The world on my shoulders

I have been exceedingly overwhelmed and behind schedule; it’s starting to wear on me. This weekend was FULL of things and I managed to get through Saturday morning without freaking out. In fact, instead of thinking about it too much, I just… got through it. And before I knew, the two soccer games and end of season parties were done. Thank God. Stats: Elliot *almost* scored three goals but he saved about five while playing goalie. Isaac’s team had seven goals all season, five of them he scored himself. As of one PM Saturday, soccer season was put to rest. On Sunday evening, around 4:30, I received the email about baseball. LOL. It never ends, does it? OK, I chose to do this, I know.

The menfolk went camping almost directly after soccer ended; Isaac took a brief nap and Ash loaded the car. The site was a little under an hour away where they met his friends who had already set up. All they had to bring was food and clothes. I hear they had fun: canoeing, hot dogs on the fire, potato gun fights. Small ones though. We have a potato launcher that would kill you if aimed at a person. Ash said they didn’t complain about sleeping in a tent and woke feeling great. Though Elliot did puke the next morning, we surmise it was from too much junk food. He’s not used to overdoing it on chips and sweets.

Baby and I whiled away our hours, playing, cleaning, and getting food from Whole Foods. Once she was asleep, I pretty much just lazed around. Ok, untrue. I graded papers and read. The next morning, we got a lot done in the house and the boys were all home a bit before one. We didn’t do much; Ash has a really bad ache in his neck, to the point where he can barely turn his head. We sort of watched the Oscars; I was more focused on getting laundry done and making dinner. Once that was done, I was just exhausted.

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That’s all I’ve got; it’s Monday and I suck. Come back tomorrow for coherent thoughts.

Too slammed to actually put something together

This weekend just flew by; we were super busy. On Saturday, Elliot had a 9 AM soccer game and Isaac had a 10, so Ash took Elliot, I stayed home then took Isaac to his with Baby and then when Ash showed up, I took Elliot back to his field for his 11 o’clock game and Ash and Isaac showed up about 5 minutes into that one. It was crazy! I just wish they could both be at the same park but Elliot is now in a league where they play on larger fields. So yeah we did that then napped then went to the store. Ash took Isaac to the doctor because long ago – back in late September, he had gotten a splinter but it was so deep in there and he was spazzing out so we were unable to get it out. I always figured those things worked themselves out but his calloused over then just days ago, began hurting him again. It’s always something!

That said, my grandmother passed away last night. It had been a long time coming so it’s not a surprise. but now I have to make plans for getting down there and making sure Ash can handle the kids at home (I’m not dragging everyone). It’s crazy and I am not sure how it is all going to work but I am sure it WILL. Just another thing I have to make it through.

Sorry for cutting this short but it’s still crazy at work. I’ll be around…

Let me off this ride!

I don’t even think I realized just how go go go we’d been until, well, this morning. I told you how I’d gotten very good at using my phone’s calendar feature. That really helped me to keep my head above water but then today, as I was coming into work, I was more aware than usual so I started making a to-do list. Holy crap, folks. This thing ended up being about ten items deep and some of them are sort of involved. I crossed one off: registering the boys for soccer. I was reluctant to go from flag to soccer with only about, oh, 3 weeks in between but they had asked and Isaac actually showed much more interest in that sport over others. So that is marked off; yay.

I still have to place an ad in the paper and on Craigslist for our upcoming yard sale. I am actually REALLY looking forward to doing that. We will get rid of this disassembled TV stand and the five entire boxes of kids’ toys and clothing. I also plan to go through the kitchen. It’s amazing how much stuff I accumulated in that room alone that I don’t really ever use. Anything left is being donated. We are also trying to sell our bed frame on a local site where we’d probably get more money than the garage sale. It’s a good bed: a solid walnut frame and it’s a big canopy style thing. We just want a king size and not such a huge hunk of wood in the middle of our bedroom. I’m actually more of a minimalist when it comes to furniture. When we get rid of the frame and the old mattress, we will also probably get new carpet. Our bedroom is the last to get new carpet; each of the other three were replaced each time we had a baby. It makes a huge difference! I cannot wait until our bedroom is clean and nice and new again.

The other thing that’s been dragging me through the mud is Todd. He was going every couple of weeks to see the dog eye doc but then his eye started to look worse so we went after one week and we’re slated to go back in another week. The problem is that he got a slight cut on the bad eye and it turned into an ulcer. Now the thing is growing bacteria and if it gets really bad, the retina could become perforated. I am hoping this new regimen of drugs will help but to be honest, if it doesn’t and they need to take the eye out, that would certainly be a relief. Dogs can do just fine on one eye; it’s their third most important sense anyway. I’d just like to put this all behind me.

Let me tell you what else snuck up on me this week: Teacher Appreciation at the daycare. Unfortunately, we got an email about it Monday… for Friday. That is not enough time! Especially seeing as how my week was broken up into Before Family Came Home and After. Wednesday was like Monday to me because they were back and it felt normal again. So now it is Thursday and as it is, I have to run to the grocery store on my lunch break and I have zero idea what I will do for those teachers. I used to get little baskets and put color themed items in there based on the suggestions the director gave us about what they like. Well, probably not this year. I am thinking a heart-felt card and a ten dollar Target gift card is all they’re getting. With three kids, an ailing dog, and an overwhelming amount of work, I just cannot hold myself to the old standard.

I may just be going with little mason jars of candy and whatnot along with a colored ribbon and card.

So, now that I have spoken with an editing client and crossed a few other minor things off the list, I have to run to the store on my lunch break then go home and tend to the old dog. It’s always something and if I didn’t know any better, I’d tell you that secretly, I love how busy we are.

“A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers.”

So, nine years ago this happened:431872364_931eac81e7_o

 

For a long time in my twenties I didn’t think I would ever get married, that anyone would want to marry me. I wasn’t emotionally stable and I had no clear idea of what I brought to the table. Through dating Ash and then marrying him, I discovered all my strong suits. I also figured out where I was weak and where he stepped in. This manifested itself more and more as this happened:1287904184_52754e6168_z

And that baby was a game changer for us. But it also made us stronger. So we decided to make another one:4528779707_fe486b3df8_z

I got really used to our family of four. It was perfect. And as the boys grew, things got so much easier. 

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We grew as a family and learned how to coexist in (mostly) peace. But then, my wonderful, loving husband convinced me that we needed just one more. Just ONE more…9650026136_8a46a8e50b_z

 

So here we are, nine years later. We have done so much in this period of time, it would take days, maybe weeks for me to recount it all. But it’s been magical and I can’t wait to see what keeps coming. Next year, at 10, we’re going back to Hawaii and it is going to be amazing!431876630_7bde303926_z

 

When things get out of hand

So I was off Friday and that was pretty nice – the menfolk went to see a movie and then us women met them for lunch. I took Elliot to his orientation and then we all napped. The boys had a make up swim lesson that night so dinner was choose your own adventure but it was a good day overall.

On Saturday, I was straight up in a bad mood. I found it very hard to get motivated to do anything at all. In fact, it wasn’t until after nap and lots of TV that we really did anything. No, wait, that is not true. Elliot and I went to  Target early to get all his school supplies. I wait on his until I make sure his teacher wants what is on the general list. In the past, it has been slightly different. So yeah, we got all that and THEN I did nothing. But once we napped and went to Publix later in the afternoon, the day picked up. Ash and I had some beers and we grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. Everyone was happy. Around 11, I heard baby girl crying so I went to check on her. She had a full diaper (she’d been having some issues so I’d been feeding her bananas and apples sauce for a couple days) so I was surprised by that. Anyway, she went back to sleep but intermittently cried, which she sometimes does. But she always went back to sleep.  Around one, I heard her making some weird noises, kind of like choking sounds. I went with my gut and went in there to see she’d throw up. It didn’t seem chunky but she definitely puked. SO, Ash gave her a bath while I cleaned up. She threw up one-two times every hour until 5. I laid with her out in the chair in the living room, watching bad TV. She would thrash about, cry, puke, then  be exhausted, dozing off for maybe 20 minutes before doing it all again. Poor thing! She finally stopped throwing up and fell asleep at 5 and stayed asleep until 7. FYI, I slept on the couch for maybe 45 minutes between 10 and 11 but I was up until I first heard her at one. So the next time I got any sleep, was those two hours in the AM. By 7, the boys were up and I put her in her crib, feeling pretty confident that she wasn’t going to hurl anymore.

And she didn’t. Around 10:30 she woke up happy and I fed her a bit of breastmilk. It stayed down. Throughout the day I was cautious and she had water and toast. The sleepiness didn’t catch up with me for a while; I ran out to get a pedicure around 11:45 (Ash kindly took over) and maybe about 3 I fell asleep on the floor of her bedroom while she played. The menfolk were all doing their thing and I was exhausted. I think I might have slept for 45 minutes? Then I woke up and finished laundry and made a lasagna. She was definitely better because she had more toast and a banana and managed to down 3 ounces of formula before getting to sleep at 6:30. A bit early but she needed it. And me? I made sure I finished laundry and all but I dropped out at 8. I fell asleep on the couch until 10, then crawled into bed and slept soundly until 3:30… when I was wide awake. So I got up and had some water, checked email, checked on the baby, then forced myself to sleep some more.

I really needed that sleep because today, Isaac starts VPK, Ell had his first day of second grade, and in about 25 minutes, baby girl has her one year check up. (A little late, I know.) After that, I get to go to work! Just writing all that makes me feel tired. A mom’s life! So that’s what we’ve been up to. No MMMM this week; I have to do a few things before we get on to the doc. I hate going to the pediatrician so I need to muster my patience and all that.

Is that an end, in sight, that I see?

Aye, it could very well be that this massive amount of work I have is coming to an end. Granted, I have to grade 18 papers this week and 22 first drafts of research essays BUT I meet with the writer of this manuscript today so that’s one item checked off the list. But of course, the list keep getting longer and longer and things sort of pop up along the way. Not necessarily for ME, but in general. For one, Ash had a relatively new pair of pants tear when he bent down to pick up a computer. Penny’s discontinued his favorite style so that was one of those interesting days when he was annoyed and could not find any pants.  Then Sunday morning, Ell was having a meltdown about finding a lost shoe and when he tapped (ok, banged on out of frustration) the garage door window to get our attention as we were loading the car pre-beach, the glass insert in the door shattered. Yup, just fell right apart. To his credit, the thing is old and it gets banged opened and closed A LOT , so it was just the straw meeting camel’s back. But STILL, he is not getting to play video games any time soon. That kind of behaviour ain’t gonna fly. It’s a shoe for God’s sake. SO, we went to the beach and had a really nice time. I mean it; it was gorgeous weather and everyone was happy. But at the very end, the boys were trusted to be good and, well, things happened. Ash’s glasses are broken beyond what we can fix so he’s all blurry-eyed. He’s more blind than I am so life is bit tough right now. Thankfully he has an appointment today and they’ll find a solution, be it contacts now and new glasses later in the week or something like that.

So that’s how our weekend was: I mean, Ash and I had a nice Friday. We worked out then had beer and Mexican food before seeing Lucy, which was not very good but we had ice cream and that IS good. And he didn’t go out that night so we all had a nice evening, though it was pretty hot this weekend. The mornings last week had been noticeably cooler. There’s about a one to two minute time I get to myself on hectic mornings when I pull my car from the street to the driveway, for ease of loading it up. Each day last week I reveled in the low 70s/low humidity weather that we were graced with. My weather app SAYS it is still only 78 right now but the Feels Like is 91. 91 at 8 AM!

I promise to be a better blogger this week but for now, work is demanding my attention. Have a great week everyone!

As always…

This EXACT time last year, Isaac was battling an awful stomach bug. And today, Dakota has an ear infection and pink eye in both. If it’s not one thing, it’s another. I have one million things to do at work and where am I? At the doctor, at the pharmacy, here at home, waiting out her nap. Better than while on vacation (next week) but isn’t this always the way? I guess I should also be thankful that my boys aren’t here to contract her eye issue.

My parents got in around lunch Saturday and left by 11 yesterday with my boys. I admit, I had a bit of trouble. The house was so… quiet. I only had to do one small load of laundry and the majority of the time, the baby was either playing calmly or sleeping. I guess the truth of the matter is that more than half my time is spent caring for those boys. I was feeling pretty down, then we watched Game of Thrones, which was also kind of depressing. But according to a friend, last night’s events are necessary for the awesome still to come. I haven’t read past book 1 so I’ll take her word for it!

Sorry this is a short post; I have to care for baby. Happy Monday!

Summer daydreaming

This time of year makes me think of your typical summery things: sprinklers in the yard, sunglasses, warm breezes, cold beer, and grilling out. My father had a basic charcoal grill and sometimes I get a whiff of that smell somewhere in our neighborhood. I am instantly transported to our Hollywood backyard. My dad would be starting the grill with his makeshift coffee can and newspaper chimney, and I’d be running around the spacious yard or hiding under the Persian lime tree. 2ba25495963e7f7d767d98814697bca3

 

Our tree was huge and had a big dome-like shape so I would climb under and play in the shade. The smell of charcoal floated on the air until it switched to the savory taste of  country-style ribs or hamburgers. Every now and then, we’d eat outside but mostly, I remember climbing the huge sycamore tree, then being called into a big Sunday meal. My parents went all-out on those days: meat, mashed potatoes, corn, salad. We ate as a family almost every night and that really embedded the importance of family meals.

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When I was in high school, we moved to Orlando and started going to the July NASCAR race. This was before they added another layer to the stands so we had seats in the top row. In the case of car racing, being higher was better. For the summer race, this was the case because at the top, you got a breeze. Since that one is an evening time start, we used to stay in some little beach motel called The Talisman, eat breakfast, then tailgate at the track all day long. I wasn’t old enough to drink, but the adults did while we grilled and chilled until race time. I remember it being so hot but distracted just enough to ignore the swelter. We’d always get a fly-over and a good race, followed up by amazing fireworks.13e8c3479011b67fcc8d2fd61c1b8008

 

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Lately, my summers equal trips to the beach with the kids and seeing how much they enjoy it. There’s a certain comfort in knowing that we’re helping them build childhood memories that they’ll look back on – hopefully like me – and think fondly of. I love seeing how much they love the water and building sand castles. As they grow, we’ll try skim boarding and shell collecting (on other beaches; St. George, not to much) and other summer beach type things. The goal is to rent a beach house at some point and maybe these memories will morph into extensions of that. I want that so badly, it huts. But for now, plug away at work, bide my time. It will happen.Beach-House-4

Mother and son at odds

Elliot glared at me from across the kitchen. “I WANT cereal.” he bit out, seething. We’d been going back and forth about his tone of voice and morning attitude of late. I was trying to keep my calm – I really was.

“Don’t you look at me like that…” he said, just like I would. And that is when I snapped. I gave him an earful and I just hope one day it sinks in. I feel like each day’s lessons are erased after a night’s sleep. He wakes the next day with no prior knowledge of how to behave.

“You’re almost seven years old, buddy. This has got to stop.”

“I know! But I don’t know how!”

This bothers me more than anything; it’s all impulse. And the worst part is that I can see so much of myself in him. I was that kid – sometimes – who fought just to fight, who tried to win the conversation, not realizing I was actually in a lot of trouble. And I never knew when to shut up. Pair that with a lot of rage and a complete lack of patience and he an I are identical.

In the end, I made him recount what he did wrong – which is super hard, I know – and we hugged. I love that kid fiercely but he pushes me to my absolute limits. For me, it’s this collective realization that he is no longer the laid back baby he once was but is growing into a boy. And it’s not the boy things that annoy me – not the armpit fart sounds or the climbing doorways or the crack running through his veins, causing him to bounce off walls. It’s just the incredible likeness to myself, the mirror image staring back at me, showing me my faults, that kills me, every day.

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Friday Confessions/Note to self

I confess… I left a lot of work for myself for this morning and, of course, it isn’t going smoothly at all. Because that is the way this world works, you know.

I confess… when I complain about petty things like that, I feel bad. It could be worse and I should be damn thankful.

I confess… my current favorite Jimmy Buffet song is Happily Ever After.

I confess… I have to mow my lawn this weekend and I’m… actually looking forward to it. Not to brag on myself but I like hard work. Plus, I get a nice tan out there in the blazing sun. I then plan on taking a cold shower and a nap. Ah, weekends.

I confess… Elliot is going to his first sleepover this weekend. I am both happy and nervous for him. I don’t think he’ll get scared and want to come home. But I am afraid he’ll act obnoxious and piss off the parents. Do you remember being a kid and not giving a damn about that? I was completely oblivious to the parents’ take on sleepovers. Also, I always wonder now if my parents gave the other parents money for my food or if it’s commonly accepted that whoever is hosting the child pays. And it’s then assumed that the next time, we’d cover for their kid. Like, Ell went to Addy’s house once and they fed him and then we fed Addy when he came over for a playdate. So I guess it’s the same? Oh, I know this isn’t a huge deal but it’s one of those parent protocols I don’t really know yet.

Now for the portion of this post where I make a list of stuff I need to do. It’s more for me than you, because I use my blog as an account of my life to remind myself, but still. I would find this interesting if YOU put it on your blog. :)

Things I have to do:

  • Put St. George Island sticker on car
  • Clean out car; Windex inside of windshield
  • Water kitchen windowsill cactus
  • Rinse off camp chairs – sand sticks to them
  • Order new ones of these
  • Get a pedicure
  • Book vet for boarding in June
  • Sort through Baby Girl clothes; some no longer fit
  • Change crib bedding
  • Vacuum hair on bathroom floor
  • Get a haircut
  • Have Elliot write thank you notes to people who did the Flat Stanley project
  • Experiment with some Pinterest recipes
  • Take a damn vacation!