Venti with a Triple Shot

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Recently on a rainy day I met up with some other mama’s at an indoor playground with 7 kids in tow (I only gave birth to 4 of them, the others just appeared in the van) between the ages of 9 and 2.

ALONE

Some may call me crazy, others may call me brave but my response is always the same… “what’s one more?”

I just ran through Starbucks (told them not to ask for a thing because the answer was no, hey, I was already taking them to play) and asked for a Venti over ice with 3 extra shots of espresso. The lady taking my order said, “are you sure?? It already comes with 3 shots!” I laughed {who is she to question my espresso addiction  habit  consumption….}

So, because my mama raised me right I politely in my very best “bless your heart” voice said “yes, I am very sure”.

When I pulled up to the window with all 7 kids going crazy in the back, I think she realized I knew what I was talking about and that she probably should have kept her barista comments to herself. ** Dear Mr. Starbucks trainer person, please instruct your future Barista’s NEVER to question a mama’s coffee choices. It’s rude! **

Needless to say that after that play date was over, my drink was all gone and my sanity was still in tact … that is why I ordered the extra.

When I had Braxton I was a nervous wreck kinda mama. I questioned all my choices. Worried that I wasn’t doing things like the other mama’s did, reading every book I could get my hands on and calling my mama ALL THE TIME.

Then he got sick, very sick and I realized that I had this natural maternal instinct that a book wasn’t going to teach me to use.

Eventually, he would get so sick he couldn’t move and the house became eerily quiet, there were no toys and no giggles through the house. It was my awakening as a mama. I stopped fussing over the house being exactly put together ALL the time. I let the toys be, I took time to play rather than clean, I took time to listen rather than fuss.

When Zoe came along I was a little more lax. Albeit, I was a germ-a-phobe because of Braxton, but I had a different outlook.

By the time the boys came along, 17 months apart, I threw my hands up in the air and decided to fly by the seat of my pants.

I don’t fuss over the things that don’t really matter a ton. I look at my kids and say “self… do those rugrats, look happy…. yes, they do … well done mama”

So, have a huge cup of whatever gets you through, for some it’s almond milk with some kinda green blended stuff {ugh, I will spare you my facial expressions on that one}, for me it’s a “big gulp” of some sort of strong coffee, at least twice a day, and for some life is rainbows and unicorns and things just flow {to those people I wanna be just like you one day}… enjoy the small things, the clothes they picked out on their own, the Kool-Aid mustaches, sneaking them cookies before dinner. Sometimes have cake for breakfast…. I promise this is a game changer.

Take time to listen, and write everything down {who cares if people on social media think you are annoying}, I know that one day too soon I am going to blink and my babies will not be babies anymore, then I will be bored and living on a single shot.

For now I will enjoy the Venti moments.

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“I Want a Sister”

I am the wife to a Barber.

A barber, who is 100% different than me. The only things that we agree on is that we both love Jesus, and our kids and each other. That’s it! I drive him crazy, I sit back and silently giggle as my quirkiness makes him catch his breath, and he eventually accepts it.

His personality, aspirations, and organizational skills are completely opposite of mine. I am a procrastinator (actually, I have made it an art, really), I am probably one of the least serious people that you will ever meet (I am the one that is standing in the back of a funeral giggling, not because I am being disrespectful, but because that’s how I cope). I have the MOST unorganized kitchen in the entire state of Indiana (ask my sister in law, it drives her nuts) … but it works for me.

SO, I am not surprised that I have managed to have 4 of the most odd, eccentric and different children EVER!

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I have learned to embrace the crazy that is them. The unpredictable personalities that they all have. It keeps things fun and interesting.

I have embraced there tiffs and I understand that there is nothing I can do to change who they are. AND, I have gotten really really good at tuning out the loud whines and frets.

I have 3 boys and one lone girl. That lonely little girl will one day take over the world. 

She begs me for a sister daily and daily I have to break her heart and tell her “IT AIN’T HAPPENIN'” … disappointments make them stronger.

I admit, I do feel sorry for her.

The only girl in the midst of all these boys. But I struck out twice, she will one day appreciate her Princess status and thank me.

Caleb prays daily for a sister so that Zoe will leave them alone and suddenly, Alex has jumped on the prayer wagon with “Lord, please give me a brudder so I can be him’s boss”

One thing is for sure… they are really close to Jesus lately with all their random praying.

Y’all!!! If I was crazy enough to have another baby I do believe I would have to be institutionalized, for the safety of myself and all man kind.

The crazies never stop in this house. Recently, people have asked me what I will do with ALLLLL my free time when Alex goes to Kindergarten next year… I reply “NOTHING” … I am going to sit in my quiet house and eat food without hiding in the garage and I am going to read AT LEAST 2 books from start to finish and then…. when the first week ends…. I am going to apply to foster because… I will need to fill the crazy void.

Embrace your differences because that is what makes a family fun. It would be so stuffy and boring if we were all the same. Caleb’s wit, Braxton’s smarts, Zoe’s bossiness and Alex’s goofy makes this home fun. And I don’t believe that I would change it at all…. not even on the most difficult of days.

Being a mom is not for the squeamish, Being a mom of 4 or more is not for the whimpy. It is an honor, a pull my hair out, sorry but today you are eating mac and cheese from a box, smell it, if it doesn’t stink wear it, stop yelling at her, don’t hit him, random kisses just because, belly laugh kind of honor.

Do they make a trophy with that on it???

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I think I’ll Protest!!!

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Oh My Goodness!! I don’t know about you but I am about done with all this protesting jazz. It’s flooding my social media feeds and I just want to see something funny and make fun of stupid criminals, and read about the cute things my friends kids are doing.

Seriously, I totally agree with the right to PEACEFULLY protest something that you don’t agree with but climbing a crane, busting out windows, setting things on fire… that all seems bit immature to this gal.

I woke up this morning and the kids were not moving fast enough and I thought “I don’t like the way they are acting, maybe I will throw myself into the floor and kick and scream until I get results” … sure I may think this from time to time but I don’t actually do it.

I wanted a Starbucks coffee this morning but the closest one is 20 minutes away… that makes me mad … I think I will Protest!!! Doesn’t that sound silly.

There are many nights when these ungrateful little humans that I am raising,  decide that what I made for dinner isn’t good enough, so I throw the spatula in the floor and sit in front of the stove chanting “NOT MY KIDS! NOT MY KIDS!” …. NO!! I peacefully place the food on there plates and say “this is dinner whether you like it or not and YOU WILL EAT IT OR STARVE!!!

{later I give in and make them a PB and J but nothing fancy and I shower them with kisses and hugs and tell them I love them}

Y’all I just saw a clip of environmentalist that climbed a crane to protest something … what is that going to solve? That poor crane operator probably has a family to feed, did those protesters think of that?? probably not! I may be a bit ignorant to all this political mumbo jumbo, but I think that this is a bit absurd.

My children protest bedtime EVERY night and you know what, I make the rules and they learn that the easy way or the hard way. After a stern look and a few “options” {My mama referred to those options as a hickory or spoon}, they know I will follow through and eventually the protest ends.

The problem, folks, with these protesters is their mama’s and daddy’s didn’t give them the right “options” as children and allowed them to pitch a fit (that’s what we call it where I come from) and they threw things and whined until they gave in… Hahahahaha… y’all my kids only WISH it was that easy in this house. I tell my kids daily that my job is not to be their friend and give them everything they want but to make them RESPONSIBLE, PRODUCTIVE citizens of society capable of making the right decisions. We DO NOT support the “participation trophy” because the harsh truth to life is… you win some, you lose some.

OK… If I understand this in my novice parenting why is this such a difficult concept for American’s today.

I am currently “protesting” doing the laundry and cleaning up the breakfast dishes so after I finish my 2nd cup of coffee and come to my senses I suppose I will end this PEACEFUL PROTEST and be a RESPONSIBLE, PRODUCTIVE mama.

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Secrets of the Kitchen Society

OK. I am not going tell any juicy secrets but I will say that if you are not a member of a “kitchen society” at your church, might I recommend finding one. Immediately… do anything mop the floor, wipe the counter, pretend to fold towels something to get you in. I can assure you it will be well worth it.

I have the BEST group of friends. We are all ages and everyone has something different to bring. Some of us have 4+ kids (like myself), while some of us like the simplicity of 1 or 2.

Some of us have a funky style (me again), while others have an elegance that flows from them.

Some of us have a “tell it like it is” attitude and others of us are more stand offish and just take it all in.

Some of us are loud and goofy as can be, and take NOTHING serious (me again), while others are serious and mature and give balance to the ones that are “less” adult.

But regardless of where we all fit in, some of the most fun that we have is in our church basement. Something about entering that door and surrounding ourselves around the large island lets us drop all the differences and suddenly, like a big ole pot of Gumbo, we blend together.

I can personally say that I have laughed until my belly hurt at some of the discussions of the kitchen. All while buzzing around and cooking amazing meals, or putting on a celebration for someone, or on a night that we have gathered for games and fellowship.

We talk about REAL mom issues, it is a judgement free zone (well for the most part, they judge me because I don’t care 🙂 ), the ladies are never offend not even when a lady wipes, caramel on your nose or throws a roll across the room and hits you in the head (again this happened to me, I am beginning to feel like a target).

Every lady needs a basement crew to hang with. They talk you through things, make you laugh when you didn’t think you wanted to, those “more seasoned”  ladies will give you insight like you’ve never had and the younger will make you double over in laughter.

BUT, what happens in the kitchen always stays in the kitchen.

When the floor has been mopped and the lights turned out and the door closed, all of the chatter seems to be locked up in the spice cabinet only to be let out when we gather again.

And the best part… we all love Jesus and we all have the same things in mind when we are raising our children and taking care of our families. We are all there for each other to pray for them and to offer a helping hand. We understand each other on a level that some might not.

Yes, those ladies are worth their weight in gold and I don’t know that I would trade any of them. Mostly because there is nothing more interesting than the kitchen shenanigans of good little church ladies. And partly, because they know too much 🙂

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Ain’t no Pinterest mama

So I am on Pinterest (last minute might I add) looking for ideas for Caleb’s dinosaur themed party scheduled for tomorrow (and by dinosaur themed I mean we have plates and napkins with dino’s on them and dinosaur cupcakes, oh, and I managed to scrounge up anything that looked dinosaur related from the boys room), and I am scrolling along and then I just say… “seriously!!! I am no Pinterest mama.”

Who has time to do all this stuff… decorations that look like they come from some magical birthday fairy and outfits to match!!! (I was lucky enough to find a dinosaur shirt at Kohl’s ON CLEARANCE)

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I am thinking (as a mother of 4) how much does all that cost???!!!

Seriously! I am seeing lots and lots of dollar signs.

When I had Braxton, and only Braxton, his parties were hits. Talked about for miles. I spent hours planning his first birthday party. Complete with pirates and swords and eye patches. Games and coloring books for all the kids. A treasure map that lead to actual treasure and then Zoe came and she didn’t get left out either, major birthday blowouts. And then Caleb came and it was all down hill from there. Caleb is just lucky enough to have a birthday in January, in Indiana, when the most fun thing to do is go to a birthday party, regardless of how lame it may be.

I always said that they would have to request Chuck E Cheese before I did it and now I am praying that they recommend that kind of party.

Poor Alex has never really had a party because, well, lets face it he is 3 and does he really care as long as I get him a REALLY awesome gift?! Probably not.

I used to feel like my parties had to compare to the other moms, if they had food then I had to serve a meal, a better meal. If they had 20 guests, then I needed to have 30 guests. If they decorated like Martha Stewart, then dog on it I was too (even knowing that I didn’t have one decoration savvy bone in MY BODY!

I am the QUEEN of the Pinterest Fail!

NO MORE MOM SHAMING!!!

With 4 kids they are lucky if we have cake and maybe  chips and ice cream and I never forget the treat bags because hopefully that makes up for the food we didn’t have. And is there some unwritten rule that says we have to serve an actual meal.

I’m not up to speed on the Emily Post of children’s parties and I don’t plan to be either.

My goal… invite them to said party and make it the quickest party and clean up EVER!! No lingering. We can linger on the playground when I am not expected to entertain 40 kids.

I have become the mama that doesn’t care whether it is done exactly right. As long as the kids appear happy and pleased with said party then I suppose I have done an OK job.

So when it is all said and done and the kids have come, cake has been served, no one was injured, they have been thoroughly entertained for at least 2 hours, presents are opened, “thank yous” are said and gift bags are passed out and no one is crying, I feel like I deserve a Venti Caramel Macchiato with a triple shot on ice and a victory lap around the parking lot  and that’s then I can say “WELL DONE MAMA WELL DONE”.

To all the mamas throwing anti-pinterest parties, I raise my Venti Cup!

Happy Birthday Caleb

A letter to my boy: 13483360_10157051248240367_4166491730851896171_o

Dearest Cabby,

Where do I begin? Today you turn 5! And while I realize that you are not able to read this I wanted to take the time to let you know how awesome we think you are.

Being #3 in our lineup, sometimes you tend to drift off into the shadows, not because that is where we put you but because that is where you prefer to be.

From the very first moment that I held you in my arms and memorized your face, I knew there was something quiet and unique about you. I knew that you would be the “mama’s boy”. I know that as you grow you will be the caretaker. The one always focused on everyone else’s happiness.

I love that, at 5, you have this imagination that takes you places without leaving the living room. You never need to be entertained because in your mind you entertain yourself. You are some what of a mystery. You make me smile with your witty personality. You say things with the funniest little lisp. And you are OK being you.

You wear EVERY emotion on your face and without saying anything I know what you are thinking and feeling.

You are an introvert… the only one in this family, that is for sure. You prefer to read and play alone unless you are playing with your buddy Alex.

You love school. And you thrive on routine. You are a true treasure to know and love.

I love you my sweet boy, and I hope that as the years pass and you grow up you remain true to who you are. That you keep your quirky ways and your cowboy dreams and never deviate from being the BEST you.

We love you and value your place in our crazy home.

Always put Jesus first and everything will fall into place. Happy Birthday Cabby I hope you have the best day ever.

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WAR!

I do believe the older my kids get the louder my house gets and I am not complaining, I love the loud, chaotic home that we have created BUT when the loud is solely based on arguments and slamming doors and stomping feet, I find a bit of conflict there.

I have learned recently that my 6 year old is really 16 trapped in a little body, which seriously disturbs me knowing that one day she will in fact be 16 and I don’t know that we will be able to live in the same home.

Last night I got tickled that she had placed a sign on her door with the words “only girls allowed in my room!! No boys unless I say!”, complete with angry drawings of girls and a list of names of the acceptable people allowed to cross the threshold. I suppose in my inexperience I didn’t realize such drama would come so early in life. I especially felt bad for the poor markers that she used to take her anger out.

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I am learning so much in my journey through motherhood. Most of the time the lessons come when I am least expecting them. I am sure that I should receive an honorary nursing degree for all the times that I have waited in ER waiting rooms and slept on uncomfortable fold out beds at the hospital.

Being a mom comes with so many more obstacles than I ever realized. I found myself going to my room the other day and locking the door (like I was a teenager) just for a moment of alone time.  A moment to sip a cup of coffee, listen to a bit of music {loud} and fold A basket of clothes without the screaming, and pulling of my shirt tales. I love my kids, don’t get me wrong, but some days being a mom is so intense. With 2 wanting milk and a snack {ALL.DAY.LONG}, one whining because someone was in her room messing everything up and one inevitably picking at them all stirring up more ruckus, it becomes more than your emotions can handle at one time.

I used to feel guilty for running to my room, but now as they get older I realize… it makes them stop and think…. mom is out of the equation, where did she go?? The screaming stops and in the 3 minutes that I was “hidden”, it stopped. The storm passed and it was safe for me to return to my duties. I come out, look around and low and behold they are all playing sweetly in neutral corners of the house…. VICTORY!

And I was able to enjoy my coffee HOT!!! We all won.

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