Tuesday, December 30, 2008
We traveled through West Virginia with NO PROBLEMS! Of course I think we were only in West Virginia for about 10 minutes, and even the Cerami Family can usually muddle through 10 minutes without too much drama.
So as we are headed into Virginia on route 81, we notice traffic slowing down, slowing down, and stopping. Yup, stopping right on the highway. Stopping like people were out of their vehicles walking around.
The first half hour was funny, we thought that there was no way that this was actually happening, and thank goodness we had made good time earlier on in the day, you know we still wanted to arrrive in Pinehurst while it was light.
It wasn't until sometime in the next hour that you could feel the tension rising in the van.
We were crawling along the highway at this point. The kind of crawling that is stay in park until the person in front of you moves 2 feet, then just put it in drive & roll forward a bit. It was at this point that Sam's back was hurting. Did I mention that he drove the whole way? If I didn't I don't know how I could have forgotten, he sure didn't let me forget... even though I offered, a lot. (and of course prayed he would say no, but he doesn't know that). But his back hurt, and he had driven the whole way. Oh and his back hurt & he had driven the whole way, but you know I felt bad for him because his back hurt and he had driven the whole way.
About 10 minutes into the next hour, everyone but me had to pee. I spoke with my dad who suggested they use an empty pop bottle, he must of forgotten that I have GIRLS, and when I suggested it to Sam, he was just insulted !
I will leave out the parts where Sammy would ask if he should try to switch lanes & if he did and someone from our old lane passed us, he would grumble & swear under his breathe. Seems he memorized every car in a mile long line around us, and could remember exactly where we "could have been" or "should have been" had he not listened to me.
ANyway, 2 1/2 hours and about a mile stretch of highway & we were finally moving :) We exicted at the next exit, ate, used the bathrooms, and as we were about to get back on rt. 81 we noticed that it was again at a stand still. Thank goodness I had the AAA map ! (stupid route Sammy had to take) so I found a way of getting to where we had to go & it was only about 1/2 inch on the map. Less than that, a 1/4 inch. I showed Sam & he agreed . Let me say that again..... HA AGREED. So off we go.
You know maps are a funny thing....
TO BE CONTINUED
Monday, December 8, 2008
.... seeing of course that we wouldn't be familiar with the territory because we had not gone that way before.... You know, the one we didn't have a trip-tick for......
So we loaded up, and off we went..... pretty uneventful until we hit Williamsport, PA. Samantha started to feel naseous, and dizzy, and had a headache, and was tired, and was hot, no cold, no hot..........
So being the attentive, doting parents we are we tried telling her she was fine. That it's just in her head, that she's just hungry.....WRONG! Apparently she gets car sick :(
We were lucky enough that she waited until we could get the door open for her to lean out it. So as we are guiltily (is that a word?) hovering around her, as the tears stream down her face & she has that "i told you so" look in her eyes, Libby starts to tell us that she is car sick too. And we.......... tell her to be quiet. And she is complaining......... and we tell her to be quiet...... so in frusteration I tell Sam, "just go see what she need". And guess what she needed?
Yup, to begin throwing up. I think Sam & I should get some kind of award don't you?
So I go to the back of the van to get something from the trunk & I open it, and the cooler FLIES out at me, lands on my foot, opens & spits all our soda's, capri sun's & ice all across the parking lot. I tell you it's a good thing I had Sam there to yell at me about how wrong I was for opening the trunk, or I would have never learned that your supposed to get at the stuff in the trunk by what? drilling a while in the roof & leaning in ??????. No fear though, a perfect stranger came over & helped me pick everything up, while Sam continued to b*t%h.
Anyway, potty break & breakfast, I re-pack the front seat & we are off again ! And I'm so so s o glad that I had thought to keep plastic bags in the front seat because sure enough, anout 45 minutes later, my poor Samantha was hurling again.
So we hit Maryland, and we can see a Wal-Mart. Just off the highway...... so we figured two birds, one stone.... we'll get gas and dramamine for our puking children. Gas first..... unfortunately in planning the layout of the state, the founders of Maryland decided that they would conspire, and hide all the gas stations from Sammy. Seriously, I think that that is what he was thinking happened. He complained so much that when we got to Wal-Mart, (still without gas) Samantha asked me "geez what did Maryland ever do to daddy?". So we get some snackies, dramamine, and use the potty.... and head out to find a gas station. Which (thank goodness) we do. Even though the (and I quote) "stupidist, stupidist thing I have ever seen, why even have signs for gas when they are this far off the highway, this is the dumbest thing i have ever seen" We fill up & off we go again!
more to come .............................
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Well we drove to North Carolina. And the trip down isn't funny.... yet. One day I'll genuinely laugh about it.... instead of pretending that it was comical.
The issues with the drive started about 3 weeks before we actually left. Weird huh? Sammy thought we needed to get AAA. I thought we paid every month for "roadside assistance" on our insurance so why bother...... Apparently if you have road side assistance and you break down in the middle of nowhere, they will pick you up, but will more than likely drop you off at a closed, unreputable garage that is closed, and there will be nothing around for miles & miles & miles. We would have to sleep in the cold van without food or bathroom until the convict mechanic decided to open. Little did I know.... but then again in my world people are all trustworthy, and innately good. Not in Sammy's. Or my Dad's. Or my brother's. Three to one, I was outvoted, so we now have AAA. And we were safe & able to be towed to an open, trustworthy place with lots of facilities. Luckily this never happened.....
Now my dad had gotten us a trip-tick. (a map showing us exactly what route to take). It however, took us way west before heading south, and it didn't make sense to Sammy. So I went and asked for one going through D.C. because I remember taking that route when we drove down 11 years ago....
( i know this because I decided to go take a spin down Pennsylvania Avenue while Sammy was sleeping on the way down last time..... unfortunatley the white house wasn't right off the exit, and we ended up in the slums of what I learned is apparently not the safest city in the U.S., so I had to wake Sammy up & let him know what I did & I am still, STILL, hearing about it. So much so that he didn't let me drive at all this time.)
Anyway back to the trip-tick. So here we have mapped out, minute by minute (literally) directions. They are a straight line from Rochester to Pinehurst. There was even an alternate route to cut out D.C. if we wanted too. Not only that but we personally had driven that way before....... Sammy however wants to take his Dad's directions. I will concede that his Dad & Diane have driven here & back a gazillon times, and I have no doubt that WHEN FOLLOWED their route is the best. (in case you are wondering there is a bit of foreshadowing in that last sentence). We followed Sammy's dad's directions ............... more on that to come......
I'll post a couple pics, so you know that we did end up there .... and fill you in more tomorrow!
Friday, October 31, 2008
Monday, October 27, 2008
Remember when you were little & everything seemed so tough? Of course now we know it wasn't. Being a grown-up is tough. I mean adolescence wasn't a walk in the park, but I'm talking about responsibilities.
There are so many responsibilities that come along with age. And if you are a parent, triple those responsibilites.
I have to take care of two (I would say three, but I fear Sammy might read this) little human beings. Granted they are both more self-sufficient than when they first arrived, but I am responsible.
For clean clothes, .. for even having clothes, for their meals, and lunch money, and homework done, and getting to dance class or soccer, or any school function on time. Does Samantha have her flute? Did Libby wear purple like she was supposed too? Did they brush their teeth, wash behind their ears? Change their underwear ? (okay that last one Sammy does on his own.... tee hee hee) Take a vitamin? Wearing a helmet? Wearing her deodorant ? Are they getting bullied? Are they bullying? Did they read all their minutes this week? Should they have more responsibilities at this age? or less?
Did I pay RG&E ? Did I budget for the nine million birthday parties we have this month? Should we get AAA before we go to NC ? Are the dishes in the machine clean or dirty? Is the litter box clean? Are we out of Parmesan cheese? Does anyone need a doctor's appointment? Is the van due for an oil change? Did I send out that birthday card, or that thank you card? Did I remember to get eggs?
See what I mean? I could go on & on & on & on, but I won't.
Being a grown-up is hard.
But I can have cake for breakfast.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
I can relate.
I know what it is. The problem with puberty. It's the crying.
Not the silent tears running down her cheeks, and a slight sniffle. Not the crocodile tears like when she couldn't get what she wanted. Not the scared cry, not the hurt cry.
It's a cry that I am pretty sure comes from her toes.
It's a cry that sounds like she has just lost her best friend, and cat, all at once.
In fact if you heard it, it would break your heart. It's quite pitiful. Because it's not mean spirited. It's not a temper tantrum. She is sad.
Today she cried for about 10 minutes. Inconsolably (not that I was trying to console her, I wasn't). But before you judge her, let me tell you, the cause was very serious in nature. You see, she wanted rigatoni for lunch. She got PBJ.
I know, it's tragic beyond words, and I fully understand why this act in & of itself truly made her believe that I do not love her. That although there are children starving, the fact that she had PBJ instead of rigatoni was the biggest betrayal that I could have ever inflicted on her.
The thing is, is that she used to be reasonable. She's a good girl, don't get me wrong. But at some point in September all sense of logic & reason went out the window.
Sometimes it's going to dance class, sometimes it's not being able to go on the computer, sometimes it's rigatoni. And her world shatters.
Now bear in mind, I'm not completely ignorant, our family had a very rough summer, a lot of very serious health situations with our loved ones. I know that took a toll. But she soildered through. She went to sleep away camp for the first time for a week. Loved it wants to go for two weeks next year. Middle school started. Lots of responsibility, and independence.
I get it.
And I have expected terrible outbursts, and tantrums, and rebellion.
I got crying. And despair.
But then it's over. Forgotten. But not regretted. She feels justified in being that sad.
What does it symbolize to her I wonder?
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
Real Mothers don't eat quiche; they don't have time to make it.
Real Mothers know that their kitchen utensils are probably in the sandbox.
Real Mothers often have sticky floors, filthy ovens and happy kids.
Real Mothers know that dried play dough doesn't come out of carpets.
Real Mothers don't want to know what the vacuum just sucked up.
Real Mothers sometimes ask 'Why me?' and get their answer when a little
voice says, 'Because I love you best.'
Real Mothers know that a child's growth is not measured by height or years
or grade...It is marked by the progression of Mommy to Mom to Mother...
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Here are some pictures of my baby girl. At camp. For the first time. This will be the longest I have ever gone without hearing her little voice (or sometimes her big voice ... lol ) ever. I do not know if she is okay, or if she misses me, or if she is eating alright. I would be contacted in the event of a medical emergency. That's the only reason. Other than that I am going to stalk the mailman until I get a letter !
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
But just about everything else interests me.
Especially people......Sometimes after a conversation someone has had with me, I wonder if they feel like they have just been interrogated. I certainly like to know about a person, and if there is ever a subject that someone would be an authority on, it would be themselves and their own life history. I genuinely like people. Most people. Some are grouchy, but I try. I ask questions.
I like learning about our history. And other people's history. And religion. And how things are made. And how things work. Luckily television is perfectly suited to my tastes. The history channel, discovery channel ...... I don't know what happened last night on "ugly betty", or on "the amazing race" , but I do know what historians believed happened to the ancient Mayans. I might not spell Mayans correctly, but I know how they lived.
There are other things that I never wanted to learn about. Like loss, disappointment, and heartbreak. Emotional struggles, financial struggles, physical struggles.
I guess that they make us a part of who we are as much as our genetic make-up.
I have not had it tough. But I have experienced. Maybe a lot less than some, maybe a lot more than some.
I'm not interesting enough to be on the history channel one day, I haven't done enough, experienced enough, or learned enough.
But with each day there is a new experience, and something new to learn. The good, the bad, and the ugly.
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Now I obviously can't nap every day. In the summer time, unless I catch a random Sunday that is free, I can't nap at all. But, oh do I miss it.
When I worked outside the house, I would go in an unused room, and sleep on my lunch hour. Most days anyway. My co-workers were very tolerant of that, and my friend Tracy would wake me up each day about 10 minutes before my lunch was over, so I could collect myself, & go back to work.
All too many times I've had the experience of falling into a pretty deep sleep, and waking up disoriented, like thinking that it's morning when its not, or thinking that I've missed the kids getting off the bus, and that thay've had to go back to the bus garage with the driver & I am being declared an unfit parent. For a fleeting moment, I curse my napping. But then I realize that it's only 2:00, and that I have only been napping an hour, and it's alright.
When I think about the toughest thing about being a parent, and I don't mean the emotional stuff, just the day to day things, are their clothes all clean? did they eat? are they bathed? ............. for me the toughest thing was always that I couldn't just lay on the couch & doze off for a half hour if I felt like it.
I wish I wasn't a napper, I would definately be able to put an extra hour to better use. But it's just who I am. If I don't nap, I don't sleep as good at night. But mostly I love it love it love it.
Two of my friends are nappers. Just like me. Difference is that they are not ashamed. So that's what I'm trying to do here. I'm coming out..............
I nap. I deserve it. That's all.
p.s. next week I am off, and I'm shooting for 4 out of 7 days, I'll let you know how it works out.
Friday, June 27, 2008
Sorry its been a while, its been busy busy busy ! We are now down to soccer twice a week ! whoo - hoo. Sadly because Sam coaches Samantha's team he has to be with her & cannot go to Libby's games . :( . In turn, I have to bring Libby & cannot go to anymore of Samantha's games. :( .
Libby's first game was last night, she plays in the U6 league for Spencerport. I was videotaping bits & pieces for Sam to see & I was able to catch her first goal on tape ! I'll post it here. Last night I officially earned the title of worst mother ever....... you see with my nose behind the camera I never realized it was her that scored , hence the lack of cheering, yelling, jumping up & down. I feel awful. Then there was this conversation on the way to the van ....
Libby: Did you know that you sometimes get grass on your shin guards?
me: no, I didn't know that, that's cool
Libby: Did you know that you get very thirsty?
me: yes I did know that, I'm glad you brought water
Libby: I heard you cheer for Paige when she scored, I cheered for her too
me: I know you did baby, you are such a great teammate
Libby: Did you know I scored a goal
me: ummmmmmmm..... no you didn't
Libby: yes I did, Ashley kicked it part of the way, then I kicked it into the net
me: ummmmmmmmm .... no you didn't
Libby: yes I did momma.
me: ummmmmm...... okay Libby whatever you say.
Then we tucked her in bed , uploaded the video, and there it was. Her shining moment. Her first soccer game ever. And she scores a goal ! And I ignore it. So we untucked her, had her watch it, and told her that Mommy didn't realize. So if you see us..... congratulate her. Go ahead and make a big deal out of it..... I should have .....
I'll try to post the video .... She is #7, and has braids in her hair .....
Monday, June 16, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
From a nurse: I'll never forget the look in my patients' eyes when I had to tell them they had to go home with the drains, new exercises and no breast. I remember begging the Doctors to keep these women in the hospital longer, only to hear that they would, but their hands were tied by the insurance companies. So there I sat with my patients, giving them the instructions they needed to take care of themselves, knowing full well they didn't grasp half of what I was saying, because the glazed, hopeless, frightened look spoke louder than the quiet 'Thank You' they muttered. A mastectomy is when a woman's breast is removed in order to remove cancerous breast cells/tissue. If you know anyone who has had a Mastectomy, you may know that there is a lot of discomfort and pain afterwards. Insurance companies are trying to make mastectomies an outpatient procedure. Let's give women the chance to recover properly in the hospital for 2 days after surgery. It takes 2 seconds to do this and is very important. Please take the time and do it! Please send this to everyone in your address book. If there was ever a time when our voices and choices should be heard, this is one of those times.If you're receiving this, it's because I think you will take the 30 seconds to vote on this issue and send it on to others you know who will do the same. There's a bill called the Breast Cancer Patient Protection Act which will require insurance companies to cover a minimum 48-hour hospital stay for
patients undergoing a mastectomy. It's about eliminating the 'drive-through' Mastectomy where women are forced to go home just a few hours after surgery, against the wishes of their doctor, still groggy from anesthesia and sometimes with drainage tubes still attached. Lifetime Television has put this bill on their Web page with a petition drive to show support. Last year over half the House signed on. PLEASE!! Sign the petition by clicking on the web site below. You need not give more than your name, state, and zip code. (http://www.lifetimetv.com/breastcancer/petition/signpetition.php )This takes about 2 seconds. PLEASE PASS THIS ON to your friends andfamily, and on behalf of all women, THANKS
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Canal View had a wonderful flag day ceremony to honor our country, and our service men & women. Here are a couple pictures, I posted video of the 5th graders singing "Proud to be an American" , and the Kindergarten singing, "You're a Grand Old Flag".
Libby is one of the littlest in her grade so she's difficult to see, but if you keep watching, you will see her. Samantha is easier to see, but the picture isn't as clear. But you can definately hear both :)
Samantha is in the back row ... light blue shirt w/flag, to the right of the little girl in dark blue w/yellow.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Things have been incredibly busy around here. I could break it down hour by hour, but that would be boring, but trust me..... every hour after school is accounted for.
Drama club is now over........ Band has one more week....... Newspaper Club has one more week........Talent Show rehearsals are now over .........Dacning has this week & next ........As soon as school is over, we will only be left with soccer. (both girls this year :) )
One night last week we were actually short a parent. Sam & I needed to physically be in three places..... Crazy.
But I love every concert, field day, show, ceremony. It's worth living in the van.
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
We even had the bonsai falls out for the girls to go on, I wonder at what age the lure of frigid cold water from the tap goes away ?
We started outside, umbrella for the table & canopy for the bar up, but then came the wind, so down we took down those, and sat back down, then came the rain, so in the house we went, and Sam tucked the chairs in the garage, and just in time for him to finish that, the rain went away :)
It was a great day :)
I only have a few pics, but I will post them !
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Typical morning, making 8 breakfasts .... eggs & toast .... holding down a minimum of 3 conversations at the same time, all the while watching what my one little guy is slipping into his pockets to keep for his own, packing Libby's packpack, reminding Sam about what should be in hers, sending kids ip to brush all their teeth, not just the front of the top row, deciding who should play with what Garbriella doll & who gets to use the easel for their garage, and remembering who used what Gabriella doll yesterday, and who had the easel for the garage the afternoon before. Then I've adopted a new "clean as I go" plan in the morning so I'm not left with a kitchen full of goodies to clean up after the bus comes, so I clean the frying pan, put away the eggs & milk & toaster & as I'm putting the bread away it never fails the ..... Can I have another egg please? So I take back out the eggs, the milk, the toaster & make another egg. Then the ..... can I have the dunky kind like Kaylin had? ..... sure..... I mean why not throw this scrambled egg away, eggs & milk haven't gone up like 100% right?
ANYWAY.... there I go again... sorry..... onto my point....
As I stand on the kitchen side of the counter.... I listen to conversations, ungaurded, every subject is fair game.... from school to parents to body functions. Yup, that's right body functions, and more often than not there is an example of one which starts off the conversation. Girls, boys, it makes no difference.
Libby is learning about descriptive words in kindergarten, I say she gets all the education she needs when she hears about how the last burst of gas that one of my kiddos dealt us smelled, felt, and sounded like.
TRUST me I try to veer the conversations away from these topics as quickly as I can because I know that they will soon turn into what something smelled, looked like, the length, and it's float density if I let it go too long. Ask me how I know..... I dare you. Nothing is too gross to discuss, not even corn. That's all I will say.
And that gets me to my point... I am a pretty open person, and even I am blushing a bit. But, everybody poops right? In this world of different races, religions, nationalities, hobbies, interests, economic status, looks, tastes, etc. We all poop. If nothing else, we have that. Common Ground. Do you ever find yourself stretching for conversation with someone, and you've already hit on the weather, and can't think of one single thing you may have in common ? Well there it is. Poop. But we DO NOT discuss it. At least not after we hit a certain age.
Which gets me to my other point. In between the bank, voting, and the 5th grade field trip, I was at Tops, and I was waiting in line when I could sense someone standing right behind me. Moments later I knew someone was there. Because I heard..... well let's say it was loud, bubbley, long, and she was (that's right she) she was grunting as she expelled it. And when she finished she let out a long long sigh. And then there was the encore..... short bursts this time, but a lot of them, and then a longer sigh. I was mortified for her & most certainly would never trun around to look at her & let her know I heard it. But then .... she moved on . She wasn't waiting in line, she had just stopped for a minute to do what she had to do.
When I think of all the stomach aches, the hasty exits, the blaming on my diaper wearing child, or on the one who would laugh instead of calling me out. And this woman probably just figured.... everybody passes gas.
Please don't get me wrong, I like my polite don't discuss, hide it, blamd it on the kid life. But the freedom! Can you imagine? No? Wait a couple decades you will ....
Thursday, May 1, 2008
The little girlies all have their leotards & tights on under the costumes, at the recital, they will have only the costume, and skin colored tights, and hair in a bun with a big white bow on top.
Unfortunately we weren't able to see Sam's dance :( They receivved their costumes, but didn't show their dance :(
And as for me, we never show, and we try our costumes on at home, so if you want to see Sam & I, come to the recital ! June 15 !
I think there is a spot on youtube to leave comments..... Libby would LOVE that !
LINK IS ..........................
Wednesday, April 30, 2008
After having children, everything is scary.
A few examples of things that never used to scare me are....... public bathrooms, roller blades, shopping carts, and grapes.
Grapes? you might ask, shopping carts?
And I answer , yes......... most especially grapes and shopping carts.
Grapes are one of the top choking hazards. I still cut Libby's if no one is looking, (you see I take a lot of heat for my fear of grapes). What does is hurt to just cut them in half? When my girls were toddlers, I cut each grape into sixes. With pride. Did I (alright...... do I ...) think that every grape that they pop into their mouth will lodge in their throats and cut off oxygen? No. But if I can minimize the risk, WHY NOT.
Shopping carts......... ewwww ewwwwww........ there was a study done & they tested a sample of shopping carts from many many different super markets around the country. I wish I remember who did it, I learned this at a daycare in service....... anyway what was found was......
please do not read further if you plan on going to the supermarket without germX ever again....
Every body fluid possible. Now I could list what was found, but just think beyond saliva, boogers, and blood....... EEEEEEEEEEEWWWWWWWWWWWWWWW......
Wegmans, bless their hearts, has a wipes dispenser near the carts, that I faithfully use each time. I have never ever seen anyone else use these while I am there.
And you wonder why you should wash your produce.....
I really didn't ever worry about things like this before kids.
When I got pregnant for Samantha I relied on my doctor & the media to let me know what to fear...... caffeine, second hand smoke, tuna fish...................
all right, you got me, I've always been afraid of tuna fish ............
But all of a sudden one day you bring this precious perfect baby into a severely imperfect world. And it changes.
Then there are the big scaries..... like child molesters, and kidnappers, and severe injuries, and illnesses, terrorists, and republicans........................ (just kidding on that last one, just checking to see if my husband reads these or not because he will comment).
After 9/11, I put together a "safe kit". There was water, and baked beans, peanut butter, duct tape, and garbage bags, toilet paper, a land line phone, aeriel antennae for the TV, & when Libby came along diapers, & baby formula, to mention a few items. I kept it for about 3 years. One time I even used it, when we had an ice storm & cable went out..... I used the aeriel antennae for about 6 minutes before we lost all power, but then I used the land line telephone while the power stayed out for a couple days.
But time went on, and I couldn't justify my obsession, my worry, when my youngest was three, and somewhere in that plastic bin were still size 2 diapers . So I disassembled it. And without it to focus on, it's a bit easier.
Now there are just public bathrooms, roller blades, and one day GULP drivers licenses.
But i will get through it. I can't allow my children to be afraid of the world. So I put on their helmets, and elbow pads & knee pads. And I carry the toilet seat liners in my purse. And as far as my girls know, I have no fear of toilet seats, shopping carts, and roller blades.
They are well aware of the grapes.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
I am about ready to call it a day, and it's only 7:50 a.m. ....
and I have a lot of little bodies here that I am responsible for, so I'm on day care duty for another 10 hours.
Then its just regular mom duty.
There are so many times when I feel like, why do I bother working so hard to make sure these kiddos are happy, when at this exact moment they are hovered around the TV taking turns playing playstation? They are HAPPY. You see they are very excited about doing this because I don't allow them to use the playstation, but a little guy brings his in when there are breaks off school, and sometimes I let them play.
I make them turn off the TV, and play outside, and play inside. It seems to take a lot of energy on my part to veer them away from the TV, but some weeks a few days will go by and I realize that the TV hasn't even been turned on. Then I'm really proud, like I have accomplished something.
Sometimes I wonder why I worry about it so much.
I get SO frustrated when I get everyone outside, and they stand around "bored" . There is nothing to do outside I guess.
Apparently the dozen bikes, jump ropes, basketball hoop, soccer net, balls, bats, chalk, scooters, swing set, slide, playhouse, rackets, and other toys are all invisible. Because I'm almost positive that if they could see them, they would know that there are a million things to do outside.
Yesterday was great outside. They played, they rode, they dribbled, and kicked. They barely complained.
It would be super easy for me to park my butt in front of the TV or computer & park theirs in front of the TV all day. And they would be happy.
But as I tell them each day I am responsible for them. My job is to make sure that they are safe, healthy, and happy while they are at my house.
They would eat PBJ & chips every day for lunch, and love it. But no such luck, they get a hot lunch with a fruit & veggy. Hot breakfast too.... cereal is only once a week.
For all of this my day ended with a kiddo telling me that I am stupid, and he hates me and my mean stupid school.
Earlier in the day he crapped all over my bathroom. I discovered the crap when I ran upstairs to use the bathroom. Of course it when at that moment when I realized that he was the culprit, and that it wasn't dirt on his pants.
But I got him the boy est looking clothes that fit him to put on, and told him very loudly how his pants were so muddy I thought he'd be more comfortable in clean clothes. I told all the kids that I had an accident in the bathroom.
He systematically caused every child here to fall off of their bikes, when he ran them off the side walk.
He hit another child while the other child's mom was here.
And he ended the day by insulting me. And I know that he is young, and that I shouldn't engage in a verbal battle with a child. But I have to tell you that my feeling were hurt. I've had it.
I explained to him that he was told the last time he hit children that if he did it again, he would not be able to come to my house, so what should I do? He informed me that he was glad to not come to this mean place because his new babysitter has Xbox, playstation 3, nintendo, and I don't know what else he said maybe atari or intellivision, he was going on & on about all the electronic wonder awaiting him at his new babysitters.
(he has moved out of the school district, but is finishing out the school year with me. Then leaving at the end of the school year to go to his district)
I am very proud to say that I told him, your new babysitter sounds great, there must be a bunch of lazy fat boring kids there if that's all they do.
Not my best moment.
But I'd had it.
So I sat for a minute, and breathed. And realized that this is a little guy who for some reason is angry, and I am a grown woman who knows better . This little guy has a difficult time at school at home, and he usually thrives here.
So I told him that I loved him, and my heart was just sad because his words hurt it.
And he told me that it isn't fair that the older kids are allowed to ride their bikes to the 5th driveway, when he (and Libby by the way) are only allowed to ride to the 4th driveway.
All that anger. All that frustration. All that poop. One driveway.
Why? Why? Why?
My neighbor across the street has a little boy Samantha's age. Once in a while he comes here for the day. I don't want him all the time, not because he's not great, but because she is my friend & I don't want to mix friendship & business.
He arrived about 20 minutes before she was supposed to leave for work. He was so excited to come over and spend the day. He told me he loves being here.
One of the little girls is spending the night tonight with Libby. Her mom told me she was up at 5:30 singing & dancing in the bathroom, cuz she was going to be able to be here all day, all night , then all day.
My girls don't have to wake up and rush to get ready to go to daycare, where it really wasn't any fun.
I go on field trips, and volunteer in the classroom.
Those are more than enough reasons. I do a good job.
Monday, April 7, 2008
As I sit here crying over the letter to bring my child to the junoir high tonight for information and a tour, I began to look through pictures on my computer. Now I can't get too nostalgic because although digital cameras have been around a while, I only in the past few years have purchased one, so i only have about 2 years of pics on here. maybe less, now when i eventaully get the freezer bag of film developed that I just haven't found the time to do, watch out....... I'll be crying for weeks....
Anyway, here are a few pics that made me laugh..... Why did I take these..... and what do I do to Samantha to freak her out every holiday?
I am especially proud of the first picture, you see you can't tell but Libby knee is actually broken, and after I made her pose for this group picture, I continually tried to distract her & then trick her into walking on it. I thought she was being dramatic. The one with the dirt? Well she was playing & fell & I thought her face was so funny with all the dirt..... And the pink stuff? Mosquito bites from trying to sleep in a tent with Uncle Tommy & Jenna. Why the pictures? No idea...
And poor Samantha. I know they say holidays bring out the worst in people, but apparently they just make my baby cry. I had Christmas ones from this year too, but I deleted them.
I'd like to say I will stop, but I won't. Look I even posted them for all to see.
Friday, April 4, 2008
This one is of her favorite "headband", it's really a mask for sleeping, but she loved it.... This phase lasted about a month, and she wore it everywhere....
This is when she took our snowman making kit & dressed herself, she wore the hat & scarf for a few days ........
She wore this outside to play, we let her pick whatever she wanted, it was only outside in our front yard. Besides what's the difference between pajamas & clothes?
This past October, Halloween costume. 2 weeks. Only at home, and only outside after Halloween.
And I think everyone has already seen her pants & skirt combos ..............
I think being unique is so much more fun than being fashionable...
Tuesday, April 1, 2008
Now, I only have two children. I am responsible for a few more than that, for about 6 hours a day, but only two are mine.
Between their birthdays, physicals, dentist appointments, orthodontist appointments, eye doctor visits, recitals, concerts, open houses, plays, dance lessons, soccer games, play dates, birthday parties, field trips, and special events at school (like open house tonight), I am surprised that I remember that I am 34 1/2. My focus shifted about 11 years, 1 month, and 3 days ago, give or take......
We started our family earlier than most of my friends, and almost all of Sam's friends. I think we were just lucky enough to have met each other at an earlier age. They are all beginning their families. We have finished ours. Their priorities are just beginning to change.....
Sam & I were each lucky enough to have the opportunity to leave our parents' house and live on our own before we settled in together. I am so grateful for that experience. I think every person should be able to have some time in between being someones child and someones spouse, to just be themselves.
Being myself was a lot of fun. I was a lot of fun. Now it seems that I only catch a glimpse of that person once in a while. I miss her. She was always in a good mood, and always ready to go out, to a party, or to dinner, or to a bar. She always had enough sleep, it didn't matter if the apartment was messy, she dated, and she had a lot of "me" time.
Now, don't get me wrong, I like being this me better. At this point in my life the most important things I could be doing, or would ever want to do is doctor's appointment, soccer games, dance recitals, band concerts, and school events. It is all I ever dreamed of doing. It is more fun than any party I've ever been too, and more fulfilling than any "me" time I could possible spend.
But, I think that now I am 34 1/2 , maybe I will try to interject my old self into my regular life. I'm not going to bar hop, or start dating (hmmmmmmm....... tee hee hee). But I would definitely like to start going on dates with Sam again. And maybe I won't let 6 months go by in between hair cuts, like the last time, and maybe I will make fun a priority . There must be a happy balance somewhere between the frazzled mom & the fun Kristine.
I think that my whole family would actually benefit. It won't be a split-focus.... my focus is forever changed for the better, but a little peripheral vision never hurt :)
Monday, March 17, 2008
Sunday, March 16, 2008
Now that I have children of my own, I've learned to never say never, and to not criticize, because you never, ever know.
I have absolutely decided to choose my battles.
As a pre-schooler Libby was allowed to wear winter gloves, a winter hat, flip flops, and completely un-matching clothes out of the house. In public. In summer. No battle.
As recent as last month Libby has enjoyed the comfort of a cute little skirt with jeans or corduroys under them. I chose not to take on that battle. She felt beautiful. How can my fashion advice compare? I might even have a picture, I'll look and post it if I can find it...........
I have even committed the cardinal sin as a parent. I let my child go to school without eating breakfast.
I chose to either have Samantha go to school without eating, or to spend 25 minutes of offering different choices, explaining the merits of a healthy breakfast, arguing the merits of a healthy breakfast, then the three minutes before the early bus comes debating on whether or not holding an 11 year old down and jamming food down her throat is child abuse or not..... I didn't do it ..... But I threatened............. It's the most important meal of the day right? So I throw a granola bar in her book bag............... She goes to school in tears, and I feel bad all day.......
So the next time, I offered, she declined, I let her know it was available. Then all the above mentioned stress was eliminated, and I only worried all day, & eased my conscious with the granola bar. Bad mom. no battle.
I have let Samantha go to school without boots, so she won't be the only one in her class with them. I'm sure her feet were cold & wet, but i let her. Bad Mom. no battle.
Battles I choose......... helmets, seat belts, car seats, sidewalks, vitamins, brushing teeth, showering, homework, eating fruit, drinking milk, telephone & computer & TV rules, kind words, kind actions, church, religion, thank-you notes, good manners. I will fight for those.
The other things, I've learned.....
if a child is hungry, she will eat eventually.
If she is cold, she will dress warmer next time.
And if she thinks her eclectic outfit makes her beautiful, it truly does.
Friday, February 29, 2008
I hope this works, she is in yellow w/braids & yellow bows, I love her "country" accent ....
I won't upload all her "parts" just a couple..... And being the proud Mom that I am, i didn't film the city kids , so use your imagination! They had two performances, a "matinee" for the school kids, and an evening performance for the parents! It amazed all her teachers & friends how someone so quiet would not only try out for, but get one of the leading roles ! There are 55 kids in the drama club :) One day I'll get a real camcorder & not use my camera for 30 second clips!
At each well-child visit we get a sheet of paper letting us know what to do/not to do, what milestones she should have reached (more when she was a baby than now) . I call them her instructions. Because other than a few baby books, and advice, some solicited, some not, they were the only instructions that she came with!
I used to laugh at people when they said that kids should come with instructions. I thought it must be pretty straight forward. And for the most part Samantha was a pretty straight forward kid. The things I would have liked explained to me were important, heart wrenching, but few & far between. Like when she wasn't even two years old and we had to get her glasses, and she would cry and cry , "no glasses mommy, please mommy, no glasses" because it was different, and we had to make her wear them. It hurt. But she had to. And when I put her on the kindergarten bus. And they wouldn't let me go. At least not every day. But even if it hurt I knew what I had to do.
Now it's things like how to handle gossipy friends, what to do with peer pressure, why school starts so early, and why I am the meanest mom in America. And I don't always know the answer. I know what I want to tell her to do when she tells me her friend says her shirt is stupid, or that another friend is mean to her because Samantha won't sit with her on the bus. What I want to tell her is to go all Jerry Springer on her friend, and tell her "OH NO YOU DIDDINT" and hold up her hand in front of the child's face. But instead I try to get her to understand why the other person might be acting that way. And to just continue to be nice. She thinks that it is hard. I know it is hard. And I find myself feeling angry at that other child. But I can't show that. And again, there are no instructions.
In the future I know there will be more difficult problems. I know this because I was 11 once. And I remember. And I survived.
Middle School is looming. Next school year. It makes me want to throw up a little bit.
So for now I follow the instructions they give me each year at the doctor's office. I make sure she sleeps well, is physically active, involved in activities. I make sure she is healthy.
I hope that next year the instructions cover, hurt feelings, cliques, mean moms, and not being allowed to have everything every other kid in America has. Because I am certainly at a loss.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
The first picture is our cake using the betty crocker cake decorating kit my niece & nephew gave me for Christmas :) We each did a part, Libby did the blue hearts, Sam did the grass & I wrote the names.
The second is in our front yard. Aunt Carie gave the girl a snowman kit last winter, & we've used it a lot, unfortunately in the big winds on Sunday Frosty lost his hat :(
The third is from Sam's D.A.R.E. graduation she is in the bottom row, farthest to the right.
Thursday, February 7, 2008
It got me thinking though, (I know --- uh-oh---- this means another six paragraph ranting blog post, but I'll keep it short & sweet)....... I was thinking about the pressure part of it.
As a kindergartner, Libby has to read & document twice a week (with us obviously) , then once a month there is a home-school connection project that we work on together, and this week there is a teeth brushing chart where she checks off when she brushes & notates what healthy snack she ate. She has a book box, where she is to practice reading those books to us, and a 3-ring song binder that she brings home to practice on weekends.
As a fifth grader, Samantha FINALLY does not have a reading chart, her teacher (Bless her Soul) wants the children to read for the love of it & feels that if they are forced to read they will lose that ..... Unfortunately every teacher before this one required 20 mintues of reading each night....... Now add that to the 20 minutes of flute practice a night, and add that to the 45 minutes - an hour of homework, and the book report with project & presentation once a month. And trust me those projects are pretty in depth...... The teachers like to see that they took a few days to put together.... The presentations have to be long enough, loud enough, informative enough, and have eye contact throughout. (since 3rd grade) . Poor Samantha ended up with her only C+ due to one of those presentations............ too quiet aparently.
Sometimes when I go to the school I just want to scream " THIS IS ELEMENTARY SCHOOL" should there be this much work? Should there be this much PRESSURE?
I guess with 5th grade I can understand, preparing for middle school & everything, but 45 minutes - hour of homework !!!!!!!!!!!!! And I know Libby will be starting with "official" homework next year. Yup, first grade. I know this because she will have the same teacher Sam had.
I don't ever remember having homework in elementary school........ Maybe a book report, but it was just that, a report, on paper that you handed in. Is my memory faulty? (on this subject, no commenting on other subjects) Help me out here everyone........... Are we asking way too much of these kids?
Should band, drama, dance, religious ed, & newspaper club be eliminated to make sure that there is enough down time? These are choices, not requirements, but they are my kids choices. Well okay, not religious ed, that's my choice..............
Is it peer pressure that turns kids to drugs or is it just pressure? Are they so stressed out that they need a little escape?
Let me know what you think? Leave a comment. Is it me? Is there a method to this maddness?
Thursday, January 31, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Our 12th wedding anniversary is this Sunday. 12 years married. 4 happy years. :) (kidding)
At our wedding I remember Fr. Jim talking about how there is no perfect marriage, and that marriage is like a huge circle, there will be highs, and lows, and times in the middle when it is kind of boring (my words not his) .
But one thing he was right about, was that it is work, and there have been times over the past 12 years that one or both of us has stopped working at it. And this goes beyond the "you left the cap off the toothpaste, and the "you snore too loud" kind of thing...... It's the important stuff.......
I'm glad that I have that homily to look back on, but If i could go back and forewarn myself (yes I said it forewarn) I would make sure that I knew that it's not always easy, that sometimes it's just plain hard work. That there might be times where you want to just run away, that sometimes those adorable little quirks you used to love might drive you to the point of madness, that even though you know marriage won't change someone, for some reason you keep trying to change them, that even the way they drive the car is infuriating sometimes, that you get to the point where you fore go that morning kiss due to morning breath, whereas before you didn't care about something as trivial as that. ....
Then there are the other times, the times where you realize that the person who snores real loud, and leaves piles of clothes and stuff all over the bedroom, and still plays air guitar & lip syncs to his favorite songs is your best friend. He is the one that you lean on in bad times, that will cheer you up in the grouchy times, and that there is a reason you've muddled through the past dozen or so years. Because it's worth it, because he's not perfect, and somewhere along the road you learned that you aren't either. And that even though you probably both have morning breath , sometimes that kiss is worth it :)
So here we are 2 kids, 2 houses, and a handful of vehicles later ........... we've lost loved ones, we've welcomed new members into the family, we've made new friends, new interests & new hobbies. Here we are ...... still.
And 12 years ago, if I knew all of this, I'd still make the same decision .....
I'll keep you updated on how the next year goes.....
Happy almost Anniversary Sammy.
Friday, January 25, 2008
I was without Internet for the past couple weeks, but we are back! It's funny, I felt so out of touch with everyone :( However I learned that I can survive without it. Of course I had nowhere to vent out all my frustrations without this blog, so I may have been a bit touchy...... you'll have to check with my family on that one.....
I'll be catching everyone up soon, I'm just checking my 9000 e-mails !