Tag Archives: trials

Armegeddon: The Tween Years

Lately, I feel as though there should be an announcer in our home, yelling over a microphone,”Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!”

I say something, I get a snarky comment.  I make an observation, I get a rude look.  I ask for something to get done, I get an argument.  I demand for something to get done, well, let the battle begin.

Nothing is easy lately- not that it ever really WAS, but it certainly isn’t getting any easier.  People told me it would get easier once kids get older, but now I have to ask- how old?  13?  16?  18?  21?  The day they have their own kid hit their tween years and they get it?  HOW OLD???

I can’t even ask for a simple request of,”Can you please put your dishes into the sink?” without it turning into a throwdown worthy of Pay Per View.  Suddenly, I’m the witch from a thousand Disney movies, all rolled into one horrifying mother figure, all because I’m trying to teach my son skills that will keep his future wife from maiming and/or killing him.

Its a scary thing, puberty.  If the changes could JUST be confined to his voice, we could all just have a laugh and call it a day, but no.  Suddenly, along with the hair, height and hilarity, there are evil things called “Hormones” lurking about.  Testosterone runs wild, waiting for the chance to take a joke too seriously, overreact to an everyday situation, or duel to the death over an imagined injustice.

Its enough to make a mom want to throw up her hands and ask,”Brangelina have adopted so many kids- maybe they’d be interested in 1 more…?”

And, I know, “This too shall pass”, but- really?  You’re going to put your brother in a head lock because he messed with your deck of Pokemon cards?  Come on.

Soooo… yeah.  Now that puberty has hit, its apparent that everyday will be a battle; sometimes us parents will win; sometimes heads will roll; but in the end, I’m almost certain the hubby and I will win the war and our obnoxious tween will come out a mature young man.

I think.  I hope.

How long does puberty last again?

Sacred Moments

“Its moments like these that remind me why I love motherhood.”

For you, maybe that statement is referring to the laughter coming from your kiddos’ rooms as they play together; maybe its the smile that lights up your baby’s face when he’s happy…

For me?  Bedtime.

There is NOTHING that quite reminds me how WONDERFUL peace and quiet is than right after the last kid is tucked in, lights have been turned out, and all the threats of torture and maiming have been put out there (in the event that they think getting out of bed is an option) and I have peace.

Wonderful, blissful, wine guzzling -*ahem, sorry*- wine SIPPING, peace.

Now, one might think that you can achieve this peace just as easily- maybe even more so- without  the aid of children, but I disagree.

What is happiness without sadness?  How can you know what happiness actually IS unless you have something to compare it to?

Having kids is like that person who is living in a construction zone- all day long, nothing but the sounds of chaos and ruckus- and then 5 p.m. comes…

…and bliss.

Sure, they were able to zone it out after a while, but it wasn’t until all the workers had gone home for the day that they understood what they had been missing all those LONG, mind numbing hours.

Having kids -boys- is a lot like that- more so, actually, because I don’t get sick days, paid holidays or vacation days, so I’m in -literally IN- the construction zone day in, day out, all year long.

And, yes, boys -IMO- are worse than girls. I’m sure there are lots of people who will try and disagree with me- point out the fact that I don’t have girls so how could I know?

Excuse me?  I AM a girl.  I was a tomboy, actually, so I know EXACTLY how bad it could get having a rambunctious tomboy.  I was a barbed-wire scaling, tree-climbing, dirt digging, sibling wrestling (WWF-style, thank you very much) girl…

…and my BOYS are worse.

So, when the lights are finally out, the last kiddo has closed his eyes, and I finally get my brain back, I’m able to truly give thanks.

Thank you, God, for 3 loud, obnoxious boys that were born without recognition of the term ‘inside voices’.

Thank you, God, for 2 boys that -while they have superb aim in certain Wii games and other outdoor sports- cannot pee IN the toilet.

Thanks, God, for 2 boys that think fighting is a sport and practice as if it could one day land them in the Olympics.

Thanks so much, God, for reminding me with every scream, whine, argument, complaint, and fight, that silence is sacred and should be cherished because morning- the waking hours- come much too quickly.

But thank you, God, most especially, for 8:30 p.m. for, without it, I would not have the brain cells enough to even remember my name, much less, give thanks.

I miss you

Before you read this, please understand that this isn’t going to be like any of my other posts.  Its not something I write with a light heart.  Its something I need to get off my chest.

Today marks a day that will forever be burned into my brain.  2 years ago I gave birth to an amazing little boy.  From the amnio that we’d had done, we know he was perfect.  From every ultrasound we’d had, he kicked and squirmed like he was determined to be a soccer player or something.  He was, by all accounts, going to be perfect- a handful, no doubt (hey, he had 2 older brothers to imitate)- but absolutely perfect.

On July 8th, 2009, I went in for my check up.  I was 19 weeks along.  I had my boys with me.  At first he couldn’t find the heartbeat with the doppler.  He didn’t act worried- he went and got the ultrasound machine, claiming that our baby was probably just lying in a weird way.  My doctor asked my boys if they wanted to see their little brother.

I knew something was wrong.  My little squirmer wasn’t moving. 

My doctor still tried to assure me that things might be ok.  He sent me down for a better ultrasound.  I knew my boy was gone.  They told me that, from the looks of it, he stopped growing at 15 weeks along, so that’s when he most likely passed.  It will always be a question in my mind if the amnio I’d opted for had been the cause- the 2 instances coincided so closely together.

After a lot of issues with insurance and what not, we ended up having to deliver my baby instead of getting the “easier” D&E.  Christopher Scott was born at 12:10 a.m. on July 10th. 

In a way, it was a good thing we had to deliver him.  I ended up getting an infection that they had to treat with antibiotics.  If we’d gone to PP to get the other procedure done, who knows what could have happened to me.  It was too hard to want to hold him after he was born- I couldn’t even look- but they gave me a box with some things in it, including a picture.  I’ve yet to look at it, but its there.

Now that its been a couple of years, I’m doing better.  Its still hard- like when I look at Nicholas and wonder what Christopher would have been like- but I’m not a mess.

There are some things I learned after losing him that you don’t fully grasp unless you’re in that situation- things like, don’t call someone who has just lost someone they love unless you can keep it together.  The last thing they should have to do during that time is help YOU with YOUR grief.

Also, I will NEVER say “I understand” or “Everything happens for a reason”.  You never actually CAN understand since every situation is different and -even if you can give the exact reason why God allowed it to happen- no one cares when they’re going through that.  I’ve learned that the best thing a person can say is “I’m here”- and then hold on for the ride, because its an emotional roller coaster.

I asked a friend the other day (who had gone through a similar situation) when I would ever feel completely normal, and she made a good point- this IS now my “normal”.  Some days I’ll feel great.  Some days I won’t.  Some days I won’t think about him at all- and that’s ok.  Some days I’ll remember that I haven’t thought about him and I’ll feel guilty- and that’s ok, too.

I also realized that there is NO timeline for grief.  Everyone says that, but what people say and what they expect are 2 different things.  Its one thing to say you feel down or upset about losing him a month or 2 after it happens, but after a while, most people patiently (and some not so patiently) listen to you, all the while wearing a “you’re not over it yet?” look on their faces and once you’re finished, they ask if you’ve talked to someone yet.

Well, duh- YOU are someone.

Not once did I say I’m DEPRESSED or SUICIDAL.  I just said I’m feeling “DOWN” or “OFF”.  I didn’t ask for answers or for you to even open your mouth.  I needed to talk.  To open up.  If people need someone to vent to about their crappy bosses and horrible traffic they encountered on the way home, shouldn’t I get to vent about losing my baby?  Not once would I ever listen to someone say,”Argh!  My husband is SO annoying!  He pissed me off SO bad!  He REALLY hurt my feelings!” and then come back at them with,”Have you talked to someone about how you feel?”  Tomorrow, your boss might give you a deserved raise; traffic will clear up, and your husband might apologize.  I won’t see my baby until I get to Heaven.

I understand there’s a reason for everything, or, more accurately,”Romans 8:28 (King James Version)
“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose.”  I look at Nicholas everyday and think about the fact that -if we’d had Christopher- Nicholas wouldn’t be here.  And then the guilt comes.  I think about what the world lost when Christopher died and what the world gained when Nicholas was born.  I know God has a plan for all that has happened, and its not my job to “figure it out” but to watch it unfold.  Its not always easy to remember that- and its NOT something I wanted to hear right after we lost him- but I get that.

In the mean time, today marks a sad and special day.  It was the day I officially said,”See you later” to my baby and the day that my baby got to get his first hug from God.  Sometimes I remind myself when Camo doesn’t check in on time or when Jacob rides his scooter too far out of my line of sight, I ALWAYS know where my Christopher is- he’s in the safest arms of anyone I’ve ever known.

And I’m sure he’s running around, causing everyone in Heaven to laugh, and talking their ear off.  He IS, after all, my son.

Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!

“Is she awake?”
“I don’t know- check.”
“How do I check if she’s awake?”
“Poke her.”
“If I poke her, then she’ll definitely wake up.”
“Mom, you awake?”
“I TOLD you to poke her.”
“I’M AWAKE!”
Thus begins the start of my day. I could try and act like I’m sleeping for a little bit longer, but it just postpones the inevitable.
Every day is like this- a fight to sleep a little bit longer, a fight to get them dressed in an outfit resembling something other than an extra from Les Miserables, a fight to get them to do their hair so they don’t -once again- look like street urchins…
My life, as much as I love it, has started to look like a dialed down version of a WWE match- without the pile drivers and what not…
…though those MIGHT not be far behind.
My parents got me a program by one of those M.D.’s with all the credentials that promises “for $400, you’ll have your kids saying ‘Yes, Ma’am and Sir’ in NO time!”
The problem isn’t always them fighting with ME, though. I often find myself shouting out to the Heavens, asking if there’s a program that will help with sibling bloodshed/maiming. I’ve yet to hear God answer me back, but it could be because I can’t hear Him over the cacophony in the background. To be honest, though, I think -if we’re going to go down the Biblical route- if God allowed Cain and Able to fight like cats and dogs for a reason, well, maybe there’s a reason for the continual boxing match in MY house; and if THAT’S the case, it shouldn’t be too long til I hear one of them shout out, “I’m not my brother’s keeper!”
And all this happens before breakfast.
When I pictured my life with kids, the daily battles weren’t part of the sweet scenery I envisioned. I know I was naïve, but I had a lapse in memory of how things had been with MY parents. I briefly forgot about the grand confrontations my brother and I had- one of which broke the back of a recliner and involved a stick.
I let it slip from my mind that “Yes Ma’am and Sir” weren’t part of our vocabulary- that we had embraced the word “No” from the time we could talk.
I had discarded the memory of when my mom tried DESPERATELY to get me to dress in something she had wanted me to wear, and I adamantly refused.
I don’t get to deny it any more, though. Those thoughts drift in and out of my mind- poltergeists, intent on tormenting me; reminding me, in every action my boys do, that I am their mother.
“Go do your hair.”
“I like it this way.”
“What way? You didn’t even DO it.”
“And that’s how I like it.”
They may win the battle, but I will win the war…
I hope.

Letter to my son

Dear Smallest Child ‘o’ Mine,
Right now you are sleeping- and that is a good thing for many reasons, not the least of which is the fact that you were nearly auctioned off on eBay. I toyed with the thought, but after realizing that no one would buy you in the state you had been in- that I would have had to pay THEM to take you- I walked away from the virtual auction house.
Today -at only 4 months old- you gave me a glimpse of your teenage years. Your insatiable appetite, your refusal to sleep, your constant cries in response to my pleading…
There’s a chance I may revisit the eBay idea at a later date, but if that doesn’t pan out, I might post you on Craigslist… or possibly FreeCycle.
You’re 4 months old. It boggles my mind as to what you could POSSIBLY have to complain about. You weren’t wet. You were constantly eating, so hunger was out of the question. I gave you the option of choosing what you wanted to wear today, but you stared at me blankly, so if the problem was your outfit, well, that’s purely on you. You cried when I held you; you cried when I put you down. You cried when I talked to you; you cried when I sang to you- though, I don’t blame you there. Vocally blessed, I am not.
My sweet, precious 4 month old- do you realize how close you came to being a sweet, precious 4 month old in a basket on someone else’s doorstep today? The basket was negotiable- a laundry basket would have worked. Heck, you can’t crawl- I thought about just setting you there, like a crying, little lump of wet clay. That when I passed by those doorstep’s that held ‘Welcome’ mats, I looked at them as beacons of hope, beckoning me to leave my worries at their doorstep.
You -my love, my light- YOU are the reason why some animals eat their young. I can only imagine that the decision making process goes a little something like this:
“Aw, honey- our cubs are adorable! See that one? See how quiet she is? She’s a thinker- we won’t ever have to worry about HER getting picked off by a hunter.”
“What about that rowdy one?”
“Oh, he’s a fighter! He’s going to be a great leader of our pride one day!”
“And that one? The one that won’t stop crying?”
“He’s lunch.”
I’m not saying I’m thinking of eating you- that’s horrible and wrong.
I WILL however be bookmarking eBay.
Love,
Mom

Zoology is the study of my home

Wanna know the difference between my house and a zoo? There really isn’t one.

Sure, the animals are different, but in the end, if not for certain safety precautions taken, my little animals would eat us alive. Yeah, they LOOK cute and cuddly, but there’s a reason why they have a sign out in front of the bear cage that says ‘Do Not Feed The Bear’. Its not because they’re trying to cut down on the costs of diet products for the poor guy- its because if you get up close, he’s likely to rip your arm off!

Cute and cuddly looking, they may be- friendly? Well, that’s to be questioned.

Today has been – how shall I say it?- difficult. Of course, if you were to look up ‘difficult’ in my specialized dictionary (that I’m planning on having published one of these days because it really is remarkable), you’d see some poor soul about to jump off a cliff rather than face the burning flames about to engulf him.

Have you ever heard the warning sound that they play on TV announcing,”This has been a test of the emergency broadcast system’? Now, have you ever wondered what it would be like to listen to that sound for an entire day??? I do! I can tell you! Its the sound of a screeching 4 year old when he starts to get annoyed at his 10 year old brother who is INTENTIONALLY annoying him!

All day.

Today.

Up until about an hour ago.

After that, they banned together- with Cameron’s friend-, rode a skateboard 4 feet in their room, slammed it into the mirrored closet doors, and cracked one. Amazingly, when asked what happened, neither one could come up with stories that matched.

That’s when I shut them up in barrels like Mark Twain spoke of and fed them through the knotholes.

No, I didn’t do that- although, don’t think the thought never crossed my mind. No, that’s when they were confined to their beds. Come on now- I’m not a monster.

Yet.

Anyways, so to say that today has been “trying” is putting it lightly. Part of me is already questioning my sanity for having a third, but I’m sticking to that old saying (IS it an old saying?) that you can’t lose what you’ve already lost. There’s really nowhere to go but up from here, so there you go. Besides, we’ve made our beds- now all that’s left is to hide under the blankets.

Besides, I’m banking on the hope that ONE of them will make it big in life and support me and Corey in the lifestyle we’d like to become accustomed to.

And then, when they’re older and have little hyenas of their own, I can look at them adoringly and say,”Some animals eat their young.”

Hey- I just want my boys to know they have options.

“So, you wanted boys, huh?”

Noah was given an ark to build. Moses was sent to lead God’s people through the desert to the promised land. And me? God gave me boys.
Its funny how after you have one boy, people ask you with every succeeding pregnancy, “So, are you going to try for that girl?” My answer is a resounding “NO”.
I’m pretty sure that God wanted to ensure that I never try for another child by keeping my hands full with 3 boys. Yes, we wanted 3 kids- 3 boys? Debatable. Sure, we knew what to expect with boys… but there’s the problem: we knew what to expect with boys. Well, we THOUGHT we knew what to expect with boys. I’m starting to wonder more and more as they get older.
Today I walked in on my 2 oldest sons using whatever wasn’t nailed down as projectiles. These items included, but were not limited to, blocks, crayons, and -at one point- a plush Elmo chair that actually sang as it hit Jacob. It was as if Elmo was singing out a war cry, which seemed to instigate Jacob, who retaliated by picking up a tee ball bat and swinging it at his older brother’s head. Cameron quickly used a pillow as a shield while wielding a plastic drumstick, but Jacob couldn’t have cared less because he was already on top of a craft table they have in their room ready to jump on his brother’s mid-section.
I’m unsure of why I allowed the fight to go on that long-
Eh, who am I kidding? It was a long day and if they knocked each other out, I wouldn’t have had to listen to another fight later.
Which I did.
Because I ended up stopping that particular fight just in time.Eh, give me a break- blood is difficult to get out of fabric surfaces.  I couldn’t have let it go on too much longer.
And no, I won’t tell you who “won”, although, in the future, if you see Jacob’s name in lights at a boxing match, don’t hesitate to place your bet on him. The kid has some moves. Its as if he’s being positioned by some unseen force…
When I finally stepped in, though, to stop the madness, that’s when I realized that this -these boys- are my mission from God. They looked at me with pissed off looks and whined, “But mom! We were having fun!” Yeah. Fun. Its all fun and games until Elmo takes you out.
If I can raise them up to adulthood without them killing each other (or me killing them- I’m kidding! Sort of.), then I’ll win God’s favor.
I have to tell myself this, honestly, because its either this or God is up in Heaven right now saying, “HA! You asked for 3 kids! Well, here you go!”