Category Archives: What is life?

Sleep- What your mind and body craves

Sleep- What your mind and body craves

My brain said that was it at 9pm last night.  I was out just 15 minutes later.  And I didn’t get out of bed until a few minutes before 7am.  Count it.  That’s 9+ hours of glorious sleep.  I haven’t done too bad this week and I even logged a straight 8 hours,  uninterrupted a couple nights before.  Now if only I could train myself  not to naturally want 10 hours of rest.  It’s weird.  My body likes 10. I normally get 6 to 7, but I can function okay off of 5 hours.  But maybe I just think I’m functioning.  This article says differently.  I’m always fascinated to learn new things about a subject I love and need much more of.  Soon I’ll be focusing on getting up bright and early.  I’m talking 5:30am.  Eric says he doesn’t think I can do it on account of me having to go to bed by 9:30pm.  Really?  I like a challenge.  So we’ll just see about that.  Bring it E! Bet you can’t do 11pm consistently for a week.  We’re both night owls since our teen years.  If there was ever a match made in heaven…

BTW, it’s date night.  Can you say Wolverine? Diehard X-men  lovers baybee.

Ms. Polly Where Have You Been?

Ms. Polly Where Have You Been?

Oh my, how I’ve missed you!  Some of my mommy friends and I went roller skating last weekend and I ended the night in an arm sling and plenty of pain.  I’m a bit better now, seeing as how I can use both my hands again.  But for a while there, I wasn’t sure how long I’d be a lefty-one-arm-lady…and still with 3 youngins in tow.

I got on here tonight to say thank the Lord for good friends, a nearby hospital and well, good medicine.  I’m mad we didn’t get to shut the rink down after skating till our feet ached.  But since my speed skating accident happened around 10pm, we got a pretty good fill of yummy pizza and fun conversation before transfering the party over to the ER.  Prior to that, there was even a little Rooock, skate!  Rooooll, bounce going on!  All in all, no regrets folks, no regrets.  I play bits and pieces of the accident back from time to time.  I recall…

The teen referee  blowing the whistle as we all took off.  Three of the other mommies were out there too.  I was going so fast into that first curve, when I made the turn without falling it surprised even me.  I was on the straightway, but perhaps that speedy turn, was the reason I began to lose my balance.  In track terms I was on the last leg of a 4 X 200 m. Now, picture me slipping and sliding like Scooby Doo—with sound effects to match.  The whole fall seemed to take a full 60 seconds.  I remember the exact moment when I lost my battle with gravity.  It was a packed house and the whole skating crowd save the 7 or 8 of us racing, went…Ooooo!  when I finally hit the floor.  Somehow I got up with nothing hurting but my pride and skated off to complete what then seemed like a cruel two laps of racing (the little kids only had to do one lap).  It was around that time that I realized my right arm wasn’t swinging properly.  I touched it and to my dismay, the elbow had been dislocated. 

I kept skating round the rink as I thought incredulously, I’m going to have to go to the hospital.  I’ll literally pee in my clothes when they put this thing back in place. Oh Lord….  So I pushed on the bone while I contemplated that and popped it back in place myself.  Whew! What a relief.  That was close.  I decided I’d tell my 5 friends what just happened since they were a little worried about the fall.  I wish then that I had known how the pain would quickly escalate; rivaling that of labor.  And truth be told the only way I lived through it was to remind myself:  You’ve now had three babies and you know having them hurt worse that this.  And remember you had the last one naturally.  You’ll be a’ight.  It wasn’t like 6 years ago when I broke my foot while playing basketball with my little brother.  When the pain from that set in, I cried like a newborn.  And the next day, I found out the foot was broken.  But as all the men at work soon pointed out, at least I’d won the game.

This time around it was mostly thanks to my friends that I survived at all.  They iced me down and took off my skates, and  helped me to the bathroom when I was about to pass out.  “You’re just going into shock,” one said calmly.  In my mind’s eye I recall saying to myself, she is really crazy.  How do you tell someone, they’re ‘just going into shock?”  It was funny as heck to me.  So I decided not to go into shock.  She made me laugh while I pulled it together with only socks between my feet and the cool tiled floor in a strange and possibly unsanitary restoom.  Whatever those women did, they did it all and so very fast!  In a jiff we were blowing that joint (i.e., leaving the place) and I was walking out on my own two legs. 

The lawyer in our group retorted that she could have represented me if I hadn’t signed the liability waiver.  “Yeah, if only”, I joked.  She was also the only stick- shift driver and didn’t mind telling me how I was “SOL” about taking Eric’s car along, since she too drove a stick that night.  “Dang,” I said as they gently buckled me into her car.  One of them had thought to get me some ice water on the way out and it came along for the ride to the hospital.  I tell you they were all just amazing.  Our noble leader led the way (see that’s why she’s the prez) and the rest followed in a three-car-caravan.   I can always count on our gregarious and silly, second-in-command to crack jokes and even the newest to our bunch kept me in good spirits while I waited (like forever) to be seen by the doctor. 

Each of them stayed at the ER and continued some fab mommy time I’m told, whilst one of my oldest friends went back into the treatment area with me.  She handled my purse, answered lots of questions, called my hubby, and unfortunately held the sicky cup, when the narcotics they gave me wrecked havoc on my defenseless tummy.  She and I had been holding hands most of the night while she learned to skate again (and did an awesome job might I add!) so this time she had my hand and my back while the evil radiologist shouted out orders for me to bend and twist the nearly broken joint —while I screamed in pain, “I can’t do it, woman! I tell you, I can’t do it!”  My good friend filled all the other ladies in on my status and kept me going until the doctor signed my walking papers.  I was then handed over to my friend who lives closest.  She drove me to our side of town and even stopped to fill my perscription.  She included ice packs for the next day and placed me squarely in the hands of my husband.  She did this at 1:30am, with an early and busy Sunday schedule of her own, looming. My God, this woman is sweet and I don’t believe there are any facts that escape her.  She seems to know all.  I don’t know what things I told her on our 30 minute ride home, but it couldn’t have been too good.  See I was hallucinating due to the meds and she kept calling the name of Jesus everytime I told her what I saw.  She has vowed never to repeat any of it. Still I must know…

So fastfoward three days after the ER doctor calls my house and says, “On second thought, Ms. Brooks, it may be broken.”  And two days after driving back to the hospital to get my Xrays so I could promptly see the orthopedic surgeon who says, “Probably not broken but time will tell.” In the meantime try this really delicious and effective new medicine (yay – happy tummy).  At any rate, she let me out of the sling so I can learn to use my arm again, as it heals.  And kudos to her office for being so kid friendly since I had to take my three children with me during the appointment.  Thanks to my handicap the children are learning that they can do more things on their own than they ever dreamed. 

So I am completely thankful not to be a one-arm-‘oman on account of Mamas just wanna have fun, too.  Oh, and to my friends: Many more special thanks for those tasty meals that I told you not to bring but you brought anyway or planned to bring, because I was wearing the sling and looked like the rest of the Brooks would pretty much starve.  I love you.  Can’t wait until our next outing!

Little Angels

Little Angels
Fun in the water

Fun in the water

I kept my word and let them play outside as I worked in the yard.  They had a ball and ended the day with the picture you see below—them chasing me into the garage while screaming “Get her!  Get her!”  Yes I got wet up by my three little angels.  They are such a silly bunch.  We have plenty of good times!

Chasing me into the garage with the sprinkler

Chasing me into the garage with the sprinkler

Where I’m At

Where I’m At

It’s another scorcher today. Something like 95°. Such a hot way to welcome in spring.  I was caught off guard and had to bust out some capri’s on Saturday only to recall that I hadn’t, er, tightened things up in the hairy legs department.  Thank God they were long capri’s.  But the spring weather always prevails.  So with that in mind after sleeping in a little, I got up and did my thing in the shower on Sunday morning.  All areas are as smooth as can be but I’m rocking jeans today cause these legs are much too pretty for anyone but my man.  Well, that plus the fact that I need to go shopping for shorts. 

I had actually planned to throw on an old pair of shorts to go outside and de-weed my frontyard.  I’m talking gloves, garden tools, big hat and all, while the kids play in the sprinkler.  But now that I have a slight headache, I’ve retreated to my bedroom/office and bribed the children with The Backyardigans.  Yes, I know it’s science day and I’m an awful mother, but I got a migraine last week when I didn’t chill out soon enough.  I’ve convinced them that we’ve plenty of sunshine left in the day and they can still come out with me after my break.  They weren’t exactly all understanding. When I said, “Just watch this for a little while, until I’m feeling better”, Orion responded with, “Are you crazy?”  That’s what I get for asking them that same question when they misbehave.  I can just see him in preschool this fall. The teacher will say come sit down for circle time and Orion will ask her, “Are you crazy?” I shake my head. 

They are my children. And apparently just mine.  I say this because I just got off the phone with their father, whom I asked to watch the two little ones for me next week so I can go to the Mother’s day Tea with Lainey.  He’s going to do it but says the the Tea coincides with a day he had planned for himself. So he’s going to reschedule his day.  Are  you kidding me? Watching the kids for 45 minutes to an hour out of a day when you’re already home messes up everything and you need to reschedule?  Men are a damn trip.  But it’s all right.  I’m not even getting all sentimental, hurt and upset like I would normally.  I even almost laughed.  Thank God he’s the daddy and not the mama cause I don’t know what he’d do.  

Men are so hardcore and great in many ways.  But as my husband reminds me — don’t get it twisted.  This isn’t their speciality and they can’t compare to mothers.  They expect us to keep that super woman cape on straight and crisply ironed.  Then be able to strip it off along with the rest of our clothing to reveal perfectly maintained, volumptuous bodies; ready, willing and able to perform any tricks they conjure up.  And although some will take you —hairy legs and all, most of us don’t want THEM unless they put in a little quality time.  So E, don’t be telling me how you need to get away from me and the kids and then later asking me if I can wear that new little, hot number I just bought for you.  Cause, I’ma put that in the back of my lingerie drawer and you can see me in this long cotton tee and plain cotton pants!  All right? (And no, hell no, ladies.  I don’t deprive. It’s against my religion.)

So now that I’ve gotten that off my chest.  Perhaps I am better and I’ll do a little reading for the last 30 mintues of my break.  See ya!

Dirty Laundry

Dirty Laundry

This is what I almost sent to the group:

Yes, as Vicki said, I am standing by to help anyone in need of assistance with their yahoo group email.  It is unfortunate that our support group account has turned into a war of words.  I’m subject to go into yahoo right now, change all passwords and turn the whole thing off.  But that would clearly be an abuse of power.  And since I do love being a part of the group, I didn’t mean it, yall. I swear.

We could probably learn to skip emails we don’t want to read (one of your friends will fill you in if you miss something).  We are savvy enough to reply only to the person intended (so as to reduce email traffic).  And we are courteous enough to keep mean comments, really long emails (except this one) and negativity out of our group.  If anybody proves me wrong, don’t be surprised if your account mysteriously stops working one day.  Oh, gosh darn it, there I go again!  But don’t hit delete yet…

Vicki and Liz are doing a wonderful job this year!  We are having a great time, bringing in new members and I’m looking forward to our next outing.  All moms are welcome to participate in group activities— whether working outside the home, not working at all, part-timing, or working from home.

It’d be awesome if we all came together for a little fun at Mom’s night out.  (And no, we are not going to turn the skating rink into Roller Derby or anything like that!  Although I would clearly be a member of the “Secretaries of Hate.”  (I read it in the paper that they are a real roller derby crew in the DC area).  BTW–  Are you are golfer or a skater?  I may need to know ahead of time.  Responses are welcome, but only reply to me okay?

Peace and love,

Onjeinika

Secretary (at least ’til morning)

Disclaimer:  If this was offensive to anyone, I will apologize just like they do on TV, only I’ll be sincere.

Not A Weekend Girl

Not A Weekend Girl
The Late Willie Mae Richardson

My mommy-Willie Mae

 

I am not saving anything for the weekend.  Cause I’m not a weekend girl. Besides Meek and I are vending at a flea market this Saturday.  So a middle of the week meeting is a must.  But it’s Monday, so I’ll stay focused.  I’m on my own today but I don’t even think it’s hard to handle the kids alone because I know Eric can’t be here to help. Funny how that makes me calmer than him actually being in the house with me but not coming to save me from the 3 musketeers who have most likely hemmed me up someplace. Yes I get mad when I want more help with them.  No need to hold back, cause I aint no weekend girl.

I like living in the here and now.  Yeah, once upon a time I used to put off things until I had time, or had planned a bit more.  Not now.  With my faster-than-the-speed-of-light household I’ll be left in the dust —unmotivated and unfulfilled.  Sometimes you just have to go outside and do science with the kiddies then come in and cook a frozen pizza for dinner.  Roll with it baby!  Did I also say that I’m not the model mother?  Not even close. I lack discipline and organization.  Plus, I get really lazy if I keep my PJ’s on for too long during the day. 

So this week, I’m planning to keep on working hard and playing hard as well.   Spring weather does that to me.  An impromptu outing here or there will make my little ones cheer.  Perhaps brownies tomorrow night would be cool, a little pause from the treat free diet.  A date with Eric is on the horizion but until then I’ll settle for some friendly X-box competition if he can handle it.  Tomorrow could be skate day with the Mochas and belly dancing is always fun. I’m just trying to enjoy what I have before it’s gone.  You can’t fault me for that can you? I don’t intend to leave this earth with my lips poked out. I want a huge, broad Willie Mae smile!

It’s All About Family

It’s All About Family

Hey guys! I’ve missed you.  I’m tired as all, but hanging.  Orion decided to intervene on my progress early on.  I’d only been on here about 45 minutes before I heard his call. I was late getting up because I was tired and the alarm wasn’t set.  Still I only missed my mark by 15 minutes, on account of getting to bed late. 

I stayed up helping my dearest who was working on his assignment.  So I ironed his work clothes for him (something I haven’t done since the third baby came along).  Then I washed the dishes and cleaned the kitchen.  I even collected trash because I knew he needed to focus.  Those are all normally his tasks, but he does nice things like this for me all the time. It was nothing to return the favor. Besides, now that I think about it he had taken the kids out to play while I spent a little quality time with my sister earlier in the day.

Last week was a whirlwind culminating with Lauren’s birthday on yesterday. I always get stressed when it’s one of their birthdays because I want everything to go smoothly and for them to be happy.  Something in me feels afraid that something will go wrong, but it never does.  I think it’s just me worrying unneccesarily.  I have to remember that it doesn’t take much to please small children, so I may as well chill.  We had a great time yesterday as Lauren turned four. Just family hanging out together and celebrating.

My mother-in-law, Amanda, and my 14-year-old sister-in-law, Deanna, had been visiting with us for a week so the day was even more special for Lauren.  Since we don’t live close to much family, except Auntie Meek, it’s good for them to see their granny for a nice long visit.  We had a ton of fun all week. I even skipped girls’ night out to be with them on their last evening in town. It was easily the right choice.  I can only thank God for getting me to this point. Blending families isn’t always a smooth process but it can be very rewarding.  In addition to enjoying each other’s company, we felt the love flowing freely and got to take turns spoiling each other. 

I received a great deal of help in the house (including laundry —- I know yall are jealous!!) I was able to meet with the preschool teacher, grocery shop, go to the dentist, take one and only one child to the doctor, run basic errons and take long showers all while my children were fed and entertained by a loving auntie and grandmother.  We also spent quality time shopping together and baking. Eric and I went to dinner and a movie for date night (without babysitting fees) and then I stayed in with the kids while my mother-in-law enjoyed time with her  own two children at the outlet stores.  She has instilled a love for bargin shopping in her kids and it was nice for them to go out together.  I had dinner waiting when they returned.  Whenever they visit I like to spoil them with good food and whatever treats I can manage, although Eric’s granny usually sends some homemade cake to us when they come.

Over all, Eric got plenty of study time without me feeling burnt out from doing everything in the house by myself along with handling the children.  Amanda, taught me cake decorating and of course delivered some wonderful stories about her life.  We all traded time with the kids amounting to late sleeping and good napping for each of us.  As I said, I’m a bit groggy this morning from a return to my normal schedule, but my smile is broad. My heart is full and I am blessed.

Kite Flying

Kite Flying

We are truly enjoying this warm spell of weather.  The kids and I have been out everyday playing at some nearby park.  I’ve not forgotten my multivitamin any this week while trying to keep pace!  We took the kite out today and got it up immediately but the wind snapped the string clip and within 30 seconds it came crashing down.  I should have known.  The wind was just too strong.  I think tomorrow is supposed to be a better kite flying day, if it doesn’t rain.  All three of my babies were super cool when I told them we’d put it away and try later on in the week.  Like the kite, they just wanted to be free.  They ran around the open field screaming in joyous tones and laughing while tasting the warm air.

We have four kites in all (thanks to great deals at Five and Below). The kids love seeing them sail in the wind and they take turns holding the string.  One day I’ll get pictures of them flying, but not today.  Too many to watch and document all at once so I just smiled and lived it up.  Have to wait for a day when Daddy comes with us.  That won’t be hard since I know he loves to see them soar just as much as we do.  He once took me on a date to go kite flying; right beside a lake. He’s pretty good at it.  And since you asked, so am I.  Thanks to my loving Grandma. Hey Mama!  She taught me and Meek to make kites from newspaper, twigs and homemade glue.  There was always string on hand.  And yes a few did fly.  But even the ones that didn’t were still fun trying out!  Oh how I love my Nana.  She instilled in us such a beautiful way life.  My children are blessed through her.

I Have A Challenge

I Have A Challenge

I remember the pain of being confronted by Eric about 1.5 years ago, because I was always late with supper.  Imagine that.  I knew when I was going to be late because my children needed to go outside and I had to take them and cook dinner.  I didn’t need to be fun mommy, I just needed them to sleep well at night.  Exercise was imperative. I wasn’t getting them out earlier in the day due to too much work or being too unorganized, take your pick.   My dear husband didn’t race home earlier either, to take them out himself.  Instead he challenged me to pick a dinner time and stick to it.  Me. So I did— 6:30. I made it on time exactly once and he showed up on time exactly once, but not on the same day.  Which pissed me off.  So I gave myself a 30 minute window and was able to achieve 7ish with little complaint from anyone.  I’d say, “You can’t go out to play because I have to cook.”  Took a minute but they learned. Sometimes I’d say the hell with you, house, and take them out early inspite of all else.  I’ve been on easy street since then.  

Yes, dinner time has always controlled everything.  But with Lainey going to kindergarten this fall I need to make it earlier.  Now how am I, the mother of all miraculous dinners and complete chaos, going to change my niffy schedule for cooking?  I pull off incredible feats because somedays I don’t plan the meal at all. Then on a double-dare, refuse to visit the grocery store because we still have milk.  I basically force myself to be creative because I’m too lazy to get out the house that particular day.   I call it saving money. 

Like today, I thought: grocery store?  Then I remembered how heavy the milk was at breakfast.  I swiped my hand through the air and waved off the idea of shopping.  I squinted and rubbed my chin as I envisioned some chicken and porkchops in the freezer.  The notion that I had been deliberately dodging those two meats was one with me not wanting to do any real cooking at all.  But having pulled my ace of Spaghetti on Tuesday and using my equivalent of a “life line” by getting take out on Wednesday; my hand was beginning to show.  It would be just another second before Lainey walked in the kitchen to make light of my dilema, “What are you making for dinner tonight, hmm?” she’d ask.  Accepting the fact that I’d have to defrost and cut up chicken, I knew there was some canned or other veggie somewhere to match.  Turns out I had fresh broccoli, some powdered alfredo sauce and macaroni noodles ( I prefer rotini but pasta is pasta and my kids hate it all). 

I let the chicken thaw in hot water while I put Orion on the potty.  Then cleaned up the pee-pee because he arrived too late, but praised high heaven for the poop, cause I didn’t want to scrub dirty underwear after eating.  Next thing I know dinner was done in 25 minutes.  A miracle. That was around 7pm which is cool since we start bath between 8 and 8:30.

If this were September and next day is a school morning, Lainey Brooks ain’t having none of it!  She’ll cry and carry on even if she’s slept 11 hours straight.  It’s not enough.  So to get her in school by 7:50 she’ll have to get up at 7am–latest and that will kill her. So I’ve got to get her in bed by 7pm.  This means I’ll have to move my lovely late dinner to 5pm and fight like the devil to make it happen.  I’m planning this several months ahead because that’s about how long it’ll take to get it down!  Don’t you just love life’s challenges?

At Peace

At Peace
"Your legs look like Miss Mary Jane’s."  That’s what my mother would have said.  But on the day we laid my grandma to rest, I couldn’t have been prouder.  I wore the crystal earrings that she’d bought me when I was probably 12 years old.  I’ve kept them since forever because I loved her so much.  (Instinctively, I knew that Meek had hers too.) Grandma was just sweet like that.  She loved us completely and spoiled us too like most good grandmas do.  Even her leaving Wilmington in 1990 hurt bad, so I knew saying goodbye would be a million times harder.  It was sad watching my father and aunt huddle together in pain.  It was worst sitting on the pew, a few feet from Grandma, and clutching my own sister as we sobbed.  It felt wrong although I know it was God’s will.  Death is always overwhelming for me.  And I try not to attend funerals because I just don’t do well.
 
Taking the train up to NY was the absolute best decision.  I needed the mental letdown that the trip allowed.  The children were with their father so what else should I do but focus on the task at hand.  Tons of family are always around for homegoing celebrations and it was great to see so many folks that I hadn’t in a while.  One thing I know, time and family are precious. So it made me want to pick a happier time to get together again.  I only hope I can remember to follow through on that later. 
 
The trip gave me a chance to sort out my own issues and perhaps I can get a handle on things here at the house.  I think I can and I will try.   I received a word or two from God and in his wondrous way my mind was healed. I’m far away from going crazy like I was close to last week.  There was just too much going on for me to manage it all.  But the key lies in making plans yet being flexible.  Life is a challenge.  I love the problem-solving of it all, just hope I can stay away from the edge next time things get murky. I see that I have the complete support of my husband and am I truly blessed.  I will go forward in faith.  Still what I wrote and retracted last week deserves a second look.  So I posted it below because it served a purpose.