Tag Archives: Life

What you never want to hear your husband ask your 3 year old…

25 May

While our family was getting ready to go on a hike the other day I heard my husband in the other room call out to our 3 year old:

 Tristan, where did you put Dadda’s knife?

Has your mouth dropped yet?  Mine did.

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Are you a Tigger or an Eeyore…or worse?

28 Apr

While driving in the car the other day with the kids, and yes, all four tires were working this time, the boys began a conversation about Winnie the Pooh.  We had heard somewhere that there is a character on Winnie the Pooh to represent every type of personality.  So, their conversation went something like this:

Kaiden:  I would be Piglet, because he’s so shy.

Tristan:  I’m Tigger…boing, boing, boing!

Kaiden: No, I’m not Piglet, I’m Roo.  Because he likes to play and go on adventures.

Tristan:  I’m Tigger…boing, boing, boing!

Kaiden:  Dadda’s Eeyore.

There was no need for explaining, we all agreed on that one.

Kaiden:  Who’s Mama?

Now of course I was expecting him to say Kanga.  You know, the mother of the group.  The one who tends to all the creatures in the Hundred Acre Wood.  The one who nurtures them, cares for them, supports them.  But when I went to open my mouth with my chosen character, my son beat me to it…

Kaiden:  Mama’s RABBIT.

RABBIT?  Are you kidding?  Now it doesn’t take an expert to realize that out of ALL the characters on Winnie the Pooh, RABBIT is the least lovable.  RABBIT is the yellow starburst of the Pooh world.

RABBIT is bossy.  RABBIT is controlling.  RABBIT is a NAG!  They don’t even make stuffed animals to represent RABBIT; a self loathing Donkey, yes.  But RABBIT…Never!

Me:  I don’t think I’m Rabbit.  I think I’m more like Kanga.

Maybe they simply forgot about Kanga.

Tristan:  No Mama…you’re RABBIT!

Even my 3 year old is in on it.

So what started out as an entertaining conversation has now turned into an internal evaluation of my own character.  I don’t want to be RABBIT.  Perhaps if I were more timid, I would be Piglet.  Or if I hid my intelligence I could pass for Pooh.  If I channeled my energy I could be Tigger, or if I were more of a know- it-all I would be Owl.

But instead…I’m RABBIT.

Isn't he LOVABLE?

Oh well, I guess I’m off to tend to my garden and yell at everyone.

Who would you be?

Ah, 3 year olds. When did they get so smart?

3 Apr

While I was getting ready in the bathroom one morning, my 3 year old Tristan came in and said…

Tristan:  Mama, I want you to stay in the bathroom.

Me: Well, Mama’s almost done.

Tristan: No, NO!  Just stay in the bathroom.

Me: (curious now)  Why?

Tristan: I just want you to stay in the bathroom.  I don’t want you to come in the kitchen.

(Now it dawns on me, he’s up to something)

Me: Well, Mama’s almost done.  What are you doing in the kitchen?

Tristan: (with a huge ‘I’m doing something I’m not supposed to be doing’ smile) Nothing…I’m not eating anything.

(That wasn’t my question, but now it is)

Me: What are you eating?

Tristan: Nothing.  (and with another mischievous smile, he runs out of the bathroom and into the kitchen)

I follow him since he has basically ratted himself out and I find he has pushed a chair up to the counter, where the freshly made brownies were sitting.  Not only is he eating them, he’s nearly eaten ALL of them.  They are all over the counter and there is a little trail of crumbs where he must have tried to get a towel to try and clean up the evidence.

So, faced with a long clean up and a 3 year old about to go into the Mt. Everest of Sugar Highs, I did what any good parent would do…

I went back to the bathroom.

The Most Important Day of the Year!!!

10 Mar

Happy 71st Birthday!

 

 

Happy 71st Birthday

Chuck Norris.

 

 

You put Round House Kicking red heads on the map.  Thanks to my Dad, you were an ever present force in my childhood with such classics as The Delta Force and Missing in Action.  And who can forget your Emmy award performance in Walker, Texas Ranger.  Yes, Chuck Norris today I will solute you with a flying front kick out my door as I rush to tell everyone the good news of the day you were born.

And to all of my lucky readers, in celebration of Mr. Norris’ special day, a few quotes:

1.     Luke wanted to know the ways of the force.  The force wanted to know the ways of Chuck Norris.

2.    Chuck Norris actually died 20 years ago.  Death just hasn’t built up the courage to tell him yet.

3.    Chuck Norris and Superman once fought each other on a bet.  The loser had to start wearing his underwear on the outside of his pants.

4.     When the Boogeyman goes to sleep at night, he checks his closet for Chuck Norris.

And my favorite…

5.    Chuck Norris wasn’t born with feet…just boots.

Happy Chuck Norris Day everyone!!!

Worlds Longest ZEBRA found at Oregon Zoo!!!

2 Mar

Worlds Longest Zebra!

Every once in a while, things just line up perfectly, don’t they?

 

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”  Henry Davis Thoreau

Where the hell’s MY cookie?

24 Feb

 

 

I took February off from the blog, not on purpose, but as you all know life happens.

I went to the grocery store the other day with the boys.    Whoever thinks being a stay at home parent is easy, has obviously never gone grocery shopping with 2 kids.

After spending an hour at home making the list, planning the weekly meals and clipping the appropriate coupons I load the 2 kids in the car.  I prepare the diaper bag full of the essentials in case something goes down while we’re out, i.e.: sneeze, potty accident, or other.  We head up to the store.  I get both kids out, fling the diaper bag over my shoulder, pinch my reusable grocery bags under my arm (because I do care about the planet) and I ask Kaiden, my 8 year old to carry the shopping cart cover.

Inside the store, I place the cover over the infant seat and wrestle Tristan, my 3 year old into it.  I am regretting letting him wear his snow boots by now, as his feet won’t fit through the holes.  Once the basket is loaded up, we finally get into the actual store.  I am bombarded with pleas from Kaiden “Can I have that ball?  Oh, I need these markers!”  But I push on anyway.

I stop to get some lunchmeat at the deli.  A big mistake, for stopping the cart even for a moment prompts Tristan to try and climb out.  I wrestle with him as I order my “Ham please.”  Kaiden has found a balloon and is using it for a punching bag.  Tristan now wants to join in.  I grab the Ham and speed towards the produce section.  My kid’s favorite section as there is always fun things to grab and a ‘fun little toy that you pull and hundreds of bags unroll to the ground.’

We finally get to the Bakery.  Ah, the Bakery; the only place where the aroma itself has actual calories in it.

The boys are suddenly on their best behavior.  There is an actual sign after all that states:

“FREE COOKIE TO WELL BEHAVED CHILDREN.”

The lady comes with her hair net on and cookie bag out.  My boys use their “please” and “thank you’s” as if their life depended on it.  Once they have the actual cookie in hand they are quiet for the first time all day, well, except Tristan; he is humming.

I speed through as many isles as I can while they are preoccupied with their prize.  I don’t get far though as Kaiden has inhaled his cookie and is now pestering his brother for the rest of his.  I then play referee while I struggle to read my perfectly planned out list.  Did I mention I try to use a calculator?  Tristan falls for it and gives his brother the last of his cookie, not realizing by doing that there is no more cookie left for him.  Then the whining starts for another cookie.

I race through the last remaining isle; the dreaded cereal aisle.  My boys perk up as if it is Christmas at the sight of the colorful packages of “obesity in a box.”  I say “no” every few steps.  By this point Tristan is really trying to get out.  The only thing stopping him is the snow boots, which I am now thankful for.  Kaiden has found a bouncy ball he is recklessly bouncing through the isle, teasing his brother with.  I start to slow as I pace through the frozen section for I know what comes next.  The check out…

After placing my reusable bags up first, then the rest of the food with the help of Kaiden, Tristan finally manages to get free.  I place him in the back of the cart, where he somehow reaches the stacks of candy conveniently placed at the checkout.  I sift through my coupons with the line piling up behind me, I scan my store card (because they all have them now) and I struggle to make sure I am not buying any of the extra “stuff” my kids threw on when I wasn’t looking.  I load up my bags and head towards the car.

I get the kids in first.  Then if the weather will allow, I take my time loading the groceries and enjoying a moment of silence.  I get in and drive away from the store, knowing I will be back tomorrow because I’m sure I forgot something.  But as I drive away and wipe the sweat off my forehead, I can’t help but wonder…

Where the hell’s MY cookie?

 

Living your Buried Life…

29 Jan

 

 

Do you ever feel like your Life is living you?  Like the life you intended to live somehow got buried beneath the life you have?

 

 

It’s been a while since my last post because I have been so busy.  I have been racing around, doing and accomplishing and checking off the things life demands of me.  That’s when this post came into my head and I thought it should be shared.

When we are kids, we are told we can do anything we want to do.  And we believe it.  We can’t wait to grow up and go do all the things we’re told we can do.  And sometimes we hold on to that belief through High School and maybe even College, but somewhere in our twenties Life finds us.  It steers us off course with marriage and kids and jobs too good to pass up.  And before we know it there’s a mortgage and bills and pets and insurance and we find ourselves buried beneath Life.   Most of us go on living beneath the rubble, some completely unaware, and we find we don’t even recognize ourselves anymore.  We go into “sleep mode,” working and saving for that last little bit of life, when let’s face it, some of us are too unhealthy to enjoy anyway.

We put our dreams in a box marked ‘tomorrow’ and we bury the key.

I know I am not the only one who feels this way.  There is a famous literary poem by Matthew Arnold about it called “The Buried Life,” and then a show on MTV based off that poem also called “The Buried Life.” There have been countless songs about it.  Some of my favorites are “I’m in a hurry and don’t know why” by Alabama (hear it).  “Live like you were dying” by Tim McGraw (hear it).  And one of my favorite kids songs “Fast and Slow” by Laurie Berkner (hear it).  There are whole movies also about it, “Fight Club,” and “Office Space.”

Every once in a while, when Life finds us again and awakens us from our “sleep mode” we are reminded of what is truly important.  Unfortunately it usually takes a tragedy to do this.  Illness, Death, a Close Call, and for a brief time we live life differently.  We try new things, we go new places, we cherish the ones we love, and we dust off that old hobby of ours we once thought would make us riches.  We change and we find happiness.  But if we aren’t careful, Life’s cold hand will find us again and place us back into the race of living to work and saving life for tomorrow.

When I am feeling lost and regret about all the things I haven’t done yet I remember an article I read a while back about how to find the true value in your life.  It said to do this, first ask yourself 3 questions:

Question #1:

What would you do if you had a million dollars?

Go ahead and answer, I’ll wait.

Did you answer?

My answer is probably pretty standard to most.  I would buy a slightly bigger house.  Nothing enormous because who wants to clean that?  But one that definitely has an office.  Then I would set aside money for my kid’s college.  I would travel and see all the exotic places I’ve envisioned in my head.  And I would probably start a non-profit to help keep drunk drivers off the road.  Pretty typical right?

Question #2:

What would you do if you only had 2 years to live?

Go ahead, answer.

Ready?

Knowing my time is limited, I would do all the things I save for tomorrow.  I would write that book and I would publish it without fear of rejection because hey, I’m dying.  I would still travel.  I would spend money more easily, so long as I knew the people I was leaving behind were taken care of.  And I would write letters to my sons.  I would want to leave a piece of me with them for every birthday they would have without me, every celebration, and every milestone I would miss.  Suddenly the house from my millions doesn’t seem so important with only 2 years left to live.

And now the final question.  Are you ready to find out what you should be doing with your life?

Question #3:

What would you do today, if you knew you were going to die tomorrow?

Please, if you answer any of these, answer this one.

Ready?

I would spend it with my family.  I would take them to one of our favorite places like the beach or river and I would just play with them.  I would laugh and cry and be entirely in that moment.  I wouldn’t be worried about the bills or dinner or the next holiday coming up.  I would just breathe them in and tell them all that I love them.  And then at night I would still write those letters of things I wanted them to know until I physically couldn’t write anymore.

You see, that last day I wouldn’t spend it vacuuming.  I wouldn’t spend it traveling to some far off land and taking pictures of the 7 wonders of the world.  I wouldn’t spend it working for a job I hate or with people I don’t like.  I wouldn’t spend it surfing the web or tweeting to my peeps.  I would spend it doing the only thing that really matters.

I know we can’t just shut off our life and live that last day every day.  But maybe in understanding why we are running the race in the first place can we start to find ourselves.  We can start to live our buried lives because none of us really know when we are living our last day.

Boys RULE! (Literally)

18 Jan

 

 

“Snakes, snails and puppy dog tails

That’s what little boys are made of…”

 

 

 

Let’s add worms, frogs, mud, spiders, scabs, boogers, swords, fire, and any other dangerous or gross object out there.

Testosterone swirls through my house like a hormone induced tornado.  There’s wrestling and punching, sword fights and Nerf wars.  We have more bug catchers than I can count and they house a varied number of species on any given day.

My toilet seats never down and my hair is always up.

I’ve considered replacing our couch with a full sized trampoline since that’s what they use it for anyway. We camp, hike, skateboard, play soccer and anything else that will tire them out.  They know the Rocky Theme song by heart and can somehow always manage to fit the word “poop” into any sentence.

I don’t go anywhere without hand sanitizer and band aids, and I’ve considered just leaving their bike helmets on permanently.

Who knew a tissue could be turned into a weapon?

Yes, there is never a dull moment when raising boys, but my absolute favorite task is the laundry.  After spraying the grass stains, dirt stains, blood stains, and snot stains, I finally check the pockets.  I have rescued many things from the old wash cycle:  Marbles, flowers, leaves, sand, tiny toys, jewelry, I found a battery once, but I think the worst treasure I will forever remember pulling out of my son’s pocket would have to be…

A worm.

Can anyone relate?

The Difference between Boys and Girls…

10 Jan

Twice a week I watch my 2 year old niece.  She is about the same age as my youngest son.  They do everything together!  If he runs, she runs.  If she laughs, he laughs.  If one of them has to go potty, the other one has to go potty.  But even though they are the same age and they do the same activities side by side, their differences are always apparent.

One day, while playing outside, I tossed the football to my son.  He loves playing football and catches it most of the time; quite impressive for a 2 year old.  And once my niece picked up on the fun we were having, she insisted on playing too.  So, after throwing the ball successfully to my son, I turned to throw it to her.  With her arms outreached and her eyes closed tight, the ball bounced off her elbow and landed on the ground next to her.  She quickly retrieved the ball, stood back in place and held it securely in her arms.

And then she did something only a little girl would do.

She rocked her arms back and forth and said “Sshhh…the football is sleeping.”

Brain Injury- An Invisible Death

2 Jan

 

 

Over the past 2 ½ years, I have lived beside the daily struggles of a Brain Injury Survivor.  I have watched the back and forth recovery of this Invisible Death and struggled to describe it to the outside world.  I would have better luck describing a rainbow to a blind person.  This is my account of a Brain Injury and the emotional process of recovery.

Everyone has a digital Camera.  Imagine the Camera you use is the same Camera you have used for years.  It is the Camera that was present at your wedding, at every birthday, every vacation and every milestone in between.  Sure, it has its faults but they are faults you have learned to live with.  They are…predictable.   You know the “Night Shot” button sticks when you press it too hard so you have developed a gentler way to handle it.  You know the “red eye” doesn’t work, so you don’t bother.  You know which USB to use when connecting your Camera to the world.

You know this Camera inside and out.

Then one day, without warning, your Camera shuts off.  At first you stay calm.  After all, there’s never been a problem with your Camera you didn’t know how to fix.  So, you change the batteries, you take out the memory card, you even shake it a bit, but nothing seems to work.  You have exhausted every effort and you decide this is a job for the professionals.

And after weeks of worry and the absence of your Camera, they hand it back to you.  Or, so it looks like your Camera.  But this Camera is a little different.   It feels different in your hand, but the difference is so slight that you doubt your own suspicions.  They tell you this is the newer model with a few differences; they couldn’t fix the one you brought in.  They can’t tell you what the differences are and when you ask for the newer Camera manual, they reply “there isn’t one.  You must figure it out on your own.”

So you go home, you and your new Camera.  You are so happy to have your Camera back that you are in denial of the differences.  After all, it looks like your Camera.  At first, the new Camera just sits there, fooling you with its identical exterior.  You think to turn it on and test it out, but you are hesitant.  You know despite its appearance, it is not the same Camera.  Some of the buttons have moved and the memory card is completely blank.  You begin to feel alone.  Though it’s just a Camera and you remember all the frustration it brought you in the past, it was still your Camera.  You cared for it; you depended on it and it walked through this life with you.  It experienced the same memories you did and recalled them for you when you needed.  This new Camera doesn’t know you.  This new Camera doesn’t remember your life together.  This new Camera is an imposter!

You find yourself grieving.  But you are also confused.  How can you be grieving for something that is still right there in front of you?  You haven’t lost it, not really.  But somehow, you miss it.  You ask a million “why’s?”

But then your denial sets in again and you pick up the new Camera and turn it on.  You struggle to find the buttons you once knew, but eventually you find them.  You take a few sample pictures and you find the “red eye” button DOES work!  The “night shot” button doesn’t stick!  It appears this new Camera might work after all.

But just as you are accepting the new Camera into your life a new fault appears.  Its memory card is malfunctioning and it doesn’t capture every picture you take.  It is inconsistent and you soon learn that some pictures are blurry and some are clear, yet there is no pattern to it.  It also shuts off without warning, a feature your old Camera never would have done.  You go on-line and search for the answers, for the magic fix of others who have owned this very Camera, but there are none.  This Camera is unique to the world.

As time passes you learn to love your new Camera.   You start to accept it and now it has been so long since you saw your old Camera that you can’t really remember it.  Until you see the pictures it took and the time you shared.  And then you find yourself struggling with the loss all over again.  After all, saying goodbye is hard.  The rest of the world won’t see it.  They won’t see the differences; they won’t understand your grief.   This death has been invisible.

Your new Camera is by your side but you have had to learn a new way of managing it.  You have had to be patient, and creative, and you have had to find a new USB to connect your Camera to the world.  You have had to “figure it out on your own.”

 

I say a Brain Injury is an Invisible Death because it is.  You go through the same stages of grief, yet you do it beside the very person you are grieving for.  There is a lot of regret, sadness, anger, denial and acceptance.  But there is also gratefulness and hope.  There is a sense of a second chance.  And while you still must say goodbye to one life, there is a new life ready to be lived.  If only there were a manual on how to live it.