Friday, April 11, 2014

Quick Takes Volume: Scatter Brain

Spring break was a bust. We all had some kind of illness in a staggard timeline, so no one realy got to do anything fun. Charlotte turned 9 and had her birthday saved by my dear friend. She hosted C on her birthday and then I proceeded to ruin a night in with her husband by using her as my therapist when I went to pick C up from her house. Luckily, we are close enough for me to call myself out to her husband, who was gracious enough to laugh at me. Good friends are the best medicine, are they not?
I will be bragging about my children in this post. A lot. First up is K & C combo. These girls won an iPad at school because some wonderful person donated enough money to the Fun Run and then asked that two students who had worked hard, but got smaller donations be given iPads. Kate and Charlotte walked the neighborhood together and turned in a sheet explaining that they wanted to work together for a bigger prize. They really wanted to collect $700, but fell way short even though every neighbor did donate. I was very pleased that they were able to learn that hard work is rewarded in unexpected ways, and I am very happy someone had that insight when making their large donation. It's a good idea to pay forward, for sure!
When things get a little wonky in terms of familial chaos, I sometimes get a little fixated on things I can control. Like painting inside the house, painting Molly's new loft bed and reseeding the lawn. That lawn. It is my nemesis, I tell you. Just shy of a year under purchasing this house we spent an obscene amount of money to redo the front landscaping because the landscaper for the builder thought that half the front yard should be mulch and the other half should be covered with the cruddiest sod in the southeast. Now I'm convinced our soil is poisoned because everything is dying again. In my fantasy Scott would pull up everything, including the topsoil, lay manure and organic soil, new sod and beautiful flowering bushes. And hire a painter. And a contractor to build a half-sized barn door at the bottom of the steps that swings all the way to the wall and latches there as well as wood shutters for the XL window in the stairwell and also put the distressed wood panels under the bar. And not go into debt. Luckily, I've been pulled out of my fantasy because we are all well again and order is going to be reinstated. 
I must brag about Kate again. She one second place in an art contest. It was one that included many schools from the area and her category included three grades. We were not able to go to the show because of the illnesses in the house, but I couldn't be more happy for her. The truth is, I'm not even proud of her, just happy she gets to experience success at something she enjoys. So often we enjoy things we don't have a lot of time to develop, and that's okay, but kids often abandon things they enjoy because they mistakenly believe they ought to be great at it. Kate doesn't seem to be a remarkable artist to me, but she does have a good eye and great imagination. I hope that this award gives her a boost to continue enjoying this portion of her creativity. Who knows, maybe I'm wrong and she's got phenomenal talent. Either way, I am thrilled she was chosen and thrilled she won something.
Molly is going to be 7. The wonderous thing about her is that she is acting like a 7 year old. I always thought Molly would be my baby forever, but instead she is blossoming into a kind and considerate girl. I blame her teacher. No, seriously though, her teacher does a beautiful job of teaching the kids that life is about learning skills and information, and that they are all capable. She has been sending home "concerns" about Molly here and there, and you know what? They are all slowly being weeded out. Molly is trying to impress her teacher and show how bright she really is. Her teacher has gone from being concerned she wouldn't keep up to recommending she be tested for the enrichment program. Better than her academic success, I have over heard her being kind and generous to her siblings and to her friends. She is really growing up, and I feel so lucky to be able to know her.
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Um. We have another snake. That's two total living under my roof. I know. I feel compelled to be an amazing mother here, you guys, and I don't even think my kids understand how amazing I am being. This snake is named Olaf, and he is Popcorn's brother from the same clutch of eggs. Whatever. I hope St. Francis is taking notes. Also? Paul needs to take notes. I mean, really.
John Paul II and John XXIII are being canonized this weekend. If you are not familiar with these two wonderful people, I hope you will find out more about them. I was not familiar with John XXIII, but have read a little and find him to be an very interesting person in a very interesting time in history. As for JPII, well Charlotte is named for him in a round about way. In short, I'm a fan.

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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My Three-in-One Postacular

I know. I know. I know. I flaked on the 3 posts/week pretty quickly. How was I to know that raising 5 children while caring for a 6th M-F during school hours and my husband gone most weekdays would be so busy? Honestly, what am I, a fortune teller? Let's not split hairs over whether or not I should or shouldn't have been posting. Let's move on and talk about  more important things.

Last week was incredibly busy. There was nothing bad-busy about it, but I found myself with more appointments than I recalled making and more decisions than I ever feel comfortable with. Scott was taking the last of his out-of-town trips, which had been getting rather taxing on everybody. Because he couldn't do it, I felt I needed to show up at some school functions. Obviously I had to be there for Kate to receive her Principals Honors certificate since 4th grade has been a bear. 3rd quarter I let it go, as they sing these days. Low and behold the child came home with straight A's. Well, and I bribed her with goodies. Either way it was super fun to see all the kids afterward and have to stop Mae from trying to slip into line with the big kids and head off to class.

The next day I felt it would do the kids good to see me at the Fun Run, which incidentally was actually fun. They did a great job, and I was able to see all but Kate. I didn't watch Molly run, but I saw her at PE, so that was neat. Once again, Mae wanted to join the big kids running laps. After Paul's class finished they all got popsicles, and Mae kept going up and leaning toward their faces with her tongue out hoping for a lick. Little Guy got to see one of his big sisters, and I was so happy to see how excited she was to see him at school two days in a row. I had to haul it out of there to a pediatric consult, and was nearly late because I also needed coffee.

Friday was a rough day. All week I could feel myself running on mental fumes. My short term memory was so fuzzy I wondered if I needed a boost in Synthroid. That afternoon I did something so boneheaded I knew instantly I would carry that mistake for a while. I locked Mae and Little Guy in the car in the hot sun. Both sets of keys were in there, one in my purse the other on the console. I contemplated smashing the window with a bat, but I was afraid the glass would cut the kids. I called 911. When the rescue team arrived I learned they didn't have jimmies anymore because if they broke my window they could be held liable.

This is the craziest thing I've ever heard. I was furious. Who on earth would hold the fire department liable for his own mistake?! I did this, you guys. I locked babies in a hot car! MY FAULT! I didn't care what happened next as long as those precious people were safe at the end. When it was clear that the locksmith that 911 called was not going to come for some time, I told the firemen to break the window. They have that cool window punch that causes all the glass to fall like rain rather than spatter everywhere. I immediately grabbed both babies out of the car. Poor Little Guy was a ball of fury and sweat. Mae was mildly uncomfortable and damp, but then again she's a full 19 months older than the baby. I cooled off the baby with a damp towel and we made sure he and Mae were fine, though I think they were more concerned about me. It turned out alright with the glass guy coming the next day and completing the install before the afternoon downpour. I ended up feeling extra blessed because LG's mom still had us over for my birthday and spoiled me with yummy food and a cool gift of relaxation gear. I spent the weekend recouping mentally and physically by sleeping as much as I wanted to and going to lunch with my friend.

Mae is just becoming some kind of kid. Lately she is all Daddy's girl. She dives over into his arms when he gets home, turns to me and says, "Bye." waiving her fat little hand in a dismissive manner. She continues to do this particular dismissing when she doesn't want you giving her the business for something she suspects she shouldn't do. Catch her mulch throwing? "Bye." Tell her to use her spoon? "Bye." Prevent her from smacking the baby with a toy? "Bye." She is also guilty of a LOT of technology thievery. Don't leave your phone laying around because Mae will have that sucker in no time, and will be very dismayed if you try to take it back.

I guess because Daddy is bearded she has also shown an indiscriminate preference for bearded fellas. One of her OTs is bearded and she loves him. Today there was a student at therapy and she wouldn't leave that guy alone. The second he put her down, she would pull on his pant leg and demand, "Up." She lay her head on his shoulder and fully intended to take a nap right there in his arms after speech. In fact, she has been a little reticent in speech lately, but with our dear bearded friend present she suddenly was a little mimic. I find it interesting that she prefers males and shows bearded men even greater preference. Her little mind is a mystery.

Other things of note are that my brother finished a 150 mile ultra. While I am impressed and happy for him, it has not inspired me in the least to run more. There are a lot of birthdays in our family this month. We still have spring break to look forward to, and I am forcing my children into either swim team or swim lessons. Yes, that includes Mariana. I am interested in how this will turn out since swim team seems more like a cult than a sport with all the practice and regulations and such. Who knows, maybe it will turn out I'm one of those ladies with the sticker on her window proclaiming to be a "Swim Mom". (Okay, I know that I'm not one of those ladies because I announced very early in this parenting gig that I would never have an Olympic commercial dedicated to me.)