Youth Will Eventually Work It’s Way Out

Naivety of youth.

My God, my husband and I had an extra serving of that when we were young.  

We began dating when we were teenagers.  We knew we wanted to have a different life than what we knew.  No one taught us how to change our future family dynamic.

We wanted to get out of our dreary midwestern town and live in the sunny south where people were friendly and the grass is nearly green year round.  We only knew this much from driving through the south every few years on family vacations.

He wanted to be a doctor and I wanted to have a family and build a home for them.  He was the first one in his family to GO to college, yet alone graduate and no one had stepped foot on a medical school campus.

We were going to move to the town where the medical school was that he wanted to attend and he would take undergraduate classes there.  The first time we visited that college town was when we were moving there.

I quit my job and he moved from his dad’s and we left for out-of-state with a plan.  The plan was about two sentences long and without financial backing.

What fools we were.  My dad told me it would never work and his parents didn’t really comprehend the gravity and years of work that were necessary to do what we wanted to do.

Youth can make you try things, that when you are a seasoned adult, you would never try.

Naivety can be a blessing and youth will eventually work itself out, with age.  

This story is for our three boys so that they realize that they need to see what they want AND be willing to work to make it happen.  We are proof that with a vision of what you want your life to be and the ability to go for it you can have the life of your dreams.

You just have to be willing to be a little naive.

As you age do you find yourself far more cautious?

I think it is because we realize how much more we have to lose.

What do you think?

-Abbie, All that makes you…   allthatmakesyou.com

Wants to be a (Fill in the Blank)

    Peter       wants to be a     BEE     because they are not allergic to pollen.”

– Peter’s school paper he brought home.

I love the drawing of the bee stinging the guy in the head and the guy screaming.  Well, that is what they get for insisting he draw a picture.  Please note the use of one crayon color.   This is what I get when I ask him to stop drawing pictures at school of guns, knives and blood.  

As much as he hates pollen, all of our boys love the flowers around the yard.  Peter likes to check what colors are on this hydrangea this week.

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-Abbie, All that makes you…   allthatmakesyou.com

Pool + Dentist = (See Photo)

Want to know the secret to having so much fun at the dentist?

With three young boys, the neighborhood pool opening is HIGH DRAMA!

With three young boys, the dentist gets an extra week at Martha’s Vineyard on our family, (I am not kidding.)

Peter has figured out that swim goggles and a bathing suit are perfect attire for a teeth cleaning, (especially when you want to go straight to the pool when your done.)

The office staff, wherever we go, tends to chuckle the whole time we are in the building.

I snapped a picture to send to my husband at work because he should take some responsibility for our kids weird genes.  Then I snapped a picture of me getting a root canal, and sent it to my girlfriends because it is just funny that they left me there like that.

Ok, so the weird genes may be all me.  Let’s hope the kids get the “smart doctor” genes from my husband and “grammar” genes, OH…and the “hard teeth” genes from him as well.  I am kind of glad they got the weird gene from me.  I would hate for them to go marching off a cliff while following the lemmings.

The office staff knows me and my brood are not lemmings.  My boys aren’t even afraid of the dentist.  I have girlfriends that schedule their kids appointments at the same time as my boys so their kids can see them go back alone and brave.  That, they did NOT get from me.  Shhhhh don’t tell them my mom had to give me a sedative prior to my dentist appointments.  So much of how our kids behave is how we have taught them to perceive the world.

Are your kids afraid of the dentist?  Do you talk openly about how much you hate to go and perhaps they caught on?  Do you go back to the dentist with your kids?  If anyone with young ones is interested I can give you a few tips we have done and it has made my boys a dream when going off to our dentists office.  Seriously, the big boys had to have teeth pulled and they went back alone and were fine.  I am always shocked when a parenting plan works! 😉

– Abbie      All that makes you…       allthatmakesyou.com

Summer Vacation Begins in HOW Many Days? Help!!!

Summer vacation isn’t here yet, and I have already had to threaten our three boys that I will make them carry a “Complaint Journal.”  I am thinking if they have to document how much they complain by “complaint” and “time” it may be an  eye opening experience for them.
 
Conversation ended with me threatening second “Smart A$$ Comment Journal”.
 Lord grant me patience and ability to convey a grateful heart to little children.
 
They may need to wear backpacks all summer for all their record keeping.
I know the kids are ready for summer vacation but ARE YOU?
Abbie
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She Didn’t Mother, But She Taught Me How

I had a mother once, but not a real mother. She gave birth to me, but almost anyone can do that. I know deep, deep down, under and inside and probably wrapped up inside of something else and hidden in a corner of her, there was love for me.

I believe in childbirth we give up the body of the child, but left behind is this powerful seed. Some people tend to it and embrace it as a gift. Not everyone does. Not everyone has a mom who paid attention to that burning in their chests and aching in their stomachs and inability to get your mind to rest at night. Not every new mother understands that this tiny baby is theirs and you are going to give up anything you have to just to keep it safe and to let it know it is loved.  Perhaps they are too young. Perhaps they are so distracted with their own problems, they wrap it up to silence it and hide it deep inside.

I know it is planted in my flesh because from the moment I laid eyes on my children, it hurt. Something is in you that wasn’t in you before. It burns as it germinates and tickles as it spreads roots throughout your being and every cell in your body knows your entire purpose has changed. You don’t sleep because you worry about your child. You are to protect this person you made and brought into the world. You are responsible for them and you have to teach responsibility to them. You already love them and you have to teach them to love. That is… unless you were my mother.

I was already mad at my mom before I had my own children. It isn’t fair because she is dead. She died when I was 19, unexpectedly, but I always expected it. When a mom dies at the end of a girl’s teenage years, you don’t get to “make up” and be best friends. You don’t get to shop for wedding dresses and have lunch together when you are in your twenties and thirties. You don’t get to laugh about the hard times you gave your parents and tell them you’re sorry you were such a rotten teenager, because you are a parent of teenagers yourself now… and you see the error of your ways.

Those things would have never happened anyway. She had forgotten she had that seed wrapped up and tucked away inside of her.

I loved her with all of me the way little girls love. The way little girls love with an open heart but with an extra helping of, “Please don’t kill yourself tonight mom. Please stop saying goodbye I promise I will be good. Dad does love you.” It was our normal. On the really bad nights, dad would take us to the drive-in movie for a double feature. We brought pillows and blankets and slept in the quiet.

As an older girl, I loved her by keeping her out of jail. I hid the knives in the wood burner when my dad went to work. Sometimes he would forget and call me from the office and tell me just to wrap them up in a towel and he will get them out when he gets home. We weren’t worried about her hurting herself anymore. She wanted to hurt us. I loved her with a protective heart while trying to keep myself and my little sister safe.

The teenage daughter was tired. Tired of trying to keep it all a secret, trying to pretend we had a normal family at school. Tired from sitting up all night while my dad was gone. I started sleeping up against the inside of my bedroom door after I woke up and found her pushing lit cigarettes into my mattress. She stood behind a door to pour hair dye on me on my high school graduation day. I was wearing a short white summer dress and I had black dye all over me. There are some things you cannot tell people until years later, because when they ask, “why?” you cannot answer. I don’t know why.

I was leaving for college and I was never coming back.

Then she died.

Sometimes, when women have children they don’t know they have to tend to that seed. Their souls and minds and flesh are hostile environments to grow anything but their own seeds of destruction. I know somewhere deep inside of my mother she had my mothering seed wrapped up and tucked away like she did with things in life. You would find pills wrapped up in tissues and tucked in the toes of her dress shoes. This was before Prozac or Paxil — before people talked about “baby blues” or “postpartum depression.” That wasn’t what was wrong with her though; there was a lot wrong.

She was probably bi-polar and it was probably because of some trauma she had inflicted upon her as a child. She didn’t get help and when she was grown she didn’t want any.

I went to a therapist for a year once. I thought that was the right thing to do before I started a family of my own. After a year of telling stories to my therapist, I asked him what he thought and how much “more” I needed. He replied that I never really needed a therapist. He told me he was waiting for me to ask how much longer. He told me I was “well-adjusted” and I had a “tremendous understanding” of how wrong and ridiculous my childhood had been. He said that the fact I can laugh about it speaks volumes that I am NORMAL. I am normal. That is why I did, indeed, need to go. As a child of a parent that was fatally flawed, you have so much worry that you are as well.

I turned 39 this year. I am now older than my Mother was when she died. I have always had a firm grasp on who I am, even thankful for all of my experiences. If you have had a challenging childhood you understand. There are a lot of us out there. I don’t mean the kind of childhood where you’re mad at your parents because they loved your sister more than you because she got to go to horse camp and you didn’t. I mean the kind of childhood that you’re happy you aren’t a crack-head or a topic for Dateline.

Turning 39 churned something up in me. I felt so much pity for my mom. She never had a chance to change. She didn’t live long enough to see the sympathy people now have for mental illness. I certainly don’t feel like I have anything figured out and am still continually finding out who I am. She didn’t get to try the medications that may have lessened her mood swings or calmed her anxieties. Some people talk about the moment they turned their lives around. Lying on the bathroom floor and the moment the drunk swears off the bottle forever or the wealthy man realizes that it is just money in the bank, but if given to others it could mean a warm blanket or an education for a fresh start.

My mom started her family at nineteen. She died as she turned 39. She never had a chance to go and find that seed and unwrap it. It wasn’t too late. Children love their parents — and they even love them when their parents hurt them. Perhaps one day she would have apologized for being rotten Mother and seen the error of her ways. Perhaps.

This Mother’s Day, I will spend the day with my beautiful boys, thinking a little about this one extra Mother’s Day that I have lived that my own Mother didn’t get. I will wonder if this would have been the year in her life that just the two of us went to lunch — for the first time. That extra year may have been the one that she noticed me instead of hurt me. Would this have been the year in her life I would have forgiven her?

I don’t know if I will ever forgive her. I know that isn’t how I am supposed to feel. But it is how I feel. I have that mothering seed growing inside of me and I pity her for not. Some days mine grows like kudzu and others it’s a little wilted from neglect. I am far from being a perfect Mother. I am far from being my own Mother and for that contrast, I am thankful. I don’t have those days where I am doubting all of my abilities to parent. I don’t have the mornings where I am crying to a girlfriend that I failed my kids the day before when I lost my temper. I know they will be okay. My mom taught me to love my kids with every cell of my body and to let them know — and mine do. I may not forgive her but I am thankful for her teaching me this lesson about mothering.

– Abbie

Not everyone has a Hallmark commercial memory playing above their heads when they think of Mother’s Day.  That doesn’t mean I don’t celebrate my Mother and being a mother.    Is Mother’s Day a day you focus on your own mom or do you relish in being a mom or both?

Why my belly-button is now a cup holder…

I have two stories.  One makes you cry and the other makes you pee yourself laughing.  SInce it is Monday I am going to tell you the story of one woman’s, (me) amazing birth of a farm animal, (sized baby) in front of two four-year olds and while miraculously being cured of a latex allergy. My first pregnancy was a twin pregnancy, (the Kleenex story.)  This story, (the Depends story) is about my second pregnancy which was supposed to be easy and uneventful.

Stay with the story because at the end you will be calling me a liar until I prove it all with pictures. I can prove about anything with pictures. I snap bad pictures with my phone, (usually) of everything. Want to see Peter’s first poop in the potty on his second birthday? I have it and it is actually super cute, not the poop but his expression and unabashed nakedness.  Oh, I will just save it for another post. 😉

I had twins the first time around six weeks early and weighing in at, 5 and 6 1/2 pounds. Oh yes, I am a breeder. I began the pregnancy at 103 pounds and my belly measured 47 weeks pregnant at 32 weeks, (I am also 5′ 3″) and I went two more weeks. When I was pregnant with Peter I made my physician husband do three EXTRA ultrasounds on me. I knew there was another one in there somewhere. I felt as big at I did with twins.

.

We had just moved several states away and we didn’t know anyone really. We didn’t know anyone well enough to drop our preschoolers off at their homes. My biggest worry was I would go into labor early and I would have to take our two four-year olds to the hospital with us. I was prepared as I could be. I had little bags pre-packed with dollar store toys and candy and there were lots of small things individually wrapped to entertain two little boys while we were at the hospital, just in case.

The boys and I went to Build-a-Bear and we made their new little brother a bunny to bring to the hospital after Peter was born. We had my mother-in-law fly in for ten days around my due date.
At some point I had a blood draw to see if I had gestational diabetes (I get that gigantic) and the band-aid they put on my arm afterwards caused a chemical burn. Someone noted this in my charts. Someone noted that I had a “latex allergy”. I did NOT have a latex allergy. It was from the glue on the band-aid.  I hear from commercials on TV that it is hard to get things like workman’s comp, insurance settlements and relieved of your debt. They strongly urge you to call “The Law Offices of _________”. They should do commercials about getting a false “latex allergy” off of your medical charts.

During my OB appointment, on my due date, I mentioned that my MIL would be leaving soon and since I was sure this baby was already double digits I would like to be induced. Isn’t that what all you girls did? Everyone I know who asked for induction got it. He checked me and said the baby hadn’t dropped so I was sent home.

A few days later I went back in and told him I had contractions. He checked me again and said he hadn’t dropped and sent me home.

Two days later, (haven’t slept due to contractions) the doc saw me and confirmed that the baby was indeed large but NOT ten pounds as I was suggesting but closer to eight. He said he would send me over to schedule the induction since an eight pound baby was big for someone my size. Yippee!!!!! So I take myself over to the hospital and call my husband and MIL.

The nurse meets with me and says, “Ohhhhhh, so I see you have a latex allergy.”

I am all smiles and eyelash batting while rolling my eyes and say, “Oh that was just from the glue on the band-aid. It has happened before with certain brands.”

She hands me a pager, LIKE AT THE FLIPPING OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE, and tells me to go home and wait for a “latex allergy free induction room” to become available.

I go home and cry. I rock in the rocking chair for two more days holding that pager. There is no sleeping because of my contractions. My MIL is leaving the next day and so I go and buy 40 bags of mulch and load and unload them. I then haul them all over my front yard and spread them. Why won’t my water break like the first pregnancy?! I go back up to the nursery and rock and think about my MIL leaving the next day and what am I going to do with two boys at the hospital?

Here is where Abbie lost her mind. I don’t lie. I tell the truth to a fault. I wish I could lie better. Everyone needs the ability to tell a little white lie for the greater good. Jim is now home from work and I will have no one to watch the boys when MIL leaves the next night.  I have no choice.

I announce with excitement, “The pager went off!”

We decide that we would all go to the hospital so the boys can see me off and then MIL will take the boys home. We all walk up to the maternity ward and I roll my little suitcase up to the desk and announce, “Hi! I am here to be induced. My pager went off.” Smiling, smiling, smiling.

Those women at that desk know everything. Before she even looked down at her paperwork she looked at me and said it all. Her face was saying, “Lady, aint nobody here paged you and I don’t care how big you smile and how nice you are…NO ROOM FOR YOU!”

NO ROOM FOR YOU!
(Photo is actually Peter)

What comes out of her mouth is instead, “Ohhhhhh, you have a latex allergy. We don’t have a latex free room available. I don’t show that anyone paged you.”

My bottom lip quivers and I look over my shoulder at my crew. I then turn back around at her and say, “Yeah but since we are all here and I don’t REALLY have a latex allergy and my MIL is leaving in 24 hours can you just do it in a regular room because this baby is huge and I am having contractions and I haven’t slept in days and please, please, please…”

This story turned out to be too long and so I will post the second half tomorrow…

The winner from my caption contest on Saturday is Julie Catherine!

http://juliecatherinevigna.wordpress.com/2012/03/31/muse-sings-april-2012-guest-doug-peters/

Thanks for reading and “follow me” for “All that makes you…”

 

“The Place Between Where The Babies Exit Out” -Said From A Highly Intelligent Mom

Mitchell, “You know mom we start health this week.”
Both boys looking back and forth at each other like I don’t know what they learn in health.
Avery, “We need a new binder for notes”
Mitchell, “Yeah, the teacher said were taking a LOT of notes.”
Avery, “Notes about SEX. Everyday, talking about sex, sex, sex, sex.
Mitchell, “Yeah we need a BIG binder.”

They are smiling so big that they are getting to say the word and that they are making me uncomfortable I just kept cooking dinner so as to not give them any satisfaction.
About a week later…
I’m busy cooking, again. Avery and Mitchell are in the living room whispering and giggling.
Finally, Avery announces, “Hey Mom! (all three giggle) Hey Mom! Do you know what a Fall-la-va-gees is?”
I already know what their working on trying to say even though they are acting, (again) like they are smarter than me.
So I say, “No.” and keep chopping up vegetables.
They continue whispering and giggling and then Mitchell says, “No… not that. It’s called a VEE-C-chay. Do you know what that is?”
Avery is beside himself laughing.
I am not helping them with this one!
I have been avoiding teaching them THIS WORD with the same tenacity I had in avoiding teaching them to open the fridge when they were toddlers and with the same rabid avoidance when everyone else was giving their kids the family internet password so their kids could surf the net. I managed to explain the birds and the bees without teaching a house full of boys THIS WORD.
It is now out of my control as apparently the big boys have learned the proper term for what we WERE calling “the place BETWEEN where babies exit out”.
I have one more day until they hear the word again from their new health class at school. I have one more day until I hear them squabbling and calling each other the “V” word and giggling…BUT FOR TODAY I say, “No. I have NO idea what you are trying to say.” I then exit the room and join JR in another and we whisper and giggle.
Do you think WordPress would actually “Freshly Pressed” a post about the benefits of NOT teaching your child the anatomically correct names for body parts? I guess only if the person doing the choosing was the mother of multiple boys.