Dr. Mom

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This morning Bean woke up and was fine…until we got in the car and then she started crying about not wanting to go to camp (the kiddos are on spring break and are going to a local day camp). She had cried at drop off on Tuesday, so I figured this was her way trying to get out of it. When we got to camp she told me she didn’t feel good- her throat hurt and her tummy hurt. I continued to think she was faking it, so I tried every trick I had to get her to go. I even pulled out the Big Guns. She and I were supposed to go to VA to visit Red and my brand new baby nephew- something she has been looking forward to all week. When I told her if she was really sick we couldn’t go, she still didn’t budge. She didn’t feel good and that was that.

At this point, I was so freaking annoyed- I had so much to do today and most of it would have gotten done a lot quicker in the office.  But I gave in and decided to work from home and keep her with me just in case (thank you new job for that flexibility!). Still in a snit, I decided we’d make a quick trip to the grocery store to stock up on supplies for the guys for this weekend.  We pulled into the parking lot and she’s moving slower then I thought was possible so I’m trying (not so patiently) to get her to move her hiney.  The poor bug finally hopped out of the car and promptly threw up in the parking lot.

Huh, I guess she wasn’t faking after all.

It’s a darn good thing we had our bathroom remodeled because this is where she spent a good 3 hours today:

SickBean

Mother of the Year material right there.

And when we got out of the car she promptly puked in the parking lot.

Turning it Off

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Dear sweet boy-

You came out of bed tonight and told me you were having trouble turning off your brain. I know that, your father knows that and your therapist knows that- I just didn’t realize you knew that. I didn’t realize you had the words to express that.

It’s not anxiety- you aren’t particularly nervous about anything- you just can’t quiet your brain. You wanted to talk about your itchy eyes, your allergies, your book report. You wanted to know how long it would be to get to Mimi’s house on Friday and what we’d do there. You wanted to know when the snow would melt (again) and if the snakes in the creek would be OK. All those questions, all those thoughts- all fired at me within 2 minutes.

You’re good natured about it all and you take my exasperated answers in stride. When I finally cut off your stream of questions, you don’t protest. You give me one more hug and a kiss and you go back to bed with the promise that I’ll check on you in 5 minutes. Most night you’re asleep within that time frame, but sometimes it’s not that easy to stop the flow of thoughts tumbling around from your brain to your lips.

I wonder what it’s like to live in your brain. I’d imagine it’s amazing with everything firing all at once. I wonder why it’s bedtime that all these thoughts come to the surface. I used to think you were stalling but now I think it’s just because it’s the only time you’re ever still.

Keep asking all your crazy questions, sweet boy- just try to ask them all before 8 pm. I promise you’ll get better answers out of me then.

Love,

Mom

 

 

 

 

5 Minute Friday- Paint

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Every Friday we unite for five minutes to write on one word. Only five minutes, that’s all we get, that’s all we have. And then, right where we are, no edits or second-thoughts, we publish those words. This week, we write on paint.

Go.

Last time I took part in Five Minute Friday, I got deep. I talked about empowerment and self love and inner strength. My hopes and dreams for my kids.

Today is not going to be like that.

Our house is relatively new- it was only 3 years old when we bought it in 2002. The builder clearly put a lot of money in some great touches- wide window sills, huge ceilings- but he slacked in others. The bathroom is one of them. Cheap tub, crappy fixtures, shoddy vanity. We finally hit our limit last fall and started buying everything we needed to remodel the room.

Then I lost my job.  So the vanity and tub sat in our garage for months while we put everything on hold that wasn’t necessary. They took up a ton of much needed space and were this constant reminder of things left unfinished.

3 weeks ago, the Hubs and I finally decided we were done waiting. My new job is going beautifully and these fixes need to get made. So we made the calls, bought the stuff and scheduled the remodel to start on Monday. This week has been a mess of dust and loud banging and men coming in and out of the house all day long making the dog lose her ever loving mind.

But now? Now it’s done. I have a bathroom with all new everything- including paint.  We went from 3 white walls with a light blue accent wall to this gorgeous bright yellow bathroom- it makes me happy every time I look at it. Not just because it’s all new but because it signifies to me an all new beginning. A fresh start.  The reminders of all that could have been from last fall are finally where they belong.

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What’s Inside My Brain

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I feel like I should write. I have the urge to write. But I don’t know what to write about.

Life is settled right now. We mostly have this whole me working outside the house thing figured out. I’ve come to terms with the fact that I’ll never have a quiet night again. Like, ever. If it’s not baseball, it’s therapy. If it’s not therapy, it’s swim lessons. If it’s not swim lessons, it’s some random dinner/meeting/function. And it’s ok, we’re making it work. My laundry pile is taller then my children and my house isn’t getting quite as clean as I’d like it, but there are meals on the table every night and I haven’t dropped anything major yet.

I feel like I should share funny stories about my kids. But they are getting older. So the stories of mischief and amusing misunderstandings have given way to two kids who are smart and funny and sweet and independent. Kids who will happily play outside for hours every day or let us sleep into 8:30 on a Sunday because they can basically get anything they need without our help. And they are amazing- that is amazing. I adore everything about the people they are slowly morphing in to. But it’s not great blog fodder.

I have a rash of friends and family having babies this month. Sweet, smooshy, yummy smelling babies. And I wonder and I think and I agonize over if we want to add just one more to this crazy brood. I love being a mom to babies. But babies turn into toddler and toddler are so damn exhausting. Do I want to give up all the independence we have for a baby? We’re 12 years away from having an empty nest. Do I want change that up and all of a sudden be 18 year away from that? I’ll be 55 and the Hubs would be 57 when this hypothetical baby goes to college. Is that even appealing? I don’t know.  I love feeling pregnant lady’s bellies and newborns. Not sure if those are good enough reasons.

All I do know is that I love my family. I love my new job. And that spring is slowly, slowly coming. All those are amazing things and right now, they are more than enough.

My view driving home at 6:25 this morning. Breathtaking.

My view driving home at 6:25 this morning. Breathtaking.

 

 

 

Worth Their Weight in Gold

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Earlier today my daughter had her very first phone conversation with her girlfriend. She was absolutely delighted when she realized that not only was the phone for her, but it was her BFF calling to talk.  Their conversation was sweet and funny and awkward and the Bean *glowed* the whole time. Truly I was surprised that her cheeks didn’t hurt after getting off the phone.

Women

 

Last night I went out with my girlfriends to celebrate one our birthday’s. We sat around the table for almost 6 hours last night talking about everything from the mundane to the insane. We covered kids and marriages and home improvement as well as faith and suicides and crises. We laughed a whole lot and may have even teared up a time or two and it was fantastic.

My husband is my rock. My family is my life line. But these women? They are my sanity.

I know the friendships my kids both will go through as they grow won’t always be amazing. They won’t always pick the right people. They’ll have their hearts broken. But they’ll learn as they grow what to look for, what to value and who to keep. I pray that when they get older they’ve sifted out the people that aren’t worth their time and  been left with the ones that are. Because those people are worth more than anything.

Mighty

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Every Friday I have a friend who takes part in a 5 Minute Friday exercise.  A single word is given and you must write on that word for 5 minutes. No more. No less. No editing and no second thoughts- you’re just to write.

This week the word is Mighty.  Here I go…

Mighty is what I hope my children feel as they get older. Mighty is how I feel now. I’m loving my new job- I feel useful and smart and appreciated and that makes me feel empowered. It makes me feel mighty. And I want my children to know how it feels be empowered.

I hope the Hubs and I give the kids countless gifts as they get older- the gifts of joy and love and kindness and strength. But empowerment- that’s on the top of the list. I want my kids to be self- assured to do (or not to do) anything. I want them to let peer pressure be something that roles off their back. I want them to be secure enough in their selves to say No or Yes when ever they feel it’s right. I want them to know that the world is theirs, waiting for them to discover. I want them to know that no matter what life throws at them, they’ll be fine.  More than fine- they’ll thrive.

I want them to feel mighty. Because I do and it’s amazing.

Bean_Maddie

Snow Birds

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3 years ago we started to go to FL in the winter. Being in upstate NY, winter lasts from roughly Oct through April so this mid-winter break is an amazing thing not only for our tan lines, but for our state of mind. Last week was finally the week- so the day after another major storm struck we hit the road, pointed our car south and didn’t look back.

First, we went to visit a Mouse. We stayed at the Caribbean Beach Resort and it was amazing:

CaribbeanBeachResort

The kids loved the pool and would have honestly spent all vacation going down the water slides there over and over and over…. We stayed in a Pirate themed roomed which just was the cherry on top of all the rest of the awesomeness.

We only had a couple of days at Disney, so we spent day 1 at Hollywood Studios where Scorch got to live out his lifetime dream of fighting Darth Vadar (last year he fought Darth Maul).

Don't worry, Scorch kicked his butt!

Don’t worry, Scorch kicked his butt!

We also got to ride the Star Wars ride 3 times at the Bean’s insistence, see the stunt show, go on the back lot tour, run around like ants in the Honey I Shrunk the Kids playground and finally (after trying for the past 3 years) go on the Toy Story ride (worth the wait!). It was hot so we only lasted from 8:30 – 4 and then we went back the pool for swimming, pizza and drinks- which is the perfect night if you ask me.

Day 2 was the Magic Kingdom. Last year we were there on President’s Day and this year between it being a Monday and the rainy weather it felt like we had the place to ourselves in comparison!

castle

A little rain wasn’t going to stop us, so we bought some over-priced ponchos, made good use of our Fast Passes and walked from one end of the park to the other. The best part about the rain and lack of crowds? Being able to take the kids on Big Thunder Mountain over and over! It’s safe to say we’re raising thrill seekers.

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$32 for four ponchos. We’re never throwing them away- ever.

Tuesday morning it was time to head to the West Coast to visit my parents. Which was fortuitous timing because the Bean woke up with a stomach bug. I’ll spare you the details about how fun the 2 hour drive was, but we all go there in one piece and the Bean finally could curl up on a couch and watch Frozen* over and over until she felt better- which was thankfully within about 6 hours.

We spent the last 3 days of vacation at the beach, the pool and my parents house and it was lovely! I love ending our vacation on the relaxed note.

Clearwater

The Hubs and I even got a date night while my parents took the kids out. Want to guess who arrived home first that night? Hint: it wasn’t the two 60-somethings with the kids under 7 years old.

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The last night we went to the beach for sunset. It. Was. Spectacular.

684I don’t usually spend too much timing wishing my life was different, but I’ll admit that these trips down south in the winter make me really question why exactly we live up North. The Hubs has a little over a decade until he can retire and I told him on our drive home that my goal is to be a Snow Bird when we grow up.

*Best guess, the Bean watched Frozen 14 times between Tuesday and Saturday. Want me to recite it to you?

What’s Cooking?

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This is the post where I admit that life kinda sorta is really, really hard when both parents work outside the home.

Shocking, I know.  Alert the press.

I knew in theory working outside the house would be much different then working from home schedule-wise.  I’m not an idiot. But until last week when that theory became reality I didn’t know how very good we had it when I was working from home. Specifically when it came to our evening routine- homework, dinner, baths, bed, etc.  We had pizza twice last week, McDonald’s once and Scorch had two days where he did his homework at 6 am because we didn’t get to it the night before.  Now, last week was an especially chaotic week as we had the extra bonus of having something going on every night- but still, that’s bad.

So, in the hopes of getting some of control on our lives, I made 3 dinners tonight for the rest of the week. Again- not earth shattering as I know people have been doing this forever, but for us it’s huge. I normally fly by the seat of my pants with dinners but that’s a thing of the past.

This is where I need your help! If you have an tried and true recipes I can use for freezer meals when I cook on Sundays, I’d love to know about them.  Chicken, beef or fish- we’ll give ‘em all a shot!

Mom, I have a Question

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This evening as I was putting the Scorch to bed, he got really quiet and thoughtful. Then he uttered the dreaded statement:

Mom, I have a question.

Now, I like answering my kids questions. I love how their imagination works and I love that they are constantly trying to learn new things. But you never know what they are going to ask. It could be anything.  And questions saved for right before bed are typically Big Questions- questions that the kids have been mulling over all day.

So I’m ready for anything. How are babies are made? Is Santa real? Are there aliens out there? I take a deep breath, sit down on the side of his bed and look him right in the eye, asking what’s on his mind.

Ethan told me that Michael Jackson died when his was sitting on the toilet. Is that true?

Oh. Well. Wasn’t expecting that. Way to keep me on my toes, kid.

Making It Work

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Tonight ended in tears.

Scorch was crying because he couldn’t sit where he wanted to when we played Uno and the Bean was crying because the Hubs and I scrapped the idea of playing Uno all together because everyone is exhausted. Today was Day 2 of our new schedule that includes me going into the office 45 minutes away on a daily basis* and the kids going to after-school.  To top it off, we’ve have something going on every night this week. All of this is manageable- barely- but tonight the order in which we were sitting playing Uno was the last straw for poor Scorch.

The very excellent news is I love my new gig. I’m still absorbing an insane amount of information, but the people have been fantastic and I’m really excited to dive into the job itself! Right now it just feels like the right fit and I’m so, so very glad this opportunity presented itself!

As for our new schedule- we’ll make it work, of that I have no doubt. It’s just new and new things are always a struggle at the onset. It’s making lunches at night and packing lunches for 4 people instead of 2 or 3. It’s figuring out office-appropriate outfits 5 days a week (something I haven’t done since 2002!). It’s taking our finely tuned morning schedule and making it even tighter and praying for no traffic on the way to work. It’s texting during the day with the Hubs to figure out who can get the kids and who will handle homework and what we’re having for dinner.  It’s being a passionate team member who has to leave earlier then most to get my kids (something my manager, bless him, is totally fine with).  It’s trying not to drop too many balls and ignoring the 4 foot mound of laundry in the corner because the pipes are frozen again and I don’t have 2 hours to spend at the laundromat this week.

So basically it’s all the stuff everyone else who works out of the home deals with on a daily basis and, just like everyone else, we’ll find that balance sooner or later. There may be a few bumps in the road, but this life is more than worth it!