The Signs of Life

Photo Credit: Web MD Report on Head Bugs
Got a text this morning that rang up there on my list of a mothers’ worst nightmares. 
“All the girls have lice!” 
I was in shock. They just left a few days ago. I gave them all haircuts two days before. They all washed their hair the night before the trip. They wash their sheets and blankets often. Sometimes twice in one week. They’ve been out of school for over two weeks now. How did this happen?
For a mom of four girls with heads full of thick black hair, often wearing it long, it’s a wonder it didn’t happen sooner. 
I have no experience with lice. I don’t recall ever having it, but I guess I should call my mom up to double check about my younger years. I don’t even know what lice looks like. 
And there in lies the first problem. Continue reading

Summer Daze

Spent yesterday giving the girls summer haircuts and pumping up a nice sized blow up pool to battle the summer heat. Love all their new looks and so thankful for my neighbor’s air compressor. I would have passed out if I used the bike pump for more than ten minutes. Now if I could just figure out a way to rig the pool to stay put at the bottom of the tree house slide, we’d have a water slide presto! Just not sure how safe it would be as of yet. 

The last time we tried to rig a Mr. Turtle pool at the bottom of the slide, even padded the interior for a soft landing, poor little light-weight Sarah landed in the pool and popped right out, onto the driveway, on her little bottom. Ouchie! Not exactly how we had hoped it would work. This pool is much larger and the blow up walls taller and better barriers for potential crashing. Hmmm? For now, we’ll leave it on the driveway until I think of a plan that passes Hubby’s safety inspection. He wasn’t too happy when he heard about Sarah’s sore tush. Yeah. This mommy needs to hang up her engineering hardhat and keep her day job. 

Speaking of…  Continue reading

Brave Enough

Can’t believe I didn’t have a hot dog on the fourth of July?

I guess hot dogs aren’t primarily served at weddings. Unless maybe you get married in Texas.

Anyway, my baby princess played the part of flower girl for the third time in her life. Dress rehearsal was two days before the wedding, and she has been looking forward to this day for months. The shoes! The dress! And don’t forget her star earrings and of course, Mommy just has to curl her hair. But not till the big day. Tonight is just a practice run. We’re not even wearing the shoes tonight.

As I watch Sarah walk down the aisle with her empty basket and pretend to toss petals here and there, two thoughts run through my mind. One regarding the order of the wedding procession, the other simply connected to the event. A rehearsal.

I think to myself, “What if life had a dress rehearsal?” How about for just the tough times? Would we get a chance to practice our lines, revise and rewrite—before family and friends arrive and words cannot be taken back? Continue reading

My Rainbow-ish Cooking Show

Step#1: Half oranges and juice them. 

When Sun and I first got married, and we invited some friends over for a meal, I would scour to find something new and yummy-sounding to try. Hubby would walk into the kitchen from his med school rotations and wearily ask, “Are you sure?”

To which I would optimistically beam, “Worse case scenario, we order a pizza.”

I never cooked much until I got married, and in many ways I had no choice but to learn how. We started our newlywed years on the island of Dominica. Where the restaurant choices at the time were limited, and the operating hours short and the variety…well, there was none. There was local food, which comprised of mostly chicken and plantains and there was the KFC an hour drive away. Not just a regular hour of car travel by the way, but a winding around mountains, nausea-inducing, bumpity bump hour later. By the time you arrived in downtown Rousseau, you had little desire to eat. Fresh air was far more important than finger-licking good munchies. 

Somewhere…Over the Rainbow…

Tomorrow’s Post will be the HOW-TO of these Pretty Babies!

It’s been about a year since we had a DIY [Do It Yourself] Birthday party in our home. April marked the beginning of birthday season in the Paulus household, but we celebrated Princess #2 in Atlanta during Spring Break. Now that Princess #4 is old enough to know Birthday and Party go together, I know I can’t hoodwink my way through June with the “Family” party. Not when the invitations began rolling in for all her friends’ parties this year. Not that I’m the type of mom who plays the “have to keep up with the Jones'” game, but I do believe in social conformity for the sake of community participation and investing in relationships. I genuinely enjoy having people over at the house, but occasionally I get overwhelmed with the prep side of things. So I consciously decide to downsize the DIY event to two cool-ish desserts. Two I could handle. I’m pretty sure. 

Actually, I only plan to do one. The cake. But as I Google instructions on how to make a “rainbow cake,” a fun rainbow-colored appetizer pops up. I look over to my sixth grader who’s sitting next to me and ask, “Whadya think? Should we try it?”

“Definitely.” Thumbs up from the middle schooler so it’s a go. Jello slices, I think I can manage. And who doesn’t like jello? Continue reading

Dress. Check. Shoes. Check. Cap and Gown…

Three Years Ago…

So to condition my mental state in preparation for my new schedule for the summer with my girls home from school, I spent some time yesterday playing dolls with my almost five year old. She starts Kindergarten in September. Tomorrow’s her pre-school graduation and each time I think about it, I get a little teary. 

For the longest time, I used to whisper into each of my girls’ ears at night. “Don’t grow. Don’t grow. Stay little. For me.”

I have long stopped doing that. I’m not so resistant to time passing. The girls changing. Each finding their way. Discovering their gifts. One day at a time.  Continue reading

But I Didn’t Win…

To hear Sarah sing… 
My grandma, who we called Biji, loved buying lottery tickets. I kid you not. When a woman asks for lottery tickets instead of flowers for her funeral service, you know the love runs deep. So my mom handed out scratch-offs to each of us grand kids when we arrived back home after saying our farewells. I think one ticket out of twenty won $50. But the remainder of the $200 worth of tickets were duds.

According to my husband who did a little research for his Facing Fear Talk, a person is more likely to be hit by lightening than win the lottery. Hmmmm? So what makes a person walk into the convenience store, slap down his or her cash, and lose. But come again, day after day, and do it again.

I’m not talking about addiction today. I have no intention of commenting on the morality of gambling. I’m simply addressing the human innate desire to win. If we’re honest with ourselves, we all have it. We all like to win. Continue reading

My Masala Marinated Mother’s Day…

[It’s been awhile since I did a Fortunately, Unfortunately story…so here goes. Enjoy.] 

Fortunately, the day before Mother’s Day we left Delaware from Hubby’s brother’s house only half an hour later than scheduled. 
Unfortunately, New York traffic caused us to arrive over an hour past our desired time. Where are all these people driving to on a Saturday morning anyway?? Continue reading

My Love Language… “A Mother’s Day Post”

Hannah wrote this poem for me and I thought I’d share it with all the Moms in the world for Mother’s Day! Can’t imagine my life without the grace my kids give me…daily…sometime in hefty doses!! Love you so much Princess Numero Uno! Whose name means Grace and who has the writing bug buzzing inside her! Who knows? Maybe she’ll have her own Blog before the year is over!  Continue reading

Tough & Muddy 2012… The Night Before…

Clearly A “Before” Pic…Not a Drop of Mud On Them…YET!
When a good friend called up hubby several months ago and asked him if he wanted to  join his team and do a “Tough Mudder,” I think he agreed before he really knew what he was getting into. But my hubby is a wise guy. Wink. Really, he is. He trained. Did push-ups, sit-ups, and pull-ups, almost daily. He also built up his cardio stamina by running several times a week, building up his mileage as the week drew nearer. And best of all, he recruited his close friend Junior to join him. 
When the weekend of the race arrived, we drove out with our camper to Tobyhanna State Park campground in the Poconos, and had a carb-loading dinner followed by brownies and roaring bonfire to warm us up on this cool April evening. The brownies were my idea. For our two brown guys who were about to be eaten alive. Okay I admit, I actually just wanted the chocolate. And I was pretty sure the boys would more than survive this multi-tiered challenge of a lifetime. I mean, people do it all the time. Surely, they would cross the finish line and join the ranks of orange headbanded Tough Mudders who had gone before them.  Continue reading