Can you spell h.y.p.o.c.h.o.n.d.r.i.a.c?

The scariest thing just happened to me.  Well.  Maybe it isn't THE scariest thing.  Everyone is safe, Grandma, don't worry.

The thing is I know this happens to people all of the time.  But for a minute I'm allowing myself a moment of worry.  Which I know I shouldn't do.  But I'm a parent.  Worry is my middle name.  Chalk it up to being a busy, multi-tasking woman.  Chalk it up to being human.  Or....worry.

I work out of my dining room because the office in the basement is lonely and it doesn't afford me the ability to keep a watchful eye on my children.  I set up shop in the dining room and this is where I spend a sound forty three hours of my week.  In the midst of that I also run the household.  Kids up, fed, dressed, teeth, catch the bus, teach a fitness class, and then back to my perch here in the dining room.  The doorbell here and there, then lunch for the little guy, then a call from Boss #1, then conference call with Boss #2.  And so on.  You get the picture.

Tonight, I am switching from mode #1 to mode #2 and getting a sale set up to begin tonight at midnight.  I pull up the email with the CDs for the sale, I quick stop to put meat on the stove to start lasagna for dinner.  Thankful for the no-boil Barillas in the cabinet.  Then I sit back at the computer to run through the email and pull up the sites I'll need to make the sale arrangements.  Check on the meat.  Back to the sale.  Find the email with the pertinent details, hit "print."  Check on the meat.  Add the sauce.  To the printer, no email.  Back to the computer to look at why it did not print.  "Printer is offline".  I click, "print test page".  Go back to the kitchen to move on to the next step with the lasagna, but the sauce isn't ready.  So I turn to go back down to the printer.  I turn the corner toward the office and then it is blank.  Gone.

Why am standing in the hall?

Totally blank.  Then I get a little bit nervous.  Trying to think why did I come down here.  What is down here that I need.  Laundry?  I turn around to go back to the kitchen hoping something there will trigger why I walked down the stairs.  Nothing.  Totally gone.

I check the sauce, sit down at the computer to try and fix the printer and then it hits me.  The test page.  I already printed the test page and that is why I went down the stairs.

I know that this happens to everyone.  I know it happens to me all the time - that oh I forgot my phone minute or the I left my glasses downstairs or forgot to bring the mail in.  But I swear to you tonight it just felt awful.  Like the purpose was totally gone.  Vanished.

And so then I try to calm myself down with logic.  Mel you're running a million directions.  You're mind can only manage so much.  But then it's still there.  That minute when I totally lost it - went totally blank.

I thought writing it down would help me feel better.  But guess what?  It didn't.  I'm going full blown hypochondriac on the blog right now.  People forget things all the time.  Where did that piece of information go?


But first I was an...


Many years before I was The Mama Bird, I was Aunt Sa.  My first niece was born in 1998 - the year before I graduated from college.  She attended my graduation in the sweetest little white dress, with the most darling little curls, barely walking, in her little white shoes.  In two days I will watch her cheer at a Big 10 football game.

Time has flown.

Since then, there have been A BUCKET OF additional nieces and nephews added all of whom I see on a regular basis.  I could tell you little stories that have touched my heart about every single one of them.  But today I want to tell you just one that happened this weekend at my house.

My youngest is 5.  He loves his cousin Bivy.  He wants to be by her side whenever they are together.  At dinner Sunday night I walked into the dining room to see him smiling, sitting next to her.  Then he got up and said, "Bivy, I have to show you something!"  He left the dining room, went to the refrigerator for milk, got a cup out of the cabinet,and then walked back to the entrance of the dining room.  He placed the cup on the floor and looked up at her and said, "Bivy, are you watching?"  Then he poured his own glass of milk.  She said, "Wow, Critter, I can't even do that."

It was totally darling.

But then it got even cuter.  I sat at the table a moment and listened to them talk about the honor of pouring yourself a cup of milk, without spilling it.  Another of my nieces said, "You know what I do, I put the cup near the sink so then if it tips over it is real easy to clean up the mess."  The Happy Critter and Bivy were impressed by her intelligent suggestion.

After everyone left and I was cleaning up the house, that little moment struck me again.  How incredibly sweet it is to be proud of the things we accomplish.  How incredibly ignorant I am for not acknowledging better the small tasks he is checking off his own list every day.  Sometimes the youngest gets the short end of the stick - fewer accolades with everyone else already able to do everything on their own.  This year he has learned to buckle his own seat belt and pour his own glass of milk, and he is so proud of himself he showed off to Bivy.

They really are the sweetest things.  These kids.  Their moments.  Cherish them, mama birds.    


My 2 Cents: Tide's Child Safety Campaign

Last night after I put the kids to bed I snuggled up with the remote.  I came across a 15 second commercial.

(pause for your viewing of 15 second commercial)

I found this commercial disturbing; guys, the container is not the problem.  The product is toxic. Rather than addressing the issue and funding the research necessary to create a safe product, P&G sells toxic products to millions of Americans.

With a little research today I learned Tide embarked on a video challenge in an attempt to address the many household dangers to keep kids safe.  In one video an unattended baby is sitting in a room; the challenge is to spot the eleven risks the child can get to in five seconds.  There are coins left out, a balloon, a fire roaring in the back ground, electrical sockets, an iron, the cord from blinds, unsecured tv, mom's purse, sharp edges of a table, a leaning mirror, and laundry packs.  Tide is likened to items found in a home that could kill a child.

The container is Tide's solution?  

Nope. Create a safe haven for your family by simply shopping smarter and safer.  Buy laundry soap, of course, and store it out of the reach of your kids.  But feel safe and secure knowing your soap is not toxic.  Guess what else?  Your clothes will still be clean!

Look at alternatives for your family and know that you have safer choices.  I'm always happy to share my solution.  Reach out and let's talk!


Little Helpers

As I sliced tomato for BLTs last night, I heard a frantic banging on the front door.  I poked my head around the corner to see the Happy Critter's little eyes peeking through the glass.  He kept banging on the door and started to yell, "MOOOOOMMMMM!"  I opened the door and he said, "Mister's crying!"  I looked outside to see him in the street, bike tipped, holding his knee.

I turned around and The Goose was on my heels.  I said, "Tell Daddy to pull the bacon, please."  I darted to the man down, removed his helmut, and swooped him up grabbing his bike with my free hand.  Then I heard a little voice behind me, "I got the bike, Mom."  The Goose.

I took the boy to the bathroom and cleaned him up.  We talked over how he fell, if this skinned knee was more painful or less painful than his previous injury a few days prior.  I trimmed my nails and he gathered himself.  Then we heard a little voice, "Mom, how's Mister feeling?  The Happy Critter.

It struck me with these little, ordinary events how kind and caring my kids actually are.  When one of them is hurt, or sick, the others actually show thoughtful and loving actions.  They help.

In motherhood there are little details that disappear.  How it happens is simple, there are so many incredibly special moments and stressful moments that my brain can't possibly remember them all. There just is not enough space - motherhood moments should get more brain real estate, but they get muddled up with field trip money reminders and work...so I write it down and pray the internet never fails me.  


From the Archives...

While cleaning up my files I came across this post from several years back.  If you have had or now have little ones - I'm sure you can relate.  Enjoy!

There are moments in motherhood.  Moments when joy overwhelms or fear paralyzes.  There are also regular moments in between those high peaks and low valley that I hope to remember.  I hope to remember the way my three year old hugs me as tight as he can with his huge muscles, or squeezes my face to make a smooched mouth.  Times I hope to remember lying in bed with my six year old talking about her day or my day or where we want to go together when we grow up.  Moments with my infant rocking, snuggling, giggling, and pumping his arms as only he does.  His laugh is infectious and he tickles easy.  Small moments in between the big, first preschool shows and long hospital stays.

Today was a day I long to remember.  It hasn’t gone well.  Though, I am smart enough and have been overwhelmed and paralyzed enough to know, that this bad day actually pales in comparison to the real thing.

We started out pretty good.  Made the bus on time, boys watched Toy Story and I got an article written.  Lunch went well, naps, bus pick up, lifted weights, showered, and played outside.  About 3 o’clock we came in after an outdoor snack time.  Mister spun himself into the curtains.  I asked him to get out of the curtains and unspun him.  He punched my leg and was promptly put in his room because hitting mommy is on the zero tolerance list.  While in time out he peed his pants; which is becoming such a frequent occurrence that I’m considering time outs in the bathroom. We worked through it, he and I alone in his room.  I was so focused on his tantrum and his feeling upset for having peed his pants that I forgot about the others.  We talked while he undressed and then we decided to wash off in the tub.  I filled the tub and he began to smile after the time out and frustration.  My heart breaks for him sometimes.  I think he is so big for such a small guy, and he just wants things his way. 

I left him in the bathroom to tend to the wet clothes.  When I stepped out of the bathroom I heard the sound a makes when it clinks “cheers!”  I said, “What is that?”  I rushed down the stairs as Goose called from the living room, “I don’t know, Mom.”  I quickly arrived in the kitchen to find the 19 month old on the counter.  He had climbed up the step stool in the corner, by the knives.  He sat on the counter and happily clinked an eight inch bread knife into a glass butter dish.  Cheers. Cheers. Cheers. Then I saw the actual mess.  He had picked the coffee pot up, held it out passed the counter and dropped it.  How hadn't I heard that?  Coffee flooded the floor; glass sparkled in the wet, shining puddles.  Had he held the knife wrong, his hand would have been bleeding.  Had he crawled down the step stool he’d surely have slipped in the coffee and cut himself on the broken glass scattered across the stool and floor.   Heart racing, I grabbed him and scanned him for any blood.  Zero.  The knives!  The glass!  Not a scratch.

When days like this come - the tantrums, the peed pants, the hurt feelings, infants climbing counters, breaking coffee pots, playing with knives – I feel defeated.  I am frustrated by the unexpected glitch and sure tears will come, but they don’t.  They stay put, waiting for real cause.  Today wasn’t a moment of sheer joy or incredible fear – it was just a moment in the life of a mother of three who hopes that these memories will last.  This time, in our lives, is going too fast.