take it for a spin

I want a pretty laundry room. Pinterest told me I should… and could. Colorful walls, a delicate chandelier, granite counter, coordinating baskets and custom artwork. Pinterest has brainwashed me to believe I should be shoveling mounds of clothing in and out of machines in a state of luxury.

And, frankly, I like that idea. I mean, I am averaging 1,000 loads of laundry each year. I don’t think it’s too much to ask to liven up a daily drudgery. So, when Philip presented the idea of removing the bulky stands beneath our machines and replacing the tops with a beautiful countertop, I was intrigued.

My laundry room could look like this…

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Or, this…

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Or, even this…

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I could do laundry in pretty. {Oh, how my wish list has changed.}

But, then, I snapped back to reality. I realized that without the stands, little hands could reach all those irresistible buttons and easily crawl into open machines. This could only end in disaster. Horrifying thoughts of Austin shoving little brother into the washing machine flashed through my mind. Oh, no. No. No. No. This would not work. Knowing our boys, this would absolutely happen.

As time has passed, the thought of ditching the stands occasionally creeps back into my head. Usually, it’s when I’m waist deep in stinky little boy clothing. But, as of last week, that thought is squelched for good.

A few mornings ago, Austin “slept in.” And, when I say “slept in,” I mean he came into our bed at 6 a.m. and continued to sleep soundly with his arm in my face until 8 a.m. He even slept through Everett’s wailing grand entry into the mix slightly before 7 a.m. This is considered sleeping in at our house.

Anyway, because extra sleep rarely never happens here, this threw off our entire schedule of getting out the door on time for Mother’s Day Out. So, we scrambled and hurried, and I did my best to make sure everyone was presentable.

Austin was moving extra slow that morning, so I helped him along. I spent two minutes getting him ready. TWO minutes. When I finished, I scurried off to find Everett who had quickly and quietly left the scene. This is where I found him…

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TWO MINUTES! Two minutes, and my one-year-old has sprinted across the house and climbed halfway into the washing machine. I mean, really? Are you kidding me?

He was a shove away from being sent through a wash cycle by Austin. Sheesh. Never getting rid of the stands. In fact, we may need to investigate double stands. Do they make those? Of course, knowing our children, they’ll probably still scale it like a rock climber.

On belay.

splat went that


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We spent Saturday morning at the arboretum with the kids and Philip’s parents, who were in from out of town. The day was beautiful. The sun was shining, a slight breeze kept the heat at bay, and the colors of the flowers were vibrant. We followed the trails in and out of perfectly manicured landscapes and fantasized about our own yards looking the same.

Not far ahead on our route, two older couples had stalled in the walkway. They appeared to be studying something in their path as one of the women lectured. It was a caterpillar – black, fuzzy, and long. Apparently, it was notable in its nature. The woman had dubbed herself guardian of this fragile creature and marked her post. She was determined to see this caterpillar safely across the trail.

Cue Austin. Austin and I brought up the rear of our own little group. I worked on corralling him along the path as he skipped, zig zagged, and took every opportunity to hang over the barrier separating us from the creek. We reached the convoy surrounding the caterpillar, and Austin quickly maneuvered around them and decided to make a swift side step back in.

“Watch out for the…” SPLAT.

Silence filled the air, followed by horrified expressions and subtle giggles. Austin glances at the little group as if to say, “You’re welcome,” and, then, marches along his way. The sweet innocence of a child.

I looked down at the splat, smiled sheepishly, avoided eye contact, and unsuccessfully attempted to stifle my laughter. Oops.

I half expect to see a “Caterpillar X-ing” and, perhaps, a few “Save the Caterpillars” signs next time we visit the arboretum in honor of the one stuck to the bottom of my child’s shoe.

But, the truth is, I’m kind of impressed with how effortlessly he smashed a bug almost as long as his own foot. It looks like this Momma will never have to squish an insect ever again. Win.

 

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i see your hiney

Tuesdays are Mother’s Day Out days for Austin. And, after MDO, we always meet a couple of Austin’s friends for a few minutes of extra play. It’s become a little ritual. We can’t leave without waiting for his buds. It’s really pretty adorable. So, like every Tuesday, the kids ran up and down, over and around in the small field at the church, while us Mommas chatted away.

And, then I looked up. There is Austin. There he is, peeing in public. Pants at his ankles. Bare butt and all. In the grass in front of the church. With everyone picking up their kids from Mother’s Day Out. Oh, and let’s not forget the soccer practice that was being held 20 feet away from him.

I die.

I raced toward him, as he proudly grinned at me, continuing to water the grass as I ran. I promptly pull his undies up to cover his hiney, but, I’m forced to stop midway. It’s still flowing.

“Stop peeing, Austin. Austin! Stop peeing!”

He glances at me briefly, then returns his attention to the task at hand. I’m immediately regretting ever letting him “water” the tree in our backyard.

I had two options at this point. Waste no time, pull up his pants, deal with wet undies and a clean up at the car, OR… Just let it go. Yeah… I let him go.

So, I waited, for what felt like a good five minutes, which, obviously, was more like an additional five seconds. When he finally turned it off, I yanked his jeans back on. And, then, proceeded to laugh hysterically while he skipped away. This was probably not the most appropriate response for when one’s kid urinates in public in the grass of the church. But, sometimes humor is just way better than reality. We may have to revisit this talk later. Parenting fail.

But, the good news is I didn’t have to worry about dragging Austin into a public restroom while we ran errands, where I may or may not have had to be a human step stool for him depending on how he was feeling about the automatic flushers that day. That should make up for the prior public embarrassment, right?

one step forward, a handful of Cheerios back

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I remember my closet being a disaster as a kid. It wasn’t that you couldn’t maneuver through it. It was just messy. Barbies, ponies, puzzles and stuffed animals, all intermingled in a single basket, always overflowing and spilling onto the floor. Clothes hung haphazardly from hangers. Hundreds of mismatched toy parts were stashed wherever room would hold. And, mountains of school work and books were hidden amongst it all.

This organizationally-challenged closet drove my best friend crazy. Occasionally, she would convince me that we had to clean out the closet together. But, the inevitable always happened. We would pull everything out, nearly drown in junk, and she would have to go home. And, I would sit there atop this mess,  feeling overwhelmed and unsure of the next move.

This is how I felt today.

I woke up this morning feeling ambitious. Well, to be fair, the ambition only came after a decent amount of caffeine and having an avalanche of junk fall in my face while searching for some crayons. But, regardless, I started the day ready to revamp our organizational system, or lack there of. It was time for a little spring cleaning.

Just out of curiosity, have you ever tried completely de-cluttering, re-organizing and cleaning your home with a one- and three-year-old squealing at your heels and actually expecting success in a single day? Or, am I the only delusional one here? I would file that under the impossible.

My house looks worse off than when I started. I partly cleaned out one closet only to be distracted by an exploding cabinet in desperate need of some TLC. Dance parties occurred approximately every five minutes with the kids, and there was countless refereeing between the two. Then, let’s not even get into how much time I spent scrutinizing the hodgepodge of our laundry room. And, the “Things to Donate” boxes… well, the boys found those… and pulled everything out and reclaimed them as their own. Oh, and that hallway I finished cleaning three minutes ago, well, it now has a trail of Cheerios at the end of it.

Overwhelmed.

You know, they say the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Well, good news… I’m not crazy.

I gave up on overwhelmed, and we played outside… with paint… everywhere. If you’re going to make a mess, might as well as make it worth it.

Maybe I’ll catch you next year, spring cleaning. I can live with a little “organized” chaos ;)

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a letter from your sleep deprived mother

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My darling Everett,

I have an urgent matter to discuss that is causing a few expedited grey hairs. Let me begin by telling you that I love you so much and enjoy watching you blossom into toddlerhood. Walking, climbing and exploring the world around you… It’s beautiful to see. As a newfound toddler, I respect that you are beginning to have an opinion about your choices. Good for you. I am thrilled to let you choose between a banana or strawberries, or, whether you would like to throw a ball or roll a car. But, what I cannot accept is the new sleep schedule that you have chosen.

Five a.m. is not an acceptable wake up for the day. Ever.

It never has been. It never will be. There is not enough caffeine on the face of the planet to make me pleasant at 5 a.m. And, to be honest, you are not especially cheerful at that hour either. Yet, you insist upon this early rise despite the effects it has on you later in the day. Are you aware that it’s not normal to completely lose your mind because there are Cheerios on your tray? Or, to begin sobbing uncontrollably when someone looks at you? Yes. Well, there is a direct correlation there. You need more sleep. And, so do your parents.

And, while we are on the subject… What’s up with your naps? Where did they go? Don’t you realize you were my dream napper? And, now all you do is scream like a possessed demon child when I lay you in your crib for naps. Have you been talking to your brother? Whatever he tells you, he is lying. Naps are wonderful… especially two to three hour ones. But, hey, we can compromise. I could be happy with an hour… or, even less… Just give me something, dear. Screaming in your crib doesn’t really work for either of us.

I’m not sure Mommy will survive if both of my children give up on napping before the age of two. It seems like cruel and unusual punishment. So, take one for the team, Everett. Just go to sleep.

Please. Go. To. Sleep.

With love,

Your Momma’s sanity

hands off the ice cream

Ever since my three-year-old learned what ice cream was, I became a victim. Austin learned early on how to bat his eyes just the right way, flash that mischevious grin, and to use “Please, Momma” in only the most angelic way possible. I was putty in his hands.

My ice cream became his.

By the time Everett entered the mix, both boys had commandeered it all. Not cool, boys. Not cool.

So, for anyone who has been victimized by a preschooler robbing you of all your dessert, I’m about to change your life. Ready?

Take this…

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And, this…

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Insert the pint of ice cream into the Dickey’s cup, and it magically disappears. There still must be subtlety in eating said ice cream in front of the children, but, at least, when they catch you in the act, you don’t have to chunk it across the room, show them your empty hands and pretend you were never eating something in the first place. So very wasteful.

My first test run with the Dickey’s cup quickly caught Austin’s radar. No sooner had I taken my first bite than Austin poked his head from around a corner and demanded to know what I was eating.

“Broccoli,” I told him. “Lots of broccoli.”

He stared at me skeptically for a few seconds as I held my breath. Then, he sighed and carried on his way, not willing to take the chance that I might not be bluffing.

Momma wins. And, then, the next night, I served broccoli with dinner and made the kids eat it. Ouch. Sorry, guys.

Hands off the ice cream.

sick of sick

This winter and spring has kicked my butt. My kids have been sick for more days than they have been well. Snot has plagued my dreams. Having a child cough in my my face has become routine. And, we’ve visited the pediatrician only about a thousand times.

I’m sick of sick.

We finally re-entered the world this week after yet another bout of sickness at our house, and I’m feeling hopeful that maybe we can go longer than a week without something new rearing its ugly head.

Actually, my true goal, as pathetic as it may be, is to make it the three months to Everett’s next well check without having to go in for a sick visit. The hubs laughed at me when I told him this. We are so overdue for a nice, long healthy stretch at our house.

I miss my happy kids and all of our adventures. We were not meant to sit at home, twiddle our thumbs and drown in Kleenex. We have things to do. Bring on summer. Maybe the thousand degree temperatures can fry the germs my kids keep bringing home ;)

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happy heart day… one year after

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This week marks Everett’s one-year anniversary of his heart surgery. March 11 is the day Everett’s heart became new, and he could finally breathe easy.

When I think back to where we were one year ago, the feelings are bittersweet. My heart aches remembering the worry, the unknown, the exhaustion, and the pain my two-month-old son had experienced in his short little life. But, the week following surgery, there was joy. There was hope. There was relief. And, for the first time, there were smiles from our sweet Everett.

How far he has come in only a year. We didn’t know what his future would look like following surgery – Whether he would be delayed, how long he would require the NG tube, whether the surgery would work.

On the week celebrating his first anniversary, Everett is taking his first continuous steps. We have a walker. He has overcome all the obstacles, big and small, from this past year. And, today, we have a happy, healthy little boy.

There will always be worry and concern that his heart is causing problems again, but, for now, our life is crazy in a normal way. We have a newfound toddler who never ceases to explore the world around him, who already has a determined personality, and who smiles through all life’s hiccups.

I never could have imagined this is what life would be like a year after surgery. Or, how beautiful that scar would look through my eyes. I never dreamed he would be walking, talking and causing mischief like any other child his age. I thank God for my miracle. Happy Heart Day, Everett.