After six and a half years into this mothering thing, I have finally spent the night alone (ALONE) in my very own house. Now, don't get me wrong - I've traveled for work, spent the night at MY parent's house, or the kids have spent the night at friends' houses, but I have NEVER been ALL ALONE, ALL NIGHT in my own bed. RD and the kids headed to their Auntie's house to bask in her love, the Portland Zoo, and, of course, Auntie's air conditioning.
I had lofty plans, and, for the most part, accomplished alot in my family's absence. On Thursday evening took the train to pick up a car for my sister's family (you really don't want to know more detail, I'm already bored myself). I then slept THE WHOLE NIGHT without waking and blissfully awoke, refreshed, at 7:30am. I worked for a few hours then began my BIG weekend task: the painting of the family room in the basement.
It may seem like a simple task, but when your basement is about 1000 square feet and the family room pushes 800 of that, you have your work cut out for you. I painted for about 12 hours on Friday, and at about 11pm I discovered there was no way in hell I had the strength to move the mammoth sectional couch (with chaise!) that lives in the family room. I'm just too pathetically week. I figured out how much I could complete (tastefully, of course), leaving about 1/3 left to accomplish (not to self: figure out when I might have time to finish. Related: never).
Saturday morning found me adding my beloved second coat and then in the afternoon I headed over to my friend and neighbor's house for a BBQ. It was truly weird to be there without the kids. I kept referring to them and gesturing in the direction of the sandbox and kiddie pool (where everyone else's kids were) like they were actually there. Afterwords, another friend and I headed to see (500) Days of Summer. Trust me when I say it is a delight.
Sunday, I cleaned the house, restocked the fridge, and shaved my legs in peace. The family returned home, happy, around noon. Bubba, who has quite a sensitive heart, would not leave my sight the rest of the day. He kept wanting me to snuggle with him and have him tell me how much he missed me and how his heart was happier now that we were together again.
And then my heart imploded.
The only downside of the weekend was the knowledge that the kids, once returned to me, would be mine alone for the next few days as RD had a work conference to head to. For me, the mornings, with the hustle and bustle of breakfast/clothes/teethbrushing/driving/two drops offs is the worst part. Otherwise, I enjoy some time to myself with the kids.
Monday evening (after watching How I Met Your Mother, natch), I stumbled upon a documentary on HBO called Boy Interrupted. It's the story of the suicide of Dana and Hart Perry's son, Evan, when he was 15. It was probably one of the most poignant, heartfelt and moving pieces of film making I have ever seen. Evan's parents, who are documentary filmmakers, wrote and directed the picture, which was shown at Sundance. While no suicide is ever simple, the film shares all the uniqueness of Evan and his family's journey, his bipolar disorder, his treatment at Wellspring (which has seemed to bring him out of the darkness), and the impact of his disease and death on his family and friends. Because they are filmmakers, they had alot of personal footage to share. Evan did as well - as he, himself, was an aspiring filmmaker. About 1/3 of the way through the film, we learn that this is not the first suicide in his family. His uncle and namesake, Scott, killed himself at 21. The tell his life story, essentially, from birth until his suicide. You feel the pain of a mother and grandmother trying to understand why her flesh and blood would kill themselves. The destruction in the eyes of Dana, with her complete disbelief that it has actually happened. I found the interviews with his psychiatrist the most interesting and insightful.
After crying hysterically for the better part of 90 minutes, the movie finished. I stood in my bedroom, alone, and all I could think about was going to hold my soundly sleeping son. I went into his room, still sniffling; sat on his bed, and leaned in for a snuggle.
He wasn't having it.
He was sleeping, and very deeply at that - the poor kid.
It made me smile a bit through my tears, remembering that he was just a boy trying to sleep. And I am just his mom, trying to love him just a bit more.
All the rest would just have to wait until the morning.
Playing Little League softball provided some of my favorite summer memories growing up. So, it's a great joy to me that Bubba has taken to t-ball so well in his first season.
Bubba would like nothing else than to play catch, field, or hit hit balls. And, for the most part, RD is happy to oblige. If the weather is nice, odds are the boys will be outside throwing, catching, or hitting.
Not that I'm complaining or anything. It's all very cute.
Sis isn't quite into the ball playing - yet. She's into the scooter.
Or "deathride" as we call it.
Our trip to Idaho for Bubba's Spring Break was more enjoyable than I thought it would be (although, in retrospect, it was clear that I should have expected it). It was just the two of us: Bubba and Mommy. Since the kids aren't on the same schedule yet, it made more sense to keep Sis in daycare/preschool (we're already paying for it) and let Bubba enjoy a visit to his only boy cousin.
While challenging at times, when Bubba is one on one (minus his sister!), he is really quite easy-going and compliant. With this ex tended time together, it became clear to me just how much Sis is REALLY AND TRULY going through her terrible 3s.
But enough of the negative! We had a snowy ride over the pass, a fast food lunch/refueling/play stop and arrived in Idaho greeted by 4 inches of snow. WOOT! The boys just had so much fun together the entire time, with just a rare fight or two (honestly, I really can't rememeber one!). They enjoyed playing together so much that it provided The Sister-In-Law and I many hours of time to chat, read or DO NOTHING (my favorite. Together we played Legos, went to gymnastic glass, ate at Taco Bell and shopped for tie-dye together. Plus, it's just nice to be away from your own house - there's no laundry to deal with, food to shop for, bathrooms to clean, or mail to deal with.
Also? We talked my brother into joining Facebook; just so he can play Scrabble with me. He gets to kick my ass and I get to connect with my brother more. It's win-win, really.
We can't wait to return in August. And we just may bring Sis with us this time. Maybe.
I think you just ask me to send you these things so you'll get mail!
Talked to E after we talked to you. He was studying for two tests so didn't have much to say.
Have a good week.
Peggy Sue called - you surgery is set for May 26 with some pre-op things to do on May 25.
We finally developed our pictures from Christmas. Here's some for you to have - notice you are in them all.
Also saw this Rose Festival picture with someone you know. She looks the same.
Not much going on here - I have to do report cards this weekend - and yes we'll do our taxes soon!
Weather has been beautiful this week - but it's supposed to turn back to rain again tomorrow night.
Excuse the handwriting - I'm trying to write on my legs.
PS. Pastor Krinke died - funeral was today
(Written on the outside of the envelope: If this is signed "Love, Mom" that's correct. If this is signed "Love, Cheryl", I meant "Love, Mom". )
Bubba's teacher requested "Love Letters" from parents to child that would be read aloud in the days approaching Valentine's Day. Here's what we sent.
Happy Valentine's Day! Though we tell you everyday that we love you - Valentine's Day is a great day to tell you HOW very much we love you.
We love you:
For your infectious laughter. For always asking us, "Why?" For your sensitive spirit. For being helpful. For telling jokes. For always doing your best. For your loving hugs. For your warm and easy smile. For always wanting to play catch. For your never ending energy. For always being willing to try. For loving your sister. For making us parents.
But when it comes right down to it - we just love you for YOU. We will always love you.
Mama and Daddy
A few years ago, I promised my family that I would create a family calendar, featuring photos from the year before. Long story short, I failed miserably and have been living it down ever since.
I decided this Christmas was the one where I would redeem myself. With my MacBook in my lap I was ready to get-er-done. In early December, I asked The Sister and The Other Sister (brother's wife) to send me pictures (or let me know their Flickr favorites) that I should use in the creation of the calendar. They passed information to me, along with a couple of smart-ass remarks about "how they would believe it when they see it" (totally deserved, FYI).
I sent the calendar off to Apple to get produced - with plenty of time to make my Christmas deadline. The calendars were scheduled to be delivered on December 18.
Then it snowed.
And snowed AGAIN.
AND KEPT SNOWING.
SERVICE EXCEPTION. WEATHER CONDITIONS BEYOND FEDEX'S CONTROL.
But before the disappointment of the missed gift-giving opportunity, I decided to take it a step further and make a slide show with all the photos (WITH! MUSIC!). And, then even FURTHER and produce a slide show unique for each family. AND THEN put it all together on a DVD with a title screen (gosh bless the Mac, pretty funny to pull together).
So at least I had that to show at Christmas. The Sister still wanted to feel the calendar with her own two hands, of course. Finally, the calendars arrived at my house on New Year's Eve. The are BEAUTIFUL. The Sister is scheduled to receive hers on Thursday. Via UPS, natch.
Here's the slideshow I put together of my family for the last year (The Sister and The Other Sister - if you don't want me to show this here - since their are photos with your kids in them, too, just let me know and I will pull it off).
There just wasn't anything exciting enough to prompt me to remove the YES WE DID post of election night. And there still really isn't. I've been here basking in hope and happiness that we, as a country, will join together and work towards bringing us out of this time we are in now. And, based on McCain's gracious concession speech, I hope we may.
But! Onward to other boring items in my life. I embarked on my second business trip this year (I usually take two) to the lovely Wenatchee, WA. I would have really been lovely if it hadn't of rained for 3 days straight, but I digress. Bubba (somehow) has learned to read. Now, he's not paging through War and Peace or anything, but he's got mad skills when it comes to Dr. Seuss. It's pretty cute and I could have him read to me all day. Sis continues to be her funny and inquisitive self. And, yes, she's still EXHAUSTING.
Hmmmm..what else have we been up to?
We've played "pet store'.
And had a crazy hair day at school.
We enjoyed Halloween.
And loved on Daddy.
In classic Seattle style, I bought rain boots. But, alas, I have yet to use them.
Soon, I imagine. Soon,