Sunday, February 28, 2010

First Love

Is there anything so tender?

A conversation came about this week about boyfriends. I was talking to the girls, but as the conversation progressed, I noticed a little blush begin become visible on my sons six year old cheeks. His eyes twinkle under normal circumstances, but a far-away look came across his face.

Hours later, the time was right. Seeing no reason to allow an escape (well, and being the complete straight shooter that I am), I said, "Tell me about the lucky lady, son." The far away look returned and the most smitten impish grin came to his lips.

Guilty as charged, he said the most honest and wonderful thing. He said, "Momma, she's got really soft cheeks and a good head on her shoulders."

OH MY GOSH!!! I thought I was going to pee and cry right there on the spot. Well, and giggle hysterically, too. But seriously. How tender and cute is first love . . . .

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kyle

A forwarded email, one very worth reading:

One day, when I was a freshman in high school, I saw a kid from my class was walking home from school. His name was Kyle. It looked like he was carrying all of his books. I thought to myself, 'Why would anyone bring home all his books on a Friday? He must really be a nerd.' I had quite a weekend planned (parties and a football game with my friends tomorrow afternoon), so I shrugged my shoulders and went on.

As I was walking, I saw a bunch of kids running toward him. They ran at him, knocking all his books out of his arms and tripping him so he landed in the dirt.
His glasses went flying, and I saw them land in the grass about ten feet from him...
He looked up and I saw this terrible sadness in his eyes. My heart went out to him. So, I jogged over to him as he crawled around looking for his glasses, and I saw a tear in his eye. As I handed him his glasses, I said, 'Those guys are jerks.' They really should get lives.' He looked at me and said, 'Hey thanks!' There was a big smile on his face.

It was one of those smiles that showed real gratitude. I helped him pick up his books, and asked him where he lived. As it turned out, he lived near me, so I asked him why I had never seen him before. He said he had gone to private school before now.

I would have never hung out with a private school kid before. We talked all the way home, and I carried some of his books. He turned out to be a pretty cool kid. I asked him if he wanted to play a little football
with my friends. He said yes..

We hung out all weekend and the more I got to know Kyle, the more I liked him, and my friends thought the same of him. Monday morning came, and there was Kyle with the huge stack of books again. I stopped him and said, 'Boy, you are gonna really build some serious muscles with this pile of books everyday!' He just laughed and handed me half the books.

Over the next four years, Kyle and I became best friends. When we were seniors we began to think about college. Kyle decided on Georgetown and I was going to Duke. I knew that we would always be friends, that the miles would never be a problem.
He was going to be a doctor and I was going for business on a football scholarship..

Kyle was valedictorian of our class. I teased him all the time about being a nerd. He had to prepare a speech for graduation. I was so glad it wasn't me having to get up there and speak

Graduation day, I saw Kyle. He looked great. He was one of those guys that really found himself during high school. He filled out and actually looked good in glasses. He had more dates than I had and all the girls loved him. Boy, sometimes I was jealous! Today was one of those days. I could see that he was nervous about his speech. So, I smacked him on the back and said, 'Hey, big guy, you'll be great!'

He looked at me with one of those looks (the really grateful one) and smiled. 'Thanks,' he said. As he started his speech, he cleared his throat, and began 'Graduation is a time to thank those who helped you make it through those tough years. Your parents, your teachers, your siblings, maybe a coach...but mostly your friends..... I am here to tell all of you that being a friend to someone is the best gift you can give them. I am going to tell you a story.'

I just looked at my friend with disbelief as he told the first day we met.

He had planned to kill himself over the weekend. He talked of how he had cleaned out his locker so his Mom wouldn't have to do it later and was carrying his stuff home. He looked hard at me and gave me a little smile. 'Thankfully, I was saved..

My friend saved me from doing the unspeakable..'

I heard the gasp go through the crowd as this handsome, popular boy told us all about his weakest moment. I saw his Mom and dad looking at me and smiling that same grateful smile. Not until that moment did I realize it's depth.

Never underestimate the power of your actions. With one small gesture you can change a person's life. For better or for worse..... God puts us all in each others lives to impact one another in some way. Look for God in others.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Seriously.

The conversation went like this:

Her: "where are you?"
Me: "home . . . you called my home number and we're talking on the phone."
Her: "oh, right . . what are you doing?"
Me: "working ... I'm trying to finish up this accounting while Mimi is sleeping"
Her: "well, I'm coming over."
Me: "now? I'm right in the middle of something . . . can you give me an hour? Then Mimi will be up and my shot at getting this done uninterrupted will be, too."
Her: "is there a problem with me coming over now?"
Me: (thinking) "well, yeah, kindof. I'm working."
Me: (speaking) "no . . . not a problem, I'm trying to get some work done."
Her: "well, I'm coming over . . . I won't stay long."

Minutes later she arrives.
And stays.
40 minutes.

Literally, 30 milliseconds after the door closes, my glasses are back on and quickbooks is staring back at me, a bank statement in one hand, and checks to sign in another . . . Mimi's banging on her door . . . "momma, momma, poopie, poopie."

Seriously.

Cute things by the truckload . . . .

Little lost two teeth. His first. And second. Within about two hours of each other. And the cute thing is: "Momma, will you read Percy Jackson and the Lightning FEEF?"

Middle: "Mom, when you are in college, do you have to provide your own snack?"

Mimi: "Ah, fart nugget."

Middle: "Mom, how do you spell OGRE? I'm writing daddy a letter."

Mimi (while staring into the reflective drain on the bathtub): "Mirra, Mirra, on de wawl . . . "

Any family member, to Mimi: "How old are you?"
Mimi: "eight"

And, while funny . . . I would really like to convince Mimi that the foot soaker tub isn't a potty. Sure, it cleans up well . . . and the cord is oh so handy for her to drag it about. Still . . . we'll do some extra negotiating today.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Floors . . . yeah!!



Entry with that dark boarder that I'm loving. Homey . . . does this STYLE of rug work here? I like the idea, but it doesn't seem to come in the size and shape that I want . . . . hmmm.



Front room . . . .



Front room to dining room, notice the dark border under the arch . . . & the direction change for that room. Happy, happy.



Hallway where the launch pad, bench & hooks go. Ugly office carpet staying. For now.



Great room with Moose in his morning spot. I'm looking for a new rug for the back door that compliments this big mahonka joe one. I love this rug.



Back slider. Another border & direction change.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Therapy that I Strongly Recommend

Write some letters.

I have spent the last year writing letters. Many are sacred and secrets. Many are not. Point is, I've written. I've written to friends and neighbors. I've written to friends who are neighbors. I've written to colleagues and cashiers at Walgreens. I've written to managers of retail stores to praise their great employees. I've written difficult letters to old boyfriends. I've written to my mom and my dad, my brother and his wife. I've written countless letters to each of my own children. I've written to orphans and victims, sick kids and brats. I've written to mothers of children, some of whom I know, and some that I don't. I've written to people that judge and people that some people that don't.

I've served purpose. I have apologized and rectified. I've sent well wishes and I've said things that were left undone. I have praised and complimented.

And I feel, after just over a year of writing letters . . . Great. I feel relieved of many burdens, more balanced and clear. I feel refreshed and lightened.

Here is my accompanying personal promise to myself. I'll never send any of my letters. Even though there is nothing to hide. It's all genuine, most of it very complimentary and great . . . . it's for me. Once, a few years ago, MOTH and I received a letter. The most terrible letter that could ever have been penned. It was full of anger and accusation. It was written in anger and frustration. And it never should have been sent. But it was. And it forever changed my view of the sender. It colored the rest of my life with her. And I've vowed to not make that mistake. If you've ever spanked your child in anger . . . this is the same premise. Never spank a child in anger. And never send a hateful letter in anger.

But, write you letters. Speak your piece. Make amends, say you're sorry . . . and when you are done, you'll feel so much better.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Day One: Carpet Removal and Entry Tile Demolition for the Front Room.

I stayed around and watched this morning until the hammering made my head ring and the carpet was out. The CRAP under the carpet. My GAWD. So disgusting to think we are breathing that into our bodies. And what a slap in the face . . . for a self admitted "clean freak" -- to see that volume of dirt and debris in a place that I just cleaned yesterday. Icky. Icky. Icky.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Today, I am nearly certain that I was, indeed, raised by wolves.

Monday, February 15, 2010

My Monday Morning Ephiphany

Here is my Monday Morning Epiphany.

Texting is a love hate deal. I love texting. Friends, kids, babysitter, husband. I find it quick and efficient and perfect for times when a long conversation or ancillary chat is not needed or warranted. There as a long time within our lives that my husband and I communicated by text. I was too damn tired. He was downstairs, I was up, catching zzz's with finicky baby at an early bedtime and a quick text with "can you please bring a diaper up?" seemed like the perfect solution. There are times when I love it, don't get me wrong. I'd probably never track down a babysitter if I didn't know how to text!

I also hate texting. I hate the idea of texing and driving. That commercial with the car wreck and the dead kid at the park gets me every time. I despise the intimacy that texting implies. From a personal-slash-business standpoint, I hate, hate, HATE when employees text me. I hate having them think I'm available whenever they need. And I hate the informality. There is a little piece of me (however easy-going-I-usually-am) that appreciates and respects formality and, perhaps, the little extra effort it takes to pick up the damn phone. Most recently, I'm hating the "get a quick text in" for follow up routine. A text as a thank you for reviewing a resume? What? What happened to the letter? The FORMAL block sytle letter that let a potential employer know that you were worth the pot you piss in? A text . . . complete with mis-spelled words and urban slang screams "don't hire me, I'm a complete lazy ass slacker and it will be a mistake to your organization!"

I was chatting with my brother about this very topic. He's in charge of hiring for a pretty big organization and he contends that texting has ruining an entire generation of employable people. Managers and bosses who are our age expect formality, respect and professionalism. Just one generation younger, texters assume their informality is okay . . but it really isn't. My brother says he has received a rash of resumes, some written on napkins. One with a crayon. Words mispelled. Contractions missed. Seriously, fourth grade grammar mistakes. He says that 'kids' (and I use this term loosely since a kid to me is a fourth grader, but in his world, 'kids' are sometimes 25!) come in for interviews in Roxy hoodies & skater shoes with no pen, no resume, hats on . . . .seriously.

Along with most of my epiphanies comes some sort of goal. I'm taking note this week of texting. Who am I texting? Why? And my true mission is to make certain my textees are truely intimate folk that deem the informality of texting . . .

TTFN, LOL, LMAO, waitin' 4 u to cum home . . . .

Friday, February 12, 2010

Dear Big,



I love you, little girl. I love you more than I ever knew it would be possible. As an infant in my aching, overtired arms, you taught me patience. You've made me a better person. And a better mother. You've certainly made me more healthy. Even time the back of my mind begins to think the "I'm fat," phrase, I pull it back in and think of YOU, your happiness and your image. And I pray, pray, pray that your security will be your pillar.

Tonight, little love, you are at a birthday party. It was supposed to be fun. But I know you're just wearing a happy face for the birthday girl. I know that your friendships with other young ladies is infuriating and frustration. Of all things, baby girl, you got my uncanny ability to NOT make good girlfriends. I'm sorry you are hurting. I'm keeping myself busy with the little kids at home tonight, but I can't wait to go pick you up. I can't wait until you are home. I can't wait to hug you and hold you in my arms. I wish I could tell you that your path with friends of the female persuasion would be easier. But the truth is . . . you'll likely encounter more disappointment than joy, more sorrow than elation. You'll cry more tears of hurt than joy.

As certain as I am of those, I also am certain of this: There is a solid rock girlfriend out there for you. She'll support you and she'll walk beside you. You will find each other when you decide to stop looking. Sometimes she will carry you, when the road is just too rough. Other times, you will carry her. Likely, you will share years of your lives. There will be boys and makeup, dances and lockers. There will be sports and periods and college and boys. There will be bad decisions and good times, eyeliner and boys. Yes, boys. And there will never be another like her.

Be true to yourself, sweets. Carry your head high and pull your shoulders back. Do what you know to be right, and at the end of the day, be proud of your actions and your decisions. Minimize regrets. Always.

And always, always know this: your mommy loves you.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I think.

I think . . . .

* When something seems too good to be true, it usually is. It's true with the size of you ass or your paycheck. It's true with the time you put in, and the reward you get out.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Real word in our house:

buxeppfor - (preposition, conjuction) pronounced: [bucks-epp-fore] 1. with the exception of {everyone was gone buxeppfor me} 2. were it not for {yes, mamma, I am coming buxeppfor I can't find my shoes}

Monday, February 08, 2010

I contracted the crud through the phone line.

Homestead gave it to me. And my family has been horribly sick.

Okay, I won't blame Homey anymore, but still . . . horribly sick. Started with Big, last weekend. One night of dreadful vomiting followed by a day of staying horizontal. Midweek last week, MOTH looked like he'd been put through the wringer and was starting to sound sexy with a deep upper respiratory hack. Thursday night, between MOTH and Little, the potty was frequented every 30 minutes or so. I've never heard so much wretching. It was dreadful. Friday morning, I fogged the house with Lysol to ward off the bad juju. But, by noon, my guts were churning and I was seeing double and praying for pillow.

Fast forward, to skip the gory details.

I have not been that sick in my adult life. My last recollection of sickness like that was in my early 20's and it was definately alcohol induced. My entire body is still aching and my toes feel like they've been beaded and strung up through the center of my body. I'm still queasy and very gunshy. I believe it may be weeks before I consume anything pink or red.

I'm still waiting for two of my family to get it. So, I think I'll hold off on all pink or red things for a few more days. Bummer, eh? With Valentine's Day just around the corner . . . .

Friday, February 05, 2010

My one thought.

A vomitrocious megamonster attacked our house last night. Little and MOTH hurled and heaved, moaned, groaned & retched a.l.l. the ever lovin', up-ever-30-minutes-to-pray-to-the-porcelain-God night. It was horrible. I'm exhausted (I'm sure they are too, but this is MY blog post!). And this morning, as I'm cleaning and fogging with lysol, I'm stuck with this one thought that always lingers in my head post-vomiting episode, regardless of who, how long or when.

Here it is: "They need to chew their food better."

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Dear Homestead,

I'm so, so, sorrry to have hung up on you so abruptly yesterday. I've been waiting for days . . . . long days . . . for you to come up from the sinking sick kids surrounding you and the loss of your cell phone, and I feel positively horrible that when there is finally time to chat, I blurt out, "shit, I gotta go."

At least once a day, there is a 8-10 minute period of time when all hell breaks loose. Most unfortunately, that was when you called. Middle was getting ready for her first Gymstars practice. With her tummy tied in knots, she was boo-hooing at being unable to pony her own tail. Little's lego rocket ship lost a rocket booster and he was crawling around on the carpet, but still couldn't find it. Who could, though all the elephant tears? Mimi's suddenly interested in the potty, and when she says "potty", boy howdy, does she mean business. Like NOW business. And Big, well, Big was crying. Middle and Big were late walking home on Monday. Way late. On the order of 30 minutes, and I was quickly approaching panic mode. Thirty minutes late bought them 30 extra chores. Each. So Big was picking poop in the backyard, up on the hill, when the poop pan tray busted loose and an avalanche of turds tumbled down the hill.

So, so, so very sorry. Let's try again today . . . .

xo
Elle

Monday, February 01, 2010

Savoring the moments.

Mimi has done wonderful things for me. As difficult as being out of diapers & going back to them as been . . . for all of the big-kid activities that were put on hold to have another itty-one in the house, she's done wonderful things for me.

When Big was 2, I was fretting over her and wondering "am I doing it right?" And, I was pregnant with Middle. I was still working full time and was really struggling with the mommy-juggle.

When Middle was 2, I was getting a business off the ground. I was pregnant with Little, still working outside home full time and functioned largely in survival mode.

When Little was 2, I was so friggin' tired, I'm not sure I even recall what I was doing. I do remember that I was very busy with work and under the umbrella of a competitive friend . . I recall feeling like a hamster on a wheel, always running but going no-where, always working but getting nothing done.

But now, Mimi is two . . . and it's a beautiful, wonderful, fabulous thing. I'm in a different place with her, different than with any and all of the other kiddos. With all my heart and soul, I love two year olds. For me, in my mommy experience, there is nothing terrible about two. (I'm also very fond of three!) Two is terrific. Two is learning and growing, and speaking and knowing. Two is daring and dangerous and brave and strong. Two is timid and shy with snuggles and side-long glances. Two is being their hero, through and through. Two is where little folks begin to be discovered and understood. For Mimi, two is "ponytail, momma" and "not dat one". It's "dank you" and "no danks" and "not so much". For Mimi, it's endless jumping on a trampoline (it was swings for Big, slides for Middle, and running for Little). It's time at the park, just because you can.

Two is bargaining and teaching patience. For us, it's "no, honey, not until you are dressed." It's "go wait in your bed and I'll be right there." Two is stepping out and finding their way. For Mimi, it's milk in the cereal bowl first. It's juice out of a plastic goblet and yogos out of a tiny dish from the play kitchen. It's a hat. She loves a hat.

And for me, it's remembering. How they all were . . . how they all are. It's packing cheerios and pipecleaners to keep her busy at the grocery store. It's jammies in the afternoon and keeping her awake in the evening. It's playing for the sake of play and guiding her into making decisions. Mimi has caused some serene nostalgia, partly because I was so busy with the bigger kids that I'm certain I missed something. And largly, because she's the last of our brood, and the baby's stages are there to remember, bring closure and reflect. So, reflecting . . . that's just what I'm doing.

With scrub brush in hand . . .

'Tis a balmy 38 degrees here today. And, while the sun shine-eth on the back patio, I reckoned it was time to take a stab and cleaning the bloodstains and massacre evidence from Moose's paw incident.

I bundled Mimi and donned jacket & hat. She played outside while I thawed the hose, stretched it, ran water & only got ice chunks, and scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed. A solid hour later, my back has no bend left, the sun is moving over the side of the house, and Mimi's nose is, oh so pink.

We're revived from being outside, moderately satisifed with a solid attempt to clean up enough DNA evidence to convict a preist . . . and onto "hung-ee time" and "nigh-night."

Aah, Monday . . glorious Monday.