Friday, October 29, 2010

Is that Fruity???

You want to know what brings my children utter joy?

Cleaning.

Yes. I am dead serious. These Beans were BEGGING - seriously - begging me to help clean the house today....nothing brought them joy like getting to stand on the sink and Windex the mirror. Jumping Bean had the treat of dusting....a chore she sang her way through! And String Bean vacuumed their room for me!

I seriously love those little people.

And yes, I am aware that a light bulb needs to be changed....just add it to my "to do" novella.

It appears the constant discussions on the Fruit of the Spirit (Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control Galatians 5:22-23) are really sinking in. 

We've been seeking to apply the fruits in our every-day actions, interactions, and observations. (Nothing like actively applying Truth!)  From analyzing the characters in a book -such as Belle vs. The Beast; to assessing a fit of anger; to figuring out what those attributes look like - for REAL; we have been learning quite a lot.

It has really helped the attitude in the house level out. 

Mommy included.  

I am not off the hook in these discussions, unfortunately.

Just like when they snatch a toy, pitch a fit, or leave a job unfinished (not showing - love, kindness, self-control, or faithfulness) ... Mommy sins as well. When I raise my voice and yell at them - I am lacking self-control, kindness, gentleness, patience, and love. When I don't take my time to answer their questions - I am lacking patience, kindness, and faithfulness. There are plenty of examples of my failure to exhibit these qualities....so I'll just leave it there for now!  

Feel free to read...pretty much any other post, to see proof of my sinful nature!

So now the question we all ask each other is this: 

"Is that a fruity thing to do?" 

Then we giggle, recite the verses, and seek to be more of a home filled with the Spirit.

Copyright 2010

Thursday, October 28, 2010

There Will Be Blood...

So the running joke in military families...is ON military families.

"The Curse" of a deployment if you will - everything that CAN go wrong, Will go wrong.

I was thinking to myself today how I had somehow managed to escape that "curse"...I mean, I have put my key in the ignition and every day my Suburban has started. (Don't fail me now!) My washing machine and dryer are still functioning at peak condition. No broken bones. No hospital visits. No major illnesses. But then I thought about it a little more....and realized I have had a touch of that joke played on me....I've just been too busy to notice!

So here's the running tally:

Bitty Bean: 
Bit an almost-complete hole through her tongue...in two areas.
Has already cut through EIGHT teeth since My Love left...and is working on two more.
Fell into a corner of a wall and had a large bump on her head.
Nose bleed that gushed and gushed and gushed....it was awful!
Explosive Diarrhea. (Need I say more??)

Jumping Bean:
Busted her lip when she fell into the leg of a chair.
Bit a large chunk out of her lip while trying to launch a shopping cart (For the record: they don't launch.) it swelled so much she couldn't eat that night
Jumped on bed...landed wrong...blood exploded out of mouth. All sheets and mattress pad had to be changed.
Fell down FIVE stairs.
Fell into the corner of a wall and had a goose egg the size of a goose egg.
Fell out of the tub and hit her face on the toilet...three bites on the inside of her lip, one deep gash in her tongue...OH THE BLOOD!!!
Explosive Diarrhea

String Bean:
Vomit.
Fell up the stairs and caused a swollen knee.
Fell down 8 stairs...no injuries that we could tell.
Fell off bike and skinned both knees. 
Explosive Diarrhea
Hearing Loss from all of her sisters' crying.

Myself:
Flooded Laundry Room
Locked Keys in Car
Forgot what not-to-eat...and got to throw up because of it.
Bitty Bean smacked her head into my lip...now I look like I lost some kind of fight.
Electricity knocked out more times than I can remember.


So, while the major things listed in the first paragraph haven't happened....I'd say we've had our fair share of little mishaps! I mean it has only been 7 1/2 weeks!!! 

A couple things I have learned in all this:
I still really, really, really don't like blood....but I'm getting better at handling it. 
Oxi-clean can get blood out of ANYTHING...currently my most used product...well, after toilet paper.
God has a sense of humor....do you know how much head/face wounds bleed?? Even when they are superficial??? An exorbitant amount. Really.

And the most important thing? 

Pregnancy is cake compared to what they can dish out when they are on the outside!

Copyright 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

How do you know......

You are an utterly exhausted mommy?

You fall asleep on the couch for 30 minutes while all children are WIDE awake.

Yep.

Apparently the freak-of-nature-heat-wave we experienced today just sucked all my energy out. And replaced it with massive amounts of swelling in my legs. Fun times.

So, in an attempt to relocate my ankle bones...I settled into "the spot" on the couch...propped my feet up on pillows....called all beans to surround me....and proceeded with story time. After story time (which involved Robin Hood being read for the nine-millionth time this month, among other stories) the Beans climbed down....and I rested my eyes.

For 30 minutes. 

Really.

I completely passed out!

How do I know this? Because when I woke up...I was covered from head to toe in toys. And stuffed animals. The Beans had been playing Doctor to Mommy...and I just slept through it!! I had Jumping Bean in my face listening to my heart with her pretend stethoscope...and String Bean at my feet counting my toes and making sure all was where it belonged.

What a way to wake up! 

I just can't believe that no one injured themselves...or decided that was the perfect time to raid the stash of Hershey kisses in the freezer! 

Copyright 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Cocoa Bean Moments....

Well, I know I just posted a Cocoa Bean Moment, like, yesterday...but another one happened today!! Go figure.

First - confession: (It's good for the soul, right?) I've been sleeping in. I have been ignoring my alarm clock for about 5 days now...and it is great!!! I fully intend to go back to my early rising ways soon...but at the moment this boy bean won't let me go to sleep until 11....so I sleep until 7. Ah. Happiness.

Second - the moment. This morning (since I was lazy) I woke up to 3 little faces by my bedside.

Beautiful faces. Best way EVER to wake up. Anyway...they were not so very happy when they stumbled into my room. All three were wearing very sad faces...and String Bean was even on the edge of tears. They all asked  if they could snuggle bug with me...and, of course, I said yes. Then began the discussion of why they were sad....

They all missed Daddy.

String Bean was hugging her Daddy pillow...Jumping Bean was clinging to her Daddy blankie...
The first thing String Bean said was "Can this be the day Daddy comes home?"
Jumping Bean said "I know he loves us far far away...but can he love us here too?"
And Bitty Bean kept saying "Daddy! Daddy!" and looking for him. 

Broke my heart.

So, as I always do when we face the sadness, we talked about what we miss about Daddy. 

Here is what they miss...

Everything.

BUT 

String Bean doesn't miss spankings.

AND 

Jumping Bean doesn't miss his stinky toots.

And I laughed. Oh, I laughed until my sides hurt. And my day started beautifully. Full of cuddles, tears, laughter, and moments that cannot be recreated. 
Copyright 2010

Little sweet things....

As I was scrubbing the bathroom today...this nesting thing is definitely making my house spic and span!...I looked at my "Jewelry organizer" on our bathroom sink. This metal piece has a bit of history to it...

For our 2nd anniversary, My Love was extremely creative. (He had to be since we had a 6 week old!) He had returned from sea just before String Bean was born and wanted to celebrate this milestone in a special way.

So, he kicked me out of the house.

For just the afternoon.
(Please forgive the crumbs and water stains...I forgot to take a "before" picture!)
And when I returned, our front porch had been transformed into a beautifully romantic dinner setting for two. He had coordinated with two of his friends - who just happened to be AMAZING chefs - and we had one of our best dates ever. He had found flowers similar to the ones in my bouquet to place on the table...he found a purple runner like what was used at our reception...and he placed a beautiful metal candle centerpiece in the middle of the table to top it all off.  

It was perfect.

I'm sorry to say for a couple years that centerpiece was sitting in a box buried away...we didn't have a table big enough for a centerpiece...I didn't know what to do with it...and it just felt a little too fancy for every day.

But one day as I was trying to figure out a way to keep my jewelry organized and not in a knotted mess in a bag...I remembered this piece. I hunted around. Dug it out. And realized - just because it was MADE to be a table centerpiece or candle holder...it didn't have to stay that way!

So now, every day when I pick a necklace or put on ear rings...I get to remember this act of love and attention he showed to me. 

 And I smile. And remember exactly what it is I love about this man...All the little moments that make a life wonderful.

(If you like any of the flower hair clips - you MUST check out Poppie Lane!)

Copyright 2010

Monday, October 25, 2010

Cocoa Bean Moments...

You know those moments where everything slips away and just the treasure in that one minute is captured? Yesterday, I had one of those. The windows were open, the day was beautiful, and String Bean and Jumping Bean were playing outside while Bitty Bean napped. The only noises I heard from the yard were ecstatic laughter and made-up songs.

So I grabbed my camera.

This is what I captured....

 Two sisters enjoying each other's company...
 Playing Robin Hood and Maid Marian...

 






And treasuring every moment.

Copyright 2010

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Perspective...Take 2.

Well, I know I posted about keeping a good perspective on life just a little bit ago (Here in August)...but apparently I needed a recalibration. Again.

As I was sweeping the kitchen...for the 2nd time today; changing another load of laundry; reloading the dishwasher; and picking up the toys that procreate on my living room floor...I became annoyed.

I mean WHY should I have to sweep (or vacuum) the floor after every meal??

Why can't the children just LEAN OVER their plates like I tell them to do about-50-times-a-meal?

Why do they have to always spill something sticky on the counter I just wiped clean, or the floor I just mopped?

Why do they have to pull out every-single-book-on-the-shelf to build their forts?

Why do they have to cause blood to explode from their body (most often the face) as soon as the laundry is caught up?

I mean really. 

Yet, as I was struggling to heave myself up from pulling the clean clothes out of the dryer...I was struck with a thought:

I am looking at this all wrong.

Yes, I do need to sweep after every meal...but that is because my children are home and we are eating together.

These little beans (One in particular) do indeed have trouble leaning over their plates...because they are too excited about what they are saying - or doing - or telling each other - to focus on something like sitting still.

Yep, there are constant spills...because my little beans are home. They are here with me! What a treat to be with them and an opportunity to teach them manners and cleanliness.

The books and toys come out...and they are learning. They are creating and imagining. They are playing together. They are reading their favorite stories to each other. They are acting out the stories they love. How can I be upset or annoyed about that?

There is a never-ending-amount-of-laundry...because all my beans are home. We have more than just the clothes on our backs. We have indoor plumbing...I am not traipsing down to a river to scrub our other set of clothes. 

That may seem a bit of an extreme perspective - but many, many people in this world have never experienced the surplus of clothing that I take for granted.

And the dishes. Oh the dishes! Yet, if I didn't have the constant dishes...where would my reminder be of all the beautiful moments shared over breakfast and lunch and dinner? 

Overall, I was struck with my lack of thankfulness. I could easily be annoyed at the daily-routine-repetitive things that I must accomplish....or I can choose to just view them as the blessings they are. They are reminders of a family. MY Family. All the children are home...and well. I don't lie awake at night wondering if they will have food tomorrow...or a jacket for the winter. They are still young enough that a kiss and a hug can often solve all problems. They want me to share in their day - in the little moments and the big ones. 

I know the day will come - sooner than I could ever anticipate - that they will be running off on their own adventures. My house will stay clean. My washer and dryer will rest for a day or two. I'll have days that go by of not running my dishwasher.

But when that day comes...I won't have little sticky hands cupping my face to say "I love you Mommy!" The hurts and injuries will be deep and not curable with a kiss. They will be going off on their own adventures...and we will no longer hear about them around the table. There will no longer be cries out in the night from the bed down the hall...but I am sure I will still wake up to pray for  them and hope they are well. There will no longer be the unexpected gift of a special rock...or a request to sit down and read a favorite story. 

And when that day comes, I will miss this. 

Copyright 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

The "Club"

Motherhood.

Military Spouse.

Stay-at-home-mom.

Christ-follower.

Ahh, the "clubs" I am in. Each one is a huge blessing...and can be a horrible burden. Each one brands me. Claims me. Labels me. Truly, each one is wonderful! But there are times...

Being "mommy" does not automatically give you friends...or community. Staying home can mean days on end with only a small baby as company. Being married to the military often means your best friend must be half a world away doing their job. Being a follower of Jesus Christ can cause people to brand you with their past encounters.

In this world...these clubs I am in can tally up to quite a bit of loneliness. It takes an amazing amount of effort to make that psychological shift from career-woman to at-home-mama. It can cause resentment. Anger. Bitterness. And vast amounts of guilt. You don't get discharged from the hospital with your newborn and a ready-made set of friends.

It is unlike any other job...because your job does not automatically introduce you to people. Or have you interacting with others on a daily basis.

Motherhood can cause you to draw up into yourself...and allow your world to just become you and baby. Not good. Moving with the military can cause you to hold people at a distance..since you will be moving again anyway. It can keep you focusing on who-you-miss, instead of on who-you-can-meet. 

Motherhood....military life....Christianity....not places for people to go it alone! We all need support. We need encouragement. We need to talk with someone who has been there and survived. 

The Older woman who also had a baby with colic...and made it through.

The veteran military wife who handled moves and loneliness and figuring out the new-normal over and over again...and is glad she did.

The person who has battled their demons...and struggled...and fought...and yet has come through by the Grace of God to Praise the Creator.

These people are who I must surround myself with. Because I am not an island. I don't know it all. I need to know I am not alone in whatever situation I am facing. And I need to know that I can make it through. This is not the end of the world.

The poop explosions will one day stop; the orders will always change; the duty station can always be good; devotions will be more than 2 second prayers one day; sleep will happen again.

When that day comes - I want to look back and BE that woman that encouraged me...challenged me...helped me keep the right perspective...for someone who is like me right now. 

Because whether you want to be there or not...all of us are in a "club."

Copyright 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Truth

Here's the deal...

I'm just not feeling funny. Or pensive. Or creative. Or...pretty much anything. And I think my blog is suffering.

Perhaps it is due to the wicked heartburn that lights my throat on fire whenever I sit in the computer chair. Or the fact that if I sit with my feet not elevated - they swell to amazing sizes. It could even be that I'm just running out things to say....

Nope. That last one is Definitely NOT it.

Well, whatever "it" is....it seems to have me and my writing by strangle hold.

So - instead of a funny....or a teary...or a thought provoking post....I'm just gonna be me for a second. 

Inhale. Exhale. Here it goes:



Am 

Totally

Awesome.

There. I said it. And I feel about a million times better.

Now - I'm not saying that because I'm secretly Wonder Woman....I'm saying it because things on my master "To Do" list - are ACTUALLY getting accomplished. On time. Ahead of time even! 

What a phenomenally strange feeling. 

My Christmas gifts are coming along nicely. The (what feels like) 8 million baby gifts are coming together. The house is not falling apart. My various organization goals are being met. My children are surviving every day....despite their best efforts. AND McDonalds's...which is just one block away....does NOT know me by name! 

Think I might be the most excited about the McDonald's thing. I always want to cop-out and not cook when My Love is away.

So even though there are moments in my day that make me want to scream...something my neighbors can definitely attest to!....overall life is moving along just swimmingly.

Since the Bible says to "Give thanks in all things"....that is what I am doing! Thank the Lord for the energy to get through each day.  For the various goals that He's allowing me to meet. For safety. For shelter. For great support.

And that is the deal. 

Copyright 2010

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Cocoa Bean Moments....

Today I was an idiot. 

Not my normal way to start these posts out...but stick with me. 

Anyway. I completely forgot that Boy Bean HATES BBQ sauce. Really. This is an exceptionally hard aversion for me to remember because I LOVE BBQ.  Today I made the mistake of eating BBQ and had to pay the penalty:

Quality time with my head hung over the commode. 

I have now written some sticky-notes and posted them in my diaper bag, menu drawer, and refrigerator...so hopefully this will be the last time I forget this particular food problem.

That is all VITAL back-story to the Cocoa Bean Moment that occurred today....

While I was preparing to relieve my stomach of its contents....String Bean sat on the floor next to me, highly perplexed. She asked me, "Mommy, can I rub your back? Call someone? Get you a glass of water? Put my hand on your forehead? How can I take care of you?"

I waffled between telling her to stop asking me questions...and taking her up on her offers. Thankfully, the kind part of me won out....and I received a totally-awesome-5-year-old back rub. It actually really calmed me down.

Then Jumping Bean started singing "You are my sunshine" to me...that is our song to sing whenever someone is crying, or upset, or needs calming. We tweak the words just a bit so this was how Jumping Bean sang to her pale-faced mama:

You are my sunshine
My Mommy sunshine
You make me happy when skies are gray
You'll never know dear
How much I love you
I love you more and more every day.

Bitty Bean's contribution to the take-care-of-mommy-effort was to come and pull my hair. Pretty sure she was trying to pat my head.

After I kicked them out of the bathroom so I could throw up and not scare them and then clean up a bit...I entered the kitchen.

There I saw one glass of water, two bowls of applesauce, frosted mini wheats, and a whole lot of napkins. String Bean knew her sisters were hungry and knew I was in no state to figure out food....so she took the initiative and pulled out food. And filled a water glass for me. 

And I realized - I am not the best mom in the world by any stretch of the imagination. But I just might be the best-loved mom in the world.

And then I cried happy tears for the moment was sweet.

Copyright 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

Ahhh....Nesting

So THIS is what the books are talking about! The overwhelming urge to reorganize your linen closet...go through all your clothes...scrub everything in sight...rearrange...clean...bring order. I am sure I have experienced this feeling before - I just never realized that is what it was.

How can that be???

Well, this pregnancy is an odd one for me...it is the FIRST time I haven't moved while pregnant. Yep. So when all "those" people in the books had the urge to alphabetize their spice drawer...I was still hunting for which box my spices were in! I guess it put the pregnant-crazy-nesting-hormones to good use at least.

We moved - across the street - in my 2nd trimester with String Bean. And 2 days later My Love deployed again.

We moved - from Virginia to Florida - in my 2rd trimester with Jumping Bean. My Love was in OCS during that one...so it was completely solo.
We also moved AGAIN just around the corner...when Jumping Bean was 6 weeks old.

We moved - from Florida to Virginia - in my 1st trimester with Bitty Bean. My Love had already reported to duty in Virginia...so that one was solo also. It was an especially memorable one...2 weeks before Christmas we had our packout...String Bean had an upper respiratory infection, Jumping Bean had a cold, I had a sinus infection AND morning sickness AND a pretty severe cough. Fun times. Did I mention it was 17 hours driving in the car???? (Although that was actually a TON of fun!)

So this odd ball pregnancy...where I'm due in the winter -not the summer; carrying a boy - not a girl; craving fruit - not BBQ or ice cream; not packing on weight like an Eskimo preparing for winter - as opposed TO packing on weight like an Eskimo preparing for winter; and actually staying stationary...is a very fun, very new, experience for me. 

I'm really enjoying whipping my house into shape. Especially since it is not for someone else! This odd phenomenon of nesting is really insane.

I woke up one morning recently and HAD to clean my bathroom sink. Did it matter that I had already overslept and was running behind schedule? Nope. This sink had to be sparkling. Before ANYTHING ELSE COULD HAPPEN.

I have been having trouble sleeping at night....because I had not been able to label the bean's drawers/cubbies! (We ran out of permanent marker.) 

 Why is this something built into pregnancy? Wouldn't it be more beneficial to be struck with an overwhelming need to sleep? Apparently not. Because I CANNOT sleep if there are dishes in the sink. Or laundry left unfolded and not put away.

Before you go and write me off as some looney tunes cleaning fanatic....you must understand - this is not the normal me! I like a tidy house - who doesn't? - but I normally have NO PROBLEM with putting my feet up and pulling a Scarlet O'Hara...."I'll deal with it tomorrow." But this baby boy of mine is a huge fan of having his mommy accomplish....well....everything in sight. If only he wouldn't suck all the energy out of me at the same time!

I must go and continue to feather my nest...I hear my spice drawer calling.

Copyright 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Mama's 1 Cor. 13

I was reading "A Mother's Heart" by Jean Fleming last night - and ran across something rather profound.

She had paraphrased 1 Corinthians 13 for her motherhood journey...it convicted, challenged, and encouraged me...hopefully it will do the same for you.  The thoughts in parentheses are mine. Just so you know!

If I keep my house immaculately clean, and am envied by all for my interior decorating, but do not show love in my family - I'm just another housewife.
 (With a surprisingly clean house...and hair loss from stress)

If I'm always producing lovely things - sewing, art; if I always look attractive, and speak intelligently, but am not loving to my family - I am nothing.
 (I really just hope to shower each day....so that is not as much of a struggle)
 If I'm busy in community affairs, teach Sunday school, and drive in the carpool, but fail to give adequate love to my family - I gain nothing.

Love changes diapers, cleans up messes, and ties shoes - over and over again.

(Which is why I buy velcro shoes)

Love is kind, though tired and frazzled.

Love doesn't envy another wife - one whose children are "spaced" better, or in school so she has time to pursue her own interests. 

Love doesn't try to impress others with my abilities or knowledge as a mother.

Love doesn't scream at the kids.

Love doesn't feel cheated because I didn't get to do what I wanted to do today - sew, read, soak in a hot tub.

Love doesn't lose my temper easily.

Love doesn't assume that my children are being naughty just because their noice level is irritating. 

Love doesn't rejoice when other people's children misbehave and make mine look good. Love is genuinely happy when others are honored by their children. 

There are no parenthetical phrases on the bottom half of comments - because they would all read like this...

(Ugh. I really didn't want to hear that.)

Would you change anything, add anything, disagree with anything stated above?
Copyright 2010

Thursday, October 14, 2010

No time to paint....

"Love doesn't keep a record of wrongs...it lets go...it moves on - 
Oh and time moves by too fast - to keep painting pictures of the past."
Warren Barfield: Pictures of the Past
As I've been reminiscing over the past 7 years as a wife...I've realized the importance of not keeping a record of wrongs.  The verse from 1 Cor. 13 was read at our wedding...but I had no idea the impact it would have on our marriage and relationship.

It is so very easy to get caught up in tallying what I've done vs. what he's done....and then determining who's gonna pay up. It doesn't have to be a record of horrible deep wounds - although that shouldn't happen either! - it could just be a record of careless words, thoughtless moments, laziness, forgetfulness....simple things like the dirty laundry always ending up on the floor NEXT to the hamper - never making the bed - not cleaning out the car.

A tally of how many hours of sleep we each got in the week to determine who wins the treat of waking up slowly on Saturday morning. 

It could be things that don't seem like a record...yet I want him to pay up to balance it out. 

Keeping track of whatever he's done...or not done...or should do...or could do....and then lording it over him.

Not exactly the recipe for a happy, healthy, loving, marriage - or relationship.

Yet, I find I have to constantly combat this thought process in all my relationships. Love isn't about how much they give me - it is a free gift I have given them.

I am not advocating that horrible behavior be allowed in the name of love, please don't misunderstand me. 

Love doesn't keep a record of wrongs....what an amazing concept. It beautifully illustrates what Christ did for us - and it challenges me to be a better model for my children, my family, and my friends.

To be completely honest - there have been times I had to leave my Bible open to these verses...and out on the counter or the table...and make myself go back and re-read them every time the replay of the offense came up. Some days that would mean only once...other days...other hurts...it would be countless times for weeks. Or months.

But, eventually, that record would no longer be kept. It would stop replaying in my mind. I could see the positive in that person...or situation...or whatever it was.  It wasn't easy. It wasn't fun. But it was worth every single moment of forcing myself to see the good and not just the hurt. To see the person as just one other human being Christ died for - and not as just the cause of my pain.

The constant battle against reliving past hurts...past wrongs....is very, very hard. But in the end - replaying the hurt is mainly just hurting yourself. Over and over again. And that is no cake walk either.

Time is just zipping by...better put that "past" paintbrush away...and treasure the moments I have in front of me.

Copyright 2010

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Pity Party Time....

As I was (unsuccessfully) trying to fall asleep last night...I had a pity party. I try really REALLY hard to NOT have pity parties....they are lame....don't leave you feeling any better....and typically make me cry or say something I regret - or both.  However, LAST night as I lay in bed with my arms taking turns falling numb...my back aching...and my feet swelling...I could not fight the Pity Party Pull.

Sooo....I thought I'd voice what I was feeling....pretty sure I'm not the only one who has felt these things.

I must preface this with: I LOVE My Love. Very, very much. But part of this man I love is the job he does...and sometimes it just stinks. Like when he is gone. I am an extremely big fan of having him around - I can handle things without him - but I sure PREFER to have him here!

Sometimes I feel guilty because the day is so busy that when I finally collapse into bed....I realize I didn't miss him at all. I just went through my day and accomplished my tasks...and didn't have time to miss him. I love him so very much! But sometimes it is just easier to compartmentalize and keep everything I have to juggle in front of me....and not think about the huge place that is empty.

Sometimes I get tired of feeling like the 3rd wheel. Everyone has experienced this at some point...and will most likely experience it again...but the odd thing about this military life is that if your active duty spouse is on sea duty, there's a good chance many people you rely on may not even know your spouse.

Flying solo is NOT the end of the world...I am thankful for the (very small) understanding I now have for single moms and single people in general. This whole world seems manufactured for pairs...so when you are solo it just seems to constantly be in your face. Kinda like how everything is made for right-handed people. I'm left-handed. 

 These separations are horrible and wonderful. 

There is an empty seat at the table every night. 

There's no one to finish my sentences or take over the story I was telling....I only have about 10 - so we've numbered them..."I think #5 would work in this situation...but I need to go change Bitty Bean...Can you take over?" 

Everything you do in your life is used to having them in it...and suddenly they are gone. There are all these little things he does that I didn't even know...who knew the window sill above the kitchen sink got dirty???....and they just make me miss him.

In my parenting adventure - I miss him. I feel the hole from lacking his understanding, knowledge, wisdom, and perspective on each of our children. I miss him most desperately on the constant-struggle-days, because those are the days he would help me recalibrate.

I'm thankful for the military - for this lifestyle, because it helps me to be mindful of the man I married. To not lose sight of his value and importance in our home during the daily humdrum routine of laundry, parenting, dishes, bum wiping, and cooking.

He is so much more than the man who pays the bills, takes out the trash, and wrestles with the kids. He is my friend. My leader. My partner. My Love.

And the gift of every deployment is realizing that anew. 

Copyright 2010

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Get your craft on....

So here's the deal...I've already admitted I'm a bit craft-handicapped, and not especially artistically inclined. However, something about this boy child inside of me has propelled me towards my glue gun and sewing machine in ways beyond comprehension.

It is almost as if I can't sleep without making SOMETHING with my hands 
Every. 
Single. 
Day.
Totally weird. 
My Love says the "craft devil" has gotten hold of me. I would partially agree.

Something amazing has happened with this Boy Bean of mine...he has given me skills towards positive craft experiences! I have now sewn...4 1/2 projects - successfully!! - ...and made a wreath that I am not embarrassed to hang on our front door.

See?


Not only THAT....I suddenly can take pseudo-artistic photos! Go me!

Now, I am not the genius who came up with this super-easy-totally-cheap-yet-looks-pretty-decent-wreath....that honor I will have to give to Dana over at MADE.

Since yesterday's post was super long...and introspective...I figured something light could work today. I have been desperately wanting to create magic in my home decor....my culinary inventions....my Jumping Bean's school lessons....but I find once I plant my bum at the end of the day - I'm done.
So the home decor is happening primarily because I CAN plant my bum and do it! 

And you have a happy woman. 
Copyright 2010

Monday, October 11, 2010

Why I LOVE....

Biggest Loser.

You thought I was gonna say something else, didn't you????

1. Bob Harper. Favorite quote of his:
"I am gonna work you so hard I'll break your legs off and beat you with them."
I really don't completely understand the sentence...but it cracks me up...every time.

2. It is super encouraging. As I've gained and lost 145 pounds over my past 3 pregnancies in 5 years...and I'm adding 15 pounds so far with #4...it has been an excellent motivator to get off my butt and lose the weight. The trouble is - whenever I watch them work out super hard it makes me want to sit there and eat ice cream. Or Doritos. Seriously. I have my worst food cravings during this show! So now I drink a glass of chocolate milk while sitting on my exercise ball and then do lunges and bicep curls while watching. Nothing too strenuous I promise!

3. Their blatant plugs for products. I don't know why - but I find them hilarious. Like people naturally say

"Oh! These Jennie-O turkey slices are really amazing! I could eat them every day wrapped around a carrot! Definitely tastes better than the chili cheese fries I normally eat for snack."
Okay, so I added the chili chees fries part....but that's what I'd be thinking about! Really?! I know healthy food tastes good....most of the time...and portion control is a VITAL part to weight control...but I'm sorry, a turkey wrapped veggie does not replace a junk food snack. (Unless it's turkey bacon wrapped around southern collard greens...that I could get behind.)

4. The music. Have you ever really listened to the background music? Especially during the 2nd half of the show? (The weigh-in part.) It sounds like music from some epic movie. I'd really like to have that piped in my bathroom whenever I step on the scale.

5. Jillian Micheals. That woman keeps quite a few waxing places in business. Her eyebrows desperately want to be one...and I feel her pain. As you can tell....I'm very deep and mature.  Seriously though - her training is great. Definitely enjoy her style.

The main reason I love Biggest Loser?

6. It shows me I CAN DO IT. I know that is very much like #2...but its the truth. I find it to be such a challenging, encouraging show! Being a healthy weight...getting to and maintaining a healthy weight....it IS possible! No matter where you start on the scale. Or what fitness level you are. It is possible to be healthy. To change your lifestyle. It isn't easy. There are no real quick-fixes. BUT it IS POSSIBLE! And that is why I keep coming back season after season.

And because I've been constantly pregnant and need the motivation!

Copyright 2010

7 year itch...

7 years ago on this day I was counting the moments until I could say "I do" to the man oh-so-much-better-than-my-dreams. I couldn't wait to start my life with him. Stand by his side. Go on adventures. For richer, for poorer, in sickness and health.


I had absolutely NO IDEA what I was signing on for. 

Apparently the "7 year itch" phrase comes from the idea that many people want out at this point. 
I don't. 

How could I possibly have known the way my life would never be the same when I became his Mrs.? That adventure doesn't always come in amazing trips (although we have had those), fantastic excursions, or exploring of worlds unknown?

Adventure can come in the form of a move, a baby (or 4!), a broken-down car, a perceived burglar, a missed flight, pneumonia, morning sickness, parenthood, friendship...LIFE.

How could I know this man whom I yearned to be with every moment of every day would be more than my Knight in Shining Armor....he would become my best friend. He would encourage me and challenge me. He would love me always and seek to protect me.

How could I know in that moment how closely deep, heart-rending pain and fierce, passionate love are connected? 

Did he know those things?

Did he know all the levels of commitment we were agreeing to?

Love. 
Honor. 
Respect. 
Submit. 
For Always. 
Until Death.

Sounds so much easier when all you see are the Mr. Wonderful and Mrs. Amazing in front of you. But in real life....it is hard. Marriage is work. But worth every second.

If the vows read were more real....more actual life....would we still agree to them?

I promise to Love you - to wash your dirty clothes, to make the bed, to cook the food, to wipe snotty noses, to care for our home while you are far away, to listen to what you have to say...if I feel like it or not. His version: to hold your hair back during morning sickness, to rub your feet when you can't see them anymore, to provide for you, to move the furniture...again, to pay attention to paint swatches, to listen to what you have to say...whether I feel like it or not.

I promise to Honor you - to take care to not "let myself go" and take the time to be presentable; to say kind things about you - and TO you, to not talk behind your back, to speak well of you to our children, our friends, our acquaintances...no matter what. His version: to take care to not "let myself go" and take the time to be presentable; to keep my eyes for only you - no matter the distance; to say kind things about you - and TO you, to not talk behind your back, to speak well of you to our children, our friends, our acquaintances...no matter what.

I promise to Respect you - to value you opinion, to seek your advice, to heed what you say, to back you up in front of others...and behind closed doors...even if I don't understand. His version: to value your opinion, to not speak in a snide manner, to not belittle you...even if it would be easy to do so.

I promise to stay with you Always - to move wherever, whenever, every time; to choose you - over career, over children, over other family or friends...regardless of financial security, because you are the one for me. For Always.

At our wedding two pieces of literature were recited - 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.
And William Shakespeare's Sonnet 116 - 
Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,

Or bends with the remover to remove:
O no! it is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;

It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.
Love's not Time's fool, though rosy lips and cheeks
Within his bending sickle's compass come:
Love alters not with his brief hours and weeks,
But bears it out even to the edge of doom.

   If this be error and upon me proved,
   I never writ, nor no man ever loved.


Would I agree to those conditions now??  
Yes. Because every single time - I would choose My Love again. 
He's gonna love this picture.

This road has not been smooth...or easy...but it has been ours. 
And there is noone else for me to adventure with.

Probably gonna have to post another one reminiscing this week...this is too long already!


Copyright 2010

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sign of....

Being MOM:

The events of last night's bath time were not really worth mentioning....in fact, I even forgot about everything that occurred until bath time tonight! But after further reflection, I realized it was pretty doggone hilarious. So...for the queasy stomach/faint of heart - don't read this. But if you can handle some "potty humor" hang around.

Bitty Bean. God bless Bitty Bean. Bless her little heart. 

I started the water in the tub - and pulled the diaper off Bitty Bean. I checked the temp on the water....turned back around to check the munchkin...and stepped in a pool of nice, warm, pee. Yep. She loves me. She did it on the easy-to-clean-doesn't-make-laundry FLOOR. No rug! Woohoo!!

Yes - I am excited about pee on the floor. But you have to take it in context. 

Then - yes, there's more. Oh so much more! - I set Bitty Bean in the tub and proceeded to strip Jumping Bean. I was sitting in the bathroom - just had my back to a singing Bitty Bean for a moment while I unbuttoned her shirt! When I turned back around to put Jumping Bean in the tub - there were floaters. LOTS and LOTS of floaters. (That's poop for any of you who don't know) Poor little Bean had the runs. ..and she's gonna kill me when she's older because this is on the internet. Oh well. There was poop all up in that tub. In the toys. In the water. In her hand. Yes. IN HER HAND. I grabbed her and pulled her out of the tub - after getting her to release her grip on the one mostly-solid-piece-she-had-a-death-hold-on  - and proceeded to drain the tub. AND rinse all the toys.

Which, by the way, are all in the dishwasher currently getting sterilized. Have I mentioned how very much I love my dishwasher? It could count as an affair.  

Now the tub has been scrubbed ahead of schedule! Between the surprise mopping of the laundry room and the extra tub scrub...I'd say my week is keeping my house nice and clean. 

Does this story sound familiar? Please tell me I am not the only person who has had to deal with this. Obviously, I've dealt with it numerous times...otherwise it would have been a little more noteworthy. In fact, in December of 2008 I posted all about a very similar experience with Jumping Bean...

******
There are certain sentences that every mother knows and fears. Today I had the distinct privilege of experiencing one of them being yelled at me -
"Mom!!! Jumping Bean Pooped in the Tub!"
Definitely not one of my favorite things to hear. 

My least favorite is "Shhhh - don't cry!" Which is typically immediately followed by hysterical screaming.

Anyway, I was watching the beans play during their bath tonight and noticed Jumping Bean doing a bit of pushing. (Stop reading now if you don't like waaaay too much information.) I assumed it was gas since we'd already taken care of business today. Shortly after her momentary exertion, String Bean yelled that disgusting sentence mentioned earlier. 

Of course since Jumping Bean is a thoughtful child, she was at least considerate enough to poop in the mouth of fishy bath toy which managed to catch the majority of her "present." 

She is REALLY gonna hate me when she's older; and yes, the fishy has floated on to other things.

However, there naturally was a rogue floater. Jumping Bean (with her cat-like reflexes) dove for the lone piece, snatched it in her hand, and headed straight for her mouth. Thankfully my super-mom reflexes are a touch faster than a cat's, so I was able to redirect the piece from its intended goal of reentry - strait to the toilet. 

After NUMEROUS hand-washings and a draining and subsequent refilling of the tub, the bath was able to resume.

Once again I was struck by a clear picture of what motherhood is all about - 

Crap happens. But that doesn't mean you have to sit in it freaking out and whining. You can take action - do something about it. Try again. Start from scratch. It may happen again - but then again, it just might not. 

AND eventually, it will probably be a funny story!

Copyright 2010

Friday, October 8, 2010

Milestone...

Last night we crossed one of the many little milestones that mark growth in a child - and I felt my usual mix of sad and happy.

It amazes me how each little step is so very exciting...because your little one is growing up....and how each little step brings a touch of nostalgia and melancholy...because your little one is growing up. 

I know in the moments of extreme trial - the-no-sleep-newborn-phase, the-I-must-do-it-myself!-phase, the-learning-independence-phase, the-potty-training-phase (need I go on???) - the "next step" looks beautiful and fabulous and oh-so-much-easier than whatever I am facing at the moment. But it isn't. Each phase has its challenges...but each phase extreme amounts of blessing in it as well. I know I've only been at this 5 years - but I think I'm starting to get a grip on savoring the seconds....the easy ones...and especially the hard ones.

The discomfort of pregnancy...the exhaustion of middle of the night feedings...the power struggles of toddler will...the messes of potty training....the accidents....the spills...the dirty windows...the constant laundry...the repetitive teaching...the wake ups....the training...

It is a never-ending list...of gifts and blessings.  The hard part is registering it.  

I messed that up today...Jumping Bean had an accident and I lost it. I was so very upset at her...and I shouldn't have been. My schedule was upset...my plan was thrown off....but she had not meant to do wrong! That is why it is called an accident! When I apologized to her for yelling...her little eyes welled up with tears and she said, "Its okay Mommy. I forgive you. But it did make my heart sad." 

I'm sure one day I'll look back on these years and wish they were all home so I could hug away their tears or bandage their hurts. The trouble is sometimes its hard to see the gifts for the struggles.

Back to the Milestone of last night...Bitty Bean turned 16 months yesterday! And I thought it was as good a night as any to try out her big-girl bed. So my itty bitty baby girl curled up in her big girl bed...in the big girl room...and slept. She was so excited to sleep in the same room as String Bean and Jumping Bean. And I was thrilled!  But I was also sad. The nursery was empty. The monitor silent.  
 It was a moment. A marker passing time. My baby is growing up. 
Bitty Bean in her big girl bed - hugging her Daddy pillow

Sad and happy at the same time...pretty much sums up Motherhood.

Copyright 2010

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Pregnancy "Perks"...part 2

Why should you read this?

Because it will make you laugh. At least once. Promise.

"Perk" #1 - You get to learn why underwear are so important.


 My primary annoyance with pregnancy is this... 

my pants and my underwear are constantly at war with one another. 

Seriously. One wants to climb up and the other wants to slide down...always. And to mix it up - they take turns on which one does what. There really is no polite way to reach down your backside - hoping to find your underwear - and then situate everything back in its correct place again. It drives me so crazy I've contemplated going commando. But then I sneeze. Or cough. Or bend over. And it is made crystal clear why, exactly, underwear are so important.

Perk #2 - You get your hair changed up for free!
Well, free if you don't consider that your hairstylist will depend on you for food, clothing, shelter, training, chauffeuring, laundering, hygiene, and tuition.  For AT LEAST 18 years. But pregnancy really DOES whack your hair out! At least it does mine! I have an entire section of my hair that is now stick straight courtesy of Boy Bean. It is an adventure..I never know what type of hair I'll have to match my ginormous belly.

Perk #3 - You get to learn Yoga.
I guess you technically don't have to learn yoga....but I can't think of anything else that will provide you with enough different stretches to help you get comfortable in the middle of the night. It works for me!

Perk #4 - You get to learn how to walk with random parts of your body falling numb at a moments notice.
This Boy Bean of mine likes to sit on my sciatic nerve...which would be no big deal - except that it causes my legs to randomly go numb. A little side effect they don't really tell you about.

Perk #5 - You get to lose your mind...and it is perfectly normal. 
You can't remember where you left your keys, your purse, your sunglasses, your kids keys.You walk into rooms and have no idea why you are there. (The only room I'm always sure of what to do in is the bathroom. Half the time I'm not even sure I need to go...but since I'm there...) You can't remember ANYTHING. Pregnancy is a really good time to watch movies...because you will not remember seeing them, have no recollection of the plot, and can watch them again at a later-non-pregnant date for the "first" time.

I know there are other perks....but I really can't remember any right now...what was I doing again?

Copyright 2010

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Losing my mind....

Well, its official. I've lost my mind.

Proof? Oh, I have proof - see yesterday's post...or keep reading.

This morning in the shower as I was planning out the meals for the day...it hit me. I went to the Commissary yesterday, filled out the deli counter order, continued through the store finishing my list....and never returned for my deli meat.

Yep. My honey maple turkey and provolone cheese were sliced, bagged, and left. And it didn't even register until 24 hours later. 

Not enough evidence of losing it?

On the way to drop String Bean at school, my car was randomly selected for a vehicle search by the base police.

Really.

So I handed them all the stuff they needed...got out of the car...and waited for them to check everything.  (They were very nice - just doing their job - so no annoyance with them) Meanwhile, String Bean starts sobbing. Wailing, in fact.

Why?

Because she thought they were going to take her mother to jail. And how on earth would she get to school then???

Once they completed the search, I climbed back in, reversed out of the holding area, and realized - I wasn't wearing a seat belt. I had my Suburban  surrounded by police officers...and no seat belt in a moving vehicle. Apparently, I am so used to getting tickets - I try to get them if it looks like I won't. 

Then, after dropping String Bean at school; Jumping Bean, Bitty Bean, and I hung out with a friend talking in the parking lot.  I buckled my beans in...closed their door...and went to open my door.

I couldn't. 

It was locked. 

With my keys, cell phone, and ID, INSIDE.

Really.

Jumping Bean sat there in her seat trying to unlock the door...by tapping on the window. (She has since been educated on what "push the lock button" actually means.) Finally, as my friend drove off to go to my house to get my spare keys...Jumping Bean flipped the lock.

I immediately jumped in the car and grabbed my phone to call my friend so she wouldn't waste her time.  Then I realized...her number isn't in my phone. It is in my planner...sitting on the kitchen counter.

And that is why I am losing my mind.

I have a tan Suburban with Escambia plates...if you ever see me wandering in a parking lot...could you please direct me to my vehicle???

Copyright 2010

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

A Riddle....

Here's a riddle for you:

How do you know you have 3 children 5 and under, are in your 3rd trimester with #4, have a deployed husband, and have only dreamt about sleeping through the night when walking into walls due to sleep deprivation?

You flood the Laundry room. 

Yep.

Yesterday was a day for irony....but you need some back story....earlier I had gotten off the phone with my oh-so-totally-awesome-sister-in-law after we had both come to the conclusion we hate poop. Therefore, we are both foregoing the eco-friendly cloth diapers, in favor of the very-little-touching-of-poop disposable diapers. (This is actually relevant...stay with me.) 

AS SOON AS I hung up the phone, Jumping Bean came to me with this oops-I-pooped-my-pants-look on her face....and said, "Mommy! I tooted and POOP came out!!

Never a sentence you want to hear. Or say. Or experience. 

Anyway, I jumped up, and quickly we went to the bathroom...she was sobbing....I felt like crying...it was not a pretty sight. As she stood in the bathroom snotting all over the place, I took her dress off, and started pulling her panties down. Unfortunately, Jumping Bean freaked out over the poop sliding down her leg. So, she kicked her foot. And the large mass flopped onto the bathroom...rug.
Yes, I took a picture. yuk.

After physically pinning her to the toilet seat so I could wipe her bum, legs, ankles, and foot, clean...she was given a super-fast-bath.

That is mom-code for "no toys, fun, or pandemonium. Just get in. Get clean. Get out."

Later, as I was rinsing the gross off of the rug in the utility sink in our laundry room, I realized it needed to soak. So I stopped up the sink...turned on the faucet...and heard the sound of shattering glass coming from the general direction of the beans and the living room. 

I ran toward the noise and was welcomed by the sight of an overturned lamp, light bulb bits all over the carpet, and three crying beans.  I promptly took all beans upstairs away from the DANGER and we proceeded to read stories and play games...for 2 and a half hours. 

When we finally migrated back downstairs for dinner, I was greeted by the sound of splashing water coming from the laundry room.

Thank the Lord for the floor drain.

 I opened the laundry room door to find 1/4 inch of standing water covering the floor, and a veritable waterfall coming from the edge of the sink.

It was not my finest moment for my choice of words.

Once I had cleaned up the mess, and gotten food for all the beans...I realized I needed a perspective change. So we had a "Praise Dinner." All the things we said during dinner were things we are thankful for...they ranged from the everyday - Thank you for clothes - to the very strange - Thank you for toots - to the sweet - Thank you that Mommy and Daddy love each other - to the need-to-discuss-at-a-later-time - Thank you that I'm so much smarter than my sisters.

Overall, it was a very good exercise! However, I'd rather not have to repeat the day to learn the lesson!!

 Copyright 2010

Monday, October 4, 2010

OB Appointment time...

I must say some sick, twisted, person (who has never been pregnant) decided on what must happen at every OB check up.

You walk up to the counter, you tell them your name, and they direct you to the bathroom. This bathroom holds a small little cup....that you are supposed to hold in your hand in places you haven't seen in months.

Don't worry - it is not used.


Seriously.  They don't furnish you with gloves to your elbow....they don't give you a funnel....or a bed pan. Nope. They expect you to neatly pee in a cup! With this belly in the way, all I have to say is HOW ON EARTH am I supposed to accomplish this task?!?!?
25 weeks
Is this the medical profession's idea of a good time?
Having women all around the country going to the bathroom on themselves?
Do the nurses watch the waddling masses heft themselves into the bathroom and sit back and snicker?
Or, are they in cahoots with the cup manufacturer to design the smallest cup possible for them to use?
I don't know if there is some big conspiracy against women with bowling balls on their abdomens....but I am pretty sure there is. 

I also have no idea who thought putting the scale in the main hallway was a good idea. Where the nurse has to verify your weight...out loud and check it against your last weigh in...and then (at least in my case) she raises an eyebrow and makes some snide remark to the effect of "How has your time with Ben and Jerry been this month?"

All because I gained 5 lbs when I supposed to gain 4. Yes, you read that right.

Personally, I don't even like Ben and Jerry's ice cream....I'm a Starbucks Java Chip girl....but that isn't the point. The point is this: My personal space hasn't existed for 5 years now. I also haven't slept through the night in 5 years. I am tired. I am spending my days running after 3 beans who seem to have limitless energy. I am keeping a house....even mowing the lawn! If I want to sit on my fat butt at the end of the day and enjoy a little java chip ice cream....I should be allowed.

 I don't need to go to the doctor to pee on myself and then be criticized for my weight gain...all I have to do is sneeze or cough, and then get one of the beans to look at the number on the scale at home (I can't see over my stomach) and say something loving like "MOMMY!! I don't know how to count that high." 

(Yes, actual quote)

So, String Bean, Jumping Bean, Bitty Bean, and Boy Bean....this is to tell you your mama loves you a lot. Now, where is my spoon???

Copyright 2010

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Bring it on...

Recently, I thought I would have another sad-sappy-story-day without much funny in it because of how it started:

String Bean walked in to my bathroom when she first woke up...saw me showered and in my towel....and burst into tears.

While I have felt that way looking at my ever-expanding-girth-in-a-towel-that-is-constantly-getting-too-small; I thought her reaction a tad extreme. On the side - by the end of my pregnancies....I use a beach towel in the bathroom. 'Cause I'm cool like that.

Anyway. Back to the tears...

So, she burst into tears and I assumed it wasn't because she saw me. So I got down on her level and asked her if she wanted to cuddle and sit in my lap. (Typically what she wants to do if she is sad.) She nodded and waited patiently as I was situated in the chair. When she was comfortably settled in my lap, she looked at me with tear-filled eyes and said, "I miss Daddy." Then she couldn't go on because she started to cry.

I seriously contemplated keeping her home from school. She was so forlorn and overwhelmed by missing her Daddy...but first I asked if she wanted to email Daddy to help him feel closer. (She dictates emails and I type EXACTLY what she says.)  So off we plodded to the computer area...and she proceeded to start her letter like this...

Hi there Daddy.
This is me Canaan. We know that you miss us and we miss you too.


I thought it would stay in that vein for a while. I was wrong. The very next sentence was this:

Mom's gonna put beans on our wreath, and if it looks pretty she's gonna put ribbon on the wreath for our WHOLE life for every single season of the year.

More on that another day. But apparently, every aspect of my decorating is noteworthy enough to tell Daddy. The fact that I am decorating...with beans...and ribbon...and want to use something for a while.  

I like to keep people on their toes. I'm crafty like that. . . in a daughter-of-Eve-sort-of-way. 

 She ended up going to school and I thought all was well.

It wasn't.

Without my knowledge, Jumping Bean and Bitty Bean had been preparing for battle. Against their mother. They had youth, stamina, and wills of steel ready in their arsenal. I did not. I was tired, hungry, and Boy Bean was using my rib cage for boxing practice.  It was a VERY LONG DAY.

After we picked String Bean back up from school...and played in the pouring down rain for two hours...we'd been cooped up inside for a week!...it was bath time.

I'll be honest.


By this time, my patience had left the building; my sanity was seeking to follow suit; my legs were taking turns being numb; I was very hungry; and "good mommy" was nowhere to be found. 

String Bean needed to stand up for something in the bathtub - and wouldn't. Despite being instructed by the woman-with-blood-shot-eyes-and-tight-voice, she would not move. Calmly (REALLY!!) I told her, "You will be disciplined after bath for not obeying."  She slowly raised her head...set her jaw...and then opened the door to a new phase:
"I'm gonna leave this house forever if that happens."

Yep. She went there. I, however, did not. I continued washing the children, leveled my eyes at her and said "What ON EARTH would you do on your own? You are FIVE! Where would you eat? Where would you sleep? How would you get anywhere? Where would you get money for food, clothes, bills?! No. You are not going anywhere."

She sat there in stunned in silence...looked around the tub, and said, "That didn't really go like I thought it would."

Mommy - 1
Beans - 0

And all is well in the world.

Copyright 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cocoa Bean Moments...part 2

I think Friday will be my "Cocoa Bean Moments" days....because it is always nice to focus on the sweet things in life.

Although I will be posting about yesterday VERY soon. . . it was most definitely NOT sweet.

My morning started out late...primarily because I turned off my alarm when I was still awake at 2 am. Ahh the joys of a brain that will not shut down. 

Anyway, this morning, instead of waking to a not-so-melodious-beeping and stumbling into the bathroom to shower before I can peel my eyelids up and open my eyes...I was treated to String Bean tiptoeing into my room...crawling into bed behind me...and giving me a HUGE hug. Then she gently scratched my back and said, "It must be hard growing a person. And taking care of us. I love you so much Mommy."

And suddenly, all the horrible things that had made me lose sleep...all the awful moments of parent-child struggle of the day before...all the disappointment in ANOTHER rainy day...just melted away.  All that was left was just pure sweetness of the moment. 

Like God just placed a kiss on my pillow.

Copyright 2010