Welcome to my world

I am a wife, a mom, a daughter, a sister and a friend.
I've learned that who you have in your life matters more than what you have.
Thank you for stepping in to my world!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Warning:  I try to keep my blog posts upbeat and cheerful and fun, or at least meaningful.  This one will not be.  I need to bitch and moan so if you don't want to hear it, stop reading.

I will be the first to admit that I love my children more than anything.  Just about everything I do revolves around hubby, J & K.  My "job" as a stay-at-home-mom is to take care of them, and I do it gladly.  I do my best to fulfill their needs and I think I do a good job.  Sometimes the lines blur between 'needs' and 'wants', though, and I get blamed for that. 

My eldest is fun, playful, imaginative and so, so smart.  He's also selfish, lazy, demanding and impatient.  If it's not all about him, he either wants to make it so or he wants nothing to do with it.  If he could just let it go & walk away gracefully, life would be so much easier.  But I often end up paying the price for his self-centered behavior and frankly today, I've had enough.

Last week J came up with an idea for something he wanted to do.  It's harmless, free, and keeps him busy for a long time so I'm all for it.  It involves using my digital camera and I explained exactly what he'd need to do in order for me to put the finishing touches on it (on my pc).  Apparently in this, like with everything else, he tuned me out and just went about his business, confident that he knew what to do on his own.  Normally I am all for self-confidence and figuring something out on your own.  But when it's something he hasn't done before and *I* knew how to do it, I think his best option would have been to actually listen to me and follow my instructions.  Instead, my words went in one ear & out the other, so when he brought me the finished product and wanted me to "do my thing" with it, I had to explain that it wouldn't work.  He didn't do if the way I told him and I am not sure I can make it work the way he DID do it.  What happens?  His eyes tear up & he loses his temper, at ME, because it won't turn out the way he wants. 

To backtrack a little, in addition to my job as the matriarch of this house, I also have a small online job that takes me thirty minutes to an hour each day.  That's it.  That's all I ask for... 1/24th of the day to get my work done so I can get paid on the fifteenth of every month.  So when J walks out with the camera and asks (demands) me to make his video, I told him I would as soon as I finished my work.  He looked at my computer screen and said, "What are you doing?"   I said I was working.  He pointed to my screen (which had switched to my screensaver) and said, "Then why is it THAT screen?"  First of all, I've already said that I'm doing my work.  I said I will help when I am finished.  End of story.  Second of all, since when do I have to explain myself to my nine-year-old child? 

He starts crying, he yells at K for looking at him, and then I yell at him. 

All of this unpleasantness could have been avoided if he had actually paid attention in the first place, and instead of blaming me for the fact that he didn't, maybe he could show a little respect for his mother and her time and simply WAIT for me to help him when I can!  See the afore-mentioned line between 'want' and 'need'???????

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Where's the camera?

Yesterday, J reminded me that he's not always an obnoxious, mouthy 9-year-old teenager wannabe.  I was sitting out on the front porch waiting for the bus to bring my children home after school.  When it pulled up, immediately out popped J.  I waited to see what he'd do, because he has strict instructions to look after his baby sister on the bus & make sure she gets off at our house.  Not only did he make sure she got off, but he HELPED her off the bus!  He literally turned around and lifted her down off the bottom step.  Nothing has touched my heart quite like that in a long, long time.

When they got to the front door I hugged them & asked about their day, then I pulled him aside to tell him how much it meant to me that he did that.  He said, "Yeah, after the first time, I looked back at the step, then at her legs and knew it was too high for her." 

It's the little moments like this that make me hopeful that I'm raising a gentleman a mom can be proud of - and moments like this make me wish I had my camera at the ready!!!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The circle of life

You know the old saying, "The Lord giveth, and He taketh away"?  That was never more obvious to me than this past weekend.  Saturday morning my BFF passed word that her sister had a massive heart attack and they weren't sure she was going to make it.  She's only 42 and her cardiologist said her heart is the worst he's ever seen.  She surprised doctors by improving some over the weekend, but then took a turn for the worse when she went into cardiac arrest last night while in the process of being transported to another hospital.  She needs surgery in order to save her life and buy her more time to wait for a heart transplant.  Unfortunately the hospital she's at doesn't perform that surgery.

BFF has been my dearest friend for more than twenty-five years and her family is like my family.  I know them and grew up with them and love them and hate, hate, hate the fact that they are going through this.

On the flip side, Saturday evening our family attended a fiftieth anniversary/vow renewal ceremony for hubby's uncle and aunt.  Fifty years.  Wow.  It was such a joyful, humorous, touching occasion.  This couple is near & dear to our hearts (he is brother to hubby's mom who passed away last year).  They are sweet and loving and fun to be around, and even though we spent seven hours in the car for a three hour celebration, it meant a lot to us to be included. 

It really struck me on the way home, though, how life really is full of ups & downs.  On one hand we had a couple who have been together, raised a family and stayed in love for more than half a century, and on the other hand someone who hasn't even been alive that long is fighting for her life.

At the risk of sounding cliche, live every day to the fullest.  We all hope to be the ones celebrating more than fifty years of anything, but we could all very easily be the ones trying not to die too soon.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Shhhh.... do you hear that sound? What is it???

SILENCE!!!!  For the first time in months and months, I have the house all to myself.  For HOURS!  {happy dance}

Ok, maybe not so much a happy dance as a "let's try and enjoy this" dance, at least for today.

This morning I took my youngest child to kindergarten.  You'd think it would be easier, after all, I've been down this road before.  Right?  I am proud to say that there have been no tears.  She was all smiles all morning, asking when we would leave for school.  Hubby and I walked K to her classroom where she gave us each a hug and then took off inside without a backwards glance.   Considering this is the child who cried when I dropped her off at preschool almost every time, for FOUR YEARS, this is a big deal.  Huge.  I'm not entirely sure if hubby went along for my sake or for K... or maybe even for his?  I'm grateful for his thoughtfulness!

J was happy as a clam when I woke him up for school.  He is more than ready to be back in a routine where he's kept busy and gets to see his friends.  He is in fourth grade and all three of his teachers seem like they will be terrific.  I gave him strict instructions to make sure his sister gets off the bus!!!  He has taken the bus to school the last two years and rode it home last year, but it didn't even cross my mind to let him ride in kindergarten.  K really wanted to, though, especially since J does, and I'm praying it all goes ok since she has big brother to watch out for her.  If he remembers that she's actually ON the bus!

I hope it's not a bad omen that we saw his bus on the side of the road with the flashers on this morning when we drove K to school.  It eventually got going & we actually saw it pull up at the elementary school when we were walking in, so I'm not sure what it all was about.  I'm sure J will have a story to tell!

I managed to kill a couple of hours grocery shopping and putting things away, but now the next four hours loom ahead of me.  I know I will eventually fill up all of this "free" time and wonder how I ever got things done with kids around, but for today I'm really just counting down the minutes until that bus pulls up and I know my kids are happy and home safely.

Monday, August 15, 2011


Today marks the first day of the last week of summer vacation for me and my kiddos.  I am filled with conflicting emotions about this.  We have had a long, busy, FUN summer.  There were road trips and even longer road trips.  Swimming, golf, beaches, lakes, more golf and more swimming.  We saw family and friends we haven't seen in a long time.  Despite all of the incredibly fun times we've had, I think my kids are getting sick of each other and, more importantly, sick of me.  I have turned into the (sometimes) screaming-always-saying-no kind of mom that I don't want to be.  After spending all day, every day, all summer long, with my children, including 4 weeks and 3 days of single-parenting, I am ready for a break. 

Now that we are down to the bitter end of summer, though, I am starting to feel sad.  I'm happy for J, because I think he thrives in school.  He is smart, and friendly, and loves to be with other kids.  Unfortunately the only kid he's been around all summer, for the most part, is his baby sister!  I'm glad that he's getting "boy time" with his football teammates, and that he'll get to see old (and meet new) friends when he starts fourth grade.  He will be in the same school as last year so there is no real apprehension (on his or my part!) this year.

On the other hand, my baby girl is starting kindergarten.  This one is hitting me hard.  Harder than it did when J started kindergarten.  This surprises me, because he was my first baby, and the first one I sent off to school.  Maybe it was easier (for lack of a better word) because I still had a baby at home.  K was barely a year old and she definitely kept me busy, and kept my mind occupied.  Now that baby will be joining the ranks of new students at Wylie Elementary.  I think she is ready.  I hope she is ready.  She is so, so smart.  She loves to learn.  She tells everyone that she is going to kindergarten to learn to read.  She is beautiful and thoughtful and imaginative and sensitive.  It's the sensitive part that worries me.  She laughs with her whole heart and she also cries with her whole heart.  I hope and pray that she is blessed with a teacher who will nurture and love and support her in the ways that she needs, and that her classmates are kind and friendly to her so she will feel confident and bask in newfound friendships.  She started preschool when she was a year old and even (still!) this past year would cry when I left her.  So if you're a parent or teacher at Wylie, don't be surprised to see me, in tears, leaving my daughter, in tears, the first day (or week or month!).  I hope she surprises me and adapts well, because I had enough tearful goodbyes over the past four years with her!

It's hard for me to believe, but this beautiful baby girl...

is turning into a beautiful little lady who will be a full-time student in seven short days!
Good luck, K!  I love you.  I'm proud of you.  I will miss you!!!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The 25th hour...

In this age where technological advances rule the world, don't you think someone, somewhere, would have figured out how to get more hours in the day?  It seems like having more "help" in our lives only allows us to put MORE into our lives, not just give us more time for what's actually there.

I'm feeling very overwhelmed with life lately.  I think part of that is the almost-end-of-summer-will-my-kids-ever-go-back-to-school blues.  I was basically a single parent for over four weeks this summer while my kids and I were in New York.  That's not (totally) a complaint.  I love my vacation, I love seeing my family, and I definitely loved escaping this awful Texas heat this year.  However, being the go-to parent 24/7 for weeks on end is so exhausting.  My kids are sick of me and I am definitely sick of my kids.  K is going to kindergarten this year so I'm reluctant to wish the end of her summer away, but I'm running out of energy, patience and ideas on how to deal with my kids all day every day!

Being gone for 31 days meant no real chores or housework for a month.  Fabulous.  Until I come home. Thankfully hubby kept the house up pretty well... but hubby's version of clean and "Michelle clean" are two totally different things.  I have layers of dust upon layers of dust.  I can barely see through the globes on my ceiling fan lights.  I don't know when the sheets were washed last and my kitchen floor is sticky.  Somehow in between running errands and arranging playdates and swimming the heat away every afternoon, I'm supposed to find time to "fix" everything in my house that is getting on my nerves.  I'm very, very tempted to pay someone to come in and really clean, because while it's bugging me (a lot), I can't seem to muster up the time or inclination to actually get it all done.  If I can put up with the dust and fingerprints for three more weeks, the kids will be in school and I can maybe have a minute or sixty to breathe by myself!

I have rejoined the land of the working people.  A few months ago a friend of mine who owns an online business hired me to do search engine optimization for her.  It's easy work and only takes me thirty minutes to an hour a day.  But when I'm already feeling stretched VERY thin, even finding that thirty minutes is next to impossible.  I end up doing my work at night after the kids are in bed (which is later and later as the summer progresses!), which bugs hubby because then he's going to bed alone. 

So to whoever invents these nifty gadgets that save time, make money, entertain us and keep us connected, could you please invent something to make more hours in the day as well as find a way to allow us moms/wives to keep everyone happy?