What's the Point?

I have always loved to write. It has been my thing, my feel better mechanism, since I started high school. In one way or another I have been writing ever since that first creative writing class.

That is not to say I am necessarily good at writing. It is just something I do, for me. Do I love that people sometimes read it and enjoy it? Sure. Is it nice to hear from old friends about how a post I've written made them feel less alone when they are also cleaning their kids' pee off of the bathroom wall for the third day in a row? You betcha. But in all honesty, I do it for me. Selfishly.

I have had numerous people (some friends who know me well some people who hardly know me at all) ask me, "What do you mean you have a blog? What do you write about? and Do people really read it? I just don't see the point."

I try and explain why I have this here little blog and that I mostly write about my kids or arguments with my forgetful husband or my day to day life. The good the bad and the sometimes very ugly. I also explain that although I am aware that for the most part no one really reads my blog, except my mother (as my husband recently reminded me), I don't care. It isn't for them, or for you readers (okay, or you Mom) but just for me. It is my therapy and a place for me to jot down my thoughts and feel better. My head is more clear and my heart more free.

So that is why I do it. Will I ever be a professional blogger that makes money talking about her mundane life? Not likely. Do I love if people come and visit and read? I do, but I will be here writing, for me, regardless.

Three

Yesterday was Joey's birthday and I can hardly believe he is three already. I am not sure where the time has gone or how we have lived through three whole years of him. Since we were busy celebrating yesterday here's my birthday letter to him.

Dear Joey,
I have never felt like three years has gone by so fast and yet taken so long at the very same time. You are growing so fast and tower over all the other kids your age. You are built like your Daddy and sometimes people don't realize that even though you are so big & strong, you are still just a little guy on the inside.

You were nicknamed "shit-wrecker" by your Dad and I early on in your life and it seems to be a name you continue to grow into. You have pretty much been destroying anything you can get your hands or mouth on since you were able to move any of your limbs. You are fearless and smart. You are very brave and you are a fighter. I am happy to say I don't foresee you being a kid that gets picked on because you are quick to stand up for yourself and speak your mind (even if it is telling me you hate me when I punish you.) 


I often call you my "special" child because you are a handful. Some days it takes everything I have to keep you under control and then there are times when I have never seen such a sweet kid. You are always telling me you love me and you put both of your chubby (and usually sticky) hands on my face and hold it while you give me kisses. The only time I would ever describe you as gentle is when you are talking to or holding a baby and then you speak softly and kindly and your usual giant force is a gentle touch. You can be so cuddly and loving that I often forget just how naughty you usually are.

You have your Daddy's face and sometimes when you smile at me it is as if I am looking straight at him. It is this smile and those eyes that keep you alive most days because every time I see them I fall in love with you all over again.

When I was pregnant with you every day was a struggle but I knew you would be okay by the way you were kicking and clawing to get out. It is that same fight that I see you use every time you are sick and not breathing well and you keep fighting to get better. It is heartbreaking and heartwarming at the same time. You are so strong-willed.

You are right on track or ahead of the game with all of your milestones. You have an incredible vocabulary and you are so smart. You are doing great with potty-training and if we could only get you to poop on the potty Mommy would be over the moon. We did tell you a Boogieman would come if you pooped in a diaper after you turned three. You ask about said Boogieman all day long and I hate to admit this but I hope it works. This is not our best parenting tactic, but you have to do what you have to do sometimes.

My wishes for you this year are simple. I wish  for you to be happy, to breath easier with less visits to the hospital, for you to continue to grow big and strong, for you to sleep in your own bed instead of with Daddy & I since you kick like a cracked-out mule and for you to somehow not kill us all in the process. We are so proud of the little man you are becoming and I dream of the years to come. You should always know no matter how difficult you are I love you more than you know and I am so happy to be your Mama.

Love you always,
Mama
xoxo

 Birth Day
 1st Birthday
 
2nd Birthday

3rd Birthday*

*If you are wondering why he only has half a cake in the above photo it is
because his Dad's birthday is the day before his and they shared a cake!

In & Out

I spend a great deal of my time watching this, this in and out, breathing in and out, over and over again. The rhythmic act of the body breathing is comforting. The rise and fall of the chest and the soothing sound of that breathing. Lulling and peaceful.

Except when it's not.

As natural as breathing is, not breathing is the most unnatural thing. Your body fights and struggles and it is the most frightening thing. This is what we go through on a regular basis. My son doesn't breathe well. He has asthma and he struggles to breathe, to do the very thing that is natural for your body to do to live.

When your child can't breathe well you quickly learn how to watch for the in and out. The breathing too fast, his little body struggling to get the breaths in and out. There have been many long nights doing nebulizer treatments around the clock, and many late nights in the ER hooked to monitors with still more nebulizer treatments and then the very long days in the pediatric unit.

I know things I never wanted to know about the medicines, machines and procedures used to treat asthmatic patients. I have laid awake at night holding an oxygen mask in front of my sleeping, wheezing child trying, praying, his pulse ox level will stay above the number that causes the alarms to sound. The blaring beeping that sends the nurses flocking in and startle my sleeping baby awake and screaming. 

I chase the numbers. If the monitors read just a little higher maybe we can take off the oxygen and get him out of bed. If he can hold his own and keep his numbers up, maybe, just maybe, we can go home.

Every time someone comes in to listen to him, I hold my breath. I cease the in and out. As if by me holding my breath, his will sound clear. He won't crackle and wheeze and have lungs that sound like they are filled with a coarse gravel when he inhales and exhales. If only. If only my breaths could help his.

But, they can't and they don't.

So we wait and we watch, the in and out, in and out. He sits and watches movie after movie while sucking in the medicine they blow in his lungs over and over. We wait while he takes steroids for his lungs in the hopes they will open up and let the air in. We wait for the lull of the in and out.

With every minute of the waiting another piece of me dies with worry.

My baby. He's my baby. The very same one I fought for, for weeks to keep him inside me so he could grow and be healthy, so he could breathe in this world on his own. The one I took steroid shots for so when he came early his tiny lungs would do what they were made to do, breathe. The in and out.

We never know when it will hit or for how long it will last, so we wait. We watch for the signs and the in and the out, over and over again, as if watching will somehow will his body to keep breathing.

In and out, in and out, over and over again.


Boy Blues

My family is mostly made up of women. I am one of four girls. I have sisters who are my best friends without a brother to be found. I never wished I had a brother. Not because I don't think having a brother would have been nice, but why wish for a boy around the house when I had more than enough fun with the girls. I have 4 aunts (not counting by marriage) and  I have 13 first cousins that are girls.

In my family, the girls win.

Now I have boys. My sisters have boys. My sister-in-law has a boy. I only have one niece to buy cute clothes and dress up. For this generation, the boys are winning.

I have always loved having boys. I wanted to have boys. No, I don't love everything about what they love such as bugs, trucks, worms, dirt, peeing on things and so on. Still, I love having boys. I also can't stop wondering what it would be like to have just one girl. Not because I am sad about not having one just because I am so curious at how different the two might be to raise. 

It doesn't seem like a day goes by that there isn't something brought up from my boys that makes me wonder if a daughter would be the same way and ask the same things.

My boys are quick to point and yell "Look at your boobies Mom!" when they catch me changing my shirt or "Why do you put that on your boobies and we don't?" whenever I am putting on my bra or sports bra and they catch site of it. Most of the time I ignore them or say "Everyone has boobs, boys. They are no big deal." but what I really want to say is "These used to be a great set of boobs till you two came along!" Then I would have to answer another question about what happened to my boobs and why is it their fault and having to explain to your kids how they basically ate your boobs off is not something I want to get into.

I rarely go to the bathroom without a visitor. I get all sorts of questions from "Why do you sit when you go pee?" to "Are you peeing out your butt?" and then to "What is that and why are you sticking that in your butt Mamma?" whenever they see a tampon. I just tell them it is girl stuff and can I PLEASE have a moment to myself in the bathroom! 

Then no sooner do I close the bathroom door and turn the shower on do I hear the door creak open and "Mamma, can I sit and talk with you while you take your shower?" *Sigh*  Sure, why not. I would love to answer a thousand questions about shaving my legs.

Sometimes I just feel so stuck in the world of boys that I long for a girl to be in my house. I know girls can be whiny (news flash, so are my boys) and they are most likely way more difficult as teenagers but still it would be nice to have someone else who understands that "NO, I am not shoving that in my butt!" and all the other girly-like things that go on. 

I come home from a pedicure and my boys flip out because "MOM, YOU ARE NOT ALLOWED TO COLOR ON YOUR NAILS!" This was a rule I made after Jack started coloring on his nails with markers after I would get manicures. Now I walk in from a relaxing pedi and get reprimanded for my bad behavior.

So, if only. If only it wasn't just me and the dog with vaginas in this house. Maybe then, just once, I could sit on the toilet without having to first put the seat down or clean up pee.

This is the stuff dreams are made of. And still, I love my boys...

*My husband is certain, with everything in him, that if we have another baby it will be a boy. What are the odds of that? 

My Mess

No matter how hard I try my house is a mess. I can't seem to be able to keep up with the madness of it all. Something always needs cleaning, washing, folding, picking up or putting away.

I was hoping with my new work arrangement I would be able to plan my day with a little time to schedule in for cleaning, organizing and general tidying. All that has happened so far is I am home more to realize and then obsess about the dirtiness of it all.

At our old house we had a cleaning lady every two weeks. Cleaning days were my favorite. I would walk in to a clean house and take a big sniff of the smell of clean before the kids and dogs ran through destroying it in minutes. I still had to clean in-between her visits but someone else was doing the bulk of the cleaning.

Our new (yet old) house is smaller than our previous home. This made me think I could totally manage the cleaning because there was a lot less space to clean. All that really means is we have more shit shoved into our smaller space creating a cluttered mess instead of just a mess.

The boys (all three of them) are messy in nature, I think. Every. Single. Day. I wipe the pee off the toilet seat and bathroom floor (and occasionally the wall) and have a talk with them about getting it in the toilet. Only to find more pee waiting for me the very next day, if not sooner. The pee on the floor doesn't bother them at all. My husband hardly seems to notice that the bathroom smells similar to an out-house. The truth is no matter how clean my bathroom is after a cleaning there will be more pee sprayed about before the end of the day. I am trying to figure out how to solve this problem but having them pee in the yard brings on a whole new sort of problems.

I vacuum and swiffer and sweep. It is non-stop. My floors could be as clean as could be until the dog wanders through. Her hair falls out so damn much I am not even sure how she is not bald yet. The hair never ends. Same goes for mopping, I do it and either someone forgets to take their shoes off or the dog comes running in with muddy paws. It is like trying to control a tornado.

So how is it I know people who have houses that are spotless no matter when I stop by? It could be a totally unannounced visit and their homes are looking a thousand times better than mine does most days. I want to get it together and be all on top of it - this cleaning, organizing thing - but it is me against an army of dirty, pee squirting boys. We all know that is a war that one woman can't win.

*Personal disclaimer since I know my husband will gripe: My husband is really helpful around the house. He picks up plenty and does a ton to help me out, but he is not a "cleaner." He is, however, a reckless pee-er.