Sunday, February 23, 2014

Slow down...

My boys are best friends.
They argue and they bicker and they spar with each other all day long…
But they can not stand to not be near each other.
The moment one of them is out of site, the other is on an instinctive and subconscious search for the other one.

I have often worried about our decision to hold Maddox out of school this past year and if starting him as a "barely six year old" rather just a "he was 4 until a few weeks ago" was the right thing to do.  But if all of our other reasons find themselves one day void--
I know that the time he had Beckham had to bond and play this year is one that I will not regret.  

I wish I could remember all of the things that they say and write them all down, but just remembering things from yesterday is sometimes hard.

Beckham still loves Mickey Mouse.
His favorite color is now red, and he wants everything to be red.
He has chosen favorite colors for the rest of us as well... regardless if they are correct or not.
Maddox is blue and green.  Mommy is purple. And Daddy is black.
Something tells me that there's a psychological reason behind these choices, and Lance might be in deep poo if we ever look into it!

He still likes to be called "tiny".  He likes all tiny things too... so anything that is mini, was obviously made for him, in his opinion.

He is a 100% momma's boy.  Always, always near me.
He is 100% boy.  Tough, and rough and rowdy... the child rarely cries from pain.

My favorite sayings that he says right now are, "oh-my-doodness", "boom-shocka-locka", "whateva"... and we love to make him say "mota-cytal".

Recently, while sitting in time-out, he yelled out, "you make me crazy momma!"  --however, the feeling was mutual.

He is still pretty much laid back the majority of his life-- a looker and a watcher like Lance.
But he has a streak of sass too, when he feels the need to use it.

He LOVES to spar... both of the boys do, actually.  I honestly think they spend half of their lives play-fighting.
He loves legos and to drive... he loves anything that Maddox does.

They are always making up games that aren't real, and the other day Beckham said, "when I say action, you blow in my mouth!"

He loves music, just like me, and any time a song comes on with a little beat, he thinks it is "my jam".  "Dis you jam momma?"  And then Maddox immediately assures me that it is not.

Maddox is in a hard stage to me.
He is somewhere between a baby and a big kid and it is hard to find our footing there sometimes.
His humor is usually awkward, forced, or over-the-top... and the things that he gets in trouble for these days is for thinking he is the parent.

He still loves Legos, Mario and the Minecraft garb-- although our crappy internet here has kept him off that stuff, and more on the Ranger and skunk-hunting with his daddy.

He is a major Daddy's boy and counts down the minutes until Lance gets home each day.  Whether it is putting up the mailbox or putting together the Rubbermaid building, Lance saves all tasks for him to help.

Lance brought out Maddox's BB gun that his dad bought when he was born, yesterday.  Maddox had a blast with it until he smashed his thumb while cocking it, and turned his nail-bed black.
The tears poured.

When Maddox's not trying, he is honestly hilarious.
The other day he told me that he likes Indian music.  When I looked at him with my "what are you taking about" stare, he said, "it's just legendary."
He loves to use big words-- and I love when they don't make a bit of sense.
Actually, a lot of what he says in in left field...

"80 years ago when they lost the civil war."

"I'm laughing like Donald.  If he were Italian."

"How old was George Washington in the war?… He was 80.  You should read more textbooks."

"I'm as careful as a ladybug."

I hear me in him a lot too.  To the point that I can't even get angry...
he told me recently that I am "all kinds of crazy" and another day that he is "done.  On so many levels."

He is the biggest little lover I have ever seen.
Always quick to shower with kisses, snuggles and compliments.
Sometimes his compliments are well beyond his years, and other times they are a pure miss-- like when he kept calling me "big momma" the other day-- and then yelped it our in cat-call-form, "BIG MOMMA'S IN THE HOUSE!" for no reason what-so-ever.

They are a lot of fun, and so far are loving living back out in the country.
They are the best friends ever, and even when one is in trouble for an act against the other-- they are always on each other's team, begging me to take it easy in the other.

We just signed Maddox up for t-ball and are hoping he meets a few friends before he starts kindergarten in the fall.
Beckham will probably do all he can to join him, so it will be a huge transition on everyone.
Until then, we will play.

I love this chapter of life...
and I wish too badly that I could slow it down and soak it in more.
Or at least remember every detail and funny thing they say.

But time keeps flying by.
So I have have no choice but to try and keep up.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

You want to know a secret?

I have a few.

First of all, I think I was in a month long rut.
Icy weather, cold temperatures, allergies, moving, the seven million details that go along with moving, the stress of closing-- changing the dates, twice-- and eventually having to do it all alone, with a power of attorney... selling my soul to an appraiser so that we didn't loose our ass in the sale, boys who were stir-crazy, reluctant to change, and irritable... mail that is lost in la-la land, finding out that my children have been uninsured unbeknown to me for two months, more money going out than we had planned for, a let-down of a valentine's day, boxes, and boxes, and boxes with no where to put them--
All added to my rut.

Then something amazing happened--
my mom came over and we attacked the house.
Our trailer house...
And here's another secret--
I secretly love this temporary place sitting right across from our land.
And it suddenly felt like home.

The sun came out and the snow went away.
I need sunshine.  I don't know if I realized how much the weather effected me.
But it does.

My allergies subsided and I have gotten to enjoy these last few days without a face mask, and my kids have played so hard that they turn the bath water to a murky mess each night-- with dirt between their toes and even into their ears.

Not only do they play hard-- together-- they crash hard.
The way I like it.

I got a full day away with a few amazing gals--
laughed, tried awesome wines, 
and ruined it by vomiting my toes up, instead of dinner.
You win some, you lose some.
But here's the pictures....
Because you know I took them!
Even though I realized that I take less when I am spending my days sulking...
I still have a lot! 

First of all, I am never allowed to make fun of my-husband-the-hoarder, again.
Because I don't think I have gotten rid of a single thing of my children's since they sang their first cry.
Not to mention my bags upon bags upon bags of my own clothes that we moved.
Floppy disks and pics from way back were uncovered as well...
and though the throw-backs were fun,
I should be ashamed. 

I filled my garage half way full with donation items...
good donation items-- I will add...
But still brought too much.

I was so thankful that the weather cooperated for us during the weekends, even though the weeks were yucky...
and we were able to move over a few weeks... slow and steady.

I pulled a trailer for the first time...
by myself.
(which is actually a lie, because I woke my sister up at the crack of dawn and bribed her to ride with me!)
She was a huge help that day...
and she is one of my favorite things about moving back out to the country.

I wanted to be grateful for the weekends of warmer temps, but my allergies were of epic proportions...
If it wasn't cold as Antarctica, it was warm and I was swollen and itching.

I made the kids stay inside when I could...
and I masked up like a real creeper the rest of the time.

The boys tried to be good, they really did...
but I have had 30 years experience, and even I couldn't accomplish that task under the circumstances!

One Saturday while we were moving, Maddox came in and asked for solo cups...
He, and a few of the neighbor kids asked to have a lemonade stand.
Apparently they made close to $30 in the hour they sat there!
Maddox's cut was only $2, but he didn't care at all...
He thought it was the coolest thing ever.. and we thought it was pretty sweet for the older kids to include him!

That's the stuff we will miss.

Beckham's lip tragedy...
not so much.
...although it could have happened anywhere.

Super Bowl Sunday was an icy one,
and we watched the game at my mom's.

Mostly because we were out of the house in Haslet, but didn't have tv here yet...

But also because we had no food here.
And we were hungry!
Which we continued to use as our excuse for another week!

It melted...

And then it returned...
because in Texas, that happens.

The boys made the most of being trapped inside...

But were quick to take advantage of warmer temps, and loved getting out.

As was I.
And I took an ENTIRE day to be with my friends and taste wine.

Even if it didn't end as classy as it started...
I was certainly glad to have friends who didn't judge my pitiful level of tolerance, a husband who just laughed and drove to pick me up, and a sister who washed my hair and helped me to bed.
At 8:00pm...
which, I won't lie--
was also nice.

I love my husband...

...and my sister, for that matter.

What I didn't love...
was Valentine's Day.

I usually do...
It is actually one of my favorites!
My dad set my standard high for that day, and always always always sent me flowers when I was growing up.
Lance has never disappointed either.
It has either been flowers, or last year a new phone and flowers, and the year before that he bought me RayBans.
This year however...
He walked into this trailer house carrying a 12 pack of Miller Lite, a $4.88 pack of flowers and a card.
I don't drink beer.

I told you that I had been in a month long rut.
I had also spent more time that I usually do working, unpacking, painting, cleaning, refereeing two un-minding boys, being glue in places that I have never had to be until now, and falling asleep just to start it all again in the morning.

Beyond that, I had spent most of that particular day in a closing of our home by myself--
and had brought the realtor a gift certificate for a massage and a $20 bottle of wine.

I was on call so we had already planned on roasting hotdogs and riding the Ranger-- "low key" is what I said, apparently.

but I just lost it.
Call me a brat, I don't care...
I was so mad that we spoiled some random lady whom we will never see again with treats that I would have loved to have, and I was sitting in a house with floor vents, pitiful flowers, beer I don't drink, hotdogs that I don't eat, and working!

I cried.
A lot.

My kids had a great time, nonetheless...
With our home-made sweets, Lego toys from Gigi and Pop, and candy and airplanes to put together and break within 5 minutes, from us.

and my husband now knows that secret-- "low key" is never what I meant!

In his defense, I love those flowers-- I have told him many times before that I appreciate those cheap, sweet flowers on a whim-- way more than $80 roses because the rest of the world says to.

I just don't love being un-seen.
And to be honest, I hate the thought of the realtor sitting in Cold Water Creek getting the massage that I paid for, on top of whatever her husband bought her for her Valentine's day... while mine cost less than the tax on hers.
Simple as that.

And I am over it now.

Because, look at him.
He's a honey.
And the best daddy to ever live.

And he's raising some pretty awesome boys too.

...Even the tiny one who cried his eyes out the entire service in the new church-- and then got mad at me for trying to take a picture of him!

We have had a few good days.
I am thankful to be back home.
Even here.
I love this simple feel.
I love that there is no worry of traffic or strangers....
This weather is my soul food.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

the move

I have started about 5 different blogs and finished zero—pull up a chair and I will try and get it all in... fair warning, it might be all over the place.

First of all, let's all recognize that I am not a great blogger these days…
Honestly I seem to only check in when my world is falling apart or to do a 2 week re-cap.
I know both are annoying to read--
So I will try and work on that.
...But in the meantime, I 'll stay true to course.

Because I am a “call it like I see it” type of girl, I’ll go ahead and admit that these past few weeks go down as some of my less favorites…  which maybe I have said that a lot lately?
I’ve lost my groove, I think… but I am destined to get it back.

First I’ll start with the good stuff:

Mom and I spent a couple of days re-vamping the rental with new paint about 3 weeks ago—and after three full days of work, 6 gallons of “pebble grey” now cover the walls; and the house that we have dreaded moving into feels like my actual temporary home.

My sister threw us a huge bone and watched the boys for us so that we could paint with far less mess—and she even jumped way outside of her box and made us all dinner one night also.

Lance and David spent two full weekends moving our stuff, and aside from my allergies being out of control for 6 weeks straight, we were moving and grooving in decent weather. 
Blaine came over and helped them load the big items, and Melvin met them here to help unload them.

We are blessed.

But of course there’s also troubles:

My mom and sister were diagnosed with the flu-- a week after sitting in the hospital all day for her diverticulitis.
Allison got better but mom got worse and eventually was diagnosed with a double pneumonia.
She is always my right hand man—so not only was I a ball of stress worrying about her, pestering her about breathing treatments, and drinking more water—but I spin in circles without her assistance in times like this.

Added to that, my kids stopped minding me and Maddox became super anxious about moving—begging us not to do it.

I am not sure where I have gone wrong with this parenting gig, or how to get it back…  and I am not sure how to comfort something that is going to happen whether he’s on board or not…
But it is like all of the sudden I don't hold any seniority, no one has respect for me, and “minding me” is a foreign term.

They (and by "they" I mean Maddox) went from being so moldable and coacheable --to defiant, pestering, whining, tattling, complaining, mean, aggravating, and hard.
And Beckham follows suite.

Tomorrow will be better, I promise myself.  Tomorrow I will be more patient.  Tomorrow I’ll have control.  Tomorrow I won't yell.  Tomorrow they'll be more rested.  Tomorrow....

But then "tomorrow" is worse than the previous and I am losing.

I am losing not only at allergies and health scares, and at parenting too, ...but also at this house selling stuff.

The realtor has promised me that the house was going perfectly—yet I have feared it falling through since the day they found us and asked to buy our house.
It was all too easy.
We don't have a "realtor"... even though the one we had it listed for this summer has been nothing but amazing and helpful to us, when we have questions... we are still virtually on our own, and relying on the buyer's realtor for our information.
Despite my fears, she assured me that we were ahead of schedule, that the house could close early if we wanted to… and there were no hitches in our future.

And then the appraisal crashed us down to reality.

So first of all, we were all sick—like poop-your-pants, vomit in Kroger, sick—and I had completely forgotten about the appraisal.

Guy A rings the doorbell and I answer with my hair wadded on the top of my head, swaddled up in my bulkiest robe and mascara smeared below my eyes.

I apologized to him and said, “come on in”.  He said that he only needed on the outside but wanted to tell me that he was there.  I laughed and dramatically ran the back of my hand down my non-figuresk body and said, “oh, you didn’t want any of this?” to which he blankly replied, “no.” and went on with his business.

20 minutes later the doorbell rings again.

I answered it to man B in dress clothes with a clip board and he said, “I am here to do your appraisal”.  I told him that his buddy was already here, and he looked at me like I had 3 heads.  He said that he worked alone and there should not be anyone else there, so I laughed and said, “well then maybe I’m being robbed out back?!”

He too, had zero sense of humor but went with me to solve the mystery and apparently Guy A was the surveyor and actually was not trying to steal the grill or the fisher price bubble blower—and guy B took about 4 pictures and left 4 minutes later.

No lie.

We all started feeling better, but the kids were still acting like ferrel cats and then I got the phone call that guy B appraised our house $3,500 less than we needed.

So I obviously started to hate guy B, his clip board and his slacks….

I hated the buyer who refused to meet us half way or pay a dime less than the appraisal—on a house that HE wanted and wasn’t even FOR SALE…

I got testy with the realtor, because I felt like we were in a corner, with no one on our side-- and when I feel trapped, I go into survival mode…

And Lance, in true-Lance-fashion, was right behind me playing damage control; smoothing everyone back over, thus leaving me alone in the corner for crazy people.

So last Wednesday my stress-odometer was tapped out.

I strapped the kids in the car to drive.
As I passed through Southlake, I got a huge whiff of chlorine for some reason…

I miss summer.  I miss Candace.
I miss being tan, with no allergies, and my kids water-logged and exhausted.
I miss not spending every second worrying about this house.

I just wasn’t in my groove of life, in my little happy box—where the world can storm all around me but I still feel content, I was just off and no matter how hard I tried, “tomorrow” didn’t fix it.

We surprised Lance for lunch and I ran to Home Goods and found a steal on some curtains.

The bank was just as surprised as we were about the appraisal and offered to order a second one, which would most likely set back our closing.

It was the only chance we had.

Since we were 90% out of the house at this point, and over a thousand dollars into the move—Lance made the executive decision that we were going to go through with the sale either way…
Huge loss or not.
We were not moving our stuff back in.
I.   Hate.  To.  Lose.  Money.  Hence the fact that I don’t gamble—so I have been sick about it.
But I decided to trust him.

I confided in my closest friends and my mom and then finally asked for prayer.

Yesterday I got a phone call from the second appraiser.
If I were a single girl, I’d say there was a spark with Guy C and myself.
Since I am not, I’ll blame it on the prayers, this guy finally having a sense of humor, and his observation of my desperation—after talking to him for about 15 minutes, he asked me not to worry about his part that I could stress about anything but him—and he would do his job.

Today we found out it appraised!!!!!

And I literally screamed!
And jumped—and then remembered that we can’t jump in this house without everyone feeling it—and then cried!!

They have moved our closing from tomorrow to next Thursday so I am not going to relax for another week…
I am even a little nervous putting this all out into the universe without it being closed, honestly.
But *hopefully* the end is near.

Which brings me to my final unposted blog:
The move.

Historically, I hate change.

I think I missed our first apartment for the first three years that Lance and I lived in Haslet.
Still to this day, I will sometimes day-dream about that one-bedroom on the third floor, with the windows open, the sound of the fountains down below and it always being immaculately clean.

I laugh about the special order furniture that kept us in camping chairs and cardboard boxes for the first two months there-- and the enormously over-sized bedroom furniture that I bought just two months before we moved out-- and had to get down 3 flights of stairs when we left.

We got married while living there--
We made life-long friends there too.
It was our first house together...
But it was just an apartment…
A really nice apartment...
Of only 800 square feet.

Almost seven years ago, we chose Haslet to be our home.
We chose the community before we ever picked a house.
We loved having everything at our fingertips—close enough to ‘home’ but not far from ‘the city’.

As soon as we became a family, however, we realized that getting back home was in our cards.
With that said, moving is no surprise.
We even got an "extra year", when we didn't send Maddox to kindergarten this fall.

We have known exactly where we would build and have been paying for that piece of land in the country for a year and a half now…

But it still change.

It is a closing to the first house that Lance and I bought together.
The biggest purchase that we have made to date, in our married lives.

Our neighbors have become part of our story too.
Especially Buster and Kelly, who we hate to leave the most.

This house is like a song-- with every little piece of it attached to a memory.

I can still remember where Lance was sitting when I handed him the card telling him we were expanding our family.

I can still see him standing at the half wall, later that same night, re-reading the card and crying.

Those walls have absorbed more fights than I care to admit, heartache, disappointments, late-night talks, threats that I was going to leave and pinky swears that can not be changed.

It is the house we brought Maddox home to, perfectly clean and sparkling from my mom who had busted her tail making it perfect for me.

It is the house that Beckham learned to pull up, to crawl and walk-- all on record breaking measures-- completely documented and blogged.

We filled that little space with more laughs than it should be able to hold, happiness, hope, love and encouragement.  We have tickled and giggled and played to the brim.  Shot more goals, flipped off more couches, and stirred more cups of chocolate milk than I can count.  It has been truly lived in by a couple of best friends, who are annoying and weird and hysterical... and their boys who made their mark in every square inch with melted icecream, urine, vomit, and crayons.

I know it is just a house, but it is where we made a home... and I kind of feel sad that they will probably not even remember it, aside from pictures that they'll see/

And for some reason, if I am completely honest, it also bothers me to think about it being someone else's place-- which is dumb.
The walls in the boys rooms will soon be painted with some shade of beige I am sure…
covering up the imperfect animals that my mom and I free-handed and painted, to match the over-priced bedding I just *had* to have.

Their room will probably hold a hard bed with itchy bedding and they'll have no idea the nights I found Lance asleep on the floor beneath the crib, scared the boys would fall out and break their necks--
or the amount of rocking, and singing, and story-reading, and prayers that I have poured into it the space between those 4 walls.

In my head, the front room that originally served as an office when Lance worked from home, will probably return back to that-- the stripes muted back to a business neutral.
As an office, it is where I would sit too, bothering my husband so that he couldn't work--
hashing out baby names and my irrational fears and tears of losing my pregnancy, and the wild dreams that I was sure was going to unfold, as we became rich and happy and blessed.

It is the same office where I paid our bills, drained our savings, and somehow managed to keep our credit scores perfect, (even five years later) when Lance lost his job, facing the reality that we were not rich, only clinging to happiness, but were somehow still blessed.

And then it was a playroom.
With toys, and swords, and fights and balls, and movies, and more PB&Js than are probably recommended.
It was our boys' place to be wild….er …than they are in the rest of the house.
And their spot for their creativity to explode.

But it is just a house.
Home is honestly where we are together.

And as crazy as it is to admit,
this pitiful little house, sitting right across the gully from the land that will soon hold our forever-home, already feels like home.

I can not wait for Thursday.

I am getting my groove back!