I Am Mommy.

I'm watching the sun go down, the last little bit of light illuminating the tree across the street.  It's huge, lush, and green.  Old.  Storied.  

Sitting here earlier, comparing my hand to my daughters.  The back of her hand is smooth, unblemished.  Mine shows twenty nine years of life, a little scar here, a little cut there.  Her hands have no story to them yet, but her hands are a part of my story.

Some days I wonder how I got here, to this part of my life.  Walking the house at night, checking for locked doors, turning lights down, throwing that last load of laundry in.  Peeking in at a sleeping child, seeing pursed lips and a calm brow. 

I relish the moment I can slide into bed, let my body relax.  It's the only part of my day where the decisions I make are for me only.  Book or TV? 

I'll wake up tomorrow and start another day.  I love the morning, warm babies curled into me.  Watching them blink away their sleep, and give me drowsy smiles. 

Our movements have become almost choreographed, clothes, teeth, cartoons, playing.  Shall we bake, play with play-doh?  Go outside, read stories, color, paint?  Juice, water, lunch, nap, tears, hugs, kisses.  All that I am is what my children have made me, through these blessed years. 

I am mommy.  I am wife. Occasionally I am also daughter, sister, niece, friend. Through it all, I am still mommy.  I may travel inside myself, I may lose myself in anxiety, or depression.  I may lose myself in a book, or a recipe.  I may lose myself in tiredness, or disappointment. It is all but for a moment, for above all, I am still mommy.  

It is their sticky fingers and sweet kisses.  Their constant need for me, a need I treasure.  It is their I love yous and their little movements I know by heart. There is nothing that could sway me to leave this house everyday.  

Who but I can teach them, who but I am there to hold them when they cry?  They are a part of me, when they hurt, it cuts into my soul.  There is nothing that affects me as much as my child's cry. 

There is no sun anymore, my day is over.  I can walk through the house, and do my duties.  I can rest my head once I know everyone is asleep, everything is done.  A mother, she carries the burdens of her family, because she is able.  I carry them in my heart, every bit of me and my family, entwined.  They are mine, as I am theirs.  I am mommy.  

Blog Rerun- I don't want to complain, but...

So, we all complain. Don't deny it. I tend to complain when i'm tired, or I don't feel good. I know I do it, who doesn't?

What kind of complainer are you? Hopefully, none of these:

We have the Aggressive Asshole. They like to display a lot of emotion and flail their arms. There might even be a little spittle flying out of their mouths. You can recognize them by their big giant forehead veins and clenched fists.

Next we have the Passive Complainer. They loooooove to complain, but never directly to whomever they have a complaint with. Also known as Big Ass Whiny Crybabies.

We have the Chronic Complainer. They hate everything. We all know someone like that. Always begins sentences with, "I don't want to complain, but..."

The Know-it-all Complainer. They know everything about everything ever, and it all sucks. Can be added to any type of complainer. For example, the Passive Know-it-all Complainer, whispering to someone behind thier hand. "She is wrong, i'm right, but no one ever listens to me so I'm not even going to say anything..."

The Complaining Activist. You best not cross them or something they stand for, or you are in a whole heap of trouble before you even realize you said or did something they find offensive.

The creepiest of all, the Cheery Complainer. They are always happy, but not, at the same time. It confuses your Complain-O-Meter. "I love eating here, they have the best food. Even if it did make me sick that one time." "Oh, thank you, I love my new haircut, too. I did have to wait for a half an hour and she overcharged me ten dollars...but she did do a great job, and was just the loveliest girl you'd ever want to know, even if she only had one eye and bad breath..."

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain--and most do."

- Dale Carnegie

Dear Facebook God,

I'm in the mood for a list.  It's a list kind of night. 

6 things that make me think what the hell?

1. Women who wear high heeled sandals to the zoo.  What in the hell is going through your mind when you get dressed?  You know what would make me look super cute?  Wobbling three miles uphill on Payless corkboard sandals. Shin splints are the new black.  Sigh.

2. Hey, old people at the grocery store.  I already called you out once. I have a new complaint.  Don't look at me like someone just shit in your mouth when my kid gets fussy at the grocery store, or I will follow your ass down every aisle for the duration of your shopping trip.  I can be a bitch, too.

3. Hey, book i'm reading, what the hell is up with entire paragraphs being sentences?  The entire paragraph?  The whole thing?  Really?  Because this isn't annoying or anything, right?  I could do this all day?  And so can the author apparently?  Yeah?  Totally?  Rad, dude?  Yay for question marks?

4. There was not one, but two big ass hairy spiders in my house today.  My line of defense, after I jump up and down and squeal for a moment, is to suction them up with the vacuum hose.  So, after Emily and I did the squeal jump, she ran and got the vacuum.  I turned it on and aimed the hose.  Wouldn't you know that fat little fucker reared back on his legs and tried to start some shit with me?  So, of course by rearing up, he fell off the wall and into the bucket of stuffed animals.  Cut to Emily and I gingerly going through the toys, I with a kitchen grabber and the hose, she with the handle of a feather duster and a yardstick.  Once my husband got out of the shower he rescued us and hoovered the bastard.  A little bit later in my bedroom his pissed off mate looking for revenge got sucked into vacuum hell as well. Ugh.

5. People who have 900 friends on Facebook. You don't know 900 people, what the hell is your deal?  I have 74 friends on Facebook.  See where i'm going where this, oh insecure one?  People like me, they want to be my friend...yayyyyyy.

6. Speaking of Facebook, God doesn't have one.  Quit praying to Him online.  It creeps me out.  Instead of just praying, you walk to your computer, sit down, log into Facebook, and type a prayer into your status update?  I praise you Jesus, just in case your checking my newsfeed, because my God is is a Facebook Creeper kind of God. Amennnnn

The talk after "the talk"

"I do not want to have babies anymore!"  Those were the first words out my dear daughter's mouth when she walked in the door yesterday.  She threw her bookbag down and plopped down in the chair.  She had the glazed, saucer eyed look of a child who just learned how babies were made.  She had just received the talk...

I steered her into my bedroom to do some damage control.  We settled onto my bed, with me being silly to ease her tension.  Once we were settled I asked her lightly if she had any questions.  She told me no, then hesitated. Then the questions came pouring out.

"Do boys get their periods?"
"Why do we bleed?"

She was freaked out about the eggs.  Focused on the eggs. Obsessed with the eggs.  I told her they were tiny, that women didn't squeeze eggs out like chickens once a month.  That made her laugh, and she finally relaxed. 

Over the hour we were in my room, we talked about periods, boys, clothes, our bodies, anything and everything came up. 

I told her that God didn't make mistakes, and he made our bodies to work the way they did with a purpose. 

We talked about peer pressure, about how her friends are going to try to talk her into things.  We talked about making choices that felt right. 

After our talk I went to make dinner, and instead of going out with her dad and the babies, she stayed inside with me.  She decided to try her hand at doing dishes, and then set the table.  She has a new confidence in her walk. She knows the secrets now, how a woman differs from a man, and feels more in control of herself. 

After dinner she went for a jog, up and down the road.  She is preparing for soccer season.  I watched her out the window, my heart full.  There was my girl, my little girl.  She's growing up, and time goes so fast.  She so wants it to speed up, and I desperately want it to slow down.

Stuck in the middle with you.

Amazing are the moments my children share with each other. Love between siblings is a love like no other. Sweet, fumbling hugs between Noah and Elise.  Gentle rocking of older sister cradling younger sister.  The innocence of babies curling into each other when we nap on my bed. The fierce love my children have for each other translates, for me, into the fierce love I have for my own brother and sister.  

I am the middle child. While I always struggled to fit in, my brother and sister soared above the crowd.  While I struggled in school and sports, they excelled.  They are both amazing in so many ways.  I very much envy the ease in which they lived their teen aged lives.

My brother is incredibly intelligent, full of wit, and is an amazing father.  When he became a daddy, our whole lives changed.  He and his wife have blessed our family with the most beautiful babies. He is raising three, with only two being born to him. We both found ourselves instant parents when we met our respective spouses, not that far apart from each other.  We have much love to go around in this family.

I remember staring at my niece when she was a baby, and seeing so much of my brother in her face.  Now, she has his personality, which some days...

My baby sister. Oh how we all love her so. She is our Golden Child. She is in her first year of teaching special education.  She is also freshly married.  She is incredibly organized, focused, giving, and has the most hilarious laugh.  She was the most beautiful bride I have ever laid my eyes on, and I so look forward to the day when she blesses our family with some babies...once mine are out of diapers, please...

I think it says something of our family that we all live 10 minutes away from each other. 

This last year has been the most difficult year of my life.  Trying to find the right dose of medicine, going through bouts of depression, neither of them has made me feel less about myself.  How do you thank someone for that?

The things inside myself, the things that make me me, only they can understand, because some of those things are a part of them, too. They would understand the pain I went through yesterday when I pulled out our Grandma Virginia's shawl. I was moving clothes in my dresser around and broke down because it still smells of her. Oh how I miss that smell.  

We are an unbreakable bond, blessed by each other's presence in our lives. There are tumultuous times, as any family goes through, but, as our lovely mother points out, all we have is each other. 

She makes a good point. 

Although we'll never admit it.


The Final Summit

The Final Summit is a Christian fiction book that weaves together historical, biblical, and inspirational.  

This book takes place 28 years after David Ponder discovered the Seven Decisions for Life in The Traveler's Gift.  In The Final Summit, David, along with a host of fellow Travelers that includes Joan of Arc and Winston Churchill, must work together to find a solution that will save humanity. 

This book was a very quick, easy read. It was almost too easy to read. While it is not one I would have normally chosen for myself, I had flashes of insight, and enjoyed seeing all the famous characters referenced. The writing is good and there are very interesting historical facts scattered throughout the story. Also, the way Andrews explores the principles is interesting. My problem with this story is that it felt almost light, as if it didn't delve deep enough into the momentous task that was placed on the main character's shoulders. 

I would recommend this book to people who already enjoy Andy Andrews work, or who are looking for a bit of motivation.  Andrews has used an interesting premise to direct our thoughts towards a path on how we should be leading and living our lives.

I received this book free from the publisher through BookSneeze®.com. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

My oldest child.

It's hard to write the story of my oldest child.  I've tried time after time, but I keep getting stuck.  There is nine years of life with her.  Do I start when I met her, a little two year old with wild curls? Do I start when her mom left?  How do I sift through her heartache, and in turn, mine?

I sit here and all I can think about is sitting on her floor yesterday, folding her clothes.  Emptying her dresser, finding the little treasures that kids stick everywhere, sorting her play shirts from school shirts and listening to her chatter about her new grown up bedroom.  That is what is in my head, that everyday moment with her. 

She's almost eleven, she wants a skating party.  She wants to have her friend come spend the night soon.  She wants to marry Jaden Smith when she grows up.  I can tell you what size clothes she wears, her grades, how crazy her hair is when it's not straightened.   

I can tell you anything you want to know about my daughter.  Her birth mother can't.  She took the cowards way out, and almost destroyed my daughter.  Oh how I wish to tell her of all the nights Emily screamed for her.  How the screaming turned into vomiting, the vomiting turned into not caring about school.  How the light left her eyes.  I hold so much anger inside me, for her.  Anger that I have never once let Emily see.  

I have become the keeper of all her birth mother's secrets. 

Emily doesn't know she used to be filthy when we picked her up, that she lived in a two bedroom house with 12 people, that her dad and I potty trained her over and over just to have her birth mother put her back in diapers. She doesn't know her dad and I had her most of the time, that she only went "home" a couple days a week. How much money we spent getting her away from her birth mother. She doesn't know that she saw her mother being beaten, and was told they were wrestling.  She doesn't know her mother went to jail, and then didn't show up for the custody hearing.  She doesn't know her mother chose the man who beat her over her daughter.  

She knows she has two brothers she hasn't seen in 6 years. (they are not my husbands children) She knows only what we have told her.  That her birth mother loved her, but couldn't be her mommy.  A few years ago, she quit asking.  She knows we're not telling her the truth. 

This post is so scattered, and I apologize. I need to really get it all out, one day.

I keep going back to us in her room.  She's my kid, not her birth mother's. I fold her pajamas.  I cook her food.  I watch her get on the bus.  I paint her nails and straighten her hair.  I just wish I had the money to adopt her. 

My talented daughter tried out to sing the National Anthem at a local AA baseball game, and made it!  The group of kids will be singing on Wednesday night.  It's my heart that will be swelling with pride in a few days. 

I don't know how to tell this story. 
Right now, all I can tell you is how much she loves her brother and sister.  How she is so kind and loving with them. How much everyone loves her.   I have an awesome kid. One who didn't deserve to have the life she has had to work through.  Someday I'll get my thoughts out right, for her.

Failure to Thrive

Look at that face.
Failure to thrive, typed on the paper in my hand. Facial Dysmorphia, written beside it. Damn you, deformed ear!  Waiting in line to hand it to the nurse behind the desk, my heart sinks. Watching my baby girl enjoy a cherry sucker the kindly registrar gave to her, I put on a brave smile for my boy. 

"Are you happy, mommy"?  (a question he asks frequently)  

"Oh yes, mommy is so happy, because mommy loves her babies".

He goes back to his sucker, and after handing over the paperwork, we wait. I have a knot in my stomach.  No one likes watching their baby getting poked with needles. 

It's a necessary evil, so the doctor can get a closer look at Ellie's chromosomes.  Check her thyroid, check her for anemia, check her for only God knows what else...

After both her little arms are bandaged, and the frazzled nurses apologize. I tell them they were wonderful, and thanked them for being as gentle as they could, we leave, with more suckers tucked into the diaper bag.

I am feeling weary as I get the kids into their seats, the stroller into the back of the van...it's lunchtime, so we go to Friendly's.  The babies happily tuck into their mac and cheese and apple slices, while Emily and I talk about things that are important to an almost eleven year old.  Mostly Justin Beiber, of course. 

We had ice cream. That day was screaming for ice cream.

Instead of going home and putting the babies to bed, I went to find comfort.  We drove to the library, to see my mom.  The kids played with blocks, we looked at the fish and books, we picked out a few movies for movie night.

That afternoon, I recount to my family over the phone, and then my husband in person, the day's events.  I felt heavy, and my thoughts were scattered.  We went in for a checkup, not for all this.

I am full of questions, and I have no answers.  Why does my eighteen month old weight 19.6 pounds with her clothes and shoes on?  She eats like a horse, where is it all going?  Why isn't she getting taller? 

I know she's fine.  I can feel it in my bones, I can see it in her smile. 

There is that niggle in the back of my thoughts, the wondering if she isn't ok.  I try to stamp it down, ignore it.  

I napped with her this weekend.  I don't want to be away from her.  I have kept her close to me since Friday, just to breathe her in. 

"mommy 'appy"?  Ellie asked me today. She is learning from her brother.

"Mommy is so happy, because mommy has you" I tell her while we were falling asleep in my bed.  Then I spent a few minutes laughing and crying at the same time, because she grabbed my face with both hands, and gave me little Ellie kisses.

So now, we wait.  I hate waiting. 

I'm not asleep... but that doesn't mean I'm awake.

I had high hopes for today.  I was going to get up, put on real clothes, and get this house back in order.  All while being supermom, of course.

Didn't happen, not even a little bit. 

I think everything went south for me last night when I couldn't sleep.  That was the first indicator that I was going to have a suck ass day. 

Oh sleep, I do miss thee, whatever I did to make you abandon me...I am so sorry, please come back...


I, of course, married someone who can fall asleep at will.  I am beginning to suspect he's narcoleptic.  Jackass.  Whom I love dearly. 

Sleep is elusive for me, it's so frustrating.  Some nights it feels like I never really fall asleep all the way, like i'm still conscious of what's going on around me.  That feels nice in the morning. 

You know how hard it is to be supermom when your head is pounding, your eyes burn, and your body feels like someone beat it with a tire iron?

Trying to fall asleep becomes a battle with yourself. 

Ok, go to sleep. 



I am not thinking of anything except sleep.

I have cleared my mind.


I am going to punch my husband if he doesn't stop snoring.

Go to sleep.


He's sleeping like that just to piss me off. 

Gooo toooo sleeeeeeep. 


Ahh forget it!

On and on I go, where it stops?  Beats the hell out of me!

Sleep and me...we aren't friends. 

Any of my blog mama's out there have sleep issues like I do? 

I swear, if anyone tells me relaxation exercises i'm going to....ahh, i'm too tired to think of anything good. 

Run, Baby, Run.

I'm attempting to teach Noah to listen and come to me when I ask him to, as in, i'm tired of chasing his little booty through the house.  So, this was pretty much my day.

This morning:

Me: Noah did you poop?

Noah: No, I just pee.

Me: It sure smells like you pooped.

Noah: Yeah, I pooped mommy.

Me: Ok, come here so mama can change your dipe.

Noah: ............

Me:  Noah!  Come here so I can change you.

Noah: ..........

Me: Noah!

Noah:  What?

Me: Come here so I can change you.

Noah takes off running...cue chase scene

A little later:

Me: It's time for lunch!

Noah: Yay lunch! I hungry mommy!

Me: I know baby, come here so I can put you in your chair.

Noah takes off running...cue chase scene. 

And so on and so forth.  All day, everyday. So far my attempt at getting him to not run away from me is failing miserably.  Go me!  

Most used phrases today:

Noah stop.
Noah please don't.
Noah, seriously, don't.
Noah get off your sister.
Noah, don't hit hit your sister.
Ellie, don't hit your brother.
Ellie, quit touching the TV.
Ellie, seriously, quit touching the TV.
Noah, get your hands out of your diaper.
Did one of you poop, again??
Quit spitting.
Both of you, quit spitting!

...Mommy needs a nap...

Things not to say to me.

I have a few things people say that annoy the hell out of me.  I thought I'd share them with you and we can compare notes!

1. It was in the the last place I looked.  Seriously?  Are you sure?  Good job hitting the brakes after you found whatever you were looking for!  You've earned a sticker!

2. I don't mean to be rude, but... Yes you do, but you think saying that stops you from looking like a giant douche, but you're incorrect.

3. Have you ever thought about... When someone says this to me I know I'm about to get asked something that's going to piss me off.

4. In my humble opinion... If you have ever uttered that sentence, go smack yourself.

5. It must be nice to not have to go to work everyday. I wouldn't know, I have three kids and a husband.

6. You are so stubborn.  Is that what we're calling having an opinion that differs from yours?

7. Americans are so... You don't like being an American?  Let me help you pack your bags!

8. Rules were meant to be broken.  The only people who say this are people who do shit they shouldn't.  Kind of like the only people who hate cops are people who do stuff that's against the law. 

9. Look it up. You know what?  Go f*** yourself!

10. Can you not use swear words when you post? I have small children around the computer.  If my 2 1/2 year old or 18 month old could read piss, shit, hell, and damn off my computer screen I'd be high five-ing them, because I'd have freaking geniuses on my hands. 

So, what are some phrases that drive you nuts??  

Let's hear it for the boy...

I love my husband.  Do you want to know why?  No, not really?  Well, too damn bad it's my blog and i'll post what I want!  Time for a list!  

10 reasons I love my husband:

1. He has worked at the same yucky, thankless job for the last 9 years, re-treading semi tires.  His hands hurt, his arches are collapsing, he throws his back out at least twice a year, he is covered in rubber dust and tire paint. He's only had a few raises, has crappy pay, and his job was hit really bad by the economy. But, he gets up every day and goes to work.  He works his ass off so I can stay home with the kids, and he never complains. 

2. He loves me, anxiety/depression problems and all.  He doesn't understand what it feels like, but he's trying. 

3. He tucked me into bed today for a nap, and then made me a grilled cheese for supper.  I upped my meds a little bit, and am feeling kind of yucky.  He takes care of me, with a kiss on the forehead, and an I love you.

4. He is the definition of the words "family man"  He lives and breathes his kids and wife.  He doesn't go out drinking with his friends, he doesn't leave to me to do all the work.  He is the bath giver, he takes the kids out to play, and he is a champion diaper changer.

5. He rubs my feet all the time.  I'm not kidding. 

6. He will go shopping with me and not complain.  He also tries to get me to buy things, when I refuse.  It's like he wants me to spend money for some reason...

7. He's my best friend.  He has been the truest, most wonderful friend to me.

8. He is incredibly quiet, yet never complains when I chatter on and on.

9. He gave me my children, all three of them. He did everything he could to get Em out of the life she had with her mom, then blessed me with our babies.  

10. He loves taking the kids to the zoo, to the park, to the toy store, to dinner.  It's all of us, all the time.  He makes sure we have the camera, he remembers to pack enough diapers, snacks, drinks. 
He is the calm in the storm, he is the eye in the middle of Hurricane Lindsay.  He knows all these ups and downs with my medicine, trying to get the dose right, is so I can be the best mom and wife for my family.  He doesn't judge me, or make me feel guilty for not feeling well.  He is in this with me, no matter what.  There's a lot to be said about a man who loves his family as much as mine loves his. 

Don't get me wrong, he's addicted to his PSP, snores really loud (like right now, next to me...I want to hit him), and ruins all our sheets with the rubber that sticks on his body even after he showers.  But, he told me he thought he was in love with me two weeks after we started dating (even though he refuses to admit it now!) and has told me every single day, without fail, no matter if we are mad at each other, or anything else, that he loves me.  That's why I love my husband. 

When you miss someone...

Grandpa Dilas
 Saturday marked eight years since my Grandpa Dilas passed away.  Pretty soon it will be 6 years since my Grandpa Mario left us, and in October it will be two years since my Grandma Virginia went to be with my Grandpa. 

I've learned over these last eight years that when someone you love so deeply dies, you are forever changed. 

Time marches as, and over the years the pain goes away, and is replaced by aching nostalgia. 

Overwhelming grief is replaced by just plain old missing someone. 

The other day, I found a card my Grandpa Dilas sent me when I was in college. On the front he wrote, "Be my Valentine."  It was like a little gift, just for me, a reminder to remember.  My grandpa was thinking of me the day he sent me that card, he took the time to write me a little message, just to say hello.  It was like he was there again, just for a moment.  

My Grandpa Mario had this booming voice, with an Italian accent I barely heard anymore.  Except when he would answer the phone at his tailor shop.  I miss that voice , saying "Colangelo Tailors" so very much.  

Grandpa Mario and Grandma Virginia
 My Grandma's death is still very fresh to me, and I still feel that tug of grief when I think of her. I miss so many things about her, am still processing her being gone. 

Birthdays pass, holidays pass, you think about your loved ones that have passed on, and you smile and remember.  The anniversary of their death, be it 8 years or 2 years, that's the day it hits you.  

That's the day you remember that moment you found out they were gone.  That stomach dropping, heart squeezing, rush of intense pain, all the air leaves your lungs. That's the day it comes back, if only for a few moments.

Over time, you just start missing those moments you can't replace.  I miss so many things about each of them. I miss their voices, their hugs, their kisses and smiles.  I miss the safety of their love. 

I am so blessed to have a family that is so close.  I am blessed to have such warm, wonderful memories of my grandparents that have passed away.  I am blessed that my children, and my brother's children, and my sisters unborn children,  have grandparent's as loving and memorable as mine.  My children will grow up with as much love as I have, and they will someday miss all those little things that make up a Grandparents love. 

Some people say you shouldn't grieve those who have left us.  I don't grieve their deaths.  I firmly believe they are with God, they are together, and they are happy.  I miss THEM,  I miss my Grandma's chicken soup.  I miss my Grandpa Dilas and his interesting walking shorts, I miss my Grandpa carrying the blue Santa sack full of presents on Christmas day.  There is so much more to losing someone than them leaving this earth.  It's them leaving your life.