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Hall0we-lujah, on to Christmas!

2 Nov

It was a long haunting weekend.  Halloween was on a Monday this year and the kids had an extended weekend with a two hour early dismissal on Friday and no school on Monday, so the celebrations began on Friday with a costume party at school.  Phoebe’s costume was an underwhelming last minute choice of Foxy Woxy from Henny Penny (just a crappy fox mask and a clip on tail that we have laying around in a costume bin).

On Saturday, we went to Baker’s 2nd birthday party where I met Isabelle for the first time and got my baby fix.  She’s so sweet and such a good baby.  Jan is one lucky mommy.

Then we rushed home to make it to a friend’s 46th birthday party and Halloween celebration for the kids.  It was awesome, but I left my phone home, so no pics.  Boo!  My costume was the underwhelming Foxy Woxy mask and tail that Phoebe wore to school, but I did attempt to create drama with a badly drawn smoky eye under the mask.  I was too tired to hose my face down when we returned home at 1 AM, so I woke up with some seriously stained white pillows and a face that looked like this

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On Sunday, we had Trunk or Treat at the pool and it was supposed to be followed up by a Skate Night, but once again the Skate Truck didn’t show up, so the kids enjoyed their own personal scooters on the tennis courts while we set up the old school Ghostbusters movie on the big screen.  5 minutes into the movie a storm started brewing, so we had to call the whole thing off.

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And then Monday… Halloween… finally came.  Time to Trick or Treat!  Phoebe’s costume cost all of $5 for a can of yellow spray paint.  Mike drew on the SpongeBob face and I painted it (and then repainted it after an accidental throw of a dog toy ripped a giant scar down the front of SpongeBob’s face.  It had to be surgically taped and touched up with another layer of not-so-well-matched paint).  It was a chilly year for trick or treating, but we survived… save for many houses that left their porch lights on, but were not handing out candy.  What’s up with that?!  Tess was hilarious though in her disappointment with said houses.  “Why don’t they have candy?”  “Why is their light on, though?”  “Why don’t they like Halloween?”  “Who doesn’t have CANDY?”  “Why… Why… Why… won’t they give me candy?”  Then she would stop at the end of their driveways and glance back at the candyless house as though she was memorizing their location and possibly thinking to herself this is the house that I’m going to egg tomorrow.

Jax roamed the neighborhood with his friends again this year and since they just went to each other’s houses, he pilfered all of the candy that Tess had received with peanuts/peanut butter in them from her plastic pumpkin.  Such a good big brother, looking out for the safety of his peanut allergy plagued little sister.  I managed to get one lone blurry picture of the boys before my camera died, but since I can’t find my charger, I can’t upload the photo… so you get none.

Leila went trick or treating across town with a few friends and apparently they decided to go to a haunted house along the way.  According to her text, she “barley screamed”.  I get a kick out of her misspelled texts.

As the long, several different costume-change-filled, Halloween came to a close, I was happy to say so-long to Halloween.  Bring on the Christmas!!!

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Monday, Monday

12 Sep

I had this grand idea to get organized.  The pool season has ended and so it’s time to stop neglecting the house/kids/myself.  As I do with most of my grand ideas, I looked to Pinterest (aka “Carol’s brain” because how did I ever do anything or have an idea on my own without Pinterest).  And with any great idea that can only be completed with the help of Pinterest, I had to spend hours searching and pinning and then clicking on pins and filtering through pins.  I finally decided to do this…

listingmaincollagethemomplannerbycleanlifeandhome

Yep, 147 pages!  Not to be confused with 148 pages which would totally be overboard.

…and then there were all of these checklists that had to be printed out and organized.  (because you have to organize your organization binder to help you organize)

thinking-face

…and then I had to fill in checklists, make menus and plan a whole week of cleaning.

The more lists I completed the more overwhelmed I felt.  *This is already backfiring.  Why do I feel less organized.  What’s that?  What’s happening?  What’s going on?

So I worked and typed and penciled-in this and that in my binder all weekend.  And finally, at 3 AM this morning, I had the week ready to go.  I looked over my Monday morning checklist and thought to myself “Ok, it seems like a lot.  I’m overwhelmed, but wait… some of this I can really knock out in the hour that I have in between dropping Phoebe off at her bus stop and dropping Leila off at her bus stop.  Tess will be asleep.  This may work!  I’ve got this!”

…But then Tess woke up at 4 AM crying and I couldn’t get her back to sleep until after 5 AM and feeling exhausted I started reasoning with reality.  “I have to get up at 6:30 AM to get Jax off to school.  Let’s be real.  I’ll be too tired and want to take a nap after all of the kids are gone.  I’m going to have to add “nap” to my to-do list.  Is that contradictory?  Can you add “nap” to a to-do list that is supposed to keep you organized and timely?  Screw it!  Adding “nap” to my to-do list will be the first thing I “to-do”.”  Zzzzzz…

As predicted, I was exhausted to the point of delirium, but I got Jax up and ready, then I got Phoebe up and ready, and then I opened my binder and set to cross things off quickly, so I could get to “nap”.  I did a load of laundry, took care of the dog, woke Leila up and got her in the shower, realized that most of the things I actually do weren’t even on my to-do list, but thought things were going well… until Leila walked up to me in the hallway mid-“laundry” check-off.  Soaking wet with tears in her eyes she stammered, “Mom, I just remembered, I was supposed to do a project this weekend.”  

“A project?!  Not a worksheet or a chapter to read, but a whole PROJECT?!”

“Yes!  I need to make a poster about something for health class.”  Still dripping under her towel, she shuffled through her binder and handed me a sheet with her project requirements. 7 research bulletin points, to be exact.

“Crap!  Ok, get dressed.  Seriously, Leila?!  You have to be at the bus stop in 20 minutes.  It’ll be fine.  Dry your eyes.  Mommy to the rescue!  Let me see what I can knock out.”  I quickly turned to the computer and tapped away at the keyboard, scrambled for a gnarly piece of leftover posterboard, a glue stick and my paper cutter.  Frantically, I searched, copy and pasted, printed, cut and glued and all the while it was killing me that I couldn’t rephrase most of it and that it wasn’t pretty.  It dawned on me that most people with OCD are probably unorganized because if it’s not perfect then it’s not good enough, so why even try?  I had completed 5 bulletin points before she had to leave for the bus stop.  She walked out of the door without a project and both of us were deflated, but I trudged on and when it was completed I jumped in the van with what is quite possibly the worst looking poster on “Stuttering” the teacher will ever be handed.  I zipped to the bus stop just as the bus was coming down the street to pick her up.  *Yay!  I got to be her hero!  She gave me a giant hug, as I told her to study the poster on the bus and really learn her topic.

I left the bus stop smiling, but even more exhausted.  I came home to stare blankly at the mess the haphazard project had left behind in its wake and then look over even more blankly at my “to-do list” with its one… lone… check.  Nope, “do Leila’s weekend project for her” wasn’t on there.  Just then… *crunch* *crunch* “Shit!  What’s the dog into?”  Fabulous, “cleaning up shards of gnawed on colored pencils” isn’t on my to-do list either.  F U, Monday!

mondaymonday

When life gives you lemons…

13 Mar

… laugh at the little things.

Last week, I started feeling pretty awful.  Lymph nodes began flaring again, chest inflammation, irritability… blah, blah, blah, so I closed down my Etsy shop.  Just in time, as luck would have it!  Leila had also been sick with a virus for over a week.  She was coughing non-stop, but it was productive and her doctor listened to her chest several times and said she had normal breathing sounds, so not to worry.  She began vomiting mucous, but my doctor said again, not to worry, she would be fine.  After 5 days of her vomiting mucous and gasping for air, I had had enough and asked Michael to take her to urgent care.  I would stay behind with the little ones because they had their own congestion issues and I didn’t want the petri dish of a hospital make matters worse.  At urgent care they took xrays and noted something, but they weren’t quite sure what it was, they recommended a ct scan, which would have to be ordered by her doctor the next day, started her on antibiotics, and sent her home.  She had coughing spells and difficulty breathing throughout the night.  After we sent Jax off to school in the morning, I told Mike not to wait for her doctor’s office to open and to just take her to the ER, where they could run a ct scan.  I paced with worry while the little ones slept and when Mike called me a few hours later to ask me if she could have been exposed to TB and I could hear her in a fit to catch her breath in the background, I had had enough!  Still without a license and not wanting to expose my neighbors’ kids to whatever my children had, I asked a dear friend to drive me and the kids to the ER.  Like a scene out of Terms of Endearment, I hovered over her, fussed over her condition at the nursing desk, got her a warm blanket, tissues, more meds, begged for the doctor to come talk to me immediately… I was a mess.  They performed new xrays and though there was a discrepancy, they were sure that her lungs were ok.  They ran a TB test and started her on a stronger antibiotic.  The nursing staff stood by my side and comforted me, while they explained for nearly an hour why she was doing much better than she sounded.  They were so very kind to me.  We went home and 2 days later, I decided to get out of the house for a bit and drove everyone to the local pharmacy to get some more meds for our at home infirmary.

And guess what???  While at the pharmacy (obviously, because it was the only place we had been within 48 hours), Tess picked up the dreaded stomach bug.  Oy vey!  I stayed by her side and woke up with her every 15-30 minutes and washed and rewashed blankets and sheets and pjs.  While doing one load of laundry, I asked Mike if he could watch Tess as I had just put her in the bathtub.  She had an “incident” in the bathtub, which Mike tried to swipe down the drain.  The “incident” resulted in him contracting the stomach bug, himself!  Woo hoo!  And within 24 hours, I came down with it, as well.

As the 3 of us laid in a king sized bed, taking turns in the bathroom and changing runny diapers, I heard faint giggles coming from Tess.  In the quiet of the night, I listened as Mike snored over and over again and with each bear like growl a tiny toddler laugh followed.  Though I had just hovered over the commode and I was destined to return in nearly 30 minutes, and I felt like a bus had hit me, AND had one of the most stressful weeks, since Phoebe’s surgeries… I let out a giggle too each time… after Tess would giggle… after Mike would snore.  It’s the little things, or the little people, rather that just make life spectacular, even when it’s rotten.

Health Department, Hazmat, Jesus, Megan Fox

26 Jan

Q:  What do the Health Department, Hazmat, Jesus, and Megan Fox all have in common?

A:  I would love a visit from all of them!

You see, for years my house has been circulating virus after virus after virus.  It’s like some sort of doom and gloom Institute of Biowarfare Engineering up in here.  Hence, the desire for a visit from the Health Department, Hazmat, and Jesus… to come to my germ infested home, wave their magic wand and make it healthy.  What?  Oh, you don’t get the Megan Fox part? No, she’s not secretly a graduate of Hopkins Med School, nor is she a former Tibetan monk turned official Hollywood Holistic Healer of the Stars.  And no, I’m not jumping out of the closet on my blog, so “BOO!” to you.  Nor, would I like to have her here so that I can watch my husband try his best to suck in his gut and flirt with vulgar jokes and fart-noise humor (when you spend 85% of your time hanging around the type of people that he hangs around, this kind of stuff is the closest to romantic as it’s gonna get *sigh*).  No, though, that would be comical, I’d really like to have her here to see if the disease ridden air in my home could just suck the sexy right out of her.  It could be Jaxon’s next science fair experiment  “How many days does it take for my house to suck the sexy out of Megan Fox?” My hypothesis?:  Let’s see, #2 on FHM’s Sexiest Women list + continuously rotating vomit virus + boy with onslaught of 10-yr-old dementia (and that’ll only get worse with her around) + 2-year-old that will only be happy if she could just somehow physically climb back into my uterus + flus and colds that last for weeks (long enough for you to start feeling better when the kindergartner brings a different strand of it home) + see above (i.e. husband, loss in self-esteem, sex?) + the fact that the entire house could care less if they live like pigs (really, I’ve threatened not to clean up after them anymore and they just looked at me like… ‘So?  Pigs are cool!’)…

I give her 10 days, tops!

Christmas Eve, Leila had the stomach bug and everyone else had the flu.    2 weeks ago, Leila had the stomach bug, again.  Last week, Phoebe caught the stomach bug.  3 days later, I caught the stomach bug and then Jax and then Michael.  It doesn’t matter how many cans of Lysol or how many tubes of Clorox wipes, or how many jugs of bleach I use.  In one moment of stupidity, someone who is sick ventures out of their room and touches something without thinking or speaking and all hell breaks loose!   We are breeders of some sort of virus that is like the ever-lasting-gobstopper… changes colors and flavors, but lasts forever!  That’s the virus we have and I swear, Al Qaeda is behind it.  Osama has sent his little Oompa Loompas to my house and they sprinkled some sort of secret plague ingredient into our HVAC system and we are the first of his biowarfare invention The Everpuking Gobsnotter.

Leila missed school Thursday and Friday due to the stomach bug.  The following Monday school was closed for MLK, Jr. Day and was closed again on Tuesday due to an ice storm.  No lie, she cried Tuesday morning when Mike told her that school was closed, which was a total boost for my alternative-to-school ego.  And when she finally returned to school on Wednesday, Leila’s teacher asked everyone to draw a picture during “quiet time” and this is what Leila drew (again, NO LIE):

I didn’t have the nerve to ask her what the teacher said the picture was supposed to be about (“i.e. draw something about the last 6 days that you got to spend at home with mommy”).  On the bright side, the dog is smiling.

P.S.  Feel like my recent facebook post should be repeated here:  Wants to whine and list my frustrations, but when it comes down to it… no matter how imperfect or far from my dream… I’m still pretty lucky.

MOMMY! I broke my tooth!!!

10 Nov

While working with Jaxon on his homework, tonight, Leila came scurrying from her bedroom in a tizzy.

“Mommy!!!  Mommy!!!  MOOOOMMMEEEEEE!!!”

“What, Leila?!  What’s wrong?!”

She was in her room cleaning, but seemed frightened and shaken.  Did she see a spider?  If there is a gigantic spider in her room, why, then, did she run screaming for me?  She knows I don’t deal with the 8 legged kind when daddy’s home.

She catches her rapid breath and with wide terrified eyes says, “Mommy!  My tooth broke!” And then she started wailing.

“Oh my goodness, what?!” I look and see her wiping blood from her mouth.  Which she then sees on her hand and starts crying harder in some sort of scared *oh my God, I’m falling apart and there is blood and this is any EMERGENCY, people!* sort of way.  My mind starts racing.  She is very accident prone.  She probably decided to pretend she was an olympic-type ballerina/football player and bounced off a wall mid-twirl/catch, thus busting her mouth open.

“What happened?”, I ask, as Mike and I give her our full attention for a closer look.  “Did you hit your mouth on something?”

As she starts to talk, I can see it.  It’s a bloody mess where the tooth has “broken”.  “No!”, she says, “I was just sitting there cleaning” *sniff moan sniff* “like daddy told me to” *moan cry* “and then all of the sudden my tooth broke!” *Wahhhhh!*

And there amidst the moaning and the trickling blood, I got a better look.  There was no broken tooth… there was just a hole where her lower front tooth used to be.  A completely missing tooth! Mike and I burst into laughter and she stared at us like “Dude, what the hell?!  My mouth is totally falling apart and there is blood… like, real blood and you people are laughing?!  Don’t you even care?!  You are the worst parents ever!” Mike gave her a tissue to hold in her mouth and I gave her a hug.

“It’s fine, Leila!  Now, are you sure that you didn’t hit your mouth on anything?”

“No, I was just sitting there.”

“Then it’s fine!  You just lost your first tooth!  YAY!!!!

She stopped moaning and stared at me very puzzled.

“Where is your tooth?”, I ask.

She walked me back to her room and there in the middle of her almost clean floor was a perfect little tooth all by its lonesome.

“Look, Leila!  It’s a very pretty tooth!  It didn’t break out of your mouth.  It was supposed to fall out.  Now you get to put it under your pillow and see if the Tooth Fairy leaves you anything.”

At that moment, she beamed the most beautiful missing tooth grin that I’ve ever seen.  “The Tooth Fairy?!”

“Yep, just like in the movie.”

“What do you think he’ll put under my pillow?”

I giggled at the fact that she said “he” as though she was really picturing “The Rock” in a tutu tiptoeing around her bed.  Mike chimed in and said, “I think he gives a quarter a tooth.” I gave him an “Oh my God, you are such a cheap-skate!” glare.

“I think I’ll leave him a note and tell him what I want.  You know, like what I do for Santa.  Hmm… now what do I ask for?”, she says as she starts scribbling on a piece of paper.

10 minutes later, I put the girls in the bathtub and asked Mike to keep an eye on them because I had to run to the store to buy a “Scwike brazlit” (aka Squinkie bracelet).  I picked up a copy of “The Tooth Fairy” on blu-ray while I was there, also.  Have you seen Dwayne Johnson in that movie?  What?!  Yeah, yeah… Leila can watch it, too, I guess.



trick or treat

5 Nov

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…

Leila was a blushing bride, Jaxon was “Super Jaxon, the Lightening Thief”, and Phoebe was the “Hear No Evil” Monkey!

I made Leila’s gown and veil and it looked much better when she wore it around the house the night before.  It was so cold that I had to load layers of underclothes on her, including a bulky pair of high-waisted sweat pants.  Each of the 200+ flowers were hand sewn on, along with varying sizes of crystals centered in the flowers.  I also made Jaxon’s cape and painted over the appliquéd lightening bolt with glow-in-the-dark paint.  It looked super cool!  I didn’t make Phoebe’s costume, nor did I tell her to cover her ears.  She came up with that clever idea all on her own.

His lightening bolt spear was painted with the glow-in-the-dark paint, as well.

“Trick or Treat!”

Phoebe?  Where did you go?  Do you want candy?

What-choo talkin’ ’bout, Willis?  Someone’s going to give me candy???  I don’t know???  But, I’m excitedly suspicious!

CAAAANNNDYYYYYYY!!!  Mommy, look CANDYYYY!!!!

She then proceeded to run from house to house, as fast as her little monkey legs could take her, following behind big brother and sister.  Sometimes, when I forced her, she’d say “Tee ‘o teet!”, but mostly she’d just grabbed as much candy as bowl holders would allow and run off to the next house.  Also, apparently she doesn’t care for the “Baby Ruth” bars because every time she got one she’d keep it in her hand until she got to the next house and as she grabbed for one of their Kit Kat bars she’d quickly slip the Baby Ruth in their bowl.  Kinda like some sort of underhanded Halloween trade.  The big hit of the night for her was the house that handed out a big box of raisins, which she immediately told me to open.  And when I said that I would do it when we were done trick or treating, she outright had a meltdown.  Halloween was immediately put on hold as the screaming monkey show commenced.  I wanted to wait for her to calm down and for her to say, “Please!”, but in classic bad-parenting form I just ripped the box of raisins open and handed them to her.  Anything you want, just CHILL!!! Holy-moley!

2 other disruptions of the Halloween celebration spectacular:

1)  I missed the annual television showing of “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown!”  I hate that!!!  I actually bought the VHS tape of the movie, 8 years ago, to ensure that I’d never miss it…  EVER!!!  I didn’t count on my husband’s electronic upgrade on the entire house.  Is there a VHS to Blu-ray converter in existence?

2)  I had to post this on Facebook:

“Which house was it that tried to pass off 40% less fat Reese’s Cups as candy??? They deserve to be toilet papered! I didn’t know that it was “reduced fat” until I bit into it and spit it back out. Terrible, just terrible. Guess I got a trick instead of a treat!”

So random…

21 Oct

Phew! Busy, busy, busy…  Like, for example:

1)  This morning I had to take the kids to school because Michael had a search warrant.  Getting 3 clothed children out of the door by myself in the morning is no small task.  (Especially, when one is a toddler who is currently possessed by the devil.  Me:  Phoebe, it’s time to get up.  Phoebe:  Hiss!  *glare, whine, cry* Hisssssssss!!!!  Die, Woman!)  I had to hold up the carpool lane at school because I noticed that Leila got out of the truck without her book bag on.  We searched the truck and of course, it was nowhere to be found.  “It’s ok, Leila!  It must be home!  I’ll go get it and bring it right to you!” You see, today, Leila has a field trip.  Departure time? Just after morning announcements and they must have a packed lunch in tote before they board the bus.  Where was Leila’s lunch? At home in her book bag!  That meant I had 10 minutes to get home, grab her lunch, and get it to the school.  To top it off, Leila was already disappointed about the field trip because I just had to break it to her that I wouldn’t be able to chaperone, as Mike had to frantically schedule a search warrant last-minute.  Poor Leila!!!  So, I’m rushing back home and forgot that there were 2 officers making traffic stops along the way.  “Sh*t!” *brake brake* I pass the officers and they pull out behind me.  “Sh*t!  Sh*t!  Sh*t!” My hands start to feel numb.  Why, you ask? Hmm… in case you haven’t read previous posts:  I’m currently without a license.  I forgot to renew my license a year and 1/2 ago or something ridiculous like that and now I have to retake the licensing tests… which, I really haven’t had time to do.  Also, the tags on the truck are expired.  Usually, it’s not a big deal because we don’t take it out often, but the van is out of gas and the bank account is out of money, so I drove the truck today.  So anyway, no license, no proof of ID (I lost my expired license), driving with expired tags, and speeding a tad to bring my poor little daughter her forgotten lunchbox before she has to leave for the field trip!  Ahh!!!  Go away, cop cars!!!  Shew!!!  Go on now, shew!!! Surprisingly, shewing them off didn’t work!  They followed me going the snail’s pace 30 mph speed limit for 5 miles.  All I could think about was:  will I go to jail for this?  and… how can I get Leila’s lunch to her from jail?  and… is that really what I want to use my one phone call for?  Leila’s lunch?  hmm…..

When I turned onto the street where I live, the police officers continued going straight.  I was free!!!!  I couldn’t help but notice the faint taste of vomit in the back of my mouth though.  Leila got her lunch and all is fine.

[Interesting detail that I forgot to add: We had to ride to school with the windows down because 2 days ago Phoebe’s “spill-proof” sippy cup leaked some milk in the truck and the odor was icky, to say the least.  I guess this could also explain the faint taste of vomit in my mouth.  That’s what I get for asking Leila to quickly wipe it up.  When will I learn that 5-year-olds aren’t the tidiest of human beings?  Also, do you think Erin Brockovich would take on my lawsuit against sippy cup makers that claim their product is “spill-proof”?]

2)  My nemesis returns! This:

has been at my back door every night for 2 weeks now and sprayed in my and my neighbor’s yard twice.  (I made the unfortunate decision to allow Phoebe to take her snack size bag of Cheetos outside to play one day.  As it turns out, Cheetos are aka “Skunk Crack”.)  I have dared to shew it away twice.  It turns out that skunks are as easily shewed away as cop cars.  When it finally does run walk-quickly away it darts for a corner of my backyard that has a 12″ gap between fencing.  That gap runs the full length of another neighbor’s yard and towards, the neighbor that I call, “cat lady”‘s yard.  So, I’m thinking that “cat lady” not only has 12 un-collared, un-vaccinated, and un-spayed/un-neutered cats, but she also has skunks.

Dear “Cat Lady”:  I’ve called City Ordinance dozens of times now about your constant tendency to be a public nuisance/health hazard.  Please move!  There are several houses on the market across town.  Go and take your cats with you!

Thank you,

The neighbor that you once handed a bag with a dead bird in it

P.S. One of your cats is a skunk, you blind old fool!

3.  Oh yeah, I found this:

in Leila’s book bag yesterday.  It appears that Leila decided to take one of our pot-holders to school and gift it to her teacher.

Dear Mrs. Van:

Thank you for pleasantly accepting a pot-holder from Leila that I’m not even sure was clean or in decent condition.  I will be sure to pat her down each morning from now on to ensure that you no longer receive random items from around my house.

Sincerely,

Leila’s mommy

P.S. I love you, Leila!

9 Sep

Dear Leila,

Hello, my little rough-hugger!  I hope you are greeting each day with as much eagerness as you do at age 5 1/2.  You awake before the alarm goes off to get ready for school and come to my bedside and whisper, “Good morning, Mommy.  I’m all ready for school.  Are you proud of me?” I will always be proud of you. When I think of you, the song “When I See You Smile” comes to mind.

“Sometimes I wonder
If I’d ever make it through
Through this world
without having in you
I just wouldn’t have a clue
Cause sometimes it seems
Like this world’s closing in on me
And there’s no way of breaking free
And then I see you reach for me
Sometimes I wanna give up
Wanna give in
I wanna quit the fight
And then I see you baby
And everything’s alright
Everything’s alright
When I see you smile
I can face the world
Oh you know I can do anything
When I see you smile
I see a ray of light
Oh I see it shining
right through the rain
When I see you smile
Baby when I see you smile”

(Sorry for inserting the long paraphrase of the song lyrics, but stupid wordpress won’t let me insert audio unless I pay them a small fortune.  You can look it up (it’s sung by Bad Company) on the internet, or some distant-future version thereof, when you read this.)

No matter how tough my day has been or however lost I feel amidst my piles of laundry, when you smile suddenly everything’s alright.  You’re quite the clown and will do anything for a laugh.  You don’t just hug, you leap onto those you love and attach with enthusiasm.  I’m not going to lie, it scares people a little.  You love everyone, except for one boy in your class who you “try not to play with because he picks his nose a lot”.  When you were a baby you screamed with such a pitch that it sent shivers down the spines of everyone in the house.  You were loud and never content and had to sleep in your swing with the vacuum running next to it (much like your little sister).  You couldn’t possibly be more opposite than that now.  You are gentle-hearted and always content.  If I’m too busy to play with you, you quietly go to your desk and color a dozen pictures.  You proudly explain to me what you colored as you tape them up on the wall in display.  “Are you proud of me, Mommy?”, you ask.  I will always be proud of you.

You love to dress yourself in the oddest combinations (Fancy Nancy style) and have to wear your dress shoes, no matter the occasion.  You were very disappointed every time I told you that you couldn’t wear your Easter Sunday dress sandals to soccer practice.  You try to do your own hair, paint your own nails, and put on some of my old pink lip gloss.  I catch you examining your work in the mirror with pride and the gleam in your eyes tells me that you’re happy with what you see.  “Awe, I look so pretty!” I hope you always see yourself this way because you are beautiful, more beautiful than a sunrise over the ocean.

As “the middle child”, you will grow to notice that I don’t have as many baby pictures of you as I have of Jax and that I’ve documented so much more of Phoebe’s life than I have of yours because I started blogging just before I found out that I was pregnant with her.  But trust me when I say that my love for you is even stronger because of it.  I have to work harder to keep those memories alive in my head and in my heart.  Our tie is stronger and more dedicated than any old picture or written word.  I have a notoriously bad memory, but I’ve not let many days of your life slide out of it.

I feel the need to mention that, like Phoebe (and Jax, too), you had a lullaby when you were a baby, too.  Sung to the tune of the chorus in “Jesus Loves Me”:

I love my little Leila
Yes, I do
I love my little Leila
Yes, I do
I love my little Leila
Yes, I do
I love my little Leila
Yes
I
DO

(I know, I’m quite the lyricist.  Copyright pending.)

I miss you while you’re away at school.  You’re my best friend/my closest ally.  As the clock winds to 3:10, I’m itching to run down to greet you when you step off of the bus.  “Mommy!”, you yell, before you even get out of the bus door.  “Hi, baby!  Did you have a great day?” “Yes!  I made more new friends today, but I can’t remember their names.  I learned that buenos tardes means good afternoon and the lady in the library asked me to read her a book and I read it to her.  And guess what?  I read all of the words all by myself.  She said that I was a really good reader and gave me 2 whole stickers.  Are you proud of me, Mommy?”  “Awe, honey!  I am very proud of you!  I will always be proud of you!You beam your biggest smile and I feel like I can do anything…

…oh-oh-oh, baby when I see you smile!

P.S.  I love you!





Pardon me, but you’ve got a little something… right there.

7 Sep

Leila came home from school on Thursday complaining of a dry throat.  By 1:00 AM, I was awoken by a terrifying scream coming from Leila’s room.  She was sobbing and couldn’t even form the words to tell me that her throat was in pain.  She missed school on Friday.  By Saturday morning Phoebe had caught it and now… well, now I’m dreadfully ill.  So in lieu of a “real post”, please enjoy this half-*ss photo-montage.

Phoebe gets her first ice cream cone:

Umm, dude… you’ve got a little something… right there… on your face.

Nom, nom, nom.  I look doped up because I feel doped up.

And when you get tired of licking it, it makes a nice chin rest.

The rest of the ice cream is in this holder thingy.  Am I supposed to slurp it up through my nostrils or what?

No, no, no!  It’s way too cold to go through the nostrils! Could somebody please explain to me how to get to the rest of the ice cream in the bottom of this damn thing?!

OMG!  It’s cold!  Who just hit me over the head with a hammer?  What do you mean “it’s brain freeze”?  That sounds pretty serious.

Whatever!  The pain was brief.  Nom nom nom!  This stuff is so magically-delicious that I feel delirious.  Does anyone else notice that I am also starting to resemble the Cheshire Cat?

*hiccup*  Whoz ready for a nuther round?  Thissss wonz on me! *hiccup*

Yes, Phoebe… it’s definitely on you!

Can I get off of this ride, PLEASE?

25 Aug

I know that the ride that I’m on is just the un-“Merry Mixer” and not a gigantic roller coaster, but I’ve been on it with the county public school system for four years now and I’m beyond nauseous.

Leila’s first day of school… take 2!


She got on the bus with Jaxon at 6:55 AM and sat in the front seat.  Jaxon walked to the back of the bus.  You know, where the cool kids sit.  As I was telling the bus driver that Leila was a new student, I could hear Leila call for Jaxon to sit with her, in the background.  Jaxon got up from his seat and with a *huff*, plopped down next to Leila  and then complained that he didn’t want to sit there.  As the bus pulled off, I couldn’t help but pray that they wouldn’t cause the bus driver to go insane by squabbling the whole way to school.

Mike drove Phoebe and I to the school, so that he could watch Phoebe while I escorted them off the bus and to class.

Leila ran up to me and said, “That bus ride was really long!” She was adjusting from her 15 min. bus ride to [old school] to her now 1 hour bus ride to [TAG school].  The bus monitors greeted me and thought that it was so cute that I was taking pictures of the kids getting off of the bus.  Once inside, we noticed that a large number of students were in the cafeteria.  “Hmm… Are we supposed to wait in there?” we wondered.  “No, there are a lot of students walking to class.

Leila, go ahead and show Jaxon where your classroom is so that he knows where to find you in the afternoon when he walks you to the bus.”  “Ok!” I was behind them as they walked down the hallway hand-in-hand.  It was so cute!  I had to get a picture!  As I started to snap a picture,  I heard an “Excuse me!”  “Yes?”  “You are not allowed in the hallway.  Have you checked in with the office?”  “Oh… well…. umm… It’s her first day and she’s not really sure where to go and….”  “I’ll make sure she gets to class.  I’m the Assistant Principal and you know you can’t take pictures at our school without the consent of everyone that is in the picture.”  *her tone was frustrated and accusatory.  as though, I were trying to be defiant to school rules*  “Actually, we well… she was at another school yesterday and things are so confusing.  I just wanted to make sure that she knew where to go…”  “Parents aren’t allowed in the school during the first week.  Like I said, I’ll take her…” Jaxon and Leila were walking back towards me and said that no one was in the kindergarten classroom.  I looked down the hallway and the kindergarten teacher was walking her class from around the back stairwell of the school.  “Where are they coming from?  Were you supposed to meet someplace first?” I wondered aloud.  The Vice Principal glances back at me as she takes Leila’s hand and I see her walk her off to her teacher.  “I’ll make sure she knows where to go!” And with that she was out of sight… gone amongst a crowd of students.  “But I didn’t even get to hug her goodbye,” I mumbled.  I head back down the hallway towards the front door with Jaxon because the stairwell to his class was along the way and then I lost him due to someone else shuffling kids this way and that.  “I didn’t get to say goodbye to him, either!” As I passed the office near the exit door, Ms. Judy noticed me and came out of the office to ask how we were this morning.  I couldn’t hold the tears back.  I couldn’t even talk.  She hugged me and promised that Leila would be ok.  “But it’s not that!”, I wanted to say.  I wanted to say that I was so tired of the confusion and the shuffling and being treated as though I was doing everything wrong when I was never told what to do in the first place.  I was tired!!!  Unable to speak and looking foolish,  I just mumbled a “Thank you!” and an “I know.” (How did this go wrong, again???  Seriously!  I’m sure that these board of ed. and school posts seem very dramatic and silly to readers, but what I type isn’t even the half I what we’ve been through.  It’s not a novel… it’s a blog and a lot of the issues get condensed out.)  By this time, the Assistant Principal was back from taking Leila to class and she saw that I was surrounded by huggers and that I was a mess.  She then too, put her arm around me and promised that Leila would be ok.  But again that’s not really what I was upset about.  The whole picture was just too much to swallow at this point.  I just wanted to say “goodbye!” at this point.  I got to say goodbye and take pictures yesterday at Northview and today all the other kids in the kindergarten class knew where to go in the morning because they had orientations and… and…  But still too choked up, I didn’t say anything.  I just said “Thank you” and left.  I passed other parents on the way out and was embarrassed by my flushed and tear stained face.  I wanted to ask them why it was that they got to go inside the school, but I was asked to leave.  Everything seemed to not make any sense.

At about 11:30 AM, I received a phone call from the school.  It was the school nurse calling to tell me that Leila had fallen off of the playground equipment.  Of course she did!  Why would Leila do anything else? She said that she had a red mark on her face, but she wasn’t bleeding or bruised and she had checked to make sure that all of her teeth were intact.  She then said that Leila was in good spirits and wanted to go back to class, but she could put her on the phone so that I could talk to her first.  “Yes, please!” I knew she was ok, but I was dying to talk to her.  Leila didn’t say much, she just giggled a lot and then she said “Bye, Mommy!” and hung up the phone.  She was fine!  She was doing ok!  I was starting to feel better.  An hour later the school called again.  Oh crap, did she fall again.  Leila is so accident prone!  “Mrs. Trader?  This is the Assistant Principal.  I knew you wanted to make sure that Leila was going to have a great day at school this morning, so I’ve pulled her out of class so that you could talk to her a bit.”  “Hi, Mommy!”  “Hi, Leila!  I just talked to you.  Whatcha doin’ now?  Are you having a good day?”  *giggling* “Yes.”  *giggling* “Well, ok.  I’m glad!  You have fun and make lots of friends and I’ll see you when you get off of the bus, ok?”  “Ok” *giggling* “I love you!” “I love you too, Mommy!  Bye!”  *hands the phone back to the Assistant Principal* “Mrs. Trader, I just wanted to say that you have the most polite and loving little girl.  She is really such a joy!”  “I know!  She’s the best!  I’m sorry that I was so upset this morning, but I did really just want to say “goodbye” to her.”  “You don’t have to explain anything to me.  I’m a mother and a grandmother.  I understand.  But she’s doing great and I’m going to walk her back to class.” It was as though I was talking to a different woman.  She was so friendly and pleasant and not accusatory now.  Phew!!! I hope we can continue the current relationship.

Jaxon’s 4th day of school and Leila’s 3rd:

I’ve promised them that this is the last day that they have to ride the bus to school.  Today, they were on the bus for 1 hr. and 15 mins.!  Poor things.  I will drive them from now on.  I also didn’t take any pictures today, but I still met them at the front door of the school.  The principal told me that I was “most certainly allowed to walk them to class and that I shouldn’t have been told otherwise!” Again, what is up with the miscommunication?!  So very tired of it!!!  Jaxon’s grade was told to wait in the cafeteria until the bell rang and then I started to walk Leila down the hallway.  The Assistant Principal was near the kindergarten door.  As soon as I saw her, I stopped Leila right there in the middle of the hallway and gave her a big kiss, told her that I loved her and to have a great day.  She giggled again (apparently she finds me amusing) and then skipped happily towards the Assistant Principal who waved to me with a big grin on her face.  Leila skipped up to her and they walked hand and hand to the kindergarten room as if they were best friends.  And today… in this way… it made me smile.

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