Monday, September 28, 2009

confuddled once again

I have been down with pneumonia for the last week, and while i am recovering,it is going very slowly. I tire very easily. It takes all my energy to keep up with the two little ones, and i must confess, i look forward to the children coming home to help me.

We have had adventures in potty training with Alexandra, she does fantastic one day, and then the next day she refuses to use the toliet... we are at an impasse. I had Tiff buy her a package of big girl panties, thinking it might help.

I told her not to peepee in her big girl panties. Her solution has me stumped, and i surrender and admit to being outwitted by a 21 month old. She takes off her pretty panties, and pees on the floor. Yesterday, she stood in the floor of my room, with her new panties in her hand, and said i peed on you lop-lops, i sat up and looked, and sure enough she didn't get her new panties wet at all, but my lop-lops were a different story.

I am still so sick, but i am at a loss how to handle this one, just when you think you have seen it all, someone pulls a new rabbit out of the hat, a rabbit you have never even seen before.

I think i will go back to bed....

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a moms' life

I have never been very good at learning my lesson. I have been told over and over for years actually not to push myself so hard, my body can't take the abuse. Theoretically i get it. I know no sleep+no rest+fibromialgia+a house full of children=a very sick mama however, i was never very good at math.

I always see the cobwebs that need to be knocked down, the dust that accumulates daily in the country, the floors that need to swept continuosly, the mountain of clothes aka laundry, the cooking that has to be done because at my house these crazy people think they need to eat every single day, several times a day. It is enough to make a frazzled mama cry...

My husband tells me, you are not allowed to get sick, you are not allowed to be sick, the house does not function when you are down. (He can't find his socks) Even the chores the children are largely responsible for get behind when i am sick.

I will make a general confession at this point mea culpa, my fault, my fault, my grievous fault, i have not been taking care of myself as well as i should, i have not slept more than a few hours a night for the last month, and for the past 3 weeks i have been battling a fibromialgia flare up. The children have all been passing around some sort of crud from school, but until this week-end i was able to fight it off.

I started running a fever on wed. , but , i ignored it because i do that, fri. afternoon, i was really sick, sat, i had laryngiitis(try that with a house full of kids, they put a bell by my bed) my chest hurt so bad, i had trouble laying down. Ben tried to take me to the hospital, but you know my motto: hell no, i won't go! He was so mad at me on Sunday, i agreed to go to the DR. on Monday, but i got Bobbie Sue to take me, because Ben had another funeral to go to.

I got the lecture once again, if you don't take care of yourself, how can you take care of your family, but that is so much easier said than done. I don't see anyone else volunteering to stay up with fussy, sick or teething little ones, and the truth is the littles don't want anyone else, and who can rest when their child is crying for them?????

I have bronchiitis in one lung and pneumonia in the other, I am running a fever and trying to cough my lungs up... I feel great!!!I look great too!!!I am supposed to drink lots of liquids, stay in bed and you guessed it rest!!!!how in the heck they think i am going to do this i don't know. Christian, Alexandra and I are sitting around in our pajamas, I have given them breakfast, I have run to the bathroom with Alexandra, and chased the puppies out several times. I have 3 more hours until Nicole gets home, and I am so weak, i can't do any laundry because i can't lift it. Oh well, we can all crawl in my bed and sit there and watch cartoons, that sounds so educational, it is one of those days, do what you have to so survive, the rest will have to wait.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

that unspoken word

The unspoken words, that hold us all back, we keep it inside, we hide it from each other something too personal to share. We can't show that to the world, it is too personal, it is uncontrolled, it is raw, and sometimes angry..

We can't show it at home, we can't show it in public, the only place fit for an open display of grief is locked in your bathroom with the shower running, and the fan on so people can't hear you scream.

A southern lady never makes a public spectacle of herself, a southern lady cries quietly in public, you don't want to make people uncomfortable...uncomfortable...uncomfortable...There is a huge list in my head bread by generations of southern ladies, who i guess have won this war, because i behave as the descendant of generations of southern ladies would expect me to behave, and they were all wrong.

My grief is real, and raw, and my hands, are shaking and i am wracked by sobs, i don't dare let escape, the tears quietly roll down my cheeks, and i carefully wipe them away so no one notices,but i have a wound that will never heal, and grief that i have never really expressed.

The cultural differences really hit me this week, I have been to many funerals, several of them for native american families, and what i know, is they know how to grieve. They do not have any feelings we do not have, they do not have a deeper love for their missing family members, but they do have the ability, and the cultural acceptance to grieve, and be in a state of mourning, not well tomorrow, you have to pretend it is all okay, because it will make people uncomfortable.

I understood the screams of the young widow, as she in shock with her 4 children and family by her side sobbed through the funeral, i felt her screams as if they were my own, i understood her standing up, and running toward the casket screaming no,no,no, trying to wake herself up from a terrible nightmare that will never end, i felt her running and running, and falling down in a faint as if i was with her on her journey...Her family carried her out of the church in a dead faint, i was with her too..and somehow she had it right...

I am haunted by the indian hymns from a funeral long ago, when the elders of the clan sang a 14 year old girl home in their native language, i have never gotten over it, and i don't think your'e supposed to. I remember the sounds in my head of the ropes lowering the casket into the ground the thud it made when it hit the earth, my shock and disbelief as the men and boys of the family passed the shovel from man to boy and friend to friend as the community stood and watched them cover their family member with earth..The screams and sobs, my own shock and grief as I watched my son, and his friends help bury their classmate,and i flash to another funeral and another...My own son who will never grow up, who will never know me on this earth...

I told my husband, I couldn't face the graveside again, he understood, but didn't understand. In empathy with the wife and mothers, i can no longer stand silently, dabbing my eyes like a well brought up southern lady, but i am on the ground screaming and i can't stop....

My husband asked me what do we say to the family, and i said say nothing, because there is nothing to say except we are praying for and grieve for your great loss....

Somehow, somewhere, someone decided, that if you were a christian, and a believer, you shouldn't grieve like this, but God gave us this great capacity to feel and love, and he understands our need to express it. I don't understand why it is unchristian to mourn and grieve and weep because we know from the Bible, from where we base our beliefs, that upon the death of his friend, "Jesus,wept", and so should we...

Thursday, September 17, 2009


Tuesday we got up, it was kind of wild here, it was a day like every(any) other day. We went to town for my hair appointment, stopped by the Salvation Army, and got a cherry coke from the whip dip, and headed for home.

We sat in the front yard,it was a nice fall morning, and no rain, a nice break from the damp gloomies we have had lately.

The first phone call came about 11:30. One of Bens' friends and co-workers had been fatally injured at work, he was dead on the scene...4 more calls followed in rapid succession...It was true, it was horrible,it was unbelievable.

I rode out with Ben to go meet a co-worker, he wanted to hear the facts again, plainly spoken, straight from the horses mouth if you know what i mean. The sad truth remains a very well thought of hard-working man, the husband and father of 4 young children was gone.

In a community as small as ours this is huge, our phone hasn't quit ringin since this happened as we have known the family for years. Jonathan and Connor have spent a lot of time with this family. They all love to fish, and love to go to the lake and spend the day. The boys have taken his death very hard. As adults we don't understand, and children really seem to struggle.

I have always known the brick plant is a dangerous place, and Ben has had a few close calls there, it is a reminder, that we don't have tomorrow, we are promised nothing ..We get up and some days are good, and some are bad, but we always go to be thinking tomorrow, and we don't know if that tomorrow will ever come.

Ben has said over, and over he was one of the good ones, one of the truly good people he knew, and thought you could count on. Sunday night, when Ben came in from work, he was upset about an abandoned puppy he saw at the plant. It was injured, and even though we are puppy rich right now, at the end of his shift he looked for the puppy to bring it home. He never did find the puppy. Yesterday, we took some food we had prepared over to the family. His wife is from a large indian clan here in town, and family is coming from all over the state. His casket was in the living room in traditional indian fashion. His wife was sitting beside it, she was to distraught to speak at all. I have known her sister since they were in school, and her mother also, and we talked for a few minutes, then left. As we walked back to the car, Ben said do you remember the puppy I told you about, I replied yes, he said there it is. A wet, limping puppy was playing in the yard with an assortment of children. Ben said again he was one of the good ones, and then my husband started to cry..

We all got in the car, it was raining again, and silently drove back home, me choking on tears, the wailing of his very young wife still ringing in my ears, and my husbands and sons grief hanging in the air, almost like fog. It was swirling around me,and I had no words to comfort anyone, because we have no answer to why...

Eternal Rest grant unto him Oh Lord, and may your perpetual light shine upon him...Rest in Peace Ricardo...

Friday, September 11, 2009


We have been so busy this week, i feel like i haven't had the time or energy to turn around. I spent a couple of afternoons putting together my religous education agenda for the children this year. Fr. Adrian is supposed to come over this week, and discuss my plans, the books they have

ordered for church instruction, and Nicole joining the confirmation class.

She will be old enough in 2 years for confirmation, but she feels a little nervous about the class. She is such a perfectionist, she is afraid of not knowing everything she should know.

Connor had his first football game tuesday night in Allen, he played very well, but they were outsized by Allens' team. They had some really big boys on their team, and we have 2 big boys. Connor is so skinny, I knew which one he was even before we got very close, his legs are toothpicks in black socks...

Connor celebrated his 12th birthday yesterday, he is the youngest student in 7th grade, which can be a burden. He asked if a few friends could come over after school and play football in the yard. Imagine my surprise when they just kept coming and coming and coming....I think half the bus got off at my house. I was reall;y afraid we would not have enough food to feed everyone. I think there were at least 30 people here. It is a good thing i believe in the loaves and fishes principle in feeding people, we even had left-overs, shocking...One of Connors' friends brought him a 6 toed puppy for his birthday, then brought the sister to Jonathan for good measure, oh happy day....

Ashley and Nicole cooked Connors' birthday dinner, and i baked the cake, and a mess of cupcakes, I am so grateful to my big girls for all their help this week, my fibro-yuck has flared up, and so i struggle, but God is gracious and my daughters are sweet.

I am so relieved we have survived Connors' birthday, and i am so pleased he enjoyed himself. Now i can rest up...we don't have another birthday for 2 months...

Happy 12th Birthday Connor I love You!!!!You Rock!!!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

mistress mary quite contrary

Contrary is a very useful word, it describes Alexandras' mood lately to a T...she has been extremely difficult today, to the point that Andrew asked what in the heck is the matter with Al, and i said she is almost 2, and has contracted contraryitis...

This morning, I tried to put her on the potty, but she was having none of that, so after i put her panties on her and got ;her dressed, she decided she needed to go...i pulled her panties off, and started that mama cheer thing...hurry lets get to the potty, she said no pee here, and before i could blink, move , or stop her, she peed all over the bedroom floor..I asked her, what are you going to do about that? She went to the bathroom, and came back with a roll of toliet paper.

I said good thinking, but that is not going to clean up that mess, try a towel. She went back in the bathroom retrieved a towel cleaned up her mess, and said there....I am not certain what we learned from this, or who exactly learned what...i learned not to take her panties off until we are in the bathroom, and she learned mama is not as fast as she used to be????

Friday, September 4, 2009

housework is for the bugs...

Thats' it, I am giving up housework, probably not forever, but at least for today. I was minding my own business sweeping my bedroom, and a tree frog lurking next to the baseboard jumped right on top of my foot.

I screamed so loud when that wet slimy thing landed on me, that children came running from every corner of the house. Nicole rounded up the evil frog now lurking under my dust ruffle and took it outside...

Who exactly would bring a tree frog into my house, and leave it in my bedroom? I am not exactly certain, but i suspect his name is Sean Patrick...

miss dixie belle vs. the rooster

One of my new puppies is a terrorist. She terrorises her brother Gus all the time, she chases him and bites his tail. When he retaliates, she jumps in the basket and cries. She discovered the kittens a few weeks ago, and they have been a target of her fun since.

It doesn't matter to her that the kittens are bigger, she chases them and tries to bite their tails, they play tag for a while then they slap her and go on their merry way.

Lately, miss Dixie has been fascinated by the rooster, in particular what is left of his tail. Now i did warn miss belle, dog, you don't want to mess with that rooster, it will flog you, but children and puppies are quite similar, and she did want to mess with the rooster....

I put her and Gus outside for some puppy playtime, and little Gus who is about 6 inches long and 4 inches high prances off in the grass to explore, and Miss Dixie Belle takes off after the rooster. She snuck up behind him, and bit what is left of his tail...He was she shocked and offended he flew straight up in the air flapping his wings and crowing...Dixie ran away and fell in the fountain in the flower bed, after i rescued her she hid under my skirt, as the rooster was still having a fit....

I told her, your'e a mess, you need another bath, and i have to wash your new dress, didn't i tell you to leave that rooster alone???? Nicole said Mom , your'e talking to the dog again, like they understand you...they understand, they just listen like your'e little brothers do...I must say Jonathan 500times a day...

Jonathan, do your chores, Jonathan do your chores, Jonathan do you homework, Jonathan practice the piano, take a bath, change your clothes, put on your good shoes for school, you cannot wear that, you have to wear clean!!!!!!clothes.....I would say it is a phase, but it has been like this his whole life, he has puppy syndrome....

Thursday, September 3, 2009

the best laid plans of mice and men

I have been in dire need of groceries. It is almost comical, the last week, i have been doing cupboard and freezer shopping until it looked like mother hubbard lived here. Ben requested chile verde, with home-made refried bean, mexican rice, guacamole and fajitas.

In other words, shopping was in order. I made my list, got up at 6:30, got dressed, and then dressed the two little ones, and fed them breakfast. I was planning to leave for town by 8:00, but for love or money, i could not get Mr. Tucker out of bed. He just wouldn't wake up, and wouldn't move.

I sent Christian in to try, and when i went back to check on his progress, he was in bed beside his Daddy sound asleep. Alexandra then began screaming non-stop, and pointing to the rocking chair, so she was back to sleep also. Ben got about around 9:00, and started puttering around the house. We decided to call Andrew, and see if he would come and baby-sit, while we went to town. I couldn't find the phone, it had been off the charger so long, it was dead....

Finally, i found the phone, and stuck it on the charger, and 5 minutes later Tiffiany called. Her license had expired on 8/31, and she needed to renew it, in order to start her new job at Wal-mart. She was at the tag agency in Ada, she had 13.00 in cash, it cost 21.50, and they don't take debit or credit cards, so i walked over got Andrew, and went 25 miles in the opposite direction in order to rescue my daughter-in-law.

I did get my shopping done, but instead of being home by 11:00, and starting dinner by 1:00, i was home by 2:30, and as soon as the perishables were put away began assembling Bens' dinner. I am so glad i bought the tortillas instead of making them. He loves the taste and texture of home-made tortillas, the are a lot heartier than store bought, but a lot of work....

I know it all worked out for the best, if i had left on time, Tiffiany would have been stranded for hours, and then after shopping, i would have had to drive in to Ada...but, things like this make me not want to plan things at all. It just gets so crazy here.

Take supper tonight for examples, i had planned bbq meatloaf, baked potato, corn, gravy(i like gravy), but i was tired and irritable, and the girls were arguing over who had to help me cook, so i just didn't. I cooked enough yesterday to feed 2 armys' because i fed 14 people last night, and still had enough to feed them tonight, by adding a serious salad for Ben.

I guess we'll have the meat-loaf tomorrow, or not, tea, and cake, or death, i don't even care, as long as Ben and the babies eat, the rest can fend for them-selves( i think it must be past my bed-time, i am grouchy) maybe, i need to eat something, i think i had an ice-cream cone after the children ate, so technically i didn't eat supper, i have been really down since Fr. Matthew gave me the royal chewing out of the year, i still haven't recovered from it.

I am off to the kitchen in search of tea and cake, we will put the death part off for another day...the hungry housewife....