Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Starting Off with a Bang

So it’s the first day of school. We all got up with not problems, even though Olivia had a VERY restless night (she was awake, squirming next to me from 11pm to 2:30am. I know…) Breakfasts were eaten, hair was brushed, and then, while sitting in front of the television watching Wall E, I heard the honk.

It was the bus. She was 45 minutes early.

Okay, wait. She was early according to she pick up schedule we got from the school last night. She was right on time according to last year’s schedule.

Tom, the only one wearing shoes, went out and talked to her.

She told him you can’t trust anything the school tells you. So, yeah, okay then. Tomorrow we’ll be ready at 6:40.

But today, I got to drop the girls off at school. Which was fine and actually kind of nice for all of us. I walked them into the school where Alyssa immediately took a left and headed to the BIG kids end of the school and Olivia and I stood by the office, waiting for the teacher who’d promised she’d be there when the kids got off the bus that morning. We beat the bus which meant the teacher wasn’t so much late as we were early.

When the bus meeting teacher arrived, I hugged Olivia, wished her the best first day of school ever and headed to work.

Go me, I was only seven minutes late, which worked out just fine because when I called my boss to tell him I might be late, I said something about being ten minutes late, which means really, I was three minutes early. Like I said, go me!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Open House

School starts tomorrow for A and O.

This summer has been a quick one, and a cool one. We made it to the pool all of four times and the lake twice. It’s kind of sad this this week has been one of the hottest we’ve had so far this summer.

Alas, all good (and mediocre) things must come to an end and so this afternoon when I get home from work I’ll brush O’s hair, make sure A brushed her own, we’ll pack their school supplies into the car and head to the school for the open house.

Olivia’s teacher called me yesterday to remind me of this event. Not that I needed to be reminded but I appreciated the call because on the list sent home in June, Olivia was in one of the regular teacher’s classrooms. I was wondering if we were supposed to go to the teacher she was assigned in the IEP meeting or if she was supposed to go to the room on the list. Question answered! She’s going to Mrs. A’s room, will start there each day, spend most of the day there with Mrs. A, an aide and three other students. This is going to be a great year for Olivia.

She will eat lunch with the rest of the first graders as well as go to gym/art/music/library with them and recess, of course.

I’m excited for Olivia because Mrs. A is a teacher she’s worked with for the past two years. She already speaks to her, so this should be a fabulous placement for her. I’m crossing my fingers, though, just to be safe.

Alyssa is actually ready for school to start. She already knows where her locker is and what the combination is. She thinks she’s got the best locker placement EVER. It’s actually right across the hall from her homeroom teacher’s classroom, so I’m inclined to agree with her that it’s an awesome locker to have.

She’s ready to spend time with her friends, to have a regular schedule and, well, to have to get dressed every day and perhaps shower more than once a week. Not that she’s spent her summer in her stinky pajamas, unshowered and unscheduled, but, well if the non-schedule fits…
While I’m kind of glad school is starting, I’m dreading the earlier wake up that we will all face. As far as I know (since I haven’t heard a word from the girls’ bus driver) they will get on the bus at 6:40 just like last year. Yikes. I hate that they’re on the bus for an hour each morning. But, logistically, I can’t drop them off and still get to work on time.

On the bright side, even though they’re the first ones on the bus in the mornings, they’re also the first ones off in the afternoons, so they spend all of ten minutes on the bus on the way home.

Alyssa insists she likes being the first ones on and the long ride doesn’t bother her. In fact, I think that even if I could drop them off, she wouldn’t want to do so. So I guess everyone is happy except me, the one who has to wake up at 5:15 to make sure lunches are packed, forms are signed, breakfasts are eaten, hair and teeth are brushed and faces are kissed before each pick up.

All this complaining aside, everyone who knows me knows I wouldn’t change a thing. I’m pretty darned lucky to get to live this life of mine.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Endurance

We took the girls school clothes shopping this weekend. Of course this shopping had to take place at the mall.

I made Olivia wear her new tennis shoes because I knew it would be a day of walking. She was mad that I wouldn’t let her wear her flip flops but, well, I got over her anger at me.

We hit all of three stores, the food court, rode the carousel and soon headed home.

As of this morning, both A and O told me their feet were still sore from ‘all that walking.’

OMG.

Seriously, kids? What is up with their lack of stamina?

I feel like I need to start some sort of endurance boot camp for these kids.

My mom and I were both still going strong by the time we headed home but both of my girls were whiny and complainy about sore feet and tired legs.

Okay, so they are young and life is hard when people are buying you new shoes and clothes. Poor little princesses.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Appreciation

We all want to be appreciated. We all want someone to acknowledge that what we do is noticed and considered important.

I wonder if maybe some of the biggest issues in marriages (mine, included) come down to both partners not feeling appreciated.

Take, for example, the post office runs my husband wants me to make several times a week. I often do not feel at all appreciated for this.

Yet, I wonder if maybe he also doesn’t feel appreciated for all that he does, such as tending the garden, mowing the lawn, canning the beans and all that entails, from prep to putting the finished goods in the basement.

So…I need to make a little change. If I want to be appreciated, I need to appreciate. I need to acknowledge how hard he works and how important the work he does really is. I need to tell him these things, use the words that I would like to hear because, well, I think we all need to hear those things more often.

And when I’m feeling unappreciated? I need to speak up, mention that I’m feeling taken for granted. I need to learn to voice these things in a non-whiny, non-confrontational tone of voice.

I’m trying here and I plan to try even harder in the coming days/weeks/months. Perhaps even in the coming years. I love my life and I need to let those who are a part of it know that.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Finding My Non-Whiny Voice

I hate confrontation. My default tone of voice when in the middle of a confrontation is ‘whiny.’ I hate that about myself. I hate the sound of my voice when I’m whining.

But…I’m also tired of avoiding confrontation at all costs to the point that I often feel as if I’m being taken advantage of. So I am trying to find my voice.

I’m also trying to find a voice that is less whiny than my own actual voice.

Whininess is often not taken seriously. Or, it can cause the person hearing it to shut down completely without even hearing what I’m actually trying to say. They hear the whine in my voice and that’s it, that’s all they hear. I want to change that.

I wish I were one of those people who can calmly, sanely, non-whiningly state their point of view and then let things go.

Alas, I worry, I over-think, I stress all day long over a conversation that lasted maybe three sentences, even knowing that the other party in that conversation probably didn’t think a single thing about it, other than to perhaps think for a moment that I’m a whiny bitch but then forget about my whiny bitchiness for the rest of the day.

I want to be more forward about my needs, my wants, my rights. I want to be able to voice these things in a non-confrontational way, a way that is simply speaking my wishes and then, if the person to whom I am speaking doesn’t agree, I want to be able to let it go, resolute in my assurance that I am not being unreasonable, I am not being selfish, I am just asserting my own opinion and letting people know what I am and am not willing to do to make THEIR lives easier.

I want all of these things for my own sanity and comfort but I also want them because I’d rather my children not grow up seeing their mother being a pushover and a damned martyr. I’m so tired these days and things are piling up in my head and on my heart.

I need to let them go, get them out. But I wish I could do that without whining.

Oh, the whining that is both in my head and coming out of my mouth. Ugh!

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

2:00am to 4:30am

I am a terrible mother between the hours of midnight and 5am. I just am. I want to sleep without someone digging her toes into my calf. I want to sleep without someone wriggling and twisting next to me. I want to sleep without a child next to me at all, if possible.

Unfortunately, last night, Olivia didn’t want to give me any of my preferences. She wanted to lay next to me and toss and turn for over two and a half hours.

I threatened, I cajoled, I begged, I yelled at her to just go to sleep.

Each time, she’d whisper, “Okay.”

She’d be still for thirty seconds and go back to her energetic ways.

I don’t know what was wrong with her. She wasn’t sick, she didn’t to pee (she’d already done so at the start of her time in my bed at 2am.) She just couldn’t get back to sleep.

Since it is still summer, her not being able to sleep wouldn’t be such a big deal if she’d just lay in her bed and toss and turn on her own. But no, she wants company when she can’t sleep. She wants someone else to be even more miserable than she is.

It’s incredibly frustrating and then I feel terrible for how irritable I am when I tell her for the seven hundredth time to go to sleep.

It was horrible.

It’s the story of my life.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sticker Shock

We had a wonderful time last week at the zoo. Well, we did after Tom got over the shock of how expensive it was just to get into the zoo.

Ha! Poor guy doesn’t get out much and so when he does, he’s surprised that things cost more than they did back in 1982.

When you add the price of entrance to the cost of the horse rides (2, both for Alyssa), face painting (1 for Olivia), carousel rides (two, one for each girl) and the river ride through the Australian Outback (three, one for me, one for A and one for O) well, you’re tacking on another $25 to the $46 it already cost just to get into the zoo.

I reminded Tom that we were being frugal by bringing our own food instead of buying a $3 slice of pizza and a $2 Coke for each of us. He wasn’t amused by my rationalization. But he still managed to have a good time. Big of him, huh?

Olivia got a little antsy during our African safari but that was because she was hot and hungry. Once we got out of Africa, we dug into the food we’d brought, gave her some icy cold water and the girl was ready to tackle Indonesia.

When we finally left the zoo, both girls were starving and so I told them we’d stop at McD’s on the way home. This didn’t make Tom happy either. He felt like they could both snack on what was left of lunch and be fine until we got home. But since I’d already said the word “McDonald’s” out loud, he couldn’t very well be an ogre and not go along with it. Well, he tried but he was overruled. I almost felt guilty.

Except, he ‘forgot’ to stop at the first McD’s we found. Then we were on the highway and the next one wasn’t for another fifteen miles.

I still made him stop in Auburn because, well, damn it, we were having and adventure and it needed to include chicken nuggets made from pieces and parts of chicken!

We got to Auburn and made our way to the McD’s only to find it...had been…torn down! What the hell?!

Tom turned us around and went back toward Walmart. He said, “We need bananas.”

Huh. Okay then. I said I’d got back to the deli and get the girls some popcorn chicken hold them until we got home. Yay! The day had been salvaged by deep fried chicken formed into a small ball.

Both A and O devoured their popcorn chicken, Tom added a watermelon to his produce selection and everyone was happy.

True story.