Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Grey skies are gonna clear up...

Does anyone remember when I used to post something on this blog every couple of days? Friends and family might remember when I was on the ball with birthday/holiday cards. I used to be organized and be able to keep track of things.

I don't know what happened.

ANYway...last week was filled with random, aggravating nothingness. We've been searching for a used car for the kids to use. Mr. Wonderful, however, is like Goldilocks. Every car I'd find...he would find something wrong with. It's too expensive. It doesn't have enough safety features. It's not reliable enough. It has too many miles on it. It's too old. And so forth and so on. 

I have been busy looking up information on each car on our list. I've been a frequent visitor to NADA and Consumer Reports and Edmunds. I've looked up safety features and reliability and consumer reviews.

For every single flipping car we've found.

And there has been something wrong with every single one.

Mr. Wonderful is a stickler for safety and whatnot. Which is good! Right? But being the one who has to research each vehicle? Not so good. It's exhausting is what it is.

The good news is that we've maybe, possibly found one that might, maybe, possibly work. A friend of a friend is selling a car that...well, I'm not going to say anything else about it because I don't want to jinx it! But keep your fingers crossed!

Also? My Shark Steam Mop decided to stop working. So I also started troubleshooting and googling to try to fix it. I discovered that apparently this brand of steam mop is notorious for quitting after about a year. (Dear Shark Steam Mop people: WTH?!) Unfortunately, we have a lot of tile floors and I am quite addicted to steaming them clean now. So I had to go buy another one (NOT a Shark, thank you very much!)

Plus, we've had a couple of realtors out to tell us if they think they can sell our house (sure, if we want to bring money to closing!) and if the real estate market has improved at all (not so much.) 


And? It's been cloudy and gloomy and rainy. Which has nothing to do with anything at all, but it does sort of suit my mood today!

Because this latest school shooting in Ohio has struck fear into my heart and saddened me immensely. It also just freaks me out a whole lot.

Our community has had so much sadness the past couple of years. My kids have had to deal with the deaths of friends and with random violence on the periphery of our lives. I've always worried because that's what moms do...but for some reason, this school shooting has really bothered me. Maybe it's because my kids are in high school or maybe it's because watching the interviews of the ones who survived felt as though I could be watching my son's friends. It's surreal.

I think about those parents who sent their children off to school that morning, thinking it was just another, normal day. They had no idea their lives were about to change forever. My heart breaks for those parents and for those kids - to have to live through something so awful. It just really, really breaks my heart.

I gave The Boy and The Princess an extra long hug this morning. I lectured them about what to look for and told them to be careful. I reminded them to be kind to everyone because you don't know what they might be going through. When I sent them off to school this morning I thought that it was just a normal hectic morning, just like any other morning. And as I thought this, my eyes filled with tears and I began to shake. 

Because what if it weren't?

Monday, February 20, 2012

What they don't tell you in the parenting books.

Being a parent is hard.

At first it is difficult because you want to make sure your baby is growing and developing normally. You spend hours checking to see what the developmental milestones are and if your baby is meeting them. You worry about childproofing and how long to breastfeed and teething. You wonder if your baby will ever sleep through the night and when you should introduce rice cereal. You are consumed with the baby's bowel movements - are they regular? Do they look "normal?" 

And you are sleep deprived. And shower deprived. I remember being afraid to take a shower because I might not hear my baby cry. The baby monitor went everywhere with me. I played Mozart for babies to stimulate their minds and I was positive that I would nurture them and be the best mother EVER. I would never resort to yelling at my precious child or put one of those tacky "leashes" on them when they became toddlers. I used cloth diapers and attempted to make my own baby food.

I was exhausted.

Then, when my babies became toddlers, I worried more. Were they being socialized enough? When should I potty train? How should I?  That turned out to be much more challenging with my son than I ever could have imagined. I read him Everyone Poops and we watched videos about going potty and I sang him songs about going potty. But my boy, my darling little boy, didn't want to. I tried everything. It became a battle of wills and it was a battle I was losing. I worried that he would never be able to start school because he would be wearing pullups for the rest of his life. 

Finally, finally, HE decided to stop wearing pullups and start going potty. It had nothing to do with me or any of my attempts to coerce him. I heaved a sigh of relief and was ever so thankful that that stage had passed.

Except...that he then began to try out his newfound skill everywhere. He peed outside. He peed in his toy chest. He peed in the corner of his room. I cleaned and I cajoled and I pleaded and I threatened.

And I yelled. Me, the one who was going to be the perfect mother. I yelled and I cried and I worried. Was something WRONG with my sweet little boy? Why was he doing this? It MUST be something I was doing wrong. I researched and read, but couldn't find any information about this. And then I worried more. If I couldn't find any information then it must not be common! Oh my God...my child is a freak! It must be because I ate too much Captain Crunch cereal when I was pregnant. Or maybe I didn't breastfeed long enough. It HAD to be my fault - right?

Eventually, this too passed. I relaxed a bit. My boy was bright and sweet and adorable. He loved animals and played with trucks and liked to go fishing.

Then he started school and another set of worries began. I worried about his school and his teachers and how to motivate him to read and to do his homework. He was a happy-go-lucky child and he loved his friends. Homework - not so much. It was a challenge to get him to do his best. He wanted to rush through it and go do something fun. Mr. Wonderful and I decided to limit television and outlawed video games. We read to the children and traveled and talked about current events with them. I prepared healthy lunches for them and didn't let them drink soda and always had fresh fruit cut up for snacks.

But the worrying was always there. And yes, I yelled. And I cried. I had given up on the idea of being the perfect mom - now I just endeavored to be good enough. 

And now, in what seems the blink of an eye, my children are teenagers. They are good kids. They don't smoke or do drugs and they are respectful and polite. I still struggle to motivate The Boy with school. He STILL wants to rush through it and go do something more fun. But he reads incessantly and he is curious and engaged. Now I worry about SAT scores and GPA's and whether he will get into a college and if it will be a good enough college. I worry about what he eats and getting him to tie his shoes and stop picking at his face. I try to get him to wear his retainer and clean his room. And I worry about him driving. Not him so much as the other drivers - but still, I worry. These days, it seems as if I worry more than I ever have before. My stomach is twisted in knots more often than not. My eyes weep tears I'm not even aware of. I still feel that everything is my fault for not being a good enough mother.

I want so much to have a "do over" with their childhood. It went by so quickly and I know I've made so many mistakes. I yelled and I cried and I worried when I should have just played with them and enjoyed them. Because my worrying hasn't accomplished anything. I know that, yet I can't help myself. It's like a disease that has taken over my life, this worrying. And this guilt.

This parenting gig is a lot harder that I expected when I held my little bundles of joy in my arms at the hospital. When I gazed into their eyes and marveled at the perfection of their little bodies and I vowed to be the best mother ever, I didn't realize that I was doomed to failure before I ever even began.

I can't be a perfect mother. I can only be the best mother I can. And I'm trying. 

Mommie Dearest with The Boy

Mommie Dearest with The Princess

Sunday, February 19, 2012

What's Goin' On...

It's been a busy week...

Mr. Wonderful and I have been spending our free time (ha!) in a fruitless search for a cheap, yet reliable and fuel efficient used car for the teenagers to use. Frankly, we're getting a bit tired of The Boy using our cars.

In case you haven't been searching for a used car recently, let me enlighten you. There is no such thing as a cheap, reliable, fuel efficient car these days. Apparently, used cars - especially 5 or 6 year old Hondas and Toyotas and Mazdas and Hyundais - are in high demand. Hence, they're longer cheap. 

So our fruitless search for a safe, reliable, cheap car continues. We've been bonding with used car salesmen who want to become our best friends and call us constantly to assure us that a little old lady drove the car they're trying to sell us and Boy-have they got a deal for us! 

In between driving the carpool last week and looking for a needle in a haystack (the aforementioned, fictional cheap, reliable, used car), we shopped at Costco...

...in a vain attempt to fill The Boy's bottomless pit of a teenaged boy stomach.

Jack did what he is best at, which is nothing at all.

The Princess got sick with the creeping crud. She has been working on learning a solo for the Freshman Solo Concert at her school this spring. I decided to pop into the studio to try to videotape itwith my cell phone, since I am never allowed to videotape the performances. Afterwards, she told me she didn't feel well and I took her temperature - which is when we realized she was getting sick. Anyway, here is a little sneak peek of her solo. It's a bit rough around the edges - she was very tired after running it about 20 times!

Saturday, February 18, 2012


It's possible that you have to be the parent of a teenager to see the humor in this...

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Guess who got her learner's permit?

And guess who asked her older brother, when he was driving her to Dance, "So...how do you do the turn signal thing, anyway?"

(I think Mr. Wonderful and I have our work cut out for us.)

Congratulations, Princess P!

Monday, February 13, 2012

Miscellaneous Monday: Chili, Jabba, and Memories of Friday the 13th

How can it be Monday, already? It seems like it was just Friday and I was all excited about it being the weekend. Weekends go by much too quickly!

It was a nice weekend, though. We didn't do anything very exciting. We all slept late which was indulgent and delightful. The Princess had rehearsal for Giselle. The kids went to youth group. We visited with my mom. The Princess played around doing front and back walkovers in the yard.

Those of you who have young children, I'm sorry to tell you that the  "Mommy, look at me!" stage never ends.

At least thus far. I still have high hopes for the future.


I amused myself by taking photos of Jack, our cat, lying around impersonating a famous character from the movies...

And then I further amused myself by sharing the photos I took with the family...

Truly, sometimes I amaze myself with my powers of observation and my incredible wit.

Sadly, my family wasn't as impressed with me as I was. They think I need a hobby. Or to get a life. Or something.



You may remember that I keep commenting on how warm it has been this winter and how everything has been blooming here - the redbuds and azaleas - and there has been pollen coating my car...

A cold front blew through here over the weekend. We had temperatures well below freezing. The weather forecasters kept changing the forecast for the temperatures and I was in denial that it could or would actually get that cold. As a result, we didn't bring all the plants in from outside and so I think I killed all the pool plants. Boo.

But the cold temps were a great excuse for a big pot of chili!

I recruited a sous chef...

And we made a big ol' pot of chili. I saw a recipe on Pinterest which used corn in the chili and so I decided to dump a can in there along with all the beans. It was good - and I liked the little burst of color it provided.


Twenty-two years ago today, Mr. Wonderful and I were married. It was Friday the 13th and it was a snowy, blustery day in Boulder, Colorado. Happy Anniversary, Mr. Wonderful!!


"Going somewhere, Solo?"

(Hee Hee!!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Hello...Is it Me You're Looking For?

I'm back, y'all.

I apologize for the long absence...the ugly, creeping crud/virus knocked me off my feet last week. And then, just when I started to feel better, I got what I thought was a sinus headache but which turned out the be the migraine from Hell. Six days of the worst, most heinous migraine I've ever had.

Anyway, moving on....I haven't blogged because, really? What on earth did I have to say? I hadn't done anything except sleep and explore the wonders of Pinterest and watch The Tudors.

I tried texting the BFF and had an "autocorrect" moment. I was taking advantage of the BFF entitlement of whining and was complaining about the migraine and a bad day with the teenagers. I typed in, "Calgon, take me away." But my iphone changed it to "Calhoun, take me away." Which made me giggle. Then I tried to say, "Jeesh!" and my iphone changed that to "Jewish!" 

At that point I laughed so hard that I snorted.

Luckily, the BFF has the same (wonderful and wacky) sense of humor.

The next day, The Princess texted me...

And I had a fit of the giggles all over again. 

I know, it's probably really not all that funny. 

But after six days of the migraine from Hell and the fuzzy, weird, head-stuffed-with-cotton-reaction to the medication...well, honestly, I laughed until I almost peed in my pants.


I'm sure you'll be pleased to hear that I am getting much better at imitating "normal" though, since I have finally recovered from the creeping crud virus and the evil, heinous, debilitating migraine from Hell. I ventured out of the house for the first time in almost a week and discovered that spring has sprung...

Mother Nature appears to be a bit confused after the warm and mild winter we've had here - everywhere you look there are redbuds and dogwoods and azaleas blooming.


Anyway, I really have nothing else to say. (Please refer to the aforementioned repetitive viewing of The Tudors and Pinterest addiction and strange and juvenile sense of humor at only mildly amusing autocorrects.)

But I wanted to let you all know that (a) I'm alive and (b) I really, really, really appreciate the calls and messages checking up on me. 


I'll leave you with this photo I took this morning. Aren't those clouds cool looking? I love ripply clouds. 

PS. I know that there is a technical term for those clouds. I'm sure Mr. Wonderful will enlighten me. I don't care. To me, they're ripply clouds. And they're pretty.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

This is my life:

I don't have anything to say today. That's because the past few days can be summed up  by these images...

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