Why moms need to be exempt from the flu

At 2:23 am this morning, I knew it was coming.  As I lay awake all night feeling my stomach churn, too uncomfortable to go back to sleep, I already know this day cannot go well!

At 6:15 the alarm on my phone goes off and so does the internal alarm.  The next ten minutes are spent in the bathroom.  My entire system is angry–diarrhea, vomit, and I pee myself because apparently after birthing three children I can no longer vomit without peeing my pants.  Don’t hate me because I am so sexy!

So a sick mom on virtually no sleep—this cannot be good!  I spend the next 30 minutes pretending my family does not exist despite their need for breakfast and getting my oldest to school on time.  I briefly remember sick days where I got to stay home from work and watch cheesy movies all day by myself.  These days seem like luxury vacations compared to my present torment.

I finally drag myself downstairs to make a miserable and useless appearance hoping my children are suddenly sensitive to the needs of others and do whatever they can to make my day better.  I make it as far as the couch before I know I need to stay still.  Movement seems to be my enemy.  I park myself on the couch and have one second of peace before my children sense I must be wanting to meet their every emotional and physical need.

One wants to climb me like I am Mt. Everest,  one wants to share every detail of his life, and one is trying to be sweet by handing me the largest book on the planet in case I want to read something while I am sick on the couch.  One of the children begins trowing pillows, one insists on wearing shorts to school in November, and one refuses to wear pants at all.  This is the day the back-log of laundry in the basement catches up with me and my children apparently have no pants.

I suddenly feel like pants are optional.  Two of my children dress in shorts for the day and one remains in underwear and a t-shirt.

I mutter a few unintelligible words to my husband before bypassing him and heading for the bathroom for round two.

I feel brief relief and decide I should make myself coffee.  I attempt to use our brand new Kurig which apparently works differently than any other Kurig I have ever encountered.  I battle with the coffeepot for three rounds before finally getting coffee to come out rather than hot water, only to overfill my cup and create a coffee flood in my kitchen.  Coffee tastes terrible after puking.  So I decide not to drink it.

This has used up all my available energy so I return to the couch.  I realize I have no idea what my four year old and two year old are doing.  I pretend not to care.  I pretend I don’t have a four year old and a two year old and I am home all by myself.

I realize my girls have sneaked upstairs to watch TV on the iPad.  They are not allowed to do this.  I let it slide—for almost an hour.  Today they can rot their brain on television.  Brains that work well seem optional.  Suddenly the Barbie laptop on the coffee table becomes possessed and begins playing music and occasionally says, “select your language” repeatedly.  It is too far out of reach to shut it off and too close to ignore it.  I suddenly realize why I was able to pick this toy up at a garage sale for such a steal.

The incessant chatter from Barbie eventually drives me to take a shower.  I offer to let the girls watch television.  The television is a better parent than me today.

I get out of the shower and realize I don’t have pants either.  I get into bed in just my towel and take a nap while the girls watch television.  I tell myself that nothing is going to get me out of this bed.

Fifteen minutes later my daughter informs me that she is poopy and I need to change her.  I don’t.  nothing is getting me out of this bed.  Fifteen minutes later she reminds me of my failings as a mom and I succumb to the reality that no one else is going to appear to change that dirty diaper.

I get out of bed, put my pajamas back on, and get the diaper changing supplies only to realize that instead of putting on a diaper, my daughter decided underwear would be a good choice for today.  There is now poopy underwear to clean.  I. lose. it.  I take all her underwear out of her dresser and hide them up high in the closet.  I begin to go into a tirade about how I am sick and cannot be expected to clean poopy underwear.  I go on and on about how I should hose her off in the yard…..she looks at me and says “I love you” and gives me a hug.  I do not deserve this reaction, but I am still super angry about those poopy underwear.

My anger drives me to wash a load of laundry and clean up the table from breakfast.  I decide to write this post and ignore my children.  They are screaming.  I am pretty sure one just bit the other one.  I keep writing.  This is my therapy.

They start getting along and I start feeling a little better.  Now they want lunch.  Moms do not get days off.   They should be exempt from the flu.

You may also like:

When Mom Gets Sick (Stuff They Don’t Tell You) from Mamatoga

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The beauty of the real

If you put words to the places God takes your heart when you have a little time to think, what would you say?  What kind of beauty would come out of your mouth if you were able to get those thoughts out of your head and into your reality.  Who would listen?  Who would connect with you because you were honest?  What if there really is something to this vulnerability thing and you are missing out simply because you are too busy or too scared to get real?

In my MOPS group this year our theme is Be You Bravely, and each time I hear women speak on this topic, I get this overwhelming urge to write that I know is from the Lord, but I quickly feel myself resist because I don’t have the time or energy to take the thoughts that God has given me and write them out in a way that is coherent and meaningful.  I just don’t do a very great job balancing my own dreams and goals with the day to day reality of life with small children and I am not sure that I truly have something unique to say that hasn’t been said by a dozen other moms a hundred times before.

But yet—I am drawn to this idea that writing about my reality is my way to “Be You Bravely.” So here is a feeble attempt to say something real–not knock your socks off awesome—but real.  Because there IS beauty in the real.  There is something about connecting at our points of weakness that strengthens us–especially when what we say isn’t unique and isn’t incredible but is common to the experiences of others in a similar life stage (like being a mom of preschoolers)

If I could take the thoughts from my head in my most real moments here is what I would share because these are the things on my mind when my life allows my brain to string two or more thoughts together.    You know that minute in the shower before any of the kids realize you are trying to be alone, or that two minutes at night before you fall into a dead sleep or those seemingly endless hours washing dishes because the only way to make your family disappear is to offer to let them help load the dishwasher.  Here is where my mind takes me when I have a moment to pause and reflect and be real with myself.

I think about….

How I wish I knew how to go deep in my friendships with other women

How I wish I could move beyond getting angry with my children

How much I wish someone magical would show up to help me with the housework so I didn’t have to be responsible for that

How afraid I really am of not making a difference in the world

How much I really get annoyed by being interrupted, climbed on, constantly needed, and daily getting pushed to the limits of my patience by my three littles and honestly, sometimes my husband.

How much I hope that my children choose to follow Christ wholeheartedly despite my parenting missteps.

How much God has used my failures to teach me to trust him

How much I hope that God continues to grow my marriage and helps me be an encouragement to my husband

How I truly want to be who God created me to be–whatever that looks like.

How much I want to see God move powerfully in my little piece of the world so I (and others of course) can daily experience His greatness.

How I wish I could take a break from being a grown up and all the responsibility and burden that just hangs around my life waiting for me to respond to it.

How about you?  Where does your mind go when you are raw and real with yourself?  Who would be encouraged if you took the time to put the beauty of the real into words that others can hear or read?  What would happen is you had the courage to Be You Bravely starting now?

Mini family vacation…very mini!

Since Sawyer and Chris both have fall break and a long weekend off from school and work, we planned a mini va-ca in Tulsa, OK- a place we have never been before and close enough for a quick getaway.  That was Monday.  On Tuesday afternoon I got a call from the school nurse.  Sawyer had thrown up at school.  How bad is it that it took about one second for me to be utterly estatic that was one mess I didn’t have to clean up! 

Anyway, Sawyer missed school on Wednesday but we were hopeful about our weekend plans.  No one else showed any signs of sickness and surely Sawyer would be better.

This stomach bug has been pretty mild overall.  Except for the five minutes before and the 10 minutes after Sawyer’s visits to the bathroom, you would never know he was sick.  Thinking all was well I sent him to church Wednesday night and let him eat regular food.  All really was well until 2:00 AM when he threw up AGAIN!  So I kept him home today and by lunch he really was better. 

Our plan all week has been to leave right after school on Thursday…so I started packing and praying healthy blessings over our family.  Maddie had a couple of suspicious diapers and a raw red bottom, but she is one…that could happen any day.

At three-o-clock we loaded up and headed out.  Everyone was literally giddy with excitement.  Plans to head to a cool restaurant and hit the hotel pool were being made.  Then I smelled it.  Sawyer and Lucy were so busy chatting I couldnt get their attention, but I needed their eyes to check Maddie’s seat since she is still rear facing.  The smell was definitely getting worse and Sawyer finally confirmed.  It was puke.  All over the car seat snd Maddie

How far did we make it?  20 minutes folks!  I had said all week that if anyone else threw up, we would stay home.  So, sadly our glorious getaway became just a trip up the road.

After dealing with the initial disappointment, Sawyer and Lucy have made the best of the rest of our evening.  Oh and Maddie? She is fine. 

Maybe things would have been fine if we had plowed forward, but if my kids are going to be sick, let them be sick at home.  Sometimes that’s all a mom has!

To my unfaithful socks

The socks in my house have had a major infidelity problem lately!  Whenever I do the wash I throw all the socks without a mate into a bucket and then pair them with their mates when they show up.  But lately, the lonely socks seem to outnumber the happily mated ones.  I note this trend each morning when I go to put on my socks.  Even my son has been badgering me because he keeps running out of his favorite socks.  He is very particular for a 5-year-old!  A quick look at my overflowing sock bucket confirmed that we may have a problem!

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Even after a quick sock match up, the bucket is still full and there are more unmatched socks that just came out of the laundry.Image

So, to my unfaithful socks, where are you hiding?  Is there some laundry somewhere I have forgotten about?  Why did you leave your mate here all alone?  

Did we do something wrong that you’ve gone missing?  I know I let the laundry pile up.  I’m truly sorry,  Does it hurt your feelings when the kids only keep you on for five minutes and then thoughtlessly discard you.  Come out of your hiding places and I will wash you and put you back where you belong!

We need you!  Winter is not over and it’s still too cold for flip flops so your job here is not done.  Our toes are cold, our feet need padding, our sock drawers look bare!  Oh socks, please come home!

Well, I’m off to find some mates for my socks.  For some reason, I am always afraid to throw away the lonely socks.  I believe in those missing socks.  They have to be here somewhere!  I just found one in my van yesterday and my hope has been renewed to just keep waiting and watching and washing and pairing and someday all my socks will be in my drawers and not in the sock bucket!

 

 

You Know You have a 1-year-old when…

I barely have any memory of the last year or so it seems because I have no idea how my little baby is already one!  But she did turn one and we celebrated her birthday in Winter “One”-derland style this past January.

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Some other things seemed to have slipped my memory as well, because I had forgotten about how hard it is just to complete daily tasks with a curious, energetic, walker around the house.  Here is a quick list of Madelyn’s favorite activities:

  • Pulling the dishes out of the dishwasher while I am loading/ unloading.  She does not seem to understand my emphatic cries of, “Sweetie, that will break!” or “Ahhhh! That’s a butcher knife!””
  • Unfolding my laundry faster than I can fold it.  This is a particular pet peeve of mine, since I loathe folding the laundry to begin with.
  • Tipping over the large stand lamp in the living room.  It is currently held together with Gorilla glue and duct tape from when my oldest child was one.  I had forgotten that until Madelyn tipped it over the other day.
  • Crawling up the stairs or trying to slip past the gate on the stairs anytime it is left open even for a millisecond.  She is QUICK!
  • Unrolling the toilet paper.  BTW, each time she does this my 2-year-old uses the whole wad the next time she uses the toilet.  Then I have to plunge the toilet to get all that paper down.  Seriously folks–this is real life here!
  • Picking through the trash–gross!
  • Eating the dirty Cheerios out of the dirt when I sweep the floor–even more gross!.
  • Emptying toy boxes, bookshelves, kitchen cupboards and anything she can get her hands on then leaving a trail of destruction for the rest of us to clean up.  Here she is–I caught her red-handed pulling all her diapers out of the changing table.

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  • Grinning ear to ear in response to even my sternest “NO!”  She is totally taunting me!  She knows I am a donkey on the edge!
  • Putting every little thing in her mouth.  She knows when she is caught too…She will come to me all drooly and bulging and as I try to reach for her she takes off running, waddling as fast as those little legs can carry her.  That goes for when she is holding something she isn’t supposed to have too.  I have had to wrestle that girl to the ground more than once.  Yeah—that’s right, I’m TOUGH!

Mama’s need a lot of patience!  It really is a good thing kids are so cute and lovable because when they start to exert that will we are already so head over heels in love with our children that we work our tails off to keep up with them and nurture them through those busy–not to mention messy– toddler years.

Here’s hoping we make it through these treacherous days without major incident!  And to developing an ability to step back from the mess and enjoy my kids when they are this age.

Jill of All Trades, Master of Nothing

Sometimes I wish I was REALLY good at something, but it seems I have talent in many areas, but find it difficult to stand out or be exceptional.

I’m a pretty good cook. I even enjoy it, but my kitchen looks like a hot mess when I am finished and I have been known to go through some nasty experimental streaks where meal disasters overshadow the meal successes.

I really want to be a great photographer, but just a quick glimpse of the awesome photos on others blogs makes me shrink back to the beginners class and wonder if I will ever see improvement in my skills.

The same holds true for gardening.  I love the idea of growing things.  I especially enjoy planting them, but after that something goes awry and well, where there are supposed to be vegetables and lush flowers….I got nothing.

I really want to be organized, but I am just not consistent enough in my efforts.  I find much more pleasure in the planning of the organization than carrying it out.

Before I was a mom, I had visions of being that cool mom that always had yummy (and healthy) freshly made snacks and time to do crafts and play sports with my kids.  Now I just wish I could get the dishwasher loaded without my one-year-old taking all the dishes out or grabbing a sharp knife.   Forget the crafts—too much mess.  Outside time?  Three kids that need socks, shoes, coats, hats, mittens—that’s a lot of work!

All that to say, there is still something inside of me that drives me to do my best even when my best is so far from perfect that I almost have to laugh at myself.  Am I really good at something?  Yeah, I am really good at being real.  And, as long as I don’t allow myself the temptation of comparison with others, my best really is good enough.

A fitting verse from Corinthians speaks to the foolishness of living is this “I’m not as good as her” world or even that place we can let ourselves go where we focus on our insufficiency.

“When they measure themselves with themselves and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding and behave unwisely (2 Corinthians 10:12).

I have been learning a lot lately about focusing more on just being in the presence of God rather than all the responsibilities of life.  I am still processing, but will write more at a later time.

Never one to over-react….

By the time I have cooked supper, cleaned the kitchen, picked up the kid clutter from around the house, and given the kids baths, I am physically exhausted. And many times emotionally and mentally exhausted as well. Why are my kids surprised by the fact that they need to put their pajamas on each evening? Anyway, when I am tired my filters go by the wayside. Nice mommy is ready for a break and freak out mommy is on the scene. That really isn’t a good excuse for a lack of a loving, patient attitude however, as I was reminded the other evening when I came upstairs to my room where my hubby and kids were getting ready to read bedtime stories.

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I noticed an entire pad of Post-It Notes, in my mind, wasted by being stuck all over my bedside table. I freaked out for a few seconds. I know, it’s just Post-It Notes, but nonetheless I was caught off guard and started to get mad about it. Luckily my husband stopped me because I hadn’t noticed the hurt look on Lucy’s (the culprit) face. She had “decorated” my table as an act of love and I had missed it because of my lack of patience and sense of exhaustion.

Of course this tweak in perspective makes all the difference.  Now, this mess became a special memory that I even wanted to capture in a picture—dusty end table and all.

Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,  gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.