Turn Around and Swim

Life | Lessons | Laughter | Love


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Seriously, I Gave Birth To a Pinball

Be careful what you wish for is that little Karma saying we have all heard time and time again.  So when I was preggo with my third child, along with a healthy, happy bouncing baby, I subconsciously wished for a quick and easy labor and delivery.  Well lucky for me the stars aligned and on his very due date with only 28 minutes to spare in the day, little Peeno was born.

I went from making muffins at 9:30pm to three-minute contractions, throwing clothes at my husband and fleeting to the hospital to holding a baby boy one hour later.  Little Peeno and I gave “Fast and Furious” a whole other meaning.

Since that chilly December day and for a good part of his 2.5 years, little Peeno was the “good” son.  But we all know all good things must eventually come to an end and boy oh girl are they ending.  Karma you ARE a beach and not the white sandy kind. 

Right about when I yanked him from his crib, started him at a new school (not with my intent), started potty training him and his two older brothers made off to school, my little boy turned into a pinball.  It’s like a new dawn came and someone pulled back the red spring and let ‘er rip.  Out shot a pinball, my son the terror.

All eyes on Peeno.  That is how it has been the past 42 days.  I understand there little fellow, nobody likes change.  Isn’t the all night rock star parties payback enough.  We’ll save all that fun and drama for another post.  But seriously, you have to go all wild in the daytime too?

Because last I checked we don’t play with Sharpie markers.  Dark green ones.  And we certainly don’t color all over the freshly painted walls in his once nursery.  Apparently he has a problem that he was moved into the toddler room.  My plate is full here little man so you need to start adjusting to some change.  You cannot roll through life with the same old, same old all the time.  Things happen.  Deal with it.

But don’t write all over the walls with permanent marker.  Then when I am frantically trying to clean off the walls he attacks another room.  Permanent means permanent.  So while I was busting out the paint, he took dry erase markers to the carpet in his other brother’s bedroom.  Funny how he never does this $h*t in his own room.

Salvador Dali

Just as I stepped back to admire Take Two of the paint job, I saw his masterpiece in the other room.  Have you ever tried to remove dry erase markers from carpeting?  Well, it smears like crazy.  It looks like Salvador Dali went normal all over the carpeting.  Needless to say when I sent him downstairs to sit on the steps, because I was afraid of what he would do in his room, I was not safe.

While I was scrubbing the carpet, somehow Houdini unlatched the child safety handles on the house to garage door.  He proceeded into the garage and climbed on my hopeless attempt to organize sports equipment shelf, and reached the garage door openers.  While knee-deep in dry erase, my phone rings like five times.  This is never a good sign.  I forgot all about Salvador Dali and his step sitting and rushed to the phone.

Step aside Dash…it’s my turn to gain control.

It was my neighbor telling me she was making coffee and saw Peeno on her deck.  Her POOL DECK.  In that instant I put Disney Pixars The Incredibles character Dash to shame because I was on that deck quicker then lighting strikes.  I still had no idea how he maneuvered out of the house at this point.  When I asked him why in the world he went next door, his reply, “I wanted to swim in the deep end!”  He can’t swim, he doesn’t like to swim and he highly dislikes the deep end.  He won’t even go into three feet of water with a life-preserver, arm floats, a noodle and him clinging onto his mama.  But somewhere between graffiti and escape artist, he suddenly grows a set.  Come on kid.

He is unstoppable.  Like the pinball in the machine, he is here, there and everywhere.  We cannot keep up!  I am in a state of constant fight or flight.  So I will have to admit I was slightly happy to go to work today.  To sort of chill.  Fair warning to his school.

I thought I would check in with mom and dad on my way to work and share some of my horror.  Well, somehow, Peeno made an impact over in their neck of the woods too.  My parents wanted to hear nothing about my trials and tribunes.  They had their own mess to clean up.  Like changing the gauze bandage on my dad’s arm because he lost a layer of skin.  When he went to fire up the grill the other day, well it fired up all right, explosion style. 

Proceed with caution when lighting…we have a terror on the loose.

Looks like in addition to a graffiti and an escape artists we also have a pyromaniac on our hands.  That’s right.  “Someone” cranked up the grill burners to on and high.  So instead of dear old dad grilling steaks, he got a hairless molten lava arm instead.  With that being said, I plead my case.  Peeno is his name, and vino’s my game.  Lots of  it!


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Weekly Photo Challenge: Near and Far

“In this world people may throw stones at your success, it depends on you, what you make from them…a wall or a bridge. – Unknown

A two-year olds determination to find the flattest, most round shaped stone to accomplish the perfect skip.  Each stone is only an arm’s length away yet he searches and searches to find “the one”.  The one that upon a flip of the wrist will try to go against the current and ripple through the water fighting to compete with the waves for its own beauty.   

The water is constant, moving and changing each time a wave hits the shore.  The rocks appear and then disappear.  They are near and then as the water washes over them, for a two-year old they became so far to reach.  I watched as each time he was about to grab a stone the water washed over the area and he had to start again.  So near to that perfect stone yet so far.  He never gave up.

The blue waters go on and on for miles and miles.  As it washes over my feet I feel it’s cool, crisp touch and then it recedes.  The water as it encompasses my sinking foot in the sand is so calming and I want to freeze it there, to stay at ease.  Then as the water pulls back, it leaves my feet and gets farther away.  I want the moment back, the peaceful feeling.

There will always be a moment, a person an obstacle that comes between us and a dream.  There will be times we want to give up and throw in the towel or we can continue collecting the stones.  Taking each one and building upon to reach our destination, our goal, that at many times seems so far.  Yet with a little perseverance will be so near, right here!


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Beyond Their Crafty Construction: The Real Reason Weebles Never Fall Down

“Weebles Wobble But They Don’t Fall Down”

Last year at this time I was a frantic basket case.  I might have looked like I had it all under control with my little heels, curled hair and make-up all in place but inside I was a ball of exhaustion.  What I really felt like was a hamster on a wheel juggling many balls to include but not limited to:

  • Career
  • 3 kids
  • School
  • Extracurricular
  • Home
  • Friends
  • Fitness
  • Stress relief
  • Where to find my next bottle of Jack (you get the point)

But I put on a nice facade.  I played the “I am all together” card very well.  So this year with the start of school and busier at work than ever, I knew JD and Pumpkin Ale would only take me so far!  So, I bit the bullet and started asking for help.  I know, you want to raise your glass and give me a great big old Salute!  Well go ahead, throw one back for me.  Yet, guess where asking for help got me?  Nowhere and perhaps way worse off.

Bring It On!

Who is going to help a strong, independent mother of three busy boys who maintains a business, a home and exercise routine all while being Martha Stewart and Betty Crocker on the side?  NOBODY folks.  Nobody.  There is a big price to pay when you are strong and able to bounce back like that weeble looking inflatable thing-a-ma-jiggy that little kids punch and kick at birthday parties and it never falls down.  You might have even played with old weeble at a corporate team building seminar too.  Anyways, that is what happens.

Now don’t you go get all soft on me and no need to rush to me with open arms, crutches or a bottle of Jack.  Like the woman everyone expects me to be because well I am, I have found my current status quo.  It happened one morning when I sat down.  I know really right?  I. Sat. DOWN.  I was woofing down egg whites and a power smoothie because that IS the breakfast of super-mom’s and I had a little moment of zen.  I glanced across the kitchen to the three boys sitting at the countertop bar eating breakfast.

Without needing a ticket, a box of popcorn or a dim-lit theatre, right there in front of me played the sweetest little number.  Live and in 3-D  without those goofy glasses either.  This was usually about the time that I would be running around with paper towels, busting out the vacuum and repeating the eat your breakfast mantra a gazillion times.  But I refrained.  I let it play on and I was still.

I let them use their shirts as napkins, watched as the eggs fell to the floor and yogurt dripping from their chins.  I watched them as they were fidgeting in their chairs with yogurt mustaches coming up with their after school game plan.  Who would be Yoda, who would be Luke and which one would get the light saber that actually works.  I let it play on.  I let them talk more than eat and I saw the beauty in the moment.  The beauty in the fact that these were my little boys who absolutely cannot make yogurt get from bowl to mouth without a huge mess.  I just let them be and plan who will end Darth Vader‘s behavior once and for all.

They had no idea I was watching them and it was a very rare moment that I actually was still.  Just being and listening and watching.  My chest got lighter.  My breathing was slower.  In that instant, as my chest opened, so did my heart to just being in the now.  It was an amazing feeling and truly a moment of stop and smell the roses.  I don’t mean a slow yield and a casual whiff either.  I mean stopping everything.  Chewing, thinking, fearing, wishing and just being present.

I realized that no matter how hard my days may seem there is no time like now.  Right now.  No matter how many times I beg and plead for help.  No matter how many times I bite off way more than I can chew. No matter how many times I swear I will do it differently tomorrow.  You can’t take back the past.  You cannot predict the future.  You can try to manipulate it or stress about the minutes, hours and years that just past or you can just embrace right now.  All we really have is what is happening in this very minute.

By being more present and accepting of what is, I am able to calmly feel at ease.  Since then I have witnessed more than I would have ever noticed a year ago.  Like a random hug from my five-year old when I was trying to get my camera to focus while kids were running and screaming everywhere at a picnic.  Or like when coming out of the grocery store and a man on a bike approaches a lady in a wheel chair.

As she was trying to dodge people, cars and parking lot speed bumps, this very present man, could sense she was having a struggle.  He rode up next to her and said, “Hey there champ, want to race because I bet you would win?”  The smile on her face was worth a thousand bucks.  The feeling of gratitude was with her and the sense of making someone’s day was with this man.  I found myself in the moment.  If I was on the phone or looking at my day planner or running a tally of things in my head of all I needed to accomplish before my commute home, I would have missed this.

Sometimes the best things in life are free.  So, I challenge you to take a moment and just be.  To observe and listen.  To watch and learn and grow calmer.  Do you think you can do it?  The real answer to the mystery is to be still and just be.  Feel free to share your zen moments too.  I’d love to hear!