Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Negotiations...With a Three Year Old.

This story is several weeks old, but one that MUST be documented.  Just so I can recall all the ways her children will repay her when she's a Mommy.  ...because I fully believe in that kind of karma!

I made cupcakes.  Truly beautiful, fluffy, chocolate cupcakes.  They were delightful.  My kids love cupcakes...even crappy cupcakes, they love them...but these cupcakes were about as good as they come.  Tucker and Addie spend a good portion of the afternoon asking about cupcakes, knowing they had to wait until after dinner.

Dinner time.  Tucker eats everything.  EVERYTHING.  (some days I'm pretty sure he'll wake up as tall as Daddy)  Addie...well, she decides to play her cards.  She eats a few, select items off her plate.  Asks for the coveted cupcake.  No dice.  Few more bites.  Cupcake request.  Denied.  Meltdown.  The kind that leaves your kid snotty, screaming, arms swinging violently, certified full fledged meltdown.  I must have saved all the patients I had for that day for this very moment.  God knew it was coming so he helped me with a "patients reserve", and man did I need it.  With all of this unexplained patients, I was able to simply watch her lose her ever lovin' mind for the next 45 minutes.  Screaming "cupcake", crying (most of it fake crying, but still annoying nonetheless) and displaying a general hatred towards me and my cupcake withholding behavior.  Stay strong Momma.

FORTY FIVE MINUTES PASS...

Have I gone deaf?  I look around expecting to never hear the delightful sound of my childrens' screaming again...

I walk into Addie's room to find her exhausted, snotty, nappy haired, and red in the face, laying in her bed.  I sit down.
Mommy: "Are you ready to use words?"  
Addie: "yes."
M: "Do you know why you didn't get a cupcake after dinner?"
A: "No."
COME ON....REALLY???  RIDICULOUS.  ....but remember, I have a patients reserve that will blow your mind...continue with my insane conversation with a gentle loving tone...
M: "You didn't eat all your dinner.  The deal was, eat all your dinner, get a cupcake.  Tucker ate all his dinner and he got a cupcake.  Did you eat all your dinner?"
A: "NO"....crying starts again...
M:  "Settle down.  Listen, I'll save your cupcake for you.  If you can eat all your dinner tomorrow, you can have your cupcake.  Is that a deal?"
A:  "I'll try.  But can you make a better dinner tomorrow?"  ...she was dead serious....
M:  "I'll try."  ...I can't get out of the room fast enough, I start laughing hysterically...and so does she.  So much for stellar parenting.  I just blew my cover, she's hilarious.   

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Gut Check

Ever have one of those Mommy moments?  You know the one.  You question why you have children.  How did my life turn into navigating Lego IEDs on the floor?  Or opening a Barbie Salon because that hair is too nappy to even put in a ponytail.  Cleaning the same room EVERY NIGHT...knowing that it will blow up again as soon as school is out and it will be same routine as the night before, and the night before that.  Having a real fear that my ears will bleed from hearing "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy" for hours on end.  Cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking, cleaning, cooking, cleaning kids, cleaning.  That's a pretty accurate description of my daily routine.

And then there's the other kind of Mommy moment.  You know the one.  The one where you can't ever imagine your life without these adorable, loving children in your life.  When you see your kids hug each other, and you know they are sharing real love in that moment.  Listening to them giggle with delight as you push them on the swings.  The unsolicited hugs, kisses and snuggles that sneak up on you during the day.  The fact that they are still willing to hold your hand as you walk them to school...you know that crap isn't lasting forever!

I had a Mommy moment just last week, but one of a different kind.  I had an opportunity for a job that would have challenged me and given me a chance to get back into the working world.  I wasn't fully qualified, but hey, why not try.  Everyone I talked to supported my decision to apply and someone even flat out said that I'd be stupid if I didn't apply.  I even asked my kids what I should do because taking this job would effect their lives too.

So I thought about it for a week and decided to apply.  My husband said "Type your resume and cover letter, print it out, set it on the counter for me and I'll look it over when I get home."  I wanted his input, I needed his approval...just for my own peace of mind.  I wanted to know that he really supported me going back to a job.  I sat at our computer and began typing a resume.  I got half way through it.  I started to question myself.  I cried.

That night, instead of a resume and cover letter, I wrote my husband a letter.  I told him that I love taking care of our family and that I'd do that over anything, any day.  I do not want our kids in daycare just so that I can go babysit some grown ups at my new job.  I told him that my crying was probably irrational, but that it was speaking to me.  I don't cry like that and when I do, it means something.  My tears were saying, "Stay home.  You won't ever get these days back."  Print the letter, place it on the counter where my resume was expected.

The next morning....nothing.  The only thing I noticed was my letter was near the computer.  No note.  No response.  No love.  I left the house that morning to take my kids to school with some disappointment and sadness.  I had failed him.  My wishy-washy attitude towards taking this job had pissed him off.  He's very straight forward, no BS, say what you want, get the job done, kind of guy and I was crying and going back and forth on my decision.

I dropped my daughter off at preschool, got in the car, and checked my sidekick (iPhone) for my email.

Email titled: Your Letter.

Tami,

  I just got home and read the letter you left for me.  I'm extremely happy that you've come to a definitive answer regarding the director job.  I know how you feel torn between making money and being with us.  I feel torn, too.  I go through days where I don't want to take another call, but you and the kids are counting on me.  But no matter what, I will always keep fighting to keep us together; even if that means enduring the turmoil of this job.  Every time I start to feel the pressures of life, I stop and picture you, Tucker, and Addie.  That simple image in my head reminds me that I'm the luckiest, most blessed, man on Earth! 

I don't want you to think that you're letting me down.  The most important thing to me is this family.  And at the core of this family is you.  You're the one that holds us all together.  I certainly could not be half the person I am, and we would not have the wonderful children we do, without you.  I want you to be happy.  I want you to feel like you can chase your own dreams.  I am, and will always be, here for you.  You are amazing at so many things, and I'm fully confident that whenever, and if ever, you choose to pursue some sort of career, whatever it may be, you will be amazing at that, too!

All my love and support,

Matt

Sobbing...uncontrollably...but for a different reason.  Because I had a Mommy Moment.  One where you feel appreciated, loved, understood and supported.  The one where you know you have the best kids and you know without doubt that being home with them is a blessing.  Above all those things, I know for absolute certain that I have married the perfect man for me.  Nearly eleven years later after we said our vows and I love him more now than ever before.  We are no where NEAR perfect, but we are perfect for each other.  Tucker, Addie & Associates lives on.  What a blessing.              

Monday, April 30, 2012

Bye Bye Bunnies

After a goodnight's sleep and a strong cup of coffee, I slowly and respectfully approached my Mac and blogger.com in an attempt to put the bunnies to rest.  I don't know if it was the extra sleep or the recent surge of caffeine, but who cares, bye bye bunnies!  I'm not going to pretend that I love what is showing on the background of my blog, but I'll be happy with it for now.  It will be bright and fun for summer, you may not be seeing any changes for several months.  I wish I was more blog savvy, for many reasons.  I would like to know what the hell I'm doing, but that's just not real right now.  I would need hours of patients and brain power, and that's a rare find in my house.  Just finding quiet time is rare...but if you're reading this blog then I can only assume that your children run circles around you day and night, like mine do.

So here we are, the end of April....trying to redeem myself from what seemed like a full FAIL in my blog life.  I feel like the "bye bye bunny" will give me a sense of relief as I approach my blogger redemption.  This is official....I'M BACK!   

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Right Back Where I Started.

I'm not sure what's wrong with me.  I'm a technotard.  Just when I had committed myself to a bloggerific lifestyle again they go and change the whole damn thing again.  I can't get the effing bunnies off the page. I want a baseball that I found...but damn those bunnies they won't go away.  I'm over it.  Every single time I sit down and just want to write something clever or make fun of myself for navigating my life as a mother in a less than stellar way, I end up wanting to take my mac and chuck it out the window.  So...I'm right back where I started.  Returning to a life of entertaining writing and a way to share my neurotic behaviors in a humorous way.....oh the bunnies.  I'm serious.  There is so much to share.  For example, the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie way that I came to clean my gutters yesterday.  That's a good one, but I refuse to tell the story while there are bunnies on the page.  So I dedicate my whole blogging time to getting the bunnies to go the eff away.  I guess I need a large, black top hat to put them in because magic and voodoo seem to be the only way I'm going to get something else on my screen.  Oh, and I got new running shoes.  I've been working hard in PT and got cleared for running again.....but NOOOOOO, the bunnies are preventing you from hearing about that too.  Ok. Well my blogging time has now expired and all you have gotten is a page full of complains, half starts to excellent blogs, and bunnies.  Effing bunnies. 

Friday, April 6, 2012

Have Fun, Love Baseball

Can you smell it?  I can.  It's spring (it tried to be sunny) and we were playing baseball.

Last night started Tucker's second season of T-ball.  He is fulfilling hopes and dreams that I had, literally, when I got pregnant.  I knew that it didn't matter whether I had a boy or a girl, this kid was going to be in LOVE with baseball.  He isn't letting me down...and neither is that little girl of mine.

I'm not going to lie, I felt like I was a kid again being out on the field.  I was happy, energetic, and in love...with baseball.  I am also ecstatic to hear that the 2 coaches who have taken the lead to get the team formed, have officially invited me to join them.  I get a hat and shirt this year!  It's official.  I'm a coach again.  The really great news is that I won't have to stage another coup this year to take control.  They have bowed down to my awesomeness much earlier this year and have succumbed to my mad skills, or good looks, you pick.  ...although I'm CERTAIN it's the mad skills, or maybe the goofy demeanor I use to teach the kids or to scare them out of running in the giant mud puddle on the field.  Either way...shirt and hat.  Official.

Addie was my shadow on the field.  She followed me everywhere, she yelled out everything I was yelling, she wore Tucker's cleats from last year that he outgrew.  She is perfect.  The only thing she is missing is a pink glove to protect herself from that kid on the field.  The one who randomly picks up a baseball and chucks it into the air without any regard for where it will land.  One of those random throws lands on my girl's head and that kid is gone.  (By the way, same kid who couldn't stay out of the mud puddle.  You see a pattern?  I do.  He might not like me much when he year is over.)

Tucker was much less timid this year.  He jumped right in and handled himself very well.  The team divided into two groups: new players and players with one year experience.  I was working with the rookies, so I didn't see much of Tucker.  I thought that was good for him to work on independence and confidence alone instead of leaning on Mommy to encourage and guide him.  He told me after practice that he didn't feel like he hit very well, but that he had fun.  "Mission accomplished", I thought to myself.  Who cares, at this level, if he ever hits anything...just have fun.  Fall in love with baseball.  You can learn skills and strategy, but not unless you love the game.  That's ALL I hope for this group of young boys, have fun and love baseball.   

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Unintentional Sabbatical

After more than a year of being blog-free, I'd like to first start by thanking my two faithful "followers" (one who apparently is too shamed to show their face on my blog) for faithfully following my REAL, undocumented life.  Well I can claim that truth for one of you, the other mystery follower...I can't be so certain.

I'm trying to even think of all the ways my life has changed in the last year and the list is long and wonderful.  I will just start listing things that have happened.  The list will be horribly out of chronological order, but hey my life is a little out of order...very fitting.

*I really think this is fitting to be first, since it was such a struggle and game changer in our family.  Addie is potty trained.  It took her 3 years, 1 month, 26 days and 14 hours (or 1,659,727 minutes) to make that choice, but she did it.  I was under the impression that girls trained earlier and easier than boys.  She blew that theory out of the water.  Nothing to could convince this girl.  Not candy.  Not bribery.  Not threats.  Nothing.  Her choice, her terms, her time.  But Amen...she did it.  finally.  Oh yeah, and it all clicked like a week before preschool started.  Which brings me to #2.

*Addie started preschool.  She goes to the same preschool that Tucker attended.  Addie goes 2 days a week.  Those are glorious days.

*Tucker started kindergarten.  (please pass me a tissue).  As an educator, and his super biased mother, he is excelling in school.  He is a great reader, has a great phonics knowledge base and his social skill are what I would expect.  However, because my husband and myself are first children (you know those people) we over analyze his kindergarten report card to the point that I was on the Oregon State Standards website critiquing the teacher's evaluation of Tucker regarding every standard.  It's kindergarten.  I know.  I understand that fully.  Those are my issues, not his....moving on.

*I have become something I never thought was genetically possible for me.  I have become a baker.  I will admit that the perfect, fluffy, moist chocolate chip cookie still eludes me, but I have other confections that just might beat that old standby.  I have mastered the cakepop.  I still want to experiment with fondant and making them Bakerella cute, but I have the basics: excellent flavor and creative ideas.  I'm also going to claim to have a good handle on cupcakes, but I want to experiment with flavors and frostings.  This is a fun hobby that I wouldn't mind making some money doing, but until then it gives me a creative outlet and a reason to exercise.

*The man of the house has also been a very busy man.  He has recently taken on a new business venture, in addition to his regular job.  He is rare species in our home these days, but we are making the best of it as he works tirelessly to build his future empire.

*Both kids took swimming lessons.  They were both so timid in the water that they had to take level 1, twice.  They finally passed.

*I ran my first half marathon in June 2011 at the Seattle Rock N Roll Marathon.  You know that moment when you feel like a super hero, and you are pretty sure that if you could take just one more step you could take off in flight?  Yeah, that never happened to me.  When I got done I felt like a champ, but I didn't feel that great physically.  Here's my rookie advice.  If you think you are going to run anything beyond a 10K, get a running group.  Hang out with people who know what the hell is going on.  I trained under the advice a good friend, but ran nearly every mile alone.  I didn't know when to hold 'em, fold 'em, or when to walk away.... Now I'm dealing with persistent shin splints, a sports medicine doctor and a physical therapist, and of course, INSURANCE.  Dude, just get a running group.  That's what I'm doing next time.  Well, next, next time....this year I'm already signed up for two half marathons that I'll be walking, to my dismay.  (Jockin' Mike D to my dismay.....I can't say dismay without giving a little "WASSUP" to the Beastie Boys.  Holla if you feel me!)

I think I'm going to leave it at that for now.  We will have many upcoming adventures with the anticipation of spring actually acting like spring in the next few weeks, maybe.  Oregon: get it together.  Your bipolar weather disorder is really bringing me down.  I need vitamin D for my wellbeing.  Tball starts this week, please let it look, feel, and smell like baseball outside.  Please.

Thanks again to my 2 followers.  I feel so important!!  ha ha ha!   

Thursday, March 3, 2011

What do you do?

My sweet and beautiful sister-in-law loves my blog and I heard that she recently asked my Mom about my blog. I believe the story went something like this..."I love Tami's blog. I wish she posted more" My Mom: "She's really busy" SIL: "Busy? What does she do?!?" Wow...that question is so deep on so many levels. Some days I can't list the things I do because they are so great in numbers. So let's just take yesterday, for an example, here's what I did.
1. Woke up at 7am, after going to bed at 1am.
2. Made breakfast for 2 kids, and then cleaned the dishes.
3. Food/water for K9.
4. 2 kids dressed.
5. 2 kids waters and snacks for the car
6. Mommy dressed...of course there is an audience because you no longer have your own identity or privacy.
7. out the door...wait, did I remember diapers and wipes...back in the house....back to the car.
8. 2 kids in carseats
9. Arrive at Mother in Law's house.
10. Clean her house for 2 hours, while the kids have snack and drop crumbs on the carpet I just vacuumed.
11. Make lunch for me and kids.
12. Clean up lunch dishes.
13. shoes/socks/coats/toys and kids back in the car, but not before I have to chase them around to herd them into their carseats.
14. 3 hours at OMSI...2 kids, 1 mommy.....again, it's like herding cats.
15. cook dinner for kids
16. run 2.5 miles
17. clean dinner dishes
18. check email....the first time I've sat down since lunch.
19. 2 kids dress down/brush teeth/bathroom/bathtub
20. 1 kid can dress himself, Mommy dresses the other kid
21. 2 cups with water for kids at bed time
22. make sure that all comfort items are in the correct beds, blankets and all.
23. read 2 stories
24. say prayers
25. good night....for the kids.
26. Listen to a little girl yell for her mommy for 30 minutes.
27. Eat a cold dinner.
28. Do the dishes, again.
29. Call my mom, only to hear the question posed by my SIL...."What does she do?" It was so funny, that I was in tears. I'm certain I didn't list everything I did, and not even one worry or thought that went through my mind all day...like when I couldn't find my daughter at OMSI for a split second. But physically, that's what my body did....and I'd like you to take note, SIL, a shower for Mommy was NOT on that list. I haven't showered yet today either, and it's 1:32pm...I'm hoping that if the kids don't start fighting because I've been on the computer blogging, that I might get a shower.

I would love for my other Mommy Friends to take a moment and make a list either as a comment here on the blog to share with my SIL, or just for your personal use. Writing down what I do during the day really helps me validate that I DO EVERYTHING!!! Sometimes at the end of the day, I feel like I've done nothing because every last thing I've cleaned is dirty, once again. I don't even want to get started on the laundry issue. That's a battle that will one day kill me, I'm certain of that.

I LOVE YOU S.D. You are a perfect mate for my brother, and we are all so lucky to have you in our family. I would encourage you to come to a "job shadow" of motherhood....it will blow your mind and be some of the most powerful birth control on Earth.