Category Archives: My crazy life

Thankful Heart: Day 26 – 30

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It’s the end of the month – which means it’s the end of non-stop posts about what I’m thankful for.

When I started this, it felt odd. I wanted to highlight all the things I’m thankful for, but I didn’t want to brag. I don’t want to paint the picture that our lives are sunshine and roses all the time, because they aren’t. But they are pretty damn good and I do have a lot of things to be thankful for. And I am so very grateful for them. I try not to take them for granted and I try to make sure I’m worthy of them. And that, I think, is the key to a happy life.

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Even with a month full of posts on things I’m thankful for, I still didn’t hit them all. So, in no particular order, here are some other things I’m feeling warm and fuzzy about:

> The Hubs is sick with a nasty cold, but he still went outside and decorated our house for Christmas yesterday and it looks beautiful. Nothing makes me happier then coming home to find our house all lit up.

> We had a fantastic Thanksgiving a at my mother-in-law’s house. We ate a great meal and gathered with family that drove a long way to be with us. The food was delicious and plentiful and the company was top-notch.

> When we got back home we got to celebrate Lala’s 5th birthday and, later that night, my aunt’s 75th birthday. If that’s not an amazing day, I don’t know what is.

> My kids. Every minute of every day. Always, so thankful for those goons even when they make me want to curl up in a ball. Some times just looking at them takes my breath away.

> My marriage. We’re celebrating our 15th anniversary in 2016 and coming quickly on our 18th year together. We work hard at it – some days it’s amazing and other days I wonder if we’re going to make it another hour, but we dig in our heels and make it happen. I’m thankful for a partner that is willing to put in the work right next to me.

> Books, books and more books. I’ve read 110 books thus far this year and I’m not stopping. They make me happy, they transport me out of my head and they show me worlds I never dreamed of.

> My critters. The kitties are 14 years old, the dog is 13. They make me crazy (see: stepping in cat puke this morning) and they make my house a mess of fur but I can’t imagine any house of mine without a pet.

> This blog. This will be my 556th post. I started writing this in August of 2010 when the Bean was 2 and Scorch was 4. I love this place, the people I’ve meet and the stories that will be here for my kids to read when they are older.

September

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September continued its trend of not being very kind when I got sick last week. A cold quickly turned into a sinus infection that just as quickly turned into pink eye.  I woke up a week ago with tired eyes, which wasn’t surprising since I worked until 1:30 am the night before. When I went into the bathroom around noon and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror I was slightly horrified at how red and puffy my eye was looking. I prayed that a few allergy eye drops would fix things but by the time I picked the kids up from school at 3, the Bean told me that looking at my eye made her feel like she wanted to throw up.

The rest of the night went downhill from there.

A trip to the walk-in clinic got me the meds I needed later that night and 4 days later I was finally feeling human. Just in time too because my baby cousin got married last weekend and we had a LOT of celebrating to do (which we did spectacularly, I may add).  Seriously guys- the wedding was amazing and I couldn’t be happier for these crazy kids.

Photo by K&T’s wedding planner – gorgeous!

My cousin and her husband have been together for 15 years – since they were in 8th grade. That’s mind boggling to me, especially since the kid I dated in 8th grade is, I believe, in jail. The Hubs helped to arrest him years ago (you can’t make this up, I swear). Anyhow, K&T are just as in love now as they’ve ever been and it was wonderful to be in their company as they finally made what we’ve known for years official.

Here’s hoping this past weekend ushered in some good mojo and September starts being the amazing beast we know she can be.

LakeLife

Start of Summer

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So…hey, been a while. Life got nuts. Like more nuts then usual. We had the end of school- both kids passed and I got all teary on the last day of school. I’ll let you decide if they were tears of joy or terror for the summer ahead. I cannot believe I have a 4th grader and a 2nd grader now!  The day after school ended, Little League ended with a bang when Scorch’s team won the championship game. There wasn’t even time to celebrate because we left the next day for the Outer Banks in NC.

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Scorch, Bean and Lala

And that is when summer really started.

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It was the perfect vacation. The hardest decisions were deciding whether we went to the beach first or then then pool or vice versa, and what we wanted to drink each night around the pool (don’t judge- deciding between margaritas and Cape Codders isn’t for sissies).  The weather was gorgeous 85% of the time and when it did storm it was a night and the lightening was spectacular.  My biggest complaint about this vacation is that it is over.

The waves were so big, the kids couldn't go in far even if they wanted.

The waves were so big, the kids couldn’t go in far even if they wanted.

I read 6 books, spent time with my extended family and vegged on the beach for hours a day. That’s my definition of heaven.

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And now we’re back to reality. Camps, more baseball, work and all the craziness that comes with real life. But at least it’s summer time- that makes it all OK.

3rd year in a row we've found a heart shaped shell on the last day of vacation.

3rd year in a row we’ve found a heart shaped shell on the last day of vacation.

Happy Summer!

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…

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Happy Easter

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EasterFrom our family to yours, I hope you had a joyous and blessed Easter filled with those you love most.

~*~*~

We had a great, lazy Easter. Early morning mass meant we had all day home and we took full advantage by napping (the Hubs), playing (the kids) and eating chocolate (all of us).  All the chocolate may have contributed the general craziness after dinner tonight. We had at least 3 meltdowns, 2 bouts of hysterical laughter and 1 good fight that had to be broken up. In other words, it was the perfect day.

At bedtime, the kids and I were saying our prayers. We always say the same 3 prayers, then I say a prayer thanking God for all the good things that happened that day and the kids each thank God for specific things. The half hour leading up to bedtime was a disaster so I was rushing through as quickly as possible (like the good Catholic I am). I had just gotten to the part where I was thanking God for our more-or-less great day, when one of my kids (not telling who) piped up with “I just itched my butt and now my finger smells weird.”

God must have been so proud.

Cold and Tired (At the Same Time)

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The other night when I was putting Scorch to bed, he asked me if I was ever tired.

And I laughed and laughed and laughed and then fell asleep on his bed, fully clothed waiting for him to fall asleep.

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This is our family calendar for the month of February. It’s missing at least 10 things on it. This is where I’ve been:

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The good news is once Spring arrives, things slow down (relatively speaking). If spring arrives. God, I hope spring arrives soon because this snow and cold may kill me. The kids haven’t had school for the past three Mondays in a row due to snow days. Tomorrow there is a very good chance they won’t have school because of the cold. We have a whopping high of 3 tomorrow with wind chill factors of -35. NEGATIVE 35.

Good thing Mother Nature graces us with moments of pure beauty in the midst of this crazy cold. This is the hoarfrost seen on my drive to work yesterday.

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If I don’t come back for the next week, bring a blowtorch and some hand warmers to come thaw us out!*

*Yes, this post was one long whine. I’ll do better next time.

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.

Happy New Year!

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Dear 2014,

You rocked on a lot of levels- I’m so glad we got to be such good friends. 2013 stunk- we were hit with ill health, some house problems, job loss and financial uncertainty so when you arrived you were welcomed with open arms and high hopes. You did not disappoint. You brought:

> Kindergarten graduation & First Communion
> 2 new jobs that I adore
> A brand new kitchen and bathroom> Vacations- including one that let us see all my nieces and nephews in one week (that one was by far my favorite).
> Good health for my immediate family
> Health scares for my extended family that were, thankfully, relatively minor and resolved quickly
> Amazing books and stories that helped to expand our imaginations
> and so much more.

But now you’re out the door and 2015 is coming in. Here’s hoping it lives up to all the fun you brought along with continued good health and happiness for us and our families and friends. Here’s what I wish for all of you as well:

New Years Hope

Thanks,

Heather

Winter Wonderland

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We got our first major snow storm earlier this week. It’s still early enough into winter that I find the snow charming and gorgeous. Don’t worry, Mother Nature will suck that joy out of me soon enough. But for now, it’s picturesque and I love rolling around in it with my kids. Have I mentioned how much fun 6 and 8 year old kids are? Because they are. They are funny, quick and really enjoyable to be around. Too bad I can’t freeze them at this age because I totally would if I could.

SnowLandscapeThe only down side to this weather (you know, outside of the treacherous roads, shoveling and car doors being frozen shut) is Crazy, our dog. She’s 12 years old and refuses to spend longer then 2 minutes outside when it’s 60 and sunny. But give her 28 and snow and she’s a puppy again. That’s her to the left of the Bean in the picture above after a long winter’s romp through the yard.

So my day has been spent today trying to distract the damn dog from wanting to go out over and over and over.  Most of the time I failed because when you’re trying to work from home, a barking dog isn’t exactly a boon to productivity and professionalism.

Snippets

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The Bean is playing flag football. She said she wanted to play, so we signed her up and then she lost her mind over the fact that we dared to do what she had asked us to do. Needless to say, getting her to her first practice involved a combination of lying (“Coach won’t have a full team if you’re not there- you don’t want to let the other kids down, do you?”) and bribery (hello dinner at Friendly’s!). But we got her there and she loves it. Can’t-wait-to-go, why-can’t-we-play-every-day loves it.

She’s the only girl on the team full of sweet, funny, nice 5 and 6 year old boys. Last week during the game, one of those sweet boy went up to the Hubs and asked completely out of the blue, “Coach, can I date your daughter?”

The look on the Hubs face was priceless. “No, you can’t. Pay attention to the game.” Then, as an after thought,  “Plus, you’re too young.”

That sweet little boy walked away, then came back 2 minutes later and very seriously asked the Hubs if he could date the Bean in 10 years when they are both 16.

I melted and the Hubs had an internal panic attack.

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The other day I was with the kids and we stopped by a Catholic school. The kids read the name of the school, written on the building in old fashioned script and promptly informed me that it was a Pinocchio school.

It took a lot of persuading to convince them that, no it wasn’t a Pinocchio school- it was a parochial school. Still not sure they believe me.

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We have an Elf on the Shelf, Buddy. Buddy’s been with our family since Scorch was 3 and his return every year after Thanksgiving is a Big Deal in our house. Thankfully Buddy is a lazy elf, so he doesn’t get into trouble or make messes- he just moves from spot to spot every night, finding a new vantage point from which to spy on the kids and narc to Santa.

Except for last night. Last night, Buddy didn’t move. He stayed right where was was because he didn’t want to go to the North Pole to have to tell Santa how rotten the kids were. Instead, he left them a note telling them (nicely) to shape up or face the consequences. I wasn’t sure how my delicate snowflakes were going to take Buddy’s letter this morning- but damned if we didn’t have the most peaceful morning in recent history today.

I’m hoping that elf is feeling verbose and isn’t afraid to drop a stray threat or two as needed the rest of the month!

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This morning on the way to the work, I passed a field of cows and sheep. So, as I’m wont to do, I pulled over, hopped out of my car and took some pictures with my phone (all the while cursing the fact that I didn’t bring my good camera today).  As I got closer to fence separating me from them, all the sheep turned tail and ran away. Then they all stopped at pretty much the exact same time and all turned to look at me. The absurdity of the group-think going on cracked me up, so I laughed the whole walk back to my car.

Babes- lots of them.

Is it any wonder that I got texts from 3 different people asking if I was OK by the time I got back to the car? Gotta love small towns where everyone driving by knows you and wonders at your sanity.