Sunday, December 22, 2013

A new twist on an old classic...

Twas the week before Christmas and all through my house, every creature was fighting including the mouse.  Their stocking were dirty and thrown without care, no one thought ole St. Nicolas wouldn't stop here.

The children are wrestling and no one's in bed, one just got hurt and one yelled $#!@ head.  But dad is at work and mom's little night cap, has settled her in for a long winter's nap.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter, someone should really go and see what is the matter!
Then right threw a window it flew like a flash, it tore off a shutter and threw up the sash.

But what to my neighbors sore eyes would that be? but my children screaming like Irish banshees.
I knew in a moment we must look a hot mess, so I dashed in the house to get myself dressed.

Now Jones, and Foxes, and Curry and Wales, now Richards and Norton and Bertke and Gails.
Go back to your porches! Go back to your homes!
There's nothing to see here just leave us alone.

And then in a twinkling I heard in my ear, the screaming of each of my children so near.
As I grabbed my head from that terrible sound, they started again and both hit the ground.

Their eyes little slits and their faces red as a rose, and the snot pouring out of each of their nose.
Their mad little mouth draw drawn into a crease, neither one going to give up or release.

They were both crying and yelling, "Where did you throw the Elf!"
That I just had to start laughing, in spite of myself.

Then I spoke not a word but went straight back inside, to find the damn Elf and make him go hide.
Then using my finger to signal like this, (not THAT signal) they both came to me Alexander and Chris.

Then I sprang into action and sent them to bed, and they flew up the stairs afraid I'd lose my head.
But they heard me exclaim as they ran out of sight - "If you don't shape up soon ther'll be NO Christmas night!!!"

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


Saturday, December 14, 2013

I got my Do-over...sort of

I remember having a conversation with my Aunt before we had children.  She and my uncle had waited 10 years to have kids and my husband and I were on that track.  Not because we didn't want children, we both had our issues.

The first time she asked what was holding me back I gave my standard smart-ass answer of: "The government has analyzed our DNA and asked us not to reproduce." She wasn't buying. She was patient and kind and asked until I really had to analyze what was holding me back. I finally blurted out, "Because I am afraid they will turn out just like me!"

With absolute love and sincerity she said to me, "I think that would be wonderful! You are an amazing person."  Well, it's obvious I didn't feel the same. I don't think I was quite convinced until, well maybe today.

My youngest who is mostly like his dad in personality, but I think has my anxiety disorder has had a rough week.  The school has been dealing with A.L.I.C.E Training all week.  This is teaching children to fight or evade an armed gunman.  While most of us cringe it is obvious that it is a necessity.

He has been "sick" all week, in my bed every night, and determined not to go to school.  I talked with the teacher and the principal and when the day of the drill arrived I ended up not only taking him to school but walking him inside.

As fate would have it his teacher was in the office.  She came over and asked why he was at school so early.  He just put his little head down and I said, "He's still a little worried about the drill." What are you worried about? she asked.  So he says, "Well, You said the drill is at 10 o'clock. That just doesn't work for me."

The woman's eyes filled up with tears, she turned her head wiped them away and then calmly said to him "Ok. Here's the good thing about it being at 10, we get it over with and then we have all day to do fun stuff. Do you want to see what we are going to do today? Would you like to come to the classroom and help me set it up?"

That's all it took. He gave me a hug and I whispered in his ear "You are SO brave! I love you."
(then went out tot he car and cried)

I emailed her later to thank her for taking such great care of my son and the impressive amount of restraint she showed not busting out laughing.  Her email back was cute. "I swear that boy is a 70 year-old woman trapped in a little boys body. Boy will I have stories to tell after today."

OMG. When we were first married I used to tell my husband all the time that he was a naggy old wash woman.  I swore that in his past life he was a cranky old lady that sat at the river all day beating clothes on a rock.

It hit me this morning in the shower.  We got a Do Over!! My husband and I got a Do Over.
Our Children.

Our children may be just like us, my biggest fear, but now they have us.  And I get a chance to say and do and BE all the things I wished I had growing up. A soft place to land, a voice of reason, calm in the storm, a shoulder to lean on, a warm snuggle in the middle of the night.....

We are by no means perfect , my husband and I, but hopefully we've helped these two beautiful souls on their journey, just by being us.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Vulnerability def. (Spoiler Alert!! this one is deep)

My sister recently introduced me to Brene Brown and after watching her TED talk I had to look up her website.  She is real and honest and self-deprecating - I love that and she was partnering with Oprah for an eCourse in art journaling and her book The Gifts of Imperfection.  Yes! This is just what I need.

My neighbor and I eagerly signed-up both committed to make more "me" time and excited for a good reason to bust out all our art supplies and organizational tools we hoard.  I mean own, I mean have just lying around the house. Whatever!

I will not re-quote the whole book or go into a lot of detail but she is a shame researcher who after 10 years of collecting this data and a non-breakdown but spiritual awakening she was inspired to write about how to live a wholehearted life.  Her main point is embracing our vulnerability.  So you can imagine my reaction to that.....HAHAHAHA, I got this!

I mean have you read my blog? There is not much I'm not willing to throw out there. Anxiety disorder, parenting screw-ups, general hot mess.  Vulnerability is my middle name.

Because she is big on definitions I decided to make sure that I had the definition.

 vul·ner·a·ble: open to moral attack, criticism, judgment, etc

Want to clear a room faster than a Vegetarian after dinner? Tell them your having a panic attack. Or explain why you chant STFU while your son screams and bangs his head against the wall because he doesn't want to wear pants to school.  Or show up to the Kindergarten sing 15 minutes late - with the toddler who doesn't want to be wearing pants.
 
You get the idea.  Anyway I was thinking that I had this course Aced already.  Not that we are being graded or that I have to get an A, but that's a whole nother blog. But as I read and thought and tried to feel what she is saying - wholeheartedly - I realize I have missed the point completely.
 
This is not a vulnerability contest.  Being the most vulnerable doesn't get you the A! (Darnit!) It gets you here...where I am.  Searching for answers, friends, love, approval.   Not that we all don't want those things but those of us with excruciating vulnerability are desperate.
 
Why? Brene writes..."I didn't want my level of self-love to limit how much I can love my children or my husband. Because loving them and accepting their imperfections is much easier..." than loving myself.  Exactly! I don't think you can be excruciatingly vulnerable and feel too darn good about yourself.
 
"Practising self-love means learning how to trust ourselves, to treat ourselves with respect, and to be kind and affectionate toward ourselves."  So in others words, we can't give what we don't have.
 
I told you this was deep....will that get me an A?
 
 
 
Brene Brown's TED talk

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Love and Boys.....

Before we had children I was convinced that if we had boys "the talk" would be his job, and if they were girls "the talk" would be my job. Silly me!

(Please feel free to re-read the blog regarding my first sex-talk with the 10 year-old....yeah it went THAT well!)

So I wondered into the 10 year-old's room the other night to make sure that he had picked up his room like I asked and tell him it was tome for lights out.  The room of course was a hot mess and he was snuggled up in bed still in his clothes reading the newest Percy Jackson book.  So I snuggled up with him and asked him how he liked the book.  "IT'S AWESOME!" duh, mom.

But then he closed the book and said, "Mom can I ask you something?"
"Sure."
"What does a crush feel like?"

Whoa! That's no easy question.  I have not thought about him in years.  I only remember one classic crush - you know that boy that you thought hung the moon - but he didn't know you existed.  How did that feel? How did that feel? Awful. That's not what I want to tell him because everyone should have a crush.

"Giddy."
"Giddy? Is that good, like happy?"
"Yep."
"Mom, what does love feel like?"

Whoa! A one two punch.  Wow. Love. I know what I would like it to feel like for you my beautiful boy.  I want it to feel like sunshine on your face, ice cream for dinner, baby's laughter, and scoring the winning point all at the same time.

Love should be patient, and kind. Because Love is Hope.

Love should not envy, or boast, love should not be proud.  It should not dishonor others, or be self-seeking, love should not be easily angered, it should never keep record of wrongs.  

Love should always protect, always trust, and always persevere your heart.  Love should feel good.

At least that is my hope for you my beautiful boy - My Hope, My love.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

I suck!

There are 2 words that you never want to hear out of your child's mouth.....

What happened? I was raising a little boy.  A sweet beautiful boy that laughed and giggled, danced in front of the sliding glass door so that he could see himself, showed me everything that he made in school, and would still play make believe with his little brother.

What happened? I now have a big tall beautiful boy who is worried about his hair, his clothes, and who is in the popular group.  And why isn't he?  He's sullen and moody and "bored".  His three favorite phrases right now are:
"You won't get it."
"Never mind"
"I suck"

Oh my beautiful baby boy.  You do not suck.  You are ten-years-old and growing up to fast.

You are light and joy personified.  You are smart and funny.  You are athletic and agile and quick and strong.  You are great at math and a voracious reader.  You are kind and honest and true.  You are creative. You are a leader. You are a good singer and a fabulous dancer! You are love.

But you will forget these things from time to time as hormones serge and friends come and go....as games are lost and grades slip....as girls start to pay attention and then stop.....as life gets harder and school gets more demanding.....as you yourself get in your own way.

I am here to remind you.  You do not suck.  You are the most precious gift the universe has to offer and I am so blessed to be with you on your journey.  You are loved and worthy and you are the best part of me - love personified.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Big Day

So after 10 weeks of sitting out, our ten-year-old tree faller was finally cleared to play this week. Today was the big day.  10:30 game.  He was up by 7.30 and after a half an hour of worthless TV we made some dip eggs and peanut butter toast. He started to collect is soccer gear as I collect the sleepy and unwilling little brother.

We piled into the car an hour before the game. Thank goodness because we did have to go back for something.  But with only a 20 minute drive we were still a good 25 minutes early.  Which was the plan, well Mom's plan anyway.  I knew that his nerves would get the better of him.

When we got to the field he sat in the car doubled over crying that he was going to throw up.  To which his mother, the non-athlete replied "Ok throw-up now then you'll be ready to run."  He gave me that look I used to give my mother when I wanted to say, "Shut -up Dumbass!" I was glad I just got the face.  I made him jog a couple of laps with me which was hysterical.  As I am trying not to look like I am dying my son who runs like a gazelle has now lapped me twice.

One of his teammates showed up and looked at us like we were crazy.  Z's mom breathlessly yelling instructions at him from 100 feet behind.  "Grapevine, high knees, skip, sprint" I swore I heard the kid say, Is that your mom? Now I'm sure he's totally mortified as other teammates start to appear because he ran to the bathroom.  When he came out to change into game gear the opposing team was starting to arrive.  We couldn't see the kids just that they were wearing the colors of his old soccer team. 

I watched his whole body sag.  I told him not to let that get in his head because no matter what it's just a game and his first one of the season - literally!  Then through that voice I don't often hear from my now big strong, tall as me, ready for the world, ten-year-old boy I hear, "Mom, I'm really nervous." I wanted to be Bounty-the Quicker Picker Upper so badly at that moment.  But instead, I committed the ultimate ten year-old boy mom sin - I grabbed him in a bear hug and kissed him on the cheek.

The seven year-old and I took our chairs and set them up on the side lines.  The other moms all gave me a thumbs up and a sympathetic he's OK mom look.  I was so grateful the coach didn't start him because my heart was pounding in my ears.  I could hear John Fogerty in my head....Put me in Coach I'm ready to Play - Today.

Five minutes into the game he put him in as Striker which is a position my son has never played to my knowledge.  One minute later he scored the first goal of his career and the first of the game.  Our bench erupted! Mom's were cheering, Dad's were whooping - one Dad came over to shake my hand and one yelled "Welcome back Z!"

I am not going to lie.  I was too shocked and proud and awed to speak.  I was stunned.  I was trying not to let the tears roll down my face as he strode back to position his teammates squealing and high fiving and he just shrugged with a slight grin on his face.  As if to say, "Aw shucks, it was nothing."

But it wasn't nothing, he has worked so hard for this moment.  From writing a contract promising his dad he'd practice everyday if he could join this new more expensive soccer team.  To going to every practice, scrimmage, and game and sitting most of that on the sideline with a bum elbow.  To hours of therapy letting mom and a stranger push and pull his arm until the tears ran down his face from the pain.

Yep, today was his day. A moment neither of us will soon forget. Today was his Big Day. Congratulations!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Out of balance

Are the stars out of alignment? It is time for a full moon already?  PMS - again?!

I am not sure what the situation, especially considering I am the only woman in the house but the balance is off.  Everyone is in a funk, a mood, a rut and since I am one of those, I am having a hard time fixing it.

The first thing to do was figure out why I want to put on my PJ's and sleep until Spring.  I've been blaming it on the weather changing from 84 degrees on Sunday to 54 degrees on Monday. That's weather in the Midwest and I've lived her all my life.  I know that it is coming.  But that doesn't mean I'm ever ready.

It wasn't just the weather though.  I knew there was something more than that I just couldn't put my finger on it.  Could it be that I got myself prepped and ready to start work this fall? And no there is no work.  I really do need to find some work and the stress of waiting to get the call to sub, but not getting the call to sub is crazy.  Well, that and I sort of forgot I was going to dip my toe back into the work world. Hard to be stressed over something you've never had.

That's when I figured it out.  We recently had to upgrade the Internet because our service provider stopped providing service.  This was making it very difficult to get an Internet connection.  We went with a package that not only gave us high speed Internet, which is an amazing thing, but also.....wait for it....Cable TV.

Yep, that's right.  We have not walked but RUN high speed into the 20th Century.  But it wasn't until this morning when I was laying on the couch for 3 hours watching a Brothers On Call marathon that it dawned on me. It's the cable!!

The Feng Shui has been destroyed.  The balance undone. And the only change is the addition of cable TV.  No wonder I'm depressed.  I didn't know all that I didn't know until cable came along.  I've decided there is only one answer - a total family makeover! (it was either that or replace the family and that sounded a little harsh after I typed it)

So stay tuned for the next episode.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

A little information goes a long way....

We hosted a dinner party recently and had WAY to much left over beer.  My husband and I rarely drink so when we made pizza a couple nights later and I popped open a beer (to share for goodness sake) my husband felt the need to explain to the boys what we were doing, and why, and most importantly that he NEVER does this (seriously).  If you know my husband, you know this means preaching. Can I get an Amen?!

The seven-year-old was fascinated with this beer thing that daddy preached about for 20 minutes.  What is this dangerous drink that will lead to a life of ill-repute???? I let him taste it, that's all it took. But daddy's speech was very convincing.

Later that night as I was trying to put the boy to bed in 30 minutes or less (that should be a show) I was pushing him along so that we could get a shower, teeth brushed, blah blah blah.  He was not loving this little extra push.  Ok- probably because there was nothing little about this push, the shower and pat dry took all of 5 minutes most of which I was scrubbing, scouring, brushing, and buffing.

As I was rubbing a towel over him he finally looked at me and "What is wrong with you?" Well this did not go over well late on a Sunday night with half a beer headache.  I told dad it was up to him to take over before I boiled over.

They went into his bedroom to get PJ's and I hear my seven-year-old say to my husband,
"Dad. Mom's been drinking again and when she drinks then she acts like this" to which I began to laugh hysterically in the other room.  My husband who had been upset when I chastised him for giving a 20 minute speech on the perils of drinking now calmly looked at my son and said, "Enough! it's time for bed stop stalling."

After the kids were tucked away for the night my husband came to me giggling a much needed apology for his speech.  "You were right. That kid doesn't miss a beat."   Nope - not one.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Homeland security here he comes

My seven-year-old has come to a disturbing conclusion.  Last week he came to me and said, "Mom, the school nurse is not there to help me like you said." 

Really? I asked playing stupid cause I already know what the deal is with the school nurse.  The school nurse is like the American Embassy in a foreign country.  It's all about appearances.  Look good, look like we care, but really just keep people where they are.

"Yes", says my little counter-intelligence officer in training, "She won't even let you go home unless you are bleeding, vomiting, or have a broken bone.  So when I scraped my leg on my desk and it was bleeding - there was real blood - A LOT- do you know what she did mom? Do you? She wiped it off, stuck a Band-Aid on it, and sent me back to class."

"NO!" I wailed in mock horror.

"Mom, we have to get my desk fixed."

Thanks for sticking with the mission kid.  No if you could just get the 411 on that janitor with one eye.....

Note to Friends: If I should die, someone please erase my computer!

I was thinking tonight while writing another scathing soliloquy regarding my husbands behavior that should something happen to me, I hope no one goes traipsing through my laptop.  And I don to say that to point a finger at anyone but myself.

Nothing would be worse than my kids losing their mother only to find out that, not only can she cuss like a drunk sailor, but she really hated their father.  Or so it would seem after reading my collection of notes. 

Some of the titles might give them away like:
Mother @^%#^ Son of a #^&@ - Part One and Two
SERIOUSLY!!
Oh no he didn't - again

The time stamp would be the other dead give away that something was amiss because nothing was penned during daylight hours.  In general all of these are between the hours of 1 a.m. and 5 a.m.  when getting back to sleep after said fight is just not going to happen.

Should I be more worried that this is not completely normal? We all do it right! Right?  Oh come on I can't be the only woman whose husband has a dumb-ass attack now and then.  (If there is another type of man out there please don't tell me.)

I guess I really should be more careful now that they can both read and that because they are more tech savvy then I am.  So that is why I implore you my friends - should something happen to me, just make sure one of you gets to the laptop first.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Call me Bounty....the Quicker Picker Upper

It has recently become crystal clear to me that I am more absorbent than an entire roll of Bounty.  I am the original Quicker Picker Upper.

My youngest, now seven, is having a tough transition back to school.  Every morning is a delicate dance between the two of us.  I try not to let him see that he is getting to me and that I'm thinking that letting him stay home seems way easier than getting him on the bus.  He tries with relentless persistent to convince me that he is too sick to continue.

It was after one of these mornings that I went for a walk with my therapist.  No, I do not have an extremely forward thinking psychologist, I have a wonderful friend who is always there for me.  I was still shaking when we started walking. I was saying how yucky I felt after getting the boys off to school. 

That's when it dawned on me.  Duh-Bounty! I'm the Quicker Picker Upper.  Somewhere in my crazy mixed up mommy mind I convinced myself that if I suck up all the anxiety, angst, or anger of my boys it will somehow disappear for them.  NOT. Nice try mom. But wouldn't it be nice.

Isn't that what we all want? To make our children's pain go away.  Whenever the boys ask what super power I would have if I could pick, I always say healing.  Now I am thinking the super power I really want - fearlessness.

If my son and I were the Wonder Twins now that would be really cool.... Wonder Twins power activate! Form of Fearlessness! Shape of Skittles!

I know it doesn't make sense, but neither did the Wonder Twins. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ktUx57i63e0

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Perfect Storm

Have you ever had one of those times in your life when everything just came at you in such a way you thought - What the ???

I am so there.  It started last weekend.  One by one my family started dropping like flies.  Well, more descriptive to the situation they started losing their minds.  It started with the youngest, apropos.  He was just not ready for school to start or daddy to leave on his trip.  Too much stressful stuff all in one box for my beautiful little boy.  Hence, he became The Shrieking Banshee.  Every time I turned around that child was screaming at the top of his lungs.

It didn't take long for my other son to follow him down the rabbit hole.  He suddenly realized that there was a reason I had been asking him to finish his summer homework assignments a little at time all summer long.  He now had about three days to get it all done and Mom wasn't feeling very altruistic at this point.  He became Eeyore.  Humphing, sitting in his room, finally resorting to tears.  OK, trying to use a glue stick with one hand due to the broken elbow was probably pushing it, I caved in to help him get that done.

My husband feeling the stress of leaving me all alone with the kids while they were both falling apart, oh and maybe the fact that he was just realizing what all needed to be done before he left decided it was his turn.  He turned into The Incredible Hulk.  He could be fine one minute but then the Shrieking Banshee would start in and suddenly The Hulk would appear.

I literally felt like I was in the middle of a bad Avenger's episode as someone like Pepper Potts.  No super powers, special suits, or real talents- just good looks.  (Don't know about you but I just cracked myself up!! Ah, that was a good one, give me a minute.)

But feeling the stress of all that was happening myself, running from one mess to the next, and to totally top this hot mess off- I was PMS'ing.  I swear our house looked like the scene from Ghostbusters where the ghost has taken over the roof of the apartment building and it's now glowing green and swirling with clouds.

It was not my finest moments...nor is it winning me Mother of the year.  But you know what they say about a Perfect Storm - it can only happen once a century. Thank God!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

my baby, my big boy, or both

So you would think after my ten-year-old's two foot fall from a tree, broken elbow, and consequent surgery I would be writing all about the dramatic event.  Maybe later.

Needing to separate the boys today my husband took the little man on a marathon errand run.  I really could have used a nap, a drink, or a valium maybe.  I was just completely stressed out and not even sure why.  OK well that is not entirely true, but as I said that story will have to wait for another day.

My son asked what he and I were going to do since it was just us....um, nothing? That wasn't going to fly so I said, Well we should try to return your soccer jacket. YES! So off we went with only one thing in mind, well one thing on my mind anyway.  After returning the jacket his question was "Where to now?"  So I asked if he was in the mood to go clothes shopping because, silly Mom,  I figured he would want to wait until he got his cast off.

You see, about a week ago my ten-year-old son who wore nothing but shorts and t-shirts all last year, in fact the same shorts and t-shirt but that is neither here nor there asked if we could go shopping.  My first reaction was "For what?" Duh mom! Clothes. Really-duh?

So off we went today to the mall in search of clothes.  I was still a bit tentative but my son walked confidently into the boys department.  He knew what he wanted.  Starting with a black Fedora, black skinny jeans, and a plaid button down.  I was dumb struck. We went into the dressing room to try on the outfit.

I will admit my absolute bias but damn he is so cute! and the confidence with which he put that outfit together then proceeded to strut around the dressing room broken arm and all.  He looked at me and said "Mom, I look good! Like Bruno Mars."  Better than Bruno baby.  He also picked out some red jeans and a graphic t-shirt.

All I could think was almost 48 hours ago I was literally cradling this boy in my lap, singing in his ear, feeding him, taking him to the bathroom and now here we are - on the edge of seventeen.  Heaven help me.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Oh the pressure....

My husband and I are embarking on our first grown-up weekend away - ever.  Our oldest is ten. My husband is a tightwad. But it gets worse.

The more people that know about our little get away, and you can thank my husband the mouth for telling everyone he trains at the gym, sees on the street, or within shouting distance of this plan, the more stressed I get.

Everyone has an opinion.  From "What took you so damn long!" to "Get the weekend started right and give him (sorry I absolutely will not repeat it) in the car." And just the questions - where are you staying, what restaurants are you going to, what will you do there????

OH the Pressure!!!

Have I failed to mention over and over again in this column that my husband and I are Lucy and Ricky Ricardo.  Have I also failed to mention we can not go somewhere in the car without fighting? And the fact that we have 2 totally different philosophy's on what is fun?

Left up to my husband we would be staying 45 minutes outside the city in a tent where would could bike in everyday for a bootcamp class, then a hike, forage for nuts and berries for lunch in a free park and ride back to the tent for 6 hours of sex. He's good.

Left up to me we would stay in a 5-star hotel order room service, get massages, watch Audrey Hepburn movies and cuddle with a bottle of champagne.

Considering it is less than 5 days away and we have yet to book a room or finalize a city or a plan.....we're gonna be in that damn tent I just know it!

Homey don't eat that way!

We are going to attempt to go away and leave our two sons with their Aunt and Uncle for the weekend.  OK, truthfully I don't know if it can even be considered the weekend because we'll have to pick them up Sunday and hustle back home for the Summer Basketball League finals but Thursday to Sunday a weekend doth make.

So in prepping myself and my Sister-in-law for this endeavor I start an email with, "The Seven-year-old can NOT have Citrus, chocolate, caffeine, or carbonation or he gets a urinary tract infection and stops peeing. Also he has never drank cow's milk only drinks soy but will eat cheese and ice cream. And by the way will try to only eat ice cream and sugar if he can get away with it but will then get sick and the ten-year-old will tell you he only eats steak and hot dogs in order to try and consume as much as possible while not in our house........"

You can see where this is went, quickly and the longer I sat the more I typed because I have never left my children for more than one night at a time and even then I had food prepped and ready to ensure they did not eat 3 meals in a row at a restaurant and then get explosive diarrhea. (Thanks Nanna!)

Anyway 6 paragraphs later I started to feel like perhaps I was quantifying my sister-in-laws theory that I am crazy so I stopped mid sentence and typed "Thanks" and hit send.  I should have hit delete.  My beautiful, patient, kind, and hopefully not totally offended sister-in-law was nice enough to sit down and reply to my 3 page email.  Simply put she said, "Homey don't eat that way!"

Oh thank goodness! I thought we were the freaks?  We are here anyway.  People have stopped inviting us over because my husband is a vegetarian and they are not sure how to feed him. HINT- Vegetables.  She said that Organic is not a bad word in their house and that she does not believe sugar is a food group.  Almost apologetically she wrote, "but we do have goldfish crackers" thank God! Cause it's pool season here in our house and when I have to drag everyone to the store I bribe them with "you can each pick out 2 pool snacks" so we now have Pringles, chocolate covered granola bars, Swedish fish, and Doritos in our pantry.

The bottom line in our house is You are what you eat - so everything in moderation.  Considering I heard my ten year-old repeat that to his brother who was setting out a breakfast of Pringles and Swedish fish, I think we are doing OK.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Blame it on the rain....

yeah yeah
You can blame it on the rain
 Ooh, ooh (ooh)
I can't, I can't. I can't, can't stand the rain
I can't, I can't. I can't, can't stand the rain
Yeah, yeah


I'm dating myself with this totally 80's reference to Milli Vanillli but that's what happens when it rains for what 12 straight days! Holy High Waters Batman.

It would be nice to blame my lack of interest in reading, writing, cleaning, and organizing on the rain but this has been since January. Surprise? It's not that I haven't dealt with the surgery and all that surrounded it, it's just that it left me foggy for quite a while, and tired.  And then I was playing catch-up, and then I was just in the weeds, now I'm not even on the field.  I'm totally sitting on the sidelines.  I've given up. I'm just an observer.

I look at my life and my family and I am grateful and happy and know that I should get back in the game, but it just seems like so much work.  I'm not afraid of hard work though, in fact the opposite is true, I love that sense of accomplishment in making a list and checking things off.  Perhaps it is because there is one list - and I check it off over and over and over again.

Laundry
Cleaning
Grocery
Cooking
drive the kids to sports
entertain the kid who's not playing the sport
scream everyone into a shower
wrestle them into bed and spend quality time with husband (or vise versa)

Since my surgery in January I have been determined to make time for myself and do things for myself no matter what the "push back" is...it's harder than I thought.  Over vacation I kept wondering why we sounded like the Bitchinstein Family and then it hit me.  Maybe I'd actually changed.  Not drastically, but a subtle change in what I will and won't do for them, what I will and won't accept, and in what I am doing for myself.  And they have all just figured it out.

All this time I've been so hard on myself that everything and everyone is falling apart and it's all my fault, which, well, it kinda of is.  But given some more time we'll all figure it out.  Meanwhile, I am going to keep writing this blog even though there are now three boys standing behind me waiting for me finish.  Hold you horses men, mamma's gotta get her groove back.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Figure it out!

I was having a conversation with my husband this morning, but you could insert Number One or Number Two Son here.  I get so frustrated because I hear the same phrase over and over "What should I do?"

Perhaps I am hearing, "Will do you this for me?" or maybe I hear "Will you figure it out and give me the answer?"  And that annoys the hell out of me! It's not like I have it figured out - I'm a hot damn mess why are you giving me your crazy.

But late last night I got an email from a great neighbor and dear friend that said -want to walk in the morning- and that I know exactly how to read "I need to talk".  Absolutely!  So after two miles and two hours this morning I'm not sure which came first we had solved most of the world's problems.  Well, at least ours. At least for now.

That's when it hit me, I have all boys.  They are not going to call a buddy for a walk or a beer (at least at seven and ten years old I hope not).  It's not manly to talk about things or ask for help or heaven forbid say I'm freaking out.

But woman do.  I guess that's why to them I'm not the hot mess I see in the mirror.  All they see is someone who takes care of things, they don't see all the talking, praying, angst, processing, and even research I do to "figure" it out.

One more reason it's good to be a girl...and one more virtue to pass along to my sons. I hope.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Is this an old soul?

We have all heard that expression - "He's an old soul"

What does it mean? Is it the child that is wise beyond their years, quiet and contemplative, or like my son comes out with some things that make you say, Hmmm?

I would swear he is Hugh Heffner reincarnated but that man just won't die.  Casanova maybe?  His favorite word is sexy.  He hangs out with more girls then boys, and not to play princess because he has them all instantly charmed into whatever it is he wants to play.

For mother's Day the his teacher had them fill out a book about their mother's.  I learned a lot about myself, but also marveled at the attention that he pays to the details.  My moms favorite exercise is "walks", favorite food is "anchloto" (enchiladas), favorite thing to read "mommy books (he didn't want to write Jennifer Weiner cause its a bad word and everyone would giggle), my mom doesn't like to "brog and bemean" (brag or be mean).

So it makes me wonder just what constitutes an old soul?  I think it's one that has been around the block quite a few times.  He definitely exhibits that quality. Some of the things he says have no other explanation.

Yesterday while driving home from yet another sporting event he said to me,
"Mom, Why do people call God a man? I think he is a woman."
"Well I have to agree with you buddy and you can call him a her. But when did you or where did you decide this?"
"From your woman book."
"Which woman book?" (I ask with great confusion)
" The big one."
"Of course." (I said with utter confusion and absolute pride.)

Saturday, May 11, 2013

An Unusual Mother's Day

While running through the grocery this afternoon I bumped into a neighbor.  Almost literally as I was on a mission - acquire cereal, chicken, Greek yogurt, and pitas before the seven -year-old loses focus and before my parents show up at the house.  I didn't want to stop her up as I knew what my own afternoon looked like and also because I made the mistake of telling the seven-year-old to go pick a cereal.

I asked about her daughter who has babysat for us and just graduated from college.  I knew she wanted to go in to non-profit work after graduation and was headed to Africa sometime soon.
"Yes", her mom confirmed, "she leaves tomorrow! I am picking up powered Gatorade for her, I can't believe she's going."

I can.  This is one extraordinary young lady.  She was never a typical babysitter.  She is instinctive, intuitive when it comes to children.  Checking temperatures if they feel warm, giving a bath if they got in the mud, playing games, reading bedtime stories, even hanging around with someone who is having trouble sleeping.  Africa is very lucky, or should I say the orphans.

But the irony is that she is leaving on Mother's Day because this is the coolest mother, daughter relationship I have ever seen.  They are so close, such good friends.  They walk the dogs together, shop together, and giggle together.  They were so funny when they stopped to say goodbye before she left they were making jokes about her living without water, electricity, and real toilets.

They have totally inspired me to stop being so snarky about Mother's Day. (OK for at least 24 hours what would my blog be if I didn't rant and rave about something ridiculous my husband or kids did!)

So for Taylor and Laura - and all of those Mom's who will be thousands of miles away from their babies, my thoughts are with you.  Happy  Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

LMAO

So my beautiful and silly now seven-year-old came home  with his dad the other day after a walk.  He announced to me that he had seen Mrs. C at the park.  You did, I said and looked at my husband who was looking at me totally perplexed for a moment.  To which the seven-year -old replied "Daddy didn't recognize her with her clothes on."

From now on we will only meet Mrs. C together!

Monday, May 6, 2013

what will become of me, them, us??

I'm in a place of self-discovery.  Perhaps because I turned 40, because of my husband's mid-life crisis, or maybe because my kids have had a rough year.  One girlfriend keeps telling me I've a rough year - but I beg to differ.  I got new boobies ;-) I'm good with that.  I'm not sure why - I just know I need things to change.

When I see my kids struggling or hurting the only place I have to go is inward.  Why do they struggle with friendships, why do they have such great anxiety, why are they so angry all the time???  I think back to where I was and what I was at that age. Then I look in the mirror and say, Well what do you  expect Miss Hot Damn Mess.

Why did I think my kids could come out of the womb a total opposite of me - because I threw some other genes in the pool?  There was no way they'll come out with my anxiety because I married someone who is a total opposite!  How are 2 Type A personalities going to produce a Type B kid? Adoption.

The truth is I married someone very similar to myself and I think most of us do.  My husband and I were married 8 years before children so we often joked that the government was paying us not to reproduce.  Friends and family did not laugh, they sighed in relief.  When you look up Type A Personality in the dictionary there is a picture of my husband, anxiety disorder-me, control freak - my husband, avoidance personality disorder - me, intermittent explosive disorder - my husband....I could go on.  We're nuts.

The reality is our children are doing 100% better than us.  My husband and I have lost our ever loving minds!  All we do is fight, snip, and argue.  Then bitch when the kids do it.  They call each other names, they can not be in the same room for more than 10 minutes together, they are constantly picking on one another.  Huh? I wonder why?

I don't know how many times one of my children has talked me down off a ledge, like the other day when I went grape ape all over a woman who almost hit us racing through the neighborhood to get to a garage sale.  It was bad.  It was Real Housewives of Atlanta bad.  My ten-year-old said, "Mom-that was really mean.  Nothing bad happen and she didn't mean to do it."

He's right. I was so wrong.  And I am so glad they are better people than I am, I just wonder where that comes from- maybe Grandma was right about pools.  Thank God we didn't use protection.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

stream of idiotness

My ten-year-olds soccer team, which those of us of a certain age would compare to the Bad News Bear, had yet another tournament this weekend and at the end of the day on Saturday they had won both games.  I can not tell you the feeling as a parent.  One other mom confessed this morning to praying last night that they win this - just one!

On top of these hard fought wins my son was running a low grade fever and  complaining off and on of a headache and stomachache.  I was so proud of all of them but the maturity, determination, and integrity my son showed playing sick.  I wish I could say the same for my own behavior.

What the hell is wrong with me? I swear I am a total jack@$$.  TOTAL!! How many games do people have to say "Hello" and then walk faarrr away in the other direction for me to understand that I am out of control.  None of the other parents cheer - so all the reason for me to scream the entire game right....NO! Not to mention I don't know beans about the game of soccer so I can't tell when it's onside, offside, or overside.  Does that stop me? NO!

I need a new motto because mine is not working for me...."The road to hell is paved with good intentions."  I don't think I am going to hell, I think I'm living in it.  Someone sent me an email (does that prove how bad it is!!) about an article asking college athletes what had the greatest impact during their sports career the common answer - their parents telling them I love to watch you play.

My poor kids have to admit to owning the crazy ass yelling mini-van wielding idiot arguing with a ref over the half-time whistle. God Bless them.  God Help me - to find a carpool!

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

right in my backyard

Mondays are crazy for me.  My list is always a mile long so my first stop is the gym.  I got there and picked my favorite treadmill right in front of the Today show only to find it wasn't the today show.  The local news was on and reporting live from a local high school where the students where under a shelter in place due to a shooting.

My heart sank, no it stopped for just a second.  Please God, I found myself pleading, not here, not now.  Please God, no more!

It turned out a young man tried to commit suicide.  I didn't listen to anymore TV.  A friend came in and we talked.  We talked about our hopes and fears for the young man, his family, for our own children.  We talked about how we had both considered suicide in high school at points because it had to better than going on.

When I left the gym I went to have coffee with a friend from college.  The conversation of course drifted to the young man and what was transpiring just miles away.  I was recounting my earlier conversation and how I had felt the same way in high school.  My friend gasped....is it that bad?  We moved on in conversation, but it made me wonder, Is suicide something some people never consider?

I sang a song from South Pacific for a college audition called The Cockeyed Optimist...

When the skies are brighter canary yellow
I forget ev'ry cloud I've ever seen,
So they called me a cockeyed optimist
Immature and incurably green.

I have heard people rant and rave and bellow
That we're done and we might as well be dead,
But I'm only a cockeyed optimist
And I can't get it into my head.

I hear the human race
Is fallin' on its face
And hasn't very far to go,
But ev'ry whippoorwill
Is sellin' me a bill,
And tellin' me it just ain't so.

I could say life is just a bowl of Jello
And appear more intelligent and smart,
But I'm stuck like a dope
With a thing called hope,
And I can't get it out of my heart!
Not this heart...

I didn't believe the song nor understand it at 21.  I was still immature and incurably green.  I let the rant and rave and bellow get so loud I couldn't hear the whipporwill.  I was the human race and I was falling on my face.....after too many Jello shots and dope.

But if I have learned anything at all from South Pacific, from life, and from my grandmother it was that "This too shall pass".  That the people you thought had it all in high school will come back to the 20th reunion bald, fat, and unemployed living in their parents basement.  (and that's just the homecoming queen!)

Police and media are Thankfully not releasing the name of the boy who shot himself on Monday.  To his family - I will hold you all in my prayers.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Something funny - finally.

I can hear you all now - THANK GOODNESS!!
It's about time she cheer up we were going to send in the Prozac.

Yeah, well, I tried that too.  Long story. Anyway time to get back to the good stuff.  My screw-ups.

My ten year-old son is getting ready to start the Health Lesson on Puberty.  I think he has secretly waited all year for this.  There is an air of curiosity and anxiety around it now that it's here.  The good thing is he feels comfortable enough to ask me questions about it, the bad part is my answers suck.

The other night I went to tuck him in and say good night but he had questions.  Ok. The conversation turns to why? Gee, I wonder where he gets that? Why do we have hormones, why does he need them, what are they really going to do to him?

So not being prepared for these questions has never stopped this motor mouth mother before so I dive right in. Well everyone has hormones. They are around from our caveman days and we need them for our Flight or Fight response so that we could get away from the saber tooth tigers that wanted to eat us.  The hormones that you are going to talk about are the ones that are kicking in because cavemen were lucky to get to live to 25 maybe 30 years old.  So if they were still alive by age 10 their bodies started to change, their voice got deeper, they grew more hair everywhere.  They moved into manhood ready to fight the saber tooth tigers.

My son just stared at me blankly.  Ok. Well confusion works too at least I can watch the full episode of Modern Family.  Then he responds with, "Mom I know what all of this is really about. S-E-X."

Oh @$^)*! The kid is way smarter than me.  But I'm already in deep, so I stick with my story.  I told him he was right, this did have something to do with sex.  You see, for those of the rest of you that did not get the caveman talk from your parents listen closely you might learn something.

I explained that the caveman, who were lucky enough to make it through childhood and even get to puberty, were then even more lucky to make it to manhood.  So after their voice changed, and they grew hair all over their bodies, they had another surge of hormones.  This time it was to tell their bodies it was time to reproduce because they may not have a lot of time before that saber tooth tiger eats them.  I told him that during this time his body, which still thinks he is a caveman would  be telling him to have sex all the time.  But he had to tell his body - No.  I'm not a caveman I have plenty of time to reproduce because I won't be eaten by a saber tooth tiger.

My son still looking at me blankly says, "I mean they are separating us for the lesson mom by S-E-X.  Boys versus Girls."

Ok. Glad that went well. By the way, anyone know anything about the birds or bees? I didn't know they studied that in 4th grade too?

I'm the @ss....

Someone is messing with my son's teacher.  I love this woman.  She is a great teacher and has been so good to my son that I am quite protective.  A little too protective. And na├»ve. And talkative.

She sent me an email today asking me to stop talking about the situation.  She's right!! I'm the idiot that can not fathom this parent trying to start trouble with her, so what do I do? Keep saying to people "Do you know what some parent is doing to this wonderful teacher?!"

Why am I always so taken back with complexity of human nature? I live with all boys for goodness sakes.  Boys that will pull dirty clothes out of their hamper and actually smell them - like it makes a difference - then put them on.  Boys that would rather sit and pee their pants then put Super Mario on pause to go to the bathroom.  Boys that will put a dish in the sick rather than a dishwasher, put an empty carton back in the fridge, or walk out of a bathroom instead of grab a roll of toilet paper.

Have I lived among them for so long that I am becoming one of them? Or am I just plan stupid?  I use the term Socially Retarded, and I do not mean it offensively at all, I mean it literally.  That in the area of overall social skills I am lacking in many areas.  That's why this teacher had to say -  SHUT UP LADY!

It never dawned on me that I was doing exactly what the other parent was doing - talking about this teacher.  I was so outraged that a parent was trying to start a rumor about this teacher  - how dare they!  But what did I accomplish by talking about the parent trying to start trouble?  Nothing, but I guess I was looking for the person who had the answer.  It's not a good enough excuse.

Why do people start rumors? Why do people intentionally hurt others? Why do people blow up marathons runners? Why do they kill a classroom of innocent First graders? Why do they start wars? Fly Planes into buildings? WHY?

Perhaps I will never know why, but I do know that I'm the ass for trying to make sense of it at all.  Now it's time to shut-up.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

I give up

I am so over all the testosterone in this house.

That's it.  There is nothing else to say.

I no longer feel it is possible to nurture out the nature.  Boys will be boys and then they will be men.  No amount of screaming on my part will make them stop posturing for the alpha position.  Nothing I do will make them less - male.

I give up.

OK, we all know that what I will really do is be up till 3 a.m. scouring the Internet for the article, website, or idea that will make turn this family around.

Is there any hope for a mom of all boys...........

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Oh no he didn't??

So it seems that my sweet loving beautiful first born child - is really a shit.  Last night he came home "starving" from an extra long play practise to which I did not sympathize because I packed him an extra large snack.  He didn't even touch it.  Because they can not eat in the gym.

O.k. I could have been a little less of a bitch, but he is almost 10, play practise has been going on over a month and let me reiterate he is not the lead.  He is an Oompa Lumpa.  He sits at the side of the stage 90% of the time.  You would think the boy could find some time to scarf down some cheese puffs and a juice box.

Yes he has a cold and isn't feeling the greatest, but this new meaner side of him reared it's ugly head months ago.  Not right after surgery, a little before and then in full force right after things seemed to get back to "normal". We separated the boys into their own rooms because of it.  As a matter of fact he seemed to go from taking it out on his little brother to taking it out on me.

Then last night.  I had dinner ready and waiting - his favorite by the way.  Homemade chicken noodle soup.  I made him a cup of tea.  I sat down and ate with him we talked about the starvation - play practise, his day, etc.  I told him he should get his homework done and then suggested "remember how good that hot shower felt the other night when you first got congested? It would feel super good tonight.  Then jump in your PJ's and snuggle up in bed."  How dare I!

He spilled his tea all over the table and his school binder.  We cleaned it up.  Note - WE cleaned it up together.  Then I said if you are finished with your homework you should head up for a shower.

 
 
"I DON"T WANT TO TAKE A SHOWER. ALL YOU EVER DO IT TELL ME WHAT TO DO. I CAN'T TAKE IT ANYMORE. I DON'T NEED YOU TELLING ME WHAT TO DO!!!!"
 
 
"Got it. As of 7:13 p.m. I am officially off duty.  Good night and Good luck."
That didn't go over well, he continued to mouth off about my lousy parenting, so I proceeded to walk away and said "I need to walk away before I knock you in to next week because you are being rude and obnoxious."
 
 
 
I shut my bedroom door to the screaming and feet pounding up the stairs.  After that died down the seven-year-old came in to seek refuge with me.  We started to play for a few minutes then I heard,
"Mom, I need your help."
"Sorry I'm off duty remember."  The seven-year-old saw it coming before I did and said, Oh no- not again.  He started all over again when his dad came home and asked what was wrong.  He did finally come in and apologize and give us hugs and went to bed.  I apologized for my angry and rude words because no matter what I should act like the adult and I didn't.
 
This morning Mr. Hulk was replaced with Bruce Banner again and he was cordial, pleasant, helpful and especially kind to his little brother.  Then just when it was time to walk them to the bus he says
"Oh wait I guess I should get the stuff I hid from you last night when I was mad."
 
WTF?
 
He went into the family room and pulled my coat out from under the couch. Then he climbed up on to the counter to get my cell phone from the back of a never used top shelf.  Then went into the playroom for my purse, then into the living room for my boots.  He was bringing it all out smiling, I said I don't think this is really funny.  Inside I'm thinking Holy Crap what happens when I really ground his ass for something????
 
When I went to put my boots on - no laces.  I'm not sure which of us is in bigger trouble right now?



Sunday, March 10, 2013

Daylight saving my sanity

I don't think I suffer from Seasonal Affective disorder but I have to say seeing the sun today - and seeing it until 7 something was wonderful.  But what is amazing is that both boys were sound asleep by 7.30.

HALLELUJAH!

Saturday, March 2, 2013

And now for the rest of the story...

I can't even begin to describe how overwhelming the generosity of others was after my surgery.  All the dinners and food that showed up just in the nick of time.  Except for that once.

My good friend from college had signed up for that nights dinner, but she also wanted to make sure we had enough basic groceries for lunch and stuff.  She called that morning and asked for a grocery list.  I told her that my neighbor would be driving us all to the airport about an hour away but that her mini-van didn't have a DVD player.  No problem! Julie to the rescue.  She said I will stop by with a DVD player and the latest animated movie as well as dinner because I bought that already.  You just have your grocery list ready.

Amazing.  How did I get so lucky as to trade off a grocery list for a lifesaving DVD player and get a ride to the airport to spend some more time with my sister who flew in to take care of me.  Well needless to say the drive was less than uneventful.  It ended up being the day that we had a snowy white out causing an 85 car pie-up on I-75 which slowed us down but thank goodness we were safe.  We got to the airport just in time but then had to take a very round about way home in order to get around the closed interstate.

By the time we got home I was so thankful to know that dinner was in the refrigerator and that the groceries where on the porch. Or at least that is what I thought.  I was so exhausted by the time we got home I didn't think anything of it when there were no groceries on the porch, maybe my husband brought everything in at lunchtime.  I tried to lay down but my phone beeped again with a text from my girlfriend, "Did you get the food?"

Ok so I guess I should go look so I can say thank you, which I did.  I didn't see anything in the fridge.  So I go look on the porch. Nothing.  So I go ask my husband what he did with the groceries.  "What groceries?"  Seriously??  "Wait!" he says and pulls out an envelope "this was in the door?"

WTF??
Thank you for your donation to the Food Pantry every can helps
You have got to be kidding.  What are the chances that the day someone leaves me groceries there is also a food drive in our neighborhood - and they took all the food!

I was too tired at this point to even talk, so I handed my husband my phone and told him what must have happened and that he could tell Julie - I was going to sleep. 
As Paul Harvey used to say.....And now for the rest of the story.

While I slept my husband relayed what must have happened to my friend Julie.  Who's reply was
"Oh Hell no!"  He gave her the food pantry information.  She got on the phone and called until she got a person on the phone.  Then she told them what happened and that she wanted that food back.  The man was very kind and apologetic and offered to let her come down to the food pantry and he would give her some food.  To which she replied as nicely as she could, "No thank you."
Because I know Julie and what she was thinking was "Are you Freaking kidding me! I spent $30 on Boar's Head Lunch meat and you want to give me govt cheese and canned beans?"

What she did do was call up her friend who lives in my area, then she went and picked her up leaving the woman's husband with all 6 children between them while these two ladies went and stacked out the Food pantry.  When the driver got back with the bags he'd collected they jump out of the car and demand their groceries that were wrongly taken.  My friend even pulled out her receipt to make sure they got all the bags.  This man was also apologetic and remembered the bags.  He had to go inside because he had stored them in the fridge.

It gave my friend a chance to ask her most burning question,
"Did you really think someone would donate Lunch meat, cheese, bread, and fruit and veggie trays? Isn't that a little odd?"
His response-
"Not really,  I've seen a lot weirder things.  You'd be surprised at what people donate."

Having been an inner city school teacher for 15+ years now - she didn't have to ask for an explanation.  She just said thank you and dropped off my groceries for the second time that day.....and that is the rest of the story.

I wish I could remember it all, but this one is good enough

I wish I could remember half the stuff that I said I was going to write about......since the surgery things happen and I think, Oh that is so funny I have to write that down! Then it quickly falls out the other side of my head.

Where is the hole in my head that keeps letting stuff fall out? If I could just find it I would plug it up.  Or at the very least stick my finger in it until I do get a chance to write down the funny stuff.

The one thing that will stick in my memory forever is the night the hamster died.

Did I mention that the only thing the six-year-old child wanted this Christmas that did not cost $300 was a hamster?  After much deliberation (that's my nice way of saying arguing with my husband) we got the hamster ready on Christmas eve and hid it at a neighbors house.  It was a hit.  He named him Cutie Pie.

Well about 3 weeks ago on a Friday night just before we are suppose to leave for yet another basketball game my husband motions me into another room.  "I think the hamster is dead" he says.  What!  It was just alive 30 minutes ago, they played with it after school - it bit the 9 year-old.

So I walk in to look in the cage and sure enough. Shit.  Now what?  So I take the six-year-old in with me and I tell him that I think Cutie Pie is dead.  He starts to cry and argue with me.  He is adamant that the hamster is alive and I am just as adamant that he is dead.  First comes the sobbing, then comes the Eulogy.  (see separate blog, cause that's a whole nother story)

You will not believe what happens next - the damn thing moves.  So now he is desperate to save it's life.  Really? Can't we let it die.  OK well, I'm a total sucker for a sobbing six-year-old.  I call the pet store where we got it to ask what to do because I don't know a thing about hamsters.  They say they don't either but they patch me through to the Vet, while I am on hold Cutie Pie has tried twice to stand up only to fall over sort of like a drunk trying to get up off a couch.

But just as the vet gets on the line the hamster stands up for a moment, falls over, immediately rolls over onto his back and his feet go up in the air.  The six-year-old has watched all of this mind you.  The vet is waiting very impatiently for me so I say very quietly into the phone, do you work on hamsters?
Yes.
Should we bring this hamster in?
No
Well do you think there is anything you can do?
No.
Thanks Florence Nightingale you've been a big help.

Since there was nothing more to do I just held him while he cried.  And he cried and cried.  In the midst of all this he says with no hiccups and a very hopeful expression-
"Can I have a Dog?"
my response
"Will it fit in that cage?"
Needless to say that didn't stop the crying.

I love Teacher Conferences....

but then again mine haven't turned ugly yet.  With a 1st and 4th grader they are still along the lines of "this is what we are working on this year..."

My 1st grader has a young teacher who is wonderful, enthusiastic, and adorable.  She sent a not home at the beginning of the year saying that she wanted the students and parents to attend the Fall conference and just the parent to attend the winter conference. O.k.

At the fall conference our son showed us around his classroom, she showed us some of his work, and she showered him with compliments on what a great job he was doing.  He floated out of the room and of course so did his proud parents.

This winter conference went very much the same, except that we left our sons in the hallway to play with a kindle and hopefully not kill each other.  That would be totally embarrassing right? "Gee, they don't act like that for us?"  Well, hell we are only the parents what are we suppose to do!

I know that I am blessed and I think God every night for my family.  But there is something about hearing it from someone else.  To hear his teacher describe him gives me a much better insight into the person that he will be.

Teacher conferences are that glimpse into who my child is when I am not there.  And isn't that the child we all worry about the most?

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Days like these....

I'm rewriting the parenting books.  The hardest part will be the title.  I don't want to mislead people.

Parenting, It sucks.
The Guidebook to Insanity: Parenthood.
So you think you want kids? Buy a dog.
What to expect after you expected it would be great.
Children the Challenge: not sending them back.

None of the parenting books tell you that having children will automatically put your heart outside of your body.  That the idea of having a mini-me is a lot easier than having one.  Watching your child go through pain or suffering, heartbreak or rejection will turn you inside out.  It can make you want to vomit and hit a 6 year-old all at the same time.

Seeing your child struggle is worse than water-boarding.  You want to say F'it and jump on the school bus, take the test, or go in for them.  Knowing how hard they are working to keep it together can make you even crazier than normal and are suddenly agreeing to buy a $400 Lego set.

The old Shirelles song is on repeat in my head....
"Mamma said there'd be days like this, they'll be days like this my mamma said"

No she didn't. Maybe that's the title.
Mamma's saying: There will days like this!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

I woke up this morning....

I woke up this morning a 40 year-old breast cancer survivor.

I woke up this morning with a husband of 17 years that has shown me more ups and downs then any roller coaster at an amusement park.  He has driven me to a point of madness I felt nonreturnable, and shown me depths of love unspeakable.

I woke up this morning a mother of a nine-year-old boy almost as tall as me and a six-year-old much more precocious.  Two very different individuals that show such strength, courage, bravery, empathy, understanding, love, beauty, and power everyday that I think they were put here on this earth to teach me how to be a better person, not the other way around.

I woke up this morning in darkness.  And I prayed.  I thanked God for winning the cancer lottery.  I thanked him for a husband who can go days without sleep and still get me into a shower at 9:00 p.m. at night.  I thanked him for these amazing boys that have shown me a strength I never thought I had within me pulling me along through panic and through pain and past myself.

I woke up this morning confused.  Not only about where I was, but who I was.  When did I become this person?  When did I become braver than I believe, stronger than I seem, and smarter than I think.

I woke up this morning.  I looked in the mirror and I said, "Hello.  My name is strength, power, grace, beauty, and love.  It is very nice to meet you. 

I woke up this morning......

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Mama SEAAL

13:00 hours Day of Surgery
Not sleeping but mind is going 100 miles and hour.  Trying to relax and get some shut eye.

14:00 hours Day of Surgery
Still not sleeping start thinking about weird ass things like the new show my husband is obsessed with, Surviving the Cut.
A show about what men go through to get into the Rangers, Airborne, and SEALs.  It is insane what they go through physically and mentally.  I start to think about the fact that everyone calls it "fighting cancer" a "cancer battle" or as my beautiful friends mother put on the T-shirt she wore into her mastectomy "Stop the war in my rack".

17:00 hours Day of Surgery
Six-year-old wakes up from a bad dream and climbs in bed with me.  I realize it will be at least 3 weeks before he can do that again.  So we spoon and snuggle and I kiss that beautiful head 100 times. 

That's when I decide that there are men who fight for our country ready to endure the toughest battles of their lives, and there are moms who would stand right beside them.  I am one.  I may not be able to assemble my gun underwater, blindfolded, with my feet but I can find the children's motrin, measure it correctly, and administer it all by moon light.  They can take a sergeant screaming in their face in a fox hole while under heavy fire.  I can take two kids screaming at me about the Wii while making dinner and fielding calls for the final soccer party.

09:00 hours Day of Surgery
Boys are on the bus and off to school. Everyone seemed cool, happy, ready for a party with Nanna and Papa because they know what they can get away with while we are not here ;-))))  I am getting dressed with a great shirt from my sister-in-law "GO Fight CURE!" I have gotten 25 emails, 30 texts (don't tell my husband I've gone way over the data limit at this point, ooppss) and even more phone calls.

I decided that I am a member of the Mama SEAALs....Saving Everyone is All About Love