My Recent Random Thoughts

I have been too frazzled this week to take any one part of it and actually create a logical post out of it so I am not even going to try. Instead I offer you my random thoughts.

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I knew having boys was going to be busy. That is always the word people used when I told them I was having a boy, and then again when I told them I was having another boy. It always came back to that word, busy.

The people weren't lying. They do keep me busy. It seems like it is always something with them and these last couple of weeks have proved to be no different. Just when we got them over strep throat, scarlet fever, ear infections, sinus infections and never-ending coughs we started happier things like t-ball for Jack, soccer for Joey and swimming for both of them. Although we were pretty packed each week, keeping them busy is sometimes better because it leaves fewer hours in the day for them to be naughty and for me to want to kill them!

Joey had been begging to play soccer. So as soon as he turned three we signed him up and he was ready to go. We talked about his first practice / class for a few weeks before they started and he was so excited. Then the day comes and when we get to class my super excited soccer star turns into a shy, uncooperative boy with his thumb permanently stuck in his mouth.

He just sat there. He wouldn't participate at all and I was embarrassed that he was just sitting there in the middle of the gym while all the other little kickers ran around, balls flying here and there, and he just sat there with his head down. His coach tried to get him to play, I tried, nothing. He finally got up and kicked a ball for the last 10 minutes of the class. I told him if he didn't want to play then we wouldn't come back. He went on and on about wanting to play. This week was not much different except he played for the last 15 minutes of class, even though he PROMISED Jay he was going to try hard and play this week. He is a big liar.

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On Tuesday night Grandma took the boys to the park for a few minutes and about 20 minutes in I got a phone call that Jack had tripped and fallen and he couldn't move his arm. Several hours, xrays and screaming fits later we left the ER in a cast with a follow-up scheduled with a Pediatric Orthopedic doctor. Fun times. We are hoping it is just a severe sprain and bruise but there is the possibility of a growth plate fracture in his elbow which might not appear on an xray for a few weeks. So the cast is on and we have another check-up with the ortho next week.

The timing of this couldn't be worse considering the kids first t-ball game is tomorrow. I am afraid the White Sox are going to have to win without him. He is bummed about missing the game and his swimming lesson and he is already completely over the cast on his arm. He has reminded me on several occasions that it is Grama's fault he is hurt (which it isn't) and has become quite the drama queen. Apparently he was pretending he was Batman and Grama was Fire Girl (whoever the hell that is) when they were playing at the park. Batman was chasing Fire Girl when the tripping and falling occurred. I told him that's what he gets for messing with Fire Girl. The kid needs to learn early that girls can (and will) destroy him.

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I started a new class at the gym called TRX that I am now convinced was designed to kill people. It is awesome and torturous all at the same time. I love the workout even if I can't lift my arms for three days after class and moan when I sit down on the toilet. No pain, no gain, no stellar ass.

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I hate to talk about the weather but come on, Chicago. This is getting a tad bit ridiculous now. I think it has rained 5 of the last 7 days, most of which my kid was on spring break and stuck inside, which is so much fun. I know all about April showers bringing May flowers and blah, fucking, blah. I don't know any flower pretty enough to need this much rain. Everything is drowning for love of God, make it stop.

It doesn't help that I just bought a bunch of new springy clothes and have two new pairs of flip-flops itching to get out of my closet. The spring fever itch is here so the weather better make a turn soon or I am seriously going to consider real estate somewhere where the sun actual shines.

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On a happier note, less than one week after Joey dropped Jay's iPod Touch in the toilet it is turning on again. Hurray for me being super speedy fishing it out of the potty (clean water, THANK YOU JESUS) and for the rice it has been drying out in all week. My kids have been going through Angry Birds withdrawals which is a condition that medication should be prescribed for (if not for them for me) so I am happy they will be able to get their fix soon.

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I wish someone could tell me whether or not to have another baby. Jay and I go back and forth, round and round on this subject. Some days it all makes perfect sense and other days there are broken arms and soccer protests. I just don't know. Either way, one way or another, I have no idea what to do or what is best for us. I wish it was easier and at some point I may just flip a coin. Jay would suggest playing rock, paper, scissors but I ALWAYS lose at that so I don't think that is fair at all. I just need a sign....

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The Easter bunny came and we spent the day with my family in WI. It was eventful, as it always is, and we had a great day. The boys had the greatest time with their cousins and I got to get some time with my Mom & sisters. I have recently started watching the show Parenthood and love it because I feel like my family is much like the family on that show. A little crazy but always there for each other, laughing and crying (and sometimes screaming and swearing) with each other along the way. I am so lucky to have all of them even though we may want to kill each other on a weekly basis.

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The Royal Wedding was today and although I am not hard core enough to wake up in the middle of the night to watch Wills and Kate say I Do, I sure did DVR that shit. I have never seen so many ugly hats in my life. I thought Kate and Pippa (that name cracks me up every time) looked amazing. I might also be in love with Harry. Something about his boy face that gets me, can you say cutie patootie?

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Okay, that is enough random babbling for now. Hopefully next week is a little easier on us!

Tooth-Less

I knew Jack was growing up and getting bigger. It was apparent by the way his pants were all too short and his long sleeved shirts made it just past his elbows. When he turned five in February I felt my heart explode at the thought that my baby was a baby no longer. I saw it happening but was still trying to deny it.

Then last week he informed me that his tooth was loose. In my mind I was thinking, Yeah right kid. You are only five so probably not.

Yeah, well I was wrong. The tooth was not only at the really wiggly almost completely out stage but his big tooth, the kind grown ups chew with, has already popped through behind it. Whoa...slow the hell down with the growing thing, kid!

Jack couldn't stop messing with that tooth and as I left for a night out with friends he insisted he was NOT pulling it out. I wasn't pulling it out either so as far as I was concerned he would still have all his precious little baby teeth when I got home.

Except, yeah, well wrong again. On my way home from my night out I got a text from my husband saying the tooth fell out and that Jack already had it under his pillow for the Tooth Fairy.

I was sad that my little big guy lost his first tooth. I was sad I wasn't there and I felt really old now. I mean he just turned 5 a few months ago. Really, is it too much to ask that the kid not lose his baby teeth until he can at least pee in the toilet without hitting the floor and walls?

No luck. His tooth was out and when I went in to see him in bed that night he was thrilled. He was so excited about the Tooth Fairy coming and really pleased it didn't even hurt falling out.

Tooth #1 out and the new tooth poking in.

He is officially my Jack-O-Lantern now (hardy, har, har!) but that won't last long as his big person tooth (yes, that is what we are calling it) is coming in in a big hurry.

He was trying really hard to smile so I could see his
tooth hole....not the best smile.

He thinks it's pretty great and tells everyone he sees all about it. He was not as thrilled about it when he was trying to eat his apple yesterday or his corn-on-the-cob at dinner last night. He was quick to tell me eating those things without a tooth was no fun. Also, the Tooth Fairy came and left him three whole dollars! He couldn't get them shoved in his piggy bank fast enough.

You can't see the missing tooth here but that is the smile I love.


Since You've Been Gone

Today is the day. The one we dread coming and then think about you all day long. We miss you. I've talked about that before. I don't have any other words or way to say how much we miss you and how we wish more than anything that you were still here.

Since you've been gone Jack and Joey have turned from babies to boys. We've all grown and you've missed it. Jack continues to ask when you are coming home from Jesus's house because it feels like you've really been staying there a long time. We talk about you often and in this past year that you've been gone we've continued to sing the Notre Dame fight song and Go, Cubs, Go! with the boys. They will remember you, we will be sure of it.

Just know that this year, like the ones before, we've missed you and love you always.

Poker Face

As a parent, as a Mom, I am well aware of my faults. My weaknesses. I know them in my heart and have had them pointed out by countless individuals, Jason most frequently. The conversations often include "Are you going to let them talk to you like that?" or "They don't listen to you because they know you won't follow through" or better yet, "You're such a sucker." Truly, I could fill an entire post with these sayings. Each time someone says one to me it gets no easier to hear. I listen, but it is by far the biggest challenge of parenting for me.

So, no, it isn't really a surprise that they don't listen to me for shit. That I repeat myself four thousand times for every single thing I ask them to do. That Jack has been known to look right in my eyes when I am telling him not to do something and without missing a beat, do it again. It makes me insane.

It is also no surprise that I have two voices, yelling and screaming. That lately I find myself ashamed of myself by how much I am screaming at them trying, begging, to get them to listen to me. It doesn't even seem like they hear me. Could they really just disregard me so easily? It seems so.

Bedtime is the worst part of our day, every day. There are a million excuses and trips out of bed for water, to pee, to look for missing stuffed animals, because someone hit the other and on and on. It can last for hours. It always ends in me (and Jason) screaming and threatening. It causes so much stress between Jay & I because we are basically taking turns running upstairs to put one of them back in their bed and to holler at them. We pause the DVR and then bitch at each other about how ridiculous this is and how it has to stop. Obviously neither of us has the answer to stopping it since we do it day in and day out. They are not anything if not consistent.

I have said it before and I will say it again, but my sweet baby Joey is the devil with blue eyes and his Daddy's face. He brings naughty to a whole new level. Knowing this, I am unsure why I was shocked that when I threatened him tonight with throwing his toys in the garbage if he didn't pick them up before bed, he simply told me "throw them away Mama." 

I was speechless. My three year old just called my bluff! I must have the worst poker face ever.

If it wasn't for Jack flipping out that he didn't want the toys thrown away and picking them up as fast as his little hands could, those toys would have had to go in the trash, right? I mean I couldn't let Joey see me bluff but I have done the whole act like you are throwing the toys away trick before. I pick them up, toss them in a garbage bag and put them outside. Then after the kids go to bed (eventually) I mix the toys back in with the bazillions of others in the play room. I thought they believed I tossed the toys. Apparently Joey is either on to me or could care less because he basically looked at me like eff you, throw them away. The only thing that would have made it more of a slap in the face was if he followed it up with you'll buy me more anyway. In which case I would have had to turn my mother card in.

It was a humbling moment when once again, I saw that I am indeed not the one ruling the roost around here. They are the ones calling the shots even if I am the one doing all the yelling like a crazy person. They are winning. I just assumed the parents always win, which is most likely the very reason I am not.

After all that, bedtime still sucked. It wasn't as bad as it usually is and I only had to yell and scream once. After that I marched straight up there with a spatula. I told them if they even so much as thought of getting out of their beds again I was going to swat their hiney's with the spatula. Scary right? Doesn't that say I mean business?

I thought it did until as I was yelling and threatening to swat their butts Jack casually and calmly asks me why the spatula has holes in it. SERIOUSLY, KID? It was as if he didn't even notice or care that I was threatening to whack him. I didn't even know what to say to him. I just hung my head and walked out, defeated.

I am thinking giving up is easier than fighting this battle. These two were born to destroy me.

Pushing and Shoving

Today was Jack's first t-ball practice and I was all sorts of nervous about it. You see my son Jack is the kind of kid that needs pushing, sometimes shoving, to do just about everything he does. He generally loves the idea of doing something but when it comes time to actually do it, to try and apply himself, he is not interested.

This has happened in just about every new thing in his life. It started with going to school and him announcing he hated school, was not going to like his teacher and would not be friends with anyone. He was firm in his statements and he was not hearing any talk of how great school could be.

We told him he had to go; that whether he liked his teacher or made friends didn't matter. He was going to school and then we pushed him into his classroom. Within one weeks time he loved school, thought his teacher was the bee’s knees and had a posse of friends.

This happened with swimming lessons as well. He loved swimming but when we told him he had to have lessons to actually learn to swim, he freaked out and refused to get in the pool without me. I eased him into the classes by starting out with him but after a few I refused to get in the water with him. He was going to get in the pool and learn to swim if I had to push him in myself. After that pushing, he was racing into swimming class and jumping in the deep end. He now begs to go to swimming.

This past week while we were at the library I told him we were going to get some books to help him learn to read. He quickly told me he was NOT reading and that if I got those books he would not even look at them. He later told me (after some arguing and yelling) that he didn't want to learn to read because reading was hard and he didn't think he would be good at it. He is afraid of failure so I pushed yet again. I told him if he wanted me to read to him then he had to try and read with me first. He reluctantly agreed and within minutes he was reading to me. We were both happily surprised at how fast he got the concepts down and I was loved how he sounded out the letters to make the words. I kept telling him how proud I was of him that he was reading. I could see the excitement on his face and he has asked to read to me everyday since. Pushing equals winning (or in this case learning) with my kid.

Do I think you can push a kid too much? Yes, but that is not the kind of pushing I am talking about. I only push on things he either asks to do (like swimming) but then chickens out on or like school and reading where he doesn't have a choice.

So that brings us to today and to t-ball. I know both Jason & I struggle to keep our cool and not lose our patience with him when he gets in these moods of what he is and is not willing to do. Jack loves baseball and begs Jay to play everyday with him. He is good at baseball and when he plays at home he tries hard. But he still has those moments, like all of us do, when it gets hard or he misses too many pitches in a row and that's it, he wants to quit. Well, mama ain't raising no quitter. So we have to encourage, push and shove some more so he will buck up and try again. Try harder. All the while reminding him he can do it, that he is good at it, and sure enough he hits the ball and has his confidence back again.

Heading to tonight’s first practice was rough. He didn't want to play on a team with none of his friends, he was not going to catch the ball, and on and on he went. Everything was a fight from the sweatshirt I made him wear to Jason making him carry his own bag. He was not going to like t-ball and he was not going to play - ever, story over.

Tension was running high and both Jason & I were losing our patience with him and we weren't even there yet. I snapped at him in the car and told him that because he asked to play baseball and I paid a lot of money for it, he was going to go there and listen to his coach and play, dammit! He never said another word. 

When we got to the field and saw the other kids playing, I could see he was excited and nervous. He stuck by Jay at first but then he started playing baseball, the game he loved. He listened to his coach, he ran the bases and he played catch with his new friends and Jason. He was proud as could be to get his uniform and when practice ended he didn't want to leave. We pushed. He loved it, as we knew he would and we had to drag him away.

This kind of parenting takes a lot of work and makes Jason & I more frustrated than you know. I sometimes feel bad that I am always pushing him to try things, but I just know in my heart it will be good for him and he will love it once I do, so I shove away.

I know someday he will be the one doing the pushing and I will be trying to hang on. I hope all this hard work and constant shoving pay off and make him a kid who always tries his best, even when it is scary and even when it is hard because when he does he is an incredibly smart and talented boy. I am so proud of him, even as I push.
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 So happy after running the bases!


 Hanging with his new friends.


Loving his new uniform (even if it is White Sox) and
celebrating his first practice with a Chipotle dinner!