Monday, June 27, 2011

A late prelude...

I enjoy writing my blogs. For me, it is an outlet, an escape for my world that at this point consists of feeding children, changing diapers, feeding children, cleaning up spills, mediating arguments, feeding children, disciplining, and maybe, just maybe, getting more than a 4 hour stretch of sleep. It is the stage of life that I am in. It is chaos, but a lovely chaos that I wouldn't trade for anything. Yet even the best of moms (and dads) need a retreat to another world. For me, that world consists of me, my thoughts, and my computer. Most of the time, I hear from people who are in the same stage of life and relate to what I have to say. They read these entries as snapshots into my world. I write about the drama but there is more that happens in my world that I don't share. People who read my blogs and don't relate or aren't impressed, just don't comment or they stop reading. But sometimes, they do comment, and perhaps should. One of my  readers noted that I don't seem to think highly of Dave based on my writings. I was completely caught off guard. I went back and reread my entries. Do I sound slightly egocentric? Perhaps, but it is my blog! Of course it's about me! But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that she was could have a point. In reality, I think the world of my spouse and he does more than I could ever put down in a blog. I should also add that I have been here at my parents for two weeks without him, so if absence doesn't make the heart grow fonder, it may just make the blogger more appreciative of what she has. First of all, it takes an incredibly strong man to be married to me. I am strong-willed and stubborn. My mom says that Hanna takes after me and truth be told, I think she is right. I get an idea in my head and run with it. So we can add impulsive to the list. I am controlling and a perfectionist. Dave and I have painted dozens of rooms, and even though the room appears perfect, he will put on a second coat or touch up spots that he can't even see because I claim it is uneven. He cuts the grass more often than necessary because I THINK it is too long. He buys crickets every week for a gecko he doesn't even like and does all the errands and grocery shopping sometimes with one or two kids in tow. Silas is now almost nine months old, and that will mean that for the past nine months, Dave has gotten out of bed at 4 a.m. when Silas gets up to bring him to me in bed to nurse him. The fact that Silas STILL gets up at 4 a.m. is the subject for another blog. Dave separates (this is key) and does laundry, feeds children, takes out the garbage (I can count the number of times I've done that on one hand), and puts up with me. He is a wonderful spouse and if I gave off the impression that I don't think he is intelligent, loving, capable, and all around, a terrific guy, I apologize. The humor in my blog is never intended to be at his expense. There are two sides to every story and what you read here is mine; my feelings and thoughts, sometimes rational, sometimes not. I love Dave and if you don't know that he is great guy, take my word, or words, for it... he is:). I am not one for mushy and sappy blogs and while I don't feel like my blogs were spiteful and mean towards Dave, if one person took that away from it, it is enough to make me want to address it. Dave and I laugh with and at each other at times. In our stage of life, sometimes it is all we can do to get through the day or night. So laugh with Dave and I, and laugh at me... I have voluntarily brought that upon myself while he, unfortunately, gets thrown in by default. Yet, he is secure and confident enough to allow me to blog my mind and just shake his head when I exaggerate or blow things out of proportion (reinsert line on "two sides to every story" here). So keep in mind that no matter what you read, I do indeed feel fortunate to have Dave along on this journey of life. I'd rather pack a thousand trips than go on one without him... exaggeration, of course, but you get the point!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ahhhh... summer!

Whoever decided that children needed a summer vacation clearly didn't have any children! I wholeheartedly believe that teachers deserve every day of summer vacation that we get, but children? As a parent, I start twitching thinking of summer vacation. First of all, it is LONG! Two and a half months of nothing but children. No breaks and no planning periods... Second of all, it is hot. At least here it is. 90s all week and it is only the beginning of June. My solution: grandparents! Yes, we are headed up north to take full advantage of them. I don't even feel bad saying that. The thought of being able to just use to bathroom without someone on my lap (yes, it has happened and on more than one occasion), or running an errand without whining, tantrums, or lugging around a heavy car seat, it is almost enough to make the eternal trip there bearable, though I was under no illusions that it would be an easy drive up there.

I think I started that last paragraph on June 8th. I spent most of that week stressing about packing for the trip. Packing for one is tough enough, but now, I pack for four. Dave sincerely offered to "help" and seemed slightly offended when I laughed at his offer. I believe he thinks he is helping, but in reality, it makes things tougher. I have a system of "organization" that really only makes sense to me, so if I have to tell him what exactly to pack, where to find it, and where to put it, I may as well do it myself. I appreciated the offer, but I think we both knew that his help wouldn't really be that. It was almost an unspoken agreement; I would take care of all things packing, and he would take care of anything related manual labor and lifting. We had planned to leave on Sunday so I had a couple of days to get everything together. I even thought we would try leaving early, like 5 a.m. early, so we could get in 4 hours or so before the kids would be up and conscious enough to want food or use the bathroom. At some point, I contemplated putting Ella and Hanna in pull-ups to cut down on potty-breaks. I decided that may be taking it too far. Saturday night, I was feeling pretty good about things. Everything was packed in bins, stacked by the door, food box was ready, dog-sitting directions were done... everything on my list was checked off. I came across a Netflix video and thought to return it before we left but the envelope was no where in sight. In searching for it, I came across our passports... "Holy crap! I almost forgot these! Good thing I came across them," I thought to myself. I can't imagine leaving and then realizing five hours into the drive that we forgot our travel documents! I flipped through looking at the pictures of the kids and was smiling at Hanna's picture. She was just a little baby. Baby. And then it hit me. She was a baby and she had a passport! And now, we have another baby, and he doesn't have one. I panicked realizing that getting one would take weeks and we needed an official document to cross the border. How could I have forgotten this?? Hmmm, plan B: birth certificate. It would have been a good plan except that we never ordered one after Silas was born. Idiot. Me. Not him. We would have to wait till Monday to go to the county office and get a certified copy. I was annoyed. Annoyed that I had forgotten this very important element to our trip, annoyed that I would have to rummage through bins to find things that had been neatly packed that we needed,  annoyed that I would have to stare at those bins, lined up by the front door, a constant reminder to my travel blunder. I almost single handedly packed for 4/5 of the family, yet it still wasn't enough. I hadn't thought of everything (later on, I'd find out that there were also other important things that I hadn't remembered... like Hanna's underwear) and the one thing I hadn't though of was the most important! Having traveled often during my lifetime, I took this oversight so personally. Yes, Dave could have and should have reminded me, but he didn't- it never occurred to either of us. So far, the summer hadn't gotten off to a very good start and I was hoping that this wasn't a sign of things to come.