Monday, November 28, 2011

What Makes Me Feel Better

Mondays in general are not my favorite day of the week. Mondays after a holiday are even worse. The boys are off schedule, no one wants to get up, including myself. Combine this with a cold and a house that is in a serious state of chaos. It looks like Santa threw up in here.  That was my Monday.

My mom helped by coming down and moving almost all of my furniture. I now have a new playroom/office and a new living room. The addition of the Christmas tree always causes some furniture re-arranging, but this was an extreme move.  By the time the kids were all tucked in bed, my amazing husband was off grocery shopping, I found myself wrapped up in a blanket laying on the couch.

Nothing on my DVR, nothing on that I wanted to watch, but then I remembered a preview I had seen:

Dirty Dancing in HD

Watching this movie, crushing a little on Patrick Swayze, singing along with "I've Had the Time of my Life", makes me feel better.

That and I don't have to go grocery shopping tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Something To Be Thankful For

I still remember how on the day before Thanksgiving two years ago, Brandon came home early.  Everyone in the house was asleep, including me, and I woke up to find Brandon downstairs.  He had arrived home earlier but found us all asleep and he didn't want to wake us. Seriously, one of the best days of my life (not counting my wedding day or the birth of my children, of course).  I didn't know he was getting off work early, and normally, the anticipation of the event is almost better then the actual event, but this time the surprise of him being home, filled me with joy.

Today finds me once again, on the day before Thanksgiving waiting for Brandon's arrival home. This time though, it's not from work.  Finding ourselves with extra vacation days that had to be used before the end of the year, Brandon decided to take this whole week off. That, combined with Jack also being on vacation from school, has created this little bubble of bliss.  This is the third day we have been home together, co-parented together, took turns cooking dinner, cleaning up, and putting kids to bed.

But at 3:00 this afternoon I was done. I spent the day baking an apple pie that my MIL has just informed me is not needed. Burned the pecan tassies that were needed for Thanksgiving. Attempted a Thanksgiving craft that left 2 of the 3 boys in tears.  Mopped my kitchen floor and only had to dump the water twice because it was so brown.  When Brandon returned from running errands, which thank god included a hair cut, I was already packed and ready to go.

As I ran out the door, I called back over my shoulder: "The boys need to clean up the craft mess, pick up the duplos, eat a snack, and NO TV. Bye, love you!"

Two years ago I was so thankful that Brandon was home to help take care of our then 4 year old, 2 year old, and 5 month old.  This year, I am thankful that Brandon understands when I say I'm leaving and his only comment is: "Go get a pedicure and a manicure!"

Love him and love this time I have because of him.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Trading Places

Yesterday, I once again sat at a table for Parent/Teacher Conferences.  For several years I was on the teacher side of the table, sitting there with the report card and samples of student work.  I really liked that side of the table.  I liked being in charge, knowing what information I was going to share, answering questions for parents, and building relationships with the families in my class.  I do not like being on the other side of the table.  Waiting outside in the hall for our turn to come in. Sitting down in the two empty chairs, while the teacher pulls out a pile of my child's work.  Waiting for them to tell me how my child is doing.  It doesn't help that my first parent/teacher conference left me completely shattered.

I still remember walking into our first conference, naively thinking this was going to be a piece of cake. We would hear glowing reports of how brilliant our child was, how popular he was, how he was the teacher's favorite student. I was not prepared to see 1's and 2's as scores for my child's academic progress. I was completely unprepared to see the words:

This child is not recommend to move into kindergarten next year.

As a reader who always skims to the end of the page first, my eyes were drawn to the comment section.  At once my heart dropped, my arms crossed over my chest, I leaned back in my chair, and my face became set in a very harsh look. I knew it, but I was furious, this was not my child. This was not in my plan for my child.  As the conference continued, I uncrossed my arm, I stopped shooting daggers at the teacher, and I began to cry.  

It was with apprehension that I went to the first conference for this same child who is now in kindergarten.  As always, Brandon and I went together, for moral support.  I had joked to the intern on Friday that I tended to cry at these conferences, but I would try to keep it together.  Don't worry, she told me, they always have a box of Kleenex on hand. I'm not sure to be relieved or even more worried at that news.

This time, I was able to sit back and listen to a glowing report about my child. Two teachers who appreciate his quirky sense of humor, recognize his sensitivity, and see him as a unique individual.  This time as I skimmed the report card looking for the comment section, I had no reason to move into warrior mode.  This time the comment was:

This child brings joy into the room each day. He is bright, funny and sincere.  

My heart swelled with love for my oldest son.  And, a deep appreciation for these two women who understand and truly like my son.

Although, I would still rather trade places and be back on the other side of that table, any day.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Well, That Happened

Today is Friday and on Friday's I try to dress a little nicer.  It's hard enough as a stay-at-home mom to rally and pull out the good jeans for a "roll around on the ground" day, and it's even harder when two days are spent wrangling 10 two-year olds at preschool. So, Friday is my day to dress up.

Today I was sporting a new Old Navy t-shirt and an old skirt. I paired the skirt with my brown tights and my new-to-me suede brown boots. (Seriously, I love my boots). Everything looked good, I felt good, except for one small thing. The skirt is an old skirt, pre-kids even, and has a bit of a tear in the back. It basically makes the split reach into some dangerous ares. But that is okay, because I only wear the skirt with my leggings. See, that way, if the split is a little high, all my parts are covered in a non-see through legging. Today, though I choose tights. Dark tights that look like leggings, so I thought I was good to go. When showing my outfit to my spouse, he did mention that maybe I would want to sew that rip. Hmm, maybe it is worse then I thought.

I still left the house, hurried the kids to school, and continued on my day. Mid-way through, I realized it was feeling awfully cold on my backside. I quickly felt the back of my skirt, and all seemed good. I did as subtle as a check as I could, while walking down the hallway at my son's school, and everything still seemed fine. Must just be really cold, I thought.  Still, as the morning went on I became more apprehensive that something was terribly wrong.

Finally, I was home, and after getting kids settled into rest time I went to investigate the situation.  First I checked my skirt, yep, hole still there but not any bigger. Next, I checked my tights. Uh-oh.  I forgot this pair has a relatively large hole in the. um, back of them.  And of course, that hole lined up perfectly with the aforementioned tear in my skirt.  What I had just discovered was that, no, I was not covered up, and yes, you could see my *ahem* backside when I bent over.

Great. It's not like I just spent my morning shelving books. Crawling on hands and knees, bending over, and, dare I say, squatting, in the library at my son's school. Oh, wait, yes I did.  Now, most people would quickly change, but really I was home for the day and I was already dressed, so why change. Although, I would have to walk to the bus stop later.  But who will really notice as I walk quickly by?  Maybe the two guys who stopped talking and watched me push the double stroller up the hill to our house.  Feeling a little exposed, in more ways then one, right then.

The skirt has now been moved to the sewing pile. Which means it will never be worn again.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why My Boys Will Need Therapy

They are still babies, to me at least, but I think this week I may have set them on the path to therapy.  Not intentionally of course, but with choices I made, I may have caused some serious scarring.

It started on Saturday.  In wanting to put some closure on the loss of Nemo, Brandon and I discussed spreading his ashes somewhere he loved. We knew right away we wanted to do it at my grandparents' farm.  It was a favorite place for Nemo, and it made us happy to know a part of him would always be there.   We talk about death a lot in our house, not by choice, just the way it has been here. I try to answer questions honestly, but without scaring anyone.  Well, have you ever tried to explain cremation to a 4 year old? Give it a try, I dare you.  If you come up with a way to do it, please let me know. I tried to explain in a vague way how exactly Nemo would be returning to us.

Everything was moving along fine, even though we were standing outside in the pouring rain, until I poured some of Nemo's ashes into a cup. I thought it would be easier to have the boys spread a little bit by pouring it from a cup.  Big mistake. In my mind, it didn't bother me to hold Nemo's ashes, to look at them, to talk about them, until I poured some out.  Cremation ashes are NOT like fireplaces ashes at all.  That's all I'm going to say.  I started crying, Jack started crying, and Brandon started crying. Micah made a sad face, but it tends to be his fake-sad face, so I wasn't worried. Until he began to sob.  I knelt in the wet grass, holding on tight as my 4 year old wept in my arms.  I thought he was just grieving the reality of the loss of Nemo.  As we drove away he cried, "I don't want to leave Nemo like that."

My heart sank.  Maybe having a final good-bye, along with pouring Nemo's ashes from an urn was a bit too much for my little boy.
Then, in continuing our week of trauma, we knew we had to take our keys to the car lot that was holding our used to be new car.  We also knew that we had left two very important stuffed animals in the car, the night of the accident.  Two birds with one stone: drop off car keys and pick up the stuffed animals.  Brandon, rightly so, realized that taking the boys to the car might be a bit traumatic. So, we weren't going to. But they really wanted their birds and I finally gave in and said we would go by and see if we could get them. Well, we could, and we did, but not with some more sadness thrown in.  When I first returned to the car after retrieving the birds, their smiles went from ear to ear.   But as we started to drive away, Micah once again started to cry. "Why did we get in an accident? Dad shouldn't have been at that stop sign? And so on. We once again had to relive the accident and how we were glad we were all okay, even though the car wasn't.

Our birds were safe, although a little wet, but seeing the car again was a bit too much.

It's okay boys, I've got the name of a good therapist. Just let me know when you want to go.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Feeling Like a Country Song

Have you heard this joke, goes something like this: lost my dog, lost my car, lost my wife, lost my house .... I honestly don't know the punchline but I know it related to how that was almost every country music song ever written.

Well, my life these past two weeks have felt like a slight version of that joke. Only not funny, at all.

On November 1st, we had a very sad day at our house.  My husband and I had to make the very painful decision to say good-bye to our beloved corgi.  Nemo was only 8 years old, not young but not old, we were not quite expecting him to go so soon. Unfortunately, since the beginning of October, Nemo has had trouble walking.  He lost the use of his back legs, they came back briefly, only to disappear completely. We waited, we hoped, we wheelbarrowed him in and out, we held him up to relieve himself, we cleaned him up after his accidents, and then we finally said good-bye.

Besides the circumcisions for each of my boys, this was the hardest thing I have ever done. He was our baby, I still remember seeing him for the first time and thinking, "oh, my, look at those feet!". He was not the smartest dog, but he was very kind and very lovable. He loved everyone (except the UPS guy) and thought everyone would love him, too.  Coming home for the first time to an empty house was heartbreaking. For the first few days, I kept expecting to hear his nails clicking on the floor, his deep bark when the mail arrived, and his snoring when he fell asleep.  I didn't realize how much a part of my day Nemo was until he was gone.

We had just started to regroup after spending a few days, crying, eating, talking about Nemo, crying some more, when....


Literally.  5 days after losing Nemo, 7 days after buying a brand new car, Brandon decides to take the boys to the park. Within 5 minutes I get a phone call asking me to come to the stop sign and get Finn. I assume the boys are fighting and that Finn is getting booted from the car. But I can't find the car. I go to one stop sign, then walk to the next stop sign, and finally start to head down the hill to the last stop sign I can think of, when I see lights. Flashing blue and red lights. My heart drops and I start to run.

I am greeted with the sight of our brand new car smashed on one side, windows broken, and my husband standing next to it looking dazed. He points to a house and I run in and find my three boys crying in the arms of strangers.  It was a rough night.  Thankfully, aside from sore muscles, everyone in my car walked away.  Not such good news for our car.

In one week, I lost my dog, I lost my car .... what's next?

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What's Grosser Than Gross?

Do you remember playing this as a kid? Trying to think of something more disgusting to one up the other person?  Well, I have one for you.

What's grosser than gross?

The homemade fruit fly trap that consists of a mix of wine, dish soap, and swollen floating fruit flies, that lives on my counter?


Finding out that my two year old has been drinking said mixture?

I'll let you decide.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

A Bit of a Break

I made it through all of October and only missed one day! I feel pretty good about that record, not that all of my posts were thrilling, or that interesting, but I did not quit!

But now I am taking a small blogging break. Just for a couple of days. We had a wonderful Halloween, but a very sad beginning to November. As much as I want to write about it, I need a day or two before I can form my thoughts.

Tonight I am snuggled on the couch with my firstborn, loving having some time with him. Then I am off to watch some TV and snuggle with my spouse.

I will be back later this week. But for now, thanks to everyone who actually checked in and read all 30 posts. It means the world to me that people actually read and (at times) enjoy what I have to say!