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39 Truths December 28, 2014

Filed under: aging,birthdays,friends,funny,getting older — ddl6 @ 10:23 am
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It has arrived.  The last year of my thirties.  I keep thinking, ” Well, that was quick.”  This decade has flown by and I find myself trying to slow things down but loving the changes that time brings.  It is bizarre.

When I look back at my life so far, I can say truthfully, that the thirties have been my favorite. My twenties were an unsettled and crazy time.  I did get married young and have kids at a relatively young age, but I was still in the process of growing up myself.  It made things a little crazy, to say the least.

I feel like I have learned so much about myself and life, in general, in my thirties.  Of course, the weight of, ” Who will I marry?” and, ” What will my family look like?” has been lifted, somewhat.  In that freedom, I have had a chance to look back, to reflect on my life and I guess I’m feeling kind of…..wise.  Time and in my case, wine, can make one feel this way.  I have decided to share my “wisdom” with all of you.  It would probably be better if I could also share a bottle of wine with y’all, as well, but we’ll make do with my blog.

I have compiled a list of what I call, ” My 39 Truths.”  Thirty-nine things that I have learned over the years.  I’m not claiming that these are brilliant insights into life, just little bits of truth that I have picked up over the years. So, grab a glass of wine or sparkling cider, whatever, and enjoy.

  1. Happiness is a choice.  I spent a lot of time being pissed off and sad about certain things that have happened to me in my life.  It’s been in the last few years that I have decided to acknowledge these things but I choose to be happy about the now. Sometimes, it is almost impossible, but it can be done.
  2. Exercise can truly change your mood and outlook on things. But so can a well made gin and tonic. It’s all about balance, people.
  3. Always take the opportunity to pee. Seriously, just pee.
  4. Friends are so important.  I used to close myself off from people.  I thought I was better off not opening up to anyone. Friends are vital to happiness. Having someone understand and love you because they choose to, is so special.
  5. Everything doesn’t have to be perfect.  In the last five years, I have given up the need to have things fit my vision of how things “should” be.  My house is not going to be spotless. My kids are going to look like hot messes, sometimes. I’m never going to be that perfect, put together woman who I tried so hard to be for so long.  I’m flawed, life is flawed and it’s so much easier to just accept that and say, “Flip it.”
  6. The relationship that you have with your spouse is extremely important.  The kids will get older and not need you as much and it will come back to your and your spouse or partner.  You better like being around that person.  It’s fun to start “dating” again.
  7. I used to always be sad thinking about the day there wouldn’t be a baby in the house.  It really depressed me.  Well, guess what?  Kids grow up and it’s awesome.  It’s awesome to sit at the dinner table and have real conversations with these interesting and unique people who my husband and I made.
  8. S’mores are tiny bits of Heaven.
  9. Every sunrise or sunset that I am lucky enough to witness, amazes me.
  10. Sometimes, you will think that you mean something to someone but you are not even a blip on their radar. Move on and focus on the people who truly care about you.
  11. The movie, Bridesmaids will make me pee my pants every time.
  12. Laughter is vital to me.  I need it.
  13. No matter how old I get or what I see in the mirror, I will always feel like I’m 18. Sometimes it is truly shocking to see my wrinkles because I still feel like that 18 year-old girl inside.
  14. I will do anything for the people I care about.
  15. My kids shock the hell out of me.  I don’t think I’ll ever have them figured out.
  16. My husband is my truth.  Sounds so cheesy, but he is the one constant in my life. Our children change and grow.  He is the same man I fell in love with.
  17. Losing yourself in a book is a delicious luxury.
  18. Taking time to pray or meditate each day is so important.
  19. The quiet, early morning hours are my favorite time of day.
  20. Music can heal.
  21. Holding on to anger is harmful.
  22. I get along best with gay men.
  23. Coffee.  That’s all.
  24. Breathing in the salty, ocean air is intoxicating.
  25. I cannot multitask.  I always thought that as a mother of four kids, I should be able to multi task. I can’t.
  26. I could spend all day taking pictures of flowers.  I love all flowers.
  27. Sometimes, just being present is all kids need from you.
  28. I have a real aversion to people telling me what to do. This is a truth that I need to work on.
  29. I am an excellent judge of character. I always have been but it’s been in the last few years that I have really paid attention to my instincts.
  30. Smell memory is powerful.
  31. People let you down.
  32. The love I have for my children is the most powerful emotion I have ever felt.
  33. I have the mouth of a sailor. Truth is, I like to swear, it makes me feel better.  People who don’t swear make me nervous.
  34. The thread count of your sheets really matters.
  35. I love the south and feel like it’s magic.
  36. Sometimes when you feel like shit, just getting yourself up and out the door can work wonders. So can the right shade of red lipstick.
  37. Water. Drink lots of it.
  38. You have to wash your face every single night.  No exceptions.
  39. Grateful.  You must be grateful.

These are 39 of the hundreds of truths I have learned over my 39 years.  I can only hope that I’m blessed enough to live 39 more years and learn 39 more truths.

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Sick January 9, 2013

Filed under: boys,children,funny,parenting,sick — ddl6 @ 9:21 pm
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I am sick.  The kind of sick where I give up, raise the white flag and call my husband and ask him to come home from work so I can go to bed.  Not only do I hate being sick, I hate having to give up and lay down and admit that I’m sick.  Blah.

If you have kids, you know they really don’t give a flip when you are sick. They care in their own way, but they really just want you to get up and be mommy again.  I thought I’d share how my youngest, Blake, who is three, acts when I’m sick.

Today when my husband came home from work early to help me, I went straight up to our room to lay down.  My husband took the kids down to the pond to drive their remote-control boat.  The house was quiet, I was warm and comfortable under my blankets and I drifted off into a peaceful slumber.

About 5 minutes later, my three- year-old son, who has an uncanny ability to come in, cry, yell, poop, spill something, have a bad dream or WHATEVER right when I fall asleep, busted open my bedroom door.  When I awoke, there were little hands over my mouth and a whisper in my ear, ” Hi mommy, I home!   You fill (still) don’t feel good?”

Next thing I know he hoisting himself on the bed,using my body to do so.  He planted himself on my stomach as he took off his shoes.  Then, he started making himself comfortable and got under the blankets, kicking me in the neck and belly as he squirmed under the covers.  He put his head on my pillow, but my head was in the way so he accidentally smacked mine with his huge orb.

The final assault in this “attack” of kindness was him pulling the blanket up over my head, patting my face and saying ” I will take care of you, cute mommy. Don’t worry.”

I felt like I was in the preschool version of the movie Misery.  Hopefully, I survive his “care”.  I hate being sick.

 

Boys, Boys, Boys October 7, 2012

Filed under: boys,brothers,children,motherhood,parenting — ddl6 @ 11:57 am
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I consider myself a “boy mom.”  I have one awesome daughter whom I adore,  but I have had three boys in a row and I have been in” boy mode” for almost 9 years. I feel like I am part of a special “boy mom” club.  I always bond with moms of boys right away.  Most of my good friends are mothers of my sons’ friends.  I do have a couple of close friends who are mothers of my daughter’s friends, but most of them also have sons.  I feel like they “get” what it’s like to be a mom to boys.  I always feel better when my boys have teachers who are moms or dads to sons.

Boys really are, in my opinion, a whole different ball game, no pun intended.  As much as I told myself I was going to parent my girl and boys the same way, it just hasn’t worked out that way.  I had a lot of preconceived notions about boys before I had them and I have been proven wrong many times.  Raising my girl is not what I expected either, but that’s another blog post.

To be honest, I still can’t believe that I have three sons.  When I was younger and I pictured my life, it was always with two or three daughters.  Maybe that’s because I only had a sister and I wasn’t really around boys growing up.  I just never thought about being a mother to boys.

When I was pregnant with my first child, a girl, we didn’t find out what we were having.  I never said it out loud, but I REALLY wanted a girl.  I planned a girl nursery.  I had visions of ruffles, hair bows, dresses, pink, pink and more pink.  I would look at little girls and get so excited to have my own.  I just HAD to have a girl.

When I gave birth to my daughter, they had to take her quickly to make sure her lungs were clear because she had meconium (she pooped on the way out). For two or three minutes, we had no idea if I had a boy or girl.  My husband asked what it was and the mid-wife smiled, “You have a beautiful baby girl.” I sat straight up and screamed, yes, screamed “I GOT MY BABY GIRL!” To say I was excited would be an understatement.

I had my little girl and everything was going according to my “plan”.  I became pregnant with my second child and I thought ” Oh, another little girl…smile, sigh” Then we went in for the ultrasound and the technician asked us what names we had picked out. I told her ” Grace…………… oh, and Cooper.” As an afterthought.  She checked out all that she needed to and asked us if we wanted to know what we were having and we said, absolutely. She began to type in a name on the screen and she started with C. Hmm,I thought, that was weird, Grace doesn’t start with a C………wait……….Cooper? A boy?  I was having a……boy?  I immediately started to panic a bit.  What was I going to do with a little boy? Boys are wild and rambunctious.  Boys are loud and they wrestle. They pee everywhere.  They have a penis!  What if I had to start watching and liking football??? What would I talk about with a little boy?  How would we connect emotionally?  I was very naive and a bit sexist, if I’m being honest.

Our first little boy was born and he is beautiful and wonderful. He was followed by two other beautiful and wonderful little boys. Our home was quickly filled not with baby dolls, Barbies, princess dresses,but with trucks, cars, balls, blocks and so on.  But, those things were not purchased just for our sons, they were for our daughter as well.  My visions of baby dolls, frilly dresses, big bows and pink, quickly flew out the window when my daughter began voicing her opinion.  My girl is not now nor has she ever been, a girly girl.  No way.

I spent so much money on smocked dresses with matching bows for every holiday or event we had.  She would rip out the bow and hike up the dress so she could jump over couches , climb trees or wrestle. The dolls, baby cradles, purses, and shoes went untouched.  When she discovered her passion for reading, it wasn’t princess stories she wanted to hear and read, it was adventure and science fiction stories.

My boys are all, indeed, a bit wild and rambunctious.  They are loud and they do like to wrestle.  They jump off things that are too high.  They like to smash things just because.  They barrel down the stairs instead of walking.  They pee all over the toilet seat and the ding dang floor.  They love sports, especially football.  Yes, they are all “boy” and they are different from my girl in many ways,  but those differences make them wonderful.

I didn’t expect my boys to be tender-hearted or sensitive.  They are much more so than my daughter.  They love lovin’.  They love to cuddle and have “talks” with me.  They are caring, sweet and kind.  My daughter is all these things as well, but she has more of an edge than my boys do.  She has a much more independent attitude than the boys. She’s a tough cookie, and always has been.

My good friend and I have had many conversations about being mothers of boys.  We have talked at length about how having sons helps us understand men just a little better.  They really can’t help some of the things they do because it’s just who they are.  Being the mother of boys helps me understand how hard it is to be a boy today.  There’s a lot of pressure on boys to be strong, not to show too much emotion, to “suck it up” and be a” man.”  It’s not easy being a girl either, but I knew that.  I didn’t understand about being a boy until I had my sons.

As I mentioned earlier, I feel like I’m part of a special “boy mom” club.  I can’t tell you how many times, when I am out with my boys, women come up to me to make a comment.  Whether it’s, “Hey, I have 2 boys at home.” or ” You remind me of myself 20 years ago. I have three boys.” or “I have 8 grandsons.”  Women want to make a connection.  I don’t get that when I’m with my daughter.

My husband has four older brothers. Unfortunately, his mother passed away when he was very young and I have never had a chance to talk to her about her experiences as a” boy mom.”   There are so many things I wish I could ask her and learn from her.  I will always remember what my husband’s grandmother (his mom’s mother) told me when I was pregnant with my first boy. She said ” People always asked Sharon if she wanted a girl.  She always answered, ” My boys love me so much.  I get to be the queen of the castle.””  I think that is the best description I have heard about being a “boy mom.” My boys do love me, they tell me how great I am and they do treat me like a queen…….it’s good to be queen.

 

Speechless June 13, 2012

Filed under: children — ddl6 @ 3:19 pm
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My eight year old, Cooper, is……unique. I find all of my kids funny, but there is something about him that is different. When one first meets Cooper, he can come across as, for lack of a better word, clueless,in his own world. Thinking that would be your first mistake. That kid is extremely smart and doesn’t miss a thing. He can fly under the radar because he doesn’t say much. What he’s doing is observing everything around him. He catalogs what he sees and hears and will then bust  out with profound thoughts and insight. He makes me feel like an idiot all the time.

The first inkling of his personality came when he was 11 months old. Cooper did not babble as a baby. He said the words he needed to say, to have his needs met:Dada,mama, sissy, eat, milk and so on. You could not use “baby talk” with him because the way he looked at you when you did, made you feel like a ding dang moron. One day when he was 11 months old, he and I were running errands while his 3-year-old sister was at preschool. I looked at the time and noticed that we had to pick her up. We headed out to our car and I was talking to him. Just small talk like,  ” Oh, look at the big truck. Do you see the bird?” and so on. As I was putting him in his car seat I said, in a sing, song mommy voice ” We better hurry and get sissy. What are we gonna do? Huh, buddy?” That baby turned to me with his serious blue eyes and said, clear as day, “I don’t know.” I screamed and almost dropped the child. He looked at me as if to say, ” Why would you ask a question if you didn’t expect an answer?”

Last year when Coop was in first grade, I went to school to have lunch with him. His class wasn’t in the cafeteria yet, so I decided to go and meet him outside his classroom. The door opened and Coop was one of the first kids out the door. He gave me the smallest of waves and a tiny smile and started down to the lunch room. One of his little friends came trotting up next to him and asked ” Is that your mom, Coop?” Cooper nodded and kept walking. His friend said “Yeah, I can tell…..same hair color as you.” Cooper looked at his friend and replied, ” Oh, that’s not her real hair color. She spends a lot of my dad’s money on that.” He kept walking and I was left standing there , as I often am with Cooper, speechless.