laborofwonder

Where Whine Meets Wine

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!

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I’m Thankful


Today I am feeling tired. A little worn down. I’m sure it’s just because we stayed up really late last night. But I am looking forward to an extra little snuggley one tonight (a friend watched my little ones last night and tonight I’m watching hers!), and the kids have been practically pacing the floors waiting for her! And I do have lots to be thankful for.

I’m thankful for hubbyman and his new opportunities. Especially because this new position means not only a title bump, but it’s closer to home (3 miles!), it’s less hours, and it’s learning some new things (which he loves)! I’m very excited for him, and for us! And I’m very much looking forward to having him be around more!!

I’m thankful for friends! Who watch the kids, who play with the kids, that the kids totally love. MissE keeps saying, Mom, I really like it when My Big Cloth Adventure* watches me. I think she was hoping that instead of us watching her little one tonight that instead I would leave again. It’s so nice to know that I have some options with the kids! And… it was the FIRST TIME my children have been babysat by someone who was not a grandparent or aunt/uncle!! For any of them! While I did check my phone fairly frequently, I did not call, not even once- because I knew they were perfectly ok. And I knew that if they weren’t, I’d get a phone call!  (*obviously, Miss said her actual name, but I won’t!)

I am thankful for family! My grandma is here from out-of-state and while I haven’t gotten much of a chance to visit so far, I am looking forward to more time visiting!!

I am thankful that whatever yuckiness had taken over my household, is finally gone. Biggest looks like he’s lost a little big of weight, so I am feeding him peanut butter by the spoonful! And meals pretty much ’round the clock! But I am incredibly thankful to have my sweet boy back!

I'm thankful for a Biggest Boy who loves to take pictures. Every time I upload them, I am amused by some of my findings.

I am thankful for my sweet little girl and all her girly-ness. And the people that love her, and cater to that. She's even gotten an uncle or two to pain her nails.

I am thankful for a little boy who could find candy in the dark, with his hands tied behind his back.

I am thankful for a boy who is sweet, sensitive, and has a personality very much like mine. I totally "get" him.

I am thankful for sweet, nutella-covered kisses.

I am thankful for my children who like to get all dressed up... and then go to the playground, or play in the dirt.

Happy Friday to you and may you find lots of things to be thankful for this weekend!

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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.          

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The Peanut To My Butter


I am so excited that it’s Friday I could just sing…or dance! And I just might! We sing and dance while we clean, and little do they know- that’s the plan for today. A good ‘ol cleaning cleverly disguised as a dance party! I love it! If you tell me you’ve never had a dance party while cleaning not only will I not believe you (c’mon, I know you’ve let a move bust through the tunes while cleaning.), but I will defriend you. Unfriend. Whatever, we’ll be through. If you really haven’t. Crank up some of your favorite tunes from when you were in high school… and find yourself a’dancing! And then we can remain friends.

Now back to our regular programming.., I was so happy just a few minutes ago, and it seems my mood is fading fast. I’d better get to cleaning dancing as fast as I can so that I don’t lose my good mood completely. Deep breath in. Deep breath out.

So now we’re really back to our regular programming. It’s Friday, and I’m thankful. After a weekend that felt like it lasted a week, I’d never been so excited to see my children. 4 days was at least a day too long to be separated from them! But I am very thankful for my parents (and littlest brother) for having them, and the kids had so much fun. It’s very apparent our separation was much harder on the mama than the children.

Mostly, I am thankful for hubbyman. I wasn’t sure he was so supportive of me becoming a doula, but he has been amazing. During the weekend he’d make me a drink, and let me debrief. And he’d get up and make breakfast, and more importantly, coffee, before I’d head back in. After 6 hours worth of driving, 21 hours of sitting on the floor trying to soak in every word, and 3 hours of coffee runs… it left me completely exhausted. Mentally, physically, and definitely emotionally. Hubbyman has been so great. He’s put the big kids to bed and come up to find me still cuddling with littlest (What? After the weekend, I needed some extra cuddles!) and has taken him and put him to bed as well. And encouraged me to have some down time, some quiet time, and that it was ok to do so. He has done that almost every night this week. The first night I fell asleep on the couch, and the nights after that I’ve only spent maybe an extra hour awake and up, lounging on the couch. But it has been amazing for my own self. I actually have slept better, and better yet- I wake up, feeling like I actually got some sleep! And I am really shocked by how much more patience I have during the day. Apparently, I was really needing some down time. Where I’m not mom, and I’m not in charge, and even if it’s just mindlessly watching TV, I’m allowing myself some time to unwind, relax, and just be. And apparently, that’s exactly what I’ve been needing. I am so thankful to my hubbyman, for allowing and encouraging me to have some time for myself. (It’s like he knows me or something.)

Not only has he allowed me some time, but he was been incredibly supportive. He recently accepted a new position within his company and has promised to find ways that I could attend births, without having to stress over childcare, because he’d simply come home and stay with the kids. He is an incredibly hard worker and in his previous position they kind of let him do what he wants because of that- I’m hoping his next boss feels that way too! I will be doing daytime childcare for friends starting late fall/early winter, and so I’m trying to get all the births in that I can before then! (I have 3 on the books between now and then.) A local hospital has a great program where they offer doula services. While it’s unpaid, it would be a chance to get a good number of births under my belt, and stay active in the birthing community, and be able to schedule it. I’m going to wait a few months into doing childcare before officially signing up (I don’t want to over extend myself), but I’m very excited. And I love how supportive hubby is. He understands why I want to do it, and believes in it whole-heatedly. And is truly willing to explore every avenue possible so that I can do and achieve things that I want/believe in. It’s incredibly endearing. If I am successful in anything (be it professional or personal), a great portion of it is because I have his support. And I am so grateful.

Photo Credit: thestencilsmith.com

And now we’re off to my dance party! I hope you all have wonderful, dancing weekends as well!

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The Doula Houla


I know, I know, you’ve been waiting with baited breath. Just waiting for me to write another post. Pour out everything about how my weekend went. Surprisingly, I don’t feel like it. I know, I know…it’s weird. I think that it all just feel really personal, and maybe I’m not ready to share that just yet. Sound strange coming from someone who blogs? Yeah, felt a little strange saying it.

Yesterday, I spent a full hour staring at the screen. Never getting more than the above paragraph out. I still feel like I’m at a loss for words. Helping someone birth, and apparently, even the preparation for doing so, is much like giving birth yourself. It’s emotional, it’s physical, it’s beautiful. And it’s very personal.

My weekend was so incredibly amazing. I was truly surprised at the diversity in women. And I don’t mean just racially or culturally even. There were all ages. While I was not the oldest, I was definitely not the youngest. Actually, I was probably in the top half of the age bracket. Another thing that surprised me was that half of the class were not mothers. They just loved pregnancy/pregnant women, babies, and birthing. And wanted to learn more about it.

Let’s face it. For those of us who are mamas, our birthing stories are highly personal. So much so, that they affect how we feel about ourselves. A mama who had a birth that left her feeling like Wonder Woman? Well, studies have shown that it can turn a previously low-self-esteemed woman into someone with much more confidence in herself. A woman with good self esteem and then has a birth that made her feel out of control and like it happened to her (rather than something she chose), well, studies have also shown that that will knock her self-esteem down a few pegs.

I think that I am also more aware of my role, as a doula, in doing all that I can to make sure that it’s a birth they can look back on in pride. Always keeping the How will she remember this? in the forefront of my mind as I offer suggestions and support. Obviously, I can’t birth for them. And births can kind of have a mind of their own… I’ve certainly had a birth that did not go the way I’d planned in my mind. It’s all about support.

I have received some awesome support this last week. Support of my friends encouraging me (and saying they’ll use me for their next babies!), my husband who listened to me unload and process through all the information and feelings at the end of each late night. Support of my family who kept my babies for a weekend. (The kids had a blast. I’m still feeling the repercussions of being separated for so long. I feel like it was too long- for me!) I am thankful for the wonderful women I trained with (and the oh so amazing wonder woman who led our training). They were a support, a help, a community. Some women had some great stories about birthing their babes, and others shed tears as they told theirs. As women, I think when our births don’t go according to plan, we tend to feel like failures. I mean it’s birth, it’s kind of what we do. What our bodies just know how to do. There is a lot of deep-seated emotions that go along with the thought I failed at something my body is supposed to be able to do instinctively, on its own. 

If you can’t tell already, I’m still processing some of my own feelings about birth. I’m learning to let it go. To accept it was it was. And to focus on some positives. Like the fact that when I wasn’t scared out of my gourd in previous births -especially my first- I felt like a rock star. I labored quietly in the night, letting my hubbyman get some sleep. I was relaxed enough to sleep in between contractions during the day, so much that the day seemed to go by quickly. I labored at home. I moved around. My water broke just as we were going through the gates to get on base (military). An hour and a half later… I was a mother. And he was perfect. And I felt like super woman. Like I could do anything. I birthed a baby, ok, that’s somethin‘.

The next two births left me with beautiful, perfect, healthy babies… and a little bit disillusionment of the medical world. I felt like this long, intensive, informative weekend helped in that aspect. Not that I now have unshakable faith in the medical community, but it was healing to hear of midwives, Drs, and nurses who have done things to protect the process I so fiercely believe in.

There is a secret in our culture and it is not that birth is painful but that women are strong.

-Laura Stavoe Harm

That is not to imply that if your labor didn’t go as planned, or it wasn’t what you wanted, that you are not strong enough. (Feel like that’s not a helpful quote for women? I can see why- read this.  The truth is that the quote actually is from an essay talking about how we need to talk more about our births. You can read about it here.)

After my weekend, I feel like that quote resonates. Even though I did not feel strong during the birthing of my last baby, looking back, faced with insurmountable odds and lack of support (outside of my  hubby and doula)… I birthed my baby. And that’s what really counts.

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I Choose


There’s my sign. There’s your sign. As I begin another journey. I’m telling you, you can begin yours too. No matter what you’re doing, where you are, or who you are… there’s your sign. We’ve all been waiting for something, right?

I’ve spent a lot of time trying to figure out who I am and what I want to be, or do, in this life. It’s good to know that no matter what point I’m at, it’s never too late to choose another route.

And so today I am leaping in, with both feet. A new horizon. A new career. A new start.

Today I am thankful for the people in my life who encourage, support, uplift, and call me to tell me to take a deep, cleansing breath. I am thankful that with them, and often because of them, I am strong. I am determined. I am starting anew. It may not have be the life I pictured as a little girl. But it is definitely the life I want as an adult. It’s been a journey to this point, but as of today, I am choosing my life. I am (continuing) to live with intention. And I’m being intentional about it.

*Thank you all for your kind words and thoughts! Cross your fingers, this is a big weekend for me! Full of lessons, note-writing, training, and probably not a lot of sleep! Plus Littlest will be spending two nights IN A ROW away. (For the first time.) I already miss him. Hubbyman has promised to tell the grandparents that they can drop Littlest off with his daddy at any point over the weekend. I know they won’t, but his words were comforting to my mama heart. May you all have a weekend filled with new adventures, incredible food, and unending wine bottles!

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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!

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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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A Direct Hit


Do you ever have one of those days where you want to just turn around, turn the lights back off, and get back into bed? Never? Ok, that’s it. We’re officially not friends. For those of you who know what I’m talking about… here’s to another round of coffee!

Saturday was such a day for me.

I needed to pick up a few things from the grocery store. Not a ton, just a few. The kids weren’t yet dripping, but were sniffling, and I wanted to make them my homemade chicken noodle soup. So I needed some more Organic Chicken Broth, an MSG-free version of Chicken Bullion Cubes, and a few other odds and ends that we were out of/running low on. Not more than a basket-full worth of groceries. When I pulled into the parking lot I was in shock. I’d NEVER seen our little grocery store that busy. The parking lot was full. I might as well have walked there because I think it took me longer to find parking than it would have to walk the just under .5 mile. I finally park, and go inside. There are exactly 2 carts left in the store. This is all shocking because while Saturday’s are typically busy, they’re not so busy that they ever have more than 3 cashiers. (I’m not kidding.) I’m pretty sure it was busier than Christmas Eve. I’m already annoyed at this point, because c’mon people, you’ve known about Easter all year long and yet here you are, frantically scurrying around like the world will end if you do not try every new recipe you found on Pinterest, and trying to take my cart out of my hands and the onion from within my reach.

Don’t get me wrong, I feel for you, and I know what it’s like when you’re not as prepared as you perhaps, should have been. But I’ve got sick kids, and a day of fun cancelled. So my sympathy is a little short-lived.

I finally make it to the soup aisle, trying to gather the last of my soup ingredients. I find the broth right away, but the bullion is being elusive. I stand there, scanning the rows over and over. Knowing full-well it had to be there and I was just missing it.  The aisle was full of people, and I was doing my best to stay out of everyone’s way. There was one lady in particular that seemed to be looking for things in the area I was standing. Three times I smiled and moved so that she could get through or in between myself and the shelves. Not once did she apologize, say excuse me, or even smile in return. She seemed exasperated that I was continuously in her way. I apologized saying (more to the store worker who frequently visits with the kids and I on our many walks to the store), My kids aren’t feeling well and I’m trying to make them some homemade soup and I just can’t seem to see what I need, even though I know it’s here. Store worker asks what I’m looking for and I tell him, and he starts to scan the shelves for my ultra-elusive MSG free, gluten free, natural chicken bullion. And I kid you not, while he was looking, the lady had the audacity to half say to me, half mutter to herself, Maybe if you’d have waited till you were an appropriate age to have children, you’d be old enough to know how to cook and where to find things. I froze completely. I look at her wide-eyed and disbelieving. I had to rerun it in my mind to make sure that actually happened.

I stood there a few moments, just staring at her in shock, before finding my voice. I was a little surprised to hear myself saying, I am thirty years old! And I am glad my children weren’t here with me, to be experience your rudeness! (I’m not actually 30… but I’m in the latest of my 20’s, which is close enough.) At this point, the worker realized he may have a cat fight on his hands, interjected with, Her children are some of the most well-mannered ones that come through our store. She rolled her eyes! And then acted all offended and walked away muttering about how if I was really thirty, I would have more manners. I stood there for a moment, just taking it all in. And then I grabbed the bullion from the poor man’s hand and ran to the checkout and got the heck outta there. I knew if I did anything else one of two things would happen. Either I’d find her and deck her, or I’d burst into tears. So I fled. And had a cry in the truck before heading home. Not because my feelings were hurt, but because I was SO angry. I mean, who talks that way to a stranger, let alone anyone! Livid would not begin to explain my emotions.

Looking back on it made me think about when THIS happened, or when I wrote The Muddy Mommy. After my cry (and a few days to calm down) I realized that it wasn’t just that I was embarrassed at the whole scenario or that I was angered by her words. I was angered by the way I was treated by another woman, possibly by another mother. Maybe she is a young grandma projecting her feelings onto me. Maybe she is not a mother, projecting those feelings onto me. Maybe she is just one cranky lady. I don’t know the feelings, or thoughts behind her words. And with most of our daily interactions, we don’t know what is going on in the people we encounter. But I do know that now that I can be rational about this scenario, that I will be more intentional about my interactions with strangers. I’ve had strangers make my day seem worthwhile, and I’ve had strangers make my day infinitely worse.  That’s the thing about choosing to live with intention, and wanting to model that for my children… I need to be intentional about the way I interact with others, whether they’re people I interact with on a daily, weekly, monthly, one once in a lifetime. I can be passing out smiles and warm-feelings, or I can aim and fire to make sure of a direct hit, like the one I received. Either way I can choose. You can choose. Life is hard enough, why would we want to add to that? Besides, if you’re so busy aiming at me, you could be missing out on an opportunity for us both to walk away feeling some reprieve of life’s trials.

And next time I attempt a trip to the grocery store on a weekend, let alone a holiday weekend, I’ll make sure I am properly coffee-fueled.

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Lego Land


So we missed out on visiting my brother yesterday. And Biggest spent a good chunk of time, unmoving, on the couch. Which is pretty unusual for him. By lunch time he was willing to go for a quick stroll to the store for smoothies (hello! pump this boy with Vitamin C!) and ham! (2 of my Bigger Two’s favorite foods. Roll it in spinach and they’d be set for life. I know, my kids are  funny, little creatures.) Ok, so I maybe, might have, insinuated that he could pick out a redbox movie. But that wasn’t until we were already on the way to the store. If he really didn’t feel good enough, I would not have taken him. He’s not like death bed sick, but he’s cold sick. Where he has a cough when he lies down, has a bit of the sniffles (thankfully it’s not like the snot running down his face kind), and is all around stuffy. Which, obviously, doesn’t feel very good. But we were down to our last box of tissues and Biggest thought it would be cool to pick out his very own box.

The trip was rather uneventful. Littlest fell asleep while walking around the store. (And of course woke up as soon as we strolled into the driveway.) On the way home we received a phone call from another brother of mine. Whatcha Doin’?  He asks in a tone, that for him, always means, I’m a little bored and wondering if you have something to do that I’ll think is fun. That or, I miss the kids. Or I’m hungry, what are you making for dinner? But I digress. I told him of Biggest’s congestion woes and said we’re mainly just having a snuggle-up-on-the-couch kind of day. Having a feeling he’d be showing up, I picked up a couple of his favorite snacks and headed home.

The kids quickly snuggle up on the couch, munching on their ham, to watch a movie while I try to quickly do some “sprucing” before their uncles arrive. Thankfully our deck is arranged in such a way (with lattice for sides so that there’s no railings or slots or anything to worry about children slipping through) that a baby gate keeps Littlest in and he is free to “color” to his hearts content. By color I mean, eat chalk. Since that’s mainly what he seems to do.

Can you see the chalk on his face and the corners of his mouth (from eating it)? Its also all over his legs and arms.

Lo and behold, the Uncles show up. Along with over 15 lbs (that’s right, POUNDS) of legos. Biggest squeeled in delight. MissE squeeled in delight. Littlest dumped it all out, in delight. I also knew hubbyman would love this as well. In fact, I’m not sure who enjoyed building legos more. Biggest or his Uncles.

the tower started out as the chrysler building, but between all the other things being built, he ran out of blue and yellow. The tower is close to 4 feet tall.

While he is still a little sniffley, but he slept all night through- in his own bed. Wanted breakfast. And wanted to play legos vs watch a movie. So I’m thinkin’ that’s progress.

Welcome to Lego City

So…. I’ll just get to it. I am soooo thankful for such wonderful brothers who are amazing uncles!

I am thankful that even though visit with one uncle didn’t work out, we were able to reschedule for this weekend!

I am thankful Biggest didn’t get really sick.

I am beyond measure thankful that Littlest is more than well on his way back to his happy, clowning self.

I still can’t eat in the same room with him (or he won’t eat. He’ll just climb out of his high chair and cry and fuss and WILL.NOT.EAT.), but he has started eating more. And is overall happier. Which means hubbyman can come home without me bursting into tears for the first time in weeks.

I am thankful for a girl who is so mothering that she takes all of Littlest punches with humor. Sometimes literally. (*Sigh*)

I am thankful for warmer weather. (I’m just itching to get the garden all planned out and started)

I am thankful for all the flowers I transplanted from the house I grew up in. It is so fun to see them grow, and know where they came from.

I have more to be thankful for but they’re not quite ready to be shared (No, no baby news… why does everyone go there?). Hopefully next week there will be more to be thankful for, that can be shared out loud! (Or online…)

 I’m thankful for hubbyman. My feet get so cold at night, I could never sleep without him.

Also, I am thankful for legos.

I am also thankful they're keeping them off of the floor and out from under my feet!

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