Sunday, February 28, 2010


I was listening to something today regarding change and our reluctance as humans to accept change. The speaker was talking to adults on an adult level, but I found myself thinking of my little ones.

Have you ever noticed with your own children that the more things change, the routine, the schedule, the food, the weather, their bodies, the more out of control they seem to get?

Last night we went to a friends house for dinner and got home at 10:00, which is late for us. The kids were a mess! Leaving the friends house our three-year-old was hysterically screaming, "I will never come back." When we got into the garage our six-year-old fell apart because his dad opened the door for him and he wanted to do it. They both lost it when I said straight to bed and screamed, "But we didn't get a snack!." Through all the screaming and tears that it took to get the snack, the teeth brushed, PJ's, and into bed I just kept hearing, "But mom...".

We rocked their world. We did something very out of the ordinary for us- going to a friends house for dinner, they got something very out of the ordinary for them- two hours of Wii, and we all got something hard on anyone- staying up past our bedtime.

Simple changes really. Perhaps if they came separately it could be processed. But unfortunately change seems to come in waves. My grandmother would always say, "Expect the unexpected." It's a great saying. But what does it mean? How do you prepare for what you can not see coming?

Mothers often do it naturally, especially when our children our very young. Hence - The Diaper bag - Dum Dum DUM! We pack everything but the kitchen sink in there. Extra clothes, diapers, wipes, pacifier, blankets, toys, books, bibs, medicine, phone numbers, formula, food, snacks, water, breast pump, burp clothes, ointment, powder, hand sanitizer, and one disposable version of all of the above.

We are ready for a nuclear war. Should WW4 breakout we're covered for a good three days with the supplies in that bag.

Somehow in all of this preparation, we forget to expect the unexpected. At least I do. Then when it strikes I freak. I loose my patience, my temper, my sanity and my poor children see that when change comes you should scream like girl and hide under the covers. No wonder they melt down faster then Chernobyl.

The speaker made some good points to us as adults, as humans to being more accepting of changes. Maybe I can work a little harder at accepting change as a challenge, not a reason to buy a carton of Ben and Jerry's Triple Carmel Chunk. OK, maybe I can keep the Triple Carmel Chunk and skip the screaming like a little girl - I am raising two boys for goodness sake!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Mikaela Update

If you know Mikaela, like I know Mikaela.....

Nothing has ever gone easy or as planned for this child. The surgeon called off the surgery the other day, but did use the OR time to scope Mikaela and consult with two other surgeons. Mikaela will undergo surgery on March 25th - with not one, not two, but three surgeons who are trying to fix the problems with her esophagus without nicking anything that could A. kill her B. leave her with a feeding tube or C. leave her vocal chords paralyzed.

If all goes well after the surgery (Oh Please God!! This child deserves that!) She will have to have a feeding tube for a little while and a soft diet for short time. Now, this is the child that at the age of three could out eat my husband which is no small feat. Her mother was not looking forward to sharing the news and really ready for lots of tears.

Mikaela's only response, "Do I get out of Gym class?" That's my Girl!

Friday, February 26, 2010

What to write...

Ever have one of those days? Too much to do, too little time - don't really want to start a project that will sit undone for days because you know you can't get back to it.

I'm not sure if I really am that busy, or if I am just that lazy. Maybe both. I am not motivated to dive into the cleaning, laundry, and chores that still need to be done. I'm not even sure if I want to dive into the book I have sitting on the night stand.

I did get out of the house for a while today to join a small group discussing, "The Five Love Languages of Children" it was very interesting. It was nothing life changing, but soooo nice to hear another mother complain about her children. It's reassuring, affirming, Gratifying!

I am not alone!

Being a "Stay-at-home Mom", "Full-time Mom", "Homemaker", whatever I'm not into titles- it's lonely. It is hard to spend all day with children under 5 and keep your wits about you. God knows they don't have them yet that's why it is so exhausting. Going to one of these little parenting talks is nice, you get a little nugget of wisdom, but it is so darn nice to hear someone else say, "Why does my two-year-old hit me when he says I love you? What have I done wrong?"

What have you done wrong? Watched too much Super Nanny! The beautiful thing about our discussion was that the woman that lead it had children, sorry Super Nanny. After you pop out a few dozen children of your own then you can let me know how that Naughty spot is working for ya'.

It is so different when it is not your child. In my previous life, B.C. (before children) I worked for the parks and recreation after school/summer program. Dropping the hammer on those kids was much easier, plus I could always revert to the - just following orders - line. I never had a problem with the consequences because they seemed so clear.

The lines blur so much when it's your own child. They may hit because their hungry - but it's 6:00 p.m. and you pushed dinner back to talk with a girlfriend, is that really their fault? They throw a fit in the store that you dragged them to during nap time because you really want a new dress for your reunion. Again, their fault?

I guess down deep we all know that if parenting were really that easy, everyone would be doing it.

Friday, February 19, 2010

The strength it takes to be a mother...

I joke, I kid, I try to write humorous blogs about the roller coaster that parenthood takes you on. But no one knows the roller coaster better than my friend Julie. Her daughter Mikaela was born with Hydrocephalus. This causes not only developmental delays but lots of physical problems.

Mikaela, I think, spent most of the first three years of her life in the hospital. By the age of eight or nine she had upwards of 50 surgeries. Julie had been told several times to prepare herself for the worst and to "make the call".

Yet here she is, deifying all the odds. Going to school, playing soccer, taking a babysitting class because she is old enough now to babysit my kids. She is creative, smart, beautiful, fashionable, and wicked funny. She is also very mature. There is something in her eyes that tells you she is wise beyond her years, and beyond what most of us can hope to achieve. She has been through so much in her decade or so on earth. More than I will ever imagine.

Yet here she is, once again preparing for surgery. Both she and Julie weather what always takes my breath away as "just another surgery". I know that it is not. I know that there are risks and complications that make me cry - and pray. Where does one find the strength to persevere?

That look in Mikaela's eyes that tells you that she is much more than what you see, comes from finding the inner strength to hear what Dr.'s and Surgeons are saying and trustingly, bravely-go into the hospital again anyway.

That look on Julie's face that you never see, comes from the strength it takes to be a single-working mother of a child with special needs. If motherhood were an Olympic sport, she would take the Gold. Motherhood is marathon. And to run this marathon as a single-working mother with three children, pushes me everyday. To run a little harder, a little better, a little longer without complaining.

As they prepare for the next surgery, Thursday Feb 25th, which is very complex and has complications with devastating results at every turn I ask all of you to throw up a pray to what ever being you call to - for the Surgeon who will try to repair the damage, for Mikaela who will endure the pain, and for Julie - who's still running. God Bless you girls!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day

With two boys in this house there is more than enough name calling, fist throwing, knock down fighting for me. I get more than enough testosterone pumping power struggles than I care to deal with in one day. So when my husband pulls this crap - it sends me over the edge.

We had a little family party last night to celebrate the Opening Ceremonies for the Winter Olympics. I spent the afternoon cooking and cleaning up and getting things ready. I let the boys chill out in front of their new favorite computer game Poptropica (that's another blog in itself!) so that they could stay up a little later.

It ended up being unreasonably late because the actual ceremonies didn't start till what 10:30! Thanks NBC! Needless to say everyone was a little extra tired and cranky this morning. My husband works every Saturday but didn't have to go in early. So I got up with the boys (surprise, surprise) and he slept in? He said he was cleaning but we can talk about that later.

He came down in the middle of mayhem and tried to instill the calm. This is how he does it.
The six-year-old is using the coffee table for a chair, again, and I am yelling at him to get a chair or I'll take the keyboard away for good.

My husband says, "He's just tired because we were up late."
I said, "No honey this is every Saturday morning because there is no structure."
He says, "Well then get some structure."

O.k. Ladies, after you finish laughing because you know exactly where this is going....

I said" That's why I asked you to set up the tennis lessons for Saturday-"
He says" ME! I gave you the number! I told you to call!"

Remember, my husband works at the tennis club, with the tennis pro's, the one that even offered lessons if my husband would teach his child. See where this is going.

I said "You did not give me any one's number. I don't even know the man's name. Blah blah
He says "I did so give you...blah, blah, blah. This goes on until I say, "You are right, you gave me the number this is all my fault."

Do you think it stops there? He insists that it's not about fault, but he told me to do it. Then he stops talking to me all together. For 45 minutes he ignores me, talks with the kids, says goodbye to them and walks out the door. And I am suppose to go on a date with this for Valentine's Day?

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snow Day!

Most everyone across the country right now has snow, some of us more than others. For my relatives in the DC and Maryland area I think it's the first Blizzard on record in 30 odd years?

Yesterday was the perfect Snow day here. School was cancelled, my husband's classes were cancelled, the neighbor boys came over and we played for hours. They took turns sledding and snowboarding down our driveway which makes a great sledding hill, but a terrible driveway in these conditions. They went exploring in the creek behind the house and then came in to eat and play star wars video games. Our neighbor lent my husband a snowboard (just what he needed) and he our six-year-old spent a couple of hours at the park practising their "skills".

Today is another snow day, and the novelty has worn off. I desperately need a shower, the house needs cleaned, and the boys are at each other throats. What Happened?!

I just keep thinking of my beloved saintly mother who spent 7+ days locked in the house with 5 children and 2 house guests during the blizzard of 1978. I would mention my father but he was absent during this time. You see we owned three or four snowmobiles at the time and my father was President of the local Snowmobile club. He spent 7 days and most nights working with the local Sheriff's departments to rescue people stranded in their homes.

It is funny to me as an adult with my own children to look back on these events now. It looks so much different through these eyes. I have only two boys 3 and 6 years-old. Mom had five children, 10, 8, 6, and twins that were two. They were suppose to be on a trip to Mexico- I think- and because they were to leave at 4 a.m. the couple they were traveling with came to stay at our house. Which is where we were all stuck.

I remember playing on the snowdrifts as big as our house and learning cards games from our guest. Pictures bring back other memories of the stories I heard later, the neighbors dogs got lost in the blizzard and died. My brother who was old enough to go out on rescue missions talked about riding over drifts that turned out to be cars. I think my mother even went on a rescue mission or two. She had an elderly woman on the back of the snowmobile when they dropped off a particularly high drift and the woman lost her dentures in the snow.

As the blizzard of 2010 pounds the East Coast I pray for those without power, the elderly and the sick, the Pregnant. (Ahh!) All those charged with clearing the roads, keeping us safe, and caring for us. And yes, I pray for all you mothers trapped at home with your children. I feel for you. The job seems thankless and endless. But think of it like this, all those hours spent making Valentines, playing games, and reading books will make the Blizzard of 2010 a spectacular memory for your children.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Content Warning - this is a rant!

I do not know what it is like to have a daughter, and I will never because I have two boys. I also do not know what it is like to be famous in any way shape or form. But I do know what it is like to be a teenage girl, I was one.

I am outraged at the controversy over First Lady Michelle Obama's choice to fight the war on Childhood obesity and now the statement regarding her own children. STOP IT! From Sarah Palin to the bloggers who are ripping apart every piece of this STOP IT! Obesity is a life threatening epidemic in this country that is taking our very future with it, children.

Michelle Obama is a mother-first. I think the fact that she can talk about her experience as a mother of two beautiful daughters who are very obviously loved and well cared for helps validate the cause. My sister was bulimic, in fact I think they both were. We grew up in a house that had everything we wanted - except parental involvement.

I embarrassed my six-year-old in front of his class the other day when I was volunteering - do you think he will develop an eating disorder, anti-social behavior, or turn to drugs!! He was over it before I was for goodness sake. I came home and cried and wrote him and apology and said I was sorry and hugged and kissed him until he finally said, "Mom stop! It's no big deal."

Just like Scott Brown's daughters the night he told all of America they were available, I think that Sasha and Malia know their mother is doing the best that she can. I think more than feeling pressure to please their mom, they feel loved, supported, and nurtured. It is my opinion that the only people putting pressure on Sasha and Malia to be something that they are not, is the media.

That is why, as a mother of two children, I say as respectfully as I can - STOP IT! And to Michelle Obama I'd like to say - Keep up the good work, I got your back!