Thursday, July 29, 2010

Sitting on my backside. And loving every minute.

Have you ever had one of those mornings when you just can't be bothered to do anything at all?  And I mean anything?  Even when there is sooo much to do?

I had one of those today.  It was pouring with rain outside, thundering and lightning at 6am, my usual time to take the puppy out for her first tinkle of the morning.  Well she wanted no part of going outside - and neither did I.  But rather than cleaning up a puddle inside the house, I opened the umbrella, braved the storm and picked her up under my arm and made for the back yard.  Thankfully she promptly did her business and we raced back inside. 

I looked around the house.  At the piles of unfolded and creased laundry, knowing that it all needed to be put away.  But it had been sitting there already for two days, so what is another couple of hours?  I looked at the full dishwasher, ready to be emptied, but intead of tackling all of the dishes I grabbed my favorite mug and made my morning cup of tea.  I looked at the stack of papers that needed to be dealt with and the mess on the dining room table and sighed.  And then I grabbed my book.  And sat on the couch on my backside with my mug of Yorkshire Gold and agave and lost myself in the last 100 pages of my current novel.

Hubby DJ came out and wondered what on earth I was doing.  Usually when he appears for breakfast before hurrying off to the office for the next 11 hours, I'm busy in the kitchen preparing for the day.  Doing all those jobs that I'm supposed to do every morning.  But not this morning.  I know I'll pay for it later in the day when I have to play catch up with three boys at my heels.  But well, this morning, I don't seem to care.

And I enjoyed every minute of it. 

Maybe we busy moms should do that more often.  Just sit and enjoy our own company before the day begins with the normal chaos.  Goodness knows the dishes and laundry will always be there.  But a quiet moment?  That is something to be treasured.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A fan club for this Muffin Top Marathon Mom

This year I hope to cross a big item off my life's to do list. Run a marathon.  Or perhaps I should say, complete a marathon.  Having never been athletic, this is one heck of a big goal.  But following my very first official race - a half marathon - that I completed in April, I figured I might as well try.  I'm not a fast runner by any means, just slow and steady.  And committed to my goal.  There are many days when I do not want to run, but there are many more when I really look forward to running.  It's my escape from my chaotic home.

I like to run at my local park, appropriately named the Field of Dreams. It's usually an early morning run for me, before the summer heat moves in for the day.  I'd often see three bunnies, always in the same spot on the track.  I'd wish them a good morning as they scampered away and I'd continue on with a smile on my face.  My eldest son Corbin would always ask if I'd seen the bunnies, and they soon came to be the founding members of my Fan Club.

Yep, I have a running Fan Club.  And I'm continuously adding members as I encounter them on my runs.  Though they may not know it yet - or ever.  Along with the three bunnies, I have a doe and her two fawns, a wild turkey, four ground hogs, 17 horses - including the HUGE one that came out of the bushes with a rider attached that scared the daylights out of me.  There are some humans in there as well - the two ladies that walk seven dogs between them every morning, the guy flying his remote control plane who likes to give the "thumbs up" as I pass by, and even a nun in her habit saying the rosary.  I did a double take on her, thinking I'd been in the heat too long, but when I saw her the next day again, I figured she was really there.  And of course there's my mobile fan club - our mini van with hubby, three boys and puppy following me from time to time on the road bringing me Gatorade and offering the occasional air conditioned ride home.  

(There is also a four foot long black rat snake, but I'm not sure if I want that on the club's roster.)

As a mom of three young boys, I have a lot of noise in my home.  Noise that never seems to cease.  Ever.  Running has become my escape.  And it gives me some time to think.  Even if Eminem or Katy Perry or Will Smith are blaring away in my headphones, I still think.  It dawned on me one day that running a marathon is very much like being a mother - a journey of exhilaration, pain, emotion, fatigue, distress, happiness, solitude and togetherness.  And I've decided to write a book about this - the marathon of motherhood.  I'll be trying out some chapters from time to time in my blog and would love some input.  And I would also love to grow my fan club!   Add some people that I know and don't know. 

So please join the fan club for this muffin top marathon mom!  Follow and/or subscribe to my blog.  If you have a fan club or would like to start one, let me know and I'll be happy to join yours!  We can all use fans - support and encouragement can get us through the rough times and make the good ones even better.

Thanks, fans!  Welcome to the club!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Poop happens. Especially in my house.

Yep, poop happens. 
Life is full of poop. 

As any parent knows, there is a lot of poop when your loved ones are little. Constant diaper changes from the moment your babe is born till he or she is potty trained.  Then it is accident clean up time. And then if you have another child, it starts all over again.

Puppy Fendi is potty training, and well, she's a dog, so there is always something to be picked up in a bag - either inside or outside the house.  Thank goodness, mostly outside these days.

Plus she loves to eat deer poop.  And there is no shortage of that in our back yard.  Same with bear poop.

Iain is potty training too, and seems to forget that his bathing suit is not a diaper.  He insists on going without swim diapers, so you can only imagine what happens when, well, you know.

And now, unexpectedly, we have a cat.  And gosh darn it, she has to poop too!   And guess who has to clean out the little box?  Yeah, you guessed it.  Me.

And then there are my two big boys, who sometimes - well, more than sometimes - forget to flush.

So, after I'd just cleaned out the litter box, wiped up the mess on the bathroom floor from a rather full bathing suit for the third time in three days and was bending over in the grass with doggy baggy in hand,  I let go and screamed.  MY LIFE IS POOP!!

Ahh, that feels better.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

In search of a great blog

I’m taking the night off. Well, not really “off,” but let’s just say I’m not doing the dishes, bathing the kids or putting them to bed. I’m sitting in my local Panera Bread, with a steaming cup of hazelnut coffee at my side, laptop open, contemplating my life.  (I think I may need a martini instead.)

I’ve been trying so hard to get to my blog this summer. I have these great expectations of myself – churning out brilliant essay after brilliant essay. I have visions of myself sitting by the pool while my kids happily swim, puppy at my feet, me writing words of wisdom to set the world straight and getting book deal after book deal.

Yeah, well, as they say, sh*t happens.

Three boys in the pool on their blowup pirate ship “The Black Dog” makes for constant screams of “It’s my turn!”, “Corbin pushed me off!”, “Mom, Collin kicked me,” and Iain’s well timed cries of “Mommy I have to go potty!” Only said of course, when he is soaking wet. Plus Iain is now, dear Lord, able to swim without his bubble, which means I can not take my eyes off him for a second. Most of the time I have to be in the pool with him. Oh, and the puppy at my feet? She is usually eating goggles, socks, towels or shoes. Which means I have to play her favorite game of “chase me as fast as you can because I refuse to drop my new favorite toy.”

Yes, all of this makes for perfect, quiet, blogging bliss.

So tonight I’m at the coffee shop for a couple of hours trying to put together a writing plan for the next few months. I’m hoping to get myself into a routine of blogging three to four times a week, perhaps following themes for certain days. I have a lot in my head to sort out.

My question to you is this – what draws you to a blog? What makes you stay and read and "follow"? I only have a handful of “followers” but I know it gets read a lot more than that based on emails I get. So step one – figure out what makes a successful blog. Which is just what I want. Any suggestions?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Coke Bottle Glasses

Remember that line from your childhood days?  There was always some poor kid with really thick glasses at school who was picked on and teased by kids with good vision. 

I just Googled "coke bottle glasses" and found links to "nerd costumes" and "bookworms." 

Well, I'm a mom to such a "nerd" and "bookworm."  A kid with coke bottle glasses.  When Corbin was 3 he was diagnosed with cataracts in both eyes, uveitis and juvenile idiopathic arthritis.  He now also has glaucoma.  Two separate surgeries removed the lenses from his eyes which resulted in his need for glasses.  Really really thick glasses.

I was terrified when he first went to school, even crying in the principal's office as I voiced my worries about bullying.  But the bullies never appeared - at least not because of the glasses.  But that's another essay.

Over the last 6 years, I've gotten used to the thick glasses that distort his eyes.  The glasses are so heavy that he seems to squint a lot to keep them up on his nose.   He has to hold his head at an angle to watch TV.  He can't wear sunglasses because they don't make them in his strong perscription. 

One thing I really miss is looking into those eyes - I mean really looking into them.  His irises have holes in them from his surgeries, and one is a funny shade of green while the other is blue.  Since he can't see more than a few inches without them, I very rarely see him without those glasses.  Except when he sleeps.  And then his eyes are closed so I still can't look into them. 

They say the eyes are the window to the soul.  Well, I really want to see my son's soul.

Things may change tomorrow - he's going for his monthly check up and Remicade treatment.  And there will be a pair of contacts waiting for him in the neuro-ophthalmologist's office.  He wore contacts for a little while after his first surgery, but they irritated him too much.  Now that he's older, we are trying again.

He'll look like a different boy tomorrow when he comes home from the hospital.  Plus he just got his haircut, so it's like he's having a makeover (just what every 9 year old boy wants!)  Who knows if the contacts will work - he may hate the feel of them.  Maybe he won't be able to see well enough with them.  I don't know.  But I do know that perhaps, even just for a short time, I'll be able to really  look into my son's eyes.  And perhaps see his soul. 

And I hope he'll look back and see mine.