Sweet P

This has been a tough week for my daughter. MotherAndBabyGiraffe1

When we moved here almost 2 years ago we didn’t know very many people. She was enrolled in a summer day camp program but didn’t specifically make any friends. When she started in her new school she came home saying she made a friend! I was bursting with joy. The road for my daughter had been bumpy the last few years and it was great that school started on a high note.

When I met this little girl I was surprised my daughter hadn’t mentioned she was in a wheelchair. But it was JUST LIKE her to look past something as silly as this, and focus on the person sitting in the chair. That is one of my daughter’s special talents. Every day I would hear more funny stories about the two kids pal-ing around.

But just as suddenly as the friendship started—it ended. My daughter’s friend was born with MD (muscular dystrophy). It can affect arms and leg muscles, and it can also affect heart and lungs. This little girl passed away one weekend quite suddenly.

Having to break this news to my little girl was devastating. The following events (wake, funeral, school assemblies) were almost too much for her to bear. She did a pretty good job at trying to forget it ever happened. Until she would see another child in a wheelchair, or until another group would have a memorial for her, or something planted in her name. The community outpouring of love for this girl was beautiful.

This week was the anniversary of her birthday and the school was going to ask kids to wear her favorite color and create a poem to be read during the school announcements. My daughter said she wanted to skip school that day. I didn’t blame her. But I also told her I would think about it.

Over the course of the week, I had her talk to her teacher, her psychologist, and me. Her school was so supportive about my daughter’s feelings they offered a variety of ways to help her through the school day. In the end she spent much of her morning with the Kindergarten teacher, helping with the little kids. This teacher was also very close to the family and was in need of support. The two of them helped each other that morning. Later on I got a wonderful phone call from that teacher, telling me how great it was to have my daughter in class due to her own sorrow.

As her mother my knee-jerk reaction to my children’s pain is to try to do everything to get rid of it. I have to fix them, to make them happy again. But I do them a disservice when I intrude sometimes. What a beautiful teaching moment this was for my daughter. I wasn’t suppose to have the answers for her. It was God’s plan to have her learn this lesson from another. Therefore 2 lives were made better.

In loving memory of ♥

Scared

Once again, it’s that time: the time I drive my kids to see their father. He lives quite far so we meet up at a halfway point. The kids get to see him only 2-3 times a year. For me, that’s more than enough.

Since our divorce I feel like we have become strangers to each other. I barely know or understand him anymore. So, why wouldn’t I be scared about letting a stranger watch my kids for a week?

Last night I went out and bought the girl a pre-paid phone. She is aware of the chronic issues her father deals with, even if she doesn’t fully understand them. She knows what he ISN’T suppose to consume while they are with him. She knows to call for help if she ever needs it. And it completely saddens me that she has to deal with this at such a young age.

I haven’t always been a religious person. Now I’d say I was more spiritual. I believe in a higher power. I have seen my HP work wonders I cannot ever explain. I know is sounds hokey, but when I pray to my HP, I actually see results. No shit. So I am praying for my children’s safety and happiness for the next week. I am also praying I will relax a little and enjoy the much needed break.

Heaven Help Me

Can I Bitch?

Well I’m going to anyway.

So, I’ve been a mother for what feels like forever a long time. I have been single-mothering-it for a few years now. Not as long as some, but more than enough for me.

I am getting married in October. Yeah! To this amazing, awesome guy who says to me, “You should really try to spend more time by yourself. Get out of the house and do something for YOU.” And he really means it. I know, awesome.

However, finding something to do for me, that fits around the rest of the family’s schedules is like threading a pool noodle through a needle. But I did my part and thought of something I’d LIKE to do for myself. Tai Chi.

Not only does it get me out of the house, it’s great for people with Rheumatoid Arthritis who need to stay active without hurting themselves. Bonus! Problem is…scheduling. There are 3 places that teach Tai Chi here. ALL THREE of them have their beginner classes on the same days, at the same time. Really people? Seriously? Of the 2 offered nights, only 1 is good for me. But it coincides with the fiancés martial arts class. So now I have to hire a babysitter.

I didn’t really have the money for the class, much less the money for a weekly babysitter. But this will be GOOD for me, right? Today’s the first class. And youuuuu guessed it. I have a sick kid. Luckily she isn’t all that sick (tummy ache, no vomiting.) So it’s still a go.

Then the babysitter calls and says she is puking. OK. Now I text another babysitter. And wait. She says yes. But I have to pick this one up. OK.

I call the pediatrician and schedule an appointment for the girl on the couch to make sure her tummy ache (which really has been coming and going for 3 weeks) isn’t something more serious. But it’s at 4:00 pm.

So, I will grab the boy off the bus at 3:40 and pack the sickie and the boy in the van to go to the appointment. Hopefully I don’t have to hit the pharmacy after. We should be home 4:45? 5:00? Just enough time to get everyone home and settled on the couch. Then I need to cook something for dinner. Something for dinner…dinner…I forgot I needed more oodles of noodles for the girl for dinner. So I have to add a trip to the store. Also need cat litter.

OK, dinner is cooking, noodles have been purchased…now to pack everyone BACK into the van to get the babysitter by 5:30. Get back home and instruct sitter to feed everyone the dinner(s) I cooked. Then RUN out the door to go to my new, stress-reducing, calming, soal-centering class without getting a speeding ticket by 6:00.

Isn’t it great to do something for myself?

House Rules

The other day I instituted House Rules again. It’s been a few years.

House Rules

House Rules

The kids and I sat down and decided together what the rules should be, and what the consequences would be for breaking them. There were a lot of laughs, and jokes, and ridiculous suggestions: consequence #1, no pants. #2, no talking, #3, someone farts on you…

In the end we came up with a good list and reasonable punishments. But in the middle of writing them out the boy throws a toy across the room (Rule #3) and he eagerly asked, “Do I have to do a 10-minute Timeout now?”

I explained, no, we are still writing the rules.

Later on, after we taped them up and signed them the boy comes back to me, asking, “Do I have to do my timeout now?”

I was puzzled. “Do you want to do the timeout?”

He jumped up and down, “Yes Yes!”

This has got to be a first. Ever.

Presents…We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Presents

badly-wrapped-presentI was getting the bath ready for the girl, when the boy asked, “Momma, what am I going to do while she is in the bath?”

I replied, “I dunno.”

He replied, “Oh, I KNOW! I could wrap presents for her!”

I stopped mid-((whatever I was doing)) and smiled.

“Yes, yes you can wrap presents.”

So they both wrapped 3 presents for each other, and I wrapped none. Sure, they look like Martha Stewart’s anti-christ presents. But who cares.

WINNING!

The Power of The Simpson’s Compels You

I have been trying to get out to get my custom shoe inserts for a while now. My feet hurt again, even though the cortizone shots were suppose to work for 6 months. But I haven’t had a free lunch hour in weeks. It’s either this appt for the girl, or that appt for the boy, or grocery shopping. Today was suppose to be the day.
Then work happened.
{{I’m not 100% sure I can grip about work here}}

So I square everything away only to realize I still cannot go! I won’t be back in time to get the kids from the bus. So now I have to get the kids FROM school and bring them with me. Then the boy drops a toy under the back seat, into some floor vent and is hysterical. It’s a part of his Ninjago set.
REALLY!?

Now I am dismantling the car, in the cold, and my ARRGGG meter has already blown up. How do I stop myself from throttling the boy like Homer does to Bart? I think back to 20 minutes before, when we were riding in the car and the kids were quoting lines from “The Simpson Movie.” Yes, yes. It’s PG-13 and inappropriate for kids. Much of it goes over their head. But you know it’s funny…really funny…

“We have a great life here in Alaska, and we’re never going back to America again!”

___________

Marge: Homer, you have to go out there, face that mob, and apologize for what you did.
Homer: I would, but I’m afraid if I open the door, they’ll take all of you!
Carl: No we won’t. We just want Homer!
Homer: Well, maybe not you, but they’ll kill Grandpa!
Grandpa: I’m part of the mob!

______________

[Bart claps]
Lisa: What are you doing, Bart?
Bart: Eh, just passing the time.
[Bart claps, snow repeatedly falls on Homer]
Homer: Aw, my boy loves Alaska so much, he’s applauding it. Lisa, why aren’t you clapping?
Lisa: But Dad!
Homer: [sternly] Clap for Alaska!
[Lisa claps along with Bart]
Homer: [Homer is buried under an avalanche]

__________

…and then I smile again.

10 Things I’m Thankful for & Reasons to Bitch this Thanksgiving

  1. I only had bronchitis and not pneumonia
  2. The dealership I bought a used minivan from began shuddering 20 miles into the first leg of a 1,600 mile trip
  3. During the first leg I had to stop for kid pee breaks 8 times.
  4. We were able to keep the shudder to a minimum by staying under 70 mph during the 2nd leg of the trip
  5. The tire shop I brought the van to told me, “This is a MUCH bigger problem than just wheel balancing. Go to a dealership”
  6. The in-town (not my hometown) dealership told me I needed wheel balancing.
  7. After paying for the 2nd wheel balancing of the day I was told I actually needed a new transmission.
  8. Due to hurricane Sandy the only rental car agency that HAD cars was 1 hour north at the airport.
  9. Driving home from the airport we hit a freak snow storm but the rental did pretty good.
  10. After the 4th leg of the trip was finished I got a call saying it was NOT the transmission but the tire was full of WATER (long explanation). Axle repaired, tire repaired, car ready. But I am 2.5 hours from where the car resides and it’s Wednesday.

Take Action

So I’ve mentioned I am my daughter’s girl scout leader. Sure, I complained about it. Who needs another project to do with all your copious free time, right? Except on nights like last night when the girls impress me so much, I go home on cloud nine.

Girl Scouting has changed. It’s not just about badges and camping anymore. Now it’s about Journey’s—specific theme-based projects where you learn valuable life lessons about yourself, your community, leadership, and communication. Oh, and you still earn badges.

Our girls decided to do the Get Moving! journey which talks about the environment, global energy, recycling, and our own energy. We talked about different kinds of energy—electricity, solar power, wind power, and our own bodies way of making energy. We had to tie this into our Take Action Project—a project where you do a community service, but take it a step further by working within your community to solve a problem and see if you can design a solution that continues to flourish after we finish. Yeah, to say I was panicking about how we were going to accomplish that, is an understatement.

This is where I don’t give these little girls enough credit because they weren’t panicked at all. They decided to piggy-back on “Bike Rodeo” day here in town. Why not put signs up all over town advertising to take in your old bikes? We could wash them, pump up their tires, and donate them. There is a guy near here who takes in old bikes and refurbishes them. How do we make this project continue on without our help? We make signs and ask permission to place them at school, on the well-known bike path, or at the playground. The signs would alert people to donate their used bikes to the used-bike guy.

I know. The solution seems simple, now that it’s down on paper. And they did it all themselves. But seriously, I was really anxious about how I was going to coach them through, what I thought was, an amazingly daunting task. They took the challenge, shrugged, and spit out a solution as easy as if I asked them to explain to me how to tweet.

These are the moments that make leading a girl scout troop an amazing honor.

Sick Kids

The girl often has stomach trouble. It might be stress, it might be that she doesn’t drink enough water, it might be a bug. You never know with her. And of course the ONE day I decide to take a stand, to MAKE her go to school because she isn’t acting sick enough—I get a call from the nurse saying she has spewed her lunch all over the floor.

{{smacking my forehead}}

Do you have a kid like this? Do you make them power through or let them stay home? How do you decide?

Discuss.