Wednesday, September 17, 2014

snap and pops under the toilet seat.

i scribbled this out last night because i just needed to heave it off my chest. it helped a little. if you need to read something cheerier, try mary ellen's or joel's writing. genetically, joel got all the sunshine and i got all the vinegar. 

yep, that happened. tim has actually done it to me before and was successful in scaring me, but this time, i think it was ben. tonight max spotted some leftover snap and pops and after a long day, i said, sure, let's go outside and be distracted for a while. ben really wanted to scare tim when he got home, so he was devising all sorts of methods, one including a catapult. (that boy is like his godfather in so many ways, it's a little frightening.) he settled for the under the door mat suggestion that i offered, but unfortunately, max kept forgetting about them. he went in and out of the house three times, setting them off. his reaction was great each time- not scared but frustrated, but just funny frustrated and not melt down frustrated, which is a small miracle. when tim did come home, they failed to go off, even after several times of me getting him to walk in and out of the house. because i grew up with brothers, not much of life with all guys phases me. but this was definitely one of those moments were i had to roll my eyes.

that little snippet was my way of blowing off steam because life has really been kicking my butt. like, i've tried to put it in words, but the words are worrisome to read and the kind of hard that's impossible to capture in words. life has no good reason to be this hard right now. no one is dying. we have a home, food, safety. but it is. and no matter how much i tell myself it shouldn't be, it is. the level of stress that makes my chest tight and makes me feel like i need to throw up and you joke about so you don't cry, but then sometimes you cry too. i'm an obnoxious over-analyzer. i want to get stuff done, but i feel like i'm trapped in a sloth's body. i'm constantly overwhelmed by my boys. i want time for me, me, me, but know that i need more sleep, but then get lost online until late. or when i do go to bed early, i get woken up by my weirdo kids. this morning at 3:30, it was ben, in our bed (what?! when did he come in) telling me that his fingers felt weird like they were becoming too skinny. because he had been sick with a bad headache and fever, i spent the next 30 minutes worried that he had meningitis. i think it was just his fever breaking. then max came in at 4:30 and ben again at 6. we moved john paul into his own room last week, so although he has been sleeping great, i keep waking up at 5 am- his darling wake up hour when he was in our room, and worrying that he must be dead because he didn't wake up all night, or that he woke up and screamed and screamed and i didn't wake up even though i have a baby monitor right next to me but maybe the frequency got switched and now our bond of trust and protection is forever ruined and and and the crazy rolls on.

i'm beating myself up because we should have moved him a loooonnnnnnnnnnggggggg time ago because he is sleeping GREAT and i could have been sleeping too. i'm beating myself up because ben is sick. beating myself up because the boys have been eating too much toxic gluten. because i'm pretty sure ben is really behind on his math facts and will obviously be a failure at life and i should have made him do flash cards this summer. and he's having a really hard time concentrating, again, i'm sure gluten/food dye/something else that he wants to put in his mouth and i don't want him to and why can't we just live off of air?!

school has been really hard. i spend the hours from wake up until getting john paul down for a nap chasing him, lifting him off the table, taking away markers max left out, all the while fantasizing about a nap. then i get him down and realize that i NEED to catch up on the house. sometimes i do, but just as often i check fb for just one thing and then loose an hour into the black hole of the internet. then i scramble to pick up, or feeling totally frustrated with the mess AND exhausted, crawl into bed for a nap only to have him wake up. repeat chasing. pick up boys from school and feel the crushing exhaustion and the crushing stress of homework, dinner, john paul shrieking because he doesn't want another nap but needs one.

max and ben are sooooooooooooooooooooooooooo SOOOOOOOOOOOO different. max wants to get his homeword done. gets it done quickly. is annoyed with me for getting distracted by the shrieking and not reading the next problem to him right away. ben is sooooooooooooo distracted and i have to battle to keep him on track. can't we just not eat. or not do homework. or not have the shrieking. ben's solution one day: "i'll just not do my simple solutions (workbooks) and walk my recesses every day. i'm fine with that." sometimes i thank God that he is so laid back to absorb all the things i screw up on as my oldest (math facts!!!!!!!!) and sometimes i just need him to care a little more. and max, thank goodness he is the funny little old man that he is who wears his pants up too high and reminds me that he only has one clean uniform shirt left and is soooo diligent about making sure i sign his behavior sheet right away, but give me a break a little bit. ben went months without wearing a belt in kindergarten because he realized his sweatshirt covered it and no one noticed. max asks me if his shirt needs to be tucked in and if he has to wear a belt with his BLUE jeans. "they have to be blue. not any other color of pants for spirit day." i hope that max's rule following will come in handy in high school and beyond to keep ben out of jail, but right now, i am just so overwhelmed.

i'm thankful for tim's hard work and am so thankful that he has a job that he likes, but i just soo wish he could be home for dinner because ben eats like a fasting tortoise and john paul prefers to eat standing in his high chair and even though he's the scrawniest little guy, he hardly wants to eat either and charmingly uses his "all done" sign long before he should be all done.

i make myself crazy because i say, "no more babies because they make me crazy and i can't handle these guys" but then i have a quite moment with one of them, just the two of us, and i think, "how could we not have more of these wonderful creatures". i try to pray through my days, and i know that my prayers and offerings MUST do some good, but our world just seems like such a bad and broken place in so many ways and i worry about what the future holds. this is all pretty much exactly how i was feeling last september and then i was a very hard winter. because winter: little sunshine, cold, wind, cold, little sunshine.

and then there's our house. oh the house. have i maybe fantasized about my own tiny house where only i get to live? yes.

i feel like we need housekeeper/nanny/cook or maybe just another adult in our household to keep things afloat. sister wife, maybe? there's just too much to research,

the boys and i have been reading a wonderful book about pope pius X. one of the last chapters talks about how he predicted WWI and about how he died of a broken heart, knowing all the suffering that would take place. and talks about the prophesies of malachi. then i read this yesterday,

 "”We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think the wide circle of the American Society , or the wide circle of the Christian Community realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the Gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. This confrontation lies with the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously … We must prepare ourselves to suffer great trials before long, such as will demand of us a disposition to give up even life, and a total dedication to Christ and for Christ. With your and my prayers, it is possible to mitigate the coming tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because only thus can the Church be effectually renewed. How many times has the renewal of the Church sprung from the shedding of blood? This time, too, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong and prepared and trust in Christ and in his Holy Mother and be very, very assiduous in praying the holy rosary.” -St. John Paul II (+ 2005)  

i just feel like ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.  i really just feel like i'm going crazy more days than i feel like i'm on top of things. the other night, i knew it had been a long day when i found not one, but two rosaries stuffed in my pockets. i think i kept thinking that if i at least had these sacramentals on me, it had to help. i need to start saying a morning offering every morning. i have one taped on our napkin box that sits on the table, but it's covered in worksheets destined for the recycle bin. oh the, maybe say a prayer for me? and for those darn math facts and that ben gets to feeling better? but mostly, let's pray for our world.

Mary, Queen of Peace, Pray for us.

edited: last night a friend sent me this link. i didn't read it before my rant. maybe i should of. or maybe it was good to get it all out, but now i can keep reminding myself, "begin again". 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

potato salad and blogging

tonight, in preparation for our big family 4th party tomorrow, i made a huge potato salad. i've never made one before-it seemed intimidating. so many different kinds/styles to choose from. and they always seemed like a lot of work. as i made it, i felt that, "well now i'm definitely a grown up" feeling that i feel sometimes about the oddest things. i think maybe i've talked about that before. well, it was a lot of work, although it also made a LOT of food, which is good for our big family.

as i worked in the kitchen with some great music going, i thought of several things i wanted to write about. and then it hit me- it has been so long since i've written, i've almost completely stopped writing blog posts in my head or developing ideas as i go about my days. the few that i have, i usually joke about with a friend, and i suppose that is enough of a release to let the idea go. i used to think of ideas all the time, scribbling them on scraps of paper or on the chalkboard wall. when i cleaned off my "desk" several months ago, i found a whole pile of ideas. i think i even started using a notebook one time. i read several really great short stories that a friend had written, and was really motivated to write, but then i think johnny got a tooth/stopped sleeping or some other life happens thing. writing is a lot of work and i am slow at it. i have also thought about pulling drafts out of the archives and just posting them as is with maybe a little back story or quick summation. i don't know.

but tonight, i wanted to write. the potato salad tucked in the fridge, i turned off the music, split a cheap, watery, delicious beer with tim and sat down. the bugs and the pops out the window on this unusually cool july night are too good not to enjoy just a little bit. instead of checking facebook first like i always do, and getting distracted and never making it over here, i ignored those 6 notifications and messages. i just came hear and typed, without thinking too much about it. then i went and stole the other half of the beer from tim.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

all together now

because of timmy's work schedule, we rarely get to eat dinner together, except for his days off. man i miss him at dinner. i always took that major luxury for granted because growing up, we always ate dinner together as a family, and with tim's first couple jobs, or at least by the time we'd had ben, he was always home for dinner. and my boys eat sooooooooo dang slooooooooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. like, i can nurse the baby, feed the baby non milk food, eat my own dinner, and clean up the kitchen, and they're still not done eating. there is a lot of coaching/reminding to eat your dinner. i usually try to stay at the table with them, because if i get up, they get up.

but tonight we were all together. john paul was in a good mood in his high chair, happily gobbling bites of avocado and smiling at the silliness of his family. i mostly sat back and watched it all.

the boys were telling jokes. oh, the joke telling. i think this a normal stage of kid development, but they're very much in the phase of telling jokes that rarely make sense and then laughing hysterically at each other (or themselves), only reinforcing their poor joke telling.

tim has this amusing-because-it's-so-bad habit of making up jokes that he formulates out loud, making the punchline either really obvious because you've heard the whole thought process or totally mind boggling that that's the punchline after all the puzzling and confusion. tonight it was, as i said, after much formulation, "what do you call a sleepy man who has eaten a spicy steak?....... a flamin' yawn." but to get to that punchline.... oh how i love that man. he also has a real gem about a "meanderin' orange".

this "joke" set max off on a whole series of joke/riddles. "what do you call a clock that doesn't tick?" ben figured him out from the start, " a tickless clock". "a barkless dog". "a bounceless ball". to which each time, max marveled, "man ben, you are so smart." with tim present to exchange amused looks, what would normally be kind of annoying after the 5th "joke" is endearing and cute.

tim then offered, "what do you call a girl turtle?........... shelly. " ben countered, "what do you call a female triceratops?................ HORNY!" tim and i both laughed heartily. then he said, "or hornTy if you want."

laughing at kids jokes is a dangerous thing. i often genuinely laugh at the completely nonsensical ones because they catch me off guard, but then that makes them think they make sense and they follow the same miscalculated joke equation over and over again, wondering why they are no longer garnering laughs.

i love my guys. i love them all so much easier when we are all together.

yah, i know this is pretty choppy, but you get what you get and.... i'm tryin'.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

on writing

tonight, i originally started a post titled, "THAT kind of mood". i kept writing and erasing. this paragraph is as far as i got.

today was rough. i still feel, some days, like, "oh yah! *this* is what life with a baby was like." but not all days are this hard. i try to remind myself this. i try to offer my frustrations and annoyances up for people who are struggling with much bigger, heavier things. i keep my guardian angel busy finishing Hail Marys because i often get distracted after the first couple words or am too tired to finish them. i often fail. exhaustion colors my world dark very quickly.

i want to write here. i like to tell stories. i like to make people laugh. and sometimes it's a good outlet for my frustrations. or to hash out the rolling arounds of my brain. but man. to find that sweet spot of time and energy. so elusive. and like i said in that attempted post, exhaustion colors my world dark very quickly, so i'm trying to ween myself of computer late nights.

i always feel a little bit of relief when i find a blog that just drops off into time and no where. a few that i follow(ed) have closed up shop, even letting go of sponsors, because they needed to direct their energy elsewhere.

so i ask, when do you write? all at once, or in bits and pieces?

Monday, November 11, 2013

asian lady beetle maze

i need to dust off these cob webs. i feel stagnant and uncreative and as much as i keep telling myself, "instead of spending time on the computer, i should work on projects in the evening" but then i waste two hours TWO HOURS on the computer with nothing creative to show for it and a heart full of envy. blah.

tonight, as i tried to settle johnny (yes, we call him johnny. but when he's being manly or professional, we call him john p. peppercorn among many other ridiculous things) in for the seventh time, i laid down in our bed to nurse him. with the glow of the night light behind me, i started to make shadow puppets on the wall and ceiling to entertain myself, as i often do. you'd think i'd be good at shadow puppets by now, but i'm not.

then i noticed an asian lady beetle on the ceiling, trying to navigate the maze that is popcorn ceiling texture. this too amused me. after a lot of slow travel, it seemed to say, "eff this!" and flew to the wall.

the other day, when the sun was gloriously shining, i put a blanket down for the babe and i to rest on. max walked around doing max things, stopping every few minutes to ask if something was on his back. the south side of our house/our sunning spot was covered in the beetles, which max named "bare lady bugs". but until he explained his reasoning for the name, i thought "bear" lady bugs. that max, he says interesting things.

so, as you can see, my life is wild and crazy these days.

insert pictures of shadow puppets and happy sunny things.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

johnny all clean

i don't want to spend forever perfecting this post, i just want to get my thoughts down so i don't forget a very good night.

last saturday evening, my little john paul was finally baptized!!! it drove me crazy to wait so long to get him all cleaned up, but it was nice to get to celebrate with our family in a way that we wouldn't have if we had done it sooner. because...

on satuday night, we also had a surprise anniversary party for my parents. we had the gathering at st. anthony's in garden plain, and began the evening with the regularly scheduled evening mass. the pastor, fr. sam pinkerton, an old friend of our family, let my cousin, fr. chad, who was there to do a special blessing for my parents afterwards and also to baptize my bug, read the gospel and preached the homily.

let me set the scene: st. anthony's is a beautiful, traditional style church with elaborate stained glass, statues, stations of the cross, painting embellishments-beautiful and lots to look at. we sat in the row with tim's parents and the boys were down by them, too far from me to feel like i needed to watch. when i glanced down at them, they were snuggled up to grandma or gazing around at all the new sights of the church. (our church is pretty plain.) tim was next to me and snuggling john paul and soaking up all the baby goodness he could from our sleeping boy. when i looked around the church, i could see family and dear family friends mixed in with the regular congregation, there to celebrate my parents. so much beauty. my heart was full.

and then fr. chad read the gospel-Christ gives us the Our Father, and had a homily that i felt couldn't possibly have been a better fit for the day of john paul's baptism. it was such a gift to hear fr. preach. i've heard him give talks and say daily mass, but i can't remember any other time i've had the pleasure of hearing him preach, and let me say, the man can preach. (i'm not biased one bit.) nothing he said was anything we hadn't heard before, in fact, he talked about pretty simple concepts: trust, prayer as a conversation with God, perseverance, but in that setting, with those people, and the way he preached it, i was so filled.

in the Our Father, i struggle with the "give us this day our daily bread" part. can't i pray, "yearly bread" or "lifetime bread"? trusting in God providence each day is simple and difficult. i know He loves us and watches over us, but i like things to be easy and just want a smooth path laid out for me.

trust in God's plan for us. he talked about his mother's hobby of cross-stitch. each stitch is planned and precise. as a kid, laying on the floor playing or watching tv, he would look up at his mom working on a project, and from underneath, the project was a mess of threads. from her perspective, looking down at her work, it was making a beautiful tapestry. so many times in the last several years, our life seemed like a big mess but i desperately hoped God had a bigger picture he was working on.

perseverance. we have to keep taking our prayers to God, knowing that he always hears them, but as a good parent, answers them in his time and not always in the way we want.

the last several years, as tim started his new career and we struggled in so, so many many, my nightly prayer with the boys, among other intentions, was, "for wisdom for mommy and daddy to make good decisions for our family". was this the right job for tim and our family? were we making the right financial decisions? when should we try to add another child to our family? every night i prayed and for so long, it seemed like we weren't getting anywhere. but slowly, the boys got a little easier, tim's schedule became more manageable, we felt like we were making progress, and all of a sudden, we were both on the same page about another baby.

and we were blessed with one.

then more trusting. i have never considered myself a worrier, but with this pregnancy, it seemed like more than any other time in my life, i realized just how very NOT in control we are of our lives no matter how much we try to be in control. regardless of all of my best efforts, i couldn't guarantee a healthy baby or healthy me. for those first three months, on one side of my chalk board wall in the kitchen i had written "all will be well" and on the other side, "every little thing is going to be okay".

for the last year, on and off, i had been reading sheldon vanauken's A Severe Mercy. i never read books in starts and stops, but for some reason, with that book, even though i really liked it, i would read it for a bit, and it would really speak to me, then i would put it down for a while. i don't want to ruin the book because it's a good one and if you haven't read it, you should, but right when i was first pregnant, i got to a part where a character was contemplating mortality and realizing that with Heaven as our goal and hopeful destination, no matter what happens on earth, "all will be most well." so i repeated that to myself often.

with obama's re-election and so much uncertainty is our country and world, i often thought about what the future will look like for our children. i tried to reassure myself with Blessed John Paul II's simple words, "Be not afraid." so much we can't control. so much we really just have to turn over to God.

so on the night that my little one was to begin his sacramental life in the Church, it was so beautiful that fr. spoke of the things that i, whether i wanted to or not, had to work on during my pregnancy and will always have to work on.

after mass, we surprised my parents and oh were they surprised. they've always said that they didn't want a party and several (or most) of us kids didn't think it was a good idea, but i'm so thankful one dear, bold, sibling pushed on. the slide show one brother prepared and the toast that another one gave really made us all stop and think about the accomplishments of their 45 years together in a way that we wouldn't have other wise with all the busyness of our own lives and little families. to celebrate them and their perseverance. their trust. and all the fruit that it brought forth. eight children. seven marriages. 26 grandchildren on earth and more in heaven. that's a lot to celebrate.

i told tim at the end of the night that i wish i could have had a pause button to stop it all and soak up every last bit of all of the wonderfulness. but life keeps thundering on. so as the last scent of chrism wore off johnny's head today, i wanted to pause here and try, in a very, very small way to capture the beauty of his and our family's night.

Monday, July 22, 2013

a night in the life of tim and mary

i was going to just write this in my journal, because these are the things i don't want to forget, but decided to write it here in case it amused anyone else.

tonight i was outside watching the gorgeous lightening storm after sunset when tim pulled into the driveway. he walked over to me and after chatting a bit, he told me how much i had scared him when he pulled up.

t: "i was rockin' out to my music, pull up, watching the lightening, and then i see you with your back turned to me. i was terrified you were going to [tim imitates a zombie slowly turning around and staggering towards his car]."

m: "thanks for not shooting me in the head."

t: "oh man, mare. don't become a zombie. i'd hate to have to shoot you. actually, as scary as you are in real life, it probably wouldn't be so hard. you'd be terrifying!"

oddly, i took that as a compliment, but still had to pinch him.

tim's really good at doing voices, so he then made me laugh hysterically as he narrated the storm in a voice that would be inappropriate for me to try to describe.

and now, while i'm writing, he's scanning netflix for a movie to watch. one of his suggested categories, based on his past viewings, is "dark suspenseful foreign revenge movies". we rarely watch movies together.