Monday, June 30, 2008

Inches From Lunacy

Today was a rough day. A. Rough. Day.

Remember that easy-going laid back mom that I was "so good" at portraying lately? Yeah, well, she left today. She packed up her things and hit the road. She was all, "I'm outta here! You're on your own!" And I was all, "Oh come on! Just give them a chance. They are just little kids!" And she was all, "Nope. They are hellions. Destructors. Loonies. I'm outtie!"

The little monsters pushed me over the edge all day. Pretty much nonstop. So much so that I actually started thinking that drinking in the middle of the day might be a good idea. It was either that or me running out of the house waving my hands madly in the air screaming all kinds of obscenities. Neither seemed like a very good idea. Luckily, I was able to maintain some sort of semi-clear head until their nap time.

That's when I started drinking. No. Just kidding. That is when I finished up the rest of my 18 loads of laundry, put the rest of the groceries away, and cleaned up the dishes from lunch. Miraculously the hubby came home early and was smart enough to notice the pursed lips and wide-eyed evil stare. After a few pretty snippy comments from me he said, "Why don't you just go for your run now and get some of that sass out of ya?" So I did. And luckily for my family, it worked.

Of course coming home and seeing Joey and Tommy picking all my flowers and leaves off of my plants didn't really keep me in the greatest mood, but I was certainly able to maintain calm. And I wasn't exactly thrilled that they didn't listen the first 10 times I told them to stop throwing each other off the couch while I was making dinner, but at least I didn't go red-faced loony of them.

But they did eat dinner fairly calmly. The hubby had promised them that if they behaved and ate nicely we would take them to fly their new Spiderman kites down at the lake. So, they managed to eat well, and behave well.

After dinner it was a mad dash to clean up the dishes, change a diaper, get shoes on, and get faces and hands washed while the hubby put the kites together. We only had about an hour before we had to get them back home and ready for bed so we wanted to get moving. The boys were in the car, the kites were assembled, and we were on our way for our first kite flying adventure.

We got to the lake and ran over to the open field. No breeze. Hmm. That makes kite flying a bit more challenging. Still, can't disappoint the little fellas seeing as how they were being so good for the first time that day. Todd and I ran our butts off getting those kites in the air. When we finally did Todd's kite fell apart and my string broke. I guess that is what happens when you buy a $2.00 kite. We worked as quickly and diligently as possible to put them back together. After finally getting them fixed and back up in the air we handed the strings over to the boys.

Tommy held onto his for about a minute and then said, "Can we go to the park instead, 'cause this is boring."

So we hauled in the kites, packed them back into the car, and went to the park to finish up our perfectly loony day.

Yes, it was a crazy day and a crazy month. I'll be glad to start a new day and a new month tomorrow.

It's Hard To Be The Heavy

It was just before bedtime and Todd told the boys they should start cleaning up their toys. They both groaned and headed over to their toy box. Joey began diligently picking up toys and putting them back in their designated spots. Tommy ever so slowly would pick up a toy, look at it, and start to play with it. Todd again reminded him to clean up.

Tommy dropped the toy in the toy box and then began playing with the next toy. This routine continued with each toy that he picked up. I gave him two more reminders to pick up the toys, not play with the them, and that if I had to tell him one more time then he would have to sit on the naughty step.

He decided to test me, ignored my instructions, and kept playing with the toy.

I said, in a very exhausted and annoyed voice, "Alright, that's ENOUGH! Get your BUTT on this naughty step and SIT here until I come to GET you!"

Knowing that I meant business he hurried his little tush over to the step and sat down. When his time was up I called him over to me. I explained that he knew he should have been listening and that for him to ignore what daddy and I told him was not right. He apologized and gave me a big kiss.

"I love you, Thomas" I told him.

"I love you too, mumma" he repeated back to me. And with a big smile, batting his long eyelashes at me and patting my cheek he said, "Now you're back to being a nice mumma!"

Friday, June 27, 2008

Summer At It's Best

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek
This week was a week of firsts for my boys. Especially Benny. He got to see all the best things about summer, and he was loving it. They all were.

We found a fabulous park right behind my dad's nursing home complete with a merry-go-round! The boys had never even seen a merry-go-round before because some all-wise-power-that-be decided to take them out of all the public parks. Such a disgrace. I was so excited to find this one. We all jumped on and I taught the boys one of my favorite park games from my childhood. Dropped it, got it. Do you know it? You all lie down on your bellies on the merry-go-round, spin it around, and take turns dropping a stick on the ground for everyone to try and grab. The person who grabs the stick off the ground is the next one to drop it. You try and drop it way under the merry-go-round or far enough out to make it really hard to reach. Doesn't sound like much, but it is a ton of fun.

Joey loved to be the pusher and then jump on when it finally got fast enough. Grandpa was just off camera sitting at a picnic table laughing and enjoying watching the boys. It was a great day and now the boys want to go visit grandpa all the time. hehe

This week the weather finally got warm enough to set up the pool for the first time. It was also the first time Ben was able to play in the pool. Last year he was too new. I think he liked it.
And it was the first time the big boys were brave enough to dunk their whole bodies into the cold water. It really didn't take too much convincing.
This week was the first time all three boys went to the zoo together. We were able to meet up with my best friend (since first grade!) and her adorable kids and we all had a blast. The kids liked seeing the animals but loved playing in the huge play area.
The only way I could tear them away was to promise them a ride on the train. A very small train, I might add. While we were on the train Tommy announced, "This is my first time on a train!" Another first for all of my boys! They were so tuckered out from playing at the zoo that they all fell asleep in the car in about two minutes and remained asleep for almost the whole two hour car ride home. Another first! This week Ben decided to slide down the slide all on his own for the very first time. I even managed to capture the moment with my camera!Climbing to the top. Sitting down. Letting go! And touchdown!

It was an amazing week. I was even able to maintain the go-with-the-flow attitude (although discipline is definitely still on the menu- can't have sassy kids, ya know) I've been working so hard at. I was the kind of mom I wanted to be. I just hope I can keep it up.
And there was no time for melancholy. I was too busy having fun and making memories.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A Child's Faith

Joey: "I have a lot of friends."

Me: "Yes you do. You're a friendly guy."

Joey: "And my brothers are my friends too. And my baby sister is my friend too."

Me: "Your baby sister?"

Joey: "Yep. My baby sister is my friend too."

Me: "Honey, you don't have a baby sister."

Joey: "Uh-huh! I asked God for a baby sister, and He said 'Yes'!"

Me: "Oh. Ohhh-kay."

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Melancholy Me

What is with me? Is it summer? Does summer remind me of summers past? Is that what does it? Perhaps with the warm weather comes warm memories. It seems that not only am I emotional about my boys growing up so fast, but apparently I'm emotional about me growing up so fast, as well. The old "time flies" is just such a cliche that I barely want to mention it. And yet I'm feeling it's razor sharp edge.

I am just a wistful and melancholy mess lately. It is ridiculous, really. And, of course, I wouldn't be me if I didn't feed into my mood. I've been listening to music from my early twenties dreaming about who I was then, which is just the silliest thing in the world. Because who was I then? A young girl dreaming of being exactly where I am right now! It's madness!

It's not that I miss any one stage of my life. There was something wonderful about each phase, including (and most times especially) this one. It is more a feeling that I am never able to fully grasp the magic in the moment but only when I look back on it years later.

This summer I will try my best to create magic for my family so that they too can have warm memories that surface with warm weather. And I will soak up each day as they happen, and feel their magic, because once the day is gone memories will be all I have of them.

(I told you I was melancholy.)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Happily Home

Our weekend up north is over. And I'm okay with that. It was a nice weekend, but I sure am happy to be home. The boys on the other hand are not quite as happy. They didn't want to leave. They would be perfectly content living up at the cabin and said as much. Joey even went so far as to say that he wouldn't care if a big bulldozer came and knocked our house down (can you tell he watches Extreme Home Makeover?) so we could live up north. I told him that wasn't a nice thing to say, that we have a lovely house, and he should be grateful. He wasn't grateful. He was mad. Spoiled brat.

I get it though. They are outside nonstop up north. Fishing, running around, playing in the water, roasting marshmallows. The boys are just beside themselves with excitement the entire time they are there. This causes them to act both adorably cute and annoyingly whiny. They are either telling us they love us and that we are the best or asking for the millionth time to go fishing again. It is a constant flurry of outdoor activity that surprisingly drains us, but not them. By the time the boys get off to bed at night Todd and I are in dire need of a stiff drink, but too tired to lift a glass to our mouths. Instead we end up going to bed at 10:00, which is a good thing because the boys are up at 5:00 AM asking to go fishing again. And the crazy cycle continues.

The three hour car ride home yesterday was insane. The boys only slept for a half an hour (after waking up at the butt crack of dawn) in the car and then insisted on screaming, yelling and growling like dinosaurs for the remainder of the ride home. I put my iPod shuffle on and tried my best to drown them out. It didn't work. Just when I thought I couldn't handle it one more minute we rounded the corner to our house. Hurrah!

We got home and the boys were still crazy and sassy-mouthed, so I popped in a movie (oh yes I did!) to try and calm them. That worked for all of 30 minutes before they got bored of that and resumed the madness. We quickly fed them dinner and shipped them off to bed early. I changed clothes, bolted out of the house, and went for a run to ease my rapidly fraying mind. It helped. And so did the silent house when I got back.

This weekend was a test for me. I have been working on being more of a go-with-the-flow kind of a mom. The kind of mom that can just gather her kids up and head out for a weekend without worrying too much about wrecking sleep schedules and dealing with grouchy children. I want to be a bit more fun and spontaneous, and not let my children see me get huffy and cross when I am, oh say, packing everyone's bag for the weekend stressing that I may be forgetting some vital element that could possibly ruin the whole trip. I don't want to be the mom who hustles my children through the grocery store barking orders through gritted teeth so that we can get all of our errands done in an hour and leave "on time". I don't even want to be the kind of mom that worries about leaving "on time". So this weekend I tried to make the most of every moment. Even the packing and the grocery shopping. Less yelling and more laughing. I constantly asked myself, "Does it really matter? Is this really a problem?" The majority of the time the answer was "no" which meant another opportunity to just breathe and relax. It wasn't easy, but I liked myself better this way. And it definitely made the weekend more enjoyable for everyone. Let's see how long I can keep this up now that we are back.

Weekend Soundbites:

Heard through their bedroom door-
Tommy: "Joey are you awake yet? Joey? Joe? Okay then. I'll just go back to sleep."
Aww. Good boy.

Conversation that occurred when Joey was being most annoying-
Todd: "Oh Joey, I can not wait until you have your own kids."
Joey: "I can't ever have kids! I'm not a woman!"

Friday, June 20, 2008

Feeling Grateful

What a week it's been
Being able to enjoy
My life without pain
It was like magic
Saw the chiro on Monday
Not a migraine since
So much done this week
Visits with dad, errands, runs,
And of course the park
Life is fun again
I finally feel like me
The weight has lifted
Off to the cabin
For a weekend of play time
And family bonding
It seems that these days
I am so melancholy
Thinking of time gone
They're growing so fast
I study their every move
Their eyes, lips, and cheeks
Funny things they say
Their tricks, their play, their laughter
Make me spill with love
These precious people
Are mine for such a short time
I must make it count

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Monday, June 16, 2008

A Sentence To Remember

Elaine at The Miss Elaine-ous Life just did a post about the summer vacations her family has taken together, and challenged her readers to tell their family vacation stories. And man, I've got some good ones. But today I thought I would share the story that my parents love to tell of my very first family summer vacation.**************************************

Every summer when we were growing up my parents would take us all camping. The bikes, life vests, rafts, fishing poles, coolers, clothes, swimsuits, food, tent, sleeping bags, and all other necessities would be packed up into the boat and dragged out three or four hours from our house to be lovingly set up as our temporary home for the week. It was a big deal.

I went on my very first family camping trip when I was 2 years old. I was so excited to be hanging with the big kids. I loved swimming all day and roasting marshmallows at night. I thought it was the most amazing thing to eat every meal at a picnic table, but most of all, I was completely elated to find out that the whole family would be sleeping in the enormous tent together. Everyone! All in one room! What fun!

The first night, of course, was the most exciting. All the cots were lined up one right next to the other. Everyone had their own sleeping bag and pillow, even little me. As dad turned out the lantern, and everyone said "goodnight" I hunkered down in my sleeping bag. But, seeing as how this was my very first time camping, and I was only two years old, I couldn't contain my excitement. I crawled out of my sleeping bag and began jumping from cot to cot to cot, each time landing on top of a brother or sister who immediately began laughing. Oh, what fun! Hop, hop, hop, I'd go from one cot to the next.

My mother gave me a warning, "Okay, that's enough now, it is time to sleep."

Hop, hop, hop. Giggle, giggle, giggle. The older kids didn't do anything to quell my fun as they laughed and cheered me on.

Mom tried again, "That's enough I said. Everyone, quiet! It is late and time to sleep. Kathy, come here and lie down."

Hearing the big kids quiet down made me think mom must be serious so I climbed back in to my sleeping bag again. But that was boring! After a few minutes of silence I crept back out and began again.

Hop, hop, hop.

More warnings followed. I would lie back down for a while only to go at it again laughing and squealing. It was just too much fun. Every time the older kids were just about asleep I would start in again.

Finally, after this went on for far too long mom said, "Kathy, if you don't stop jumping on the cots I'm going to spank your butt!"

Surely she can't be serious! Can't she see the fun we are all having?

Hop, hop, hop.

Then it happened. Mom grabbed me off the cot, smacked my butt, and sat me firmly on my sleeping bag.

Slowly, slowly, slowly I slunk off of my cot. And looking as pathetic and broken as my two year old self could possibly muster I crawled over to my daddy's cot and spoke my very first sentence, "Daddy, mumma 'banked me!"

Looks like I've recovered from that spanking. Just give me corn on the cob and I'll be fine! You can see the gigantic 12 person tent in the background. Oh, and one more thing, am I sitting next to a freaking campfire? Nice.
Please tell me my mom and dad are just out of this frame ready to catch me if I go under.
Mmm, yes. And here we are sitting on a cliff. Ahh, the good 'ole days.
Doesn't camping look like fun?


I think I'm defective. You know. Broken. Something is not working properly. I have had three migraines in one week. What is up with that? I mean, I've had migraines before but this is crazy. I've had, maybe, 9 or 10 migraines in my life and they are just about always right when I get pregnant. I've only have 1 or 2 migraines other than that and I know they were from running too hard with not enough food. This time? I have no idea what is going on. And, no, I'm not pregnant.

Plus, I was ill on Friday and Saturday with some weird virus or something. I was running to the bathroom every half hour (I'll spare you the details) for almost a whole 24 hour period. My stomach and back hurt so bad I didn't know what was happening. Thank goodness that part of it is over with now. I think I am almost back to normal on that end of it. Eww. That sounded really gross.

I have an appointment with my chiropractor this morning to get an adjustment and see if there is something off track. If that doesn't work I'll go to my doctor. Let's just hope that one of those works because I can't function on migraines all the time. It is painful. And coming as frequently as these have been makes me feel all kinds of messed up.

These nasty headaches really messed up our weekend too. I had a migraine early on Saturday and then very early Sunday morning. Way to start the day out. "Happy Father's Day, Todd! You married a lemon!" Luckily, the one on Sunday wasn't too bad and I was still able to get out to church and to visit our dads.
It was very surreal going to the nursing home to visit my dad for Father's Day. It is so strange to think of that as his home now. After living in the same house for the past 40 years it must be even stranger for him.

Dad wasn't in his room when we arrived so I figured he was already in the lounge area waiting for lunch. Sure enough there he was sitting at the table surrounded by other residents. The staff had given all the fathers corsages to wear and dad had his pinned to the blue sweater I had bought him for his birthday a few years back.

Dad had his back to us when we walked in the room but I could tell he knew it was me from my voice when I saw him smile. I turned his chair around so he had a better view. Even though he doesn't make much eye contact anymore, he always looks just past us or at the floor, he was beaming. The medicine may make it difficult to focus and may make him sleepy but it can't take away his enthusiasm for his family. Dad was so happy to see us. And I think he was even happier that everyone else in the room got to see his grandsons. He laughed as the boys tore open his presents and cards for him and he tried to join in the fun as much as he could. The boys did a great job. They were so sweet. Giving hugs and telling grandpa that they love him. It was a very nice visit.

The best part was that I brought him communion from mass and was able to give it to him. I had told dad that we had just come from church and asked him if he would like to receive communion. His eyes got real big and he said, "Oh yeah!" He tried to remember what to say and do, but of course he needed some help. I was so proud to be the one to give my dad communion on Father's Day. It is my dad's life and love, and I was so happy because I knew he was happy.

We left when his lunch came and told him mom would be by in a little while. We exchanged hugs and kisses and "I love you"s and left. I stood in the doorway out of view and watched him for a little while. A nurse went over and put her arm around him and her head close to his head. Dad was smiling and smiling.
It warmed me from the inside out. And despite the migraine earlier, it was a good day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day, Daddy

Happy Father's Day, Dad!
(the best father/daughter dance ever)

Friday, June 13, 2008


Hair, hair, everywhere
Haircuts, hairstyles, and hair-do's
So much talk of hair
My hair has been blond
Black, brown, and even red too
I just can't decide
Since having babies
It has gotten so curly
Straight one day, then curls
I'm gonna be brave
And show you pics of hair-don'ts
Please, don't laugh too hard.
(5th grade-crazy mushroom head)
(7th grade-just call me "slick"-one of my worst pics ever-wow)
(9th grade- holy bangs!)

(10th grade- my last perm EVER! It takes up the WHOLE frame!)
I like my hair long
That is when I feel my best
But then I get bored(Black)(Light Brown)
(nice bangs-again)
Then, just on a whim
I'll have all my hair chopped off
At first I'll love it

(Dark Brown- short and straight)(Light brown- short and curly) (Bright Red)(Auburn-SUPER short)
But it never lasts
And I'll be sick of short hair
Wishing it were long
I'll start to grow it
It always takes forever
The in-between phase
(Medium Brown-no bangs!)

(Blond- scary!)
So there you have it
Me and my crazy hairstyles
What was I thinking?
Okay. I think I have posted enough photos (embarrassing ones at that!) of me to last the rest of the year. Sheesh. I'm gonna have nightmares tonight. I hope you have enjoyed yourselves, laughing at my expense. If you would like to play along with the hair themed haikus go to Playgroups Are No Place For Children.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

One More

A few months ago I was all meme'd out. I just couldn't do another one. I even grabbed the Meme Graveyard badge that Jenni had made and posted it bravely on my sidebar. Still, when I was recently tagged by Cara at Mia Due Bambini and Stephanie at Adventures in Babywearing I thought I would do just one more. I haven't done this meme before, I reasoned, so I will break my own rules. As we all know, I don't like to follow rules anyway. And keeping in the not following rules I will not post the instructions or tag anyone. Ha! I'm such a rebel!

-What were you doing 10 years ago?

"It was the best of times and the worst of times" for me in 1998. I was just finishing up a very busy theater year. I was on stage with the leads in 5 or 6 plays/musicals that year and I was exhausted. I had also just gotten my first apartment and was living on my own in a city where I knew no one working at a new job as a mortgage processor/underwriter. That part of my life was great.

At the same time I had finally let go of a three year relationship that I had very high hopes for. The realization of it ending was absolutely devastating to me. I bounced back and forth from putting on a good, strong front, to curling up in a ball on my apartment floor sobbing. You know, your typical heartbroken girl.
I had sworn off any more relationships. I was going to be on my own. Enough of guys. Blahh. Little did I know that I would get a glimpse into my future on July 4th when I met Todd for the very first time.
Some of the shows
(That Madcap Moon)
I'm in the back row second from the right.
(Man of LaMancha)
Down front in the flowered dress with the massive hat.
(Babes in Toyland)
Backstage getting ready for the show.

-What were you doing 5 years ago?
I was adjusting to being a first-time mom. It was an absolutely magical time. I couldn't believe how much fun I was having as a mom. Being a stay-at-home mom was a dream come true for me. And it really helped that Joey was the easiest baby in the history of the world. Joey was my little buddy. We went everywhere together. Here we are visiting my friend Jennifer in Madison in July of 2003.
(nice bra strap)
- 5 things you need to do today?
1- Wash all the sheets
2- Visit Dad
3- Remake all the beds with fresh sheets (I am dreading it. I HATE making up the bunk beds)
4- Clean up basement (we had some water in the basement after all the storms) and put everything back in its spot
5- Go for a run (once basement is cleaned up and treadmill is usable again)
-5 snacks you enjoy?
1- Potato chips and french onion dip
2- Ice cream Drumsticks
3- Chocolate covered strawberries (my favorite!!!)
4- Summer fruit (I know, bo-ring!)
5- Fried cheese curds (it's a Wisconsin thang)
- Things you would do if you were a billionaire?
How do you know I'm not? HAHAHA!!!
Um. Too much money makes me nervous. I would feel really guilty having that much money. So I would have to give most of it away, and then I wouldn't be a billionaire anymore. Then Todd would be super pissed cuz I'm sure he wouldn't have a problem being rich.
Let's see. I'd definitely set up our families. Then I would give a crapload to church and St. Jude's Hospital, and any other charity that was worthy. Then I would travel all over the world 20 times. Oh! And I would spend the rest of my money finding another energy source other than oil. Can you freaking believe the gas prices? HELL-O!?!?!
Hmm. Doesn't sound like I have THAT much trouble being a billionaire after all.
-Places you have lived?
- 3 different cities in Wisconsin
- wedded bliss
- Virginia
- on the brink of insanity
- Jobs you've had?
-Ugh. Who cares? They were boring, more boring, and most boring! All banking stuff mostly. Sa-nooze!!

Just as I was finishing up this meme I found out I was tagged for another one. The book meme. I haven't done that one either so, fine Tonya, I'll do that one too. I kinda have to post the rules for this one, but I'm STILL not tagging.
1. Pick up the nearest book.
2. Open to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the next five sentences.
The only book I have close to me right now is U2 by U2. It is a collection of pics and stories from all the members of U2. It is awesome. Unfortunately page 123 is a picture so I went to page 125 (the next page with writing). It is the middle of a paragraph by Larry who is talking about their first video shoot.
"There was a scene where the director, Meiert Avis, asked me to splash through a puddle. I said, 'I'll get my new Docs wet.' He said, 'Yeah, well that's what we want for the scene.' I told him, 'Forget it.' I wasn't getting the boots wet.
HaHA! All done! Two more memes done!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

A Hairy Situation

Hello! Welcome to Krazy Kat's Salon. Please, come in. Pull up a chair. Prepare to be pampered. Here at Krazy Kat's customer satisfaction is our #1 priority.It is important to book your appointment early to avoid a line. As you can see we already have customers waiting.
Bringing a friend with you? We'll be happy to serve snacks as they wait. Mmm. Don't those raisins look good?
Feeling disheveled? Bangs too long? Too much hair weighing you down for the summer? Not a problem. Please, sit on the stool and prepare to be amazed.
Ta-dah! A simple, clean cut in just under 3 hours. All done with minimal whining on your part, and almost no yelling or scolding on my part, so long as you stop poking my boob and saying, "That's your boobie!"
How about you, little boy? Feeling like a mad scientist? Looking for a more manageable head of hair?
Presto change-o! There you have it. All done while you relax and enjoy the fine feature presentation of Return of the Jedi. Although it would be much appreciated if perhaps you waited to play light sabers until after the haircut is over. Bald patches on the side of your head as a result of a light saber fight will not produce a refund.

Worried about those darned itchy hairs that always seem to straggle after a haircut? Well, worry no longer!
We'll have you strip down to your underwear and vacuum those bad boys right up.
Of course, the stripping down to your underwear is optional, but our guests seem to enjoy it and we aim to please.
So, please, book an appointment at Krazy Kat's Salon today and enjoy an unforgettable experience. Your satisfaction is guaranteed or your haircut is free!
Please, hold your applause. No need to thank me.

Words To Live By

Be grateful for each new day.
A new day that you have never lived before.
Twenty-four new, fresh, unexplored hours to use usefully and profitably.
We can squander, neglect, or use them.
Life will be richer or poorer by the way we use today.
Finish every day and be done with it.
You have done what you could;
some blunders and absurdities crept in;
forget them as soon as you can.
Tomorrow is a new day.
You shall begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be
encumbered with your old nonsense.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson