Thursday, August 29, 2013

If you give a mouse a cookie.

Tuesday I had a hard day.

Transitions aren't easy for me and I was having one of those, "it's only Tuesday?" type of days... like "what am I suppose to do for the next 3 days-- or 365 days for that matter?"... Why didn't I put Maddox in school again? ...or at least Beckham?

How am I suppose to keep them entertained without a pool day, or water park, or vacation to look forward to?
Not the tv.
Not the Ipad.
Not video games.
but how much 'play' can we really do together while stuck inside because it is 110 outside?

What are they suppose to wear when we are here all day?
Not their good clothes... but what if we leave... I am not doing 18 thousand loads of laundry all year.
I can't very well make then wear weekly outfits either, though it is a thought.

What about food?  I need to feed them healthier... I need to feed us all better.
Why do they eat so dang much?
And on that thought, how are they so skinny?
Should I worry about those ribs?
And snacks.... Lawd, these kids eat them some snack... someone hit me with a 2X4.

I need a schedule.
A plan.
A curriculum maybe?
That might help.

Did I make the right decision not sending Maddox to kindergarten?
Am I labeling him?
Do people assume that he is behind and not the boy-genius that we believe that he is?
Is he sad that he isn't at school?
Am I now outcasted from the group of mommies I met in MDO?
What do we have in common anymore?

Maybe I need to go back to work full time.
Did we make the best decision for me to stay home in the first place?

Should I go back to school?
I really don't want to go back....
Why is everything so difficult?

I was turning no-brainers into big issues and it was sort of like the "if-you-give-a-mouse-a-cookie" book where we needed to turn the page and say something like, "replace her cookie with a large glass of wine and tell her to go to sleep".

Except this mouse has kids, who would could escape and start fires in the street or something if I slept on their watch-- and rarely buys wine because though she dreams of a glass often, reality is that she is a cheapskate and a bottle of Malbec is about $12 and she rarely drinks more than a glass from each bottle and it doesn't save longer than a few days so it is mostly a waste of the mouse's money.

My husband listened to my cries, and though he assures me that Candace will still meet me for play dates even though I'll now have a teenager in tow, and soon it will be cool enough for the park, and  it doesn't really matter what clothes they wear, and I really don't have to finish the closet that I tore completely apart to re-organize in one day, and me working in the office a couple days a month might make me feel like I was doing more to contribute and change my scenery a little-- and that I was a great momma, who made the perfect decision for our peanut... I still felt spent.

Lance walked in to the door with a little treat for each of us.
A $3 Power Rangers action figure for Maddox.  A little fleece Mickey mouse baby blanket for Beckham, and a notepad and a candy bar for me.

The only store near our house is a Dollar General and he was a little embarrassed in his treats.
I, on the other hand, thought they perfect.
The kids were over-the moon and since I met him while doodling with my gel pens (remember), his gesture was heart felt.  (and less than $10 total)

It reminded me why I love him and why he's more special than the fairy tale marriage that I spend a lot of days wishing I had received.
He's patient and kind and understanding.
He cleans up dishes and vomit and dirty diapers.
He is funny.
He is quirky.
He is my best friend.

Yesterday we got a call from my sister and she needed help.
My husband didn't blink an eye when asked if he would spend his entire day off from work driving and moving things for someone else.
He showed up and he helped.
Which reminded me yet anther reason why I love him so much.

We had dinner and played dominoes until well past 10:00 with my parents and sister.
He enjoys family time like I do.
He gets me.

Driving home on a back road, while holding my hand and occasionally looking over my shoulder at the 2 sleeping boys resting behind us, Lance said, "Do you know what I am thinking right now?"
I almost felt 17 again, stumbling over my words feeling so romantic-- like I couldn't love him more-- and was so happy to be crawling over my hump...
"I'll give you 3 guesses..." he said.
Giddy, I immediately try to read his mind:  "you love us so much and are so happy with your life?", he looks at me, "well yeah, but I was thinking about something on this road."
"This road?", still trying to connect the moment with some romantic nostalgia, "Oh!  That time that we looked at that rental property just over the highway right after we got engaged?"
Him: "no?"
I am racking my brain of some make-out session that I can't remember or a song that I heard for the first time on this back road...
When he cuts into my thoughts, "that time we ran over that huge snake.  Remember?  It felt like a pipe or something.  It was huge."

And there you go.
Grounded back to reality.

If you give this mouse a cookie, she will shove it in her mouth and eat the whole damn thing without sharing.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

savoring Maddox

Yesterday we had our last day at the water park.
I will say that those passes from my parents made the best gift.
We used them plenty, and were very appreciative.

But the end of summer means that fall is just around the corner-- moving us from my second favorite time of the year into my most favorite.

Which is always exciting--
but also denote change.

As you know, we have decided that Maddox will not start kindergarten this fall.
We didn't decide this within in the last month or anything-- more like when he was a few months old.

I do find myself worrying if I am holding back this tiny soul who is so ready to fly, that his wings are wore out from trying.
I also worry about this extra year at home, and if I can challenge him enough to keep him stimulated.
If I am disciplined enough to stay on a curriculum of sorts and improve his handwriting and press him to read better...
or if that's even necessary as he will spend the next 13+ years learning, and this is his last year to focus solely on play.
I worry that I can keep enough snacks in this house,
and keep him from feeling bored.

We have chosen not to start him back in the same Mother's Day Out that he was in last year as he would be repeating the same curriculum-- and let's face it.
We know our letters.

This boy makes me proud.
He is kind and tender and thoughtful and polite.
He tells me thank you for the smallest things that I do for him and bathes me with love and affection all day.
He is bright.  He is quirky.  His vocabulary is incredible.
He is helpful, and coachable, and knows right from wrong.
He is forgiving and honest and rambunctious and exhausting.
He is hilarious and wise beyond his age...
He is a thinker.
He is busy.
He is hopeful and faithful.
He is so very sweet.
He is the best big brother to Beckham.
And the best big boy to me.
He is mine.
The piece that changed us people to parents.
He has allowed us to learn how to raise him while making daily mistakes, and yet he rolls off the bumps with a smile on his face and a hug.

Sometimes I see a teenager, all legs and blonde hair.
Other times he is just a baby, tiny as the day we brought him home.

He makes me emotional, and feel so undeserving.
I know he is not perfect, but he is perfect to me.

I have been told that the school years will be the best years of my life...
Full of friends and sports and the best adventures.
But opening the door to an elementary school closes the door to the part his life that we are in now.
And that's overwhelming to me.

I only have one year left.

...To cherish every piece of him and the way he makes me feel.
To soak in his quirks and tattoo them into my memory.
To spend the entire day being his best friend.
To still let him believe he is actually the fastest kid on the planet.
To be the only girl he loves.

I am ready for fall; the season.
but I am so anxious over change.
And this year feels like 12 months of limbo.

Here's to savoring Maddox.
Ornate and special.
A year to build him up,
Before the world tells him he's regular.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

South Padre Island

We are home, after 7 days away.
It was the longest I have ever been away from Lance.
And certainly the kids too.

They missed him.
But they had a great time with their cousins.

Lance's sister came down from San Angelo and we made the trip together.

We decided to cut the drive in half and stop in New Braunfels on the way down.
Gruene happens to be one of my favorite places on Earth.
From family trips growing up, to river trips with our friends pre-marriage and babies; I could fill a book with memories and funny stories from my younger days in that town.
It honestly feels like home there.

I was happy to share a tiny piece of that with my kiddos.

There was a no-name band playing in Gruene Hall and the kids danced a little-- but the funniest part to me was that every time I tried to take a picture of the kids in the bar, Beckham put his hands to his face as if he were praying!

Touche' Beckham.  Touche'.

We packed up Monday morning and hit the road again.

We pulled into the beach house around 4:00.

We threw our luggage into the house and headed straight to the ocean.

Wednesday was Landry's 11th birthday.
She is the kind of kid that anyone would be proud to have.
She is beautiful, sweet, silly, funny, poised, athletic, tender-hearted, and the list goes on...

We spent the majority of the day in the water, watching the kids boogy board-- completely unaware that our sunscreen was crap.
And playing in the sand.

I had to make a sudden move at attempting to save my panicking 5 year old who got a bit further out than he had planned.
I first tried running, and fell into a hole, and then decided to take it Baywatch style and dove under a wave, thus losing my favorite MK sunglasses.
But saving the boy.

He was fine.
But I mourned those glasses for a few days.

I made the mistake of wearing my first bikini of the season (out of a personal preference to being the mom of boys, bikinis are off limits in water parks for me) and torching my midsection.

My boys escaped most sun damage-- but the rest of our crew was pretty beat up and in pain after this day... even though Jenn reapplied the spray multiple times!

We celebrated Landry's birthday at a nice Italian restaurant on the Island that evening.

We went to a little shop on our way back and bought a couple of cheap island goods.

Thursday I woke up early and snuck out of the sleeping house to watch the sun rise on the water.
I still had a tiny glimpse of hope that my favorite shades would have washed up.
They were no where to be found,
Although the view and quietness was priceless.

We decided to rest our sun beaten bodies and explored a few attractions around the island.
The turtle sanctuary was really neat.
I could have lived without the Sea Life Center and their random cat in a cage-- although it was fun that the kids got to pick up real live starfish!
We ate at a neat place, right on the water...
And saw the real working light house.

That night was probably my most favorite part of the trip.
(and not because Jenn threatened to attack the random college graduate who followed us around for a bit and told us about his life and plans for the future)  
But because we went crab hunting!

Dane definitely ran our ship, and even came equipped with his very own container.
We forgot our net and and other crab-gathering supplies so the kids had to use their imagination and found-gear to catch the crabs!
I was surprised that both of my boys ended up catching a crab each, but the majority were snagged up by those fearless Reynolds kiddos!

They caught some of all sizes, and we all screamed and laughed when one ran up Beckham's leg!

Friday we went back to the beach.
We made friends with our neighbors renting the other side of the house and together the kids made a huge sandcastle.
They surfed more waves.

They flew kites.
Kites that I ended up wading into a tight ball and throwing away while cussing, I should add.  Since they refused to roll them back up and thus tangled them in every car, line, bike, pole and street sign on the walk back.
....while crying, complaining, and trying to convince us that they had it under control-- and carrying nothing.
While we carried 50 lbs of crap, making best efforts to make the 2 year old walk faster, cross the street without being ran over and not cry-- with no hands left to carry him.

Jenn and I were both mad as fire ants at the time, but ended up laughing about it later.

Saturday we ate breakfast and then pulled out of the house and started our journey north.
About an hour into the drive, Jenn called and said she was having a migraine and blurred vision and needed me to drive her car.

We pulled over and I took over driving.

After 30 minutes or so, Jenn woke up feeling a little better.
We were pulling into the checkpoint, where Boarder Patrol looks in your car and lets dogs walk around and sniff.
I was already a nervous wreck, for no reason what-so-ever....
and then she starts telling me a story::
"yeah, dad was worried about me driving all this way with just the kids.  He told me to put the pistol he gave me under my seat....  I was so worried about it though and so I asked Buddha (her brother, who is a cop) if I would get in trouble and he told me no, but if I got pulled over just be honest with the officer and tell him it is in the car."
I'm listening and shaking my head but still inching my car in the line, waiting to be dissected by the feds-- when it hit me!
I already had an overwhelming feeling to shout out my window that I had a pound of cocaine and 3 Mexican babies in the back, just out of pure fear...
and now I am definitely going to jail.
On top of that, I had a slight fear that my sweet and precious SIL had staged a migraine to set me up!
She died laughing and said that she was too nervous to bring it and we were clear.

I still acted guilty when he pressed us with questions, however, and released a huge sigh of relief when he let us back on our way.

I would have never made a great criminal.

We stopped for lunch at Chili's and then headed to San Antonio.

Where I got back in the car with mom and Jenn took her crew west.
We shed tears with goodbye and though there were a few instances that we would all hit delete during this trip,
we really, really enjoyed our time with the Reynolds clan.

Mom and I made our next stop into Round Rock.
It was there that I realized that my debit card was still sitting on the table at Chili's.

I called home and had Lance cancel the card and the walked right into Restoration Hardware and slammed my head so hard into a table that I saw stars.

My sweet husband told me that he was sorry and wished he could make it better.
He then called back and told me to splurge because {wait for it} "I deserve it"!
So I did.

We stayed the night in Round Rock and my spree of bad luck continued.
Maddox first accidentally spilled water all over my side of the bed, meaning my burned hips slept on scratchy towels all night...
And then Maddox peed on me during his sleep.
Add more towels.

Sunday was a breeze.
A straight shot home.

We unpacked and got a load of laundry going and then surprised Lance at work!

He was so excited to see us!!

Lance had planned to host the draft for Fantasy Football with a few of the kids who work for him at our house, weeks ago.

He picked us up some shirts to wear because he thought it would be hilarious if no one mentioned them, and yet we all matched in a hideous shade of yellow, looking like we are sponsored by Taco Casa.

Beckham went to bed before it started and Lance changed last minute-- so really the joke was on me-- as it looked like I dressed Maddox and myself in matching fast food shirts.

Oh well.

We are home.
And back to reality.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

over the hump

Sunday was not a reset.

I woke up planning to clean my house the rest of the way and then head out to mom's for lunch but mostly to keep my house empty and clean before the potential buyers came to check it out.

I had a hard time getting it clean, however, because the word of the day wasn't a word at all...
but more squeals, screams and tears.

Lance was working,
and mom sent me a text telling me what time they were planning on eating (which was in 30 minutes, so apparently without me)
so I sent her one back:
a video of a fit from Beckham and him removing his clothes in fury and telling me that I was mean.
And then another from Maddox:
Crying that he was not going to take his medicine.

Mom reassured me that the day would be better-- but I should just throw them in the car and leave.

These things alone were day-changing...
But the way I handled them was nothing to relive.

I reclothed Beckham twice-- and yelled each time he began to strip.
He cried.
No one won.

I wrestled Maddox all over the floor like an anaconda trying to force feed this nasty liquid into the back of his throat--
he in tears and thrashing about, trying to spit-- eventually bonking his head and pouring sticky liquid all over my freshly mopped floors.
Me, out of breath, because I have a muscle mass of zero.
And Beckham looking on in terror...
which bothered me more than any of it.

Finally we made it to lunch (with a pep-talk on the drive from Amanda).
And mom had made my favorite meal of all time.

David took me out on our land for the first time...
(I have been paying for it for almost a year and have yet to step foot on it myself!)
And the boys played at Gigi's.

The tire swing broke while mom was pushing Maddox and despite my span of bad luck, we survived the plunge to the earth with no real injuries.

Back home, the buyers were very sweet...
but decided to pass "think" on our house.

Monday I decided to take the boys to the pool.  The house was still incredibly clean and one sure fire way to keep it that way is to leave.
We packed lunches and headed out.

There's this thing with pool-moms that is annoying to me.
They all bring toys.
They write their names on the toys to make it territorial and absolute.
They wrangle their toys towards their own kids to prove ownership...
They remind other toddlers who pick up a straggler toy that the toys are theirs...
and they make my kids complain that we don't have any toys.

I mean, we are sitting in a flipping huge body of water in the middle of the bright sun with countless other kids to engage with--
and our conversations turn to whining and wants.

I dug around in my pool bag and I found some Sponge Bob squirter contraption from a happy meal from long ago and a Nerf dart.

No wanted wanted the Nerf dart...
so the fight was on.

Each kid earned themselves a timeout, separately.

Maddox took his with grace,
Beckham lost his mind!

He was crying and thrashing like a fish on a line while telling me that I was mean.
I told him that he could be mad but he couldn't call me mean, to which he looked me square in the eyes and said, "you're not nice!"

His fit didn't stop so I held true to my word and he got a spanking.
He still didn't stop, so we left.

Which just meant the party of pouty pants moved to the house.

Lance usually makes it home by 5:00 and at 5:30 when I hadn't heard from him, and my pager was wailing out and the kids were going at it, while trying to make dinner and pick up the imperfections that were created after ditching the pool:: I sent him a text.

"Give me 30 minutes." He said.

"Your children will not survive that." I countered.

And he listened.

Tuesday Lance was off.
Beckham chose some telephone cord for his toy to bring.
Because that's Beckham.

And Maddox put 15 stickers on his shirt...
Because that's Maddox.

My phone speaker had quit working correctly a few days prior on my iPhone after I had plugged it into the cord the connects to my car.
I can talk on speaker, but it sounds like the person on the other end is 100' away if I talk on it normally.

I assumed that I just had it in the wrong mode but didn't know how to fix it,

So I made an appointment with Apple.

I've had an iPhone for over 5 years and brag a lot about their customer service.  

This time I got a craptastic employee who popped my battery out and said, "it's had water damage. I can't help you."

He went on to say that the moisture sensor could have been tripped by something as a simple steamy bathroom but it's out of his hands at that point.

His only offer was me to pay $249 for a new one-- which is dumb (and I told him that) because I can buy a new one for $199, and then he said it looked like I had it figured out then. 

I asked to talk to a manager, and Lance took the boys to the car.

In the mean time, I started crying.
Like an idiot...
In the middle of Apple.
Go figure.
I was trying to suck it up but the tears kept coming.
Too embarrassed by my emotions... I just left.
Broke phone in hand. 
No manager.

I wrote a little rant on FB about how I wished that kid would have a flat tire and get a paper cut...
And then karma caught up with me an hour later,
as Beckham pooped his pants in the TCU bookstore.

I stripped him down to just a tshirt as I washed his Mouse underwear in the toilet and then sink, 
as he said, "I love you momma" and "you're beauf" trying to evade being in trouble.

A young girl, who I assume's daddy made more this month than I will make in my entire life, walked out of a stall and first smiled (probably at the sweet things falling from my 2 year old's mouth) and then looked uncomfortable (as that sweet little thing was standing in nothing but crocs and an elephant t-shirt) and awkwardly tried moving around us to the sink.
I apologized and and shifted my naked munchkin out of her way and said something to the sound of, "wait to have kids, its exhausting."
And right on cue, my peanut grabs a hold of his little peetie and attempts to pull it to his chin while pointing to his testicles with his other hand and shouts, "there's more poop right there mommy!".

Her CEO daddy owes me a thank you.
That's better than any birth control she is going to pick up from the OBGYN.
And I wanted to die. 

Maddox lightened the mood with his hysterical sense of humor like he always does...

We had lunch, picked up cookies...
And I slid home for call. 

But not before one more disaster in the car.

I made a pitstop into Sonic for Happy Hour drinks.
A few miles down the road, Maddox crushed his styrofoam cup while trying to escape my tickles.
I ripped the dripping green apple sugar mess to the front seat to minimize the catastrophe...
Looking around in my new car for something to help me stop the madness-- I found nothing.
I remembered the wet (and recently soiled) underwear in my purse that I had wrapped in a mile of papertowls, so I reached in and fiestly pulled out the wrapping to cup around the mess.
The underwear popped up into the air and landed in the open box of cookies.
Lance, in slow motion and in the highest pitched voice, yelled , "thhhhheee cooookkiieeess."

I couldn't help but die laughing.
And eat a cookie.

I doubt it was the worst thing I've ever eaten.

Wednesday, Candace asked us to go to the water park.
At first I said no, because I still had to finish making September's weekend schedule for work...
and there were a couple loads of laundry that had my name on them...
and it was hot...
And honestly I had enough with this week.

But around 11:00 I decided on a whim to go for it.

And I am glad I did.

Just being around other mommas--
sitting and talking and laughing...

Watching my big help my little and grasp his tiny hand to each slide...
helping him out of the slides and not leaving him out...
enjoying eachother's company rather than clawing eachother's necks...
watching them be happy and careless and small...
was good for my soul.

I was also off Wednesday night,
which was nice too.

We played outside and the kids made me laugh...
Maddox called Lance "fat ears" on the trampoline while wrestling, and Beckham made us call him "Meof" as he yelled, "oh toodles!" and jumped on the trampoline like a little rabbit.

Lance and I watched a little recorded tv while both boys fell asleep in my arms.

Today was dang near perfection too.

I completed 3 loads of laundry...
Built a few castles...
watched war against some minions...
TV off-- all day long...
with hardly any bickering between my loves.

I even turned my Aunt Missy down on the offer to take Maddox from me for a bit,
as I didn't want to rock our mojo.
It was worth living in the moment.

Tonight my sweet sister and her psychotic dog came to visit-- eat dinner-- and watch Big Brother with me.
We laughed...
We played...
and call was light.

I am cautious to proclaim it--
but I think I am over the hump!

Bring on the beach!