Category Archives: Bean

Eight.

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Dear Bean-

You turned 8. Your brother turned 10 in May and you turned 8 and my head is whirling from all that. But I’m really not that sad because 8 is actually one of my favorite ages. I love just about everything about 8 and I’m so excited to go through this age with you. But first, 7.

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7 was SUCH a great year for you. You blossomed at school this year. First grade was rough, but second grade?? You simply shined. Probably more than you should have given the amount of times we heard you were a bit too chatty in class, but I’d so much rather that Bean show up in school every day than the nervous, shy, anxious child we saw in first grade. While confidence at home has never been your problem, we all loved seeing you let that same confidence shine through at school and socially.  And this summer? Forget it- you’re killing it. You’ve gone to two camps already this summer without Scorch- something that would have been unheard of last year.

You, my funny girl, are 85% delight, 15% she-devil and 100% perfect. You can be sweet, loving, funny and a cuddle bug when you want to (which, thankfully is most of the time). You are the perfect mother’s helper and it’s a blast watching little kids flock to you. You adore playing school and your trusty white board is your all time favorite toy/tool/companion. Shopping for gifts for you is crazy hard simply because you want so little. You’re into experiences and going places and really don’t care much for things. You believe in quality over quantity when it comes to your friends and definitely inherited your father’s introverted side. Our house is one of your favorite places on earth- preferable with the cat on your lap and Netflix blazing.

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You have always known what you want, when you want it and have the biggest sense of self of anyone I know. While you’re definitely more courageous and brave this year, you simply won’t be pushed past your limits- big or small. Out of all your personality traits, this is the one I hope you fiercely hold on to. It’s maddening (MADDENING) to fight with you 10 minutes before we have to go to Church when you want to wear your leopard leggings with a tye-dye t-shirt but child, this ability to know what you want and have a single-mindedness about it will allow you to move mountains as you get older.

Here are my birthday wishes for you:
1) I wish you self-confidence. I hope as you continue to grow, you see how amazing you are and hold on to that feeling no matter what is raging on around you.
2) I wish you the joy of good friends. You are surrounded by some of the kindest, sweetest kids. I know that “girl drama” is supposed to come in to play soon- but resist it. Be a friend to those that deserve it, be kind to all- but don’t get sucked into drama and fights. You and your friends are better than that.
3) I wish you continued love of learning. Keep rocking that white board. Keep teaching your baby dolls what you learned at school. (But please Lord- read a whole chapter book. Your jumping from book to book is making me crazy.)
4) I wish you a sense of discovery. You haven’t found anything you’re really passionate about and that’s fine- you’re only 8 for goodness sake. But keep trying things. Sports, clubs, instruments- I don’t care what it is, but expand your horizons.
5) I wish the knowledge that you’re loved. Hormones are going to start sooner or later, which means things may go a little haywire with your emotions. Know that we will always be your safe place to land.
6) I wish you courage. Baby girl, this world is a nutty place and you’ll hear about a lot of bad things as you get older. Have the courage to know that the good way outweighs the bad. Have the courage to speak up when you see something you don’t like. Have the courage to be true to yourself.

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My fierce, funny, feisty, perfect child- I wish you nothing by good things during this year. And when bad things do happen- because they will- we’ll be here to get through it together.

All my love,
Mom

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Making Room

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And just like that, it’s over…Christmas 2015, you were perfect. This year I was on my game- I shopped early with intention and it paid off. The kids were happy, the Hubs was happy and I was happy. We got to spend 4 days straight with family and friends – holding babies, eating so much good food and catching up.

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And now we have a week off at home and that’s just like a little slice of heaven. If, in heaven, you had to clean every room in your house every day to make room for all the new stuff you intentionally bought. This was the living room the day after Christmas:

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It basically makes me want to cry. Living in a smaller home has some great advantages, but finding room for stuff is not one of them. So Monday we completely tore Scorch’s room apart- two garbage bags later, there is now room for all his baseball cards. Because baseball cards and books made up a good 75% of that boy’s Christmas haul.

As for the Bean? Her room is up next. I may need some liquor before I tackle that one. Anyone remember a few years ago when we found a can of purple frosting her in room 4 months after it was used for her birthday cake? Mind you, it’s only been 4 months since we last hauled out her room but the possibilities are just endless when I think about what we could find in there. Say a pray we all come out alive.

Hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday!

 

 

 

Nailed It!

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Scorch has nails like a pregnant woman- they grow long very quickly.  Which means I cut them often (side note: at what age do kids start to cut their own nails?).  While I was cutting them, Scorch was joking that he wanted to keep all the clippings and save them so he could pass them along to his son.

I told him that if he saved all his clipping I could promise him that he would never, ever get married and sire that son.

He thought about that for a minute and then yelled for the Bean. “If you weren’t related to me and we were dating and you found out that I had all my nail clippings from the time I was 9, would you immediately dump me?”

She paused for a second and shot back, “Nope, I’d find you interesting as long as you don’t mind that I kept all the hair that fell out of my head since I was 7.”

You guys, if my kids end up as childless unmarried hoarders, we’ll be able to trace it back to this conversation.

Take Me Out to the Ball Game…

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Spring is fast becoming one of my favorite times of the year. Scorch’s obsession with America’s Past Time means I’ve become a baseball mom and the Hubs, a baseball dad. We didn’t mean for this to happen, we didn’t want it to happen- we wanted to be lacrosse parents. But Scorch, bless him, had other ideas and the Bean followed right along. Our weeks for the past two months have consisted of games, practices, creating line ups and hours spent throwing against the throw back. We all sport t-shirt tans and the smell of baseballs and cleats fill my car. Our lives are now lived at the fields – it’s our home away from home and the center of our social lives.

Bean is playing in the Rookie league with 5-8 year olds. She is still pitched to by coaches and kids get an undetermined amount of balls tossed to them before they strike out. She’s one of two girls on her team and she makes my heart hitch every time I see her in the catcher’s equipment with her ponytail hanging out the back of her hat. Her cleats are a hot pink blur when she runs around the bases, looking proud enough to burst when she finally gets a hit.

Scorch is playing in the next league up and the game has gone from something cute the kids to to something serious the kids love. Everyone plays and everyone is nurtured, but kids aren’t playing in the dirt anymore or picking flowers in the outfield. Scorch wants to be a pitcher or a catcher or a first baseman and I hold my breath during the big moments because all of a sudden wins and losses are something the kids care out. He wears neon green cleats and he sets them just so as he stretches his body as far as it will go trying to make the out at 1st. You’d think his team just won the World Series anytime something big happens because these kids are so exuberant and happy to be playing.

We work on sportsmanship and try to ensure our kids are as good winners as they are losers. It’s a delight and a blessing when you see your kids mimicking the good behavior you’ve tried so hard to teach them- when they cheer on their teammates, congratulate the other team for a good play and make sure the kid who got beaned with the ball is OK.

I’m so proud of my boy for playing after the heartache of last season and I’m so proud of my girl for playing with the boys. As crazy as our schedule is, I’m going to miss this season when it’s over.

Oh- wait. It’s never over thanks to summer league and then Fall ball. Never mind…

Baseball

You’re The Worst

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The other day, I shared a link on Facebook to an article called “The Curse of the Second-Born Child.” It uses a heck of lot more curse words than I would have, but it essentially says that your second-born child is an absolutely amazing, crazily loved asshole sent to earth to break you.

Truth.

The love I have for the Bean is boundless. This child is a bright spot in my life- she’s funny and smart and clever and quick and gorgeous. She’s also been working my very last nerve for a good month now. If something can be a battle, it is. I realize I have a hand in all this too and that I need to disengage but man, it’s so easy to get sucked into to battle of wills with her.

Monday the Bean’s homework was to write out the contractions for “it is,” “you are,” “I am,” we are” and “he will” and use them in a sentence. Her schools gives out homework passes for various reasons and she has a bunch she can use so she chose to use hers on this particular assignment so she could play all evening instead. That was fine until she came home yesterday with classroom work involving contractions that she bombed. She didn’t have any homework last night, so I told her that we were going to do Monday’s homework as review to make sure she understood the concept.

She was furious at me for this injustice. There was wailing, gnashing of teeth, yelling and tears. There were dropped pencils that she “couldn’t” find and pencil tips that were broken on “accident.” In total she probably spent under 5 minutes writing the sentences and 40 minutes fighting with me about having to do this. Any time I tried to help Beaner, I was snapped at but any time she asked for help and I didn’t jump immediately she reigned hell fire down.

Fun times, man.

I kept my cool. I didn’t engage, didn’t yell and told her firmly what behavior was and wasn’t acceptable until the 5 freaking sentences were written. Beaner would let me see what she was writing, but I knew it was going to be good and she did not disappoint:

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I’m thinking that my mom is mean. It’s so mean that she making me do amaroke (I assume that’s “homework” and she was just too full of righteous fury to sound it out). We’re not going to the playground. He’ll got to the store. You’re the worst.

You guys, I may frame that sucker.

Really, Mom? Can You Not?

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It may come a surprise to no one, but I like myself. I’m comfortable in my own skin 95% of the time and don’t really care a lot about what people think. Scratch that. I do care- but sometimes I get so lost inside my own head or in the moment that I forget to care. That results in me dancing on the sidewalk as I’m walking the kids into school. Or singing under my breath to the songs in the grocery store (not loudly, not obnoxiously- you’d have been right next to me to even notice). Or holding impromptu dance parties in the car or the kitchen. I’m both a horrible dancer and singer, but sometimes the feeling over takes me and my feet are moving. I also like to greet everyone I know with a smile and a hello, using their name which is awesome 99% of the time unless I call someone by the wrong name. Which I’ve done. Multiple times.

Scorch is my son through and through. He doesn’t care and will more often than not join me dancing and talking to random people everywhere we go.

The Bean, however, is her father’s child. More private, more subdued and more prone to being completely embarrassed by me (or the Hubs or Scorch- we’ve all sinned against her). The Hubs and I are lucky enough to take both kids to school together most mornings. The kids start their day in an L-shaped hallway, with the door to their morning assembly being off the longer part of the “L”.  Guess where she makes us say goodbye to her now? Yup- the short part of the “L”. Kisses must be short and quick and no long hugs are allowed because someone may see us. That stings more then I thought it would.

You guys, do you know how hard it is for me not to walk down the halls of Bean’s school singing and dancing to “Shake It Off?” now? So. Hard. If it was me and Scorch, I would and we’d both laugh until our sides hurt and go on with our day. But not the Bean, she’d want to melt into a puddle and be so mad at me so I resist the urge to boogie.

I try to be respectful and kind and considerate. I’m trying to find that middle road where I can still be me while still taking the Bean’s feelings into consideration. There will be times I will unintentionally embarrass my kids and there will be times I very much intentionally embarrass them. Right now I’ll save my dances for the car or our house and mind my manners in public in the hopes my daughter still lets me hold her hand and hug her when I want to.

The Good, The Bad & and the Spotted

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The Good
The Bean is feeling about 70% better. She can actually walk, eat and talk and has enough energy to annoy the hell out of her brother.

The Bad
She missed this whole week of school (it was only 3 days long due to Spring break), which means she missed 9 days of school in March total.

The Spotted
Girlfriend’s arms, legs, hands, feet and face are COVERED in a spotted rash. According to the doctor, it’s all part of the stomach virus she had and is not contagious. It doesn’t seem to bother her too much, although her hands and feet are itchy as heck, but it looks terrible.  Not that I tell her that, but I cringe in sympathy/horror every time I look at her.

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The Good
I put ketchup in Scorch’s toothpaste this morning as an April Fool’s joke- just a tiny squirt at the top of the bottle- and it was hysterical. His reaction was picture perfect and I’ll pull the video out every time I need a laugh.

The Bad
By the time we got to school 30 minutes later, Scorch didn’t find mine or the Bean’s continued laughter at his expense funny and proceeded to have a meltdown that included a 5 minute recap of all the horrible ways we tease him. That list included this prank and that fact that we bring up the time Belle kissed him at Disney World when he was 5 over and over. Bottom line, according to my kid, I’m the worst.

The Good
Every time my dog farts or wags her tail vigorously, it smells like gingerbread.

The Bad
It sells like gingerbread because Crazy had infected, impacted internal anal glands – a fact we discovered 6+ weeks ago and are still working weekly to fix at the vet. Every time the vet does their thing (I’ll spare you the details), they spray her down to help with the smell. It doesn’t help. The scent of Gingerbread now makes me feel sick.

The Bottomline
Kids are sensitive souls with wacky immune systems and elderly dogs have issues that no one ever warned me about because if they had, I would have stuck with cats.

 

Being an Adult is Terrible

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Some days – a lot of days – I wonder where my children’s real parents are. You know, the grown ups? The adults that know what the hell they are doing and look cool, calm and collected while doing it?

Because I’m not that parent.

Except for when I have to be. I had to be on Saturday night. About 30 minutes before bed time, the Bean (who had been 100% fine up until that point) started saying she didn’t feel good. I quickly ushered her off to bed and hoped that what ever it was could just be slept off. She fell asleep quickly and I went to watch TV and fold laundry completely unaware of what was to come.

Around 9:20 I heard this odd noise and a whimper, so I went darting up the stairs to see what was going on. You guys, I found a scene out of the Exorcist. The Bean puked everywhere. On to the floors, walls, doorways; down our vanity and the side of the toilet, on to the shower curtain. Essentially every where excerpt for where she should have puked as she tried – and failed – to make it to the toilet in time.

It’s a well documented fact that I don’t do puke. That’s the Hub’s job. But the Hubs wasn’t home so guess who had to be the adult? Yup, me. Somehow I faked it. I cleaned the Bean up, cleaned my house up, threw the first of two loads of laundry into the wash and got the Bean back into bed (with a bucket by her side) without 1) vomiting myself, 2) crying or 3) just giving up. If that’s not an adult, then I don’t know what the hell is!

48 hours later and my poor baby is still miserable. This is how she elected to sleep for 2 hours today even though she hasn’t been physically sick for almost 24 hours.

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Yes, that is my bathroom floor. Thank God I cleaned ever nook and cranny of it after she got sick Saturday night so I didn’t get too many heebyjeebies when I found her asleep like that. Could she get any more pathetic!?

Here’s hoping she’s on the upswing tomorrow and I can go back to waiting for the legit grown ups to show up.

Still Hibernating

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I’ve had this silly window open trying to come up with a new blog post for a good hour now. And you know what I’ve got?

Nothing coherent or really noteworthy. But if I don’t post, this will haunt me so here you go.

Things here are good. We survived our crazy February and cling the to delusion that Spring has to arrive sometime. The kids went 4 weeks in a row without having a full 5-day school week thanks to the snow/cold. We combated the cold by spending weekends playing some sport or another in the gym or by eating our weight in carbs. Sometimes both! The exercise outweighs the carbs, right? Right.

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Scorch did ski club this year and was hell bent on snow boarding. We warned him that it was much harder and that none of his friends were doing it but he was not changing his mind. So we let him. And he stunk at it. Scorch is a very social creature with an easy athleticism so this was so hard for him. He was on his own (minus his instructors) and it was really, really difficult to learn. Every week he was a basketcase about going to ski club but every week he went and the very last week he finally passed his test and was released out of lessons!

I’m sure there is some lesson in there about perseverance but truthfully I’m just thrilled the season is over because it tipped his anxiety over the top. Every Wednesday was a battle of nerves for him so we both ended up taking deep breaths by the time he was dropped off at the resort (him due to nerves, mine due to frustration). I’m really proud of him for pushing through but Wednesdays were long, long days.

I realize that of all the things we could be dealing, anxiety is way down the list of things that suck but this winter has been hard on Scorch. His biggest fear is getting sick – which he never did this winter. Not once. Which would be great except he’s been waiting for illness to strike him down since December. Over half his class got struck down with the flu and strep in the same week and he was as healthy as a horse. Well, as healthy as a horse who was convinced illness was stalking him just waiting to pounce. At his request I’ve spent more time feelings his cheeks for a fever this winter then I did in his first 3 years combined. I walk the line between being very sympathetic and wanting to shake the kid and tell him that he has not spike a fever in the past 30 seconds since the last time I felt his cheeks (no exaggeration). Spring cannot get here soon enough.

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~*~*~*

The Bean, on the other hand, is completely unfazed about most things in life. As long as you’re doing what she wants, when she wants. And as long as you don’t laugh at her if she does / says something silly when she didn’t mean do. Or if you don’t laugh when she wants you to, at what she said even if it wasn’t funny. She’s a complicated creature is what I’m saying.

After a little bit of a rough start to 1st grade, the Bean is currently kicking butt and taking names. She taught me something in Math last week that I never realized and hasn’t let me forget it yet. Beaner is playing Little League this year and I cannot wait to see how this rolls out. In football, she was amazing AND managed to get two wedding proposals. Who know what’ll happen in baseball!

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And that’s our boring, ordinary, quiet life. Which I’m totally OK with. Hopefully we’ll come out of hibernation soon and be back to our normal chaos.

Daily Snippits

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Oh these children of mine, they just fill my heart. And 95% of the time it’s with love and happiness! We shall not talk about the other 5% of the time.

I lied –  because what am I if not an over-sharer?!

This past week was spirit week at the kid’s school. Monday was Sports Day, Tuesday was Mis-Match Day, Wednesday was School Spirit Day and yesterday was Character Day. I had been talking to the kids all week long about Character Day- where you get to dress in your favorite character. We have a few odd costumes laying around and I was more than willing to help them put something new together if they wanted. All week they told me they had it under control and it was all good. I knew darn well that was a lie, but was too busy to really concern myself with it.

Character Day arrived yesterday and, to no one’s surprise, the kids had nothing in mind and were freaking out. Always the one to look for the easy way out, I told them they were going to baseball players (what..they are characters!) because lord knows we have enough baseball paraphernalia to clothe a team in my house. All was more or less fine (read: each kid only cried once while getting dressed) until it was time for them to figure out what hat they were each going to wear. Mind you, we have at least 7 baseball hats in my house, but they each wanted to wear the same one. Because, of course they did.

Cue the meltdown of epic proportions from each kid (Scorch: it’s my hat. Bean: I called it first. Lather, rinse, repeat) until I finally said no one is going to wear a hat. Period. Which went over really, really well. I hustled my sobbing, pissed off kids out the door and 2 seconds later Bean ran back in while I was putting my shoes on to tell me Scorch agreed she could wear the hat, so we can bring them both. Clearly I was born yesterday because I believed her only to find out the little shit was lying when Scorch promptly lost his mind when she climbed into the car wearing the hotly debated hat.

We drove to school with the volume on the radio turned up to the max just so I didn’t have to hear them anymore. It’s pretty clear my parenting style is both mature and understanding.

Thankfully the hat decision was decided by a few heated thumb wars and peace was restored by the time I left school. As our beloved crossing guard likes to day, yesterday was a day that called for day drinking.

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Earlier this week on Mis-Match Day, the kids decided to dress as each other. Bean had on jeans, a button down shirt and a tie. We pinned her hair up and called it a day. Scorch decided to wear a dress (over his shirt and jeans) and a beautiful pink barrette to school. The kids thought this was hysterical (as did I) and they wore their clothes proudly all day (barrette included!).

Flash forward to Wednesday night when Scorch got home from ski club. He was in the bathroom getting undressed and I realized he never took off his school clothes- he just put his long johns, sweatpants and ski pants over what he had on. He did the same thing for his top half. That meant he had on 4 layers on his bottom half and 7 layers on his top. While I appreciate the need to be warm, I asked why he hadn’t changed first?

Oh, I didn’t think of that.

I couldn’t help but laugh.

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Last night as I was putting the kids to bed, I told the Bean I loved her. Her reply? Not as much as I love eating boogers!

The end.