Thursday, May 27, 2010

Mommy and Kees Day

Thursdays are a big deal to Kees. It's Mommy and Kees Day. He seems to think this means he can do whatever he wants and buy all the toys in the world. I have made it about having a coffee or lunch together and then going to the Library, Zoo, OMSI or something like that. It isn't about getting stuff, it's about spending the day together. Today was a bit different than most of our M & K Days because we have all been sick and I am still not up to par. Kees is most of the way back but still not 100%.

We started our day on the couch. Me going through a few emails and waiting for the library to open. Our plan was library and then lunch. Kees spent his time asking me questions that he knew the answers to. It's totally annoying and something that all kids do. I am not sure why they do it. Maybe it's to hear their own voice? Maybe it's to be right? I don't know but it is certainly not constructive.

After a bit I decide that he needs to move. "Let's go do laundry!" He thinks that is a great idea. We go down stairs. First I have him pull all the clothes out of the dryer. Next I drop the wet clothes onto the dryer door and he pushes them in and he adds a dryer sheet. I show him how to turn the knob to "All Dry" and press the start button. Onto the washer.... We put in dark clothes and I explain the cold with dark, hot with light thing. He changes the knob to cold, turns the washer on, we add soap and wait for the washer to fill. He has to sit on the edge of the washer and watch it fill because he wants to see what happens. I'm cool with that. I show him how to press the button so that the washer "thinks" it's closed so he can see what happens. I straighten up the basement while he waits. "Mom, it's full!" I say, "Press the button." He does...he doesn't....he does...he doesn't.... "Kees! Stop that! You're going to break the washer!" He does...he doesn't....he does...he doesn't.... I go in and pull him off the washer and show him how to close the top with out smashing his fingers. He thinks that was really fun. "I like doing the laundry mom!" will you get your chance.

We go to the library and pick out a few books. Star Wars was at the top of the list but there weren't many at all. We got a few stories, a couple chapter books for Sophia and Coulter and then headed to lunch.

Lunch was fine but Kees, still not being up to par, doesn't want to play in the kid area. When lunch comes all he wanted to eat were french fries. I got a burger thinking I needed protein. I still get little spurts of energy but mostly I am exhausted. Kees insisted he was going to throw up. Alright, let's go to the bathroom. "Throw up. I'm waiting." He says, "It's going to take a while." I say, "I don't have the time and I am hungry." Mind you I haven't eaten more then a bowl of soup at a time in almost 3 days. We leave the bathroom and TAAAH DAHHHH, he doesn't throw up. On the way home he starts again and I do an emergency pull over. Nuthin'. I can't have that in my car.

We get home and he's up for more laundry and then he throws the ball for the dog while I watch. Awesome. I could really work this into something as he gets a bit older. We hang out for a bit longer and then it's time to get the sibs. Kees and Mommy Day is officially over.

A few words from today....
Today at lunch.... "Your butt is soo big that it covers the whole chair." Big smile. What am I supposed to say?

"If your birthday is August 20th thousand, your gunna die because it's your 6000th birthday. And infinity is your last birthday." These kinds of things make my brain hurt.

While throwing the ball for the dog...
"Do you know why the sun is coming out?"
Me, "Yeah, because the clouds are going away."
"NO! It's because the Earth is tilting toward the sun."
I said, "I don't think so."
Kees, "Yeah, it is."
Me, "Oh yeah. Where did you hear that?"
Kees, "Teacher Debbie told me that and she's really smart."
How are you going to fight with that? My kids have had Debbie as a teacher for a total of 4 years between them now and Kees will have her again next year. I have been hearing about how smart Debbie is for YEARS. Coulter still tells me things Debbie taught him.

Kees just randomly walked in and said, "My fingers can do the you wanna see?" And he shows me. And they do, do the splits. Thanks for sharing. I don't have the heart to tell him everyone can do that.

Things that made stop what I was doing today....
1 - "Mom, come and see how tall my stack of chairs is." He was building a tower out of the Chairs Game. I said, "I am sure it's very tall." Kees, "Mom, please come see." I did. Yep, just like I thought...a stack of chairs.

2 - Turning on the TV
3 - Opening a Popsicle
4 - Getting the cereal off the shelf
5 - Tying shoes

These are all mommy things but I have to tell you that I will be thrilled when I don't have to get up or stop what I am doing to take care of 4 people (including me)and their little needs. Getting a drink, getting a snack, reaching high things, fixing paper airplanes, cleaning up spills, turning on the TV, etc, etc, etc. I am glad I have the opportunity but it's really getting old. I don't know how people who have more kids do it. They must have the big ones doing all this stuff for the little ones because this could make you nuts.

So there is my K & M Day. I hope you have a good day. Stay patient, I'm trying. Stay strong, I think I do that. Stay loving, I pray that I always am.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Can I Have a Minute....PLEASE!!!!

Today has been a really good day. Nothing extraordinary but good none the less. I have made it pretty clear that I love my life so ordinary is great in my book.

The day started out like many. Bob needed to be at work early so I was a solo mommy. Since the week that I made everyone get up on their own with alarm clocks all the smalls have been pretty cooperative about getting out of bed. The morning went smoothly. Sophia made her lunch and I made lunch for the boys. Cereal all around for breakfast, backpacks prepped and we were out the door at 8:10. I was Carpool Mom this morning.

I originally had some nice weather fun things to do this morning (a walk with a friend and yard saleing) but it was pouring out so I came home. I let the dog out and made a quick breakfast since that doesn't seem to happen as I am getting everyone else ready. I sat down and watched TV for about 20 minutes while I had my food. I did have to let the dog back in and clean her feet during breakfast.

Back to work. I started by refilling all the things in the kitchen that needed it. At breakfast this morning there were only 2 choices!!!!!!! OH MY!!! I refilled the other 4 containers. Refilled the....salt, soy sauce, egg container, dog food, cheese sticks, brought sausage up for tomorrow, restocked drinks, brought up coffee etc, etc, etc... There was lots of running up and down the stairs. I moved papers around the house, put away books, cleaned up markers, mail, vacuumed, put away coats, put stuff on the stairs in hopes that people will take their own things....Yeah, RIGHT! I moved things around the house for almost 2 hours. Barely any of this would fit the definition of house work. I just moved around the house putting things back in the proper places. It's hard to tell that I did anything but I do know where a few things are now.

Oh, it's 11:30...Time to go get Kees and Truman and it's our day for a play date. Let the dog out, let the dog in, clean her feet..... I go. First, I pick up the book that Kees and I wrote about he and Slippy and the adventure they had last week. He left it at home. Slippy is his classes stuffed animal that they all take home and journal about. Next, I drop by the library to pick up the paper airplane book that is on hold for Kees. He's really into paper airplanes right now. And off to school.

I get the boys and we decide to go to OMSI! This is a great option 95% of the time. When we get there we check out the OMSI Store where they ask for, well, everything. They get exactly NOTHING!!! I was looking for a certain book on Leonardo DaVinci...we'll have to order it.

We go upstairs to the little kid area. This area is great especially for 2, almost 5 year olds. There is plenty to do and they can run around fairly independently. I had planned for this so I had magazines to go through. I try and do this at least once a year...damn, I miss leisurely going through my magazines. If you have kids you will understand this, if you don't, you won't. It's loud in the kid play area and because of the volume and sheer intensity of noise it's like a white noise for reading. You become like a mama penguin and the only thing that you can pick out of the "white noise" is the sound of your own chicks. That being said, you can also read or go through magazines.

INTERMISSION - Why is there and intermission in this piece? Because I completed this blog and the stupid computer or Internet failed. Yes, I was done and now it's gone and I am pissed..... I will now carry on.

I go through my magazines and find some fabulous recipes and vacation spots that I would have been sorry to miss. Just this week I weeded out about 20 magazines and just tossed them out with out so much as opening them. They were cluttering up my life and I am pretty sure that at least one article, in at least one of those magazines, would have said, "De clutter Your Life" and so I preemptively did. I spend about an hour going through magazines, tearing out things that look good and periodically prairie dogging to check on the boys. They were playing nicely, sharing, sticking together and generally playing well with others....they get an "A."

When it is almost 3 I announce that, "it's time to go home. Put on your socks and shoes." They both ask if we can go get something to eat. We usually do but this time they were so engrossed that once they were playing they didn't even think of it. This is great for "quiet time" for me but I didn't get lunch. I have, let's say, reserves. It's the price I pay.

We head toward home to make the Truman for Coulter and Sophia trade. Sophia wants to stay with her friend Amelia for a play date, fine. I take Kees and Coulter home.

As soon as we get home the boys decide they want to go outside and play 500 (whatever that is). I say, "That's fine but I have to pick up dog poop first." This is where the glam part of the job comes in. Food can wait. The dog is the first one out the door. If I don't do this it will mean WAY more work for me later. I get a couple bags because, "Surely Bob has picked up a few poops this week." Apparently I am mistaken. I ask Coulter to go get a couple more bags, "OK mom." He runs in and brings out a couple more bags. And still I need more, "Kees, please go get a couple more bags for me." He says, "No! I don't want to." And he is standing there arms crossed looking defiant. Really? Is now the time? I'm hungry and tired and I AM CLEANING UP POOP!!!!! I say, "You better go in and get some bags or you will be in BIG trouble." He can tell I am serious and he retrieves a couple bags. I continue picking up poop when they change their minds and ask, "Can we play Wii? Can we? Can we play Wii?" I am beginning to HATE that f&%@ing Wii. And really? I am just finishing picking up poop in lieu of eating so you can play out here. Kees tromps across the yard and steps in poop. The last poop I was headed toward. Damn it... I clean his foot off. I now start the final step of cleaning poop up, sand. I get some sand out of the sand box and walk around sanding all the spots so that the little pieces of poop that you just can't get (mind you it's been raining so the poop is all cold and gooey) don't get on shoes. Poop on shoes means poop in the house which means more work for mom. Just as I am finishing the sanding process it starts to rain.....hard. Well, I guess that needed to be done anyway.

We go inside. The boys run upstairs. Great, I can eat.... I get out a couple things and they come back down the stairs chanting, "We're hungry." I stop with my food and we decide on scrambled eggs and sausage for them. I make the food and they sit down. I step toward my food...."We need a drink" Ordinarily there is lemonade in the refrigerator but it's empty. I get them a drink. They finish, clear their plates and run into the living room.

I step toward my food...and they yell, "Mom, come and make us some paper airplanes!" I know they're excited but I am starving! Coulter comes walking in with a magazine page folded into the beginnings of an airplane. A magazine page that I cut out with intentions to read someday. I had saved it for 6 months already, cut it out for me to read sometime in the future, sometime that may never come, but if it does I know I'll have something good to read for the 10 minutes that it will take. And he, with out thinking at all has folded it into the beginnings of an airplane. I tell him to, "Put that back where you found it." And then, "Mommy needs some food and some quiet time. You can go up stairs or downstairs but you CAN NOT be on this floor!" They go.

I finally get some food. I have a handmade corn tortilla with jalapeno jack cheese and some home made guacamole. Heaven. It may not sound good to you but it hit the spot.

With a little food under my belt I was beginning to feel a little better. I decided I should blog. It is the one totally selfish thing that I do. It keeps me sane and helps me remember why I am glad my kids are growing up. I know they're cute but they are also a lot of work. And when all my memories are all hearts and flowers I will be able to go back and see that there was some poop and yelling in there too. We all forget the poop and yelling and retain the hearts and flowers. Someday when my kids have kids I'll remind them that their frustrating experiences are not unique and then I will have LOTS of specific stories for them. OK, I know that sounds resentful but I am not resentful. I just like having the full picture of my day to day. It's always funnier the next day and sweet a week later.

As I am typing the boys come in and yell, "Can we play Wii?" Sakkkkee fracka grrrrr... My computer is in the same room as the big TV and the Wii. I say, "No BUT, do you want to watch a show?" "YEAH!" they say in unison. This is the pay off for not letting them watch TV all week. When they get to, it's a big deal. They run off and turn on the boob tube in the other room. Awesome. I am alone to blog.

And so I sit here and finally have my minute. It's quiet, I have eaten, the boys are happy and maybe later we'll make airplanes.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Mother's Day

I know that I went on a special trip and I considered it my real Mother's Day gift. My philosophy on "special" days is that if every day is pretty good then the named days don't have to be spectacular. No, they don't have to be spectacular, but they do have to be noted and addressed.

This Mother's Day I got up to no fan fare and took a shower. We all needed to get ready for church. There was no "Happy Mother's Day" banner, card or word....I can wait. When I got out of the shower Bob came in and said, "The kids have some things for you so let me know when you're ready." I smiled....yeah, they didn't forget. I jumped on the bed and waited. The kids came in bearing their gifts and cards. They did make some paper boxes with big sister's help and I got two bee's wax candles (a pig and a lighthouse), a couple of notes on paper and then a giant card from Bob. So far so good.....

As I was getting ready Bob said he was going to take Sophia to church early so he was leaving. She was going to play her fiddle for the offertory and she needed to practice. Great. As he was leaving he said he was taking the Jeep (the top was off and it was sunny) and then a last comment...."I'm taking Coulter." Off they went. 10 minutes later my mom (she was in for the weekend) and I jumped in the van and headed to church. We were early and went to the front row,, like we always do, and waited for church to start. Bob came up at 5 till and said, "Have you seen Kees?" I said, "No." A moment went by.... Bob shrugged. I said, "He came with you didn't he?" And he said...."No." OH CRAP!!!!! We left him at home! I jumped up and said, "I'll go get him." Shit! I am his mom, it's Mother's Day....HOW COULD I LEAVE MY BABY? As I was walking out Sophia was chasing me saying, "I hope he's OK. I hope he's not crying and scared." NOT HELPING SOPHIA! "Go back and sit down....go, go, GOOOoooo!!!" As if my saying (under my breath), "Jesus could this happen?" in the church wasn't blasphemous enough now the whole church is wondering what is happening because my daughter is panicked and chasing me. Damn it....

I jump in the van and zoom home. Of course in my head he is crying and panicked because his family has left him. I am prepared for the worst and hoping he's just sitting there quietly. It takes 20 minutes to get home....OK, it was realy only 3 minutes and he was only alone for about 15 minutes max but it seems like an eternity. I pull in, jump out, unlock the door and say, "Kees?" He says, "Yeah?" I follow his little voice....he's in the office and sitting in front of the computer. He says, "Look at this mom." I say, "Cool....we need to get your shoes on so we're not late for church." He had NO idea that we were gone. None... best case scenario. We get his shoes on and head to church.

I get to church just as it's getting started. Door to door and back to original door it took 6 minutes +/-. Pretty good. He goes down to the nursery to play and has no idea what just happened.

Sophia played really well and received lots of complements and such from the congregation. I received lots of comments and jibes as well but it wasn't for MY great performance....on the contrary. Great mom, eh? And why did that have to happen today of all days? No harm, no foul I say. Actually, I think it's pretty funny really.

The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. We worked in the garden (Bob did). I made lunch. Later I went to Garden Fever and asked Sophia to go with me. She said, "No." I said, "Please" She said, "I have been waiting for 2 days to play soccer with daddy." I said, "I have been waiting for Mother's Day for a whole year. But you do what you need to do." and I left and went to Garden Fever with my mom. It is a great shop but it was packed and the check out line was about 20 people long. It was fun to look around but I need to go back during the week to get stuff...I am not waiting in a long line.

I later sat in the back yard and crafted while the kids played and Bob planted some things in the garden....I am not allowed to plant stuff because I apparently plant too many things. I only have a small garden...and the plants start out so small.....I can't help it.

For dinner I got pizza and we watched a movie. Coulter whined and screamed, "I do not want to watch that movie." It was about horses. This was about the 5th time that he was whining and screaming for the day. Finally after everyone was seated, the show was started and they were eating, did everyone quiet down. Thank goodness. I got to sit down and watch the movie after the first 10 minutes when everyone had what they wanted.

The kids went to bed, Bob and I went to bed early. It was a fairly non eventful evening.

On Monday Bob said, "I am sorry your Mother's Day was crappy." I told him that it wasn't crappy but that the kids really made it a non event. That it is his job to teach them that it needs to be special just like it's my job to teach them that Father's Day needs to be special. When mommy says, "Go to the store with me" on Mother's Day the response should be, "OK" not whining. He insisted that it was bad so I offered him a do over. Any time (soon) and I shouldn't have to wonder "was that it?" I should just know. We'll see how that goes.

So Mother's Day was eventful in leaving my son at home but other than that...not so much. I didn't complain or really give it much thought but apparently Bob did. We'll see what happens and I'll let you know.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Am a Lucky Girl

I have written about my trip to the Bahamas. It was wonderful and I loved being there by myself. You should have seen peoples faces when I said that I was there alone...they were totally confused. I thought it was great!

When I take these times to myself I always reflect and see what I take away. This time the theme that comes to me over and over again is how lucky I am. Yes, I am lucky that I got to go to the Bahamas but honestly, given the same players, I would have felt lucky to go to the South Pole. The sun and sand was secondary to my friends and relaxing. Yes, it's beautiful there but I love my friends more.

I stayed in a fancy suite at the Cove. I felt honored to be taken care of so well. I loved the room but again, I felt their love. Upon arrival I was whisked off by a town car to meet my friends for a concert. They took great care to make sure I was all set up to meet them. The concert was great but my friends were better.

It makes me smile all around to think about the whole week. The dinners were amazing, the hotel, fabulous, the weather, wonderful, our conversations, fun and tantalizing and the over all experience made me feel so honored. Honored that I am included, honored that I am so well taken care of, honored that we could all gather together after 20 years and I still feel so close to these people. It was amazing.

And then there are my home peeps.... I feel just as honored by everyone at home. I have this amazing group of friends and family that took care of my family while I was gone. I had an excel spread sheet showing all the pick ups, drop offs, classes, hand offs and babysitting over the course of the week. Bob made fun of me for putting this together but I am the momma. It's my job to make sure that my cubs are well taken care of and that no one is forgotten even when I am 3000 miles away. I succeeded in that only because I have such a wonderful group of friends here at home that pitched in and covered me. And the beautiful thing is I would do it for them at the drop of a hat. I love the community we live in and what we have created for our selves here. Friends take work, care, communication and give and take. I have worked hard to create these friendships and they have too. We are bonded together as a family so we have to take care of each other, and we do. Being away makes these bonds even stronger because you have to trust in your heart that it's all getting done. And it did get done. No one was forgotten and everyone was well cared for. As a matter of fact, I think my kids had more fun while I was gone. They barely noticed I was missing. I like to think that was because I planned so well but the truth is it's because my friends cared and made my kids feel welcome and cared for.

So I am a lucky girl. My friends are top priority (just behind my family) and this has worked well for all of us. I feel most honored because I know my friends love me and my family as much as I love them and their families. This is the case both in the Bahamas and at home or where ever my friends are. And while I call it luck, and some of it is, most of it is love. Love of my friends and their love back. It's shown in a fancy dinner, a play date, a vacation, or taking care of each others kids and families because that's what we do for each other. It is our truth. I am a lucky girl. For all of this I am grateful and will always carry that truth in my heart .

Bahamas and Home

I was remiss in blogging over the last 5 days of my trip to the Bahamas. I was relaxed, very relaxed. Mostly I read books and dunked in the water to cool off....that was my job.

Let's see....Tuesday I got my hair cut. I love it! Deiter does it again. After my cut Sarah took me to meet Dima at the Beach Club. It's a restaurant that is right on the beach. We shared an appetizer pizza and then each got something yummy. And what a view. I then went back to the hotel packed my stuff and went to the Markantonis' for the rest of my stay.

Wednesday Sarah and I went for lunch at their neighborhood club. Again, the can't beat it. After lunch I was set loose. I read on the beach and then did a bit of snorkeling. That was all great except that I saw a barracuda. I don't know much about those other then I did NOT want to get too close. The problem was that I was practically standing on it before I knew it was there. I saw lots of fish and a couple of large squid. Very cool. Later I took the golf cart for a spin around the island and did a little shopping. That evening we had dinner with a couple from Las Vegas who had just been married. They were very cute and seem so happy together. Ah, new love.... George ordered a wedding cake for was big enough for about 40. It was so beautiful and delicious. It was a fun night.

Thursday....floating, dunking and reading. That's it....just like I planned. Lots of reading, floating and dunking.

Friday, more of the same, the "float, dunk, read" routine. Then that evening we went to Mesa. It's a Bobby Flay restaurant. It was great! We met up with some friends, including my friend Ellen and had a wonderful time. The food was amazing and the evening ended with 30 year old scotch. Bob would have loved that. We finally shut the place down at midnight and went home. I still had to pack. I ended up staying up late and calling Bob to hear about home adventures. They had been having fun in the neighborhood. I had been having fun in the Bahamas. All was right in the world.

I got up on Saturday and put the final touches on the packing and getting ready. I had a chat with my friends and we all said our good byes. It was a great trip. I did exactly what I wanted, relaxed, saw my friends and read books. The beach and pools were extra. My dear friends the Markantonis' were so great. They took good care of me and made me feel so welcome. I know they do this very often so to be so gracious each time has to be exhausting yet I felt so very special and important to them. Thank you for that.

We'll see what next year holds. I enjoy my week away each year and it makes me appreciate what I have at home too. For this year, I am so very grateful for the time I had.