Hey, I really liked my kids today!!

Today was a good day.

This morning, I wouldn’t have thought it was going to turn out this well. The 4 year old has had a fever since yesterday, and wanted his feet rubbed, back rubbed, and all spare moments dedicated to his comfort….as is expected for a sick little boy….or maybe any sick boy/man….??

The 13 year old had to perform in a concert at school but waited until the last possible moment to start worrying about what time he needed to be there, and what time he needed me to come bring him home. Not to mention the clothes I’d been asking about all week, “do you know where your dress pants are, are they clean???”  Of course, I found them in his closet today, clean and crumpled, and ironed them strictly to save my own reputation as a “good mom” with the other parents who would see him.

The 16 year old, who will be 17 in a matter of days, was full of attitude after waking up before 6am to play in two softball games. The two teens bickered like old women about who cleaned their bathroom last, and who should have to vacuum the basement for me.

16 month old was destined to be the favorite today. Even after painting herself with mandarin oranges and squishing them into her hair.

I was doing my usual weekend cleaning, yelling, cooking, cleaning, changing diapers, folding laundry, moving furniture, more cleaning and begging the oldest two to please stop insulting each other for the love of all things holy.

Then it happened.

It was like the stars suddenly aligned.

Somehow, we all ended up in each others company……not yelling, screaming, crying, fighting or causing damage of any kind.

They played together! Definitely, having the baby helped, as her amazing adorableness can soften the most jaded of teenage hearts. We laughed as Jen-Jen entertained us as only a toddler can, with her budding vocabulary and love of imitating everyone around her.

Dinner was enjoyable. What??!! How often do I get to say that? So often lately it’s broken up by the sports schedules of the two oldest, I end up cooking for the youngest two, and then hours later the others will wander in, dirty, tired and somehow not hungry for anything I’ve made. Lately, a meal with all kids together is rare. Even more rare is a meal with no arguments of any kind, no 4 year old turning his nose up at….EVERYTHING I make….. , and no baby deciding to chuck her cup, and often parts of her meal, at my head the moment she decides she’s full. No warning!

Tonight felt so special. Jenna didn’t spit anything out at me, bonus. Sammy was feeling better, and ate some sweet potato and fruit. the older two actually finished off all the grilled fish, and LIKED IT!! There was good natured talking at the table, no fighting, not even a little!

My oldest and her friend even went grocery shopping with me and the baby later, to TWO STORES!  Nary a sigh was heard. I’m sure the chocolate I bought them didn’t hurt. The girls even made dessert.

We laughed more later at the antics of the baby, crawling after a tiny ant in the kitchen, and blowing on her toes to imitate me after I’d painted them. My 13 year old made me two cups of iced tea. Count them, two…..and I didn’t even ask, well not for the second one. There was a point we were all laughing and joking in the kitchen together. I thought about how happy I was, how nice this felt, briefly wondered if we were somehow all high…quickly dismissed it….

It was a night just made to enjoy. One of those nights you don’t want to end, you just want to keep it going.

A perfect night to savor being a mom. I felt like all four kids liked me, at the same time. And I liked them all too! No one screaming for me to pick them up, no one tattling or arguing. I didn’t feel worn out, as I tend to do by the end of a long day…but instead energized, and grateful.

I have had a day with my four, and I felt loved, enjoyed, happy. I didn’t have to force any of them to share my company, I didn’t even have to battle wits or make empty threats for it happen.

Tomorrow we will celebrate our traditional mothers day, but it may not be magical.  I doubt the greatness of today can stretch that far, surely someone will remember how annoying everyone else is by then!

But these days, when they happen, are the most special. They remind me of what to tell people who want to know why on earth I chose to have all these kids. Because I don’t think anything comes close to the happiness these kids can bring. It reminds me on other, less perfect days….what our potential is. Even if we don’t quite reach it all the time. Just makes it all the more amazing when we do.




Hidden meanings

It was probably about a week ago, I was talking to my 16 year old while she was using my laptop to play songs on Youtube.

You know that Beyoncé song….. drunk in love??

“Drunk in looooooooove”…. it’s catchy, really.

So, it’s on and I’m listening to the words, and ask “What’s surfboarding?”

“MOM!” “Oh my God!” You don’t KNOW???!!!

I’m referred to urbandictionary.com like, right now.

Oh. Well. Ok then. I’ve become my own mother. That older, hopefully sexless woman who should just NOT ask questions that might lead to a discussion of a sexual nature. And by the way, how does my DAUGHTER know what that means???  Because it’s COOL to know what that means. Because there are sites like urbandictionary.com, bless it’s heart, to teach her when she wonders the same thing.

Days later.

Although I don’t love the song, it’s in my head and I find myself just spouting off phrases. “I’ve been drankin’, watermelon”…… somehow  the way she speaks those phrases just sticks in my head. So we’re in Target, and I’m all “Surfboard”……. “Watermelon”……… “I’ve been drankin'”…… when that same 16 year old has to spoil it all by saying, Mom….do you even know what she’s talking about?

Duh. She loves her husband. She’s “drunk” in love with him. she’s been drinking. something that tastes like watermelon. Obviously she’s drunk. She’s TALKING like she’s drunk….. and by the way, drinking is bad, you should NOT do that. See what happens when you drink?? This surfboard thing. You should definitely NEVER do that……

Oh no. I am completely off base. Do you know that song is like a whole secret code for sexy nastiness? I can’t believe I am basically yelling out these phrases, around my CHILDREN for God’s sake…. and I have no idea what I’m talking about!! Back to urbandictionary.com. Well, yes, that does sum it up pretty nicely. Huh. I had NO IDEA Drankin’ meant THAT. Watermelon!! Really??!! Oh. God. Ugh. And now I feel like I have Tourette’s and I’m just compelled to belt out these phrases because Dammit they are still catchy!!!

Why couldn’t she have just been singing about watermelon Vodka??

Lesson learned. Now I’m afraid to speak.

Sure, I might be telling you I’m going to cut the crust of your peanut butter and jelly sandwich….but what am I REALLY saying?? Better check that out… Or at work, “Ok Mr. Smith, I need to check your lungs and listen to your abdomen. Yeah… lungs… you know what SHE’S talking about….. I’m totally paranoid. I need an app to check everything I’m saying to make sure I’m not soliciting sex from anyone, or selling any of my kids into slavery unintentionally.

This is how I felt in high school…. I never KNEW half the stuff that was going on around me, just went over my head! Kept me out of trouble then, since I didn’t even realize all the trouble I could have gotten into. but now, I need to be in on these hidden meanings, for no other reason than to catch any of my kids who even think of getting away with anything shady.

Surely other people my age, my peers are in the same boat. My best friend, same age…. on the phone with her tonight. I tell her I’m going tomorrow to get a facial, and ask if she wants to grab a quick lunch after. Her response? 

“Facial… you said facial….he he he”.



Talking about SEX

I hate sex!  I hate it because I know my kids are going to do it, and at least one or two are probably thinking about it…..maybe now! AGH!

These teenage years, not the best to share over here on the parenting side of things. I just don’t know HOW to deal with this potential nakedness and sharing of things like spit, and sweat, and HPV…… shudder. more shudders. I was a much cooler mom during grade school. I’m very low on the cool mom scale right now. Just dealing with it. That’s all I can do.

As far as I know, all people in the house younger than me are still virgins. And I am pretty secure in that knowledge. I tell horror stories of diseases they WILL catch if they ever….you know. I am the mom who always has to talk to the other mom of wherever my 16 year old goes, and makes her send me random pictures of where she is at any given moment. I’m very embarrassing like that. I’m ok with it. I pretty much have her convinced that sex is the most dangerous thing possible, she will definitely get HPV, resulting in genital warts, cervical cancer, or both if she’s lucky. Or, HIV, herpes, our friend syphilis is making a comeback in some circles…. the possibilities are endless, really. My experiences in nursing are a great help in our conversations, I’ve seen a lot of crazy stuff and I am willing to share anything to put a healthy amount of fear into any kid who needs it.

Tonight, I was lucky enough to get my daughter to see a movie with me. Just the two of us, it’s a rare treat. And we only had to go one city away to make sure no one she knows saw us together….definite progress. We watched a preview about a girl with cancer who falls in love with a boy who beat cancer. It looks like she probably dies, but first they fall in love and I’m pretty sure they have sex.

I thought about it. I turned and told Rachel, “I’d be ok with you having sex if you were dying of cancer”. I was serious. So far, that is the only situation that has ever entered my mind that would be ok outside of the old standby “AFTER your married.” I would forego my desperate wish for her to maintain her virginity at all cost, if I knew she’d never live long enough for that to happen.

Yes, I think I probably do have some issues. I can’t DEAL with my kids growing up. Doing grown up things. Making possible mistakes that I can’t fix for them. Getting a disease, getting hurt, hurting someone else. It’s rough over here for me right now. It is so HARD to watch this transition into adulthood. Knowing things will happen, both good and bad. And knowing I control NONE OF IT. It makes me hold the baby that much tighter. Thank God she’s still 100% mine. And maybe by the time she’s 16, we can find a cure for sex…….

This is what being a Mom IS…

I love to smell my daughters feet…….


I don’t know how I realized this, but I find myself grabbing those little feet and just inhaling whenever she is near….and just loving that they are so soft, and little, and warm. And they ALMOST smell…..like feet. I cherish it, because one day they are going to REALLY smell like feet, and doubt I will willingly bury my face in them anymore.

I have these little moments, in the middle of the chaos that comes with having 4 children, where I just take a minute to savor the odd moment, before I need to scream at someone for tracking play-doh all over the floor. again.

I’ve got two teens, and they find great pleasure in suddenly turning on me, usually in the middle of my speech about growing up, taking on more responsibility, chewing with their mouths closed…and holding me down to tickle me. This freaks me out, and I really fight to get away, all the while laughing and trying not to pee myself as I try to call them off. My gasping pleas for release are ignored, as they assume my threats are not real because I can’t stop laughing. I really hate that. But I love it, and then I ground them…. for like 5 minutes.

It’s not always fun and games. I’m strict and if you ask my 4 year old who the “mean” one is, the pointer finger zooms right to me. BUT, I’m the one he runs to for kisses, I’m the one he picks as his “favorite” whenever I ask him (ssshhh, I know I’m not supposed to do that), in fact, the only time he runs to his Dad, is to get away from me at bedtime, when he decides he’s not so fond of me after all.

My days home are a blur of cleaning, laundry, cooking, spacing out at the computer for brief moments, changing diapers, feeding, shopping, and plenty of yelling and threatening to never get you a slushy from Target again if you don’t pick up those toys Right Now!

My own 16 year old daughter is convinced that being a mother is the worst job a person could have. I am her reason for never wanting children…as she loves to tell me. I think it’s funny that I felt the same as her, at her age, living with my mom and being one of her 5 children. UGH, talk about a circus.

And yes, I dream of sleeping in one day, and not having to take care of anyone but myself, getting my hair done whenever I want, or just going OUT…..alone!! It’s so exciting when those moments happen!

Yet, as I tell my daughter, I would be lost without them. I’ve had kids for so LONG, I don’t even know who I would be without them. They define me by this point. My time is measured by their first steps, first smiles, even the first time my son told me he hated me. Ouch. I don’t forget these firsts, and I love to remember and cherish those million random things that just make this job extra special.

Like squeezing little butts, using social media to embarrass my teens, and trying to squeeze them all onto my lap for a quick pic before I am squished to death. They are crazy kids, they often do really really stupid things…. no really, it’s true. But they are MINE, and I cherish it, I do. I love watching them grow, sharing their lives, and of course…smelling their feet. 🙂