A Mommy Blog About Raising Men, Not Boys.
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Wednesday, October 01, 2014

Songs of Mommyhood

The day he was born, I went to McDonald's on my way to the hospital. No lie I did. So we started out his twelfth birthday at the McDonald's near us. We listened to opera and enjoyed their new ultra modern decor. It almost felt like we weren't eating at McDonald's at all.

Watching him while he ate, and listening to him prattle on endlessly about the video game he didn't know he was getting later in that day, it occurred to me that it's only been 12 years since I've changed who I was. Twelve years ago I was pretty deeply into the NOW WHAT stage of being a MOM.
Everything changes when you are a Mom. For instance, music.

There is so much now that is LOU music to me. For instance, while Scott Stapp may be one of Sarah and my favorite jokes of a human, he had this stupid song that was popular while I was pregnant and I would cry my eyes out every time it came on.
To this day I will sing my lungs out when that song comes on. JUDGE ME I DON'T CARE.
Also this one.
Because I was pregnant when this was huge too. And I was marking time every day - worried that it wouldn't work out, as they'd said they didn't think we could have children. (Joke's on THEM eh?).

Then there are songs that are more about him than me, such as this one that he would sway and sing all the time when he was one and two. We actually bought him the CD he loved it so much. Now of course he thinks we're crazy when we tell him this.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

On Daddy's Day Off

Daddy went to watch football and not worry about diapers or potty training or dinner, or the bills, or the pool, or what needs fixed, or cleaned, or laundry. He went to drink beer and cheer on the Colts (GO COLTS) and relax.
So, we went on a picnic.
We went to the Environmental and Heritage Center in the woods down the road to eat our lunch and take a short walk. A very short walk.
It was an adventure though, through the woods and we saw lots of beautiful things.
The walk did us all good, fresh air and a cool breeze is never a bad thing and I think it was just nice not to be cooped up in the house.
We're calling this NATURES TOILET. Or Lou is.
The Heritage is a green facility and they have a lovely water reclamation site that they've cleverly disguised as landscaping.
We wandered along the waterway and enjoyed the peaceful sounds of rushing water and the wind through the trees. Why did we ever stay home on these days? We should always come out.
The best part of our part is when Julia farted. Have I mentioned that she thinks you aren't supposed to fart in your pants and cries hysterically whenever it happens? That makes us laugh and then she cries more. We're mean.
But it IS funny.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

There Are Titles And There Are Titles

There are titles that some girls dream of for years, such as Mrs. We put the pillowcase on our heads backwards and plan our weddings, so that some day we can put the official MRS in front of our names. (Some of us do anyway. Some don't and that's ok because not everyone wants to get married yadda yadda).
Some titles you can only earn through blood, sweat, and tears. Those usually sound like MOM.  Or rhyme with MOTHER. You get those for life, unlike those Mrs. Titles which are disposable.
Some titles you get as a symbol of higher education being achieved. You go to school, you learn the things, you pay the money, and eventually you'll get that title that says I KNOW A LOT ABOUT THIS THING.

Those are good titles.

But there is one title I've sought for a long time. It's a WoW title that's enshrined in folklore and silliness and I confess, it's meaningless. But it's a longstanding WoW sort of tradition when make the journey and get this title when you're not so squishy any more.

You can see sort of what it's about in this original video.
Or you can see it reimagined as an artsy form.
Basically, the way you do it is you run into a room and you drag 50 dragon whelp hatchlings and then kill them all in 15 seconds. You have to kill a bunch of stuff before you get there which is no big deal but I had to do the killing of the hatchlings twice to sort it out.

If you don't play WoW, take the first video and do it yourself. It's not as hard as it sounds. And I have to admit, I was kind of delighted when I got it.
I have to admit though, MOM is still my favorite title.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Things On My Mind

So I went for my normal visit to my rheumatologist and it turns out some of my tests weren't so good. This was the first time I ever had a real problem, I really just usually go to keep on the look out for Felty's syndrome which my Mom has, and to watch my vitamin D. But this time, at my follow up, she came in and took my hands and said "your results weren't so good, we're going to have to do some more tests."

So we did 16 vials of blood worth of tests.

They have the results. I know they have the results because to receptionist TOLD me that they do.

However, I've been waiting now for two days for a call back to hear about this not so good diagnosis.

It could be lupus, could be rheumatoid arthritis. It could be some kind of cancer. It could be who knows what. But it's something.

I don't feel particularly bad, I'm not desperate for some sort of treatment. In fact, unless it's mandated by the condition I probably won't DO anything. But I'd like to KNOW what is going on. And I'd like to know RIGHT NOW.

So I wait and worry. And hope. Really, if I have to roll the dice, I'll go with good old rheumatoid arthritis any damn day.

Let's hope it's that one.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

So Much To Do So MANY CHILDREN To Do It With

Saturday rituals now include soccer for the net few months, at least for the girl. She's in a weird transition of being a silly dork on the field, to actually playing sometimes. This week she scored three times, twice for the other team. Luckily they don't actually keep score (WE TOTALLY KEEP SCORE) and so we cheered her on. The concept of "which goal" still eludes her. But the idea of competing is taking hold, which I love.
Do I want my girl to be competitive? You bet your ass I do.

After the game and blistering sun (it's September why are we still baking?) we had the big boys' official birthday party with his friends.
This photo is entitled GAME OVER MAN GAME OVER - thanks to my friend Natalie.
Laser Tag parties are a little too much fun. Especially when Mom gets to play and kick everyone's butt.
Ok he got me that time, but seriously it was only because I was taking pictures.

It was interesting, two girls came, and we're finally at that AGE. That age of girls watching boys play video games. And boys saying "hey watch me play this video game." It's kind of adorable.
THAT'S RIGHT I took a picture of it because it was so cute to me. She's WATCHING HIM PLAY.

Marking that off my milestone chart for pre-teens right now.
The little ones love this place because there is lots to do. I taught Miles and Julia the joy of air hockey.
And most importantly of all, to celebrate turning 12 - we had a Godzilla cake that would roar and light up.
The cake was a smashing hit, I was amused by the great manners all the boys used to ask me for more more more more. Growing boys, I guess.
Natalie I think pointed out to me that Julia looks peeved that she isn't getting all the attention. Lol, well that could be. Obviously it's not as much fun at the sibling table.
But there was still cake and snacks. I think they weren't really at a hardship at all. Julia just doesn't like to miss out on any fun, and she thinks the 12 year olds are having all the fun.
Laser Tag is hilarious and awesome. We're thinking about doing it with the whole family some time just for grins. THAT should be an adventure, eh?

The boy doesn't actually turn 12 for a few more days, but I think his party with his friends was one of his favorites ever.

Friday, September 19, 2014

You Can't Make This Stuff Up

The girl is a night owl. She likes to stay up late and sleep in late. Lately, her thing has been to get into bed with me but then refuse repeatedly to go to sleep. Rather, she waits until I am really solidly asleep, to wake me because
  • She has to go to the bathroom
  • She wants to talk about farts
  • She wants to go to the bathroom to fart
  • She heard a noise
  • Fix it Felix is sad because she doesn't have a pony
  • The frogs are too loud
  • The bugs are too loud
  • Various other sundry items


She will wake me up repeatedly, with these and other complaints and concerns. Mostly, she just wants me to wake up. 

We told her last night that she's a great big girl, she doesn't need me to wake up when she goes to the bathroom and she doesn't need to wake up up to do things with her. She's four, she needs to just do what she needs to do and get back into bed. 

So last night, in the wee hours, a little voice whispered while she shook my arm. "Mom, Mom, Mom...There's a booger on my finger."

I open my eyes to behold the booger being presented.

"But don't worry, Mom," she continued. "I am going to go get a tissue now."

Perfect.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

The Children's Museum...it CHANGED

My twenty something plans of getting married in front of the T-Rex at the Children's Museum are clearly off the table, because even if I weren't already married - THERE IS NO T-REX there anymore. Well there is one, but it's not out front.
I can forgive them though, as it's still the most MAGICAL Children's Museum ON THE EARTH.
We got to show our children the REAL Terra Cotta Warriors and then, we got to assemble our own!
I feel like they did a pretty good job, all in all.

We haven't been there since Louis was three and then he was afraid to go see the then NEW dinosaur exhibit. Not so much this time.
We saw some old friends, like the WATERCLOCK and I was remembering when it was new and amazing and how everyone used to line up to watch it go.
I have to admit, it is still pretty cool.
The other old friend that I was ecstatic to see was the polar bear. We read stories of it having been ruined several years ago, when some hillbilly tried to climb it and ripped the arm off. I remember this bear from when I was a very little girl, and I was so happy to see it had been repaired. I know that's silly, a poor dead polar bear that shouldn't have been killed probably. But it was and it's an essential part of the museum and my childhood.
Silly old bear.
There is so much to do there, that it feels to me that if you did it all properly, it'd be a two day event. We were Griswalding hardcore to get through the end and we missed a lot.
I could barely even remember where the exhibit was I used to volunteer, but it didn't matter. They've filled it with so much that's amazing. My kids were entranced.
I feel like if I never did anything else right, taking my kids to the Indianapolis Children's Museum will be one thing I DID do right. I'm so glad it's still magical and amazing and full of wonder for everyone.
This picture, btw, is legally required of all natural born Hoosiers. We are required to photograph our offsping in Indycars as often as possible. I don't make the laws people. I just do what I have to do.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

We Had to Do ALL The Things

But FIRST we had to do the important things. Important being hugs with Grandma and Grandpa - or Papa as Julia has decided to call him. We'd never been to their new place and it was an adventure of things to do, as Grandma's houses always are.
Grandma had COLORING BOOKS! Who KNEW other people could have things like COLORING BOOKS?? And she had lots of them.
We had dinner at one of our favorite chains from back when we lived there, and I swear I don't recall the food at all. Was it because it was just average or I was just so excited to see my parents? I don't know. It was Max and Erma's and we got burgers but eh, it's just a burger.
The twins thought Grandpa was awesome. We had to wait a while, which went really well, oddly. the waitress brought us sidewalk chalk to entertain little people.
We aren't good with waits usually, as Miles and Charlie won't tolerate them well but this time it all went well.
Of course the best part of any trip to Max and Erma's is the Sundae Bar. Right?
I wish my kids could've seen the OLD SUNDAE BAR because it was AWESOME. Max and Erma's has cheaped up the Sundae bar for sure, but hey, the kids didn't know the difference. It was still fun.

Julia thought it was awesome, obviously.

We decided that it wouldn't be right to come to Indy without heading for the Children's Museum, so we made that our plan for the next day.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

You Can Go Home

We decided that we needed to go home. We haven't been in years, and no one's parents are getting any younger. My mom isn't all that well, and Julia's NEVER been there to see them. So we loaded up and took our Labor Day weekend to head home.
Travelling is never without it's peril, to be certain. The girl HAD to go, and so we stopped and this was our option.

I chose NOT to flush. Sorry Shell Station. Fix your toilet.

The trip between Georgia and Indiana varies between boring as hell and beautiful.
It starts out beautiful, for sure, with the rolling hills of Tennessee and so much to see. Especially FIREWORKS!
When I was a kid, these were the places you HAD to stop. They had the "illegal" fireworks. Well, they aren't illegal in Tennessee. But the bottle rockets and big boomers you can't get anywhere else, you could get them at these places. We always had such big Fourth of July celebrations, these places were a MUST DO when I was little. However, it was late and we weren't even in Kentucky yet, so onward we zoomed.
I would testify in court that Cracker Barrel is the friend of travelers everywhere. You get hot food that isn't fries and a burger and you don't feel like you're dying of grease after you eat. Their bathrooms are big and roomy and perfect for a mom with two ten year olds in pull ups (Thank you Cracker Barrel). Although I do miss them having their soaps and stuff out. They used to ALWAYS have out lavender soaps and lotions in the bathrooms, nice ones.
It was a such a nice touch, though. You're all gross from hundreds of miles of travel, you have a nice meal and then this luxurious treat in the bathroom - wonderful calming lavender.

For me, after changing SO many diapers for SO many years, it was something I always looked forward to.
I still love you Cracker Barrel but I wish you weren't so cheap you didn't put out hand lotion these days.  I still love your crackling fire in the winter. So I guess we're square.

The girl picked out a new friend in the country store, and we found an ADORABLE Halloween Costume for her. (NOT SHOWING YOU YET)

We didn't arrive at our destination until 3am or so, and then we discovered, I'd over estimated our ability to cram us all into two queens. Lesson learned, this won't work in the future.

And with that we were home. 


Monday, September 08, 2014

A Wandering Sunday

We set out to go to the mountains. Not originally, mind you. Originally we were going to the Aquarium. But the FALCONS were in town, and that means going downtown is RIGHT OUT. So we said we'd go the other direction and it was a beautiful day for some mountain air. Except we wanted to go to Brasstown Bald. And then that was too far and it was too late. So we wandered to the mountains anyway and found a pottery museum.
It was all about the North Georgia tradition of pottery making, and how eventually glass jars nearly killed the entire trade. Which was interesting. What was also interesting was how individual pottery is, and how long the traditions of it run.
Every place has it's own traditions, so it was interesting to see how the traditional pottery of Georgia settlers looks and is used. I was really interested that storing syrup, their only way of sweetening, was of huge value and you had to have special pots of that. Who knew?
There is knowledge missing in the world, because we don't do these things - like NEEDING TO STORE SYRUP - anymore in our lives. We don't value things that are simple but well made. I think that's a pity.
It made me want a lot of hand thrown pottery for everyday use, the kind that feels heavy in your hand and is useful yet still pretty. Maybe NOT a head shaped jar. But - maybe?
We didn't know what to do this day, so we just got in our car and and we drove. It was a sign by the side of the road that led us to this pottery museum and we spent a couple of hours learning about things we hadn't even thought of before. It was pretty fascinating.

A lot of people always think it's odd or amazing, or somewhere in between that we take two severely autistic boys places like this. But as you can see, they were interested. Did they totally get it? Hard to say. Their receptive language skills are quiet good.
Did they behave perfectly? Nope. They never do.
But when we're all together we're making memories and that's what matters. Even when the memories aren't perfect. We're together and we're a family.
And some days, that's the best we're going to get.