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.........