Monday, July 19, 2010

Is there ever enough?

I just can't fathom how I am ever going to fit in everything that I want to do this school year. I say that every year, and somehow, it all works out. This year, C1 is entering PreK-4/Kindergarten. I'm so excited for him. I saw the gains he made last year in such a short time and know that this year, with everything that we learned last year, is going to be even better. Last year was sort of a test run - figuring out what worked for us, and more importantly, what didn't. We found that certain areas of the house are more conducive to learning than others. That some learning styles were better than others. We also learned that Mom really shouldn't be even thinking about teaching without at least a cup of coffee firmly in her system.

This year, we have added hurtles of activities for both C1 and C2 and a commitment from me to get my butt to the gym 6 days a week. I have a feeling the mornings are going to start getting earlier and earlier as the boys get older.

On another note, I registered for my first 5k race on October 9. That leaves me the rest of July and August to complete my training and all of September to see how that training translates to the outdoors. I was hoping to wait until November, but no time like the present I guess. My only goal right now is to finish. We'll see about actually competing to win later. I have big dreams about bigger things after this 5k is over. It seems to have just opened a door to this world of race and fitness competition. I'm setting my sights on a triathlon in 2011.

Kids have been sick the past few days. Combine that with some rain and hellacious cabin fever and you have one crabby mom. I'm hoping to mainline the caffeine today and hope that helps a bit.

Monday, June 28, 2010

The heaviest of hearts

I feel like such a failure. Alex and I have known for a while now that C1 exhibited all of the classic symptoms of ADHD...why we didn't act on it faster, I will never know...but I do know that I feel like such a failure because we didn't. I feel like we failed to do what is best for our son and because of that, made things harder for everyone.

Our day to day diet around here is pretty healthy. Lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, hardly any processed foods, not much sugar, etc. etc. etc. but I knew as I read page after page of information over the weekend that I still wasn't doing enough for my special boy. I also had to remove dairy, artificial coloring and any and all overly processed carbohydrates. For us, medication is a last that we will both embrace if we have to, but would like to do anything in our power to avoid it. It won't be easy to check the labels of every single thing that goes into my son's mouth, or to deny him things when he wants them, but I know that things that matter are seldom easy.

In addition to a diet change, I'm also implementing more schedule oriented things into our daily routine and allowing more flexibility in our homeschool. I am so blessed to be able to homeschool him. It is a challenge at times, but I know that it is what is best for him. I gave him a daily checklist today - with every detail included - he seems to like knowing what is coming up next and being able to mentally prepare for it ahead of time. He also loves to check things off as they get finished. We've removed most of the toys from his bedroom. I think the chaos was making him chaotic. He is a different child when a single toy is placed in front of him and he has a goal in mind for that toy. His attention to detail and creativity really shine.

Diving in headfirst like this and doing everything that I can to help him is the only thing I know how to do...but it still doesn't keep me from feeling like I've failed him. This is something that cannot be disciplined away, it needs to be embraced and responded to with love and gentle guidance.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Brick by Brick

This house. I swear it would come crashing down in seconds if either Alex or I turned our heads for just a minute. The things that these kids think up just astounds me. Remember the old saying, your parents' greatest revenge is you having

Just a few seconds ago, I found C2 wedging  silverware that he had pilfered from the dishwasher (who the hell taught him to open that, anyhow?!) into the stem of the ficus tree and then scooping out the faux foliage around the base with a wooden spoon.

The list of house rules that I've had to start assembling just keeps getting longer and more outrageous. Boys are so gross and kid boys are even worse!

Want a little window into my reality?

Here are a few of the latest, most relevant house rules:

1. No peeing on your brother.
seems self explanatory, no?

amendment 1:
No peeing on your brother even if he peed on you first.
Ay. Have I mentioned that C1 is like, the best reasoner ever?He will totally follow in Alex's footsteps as a lawyer. I effin' hate it.

2. You can only touch your own wiener.
Why on earth....

3. Lotion does not belong on your wiener.
 Well....until you're at least 10.

Come on kids, work with me here.

5. Your brother's diaper is not a toy receptacle.
...words don't even begin to explain the odd things I've found in his diaper.

Also, I learned recently that age 4 must be the universal boy stink age. We used to be able to get away with missing a bath every now and then. Now? I'm tempted to give him multiple baths per day.

They are so freakin' lucky they are cute.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Hello? Is this thing on?

So...we haven't dropped off the face of the planet, I just questioned whether or not anybody would actually want to read the things I post here. After much reflection (like 8 months worth!), I decided that my kids are just too cute and funny not to share with the world. Like it or not, they are here to stay!

Where to begin on what has been happening since I last posted. Let's get you up to date with a few photos! looking through my Picasa albums, I realized just how many pictures of the kids' butts that I have. Scary!

The kids went to the Pumpkin Patch. C1 picked out the biggest pumpkin they had while C2 just picked out the one that would fit best in his mouth.

Carved pumpkins. Hubs is a master carver!

C1 was Elmo. It took him 42 years to finally decide on a costume. *sigh*

C2 was a pumpkin...seemed appropriate for my little fat potato.

C2 had his first camping experience in October. We all had a great time...except for the torrential downpours that flooded our tent.

C2 had a great time camping! He had 4 layers on in that picture!

C2 also had his first experience in the snow! The boys loved sledding.

The big snowhill outside of Grandpa's house was a hit!

Santa Baby...

There really aren't words to describe this...

We took family photos

C2 turned 1!

C1 got his first 2-wheel bike

C2 got his first haircut!

C2 got his fill of Mardi Gras beads

Saints won the superbowl!!!!!

Hubs was so excited he threw could have been the combination of beer, bourbon and champagne, but we're going to say it was because he was just!so!excited!!

C2 took his first steps!

C1 was a soccer star!

C1 planted his garden

While C2 mainly ate dirt

C1 and his friend A had a lemonade stand. They made $25 each!

Bought a sandbox. "They may take our sandbox...but they will never take our FREEDOM!" braveheart fans? Ok, nevermind then, moving right along.

C1 turned 4!

C1's Candy Land party. It was a blast!

Whew. That was some work. Note to self: don't wait so long in between posts.

What else is started Weight Watchers in March. I pink puffy heart it. I'm down 23 lbs. since I've started and just joined a gym a few days ago. I'm so pumped right now! Hubs has been such wonderful motivation to me.

Welcome back to our little corner of the world, I hope you stick around for awhile.

Friday, September 25, 2009

The Keeper of My Heart

We have been together for 1,576 days. If I was better at math, I could have figured that out without using a calculator. Don't even ask for a breakdown of the years and months. Ain't. Gonna. Happen.

There has been a whirlwind of drama around us lately; trying to tear down our foundation. It is hard to keep the resolve to stay together when splitting up would seem to be so much more simple. We don't often opt for the easy road in life, and this is just another example of that.

We've said terrible things. Hurtful things. There have been times that I saw nothing of the man that I once married. I carried all of those times with me, little wounds in my soul.

Last night, I looked down at him and saw the perfection that I once saw. It becomes more clear with each passing day. I feel as if a fog is lifting from our hearts and we will soon be able to see just exactly why we stood at that altar so many days ago.

I've always known I was blessed. My children are proof that we are made in God's image. I cannot believe it has taken until very recently for me to see how blessed my marriage has made me. I cannot resent for things said in the past, I can only love him more because it has made us stronger.

I love him.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I left my baby.

This past week has been quiet here in Torts and Tarts land. Some family drama left my husband and I with the seemingly endless task of weeding our marital garden. That is a metaphor in case you didn't realize it....we don't actually have a marital garden. That would be kind of tacky. Continuing on with the metaphor, we saved our most precious flowers and the plants we have been growing since the day we met...and round-up'd the hell out of the rest. It seems to have worked and now there is space enough for the flowers to communicate with each other and grow, instead of being choked out by nasty forms of resentment and apathy.

Okay. Silly metaphor over.

One thing we learned was that we needed to spend time with each other. Not just time with one another doing our own thing, but one-on-one time enjoying the company. Duh. Marital rule numero uno, I know. It seems to have slipped our mind in recent years with the additions of children, school, financial strains, etc. You name it, it took the place of the most important thing in our lives. One another.

Alex planned a wonderful date for us on Saturday. I was so excited. Finally a time when I could wear heels. The last time I wore heels, I had to chase Calvin and ended up breaking my heel and almost smashing my face into a building in the process. Needless to say, I've been cautious.

About 2 in the afternoon on Saturday, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I was leaving my baby for the first time with someone that wasn't my spouse. My stomach knotted into the kind of knot that only happens when you leave a necklace in pile for too long. It was a never-ending tangle of nerves and stress. Add to that the fact that the babysitter was my mother-in-law and I had to clean the house before she came over because god forbid she understand that with two small kids, I hardly ever have a minute to clean. For some reason I still have this stupid idea that I can somehow be good enough to have married her son if I just cook well enough or clean well enough -- even though every single person in my life tells me that it is an impossible task. I'm competitive...or crazy. You pick.

I didn't know how to handle the feelings - this wasn't my first baby, but I didn't have these feelings with Calvin. So many things have happened in the extended family since Calvin was this age that it was a totally new situation all together. I had to learn to trust again -- in more than one way.

I counted the minutes with glasses of wine. I soothed my nerves with a glass or ten of Hayman Hill Cabernet. At crunch time, it was easier than I thought it would be. Connor didn't cry. I didn't cry. I left with a feeling of freedom and was able to enjoy the evening.

The date served as a catalyst for many things -- the most important of which being the reconnection between my husband and I.

This time, I'm keeping the bottle of Round Up handy for any pesky weeds that may pop up.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Halloween 2009...the search begins

I've been looking online for Halloween costumes since July. I learned my lesson the past two years when I waited until October and ended up having to go as whatever crap costume was left in our sizes. This year, time is on my side.

I found a lot of things online, but am wary of buying online because the sizes are wonky. I thought I would try the local Halloween shops to see what they had because we could all try them on and returning wasn't such a hassle.

We drove up to the Halloween shop that recently opened. I knew it didn't bode well when we got out and Calvin immediately buried his face in my thigh and said that he was scared. I assured him that it was going to be okay and the store wouldn't be that scary. Mom lie #1. We walk in and the entire place is a giant haunted house -- complete with swinging bats, two way mirrors and pop-out zombies. An emo goth's wet dream.

I had hauled the kids across town and gotten them out of the car to do this, I was going to finish it. Calvin put his blanket over his head and we forged on. Through the slutty adult costumes and the cheesy couple's costumes, I knew the children's costumes had to be near. It was then that I saw it, the shine of the cheap tiaras and the bright purple and gold pom-poms (for the slutty 2-year old LSU cheerleader in all of us!). I made a mad dash to the section. It was filled with kids and parents. I heard excited squeals from both as they picked the costume of their dreams.

It was then that I looked a little closer at the selection. Hrm...that is odd...a grim reaper in the children's section? Must be out of place. No, wait, it is a toddler size. Surely nobody would put their 18-month old in a grim reaper costume. Right? Wrong. Someone snatched it out of my hands and gave it to their toothless spawn. Fail. I suddenly felt very out of place. My kid was covering his eyes with a blanket to avoid seeing the animatronic zombie babies that decorated the children's section and other parents were racing to get the goriest, most terrifying costume of the bunch.

I assured Calvin that the happy, fat pumpkin costume that he requested was just around the corner. Mom lie #2 -- at least it wasn't as bad as the first. Around the corner was the girl's section, which was filled with half shirts and sheer fairy skirts. This section was just as busy as the first, which should have surprised me...but at this point, I was so disheartened by it all that it really didn't. Parents were busily trying to instill the "Halloween is a night to dress like a whore" mindset in their two year olds.

The sad thing? I didn't see a single cheery, fun costume in the entire store. Save for some adult "baby" costumes -- which are really just sad.

What happened to the days when Halloween was for fun? When the scary stuff was reserved for after the kids went to bed? When was it deemed appropriate for us to try to anesthetize our children's sensibilities? Since when was I the bad parent for trying to protect my kids from these horrors?