Where my heart is….

My small people?  They are wise.

Too wise.

Wise enough to recognize my absence and brave enough to pretend it is all ok.

But I can see we are wading into new territory.  I’ve traveled before.  Three days here.  The odd weekend there…  but never like this.  Never gone more than I am home.  For a while when I only traveled three days in a two month period, they would whine and moan, attaching themselves vise-like to my ankles.  I would drag us both down the stairs fearing one wrong move and we would all tumble.  And I’d end up with a broken hip.

Now that I’m traveling – sometimes a week at a time, they comfort each other and it is their silence that speaks to me.  It is the joy in their eyes searching for recognition, for love, for placement in mine…. this is what I hear echoing in my ears even when they don’t say a word.  It is the enthusiasm of a first goal hooted and high-fived as I hop in the car from the airport…

It is the, “Mommy-will-you-tie-my-shoe-get-me-some-milk-look-at-this-picture-I-made-you-HOLD-MY-HAND-fix-my-ponytail-carry-my-soccer-ball-LOOK-AT-ME-read-me-a-story-dance-with-me-pet-the-puppy-TELL-ME-YOU-LOVE-ME….”  that screams to me….

And I hear them.  Not in my head.

But in my heart.

I hear them.  I hold them.

When I arrived home yesterday, I didn’t answer my phone.  I didn’t shoot you a quick email.  I didn’t even plug in my computer for the first 6 hours I was here.  Because I wasn’t really here.

I was waaaaayyyyy over here.

And I like it over here.  It is soft.  And warm.  And full of giggles and light, goodness and heart.

If home is where the heart is?  Well….  my home is wrapped tightly between a small girl with freckles and brown curls and a spunky blond dude prone to yelling, “hugs, Momma!”

He said, She said

If you have more than one child – and both of those children are of a speaking age – you will likely understand my life.

Delaney is 5.  Cooper is 3.

Apparently, their recent birthdays were the trigger for constant squabble.

He says, “I see an airplane.”

She says, “That’s not an airplane.”

“Yes it is.” “No its not”

And so on.

She sings, “The sun’ll come OUUUUUUT…..”, He sings louder. 

She says, “Sttooooooppp it!!” And he turns the volume up even more.

They argue over who has seen the most imaginary tractors out their car windows, who is standing too close to whom, who gets to close the car door, the refrigerator door and the door to the house.

They battle about flushing the toilet, sitting on my lap, eating their cereal and who is ‘the tallest’.

They yank toys from each other’s hands, yell, ‘that’s mine!”, ignore requests for peace and tackle instead and have even resorted to a little pushing and shoving.

And right when I think my head might explode, I hear, “Come here, Buddy, do you want me to read to you?” or “Damey, can I sleep in your bed tonight?  I love you.”

And I remember I must be doing something (small) right.

Sticking Together

So, I am learning.

Each day is giving me a new opportunity for amazing life experiences. Today has been no exception.  From the minute I woke up this morning until these last few moments I type, this crazy, small world story about our family picture ending up in another country has been *almost* the top of my mind.

*Almost* because nothing can ever truly edge my family out of  their ‘first place’ slot. And today’s chaos certainly lobbied to be the winner.

But  all I have to do it look around.  My husband spent his entire day at my side – helping to navigate our way through the inquiries and requests.

And…..right now….

Snuggled together just to my left are the two small people who bring me the most joy and make my life an adventure.  Delaney has her four year old arm tucked protectively around Coop because we are in a new and strange place. 

We are in New York City to visit CBS’s The Early Show first thing in the morning.

I know this will all die down, and when it does, we will still be the same family we were 2 weeks ago: We will still play baseball in the house, read to the kids every day, laugh through bath time, enjoy Friday night Family dinner dates and sit together for bed time prayers.

We will still stick together.  We will still be us.

I hope, if you see us – or if you have seen any of the media on this story – you can recognize that my family means the world to me.

They show me every day what it means to love, they remind me how good it feels to belly laugh and how grateful I am we wake up in the same home together every day.

Speak Now For Kids

Just about 2 months ago, I said out loud, “We’re so lucky, Delaney has never been in the hospital.”

Well, you know how that works, right?  Say it, forget to knock on wood – well, I might as well have requested a bed in the Emergency Room.  After 5 full days of a fever 101-103 and a negative flu swab, we felt compelled to visit our pediatrician.

Based on the sweet girl’s fever, chapped lips, swollen tongue, convunctivits in her eyes, and overall crabbiness, we were given a one-way ticket to Children’s Hospital for fear of Kawasakis disease.  I knew next to nothing about Kawasakis beyond the briefing our doctor gave – if Delaney had the disease, we had a finite period of time in which to treat her – otherwise there is the potential of serious heart problems – and she had never seen a child not fully recover, but couldn’t make promises.

Delaney is fine.  She didn’t have Kawasakis.  A second flu swab came up positive.

It was my job during this scary time to Speak Up for my daughter. Sadly – not all children have a voice, but a new campaign is aimed at changing that – the goal – to make sure kid’s voices are heard when health care reform decisions are being made.

Add your voice  (upload a video) to the conversation – some videos will be shown to members of Congress.

Speak Now for Kids.  Visit.  Speak.  Share.

That’ll be a Yes

Every once in a while I turn an average day with the kids into a “yes” day.  This means I say “yes” to just about everything (within reason – don’t go testing me – I don’t let them run the asylum) But I do try to say yes to most things they ask for.

I tend to do this whenever I find myself on the crabbier side of motherhood.  My crabbier side surfaces when I have spent days of uninterrupted time withmy children. This was the case this past week. Between the weather and the kids being sick, we hadn’t been out of the house(except for the hospital) and I had had no time to take a deep breath by myself.  My patience gets thin and I find myself snapping at the kids frequently. So, my solution is the ‘yes day’.  It makes me feel peaceful and centered….and like the mommy I want to be.

This means, yes, you can watch one more show, yes – you can paint, yes – you can have some extra Cheetos with your lunch, yes – we can have a birthday party for your doll, yes – I would love to play basketball with you for the 25th time today, yes – Candyland sounds like a marvelous idea, yes – you can have pancakes for dinner, yes you can take the cushions off the couch to make a ‘cushion pool’ and yes – you can play games on my computer when I need to be doing a little work.

And, yes – I would love to have both of you – my little fighting monsters – baking up a storm in the kitchen.

 That, my friends, is called getting egg on your face – literally. I couldnt’ see it when I was filming, but up close – egg on the entire left side of his face.  In his hair, around his eye….  So, we have now added eggs to the long list of things Cooper is afraid of. 

Coop will not be cracking eggs again anytime soon.  But he will be eating the cookies we made.

And, despite the egg incident (which, actually made me laugh – hard) the Yes Day was a success.

I am once again feeling normal.  Or at least as normal as I usually do.

 

Clearly, I am Blissfully Domestic!  Can’t you see the Bliss on Coop’s face?  Or did the yelling drown everything else out?  At least I am trying, yes?

Visit some other Blissfully Domestic lovlies here.

Focusing on Gratitude

Because I am not yet ready to share how it felt to see my itty-bitty sweet girl lying in a great big hospital bed – not knowing if she was going to be ok, (it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and threatening to take my breath away when I think about it) I figured, I would instead focus on the thinks that make me happy and grateful.

Health, Springtime (I know it is coming!), the first sign of tulips, a big glass of ice water, my daughter singing, the smell of cinnamon, baking, getting out of cooking dinner 5 nights in a row (a small miracle), photographs, palm trees, silence, flip flops, figuring out that 80% of my kid’s summer clothes from last year STILL FIT (yet another small miracle), witnessing a friend in love, writing a wedding toast, the colors pink and green, sunsets, 75 degree weather, post it notes, Twitter, catching up on email (this is a pipe dream), American Idol, pure – clean singing voices, my cell phone ring (it makes me dance on my way to answer), a plan free weekend, date night with my husband, organizing, my son saying, “I missed you while I was sleeping, Mommy.”, good doctors, supportive friends, the color of my office (slate blue), the sound of the ocean (and the sight and smell), looking forward to vacation,Disney World, my kids giggling, chocolate and peanut butter, a good glass of wine, Pilates, and these two things: Delaney writing ‘Mom’ all by herself and Coop in a tux!

writemomcooptux

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Tell me – what is making you happy right now?