Sunday, May 12, 2019

A Day in the Life of a Mom

As a mom sometimes days run into each other. A long, hard day velcros itself to an even longer, sleepless night. Back to back without a reprieve. The other night thunderstorms had Truvy restless and noisy. From 12:30 p.m. til 2:30 a.m. she rang her bells to go out, circled her bed, clicked her nails on our wood floors as she paced from room to room. I called her to bed. I commanded her to "go lay down".I even brought out the heavy...the pink, polka dotted jacket that she loathes to wear, but it often calms her as a thunder jacket might.
None of these things worked. In the end I found myself standing in the rain with weighted lids at nearly 3 am. At 5:30 a.m. Steve's alarm went off. I dozed for a few minutes before rising with him. I kissed him out the door at 6, then turned to Truvy who seemed bright eyed and bushy tailed and ready to face the day.
 "Do you want to wake the kids?" But, before I got to the end of my question, she was already sitting outside Natalie's bedroom door. She was ready to get their day started. The morning was fraught with anticipation and a little anxiety on Nat's part. She was getting her braces off and was worried it would hurt or she'd gag while they took impressions to create her retainer.
Once we had successfully coaxed Truvy into the crate, we headed out the door at 7:15 a.m. to pick up our carpool, drop her off at school and then head to the orthodontist for an 8:30 a.m. appointment for both kids. An hour later we emerged from the office with one kid in braces and one without! Woo hoo! Back on the road I headed to Town & Country to drop Noah off at school then drove back to Webster Groves to drop Nat at her school. It was now almost 10 a.m. I returned home, released the beast and took advantage of the reprieve from rain. I walked the dog til 11 a.m then carried her to the car (as she is still less than enthusiastic about car rides) to take her to the vet for a flu shot. Once we returned home I tried unsuccessfully to load her back into the crate. At 12 noon I was back on the road again with my fluffy sidekick. This time we were headed back to Town & Country to pick Noah up from school at 12:30 as he had a half day. After dropping off our carpool Truvy dog began barfing in the backseat. It wasn't pretty-- the volume produced was actually quite epic especially since it was 1 p.m. and she hadn't eaten since 6 a.m. I pulled up to the house -- hosed out the car, hosed off the dog, hosed off myself then drove to McD's because I had promised to take Noah out to lunch. As I turned into the drive through I realized I could no longer ignore the searing headache -- a vice pressing on either side of my temples. I returned home -- apparently Mother of the Year to my son who loves cheeseburgers almost as much as he loves Star Wars. I took a shower and put myself to bed. It was now nearly 3 p.m. At 3:30 p.m. I was bolted from sleep as Truvy greeted Natalie with a hearty welcome and Nat made a beeline for my room.
"Mom, my permanent retainer fell out today at lunch."
Then Noah suddenly appeared and although it had been less than two hours since he ate lunch..."Mom, what's for dinner?"
This account is typical for me and likely commonplace for many moms.

I'm happy to report that today -- this Mother's Day I didn't have many to do's on my docket and bickering between the kids was mild. Noah made me a card and sang karaoke -- Elton John's "I'm Still Standing". How apropos. Natalie made me a card, a "chore voucher" and a worry pin (complete with a clothesline to hang it on). Steve played it safe and expressed his love with Kakao's chocolate caramels.  He's a smart man.
To all the strong women out there caring, cooking, cleaning and keeping their children from killing one another  -- Happy Mother's Day to you!

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Deep Thoughts From Noah #94

I just walked in from having my hair cut into a new 'do. Upon seeing me Noah said, "Mom! You look so cute!" then he joked that he almost thought "stranger danger" when he first saw me.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Deep Thoughts From Noah #93

Noah: Mom, I named my voice crack.
Me: You did...what do you call it?
Noah: Jimmy
Me: As in Jimmy Cracked Corn? Noah, you are too much.
Noah: Who is that? No, I just named it Jimmy because I can.

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Deep Thoughts From Noah #92

Me: Noah, I just received a call from Shrewsbury Parks Department -- You got the job!
Noah: Really?...So, I guess it was because of the interview?
Me: Yes! You did a great job!
Noah: Mom, would you email them and tell them it would be an honor?
Me: Of course.

June Who?

Natalie recently entered the St. Louis County Library's Write Stuff writing contest. She was competing with 6th, 7th and 8th graders and had to create a story 500 - 750 words, based on the following concept: someone wakes up in the morning, and no one remembers who they are. She didn't win the contest, but her story is a winner.

June Who? 
The sun rose, roosters crowed, pigs snorted and turkeys gobbled.
June lifted her head off her pillow and squinted at the acres of land she could see through her window. Cattle were scattered across the fields, grazing. She heard footsteps and threw her beloved stitched quilt over her head and pretended she was still asleep.
“Roy! Taylor! David! Get yer lazy bums off yer beds and get up! The cows need a-milkin’ and the chickens have laid eggs during the night and…” a stern voice yelled.
She knew immediately it was her Grandma, from the toughness in her voice and the slow-as-molasses walk. The floorboards creaked, bedsprings groaned, and door hinges squeaked as June’s three eager brothers leaped out of their beds.
“Breakfast!” they sang in a happy, hungry chorus.
The smell of bacon and biscuits and gravy wafted through the hallway and June sighed as she slowly flipped her covers off of her. She put on her favorite button-up shirt and overalls, stumbled into the hallway and into the kitchen. As she slumped into a chair, she realized her family’s eyes were all on her.
“What?” June asked sleepily, snatching a piece of bacon off her plate.
Her Ma’s eyes and mouth were wide open. Roy’s eyebrows were arched. Taylor’s forehead and nose was squished in confusion. David’s face was covered in gravy.
It was Grandma who first spoke.
“Excuse me, do we know you?” she said.
June dropped her bacon. She giggled nervously, thinking her family was just playing a big joke on her.
“Um, I’m June. Remember?
David looked up from his meal.
“I don’t have a sister.” he said, unhelpfully.
Ma slowly backed away.
“Dear, we don’t know who you are.”
June frowned. This joke was getting annoying.
“Guys, quit fooling around.
Ma picked up the telephone.
“Hon, do you know where your parents live? Do you know their phone number?”
June huffed, “Stop! I am June! You know exactly who I am!”
The family shook their heads in unison.
“ all don’t remember who I am?” asked June.
David put a messy hand on her shoulder.
“It’s all right, lil’ girl. We’ll find your Ma and Pa soon enough.”
June huffed, “You really don’t know? Are you people insane?”
The family shrugged.
“Unbelievable!” shouted June.
She grabbed another piece of bacon and a biscuit and stormed back to her bedroom, where she hid under her covers, eating her food and getting massive crumbs all over her bed. June sniffled and pulled out her prized storybook, Alexander the Dragon and 525,600 More Stories about Dragons.
A few hours later, Ma walked into her bedroom and sat down on her bed. June poked

up from underneath her blankets, pouting. Ma began to stroke June’s head.

June huffed “So you remember me now?”

Ma smiled, and started to laugh.

“Actually, honey, the strangest thing happened! We were going to call the police to help

us solve this mess, when David noticed something on one of our flour packages!”

June perked up.

“There was apparently side-effects under the list of ingredients! ‘Craving of walnuts,

extreme memory loss (for a few hours) and the mindset of a chicken...’ You better

believe we will NEVER use that flour again!”

June began to laugh, and the two hugged and felt relief. She lifted her head toward her

mother, and suddenly frowned.

“What’s wrong?” Ma asked.

June’s eyebrows crinkled, “Do I know you?”

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Pup Alarm Clock Fail

They say every dog needs a job. One of Truvy's favorite jobs is to wake up the kids. Each morning after I send Steve off to work, I turn to her to ask, "Do you want to go wake up the kids?" To which she responds by making a beeline for Natalie's room. Once I open the door she begins by nuzzling and licking Nat's face.  But the last two mornings I've noticed neither pup nor child at the kitchen table. When I went to investigate, this is what I found.

#pupalarmclockfail    #morningsarehard

Thursday, February 28, 2019

To Middle Age...and Beyond

For months I have felt stuck or maybe a little misplaced in my mothering role. Putting down my thoughts and sharing "ah ha" parenting moments futile.
Don't get me wrong -- my kids still call my name multiple times a day -- to find their favorite shirt or to know where I've hidden the Nutella, but I've felt a shift that feels both unsettling and freeing at the same time.

This is what I know
1. Though my kids think 47 makes me "beyond middle age", age is only a number and my feelings of displacement are normal and are preparing me for the next phase of life. There is lots of life and adventure waiting for this old lady.
2. The frequency with which I require help from my kids to sort out techy things is on the rise. Also, I know my age is showing when I find it almost impossible not to say "please" and "thank you" to Suri.
3. Music favorites of my youth are now part of the oldies station.
4.  As my age number has increased, my social circle has decreased. I've become more choosy with whom I spend my time.
5. Though I think I want a crystal ball to show me what happens next, I've learned surprises can be a good thing. If someone had told me five years ago my allergies could be put to rest and our family would have a dog -- I never would have believed it. Although we got a dog for the kids...because for years Nat had been creating Power Point presentations to communicate her desire and Noah just needed a faithful friend to help him cope with new places/situations - I now realize I may have needed her most. Training her has sparked joy...something I had felt in short supply. She has also offered me mental challenges to mix up the mundane chores of running a household. In addition, her need for exercise has required me to get off my butt and move. Because of Truvy I have more energy, less jiggle and better health. When we got her, we knew we wanted to travel with her -- for her to be a support to Noah and just for fun. However, she had trouble with carsickness which led to anxiety. Because of this, we have spent months trying to reshape her feelings about riding in the car. For weeks I would lure her with treats to sit near the car -- not inside it, just near it. (her fear was so great). Once we were successful with that, Steve and I would bring her into the car and sit and feed her step involved turning on the engine. Finally we moved up to driving up the street and then to a local park. We stopped and started this process at least three times because she'd get to a point and then would have an episode (ie. vomit). I worried we'd never get to take her anywhere. Last weekend we had our first full-fledged successful car adventure with her. We drove to Rockwoods Conservation area. Not only did she do great in the car, but she adored the trail. And, Noah who had moaned about going...who vowed "I'm not leaving the house!" settled down once Truvy was successfully loaded in the car. Her presence soothing to him. Together our family walked a 1.5 mile trail called Through the Trees. It was windy, but it was wonderful.

To middle age...and beyond.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Musings From Natalie #157

Natalie: "Mom! Next week is your birthday! You'll be 47...that's really close to 50! You should should just start telling people you are 50 now!"

Me: "Hmmm..umhmm."

Natalie: (excited tone) "Mom, you just need to embrace middle age...oh wait, 40 is middle are way past that."

Me: "I'm an overachiever."