Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Things I thought I wouldn't Have to Teach

As a mother, there are things that I have assumed that I will be called upon to teach the offspring that have been entrusted to me for these 18 years. Manners, getting dressed, showering, going potty on the big potty, math, reading, feeding themselves, driving, just to name a few of the things I was ready to teach. Some things I thought would be self explanatory, a sort of non issue. However, now that I think about it, just because it is obvious to me that you don't do certain things, doesn't mean, by being born from my body, that my children would know that certain things are inappropriate behavior.

I was faced with one such occurrence recently. I may have gone through life blissfully ignorant that this had occurred, but my good friend Joy knew I would want to remember this for all time. (Also, I think she may have been deciding if she should press charges for the molestation she had just experienced at the hands of my youngest child.)

Here are the events as I understand them: Courtney, being innately cute and huggable went to give Joy, also innately cute and huggable a Sunday morning hug. However, somehow my daughter's hand became pinned against Joy's chest. Now here is where the lack of parenting came in on my part. I never told Courtney that when you find your hands in an awkward position like she found herself, you should never squeeze. NEVER, NEVER squeeze. I have learned a very significant lesson here. There are some social graces that are not obvious to kids.

Please, Joy, don't turn my daughter in. She knows the right behavior now. She is in counseling and I think her adult-phile tendencies are being squelched at a young age.

May is the month of Days for Me

Since my earliest memories, I was always excited about the month of May. The whole month just felt different. It meant so many happy things when I was a kid. It meant mine and my sister's birthday, which was always fun. It also meant that school was out, which is the most wonderful time of the year. Remember how fun the last few weeks of school used to be? The month of May still feels special to me. It's obviously still my birthday month. It is still almost the end of school, which brings such joy to my heart that I can't even express it. Now we get to add in Mother's day too. Basically the whole month is great. The sad side to all of this though, is I'm not a kid anymore and the special days come and go now with not as much excitement as they once held.

Mother's day this year was pretty good. I had requested the day off from playing at church so I got to sleep in. That was the best part of the day. The girls made me feel really special. Kayci came through my room at about 6:30 am yelling "Happy Mother's Day." She is so cute. After the initial adrenaline rush from being startled awake, I fell back to sleep. Haley used her own money to buy me some tennis socks, a tennis hat, and a tennis thermos. All of it was over priced because she purchased it at the Claremont Club, but she was so excited to give these gifts to me I was very touched. Steve, always clinging to the adage..."You're not my mother," surprised me this year by asking the neighbor to mow our grass. This ended up not being that great of an idea, but Steve was really trying to make life easier for me. In the neighbor's defense, he is only 12 and not at all raised in the same way I was. (This meaning, I did a good job when asked to do something; I listened to instructions, and cleaned up when I was done.) This kid, in spite of mine and Steve's warnings, ran over 3 sprinklers with the lawn mower, butchered the lawn with our edger, did not empty the grass from the mower, and did not sweep up excess grass left around the yard. Because of this fiasco, I spent mother's day first at Lowe's buying new sprinklers and other gardening tools, then home to repair the sprinklers, re edge the yard, and trim my lemon tree. My lemon tree is straight from hell. It has thorns on it that are about an inch long. These thorns actually pierced the bottom of my shoes. One branch fell, after being cut, and landed thorn down into my skull. I am pretty sure it touched brain tissue. By the end of the day, I was cut up pretty bad, but my sprinklers worked, my yard was somewhat straight again, and my tree was nicely shaped. (Except for the top...I can't reach it and have a fear of falling off of ladders and my kids finding me in a pool of my own blood.) Steve came home about this time and offered to bring home any food I wanted. I chose Chipotle (since I had already treated myself to Del Taco for lunch). It was a very successful day.

Just yesterday, my across the street neighbor, brought over a picture of me working in the yard on Mother's Day. He thought it was funny...I thought it was normal.

My 35th birthday was a full and busy day. My mom and dad and youngest sister (JRS) made the day very special by making the effort to be with me in spite of their own busy schedules. The girls sang for three services in the morning and then had their musical that night. Since Del Taco was too far away, we had Taco Bell for dinner...for some that sounds lame for a birthday dinner...for me it was perfect. Jonni and her friend took me out to Bj's where you get free Pazookie's on your birthday. It was a great day. I was with all the family that could be with me and received a lot of nice phone calls and text messages from people who remembered. That is always a nice feeling. The whole choir and orchestra sang happy birthday to me at church. While it was embarrassing...I felt special. I really do have a good group of people that support me.

I was awakened just this week with the thought that the years 30-35 went really quickly. In five more years I will be 40 and my baby will be ten. I actually felt like I was going to have an anxiety attack right then. The fear that it is all slipping away so quickly makes me want to squeeze more things in with the kids. I hope the next five years go painfully slow. But I am starting to realize, time just picks up speed the older I become.

Fish Tacos

I'm not the best cook in the world. I'm not very creative. I have my standards: mac and cheese, spaghetti, burritos, and sandwiches. Then I start this cycle again. I prefer eating out (who doesn't?). But my kids are getting too accustomed to what should actually be a treat. So I have been trying to be more creative with my cooking. The Internet provides a lot of good ideas for cooking and Rachel Ray also has a lot of good ideas. Although, I am finding the Rachel's "prep time" and "actually prep time" are highly different. I guess she has people to prepare the ingredients for mixing...I however, am "those people," and the prep time is usually doubled for me. Other than that, my family has been impressed with the variety. (Ok, no one has said they are impressed, but if I were them, I would be impressed.) I have made Sante Fe Chicken Salad, Chicken Parmagian on rolls, Baked Mac and Cheese, just to name a few.

Here is my latest accomplishment. Fish tacos. They were delicious, not hard to make, and very nutritious. The only down side is my house smelled of fish for a week. Yuck. For that reason alone, I may never make them again. I thought the end result was very pretty. I was proud of myself for trying something way out of my league, so I took a picture. Sometimes a pat on the back can even come from yourself.

I'm Not Dead...yet

It's not that there hasn't been plenty to blog about lately. In fact, anyone who spends anytime around me, at all, hears me say..."This will definitely make it into a blog. " But alas, MY computer, has now become all FOUR of my kids' computer. Yes, I said 4. Steve has brought home something that has stolen my girls from me as well as my computer. He thought that he would share his tendency to be addicted to video games with the innocent minds of our children. He purchased LEGO Starwars. This was a present to Haley in March. Kayci lost our first copy of it soon after, Steve immediately replaced it with another. He has broken and lost things of mine that he has NEVER replaced...but that is another blog altogether. The girls now revolve their lives around this game. They wake up early in the morning to play. They want to play more than anything else. They hate homeschooling even more because it takes away from time on the computer. They don't want to play with their friends, unless they want to play Lego Starwars. Limits you ask? Oh, I have tried, but when the head of the household actually took his whole day off, 9 1/2 hours , to play himself...I have no hope for reinforcement of my rules. Sometimes being the only grown-up in the house is exhausting.

This has been my view of my family lately.

I am hoping, now that I have a few minutes to catch up on my blog, and my friend's blog that I can catch everyone up on what's been going on over here in Merrickland.

Stay tuned...don't give up on me yet.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Courtney and her latest comment

Courtney has started putting very cute voice inflections on all of her conversations. Everything ends like she is asking a question, but she is actually telling you something. I'm not sure how to describe it except to say that she starts at one pitch and ends on a much higher pitch by the end of the statement. If you don't understand...I'll demonstrate for you. Just ask.

Today, with her cute inflection, she said, "Mom. Guess what? Teeth get loose and fall out and then a gold tooth comes in and takes its place." I, of course, laughed. She, of course, burst into tears because she doesn't like to be laughed at. I tried to explain that she was so cute that I couldn't help it. She tried to explain that she saw a kid at Kid's Court that had a gold tooth. I told her that was from a cavity or a crown or something else and that teeth didn't grow in gold.
Kayci then piped in and said, "Only rich people get gold teeth in their mouth. Or sometimes bad guys have gold teeth too."

My kids are soooo smart.

By the way, during the tears Courtney said, "Now you're going to tell everyone that I said that (About the gold teeth)." So please do not mention this story to her. She is very sensitive about these things. I just don't want to ever forget these great stories.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Dreams and Other things to figure out

Last night I dreamt that I was driving fast on a mountainous road. I took a corner too fast and was thrown from the vehicle into a pile of rocks. (I'm sure the pile of rocks represents all of thw work I am trying to get done around here.) The only injury I sustained was a nasty gash on my head. The rest of the dream was a mix of me trying to play tennis, find a hospital and an occasional episode of vomiting on the side of the road. When I finally woke up from this bizarre dream, my head hurt on the side that supposedly was injured in the accident and I felt like I was going to throw up. I don't know what it all means, but I welcome any and all interpretations.

Steve has been extra busy lately. He is very happy, because he is working with people he respects and he is doing stuff for which he is gifted. He has been waking up early all this week to go to recording sessions at the Disney Studios for one of their upcoming DVD releases. (Jodie, he has had a part in the music of the next Pooh movie.) He is on cloud nine. I am happy for him.

We (Steve and I) had an interesting conversation with our neighbor the other night about cleanliness. I find it very necessary to have a clean or at least tidy house. Steve, on the other hand, thinks it is unnecessary to clean things that will be messed up anyway. He thinks a house should be functional and relaxing. Not a museum. Laundry should be done just often enough to have one clean pair of underwear and socks everyday. I cannot relax unless things are tidy. I cannot sleep well if the laundry is overflowing. Steve does not think it is necessary to make the bed since we will just be sleeping in it again later. (By the way...the whole two years we were in college together, he NEVER made his bed or even washed the blankets he slept with...EWWW.) I cannot start my day well if the bed is not made. I am not the best housekeeper. I have a sister and a mom who take the cake on this ability. However, I do like to keep things somewhat tidy. (If Jim is reading this...you come over at times when I haven't gotten to clean the kitchen yet...give me a break.) If I go into Steve's studio area, I am always on the verge of an anxiety attack because of the mess. There are wires, papers, more wires, and other musical paraphernalia all over the place. It is actually dangerous to your health to walk in that place barefoot. The mess doesn't bother him at all. In fact, that is where most of his genius is expressed. It is comfortable to him. It's weird how we find ourselves with people that are our polar opposites...isn't it? We are definitely a team, but we approach the game with two very different strategies. So far, his strategy seems to be the one the kids prefer following. You know that myth about the man who was cursed to roll a bolder up the side of a hill for eternity? Picture me rolling the bolder up hill and my family standing on the top throwing clothes, toys, and other out-of-place items down the hill on top of my boulder. That's how I feel sometimes.

But....I really couldn't be happier or more content. The alternative would mean me doing all this stuff and working a full time job. Steve's lack of cleaning abilities lends itself to being an amazing musician, which means he gets a lot of work, which means I get to stay home with my kids. It's not bad at all. Really. It's just funny. Funny because it is true.