Never Ever say the “Q” word!!

I said IT!

I was so excited for them sleeping in (past 8am). And I said the stupid word.

I knew better!! You aren’t supposed to say it at the hospital and stay at home mama’s should never ever ever say that word!

You know what I am talking about. Quiet 

When the house is peaceful and wonderful and only the hum of the air running is all that is heard. Then you say.. the bad word!

Then, like cheetahs in the wild they slowly stalk out of their rooms, messy bed head, sleepy eyes, night nights in tow and they creep your way. I slump in the chair hoping to appear semi asleep, but they know and they…. POUNCE!

And then it’s all over. One hears the other with their super sonic kid hearing that is super selective, and they all emerge into the daylight!

The 30 minutes was nice and then I said that ONE. LITTLE. WORD!

and that is all she wrote.

They ravaged the kitchen eating everything. One asked for noodles! Noodles!!!

At 8am… I considered it, then my mom voice jumped in and overshadowed my inner teenager and advised something more healthy… popcorn it is!

The baby shot Caleb in the eye not once but 2 times with a nerf bullet and evil laughed the entire time.

There is no more food. They have eaten it all. And I have a flat tire that needs to be fixed so we ain’t goin’ anywhere today.

It’s a soppy gross mess outside but I am so tempted to send them out anyway. And school doesn’t start for 3 weeks!!!

I can do this. I can get through the rest of the summer. I know I can with Thrive I will. With Thrive I won’t be tempted to run for the hills. With Thrive I can chase them around the yard, wear them down and have them in bed by 8…. oh. yes. I. can!!!

To all the mama’s with the summer-time blues. It’s July!! most of them go back to school in 3-4 weeks and then normal will commence and we will be waiting on the next summer break. It’s a vicious cycle guys….. VICIOUS!

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….It’s the middle that counts the most….

I just embarked on a 10 hour trip alone with 5 kids under the age of 10!!!

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Here’s what I have learned traveling alone with kids for the past 7 years….

  1. NO ONE EVER has to pee at the same time… no matter if you took them in or not, as soon as you get on the road, regardless if everyone tried and went, 15 minutes down the road, as soon as you start making decent time again, from the back seat you are sure to hear “I have to poop!!!!”
    Me: “Why didn’t you go 15 minutes ago?!”
    Reply: (I promise this is a true story) “I forgot” ….
  2. Someone is always touching someone else resulting in an argument and, in my case, something flying to the front of the car, and when asked who did that, I hear a unanimous “they did!!!”
  3. I must have said, “I’m pulling this car over, I’ve had it!!” 1,111,223,234,534 times
  4. “I’m Bored” is the car mantra
  5. “I’m starving” is a close second
  6. When we stop the car that was once clean, it looks like every snack bag and lego bag has exploded in the back seat.
  7. no one can EVER find their shoes!!! No matter how in advance I let them know that we are stopping, someone always has a missing shoe!!!
    side note: one time I thought that I really had my act together… got them all out of the car, walked them holding hands like angels into a McDonalds, got to the restroom only to realize #3 was missing his shoes … it happens!!
  8. They never nap at the same time… they go in shifts and this makes me picking the radio station non existent for 10 hours!
  9. Drive through orders are a nightmare for me and for the poor fella taking our order
  10. And no matter how crazy the trip was… I will still tell everyone that my children are the best travelers in the world!

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I managed to go on this trip (with an extra kid in tow might I add), run them here and there, take care of 3 sick kids that decided to fall ill, days apart, take them all into different bathrooms along the route, get everyone’s order right in the drive thru and I didn’t forget anyone!!! I am super woman for sure! 🙂

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On another note… bittersweet, I tucked in a 3 year old for the last time ever! It’s a little sad but almost like opening a new chapter. As my sweet baby turns 4 tomorrow, suddenly he is not so little anymore. He will start preschool in the fall and he will slowly become more independent. He will slowly become a little boy and not mama’s baby any more and then a new chapter will open for me. I know that my family is complete, I don’t have that longing for another baby, but I do miss my babies being …. babies.  It is interesting going into this new part of life. The part where everyone is more independent and not reliant on me for every little thing, but as a mama, you secretly long to be needed always. I love taking care of my quartet. I love watching them grow and learn and I often think what a great honor it is, that I was chosen for this role in life. Tomorrow we will celebrate my baby, Alexander Blake. Tonight I will stand in his doorway and watch him go from 3 to 4 and watch as my baby boy silently grows up on me.

Momin’ ain’t easy but I do it with so much pride and gratitude.

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An Experience

I thought being a mama would be a walk in the park.

I laughed when “seasoned” mama’s would say “just wait until you have your own”.

Then I had Braxton and I immediately thought I knew everything, when in fact I didn’t know anything at all. I didn’t know if he could fall asleep in a swing. I would sit by his crib and hold a mirror to his face to make sure he was breathing. (true story) I called the pediatrician the first time he fell and busted his lip, the nurse giggled, I remember getting a little upset, and she said, “give him a popsicle this is the first of many bumps”.
I thought “I don’t have any popsicles don’t those have sugar in them.”

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I was strict with his diet and gave him only organic foods, only milk and water and never ever gave him a “dip” for his organic, free range, stress free chicken nuggets.

I was a “helicopter mom” to the extreme. I remember watching my sister in law, while on our first family vacation give her son, who was 4 months younger, a pudding cup. I stood there silently appalled that she would do that to her child!!!

Then one day we heard the words that no mother wants to hear and my views seemed to change almost overnight. MY child wasn’t supposed to be sick, he was an organic baby, who NEVER got sick or had a cold. He had never even had an ear infection. MY child was not a statistic. But in fact, my child was.  And I realized then that I didn’t know anything at all and that I had a lot of road to cover!

Then as time went on we added 3 more monkeys to the bunch and I became “seasoned”. QUICKLY!!! I became that crazy mama, going through Wal-Mart with one in the front, one where you are “not supposed to put a child”, one hanging on the end, in flip flops {an accident waiting to happen} and then Braxton wandering aimless through the aisles as if he is the only one there…. That is EXPERIENCE! I learned to listen to those other mama’s … fast!!!!

Now, while I don’t know everything, I do know a lot. I know about emergency room visits. I know how to put a band aid on extra tight to avoid another ER visit. I know how to pack lunches that they will actually eat. I know that cupcakes can smooth most things over. I know that kids have disagreements and that I can’t always come to their rescue. I know that girls are dramatic and that I still have A LOT to learn about raising a girl in a house of testosterone. I know that boys are gross and they literally smell, and I know that they will fight regardless if we are at home, church or an aisle in a store.

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I have learned to smile when they are embarrassing me to know end and make some sort of awkward joke out of the situation. They have taught me that being serious all the time is lame and that sometimes you have to use a funny voice when ordering processed food in the drive through. I have learned that messes get made and they get cleaned up eventually.

Who said being a mama was a job you had to apply for and have a perfect record. I have said it before that I am no “pinterest mom” and I admire them and I wish they would come decorate my house and teach my children how to keep white furniture clean and how to meal prep and make birthday parties the best thing ever. For now I will stick with leather furniture, cheap carpet, my “less is more and big is better” philosophy, no pretty curtains {because that is how Tarzan gets around} and sometimes dinner isn’t what everyone loves and cereal is OK for dinner!
I learned that Nerf wars are a blast ESPECIALLY when we ambush the Barber when he comes through the door…. I will take full responsibility for this because it was epic.

Being a mama is a privilege that I will never take for granted. It is fun and stressful, noisy and sometimes too quiet, it is runny noses and wet kisses and it is late nights and early mornings. But that is OK with me… we are going to make the most of EVERY crazy moment, live life and make memories…

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That is my Friday thought!

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Living the MOM life…

Today I was chatting with another mom about some things and somehow we drifted into working away from home…. once upon a time that was me…. anyway, at the end of our chat she said, “it was so nice to have an adult conversation.”

OH MY WORD!! She is totally not kidding. Given it was through messenger but still we were kinda sorta talking as I was throwing things back to the kids in the back seat while sitting in the car line…. 7 more weeks of that by the way… can’t tell you how excited that makes me. Another friend was all buzz kill when she said “but there is only 8 weeks of summer”, to which I replied, “by then they will more than likely be sitting on the curb of the elementary school because I couldn’t deal anymore. {true story}

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When I worked outside the home, I feel like I took those “adult convo’s” for granted.  Now, I am home all day, rarely do I have an actual phone conversation thanks to the comfort of texting and these online “mom communities”,  I mean seriously, I have to “schedule” calls to make sure they coordinate with nap time and in the event that I have to take a call, like today, I find myself setting them up with a cartoon and enough snacks and juice to occupy them for the duration of my 15 minute conversation.

I usually make all my calls, like for appointments and stuff, from my office…. aka my mini van, while sitting in the car line because on a great day they fall asleep from the house to the school… on a GREAT day… that’s not often.

And, when on the phone, I have learned to keep it short and sweet and take advantage of bluetooth and the mute button (for those moments I am sure will happen and I have to “encourage” them to be quite)

Seriously, where did my social life go. Unless, my friends come to me, I see no one and and unless they text me I talk to no one…. because my phone is usually occupied by someone who only uses it for gaming purposes or decides to hide it…. {another true story}

So, I found this “job” that allows me to work from home and requires me to talk to adults, about a product that I love and I realize now that I mostly do it for the chance to talk to other grown ups.

Whatever will I do when the kids are ALL in school…. I know!!!! I am going to call everyone in my contacts list and just chat! I am not sure what I will talk about seeing that the last 10 years of my life have been, Mickey Mouse, Backyardigans, Elsa and Anna, Legos, Matchbox cars and Baby Dolls…. That is going to be the most interesting of conversations.

OK before I sign off, If you are not Thriving let me recommend it again. I have found something that allows me to no longer be a Zombie mama, allows me to keep up with them without feeling like they have laid the smack down, and allows me to take a few extra minutes once they have all been tucked in without fighting sleep. And then when I lay my head down, I drift off into a peaceful, restful sleep, thanks to the melatonin that is released… I am loving my Thriving Experience. I get to stay home, make a little extra money and love a fabulous product….

 

  Start Your Thrive Experience HERE

Cheers to all the mamas who read more conversations than speak them ♥♥

 

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A case of the… Thursdays???

Some days {like today} are not always unicorns and rainbows.

Some days, the kids do NOT  cooperate, the coffee isn’t strong enough, the car doesn’t start, at least one kid is sick and refuses to be put down, some days it’s cold and rainy and all you want to do is stay in pajamas and go NO WHERE!

Today was that day for me.

I promise, nothing went the way that I wanted it to. The kids were not their typical selves. I suppose this comes from the trip we took last weekend and getting back into a routine. But seriously, I wanted to cry.

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I could have called AAA but it was way more fun to call up my friend and get her out of bed plus she was way faster. (love my friends)  Why does stuff like this happen when you are already running behind? UGH!

But I didn’t put my pajamas back on and get back under the covers, instead, I “cowgirled” up, turned the music up really loud, had a little dance party, brewed an extra strong cup of coffee and paddled on. Eventually the sun came out and the kids came home semi normal and I am on my 5th cup but all is well.

PS…. I am originally from NC, we have fabulous barbecue there, amazing food, sweet tea that is made “right” but until my dear friends from Louisiana introduced me to the wonderful flavor of Community Coffee… this ole girl didn’t know what I was missing.  The bold flavor and that unique hint of Chicory that made it smooth and “just right”. I love my coffee and I love it so much that I have pretty much decided that this is my coffee of choice, even if I have to have it ordered and auto delivered, I sure will. While I was in Louisiana over the weekend,  I bought 3 HUGE bags, that should last about 2 months. Anyway… y’all try this stuff it’s fabulous.

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On another random note, today I looked across the room and saw poor little Alex standing there in pajamas, all frail and red faced. Sick was written all over him. I got choked up. I am sad that my baby is sick but not to the point of tears.

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I promise I had a flash back to Braxton at the same age. My heart started to race and I felt a silent tear roll down my face. I caught myself, came back to reality and went on but the reality is as a mom of a, once, very sick child, the PTSD is real. It’s not just for soldiers or those who have had a near death experience, it’s for mama’s and caretakers that walked through the fire with their kids too.

I have to say that when my boys get sick, the worry and the panic is there more so than with Zoe. I don’t connect her and Braxton together that way. But I go into some other realm of crazy with the boys. I don’t know if other mama’s do this but for me it’s real and sometimes emotionally scary.

Zoe had the flu last week and I will say that if everyone got the flu she had it would never make the news and the CDC would call it cured. She is probably the toughest {almost} 7 year old that I know. Perhaps that is why I don’t worry about her. She doesn’t need me to.  I am rambling. That is just the type of day that I have had, a rambling mess of a day.

I will end with a quote from a book…. “I am having a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day. Tomorrow will be better, I know it!

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WeLcOmE to the NuT HoUsE

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Many moons ago when I first got married to the barber my first job was on a Geriatric Psych Floor. There, I was a Nurses Assistant. It was my very first job and I had NO idea what I was getting into. I just knew that I was ready for adventure and I needed a job. There I met amazing nurses and nurse techs that taught me a thing or 2 about life and, though I didn’t realize it then, a thing or two about motherhood.

The person that said “nothing prepares you for motherhood” never spent 5, 12 hour nights in a row on a psych floor.

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Working there I learned to stay awake all night long.
Being a mom, I learned that sleep isn’t really as necessary as they claim it to be.

In Psych I learned that bed alarms are the most annoying thing in the world and that no one stays in the bed when they are supposed to.
As a mama, NO ONE STAYS IN THEIR OWN BED. EVER!!!!!

In psych I learned to deal with patients who whined about EVERYTHING.
As a mama, kids whine about EVERYTHING!!!!

Working psych, I have had patients use the bathroom in inappropriate places … i.e. the corner in the hall.
Being a mom, I have had children use the bathroom in inappropriate places… i.e. the front yard or in the middle of a crowded park.

Working psych, I have had patients lose there temper and throw things across the room.
Being a mama, I have had children throw things across the room {today in fact}

Working psych, you learn to properly restrain out of control patients.
Being a mama, you restrain them often, usually in the car, a playpen, with “baby gates” or you bribe them… what ever works!

Working psych you learn sneaky ways to get a patient to take all there medicine.
Being a mama, you use those skills learned to the best of your ability.

Working psych, I have had patients walk down the hallway missing clothing.
Being a mama, when you ask them where there clothes are, they reply “it’s underpants day!” to which you reply “alrighty then!”

On a psych floor, you learn to always have your guard up.
As a mama, they rarely fool me.

On a psych floor, patients yell obscenities at you and call you names you may not like.
As a mama, “poop face” is a term of endearment from one brother to the next and you learn to go with it.

Working psych, I heard some of the best stories, some made up, some real.
As a mama, those stories make the best bed time stories.

Working psych, I had patients that made my day.
Being a mama, they make my day everyday.

And lets not forget those wonderful first aid skills we had to learn, like CPR and the Heimlich maneuver {which by the way I have had to use 3 times}.  How many mama’s can say they know that.

So you “Pinterest mama’s” can have your pies and cookies and crafts. I can get my kids to take there medicine and when I get funny looks at a store because one of my kids have their underwear on the outside of their pants, I know how to go with it. Thank you, to my Psych floor experience.

Later on, I went to work OB with another amazing group of ladies and I learned so much there. I learned patience and I learned how to turn a room over quickly. I learned how to keep my cool when the going got tough and I learned not to spazz out when things got a little crazy. I learned that “family” goes much much deeper than blood because to this day, I have an amazing family of friends that taught me everything I needed to know about being a mama before I was a mama.

From my nut house to yours… toodles.

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Thank You for Saving His Life

Recently, while scrolling through social media, I stumbled across a clip of a woman who had lost her husband in a horrible accident and was looking for the team of doctors, nurses and caregivers that saved her infant son.

I was so moved that I watched this clip with tears rolling down my face, thinking back to the numerous doctors and nurses that saved my sons life.

In the moment that they are going through the treatments you are grateful to the team taking such good care of your baby but you are so focused on the needs of that baby that you don’t think to really stop and thank the team.

I knew then and I know now that had the doctors and nurses and child-life teams and the social workers and the therapists not been there, that Braxton would not be here today. I am so thankful for them.

One doctor, in particular, always stands out in my mind, because Braxton’s rapid treatment and essentially his rapid response goes back to him.
I knew that there was something seriously wrong with him when I carried him into Archdale Pediatrics that day but I wasn’t sure what and I never would have imagined the later outcome of the day. That day in the pediatricians office still stands out so clear in my mind and I can still see it as if I was living it today.

Dr. Dan Entwistle was the pediatrician that took care of Braxton that day. He was thorough, soft spoken, patient and caring and he was determined to find out what was making our boy so sick that day. He constantly reassured us, held our hands {literally}, he sent us immediately for further testing and then later when HE called us to tell us to go directly to Brenner Children’s Hospital because they were VERY concerned with his blood work, he paused…. he said “I would like to pray with you before you head to the hospital.” I paused because this was not what I had expected. With silent tears flowing down my face, I listened to him ask for comfort, ask God to give the doctors wisdom, he prayed that God would be with us through whatever was to transpire and then when he was finished praying he told me that he believed it was going to work out fine and that Braxton was in the best of care and that God had great things in store for him later.

I do not know if I ever had the chance to thank him for all that he did that day so today I am saying “thank you”.

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As a mama, those words were what I would cling to in the coming days and weeks and months and years.

He came to visit Braxton that first week in the hospital and brought him a giraffe because it reminded him of the giraffes he saw being a missionary in Africa. I believe now more than ever that God knew exactly who to put in that small pediatricians office that day. I believe that God placed Dr. Entwistle there to comfort us in that scary time. I believe his fast thinking and his persistence that day saved our little boy. Leading him to amazing Oncology teams and the best nurses. For that I say thank you to the doctor that started all of Braxton’s healing.

I will forever be thankful, grateful and blessed, to have had the very best teams on our side through that chapter of our lives.

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