Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Diggin' It

When I was 5 my dad brought home a brand new Honda Accord LX.  It was a blue hatchback with these black slat things on the back window.  I thought it was sooooo cool.  I loved that the seats folded forward and I declared they would be 'no eating' in Dad's new car.
image from oldparkedcars.com  
When I was 17 I drove a 1990 Honda Civic.  We bought it from one of my dad's coworkers; it was dark gray; and I loved it.  Because it was a stick shift I had to learn how to drive all over again.  I almost stripped the gears and gave my dad quite a few gray hairs figuring out how to properly shift.  I also think I had my first real panic attack when I accidentally shifted into 2nd instead of 5th gear driving down a main highway at 60 miles an hour.  Ooops.  I also got pulled over quite a few times in that car.  Maybe one day I got pulled over twice in the same trip and ended up with a reckless ticket.  Maybe.  Because I frequently locked my keys in the car and often left my lights on and drained the battery, I was well acquainted with the locksmith in Blacksburg.  It was a good car.
image from wikipedia.org  
When the break pedal in the Civic went all the way to the floor one day I called my dad to see if he wanted to go car shopping.  I had just graduated from college and was planning to buy a new car the following year.  My plans were fast forwarded for obvious safety reasons and I left the dealership with a new/used 2003 Honda Accord.  It was another manual and it was silver.  I felt so grown up.  It made countless road trips, resided at a couple different apartment addresses, hauled various loads of stuff/books/games/supplies to my classrooms, took a few shameful dates home, participated in a fender bender or two, and eventually ended up with two car seats in the back to cart my most precious cargo.
image from wikipedia.org
It breaks my heart a little to see the Accord go.  We haven't officially sold it...it needs a major cleaning and Joe needs a back up vehicle while he makes some repairs to his monster truck.  In the meantime, however, the boys and I have 'moved in' to our new ride.  And I can't lie...the more I drive it the more I LOVE it...the features, the space, the convenience!  Good thing, because it's here to stay a while.  Hello, 2011 Odyssey.  As the owner of 3 Hondas prior I guess it was only inevitable that you'd be our next upgrade:)
Ok so maybe I did put off becoming the driver of a 'mama mobile' because of a long standing bet I made at the age of 9 or so with a longtime friend that stated 'I'd never drive a mini van!'  However, I'll clarify that vans in the late 80s were not the hottest things around...wood paneled Town and Countrys?  Conversion vans?  No thanks.  So thank you once again, Honda, for making me feel excited for my newest ride:)  Soccer Mom, Swagger Wagon, Mama Mobile...call it what you like...this family is happy.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Three Ring Circus

Nothing profound to say these days, and if I do want to share something and write it down it kind of sounds negative.  Not intentionally, just honest.  Funny, actually, when you get to the root of it all, so long as you can appreciate a little sarcasm and cynicism.  But instead of focusing entirely on the negative, I thought I'd share some things that have gone in our favor lately...

Afternoon playtime with the neighbors:)

Sidewalk chalk!

Fun with a stamp pad and rollers, among many other craft projects on the display around here these days!

Letters practice with an old egg carton and beads!

Baking cookies (twice in one week, actually)!  We've come a long way since last year:)  The boys are really into helping me cook anything these days...I kind of love it. 
But before you assume all of these age appropriate, hunky-dory activities went off without a hitch and that life around here is all roses and ice cream like I always do when I read other people's blogs, let me let you in on a little secret.  These moments lasted 5 seconds-5 minutes.  And what happened before, sometimes during, and after are the shit show circus I refer to as parent-hood.  You know, those moments when you stop and say, "How did I get here?"  And those other moments that you observe in someone else's life that let you feel normal.   Let me illustrate....

It's the mom at the children's museum who hasn't showered and rolls out in public with bed head.

It's another mom at the children's museum who unknowingly let their baby dribble their entire bottle's contents on his cute smocked outfit because she's busy helping her other child glue tissue paper on his art project.

And another mom at the same place who catches her infant's spit up in her hand and on her shoe before it hits her other child who is playing nicely at the train table.

It's showing up to the library for story hour on a rainy day only to find out there is no story hour scheduled for this week.

It's the mom friend who texts you from the doctor's office after she's been waiting over 2 hours for her son's well check up.

It's taking a timeout before 9am and finishing breakfast on the deck while your child screams from his high chair inside because he no longer wants to eat the waffles and plums he requested I make for breakfast.

It's feeling like a crazy lady after nicely asking my sons to stop. kicking. the. back.of. my seat. 3+ times and finally resort to yelling, to which I actually get a response.  

It's finding comfort at the gym when you look around the class and see other girls just like me who haven't showered in two days, don't wear make up to hide facial blemishes, and can't place me in public when I actually have regular clothes on.  But at least we acknowledge each other with an empathetic, familiar grin as we pass each other with our respective strollers, walking through the neighborhood looking very zombie-like or when we're taming a wild beast child in our arms, because for the 7,093rd time it's time to go home from the playground. 

It's asking for one of your toddlers to bring you the box of wipes because you're out of toilet paper.  True story.

Get the picture?

But to balance everything out, I'm super thankful that instead of our recent days taking a turn for the worst by noon, they each gradually improved by the hour.  So there was indeed some solo time when we drove to NC to pick up this....for real, we did it.
And while we were gone, the boys enjoyed precious time with their Oma and Opa.
And there was joy, despite the screams getting into the stroller, during our morning walk and treat the other day.  P.S. Spending 30 minutes in a Krispy Kreme will result in your clothes retaining that 'fried dough' smell the rest of the day.  And you'll be guilty as charged when you head to the gym to burn off those guilty calories because you'll sweat out that 'fried dough' smell too.  Just FYI.

Along with an early birthday dinner tonight for my father-in-law, I'm very much looking forward to mine and Joe's get-away for our 6th anniversary this weekend!  Today's visit to watch the digger down the street and a good time at the playground quickly overshadowed the fact that I had to be pulled from my class at the gym because the boys, for whatever reason, couldn't hold it together.  And even though I just spent all of nap time uploading photos and catching up online and now my child is awake all too early (naps are sparse these days - ugh) before I've gotten anything done (including a shower), I better go.  Time for act 17 of this circus show:)

Monday, October 8, 2012

Murphy's Laws of Motherhood with a Muffin on the Side (?!?!)

As a mom I always TRY to stay 1, 2, even 3 steps ahead so our days go smoothly.  TRY being the operative word.  But lately I find myself throwing my hands in the air as I say, "Go figure," and have learned to just roll with it.  It can now be assumed that the best plans/intentions will flop.  And when they don't it's a sweet mommy hood victory.

1) It can be expected that your child will have a blowout when you're late and rushing out the door.  Obviously.

2) It can be expected that you'll be short just one ingredient for the dinner you're trying to prepare during nap time. (Silver lining: a neighbor down the street saved the day and had the missing ingredient in her cabinet!)

3) It can be expected that it will rain on the day you've schedule an outdoor photo session.  Or the few clothes in the dirty hamper will include the shirts you'd intended your children to wear for pictures. (Silver lining: A new friend offers to photograph the boys since she needs some material to promote her new photography website and the session goes beautifully!)

4) It can be expected that the one time you schedule a play date with a neighbor to fill the afternoon until the dads get home that the dads will get home a little early.

5) It can be expected that the cup of coffee you make at 7:45am won't actually be consumed until 9:45 that morning.  This is a daily occurrence.

6) It can be expected that after calling for DADDY all day long while he's at work, your kids will finally cry out for YOU at 9:00 pm when you're in a complete vegetative state on the couch.

7) It can be expected that while changing one child's [dirty] diaper and discovering a nasty diaper rash that the other child will fall and get his foot stuck in a [damn] toy, causing him to wail and cry for you, thus leaving a half-naked, red-bottomed boy lying on the floor in the other room.  (Silver lining: At lease he didn't pee all over the floor!)

8) It can be expected that if you make the effort to dry your hair and put on real clothes (i.e. something other than black workout pants, t-shirt, and sneakers) it will be raining when you leave the house.

And while we're at it, I saw this the other day.  It comes from Beth Brubaker at footprintsinthemudblog.blogspot.com.

Spot on.  The everyday life of a mom is a circle story.  A few months back I'd constructed something similar in my head about a crazy day we'd had, but by that evening I was too tired to jot it down.  No need, this blogger did a fine job!

We're still hangin' in.  My 2 1/2 year old monsters darlings continue to give me a run for my money, but even a dreary Monday has me determined to get us back on track after an ugly weekend of tension, tears, and seeing every hour on the clock last night between 1am and 6am.  Granted, it was my own fault that I climbed in bed at 1:30am.  Tsk, tsk the perfectionist in me always wins when it comes to making those damn digital photo books.  Anyway, my sister in law and sweet niece visited this weekend and while I wish our time together had been more quality, Allie did give me a sweet reminder this morning that I do indeed miss those itty bitty days, which probably means I'll miss these 2 1/2 year old days too.  Maybe:)

Fun with Photo Booth....a whole new meaning to seeing 'double double.'  Eeek! :)

So I'm off while it's still quiet around here for a few more minutes.  It's time to do the seasonal clothes switch around here....Welcome, Fall:)

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Just BE

Some days I worry that I'm not DOING enough.  Enough playtime with my boys.  Enough chores around the house.  Enough dates on the calendar and phone calls with friends.  Enough catch up time with my husband.  Enough workout time to keep this changing 30+ year old body in check.  Enough tutoring hours to have a little extra cash.  Enough to pull my weight around this house.  Enough appreciation to just soak up where I am right now in this phase of life.

I am my own worst critic.

I'm trying to be more present.  More in the moment.  To enjoy more and want less, fret less.  It's pretty safe to say that when I master one aspect of the balancing act, something else falls.  And the juggling act continues.  One more ball in the air one week, one more ball on the ground the next. 

Instead of always feeling inadequate (this is why I do NOT get on Pinterest), I'm going to work on how to JUST BE.  And thank goodness for my snapshot resources (phone, camera, iPad) to keep me grounded, remind me to be present, and feel ok to not accomplish monumental tasks every day, but relish in the little ones that do get done.  Like playing and reading and walking and watching and singing.  And sometimes maybe a little cleaning and errand running and cooking and napping and laundry folding.  Even after the hardest days I find myself looking at the boys' pictures (old and new) with a grin.  They can drive me mad and renew my spirit all at the same time.  Stinkers.


P.S. Thank goodness this was actually written last week because otherwise today's post would have been a lot of whining about yesterday's terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day.  It was ugly. A day that had me considering a full time job requiring lots of travel.  A day that had me realizing that this is what people mean when they refer to the 'terrible 2s.'  But today we're better, so there's no use in wallowing.

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