Tuesday, August 27, 2013

when the dog eats a DVD (and I eat cookie dough)

This second week of the semester is going better than the first. Sure, I hid in the kitchen yesterday afternoon and ate cookie dough out of the bowl while the kids watched an episode of VeggieTales. But I haven't cried so far this week. Not even when my minivan died momentarily at an intersection and people honked at me.  Always helpful to be honked at. That makes me remain level-headed and also magically makes my car start up again.

The dog ate Bubby's favorite movie while he was at preschool. When he came home and I told him, he cried and kept saying, "What a sad, sad day. I'm so sad. What a sad, sad day." Scout came over to comfort him with a lick and a sniff which only made him yell at her to go away and repeat, "What a sad, sad day." It was equally heartbreaking and hilarious.

Bugaboo has had a lot of good moments lately to counteract the moments where he just screams, (like today at naptime and bedtime). He is obsessed with the Pete the Cat books. He flips through them and "reads" them. I think it is because of the Groovy Button book that he has been fixated on belly buttons today, which he calls, "Button-Button!!" He says it with a lot of enthusiasm, and then says, "Oh, fun-ny." His intonation for "funny" is just like my friend, Christy, from high school, and I think of her every time he says it. He also likes the word, "groovy," now.

I signed up for a 5K - The Glow Run - which I am hoping is low-key for my first 5K since I still stink at running.  I don't get to the gym as often as I need to. I have days on the treadmill when I want to cry. But I can't because people would stare and my inner-Jillian/Tom Hanks combo is screaming, "There's no crying in baseball!" So some days I don't push myself, and I end up walking more than I should. Yesterday I did push myself, and it felt horribly great. Today I cursed myself for even signing up for a run - me the girl who never got an A in P.E. Learning to run is teaching me much more about myself than it is teaching me to run.  I am not sure how I feel about that.

One final bit of news - tomorrow I go in for a combined IFSP (think IEP) and transition meeting for Bugaboo. In December he ages out of First Steps, so we have to begin the process now of seeing what services he will qualify for in our school district's early childhood special education program.  I have a lot of thoughts I am processing about this as well.

Some random good stuff from the last week:
  • Dinner all by myself on Thursday night. Glorious.
  • My four-year old insisting that the dress I was wearing were jammies.
  • My two-year old saying, "Hold you." and "Hug you." when he wanted to be held/hugged.
  • Bugaboo starting Awana - he gets to be in a class with his peers instead of staying in the nursery.
  • Bubby and I hit up Lowes for the first time for their free workshop. We built a very sad looking airplane, but we had a good time.
  • Ann Voskamp's words of wisdom, "There are weeds and disappointments and seeming failures. There are days that tear out still-beating chunks of your bare heart, whole seasons that feel like every breath is through burning smoke. There is always hope. The real essence of the universe is endless grace – which is the theological term for surprises."

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

an exhausted update (a.k.a. mommy drinks frufru coffee during preschool hour)

Too tired for paragraphs, so let me recap the last week or so.

PreK open house/orientation.

Sick kids with fevers during the most beautiful days of last week (of course).
Fever-free by Saturday so we do manage to go play at the park for a little bit.

Pioneer Woman cinnamon rolls Sunday evening after church. Ah-maz-ing. (Even better the next day reheated.)

The Hubs' third semester of nursing school started yesterday.

The boys testing me/having meltdowns in this transition back to not having The Hubs around as much.

Trips to the library story time and the pool because most people are back in school. Hooray! I hate crowds.

Therapists talking to me about Bugaboo's transition from First Steps to the Early Childhood system. Meeting  next week for the first step in that process.  Hard conversations.

Bugaboo amazing therapists and strangers with his capital letter recognition.  Bugaboo being frustrated with who knows what five times a day at home. Bugaboo smiling and laughing at the shaving cream sensory activity.

Scout (the dog) digging a hole one cannot see beneath the fence and escaping into the neighborhood not once but twice today.  Hole is now filled.  Dog is back home.

Bubby happy to start preK. He did not even want to say good-bye to me today. He wanted to go play.  Bubby not so happy that Mommy went to Starbucks without him and accidentally left the evidence in the car.

I told him he had a snack a preschool  He is smart enough to realize graham crackers do not compare to an iced caramel machiatto.

(Hey look at that - at some point I started writing sentences and small paragraphs. I guess I'm not that exhausted!)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

then and now - preschool

Today Bubby had his preschool Open House - or as his class is labeled, "PreK." He was very excited to see his new room. So excited that he did not want me to make him stop and smile for a picture in front of his door.  He stopped (briefly), but did not smile. There was a new place to explore.

He spent a large chunk of his time in the science and nature center, and equal time at every other center except the one where he had to fill in a picture of his face. He rushed through that as he is not fan of coloring or drawing. Painting, yes. "Chalking,"(as he calls it) yes. But crayons or markers - no thanks.

Here is a side by side comparison of last year's open house day to this year's:

Excuse me while I go cry my eyes out. And after I'm done doing that, I am going to start praying he smiles for his back-to-school picture next week because last year he did not.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Mondays, mommy-hood, and monotony

I made us wake up at a normal hour today. In all honesty it was because Bug's physical therapist was coming at eight today instead of her usual one on Thursdays. I needed everyone dressed, fed, and the house in order before the session started.  But it was a good excuse to get us out of the mode of sleeping in - as we have been doing most of the summer. (Although on baby-sitting days I would drag myself and the boys out of bed twenty-ish minutes before the client was to arrive.)

Have I mentioned sleep is my love language? It is. Sleep. Coffee. Carbs. Love languages. And if I can have all of that plus some free time, than I know you really, really love me.

It's one o'clock now, and I am dragging. I cannot sing another story or read another book. Luckily the boys are playing Legos happily in their room for now.

I cannot believe I used to get up before the sun, go to a job (and get there an hour before the students) and teach on my feet all day. I wonder how I would survive if I did that today. I probably wouldn't.  But I guess other people wouldn't survive doing what I am doing either. Driving to therapy appointments, doing exercises recommended at those appointments, trying to figure out Bug's meltdowns and trying to figure out how to be all that Bubby needs me to be, too. Taking the kids to the pool and the library and the park, but most of the time trying to find ways to educate and entertain them here at home for free.

I remember a discussion in college with a dear friend about how monotonous life would probably be as a mother. Getting up and doing the same thing every day. Some days it definitely feels monotonous.  Laundry. Dishes. Books. Clutter. Meals. Baths. There are plastic dinosaurs on my couch and puzzles on my table and dog fur in the corners of each room.

Yes, we were right. It is monotonous. But it is important. And it is good. And most weeks there is some sense of adventure, even if that adventure is just a large box from Amazon being pounced upon in our living room. But for now, I am hoping for a rainy day nap. I was never afforded that at my old job, and  I try to take full advantage of it in this current job of mine.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

when all feels right in my world (a hodgepodge post)

Some days almost everything feels right in the world.

A couple of nights ago The Hubs and I stayed up late discussing things that needed to be discussed.  We had some horrible arguments in earlier years in our marriage, so even though our late night chat was difficult at the end of it I was encouraged. Encouraged by how far we've come in communication and encouraged by the fact that I can't remember the last time we've had a really bad argument.

Then last night we stayed up cackling (okay he laughed, I cackled) because right before I went to bed, I stumbled upon #sharkhymns for shark week on Twitter. Our contributions: "I'll Bite Away," "There is a balm in Gill-ead,"  "Shark the Herald Angels Sing," and "I Come to the Ocean Alone."  Our favorites from other people, "Grace Greater Than All My Fins," "Jesus, Friend of Swimmers," and "I Have Decided to Swallow Jesus."

Thank goodness I believe God has a sense of humor.

This afternoon I looked over at Bubby in his play kitchen. I don't even remember now what he was doing, but all of a sudden he looked taller. And older. And I felt my heart get caught in my throat because he looked four going on fourteen. It was all I could do to not cry.

He loves to help his little brother. The other morning I spied them with animal flashcards out, and Bubby was saying the animals and encouraging Bugaboo to say them.   Then yesterday I overheard the one-sided conversation, filled with older brother wisdom. "Scout licks her butt sometimes. She does. So you don't want to lick her." 

I had a headache this afternoon, so I sat on the couch and watched the boys play near me. They were playing with all of the play kitchen stuff - mostly my mixing bowls and spoons from the real kitchen. Later in the afternoon I put on a DVD, but Bugaboo didn't want to watch. Instead he got up and resumed playing. 

But here's the amazing thing. Normally he just walks around Bubby, banging the bowls and putting the felt food into the bowls.  However, today he began to engage in pretend/imitating real life play. He was pretending to cook. "Cook cook cook." he said as he stirred the spoon in the bowl. Then he pretended to lick "i-cream" off a spoon, and then offered  me the spoon to pretend to lick. This may seem small, but it is a very good thing. Thank You Jesus for milestones like this.

See? All feels right with the world tonight.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

five minute friday - story

Each week Lisa-Jo gives us a prompt and we write on it for five minutes. No editing or over thinking. Then we link up and encourage one another.  Ready to try? This week's prompt is story.


I bought spiral notebooks this week, as I do every end of July/early August.  The smell of paper, the way the pages flip through my fingers gives me a sort of high.

In my childhood home there was a small closet in the hallway that housed an ironing board, odds and ends, and school supplies including a big stack of notebooks.  Oh, how I loved when I was told I could get a brand new notebook.

Sometimes I wrote on the front "Private. Do not read. Stay out." Dotting my i's with hearts, of course. I recorded my hopes and dreams and all the drama an eleven year old can encounter. But mostly I wrote stories.  I believed them to be just as good as the Judy Blume and Ann M. Martin books I was devouring. They were about friends and family and everything I wanted my life to be like.

Somewhere along the way I think I have lost my love for writing a story. Not so much the love for it as much as I have become my own biggest critic. The delete button is much easier than crossing out ink from a blue Bic ink pen. I want to just tell stories and be just as impressed with them as I was at eleven.


what I learned in July

August is here and back-to-school is just a few weeks away. For our house, this means The Hubs is back to his nursing classes on top of his counseling job. It means Bubby goes back to preschool a couple of mornings a week, and I soak in some one-on-one time with Bugaboo. But before I get sucked into the highs and lows of August, I'm recapping what I learned in July and linking up with Emily's group about what we've learned.

1. I can run (jog) an entire mile now without stopping to walk/rest. I think if I got up to the gym more than twice a week I could probably do better. But considering I didn't even know this milestone was possible, I am feeling pretty good.

2. I cannot stick with clean eating. I love bread products. I love fru-fru coffee. I love ice cream. Basically if I hear a food crying out, "Unclean! Unclean!" I will probably want to eat it. I would rather have a crappy cheeseburger from McDonald's than grilled tilapia any day of the week.

3. Adding OT every week for Bugaboo has been a very good thing. He has only had three sessions so far, but they have been very positive experiences. I wish I would have added this to our schedule months ago.His once a month in home just wasn't enough. Live and learn.

4. Girl friends are important.  I have shied away from many friendships over the last few years for a few reasons, some valid, some probably not.  I went outlet shopping with a few gals from church this month, and though I only bought a pair of jeans just getting out of the house to try on clothes, eat lunch, and talk was a very good thing. Meeting a friend for coffee one evening and hanging out with some other moms while our kids played were also good things this month - reaffirming the importance of girlfriends of all ages and phases. I am thankful for the friends God provides at just the right time.

5. I like wearing dresses. It is amazing how much more put together I look just by trading out my jeans for a cotton summer dress. Still no make-up. Still low-maintenance hair. But put on a dress? Everyone asks you if you have plans that day or tells you that you look nice.  (Also, it is too hot out for yoga pants AND they have giant holes in them - both pairs.)

6. Buying school supplies and researching curriculum and educational theory still makes my heart happy. It's a sickness really.  I manged to only buy two boxes of crayons this year instead of my usual six.

7. Holidays are fun at this phase of life. Even though it was at the beginning of the month, which seems so long ago now, I really enjoyed the Fourth of July through my kids' eyes. Parades, Bubby pestering us about grilling (all summer long actually), and sparklers. The only thing that would have made it better would have been homemade ice cream at Mimi and Papa's like when I was a kid.