Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Family Matters

I love babies. They are all innocence and sweetness and promise of the future. My brother's oldest daughter had her baby today. Welcome beautiful baby Christian. Everyone is healthy and happy.

When I was pregnant with T, I talked to him (well, actually to my belly) all the time. I wanted him to recognize my voice when he was born and I wanted, more than anything, that mother/child bond to be instant and unbreakable.

My blood pressure was high during pregnancy, so the day that I went to do all the pre admittance paperwork at the hospital, they checked my blood pressure and it was high enough that they admitted me immediately. My c-section was scheduled for the next day, so it wasn't that big of a deal time wise, and to be perfectly honest, I was miserably pregnant at the time because T was so huge, so giving birth a day early sounded like a win-win situation to me.

My pre-admission appointment was sometime around lunchtime. The only reason I remember this is because I hadn't eaten yet and once I was admitted, I couldn't eat at all. Even being admitted that early in the day, it was after 10 pm with T was finally born. Turns out I was already having contractions anyway, so there ya go.

Once it all started happening, it seemed to happen so fast. I remember the anesthesiologist bringing R over to me all scrubbed out and masked so it took me a minute to recognize him. I remember feeling so much pressure but no pain and all of the sudden, I could breathe again. My first true, deep breaths in about 3 months. I heard T cry immediately and heard the doctor and the nurses laugh as he peed on them twice before they got him from the table to the scale. I remember hearing them say he weighed 11 lbs and 15 ounces, and being grateful once again that he was born and healthy.

I remember the look on R's face as he saw T for the first time and how happy I was that R looked at T like I felt about T. Love. Joy. Devotion.

And then eventually, I was wheeled back to my hospital room. T was in the nursery, and Mom and R went home. I don't know if it was the excitement or drugs or what, but I couldn't sleep. Sometime in the middle of the night, a nurse came in to check on me and saw that I was awake so she brought T to me when he got hungry. I tried to breastfeed, it went absolutely horribly, and I freaked out. Where were all my warm fuzzies and nurturing thoughts? T refused to breastfeed, so I held him until he calmed down and fell asleep. He had one of those round soothie pacis from the hospital and he would take that with no problem. Over the next few days, I and the lactation consultants tried everything we could think of to get the breastfeeding thing to work. Not happening. One lady, who totally freaked me out anyway, kept trying to just shove his face onto my boob. T was not so impressed with this plan, and if a two day old can have a temper tantrum? He had a massive one. Whenever that lady was around, it was like he could sense it and he refused to try and latch.

By the time we left the hospital, I was a combination of freaked out and stressed out, and more tired than I'd ever been in my life. And hello!?!?! I still looked 44 months pregnant. At that point, it was no longer a consolation that I could take deep breaths. GAH. My first week of motherhood was absolutely nothing like I imagined.

We finally got home. Finally. Mom stayed with us for a couple weeks and the day we took her to the airport? I cried all day long. I had pulled a muscle in my shoulder/neck from trying to support T and breastfeed (which was still going horribly), so after we dropped Mom off at the airport, I had a doctor's appointment, which I also cried through. Sigh. That night? T cried all. night. long. So did I. I had no idea what I was doing, and I knew it. I knew there was something wrong where T was concerned, but I couldn't actually put it together. Now I realize I was probably having post-partum depression or severe hormonal fluctuations, but then? I just thought I was the worst mother ever to exist.

Not long after that, I decided to pump exclusively and suppliment with formula. Our lives all immediately improved. T, being such a large baby, needed more food than the average newborn. In fact, his whole life T has eaten way more than textbooks say he should. But my kid? Is lean and muscular and not a bit overweight, no matter what the stupid BMI chart says.

T was three weeks old when we drove from South Dakota to North Carolina via a few day stop in Oklahoma. At three weeks? He could roll over from his tummy to his back. We have it on video. I attribute it to his extra large head. In Oklahoma, I quizzed my sisters in law about why T was so cranky and fussy. They told us to try the gas drops. It helped to some extent, but R and I spent some tense nights in a hotel room trying to get him to stop crying. When we got to NC, we had a meet the baby thing for friends and family, and my friend Angie pulled me aside when I walked her to her car and told me that what was wrong with T was that he was hungry. Having already started fearing transferring my food issues to T, I asked her if feeding him too much was going to set him up for a lifetime of overeating. She wisely told me that if I fed him too much? He'd spit up the extra, which would let me know how much he needed to be full.

That night R and I tried out her theory. Any of you who've had a baby probably know that look of peace and satisfaction a full baby has. That was the first night T ever had that look. From that point on, he would sleep at least six hours at night if he was full. The crying mostly stopped and slowly, my doubts about my ability to be a good mother faded too.

Of course, they are back times two at certain times now, but hey? Isn't that a part of parenthood anyway?

Welcome Baby Christian! You are so loved.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

No pain, no gain.

After last night and the spectacular meltdown duet, I was almost afraid to see what today would bring kid wise.


To my very pleasant surprise, the kids woke up in really good moods. A good night's sleep at a comfortable temperature will do that for you (at least that's my guess). We also forced them to take a bath last night despite T's loud and repetitive protests that swimming was just as good as a bath. They might believe it, but I'm not one bit sold.


Something else I noticed first thing this morning? I was in pain. The good kind of pain. Muscle soreness. Monday's workout didn't seem intense enough at the time to warrant the muscle agony I experienced today, but then again, what the heck do I know? No pain no gain? Pain is weakness (or fear) leaving the body? Sure, I'll buy it. I'm sure as heck living it.


When I came back home, I started to sweep and mop the floors. Ooowwwwww. Putting the dishes up? Oooowwwww. Reloading the dishwasher? Ooowwww. Laundry? Owwwwww. Washing windows/mirrors? OW! Basically anything that required moving my arms or shoulders? Ooowwww. Or as S would say, ouchie!

So, fine. If moving was going to hurt anyway, maybe moving a lot would help. Kind of like the theory that drinking a beer will help with a really bad hangover, I decided to work the soreness out by doing some more push ups. Aahhhaahaaaaahaaaaaaaaaa! I think I did three before I decided to come up with a new idea. I liked my new idea. It involved NOT trying to work out the soreness. Instead, I drank a lot of water and sat outside enjoying the very beautiful day while admiring my very clean windows.

When I picked the kids up, we went to Blockbuster to rent a video game and switch out our movies. S decided that she didn't want to go out the exit door, she wanted to go out the entrance door. So the folks at Blockbuster got quite a show. T thought he'd help. And by help, I mean yell at S to "move your stubborn butt out the door". Shockingly, S wasn't the least bit motivated to do so. The guy who was behind us in line? Is probably never, ever going to have kids now. Sorry dude.

Dinner went by with no demands for specific foods. Macaroni and cheese was not mentioned once (thank you, thank you, thank you). The kids actually ate what I cooked with no complaints AND said thank you. And took their dishes to the sink after they were done. SO much better than last night. Of course, it wasn't difficult to be better than last night, but I'm grateful all the same.

At 7, I left for Zumba (great workout, but again with the ooowwwwwwww) and when I got home the clean and sparkly seemingly ant free house was cool and quiet. And after enjoying that for about an hour, I'm heading to bed.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Monday not so fun day

When I woke up this morning, there was a visitor in our bedroom. At some point during the night, S had woken up and dragged her pillow and blanket into our bedroom and slept on our floor. Neither of us heard her.


When T woke up this morning, someone apparently immediately hit him with the grumpy stick. Of course, the house was much warmer than usual last night and we had some pretty severe thunderstorms, so I don't know if both of the kids had a bad night's sleep or what. But when the first words out of their mouths are "Don't look at me!!!!::extended whiny sound::" when they are standing right in front of you and they put themselves there, I know it's probably going to be a long day.



Time for plan B.


I offered yesterday to ask to extend their day camp from half day to whole day this week because apparently all the really fun stuff happens in the afternoon - like swimming and lots organized games. In anticipation of this, I get all their stuff packed. Lunches, change of clothes, swim suits and towels. The kids are all excited about the possibility of staying all day at camp. I'm excited about this too, but for an entirely different reason. Turns out they can, in fact, stay all day. Fabulous!

After I worked out and once I paid for the extra day camp time, I headed home to get some "stuff" done. On the way home 'stuff' was laundry, dusting, finish unpacking, sweeping out the garage, sweep and/or mop the floors, clean the bathrooms, get all the fingerprints off the windows and mirrors and whatever other domestic bliss inducing chores I could come up with.

Once I actually got home? I started laundry, cleaned the toilets and showers (if by cleaning you accept spraying with bathroom cleaner, hosing off, and wiping down), and decided that I was going to have a little me time. I have some overdue library books and I was almost finished with two of them. Of course, once I sat down to read for about an hour I promptly fell asleep. Sigh. I woke up in time to switch out the laundry and was heading to do a quick sweep of the floor when I saw....ants. Lots of ants. Ewww. And in trying to figure out where they are coming from (I thought maybe around a drain or something) I discovered it looks like they are coming from underneath the carpet in the living room. And that? Is NOT going to work for me. Sorry ants, but you are going to have to die.

I went to pick up the kids and we went to the store to get a few necessary items and ant killers. I bought bait traps and borax. I'm planning to put the borax down around the outside perimeter of the house. That actually requires going outside, though, so it may take me a day or two. Or fifteen. Or - I could just call housing and whine about ants. But then I'll have to clean the house first because perish the thought of housing coming in when the house isn't spotless. What can I say? I am my mother's daughter.

With the bait traps down, I started dinner. And by starting dinner, I mean I put a frozen meal in the microwave and pushed cook. I'm domestic that way. Especially after a long day of reading and napping. Add some frozen peas (which I do actually cook before serving - usually) and some sliced peaches, and we have a relatively well balanced meal. Everyone should be happy, right?

No. Not even close.

S fell asleep on the 5 mile ride home from the commissary, T wanted to wake her up which I didn't have a problem with, but I did have a problem with him waking her up by alternating pokes and head shoves. So, I made him come in the house. Next thing I know, T is on his hands and knees watching the ants and telling them not to go in the bait house because "it will be the last house you ever visit". heh! Where does he come up with this stuff?

We finally managed to wake S up right as dinner finished cooking/heating. T sees me stirring the pasta, and freaks out. He wants mac and cheese. My attempts to sell him on the pasta bake as a form of mac and cheese fails miserably. This brings on a massive meltdown, complete with throwing things, shouting, pounding on the floor, screaming and crying, and general civil disobedience.

Of course, S who is now awake and none too happy about it, throws in her two cents of tantrum. R and I? We sit down and eat dinner together, all calm-like, as if we don't have two insane, screaming, out of control preschoolers flinging themselves about the house demanding macaroni and cheese and milk.

In the course of the tantrum? R and I get grounded by T and told we are never going to get to have mac and cheese again. EVER. NOT EVER. Or watch TV. Or do anything fun.

Yeah, we kinda figured that out a couple years ago, kiddo.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Over the river and through the woods...

I am tired of traveling.

Not to say that we didn't have a great trip. The kids were wonderful, we had a lot of fun, saw a lot of family, and no one ended up in an ER. The baby shower was adorable and pics of the cake (which rocked) are coming as soon as I find/unpack the camera.

But good gravy it was hot! The pool water? Was actually warm. It was also pretty grungy, but I'll save that for another post. We turned up the a/c at home before leaving since no one would be here. When we returned, it was so hot that the best the a/c could do was maintain the higher temperature rather than cool off the house any more. Now, that's hot.

All our flowers? Dead. All our weeds? Doing fabulously.

And I? Am really, really tired of traveling. I have the Mt Everest of laundry waiting to be done, and even though I did a couple loads already, the pile is still huge.

We took an alternate route back from North Carolina without checking to see both lanes of Interstate 40 would be open from Asheville to the Tennessee border. Guess what. They weren't. We saw signs for a detour, but traffic was moving fast enough that we thought we'd be okay. We passed the point of the detour route, then we saw the signs for a possible 30 mile delay.

Umm...a 30 mile delay? Really? 30 miles? Oh no.

I guess we technically lucked out because the delay didn't hit until about 5 miles out. What should have taken us a max of 10 minutes to travel took us over an hour and a half. I'm glad we had enough gas to last through the backup, and I'm glad that the a/c on the van didn't quit from sheer exhaustion and over-use.

When we got tired enough to stop for the night (we didn't head out until 4 pm, and going to the baby shower added about an hour to our drive), we discovered that all the hotel rooms for the cities we were near were totally full. Even the smoking rooms, which we wouldn't have stayed in anyway, but that's what the front desks kept telling us - "Even the smoking rooms are booked".

Alrighty then. We'll just keep going.

This route was also going to take us really close to R's Mom and stepdad. Since his stepdad was retiring this weekend and since we hadn't seen them since 2008, I thought we should call and at least consider going by if it would work out schedule wise. When we hit the road, we figured we'd be in their area really late at night (too late to call), and depending on where we stopped for the night, we'd decide whether or not to call them the next day.

The hotel where we finally got a room? Was about an hour away from R's family. When we got back on the road the next day, we called and asked if we could come by. They said that would be okay, so we stopped by. The kids were delighted to see another set of grandparents and they were beyond thrilled to see Uncle George again.

We visited for a couple of hours, R' sister, her husband, and their kids stopped by and if I was ever in doubt of how much I am not liked in that family? Justin answered that question by refusing to look at, talk to, or acknowledge my existence. Even when introduced to me. Alrighty then. It wasn't exactly a huge surprise. I keep hoping things will change, and they never do.

Moving on....we got back on the road and made it the rest of the way home in about 4 hours. Not bad. We were all tired so I made a quick dinner, R pulled the stuff out of the car, and I realized I've got a crap load of cleaning to do this week. And on that note? I'm going to bed early. The cleaning and the laundry? It will wait for me. I'm quite certain. And since we are all home safely and we had a great time overall? None of the rest of the stuff matters.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Ahhh...freak out!

Yesterday we changed hotels. The hotel where we were didn't have non-smoking rooms available for last night. When we finally got to the new place (yesterday was a bit....busy) R and I looked around and said....W.O.W! This hotel was a little more expensive, doesn't have a pool, and the beds are doubles rather than queens. BUT! This hotel? Is really, really, really nice. And while the last hotel really was just fine, I also didn't feel the need to look in the corners or under the beds or in the drawers here before putting our stuff down. I know, I know, I've got issues. Tell me about it.


This morning, I woke up around 4 am. T had decided to sleep on the floor in between the beds and S was alternating trying to sleep with her body sprawled across my face or my feet. I have no idea what that's about. Maybe we used to put too much stuff in her crib? Dunno. It just wasn't exactly comfortable. But then it hit me. I was not freaking out that T was sleeping on the floor. I wasn't worried about bugs or germs or dirt or allergies or who might have done what with whom right there in that very spot. I. Was. Not. Worried. Am I slipping? Or is this progress?

I mean, it's not like I am fanatic with hand sanitizer or lysol wipes or chronically over-use bleach. In fact, I really could stand to clean my house a bit more than I do. But certain things really freak me out. Drains are one of those things. Ever since I read "It" by Stephen King, I always always give drains the ol' evil eye. You just never know, and I don't want to take the chance. And since I've had kids and said kids delight in the freaking me out by wanting to stick their fingers in the drains? My drain issues have not improved.

What also freaks me out? The kids wanting to stick their fingers in my eyes, mouth, food, or beverage. Because I? I know where my kids like to stick their fingers. In drains, in mud, in anything I generally consider gross or yucky. And then? They want to come share the love with me. And then they laugh and laugh.

So not going to happen.

Friday, June 25, 2010

...and found lacking

I'm slipping.


My TopMommyBlogs status is now number 6, and I'm totally complaining. How dare these talented people put their funny, touching, well-developed blogs on the same listing as mine! Sheesh! On the blog complaining front, let me throw this in - why is Free Therapy only number 10? Why isn't Pretty All True number one overall? WHY!?!


When I decided to start a blog, it was my way of not feeling so isolated, so all by myself with a lack of adult conversation and companionship. R was preparing to deploy and I was seriously freaking out internally. I have to admit, I secretly hoped 'Someone' would stumble across the blog by accident, be stunned by my panache and way of looking at the world, and be able to bring my blog to 'Someone else's' attention. Hey, stuff like that happens all the time. Why not?!?


Why not? Because there are a LOT of talented folks out there. That, and a million other reasons I can think of but am not going to list. This whole blogging thing? It's a serious business to a lot of people. Me? I take it seriously because I appreciate (more than I can even begin to explain) that you guys read me, but it's not a business. It's a way to give myself a voice. It's also great feeling to know that someone cares what I have to say and not because they are related or married to me. (I love you, R!) For those of you who also vote for me on TopMommyBlogs? Double thanks. I'm not a campaigning sort of gal in that way, and I hate asking for votes. And even though my ranking is lower than it used to be? I'm still getting a decent amount of votes based on my daily readership stats.


Then why, I wonder, do I see the blog stats or have conversations and then continually compare myself with others - other bloggers, family members, moms, people trying to lose weight or get in shape, and constantly wonder if I am somehow lacking? It just seems so....negative and counter productive. But I still do it. Interesting. Do you do this? Let's discuss!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

I ONLY USED TWO SQUARES~The story I'm not sure should be told

Ummm. Yeah. This post? Is NOT going to be for everyone. If you are easily grossed out, run now. Seriously. I warned you.


Two weeks ago when the kids and I came to NC for a visit, we stayed in the same hotel we are staying in right now. It was a great experience. We had absolutely no problems or issues at all. So when we planned our trip back for this week, I had no reservations about making reservations here again. heh. I made a funny.


Anyway. We get to the hotel later than we expected because of S's abuse of potty power. As in realizing that the phrase "I need to go potty" will make the parental units jump through toddler hoops. So we must have stopped at least 10 times on the way down. So much, in fact, that we ended up just putting a pull up back on her after the fifth false alarm. S? Thought this was hilarious. Us? Not as funny.


We check in, bring our stuff in, get the kids settled and go to sleep. The next morning, I pick up a toy T left on the floor and there's an ant on it. Hmmm. So I mention this to R and he looks around, and we discover that there are a few dead ants in the room, mostly near the window. We are near a tree shaded, landscaped area and I can see how ants could be in the room, especially if someone had the window open. If the ants are dead, I'm cool with it.


And then I'm in the bathroom. And there are a few live ants in there. I kill them, we leave for the day. That night when we get back, I see a few more. The next morning? Even more. It seems like they are coming in through the bathroom somehow. Okay...I'm done. So we change rooms. The hotel was good about it. Our new room? On the second floor. No bugs. Seems cleaner. But there is mold on the bathroom ceiling and I think someone got busy in the shower because the shower curtain rod was pretty obviously mostly ripped off the wall and shoddily replaced. But whatever. I can live with that too, and with the much crappier water pressure. We were only staying a few nights.

But then we had all the internet issues. Grrrrr. And then this morning I went to the bathroom and apparently used too much toilet paper.

Confession time. I do use a lot of tp. I use it for the obvious reasons and also to blow my nose, as a make up aid, to wipe off the kids...you name it. But I did not put enough tp in the toilet to justify a blockage. The kids were still asleep, so I didn't want anyone coming in to wake them up. HELLO! Sleeping kids. Never disturb! I suggest we go buy a plunger. R looks at me like I'm nuts and says, "We are NOT buying this hotel a plunger!" Well, okay. That makes sense, actually. So he goes down and borrows one. Since I am the toilet breaker, I am the toilet fixer. Voluntarily. But when I go in to unstop the toilet, the toilet has already done most of the work itself. Even better.

But then this makes me remember about our trip to Oklahoma in 2000. R took me to meet his Dad and stepmom and we stayed in a local hotel. That hotel visit? Was a lot like this one. Lots of little things just went wrong. One of the worst? R wasn't feeling well and had gone to the bathroom. We hadn't been dating all that long, so this trip was a big deal for both of us. He comes out of the bathroom, all freaked out. R is a very private person in many respects. The toilet was clogged and he was a combination of horrified, embarrassed, and irritated. He went to ask for a plunger, and the front desk insisted on sending someone with him to unclog the toilet. So in they come. The toilet was fixed quickly but then the fixer guy starts to lecture R about using too much toilet paper. We get the back story on low flush toilets (they bought 'em), how important it is not to use too much tp, how these toilets save money and water (then lower your dang rates), and on and on. I think the guy told R about seven times about not using too much toilet paper. R listened to all of this, just wishing the guy would shut up, and he finally yells, "I ONLY USED TWO SQUARES!"

Which, first...was hilarious for me. Who can wipe their butt with two squares? Second...ewwww. Only two squares? Ewwwwwwwww. Third...hahahahaaaa! R actually raised his voice (first time I'd ever heard him do that). Fourth? The hotel guy wasn't buying it and KEPT talking about TP usage. R finally got him out the door and he and I? We changed hotels. One that let us use more than two squares of tp without a lecture. Because you know what? I am physically incapable of only using two squares of tp for anything. Ever.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Happy Harr-umph Day.

So.

Last night after a very full day of kid tiring activities, we got back to our hotel room, got the kids settled down for the night, and I fired up my laptop to start my blog entry and see what I missed on FB throughout the day.

Funny how I don't realize how much I check FB and email during the day until I don't have access to it. Funny how much I don't like not being able to check it during the day. Addicted? Possibly.

I couldn't get access to the internet through the hotel server. Okay. Hmm. I reset the network access connection. No go. Reboot? That doesn't help either. Since I'm already in my pajamas, I walk around the hotel room pointing my laptop in every possible direction hoping that I'll find a good spot. Nope. Any other wireless possibilities? None that are stable. All I get is this message, "Authentication Server is Busy. Try again in 30 seconds."

I'm embarrassed to admit how long I kept trying. Time I could have spent - oh - typing up my blog entry on Word, doing sit ups, refolding the disaster area that is our joint suitcase, flossing, r sleeping. Sleeping would have been a very good idea.

Sigh.

This morning, after very little sleep - still no internet connectivity. This is the point I got R involved. R is all about technology and internet access. It's part of the reason we hit it off so well because I was working in IT when we met and we had a lot to talk about. Now? We talk about potty training, gym workouts, behavioral issues (ours and the kids')...all sorts of things almost as fascinating but much slower to change.

And I've admitted this before, but it hit home last night how very out of IT touch I am and how dependant I am on R to figure out the issues. It was all I could do not to wake him up and ask him last night. How mean is that?!?!? Pretty darn mean.

So this morning I told him about the problem and he pulled out his laptop and attempted to access the internet. No dice. Okay. Well. Good. It's not just me (which tends to be my first assumption). So as the kids slept off their exhaustion from the last couple of days, R and I tried different things to get internet connection.

Just as a side note - the front desk didn't realize how important it was that we had internet access. They said they actually had other things to do. Say what? What could possibly be more important than internet access??!?!!! Apparently, a lot of things. Also, they did not believe R when he told them there was a problem. Uh, shut up front desk! There is too a problem.

Is too.

IS TOO!

Is too is too is too is too istooistooistooistoo! Is too.

So I get dressed, take my laptop and jump in the van. Internet access right outside the hotel? Nope. I drive to the hotel across the parking lot. Internet access there? Yep, but you need a code and password. Grrrr. Oooh! McDonalds has free wifi. But not from the parking lot. Hmm. Starbucks! Starbucks has wifi access. But not until you buy some sort of Starbucks card (which really - with the amount of phones that have Internet access, isn't that a bit outdated?!?). So, shoot. But at least now I know for sure that it's not my computer that's the problem. I drive back to our hotel. Still no internet. And the front desk? Still not all that concerned. :snark:

It was after 11 before we got access and S and I went to see some of my former coworkers. Which was great! But all the while? I was brain grumbling about lack of internet access. And then when we were busy from noon-ish until around 9 pm tonight? I was all internally grouchy about my lack of internet access.

I think I might have a problem. Seriously.

Monday, June 21, 2010

A Royal disappointment and then the opposite of it.

Today we got up and hit the ground running.

First on the agenda - the downtown Y to get a pass for the week. Why the downtown Y will do this for us and the Y near Mom's house will not is a mystery to me, but I'm summing it up as the one downtown rocks and the one near Mom's sucks rotten eggs. They don't even offer towels. Seriously? A Y that doesn't offer towels? In an affluent neighborhood? Bad workout juju. Also at the downtown Y? DAY CAMP! We wouldn't enroll the kids in day camp here since we are only here a week, but I was impressed that the camp here is from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm, includes lunch, and only costs $130 a week. It's $90 a week where we live if the kids go all day, we have to pack their lunch, and the hours are from 9 to 4. Before and after care is available for an additional fee, but I think the 7:30 to 6 is an amazing idea.

Next up - oil change for my poor, overworked van. Dad owns a service station in Winston, one of those places where the menfolk go to shoot the shit, a quickly fading breed of service station in today's society. It's a shame. For guy land, it's a pretty cool place and the kids LOVE to go there and see Papa at work. He said he could do it after 1 (thank you, Dad!!)

Okay, so. Time to kill. We called Mom, but they weren't home. We left a message and went to the credit union. I used to work there and I ran into a couple people I knew, so I chatted with them for a few minutes and caught up. You know what I realized today? There are a lot of really wonderful, decent people in the world and I have been extraordinarily lucky to have worked with and become friends with many of them. Times like these, I really miss North Carolina.

After the credit union, we went to Walmart. After four years without being anywhere near a Walmart, I'm still a little in awe at all the choices when I walk into one. And the fact that most Walmarts are open 24 hours, so I could go at 3 am if I wanted. Not that I'd be awake TO go at 3, but still. I could if I wanted to. Commercialism. I'm a huge fan.

Mom called back while we were in Walmart, so we headed over there for lunch and hung out until time to go and get the oil changed in the van. Took the kids to Dad's station, and got the biggest kick out of watching S interact with Dad and his customers. Both the kids know that if they want something to eat or drink there, that Dad will say yes, but we still have to remind them to ask first every now and then.

But S? That girl can work a room. First with the longing looks at the drink cooler, which we all mostly ignored. Direct action it is, then. She opens the door and gets out a drink. Bats her lashes at Dad, who was talking to R and didn't see it. She looks at me and I tell her to ask Papa. So she walks over to him and says, "I love you Papa!" and holds up the drink. I'm biting my lip to keep from laughing as his heart melts into a big ole puddle and she skips away all happy with herself. Not too much later, a customer comes in and teases her by asking for a sip of her drink after she walks up to him and holds up the drink and announces, "MY drink". You'd think he asked her to cut off her finger from the look she gave him, which made Dad laugh out loud. This girl? Needs to be enrolled in drama camp right away. T, during most of this, was in the garage part of the station watching Harold change the oil in the van. He was fascinated and completely entranced. I love watching both my kids learn about things that really fascinate them. T? Is well suited to be a mechanic or engineer of some sort. It's amazing how much he just 'gets' about the way things work.

After we left Dad's, we headed to a bakery outlet that's nearby. It used to be the Royal Cake Company bakery outlet, but is now a Flowers Bakery. Hmmm. I wanted to go because the outlet used to sell loose oatmeal, devils food creme, and raisin cake creme cookies by the pound. This is much cheaper than buying them in a store, and something my Mom has done since I can remember. The plan was to buy the kids snacks for their lunches, but now that the bakery has been sold (turns out Royal Cake Company went bankrupt - boo!), the outlet doesn't do the bulk loose cookies anymore. Sad! But it's probably for the best since I love those things and while I'm generally good about resisting temptation, it's probably better off not to have it around. I guess. Sigh.

After we were 'Royal'ly disappointed at the thrift store, we dropped in to see Susan at work. The kids were tired and cranky, so we didn't stay long. Plus, we wanted to leave with at least a partial impression of well behaved children, and the kids weren't as into that plan as we were. From there it was back to Grammy's where they went to the pool, and I left to meet a friend at Starbucks for a quick iced tea lemonade (so cool and refreshing) before I met Chris to go to Zumba.

And....Zumba! I realized I've turned into a bit of a Zumba snob. I wasn't sure I'd like anyone else's Zumba the way I like my Illinois classes, but this was a great class! I even ran into a girl that I used to work with. Sometimes, it's a really, really small world. The class was at a church on carpet, so I ended up doing it barefoot. And by the end? I was dripping with sweat and feeling all happy and Zumba radiant. We did a routine to Thriller, which was awesome! It reminded me of that scene in 13 going on 30....So much fun! FUN FUN FUN.

After Zumba, I went back to Moms and R and I caught fireflies with T. What a great end to a busy but great day. And if I haven't mentioned it? Zumba was amazing.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday drives

We were out the door this morning by 8:30. I just could not wrap my mind around the packing and prep work. So, if we have forgotten something, we can just buy it or do without, right? Right!

Of course, I realized an hour into the trip that I forgot the baby shower gift for my brother and his wife. Guess I'll be mailing it later, because we weren't going back for it.


When the kids and I made this trip a couple weeks ago, it was easier somehow. Of course, they had gotten nice and tired at the Y beforehand. This trip? S kept saying she had to go potty when she didn't, and while I'd much rather err on the side of caution, stopping every 50 miles got old pretty quick. At one point? We just pulled off the highway and onto a side road and I tried to get her to squat and pee. That didn't go well, so I'm glad she didn't actually have to pee. Then? I tried to get her to pee in a small bucket I'd tossed in the car - just in case. She sat on the bucket, still didn't pee. I'd love to know what the car that drove by us slowly thought about that. heh.

However, it was nice to be able to split the driving with R. When we finally got to the hotel, it was nice not to be drop dead exhausted. Especially since the kids didn't want to go to sleep right away after being in the car all day. But some of the drivers out there? Are insane!!! We got behind a guy in a rusty old truck that was going slower than the slow lane people but was in the fast lane. Grrrrr. He finally moves over, we go to pass him, and he speeds up. Grrrrrr. We pass him, a few minutes later, he shoots past us, and then slows down. Seriously rusty dude? Seriously?!?!

We pulled over in West Virginia so that S could try to pee again (why she didn't do this on our first trip down, I have no idea, but I'm grateful), we were in front of a guy who must have been having a really bad day or was in a huge hurry, because he zoomed past us only to cut in front of us and slam on his brakes at a red light. I must have had 'a look' on my face because R said, "Remember that people here carry guns." Umm...okay. And also? What?!?!

Then, as we were heading through West Virginia and Virginia to NC, we had a discussion about the signs that informed us that speed was checked by AIRCRAFT. Why the sign makers felt the need to put AIRCRAFT in ALL CAPS is a mystery to me. I wonder how they give the tickets? Tiny little parachutes that drop the ticket onto your car? A super powerful camera takes a shot of your license plate? Police officers hanging out by the side of the road waiting to pounce on drivers the aircraft determines are speeding? I need to know.

At any rate, we made it through the speed checked by AIRCRAFT zone safely, probably because we weren't speeding, and arrived in NC about half an hour later than we planned. But considering how often we stopped *coughthanksalotmissScough*, we made good time. Even so? I'm glad we aren't driving home tomorrow.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday at the Park

Sometimes, when I'm having trouble with what to write or I'm just really tired, I make notes on or for a blog entry so I have one available for that day. Then I can go back and make it somewhat coherent...err...finish it. Sometimes my notes are better than my actual blog entries. This, I think, is one of them. So I'm going to be lazy and post it instead.

So very tired tonight because of my late night running my mouth. And then running on a treadmill this morning. Every muscle in my body screaming in pain. Kid's gymnastics. Frustration from trying to get the kids' asses in gear to go to Six Flags, where R and George were already hanging out kid free, the lucky ducks.


HADES HOT. Sweaty me, sweaty kids, van a/c can't keep up. Dragging S across the parking lot because she moves slower than drying asphalt. Six Flags is unbelievably crowded. 20 minutes to walk to the park from the car. Driving an hour each way to get to spend 35 min inside the water park, where T throws a fit because they close the wave pool for 15 minutes right after we wade in. I feel ya, bud, but life is full of disappointments just like this.


Tantrums and fighting. Tired kids. George bolting (wisely) for home in the middle of the spectacular display of tantrum emotions. Kids crying because they don't want George to leave. Forcing the kids to go to parents night out. R then wanting to come home and do nothing when we don't have the kids. OMG - seriously?


Dinner out. Strawtini...yumm-o! Laundry, packing, cleaning.


Exhausting.


Not done, leaving in the morning anyway.


Calgon....take me away. Actually, just deliver me and the family to NC without the 12+ hours in the car.

Holy Hot Errand Day, Batman!

OH MY GOD IT'S HOT. I hate to be hot for no reason. I'm glad we haven't bought a house here because I am not sure I could survive a lifetime of summers in this area. Now if this heat could melt some of the fat off my butt or thighs? Well, that would change everything. But until we can harness the power of the sun for fat melting purposes, I'm just going to whine about it being so doggone hot. HOT HOT HOT.


This morning was routine. Got up, kids got up, breakfast, bickering, cleaning up, bickering, getting dressed, packing lunches, more bickering. When I got ready to leave, I asked George if he was going to come to the Y with us again today. He decided not to. Totally understand that - I think it has to do with the bickering. I get the feeling that my husband and his siblings did not bicker and fight like T and S. George looked appalled more than once when arms starting swinging and feet started kicking.


Dropped the kids off at day camp and had a great workout myself. When I looked at the clock, it was after 11, and I was surprised that over two hours had passed. Since I only had an hour left before I had to pick up the kids, why not go next door to Walmart? I wanted to get the film developed from our trip to the Arch and I needed to order a cake for my father-in-law's retirement next week. George told us about that, we didn't know he was retiring. Hence the cake. With all of that done, I wandered about until time to get the kids. I was in Walmart less than an hour and I promise you the heat and humidity outside doubled in that short amount of time. Yuck.


Picked up the kids, went home, and wasted time until we took T to get his stitches out at 1:30. That little story deserves a blog entry all it's own. How a kid who smashes his face on the stairs in our living room and shrugs it off once the bleeding stops and tells me flat out he's going to continue the exact behavior that caused the smashing of the face 'because it's fun' could throw such a massive hissy fit over getting stitches out is beyond me. Not that I'm not sympathetic to the possibility of pain, but when T had to have his finger actually put back together in 2008, one of the stitches that had to be removed was through his fingernail. He didn't even flinch. So all the caterwauling today? Seemed a smidge dramatic. Nothing like making a lasting impression with the medical staff on base. Sigh.

Once the stitches were out and T had calmed down enough to be out in public again, we went to pick up the film. Seeing the pictures helped take his mind off his stitch removal tragedy. So we went by and got some ice cream, because what's better when it's hot than ice cream? Nothing, that's what. A few other small errands and we were done. Yay! We were done!

But George? Had spent his entire day at our house and I think had some cabin fever. My babysitter had agreed to come and watch the kids that afternoon, but she had some personal appointments and wasn't sure when she would be finished. George and I were going to take the brewery tour in St. Louis, but the tours ended at 5. By the time the kids and I got back home again, it was almost 3, and Alicia wasn't going to be done in time for George and I to get to the brewery before it closed. I didn't want to head in to St. Louis any later than that because of a combination of rush hour traffic and a Cardinals game that evening. Also, did I mention that it was hot? So hot it was hard to breathe outside. I suggested that when R got home that he and G go do something. George had kinda been stuck with the kids and I for a couple days and I wanted he and R to have some hang out time too. And that's what they did. And I think everyone was happy at the end of the day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Out and about!

It's the Arch, man! View from the ground...


First I'd like to say Happy Birthday to my brother in law, who is here for a short visit. Happy Birthday, George! We are so glad you are here!
Today after day camp we took the kids onto the city and did some sightseeing. I do not understand how people don't actually melt here in the summer - and it's just June. UGH. We didn't do anything strenuous or even walk that far, but I was a sweaty, sweaty girl after we walked back to the car. So sweaty that George even asked me if I was okay. Yep, a-ok, just sweaty. UGH.
The kids and headless me waiting to go up in the arch.

We went to the St. Louis Arch today and then went up in it. Very, very cool! When we left, we decided to follow the GPS's instructions to find a place to grab a quick bite. This took us along the riverfront, part of which was flooded. So, like any idiot tourist, I drive through it (after I saw someone else do it, of course). It doesn't seem like it's rained that much here lately. Which shows you what I know about living in a flood plain. Nothing. Of course, it's not like the Mississippi is just fed from the tiny little part we live near. I mean, it DOES stretch North to South for a majority of the US. Geography is so not my strong point, as evidenced by my following the GPS's instructions to nowhere. Again.


Flooding. So why not drive through it like an idiot tourist?!?!


While we couldn't find the restaurant we were looking for, we did find the Anheuser-Busch brewery. We decided not to go in since the kids were with us...possibly we should have tried to see if kids were allowed, but hopefully we'll go tomorrow. We also found the National Geospacial Intelligence Agency by accident. (thanks again, crappy gps) We did not, however, attempt to tour it.

Anyway, we finally ate, we finally celebrated George's birthday with a yummy ice cream cake, and the pics I'm posting were taken with a disposable camera because I forgot to bring my digital camera. I mean, why would I want to take pictures of one of the most well known landmarks in America? Sheesh!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Do you get it NOW?!!

Ahhh. Wednesday. The work week is half over, not that it applies to me other than the fact R works. hee. But it's been one week since T cut his finger, and this morning I took a close look at it to see if I thought we could chance taking out the stitches. Nope, not yet. While his finger looks so much better, as soon as we get the stitches removed he's going to want to go swimming and I'm not sure his finger can handle that kind of abuse yet.


So off to Day Camp they go. :Theme from Rawhide plays in my mind:

Have I mentioned yet how very much I love day camp? Oh, I so, so, so do. I wish we could afford to put them in different camps every week, but S is too young for any camp other than the kinder camp. And the hours are all the same, so they have to go to camps at the same Y or one kid would be perpetually early and one would be perpetually late. That's just unnecessary stress. And if we did the before or after care or all the camps that seemed interesting and that they'd like, we'd have to dip into the kids' bank accounts to pay for it. Not happening. I can just imagine having the college fund conversation in a few years....


"Mom, what do you mean I have to pay my own way through college?"
"Well, see kids, it went like this. Your dad and I decided early on that we'd save X amount of money for you each month and that when you got out of high school, you could use that money for college, or therapy, or to start life on your own."
"So what happened? Why isn't there enough money?"
"Well, T. Here's the thing. Remember all those times when you broke something - whether accidentally or on purpose?"
"No. No I don't"
"Like our glass kitchen door in Germany? Or the DVD player because you were determined to use the laser light for other purposes? Or the Pixos you had to have only to get really angry a few weeks later and throw them all away in a snit?"
"I remember some of that, yeah"
"Well, we told you that you were going to have to pay to repair all that stuff. And you did. We took the money out of your account and paid for it."
"But that can't be ALL the money you saved, that's not even $800!"
"Yeah. Well, remember all those great summer camps you wanted to attend with your friends? You paid for that too. Consider that early childhood college."
"Argh!! You suck!"
"You'll thank me one day for making you so resourceful. And by the way? There's plenty of money left for therapy."



Okay, I'm mostly kidding. But the summer camp is expensive. But so far it's been worth it. The kids love it, they are tired when they come home, and it's given T something to do that makes him happy and keeps him from dwelling on the fact that he can't go swimming this week.


Which leads me to the actual point of this post. Finally.


It's been SOOOO hot and humid and gross here that for the last three days when I've picked the kids up, we've gone for ice cream. I'm sure I've mentioned before that a small ice cream cone from McD's only has 150 calories. So a couple times a week, I get one too - but only on days when I do an intense double workout. Today we went to a different McD's. This threw the kids for a loop, but I wanted to see something, and since I was driving, I got to decide.


The kids, of course, notice immediately. Where are we going? How long will it take? Why are we going to a different McDonalds? Can we go inside this one? Why is this one better than the other one? And so on...


And T is just chattering behind me. I'm not listening closely for a variety of reasons, so I'm commenting and giving him the occasional uh huh. All of a sudden there's a pause and T says, all exasperated "MOM! Are you listening to me?"


Me: Sort of.
T: What did I just say?
Me: (oooh. He got me on that one!) Umm...you said something about stopping somewhere.
T: Yes. For the chocolate. Can we stop?
Me: (ah ha! There is always salvation in vagueness) I'm not sure I understand exactly where you are taking about. Can you describe it a little better?
T: :huge sigh: It's the place with the roof and the ice cream cone.
Me: You mean McDonalds? We are going there.
T: No! :huge sigh: It's the place with the room and the ice cream cone and we pass it. They have chocolate.
Me: We are going to pass it or we've already passed it?
T: We are GOING to pass it. It's that place I always ask you if we can stop.
Me: Hmmm. (I have NO idea what he's talking about. If the kids see anything that even looks like it might possible be or have ice cream, they ask to stop.) Can you describe it a little better?
T: It's a building, and it's green and red, and it has the big ice cream cone on it. You always tell me it's closed, but I don't think it is and I want to stop there and see if they have chocolate. :pause: Do you get it NOW?!!?
Me: :laughing: Tell you what. You see it? You point it out to me and we'll stop there, okay? I've got to see this place.
T: Why are you laughing?
Me: Because you are funny and you make me laugh.
T: Oh. That's the only reason?
Me: Yes. What other reason would there be?
T: In case you were just going to pretend to stop and then not see it when I point it out.
Me: :laughing: Well, sometimes I do miss things you point out, but I'll try really hard not to miss this one, okay?
T: Okay.

He never saw it, I still have no idea what he's talking about. But I do think that I get it NOW. Whenever Mr T (snicker Mr. T "I pity the fool who doesn't get me chocolate ice cream!) sees somewhere that he thinks serves chocolate ice cream, I'm going to have to pull over. That's actually not too bad of a deal when I think about it.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Day Camp

Earlier this spring, R and I decided to enroll the kids in YMCA summer day camp. They are only going for half a day for a few of the weeks this summer. Just enough to balance being out of school with my keeping my sanity in tact.

Yesterday was the first day for the kids to go. Here is how I failed already, and it's just now Tuesday.

I did not attend the informational meeting offered because I did not read about it until two weeks after it happened. Way to pay attention.

Kids that attend all day camp need a packed lunch. My kids attend half a day, therefore they should need no lunch, right? Apparently in my brain, that also includes no water, because heck, it's only 90 degrees and 250% humidity. Way to go, Mom. And I mean, jeez, there are water fountains IN the Y, so it's not like water isn't available. :eye roll and lots of guilt:

About that lunch thing? All the full day kids eat lunch around 11:30, which means my overheated, dehydrated children then had to watch everyone else eat and drink until my sorry ass came to pick them up at noon. Still without water.

Today we pull up and the kids complain about their backpacks being heavy. Here's what's in them: a change of clothes, sunscreen, a snack, and a bottle of water. Oh, I so can't wait until they have classes that require you carry books. Cause I got news, kids. Dora and Diego? All that stuff that's in their backpack/rescue pack? It isn't weightless. Do you hear them complaining? No you do not. Just sayin'. Of course, if they weren't so dehydrated from yesterday, they'd probably feel stronger.

Also about today? There's a field trip. Only they won't be back until 3 pm which meant that I thought my kids weren't eligible since they are in the 1/2 day camp. Not so. Which on one hand is very good that they'll get to go, and on the other hand means I have to dash into Walmart to get them some lunch since the snack I packed in no way will hold them until they come back.

I think I need to pay more attention and start asking more questions.

And when I brought their lunches back? S wouldn't leave my side because as she put it, "This shirt is yucky! I want my pink shirt back!" All the kids have to wear the YMCA camp shirts, which I think is a great idea, but S is not so much about looking like everyone else. And also? She wants me wash her shoes since she got them muddy. Right now! Ahhhaahaaahahaaaaaa. My idea of washing shoes? Turning on the sprinkler and letting the kids have at it with their shoes on. Everyone is happy, except maybe our neighbors, but until their cat stops pooping in our yard, I'm not so worried about that either.

I walked inside with T and S's class and stood with S while she got water because she seemed to think that because SHE was thirsty she should just get to go to the front of the line. Oh, sweetie pie, I don't think so! She was calmed down when I left, but I had to laugh because as I was leaving, she squeezed herself in between T and another boy because (and I quote) "This is MY T and I sit here!" The poor little boy beside T didn't stand a chance. I'm not sure many people do when up against our resident diva. My cell phone? Will be by my side today because I'm totally expecting a call to come and get her.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Diet Diary Day - entry 14

Yeesh. Lack of disciplined exercise and very erratic eating equalled a very disappointing weigh in this week. That's okay, I can handle a setback or two. I'm already back in the work out rhythm, and man, did I miss it. Want to know what else I missed? Veggies. I ate a LOT of protein last week - grilled chicken sandwiches, the infamous double cheeseburger, and beans. I also ate more carbs than usual, although I really tried to eat good carbs versus sugar laden ones.

Instead, this post I'll be focusing on the positive. Last week, just on a whim, I tried on my wedding dress. It fit. I don't mean that I could squeeze into it (like I had to do on my wedding day with assorted shapewear and control top panty hose, I mean I stepped into it and zipped it up. While NOT wearing shapewear. It was a very good day. And the shorts I could barely get on this time last year? I put them on to drive to North Carolina and I could easily pull them up and down without unbuttoning or unzipping them. No matter what the number on the scale says, that's progress. Also progress? On the BMI scale I'm down a category. Yippee!


This is me, in 2001, in my wedding dress that now looks better than that. Not bad for a year's work, and a good sign that I'm not content at this size like I thought I would be.


And for awhile, I'm going to be skipping a weekly diet diary day and switch to monthly. It seems silly to have a diet diary day when I really don't have much to say. But for all of you who have been reading and been so supportive - thank you, thank you, thank you. My shrinking hips and thighs appreciate it very much!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Sunday impressions

I woke up this morning at the ungodly, unnecessary hour of 6 am. The reason I woke up, as it turns out, is because the mini blinds were raised alllllll the way up allowing the very bright morning sun into our bedroom window. How did I miss this last night before bed? I'm slipping. Definitely.


It took me awhile to go back to sleep, which I managed to do just before T woke up. Lucky for me, R slept through my not sleeping and got up with T. Such a good man! And then our Sunday started. I say started but the only place I planned to be today was at Zumba at 2. So we all piddled around the house this morning until morning turned into early afternoon and I got ready to go to Zumba. Afterwards, I needed to pickup some bread and kiddie toothpaste. I also really needed to wash the bugs off the car since on our drive back to Illinois last week, we went through a stretch of Kentucky or Indiana where the bugs were so thick and loud when they hit the front of the car that it sounded like a hard rain.

I pulled into the auto car wash and decided to vacuum first. Now, I cleaned out the car last week when we were in NC, so I didn't think that a few days with the kids in the car could have done that much damage. Wrong. Oh, so very wrong. T had spilled a drink and his booster seat was glued to the car seat. For like the millionth time, I'm SO glad we have leather seats. So after I cleaned that up and pulled everything off the floor and out of the back, I vacuumed the car. Ahhh...that's better. Now to wash the bug carcasses off the front of the car.

This car wash didn't have a change machine, but the individual stalls did take bills - $1 and $5. I only had a single dollar, but I had a five dollar bill, so I put that in. I got 20 minutes. Hmmmm. I was going to pre soak the tires, but the hose wouldn't cooperate and all that came out was a tiny little trickle. It would have taken me 20 minutes to get all four tires wet, so I switched the knob to pre wash. Same pitiful trickle. Fine! High pressure soap it is. I switch the knob, pull the trigger, and due to the lack of black rubber thingie at the end of the nozzle (or so I'm convinced) the soapy water literally bounced off the van and back onto me. I was drenched. And by the way? Car wash soap tastes awful. And it's very hard to get off your glasses when your shirt is drenched with it too. And it burns when you inhale it. Blech.

Sigh. I 'high pressure wash' the van, which did very little to blast off the bug graveyard on my vehicle. How disappointing! So I break out the brush and scrub, scrub, scrub. The van is covered with thick pink soap, but when I go to rinse it off, the dirt and bug remains were still there. So as I carefully rinse off the soap to avoid a second dousing, I rub the as much of the van's surface as I can with my hand to get the dirt, grime, and carcasses off. I barely got all the soap rinsed off when my 20 minutes were up and I had no intention whatsoever of putting any more money into this little event. I put up the hose, climb in the van and go. I still need to go to Walmart, so I stop there and go in for the couple things I need. I know my shirt is damp and soapy looking, but hey when you need bread you need it, right? I grab the few things on the list and head home.

I walk in the door and R says, "Good workout, huh?" And I'm thinking - wow. I must be all glowy and exercisey looking. And then I go in the bathroom and silently freak out. From getting really sweaty at Zumba and then the hose down at the car wash, my hair looks like someone took superglue, coated my hair with it and then forced me to ride down the highway at 90+ miles an hour for it to dry. And people? I was walking around like this in PUBLIC. Unknowing. Ah, geez.

So if you see me featured on people of Walmart, please know that this was accidental and from now on, I'll be double checking my appearance after any combination of car wash and Zumba before I go anywhere else. Especially Walmart.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Being easily influenced is not always bad, right?

Throughout my life, every now and then I meet someone that makes me think "Wow. I wish I was more like that!" And then, to some extent, I am a little more like that. Not in a stalkerish single white female kind of way (at least I hope not) but more like I feel like I'm a better person for having known this person kind of way.

I have also found the reverse to be true. I've been around people that, for one reason or another, make me hope that I don't come across that way to others. But I have the same hope out of being around these people, too. I hope that knowing people I don't want to be like helps to make me a better person too.

Lately, I've been reading the archives of a fellow TopMommyBlog blogger. Her name is Kris and she writes Pretty All True. Here's the link - http://www.prettyalltrue.com. Her blog is just awesome. She is just awesome. Now I don't actually know her, but reading about someone's daily life gives me the impression that I do. And one of the ways I'd like to be more like her is in the way she deals with her kids when her kids are angry.

S is in what I hope is a phase of tears, anger, tantrums, and civil disobedience. On our trip to NC and back, when she'd get mad, she'd unbuckle her seat belt. The last five hours on our trip down? This happened a lot. Ideally, I realize that the solution to this problem lies in part to pulling over immediately and buckling her back up.

But...

She can buckle herself and when we are hurling down the highway at 70 miles an hour in the dark, I strongly feel that my requesting that she buckle her seat belt should be a sufficient prerequisite to S buckling her seat belt.

S? Did not agree. And it's not that I'm unconcerned about the safety of my kids, that is my main concern. But I also was not going to pull over on the side of the highway every minute or two to climb out of the car and rebuckle a seat belt that could be rebuckled without my assistance. What if the van was hit? What if I was hit getting out of or into the van and my kids had to watch that?!!? What if they got hit and I had to watch?!? But I also stayed calmer than I could ever have thought possible for a really long time. When I did pull over (safely at an exit into a parking lot) I fought the urge to yell since that never really helps anyway. We were all tired: tired of being in a van all day, tired of travel, tired of each other... just tired. I climb in the back of the van, buckle her up, start to climb out and she unbuckles her seat belt.

Grrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Me: S. You have to be buckled up in the car. You HAVE to.
S: NO.
Me: You have to. It's the law.
S: completely unconcerned about law "NO!"
Me: rebuckling "S. Young lady, keep this seat belt buckled!"
S: NO!!!!!!!! (unbuckles)

Stop. Breathe. Reboot. Count to 2784

Me: S. Why won't you leave your seat belt buckled?
S: I don't WANT TO
Me: I know. I know you don't want to. You're tired.
S: I NOT tired!
Me: You're tired of being in the car, right?
S: Go away Mommy. Go away and buckle your seat belt.
Me: (thinking this will make an interesting blog entry) I'll go away when you buckle and stay buckled. Don't you want to go see Grammy and Papa?
S: Yeeeesssssssss
Me: Then we have to buckle up.
S: NO. NO BUCKLE! NO NO NO NO NONOOOOOOOOOO
Me: Okay. No buckle.
T: WHAT?!?!?

I walk around the van and start to get in the drivers side. Then I think about it for a second, walk to the back of the van, open the trunk, grab a blanket out, close the trunk, walk back to the driver's side and get in, putting the blanket in the passenger seat.

Me: Well, since S doesn't want to buckle up, we'll just have to spend the night here in this parking lot. T? Do you want to get in the front seat since it leans all the way back?
T: YES! and he climbs up into the front seat and leans it back all the way.
Me: S, you can lie down in the seat, okay?
S: NO! I don't want to. I don't WANT to!!! I'm not lying down in the SEAT. I want to GO. I want to GO!!!!
Me: I know, honey, but I can't drive if you aren't going to keep your seat belt buckled. So we'll just spend the night here.
S: NO!!! I WANNA GO!!!!!! (Lots of wailing and crying and whining)
Me: (after waiting her out) The only way I'll know you mean it is if you buckle up. Let me know when you're ready or if you need help.
S: NO NONONONONONOOOOOOOO!!!!! NONONONOOOOOO!!!!!!!

silence

More wailing and crying while T pretend snores.

silence and then? click.

I look at T and raise my eyebrows. He sighs and gets back in his seat and puts on his seat belt.

And off we go. Within 5 minutes? S is sound asleep using the blanket as a pillow and a cover.

Thank you, Kris. Without your blog, I would have handled this a totally different, less productive, more frustrating way.

Friday, June 11, 2010

What a difference an L makes

A couple of weeks ago, S and I dropped T off at school and went to the book fair in the library. My thought was that I could see about picking up several different books to have as impromptu gifts should we ever get invited to a birthday party or something, since it was buy one, get one half off.

I tell S she can pick out any one book for herself. She chooses - of course - a Disney book with princess stories. It really is more for older kids, but it came with a clock (designed like the one in Beauty and the Beast) so you could make sure and get your 20 minutes in of daily recommended reading. It also came with 4 princess bookmarks. Okay fine..how much? No price on the book that I can see. Well, all the books I'd been looking at were 3-6 bucks, so I figure about 10 for the neato princess book with clock and bookmark.

We go to the register and the book is $24.99. Are you KIDDING me? So I try really hard to get S to choose another book instead. Not happening. I bend down and try to explain really quietly that this was more than I wanted to pay and that I didn't realize how much it costs and I don't have that much money with me. "That's okay" chirps the lady at the register "we take credit and debit cards too."Oh shut up, wench!

So S is screaming and crying and I'm pointing out about a million other books, all of which aren't good enough. Did I mention yet that this was in the school library and that school had begun at this point? So her screaming was bound to be disurbing all kinds of classes.

Oh my God.

So I say, "I'm sorry, honey, but we can't afford it." And this is what she screams, "NO NOOOO I want my cock! I want my cock!!!! I want my pretty princess cock! OOOOOHHHHH! My cock! MY COCK!!!!"I couldn't even look the lady at the register in the face as I pull out my debit card and pay for the cock book. And then I pick her up and sprint down the hall out of the school as she says, "Look at my cock" to everyone she sees.

This is SO going in her baby book. And the 'cock'? Already freaking broken.

Home again!

We ended up coming home today. I wanted the option of taking two days if I needed them and I want to make sure the medical stuff is all taken care of for sure on our side from the ER visit. Plus I need to call the YMCA and see if we can shuffle the day camp dates so T doesn't have to sit out of all the fun stuff!

Other than heavy traffic, it was another good trip. The van is trashed again, but I can clean that...and so can the kids. muahhaahaaaaa

As far as I'm concerned, the past is just that and Mom and I left things on a good note. T is being his usual boisterous self and it's allllll good.

S helped fill the time on the way home by coloring her face with markers. To not have a mirror or much experience, she did a decent job, but the folks at the rest stop looked at her strangely when we went to wash it off.

We stopped for dinner and to walk around a bit and someone asked T what happened to his finger. His reply? "I was trying to catch a spider with a glass and it didn't end well."
Amen! And HA!!!!!
S's response? "T go the doctor. T get sniches. Free sniches." This would have a totally different meaning in other parts of the world. Luckily we weren't in any of those places.

Overall it was a great trip, I'm glad we went. But this very tired gal is going to bed!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Shifting priorities

Apparently, there's nothing I like better from time to time than a reason to be outraged.

When I decided (pretty last minute for us) to plan the trip to NC, I told a friend of mine what I was thinking and she invited me to attend Zumba with her down here if I decided to come. Well, heck yeah! I love me some Zumba. So after I talked to R and we had sketched out a rough idea of when I would come and how long I would stay, I called Mom to ask her if she could watch the kids while I went to Zumba those two nights. She said yes. The plan making continued.

We made it down safe and sound and have had a great week swimming in the hotel pool and seeing family and friends. Turns out I got the Zumba days wrong, so I missed the Monday class seeing as how I thought it would be on Tuesday. But Mom was all set to watch the kids on Tuesday, so my friend and I did one of our marathon walk and talks. Gosh, how I miss those! (And how much I miss you, C!) We made plans to meet for Thursday Zumba and I decided that since we made it down here in a day, I could drive back in a day and we would leave on Friday. The kids have gymnastics on Saturday morning, or it wouldn't matter at all.

Today we are at Mom's and we are chatting and she tells me that she and her husband have a bridge tournament this weekend in (I think) Greenville, SC. Greenville is 2-3ish hours away from where Mom lives in NC. They have decided to leave Thursday night.

Oh.

But she will watch the kids while I go to Zumba, and what time do I think I'll be done? Zumba does not start until 7:15, so I won't be back to her house until 8:30 or 9:00.

Oh.

Now, I realize that my next paragraph or two is going to paint an unflattering, albeit honest portrait of me. So be it. My emotions swing wildly for the next minute or two as I sit there speechless. And then I get angry. Really, really angry.

I'm angry that there has been such a push for me to stay on Thursday night by Mom only to now find out they are going to be waiting on me to get back from Zumba so they can leave. Let me explain why this bothers me.

It bothers me that it's after 4 pm on Wednesday and I'm just now being told. It bothers me that NOW if they get a late start it's all going to be my fault it will add one more rock in the shoe of the dynamic between Mom, her husband and me. Trust me... the shoe? Full of rocks already. Nice, big, lumpy, sharp rocks.

So I'm sitting there, not really saying anything, trying to think through this in my head carefully but quickly before I say anything based solely on emotion that I might regret later. If their leaving depends on my coming back from Zumba, then there's no reason to stay for Zumba. I know Chris will understand but be disappointed (as am I!!!). But the upside to leaving for Illinois on Thursday is that we can take our time going back and hopefully the kids and I won't be so exhausted when we get there. We've been going hard this week. We are all tired (but in a good way). Plus, I kinda figured something like this would happen, because this kind of thing? Is really pretty common with Mom's husband.

So. If we are going to leave tomorrow, then I need to go and get a couple things for the trip back. I ask Mom if she'll watch the kids while I run to the store and she agrees. I also need a minute to myself to deal with this in a hopefully calm and mature manner. :snort: Also? :eye roll:

I call Chris and tell her what's going on. She's understanding, as always. She also feels my pain. I go to the store and get the few things I need. I called Dad to ask if we could stop by because I wanted to see him and Susan before we left to go home. And for whatever reason, the anger and frustration turned into tears, and then I had to try to explain why I was upset. He couldn't hear me very well and I really didn't want to talk about it anyway, so we agreed on a time that the kids and I would come over.

I get back to Mom's and she and the kids are taking a walk around the neighborhood. I get out of the car and Mom says something about not wanting me to leave until Friday. I ask her why she didn't tell me before a few minutes ago about the bridge trip and she says that she didn't tell me because she didn't want me to leave. I think she meant on Thursday. But really? What would it matter if I left on Thursday if she wasn't going to be here anyway? I have theories. Rest assured. The conversation doesn't really go anywhere, so we all take another lap around the neighborhood. I was supposed to meet my brother and his family for dinner after we went to see Dad, so I told Mom I needed to go back to the hotel and take a shower and therefore I needed to pack up the kids' stuff we had there and get a move on.

As we walk in the kitchen from the garage, T asks Richard for water. Richard gives him a glass versus a bottled water or a plastic cup. Brave. I head up to gather the kids' things and a few minutes later, I hear Richard call my name. Then I hear T crying. I go downstairs and see T with a bloody paper towel wrapped around his hand. What the hell!?!?!?

Priority shift.

Richard tells me that T has cut his finger and there might be glass in the cut. We go into the bathroom and I remove the paper towel and rinse off T's thumb. I want to see if I can tell if there's glass in there. I can't tell. What I can tell is that T and I will be spending some time in the ER. I turn off the water and realize then how badly it's bleeding. I wrap it back up, ask Mom to keep S, and off we go to the nearest hospital, which is actually pretty close. I call for authorization from our insurance on the way and when I explain what's happening, they tell me to G.O. GO to the nearest ER and call them the next day to handle the paperwork side.

We spend 3 1/2 hours in the ER, even though they take us back right away. They also get the bleeding stopped. T is going to have to have stitches. The bad news? He's going to have nerve blocker shots to numb his finger and they are going to hurt a LOT. T is not a shots kind of kid. I'm not looking forward to this for him. I try to strike a balance between honesty and not scaring him to death and while he's not happy about shots or stitches, his finger hurts pretty badly, so he's game for whatever will make his finger stop hurting.

The staff gets the nerve blocking stuff set up, careful to hide the needle from T. We have him hold my hand and look at me, and we begin. And he screams. And it rips my heart apart that not only is he hurting, but that I can't help and I have to make him go through this. Arggh. And then comes shot number two. And he screams. And I know what that feels like from having stitches in my lip after my first unkind encounter with a metal pole. The 'numbing' shots? Burn like you are on fire and I ended up opting not to be numb and to let the doctor just stitch me up without it. It was actually easier and less painful.

Then we wait for the numbing to take effect and I pull out all my silly mom tricks to get his mind off of it. Eventually it works and by the time they come in to do stitches, he's laughing and joking. The doctor explains in kid friendly terms what happens next and we begin. Well, we begin until they actually start poking around in the cut to make sure that there is no glass in there and then the screaming begins again. Oh, crap. He's not numb. The doctor shoots some more nerve blocker into the cut itself since the surface skin is numb. T is screaming bloody murder and rightfully so since we've been telling him for an hour how this wouldn't hurt anymore and then he gets more needles and burning. Oh my gosh! This poor kid!!!!! Then he sees the needle. And he just freaks. (Can't say that I blame him.) After that, we just had to hold him down and power through. Once we get the finger wrapped and we can go, T is okay. He just wants out of there and something to eat.

So. Wow. It turns out that T went outside with the glass of water, saw a spider, decided to catch it by putting the glass over it. So he pours out the water and tries to catch the spider under the glass. He does this by slamming the glass down over the spider on the concrete driveway. Naturally the glass shatters and pain and bleeding result. By the way? I have to get all of this from T, because Richard? Isn't saying a word about how it happened. And on an outraged mom front? I am ALL kinds of pissed that Richard would even give T anything to drink out of that was made out of glass in the first place since Richard knows that T has trouble with sensory issues and is always doing things too hard. Then again, why am I surprised? Mr. PhD in biochemistry also thought it would be a good idea to give T asprin as a toddler.

I wouldn't wish pain or distress on anyone, but what happened with T made me realize that while I'm upset over this sudden announcement of last minute change in plans, it's not the tragedy I was making it out to be. It's just a thing that is. And I will deal. And in the future? I'll figure out another child care solution for our visits to NC for the things I really, really want to do when I'm here.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Odds and ends

Just some odds and ends that made me laugh lately:

It took T 24 miles into our 700 mile trip to say, "Is it much further?" I say yes, we'll be driving all of that day and part of the next. Silence for a few minutes and then..."Well I might as well get comfortable then."

It took S 30 miles to spill her drink. Note to self - your brilliant idea that a convenience store cup with a lid and straw would be nearly as spill proof as a sippy cup? Not so brilliant. Your idea that something would likely get spilled while you are barrelling down the highway and can't pull over right away? Spot on. Your idea of putting a towel behind S's seat to catch any spills so it doesn't soak into the luggage? Now that was brilliant.

T was playing with his cousin Sunday and I asked him, 'Do you want to go with me to see Cinderella or do you want to stay here and play with your cousins?"
Without even looking up from what he was doing he says, "Will I have to sit still? If I have to sit still I don't wanna go. You'll want me to still still. You ALWAYS want me to sit still."

We visited my Grandmother who has Alzheimer's today. Sometimes, it's really hard to get her to talk to you. She'll reply if you ask her something and she decides to hear you (that's another story entirely), but she's not chatty very often anymore. We sat in one of the common rooms and Mom went and got her. Grandmother loves the idea of kids, so she got really excited when she saw T and S. We did the usual introductions since she doesn't remember us, and S started chattering to her after a few minutes.
G (to S): You are very pretty, aren't you?
S: I AM very pretty. I have blue eyes. My daddy has blue eyes. Grandpa has blue eyes. This is my best friend brother T. He has brown eyes. Mommy has brown eyes. Grammy has brown eyes. You have brown eyes.
G: You have eyes like your daddy (thinking that Mom's husband is S's father)
S: No, that's my grandpa. My daddy's at work. Daddy goes to work and Mommy goes to the gym.
G: You look just like your daddy. Your daddy is handsome (again, meaning Mom's husband).
S: No. My daddy at work. Daddy have blue eyes and I have blue eyes. That's Grandpa. Not Daddy. Grandpa.
G: You've been to see your Grandpa? That's nice.
S: NO! Daddy at work. That (point) is Grandpa. This is my mommy and this is my brother, T. That's my Grammy.
G: You are very pretty, aren't you?
S: Yes, I am pretty.
G: (laughs) Is this your Daddy? (meaning Mom's husband)
S: NO! That's not Daddy. Daddy at WORK. Daddy gets in his car and goes to work. Woooorrrrrrrkkkk.

T's had enough of this and chimes in....

T: We don't live here. We live at our island. We drove here. Dad is at our island at work. That's Grandpa. That's not our Dad. Grandpa. Grrraaaannnnndddddpppppaaaaaaa. Not Dad.
S: I have blue eyes!
T: We KNOW!
G:You sure are precious children. Where are your parents?
T: Mom is RIGHT THERE (pointing at me)
G: That's your mom?
S: That's our Mommy! Moooommmmiiieeeeeee. Moooooommmmmmmmmmiiiiiiiieeeeee
G: to me - Your children are precious.
Me: Thank you
S: (singing) lalalaaaaaaaaalaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa

It's the first time we've visited Grandmother in a couple years where she's been really chatty. I told Mom that we may have stumbled on a great solution: let S and Grandmother talk at each other. They are having slightly different conversations, but they both end up really happy about it.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Diet Diary Day - entry 13

First things first.... weigh in on Saturday and I'm down about 3 more pounds. I say 'about' because I can't remember the .whatever that the digital scale said. If it was .4 I'm down another 3.2. If it said .8, I'm down 2.8. Either way, weight loss is weight loss and I'll take it!!!!!

I'm traveling this week. It should be interesting because food on the go normally does not equal very healthy. I did really well on Saturday on the road until about 9 pm. The kids were really good about us not stopping too much and I was really good about not having a lot of snacky/junk food in the car. But once I decided to try and drive all the way and it started getting dark, I was getting tired. We went through a McDonald's drive thru and got food for the kids. Well, that was the intention.

S wanted chicken, T wanted and I quote, "a burger. But I want two brown things and two pieces of cheese and ketchup. And I want the pattern to go like this...bread, brown thing, cheese, cheese, brown thing, bread."

Heeeheeee! Can you imagine that conversation through a drive thru speaker? Yes, I would like a double cheeseburger with ketchup only, but could you please assemble the burger the following way.....

Not happening. Food service workers are more likely to do horrible things to orders like that. Which reminds me, I need to share some of my Pizza Hut stories one of these days - not that I would ever do anything like that, of course. Muahhahaaaaaaaaa.

But I agreed to the double cheeseburger, so I figured I could get a kids meal for T, one for S, and then just a double cheeseburger. I could eat T's cheeseburger and we'd all be happy. And full. And have had our quota of fast food for the day.

I'm not exactly sure what happened next, but I ended up with a free double cheeseburger and iced tea from the McD's worker, who was a shameless flirt and looked like he was all of 12 years old. It's been a loooooong time since someone flirted with me who wasn't my husband. It was funny and strange and surreal. But somewhere down the road when I was trying really hard to stay awake and alert, I ate that double cheeseburger. And it was....kinda greasy and blech. And the karma diet gods? Probably really laughed when a big blob of ketchup from that flirty and free double cheeseburger landed squarely on my shirt. They also probably smirked when I felt yucky the entire next day. How did I ever, ever used to eat like that all the time?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Take a break driver eight

We made it from home to North Carolina in one day. Even after leaving a full hour after I had expected to leave.

And let’s talk about those expectations for juuuuust a minute. And the fact that this post may take 12 hours to read. Just warning you....

I had a plan. WE had a plan. Granted it was a kind of spur of the moment type plan, but it was a good plan, a solid plan. :snort:


R signed up for a swimming course at the Y on Saturday mornings at the ungodly hour of 8 am. What was he thinking? I have no idea, other than since he’s usually up by 5 and at work by 7, possibly an 8 am class is not early to that crazy man? Whatever, I’m not complaining. In fact, thank you Uncle Sam! His inability to sleep late means that on the weekends, he’ll get up with the kids because the thought of the kids climbing into bed with us and all of us just hanging out there is simply torture to R. Beds are for sleeping, people, and you do not cross purposes! Except for an exception or two that is SO not the topic of this post. A-hem. Bed hanging out. It just isn’t done. But like I said, I benefit greatly from this (uh…plus he feeds them breakfast, so I’ll just be shutting up about early rising now) so complaining would be rude.

A couple weeks ago, I signed the kids up for a six week gymnastics course. Same gym as the swim course, only it’s at 9:45. Much more decent time o’the mornin’. And the only slots they had available for both kids. Not a problem. At that point there were no vacation plans to interfere. Any other Saturday, R would have gotten up gone to his class, I would have gotten up, gotten the kids ready, taken them to gymnastics, done my workout at the same time and life would be grand.

This Saturday, however, we were planning to drive to NC. It’s about a 12 hour trip. The earliest I could leave would be after gymnastics at 10:30. Doable. The kids would be tired and we could drive as long as possible and then stop for the night. As long as we at least made it halfway, I’m good. So Friday night, R and I discuss “the plan”. We’ve been married long enough for me to realize that what I mean when I say words isn’t always exactly how he hears them. I also know that any objections or questions he has will not come up until we are in the middle of ‘the plan’ unless he just flat out refuses to do something.

So here was my proposal: we all go to the gym together (I thought I said separate cars, apparently I did not – but I meant to, honestly!) for his 8 am class. I can put the kids in the child care room and work out myself from 8 to 9. At that point, I leave and go home to shower, change, and pack the car. R hangs with the kids (or leaves ‘em in the child care room and reads a book or something) until their class starts at 9:45. He stays there, and I come back fully packed and loaded and ready to pick up the kids and hit the road. Now would be a great time to mention that R wasn’t coming with us, hence the need for separate vehicles. Sounds great, no? I thought so too. I packed everything we’d need the night before other that what I needed to shower and change, so really all I had to do was put the last few things in and load the car. Easy peasy.


Saturday morning. Alarm goes off at 6 am. 6 am is a perfectly reasonable hour. When the kids were babies, sometimes 6 am seemed like mid morning. So, 6. Only, I’m exhausted and I’m not getting up at 6, no matter how loudly you buzz, alarm clock. Also? Snooze! So there! I’m going to the gym. There is no need to take a shower only to work out and have to take another shower. That’s just a huge waste of time and water. Therefore, I can sleep until at least 6:36. I don’t know what time I actually got out of bed, only that it’s still in the 6ish range and my bladder has informed my brain that yes, we will indeed be getting up NOW. Fine! I’m up. I’ve got the kids' clothes picked out already so all they have to do is get up and get dressed. And eat something that no one has to cook. I’ll be honest, I have no idea what I did between the time I got up and the time we left for the gym. I know I got dressed and put the kids’ bathroom stuff in the overnight bag and I know I meant to brush S’s hair…Oh, wait. I had to check email and CafĂ© World so my dishes wouldn’t spoil. Yeah, that was the time killer. Oops.

Still, we were ready to hit the door at 7:35, which was plenty of time to get to the gym by 8. Only for R, being on time means being at least 15 minutes early. For me, it means being there right at the appointed time – but I will say I’ve gotten a little better about that over the years…most of the time. I’m still thinking separate cars, but R gets into the van. Okaaay. So I get in the van too and I can tell he’s frustrated by the set of his jaw and the general aura of displeasure now swirling around him. I love my husband. No lie – he’s an absolutely incredible man, but seriously? I’m about to drive halfway across the country with two kids under 6 solo, so if you’ve got something to say man, speak up. Like I said though, this is our hot button issue (at least for me) and we’ve had this exactly same freaked up communication pattern since we got together. If he’s not going to speak up until the last minute, that’s okay. But I no longer try to drag it out of him, because he’s not going to speak up until the last minute. And actually, now that I think about it, that is sort of progress because he used to wait until it was said and done to spit out what would have been an extremely reasonable request. But I can’t help you out unless you TELL me, and if you tell me after the fact, not only can I not help you, then I’m annoyed that I asked at least three times, any version of ‘are you SURE you’re okay with this?’ and no one spoke up. GAH!

Anywho, we pull out of the driveway and I say, ‘What is it?’ I can almost see the words in his mouth trying to hammer through his teeth and escape.
“nothing”
“except….”
“it’s nothing”
Silence and waiting
We are out of the driveway and heading up the street. Do you hear crickets chirping? No? It’s just me? Okay.
Waiting….
“It’s just that…”
Uh huh! I think to myself. “What?”
We are now at the end of the street. I know what he’s going to say..he’s confused, why are we driving together, how is this going to work? I agree, because that was MY plan from yesterday. I have no idea how all of us being in the same vehicle is going to work well for any of us, but I thought that’s what he wanted. Like maybe this is a last minute push to spend some time with us before we leave for a week.
“I guess I’m just confused.” (Confused - check. Separate cars are better up next)
“confused about…..”
“how are we going to do this with one vehicle?” (why are we driving together – check)
“What to do you mean?” (I know, I’m a bitch, but it’s so FUN when he does this) “Stop!” I say as he starts to turn on the next street. “Let’s talk about this now before we go any further.”
“I just don’t know what we are doing.”
“Tell me what you mean, exactly.” (you want to take your car….)
“Well, how is this going to work?”
“We go to the gym – you take your swim class, I put the kids in child care, I work out. I come home, take a shower, pack the car, you get the kids to gymnastics, I come back pick us all up, I guess bring you home…”
“Yeah . I mean, isn’t that backtracking? “ He starts to pull out again.
“Stop. Don’t go any further away from the house until we agree on what we are doing.”
“But. Just.” Frustrated sigh. (aww..he has verbal block so I let him off the hook)
“I thought we were taking separate cars, I have no idea why you got into the van.”
“Oh!” The relief on his face was comical. Poor guy.
We turn around and get his car. (Separate cars, check)

We get to the gym and go our separate ways. Child care doesn’t open until 8 am, so we have about 5 minutes to wait. I use this to groom our kids, because apparently neither one of us paid any attention to how they looked when we left the house. S’s hair hadn’t been brushed, and they both had sleep crust in the corners of their eyes and the remains of breakfast on their faces. Wow. How did I miss that? So I get the kids cleaned up and off they go. I work out and realize that I can’t just leave when I’m done without making sure that R and I are still on the same page. All I need is for the Y to think I’m walking out without the kids…whoooooooo. So I hang out and wait for R and we restate the plan. Only by the time I leave, it’s 9:30 and I don’t have enough time. Also? T can’t find his Leapster, and I was counting on that to keep him busy for the majority of the trip so I need to try and find it.

I get home, shower, dry my hair, get dressed, look upstairs for the Leapster. No dice. Uh oh. I drag the bags downstairs, look downstairs for the Leapster. No dice. It’s not outside, not in the car, not in a closet or behind the couch. Not in a cabinet or a kitchen drawer. And, it’s already 10:30. I’m supposed to be picking up the kids now. I still haven’t gotten ice for the cooler or gas for the van, or packed the car. And this is where I went mostly wrong. When I hurry like this, I will actually throw anything I can find in the car that I think I might need, especially when I’m compensating for the loss of a favorite toy. I start chucking things in the car: big suitcase, overnight bag, bag with my laptop (priorities, yo!), S’s potty ring that you can sit on top of any standard toilet (and also…sanitary!) and some other stuff, a bag of snacks, a bag of bathing suits and towels, the duffel bag we used for bathing suits and towels when we went to Six Flags’ Hurricane Harbor, Lysol wipes, hand soap, extra Ziploc and trash bags, rain jackets, extra shoes, extra towels and paper towels, the kids’ swim rings, and some toys….etc. So basically, the van is full. FULL. I jump in and take off, forgetting the jacket mom asked me to bring, my good sandals, and juice for the kids. I also forget to mail three cards I’ve been meaning to mail since Tuesday. Whew. I try to call R on the way to let him know I’m running late, because I’m sure he hasn’t figured that out yet seeing as how it’s now 10:45 and I was R late as of 10:15. No answer.
I pull in the parking lot around 11. Everyone is fine. Me? I’m sweating like I just took a Zumba class. I’m so glad I took that shower.

Tune in tomorrow for part two (yes, there is so so much more :P )

Friday, June 4, 2010

How did I miss this?

I like to think of myself as a detail oriented person. If I know you (and sometimes even if I don't) I will usually notice if you've had your hair cut, get new glasses, or are looking particularly fabulous. I will pay attention to personal details, your mentioned likes and dislikes and file these little nuggets away in my brain where they replace perfectly good info, like what day it is and what time the parent teacher conference is (but that's why I have a calendar, right?).

At the beginning of this week, I somehow missed a post on Facebook that a good friend of mine lost her Grandpa. I have no idea how that could possibly happen, Lord knows I'm on FB enough to be able to keep up with this stuff. But I did miss it. Luckily for me, a mutual friend of mine (Thanks, T) emailed me to let me know. I'm slipping.

And then this morning, I am logging in to our bank account and notice that there's an 'In Memoriam' section on the HOME page for a branch manager I knew. I click on it, and he died in APRIL. How on earth did I miss this? I check our bank accounts a lot. You do that when you are budgeted as tightly as we are right now. (COLA - I miss you and the monetary stress relief and freedom you provided. Sniff). So I'm feeling sad at the loss of two wonderful people who made this world a much better place while they were here. I'm miffed with myself for being so unobservant.

RIP and God Bless Ron and Grandpa! You will be missed by many.