Monday, February 28, 2011

My Kids are Weird...


And I don't even think E.W knew he had his finger buried in his nose.






More of What I've Learned...


This grief stuff? It's hard.

I'm a fixer...a nurturer, and when I see my loved ones hurting, I want to make it all better. So, when the Mr. was having a hard time the other night, I wanted to hug him, to let him cry, to love him.

But that's not how HE grieves.

When a couple is grieving, it's like you're dancing a delicate dance...wherein, at times, you will dance so close it's hard to distinguish where one person ends and another begins, and at other times, you find yourself dancing side by side.

In the immediate aftermath of Verd's tragic death, each one of us was so raw with our grief, we danced that close dance. Comforting, loving, supporting. Now, as we have begun to grieve while going through the motions of daily life, I find our difficult times come separate from one another.

I have come to realize that, while a big, long hug makes ME feel better...it is not what everyone wants. It's not what my husband wants.

And so, I now set out to discover what I can do to help my husband...to show him my support in ways OTHER than a hug.

In the week following Verd's funeral, my incredibly amazing friend, S., came to help me get my house in order. The love and support and kindness and compassion she has shown us is incredible. SHE is incredible. (Love ya, S.!!)

She told me that she talked to my husband the night after she came and worked her butt off (while I cried and talked and cried and maybe dusted here and there and talked some more) to get my home clean, that my sweet man said, "You have no idea what a clean house does for me."

She's right. A clean house has always made him feel relaxed...and so, she suggested that I show him my support through a clean house.

And that's what I will do.

Because I'm a fixer. And I just want to make him feel better.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

What are your kids doing when you're not looking?



First of all...they shouldn't leave evidence...such as "PhotoBooth", opened up where their mama can see what they've been up to...

Look:







Well, at least they weren't making a mess...right?!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Five Question Friday! 2/25/11


Raise your hand if you're glad it's Friday...

*Raises hand...and waves it around wildly!!*

Big, gigantic sigh of relief that it is the weekend. *Siiiiiiiiiiiggggggggghhhhhhhhh* Ahhhh...

My big boy is feeling down and out. Sore throat...he says, "it feels like my throat is on fire". :( Guess part of my day today will consist of running in for a strep test.


Okay, let's get this Five Question Friday show on the road!!

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning! And most of all, HAVE FUN!!

Questions for Friday, February 24th: (Special thanks to Sandy, Steph, Brooke [previously broken link should be fixed now!], Tammy, and Rene for their question suggestions! If YOU would like to be linked in a future 5QF, c'mon over to my community and offer up your best question suggestions! Feel free to shout 'em on Twitter, too! @5crookedhalos)

1. Can you drive a stick shift?

2. What are two foods you just can't eat?

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?

4. How do you pamper yourself?

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?

----------------------------------------

1. Can you drive a stick shift?

If forced to, yes...I think I could.

I used to drive a stick shift. An old beater Honda Accord that I ran to the ground...she treated me good, then I mistreated her...and she blew up on me.

But, stick shift it was!

And, I was pretty dang good at it, too, if I do say so myself. Only, it's been a few years. Okay, really, it's been a lot of years. Too many years.

I'm scared that stick shift driving is NOT like riding a bike. I think that if I got into drive a stick shift, it would be a rather stuttery, grindy, shakey ride.

It wouldn't be pretty.

2. What are two foods you just can't eat?

*gag*

Mushrooms.

*gag*

Black Olives.

They (along with Red Bull Vodkas) are the work of the devil.

Pure disgustingness.

I can NOT tolerate mushrooms, even in their smallest, most diced up, form. My mom used to strain Cream of Mushroom soup for me...to take out the tiny bits of mushrooms from her gravy and sauces.

I never knew this 'til I was on my own and couldn't figure out why there were so many nasty chunks of mushroom in the soup I bought.

Then she told me.

And, I felt like a princess. A princess whose mother loved her so much she strained out the mushrooms so she wouldn't be subjected to that slimy grossness.

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?

Well, in normal years, yes. A lot. Like, somewhere close to "too many".

But, this is not a normal year. :(

And so, Girl Scout Cookie buying time has come and gone and our home is GSC-less.

Oh, how I love my Samoas! WAIT!! They're not called that anymore, are they? Ack!! I don't think that's PC. Um...what are they called now? Quick, someone tell me...

And Thin Mints. Mmmmmmm...Thin Mints are the antithesis of mushrooms. Amen.

4. How do you pamper yourself?

I don't.

Usually any and all extra money I have, I buy stuff for my kids. Occasionally, I'll get a pedicure.

However...I'm due for some pampering. As I mentioned in last night's "Sneak Peek", I have some gift cards that are in need of using.

I see some fabulous pampering (in the form of massages or pedicures) in my (very near) future!

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?

Get this!! My nickname is..."mom".

Short for, "mama".

Cute, isn't it? I know...my kids gave it to me. They couldn't prounounce "mama" when they were big, so they call me "mom". ;)

It's so unique, isn't it?

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And with that, I hope you have a fabulous weekend!!



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!!


ManohmanohmanohMAN!! am I ready for the weekend! (I think I say that every week...and really, who isn't ready for the weekend to roll around?!)

I have some gift cards burning a hole in my pocket...and never before in my life have I NEEDED a massage (truly, it has become a need) as badly as I do right now, so I'm really hoping that I can get a massage tomorrow.

(Honey, are you reading this? I need you to watch the kids tomorrow.) :)


Well...let's get this Five Question Friday Sneak Peek goin'!

Remember, this post is just your chance to peek at the questions ahead of time and get your post all ready to go for tomorrow's linky!

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning! And most of all, HAVE FUN!!

Questions for Friday, February 24th: (Special thanks to Sandy, Steph, Brooke [broken BlogFrog link!! broken BlogFrog link! lemme know what your url is and I'll get you linked, Brooke!], Tammy, and Rene for their question suggestions! If YOU would like to be linked in a future 5QF, c'mon over to my community and offer up your best question suggestions! Feel free to shout 'em on Twitter, too! @5crookedhalos)

1. Can you drive a stick shift?

2. What are two foods you just can't eat?

3. Do you buy Girl Scout Cookies? What is your favorite kind?

4. How do you pamper yourself?

5. What is your nickname and how did you get it?

-----------------------------------

I'll see YOU (*insert pointy finger coming out of computer screen here*) right back here tomorrow morning!

I call this:


Man Down


Tummy Ache


One too many Red Bull Vodkas



Wednesday, February 23, 2011

I'm Wondering...


Who stole my baby boy and replaced him with this:


This...this...young man. This young man whom (who?) I will be bringing to take his driver's permit test tomorrow.


This young man who (whom?) will soon be driving. DRIVING! When just last week, I swear to you, he was still calling me "mama", wearing diapers, and sitting in a high chair.


And now, suddenly, he's going to be able to DRIVE? A car? With a real engine on real roads with other real drivers???


Lord help me. I'm not sure I have the intestinal fortitude to get through this.

Folks, this may be just the time buy stock in Depends. I think I'm gonna need 'em.

(PS...how do you teach a kid how to drive?!!?)


Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Something Fun...


I feel the need to post something fun and light and carefree...so, I will share with you the Mr. and I's recent night away.

We met his buddy from college and his wife and we set out to dine at Fogo de Chao...only to discover that we would have a 2-3 hour wait. Yes, you read that right...TWO to THREE HOURS! So, we cruised across the street to a place called Seven.

We were told we had to vacate our table by 8 pm (it was 6:30ish)...only to look around at the multitude of empty tables around us and scratch our heads. Eat in an hour and half? Sure! (Only, we didn't get out of there til at least 8:30...oops.)

After a yummy meal, we headed over to the Shout House...yes, the same Shout House as this night out! And...it was a blast!

Just what I needed...fun. Thoughtless fun. And a few too many Red Bull Vodkas. (Why, oh why, did I not just stick with my good ol' standby "Mike" and his yummy lemonade?!)


We pitched in and got our men up on stage...for the Chicken Dance, nonetheless! (Video exists...I may have to confiscate the Mr.'s phone to steal that video!!)


We laughed and sang and danced the night away! Then, we left for the hotel...only to step outside and see a whole slew of limos (taxis?!) waiting...so, L. waved one down, and we got a limo ride back to our hotel!




Needless to say, I wasn't feeling too well the next day. The Mr. did remind me, "I do recall that you said, and I quote 'I'm ready to tear it up tonight!'" Ugh. I do remember saying that.

It was, however, a grand night out!


Monday, February 21, 2011

Real Time...


In real time, here is what I'm doing:

Snuggling with my baby.


Praying for the victims of a large car accident in our small town that we just learned of.

Hoping I can sleep after my hours long nap this afternoon.

Wishing Red Bull Vodkas were never invented.

Cursing this blasted snow...and wondering why it couldn't have come on a day when our kids had school. We'd love a snow day this year!

Welcoming in child #2 to our bed.

Wondering why my mom has to be so stinkin' good at Words with Friends.

Remembering I need to get this week's Date of the Week up.

Saying goodnight to the baby that just left our bed, in search of greener pastures, apparently. (PS...Baby Girl: daddy's pasture is not greener. He doesn't like to play bedtime games. Consider yourself warned!)

Hoping, praying that the heaviness in my heart starts to lift soon.

Thinking I'm going to go grab myself a Benadryl.

And that, is the end of your Real Time Report!

Good night!



Saturday, February 19, 2011

Ordinary and Extraordinary.


At the beginning of last week, the good moments, the good days, were starting to outnumber the bad ones.

Smiles were becoming more frequent than tears...the hurt was still there, the memories still the first thing on my mind when I woke...but healing was happening.

Then, Thursday rolled around...and I received news that a wonderful co-worker had passed away after a sudden illness. In the first hour of hearing that news, I felt numb. Still emotionally exhausted from my grief over losing Verd, I couldn't process the feelings I had about Barb's death.

However, I suddenly found the tears hard to keep away, again. It was as if hearing about Barb's death had ripped the freshly formed scabs on my raw emotions right off.
I went to conferences for Belle and E.W., one with a teacher whose children were in Verd's wife's daycare (and so, very close to them) and the other with a teacher who is a children's grief counselor at a summer camp.

I was weepy through the first conference, and talked mostly about Verd...by the second conference, I was full on crying. Apologizing, finding it difficult to talk, watching my sweet husband, in his own grief, go fetch me kleenex.

Returning home, I discovered my Hambone, quietly crying because he "missed Verd"...and I wondered how much my own tears were rubbing off on my children. So, we shared memories and laughed and talked and remembered how fun Uncle Verd was.

Then, last night, I worked. I wrote a memory to Barb's family in the journal our unit started, I read her obituary, and I cried.

And cried and cried and cried. I'd pull it together, only to have someone ask "How are you doing?", and I'd start all over. My tears for Verd mixed with my tears for Barb. Thank goodness I had my best bud working with me to hug me, to cheer me on, to rally me and make me laugh.

Barb was a Verd. Inspirational, kind, heart of gold. A line in her obituary struck me...it was perfect: "Barb was an ordinary and extraordinary person."

Ordinary...just like you and me.

Extraordinary...went the extra mile, smiled, was so kind and genuine and positive and put herself out there to leave her mark on the world.

Just like Verd.

Ordinary and extraordinary.

Heaven has gained two wonderful souls...and we here on earth, are left with open wounds, broken hearts and fabulous memories.



Friday, February 18, 2011

Five Question Friday! 2/18/11


Well, something sure is goin' on in Minneapolis this weekend...we can't get a reservation anywhere! Guess we'll either be waiting for hours...or hitting up the nearest Sam's Club for samples.

Regardless, tho...it'll be fun! Mr. Wonderful's good buddy from college (and his wife) are joining us. I think the extra couple will be good for us so we don't just sit and brood and fester in our grief...I hoping they'll provide a good distraction!


Well...let's get onto the main event...FIVE QUESTION FRIDAY!

If you've never participated before...WELCOME! And, if you're a weekly regular...WELCOME BACK! I'm glad to have you all!

Rules for Five Question Friday: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky to appear Friday morning! And, most importantly, HAVE FUN!!

Questions for Friday, February 18th: (Special thanks to Rene, Sandy, Tammy, Ciara, andRachel for their question suggestions! If YOU would like to be linked in a future 5QF, head on over to my community and offer up your best question suggestions! Feel free to shout them out on Twitter [I'll link your twitter handle], using hashtag #5QF and @5crookedhalos me!)

1. Have you worn the same outfit more than one day in a row?

2. If you had to choose any LARGE city to live in, which would it be?

3. Fly or drive with the kids on vacation?

4. What is your idea of "spring cleaning"?

5. What is the best book you have ever read?

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1. Have you worn the same outfit more than one day in a row?

Yes. I have.

BUT LET ME EXPLAIN!!

See, often times, I stay in my jammies as long as I can. Which usually means I get dressed shortly before I leave for work, then when I'm at work, I immediately change into scrubs.

So, my clothes have been worn for approximately 1(ish) hour.

Which means I'll don the same grungy outfit the next day when I head to work...for another approximately 1(ish) hour.

And, I'll even, possibly, throw them back on to pick up the kids from school on the third day.

Unless I look at them and recoil from the thought of the hospital germs that are on them...in which case I'll break out something clean.

However...NEVER underwear twice. NUH UH, NO WAY! If I have undies on for 5 minutes, then take them off for whatever reason...I've gotta put new ones on.

Weird. I know.

2. If you had to choose any LARGE city to live in, which would it be?

Well, seeing as I have a fierce need to live close to family...I'd have to choose Minneapolis as my city.

Unless I could move my ENTIRE family (and their families...and their families' families...etc.) with me, then I would probably choose somewhere like Boulder. Or, maybe New York.

But, to be honest...I'm just not a big city girl! I like to see the stars and hear the birds and smell the flowers. I don't think I could ever do a big city!

3. Fly or drive with the kids on vacation?

Well...seeing as how I have a large brood of children. And seeing as how airfare is rather expensive. And seeing as how we survived a road trip to the Black Hills last summer...

I'd say drive.

Plus, there's this itty bitty issue I have with flying and getting somewhat (read: extremely) stressed out and when I get stressed I shut down and would essentially become a worthless parent, which would in turn make my Mr. have to wrangle all 5 kids, a freaked out wife, and himself onto the plane...yeah.

Like I said...driving.

I also realize that by having a large family, we make sacrifices. We have lot's of kids...and I love that more than anything in the entire world. I will not ever lose sleep or worry about the lack of Disney trips or fancy vacations...I get all the fulfillment I need, in my very own home, from the 6 creatures that I choose to share life with.

It just doesn't get any better!

4. What is your idea of "spring cleaning"?

*crickets*

Ah.

Ahem.

What?

Spring cleaning, you ask?

Wellllllll...sometimes I'll clean out my closets in the spring time. But mostly just 'cuz I'm switching out winter clothes to summer clothes.

Gosh. To be honest...I wish I would spring clean. In fact, I think this is the year. Our house is in need of some major *tear* super *cry* de-babying *sob*!

Yes, it's time to get rid of the baby swings, the Jumperoo, the multitude of baby toys and clothes and potty chairs and high chairs. :(

My babies are growing up...I suppose it's time that my home did, too.

Or...maybe we should just have another one...

I KID!!

5. What is the best book you have ever read?

Well...here's the thing. I know I've mentioned it before...but when I read a book, I devour it. I stay up until all hours of the night, sneak a chapter (or 10) here and there throughout the day.

Then, I slap the cover shut, dust my hands of and exclaim, "DANG! That was a great book!!" And I promptly forget all about it.

So, my favorite book...right now at this very moment, is Ree Drummond's (aka "The Pioneer Woman"...duh) "Black Heels to Tractor Wheels". I am totally immersed and engrossed in this book.

It reminds me so much of my romance with my own "cowboy"...I was a somewhat pampered city (town) girl...he was raised on a farm and wore cowboy boots when I first met him. I never imagined life outside of a postage stamp yard...and here I sit, out in the country, hopeful for more acreage someday.

It's also the reason I love "Hope Floats"...same "connection" of sorts.

Dang. I love my husband.

Excuse me please...I need to go sit on his lap and hug him.



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