Well, it’s here. I’m 40. Today.
10 years ago, I was in San Diego, while J was working down there, and we stopped off at someone’s apartment on the way home from a friend’s house only to find 15 of my closest friends there for the weekend to surprise me for my 30th birthday! Man, was that cool.
What a crazy decade it’s been since!
After pizza and ice cream cake, J and I are headed to see Kathy Griffin live. It was a last minute decision, but I’m excited to do something fun and different for the big day. Tomorrow, we’ll head out for a celebratory dinner down in Sacramento.
As for the renovation, Day 5, we passed Permit Inspection on our electrical!! PHEW. The electrician finished up and we’ve got a hole in the roof for venting that was put in later last night.
We’ve got the weekend off only to move the gas line and dry wall the entire kitchen on Monday. Come Tuesday, cabinets start going in! CAN’T WAIT.
And now it’s Hunter’s turn.
As I’ve told many people, he’s my busy one. That doesn’t apply much to him anymore. I think as a small tot, he was REALLY BUSY, but now that he is FIVE, he’s more creative, imaginative and an inquisitive little boy. He’s still very tactile and can remind me of a bull in a china shop, but luckily for him, his younger brother is taking over the busy beaver crown.
He can play by himself for hours, although he’d rather play with his older brother. He and Ryan have this thing that I don’t see often. Hunter has the WANT and Ryan has the patience (for the most part.) They spent over an hour outside yesterday swinging each other on a tree swing in their underwear. They have their very own club and speak their own language.
He enjoys playing with Sam too, but he likes to get in his way, pester him a little bit, which makes said tot scream louder than anything ever heard. Real enjoyable! I think he probably believes it’s his turn to rouse the younger sibling. Rite of passage, you know? He does love his little SAUM. For some reason, he says Sam, SAUM. I see the hugs and the kisses given even if they aren’t well-received. He still persists to show his love.
He’s a sweet boy. He offers anyone who comes over a diet coke, water or beer. He sets plates and napkins out hours before a meal. He tries SO HARD at what he does and wears his heart on his sleeve all at the same time. He’s sensitive, like me. That’s going to be the one difficulty raising him. Seeing so much of myself in him, knowing what he needs, but being too close to his emotion will make it hard to be his yang to his ying.
He does try so hard. You should see him play baseball. He’s got the stance, he practices what he should look like at the plate and hits the home base over and over with the bat like some of the professionals do. He’s a mimic and it’s served him well. I’ll be interested to see down the line how he does in sports. He’s still a dreamer, but has this talent that could really be something. Until then, I will enjoy watching him run from 2nd to 3rd base with a huge smile on his face with his eyes closed.
I tell ya. He’s a hoot. He’s been a really good student as well. I was surprised at how well behaved he is in class. Now, he’s nowhere near perfect, not that he should be, but since he was a busy one entering preschool, I wasn’t sure how that would translate into the structure of class. He sees other kids get in trouble and shys away from what got them there in the first place. He’s no saint, but he’s more in the lines than out of them. Whatever it is, I’ll take it! We’ll see how he fairs in full-day Kindergarten in August. GAH.
I am starting to see what it’s like for him to be the middle kid. It’s hard to remember what it was like having him be Sam’s age. I was busy having a miscarriage and acupuncture and getting pregnant again. I know I just need to get my video tapes transferred to dvd (I have a groupon!) and spend an afternoon going back over that time period. It was special and I’m sad I feel a little foggy on the matter. Now, I’m feeling all the FEELINGSSSS.
We’re headed to Disneyland here soon and I can’t WAIT for this little boy to experience it truly for the first time. He was two the last time we went, so he has no obviously memories of our trip. We’re leaving the littlest one behind, so we’ll have a few days to just focus on Ryan and Hunter. We haven’t been able to do that since Sam was born. We need it. They need it. I’m happy we can do that for them. Plus, I can’t wait to ride Space Mountain again too!
Oh, Hunter. You make me a better mom just looking into your sweet face. You may be the one that mostly looks like your father, but you’re all me inside. May I keep that special kinship close to my heart and put it to go use to raise you the way you need to be raised. You’ll be an exemplary man, a passionate husband and a caring father. (Oh, the tears!) You do need a little more, like I did. You’ll need to know how special you are and how much we love having you in our lives. Our love, it’s unconditional. It always will be.
You are good enough.
And all I need.
(Thank you for bringing tears to my eyes while sitting in the waiting room at the car dealership.)
I’m so proud of you, my little Hunty. Here’s to FIVE!
I looked at J a couple of weeks ago and said, “I can’t believe we’ve been parents for eight years.” We discussed how eight feels like a long time and then doesn’t all in the same thought.
Knowing that our journey into parenthood began with our little boy was such a blessing. I spent most of that first year trying to figure myself out. How on earth was this gig not natural? Why isn’t this coming easy for me? Oh ya, I had never babysat alone a day in my life, including changing a diaper. WHAT WAS I THINKING? How was this to be easy?
Such a naive gal I was. Luckily, I think we both made it out ok and have been chugging along ever since. I will always strive for better, but I’m thankful to know I always get a chance at a re-do. As I said, “good enough” is good enough. (And if I can just be ok with that 100% of the time, I’d be a lot more relaxed.)
Ryan was my sickest infant, which only means he was the one that got the ear infections and had to have tubes put in before he was 2. Man, were those things sleep suckers. No WONDER IT WAS HARD. He couldn’t actually sleep if he was in pain half the time! 5 infections, with 3 of them being doubles, took a toll on all of us. Those things never cleared up. Thankfully, he’s never had one since his tubes and has been quite a healthy kid since.
The natural confidence he exudes is amazing. His laid back attitude along with the “I can do all things” swagger has helped him in so many ways. Switching schools this last year, I’m sure, wasn’t easy, but he took his time and made friends the way he needed to make them. (I, of course, was fretting at every school pickup hoping he wasn’t eating his lunch alone again.)
He still shows his vulnerability. He is only 8. I took him to school late this morning after his well-visit and he had to enter his classroom alone with everyone in their seats. He came back and found me on campus after I had taken Hunter to his room and was all disheveled and nervous. I gave him a big pep talk and hid behind the door as he went inside. (HE STILL NEEDS MEEEEEE.)
He’s willing and enjoys playing most sports. He’s nowhere near the tallest kid, but his determination and his blasé attitude has served him well. He still likes to do a dance he just learned in the outfield sometimes, but his heart is pure. Being a natural performer, he tends to be dramatic, but it has led him to some great opportunities like school plays, so I’m assuming it will only help him in his journey. Plus, seeing him reenact a scene from Wipeout, his favorite show of all time, is quite hilarious.
He’s a big brother through and through. I don’t know how many kids his age have the patience for a sibling 3 years younger. His best friend is his brother and he’ll tell anyone who asks. They play and play and bicker and fight and play and play some more. Kids his age have already had play dates for a few years, but we’ve never really needed anyone else here. They’ve got each other. (Of course, that can and will change tomorrow, so I’ll take that they just need each other, for now.)
He’s a smart cookie. He looks to be one of the smartest kids in his class. He tends to rush his work so he can go off and read, but I’m just glad he enjoys reading so much. I’ll take a little rushing. We’ve been reading Charlotte’s Web at night together. His class is reading it at school, but he still puts his head on my shoulder and intently follows along. It’s something I know I am going to miss sooner than later. WAAAAAH.
Eight. What do I think of eight? Eight is good. It comes with some exploratory attitude. It’s as if his mind is saying, “let’s try this on for size.” Once he gets some negative feedback on his commentary, he tends to change his tune.
He’s getting to not need the extra doting I’ve been giving him especially when we’re around some other kids. The “I’ve got this” wave off is a sign of the future. I hate that sign, but after experiences like today, I am going to keep offering my help no matter the reaction. I know he needs it whether he knows it or not.
He’s a gem. And he’s ours. I’m proud, I’m tickled, I’m honored to be his mom.
I’m glad he’s first.
We’re on the last days of April and all of my babies have turned a year older. I had great plans of posting each evening before each birthday something special about each boy, but surprising everyone with birthday balloons on their ceilings (excluding Peppa, that would scare the crap out of him) and having presents wrapped and ready to go for the birthday boy, left little time to get all sentimental on paper.
It reminds me of how often I tell myself I am doing “good enough.” I have high hopes of doing all of the things on my imaginary checklist, but some things just go by the wayside. They have to. Besides the times when J is home, I run this ship by myself. None of my family live in the state and J’s parents are nearby, but aren’t able to stop by to help with the kids on a weekly basis.
If I want to get something done, I have to do it myself. Well, I could wait for J’s help on the weekends or at night, but I’m too impatient. I sometimes miss the slower days of hanging out at home, watching some child crawl across the floor while the other one attends school for a few hours a week. Not anymore! We are moving and a shaking around here. (I secretly love it,) but find myself spent when the day is done. People ask me if I am excited for this or that going on sometime next week, but I have no clue about next week. I work week to week and sometimes just day to day.
Sometimes my tunnel vision gets me into trouble. I spent all day yesterday putting the house away for the cleaners to come. (Doesn’t it blow to do 75% of the work only to pay someone else to make it look pretty? Where’s my cut?!) Once they had come and gone and we had returned, I began making myself some soup for dinner. I didn’t have an immersion blender, so I thought I’d pour the soup into a blender, then return it to the pot once I was finished. Only, I didn’t get out the blender…I got out the food processor, poured all of the soup and bits into it and watched 1/3 of my liquid seep out the sides and bottom at a decent rate. Not until I watched every inch of my clean counter top turn to a puddle of Thai brown stock did I realize what I had done. HELLOOOOOO. Talk about distracted. Thinking about the next thing can bite you in the ass.
Ok, off to write that post about the boys…
My father has been an “alcoholic” most of my life.
I put the word in parentheses because I believe he would call it something different.
His choice of drink when I was younger was scotch on the rocks. He had a pretty crystal decanter that he would fill up from the plastic bottle he’d bring home in a brown paper bag.
My dad left our house when I was 19, a freshman in college.
Since then, my family has struggled to rebuild itself time and time again. Each one of us having our “moments” of defeat and triumphs, usually happening at different times. We’re all here making the best of a sad situation that took place years ago.
I can point fingers. I can call a spade a spade and say if this didn’t happen, then these other things wouldn’t be happening, but that would be foolish, pointless.
I remember my mother telling me when I was younger to not want to grow up so fast. Easier said than done, yes? I wish I would have listened to her, but my childhood and childish ways were taken from me the day he left for the airport. It really wasn’t up to me in the end.
I’ve been a parent longer than I have had children. Wishing and hoping, dreaming and worrying for my people. It is absolutely exhausting and frightening. You can say so much, but it’s not up to me to make the change. I can talk till I’m blue in the face and plead and beg to stop the inevitable, but it’s just wasted breath, or it has been up to this point.
All you can do is offer support and naive guidance and pray and pray that the phone never rings with news that there won’t be a tomorrow.
Over the holidays, my brother-in-law asked me what I had been up to since the last time we had seen each other and for a few seconds, I couldn’t think of anything that I, personally, had achieved. My response was, “We just had our Christmas Party/Open House!” and then I downplayed it, like, HAH, as if that’s an actual accomplishment. (Actually, it TOTALLY is. That shit isn’t easy, yo!)
But, that’s really all I had to share, that sounded worthy of sharing. Or so I originally thought.
I spent a lot of this year offline with my family. It seems three children take up a lot of time and energy and what time I had left, it’s wasn’t nosed in my computer screen. Hell, I’m sure I could make time for it, during school hours/nap time, but I find myself wanting to do other things. (decompressing, for one!)
I don’t feel like I’ve outgrown it here, it’s just what I have to say doesn’t come across as well as I want it to, or I’m writing for all the wrong reasons. Rereading a meme I wrote in 2007, after a year of blogging in the first place, I remember why I started this space in the first place. To write this shit down, so I’ll remember this time I’m living in. Otherwise, it’ll just jumble in to a handful of memories that will be difficult to separate down the line.
So, that’s what I am vowing to myself, a new year’s resolution, if you will. I plan to get back on here and write. Not at the expense of my family and the time spent with them, but to make better use of my time, if that is at all possible. Just thinking about it sounds difficult. We’re not here a lot. Not like we used to be. I guess that’s what happens as the kids get older. We’re not here in between preschool sessions playing amongst our toys until dinner time. (Man, I miss those days!) We’re running from here to there, practicing this and that, and buying things to feed this ever-growing herd, often.
What I can say is that I’m happy. Truly tickled. This house makes me smile from ear to ear every time I drive home to it. The people in it have more space to roam, more bike trails to ride, more family time to be had outdoors. It’s a dream come true. One that will take years to get just right, but excited for the challenge.
I feel like I’m rambling here. It’s been so long since I’ve said anything, I’m all over the map. At least it’s something, right?
As I roll from side to side, wishing I was still asleep, yet curious as to what was going on outside my bedroom walls, I hear pitter patter of little feet, the oven opening and closing and all my boys scurrying around getting ready for their “big” presentation.
Moments later, the door opens and I’m presented with my “special” hot chocolate, a child jumping on top of me and another saying “ma ma” while pointing to my mug on my side table. Words of “cinnamon rolls, sausage and eggs” fill my ears as I’m told to make my way to the kitchen table when I’m ready to say hello to the world.
I’m filled with such content at this simple ritual, yet sadness too crosses my mind knowing it won’t always be like this. Those little feet won’t pitter patter so much as they’ll become heavier and louder as the years go by. Wanting to stop time for myself, to not get older just for the sake of not turning another higher number is one thing, but to want to stop time because those feet will only be small for so long, is another.
No matter how much dirt those boys bring in, I am extremely grateful for those dirty little feet.
Here’s to the little ones and to the marks they may make. They do keep me young at heart no matter how old I truly get.
Oh man. How do I start this?
I wrote a post on the eve of Rt’s first birthday almost 6 years ago and can tell you I am in a completely different place than I was then. It still makes me sad that I had such a hard time on the inside with getting through those first 365 days. I didn’t know myself yet, so how was I supposed to be his everything? The “stuff” you get to work out that very first year with that first bambino. If I only knew then what I…..
Fortunately, times have changed and I’ve gotten to know the real me throughout this parenting process. I can honestly say that I don’t regret anything about Sam and his first year. Such a pleasing thing to be able to say. It was a whirlwind, of course. I would have loved to have slowed down a bit and watched him grow more closely, but I believe I did a fine job tackling this three kid thing which included raising said infant. Plus, there were a lot of days it was just me. That says a lot about me and my abilities and I will take FULL credit for it. ha.
That doesn’t mean all the days were rosy. And I’ll take full credit for those too. I’ve said it before, but if my neighbors take my parenting skills based off of what I say in the garage to and from school, they might need to pick up the phone… It’s not pretty. And yes, I wish on a daily basis I could take back a few reactions on my part, but I know when to say sorry and teach my kids I could have chosen another path. Such a humbling experience, this gig.
Maybe that is why Sam seemed so easy. And when I say easy, I mean he was a baby, who couldn’t talk, who needed mostly his primal needs met and not much else. He seems easier compared to these other people I live with. He’s still a baby. And that is clearly hard work. He’s just more of a guarantee, I’d say. Predictable when the rest of life isn’t.
This is about Sam, isn’t it? Gah.
He’s a lover. He loves to snuggle just enough before wanting to get down. He wants to get up on the couch when the rest of us are up there hanging out. He likes being apart of the group. He’s been saying “Hi” in the best Southern drawl I’ve ever heard for a month or so. That’s about all that has come out of his mouth so far. No mama. Just DA now. Dada hasn’t returned since sometime last year. I swear he says “here” when he brings me something, but I might be hearing things.
He took his first steps right before he turned 11 months and now he’s walking almost everywhere plus he can stand up from a seated position. He eats anything and everything off the floor. Whether it be actual food, a lego head or a piece of his own dried poop pellet (I KNOW) it’s made it’s way to his mouth. He has a love affair with the trash can. He is a dumpster diver and has no desire to stop anytime soon. (Our can is currently up on our kitchen table. Classy, huh?)
He loves his paci and will turn it upright anytime it’s put in upside down. He wears his sleep sack to bed and sleeps with his butt in the air. LOVE. He goes right to sleep these days with not much protest. WOO HOO. He took his last scoop of formula in his milk yesterday and is on full milk bottles as we speak. I tried a sippy cup yesterday for kicks, but he just casually sipped from it over and over again at a snail’s pace. I wasn’t in the mood, so I gave him the bottle instead. When I’m fed up with washing bottles (WHICH IS PRETTY MUCH NOW) I will put it in a sippy and never look back. Maybe on a weekend when it’s not just me.
He can make the “S” sound and likes to receive butterfly kisses. He doesn’t mind being tackled, which is quite handy since it happens more than not. He will bring you anything, most likely give it to you, then go get something else and do the same. Or, he will offer it to you, but take it away and tease you all over again.
He’s a happy baby. He has been from the start. He likes to eat. He hasn’t turned away much I’ve offered to him yet. He didn’t like the consistency of the banana and sweet potato as finger foods, but he’s come around as of late. His hair, or what fuzz he has looks brown, but there are tons of blonde hairs coming in underneath. I’m not holding my breath on a matching baby because the same thing happened to Hola and he now has the darkest of the older two.
He’s got blue eyes like his daddy’s. The shape of his eyes look like my mother’s, I’m told. The shape of his head is just like his brothers, BIG. They all get that from J. Not me, I repeat, NOT ME. I think he’ll be my biggest baby at his 1 year checkup. He’s not large and in charge, just long and solid. He still fits perfectly on my hip. I hope that remains the same for many days to come.
It’s all happening so fast. I’m still going to call him my baby, but he’ll be a full-on toddler before summer ends, no doubt.
This birthday of his makes me thrilled yet terribly sad at the same time. He’s it. Our last hurrah. It’s the end of an era for us. Yes, I am glad we are sleeping, and, no, I cannot handle more kids since I think it’s not easy to give everyone I already have the attention they need and deserve. It’s bittersweet.
I do know that every night before I put this adoring baby to bed, I hold him over my shoulder and he nuzzles his darling head into my chest, I smell his sweet scent and rub my chin over his peachfuzzed hair and wish upon the stars to never forget such a moment. It’s everything I have ever wished for and more.
I am so grateful. (and now I am crying. DAMMIT.)
I wrote this original post 5 years ago, (and have now altered it accordingly) but every year on the anniversary, I still sit in awe of how it all came to be. (And yes, this was supposed to be posted 2 days ago, but whatever.)
13 years ago today, I made the biggest move of my life.
13 years ago today, I moved from Oklahoma to California.
13 years ago today, hubby and I got caught in a snow blizzard outside Vega, Texas. (pop 880)
We spent our only $50 in cash we had on a tow truck to pull us out of a snowbank.
Every church was full when our U-Haul was rescued, so they opened up the Methodist church just for us.
We watched the R-rated feature “The Postman” alongside the mayor of the town.
The bank sign down the street read -2 degrees. That’s without wind chill.
We spent the night on the floor of the church until the Interstate reopened the next day.
We sent the church a $50 check thanking them for their help along with a picture of us in front of Alcatraz. We never heard from the church again, but our check was cashed.
Hubs and I had only spent 12 days together before I moved to CA to be with him.
13 years ago today.