Ruff Ruff…

It’s Friday and we all survived the first week of school!!! Every where I go, people that know I have 6 boys will laugh and say, “Bet your glad school’s back!”  Yet you know, I love summer.  I won’t lie, the boys drive me bonkers often but that happens on school days too!  I love the freedom of getting up and going… the day can hold numerous possibilities.

 As the boys grow older, they are a lot more fun, funny and more often then not, have me laughing at their craziness.  Of course some of their foolishness is funny the first time and then after continuing, it becomes obnoxious.

This is the most recent foolishness… this is Tyler that bought this home.  We are driving and he randomly barks loud and the person usually looks astonished.  The first few times he did it, I’ll admit I laughed.  Actually I was really laughing at his ability to truly have such a deep bark.  Then he dragged Josh into it.  I mean really?

The other day as we were driving to pick up Jordan from football practice, we took a side street we often take to avoid traffic.   There on the front lawn were two boys on top of each other.  Then we see the mom (assuming she was the mom) beating one of the boys with the pan.  I was sure she was just playing.  I mean, who beats their kid with a pan… and even if you do, why would you do so in public?

Upon our return, we see three police cars there… mom being “questioned” and it was such a surreal moment.  The boys were full of questions!  Oye!

One of the  boys was telling me their friend had been punished without supper for a misdemeanor.  (Disclaimer:  if you are reading this, parent of the child… I know that was his version and…) anyways the point of this story was, Max.  He said, “You couldn’t do that.”

I was annoyed with answer… and he said, “Mom, wouldn’t be able to do it.   You are too soft” ( I’m not sure if he said “soft” but something like that).  Then he looked at me and said, “That’s not an insult. I just know you that would be hard for you to do.”

Me… shaking my head… my world!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Let’s Get Physical…

Is it a  universal thing for boys to be physically constantly?  Please tell me…  or is it just my boys?  Whenever we visit the in laws, this is the activity the entire visit.  Apparently the grandparents living area is the perfect space for rough housing.  Both brothers-  meaning Sanj and Raj (Sanj’s bro) get into in.  Lately, it to see how much pain they can take.  When I say “they” it’s usually Tyler.  One weekend early this summer, Tyler was dared to put the dog’s invisible fencing collar on and walk through the line … which means he got zapped crazy on his neck.

Wherever we are… it seems to follow:

10492434_10153072460310828_7759893618111806336_n

This video is while visiting family in Maryland… listen to Max’s comment once he’s on his feet!

Josh is a big boy for his age, obviously but he’s also quite strong.  He’s brothers challenged him to put Tyler in a head lock, Tyler of course, going along with it.

Tyler was sure he could handle Josh’s strenght.

This is a video of Josh having a choke hold (not sure if that is really the term) on Tyler.  Yet earlier in the day, while at church, as we were waiting for Sanj to finish a conversation, the boys began…

10389617_10153072460525828_6051782648971585547_n

This is the result of Josh’s hold on Tyler… and understand that Tyler was very proud of his battle wounds.  See the markings on Tyler’s neck?  Likely broken blood vessels- that occurred while Tyler refused to tap out.   As I was taking the shot, Tyler told me to make sure I got his chest hair!!! lololol

Craziness … and yet I am pretty sure in all that physicalness there’s love.  They’d NEVER tell each other they love the other. I’m pretty sure this is a love language for boys, well at least my boys.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Camping 2014

I am by no means the outdoorsy kind of girl.  My idea of enjoyment would be a beautiful cottage on a lake with A/C and all the comforts of our modern world.  So, the few times I went camping in a tent there was no enjoyment for me.  Yet, the outdoors, my boys being unplugged, fishing, canoeing, swimming, hiking – all that stuff that exhausts my boys in the best of ways, is a huge blessing and great makings of memories.  This is why I camp with them.  The last few years, I’ve been blessed with a beautiful thing called a yurt!!! Yes!  So this has made camping much more bare able maybe even enjoyable.  This year the yurts were sold out.  I was prepared to forget all about camping, except I was going with a girlfriend, who encouraged me that we could do it… tent camping.

DSC_9517

My girlfriend’s husband wanted them to take the canoe so that was strapped on their little Honda (with her husband saying he’d come up the morning we are leaving and help strap the canoe).   My truck was stuffed like a turkey on Thanksgiving!  Actually, the sleep bags and pillows took quite a bit of room but the boys piled in and were forced to sit real close to each other.

The first afternoon we set up, trying to beat the rain.  There were a whole bunch of comical errors but in the end, we had camp set up.  Our neighbors were a group camping along with the pet pig!  A big potbelly pig!  Supper was soft tacos and lots of yummy smores for the boys.  The boys and the one girl stayed up after the adults went to bed.  I heard the boys voices changing and heard them exclaim about the size and boldness of the raccoons that had come to visit.  Eventually they made way to the tents and we had survived set up and the first day.

10622892_10153072300045828_932287087635330635_n

We woke up the next day, frozen.   This crazy summer of weird weather was frustrating!  Soon the fire was crackling, breakfast was on and the day began.  We had a great time, spending it at the beach.  Josh just splashed his way into the cold lake and pretty much lived in there for the day.  The older boys took the canoes and were off fishing coming in to refuel with food and then they were off again.

10422385_10153072300585828_1198833720440448901_n

Around 3 pm huge dark clouds started making their way to us.  It was amazing how quickly the beach cleared up!  We hauled the coolers up the hill to the vehicles and there driving up was Sanj!  Such a nice surprise!  The afternoon turned into evening… supper was supposed to be spaghetti but bellies filled quickly as we snacked on hotdogs, watermelon and the pizza sandwiches that are cooked in the fire.  Of course smores topped off the meal.

DSC_9524

10649621_10153072300395828_930868648629543153_n

I’m telling all this to set up the highlight of the trip.  Up until now, it was a normal camping trip.  2 moms and their kids for a couple of night.  As the boys were eating and chatting around campfire, I heard them discussing catching a raccoon that night.  A lot of talk was what I figured… and in passing, warned them to not leave food around as there was the warning of a black bear visiting campsites.  They were busy baiting the fishing rod with a hot dog that they planned to lure the raccoon and they had one of those huge fishing nets… yes, they planned to put the net over it.

10625030_10153072300495828_4904178288748273874_n

Sanj left, camp was cleaned up and the adults headed inside the tent.  The boys were disappointed that the big raccoon they were hoping to “catch” didn’t show up and off to bed they went.

The thing I really dislike about camping is not having a bathroom.  In fact I hate it.  What ends up happening is that I lose sleep worrying over what’s going to happen if I have to pee? The boys didn’t try to be discreet after the first day… they seemed to pee wherever they needed to.  In fact, when Sanj asked me where the bathroom was, I found myself asking if he had to go #1 or #2.  He gave me a very weird look.  Guess he wasn’t into going #1 in the woods.

Anyways,  I got distracted… around 2:30 am I woke up and had to pee.  URGH!!!!  So I lay there and waited.  As I lay there I hear loud breaking of branches, I mean loud.  There was no way that was a raccoon.  OMG!!!!  I lay there praying… as the boys were in their own tent.  Next thing I hear is my girlfriend  sit up and exclaim, “Holy Poo, there’s a bear out there!!!”  Ok, I was really hoping I was wrong.  There was no way I was going to pee outside.  I was kinda freaked that there was only nylon between  me and the man eating creature!!!

Fast forward to about 4:30 am, and my girlfriend said she thought the bear was gone and she had to pee.  She was bold.  She unzipped the tent and begins heading out… well, I couldn’t let her go alone… and I did have to pee.  Praying very hard, I went  out with her. Obviously I survived.

I don’t thing there was much sleep after that.

The  next day, the kids were all doubting the bear being in our campsite until of course, our neighbors stories collaborated stories.  It slowly came out that Tyler had set a can of TUNA to lure the raccoons.  Hum…  the bear probably wasn’t interested in the hot dog as much as the can of tuna, which he could no doubt smell from wherever he was holed up.  Tyler said if there was an unfortunate event, he would have kept quiet.  Since we were all fine… he fessed up that he had tried baiting the raccoon.

Can I say, I still wonder why God thought I could handle 6 boys???

You’d think the laughter was over, but nope, there’s more…

Remember that canoe that had to be mounted back on the little car?  Well, the hubby was called to a meeting out of town.  We were on our own.  Tyler and friend’s son went to see about attaching the canoe to the roof while we closed up camp.

10514550_10153072300775828_1384730206270406631_n

I don’t think Ive laughed so hard in a while… as they drove up, I was so impressed with the canoe seemingly attached to the vehicle.  Upon closer inspection, we saw duck tape.  Everywhere!  Apparently not knowing how to tie proper knots, they made their own.  The twirly whirly knot.  To support the knot, they wrapped duck tape all around the knots.  Their ingeniousness was quite brilliant!  The canoe did make it home, thanks to some serious praying.

1488261_10153072300950828_5401874305773854614_n

This was the end of our Camping 2014!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

A Day In the Life Of…

OMGoodness! I survived yesterday!!!  It was a crazy day – crazy because the boys were full of something. I love summer with the boys, road trips, day trips and lazy days. They are the best days and full of awesome memories.

This week the days past have not been so awesome.  There is fighting, beating each other up, more fighting and it seems to last literally the whole day.  That makes for a very exhausting day.  It means its the end of summer.  Usually summers are awesome until we hit the 2 weeks before mark.  I know it’s here even without a calendar- just by their behavior.

Tuesday, I took the boys in the afternoon to get haircuts.  Of course half of them said they didn’t need one… but lost the battle.  I want nice, neat looking heads of hair for my first day of school pictures! lol  Anyways, taking 6 of them means it takes about an hour and a bit to get all their heads done.  This usually means that I’ve been asked… “Can I have…”  about only  100 times.  It means that Josh lives in the games store besides the salon and has a list of games he must have now!  It means usually  bags of Kernals popcorn or an ice cream cone.  Josh was restless waiting, so our hair dresser- Helena (sweetest lady ever), asked Josh if he wanted to cut Tyler’s hair- he was getting a buzz.  Josh was delighted!

10152391_10153068791270828_2164861556648958259_n

It was the first moment he was quiet!

10653589_10153068790950828_2393068720232120002_n

Then Josh decided to do his own thing… and tried to buzz off Tyler’s eyebrows!  You can see Helena saying NOOOO! lol

10574455_10153068791105828_2032498193170638408_n

Oye!  Last night though, took the cake… I was sitting on my bed in the midst of laundry when Jordan walks in.  He was holding a plastic container, with his hat over it.  Knowing my boys… I was sure there was a rodent awaiting me.  OK… I don’t do mice- they truly freak me out.  So I screamed for him to get out… but instead he wanted to show me something.

10425036_10153068790880828_4465760962473074570_n

Upon closer look…

10620720_10153068790850828_7011595892277225733_n

I saw his $100 bill in with the mice.  OMGoodness… its moments like these that I wonder, I mean really wonder why God thought I could handle life with 6 sons.

Early in the afternoon, I heard Max say there was a mouse in the basement.  Ugh.  Soon I see Tyler and Josh following Max down.  Then I heard one of the boys say they  caught it.  When I asked how, (as I was pretty sure none of them would touch it.. at least I hope not..) they told me they’d thrown a container over it and got rid of it.

Hummm… I should have realized that was just too easy.  What really happened is they went into Jordan’s room, took his money- which they knew he would miss… and put it in the container with the mouse and covered it with his hate.

The funny thing is the boys taped this … I guess they left their phone running in his closet and captured this reaction… except there was NO reaction.  I was impressed.  Jordan seemed to sense something was off immediately.

Yuck.  So they left the mouse as a treat for Jordan… they assumed he’d swipe it off the bed in search of his money.  Nope, calm, cool and collective was my Jordan!

The thing is I’m always shocked by their creative foolishness.  Of course I laugh and found it very funny but there is still always that shock factor.

Despite the crazy behavior of the last week and half… boy, will I miss them when they head back to the classroom!!!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

A Flaw in Chemistry …

Do you remember where you were when you heard Princess Di died? (We were at a friend’s house, spending  the night, I was sitting on the sofa by the window, when Sanj came in from a practice and told us).  Or do you remember hearing about Michael Jackson’s death?  Or 9-11?  We were in Maryland, visiting family when I first saw it mentioned that Robin Williams was dead, that he had killed himself.  At first, no one believed it, we thought it was a hoax.  As the truth was spread like a wild fire, I think there was so much shock to know that he killed himself.  How could a funny man as himself be sad?  Depression?  It seemed unreal.  Those ugly words, mental illness, seemed not as offensive when linked to someone like Robin Williams.  I read this and loved it, “Finally there is a face for mental illness.”  

I can only imagine the darkness he must have been in and the fact that there was no way out.  You know, since this story came out, there have been so many pleads that if you are feeling depressed and see no way out… call for help.  The depression hotline is given.  It is good to know that there is help out there for those able to reach for it.  The reality is that many can’t do that.  Many can’t reach … that is effort that they cannot summon the strength to do.  There are so many that can put on happy faces but yet that dark place remains, can be pushed aside temporarily to function but its a place that is alway there.  One can’t escape it.

Most people don’t want to deal with the reality that someone they love is mentally ill.  Those words seem to be so scary and negative.  Maybe it goes back to the days of visions of a mental hospital… with the iron bars on the windows.  For whatever reason, that thought of having someone mentally ill seems to be scary.  Over the past years, I have been open with my struggles of depression.  To be honest, I actually didn’t think it was depression.  I mean, I can be so happy when with my friends.  I love having people over, playing and being in fellowship.  Therefore, what I have or feel can’t be depression.  You know, depression isn’t a choice.  It is so frustrating to feel in a dark place with no idea of what takes you there or how to leave that space permanently.  After my last babies, I started to feel sad a lot of the time.  And often for no reason.  I remember going into a corner and crying my heart out.  Then, wiping my face and going back to life as I knew it.  This was the blues.  Postpartum blues.  It eventually went away.  With the last babe, it was bad.  I couldn’t shake the darkness.  It followed me.  It became my shadow.

I believe that dealing with my father’s imbedding  death, years ago, pulled me over the edge and everything felt enormous.   I’m grateful for a friend that saw something that I didn’t even know was there.  She called my doctor.  She saved me in many ways.

I have called my happy pills, my crazy pill.  It’s not that I am being condescending but rather, when I am off them,  I really feel crazy.  I know that there are meds to help.  I know that it’s ok to be in a dark place once in a while.  It’s called life.  Yet, darkness that continues is exhausting.  Darkness that continues is lonely.  Darkness that continues is scary.  There is help.  Most people may need a buddy, loved one to help them with that.  They may need reassurance that suffering from mental illness is ok.  It’s like having a peanut allergy.  You didn’t not ask for it.  It can sometimes kill you.  IF you seek help, there are ways to help you.  You can live a normal life, with help.

When I say I’m crazy- I know it cause distrubation. (I realize that’s not a real word… but I like it).  I usually hear that I have so much going on in my life, most people would be crazy.  Maybe that’s true.  Yet maybe it’s not. I do know that it seems to make others uncomfortable.  I’m sorry.  That isn’t my intent.  I’m ok with my craziness.  I am learning to deal with it.  Do I wish I didn’t have that dark space that can suffocate me?  Of course.  Yet… it’s my reality.  I am just grateful to have a doctor that hears me.

You know, from someone that a suffers from mental illness- (that doesn’t sound cool, does it…) there are things you can do to help.  If you have someone talking… really listen.  You can save someone by sometimes just listening.  Don’t be scared to suggest help.  If it’s done out of love, then that is love.

Don’t be afraid to seek help.  It doesn’t make you less than who you are.  It make actually enhance you and who you are to be.  There is so much help out there.  I’m not saying that meds is the be all end all.  There are many ways to seek light in  your life.  Be open to all of them.

Don’t be afraid to talk.  You know, so often we are so busy trying to live that perfect life that we want others to perceive that we don’t realize that with help, dreams can come true.  Life doesn’t have to be so hard, if it’s hard.  You’d be surprised to see that once you open up (to someone you trust), you aren’t the only one feeling as you do.

I think of Robin Williams and the darkness he felt in the moment he let it all go.  It haunts me.  It makes me so sad that loneliness he had in that moment.  God gives us so much.  He  felt that darkness… it’s what I imagine maybe a little of what He felt on the cross, when He said, “Father why have You forsaken me…”

I am sad that the world lost a wonderful funny man.  Robin Williams’ RV is one of the favorites  of our home.  I am glad for the attention that has come from this.  I am glad and sad that depression, mental illness, has a face.

quote-on-depression-55-healthyplace

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Happy 50th Anniversary …

Summer 2014 is off to a crazy start!!!  This weekend we celebrated my inlaws 50th wedding anniversary in style.  (This was Sanj’s and my 20th wedding anniversary- which I will blog about soon).

SONY DSC

We had about a 140 folks from the last 50 years of my inlaws life come and celebrate with them their life together.  It was an incredible day full of family and friends.  We had the Unni Cousins up with their families.  These are Sanj’s first cousins and some of our dearest friends.  We love having them and being together.

SONY DSC

Of course the great thing about family parties is meeting cousins that we haven’t seen in forever.  We met and hope to stay in touch with many of the family we met after such a long time.

It was a busy weekend of cooking, more cooking and did I say cooking? lol  It was a weekend of cutting meat, peeling and cutting potatoes and onions and lots of laughter.

I can’t begin to sum up this time but simply wanted to post so that it will be something that won’t be forgotten.  I was a tribute to my inlaws and the life they have lead.  My father in law can be such an inspiration to so many of us.  Despite his rough start as a young lad, being sent away from home due to his “handicap” (he burned his hands really bad as a child)… he lived his life by forgiving and seeking out his brothers, educating some of them and then spent the rest of his life, after moving here, to continue to educate most of his nieces and nephews so that each of them can live a better life.

Sometimes we say all the nice flowery things about a person after they are long gone.  I’m so glad that my inlaws were about to hear from those that love them and know that they are loved and appreciated.

It really was a little heaven on earth.  There are some things that money can not buy- family, friendship and fellowship.  I can only imagine how incredible heaven is going to be- no more good byes.

That was the hardest part of the weekend… saying goodbyes.

Can’t wait for the next time we are together…

So grateful for my family and the one I married into.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Max Says Goodbye…

Da da da da da da da da da… If you hum this to the tune of Pomp and Circumstance, this is what I was listening to and my heart felt heavy.  Sanj was playing this on the piano, practicing for tonight’s 8th grade grad at the boys school.  When Sanj came up, I told him that this song makes me so sad. When he asked why, I told him that it means something is ending.  :(  Usually, I’d say I am a cup half full person, so my reaction  surprised me.  Max is leaving behind his elementary years tonight.  Maybe this time it’s hitting me a little harder because Max was always classified as one of the younger boys.  Now my younger boys are slowly leaving childhood behind.  Or is it that I am frightened by the thought of another teenager/high schooler being added to the mix?

Max … I wouldn’t know where to even start.  He’s such a unique child when compared to his brothers.  He’s conscious with his tasks and studies.  He’s a little quieter and quirky.  If he begins something, such as going to the gym, he is annoyingly committed.  (Well, we know he certainly didn’t get that trait from me!!!).

10269306_690308661063313_1430232255076840144_o

Isn’t he a beauty?  Max… The whole world lays at your feet, at least the world of high school, does.  With Jesus  beside you, you can do all things.  Beware of the fairer sex… they can be tricky.  Always wear deodorant and brush your teeth.  And know that I love you, now and forever.

As I end this post, I will close with some of the many faces of my Maxie:

DSC_1033

DSC_0112

DSC_6428

DSC_9671

DSC_0817

Posted in General | 1 Comment

Did You Know That I am SO 2-Faced?

Yesterday was a day I was in teen hell.  It only takes one over wrought, irrational, overflowing with crazy hormones to feel like the world, or his parents, for that matter that, has ganged up on him.   Life is so hard.  Do you think it’s harder for teens now verses back in the 80s?

Photo on 6-12-14 at 2.00 PMSo here’s the line that was screamed at me during one of the shouting matches…  “You are so 2-faced.  If Aunty Christine was here, bet you wouldn’t act like this… you’d be all nice.”

Darn right! Aunty Christine or most of my other ADULT friends don’t drive me to the brinks of insanity and back.

Sometimes during these “episodes” I feel like I am a lot younger than my true age.  And sometimes I feel a lot older. :(

I know every one has different sides to them.  I am so 2-faced.  I mean I could be ranting at my children and then someone comes to the truck window and immediately I HAVE to change me face, right?  I have to paste a smile and chatter… or otherwise I would have to share the woes that are overwhelming me at that moment.

OK… so here’s the thing… I am 2-faced.  I have my happy, life is fine face.  And usually if I am really in this mode… you’ll feel my vibes.  I’m not a very subtle person.  My emotions are usually all over my face.  If I am not happy, you will know.  I may choose to share my thoughts or maybe not.  Yet you will know that I am not happy or sad or frustrated or…

I love my boys so much.  I love them so much sometimes it actually hurts, that love I feel for them.  I hate saying no to them… as was the case in this episode.  I really want to give them the world.  I feel like Sanj and I do a good job for loving them and meeting their needs  The boys will even say they are spoiled.  So when there is a NO- there’s a good
reason.

When you continue to question me, I am going to lose it.  I do get ugly.  I do yell.  I have even screamed.  It’s not pleasant.  I hate when I get that worked up.  And yet sometimes, due to the fact that I am human- gasp-  I lose it.  I have a  very ugly side.  I hate that my boys see that side at times.

To my sons,

I am a 2-faced person.  I agree.  And I am sorry.  I try hard to be  what I expect from you but  I know I fall short.  Please forgive me.  The reality is I adore you.  You are part of my heart.  You have such power to break it.  I wish I could treat you like I do others outside our home all the time. Never doubt my love or my craziness.  Sadly for you, it’s all often intertwined.

Mom

Posted in Boys, choices, crazy pill, Family, General, God and I, moments, motherhood, Parenting, Reema Sukumaran | Leave a comment

Hell Fire!

I have to admit, I really struggle getting up for church.  I am so tired.  And it’s another day to nag the crew to get up and get ready.  Usually though, once I am there and the singing begins, the blessings start to pour on me.  I love feeling blessed and love feeling the Spirit fill me.  I wish I could carry that with me all the time.  Yet at some point I am yelling at someone or engrossed in a project and life takes over.  I am forever talking to God during the day but that special feeling of being in God’s presence, I’ll admit seems to often escape me.

I hear this or read this, probably on Facebook, I’ll admit-  “There is nothing I can do to stop God from loving me.”  I wish I could say who wrote it but… regardless, it left quite an impression on me.  I feel so disappointed in myself so many times a day.  I hate when I am short with my kids ( I really HATE when I do this yet they just know how to push my buttons…), I hate when I am moody with Sanj.  I hate when I let others effect me.  I hate when jealousy takes over.  I wish,  really wish I would be that person I know God wants me to be,  that with Him I am capable of being. And yet, when I am berating myself, this quote rings loud through me.  There is nothing I can do to stop God from loving me.

I remember being younger and my dad was a stickler for family worship.  He preached so much about not letting Satan live in our hearts.  He preached the fear of hell in me.  I felt like every little sin was going to send me to hell.  I felt like if I didn’t ask for forgiveness for each sin, I’d land in hell and burn and burn.  I remember thinking my going to hell was easier.  :(

hell-awaits-fire-red

I am so glad that there is nothing I can do to stop God from loving me.  I do try hard.  I do feel guilt still, like will hell be the path I am going to be called to take?  Sometimes it’s hard to shake those childhood lessons that were drilled in us over and over.

There’s hope.  Jesus loves me.  He died for me.  There is nothing I can do to stop Jesus from loving me.  I just need to live the best life I can, with His help.

*** Googling hell fire was actually frightening!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Aunty Acid Says…

552337_257996220976015_1544100717_n

I love Aunty Acid!!! There are so many that shout out THAT’S ME that I can’t even pick my favorite.  This one is such a true statement.  Sanj comes home from work and usually will not take his shoes off or change.  (You were worried I was going to say that Sanj took his bra off too, right? lol) I don’t understand this.  I can’t wait to strip down to the  basics, teeshirt, shorts and bare feet!!!  I am always asking him if he wants to take his shoes off.  Nope- he seems content to be as he is.

10325511_565187363590231_4733720850930332802_n

Well, family is family – we can’t undo that. lol  God gave us what we could handle so He must think quite highly of me!!! I spent a few hours with my dad yesterday.  Boy, who knew he was such a chatter box!  He was telling me all kinds of stories from back in the day.  There were a couple of repeats, but according to Sanj, I’m starting to do that too.  :(

I love my friends.  There are some relationships that seemed to have fizzled over time that have made me so sad.  I can’t help but wonder how we could have chatted everyday, many times a day and then poof it just stops.  My conclusion is there are a lot of strange people out there, they may even be from another planet and my blood has something special in it that attracts them.  BOO! :)  Yet the reality is that I do have a group of delightful friends and am so blessed.

1510364_545625912213043_6306394093339859093_nWell, this speaks for it self, doesn’t it?  :)

10439685_10152153962432919_1819329423_n

Every time my brother, Kumar is around we can’t help but chatter about the folks in our lives from yesteryear.  I spent so much of my youth (well, really my high school years) wanting to be like every one else.  :(  I had not had the chance to tap into the real me.  It took me years to be proud of my heritage, be proud I am different and realize normal is not all that its cracked up to be.  There is such freedom in loving yourself, accepting yourself and believing in yourself.  Of course doubt creeps in every once in a while but only you can believe in you.  Normal is overrated. Do you agree?

This is so me.  I feel like I’m in overdrive all the time!!!  Every once in a while I think of Ritalin and wonder how much it would help.  Yet if I had to choose between my crazy pill and something to cool my ADHD- I’m sure the vote would unanimously be my crazy pill. lol 10422337_560964437345857_5210285695447186289_n

I’ll end with this one… dedicated to my dear Sanj… thanks for loving me as is and thanks for all the helpful suggestion …

1904130_558889890886645_7261603946209070310_n

Hope your Friday is an awesome one!!!

Posted in Boys, choices, crazy pill, faith, Family, General, love, Marriage, moments, motherhood, Parenting, Reema Sukumaran, relationships | 2 Comments

Crazy Me!

I was going to start this off by making excuses for not writing more because …. but I won’t even bother.

Yesterday we – Sanj and I were in the car (Kid 4 was there too) and we off to pick up Kid 5 from youth group.  Sanj has been unwell and yesterday he thought maybe he had food poisoning, so he asked to me drive (I’d much rather be the passenger, not to mention I find it annoying being told how to drive).  As I was driving, I was chattering as we do and when Sanj said something, I responded with a crude comment and then was in hysterics, pleased with my cleverness!!!  My husband was appalled.  :(  Of course this had me laughing even harder.  Sanj is and never has been one to find farting (because you really have to) or crude jokes etc funny.  Sigh.

Disclaimer here:  I don’t do this all the time.  Yet when I do, really let loose I’m usually in the company of girlfriends that have the same humor.  It’s a release.  Sometimes I need to just be silly and let loose and act like an absolute idiot.  And it feels good.

Here one of the things that was said:

Kid 4 asked:

Mom which weighs more … 1000 pounds of feathers or a thousand pounds of bricks?

I replied: “Bricks.” ( I immediately saw a weighing scale like from the olden days and in my head saw the bricks tipping over the  scale).

Figure_12_02_01a

Sanj was appalled.  Kid 4 who is his father’s mini me echoed, MOM!!!

Do any of you not get it?  Bricks in the wrong answer. (Message me so I know I’m not alone— PLEASE!!!)

Sanj looked at me and asked if I took my crazy pill?  This made me laugh harder.  And truthfully, I ran out so I didn’t take it for a “few” days. lol  I’m good though now.  My craziness is something that a crazy pill cannot help with.

Kid 4 said, “Mom!!! They are a 1000 pounds each!!!”

BAHAHAHAH!  See my mind is so hyper that I didn’t lock into that.  I immediately saw the visual.  Sanj looked at me and shook his head and sighed and muttered something about logic not being one of my strengths.

I saw this and of course knew it was perfect clipart to illustrate my thoughts!!!

168525_254555811320056_288564403_n

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for the man that I am blessed (most days) to call my husband.  Thank you for our strengths and thank you for making us polar opposites!!!  And Jesus, thank you even more for making a special crazy pill just for me!!!

I love you.

Reema

Posted in Boys, choices, faith, Family, General, God and I, love, Marriage, moments, Parenting, Reema Sukumaran, relationships | Leave a comment

Just Ramblings… Again

It’s been a crazy  few days.  I went to Orlando to see my aunt, uncle, cousin and  my bestie from my Florida days.  I wanted to see them now and not have regrets later.

Below is Heather, a dear friend and my bestie from my Florida days and in the middle is my older cousin, Jayanta, whom I haven’t seen in at least 12 years.

10345926_10152805894797586_839831263472354579_n

Then I was off to spent a few days with my girlfriend and university roomie.  It was just so good to sleep, eat and talk.  And talk. And talk.  We never seem to have a shortage of conversation.  I have been blessed with great girlfriends — from different  times in my life and different places.  I love that we have a special connection and time seems irrelevant.

10313376_10152785342155828_1112470463544044459_n

Mother’s day was Sunday… so I flew back home very early to be able to spend the day with my men.  I love my family so much.  I am so blessed with my husband and best friend that makes this journey we are on, together, so great.

10259929_870625666286112_4814840402016348113_n

Here we are, ready to greet the long weekend!  Wahoo!  We are doing  a last minute trip to see the cousins on Sanj’s side… always a wonderful time.  I am dreading the drive especially because we are leaving so late but we are adding one driver so hopefully that will help.

Summer is just around the corner.  It’s my absolute favorite time of the year.  I love being in shorts, tees and flip flops.   After all that snow, it’s beautiful to see greenery.  I love that we can sleep with the windows open- though Sanj complains when I open it too much  but I LOVE that cool breeze that blows the curtains around.  I love adding the layer of blankets IF I am cold.  This is a point of contention  with my husband. :(

How come God didn’t give men any discomfort… no periods, no child birthing, no hot flashes, no leaky bladders…. ok, I’ll stop but I get that Eve sinned… yet all the things a woman must endure is quite the punishment.  I can’t wait to chat with Eve.  I can’t wait to ask God, if I had been in Eve’s place would I have eaten the apple too?

Josh was telling me how come WOmen are called women… because God took a rib from Adam and created Eve.  He is a bundle of information and he is truly a child that does not cease to chatter.  Sometimes he comes up with questions that crack me up.  Other times he just leaves me baffled.  Today he told me he prefers Obama to Harper.  Really? lol Then his next question was who is/was worse- Hitler or Bin Laden?

5925538150_02_osama_hitler_300_xlarge

The trip to DC is usually 10-12 hours.  I can’t to hear the conversation that Josh will no doubt have with me.

Posted in Boys, choices, faith, Family, General, God and I, love, Marriage, moments, motherhood, Parenting, Reema Sukumaran, relationships | 1 Comment

Namaste!

My whole life I have taken my body for granted.  I mean it always did what I needed it to do.  Then came the time for babes and it is truly amazing how the body operates.  It makes me wonder how anyone can doubt the existence of a Creator!  Ok, that’s not what this post is about.  Six babies later, a  few mishaps along the way…  and I am in awe of this body.  After my hysterectomy, the doctor told me he was shocked that I had one baby, much less 6.  The insides of me where quite a mess.  Here I am in my mid 40s and have realized that I have indeed taken my body for granted.  I realize that if I want to be healthy and active in my 70s, as my mom is, I’d better step it up abit.

Losing weight has always been my focus for going to the gym.  Ugh.  Not my favorite place.  Yet now I have found a new purpose… to be the best I can be in this body God has blessed me with.  My family genetics sucks.  At a young age, I was stuck with diabetes, type 2.  That really sucked.  My brothers also have the same thing.  This is a pain in the booty, especially because carbs in any form is my comfort… but definitely something I can deal with… especially since it’s not a choice.  This year I’ve really been focusing on trying hard to exercise, eat so my sugars stay controlled and find balance.  OK I realize it is almost laughable, if you really know me.  Yet… I am at a point of actually not minding the gym.  I feel so good after an hour of cardio.  I mean I don’t hate it and feel the benefit after it.  Of course, I have to admit, I have a friend that I go with, it serves to purposes… working out and getting my social fix too.  :)

tree-pose

 

This week, I went to yoga.  I loved it.  This is a real yoga class.  A real teacher that is so cool.  The class size is perfect and the instructor can walk and correct you if you need it. The other yoga classes I tried were too large.  I did not find the class relaxing- probably because of the size of it.

 

Anyways, I loved this class.  I found myself really focusing (which is a toughie for me on most tasks).  I found myself feeling my body responding to this exercise.  I also found myself relaxing.  Wow.  OK, you know how most tell you to take a deep breath… I really have trouble doing that.  I really never feel like I have inhaled to the point of it feeling fulfilling.  Yet… I was able to really concentrate on my breathing- on inhaling and exhaling fully.  It felt so good.  I think that alone was worth joining the class.  By the end of the class, I also felt relaxed.  I won’t lie, I had to consciously  focus on keeping my mind off groceries, laundry and all the things I needed to do after the class, before the day’s end… but I did it for bits of time.

Wahoo!  So… here’s to the constant journey of seeking good health and peace of mind… even in small doses.

 

Something also exciting is that the boys, 3 of the boys have made a conscious effort to go to the gym too.  Very cool… and I’m very proud of them.

When I said I’m off to yoga.. their reactions were kinda funny.  Tyler took the “tree pose” in yoga and said, “UMMMM, I’m seeking inner peace.”  Crazy boys!

Namaste, My Friends!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Face of Cancer…

What a crazy, perfect stay at home and do laundry kinda day it was!  Unfortunately for me, I didn’t have the option of laundry.  lol  It was chemo day and off my FIL and I went to Toronto… in some serious downpour!  The ride back was much more unpleasant as there was many a time I couldn’t see at all in front of me.  We made it home ok, though.

Today while at the hospital, I had no attention or ability to read.  There were a lot of people… really sick, seemed even more so today.  I mean, who IS the face of cancer?  If there was a cut-out, the scary thing is anyone of us can pop into the cut out.  Sadly, cancer has no favorites.  It just picks and then begins its destruction.

 I saw this lady, older, with her hair shaved off.  She seemed to be a warrior – and her bald head was her battle scar.  I was thinking of how beautiful bald is.  What strength there as they walk with their naked scalp.  I saw another lady, older, white hair… just bits of hair growing back.  Beautiful!  I won’t lie, I was so tempted to ask if I could take a picture with her… ( then that voice came through, loud and clear… WWSS? You know, What Would Sanj Say)?  So I didn’t … but I won’t forget her face, as their was such strength in her eyes.  Bald is Beautiful.

Posted in choices, faith, Family, General, God and I, love, moments, Reema Sukumaran, relationships | Leave a comment

Undercooked Chicken, Blog, Family…

I survived!  It’s been a very long weekend and it’s only Sunday morning.  I had a catering job this weekend at the church… where they were having a workshop.  Friday night I was to have a chicken dinner for 20 people.  Easy right?  I served the plates and was just relaxing when… my nightmare occurred.  (OK I can’t even say my nightmare because I would never have dreamed this would even happen to me).  One of the ladies came out and said, “I’m not trying to be difficult but I think my chicken is under cooked.”  OMGoodness!!!!  Sure enough, the nightmare continued… the meat had not cooked.  I was using an oven that apparently didn’t work well.  (I did check the meat before but the one I looked at was fine).  I must say this group was very gracious.  After recooking the stupid chicken… I think I lost 10 lbs of just stress.  I had come of the nicest ladies stay with me in the kitchen (Thank you, Corry!!!) and probably make sure I didn’t have a meltdown. Yikes… I am pretty sure I was close to it!!!  The next day, I had 120 people to serve lunch to.  All is well that ends well, so they say!

We were invited to friends for supper which was perfect because I just needed to decompress and relax.  We were with 2 other couples and sharing how each couple meet, proposed and wedding nightmares.  It was such a great evening.  There is such a gift in friendships that have lasted time.

This morning I was looking at my blog… wondering how long I will continue to write, who reads it and what purpose it serves.  I found myself reading back random posts from over the years.  I love that this is a place that is a time keeper of sorts.  It’s a place that someday the boys can come and see my thoughts and memories.

DSC_0312

This must have been 5 years ago… I’m guessing that Josh would have been 4 ish in this picture.  The changes in the boys in such a short time is crazy!

IMG_0921

This was last summer- the boys and I in Vancouver.  Boys to men.  I do miss those baby days as I loved babies.  Yet this stage is certainly challenging and full of moments that keep you on the edge of your seat.

I was thinking of how blessed I am … with this family God has blessed me with.  I was counting it such a gift to have this amazing, wonderful yet drives me crazy man along for this ride.

As I watched last week a husband and sons say goodbye to their wife/mom too soon I was reminded to not take my health, my life for granted.

Hope your week coming is a good one!

Posted in General | 1 Comment

Goodbye Doreen…

This week past I said goodbye to a friend.  She passed too young. And yet, she is free now of her body that rebelled against her.  I have found myself remembering just how much this friend impacted my life.  She encouraged me to ask questions without fear.  To seek answers about the hard stuff.  She had a sixth sense.  Sometimes I wasn’t sure if it was real but over the years I became a believer.  She had such a passion of women and was a true minister to so many.  I loved her irreverentness.  She spoke without holding back.  Sometimes, what she had to say was very hard to hear, yet she spoke the truth out of love and when spoken in love, you are forced to listen.  She seemed to know when she was needed.  I am not a person that will seek help from outside my circle.  I just didn’t do that.  And yet, time after time, she would show up.  Sometimes I’d get in trouble for not taking care of myself.  Sometimes she just offered a hug.  Sometimes she rallied the troops to swoop in.  She taught me that being a giver was great.  But sometimes, us givers need to let other give and we need to become gracious recievers.  That was very hard.

As a minister to women, she worked tireless.  She would be there at any hour and didn’t seem to notice the time.  I saw and heard so many stories of her being there for new moms.  Moms that were suffering.  I saw her take over when a mom couldn’t do for her family anymore- she just stepped in.  Tirelessly.  I don’t think she ever looked for the thank you or the gratitude.  I doubt she could remember all the lives she helped.

She was a momma and she loved her boys.  She was so proud of them.  She talked about them constantly.  She loved her husband, whom we had the privilege  of being the principal of the boys school.  She was protective of him,  fiercely protective of those she loved.

Last night was the wake.  What it really was was a glimpse of what heaven will feel like.  A friend on Facebook said it was like coming home.  The wake began at 6 pm, but there was already quite a line way before 6 and it went constant till 9 pm.  It was a true testimony of what pillars of the community Ray and Doreen were, each in their own right.  We saw people from Sammy’s JK/SK days when we were newbies to the community.  We saw teachers and friends from years gone by come and pay their respects.  It was so beautiful.  Our school always had a specialness about it especially in the years past.  It was so wonderful to feel that again.

The church was packed.  I saw so many faces that I know Doreen had been part of their story and heard of stories from year gone by.  As wonderful as it is to know Doreen is at peace and no longer dealing with her illness, there’s a huge part of me that can’t comprehend she is gone.  She was always there.  She always had a smile and hug ready.   She was a wealth of knowledge and great advice.  Despite her being sick for a while, I guess I assumed she’d be there…. as she cheated death so many times. Until she wasn’t.  Guess I will have to wait till we are reunited in heaven… and can say with no doubt that God is smiling as He looks at Doreen and says, “Well done, thy good and faithful servant.”

I miss you already, Doreen.  Thank you for all you brought into my life.

xoxo

Posted in choices, faith, Family, General, God and I, love, moments, Reema Sukumaran, relationships | Leave a comment

Siblings…

It is National Siblings Day today… I have been blessed with 2 younger brothers.  They were a pain in my butt as well as knowingI can count on them.  My boys have a ridiculous amount of siblings.  They fight all the time.  There seems to be 2 that are at odds, the combination changes constantly.  I often wonder why I thought having a big family would be cool?  Ignorance.  Lol  I guess I thought they’d be buddies.  All of them.  Stupid, yes I know.  I was very naïve.  As they are growing, the fights that are physical are ones I think I prefer because they beat each up and then they move on.  The ones that are verbal can be so ugly.  You know, only your siblings know how to hit you way below they belt.  They know just where to hurt you.

IMG_0739

Over the years, most of my boys have had to deal with racism.  Some of it based on ignorance and sadly other times based on just being mean.  It’s par for the course raising our family in Peterborough.  Over time, we have taught our boys that most people that spew ugly things about ones race are people you should really feels sad for.  Also when people do this they usually are insecure about a lot of things… the big one being about themselves.

IMG_1450

I remember Sammy being in Kindergarten and coming home hating that he was brown.  He hated being different.  Tyler in Kindergarten wished he was green.    I remember being appalled that here we were, the next year dealing with skin colour again… only to find out that Tyler wished he was green because his favorite colour was green.  Jordan didn’t really deal with it in elementary school, that I can recall.  He hit a kid that was agitating him.  (Again… being younger, you have to learn to defend your self).  Max… he has always been an easy going kid.  He’s become much more intense as he’s growing up and it’s all good.  Then there’s Zachary…who’s also been dealing with it over  a period of time.  This week again.  Now Zach shoved the kid first.  So… despite the other stuff, at home, we held him accountable.  The strangest thing happened…

As I am chatting with Zach about getting physical, despite what happened before or after…this child of mine who is usually the number one target of his brothers, had ALL his brothers pouncing on me verbally about not getting Zach in trouble.  There is nothing that bonds these boys then holding their race against them.

Sigh.  I’d like to have at anyone that messes with my babes.  Yet yesterday and today, I have been so proud of them… to stand up for their sibling.  The brothers all had lots of advice  on how to take care of business… all which I had to quietly remind Zach that none of the actions his brothers were suggesting were appropriate.

It’s siblings day… and I am grateful for my boys and that they have each other to have, hold and beat up.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Traditions

Sanj and Zachary are back from their 10 year trip.  It’s tradition… on the boys 10th  year,  they chose a place to go with Sanj for the weekend.  It’s one on one time and something they each cherish.

You’re right, Zachary is way past 10, he’s actually 12 years old.  His 10th year, the NHL went on strike.  Hockey is and has been a huge part of the trip.  They are able to watch an NHL game from great seats and some of the boys even met the players.   So with the strike, Zach decided to hold off on his trip.  For some reason, it didn’t happen last year either.  SO this very patient child of mine finally had his time.

Sanj and Zach had a great time.  Tampa had some beautiful weather for them!   They rented a fancy car, eat yummy food, went deep sea fishing (where they caught a boat-load of fish), went swimming and of course took in a hockey game.  One on one time is so special… especially when they have it with Sanj.  They came back rested and mellow.

1291896_847658981916114_664766364_o

Zachary with the catch of the day!

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Birthdays and Beef Wellington

It’s been a roller coaster of a weekend.  Yet it’s Sunday and I am here to say I made it!!!  Last week was Josh’s 9th birthday.  How much I love this child!  Despite all the times I feel too old for a now 9 year old, he is a joy, delight and terror.  He was so excited about his 9th birthday.  When I asked him why, he told me with such earnestness, “Well, I’ve never been 9 before, Mommy.”  Be still my heart.  Usually my boys birthdays mean I will pick them up at lunch and we will spend the remainder of the day together.  With Josh, he  would be anywhere but school, it was a present in itself… a whole day with me… and truthfully, what a treat for me too!!!

Since I had no clue about WWE, Sanj was off from Wed-Sun… Josh and I went to Toys R Us… and all I can say was this picture says it all, doesn’t it?

10153026_10152674703060828_591547932_n-1

He had a grand day with a bunch of special things.  What’s a birthday without it being all about you!!!

This Friday I was hired to cater at our church’s Date Night.  I was quite excited about it.  I love cooking.  I love feeding people.  So I was eagerly anticipating this event… until I realized that Sanj was away the week/weekend.  The other draw back was the church kitchen was under construction.  So  I would be cooking all of it at home and school and transporting it over to the church.

Here’s the thing, even though the boys are older and very able to take care of themselves and each other, I hate knowing that it’s Friday night and they are there doing nothing.  :(  And yet, as it always does, they worked it out.  Zach was off to a friend’s.  So this left Max and Josh.  What a better combo as Josh often proclaims Max to be his best friend.! Max and Josh came and helped for a bit, till Sammy could drive them home.

I was serving Beef Wellington, individual cuties.  Here’s the thing… I made it at home for the family but never tried the individual ones.  I never really dealt with phylo  pastry.   Yikes,  everything was done except the pastry part.  I am pretty sure God knew a heart attack was about to occur and sent my friend and angel in disguise, Dorothy to the rescue!!!

photo 1

photo 2Are they not little beauties!  :)

So thank you Dorothy for making my evening a success instead of me having a huge meltdown!!!

Anyways… we all survived the busy weekend.  Sanj made it home last night and all is well that ends well.

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Cousin Love, Toilet Fun and Baby Days…

Teddy, Tina and Trina are Sanj’s first cousins.  Their dads are brothers. Sanj lived with their family while he was going to school at George Washington in Maryland.  I met them  probably 26 + years ago.  They were young … (well, in reality, so was I).  From that first day of  meeting them, our lives have been intertwined… by friendship and marriage.  We love each other deeply.  And we love each others spouses too. Our children love their aunties and uncles and their  children.  It feels like Christmas whenever we are together.

Teddy and family are here visiting.  They have two little girls and a boy just for Josh.  Oh my goodness…. I see now why we didn’t get a daughter.  Sanj would be a goner.  Little Rachel, went to her Uncle Sanj ( who was not turning off the game so we could watch Frozen) and asked, “Could you please turn this off and put Frozen on, Uncle? Wow!  Never has Sanj turned the game off that quickly!!!  Loved it!  This little ones have some power!!!

Yesterday we all went skiing.  This was the little ones first time.  After the lesson, they rocked!!! Impressive!  It was cold but  no one seemed to feel it… unless you weren’t skiing.  Now I understand why you learning skiing when you are a wee one… there isn’t far too fall!!!

Today the younger boys played hooky from school and went to TO to the new aquarium with Uncle Teddy and Auntie Yeka.  They are always so thoughtful of the boys.  Tomorrow after school, they are planning something with the older boys.  So thoughtful.

I am home today to attack the laundry!  I’m not sure who is attacking whom, but I am hoping to to win the battle!!!  It’s another busy week.  Sanj is away W-Sunday on a conference in Fl.  Yah, rough life.  Josh’s birthday is this Thursday… he is turning 9 years old!!!  And he has high expectations… OyE!  Then there’s a catering gig I have Friday night for a 100 people… and of course it’s just Murphy’s Law that Sanj is away. (Sigh).  It’s all good.  Next Saturday I plan on a day with the boys just doing something fun.  But I have to get through this week.

1797541_10152666950785828_1212138223_nI am sitting at my desk writing and this picture is right in front of me.  OMG!!! I love this picture!  This moment is engraved my mind!!!  We were renting a little house in Peterborough, I had 4 babies…  This was in the playroom and attached was this little bathroom.  This is my Max…  Despite that this room had more toys then Toys R Us… all over the floor, Max found a new place to play.  The toliet.  This picture doesn’t’ show it but he ended up sitting in it.  Sanj was cracking up, taking the pic and then Max sits in it, dips his fingers in the water (I can’t even think if there was pee in it or not) and then proceeds to suck his FINGERS!!!  I’m screaming at Sanj to stop the picture taking and laughing and get him out!!!  I ended up grabbing Max by the scruff of his shirt, all the while he is grinning…. lol  OMG.  Obviously it didn’t hurt him too much.

1507019_10152666966540828_1798482144_n

Isn’t he such a cutie!!! He was such a happy delightful baby.  How I love my boys! Do they drive me crazy?  Yup!  And yet… it’s these moments that … Sigh.  Babyhood went too fast. Teen years, seemingly quite    s….l……o….w….

It’s a new week.  Happy Monday.

Posted in Boys, choices, Family, General, God and I, love, Marriage, moments, motherhood, Parenting, Reema Sukumaran, relationships | Leave a comment