Tag Archives: children

How can anyone hold THIS all together?

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A while ago I got an email from a friend of mine in Montana who wondered if I needed more ammo for my “Gross Mommy Stories”.   She sent me this tale of her own personal version of the Terrible Horrible No Good Very Bad Day.  Seriously, under these conditions how could any mother be expected to hold it all together.  Don’t even mention being “Christ-like”  I’m sure Christ never had to clean up so many bodily fluids in one day.  So here’s Noelle’s family scene:

Gizelle got up fairly early this morning.  Mark just let her go out and watch some TV, but didn’t change her diaper.  When I got up almost 2 hourrs later, I found her in Addie’s room, and she was starting to take off her jammies.  She was taking them off because she had just peed through everything and it must’ve felt quite uncomfortable.  I couldn’t believe the puddle of urine on Addie’s carpet! Ugh!  (she’s been on an antibiotic for 10 days, so it smells SUPER gross!)  So, I got out the vinegar, towels, etc and spent quite a while cleaning carpet.

Next I watch Addie walk right into Gizelle’s cashew’s which are nicely placed on the floor in the middle of footpath (I just vacuumed, and washed that floor last night).  Sigh.

shoes2Then I took the kids on a long walk/ride/run.  Almost 2 hrs later,  we are finally on our street, when Ezekiel announces he has to use the restroom. Super, we’re almost home, so I tell him to go on ahead and use the restroom.  I dilly-dally and talk to our neighbors, then walk on home.  When I get home he’s outside playing, but he suddenly runs inside FAST.  A few minutes I go inside and see him in his room putting on different shorts.  Didn’t think much of it, because he loves to change into his swimsuit any chance he gets.  Then I go into the bathroom and see the pile of wet shorts, underwear and a HUGE puddle in the corner of the floor! I have no clue how he had that much in his bladder!!  Of course, I had also just scrubbed the bathrooms and the floors on my hands and knees last night as well.  Why didn’t he go straight home and nicely use the restroom!  I asked him about said mess and he said “I peed UP and it did that”… hmmm?  What does THAT mean?  (Please don’t laugh at that last comment, because he doesn’t deserve any mercy yet).

Next I take a quick shower because I want to go to Garden of Readin for a book signing for Janice Thompson.  It ends at 2pm, and it’s 12:54 when I get in the shower, so time to CRUISE!  I get out, get dressed and then work on getting everyone clothed.  I tell everyone to get in the car and get seat belts on.  Then notice Gizelle has a yucky, full diaper.  So I put her on the toilet and run to get her clothes.  I’m ready to go with only a few minutes to spare.  When I go out, I see that nobody is in the car with their seatbelts on.  

bubble-catcher_lCaleb’s driving the JEEP around and I tell him to stop now please.  He continues driving, so I tell him louder to “stop please!” Still ignores me, so I go tell him to go into him room.  I give him a swat for both disobedience with not getting in the car and not stopping the JEEP.  He’s already been disciplined today because he was being so unkind all day!  He stomps off and shoves his hand at the door in a huff,  Well, his height is a bit “wrong” for that screen door because when he pushed his hand hard into the door, his hand went right threw the glass!!!! He just broke our front door!  The door popped back at him since his hand went threw it and hit him on the face.  He got a little bloody nose!  So he was really crying hard (mostly scared about all the shattered glass around him)  No cuts on his hands or anything.  

In the end, I took all 4 kids with me because Mark needed to do some chain-sawing and thought it best to NOT be supervising kids while doing that.  With the way our day was going, I thought this was a VERY good idea.

spilt-tea-1_lSo, we made it to the book signing, then I took the kids to Safeway because we still have some Starbucks cards from Easter.  I thought it’d be fun to have a little drink and get a couple sandwiches for the kids to share since nobody really had lunch yet.  We get our drinks, then grab some sandwiches from the deli.  I tell them they can choose a box of fruit snacks.  So as we’re heading that way, Caleb drops his whole hot chocolate!! What a mess! Then Zekers promptly drops his cup into the mess too!  As I bend down to get his cup, my keys fly out of my purse into the puddle as well.  UGH!  So we humbly apologize to the nice lady who comes to clean up the mess, choose some fruit snacks, the go to the check-out.  Where AGAIN Ezekiel drops his hot chocolate.  He’s always quick to say “I didn’t spill ALL of it though!” (no he has a little more he can save to spill in the car)  I told the lady at check-out that I’ll try to hurry up and get us out of the store as fast as possible!

Addie had her own money with her, so I let her buy herself a little treat at Safeway.  When we get home, she was in the new room on the new rug.  She started jumping up and down on a dance-mat-type of thing, and proceeded to spill all the powder-sugar stuff from her candy on the new rug!  It sure smelled sweet in there!  So, I got to take out my lovely vacuum and clean up all the glass in the front entry and all Addie’s powdered sugar stuff in the rug.  

Just before dinner, I asked Addie to take all the toys off the dinner table.  She kept the book she was reading in her hand and tried to lift the huge pile of toys off the table.  It landed on her foot.  I hate it that I had so little empathy for that when she didn’t decide to put her book down first!  She was crying so hard and looking at me like “don’t you CARE!?!?”  ummm… I wish you would’ve put down your book first…

This is just the list of spills and drops today- there were so many more whines, disobediences, fights, and frustrating moments that I couldn’t even begin to write down… and thankfully I’ve mostly forgotten all of them already now that everyone’s in bed, clean after baths, and sleeping peacefully and sweetly. 

It feels so hard and exhausting trying to keep up and provide a comfortable, clean environment for our kids- not to mention a peaceful and happy home as well.  Wow, do I ever need the Lord’s grace and peace daily.  He’s so good and patient with me.  I never thought I’d have to ask forgiveness so much!  

Aren’t we so much like our own children in the house of God the Father?  We make messes, break things, disobey, bicker, whine, and basically act like… children.  Yet our Father God has infinite patience and forgiveness for our childish ways.  We love you Lord and thank you for your Grace.

 Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/rayani/2672808893/”>Rayani Melo</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-ND</a>

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/kubina/185188456/”>Jeff Kubina</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/”>CC BY-SA</a>

Photo credit: <a href=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/carowallis1/303633288/”>Caro Wallis</a> / <a href=”http://foter.com/Food/”>Foter.com</a&gt; / <a href=”http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/2.0/”>CC BY-NC-ND</a>

When someone loves you…

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Once upon a time, I found this cute list of things little kids said about Love.  I think their simplicity is so precious… and sometimes humorous.  We could benefit from some of these reminders about how to really love someone.  I want to grow old with my husband, and at the end, to feel that I have loved really well.  I don’t believe in keeping regrets.  I leave the past alone.  But taken as a whole, I want to feel that I’ve loved with all my heart and been loved in return.

When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different.  You just know that your name is safe in their mouth.  Billy age 4

Love is when a girl puts on perfume and a boy puts on shaving cologne and they go out and smell each other.  Karl- age 5

Love is when you go out to eat and give somebody most of your French Fries without making them give you any of theirs.  Chrissie- age 6

Love is what makes you smile when you’re tired.  Terri- age 4

Love is when my mommy makes coffee for my daddy and she takes a sip before giving it to him, to make sure the taste is right.  Danny- age 7

Love is when you kiss all the time.  Then when you get tired of kissing, you still want to be together and you talk more.  Emily- age 8

Love is what’s in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen.  Bobby- age 7

If you want to learn to love better, you should start with a friend you hate.  Nikko- age 6

Love is when you tell a guy you like his shirt, then he wears it every day.  Noelle- age 7

Love is like a little old woman and a little old man who are still friends even after they know each other so well.  Tommy- age 6

Mommy loves me more than anybody.  You don’t see anyone else kissing me to sleep at night.  Clare- age 6

Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken.  Elaine- age 5

Love is when Mommy sees Daddy smelly and sweaty and still says he is handsomer than Brad Pitt.  Chris- age 7 (This one made me laugh.)

Love is when your puppy licks your face even after you left him alone all day.  Marianne- age 4

I know my older sister loves me because she gives me all her old clothes and has to go out and buy new ones.  Lauren- age 4

When you love somebody, your eyelashes go up and down and little stars come out of you.  Karen- age 6

You really shouldn’t say “I love you” unless you mean it.  But if you mean it, you should say it a lot.  People forget.  Jessica- age 8

This weekend, make a concerted, focused effort to tell someone you love them.  You might think that they should already know, but tell them anyways.  Say it first, don’t wait for them to say it to you.  And while you’re at it Guys, here’s a tip for you:  She wants hear WHY you love her too.  It makes the “I love you” special instead of generic.  Make an effort to love well.

Jesus calls a boy with a lunch

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My 11-year old daughter Emma wrote this story for school.  It’s based on the story of Jesus multiplying the loaves and the fishes.  I really liked her point of view and I asked her if I could post it on my blog.  If you like it, leave her a word of encouragement.  She wants to be a writer someday.

I was on my way home with my small lunch.  I only had two small fish and five loaves of bread.  It was enough for my mom and me.  On that day I saw a miracle.

I was walking when I saw a crowd.  I thought it was so big it must have been the whole village!  Then at the corner of my eye I saw some men.  I stared for a while to see what they were talking about .  I slowly walked over to them.  A man looked at me and smiled.  He came over to me.  “Do you have your lunch in there, little boy?”

I quickly responded.  “How did you know?” I asked.

He said in reply, “I know everything, and now may I please look at your two fish and five loaves of bread?”  I was amazed, and he did know everything.  I gave him my basket.  “Thank you Peter,” he said.  “Peter, will you have lunch with my disciples and me?”

I was honored.  Though when we sat down I thought, “This man may be amazing, but he can’t feed his disciples, himself, and me.”  He gave a loaf of bread to one man named Andrew.  Andrew broke the bread and handed some to Philip, but when Andrew looked at his bread it was a whole loaf!  Philip had the same!

The next thing I knew, that one man had feed the whole crowd!  When we finished and the disciples were collecting the extras, I asked the man, “Who are you?”

He smiled and replied, “I am Jesus Christ.  I know what you do at 6:00 a.m., and I know your name.  I know that you are curious, and I love you.”

~The End

As a mom, I thought that was pretty good!  If you feel like it, please leave Emma some encouraging feedback and I’ll let her log on to my blog tonight to read your comments.

Surprise me

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My daughters surprise me sometimes.  I remember one time when we were missionaries in Mexico, we were doing a Vacation Bible School in a very, very poor part of town.  My middle daughter was 5-years old then.  She had the knack of making friends everywhere we went, and today was no exception.  She had been chattering with another little girl from the neighborhood.  The next thing I knew my daughter was pushing her fist up into my face to show me a MOUSE that the girl had given her!  I told both girls that we couldn’t keep the mouse, but since she was already contaminated with whatever germs the creature was carrying, I said she could hold it for a while and then give it back to the sweet little owner.  Seriously!

In Costa Rica we live with nature all around us, even in the city.  Any time we are home, our doors and windows are open… with no screens on them (birds often fly right into our house!).  One night our dog Nacho was laying on a pillow in front of the open patio door when a mouse scurried around the corner.  I shouted, “MOUSE!”  The dog looked up.  Face to face with our shih-tzu, the mouse turned right back around and ran into the yard.  My kids grabbed flash lights and ran into the garden trying to catch the mouse.  He was long gone by then.  They were not one bit afraid!

Then there are the geckos.  We have geckos everywhere!  (One time I stepped on one with my bare foot early in the morning.  Ever since then, I wear socks at night.  I also stepped on a huge beetle in my socks one night, and I was thankful I wasn’t barefoot.)  When we lived in an apartment building with other American missionaries, the kids would all catch geckos and try to race them in the hallway.  I was shocked that my girly-girl would pick them up!  It never fails, whenever they see a gecko in the house, my girls want to keep it for a pet.  I only tolerate them in the house because they eat bugs.  I suppose I have no choice really.  I can’t keep the critters out.

Last Sunday morning my youngest child and I were greeted first thing in the morning by a baby gecko on the wall in the bathroom.  “OOOOOOOH!  He’s so cute!”  Lucy squealed.  He looked squishy and wiggly to me.  (It doesn’t matter how gross a creature is, if I say it’s a “baby” my girls adore it.)  She poked at him and chased him around until I told her to leave it alone.  I told her that he will lose his tail if he gets scared, but even that did not deter her.  She wanted him.  I washed her hands well after he escaped behind the toilet.  These girls constantly surprise me.

My daughter actually caught a wild bunny.  It only lived for a week.

My daughter actually caught a wild bunny. It only lived for a week.

Time Travel Jet Lag

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We are coming up on “summer vacation” here in Costa Rica.  As a family we are looking forward to returning to the States for a few weeks of R&R for Christmas and to attend a World Missions Summit.  We are totally blessed to be able to travel with relative ease between our mission field and our home state.  But in many ways, making short trips back home sort of has the same effect as traveling through time might have.  I feel like I get Time Travel Shock and the space-time continuum is interrupted.

When I am in Latin America, the third world is my “normal”.  It’s like I exist in a completely different period of time now.  There are so many aspects of life that I just take for granted at this point.  The things that used to shock me or catch my attention have become part of my background white noise and I hardly notice them any more.  But when I am dropped like a paratrooper back into my original setting, everything that used to be “normal” before I was a missionary seems stunning or note-worthy.  Not only do I change locations physically, I seem to travel into the future to a time that has not yet existed in Costa Rica.  The bouncing back and forth can be quite a shock to me both mentally and emotionally.

Let me expound on just one feature of my time travel shock.  When I return to Minnesota the first thing I notice is the SPACE around me.  There is just so much SPACE!  Even in a crowded airport, I have ample elbow room.  When we get in the car and drive from the airport to the house, the cars all keep a reasonable distance from each other. The highway is buffered on both flanks by wide hills of grass or dunes of snow depending on the season.  So much unused SPACE!  In the grocery store, I have lost all sense of what is an appropriate distance to maintain between myself and the other shoppers.  Either I fall into my Latin American patterns of driving my cart right up to the behind of the person in line in front of me, or I over compensate and leave a confusing gap between us.  My sense of space is all out of wack.

When I return again to Latin America, the first thing I notice when I step outside of the airport is the closeness of everything and everyone.  The humidity wraps around my head and presses against my face, making me feel like I am breathing through a wet blanket.  The people press in all around me asking to carry my bags or find a taxi for me.  I have to resist the urge to start pushing people out of my way.  I want to shove everyone and shout, “Back off!  I have been folded into an airplane seat for hours and I really need some space.”  The smells of wet pavement, rotting sewer, and over perfumed humanity all press in against my senses leaving me no where to turn.  Then we get in the car and start driving home.  The traffic zooms up to us and stops suddenly, no buffer, no fear of hitting us.  They are just taking up space as fast as they can lest another car come along and claim that inch of pavement.  We zoom, they zoom.  The buildings on both sides of the highway hug the road, dangerously close.  When we stop, people swarm the car trying to sell us things through the car windows.  We keep the windows rolled up.  That 3/4 of an inch of glass between us and the street vendors feels like enough space.  Personal space has become relative.

In addition to our awkward use of space and the gawking our family of 5 will do in every public space, going back for Christmas time is a surreal experience in and of itself.  My parents want my kids to make a Christmas list.  My kids don’t know what toys are “out there” now.  They ask me, “What do I need, Mom?”  I just shake my head.  I am stuck back in time from when we first left America 6 years ago.  I think about what will fit in a suitcase- again, I have space issues.  Before we leave, I will search the internet for what clothes are in fashion now.  I will try to pack things that are neutral enough so that I blend into the background and don’t make me stick out like someone who just arrived from the year 2006.  Not only to we change spaces, we change times as well.  I am already anticipating the Time Travel Jet Lag.

Vodka Honey

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This story has nothing to do with anything spiritual or deep.  I just thought you might like to hear a funny little story.

I have been struggling with terrible allergies ever since we moved back to Costa Rica two years ago.  I have tried everything, so I thought.   A while ago I noticed that there is a corner near my house where some teenagers are always selling honey in what looks like old whiskey bottles or something like that.  Not being a drinker, I’m not real familiar with alcohol and it’s marketing, but the bottles look suspicious.  I got to thinking, probably the honey is more “local” than what I buy in the stores.  And if it’s local honey, it might be good for my allergies.  So I asked my husband to buy a bottle the next time he saw those kids selling honey on the street corner.

So the other day, my husband comes home with a huge bottle of honey that he paid about $5.00 for.  I turned the bottle around in my hand and sure enough, I recognized the name of a vodka brand imprinted on the bottle.  Then the jokes began.  My “vodka honey” was blamed for all kinds of crazy behaviors that happened throughout the day.  It really is better tasting honey than what we buy in the stores, but the “vodka honey” seemed to make everything taste just that much better.  Yes, we really took the jokes overboard, but that’s how we roll as a family.

Now this morning as I was loading the children in the car to go to school, from under the front seat a glass pop bottle rolled to the back of the car.  Josh and I had taken a road trip about 2 weeks ago.  On our journey we stopped at a grocery store and I noticed that they were selling Jones Sodas.  I had never seen Jones Soda in Costa Rica, so I made a big deal about it.  I discovered that my husband had never tasted Cream Soda!  Well that cinched in, I bought a bottle of Jones Cream Soda.  We shared it on the way home.

My 5 year old spotted the bottle rolling under the seat and exclaimed, “Oooh, there’s a bottle!  Is it Vodka or Honey?”  I died laughing.  What on earth is her teacher going to think if something like that pops out of her mouth at Kindergarten?!

My little pitcher with big ears. I have to be careful what I say around this one, she’s smart!

Third Culture Kids- Living overseas with children

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Loving this life! My three monkeys in Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica.

A Third Culture Kid is someone who is not a native to the country that he or she is growing up in- think missionary families, military families or foreign business families.  In our case, our TCKs are not entirely American, nor are they Costa Rican.  They have spent more years living outside of America than inside.  For my kids, “home” is Costa Rica.  Because of this awkward way of growing up, TCKs make a third culture among themselves.  They best relate to other kids that have grown up living abroad.  They seem to “get” each other, regardless of the country they grew up in.

This blog will give you a little taste of what it’s like to be a Third Culture Kid.  This is the opening of the book by Heidi Sand-Hart called “Home Keeps Moving”.

You might be a Third Culture Kid if…

*You can’t answer the question, “Where are you from?”

*You speak two languages but can’t spell in either.

*You flew before you could walk.

*You have a passport, but no driver’s license.

*Your life story uses the phrase, “Then we went to…” five times.

*National Geographic makes you homesick.  (I love this one.  I would also add that walking through EPCOT’s International Village felt oddly normal.)

*You don’t know where home is.  (Indicated by the long pause you get when you ask them “where are you from?”)

*You’d rather never say hello that have to say goodbye.

*You read the international section of the newspaper before the comics.  (what’s a newspaper?)

*You have friends in or from 29 different countries.

*You wince when people mispronounce foreign words.

*You never take anything for granted.  (Except the fact that you live where others vacation.  We are less than impressed when people on Wheel of Fortune win a trip to Mexico or Costa Rica.)

*You speak with authority on the subject of airline travel.  (and know how to handle your passport and fill out immigration paperwork.)

*You know how to pack.  (and wait until the last minute to do it.)

*You feel odd being in the ethnic majority.

*You feel you need to move after you’ve lived in the same place for a month.

*Your pocket money makes you a millionaire in one country and a pauper in the next.

*You’ve had more vaccinations in your lifetime than your neighbor’s dog back home.  (Amen!)

*You consider any travel under 8 hours to be a “short trip”.  (So true!)

*You’re an expert on jet-lag remedies.

*You have frequent flyer miles on 5 different airlines, but not enough on any of them to get a free flight.

*You can easily guess a strange’s nationality by their accent.

I can truly agree with every single one of those.  Our missionary life is wonderful and different- full of blessings and difficulties.  Last week I stood on a beach with my children and examined a nest of sea turtle eggs that we found.  Then we took 10 steps into the ocean to catch sand dollars.  We live an amazing life and it’s nothing like America (not that we don’t like America, we love it too!).  I don’t begrudge one hardship when I think of all the benefits that come with this lifestyle.

Do you know a TCK or are you an exPat family?  Please add to the list by making comments below.  It’s fun to share our experiences of living and thriving overseas.

Guest Blogger and Investigative Mother Jodi Abbott: Gross.

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Yes, this is actually the photo she sent to me. My options were a photo of her, of poop, or of a llama.

My Guest Blogger today is a long time friend (in real life) and someone guaranteed to make me laugh every morning when I read her Facebook status updates… no pressure, Jodi, no pressure.  But get ready to giggle at this story.

Gross.  I’ve learned in my 10+ years being a mom, that gross to one isn’t necessarily gross to all.  My son, Sam, who is almost 11, cannot stand cleaning off dishes after supper…the thought of rinsing and loading them into the dishwasher….his little eyes get red-rimmed and the gagging noises start deep inside him…to him, that’s gross.

To my daughters, nothing is too gross.  Smushed earthworms, picked boogers that resemble smushed earthworms…nothing.

But to me, “gross” are the questions that have to be asked all too often: 

“Poop or chocolate?”  “Poop or CHOCOLATE?”  “POOP OR CHOCOLATE???”

“Why is my baby crawling on the floor at church, chewing on….chewing on someone’s used piece of floss??”

“Where did you stick that q-tip to make it that brown?”

“What do you mean, your head has been itching for days??”

“What do you mean, your tummy was upset, but you’re all better now….and why are you in my bed?”

“How did you find out the cat doesn’t like to be touched there?”

The questions could go on and on…every day it seems as if I’m astounded at how gross my children can be…or maybe how sanitary I’ve become?  My husband is, luckily, the one with the steel stomach.  He can smell the vomit erupting and have his hands ready for the catch.  I, on the other hand, find myself in another room, dry heaving and mad because it’s quite possible I’ll now have TWO areas of vomit to clean up.

The grossest gross for me would be after the birth of my third child, Suzannah.  She was born on a weekend so I had Sunday morning, in the hospital, to be with just her and not one visitor, cause they were all at church listening to my husband preach.  I decided that I would give Suzannah her first bath.  I got all the stuff ready…shampoo, clean towels, new outfit, little socks.  I got the water all nice and warm, got her completely undressed…and just as I was lowering her into the sink, an elderly man burst into my private bathroom, completely naked and plops down on my toilet and starts having the grossest, smelliest, noisiest bowel movement I’d ever had the privilege of experiencing.

Poop was flying everywhere, he was grunting and groaning, going on and on about how those nasty nurses had him chained to the bed and wouldn’t let him poop.  In the meantime, I’m pulling every switch and nurses call buttons I can find.  Suzannah’s howling at this point, having been partially submerged and now cold and wet.  My hospital room quickly fills up with nurses and doctors…and one very nervous nurse’s assistant who was supposed to watch the older gentleman.  The Haz-Mat team had to come and swipe the man’s poop off every thing…it was so gross.

The smell…the visual…the residue left in my mouth…it wasn’t chocolate, that’s for sure.

Guest Blogger Noelle Glidewell: The True Reason that Mother’s Day Exists

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Everyone looking smart for Easter, job well done Mommy!

Today’s blog is brought to you by homeschooling mother of four from Montana, Noelle.  I love that when I asked her if she had any gross mommy stories to contribute, it took her about 30 seconds to fire off two stories with the promise that there are PLENTY more where these came from.  Noelle deserves a very special gift for Mother’s Day this year.  Here’s why:

When my son Zeke was about three years old, he was finally out of diapers.  One day he was sporting his favorite boxer-type Spiderman undies and a pair of very loose sweat pants.  I was in the living room reading with my older two kids when he came running to me and said “Mom! My poop is in Addie’s room!”  I thought,“huh?”  I hopped out of my chair and went running to my daughter’s bedroom.  Sure enough, those nice loose undies and sweats had permitted a large, solid log to fall right out onto the floor!

I grabbed a wet wipe to pick it up as he stood there watching me.  I looked at him and saw that he was starting to gag!!  “NO!!!” I yelled at him! “Do NOT throw up!”  Well, there he went- his own poop on the floor grossed himself out so much that he had to throw up right on the carpet as well!  I was dumbfounded!!  Not even done cleaning the poop off the floor and now it’s vomit as well. Wow!  (This is why she needs a special gift in my opinion.  Poop with a side of vomit is above and beyond the call of duty.)

Or how about this story??  (notice that this takes place on the very day I asked her to write a gross mommy story.)

Today  I was driving the kids into their homeschool co-op classes.  I’m perpetually late, so I was trying to make up some time by driving as quickly as possible.  Unfortunately, both my husband and I have passed on the most severe motion-sickness genes onto our kids.  So, as we were driving this morning, six-year-old Caleb announced from the back of the van that he was feeling sick.  He had his head back and eyes closed and looked miserable.

In addition to the fast driving, my hands were so chapped that I grabbed some lotion.  But it was a highly scented one and in hindsight I realize that was probably pure torture for a motion-sick kid.

We finally arrived at our destination.  My 3-year old, Gizelle got out of the car, whined for a second and then threw up on the pavement!  Then Caleb piped up from the back and said, “I don’t feel good!” He hopped out of the van and threw up too!  Gizelle ended up throwing up three times, and Caleb four times!  Fortunately it was all on the pavement.  But then a bunch of kids came out of the homeschool co-op building and I had to tell everyone to avoid stepping in the seven puddles of vomit!  Both kids started jumping around and laughing two minutes later, so I knew all was well, but WOW!  That could’ve been disastrous if it had happened 5 minutes earlier IN the van or 5 minutes later in the building!

I feel bad for the janitor that had to hose down the parking lot after that episode.  Everyone needs to begin planning ahead for Mother’s Day this year to be sure that you sufficiently thank your mother for years of cleaning up after your bodily functions.  

Behind the scenes, she gave her kids Ring Pops for breakfast on Easter morning! Dang, why didn't I think of that?

Hollywood Horror Movies have Nothing on Parenting

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Welcome to Parenting Week on my blog.  This week I’m going to highlight some of the gross things that parents experience in the line of duty.  I have a few guest bloggers lined up and I welcome your stories too!  If you have a gross story to contribute, please leave a comment!  We’d love to hear from you.

So without further ado, today I present a trifecta of parenting horror stories guaranteed to make you gag and thank your lucky stars it wasn’t YOUR child that did that.

My first story is bound to embarrass my first-born.  When T.J. was about 2 years old, he was visiting my parents during a hot summer day.  My dad decided to take the boy to the local bookstore to browse the children’s section and enjoy a mango smoothie in the coffee shop (btw, mango smoothies make electric green diapers if you know what I mean).  In the parking lot, my dad opened the back door to release the boy.  When he jumped out of the car, his piece of gum fell out of his mouth and stuck to the hot black top.  My dad warned, “Just leave it there, it’s dirty now.”  And they walked into the bookstore.  About an hour later, they returned to the car.  My dad had long forgotten about the gum on the ground, but the boy remembered.  Quick as a wink, before my dad could stop him, T.J. bent over and popped that old piece of gum back into his mouth!  It was just as soft and chewy as before… though maybe a little grittier than before.

My second Mommy Horror is brought to you courtesy of my middle child.  Both of my daughters have been quite oral, die-hard finger suckers.  When Emma was 4, we moved to Costa Rica.  I tried to break her of the sucking habit ahead of time, but nothing worked.  I had begun to resign myself to the constant round of diarrhea she experienced from licking every germ in a foreign country when this event happened.  At this time, we had no car, so we walked everywhere we went- dodging dog poop on every route.  There is poop EVERYWHERE here.  (When we go back to America my kids are astonished at how clean everything is.)  So one day we walked home from school as usual.  My daughter proceeded to take her shoes off and for no apparent reason LICKED THE SOLE OF HER SHOE and then set it down. Before the word NOOOOOO could escape my lips, the moan WHHHHHYYYY?!?! flew out.  Most of you parents know, there is no answer that will satisfy that question.

My third story is along those same lines.  My youngest child, also a finger sucker, is my most oral child.  She has licked more things in this world than I can even recount. From tables and chairs to door knobs and hand rails, this child is fascinated with texture.  One day I found her methodically sucking on every cabinet knob in the kitchen.  But the absolute worst thing, in my mind, was the day I caught her sucking the water out of the shower door track!  Agh!  There is not enough Lysol in the world!

So now it’s your turn.  Leave a comment and tell us about your grossest parenting story.  Don’t try to shield us, give it to us in all it’s glorious detail!  Muahhahahh!  Parenting is not for the faint of heart or the weak of stomach.

My youngest daughter Lucy, licking a daisy. Don't bother asking why. Just because.