Theme-songitis: it’s real

Theme-song-itis, you read it correctly. It is a hereditary affliction, it started with my dad. He would make light of serious situations with a song that had to do with whatever the subject was. In my family, especially with all the siblings I have (5), every other conversation will result in a few lines from a song. It becomes habit. Something happens or is said and instantly you have a tune weaving its way through your brain and rolling off your tongue before you realize what’s happening. Yes, we are beyond abnormal.

The kids and I were on our way to Mana’s house this morning—it is an office day and my mom watches the kids for me. We passed some roadkill and my son instantly wanted to listen to Dead Skunk in the Middle of the Road, by Loudon Wainwright. Apparently he has been afflicted with the theme-song-itis as well. At least we know where he gets it.

My minivan isn’t as friendly as my Jeep was

Every week I stop and fill up my gas tank at a locally run gas station/mechanic garage/tire place. I go there because it is a full service station and I don’t like dragging the kids in and out of the car anymore than necessary. When I’m in a hurry on a morning that I have to go to the office, wrestling with the five point harness while making sure the other child is staying put then having to carry the one that has no self-control, struggling with holding the hand of a four-year-old boy who has “out-grown” holding mom’s hand while weaving through a busy gas station parking lot is not on my list of favorite things to do. Oh, and how could I forget the part about dodging the curious glances (of course I put that nicely) of various construction workers off to their jobs. Okay they aren’t always construction workers. There is also that creepy guy that used to come in to the little diner I worked at and would flirt with me <<shudder>> who always seems to be lurking around the gas station in the morning. Yeah, you get the picture.

Anyway, I have been going to this full service station since I had my first son. I love that they wash my windows, fill my gas tank and chat with you about whatever the subject of the day may be. By the way, it is always a good idea to find something other than the weather to chat about they hear about it over 50 times on any given day. When I had my Jeep, I’d pull up and roll down the windows to talk. My oldest son loved the attention he’d get from the service man. They’d talk about trucks, camping and other boy stuff. Since we got the minivan, however, he has not been able to talk to Mike or Donnie. This upsets my son almost to tears! We pull up to the gas pump and he begs me to open his window. I’ve tried to tell him that they don’t roll down and he gets frustrated and is left to tap on the window to get attention from his friends. “Mom I only want to be friendly.” Poor guy. I guess we’ll have to take the truck next time we pass that way so he can let his friends at the filling station know that he isn’t trying to be rude, mom’s minivan simply isn’t as friendly as the Jeep was.

May is here and Mother’s Day is just around the corner

There are days that I honestly believe that I will be found at the bottom of a huge pile of laundry knocked unconscious by the fumes of cleaning supplies. My family will realize I am missing when supper did not get cooked and the dishes are piled on every flat surface in the kitchen, toys scattered throughout the house, messes in the bathroom—unmentionable.

Seriously though, there are tons of thankless tasks and chores that moms do. All the countless moms throughout history that did what they had to do and never gave it a second thought. I’m not saying they are or were all good. There are some out there that don’t deserve the title of mother. There are even some that are not “mothers”  but serve as a mother figure to children that desperately need nurturing in their lives. Fathers have their place to be thanked, as well, but this is for Mother’s day. For the moms that keep the laundry clean and folded, wash endless amounts of dishes, change diapers and really really messy babies when diapers can’t contain it all. The moms who run errands to countless places while doing the carseat rodeo trying to latch and unlatch a frustrated toddler who only wants to get out and run around the parking lot like a screaming banshee. The moms that sweep floors 3oo times a day, vacuum until the rug is wore down to its last threads or stay up at night looking after a sick child. The moms who worry themselves gray when their newly licensed child goes out for the first time on their own. The moms of special needs children who take care of their children and give them the love, tenderness and patience that they require (they are true women of grace).  The moms that are there all hours of the night and anytime during the day ready and willing to listen to the heartbreaks, fears and troubles of adult children (or anxieties about the brand new baby that won’t stop crying—I’ve called my mom around 2:00am a few times).  The moms that do all of the above and hold down a full time/part time job. The moms who wait patiently with arms ready to embrace, as their children stubbornly ignore sound advice only to discover all the pitfalls of life that mom warned of. The moms with children who have terminal illness and the countless hours they pray to take their child’s place. The moms who have fought illness themselves and kept pressing on for their children. The moms who would put aside every ambition of their own to see their children’s dreams and ambitions come true. Thank you to those moms. You are not alone, even if it seems as though nobody around you notices or cares, you are appreciated.

My mom and my boys

Dust in the Sun

Ten million little speckles of dust in the sun.
All swirling down from where ever they must come.
Reach out your little hand and touch them in wonder.
What are these floaty things your small mind must ponder.

The simple sweet things of childhood wonder,
Like ten million little speckles of dust in the sun.

What is this amazement a small parade?
Little balloons released for me on this day!
If I could collect them and take them with me,
I’ll show the world how delightful life could be.

The simple sweet things of childhood wonder
Like ten million little speckles of dust in the sun.

I remember as a very young child (2 or 3?), looking at the dust floating in the sunlight. I thought they were balloons, I still remember some of the conversation I had with my mother about them being balloons. I caught my youngest son admiring the dust in the sunlight. His little hand reaching out to touch the mysterious shinny flecks gave me a flashback to my childhood experience with dust in the sun. I wish I would have had my camera handy when it happened because it was so cute. Been hoping to catch him at it again, but no luck. Have any unique childhood memories? Please share.

My Town Part I

This post is about my hometown. If you have ever had a sip (or two) of bourbon chances are you are tasting the very thing that makes this place famous.  We live in Kentucky, known to most by the stereotype of everyone being “hillbillies” running around barefoot with guns all the time. We certainly have our share of rednecks, but we do have an abundance of culture and history as well. I’m hoping to have this photo tour done in three posts but there are so many great things that I love about this town and I’m discovering more all the time, so we’ll just have to see where we end up.

The Jailer’s Inn was the county jail and operated as a jail for almost 200 years!

Back of Jailer’s Inn.

A good friend let us in to see the courtyard.

“I wish for a big red bicycle.”

Great atmosphere as are most of the taverns, pubs and bars in this town.

“Main” street. North Third to be precise.

No dark scary alley here.

Courthouse Square

This home is called Shadow Lawn. It was the home of my husband’s great uncle. There are other buildings that are named after my husband’s ancestors… stay tuned.

Resting while mom takes more pictures.

Another resting spot for a weary boy.

Another resting spot for a weary boy. I believe these stones were laid as stairs for carriage entry.

Historic Spalding Hall was a college in the 19th century and briefly a hospital during the civil war. It is now the Oscar Getz Museum of Whiskey History and Bardstown Historical Museum.

Waiting for the traffic light.

At the end of our little adventure I took some pictures of my travel companions. The littlest guy is in the wagon. He does not like his picture taken.

Stay tuned for more of my town.

Wonderful weekend and the not so green grass of working from home

Yesterday ended one of the best weekends I’ve had in a long time. We spent our weekend preparing for Easter, hosting the annual Easter dinner and Egg hunt and enjoying the company of family and friends. Sunday was absolutely beautiful, we went to church then came home and started cooking for the big dinner. The kids had a blast looking for eggs and playing with their aunt, uncles, grandmas and grandpas.

I always wish we could extend such wonderful times and cherish them. I know they are in my memory and the memory of everyone there. I document the heck out of family events with hundreds of photos in fear that I might forget something later. I like looking at old pictures and seeing how much we’ve all changed and remembering what good times we’ve had. There aren’t many pictures of myself, since I tend to be the one with the camera. It brought me to wonder, however, how will my kids remember me?  I guess that’s what brings me to the working from home part.

Anyone would think that working from home is great and I’m not trying to say that it isn’t. I love being able to raise my kids and stay with them most of the time. But I wonder sometimes if it is more damaging to them when I am working and not one hundred percent available to them when they may need me. When I work at home, especially if I am under the pressure of strict deadlines, I tend to be more distracted with work and not able to respond to them with my full attention.

When I was growing up my mother always took time out for us and was always able to sit and talk with us. Even while she was doing dishes, cooking, folding laundry or doing any of the other household duties of a mother/homemaker she managed to make us feel as though we were all that mattered. Looking back it was so reassuring that my mom was able to give us her full attention. I  remember knowing that I could always talk to my mom about anything at almost anytime. To this day my mom is the one person I know I can go to when I need someone to listen to what I have to say and give reassuring words of encouragement.

I feel that sometimes because of my working from home and the amount of focusing that my work requires the thing that suffers most are my children’s needs. They are well fed and they get plenty of exercise and fresh air, but I feel like I don’t spend enough time with only them, no distractions. I don’t want them to look back and remember a childhood looking at mom’s back and the computer screen always having mom’s attention, with my most famous phrases being: “In a minute,” “Not now,” “After I finish this.”

I cherish my weekends with them. It is a time for just our little family, time to run and play and encourage the wonders of childhood. I am working harder at paying attention to things I do while I am working in regard to their emotional needs from me. No more “in a minute,” “not now” or “after I finish this.” I am blessed to be able to work from home. I am blessed beyond words with two beautiful boys. I need to work harder at the most important job I will ever have; being the best mom I can be to my wonderful boys. Not perfection, I know that can never be achieved, just do my best for them. They deserve my best and work can have the left overs, not the other way around.