Wednesday, October 28

Quick, HURRY!

Hurry hurry, rush rush. At times I feel like my life is in a constant state of frantic-ness. (Is this a word? It should be). Between work and the kids schedules I feel like I am always running, running somewhere and always late late late. ALWAYS late. If the kids had ever seen Alice in Wonderland they would surely decide that I was like that rabbit with the hat jumping up and down constantly whining in that weird voice, "come on, we're late, we're late, for a very important date." Jack has taekwondo twice a week and Abbey has dance once and they both are in soccer which involves 1 practice and 1 game each a week, plus appointments and this week Cub Scouts start (slightly overlapping the soccer season which is a pain in the butt). Jack has had CCD every Sunday morning at 8:30 a.m. all month long which coupled with 9 a.m. soccer games on Saturday mornings pretty much eats up any chance of sleeping in every single weekend of our life. Now it is Halloween which involves oodles of different parties which involve cookies and treats made by moi' and costumes and makeup and, oh. Enough already. Some may ask "where is your husband in all this? Can't he help out?" and the answer unfortunately is no. He works now and has worked forever a 12 p.m. - 8 p.m. shift which gets him home every night at around 8:45 p.m. AFTER all activities. AFTER all appointments. AFTER dinner. AFTER homework. AFTER showers. AFTER reading books. AFTER bedtime. AFTER all this crap which I have run around doing all day long by myself. Although it is not crap. It is mostly fun stuff that I wouldn't deny the kids doing at all. And I don't despise it. I see lots and lots of other people throughout all these travels and we hang out together and many laughs are had. The kids have fun. They make goals and pirouette's and front roundhouse jump kicks like pro's. I like having a schedule and I like that we are busy. I just wish at times that there were just a few more hours in the day to fit it all. But that's not true either, I'm tired enough by the end of the day as it is. Add more hours and I might collapse.

Wednesday, October 21

Listening Ears

How many times have we told our children to put on their listening ears? I bet hundreds. I bet hundreds of thousands. I know I have. Unfortunately most of the time these elusive special ears seem to be M.I.A. Perhaps they are hidden in the toy box, or are collecting dust under their beds? I'm not quite sure, I just know that when they really need them, they are usually hard to find. What I have realized lately is that I have to remind myself to put on my own listening ears. So often I find myself nodding vaguely, mumbling "uh huh, yeah" to whatever the children have just asked me. Is it the persistent "mom, mom, mom, mom, mom" that we hear minute after minute, hour after hour, day after day that causes us to eventually tune it out. I yell at the kids when they ignore me, but I find myself ignoring them just as much.

"Mom, can we tie sheets onto ourselves and jump off the roof" they might be asking, while I peruse Facebook, talk on the phone, balance the checkbook and check the e-mail all at the same time. "Uh huh, OK, sure." I'll answer. "Mom, can we build a sparkly helium balloon and take off in it across the town?" they'll ask and I'll probably answer "uh, huh, just a minute" while I unload the dishwasher, fold laundry and start dinner. One of these days I'm going to get in trouble, if I don't find my damn listening ears.

I can hear it now. "Mom, can we take the car and joyride around town driving way too fast picking up all our friends?"

No, then again, I think THAT is one request I'll most definitely hear.

Monday, October 19

Superior Scribbler

A few days ago I received an award, and not just any award. It is this, the coveted and renowned "Superior Scribbler" Award.

What? You've never heard of it? Well, I assure you that it is a most fancy and prestigious award in the blogging community, and actually, the blogging world. Yes, I said the whole WORLD! My good bloggy friend Lindy over at Future Blackmail bestowed it upon me, with some incredibly complicated rules that I could not follow and/or understand, so I am simply going to post it here so that you can revel in my award-receiving-ness. Also, you should go check out Lindy's blog. Although we have never met in person, she is an extremely talented writer and if we were to live closer to each other I'm sure we would hang out, even though I like Dunkin Donuts Coffee and she is a Starbucks ADDICT. Really, I think she might need a 12-step program. Despite of this obvious difference, our joint love of all things neat and tidy, as well as a compulsive fridge magnet organization disorder, would seal our bond.

Sunday, October 18

Freaky Snow

I know, I know, I haven't posted in FOREVER. I'm sorry. Well, not super duper sorry. I know everyone has been fine without having new posts to read, but still, I'm a little sorry. And today's post is actually going to be pretty lame and short. I just have to share, that IT IS SNOWING. It is October 18th, and it is full on snowing. It's wrong and weird and I think slightly foreboding. If it is snowing now, on October 18th, what will it be like on January 18th? It makes me a little nervous, I mean, I don't want to live in a trailer again! Dennis has been telling me that this is going to be one of the top 10 winters on record (where he gets this information, I have no idea) and I haven't wanted to believe him. Mostly I thought he was just using this as an excuse to stop (1) cutting his hair and (2) shaving. He does this every year, usually starting around Thanksgiving, so that he can "keep warm." I mean really. Does facial hair keep you that much more warm and toasty? Regardless, this year he stopped the whole shaving/cutting thing on October 1st, due to the aforementioned "coldest winter on history" theory. A theory that I guffawed at. A theory that I am now frightened may actually be true. I still wish he would shave though. By Christmas he is going to look like a freakin mountain man of the north.

But back to the point of my post. Snowing. In October. Next year when is it going to start? Are the kids someday soon going to have snow for the first day of school for goodness sakes? Oh well, you know you live in New England when your "Fall" grouping of pictures includes both kids in bathing suits AND in snowsuits.

Thursday, October 8

A Great Privilege

Recently in New Hampshire, in a small quiet town, on a quiet rural road (not at all unlike my own) a mother was brutally killed in her bed. Her 11 year old daughter was critically hurt. Four teenage boys did it, for no other reason it seems than just to kill and rob. Suffice it to say, our door is now locked 24/7, but it still shakes you to the core. It makes you realize how quickly something horrid and awful can happen in a second. Yesterday on Oprah (yes, I do watch Oprah most afternoons, while going through the backpacks and starting dinner - I love my kitchen t.v.) they had mothers who had survived unbeatable odds to remain alive. The resounding message, and one that really resonated with me, is that it is a privilege to raise your children. It is a privilege to make their lunches, give them showers, read them stories and tuck them into bed. It is a privilege to make them dinner and do any of the other countless things you do throughout the day for them. It is a privilege to hold their bodies close to you and smell their scents. It is a privilege to be their mothers. In our day to day lives these chores almost seem to become tedious tasks that can threaten to overwhelm us, and believe me it can be overwhelming, but I want all of the mothers (and fathers if any of you happen to be reading) to realize that we have been given a gift, and gift that can be taken away without a seconds notice. So lets just realize what a real gift it is, and what a privilege we have been granted.

Wednesday, October 7

Everyday Math

Have you every heard about Everyday Math? If you have kids between kindergarten and sixth grade you certainly have. Now when kids get to school they all learn this Everyday Math system. This was created in Chicago by some math people who decided that the old way in which we ourselves learned to do math in our youth was totally wrong and made us all grow up to be idiots that couldn't add 2 and 2 or divide properly. (I am not 100% positive that is why Everyday Math was invented but I think it may be the reason given.) This math is not at all the same as the math I did when I was a kid. I mean, I did math every day, but not Everyday Math. It doesn't seem to be the same at all. Whereas we added 2 of the same numbers, i.e., 2 + 2 = 4, Jack now does "Doubles Facts" which sounds more exciting and like a fun game but is still just adding 2 identical numbers together. They have "units" and "frames-and-arrows" and "number triangles". In this triangle there are 3 numbers and the biggest one is on the top and it has a little dot next to it. What? A little dot? They have "rules" that I am not quite sure of and haven't really investigated properly at all. Last week he had to make up "numbers stories" which was basically a word problem but with a different name. I'm so confused. And this is SECOND GRADE people! S-E-C-O-N-D G-R-A-D-E. The funny part is that Jack gets it. He understands completely what is going on with this math (I hope it stays that way!). He is explaining to me how to do his homework, rather than the other way around. I hear that once he gets past the 6th grade though they just abandon this Everyday Math and go back to regular math. Then he will have to re-learn, and I think I may be as equally useless because I have no recollection of math from that time frame either. Is that when you start geometry? I have a vague recollection of being good at that. Or was that algebra? I would say his father could help, but he is worse at math than I am. His senior year of high school his teacher actually gave him a D rather than an F just so that he would graduate and get the hell out of there.

Sunday, October 4

Contentment Smells Like A Meatloaf

What a nice weekend we had around here. Not busy, just nice. As you may know we have been going and going for what seems like 25 weekends in a row, and although I had a great time away with my cousins and last weekend at Storyland was a blast, it was nice to just do much of nothing. It felt even better after the hectic week we had (aren't they all?) and me not feeling that well for most of it. I still have a hacky cough and a bit of a cold, but just being able to be home, it felt wonderful. Jack ended up having a soccer game yesterday morning, despite the rain, but even that was OK. I am proud to tell you that he was the only one on his team to make a goal. Sure, he may have made it to the wrong goal and inadvertently given a point to the other team, but we didn't focus on that fact. Coming home, wet and cold, to a nice warm house felt so unbelievably cozy. Dennis started a fire. We all put on our sweats and settled in for the day. The best part was that it wasn't even noon yet! I went through clothes, organized stuff (one of my favorite past times), the kids played together for hours, Dennis took a nap on the couch in front of the fire. I watched all FOUR hours of the Lifetime t.v. movie Maneater, in the MIDDLE OF THE DAY. We had egg sandwiches for dinner. Today Jack had his first CCD class for Reconciliation (that's when you learn about forgiveness and confession for us Catholics) and we went to mass together. We met Dennis and Abbey for breakfast out and then came home to put out pumpkins and fall decorations. Dennis fixed the tractor with pieces he pulled out of this old bike we had laying around (yes, he is quite Macgyver-y that way), the kids played around and even put rocks around Max's grave site and added more flowers. For dinner I made the first meatloaf of the season, with corn on the cob and mashed potatoes. And now, at a mere 7:13 the kids are bathed and in Jammie's and watching a little t.v. before bed, and I'm just, blogging. It feels good. I don't know, there's just something about the crisp fall air and the smell of meatloaf that makes me feel content.

Thursday, October 1

A Mess

Have you ever heard that Laurie Berkner song? It goes, "I'm a mess, I'm a mess, I'm a big ole' messy mess." Well, that's how I feel today. A mess. I am sneezing, coughing, tired and blah. My throat hurts. My voice is shot. I am an incubus of germs and snot. Just wanted to share that. What? Too much information?