There are days when I cannot get to work fast enough. I get in the van, shut the door, turn on my uplifting music, and relax. After 15 minutes of listening to what I want to listen to and spending some quiet time in prayer, I arrive at my office. Aahhh, to drink a cup of coffee in peace. I don’t have to break up fights or send anyone to their room. No one is yelling “Moooommm!” down the hall. (And if they do, I don’t have to answer!) Instead of hearing “It’s not fair!” yelled at the top of the lungs, I only have to hear whispered grumblings now and again. And I can tune those out with my ipod. I get paid to read and write and correct grammar, all things I love. I even get to use different colored pens if I want. Really, it’s the perfect job for me.

Then there are days like this when I get to work only to wish I were still at home. Wish I were a good stay-at-home mom who can take the boys to the library or to the pool. Wish I were home digging through the boys’ rooms, getting everything organized so they can find the toy they want to play with and always have clean underwear in their drawers. Wish I had our list of family rules posted on the fridge and everyone followed them eagerly. Wish we could all lay down for an afternoon snuggle.

Sometimes I even wish I could teach the boys myself, like she does. (If you know me personally, you are most likely laughing heartily at this point.)

But here I am. And there they are.

I miss the little hoodlums.

Psst. Read This During Algebra Class!

Dear Internets,

Will you be my friend?

Check Yes or No.

Okay, before you answer, you may want to keep reading. I’ve got some stipulations and disclaimers that may influence your decision.

  • You should not be able to eat off your floor on a regular basis.
    Being able to occasionally drop a cookie on the floor (note that I said cookie and not carrot) and pick it up and pop it into your mouth without worry of ingesting a dog hair or piece of dried mud OR contracting a deadly foodborne illness is okay, but being able to do this on a daily basis is just not consistent with my lifestyle.
  • The phrase “My kids NEVER do that!” must not have ever escaped your lips. Unless you’re using a sarcastic tone.
  • You can exercise, but you mustn’t LOVE it. If you want to be able to tell your friend, “I can’t WAIT to run 10 miles after work!” and have her relate–or at the very least not kick you in the shins–then I may not be what you’re looking for.
  • You can be pretty, but you shouldn’t really know it or at least ACT like you know it. And you really shouldn’t work at it either. Occasionally primping or pampering is okay, but spending too much time at the spa getting your nails done, toes pedicured, bikini area waxed, lips plumped, face exfoliated, tummy tucked, boobs enhanced, wrinkles straightened, or thighs tanned just leaves less time for you to attend to MY needs. And that’s what’s really important here.
  • You must possess a sense of humor and like to laugh. A lot. Especially at subtle or stupid humor. Seinfeld? Napoleon Dynamite? Hot Rod? Brilliant. Will Ferrell? Pee-your-pants hilarious. Bubb Rubb and Lil’ Sis? Classic.
  • I’d like to be able to fart in front of you. Or at least announce that I need to. If that would nauseate you, you may want to consider checking No.
  • You need to tell me if I have food in my teeth or a booger in my nose. Put me in my place if I need it. Tell me I’m being stupid, or whiny, or catty. That’s what friends do.
  • You should probably enjoy hanging out doing not much of anything. Just chatting about everything from the raunchy smell of cooked cauliflower to what you think Heaven is like. While sipping a margarita, of course.
  • You mustn’t be a prude. These hands have touched poop–both human and that of a variety of animal species. They’ve pulled worms in half. They’ve scrubbed mold and vomit and probably even moldy vomit. I’ve witnessed pigs mating and pigs being castrated (no, not at the same time). “Princess” is not a term that has ever been used to describe me.
  • If you consider yourself just a smidgen crazy, that’s a plus. You shouldn’t hold it against me that I have to take my “happy pills” or visit my “crazy doctor,” as we affectionately refer to her.
  • You should never EVER wear creepy fake eyelashes. Unless it’s Halloween.
  • You should definitely love your kids, but you should also love getting far, far away from them occasionally. “I don’t think I can leave my kids overnight–I’ll just miss them too much!” This–I DO NOT GET. Just so ya know.
  • You probably shouldn’t be severely allergic to dust. Had to throw in that medical disclaimer for my own liability.

So whaddya think?

Wanna be my friend?



Happy Anniversary to Me! (Oh, and You Too, Husband!)

I meant to blog last night, thinking since Monday is my day off that I would have time to be really creative and thought-provoking.

Then I got the runs.

Sorry, but there’s just no delicate or lady-like way of saying it. (Like the word “diarrhea” is any better!) It hit me like a sucker-punch to the stomach, and I was down for the count.

I did, however, manage to crawl to the computer and google “Salmonella symptoms.” Fortunately, I think I’m in the clear.

So, anyhoo, today I’m back at work and hopefully run-free! Especially because today is my anniversary—and who wants to spend their anniversary on a toilet seat?

Yes, it’s been 13 years since Husband and I walked down the aisle, sweating profusely because it was about 100 degrees out and the air conditioning in the church picked OUR WEDDING DAY to break down. But despite the heat and the pit stains, it was the absolute best day of my life, except for when my kiddos were born, of course! (I should say RIGHT AFTER my kiddos were born. I can’t go so far as to say labor & delivery was a barrel of laughs.)

The funny thing is that Husband and I have been “together” for 18 years. Yikes! That makes us seem extremely old! And we’ve actually known each other for something like 30 years! (Yes, we grew up together. Everyone say, “Awwww….”) No, we did not actually date until the day after we graduated from high school, but we were very good friends, which I think started us off on a firm foundation.

So, husband, thanks for sticking with me through weight fluctuations and bad haircuts (Remember that time I got my hair cut really short and looked like a boy? Yeesh.). You knew me in my “pre-happy-pill days” and still managed to love me, even though I’m sure it seemed like you were sleeping next to Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (which makes for a crowded bed). You knew me in my “awkward phase” of 6th grade, and even though you broke my heart by telling me that you didn’t want to “go with me,” you broke the news gently. You’ve even recently attended a marriage class at church with me, which as you tactfully put it was “torture.” But you did it. For me. And for that, and for all that you do, I am eternally grateful.

Meet me on the couch at 9:00. Maybe, if we’re lucky, we’ll get an hour of “alone time” to do what we LOVE to do but haven’t been able to do in a long time because the kids are always around…

Watch our TiVo’d episodes of “Criminal Minds.”

(What were you guys thinking? I know where YOUR minds are! )

Happy anniversary, honey!

**Editor’s Note (That’s just me, by the way): After seeing this photo I tagged on the end of this blog a few times, I’m really lamenting the fact that I do not know how to work PhotoShop. If I did, I would only have ONE chin in this photo, my arm would be trimmed down, and my hair would look a bit less limp. But I don’t know how to do that fancy PhotoShop stuff, so there ya go. You get me, untouched-up.**

What’s Really Important

Some days I think I really suck. Maybe you can relate. I get bogged down in “woe-is-me”-ing because I can’t keep up with my laundry or because we can’t afford to finish our basement or landscape right now or because I seem to have lost touch with many of my friends. Poor me! This week I’ve been annoyed because all of the road closings have caused complete gridlock on my route to work, and it takes me an hour instead of the usual 15–20 minutes.

(Photo courtesy of the Des Moines Register)

Seriously, how selfish am I???

My beautifully humble state has been filled with destruction and tragedy from tornadoes and flooding. People have lost their homes and even their loved ones. People I know. My brother-in-law’s aunt and uncle lost their brand-new home when it was swept away by a river. My aunt and uncle, who live right next to Parkersburg, are helping family members and best friends deal with the complete loss of their homes to the tornado that ripped through their town. A girl at church last night said that her nephew was one of the Boy Scouts staying at the camp in Sioux City that got hit by the powerful tornado that killed four boys. Fortunately, he survived, but I’m sure he has emotional scars he will carry for the rest of his life.

Kinda makes the ink stain on my carpet pale in comparison.

I know selfishness is part of our nature. We can thank Adam and Eve for that. But sometimes it seems that God has to hit us over the head with, say, a 500-year flood or a 145-mph-tornado to get us to wake up and realize what’s really important.

So even though I have listened to my 3-almost-4-year-old screaming at me for the last 45 minutes because he wants “CARAMEL CHOCOLATE MILK!!!”, which I already gave him but he of course wants it in a different glass, and his screams have now escalated into “I hate you!”, I will now pick him up, give him a big hug and kiss, tell him I love him…and THEN put him in a time-out.

Pay It Forward Friday

It’s my second week participating in Pay It Forward Friday, hosted by my cyberfriend, An Iowa Mom. I was so excited to be featured in her blog last week and can’t wait to check out this week’s pick!

So I’m giving a shout out this week to Sarah at In the Trenches of Mommyhood. I felt an instant bond with her as she, too, has three boys, and her life is eerily similar to mine. We’re both working moms, and I appreciate her honest depiction of her busy-crazy-wonderful life. She always puts a smile on my face, whether she’s talking about how she has no mental toughness when running (me neither), or getting a bikini wax (I think I’m the only female on the planet who hasn’t yet had the courage to get one. And I’m not sure this post really helped.). So head on over to Trenches of Mommyhood and find out how last night went for her.

Then check out the links to other blogs on An Iowa Mom. Make a recommendation yourself and make sure to sign Mr. Linky!

Happy Reading!

Damn you, swimsuit season. Damn you all to hell!

Okay, a quick post this morning to let you know I’m sending out an S.O.S. I want to lose 10 pounds by July 4. I need HELP! If any of you have any ideas that don’t involve exercising or changing what I eat, I’d love to hear from you. JUST KIDDING! I realize I’m going to have to get this middle-aged body back in shape if I want to fit back into my clothes again. But why does it have to be so HARD? Maybe because my body is working against me!

Allow me to whine for a few moments about my thyroid. (Picture me giving it the finger.) This all started after Boy #2 was born and I felt like my feet were encased in cement. It took THAT much energy to put one foot in front of the other. After realizing that it wasn’t just because I was a working mom of 2 boys, I convinced a doctor to check my thyroid. And what do you know? I was extremely hypothyroid. (translation: low on thyroid hormones) In fact, my doctor said I was the worst case she had seen. GREAT! And the cause was an autoimmune disease–Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which means this wouldn’t just go away after I was done having babies. But fortunately, synthetic thyroid hormones are a fairly easy treatment, and aside from having to get my levels checked regularly, I was back in business.

That is, until last summer. Five years and another boy later, I started feeling bad again. This time, fatigue with bouts of heart palpitations and absolutely no attention span. Back to the doctor and a referral for a thyroid scan and this time it’s hyperthyroidism caused by Graves’ Disease. My first thought: Ooh, maybe I’ll at least lose weight since one of the main symptoms is rapid weight loss. But no. Lucky me. I’m one of the few people who actually GAINS weight with Graves’ Disease. Of course I am. Why was I surprised?

Fast-forward to Thanksgiving and a thyroid ablation, which means I swallowed a radioactive iodine pill, was “radioactive” for 2 days, and had to stay away from my kids and flush twice when I peed. Then came the death watch. Waiting for my thyroid to die. Unfortunately, it was not a quick and painless death. Oh, no. It was slow and prolonged. I think I slept nearly the entire month of January. But finally—February and “Ding-Dong the Thyroid’s Dead”! But standing in its wake was me, 15 pounds heavier with dark circles that make a meth addict look perky!

So after 3+ months of extreme panty lines and having to repeatedly tell my 3-year-old, “No, Mommy is NOT having a baby!”, I am deciding to quit feeling sorry for myself and start taking back my body.

The question now becomes—how? This is where you come in. If you’ve got some ideas that don’t involve completely cutting out my second love–carbs–or eating only green beans and grapefruit, I’m all ears. I have a feeling , though, that I’m going to end up having to start running again. Shudder. I hate running. My body was soooo not built for running. But somehow two years ago I found myself training for a half-marathon with two friends. I actually completed two without going into cardiac arrest! And what did I do after completing the Omaha Half-Marathon in my best time by far? Quit running. Cold turkey. Hopefully it will all come back to me when I start up again. Kind of like riding a bike. But I’m afraid it will be more like riding a unicycle while juggling flaming torches and balancing a stack of teacups on my head.

Oh well. I know things could be MUCH worse. Thanks for letting me throw my little pity party. I’ll be here, munching on a carrot stick and not-so-patiently waiting for your words of wisdom about how I can transform from a middle-aged, pudgy mom to a “You-can’t-be-36-and-a-mom-of-3-boys-there-must-be-some-mistake” hottie. No pressure.

A Schmoopy Mother’s Day Post

Someday, when I’m old and senile, trying to remember if I’ve taken my fiber supplement and if today is pinochle day or bridge day, I hope I never forget these moments from Mother’s Day 2008, arranged birth-orderly by son:

Boy #1
The look of disappointment in your eyes as I walked in on you preparing breakfast in bed for me. We both knew that I’d spoiled the surprise but seemed to come to a silent agreement of “I know nothing!” as I yawned, stretched my arms, and loudly declared, “I’m still tired–I’m going back to bed!” The toast was more like warmed-up bread and the fact that I don’t like Raisin Bran wasn’t helped by the fact that it was Generic Raisin Bran–but still it was the sweetest breakfast I have ever had the pleasure of eating. I didn’t have the heart to tell you that I hadn’t taken my thyroid pill yet and I’m not supposed to eat for an hour after taking it–Neither protesting taste buds nor underactive thyroid would destroy #1’s moment to shine on Mother’s Day. No matter that you called me LAZY twice this week in a prepubescent haze of frustration. Today you are my little boy who just wanted to make Mommy happy. Mission accomplished.

Boy #2
Your adorable I’m-trying-not-to-smile pursed-lip half-smile as you handed me a paper sack and your husky voice said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” I didn’t have the heart to tell you that I’d already eaten breakfast, courtesy of #1, but fortunately the second course of breakfast consisted only of a Special K breakfast bar, a packet of tea, and a picture of me, with my beautiful red pouty lips and brown yarn hair, in bed. Next came two more cards, thanks to a thoughtful and creative kindergarten teacher, and then another card “because I wanted to give you one that I made at home,” this one expressing love the best way that a 6-year-old can: “I love you more than God.” Someday, sweet boy, we’ll discuss that you should really love God MORE than Mommy, but for today, I will take that as my biggest compliment to date.

Boy #3
The aura of independence that surrounded you as you sat on the floor, late in the afternoon, trying to play a game of solitaire Cootie. How you studied that game board, trying to decide what to do and the look of intrigue as you realized the countless combinations of Cootie parts! Then came “Play with me, Mommy!” and I knew there was nothing that I’d rather do with my baby-who’s-no-longer-a-baby on Mother’s Day.

Oh, don’t get me wrong, people, in some ways it was still business as usual: I washed a blanket my dog had peed on in his crate; scrubbed a stock pot with spaghetti from 2 days ago; cleaned up #3 after he announced at the playground, “I’m poopy!”; dug 2 pairs of shoes, 2 magazines, one of my freelance style manuals, and a baseball out from under the couch after #1 and #2 had surprised me by “cleaning” the living room; said, “Well, I don’t feel sorry for you because I told you guys to stop because someone was going to get hurt” at least 14 times; and yelled, “Why are there 5 Tootsie Pop wrappers on the floor?”

BUT, I also spent a beautiful hour watching my three boys at the playground help one another climb up rock walls, race across “river stones” and play a retro game of hide-and-seek. And not one yell, one cry of, “Mom–he hit me!” or “It’s not fair–he won’t let me play!” Not one it’s-so-hard-to-be-the-youngest scream of frustration. Just a blue sky and a good day for being brothers. And a GREAT day for being the mother of brothers.

Thanks, boys, for a laid-back, around-the-house, remember-why-it’s-good-to-be-a-mommy Mother’s Day. From the words of #3: “I love you all the days.”

# Contact info submission
site_owner: Paula Reece
address1: 4102 SW Bluegrass Drive
city: Ankeny
state: IA
country: USA
postal_code: 50023
phone_number: 5153148203
site_name: Boogers and Burps
site_description: Where one mom finds herself in a life filled with boogers, burps, and all things boy.