Monday, June 23, 2014

The Chaos and Stress of 8th Grade Promotion...


The first day of summer vacation.  The quiet in the house as I sip my second cup of tea is pretty amazing.  Of course I may be singing a different tune at 12:00 when they have all been up for a few hours and have been fighting non-stop.

But for now I will enjoy the sounds of silence.

Thursday was TeenStar's 8th grade promotion ceremony and of course as with a lot of things in our family, especially things with TeenStar, it got a little stressful.  You know that person who has that ability to make even the easiest of situations stressful just because they are so type A and want everything to be perfect.  Yup that is my TeenStar.

The morning seemed to start pretty smoothly.  I worked out and came home to find everyone in getting ready mode.  SuperHubby was not working that day so he was "helping" with the morning routine and offered to take the kids to school so I could get some work done.

Princess did have a little bit of a meltdown as we reviewed the morning schedule.

The promotion ceremony started at 12:00 with the doors opening at 11:30 and the threat of not getting good seats (or any seats at all) very real if you weren't in line at the door by 11:15.  The original plan was for one of us to pick up Princess at her school at 11:30 while the other was at the middle school getting our good seats.  Princess was insistent  that an 11:30 pick-up, which would be in the middle of lunch and recess, would be so embarrassing that she would she would be emotionally scarred for life.  I tried to explain to her that I was actually going to be working between the hours of 7 and 10:30 and as much as I didn't want her to be emotionally scarred she was going to have to "suck it up"

At this point (and this is a very important detail) SuperHubby decides to gallop up on his white horse and tells her that he can pick her up at 11:00 as he is not working.  Tears dried up instantly and all is right in the world as I change the dismissal time on her note to 11:00.  Peace was restored in the house.

Well that is until TeenStar lost her mind.

We did not see TeenStar for the first 45 minutes of the morning rush as she was busy primping upstairs.  She did come downstairs briefly and she looked gorgeous.  I could tell she was very pleased  with her appearance which made me even happier.  We had purchased her dress several months ago and it was perfect and fit her to a T.

The happiness didn't last long...

About five minutes later she came running downstairs ten minutes later hysterical because she had spilled something on her dress.  A small spot right in the middle of the dress.

I must have asked 10 times what it was that she had spilled, but she kept on insisting she didn't know.  I wiped the stain off with a wet cloth, which seemed to eliminate the spot but did create a huge wet spot on her dress.  We then had another hysterical ten minutes in which TeenStar kept on trying to make me guarantee that the stain was gone and the wet spot would disappear.  Which as you can imagine was pretty ridiculous ten minutes.

Princess and Golden Boy stayed out of every one's way.  Siblings know each other so well that they know when it is the right time to blend in to the furniture and when is the right time to take advantage of the situation. This was definitely a blend into the furniture time.

TeenStar left with SuperHubby for school, crying, with a back-up dress in hand.

7:00 am and I was exhausted from all the emotional breakdowns.

When SuperHubby returned home I asked if the spot had come out of the dress.  He didn't know.  TeenStar was so hysterical that she just opted to change into the back up dress and leave the "stained" dress in the car. (For the record, at the end of the day when I got the original dress out of the car I couldn't find the stain on it.)  Of course she would have looked beautiful in a burlap sack and the back-up dress was fiiiiine.  But I was a little sad for the original dress because she just looked so gorgeous in it.  And my girl never wears dresses.

And I knew she was very sad that she wasn't wearing her original dress.

After the ceremony I tried to get some pictures, but she still wasn't feeling it so I had to be satisfied with just a few painful shots.


SuperHubby and I seem to be having a little trouble communicating lately.  Communicating about the trivial details of our life, like who is picking who up and when things are happening.  As you can imagine a lot of what goes on in our house can only happen if both drivers/parents in the house are on the same page.  For some reason SuperHubby and myself have found ourselves not only on different pages lately, but in completely different booksand Thursday's Promotion Ceremony was no exception.

SuperHubby has dropped the kids off at school and ran his miles for the day, he has showered, and announces he is leaving for the Promotion Ceremony.  I have just wrapped up work and am in the midst of getting ready.  I tell him I will see him there and watch him walk away confident that he is fulfilling his promise to Princess for an 11:00 pick-up and is going to get us good seats.

What a great husband.

Wait for it...

I am already sweating as I walk into the middle school gym.  There is very limited parking at the middle school so I park what seems like a mile away.  The heat of the gym hits me as soon as I  walk in the door. I see SuperHubby waving frantically from the top row of bleachers.   He is also attempting to tell/ask me something.  It then dawns on me that I don't see Princess.  And then I realize he is asking me where Princess is.  ASKING ME??????  He was the one who was supposed to get her.

I immediately see red.  He makes it down to the bottom of the bleachers as we realize the horrible mistake and says he will go get her, but I am already flying through the gym and out the door waving off his offer.

Fueled by panic and anger I sprint the mile back to my car.  I now have to drive the five minutes to Princess's elementary school, grab her from the office, go back to the middle school, park, and sprint with Princess in tow back to the Middle School gym.  This all needs to happen in the next 25 minutes.

I literally run into the elementary school like a crazy person.  The secretary assures me that she will sign Princess out and tells me to "just go".  I am not sure if the "just go" was because I looked like a crazy person or because she felt bad for me.  Or maybe both,

On the ride back to the middle school Princess tells me she has been waiting in the office for 45 minutes and that all the other children who were going to the Promotion Ceremony had already left.  I explain about the mix-up and she totally has my back that Daddy agreed he was picking her up.

At this moment it is very important that I am right.

He was supposed to pick her up!!!

Princess and I  find a parking space 2 miles away this time and begin the sprint to the middle school. It would almost be funny if I wasn't so mad and so hot and if my legs didn't feel like I was running through mud because of the over 100 squats I did that morning.

We sit down in our seats (is a spot on the bleachers really a seat) moments before the "graduates" parade in.  I can feel the river of sweat running down my back.  I am hot.  I am tired.  I am mad.  But I made it.

SuperHubby still claims that he didn't "know" that he was supposed to pick up Princess.  Which is ridiculous, but whatever.

Princess and I both know what was suppose to happen.

What matters is that TeenStar was promoted, in her back-up dress, on Thursday and we were all there to witness it.

And in 10 short weeks I will be the mother of a high school freshman.

How does that even happen???

I compromised and did not make Golden Boy wear a collared shirt.  He still hated it so much and felt so uncomfortable in it because it wasn't a t-shirt.  Can you tell?

Monday, May 26, 2014

Home Stretch

The end is in sight.  Or we are on the precipice of chaos and dysfunction (otherwise known as summer break).  Depending on how you look at it.

Regardless Memorial Day 2014 is a wrap and that means the end of the school year is fast approaching.

And the end of the spring sports season.  Which is probably a good thing because I am tired. And the the list of things I have not been doing is growing and growing.

Things I have not been doing..

1.  Blogging.  In the good old days I was blogging three times a week.  These days I think a lot about blogging, but actually sitting down and writing something is pretty much a bust.

2.  Cleaning.  Our house is not a hovel by any means, but major cleaning and organizational projects have definitely been neglected.   And the half finished projects have piled up.  Like really piled up.  

3.  Planning our family summer vacation.  Well I started planning it.  I booked a place and everything.  And then forgot the name of the resort and could not find the confirmation email ANYWHERE!  Could not even remember what email address I had the resort send it to.  Just a name that I scribbled in the margins of my calendar.  It was like all information had just magically evaporated from my brain. Crazy???  Luckily I was finally able to backtrack with an old credit card statement to find the name of the place.  It's when things like this happen that I start to believe the experts when they say that multi-tasking isn't as efficient as we think it is.   So much wasted time trying to figure it out.

4.  Or eating as healthy as I should.  I am definitely better than where I was two years ago, but not even close to where I should be.  My head knows that making better food choices would make all the difference is seeing the results I want from exercising, but my hands just can't stop shoving junk in my mouth.  The struggle is real.

5.  Getting past level 350 on Candy Crush.  So close, but so far.  And so much time wasted as I wait for my children to finish practices every day.

It's not like I have been sitting around with my feet up, eating chocolate and watching netflix.  Wouldn't that be awesome though?

Things I have been doing...

1.  Trying to keep up with the high maintenance needs of my children. How did I end up with such high maintenance children?  Wait.  Don't answer that.  A couple of weeks ago TeenStar had her 8th grade dinner dance.  I swear I spent more time running her around to various appointments to get her prepped than I did before my wedding.  But the exhaustion and aggravation was worth it in the end.
I guess. 

2.  Driving.  And driving.  And more driving.  Between all the driving I need to do for work and the driving I need to do to get my children where they need to be I am tired.  So tired of driving.    And so tired of hearing Fancy over and over and over again on the radio.  Why do radio stations do that?  Why do they play the same song over and over again?  I really feel like someone needs to do something about that.  

3.  Watching endless games of softball and lacrosse.  End.  Less.  Good thing I like the company at the games.  Because as much as I love my Princess 7 and 8 year old softball is not as riveting as you might think.  It's just not.  And don't forget hockey.  Hockey runs all summer long.  All. summer. long.

4.  Writing checks.  Old school check writing.  Why?  Because that is what the school system wants to cover field trips and year books and whatever other end of the school year expenses there are.  Ten dollars here.  Fifteen dollars there. And even better is when one of them waits to ask for the money two minutes before we are walking out the door.  Love it.

5.  Trying to take better care of myself.  I have really been working hard on getting to bed earlier.  Because I know sleep makes me a better person.  But it is another reason why my blogging has taken a hit.  I have also continued to exercise even in the midst of all the chaos that the spring season brings.  It would be so easy to use the business as an excuse not to get up at 4:45 a couple of mornings a week, but I haven't.  I have also finally committed to allergy shots.  My seasonal allergies are so bad and have been so bad since I can remember.  They can make me miserable.  I didn't feel like I could ever make the commitment to get to the allergist for the weekly or twice weekly shots.  Truly felt like it could not happen.  But I am going to make it happen.  Because OMG walking around without feeling exhausted, without itchy eyes and nose, and without having to have a Kleenex attached to my hand would be beyond fabulous!

Long days, short years.  That is what they say.  Around here he days are very very long lately.  I am trying really hard not to wish it all away even when my exhaustion and aggravation are at an all time high because I know ten years (Holy Cow! Only ten years!) from now  I will miss this crazy lifestyle. Or at least that is what people keep on telling me.  Right now I miss watching TV.  And reading.  And cooking real meals.  And sitting in chairs that don't easily fold up to fit in the back of my minivan.  

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

You know...

Puberty has hit for a second time at my house. 


Where have my babies gone?

But thankfully this time feels so much easier.  I don’t know if it is the child (Golden Boy is not high maintenance at all) or the fact that this time I am dealing with boy puberty  or the fact that I am just a seasoned mother with these things now, but it just feels easier.

Frankly I think the ease has more to do with the first two then any wisdom I may or may not have garnered my first time down the puberty path.  Golden Boy is a more open and easy going child then TeenStar.  And even when I broach topics that may be just a touch embarrassing to a 12 year old boy he reacts with big open eyes and a “Mooommm.  Seriously.   I think that is inappropriate for you to talk to me about.”  But he smiles.  Unlike the one syllable responses and/or  tears that have marked the past 3 years of TeenStar’s life whenever any remotely uncomfortable topic has been thrown her way.   

And sometimes Golden Boy is sooooooooo open that he will even start a conversation with me about some of those uncomfortable 12 year old boy topics.

Golden Boy:  So you know in health class we are talking about all the, you know ,the stuff.

Me:  mmhmm (I am driving the car, not paying that much attention because Golden Boy literally talks non-stop when he is alone in the car with you.  Non-stop about any topic under the sun)

Golden Boy:  So you know what a nocturnal emission is?

Me:  Stop breathing.  Mild stroke.  Must breath again.   Do not crash car.  Success.

Golden Boy interprets my lack of words as ignorance about the definition of nocturnal emission and not the actual mini stroke I am having while driving through the streets of Providence.
I silently curse my husband for not taking care of this business.  For God’s sake I have the two girls.  Do I have to handle everything??

Golden Boy:  A nocturnal emission is also known as a wet dream.

Me:  Right.  Yes.  I know what it is.  ( Maybe a little louder and sharper than I intended)

I am now mentally reviewing all the possibilities of why my 12 year old boy is bringing up the subject of wet dreams with me.  There is actually no good possibility.  I try to see the positive of the situation and attempt to congratulate myself on being such a great parent that my 12 year old son – my son!- would come to me discuss one of the great developments of male adolescence.  But my brain is still not functioning well(because duh mini-stroke) and I can not see any positives to the situation so instead I resume my silent cursing out of SuperHubby.  So much easier.

Golden Boy:  Well there is this boy in my class and I don’t think really understands what a wet dream is.

Right.  So Golden Boy really needs to stop saying wet dream and nocturnal emission because every time he says it I stop breathing and my heart starts beating like 500 beats a minute and I know that not breathing and a heart rate of 500 cannot be healthy.   So not healthy.

Golden Boy then goes on to tell a story about how this boy in his class really did not understand what a wet dream was and how the boy kept on making comments in class that demonstrated that he was clueless about wet dreams.  I was able to regain some semblance of control long enough to explain to Golden Boy that everyone expresses themselves differently when in uncomfortable situations and that he should cut his friend some slack.

As soon as I had fulfilled my parental responsibilities I cranked up the volume on the radio in an effort to thwart any further conversations about wet dreams/nocturnal emissions.

And because Golden Boy is Golden Boy he totally believed that Lil' Jon's Turn Down for What was my new jam and finally stopped talking.

Finally. Stopped. Talking.   I breathed a sweet sigh of relief because as uncomfortable as it was to listen to Golden Boy tell a story about his friend’s misunderstanding of a nocturnal emission it was far better than the alternative.

Will. Not. Think. Of. The. Alternative.