Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Ween!

Halloween night was one of those wonderful memories that you hope you're children will look back on years from now, and smile.

It has been raining here for the past several days and pouring the last two. However, just before we headed out to go trick or treating, as the sun was setting, a patchwork of blue sky appeared. The kids quickly finished their dinner and we got ready to head out.

Our neighbors came by and Max's friends Luke and Zac helped to accelerate the process of getting Max dressed in his Monster costume. In a matter of minutes we were out the door chasing the kids down as they began trick-or-treating.

First stop was my neighbors to my left, two sweet women, a mother and daughter (who the kids refer to as the Grandma's). They make special sacks for the kids and are very loved by everyone. All of the kids were so excited and we had to slow them a bit so Max could catch up, a frequent phrase this evening was Him saying "wait for Max!"

It was a surprising evening, because I wasn't sure how Max would handle all the Halloween decorations and costumes, but for the most part, he loved them! His favorite things were the pumpkins "fung-kins," he'd get so excited and just stare at them glowing. His favorite pumpkins were these blown up ones, he was trying to hug them.

The older kids were having fun going with their friends (we had Brayden for awhile until his mom came, lucky guy gets to trick-or-treat twice!) He held Max's hand at a few houses and tried to help him with his bucket, but Max wanted to do it himself. Sage held back a lot all night and went with him, but a few times he pulled his hand from her to, so he could go up on his own.

He was very friendly all night and would say "trick-or-treat" and thank you. His versions of Happy Halloween varied, but most consisted of "Happy Ween!" Other people did think he was quite cute, and I finally responded to a mom with, "thank you, I know I'm biased because I'm his mom, but he has been so cute tonight."

We ended our night by going with some of our neighbors to the next neighborhood over. The parents rushed to keep up with all the kiddos as they raced from door to door. At one point Max broke away from Jerry and I, and was chasing the kids saying, "I'm running! I'm running!" Thanks to Chris and Troy for keeping an eye out.

As the night drew to a close, the moon came up and looked so beautiful coming through the clouds, making for an awesome backdrop. It was warm and the stars were out and so were the vampires, monsters and zombie brides, all laughing, making sweet memories and having the time of their lives!!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

I am my mother's daughter.

Yesterday afternoon while I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, I realised I was hungry. In all the hustle and bustle of the day I hadn't eaten lunch, so I grabbed a box of cereal with the intention of sitting down and eating a bowl. That didn't happen, instead I walked by the box and grabbed a handful of cereal on the fly. That's when it struck me, I am my mother's daughter! The only thing that would have been more perfect was if it was a box of Pops! (And it could have been, I have one of those in my pantry.)

I remember growing up and saying, "I am not going to be like my mom." I think every child has said that once or twice. When I got pregnant with Savannah, I am sure I thought it again. I am going to be different, I am going to be me. And I am. I am my own person. I have made my own choices, walked different paths and marched to my own beat. However, I am proud to say, I am my still my mother's daughter.

It started when Savannah was first born. My nurse in the hospital was sweet, but an awful lactation consultant. By the time I got home, I was in so much pain. Every time Savannah latched on it felt like someone was stabbing me in the chest. Then my mom arrived, took one look at me and got to work. She made me walk around with no top on, soak in the tub and use lanolin, as well as my own breast milk to help heal. After a few days I was feeling much better and so were my boobies, thanks to my mom. I was my mother's daughter and I wanted to breastfeed my baby and I did, each and every one.

I know I am my mother's daughter because I love music, all kinds. Music has always been my favorite avenue for healing. Just like my mom, I love nothing more than to put my music on and go for a walk, run, go rollerblading or for a bike ride or a hike. It is how she taught me to get through things, work things out in my mind. Through the power of music I have been able to heal.

We also both love to be outside, to plant things and help them grow. As long as I can remember, every spring my mom would plant flowers and she is still my go-to lady when I have a question about my mums or anything else. She taught me girls can mow too and how to handle the lawn. 

Today we were talking about Savannah and the boy scene. I was voicing my concerns and how I am worried about her. She let me go on a bit and then started laughing and reminded me of a few escapades I put her through as a young lady. It was right around the same time, my freshman year in high school.  I do recall giving her the run around a bit. It's kind of eerie being in that position now, we'll see how it goes.

"Those who do not know how to weep with their whole heart don't know how to laugh either." ~Golda Meir

Recently Savannah and her dad (my Ex) got into an argument and he said, "you and your mom always know how to bring tears into things like this..." I guess she is also her mother's daughter and I won't apologize for this. Over the years there have been plenty of times where I have cried in anger, in frustration and as a result of a deep sadness. But there have also been plenty of times where I cry because I am emotional, I'm happy and sentimental. I believe that tears can be a badge of honor, a sign that you have a heart and a soul. If my daughter's are like me in this way, I find that to be a compliment. There is a long line of sensitive women in my family and I love and respect each and every one.

My mom and I are not completely alike, we have our differences. That is the beauty of individuality. It is also the beauty of having children. I know that through the years I have had the opportunity to open her eyes and heart to other ways of thinking, including realizing her worth as a mother and a woman. As my daughter's grow up, I hope that they to will help me to see things in a new light, I know they have already made me want to be a better person.

I love my mom. She is kind, funny, thoughtful, sensitive, warm and beautiful. She has taught me about class and strength.  Through her I have learned to admit when I am wrong, that no one is perfect and to never be to proud to say I'm sorry.  My mom has taught me that no one is a stranger and never be afraid to open my heart and help someone in need.  Over the last three years I have done a lot of soul searching and have had many heart to hearts with my mom.  Together, we have helped each other get over the hurt that we have both experienced in our lives.  Our relationship is an ongoing love story and I can only hope and pray that I have that with my own daughters.  I want them to be able to say someday as I am proudly proclaiming today, "I am my mother's daughter !!!"
"Like My Mother Does"

[Verse 1]
People always say
I have a laugh
Like my mother does
Guess that makes sense
She taught me how to smile
When things get rough

I've got her spirit
She's always got my back
When I look at her
I think, I want to be just like that

When I love I give it all I've got
Like my mother does
When I'm scared, I bow my head and pray
Like my mother does

When I feel weak and unpretty
I know I'm beautiful and strong
Because I see myself like my mother does

[Verse 2]
I never met a stranger
I can talk to anyone
Like my mother does
I let my temper fly
And she can walk away
When she's had enough

She sees everybody
For who they really are
I'm so thankful for her guidance
She helped me get this far

When I love I give it all I've got
Like my mother does
When I'm scared, I bow my head and pray
Like my mother does

When I feel weak and unpretty
I know I'm beautiful and strong
I see myself like my mother does

She's a rock
She is grace
She's an angel
She's my heart and soul
She does it all

When I love I give it all I've got
Like my mother does
When I'm scared, I bow my head and pray
Like my mother does

When I'm weak and unpretty
I know I'm beautiful and strong
I see myself like my mother does
Like my mother does

I hear people saying
I'm starting to look like my mother does

Monday, October 22, 2012

I heard you God, Thank you for listening.

Yesterday was a typical Washington fall day, where the rain comes and goes and when it leaves the sun comes out and warms your whole soul.  After a lazy morning and a bike ride, Jerry and I went on an errand with the kiddos and then made it home just in time for Max's nap.  The kids played and Jerry and I just relaxed.  I had been thinking all day about making a trip out to Chamber's Bay with Puppy to help get her wiggles out.  With our crazy schedule, and the fall weather moving in, her exercise time has diminished. 

So after a storm came and went and the sun showed itself again, Puppy and I headed out.  Jerry and the gang stayed back, the girls were playing and I later found out he wanted to clean the garage, a very nice surprise. :)  As I drove I actually had a pretty intense conversation with my cousin, lately we have been having more and more of these kind of talks, where you just lay it out there and get to work.  During this particular conversation, God came up.  We both discussed how sometimes doubt would sink in when it came to God and prayer.  How often times you pray for someone, something, or a situation and feel like your prayers fall on deaf ears.  It can be frustrating, it can cause your faith to be questioned.

A side conversation we had during the drive was about the weather.  When I left (the drive is about twenty five minutes) the sun was out, and it stayed out the whole way, it didn't hide it's face until I pulled in my parking spot.  I could see the wall of clouds coming the whole way and joked with my cousin about the fact that the sun would disappear as soon as I got there and it literally did.  I was bummed, having brought my camera* and hoping to get some shots of the sun setting.  Instead, big grey clouds billowed out over the water.  Then just as I was heading on the path down the hill with Puppy, and saying good-bye to my cousin, the sun squeezed through one last time and shined like a spot light on a passing ferry.  I told my cousin about it, sent her a picture.  God was letting me know that he was listening, but that I still hadn't gotten his message yet.
 Puppy and I continued to head down the hill and towards the dog park, our first stop.  She was so excited that I let go of her leash and watched her high tail it to the gate.  Even with the impending storm there were a few dogs playing and Puppy was able to run and enjoy herself for quite a while.  Then the rain drops started to fall, big and filled with purpose.  I guess at that point Puppy and I could have headed quickly up the hill, out of the rain and home.  But instead I was drawn to the water, towards the storm.

As Puppy and I walked towards the beach, we passed others heading to their cars.  I didn't even think about turning around, even as the wind picked up and the rain came down with pelting force, we kept going.  As I crossed the bridge/pier and headed to the stairs that would lead me to the water I saw a couple dressed in rain coats.  They were also braving the weather with their furry friend and it made me smile to see the bright colors of their shapes walking into the along the horizon of the dark sky.
Shortly after Puppy and I arrived on the beach the storm really picked up and we were forced to take shelter up against one of the pier beams.  Soon it was hailing and the wind was whipping across the water with flourish.  I would occasionally try to to take a photograph, but the rain would pelt my lens quicker than I could dry it.  Puppy was such a trooper and I tried to hold her to me and keep her from getting totally drenched, but I don't think she really cared, she was in her element.  Soon, I was too.  Jerry had encouraged me to take his rain jacket and I was now glad I had agreed.
After the hail stopped, Puppy and I ventured out.  It was still raining, but the sun was trying to come out across the Sound and I was waiting for the rainbow that would come of it, and eventually it did.  The rain drops pelted the waves giving a gritty appearance to the water.  It was awesome, as was the sound of the waves breaking over the rocks and pebbles.  I had long since turned off my music and this was the perfect soundtrack to this unplanned afternoon retreat. (If you look closely at the picture on the left, you can see the rain coming down.)
Slowly we made our way down the beach, past the abandoned building, remains of a quarry that existed decades ago, and down to an open area of the beach.  I watched the sea gulls soar by and was amazed how they didn't fight the wind or the rain, but instead seemed to relish in it.  Time flew by and I began to feel more and more at peace as the sun slowly won out over the big storm clouds.  The rainbow came and eventually went and left behind a gorgeous sunset.  I was in heaven and took turns taking photographs with my phone and my camera.  I often would watch the sun set at home or on a bike ride and wish to be here, and I was grateful today to be having the ability to watch the sun sink into the horizon and the clouds produce their art across the sky.
I didn't do anything except watch mother nature do her best to take my breath away.  It had been a long week and I have been worried about those close to me and I was really starting to feel the weight of life on my shoulders.  I was starting to to doubt God and then I came here, came for this walk, this experience of an impending storm, the storm itself and then the gorgeous aftermath.  I had experienced them all and appreciated each for their beauty and purpose.  All of a sudden, as I was starting to head back along the beach, as I was watching the sun sink lower into the water, I understood. 
The Sun hadn't gone away when I arrived, it had only been blocked temporarily by the storm. When it finally reappeared, it was the most beautiful sight, it was like heaven on earth.  Even before the rain ceased, the sun was shining and throwing light around, through the water drops and across the waves in the most spectacular way.  The clouds that were supplying art and ample photographs, would not have been as phenomenal as they were, without first being part of the storm.  God had tested me, waited to see if I would remain even when most people wouldn't have stayed.  This afternoon and early evening were meant for me, a gift, and a parallel to what was going on in my life and the lives of my loved ones.
I have to admit as the pieces to the puzzle that God had given to me fell into place, I began to feel tears fill my eyes.  Flooded by so many emotions, I felt almost overwhelmed.  This place was already so special to me, I should have known that it was where I needed to come to hear what God had to say.  It was simple.  Have faith.  Life is filled with storms, but they will pass and in their wake they will leave something beautiful.  I could either turn around at the first signs of the storm, as soon as the rain began to fall, I could go to someplace safe. Or, I could face the storm, walk into it, head held high and wait it out, wait to see what beauty the storm produced.  God has been listening all along, I just had to realise it, and have faith that he knows best. 
As I gathered pebbles for my collection and carefully picked and threw rocks, my prayers came with flourish.  For the first time in a while, my soul was calm as I was filled with the peace that God was hearing each and everyone and he was holding them in the palm of his hand.  They may not be answered today or tomorrow, but I now had a new found belief that they will be someday and I will continue to weather the storm until that time comes. 
*All the pictures in this post were taken yesterday while I was at Chamber's Bay.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Children, Abuse and Cancer, none of these words should ever go together.

I heard this on a documentary I was watching:

"Poverty isn't bad housing, dirty clothing or families of ten.  It's never having been loved or even respected.  They (referring to young girls) don't know the difference between love and abuse, a kiss that was a down payment on a blow." 
Someone very special to me is going through a very hard time.  As I sit here to type this blog it is taking all the self control I have to not rant and rave about the situation in full detail.  I am hoping that there will be a time and place for that, where the true nature of this person who is doing such horrid things will be truly known. 
May 2004
I have many special women in my life, my grandma, my mom, my sisters and my best friends, but there are no ladies that I feel more responsible for than my own three daughters.  They are beautiful and smart and possess a smile that could heal any broken heart.  They are jewels and precious to not only me, but many others in their lives. 
Someday these wonderful little girls will grow up and they will start searching for that someone special in their life.  At fourteen, Savannah has already begun that process despite my urging her to take her time and enjoy her youth.  I worry about my girls.  I worry about them repeating the cycle of getting into a relationship that is not healthy for them. 
I understand and acknowledge that there are two sides to every story, and this blog is my ability to give a voice to my life.  I want to share what I have been through and continue to go through, and watch others go through.  I think that for far too long and far too often those that are in a bad relationship don't feel that there is any avenue for them to share their pain and experiences.  Even I still hold back much of my story for fear of the repercussions of what would come from my honesty.
I hold in my possession an email that would finally show the true nature of a certain person in my life, yet the author of that email is so scared that she will not allow me to share it.  So this person will continue to behave as they do, with no conscious, no regret and worst of all, no decency to admit that their behavior is wrong.  They believe they are the victim, that everyone is responsible but them.  Everyone is to blame, but them. 
Children are a blessing.  They are precious and fragile and we hold in our hands not only the responsibility of their physical well being, but also their little souls and self worth.  I have been following a few blogs about two families who have lost their babies to cancer.  Ronan and Ty were taken way to soon and I know that their parents would do anything to have them back.  Yesterday I was reading Ty's mom's blog about Ty's final moments.  There is a picture of Ty holding his dad's finger.  It is truly both heart wrenching and heartwarming.  You can feel both the love and pain that is happening in this family lives.  They don't deserve this, they deserve happily ever after.  Every child deserves happily ever after.     
I am so angry about the fact that there are these tiny little people fighting for their lives because they have cancer.  Their families would go to the ends of the earth to fix them, help them, make them well.  Then I think of those children who are in abusive situations.  They too are suffering and are in pain and yet sometimes, they too can not be saved.  This is unacceptable, yet it still happens, everyday.  What is it with our society and our inability to deal with these horrible things that are happening to the most innocent and vulnerable of our society.  Why aren't we doing more to help?!?  Why aren't the resources to save these little ones more readily available and accessible to them and their families?  It's unacceptable.
I am not sure who is reading this, or what you will take away from this post.  But I hope you will read Ronan and Ty's story (click on their names and you will be linked to their blogs).  Then I hope you will take the opportunity to go hug your babies and if possible tuck them in and kiss them good-night.  Because I am not willing to have these little ones deaths to be in vain.  And as for the person who is mistreating my special girl, that is unacceptable and you will not continue to get away with it.  There are too many people who love her and are waiting and willing for the right time to testify on her behalf.  To quote Ronan's mom, "Fuck you Cancer!" I second that and add, "Fuck you to anyone or anything that hurts a Child!"

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Marvelous Mr. Max

I was talking to Savannah the other day and Max was talking in the background.  She commented how grown up he sounded.  I agreed.  He is talking up a storm, learning new words and phrases like crazy.  He will count with you or help spell his name and uses several words to make his point. The funniest part is how he talks about himself in the third person,"Max going swimmin.'" Another funny thing is how he answers, "yes," to questions instead of yeah or anything else.  or says yes please "peas" if you ask him if he wants something.  My favorite is how he says truck, he replaces the "tr" with an "f" and makes me laugh every time.   

You can reason with him, ask him to do things and he has even begun to tattle on his siblings.  A few weeks ago I had packed him a snack and a drink for his Doctor appointment.  When we got there I noticed both were empty.  He informed me that Brayden ate and drank them.  Jerry and I laughed about it later and told the kids to watch out, an informer is in the house.  Last week the informer struck again when Brayden was trying to sneak in the house for snacks for him and the girls.  Max took Jerry to the pantry and said, "Brayden, hiding."  Gotta love an honest heart.   

Having a two year old  is an experience like no other.  It means giggles and screams both in delight and frustration.  It means little feet running through the house, something Max managed to do even in a body cast.  Everything is a new experience and every day means learning new things. It means messes too!  The other morning Mr. Max managed to lotion the carpet while I was packing our swimming bag, dump the Lego's while I was sorting laundry and chuck the dog food while I was getting him a snack and milk.  He redeemed himself on all counts because he helped clean up.

He's becoming more independent and comprehends a lot of what you tell him.  He remembers what songs he sings during swimming, like, "motor boat," and he knows that when he gets up from his nap it's time to get the "guys." and sometimes our neighbor, "Ty."  When Jerry gets home he often tries to tell him a story about what happened that day, his little words and attempts at sentences are very cute.  He loves to play outside and knows how to open doors and even the lock on the front door.  Jerry had put chain locks on both, so that is what we use now. 

He loves swimming.  I have addressed this fact more than once, but he really does.  He gets excited about it and talks about it.  He jumps full bore in the pool and when I tell him to swim like the Olympics, he paddles and kicks with flourish.  We're still working on blowing bubbles, but he will go "up-down" while holding onto the wall, although he doesn't quite go under water.  He loves the songs and high fiving his teacher after she takes him for a lap by himself, without mom. 

He loves to run, explore and go to his sister's soccer "sah-care" (french accent) games and Brayden's football games.  He likes to go to the beach and throw rocks.  He loves rides at Wild Waves, is a dare devil and laughed like crazy when his sisters and I rode the little roller coaster with him at Fright Fest last Friday.  He gets that from Saxton.

He loves plains, trains and any truck.  When we came home from Mt. Rainier with my cousin, we saw a real steam engine and he was just besides himself.  He no longer says, "beep beep" for trains which is kind of sad or "bee" for plain, but he still gets excited to see them.  Last Thursday at Chambers he saw a train and a sea plane almost at the same time and didn't know what to look at, he was so happy to see both!

He was excited to go to the movies, but ready to leave after a half hour.  This is funny story actually that I must tell.  So going to the movies last Friday fell through (went to Fright Fest instead) so we planned on going yesterday.  I picked up the girls, then Brayden and we headed to Target for treats.  We got to the movie just before 4:20 (start time), got our tickets and went in and sat down.  The movie, Hotel Transylvania, had already started which surprised us because we assumed there would be previews and the plot didn't quite make sense.  A half hour later it was "The End."  We had gone in the wrong theater and missed half the movie.  Silly us (silly momma).  After realizing what had happened, the nice manager gave us movie passes for another time.   

He reminds me so much of Savannah.  She was my little escape artist.  I remember when she was right about Max's age she was napping and I was mowing the lawn.  All of a sudden, there she was on the little front patio.  She had managed to unlock her screen in her window and take it out and then unlock her window and open it and climb out.  Thankfully we only had a one story and she was fine.  She was quiet and didn't choose to talk until after she was three, but I wasn't worried about that, I knew she was plenty smart.

This morning the girls had a dentist appointment and then I went to their school to help with the book fair.  Max was super cute.  There was another little girl, Martha who was playing with him and they were looking through the books and even trying to read them.  They also were having fun running around and hiding.  He had lunch with his sisters and had the pick of their food.  He can get them to do just about anything by looking at them with his big blue eyes.  Then came the mouse costume.  Sage decided to dress up in this character suit and Max freaked out and clung to me like a little monkey.  He was in a tizzy between crying and laughing and being amused and terrified.  He went from high fiving the mouse to wishing he would go away.  Sage tried to show him it was her, and he sort of got it and would call the mouse Sage, but was still really not having it.  Clifford got a little better reception, but not a high five.  After that and three hours of excitement, I took him home for a nap. 

Max wants to be a big kid and do homework and write, "I write, homework."   He likes to read, especially when we sit down to help Brayden.  He repeats like a little parrot so I have to watch my truck driver language.  He tells us that he poops, but isn't interested in potty training yet.  He sings and likes "songs."  He says, "do it adin (again)" and wants to "help."  He likes his bear that Sage and Savannah got him at the St. Vincent De Paul in Fargo for a dollar.  He loves "dum" (gum) but still swallows it.  (I'm still waiting for some horrible product to be produced but so far things make it from point A to point B okay.)  He's still sleeping in his crib (we put it back to a full crib when he broke his leg.) and likes his blankets "Seahawks one."  He has this leap frog house that says all sorts of things that he used to play with every night, but thankfully is kind of done with it for awhile.  Jerry and I are glad because it sort of freaked us out when it talked through the monitor in the middle of the night.  He likes to talk on phone, especially to his "Naan."

My favorite time is bedtime, when he goes and says his good nights to his siblings and we say our prayers.  Then Jerry and I hold him in a group hug and he puts his little arms around both of our necks and kisses us both, back and forth, back and forth.  He likes to "kiss" and hhhhug."

Life with a toddler is hectic, as is life and the time is flying by.  This blog post is a sort of diary entry to myself so I can recollect what this time was like and think back, remember and smile.   After all, I still recall bringing Savannah in her snowsuit years ago to swimming at the YMCA like it was yesterday, she was just a baby and now she is a freshman in high school.  I love my marvelous Max like I love all my babies, just as he is.


Monday, October 15, 2012

A mom's life... always room for improvement or at least a diaper!

I can't even begin to count the number of times that people would hear how many children I have and say, "oh gosh, I only have one (or two) and it's hard, I don't know how you do it?!"  Over the years (I have been a mom of four since 2003)I have always responded the same way, "it's all relative, one or ten, it's a tough business being a parent."  I remember when Savannah was born and I was literally stumbling through trying to figure things out.  I have always believed that going from none to one is the hardest because all of a sudden, you are not just responsible for just you.  Now, every choice you make, every decision, has to be made with this little person in mind.

Today, I am a humble mother.  I have made and I am sure will continue to make my fair share of mistakes.  My choices as a young person, as a young mother continue to follow me over a decade later.  Yesterday, Savannah and I were talking about my becoming a mom so young, I told her how hard it was being a mother at twenty one.  While all my friends were just starting their life as bar hoppers, wearing sexy clothes and sleeping til noon, I was sporting nursing bras and sleep deprived.  I wouldn't change a thing, not one second of the time I spent home with her and her siblings. I loved the adventures of navigation life with four small children in tow or just navigating the world's biggest shopping carts, but the truth is, it often wasn't easy.

Today I was reminded that I'm still learning, or possibly the opposite, letting go of the attempt to be the world's best mom.  Max and I were getting dressed after swimming lessons at the YMCA.  I guess the truth is, I was getting dressed and Max was still naked having a snack on his towel.  Everyday I offer to dress him first risking a towel malfunction and a big reveal to the rest of the locker room, but he always responds in his little french accent, "no di-pear" (no diaper) and because he enjoys his snack in the buff.  Today was no different and so as I was quickly putting lotion on and getting dressed, I heard someone exclaim, ''he peed!" I quickly turned and low and be hold, there was my little Max, buck naked, standing and peeing in the middle of the locker room floor.  I quickly wiped it up and thinking he was done, went back to getting dressed.  He wasn't done and peed twice more.  In my defense, I was cleaning up number two when number three occurred.  He was shooting right and left, I just wasn't fast enough.  I just laughed and finally got smart and di-peared him. 

In the process clothes got wet and I had to apologize for my son using the women's locker room floor as a urinal, but in the end, it was what it was and we moved on.  I think that would maybe be the difference of number one, versus five or six.  You begin to learn that you don't have to take every situation too seriously.  If you condemn and critique everything you do and every choice you make, you'll make yourself crazy.  Let go and let them be naked.  If worse comes worse, make sense of it, as I did today when I said out loud, to no one in particular, "it's just pee, and probably chlorinated anyway because of all the pool water he swallowed."

Savannah will be fifteen in May and if you start mommy hood with pregnancy, I have been in the club for a decade and a half.  However, I am still learning that being a mom is a fluid and ever changing path.  When Savannah was a baby, she wore nothing but Pampers (preferably with Elmo on them).  Now Max wears Mom to Mom diapers by Safeway.  They are considered off brand, but they work better than the leaky paper thin Pampers and even the guaranteed leak proof Luvs and are half the price to boot!  Even diapers change in their quality, so that we as moms are kept on our toes and don't get too comfortable in our Elmo drawers. 

Being a mommy is wonderful.  This past weekend during Brayden's Flag football game as well as the girl's soccer games I was filled with pride as they played their little hearts out.  As I watched Saxton's coach praise her multiple times for her defensive skills and as Sage didn't allow a goal while on defense and got an assist on offence. I felt such pride.  At one point I asked the dad next to me, "is there another Sage on our team or is everyone cheering for my Sage?"  I gushed as he said, "no, they are just cheering for your Sage."  That felt pretty darn good.  Every time they come home with a good grade, or call to tell me how well they're doing in school or football (Sam) I feel pride.  These little, wonderful people make me the happiest mom in the world.

My six littles and their Grandma Richard.
When in doubt, call Grandma!
I have six children living in two different states and three different houses. I have to take into consideration Ex's and other mothers. I parent over text messages and through phones. My youngest is learning new words everyday but still has struggles with navigating stairs and my oldest is trying to find her way as a highschooler and learn how to say yes at the right times and no during the difficult ones. Good nights include both kisses on cheeks and over airways. Being a mommy is complicated because life is full of ups and downs and those are only multiplied when you have children. As a mom, I try to make the most of every moment and relive the special ones. One of my favorite memories at the lake this summer was when Sam and I fell asleep on each other. When I am sad and missing him terrible, I just close my eyes and remember that closeness and I have faith that we will have that again.

Sometimes being a mother is having to make the hardest choices you have ever had to make and live with them everyday after.  All I can do is love them the best way I can, encourage them, support them and let them go to make their own choices,  reminding them that I am always there.  Remind them that no matter where they are, what they are doing or have done, I will always love them, my love is unconditional. After all, let's be honest, their mom isn't perfect so how can I expect them to be?  Goodnight my babies. I love you Savannah, Sam, Sage, Saxton, Brayden and Max, to the moon and stars, moon and stars and back!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Stay at home mom? Who are these people?

It always cracks me up when I hear the term, stay at home mom. I ponder today what would happen today If I just stayed home...

Then little ones wouldn't make it to school. A little would miss swim class. There would be no groceries bought. Yes the laundry would get done and the dishes cleaned. But then Little girls would be left at school. Yes one little would nap and I would be able to work some. But then another little boy would be left at school and later, another little girl would miss practice.

Stay at home mom? What's that? Because when I'm out running here or there I often see other moms doing the same. (And dads too) I'm not complaining, just questioning the concept. Often times we put a stigma on these "stay at home moms." I guess I can't do that, considering I haven't had the pleasure of meeting one yet.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012


Life is sweet. Today as I was walking out of Max's room after laying him down for a nap, he said, "Na night momma." He repeated it several times even after I closed the door. He wasn't crying or upset, we had kissed and hugged, he was just saying it to make sure I heard. I became teary eyed as I listened to his sweet little voice and the way he said "momma."

Life is funny, it feels as if time is going so quick and days are melting into months. These tiny little moments are ones I wish I could freeze and relive. Today as Max and I were eating lunch outside I snapped a few pictures of just his feet, his smile, his fading baby looks, capturing each little detail.

Life is hectic. Everyday is something, soccer practice and games, flag football, choir, band and swim lessons, half day Wednesday, drop offs and pick ups from two different schools, errands, Dr. appointments, yard work, housework, homework, work. This is life.

Life is an opportunity. What makes it all worth while are the moments in the madness. The opportunity to show unconditional love even in the shadow of disappointment and pride at the mere effort of a new passion. Yesterday Sage was practicing her clarinet with a brand new effort. I smiled to myself as I admitted I actually liked the sound. Never mind how I had previously prepared myself to grimace as she embarked on her first lessons.

Life is moving to quick for comfort, but it's the moments caught forever in time that are the consolation prize. A conversation with Sam about a lake sunset, Savannah about life and homecoming, a goat at the state fair and the smiles of Sage, Saxton and Max as they all enjoy a kiddie ride. Moments like Brayden's grin as he reads with me or the way Max constantly talks about "Nann" and Sam, misses the "guys" when they're at school, and rattles off a new word every minute. Moments like introducing my cousin Christi, who recently visited from Chicago, to my beloved home. (This included the Seahawks-Packers game, Seattle and a hike up Mt. Rainier.)

Life is birthdays. I recently turned thirty six and spent my birthday night watching the moon rise over Puget Sound, grateful for the special moments my honey gave me as a present.

Life to me is the sea. One of my favorite places to go is Chambers Bay. The kids play on the beach, we collect rocks and other things and I am able to enjoy the water and the peace, and a occasional photograph. ;-)

Life is rolling along, gaining speed with each day. But I will do all I can to appreciate the ride one moment at a time. Na night momma.