This Day.

It can only get better. It can only get better. It can only get better.

5:15: “Mom! I’m cold. There’s not room for me in the bed. I’m coming in,” says dear son.
5:16: Roll over and realize daughter is also in bed and sleeping. When did she climb in? Roll over and pretend to still be asleep. Curse loudly in my head.
5:22: “Mom! There’s not room. Hannah won’t move over and I’m afraid I’m going to fall off the bed.” Think to myself that perhaps sleeping in his own bed would eliminate the problem entirely. Curse again. Also thankful that I went to bed at 9pm so at least I got some sleep between nose-blowing, mouth-breathing, and snoring because I can only breathe out of one nostril currently. Still irritated.
5:25: Dog licks my face telling me he has to go out. Silently shake my fist at the sky. Why must they all conspire against me?!
5:29: Come back in with the dog and sneak over to Jacob’s bed and lie down. Perhaps if I’m really quiet, they’ll think that I’m still outside, thus buying myself just a few more minutes of snooze time before I really have to get up and moving.
5:30: Damn. They found me.
5:31: Give up and get up since I have to blow my nose (again).
5:32: Hannah peels a banana in the kitchen, while peeing. She laughs. I, however, do not find this funny because on top of all the other morning activities – mopping was not on the top of the list. Mopping is now priority numero uno. (silently growl about the fact that I JUST mopped this entire floor 2 days ago.) When asked why she didn’t go to the bathroom she replied that she was just too hungry.
5:45: Shower a resisting daughter, son gets dressed, teeth brushed, breakfast consumed and out the door we go to school. Drop them off. Say a prayer of thanksgiving for the wonder that is school.
8:01-10:45: Enjoy a walk with the dog, a strength workout, and some quiet. Head off to pick up daughter from school.
11:30: Arrive back home, am told by daughter that she’d like yesterday’s lunch again. Heat it up, devour a bowl of it myself, daughter’s gets cold as she sits not eating it. She says she’s full, but this is not my first rodeo.
11:45: “All Finished” she says. I set it aside because like clockwork…
11:55: Dear daughter says she’s starving and wants something to eat. I kindly offer to reheat her lunch. She throws minor fit, but gets over it. She has no choice. We aren’t wasting food, especially when it was her choice.
12:00: She’s eating happily. I go put laundry away and discover a “rip” in my favorite comforter. Initial thought is that the dog must have ripped it. I say out loud, “Oh, man! My favorite comforter is torn!” Daughter enters the room and informs me that she cut the comforter with scissors she found and that she was sorry. I ask her when and she tells me it was the other day when dear hubby and I were hanging curtains. (And the scissors were out providing way too much temptation to resist, apparently.)
12:15: Celebrate the idea that bedtime is less than 7 hours away. Wish it was now.
12:16: Fold laundry and consider running away from home. Far, far away to a land where I can breathe, my throat is not sore and I have 24 hours to sleep in a comfy bed where the comforters are not cut by minions.

Me in my own timeout, rueing the day.
Me in my own timeout, rueing the day.

I’m ready for do-over. Wait, scratch that. I don’t want to do this day over. I’m ready for evening and bedtime and for THIS day to be in the books!

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Wine at Nine. Or Whine.

There are days.  Then there are days.

With the beautiful spring days comes more sunlight, longer daylight hours, and a ton of squirrelly energy from the kids. On the second to last day of preschool, I was looking forward to chatting with the other moms after picking up our children and letting them get some much-needed energy spent by running around the grassy field at the school. My daughter had other ideas.

Upon arriving for pick up, I was informed by one of the teachers that my dear daughter was complaining at the last part of class that her nose hurt. When they looked up her nose, they couldn’t see anything, and she went off to play. She sneezed and complained that her nose hurt once more, but again they couldn’t see anything. She then told the teacher she had a bandaid up her nose.

What?!

I arrive and get her out to our car and lay her down and I see the culprit lodged WAY UP inside her nose, past where fingers fit. I am not the best person to have on hand during an emergency because time slows down for me and I tend to freak out and chase my tail in circles. Knowing this about myself, I promptly call the hubs at work and he meets us at the base hospital. Hannah isn’t crying, but she’s pretty subdued at this point. I get her buckled in the car and realize that I now have to extract the dear son from his favorite activity – running around like a wild banshee after school. With moans and wails of protest, I wave a sad goodbye to the other moms as I feel the same way as Jacob – wanting that precious after-school hour to hang out, play and engage in mom-versations.

Off to the hospital, we are informed that we no longer have an urgent care/emergency room, that we need to travel to the other hospital on our island that is 30 minutes away. Have I mentioned that none of us have eaten lunch yet? Bring on the attitudes! Oy!

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We call it being hangry. Hunger + anger = hangry.

We get to the emergency room at the right hospital and get her all checked in. We are waiting in the waiting room and the kids are playing quietly with another girl. I overhear this girl who I estimated to be about 10-12 years old saying something to my son about something or someone being “stupid”. She also exhibited other behaviors and spewed other awesomeness toward what I assumed to be her mother so I promptly extracted my son and told him to come sit by me where we engaged in a full on tournament of thumb war. Everyone may parent the way they wish (or not), but sometimes I feel compelled to limit the influence of crazy.

I then heard the build up of a sneeze coming from my other side. What does a mom do when faced with vomit, snot, or spit out food? Of course – we hold out our hand. Somehow we choke back the urge to vomit while we look at what our dear darlings have deposited for us. Today it was a snot-coated, rolled up, dirty bandaid.

I sent her to school with three bandaids on her ankle for various owies. She still had 3 on her ankle. This rolled up bandaid now in my hand was probably someone else’s. Awesome. The good news was that we were able to leave right away and skip the whole visit with the doctor. Hannah proudly smiled as we walked out of the hospital exclaiming, “I sneezed it out! I sneezed out my bandaid!” I walked over to the hand sanitizer and applied it liberally.

Getting the hubby back to work, I decide we’ve all had a rough day, we’re all hangry – let’s grab something to eat. Against my better judgement, we found an ice-cream shop and had some. It was yummy. It was hot out and totally hit the spot. On our way back to the car, we see a little toy store that was filled to the brim with all kinds of toys, games, books, animals, and candy. After our stop, we’d go grab some real lunch and then head home.

The kids did great in the store, looking around at all kinds of things not normally found in toy stores. Jacob had his heart set on a cool stuffed squid (his current obsession is all things octopi), and Hannah was still searching for that “just-right” thing. I had managed to steer them past the over-loaded candy counter and keep a close watch on both kids. My main concern was Jacob, as his love of chocolate knows no bounds.

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We’re winding down our visit and I look over at him chewing something. I walk over and ask him what he’s eating. He found some loose gold foil chocolate coins and was helping himself.

Can I start drinking now?

After our lesson in what stealing is, that we don’t take what is not ours, nor do we take what we don’t pay for, I haul both kids out of the store screaming. Jacob was wailing that he wanted to get his stuffed squid. We went home empty handed and the lesson was burned into his memory that stealing is wrong. These lessons are so hard, but what struck me was the way in which the store owner looked down her horned-rimmed glasses at me, nearly tsk-tsking me. Seriously?! Parenting in process here. Kids make mistakes. That’s how they learn. And learn he did. (It should go without saying that I did pay for all chocolates consumed. While my son decided to take what was not his, he is by no means stealthy and left all wrappers right there in the box.)

I know this will be one of many days where I will have the urge to spike my coffee, drink at 9am, or do other not-appropriate things because of this parenting journey. I write this blog as way of laughing at the not-great days as a parent, thus preventing myself from becoming a drink-in-the-morning sort of person.

Cheers!

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day(s)

I suppose that’s a tad dramatic, but – well, I’ll just get right into it.

Wednesday morning we wake up and the kids are just having a morning. One of those mornings. Everything is a struggle. “I don’t wanna brush my teeth!” “I don’t wanna go to school!” “I don’t wanna eat!”

“I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna! I don’t wanna!”

Me neither! But the kids made it to school, I had an appointment, then it was back to pick them up. We get home and Hannah heads to the bathroom. Let’s just say that I didn’t know I should have to tell a child NOT to play with her poo. She hollers that she needs “help” and holds up two very poopy hands.

Seriously?!

While trying not to vomit in my mouth, I scrub her down, and dip her in Clorox. Okay, not really, but I sanitized the heck out of everything in the vicinity. Oy. We then had a very serious conversation about how things that come out of our body are not toys and should not be touched. Toilets are not water tables and hands don’t go in the water. Ever. Who knew this would be a conversation I would have to have? Isn’t there some biological repulsion mechanism to leave the poo alone?! If not, there really should be.

After baths, sanitizing dips, dinner and bed, I decide to run an update on my computer. I’m still recovering from a wisdom tooth extraction, so I pop an Ibuprofen for the pain and wait. I get an error, it says I need to “reboot and try again”. I end up in a never-ending loop of rebooting, hard drive has damage and needs to be repaired, but it won’t let me fix it. Great.

The next day, I drag the minions down to the Apple store for our appointment with a tech. Long drive, but the kids were good. Found out that the hard drive = dead. Not repairable, had to be replaced. Lost all music and pictures. As in all the pictures from before Jacob was born until present day. 6-ish years of photos of the kids. Gone. Poof.

Naturally, the first question you are asking is “Didn’t you back up your computer?” A smart person would have. I have seen the episode of Sex in the City where Carrie loses all her writing on her hard drive because she didn’t back up her work. Did I back up? Nope. Not once. It was always the I’ll-get-to-it-later deal that never got done.

While we are waiting to have my new drive installed, we decide to check out the mall’s child play area, or as I like to call it, the higher-concentration germ arena. We walk up only to find it gone with yellow tape around the area where it’s been torn up. “Coming soon: Children’s Play Area bigger and better than before!” a sign tells us. At this point I’m laughing at our luck.

We instead kill some time at Target “visiting” the toy aisle. After the computer is done, we made the return trek home with my new formatted hard drive in hand. After today, I’m happy to report that it’s nearly back to normal. Luckily, the music was duplicated on the hubs’ computer, so that wasn’t a huge deal. Losing the pictures though, that stung. There are some pictures that we’ll never get back – mostly the first year of Jacob’s life. I was a serious shutterbug, but it was pre-Facebook, Instagram and WordPress. There’s just no way to get those pictures. It makes me sad, but of course it was my own fault, and there are far worse things in life. And since joining Facebook, Instagram and WordPress, I do have access to so many pictures that I’ve been able to download back into my files.

It won’t be like it was, but I can assure you going forward, I will be backing up.

What about you? Are you a backer-upper, or do you like to play computer-roulette?

Reason #472 Why I Am Over this Deployment.

The countdowns have begun in my head:

“Only 1 more gallon of milk until he gets home.”

“Last 2 episodes of Deadliest Catch until we can watch them together.”

“The next grocery run, I’ll be stocking the fridge with his favorites.”

“The next time I mop the floor, will be the last time I mop it before he gets back!”

And on it goes. Sigh. The finish line is right there….

Today started rainy (it’s been rainy for the past couple of days and the kids are going absolutely CRAZY with cabin fever.) My kids need fresh air and exercise in large doses daily! They are also greatly anticipating Eric’s return with the countdown refreshed every morning. Everyday becomes a day to distract.

Just keep swimming.

With the rain, we headed to our favorite indoor playground. Then by the time that was over, we headed over to my sister’s place to visit and catch up. By the time we got home, the kids were antsy, ready to be out of the car and the weather had cleared. So outside we went. On a bike ride.

Based on this day, I should always just carry bike tools with me.

Somehow the hand brake on Jake’s bike got jacked up and the back wheel completely locked. It’s moments like these that I am so thankful for fitness and my body’s strength. It’s not always about hitting the gym and going faster on a dumb treadmill. It’s not about lifting a barbel. Working out just for the sake of working out can be awesome, but it’s the resulting strength I have grown to depend upon. It’s the times when I need that strength for doing stuff, everyday stuff. LIke today when I had to walk my bike and simultaneously CARRY my son’s bike, which is NOT light.

I confess, as more than one car slowed down to look at me – I smiled every time. That’s right. This sucks. But I got it.

I’m tired. The kids are tired. But we are slogging through, marking another red X on the calendar.

It sucks. But we got it.

Almost there.

Is It Over Yet? (Eric, you can come home now….)

Church services are not designed with little kids in mind. Nor are they designed with the parents of littles in mind.

Yes, they have Sunday school and nurseries and cry rooms, but I’m talking about the timing. Services typically start from 9:30-10:30, then by the time it’s over, kids are collected, we buckle up and head home, everyone is tired, cranky and ready for a nap. Or chocolate.

For us, like most Sundays when we attempt church, it happened exactly this way. (We did get to see my nieces perform in a play and that was awesome!) Trying to shush a 2-year-old during an hour-long performance, take her to the potty 47 times, while simultaneously entertaining the 4-year-old, however, was a feat not even Superman could do.  Carrying said 2-year-old in the “football hold” out of church into the car to head home was extra spectacular. Perhaps it was because she’d been up since 5 am and was ready for a nap. Then the drive home was, shall we say –  loud. For 25 minutes I heard nothing but complaints and cries that she threw her baby on the floor and could not retrieve it. (This was of course after the 2nd time I’d reached around and handed the doll back, informing her that we don’t play “Mommy Fetch” in the car.)

Then I realize I am a poor planner and was in need of a “quick” stop at the store if I was to remedy the hunger situation. (Cue doom music here.)

Crying.

In the shopping cart.

The. Entire. Time.

Luckily we only needed about 5 things, but the looks we got were typical. (Which is why I LOATHE the grocery store with kids in tow.) Condescending “why can’t she shut that kid up?” type of looks. Ugh.

We make it home, we eat, (I realize why some animals eat their young) and then we are all starting to feel like ourselves. At this point (and everyday at this time) I’m calculating what activity twill keep them entertained, yet sufficiently wear them out, thus ensuring a reasonable (read: EARLY) bedtime.  The minions decide they would like to try the “bike 3 miles to the trail” again. Okay – that’ll work!

My bike has somehow gotten jacked up and is in need of tune up (beyond my scope of repair expertise). The kids are all ready so I decide to run instead while they bike – I’ll get a run in, they wear themselves out – win/win, right?

Wrong.

Jake’s training wheel falls off – after we are a mile in to this “adventure”. So I am pushing a missing-one-training-wheel-now-lopsided-Lightening-McQueen-bike, Hannah is riding happily screaming “WHHHHHEEEEE!”, while Jake is shuffling along scuffing his giant winter snow boots that he insisted he wear. To his credit, he did not complain once. (He probably knew better!)

We throw rocks in the water at the trail. Hannah tries to strip and swim in Puget Sound. I tell her 687 times not to go in the water, it’s too cold. She doesn’t listen so we head back.

We make it home, the kids are BEYOND tired. They play a bit more, we eat dinner, baths, and now – now they are asleep.

For 7 blessed hours it will be quiet in my house.

I love my kids. On days like today, I love these 7 hours almost as much.

Eric – I’m done – you may come home now!

Parenting Encounters

Lately I’ve had some interesting encounters while parenting in public. Let me rephrase that: Since my children were born I’ve had crazy encounters while out and about.

Most recently on a really crappy day, I was rudely told in a grocery store to teach my child to count apples somewhere else because I was “in the way”. (Which I was not, in fact, in the way at all.) From the time my daughter was an infant, in head-to-toe pink, I’ve been asked, “How old is your little boy?” or “Oh, what a strapping young lad!” REALLY?! Apparently pink and bows no longer let a person know that your child is a girl. At least not at my grocery store.

I’ve been informed that my child is going to fall out of the grocery cart and that I “should really make that kid mind”.

In the bank I was told to “keep my kids downstairs, this is a place of business“. (Granted that one was kind of deserved, but the rudeness was not).

While my sister had my kids, as well has her two daughters, playing at the park one day, a nice gentlemen was kind enough to take the time to roll down his window and say to her, “Wow. You look like you got your hands full.” Chuckle chuckle. Then he rolled up his window. No “Hey, do you need a hand?” or “Is there anything I can do?” Just unhelpful commentary from an unwanted peanut gallery.

What is the deal with people?! I understand the looks from people who have never had kids. I used to GIVE those looks. Parenting is a piece of cake if you aren’t one. What sets my hair on fire are the people who feel the need to comment/narrate/tell me what to do/point out what I’m doing wrong etc. Then there are those folks who just laugh. Nice. How the heck is that helpful? On some level, I do understand how comedic it must be watching my circus act/parade as we are on an outing, but please, I beg of you – keep your laughter discreet and to yourself. It doesn’t do me any good, and basically confirms the feeling that I am sucking at this parenting thing.

I read this article yesterday about parenting on Steve Wiens’ site (you can read it in its entirety here) that said this:

“Put your hand on their shoulder, look them in the eyes, and tell them that they’re doing a good job. Just don’t freak out if they start weeping uncontrollably. Most of the time, we feel like we’re botching the whole deal and our kids will turn into horrible criminals who hate us and will never want to be around us when they’re older.”

Absolutely!

So today, I stopped at our favorite frozen yogurt joint (froyo if you are cool like my 4-year-old and my neighbor!) We were the only ones there. I was getting the kids’ toppings and saying the usual stuff:

“Don’t breath on the toppings.”

“Cover your mouth.”

“Wait for me, Mommy will do it.”

“Don’t Touch.”

“Marshmallows?”

“Find a table and wait for me to bring it to you after I pay..”

Happy with their concoctions and spoons happily lapping up yummy flavors, the owner and I chatted for a bit as we ate. As we got up to leave she said this to me:

“I have to tell you. There are A LOT of kids that come in here, and yours are probably the most behaved I’ve seen. I can tell you work very hard at it.”

I wept. And I’m weeping a bit now as I write this. So much of parenting and life in general is flying by the seat of your pants and hoping you’re making the right decisions. After the crazy encounters we’ve had, this one was needed.

Thank you, Froyo lady. Thank you.

This tired mama needed that today!

 

A Crap Day Brightened

Days like today just beat me up.

Quick Recap:

  • Kids woke up at 5am – Hannah with a “nice” diaper gift. (Should have been my first clue!) Poop before coffee = never good.
  • While shopping at the grocery, was rudely informed that I was in the way and that I should “teach my daughter to count apples somewhere else”.
  • Door-jacked by a 90 year old lady in the parking lot of a church, scratching/denting my passenger door.
  • Missing my deployed husband
  • Came around the corner and took a picture frame off of the wall while carrying a laundry basket – instantly shattering the whole thing all over the floor.

While I want to just go put on my sweats, drink a bottle (or 3) of wine, eat my way through a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts, what I WILL do is focus on the funny. A friend of mine during her spouse’s deployment, decided to keep a jar of notes about funny things her kids said and did so she could relive it with her husband when he returned. Genius!

Over the last couple of days I’ve been jotting notes here and there of the funny things my littles have said. Here’s the list:

Jacob:

  • “I like ball bowling with Auntie Kirsti. Maybe you can take me ball bowling and I can take my own balls.” (I think he meant pick out his own bowling ball….)
  • “Mommy, your hair looks gorgeous today. And your boobies are just like pillows.”
  • “We live in Washington now where sometimes it’s rainy all the time.” Couldn’t have said that one better myself!
  • “Froyo is off the hoo-zak!”

Hannah:

  • “When a tail grows in my butt, then I can swim like a fish!”
  • “When I am Jake, I can pee outside.”

Jake and I do this thing where I tell him, “I wanna tell you a secret!” He leans in, eyes wide waiting to hear what I am going to whisper. Usually it’s “I love you” or “I love the way you color” or whatever it is that he’s doing at the moment. Then he tells me a ‘secret’. This is how it went this time:

Me: “I love you my special boy!”

Jacob: “I love the compost truck!”

On days like today I need the funny.

Got a funny kid story?! Tell me.

Please.

I need more things to laugh about today!