Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Tis the season to be MARY

I am absolutely exhausted today.  I asked myself why this morning.  Why am I so tired?  Why do I want to hit the snooze button and skip the gym today?  It is because I have succumbed to the season.  The season of Christmas that is. 

The past few weeks our agenda has been incredibly full.  Christmas parties every weekend, shopping, cleaning, church activities, preschool activities, trimming the tree, etc etc.  I literally could go on all day.  All of this combined with our normal day to day schedule has become almost more than I can handle.  I have tried not to become one of "those" people that gets caught up in the commercialization of Christmas...but I have.

Growing up I can remember my parents being exhausted by the time that the big day rolled around.  I didn't know why at the time because I thought that Santa had all of the hard work to do.  Like delivering toys all across the world in a sleigh with eight tiny reindeer.  One of those reindeer even had a shiny red nose!  As I have grown older I now know why.   Mom stayed up into the wee hours of the morning cooking and  wrapping gifts.  Dad stayed up to assemble an assortment of toys.  I always would be amazed that Santa had the same wrapping paper that my Mom did.  Even though Mom and Dad made Christmas such a special, amazing, and magical time, they never let us forget what it was all about.  It was about faith, family, and giving to others. 
Christmas Eve was a jammed packed day in the Wilson Family.  We would start out by going to my Mom's parents for lunch.  I was always excited because we could play with our cousins the entire day.  I can remember playing in Granny and Papaw's bedroom one year and we all found a big box with a blanket over it.  My cousin Erin was the oldest and the tallest at time time, so she was able to maneuver the blanket off of the box.  Inside was a brand new TV.  We were amazed at our discovery and ran to tell our parents about what we had found.  I don't remember the exact explanation that they gave for our findings, but we believed it!!!  Amazingly,  the next morning Santa brought the exact kind of TV to our house, it was incredible!
I remember the last Christmas with my Papaw John.  I was seven years old.  They usually had an artificial tree, but that year he decided to go and cut down a tree in the woods on their farm.  At the time I thought that the tree was a little ugly. It was a little bare in places and it wasn't a perfectly shaped tree, but my Papaw was so proud of it. He hung the strands of the old multi colored bulbs, you know, the real big ones.   Now when I look back, it was one of the most beautiful trees that I can ever remember.

 After Christmas Eve lunch we would then go to the community Christmas program in our little town, Borden. It used to be held in the parking lot of the hardware store, but because of cold weather they eventually moved it to the old Museum Building in town.  All of the community would gather and listen to the Christmas story read by one of the ministers of the various churches in town.  After that members of all of the churches would come together and sing Christmas Carols until Santa arrived on the fire truck.  I can remember the anticipation and excitement when we heard the siren on the fire truck.  Santa would give a bag of candy to all of the children.  Those were the best candy canes that I have ever eaten.  It is a tradition that is still alive today.  The same families are there each year, and as we all leave to go our separate ways when it is over, everyone hugs and gives warm wishes of a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Following the Christmas program we would make our way to my Dad's parents house.  My dad has a big family and we all are very close.  We celebrate every birthday, holiday, etc etc together.  Christmas was especially special.  We would all be jammed packed into their small house.  The smell of all the wonderful food, the gigantic mound of presents under the tree, it was all magical.  I can remember placing the gifts under the tree.  It was a nice tree, Grandma always had white doves on it.  We would all pack into the kitchen and have prayer together, not forgetting what the season was all about, and then we would eat.  My Grandma and Papaw had a dining room table with brown leather chairs and I remember twisting around and around while sitting at the table in those chairs.  After eating we would distribute all of the gifts.  As a grandchild, if you were old enough to read the name tags, you had to sort all of the gifts and hand them out.  Everyone would find their little spot or corner to call their own.  Eventually as a family we had outgrown my Grandparent's house and now my Aunt hosts Christmas Eve.  Things have changed a little.  Papaw is no longer with us, and the next generation of kids are now handing out gifts.  Changes and all, we still love each other more and more each year, and we all still celebrate together.  It was a tradition started by our Grandparents who knew what the most important things in life were.  What an incredible example they set, and what an amazing thing they started so long ago. 

Exhausted from the busy day, when we got home late that night, it wasn't too hard for us to fall asleep.  One year while driving home I looked in the sky and saw a flashing light.  Dad told me that it was Santa's sled and that we needed to hurry up and get home and go to sleep.  Now I know that was a jetliner, but still today on Christmas Eve when I see a plane in the night sky, I think to myself that we better get home and go to bed because Santa is coming. 

Christmas morning we would wake up sometimes before daylight.  We would wake mom and dad and run to the living room to see if Santa had come.  The tree would look beautiful, the lights twinkling, the gifts arranged so neatly.  One year we even had a tent completely assembled in the living room that Santa had brought.  Years later I learned that my dad put the tent together at Grandma and Grandpa's house in the garage.  He and my aunt rode inside of the tent in the back of the truck in sub zero weather Christmas Eve night, so that it would not blow out of the truck to bring it to our house!  They still laugh about that every year on Christmas.   After opening gifts, we usually go back to sleep at some point that morning.  We stayed at home on Christmas day.  It was our day with our parents.  Our grandparents would usually stop by that afternoon to see all our treasures.  Those were great times.  Although we were blessed beyond measure, my family never let us forget about the true meaning of Christmas.  I pray that I am able to do the same with my kids.

Years have gone by and now I can't believe that I am the mom.  I'm the one that has been awake until 2am the past two nights making sure that the gifts look perfect and the bows are just right.  Putting toys together while trying to get the house clean for the guests to arrive.  We are also making new traditions.  I host my husband's family at our house on Christmas Eve day.  I have learned from his 96 year old Grandmother how to prepare traditional Romanian cabbage rolls (sarmale) for Christmas.  I melt when I see the excitement in the eyes of my kids.  We are making memories of our own while still not forgetting where we have come from. 

Yes, I admit it.  It is the week of Christmas and I am exhausted.  The most important thing that I want my kids to know is that we can't forget the humble beginnings that Christmas is all about.  Jesus came into this world in a dirty barn, not the deluxe birthing suite.  Not a birth we would call fit for our Saviour.  So, as we try to make everything perfect this Christmas just don't forget that humble beginning.  Believer or not, let us not forget about giving of ourselves and giving to others less fortunate.  Be with your family, enjoy that time with them, because we never know what the next year will bring.   Love each other.

Merry Christmas to all of you and I hope that you have a wonderful holiday!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

As long as we both shall live

Some people believe in love at first sight.  Call me a skeptic, but I think that is all a big crock.  The only "love at first sight" that I believe in is when your child is born and you see your baby for the first time. Then even though it is the first time that you have "seen" the baby, you have loved them since the very beginning. 

Last week Bobby and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary and over the past few days I have been thinking about how awesome this journey with him has been and continues to be.  For some,  5 years seems like we are still just babies, but my how many things we have experienced since then.

I am blessed beyond measure to have meet Bobby.  I can remember the first time I saw him, he was in typical Bobby mode...going a hundred miles a minute.  He rounded the corner to the nurses station at 2B on a mission.  It was about 4am, I could tell that he had literally just jumped out of the bed because he was called in to an emergency in the ICU.  His hair was going in every direction, lab coat was wrinkled, pants were too short.  Despite all of that, his sweet face caught my eye.  He was looking for a chart and I just happened to find it...a  few days later we meet for coffee at Barnes and Noble Bookstore.  We talked for hours and actually closed the store down.  I even remember the green shirt he was wearing...his mom got it for him from Oregon.  It was comfortable, easy, like we had known each other forever.  When I got home my mom asked me what I thought.  My exact words were, "I really like him.  He is so nice and sweet.  Even if nothing happens between us, he is a friend that I could have for life."  We went out the following night, and the three following that.  I learned very quickly how absolutely amazing, smart, caring, and funny this guy was. 

Over the next few months we would see each other as much as we could.  We would meet in the hospital cafeteria or the the break room for a quick lunch.  I would drive 30 miles to Louisville and sit outside University Hospital waiting to see him, sometimes only for 10 minutes, but it was worth it!  On Christmas Eve I asked him to go with me to my Aunt's house and meet my family.  This was a huge step for me.  I had never really brought anyone I had ever dated to meet the entire family before.  I could tell that he was nervous, but he went because I had asked him to.  Before we came, I gave the family a pep talk and told them that he was my friend and not their doctor.  I warned them that he wasn't going to listen to their lungs and diagnose that nasty cough.  When we walked in the door my dad was the first to meet and greet him.  Bobby said "Hi Mr Williams, nice to meet you".  My dad, Lonnie WILSON just smiled and made him feel right at home.  It took all of 15 minutes and my Uncles and Papaw had all lined up and were explaining their entire medical  history to him over the Christmas ham.  It was actually a good thing because it was something that Bobby was comfortable talking about.  The next day I was talking to my Papaw and asking him what he thought about Bobby.  He told me that he thought that Bobby was a fine man and that I should not let him slip away.  Papaw knew what he was talking about, and in my heart I knew down deep that he was the one.  Our friendship blossomed into a relationship over the next few months.  In May he had to go out of town for two weeks for a conference.  I took him to the airport and when he left my heart was so heavy and I felt so sad when he was away.  I knew then that I was in LOVE.  It is funny that he too had the same revelation while on that trip.  He says that is where he really realized that he was in love with me too.  When he got home we told each other that we loved each other.  It was so special because it had been almost a year in the making.  We both knew that these words were not spoken lightly.  We were engaged on February 5th 2005 and married on December 2nd 2005. 

Since then we have had many good times and some bad along the way.  We survived his fellowship, job hunt, and finally finding a job.  We have endured the illness of his grandmother.  We grieved the loss of my Papaw with each other.  We bought a car, a house, and had two babies in 20 months.  What a journey it has been along the way.  It is challenging at times.  Having a husband who has a job that is so demanding is very hard.  Our kids don't have a normal bedtime because when it is 10 o'clock at night and they haven't seen their daddy at all because he left before they were awake, I can't make them go to bed.  Liv stands at the window and watches every headlight that comes down our street waiting for it to turn in our driveway.  Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas, there are always sick people who need them.  It is hard for Bobby, because he wants to be at home too, but there are times where he can't.  Doctor's wives definitely don't get their nails done everyday and sit at home and eat chocolates.  We handle everything at home from repairs to the laundry.  Although sometimes I miss him and get frustrated I think about the wives who wait months for their husbands to come home from war, and I am thankful.  I have a husband who loves me and my babies more than life itself.  He sacrifices everything for us.  At the end of the day when he comes through that door, even if it is midnight, he always has a smile on his face.  This is our life, it is how it has to be, and that is fine with me.  I am proud to have a husband who actually wants to help people.  It isn't a paycheck to him.  He wants to make a difference and I admire him for that.

Our love was not love at first sight, it is a love that started with a friendship and grew into the beautiful thing that it is now.  We are in this through the good times and the bad.  We are a team.  How BLESSED I am to have such a loving faithful husband.  Bobby, I love you with all of my heart and I am so excited that I get to spend the rest of my life with you.  It gets better and better with each passing minute.  My cup overflows...

Monday, November 15, 2010


I was driving home from work this morning and I saw not one, but several houses already decked out for Christmas and I could not believe my eyes!  Did I miss the turkey and cranberry sauce?  Did we skip the entire month of November?  Am I the only person that finds this a little disturbing?

I love Thanksgiving!  It is the only holiday where diets are outlawed and it is ok to wear pants with draw strings.  It is all about spending time with family, reflecting on the past year, and taking time to be THANKFUL! 

When I was growing up I loved Thanksgiving.  I can remember waking up early that morning to the sound of the vacuum cleaner running and my mom getting that last speck of dirt off the carpet.  I would go out to the living room and turn on the TV to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.  As my mom would be basting the turkey and giving last minute "honey do" jobs for my dad, I would be watching the pink panther soar above Manhattan, dancing with the Rockettes, all while trying to sing the latest Broadway tune!  We would have to hurry and get dressed because soon the entire family would be coming to our house for the day.  The cars would start to come up the drive...Grandpa unloading a trunk full of Grandma's pies and chicken and dumplings.  My Uncle Mel would pull up by the house and get my great grandma's wheelchair out of the van and let me ride on her lap while he pushed her into the house.  My cousins would arrive and we would try to sneak a dessert before the meal.  After everyone arrived and the "buffet" was arranged, we would all stand in the living room and kitchen together as a family (there were so many of us that we didn't all fit in one room).  Everyone would join hands and we would reflect on all of the things that we as a family had to be thankful for.  We would hold hands and pray.  We would eat.   Laughter filled the rooms.  Everyone would go back for seconds, some, even thirds!!!  The ladies would then sit and chat over dessert.  The men would lie on the couch, in the chairs, even on the floor, and turn on some football while talking about the 10 point buck that they missed while hunting earlier that morning.  Tums would be passed around and games were played by the kids.  This was my memories of Thanksgiving as a child. 

When I graduated high school and went away to college I couldn't wait to get home for Thanksgiving break.  It would kick off on Tuesday evening with the famous Borden-Pekin Basketball rivalry game.  It was like a homecoming of sorts, you would run into all of your old friends, talk about what was new in your life, while rooting for the home team!  My car would be packed full of dirty laundry that awaited mom's washing machine.  As the years past there were some years that I had to work on Thanksgiving.  My how I missed being with my family.  I would call every few hours to get the play by play of the day.  I would finally get home to a house full of family and warm up a plate of leftover turkey...it was the best! 

The first Thanksgiving Bobby and I spent together was actually a week before we were married.  The two years before that we were both on call or working, and didn't get to spend the holiday together.  It was a crazy time.  Not only were we a week away from tying the knot, but my grandpa had just went through major heart surgery the week before and had several life threatening complications.  We almost decided as a family not to get together that year, just to go to a restaurant, we thought it would just make things easier.  As grandpa laid in the hospital gravely ill he said, "you are still getting together tomorrow, aren't you?"  I left the hospital and went straight to the store, bought a turkey, and went home to cook it!  I had no idea how in the world to make a turkey, but I did it.  We all got together as a family.  That was the last Thanksgiving grandpa was with us.  That next Friday, I walked down the isle and married my best friend.  Two years later we shared the first Thanksgiving with our newborn baby girl, we had so much to be thankful for.  It was my first real outing after giving birth.  It took me about three hours to get all of the diaper bags packed, breast pump loaded in the car, and about four changes of clothes for the baby!  What a day it was!!!  Last year was Frankie's first Thanksgiving.  When we stood together as a family and reflected on the year and what we were thankful for all I could think about was how BLESSED we were to have a healthy baby.  A baby that literally could have died was healthy and strong.  How appropriate that he was named after grandpa.  What a JOY he has been to our family! 

This is what Thanksgiving is all about...GIVING THANKS!  I am thankful for so many things, from my family to the fact that this year I'm wearing jeans that I haven't worn since pre baby days!  It's a good day.  It's a great day, indeed!

So before you start to plan out your black Friday shopping spree or  trim the tree, don't forget about carving the turkey.  Don't forget to be thankful for the little things in life that matter so much.  And please, don't turn on your Christmas lights until the day after!!!!  Let the turkey have his day too! 

Friday, October 29, 2010

BFF, LYLAS, and so on

I can remember my first day of kindergarten just like yesterday.  I was so excited about going to the same school as my big brother.  What I didn't understand was that we would not be in the same class, so when I got to school and he was not with me, I was a little scared!  Then this really nice little girl with long blond hair came and sat in the chair next to me. This would be the beginning of a 25 year and counting friendship.

In my life I have been blessed beyond measure with a wonderful, loving, and caring family.  I realize that this is something that is now often  not the case and I am thankful for them.  I also have been immensely blessed with friends whom I consider family.  Having both of these families in my life has made more of an impact on me as a person than I could ever explain in words, but I will try.

I went to the same school from kindergarten to high school graduation.  In fact, it was all in the same building.  To some this may be surprising, but to those of us who grew up together, it was normal .  The same girls that I started to play basketball with in elementary school were the same girls that I shared the court with on my last game as a senior.  Sunday school, bible camp, summer bike rides, and sleepovers, they were all there.  First dates, prom, parties, graduation, and even our first hangovers, we all were together.

  For some people this is where the story ends, after high school everyone goes their separate ways and those friendships that were so strong become a distant memory with the occasional phone call or email.  In my case, this was not the end of the story, in fact, it was just the beginning.

In college I meet new people at a different phase in my life.  I never dreamed that I could become such good friends with someone almost instantly.  It was just like the first day of kindergarten all over again.  After college and across the miles, the story doesn't end here for me either. 

Being a nurse is a great job.  It is my passion, it is what I have wanted to do all of my life.  When I passed my nursing boards and had a real job, I was so excited, yet terrified.  The thought of literally having someone else's life in your hands is a huge responsibility for a 21 year old.  My fellow co workers took me under their wings, they taught me how to be a good nurse, they took care of me.  I watched them save lives literally, I witnessed them having to tell a mother that their son or daughter was dead.  I have seen them hold the hand of the dying person who has not one family member until they take their last breath.  They even introduced me to the man who would become my husband and the father of my children. 

Through thick and thin, best friends forever, to those of you special people in my life, we have stayed true to this.  We have seen each other at their best, and at their lowest. We have been there for each other through marriage and even divorce.   We have been there for illnesses and death of loved ones.  We have been pregnant together, and have seen each other become mothers for the first time.  Through all of the laughter and some tears our friendships are stronger than ever.  No matter what walk of life we have meet in, you are all different, yet so instrumental in the person that I am. 

I want to thank the special few of you who are my closest friends.  You know who you are, whether we have been friends since the first day of kindergarten, or have only known each other from work.  Thank you.  Thank you for being a good friend to me.  Thank you for loving me for who I am.  Thank you for your loyalty and trust.  Yes, I am one of those lucky few people in this world that has a group of friends that I can call family.  I know that no matter where we are in life, that we will always share the common bond of friendship.

A friend loves at all times.  Proverbs 17:17

I love you my dear friends

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Trick or Treat, smell my feet...

It is that time of year again.  The time of year where the candy corn is on every isle in the grocery store and the fun size snickers just happen to magically appear in my shopping cart.  Of course, it is the only time that I have a valid excuse to buy such things because we HAVE to get plenty of candy for our two trick or treaters, right?

I know that I should get into the ghouls and goblins mood, but as a parent, I dread Halloween.  The idea of a constant sugar high for three days with a 1 and 2 year old just isn't fun.  Buying overpriced costumes and then having to take them off and on my kids every time that I get them in and out of the car to trick or treat because they don't fit in their car seats with them on is entirely too much work! 

As a kid I had great memories of Halloween.  I can remember going to the store to look at costumes.  Some years I would get one from the store, but most years we didn't.  To be honest, the years we wore the homemade costumes were the best.  One year I was a "hobo" wearing dad's old flannel shirt, another year I was a referee, wearing dad's referee shirt.  Funny thing, a lot of my costumes came out of dad's closet!!!  My fondest costume was when I was in the first grade.  My Granny had some old curtains in her house that were a shear white fabric .  My cousins and I would stand in the window where they hung down to the floor, and we would wrap up in them playing a bride.  We would drape it around our head like a veil and then sing "Here comes the Bride" for hours.  My Granny and Mom had a great idea to make me a "bride" costume out of the old curtains.  I was so excited!  I could remember watching the progress on my dress everyday and the excitement that I had about wearing it to school and showing it to all of my friends.  The day finally came, I put on my costume that I loved so much and got on the school bus.  I was so proud!  I didn't win the best costume award that year, but to me, It was the greatest ever! 

Some years we would make a dummy and sit him on our front porch.  Stuffing my dad's coveralls with leaves and putting "hunky dory" aka our name for the famous funny mask that we had for years, on top of the coveralls.  Once my mom even put the mask on while she was in bed with the covers over her face.  My dad came home from working a double shift and pulled back the covers,  nearly peeing himself when he saw my mom!  We laughed for days!!!

Popcorn balls homemade by Grandma Pat, crisp fall evenings, the smell of bonfires...that was Halloween to me. In the spirit of the season, I have decided that I will participate in making Halloween fun for my kids, even if I don't care for it as an adult like I did as a kid.   Although we have store bought costumes and there is no "hunky dory" on my front porch,  we will make family memories of our own.  Who knows, maybe I will find an old curtain and make my own costume...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

No Thanks, Ronald McDonald

This past summer was the hottest on record and I don't think that anyone will disagree, it was miserable!!  It felt more like Death Valley than Kentucky.  Due to the hot temps there were days we were forced to come up with alternatives to playing outside.  Driving by McDonald's I had the bright idea that the playplace would be great fun for the kids.  I should have just kept on driving.

The people who do marketing for McDonald's are quite clever, obviously.  So good they could probably convince a fat girl like me to buy a bikini and make her think that she looks good in it.  The happy meal, free toys, and the playplace, they are all targets for those little people in the back seat, to lure them in, and get them hooked!  We had visited the playplace once before with our older cousins and it was a good experience so I figured that this would be a great way for Liv to burn some energy. 

We had a little talk in the car before going in about eating first, then she could play.  For those of you who know my child, she doesn't eat much, sometimes I wonder how she can be my daughter!  We got our food, sat down to eat, and to my surprise she finished every last bite of her meal.  Frankie and I were still eating but I told her that she could go and play.

I watched her ever so carefully climb all of the way to the top of the play equipment and continue to go through a maze.  At first I was a little nervous because I could not see her when she was in the maze but every few minutes I would hear, "Mom, watch me"!  Meanwhile, Frankie was still enjoying eating his chicken nuggets, so I sat and continued to feed him while watching her play.  As I was people watching, I noticed a woman who looked more like my mom's age with no less than 5 kids with her, she looked tired and worn out.  While trying to figure out if she was the mommy or grandma, I heard this piercing scream from the top of the maze.  I knew that it wasn't Liv, and then I saw the mom/grandma look up at a screaming little girl.  She was trying to coax her down, but with no luck.  She proceeded to climb all of the way to the top to bring her down.  Have you ever seen these things?  There are no ladders, just platforms made for a 3 year old to climb up.  The entire time I was watching her I was thinking, I'm so glad that isn't my kid.  Then it hit me, I could see my future right before my eyes.  I knew that this is exactly what I was going to be doing.  It was not 2 minutes and I hear Liv yelling, "MOM, COME GET ME NOW"!

I could see her peeking through the window in the maze and I was trying to tell her how to get down, but all I got in return was, "come get me, I'm scared"!  Scanning the play area I thought, there has to be an older kid in here that can climb up and get her.  No such luck.  They were all little ankle biters just like her.  I knew what I was going to have to do.  I grabbed Frankie out of the high chair and walked to the "platform tower" area.  I took one look at it and thought how in the world am I going to get this fat @%% up there all while holding Frankie?  Definitely should not have eaten that Big Mac.  I started the climb.  With every platform that I had to squeeze through one handed,  her screams got louder.  I had back sweat.  This was not good.  After what seemed like climbing Everest, I made it to the top platform.  I looked and she was at the end of this tunnel.  NO WAY can I fit through it.  FINALLY, she got close enough that I grabbed her foot and I dragged her to the platform where I squeezed back to the bottom while holding two kids.  When I made it to the floor I wanted to kiss it.  I looked around and realized that not only did I have an audience inside, there were people in the drive thru watching too.  GREAT, I'm going to end up on some Youtube video...FAT MOM CLIMBS UP TO SCREAMING CHILD.  Thank God that I have not seen it...yet.

We didn't even clean up our eating area, we went straight to the car, and I got the heck out of that place as fast as I could. 

Whenever you have the idea that going to the playplace would be great fun, just remember that you could be that mom/grandma climbing to the top to get your crying kid. 

Next summer when it is blazing hot and we are looking for alternative activities, we are going to the pool!

Monday, October 4, 2010

This is what I signed up for

I recall vividly the first few days that I worked in the hospital as a nursing assistant while in school.  I had brand new scrubs, a cute stethoscope, and shiny white tennis shoes.  I would bounce in a patients room with a smile from ear to ear. I was as green as grass.  Then it happened, I had to clean out a bedpan and poop for the first time and I thought, "This really isn't what I had in mind, a business degree sounds somewhat appealing".

In our lives we all have those moments when we think, is this really what I signed up for?  What was I thinking?  I am crazy!  I had that same exact thought at 4am this morning after two nights in a row of my two year old thinking that it is more fun to keep me awake at night.

When both of my babies were born I remember the feelings that I had in those first few precious hours of their lives.  The overwhelming feeling of love, the feeling of accomplishment, the pride you have when showing your child to your family for the first time.  Thankful.  Blessed.  It is a feeling that could never be matched, an amazing time to cherish.  Then all of the sudden about 8 hours into it those feelings get overshadowed by the constant feedings, the trying to get out of bed when you have almost been cut in half.  Smiling when the 20th person walks in your room for a visit when all you want to do is feed this kid and take a nap. Your spinal wears off!   Sitting on the side of the bed realizing that you are never going to be the same.  Then going home makes it even worse.  The anxiety sets in.  How do I get this kid to stop crying, and is that a blister on my nipple?  You want to take all of those pretty parenting books and cute little trinkets and run over them with the car.  Baby's r us did not mention this feeling on their "We have everything" registry.  This is NOT what I signed up for!

Being a mom is the hardest job that I have ever had.  Someone always needs to be taken care of, and there is always things to do.  Taking a shower is no longer a necessity but a luxury.  Days where you feel glamorous because you are wearing jeans instead of sweat pants.  I turned in my stilettos for crocks! I should get the freaking Nobel peace prize for this work!  Then when you least expect it, they rock your world!  They pat your face and give you slobber kisses.  They tell you how much they love you.  They tell you that you are pretty.  They make your day.

The next time they are awake half of the night and you have those thoughts about this journey not being exactly what you thought it would be, I will think of all of those moments that make me want to do it all over again.  The smell of a newborn and the sweet sounds they make. The first time that they look at you and smile.  The first time you hear them call your name.  The laughter that outweighs the cries.  It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but the reward is endless.  They make my life worth living.  My cup overflows.

When the kids take their nap today, instead of watching their sweet little faces while they sleep, I am going to run and jump in the bed and take a nap too.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010


This past week we took our first "big vacation" with the kids.  We have done a few small weekend trips and they did great so we figured that we were ready to take the plunge.  I can honestly say that I was nervous and didn't have high expectations on how a 1yr old and 2 yr old would do in the car for 10 hours, but to my surprise it went quite well.  Thanks to the portable DVD player!

I can't believe that this is a relatively new concept, letting the kids watch DVDs in the car on long trips.  I am guessing whoever invented the concept had a whole litter of kids.  I know my parents would have given a kidney for one when we were little I am sure.  Our road trips growing up seems like yesterday.  The old Lincoln town car aka "The Gray Granny" was packed down so far that the muffler would almost drag the pavement. I had my red "going to grandma's" suitcase in the trunk along with Chad's blue matching one.  My mom's over sized pink plastic samsonite suitcase from 1975 stuffed so full that my dad would have to sit on it to get the metal latches to close.   Chad and I packed in the back seat amidst pillows and a cooler with snacks and drinks.  I used to think why don't we just ditch the cooler and leave it at home so that I can actually stretch out my legs.  Countless games of paper rock scissors, hitting each other and yelling "didn't hurt" until literally we had bruises on our arms and was crying.  Begging my dad to stop just one more time because I had to pee AGAIN.  Asking those 4 words that every parent can't stand to hear "Are we there yet"?  Then after what seemed like an eternity my mom would roll down the windows, at least the ones that actually worked (the back window in the passenger side didn't work and only my mom and I knew how to open the door)  and say, "We're getting close, I can smell the salt water!"   Excitement and anticipation took over those feelings of thinking that we were never going to get there.  Then we could finally see it, the ocean at last!!  After I think about it, even though we didn't have Mr. portable DVD inventor man, it was the best.  It was a time in my life that I will never forget.

As I was driving the last few hours of the trip to Florida I was thinking to myself about how I am the mom now.  I am the one who stayed up until the wee hours of the morning making sure that every last thing was packed and ready to go.  Getting ice for the cooler, loading the car, getting the first aid kit and the map.  Bobby sitting on the suitcase to get it zipped.  Where had time gone?  Was I really ready to tackle this? Then I thought this was our roadtrip, our first vacation as a family.  It was our turn to make memories that would last a lifetime.  We were ready, we were the parents.  This was our time.

 Then I heard those four little words come out of Livi's mouth "Are we there yet?" I rolled down the windows and said " We're getting close, I can smell the saltwater"!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Mommy, RN

Ever since I can remember I have wanted to be a nurse.  When I was three years old I would tell people that I was going to work at Norton's hospital in the nursery and take care of the babies.  I did fulfill my dream of being a nurse, although the thought of working in the nursery terrifies me!  I have become an ICU junkie!  I love going to work and taking care of the sickest patients in the hospital.  I have seen people live after being on their death bed.  I have held hands of dying people when no family was to be found.  Telling a mother that they have lost a child has to be one of the hardest things that I have ever done. The good days out weigh the bad.  I couldn't ever see myself doing anything else until one day when something literally inside of me changed my perspective.

When I was pregnant with Livi I was sick every day.  I had somehow managed to learn how to drive and hold a puke bag at the same time.  I LOST 25 lbs!  Great weight loss plan?  Not really.  People would ask me, "You aren't coming back to work after the baby are you?"  Well sure I am coming back to work!  I had worked hard to become a nurse and I loved my job, why wouldn't I?  I thought that I had it all planned out, because full time was only working 3 12 hour shifts a week, I would work mostly on weekends and my cousin and grandma would watch the baby the other times.  It was the perfect plan.  Early on a brisk November morning, all of that changed. 

After 30+ hours of labor it was time for a c section.  At this point, I didn't care how the baby came out, I was just exhausted and ready.  When they held her up and announced those words "It's a girl", my entire life changed at that moment.  She was tiny, healthy, and beautiful.  She was mine.  Before I ever left the hospital I had already started to think about what I was going to do when I went back to work.  The thought of leaving this precious little being made me almost hyperventilate.  After talking to Bobby I called my boss and worked out a part time position, working only 8 shifts a month.  This all happened before we ever left the hospital! 

After 6 weeks of maternity leave the day had come.  I had been dreading this day.  I carefully labeled all of the breast milk bottles in the fridge, had three changes of clothes laid out on the changing table.  All of the diapers were organized and ready to go.  A hand written note about what to do, when to do it, and what would happen if you didn't!  I packed up all of my pumping supplies and kissed her little cheeks about 50 times and then walked out of the door.  The tears started to come before I even got in the car.  I was going to be gone at night, hopefully she would sleep the whole time I thought.  After crying hysterically the entire way  to work, I somehow got out of the car, clocked in, and pulled myself together to work.  I loved this job, I missed work, I can do this!  Then after about three hours the dreaded phone call came.  My husband frantically wanting to know how to get her to stop crying.  I could her her in the background screaming and my heart was breaking.  By now I was engorged, I had not pumped since I left for work, and that is all it took.  My milk let down and I started to cry too!  Good thing that I work with some of the most wonderful people in the world.  They were amazing, they let me cry, let me go pump, and tried to help me make it through the night!
That was the hardest night that I have ever had at work, but I made it. 

After a few weeks we actually came up with a schedule and a solution.  On nights that Bobby was on call the baby would stay with my parents, and on nights that he wasn't, a friend of mine would go and be an extra helping hand.  It worked perfectly!  I only had a few tears when I would leave for work.  Before long I was actually looking forward to going to work.  It was my time.  Time where I could use the skills that I had worked so hard to learn, time to have adult conversations, time to have a little of the old Rach back.  It was the perfect balance. 

When I got pregnant with Frankie all of that changed again.  I knew that with another baby it would be harder to keep to the same schedule that we had.  Olivia was also getting to the point where she was crawling for the first time, trying to speak, clapping her little hands.  All things that I didn't want to miss, things that I wanted to be there for.  After another long discussion with Bobby we decided that I would cut my hours even more.  I would only be required to work 3 shifts a month.  In doing this I would have to fore fit any benefits that I had, but it was okay, we had found a solution.  It turned out to be the best thing for our family.

I realize that not everyone has the option of staying at home.  Some people do have the option and still choose to work full time.  Every person is different.  Every person is fulfilled in their own special way.  In no way does it make any of us better or worse with the path that we decide.  I am fortunate that I do have the option and the choice.  I am thankful for the hard work that my husband does.  I AM BLESSED!

There are days when going to work seems like a vacation and I can't wait to get there!  At the end of my shift I am ready to see those cute faces and get big sloppy kisses!  As parents we do our best, it is a learning process that I have come to find out never ends.  Whatever you do, whether you are a stay at home mom or dad, career parent, or part timer, as long as our family's needs are meet then we are doing our job.  Keep up the good work.  I'm just glad that I get to have my piece of cake and eat it too!!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

The purple dinosaur

Barney, Elmo, Dora, Sid, Clifford, Diego, Belle, Zoe, Ariel.  At first glance you would think that it was a cross between Mayberry and a strip joint.  In fact, these are the names of the characters that are on  television every day to entertain our kids.  Every where you go you can find Dora towels, Barney shirts, Elmo pillows, etc etc.  Whoever invented these characters I'm sure have enough money and revenue to buy a small country!

There are so many studies out there that talk about if your kids should watch TV, what they should watch, how much they should watch, etc etc.  While I think that some of these studies have some valid points, I think that some of them are also a crock. I would bet my next paycheck that half of the people who published these studies weren't stay at home parents with two toddlers. 

I admit it, my kids watch TV almost every day, and they have certain shows that they LOVE.  Seriously, if I had my choice to play with a wooden block or watch a purple dinosaur dance and sing, I would pick the dinosaur! What two year old wouldn't want to watch a girl with a cool backpack and a talking monkey speak Spanish?  For my kids it is entertainment, and somewhat educational.  For me, it is peace.  It means that I get to take a shower, fold laundry, or cook dinner.  It means that I get to feed my Facebook habit or have the occasional phone call to a friend.

Someone made the comment to me the other day that they thought it was amazing that at two years old Olivia knows all of her colors, knows the alphabet, can count to 15, and can sing a whole variety of songs (I'm sure that there are a ton of kids out there that can do that).  The person commented "I bet that you work with her all of the time".  I just smiled and said thank you, but it made me really think, "How in the world does she know all of this?"   While I do sit and sing songs with her and Frankie, and count the steps every time that we walk up and down them, I can't take all of the credit.  I have to give a shout out to my homeboyz  Elmo and Barney for all of their hard work and effort!  They have taught her something!

I think that the key is balance.  Should TV take away from outside play or reading time?  Absolutely not! We all know that too much of anything can be bad.  If I eat that bag of Doritos, my jeans won't fit!  If I drink that next martini, I may have a hangover , or even worse, get crazy and get knocked up again!  My point is that Dora and Elmo aren't going to make your kids stupid or fat if  you are responsible about it. Take that time when they watch their shows and do something productive, or just sit down and relax for a moment.  When it is over turn it off and go outside and play with your babies.  Nothing should take the place of your interaction with your kids, that is what they need, that is the attention that they crave, and nothing should ever replace it! 

Don't get bent out of shape if Elmo teaches your kids their colors first. If I could, I would give Elmo a tickle or two in gratitude for all that he has done for me!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

The countdown begins

They say that 30 is the new 20 right?  I am beginning to think that the person who came up with this slogan definitely isn't as worn out as I am.

When we are 14 we want to be 16, and at 16 we think that 18 is just around the corner.  After we turn 18 we can't wait to be 21!  What the heck was wrong with us, our whole lives up until this point we have been wishing away!

A few weeks ago I turned 29, and yes, I really am 29! Not 29+1, not the first anniversary of my 29th birthday, just plain OLD 29!  I know that those of you out there that are older than me are saying "oh, you are just a babe", or "29 isn't so bad?".  Well, think back to when you turned 29 and I'm sure that the anxiety of 30 being around the corner was on your mind too.

The past decade has been good to me.  I got my first job at the hospital when I was 18.  Soon after I graduated from nursing school at 20.  I was the "baby" of the unit.  I can remember when I was working day shift and I would stay out with the girls most of the night before, go home and shower, and work a 12 hour shift.  Now if I go out for a drink or dinner with the girls, first I have to take a nap before I go, and then I feel like I have taken a sleeping pill after one glass of wine. All I can think about is going home, putting on my PJ's and laying on my couch!

At 22 I meet my wonderful husband.  It was such a magical time in my life.  He was in his residency and I had just went back to school as well. We would have dinner dates in the hospital cafeteria or leave love notes on each others cars.  I think about all of the late nights, with class early the next morning, and then going to work after class...it makes me exhausted thinking about how we did it!  Now I know how we did, we were young and  in LOVE!

I was a bride at 24, now to some that seems young, but in my family I felt like the old maid.  My mom and dad were married at 18 and 19. My aunts and uncles most of the same.  Our amazing Hawaii honeymoon seems like a lifetime ago!  I loved those first few years of being married.  When Bobby would get called out to the hospital in the night I would go with him.  We would just get in the car some evenings and take a drive to see where the road would take us.  There were a few times that we almost ran out of gas, and actually one time we did!

At 26 we welcomed our first baby.  I can recall looking at a breast pump for the first time and thinking, and what exactly do I do with this?  Within a few weeks we felt like pros.  That led to us thinking that we could do this again, and by Livi's first birthday I was already 3 months pregnant with Frankie! 

Since then I have turned in my stethoscope for parenting books.  Instead of shopping for cute matching panties and bras, I find myself looking for something with "minimizer" in the title.  I now know the purpose of control top panty hose.  I don't color my hair for fun, but instead out of necessity of the gray hair that I am finding.  I feel older.  I am older. 

As I am gaining momentum on the downhill slide, I have decided to embrace my last year of my 20's!  What if I am excited about the possibility of buying a minivan?  What if I have to trade in my thongs for control top briefs.  I'm the happiest that I have ever been.  I'm a wife to the best man in the world, I'm the mother of two healthy, beautiful babies.  I have the opportunity to work part time at a job that I love, and still get to see my babies grow every day!  I have the best friends and family that a person could ever ask for!  I am loved!

Bring on 30, I am ready.  I might just get those thongs back out again after all! 

Friday, August 27, 2010

The little cart

There is only one thing that I hate more than laundry, and that is grocery shopping.  I loathe going to the grocery.  I try to go at night, after everyone is asleep, I can go by myself, get out of there faster, and not have to deal with the little cart.

We all know what the little cart is.  I can remember when I was little going to Brewers store with my mom and pushing the little cart.  In this day and time, not only do they have the little cart, but they have the car cart as well.  The car cart is a great invention, but is a cess pool of germs I am sure.  Every time that we  pull into the parking lot at Kroger the debate begins with Livi protesting about what cart she will choose.  The only thing that I have on my mind is exactly what I need to get, how fast I can find it, and the need to swing by the deli so that they will give the kids a free cookie to entertain them! 

So the debate begins, the little cart vs. the car cart.  I will start with the car cart.  While it can somewhat contain your kids and keep them from running wild in the store, I am sure that the roto virus is lurking on every inch of it.  The thing that I had never noticed about the car cart until recently is all of the potential hiding places on the inside of the car. 

I was doing my shopping and was amazed at how quiet and good Livi was acting.  I didn't hear her demanding something from every isle, and I was actually enjoying my shopping experience.  While unloading the contents of my cart at the check out isle I told Livi that she could pick out a treat for her and Frankie for being so good.  I thought that a bag of M&M's were appropriate.  I gave her the bag of candy, she watched ever so carefully while the lady scanned it, and to her delight, she handed her the bag of M&M's.  She got back into the car and quietly was eating her snack, or so I thought.  After unloading all of the cart, paying for the groceries, and starting to go out of the store something rolled out from the bottom of  the cart and made the wheel stick.  I bent over to pick it up and realized that it was a package of batteries.  I thought to myself, I didn't buy any batteries, and then it dawned on me.  I looked in the car to see Livi with all sorts of "paraphernalia".  Eight packages of batteries to be exact, a kit kat, a pack of lighters, and gum all under the bottom of the car cart.  About $40 worth of stuff.  What a little clepto! I asked her why she took all of these things and she just said "But mom, I needed that stuff".  To my horror several people were standing around and were witness to the almost shoplifting experience.  That was the last time we used the car cart. 

The little cart is a different ballgame completely.  Instead of the confinement of the car cart the little cart enables them to roam independently throughout the store.  While this can be a good thing because it will wear them out and they will be ready for a nap, it also allows them to be "that kid". The kid that gets in everyone's way, the kid that runs over your heels, the kid that demands that you need three jars of peanut butter and proceeds to put all three of them in the cart.  One day when Liv had the little cart she was actually being very polite, saying "scuse me" when she would pass other shoppers, even asking before she put something in the cart.  I knew that it was too good to be true and wouldn't last long.  While wondering down the chip isle she spots one of her favorite snacks "puffs".  She asked if she could get a bag of puffs and I told her that was fine. I watched her reach on her little toes up high to grab them, she did reach them but accidentally dropped them on the way to the little cart.  Upon dropping the bag, she looked up at me with the most serious expression on her little face and said "s#@t, I dropped it! "  My face immediately turned three shades of red and I scanned around to see if anyone could have heard her.  My luck, a man was standing there and just started to laugh, I was mortified!!!  We try to refrain from profanity at home, but you know as well as I do, sometimes those 4 letter words just pop out, and  now I knew that they had fallen on little ears.  I calmly explained to Liv that we don't use those words and tried to finish my shopping as fast as I could, puffs and all.

I have come to the conclusion that no matter what cart you use, there are always going to be times when a root canal sounds more appealing than a trip to Kroger.  So, the next time the milk jug is almost empty and only the heel of the bread is left, I will choose the little cart.  Although you come out with at least 5 things that magically appeared in the cart and the occasional bummed up heal, the look on that little face when she gets to push it just like Mommy is priceless.

I want a re-do!

Do you ever have those days where you feel like if you could just go back to bed, reset the alarm and wake up and do it all over again, that the second time it would be better?  Today is one of those days.

Livi woke up too early and was in a foul mood, which usually happens about 3 mornings a week.  Frankie on the other hand is bring eyed and bushy tailed, ready to eat, poop, and take on the world (or at least his play cars and blocks).  I had to be out of the house early this morning to run some errands and was trying to get everyone moving.  I decided to jump in and take a "quick" and I mean quick shower.  When I got out, I found this puddle of red on my carpet in the hall...red nail polish that is!  I immediately run into the kids room to find Liv with red nail polish all over her hands and feet and then I look at Frankie, it was in his mouth, on his lips, and all over his legs and toes.  Not only did Liv decide to paint her own nails, she thought it would be fun to paint Frankie's too.  After confiscating the nail polish, I start to work on the removal process.  I put them in the tub and scrub on them and decide that I will have to use the nail polish remover.  I wanted to avoid this because I didn't want to put anything on them that would irritate their skin, but it had to be done.  After 10 minutes of rummaging through every bathroom cabinet and every shelf in the closet, I realize that I have about 20 bars of soap, three extra shampoos and NO nail polish remover. 

Going through target I begin to wonder if anyone will notice the red all over my kids hands, feet, and legs, and then I tell myself, you are stupid, they all see it!!!  After buying about 5 other things that I didn't need, I got the nail polish remover and went to check out.  The cashier took one look at my kids and started laughing, and the harder she laughed, the more the steam in my head began to slowly come out of my ears.  Then the words "Your kids have nail polish all over them! hahaha!"  No flippin @#$% lady, really?  I hadn't noticed!! 

After we got home I was unpacking the car and trying to fix a quick lunch and I notice that Liv is being very quiet and good...I knew that something was up.  While Frankie was making a mess of his lunch I go into the sun room to find her quietly playing, knowing my daughter all too well I ask her, " Do you need to go to the potty to poop?" I get a quick "NO".  I asked again and she assured me that she was not pooping in her pants.  About 3 minutes later she comes in the kitchen and announces to me that she has poop in her pants.  Great, more laundry to do.  This is where I begin to have dreams about a martini, the ones with the great big olives in them, in a chilled glass.  No martini was had and a change of pants was in order.  After cleaning up the mess that Frankie made from his lunch it was now time for a nap. 

Nap time is a glorious time of day, the best time of the day!  So, maybe after nap time we can start over, reset this alarm, and turn this day around, just maybe!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

The sippy cup behind the couch...

We've all found them before.  You know what I am talking about, the sippy cup or bottle that amazingly has managed to disappear.  When you finally look under the couch or decide to pull it out to vacum, there it is.  Milk that has became cottage cheese, juice that has fermented into something 90 proof.  You take one look at it and decide that instead of vomiting from the smell when you open it, you would rather just put it in the trash.

When we first bought our house (which was before we had kids),  I can remember thinking to myself that this house was going to be spotless, neat, and orderly.  I am not the most organized person in the world, but I like the smell of Pinesol, I love the look of freshly vacumed carpets with the lines in them.  I take pride in the neatly mopped wood floors that are shining.  I come from a long line of "Domestic Divas".  My Mamaw Pat's floor is so clean that you could literally eat off of it.  She does all of her laundry every day, there are never any dirty clothes in the hamper.  She even cleans the toliet after every use...I know a little OCD, but still, it is in the blood.  My mom had a huge homemade dinner on the table every afternoon when my dad would get home from work (I blame my weight issues on that).  I thought that since I had been witness to such domestic greatness that it would come natural, that I would be super woman and be able to juggle everything.  No such luck!

Some days we wear our PJ's all day. Other days we play dress up and change clothes 5 times.  We take all of the toys out of the toy box and the kids get inside and play.  The diaper genie overflows, the laundry piles up till you can't shut the closet door.  Sometimes I almost cry at the thought of getting everything done, having the spotless house, but sometimes I just like to lie down on the bed when they are napping and watch them sleep.  Would I change the endless loads of laundry for no more dress up games? Absolutly not!!  Are my floors clean enough that you can eat off of them? Not at all, but Frankie does anyway!  I would not trade anything for the precious fun times that I have with my kids.  Everything will eventually get done, and if it doesn't, the cleaning lady comes every other Friday!  Ha ha!

My point to this is don't sweat the small stuff.  If there are days that you have time to clean your house and get all of the laundry done great, but on the days that it is impossible, sit back, order take out, and enjoy these moments.  The sippy cup will always disappear under the couch, even in the cleanest house!


I have been wanting to start a blog for a long time, but just had not made the time to do so.  It also has something to do with the fact that I am not a good writer, nor am I very computer literate, so without due, I will give this a try!

The Moldoveanu household has been in full swing this summer with many activities and fun times!  We started out in the spring by making a trip to Great Wolf Lodge in Cincinnati, OH.  Bobby and I thought that this would be the perfect first trip to take with the kids.  It was an awesome time!  The indoor waterpark was very impressive and the rooms were very spacious and kid friendly.  It is a little expensive, but for a weekend, it was well worth it!  After that we came home and Bobby had another week of vacation and it was so nice to have him home for two weeks!  Bobby never takes vacation time, in fact he had not taken time off in over two years, (other than when the kids were born) and it was past due.  I have so much appreciation and admiration for him.  His dedication to us as a family and his dedication to his patients is amazing.  I don't know how he manages to do it all, but he does!! 

On Father's Day weekend in June we went with my parents and brothers to Kentucky Lake for the weekend.  I was impressed with the vastness of the lakes and the beautiful area.  It was super hot though, and we spent the entire weekend in the pool with the kids, but it was great!  It was a very special weekend with my dad and my husband. 

By now Fourth of July weekend was upon us and summer was in full swing!  Bobby's parents visited over the 4th weekend and we had a great time catching up and visiting.  On Monday we celebrated the weekend at my Aunt Lori and Uncle Cliff's house.  It is a yearly tradition as long as I can remember.  We have a cookout, swim in their fantastic pool, eat, nap, eat, swim, ect, ect!  It is the only time of year that my dad will get in the pool with all of the kids, do his famous belly flop, while all of us adults laugh harder than the year before! 
We had a litte down time after the 4th and spent much of the next few weeks just doing our normal schedule! 

My Birthday was on August 14th and my brother came in town for the weekend.  We had a special dinner with my family at Pat's Steakhouse and it was so nice for everyone to be together.  The most special gift that I recieved for my birthday was Olivia woke me up and sang Happy Birthday to me.  To my delight, she has a beautiful little singing voice.  I love to sing, and it is so great that she does too, and even at two is somewhat on key!!!  I must say, it was the best version of Happy Birthday that I have ever heard.  Of course, Frankie just stood there and clapped and then gave me lots of head butts and loves!!

Now the time is upon us, the time that I have had bittersweet emotions about...first day of Preschool.  On September 8th Olivia and Frankie will start preschool a few mornings a week.  It is a good thing I know, but part of me is sad.  I have never left my kids with anyone but family and this is going to be a major step for me as well.  They are going to a church in our neighboorhood, and it is so close that I can almost see it from our house, but the anixety is still there!  Livi is so excited though, everytime we drive past she says "That is MY school".  She needs the interaction with the other kids as well as adults.  I'm sure that they will both do great, but I will probably have a few tears that first day

That pretty much sums up our summer for now!  We are planning to go to Florida in a few weeks and take our first Beach vacation with the kids ever!  I'm very excited and I will keep you posted on how things go!