Wednesday, May 27, 2015

She's A Biker Chic

Another major milestone. 

Another last first

Grace has learned to ride her bike. No more training wheels. No more being left in the dust by her big brothers. 

This past weekend Grace picked out a big girl bike, complete with tassels and a basket, and decided she was going to learn to ride.
The first day was iffy. We didn't have much time to practice (rain) and there was definitely a fear of falling and getting hurt, but progress was made.

This morning I ran out and got Grace some elbow and knee pads with matching biking gloves hoping that would give her the extra courage she needed. I picked Grace up from school, she ate her lunch quickly, and we went outside for our second biking lesson. This time it was a breeze. Grace had a brave, positive "can do" attitude and in no time she was riding on her own. I definitely got a good work out following after her. Grace got up a pretty good speed and I was no longer jogging next to her but sprinting. I guess I have a new buddy who can accompany me on my runs.
And she can already push off by herself and turn around in the culdesac without stopping which makes my job a whole lot easier. Success!

Grace was very excited to greet the boys on her bike when they got off the bus. She rode happily down the driveway and watched as their mouths dropped when she passed by them. They were so surprised at how quickly Grace took to her new bike.
As soon as the boys were done with their homework they were out the door to ready to ride with Grace.
The sunny 74 degree weather was an added bonus, of course.
Way to go, Gracie! I am so proud of your hard work, determination, and positive attitude.

Bravo, my little biker chic!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Gee, I'm Good At This

My throat is raw. Raw and sore.

I'm not getting a cold. I just nearly screamed my throat raw, is all.

Yeah. I'm a good mom. Yay me.

I don't know.

I go along so well for so long. Ignoring the eye rolls. Calmly correcting the sass and the backtalk. Listening patiently to the whining and carefully reminding them to speak in a normal speaking voice. I break up the fights. I help pick up the messes. I squash the drama and soothe the meltdowns.

But man, sometimes, sometimes I just can't do it anymore. Sometimes there is a final straw. Sometimes I am just so sick of being "MOM!!!!".

A nice thing to think the day after Mother's Day, isn't it?

Like I said, I'm good at this.


Part of me thinks, well good, they should know that they have crossed a line. Especially with the back talk and the sass.

But then another side of me thinks, well great, I was just a fabulous example of patience and calm and rationale, now wasn't I? Way to go, me!

And then another part, just as disturbing, thinks oh so what. So I yelled at them. Maybe the little turds deserved it. I was yelled at all the time as a kid, spanked a bunch too, and I'm not so bad. I'm not terribly messed up.

Maybe my nonchalance at screaming my throat raw is more disturbing than anything else. I don't know.

Or maybe I'm just too tired to think too much about it anymore. Maybe I'm a veteran mother at this point who knows that I will be a perfect mom never. A good mom most of the time. And a crappy mom once in a while. Hell, no one gets out of childhood (or parenthood) unscathed right? I'm doing the best I can. And that alone makes me a pretty good mom. I'm trying. I'm trying really hard.

Tomorrow there will be hugs in the morning. We will all apologize for our crazy behavior and we'll start anew. The kids will learn (once again) that their mommy has flaws, that she is a work in progress, that she apologizes when she is wrong, and that everyone has room to grow. And maybe in the process they'll also learn not to roll their eyes, talk back, turn their back, cop an attitude, interrupt, or raise their voices at their mom. Maybe.

I can hope.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

It's Not A Holiday Until Someone Vomits

Why do all holidays end in vomit?

Oh, yours don't? Just mine?


The day was humming along so well, too.

The day began (far too early, but alas, I couldn't get back to sleep) with happy children piling cards and clever homemade gifts upon me. Todd bought me a beautiful water fountain that I had had my eye on for the back patio. I drank my coffee and had a good long time to sit back and relax into the morning.

We took my mother to an early lunch and had a lovely time laughing and telling stories. After lunch we went over to Todd's mom's house for a cookout. More food and relaxing.

When evening came I went to my brother's tattoo shop to have an addition to my tattoo done. I had been wanting this addition for quite some time and I finally was getting it done. Twelve years ago I got a butterfly tattoo (typical, I know, but I loved it). When I had kids I wanted to add them on as butterflies coming from my main butterfly.

So, off I went to see my brother.
We plotted out the design together and then got to work. Soon, Todd and the kids stopped in to watch too.
Before I knew it the tattoo was done.

I love it. The kids love it. Job well done.

Then we all went home, the kids took showers, Todd made a fire, and we all sat down to relax for a little while before bed. The kids went to bed with minimal hassle and I went downstairs to sit in front of the fire.

Suddenly I hear Grace screaming my name. Back upstairs I go and find that she has vomited all over her bed. ALL. OVER. HER. BED. It was quite a bit. Did I mention we ate a TON of food today? Cuz, yeah, we did.

I'm not sure why every holiday in our house has to end up with someone vomiting. I'm not sure why I'm even surprised when it happens anymore.

I went about cleaning up Grace, remaking her bed, and cleaning up the dirty bedsheets.

Now I sit and listen. And wait. It is the waiting game now. Will it happen again? Was it a fluke? Is she really sick? I don't know. And I imagine I will spend most of the night waiting for the other shoe to drop.

I suppose it is rather fitting that Mother's Day ends with me cleaning up my child's vomit, right? It makes sense. That's what I do. That's what I'm here for.

And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, May 8, 2015

All Is Well

I sit on the back patio contemplating more flowers, new cushions, and perhaps a small water fountain. I picture where I'll place the plants, what I'll use for the fairy house this year, perhaps new tiki torches. I plan out my eden. I dream and plot and soak in the warm sun.

I finally swapped cotton sheets for the flannel sheets that have been on the beds since fall. There are few chores I loathe as much as changing sheets on bunk beds, but I still couldn't be too upset since this was the spring swap and yet another sign of warmer temperatures. Each night as I slip into the crisp coolness of the sheets visions of summertime fun dance in my head.

Today, I washed all the screens and put them in the windows. Every single window in the house is open and the smell of freshly cut grass wafts throughout.

It is May and a sunny 74 degrees. I will not take that for granted. I sit outside as often as I can, which is not as often as I'd like.

I grab my book, sit on the back patio, and read and dream away my free time. The 20 minutes go quickly and soon the boys are bounding through the door home from school.

Though our extreme busyness has abated, somewhat, we are still in the midst of the end of school year mania. The kids all had their spring concert at school last night. It was funny and fun and high spirited. I truly enjoyed the evening.

This morning Grace's class had a little preMother's Day celebration. Muffins with Mom, they call it. Grace gave me her sweetly and tenderly made gifts and we enjoyed our muffins and juice together. Afterwards the whole school walked over to church to say the rosary together for the May Crowning celebration.

When that was done Grace got up in front of church and read two paragraphs about Mary. Quite a feat for my little kindegartener (especially with phrases like "Mary arranged some roses in Juan's tilma on Tepeyac Hill" in the reading). Last week when Grace's teacher sent the reading home Grace had a mini meltdown worrying about how she would be able to read so much in front of so many people. She practiced day and night and her hard work paid off. She did a wonderful job. She was so proud of herself. I was proud too.

Yes, the kids are barreling towards the end of the school year. Large last minute projects are being finished up and field trips are being taken. It is a lot to keep up with but at least I am not feeling as desperate as in years past. At least this year I am not the "world's worst end of school year mom" again. Yes, I am doing much better this year.

This weekend I have one last concert of the season. We've had three rehearsals this week, another tonight, and the concert is tomorrow. Then, and only then, will life begin to slowly slow down.

Or maybe not.

I have to chaperon a trip to the zoo on Monday. And there are projects due. And meetings. And helping out at school.

Perhaps in a month when school is out life will finally slow down.

Not that I'm complaining.

Life is good.

Life is as it should be.

All is well.

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