Where Whine Meets Wine

Funky Friday

So yesterday was basically the day from hell… it started off really, really well. We hung out, had a good morning. Hubbyman picked us up, so we could run errands. Grocery shopping being at the top of the list. So off we went, dropping hubby back off at work, and onto our day of adventures. I go to a fabric store to purchase some material to make NFL diapers for Littlest E (to help solve to not quite enough diapers in my arsenal problem) and of course so that he has proper attire for the beginning of the new season! So we really just take our time meandering around through there. We finally get out and there’s a fast food place with a playland in the parking lot, so we decide it would be fun to walk over and play (not eat!). This playland is a little more “tube-y” than what we’re used to. Less slides, more tunnels. Which would be fine, except that just as Big E got to the top of the tunnel maze, a group of about eight 10+ year olds (who were not small children, either) decend upon the playland like it’s the only time in their life they’re going to be able to run wild. So run wild they do. Climbing up the slides. Sitting on top of the end of the slide to land on whoever slides  down. Running everywhere. Yelling loudly. Did I mention my boy is still inside of there? I know as soon as they throw themselves into the tunnels that they are not going to be going through it slowly or gently, let alone with any awareness of small(er) children that may be playing in it as well. So I listen, because my mother heart knows my boy is afraid, and every once in a while, in between yells and shrieks, I can hear the soft crying of my scared, little boy. I can’t see him anywhere… I look all around and finally I spot him, in one little end spot, where he’s just sitting in the corner, looking terrified. He was about to go down the slide (that he’s slightly afraid of anyways) when the big kids descended like the plague. And in front of that spot seemed to be the “cool” place to be, so there they sat.  I tried to convince him to go down the slide and that I would catch him. Kicked the kid off the end of the slide (he was not going to be jumping onto my child), yelled up to the big kids at the top that I was his mama and they were to let him through. Unfortunately, what happened next was for all of them to gang up on him, trying to force him down the slide. Surrounding him in his small little area, his whole body  pushed up against the glass as far as he could, and crying. It was so heartbreaking. The kids were from some kind of program, and I respectfully spoke with their caretakers. I’m sorry, I’m really not trying to be rude. I think that they are trying to help and convince my son that he could down the slide. But he is up there and he is scared and crying, and he’s little.  They were very kind and immediately made them all come out, and took them away. (Thank You Lord!) Thankfully we’d been sitting next to a Grandma and making small talk with her (she’d sent her small grandson up to try and convince Big E to go down, but he couldn’t make his way through the big kid crowd), she looked at me and said, It’s a good thing you’re small.  I’ll sit with the babies, you go get him. And so I did. I crawled through that maze of tiny tunnels, painfully slow (and of course, I’d been wearing my white pants)… but I got to him. And he clung to me like he’d been lost in a jungle. Even going down the slide, he clung to me. It wasn’t a ride, it was a means of survival. Poor kid. You know it’s bad when your child WANTS to leave a playground of any form.

So we headed to the grocery store, which for us, means Costco. As we pull up and load into the cart, we witness a woman yelling at a boy to hurry up and come. He (loudly) tells her he really has to go potty, and he runs back into the store. Well, this woman proceeds into the parking lot, gets into her car, and leaves! Not just to circle around, waiting for the boy. No, she leaves…. turns the corner, waits at the light and leaves, as I watch awestruck. At this point the boy comes back and somberly looks around and then realized she’s left him. At first I thought she forgot him. Maybe somehow she didn’t realize he ran back in? But this poor little boy recounts his life to me, and how she’s really his aunt, but he lives with her, and his mom is too sick to take care of him, and his aunt has done this to him before… this kid was just aching for love. And it was breaking my heart. 20 minutes go by and the woman’s still not back… I go to the front desk, recount what happened, and they basically were like, Ok what do you want us to do? So I tried calling the woman (the boy could tell me her number- I’m guessing he was 7), but no answer. So the police were called. She showed up just as the police did, no acknowledgment no anything, just pulled up, looking straight ahead as the boy climbed in. The cops promised to put a call in to social services that way if there are any future reports they have this too. But since the boy told ME the things, and she (of course) said she’d just forgotten him. (By this point, I no longer believe her.) The cops do seem to believe me, but unfortunately, there was nothing else they could do either.

So I go in, do my shopping and finally get ready to leave 2 hours later… and if you’re familiar with Costco, when you leave they compare your cart with your reciept. So we walk up, wait our turn, get there… and the guy never smiles (we’ve seen him before and I’ve always thought he was not the right guy for this job- I mean, do you really want him to be the last thing that happens -and therefore you remember- before you leave the store?). Not only is he unfriendly, but Big E is sitting in the cart, and so he grabs him by the arm to move him around so he can see what’s around him. Not gently, not after saying something politely, just grabs my boy. Any other day, I would have been mad, but that would’ve been the end. Today, however, I loudly say, GET YOUR HANDS OFF MY CHILD. If he needs to be moved so that you can look around, say so. DO NOT TOUCH MY CHILD.  At this point, all of my children are crying, because my outburst is so unlike me, that even they don’t know what to do. The man, without saying anything, hands me my reciept and I walk out, *unload my cart, unload the kids, climb in with Littlest E, so he can have his lunch. When he’s finished nursing, I buckle him into his car seat and head home. Only to find my bigger two screaming a few minutes later (and once we’re on the highway, of course) that I’d forgotten to actually buckle them in, and that I was not letting them be safe. (Good to know they’ve been listening about how buckling keeps them safe, but it sure felt like a punch in the gut.) So I pull over, buckle the kids (while they chastise me for forgetting. Big E informed me he was going to tell his daddy about it. I think he forgot- hey daddy…), and go home.

Yesterday, I may have been too emotion-filled to have talked with management, but you can bet that today there will be a phone call, an e-mail, and a written letter. And I may not go back to that particular Costco.  Needless to say, almost instantly, as hubby got into the truck, I burst into tears. Something about his presence, I guess. I think it’s just the knowledge that now that he’s here, I no longer have to hold it together, because I know he will.

So now, maybe you’re wondering about my Thankful Friday? I kinda was too. But here it is: I am thankful that somewhere, even though sometimes it’s buried deep inside… I do have a backbone. And that at least when it comes to my children, I have a side that I never knew I had- one that speaks her mind, stands up for the ones she loves, and will not be pushed around.  I am thankful that I have found that side of me, and only hope that I can integrate it more into the rest of my life! And I am also so, very thankful to have people I can call and say, listen to how crappy this day was… and know that they’ll listen to it fully. And that when I say, keep that little boy in your thoughts and prayers- it will be done. He’s gonna need it.

*I forgot about this when I originally wrote this post. What a delightful remembrance that just had to be included.

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Today’s Thankful Friday is all about the kiddos. Some days it’s easy to forget just what a privilege it is to be their mama. With all the heat we’ve been having, we’ve done lots of fun activities to keep ourselves entertained and cool! And everywhere we’ve gone I’ve had people (strangers even!) come up to tell me how well behaved the E children are. And they really are. But just like most people probably think I’m well behaved… sometimes I lose my cool too. And it’s just so easy to sometimes equate busy with naughty. My kids are very busy. Always on the move, always talking, and always playing… and sometimes when they’re not moving or playing in the way I want or the place I want, or with more toys than I would want, it’s easy to feel like they’re being naughty, when in fact, they aren’t, they’re just energetic vocal children! So today I’m thankful for the fun we’ve had during these hot, hot days; the friends we’ve gotten to visit with; and the little people in my life who make it all worthwhile. And I am so thankful for them each individually. I know some people say that they don’t have a favorite, and some of them say they do… I never could. They are each so different and bring joys in different ways.

  • Biggest E is my sweet boy. He is the one to tell me that he loves me more than anybody he’s ever known. Loooves bear hugs (he’s not happy until he’s practically knocked you over) And gives kisses for days. (tonight he asked if he could also share his kisses with his daddy. After careful consideration, I gave him permission, just this once. He told me not to worry, because he was willing to give me kisses for all the dark times and all the sun times.)
  • Miss E is just a wonder to behold. Not only is she beautiful, she is smart, and she is sassy. And I’m fairly certain she’ll have her parents outsmarted in no time. But she is my girl. She wants to sit and paint our toenails together. She likes to sit in the bathroom while I shower and talk to me. She’s always a willing partner to go shopping with. And while the red in her hair may show signs of her temper, she is growing more compassionate and thoughtful as she grows. Even last summer, at just under 2, as soon as she’d wake up in the morning, throw her arms around me, and declare, “Oh, Mommy, I was missing you!”
  • And my youngest E, well not only is he my medical miracle, he is such a happy, good natured boy. He makes the funniest faces, and has the silliest laugh. And even by 6 months, he was already a hugger. He loves to throw his hands around my neck. He’s also into kisses, especially if he sees his siblings getting in on the action, he’s quick to push them out of his way to lay one on me. And he’s such a cuddler (really, they all are), he’s always willing to get a quick snuggle in before going off to play.
I wouldn’t change any of them, and I love them all dearly… through and through.
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Thankful Friday

Sometimes I think I can get a little too stuck in this, “Well, this is just how my life is, right now…” mentality instead of: Look at how great my life is! I mean I’m always tired (last night I was up with kids until after 3:30am and then they got up at 7:30 this morning!), I’m always hungry (I’m nursing and chasing the kids- constantly! It’s always one or the other!). And I’m always behind on 3 things: laundry, dusting, and showering. Sometimes I get so caught up in all the things I’m doing, I forget the wonderment of it all. And so today, (actually I’m thinking of making every Friday, Thankful Friday, where I take a moment to acknowledge all the good things I have in my life) I am taking at least these few moments to commemorate the things in my life that give me lots of love, laughs, and joy:

1. Littlest E has the silliest, goofiest laugh… and he shares it almost every time I look at him. Plus, he’s a hugger. Really. Always has been. Throws his arms around you and squeezes. Heart melting.

2. Our puppy (who just celebrated his first birthday!) is such a good boy. Seriously. He’s a lab, who gets tired out after playing fetch for like 5 throws. He’d really rather spend his day cuddled with one of the kids. Or napping next to where they play. Seriously, he is that big of a sweetheart, and that much of a big ‘ol baby. Love him!

3. Hubbyman has been making a big effort to be more present in his time at home. Playing with the kids (without the distraction of a project in the background) and in doing things (like the dishes!!) around the house, on a daily basis. I am so thankful for the partner he is- in our marriage and as a co-parent.

4. After always thinking that I didn’t really have a preference about having a daughter, I find I enjoy having one more and more each and every day. She is a girl who knows what she wants and she will either melt your heart or break it to get it! And I love that about her! She is my sweetie pie that would gladly sit by my side as I cook or clean and just keep me company and entertained with her chatter.

5. My oldest is growing by leaps and bounds, it always amazes me the things he understands more and more on a daily basis! He’s currently obsessed with lying and telling the truth. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. If you ask him to tell him the truth (if you know he’s not giving you the whole story- and you have to specifically say, “Tell me the truth.”), he will. Begrudgingly, but he will. And he will not tolerate you telling him something that he knows to not be the truth. He may have a black and white view point, much like his father. He is also a sweetheart of a boy, who LOVES to give kisses and bear hugs. Truly. He’s not happy unless he’s hugged you hard enough to knock you on your bee-hind.

6. I have wonderful friends. Seriously. They totally rock. And I lived with one of my bffs for a month and a half this summer. And I love her more than ever. That’s how cool my friends are. Another friend came for a 2 week visit that he had to drive cross-country for! And we loved every minute of it! You know how sometimes by the end of a visit you’re like, “Get gone already!” This was not that way. We try almost daily to get him back here! And that’s just two examples! We are blessed with long time friends as well as newly made ones. They do our lives good- as a couple, as a family, and as individuals.

7. I find it totally amazing to witness the firsts of my children. First words, first steps, first time they see fireworks and point and “ooohh” and “aaahhhh” over every single one (Seriously, Littlest E truly did that). Total wonderment over the joy I feel in getting to be a part of their little lives.

8. I am 5lbs away from what I weighed in high school. Did I mention I’ve had 3 children in the last 4 years? I’m pretty proud of myself. No, maybe everything doesn’t fit or sit the same as it did back then, but I have earned every curve of my body, and I’m (learning!) accepting them.

9. I love the amount of laughter that goes on in my household. I am continually thankful for their sweet giggles amongst each other, and the ones they share with me. I am thankful for the way my husband and I can laugh together- and at each other, as much as at ourselves. Even the biggest hurts can feel manageable if you can intertwine laughter into the equation.

10. I am so appreciate to have this space. To have a place where I can say what I think and write how I feel. It’s empowering, liberating, and equal parts confusing…hey! I’m still learning! I feel more me, as an individual, when I can be open and honest about life, love, children, parenting… and living. Plus, where else would you find fabulous dinner ideas?! (*giggle, grin, and eye roll* yes, I even roll my eyes at my self. But you know, in a thankful, self accepting way)

These are by no means the only things that give my life joy, or in any particular order.I just needed to take a moment and internalize all the wonderment I do have in this crazy, busy, kid-filled life of mine. And to acknowledge that I love it completely, even if, at times, it doesn’t sound like, or feel like, I do.

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