SING, the cartoon, and the blubbering mother in the middle of the Polish theater

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*Image from Wikipedia*

Oh my blubbering goodness.  You would have been DYING had you been in the theater with me for the movie SING that has recently been in theaters (at least in Poland).   Laughter.  Snotting.  Chortles.  Gasps.  Tears.  All directed at me-the mother sobbing uncontrollably over a children’s cartoon.

It is currently a very gray and cold season in Poland.  When the sun comes out, which is extremely rare these days, Max has to ask, “MOM!!!!  What is the sun made out of?!”  And Josephine, “Mom, WHAT IS THAT?!”

NOT KIDDING.  She literally just asked the other day.  I had to explain it was not the moon, it was the actual sun gracing our presence for a moment.

So it’s gray.

Then it’s also cold.

Not -20 F or C.  But it’s been hovering in the 20s and early 30s.  Obviously that’s F.  In C, it’s been about -7 to 0 C.

On top of all of that, Josephine and MOMMY were both so sick this last week.  She ran a fever for about 7 days, and my head felt as if it was stuck literally in a bucket of sand.  I can’t recall the last time I felt so horrible.

So, needless to say, last week, we were mostly at home.

To make up for a week stuck at home where TV became the literal mother to my children for 24/7, I decided to start going on small daily adventures with Max and Jo.

Yesterday we went to an indoor Botanical Garden.  It was okay.  Nothing too thrilling, but also warm and had plants and fish and turtles and birds.  The vines hanging from ceiling to ground inspired many monkey calls, and we screeched right along with the parrots.  So what is merely a “Meh” place came to life with my Littles in their imaginations, making it a grand adventure.

Max and Jo have wanted to see the cartoon SING ever since their sister, Adelyne, told them all about it.

So, today I decided to leave the house for an early morning showing of SING.

What fun!  Of course, the cartoon is in Polish, but both of my children don’t seem to mind; therefore, away we went!

The movie—it’s AMAZING.  I loved it.  It did not go in the direction that I thought it would — now, mind you, I did not see a single preview for it, but I imagined a much more American Idol direction once the fliers were printed and sailed around town…

It was much more somber than that.  Hardships and struggles and overcoming were quietly being dealt with throughout the movie.

While fears were being squelched, dreams were also simultaneously being shattered.

And then everything literally falls apart.

Nothing went at all like I had expected.

Well, let me not ruin it for any of you that have yet to see SING.  Let me just say, when there came an opportunity for the momma pig to sing, her husband and children watching, I literally began to BAWL.

Not quiet and pretty tears.

I was literally bawling.  I was snotting.  I had to TAKE OFF MY GLASSES and wipe away the waterfall of tears.  I could not stop.

The mother—performing in front of her husband and children.  The mother giving it everything she had.  The mother LIVING out her dream.  And doing it to the BEST of her ability.

The mother taking a risk.  The mother — EXCELLING.

Yes, dear people out there.

A mother cartoon pig singing and dancing.

It was too much for me.  I am afraid I cried literally ALL of my mascara off my lashes.  My blue eyes turning as crystal as the Carribbean’s waters, as they always do when I cry.

To me, this momma pig, she was so much more than an entertainment figure for the little minds.  She was the mother in each and every one of us.

The mother stuck in the mundane routine of washing dishes, cleaning clothes, feeding children, working sunrise to sunset.

She was the mother that danced and sang to herself and dreamed in her own imagination.

She was the mother that put absolutely everyone and everything above the very core of her being.

She IS the epitome of that very word MOTHER!

I have been feeling like that momma pig.  At home.  Stuck.  In a sink of bubbles.

And, then, there I was at the theater with these two miraculous littles that I had to physically fight to bring into the world, and I realized that they are the ultimate dream.

I fought SO LONG and SO HARD to even conceive children.  And then to get them to enter the world safely was another journey.

I grabbed my son’s hand and held it.  His heart beating because my body grew him.  His life living because God gave him to me for another day.

Being a woman is hard.  Being a mother is hard.  Making satisfaction in our souls as both is hard.

And this momma pig brought this pit into my stomach that there lies within each and every one of us a fire and a passion outside of ourselves and our families.  Yet, while we are momma to littles, sometimes those other dreams may be put on the side.

But it doesn’t mean they are squelched.

It just means that our priorities are directed differently—straight.

In the meantime, someday is out there where it will be our turn to sing and dance.

And make our littles proud!

When You Are Raising a 4-Year-Old

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Several years ago, I was sitting in a meeting of International Women.  I was seated next to a beautiful Danish woman.  She had 2 children.  I had 1.  One 4-year-old daughter.

We bonded over that mere fact.

Being moms.

And, as we were virtually strangers, yet with something HUGE in common, we had a lot to talk about.

Okay—we had parenting and mom-ming and kids to talk about.

But it was one of the deepest conversations of my life.

We looked at each other and both of, respectively, said, “We are so thankful that we don’t beat our children.”

It’s as if we were leaning over to give one another high fives for keeping our children alive.

Like really.

We spoke on HOW difficult parenting is.  How hard it is to practice restraint.  How MUCH  you want to, well, basically, put your child in a VERY big box and shut the lid.

It was so refreshing to have an honest parenting conversation with another mom.  A mom that looked like she had EVERYTHING together.

Because parenting is HARD HARD HARD.

IT, your beautiful baby, your precocious toddler—turns FOUR…FOUR!

And you think…have I spawned the devil?

And these precious creatures we have spawned literally live to drive us bat crazy.  You feel as if you have no shred of self control left.  You literally have to physically leave the presence of your spawn.

Parenting is hard.  And I get so ridiculously crazy of these soft-spoken moms that are like “Blah, blah, blah…the beauty of parenting…AND MAKING BUTTER..” because I am all like…MY KID LIVED TODAY!!!!!

And I feel as if I should run outside and SHOUT IT ON THE ROOFTOPS!

And I feel as if they should literally make a MADE FOR TV movie about my heroism.

AND I.AM.NOT.KIDDING!

This woman.  This stranger.  She got all of that.  We talked for a long time about how people really should praise mommies for maintaining control.  We talked about parents that struggled with doing what’s right.  We talked about how much help we need as parents.

We need help.  The good parents.  The bad parents.  THE PARENTS.  We need help.

Because our job is the biggest in the world.  And it’s the hardest in the world.  And we have little little little people that trust us for safety and protection and life—as they should—even while they are trying to snuff that VERY life out of us.

Right now I am raising my second 4-year-old.  I say second, because my daughter was my first and she is now 10.

And she is the FINEST decade gal you will ever meet (decade gal is what she calls her 10-year-old self).

She is funny and kind.  She is smart and hardworking.  She is silly and fun.  She is outgoing yet shy.  SHE IS THE BEST!

I couldn’t ask for a more amazing child.

Yet when she was four—I thought she was the she-devil herself.  And I could hardly see straight because she drove me so insane.

And I PRAYED that we would BOTH live through that phase.  That phase of her being 4.

Stubborn.  Screaming.  CRYING…PUBLIC HUMILATION.  Up the wazoo.

I felt ashamed every time I walked in public with her because of her meltdowns and fits and tantrums.

I wanted to return this child I prayed so hard to receive.

And I thought I would never make it past this phase of being the WORST MOMMY EVER!

Yet here she sits at 10 as the BEST version of any kid I could imagine building on my own.  Like, literally, if I could design a child, this child would still not come out as great as my decade gal.

And so I have chosen to write this post today for me.  For you.  For every HONEST mom out there that is pulling her hair, just trying to survive.

I write this for the solidarity of US!

We do deserve high fives.  We do deserve made for TV movies.  We deserve honor and recognition that our children are alive despite the fact that we are now bald.

You are doing a fine job.  Maybe some days you want to cry because you feel like you are the worst.  But take a deep breath.  Go in the other room.  Cry.  And then breathe again.  Because your 4-year-old will not be a 4-year-old forever.

One day your 4-year-old will turn into your decade gal…and you will be able to look at your child and see that you have made it.  You have survived.  And you are doing a darn fine job of it.

Drink a coffee…Eat dessert.  And breathe.

Because the teenage years are just around the corner.

 

Momma, have you ever traveled alone???

Listen, I know the appropriate answer in ALL of our mommy lives is THAT OUR CHILDREN ARE OUR GREATEST BLESSINGS!

Therefore, Pinterest and Facebook and Instagram and LIFE itself was created (of course, exaggerating on ALL of the above) for T.H.E.M.

But when you are a mommy—you FEEL as if you MUST only be mommy.

100%.

All the time.

Because, by golly, you created THAT life—you can just as easily TAKE IT AWAY (oops—wrong tangent).

No, really…You feel this gut need to be there 24/7 plus all of those hours in between that in mommy hood REALLY DO EXIST!

I know.  Because I have been a mommy for 10 and a half years.  And in the years that I have been a mommy, I have had, literally just today, A TOTAL OF 2 weeks WHERE I HAVEN’T HAD A CHILD IN MY PRESENCE since my firstborn was, well, BORN.  (And those words do deserve ALL CAPS)

That’s 365 x 10 plus 6 months which equals approximately 3,830 days where life has NEVER EVER EVER EVER been about a single moment of me since.  Now, take away the 14 days where I have been a mommy BUT not in the presence of a single child that was mine equals 3,816 days.  Forget the fact that I am Facetiming them about 2 times a day—they are not hanging on to my shirttails, so it is still deemed “free”.

Ladies—There is something utterly overwhelming about that number.   And, if you’re sanctimonious, spare me the comments, because that’s a crap load of LOTS of time dedicated to little people.  Enough of a load to make you go just a WEE BIT insane.

And, even though, I am suppose to be in ARIZONA with 1/3 of my little people right now, I wound up here (due to an expired passport) ALL ALONE.

At first I was like, what do I do???

At first it was like—lie in bed.  Don’t feed anyone.  Take a long shower.  Get coffee.  Sleep.

A little boring—because, after all, children do make our lives FUN!

But the more days I have been relaxing here, the more I have realized that I have needed this.

This moment.

To NOT be constantly thinking about scissors and rocks and crying babies and wiping my son’s bottom to save my laundry load from streaks later…

This moment.

To not be picking stuck boogers out of the littlest nostrils and convincing the oldest that it is her SWORN duty to play with the littles for ONE HOUR of the 24 WAKING HOURS she has in her day so that I can sit and stare mindlessly into a dirty house.

This moment.

To not be cutting crust off of bread—whichever parent invented that method of sandwich preparation—remind me to KILL YOU LATER, because, for some reason, my children KNOW it and CAN’T eat sandwiches with crust.

This moment.

To realize that my house is probably the aftermath of the storm—but I am ALONE in my bed without physically seeing the dirt and grime and toys and laundry—so I am SAFE FROM THE STORM!

And the longer I am apart from my Tasmanian devils, the more I appreciate being their mommy.  It’s like that Christmas chocolate you get that you put up high to only have a piece every once in a while because you want to make it last…NOT SAYING THAT I’LL STUFF MY KIDS UP HIGH SOMEWHERE SO THEY’LL LIVE (or am I????).

Simply saying—this moment of being without kids is allowing my haggard body, soul, and mind to reboot.

So I can go back and live 24/7 for another 3,816 days—upon which they will all be out of the home and I will be SOBBING for the days of insanity.

#truth

#nuttynuttytruth

To end…my advice for you, mommies, out there.  Maybe take a break from day 3,173 and go somewhere without kids and just lie in bed, be bored, drink coffee, shower, and reboot.

It’s totally worth it.

And, don’t worry, the house will be a disaster upon your return—as if you NEVER really left in the first place.  BUT OH YOUR SOUL WILL KNOW THE TRUTH!

And that truth will let you live on!

Power on, Mommy—and travel alone!!!!

 

 

 

Happy Mother’s Day #failblog to Me!

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“YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME, MOMMA!” My 3-year-old son shouted at me today.

Yes.  On Mother’s Day.

The sacred day for Mothers.

Why would a 3-year-old shout that he is not understood?

Well, for starters, his 2-year-old sister slightly colored on his Spiderman coloring picture and I told him it was going to be okay.

I even cut around the pencil scratches she made…

But, apparently, it was NOT OKAY!

I don’t understand…

And then he wanted crunchy toast for lunch.

So I made it.

Buttered bread, into the oven, voile!  Out comes crunchy toast.

But NOOOOOOOOO!

He wants the bread in the oven first to get crunchy…THEN…And, apparently, only THEN…can I butter his toast.

“YOU DON’T UNDERSTAND ME, MOMMA!!!”

Yes, Maxwell.  This is where you are 100 million 25 billion 49 quadrillion 237 gazillion correct.  I DON’T UNDERSTAND YOU!

Happy Mother’s Day to me?????

Absolutely!

Because just when all sanity was lost, a dear friend showed up delivering flowers on behalf of my husband who is 1 trillion kilometers away…

Flowers…on a day when I was LOSING.  Like BIG TIME!

Flowers…for me!

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Winds of change…This surprise uber lovely visit shuffled all children AND crying 3-year-olds outside where they began to ride, run, and play in the great outdoors.

Lunch still untouched—but, hey!  Who needs lunch????

Friends…I don’t understand my kids.

My 10-year-old…A mystery!

My 3-year-old…A puzzle!

My 2-year-old…A NO Monster!

If this was baseball, I would be STRUCK out!  Out of that Old Ball Game!

But that’s the thing about mommies.  We don’t strike out.

Well, technically, we MAY strike out…BUT WE DON’T leave home plate.  We make sure that they pitch it again and again and again…hoping for a hit!

Which sometimes we actually make.

The crack of the bat.  The connection of the ball.

We run and run and run…And round those bases so that we can bat again.

Recently I had posted a picture of my 2-year-old trying to escape out the front door to find daddy (who is a trillion miles away).  Her diaper sagging.  I called her #soggybottom.  My soggy bottom baby.  And I captioned the photo: Because sometimes we fail at parenting.

But then an angel wrote and said, “It’s not a parenting fail…It’s well hydrated!”

That’s when it hit me…

I didn’t fail.  I succeeded.  She was well hydrated.  That meant she wasn’t dehydrated.  Which meant, I could avoid taking her to the doctor for fluids.

Complete victory!

My daughter was well-watered.  Forget the soggy bottom baby trying to escape.  At least she was trying to escape hydrated!

More power for her long, long journey!

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I absolutely LOVED how that perspective changed my entire view of the situation.

And, so, I’ll leave you with the same advice my mom used to give me when I’d fall, “Hop up and get going again!  You are fine.”

Dear Moms out there…

You’re not failing.  You are hydrating your children.  Forget all of the details in between…

And, when you need it, remember the words HOP UP!  GET GOING!  YOU ARE FINE!

Because you are…

Happy Mother’s Day to you!

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A masterpiece of work in progress!

“He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it…” Philippians 1:6

Parenting truth…Oh my! Take notes.

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I nearly snorted through the entire reading of this blog.  Even the beginning.  “Holy. Crap. Cannot. Deal.”  I feel the EXACT same way 😉

You know…there are those people in the world that can just be so ridiculously real that you want to sit next to them and never leave.

I have a friend like that.  Her name is Lindsay.  I won’t give her last name as she may not appreciate the initial shout-out.  Who knows?  Some friend, eh?!

But, really.  There is something about authenticity that makes you feel real.

And this blogging/reality star/real mom, Jen Hatmaker, keeps life real about being a mom.  Raising kids.  And living.

Wouldn’t you DIE to discover that her mom raised her to be THIS awesome simply by drinking Tab all day long and locking her out of the house?!

Okay—slight exaggeration.  But I know that this real post from a real woman about being a real mom is going to just make your day.

Did you know that YOU ARE DOING A-OKAY?!

After reading this, you will, my dear mothers out there.  You will be assured that you are doing a GREAT job.

Now, go and find that coffee.  That Coke.  That Pepsi.  That box of cookies.  And enjoy your day.

I know I will…

Well, when my “Littles” let me!

Here is the article that will warm your heart.  Enjoy:

What Would My Mom Do?  (Drink Tab and Lock Us Outside)

With 3 kids, which kid gets lost in the midst?

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It tears my heart to pieces to say it—but with three kids the MIDDLE does get lost in the midst.

And this is a MIDDLE child speaking!

I swore I would NEVER forget the middle…Until I had the older one in school and one million activities that required much attention.  Don’t forget the fact that she goes to school fully submersed in a foreign language (a language some declare the MOST difficult language in the world—others rank it in the Top 7 most difficult languages in the world)—POLISH!  Don’t forget that I make her do oodles of English work at home.  Don’t forget she is gifted.  She reads a ton.  She can sit and write a book in one day and would like for me to then plop myself down and illustrate it for her.  Don’t forget SHE WAS an only child for 6 and 1/2 years.

The Middle…Break my heart for my middle.

My Baby—my little Max in the Middle was only 11 months old when I got pregnant with Belly Josephine!  I immediately started spotting.  Cramping.  And then bleeding.  Which meant that Max in the Middle got put down, tossed crackers for lunch, and left behind.

I could hardly function—much less take care of a wee toddler.

Then the pregnancy, Belly Josephine, got really bad.  Like she decided at 30 weeks my belly was not 5 Star and she wanted out of there.  Which really put me on my back.  Feet up.  Staying still.

The Middle.  Break my heart for my middle.

Of course we made it to the end—HALLELUJAH!  But that meant the new baby was here.

Oldest has to have attention.  She has school, and assignments, and sports.

Baby has to have attention.  She needs extreme protection and sleep and food.

The MIDDLE can live off of crackers and Elmo.

And still seems to…

Ah the middle.  You would have thought that because my middle is the one that has had to fight the hardest in life to live that I would pay MOST attention to him.

But I seem to be the very stereotypical Momma.  I realize that the oldest achieve much because of the attention that they have always garnered from the start…

I see that the youngest get so much loving because we don’t want the baby phase to ever end…

And I see my middle on his favorite chair watching Elmo.

Over and over and over again.

Then I wonder why he throws a fit when I turn off the TV.

Poor Middles…

Now I better understand Me!