Beautiful Chaos

Chaos

My Son and I

Amongst all the mess, the toys strewn across the floor, screeching children running around my house -after the week we had been through as a family- I welcomed it.

I was simply happy that my Son was able to play with his friends, and squeal with delight and joy -that the previous week- he had been unable to do.

Sometimes we just have to take a step back and realize, that when it comes to life, not much is in our control.

Sometimes born out of this chaos of life, we find things we never expected. A friend to laugh and cry with. Unconditional love and advice from our parents… Pure joy, and realization that life is so darn precious. We find gratitude, and are sometimes humbled by our experiences. If we listen close enough, dare I say we may even find the voice of God?

Children, we are all children of God. Maybe if we saw the world through the eyes of a child, it wouldn’t be so bad. Chaotic and Beautiful, something that we did not plan.

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Harry Saves the Day, and Dr. Penguin to the rescue!

Being a Mother has its challenges, but it has been especially challenging as of late. We finally have an answer to the question, why my son continually gets croup, has trouble breathing, and has an E.R. visit or ambulance ride every time he gets a respiratory infection. He has Asthma.

I am learning, because I know nothing about asthma. Perhaps, if I had, my Son could have avoided numerous trips to the E.R. for the oral prednisone he so desperately needed to reduce the inflammation of his airway.

There are many things that I have learned about my Son. He gets really anxious and agitated when he is having difficulty breathing. Because he is four, he does not always tell me when he is feeling unwell. He just becomes more active.

He hates taking oral prednisone. I got one of his favorite stuffed animals from one of his favorite books. “Harry the Dirty Dog,” and pretended Harry was taking his medicine. I told him, “Harry does not like the taste either. So he is gonna open his mouth and I am gonna pinch his nose so he cant taste it, then he gets a shot of orange juice for being so brave.”

“I’m gonna be brave like Harry Mommy! Let me try it! Let me try it.”

My Son was able to take his medicine. Let me tell you, I tried it. It is bitter as hell, even with the flavoring the pharmacy puts in there. Thankfully, just like Harry my Son was able to take his medicine.

The penguin nebulizer the doctor gave us to take home was a genius idea. Whoever thought of this was brilliant. My Son was a little scared of the noise at first. I told him, “That’s the noise that Doctor Penguin makes when he is trying to make you feel all better.” 

So begins the saga of Doctor Penguin and his adventures. So I began to do what I do best. Tell stories to my Son of Doctor Mommy Penguin, and her little baby that she was trying to help get better. I talked in the goofy voices that each of the characters have. My Son, laughs and giggles and loves this so much. To make a long story short… It worked! He is now taking his medicines as long as I tell him the stories that he requests.

My Nightwish series, has been put on hold for a while, because I am not working on writing and illustrating Doctor Penguins adventures at my sons request. He has had quite a few adventures this week!

“Tell me a story Mom… read me your book…Oh yea! And please draw Doctor Penguin for me in my book. “

and this is why I am writing children’s stories and YA fiction. It has made this difficult time much easier on us both. Sharing something so unique and special has brought us so much closer. It helped him to understand what was going on inside his body, and why he needed the medicine so badly.  Harry the Dirty Dog might have saved the day, but mama penguin came to the rescue!

Sleep Deprived Moms

Stay-at-home Mom’s are very rarely ever appreciated. Don’t get me wrong, I love spending my days with my Son, watching him grow into the amazing little man that he is, but sometimes I feel like I am going crazy.

When I go out, my Son goes everywhere with me. Most of my close friends do not have children, and the few that do, our schedules do not allow us to get together.

Many nights I spend getting only 2-3 hours of sleep. When my son wakes up and has to go to the bathroom, or when he has a nightmare and cries, I get up with him every single time.

I have a confession to Make. I am jealous of my Husband and quite honestly depressed. He works 8-1 6 hrs. a day, comes home and gets 6-8 hrs of sleep. I honestly cannot remember a night in which I have gotten 3 hours. The other night I was so tired, I put the ice cream in the refrigerator, and then two days ago I fell down the stairs. It does not help that I have a vestibular disorder that gets continually worse with sleep deprivation.

When My husband wants to go hang out with his friends, I let him, and I know he works hard. But it is not reciprocal, I can count the number of times my Husband has offered to watch our son on one hand. I just feel like I can’t catch a break. The only time I get for myself is between 1:30 and 2 a.m. and even that is interrupted since our Son is a light sleeper like I am.

I guess I feel like what I do doesn’t matter. All I ask is 1-2 hours of uninterrupted time to dedicate to my work, which is writing. I’m tired, and depressed. So the little time that I could be sleeping, is spent writing because I have no choice. During the day, as I am tying to write I have a toddler that keeps trying to help me write, and is scribbling all over my manuscript. I guess I am hoping I am not alone in feeling this way.

Being a stay-at-home mom is hard work.Writing is work too. I don’t think anyone understands that. It is something I have to do so I don’t lose my Mind, because only getting 6 hours of sleep the last three nights has been pure torture.

If only I could sleep like a husband!

 

Auld Lang Syne

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As the sun begins to set, the breeze brings with it a melody from the Valley. Faintly the church bells are heard in the distance sweetly singing the melody Auld Lang Syne. It was appropriate because as the clock chimed, another year rolled by. The sunset began to set as my Grandson and I walked toward it and into the field. A lovely way to end my 60th birthday party. He smiled at me as a new hour dawned and said,

“Happy Birthday Grandpy! Happy Birthday. I love you.”

“I love you too.” I said and then kissed his little head.

He fell asleep as I carried him back to his Mother. I remember when she was young, and I brought her home on a day like this. I saw all the light in the world, and for a minute I thought heaven was in my hand. It was in this moment with my Grandson, I saw the beauty of God’s plan.

Notes:

This is a fiction piece from the perspective of a Grandfather. He is 60, and time continues to move on. For him it is just another day, but he doesn’t want to be reminded of it. He understands that the every year brings a certain finality with it, and that one day he will no longer be here (walking into the sunset) and leaving a legacy for his Daughter and Grandson.

I got this idea from a song I heard from the church down the road. The electronic bells really do carry the tune Auld Lang Syne. It was really my Father’s Birthday today, and I wrote this for him. He has a very special relationship with my Son, and I also wanted to capture this in the story.

This gives you an idea of how I get ideas for my stories and books. By being observant, and looking at the world with wonderment. From the eyes of a child.

For those of you who write, I am interested to know how you come up with ideas for your stories, and what inspires you?

Please leave your comments below.

It Will Be Ok

 

I saw a man in a pair of tan-colored khakis, tossing my son in the air. My son giggling wildly as the man started to give him a tickle. The man turned around and placed my Son in my arms. Then he put his hand on my shoulder and said,

“Don’t worry. It will be OK.”

The man smiled and I woke up from my dream. I was almost certain it was my husbands biological Father, trying to tell me something. I thought maybe one of my magazine submissions had gotten accepted, or something positive like that However, I was not prepared for what was about to occur next.

    I told my Husband about my dream, and then put it out of my mind for two or three days. I was so busy writing, the dream I had about Mikes Dad was completely forgotten.

    On February 8, we were going to sign our new lease agreement for the apartment my Husband and I have been renting for the last five years, after they left a message on my phone saying that the new lease had been prepared. My Husband went to the rental office to sign the lease. The apartment manager said,

   “You can’t sign that, you are over occupancy.”

   “What?! That’s just great!”

    My Husband was furious. We did some research and although the apartment was a one bathroom one bedroom apartment, it was rather spacious because it was a studio apartment. My Mother helped us get in contact with a lady from the department of fair housing, and she said according to the city ordinance we were well within our rights to be there. 200 square feet a person was all that was needed. For our family that ment that 600 square feet was needed. Our apartment exceeded that by 220 square feet. Legally if we wanted we could have four people living in the apartment.

   While I was doing research and getting free consultations from attorneys, the apartment manager told me she was going to talk to corporate and see what she could do since there were no two bedroom apartments available. I gave her more than enough time.

    As luck would have it, my Mother happened to find an ad in the paper for a house for rent, that was less than our monthly rent on our apartment! Shortly there after on February 16, we gave our notice to vacate and here it is:

Tenant’s Notice to Landlord:

February 1, 2016  I, ********* ****** called to have the lease prepared. The office staff told me it would take a couple of days. On February 8, 2016 the office staff informed us our lease was ready to sign. My Husband went to sign the lease and they informed him we may be over occupancy. They had to check with corporate before signing our lease, and that they had no two bedroom apartments available currently. Currently residing in the 820 square foot 1 bedroom 1 bathroom apartment are my Husband, and I and our two-and-a-half year old son.

On February 10, 2016 I spoke to ***** on the phone, I asked her who my husband had spoken with on Monday, February 8, 2016. She informed me it was *****, and I asked if she had a chance to check with corporate. She assured me ***** would be meeting with regional tomorrow, (February 11, 2016) and that someone would get back to me.

It is now February 16, 2016 and we have not yet received a response. Under the current circumstances, with no lease secured yet, we felt that it was best to make other housing arrangements, as the current terms of our lease will expire on February 29, 2016.

We are giving notice of our intention to vacate the premises of **** *********** *** **** *** ********* *** *****, no later than February 29, 2016.

Sincerely,

******* and ********* ******

Tenant                                                     February 16, 2016

 

The apartment manager looked shocked and said,

“No one from corporate has tried to contact you?”

“Nope, not at all. And since we have a small child we had to make other arrangements quickly, especially because it is the middle of winter and we can’t be left without you guaranteeing we are legally allowed to be there.” (Yes. I played stupid.)

“We were discussing offering you a month to month lease. Is that something you would be interested in?”

“No that is one-hundred dollars more, and one-hundred more than we can afford.”

“We could let you stay in the current apartment at the current market rent until a two bedroom becomes available.”

“No we already made other living arrangements.”

Her eyes began to twitch as someone does when they are nervous, as she looked over our notice to vacate. Did she ever really talk to corporate? I don’t know. We signed the papers needed to give us leave of the apartment, and began the process of packing and moving our things.

After cleaning the apartment we walked through it with the apartment manager. She saw a chunk was missing out of the enamel top on the stove and began to say,

“Well I don’t–”

“That was like that when they moved in here. My daughter asked them to replace the stove and they absolutely refused.”

“I asked them twice and they still refused,” I said, “and the mold. Just let me show you the black mold problem we have in here that I have asked maintenance to take care of and they never have.”

“Didnt maintenance fix your bathroom fan?”

“Yes and I asked them about the mold. The guy just said, ‘Yea that happens. these apartments don’t get very good ventilation,’ but he never did anything to resolve the situation.”

“Oh my gosh, I had known it would have been fixed and you would have had a new stove. I’m sorry you had to go through all of this.”

“Well they had every right to be there according to the department of housing.” my Mother said.

“Oh really? That’s interesting because corporate told us only two people per bedroom.”

“Well not according to the city ordinance.”

“Well cooperate drills that into our heads.”

“Well has corporate ever been to a zoning meeting?”

“Well no.”

“I didn’t think so.”

“The attorneys said corporate could enforce a rule that they thought was needed for safety like no more than two people per bedroom, but it would have to be in writing in our lease. No where in our lease did it say that,” I said.

“Wow. That is interesting. I will have to look into that myself.”

“I just don’t want this to happen to any future tenants. Especially people with such young children.”

I gave her the keys and did not look back.

The whole situation was very stressful on my family, but I am counting my blessings. My Mom just happened to look in the paper the same day the landlord refused to renew our lease. A couple of days prior Mikes Dad who passed away comes to me in a dream and tells me “It will be Ok.” I’m counting my blessings we have angels looking out for my family and I. A parents love is unconditional, in this life and in the next.

The Gift

We did not get approved for the car loan. However, every cloud has a silver lining. My parents, passing on the great legacy my Grandfather bestowed upon them, decided to help us out. My Mother applied for the loan for the new vehicle, since we could have not afforded another car payment anyways, had we been approved for the loan. She gave us her car. It belonged to her father. It was a bittersweet moment. In may ways, my Grandfather still lives on. He lives through my Mother.

My Grandpa would have done anything for anyone that he loved. It was just what he did. He gave love unconditionally and never asked for anything in return. My Mother and Father are very much the same way. My Mom handed the title over to Me. The last owners name, was my Grandfathers. Yes, this car belonged to my Grandfather. It was never really anyone’s car. We still called it my Grandfathers car after he died. It just didn’t feel right calling anything else. His glasses where in the glove box, right were he left them. The license plate that was his, still in the trunk for safe keeping. This is the car that continues to give. Just as my Grandfather did, and still does even though he is long gone. My Mother and I shared something special yesterday at the Auto title place. A memory of a man we all wish we could share our life and memories with.

We cried as we shared this memory. My Mother inherited the car from my Grandfather. My Mother gave the car to me. It was gifted not once, but twice. the car still keeps giving, just like my Grandfather did. As my parents now do. I thought about how that car my husband was driving, was probably not very safe. I count my blessing,s and can’t help but think my Grandfather had something to do with this. He is still looking down on all of us are all ok. I cant imagine what would have happened to Mike had he not been on a country road. I know my Grandfather is with my family. I have felt he always has been. He continues to live on and his legacy is one that has been passed to my parents and will be passed to us. This is the greatest gift of all. unconditional love, and memories and time spent with those you love that can never be paid back.

My Musical Life

This week was a good week for my Son and Family. It brought back many memories.

My Dad is a Music Director at a local Catholic Church. They have a chicken dinner every year to raise money for the parish. My Dad plays the organ for people who are coming to see the church. After I got out of work, my Mother and I took my Son up to the church so he could listen to Grandpa play the organ.

My Son can never sit still very long. I had him in a sling as I walked up and down the aisle. He got excited as we bounced and walked, listening to the music. He began clapping his hands.

I was then reminded what an impact music has had on my life. My parents first met at church. My Mother was filling in for the choir director, my Dad for the organist. My Mother was very weak because she had just had surgery on her appendix.  She needed help getting up to direct the choir because she had stitches in her side. My Dad was the person that helped her. To make a long story a little bit shorter, here is the kicker… they have been together ever since. If it was not for music I would not be here.

My parents continued this tradition for quite some time. When I was small, probably even younger than my Son… my Mother would place my car seat on the organ or piano during choir practice. Because of this I had a great appreciation and love of music. When I was my Sons age I remember wanting to be like my Daddy. I in my diaper, complete with a tie around my neck… sat on the piano bench at home. Just like Daddy, I played the piano. Matching my voice to the tone of the note as I played.

Then when I was two, I knew the instrument of my choice was going to be the violin. I loved it! My arm would not reach around the neck of the violin so I had to wait until it did. The music store that my mother taught at did not have a size small enough for a two-year old. So finally when I was three. I got to play the instrument I always dreamed of. The violin.

I continued to have a love of music and throughout my Youth I played many musical instruments. Violin, Piano, Clarinet, saxophone, Trumpet, and my latest endeavor, the ukulele. I hope it is a tradition I can pass along to my son. A love of music.

If it was not for music, my son would not be here today. It was love of music that brought my husband and I together. I met my husband at work. One of the first times we hung out, we were at a party one of our coworkers had. There we were. He was playing Guitar and singing and I was singing the harmony.

On another Date, we were at a bar in Wellington, Ohio that had a piano. We were playing the piano at the bar and taking requests to play classic rock songs.

Our Son loves it when Daddy plays Guitar. He loves strumming the strings of his guitar and could since he was about five months old. Our Son is nearly 11 months old now.

We took our Son to two Jim Gill Concerts this week. One in Brunswick, Ohio and one in Valley City, Ohio. For those of you who do not know who Jim Gill is, He is a very talented musician with a good sense of humor. He has a musical life too. He writes his own music and weaves beautiful stories into his music. He is a local musician here in the Ohio area.

The first concert we arrived there early. We got the opportunity to talk to this very humble musician. He even allowed my husband to try out his guitar. Noah loved the music. He started clapping and jumping up and down and then got fussy the last part of the concert.

Noah got fussy at the second concert when he heard Jim play “Yesterday” by the Beatles.  It is this song that Daddy plays for him. Daddy’s at work right now and Noah starts screaming “Dada!” At least Grammie and Grampy got to go!

Here I am reminded that music without music I would not be here. My husband and I probably would not be married, and our Son would never have been born. I hope we can continue the tradition of sharing music and enjoying it in our family.

The Best Birthday

I celebrated my Birthday on July second. My Mom found some old pictures of me, blowing out candles on my birthday cake. The funny thing about being a Mother is, even the money that you get for your birthday, goes to your child. I was reminded of how many things my Mother went without, because she would rather my brother and I have those things. Here it is July second. It is my birthday. I have holes in my shoes, clothes that never fit right. The money I get for my Birthday goes to my Sons food and clothes. I even had some extra to get him a new book. Here I am dressed like a bag lady. Because I refuse to let my child have anything less than what I had growing up. Because yes, on my Birthday, my Son deserves the very best. All those years I never realized how much my Parents struggled. They did without too. I don’t want Noah to worry. Worry that maybe next month we will have to move because our rent went up again. That we can barely afford to live in this one bedroom apartment. So on my Birthday, I am thankful for my Mother and Father. For always giving me the best Birthday possible. I will do the same for my Son.

Rebirth

  When I look at my son, I see such promise and hope. I understand why Jesus said we should all be like children.

My son trusts others completely. He has not learned what it’s like for someone to break his trust. He loves others with every fiber of his being. He has not learned what it is like for someone to crush his heart and soul. He lives fearlessly. He is learning to walk. He sometimes falls down. He always gets back up like nothing happened and continues to laugh and smile as he pulls himself up, and he tries again, and again.

In my eyes he is perfect. He is a spitting image of the creator. Uninhibited. Un-fearful. He is love.

He reminds me of what is wrong with the world. We forget to be children. We forget to love with a complete love. To be completely uninhibited. To get back up if we fail. If life knocks us on our ass, not to give up. Try… and then, try again. If more people saw the world through the eyes of a child, there would be no war. Just love and hope. That is the secret of life.

I look at my sweet baby boy, as I stroke his hair and he smiles. He is the reason I will never give up. He is the reason I am reminded to see the world through the eyes of a child. He gives me life. I am made complete and I am reborn through the eyes of a child. He smiles in his sleep. I kiss his forehead and tell him what a miracle he is. That he was the one that gave birth to me.

A Mutual Understanding


This weekend I was reminded how every living creature is intelligent in their own way. We need to respect every living being, even if they are not human.

Every year my family has a reunion on our family farm, as we have done for 151 years. My son and I were looking at three cows. All of them were new mothers like myself. The mothers fed them from their udders, like I fed my son from my breast. He soon realized that they had nipples just like me. He started to get excited and wildly wave his hands and arms about. I laughed and told him that Mommy can’t produce gallons of milk like those Mommies can.

The cows stared at us and looked at my son and I. I believe they saw he was smaller than I, and that I was a new Mother too.

Cows are such gentle and inquisitive creatures, and for those few minutes we had an understanding and mutual respect for one another. I nodded and my son waved. They nodded back and we went back to our daily lives. They turned away and went back to theirs. Yes we are mothers. We are still learning. I respect them, and they respect me.