Category Archives: Uncategorized

When the walls start closing in

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Yesterday was interesting.  Given the craziness of the last couple of weeks (Kyle coming home, Kylee’s birthday party, Mom visiting, Kyle leaving again) I decided that we would spend all of Saturday in the house.  I would clean, we would relax, and hopefully re-establish routine in our house.

The morning went by without the slightest wrinkle.  The kids played nice as I started laundry and purged their old toys.   We had lunch then I put the kids down for a nap and took some time for myself on the couch watching junk on TV, it was great.

Things started to get crazy after naptime.  Reece seemed to want to get into everything.  He was pulling pots and pans out of the cabinet, filling and pouring cups of water from the fridge, pulling toys from the play room and not putting them back.  This is somewhat common, maybe a little exaggerated, but nothing I couldn’t deal with.  I wasn’t surprised because we hadn’t left the house all day so the kids were bound to get a little stir crazy.

So I kept on chugging and did what I could to keep me and the kids in check.  Just about every day I make dinner in the 5 o’clock hour and we go outside to play at 6.  I put a pot of water on the stove to boil noodles for spaghetti, put on an episode of Mickey and plopped the kids in front of the TV so I could change my clothes.  I didn’t rush, the kids were quiet.  I changed my shirt, picked up a little and pulled my hair back all while listening downstairs for the kids.  Nothing.

My little pea-NUTS.

My little pea-NUTS.

But when I came down the stairs the kids weren’t in the living room watching Mickey.  They weren’t in the playroom.  They weren’t in the bathroom, laundry room, or outside.  I peeked behind the island in the kitchen and saw them.

Covered head to toe in peanut butter.

I just opened that jar that morning for breakfast but by the time I found them their little fingers were scraping the bottom.  It was all over them, the floor and surrounding cabinets.  At first I was fuming but then figured they were already elbow deep, might as well get a few pictures.  It was actually pretty funny.

After I captured the moment, I bathed the kids (that was an experience) and locked them in the playroom so I could clean the kitchen.  While locked in the playroom, Reece decides to pee on the old couch!  He knows to call to me when he needs to go but can’t get to the bathroom so I am at a loss as to why he didn’t.

I was hoping all the craziness was behind us so I went back to laundry and cleaning but once again Reece was abnormally quiet.  I searched the house and found him outside with a bottle of sunscreen upside-down and he is squeezing out it’s last drops onto the sidewalk.  That was my breaking point.  I decided no outside playing with friends for tonight.  He would go into the house, clean up his toys and go to bed early.  And that’s what we did.

Later, I was talking to Kyle on the phone and we agreed we need to set up a system to score his behavior and deal with it accordingly, almost like what we had in grade school.  Changing colors (Blue-green for good, yellow for ok, orange-red for bad) and keep it somewhere where he is constantly reminded of it so he can adjust his behavior.  Maybe if he is orange or red he doesn’t get dessert or play with friends but if it’s in blue or green maybe watch an extra cartoon or get a special dessert.  Maybe this will be a more consistent way of keeping him in check.

Either way I have learned a valuable lesson about my children, especially Reece. He needs to get out daily.  Whether it be a quick energy bur at the park or a full day of running around it is vital that they get out of the house and into the outside world at some point every day.  They are like me in that sense but unlike me, I know other ways of channeling my cabin fever.  When the four walls start closing in my kids get crazy and destructive so I need to get them out before those four wall start crumbling down.

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My brain is on vacation

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I haven’t been writing lately.  Usually on days I don’t publish a blog post I write what I hope will be my book.  I was doing really well for a while but over the last few weeks I just don’t have much of a creative thought in my brain.  Then recently (the last weeks or so) getting a blog post out has been as easy as parallel parking an eighteen-wheeler.  I’ve been in these ruts before but this one seems to really be pulling me down.

What is worse is that when I have free time I am choosing to watch crap on TV rather than reading.  The book I have been reading for the last two weeks sits on my nightstand, the bookmark hasn’t moved in days.  What the hell?

This is a typical rut.  A dry spell.  My brain is fried and I don’t see much hope on the horizon.  It will turn around because writing/reading is usually my escape but I just don’t know when or how.  My days are so routine, especially when Kyle is gone. The only time I have for me is the short period when the kids are napping (if I get any nap-overlap) and after the kids go to sleep for the night.  After a few chores to keep the house presentable I have no desired to think so I’ve been letting the TV do it for me.

We’re going to the beach again tomorrow (I know, tough life we have) and if the kids allow I may be able to reset my frazzled brain and hopefully crack open a book.  We’ll see.  Until this funk I’m in turns itself around, I apologize for any crap I publish, I am trying.

Book boredom

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I am about 80 pages into a book I should have finished over a week ago and I can’t muster the ‘want’ to keep reading.  The book is The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.  It is a a National Bestseller, has received a lot of praise and I have seen it on numerous “To Read” lists on the internet.  I figured it would be a sweet and easy read but so far, I am just bored.

The back cover synopsis says that it is about a recently retired man who receives a letter from an old friend, Queenie, who is in hospice.  Harold feels the need to deliver his response to the letter in person and he must do it on foot, a journey of over 600 miles.  As long as he walks she will stay alive.  It sound so sweet but so far, all Harold has been doing is walking, meeting people, and reflecting on missed opportunities from his life.

I hate when I feel this way about a book.  Like it isn’t worth my time and I should just skip on o the next one.  I hate leaving a book without finishing it, especially when the book is so short and simple.  I am beyond bored.   So far, it is of an old man is walking, that is it!  I know the book has to pick up some but how many pages of thoughts about lacking proper walking gear or the scenery or distances to/from can I read?

I can’t figure out what I should do at this point.  I am only 1/3 through this book but I am already giving up on the book.  Is it best that I just give up, cut my losses and move on to the next hopefully more interesting read?  Or do I suck it up, buckle down and charge through the rest of this book at super speed?  It is these types of books that make me hate reading which is sad because it is one of my favorite pastimes.  Right now I am looking for excuses not to read.

I think it is best if I get off the computer and just read.  I need to read right now to finish this book.  I hope it gets better and I hope that my next blog is about this book.  That I finished it and am not as disappointed as I am now.  I hope it turns around a bit and I end up liking it.  I hope.

Going back to high school

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Sometimes I wish I could go back to high school and do things differently.  I am usually not one to regret but there are things I did that I wasn’t proud of, didn’t try, people I hurt, people I distanced myself from and others who I allowed get close when I shouldn’t have.

High school is such a developmental milestone in any person’s life.  It is the place to make lifelong friends and memories.  Most people enter high school one person and leave entirely different, hopefully more mature and smarter.

Around this time ten years ago I started my senior year.  Of my four years, I believe the person I was my senior year is most like the person I should have been the entire time but still light-years away from the person I am today.

I look back at who I was in those days and feel like an ass.  I was mean to one girl in particular for no reason at all.  I hung out with a certain group of people because that’s who my boyfriend at the time was friend with.  I avoided certain groups because I felt like I wouldn’t fit in or I thought I was better than them.  Turns out a lot of those people I didn’t get to know are really great people.  Thankfully Facebook has come along and I can reconnect with some of whom I wasn’t a total bitch to.  I see a lot of them have traveled, have families, and really great lives.

Besides the relationships, I regret my lack of drive to do better in school.  I should have been held back my freshmen year because I did so poorly.  I am a smart cookie but I just didn’t try.  I was the type that did homework just didn’t turn it in.  I didn’t care about certain teachers/classes so I didn’t pay attention.  I was reminiscing the other day about my World History class taught by Mr. Lowery.  He was such a great teacher with passion for the subject and he was stuck teaching my inconsiderate ass.  I didn’t try, I didn’t pay attention, and I gave attitude when he addressed me.  Why?  Because I am a fool.  If I could take his class today it would probably be one of my favorite ones.  I just didn’t care then and it is such a shame.

I have so much life experience, I am a mom, I’ve seen so much, known so many, made a million decisions, and overall have changed entirely since my days in high school.  I really don’t like to think about regrets because everything in my past has made me who I am today.  If I had done better early in my high school career maybe I would have gotten into the University I wanted (Forida! Go Gators!) right after I graduated rather than waiting two years.  If I hadn’t dated the same guy the entire time who knows what my relationship status would have been when I met my now, husband.

I am sad for the girl I was 2000-2004.  I am so much happier now than I was then, so much more social, smarter, productive, and a better person.  There is no sense in wishing I could go back and change things, I can’t, but if I could have another shot at it I know as the person I am today I would do things differently than I had.  I like who I am so much more than who I was.

I have baby fever, royally!

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I am one of them.  I am going nuts, haven’t turned off the tv, checking the web for updates, and soaked in all of the Royal baby news I can find.  Every girl, at some point or another, dreamed of being a princess and I find it so exciting that a normal girl went from unknown to crowned! 

Congrats Willy and Kate on your new Prince!!!

They are some of the small fraternity of people who can actually call their child a ‘prince’ and it be accurate.   

I don’t indulge in much of celebrity gossip and I rarely watch reality TV but when it comes to the Royal clan over in Great Britain I just can’t seem to get enough of it. 

First was the drama of Will and Kate’s on-and-off relationship. My heart broke when their representatives announced they had split up but then skipped a beat when it was announced they had gotten back together.  I thought “those two are destined to end up together”.  William-and-Kate

Then they did!  I ate up every second of coverage about their engagement.  I was the person scoured the internet looking at her ring, their engagement photo, and searching for the story of how he asked.  As the wedding detail were released I followed along, it was so much fun. 

I was on the couch at the crack of dawn (Eastern time) to watch the wedding of William and Catherine.  I watched every second then read a bunch of news articles and watched replays for days after.  At the time of their nuptials I worked at Borders so I read biographies about the pair.  I was enamored. 

I had hoped for baby news soon but was totally caught off guard when officials announced Kate was in the hospital then confirmed she was PREGNANT!  There is nothing more relatable than pregnancy for a princess and the average person.  She will suffer morning sickness (even though her’s was more extraordinary) and put on weight (even though she looked phenomenal at every appearance) and in the end she will have to deliver (even though her care is different than you or I may get).  Pregnancy is one of the great equalizers because the baby –for the most part- is in control. 

So news broke last night (HST) and I have been hooked to media since.  I woke up and checked my phone and the news for any announcement of the royal arrival…nothing.  I carried on with my day, taking the kids to a playdate and refused to check my phone, choosing to focus on my babies.  But then after I buckled Kylee in her seat and waited for Reece to buckle his I checked my phone and saw it!  My heart melted.  Now comes weeks and months of baby updates!

I am a sucker but is there a better subject to be a sucker over?  Okay, the Queen is a little detached from the normal world and her son, the Prince of Wales is a bit distanced as well, but Prince William, his beautiful wife, Catherine and Prince Harry seem so normal they’re easily likable. 

I am so happy for the new parents.    

The next 20 books

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I just finished The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Klay by Michael Chabon and what a book it is!  I feel like I need a couple of days to stew on it before I can write a review because I am a little bitter that it ended.  Not how it ended but that it ended altogether.  It is apparent why this book is a Pulitzer Prize winner.  It was phenomenal.

So instead of writing about the book I just finished I have decided to write about my reading intentions of the future.  I am making a promise to myself and Kyle (even though he want aware of it until this sentence) that I am not buying another book until I read at least 20 of the books on my “to read” list.

I don’t typically like to be confined to a set group of books I can only read, that may be why I buy more books than I have time for so I can still have a choice when the time comes.  I go to Target or peruse Amazon for my ‘next book’ but once the newness of it fades away it finds a place on my bookshelf and a lowly rank on my list.  I have these grand intentions when I buy the book but nothing comes to fruition.

There are 21 books on the bookshelf in our room.  I am always noticing them when I am deep between the covers of a book.  They speak to me.  They cry, “me next!” but when I finish the last word on the last page of the book I finished reading their calls are not nearly as loud as the ones by the books I haven’t purchased yet.  I try to restrain myself but it inevitable for me to walk down the book isle at any retail store and pick up one that will make a perfect addition to my library.  It’s awful.

So, in no specific order here are the next 20 books I plan to read:

Red Hook Road by Ayelet Waldman

Moloka’i by Alan Brennert

Drinking Closer to Home by Jessica Anya Blau

The Glassblower of Murano by Maria Fiorato

The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls

The Roots of the Olive Tree by Courtney Miller Santo

South of Broad by Pat Conroy

The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver

The Chemistry of Tears by Peter Carey

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David wroblewski

The Lost Van Gogh by A. J. Zerries

A Happy Marriage by Rafael Yglesias

A Game of Thrones by George R. R. Martin

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

Winter of the World by Ken Follett

The Great Gatsby by F/ Scott Fitzgeralg

These Foolish Things by Deborah Moggach

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

And I will start this adventure with The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry by Rachel Joyce.

 

This will be fun.  A reset on my book buying impulses which will save us money and farce me to follow a syllabus of sorts.

When a stranger steps in to help

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Today was going so well.  I had made an appointment for this afternoon with the doctor for Kylee because she wasn’t keeping any food in her belly (from the top and bottom ends) for about five days.  Since she is now walking I opted to not take the stroller into the hospital because it takes up so much space in the tiny examination room.  Reece would walk and I would hold Kylee to and from the office where I would let her walk too.

Reece was being such a great kid.  He stayed with me did what I asked him to do.  When we got into the office, he ran to the kids area and sat down with a few other boys and read books.  When they called Kylee for her vital I left Reece at the table and peeked around the corner every few minutes.  I was happy with how good he was being.

But then things changed.

When we were called back to the exam room Reece followed me in and immediately started acting like a little butt.  He began jumping on the step-stool, tuning the sink on and off, screaming, banging into things, opening drawers and going through them!  I tried everything I could to stop this behavior but he just wasn’t listening to me.  I would sit him down in the chair next to me so I could talk to the doctor and he would jump right up and go right back to what got him in trouble in the first place.  It was so embarrassing.

Our appointment was at 1 so I tried to get him down for a nap early but he never fell asleep.  It also didn’t help that for the past few days, given Kylee not feeling so well, I have told Reece numerous times to settle down and play quieter so he doesn’t wake her.  Plus Kyle isn’t here so in addition to him missing daddy, I haven’t taken him outside as much so he can burn his building energy.  And with all the focus being on his sister I’m sure jealousy played a role in today’s behavior.

Everything I tried failed.  I tried taking him out of the situation, sternly talking to him (which probably came off as yelling), giving a snack in hopes of keeping him seated and quiet, giving him the Kindle as a distraction, ignoring, and so much more.  I did everything short of pulling down his pants and spanking him.  It just didn’t work.

The doctor, who I could tell was reaching his limit as well, looked at Reece when he blatantly ignored me when I told him to sit down and said to him in a firm voice, “Your mother said go sit down.”  Reece dropped his chin to his chest and walked to the chair and sat down quietly.  I mouthed to the doctor “Thank you” and we continued discussing Kylee.

I think we need to help other parents out more often.  We have gotten to a point as a society where if an adult yells at a child whom is not theirs the child’s parent responds with teeth and claws.  I want other people to correct my kids.  A similar situation happened in the commissary shortly after we arrived on the island.  A woman noticed I was having a hard time with Reece and she came over to my cart and said to him, “You need to listen to your mommy or I am going to take you home and you won’t like living with me!”  Reece got himself together real quick and didn’t give me any hassle the rest of the day.

I want Reece to be corrected by any adult in his vicinity.  There are some situations where kids need to be kids and handle their problems themselves but if my child does something that deserves correcting, for the most part, I am okay with another parent stepping in.  If it is a severe or serious problem then I will take care of it but the little things can be handled by any person who notices.  I want my kids to know that just because mommy or daddy isn’t around doesn’t mean s/he can get away with thing they know are not right.  I also want them to understand that acting out affects more people then they realize.  When the doctor reinforced what I was saying it made Reece realize that he wasn’t being cute or funny and that he was not making the right decisions.  I think he felt embarrassed too.

I was planning on going to the commissary today because our kitchen is nearly bare but I figured with how Reece was behaving and Kylee not feeling well it best to save that trip for tomorrow.  If you see me there and the kids are acting out, feel free to come up and call them on it.  It will probably change their behavior for the better.

 

***Disclaimer: Do not think that I feel it is acceptable for someone to yell at my kids or discipline them.  I only mean that calling them out when tehy are acting out or reinforcing what I have already told them is okay.

PS.  I haven’t proof read this post.  I can’t right now.  I am still trying to wind down after this adventure at the doctor’s office, I am starving, and it sounds like Reece is waking up.  If there are typos, mispellings, and other errors all I can say is “oops”.  I will try to come back and proof it later but if the first half of my day is any example of how the second half will play out I will not have the time or energy.  Sorry.