I've coming screeching back to reality after a wonderful weekend of camping. The great thing about where we go is that so many of the people camping there are related or are very close friends. My children can ride their bikes, play on the playground and roam around without having to have close adult supervision (except for swimming, of course). And then I came back home to a house filled with children who need constant supervision if I don't want my house demolished in less time than it would take a wrecking ball to clear out an entire section of the neighborhood.
It was so nice not having to listen to crying, whining and bickering. No dirty diapers and nap times to enforce. No schedules and no alarm clocks.
I can't wait to go again.
9:26 AM ~
Today's the day! We're going camping in our new (to us) camper for the first time since we bought it. I can't wait to sit around on the beach (at the lake, not the ocean), gabbing with my friends and sister, watching the kiddos swim, dipping in when it gets too hot, napping, drinking, reading...It's going to be great!
And listening to Radio Margaritaville has me not only in the mood for camping but also for my cruise coming up in January. Ahhhhhhhhh...
10:55 AM ~
It is amazing how two children born from the same set of parents and raised in the same household can be so completely different. For example:
Karate Kid: Does not require much sleep Drama Queen: Needs about 11 or 12 hours of sleep
KK: Is the pickiest eater ever and subsists on mostly junk. DQ: Will try just about anything, and loves eating healthy foods.
KK: Puts on whatever clothes his hand touches first. He will never, ever change for the rest of the day, no matter what the temperature or the style of clothes. DQ: Finds a favorite outfit and tries to wear it every day. When forced to wear something different, goes through 7 different outfits, finds one to wear part of the day, and then changes as soon as she is home.
KK: Loves, loves, loves to read DQ: Reads only when forced
KK: Tells way more than any person should ever know about our family DQ: Won't even say "Hi" without prompting and sometimes the threat of bodily harm
KK: Quit playing with his toys about 3 years ago when it finally dawned on him that if he didn't get them out, he didn't have to clean them up. His room is picked up almost all of the time. DQ: To walk across her room, one needs a shovel and/or a pick axe, a miner's helmet with the requisite mounted flashlight, and a tetanus shot.
Sometimes I am at a loss as to how to parents these two vastly different beings. Karate Kid and I are so much alike. We can have a great time together. However, since we both think we're the boss, we also have some huge, huge fights. We are both Type A personalities, walking 90mph and in a perpetual hurry.
Drama Queen is my laid back child. When she's not throwing one of her zillion fits because some piece of clothing doesn't feel right or I'm being the meanest mom ever, or...the list goes on and on. Talking to her makes me want to pull my hair out. It takes 20 minutes to have a 5 sentence conversation. And heaven help us if something else catches her attention (as it frequently does). She's an "Oooh, Shiny" kind of person. There's no hope of every finishing the conversation because she has no idea what was being discussed. She's also hopelessly slow, yet freaks about being late. I've learned to get her started earlier than her brother just so we have a chance of walking out the door at the same time.
We're complete opposites, but it works so well sometimes. She's giving and kind, I'm selfish and gruff. I miss out on a lot of things because I'm hurrying my way through life, she notices each and every detail and helps me enjoy the things I otherwise never would have seen. But we do have one area where we are alike: we are both shy. I can completely relate when she is scared to talk to someone new. She most definitely comes by it naturally.
So what to do about being the best parent I can be to the two best children ever? The only thing I know how to do: pray. Hard.
9:50 AM ~
When The Hubster and I met, he had quite the hairdo. Remember Guy Smiley from Sesame Street? Same hair. The Hubster's even looked plastic. He put so much hairspray on it, if the wind blew, he had a whole hair flap thing that would stand straight up and then lay right back down, every hair still in place. Since he was/is so very vain, I never, no never, saw him without his hair perfectly coiffed. That is until...The Day.
On The Day, I was headed over to his house. I didn't show up early, but I caught him mowing the lawn. He had not had time to do his hair yet, so I literally did not recognize him at first. The only way I knew it was him was from his clothes. No longer Guy Smiley, he now was an official member of The Beatles. I could not even see his eyes.
His hairstyle has since transformed from Plastic Man to Barely There Man. He now gets his hair buzzed to about a quarter of an inch long. Here's the insane part: he puts gel in it every morning. And then wears a hard hat all day. And then comes home, showers again, and puts more gel in it. Every day.
For whatever reason, I chose to marry the man. I should have worried that my children would be born with snap-on plastic hair a la Mr. Potato Head. I guess I was counting on them inheriting my thick, beautiful and always perfectly styled hair. *snort* Okay, okay, thick hair then. What I didn't count on was my son inheriting my thick hair and his father's hairline. Think an "M." The poor child's hair has two spots right on either side of his forehead that sticks straight up. We buzz his hair just so he doesn't get beat up at school.
Drama Queen, on the other hand, is a whole different story. The ultrasound tech told us that the little things we saw floating back and forth like a sea anemone were hair. I didn't realize that meant Hair. The nurses had tied a piece of yarn in her hair and made a little bow when they cleaned her up and brought her to my room. I gave the child a haircut when she was four days old. She had the nickname Papoose for the first year of her life. She was adorable.
But, alas, she inherited her father's stick straight, thin hair. Once it gets past her shoulders, we start calling her Helen Keller. She looks like Annie Sullivan should be teaching her the sign for water as she primes the water pump.
She told me a few days ago that she wanted to wear sponge rollers to bed so she could have curls in her hair and wear a pretty dress to school. Since the last day of school is tomorrow, I bought some rollers last night and wound her up. I was dreading this morning because I knew it would turn into a crying fit of "It's too curly! I look like a dork!" until we brushed the curl out or washed her hair.
Steeling myself for the screams, I cautiously started to remove the rollers. I needn't have worried. Apparently her stick straight hair doesn't like to curl no matter what you put in it. She had the slightest wave in the bottom of her hair, which I think looked quite good. No crying over frizzy, scrunched up curls could be heard. Instead it was, "It didn't curl! It's all your fault, Mom. I told you they needed to be tighter!" (they did not).
I hope for her sake that straight hair is always fashionably in.
When I was little, my brother and I used to go spend a week during the summer with my grandparents. My grandpa had the coolest thing ever to a young child--a hammock. "Bubba" and I probably drove them crazy fighting over it.
After a few years and another sibling later, my grandparents moved closer to us. We still spent a week with them, but it was a total change. From the heat and flatness of Texas to the hills of the Ozarks in Arkansas (Makes me want to sing "And I'm proud to be an American, where at least I know I'm free..."). My grandparents used all of their savings and retirement and built a house in a retirement community. It is beautiful over there. I don't know how many hours we spent exploring the woods around their house or swimming in the lake that was just out of sight around the curve. The thing I liked most about their house was the screened-in deck that they built on the back. Because their house was built on the side of a hill, you walked in the front door at ground level, but the deck was suspended off the backside of the hill. It was exciting and just a little bit scary all at the same time. The deck was the new home of the infamous hammock.
I must have been the most boring child ever to spend a week with. Either that or I was the easiest. I would sleep in some, eat breakfast, choose one of my grandmother's Christian romance paperbacks and head to the hammock. I spent the rest of the day there, leaving only for meals and bathroom breaks. I read a book a day for the entire week, year after year.
For years I have wanted my own hammock, but I've just never bought one. My grandpa's hammock ended up over at my parents' house, where I saw it out in the backyard at Easter. I, of course, began the campaign to become the new owner, not knowing that it had already been given to my sister.
That really put the idea in my head, so I began telling both of my children I wanted a hammock for Mother's Day. I think this is only the second year ever that I've actually asked for something. But it was worth it. Not only did I get a hammock, I got a double one. It will be perfect for when I read to the kids. Since there's such an age gap and gender difference, I always read different books to them. I have visions of lying in the hammock with each one of them, losing ourselves in the stories we are reading and enjoying some fresh air. Those will be wonderful memories for me, and I hope great ones for them also.
Since I'm busy finishing my last order of a side "business" that I do, I haven't had a chance to plant myself in it for more than 10 minutes, and I certainly haven't had the chance to settle down with a good book. That time is fast approaching, though, because my order is due Monday. I see many lazy days lost in a good book in my near future.
Thanks for the memories, Granny and Grandpa.
8:59 AM ~
Last night there was a conflict with the Tivo. The 2 hour finale of The Amazing Race was on, but it conflicted with American Idol. I let the Tivo record Amazing Race, and we watched Idol. The only problem is that we don't have one of the dual recording Tivo's, so we were all piled in our bed. I guess we had a little family togethness.
While we were watching, Drama Queen had to get up to get a drink or some other errand, so she asked me to pause it. I had to tell her it was regular tv and that we couldn't pause it. Not 5 minutes later she asked me to rewind it so she could see something again. I once again explained that the tv in the bedroom was one of the relics without Tivo.
Karate Kid summed it up quite nicely: "It sucks not having Tivo." Amen and amen.
8:11 AM ~
For all one of you that reads this right now, my exile is almost over. My last order is due Monday. Hopefully I'll get back to a more normal blogging schedule...if I ever think of something to write about.
Here's a study in what is wrong with humanity...or me specifically. Some kind of sickness is running through the troops around here. I would never, ever wish that one of them would be sick, but is it wrong that I am so thrilled that I get a break of sorts? Every day this week I have had some kiddos gone. By naptime on Monday I only had two still here, the easiest two to care for. Both of them left early, so I was done with my day by 3:45. Yesterday I sent another one home sick, so that was another unexpected little break. Today I only have 3 of the usual 5. Of course Her Royal Grouchiness (11mo with an ear infection. Fun!) is making up for the other two being gone.
So am I accomplishing anything with this little break? Absolutely not. I've just been puttering around in low gear. The way I look at it, I'm storing up energy for when they all come back. Yeah, we'll just say that's what I'm doing.
9:49 AM ~
There are only 9 days of school left. Normally I am counting them down because I can't wait for the kids to be home. I love the laziness of summer, specifically my laziness of not having to pack lunches, check homework and get the kids to bed at a decent time. This is the first year ever that I am somewhat dreading it. I just don't know if I can handle their bickering and fighting all summer long.
Next year is going to be one tough year too. My baby is going to 6th grade. He will no longer be at the elementary school. Waaaaaa! And Drama Queen will be in 3rd grade, the year where the teachers love to torture the kids in the name of learning responsibility. That means that I am also tortured. At least we know what she will be expected to learn next year, so we'll be working on multiplication tables and cursive over the summer. I intend for us both to have a fighting chance once the new year rolls around.
So while I may be prepared to get a head start on academics, what in the world am I going to do to keep my children from killing each other over the summer? Or from sending me to the loony bin?
10:22 AM ~
I. cannot. believe. the outcome of American Idol last night! I just knew that Chris was going to win. I didn't want him to win, but I was sure he was the next Idol. Even though I'm rooting for Taylor (31 votes this week, thank you very much), I did feel sorry for Chris when Ryan told him he was going home. Talk about totally unexpected! And then having to sing after hearing the news. Poor guy. Everybody knows that he'll get a recording contract anyway.
None of that can take away from the fact that Taylor is still in the running! You go, Taylor.
7:58 AM ~
Last night, we were having problems getting Drama Queen to stay in bed. She didn't get to bring the puppy in her room because she hadn't cleaned it (her room, not the puppy--although I would be thrilled if she would clean both). She finally settled for taking our oldest dog into her room. That worked for a little while, but then she called Daddy into her room. As he was finding and putting in the requested CD for her listening pleasure, I overheard this conversation:
DQ: Daddy, Sudie wants you to lay down with her. The Hubster: No, I'm not going to lay down. I'm going back in the other room. DQ: But, Daddy! What if this was the last night she was ever alive? You would feel bad if she died and you missed your last chance to lay down with her.
Yep, she's well on her way to motherhood guilt trips.
8:18 AM ~
Karate Kid and I had a great time at the amusement park yesterday. Not only did it not rain, but we both ended up with sunburned noses. Someone *cough the bad mom*cough didn't even think about sunscreen. And I only got nauseous on one ride. That one was enough to make me swear off the Tilt-a-Whirl for the rest of my life, Dramamine or no.
Watching some of his friends who wouldn't ride anything other than the bumper cars, I got a taste of what that same field trip will be like with Drama Queen. Polar opposites, those two.
We've had a case of the sore throat/possible strep throat bug around here. As a consequence, both kiddos woke with the knowledge that no one was coming over to play. It is amazing what a quiet, peaceful day we've had. That and Karate Kid not spending 5 hours trying to convince his sister to jump on the trampoline with him.
I'm going to go bask in the glow of their sibling love while it lasts.
6:10 PM ~
Why is it that we have been in a drought for the entire fall and winter, but as soon as I get a puppy I am trying to house break, the rain won't cease? The puppy and Drama Queen? Go hand in hand. Sassy doesn't like her royal paws to get wet and cold.
The rains also came the week of both kiddos field trips. Drama Queen and The Hubster managed to dodge it all yesterday while they were at the zoo. Karate Kid and I are praying and holding our breath as we head out to the amusement park tomorrow. We've been looking forward to this since kindergarten, so I hope we have nice weather--or at least no rain.
Rain, rain, go away. At least until Saturday.
11:46 AM ~