Friday, February 27, 2009

Quick catch up....

Ok - confession? I haven't posted lately because I haven't been taking any pictures. Sometimes the grey of the winter and the rapid movement of my children are not conducive to good pictures - or even the inspiration to get out the camera. But the last couple of days have allowed me to catch a few that I liked.

So, here's Luke in all of his fifteen month glory. He's as sweet as ever, giving kisses and hugs on request. He runs around the house like a champ, and loves to move things. Right now he's sitting on the kitchen floor stirring uncooked pasta around a bowl and moving it back and forth in a muffin tray. His verbal skills are exploding, and we are getting regular "thank you"s and good attempts at "please" (signing while saying). Luke loves doggies, and actively wants to love any one he sees, shouting "gie, gie". And his adoration of the phone has continues on, often making pretend calls as he wanders around the house saying, "'Ello? um hm, mmm hum, yup, (chuckle chuckle), um hm, bye!"

And here's Max at three and a half. I actually had to bribe him with a Skittle to let me take his picture while looking at the camera. Right now he's sitting at the kitchen counter (the table's not a safe place to work anymore - Luke scrambles to the top in less than 3 seconds and takes great glee in grabbing Max's crayons or markers and eating them) "making art". This consists of taking colored paper, stickers, decorative punches, markers, crayons, and glue and assembling cards or pictures or anything else that strikes his fancy. He likes to draw dinosaurs, and knows the sounds of most letters. He's beyond patient with Luke, but listening to grown-ups is not always a strength.

It's been busy around here. We are currently getting our house ready to put on the market. Really, we don't need to move, but a little more space would be great, and the interest rates can't be beat. So we're giving it a shot. At least the house is getting cleaner than it's been in a while, the sliding glass door is fixed, and the roof was fixed and treated today. But wish us luck - it's a crazy time in the housing market.

I guess I'll leave you today with Max's latest funnies.

1. Our dear Lauren (good friend, and the boy's miraculous child care provider) is 8 weeks pregnant. Her son Liam is still nursing occasionally, and the other day Max tells me that Liam MUST stop nursing. I told him that Liam was welcome to nurse as long as it was ok with Liam and Lauren. Buit Max insisted it wasn't with a very worried look on his face. Finally, I asked him why he thought Liam should stop. The reply? "Liam's going to hurt the baby - he's going to suck it right out!" Yeah, a brief anatomy lesson was needed, and he was much relieved to learn that the milk and the baby aren't in the same place.

2. We were driving home listening to some good old Randy Travis (Deeper than the Holler, for those that care). Max wanted to know what it was about and I told him it was a love song. This led to a discussion of who people write love songs for - friends, mommies and daddies, brothers and sisters, boyfriends and girlfriends, and husbands and wives. He then wanted to know what a huband and wife were - "men who are married and women who are married" was my reply. Then, "What's married?". "Well, it's when two people love each other so much that they want to spend their whole lives together." "Well, that's a great idea. I want to get married." So I had to ask, "Who do you want to marry?" I should have known. "I want to marry Ollie. I love him very much and if we were married we could play all the time."

So, there's a quick catch up. It's all good around here - and even better now that February is almost over.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

That mom...

After my last post, where some of you became mistakenly convinced that I've got things together, I figured that today provides a good counter-balance.

This afternoon I was that mom. You know the one. The one that we all roll our eyes at, step around, and talk about over coffee with a friend. The one with the out-of-control child.

I was in front of our public library with a three-and-a-half year old laying on the ground screaming, "NOOOOOOOO! CARRY ME, MOMMY! NOW!" I'm using my best stern-but-soothing voice, "Max, you need I cannot carry you right now. You need to get up right now and walk to the car."


But really, I couldn't. You see, I had a bag of library books over the shoulder, a bag of new construction paper and my purse in one hand, and a screaming one year old in the other. And our car was still 30 feet away. And as the seconds ticked by (feeling like interminable hours) my Irish cheeks burned more and more red, and I prayed with all my might,

"Please, Earth, just swallow me now."

No such luck. The screaming continues. He takes a couple steps, and flops back down. A couple more. Flop. A few more and we are in view of the car. And the shouting continues. Five steps. Two more. We're next to the car. I go to open his door, and look up just in time to see him sit in a puddle in the parking lot.

"Get in the car. RIGHT NOW." And to be honest, the urgency in my voice carries every ounce of threat I can muster.

"But I wanna go back to the train store........" he whines. But as he whines, he's actually moving into the back seat, dripping pants and all. I go around, put the baby into his car seat, hand him a snack trap of organic cheerios, and shut the door. I walk back to the other side, pick up the crying child, put him in his seat, and buckle him up. As I get in my seat, he begins to scream again. This time I'm not even sure what he's saying. I've stopped listening. I've started crying.

You see, my big one, he has his moments. Those strong outbursts of passion and pain and anger that rival Mt. Vesuvius. I've read "Raising Your Spirited Child", and yup, I've got one. And for a mama like me, who would rather die than have people stare at me in public, this is a tough pill to swallow. And it hurts.

It hurts, because in those moments, I am embarrassed. I worry too much about what other people think. What judgments they are making about me and my parenting abilities and my son who is the light of my life. And I'm aware enough to realize that what I should be worrying about is my son. And why he is so upset. And calming myself down enough so I can get through to him. And to hell with those other people.

And you can sure as heck bet that the next time I see that mom, I'm offering her a hug, a hand, or at least a positive word that she's doing the toughest job there is.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Gotta love a productive day - they are so rare around here.

Here's my To-DoNE List:
1.Made waffles and whipped cream for breakfast
2. Took Max for a haircut (it had only been 6 months....)
3. Checked out the Circuit City closing sale - Dan got a Flip for his Valentine's Day gift to him (prepare for videos!)
4. Did all my lesson planning
5. Graded 3 sets of papers
6. Made lunch
7. Made stew and bread for dinner
8. Checked email/blogs/forums
9. Cleaned closet
10. Did 3 loads of laundry
11. Cleaned laundry room
12. Cleaned bedroom
13. Packed up a package to mail tomorrow
14. Cleared off the kitchen counter
15. Vacuumed
16. Ordered my Valentine's Day gift to me

All good stuff - and all done! Wahoo!

This may be the first time in several months that I am ready for Monday.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Little bit of bliss....

This afternoon was one of those moments of pure bliss. Frances England was playing, Max was painting, and I was knitting. The rays of a rare February sun warming my back and easing my mind. A sleeping Luke. Talking about mixing colors and dinosaurs. Calm.

A brief moment where I felt like I was being the mama I aspire to....
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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Decision Time...

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(My babies enjoying some time together in the snow )

Thanks for you kind words of support and encouragement after my last post. I needed them more than you know.

A decision has been made. I am returning to work full time next year. Basically, the district isn't planning on giving half-time leaves next year, and I'm not willing to lose 10 years of seniority in these economic times. So it is what it is, as Dan would say.

Truth? I'm not heartbroken.

Going back full time allows us greater choice in preschools we can afford. It gives us a little extra cushion in the budget. I am determined we will hire a housekeeper to come in twice a month to help maintain my sanity. I will still be home by 4:00.

It is going to be ok.