Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ol Buppa

      Just over four months ago, my husbands father passed from this life to eternal glory, leaving behind only the memories for us to treasure. 
      He was a quite a guy,  intimidating to some, but not so to those grandchildren of his who saw beneath that tough trucker and Harley dude exterior to the softie hidden underneath.  When we would travel there, or they here for a visit, he would love to tease the boys mercilessly about their animals, and if they have been remembering to milk the chickens or collect the eggs from the dogs.  They would laugh and try to "correct" him, which of course would only cause Buppa to jumble it up some more.  This will probably be one of their favorite memories of him, as it seems to be foremost in their minds.  They were given the opportunity to write messages on his casket and both of them gave him some rather odd directions as to what he should do for the animals in heaven.
     But one of my favorite memories was when my oldest was almost four and he and Buppa were busy having a conversation when he piped up and asked, "How come you don't have any hair?"
   Buppa didn't miss a beat before he replied, "Because Meme' has pulled it all out!"
    We all got a good laugh out of that, and thought the subject was over,  but a day or so later, we were sitting in church a row or two behind Meme' and Buppa when my son  came and whispered in my ear,  "Did Meme' REALLY pull out Buppa's hair?"
    It's hard not to question the Lord and his motives when I think of how little time my children had to get to know him.  But I thank him for the memories.  Every time I pull out the waffle maker they gave us one Christmas, my mind brings back his voice calling through the house, "Who wants a WIFFLE?", and I wonder if the kids think of it too.   ... Or if the Hubby ever lets loose a window rattling snore I just have to chuckle and think  of it as another thing he had the pleasure of inheriting from his "Pops".
     Time marches on, and I know that the memories will grow dimmer as life continues to roll, but the one thing I hope they will cherish and remember are those last days when he would send his "I love you guys" messages across the miles,  and his excitement of where he knew he was going.  He had his eyes upon Jesus.  
  Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is there will your heart be also.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Weight of the Matter

  The other morning I was making an attempt to enjoy some breakfast with my two daughters.  Every time my can came close to hitting the chair I would notice there was something I'd forgotten to bring to the table or my three year old would pipe up.  "Mom, I wanted juice, not milk,  mom, I wanted a sippy cup not a regular, mom I wanted pink not green , mom, I need a fork AND a spoon."  Ready to blow, but smart enough not to tell her to do it herself, which would tack on another fifteen minutes,  I began to wonder how we moms manage to struggle with weight issues when we can't even sit down to a meal.   Add the rest of the family in at dinnertime to make it an official circus.
    But somehow, along the way, my plate gets cleared.  Not only the first serving, but the second. Maybe not nice and toasty warm as is the preferred method of consumption, but definitely edible to a not so fussy palate. 
    Then, the family wanders away from the table and I glance at the plates left behind, ready to call each child back to clear their spots.  But I notice that some of those plates have the best stuff left behind, and that should not be wasted on chicken food.  So out comes my fork, and  I begin spearing a little of this and a dab of that and shoveling it in, until all plates are cleared to my satisfaction .
    Huffing a sigh at the thought of clean up waiting in the kitchen, I get to my feet and wander there to take a peek at what is left over.  One dish reveals a salad that would surely go soggy if stored overnight, so I grab the serving spoon and polish it off.  After all, have you SEEN the prices at the grocery store? No sense in wasting.  The next pot is showing only a couple spoonfuls left, so it doesn't pay to take the time to put it in a storage container. Down the hatch is much more convenient.  And on and on it goes.
     In between my cleaning up , I feel the need to sneak in something sweet, and I know there just happens to be a bag of m&m's in the baking cupboard.  For baking purposes only, but a couple handfuls gone missing won't be noticed.  Until the same hand hits the bottom of the bag. Oh well,  chocolate chips will work just as good.
     Finally, all the dishes are cleared up and washed up.  That calls for a coffee break.  The cake left over from the "just in case there is company" baking would be just the thing to go with a good cup of decaf.
    So I take my coffee and cake with just a "couple" scoops of ice cream and go sit down next to my dear sweet husband, and ask him the question that has been burning in my mind all day, "Honey, why can't I seem to lose any weight??"

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Gum Flapping

    My baby is now eleven months old, and besides screeching rather loudly and giving her version of  "all done" on occasion, her interest in vocabulary is minimal.  She is way too busy filling her mouth with flies and toilet paper.  A deficiency, perhaps?  Or just practicing making a quality spit wad, I don't know.
    But one thing I am just about certain about.   When her mouth opens with words flowing from it, my aspiring singing career will once again be put on the shelf.  I love to sing.  I have inherited my paternal grandmothers singing gene.  My grandfather, who was one of the sweeter, more subtle guys, was the one who broke it to his wife, when one day after church he told her,"Maybe you shouldn't sing."
    Anyway, back to my point.  When my previous babies had been learning to talk,  I was spending a lot of time blissfully rocking them and singing quite contentedly right in their ears.  Like a dose of cold water, there came the day with each of them, when they  reached up, put their sweet little hands over my mouth, and gave instruction.  "Stop."
     Yep, words are harsh, but you also do learn some interesting things once those little educators start telling you how it is.  The explanations given for actions are sometimes quite priceless.
      When my boys were about three and two, I received many  of those explanations.   After one particular trying evening, I had just gotten the little guy to sleep for what I had hoped was the night.  I told his big brother, "Mom is going to jump in the shower.  If you need anything, dad is right outside. 
     Well, I had enough time to get the shower on and the temp set just right before I heard knocking on the door.  I opened it to find not one, but two little boys standing there looking at me.
   "I don't know what happened, but I think all the loud roaring noises from the North Pole woke him up."  Good one, and good-bye shower.
      Then one day, they had been playing upstairs and when I decided to go check on them, the sight that greeted me probably didn't do good things to the blood pressure.    The humidifier was taken apart and water was puddling all over the hallway.  I could feel a gasket about to blow and wasn't even about to ask for an explanation on this one.  Big brother decided to give one anyway.  "We were baptizing."
    Around the corner comes little brother dripping wet.  How can you even yell at that?
    When my husbands heifer gave birth to her first calf, my eldest who was about six at the time, was the first who found it and went to check it out.  He came back in the house and informed me, "It's a bull."
   "Oh, really?  And how do you know that?"
    " Because it has curly hair on its forehead."  I guess it was no surprise to me when my husband came home and announced the new calf was a bull.
      There have been times when explanations have been strangely silent or missing completely.  This comes with "faulty" memories of otherwise intelligent children.
      The weather had been growing colder for some time when we decided to break down and finally order some oil for the winter.  The oil man happily took our check and went on his way.  The hubby turned on all the necessary gizmos and gadgets while I waited upstairs to feel the first blast of blessed heat coming into the place.  Strangely, nothing happened so I finally went down to see what the hold up was.  He was sitting beside the furnace with a puzzled look on his face and said, "Man, it almost seems like there is water mixed in this stuff.   After several hours of tinkering and draining chalky white gunk, he decided to go find his sons.  They, of course had no idea how vast amounts of water could have ever found its way into the oil tank.  Little by little, bits and pieces of memory came back.  "Maybe" they were playing with the hose in the summer.  "Maybe" they might have played oil man with the hose.  "Maybe" was the word of the day, with details remaining rather sketchy.
   When little sister came along, I figured girls would be a different story, but she too has given some rather "reasonable" explanations for her actions.  Like crawling into mom and dads bed two minutes after lights out because she "had a scary dream."  Nothing fishy with that one, like maybe you should actually fall asleep before you claim these grand dreams.  And she suddenly decided she can no longer eat cheerios "because them have holes in 'em."  Like someone pointed out to me, doughnuts have holes too, and she doesn't seem to have a problem with that.  Definitely "holes" popping up in that info, little darling.
  Yep, lot's of lip smacking, eyelash fluttering, and "becausing" from the girl section too. Another year or two of them putting their heads together might bring some stressful moments to this house, but I'm hoping more for comic relief. And so help me if they turn out to be self baptizing oil men farmers who hear noises from the Northpole.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Local Beauty Parlor

   We moms have learned to find and take those relaxing moments in any way shape and form we can get them.  A walk to the mail box, a couple extra minutes in the shower, or if  there is a true desperation for some alone time, a trip to the grocery store.  I have been known to sneak to the bathroom with a book tucked under my arm and stay in there for suspicious lengths of time.  When the hubby starts yelling "Whatchya doin in there??" I know the gig's up.
     But my all time relaxation favorite is a trip to the local beauty parlor.  And by local, I mean right here in my home local.  The problem resides in finding a willing beautician.  I resort to all forms of begging and pleading to get my way on this one.  My boys already have caught on to my tricks, and they're not so easily persuaded anymore.  If one of them asks if there's anything to play and they see me smiling and starting to reply, they quickly amend, "except beauty parlor."  If I include payment, sometimes I'll get a passing interest, but they think a quarter per five minutes is an incredible rip off.
     If my husband is home, I will so nicely go sit on the floor next to his chair in the guise of chatting, but  like a  puppy looking for a pat, I will make sure my head is placed conveniently near his hands just in case. 
    Being  that the baby is still in the hair pulling stages of life, I'll keep her on the back burner until I wear out my current sucker, uh, beautician.  My three year old.  She is also catching on quickly to my begging ways, but  if I see her beginning to respond in the negative, I pull out my secret weapons.  Plastic scissors and the water spray bottle.  What child that age can resist the chance to thoroughly drench something?
     So the bliss begins.  She sets up shop in her bedroom and waits for my knock.  She ever so graciously has me sit down in the "chair" formerly known as the toy box, and whips out her favorite baby blanket to wrap around me.   Then comes the spraying, combing, measuring, "put your head down", "shut your eyes", and snipping.  All the while the chatter continues; "Where do you live", "What's your baby's name",etc.  For all of two minutes pure contentment reigns, and what a glorious two minutes it is. Just when the relaxation starts to really sink in, I hear the dreaded words, "Okay, look in the mirror."  Oh the let down. 
 But this has got me thinking.  I wonder how many minutes I could get out of her on massage therapy?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Unforgettable Firsts

    Life is full of many firsts, all containing different levels of emotion.  Parenting surely is no exception!  The unbelievable joy felt when your firstborn is laid in your arms... or second, third and fourth for that matter.  It never gets old.  First smile, first coo, first step, first word, the list goes on and on.
     But there are a few firsts that I never anticipated.  Like the first time a toddler came waddling out of the bathroom to proudly announce, "Mama, I wiped myself!"   If that doesn't put a curdle to your stomach wondering what telltale signs you will find left in the bathroom from that event , I don't know what will!
     Or how about that first trip to a restaurant without any tag alongs?  Silence never sounded so loud, and granted,  though silence is much needed at times, I now realize how dull it can quickly become.
     Then, when the kids start getting a little bit older, it happens.  You are sitting in church, and you realize you made it through to the final Amen without having to get up one time. Zero.  Not even a single nose blow, potty break, thirst attack, or diaper change needed.   Another unforgettable first.  But don't get too used to this one, there is bound to be a case of the sniffles by next Sunday.
     One first that didn't go quite as thought in this house was loosing the first tooth.  All visions of gentle wiggling, string tying to door knobs, or even punching out by brotherly love vanished with one trip to a pediatric dentist.  Words like surgery and extraction were used, and we realized our efforts to pin down two squirming boys every night to brush teeth had not cut the mustard.  Needless to say when it was all said and done, the dentist had hit pay dirt, and simultainously, the tooth fairy was feeling quite stingy indeed.
     This first comes at different times for every parent, and I think it's safe to say it comes to a dad sooner.  The day you realize your baby isn't so much of a baby anymore.  I was living in careful oblivion to that particular fact until my oldest was about five.  That was the day I looked out the window and saw the skid steer going past with a load of wood in the bucket.  The revelation came to me that skid steers certainly don't drive themselves, so I honed in for closer inspection.  The blond in the operators seat was most definitely not my husband. No, he was the one directing traffic like everything is completely normal and this is how it should be.  I still am recovering from that event.
    There is also the unavoidable, unforgettable first involving losing a loved one.  When the news came their cousin  had passed from this life to the next,  I remember wondering how I was going to be "strong" for the kids sake.  I guess I should have known better, realizing what faith children really have.  They were, indeed, the ones showing me strength.  I overheard conversations of how he's "gone on to glory" now and the cd repeat button was hit over and over in the weeks and months following to hear "Ashton's song" one more time.   The chorus "To a land where joy shall never end"  filled the vehicle  and home continuosly, bringing peace and comfort with it.
      In the overall view of parenting, I'm still on rookie status, and I know there are surely going to be more interesting firsts ahead, along with the typical first car, first date (yikes!!), and the rest.  But I pray they come ONE at a time!:)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Baffling, Indeed

       Baffled.  That is the term my third grade son used to describe the look on his baby sisters face the other night.  After getting over the fact that he even knew such a word, let alone used it correctly, I realized that is a word I could use quite often to describe the way I feel about the course of events that have taken place in my life over recent years.   I mean, who are these kids, and why are they calling me mom?
    Motherhood is something I have looked forward to since I was old enough to push my baby brother around in my doll stroller (much sturdier than the ones they make nowadays, of course)  and make up songs at the top of my lungs.  But four kids later, there are still moments when I hear someone yelling for mom, and my weary mind wonders why their mom is taking so long to answer, only to remember my long awaited dream is reality, and those are my bones that need to drag out of bed to go scare the boogy man away.
     Same goes for when there is evidence of grand times all over the floor, and after tripping on it several times wondering why no one has picked it up yet, the thought occurs to me that it will stay that way until you- know -who decides to do it.  That IS going to change, you know.
      In spite of the chaos, in spite of the curtain climbing, caterwauling,  and general zoo-like atmosphere, I wouldn't want it any other way.  Because those small fries who swing from the chandeliers- (okay, more like pull string single light bulbs)  show such big love that a few sleepless nights and toy encased floors and food encrusted tables ain't no thing...   those extra hugs from a little boy who's going to spend the night at grammy's or  a little girl who says "mommy, you look berry handsome" are the moments that make everything else minor.  ..

      Okay folks... here goes. I guess I am entering the world of blogging in hopes that someday my kids can look back on these posts, and see what royal monkeys they really were.