Category Archives: Ramblings

My Week Without Makeup

We had a fun little challenge over at Burlington Vermont Moms Blog to do a week without makeup. I thought it would be uneventful and no big deal. I learned a thing or two about myself.

What I Wanted To Do…

What I wanted to do today was post pictures of our Living Room before and after. What I’m actually doing is nursing a sick kid. He moans. It’s the man cold in boy form. And it ain’t pretty.

What I wanted to do today was show you how pretty my Living Room is. What I’m actually doing is hoping this set up…

Thaws the pipes to our upstairs radiators that are frozen. No heat in Vermont in January is fun.

What I wanted to do today was show you this rug:

But I can’t because last night entailed an epic pillow fight and some certain children didn’t clean up after themselves. What I’m actually doing is reading Duct Tape Parenting and realizing my kids need more training. I realize this because I am constantly cleaning up after them and quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

I’m the mom, not the maid.

I’ve let things slip, taken over too much control. Not expected everyone to do their share around here. So I’m leaving the messes they create. I spent my weekend ignoring scenes like this:

Biting my tongue so hard I may puncture it. I’ve asked once. And that’s all I’m asking. Which is why my dining room looks like this:

And why my evening last night looked like this:

That’s me hiding in my bedroom drinking a glass of wine while the children destroy the house.

So far the messes don’t last long. It takes them a day to realize I’m no longer coming behind them to clean up. Now it’s Monday and I can’t touch any of this. Nope. Not even this delightful collection at the bottom of the stairs:

If you need me, I’ll be rocking in the corner, thinking about all the things I wanted to do today.

PS: this book I’m reading is so great! It’s like taking Love and Logic parenting up a notch and adding some great twists. I’ll be telling you more about it soon! Just, obviously, not today.

Kids TV Shows…Am I A Hypocrite?

My boys’ new favorite show is Survivorman on the Discovery channel.

We are generally pretty picky about what we let our boys watch. We don’t watch Spongebob. We don’t watch those dumb teenager comedies. I just don’t feel like my young boys need to get caught up in shows about boyfriends and girlfriends and all that drama. I also don’t want them thinking that is how life and relationships actually work. When they are a little bit older and able to distinguish between real life and drama meant for tv, then we’ll revisit that genre of shows.

Or not.

As for Spongebob and the like…

Just. No.

But then I stopped and wondered if letting them watch Suriviorman where I knew there might be a swear word thrown in here and there made me a hypocrite?  I thought about it and decided that no, it would not! Or maybe it does and I just don’t care. You want to know why? I’m glad you asked!

Because I would rather my kids be the kind of people who say OH SH*T when something scary or startling happens than to be the kind of people who call others stupid and idiots when they don’t agree with them or think they have made a mistake in some way. I would rather them learn about surviving in a dessert and eating snake brains than watching two diva disney stars kiss while the audience ooooohhhhs. Does that make me crazy? Maybe.

Don’t worry though, if you let your kids watch those other kinds of shows, I will not judge you. I might think “Oh sh*t you let your kids watch what?!” But I will never call you can idiot.

That would just be mean.

Why I Over-Share

Today I share about why I over-share over on Burlington Vermont Moms Blog. I like sharing. Sharing is caring. Mostly.

Why I Over-Share

Let me know where I can follow you and see all of your over-sharing!

A Silent, Lonely Journey

There are so many things I want to tell you but I can’t. Sometimes military life is a silent, painful road. There are secrets to be kept. Security is first, and keeping things to myself is not my biggest strength. But, alas, I must. So that is why I am being quiet. I have recipes to share and funny things to tell you about and many, many house pictures to update you on but it will all have to wait. We are counting down to a deployment. It is taking up most of my time and my brain space. I am still fulfilling my responsibilities that I have for writing for other blogs like Goodwill and BVTMomsBlog. But otherwise it will be quiet around here until after the holidays.

We appreciate your prayers while our family goes through this difficult, but rewarding journey.

OK, one funny conversation that happened between the boys before I go…

Charlie: If you put the dog in the oven, he would be a hot dog!

Chase: No, actually, he would be a dead dog.

Hope you are all having a wonderful Holiday Season!

Vacation With A Capital V

We’re going on vacation! Thanks to the very generous people of Ohana Camp we are staying for an all expense paid stay in a cabin for the week along with many other military families.

We didn’t get everything done on our list for the house but we are all pretty exhausted and ready for a break so we’re going anyway! Hopefully the contractors will be getting some work done while we are gone.

From what I hear there is no cell service, no Internet, no TVs. Nothing. And we are pretty excited about it!

So until next week, I’ll be enjoying some peace and quiet. Well, except for the three boys that will be with us.

There are a few things on my list of things to do while we are gone:

-Paint my toe nails
-Pluck my eyebrows
-Read a book
-Catch up on hugging my kids

Not a bad list, is it?!

Someone Is Living In My House

Someone is living in my house.

And it’s not me!

(Turn your volume up!)

And then I found this. It’s too bad we are going to have to sell this house before we get to live in it.

I would have rather it been squirrels.
PS – Don’t the floors look great?!

Breathing It In

I’m taking a nap with my sick little guy. I’m trying to breathe in this moment. 

The window is open. The birds are singing. There is a slight breeze rustling the trees. He breathes deeply. In and out. In and out. A slight snore catches his breath every now and then. 

He smells like home. Even though we do not have a place to call our own, this is home to me. Where I can be next to my loves. I breathe in his scent deep into my memory. 

“Remember this moment,” the birds sing to me. “Remember it always.”

*I took this picture using Instagram a while back and I wanted to share what I wrote here and expand on it a bit. Mostly because I know this is a safe place to keep my thoughts. And also because I thought some of you might relate.

The Other Side Of Judgment

Living in a hotel has a taught me a lot about myself. 

Example? I need a maid and an indoor pool. 
Mostly though, it is teaching me about judgment. It’s teaching me about judging a book by it’s cover. It’s teaching me that things are not always how they appear on the outside. It’s teaching me that first impressions should not determine what you think about someone.
You get the picture.
One day last week I was doing laundry here at the hotel. I was lugging baskets up and down the hall. I will admit, I was wearing sweat pants and flip flops and my hair was, well, rough. These are the things you normally do in the privacy of your own home. Schlep around laundry whilst looking like a bag woman. I, however, do not have that luxury. I decided I would not get dressed up and put on make up to do laundry. Who cares if some random stranger sees me this way in the hallway, anyway? Not me!
So I thought.
On one of my less than glamorous trips down the hall I passed a group of moms who were bringing their kids in for swimming lessons which they hold at the hotel pool. These moms were not in sweat pants and flip flops. Their hair looked quite lovely.
I felt so small. 
They looked at me with such harsh and sad judgement in their eyes.
“Look at that poor single mom lugging her laundry down the hall. Poor thing lives in a hotel with her three kids! What a tragedy. Get off food stamps and get a job, lazy. And fix your hair for crying out loud.”
This is what I imagined they were thinking. This is what their stares were saying to me.
They could be perfectly nice women, I don’t know what they were thinking. But I wanted to tell them so badly, “I have a husband! I have nice things! I don’t live here! I’m buying a house! My hair can be fixed, let me show you!”
Then on one of my trips to the laundry room that day, (yes, there were several) I met someone.
She was a single mom with two boys and she lived in the hotel. She explained that she was trying desperately to find a place to live since she left her husband. But everything was too expensive in this area for her to afford on her own. She didn’t want her kids to have to switch schools though so she was just staying here until school was over. She was doing the best she could while putting her kids first. We laughed over the things we do to save money while paying for laundry. Making our kids wear their pants three times at least. Using lots of febreeze. She was just like me.
I felt so small. 
You see, when she first walked in the room, I had thoughts in my head very similar to what I imagined those other women were thinking about me.
“Wow, how tragic, this single mom lives in this hotel. Does she have a job? What’s up with her?”
This is what I like to call a Holy Smackdown.
I judged her. Thirty seconds after having felt judged myself. I judged her. The women who I felt judged by had no idea about me, about my life, about what was going on behind the scenes. And when I saw this woman in the laundry room, I didn’t know either. Yet. I judged.
It reminded me of a blog post I read by one of my favorites, Mama’s Losing It, called But For The Grace Of God Go I. There are not many steps between the woman in the laundry room and myself. How dare I think myself better than her? But for the grace of God? I could be in her place. That could be my story.
So in closing, friends, I would encourage you to NOT judge a book by it’s cover. The next time you see a woman looking rough and appearing worn down, don’t assume the worst of her. She could be a perfectly nice blogging lady going through a hard time. She could be a very tired single mom doing her best to do right by her kids. 
She could be me. 
She could be you.

Living In A Hotel

I thought I’d give a quick update on the house situation. We’re still waiting. How’s that for an update?

Things are moving forward but nothing is set in stone yet.

For now we are living in this hotel. It’s…interesting. It’s not the fanciest hotel in town but it’s clean and it’s relatively convenient to where we go to work and school.

There is one bedroom. The kids sleep on air mattresses in the living room now. The pull out couch gave them back aches. You know if a seven year old has a back ache, the bed must be bad.

So what life looks like is the kids go to bed at 8 pm and then we sit in our bedroom and watch tv or whatever. Then Matt goes to bed around 9ish and I try to watch tv or something but he snores so loud that I give up and just go to bed too.

Needless to say, we are all tired. We are getting much less sleep than we normally get. The kids wake up if we so much as sneeze or get up to use the bathroom. Basically, if one person wakes up, we all do. It’s not pretty. But we’re trying. We’re making it work.

I’m just thankful there is a full(ish) kitchen. I brought my own dishes and pots and pans. (And blankets. And pillows.) OCD clean freak? Yes, please.

We are doing plenty of swimming to make up for the rest.

We are hoping to close on the house in the middle of June. So, just a few more weeks of this. I can do that, right?

Sure I can!

Pass the wine and the snorkel.