the complete and honest truth

my humble attempt to collect memories i will regret not remembering, and documenting the things in life i'm fortunate enough to take for granted...

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

a break up.

Dear 8 year old Nikes,

I've loved you, running shoes. You sat in my closet, for about 7 years, before I ever pulled you out to have you fulfill your actual destiny. My pretty, blue, untouched running shoes. (Actually, I'm not even sure if you're running shoes. moot point, now, I suppose) When I decided to run, and train for an 8K with my BFF's, you were totally there for me. Supportive (kinda) and ready to rock. I destroyed you, in no time quick. Wore you out. You've been done for a while now, but hung with me through an 8k, training for a half marathon, and through the half. And now, we've been training for the Ragnar together. You awesome pair of shoes, you. (I should really be writing Nike, I suppose - props for good shoes!)

But our time together has come to an end. Unfortunately, Ragnar kind of demands a sturdier shoe. A shoe with a sole. I know that hurts, but really, you have NO insole. Kinda hurts my feet a little. I've moved on to a better shoe, one that makes me feel like I'm on clouds - literally. Like little pillows under my feet. I'll never forget the time we shared, because you were there for a lot of my firsts, and that's something you don't just forget. And you're still coming on Ragnar with me, you're my faithful backup. I couldn't do it without you.

Goodbye, Nike shoes. We'll always have the Marine Corps Half.


P.S. I also loved that I never had to untie/tie you. That was so awesome.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Summer isn't really a season.

It's true, you know. Summer isn't a season at all. Summer begins with school dismissals, busted up schedules, shaving of heads (or 'hawks, if you live in my house), with flip flops & muscle shirts, sleeping in, and late nights.... Summer is ending. 'Hawks have been cut, shoes are laced, backpacks are packed, alarms are set, and cinnamon rolls are bathed in maple glaze (thank you, Pioneer Woman.)

The earthquake yesterday was scary for us. Scary because we live on the East coast, always have and unlike our western counterparts - we're not used to it. I've never felt anything like it, never want to again! The uncertainty of your house shaking, and not knowing how long it will/could last? Craziness. BUT, that being said - totally gave me one more day of summer with my boys! HA! But, too bad for me, school starts tomorrow. I am excited, of course. My baby boy (!) is going to the big K tomorrow. He'll be gone most hours of the day now, and that's just sad. He's my late year guy, so I had him home a bit longer than Nik or Ethan. We've just had more time. And with his rocky OT/ST start - we've really come a long way, and that's special, too. It will be really hard to see him go. But like I told him tonight, as I said goodnight - what matters most is that you have a great day, and I'll be here when you get home. I'll be here. (with some kind of baked treat, too, because that's how I roll.) Then Nik... 5th grade? Seriously? That's like one grade away from what one friend at Bunco described as "the loss of innocence.". With Alex going to K, I'll have to be anxious about that one later in the school year. Ethan will be in 3rd, and well, I'm just not worried about him. The kid is just like a cat, he always lands on his feet.

Our summer was fantastic! We were out of the house (not just in front of it, but like at somewhere that wasn't our house) EVERY single weekday (and most weekend days) Every! We finished 95% of our list. They still have to purchase the items for a care package (for a ped cancer patient), with their earnings from their lemonade stand. And run a race. We totally rocked summer. I just hope their teacher asks them to write something about what they did this summer. Because we definitely had a summer to write about.

And now my days will be so different, but so the same. I've gone from having all boys home, to ALL girls. Just me, Cece, & Lilah. Oh, the things we will fill our days with. (napping... ahh.)

So, that's it. My alarm is set, my babies are all tucked in and ready to go.

a side note, as a tribute to my laziness

A story about the Tooth Fairy.

Nik's 10, and kinda, sorta still believes. I don't really give him the option to not believe, if that makes sense? So yeah. I've never been good at the whole "get the tooth from under the pillow, leave a dollar" (quarter, nickel, savings bond, whatever.) The nerves of it get to me. What if I got caught? Being that I don't have skillz like a ninja, I wasn't confident in my ability to get the job done. So, since teeth starting dropping, I've made several attempts to get out of it, which led to us having the coolest tooth fairy ever. Our tooth fairy folds the dollars up all awesome, in little footballs, or other random (accidental) shapes. She'll leave them in your shoes, she'll leave them taped to the window in your room, or sometimes she'll leave it in the cup of water your tooth was in. THAT'S RIGHT! The tooth is left out in the open, in a cup of water. It keeps the tooth clean, and alive, until the Tooth fairy can come get it. genius.

Last week, Nik ripped a tooth out (didn't want Alex to lose his before him). I decided to leave the dollar in an unconventional place - under his pillow. So, in the morning he comes down with his dollar, and I said, "Wow! Awesome! Where did she leave it?!" And he says, solemnly "It was just under the pillow. It wasn't even hard to find." Sigh... he was SO disappointed. (this time there was no tooth, because the cup it was in, was on the counter, and it met it's fate with the garbage disposal. go mommy.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Sleep Training isn't just for babies.

My 13 month old has had the sleep habits of a poorly sleeping newborn since very early on. In the NICU she was fed every 3 hours, everything on schedule, etc. But once home, we were on demand, co-sleeping, AP, anything to keep her happy parenting. She had lots of ear infections, she finally got tubes around 10 months (not that those helped her sleeping, as we'd all hoped, but they did fix her ears). She also needed to nurse all night to sleep, ALL night, literally. Don't pity me, I created the monster, I own it.

As much as I was tired, I LOVED snuggling my sweet, nursing baby all night. In the beginning, her feet curled up into me, under her tummy, and she'd get lost looking for food. She'd squirm until I helped her. As she grew, her legs stretched out more, and she was completely aware that she was laying snuggled up to her Mommy. She knew I'd be there, and was dependable. As was her endless supply of milk. Most recently, she's taken to doing what we don't even call "nursing" anymore - we renamed it "chillin' on the boob". Because she obviously didn't *need* to eat all night. But she'd latch and remain. If she woke up and wasn't attached to me (literally) mass panic would ensue. This happened maybe 10-15 times a night. I was awake more than I slept. But still.. I loved her snuggly self, so warm and sweet. So tiny and needy.

When we talked about sleep, my pediatrician said that I'd be ready to sleep train, when I was at the point where I was just ready to sleep train. That was so true. Last week, I remember stumbling around with Cece, looking for ibuprofen at 4a, and near tears after being up ALL night. And that was when I'd reached the point where I knew I was ready. I'm pretty sure she was ready from maybe 6+ months.

I've been doing my modified version of sleep-training. It's the version best suited for Mommies that can't bear to hear a cry, are super weak for the sad baby, and don't mind the process taking days, weeks, months even. I know I could do a "rip the bandaid off" approach, but that's not my style, and certainly not Cece's. I go in often, I don't let her fuss more than a minute. Yep, no more than ONE minute. But guess what? It's working. There's progress each night, each nap, each time I go in. I stretch her out further, I space nursing, I limit the time I stay. I never get her out of the crib unless it's mealtime. But my method is working. Maybe I'll write a book about it. People are addicted to baby books.

So anyway. The point of this is - this isn't just about Cece. As excited as I am about the prospect of STTN (sleeping through the night, for those not obsessed with sleep.), I already miss her. The first night, I looked sadly at her spot in the bed, wanting to go snatch her out of her crib and curl up against her. There's no baby to build a pillow barrier for, just in case she tries to roll out. There's no sharp bite in the middle of the night, when she's grinding her teeth in her sleep. No baby rolling herself right over my face. You know, because that's comfortable to 13mth old girl babies. I miss ALL of those things.

I know my baby is a giant would-be-a-toddler-if-she'd-put-any-effort-into-walking 13 month old Cece. But in the dark of the night, in the rocking chair with lots of blankets keeping us warm, with not even a nightlight to see her face, my Boo is still my tiny baby, my itsy bitsy little baby.

I guess I have to learn how to sleep without her. See? Sleep training isn't just for babies.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Why you should watch sports.

It's been soo long since I've blogged. Almost a year, actually. The last time I blogged, is precisely the last time I got my hair cut... so, if that tells you anything, at least you know it's because I've been busy! The things that spur me to blog are usually things that irritate me, or something I feel I've been judged for, or have the inclination to judge someone else for. Is that bad? I don't know. But I do feel I should issue a PSA every once in a while.

This time it's about sports. I can't make you watch the Superbowl, I can't force you to watch a game in the NBA finals, I know. I've tried, but I give up. (for now.)

But you need to watch your own child play. You need to be there. I've watched Nik play soccer since he was 4 (he's 10 now, and sometimes played fall & spring). He's been playing basketball just as long. He's played a few seasons of baseball, and is about to embark on his second season of football. Ethan has played the same sports, coinciding with Nik's at times, and Alex has played a season of soccer. I know it's a lot. I know it's super crazy chaos. I've packed lunches/snacks/cold water for games. I'm sure to have an outdoor quilt in the back of the van. I have the stroller ready to go, hats, sunscreen, bug spray. I have cash if we're hitting the ice cream truck, and balls, or other small toys to entertain the 4 who are not in the game. We've been outside in 60* games & practices, and in 100* games & practices. I've gone with a 2 week old baby, or 8 hot months pregnant.

But I can't not be there. Maybe it's me, maybe I'm weird and obsessive, but what if in that game, they have their moment? The time they've overcome something huge. Their first goal, their first kick, their first time in on offense, hitting every free throw, taking a charge, making a spectacular catch, a spot-on throw, broke someone's ankles, caught the game-ending pass, etc.

or more importantly...

What if it's their worst game? What if it's the game they dropped the ball when it mattered most, or they turned it over with seconds to go, down by 1? What if they're struggling and needing a boost? Or feeling like maybe this isn't their sport anymore, that they're letting their team down. That they're feeling like a failure?

Be there. I hate to use the "If I can do it, you can do it!", but I will. I see kids at these games, with no one there to watch. I do understand parents who have no choice, who have to work. Who are single parents, solely supporting their child. I do get it. But when I hear of the parents who didn't want to sit in the heat, needed a pedicure, didn't want the toddler/baby to be bored at the game - those situations hurt my heart. It's worth it, to experience everything with them. To be their rock. I mean, what else are we really here for?

It's inevitable that you'll miss something, it happens. But at least know you tried your best. Make it a point (as I do) to learn the names of all the kids on the team, clap for all of them, cheer them on. You can see their spirits lift when they hear their name being called from the sidelines.

I'd also like to point out that this is 100% applicable in LIFE. Not just sports. Be aware of your child's moments. (the definition of being a mommy.)

off my soapbox now!)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sleep will come.

It's been a week, not too bad.

I was in SuperTarget this morning, doing a big grocery trip (when you have 5 kids at home, any grocery trip is big, though. Don't let Nik's size fool you.) And a kind, older grandma was behind me, during my marathon checkout. She comments on Cece, what a sweet, tiny baby she is. She asks me how she sleeps at night. Ha! But then she says, well can't you keep her awake in the evening? And my answer? Well, yes. I could. But I've begun taking advantage of her awesome evening nap. It's the most predictable one she takes. I've gotten really attached to her evening nap. Mostly because J usually has the Bigs elsewhere during that time, too. Tues, they went to football. It was just me & the girls. So, I got dinner made, lots of laundry finished, kids clothes ready for the next day, dishes done. I felt very accomplished! Last night, he took them to the gym, for pool play. Me & the girls again. I cleaned, I played with Lilah, I got a yummy dinner in (bacon wrapped roasted chicken w/yellow potatoes - yum), and finished off baking my cinnamon bread. I wrote out my much-overdo thank-you notes, and finalized the baby announcements. (yes, I know how hold she is, be quiet.) At 11:30p, I snuggled in with Ceceboo to watch Top Chef. Because that's for me. Tonight? They're at football again. I'll be switching with J at practice halfway through, because he's got a Fantasy draft starting at 7p. (seriously, who schedules a draft at 7p? Anyone with anything happening in their life, is busy at 7p). But still - dinner will be ready, house picked up, kids clothes ready. It's nice.

So yes, I could get her to stay awake. But I guess, I choose to be tired & deal with the exhaustion that comes the next morning - because it allows me to provide the kids with the time/attention, the little things, that I'd rather them have right now. Sleep will come.

Same with the mornings. J would let me sleep in every morning (Cece allowing). But I get up (and J gets up, to hold Cece while I fix breakfast, and clean-up the morning damage), at 7:15 every morning, to make hot breakfast 3 mornings a week, to make sure they're ready to go, their clothes look decent. They have the right backpacks. And we go outside to see them off, and wave as the bus pulls away. I can't begin to tell you how good the bed feels at 7:15a, when Cece has decided it's time to sleep, and we've been up for a few hours. It feels like heaven. But, I know how wildly Ethan waves from the bus, when he sees Delilah, Alex & I waving goodbye. It's so worth that moment. So, I guess I live my life day to day, nights are optional. But, that's just for now. I

Sleep will come.

But not tonight. Because I have my first Fantasy draft at 10p. Ouch.

Misc. notes: (brought to you, tonight, by Cecelia's evening nap)

J says if you let Ethan make up a song, it's only a matter of time till he overuses the word diarhea in it. I think once constitutes "overusing".

Lilah learned to shut doors (like, with the handles). She was in her/the boys shared walk-through closet today for 10 minutes, because she shut both doors. When I found her in there, she was trying on shoes. Such the girl.

When the cinnamon bread finished baking, Alex said "Mommy, can I eat some of what I smell?".


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Well, that didn't work out...

So, my plan didn't work out. Not even a little bit, and it was (admittedly) all for lack of effort. Instead of trying to give myself a guideline by which to document/remember things. I'm just going to wing it, and torture you all with my random thoughts, and all the tiny, mundane details about my day.

Yesterday was the first day of school. I can't even begin to tell you how amazing it is, to wake up at 7:15a, and not be mentally preparing myself for the race to puke every morning. Sweet. I'm awake. Just completely, and totally not rested - but awake, and standing nonetheless! I'm able to get the boys up, neb Ethan, make homemade waffles, change & feed a Cece. (who evidently, was just as tired as I was, judging by how she slept all day....) and get the boys on the bus, complete with pictures, all by 8:18.

Another highlight of my day, yesterday, was naptime. It was soo quiet. Like, almost silent. J went to the gym, Alex napped (later I find out it's due to high fever, mostly), Bugs napped, and the Ceceboo snuggled for a bit & then crashed. I ate a meal. Without anyone saying "I'm bored, what can I do?"; "Ethan just quit our game!"; "Nik just tackled me!"; and my personal least favorite? "Can you play Monopoly City?" (which, thankfully, let's you auction for properties, and I always bid 20million for anything I'm auctioning. Somehow... I've never won. But the game is over quick and Nik will tell anyone "Man, I crushed Mommy at Monopoly City!") I made doughnut muffins, for afterschool snack. Loaded the dishwasher, folded laundry, and picked up around the house. All before Cece, Bugs, or Dub showed their faces. It was nice. I missed the Bigs dearly, but I know we all had a great summer, and it was time. Quiet was nice.

Today was my first real day of school. Today was reality, and what I should really expect. Ethan's been wheezey for a few days, and after last night, it was just time to take him in. I put him on the bus, just in case the appointment was for later. The appointment is for 9:30a. I've gotten everyone up and dressed, but only Cece & I leave. Lilah & Alex stay home, I don't like them to see the Peds office more than they already do. Cece & I: Go to Elem school. Get Ethan. Go to Ped. Wait at Ped. Get rx. Go to Pharmacy. Stop at home. Get Lilah & Alex. (so glad I'd already done her hair) Go to Elem school. (this is where I call 1 minute away from the school and say "Hi, I'm dropping Ethan back off. Do we all need to come in, or can I just watch him walk into the office? I have three little ones in the car." And the lady says "No, you'll need to come sign him in, sorry!" Fair enough. We all walk in, and the office lady says "Oh! You didn't need to bring him in yourself, he could've walked up! Sigh. Clearly other lady has no children.) Go to Walmart. (super yay!) Drop van off for oil change. Shop. Nurse Ceceboo in the sling. Look for Dora the Explorer t-shirts. Pick up the van. Drive home. Feed Lilah. Shower Lilah. Naps. 2p - phone rings. Elem nurse, Ethan needs picked up. Go get Ethan. Neb Ethan. Tylenol Alex (who was 103.8, btw). And now I'm blogging. I've still found time to manage laundry, plan dinner, and play Bejewled Blitz.

These are the days I expected, but I seriously love my life, and wouldn't want it any other way. I'm excited for the bustle of Nik coming home, excitedly, from his second day of 4th grade. Hearing about it, making sure they all have a snack. Making dinner, managing homework, finishing today's laundry, showers/baths, medications... followed by ridiculous amounts of snuggling with my 5.5 week old little blue.

A few extra tidbits.

-Nik got a letter from a 5th grader, to the incoming 4th graders. In it he used the word "torcher". But I'm wondering if he meant torture? Could completely change the sentence.

-As we're driving, Ethan (who can be profoundly thoughtful, once in a while) says "Mommy, why are the trees moving?". Which means he either thought - A. The car was still and the trees were flying by. or B. I forgot to teach him about the wind. Not one of his most profound moments.

-I'm putting Alex down for nap, and I've laid 5 of his blankets on him. And said "Well, there you go, that should be enough." And he says "Can I just have one more?". Of course, I gave it to him, but seriously - does it make a difference after like 3 blankets?!

If I stick to random thoughts, and details about my day I'm sure I'll keep this up more. It's mostly so I can print it at the end of the year. As I'm told, with baby girls 19mths apart, I'm probably not going to remember this year, anyway.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

An I love you day.

An I love you day.

Alex says this all the time. He says "Mommy, it's an I love you day." And I don't really get an answer when I ask him what that means. He shakes his head, rolls his eyes, and says "it means I LOVE YOU." With such a "duhhhhh" undertone. Sigh. Sometimes, he says "It's not an I love you day." Then we had this conversation the other day:

Alex: "Mommy, my heart is so broken."

Me: "Oh. Well what does that mean?"

Alex: "Well, it means you have to say 'I love you.'"

Me: "Okay, I love you."

Alex: "It's all pieced together now!" With a very serious tone of accomplishment. Like, in that moment something had changed for him.