Small voices in my head.

It’s constant. The small voices in my head. Except they are not only in my head, they are all around me, all the time. My children NEVER stop talking. Ever. Until they are asleep… and then they even talk in their sleep.

I know I am blessed to have two happy, healthy kiddos who have great vocabularies, communication skills and imaginations, but I’d like, maybe, five minutes of no talking. No. Talking. Five seems like a really high goal, so maybe…. we will start with one minute. Probably still unrealistic.

From the moment G wakes up she is in her room singing, talking to her babies and telling stories about her life. It starts around 7am and continues until she passed out around 7:30. And she’s only three and a half. I cannot even imagine where this mania is heading.

My son is loud. I mean LOUD. And he gets really excited and does this stuttering type thing… where he repeats things like ‘and then’ twenty times before spitting out what he wants to say. And gets louder each repetition.

The two of them together means one is always trying to talk over the other. Then getting mad because they want to be the only speaker. Not that it matters because the adults are doing their best to talk to each other. We do a lot of verbalizing at our house. It’s a lot. All. The. Time.

Today we went to a Fall Festival in our community. It was super crowded and pretty fun. The kids had a ton of fun playing with their long lost friend ‘Baby Lux’ who is now not an actual baby anymore and in reality is only 9 months younger than G. And has his own baby sister now. Anyway, they ran, raced, built castles with rocks, rode rides, ate dogs on a stick and had an awesome time. We got in the car and both kids melted down into whining, crying messes UNTIL… they both were silent. Looked back and guess what?! Napping had commenced.

And it was silent for an hour. I’m paying for that silence now as they are racing around my house doing ‘hot laps’ when we should be going to bed. And S did just tell G that she is’ the meanest little sister I ever had’ because she stole his Batman and ran away with it while laughing manically.But I have to tell you… it was worth it. Absolutely worth it.

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Walmart+ Me+Two Minors=….

The Walmart. How I hate that I love you.

I needed to go to the store and Walmart has the items I needed for my preschool event this week. All the items, in one spot. Considering my wild child three year old and my exhausted from adjusting to kindergarten boy were accompanying me, we had to go with the one stop shop. I really need a car babysitter for moments like these. Or grocery delivery services.

The debate began about who was going to walk and who wanted to ride. Exhausted five year old wanted to ride. Wild child obviously would never be riding. Way too restrictive for her. There happened to be a ‘car-cart’ upon entering and both kids happily hopped up. As soon as I mentioned the ‘b’ word (buckle up) wild child hopped right back down, refusing to ride. And my poor big boy was squeezed into those tiny buckles. I know… I should let him walk… but two walking is too much. They become small-medium sized tornadoes and I have to abandon cart and leave. No time for that tonight- I needed to get my list done. And this Mama is tired after wrangling small people at preschool all day.

Off we go with wild child snagging things to throw in the cart and my big boy just being awesome and chatting away about his day. We picked up plates, napkins, bowls, tablecloths,etc from the party section… and then it went downhill fast. The toy section is way too close to the party time section. G-Mae (aka wild child. Aka threenager) spotted the ‘boo-tiful Bawbies!’ and ran off to adopt one. Sawyer some sort of new barbie sized Batman and started going on about Batman excitedly. After wrangling her back over to our cart we speed walked/ran with the cart to the food area.

While G-Mae waltzed and hip hopped around the other shoppers, only narrowly escaping being run over by a cart once and tripping one lady (who thankfully did not fall down, but it was close), I managed to gather up all the required food items. With only two additional items my kindergartner ‘needed’ for lunches. G-Mae veered to the cookies while we were getting apples (WHY do they put the bakery by the produce?!?) and possibly sampled one out of a box that was not closed properly. I mean… they do give away cookies at most box store bakeries… maybe this was her silent rebellion against Walmart not giving them away. Who knows? More realistic is the girl wanted a cookie. Saw a cookie. Got a cookie. Threenagers.

Forgot to get paper, so back to the other side of the store we go. Almost done and G-mae plops down to the ground. It’s her signature move for when she needs to go to the bathroom. Some kids dance. Some kids wiggle. My daughter sits down on the ground physically preventing (or so she thinks) any urine from escaping. Off to the bathroom we go. This Walmart trip was never going to end.

Check out time…. finally. Seriously. We were there for forever and a day. Went in during the afternoon and it was night when we got out. Kind of. The good news is we got a very, very careful checker. Another translation for ‘careful’ could be insanely sloooooowww. She was very nice, and talked to the kids, but it took long enough for wild child to knock everything over on the impulse purchase shelf (fun game for me), then I put her in the cart and she reached over and wildly spun the bagging wheel, and then pushed off the register so the cart went flying forward.

One trip to the Walmart. One exhausted Mama. Two wild childs. See you in a few months Walmart. It will be that long before I forget how ridiculous this visit was. motherhood

 

 

Batteries are not for eating.

Last weekend before kindergarten begins. We went to the lake to enjoy the gift of sunshine and squeeze in a little more fun. Broke out the homemade slip ‘n slide, whipped up some healthy smoothies and were getting ready to pop over and visit the neighbors (Aunt and Uncle). Then, it happened.

He was supposed to be changing his clothes (his were wet from slipping and sliding) and I hear a choking noise… and a panicked ‘Oh no. Mama! Mama! I just swallowed a battery. Am I going to die? Am I going to die?’. He popped the back off of his sisters little key chain phone, somehow managed to get the small button battery out of the back and then ‘needed to know what it tasted like’. Unfortunately, he had some spit to swallow and that battery went right down the hatch.

I did what most moms do in an emergency like this: called my mom. She said ‘Get in the car and get him to the hospital RIGHT. NOW.’ So we did that. We loaded up the dogs and kids and booked it to the closest emergency room, almost an hour away. In the mean time S is freaking out in the car, my mom is freaking out waiting for us at the hospital, and G (who is three) was trying to talk everyone down. My husband was about 7 driving hours away at work and started packing up when he heard the news.

We were brought back right away at the ER. Not a good sign. They did an x-ray and then the doctor said the surgeon was on his way down. I said,’ Wait. What? Surgeon?’. She explained that these are the worst kind of batteries- the only kind they really worry about- and can cause a lot of damage in a short amount of time. Great. Two days before kindergarten emergency surgery.

After a few hours of the doctor wavering on her surgery recommendation based on the opinions of experts in internal medicine, pediatric surgery and his pediatrician they decided it would be okay to wait for a day, with laxatives and see if he passed it by himself. And gave us things to look for as far as signs it was leaking or stuck. Great times. So off we go back to the cabin (since all our stuff was there) to wait for poop. I didn’t realize how much poop would become a part of my life after having kids. Heads up for those of you without kids.

We loaded little man up with his favorite snacks and laxative to get things moving. Daddy got there about four hours after we got home from the hospital, just in time to help smoosh through poop looking for a tiny battery. No luck that night or early the next morning.

The good news is after we ran and got coffee/looked for moose, we came home and S had to poop, but didn’t tell us. A little bit later we discovered the battery had been sitting in the bathroom in a small bowl (that fits on the toilet to catch poop. That’s apparently a product. We own two now. Just in case you need it.) and had a giant poop dance! Hallelujah!

You’d think that’s the end of the story right? Lesson is ‘we only put food and drink in our mouth’, right? NOPE! Not the end. Kindergarten started and in the excitement I forgot to tell his new teacher about the incident. So when Sawyer had blood in his stool at school, they didn’t think it was important to relay that information, or as the nurse said ‘We can’t believe everything five year olds tell us.” Well… if that’s the case, maybe school nurse isn’t the job for you. Just saying.

Good news is I’m now on the nurse’s call list if something happens to my kid. I also got to meet the principal and share my concerns. And the teacher was so apologetic. And I will be communicating directly with her if there’s a similar incident. More good news: our pediatrician said it’s probably just from passing a foreign body, and if it happens again to bring him in. No repeats yet.

His best buddy at school (I drive them home from school, his mom takes them there in the mornings) told me not to worry. ‘He solved that problem, Ms. Kiri. He just isn’t going to poop anymore.’ We will see how that goes.

So let’s all remember: we only put FOOD and DRINK in our mouths. Food. Or. Drink.

 

Kindergarten Blues

And it begins.

The last week has been filled with sickness (both G and me), injuries, bickering, cuddles, laughter, book reading, and school excitement. My kids may have slept in my bed the last two nights. All three of us. Plus two dogs. Hey! Last few nights before my little baby boy is a big kindergartener! So whatever. Judge away… I don’t care.

I’m in such blue mood. Maybe even… gray. (gasp!) I know… it’s not my normal. I just don’t deal well with change and I know our world is about to do just that. My first little tiny baby boy, who made me suffer through 30 hours of labor, six months of pumping because he was not a good nurser, who said his first word of ‘mama’ at 6 months old, 16 months of waiting for him to walk (he may have thought he was a dog for the first 15 months or so… since he had no friends around, just the dog. He was a really fast crawler), three years of him not wanting to share mom by having her be the teacher at preschool, three and a half years of him injuring his little sister, five and a half years of hilarious entertainment… and now he is going to go off to spend his days with other people.  Ugh.

I’ve been trying to pep talk myself back up. Look at all the beautiful posts on Facebook of the older kids going back to school and how excited they are (kindergarten starts later here, so the older kiddos started today) AND how excited the moms are. The kids get to go off with their friends and learn and play and do kid things, the parents are off drinking margaritas or coffee or whatever,  or hiking around the beautiful mountains we have as a playground here. Just think, self, in a few years you’ll feel the same way- your back to school color will be yellow, not blue…. Ugh… really more like gray.

I know if my husband was here, or even in good cell phone range so I could have a conversation with him without having to repeat every sentence three times, he would be so excited!! S is going off to big kid school. I can have alone time with my little lady every day! We can go to a movie after my morning class is over or go do girly things like pedicures (So what if I only get them every five years? That totally could be a new thing?!) or bake or… fold laundry without a sword wielding ninja to destroy my piles. The list is somewhat unlimited.

But then I think… what?! No ninja sneaking around my house all day. Nobody to set traps on all the door knobs. Or let the dogs in when they are barking like idiots and just went outside. No little man voice saying ‘You know what Mama? You’re my favorite girl!’ or ‘Can I just cuddle you Mama?’ or hearing him say the words on his favorite movies just as the characters are saying them (okay… that literally drives me crazy, but now it will be gone!!!).  Kindergarten. How did we get here already?

Alright. I’m pulling it together. It’s not like he’s moving away. He’s just going to school for the day. I’m sure he’ll be fine, right? I can attempt to be fine, right?  And G is going to love it. That’s for sure.

PS We apparently are watching Toy Story 3. How am I the only one in tears at the end of it? Not a good choice for today.

 

Joke is on me. And it ain’t funny.

The jokes appears to be on me.

I pulled into my driveway today, after having to take my daughter to the doctor as early as possible on a Sunday because of an apparent ear infection (she screamed from the moment she woke up until we got into the doctor… about 2 hours), and what do I see? Cabin Grandpa’s truck, my husband’s truck and my parent’s car parked there. All the people who are not here to help me. My support group represented by their vehicles. Shot to heart!

I knew this first hitch of Vincent being gone would be tough. I underestimated what would be thrown at me. Hey… if you’re going to get used to having to do things alone… what better way than to be challenged at every turn? And have all back up people be out of town. (*That’s not 100% fair. My sister in law who lives here did call the other night, but in the midst of crying/medicating kids and wrangling dogs, I didn’t get a chance to talk to her.)

Between conferences with parents, sick kiddos, being coughed on, vomited on and snotted on… plus having no communication with my husband beyond a few 2 minute phone calls… plus apparently there’s some sort of night loitering going around in my neighborhood… plus no babysitter… jeez. Oh! And throw in an uncle who is in ICU because of complications with a cancerous tumor. Anything else? Anything? You can believe I’m waiting for something else to come along.

There’s been lots of good things too. Snuggles with my hilarious little man… who is extra funny when he doesn’t want to go to bed yet. All the laundry is done, folded and put away (yay me!). I got a sweet package from our cabin neighbor with a book that I didn’t know I really needed to read. I mentioned wanting some old glass insulators  and a couple barrels of glass stuff my great grandpa collected were discovered in Washington. They haven’t been opened in 40 years since he passed away. That’s kind of cool.

But isn’t that what life is? Right? It’s hard and challenging and mixed in there are the amazing, beautiful moments that make it worth it all. I’m hoping all  my bad times are happening in these last two years- but even that’s hard to say. I’ve had two devastating losses… and a handful of big losses, a lot of ‘oh well’ moments… but all and all… my life is good. And isn’t the hard and sad supposed to make the happy and amazing seem better?

All I know is I’m ready to appreciate some really, really, really great moments. Let’s start that now. And…. go!

Alaska Storms

Howling wind and smashing rain against the window. That’s how I woke up this morning an hour earlier than usual. I had just been up at 4:30 with my daughter who was worried about monsters, but said ‘you keep me safe mama?’. There was no rain yet, except those few sweet tears from me after hearing my daughter say I was her life raft.

Upon jerking awake this morning hearing the downpour and angry winds, I realized it was lifeboat time. Our house always loses power and takes DAYS to get back on. We live in a pocket with maybe 10-12 houses in our circuit (or whatever… I’m not a lineman expert… lol) and we are low on the priority line. Who do you have to know to bump your area up in the status list??

Anyways. After waking up, looking outside and then referencing Facebook for weather posts- I realized this was not good. Yep. Took all those steps. Geez lady. Get it together.

I briefly debated going to retrieve my trashcan (which is a five minute walk down our driveway) but decided it’s probably gone (sorry neighbors. I’ll totally volunteer for Spring clean up. Which, judging by the weather, will be next weekish). Popped on a hoodie and went outside (no shoes, btw,clearly in panic mode) in the icy rain to gather up the loose items on the porch. Did the same in the backyard and secured the gate which was slamming against the house. And then again in the side yard. Phew. My ‘North Pole’ sign is definitely gone… maybe at the North Pole.

When I came back inside my son was standing at the bottom of the stairs on the verge of tears because ‘The Monster of the Backwoods’ was banging on the house. We turned on the news, made toast and listened to the rain and the water running in the kitchen while I filled up water jugs. We have a well, so no power means no water. At the moment we have filled water jugs (those big blue ones we use for the summer at the cabin and trailer), filled pitchers lining the counters in my kitchen and filled old juice jugs in each bathroom (for flushing, if we get that far). Better safe than a house smelling like kid urine! That’s what I always say… or something.

Outside there is no power. Anywhere. Except our pocket of 10-12 houses. Knock on wood- because this is not normal. As I write this we are a bright spot in the Anchorage/Peters Creek and Matsu Area. That’s about half the population of Alaska (for a reference point).

Side note: I’m reading a book about a storm that doesn’t stop and destroys a lot of the world. I started it last night. Could have triggered my intense response to this morning’s wake up situation.

Extra Side note: My kids have a recent obsession/anxiety about monsters. Maybe this stems from our Disney trip? It’s weird.

Last thing: This blog has no real point or conclusion… cause it’s still storming outside. But my power is on and writing is really helping calm my anxiety about trees smashing our house (my grandparents in WA just had a giant redwood smash their dining room- it was 3 ft in diameter!) or my husband’s truck blowing away. When he’s here to talk me down, I’m generally fine, but when I’m not grounded my panic escalates quickly. Thanks for being my outlet!

And I Showered!

I took a shower today. YAY ME!

I know… that shouldn’t be something to cause jumping up and down excitement, but it was a shower BY MYSELF. No small people in there splashing around or tripping me. My bathtub is more like a bathroom itself (it is larger than the entire bathroom downstairs) so having additional bodies in there isn’t that bad… I guess.

While I was solo-showering my son was watching Sesame Street and my daughter was setting up bathroom supplies (shampoo, conditioner, soaps, bubble bath… you know, the necessities stored under the sink) like candles, and singing ‘Happy Birfday’ to them. It was amazing.

Because some alone time (seriously… this is what I consider alone time. No other people touching me or acknowledging me) causes me to be reflective and I started to think about how awesome this moment was. One child old enough to be entertained by engaging with the show (I could hear him yelling out answers to Elmo) and the other is using her imagination and artistic expression,  all the while in an environment where I could observe them yet soak up a good hair washing all alone.

These moments are few and very far between. Generally there’s crying, injuries, swords or shooters and in the end three people in the bathtub while I shower. And two dogs wondering why they weren’t invited and sticking their heads in to see the fun they are missing.

Someday (like three days from now when I attempt a shower again) I  might be scooping little people out of the tub and rinsing soap out of eyes while abandoning my attempt at conditioner, but someday further down the line… it’ll be just me again. All the time. And how sad is that? Jeez… doesn’t every day just lead back to needing one more baby in our family?

I am a pretty appreciative person most of the time. But I just really loved today. It was peaceful and satisfying to hear both of my ‘wild ones’ behaving. Oh… and I don’t smell quite so ‘exhausted mom’ anymore. Bonus!