Baby Boy

I wrote this poem when I was pregnant with my youngest in 2014.

Baby Boy you are so smallIMG_1056
You growing fast and all

Starting to kick my belly here
I like having you oh so near

It won't be long before my belly grows
Protruding out watermelon size, Oh!

I try to keep from eating too much
My biggest meal is always lunch

I feel you move in the afternoon
Or when I lay down at night to snooze

Soon you will be here, it will go fast
Your kicking me from inside, a thing of the past

What Mother’s Know


I Don’t Know

I don’t know how I do it (be a mother)
I don’t know how I manage
I don’t know how I find the strength
I don’t know how I live without sleep
I don’t know how I stay calm when the baby is screaming
I don’t know how I find time to use the bathroom
I don’t know how I do so many things while holding a baby in one arm: Eat, Make dinner, Wash the dishes, Mop the floor, Load washing machine, Fold laundry, Shop for groceries

I Do Know

I do know there is no other experience like being a parent
I do know I love kids smiles, laughs, burps, farts
I do know I love having a baby sleep in my arms
I do know each time I go through the process, as hard as it is, I would do it all again.



The Turtle and the Bird

A Turtle sat on the edge of a pond and saw a beautiful Heron standing in the water next to him. The Heron looked down into the water at the fish and the turtles soaking in the day’s sun as they rested on the logs, then turned to the Turtle and asked, “Why can’t I swim like the fish? Why can’t I lay on a log like the turtles?”

The Turtle looked up at the majestic Heron. Her beak, neck, and legs one beautiful long line down to her feet. Her feathers were as white as snow. He could not understand why this lovely bird could not see its own beauty or potential.

The Turtle replied to the Heron, “I was just wondering why I can’t fly up in they sky and soar over the ground like a bird. I am stuck here on the ground. I can swim or lay on the log with the other turtles to sun myself, but all I want to do is fly. You can take the wings you have and do what you do best with them. Just spread your wings and flap them. You are built to fly. Why are you holding yourself back?”

The Heron looked down at its legs and fluffed up its feathers by moving its wings around a bit. “I never flew before. It’s scary. I would rather sit on a log.” the Heron replied to the Turtle.

The Turtle looked up again at the Heron. “You can’t fly, if you don’t try.”

At that moment the Heron started to run ahead through the open field next to the pond and flapped its wings as hard as it could. Slowly and gracefully the Heron took off and eventually was floating above the ground. She was amazed with her own accomplishment. Even more amazing was that it was a turtle that taught her to fly.

Burp This

IMG_1542I asked my 12-year-old son to suggest a topic for a blog. He burped at me. And so I wrote it.

Why is it that the older you get the more unacceptable burping in public is? Let’s start with babies. A baby burps and everyone is proud. Or relieved.  Gas in a baby is painful to the baby while the baby’s incessant crying from gas pains becomes painful to a parents ears.  Burping for a baby is no small feat. It often requires vigorous patting on the back and bouncing up and down. It even can require walking around the house in circles with the baby positioned upright.  Parents expect the baby burp and sometimes beg for it, “Please, just burp!”. It gives the baby (and the parents) relief when the burp finally arrives.

As children get older, they may burp loudly after drinking a soft drink and no one thinks much of it. Kids laugh at each other. Even parents may continue to laugh at the burp of small children. Approaching the teenage years the burp becomes less funny and more inappropriate. It becomes a teaching point – “If you are going to burp, please say ‘excuse me’ or please burp quietly.” Even better, ‘boys don’t like girls that burp’.  What pre-adolescent girl isn’t going to take this statement to heart?

I don’t know too many adults who burp in public. If they do, they certainly keep it to themselves. If they have an audible burp they may turn a rosy shade in embarrassment or bow their head down to look at the floor in hopes that no one saw them. Something as simple as a burp (a normal bodily function) shouldn’t be viewed with such disdain, but it is. It is too bad we don’t laugh with other adults about this sort of thing. Where is the camaraderie and humor in burps? Perhaps it was left in the 4th grade? Does all the fun belong to babies and children who can burp without refrain or embarrassment?

Unfortunately the answer is yes, burps are for babies and children. The next time you have to burp I don’t expect you to do it out loud, but maybe you can be a kid for just a moment transported in time back to the time when burps were funny and didn’t require, “Excuse me”.  What other fun things could you laugh about as a kid but cannot now?

Are you having twins?

It is official, my enlarged and rapidly growing pregnant belly announces that I am pregnant. Unfortunately when I tell people my due date, the next question is, “Are you having twins?”. You would think I would be used to this sort of comment from my first pregnancy when I received the same exact questions. My body style just does’t hide a growing baby very well. It never has and it never will.

I suppose I should take these comments as compliments because at least they don’t think I am fat, they KNOW I am pregnant. They also assume there is a rational explanation for what appears to be a watermelon hiding under my shirt. Even my doctor commented on the baby utilizing every inch of my torso from my ribs to my hips for his own expansion.

I still have a lot of weeks to go in this pregnancy which I plan to take in stride. Today I contemplated joking with strangers when they comment on my pregnancy by telling them I am not pregnant and that I am just smuggling watermelons.  Although last time I checked, watermelons don’t kick like this baby who punches me after ever bit of spicy food, chocolate, or ice cream.  They say that every pregnancy is different, yet so much seems that same.

Kids: Never a Quiet Moment

IMG_0781Why do kids make parents mad?
Why do they behave so bad?

Kids are kids they say, its true
It seems they make me crazy too

All the times they misbehave
It’s just attention that they crave

Attention good or bad they’ll take
From morning to night – I need a break!

At 5 in the morning they wake me
Only 6 hours sleep they need

What happened to all the naps in day
Those stages of sleep are far away

Each day they test me on another thing
My heart melts – did I hear them sing?

The ups and downs of parenthood
not every day is going to be good

Today is quiet as they watch cartoons
The silence will be broken again soon

Sick of being sick

It is day 3 of the flu and I realize I am tired of being sick. I just want my head to stop spinning and my nose to stop running. Thank goodness for Costco-sized boxes of Kleenex and an old bottle of Ibuprofen. I lost count of how many shows and movies I have watched on television. I am definitely getting my money’s worth from Netflix this month.

My 7-year old daughter lies on the sofa across from me covered in her kitty blanket. Every 5 minutes she is asking for something to eat or drink. I think she forgot that I am sick and I don’t want to get up off the sofa any more than she does. We are fighting over the remote because she wants to watch a cartoon about a dog name Kipper and I want to watch Sleepless in Seattle and Runaway Bride. All the shows are lame, but you have to watch something when the thought of sitting upright or taking a shower seems like a chore.

I have been trying to rest this week but it is so much harder when you have other people to wait on. My boyfriend is far away in Tulsa, Oklahoma, otherwise he could help me. Maybe. If he was here he might also be sick, making one more sick person clamoring for a drink with ice, a cracker, or a sandwich. Hopefully flu only strikes once a year, because I am not sure I could take another week of this. My mind wants me to get up of the sofa and do something, yet my body has another agenda. I expect a few more days and I will be resembling my old self again. Flu season is about surviving whatever way you can and it may not always be pretty. There are dirty cups and mugs everywhere, the laundry is not done, and your hair is sticking out in all directions. How are you surviving the flu this year?

Holidays are Survival of the Fittest

Every year the holiday season brings about new challenges. Some years you find yourself alone and fighting loneliness while other years you are surrounded by family (and too much of it). While plenty of family around squashes any thoughts of loneliness, you can forget about peace and quiet.

As this holiday season comes to a close, I wonder what happened to the 2 weeks of vacation I thought I was going to get. Entertaining kids and family members was more exhausting than I thought. I also thought I would have more time to exercise, hike, go to the zoo, see the botanical gardens or simply take a walk around the neighborhood. Somehow between the Christmas shopping, the post-Christmas shopping, colds, and planning for New Year’s the time just got away from me. I definitely forgot about work for 2 weeks, however, I am not sure I am well-rested and ready to jump back into work tomorrow.

Since it is a new year, I would like to make a resolution to have a more relaxing holiday season next year. There is always next year I say! Considering that most people abandon their New Year’s resolutions by mid-February the chances of me remembering this resolution by next Thanksgiving is not likely. All I can do is be happy that the holidays are over and I can bet back to some normalcy. Strange how so much of the year we look forward to the holiday season and now I am glad they are over. I hope everyone else survived the holidays and is just excited as I am about returning to the daily routine. Happy 2013!

Tradition and Making Sense of the World

Everyone has traditions for how they spend their Saturday morning, how they cook their blueberry muffins, or how they spend their holidays. Traditions are patterns in life that help us make sense of the world. With so much chaos and unexplained tragedies, we need stability. We need something to rely on. Something to count on every day, every week, or every year.

I recall reading in a parenting book that children need structure. They need a pattern to their day. Aren’t traditions just patterns for how we spend our holidays? Putting up a Christmas tree, hanging stockings by the fireplace, opening a single gift on Christmas Eve, lighting 8 candles, or spinning a dreidel. There are holiday traditions for whatever your religion or non-religion. This time of year should be about recognizing that humans are all the same and we need traditions regardless of our beliefs in Jesus, God, or Buddha.

If you have ever seen the movie or play Fiddler on the Roof, then you may recall the song “Tradition” where everyone has their roles to play. Everyone follows the traditions because that is what they do. Grown-ups follow traditions but really aren’t they just patterns and structure built-in childhood? This holiday season I look forward to creating new traditions with my new family. What my family is may take another whole blog, so for now let’s stick to enjoying old traditions, creating new ones and hoping our children find safety in both this holiday season.

Nit Picky…icky!

Do you know where the term ‘nit picky’ comes from? Recently I had some first hand experience picking nits and it is a challenging job! Most people with school age kids have heard about lice occurrences at school. In this case it was not my kids, but one of my friends who had the unfortunate experience of finding lice in her hair. When boys get lice they shave their heads. When girls get lice, they wish they were boys. I am just glad I didn’t have lice, because I probably would have shaved my head if knew what I now know about these divisive little characters.

Are you still trying to figure out what a ‘nit’ is? A nit is the egg that lice lay in your hair. They hang out there on your warm head until they mature and then lay new eggs. After a few weeks, there is a lot of lice and nits in there! Getting rid of the bugs is the easy part (they have a shampoo for that), but getting rid of the nits is painstaking work. The nits attach themselves to the hair follicle and have to be ‘picked’ off the hair. Actually ‘pried’ would be a better word.

To be a good nit picker you  need to get EVERY egg. Why? because if you miss one, it just starts the process again and you get more nits and more lice. Not what you want! Imagine picking 100’s of these off your head. Did I mention the nits are the size of a head of a pin? A special comb and some patience and you can get them, but it is VERY hard to get them all.  You thought being ‘nit picky’ was a bad thing, but in this case it is a good thing. You don’t want a bad nit-picker because you want to get rid of ALL the nits. Every last one. So next time you notice someone being nit picky, take note just in case you ever need someone to pick the nits for you.