Thursday, February 23, 2017

Surprise! Part 1

I undressed to get in the shower and looked at myself in the mirror and was like, "what the heck is going on with my body?"

I ran four times a week, but jeans I wore two weeks ago were all of a sudden too small.  Shirts that I considered my "big clothes" were now tight.  I had gained weight since I fell down the stairs and hurt my shoulder in November and then broke my hand in December.  I had gained at least 14 pounds, but I had started running again and it should have been making me smaller, but I just kept getting bigger.

I googled thyroid problems.  I googled per-menopausal.  Something was definitely up with my body.
I was going to bed in the nine o'clock hour if I could, and I was depressed about it.  "So, this is what it's like to get old?"  I thought to myself.  I'd walk past John on the couch at night and he'd ask where I was going.  "To bed," I'd reply "I told you I was exhausted."  Falling asleep within moments of my head hitting my pillow.  I was struggling to stay awake to and from my job during my 45 minute drives, actually falling asleep once and steering off into another lane.  Scary.  Heart stopping.  Luckily, cars were traveling at a safe distance and changed lanes.  Here's the thing.  I consider myself a long haul truck driver, I'll take the night shift on road trips and drive through the night.  However, not anymore.  I was always exhausted.  I brushed it off to being on a new schedule with my new job.

I had to buy deodorant.  My face broke out.  Maybe, I was finally hitting puberty at age 36? Maybe that's what a body does when you go through menopause?  Your hormones change, right?  Because, I never really had acne, and I never needed to wear deodorant except when I was pregnant. And, I knew I wasn't pregnant.  I mean, I had so many x-rays, and they ask if there is a possibility you are pregnant, and I was always like, "nope!"  I was having my periods.  I mean, kind of.  They were super light and short and different.  Yep, I must be going through menopause.  

Overall, I just felt... bad.  I told my friend about it as we ran (and I couldn't even run normal anymore, I was having to stop and walk a little bit, and running slower) that something was up with my body and we decided I should have some blood work done or something.  She encouraged me to schedule an appointment.

A few days later while we were running again, I was lamenting that I didn't know what the heck was up with my body?!  I joked, "maybe I'm pregnant or something."  They looked at me with their eyes opened wide in surprise, and I was like, "I'm totally not, just kidding."

Then as I ran, I was thinking about it and was like, "Am I?"  Then my friend ran back to me and said, "I think you're pregnant."

"What?!!?!?!?!"  I couldn't be pregnant.  I know my body, and John and I are really careful, and I just couldn't be pregnant.  But, in my mind I was thinking if I'm pregnant that would explain a lot of things...  She said she had a test at home and I could pick it up.

I picked it up and I was planning to take it the next morning when I woke up, but forgot and took it around lunch time when I got home from work.

Not even kidding, I took it thinking I wasn't going to be pregnant, I mean I had my periods!  I put the stick on the edge of the counter, walked away to do some things, came back to check it and it said, 'Pregnant.'

I could not even believe it.  I had been too busy to realize I was pregnant!  When did this even happen?  How far along was I? I was in total shock and I had so much work to get done, but couldn't even think straight.  I texted John a picture of the pregnancy test saying Happy Birthday!  It was his 40th birthday.  He said, 'ha ha that's funny,' but I told him this was not a joke.  Maybe God's joke.  We went out to dinner with friends that night to celebrate John's birthday and it was so hard to be normal when on the inside I was totally, kinda, freaking out.

Does somebody need a hug?

Oh my word I haven't been on here in so long and there are so many unpublished, half finished journal entries!  (Enter eyes wide open emoji here)

Last night, I was downstairs listening to a yelling match between Jonah and John upstairs (mostly Jonah yelling, John's voice was just frustrated/elevated).  I was trying to stay sane in my brain while listening (Cue 2017 Motto: #staysaneseventeen) and a thought literally breezed through my brain quietly and slowly "he just needs a hug."  I thought about ignoring it because I was pretty annoyed about the whole thing, but I put down my phone. Climbed the stairs.  Sat on Jonah's floor and told him to climb down the ladder (he sleeps on the top bunk).  I mean he was hysterically yelling, crying very hard, red face, out of control.  He looked at me, climbed down the ladder, I opened my arms and he fell into them.  Immediately, I mean, Immediately! he was fine.  I just sat there and hugged him, no one saying a word.  In that silence, I remembered, this boy just needs hugs.  If he's freaking out about something, he just needs a hug.  It's his miracle drug.  Eventually, I pulled him away so I could look into his eyes and I reminded him of the original problem, and how he got to the point he was in, and he was calm and he agreed, we hugged a few moments more and then I told him to go to bed and he climbed up in bed without a further peep.

Oh my goodness, as parents John and I get so frustrated and the frustration leads to exasperation which leads to yelling, and we are so tired sometimes we forget what actually works with each individual kid.  Because heavens knows it isn't the same with every one.  I remember when I was in Hawaii John called me to report the days happenings and he was telling me something about Jonah freaking out and I remember I was so mad at John over the phone because I knew that all Jonah needed was a hug and that situation would have been totally different.  One of the few times I felt guilty (maybe just felt bad...) while traveling away from my kids.

I know someone that when one of her kids is acting moody and upset, she licks her kid on the face and all is fine again!

Sometimes in the middle of a tantrum they just need a hug... or a lick on the face!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

One up

written February 15, 2013

Last night, while I sat on the couch feeding Everett, John was working on some kind of Valentine surprise upstairs in our bedroom.  I woke up still sitting on the couch holding Everett almost three hours later. 

"John?" I quietly yell from the couch (I know that's an oxy moron, but if you have/had babies you know what I mean).  I thought he had fallen asleep or something. 

"I thought we were going to watch that movie?  Now you will just fall asleep because it's so late!" 

He came down about five minutes later.

I honestly thought he went upstairs to finish writing his Valentine card to me or something, but when I woke up and realized he'd been up there so long I thought he must have been cleaning our bedroom, or changing the sheets (which have a ton of baby spit up on them) or something.

He had taken the day off of work and that is what I had hoped would happen, my Valentine dream gift; I would be able to finally get my room clean.  So, I was very excited at the prospect of having a clean room! 

However, when I entered my room at 2:30 in the morning, I was greeted by the same pile of clothes on the bed, the same sheets, and the same pile of books to step over.  To say I wasn't disappointed would be a big fat lie. 

I stood in the doorway of our room kind of shocked, "What in the world was he doing up here all that time?" I thought to myself.  I turn to go in the bathroom and I see this:

Twelve years ago we first met, Little did I know my life was set, My shirt had some holes, You thought you had too many moles, I've put on some weight and money is thin, But you still have a cute butt chin, Ups and downs, Laughter and some frowns, I guess what I am saying in this letter, Is I love you, You make my life better.

Don't shoot me, but honestly, I was a little disappointed.  I was so looking forward to my clean room, or partially cleaned room, or at least my changed sheets, when none of those things happened I was disappointed. (I'm telling you great expectations are our biggest downfall in life.)

I got in bed to nurse Everett and sarcastically told John, "Happy Valentine's Day, I'm so glad we were able to spend the evening together..."  I could not believe he had "wasted" at least three hours doing that!  "I didn't know it would take me that long..."  he replied.  I guess those little foam sticky letters were harder to use than he thought.

This morning when I got out of bed, I re-read his little note on the door.  It actually really was sweet, and I felt a little bit bad for giving him a hard time, and all of a sudden a thought popped in my head I had heard years ago,  "Spend your marriage trying to one up each other."

That thought stuck with me while I got Trevan ready for school, packed his lunch, and waited outside for the bus with him.  I looked at John's car frosted over and I got my idea! 

While John showered, I did this:

You can see where I had just started to scrape the windows regularly, then got the heart idea... Ha!

When he left for work, I ran upstairs and watched with anticipation out of the window so I could see his expression.  At first, I don't think he noticed it, then he started the car, came out and started scraping the windows.  "What!?  He's embarrassed to drive to work with the hearts on the car!" I thought... Not the reaction I had hoped for. I watched him scrape away all the hearts except the one in the rear window.  Right before he got back in the car to leave, he happened to look up and saw me.  He got that squinty smile on his face and blew me a kiss.

I know why someone said to try and one up each other, because obviously, if you spend your time thinking about the other person and how you can make them happy of course a marriage is going to turn out all right.

For me, it's the little things that matter.  I don't need a man to bring me flowers, I need a man that will clean up my work spread across the living room floor when I take a "five minute break" and fall asleep on the couch at midnight. 

Just like when we were dating, I woke my roommate up early to walk across the street with me to put fruit snacks and a little note on John's car so he would get a surprise on his way to work that morning.  It's always nice to know someone thought about you and took a little time out to do something nice for you. 

Sometimes I'm not the happiest with John, I mean two people that live together can't get along ALL THE TIME or agree on everything right?  There may have been a "few" times in the evenings where I have been upset with John, but not upset enough to not put my legs in his lap for him to rub my feet.  (I know, right?  He's a good man to still rub my feet and legs when he knows I'm upset at him...)  Maybe that's his way of one-upping me... So, it's likely he'll always be ahead in this little game. 

But, it's true.  How insightful that couple was who gave that talk on marriage and how they spend their marriage trying to one up the other?  You should challenge your spouse to this little game...

Monday, September 22, 2014

Dear Mallary,

Someday when you’re older you’ll ask me what you were like as a child.  Instead of telling you, I’ll come for a visit and show you. 

First thing upon arrival, I’ll probably go around to all your dressers, cabinets, end tables, and shelves and twist off all of the pulls and put them in random places for you to find later.  You’ll love it when you go to pull open a drawer and there’s no knob to do it!  Trust me, it is so awesome!

Then, when I’m done with that project I’ll move to the next.  I’ll go through your closet and find any fabric belts or ribbons and after I try to jump rope with all of them, I’ll start tying them on all the door knobs and any drawer pulls that I decided to leave in their original places.  Not only will I tie them around the door knobs, but I’ll put knots all down the ribbons just for the fun of it.  It will be fun when you go to put on a dress, like I did yesterday, and had to untie five hundred knots out of the belt. 

When I’ve successfully rid your closet of any such belts, I’ll find some crayons and get to work.  I may even pack crayons to bring to your house just to make sure I have them.  I’ll make sure I pack the right crayons to coordinate with your wall colors.  You know, to make sure the crayons are a dark enough color to show up on your walls.  Red crayons look really good on yellow walls. (Oh, right, you already know that…)  After making big circles, I’ll make sure to sign my name so that you’ll remember that I’m the one to make such pretty pictures on your walls. 

I’ll also make sure to never flush the toilet while I’m there and to fill it full of toilet paper. Because, you know how it totally takes a whole roll to wipe your bum when you go to the bathroom? While I’m in the bathroom, I’ll make sure to blow my nose five times on five different wadded up pieces of toilet paper and make sure to scatter them around your house after that.  Then, I’ll make sure to leave my dirty underwear in the floor of your bathroom to step over when you go to get in the shower.  While I'm in the bathroom, I'll dump out all of your shampoo and conditioner too. I hope it's a super expensive kind too!  Like, a kind you saved your money to buy, or like the one thing you splurged on yourself from your tax return.
The next morning, after waking you up super early because I’ll probably be really loud, (and if you have children, I’ll make sure to wake them up too), I’ll head to your kitchen and pour myself a big bowl of cereal with milk to the top of the bowl.  Then, I’ll only eat a fourth of it.  Because, I’ll probably be full...  I’ll also pour myself a tall glass of milk and drink a sip out of it for good measure. 

After that, I’ll have you help me pick out an outfit to wear so we can go shopping.  I’m pretty picky, so it will take us a while to pick out something cute.  Then, I will come downstairs wearing something completely different than what you picked.  Like, I’m thinking leggings, furry boots, and a mismatched top.  In the middle of the summer.  And you better believe that I won’t be brushing my hair.  No way! Don’t be embarrassed though.

While we are at the store, I’m going to only walk on the green, blue, white, or black tiles (depending on what the color of the floor is in the store), so you’ll probably have to apologize to every shopper we walk by because I almost run into them.  You’ll probably tell me to come walk behind or in front of you, but I won’t.  

Then, when we get home, I’ll take a break while you make dinner.  If you talk to me, I’ll probably just ignore you or even roll my eyes.  You’ll get used to it though, don’t worry.  I hope you have kids, because while you make dinner I can entertain them by chasing them around the island in your kitchen!  The squealing and shrieking will be a big help while you make dinner.  Trust me.  

I can even help your kids do their homework!  Just kidding.  I’m going to tell them not to do it, to refuse to do it, or even throw a tantrum when you ask them to do it!  That includes reading.  I’m pretty sure that will earn me the title of Grandma of the year.  

Also, sometime during the day I will also try on all of your shoes and walk around in them.  Then, I will hide them in random places so that when you go to wear them they won’t be there, and you have to choose another pair to wear.  It really is one of my favoritest things, and I know it will be yours too!  While I’m in your room I’ll also go through your make up and try on all of your lipstick and lip gloss.  I’ll wipe off each one on one of your shirts.  Don’t worry though; they come off if you scrub them with Dawn dish detergent.  I’ll be sure to pack your favorites in my purse and take them home with me too.  

I’ll also be sure to hide out in your pantry and eat all the treats you have and leave the wrappers on the floor for you to pick up later.  Or maybe I’ll throw some in the corner of the bathroom for good measure as well – just to mix it up a bit.

I mean, I could even dump my cereal bowl on the floor, or sit under your kitchen table and unscrew all the bolts, or drink milk from my cup and spit it out on all of your floors like you did when you were a little younger, but I’ll try to refrain, because that would just be mean.

Wow, that sounds like it will be an exhausting visit!  For you, not me.  I can’t wait…

You’ll probably never be so excited for a house guest to leave.  I do feel sorry for your husband if you’re married though.  Actually, I think I’ll send him on an all-expenses paid vacation while I’m at your house, and when he gets back and you tell him about all the things I did – he won’t believe you. 

Oh my goodness, this will be so fun!!


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Another Unpublished Post


1.  The Big E rolled over on Saturday for the first time.  He kept doing it over and over. It seems too early.  I would have preferred him not do that for a few more months...  He also discovered his toes a few weeks ago which he loves.  He has also decided that sleeping is overrated!  What?!?!?!?  He's like, "Who has time to sleep when I can roll over, put my thumb in my mouth, talk a lot, or nurse from mom?!?  I don't have time for sleep!"  John laughs and says, "I wonder where he gets that from?"  Guilty, I guess.  Let's just hope E reverts back to his old ways soon...   Homeboy has gone from nursing for 5-8 minutes to me cutting him off when it's been close to a half hour!  That is not how I roll.   He just wants to snuggle and not snuggle with a paci in his mouth, no thank you.  I'm not sure when he turned over this new leaf, but he just needs to turn it right back over. 

2.  Last night I asked John what was something that bothers him about me.  He thought for a moment, and said, "that you have to try a new recipe for dinner every night."  I mean, don't get me wrong I know I'm pretty spoiled to eat a different country every night, but I think you should just stick to a rotation of some sorts where we have baked ziti one night, chicken another night, etc.  He's so weird.

3.  John came home from scouts the other night with a can of Spam.  "This is Trevan's," he said.  He tried it tonight and liked it.  "WHAT????" Shouldn't parents have to sign some kind of waiver or consent forms for their children to eat that stuff?  Trevan came home from school the next day and had more of the Spam for his after school snack.  I almost threw up.  It smells like pet food.  Also, a reason we have no pets.  I had cooked Spam in Hawaii and swallowed it down, but in my own house?  Trevan then informed me that he also tried potted meat and liked that too! (Vomit)  Says the boy who won't eat ketchup... 

Monday, July 7, 2014

You're Doing a Good Job, Mom

So, I've been going through some old unpublished posts and came across this hodge podge...


Last night, I figured it out -

I was meant to be a mother...

a mother to babies only!

As I held my sleeping Everett early last night, I was trying to figure out if I could just have babies and raise them until they are almost two and then give them to someone else to raise?

I love babies, and I think I'm good at being a mom to babies.  I like to think that I rock the baby stage, kick butt, take names, the whole bit.  I figured out I just have a sixth sense when it comes to babies, and I did even as a younger girl.

For nine years I have heard 'what easy babies I have, does he/she ever cry, your babies are just so content, with everyone commenting that the newest baby seemed easier than the previous!'

John and I were easy babies (so, we've been told) and I just figured we got some good baby genes that passed on to our babies.  But, you know what?  I've finally decided I'm going to take some credit.  I'm good with babies, I know what they need, their needs are met, so why would they cry or be fussy?  I'm just going to pat myself on the back for a mere second (and thank my lucky stars that I didn't get a colicky baby) before I beat myself up in the next sentence. 

However, I am a horrible mother to 3 year olds and on.  Or maybe just having multiple children older than three?  Who knows?  Either way, I stink at it.  You guys, I just really don't think I can do it.  I constantly feel like I'm failing.  I can't figure out how to motivate my kids or anything. I feel like I'm in a constant battle ALL DAY LONG.  And, I don't even have teenagers!  A friend posted this quote on Facebook today:


I wanted to put in the comments, Yes, and it's true, but lately it's more like,

"Have you ever looked at your kids and had your heart filled with so much anger and frustration that it brought tears to your eyes???"

I have and it is horrible.

AND I DON'T EVEN HAVE TEENAGERS!!!!  Sometimes the future seems very bleak...

If someone puts count your blessings in the comments, we can't be friends anymore.  (Even if it's something that someone should do, you shouldn't say it because you are not acknowledging a person's struggle)

Today, 12/20/13

I was shopping the other day with a very tired Jonah.  He was seriously at his borderline crazy/cranky need to be asleep point.  I was dealing with it, trying to get what I went for and make him last the five more minutes I needed when a lady behind me said, "You're doing a good job, mom."

It kinda snapped me out of my own little world for a minute, but I realized some of these shoppers had been listening to us go up and down the aisles for the last ten minutes... (Poor people)  But, I replayed the last ten minutes in my head, and I was like, "Yeah, you're right I am doing a good job. For right now...  Maybe not this morning or yesterday afternoon, but right now I'm totally rocking it."

There are five hundred times a day I feel like a bad mom.   It was nice for once to think, you're right I am doing an okay job.


And, maybe that's what we just need to celebrate - those moments when we are totally rocking it.   Lately, it seems far and few between.  But, I've never been a parent to four kids before.  I've never had an almost 10 year old before that is hard to figure out.  I've never had a lying  six year old before, or a four year old that loses his mind when he's exhausted, or an 18 month old that wants to stay hooked to my arms (or legs) at every second possible.  We're all doing the best we can.  And, sometimes we aren't doing our best; sometimes we're tired and just can't think of something to say to our child driving us bananas, so we sigh a huge sigh, throw our hands in the air, or hit the wall or something.  Our tendency, (my tendency?) is to beat myself up for not being or doing better.  Agh!  I just need to get over it, and pat myself on the back the next time I rock it. 

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Midnight Musings

1.  Painstakingly, finding red, white, and blue outfits for the fourth of July, and everyone changing into their swimsuits before you can even take a picture to document the happy patriotic family.

2.  Doing your daughter's hair totally cute (which is a big deal, because she rarely lets you), and you don't get a picture to capture it.  Instead, you have fifty pictures of a child who looks homeless a lot.

3.  My 18 month old baby goes to church barefoot.  Barefoot...  He can walk.  He has shoes.  For some reason, they don't make it to his feet?

4.  Speaking of shoes... Why is there only one mate to all of my children's shoes in the right place?  We have some order here.  Definitely for shoes.  There are two places the shoes go.  Legitimate places.  Some even LABELED!  With their names!  Why aren't they there???  I find shoes in the most random places.  Mallary, should your shoes be in your basket that has all of your doll toys in them?  No.  No, they should not. 

5.  Why is it that people only come to your house when it's messy?  How come never when I actually get it spotless?  (5% of the time, so I get it that the odds are not in my favor...)

6.  Did you know that the average family has three or four strollers?  It's true.  I have five.  I almost bought a jogging stroller, then I would have had six.  You just need different strollers for different occasions.  You do.  But, it does seem a bit excessive.  One of my strollers was so dirty and beat up.  I was telling someone it was kind of embarrassing taking it into nice places.  Someone overheard and said, "You should look at the scuffs and dirt on your stroller and be proud!  It shows you go places, you do things, that your babies haven't just sat at home their whole lives!"  She made me feel so good about that turning it around to look at that way!  It's true, that stroller had been across the country multiple times,  it had been to lakes and beaches and mountains.  It had been strawberry picking, and blueberry picking, and blackberry picking, and peach picking.  It had been to parks and malls and fairs.  It was well used!  I did get a new one anyway, but the well loved one is now used exclusively for dirty jobs like strawberry picking and camping and such! 

7.  Speaking of dirty jobs, I need to clean my kitchen. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

22 Questions

My friend, Jen, tagged me to answer 11 questions from her blog.  Well, I'm an overachiever and decided to answer the ones she answered plus the ones she gave me.  Also, I'm a procrastinator procrastinating the work that is waiting for me on the other screen...  But, these are fun because I think our kids will love reading these someday! 

1. What is your favorite type of cheese?
Fondue!  Cheeseballs!  Macaroni and Cheese!  What would this world be like without cheese??  Heaven forbid!  Gourmet:  Fontina, Everyday: Pepperjack, On a burger: Pimento Cheese

2. What are you excited about?
Summer is almost here!!!  I love everything about it!

3. How did you celebrate your last birthday?
Did I???

4. What is on your bedside table?
What isn’t on my bedside table?   Unfortunately… you’ll find clothes that need to be packed away, clothes that need to be repaired, new pillows waiting to have their tags taken off.  Oh, the lamp you say?  It’s on the ground…

5. What do you order from the movie theater concession stand?
I’m a sucker for popcorn with LOTS of butter.  However, now that I’m an old person, it makes me sick.  For real.  

6. Do you have a garden? What’s growing?
I have two raised beds at my house and two raised beds at a community garden.  The goods:  Butternut squash, zuchinni, yellow squash, sweet potatoes, medium tomatoes, red potatoes (they look fabulous by the way! I am so excited!), onions, kale, broccoli, cantaloupe, green peppers, red peppers, jalapenos, brandywine tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, cilantro, basil, flat leaf parsley, and there are a few spots for a few more things.  I’m also going to plant some stuff at my dads house; pumpkins and other assorted squash from seeds I sat aside from THESE.  Hoping for a successful crop!!

7. Any summer plans?

8. Which TV couple(s) are you rooting for?
Jack and Emily (Revenge) Not a couple yet…

9. What’s the last thing you bought?
Lawn building soil

10. What’s one thing you are passionate about?
Good food!

11. What are you grateful for this week?
Snuggle time with the babies

12. A is for aggravation.  Ugh.  My kids sometimes…

13. What did you eat for breakfast? What do you wish you had eaten for breakfast?  Did I even eat breakfast today???  Any protein or a smoothie. 

14. How do you take your coffee?  Down my shirt is the only way apparently.  My grandpa tried to get me to drink some and then in the process of kidding around he dumped his mug full all over my brand new white shirt.

15. What’s the last book you read? The Pout Pout Fish.  I can’t remember the last book I read for myself, but I’m going to download 12 years a slave tonight!  Thanks for the reminder! 

16. How would you characterize your decorating style?  Hmmm… A little bit modern, a little bit traditional, sometimes too matchy.  I love bright colors and I love white.  It’s a bit tricky, because my house is full of things I don’t love, but they were things we could afford.  Bummer summer. 

17. What’s one blog or website that you never miss reading?  Honestly, there are barely a handful anymore, and Jen’s is one of them!

18. What’s your go-to meal to prepare when you’re having people over for dinner? I can’t think of a go to meal when we have people over because I’m probably attempting something new.  But, my go to meal to take someone who had a baby, sick, funeral, etc. is Shepherds Pie.

19. You are granted three wishes. What are they?  1.  Enough money to achieve our dreams sooner than later.  2.  That my children and family will always be happy and healthy and positive contributors in society.  3. That no one had to deal with allergies.

20. If you had to give up salt or sugar for the rest of your life, which could you live without?  Salt – easily. Is this a trick question?

21. What is the weirdest thing you believed as a kid?  Kids believe all kinds of crazy things!  Looking back, I think a weird thing is that I thought my parents knew everything.  Now what I think is a weird thing is when grown adults can't form their own opinions but have to refer to their parents.  "Well, my (mom or dad) said it, so it must be so!"  Ugh.

22. End of the world scenario – which do you prefer: vampires or zombies? Why? Hmm…Neither… but if I had to choose – Vampires seem more peaceful and attractive?  Zombies are just too gross.

I would tag someone else, but Sarah already did it, and I think most people that read my blog don't blog anymore!!  (Come on you guys!  Blog again!  I need more ways to procrastinate!!!)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Are you tired? Are you a mother?

It's a family joke.  We'd walk into the living room with the sun's rays streaming into it and see a familiar scene.  Our mother would be sitting there - head slightly bowed, her chin trying to reach her chest, holding her scriptures in her hands on her lap.  Her eyes would most definitely be closed.  Sometimes she would wake up upon our arrival in the room.  She would grin and tell us she was reading her scriptures.  Even as an adult when I would call home and I'd ask what she was doing, if she responded that she was reading her scriptures I would say, "You mean, taking a nap?"

I get it now.  Motherhood is exhausting.  Exxxhauuuustiiiing...

I'm not even talking about the staying up at night with babies exhausting - you guys, it gets more exhausting than that.  For real.

"What??!!" I know you are thinking that in your head, but it's true. 

The emotional and and mental exhaustion is worse I think.  Then, add that to the physical exhaustion of just doing the regular things like working, running a house hold, making dinner, laundry, running non-stop from sport practice, swimming, scouts, trying to have some kind of relationship with your husband and your friends, church responsibilities, or whatever.

Then, add to that, battling your daughter to brush her hair, or to do her homework, or for your kids to clean up their rooms, or to stop bothering each other, or to pick up their messes, or to remind your son for the five hundredth time to do something, or trying to understand why your son doesn't want to try his best, or figuring out what the heck a teacher is talking about, or trying to find that library book that is overdue, or trying to keep your kids from getting hit by a car in a parking lot, or signing the loads of papers that come home from school, or trying to keep your kids from looking like wild animals in the grocery store, or why you keep getting notes home that a child has lunch charges when they pack their lunch, or telling your child to put all the cushions back on the couch, or OH MY GOODNESS, WILL YOU PLEASE STOP PICKING ON YOUR BROTHER!!!!!!

Then my head explodes, and it's no wonder that by nine o'clock in the evening I am asleep on the couch.  You guys nine in the evening is my new one o'clock in the morning!  I'm supposed to be working at nine in the evening...  I guess four kids is my magic number where I feel like I can't accomplish anything else but staying alive and keeping my family alive.  Not always with their hair combed or brushed, but alive.

I hear it doesn't get any easier with teenagers either, just a different set of issues.  Then, last week a "mature" lady in the store was sitting while her daughter shopped and started asking me about my kids, then she told me that a mother's job is the hardest job in the world and one that you can never retire from.  (I was already pretty tired that day and that thought just made me more tired.)  She said, you hurt when they hurt, you're happy when their happy, it's the hardest job, but the best job.   

I remember my first assignment at my first internship for my college degree.  I was given an assignment, a folder, and a desk.  You guys, I sat at that desk, opened the folder, put my head in my hands and wanted to cry.  It was so overwhelming! I had no idea where to start or what exactly to do.  (It was planning a dinner cruise for the seniors in the community - I laugh now because I could rock that planning in no time!) I felt like my mind was blank and I couldn't even wrap it around how to even begin, I felt so under qualified. 

Oh, hi.  That's what motherhood feels like sometimes.  Most of the time?  99% of the time?  I feel like John and I are always trying to figure out a new way, a better way, a different way to approach one thousand different things.  Try figuring out what makes your kids tick - oh, you think you have it figured out - then it changes or doesn't work anymore.  Think of something that really annoys you about your husband... I've found that it gets to a point that you have these things about your kids that really annoy you.  You have more than one kid?  You have more things annoying you!  Just like I can't change my husband and force him to be on time, I can't change that one (or more!) thing(s) about my child either!  Oh, the emotional exhaustion!!!  Oh the patience I have to try and muster!

I've started to pray to ask for a huge dose of patience and a huge dose of kindness.  It's sad to admit but sometimes those things that annoy me make me become not very kind.  When I act or speak unkind to my children it makes me feel like a horrible person - bring on more emotional exhaustion. 

My kids will eventually pick up that when I get into that super nice, quiet voice, "Will you please go get your shoes and socks on?" that I'm about to lose my mind and I'm trying to keep it together, so they'll listen because I'm being nice, right?  Wrong.  I just realized this morning that I think when Mallary hears that voice she's thinking, "Oh, mom's getting ready to lose it, let's see if she can keep it together while I continue not listening to her for the next ten minutes!" 

Sometimes, I think back to my child honeymoon.  What's that you ask?  The days where it was just Trevan and I and we'd spend our days shopping, or taking naps on the couch, or watching Ellen, or how he would get to play in the bathtub almost every night.  It seems like such a different world, I wish I have really appreciated and enjoyed it more.  I did, but compared to now, I can really look back and appreciate how wonderful it really was! Hindsight is always clearer I guess...

One evening a few weeks ago, I realized I had been on my feet all day, non stop, except to stop and nurse Everett. I was exhausted, but still had some errands I wanted to run.  First stop was the library, to return a book I had had found in our yard sale box that had been in our house for eight months.  It was supposed to be like an eight dollar fee. ($21 if I never returned the book)  I'm standing at the book counter trying to wrangle all four of my children (though Jonah should count for three extra children in public), I couldn't find my library card (oh yeah, it was on my key chain, duh!), I had kids complaining that they wanted to hold their movie or their book, I felt pretty frazzled.  I had cash in my hands ready to pay my fine, and the library clerk said, "Oh, don't worry about it, I took care of it for you."  I looked at her, we shared this eye contact for a moment as if she was saying to me, "I've been there.  You'll make it.  Let me do something nice for you."  I thanked her multiple times and I really wanted to cry. 

Then, I headed to the grocery store.  (I know, I was a glutton for punishment that day I guess...)  Oh my goodness the kids were pretty crazy.  Sometimes, while shopping with my kids there are moments that you feel that people are just staring at you, judging how you parent, etc, and oh well, but it adds to my impatience in the grocery store.  So, I checkout and get to the van, the kids climb in and a lady came up to me who I had passed in the store a few times and asked if she could help me load the groceries and take the cart.  I thanked her and told her not to worry about it, and she said, "Are you sure?  I'd love to help.  I've been there, I know how it is." 

Sometimes people are sooo kind! I was so tired that evening but just having those experiences with those two kind women lightened my load.  I don't know if it's the fact that they validated how I felt about being a mother that day, or what.  But, it made me feel better! 

You guys, I'm beat.  If parenthood is a game, I'm losing 500 to 3 or some kind of odds like that.  Mallary is totally kicking my rear.  I think I fall asleep at night mostly out of defeat!  Ha!

But, seriously.  I used to tell people it was never too late to call my house.  Well, things have changed.  I have a new schedule.  If you call after 8:30, I'm probably asleep on the couch, most likely with a sleeping Everett in my arms.  Nursing him to sleep puts me out too.  Last night, I believe John bought me the phone multiple times after I had already fallen asleep.  I only remember one of the conversations.  (He has a hard time telling people, that I'm asleep for some reason...) So, if you called me last night, you might want to call me again!

However, if you'd like, you can reach me at four AM.  That's my new schedule.  I fall asleep early, get up and work early (like 3 AM early), and I'm starting to like it.  Call me crazy.  It's quiet, I'm awake and alert, I like starting the day feeling like I already was productive!  I think it makes me a happier mom in the mornings.  However, I miss late night TV (I know there is Hulu, but ain't nobody got time for that!) and hanging out with my husband.  So, we'll see how long it lasts.  It's been a big deal for me to finally let go of the fact that I'm not in college anymore and I can't stay up late and watch TV!  Though, this motherhood gig lately has kind of forced me to do so.

Being a mom is tough...

So, high five to you moms out there!  I'm not going to tell you to 'count your blessings,' or say 'they are only little once' like those comments you usually get in the grocery store (though good, not helpful to a mom having a bad day).  I'm going to say keep on keepin' on, I feel your pain.  We can do it!

We can... 


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Thrill Seeker


I’m not your run of the mill adrenaline junkie or thrill seeker.  I don’t need sky diving or bungee jumping.  As a mother, I try to defy a different kind of gravity. Umm… there’s only one kind of gravity you say?  No...  Try showering in the middle of the day leaving four children unsupervised.  Shocking!  Daring!  Crazy?!  

I don’t need to jump out of an airplane; I just jump in the shower!  With the door shut even!  If I’m really feeling brave I’ll even shave my legs.  If I really want to push the limits?  I linger in the shower enjoying the hot water and quiet surroundings.  (Honestly I’m not often that brave…) 

But, still, take that crazy people in flying squirrel suits!  I shower with four children in the house and no other adult supervising them.   Talk about taking chances…  I mean, really, at the end of my shower I could open the bathroom door to a multitude of problems…  

Thankfully, I haven't.  

Only once Trevan knocked on the bathroom door to say my friend, Rachel, was at the front door.  I turn off the water grab my towel and dash across the hallway just holding the towel in front of me.  Out of the corner of my eye I saw my friend standing inside my house by the front door!  Friends, my naked rear was not covered.  I apologized for flashing her if I had and she said she didn't see anything, thank goodness.  (Side Story:  I use the guest bathroom as my shower because in the master bath we have a tub and a separate stand up shower that I was too large to be in when we moved in (I was pregnant) and be able to have the water fall on my head!  I just don't like stand up shower stall thingys, so I use the guest room bathroom.) 

Anyhoo... They got in trouble for opening the door!  They aren't supposed to even if it's someone they know. 

So, I don't need to hike Kilimanjaro to get a major sense of accomplishment, I just have to climb my stairs, take a shower and hopefully find that all is well when I get out.  That makes me feel like I did something amazing all by itself!