Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sad, Sad Cry

This is the sad cry.  After the second picture at the park today, Julia wanted to see her sad cry.  She really liked it and thought it turned out well. It really cheered her up!

What do you think? Pretty good, huh?

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Marathon Tantrum

In April, I ran a marathon.  That's right. 26.2 never ending, oh crap, will this ever be done (?!?!!), miles.  Needless to say, it was a loooooong race.  But I persevered and finished the darn thing.  I had many ups and downs along the way. One minute, I was feeling the runners rush. I felt good and was cranking out the miles.  Then I was absolutely hating running.  I mean HATING it.  What was I thinking?  Had I completely lost my mind?  Then, after a few Ibuprofen and a banana, I was loving it again.  But with 2.8 miles to go, the love never returned. I seriously hated the stupid marathon.

What does this have to do with motherhood?  I mean, there are the obvious parallels.  I love being a mother, I hate being a mother. I love being a mother, I hate being a mother. Coincidentally, I do see a shocking correlation between the love of motherhood and bedtime. But I digress.

Two days before my marathon, I took my three little ones to the big box store.

Oh wait, in case you didn't know, I am the mother of five children.  Three pregnancies...five children.  That's right, I have two sets of twins.  Four boys and one girl.  It goes twins, single, twins. My youngest is a girl.

Anyways, lets get back to the big box store.

I had an hour to kill while my oldest boys were taking their violin lessons.  I had to get some essential items for a class I was teaching that day.  It was just a quick trip, but since I had some time to kill I thought we could go and browse and get a few things.

Big mistake!

After letting number 3, Eli, pick out a rather expensive coloring book (hey, it is "educational"), I went to the electronics section to check on an item I would need in the near future.  While I was checking my item, Eli was admiring the Skylanders figures. These figures are the bane of my existence.  Grrrrr!!!

Surprisingly enough, he wanted me to buy one.


The low whine slowly percolated into a medium grumble and then it was a full-blown scream fest.  EPIC tantrum.  EPIC.

And so it begins...

Abandon ship! Abandon ship!

He lost the coloring book and then quickly lost his sanity.

But I still had to get some items for my class. I quickly swung around to the needed items.  Eli's  ear-piercing scream was constant. Numbers 4 and 5, Harry and Julia, were feeling left out and would more than occasionally join in as back-up screamers.

I think people offered to help me. I am not sure because I really could not hear a darn thing.  The checkout lady started to ask how I wanted my stuff bagged up, I think, but when she saw the palms of my hands plastered to my eyeballs, she reconsidered her considerateness.

Just get me out of here, please!

Then it was on to the car. The screaming was relentless.  I buckled them all in, but as I was driving, Eli unbuckled his seat belt and was climbing over the middle seat.  This happened several times. Luckily, I had some duck tape handy. Yes, I duck taped that kid into his seat belt.

Let me take a minute to tell everyone that spanking does not work.

After only 45 minutes of pure, unadulterated, high-pitched screaming, he finally ran out of steam.

A very rare fight between Harry and Julia. This unusual sighting of sibling  scuffle was fortuitously captured about one year ago at a family reunion.  Shocking, very shocking.

It might have been one of the worst days of my life.  Since the hubster had to work late that night, Harry picked up where Eli left off and did about the same amount of screaming before I put him and all the rest of the riff raff to bed.

Two days later I was pounding the pavement. 26.2 miles.  What was harder?  Four and half hours of running or 1 and a half hours of crying?

I signed up for another marathon in the fall.

A Mother's Lament

Mother's Day...{{sigh}}, what do I say about it?  

I ...don't...really like it.

There, I said it.  I am torn both ways on the whole thing. On one end, I feel really sad about the state of my relationship with my own mother.  I try to blow it off, but it just makes me so sad. I love my mother and am so grateful for all of the things she has taught me and sacrificed for me and my happiness. I am blessed.  I just wish I could be her friend and hear her voice and have some kind of relationship with her. I know she has many troubles and things going on in her life, but it would be so nice if I could just call her or she would call me, just for the heck of it...just because she likes me and wants to tell me about her day or anything mundane.  It would be awesome, to hear her voice once in a while.

Last year I called her for Mother's Day, and she made it very clear that she hates Mother's Day and she feels like a failure.  I feel so sad that she feels that way. But what am I supposed to do about it? I have no idea. I can't be a friend to someone who is unavailable.  

But this brings me to the flip side. Now, I find myself having the same feelings of inadequacy.  I am my mom's daughter, for sure. I can let the negativity overwhelm me sometimes. Here I have my five wonderfully beautiful, loving children and I am dwelling on the negativity. I don't want to be that way but it can be hard to overcome at times.  I go to church and everyone tells me how wonderful I am. I am a mother. That is wonderful. But sometimes I don't feel so wonderful. 

But somehow through it all, through all of my weaknesses, my kids love me anyways.  Sometimes, I don't know why, but they do.

Especially these two, they really have a lot of patience for their mother.

So I guess I just keep putting one foot in front of the other, and in 20 years my kids will all call me on Mother's Day, or send me flowers, or come and visit me with their kids. Hopefully, they will all be my friends and we can talk about the mundane stuff... any old time, not just on Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

The Box Slayer

The last few days have been crazy tough.  We are going through a major transition here and to top it off, I have a million things going on in my head right now. I can't turn it off, even if I try.

Moving continues and we are up against a deadline. Next week, Rinar, Raef, Zach and I leave for Europe for two weeks. That means I must be unpacked and have the old house turnkey in the next few days.  

Rinar flew to St. George and then rented a moving truck to get all of our stuff from our condo. Yep, we are selling it and wanted to get it on the market before we left on our big trip. He will be here any minute now.  Then he will be leaving tomorrow around noon to Boston for a national meeting with work. So I am on my own.  He flies back here on Wednesday and then we will leave the same day for San Francisco, to fly out on Thursday.  Did you follow all of that? 

Life is completely bananas.

I am a box-slayer.  Everyday I chuck more and more of those empty evil brown cubes into the backyard. They are dying a very quick death. I hope to rid myself of the box pox by tomorrow, or Monday at the latest. Luckily, I have been able to see a place for all of our things.  I don't like to put it away until I know where it should go. This strategy can lend itself to organized chaos.  But I don't think it is going to take too long to get it put away.

As for my brain, I have a tendency to really get myself worked up about political issues that I really have no control over.  I have gotten better over the years, but it can really eat away at me.  I still have not come to a peaceful resolution in my own mind. I want to just let it go, but I can't. And I really don't want to share what it is, because I don't want to come across as being prejudice, small-minded, or open up a nasty debate. Believe me, it is raging inside of me right now and I can't find a happy place to go.  But I know I will eventually. Once I decide, I will be unflappable.

But for now, I will continue slaying my boxes.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

A Mallo Memory

When I was a little girl, I had the privilege of going on many weekend trips with my dad. He was on a company softball team and I was the official bat girl.  We went all over the great state of North Carolina.  It is funny what can trigger memories like this, but today I was at the dollar store and I saw this treat...

...the Mallo Cup.  Have you ever had one? They are a delicious confection of chocolate, marshmallow and a wee bit of coconut.  Yum-O!  

It brought me right back to a trip I took with my dad. I can see the road and the little store where I bought this very treat. We were on our way back from a tournament in the very western tip of the state. Dad and I decided to take a detour and drive through the Appalachian mountains. At some point, we stopped at a gas station off of a windy road and I got Mallo Cups and an orange soda.  Shortly after we hit the road again, I remember a beautiful green field and a vivid rainbow.  It had been foggy and drizzly, and so the rainbow was a welcome site.

When I eat a Mallo Cup it always brings me back to the Appalachian mountains, rainbows, and my dad. I wonder what my kids will remember about me?

Monday, May 7, 2012

And Sometimes...

...they are just perfect little angels.

Aaahhh!  Do you hear that? No? 


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Don't Judge Me

We made it to the park a few days ago. I took a few snapshots.  The kids really had a lot of fun, despite the darn wind.  

This is Harry being a monkey.

And sweet, sweet Julia.  She spent about 20% of her time on the playground equipment, and 80% on the swings.  She pretty much would like me to push her all the time.  I am good for about 5 minutes, and then it is time to do something else.  

Nope. Not according to her.

I refused to push her at all. This is my new, anti-whining strategy. So, she just laid on a swing and swung herself, superman-style. She seemed happy, and I was happy.  

Then some lady had the nerve to put her in a baby swing and start pushing her.  And here I am sitting on the park bench messing with my phone, the wind rippling through my hair. I felt obligated to stand up and look like I cared what each of my kids was doing...you know, busy enough so I had some excuse for why I wasn't over there pushing my darling daughter.

And then I thought...Hey, don't judge me because I am not pushing my daughter on the swing.

Maybe I just don't want to!  There, I said it.

Why did I care what that lady thought?  I should have just sat there and continued to play on my phone.  Yes, I am THAT kind of mom.

This is Eli's pose these days.

And Raef and Zach continue to progress as Webelos.  Way to go, boys!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

I am Not a Tree

Note to self: I am not a tree.

I came across this saying a little while ago, and it really resonated with me.  I am NOT a tree.

For the past year we have been living in this beautiful, rather large home at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas.  There is only a couple of problems. The closest grocery store is 20 minutes away and there are absolutely, positively no kids here.

It is like we live on an island.  Oh, don't get me wrong, there are a couple of kids, but they are older and go to school and are too busy to ever emerge from their individual castles.  It is just too much work to jump the moat, you know?

On a weekly basis, I would try to find play dates for my kids.  But this proved to be rather challenging. There was not a lot of spontaneity with the people that I called, or they didn't answer the phone.  Hence, a failed attempt would equal copious buckets of tears from Raef or Zach or both of them.  I would expect this the first few months of our transition to Reno, but when it is month 8 or 9 and they are still crying and stressed about loneliness, something had to change.

I am not one to make a rash decision and Rinar was not overly-enthused (at first) to make a change. But I knew I had to do something for my kids.

One day I was walking through our very beautiful, but ghost-town like neighborhood and it suddenly struck me.  Just move.  Period. Find a smaller house, close to town and move.  Don't worry about finding one in the ward boundary or anything like that.  Just move.

"If you don't like where you are, then change it. You are NOT a tree."

I finally realized this. I am not a tree.  And we were going to move.

It is not that easy to find a rental house here that is big enough for the right price.  Luckily, after some serious searching, I came across this house here.

1768 Kodiak Cir, Reno, NV 89511

It is just across the street from the high school, same ward, and we can walk to church.

We move in on Saturday.

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