Monday, January 25, 2010

Grumble

We've done one lesson.  ONE!  And already he's in his room because I'm angry at him for his stinky attitude.  Mondays suck in many worlds, but none more than homeschooling.  For me, anyway.

My method of coping with the bad attitude is to send him away from me or go away from him myself.  I tell him that I'm not going to sit here and fight his bad attitude when I have plenty of things that need doing in my world.  (laundry, dishes, showering, nesting, etc...)  So, here we are... he, in his room, and I, blogging about it all.

It's amazing the difference attitude can make.  I watch him when his attitude is good and he's amazing!  He picks up concepts quickly.  He laughs and has fun.  He answers his school-questions with quick repsonses, making it clear that the concept is absorbing right into his brain.

But.

When his attitude is poor, like it has been this morning, his brain is like oil and school is like water.  They just repel eachother.  Concepts do not penetrate.  Even concepts that he already knows that we're reviewing... they must not be able to get out through the barrier he's put up.  His only focus is on being grumpy, not on learning anything or even just speaking something he already knows.

GRRRRRRRRRRRRR!

As his "teacher" it's infuriating.  As his mother, it's even worse.  You know that your kids don't do this to their teachers at public school.  (Maybe some kids do, but I know from reports that Mac was nice, respectful and hard working at school, if a little rambunctious.)  Because I'm his mother, he "acts up" if he doesn't feel like doing what I tell him.  And I, being his mother, deal with these flare-ups with varying degrees of self-control.  Like I said, mostly I just send him away.  Other times I yell at him a little.  Other times, A LOT.  I have refrained from yelling for the most part today. 

Even when we have days like this, I'm so glad that he's home with me.  Is it a sacrifice?  Yes.  I am rather tied down during the day and my schedule is rather dictated by his school.  I don't get so much "me" time as I used to, perhaps.  But, whenever I think of the alternative, of sending him back to school, I am so grateful that he is here with me where it is safe to have some volatile feelings now and then.  I still love him at the end of the day, no matter what.  I can't explain it well, but I know that this is an important thing in his life right now.  To have him home with me, his mother, who loves him more than anyone, who will support him through these sassy, stinky-attitude times.  Even if it means taking a few deep breaths and steeling myself for another Monday homeschooling morning. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rohan

I was reading a blog of my friend Corrinne today about what she does all day as a mother.  I was engrossed and not paying attention to what Rohan, who was sitting on my lap, was saying to me.  (He talks a LOT and sometimes I tune him out)  Involved in my reading as I was, I finally tuned back in when he touched my cheek to turn my face toward his, raised the decibel of his voice and said, very sternly, "IS. THAT. CLEAR. ??"

(I, apparently, say that enough to my kids that he's parroting it back to me.  Awesome.)

This got my attention CLEARLY, and I asked him to repeat what he said.

"Mommy.  Will. You. Get. New. Batt. Er. Ies. In. My. Mote. Con. Trol. Car."

(Translation: Mommy, will you get new batteries in my remote control car?)

And then, once again, "IS. THAT. CLEAR?"

I laughed.  "Yes, that's clear, son.  Now ask me nicely."

He did and followed his now-nice request by yelling suddenly, "I need to get dressed!"

"Yes, you do," I replied.

He went to his clothes basket and found his clothes.  As he was putting on his shirt he said, "This shirt smells like stinky food."  I stifled a laugh (as I do so often around this child) and told him to put on another shirt.

"But I like this one, Mom!"  he responded.

"Well, then," I said, "Wear the shirt that smells like stinky food!"

He just giggled.

And so did I.

And... he's still wearing the shirt.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Crush

Weekday mornings around my house typically go like this: 

Dustin is up really really early (like 4, 5 or 6 a.m., depending on the day) and I am dead-to-the-world asleep.  He wakes Ella up at 7 a.m.  He helps her get ready in whatever form she needs help (which isn't much).  He comes in our room at about 7:30 and says to me, "Tag, you're it," and kisses me goodbye.  I tell him to drive safe and he leaves for work (and starts my car for me on his way out, bless him).  Then I get up and take Ella to school at 7:45.  It's a pretty good arrangement for me as waking kids up in the morning low on my list of favorite activities.  (so is getting into a cold car on an Idaho winter morning...)

Lately, rather than what he normally does at work, Dustin has been doing surveying.  He's been working with a guy named Jeff and they've been working close to where we live.  So, instead of the 30 mile commute in the mornings, Jeff has been picking Dustin up at our house.  This translates into him not having to leave at 7:30, but leaving when Jeff comes to get him, anywhere between 8:10 and 8:40 a.m.  Which also translates into Dustin leaving me asleep (or me laying in bed listening to the household while I'm sort-of awake) and taking Ella to school.  It's been wonderful.  I feel like I'm on vacation if I don't have to leave my house in this snowy, cold weather to take my little Ella to school.  And, Dustin likes to take Ella to school as he rarely gets to.  And Ella loves it too because it's novel and special for her daddy to drive her to school.  So, I'm pretty much saying we're all in love with this little temporary arrangement. 

On Monday, after taking Ella to school, Dustin asked me if I would get up and come and snuggle with him on the couch while he waited for Jeff to get here.  I agreed.  I came out and just laid my head on his shoulder for over a half an hour while he rubbed my feet.  It was so great.

Jeff arrived.  Dustin got up, kissed Rohan, Mac and I goodbye, and headed out the door with all his cold-weather paraphernalia in his arms, boots, bibs, coat, and hat, not to mention his lunch and a big jug of water (for hydration in the sub-zero weather we've been blessed with!). 

As I watched him walk out of our house, watched him move with his arms full, preparing to go to yet another day of work in the bitter cold , watched him put all his gear into the truck, followed by his lunch and then sit himself down and shut the door, I felt like a high-school girl.  As I sat there watching him trudge off to his frigid work-day, I said out loud to myself, "I have a crush on Dustin!", which made me giggle a little bit, but mostly I just sighed with contentment.  How cool is that that my husband of eleven and a half years can still make my heart skip beats and feel all fluttery?  I love that man of mine.  Even when he, upon my mentioning that he could use a haircut, informs me that he's going to let his hair grow until spring... ALL his hair (meaning his already long beard too)... I still love him even if I roll my eyes a little bit.   

As I was writing this post in my head I kept thinking of that David Archuleta song, "Crush".  I had to look up the lyrics...


Why do I keep running from the truth
All I ever think about is you
You got me hypnotized
So mesmerized
And I've just got to know

Do you ever think
When you're all alone
All that we could be?
Where this thing could go?
Am I crazy or falling in love?
Is it really just another crush?
Do you catch a breath
When I look at you?
Are you holding back
Like the way I do?
'Cause I'm trying, trying to walk away
But I know this crush ain't going away.



While those lyrics, in their entirety, don't necessarily apply to my current circumstances, they were entirely applicable back in 1997.  And I never dreamed just how far "this thing could go" between he and I.  It gets better every day, every year and I'm sure, every decade. 

Clancy + Dustin = TRUE L♥VE

Monday, January 11, 2010

And How About....

.... some more happenings?  Because I'm sure you've just been DYING to know what it is that I've been doing with myself.  Well, you see, a few days after Christmas I had a Dr. appointment for the little child growing in my body.  (midwife appt, but you get the idea)  At this lovely appointment, I had the joyous pleasure of taking my "glucose tolerance test" which (for anyone who has not had the JOY and pleasure of this) is a test where you drink this stuff that's basically like the syrup that they hook to a pop machine BEFORE it mixes with the bubbly carbonated water.  Can you say NASTY?  Ick.

Guess what?  I failed it.  Turns out the highest your blood should go from drinking the nastiness is about 40.  Well, my little blood sugars were up at 55.  I was not happy.  Especially because I got to go back and do the in depth test.

"In depth" means that you have to come to your appointment fasting (which means as early as possible in the a.m., of which I am not so much a fan), get your finger lanced to check your blood, AND then you get to drink the sugary nastiness AGAIN but this time on your fastingly-empty stomach.  BARF.  Literally.  I almost did.  In fact, just writing this is making the muscles at the back of my jaw clench up and my saliva run.  I decided to chug the last little bit of it because I thought it would be better faster.  It did get it over with, but it did almost come back up.  But, I managed to keep it down.  (GO ME!)

SO then, after you almost barf, you get to sit there and wait for an hour for your blood to do whatever it is your blood does with sugary nastiness.  Then a different finger gets bloodied and they test that.  Then you get to sit there for ANOTHER hour and they bloody yet another finger.

So, yeah.  It's pretty much a party.  There was three good things that came of it.

1)  Turns out, I do not have gestational diabetes.  Hip-hip HOORAY!
2)  An "in depth" glucose tolerance test makes for good reading time for any new, large books you might have gotten for Christmas!  (which I just finished last night and I think I'm grumpy today because it's over and the author opened a big old can of worms in this book and left it completely open with all those little worms writhing in the can and then had the nerve to END the book!  AND it's probably going to be something like three years before she'll come out with the next book!!  Grrowl.)
3) Since my Midwife's office is in the same city as my husband works, I got to go break my barfy fast by having lunch with my sweet Dustin!  That never happens because he works about 30 miles from home.  By the way, Great Harvest's Turkey Pesto sandwich is really good.  You should try it.

So, there's another snippet of happenings in Clancy's life.

I'm down to 8 1/2 weeks left of pregnancy.  THAT is trippy.  I'm on the Dr. appointment fast track... we're now going every two weeks to see the Dr. (midwife) and that only lasts for a month and then it's every week until the baby is born!  Where does the time go?  I'm not really ready for a baby, I'm pretty sure.  But that's another post for another day.

Over and out.

Friday, January 8, 2010

What's Been Happening...

.... around Clancy's house? 


Well, I'm not redecorating!  And you know what the funny thing is about that statement?  I'd have to have already decorated to be "re"decorating!  I've never really done the first phase.  Just what was here when I moved into my house... the wall colors, the curtains (both of which I hate now!), and added my own bits here and there.  Someday....


So, as I mentioned yesterday, I'm going to try to blog more.  Try to "get my groove on" again.  We'll see.  It might just be ramblings and randomness, but, wait, isn't that what my blog has always been?  :-)  For now I'll start with what I've been up to.



For the months of November and December I spent a fair amount of time dipping pretzels.  I guess I should say the months of September, October, November and December.  It's been four months of dipping, really?  Well, I guess that takes up some time.  I've been less inclined to grumble about the whole dipping thing this time around.  I don't know why, but somehow I enjoyed it more than I usually do.  I was more cheerful about it overall and that, my friends, is always a good thing. 

Dipping ended, quite literally, on Christmas Eve.  I had a biggish order come in on the 23rd, and since it was for a very good friend of mine, I did it.  I don't normally do things that close to Christmas, but this was an exception.


I have grand plans every year of making "neighbor gifts" for my friends and neighbors.  More like "neighbor treats", I suppose.  I like to make a plate of yummies and bring them around to those I love.  Most years I end up scrambling around, stressed out and crazy trying to get it done.  This year was going to be the exception!  I had the best intentions of making the treats on the 23rd and then delivering them in the morning on the 24th.  But...between the last minute pretzel orders and trying to sew my kids pajamas for Christmas, I ended up not making any plates to deliver.  There were a lucky few people who, if they caught me at home when they dropped by their own goody plates, got a plate of pretzels, caramel corn and caramel pecan bars that I had on hand from my last minute order!  So, to all those who've gotten a treat plate from me before and did not this year, please forgive me.  It was a very conscious decision to let that one go this year and I even allowed myself to shed all guilt surrounding the issue.  And I'm happy about it.  And I still love all of you who didn't see me with a plate of treats.  (The guilt was eased knowing that most of you, like me, had an abundance of treats to tempt you during the holidays and mine would likely not be missed)

There's always next year.

So, I mentioned that I decided to sew my children PJ's this year.  I always get my kids jammies to open on Christmas Eve.  Lots of people do this tradition.  As a child, my mother always sewed our Christmas Eve pajamas and this year I decided that I would too.  I started in plenty of time.  I suppose plenty is a relative term... it was plenty of time for me, the great procrastinator.  It was a good week and a half before Christmas and THAT is a LOT of time for me!  I could only work on them at night after my kids were in bed because my sewing machine is out in the open of our living room/dining room area and I wanted them to be surprised about the fabric they were getting, if not the fact that they were getting homemade pajamas.

Let's just say that what started out as me having lots of time to sew one of the simplest things there is to sew, ended up being one of the more nightmarish projects of my illustrious sewing career.  I was up sewing until 3am on the 22nd and until 2am on the 23rd (and more nights than that, but those were the winners for lateness).  I'll just say that if you're ever buying flannel to sew on, plan on a LOT of shrinkage... so much that you might have to change the whole layout of the pattern for cutting which might cause you to need more fabric, which the store just might run out of a mere two days after you bought it... which might cause you to have to buy a whole different fabric, which by now you realize you'll need extra fabric for shrinkage, but how much extra might be out of your realm of comprehension and you'll STILL come up short which, by this time, it might be December 23rd at 11:00 at night and you can't get more fabric because the store is closed and the darned PJ's need to be FINISHED, WRAPPED and UNDER the tree by the next evening (but you can't sew when your kids are awake).  *big gasp of air*  So, you might just have to spend an extra TWO hours adjusting the pattern to make the amount of the !*$#@$ shrunken fabric work for what you've got, which will make you VERY frustrated indeed.  Not to mention a myriad of other strange problems you might encounter with the other TWO pajamas you're making. (yes, that story was only about Ella's PJ's... Mac's and Rohan's had their own set of "issues" that were very special and cry-worthy.)

So, yeah.  I had a wonderful, nostalgic time sewing PJ's for my kids. (are you sensing the sarcasm?  it's hard to pass on through a blog)  But the important part is that I made it work, got it done and they LOVE them!  Rohan is always so sad if his "monster" jammies are dirty and he can't wear them.  And, actually that statement is true for Ella and Mac as well (aside from the "monster" part!).

So, the weeks before Christmas I was exceptionally busy.  I can't remember what I was doing aside from dipping and homeschooling... oh, and trying to get all my "shopping" done.  I was actually fairly well prepared in that arena this year.  I was almost done shopping a good week before Christmas, which is UNHEARD of for me!  I was proud of myself for that one.  I even got most of the presents wrapped about two weeks (maybe a week and a half!) before Christmas.  Usually our tree is barren of presents until about the 23rd or sometimes the 24th.  Go me!

I had been up too late for too many nights and pushing myself with the sewing and the dipping and the homeschooling and the whatever-elseing and by the time Christmas Eve rolled around I was exhausted.  Regardless, we had a nice quiet Christmas Eve.  We went over to my mom's house.  I made Thai Noodle Soup, my mom made potato soup and we had little baguettes of bread.  It was a simple dinner followed by hot chocolate, shortbread and our tradition of pulling out my mom's nativity set.  Each piece is wrapped in cloth and we take turns pulling them out and telling the story each person played in the birth of Jesus Christ.  We did this same thing in my growing up years and it's special for me to have my kids experience it too.  Especially because it takes the focus off of the commercialism that is ready and waiting to happen the next morning and puts the focus, quietly, simply and sweetly back on the birth of Jesus Christ and the gift that he was and is to the world.  It was tender and it completely suited my exhausted but content state of mind and body.

An observation that we make every Christmas Eve is the fact that the children start telling the PARENTS it's time to go home.  We usually have to pull teeth to get our children to leave my mom's house.  They never want to go.  But Christmas Eve, they were putting their shoes on and telling Dustin and I that it was time to go home.  And we, of course, obliged them.  Home we went! 

Upon arrival, all three of them ran in to brush their teeth as quickly as they could.  (again, a once a year occurrence.)  They forgot, in their haste to reach their beds, to open one special present (homemade with much love and sacrifice!).  I reminded them and they came and ripped open their special Christmas Eve presents.  They oooohed and ahhhed appropriately and I felt very good about my efforts and all the metaphorical hair I lost during the sewing ordeal.  (I never ACTUALLY pulled my hair out in frustration, but I wanted to.  A lot.)

Mac loved his dartboard jammies, Ella loved her big dots (that was NOT my first choice in fabrics, but by the time I had to buy replacement fabric, it was slim pickins!), and, strangely, Rohan threw a fit about his monster jammies.  He didn't like them and he didn't want to put them on.  After a little coaxing, he finally did and then he was upset (as was I) because the elastic was too big and the pants were falling off.  I guess I shouldn't have been surprised.  I measured both of the boys' waistlines while they were asleep.  It worked on Mac, but not my skinny little Rohan. 

Never fear!  I have a seam ripper and my sewing machine was still out.  So, in about 5 minutes I had the seam opened, elastic adjusted and sewn in place, the seam sewn shut again and a happy little boy.  Suddenly his monster jammies were cool (his fabric was my favorite by far!) and he ran off to go to bed!

We tucked in our little munchkins and got to work doing the things parents do on Christmas Eve after their children are nestled.... which, in this case, involved watching the new Harry Potter.  ☺  Really we were worried that the kids would be awake for a while and so we sat down for a bit and killed time with the DVD player.  It only took about 15 minutes before the three little ones had visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads and we got to work.

And, amazingly enough, I was in bed before midnight.  That's NEVER happened on Christmas Eve.

I woke in the morning to the sound of the shower.  Dustin had been awake for a long time and decided to take a shower hoping that the kids wouldn't wake up while he was in there.  Of course, that slight shift in the noises of the house must have woken the kids because within minutes they were upstairs surrounding my groggy-I-wish-I-could-sleep-more self.  We made them wait, as parents do, in our room while I went and turned the tree lights on.  We made them brush their hair... well, Ella and I did anyway... and we gathered and said a prayer and talked for a minute about the why of it all- Jesus Christ's birth.  It was neat.



Rohan, Mac and Ella waiting to go see if Santa did, indeed, come!

Then, the wonderful madness that is Christmas morning ensued.  It was very fun.  We had a wonderful, magical, toy-filled time and I felt gratitude for my little growing family and the amazing people I'm blessed to have in my home.  And here are a few little pics for the picture hungry!



 Dustin was very irritated with the people who package children's toys.  They make them iron-clad stuck in those packages!!! :)  Isn't he cute?  It became a personal vendetta for him to get this toy opened completely before we could proceed with unwrapping presents!  I ♥ Dustin.



Those cute little monkeys in their new jammies.  





 Don't you love Mac's face?  It's so Christmas morning!  Ella is so sweet.  




Rohan LOVED his remote control car.  In fact he still loves it and he's actually a really good little RC driver!  (And look at his extra cute PJ's!  The child will NOT wear a shirt to bed.  Somehow he's decided that's the way it is and once he's decided, he's not easily swayed.  So, he is shirtless.  Saved me having to sew a top, so I won't complain!  ☺)



At Dustin's company work party we had a white elephant gift exchange.  We ended up with these goofy-yet-cute sock monkey slippers.  We weren't sure what we'd do with them, so we wrapped them and gave them to Mac.  He thought they were the coolest and Rohan and Ella were quite jealous.  They both inquired why THEY didn't get sock monkey slippers.  Anyone know where to buy these silly things?



We acquired a gigantic box Legos from a friend of mine.  It's HUGE.  My kids (and I!) love Legos more than any toy and were SO excited to see this massive collection unveiled with the tearing of the wrapping paper!



 I even made Dustin take a few pictures of me, since last year there was not a single shot of the mother of the family in the family archives.  So, I remedied that this year.  See?  Don't I look all sorts of Christmas-morningy?



We went to my mom's house later in the day... about 4:00 and we ate snacky food and opened a few more presents.  It was relaxing and wonderful to have nothing to do but be together.   

And I will end my Christmas Chronicle at this point because I am going to bed now.  I'll tell more later.  (It's really not as late as the time stamp shows... I'm publishing this later so it will be "tomorrow" when it posts, because it makes me feel better.  It's really only 10:30pm and I am treating myself to my bed and my pillow and some rest!  Just FYI, if ever the time stamp says 12:08am, it was a scheduled post.  I always set posts that I want to publish later to come at 12:08am.  Don't ask me why it's 12:08am... just one of those quirks.☺)

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Happenings

Yesterday I was talking with a friend of mine, Beckie, who is one of the most ambitious and creative people I've ever had the pleasure to know.  I would tell you to go look at her blog and see all the projects she is ALWAYS doing, but she's a private blogger, so you'll just have to take my word for it.  She's amazing. 

Beckie was telling me yesterday how she's redecorating her boys' bedroom.  Stars Wars themed.  Too cool!  She proceeded to list all the things she was doing to redecorate and telling me about the amazing deals she found on fabric, bedspreads, pillows (which she's having someone embroider "A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away..." on them!), and telling me about the paint and color schemes she's laid out.  As she spoke (on the phone) I had a vision of Beckie on one of those redesign-your-space-on-a-budget type of shows.  Trading Spaces is coming to mind, but maybe that show isn't even on anymore?  I don't know as I don't have TV.  Anyway, I said as much to her that she should have her own show.  She might have thought I was joking, but I was deadly serious.  I wonder if I could be her first "victim"?  My house needs some serious love in the decorating department.

Anyway, the point to all this is that when I told her this, she told me it's just her hobby.  Her house is a canvas and she is the artist.  It's always beautiful and it's always morphing into the next awesome project.  If I'm being honest with myself, I feel twinges of jealousy and that self-deprecating voice in my head starts yapping when I talk to Beckie about (or see) her latest project.  I wish I had some of her creativity!  And her motivation.  I don't do the decorating thing very well.  Maybe I would if I ever gave myself the chance, but it just never seems to be a priority as there's always something else pulling at my time and my finances.  And, as long as I'm being honest, I will say that I don't do motivation well either, which is a requirement for projects like Beckie does.  I'm a procrastinator through and through and I seem to function best and get the most done with a looming deadline to spur me along.  

Ok, I'm getting off track again.  Have I ever mentioned I'm a sucker for tangents too?  My husband (among others) gets very frustrated when I'm telling a story because I start telling five other stories amid the first story I started.  Kinda like right now, how I'm telling you about tangents.  It doesn't take much.  Anything shiny and I'm distracted!  (At least that's what Dustin says, in jests of love.)

So, the real point is that, in talking to Beckie, I started to wonder what I have been doing lately?  I voiced that thought aloud and started to say how I blog a lot, but then I stopped myself mid-sentence, because, no, I don't really do much of that lately, do I?  I haven't seen my friends much.  I haven't been cleaning much.  I haven't been doing anything much and I'm really not sure what it is that I do all the time!  Beckie pointed out that I do homeschool my son, and there's truth in her words.  That does take up a large chunk of my time, energy and focus, but I feel like there should be more.  I should have something to show for the end of the day, right?  Something for me? 

So, that's been on my mind.  I've been trying to figure out what it is I do all the time.  I've decided, since it's a new year and all that...(I'm not much of a goal setter, if you  haven't guessed)...  I'll try blogging again!  I might never be the blogger I once was.  I might never have that daily muse come and write essays across the parchment of my mind, but I can try, darn it! 

So, I think I'll try to blog a little more.  Blog about what's been happening around my house, in my life and in my brain for the last few weeks (months... whatever...) 

What I'm trying to say is stick around a while!  Be on the lookout for more postings on this, here, blog.