use anything that’s not one of those colors. She loves dolls, having her hair done, and her nails painted. Can you guess what colors?

Upon looking through all her photos, there’s lots of dirt-clad, mud-covered pretty pink dresses and sparkly shoes. I guess she might be like me after all, just a pinker version.

8 Comments »