I know, I know.
Everyone gets snow.
Everyone has seen snow.
But let me tell ya,
Snow around these parts?
Snow that actually sticks to the ground for a minute or two?
That’s a rare day indeed!
I remember simple days.
Ideas that included minimal planning.
I was me. Myself.
And I was fine with that.
Sure I had imperfections. Issues, even.
But I could sweep them under my little rug, shrug them off with a smile and go on with my day with no more thought of them than of a spec of dust on the floor.
I could, on some sunny, fun-filled days, pretend that they didn’t exist. (or if they had, I had beaten them and they were no longer an “issue”)
Suddenly, all those little weaknesses, those imperfections, those…issues, came back with a swarming, swooping, vengeance.
Little blemishes blew up to be huge, gaping holes in my character.
knew thought I had under control would suddenly rear up and bite me when I least expected it.
Sometimes, I don’t like being a mom. Putting all my hope and trust and love and care and devotion into another human being and then stepping back and watching that little human take those attributes and, along with their own character, make what they will of their own life is a hard, HARD task for me to continue to undertake.
Because along with the good, they will take some of the bad. And I’ve got a LOT of the bad to pass along. (all the junk I thought I had under control? oh yeah. it’s not. it was just sitting there, growing and festering….like one of those leftover casseroles in the back of the fridge.)
The pressure is tough. I don’t want to taint my child’s life. I don’t want this road, this family, this choice to be a bad one for them OR for me.
Having children is not only about them, it’s about me, too. It’s about understanding who I am and growing and learning and understanding, and when I’ve gained that understanding, it’s about asking for forgiveness.
For who I am.
For who I’m not.
Because in doing so, I can turn these flaws into excellence by learning about who I want to be, and then taking steps (trust me, they are itty bitty teeny tiny steps) in the right direction.
This is all I can do.
And since this is all He has asked of me
It is enough.
So I will continue to be refined and to attain a greater purity in myself, and in doing so, will
hopefully be able to bring out these positive types of qualities in those around me.
Maybe, only maybe, this will help me squash those stealthy weaknesses that sneak up on me (mostly in the evenings) so I can go to bed with a clear conscious and a smile on my face.
Or I should at least get a few brownie points for saying, “holy cow” instead of, well, something less appropriate, and then a few more points for NOT smacking my 8-year-old when he points out that in this country, cows aren’t holy.
A few months ago, I got a great email from my sister-in-law about her day. She was writing it all down so that in 20 years when her kids were out of the house and she looked back and wondered why she didn’t write in her journal, scrapbook every milestone, or have a blog of her very own, she would know why. It was one of the best emails I had read in a LONG time, and I think about it often as I run through my day without taking the time to record what I’m doing.
But then I get to the end of my year and want, no, NEED to look back on my year so I can try to learn from the stupid stuff (there’s plenty of that) and be reminded of the GREAT stuff (because there’s plenty of that stuff too).
It is with a smile and a sigh that I sit down to write this short bit of my day so I can look back and really understand why I am sometimes unable to do all the things I really do have a desire to get done. This post is specifically for me, and me alone. Skim if you’d like, read if you dare. But just know that this is a little reminder to Future Sarah that sometimes, things just don’t go as planned.
Sarah, Wednesday, January 16th 2013 went a little like this:
You woke up with Baby Mett for the fourth time at 5 am. You had also been up with Ollibueno (3) once because you had locked the bathroom door to keep the dog out of there at night while you slept, and he needed to go to the bathroom. You have 5 chicks in the bathtub in a box and a heat lamp to keep them alive during this freak cold snap we’ve been having this past week. It was 12 degrees last night. TWELVE. Like, not even a teenager yet twelve. It’s freaky to go outside and break ice on the water every morning for all the animals.
Anyway, up with Baby Mett who was stinky and needed to be changed before he was fed, and by the time he was back in bed it was 5:40. Since Gila Man was going to be up in five minutes anyway, I figured I might as well make breakfast for him, plus he was jealous of the fresh orange juice I was going to make for the boys, so I made him a glass of pineapple/orange juice. I must say, it was yummy. After making ham and egg mcmuffins, we sat down for a minute to talk. Like literally a minute. It was nice. Then he had to go to work and you started to clean up the kitchen and make yourself something to eat.
You tried to read your scriptures and get ready for the day, and ended up in the spare room trying to organize it and loosing track of time. The boys woke up and Ollibueno went back into your bathroom to
make a mess use the restroom, it’s cute the way he tries to clean up after himself, but it’s still another mess to clean up before Baby Mett crawls in to make it worse.
Ollibueno goes out back in the fa-REEZING weather to see the ice on the water, Mr. B (8) follows him, and together they break every bit of ice they can, laughing with glee and steamy breath as they do it.
Baby Mett is crying to be fed, and I can hear the goats crying next to the house for unfrozen water.
I feed and change the baby and come back out to the living room to find that Mia, the German Shepherd dog that
my husband we rescued has chewed through Fritz’s dog bed and has spread the little foam pieces throughout the living room.
You lock Mia out so you can clean up.
The boys are hungry and one of them turns on the juicer and starts putting whole, unpeeled oranges in it. You stop cleaning up the foam to help with the juicer. Mia is constantly jumping up on the back door with a small bark, a whine and a scratching sound on the frame.
The chicks in the bathroom are peeping to be fed.
You start a batch of cinnamon toast from the loaf of bread you made, then hear a piercing squawk from the back yard, and look out to see one of your chickens in Mia’s mouth. Mr. B jumped through the doggy door and grabbed her, but then didn’t know what to do. You unlocked the sliding glass door and yelled at Mia to drop it, but she wouldn’t let go, so you had to pry her off the chicken and lock her in the house. You bring the chicken (who by some miracle seems to be ok) back to the coop, and decide to grab all the waterers to break the ice and refill them with fresh water.
Inside, Baby Mett has crawled through the foam pieces and spread them out even further, while Mia rolls around in them and walks into the kitchen to shake them off. You kick Mia out again. Bark. Whine. Scratch.
As the waterers thaw, you peel the oranges, put butter on the toast, peel the mango and slice the pineapple.
Peep peep peep. The chicks want their corn.
Put the food on the table, juice the fruit. Hold the baby.
Bark. Whine. Scratch.
Finish the juice, put it on the table.
Thaw the ice, fill the waterers.
Put the baby down and bring them outside to the chickens/chicks/quail.
Go get the goat water bucket and are unable to break the ice.
Bring it inside to thaw and add fresh water.
Feed goats hay and put the Momma goat up to feed her grain. Walk down and finish feeding and watering chickens, walk back up to let Momma back in the pan.
Go inside to find Baby Mett with a piece of foam in his mouth and actually, all over him.
Bark. Whine. Scratch.
Peep peep peep.
Take the dog bed out front to see if you can sew it back together, come inside to take a phone call. It’s the hospital saying that your Emergency Room visit right before Christmas claim is being denied and that we owe $9,886.25. Would you like to set up a payment plan?
And, Sarah, it’s not. even. ten. o’clock.
So, as you look around your
disaster area living room and kitchen, with my happy, well-fed kids, and critters galore, knowing that all your well-laid plans for the day have just been tossed out the doggy door, you kinda laugh and you come in the spare room and sit at the computer and write this post.
Don’t get me wrong, I am not mad or upset or even having a bad day. It could be worse. LOTS worse. But I really need to remember all these little things when I look back and say “what the heck did I do all day?”. Because lets face it, these things can be forgotten so, so easily!
But now you have to go, because Ollibueno is having some plumbing issues of the stinky kind. TMI? Oh, no. This is how we really roll!!
It all started with a date.
My Mr. B was feeling a little bit neglected, what with the new baby taking up a bazillion hours a day (and night) and a little brother who just wouldn’t stay out of his stuff.
Now Mr. B had been helping a lot around the house, like A LOT a lot. He was toting diapers, getting cereal, helping with bedtime, and scores of other things that just made my life a little easier. And when you have a newborn AND
three two other boys at home, every little bit helps.
So I fed, burped, and changed the baby, grabbed my purse, left the
third boy husband at home with the two little boys and headed out the door with my 7-year-old man in tow.
“Where do you want to go?” I asked
“Um….I don’t know where we should go first, but I would like to end by getting some ice cream at Dairy Queen.” he replied.
“Ok. Wellll, I need to go to the feed store for a few things, would you like to start there?” I asked.
“YES! Let’s start there!” he exclaimed.
We started at the feed store, ran a few more errands, and (of course) ended with ice cream.
When we finally made it back home all I could say to my husband when we walked in the door was, “You are VERY lucky that we didn’t come home with a rabbit!”
You all can see the logic behind that statement, right? Lucky for us (and that cute little chick down there) that we have a coop for the little thing to sleep in. I think that’s the only reason my husband didn’t kick ME outa the house!!
I know, I know.
I’m posting a lot about my kids and what they say and do.
But I’m a wife, mom to a dog and 4 chickens, and I’m homeschooling a 7-year-old while being a Momma to a 3-year-old and 7-month-old.
Mom duties pretty much take up ever single second of every single day (and night).
So when I have a moment to stop and type out a few words, I don’t really want to look back and remember the bad days, the rotten people, the rude stares, the tempers lost, and the precious moments wasted.
I want to look back and smile! I want to chuckle and laugh and giggle about the silly antics throughout my day that give me just a little more fulfillment in life than watching a “Grey’s Anatomy” marathon would do
(confession time: sometimes, at the end of the day, i think that if i HAD just sat and watched tv all day, it would have amounted to the same amount of good parenting i had done. i hate those days) .
While tucking Oli(3) in, Mr. B(7) did a front somersault on his way to his bed.
Then he stopped.
Actually, it was more of a thoughtful pause.
He turned around slowly and did another somersault the other way.
I could see a little light in his eyes when he looked at me and asked in a quiet voice, “Momma, did you see that?”
I was stumped, because YES I was standing right there and YES I was facing him and YES of COURSE I saw it.
“Yeah, buddy.” I replied, without the snarkiness that was lurking in my head, “That was a good somersault.”
“Nnnnooooooo,” he said, slowly. “That was a winterpepper.”
“Uh….huh.” I said, with a blank stare on my face.
“Get it???” he asked enthusiastically, “Get it? Get the joke? Get the opposite words there?”
“You know, summer salt, winter pepper! I went one way as a somersault, then the other way was a winterpepper! Hahahahahahahahahaaaaa!”
“OOOOHhhhhhh, I get it.” (sad how slow one can be without a full night’s rest in seven months)
I grinned, my son grinned.
Then I laughed, like really laughed out loud, and Oli joined right in when Little Mitt started giggling.
It was a wonderful, fun, happy way to end the day.
And since that’s what my life is about right now, my blog is about it too.
You gotta try this.
I’m finally putting a plug in for this amazing product because I seriously don’t know what my face would look like without it.
That, AND my Mr. B has very VERY sensitive skin and can’t use much of anything else.
And choose one product, ANY product.
And I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
My fav, all year round, is Oatmeal, Milk and Honey bar.
Come to think of it, everyone loves that scent.
I’m also diggin’ the Granny’s Lye Soap for my face.
It ain’t got nothin’ artificial in it at all, so it don’t cause no break-outs.
Since winter is here (yes, WINTER. it was, like, 68 degrees here yesterday!), THIS is my favorite lotion. It really soothes those rough patches on my legs.
I could go on and on about what I love about these product (ever bar and every jar made by HAND, all natural ingredients including fresh creamy goat’s milk, etc), but the best part about them is that they are made with love….
By my mom. (love!)
So, yeah. I’m pretty much a customer for life.
And I promise, try it and you will be tooooo!
So Mr. B came up with a few things he is thankful for and the list is as follows:
“I am thankful for these things from Mr. B”
1. The gratest grama & grampa in the world
2. The gratest Mom & Dad in the world
As I looked over his list, he said, “I know brothers is at the bottom of the list, but I AM grateful for them. Sometimes they are hard to take care of and they get into all my stuff and they even scream so loud and break my eardrums…but I’m ok with that.”
That is the world according to a boy who is not seven, but seven and nine-tenths. And it makes me smile.
The air is heavy and thick.
As I sit on the patio chair in the backyard, I lift my arm up and watch in wonder that I can’t see the air part as my arm slices through it. A fly buzzes nearby but quickly descends in the heat to a cooler spot on the brick wall behind me.
The heat seems to slow down the motion of the cars on the road opposite our home, the animals seem to have lost their usually never ending energy, and the sounds of life all around seem dampened by the pressure of the air surrounding everything.
With the exception of two little fair-skinned boys digging in the sand next to the shaded play set, nothing seems to move in the yard.
I sip my ice water and watch my precocious boys create roads and buildings for their cars, trucks and tractors. I envy their creativity. I decide the boys are fine playing outdoors for a few minutes while I go throw a load of laundry in the wash when I glance up and see the clouds. Huge white and gray thunder heads begin to form in the south, above the rim of the ravine behind us and over the mountains just beyond.
It is an exciting scene.
I begin to get ready for the storm; I cover the grill from making lunch, I take the laundry off the line, I move the dog beds inside and seal off the doggie-door. By now, I am covered in sweat and the gnats begin to fly into my ears and eyes. The boys are not plagued by gnats, I think they might be too stinky. Or too covered in sand for the gnats to know they are actually human. Either one could be true today.
Fritz whines and circles my chair; he likes thunderstorms as much as he likes fireworks and nail trims. All of which send him into a state of anxiety that requires medication.
Sitting back on my chair, I watch with awe as the white thunder heads begin to grow and change color as they crest the mountains and continue building toward the light blue sky. The change in color is subtle at first, but the more the clouds balloon upward, the darker they grow.
I think back to our first year in this home, when the monsoons blew in with such ferocity that water came in under every sealed window and flooded our front yard on a daily basis. We haven’t had rain like that in the four years since, and the earth and trees are showing it badly. In January of last year, in “The Freeze” that lasted two days, what didn’t die from the drought is dead from “The Freeze”.
The clouds build and are now a deep charcoal black, creating a seemingly impenetrable wall in the sky. I can hear and see the wind before I feel it; it begins as a soft breeze that rustles the dry, brittle grass along the ravine and then I hear the whistle as it grows into a full wind the brings with it the smell of moisture and mud and dirt; a smell that is a welcome one in this barren heat.
The breeze ebbs and flows for about 10 minutes, then stops altogether. But across the ravine, I can see the wind coming, and as it travels across the yard, it hits me and the house with a force that forces me to close my eyes. The boys jump up and come running to the house, we’ve seen and heard all this before; the monsoon is coming.
The boys in the bath, I take a quick glance out the back window to see the huge, black thunder head slide in between the sun and the earth around us. Monsoons are funny like that…they black out the sun near you, but if you look north, there won’t be a cloud in the sky. Plus, they’re kind of picky about where they let loose. Driving down the road you could be drenched to the point where your wipers don’t work one minute, to seeing sunshine and putting on your sunglasses the next. It’s rather unnerving to drive through, to say the least.
Then starts the rumble. The sign that it’s gonna be a good rain. The sound starts from behind the hills and reverberates through the ravine before bouncing off the walls of the house. The wind brings the rumbles closer and with it, the smell of…rain.
The rumbles also bring lighting, which leads to power outages 9 times out of 10. I hurry to make dinner before we lose power, all the while stealing gazes out the window at the growing storm in the coming darkness.
It starts with a few huge drops plopping into the ground so hard that dust flutters up as it falls. As the rain saturates the ground and the thunder grows in ferocity, the boys dry off and run to the sliding glass door to watch the wall of water move closer to our house.
It’s amazing. The smell is intoxicating and the torrential downpour that ensues is entertainment enough to sit and watch while we eat dinner, which turns out to be perfect as there is no power and the evening grows dimmer. The rain pours down, simply pours from the clouds like a huge bucket, which lends very well to the flood I can hear raging in the ravine below the back yard.
By the light of flashlights, I get the boys ready for bed, pausing now and then as we jump with a particularly loud thunder-clap and rating them on a number scale of 1 to 17. Each boy gets a flashlight to go to bed with as they drift off to sleep listening to this album (the most amazing and VERY BEST bedtime music I have every played for my busy boys), and I continue to watch the rain until it is too dark to see.
It continues throughout the night, this rare precious storm, but in the morning, we wake to the sun peeking in the windows, and a world washed clean and bright and…new. What a blessing, these storms.
I’ve heard that you can’t have a rainbow in the light of the morning sun, but an Arizona monsoon can prove just about anybody wrong about anything. So we enjoy the before, the during, and most definitely, the after.
(all photos courtesy of Google Images)
Ever notice how if you are awesome, your kids want to follow you from room to room no matter what you are doing? Or even if you aren’t awesome, your kids just seem to gravitate towards you no matter where you are in your home?
Well, my young Oli has been doing that lately. He not only wants to be by my side, but he must be touching me at all times. Plus he’s all moody and grumpy and simply can’t take a joke, which is NOT this little boys personality, and it’s throwing me for quite the loop. I can only chalk it up to him finally (after 6 months) adjusting to the fact that Little Mitt is here to stay. Add that to the fact that his big brother gets to hold the baby and he doesn’t, and the clinginess seems to take over.
Yesterday I was trying to fold laundry, and Oli just would NOT let me get anything done.
“But I WIKE to sit on yours foot, Momma!” he said, while, you guessed it, sitting on my foot.
“But I WIKE to jump on yours back!”
“But I WIKE to pull on yours arm!”
Then, while trying to jump on my lap from behind me (what the heck? monkey boy much? wait…PARKOUR!), he slipped sideways off my legs and landed on the carpeted floor, knocking his elbow really hard.
“Bwaaaakum mendo!!!!!” he cried, holding his hurt arm.
I picked him up and held him close, asking him what hurt.
“Bwwwwaakum meeeeeennnnnndooooo!” he cried again, tears streaming down his cheeks.
Mr. B came in the room and started laughing, which he promptly got in trouble for.
“Is that what you’re saying, Oli? Brackium Emendo? “
“Did you watch that movie with Mr. B?”
He nodded again and sniffed a little. He had stopped crying now.
“What else do they say in that movie?” I asked.
He looked at me with a grin and said, “Haiwy Pottah gived Dobby a sock.” he reached out with his little fists and said, “Dobby is FWEEE!!” and giggled.
I looked at his elbow and asked if it was all better.
“Yep!” he said. “See, bwakum amendo woked!”
Ah, yes. Another life lesson learned.