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Seen on the bumper of an old Chevy pickup truck parked at Wal-Mart: A small sticker stating, ‘MY WIFE TOOK EVERYTHING BUT THE BLAME’

WHAT?!

“I am not a housewife for the simple reason that I did not marry a house.”

I’m not a Housewife! Does anyone else have a problem defining yourself when asked to fill out a generic form that asks your choice of career? My answer is: That. Depends. In 1997, I served in a Home Health Care capacity for a few months, and I would have checked off Nursing back then. In 1998, I was riding out with the San Angelo Fire Department, I would have checked off Medical Services. In 1996, I managed a Hallmark store, so I would have checked Management. In 1985, I waited tables, and would have checked off Food Service. Now, as a full-time Stay At Home Mom (since December 1998), I could check off all of those and more!

I hear many women saying, “I’m just a mom.” No. You. Are. Not. Just. A. Mom.

Please take a few minutes today to list all the things that would not get done the way they get done now if you suddenly vanished today. Please tell me how you define yourself when you leave comments. I realize that not every person who reads my blog is a SAHM. I invite you to give me your definition of yourself as well.

Be sure to stop by Hat Trick and see my lovely girls!

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I am from tall pecan trees, from Downy-scented sheets drying on the clothesline and warm cinnamon-raisin bread. I am from a nondescript brown brick suburban home, where two inches of snow was enough to cancel school.
I am from long walks to school, shaded by only Crepe Myrtle trees, hotter than hell in August.
I am from placing an angel, older than me, atop the Christmas tree. I am from Goodwill clothing that may not have been new, but was always new to my wardrobe. I am from the hot-tempered, Irish-Italian bloodline that has created so many beautiful loved ones, and genetically equips me to drink any man under the table.
From picnic lunches in the park, and napping with my grandfather in his Old Spice scented armpit and climbing trees to pick and eat crabapples. I am from Dillon, Del Priore, Coffey, and Williams.
I am from stained-glass cathedrals and scarcely-practiced Catholicism. A wayward preteen beginning, finally accepting His gift at 15. I’m from a sweltering summer city, a fierce family, and fattening meatballs with gravy.
From the aunt whom I most resemble, the rebel in her family whom I would have chosen to be my sister, the blood sister who hated me as a child, but loves me as a woman, and the mother who gave birth to me, despite the risk to her own life.
I am from albums full of wedding pictures, family reunions, and childhood amusement park visits. I am from County Cork, Ireland. I am from Marshfield, Wisconsin. I am from Osara Di Puglia, Italy. I am from Lynch County, Kentucky. I am from Chicago, Illinois. More valuable than gold, the memories my mind holds. More precious than jewels, the memories I make with my own children, who will one day write an ‘I am from…’

I was inspired by the incredible Mary over at Owlhaven.

Sunday at Dad’s

My dad and mom were out of town during Easter weekend, so we arranged to get together as a family on Sunday, April 23. That was yesterday. Why am I just now posting about it? I’m just now recovering. What did I do, you ask? Eat. Drink. Make like a lump on a proverbial log. Honestly, what took a lot out of me was laughing at my own children. They were having a great time, fueled by food, gifts and last but not least, WATER.

My daughters have three sets of grandparents, and refer to each by specific names. My dad and (step) mom are: Papa and Rainie[ray-nee]. For some time Papa and Rainie have had a Slip-n-Slide, which they reserve for when grandchildren are present. Until my sister, Kelly, gave birth to Aidan back in November 2005, my daughters were the only wee offspring to enjoy it. Aidan did not play a role in the antics that are in the story to follow, just to set your mind at ease. He’s only five months old, so give him at least another month or two. Then Aidan will be ready to wrangle my daughters!

So after we finished our dinner on the patio, my daughters were playing in the backyard (read: chasing each other around and screaming like banshees). I was clearing off the table when my dad asked me if I’d brought a change of clothes for the girls. I hadn’t, but my dad reminded me that each of my daughters got new outfits as gifts in their Easter baskets. He asked if what they were wearing was okay to get soaked. I responded by saying, “That’s why my kids’ clothes come from WalMart!” My dad and my DH set up the slip-n-slide in the backyard, in full view of the adults still sitting at the table on the patio. The slip-n-slide has a small pool at the far end, surrounded by an inflatable cushioned barrier to prevent injury. Of course, the makers of the slip-n-slide were assuming that no child could get enough momentum to fly over the protective barrier by simply running and flinging themselves face-down onto a wet, slippery 100 foot piece of plastic staked to the ground. What they did not predict is that my father and my husband played human bowling with all three girls on the slip-n-slide. Imagine if you will: Each man would take one arm and one leg, count to three, then let go. The girls screamed, slid rapidly to the ‘pool’ at the far end, jumped out and made a speedy return so they could go again. Yep. They’re my kids. Got it from me. What can I say?Rosie is still in diapers, and we did not think of that as a problem until it became so overloaded with water that it began to tear at the velcro closures. Sweet Rosie stood at the end of the slide, realized her predicament, grabbed at the diaper to retain her modesty, and called for ‘Mommy’. When I got to her and took it off anyway, she was so relieved. Rosie broke into an open sprint back to the beginning of the slide, looking for the men who had already gone inside!

The water fun was over. While I schlepped the girls through wardrobe change number three (out of street clothes into Princess costumes, then out of costumes into play clothes, then out of wet clothes and back into street clothes) DH loaded the back of the SUV with the Easter booty from Papa and Rainie, pulled up the stakes to the slip-n-slide, placed it to dry (I don’t know where exactly) and loaded up the seven and five year olds to hit the road. I was left with a defiant toddler. Rosie was hearing none of this business about leaving for home. Nuh-UH!! Imagine: high-pitched screaming/screeching, her tiny body crashing to the tile floor, bare feet pounding the wall, arms swinging to grab at anything, all the adults (minus DH and Me) marveling at the fury of my two year old. I’ll say it again: she’s redheaded – on the inside. I scooped Rosie up and carried her to the SUV – feet pointed outward to avoid a nasty kick – plopped her in the carseat and snapped down the restraints. Rosie continued to scream until she realized two things: 1)we were already on the road home, and 2) no one was paying any attention.

As we pulled into the driveway, Rosie was peacefully sawing logs in the third row, with her older sisters showing definite signs of fatigue in the seats just behind me. Who knew having so much fun took so much out of a kid? Yeah, I knew. But I’m not telling them!

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Why am I just now learning about this? Madness, I tell you!

**UPDATE** Rosie has kept every drop of water and a few dozen Saltines down (maybe I should say she’s kept them ‘in’ as well) for 24 hours now.

Our Guest

Most folks have family or friends over to visit for the Easter weekend. Not too many unexpected guests. Rotavirus walked in the front door of our home, unannounced, dropped his bags next to Rosie’s bed, and made himself right at home. His friends, Barfosaurus and The Runs showed up Monday. Unfortunately, they didn’t just stay for the Easter holiday. And they only like Rosie. They LOVE Rosie. The pediatrician called in prescription suppositories today. The pharmacist says: “They’ll make her very drowsy.” I told the pharmacist: “Any change from the whining/moaning/screaming/barfing child who’s taken to creating exploding diapers will be a welcome change!”

I can say that I know one thing for certain: Pergo floors advertise that you can quite simply wipe up any ‘spill’. Well, I’ve wiped up entire toddler meals that have ‘spilled’ from my 2 year old’s stomach. What a Godsend!

Happy Birthday!

My sister-in-law adds a candle to her birthday cake today! Happy Birthday, B.

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