Saturday, November 29, 2008

Here comes that rainy day feeling again

It's raining today... boo... but, we need the rain.

Bert hollered from across the house, "Hey, Holly. Come see what your boys are doing!"

They were under his supervision because I was cleaning the bathrooms. Big surprise. -What, that I was cleaning the bathroom? Yeah, that too.
These pictures really don't do them justice. They were COVERED in mud, head to toe. It's a boy's right of passage, I suppose.
The only one with common sense is their sister.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Reach for the moon...

Even if you fall short, you will land among the stars.

Ty and I were outside after dark, looking up at the night sky. I picked him up and started singing, "God made the moon and God made me..." He then stretched his little arm up as high as it could go and said, "Momma, shrow (all t's come out with the sh sound right now) me up high so I can touch the moon."

So, I humored him for a moment, tossing him in the air.

"No, Momma! I still can't touch it."

"Baby, the moon is so high, I could never throw you that far. I'm not big enough."
Simple answer to give a two year old, who gages everything on his size.

"Dat's okay, Momma. Just go get a stool."
And he points towards our house with a look on his face, as if he were stating the obvious.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seven years later... Simon says, "GOWAY!"

Bert and I celebrated our seven year anniversary yesterday. Wow, Babe. We've packed more into seven years than some do in 17. We've had four wonderful kids, started our own business, bought and sold four houses, plus lived in more rentals than I feel like counting right now. No, Bert's not a member of the CIA, he just loves the thrill of the hunt. And for some strange reason, the boy loves to move! He'll tell you himself, he really enjoys moving all of our junk from one house to another. For one thing, it forces us to purge. For another, I guess he likes to flex his muscles that he keeps so well maintained, but has no real reason for using, until Lucy turns 16. Poor Lucy, in a house full of testosterone the girl has no hope of a dating life, at least not until she moves out from under our roof.

Last night, Bert and I got to enjoy dinner and shopping ALONE thanks to my BFF since college, Lindy, who I often refer to as Dixie. Snaps to Dixie for making our date night possible. She's the kind of gal who will come over and without saying a word, walk straight to my laundry room, grab the broom and start sweeping the whole house. Or, immediately tackle the pile of laundry that needs folding. She's the best, for sure. She's also the kind of babysitter that loves my kids like they are hers. Granted, she won't say the word no to them, but I always know they are in good hands while she's there.

While Lindy was battling the Hudson Troops plus her own one year old son, Bert and I had a quiet (strangely quiet) dinner. We very rarely get to go out just the two of us, so it was nice not having to cut someone else's meat, clean up at least two spilled drinks, and make four separate trips to the bathroom. After seven years of.... ahem... bliss... We still love just being together. Bert's always had the ability to make me laugh, even when I was furious. I hate that about him. I can be pounding my fist on the counter, ready to really drive a point home and just zing him when he does this whole, "Holly, if you're so mad about it, why are you laughing?" "I'M NOT AND DON'T YOU START WITH ME, BERT HUDSON!" I'll scream back, but within seconds he'll have me laughing, still mad, but laughing. His mother tells me that he's always had that uncanny ability. Unfortunately, it's hereditary because I often have to run out of the room when I'm trying to chew out the boys for their latest bout with disaster. Oh, me... those Hudson boys.

The sweetest part of our night was when Bert recited our wedding vows from memory... Wait, that was later that night on Jon & Kate Plus 8... sorry for the confusion. Bert, if you ever read this, I'm so thankful that our paths crossed and that I got to be "the thrill of the hunt". The past seven years have been so much fun (most the time) and I can't wait for more! I love you.

Sappy part behind us...

I had an interesting time in the grocery store yesterday. Are we really that much of a spectacle? I thought with shows like Jon & Kate, The Duggars, etc, people would think my family is really pretty small in comparison. Well, maybe the rest of the world watches channels other than TLC, but come on people, four kids is not that big a deal! I had Lucy sitting with Hank in the "car" part of the buggy. Thunder and Lightning were snug as bugs in the front (it was a double seater) because they had lost their "walking privileges" which happens every time we go shopping because the boys just love to run. It started out in the usual way, "Honey! You've got your hands full!" But yesterday, things progressed. One retired couple from South FL literally blocked my cart. This part is to be read in a retired south Floridian accent: "My, ole' my! Whed' they get that red hair? Ya' know, it skips a generation like that?! We knew these twins back when we were in school in Aubun, and they had like six kids between the two of 'em, none of thems had that red hair, but their grandkids! Oh, they did! ALL of 'em!" Me, smiling back, nodding, grabbing children and shoving them back in the buggy, sticking 12 packs of oreos back on the shelf, finally, "I know, crazy huh? I gotta keep moving! Y'all have a great day!" The next two aisles were stalled by more questions and gawkers. There was the funny black couple who shook their heads in disbelief, a couple of employees who asked about their ages and then, this man, who was around Bert's age at the oldest... I won't say it, Babe... just that he was in his early 30's... I accidentally made eye contact with this man, only because he was blocking my view of air fresheners. "You've REALLY got your hands full. I'm watching you thinking, 'Thank God I only have one.' But, she's four now so my wife is busting my chops for another. I'm afraid she's trying to have an 'accident' (he does his fingers in quotations) so I'm like taking a baseball bat to bed with me and saying, 'Back off WOMAN!'" He then laughs hysterically. I stare blankly at the air fresheners for a moment, then decide that the smell of dirty diapers won't be so bad for a few more days. I quickly turn to Jack, who is doodling all over my grocery list and say as I'm walking away, "Hey Buddy, tell me what's next on the list." Jack practically hollers, "Momma! I can't READ!" Work with me here, son! I'm trying to escape from the crazies who are coming out of the wood work today! Is it BOGO if you have no social skills day? Come on! Seriously, I was stopped two more times and again by the check-out lady. Fran looked to be in her 60's, sweet, I'm sure, but after hearing me say the boys names about 84 times in a matter of 5 minutes (we always fall apart at the check-out) she goes, "Jack and Ty wear you out, I can tell!" My response, "Angels, aren't they?" Thanks boys.

After yesterday's encounters with the townsfolk, and since Lucy was home from school with pink eye, we decided to stay put today. This morning, after having a fun babysitter who plays games and does the works, Ty was making me jump through hoops. In his deep husky two year old voice (the boy sounds like he is a chain smoker) he kept saying, "Momma, wet's pway the am-i-nal game." Charades with animals, only you get to make noise. I guessed what animal he was, which wasn't hard because he's always a snake or dog, and he immediately said, "Now, wet's pway red light green light." So, we did that for about four seconds. "Momma, let's pway...hmmm... Oh! I know, Simon Says!" I was tired of running around so I said a few things for Simon. "Rub your belly. Jump up and down. Pat your head and rub your belly at the same time." I got tickled at him trying to do the last command and started laughing. Ty, became offended and said, "Now MY turn! Simon say- GOWAY!"
So, I did.
Really sad, this is the only recent (2 1/2 years ago) picture I could find of me and the Mr. This is what we look like most of the time: goofy hats, silly faces and baby in tow, so it's fitting for the two of us.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Dear Mr. Stork, what is your return policy?

You seem to have forgotten to include my "gift receipt" and we all know that even places like Target won't tinker with the idea of taking back merchandise without one of those things, so I need to know the correct way to make an exchange. No, I'm not dissatisfied with any of the sweet bundles of joy you have so generously delivered to us, almost every year for four years in a row... It would be the other bundle that arrived simultaneously, yet growing abundantly with each precious package that landed on our doorstep. I'm referring to a Mother's GUILT.

The very same moment Lucy was placed into my arms, an overwhelming sense of love and affection came over me, like nothing I've ever experienced nor can fully describe. Just moments later, guilt was also placed there. Why? Suddenly I felt guilty for having such a perfect and healthy baby that was so beautiful, and I did absolutely nothing to deserve her. The next few days I felt guilty for the tiniest things... I literally cried after I paged the nurse to take her to the hospital nursery so I could get some sleep. I called my Mother and apologized for everything I had ever done in my youth and said, "I just didn't get it until now. I never appreciated you like I should have. I'm so sorry." I felt guilty when I left her for the first time, with my Mother and ran to Wal-mart with Bert, just to get out of the house for a few moments by ourselves.

As our babies get older, all new Moms experience some form of guilt... Work or stay home? The guilt is there for the working mother, leaving her child during many of his/her waking hours. The guilt is there for the stay-home mom for no longer contributing financially. Often there is the guilt of wishing you were back at work, and not being thankful that you get to be at home. And it doesn't stop there.... The first time your baby rolls off your bed, when you had no idea her rolling capabilities were so advanced, guilt is happy to greet you. Bert has heard me scream once or twice, "You don't need to say ANYTHING! I feel bad enough on my own!" Poor Bert; so many times he never said anything in the first place other than, "What happened?" Logical question, but when guilt is already at play, one feels as if they are being attacked. Guilt is there to greet you when she "cries it out" for the first time and literally cries out for three solid hours before passing out from sheer exhaustion. When you go to tuck her back in and hear her breathing pattern still slightly off-beat from all the crying, you tear up yourself... again... since you cried a good part of that three hours outside her door. But why? You know it's the right thing to do. She can't sleep with you forever. Especially since number two will be here in a few short weeks, and besides, she's now 16 months old. Enter more guilt, only doubled this time.

The last few weeks of my pregnancy with Jack, I felt awful. I was on partial bed rest and barely had the energy to get up and put in another Barney video for Lucy. I felt awful that all she did was watch tv. I felt awful that my last few weeks with just the two of us was being spent like that. I felt bad for robbing Lucy of her babyhood, and forcing her to grow up too fast since a new baby was going to be a part of our lives soon. Friends and even strangers would make comments about how her world was about to be turned upside down, and she didn't have a clue since she was still so young. My heart would sink to think that what they were saying was true. GUILT. It's always there, someway, somehow. I knew that eventually Lucy and Jack would be best buddies, and that in the long run a sibling so close in age was a gift for Lucy. But, at that time I didn't feel that way. I felt guilty with the other two pregnancies as well.
Guilt is there even now, when I receive outside help with childcare. What is it with this nagging feeling in the pit of my stomach that tells me I have to be Super Mom?

Recently, after a tough day with the boys (rain + no running and playing outside = EXTRA WILD HUDSON BOYS) I screamed when it was bedtime, no make that threw a mega temper tantrum at bedtime, and pointed my finger in each of their sweet faces, stomped my foot and literally threw each of them in their beds. As I was walking out of Lucy's room, she whispered, "Momma?" I snapped back, "This is the LAST thing you get to say today, now what?!" She calmly whispered, "I love you." My heart just sank. At this point in my motherhood career, guilt has pushed my heart down to well below my belly button. Later that same night I caught an episode of "Extreme Home Makeover Edition." GUILT-GUILT-GUILT. What's MY problem? There are so many others out there who wake up and struggle just to get out of the bed in the morning. And though I do have an over-dramatic daughter and three of the craziest boys God ever created, they are healthy and happy children! Not to mention St. Jude's fundraising shows-- I won't even go there. But, the guilt... Oh for crying out loud!

Should I keep breastfeeding even though I've gotten mastitis twice in a month?
Should we force her to quit sucking her thumb/give up a passy/blankie/etc at this age? Should I really let him scream the entire time during Bible class, he's only 10 months old!? Should we hold her back a year since she has a late birthday? Public or private schools? Should I have spanked him for that, or am I just being too hard on him today? (Usually not the latter in this house though.) Am I being selfish for using Mother's Day Out and CLEANING MY OWN HOUSE? Is it wrong for me to scream at my husband, in front of my kids, that all I want to do is take a shower ALONE for once without four little heads popping in at various times to tell me pointless details of what's going on in the other rooms? Why didn't I spend more time with Bert instead of going out with my girlfriends? Why haven't I called and checked- up on my girlfriends more?
The list goes on forever.

Is Satan to blame for all of this guilt and doubt? I feel most certain. Satan wants me to think that I have to be Super Mom only to find out that I can't be, which leads to pain, sorrow and guilt to the max. So, I wrote all of this to say, I'm taking my life back.

Mr. Stork, my guilt will be on my doorstep for you to collect first thing in the morning. GOD is back in control of this Momma, and HIS love will be replacing all that wasted guilt. I refuse to feel guilty for being a great mother who makes mistakes sometimes. I refuse to let my messy house get in the way of storytime at the library and playdates at the park. I will not feel guilty for watching "Extreme Makeover Home Edition" instead of folding laundry, or feel guilty that I have four healthy kids. I will pray for those families in need and be more grateful that my life is so easy, and realize that I can do a better job if I'm not bogged down by all that guilt.

Whew, I feel better already.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Our Homecoming Reunion

Since Her Highness was out of school today for Veterans Day, we thought we should go and do something fun as a family. Fortunately, Bert's boss gave him the day off too, which we were happy about since he can be a real jerk sometimes. (Bert's self-employed.) So, we loaded up the bus and headed to the zoo. I've always found places like the zoo to be somewhat depressing. Those sweet animals pacing back and forth in tiny cages, staring blankly into the crowd, or just sleeping to pass the time. I feel so sorry for them being in a place that is no where close to "home." Okay, so before you click off my site, let me finish... PETA member I am NOT. I'm just saying, it's kinda sad to watch a cheetah, who is supposed to run 70 miles an hour on an open range, pace slowly in a 25 x 25 cell. Agree or don't... moving on.

The kids had a great time. The monkeys seemed to be every one's favorite. We stood and laughed at all the ones we thought reminded us of our own family. The one grooming itself and trying desperately to see her reflection in the water was Her Highness. The little one running as fast as it could and biting the other monkeys to make them chase after him would most certainly be Lightning. There was another one swinging from a branch. Occasionally it would come down as "Lightning" would run by and try to whack him on the head before swinging back up, that was Thunder. The one sleeping through all the chaos would be Bert. And then, I caught a glimpse of me and Hail: A Momma who was trying so hard to pick through a tiny baby's hair and get every last bug out. Meanwhile, the baby who was strapped to her chest with his long arms crossed all the way around her, was moving his head just fast enough that she could only get one or two bugs at a time before she would have to shift her position again. Finally, she gave up on the grooming process and started walking towards some other Momma monkeys, I'm sure to discuss such important matters as potty training and what to do about the biters in the group... namely her wild son, Lightning. As she walked, her baby "Hail" moved in one swift motion around to her back, as if he was on a track that was mechanically operated. He never left her skin, and she didn't mind or really seem to notice.
While we were taking all of this in, Hail of course was on my hip, making his one generic animal sound that he made to each and every exhibit... heavy breathing with a slight grunt as he exhales. Her Highness, the drama queen, was saying things such as, "Are we going to stop at a restaurant on the way home or eat in the car? Cause I don't wanna eat in the car. I'm starving right now though! And, I'm tired of walking. Can I ride in the stroller now?" Thunder and Lightning, were mesmerized for a few moments and actually stood still. I couldn't believe it. The two boys who can make wallpaper peel off the wall voluntarily, who can tear the pages of a book without even opening it, who make me so thankful each and everyday that bedtime has finally come once again... actually stood still. But, not for long. Within a few moments they were back to Thunder and Lightning, chasing and wrestling right there in front of the monkey exhibit.

As we walked away to view the reptiles, I turned back just in time to see the Momma monkey... who still had her Hail strapped to her back and was still discussing with her other friends about the latest fiasco "Thunder and Lightning" had gotten themselves into... staring right back at me. I could have sworn she shook her head as if she was thinking, "Poor human girl. And they say my boys are WILD!"

Friday, November 7, 2008


No, this is not a snazzy recipe for eggs... I can only make eggs one way-- scrambled. I did try to fry some recently, but as Bert so eloquently put it, they were too "rubbery." In my own defense, it was the first time I tried to fry eggs, and as I mentioned in my previous post, I HATE to cook.

The setting: a grocery store check out line
The cast: Me, Thunder (3 1/2 years old) and his other three siblings (ages 5, 2 and 1)
Time: rush hour
Extras in the scene: check out girl, customers in line, and one extremely stinky man in line in front of us

Me, "Guys, we're almost done here. Please don't throw the groceries on the floor. Sweetie, hold your brother's cup for him please. No, you guys cannot have any.... Okay, everybody gets one piece of candy. ONE!"

Innocent by standers, "Oh, honey! You got your hands FULL!" "Where did they get their red hair? All of them got red hair, huh? And neither you nor your husband..." (The usual fun comments when you take four red heads out in public under the age of five.) "Are they ALL yours?" (Hey Nosey, did you mean to say, "Are they all by the same father?" Because of course they're ALL mine! Who would take that many kids grocery shopping if they weren't ALL MINE?)

Thunder, while holding his nose after reaching for his pack of M&M's (which was very close to the stinky character listed in the Extras cast)

"Momma, what smells like button eggs?"

"Honey, what do you mean? I don't know what button eggs are."

Note to self: Don't ever, EVER ask a 3 1/2 year old to clarify something they've said in public.

"NO MOMMA! Not button eggs, BUTT and EGGS!"

At this point he is nearly screaming because poor Thunder has only just in the last few months begun speaking clearly. In the past he's gotten frustrated with others for not knowing what he was saying, so as we would ask him to repeat his toddler sentences, he would just get louder, as if the problem was with our hearing, not his speech.

Again he says, "Something smells like BUTT and EGGS!"

At this point I wanted to grab a trashy US Weekly and pretend that I wasn't with him, but it was too late. Too many had already commented on how they ALL had that red hair. Plus, I was now catching a whiff of the customer in front of us. Suddenly I was so surprised by two things.... First, how did my 3 1/2 year old put those two items together to make that description. Second, how did he do it so accurately! Shooo-wheee!

I'm sure the man in front of us heard Thunder. The cashier did, and nodded as if she agreed wholeheartedly. What can I say? Children are BRUTALLY honest.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

My Moment in the Sun...

I'm joining you, Blogging Community, after I scoffed at you, laughed behind your back and secretly stalked you for many months. Originally, I firmly believed that blogging was created as a by-product of the Reality TV genre that has been crammed down our throats like a hot dog on Coney Island for the title of WORLD CHAMPION HOT DOG EATER. Gross, but true. While I'm confessing, I also said things like, "Do people think that others really care what she ate for lunch Saturday afternoon? Does she think she's Paris Hilton?" For the record, I'm NOT a Paris fan, but my point is, we've watched so many dumb reality shows that we now feel the need to report in our "confessional interview" segment of the show. And, to answer my own question, yes, people obviously do care, because I AM one of those people who has been reading, week after week, the reports of such posts.
For a while, I laughed at the word, "BLOG." Eww, for such a fun way to keep up with those you love, why the word BLOG? Add three more letters and you get, "B-O-L-O-G-N-A." Okay, so one of them has to be added in the middle, but still, the simple name was a turn off. BLOG. But, after many months of "checking up" on my friends who had one, I became desensitized and decided the name wouldn't stop me. Lack of time might/should. I'll admit it, I'm a total procrastinator. I tell myself things like, "I really am going to start Lucy's scrap book... right after I get caught up on my household duties." Insert laughter here. The thing is, Lucy, our only daughter and eldest child, is now FIVE YEARS OLD! And, I never keep up with the housework. I'm just not domesticated. I don't like to cook, I hate to clean, and I can avoid a pile of laundry like a polished politician who's been asked how to fix our struggling economy during a national debate. Get to the point... I'm never gonna get caught up, so time is no longer an excuse.
So, without further ado... here is my BLOG. I vote we change that word somehow. Blah.