Friday, March 22, 2013

True Confession

This picture makes me laugh so hard.  

Do you ever have days like this?

This photo was taken at 4:00 on a Friday, many years ago.  

I like to think of it as the stay-at-home mom's dirty little secret.

Little Meems is in there somewhere.  Can you find her?

The Happiest Place on Earth

I saw a commercial for Disney the other day.  It made me so nostalgic and wistful.  Our trip there was so amazing. I don't know when I've enjoyed my family more.  Just the five of us, everyone so happy, perfect weather, total relaxation.  Stephen told me he'd like to go back.  I always thought I was a "we're doing this one time and one time only" kind of person, but I kind of agreed.

I just came across pix that we took.  Some of which, I had never seen.  It made me realize that I need to stop and give myself time to reminisce, and to soak in the joy of my babies as much as possible.

Are we there yet?

Getting squirted.


Still a kid.  A happy, happy kid.

Before we got stuck inside Splash Mountain.

Tate's hero.  Wonder what they're talking about?


While the boys rode a water ride, Meems climbed.

 Let me add that among the 3-4 kids climbing (all boys except her) she was the only one who consistently made it to the top.  Much to the chagrin of those boys.  She actually had an audience ("look at that little girl!").  Proud mama.

Visiting with cousins on the way - priceless!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Happy Monday

I wrote this a while back and never posted.  Chances are, someone needed something and I got pulled away from the computer and then forgot to go back to this post.  Story of my life.  #desperatelyneedquiettime

So here goes...

This is late.  Monday was yesterday.  I know, I know.  I'm working on it.  But something happened yesterday that made me happy.  Very, very happy.

I took the kids to get a Slurpee as a reward for an afternoon picking up the 1,324 sticks in the yard that our wind storm last week left behind.  Outside the 7-11 was a man, a kid really, playing the guitar and singing for donations.  Will, who plays the guitar, commented on how good the kid was.  Tate had a million questions about why he was playing his guitar in front of a store.  Valid questions, especially since this store doesn't receive much pedestrian traffic -- in fact I've never been there when there was anyone else inside but me. Meems’ questions were what happened to him that he needed to do that, and where was his family, and why is he so young, and where does he sleep, etc.  They were very concerned that he was homeless and missing his parents and didn’t have a place to live.  He greeted us with a cheery hello, which literally almost floored Meems, who was so worried about him.  You could see her confusion at how he could be so…happy.  As I was paying for the Slurpees, they asked if we could get some extra money to give him.

And so we did.

Later, Meems asked about the boy and where he might be.  I told him that I didn’t know, that we couldn’t keep track of him, but we could keep him in our hearts.  She decided she wanted to include him in her prayers.  And so she did.

And it was a happy Monday indeed.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Some Happy Monday Music

T-bone has taken to song writing.

So far, there are 7 songs he hastily scribbled in a homemade song book.  This is how he does snow days.  Boy loves the snow, but appreciates breaks full of quiet time for writing and hot chocolate.  

Let me entertain you with his first number:

I Was Swinging
I was swinging on my swing
swinging on my swing
And what did I see?
and what did I see?
every buddy (sic) stops and staring at me.
A band of rock stars came running at me
with their guitars and their drumsticks 
hitting and stinging my bum like a bumblebee.

I Like the Snow
When I got up this morning
I saw snow outside
and after breakfast
I got my long johns on
and my snowsuit tooooooo...(he added single notes here)
Do you like the snow
I don't know
it's all up to yoooouuuuu...(more single notes)
And the snow was cold
like an ice cube
and white like a white fuzzy blanket tooooo.....
And when I found out we had snow 
we didn't have school tooooo.....
Do you like school?
I don't know.
It's all up to yoooouuuu....

There are a couple songs about his beloved dog, Tess.  
There's even one called "Flush Dude."

I'll leave that one to your imagination.  

Happy Monday!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Meemer Love

When I was little, and we were having a bad day and needed a little extra love or a snuggle, my mom used to ask us if we needed some strokes.  We’d sit on her lap (or as close to her as possible) and she’d just hug and cuddle us.  Sometimes, you don’t know why you need them, you just do.

And sometimes you just need your mom.

I can tell when my children need strokes.  In our case, the kids call it “mommy-love” which, truly, says it all.  Don’t children have a knack for finding just the right words?

Little Meems has always been a little mom.  This, much to her brothers’ chagrin.  And sometimes it gets her in trouble.  But she’s always been intuitive and genuinely concerned about other people’s feelings and emotions.  Which is why she won an award for compassion.

One day, years ago, I was struggling.  My mother had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

I'm one of those people who prefer private emotion - for myself anyway.  I remember angrily shoving clothes into the washing machine, fighting back tears.  The kids rounded the corner to go upstairs to the playroom and Meems stopped in her tracks when she saw me.  I turned away so she couldn’t see my eyes. “Mommy what’s wong?”  She was about 4 at the time.  “You cwying?”  I can remember the look on her face so vividly, and if I wasn’t crying before, the expression on her little face was so touching that it brought tears to my eyes.

“No, just sneezed.  I’m ok.”

“You need some Meemer love?”

Not mommy love.  Meemer love.  Like I said, intuitive.  The girl knows what love is.

“No, honey, mommy’s fine.”  Not wanting to worry her, or answer her questions.  Or tell her I was scared.  Or scare her.

She ran off.  I resumed my angry laundry.

Then two little arms encircled my legs and squeezed.  I scooped her up and hugged her for dear life.  Her head resting on my shoulder, she whispered "i don't fink you telling the twuf."

"Don't cwy."  Searching my eyes for the answer to what was wrong.  Wiping away my tears.

Is there anything more amazing than a child's capacity for love?

Or more specifically, THIS child's capacity for love?

Friday, March 1, 2013

What Was I Thinking?

I have made good on a few of my New Year's promises to myself.  
Accept challenges with grace and determination.
Step outside my comfort zone more often.
Take better care of me - my body, my soul, my spirit.

I have also been gluten-free for 2 months.

My dad challenged me to run the Monument Avenue 10K with him.

I accepted.  With determination (but a lot of some internal kicking and screaming).
I am stepping outside my comfort zone here people.  I have not been a runner in 20 years.  Three kids and lots of college/post-college beer makes 20 pounds too.
It's an effort to take better care of me.  Yes, my body, but I also find running helps me clear my head.  Find some peace.  And quality time with myself, which is essential to me to be a good wife, mother, daughter, sister, person.

It's not been easy.

I am sore. So. Very. Sore.
Knowing I have to run sometime during the day stresses me out.
20 years and hoisting three children on my hip for 9 years has rendered my body slightly misaligned.
I have two different kinds of orthotics in my shoes.  One to supplement the 1/4 inch that's missing from my left leg.  Another to reinforce arch support in my other shoe.
Further proof my alignment is out of whack?
Apparently, I kick myself.

I feel healthy and strong.
I feel determined.
I am proud of what I'm teaching my daughter.
I love running with her (incidentally, she can go out and run 3.5 miles no problem and still do it faster than me, and I love that about her).
Will I keep it up?  I don't know.
It gets hot in Richmond in the summer.  Really, really hot.  And I don't do well in the heat.
Or the cold for that matter.  I'm kind of a baby that way.

But, I will persevere.  I made a promise to my dad, my daughter, and myself.
And, I owe it to all of us to see this through.