Sunday, May 31, 2009

You'll get yours, My Pretty

Today has been one of those days where you just feel the need to survive the day. You don't necessarily aim for it to be a great day, but you just want to get through it, with no casualties.

After going to sleep way too late last night, and fighting with the little one until she went to sleep at nearly 11pm, I was awoken by the same little one, way too early. She wanted me to wake up and read to her. I wanted to roll over and snore. I will let you guess who won, but since I am incredibly grumpy, you probably don't have to guess hard.

Anyway, we were nearly out of diapers, both reg diapies as the little one calls normal diapers, and Dora pull ups that we use for potty training. So, we had to venture out this morning.

First, we hit Wal-Mart. That place is designed to make you crankier anymore, let alone with kids. Of course, both of my kids were just as cranky as I am, and both decided to show off their bad behaviour in various ways. I think the big one must have ask me for everything in that place. She wanted it all. She kept touching it all. I would have put her in the cart, but it was too full of apple juice (the cheapest place to get it), diapers, and all the other junk that somehow just hops into your buggy while you are there.
The little one ask for a snack, which was great. It kept her occupied until nearly the end of our time there.
We finally get to the front, and of course, there are three registers open, and massive lines. After minutes of more grabbing and begging and yelling, we finally paid and left the building.

Somehow, I think the feeling that I get when I leave Wal-Mart with two kids in tow on a on busy day, is much like the feeling that a prisoner gets upon being released from county jail.

But I digress.

Then, we had to put everything in the car, buckle up, and head over to Von's for a tiny bit of grocery shopping.

By the grace of God, there was one of those car shopping carts for kids. So, both girls went in this time. Well, I thought it was the grace of God, until I realized that this one had no seat belts. Then, I realized it was really more like a trick of Puck, then the grace of any god. We took the cart anyway, lest there be a full on mutiny. I don't know if things would have been better or worse with a regular cart, and I don't want to speculate now, but I do know next time, if there are no seat belts, we won't be taking it.

For at least the first two minutes, the car occupied them. They were playing some sort of competitive plastic horn honking contest. Not sure who won, but it was very loud, and very serious. That's all I really got.

The little one started standing up, sticking her head through where the windshield should have been. The big one kept leaning out, and her long, long blond hair kept brushing the ground.

They continued to fight. It only got louder. At some point, the big one started beeping, and it actually angered the little one, who started yelling no. I tried to get them both to stop. Threats worked momentarily, but each one seemed to fade quickly, until another one was issued.

Finally, we were nearly done. Well, I was done long, long ago, but we were almost finished with our shopping. I headed through the frozen foods to get a frozen pizza. After we finally got one picked out, and were headed toward the front, I saw her.

At the head of the isle stood a very pretty, young woman. I would guess she was about 23 or 24. She had her long hair done perfectly. It had blond highlights on top with brown low lights under. She had side swept bangs with a wide head band just behind them. The hair behind the head band was teased a little for volume. It took some time to get all that done this morning, I am sure. She was wearing the most adorable little mini swing jacket and carrying a nice purse. All in all, she looked like every young successful person I see anymore; well put together and unfrazzeled. She stirred in me some distant memory of myself, when I had to put on make up to even go grocery shopping, because you never knew what man you might see, or what man might see you.

As we got past her, the little one started yelling "No" repeatedly, objecting to something her sister was doing. They were being loud, and wild, and kids.

She looked at the little one, well, at both of them.

Then, she laughed.

I was stressed beyond belief, just trying to get out of there, and she laughs. Now, miss "I am perfect right now" may have actually thought my kids were cute. Or she may have looked at me, all disheveled with a vein nearly popping out of my head, or who knows what, but it really didn't matter what caused it. The absolutely last thing that I needed or wanted right at that moment was a cute 23 year old looking my way and laughing, for any reason. It just breaks you down that much farther.

What I needed was a knowing, and I wish I could help, kind of look from another mom who felt for me. Maybe even a hug, but not a laugh.

Somehow, I managed to get out of there with everyone unscathed physically, after grabbing the little one's shoes, which the bagger nicely pointed out that she had taken off and laid in the floor next to our shopping cart. Though, mentally and emotionally, I had taken a beating.

I kept thinking about that young woman, and how her reaction, even if it were completely innocent, affected me right at that moment.

Now, I certainly don't wish this little chic-a-dee ill will. However, ten or so years from now, when she is in the same situation, walking through a grocery store with kids that have traipsed on every nerve she has, when her hair, or her figure, aren't so perfect anymore, and she is well past her wits end, just functioning on survival mode, I doubt her brain will work well enough to bring back this memory for her, but somehow, someway, the karmic threads of life will be balanced just a little bit more.

Monday, May 25, 2009

On this Memorial Day

I don't tend to delve into copied and forwarded Internet fodder. However, my loving husband sent me something that is anything but simple Internet fodder.
It is beautiful, poignant and well worth sharing to everyone I know, and even those I don't.

So, on this Memorial Day, please, take a moment to read this, and even read it to your children, as he ask me to read it to ours.

The Commissioning of PCU New York will take place on November 7th, 2009 at the Intrepid Museum Pier 88 South, Pier 86 North New York City, NY, 10036, USA.

Finally, some of what we lost returns, The USS New York, LPD-21, will parade into New York Harbor on Monday, November 2nd of 2009 for what will undoubtedly be the Commissioning event of the century. No other ship in world history carries the same sentiment and import this ship possesses. In her bow is 7.5 tons of World Trade Center Steel, on her decks are the best and brightest crew this nation can produce and in our hearts, the hopes and dreams of a nation that will not be kept down.

Remarks by Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England
Christening of LPD 21, 1 March 2008, New Orleans, LA

Today is a day of reflection, remembrance and resolve. On the day the towers fell … all Americans were New Yorkers.

Some people still question why terrorists killed 3,000 people of 60 nationalities that day. I’ve concluded that they killed 3,000 because they did not know how to kill 30,000, 300,000 or 3 million, but they would have if they could have … and they are still trying.

This is not a war of our choosing. This is not a war we can ignore. This is not a war that will end if we walk away from the battlefield.

This fight, brought to our shores that day, is a struggle that will require strong, steady and sustained leadership with the enduring need for a strong military … and ships like NEW YORK.
A ship’s name is important. Ship names provide a legacy … and for the Sailors and Marines who sail in those ships ….they are a source of strength … and inspiration. This ship … stands for “life, liberty … and the pursuit of all who threaten it” and will ensure that we NEVER FORGET … 11 September 2001. They will take the fight to all who threaten peace and freedom.

The ship’s motto [Never Forget] was inspired by President Bush. I remember well when the President came to the Pentagon on 9-12 and met with the Pentagon’s senior civilian and military leaders. The Pentagon was still burning. In the conference room, you could smell the smoke and jet fuel … and feel the soot in the air. Security was high, and the military was on full alert.

I recall the President telling us to Get Ready … to get the military ready. He stressed that this war will be fought on three fronts … diplomatic, economic and military, but that the military must succeed for the Nation to win. He said, “This will be a long war – not like removing a mole, but like removing a cancer.” He said that the country needed to move on and resume life as normal, but that we, who were charged with the defense of America and freedom, could never forget what happened on 9-11. The President said, “I will never forget”. He then went around the room and looked everyone squarely in the eye and said, “Never Forget … Never Forget.”

Memorials are intended to remind us and on this Memorial Day – let us remember those who have gone before us and have given their best. Let them continue to inspire us to give our best as well. And, lastly, be reminded of why we do what we do.

God Bless America,
Chaplain Cartus Thornton

Sunday, May 24, 2009

The lovliest things

Sometimes, I think it would be nice to have my bed all to myself again. It would be nice not to roll over onto a small paperback of an Amelia Bedelia book, that has been lost between the covers. Or maybe not to roll onto a little plush animal, also lost in the covers of the bed. It is hard not to lose things in bed covers, when you have so many on the bed, like we do. Two little girls each bring their own blankets when they come to my bed. We have a twin size Scooby Doo comforter, a toddler sized Dora or Princess blanket, depending on which one was grabbed, and then of course the covers that belong on my bed. There are tons of pillows and the king size bed seems sort of crowded.

Just when I want my space back, and I think I can't take it anymore, I look over to my left and I see that laying with me isn't just a mass of tangled covers and toys that don't belong, but the two most beautiful things ever put on this earth. These two gorgeous cherubic (they are sleeping) little people whom I love more than life itself.

I realize that I can reach over and touch them or kiss them, and not wake them, or even need to get get up to go do it. I can snuggle up to them, and smell their little heads. I get the gift of laying there with these two wonderful, funny, beautiful girls, and I know that I better take that gift while I have it. It won;'t be long before there is no more snuggling. They will want space of their own and Independence.

So, I guess if a book and a tiger int he back are the price I have to pay, I will pay it gladly. Heck, I'll even sleep under the Scooby Doo covers with them.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

What a morning

We met some good friends for breakfast this morning. The spot we went to, my friend has been telling me about for years and years. Really. Multiple years. I have always wanted to go, but just never done it.

The experience started out a little rough. We had to be up a little bit early in order to get there before the line formed, and this place does get a line.
Then, we had to park and walk a ways in a very crowed traffic filled area. We brought along the big one's bike for a walk and ride along the beach afterward. Unfortunately, as previously stated, my oldest lives on a different state of awareness than most. So, after a spill while just pushing her bike, and then running into a parked car with the stroller, I realized that I was going to have to push the stroller and bike down the side walk, if she were to survive.
So, that was hard enough, but then, the big one nearly got hit by a car as we were going through a cross walk. We were already half way though, and she went ahead a few steps. This women comes barreling though, not even looking, and nearly hits her. I almost started crying. It was scary.
So, I made her stay right with me from then on, with one hand on her bike, even though I was pushing it. As we went through the next cross walk, I yelled for her to hold onto me, to make sure she was right beside me. Well, she reaches out and back pocket. My jeans were barely on anyway, and so she helped me semi moon most of the area. I couldn't stop to pull them up until we were out of the cross walk, either.

It took a while to find the place, and we were running really late by then.

However, I had text messaged my fantastic friend what I wanted to order, and she got it. By the time we got there, it was at the table. We sat down to some of the cheapest and best food around. It looked great, at least. I didn't eat the good stuff because I am really watching what I eat right now, and opted for something a tiny bit healthier from the menu. However, the girls scarfed down the eggs. The pancakes were great. It all looked fantastic. There was so much food one the one cheap plate, that I split it between the girls. There were even tons of leftovers.

The view that comes with it is unbelievable. This is really one of the best spots in all of San Diego to eat.

After we were all done, we went for a walk or ride along the beach. It was really nice to get the big one back on her bike. She hadn't been in forever. Bike rides are a dad thing, and mom has been negligent in taking up that part of Dad's job. After seeing her ride, we need to change that. She really needs some practice.

The view was gorgeous. The little one got a bit cranky from all the time sitting, and I think we need to opt for a push trike for her before we go again, but she seemed to like it, too.

When we were finally done, we walked through a little farmer's market and got some really, really yummy cherries. Not your typical red cherries, either, but some Rainer cherries that were so big, the big one kept telling me they were little peaches. They were good, for sure.

All in all, I would say this is what a real San Diego weekend morning should be, minus the near miss and stress. Breakfast overlooking the ocean, then a walk on the beach, to finish up at a farmer's market. All with great friends. I don't think it gets much better than this out here.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Save The Unit

Expect this post to be riddled with sophomoric humor and laced with innuendo. If you care not for either, please avert your eyes from the screen until you move scrolled onto another post.
**warning over**

If you don't know what The Unit is, it is not a nickname for anything associated with my husband, but one of my favorite tv shows, and it just got canceled! I am devastated. I love the Unit. The Unit makes me happy. (I warned you.)

In all honesty, I am taking this pretty personally. One of the few things that my husband and I regularly do together is watch The Unit. When he is home, he is almost always off work on Sunday nights. So, after the girls go to bed, we lay on the couch together and snuggle up for some Unit time. (seriously, warned you).

The Unit is a great show. It keeps me on the edge of my seat. There are great story lines, and the hotties acting them out don't hurt! I mean, were talking hot guys playing military special forces roles. Hello! Really, though, it isn't just the guys, the show is great. So, if you love you some Unit too (I need to stop), or if you just feel bad for how much I will miss the Unit (I promise to stop now), then, please, go to CBS's website, and leave them a request to keep it up on the air.
Thank you for your time, and your patience!

Potty Training Stinks!

Potty training is one of the parts of parenting that I loathe. I really is.
It makes me wonder if we could just skip it, and they could figure it out by themselves before they turn 5. I think I would be willing to buy diapers for that long, if I could just avoid the process. I know, though, that we just have to do it.

We are in the throws of the P.T. process now. The little one is beginning to grasp pooping on the potty. I don't have much warning, and when she says potty, we have to run. I have to basically drop everything and take her straight to the potty, or she will go in her diaper. The problem is, that she still doesn't quite get her body's signals yet. So, if she has bad gas, we drop and run to the potty. Which is annoying, to say the least.

In fact, it makes it near impossible to get anything done. I was trying to read a book with the big one, who needs to read a non-fiction book for a book report. Well, I had to drop and run to the potty 2 times while reading. It wasn't that long of a book. We just couldn't get through it. The little one comes running in, and tells me she needs to go a 3rd time. This time, I say no. I ask her to wait just a minute. We only had 2 pages left. Of course, this is the time she really needed to go, and she pooped in her diaper. I know I should have stopped what I was doing, but with that many stops, it is affecting the flow and comprehension of the book for the big one. It just needed to be done.

She doesn't get pee yet, though. She comes to me immediately after she pees, so fast that her diaper is still really warm, and tell me she has to pee. So, we are close, but just not there yet.

Arg. This sucks, to put it mildly. What else sucks is that by the time my husband will come back, I will have gone through all the terrible habit breaking things all by myself.

I broke her from her beloved pacifier (pa-pa) all by myself. I am doing the potty training, and I think she may be done, or pretty close by the time he gets home. I am about to get her a big girl bed, as soon as I can find one I like, and move her from my bed to her own bed. By the time he gets back, all the baby things will be done.

Well, now that I am about to cry, perhaps I should look at the brighter side of it all. First, some how, surprisingly, I managed to get away without any kind of edible reward system this time around the PT track. The only reward the little one wants and gets, is a pull up when she goes on the potty. Well, that and a little song and dance from mom, who won't be sharing that with anyone else. She loves the Dora pull ups, and knows she only gets them if she goes on the potty. She also knows that is she potties in her pull up, it goes in the trash and she has to earn another. So, that is good.
It will also be good to have her out of diapers, and not spend that money anymore. That is $20 more a month to go toward my MNOs when my husband gets back.
Finally, it will be thrilling to have her in her own bed, especially when the husband comes home. I don't think that needs any explanation, either.

So, there are some bright sides to this crappy (ha) process. I guess I need to focus on those, and keep my eyes on the prize. That $20 will buy more than a couple of well drinks at a very well deserved night out!

Friday, May 15, 2009

The Diva and The Tall One

Today, we have had a great day around my house. We have managed to make wishes and dreams come true, and it was all pretty easy.

The first wish come true was for my oldest. I sat her down for the big talk about going to a new school next year. Much to my shock, she is thrilled. Her big question was "Will I go to the new school as a Kindergartner?"

"No. You will be a first grader."

Her eyes got big, and were filled with light and excitement.
"I have always dreamed of being a first grader!"

Man, that was an easy one. = )

She will be getting a set of Junie B. Jones books for her birthday, before anyone suggests it.

The next one came just about as easily. I was getting them ready for bed and the big one made this very dramatic movement and show of preparing to get ready. I ask her if she wanted to be an actress.


"Would you like to be an actress when you grow up?"

"An actress? Why?"

"Well, you are very theatrical, and you have a certain flair. I think you would be a great actress, or rock star. Something like that."

She thought about that for a minute.

"I know what I need to be then, mom. I should be a Diva."

I busted up. I mean busted up.

When I calmed my self enough to talk, I told her she already was a diva.

"Oh, then I guess I will be a Dr."

Good girl. Make sure you can take care of your momma.

So, I turned to the little one.
"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

She didn't answer. I mean, she is two. This is a hard question. So, I repeated it.

"What do you want to be when you grow up?"

She tapped her chin as if to think for a second. Then she got up on her tip toes, and stretched her self as far as she could.

And yet another wish that will be granted around here.

It was fantastic.

These are the kinds of things that keep you going, when it is 12am, they won't sleep, and have been crying for the last 2 hours straight. This is the stuff that I love and live for, the fantastically fun moments of our lives.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

No Fear!

I'm not afraid of the boogie man in our mail box. Not anymore, anyway!

We got a call today, and the big one has a spot at the school I requested for next year!

I am so thrilled it isn't funny. I actually started crying on the phone. That women on the other end either thought I was nuts, or knows all about our school and probably felt for me. Either way, I had to cry.

I am so relived that she won't be back in that hole next year.

Now, I know that she will have a hard time accepting the fact that she will be changing schools, but sometimes, we have to do what is right for them, even if it hurts a little in the process.

I am very excited about the possibilities at the new school. I am looking forward to new experiences and great times in a much better environment!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Worse than the Boogie Man

I have a huge fear right now.

I am afraid to go to my mail box.

I don't want to do it. I'm scared of what will be in there.

Actually, I suppose I am afraid of what won't be in there.

Last week, our school systems mailed letters to parents who applied to their choice program to switch schools for their child. Given the time frame that they were mailed in, I would say today is the last day to get your acceptance letter.

So far, though I applied on time, I haven't gotten a letter.

If one doesn't come today, I will have to call the office and find out what is going on.

I am really, really scared to go look. If my child did not get into a different school, I am not sure what I will do. In case I haven't posted this enough, I do not like her current school. In fact, saying I don't like it in no way adequately describe the negative wash of feelings that I have for that particular school.
I absolutely do not want here there next year. Aside from the academic failures, which are great themselves, I don't even feel that she is safe in that school. After being followed off campus in a case of mistaken identity by a parent who wanted to get into a fight, and having the school fail to address the situation at all, I just about cry every time I leave her there.
In fact, I would do just about anything to get her out of that school. I would even consider homeschooling, even though I think neither of us would survive it.

So, there is a great amount of dread lodged in my heart at the moment. I know that when I go to the mail box, if there is no letter, a battle will ensue. I don't want to do it, but I will. I will get all momma bear on whom ever I need to, and it won't be fun, nice, or pretty, but it will be necessary.

Let us all hope that there is no need for all of this worry, and that a big ole letter from the school system will jump out and bite me the moment I open the box.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Being a Bad Parent

Sometimes, life isn't pretty.

We yell at our kids. We make rash decisions. We don't always be the best parents it is possible to be.

Sometimes, instead of parenting to be our best, we parent to survive. You do what you have to do. You may not make the best decision, but it is the one that gets you through the moment.

There are times that I like to hide out in the bathroom with a book, and let my kids watch gratuitous television. It may not be the best way to parent, but sometimes, you have to.

In reality, it doesn't make you a bad parent. It makes you a real parent. It makes you a parent who knows your limitations, and who understands that sometimes, we have to do things to survive this emotional ride we call parenting.

The important thing is to have your moment. Then, pick yourself up, and get back into it, knowing that tomorrow will be a better day. Hug your kids, tell them you love them, and then tell them that tomorrow will be a better day.

So, if you have a moment, or a day, where you need to hide in the pantry, eating oreos, while your children run around in pajamas, watching tv all day, go ahead.
Know that you are doing what you need to in order to survive, and I won't judge you. Just don't judge me when you see me with Oreo crumbs on my mouth, either. We bad parents have to stick together.