Recap 4/6

1. It took three evenings, but the house was ready to be torn up for company with enough time to salvage it for Easter.

2. I forgot to post the craft that we did last weekend.

3. Best laid plans are nearly always destroyed.  Or mine are.

4. “First things first.”  I have to remember that.  I need a more clever way of saying that.

5. Sean refuses to wiggle his tooth, so it’s sitting in his mouth crooked.  It looks horrible.

6. All boys were/are fighting a slight 24 hour bug.  A slight fever, runny nose, and a cough.

7. Evan has to do his first and second book reports this break.  I wish his teacher had spread them out more.

8. I really thinks it’s time to start looking for an Aidan bed.

9. I had the most brilliant post idea today.  And then I forgot to write it down.

10. Since the house is clean-ish, I should have time to read blogs and write emails.  Maybe look at Facebook.  Oh wait.  There’s the mountain of laundry.  Dang.

Recap 1/27

1. There is a reason I send my children to school and not home school them.

2. I hate generic diapers.  Maybe I’m doing something wrong.  But for me, they are not as absorbent as name-brand.  That doesn’t even make sense.

3. I have to learn to a) stay downstairs with Aidan at all times or b) keep everything off the island, like sugar, hot chocolate mix, or oatmeal.

4.  We made scallion pancakes.  They were amazing.  And the boys helped!

5.  Sean’s teachers told us he’s one of the brightest kids in the class with the most knowledge.  He’s also funny and cracks them up daily.

6. Evan is sick enough to stay home but healthy enough to cause trouble.  Lots of trouble.

7. There are Star Wars sandwich cutters.  Why am I only finding this out now?

8. Wednesday night I couldn’t take it any more.  I left the kids with their father and escaped.  While I chomped down on ok store sushi, I dreamed of soy paper spicy tuna handrolls.  Next time, I’m escaping with more money and time.

9. Dude, I rock the Cub Scout handbook.

10. This is how I have felt about the house and family this week:

(From The Simpsons episode “Bart of Darkness)

Meanwhile, Marge and the girls are hard at work scrubbing oil-covered
rocks.

Lisa: Oh, there’s something unsatisfying about scrubbing these rocks
       and I think I know what it is.
        [a wave washes a new coat of oil on the once-clean rocks]
Marge: Lisa, I know it’s frustrating, but we made a commitment, and we
       have to see it through, no matter how unpleasant.

Ah Cr-

It was Christmas Eve evening, my appetizers had been plated.  The boys were running around my parents house in church clothes.  Thankfully Horton Hears a Who was on instead of A Christmas Story.  The Husband was finishing wrapping his white elephant gift.  My dad played with Aidan, and my mom was putting on the last minute touches on her outfit.

And I found myself with nothing to do, the first time in days.  So I picked up The Flip.  I noticed The Husband hadn’t cleaned the memory after he made a cool Christmas video card.  I did the natural thing; I deleted all the footage to make sure we had plenty of room for Christmas Eve and Christmas (because I would totally forget later if I didn’t do it right then).  A full two hours of memory was ready and waiting for special Christmas memories.  Ah, memories.

The Husband: Ok, finished wrapping.  Anything else you need done?

Me: Nope.  We’re good.  Hey, you didn’t clean the memory off the Flip.

The Husband: Yeah, I didn’t save it on the computer yet.

WHAT?!  An hour of family memories and Disneyland footage gone?!  WHAT?!  What have I done?!  And why didn’t he save it all when he was editing?!

Me: (Probably with a look of pure horror on my face) You didn’t save it on the computer yet?  (pause)  But you made that video.  You were messing with clips.

The Husband: I was working it off of the camera.  I didn’t have a lot of time.

Me: Crap.

The Husband: What?

Me: I erased it.  I erased the whole memory.

The Husband: You did what?!

Me: I deleted everything to make room for Christmas memories.  I assumed you would have saved everything when you made the video card.

The Husband: I guess you should have asked before you erased it all.

Me: I was about to.  But then I thought “Of course, he saved it.  What a stupid question?”  I suck.  God, that sucks so bad.

The Husband: Well, at least all the good stuff is saved on the computer already.

Me: We have that.  And I guess that means we need to go back to Disneyland to record it all over again.

The Husband: Guess so.  Um, can I have that before you do any more damage?

I handed it over before the thing randomly exploded.  No one trust me with technology.

Breathe

It’s amazing how much work goes in for an event that takes less than 24hours. 

Friday I ran around getting things together.  Making appetizers, cleaning the house, finishing craft-gifts, taking care of baby and boys.  I started top really lose it as we got close to leaving for my parents’ house for my dad’s family Christmas Eve party.  I shouldn’t have stressed.  Everyone else was at least a half an hour late.  My grandma was an hour and half late, which was remarkable because technically she was two hours late because my mom gave her an earlier time.  It wouldn’t have been so bad if I didn’t have two boys that need early bedtimes and a baby who could hear all the fun that was being had without him.  He could barely be bothered to eat.

My uncles indulged my boys with swords and mini-remote-controled cars and other toys.  My mom indulged the boys in extra cookies and desserts.  And I indulged them with staying up late and driving around looking at Christmas lights (thanks, Jane, for the idea), even though The Husband was worried about how long it was going to take us to put together the bikes.

He didn’t need to worry.  He was gone before 11.  I finished up some cleaning and setting the stage for magical memories.  The Friendly Giant, my sweet baby brother, came over at 11:30 with my camera that I left at my parents’ house.

Christmas dawned.  The Husband was over WAY before the boys woke up.  We were ready for Evan.  Who took one look around and.  Melted.  There was no blizzard marker to be had.  Why would Santa be so cruel?  Luckily The Husband was in charged of the last Evan gift and bought a light saber game, which Evan loved, even if it is a little advanced for him.

Sean.  Sean loved his pirate cave and the pirates I bought on e-bay, three times the price I could have paid if I had bought them the year before.  Sigh.  But Sean was in love.  And didn’t care about any presents.  Not one.  For the rest of the day.

Aidan was just glad to have paper the crinkle and rustle.

Then Evan noticed a toy amongst his pile of Santa gifts.  A gargoyle toy from the cartoon Gargoyles that I had bought for cheap at a used book store.  Still in his package.  And Evan was in love. 

As we drove to my parents’ house for a delicious breakfast The Husband made for everyone, Evan exclaimed, “Santa brought me something I always wanted but never knew existed.”

Yup, that’s Santa.  Or God.  I can never remember.

Now all that’s left is to write the thank you notes that I’m sure I’ll forget to send.  Again.

Recap 10/29

1. I don’t think it’s weird to catch lunch all by myself at a restaurant, but apparently my husband and mother do.

2. Having the swing in the office makes it 100% easier to post when a baby refuses to nap.  (And he’s adorable.)

3. All three sons make great skeletons.

4. Talking to The Husband, who’s all the way in London, makes my day.  Is that corny or what?

5. Talking to other moms of girls, I’m learning boys are completely different.  Ah, the Y chromosome.

6. Aidan has the roll of the house.

7. Assertive-training books written in the ’70s for women don’t always apply to women of the 20-teens.  (Example: Assertive exercise: open a checking account.  Um, done and done and done and done and done and done.  Right.)

8.  Someone explain to me why I can’t get my house clean, catch-up with blogs, do a few new projects and such when I have my evenings free of spending time with The Husband.  Nothing is getting done here!

9. Um, so Halloween is this Sunday and the boys’ costumes are not finished yet.

10. Neither are the sugar cookies, but the dough was made two days ago.  (Yeah, this isn’t like me either.)

Steps needed to build a crib

1. How does one convince The Husband to help clean the master bedroom so that we have room to build the crib that Aidan so desperately needs in yesterday?  Key word: convince.  Not nag.  Convince.

2. Then there is the need to get said crib out of the garage, without dropping it on my foot.

3. But that would entail moving boxes.  And dealing with the honey that I accidentally dropped and broke the jar over two months ago.

Does any one have any suggestions getting honey off of a garage floor?  Without wetting all the boxes?

4.  Then we have to build the crib, which is a two-man job.  Preferably a husband and wife team that will nag, criticize, and wonder why they are still married when the other one is obviously an idiot who can’t follow directions.  Yes, my parents did build my crib for me when I was pregnant with Evan.

5. Did I mention I need to replace the mobile that Sean broke in his excitement to be able to stand in the crib and grab those cute little puppies?

6. Maybe it would be easier to just let Aidan sleep with me in bed until he’s ready for a twin.

7. Obviously, I’m highly delusional.  And 4am tomorrow, I will wonder how the hell do I get The Husband to clean his f-ing stuff up or should I toss it in the home office.

The shadow in me

This summer I learned that I couldn’t do everything on my own, that I had some major issues (sh*t is what I like to call it) and I had to own them.  Though I had known for over a year, I accepted I was co-dependent and I needed to go to Co-Dependents Anonymous

It started when my best friend insisted I read Co-Dependent No More, and I learned then that I had some real issues.  I had already realized that I couldn’t keep obsessively worrying over The Husband and where he was and what he was doing.  I stopped nagging him 21 months ago and gave him room to breathe.  But I didn’t tell him what I was doing or why, and he took it to mean I no longer cared, which got the ball rolling to the sh*t storm we are dealing with right now.  But that’s not what I want to talk about now.

Some of you might have already hit the link, maybe you didn’t.  But I think a co-dependent is someone who believes to be happy he or she has to make sure all the people around him/her are happy and safe.  The co-dependent knows best.  Damnit. So the co-dependent tries to manipulate people and situations to “protect” his/her loved ones.  Those loved ones don’t want to be controlled and resent the co-dependent, who then, in turn, feels resented, used, and hurt.  Then the co-dependent tries to control more.  It‘s a vicious cycle.

At first I wanted to know who twisted me into this deformed lover.

Society.  Our society has been telling women for generations to be successful, happy, and a valuable member of society, she had to produce a happy, healthy, functioning  family.  Behind every great man is a great woman.  Those children are so polite and smart; it must be because of the mother.  Oh, he killed three people; what kind of mother did he have?  Yup, women are responsible for all that is their family. 

Yet I read many of you, and you don’t have the craziness that’s in me.  So there must be other factors.

Like my mother.  And her mother.  Controlling women.  They give and give and give.  And if we are not sufficiently grateful, if we decide to ignore their advice, then we are foolish or horrible or stupid or too young to know better.  I’m watching my mom push away my brother, and slowly she’s beginning to push me away with all her well-meaning advice.  Her constant, loud, frequent, bossy advice.  My aunts and uncle all have issues, and I believe it stems from my grandma’s need to help her children be happy and safe.

But there’s plenty of blame to go around.

How about that emotionally abusive relationship in college?  The one where my boyfriend was passive-aggressive with time.   He tried to manipulate me to become a script writer for him.  (I wanted to write novels.)  He once told me I was getting fat from all the desserts I ate.  (Hardly, and I got up and grabbed three more.)  He got upset with me because we took a class together and I wouldn’t only study with him.  (I’m sorry, I don’t settle for B’s or C’s.)

Of course, my college counselor pointed out I was more than willing to cut myself up and put myself into a neat little package for the boyfriend without being asked.  Ugh.

And then there’s The Husband.  He brought his own craziness into the mix.  Which made me crazier.  Which made him crazier.  It’s a vicious cycle.

I thought about this the first week I started going to CoDA, and I realized that if I laid blame on someone, I would start to absolve myself from my actions.  Like an alcoholic, I was responsible for my actions, even if someone had poisoned me into not knowing how to truly love and how to be truly me.  It didn’t matter.  I was responsible, and I had to start living responsibly.

I’m co-dependent.  If I call enough and yell enough, The Husband will want to come home and be with me.  If I argue with my mom enough, she’ll see things my way.  If I keep my boys safe in the way I see things are safe, they will be safe.  If I make everything even between The Husband and me, I’ll have what I want and need.

But it doesn’t work that way.  I have to let The Husband and my mom be who they are, think the way they want, say the things they want.  I’ll have to slowly let go of my boys so they can experience the world and they won’t ever have the need to run away because I’m trying to control them.  I have to figure out what I need and want to be a healthy, happy, whole person.

Recap 10/01

1. Ok 10/01 looks pretty cool.

2. Aidan believes if he flirts with someone and that person he responds, then he should be held by that person.  Damnit.

3. I’m starting to think I’m slacking on doing stuff with just Sean when Evan’s at school.

4. Though the kid is awesome at cleaning windows and mirrors.

5. How do normal moms balance motherhood, wifedom, chores, and me time? 

6. Guess which one is falling through the cracks.  (Hint: How many times have I been on your blog this week?)

7. So Evan has been in the yellow a lot at school, but the teachers assure us that it’s not as bad as we think.

8. Evan was the leader this week, so The Husband and I were allowed to have lunch with him at school.  Super cute and super fun!

9. I have learned not to over stuff myself at Chinese buffets; The Husband has not.

10. I have the strong urge to go shopping and splurge.

Evan and Sean Appleseed

I haven’t picked apples since I was a kid.  The family cabin had three apple trees, one twig and two giants.  One late summer weekend, I spent the trip in the branches of one of the giants, eating apples and reading Little Women.

Last year I decided we needed to go to an orchard and pick apples.  But with The Husband’s work schedule, football season, and my lack of motivation, we never went.

This year I was determined to go.  So after a few plans laid to waster, I put my foot down and told everyone we were going, hell or high water.

After driving for an hour, The Husband started to legally represent the children with the adult version of “Are we there yet?” 

The Husband: How far are we going?  Did that sign just advertise a hotel in New Mexico?  Are we going to get there today?  Good job, Fae; we should’ve gone to California.

My husband’s wit is particularly biting and humorous with lack of sleep.

Then we got there.  And the boys were bounding to get out into the fields.  As The Husband hunted for the perfect Golden Delicious Apples, I taught Evan and Sean how to pick with Aidan strapped to me like a ticking bomb.

Me: Ok, you grab, twist, and pull.

Sean reached out and grabbed an apple.

Sean: Twist.

He twisted the apple.

Sean: Pull.

He pulled it off the tree and wandered over to the wagon and the five gallon bucket.  He dropped it in and meandered back.  He picked his next apple and grabbed it.

Sean: Twist.

Sean twisted the apple.

Sean: And pull.

He pulled the apple off.  He wandered back to the apple bucket and dropped in the apple.  Repeat.

Evan, on the other hand, singled out his victim and yanked it off the tree.  He filled his arms with apples plucked from the tree, sometimes with leaves still attached.

Evan: We tried apples at school!  I liked Granny Smith the best!  Can I pick a bunch of Granny Smith apples?  Please!  Hey!  Mommy!  Is this apple a Granny Smith apple?  Is this one a Granny Smith apple?  How about this one?

After Evan held as many apples as he could (around three or four), he ran and dropped the whole bunch into the bucket.  Then he ran back to the trees and yanked more of the trees.

So that’s how we bought 26 pounds of apples.

Any one have a good recipe for apple pie?  Or any other apple recipes?

A little advice

During the summer, I attended parenting classes that were hosted at my son’s school.  At first I thought they were offered by the church, but it turns out it is a county run program, teaching parents to be better parents.  Holy crap!  A good idea use of public funds!  Lately I felt that would never happen.

Now I didn’t agree a 100% with everything taught.  I’m not how sure that a pure democracy in the household would actually work.  I believe you give children an inch, they’ll take the mile because, seriously, they don’t know any better.  And in my household, The Husband and I are about to be outvoted in another year, when Aidan can actually use his voice.

The class strived to teach us that children are people too with insecurities and pride, intelligence and emotions.  I know.  I was always under the belief that children were like dogs that talked.  Messy, loud dogs. 

All right if you been here a while, you know I don’t believe that.  I actually compare them to raptors or tornadoes.  Usually tornadoes.  But that’s probably insulting.  They do reason, so I’ll try to stick with raptors.

All kidding aside, I did learn quite a few things from the class.

Like:

Pick your battles.  It’s so easy to go into a power struggle with a child.  The teacher would often say, “Just stop and think.  You’re an adult caught in a power struggle with a little child.  Really?”  If it’s not dangerous or crazy, why not let the kid eat with his hands; he’ll learn by example what he’s expected to do.  So she wants to shut the car door; she thinks she’s helping.

Every action has an emotion.  Deal with the emotion.

Husbands can admit they’re wrong.  The Husband went to one class out of six, but as we walked out he said, “You were right about not spanking.  I’m glad I listened to you.”

There was a lot of other stuff to that I have plainly forgotten.  I guess I should go back and read all those handouts.

Now they are doing a new class, and the principal of the school believes in it so much that she’s volunteered to do the child watching (due to church budget cuts, the sitting was cut after the last class).  So last week, The Husband came (and plans to keep going) with me.  We learned to Respond, Not React.  Because when we react, we often don’t act right.  Or we sound like our parents.

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