laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

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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No Longer A Baby


I know, I know… how can I even show my face around here? And I deserve it. Leaving you all high and dry. Ok, so maybe I’m being a little dramatic. But bear with me. I’ve been parenting and vacationing and organizing and garage saling and birthday-ing and working… you know, living. I do have happy news, I have had consistent clients from the get go, which is pretty exciting if you ask me! In fact, I have clients through February! (How awesome is that?!)

But the thing that drew me back here… well, really I’ve been thinking about doing a post for over a week now. Sharing various stories and laughs and pictures, but the thing that made it necessary to do today… is simple. Littlest is 2. I know, I know…it does seem like just yesterday I was recounting his birth (horrors and wonders alike)! And then I was dealing with the aftermath of his birth around his first birthday.

And now here we are, his second birthday. My baby is two years old.  My baby is no longer actually a baby. My house will no longer contain any babies. My house will never again be home to a baby. A baby will never again belong to me. Do you see the digression? Do you feel it? I feel it. I’m pretty sure I’ve been feeling it for about a month. I’ve become incredibly emotional and perhaps even a little irrational. You see, I would’ve been the little old woman who lived in a shoe, who had so many children she didn’t know what to do… and I would’ve liked it that way. Lots of people look forward to the end of babyhood and enjoy toddlerville and the elementary years; I am not them. Ok, that’s not entirely true- I do enjoy toddlerville and I am enjoying the beginning of our elementary years. But I am not a mama who looks forward to babies no longer being babies.

Obviously (as I’ve said before, I know), I would never trade Littlest’s sweet self for the option to have more children. But it is still bittersweet to watch him grown and to know that this is the end of babyhood. And childbearing. I’m even sad that I’ll never labor and birth another baby. That’s right, I’m in that deep.

But in the midst of the sadness, there is this deep thankfulness and joy. I have my boy and I get to witness his growth! My itty-bitty boy who never should have survived the pregnancy and his mama who almost bled out without anyone noticing. I have him. I cuddle him. I teach him. I try to ignore him listen to him. I love him. And looking at him today, I still see the miracle he was the day he was born, and the miracle he’s been every day in between.

The day we brought him home

Littlest E, you will always be the baby (as all of my children will always be my babies) and a constant reminder that miracles happen every day and to every day people. I am so, so blessed and thankful to be your mama. Happy birthday, my boy.

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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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Here I Come!


Ok, ya’ll, we have a problem. I am in a bit of a panic over here. Have I mentioned that they had an opening for a Doula Workshop and I immediately got signed up? I’ve ordered all necessary books, done all necessary registration, and screeched with joy when hubbyman agreed I should do it!

For those of you wondering what a doula is, here is what wikipedia had to say about it:

a nonmedical person who assists a woman before, during or after childbirth, as well as her partner and/or family by providing information, physical assistance and emotional support.[1] The provision of continuous support during labour by doulas (as well as nurses, family or friends) is associated with improved maternal and fetal health and a variety of other benefits.[1][4]

In contrast to the goal of medical professionals (a safe childbirth), the goal of a doula is to ensure the mother feels safe and confident before, during and after delivery.[6] Doulas can be controversial within medical settings due to pressure on mothers to avoid medical interventions and pursue natural childbirth without an epidural or medically necessary caesarean sections.[7]

I have a couple comments in response to that… I’m glad they added that there’s improved maternal and fetal heath, along with other benefits. But I wish they wouldn’t have said “associated with.” Implying that it may or may not be true. It is true. There, I said it. Also, as far as #7 goes. It made me want to pull my hair out. No, Drs don’t always appreciate a doula, because if they are telling their patient something, they don’t really want anyone else to tell them otherwise.  But it is COMPLETELY (I can’t stress this enough) asinine to say that a doula would ever (and I mean ever) pressure a mother to avoid a medically necessary c-section!!! Would we want to exhaust all other options if there were a way around it? Obviously, because isn’t that better than a major surgery that has it’s own sets of risks and worries? (Yes, the correct answer is yes.) And doulas are not there to pressure the mother into anything. Usually a doula is there to provide the mother enough support that she has the birth that she wants, (sometimes) despite the hospital staff’s pressures. That was my experience.

I think I knew as soon as I became a mother that I wanted to do something more closely related to mothers and babies than a general early childhood development and education could give me. But I was a little caught up in my own world of mothering and babies to really think about my version of that with others. We greatly appreciated our doula with our firstborn (yes, my doula was my mother.) Hubbyman told anyone and everyone who would listen that they had to get a doula because it was that important, and made that much of a difference for him. I cannot stress enough the importance of having another person there to advocate for you and support you and your decisions.

After Littlest’s birth, I knew I needed to be a doula. I need to make sure that his birth story (or it’s fallout) does not happen to other women.

So here I am, just over 24 hours from my training weekend. And suddenly, I’m so nervous I could pee. Or cry. Despite how much I share on here, in real life… well let’s say I’m not as forthcoming. I’ve been viewed as stuck up, sometimes even snotty… at least in my teens. Not because that’s how I really am, but I remember this? I’m more introvert than extrovert. The class will be with about 20 other women. So while it’s a little more than a handful, it’s still small enough that it’ll be fairly intimate. I mean it’s three days of 1-9pm sessions. It means I’m probably going to have to talk, to someone. Maybe even in front of everyone. Yikes. Deep breaths. There’s a reason my “platform” is behind a computer screen and not in front of a live audience, folks. I’ve been flipping through all my doula, pregnancy, birthing, and breastfeeding books… because what if someone says something and I don’t know what they’re talking about? What if they look at me like the lady in the grocery store did? Ok, more deep breaths. I am a strong, intelligent woman and mother of three naturally born babies… this is something I want to do and can do.

Yesterday, I was clever

that’s why I wanted to change the world.

Today, I am wise

that is why I am changing myself.

-Sri Chinmoy

{inspired by the lovely Christine at Somethingville}

Today, I am letting myself feel my nerves. Today I am letting myself feel a little panicked. Today I am letting myself feel a little worried and scared. Tomorrow, I will grab myself by my bootstraps, get myself together, and be brave. I will look the other brave, likeminded women in the eye and talk to them openly. I will open my heart and mind to all the information they are willing to offer. Especially the instructor. I will see the change in myself.

And then, in a few short weeks, I will hold my sister (in-law)’s hand as I do all I can as her doula to make her birthing my nephew as uncomplicated, and wonderful as they deserve it to be. The thought of that gives me energy and encouragement.

Thank you for withstanding my little freak out session.  

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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.

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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.

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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)

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You Might Wanna Stand Back


Ever wake up and just feel so cranky that people just instinctually move away from you as quickly as possible? I’m pretty sure that happened this morning when hubbyman dared to wake me up. At least, I think that’s what happened, he moved away so quickly that I can’t really be sure. Today is the day of supposed tree trimmers. I had to get up before the sun this morning because they were going to be here early (I don’t understand why so early because they couldn’t start working that early, without my neighbors lining up with pitchforks -I wouldn’t blame them, if it was people in their yard when I was sleeping, I’d do the same.). It’s a half hour past when they said they’d be here and no sign so far. If they don’t show up before too long, they should be more afraid of me than hubbyman was this morning. 

So they got here. Right after I posted that they’d better show up (maybe they knew their lives were in danger). And promptly began cutting trees in the front. Even though they said they’d start in the back. (I may be nit picking.) And it also promptly woke up Littlest. Who is not used to the sound of chain saws with his morning snooze. Have I mentioned I’m an absolute delight in the mornings? Or that Littlest woke up at 3 and demanded (and I mean demanded) a bottle. When I came back with a bottle, he had found a pacifier (a new discovery of his. that’s right, new, at 20 months.) and refused the bottle. And then laid there, just looking at me with his wide-awake, wide-open eyes for the next two hours. At least Littlest is enjoying watching the big truck they have parked in our driveway instead of whining.

I was going to write 2 reviews today (of some really lovely products- a facial moisturizer and some laundry detergent), but I can’t really think straight with all the whirring, and barking, oh, and the whining. But I’ll probably stop all my whining when the coffee kicks in. Which should be about noon. Crap. Here come Biggest and MissE, and from the sounds of it, they’re as pleased to be awake as I am. We’re off to a great start. Maybe I can convince them to climb back into bed with me and we can rewind this whole scenario. Or at least pretend like we’ve had a fresh start.

*New Addition*: If I was cranky before, I’m pretty livid right now. After hearing a huge thud of a big branch landing directly on my cute, vintage, irreplaceable patio table, I ran to the door and apparently said what I was thinking out loud. I know this, because my daughter ran to the window to say, who did you yell oh, hell-o to? I have found one thing to be thankful for this morning- my daughter’s hearing, or interpretation of my words.

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Oh for the love


I don’t know how to explain it, but this last week I have been awarded 3 blogging awards! The Liebster Award, I was so graciously awarded last week, the Versatile Blogger Award for my 3rd time (! and !), and for the first time the Kreativ Blogger Award! Thank you, thank you to the clever cooker over at The Confluent Kitchen for the nomination love! If you haven’t been over to her blog and want to find recipes that are every-day-people friendly but extraordinarily impressive! Seriously. She make cheese making look like a breeze. Phenomenal.

Part of the deal is to share ten things that the readers don’t know about me. Since the top five readers are family, this could be a problem. I figure if there are things they don’t know at this point in my life, it’s probably because I don’t want them to know. But I’ll see what I can come up with.

  1. My daughter refuses to be referred to as smart, funny, silly, lucky or anything else… other than pretty.
  2. My youngest is fearless. I know people say that about their kids. But it’s really true about Littlest E. To go down slides he just steps onto them and goes down however he lands. And he’s ok with it. He has no fear of heights or falling and rarely cries. When he sees a family member coming down the road on a 4-wheeler, he squeals with glee. He is so his father’s child, and he’s on a year and a half! It’ll be a miracle if I survive him heart attack free!
  3. Biggest is my sensitive boy. Don’t get me wrong, he’s all dirt and grime and as long as there’s no blood that usually equals no pain for him (seriously, he dented a wall with his head and didn’t even flinch), but he does not want anyone to be mad, sad, or unhappy with him. This will be my saving grace in his parenting, because without that, he’d probably be as fearless as his brother.
  4. This probably isn’t new news to a lot of you, but I’m adding it anyhow (because it’s one of my favorite things). Hubbyman was my first kiss, way back when.
  5. Occasionally, hubbyman and I eat something that has gluten in it. We always regret it. Thankfully, we’re learning out lesson and are not giving in to the laziness that usually drives us to eat (instead of make) said food.
  6. I get to be the support person/doula-in-training at my nephew’s birth and I am sooo excited!
  7. I am hyper-sensitive/emotional about my children’s baby things in the face of not having any more babies of my own. Seriously, Biggest wrapped a toy of his to give to his cousin-to-be. Sweet, right? Did I mention I bought it for him when I was pregnant with him, and he’s loved it and kept it in his bed ever since he was born? I almost had a full-blown panic attack watching it get passed around the baby shower with everyone touching and squishing it and playing with it. Yes, they thought the story was sweet. No, I did not klepto it and take it back home. Even though I wanted to. I saw a baby book in my nephew-in-waiting’s future nursery that was one my children loved and was a special book between them and their daddy (It’s called Daddy kisses and it is adorable.). That did make me panic. I became like a 2 year old wanting to grab it and run and hide. After a night of sleep I recalled how when I looked through all of our many, many books to see which ones we could share with our new family member, how I thought of my brother reading this to his son and getting to share in those special moments with him, much like hubbyman had gotten to do with his Biggest Boy.  (So, dear sister-in-law, it is yours to keep and I promise you won’t find it missing. I’m not sure I can promise that about the turtle. You may want to hide that in my presence. I’m sorry.) It’s ridiculous. And I can’t even help it.
  8. Despite my previous confession, I am a little less baby-fever-frenzy lately. I think it helps that people I love are having babies. Babies I will love. And it will definitely benefit us all.
  9. I think I always (or at least since having children) knew I wanted to be a doula. But as I sat with my brother and sister-in-law, talking about their hopes for the labor and the birth and each of our roles during those precious moments, I felt energized and re-affirmed in my desire to continue pursuing this. (And I am so, so, so blessed and thankful they are letting me be a part of this special time!)
  10. My love language is food. Ok, so I’m not sure any of this information is new or all that important, but there you have it anyways.

I will be back to my regular programming tomorrow! This week I hope to have maple syruping galore! (I am blessed to be a part of a wonderful, maple syruping family!) I’m very excited about all the photos! As well as reviews of some wonderful, natural products- and man, do they smell good!! So be sure you stay tuned! (I know, I know, you’re on the edge of your seats!)

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The Know-It-All Who Doesn’t Know It ALL


I’m a little bit sad… I wrote a post and really loved it, and then MissE walked up, pushed a button, and away it went, never to be found again. Boo. Hiss. Timeout. (Ok, so she didn’t go to time out, but I did.) I will attempt to rewrite it, but you know how that goes (if not, I’ll tell you:), it’s never the same. Because while I was feeling inspired when I wrote it the first time, now I’m just annoyed and cranky.

The last month or two I have gotten e-mails, comments, messages, and even some texts from my dearly beloved friends, both ones I see on a regular basis and ones I haven’t seen in years but stay in touch with via the computer. I have been asked some really hard questions. Which has led to a comment or two, wondering about what claims do I have on the expert title and so I am here to set the record straight. I, in no way, shape, or form, claim to be an expert. On anything. Really. I am just one woman who is also a wife, a mother, a sister, a daughter, a friend, and also happens to be a blogger.  That is not to say I don’t have opinions on things, in fact, I think that is saying I have opinions on things. Just not the say-all, end-all opinion. I do admit to some level of know-it-all-ness on my part (I do not like not knowing things), but I, by no means, know it all. Got it? Good.

In trying to come up with really great answers to some hard questions, it has caused me to go back and forth in my answers. Because I don’t believe there is a one-size-fits-all answers for most questions. Because there isn’t a one-size-fits-all life for most people. I know that my road (you know, the one that got me from there to here) has had twists, turns, and a few dead ends that I can clearly recall. Along the way I have been told by others that I was on the wrong path; that I’d lost my direction; that I should have taken an exit or two along the way… but through it all, I honestly never believed I was lost. I always knew that it was my path. I knew I was heading down my road, to my destination.

I truly believe in living with intention. In treating people the way we’d intend to if we stopped and thought about our actions, instead of just reacting. And maybe by default, I believe in us each having our own paths in our own lives, and in supporting each other as we go along those paths. Do I have opinions, thoughts, and beliefs that I feel strongly about and believe are the “right” way. Of course. Do I wish I could push a button and pass them on to you, occasionally. Will I judge you and tell you your way is wrong, if it’s not what I would do…no. At least, I strive not to!  I have to believe that God made us unique individuals for a reason, and that alone makes it something that should be celebrated (and supported!!) and not condemned.
So go ahead, twist, turn, exit… do what you need to do, on your road, to get you to your destination. And yes, feel free to ask for help along the way. Sometimes, someone has already paved the way and could offer insight into how to make your road a little smoother.
People take different roads seeking fulfillment and happiness. Just because they’re not on your road doesn’t mean they’ve gotten lost. – H. Jackson Browne
It reminded me, of this:
I’m at the checkout, and the lady behind me starts making small talk as we wait. Why do they stick those order separator things so far out of your reach anyways? I smile and agree it’s ridiculous. And then this stranger showed me kindness. She looked at me and said, “You must have small children.”  I quickly look myself over trying to find the stamp (or hand print) that screamed, “I’m a mom.” I didn’t see any. Unless the state of my hair, my sweatpants, and the exhaustion in my eyes count. I smiled and said 3 and asked how she could tell.. She just smiled and said she’d recognized the look of exhaustion the can only be caused by 2 types of parenting: the under 3 crowd or the teenage crowd. And since I didn’t look old enough to have teenagers, it must be the former. I smiled and nodded, then asked her, “Teenagers?” She smiled, and I saw the exhaustion in her eyes as well as she nodded. And that was the the long and the short of our “conversation.” But somehow, afterwards I felt a little bit more refreshed. I think that it offered some sense of community. A moment of “I’ve been there before.” combined with “we’ve all got our own struggles,”  that made me feel a sense of the bigger picture as well. They’re not little for long, we all have different struggles, each as unique, and as hard, and as scary, and as sad as anyone else’s, because they are our own. But for a brief moment in time, I felt like I wasn’t alone in my struggle after all. So the next time you’re at the grocery store, the gas station, walking down the road… offer a little support to those you meet. Even if it’s only in the form of a smile. You never know how life changing (even if momentarily) it can be.
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