Wednesday, October 3, 2012

That Darn Armpit Slobber

    I'm sure we all have things we are self conscious of.  Something we try to hide or cover up.  One of the things I consider to be a major flaw of mine is the fact that....(sigh).....I sweat like a man.  It's true.  It's gross.  I have always been like this.  In fact, in high school I wore a jacket almost year around to try and conceal the dark circles under my arms.  Well, that and I was trying to hide what I thought was my too flat rear.  Gee how I long for what I thought was my too flat rear...  Though my rear is no longer flat I still have the man sweat issues.  Maybe that's why I love summer.  You're far less likely to get armpit sweat spots in a sleeveless shirt!  Okay, okay.  So why am I telling you this?  It's just a little background info for the story I'm about to share.  A story of how, once again, my boys kept it real for me.  
    My day started with a typical woman's dilemma.  What should I wear today?  I think I stood in my closet for 15 minutes staring at my clothes convinced I had nothing good enough to wear to bring my kids to and from school today.  Then my eyes fell upon something new!  I'd bought a grey, ribbed long sleeve shirt right at the end of winter earlier this year.  It was too hot to wear when I purchased it, so it's been hanging in my closet awaiting Fall.  I paired it with khaki hiking pants and tennis shoes.  I stepped up on the side of my bathtub to check out my new outfit in the mirror above my sink (because I'm my husband's too cheap to buy a $15 full length mirror from WalMart).  I was quite proud of this new outfit, and considering I was also having a great hair day, I thought I looked good.  Well, minus the over abundant junk in my trunk.  I'm sorry I ever hated you "what I once thought was my too flat rear."  It did cross my mind for a split second that maybe I was dressed a bit warm for today's weather.  Nah!  I thought.  It's windy so I'll be fine.
    Indeed I was fine.  Dropping Ian off, getting groceries with Wesley, and then picking Ian up, I was totally fine.  I was feeling somewhat beautiful and confident today.  After picking Ian up from school, we had to wait about 20 minutes before it was Wesley's turn for school.  I parked in the shade, rolled down the windows, and started reading my new book while two wild, half brained monkeys my children entertained themselves in the back seat.  Even in the shade and with the breeze I did get a tad warm.  To avoid pit spots I read my book with my elbows up and out.  Imagine your bent armed barbie doll trying to read a book.  That was me.  It helped the pit situation a bit, but not completely.  It was now time to bring Wesley to class.  It was rather warm out because the breeze had stopped.  I stayed on the playground a few minutes with the boys and then we retreated to the shade by the steps that go into the classroom.  There, in an attempt to stop my pits from gushing further, I propped my arm on the railing that was about shoulder height.  It was in that moment my confidence came crashing down.

Ian- "Mom, who slobbered on your shirt?"
Me-  "What?"
Ian-  "Your shirt.  Who slobbered on it?  See, it's wet."
(At this point he begins poking MY ARMPIT!)
Me-  "Stop, Ian.  That's sweat."
Ian- "Sweat?  What's sweat?  Why do you have sweat under your arms?  It looks gross!  It's wet!"
Me-  "Forget it, child!  Stop touching me and go play!"
    So why was this harmless conversation between mother and son able to destroy my confidence?  Might I refer you to a previous post.... "Hi, We're The Yellers!".  This was not a conversation simply between mother and son.  This was yelled loud enough for all the parents on the playground to hear.  Did they hear it?  I don't know.  These days, I refuse to look around and see if anyone heard.  Because I'm sure they did.  I prefer to pretend that no one else is around because things are a lot funnier and a lot less embarrassing when no one else sees or hears it.  Like the time Wesley pulled up my skirt at the grocery the checkout line......which is the busiest part of the whole grocery store!  I just jerked it down and kept on bagging my groceries.  It would have been a lot more horrifying if I had looked up to see people starring and giggling at me.  Besides, I'll never see those people again!  Well, maybe the grocery store people.  I only have to see the people on the playground at Wesley's school four times a week!  Bah!  I'm so glad it's almost jacket season.

Hopelessly Sweaty,


Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hallelujah He Colored!

    My eldest started school last week.  He is now a big kindergartener!  He was very excited about going to his new school.   I was anxious about how well he would do the first couple of weeks.  My dear sweet Ian, in the heat of the moment, does not handle change very well.  In fact, he needs a little extra help in some of the social and emotional areas of his life.  I'd been praying very hard the few weeks before school that he would handle it well enough.  I didn't ask for a miracle.  Things didn't need to go perfectly.  I just wanted him to be able to cope with a brand new school, brand new teachers, brand new classmates, and a brand new schedule.  And I knew that was asking a lot!
    He awoke a little after 6am the first morning.  He was so excited!  He was ready to get going.  Mommy, however, was neither excited nor ready to get going.  Not at 6am!  Not when we didn't have to leave until 8:15!  The morning was very uneventful.  He ate the breakfast of his choice.  Willingly put on the clothes of my choice.  And happily posed for a few pictures.

The ride to school was very chatty.  His excitement was giving me hope that everything was going to be okay.  Then we pulled up in the parking lot.
    There were kids everywhere!  Obviously.  It's an elementary school.  Ian immediately deflated.  He barely spoke a word when walking to find where he would line up.  He sat down in line, his eyes wide with uncertainty.  He managed a little smile for my camera phone, but I could tell he was afraid.  I hugged him, kissed him, gave him a pep talk, and waved goodbye as his class filed into the building.  I feared this was not going to be a good day.
    A few hours later I returned to pick him up.  When he spotted me he ran straight for me with a huge smile and arms wide open ready for a hug.  His first words were, "I was really good today!"  Thank you, Jesus!  He went on to tell me he didn't cry not even once and he never got in trouble.  On the way to the car he was telling me all of the places they visited around the school:  the library, the cafeteria, the spanish room, etc...  My heart was about to explode.  I felt like I couldn't have asked for a better day.  Then he pulled a picture out of his back pack.  I gasped and slapped my hand over my mouth.  I was about to receive the over the top icing on the cake that had been what I thought was a good enough day!  "Look what I colored, Mom."  I replied in a high, squeaky voice, barely audible to the human ear, "Ian!  Did you color that?"  As if I were an idiot, he said, "Um.  Yes." 
    I could not believe my eyes.  My baby had colored a picture.  Although not completely finished, he'd stayed in the lines, and he'd used the appropriate colors.  He had never, ever done that before.  Ian hates coloring.  He comes home from Sunday school almost every time with a blank color page.  The few times he had colored it was with one color scribbled over the entire page.  Obviously, just to appease us and say he'd colored.  I immediately called Brian.  I held my composure long enough to share what all he told me and that he'd had a good day.  Then I lost it.  I squeaked out, "And he colored a picture!"  Sobs followed.  "Are you okay, Sweetheart?  It's good that he colored a picture, but why are you crying?"  He was giggling at me.  Understandably.  He shares an office with another guy and I'm sure the image of his wife sobbing over a color page was a tad humorous to anyone on the other side of the phone.  "Brian, you don't understand.  He colored it!  Like he really colored it!  In the lines and everything!"  Now he was getting it.  "Did he use different colors?,"  he asked in a slightly disbelieving voice.  "He did!  The teddy bear is brown and the sun is yellow!"  More sobs.  He laughed and told me to make sure I told Ian how proud he was.  We said goodbye and I immediately called my mother.  I had less composure for the beginning of this conversation.  I squeaked out most of it and kept repeating myself because my mother doesn't have canine capacity hearing.  Then the sobbing and snorting started again.  At this point I'm beginning to realize how ridiculous I must sound and how I may be overreacting.  Just a tad.  Thankfully my mother understands and she was very excited for me.  A bit scared for me but mostly excited. 
    We celebrated Ian's fantastic, unbelievably wonderful first day with ice cream at Menchie's.  I think I cried two more times that day when reflecting on how well it went.  Above and beyond all expectations.  I can only believe my Savior had a hand in this.  He loves Ian more than I can ever hope to, so it's not surprising that he could give him such a great first day!
     I have to admit....  The next morning I asked his teacher if he had actually colored the picture by himself.  I hate to say it, but I wondered if he'd had help.  That's how unbelievable it was!  She assured me he'd done it himself.  Phew!  I'd have been sobbing all over again for a different reason if she'd stated the opposite.  Shame on me for doubting him!

One Super Proud Momma

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Shared Wisdom of One Apparently Great Parent

    Several times over this past summer I've been complimented on how well behaved my children are and how Brian and I are great parents.   What?!  Wow!  Really?  I'm almost always speechless when this happens.  I usually laugh.  The first three times I assumed the people telling me this had one too many drinks before making that comment.  However, the fourth time made me scratch my head and wonder.... Maybe they're not drunk.  Maybe there's another Rachel Walker in Loveland who looks exactly like me, and she, too, has an Ian and  Wesley that look exactly like mine.  This makes much more sense to me than the thought that my kids are actually good and I've got it together enough to be considered a great parent. 

    I assure you this post is not to brag or gloat or toot my own horn.  (There's enough tooting going on around here without me doing it.)  I genuinely am puzzled over these compliments.  Grateful.  But puzzled.  I'm gonna let you in on a little secret.  I feel like I am a terrible parent most of the time.  And I doubt I am alone on this one.  My children drive me crazy.  I yell at them way more than I should.  I'm often too busy to play with them or read to them when they ask me.  Sometimes I think I push them too hard.  I often hurry them for no reason other than I'm in a hurry.  I don't have a lot of patience with them.  There are a million things I know I could do better when it comes to my two little boys.  So how does this make me a great parent?

    Well, I'm not going to say I'm a great parent.  I think I'm a decent or at the very most a good parent.  I love my heathens boys unconditionally.  There is nothing in this world that could make me not love them.  They could drive me off the crazy cliff and as long as I survived I'd still love them.  They embarrass me every time we go out in public.  But I still love them.  I have cried my eyes out in frustration over their misbehavior, all the while my heart aching because it is bursting at the seams with love for them.  Both of my children need some extra help in certain aspects of their life, and somehow that makes me love them even more!  Why do I love these wild, complicated, whiny, cute little boys?

    I believe it's because we were made specifically for each other.  Literally!  God gave me (and Brian) Ian and Wesley!  On purpose!  I have asked God out loud before, "WHY?  Why these two?  I can name 18 other kids that would have been a better fit for me!"  I'm surprised He didn't part the clouds, pull back the roof, and reach down and slap me.  God doesn't do accidents.  He gave me a specific personality, just the right amount of patience, just the right lack of patience, just enough energy, several other things I probably don't even realize, and most importantly a sense of humor to deal with these precious little boogers that He was eventually going to bless me with.  He knew that when they would start a wrestling match in the shopping cart I could just whisk them off to the bathroom, set 'em straight, and continue my shopping as if nothing happened.  He knew that my emotional five year old who cries at the drop of a hat needed a mother who could say, "Dry it up kid.  It ain't worth crying over."  He knew when Wesley pulled my skirt up while I was bagging my groceries that I could yank it back down and not care who just saw my pink striped panties and laugh about it later.  He knew that when my boys took every book they owned off of their bookshelf for the umpteenth time, after being told not to, that I would have the strength to bag them up and "throw them away" (in the basement) even though my boys were weeping and waling and begging me not to.  He knew because He is the one who gives me everything I need to deal with these two.  And I can't thank Him enough.

    There was a time when I was really struggling with some issues I was having with Ian.  I sought the advice of someone who I felt had been there and done that and could share some wisdom with me.  She told me something that day that really changed the way I view the difficulties I face with my children.  She said, "Rachel, God did not make Ian perfect, but He did make him perfectly.  And He gave him to you and Brian because you are the perfect parents for him."  Wow!  If that statement is true, and I believe it is, that means that not only can I handle these two, but I am divinely equipped to handle them better than anybody else on this planet!  Besides Brian, of course, who is equally equipped.  Talk about encouraging!

   In closing, maybe I can now accept the idea that I am in fact a great parent.  Not for your kids, or my sister's kids, or my friend's kids, or my neighbor's kids.  I am a great parent for Ian and Wesley!  Because whether they like it or not.....whether I like it or not.....God stuck us together for life, and I gratefully accept the challenge! 

Gladly going off the rails on a crazy train,

Tuesday, June 12, 2012


    I have recently come to the conclusion that we are a family of "yellers."  We yell.  A lot.  It's not that we are always mad at each other.  This is simply how we communicate.  It doesn't help that we have three levels in our home.  Heaven forbid we get up and walk towards whomever we need to speak to.  We just yell.  As adults, my husband and I can refrain from yelling when we are outside of our home (or the home of our in-laws).  My children, however, yell anywhere.  Department stores.  Restaurants.  Other peoples homes.  Even church.  During the service.  They have no concept of "inside voice" or that thing called being polite.  To them, yelling is a perfectly acceptable form of communication.  What have we done?!

    My sister once mailed me the following comic strip...

I was greatly amused until I read the handwritten post-it note that was attached.  "This made me think of ya'll.  Ha Ha."  Did you read the part where I said she mailed it to me?  She felt so strongly that it resembled us that she paid 42 cents to show me.  Sigh....  It's true, though.

    Too often the yelling does come from frustration and anger.  The following is a common exchange in our home:
Me:  "Boys, it's time to get upstairs and clean your room.
(A minute later...)
 Ian:  "I'M GOING.  I'M GOING."
 (A few minutes later from upstairs....)
Wesley:  "NO, I TOO TIRED!"
W: "NO, I IS NOT!"

At this point they are standing at the top of the stairs looking at me like I'm crazy.  Because I am.  Because they've driven me there!  

     Wesley is more of a yeller than Ian is.  In general he is just more of a presence than his brother, but I think some of the yelling also stems from the slight language barrier we have between his three year old jabber and my understanding of what the English language should sound like.  Often when I can't understand what he's trying to tell me, he just starts yelling at me.  Because obviously screaming it at the top of your lungs makes it so much more understandable than speaking it in a normal voice.  

W:  "Mom, wadoo why-ins bite whena tuts dem?"
Me: "What?"
Me:  "Wesley, I still can't understand you babe.  What are you saying?"
Ian:  "He wants to know why lions bite when you touch them, Mom."
Me:  "Oh.  Uh.... Cause they don't like to be touched."
W:  "Oh. Uh-tay.  I hungwee."

    Not all of the yelling is negative.  I can't count the number of times Wesley has yelled "I WUBOO, MOM!" as he runs by me in his underwear and a batman cape or some other fantastic superhero costume concoction.  Every night bedtime ends with a series of "I LOVE YOU" and "I LOVE YOU, TOO" being yelled back and forth from Brian and I and the boys as we leave their room.  But I'd be lying if I said it didn't end almost every night yelling, "I KNOW, WESLEY!  NOW STOP YELLING!  IT'S TIME TO GO TO BED!"  We apparently can't help ourselves. 

    I have at times attempted to consciously stop the yelling.  Usually these attempts are made after I watch a "19 Kids and Counting" episode.  I watch Michelle Duggar, in the midst of the chaos and pandemonium that is her home, whispering, "Alright now we need to settle down.  Let's use our inside voices.  Please don't do that.  That's not very nice.  Let's try to calm down."  Her children seem to listen and respond so well.  When I've tried to do the same, my children act as though I'm not in the room.  I can say, "Stop fighting guys.  Someone is going to get hurt."  And I get no response whatsoever.  I can yell, "STOP FIGHTING GUYS.  SOMEONE IS GOING TO GET HURT."  And amazingly they stop.  I've had their hearing tested.  Both tested normal.  They just don't listen.  Maybe it's a boy thing?  Seriously.  I have a couple of extra boys at my home right now and they too are yelling every other sentence that comes out of their mouth.  Maybe we are not alone, but rather I'm the only one willing to openly admit that we yell all the time.  Or maybe they are just yelling because our home has a "Yell All You Want" vibe in it.  Feel free to weigh in on the matter....

    So in closing I would just like to say, 
Okay maybe not proud, but I don't see it changing anytime soon, so we might as well embrace it. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Country Style Meat-n-Beans

    Today I'm going to share a recipe.  Gasp!  It's not gourmet, but it's cheap and easy.  I know someone who reads this will appreciate it.
    It was a staple in our home when I was growing up.  My momma calls it "Country Style Meat-n-Beans."  Once, in an attempt to make it sound more appealing to a young boy she was babysitting, she called it "Cowboy Beans."  While my boys eat it well enough, they could always use some extra incentive.  They care nothing for cowboys, but both are on a Star Wars kick so I'm considering calling it "Light Force Tauntaun-n-Legumes."  I'll tell them it's what gave Yoda and Luke Skywalker their powers while living in the creepy swamp.  Hopefully they'll scarf it down and then I can sit back and giggle at them trying to use the force to move the entertainment center.  Or even better, maybe they can try to move the toys in their room from the floor to the toy box!  And we all know Luke Skywalker would never give up, so it'll get done one way or the other.  Clean their room, they will!  So good, I am!

Here's what you need:
1 lb of Hamburger Meat
1 T. of Onion (I used minced or chopped onion from a jar)
1 Bell Pepper finely chopped
1 t. of Salt
1/8 t. of Worcestershire Sauce (I just give the bottle several shakes into the mix)
2- 15oz. cans of Ranch Style Beans
2 cans of Water

    Brown your meat with bell pepper and onion.  Drain the grease.  Now add salt and worcestershire sauce and cook for approximately two minutes.  Add beans and water.  Bring to a boil.  Then turn down the heat and let simmer until blended and almost dry.  Serve over rice.  (We enjoy crackers with it, as well.)

     It really is super easy and cheap!  You can't go wrong with meat and beans.  Haven't you heard the song.....
"Beans, beans, a musical fruit.
The more you eat'em, the more you toot.
The more you toot, the better you feel.
So eat your beans at every meal!"

There's also the verse about how "they're good for your heart," but my mother would die if I recited it.

Working, my plan is!


    We have a new word at our house.  Smackapootchie.  Pronounced Smack-ah-pooch-ee, for those of you who don't understand "goofball."  I say it's a new word.  It's actually been around for a few months.  My husband made it up.  At least he told me he did.  I guess he could be lying and he actually stole it from someone else, but I highly doubt it.
 The word could be a term of endearment.....

"I love you my Smackapootchie!"

It can be used as a combined verb-noun....

"Get it clean before I Smackapootchie!"

Or a means of harassment.

"I- "Wesley you're a Smackapootchie!"
W- "No I is not, Iah!"
I- "Yes you are! HaHa!"
W- "No I is not!  Momma, Iah call me a Smackapootchie!"
R -"Stop calling him that, Ian."
I- "But he is a Smackapootchie!"
W- "Momma!"
R- "I said STOP!"
B- "You're my Smackapootchie."
R- "Awww....  Thank you, dear.""

You should try using this versatile term today.  It could bring some wanted or possibly unwanted excitement to your day.

Brian's Smackapootchie

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

New Traditions, New Fences, & Goofy Sisters

    Hellooooooooooooo everyone!  It's been awhile, so I thought I'd let you know what I've been up to in the last month. 

    First of all, I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday season!  I must admit, I had a touch of the holiday blues.  This was my first Christmas away from my family, which meant we had no plans with anyone.  Kinda lonely.  But we made the best of it.  We spent one night driving around different neighborhoods and looking at Christmas lights while sipping on over priced hot chocolate and coffee from Starbucks.  Then we made sugar cookies for Santa while listening to Christmas music.  However, the recipe made 974 sugar cookies, so there were enough for Santa and all of his elves.  Guess who ended up eating most of them.  Ugh...  Our children had a wonderful Christmas and got everything they wanted.  I never thought letting all the credit go to a non existent fat man would bother me, but this year it did.  Just a bit.  Will it be terrible if we inform our children that Santa Claus died this summer and that we will be providing all of their wonderful gifts this year?  I'm just kidding!  Sort of.  They'll get over it, right?
    New Years was lonely as well.  On New Year's Eve we attempted to work on the fence that we are building for the back yard.  I was enlisted to help because according to my husband this is my fence.  I ever so politely informed him that I do not need a fence to stay securely in our back yard.  His children (and my dogs) do!  Ha!  He didn't care.  I still had to help.  I was given the task of cutting all the fence pickets to the correct size. We didn't want to be weenies and let the hurricane force winds stop us from getting some work done that day.  However, when the pickets started flying off the back of the trailer and at ME, we decided to call it a day.  We resumed work the next afternoon and got a lot done.  What a great way to bring in the new year!  Working on a way to keep the kids and dogs wrangled!  WooHoo!

    My younger sister spent this past week with me.  We had a great time!  I haven't laughed that much in quite a while.  I like to laugh.  I can totally revert back to a goofy, moronic preteen when I'm with my sisters (who also revert back to goofy, moronic preteens).  *Sniffle*  I miss them.  *Tear*  Thankfully I have memories like "Leaping and Bounding," "Armpits, Cherry pits, Pit bulls, Pitrowsky," and awfully choreographed Christmas lip synching numbers to keep me smiling.  *Sniffle*  I miss them.  *Tear*  I mean how can you not laugh until your sides hurt and you pee a little when your sisters do stuff like this.......
She's gonna kill me!

Welcome to 2012!