Friday, January 29, 2010

Is It Really Brave?

After one day of post vacation wrap up I was bored with that so no more of that. The one thing I did want to write about was my flight home from vacation, which was hell.

First, Greg didn't take a good morning nap.

Second, Charlotte had caught another cold from a little boy in Colorado.

Third, Greg didn't take a good afternoon nap, but he did take one.

Result, one sleepy boy that didn't want to sleep. One hacking girl that might at any time puke all over everyone. She was a very cute time bomb.

Most of the flight went really well considering. I tried to get Greg to sleep while I could, but he didn't want to and then the seat belt sign was turned on and no more of the walking the plane. As the pilot told us we were beginning our dissent into St. Louis Charlotte fell totally asleep and Greg decided to scream. And by scream I mean beet red face, full lung force, screaming. Yes, my child was that child and I was that mom. There was nothing I could do. I tried everything, but nothing helped.

Then we landed amid screams and I had to wake Charlotte up to get off the plane because I can't carry two bags and two kids and make it through the narrow aisle. Make no mistake, I could probably physically carry all that for the short trip to the stroller, but the aisle was in my way. But Charlotte was so very asleep that she would not wake up. Would. not. do. it. When she did wake up she started to cry and then tried to go back to sleep on the seat. So there I am with two children crying and dragging them off the plane. As I strap them into the stroller the other passengers are filing past me staring at the show the three of us are putting on. Every so often a kind woman stops me and says that I shouldn't feel bad, there was nothing I could do, it was unavoidable. Which sort of just makes me feel worse because that means they all know it was me.

Awful. Just awful.

But that wasn't really what I wanted to talk about. What I wanted to talk about was the reaction that I have gotten every time I have traveled without Dan. I hear over and over again how brave I am for doing it alone. Do single mothers get this sort of reaction where ever they go? "You're so brave to be flying with two kids alone!" Did I somehow give off an alone and helpless vibe? Because here's the thing. As bad as that flight was, having Dan around really wouldn't have changed a whole lot. He wouldn't have been allowed to get up and walk the aisle with Greg after the seat belt sign was on. Carrying Charlotte would only have worked for so long. She was sick and just wanted to be in bed. It wasn't a matter of being brave, it was a matter of doing what had to be done. We were in Denver and we needed to be in St. Louis, so we went. It just strikes me as odd is all.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

You Mean Like On Vay-Kay?

We're back from vacation #3 in 3 months. Sadly, I couldn't take any photos of this one because when unpacking from vacation #2 I stored the battery charger some place really safe and now it's missing and the battery died. So no photos. So now I'm going to have to write everything down. Lucky you.

First, I forgot to bring with us the object d'art my daughter made for her aunt and uncle and when she realized it she was sad and "frustrated" with me. So we ended up using markers on the plane to create another piece of art on the air sickness bag. Katie and the ear doctor loved it. It's on their fridge.

On Thursday we went to the Denver Children's Museum. If we lived there I would probably get a membership because it is awesome for kids Charlotte's age. Charlotte's favorite part was probably the 4 and under section with small houses that she got to play in. Greg also loved that section. Well, I'm guessing he did because that's where he decided to start moving his feet in a forward direction! You got it. He has always liked standing, but previous to last Thursday he didn't even really lift his feet up. Then Thursday he decided to start moving around.

He's pretty cute all wobbly and hanging from my hands sometimes, but clearly moving toward a target. As soon as I can find the battery charger I'm going to share a movie with everyone because now all he wants to do is walk from toy to toy. Not very good for mommy's back.

I think that's it for today.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A Reminder

After yesterdays post, I thought I'd share a little of what I read that was 100% what I needed to hear. So here it is.

Monday, January 18, 2010


I probably shouldn't post right now because I'm tired. I'm very tired and that's all I can think about. tired.tired.tired. Saturday I woke up thinking, "Today's the day my house will be rid of wallpaper. I will not stand for it one more day." So I spent the entire day doing just that. And NOTHING else. I'd like to tell you all that I'm very proud of my victory over the wallpaper. In fact the paper in the kids room practically fell off on its own in defeat. Then Sunday came around and I can't bring myself to do anything but the bare minimum on Sunday. (Interpret that however you want.) So today I woke up thinking, "Oh crap, I've got a lot of cleaning, organizing, and packing to do before Wednesday." Or at least that's what I would have been thinking had I woken up on my own.

What really happened was that my son has decided that if Dad's up, so is he. He has awakened at 5:30 everyday for a week. Up until today Dan's been gone out of the house by then, but not this morning. Mostly I just ignore the cries for as long as it takes him to quit and go back to sleep, which he generally does within 15-60 minutes of the initial cries. Today however, not only did he wake up, but so did Charlotte, and so did the cat, and Dan didn't leave quite so early so they never went back to sleep. We all started our days at 5:30. So I can't really write what I was thinking when I woke up this morning because it's not something I would ever say out loud.

So then I got working on cleaning the house and do you know how hard it is to clean the house when every half hour or so you have to stop and take at least 10 minutes to entertain the kids? I've spent all day cleaning and I've only touched the upstairs, but you should see the beauty that is my bedroom. My sanctuary as I like to call it. Oh, but if you saw the kitchen. I'll get to that next, right after my nap.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Family Date Night

Today Daniel unexpectedly came home from the hospital early. Two hours early! I knew I had to jump on that opportunity for time with him before he decided that the best use of his time would be to sleep. (Probably it would be the best use at this point, but he's strong. He can handle sleeplessness.) I quickly came up with four options for a family activity for us to do.
  1. Go miniature golfing.
  2. Go to The Magic House.
  3. Go to Monkey Joes.
  4. Go to the Mall and let Charlotte run around the indoor play area.

After an hour of hemming and hawing, guess which one he chose? If you guessed #4 you win. Pat yourself on the back for knowing how my husband's two top priorities are: to not spend money and to run around the least ammount.

It ended up being such a wonderful family date night. Charlotte played to her hearts content and then we walked around a sporting goods store where she played some more. Dan and I got to talk about stuff, and Greg has decided that he likes to flip backwards off my lap. He does this while I'm holding his hands. On our way out we walked through Nordstrom where I happened upon a wonderful little hat that was on sale. So I decided to take some of my Christmas money and buy it. It is really cute and I'm happy. Dan said, "I thought you didn't wear hats." I told him, "I don't wear them because I don't have them." So now that I have one I'm going to have to experiment with it.

Thursday, January 14, 2010


I'm really sad that Charlotte can't have all her clothing when we go on vacation. This is because with the restricted choices that I pack for her she ends up being fairly well put together most days. This does not reflect her typical awesome clothing choices at home. For example, we went to the Magic House the other day and as I looked around at all the other little girls there I felt a little chagrin at what my daughter was wearing. Among all the matching outfits with tights, boots and matching hair bows was my daughter. That morning she had chosen to wear a long sleeve off white shirt under a bright white T-shirt with little hearts on it. Did I mention the short sleeve shirt was backwards? Oh! Also she wanted to wear brown pants and since her brown pants were in the wash she decided to take another pair of pants and turn them inside out so the brown was showing, along with all the seams and the tag which was in the front because she insisted on wearing that backwards too.

Today at least everything is on right side out and forward. It is a hot pink dress with red pants on, but that's not bad right? The bad part was her insistence on wearing the purple hat with it.

Am I a bad mom because I don't really want to fight over clothing? There are just so many, many other things I do have to struggle about. My entire day feels a little like one long negotiation wherein I'm trying my best not to loose my patience. I do take a stand on Sundays and for photos, but other than that I figure I've got it made when she's actually wearing clothing.

Monday, January 11, 2010


When I was little, I want to say in the neighborhood of 5, my sister and I did a bad thing. A very bad thing. While my parents were busy with something else we got out a 5 gallon jug of honey and decided to give ourselves a snack. Did I mention our snack was a five gallon jug of honey? Seriously what were my parents thinking having something like that lying around? It seemed pretty innocent in our minds-or maybe just mine, I can't speak for she who got me into every danger of my childhood. By the time my mother caught us we were shoulder deep in honey and had pet the dog several times. Honey everywhere. Needless to say the incident has made its way to family lore.

Well, this morning karma came and bit me hard. Our breakfast routine has pretty much cemented itself over the last year. I get the bowls, vitamins and place mats ready while Charlotte gets the cereal out of the pantry. As I was getting the vitamins ready I heard a pretty loud thud, but as there was no accompanying crying I ignored it. Big mistake. By the time I found out that Charlotte had knocked the 5 lb (80 oz) jug of honey off the shelf and the lid had flown off, half the contents were on the floor. At that point, or perhaps after I had it cleaned up, I kind of smiled to myself. What goes around comes around I guess. At least it wasn't on the child, or any dogs.

The First Photo

For Christmas Daniel's parents gave us a new computer and I love it. It if didn't break it I would pour chocolate sauce over it and eat it I love it so much. Today I just downloaded our Christmas and winter photos off my camera onto the computer. Here are a few of them to remind me that we are managing to have some fun along the way.
Sledding down our front yard.
After Charlotte made her snow angel she made mommy and daddy make them too. She also insisted on wearing the 12-18 month size snow suit. It was pretty funny on her.

Snow fight with Daddy.

Christmas Day. Greg sure does love these balls.

Charlotte loves to dress up. She got to be a construction worker with her Christmas presents.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Snow Day 2

Yesterday, after it snowed through the night, we ended up with 3-5 inches, in my estimation. You know what that means? What it means is no school. If there is no school some smart (read: despirate) mommy sends her school aged child out the door with a smart attempt at earning money. What that leads to is said child bundled up carrying a garden shovel asking if I want my steps shoveled. They'd gladly shovel them for the sum of $10. And when faced with the cute faced, industrious, little bamboozler I cave and say sure. Then about 15 minutes later I'm out $10 and only half the steps shoveled and the sidewalk not even touched.

To sidestep this entire situation I got out first thing in the morning and shoveled the darn things myself. Then the little sharks wouldn't even come knocking on my door. As I was doing this a neighbor from a few houses down was dusting off her car to leave for the day. On her way back inside she remarks to me, "Not just a man's job is it?" I laughed and agreed with her, and then got to thinking. As I went to the back of the house to shovel a pathway to our car I decided that there are very few jobs in our house that are strictly "man's jobs." In order to be a totally Daniel's job I have to hate doing it enough and be able to and step around it long enough for him to do it when he gets home from the hospital. Which has slowly cut down on the jobs I consider just for him. It used to be taking out the garbage, puke, and dead animals, but none of those things can I step around if they crop up during the day. I just have to suck it up and do them. Sure he does the bulk of those jobs, but they surly aren't just man's jobs. So are there any of you out there with "man's jobs" in your relationship?

Back in the Saddle

Well, with the first week of surgical rotation under our belt, I figured I'd tell you all how it's going. Daniel loves it. He came home the other day delighted because he actually got to scrub in on a pediatric orthopedic case. It was a trauma case, so a little tragic, but also pretty awesome on a learning sort of perspective and also it sounds as though the patient will be able to make a full recovery after some time.

On the home front it's been a little difficult. Mostly because it's giving me a taste of whats to come. It's hard, but we're making it through. On top of him not being home I've got a stinking cold and a deep bruise in my foot where I think I must have stepped on some sort of toy. So I'm limping around the house with my head about to explode. On the plus side I've cleaned out the sewing room and put toys in it. Yesterday Charlotte, Greg and I spent an hour in there playing with a few of our old toys. When I said it was time for Greg to take a nap and me to go Charlotte said, "But I don't want to go! I love my playroom!" Which I thought was pretty funny because it was all our old toys. Hopefully I'll be able to organize all the displaced items soon. With my hurt foot and all it might take me a while though.

Monday, January 04, 2010


My mother was crazy. I thought a few months ago as I stood at the kitchen sink hand washing the last of the pots and pans from dinner. I had just made a dinner to be proud of, two vegetable sides, a main dish that turned out nicely, and even a little something for dessert. It had taken a long time to create, but was oh so good. Greg was now in bed dreaming his baby dreams and I was half listening to Daniel read a story to Charlotte and half thinking my own thoughts about how my mom was crazy. I love listening to him read to her or play with her or teach her something. Lately he's been trying to give her a little Spanish vocabulary. He'll say para agua (or however you spell umbrella in Spanish) and she'll repeat palalala.

Back to my point though, my mom's crazy. I had recently been made aware of what is apparently a common debate in marriages, that being whether dirty dishes go on the counter or in the sink, and my total ignorance of this debate I put squarely on my mom's shoulders. You see in my family growing up neither of those options were acceptable. Dirty dishes went in the dishwasher. If it was full you would empty it in order to get your dirty dish in. If it wouldn't fit into the dirty dishwasher you hand washed it. In fact once I remember being on vacation at my cousins' house and my aunt upon finding a dirty cereal bowl in the sink heatedly asking my cousins, "When is is OK to put a dirty dish in the sink?" And trying my very best to telepathically give them the right answer never, never, NEVER. And then they said, "When the dishwasher is full." Wherein beatings commenced.

So there I am at the sink, the dishwasher swooshing away merrily with its cleaning job, finishing putting away the last of the dried pots and pans (because a job isn't done until the last tool is put away), and generally cleaning the kitchen. The stove top is sparkling and the floor is swept. I'm feeling pretty good about my job and thinking about how my mom was crazy about overreacting to having to do so many dishes. Though it had taken me almost an hour to get the kitchen to this height of cleanliness I actually had been enjoying myself. It had been kind of nice to have the moment alone.

Afterward, Daniel got Charlotte ready for bed and I collapsed, exhausted from the day's tasks into the recliner. As I looked around I noticed that the books hadn't been put away, but that's no big deal, and the blankets hadn't been folded, but again not that hard to fix. So I get up and fix them. Dan comes down to do some research on the computer and I decide to go into my sparkling kitchen to get a glass of water.

On entering the kitchen I get so much more than a glass of water. I come to have a greater understanding of the eye twitch that my mom would sometimes get when provoked. Right there in the middle of the spotless counter, my daughter had left a spilled cup of juice. And as my eye started twitching I realized, yes, my mother was crazy, and I made her that way!

Sunday, January 03, 2010

The Aftermath

We made it through the holidays and now we're back. Charlotte stayed up until 1:30 AM last night because we got in late, but other than that we mostly feel normal. Our Christmas vacation was unbelievably awesome. I actually had time to spend with my husband. Since we don't usually get that I sometimes forget how awesome and fun he is to spend time with. We basically spent two weeks watching HGTV and let me tell you there is nothing like spending two weeks of beautiful homes, and remodel homes, and homes to sell to give you the renovate, redecorate bug. My new jobs I've decided to do are:
  • Finish taking down the stinking wall paper finally! You'd think I could finish that project, but since I'm almost done with it I somehow feel like it will perhaps finally declare defeat and jump off the wall by itself.
  • Rip up the linoleum on the stairs. And also the metal treads. I've wanted this done for a while, but it has never been to the top of my list. I guess it still isn't, but I would like to have it done.
  • And finally I'd like to repurpose the sewing room. Let's face it, I haven't done any serious sewing in a while. What I'd like to do is transform it into a play room that could also give me easy access to set up sewing if I would like. Mostly I feel like we have this wonderful space that has a door closed to it all day every day and we could really use that space.
  • Also, and this is totally optional, I would love to sew a quilt for our queen bed that is about a foot wider than either of the quilts we currently use on it. Since neither quilt was sewn for a queen size bed, it's probably time to get cracking on that one.

More on these projects to come. (Hopefully)