Friday, October 29, 2010

Once Upon a Time

Once Upon a Time, in the Land of Beer, Cheese and Football, lived a Middle-Aged Lady who Resided in a Quaint and Cozy Abode Built in One Thousand, Nine Hundred and Seventy-Five.

Each and every day, this Lady's valiant Knight rode off to work, leaving her home with their 5 young ladies and lasses.

Now, at the time of our Story, what should have happened to befall upon this Land of Beer, Cheese and Football but a Wind Storm of Newsworthy Proportions.

By the Third Morning of such a blustery spell, the Lady's daughter, the Fair Maiden Hatfield, awoke in a state of great distress.

"Oh, Mother Dearest, there is but a Horrible Noise in my room that has frightened me so, for a good deal of the last fortnight!" the Golden Beauty cried.

Although Tired and in Great Need of a Dye Job, the Middle Aged Lady managed to fly upstairs, determine to root out the source of All that Ails her beloved daughter.

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

Hiiiiiissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss........

Goosebumps befell the two women.

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

HkHkHkeeeeeeeee...........( a more guttural hissing sound
. Like a PISSED OFF wild rabid rodent sound.)

"Ay caramba!" the Lady cried! "A Wild and Uncouth Beast has Cast a Spell of Death upon our Quaint and Cozy Abode! And from thou's Cold Air Return Vent, my fairest, eldest daughter!"

A strong woman, she fought back all urge to faint, and ran to beckon her Brave and Noble Knight Home.

Some time later, the Brave and Valiant Knight Mister rode in on his trusty Subaru. Stripping of his usual Suit of Armor, this Knight put on his trusty dungarees and favorite stained t-shirt and dashed off to the Carriage House to retrieve his trusty, noble StepLadder.

As one of the bravest of brave men, this Knight climbed high aloft into the dingy and dusty Attic. Searing High and Searching Low, the Knight ignored all Angry Sounds emitting forth from the Unknown Dangerous and Rabid Creature, instead focusing his efforts on unearthing such creature from the High Recesses of the Attic.

Alas, no such creature could be found.

Undaunted, our Brave Knight then lowered himself in the Dark and Dank Dungeon, boldly thumping on the numerous Hollow Air Vents, in hopes of awakening such a Vile Beast from the bowels of the HVAC system's belly.

Yet again, alas, no luck befalleth him thus far.

Yet never one to succumb to defeat, this Brave and Noble Knight used his Large and Bulging Muscles to move his fair daughter's Bunk Beds and to chip away the paint from the screws holding the air vent into the wall.

(Sigh, 'tis true, this Quaint and Cozy Abode was indeed inhabited by people Too Lazy to Remove Air Vents Before Painting.)

Upon placing his Trusty and Noble Step Ladder upon the wall to peer into the Dark and Ominous Air Vent, our Knight realized that the narrow, dark cavity gave no hint as to the Dangerous and Rabid Demon's identity.

Yet have no fear, after breaking several of the Middle-Aged Lady's Make-up Compacts to obtain their Prized Mirrors (after all, our Lady does not really want to gaze upon her Grey Roots), borrowing several Spatulas from the Cook's Kitchen, Snaring some Yarn from the Darning Woman's knitting bag, and retrieving his stash of Duct Tape, the Ingenious Knight concocted a system of elongated mirrors so that he could see into the Air Ductwork.

Cowering with fear, the Middle-Aged Lady and her babe, wee Princess Paloma, cowered on the back of the couches in the Living Room, lest a Wild and Rabid beast were to escape from upstairs, traverse the staircase, and seek it's latest meal in these two, worried souls.

With his Three Courageous and Enthusiastic Sons, this Brave Knight climbed the ladder, lowered his mirror system into the dark depths, and turned on his flashlight.

Suddenly, in a blink of an eye, thunderous noise filled the Quaint and Cozy Abode as the Three Courageous and Enthusiastic Sons Flew---Yes, FLEW!-- down the grand staircase.

"Good Lady! Good Lady!" they hollered. "Our Brave and Noble Knight hereby Requests--no, Demands--a Net!!!"

Nothing more could be heard except for the Loud Screams emitted by the Middle Aged Lady and her petite Princess Paloma.

Followed by the slamming of the Front Door.
The starting of her Trusty Chariot.
And the Peeling of Tires.

Having Escaped that Depraved Scene,the Good Lady and her youngest child sought refuge in the home of Lovely Lady Boone.

Sensing the frazzled and frayed nerves of her good friend, Lady Boone poured up some wine and locked all of the children in her dungeon.

Meanwhile, back at the Quaint and Cozy Abode, our Brave and Noble and Patient Knight was on his Trusty StepLadder, telephone to his ear, seeking the Wise and Wordly Counsel of our local Wildlife Nuisance Control Expert.

"Please, good Sir, describe to me what your eyes fall upon," the Expert gently advised.

"Yes, Wise Friend. I'm hearing the sound as we speak," the Knight began.

"Ay, yea. I heareth the sound as well, good Sir."

"Well, my Wise Man, I see. . I see. . Hang on a moment, for a piece of Insulation has broken free on one side and has partially fallen into the depths of Duct Work, obstructing my view."

The Wise Counsel paused for a moment, then ventured, "My Brave and Noble Knight, did you say a piece of Loosened Insulation is obstructing your view?"

"Why, yes, I am saying as such," our Brave and Noble Knight affirmed.

Then, right in front of his Brave and Noble Eyes, our Good Knight witnessed a draft of wind blow the piece of Loosened Insulation downwards.

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

"Huh," the Brave and Noble Knight noted. "Looky there."

But a short moment later, the draft of wind lessened and slowly, the piece of Loosened Insulation alighted.

Hiiiiiissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss........

"Good Lord, my Good Man, do you suppose that the Dreaded Deadly and Rabid Beast is actually a piece of Loosened Insulation?!?! A piece that loosened due to the Age and Nature of the Air Ductwork of the Quaint and Cozy Abode built in One Thousand Nine Hundred and Seventy-Five?!?! Further aggravated by this Incredible Windstorm of Newsworthy Proportion!?!?" the Wise Counsel suggested.

As the Brave and Noble Knight, with the aid of his trusty mirrors and flashlight, then witnessed, another backdraft of air take upon the Insulation.

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

HkHkHkeeeeeeeee...........( a more guttural hissing sound
. Like a PISSED OFF wild rabid rodent sound.)

"Ay, 'tis True, 'tis True!" the Brave and Noble Knight proclaimed. "We doth Solved our Mystery! Won't the Fine Middle-Aged Lady of the Home be overcome with Joy and Relief!"

Upon saying good-bye to his Wise Friend, the Brave and Noble Knight then called his good Lady to share the Good News.

"My Lady! My Lady! It brings my heart Great Joy to tell you, that no such Non-Domesticated Wild Creature has taken up Residence in the Air Ductwork of our Quaint and Cozy Abode!"

"Oh, my Brave and Noble Knight, your news makes my mind faint with relief and my heart swell with pride over your Brave and Noble and Intelligent actions," the Good Lady responded.

Knocking back the rest of her vino in one great gulp, the Good Lady gathered her kin and began the journey back to the Quaint and Cozy Abode. And back into the Arms of her Brave and Noble Knight.

And they lived Happily, Ever After.

The End.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Real Life House of Horrors

Hatfield came downstairs this morning in tears.

"Mom, there's something making a scary noise in my room," she sobbed.

Oooookkkaaaayyyy.

I followed her upstairs. "Sweetie, if you can't handle a scary noise in your room, maybe you aren't ready to go to Terror on the Fox with your dance team," I lightly admonished, fully expecting to find some toy acting all wonky because it's low on batteries to be hidden under the dark recesses of their bunk beds.

"Mom, a haunted house is fake. This is REAL LIFE!" she quickly wailed.

Irritated, I stepped into the girls' room. I could only hear the tick-tock of the obnoxious pig clock she was gifted at our last White Elephant Christmas exchange.

Then I heard it.

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

Hiiiiiissssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss........

By this time I was head to toe goosebumps.

Scratch. Scratch. Scratch.

HkHkHkeeeeeeeee...........( a more guttural hissing sound
. Like a PISSED OFF wild rabid rodent sound.)

Frick.

Nearly crying, I turned to Hatfield. "OH MY GOD! There's something IN there!" Horrified, I pointed to the long cold air return duct located conveniently above her top-bunk pillow.

Frack.

"I know! I heard it the past two nights, but last night it started making all those scary hissing sounds," she wailed.

F*ck.

I call the Mister. Voicemail. Figures.

I text the Mister. In BIG CAPITAL LETTERS, so he knows I mean business:
There's a freaking animal trapped in the girl's air duct.
Do Something Now!!!

An hour later, he calls me.

I hate island time.

In the meanwhile, I take the kids to the library because:
1) it's our usual Thursday morning storytime;
2) the boys have two days off due to teacher's convention, and I was already feeling a bit batty and
3) because there's a freaking wild animal trapped in my house and NO WAY am I staying in a house with potentially rabid rodents.

If you have been reading my blog for a while, you know all about my completely irrational, over-the-top, need-to-be-medicated-at-the-mere-mention fear of rodents. Over the years, I've been traumatized by run-ins with chipmunks, opossums and squirrels. My poor nerves cannot handle anything else.

While at the library, the Mister comes home, and I'm not quite sure what he does except he confirms via text: "Yep, there's something in there. Couldn't get a look at it."

Yeah, he's a keeper, I know.

So all this afternoon I have been calling people around town. NO ONE has been able to help so far. Here is what I have learned:

* The police and Animal Control will do jack sh*t about this type of problem.

* "Pest Control" and "Pest Solutions" are synonymous with "We only deal with bugs. Maybe mice. Nothing bigger."

and

* Look up "Wildlife Nuisance Control" and your county on the Internet. That will get you the help you need.

Can I just add that people who work in this line of business aren't the friendliest sort of folk?

So I look it up. The first call I make, Too-Few-Brain-Cell Troy answers. After listening to my explanation of the problem, he tells me: "Listen, I'm on vacation out of state, but you sound like a nice lady, so I'll tell you what to do, free, over the phone. It's probably a bird, but maybe a squirrel. Either way, you should open the vent, get a BIG fishing net, and have the critter jump in there."

Ahhhhh, not gonna happen.

So I call the next guy, who has a professional looking website. He tells me that I should get a mirror and the flashlight, open the vent and look around to see what we're dealing with first.

"Yeah, well, I'm not really the sort of person who would do something like that," I explain to him.

He proceeds to go on and on, how it's best to know what we are dealing with (while listing off a long list of possibilities, all of which make me want to pass out) before I pay big bucks to have him come out here.

"Ummm, are my completely manic hysterics somehow lost on you?!? No way in h*ll am I ever going to:

* remove that air duct cover
* climb on my roof
* scrounge through my attic
* or freaking bang on the heating ductwork in the basement to see if anything moves.

I don't care if you charge me a thousand dollars, get over here and get this freaking thing OUT OF MY HOUSE!!!"

In the end, we agree that my husband will come home, assess the problem, and call him back (so he wouldn't have to deal with the "hysterical wife", I'm sure)

What a complete f*cker.
(the wildlife removal guy, not the Mister.)

But, it's the f*cker I want to come to my home to get rid of this problem.

To be continued . . .
(and this story damn well better have a happy ending!)



Monday, October 25, 2010

Bedrest

Atticus and I have been sick now for 2 weeks.


I myself have not left the house for nearly a week, with the exception of our excursion to Urgent Care this weekend.

My poor boy has broken out head to toe in hives, and we're working hard at trying to find the cause, how to heal him, and how to keep him comfortable in the meanwhile.

Today, I placed myself on bedrest. For the past two weeks, I have tried to rest here and there, but funny how children, homeschool, mealtime responsibilities, laundry and comforting sick children quickly sidetracked those resting plans.

I tried to get up this morning and take care of everyone. Showered the boys, made some lunches, scheduled Atticus' doctor appointment for the afternoon. But after that, I was done.

I am devoting today to sleeping, resting, reading and drinking as many fluids as my bladder can tolerate. My feet are only hitting the floor to transport me the 15 steps to my bathroom and 15 steps back to the bed.

I need to get rid of this bug, once and for all. Because if Mama can't take care of herself, Mama can't take care of anyone else either.

From my bed, I can hear the Mister downstairs with Hatfield, Atticus and Paloma. He's trying hard to home school the kids. Hatfield, being in 6th grade, is quite self-sufficient, as she knows how to follow the weekly plans.

But right now, he's trying to figure out how to bounce back and forth between Atticus and Paloma. He's reading to Atticus, but struggling to find a way to keep Paloma otherwise engaged in an activity (other than his usual standby of TV.) Then he's realizing that he has to set up Atticus with independent work so that he can work with Paloma on her reading program.

Homeschooling multiple children at multiple levels, really, is no more than juggling. It's just that you're juggling a LOT of balls, and some of those balls can wiggle, interrupt and have plans that do not necessarily line up with your intentions. :)

Impossible? Most certainly not. But it takes practice. Lots and Lots of practice (I'm still practicing, 4 years later. . .)

While I am so very, very appreciative of his help, I also think it's good that he has these "opportunities" to run the homeschool for a day. As a little reminder of what I do, day in and day out. When we have a chance to walk in each other shoe's, it allows our empathy and understanding to grow.

Plus, I think the Mister is totally cute when he's frazzled :)

So, here's to a week of better health, less hives and a return to our normal routine.
-Sarah

(As I finished typing this, Paloma came up to my room, carrying a baggie of snap peas and dragging her huge reading primer with her. "Daddy said you love to read with me so I should come up here because you love it," she dutifully tells me.

Apparently, the Mister is better at handling this multi-tasking/juggle issue than I thought.)

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Missing Pieces

Last night, after putting on pj's and crawling into their beds, Miles and Keenan and I talked about Haiti.

A year now home, both boys are able to better verbalize their experiences and memories there. In recent weeks, it has come out that, at both our orphanage's city secondary facility and their country creche, some horrifically terrible abuse occurred. So when we talk about Haiti, I'm able to casually ask questions, trying to determine what, if any, exposure to abuse they had.

Having been so young upon entering the creche, and living the vast majority of their first 5 years there, I'm sure many events aren't even in their collective memories.

Both boys love to talk about Haiti. They become very animated. Elaborate hand and body gestures. Different theatric voices for different people. Lots of details.

Miles always surprises me with his accounts. That child forgets very little. He told us about a time when someone brought 2 live chickens into the courtyard when he was little--maybe 3 years old. The chickens were squawking and hollering and running all about. He was scared that they were going to peck at him. And then he remembers watching a cook, a short while later, cut off the feathers of the then-deceased bird.

He also remembers standing at the wrought iron door on the second floor, watching the police chase down a man on the city street below. The "bad man" had been throwing stones at the police, but the police tackled him and then put him in handcuffs, "like this," Miles illustrated, holding his hands behind his back.

For Miles, Haiti is very alive in his mind.

During our talk, there was a lot of laughing and talking about memories. I noticed Miles rubbing one eye a few times, and I thought he was getting tired.

When I went to tuck them in, I could see that Miles was not okay. "What's wrong, little man?" I asked him.

"I miss Haiti," he said in a thick muffled voice. Tears began to spill.

My Miles has spent a tremendous amount of the past 14 months being angry. Really, painfully angry.

To see him expressing his feelings through different emotions-- while feeling sad and grieving and crying--as horrible as this sounds-- was wonderful. He's learning to put those deep, BIG emotions into words.

I laid down next to him and gathered him up in my arms. I rubbed his back and told him how it was okay to miss Haiti. I asked him if someday, when he is a bigger boy, would he like to go back and visit Haiti.

"Yes, Mommy, if you go with me." he responded.

While trying not to cry, I told him how we will go back to Haiti, to see where he lived when he was a little boy. So people could see him and say, "My goodness, Miles, look at how BIG and STRONG and SMART and GOOD you are! We are so proud of YOU!"

I asked my grieving son, "What would you like to do when you go back to Haiti?"

"I would like to ask people their names."

Oh my. It took every ounce of my being not to sob at that moment.

Such a little boy, with so many alive and active memories, but with so many pieces missing. Important pieces.

So often, when watching my boy, I can see how Miles feels like nothing. Years in institutionalized living, where there was very little consistent, loving interaction from a consistent adult, has left my boy with a nearly non-existent sense of self.

Some children come home from orphanage living feeling like they are worthless, or bad, or naughty. My little boy just feels like . . . nothing. Like he's not a person at all. With no good or bad value associations tied to a self-concept, because if you don't have a self-concept, you have nothing to assign values to.

I would like to ask people their names.

Hearing that request was like finding a missing piece to a puzzle. Not the finishing piece, mind you, but a pretty big piece.

Knowing that Miles has so many alive memories in his head, but that they are all nameless to him, speaks volumes.

To be able to identify memories. To put names to people and places. To hear people address him by name and acknowledge him. I can't help but feel that for Miles, that would be a big step in helping him cement his own sense of self. His own sense of his own value.

I would like to ask people their names.

And I will help you with that, my son.

Rubbing his back, I promised him that.

I will help you.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

He may be a caveman, but at least he's MY caveman. . .

(Please note: In an effort to make this as momentous an occasion as possible for my Mister, I am hereby refraining from hopping up on my soapbox to state my opinion on the Caveman - Food Challenge connection. I shall leave that topic for my Doctoral Thesis, should I ever go back to school some day.)

Yesterday,
The Mister took the
"Buffalo Wild Wings
Blazin' Challenge."


He went.
He ate.
He kicked its ass.

(Okay, I feel really silly writing that, but I truly think that's how men think when they are running around thumping their chests. And like I said, this is for the Mister, so I'm setting my blogging rules aside just for him.)



Yes, his face is REALLY that red.
It's not the camera or poor lighting.
Because to my (cave)Man's credit,
that sauce is pretty freakin' hot.
And he did scarf down 12 in under 6 minutes.


(And because this is a post to showcase my man and his mad eating skillz, I shall refrain from telling you how, after kicking ass on the challenge, the Mister gave all credit to me since I grew the insanely hot peppers which I turned into Fire Hot Pepper Sauce which provided his training ground for successfully overcoming he BWW Flamin' Challenge.)


Please,
feel free to leave your Congratulations
in the Comments section.

(But try not to go too overboard while fawning over this achievement. I do have to live with this man and his ego, after all.)

Sunday, October 17, 2010

A Room of His Own


Several months back, we played Musical Bedrooms at our home because the situation we had previously employed was not cutting it. After taking down bunk beds, setting up bunk beds and relocating about 2,000 stuffed animals, we had the move finished on a functional level. Now, the girls share a room, the Haitian Sensations share a room, and Atticus has his own room. And that's the way it's going to be forever and ever and ever, because no way am I ever going to do that amount of work again. Not ever.

When we first moved Atticus into his room, he had his sister's unused pink dresser, a mattress on subfloor, and boxes/laundry baskets everywhere. A huge chaotic disaster in a teeny-tiny space.

I'm so proud of Atticus and his patient nature. First, the kid had to endure sharing a room with boys who broke his stuff, hid his stuff, and wee-wee'd on his stuff-- a lot. Yet despite all that, he never had a tantrum or sought revenge. He's a WAY bigger person that I was as a kid, because had I been him, I would have tried to make their lives living heck as payback. Yet, he didn't.

Then, he finally got moved into a new room, only to have to sleep on a mattress on top of the sub-floor, with all of his stuff in boxes. And when we finally get to putting his room together, we hit delay after delay. His chill, go-with-the-flow Island Nature is an example for me, every day.

Like I said before, Atticus' new digs are teeny-tiny. Like walk-in closet sized. Furnishing the room was a bit tricky due to the size, so it was important that the furniture be multi-functional.

In lieu of a dresser, I can all of his clothing in his (very teeny) tiny closet on a double bar hanger.

Fortunately, 8-year old boys are not clothes horses.

I purchased 9-cube wall units for his bedroom at Target. I love their multi-functionality, in addition to their narrowness.



At first I was going to purchase a loft bed for his room, and place a desk and bean bag underneath. But I came across this bed, which is shorter than a loft, but has a pull-out desk, a small dresser for pj's/undies/socks and some shelves. There is even a cubbie with a door on the side where I store his extra bedsheets.


I am thrilled that his room has finally come together. I ordered the bed over 2.5 months ago. We had to first wait for my folks to remove their kitchen floor laminate, and then the Mister installed it in Atticus' room. Afterwards, we finally opened up all 3 boxes of bed (ugh!), lo and behold, 3 of the 55 pieces were damaged in shipping (double ugh!). And of course, when the replacement parts were shipped to us, it took 3 times as predicted and--of course--1 or the 3 parts they sent was the WRONG part (triple ugh!)

Yet all of that is behind us, and the best part is that Atticus discovered when he pulls out his desk fully from the desk, there is a Secret Spy Space behind his dresser.


Within 2 minutes of discovering that, he grabbed Miles, donned Star Wars costumes, and was having a blast in his very own room. To see my boy playing happily and proudly sharing his new space did this Mama's heart good.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

My grandmother taught me to knit in 4th grade.

Over the years, I'd pick up the sticks here and there.

When I lived in Milwaukee, my friends and I knit a lot.

I moved to Green Bay, and the knitting bag was put into the back of the closet.

Until I discovered that my friend Essie knits. And she loved the idea of forming our own little Stitch 'n Bitch knitting group.

So we did. (My totally immature adolescent side says: "Oh my gawd! I get to hang out with Essie the Acccidental Mommy and knit! And talk! I love hanging with the cool kids!")

Every week we get together on Tuesday nights at a local cafe. Some nights we stitch more than bitch, and other nights we stitch as much as we bitch.

Either way, every night is a good one. As Angie said, it feels so good and nice and normal. Normal is not something RAD moms get a whole lot of.

Last month, I finally finished my French Market bag.

This month, I finished a winter hat and mittens for Hatfield. BEFORE winter! (and if that's not a Holy Moly! Did Hades freeze over?!? moment, I don't know what is!)




I used a chunky wool blend. I thread paillettes onto the yarn, and then placed them on a purl stitch according to the hat pattern.

My mitten pattern was just a plain ol' mitten pattern, but I added the sparkle on around the edges in the same fashion.


My girl LOVES them. And Paloma has big, BIG plans for the hat and mittens I'm going to make for her. Part of the BIG being that she plans on me finishing them before winter. But if h*ll can freeze over once, it can surely freeze over again. Especially here in our climate.

Rally-Ho!

So.

How's your week going? Wanna hear a story that will make you maybe will make you feel better about your week? (Maybe it won't, but it's worth a shot!)

My week started out by having to take a child back to school so he could clean up his "pea." Because he went to school mad (Mommy discovered a huge puddle of pea in his bedroom that morning), and of course, when you get mad, why not pea on something at school when no one's looking?

Fan-freaking-tabulous!

Talk about taking the Mom's Walk of Shame to a whole new level.

But, whatever. It is no longer about my own sense of shame. I needed to take the child to school to clean it up because he had so much paranoia that someone there would find out what he did and he'd get in a lot of trouble and be teased mercilessly. So anxious that he couldn't function. He was jumpy and edgy and agitated. Although the last thing I wanted to do was take him back to school and say, "Excuse me, but my child would like to tell you something, and I guarantee you that you won't be prepared for this one," but my boye needed to talk to the teacher, clear the air and come away feeling trouble-free.

Fortunately, that's exactly what happened. Because you can see where that scenario could have gone south real fast.

And, man, it was not one of my prouder mothering moments.

Truthfully, something GOOD is coming out of it. This little guy needs a neuro-psych eval done to explore reasons for his learning delays and the specific type of delays. But schools, shockingly, are slow to order these. Especially with Kindy kids, because they typically take the stance: let's wait and see if he grows out of it.

But this Kindy teacher rocks. She sees that something here is just not "quite right" and is not likely a grow-out-of-it type of scenario. Yesterday, she called me and said, "I have it all set up; we need to meet on Monday for the paperwork releases and establishing the plan of action."

Rock on! And why the urgency? Because it's not normal for a {normal} child to pea on stuff when he's angry.

Really? Because clearly I've been living in this Crazy Pea Village for so long that I sorta forget what normal is to other people.

Not.

To my own surprise, I have rallied pretty well after that golden moment. Of course, being sick and having no energy whatsoever may be the main factor contributing to my relaxed attitude. But I'll take what I can get.

This morning, the Mister is putting in his own time at the school. Yesterday, the other child, who went to school madder than a hornet because his teacher "tattled" on him to his Mom, decided to sabotage his lunch box and purposefully leave his special water bottle with his name on it behind in the cafeteria.

Now, I know what most parents of kindergartners are thinking: So the kid left behind his thermos? Big deal! Kindy boys are careless.

And yes, most kindy boys are most certainly careless. But not this one. This child is hyper vigilant with all things belonging to him. He would NEVER leave something behind unless if somehow, in his own head, it would be a "Ha! I'll show them!" sort of moment.

But for this child, his "Ha! I'll show them!" moment turned into a devastating, "What did I do? I loved that thermos! I feel so angry that Mom made me so angry that I lost my stuff! I hate Mom!"

Fan-freaking-tabulous.

Part of me would love to say, "Ha! You did it on purpose, so tough! Live with it!"

But that's not the right thing to say. So instead, we created a plan where the Mister would take him to school (I should be the one taking him, truthfully, but after the whole pea thing and now being sick and the Mister is finally back in town, I'm handing it off to him), they would look for the damned thermos. If they find it, great. If not, we've set up a list of chores where he can earn a new one, which helps take away the shame based feeling of "my lunchbox is ruined" to a pride-based feeling of, "I fixed the problem."

Which is great. Although many times, it leaves the Mister and I feeling tired and wondering: "Can it ever be easy?"

Nope.

The Mister just called. They searched the L&F's and the cafeteria. No thermos to be found. Mom made me lose my thermos.

I know that at some point, this entire process of "acting poorly, refusing to accept responsibility, blame Mom instead" will become less shocking and not raise my blood pressure. Kinda like the pea thing evolved. But I'm not there yet.

The Mister was kind enough to take the teacher aside to give him the heads up that our boy is very angry today, and when he's angry, he says stuff like: "My mom told me that if I lose my thermos she's going to throw away my backpack and feed me creamed spinach and snakes and lock me up in the Iron Maiden in my closet."

Fan-freaking-tabulous.

But, seriously, if good can come out of my kid peaing on the Kindy room carpet, then good can come out of this, right?

Rally-ho, Mommy. Rally-ho!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ooey Gooey Love

One of the many, many reasons I love the Mister.



(For your own Ooey Gooey Love, find the recipe here.)

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

But Is It Blog-Worthy?



H*ll yeah!

Biba Kumpliåños & Bon Anivèsè to Miles!

Mr. Miles is now SIX.




This was his SECOND birthday here at home.
How unbelievable is that fact!?!

As many of you know, birthdays for the adopted child hold a mixed bag of emotions for that child. Sometimes the hopes and dreams we parents have for a day of wondrous celebration turn out to be anything but that. We learn early on that low-key is a good thing when it comes to days like birthdays.

While I won't say too much about yesterday (because Mr. Murphy is one nasty S.O.B.), I happily will say that a lovely day was had by all, and this morning after was as smooth as silk (granted, it was one hour from the time they awoke to the time I dropped them off at Kindy. But I'll take it!)

Miles loves his new Kung Zhu hamster, basketball, football and Packers #85 jersey. The Mister took the boys to Sunday's Packer game vs. the Lions (and left the camera at home!), so Miles is now a true Packers fan who bleeds Green & Gold.

Both of my boys are growing so. Especially Keenan. Historically, he has struggled greatly through every birthday celebration that was not his own, doing his best to somehow sabotage the day.

But not yesterday. He was smiley and happy and played well with everyone. And I even have proof! (because truly, I would not have believed it myself had I not been there.)


As for the cake:

As you may know, I am a HUGE believer in having from-scratch cake. Because store cakes are tasteless, and because there is NOTHING in the world that says I Love You like a fabulous homemade cake.

I made Miles an Italian Cream Cake (which is seriously the best cake on the planet) in the shape of a Race Track.

Admittedly, in process, it looks like Hooter's-Inspired Cake of an Adult Nature. The Mister took a peek and said, "WTF?!?"

But have no fear, it was a G-rated cake through and through.

You too should make homemade cake for those you love. And seriously, it can't look any worse than the ones I create, right?

But you know what? While it looks like a completely Nightmare to me, to a kid's eye, the cakes we make look Magnificent.

And in the end, who cares what it looks like, because it tastes so freaking good.

Happy Birthday, Miles!
We love you.