Where Whine Meets Wine

Stranger Happenings

So we have lots of things going on right now… hubby’s brother (and his family) are moving to China and are here to visit before they leave. Which also overlaps with my brother getting married, and so we’re gearing up for that (as all but littlest E is a part of the festivities) and anticipating the arrival of a host of other out of town family members that we don’t normally get to see. So when I say we’re busy, I mean, things are insane and  I’m going a little crazy!! But we are enjoying the family time and hopefully we are able to really make the most of it! So if you’re wondering why I’ve suddenly become so boring or why my posts are no longer adding spice to your life… now you know.

So with all of the busyness of these weeks… I have some kids that seem to be a little wound, as well as myself. And Hubby/Daddy, he’s just plain tired. My normally, I-don’t-know-how-to-be-unhappy baby is crying, whining, and basically clinging to my legs all day long. Which does leave me a little big on the frayed side. Thankfully, Hubs came home early yesterday and so I was able to jump in the truck and go to the grocery store. I know it’s lame that most of my “down time” (read: kid free time) is spent at the grocery store, but they’re only little for a very short time. I’m never going to look back and say, “Man, I wish I would have spent more time away from the kids when they were little.” (I don’t see myself saying that about missing any point of their lives, but especially now.) Anyhow, I tend to dawdle at the store, because it’s my de-stress time, lame as it may be.

Usually my hour long grocery trip is uneventful, and the cashier is the only person to talk to me, and I’m just fine with that. And it’s enough time that I get home and the kids are like, “Yay! Mom’s home!” and I’m glad to see them. Yesterday was pretty much the same except for one minor detail. I say minor, because it really was no big deal. To look in, you’d never think of it as anything substantial. But for me, after the day I’d had with the kids, it was. Let me preface this by saying that we spent the weekend out of town and that I didn’t know until a day or two before that we were even going out of town. Then we got home past bedtime on Sunday and had company coming the next day. Starting to get the picture? And if I haven’t mentioned this before, I do not like disorder, and I like it even less when visible to people who don’t live with me. So I’m scrambling and trying to get things done as quickly as I can, while the children run behind me undoing just about every thing I do… and then add the fussing baby (do to teething and the busy weekend). So I was about to merge onto the meltdown lane. And then I went to the store.

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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Good Thing They’re Cute

Last night I hit a wall. There is so much stress in this house it’s palpable. Ok, maybe in me is more accurate. My hardworking husband has been working a lot of overtime for over a month now. I don’t mean to complain about his job, because I’m so thankful he has one! Let alone one he enjoys, cares about, and (even better!) one he hardly ever even complains about. It is by far the best job he’s ever had, and probably the least amount of overtime as well. So why am I complaining? Because he pretty much stopped working overtime after Littlest E was born. I’m not sure if it was just so I would survive those beginning days as a new parent of three, or just the scare of it all, but I am ever so thankful for it! Really there is only a couple hours in the day where things are a little unbearable, and thankfully it’s not every day. Unfortunately it falls when Daddy “should be” home until he actually gets home. And then the magic switch is flipped back over and my sweet children return.

And truly, knowledge is power. Because while a meltdown might ensue when it’s me vs. them… just knowing that hubbyman’s home, even if he’s doing a project or something, is enough. Seriously. It’s maddening. There’s just something about knowing that I am not quite so outnumbered. Like last night, we were all bordering on the brink of disaster while I made dinner. And wouldn’t you know it, they didn’t like it/want it. Or the second meal I created out of sheer desperation. And then Daddy walks in, they want to eat what he’s eating, and they all (truly, all 3) are in his lap and eating! (*insert growl and eye roll*) Whatever, I’m just glad they ate.

While doing dinner cleanup, we notice that the big E’s have gone mysteriously quiet. And we know the gate is up (for littlest E’s sake), so they haven’t gone down to their rooms to play, which only means one thing- they’re in the bathroom. And that’s never good. Fortunately, I probably wear make up about once a month, maybe twice…maybe not at all. Yes, it’s that often. Therefore the kids aren’t really sure what’s it’s all about, because they’re not seeing it demonstrated on a daily basis. Unfortunately, I keep “the basics” in the bathroom they were in. (The basics being lipstick, foundation, blush, eyeshadow, and mascara) I wasn’t shocked to see my MissE in some make up, what I was shocked by was the fact that the biggest E had only been an observer and not a participant.

So she had mascara all over her eyes and eyebrows, foundation on her mouth, and eye shadow on her cheeks. It took a half an hour to wash MOST of it off. Thankfully at this point it was 9:00! Bedtime!! And littlest E had just been put down for the night. So I did what any normal mom would do after an evening like this… I poured a glass of wine, grabbed my favorite magazine that I’ve been meaning to read for months, and took a nice, hot, uninterrupted bath! (Which is very rare! The previous night I tried to take a shower after they went to bed, because that’s pretty much the only time I can fit on in… only to be scared half to death by the sudden movement of the curtain and the little hands that were grabbing at my legs. I’m surprised I didn’t scream, truly.)

I love my children, I love my life with them, I love being their mom, I really love it all… but when I lose myself in them, that’s when troubles arise. Sometimes something so simple as an hour in warmth of the tub, consoled by all my own thoughts and feelings about my own things, that I can reconnect with the person I am, as an individual. And today the person I am is a refreshed, albeit tired, mommy to three sweet little kids.

And I just found where she “stashed” my makeup… it’s in the bag, just completely filled with spilled foundation, unscrewed mascara, squeezed out lipgloss, and open cases of what I think used to be eye shadow. Did I mention how sweet they are? Good thing they’re cute. *sigh*

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