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Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Live-in Nanny...Kind of

So, I've been on quite the hiatus. Had family in town, I really don't need to elaborate more.

However, having family in town gave me SO much time to myself...ironically. It was wonderful and gave me a glimpse of what is must feel like to have a live-in nanny.

I've always wondered what it would be like. I've never given my self "permission" before to allow any family members to almost completely take over my mommy responsibilities while I'm around; but for the first time, I let go of my freakishly controlling ways and relaxed.

Boy, did it feel good! No, GREAT! For a little while, at least.

Nana and Papa got up with the boys every morning and I lounged in bed for just a little while longer. They played with the boys while I got to get a jump start on my work for the day and clean up the house.

On the other hand, I started getting a little bit sad because both of my boys seemed to be enjoying themselves without me...their mommy.

Of course they were right by my side when they got a boo-boo or they were hungry or needed some extra cuddles. And I eagerly took advantage of the opportunity to shower them with extra attention.

The thing is, is that I wanted to give Nana and Papa some special time with the boys since we live so far away. So they got bonding time and they had a blast. And I, got to get a small taste of what having a nanny would be like.

These are the things I did enjoy:

  • Getting to lounge in the morning
  • Emptying the dishwasher and cleaning up in the kitchen after breakfast without a little person hanging on my leg
  • Not having to do bath time (I don't particularly enjoy bath time)
  • Finishing my work in the afternoon so I had my nights free to spend more time with my family

These are the things I didn't enjoy:

  • Missing their smiling faces when they woke up and having my 1-year-old's little chubby arms reaching out for me
  • Story time at night before they went to bed
  • Taking walks and talking with my 3-year-old
  • Playing with them in the playroom: building blocks, building train tracks, playing hide n seek etc
  • Extra snuggle time
  • Feeling needed
It was amazing to me how much I missed. There's a lot more to that list, but that's what came to mind first. 

With all of the muddlesome things that go on in this mommy world we live in, I was beginning to miss those muddled moments that would most likely have happened if Nana and Papa weren't here.

You hear it all the time from parents of older children and family members, "You'll miss this stage when it's gone. They grow up so fast. Enjoy it!"

Sometimes I inwardly roll my eyes, and other times I smile and know that they are speaking the truth. But maybe I won't roll my eyes so much anymore? I missed my time with the boys.

Yes, I got a TON of stuff done and was more relaxed at the end of the night and could enjoy family time without thinking of all of the work I had to do once they were in bed, but I found myself just filling up my "free time" with unnecessary work like researching dream vacations or why Victoria Bekham is not wearing stiletto heels anymore.

Plus, I have had no fun stories to share on the blog. Believe me, I know I could have pulled out a few, but I had no inspiration because I wasn't surrounded in chaos for 12 days. Although I did make some mental notes of things to "discuss." Which of course escape me at the moment.

So moms, have you ever dreamed of what it would be like to have a live-in nanny? Or have you shunned the thought and said, "I would NEVER have such a selfish desire?" There are both sides out there. This, I know.

I had a couple of weeks to enjoy the possibility, but realized, I don't think it's so great after all.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Mission Impossible

Sigh. I finally have a moment this week to sit down and blog! When I began this endeavor, I wanted to write at least every other day, but obviously this isn't happening. But I guess only letting a week go by isn't too bad?

It's been a pretty busy week with doctor appointments and friends and family visiting, and surprisingly, nothing too muddlesome has happened.

Of course you have the typical small potato muddles that occur in daily life, but nothing compared to some of the real doozies I've faced in my mommy lifetime.

But alas, the day came today where I found myself in quite the predicament, and I'm sure many of you have found yourself there as well.

My 3-year-old, Evan, (yes, I know he seems to be the topic of most of my blogs and poor little Oliver is left out, but I'm sure his day will come...soon) has decided not to take naps anymore.

But wait, someone out there reading is surely saying, "No child decides when he/she is supposed to take naps. The parent is in control and that child WILL take a nap."

Au contraire my little friend.

Evan has always been a fantastic sleeper. He slept through the night early. He was a 2 nap a day baby for a long time and then took some terrific one naps -- until  a month after his third birthday.

The kid has energy. And when I mean energy, I'm talking about a firecracker and a personality to back it up. Life is an adventure for him and he likes to narrate his life to anyone who will listen. So one would think that he would crash around 1 o'clock, maybe even 2?

Nope.

So finally today I had had enough. It's hard for me to balance nap time because I also work my freelance writing job during those few short precious hours, plus trying to get everyday "life" stuff done on top of that that I can't get done while the kids are awake.

Oliver sleeps great and went down for his nap and then Evan went into his room for "rest time." I stick him in his room with books and quiet games, and then finally gave in (yeah, I caved) and let him take the iTouch with him to play games on, too. Anything to keep the child in his room so we could all have a break from one another.

The iTouch works for about 5 minutes and then I hear the pitter patter of little feet as he makes his way down the hallway to my room where I am working.

"Evan, it's rest time. Go back to your room."

"I can't mommy. I can't rest, I'm just not tired."

"You don't have to sleep. Just rest. Everyone needs rest time."

He laughs his infectious, but sometimes evil-sounding laugh, and starts running around.

In fact, just as I am writing this, he has made his way down the hall and, "Mommy, please rub my back." It never ends.

This back and forth banter goes on for an hour until I get him to stay in his room for at least 10 minutes, and then I surrender and say "rest time" is over; although it never really ever began.

So, back to the miraculous, yet cumbersome, thing that happened this afternoon.

I just couldn't deal with the back and forth anymore. I hadn't gone to bed until 2am last night and was just exhausted. Never mind that Mr. Sunshine decided to wake up at 5:30.

He came in for what was probably the 20th time by that point and I told him to hop up in bed and lay with mommy while I did my work. He, of course, was so excited and couldn't sit still in bed.

I put my laptop down and decided to lay with him--I never do this. Never. Not saying it's a bad thing, but I just never have.

I wrap my arms around him and tell him he's a hot dog and I'm the bread and he has to stay still. The I proceeded to put "toppings" on him to keep his attention. Remember, he's a mover and a shaker.

That only lasted for so long, so I utilized his expansive imagination for my benefit and said, "Wow, Evan. Look at all of the stars and planets in the sky (ceiling). Oh, there's a meteor. There's an asteroid!"

He totally bought it and then went on and on about what he was "seeing" on the ceiling. I then covered us up with a blanket over our head and said we were in a space ship and if he closed his eyes, when he opened them we'd be in space.

Before I knew it, I was waking myself out of a drooled semi-sleep with my arm fast asleep under his sleeping body.

Success! Victory! I was SO excited. And then, that's when I realized the predicament I was in.

My arm was caught under him, and in order to sneak away, I'd have to do the impossible: slide it out and slowly make my way out of the bed.

Could I do it? Was it a real mission impossible?

I stiffly shifted my head to glance at the bedside clock out of the corner of my eye. If my calculations were correct, we had only been asleep for 20 minutes or so. Not bad. I could do this.

Then my phone started going off with alerts for email. "Shhhhh!" I told it in my head.

Slowly but surely, centimeter by centimeter, I slid my arm out from under him and slowly rolled my body off the bed and slithered to the floor. The whole time the Mission Impossible theme was playing in my head.

Freedom!

It had taken me 10 minutes, but I had done it and done it successfully.

I know you have all found yourself in that moment. The baby or toddler or child is asleep, and then you tiptoe out of the room, so painstakingly careful, only to misjudge the creaky spot on the floor and it echoes throughout the room. You hold your breath for a moment. Every muscle in your body tenses. You think if you don't move, they won't see you. Yeah, right.

I hadn't found myself on a mission impossible in quite some time, so it kind of gave me a rush. I still had it in me.

But alas, as I open up my laptop to start working, feeling confident, maybe a little overly so, the faint babble of Oliver was in the background.

Didn't it figure. The day the unthinkable happened, Oliver would decide to take a short nap, when every other day he takes a 3-4 hour nap.

Well, such is life. And hey, I felt accomplished for the day.

But it doesn't end there. Oh no.

We are currently bantering back and forth, again, for him to go to sleep. A consequence of him taking a nap.

I don't know what's better. Him falling straight to sleep at night without a nap? Or getting an hour of time to myself in the middle of the day.

Friday, August 12, 2011

My Life, the Broadway Musical

As a mom, there are days that you do anything to get through your day.

Between making sure everyone is fed and cleaned, all the while compiling a shopping list in your head for the grocery store and then being interrupted by some accident or dilemma; never mind the fact that you're running on just a few hours of sleep because one of the kids was awake all night. We really should receive a medal for our creativity to make it through some of those days.

I had one of those days the other day. Shocking, right?

So when I'm having "a day" with the boys, I sometimes start singing. And I'm not talking about songs on the Top 40, I mean made up songs--think Broadway musical style.

Oliver was whining in his highchair that afternoon, and I couldn't figure out what he wanted since he's not talking yet and will only sign to me selectively. Cue music. I began to sing (insert vibrato voice).

"What do you want my child? What can your mother get for you? I don't know if you want Goldfish or an apple or a piece of string cheese too!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Evan stopped eating his peanut butter sandwich and gave me a look that silently spoke, "My mom is weird." And he's not even a teenager, yet. Oh, boy.

The wonderful thing that happened, Oliver stopped crying. He too giving me that look.

I forget about the wonders of music and singing sometimes to keep peace in the house on crazy days--although, almost every day is a crazy day.

But, yeah, that's what I do. I sing through my day. Every word. Well, almost.

Sometimes, Evan will join in with me and start to sing; or he will mistakenly think that I'm singing an actual song that he knows and will say, "Mommy, that's not how that song goes." Who knows, maybe I have belted the tune out before?

"We are going to go to the park; la, la, la, la. Because we need to get out of the house; la, la, la."

I'm telling you, it takes them aback for just that brief moment. It's pure bliss. And quite comical to think about as I'm writing.

Of course, I don't do this in public. Instead, I shove (ahem, place) food in their mouths hoping that will pacify them long enough for me to grab what I need and get out.

But knock on my door at any random moment, and you may just hear show tunes coming from the house.

We moms are creative beings. We do crazy, sometimes desperate, things to just survive those trips to the store, a family dinner out or that horrible time between 4pm and 6pm...sometimes it begins at 3:30.

In fact, one time, I had the brilliant idea that I would take Evan, at the inquisitive age of 17 months, out to a mommy lunch with a few of my mommy friends. All of the toddlers were being typical, but my Evan insisted on getting out of the high chair, and no coaxing or distraction seemed to work.

So what did I do?

I grabbed a sugar packet from the pile of sugar and Splenda that had piled in front of him, I ripped it open stuck my finger in the sugar and put it in his mouth.

"Mmmmm, that's good, isn't it sweetie?"

I had him. He stayed in that high chair until his food came, all thanks to the sugar.

I rationalized my frantic attempt to keep him content with the fact that they give infants that sugar water on a pacifier when they need them to calm down or sit still.

It wasn't so bad? Right? Help me here.

I could go on about the countless things I've done in a non-ideal situation (hello, pooping toddler in the back of my car in the movie theater parking lot), just as I'm sure many of you have countless stories, too.

Thankfully the weekend is before us. Fewer mommy muddles happen then. Though not unheard of.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Doctor Visit Dilemma

What do you do when you're a mom of more than one and one of your children has a doctor appointment? You psyche yourself up, put on your game face and just do it.

That's where I found myself today. Oliver had his 15 month well check up visit and I didn't plan ahead, so I prepared myself mentally and emotionally this morning, and last night for that matter, for what I knew would be a tiring morning.

An hour before we had to go, I gave Evan the pep talk.

"Evan, we're going to see Dr. X today for your brother. What are the rules?"

"No hitting and no pushing. Keep my hands to myself."

"Well, yes honey, those are some rules, but we're just going to the doctor, so I need you to stay by mommy and play with the iTouch and be a good listener."

Thank God we got that iTouch back, I thought to myself. So we schlepped off to see Dr. X, not before already having 4 timeouts for Evan that morning--I did not foresee good things in my future, so I promised Munchkins after if there was good behavior.

We made it through the parking lot, through the doors where Evan must push the handicap button to open the doors and to the elevator. We sign in and everything seems to be going wonderfully until Evan make his break-away for the hallway to look over the balcony to the first floor below. To which his younger brother had to follow while I'm trying to fill out some form they gave me.

I ran after the two, still not having the chance to unload the diaper bag in the waiting area. I get both of them back in, bribing Evan with "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" on my Blackberry (the iTouch wasn't working its magic this time) and hoisting Oliver up and shoving Goldfish in his hands.

OK, we are going to make it. But no, Evan was not interested in "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse" today, he preceded to, instead, run around the office  "cawing" like a bird. Whatever this "cawing" was, as he informed me, it sure didn't sound like a bird, but some sort of poor, unfortunate dying animal.

In a teeth gritting voice, "Evan, sweetie, we are INSIDE, please stop making that noise and watch the show."

"No, Mom! I'm a bird. Listen to this." The "cawing" got louder. And louder.

As I followed him around the waiting room, giving my apologetic look to the unwilling audience seated before us, Oliver made a beeline for the hallway, at the same time they called our name to come on back. Evan then decided to run the opposite direction into the exam room hallway and open the CLOSED exam door on some ill-fated patient who, I'm sure, wasn't expecting a 3-year-old cawing "bird" to enter and behold them in their paper gown ensemble.

I didn't even look as I yanked Evan out of the room and apologized.

Where was Oliver you ask? Thankfully, the nurse managed to "run" in her high heels out to the main area to grab him for me.

With sweat beginning to bead on my forehead, I grabbed both children and we made it into the doctor's exam room and waited. At least they were corralled now.

A little background on Dr. X. She's fabulous. She is a mom of 2 boys. Just like me. Her boys are 2 years apart. Just like mine. One of hers is a spirited child. Just like mine. She gets it. Totally gets it. And for that, I love her.

Once Dr. X entered and took a look at me, she asked me how I was holding up. I loved this question. Here I was at the doctor for Oliver, and she was seeing how I was doing. Do you know how refreshing that is?

With words of comfort and encouragement, she informed me that I was indeed in the midst of a trying time with the ages I was dealing with, and the fact that I had 2 boys; but then she added that there would be a light at the end of the tunnel...soon.

And with that, I was ready to be on my merry way. But alas, we were here for Oliver. Not me.

The appointment went great after that. I managed to get both boys back to the car, after only having to deal with Evan getting away from me once and a kind elderly lady saying how adorable he was and informing me to not be too hard on him. Yeah, thanks for that.

So, you may ask, "why share all of these "daily" stories of excursions with your child?"

The answer is simple, and albeit lengthy, because it's me who's writing here.

Moms need other moms. Sure, family is great when you live by them (which I do not), but moms need one another in the throes of motherhood. Without each other, I dare say that we'd all go crazy thinking that we were experiencing this alien lifestyle by ourselves.

It is an alien lifesyle.

When you don't have other people in your life who are going through the same daily "trials," you feel isolated and alone and feel like something is "wrong" with you. Not the case. There is always going to be another mom who can one up your story. And it makes you feel better.

I write and share to encourage, make you laugh, inspire and tell you that although you may have a day where you think, "What was I thinking?", we are all in this together.

Even if you say, "Wait, I know this mom and she has it all together. Surely it's achievable to not be a mom with muddles."

I say, you don't know what's going on inside their home, or what she has to go through to achieve that appearance of perfection.

Enjoy life. Enjoy your kids. Enjoy the muddles. We really will look back someday and laugh; and, hopefully, will be able to encourage that mom we see in the doctor's office who's child is "cawing" like a bird and opening up exam room doors.

There were no Munchkins after that.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Three Simple Words

Three simple words changed the course of my day today from one that could have been a "I am going to go crazy" to a "I can do this. I am a good mother" kind of day.

No, they weren't the precious words of "I love you" coming out of the mouth of my 3-year-old or my 15-month-old (that one would've been shocking since he barely says mama), but it was the words, "Good job mama."

This complementary phrase, again, didn't come from my 3-year-old; although it could have, because lately he has randomly been telling me I'm a great mom and thanks me for doing everything...he must be up to something, or perhaps he's mimicking an episode of Caillou. However, it came from a random lady at Trader Joes today.

Yes, here I was at Trader Joes again with both boys in tow. What was I thinking, right? I did it again, I tempted fate. And this time, it wasn't looking so good.

I foolishly promised Evan that he could help mommy grocery shop with one of the little kids carts. He thought that this was a fantastic idea. Once we got to the store, I secretly hoped that all of them would be gone and I'd have to put him in the cart with Oliver--no such luck.

So my harrowing experience at Trader Joes began with Evan by my side pushing his very own cart, and subsequently, wanting to put EVERYTHING in it.

With my list in hand we began in the produce section which turned into the beginning of the big mistake of opening my mouth and telling Evan he could have that cart. Every time I put something in his cart, he would race around and turn back to me smiling and say, "Mommy, I'm going on my branch line, see ya later!" The kid is obsessed with trains and especially Thomas. Everything has to do with "coupling" and "uncoupling" and "bishing" and "bashing..." train terminology for pushing train cars and hooking and un-hooking them.

Great, this cart was now a train. Look out patrons of Trader Joes.

As my excited 3-year-old did wheelies throughout the aisles and raced back and forth with his cart full of my produce, might I add, I hurriedly tried to make my way after him while putting what I needed in my cart, and at the same time keeping Oliver from screeching at the top of his lungs. A new sound he's practicing, no less.

Finally, we were at the dairy aisle and were almost done.

As my patience was about to come to its end after Evan cuts off another customer to "couple" his cart to mine, his little voice shouts, "Excuse me, please go ahead," to a lady who was coming our way.

This was the woman who was about to make my entire day. She smiled down at Evan and then looked at me and said, "Good. Job. Mama."

I was taken aback. All the other adults who didn't happen to have a tiny tot with them were giving me dirty looks, but this woman, with no kids attached, stopped and said those three beautiful words. She then went on to say that it was so nice to hear a toddler with such nice manners.

Now, I have to give Evan some credit here. Even though he was racing around like a mad man throughout the store, when he did cut someone off or bump into them, he did apologize and say excuse me.

As I left Trader Joes, and thought about the next feat ahead of me of taking the kids to Whole Foods during lunch time (crazy again, I know), I thought to myself, "I can do anything!"

That confident thought quickly left when I found myself in the bulk aisle of Whole Foods filling up bags with quinoa and wheatberries while Oliver decided to use his Goldfish as confetti instead of eating them.

This time, I couldnt' tell if I was getting dirty looks for my son throwing the crackers, or if they were appalled that I was giving him Goldfish and not some kind of organic cracker. Oh, the shame.

We didn't stay in Whole Foods very long and made our way home for lunch and naps very quickly.

Getting a complement from a complete stranger about your children is about as high as one can get; especially when your life is full of muddles. That lady will never know how much those three simple words meant to this muddled mom.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Procrastination

So the post about muddles becoming masterpieces is getting a lot of feedback from friends and family. I wish that I had an inspirational post like that every day. Of course, not as the result of a muddle happening, but I'd like to be enlightened more often; however, that doesn't happen when my mind is filled with a list of other things to do...like buying diapers, which I forgot to do.

I, like many moms out there, have discovered the treasure trove of Amazon Mom. It's a discount diaper mecca and I am so thankful for its offerings without having to schlep over to Target to buy diapers last minute. Unfortunately, that's the muddle I find myself in this morning.

I noticed the pile of diapers dwindling quickly over the past week, but thought that I had more time. Not the case. Because this morning as I took my blurry eyed self out of bed and went to get Oliver, my 15 month old, out of his crib, I was shocked to see that only two lonesome diapers remained. My choices were Elmo or Big Bird. I went with Big Bird. Elmo is my secret weapon, and I figured if we had a meltdown on the changing table, I could whip out the Elmo diaper to distract (I use the picture of characters on the diapers to distract my children my having them "talk.")

So, here I am on a Friday morning contemplating my plan of attack. We have 2 eye appointments this morning (I'm currently waiting for my husband to return from his so we can tag team and I can go), and I need to get to Target to get those diapers.

I can either race over to the store now, hoping to get back in time to tag out and get to my appointment, or I can risk the chance of a certain someone soiling his second to last clean diaper before I can get there later this morning. I've decided on the former. That's right, I'm a risk taker.

The thing is, I had ordered diapers from Amazon Mom...yesterday. You get 2-day free shipping when you are a Prime Member with them, so that means the diapers won't get here until tomorrow. Too late.

Where had my planning self going wrong? Why is it that I waited to the last minute?

I am a procrastinator! I said it, or typed it out at least.

And don't think I haven't been racking my brain this morning trying to think of ways to get by without having to by some reinforcements. Utilizing the cloth diapers I had attempted to use for my first son are not an option since I had sold them (my fascination with cloth diapering didn't last very long).

Target it is.

I don't like describing myself as a procrastinator, as I prefer to see myself as ordered and organized. I like to make lists. I like to cross off those tasks and feel the sense of accomplishment that overwhelms me. It's a high for me.

But when I face my reality, I realize that I am not as organized as I'd like to think. Outside of my imperfect perfect world, I dream about a "Martha Stewart" household with everything that has a place and a place for everything. My house runs itself. It's spotless and my kids never make a mess or smear the windows that I just cleaned.

Nice, right?

I, am not that person. I, am a procrastinator. And thus, am still faced with the dilemma of going to get diapers, when, if I had prepared better, I would be having a relaxing morning not worrying about diapers or procrastinating at this very moment by writing this post instead of getting my kids ready to get out the door.

Luckily the eye doctor is right in town.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tempting the Muddle

Everyday I strive to keep as much order in my household as humanly possible; however, as a mother, it often doesn't go as planned.

There are boo boos, sickness, messes, fights, discipline issues and schedule changes. So why on earth would I go out of my way to try and tempt the muddle, when I could have a perfectly peaceful day (well, maybe not perfect and definitely not peaceful) holed up in my house with the boys playing Thomas and watching Word World?

But that's just what I did today -- I tempted that muddle and I didn't look back.

I had so much to do today. An empty refrigerator and cupboard and two very hungry and whiny boys. Plus, I had to go pick something up at a friend's house.

I looked at my oldest son and had a pep talk in preparation for the "adventure" we were about to go on.

"Evan," I said, "We are going to go to Miss Lindsey's house, Trader Joes, Whole Foods and then Sam's Club today! How exciting is this going to be?! But mommy needs your help. I need you to remember what we need to get and I need you to be my extra special helper. Inside voices and keeping our hands to ourselves and you get to ride in the boat (cart)." I said all of this in my most exciting high pitched mommy voice I could muster.

It worked.

He looked up at me and screamed, "Trader Joes is my favorite! Can we get ice cream at Sam's Club?" There is no logical sequence to a 3-year-old's conversation and thoughts at times. Let me also note that Evan has never been to Trader Joes with me.

With his suggestion of ice cream at Sam's Club, and being that it would be our last stop, I told him that if he had extra special good behavior, that mommy would get ice cream at Sam's Club.

It was a good motivational idea. I wished I had thought of it myself.

I prepared THE bag.

THE bag, consists of snacks and drinks and little trinket odds and ends to keep the boys occupied in case of an emergency breakdown in the store. Usually the food does the trick. Especially for my youngest.

In the middle of preparing for our potential muddle of an adventure, Oliver, my one-year-old started to get really whiny. I've been dabbling in dropping his morning nap, but it looked like this morning we would have to hold off on our plans and stop to give him his nap.

My plans were foiled! But I was determined to not let this deter me. Instead, I thought to myself, that this would work in my favor. I could get some work done for my freelance job and have a bright eyed and happy little boy to take to the store when he woke up.

The problem was holding Evan back. He was ready to go Crocs and all. Blue's Clues and a game of Memory did the trick, but after an hour he was getting antsy and I couldn't lose my window of opportunity.

I woke Oliver up and with THE bag packed, we were off. The whole ride there I gave Evan the pep talk and hoped for the best.

We picked up our stuff at Miss Lindsey's house, we made it through Trader Joes with a slight attempt to challenge me by walking to the exit, and then Whole Foods. I was worried the most about Whole Foods.

Whole Foods contained the most items on my list and that place is always busy. But we made it, and they were actually the most well behaved in that store. Thanks to the Goldfish.

Off to Sam's Club and we celebrated with ice cream. Now, I don't always reward good behavior, but Evan often needs a "goal" to focus on; although sometimes the kids surprises me.

We made it into the car just as the first raindrop from the afternoon summer storm hit. It couldn't have been a more perfect shopping trip!

I had won! I felt like I had won the mommy lottery. It doesn't get better than this, and I know many of you can share my jubilation.

Would I tempt the muddle again? I'm not sure about that one. I've had my fair share of shopping catastrophes in my excursions with the boys. But today gave me hope that perhaps I can poke the muddle more than I think. Three stores and a stop off at a friends house was a lot, though.

This day is one for the books.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Muddles Can Become Masterpieces

Of course it would happen that my last post would be cynical of me finding inspiration in my children for my daily post; but alas, today's post is exactly what I was so skeptical about--inspired by my oldest son, Evan.

We all make mistakes; misplace things; forget things.

I took the boys to our local grocery store last week and had the brilliant idea of bringing the iTouch with us so that Evan could be entertained. It was a 2 for 1 when I snagged one of the grocery carts with the built-in car that kids can "drive." Surely, I thought, this was going to be an easy in and out trip.

Sure enough, things went splendidly. We stopped at the bakery for our cookies and then I made my way around the store picking up the few items that I needed.

As I was in the check-out line, I noticed that Evan had placed the iTouch on the seat next to him. I made a mental note not to forget it when we unpacked the cart.

Because of the boys excellent behavior, and my craving for something chocolate, I awarded the boys with a bag of M&Ms. Really, more for me than them, but you know.

We made our way back to the car and I unloaded the groceries and then the boys, still having my mental note of not forgetting the iTouch; however, I got sidetracked as moms often do and had to deal with a slight outburst from Oliver, my youngest. Never mind the influx of people that flock to the area that I live for vacation. The parking lot was full and people were squeezing into the parking spots on either side of me.

I jumped into the car and ripped open the King Size bag of M&Ms and began dishing them out with the AC blasting. It was a hot one. Then, of course, the M&Ms spilled all under my seat as I was turning to place them in the eager little hands behind me. Back out of the car I go to clean up the mess to avoid the future chocolate melting I would find at a later date.

Needless to say, you can get the picture that I had long forgotten the precious iTouch that we had come to rely on to entertain our energetic 3-year-old on plane flights and trips to the store from time to time.

The week went on and suddenly it hit me, this past weekend, that I had no idea where the iTouch went when I realized that I had forgotten about my 10 Words with Friends games that were awaiting my response. Eeek! I freaked and searched the house frantically.

Diaper bag? No. Purse? No. Car? No. I could not for the life of me remember where it had  gone. Then suddenly, as I was up late one night working on the budget, I remember Evan having it in the cart at the grocery store.

My heart pounded. What a mess! A muddled mess! They were expensive. How were we going to replace it? We had personal information on there!

It was way too late to call the store, so I had a sleepless night before me. I got up in the morning and called first thing. Just as I thought, no one had turned it in. I left my name and number with little hope.

Later that morning, I explained to Evan that we had lost the iTouch.

"On, no! Mommy, we losssssst the iTouch-ch-ch!" he cried, and cried, and cried. He's a dramatic one.

I knelt down next to him and said that we could pray that someone would be nice and find it and turn it in and send it back to us. So he prayed, every day, "God, please find the iTouch."

Simple and to the point, I couldn't help but be sad that the chances of someone turning it in were slim to none.

Then it happened. I got a call this morning after spending an hour last night with Ryan changing all of our passwords and double checking that we hadn't been hacked. A man from NH was on vacation with his family and found the iTouch in the parking lot. The battery was dead, so his kids brought it home and had the adapter to plug it in.

He told me that his 8-year-old knew where to look for contact information on it and found my phone number. I was thrilled, to say the least, and then disappointed with myself that my faith had been so small that Evan's little prayer for the iTouch wouldn't matter much at all.

I got off the phone and told him that a nice family had found the iTouch and would be mailing it back. He jumped up and down and then stopped and said in all seriousness, "Mommy, did Jesus find the iTouch in heaven?"

I told him, "Well, maybe he didn't find it in heaven, but he brought someone nice to find it for you and return it."

As I watched him continue to jump up and down and be excited for the wonderful news, I was reminded of how the faith of a child is so incredible. They have no doubt that something will happen. At what age in life do we stop having the faith of a child?

Is it life's circumstances that skew our views and faith? We become doubters, and I have become just that.

This little life lesson that turned a muddle into a "masterpiece," was a big reminder that even the small things in life matter to God and that He wants us to come to Him with all things, great or small. He just longs for a relationship.

To look on my son's face and see the joy he had for an answered prayer, no matter how small to me, was an inspiration. So much so, that I wrote this terribly long post for all of you to read.

I'm looking forward to more muddled masterpieces. I can tell you that much!