Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Commissary Day....

So, it has been a bit since I posted about a Commissary trip. The last post-worthy trip really was something that nightmares are made of.

Today was not like that day.


The children were excellent! Really. 

I looked like a parenting rock-star.

I, however, wanted to behave like a little brat complete with a kicking and screaming tantrum.

What, you ask, could motivate me to feel that way???

Car carts.

Or lack thereof.

Let me explain: car carts (carts where you can contain 2 small children while still having space for your groceries)  are absolutely AH-MAZE-ING.  They make the commissary a total blast for my children. Bitty Bean gets to be in charge of Boy Bean and share her free cookie with him; they both get to drive, honk the horn, and see all the action of where we are going. Jumping Bean and String Bean get to alternate turns placing items in the cart with twirling in the aisle.

And all is well in the world.


Except when there are NO car carts available.

Which is bound to happen sometimes because there are only 7 for the entire store. 

Now, I really am fairly understanding about there not being car carts - sometimes it is the minivan brigade in the parking lot (which now includes MY Swagger Wagon!!! Woohoo!) so I am prepared there might not be a cart available.

But here's my warned: I am about to RANT.

(I apologize in advance for offending you)

When I walk through the commissary with my 11 month old son in the regular cart, my 2 1/2 year old, 4 year old, and 6 year old daughters walking behind and around me - and see someone using a car cart for their ONE child; I get annoyed. 

I'm not really annoyed if the child is fairly young.

BUT if your child is so old they can barely fit in the car cart - I'm going to be ticked.

And I get extremely close to irationally-eye-twitching-mad when I see your ONE child....who looks close to 8 years old....PUSHING the EMPTY car cart.

It is purely because I am trying to set an example of how to behave in polite society that I don't go all crazy-mama on them and chuck a box of diapers at the adult's head.

I don't understand this thought process. It is totally fine if you have one child - I don't think everyone needs a tribe. BUT I do think you should be considerate of other people. And taking something you don't need, just to placate a child, helps no one.

The child learns selfishness and greed because they want something - so they should get it.

The parent is not wanting to tell their child no - which is absolutely terrible for all parties involved.

And there is someone coming soon behind them who actually NEEDS that cart - and can't use it and now has a much more challenging trip ahead of them.

Seriously people.

So, today, as I encountered 5 of 7 car carts loaded with one child (all at least 4 years old), and the other 2 of them being pushed by a child older than String Bean.....
I was able to address the importance of being considerate. 
Of thinking of others. 
Of not taking something you don't need, just because it is there - or free. 
Of realizing that sometimes your fun time can ruin the chance someone else has of having a need met.

That is what is wrong with this country, isn't it? 

Everybody wants what they want because they want it - without regard for others, without caring about the ramifications of selfish decisions - because the all important "I" is number one.

To that I say: Maybe you should think twice the next time you want to OCCUPY a car cart.
Some sleep-deprived mama of four might just go all crazy on you.


Copyright 2011

Monday, November 28, 2011

A First....

Well, it happened.

I mean, we ALL knew this day was coming....I had just hoped it wouldn't be so soon.


I am NOT pregnant.

I have, however, completely lost my mind.


(Unfortunately there are no pictures - which really is quite sad once you visualize the following)

Apparently, I'm really, really, tired. 

Although, somehow I'm not tired enough to NOT write this down....hmmmm

So tired in fact, that when I was unloading the dryer at 7:30 this evening -
after decorating for Christmas, cleaning up some of that disaster, teaching school, 
dealing with obscene amounts of poop, over seeing piano practice x2, making sure all people ate today, 
reading bedtime stories, kissing and tucking in 4 little beans 
- after all of THAT....I knelt down to reach all the way into the back of the dryer, pulled out My Love's paintball pants, inhaled the Tide/Bounce combo deeply, and laid my head on the load of laundry in the basket.

And fell asleep.

For 20 minutes.

The ONLY difference between me and the woman pictured (other than stretch marks, dark circles under my eyes, non-gleaming floors, and my workout apparel for today consisting of a UCONN t-shirt and black capri sweats) was that my head was cushioned by a warm towel and a pair of gray Columbia pants.


How I wish My Love had walked in on that scene!

Perhaps I am extra tired because Boy Bean has been fighting an illness for a bit so sleep has been rather sketchy....

Maybe it is because that is just how you feel in this phase of life....

Or maybe, just maybe, I needed to nap on the laundry to be reminded to keep a Bounce in my step and to roll with the Tide. 


That's laundry humor for you.

Stay clean people.


Copyright 2011

Friday, November 25, 2011

A Study in Stupidity....

So, for some reason, I had not thought having 4 kids five and under would be that hard.

One kid isn't that hard - how much worse can 4 be?

I mean, I had seen parents with 4 young children rush by me in a harried-sleep-deprived-daze dashing off to help the poop-explosion-melt-down-nursing needs of a child. 
I had even wondered why they were so harried-sleep-deprived.  

Oh the naivete of pride and youth.

I guess 4 little people isn't that hard if you've actually slept through the night once a year.  But I wouldn't know about that.

I must have the kind of face that says 
"Please, please comment on everything about my life and tell me why I'm doing it wrong." 
Lucky me. 

I've been reminded recently - by numerous random strangers - that I MUST be crazy to have SO MANY children and be a mama-who-doesn't-work-for-financial-pay. 
I get paid - very well - just not in anything that I can contribute to a retirement fund. Unless you count - hopefully - raising kids that like you enough to take care of you when you are old. 

Apparently, mild-insanity runs in my family. 

My paternal Grandmother - who was a brilliant, genius of a woman - was crazy enough to have 4 children in 4 years.

Actually, her oldest TURNED 4, THREE days AFTER #4 - my dad - was born.

While married to the Air Force. 

And moved twice during the SAME period. One move from Arizona to Idaho after Baby #2, and one between Babies #3 and #4.   

According to family lore, she resorted to creating an intriguing tonic labeled "Tiger's Milk" which helped her handle the crazy her beans shelled out. 

My maternal Grandmother - who was also a brilliant woman - was crazy enough to have 4 children in 4 1/2 years. 

While married to the Merchant Marines.

Perhaps insanity skips a generation. Because none of their children attempted to pull off a repeat. For the record, we really weren't seeking to repeat anybody's anything. We just.....well, this really isn't the place to explain all that.

Or maybe I just am the wrong fit for this generation. 

Who knows.

Unfortunately, I'm a slow learner.

A really, REALLY slow learner.

So, I am now walking in the shoes of those people I used to look down on from my high horse.  And while the walk is challenging, it is exhaustingly wonderful.

As I face the future with our Beans, I'm trying desperately to judge less, and understand more. 

So if you see me with my hair shoved in a hat, wearing the same clothes as the last time we saw each other,  rushing by you clutching one to three children in various awkward positions, with a diaper bag flying behind me.....

Feel free to point and laugh.

Because, apparently, the more I rail against it - 
the more likely it will become one of my life experiences.


Copyright 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Bandwagon time.....

Sometimes, this girl (who likes to think she is unique) finds a bandwagon that is so good - so fantastic - she just has to jump on.

Which is really hard to do, because this white girl really doesn't jump.

But this idea of talking about what you are thankful for in light of Thanksgiving a really, really, good one.

So, in a nutshell, here is what I'm thankful for:  Rarely getting what I want.


This is why:

If I had gotten what I wanted for my life......
I wouldn't have married My Love, because the military was not for me.
I wouldn't have four children by the time I was 29, because I wanted longer "couple" time with My Love.
I wouldn't be in the church I'm in, because I didn't want to live on the East Coast.
I wouldn't have been present at the birth of my nephew, because I wanted to move to Japan.

(And this is just the short list!)

There is a bit of a trend....can you spot it?

Basically,  the Author of my story likes me to trust Him.


I'm very thankful for how patiently He teaches me to trust Him, to not worry,  
and to check my perspective.

Regarding perspective, my crew has been sick for quite a few days now...which means I'm not really sleeping, Boy Bean is only happy if he is cuddling me, Bitty Bean has an obscene case of whining, and Jumping Bean and String Bean are emotional volcanoes.

Good times people, good times.

Here were thoughts at the end of a day when someone was crying for NINE STRAIGHT HOURS.....
(This is loosely based on a song from the 70's? 60's? I don't really know)

I love little noisy tots
Carpets full of spots
And laundry

I love unexpected hugs
Gifts that are bugs
Clothing being tugged
And kisses

And I love you too

I love never having silence
Knowing every prince
Songs from the potty
And fingerprints

I love kissing away tears,
Praying you through fears,
Turned "on" listening ears,
And Oxiclean

And I love you too!

I love early morning cuddles
Joy at rainy puddles
Wobbly toddles
And sound machines

I love riotous laughs,
Yummy smells after bath, 
Having fun with math!
And my dishwasher

And I love you too!

What things are you thankful for? What things to you have to turn around for perspective to BE thankful for?

~ Whitney

Copyright 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

What I really want.....

Once upon a time....

back long ago in BC.... (before children)....

I worked.

For pay.

I used to say I was a working woman...but apparently that has some unsavory connotations

Because I worked during the day, I was unable to attend the Ladies Bible Study held at my church many of the younger women attended.
Thankfully, there was an evening Ladies Bible study group that met on Thursday evenings - but all of the women were closer to the age of my mom, than to me.

Did I mention my husband was deployed all the time? 
He was home so rarely I garnered raised eyebrows whenever I sat next to him in church!

So, because he was gone all the time, my nights were pretty kinda really lonely.  I wanted to be involved in a Bible study, but I also just didn't want to be home alone every night of the week.

And you know what? That Bible study - that group of women - impacted my life greatly. I was challenged to be a faithful daughter of God, a dependable wife, a woman who sought to live a life of thanksgiving - regardless of my situation.

It is amazing the perspective I gained on MY struggles when I learned about what these women - who seemed to have life "set" - had been through. My initial assumptions about them - who they were, what their lives had held,  what their lives were like presently - were completely wrong. I had assumed because they were always encouraging and kind, their lives were cake; they had not known sorrow; the future was clear to them.

Not one bit of those assumptions was accurate. 

They just knew the Peace-giver. They were well-acquainted with the Great Physician. They had walked through dark valleys - valleys darker than anything I've encountered - and God had led their every step. 

Perhaps I could have gotten all of that from a group of early-20's women who were either single or also newly-married.

But I kind of doubt it.

The kindness, humility, and steadfast faith I saw modeled by each of those women is rarely found in people who have not seen God's grace through great adversity.

Young women would have shown me I wasn't alone in my struggles.

But the women in that group showed me struggle is not unique to an age or phase of life - that God would get me through whatever He placed in my path, and that commiserating is rarely a wise decision.

What a blessing it was  that my husband was on an oft-deployed ship...
that I worked when I didn't know many other young-married-women doing the same....
because sometimes the very best thing for you - 
is exactly what you don't want.


Copyright 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Just like me....

Alert:  'Bout to get serious all up-in-here.

Here is ME:
Wife for 8 (HOLY COW!) years
Mama to 4 children
Works round the clock for free
Haven't finished my degree in communications
Military wife
Loves to write
Love to sing
Extreme extrovert...borderline psychotic
Like to run and exercise
Finally managed to keep a plant alive for more than 2 months...THIS year

Here is my closest friend: (that's not My Love!)
Wife for 8 years
Has her bachelors and masters....she's basically brilliant
Former active duty military
Possesses a green thumb to make Martha Stewart jealous
Amazing hostess
Excellent at serving others
Quiet personality

On paper, people would assume we would not be good friends.
She has seen the world....I've seen lots of labor and delivery rooms.
She is highly educated....I poorly managed my time in college.

But you know what?

Everybody would be wrong. Dead wrong. 

What this woman's perspective on God, life, homemaking, relationships, and femininity has added to my life is completely impossible to measure. 

For some reason our culture thinks we must be in the same phases...dealing with EXACTLY the same problems....with the same be relevant to one another.

And that is just not true.  That is post-modern thought seeping into our relationships. The idea is that someone can't walk in my shoes - but they at least need to be wearing the same style for us to connect and bond. Heaven forbid if they purchased their shoes in a different store!

I may be mephisto sandals - but that doesn't mean I can't learn from some pointy-toe-manolo blahniks. 

Basically the point of this post is - stop judging those leopard print heels....take a second to actually try them on. You just might learn something about yourself....and make an unexpected friend along the way.

 Copyright 2011

Monday, November 7, 2011

Workin' It Out...

Soooo, you know how I ran that 1/2 marathon over Labor Day weekend?

(2 whole months ago.)

And you know how I've stated loud and clear that I love to run?

And thoroughly enjoy working out?

How I even miss it during late pregnancy and post-partum?

Well, ummmmmm.....that makes this kinda awkward.

I haven't worked out. Or run. AT ALL. Since my race.  ZERO. 
(Yeah, that was 2 whole months ago.)

And you know what? I'm okay with that.  I will get back to working out - but right now, I'm going through my expectations on myself and carefully examining them to see what is REALLY important.

Notice a lack of bloggage lately?? Yeah, well, that was on the chopping block also.

I just don't see the need to beat myself up over stuff not getting done that doesn't have to get done in the first place! 

So, I've relieved myself of the requirements of working out, blogging, and just basically working every second I'm awake. And you know what? It is totally AWESOME! Who says I need to do all the stuff I think I need to do?
I mean, really, will the world stop turning if I go to bed without wiping my counters down? 

I will be honest (that's what I do!) I have still not lost all my pregnancy weight. 
And I am sleeping just fine at night. 
Who cares if I don't look like a movie star? 
Or don't have the same body I had at 20? 
Why do I think I should look the same?! 
This body has carried and birthed 4 human beings - 4 people!!! - and has sustained life consecutively since October of 2008.
(Can you say 'Identity crisis' for whenever Boy Bean finishes nursing?! But more on that another day)

Working out and blogging will pick back up again sometime...
hopefully soon....but until then I'm giving myself a break.  

(But not with a kit-kat cuz those are gross)

Copyright 2011