The beginning of school already?

August 16, 2010 at 2:56 pm (Brody, Canada, Evan)

I cannot believe the summer is almost over.  The boys are back from Canada. They are starting school next week. On a Wednesday. Who does that? Since when does school start on a Wednesday? It’s quite annoying. They also have an early dismissal. ugh

According to everyone, the boys had an amazing time in Canada. I had a great summer and missed my boys terribly. However, they came back tanned and blonde (SUPER blonde!).

Things have been going good, I’m down-sizing my “things” and we are set to have a garage sale soon. I’ve got to get back into the habit of keeping this blog up to date. I was going through so much stress, it felt good to take a step back for a minute. It also feels like the right time to start writing again.

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I just need a little “I” time

May 3, 2010 at 8:16 pm (Brody, Canada, Evan, whining)

It seems I am in the trifecta of a poopy mood. My sciatica is THROBBING, it’s that time of the month and I’ve banged my hand in the same spot TWICE in two days. I think the boys can sense I am weak right now, because they’ve been relentless with me. They are like a predator hunting their prey. I feel as though I’ve done nothing but argue and yell at them for the past 3 days.

Of course, this is not completely single sided. They’ve been arguing and yelling at me for the past 3 days. I am so worn out I can barely write this. Right now, the boys are with their dad at Brody’s baseball game. I had to leave, I needed to spend a little time by myself – regrouping. And having a beer.

I don’t know how to resolve all the yelling. I don’t know where to find the energy the boys need me to have. My sciatica (which I never had until I got pregnant with them) takes all of my energy. I’m in constant pain – anyone who has chronic pain knows exactly what I’m talking about. It drains all of my energy, my patience (I’ll admit, I have very little patience to begin with), it runs me into the ground.

As an introvert, “me” time is fondly referred to as “I” time. I’m not gonna lie – I need a vacation! I need to lie on a deserted beach with a good book. For about 2 weeks. Uninterrupted. Except for the waiter … because someone needs to bring the drinks!

Did I mention we are going to Hawaii in July? Ooh… it must have slipped my mind! The boys were so upset they wouldn’t be coming with us, but they’ll be at their grandparents’ house by then – and honestly, that’s way more important than a silly ol’ trip to Hawaii!!

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Evan and his amazing Christmas list

December 8, 2009 at 10:27 pm (Evan)

Evan is your typical five year old. He loves the Toys R Us catalog and always calls “dibs” on it when it arrives in October. He’s really got a knack for picking out items he wants. As you can see in this photo, Evan has circled almost everything – including the props.

He circled the ball! It's a prop...

He circled items he already owns:

And this:

He’s even managed to circle (and want more than anything else in the word, including chocolate milk and smooches from his mommy) the absolute impossible gifts – the items we could never own (one item won’t fit in our shoebox and the other item would kill him):

Really? Because, we live in a shoebox - where would we put it?

and the ever attainable:

Really? We just took his training wheels off the NON-rocket powered bike.

I love this kid so much.

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The day the universe was against me…

August 31, 2009 at 9:44 pm (Brody, Evan, Melodie, School)

Today was the first day of school for everyone in this house.

Brody started first grade.

A first grader!

Evan started kindergarten.

A kindergartener!

Mommy started the last two classes of her associate’s degree.

No picture

We woke up late. Well, really, who wouldn’t? With all the partying we do up in here. I think the entire household was asleep by 9:20 last night.

Evan and Brody didn’t want to wake up. It took 4 trips to their bedroom before either of them stirred. It was a gorgeous morning – boiling hot this entire weekend, but the morning was cool. The kind of morning where you didn’t want to get out of bed because you are so cozy in your blankie.

For the love of god, no one could comb their own hair!

Breakfast… whatev… no one needed it!  Until it was the last minute and I’m shoving a bagel down their throats.

Lunches… usually made the night before. Made with love and thought to nutrition and the energy they’d be expending. The fuel to feed their bodies … neglected in favor of sleep. Rushed the morning of the first day of school (how could I be so silly to think I could wake them, dress them, feed them AND make lunches all in the same morning?)

The route to school is new. And long. And full of traffic. Including Rafael’s Landscaping, the driver of this vehicle was so safe and doing exactly 4 miles less than the speed limit. On any other day, I would have remarked on his thoughtfulness and safe driving. Today, as the minutes ticked closer to 8:15 – I cursed as he muddled his way through the neighborhood streets. I’m sorry I called you an idiot under my breath so the children wouldn’t hear. I only wanted to get my son to school on time and not have to do the walk of shame THROUGH the office to retrieve a tardy slip. How horrible is it that my son was late for his FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL??

I had the entire route planned out. I wanted to drop Evan off first – then make my way over to Brody’s school. I wanted to hug them both and assure them their day would be wonderful. Instead, Evan and I walked Brody to his classroom – through the office (walk of shame) and got lectured by the principal about parents walking kids to their classrooms on the first day of school. bah.

I cried on the way to Evan’s school for several reasons. It was emotional leaving Brody at the school for first grade (NOT Grade one, as I was taught). I was embarassed for getting him to school late. I was frustrated over the length of the drive!  And finally, let’s not forget how sorry I feel for myself when I am homesick.

Eventually, all boys were dropped off at school and I made my way back home. During the drive, I didn’t even want to sing to the radio … I listened and reflected on how quickly time passes. I don’t regret any of the past events that brought my children to me. I love them. I’m a lucky momma and I will never forget it. All of the emotions were worth it.

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Minnie… poor hormonal, lonely Minnie

July 27, 2009 at 6:32 pm (Brody, Canada, Evan, Kittens)

The rest of the kittens left yesterday. Honestly, I thought Minnie would be happy about it. The kittens were born on May 15th, so she’s spent quite a bit of time looking after them. I likened her to a stay at home mom whose children finally, FINALLY started first grade.  She could finally sleep without being attacked; she could eat all she wanted; she didn’t have to constantly clean their butts. She would be living the good life! She’d accomplished something, she had babies – she experienced nursing, experienced motherhood! She could feel good about herself and move on to do macrame and take classes on worm composting and preparing healthier meals for her family.

That’s what I would do.

The crying started at about 5:30 am and has not stopped. She’s looked in all of their hiding places, she’s cried all day long. What do you do for a hormonal cat whose last baby has gone to a new home? Well, you book her for an appointment at the vet to be fixed, that’s what. I thought I would add more lemon juice to her very raw heart and have her ovaries removed so she had more to cry about. No no no.. I’m kidding! If I was really cruel, I’d have her declawed too.

I feel bad for Minnie, but I know what she’s going through. My kids have been in Canada since the end of June and while I’ve not spent entire days crying or searching for them in their hiding spaces, I have felt the lonlieness Minnie is feeling right now. My boys are having the time of their life with their grandparents. They are growing and gaining experiences that I could never provide for them. They are establishing an undeniable bond with my parents and creating memories that will live in their hearts and minds for the rest of their lives. These summers are something I will never take away from them or my family. But I miss them. I can’t help it.

I wonder if Minnie wants a glass of wine?

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Conversations with Evan

July 24, 2009 at 3:23 pm (Evan)

Last week, my Uncle John had the following conversation with Evan:

UJ: Evan, you are really handsome – you are gonna have girls chasing you all over the place.

Evan: Well, you know Uncle John, I eat the right foods and drink the right juices – I’m going to be able to run away from them.

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Being a Single Parent

April 26, 2009 at 9:10 pm (Brody, Evan, Single Parenthood)

The hardest part about being a single parent is having enough patience to get you through the day. Now, I understand this is a big adjustment for everyone. It will take some time for us all to get into our routines, etc. It wasn’t like we had an exhausting day – but after 12 straight hours of doing NOTHING, one tends to get edgy (one being Brody) and needs to be out! near people! other people! Again, Evan and I could lounge our entire day away but Brody is a social animal.

He wanted me to take him to Target because I have 10 dollars of his in my wallet – he can’t see it or touch it, yet it’s still burning a hole in his pocket (he’s just like my dad). He wants to buy more toys he won’t play with … apparently he doesn’t know what Target does to his momma. This was the main reason I started buying Melaleuca products on a monthly basis… not because they are good for the environment or work amazing (those were qualifiers though) – but because I couldn’t take the 200$ trips to Target anymore. I am a sucker for that store and everything inside of it! I especially love the cheap-o dollar items as you first walk in the store – that’s FAB!

Since I needed some items for lunches, Brody had to settle with Safeway. Both boys love to get inside the cart and have me lug them up and down every aisle – begging for crap they know we don’t buy. As we walked into the store – past the carts, Brody started whining. “I want to ride in the cart! wah! horrible mother who makes me walk 10 feet to the apples! wah! I don’t want to walk anywhere! wah!” Have I mentioned that both boys are about 50lbs? I’m not complaining, but on a Sunday evening (after a successful BBQ the day before where many beers were consummed) and after writing a paper, I just wasn’t feeling like pushing those two around safeway for an hour. I know… I’m such a party pooper!

Back to the patience. Once the boys smell weakness, they attack with the ferocity of lions. It’s 7:00 pm on a Sunday evening for goodness sakes! I’m tired! Just let me get apples and salami and get the heck out of there! Since they don’t watch where they are going, I am forced to direct them and point them to where I want to end up. At one point Brody actually swatted my hand away. Can I just say that little kids generally do NOT watch where they are going and it’s annoying and embarrassing as their parent (especially as their mother). Picture me holding a basket in one hand and directing two wandering kids with the other. And the whining! Dear god the whining! It just doesn’t stop.

At that point, I think I could have left them. Every parent has those times when they could take or leave their child(ren) and Safeway was one of those times when I wish I hadn’t even left the house. It’s best to stay within the comforts of your own home when the kids are like this. I’m sure I could have scrounged up a cheese and pickle sandwich for lunch… or a “just jam!” for Brody. What was I thinking when I took the lions out of their den? Thankfully we all arrived home in one piece and I did what any parent would have done. I sent them outside to the backyard to play for an hour before bed… it was either that or give them away to the next person to walk by…

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Baseball Update

April 4, 2009 at 4:17 pm (Baseball, Brody, Evan)

Here is Brody playing baseball

Here is Brody playing baseball

and

Here is Evan playing baseball

Here is Evan playing baseball

Let’s just say that Evan spends a lot more time at the concession stand or in the stands than he does swinging a bat or throwing a ball. I think he’s too young for baseball – it just doesn’t hold his interest. Which is a SHOCKER because we all thought he’d take to the sport quickly. We thought Brody would be the tough nut to crack. Evan LOVES the concession stand, they sell hotdogs. He makes me take the weiner out of the bun – so I give the bun to his baby cousin. Maybe he’ll get the hang of it because he can throw a ball with amazing speed and accuracy. I just wish he gave a crap!!  He really doesn’t and it’s very funny to watch. Their games are about 1.5 hours long and I would say that is 45 minutes longer than they should be. These are 5 and 6 year old kids – they don’t have the fortitude to pay attention to anything for longer than an hour.

Thankfully, the whining has stopped and they now get dressed for baseball with minimal yelling and begging (from their father). I make sure the uniforms are washed (because, seriously… who else would?) I know Brody loves being a part of this team, he’s having a ton of fun and that makes me very happy.

He's a happy boy!

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Rambling on…

March 12, 2009 at 1:55 pm (Bored, Brody, Evan)

Sometimes, the hardest part of this blog is coming up with a title. Most often, I write the entire post – then have to read it a few times to figure out an appropriate title. Whatever!

Work has been going well. I had applied and interviewed for another job (same company, etc) and was then told the position was being reposted. I applied again and am now waiting to hear if I got the job. I hope I do. It will be the first time in my career that I will not be working in an admin position. I don’t love being an admin – but i’m really good at it, so it makes my days easy. I am ready for a change. Considering I’ve spent so much time in school trying to better myself and my earning capability, this appears to be a good opportunity to start cashing in on the hard work that I’ve done for the past two years.

Anyway, it’s something different.

Things at home are settling down. Michael and I really need to work on being friends. We go through phases –  first we are – then we aren’t. I’m assuming this is normal. He’s been under a lot of stress lately and I’m disgruntled with our living situation, so it makes for a few arguments. Plus, he and I are really different in that he loves to use sarcastic humor to lighten situations (who doesn’t) but he’s using it at the wrong times. Whatever. I’m trying to be more patient and I’ve asked him to stop making jokes out of everything.

His dad is still in ICU so this has prompted Michael into protection mode over his mom. I’m really proud of him for taking this stand on her behalf. She needs him right now, he may not like “living with his parents” but I think in this case, it’s essential. Plus, the boys are freaking out over getting to live at Grandpa’s house! You see, Grandpa has lots of cool things! Lots of stuff they can look through! I know this will be a good situation for everyone.  Plus, their cousins are close by which means “new people to wrestle with!”

The other night Evan and Brody decided to wrestle in their bedroom. Basically, they spread all the blankets on their floor, take their shirts off and run around screaming “you want a piece of me” and “it’s wrestle time!” Evan was in the process of whining and crying about Brody hitting him and I said to Evan “well, hit him back.” Evan doesn’t realize his own strength and Brody will continue to push him around because Evan doesn’t do anything about it. Evan is built like a brick shit house. Strong, but in a scary way – like my brother (Bob could life me at my waist without effort).  After I told Evan to hit Brody back, an evil grin came over him and he ran out of the office with his arms swinging like a windmill.  I recognized that grin (I might have had one myself a few times) so I followed to make sure no one was going to die (not on my watch!). They were locked in battle, Evan was beating the crap out of Brody and somehow, Brody got a burst of strength and pushed Evan off of him. (This wasn’t really wrestling). Badly beaten, Brody pushed Evan, Evan fell back and smashed his head on the bed (which was the worst ‘THUNK’ you could ever imagine) and started to cry. My opportunity for a lesson arrived! I asked the boys who was having fun while they were hitting? No response? Not even one? hmm.. 

Could I assume they’ve learned a valuable lesson about hitting? Sure, I could assume that.
I would be wrong.

Could I assume they will do this again? Of course!
I would be right.

Boys wrestle. That’s what they do.

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Baseball Practice – Day 1

February 14, 2009 at 10:40 am (Baseball, Brody, Evan, Michael, STOOPID)

Michael decided to sign the boys up for baseball this season. I’m fine with the boys playing sports, in fact, I encourage it. However, I really think you need to find out all the details before you make the leap. You need to find out how much it’s going to cost, when the games are, where you’ll be practicing… the list goes on.

It all started with the registration fee…

Michael assumed it would be around $40 to sign them up for the 3 month season. In fact, it was $125 per boy. He seemed shocked and appalled when I told him I wasn’t paying for half because I was not aware of the large amount of money needed for registration. He had his mom sign the boys up because of her address (I never got this either… don’t you play where you are supposed to play?) – so she walked in, plunked down the $250 and then advised Michael of the amount. Uh… sorry, but I’m not having any part of that at all.  Please note, this amount does not include shoes, gloves (which Evan calls glubs), bats, balls, etc.  Not once did he talk to me about the cost – he said he didn’t know – isn’t that something you find out beforehand?

Today is the first practice, it’s pouring outside. Raindrops as big as Evan’s head are falling down hard. He started trying to get them dressed at 8:30. Phinneas and Ferb was on, which is their favorite show, and neither boy was moving. The morning went something like this:

8:30 am – Mike says “come on boys, let’s get dressed.”  He then jumps in the shower while leaving them parked in front of the tv. (DUH)

8:40 am – “come on boys, let’s get dressed.” He starts getting dressed.

8:50 – “boys, we’re leaving in 20 minutes, come on let’s get dressed.”

Much commotion ensues, Brody cannot find his penis shield (his words), he cannot find the “exercise shorts” that the cup fits into. Evan doesn’t want to get dressed by his own self, he demands that his father help him. Brody is running around naked looking for the shorts – still can’t find the cup. Finally figures out the shorts were put into the dirty laundry basket and dumps that on the floor. Finds the shorts and promptly complains they smell like pee. DEMANDS that I wash them (uh.. no) and I said there isn’t time, he’ll just have to wear normal underwear. MUCH CRYING ENSUES. Evan, miraculously, is dressed and ready to put on his cleats. Let’s remember that these are little boys playing baseball… it’s raining buckets outside – do we think we are practicing today? Is there really a need for cleats?

Brody is still naked and smoke is coming out of Michael’s ears. He is demanding that Brody wear regular underwear – Brody is refusing and is still having an absolute FIT.

9:10 am – Michael can’t find the keys to his truck. He’s lost them (a small poll, who is shocked?) The boys lost the spare set (his words… he let the boys play with the spare set, they lost them – it’s their fault, not his – the adult who thought it was okay for 2 kids to have the keys to his truck).

9:15 am – Brody is still not dressed, Michael has not been able to locate the keys to his truck. Melodie is watching this scenario and secretly giggling inside. She knows where her car keys are – including the spare set!

9:20 am – Brody is dressed! HUZZAH! Michael has not found his keys and begs to use my car. I give in, because of the boys. I help Brody put on his cleats (that he will wear inside the ferry building, which has concrete floors and will most likely be wet because of all the other little boys in their regular shoes)

9:24 am – The boys leave the house, hoping to get to the building by 9:30 to meet with the coach.

Ahh… I love it when a plan comes together. Meanwhile, Michael’s stress level is probably through the roof. The problem is, he could have had everything organized and ready to go – last night. But last night, he surfed the net and watched tv. WHICH IS SO TYPICAL!

I have to say, there are parts of him (and parts of our marriage) that I am going to miss. The unorganized mess that controls his life is not going to be missed at all.

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