Friday, August 31, 2007

A camp-out fantasy

Last night E transformed the living room into a camp-out fantasy. Blankets draped between chairs and the couch and sleeping bags underneath. Boy & Girl were equipped with flashlights and on the lookout for bears. All the lights were turned out and the glee and excitement were palpable. They also cooked marshmallows over an open fire. They were consumed for almost an hour, only stopping at one point to change into PJs and racing back to the campsite. As it grew closer to bed time, I was invited into the tent and E read to us by flashlight. Then off to bed and surprisingly, they fell asleep quite quickly - their imaginations soaring. These memories of playing with Daddy will be with them forever.

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Yes, I do! I absolutely do!

Girl is so excited about school. We've been talking for months about all the fun things that she'll be able to do. The painting, the puppets, playing outside, doing puzzles, using scissors, sleeping on a little cot for nap time, making friends, sitting in one of the little chairs and having lunch, going on field trips to the library, and the number one thing she is excited about?! Having her name written above a hook where she can hang up her backpack! Monday and Tuesday went so well, I am praying that Wednesday, her first full day will go well, too.

Girl is also excited about circle time stories.

Mommy, I don't know how to do circle time.

Oh, but sweetie pie, you do actually. Remember when Mommy came and read to Boy's class and you sat down with Boy and his friends and listened?

But, I don't think I was quiet.

I remember you doing a great job at being quiet.

Yesterday, Ana told N to sit down on his bobbom. He didn't want to sit down on his bobbom and listen to the story.

Well, some people have a hard time sitting still for story time.

Yes, that is absolutely right. But, Mommy, but Mommy, I ac tu a lly, I actually didn't have trouble sitting on my bobbom.

See, that's what I was talking about. You do know how to do circle time.

Yes, I do! I absolutely do!

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

That's not nice words to say!

Quote of the Day

Are we there yet?

No, Boy, not yet.

That's not nice words to say!

What's not nice, Boy?

"Not there yet."

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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Having a Boy slays me

There is something so achingly exquisite about seeing the love and sweetness young boys are capable of showing to each other. It comes before they learn to hide their feelings. Before they learn that showing physical affection with other boys is a kind of taboo. Even with our generation of men, so much freer to hug than their fathers before them, boys have to cut that off somehow. Maybe when they become men it is OK again to show affection. Certainly in sports you see boys and men giving each other bear hugs and hearty slaps on the back, but the tenderness is gone.

Today, when I picked Boy up from school, he was immersed in a game of knight slaying with two of his close buddies.

Boy! Boy! Your mom is here.

O.K., Boy, time to go home now.

Boy's Mom! Boy's Mom! Boy is dead right now.

I can see that... I'm afraid he's going to have to stop being dead so we can go home.

Playing dead, talking about being dead has become a favorite passion with Boy. As I feel my mortality creeping ever closer, he wants to fling "death" in my face. Not really. But, it can feel that way!

As he turned to leave with me, one of his friends called him, reached out and gave him a huge, heartfelt hug. Then the other friend said, Wait, Boy! And he, too, gave Boy a great big hug and Boy said, Oh... J, I love you.
Having a boy is ...rough tackling one minute and then they slay you with their tenderness. It is so very beautiful.

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Monday, August 27, 2007

Transition days are needed for grown-ups, too

Today was a roller coaster ride. Today and tomorrow are "transition days" at Boy & Girl's preschool. The children get a couple of hours in their new class with their teachers. Girl was very excited about her first morning of preschool. She picked out her outfit carefully ... and wanted to wear a bathing suit. Well... it is technically still water play at the school. She wanted to be just like Boy, who was wearing his bathing suit. Boy was reluctant to go to school as he doesn't want to make the move into the Pre-K class. I don't want to go to school. I don't want to go to room 5. In talking to the other parents, it seemed to be a recurring theme. The kids have bonded with their current teachers and are very sad about moving up, yet also excited. I encouraged him to talk about his feelings with his teacher, and once he saw that all of his friends were also moving on to the next level, he felt better. I really think he thought he was going by himself.

So, the morning went beautifully and of course, I had to mess it up...royally. I had explained to Boy that I would be coming back to pick up Girl, and that he would stay for the rest of the day like he usually does on Monday's. Well, obviously I had not explained it enough or clearly or he had forgotten. As I entered the gate he ran up to me with great excitement and said, Is it time to go home now, Mommy? No, sweetie, you get to stay and play with all of your friends! - said by me in Fake Peppy Mommy voice. Big burst of tears. But, J went home!! (His close friend.) That's because Monday is not J's regular day to come to school, sweetie. Wails and tears... Then his teacher helped by redirecting him to a friend playing in the playground and he was off! I then picked up Girl who was in the classroom, and as we were walking out were spotted by Boy yet again, more tears, wails and basically I felt like the worst parent in the whole world. It killed me. It really did.Maybe I should have planned to take him home early, too? Maybe, shoulda, woulda, coulda... the curse of the Mother, to constantly 2ND guess your choices.

So, that was that... and then Girl and I went to Costco. Usually a safe endeavor. Everything was fine until we exited the building to get a hot dog. On several occasions, we have gotten a hot dog and shared it together. Well, today, that just wasn't going to cut it. I DON'T WANT TO SHARE A HOT DOG! I WANT A SMOOTHIE AND A HOT DOG! Shriek, bellow, etc. After shamefacedly shuffling us off to the side, I tried to reason with her. My first mistake. Then I got firm. That obviously didn't work. Then I got angry - which really didn't work. And I said we were leaving. So, I pushed a screaming child in a cart back to the car. And...she refused to let me get her out. I loaded up the car, while she bellowed. I WANT MY DADA! I WANT TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL. Apparently she prefers school to Mama after only 2 hours of the place! The man loading up next to me looked over in sympathy. At least I had an ally somewhere.. The car was loaded and she still refused to let me get her out. She struggled, screamed, shrieked and kept her legs from coming out of the seat. She had all the leverage as I am on the shorter side and there was no way I could get her out of the cart. Most importantly, I wasn't going to risk her getting hurt by my forcing her out of the cart. I reasoned, I barked, nothing. Meanwhile, Mrs. Busybody was eyeing us from across the parking lot and continued to sit in her car watching us. Was she calling child services? Whatever she was doing, she was looking at me like I was a total loser and was questioning whether I was harming my child. Had the woman not had the pleasure of a full-out tantrum before? Man, the lady's missed out. So, then I took a deep breath and sat quietly with the car door open, next to her. Girl finally folded after about 3 more minutes. We both cried and hugged and were totally wrung out. And then Girl is fine - and it is like this episode never happened. By this time, 20 looong minutes, I noticed Nosy Nellie had driven off. And once again, I felt defeated as a mother.

So, what did I learn today? Your heart can be broken many times by seeing your children hurting. And good ideas can be really bad ideas - at least according to your children. And, I love them desperately. They are my everything. And "transition" days are needed for Grown-ups, too. And always have enough change for 2 hot dogs!

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

A day of reflection and observation

It is Sunday. A day of reflection and observation. Yes, I've done a great deal of both and have decided that my life of late resembles a bad Country & Western song.

If I wrote it, it would go something like this:

My little darlin' ran willy nilly,

tripped and cracked open her little head...

My hubby's identity has been stolen

and we've had to make sure we have enough bread...

My other darlin' had a hurtin' tummy,

and up-chucked on my feet.

I'm hangin' in there, but...

My life ain't what it used to be ....Warble, warble, warble...

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Saturday, August 25, 2007

Are we there yet?

Today we spent the day in San Diego celebrating my niece's 5Th birthday. It was one of those magical California days when the beauty of the vast blue sky pierces your soul.

The drive down took almost 3 hours and we played a lot of I Spy. Girl loved it. It's MY turn! Daddy would try and guess and according to girl guessed it every time. Basically a perfect score. Well, that's little girls and their daddy's for you. Boy has joined the ranks of every child known to man, chanting in the car, Are we there yet? That was after we had traveled 3 blocks. It was said so many times, it almost became a refrain. E and I kept looking over at each other and laughing. The last 3 years have been a bit of a blur, it is so fun to have two children who talk and converse and even yes, fun (on my good days) to reflect on how they can drive us crazy with too much chatter.

The birthday party was at a park on the bay. It was a great turnout of friends and family to celebrate our niece's 5Th year. She was happy, floating around like a little butterfly from friend to friend, from water to sand to playground. Boy made a beeline for the ocean and Girl held herself back to check out everything. Then both Boy & Girl were in the bay with E. The water was cool and the breeze was cool, which made for a cool dip. I, unfortunately, had a skirt on and could not partake. I was so disappointed. Not. I am a total wimp when it comes to coldish waters. Don't like 'em. Girl stated proudly, I am a polar bear like Unca D! Her Uncle and my mom are known for not only swimming in cold water, but enjoying it. My mom flew down for the occasion and the kids were very happy to see their Ma'Mai. My cousin was also there with her 3 boys and her husband. One 4 year old and two 1 1/2 year old twins! I just look at her and get tired. I stand in awe.

It was a real family day and we haven't had one of those in a while.

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Friday, August 24, 2007

Hey, I think we've covered all the bodily fluids this week!

I'm starting to look like Mother Teresa... without the head shawl. I need to get a haircut. Desperately.

This morning as I was cleaning vomit off the kitchen floor, I thought of my girlfriends who are getting away this weekend for our annual Ladies Weekend away. Away from kids, away from husbands, duties and yes, away from spew. But, alas, I was not away from spew and am here where Boy obviously needs me. Yes, unfortunately, Boy had a stomach virus this morning and we had several bouts of disgorgement. I felt terrible for him. He's amazingly in touch with his body for such a little guy. He told me his stomach hurt and that he was going to throw up and I, sensitive mother that I am, thought that he was exaggerating. Obviously, I was WRONG! Sooo WRONG in fact that I received vomitus on my bare feet. What a wondrous way to wake up!

Boy is now fine. He was running, jumping and shoveling in food by this evening. These kids are fine-tuned machines. Immediate recovery. And, me... well, I'm still recovering from all of it. Girl's head trauma, poop explosions and now vomit. Hey, I think we've covered all the bodily fluids this week!! How exciting! Do you think I could win some kind of contest? Probably not. But, maybe I could start the Blood, Shit & Vomit Club. I'll call it BSV! It has a certain Twang to it!

Hey ladies! I hope that you're having a shot of tequila for me!

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Thursday, August 23, 2007

Walking to a different drummer

Boy looks at the world through a different lens, a varied kaleidoscope of changing hues. We all do in our own ways, yet he really seems to walk to a different drummer. He is not a follower. He is an explorer. We often use that overused phrase, he "thinks outside the box" to describe him. Yet, it is so true.

Something that I find fascinating is that he cannot tell that his shoes are on the wrong feet. He puts them on, runs, plays and when it is pointed out to him that they are on the wrong feet - he still doesn't see it. He looks down at his shoes and they look right to him. Nothing is off. Once he does the trade and they are on the right feet, I can ask him, does this feel more comfortable? And he might say, yes or he might not. He puts his pants on backwards a lot, too. I could choose to worry about this, but I won't too much. I'm going to be grateful that for today, at least, he's got bigger things to think about. Like making his mom nutty.

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Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I'm not sure why it seems to be my destiny to receive poop explosions from my children...

I'm not sure why it seems to be my destiny to receive poop explosions from my children, but clearly it is a reception meant just for me. I was on the phone dealing with the fraud department of Sprint wireless. E's briefcase was stolen back at the end of June and we keep getting hit with various identity theft issues. We received a letter yesterday stating that his cell phone application had been processed. Well, he never made the application. Sure enough, when I called, the person stealing his identity had gotten a cell phone and had already started using it in E's name. In the background, I could hear Girl going back and forth to the bathroom, but wasn't really paying attention as I was focusing on the telephone conversation.

After I got off the phone, Girl walked into the office minus her skirt and underwear with poop as well as various "washable" markers smeared all over her lower half. I went poop-poop in my panties and on the playroom bed, she said with a smile. I got her back to the bathroom to survey the damage in a safe spot. It was a huge, smeary mess and I almost cried. She seemed to find it amusing, which at that point made me want to cry harder. But, since she doesn't know that she has the upper hand, I decided to continue on and be Mommy, the wise one. I ordered her to stay in the bathroom, and I ran to the kitchen to obtain a large garbage can and to find out where she had left her underwear. It seems she had left poop smeared on the bed in the playroom, then run to the bathroom, emptied her panties in the toilet, run to the kitchen and chucked her very heavily soiled underwear in the garbage and then come to tell me about it. She did everything she thought she should do - the problem was that she did it and poop had to be cleaned up in various spots. It took me a while to sort out the poop smears from the "washable markers." After cleaning her up and putting her in the tub, I was ready for the day to be over and it was only 1pm. Girl is potty trained, but these flagrant veers off the trail happen occasionally. Maybe she is sensing the big change coming with her going to school full-time and not being with me all day anymore? All I know is that I am pooped out! Over and out.

This morning Girl and I spent about an hour and a half at Boy's school. The idea is for her to have a gradual transition into going there full-time. I was with her for about 20 minutes and then left to have a parent-teacher conference with Boy's teacher. I had told her ahead of time that I would be leaving to have a meeting and would be back soon. She was a little reluctant to have me leave, but we talked through it and she was able to stay behind in the classroom. When I came back about 30 minutes later, she was immersed in a floor puzzle with one of the teachers and having a great time. I sat down with her and watched her interaction with the teacher as she finished the puzzle. Girl was clearly comfortable and that was wonderful to see. Boy enjoyed having us in his classroom and I played with him and his buddies for a short while in the block building area. Girl joined in and when it was time for us to leave, she didn't want to go. So, I considered this very successful. Next Monday & Tuesday are the transition days at their school. I will drop her off to spend the morning in what is now Boy's class and she will get to meet her new friends and spend time with her teachers. Boy will be spending those mornings in the Pre-K class and getting to know his new teachers and a few children new to the school.

Boy's evaluation went very well this morning. I am just in awe of his growth over the last year. He has just blossomed - at home and at school. I am so very proud of him. A year ago he was still receiving speech therapy for speech delay. Now he is a chatterbox and we can't understand half of what he says! He's made some special friends this year -his buddies that he hangs with at school. And he is so expressive emotionally. Such a lovely quality.

What amazing things we have yet to experience with Boy and Girl this next year. Hopefully it will be good growth for all of us with the changes of me going back to work and the kids in school full-time. And please... God, hopefully the poop explosion days will be behind us...

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Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Spiritual weariness

Hence the spiritual weariness of the conscientious mother - you're always finding out just one more vital tidbit.

Sonia Taitz

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Monday, August 20, 2007

Today I had to take a lot of deep breaths

Today I had to take a lot of deep breaths. As I was writing down the ER saga last night, the fears began to surface and by this morning I was pretty shaky. It all hits you - the what ifs, the thank God's, the crazy, insane mother thoughts...raining down.

Girl was fine today. An ordinary day - just like any other. So, the challenge was mine to keep her body quiet. No running. No tumbling, climbing. No sun. No water. It was hard not to hover. And I'm not a hovercraft mom. In fact, some of my friends would say that I'm a bit too relaxed when it comes to letting my children perch on walls and climb structures. But, I found myself needing to be near her. Watching her. Do the stitches still look tight? Will she have a residual scar? Is she traumatized? No. Am I? Yes. Is her father? Damn straight.

Thank God for friends I can vent to about this. I've been basically regurgitating to anyone who will listen. Hey, lady walking your dog past my house! My daughter had 4 stitches yesterday! It was horrible, horrible. I died a thousand big deaths!

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Sunday, August 19, 2007

Things we never want to go through with our children - otherwise known as a trip to the ER

Well, we can file today under Things We Never Want To Go Through With Our Children. Just got back from the ER where we spent the last 4 hours with Girl, who ended up with 4 stitches in her forehead. Somehow, I always thought it would be Boy to win "the first one to have stitches contest."

We were on our way out to the Y to go swimming. She was racing toward the front door, tripped and landed, apparently in a perfect position for opening up her forehead. Luckily we were there right away. It was a big THUMP. And the blood wasn't dripping or even pouring down her forehead it was GUSHING out - as in GEYSER. Blood friggin' everywhere. I've never seen so much blood. Well, maybe when I gave birth, but basically I was spared seeing that - that was at the other end. Thank GOD if this had to happen E was home! And I feel very grateful that I stay calm in these situations. Not that I want to keep having them. It was strange. Almost like looking down a long tunnel. Everything was in slow motion. I knew exactly what we had to do. I needed a wet compress to staunch the flow. Boy needed to be brought to a friend across the street and we needed to leave immediately to the ER.

There was NO WAY she could sit in her car seat. First of all, the blood was still flowing and I needed to keep her semi-horizontal. And, there was no way on earth that I was going to sit up front and have her in her car seat. She was in my lap. Sorry, Highway Patrol & Angry Mothers Alliance for Child Safety in Motor Vehicles. (Yes, I made that up, but it could exist.) Girl was in my lap and she was staying. I didn't want to be a breath away from her.

We got to the ER at our local hospital and after about 30 minutes, the blood had stopped flowing, but still needed compression. We were given strips of gauze and an ice pack. Then waited 2 1/2 hours before we saw the Physician's Assistant. She was very nice and explained in detail what would have to be done. The wound - excuse me, laceration was minor but because of the angle would require stitches as well as the super glue stuff that they use these days. This would be "the best cosmetic outcome." She told us that some of her colleagues bind children up in a straight jacketesque maneuver, which she was against as she felt that the children experienced even more of a feeling of a loss of control. We agreed. She left to be right back and we saw her maybe... 30 more minutes later. The wait was just excruciating.

I explained to Girl all that would occur. There would be an initial needle that would be a prick.
Will it hurt, Mommy?
Yes, it will hurt a little bit, sweetie. But, it won't hurt as much as it did when you hit your head. (Here's hoping...) Then the lady will put a few stitches in your owwie and close it up - just like when Ma'Mai sewed up Boy's Spotty (stuffed animal dog.) Then after she gets the stitches in, she'll do the super dooper glue and we'll be able to go home.
There will be a needle?
Yes, sweetie.
And it will hurt?
Yes. Then it won't hurt anymore and we can go home.
Yes, that is right.

So the PA returned. Her assistant held girl's head. I sat right next to her on the cot, holding her hand. The needle hurt. The numbing fluid went into her skin like inflating a balloon. It was horrible to watch and Girl cried and called for me and E was patting her and I was hugging her and it sucked. Then after the numbing agent took effect and something resembling a fish hook was inserted into her forehead to pull stitches through, she started to calm and we talked about going to a birthday party tomorrow and she went into this whole monologue about what she was going to do and what kind of birthday cake there would be and she just blew us all away. She just slayed us. I couldn't even look at E. I knew he was wrecked.

And now we keep her from being really active. Ha Ha. The glue should start peeling off in 5-7 days. The stitches are dissolvable. We need to wake her up twice tonight to make sure she is OK. Keep her wound protected from the sun for a while. I wish the Physician's Assistant had had some instructions on how we can get back the many years that we aged as parents today. Nope. Just have to take a deep breath and realize we've definitely earned our fine lines and silver streaks.

She's not even 3 and she's teaching us about grace and bravery. That's our Girl.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

"What children take from us, they give..."

What children take from us, they give…We become people who feel more deeply, question more deeply, hurt more deeply, and love more deeply.

Sonia Taitz

That’s sort of a cliché about parents. We all believe that our children are the most beautiful children in the world. But the thing is, what no one really talks about is the fact that we all really believe it.

The world is full of women blindsided by the unceasing demands of motherhood, still flabbergasted by how a job can be terrific and torturous.

Anna Quindlen

The central struggle of parenthood is to let our hopes for our children outweigh our fears.

Ellen Goodman

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Friday, August 17, 2007

Cannonballs with acorns

Did I mention the vacuum blew up? Gave it's last gasping yelp the other day. It was the poor vacuum's time to go. It was old. 9 years? I had just started my monthly white tornado clean-up and it gave up the ghost. Secretly...shhh.. I was thrilled! How lucky can one get! Getting out of cleaning the house when you can actually feel self-satisfied that you were really going to do it this time. Clean that is. And then, after I felt nice and smug I realized that now I'll have to use a broom. OK....and I did use a broom. And a broom really works quite well when you use it.

Today Boy's school was closed for a cleaning and I was unexpectedly caught with two children. All plans had to be reshuffled. I ended up staying off the computer all day and didn't do any work toward getting a job. But, it really felt like a sign to have this unplanned time with both Boy & Girl. So, we played. I filled up our kiddie pool and we chucked a bunch of random toys in there - firetrucks, trains, sand pails... and did "cannonballs" with acorns. Anything can be used to do a cannonball. Small or Big. People, toys, strange objects. The only rule is that you must yell, CANNONBALL! every time you throw something that splashes. It was really fun and I felt in the moment for the first time in a while. Not that you can be much out of the moment with little children, but your mind can drift and wander and, and... problem solve - yeah, right.

It's been really hot, around 100 degrees so it felt great to get wet. We were all wiped out and I even got Boy to take a nap, which was fabulous. We were like falling bowling pins...first Boy, then Girl, then Me. God, I needed the time to just crash. I'm so drained from all this thinking, thinking, thinking. Just shut-up already brain. And then it starts up again.

Tonight ended with us taking a walk with the kids and dogs after dinner and we stopped at some friends', sat down and had a drink - kids played. It was good. And so another day goes by and I'm that much closer to both children being in school and some job out there is beckoning to me, but I haven't yet discovered what it will be.

Oh! And the picture above of the woman with the kids. So NOT me!

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

I'm just getting over the emotional hurdle of going back to work and I have to worry about earthquakes striking any moment...

So, I've been humming right along looking for jobs on and basically networking and telling everyone I know that I am returning to work full-time and looking for a position. It will be interesting to see where the job comes from - whether from a friend of a friend or through my own discovery. For the most part I'm doing OK, but then I take a breath... STOP for a moment, and the tears come. It is a big, big change/decision/fresh start? and even though I'm more ready for it than even I realize, it is painful.

I was fine this morning until I got to my Mommy & Me group at church and announced that I was returning to work full-time. I couldn't even get the sentence out without dissolving in sobs. And then... I was OK. The words were out of my mouth...floating through the air... and then they broke up into tiny little pieces and fell, dissolving in dust upon the carpet - and so my imagination takes me...

Best moment this morning: I realized if I go back to work that I will actually have a lunch break. A break! Maybe 45 minutes to an hour of time just for me! Guilt-free. Well, hopefully I won't be thinking children could be home with me right this minute and instead they are with someone else!

Hey, I could...

meet a friend for lunch!

Do some writing.

Window shop.

Walk somewhere, anywhere without little bodies attached to me.

It was an AHA moment and it was good! And then I picked up a copy of Working World magazine and the headline reads: EARTHQUAKE: If the "Big One" hits while you're at work! And there is a close-up of a woman's terrified face, eyes open wide in horror. Great, just great. I'm just making the emotional hurdle of going back to work and I have to worry about earthquakes striking any moment...while I am away from my children. Any other random fears we can throw up for grabs! I'm grabbin', baby, I'm a grabbin'!

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Maybe I can start a Weepy Wailing Mom's Club

Tonight I went to an orientation meeting for girl's upcoming school year. She will have all of Boy's teachers, so that will certainly make the transition easier. Next week I will go with her to Boy's class for a couple of hours. Then the following week they have transition days and I will drop her off for two mornings for about 2 1/2 hours. We are constantly talking about how exciting it will be to start school and that she will have a backpack like Boy and get to sleep on a little cot for her nap just like Boy does now. The interesting thing was that there are also 2 or 3 other moms who have been home with their children and will be going back to work full-time. Maybe I can form a Weepy Wailing Mom's Club.

The orientation class for Boy's Pre-K is tomorrow night. I talk with him about how fun it will be for Girl to join him at school. He hasn't really taken it all in - that he will be going to school everyday (Hooray! - opportunities for more dirt!), see Girl on the playground and have more time with his buddies. It is all good.

I haven't really taken it all in either.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Life kicks you in the ass while you are busy with two preschoolers...

Life is like playing a violin in public and learning the instrument as one goes on.
Samuel Butler

Life is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.
John Lennon

Life is a zoo in a jungle.
Peter De Vries

Life is a moderately good play with a badly written third act.
Truman Capote

And the quote of the day...

Life kicks you in the ass while you are busy with two preschoolers. And then you have to get up again.

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Monday, August 13, 2007

quench me! quench me!

There is that which burns
within me...
a liquid fire dripping
wildly on my skin.

My legs itch to wrap
flesh warm and red
hot to the touch.

I lie with these thoughts
denied sleep or rest
...the lust licking its
way across my body.

Tonight I shall dine
on...him, greedily
my lover who comes
to me in shadows.

Shivers of ecstacy
the brush of his forearm nipples
taunting them into rose, hard peaks.

Titilliation, a hoarse cry
echoing through my core
quench me! quench me!
slake my fire with yours...

***Painting: "Awaiting" by Zoe Hadley

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Making difficult decisions

I'm having to make some really difficult decisions. It looks like I will have to go back to work full-time and after being at home for almost 4 years, it is both gut wrenching and challenging to make that choice. I have had an amazing time at home. Today Girl invited me over to "sing songs with me & then play blocks." She sat me down in a special little chair and told me to sing along with her. She then made up several songs based on Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Twinkle, twinkle little bird
Fly away, fly away until there were 3.

First there was Dora sitting in a tree
Dora flew off and then there were 3.

I memorized her little face, her joyous abandon to the creation of the words, her sparkling eyes, the way her hair dips over an eye. I was so aware of the time slipping by and soon I will be in an office and she will be doing these things with someone else. But, I've been so fortunate to have all this time with Boy & Girl. Boy adores school and is already 3 full days a week, so I hope that Girl will embrace it as well. In my heart of hearts I know that Girl will make the adjustment easier than I will. I'm still growing and learning. Boy will adjust to the two more days as if he was born to it! My little explorer, my Boy, such an amazing spirit of curiousity and openess to the world. Now, I just need to work on myself...

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Sunday, August 12, 2007

Lingering feeling of success

Today we had a good sleep-in after rather a late night last night - celebrating the hard work that went into the fundraiser with the group of us that made things happen. I SO enjoyed being a part of the process and being involved in a theater project again. It had been such a long...time.

Boy was up late racing around our friend's house with two other boys, mad dashes up and down the staircase, in and out of rooms - all with swords. Toy ones. But, even toy ones can put you on edge -especially when you see your son take a whack at another boy's head. Girl was a bit overwhelmed by all the action and decided to share my chair in the living room. It seemed a safe spot until the boys started using it as a climbing boulder in their swordplay. All in a night's fun...

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Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fundraiser a success!

The fundraiser was a wonderful success! We raised almost $2,000 in just 2 performances. The show was very well received and has generated some thought of future performances in another venue for profit! I was SO proud of E's performance and most of all ...all the love and heart that went into it for a great cause!

There was free childcare offered to parents and about 15 minutes into the show I noticed that Boy had escaped the childcare fortress and was struck dumb watching his daddy perform. Before he "woke up" and realized that he could run onto the stage, I maneuvered him back into the childcare. It took about 20 minutes of much wailing and moaning about wanting to see Daddy's play and my promising him a special performance later that evening until he calmed down. Then he was on to playing with the toys. But, I couldn't relax the rest of the time and kept vigil down the hall, making sure that there were no further escapes! Forget stage nerves for the performance! I had better things to be worried about...

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Friday, August 10, 2007

Big pile of dirt = I've found heaven for a little Boy

We have been consumed this week with a fundraiser for Boy's school. E and another actor friend, who is also a dad of a boy in the same class have spent the last 2 1/2 months rehearsing a play performed tonight and tomorrow night. All proceeds go to benefit the children's center. It is a great cause and all of us involved are really excited about it. We had a good turnout tonight and the show was really well received. I feel sad that there will only be two performances, but it is great to see E in his element. He's really having a blast!

Boy has been very intrigued about the play and is quite put out that he won't get to see it. The play, The Anthill by Phillip Safley, is about two cowboys lost in the desert. A great piece, described as Waiting for Godot meets Of Mice and Men, unfortunately not suitable for little cowboys. We have promised Boy that daddy will perform a special cowboy play just for him.

The play is being performed on the grounds of the playground at Boy's school and an "anthill" has been created out of a big pile of dirt. Big pile of dirt = I've found heaven for a little boy, especially our Boy who on a normal day is covered from head to toe with the stuff. Tonight after the performance, Boy and his friend literally rolled over the "anthill." Imagine if you will... two boys as rolling pins and instead of rolling in flour, they roll in dirt. Again and again and again. Clouds of it billowing in the air, but most staying on their little persons. The role of Pig-Pen will be his if ever he chooses to play it. Somehow I have a suspicion that Boy is going to have the last word on this anthill.

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Thursday, August 9, 2007

The art of Growing Up

Sometimes looking in the mirror is a struggle.

This is the way I want to think:

The art of Changing
Chances are you were smiling, not frowning, when you noticed your first wrinkle. That silly grin of yours, the one that used to conjure up dimples, is responsible for a new network of fine lines around your eyes. It took 200,000 smiles for you to get crow's feet, but here you are: a grown-up, albeit a little peeved. Cheer up. These minute changes on your face are evidence that you have negotiated the first part of your life without major mishap.

From The Art of Growing Up: Simple ways to be yourself at last

By Veronique Vienne

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Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Kind of fun to have stinkys

This was too good. After noticing about 5 minutes of rather fragrant gas emanating from Boy and this being strong as it was a smell above and beyond my stuffy nose, I asked:

Boy, do you have to use the bathroom?
No, Mommy.
Are you sure?
You're just having some yucky gas?
It's yucky, but kind of fun to have stinkys.

Kind of fun to have stinkys. I think we have a classic.

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Tuesday, August 7, 2007

All better and ready to rumble

Boy was really sick today. He had a fever and a runny nose and chest cough. Poor little guy. I kept him "resting" as much as I could. After he took his nap he seemed much better and the fever never repeated. He was once again doing spins on his tricycle and playing as if he was fine. The trouble with the children's medicines is that then they feel so much better that they think they are all better and are ready to rumble!

When Girl woke up from her nap Boy gave her a BIG hug on the couch and said, How are you, sweetie pie? You are my girly-girl. Would you like some cold milk or a snack? Then 10 minutes later Girl was awake and bossing Boy around. Boy, you have to rest. You can't run around. You're very sick. You have a bad cough.
I wonder where she got that from?

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Monday, August 6, 2007

I think I am a selfish FREAK! Am I losing credit with God?

I was going to the loo yesterday after the church service (just love saying LOO, especially with a really, really bad British accent) and all of a sudden was hit with the realization that I thought nothing of using the handicapped bathroom. Now to be fair, the other two stalls were full and no one was waiting behind me. But, is it fair? Should I have waited until someone had exited the other stalls and left the handicapped bathroom for someone else? Does this make me one of those selfish people who park in a handicapped spot? Is it even worse to use a handicapped stall at church? I think I'm in deep trouble...

I'm also in trouble with my mom because once again I am calling the "powder room" a bathroom and everyone knows that a bathroom has to have a bath in it to be a bathroom and a place with toilets and sinks is a powder room or a rest room. But, honestly there ain't too much powdering going on in the powder room these days or much rest either. NO, either it is a quick in and out by myself... I've got 30 seconds to get back to the kids before they start a coup d'etat...or it is a lengthy visit to the stall with a child or two in tow in which nothing is ever done quickly and you can audibly hear the sighs of the women waiting for you outside the stall.

Ever since I had Boy it has become 2ND nature for me to go into the handicapped stall. Everywhere. This IS True Confessions. Costco, Target... yes, two of my favorite stores! Parks, rest stops, drug stores, airports, grocery stores, must I go on? Almost always I have either Boy or Girl or both with me, but...maybe I should rethink this. I don't really think of it as a handicapped stall. I think of it as a rather large stall that can accommodate myself, an additional child or two and in the past even a double stroller - thank GOD those days are over! Sold one double stroller, the other one was stolen outside of a Rite Aid, as Girl continually reminds me over and over again. Is that where? Is that where the black stroller was STOLEN? She probably thinks strollers are stolen left and right. Yes, Girl, it is a wild world, where strollers are TARGETS!

OK, I digress. It was only brought to my attention that I was in a handicapped stall because the toilet seat was elevated about a foot higher than usual. It took me a moment to realize it wasn't a way of getting closer to GOD. I felt GUILT immediately. Oh, Jesus, obviously, this stall is meant for someone that needs help and although I frequently need help, being helped in the restroom is not something I need help with. Yet. Although the way things are going I expect that could change overnight. Will I get ticketed for this? Did I miss the hand-out on "Powder Room" etiquette? Am I losing credit with God? I don't need any more negative points. I got so worked up about it that I fully expected a bad ass undercover cop would pounce on me as soon as I exited the stall. Nope. But, I did notice the woman waiting couldn't or wouldn't look me in the eye. My GOD, I think I am a selfish FREAK!

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Sunday, August 5, 2007

Best gelato around - Bulgarini Gelato

Last night's discovery was truly divine. Bulgarini Gelato It is this amazing little slice of what I imagine a gelato shop would be in Italy. Maybe someday I'll get there...In the meantime, I'll be going to Bulgarini Gelato. So many mouth watering flavors. I was boring and had coffee cream, which turned out to be a dream. Boy & Girl were in heaven. Both of them got chocolate gelato. Boy bolted his down and spent the next hour and a half running in the courtyard outside the shop with a friend, and meeting new friends. People were lining up! Girl looked like an ad for Gelato. She savored every morsel and what didn't get into her stomach, she was wearing on her face and shirt and shorts. Our friends invited us and we met new friends and it was actually relaxing. We sat out in the courtyard, tasting gelato, having adult conversation and letting the kids run. Two Friday nights a month they've been serving lasagne and showing a movie on the building's wall in the courtyard. Friday night there were 200 people lined up to attend! I'm so glad to discover you, Bulgarini!

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Saturday, August 4, 2007

I have a theory about Global Warming!

I have a theory about Global Warming. I've thought a great deal about this and I am convinced that it is true. And it is this: Children aged 2 to 3 add to Global Warming. Yes, they do. The pure combustible, laser hot, fevered chaos that erupts out of 2 & 3 year olds is dangerous. Not only to us. But, to our planet. Do you not think that the rage and grief exploding from our children damages the ozone layer? It certainly can be seen at my house. We haven't seen a blue sky in days. And the stars? Wiped off the face of the sky. I'm just stunned that Al Gore hasn't thought of this. I believe in Global Warming. It is a serious matter. Besides, I saw An Inconvenient Truth.

Of course, this is only my theory. But, somehow I can see parents lining up behind me on this one. Yes, our preschooler contributes to Global Warming! It could be a T-shirt. A slogan! Except that we can't hold our heads high over this one... Well, if you drive a Prius...maybe they cancel each other out. And although you've got the noise pollution factor with the kids, the cut in air pollution earns you enough points to call it a draw. There is obviously much, much to think about here. I better get on the phone and call Leonardo DiCaprio immediately. After all, his film The 11th Hour opens in a few days and maybe he could slip in my theory during a press release. Hey, it's worth asking.... And just think... if my theory holds up to scientific scrutiny...OOOOhhhhhh Maaannnn! Man, oh, Man! I WILL truy be a SUPERHERO MOM! Maybe I could even wear a costume..... An outfit without any evidence of leftover meals stuck on it! Oh, YES! I am going to be THE THANG!

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Friday, August 3, 2007

Please exit quickly with hands over face, so you will not be recognized on future visits!

At the risk of sounding purely monotonous, I will risk it. Girl had what could only be described as a Grande Mal Seizure TantruMundo of GARGANTUAN proportions. It was this morning. First thing. Having not gotten over my head cold/virus, basically feeling like CRAP, my ears and head were certainly not prepared for the BELLOWING and SHRIEKING that issued out of her tiny (apparently not that tiny) lungs. She's got pipes. I'll give her that. And what was it all about, you may ask. Cereal. She didn't like the way it looked. She whined. I told her whining was unacceptable. She BLEW. Like a smokestack. She was so ENRAGED that she couldn't even get the words out. It seems we were to expect something out of the Exorcist or perhaps just the Tasmanian Devil. Before her head started spinning, I had to retire her to her room for "quiet contemplation" -HA! Such caterwauling & banging on door ensued that I was afraid the neighbors would call 911. I wish there was a Mommy 911. I could have used it. As a matter of fact, I could use it just about every day. Once she wound down, she immediately wanted me to pick her up so that she could snuggle into my neck and I was filled with such incredible love for my little Girl. It was delicious and indescribable. This psycho behavior exhibited & only felt by a Mommy can be expected to be quite normal. The rest of the day was very pleasant. She seemed to have blossomed into a delightful little flower. Perhaps I hadn't watered her enough? Or, maybe she is just ....almost 3!

Boy was very proud of the necklace he made at school. He laced it himself and the beads were little footballs, baseballs and soccer balls. Look, Mommy, Look! he proudly shouted as he came barreling into the house, covered from head to toe with dirt. How cool is that, Boy! Did you get to play in the mud trench today? I asked. Noooo...said with grave seriousness. There was noooo water.... Poor Boy, just plain ol' dirt today. Other than that sad tale, he seemed to have had a good day. E picked him up from school so that I could catch a bit more rest to get over this hellish virus. Bless E for taking over the last couple of days. It's been rough.

Tomorrow the kids want to hit the library. No, no weaponry or robbing of librarians. Just go, sit at the computer and listen to a story, pick out books and special movies. I will go over the Library Code of Ethics before we enter:
  1. Whisper
  2. Keep hands to yourself
  3. No whining, shrieking or loud grunts
  4. Please and Thank you to the Librarians
  5. If any of the above rules are broken, please exit quickly with hands over face so you will not be recognized on future visits.

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Thursday, August 2, 2007

Once a woman has children she can't run, & she can't hide!

Now, once a woman has children she can't run,
and she can't hide.
They will be in the picture for virtually every hour
of every day for at least the next two decades.
That means no long hot soaks in the bath,
no unobstructed TV viewing,
and absolutely no chance of an intimate moment
going uninterrupted.

In fact, from that moment on she can barely put her
feet up for a second without hearing distant cries
for attention or the expensive tinkle of a priceless
crystal heirloom being smashed to smithereens
by a rampaging toddler.

Oh yes, the joyful pitter-patter of tiny feet
starts to sound a little more ominous.
And so, for the new mother,
Mondays are incredibly tiring.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and
Fridays are even worse. And the weekends?
"Don't even ask!"

Every morning a mother wakes up to a new battle.
There's basically no end to the dangerous,
unbelievably bizarre situations that kids can get into.

At times it seems as if a mother's vocabulary is
limited to "Oh my GAWD!"
And "Get down from there this instant!"

Now, while all this is going on, you might be wondering
what it is that fathers actually do. Are they just sitting
around all day twiddling their opposable thumbs?
No, sir! They also grunt and say, "Go ask your mother."
And sometimes they shout, "Damn it, Honey! Can't you
keep these kids quiet? I'm trying to watch the game here!"

To make a mother's job even harder, she has a million
irritating friends and relatives looking over her
shoulder all the time, ready to give advice on the
best way to raise kids today."Look, honey, you
gotta spank naughty kids. Forget what the
books say, you gotta spank 'em real good
or they'll turn out rotten! Why, I got spanked
with a shoe every day of my life until I was
twenty-one and I'm damn grateful for it, too!"

But throughout all of this, a mother never loses sight
of her loving purpose: to walk beside her child through
life's difficult journey, every step of the way.

From "The Incredible Truth About Motherhood" by Bradley Trevor Greive

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Wednesday, August 1, 2007

My nose resembles Niagara Falls

I've got the cold from hell. Gushing, flooding - the kind of cold that makes you wish you had bought stock in Kleenex. That airplane food must have been reeling with germs...lovely. Just lovely. My nose resembles Niagara Falls, but not as beautiful. What a way to get settled back into the home routine. NOT! OK, I AM feeling just a BIT sorry for myself.

E took over tonight. I managed to cook dinner and then waved the white flag and retired to the bedroom placing myself into horizontal mode. Boy kept coming in and launching himself onto the bed, which really helped the HUGE headache, let me tell you. He did make up for it by making me laugh:

I'm SO sick, Mommy.

I have to take a nap with you.

I have a very, very, very bad cold.

Girl just kept coming in and looking at me curiously. Like I was an alien creature. She's not used to seeing me being still or looking so pitiful. Well... pitiful yeeeess, sometimes, at the end of those crazy days. Except that crazy days seem to be the norm around here. So we better say she's not used to seeing me so still. Pitiful, just pitiful...WAAAAAHHH!

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