Friday, February 29, 2008

"You're Gonna Miss These Days"

I had a pretty rough morning with my kids today. I was attempting to telecommute and they were fighting the whole process. I actually wanted to run away from home! Have you ever had one of those days? This was probably my all-time worst. I felt defeated and like a failure. What kind of mom am I if I can't handle a morning with my kids? In case you can't tell, I feel pretty guilty about the morning. I won't go into anymore detail because I'm embarrassed of my behavior and how I treated my kids. (Nothing terrible, but I definitely wasn't the loving, gentle mom that I'm trying to be.)

On my way to work there was a song playing on the radio that really hit home for me. I'm not sure of the title or the artist, but the line that kept being repeated was "you're gonna miss these days." At the beginning of the song, my attitude was still rotten from my morning and my response to the key line was, "yeah, right! I don't think I'll miss this chaos!" The last verse of the song was about a mom with one child crying and one child screaming while the phone was ringing and a man was trying to repair the hot water heater. The mom kept apologizing to the repairman for all the chaos. The repairman told her that no apology was necessary and explained that she would miss these days. Wow, did that sum up my morning! Even now as I think about it, it makes me tear up. I have lost a morning with my kids that I will never get back. Ever since I had my first child, people have been telling me how fast time goes and that I'm going to miss this, but I've never believed them. Yeah, I know time goes fast, but why would I miss this? There are many days when I'm begging for bedtime to come for my kids so I can do things that I want to do. How selfish is that? Yes, I need time for myself, but there will also be plenty of time for that after my kids grow up and leave me. I want to have happy memories to keep me company while they're gone.

I think the phrase "these days fly by" is slightly inaccurate. I think it's more accurate to say "the days don't go quickly, but the years sure do." You'll find thoughts and articles similar to this idea on They have some great marriage, parenting, etc resources. Check it out if you have time and enjoy your kids!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Something to Think About

I found this post on awake at the wheel ( ) and I liked it so much I wanted to get your responses. Here are the questions:

Three simple questions…
1. If you knew you could not fail and those around you would not only suspend judgment, but wholeheartedly support you…what would you do?
2. Are you doing it?
3. If not…why?
Oh, one final question…
*If your reason for not doing something is that you’re afraid of failing or being judged…how much worse would that be than never having tried?

Fear and fear of failure play such a huge role in my decisions, so it's hard to abandon those feelings for this exercise, but I'll try. For me, it would involve a job change. I am so secure in my job that the thought of leaving scares me. I also have a case of approval addiction, so I don't want anyone disappointed in me for leaving; I don't want to let them down. So, if I quit my job, what would I do? My dream is to own a candy store like the one in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It would be similar to Maple City Candy Store in Monmouth, IL.

Am I doing it? No, for the reasons listed above. Fear of failure, approval addiction... Also, I'm worried it won't make enough money to support my family. Once I'm done with school, I will probably have a little more time to explore other careers. Realistically, I will probably never open a candy store. It's just not practical and practical is my middle name!

As for the final question, I think for me it is worse to fail than to have never tried because trying is so strongly linked to my financial well-being. I feel like that's a fairly good excuse for not trying, but maybe it's just a cop-out.

What do you think?
Think about your answers and share if you want to.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

What Do People in Arizona Eat?

Tonight the kids and I were eating supper and chatting at the dinner table. Madison started talking about her cousins in Arizona that she misses very much. I said, "What do you think Hannah and Josh are doing right now? Do you think they're eating supper like we are." Madison thought for a minute and said, "No, I think they're probably hunting for a deer to kill and eat for supper." She didn't even realize she had said something funny. Madison then continued talking about how much she misses her cousins and telling me that they really need to come back. The idea of a different state just boggles her mind. Her next question to me was, "Do they have games in Arizona?" I'm not sure where that one came from. The rest of our dinner conversation revolved around her cousins and how to get them to come back and visit. The plan she finally came up with was to have them come to Fun City with us and go camping. She's a smart girl! :)

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Poison Control is on my Speed Dial

You may have noticed from my profile that I am a very busy mom. In order to go to school, work, and care for my children, I telecommute 3 mornings per week. For many people this would be the ultimate arrangement. On those mornings, I have a 15 second commute; my bed to the computer, so that is nice. The downside is that I have 3 young children. I am required to put in 3 hours on each of those mornings. In order to get that time in, I begin working around 6, so I can usually get 2 good hours in before my kids get up. The last hour can get pretty interesting. It usually takes me 2 hours to put in what I consider one hour of work. Come with me as I reflect on my last telecommuting morning.

My morning was going pretty well: I got quite a bit done and my kids all seemed relatively happy. Most mornings at home, 2 of my 3 children are crying at any given time. (The things we will go through to make money) The baby was playing quietly on the floor, my 4 year old was playing quietly by herself, and my 2 year old was being quiet. After several minutes of relative quietness, fear slowly crept up my insides until I realized it had been quiet too long.

Oh no! Something must be wrong! I turned from the computer and the baby and 4 year old were still playing quietly. It would be easy to think my mother's intuition was wrong, but I knew better. The remaining child isn't just any 2 year old...he's a two year old boy. I asked Madison to run upstairs and check on her brother. What I heard next would strike fear in any seasoned mother's heart. Madison was laughing hysterically and she shouted, "Mom! You gotta get up here and see this boy!"

I took the steps two at a time and nearly missed the doorway to my bedroom (think the famous Kramer move on Seinfeld). Ryan was sitting on my bed with a set of Crayola paints. Not just any Crayola paints, but rather glitter Crayola paints. And he was EATING them!! When he decided one color tasted bad, he spit it out ON MY BED and tried another color. Maybe he thought they were different flavors? He had paint in his ears, on his hands, on his socks, and his teeth and tongue were covered in glitter. God bless would be boring without them!!

Follow-up to that story: Ryan's first post-paint-eating diaper was very colorful and glitterful!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Second Birthday Edition

We celebrated my son's second birthday this week. I can't believe my little guy has turned two! He seems so much older to me now. I know it's just psychological, but it seems real. In case you're thinking, "Duh...he seems older because he is older, Stupid!" Yes, I realize he is actually older. The problem is that he seems much older than we was 2 days ago. To mark the occasion, I took him to get his pictures taken

I love getting my kids' pictures taken. Pick a holiday and I've probably gotten my kids' pictures taken for that day. Easter...yup. Christmas...most definately. Halloween...yup, done that one too. Presidents son wore the top hat like Abe Lincoln. Ok, well I might be exaggerating on that one; however, I did get his pictures taken on Abe Lincoln's birthday, but that's only because my son's birthday is the same day. It's only been 2 days, but the memory is still a little painful and quite vivid. It might be good therapy for me to revisit my most recent trip to the Wal-Mart portrait studio.

My son was in a great mood when we arrived. He was chatting up the Wal-Mart greeter when we walked in . You know the one...smiley face tie, suspenders, and a handful of smiley face stickers. I always imagine the stickers have little swords and Zorro masks just slashing the prices for me as I walk through this store. Just like the commercials. Rollin' Back Prices. My own little price slasher stuck right on my kids' shirts. Until they get drooled on, dropped on the floor, put in the mouth. Yummy! Back to the story, we walked into the portrait studio (fancy name for a hole in the wall with a table for the kids to sit on) and he's all grins. The thought crosses my mind that I might actually get some good pictures out of him. I banish that thought to the far corner of my braining afraid that I have already jinxed myself. The photographer gets the bright idea that since it's his birthday, she will get some balloons from the Woodforest Bank next door for him to hold in the picture. Yeah...right! I haven't been a mom a really long time, but I know better than to think he's going to sit like a little cherub with balloons in his hands. His favorite thing to do with a helium-filled balloon is to try to bite it. Oh well. The photographer wasn't going to listen to my opinion on the subject. I'm just his mom who happens to hold the award for most visits to the Wal-Mart portrait hole in the, I mean studio. Ok, so they don't give out that award, but if they did, it would be framed in a cheap little Wal-Mart frame on my wall.

The Woodforest Bank was a little busy and couldn't get the balloons ready right away. No problem. My son had rummaged through the portrait props and found a small red step ladder with paint all over it. Since he was in a good mood and infatuated with the ladder, I asked if we could just have him stand at the ladder with the #2 next to him. She thought that might work, so we tried it. Bingo! A priceless picture. Thank goodness we got that one! The balloons finally arrived and he couldn't have been happier. Maybe this wasn't going to be so bad after all. She tried to get him to sit down...what a joke! All he wanted was to get back on the darn ladder. Instead of asking me if I wanted another picture of him on the ladder, she decided to take the ladder from him and hide it. BIG mistake, Lady! He threw a doozy of a fit. A fit that only a 2 year old is capable of throwing. If it had been the day before, it probably wouldn't have been as big, but now he's 2 and he's got to express it somehow! This photographer was a tough cookie, though and she wasn't about to give up just because of a little fit. The balloons were a good idea, but she had a better one. I could see the little light bulb above her head come on as she pulled a sucker out of the cabinet. Yes, you read that right. She tried to bribe a 2 year old with a sucker while attempting to photograph him. The rest of our picture attempts were of him reaching for the camera since she was holding the forbidden candy right up in front of the big foil umbrella. I was ready to cry right along with him because I was so frustrated. I asked if we could stop trying and just settle for the one good picture we got. She reluctantly agreed as if she thought she could somehow manage to save this train wreck of an experience.

What she did next will keep this memory forever burned in my mind. She bent down in my son's precious face and said, "I really wanted to be able to give this sucker to you, but since you didn't smile, I'm just going to have to put it away." I've never seen him beg for anything more in his 2 short years of life. He was frantically wiping his hands across his chest (sign language for "please") and saying "pease, pease, pease." I would have said something, but I took off in search of my tiny personal Wal-Mart Zorro to put his sword to good use!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Reasons I Miss My Sister

This has been my idea for a post for several days, but I couldn't decide if I should post it or not. Since you're reading it, you know I decided to post it. Was it a good idea? That's for you to decide. So here goes...

I miss my sister because:
  1. I want to raise our kids together
  2. I don't have an answer for the little blue eyes that look up at me and ask, "Hannah is a really fun girl. When will I get to play with her again?"
  3. My little boy walks around the house looking for Zsosh (Josh).
  4. Once a year is just not enough time together when we've lived so close for 22 years.
  5. She's my best friend.

The list could go on and on, but I'll stop with the top 5.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Heeere's Your Sign!

Here in the Midwest, we've been having some crazy weather. One day snow, the next day thunder and lightning, the next day rain, the next day snain (you know, snow and rain?)... anyway, you get the point. Yesterday it rained pretty much all day. I finally decided to venture out into the storm and of course, my umbrella was nowhere to be found. Surely I wouldn't get too wet just running from my house, to the van, to my final destination. I put on my coat, threw up the hood, and off I went. When I opened the back door, I was greeted by not just a cold, winter rain, but rather sheets of cold winter rain. Let me explain our parking situation to you: in order to get to our vehicles, we have to walk across our backyard, our snow-covered-rained-on-all-day-waterlogged backyard. The backyard didn't look too bad; however, the puddles soon became visible after I started walking and my feet were sinking into the frozen grass. I zig-zagged across the yard trying to find the highpoints to keep the cold water from running into my shoes.

As you might guess I was more than a little wet when I reached the van. Once I arrived at my destination, I ran for the door, trying to dodge the puddles under my feet and the mini water bombs from the gutters overhead. I finally reached the door, threw it open, and stepped inside. last I was out of the rain. Not 3 seconds later, I was greeted by a pleasant voice which asked, "Did you get wet in the rain?" I peered through my wet hair and bit my tongue to keep from saying, "No. I was watering my grass and there was a little overspray! Heeere's your sign!"

For more Bill Engvall "Here's Your Sign" fun visit this link:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Let's Get Started...

Well, it's my first time posting on a blog...ever, and I don't really know what to write. I originally decided to start this so my sister who lives in Arizona could see what was going on with my family in Illinois. Here it goes...

My kiddos are growing faster than I can keep up with. Every day it's something new. Today my daughter informed me that when she gets old like me ("You know Mom...when I'm 7?") she's going to wear a booby bra. How I kept from laughing, I'll never know. My son who doesn't talk much yet said Uh-oh. It doesn't sound like a big deal, but he doesn't say many 2 syllable words and Uh-oh usually sounds like Uh-uh. And the baby, he's not really doing much yet, but he does smile a lot. I'm still trying to coax a laugh out of him, but I've been unsuccessful so far.

Well, my life isn't too exciting and no one will probably read this anyway, so I guess I'll close my first blog posting and send it off into cyberspace. If you're reading this, you need a hobby because it's really not worth reading! Check back tomorrow and I'll have something better to write about. (Stephanie, it's probably just you and me. I'll post something for you tomorrow.)