Friday, December 21, 2012

A break from Facebook and how it might help the bowheads blog

So I have written about Facebook on the blog before. If you want you can go here and I talk about being a stay at home Mom and Farmville (which I miss and have no time for at the moment) here.

Anyhoo - I enjoy Facebook. I managed to make it through the election without having a complete and total nervous breakdown and thought that she (I don't know why but I think of Facebook as a she) anyway she and I were going to cruise into a nice holiday.

Then something awful happened. Something really awful happened that I don't want to talk about. I mean - I am truly incapable of talking about it. I addressed it once here and then decided as I said at the end of that post that I needed to move on for the sake of my sanity and mental well being. I just can't dwell on it.

Hence my problem with Facebook because Facebook is not dropping it. Not only that but Facebook has gone political and ugly and depressing. Facebook can't let it go and that is fine. That is Facebook's choice. It is my choice to look or not to look.

Now - I am not going to lie to you people. It was actually a little tougher than I thought to cold turkey Facebook. I look at it from my phone and it turns out that I do that a lot

until recently. 

Now also don't get me wrong - I am not giving it up for forever. I mean - I am not crazy - my birthday is coming up and we ALL know that there is nothing better than your birthday on Facebook.
That is just good clean fun right there. 

I also don't want to miss keeping up with my friends and family who are far away. Plus how would I know if it was a snow day or if the garbage man is not coming or if there a power outage or something?

I am just taking a little break. (Except of course to log on and post this post because hey - 15 out of my 16 readers are my Facebook friends. Once again - I am not crazy or stupid. Just a little tender right now.)

Now that I have rambled for a while I will tell you why it might be good for the blog. I think that I have been using up some of my best material on Facebook and now I can put it right here! Hooray for Bowheads!!!!

So here are some of my status updates that I jotted down on a notebook instead of jotting down on FB.

Frito pie and Chardonnay - dinner of champions
Incidentally - I am horrified at how many children here in Massachusetts have no idea what Frito Pie is. I am on a mission to rectify that situation one child at a time. 

It shouldn't be funny but there is nothing funnier than a fat pug slipping and sliding on the icy deck. I laughed so hard I snorted. 

Marriage bonding experience #98,378,543 - sitting on the floor of the kitchen together sifting through garbage searching for a retainer covered in ravioli. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

We believe - my yearly post

First off before I even get going on Santa and the elf on the shelf and what not I have got to say that first and foremost here is what I believe:

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again;
he ascended into heaven,
he is seated at the right hand of the Father,
and he will come again to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting.

I also believe in

I believe in the spirit of this season. I believe in the imaginations of children and you know what else?

I Heart Santa

I really do. I think he is kind and giving and jolly and I 100 percent believe in the magic of Santa.

Now I am going to talk about something that I hope no young eyes will read because this blog is not intended for young eyes. It is really intended for the eyes of people who have been tasked with the care of the young and I believe that this is a really timely topic.

This house believes first and foremost in the reason for this Season. We talk a lot about Jesus and the manger and all of the true meanings of Christmas. We talk about how lucky we are and all that God has given us.

We also believe in Santa.

We just don't really oversell Santa.

You won't find an elf on the shelf in this house. I just can't pull it off. You also won't hear my husband or I say to the children,

"Now you better be good or Santa won't come."

Just not going to happen. Once again - I just can't pull it off.

Two years ago- my then 9 year old - came to me and said,

"I need the truth Mommy - does Santa really come down the chimney and leave presents?"

Here is what I said:

Baby girl,

How are you getting so big so fast? I am your Mom and it is my job to lay it all out straight for you so here goes.

I love Christmas. I love this magical season. I believe that Mary and Joseph went and put a little baby in a manger that was sent to save us all. The bible tells me the story and I have Faith that allows me to believe.

Santa is the same way. Tomorrow we can go to the library and check out books on the legend of Saint Nick. I believe that magical things happen this time of year and I never ever want you to forget it. I always, always, always want you to believe in magic.

"Yes Mommy but how does he fit down the Chimney? I don't understand how that is possible?"

Do you really think that a big guy comes down our chimney and puts all the presents there or do you think that Mommy and Daddy help with that?

"I think you help"

Yes - we help

"Where do you hide everything?" How do you get it all wrapped?"

You know what Ladybug? That is the most amazing secret and one day you will find out about it also. The most amazing thing about being a Mommy is that you get to create magic all the time. Now I get to have a secret Mommy workshop and make magical things happen. I get to work hard to see smiles on your faces on Christmas morning and it is the most precious gift that I have ever been given.

I love being a magic maker. One of the best parts of being a Mom - hands down.

She smiled and kissed me and went to bed happy. She asked me a couple of questions (in my ear of course we talked about the importance of keeping the secret to ourselves) about my Mommy magic and then

much like magic

The discussion was gone. There were no tears. There was no "why did you lie to me drama" just finished.

What is even funnier - it is "that which we will never speak of again." (Even to this day)

She is all about magic and Santa and believing and says that the friends in her class that are "bah humbug" as she calls it are missing it. It is like we answered her logistical questions but allowed her the space to imagine and dream.

So yes my friends - we believe and I am loving every minute of it!

Cute 2012 addition to this story. My second grader came RUNNING to me the other day and said "Um Mommy - isn't it Summer in Africa? I remember that right? Won't Santa get hot? How does that work?" 

Me: "Remember - they celebrate Kwanzaa in Africa? Let's read a book. Here I have one right here." (Because I am going to say this right here and now - 
Hello my name is Holly and I have a children's Christmas/Hannukah/kwanzaa/anything with a snowman book problem.)
So it is possible that I have a book
or two in this house relating to this or any holiday related subject.

Anyhoo - she was all
"PHEW - that makes total sense" 

We read a nice book about Kwanzaa and off we went. 

Another holiday crisis averted. 

For now......

Saturday, December 15, 2012

See - here is the thing - I CAN imagine.

You see - the bowheads blog and I go way back.

We have good times and bad times
Busy times and slow times

I tend to stay pretty low key

and I don't tend to be controversial. 

I would also say that my biggest audience is my family and Facebook friends so it is not as though my ramblings are far reaching. 

I do feel like I need to pause - just for one second - and acknowledge the horrible thing that happened this week. 

I keep hearing and reading people say the word "unimaginable". 

The thing is - I can imagine. 

On Friday I was called out of a Kindergarten class that I was subbing in to take my sick second grader home. I hugged them and explained that I was so sorry and that I am a teacher but I am also a Mommy and my child needed me. They all nodded sagely and squeezed me tight and promised to carry on with their day and I was chorused out of the door with shouts of 


And I went on my way. 

So you see - I can imagine a class of Kindergartners.

That afternoon my own Kindergartner got off of the bus and he ran and threw his arms around my neck and said 
"Oh Momma - I missed you so."
and I thought
"Oh my God. I can imagine." 

So you see - my heart is broken just like yours. I can't watch the news and I can't stand Facebook right now. (Cuz that is what we should all do in light of a terrible tragedy - post a bunch of political propaganda. Please read my distaste between every single word of that last sentence.)

I hate to say it but scares tend to make me a better Mom. Today I sat on the floor and searched through a bin of toys for a lost beyblade with a smile on my face. 

I played the same board game 3,784 times in a 24 hour period and I didn't even grumble. 

What is hilarious is that I started typing this post when 

thud thud thud 

I heard little Fred Flintstone feet coming up the stairs. 

My Kindergartner needed me and I grinned and did a big fake sigh and said, 
"Man - I was in the middle of a thought! What if I forget it?" 

He actually said the words (and no I am not making this up for the purpose of this post) 

"Come on Momma - what is more important? That or Me? 

My answer?

"You Buddy. There is nothing more important than you." 

Because you see my friends. 

I can imagine

and that is why I have to turn off my TV and unplug my computer and love my family because there is simply no other way to be able to sleep at night in times like these. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

and now finally - the finished mudroom as promised

okidoki - so here is how we roll: 

From top to bottom beginning with the left: big basket of boots (boots only go there once dried - they have to stay on mats and only Mom makes the transition). Kids can put dry boots from their feet into the baskets - hence the disarray.
 Basket for:
gloves, mittens, scarves, warm weather over soccer basketball clothes kind of gear. 

Under the bench: tennis shoes and flip flops (depending on the season). 
On the right: big basket of boots - no rhyme or reason for the boots or what basket they go in, soccer socks, club soccer shirts, a bin for each kid soccer/basketball shirts and under that a bin for each kid soccer/basketball shorts. Pretty straight forward mudroom stuff. 
 Now here is where I take pride and love my system: 
I got this great Pottery Barn locker thing from a lady that was selling it locally for dirt cheap(see picture way at the bottom). On the wall are three picture frames that I write on with dry erase markers. 

They tell me what their specials are at school so I don't forget that on Monday A kid needs tennis shoes and B kid needs to bring their Clarinet to school and C kid needs to bring their library book back. 

Anyone with multiple kids knows that "specials" can be your kryptonite and this has really helped me keep things in order. 

Each child has a basket and binder. They come from school and know (after what seemed like 50 gajillion reminders at the beginning of the year) to put all papers/library books/homework into their baskets, backpacks in their lockers, shoes in the shoe bin, gloves in the glove bin, jackets on their hook, hats in the hat bin, lunch boxes and water bottles (that is a WHOLE other post - packing lunches) on the kitchen counter. 

What about the binders you ask. 
Well - I always go through the baskets to see if there is anything emergent - you know - 

a big whipping of a project in which I have to come up with 4 cute pictures of my family and talk a kid into doing something on a posterboard 
 head lice in school 
 "your kid did something inexcusable" 

 you know - the fun stuff. 

Anyhoo - whenever I have a free minute I sit down in front of a mindless TV show like Dance Moms (not that I would admit to watching something like that - much less something like Toddlers and Tiaras) and punch holes in everyone's papers and put them in the binders. I do recycle a few things (multiple notices etc) but not much. 
Why do I do this you ask? 
Well for several reasons: 

I like to thumb through the binders and see the progression from the beginning of a grade to the end. I also like having it in case any problems or anything strange comes up. 
I also never face the whole,
"Hey Mom - where is my seemingly innocuous paper that is actually incredibly important that I brought home 4 weeks ago and you promptly recycled that I need right now"
 crisis two minutes before the bus comes home.

Lunch boxes live on the bottom along with a clarinet and to the far right of the baskets is a bell I never ring but seemed like a good idea at the time and a cup of dry erase markers. 
The hamper on the left of the lockers was quite simply
The. Best. Idea. Ever. 
A much used piece of equipment. 

Anyway - that's all I know 

for now at least ;) 

Monday, December 10, 2012

The birth story of a ladybug - just a couple days late

*******Post Warning - you know I usually digress - a lot? Well this whole post is basically one big digression so hang on to your hat and try to keep up because I am all over the place with this one!**************

(How is that strategy to keep you reading working? There is probably some blog guru somewhere having a terrible flutter at their typewriter as I continue to break lots of blog rules and suggestions)


We must start with a little back story. Husband and I were married in March of 2000. Our Pastor provided us with some wondeful marriage counseling. One of the things that he advised us was to wait one year before we started having kids.

(There is no real way to tell this story without including birth control details so - with apologies.....)

I was on the pill and stopped taking it in March of 2001.

I promptly contracted the Chicken Pox - yes the Chicken Pox.

What is worse is that we did not know right away that I had the Chicken Pox because we thought that maybe my body (this is why you should go to the dr and not self diagnose) was freaking out with hormones or something from stopping the pill
(I look back on this and I really can't believe it but anyway) so long story short - I had a raging fever and was very sick before I went to the doctor and we figured it out.

Now - where does this fit in with her birth story you ask? Well - all of this happened in March. We were going to San Antonio to celebrate our first wedding anniversary and it was on that vacation that we were going to "start trying". I do remember asking the doctor about the Chicken Pox and trying to have a baby - I was told once the pox were gone - I was good to go AND that it was a real blessing that I got the pox when I did and not after I was pregnant. Off we go to San Antonio and had a wonderful time.

We come back and I decide that I need to find a good OB/Gyn. I pretty much went in and talked to the girl at the front desk and told her that I needed someone who would be very calm with me and answer all of my questions and put up with my idiosyncrasies and would never ever in any way be mean to me. The girl was like "ok - I have the perfect doctor for you."

Turns out he totally was because he wound up delivering all three of my babies!

Anyway - off I go to the doctor and at the time I was a shy pee-er - you know - had a hard time going on command (now 10 years and 3 babies later - let me assure you - no longer a problem)

but once again I digress.....because I could not go in the cup - I talked to Dr Greve about what to do in order to help me get pregnant, we talked about starting folic acid then - you know - the pre pregnancy stuff.

FINALLY I go in the cup and I have my little "so you want to get pregnant bag of goodies" and was ready to walk out the door.

Denise (Dr. Greve's nurse whom I still love and see to this day) came out of the bathroom and said,
"Holly - you are never going to believe this!"

Yes - I was pregnant - I had been off the pill for about 2 seconds, and had the chicken pox and bam - pregnant. I just kept saying, "no way no WAY!" Then I turned to Dr. Greve and said,

"wow that was some pill!"

Of course I could not wait to tell husband so I called him at work. He knew I was at the appointment to find the OB and I just said,

"Guess what - I was going to think of some clever cute way to tell you this but I really can't think at all right now - I am pregnant!"

He said,

"Man Babe - when you decide to do something - you really don't mess around, do you?"

It was cute - while I was on the phone with him in the doctor's office the nurse just quietly came up and took the "so you want to get pregnant" bag out of my hand and put the "congratulations you are pregnant" bag in it, grinned, gave me a thumbs up, and walked out.

We were of course thrilled - my Mom guessed the second I called her and I think that Husband called his parents that night.

Now in order to break up this incredibly long story - I am inserting a few pics of her as a baby.

Hit the milk a little too hard this time
She loved our dogs! Sniff Logan and Lewis - miss them.
Bring in the Fire Chief!

Food - Good! (You can see the Ladybug Curl Mohawk starting here)
Baby girl driving the car - she was pretty little in this one

That was her sticker from Gymboree class on her head - she was being silly.

Now moving on to her actual birthday. I am convinced that her due date was December 8th. For whatever reason - we had her due date as December 2nd. I really did not know any better and I just thought that on December 2nd - she would just come. I was patient and never even dreamed of having her until December 2nd but when December 2nd came and she was still not here - I was VERY ready to have that baby!

I fell twice while pregnant with my ladybug - once hooking up a horse trailer and once on the bleachers at Scott's indoor soccer game - both times - I was basically perfectly fine. Couldn't knock that baby out of me with a baseball bat.

I pretty much kept trucking with her without even thinking about it - I did gain quite a bit of weight (45 pounds) so I was good and chubby.

Anyway - I remember - I was working at the auto auction and I was mad at one of my car dealers and I went stomping out on the lot to find a car and bring it in. One of the guys that worked on the lot hopped on a golf cart and tried to get me to get in - I refused - so he followed me slowly creeping behind the little round angry pregnant woman who could have gone into labor at any moment - all the way out to the back lot.

I stopped working on December 2nd - it was my due date (although I still say not the right one but anyway) and I felt I should stop working that day. I kept getting calls - "hey where are you? I need some numbers..." (auto auction talk). I kept saying I am about to have a baby!!!!!!!

We induced her on December 7th - which - in retrospect - I actually wished that we had waited. I think that we made her come earlier than she was ready but hindsight is of course - 20/20.

We went to the hospital at 6:00 in the morning and they started the inducing process.

Here is how the next part goes:

Nurse: Are you allergic to any medications?
Me: Nope
Nurse: ok I am going to give you penicillin in your iv
Me: Great
Fastforward 5 minutes

"Honey - my tongue feelth kinda funny...."

as my whole face was swelling up.

Nurse: "ok you are allergic to penicillin - don't ever take that again

Me: "otay" (ok in really fat tongue speak)

The day went on and on and on and on and finally at 9:15 that night - I was able to start pushing - an hour and a half later - she finally came into this world. At one point in the middle of the pushing - I actually fell asleep - yep - asleep - just for a second mind you. Husband thought that was hysterical.

Now I have to admit for the sake of telling the story accurately - she was so wonderful and I was so happy to see her but the whole experience was so different than with my younger two children. I was so traumatized and so tired and so unsure - it was so new and I look back on that time and wish that I had enjoyed it more which I know sounds crazy. I cried and cried after they took her to the nursery and I just remember feeling so so so tired. I tell this because I want to try and remember what the experience was like and that was a part of it.

The positives - she was so perfect - so beautiful - so tiny! She was 7 pounds 3 ounces when she was born and we brought her home to our warm Christmasy house. I remember just looking at her and thinking that I could not believe what we had created. I remember holding her so tight and feeling like she and I were on a journey together - partners - lost and found together. With her brother and sister - the journey was different - I was already the Mommy - I knew more and I was much more solid in that role.

With her
it was just

all firsts

I wouldn't change a thing

(except for maybe the penicillin thing - it does not feel good to have your face swell up like that)

but anyway

I digress.........

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Fall Life Lessons - New England Style - the wood stacking edition

Stacking wood is a chore. A chore for the entire family. As big of a beating as it might be I love it. It makes me feel like fall. It makes me feel like we are preparing for winter and it is something that we always do together. It can also be great exercise and a little tough on your back.

The Stacking Crew:

The Daddy - Generally a happy, methodical stacker. (This is dependent on the temperature outside, what sports are on the television, and how whiny the children are.) He enjoys quiet, repetitive, physical work with his family and tends to work in a slow and steady manner.

The Mommy - Typically a hysterical stacker. Meaning - the Mommy recognizes that the window of cooperative and free slave labor is generally short so she stacks like a crazy person generally moving into the high pitched "come on guys- just a little more - we can do this!!!" tone of voice by minute 30 or so.

The 10 year old oldest female stacker - This stacker is generally highly motivated by the promise of a possible itunes song purchase so this can be a very valuable stacking force. When motivated - a ten year old is a stacking machine. When not motivated or feeling emotional for any reason this stacker is virtually useless.

The 8 year old middle child female stacker - This is by far the worst stacker.This stacker will actually be from here on referred to as "the chatter". The chatter will more than likely wind up moving 5, possibly 6, pieces of wood during the entire stacking session. The chatter is almost always in a good mood, will generally have to go to the bathroom 5 times, and is often good comic relief.

The 6 year old baby of the family male stacker - while small can actually be a powerful stacker. This stacker is motivated by one thing and one thing only - hanging out with the Daddy. Stacking wood with Daddy is the coolest thing ever. (This is once again contingent on the weather, sports on the television, and how whinny other stackers are. This can also be contingent on hunger.) A splinter in the finger is a day ending calamity for this stacker and something that should be avoided at all costs.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

A political post on a political night that is really not about politics but about how you are talking about politics with your children.... (You guys know you love me and my long post titles.)

I actually wrote and posted this last year but this seemed like a good time to repost. ;) 

Well - I gotta admit - we here at I Heart Bowheads (that would be me) don't really get terribly riled about stuff. Not a lot of drama. Not a lot of controversy. We (once again me - not sure why I feel the need to explain that) tend to keep it pretty light.
I do have the occasional rant in me and here it goes..........

This is not a rant telling you what to believe.
It is not a rant telling you what party to belong to or what issue you should back.
I will not even be expressing my own political beliefs in this post.
What I am going to rant about is........
Back when I was in my Kindergarten classroom, I would do an election every year. I would talk about the three branches of government, the two major political parties and the election process as a whole. I would always send a note home explaining this to the parents in my classroom as well as assuring them that no political opinions were going to be presented to the class. Only an explanation of the process.
This would often spark a lot of political dialogue with my Kindergartners. This was especially true if it was an election year. As my own children got older, they started to ask questions about the process. My husband and I have been very careful to simply explain the process and what both sides believe. We have explained that some of the issues that cause us to vote the way that we do are just not for children's brains yet and we will be happy to explain all of that when they get older. We do not even tell our children who we each vote for and there are many times that my husband and I are on the same side of an issue or party aisle but I have to be honest - we are also often on opposite sides and we have talked about that.
That is the bleeping (scuse my language - you can tell that I am starting to get worked up - I am even typing faster;) BEAUTY of America.
The debate
The checks and balances
I encourage you to disagree
I encourage you to vote your own choice and then if you don't win - lobby, talk, picket if you want to to get re-elected next time but for heavens sake.....
No joke - no exaggeration - here are some of the things that children either in my classroom or in my home have asked me.
Mrs. Bowhead- what's a communist? Cuz my Daddy says (such and such political character) is one of those?
Mrs. Bowhead - what's a moron? Cuz my Mommy says (such and such political character) is a big one.
Mommy Mommy - My friend (insert friend's name here) says that if (such and such political character) becomes president he is going to take all of our money!!!!!!!!!!!!! We need money - right? What are we going to do if he takes all of our money?
Mrs. Bowhead - why does (such and such political character) not love everyone? Why do they only love the rich people?
Mommy - such and such friend says that if such and such political character gets elected we will have NO MORE SUMMER VACATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 
Well my Daddy says that we don't have to listen to him and I don't have to watch his speech on television that is telling me to stay in school and work hard.


Now I could go on and on with the quotes but I believe you get my point. I would also like to remind you before you go getting yourself all riled up that my quotes also go back ten years which (if you will remember) spans both political parties in power.
Like I said - this is not telling you what to believe. This is not telling you what to feel strongly about. This post is telling you what I feel strongly about and you know what I feel strongly about? Do you? Do you? (Can you tell I am typing fast again? Frank the pug is sitting here next to me watching me with some fascination wondering what is happening with the flying fingers but anyway - I digress.......)
Teach your children to respect the system.
Teach your children to respect the OFFICE.
 You do not have to like the man or the woman. You do not have to support the party but respect the office. Respect the process. 

Use words like.....
Feel strongly about
Let's write a letter to our congressman
Please do not use words like
Stupid poor people

Remember - your children are listening to you. They are watching you and hate and dis-respect can be learned in the most unlikely of places.
They are standing at your feet in the church hall when you are chatting quietly with your neighbor.
They are playing on the floor of the kitchen while you are on the phone.
They are in the other room while you are cussing (I mean loudly disagreeing) with the TV.
Teach them to debate. Teach them to become involved. Please do not teach them to hate the other side.
The other side, in my humble opinion, is what makes the country so great. Because we get to have an other side.......

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Some conversations from this week

Well I guess I will go ahead and get my proudest parenting moment from this week off of my chest.

My 5th grader walks up to me in the hall the other day and says, 

Hey Mom
Me: Yes Dear
5th Grader: You will not believe what you did in my lunch! 
Me: Um what?
5th Grader: You left the plastic on my cheese in my sandwich.
Me: How did you find that out?
5th Grader: I bit into it.
Me: Oops 

This same 5th grader fell down REALLY hard off of a stool while sitting at the kitchen counter and smacked her neck on the counter top. She and I were both on the floor looking at it and she was crying and so on and so forth. 

Me: (To 2nd grader and Kindergartner) Guys - go get an ice pack please
2nd Grader and Kindergartner: (scrambling) I am ON it!!!!!!! 

Then minutes later 
Kindergartner: So um Mom - could you turn on the television for me - you know - when this crisis is over?  
Compassionate little dude isn't he? 

This week I subbed for the music teacher. The kids and I were talking about it: 
2nd Grader: So Mom - you can teach music? 
Me: Sure - no problem - I would say I am pretty comfortable with most anything at school. 
2nd Grader: But NOT PE - right Mom?
Me: True that Baby Girl. True that...... 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Time of Transition and Yes - the Bowheads Blog is still alive!!!!

Well my friends,

To say that the last month or two (or three or four) has been crazy would be a bit of an understatement. The summer flew by - I mean literally flew by. I was trying to enjoy it and we went to Africa and all.

Still feels strange saying that - yep - went to Africa and all.....

Anyway - I was VERY concerned about my mental well being when the baby started Kindergarten. I was worried that I would be bored. I was worried that I would be sad. I was worried that I would be lonely.

So I decided that I would finish my Masters degree. (That I had started and was about to finish when we were surprised by aforementioned babies birth.)

You know - so I wouldn't be bored or sad or lonely.......

Then I decided that I would take on a part time work from home job managing my kids Club soccer team. (You know - emailing out reminders, answering parents questions, helping keep the coaches organized etc.)

You know - so I wouldn't be bored or sad or lonely.......

Then I decided that I would go ahead and take all of the tests to teach in Massachusetts. (Stinking Massachusetts - no reciprocity...)

You know - so I wouldn't be bored or sad or lonely......

Then I decided that I would go ahead and start substitute teaching (only at my kids school and only a few days a week).

You know - so I wouldn't be bored or sad or lonely.......

Then I decided that I REALLY like substitute teaching and they, in fact, seem to be fans of me so I have been up at school - a lot.

You know - so I wouldn't be bored or sad or lonely.............

Well guess - what?

I am NOT bored or sad or lonely 

I am
in fact
In the Weeds.

I have also remembered that I am, in fact, a teacher. I love being a teacher and I am good at being a teacher. 

That has been the most liberating thing for me to say to myself. My entire self worth is not wrapped up in my husband and my children. 

They are absolutely the center of my world and my number one priority but it turns out,

they are not the only thing that I am good at. 

I can't tell you how much more sane I am for having figured that out. 

That said, I am also figuring out some other stuff. 

How to cook with your crockpot when you are gone during the time that you normally put your crock pot meals together. Do I start it at 8:30 on low or 3:30 on high? I have really mucked up some trusty recipes figuring that one out.

How to manage having three children in elementary school and all of the organization that entails. I have figured out a GREAT mudroom paper/keep up with library books etc system that I really will blog about soon. 

The best news is

I am not lonely or bored or sad. 

 and that 

at the end of the day

is really awesome.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A Birthday Birth Story - just a little late

Well - I have to say - I am basically in shock and denial that my baby boy is SIX! I like to retell their birth stories each year on their special day and well - here is another special day. (
I guess I should begin with how we came to have him in the first place. Sorry if this is too much information but this is basically a story that is tossed around at family functions quite a bit anyway so I want to go ahead and tell it here so that I have it down on paper er I mean computer somewhere. :)

We were a very happy little family of four and we talked about maybe trying for a third one day but we were certainly not looking to add on to our family at that time. It was Christmas Eve 2005 and we were celebrating, as is our custom, at my Sister in Law's house. We were enjoying some good food and family fun and I was enjoying an adult beverage. I raised my glass and said, for the universe to hear,
"I am having the BEST time. This is the first Christmas in forever that I have not been pregnant or breastfeeding!!!!!!!"
Fastforward to one week later - yes - one week later - New Years Eve - I knew I was pregnant.
The Buddy's pregnancy was nothing like my pregnancies with my girls. I pretty much knew this one was different from the beginning. I had a small puddle of blood that was sort of pooling between my uterus and abdominal wall and had to go for a BUNCH of ultrasounds. I was also supposed to be careful about lifting things (yeah right with a 4 yr old and a 2 yr old).
When it was time to go in for my 3D Ultrasound at 20 weeks I took my oldest daughter (then age 4) with me. She was very good and we found out that our baby was a baby boy. I had her call Husband and he picked up and she said,

"Hi Daddy - guess what? It is a boy baby!!!!"
We moved in May of that year - once again - pretty much a whipping to be 6 months pregnant with a 4 year old and a 2 year old and move but - we were actually doing pretty good!
Then - it happened -
the dreaded P.U.P.P.S rash.
I went ahead and made that a link if you are interested in it but basically it is a terrible itchy red painful rash that goes across your big sore pregnant belly and in the creases of your arms and legs.
Now - not to beat this point to death BUT - here I was - new town, a 4 year old and a 2 year old (have I mentioned that?), August, in Texas, 110 degree heat with a terrible painful rash.
I tell you -
talk about being trapped in your own body and life -
pretty miserable I will say.
Positives - my husband and the girls were really great and those two little girls were so sweet and good to their Momma - I will never forget that.
Anyway - my doctor wanted to induce me on August 27th. I said
"no way am I am having a boy in Texas in August"

(the cut off for school here is September 1st and he was not due until the 16th so I felt very strongly about this point).
September 2nd came and we headed off to the hospital for the third time at 5 o clock in the morning to be induced. Things went pretty smoothly and my husband went to go grab some lunch. The nurse came in to check me and I had gone from a 5 to a 9 REALLY fast so I had to call him - "Honey - come back FAST!"
My doctor (who is the GREATEST) came in - checked me and we told him that my husband would be back in just a second. He said, "ok good - I need to go to the bathroom anyway and you guys can wait a minute - perfect" and off he went. I had this crazy urge to call after him -
"be sure and wash your hands"
but anyway......
Husband came rushing back in and it was time to meet the Little Buddy.
That is when I heard my doctor say,
"oh, oh, well, ok, well, he is ok"
and then he said something like, "I want to send that off to the lab."
I cannot really describe what that split second of fear felt like but I can tell you it was so tangible that I remember what it tasted like.
We were told that he had one single knot in his umbilical cord and two double knots in his umbilical cord and the entire thing was wrapped around his neck. My Doctors exact words (and I will never forget them) were,
"he is destined for greatness - he really should not be here - I have really never seen this and have it turn out ok. I just lost one like this at 37 weeks."
We induced him at 37 and a half weeks. He was 7lbs 8 ounces and he was perfect.
Everytime I think about it.
Everytime I think about how close we came to losing him I get a chill.
I thank God each and every day for that terrible, awful rash!
I kept asking, "are you sure he is ok? He is really ok?" and he was.
That night - in the hospital room - I felt a sense of euphoria that I really had never felt and have not felt since. I could not sleep - all I could do was sit up and watch my sweet baby boy.

And now 

That baby is 6 and just started KINDERGARTEN!!!!!!!!! 

Sigh -  need time to slow down. 

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Longest Title Ever - Day 8 Africa - Lions, a Village, The Serengeti, and visiting the Kenya/Tanzania border - also knows as - "The Day My Son Rolled Around in Poop" (Poop pictures all the way at the end of this post so scroll down)

Here is my own little monkey trying to break into my tent.



and more giraffes - it was at this point in the trip that my kids were like "yep - giraffe - been there done that"
(Still amazing mind you.)
This was pretty funny. There was a wild goose chase looking for a cheetah and everyone was staring at a rock for forever and the cheetah was probably a mile away. Our driver thought it was pretty funny. 
 Giraffe crossing

 Just a couple of lions - out for a stroll. The male lion was one of the last that we wanted to see and had not seen so we were happy to find these two on the last day. 

 This is vultures, a hyena and a jackal over a kill. 
 The lions walking by. Their belly's were full and they just marched slowly across this big stretch of grass and everyone (animals and people in cars) just held their breath and watched. 

 They completely ignored all of the other animals but the other animals were FROZEN on alert watching them. 

 I kept taking pictures of the other vehicle. The one time that my middle child rode with them I kept taking her picture. She thought that was funny. 

 So these guys stood in a line like soldiers and did not move a muscle just watching the lions walk across. 

 What? I am not doing anything.
 ok - you are right - I have a leg - but it was totally dead when I got there....

 You see anything dead dude? 
Nope. You?
Said the Hyena to the Vulture

I thought this was interesting - these guys put mud on their horns to make them seem bigger. ;) 

 You remember the Sesame Street song - There is a bird on me?
 So this guy was actually feeling aggressive and really shook his head at us. We scooted right on by. Our driver said that he was looking for a little female companionship. 

 We come in Peace! 

 I gotta look up at what this was. 
 Last time at the old hippo watering hole.....

 Then we went on a really long (I don't know how long - maybe 30 minutes or an hour?) drive. When we got there we were told that we had made it to the Kenya/Tanzanian border. 
 And we got to see the Serengeti 
 I have never been to the Serengeti so I found this interesting. 
 My children - not so much. We busted out some electronics at this portion of the trip. 
 We did get to see Wildabeasts which was one of the last on our list. 
 These stones mark the border.
 When they migrate this entire field is COVERED in animals. 

 They do run around a lot

 Wildabeast. They were sure standing behind the door when God was passing out the good looks. That is for sure. 

 Our driver Alice teaching us about the Great Migration
 All 5 of us on the Kenya/Tanzanian border

 My Sister in Law, Brother in Law, Niece and Nephew - love this picture!

 This is a sausage tree (because of the way that it's fruits look and it can make alcohol! 

 Goodbye Tanzania! 
 We were driving back to camp and there was a pride just laying there - right on our way back. Of course we stopped and took a bunch of pictures. 

 Eating a warthog head. 

 The last couple of days of our trip the kids got to go with a Masai warrior and Purity and do stuff like shoot arrows and make fire. There are actually a bunch of cute pictures of this on our other camera (with 800 pictures on it that I have not even started to sort through - one day I will get to it I am sure.)

 I heart Husband

 "Hey kids - scoot to the left so I can get the warthog in the picture...."

 Driving to another village to visit.

Teaching us their ways
 Making fire

 For the last night, they took us to the top of a mountain and had a happy hour for just our family.

 So this night wound up being listed as one of the children's top three best moments of the trip.

Because of the beautiful sunset you ask? No
Because of the amazing family time wrap up? No

Because my 5 year old son fell in poop. 

I am going to let the pictures tell the story but the kids were playing. He fell in poop (not sure what kind - we think cow) and then he proceeded to try to wipe himself off on grass and then run around with his shirt off and basically make the entire group including our drivers and safari guides laugh hysterically. The pictures toward the end start to get a little shaky because I am trying to manage laughing until I cry, a glass of wine, and my camera but I am was able to capture the moment by just clicking away furiously. 

 An amazing last night.