Wednesday, September 30, 2009

It's not easy being green...or Connor

Instead of doing the dishes, I decided to write down a few of my more important thoughts racing through my head like. . . "Connor's favorite color is green." Before you judge the importance of this statement please understand how vital this color is to my youngest little squirt these days. Here is the evidence of the crucialness of this color:

The only crayon Connor uses is the green one. Let me illustrate. Every day at preschool Connor comes home with coloring pages. ALL green. Every Sunday Connor comes home with coloring pages. ALL green. The following statement may appear sacreligious to some so skip to the next paragraph if you're squeamish. . . This Sunday he brought home a picture of Jesus and John the Baptist - they both looked exactly like the Incredible Hulk. (He does use brown for the hair so its more realistic you know!)

Okay, so I'll admit that this blog has temporarily turned into a mish mosh of Connor stories. I'm tired. Its my blog. So on to another cute Connor story.

The other evening after dinner, Connor waltzed into the dining room (where I was doing dishes by the way) wearing a Mickey Mouse pajama top that was two sizes too small for him. I'm not sure how he managed to get it on, but I started gushing about how proud I was of him for taking the inititive to put his p.j.'s on without being asked - only I didn't use the word "inititive."

Anyway, I asked him why he changed his shirt (he had been wearing his favorite green dinosaur shirt - see picture). Turns out it was not because he had been pro-actively getting ready for bed. Oh No! He made it very clear that he changed his shirt "Because it was hurting my nose." And then he rolled his eyes and gave me that "duh mom" look. He was like "how could you not know that! Ugh." (I added the Ugh)


He had to get back to his busy train schedule so I thought for a moment and using my Monk like sleuth skills I solved the shirt swapping mystery. Here's what happened. . . I realized that Connor had a runny nose and like every other 4 year old boy, he had been wiping it on his shirt all day. The dinosaur on the front was cute, but also quite abrasive and was hurting his poor little red nose. Logically the boy HAD to change the shirt (not use a tissue.) When I went in to put him to bed later that night I found out that all of his clothes had been taken - thrown - out of his drawer in search of the softest possible kleenex (I mean shirt).
Connor is nothing if not a problem solver. . . and a green lovin' fool!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I don't want to miss a thing

How lucky am I? This is a question I ask myself almost constantly lately. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by such smart people! I went to a pot luck Labor Day shindig tonight with a group of friends. Smart Friends! Every time I hang out with these people I learn something new that translates into me being either a better human in general or more importantly, a better mother.

Tonight I spoke with a darling mother of four great kids and I learned that maybe I was normal! Wow! Normal. Maybe my mothering dilemmas were no different than countless other women out there. We were talking about the brain damage kids seem to get the moment they turn into a teenager. Seeing as she started down this exciting path years ago and I have only begun this journey into the unknown (Hunter is 13), I latched on to her like some sort of groupie and soaked up of every bit of sage wisdom she was throwing my way.

This woman is one of those super moms who looks like her life resembles Donna Reed or Carol Brady in some way. For some reason I thought that she, similar to the TV moms of the past, must know all of the right things to do in any parenting situation. She began talking about some of her parenting tricks that worked and some that didn't work and I realized that maybe it was normal to have no idea what you're doing. Maybe it was going to be okay if I didn't always say the all the right things at all the right times. We talked and laughed about forgotten homework and misplaced lunches. We bragged about how lucky we were to have teenage boys who still liked us and didn't mind being around us. We remarked that maybe this should worry us and then decided it was a blessing and we should embrace it. We laughed about all of the insanely forgetful things they do and how we find ourselves saying things like "Did you put on deodorant today?!?" or "Don't forget to use shampoo when you wash your hair!" You would think they would care if they stink. But they don't.

Someday they will. . . right?

Then I started asking about her life now that all of her kids are in school. I told her how I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with myself when Connor started kindergarten next year. And then she said something I already knew, but desperately needed to be reminded of. I can't remember it verbatim, but it was something like this, "They grow up so fast, eight years goes by in a blink of an eye. . . and I don't want to miss a moment." She talked about the fact that despite her master's degree and talent in her field, she chose to work at her own pace doing charity work for no profit so that she is able to engage her mind while still being a full witness and participant in her children's lives. She reminded me that before we knew it, our kids would leave us forever and all of that precious time we got to help them discover who they are would be gone for good.

I am so grateful to have this reminder. There are still thousands of things I want to do in my life. I still want to have something just for me, but I am no longer in a hurry to find out what that is. I remembered that helping to grow my children is not a race. There is no prize in just getting it done. The reward is in the journey. I don't want to look back someday at these few years of mothering I have in front of me now and wonder what I might have missed while I was looking endlessly for what I was supposed to achieve. My mind will still wander. I will still dream. But maybe now I will let my dreams come to me in their own good time. I feel assured that my list of aspirations would be fulfilled both in the present and the future, but not all at once.

As I watched my kids swim and tease and laugh I felt a peacefulness inside telling me that I have plenty of time to achieve my personal dreams. Suddenly all of my restless thoughts seemed to fall into a quiet line inside my head. At the front of the line was the most beautiful dream of all. The dream I am living right now. . . Being a mom.

And I don't want to miss a thing.

I think that's an Aerosmith song. They're smart too.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Restless Mind Syndrome

Dreams. I have thousands. How bout you? When I was a little girl I dreamed of being a Zoo Keeper. Then I dreamed of being a super model (I almost lied about this and I wish it were not true, but it is). Then I dreamed of being a business woman in New York. Then I wanted to be an Interior Designer. Then I wanted to be a Journalist. Then I wanted to be a Lawyer.

I am none of these things.

I graduated from Arizona State University 3 years ago with a degree in History. I had gone back to school after a 10 year absence during which I got married and had 2 children. I decided to go back to school after my husband graduated from ASU because that was the plan all along and I wanted to finish something. (I have a wonderful husband who encouraged me to do this. Thanks honey!) Why the history degree? Because being an attorney was my dream at the time and I love History and my counselor said it was a good idea on the road to Law School. I graduated with a History Degree, a solid G.P.A., a sense of accomplishment and a brand new son named Connor!

Law school was out. Or at least postponed.

Flash forward to now. Connor will be starting Kindergarten next year and I am starting to hear that inner voice whispering. . . . " Oh crap, its time to get ready for Law School." Its the "Oh crap" part that's freaking me out. I thought I wanted to go to Law School. Don't I want to go to Law School? That burning desire to argue in front of a judge and say things like "I object!" is not really there anymore and it scares me.

All of the sudden I am a 10 year old girl again wondering what I want to be when I grow up. Don't get me wrong, being a mom is my number one priority and I absolutely love it. I love being here when they get home from school. I love hounding them relentlessly until they tell me every detail of every recess and lunch break. I actually enjoy taking them to piano lessons and gymnastics and preschool and all of those Soccer Mom requirements. Maybe this should be enough. It really is the greatest job and I know it is enough for a lot of women and I envy that. But I want something just for me. . . you know? So here I sit. . . wondering what's next. Wondering what I want to do and wondering why I don't know what that is. I'm 35 years old for crying out loud. Will I ever figure out what my passion is? I've ruled out Zoo Keeping and Wall Street. And I'm pretty sure "America's Next Top Model" will not be calling me any time soon.

So my question to the universe is, "Am I doomed to continually change my dreams without picking one until I die?" That sounds depressing and I don't mean it to. I guess I'm on a quest to discover what it is I really want to do with my "post-having babies" life. Maybe the real question is, "Do I even have to pick one dream or is it okay to constantly find and follow new ones?"

I really don't know the answer to this and its making my brain hurt. Life is so short and I have so many things I want to do and places I want to see that I don't know how to pick one. Or even if I'm supposed to pick one.

Have you every heard of "Restless Leg Syndrome?" I think I have "Restless Mind Syndrome."


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Girls Just Wanna Have Fu-un!

Today was a half day for the Child Children. We are only one week into school and they already have a half day. What the . . . ? But my how kids love the half days (I am still on the fence). On this particular day my darling daughter Hailey had two of her friends over to play (Hailey is the cowgirl furthest right). And what do nine year old girls do when they get together, you ask? When nine year old girls get together they . . . Form Clubs. Yes, forming "Girls Only" clubs is a time honored tradition that may have been started by Eve herself. In fact, I believe it is written somewhere that starting one of these clubs is a sacred right of passage - at least it seems to be in our family. I was a proud member of the "Sweet Savages" of 1982. The exclusive membership roster consisted of only 4 names and officially came to order twice. But we had binders and we had rules so we were no joke!

Like her mother before her, Hailey has proudly carried on the Club Forming tradition and is now a founding member of the "Dancing Queens." Please don't tell her that there are most likely hundreds of other clubs with this name without a single female member. But I really do believe it is a great name for a club. I actually suggested it after forcing them to listen to "The Best of ABBA" Soundtrack. They ran with the idea and declared that the song "Dancing Queen" will be played at the start of every official club meeting. I'm SO not kidding and I LOVE it!!! How great is it to have a daughter?!? Moving on with the story. . . Hailey and her lovely friends (I cannot reveal their names for fear of severe punishment for breaking club rules) had the most glorious time during their FOUR hour club meeting. First they had a "Tea Party" where they ate Pizza and Sunny D (How cool am I :)) Then they dressed up like cowgirls and walked around the neighborhood pretending to be orphans lost in the wilderness or something like that (I was trying really hard to eavesdrop - but I was not very successful with the details). I LOVE these girls! It was 108 degrees today and they wore boots, coats and hats outside on their lonely orphan trek - although they finally lost the coats by the time I found my camera! Oh by the way, you'll notice an extra little club member in the picture. Hailey is such a sweet big sister, but I really hope this doesn't cause any permanent testosterone damage to poor Connor.

After the treacherous wilderness hike, they changed once again like butterflies into teenage girls going to the prom. I have a few "prom-like" dresses I picked up whilst shopping and they love to dress up and dance in them. This is where ABBA comes in. Picture it. . . three cute girls, dresses too big, lip gloss, cowboy hats and lots of synchronized dancing. Best day ever! Of course I showed them my disco moves but I don't think they were too impressed! Sadly the meeting came to an end around 3:30 pm. But fear not! There is talk of a mandatory club meeting tomorrow after school. I love being a mom!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Preschool Blues

My youngest son Connor (pictured left) has gone off to preschool and left me all alone with the dog. I have 2 & 1/4 hours of free time. What to do . . .what to do. . . It's a funny thing being alone when you're not used to it. On one hand I have been longing for these 2 quiet hours all summer and now that they're here I'm a little torn. Connor is such a delightful kid that he's really not any trouble and I love hearing him play with his trains in the next room. He says things like, "Now Thomas be nice." and "Holy CRAP James is gonna crash!" He makes me giggle alot (and he gets the "HOLY CRAP" from me.) He runs through the room and gives his mom much needed hugs kisses on demand! Wait a minute. He's not dead, he's accross the street for crying out loud! Woo Hoo! Maybe I'll go eat a brownie without having to share!

Introducing the Child Children

These are my lovely children. Hunter is 13, Hailey is 9 and Connor is 4. Aren't they just about the most amazingly handsome children you've ever seen?!?! I honestly feel baffled that the Lord entrusted me to raise such extrordinary people. They teach me something new everyday and make me laugh on a regular basis. I promise I will not GUSH about my kids in every post. I just had to remind myself of their gloriousness right off the bat so I don't forget how great they really are when Connor decides to use a permanent marker to draw on my kitchen table (he did that on Sunday)!

Blogger say what?

Okay. So I'm new at this and I'm not sure what the heck I am doing or who the heck would want to read what I have to write, but I'm doin' it anyway baby!

I decided to do this because I admire the beauty of my dear friend's blog and I love that I will have documented evidence that I am having a life of some kind. I know. . . lets call it a forced journal or a digital diary of sorts. Get ready for thousands (okay tens) of boring housewife stories and tales of funny things my kids say that only I find hilarious! If you are still reading this....bless you and be patient. Now I'm going to figure out how to illustrate this puppy with scads of family pictures only I find interesting!!! Here we go kids!