Behind the Scenes of the Housewife Life

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Having a picnic for snack time in our front yard.

My current house is painted white. There is a “welcome” mat and a small mailbox, a wreath on the door with a tiny bunting I made. I love having front steps to sit on and watch the world drive by. Sometimes the boys sit with me and we count cars together. Inside our house, and everything that happens here, is what I call “behind the scenes.” Welcome to my home and my life. Have a seat on the couch and make yourself comfy.

I have house clothes and public clothes. Once in a blue moon I decide to “dress up” in my public clothes even though I am just at home with no plans of leaving. It’s just nice to not look lazy all the time. However, of course there had to be spills. The dark smudge on my jeans was from this morning’s breakfast when my two year old decided to dump the last of his milk on my lap and I didn’t care enough to change. I tell myself no one is going to notice. And here I am pointing it out to you.

My four year old points at my sockless ankle.

“Mommy what’s that? Did you have blood?” His nose wrinkled only an inch away from the questioned site.

“That’s a scab. You have scabs too. See? It was blood but now it is healing and that’s a scab. Mine is on my ankle and yours is on your knee.” He seems surprised at the discovery of his own scab and picks at it.

While he picks at his scab I admire my new nail varnish. A nude pinkish colour. One of my favourites I have ever had. When we moved from England to Ohio almost a year ago, it took a few months for me to realise I had gotten rid of all my nail varnish! So I bought a new colour but didn’t like it. I was in a bold mood and chose a bold colour. Mood swings coupled with impulsive buying was never a good match. This “safe” nude colour has proven perfect next to my tan skin. A small and otherwise trivial matter, but sometimes these small things can make a large difference in a woman’s world. I now wear my flip flops with confidence!

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Counting cars.

My two sons begin to scream at each other over a toy. They always want to play with the same one at the same time. Seriously? They have ALL these other toys and books and whatever, but they both want that ONE! A few months ago I had asked my husband if we could please start getting two of everything. He said no. They have to share and take turns. Fine. Before I became a mother, I believed my children would never fight. I have been humbled a thousand fold for thinking so foolishly.

I’ll make us a cup of tea. I only have peppermint, is that alright? Growing up, my mother used to always make peppermint tea, but we drank it cold. My love for mint must come from her. I miss her. Do you ever eat or drink something because of memories? Years ago when I was employed, I worked in a very posh retail store. We had our lunch break and later in the evening we had a tea break. I always had peppermint and liquorice tea, sweetened with brown raw cane sugar, with a slice of my homemade lemon cake. I haven’t been able to make a successful lemon cake since the big move but I will continue to try. The tea however, I cannot find anywhere! If you happen to see it, do let me know! For now, we will be grateful for this peppermint.

So, I am really out of the loop with the music world. On a bright note, I can sing several varieties of the Itsy Bitsy spider, the ABC song, and a few others that I can’t seem to think of on the spot. Having said that, it was a real treat the other day when I was in the car listening to my husband’s playlist and this really cool song came on. I am quite convinced that someone from the band at one point lived the life of a housewife. Because it totally connected with me. I don’t know who they are and I can’t remember what they said, but it was nice knowing that someone out there shared similar feelings as me.

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My four year old comes over and inspects my cup of tea.

“Is that hot lava? It’s hot. See? Smoke. Is it a fire? And burn the house down? No. You can drink it. Mommy do you like it? Is it good?”

I cannot express how wonderful it is to see my son growing up and hearing his thoughts. He may talk in circles but I am ecstatic that he’s figuring things out on his own! My two year old then comes over to see what the fuss is. He takes a look inside my cup and goes back to his playing. He could care less about my tea. I’m proud of him too. For being able to return to his task as if there had been no distraction.

What a journey motherhood is! It’s so big I am silenced for words. There is just an emotion, understood within the circle of women.

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Behind the scenes of a landscaped yard is a squirrel running up the tree. A spider busy spinning his dinner. A lady bug being watched by my four year old. Flowers being picked by my two year old. Pinecones waiting to be played with. Rocks waiting to be treasured.

Behind the scenes of my front door is family life. I watch how they walk. How they play. I listen to their voice. Their sounds. Their cries. I touch their skin, their hair and cuddle them close. I look into their eyes. I notice the books and movies they choose. The songs they sing to themselves. I notice their emotions, their reactions, trying to make sense of who they are. I am memorising all that I can.

I just re-read the 1,000 words that you just read and one word came to my mind: details. My life has become a life full of noticing details, dissecting those details, making some sense of those details. And I wonder, if I, like the passing cars that we count, am a detail in someone else’s story. A detail among the other millions of people living in this country. And yet here you are, dear friend reading these details of my life.  And with that thought, I’ll close with a quote from my four year old prince, ” thank you for realising me”.

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A Day in My Housewife Life

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Wearing his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Shell

I sit on my carpeted back steps thinking about everything that has happened so far today. My four year old is riding his trike and my two year old is napping. This also happens to be my favorite part of the day because it is the quietest. I can actually take a deep breath and think.

I wonder constantly if people are bored by the housewife life stories I tell. There are days that are literally revolved around my children’s bowel movements, but who wants to hear that?

My morning started at 6am in MY bed! It is truly a rare phenomenon. Usually every night one or both of my boys wake up and I end up sleeping either on the couch or in their bed. So to wake up next to my husband was a short-lived treat!

I say short-lived because in no time at all my four year old awoke and stood at the doorway shouting, “Mommy I’m awake! Stand up!”

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Good Morning!

I always thought I moved pretty quickly and my husband labels me a woman who is rushing life so when my two sons are throwing tantrums for their morning milk, part of my tired self is so confused. Am I not moving fast enough? Good grief! Why doesn’t milk pour faster and why didn’t I rewind this VHS last night? Oh yes, we recently became the owners of a VCR with a bag full of fun “new” movies. In a minute they have their milk filled sippy cups, a few minutes more and their movie is on and I make my way back to bed.

By 8:15am my four year old and I commenced our first weeding event together!  Okay, not my first time but it was his first time to help. As we went out the door, I said to my two year old that we were not playing, we were going to weed and work, but he began to scream “bike! bike!”. He loves playing outside. Daddy was there with him but he screamed for me. I felt so bad! He sounded so sad, as if I had just favored my four year old and left him behind. Poor little guy. Anyhow, my four year old was given the responsibility to hold the plastic bag while I pulled weeds. He was a champ! I found a special surprise: a bloody bird leg with lots of feathers on the side. Nice. I genuinely did not have much patience to do more weeding than the front of the house so we finished up and went back inside. I tell myself no one notices a weedy garden anyways.

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He would not sit still for a haircut, so we buzzed him bald!

Have you ever had one of those days where everything is just annoying? Maybe the world has not changed one bit but some days, those same things just grate your nerves? Or is it just me? I found the thought of having a shower incredibly annoying. Seriously, no one ever sees me apart from my kids and husband! Sometimes I just could care less about my appearance. Plus my back hurt from the weeding and I just wanted to sit. Sit and sulk with Axel’s cuddles in my lap and postponed my shower until later.

At some point in the 11’o clock hour my husband came downstairs from his office, which he never does, and announces he is going to the store to run an errand. I want to go! I need out of the house! Can we just tag along and sit in the car? I need adventure in my life! Running errands is an adventure? Yes! ANYTHING that gets me out of the house is, in my book, an adventure! Anything can happen. You just never know what you’ll see, who you’ll meet, your life can change!

Of course I did not shower on a day when my life could possibly change from a spontaneous adventure. Of course! Grrr at my own laziness.

Oh what luck! I had a few bucks in my wallet and a coupon! And with a lovely husband behind the wheel, me and my two year old got dropped off at a fabric store for a goody while he and our four year old went to do their thing.

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I love the smell of fabric stores. I love walking up and down the aisles and looking at all the gorgeous fabrics. I love fabric. As a kid I remember fabric shopping with my mom. I used to feel the fabric and rub two sides together. I loved the silkier fabrics because they were smooth to the touch. Those few memories are now very important to me. A subtle sign of destiny?

I have a list of projects and ideas I’d like to do. Oh to choose only one! Which one?!  What fun! What a good day this is turning out to be! I ask the lady at the cutting counter the cost and she gave me the exact price. Perfect, I had just enough.

I get to the check out and hold up! That’s MORE than what the cutting counter lady said! TAX?!?! I always forget they charge extra for tax on everything! (except food) I was 89 cents short! How embarrassing! I call the lovely husband to rescue me and he is on his way, my hero.

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It was sweet when the lady behind me offered a dollar but my husband was already walking in. Maybe I looked like life was rough with my no makeup face, un-showered self, a bandana on my head and a fussy toddler. Who knows but God bless the selfless people in this world who still do good deeds for others.

Back at home it was peanut butter and cinnamon sandwiches for lunch. My boys refuse to eat the crust and I don’t like wasting food. So there was my lunch. I am pretty convinced this is also why I can never lose weight! They ask for another sandwich and then won’t eat it, so I do! Sometimes I think I won’t bother trying to lose weight for another ten years. Ten years might seem like a long time but anything less than that kind of stresses me out.

I put the bread, peanut butter and cinnamon away, sneak some chocolate chips into my mouth without anyone seeing, put my two year old down for his nap, and me and my four year old go outside to play.

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And that’s where I am.

He is on his trike and pedals around the driveway. Occasionally he will stop and just look at me. I tell him to keep playing and he tells me I have to watch him.

And I do. I watch him. My son. Why do I let silly little things get to me? I love him. His innocence. He pulls at my heart strings when he says, “mommy I’m four. I just want to talk to you.” When he says, “please can you just be happy?” My eyes suddenly open and I just see a little boy, four years old, and I’m just a mom, everything else in life are details. I try my best. I am so far from perfect. I thank God that this little boy has such an unconditional love for me and that he is completely mine.

The rest of my day consisted of me finally having that shower, sharing a bowl of popcorn with my four year old while the other still napped, and really all we did after that was play together, laugh together, we ate, we talked, we giggled, we chased and we hugged until bedtime.

Why do I get annoyed by these huge blessings? These two adorable little boys.

It was a good day when I finally decided to make it good. x

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The Broken Roads in America

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Or maybe it’s just Ohio? Even my three year old noticed. We were walking home from Grandma’s house, one street over, when he tripped on the sidewalk and fell.

“The road is broke” he said.

Another time we had just parked the car and were on our way towards the store. He pointed to the ground and said, “Mommy the roads here are broke.”

And he’s right. Cracked parking lots. Holes in the middle of streets. Uneven sidewalks that suddenly end.

Perhaps he noticed this because in England, where we were just a few months ago, he never tripped on jagged roads and sidewalks were covered with snails or poop, not cracks.

My son’s observations had me thinking about broken roads. Not the literal ones I have just described, but rather the roads we travel in life that sometimes break.

Sometimes as we get about our life, suddenly we trip and fall. We didn’t see it when maybe we should have. We weren’t prepared for it so we scraped our knee or our hand and it hurt and we got mad, but now we are more careful and paying closer attention. Making better choices.

Sometimes our paths seem to dead end. Now what to do? Where to go? We have to find a different direction. It will still take us to the place we are heading, and it may feel like a detour, but maybe that other way had a purpose for us. Maybe we met someone along the way who was lost and needed directions. Maybe we found a quarter along the way, and with that quarter we were able to buy something that was needed. Who knows. Sometimes things happen in our life so we can help others. It’s not always about us.

Maybe the detour gave us the extra time we needed to just breathe and think and gather some peace to our minds. If we are too busy and being one-track minded, we forget to stop and just enjoy what God has given us. The warmth from sunshine. Beautiful trees to admire. Singing birds to listen to. When the sidewalk suddenly ended, we thought it was an obstacle, looking back we realise it was actually a blessing.

Maybe the roads aren’t even broke.

It’s just rough terrain. Each block of cement, or obstacle we face, is serving its purpose and building our character along the way.

x

(photo credit)