A Big House on a Little Prairie Update: 1 Year, 1 Difficult Loss

It’s been just over a week since Farmer John passed away. I find myself thinking of things I need to ask him, or trying to remember to tell him something the next time I see him walking out to his shop… only to realize that won’t happen.

It’s been a little surreal. I’m in denial in a lot of ways – it simply doesn’t seem possible he passed away. We had too much to share with him. He had so much to help us with.

And yet day by day, I recount how long it has been since I last talked to him. Since the last time I saw him. Since his funeral.

He’s really gone. Continue reading “A Big House on a Little Prairie Update: 1 Year, 1 Difficult Loss”

So Long, August.


So Long, August

August is almost over. And quite frankly, I don’t want to talk about it.

If it were up to me, we could extend July a little longer, have September start a little earlier, and skip over August altogether. It isn’t up to me, though.

So another year, another August behind me, another end-of-summer month feeling pretty beat up.

No, I’m not going to talk about school starting and how stressful it was for me to switch schools for Little Miss. I’m not going to talk about how I buried my head in the sand and didn’t do anything about getting her ready for school because I couldn’t bring myself to deal with it. I’m not going to mention how my baby girl is somehow in elementary school, and already crushing on her handsome classmates.

I’m not going to talk about how Little Man is not so little, and how the only snuggling he does is when he’s fast asleep and I can drag him out of his bed for some sleepy cuddle time. I’m not going to talk about how grown up and inquisitive and talkative he is, and how it wears me out to no end, but before I go to bed for the night, I just want to snuggle him one more time…

I’m not going to talk about the fact that August 24th was four years to the day of me finding out I was pregnant with Harlynn, and how I didn’t even realize the effect it had on me until a friend asked me about it.

Nope. There’s no point in hashing it all out. No point in sharing all the delicate details of the month that kicked the living tar out of me once again.

No need to share I had more social engagements this month than any other this year, and that one afternoon I sat at home on my sofa, fighting back tears because I just couldn’t converse with one more person for one more minute. This circumstantial-extrovert was completely tapped out on social skills. Me, the one who loves to host and be hospitable – – so over it. Crying because….people. Nope, no need to share about it.

I definitely don’t need to go into any detail about my aunt ending up in the hospital and how close we came to losing her. I don’t dare share the details of losing one of the most influential spiritual mentors of my life to ALS, and how difficult her funeral was for me. It made me think of how much I love her, and how I probably do a less-than-admirable job showing others just how much they’re loved. I mean, it’s kind of hard to show people how much you love then when you’re sitting on your sofa crying because you’ve been around too many people…

Gosh no, I don’t feel like mentioning a daggum word about any of it.

So instead of sitting here talking about what a bear August has been, and how I’m very much looking forward to September’s arrival, I’m just going to say, “so long, August.”

So long.

Summer Lovin’

Summer lovin'

“I mommed so hard today.” Those words ran through my mind as I crossed the threshold of home after a morning at the splash pad. If there had been a survival badge, I would have somehow adhered it to my shirt for the entire world to see.

The morning started out typically with both kids waking up well before anyone needs to, and wanting care and attention before any coffee has been consumed.

When breakfast wasn’t received quickly enough and demands weren’t immediately met, the whining started.

Lord, the whining. I’d bet my left leg the Lord doesn’t like to hear whining, so I’m not entirely sure why we were created with the capacity to make such sounds. Especially before Mama has had coffee.

I turned out my best non-threatening-threat of, “The whining needs to stop, or no surprise today.” That’s right. I’d kept the splash pad plans a secret. Because I’m smart.

Everyone was fed and it was time to move on to preparation for leaving the house. When I was single, I had to grab my keys and cash. Now that I have children, I have to remember to grab something from every room, pack it into every nook and cranny in the all-too-small-but-bulky diaper bag, and still manage to leave essentials sitting on the counter when we walk out the door. It’s a gift.

Also, I’m not sure how many times you’ve slathered sunscreen on an active 15-month old, but in case you haven’t, I’d suggest practicing by rubbing coconut oil on your hands before holding a large, living catfish in your lap. It’s a real trip. The way they thrash and slip themselves onto the floor while your hands are a glove of grease can be really humorous. To everyone but you.

Once everyone was SPF’ed (except my own legs, because – I forgot), we slipped on our sandals, grabbed the diaper bag that had been packed for a 7-day hiking trip in the backcountry, and started our trek to the splash pad. We live a whopping 4 ½ minutes from the park, so this was a big voyage, to be sure. To make the gas worth the while, I took a quick detour through Beans Coffee Bar’s drive-through and got me a little hug-in-a-mug. Mama needs a “latte” of caffeine before noon.

We met up with friends at the splash pad and envisioned catching up in some adult conversation while our kids squealed in delight playing in the water. What really happened was short, Morse-code sentences, while our kids stayed wrapped in their towels, complaining of being cold, interjecting their two-cents into every half-sentence we spoke. While the staccato conversations were taking place, Little Man was on a mission to escape, and I repeatedly abandoned post to chase after him.

When the kids got bored sitting in their towels, and every 10 seconds thereafter, they asked to change into their clothes and play in the park. This was a great idea for everyone but us moms. There is no shade at the park. Also, changing clothes in a public place takes strategic planning and placement, and when we figured the kids were just going to ask later to put their swimsuits back on and run through the water, we implemented Operation-Stall-Tactic.

Operation-Stall-Tactic ultimately failed and we hoisted towels, dropped drawers, and got the kids dried and changed. Then we went to bake in the sun while they played for two minutes in the park.

In timely fashion, Little Man’s swimming diaper had reached capacity and suddenly I felt something running down MY leg. He was sitting in my lap, and naturally, I’d forgotten to change him.

Being peed on while sitting in the hot sun means only one thing: time to go home.

After wrangling the kids, survival luggage, and saying goodbye, I managed to get both children safely buckled in their seats for the drive home. Upon putting the mom-mobile in reverse, Little Man fell asleep.

Thankfully, he also fell asleep once I placed him in his crib after I carried the 55 pounds of belongings back through the door of our home. I mommed so hard, and it just might have been my favorite Thursday ever.