Thursday, January 31, 2008


Picture this.... Sullivan, my ever strong willed left handed middle son with chocolate river coco puff colored eyes, dark black hair, with milky white skin,.. in a bad mood.
He's a cancer, a July 1st 2004 baby, they're moody little people.

He gets pissed off about things.

Naturally, because he's a creative soul, certain things in his structured (HA!) life ding him more then it would, say, his brothers.

Fine. I'm perfectly okay with this. I get pissed about things too. Take clutter for example, clutter drives me mad. You can always tell when clutter is winning in my world, as you'll see me lurking around my neighbors homes, peeking in their medicine cabinets hoping to swallow a valium or xanax that they are required to take because naturally Doctors are just writing perscriptions to keep us medicated so that when the pill bottles reach a quarter of a tank empty, they get to charge another co-pay.

Not really, but it was fun picturing me being a lurker swallowing relaxers. Did you picture it with Mission Impossible music, or the James Bond theme song? Because music in the head of a painted picture always goes better, like Ice cream does with rainbow sprinkles on top.

Back to Clutter, it makes me itchy. I don't like it. I don't like dishes dirty in the sink. I don't like papers over counters. I try to keep things simple. You guys all should know this by now.

Having three boys, with one that brings home enough trees every Friday to make a forest have performance anxiety, I can't expect my home to stay clutter free.

I compromise, somewhat.

I work on settling myself down, when I feel those engines revvvving up inside of me, keeping in mind that it's only just dishes, just papers, just salt on the hardwood floors, (Winter is NOT my friend anymore) just fingerprints, just the potty seat that was left up-again-, miscalcuations on aim, (note to self: take boys to play that carnie game where you aim the gun that squirts a stream of water out of its barrel, trying to get it in the mouth of the Clown target. Either that or paint one inside the toliet seat) so I compromise.

I keep one room, one area besides my "zen room, or sanctuary/living area/reading area.." I call it different things based on my moods, one area strictly for Bigdogg and I. That's our bedroom.

Picture this: Walking into a room with an orchid plant, a picture of a couple on their wedding day near the art work painted BY LAINE, titled, COEXIST. The wedding picture is in a red frame- just them, standing in the sand, the man in his bare feet, as is the woman, in her flowing white stunning wedding dress, which accents the sand and surf and archway into the sea ever so perfectly.

Across the room, on the other wall, are two frames each holding a picture of a young child. The first frame holds a picture of a girl, wearing a red sweater, with a cute little barrette in her curly dark brown-pink sponge rollered night prior my mom is a saint for doing that- hair. The other frame, which is situated just to the left of the kindergartner in red, holds a boy, gazing up somewhere beyond the lens of the camera, with dimples, a twinkle in his eye, skinny arms, wearing a blue and tan shirt, a bowl cut for a hair cut, but curly curly dark dark hair. Those pictures are of Bigdogg and I naturally when we were kids ourselves.

Our bedroom reflects us, only us. No pictures of our children, nothing to remind us of anything but us. Our room. Bamboo candles, three dried Red Roses that were my first three from last year's bloom which grew on one stem, and then branched off to three blooming buds. A Bamboo plant sitting on Bigdogg's dresser, a soft creme lamp, a soft colorful yellow and light blue oriental lantern light that sits on my dresser with a few books- keepsake books- the journals that I write in that I will someday give to my three sons. Some other art work, a reminder of what a husband and wife should be like, smooth grey stones sit on a zen plate on my dresser, with a red flower in the center.

Chocolate covered ottomens are used for tables, to give the room a softer look.

The only electronics are the tv and alarm clock, with the cordless phone hidden behind the square stone knick knack that speaks of love ...a peaceful room.

The walls are painted a soft creamy bluish color, with dark chocolate furniture that I just can't bear to part with, and well, it's our room, we walk in there to sleep for the night, hoping for no outside distractions, and if there happens to be any, well, at least we have the reminders of us, only of us, a reminder of our relationship, together placed throughout our room.

Except lately things have managed to grow legs, and arms, and have found themselves a quiet place-in our room. Barbies and old dolls, ice cream shoppes, and dream house furniture, strawberry shortcake dollhouse and dolls, a dream canopy and a weeble wobble Winnie the Pooh house. Oh yes, and Barbie inflatable furniture from the 70's, a few matchbox cars, little legos, ninja's, and two webkinzs. My room has been taken over by the night of the growing girlie and boy toys.

It's dreadful, but won't be there forever. I have only one niece (and four nephews), and she's reaching that age where it's 'just not as much fun to play with boy stuff,' so I'm just prepared with girl things for when she comes over.

The girlie things aren't the biggest problem, like I said, those are going to be put away until she comes over. The main issue is that my favorite thing in that room, our bed, is asking to have our current bedding, retired. It's too drab, and dull with the rest of the room, and well, it's just time to change the color of what should be the main focal point of the room. Sad because of the memories, but it's just time to retire her.
To say goodbye.

Plus, Sullivans cup leaked one night, as he sat sipping strawberry milk in his CUP WITH THE CAP, while we gave them a "special treat" of watching cartoons on a friday night a few weeks ago.

My bedding, "Old Faithful," likes it hot, but after 4 cycles in the washing machine, she refused to cooperate, and still wouldn't let go of the strawberry sauce stain, which had "leaked" a nice picture onto our duvet.

*(SULLIVAN CLAIMED IT WAS A LEAK,and not a horsing around spill.. I PICK MY BATTLES...)

So, on this quest to enhance our bed, I've been lurking around catalogs, and online, because I am not going to bring three young boys into a store to look for bedding for moi-what, do you really want more troops deployed?
Didn't think so.

So, I'm trying to find the one that screams out, PICK ME PICK ME, like my wedding dress did-the very first one I tried on- and after much searching, and much time spent sipping coffee, while wearing my funky spotted slippers, I have narrowed it down, to two.

One Brown.
One Blue.

Old faithful, our current dark chocolate duvet that sits on our slumber wonder, claims she likes the chocolate brown one, but I, you know, "the one" that goes from blond to red to brown to black to blond, hair, said I like the blue one.

We argued back and forth like my three year old and I do over the word "luna" and "moona," and I won the argument when I said, "But the blue one is machine washable, where as the brown one is dry clean only."

What does any of this have to do with Sullivan and his moods? Nothing, except to point out that I have days where it's hard to be a mom, my children push my buttons, and it's okay!!

I have days where the constant questions do get under my skin, the children do test my patience.

Mainly the reference to Sullivan up above, is to document that I too have tough days, so that when my dear Sullivan grows up and becomes a father to one son and one daughter, when my Jackson grows up and has three daughters, and when Benjamin grows up and has his wife, my dauther in law, call me because their four children-one set will be twins- when their children are making her crazy, I won't give them the bull of saying, "I never had any problems with any one of my boys, life was always yes maaaam and no sir, and they never made me crazy, I never had issues at dinner, never got hormonal, lost my cool, never had an issue feeding them supper, lunch, pees or eggplant,...because...WAIT FOR IT, WAIT FOR IT!!!...

"My children were perfect.."

uh-huh! Sure!

Nope, sorry, I have documented the challenging times, admitted to when my children are under my skin, (like Sullivan has been lately) for proof when my memory suddenly grows lilies and poppies, roses, and tulips, and please don't forget to throw in orchids and daisy's. That I too had tough days at home with my children, and poop on anyone that claims they've never had issues with their children, because that isn't real. Either the parents are high on valium stolen from a neighbors medicine cabinet, or they just are the types of parents that have grown a shrine for themselves, clueless to the real world around them.

Not me!! For I want to help my boys future when they have children, (hopefully) by reminding them that it IS normal to have crappy *(pun intended) days, and that every child challenges, that's what they're supposed to do. It's okay to not always like our children, even though we still love them to death, but it's okay to get frustrated and wish for days of drinks and palm trees, or books and coffee uninterrupted.

I don't ever want to give my children the wrong standards to "live up" to, or rather, compare to, and I surely don't want to raise robots.

And that is why Dr Phil pissed me off..he was counseling a family, mainly this woman that had some control issues and after video cameras taped her losing control, after the tapes were played for the audience showing her losing the battle over her mental state of mind from a minor thing her son did who apparently had zilch for self confidence, after the tape showed her screaming at her son in ways that may or could or would shock you, (no, we're not talking Britney Spears here) Dr Phil calls out into the audience and asks his wife to come up on stage. He then asks his wife, Robin, if she's EVER screamed at the children like that.

Robin says something to the point of no, I never screamed at the children like this woman here has/does, nor did I ever even have to raise my voice..ever not once.

Thanks Dr Phil, for anyone that did watch your show, I hope they've stopped. What the woman needed sitting next to you wasn't someone that would make her feel any worse then she probably already did, even though she was far more honest then your wife was by putting herself out there like that, but what she needs is some mental help.
Maybe she's overwhelmed.
Maybe she needs a break.

NEWSFLASH! It's normal to need a break. You do have to ask for it though.

Shame on you Dr Phil for making a mom that already has confidence issues in her parenting, because of social standards, shame on you for comparing her to your wife, and most likely making her feel like a bald mans head sunburn.
Point taken, point shunned and Pfffffft!

Welcome to Crustybeef~
Blue won!

I've turned what could've been something looked at as negative, into something positive, and guess what, I'm not perfect, FAR FROM IT! I'm not a perfect wife, mom, or person, but at least I can admit the truth. Now, if only the chocolate was machine washable because blue pillows would go beautiful with this!

But again, I'll just add a chocolate colored pillow to compromise, with our Old Faithful duvet!


Anonymous said...

In my eyes it is okay to need a break and for all that you do with the three little guys you deserve one. I know i do when I reach the point of no return. It is great that you can acknowledge the fact that sometimes it is your turn. I hope that I can provide that for you. Being an at home mom with three amazing yet energetic kids can be so taxing and you do an amazing job. keep up the great work. Sullivan is going through a faze and eventually it will get better. The boys love you so very much and they are lucky...



BDD: Someday a break will be necessary, but I have one simple request..might it be with just you and I please?
Xo, anf..florida break I'm looking forward to, aren't you?to slip away from the boys for a few? :)


Cheryl said...

I love the ride you take me on when I read your posts. From there to there and then back to there. And it all makes sense. And I too would only go with washable. Who do they make the dry cleanable ones for anyway? Oh, the ones that are perfect and don't need a break.

Diane Vogel Ferri said...

Can't believe we have that in common too - CAN"T STAND CLUTTER! I'd like to see the photo of that barefoot girl in the stunning wedding gown. Diane


cheryl: EUREKA!! YOu are right!! spot clean only..sure if I were a DINK!

Diane: I'll have to scan one and get it up here for you!! I was channeling you with colors...

It' is snowing like mad over here..wonder what I did to make the snowguys mad? Too much Florida talk is pissing them off!


Martha said...

I just read your post at exactly the right moment. I have had one of the worst days I've ever had--where I'm tired of working, tired of being a wife, tired of being a mom--and I just wanted to scream. Instead, I found myself laughing at your post. Thank you! And I'm nowhere near perfect, especially as a parent.


it's so hard, and then they sleep, and then we sigh, and the day is calmed by our own, "okay, what the heck?...tomorrow, different day, if not,..soon I'll be asking my loved one for a much needed break, because it's okay to do that, yes it's okay, even if if it means stealing all the hot water...a mother's alone time will be done"

Hang in there! I know, I completely know!

I don't like perfection, I like to be are wise to be real too...perfection leads to never obtaining the goal, but trying our best what each of us are capable of, and admitting when we need our own time out, asking someone for some help when we think our game is off, is the honest norm in playing the parenthood match. ANd we were raised to play a truthful match, weren't we? even if we lose, we do learn a new play or two for the next match...


Gypsy said...

If only all mothers would understand the message you are putting out there Elizabeth. Too many of us feel we should always be the PERFECT mother, the PERFECT wife, the PERFECT everything. When we don't quite measure up we see it as a failure when what we should see is a normal person going through normal everyday stuff. We really ought to be kinder to ourselves....all of US.

Great post, great message, hope you get your break soon :)

This comment has been removed by the author.

gypsy...I wonder when we already have all this pressure, do we put more pressure on us? If only all of us would be kinder to each other, then maybe we'd be kinder to ourselves, or is that vice versa..?
We leave for Florida the 28th of February.. we'll be stopping in on some friends prior to us heading further south for my sisters wedding, so it will be fabulous to catch up with them, let our kids run around with theirs,...a very nice change...


p.s. How's the Nsmoking?

Foster Communications said...

I do always enjoy reading your posts.

I wish I was better with clutter. As a child I picked up the nickname "Messy Jessi." It was spot on. I, sadly, am worthy of the name still...

I saw that episode of Dr. Phil. Well, part of it. He just eeks me out. And his Stepford Wife. Ugh.

austere said...

The blue one , right?
You reminded me of my grandma in the village, with seven to raise, and when one got particularly cranky, she'd let fly with whatever spoon or ladle she was holding. My 84 year old Papa laughs when he remembers those times,"flying missiles" he calls them, it must have been something.
I loved the description of the room, so beautiful and peaceful.


JessFoss: It's okay if one doesn't enjoy clutter,and one can live it with...what matters is the're honest,for one thing, and you have a caring remind me of one of my old best friends that I have...rhyming names, hard to rhyme Elizabeth, but I have a crustybackground, clutterfree surfaced when I became pregnant or after he was just never know. :)
Yes, something very zombiesque about PhilMy Crackin...(Wonder how often he was given that for a name) plus his ever overdone wife...they're painting the wrong picture, if you ask me. :)

Austie: Flying voices more so then flying ladles..but as a child, I had received a smack or two of the wooden spoon, we laughed the day it broke while in my parents hands...poor spoon...:)
Blue is correct...I like the brown better, but the blue cleans easiest..makes more sense.


SOUL: said...

i love the bed on the beach! i want it-- and i want to live there!
can i???

esellsbarefoot2 said...

Soul: Go for it! and call me via the conch shell when you get there so i can come over from Costa Rica. :)


Portia said...

Can we put the blue one on the bed on the beach? :) I am sorry I haven't been around, I have missed immersing myself in your words! This post has an excellent message, one that is so easy to lose sight of in the midst of the daily grind, whatever that may entail. I'm glad you have some YOU time to look forward to!

Who even pretends they never had to raise their voice once over the course of raising children?? That's just insulting the intelligence of their (ever-dwindling) audience.