Thursday, August 27, 2015

So This Happened...



My cell phone rang yesterday afternoon while I was at work. I didn't recognize the number, so let it go. When it beeped a couple of minutes later to let me know I had a voicemail, I went ahead and listened to it. It was R's kindergarten teacher calling to tell me R had cut her own hair at school. The teacher went on to say she wasn't sure when it had happened, she hadn't seen it happen but had just found the hair sitting in her spot. She asked R about it, and R said she didn't know and thought maybe she had pulled it out. The teacher told her it looked like it was cut with scissors. R said she didn't remember but maybe she had cut it. So the teacher is keeping her scissors on her desk for a few days until R can earn them back. She was very apologetic in the message, and ended by saying they usually make it a few more days into the year before someone cuts their hair, and that she was sending the hair home in an envelope.

I could not stop giggling at my desk. R is the most thoughtful and kind-hearted soul, but she's also mischievous and a bit of a rascal. It doesn't surprise me at all that she cut her hair. It's kind of a rite of passage. I feel like most kids either cut their own hair, or have a sibling who cuts it. It's definitely nothing to get worked up about in my opinion; natural consequences are really effective and there's no permanent damage as her hair will grow back. And since I was prepared with the knowledge before I picked her up, I was able to use it as a learning opportunity. She was adorably chastened when I asked her how her day went. Guess we can check that off the kid experience list for our house!

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Back to School

 Last Wednesday was the first day of 3rd grade for S, and Friday was Baby R's first day of kindergarten! It was, of course, a huge milestone, and DH was luckily able to go late to the office so he could walk with us.

At Meet the Teacher night, R had been nervous about not having any friends, and I told her once we met her teacher, she would already have one friend for the first day. I privately let the teacher know of her concerns, so when we were leaving, she called R over and said that there was a little girl who was nervous about her first day and asked R if she could be a special helper on the first day and befriend the other little girl so she wouldn't be lonely. Brilliant! Give her a way to help so she's not thinking about her own problems.

All went well the first day. But then Monday came, and she lost her water bottle and lunchbox, and yesterday they girls had their first tardy. And today they had dentist appointments at lunchtime (because 6 months ago, I didn't realize school would already be in session), and I had to pick them up at exactly the same time as the kindergarteners were going to the cafeteria. Not only did R not get to eat, but today was supposed to be the first day she was going to get to have school lunch. For a little kid who's looked forward to doing such a big kid thing, it was devastating. She cried all the way to the dentist's, and even into the chair. She finally calmed down, and after her cleaning, she went to play in the waiting area while I set the next appointment, and she fell and scraped a scab off, and her leg started bleeding. Major meltdown again. Got that addressed, then picked up fast food since she still hadn't eaten, got to school and no one was in her class. She was distraught. After eliminating art, P.E. and music as possibilities, figured out they were at recess, and another teacher helped her outside. Finally got back to work - two hours later.


I totally get why all my friends told me I shouldn't be worried about not being able to stay home with the kids when they were babies, and that it would be worse once they were in school. It will be a miracle if we make it to May at this point. I'm so stressed out by the time I get to work, and I haven't even started my day yet. Working on coming up with a better system, because we just can't keep having awful starts to our day. Pray for me, friends!

Friday, July 31, 2015

A Message To My Children: Life Is Choices

Diets do not work. Food is not bad. Don't say you can't have something. Think about your food every time you eat. Ask yourself if you're making a healthy choice or not. And don't feel guilty when you don't. The purpose of food is fuel for your body. Don't let it turn into anything more than that.

People are flawed. They will say mean things about you that aren't true. Don't let them define what you think about yourself. Choose to believe the truth: you are beautiful and kind and made in God's image.

Sometimes life will be hard. Mistakes happen. Problems exist. You can wallow in the negative or choose to be thankful for the good and do what you can to make things better.

No matter how hard you try not to, you will make a bad choice. That's ok. Do what you can to fix it, but don't dwell on it after all is said and done. Decide to make a better choice next time.

Be quick to listen, but slow to speak and act. Before making any decision, seek God's will.

You can't control anything in this world. Life is unfair. The only thing you can control is how you react to things. You get to choose how you let things affect you. If good things happen, soak it in. Let the bad bounce off.

I know all of this is easier said than done. I need to take my own advice. I'm working on it. I pray you'll grasp it sooner than I did.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Batter Up!



Baby R absolutely loved baseball this summer! She wanted their team name to be the Royals (natch) but was outvoted so played for the Colorful Crystals. :) As I said before, she is so fun to watch - she really gets after it out there! And she's generous - she always runs down the ball, but will let others have a turn throwing it; tough - she rolled her ankle playing 1st but after a little fuss, she settled down and told me she thought she could finish the game; encouraging of teammates - she told a little boy how proud of him she was; and, of course, adorable - one game she was running the bases and while on 2nd called out, "Mama! I need something!"

I yelled back, "What do you need, baby?"

"I need a hug!"

Seriously. This girl!

Unfortunately, most game nights I didn't get to watch her as closely as I would have liked. I often had S and Cinco with me which was a bit of a challenge at times. Especially on picture day.

We were running late (shocking) and her team wasn't on the field. We finally realized it was picture day (I had forgotten) and they were over at the main tent. I pushed Cinco across the bumpy field as fast as I could in the umbrella stroller, and let the girls run ahead. All the individual photos had been taken and they were getting ready to do the team shot. Luckily, R got there in time, and they did her individual photo after the group one. Then she and S ran off with the team to the field to play while I filled out the paperwork to order the pictures.

While I was doing that, Cinco was trying to get out of the stroller. He didn't understand why the girls were free to run but he wasn't. I was also trying to keep an eye on my dad who had come to watch the game and was making his way along the sidewalk with his walker. I was nervous he was going to catch it on a crack and fall. Needless to say, my attention to detail on the form was not the best.

A few weeks later we got the pictures. Beautiful photo of Baby R - genuine smile, just gorgeous. But at the bottom it said 2015 and S's name instead of R's. I filled out the form wrong! I felt like such a jerk. I'm trying so hard to keep R from having middle child syndrome, and then I go and do something like that?!?! Luckily we were able to reorder them and just got the new ones yesterday. Of course, we'll keep the ones that are wrong so they can all tease me about it when their older. Isn't that what all kids do?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Fun Stuff!


The last few posts have been so down in the dumps, and I've hardly mentioned the munchkins this year, so I decided to make this a fun post! It hasn't been all doom-and-gloom. I have so much to be thankful for. We've had some good times. Many of them I noted on Facebook, and I discovered a fun app call Little Hoots that embellishes those cute kid moments, too.

Here's an example of one:




Ahhh, kids. Here are a few other gems from the last few months:

S: You can't sing my song. It's trademarked.

Around Valentine's Day after they got their boxes of chocolates and conversation hearts, R had a few things to say.
(After eating a Russell Stover's chocolate) I had one of those Ruby Stone things in that box Dad gave us.
(After eating a purple conversation heart) It tastes like grape cake. Just like I always wanted! (pause) With a hint of orange and a hint of blueberry.

We may watch too much Food Network...

Also, we may watch too much Star Wars.
S: (holding up a chicken strip) It looks like a Republic ship!


Me: R! Put down the light saber, and eat your dinner!

R: (dropped the Windex when she was helping clean the windows) Oh man, I didn't use The Force!

• • • • •

R: Can I work for you?
S: Sure! I pay $10 a week.

R: You know Cookie Monster. Perhaps you're not familiar with him?

Me: Hurry up in the bathroom and come eat your dinner!
R: Mom, can't I get some peace?!?!

R: (Cleaning windows) Man, this is dirty. Those darn kids.

R: Why is sissy wearing a damn banna?

One day, the girls were pretending to be animals and having me guess what they are - hopping by on all fours, frog; slithering by on tummies, snake. S crawled past so I guessed cow, bear, dog and cat. Finally gave up.
S: I'm a cheetah!
Me: But cheetahs are fast.
S: I had to go slow so you could see me.
Touché.

R: Mama, when will you get gray hairs?
Me: I already have some. 
R: You do?!?!?!
(Awww!)
S: Yeah, I can totally see them from here.
:/

R: Mom, remember that time I peed poop out of my butt? 
(Unfortunately, yes.)

Baby R kept saying "Oooh la la!" She finally asked me what it meant and I told her it meant, check that out, or it's so fancy. She disappeared into the toy room for a minute and then reappeared in a tiara and boa and announced her entrance with "Oooh la la!"

Me: R, it looks like you've got a bit of a sunburn. Let's put some aloe on it."
R: No! I hate aloe!
Me: How do you know? You've never had it on.
R: Yes, I have! A thousand times! More like 3.
On top of that, we enjoyed a couple of trips to St. Louis for my nephew's birthday party and Easter. We made mini chocolate pies for the epic pi day: 3/14/15. My parents' piano is now at our house which has been fun.



DH and I FINALLY got a bedroom set! He may only get me an anniversary present every 10 years, but at least it was a good one. The girls had their first real dance recital. R started baseball, and what a joy she's been to watch! She's got hustle! She chases down every ball, slides into home and gives it her all every game.  And S got to do M.A.D. Camp for the first time this year. It's Music, Arts and Drama at church. She loved it and wished it lasted longer than a week.

I got to have some nice adult mom time, too. My high school girlfriends took me to get a pedicure and dinner and a movie for a belated birthday celebration. I went to Girls Night Out at the Royals with the SPC gals. And I got to go to my first Sporting KC game.

And of course we went on walks, caught roly polies and fireflies, measured inch worms, played in the mud, flew kites, went to the park, played in the sprinkler and enjoyed each other's company when we weren't driving each other crazy. Not to mention all the adorable stuff Cinco has been up to. But that will have to wait for another post on another day....

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Decision




Today at church, the guest speaker talked about how no one likes a story without tension or conflict, so when that's happening in our lives, we just need to remember it means we have a good story.

I must have a great story, because just when I think things are calming down, there's another plot twist.

Dad said that the facility called today to let him know that Mom had altercation with a woman last night. She apparently pulled the woman's oxygen cord around her neck to choke her. She's been sent to a psychiatric hospital for 10-14 days to be evaluated.

If you had told me this story a decade ago, I would have laughed at the absurdity of the idea. But my mother is no longer my mother. This cruel disease has changed her into someone else. And I have no doubt that this person is capable of anything and everything under the sun.

Usually my fears about me developing Alzheimer's some day focus on how much it will suck for me. I feel so badly for everything Mom is going through. But today, all I could think about were my poor husband and children having to deal with these kinds of things. I decided I need to tell my family that when the time comes, I want them to say goodbye to me, mourn and move on.

I don't want them to see me not know who they are. I don't want them to see me have episodes of paranoia. I don't want them to have to explain to my grandchildren why I tried to strangle a woman. I want to give them all hugs and kisses and tell them how much I love them and then jump on a plane to some foreign land. They'll have only fond memories of me, and I'll live out my days in oblivion. Any lucid moments I may have will be filled with the knowledge that they're not suffering. I only hope that they can understand that it's better than the alternative.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Farewell, Old House

Tonight, I walked out of my high school home for the last time. Dad had an estate sale last week, and all the remaining trash was hauled out to a dumpster over the weekend. I stopped by to pick up the card table and chairs that were used in the sale this evening, and said goodbye to the garage door as I backed out of the driveway.

I feel a bit of melancholy about it, but I wasn't attached to the house as much as many people are. I lived there for 5 years which was the longest I lived at any house growing up. But I rented a duplex with friends for that long, as well, and have just surpassed that record in our home now; in August we'll have lived here 6 years.

The old house was special, though, because it was the first one Mom and Dad didn't flip. We moved there soon after Dad's triple bypass because it was a ranch and had an HOA that handled lawn maintenance and snow removal. And so they stayed. Even after my sister and I moved away to college. After we got married. After we had kids. Twenty-four years. Half of their married life was spent there. It was truly their home.

It's not so much the building; I'm mostly just wistful about the "good old days": hanging out with my girlfriends in the kitchen then playing Spoons and eating brownie batter at sleepovers in the living room; listening to Bon Jovi and Poison and Guns N Roses in my bedroom; family dinners and Christmases. But really I'm mourning the loss of something more. Not only do my parents no longer live in that house, they no longer live together. I'm mourning the loss of my parents' role as the caretakers. Of the safe cocoon of my youth. Of my smart, strong, caring mother who has been replaced by someone who doesn't know who I am.

It's hard to say goodbye to those things. Those are the things that were woven into the fabric of my being. The house… is just a house. When I break it down that way, it's much easier to leave it.

Farewell, old house. You were lucky to shelter such an amazing couple.
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