Catching up.

You know when you run into a friend that you haven’t seen in a while and they ask, “So, what’s new?”

And you reply, “oh, not much.”

But in reality, a lot is new. Too much time has gone by and too many things have happened to even fit into a conversation. It’s easier to glaze over the details because, really, where do you even start?

If I thought Disney was a time-warp, I was not prepared for adjusting to life back in the real world. An entire week has gone by and I’m just now getting around to unpacking our bags. Yea, that’s a little embarrassing.

And a lot has happened. So much, in fact, that every time I sit down to blog I end up on Buzzfeed instead because ohymgosh I’m tired of typing and thinking and forming coherent sentence.

So.

I’m still putting together our vacation recap but, dang, there was a lot crammed in those 5 days. But I’ll get it up, soon enough.

Until then, here’s life in brief:

Children.

Tomorrow is Em’s last day of preschool. I may cry. Not just because my child is growing but also because I’ve become accustomed to having two mornings each week with just one child. Which is almost the same as alone.

Remember how concerned I was about where Em will be going to school next year? While we were on vacation, I made a call to the school where Emery was #20 on the wait-list to see there was any movement. By some act of mercy or miracle, a spot had opened up for her. Hallelujah! I can’t wrap my mind around how she got in with 20 kids ahead of her but I not questioning it and accepting this blessing. We’ll more than likely have to do this dance again next year for Kindergarten but for now, I am grateful.

When we were at Disney, the girls shared a bed and slept fairly well. Now Emery wakes up ridiculously early every morning and comes into my bed because she says she’s lonely. This wouldn’t be an issue except the girl fidgets. This morning (at 6 a.m.), she told me she wants to share a room with her little sister.

We took a ride on that crazy train last year and it was a disaster. It resulted in mattresses being moved at 2 a.m. and lots and lots of tears by everyone.  But the girls are older now. I’m still hung up on the logistics of nap time but the idea of having a spare room/office is tempting…

Birthday.

I celebrated the big 2-8 last Monday and have solidly rounded the corner to almost 30. And it feels pretty good. This is the first birthday in recent years that I’ve felt content with another year passing. I usually spend my birthday a little panicky and feeling like there isn’t much to show for the year gone. I don’t really know why this year is different. But I’m glad. For the first time, I don’t feel like I’m still 19 and pretending to be a grown up. I suppose I’ve become more comfortable in my skin, my friendships, my marriage. I know what I like, what I believe and that it’s okay to change my mind on both.

Josh did a wonderful job of making the day special. We started with a trip to Fleet Feet where I picked up a pair of Newton running shoes that were seriously on sale. I tried them on in Orlando and couldn’t wait to get my feet in a pair of my own. My Nike Free Runs have been giving me some pain recently so it was time to switch it up. My legs and feet love, love these shoes so I look forward to many miles being logged (once this crazy peroneal tendonitis clears up – more on that in a moment.)

IMG_6538

– We had a late breakfast at The 5 Spot which was pretty tasty. Apparently they are changing up their menu but I hope, hope, hope they keep the biscuits and gravy. Oh, yum.

birthdayBurn, baby, burn. 

While we were in Disney, I though I had sunburn on my right ankle. I’m sure it’s happened before, right? Alas, it was not sunburn. With all of the walking/standing/curb hopping at Disney, my legs and feet were so sore I didn’t notice I strained my ankle at some point. I also failed to notice that my ankle was bruised and clicking. But a slight burning sensation? Noticed that.

It turns out that I developed a mild case of peroneal tendonitis. I paid a visit to a local running store where they were kind enough to show me how to use KT Tape to give my ankle additional support. I don’t really understand the science behind it but I’m just glad it works. Momma’s back in business. I gave it a 2-mile test run tonight and it feels great.

***********

Alright, I think that’s all of it. Or at least most of it. Or at the very least, the gist of it.

For the school-aged Mommas out there: Do your kids share a room? How was the transition? Do both kids nap?

For the runners: do you/have you run through an injury? 

For everyone: Any good recipes to share? I’ve lost my cooking mojo and need some inspiration to revive it.

Advertisements

Back to life, back to reality.

I’ve spent the past week sweating, battling crowds, staying up late, waking up early, calming screaming children, whining, groaning and standing in impossibly long lines.

But.

I’ve also spent the past week laughing, smiling, oohing and aahing, watching wonder on my children’s faces, tickling, dining with princess, hand-holding and memory-making at the Happiest Place on Earth.

I’d call it a fair trade-off.

Last Tuesday, we were sauntering south on I-95 toward Orlando for a much anticipated trip to Disney World. We invited Josh’s parents to come along and we couldn’t have done it without them. Well, we probably could have but I’d probably still be lamenting on how tired and cranky I am. Disney is like a PG version of Vegas. It’s an alternate universe. Days roll together, every one is on a mission, and the only way to discern day from night is by the lighting. It’s safe to say I have a Disney hangover. 

We got home Sunday evening and spent yesterday celebrating my birthday. For the first time in 10 years, Josh took the day off from work so we could spend the day together. Best. Birthday. Ever. Hands down. More on that later. 

I’ll post a full Disney recap in a few days once I go through our 900+ photos (I’m a little snap-happy) but I wanted to stop in and say hello and happy belated Mother’s Day to you wonderful mommas and soon-to-be mommas. Josh has declared next Sunday a Mother’s Day do-over since the real one was spent in the car with cranky children and loads of laundry and unpacking. I love that man.

IMG_6202 SONY DSC IMG_6174IMG_6277

SONY DSCHow has life been outside of Disney? Business as usual? Did you have a nice Mother’s Day?

 

Just say no.

This morning, I was at my tri-weekly —

Wait, is that a phrase? Thrice-weekly? I’m there Monday/Wednesday/Friday to have my ever-so-fickle back, neck and shoulders put back where they belong. I think I see my chiropractor more than my husband.

I think this is a new record for getting sidetracked so early in a post. 

Anyway.

This morning, I was at my second home/chiropractor’s office and managed to read five or six sentences from a waiting room magazine while Blair caught up on a back issue of Rolling Stone.

IMG_6064I don’t remember what magazine I was holding, but there was a pull quote from Kathy Ireland (a supermodel, says the all-knowing Google) that said:

“I was 40 before I learned that ‘no’ was a complete sentence.”

Oh my goodness.  YES.

Yes, yes, yes.

I have no idea who this woman or why she is in a magazine but this quote spoke to me.

I realize that she’s probably referring to the point that as women, we’re taught to say yes. Be helpful, be polite, be social, be hospitable. And if we have to say no, then we’re expected to have a darn good reason. And to share that reason for others’ approval.

And that’s spot on.

But then I looked down at my sweet child who was then trying to lick a picture of Jon Hamm’s face (wouldn’t we all like to?) and I said, no.

I took the magazine away. She let out a shriek and tried to grab it from my hands (girl loves some Don Draper) and asked, “why, momma?”

I replied, “because I said ‘no.'”

Never mind that it’s a magazine from a doctor’s waiting room, or that there are germs, or that we don’t lick things, or that we’re in public or any of the other reasons 50 reasons I may say no. They are good reasons but that doesn’t mean they need validated.

I really do try to make most situations learning experiences for the girls. I explain the rational behind my decisions so that they can eventually (hopefully) make their own good decisions. You know, like not like not licking a well-handled magazine or accepting an invitation to a frat party luau.

Other times, ‘no’ or “no.” or “no!” or “I SAID NO!” is a complete sentence and all the explanation needed. I will not go through the science behind communicable diseases to a 2-year-old (or 18-year-old, so be it). As a parent, my children need to respect my rules regardless if they understand or agree.

Oh my gosh, I’ve become my mother.

But it’s true.

“No” has a negative connotation (duh) and is considered mean, stubborn, pessimistic and selfish. And yet every single time I shout “No!” as my child tries to run across a busy parking lot, it comes from a place of love and my intent to keep my children alive long enough to wipe their own noses.

So, say no. Mean it and don’t feel bad. Don’t apologize, whether it’s when declining an invitation or stopping your child from melting off their face with a hot glue gun.

just say no

What dreams are made of.

Emery is still thick in the “why” stage. After a year and a half, I’m not sure when it stops qualifying as a stage and instead becomes an annoying personality quirk. She asks “why?” at everything. Difficult things. Nonsensical things. Things with no answers. And it’s rapid fire with no time to think between questions. Straight up interrogation style.

Why is it raining? Because the trees and grass are thirsty.

Why are they thirsty? Because they need water to grow.

Why do they grow? Because that’s their job.

Why is that their jobs? Because that is what God made them to do.

Why did God make them? Because I said so, small child! Silence!

She may look sweet but she is relentless, I swear. Probably has a future in the CIA.

She may look sweet but she is relentless, I swear. Probably has a future in the CIA.

I knew yesterday was going to be a super fun day when Emery woke up at 5:50. In the morning. It’s obscene, really. I was overreacting and grouchy so I spent the three hours before preschool being pouty and avoiding any interrogations by small children. By the time we loaded in the Vdub for the 6 minute drive to school, I had finally consumed enough caffeine and decided to act as a parent and engage in an enriching, meaningful conversation with my 3-year-old.

I once read somewhere – probably on a Hallmark card – that the car is a great place to have meaningful conversations with your kids. Because a captive audience is the best audience, I suppose. Except I’m usually the one held captive to her incessant questioning. But they said it was what “good” parents do, so I oblige.

Emery, did you have any dreams last night?

Uhhh. Ummm. What is a dream? (She knows this but wastes no time. We only have 6 minutes, after all.)

Well, a dream is what happens when your body is asleep but your brain is making up stories.

Why does a brain make up stories?

Uh, it’s like you are using your imagination while you are sleeping.

But why is it using an imagination?

At this point, We’ve travelled less than a quarter of a mile and I know this conversation will go on forever – or at least until we get to preschool – so I decide to switch tactics and offer the most philosophical answer I can muster. Because Walt Disney was deep, you know.

Em, you know what? A dream is a wish your heart makes. When you’re fast asleep. (Pure poetic genius, right there.)

A wish? 

Yes, sweetie, a wish.

Last night I dreamed ’bout scary monsters. 

IMG_6069

Errr. Uhh. Derr. Fail.

Thanks a lot, Cinderella. You keep talking to field mice because your insight on nocturnal brain activity blows.

Better luck next time!

Street cred’ in the (mother)hood.

I know nothing about parenting.

Really. It’s pretty embarrassing. I’ve never finished reading any of the parenting books I’ve purchased. Really, there are only four of them on my bookshelf so that’s not too bad. Or maybe that speaks louder to my short attention span.

But if I’ve picked up anything in the past four years, it’s that…

… Shoot. I forget. Blair started chanting “snack! snack! snack!” and my brain crossed wires.

Oh, I remember. I’ve figured out that it really doesn’t matter how many books or blogs you’ve read, how many parenting classes you take or if your degree is in early childhood development. When it comes to respect in motherhood, there isn’t much of a need for book smart. Street cred’ is the only thing that matters.

I would rather pick the brain of a mom who is living a parallel life to mine than spend time reading a $29.99 book by Dr. Whoever that was written in his faraway cushy office lined with diplomas. He probably gets to pee alone and that nullifies at least two years of education. I want to hear from someone who’s been in the trenches and knows for a fact that my child will, indeed, stop peeing her pants when she’s mad at me.

And now that I’ve been doing this mothering thing for almost 4 years, some people seem to think I’ve earned a bit of credibility on certain parenting skillz. Which is hilarious and flattering and a bit frightening.

Because nothing says awesome like ballpoint tattoos.

Wake up before 6 a.m. and know your fate.

I don’t tell you this to be pompous but because it seriously boggles my mind that I’m qualified to offer advice on anything parenting-related. Yes, I’ve dealt with issues that some parents haven’t. But when friends or friends of friends ask me how to deal with a dairy allergy/ crazy separation anxiety/ unusual vaccine reaction/ strong-willed child/ eczema flares/ cloth diapering/ breastfeeding/ a child who never sleeps, and my initial reaction is, “Whaaa? Why are you asking me? Go ask someone who had time to brush their teeth this morning.”

And then I remember that although any advice I offer may, in fact, be insightful, what people really want to know is that it will get better. Whatever is plaguing them will end. Or it won’t and they’ll figure out how to deal. And one day, someone will mention that their child is having an issue and they’ll be able to offer advice or a sympathetic ear. Because credibility is earned in the messiest, most heartbreaking and exhausting moments of mothering.

You don’t read a recipe and call yourself a chef. Being a mother is the same. You need to experience it, feel it and live it along the way.

And then you earn street cred’ in the (mother)hood.