Sunday, November 23, 2014

Duck Tape DOES Fix Everything

I live in a house with lots of testosterone. One husband, three sons. Even the dog is a male.

I have my one and only girl. I'm very thankful that I have just the one. Partly, because it makes her that much more special.
And, partly, because OH MY GOD THE DRAMA!! Always the drama. 

All my gray hairs?? Yup. They are from her.

She is a funny, bright, caring and incredible young lady. But. Have I mentioned the drama? 

It's quite odd. Just yesterday, she was toddling around, getting into everything
Now, she's stomping around, getting into everything. 

Some time ago, we had "the talk". She asked lots of questions but didn't seem too concerned about what was just around the corner for her.

I've suspected it was coming, sooner rather than later, by her highs and lows, (AKA as The Drama) and her unpredictability.

Low and behold, I was awakened one Friday morning, by my daughter, calling from the bathroom. She wasn't panicking,(like I said, we had had "the talk") just wanted me to know and verify what she had used from the cupboard was correct.

Later, she was adamant that I NOT tell anyone. She was horrified that her father was already in the know. But, I was NOT to tell a single soul.

So, of course, I texted my mother. (And, now I'm blogging about it. Worst. Mother. EVER!!)
Who sent back a reply that she was crying.
I rolled my eyes and replied back "Stop crying. She's fine. She was prepared"

Now, I soon realized my "supplies" were not suitable for Josie (my heavy duty overnight pads left over from when I had all my issues) so off to Walmart we go.

They have an entire wall of "supplies". All different colors. Sizes. Brands.
As we stood there, trying to decide, Josie having a definite opinion about each box, I found myself getting a little emotional.
I looked at her.
When did she grow up?
This? This is changing everything.

I started to tear up.
But, Josie really did not want a big deal made of it. She'd told me that repeatedly. 

We finally decided that the Teen Pads were appriopriate (And a one time splurge as really? Paying extra for a glittery box is not the norm.)

We start walking thru the store, with my daughter's first box of maxi pads in the cart. I started to cry. Talk about drama.
But, I was careful not to let Josie see.
It was business as usual, as I pushed the cart. Inside my head, I was telling myself, "Your little girl is gone. Forever. She will now be a hormonal woman, with lots issues all her own."


Yeah. I quickly threw 3 rolls into the cart, suddenly feeling much better. Perhaps my little girl was still here.

Duck tape. Fixes all sorts of things!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Hey! (The Post That Contains Lots Of Fun Things In Parentheses)

I know. Clever title, huh?  (But you clicked on it so it's fulfilled it's purpose. )

Last time I posted, we were still in the heat of summer. Now, it's scarves and gloves and frozen mud puddles.

School is in full swing.  Jarrett and Jeven go to 4th and 3rd grades. Jarrett has a male teacher for the first time. I think the term "Hero Worship" defines their relationship perfectly.
Jarrett talks about him constantly. At teacher conferences a few weeks ago, I was told Jarrett is doing awesome and this teacher thinks highly of him as well.
Jeven is doing well, too, although it doesn't come as easy for him as it does Jarrett. But, his teacher is wonderful and patient. She "knows" my child and had wonderful things to say about him. And, apparently, Jarrett's current teacher has talked to her and he very much wants Jeven in his class next year.

Jayce is a sophomore in the virtual school. Doing well. Has most of his work done by noon. "A"s and one "B" (in per-calculus, of all things).
Josie is in 6th grade and while she's doing much more work independently, she still occupies a huge chunk of my time. (one reason the boys still go to school). Which, currently, I don't have alot to spare.

I started working at Harry and David this month. I've done it before but this year, I've been training for different positions. 71 hours of training they are giving me!! For a job that lasts 2 months!! And, the pay is only .25 LESS than what I make at the assisted living!( You can read that as I'm making lots of money with Harry and David. Or, you can read it as I'm way underpaid at the assisted living. Which do you think is more accurate?) It is the only way we will have any $$ for xmas. So, while it's time consuming now, I'm thankful for it.

So, I will work there starting at 5 or 6a.m., work 5-6 hours then go to the assisted living and work 2pm-10pm. On Mondays and Tuesdays.  On the other days, I'll just come home and do the "Housewife Thing". Oh, except for Thursdays when I watch Jack, an 18 month old little guy that needed a daycare place.
Needless to say, I've had to print up a very large calendar and write, very plainly, "WHERE MOM IS" so the kids (and my husband!) know what job is happening what day and for how long. 

It's nuts around here!!

Add in I'm still trying to watch my calories and exercise 4-5 times a week. When I'm super busy, the calorie watching is actually easier. (It's when I have free time I tend to go all out) but the exercising is difficult. Luckily (ha!!) I burn many calories at the assisted living (From here on out, it will be called AL, okay?) going up and down many flights of stairs, many times and you can bet I count those. But, on the other days, it's hard to find the time. Of course, one thing that should be easy enough is jogging. But, after attempting it many, many times, and going to the chiropractor many, many times, we've determined that until I build up my core (I hate that term!! It sounds so .....lame) I can't run. My hips go out of joint each time. He said walking (which is easy but takes a long time to burn enough calories) or swimming (which I love but it costs money and requires pre-planning) are pretty much my choices.
For awhile, I was pretty bummed. But, then I realized I was bummed I couldn't exercise which means I've made progress, right?

Lastly, in my previous post, I told you about a dear lady at the AL that had fallen and hurt her head? Well, apparently, the reason she was dizzy and fell in the first place, was because she has a brain tumor. So very sad.
She's having good days and some not so good days. Days where she's herself and days when she's somebody else entirely.
It's going to be very,very hard to watch her decline.

That's pretty much all that's going on here. (For now!!)

Sunday, September 28, 2014

My Best Singing Voice Was Good Enough

Way back when I first started at the assisted living home, there was one resident that was evil.  I had never experienced anything like her before. Sure, I'd gone through life with a feeling if someone didn't like me. But, such hatred and evil directed right at me, it threw me off.

One of the reasons she bothered me so much was because, after being a mom of 4 kids and much more children experience than senior citizen experience, I tried to "retrain" her. I tried to "teach" her how to treat people. You know when they tell you to never lose a battle of wills with a child? I tried to place that same logic with this woman.

Needless to say, it didn't work. I finally came up with a coping mechanism the enabled me to give her good quality care and in the end, I became one of her favorite aides. I will not go as far as to say she became one of my favorite residents because this isn't a Disney film. But, life became MUCH easier (Not kidding. My sleepless nights and upset tummy  disappeared.) once I started doing this simple thing.

I sang.

At first, I just hummed. I would think of a favorite hymn and hum it. It calmed my spirit and soothed my soul. She never noticed. But, things got much more tolerable once I started doing that, even before I stepped into her room.

I noticed I started doing it in other residents rooms. Not because they stressed me out but just because it was already in my head and I enjoyed the peace it gave me.

One day, my absolute favorite resident of all time, Dwight, noticed I was humming. Now, Dwight was a stroke victim and while he could talk, sometimes his words didn't match what he was thinking.
"I need help with my shoes" would come out "I want pancakes". Something totally random. You were left trying to guess what he really wanted (although, pancakes could've been a real possibility).

He and I clicked right away. I could somewhat predict what he was going to need therefore eliminating his embarrassment when he couldn't express himself correctly.

When he noticed my humming, as we were walking to dinner, he stopped, looked me and said "You're singing! I like that song!" and his face was so full of joy.
He asked me to sing with him.

I didn't want to!! I am not a singer. Not even in the shower. Perhaps, when I'm alone in the van, but I stress--ALONE!

But, his face. I couldn't turn him down. So, we sang on the way down to dinner.

Are you washed in the blood,
In the soul cleansing blood of the Lamb?
Are your garments spotless? Are they white as snow?
Are you washed in the blood of the Lamb? 

And, the man that couldn't tell anyone that he needed to use the restroom, could sing the words to one of his favorite songs word for word, right on key. 

Dwight passed away a year and a half ago. The first time we sang that hymn in church, after his passing, I had to leave the sanctuary as I was crying too hard. 

It's been two years since I started at the assisted living home (with a few months "off"), I've created the habit of singing, or humming, very quietly, when I'm assisting residents with what many would look at as unpleasant chores. Showering a resident. Cleaning a bed after an accident. Swabbing the mouth of a hospice patient. 

Sometimes, the resident will catch me and sing along. Sometimes, they are so hard of hearing, they don't even know I'm doing it. But, that's okay. 

Recently, we had a lady fall and hit her head. She actually required several staples in the back of her head. It was quite the ordeal. Normally, she was a spirited "cool" old lady. You know those old ladies that wear the bright colored Nikes and have their finger nails painted bright blue? She is one of those. 

But, the day after her accident happened, she was far from herself. 
I was her aide that day. I checked on her often through the day. She slept so peacefully in her chair, I didn't wake her. 
Until, it got to be late enough in the day and I knew she hadn't eaten, nor used the rest room. 
I gently woke her and explained that we needed to get her up and move around a bit. Eat and use the restroom. 
She stated that she hadn't slept that good for a long time! But, she was so dismayed when she noticed she had wet herself. 
I explained it wasn't a big deal, her body needed the rest more than it needed the bathroom. I'd get her cleaned up and help her eat dinner. No biggie. 

She was so upset, she could not get over it. 

I started to sing as I cleaned her up, got out new clothes for her. 

Lord, lift me up and let me stand,
By faith, on Heaven’s tableland,
A higher plane than I have found;Lord, plant my feet on higher ground.

She stopped her crying, looked at me and asked "What are you singing? I haven't heard that song in so long! Please sing to me." 

I admit, I was embarrassed. Singing with someone was very different than singing to someone. 

But, we were alone in her room. She was upset. And, I love her. 

I sang to her. After, she let me get her dressed, never again bringing up her dismay over the wet clothes.  She let me get her cleaned and redressed. I continued to sing to her as I pulled her bed apart and helped her in. 

I made sure she knew where her call cord was, and that she had enough light on in her room, to see if she needed to get up. 

Told her I loved her and that I'd see her tomorrow. 

I do not sing well.  I'm probably tone deaf.  I don't even know all the words to the song, sometimes.  
But, apparently, sometimes, it doesn't matter. 

I believe if you do something with love, it will be good enough.  

Monday, August 11, 2014

Hi-Ho, Back I Go

This is my third attempt at this post.

First, I went into too much detail about my husband's job and the crappy pay, but that made him sound pathetic and that is the LAST thing I want to do. He works hard, his job just doesn't pay well.

Then, I went in too much detail about our bills. We have some, not as many as some people, but we do have them. But, really? Its not important what we pay to whom.

The bottom line is: We poor. Four children and a mortgage will do that to ya.

 quit working at the assisted living home in Oct of last  year, not because we were so rich but because of management and schedules and my income was "cushion".

Since then, I've actually been going in and volunteering. Basically, I was doing many of the things I did when I was employed there, for free. Yup. For. Free.

I can't really put in words what draws me to taking care of the elderly. But, I am thankful that my past job helped me discover a gift I didn't know I had.

Volunteering gave me the best of both worlds--I could choose when I went and for how long, I got to love on my residents and my kids didn't have to miss me, I often times took one or two kids with me.

Meanwhile, management changed and ex co-workers started messaging me that I could probably come back and get my desired part time schedule.
Meanwhile, our mortgage went up by $300 (long story!!) and our kids kept growing and eating everything in sight.

My husband and I decided we needed extra income. I answered a Craigslist ad for a helper two times a week. Turns out, it was a 65 year old man with dementia. Both of which I have experience with but this would've been me and him alone, in his home. My husband, and myself, were not comfortable with that.

I filled out a few other applications at other facilities, with no responses.

We finally decided perhaps I would give my old facility a second chance.

I went in, asked for the (new) manager. I asked her for an employment app, explaining that I had worked there in the recent past.
She told me they weren't really hiring but I could fill out an app and they'd keep it on file.
Feeling very discouraged, I filled it out there, sitting in the lobby, getting interrupted by passing residents that wanted to chit-chat.
Finally I had filled it all out and walked it back to the manager. She looked at it.

She gave a "Whoop!!" and exclaimed "You're THAT Jackie?!"
When I said "Ummmmm...yes?" , she quickly explained they could rush my background check and when did I want to start?

I admit, it felt wonderful after being turned down other places.

It felt even better when I started, a week later, and upon entering residents' rooms, in obviously not volunteer uniform, there were many more "Whoops!! " and open arms. To say I was welcomed back would be an understatement. It made my heart swell.

However, it felt horrible, so horrible, to tell my kids I was going back to work. They cried. I cried. Their dad and I both felt like we had let them down.

But, it's only a couple days a week. And frankly, MY parents both worked. My husband's parents worked. And, we survived. No, it's not our ideal plan. But, eating and electricity are sorta important.

And, I enjoy it. So, even when we get "caught up" (hahahahahaha! Ever??) I will still probably work in some sort of caregiving position. Hopefully, my children will not be resentful.

Hopefully they will be proud.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

There's Nothing Wrong With A Little Guilt (very long post)

Last post, I mentioned that something happened, concerning my oldest, this summer that was pretty major.

If you can remember your teenage years, I'm sure you'd remember that your friends were like family. They were included in most every day of your life. And, if you were lucky, they blended in to your family and were accepted and loved by your parents. If you were twice lucky, your friend's parents felt the same about you.

Jayce has such a friend, Titus.  They are close. We love Titus, he is here most days, kicking back on the couch, eating our food, messing up our house. Just like our other kids. When Titus is not here, Jayce is over at his house, eating their food and messing up their house.

Titus is 18 and will be heading off to college in California in September. He will be missed.
I also have an 18 year old nephew, Derek. Who will be heading to college in Portland. Obviously, I've known Derek all his life and besides literally being a member of our family, he's blends in with Jayce and Titus quite well. They all have a great time together.

The last few summers, all three boys have gone to Florence to go sandboarding. Florence is about an hour and half away, nearest town on the Oregon coast.  Sandboarding is sort of like surfing, but on (you guessed it!) sand.  You take the board and climb, climb, climb the sand dune and surf down. Tons of fun but very exhausting.

The last time the boys went, Titus' mom, Lisa, took them. Which was totally uncool and lame. Nobody wants to have an epic day sandboarding with their mom. Dude.

This year, they began planning their last trip, before the college boys are officially grown up, months in advance.  I admit, one of my weakest areas of parenting is agreeing to something because the actual event is so far in the future, I'm thinking that it will never happen.  And, then, it does happen and I say "No" but I've already said "Yes" months ago and feel total guilt for taking my word back.

Now, the road between our town and Florence is crazy busy in the summer. There are always accidents. And, not just fender benders.  There is at least one death on the road each summer. More in the winter, I believe.
So, when approached with their plan, which was Derek driving Jayce and Titus to Florence and sandboarding all day and eating dinner and driving home, I hesitantly agreed but only because Titus' mom, Lisa was okay with it.  Now, I believe that each parent has that one fear. The one thing they always freak out about and it hinders their thought process.  For others, it may be choking. Or, illness or bike riding. The one thing that they will always be a little more paranoid about. For Lisa, it's swimming. She is hyper paranoid any time her kids are near water.  For me? It's traffic accidents.  I am the mother that's always saying "Call me when you get there!!" and "Call me when you're leaving!" and "Be careful on the road. There are crazy drivers out there!!". And, my kid doesn't even have his drivers license yet!
Me agreeing to an inexperienced teenager driving my son and his friend to a distant town on a crazy road was not easy. But, I do have to let go at some point, right?

No. No, I don't!   Titus and Derek may be 18 but Jayce is only 15.  I don't have to let go yet.
And, after conversing with Lisa and finding out she was hesitant as well, we changed the boys' plans, like loser mothers we are.
Lisa would keep my three younger kids, I would drive the big boys to Florence.  They protested but we put our foots down and promised them I would not make them come home at any certain time, I wouldn't follow them around. I was their chaperone only.

It was actually a win-win situation for me--I didn't have to worry about the boys, and I got tons of free time to read and walk and just relax.
I dropped the boys off at the dunes around 11 am. I stayed in the parking lot, and like I said, I read, walked and relaxed until about 4pm, when the boys came off the dunes. Looking very hot, sandy and tired.  But, they had had a blast!  Lots of wipe outs and scrapes and bruises but all had smiles on their faces.

They decided they wanted to jump in the lake, to rinse off and cool down.
Here is a picture of the lake:

What this picture does not  show is the rec. center on the opposite side of the dock attached to the shore. There is a beach and a little hut where you can rent canoes and kayaks. It would be in the upper left side of the photo.
Derek decided he did not want to swim, he headed to the rest room to use the sink there to rinse. Jayce and Titus jumped in the lake. After about 5 min of jumping in and out of the water, they decided they wanted to swim from the dock at the shore, to the other side of the lake.

"No way, guys. It's too far."

"We can do it, it's not bad."

"I don't know..."

"We can. We'll go from here to the dock in the middle, rest, and then swim the rest of the way. Drive the van over and pick us up."

This last statement said as they swim away. While I had my doubts, water doesn't scare me, nor does it scare Jayce. 

I sigh and start to gather up all the discarded shoes and shirts and head up towards the van. I turn to watch Jayce and Titus get half way to the dock that's in the middle.

I hear a quiet "Help."


"Help, Mom!!"

"Not funny, Jayce!"

"No, I'm serious, Mom! Help!!"

"Crap" (actually I did not say "Crap" but I will not type what I said as I barely even speak the word I actually said)


"Jayce!! What's going on?!!"

"Titus isn't going to make it. Mom, I can't help him! Mom!!"

About this time, Derek, comes meandering down from the restroom.

"Hey. What's to eat?"


Derek looks at me, like, "Is this for real??". 
I quietly say, "Derek, I think we need you."

Now is the perfect time to tell you that my nephew, who played basketball, baseball and football since he was 5 years old, all through elementary school up until his Junior year of High School, and while he was good at those sports, he grew very bored with them.  Last year, someone convinced him to go out for the swim team. Since then, he has won numerous medals, and when he goes to college, he is going with a scholarship and swimming for the college swim team. Oh, and his summer job? Yeah, it's a lifeguard at the local pool.

Derek quickly takes off his shoes, shirt, and shorts and prepares to jump in.

He gives me one quick look to make sure this isn't some cruel prank and to make sure this is indeed happening.

"Go, Derek!"

Derek swims like a freaking dolphin and reaches Titus and has him quickly secured. He asks Jayce if he's okay and when Jayce says he is, Derek tells Jayce to swim  the rest of the way to the middle dock. Jayce does and quickly Derek arrives, dragging Titus with him. He gets Titus up out of the water, turns him on his side. Titus vomits.

While this was all  happening, I looked to the other side of the lake and saw the old men with their canoe shack. They heard and saw what was happening. But, like me, they weren't sure if it was serious or not.

Now that everyone was up on that middle dock, I quickly ran to the van and drove like a bat out of you know where to the other side of the lake. I ran down to the beach, where one old man was already in a canoe.
When he saw me, he asked if he should go out there. I said "Yes, please, they won't make it back."
So, off he goes.


It takes forever to get there as 1) it's a canoe 2) it's an old man.

While waiting , I ask the other man how often this happens, at this lake.
He said it's never happened before.
There are "Swim at Own Risk" and "No Lifeguard on Duty" signs everywhere. But, I was still shocked that this had not happened before.

Finally, the boat guy reached the dock. Jayce and Derek helped Titus into the canoe (with a life jacket on). Jayce jumped back into the water but clung to the canoe. Derek dove in and beat everyone back.

Once out of the water, Titus was very much in shock. He vomited again, his entire body shaking.

I ran up to the van, grabbed a towel.

And cried.  Hard.

About this time, my cell phone beeps that I have a text.
It's from Lisa, Titus' mom.
"How's everything going over there? ( :"


"Okay! Just finishing up. Be home soon!"

We eventually got Titus into dry clothes.  We loaded up the van and headed back into town. The sandboard shop where we rented the boards was across town. As I drove, with Titus in the passenger seat, Derek and Jayce in the back, I could tell Titus was having a hard time.

Once at the shop, I send in Jayce and Derek to return all the boards. I ask Titus if he's okay.

Now, you've heard "My life passed before my eyes"?  Well, just because you're only 18, it doesn't mean your life has been meaningless. It doesn't mean you don't have regrets.  I will not tell you what Titus said, as I hold it dear and sacred that he told me. But, I will say, we were both sobbing by the time he was done.

Jayce and Derek come back to the van, I step out to call my husband and let him in on a little that has happened and explain that I want to hang out in town for a bit. I don't want to head back over the mountain, where I'll have no cell service and the nearest doctor is an hour away. Everyone was acting perfectly fine, just wanted to be certain.

As I hang up with my husband and turn towards the van, Titus is waiting for me.

He says "I want you to know, I would've tried to swim that far even if you would've said "No". It's not your fault. I wanted to do it so I did."

He knew. He knew that I felt extremely guilty for letting them swim out there like that. 
He tried his very hardest to convince me it wasn't my fault. And, I tried my very hardest to convince him I will always feel guilty.

I also expressed my fears about what his mother was going to say. My friend, the woman whose one fear is drowning. 

 Titus asked if we needed to tell her. 

"Ummmm....yeah. We do. There is no way I can look at her and NOT tell her. Plus, I will most certainly burst into tears as soon as I see her".  

We went to the local burger joint and ate dinner. There was lots of laughter and also, lots of "what ifs" that night. 

Have you ever heard that drowning is very quiet? I had, but never got it until that day. 

There were families all around us. Only myself, the boys and the two old men even had a clue what was going on, just feet away.  

There was no huge splashing and thrashing. 
Just a quiet "Help". 

One conversation we all had that night was if Derek had saved Titus', and on some level, Jayce's lives. 

I believe he did. 
Jayce could not help Titus as Titus is much larger and Jayce was very tired. I firmly believe Jayce would've died trying. 

I could've swam out there but certainly not fast enough and I'm certain I would not have had enough strength to swim dragging Titus. 

The old men would've never made it there in time. 

What if I hadn't have drove them that day? 
What if Derek hadn't of come down to the dock and instead went to the car, looking for food? 

When we finally made it home, I let Titus go in and tell his mother all that had happened. She came out and yes, I immediately started crying. She hugged me and said "I'm so glad you were there and it's okay." 

And, of course, she hugged Derek and said "Thank you!" 

It's been several weeks since this happened. I still cry. Hard. 
I still feel guilty. I always will. 

But, I'm okay with it. There's nothing wrong with a little guilt. 
I'd rather feel guilty with the results we do have instead of guilt for how it could've turned out. 

We did have some fun that day. This was taken after dinner, at BJs ice cream shop (I can guarantee you the boys felt good enough to giggle when I pulled into the parking lot). Derek, Jayce and Titus. With serious faces and not wanting to actually touch each other. 
It's a special kind of love. :) 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Post of Pictures

Summer is cooking right along. Here we are mid-July already, back to school ads in the paper this morning. Why do the days have to just fly??

Here's some photos of what's been happening.

Rock Springs, Wyoming. I went for 6 days, just myself and my folks. To see my brother get married!

This is my little brother, Lucas. Incase you cannot tell, he is smiling.  Which has been a rare occurrence, up until the last couple of years.

The reason my brother smiles way more these days.  He finally married Shelly. That is my father, standing up with Luke. And Shelly's friend, Jackie, standing up with her. They got married in their back yard. **Tangent** I'm a Bible believing Christian, but what kind of jack-A pastor would cancel on a couple two weeks before their wedding because the groom hasn't done something that most Christians haven't done? Ever? (for more info, you can ask in the comments)

Luke and Shelly with all of their children, Luke's two and her two. Oh, and the puppy, Trigger.

I came home to my very own fire pit in my very own backyard!!

Jeven's first fish of the summer!
Jarrett and Josie hate campfire smoke in their eyes. Their solution.

Judd helping Jeven fly his kite!
Kids are growing up. If you notice, no pictures included my oldest, Jayce. He's hardly ever home these days. Although, one major happening of the summer, a life changing one (seriously) included him. I hope to blog about it soon. (Cliff hanger, anyone?) 

Keep cool, everyone!!

Friday, May 16, 2014

Let's See If I Can Remember... to write a blog post.

It's been awhile, folks, and, I wish I could give you all sorts of news but in reality, life is just moving right along.

Currently, we are all anxiously awaiting the end of school.  Parts of me are SO ready for schedules to become more relaxed and have more free time. Parts of me is dreading not having a schedule and too much free time.
We live in a cul-de-sac. There are two other households with children. And, I'd like to say that the kids just all play so nice together and everything is bliss. But, the other households don't run things the same way we do. Not even close. What those kids are allowed to watch, listen to, and even how they are allowed to treat other people is not something I can look past. So, we've had to reclaim the freedom we gave our kids and now they are limited to playing only with each other, and ignoring the kids in the neighborhood.  Boredom is going to be my worst enemy this summer. 

I've made some life style changes over the last 2 months. And, while the weight hasn't magically melted off, I'm starting to reap the rewards. I actually started jogging and was liking it. And, finally got to the point where I didn't feel like I was going to vomit on the sidewalk when my knee protested.
Yes, I started slow. I'm not talking about jogging miles here. More of a mixture of jogging/walking/heavy panting. But, I still ended up taking 2 weeks off of exercising and I was really bummed. And, sincerely. Not, "I will say I'm bummed because that sounds so healthy but secretly I'm enjoying the excuse that I do not have to move off the couch today" but really upset that I couldn't earn the extra calories I need to get my buttered popcorn when I watch reruns of "House". 
But, I think I can safely try again and concentrate of my form and stretching.
Turns out, I'm not 16 anymore. Or 26.  Or even 36. Gawd!!

My Grandma is back in her house. She is doing extremely well, much to my relief. Some updates were done to her house while she was gone and she is currently puttering around, making piles of stuff to get rid of, which is a huge accomplishment. I will be helping her with a garage sale next month.

My baby turns 8 next week. Another baby is down today with a sore throat.  My baby girl got her braces on and wants to know when she can start wearing makeup. My first baby spends most of his days out of the house, working in his lawn care job, saving for a truck. I'm deathly afraid he will indeed earn enough money to buy a truck and pay for his insurance and will continue to act responsibly so I will have no good answer as to why he cannot get his driver's license in December.  It's so hard to be proud and to let go at the same time.

Tomorrow, my husband and I will celebrate 17 years of marriage!!  Some days, it's flown by. Others? Not so much. ( :

There. It seems I do remember how to write a post, just sorry it wasn't more interesting.
But, summer is coming! Lots of potential for injuries, fake bbqs and opportunities to sleep in.
Ya just never know.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

A Bag of Chips Never Looked So Good

This is my husband: 

Ok. Not really. But, there are similarities. Not the mustache (Much to my husband's dismay. He is not allowed facial hair at his job.) but the attitude. Like Ron, Judd doesn't say much, he doesn't like people. He considers chicken a vegetable (it doesn't have eye lashes), and the smell of bacon makes him happy.

But, when he does like you, he'll do anything for you. When he does say something, he means it. He is a man of his word and his word means something. 

He doesn't go out of his way to be social. He's not unfriendly, he just doesn't really care if he hangs out with people, let alone random strangers.

Imagine my surprise when he came home and announced we were going to a bbq at someone's house that I did not know.
Apparently, an old buddy has recently moved back into town and called Judd at work. Now, this buddy, Mark, has been to our house at different occasions, but it was to watch UFC fights and I couldn't instantly place his face.

But, it looked like we were going to a bbq on Sunday.

All throughout the week, I kept asking Judd questions, because I was so in shock that he had agreed to go.

Why are we going?? (Because he invited us)
Why? (I don't know....)
When was the last time you talked to him? Before this? (I don't know....two years ago??)
But,why does he invite us to a bbq after all this time? (I don't know...he was always kind of strange that way.)
Who else is going to be there? ( I don't know.)
What are we suppose to bring? (I don't know.)
Why are we going, again? (I DON'T KNOW!!!!)

So. We were going to a bbq at a stranger's house (pretty much!!) and had no idea who was going to be here. To say I was a little socially apprehensive would be an understatement.
Truthfully, I was a little resentful that something like this was going to take up my nap family time, plus, we were going to have to leave the kids behind with Jayce as we were unsure if it was a "family friendly" occasion.

Sunday afternoon rolls around. We rush home from church, feed the kids, set them up with bribes to be good fun activities.

We had decided that we would stop and at least get some chips and dip to take to the shindig. Now, because of our current economic state, our grocery money is not handed out willy nilly. We actually had already gone over our weekly budget so when I say it was a sacrifice, I'm not kidding! Yes, it was only chips and dip but....chips and dip for strangers!! (Basically)

Because we had gone to the store, we were running behind schedule. So, being the polite people we are, we called Mark and told him we hadn't forgotten and were on our way.

We pull up to his house and I immediately recognized him, much to my relief. But, there was a complete stranger outside with him. We walked in the house and met more strangers. All of them older people (not that it mattered, just I quickly realized I would not have much in common with them, seeing as how I'm a spring chicken and all). Two couples and one single lady introduced themselves.  We handed the hostess (Mark's girlfriend) our sacrificial chips and dip.

It was just.....awkward.   It just  I didn't know quite what to do. I look at my husband and I can see he is struggling as well.

After the introductions, Mark says that he will start grilling the meat in about an hour.
Wha???  Great. There goes my entire afternoon.

Then.  Then I see the t.v.  Hooked up to a computer.

The single lady, that was trying so very hard to be funny and charming, starts talking and I realize what is happening. 

It is a sales pitch.

I look at my husband. Who will not make eye contact with me.

Mark looks at my husband and says "Oh boy. Judd is mad."

My husband, (remember, he says what he means and means what he says) says, "Yeah. Pretty much."

But, he sits down at the dining room table so I don't have much of a choice but sit down with him.
Now, all the other people are in the living room, with their backs to us.  However, Mark's two little dogs, are sitting on the back of the couch, facing us. I swear to all things Holy. They were laughing at us.

"You losers!"
"Neener neener!!"

I'm telling you, my heart was pounding so hard. Because, I was so mad, so unsure of what the heck to do.
I was unsure that, if I were to stand up and announce we had to leave, if my husband would follow me. After all, he had wanted to come in the first place.
I thought I could quietly text a friend and have them call me and fake an emergency.
But, people only do that on t.v!!! 

Meanwhile, the lady is trying to get her computer/t.v. to work. She announces that she can't find the presentation dvd.  And Mr. So-and-so will be here shortly and they will skip the dvd for now, and do that part when he gets here.

Now, this helps me realize that there will be a pause at some time and it wouldn't be too hard to make an excuse and leave. Because I'll be darned if I'm wasting my Sunday sitting there!!!  I say to myself I WILL get my husband's attention and we WILL leave.
Again, my heart is about to burst through my chest at the thought of having to make a scene shortly. So, I sit quietly, fluctuating between extreme anger (we called the guy to tell him we were going to be late, for god's sake!!) and wanting to giggle so badly because the dogs were truly laughing at us!!

Finally, I see a young man come up the drive-way. He enters the house, he's wearing a suit and tie that is about 3 sizes too big and just looks like....well, someone by husband would later make fun of. 

I think "Oh, there's NO WAY Judd will put up with this!!"

The boy man begins looking through his stuff to find his dvd and the lady tries to hand us some paperwork.

Now, here is where I fell in love with my husband all over again. 

He stands up, announces we are leaving. 

Walks in to the kitchen and grabs our chips and dips!!! 

Mark says "Oh, you're taking that back?"

Out we go.
Mark follows us.

Once outside, he apologizes up one side and down the other. He explained he'd been out of work, this was a way to make some income and the lady told him to invite anyone he could think of (us? really??) but NOT to tell them what it was about.
Which, he now realizes was a mistake.

My husband's response?  "Yeah. Pretty much." 

But, of course, Judd understands about having to make an income. And, he even understands about how pushy the sales people can be and how they operate.

By the time we got in our van to leave, Judd had told Mark that of course he was available to go hunting, shooting, fishing any time. And, they shook hands and all was well. (I'm told Mark actually came to my husband's work today, Tuesday, and apologized again)

I was silent for the first 10 minutes after we had finally gotten the heck out of there. 
Then, the giggles I'd been holding back finally released themselves.

"Judd? When a long lost buddy calls you up out of the blue and asks you to come to his house for some food, what are you going to say?? " 

"I will ask:  What are you selling?" 

He said he felt like such a dope.
And, I said: 
"Yeah....but you took the chips back and TOTALLY redeemed yourself!!" 

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Truth Is Thursday

Truth is my birthday!!

Truth is....... I've been saying I'm 39 for about 4 months now, (it's easier than saying I'm 38 and a half) that I actually thought I was turning 40 up until a few weeks ago!!

Truth is......I was SO happy I wasn't!!

Truth is......the fact that I didn't know how old I truly was means I'm getting old.

Truth is.....I feel I need to make this next year count, as it's sort of a "bonus" year.

Truth order to do that, I need to get off my arse and make things happen. 

Truth is......that's easier said than done. But, I said it. And, now I will do it!!

Friday, March 7, 2014

A Death Scare Can Certainly Motivate Ya

I've suffered from migraines most of my life.

The worst was in my early 20s. I went to the ER a couple different times until I finally got a prescription for meds.

But, after I started having children, they became a tad more predictable. I could "feel" them coming on so I could take meds to head them off. I knew what my triggers were.  And, certainly keeping an eye on when my cycle was due helped. PMS migraines are the worst!!

Now that I have the IUD, it's a little tougher to predict when I will be struck down. I don't have a cycle so I don't pay much attention to the dates on the calendar. (for those reasons, of course I look at the calendar.)
While the migraines are fewer and further between, they certainly strike me down. Hard. And, while the actual headache is bad, the recovery seems to be so slow. I feel "foggy" for several days after.

This past weekend, I was hit heavily with a whopper of a migraine. Lights were twirling, rooms were spinning, food was being upchucked. It was bad.

And, it seems, while the migraines are less often, when I do have one, they are literally the worst one I've ever had.

I had a family friend die of an aneurism. My own grandfather died of one when I was 6. Another family friend had one but they caught that one in time.

I get a tad freaked out when I have a headache as bad as the one I just had.  I think "Am I going to die? Is there some other medical anomaly happening here?"

My mind is already doing weird stuff, during a migraine. But, add the fear of death and it is out of control.

My first thought, as I lay there thinking if I went to sleep, I might not wake up, was of my oven.

Not my children. Not my husband. But, my oven.

Not because I love to use it so much that I can't stand the thought of never being able to bake again

But, because I haven't cleaned it in approximately forever.

I also thought of the over flowing bag of clothes that is meant to be donated to Goodwill.
And of the dust bunnies under our bed.
The fact that my shower curtain liner needs to be replaced.

Because,if I truly did not wake up from my migraine forced nap (I love me a good nap. Just not one forced upon me by pain.) you know there'd be people coming into my house. And you know the first place they'd look would be the oven. And the shower.

Spoiler alert: I woke up. Migraine free.

Now, you'd think the first thing I did was clean my oven.

You'd be wrong.

The fact that I lived to see another day deserved to be celebrated!! So, we went for ice cream instead.

Life is short!

Friday, February 28, 2014


Disclaimer: This is another one of those posts. If you know me in real life, you are not allowed to bring this up, to my face. Ever.

For the last few years, our church has had a Valentine's dinner. A night out, to a nicer than normal restaurant, married couples only, no children, dinner.  And, after the dinner, the pastor gives us a Marriage Challenge.

If you are like me, your first thought is "Marriage is enough of a challenge, I don't need an official gameboard."

But, hear me out. It's a month of different activities, designed to bring you closer together as a couple. Some of the activities are really lame. Like "repeat your wedding vows" (that one was removed this year,everyone agreed it was lame) or "10 min foot rubs" (both my husband and I don't like to have our feet touched so we substituted something else).

Some are really simple. Bring home flowers. Make his favorite dessert. 30 min of doing whatever he wants.

We've never been able to finish out the whole month. Something always comes up and derails us. But, it's fun trying and the sentiment behind it is important.

Now, on to the embarrassing part. (you didn't even read the first part, did you? Just skipped down to here, huh?)

Some of the activities are to happen in the bedroom. Or, other places. "Remote night" is not referring to the t.v. remote.  "Naughty Poem" night. Self explanatory. No. I will not publish my poem.

The other night was "Surprise Him" night.

Now, we have 4 children. Three of them go to bed pretty early in the evening. The 15 year old stays up late. So, if we want know...we lock the door. Duh. And hope his headphones he's wearing playing Xbox work.

The other night, "Surprise" night, we had had some depressing news. We both were just down and tired and feeling very defeated.

As we got in to bed, Judd asked what the day's challenge was. I told him "I'm suppose to surprise you in bed. But, really, I'm not into it tonight. How about the fact that I'm willing is a surprise???"
He was game. Duh.

We were enjoying our quality time when we heard quite a ruckus outside our bedroom window. Some sort of vehicle noise. We didn't really think too much of it. Until, Jayce knocked on our bedroom door.

We both stop..moving. Listen. Did we just hear a knock?? Maybe if we don't move again, at all, he will go away? 

Jayce :  "Dad? Mom?' 

Judd: looks at me, clears his throat, tries to sound as normal as possible,  "Yes?"

Jayce:  "Somebody just drove up into our yard, up in the grass and over the reflectors at the driveway! And, he drove off and is dragging his bumper down the road! Sparks are flying every where! And, the cops are right behind him!!"

Me (whispering to my husband) "SURPRISE!!!"

Who says you can't still be surprised, even after 20 years together? ( :

Tuesday, February 25, 2014


My kids are all very different, but, one thing they all have is a sense of humor. I don't just mean they can tell a knock-knock joke, but they can think of smart comments on the spot. And, like most kids, if they get people to laugh once, they will rinse and repeat many times, hoping for the same response. But, generally, that first zinger is worth it. 

One thing Jarrett (just turned 9) possesses more strongly than my other three kids is the NEED to be right. All. The. Time.  No matter what. No matter that it is obvious to anyone  within a 5 mile radius that he is wrong, he will fight to the death that he is right. Or, a close cousin to always being right, it's somebody else's fault. It makes disciplining this young man very, very.....interesting. More often than not, any correction on our end causes tears on his end as he is so adamant he is in the right.

On a recent afternoon, shortly after the boys had gotten off the school bus, Jarrett said to me: "Mom, didn't you say Mr. Haas (a teacher at school) was my uncle?" 

Me:  "No!! Why on earth would I say that??"
Jarrett immediately breaks into tears.
Me: "Jarrett?? Did you tell people at school he was your uncle?"
Jarrett: "Yes!! You SAID he was!!"
Me: "No. I did not. I would never say anything like that, not even as a joke."
Jarrett:  "Yes!! You DID!!" 

Hot, angry tears are pouring down his face.

Me: "Jarrett. I did not say that. If anything, the closest thing I said was your Uncle Steve knows Mr. Haas, which is true. But, that's not the same as saying he was your uncle!!" 
Jarrett: "You SAID!!"
Me: sigh...."No, I didn't but I'm done talking about this. I'm sure your friends won't even remember you saying that."

Later, after dinner, as we sat and watched "The Andy Griffith Show" (don't you just love that show?), I happened to remember our previous conversation. 

As I started to re-tell the story to Judd, Jarrett again started to cry and grumpily returned to "Mom!! You SAID he was my uncle."

Now, as I'm sure is the way with many fathers, Judd gets extremely irritated with Jarrett when he cries for no "good" reason. If he is physically injured or seriously emotionally hurt, of course Judd is compassionate. But, when he cries just because he's avoiding facing the fact that he is wrong about something, there's no compassion. 

Judd: "Are you crying?? That's silly. You just heard mom wrong, it's no big deal. Stop crying."

Jeven (Jarrett's younger brother), sees a chance to go in for the kill and says: What's the matter?  You upset?  Why don't you go cry to your new uncle!!?"

Was that mean? Yes.
Was it perfectly timed and appropriately used? Yes.
Did Judd and I hide our faces and pretend we weren't laughing? Nope!!
Did Jarrett actually crack a smile and can now, to this day, laugh at himself about the time he thought Mr. Haas was his teacher? Yup!
Does Jeven try the same line any time and place he thinks it might get a laugh? What do you think?

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Where the Insane People Live

 I sit here tonight, crouched at the kitchen table, trying to look invisible as it seems I can do nothing without being interrupted or asked "what are you doing?".  Not that this is anything unusual, I've been a mom for 15 years, I know the drill. But, I realized this evening, it has been since before I quit my job, in October, that I've had any significant time to myself. I especially like when I'm home by myself. But, I haven't been home alone for ages. I am in need, that's for sure!!

My grandma ended up being admitted to the hospital and was there for about a week. She then went to a rehab facility. And, here is where I am thankful for my year working at the assisted living facility and my years of volunteering at other facilities. We, as her family, were given the choice of which facility to place my grandma in.  I immediately ruled out several and encouraged my mother to pick the one that Judd's grandma had wonderful experiences with and several of "my" residents went to and returned good as new.
Of course, you take a 83 year old woman who has lived on her own for 30 years, and put her in a place where she can't do her own medications or even use the toilet without assistance and you get a rough trip.
But, she slowly regained some of her strength and eventually was discharged.  She then flew with my aunt and uncle to Alaska and she will stay up there for a bit, while her house is updated to be a safer environment for her.  I'm sad to have her so far away but M&D have no easy task ahead of them.

My aunt and uncle (who I mentioned in the previous post, not in the paragraph above)  needed some help as well, this last month. My uncle required surgery and my aunt does not drive. So, I drove them back and forth to the hospital for several days (him just once, her back and forth to visit and eventually him when he was released) and while the 120 miles a day (yup) were alot, I spent some time with my aunt that I've been related to for almost 40 years (GAWD!!) but only just got to know a few weeks ago, thru the conversations in the waiting rooms, in the car and sitting quietly by my uncle's bed.  Seems she remembers many funny things about my childhood, and has very strong opinions about many things. It was interesting talks, for sure. 

Jarrett is half way thru his basketball season. And, we have decided this will be the last sport we participate in.  We just are not sports people. We could care less, we have many other things going on, we don't have the time to shuffle back and forth to a million practices a week, taking up entire weekends with games. And, the older the kids get,the more competitive the sports become. And, honestly, our kids don't show signs of hiding exceptional athletic ability.  And, being honest again, team sports are rarely about playing as a team. If you're lucky, you will get a coach that attempts to make it appear he's trying to teach them to play as a team. But, more often than not, it's about one or two exceptional kids who hog the ball, out score everyone, all while their parents cheer them on, not caring about anything else but winning. (No, I'm not bitter, why do you ask??)  My kids just want to have fun and wear cool shoes. And, get snacks. So, while they may protest, at first, when we tell them no more sports, I think they will in the long run, be okay.

We sold my husband's Samurai and we are hoping that will take the edge off of our financial stress. We are really trying to avoid me having to go back to work.  But, if I do, I imagine getting my old job back won't be a problem. My "wonderful" boss, that appreciated his employees like one appreciates a zit on their backside, "moved on to other things" most suddenly. I hear that the whole dining room full of senior citizens stood up and cheered the day he left.  

I tell ya, being a grown up is sometimes not everything I dreamed it would be. Sometimes, it's much much worse. But, sometimes, you get your almost 8 year old asking you: "Mom? I have a "Yes" or "No" question. Actually, it's just a "Yes" question. Can I have some soda?"  And, if I don't make a point to concentrate on him, on all of the people I love, big or little, grandmother, aunt, neighbor, check out clerk at the grocery store, I miss the funny things, I miss the intelligence that I thought was missing, the random kind things people do for other people, the random things I can do for strangers, if I don't stop to appreciate the little things that make me smile (like the obvious answer to Jeven's question), I would surely go insane.  And, I've seen where they put insane people, I don't want to go there!   

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Next year? I'm Skipping the Entire Month of January

I've hesitated to post this post as it is another Debbie Downer post. And, while I feel the need to gripe and get some feelings out, I hate doing the downer posts.  And, I really do try to stay positive and concentrate on the good. But, dangit. This year has sucked, already!

You may, or may not, remember THIS post from last January.  And, while things are okay, for now, with my husband's job, other "worth crying" about things are happening.

We are in a serious financial pickle, and that is all my husband is willing to share. Things could definitely be worse, but certainly they could be better. It's probably the worst financial stress we've been in during our 17 years of marriage. But....I know things will work out.

But, because we are grown ups, we are trying to sell my husband's "toy". He drives a Suzuki Samurai and he loves it. But, it's our third rig and we really don't need it. So, we have it for sale. Asking a fair price, and while we need to sell it, we certainly don't want to give it away. We've had quite a few people inquire about it. Some have made offers, most were quite insulting. One guy came to look at it, offered my husband half the asking price then proceeded to roll down the window that had the "For Sale" sign in it, thus resulting in the sign falling down in between the window and the door, lost forever. Idiot.
One guy offered us a little cash and credit to use in his tattoo parlor. It's not like my husband's pride isn't already injured, right?

Our dog has some sort of "wound" on his face. It's actually a result of scratching at his ears (that were probably infected) and the wound getting infected. It's gross. It stinks. It's stressing me out. I don't want to have to take him to the vet. I hate the whole dog smell anyways, let alone an infected dog smell. I'm just seriously irked at the stupid dog. But, we've been treating it with hydrogen peroxide and JULI'S  favorite, Neosporin. And, I think there's some improvement. We were also able to get some antibiotic drops for his ears.  And, lest you think we are irresponsible pet owners, of course we will take him to the vet if he doesn't improve soon.

I got into a yelling match with our neighbor. If you know me at all, you know this is a big deal.
She has had it in for Josie for quite some time. Actually, we think it started when my husband told her then teenage son to turn his Rap Crap music down in his car.  Seems he's momma's little angel boy and momma didn't like it. Anyways, we live on a cul-de-sac and all the kids play together. She hates it. And she really seems to think Josie is some sort of gang leader.  But, Josie was trying to be nice and drew her a picture and left it on her door. She was livid.  She called Josie all sorts of names.  Now, my kids can't play outside without me being with them. And, if you know me at all, you know that I might look forward to sending my children OUT and AWAY from me to play.  But, she can't have the chance to get near my kids. Some people suggested I report her, but really, I'm not sure what to report?  I'm thinking that being a witch is not against the law.
My husband and I have always tried to get along with all of our neighbors. Because, really? The people that live next to you aren't the ones you want angry at you. Our neighbor immediately next door gave us her house key. She has no children, lives only with her little dog. We go over and get Fritz from time to time and he plays with the kids and Luther. Our other neighbor's daughter babysits for us.  It's just this one lady ruining our happy little suburbia. 

Last but not least, my 83 year old grandmother fell. She lives out in the country,where she's lived for 40 years, 35 of them alone. She fell outside and crawled across the gravel to pull herself up.  And while she did not break anything, and things could have been so much worse, she spent a week in the hospital and is now in a rehab facility.  And, will probably not be returning to her home.
And, while she was okay with going to the rehab facility, we already know she will not be okay with not going back to her home. And, all of the sudden, my vivacious and feisty grandmother is an old lady. That needs help to do alot of things. 
She has 4 children, my mom, that lives close to me, my aunt who lives 2 hours away, another aunt that while she lives locally, she has her own issues that make her an unlikely candidate to be the responsible party, and my uncle who lives in Alaska.
I guess my point is, much of the care is falling to my mother. And, I of course, want to help out as much as possible.
It has just became a HUGE undertaking. And, while I have some experience in elder care, it's totally different, (but yet the same) when it's your own grandmother.
And, really, I'm very, very happy to help her in anyway possible. This post isn't meant as a complaint at her, just that life can be hard and for us, right now, it seems to be hard all at once, instead of spread out. 

Really? Things could always be so much worse. Hmmmmm....maybe I will get that tattooed on my arm. If we traded the Samurai, it could be done!!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I'm Not a Curb Hoppin' Mama

In this crazy world, there are so many types of mothers. And even more types of children.
With my own four children, while they are similar in many ways, they are vastly so different. It makes this parenting gig challenging. And, fun.

Jeven and I went to Winco today. I do try to avoid the first of the month grocery shopping as it is extremely busy. Food stamp and state income benefits are paid at the beginning of the month, making the grocery store nearly busting at the seams with shoppers. Which I do not enjoy. But, we did need a few things.

As we were walking in, we were behind a young mother, with four small girls. One of them, the smallest, was curb hoppin'. One foot on the curb, one on the sidewalk and hop-hop-hoppin' her way towards the door. The mother was getting impatient and said "Natalie!! Come ON!!" and grabbed her hand and guided her towards the door and away from the curb.  She wasn't mean or abrupt, in any way. I only noticed it because we were following them and, being honest, I would've done the same thing. I have done the same thing. Many times.

I do get impatient with the curb hoppin'.  With the insisting to push the grocery cart even though they can't see over the top. With the wanting to bag the groceries all by themselves. With anything that slows me down, when I (in my mind) am in such a hurry.
When I say I get impatient, I don't yell, I'm not mean. Just like the lady in front of us, I am just ready to move on.

On our way OUT of the store, we passed the same curb and same sidewalk. This time, there was a young mother with one little girl. Of course, the little girl was curb hoppin'. This mother, however, was just walking along side her girl, patiently waiting, going as far as to encourage the curb hoppin'.

What a ironic twist of motherhood.

Of course, this mother only had one child with her. Not four. Anybody that has more than one child knows what a difference grocery shopping is when you only have one child vs. more than one.
If we were to fast forward to a few years down the road, when this mother has another little one, or two, tagging along, the curb hoppin' may be nixed. Or, perhaps not.

Every mother is different. When I saw the first mother, I totally knew what she was thinking when she nixed the curb hoppin' and I thought nothing of it.
But, when I saw the second mother, all relaxed and enjoying her enthusiastic daughter's curb hoppin', I instantly felt guilty. Because I knew that I would never do that.

I was thoughtful on the way home (good thing Jeven is also a deep thinker and doesn't talk non-stop like a couple of his siblings. See, different kids, different personalities) and finally convinced myself to not feel guilty.

I may not be a curb hoppin' mama, but I am a go ahead and empty the entire craft drawer and craft to your heart's content and make me something beautiful, mama.
I am a wear whatever you feel comfortable in, I don't care if it's shorts or your Spiderman costume or your Xmas dress from 2 years ago, mama.
I am a pretend my 65lb 7 year old is a tiny baby and rock him and baby talk to him because that's what he wants, mama.

I am my children's mama. I may not put up with curb hoppin' but that's okay.