Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fall Fun and Basket Misfortune

So Fall has officially arrived around these parts. Well, if you call 80 degrees and sunny and running through the sprinkler "fall-like." I know these warm days are coming to an end, and I'm more than ready for it.
We've still been doing our traditional fall-day activities, but we just do them while sweaty and wearing flip flops.
Lena does whatever Charlotte does.

We recently went to a nearby orchard to pick some apples. When we arrived, I got the feeling they weren't offering U-Pick, but the owner had mercy on me and my sweet children and allowed us to pick from a few trees. She handed the girls their baskets and they promptly stuck them on their heads. Well. Lena had the brilliant idea of hooking the metal handle under her chin, which resulted in the basket falling forward and covering her eyes. If you know two year olds, you might understand that they might freak out. If you know Lena, you know she will set the world on fire with her shrieks of terror. That basket was so wedged on her head, the owner came over and tried unhooking the handle from the basket. Lena was screaming with her mouth wide open (eyes covered by basket), and the wider open her mouth was, the more impossible it was to get that handle from beneath her chubby chin. Eventually I got her to relax and we popped it right off without having to butter her head like DJ Tanner and Kimmy Gibbler did to that Brian kid they babysat in 1990. 

Fortunately that didn't scare her enough to get right down to apple pickin business. Which to her, mostly meant  throwing them to the friendly dog that was following us around. 

Over the weekend we also visited a farm near our house. I love this place because there's never a crowd (unless there's a field trip!), no entry fee, and you can feed and pet animals. It's such a funny old farm and sort of creepy, but we saw a hipster couple show up so we felt like it was probably a cool place to be. 

lil squirt

Charlotte got to feed a baby goat! (So did I, and I was WAY more excited.)

That's the small update for now. I'll share more later when it hits the fan....which inevitably will be very soon. :) 

What's your favorite activity to do with your kids in the fall? I want to do a hayride or the Coopersville Pumpkin Train, but I'm not sure it's worth it. If you've gone, let me know! 

Monday, September 15, 2014

Toddler Birthdays and Losing My Ever Loving Mind

You know that feeling when you wake up and you're all "I have absolutely no idea what day it could even be." Like it feels like it's a new day of the week that's never even been invented. A brand new unknown day of the week that has no assignment. No work, no church, no school, no sleeping in. Just strange and confusing.
That was this morning.
My husband leaned over and gave me a smooch goodbye while I was still sleeping this morning. I never even woke with his alarm. I was all "Where are you going?!" Like accusing him of having plans on a day that doesn't even exist.
Then I snapped back into reality and realized it was Monday, Lena's 2nd birthday.

Under most circumstances, I would not forget it was my child's birthday. But then again I've only been doing this mom thing for not even 4 years. I have plenty of years ahead to forget about birthdays. But so far, I haven't forgotten any. In fact, I usually have a good plan as to how we'll celebrate.  Today was different. We've had a crazy 5 days with Lena getting super sick, Charlotte had a really high fever and was stumbling around like a drunk and I almost brought her in. Between dealing with clingy, sad, pissed off little kids and cleaning up vomit, losing sleep and canceling Lena's birthday party because of hand, foot, and mouth disease, my brain has been in a bit of a fog. Maybe I also have the virus and have lesions on my brain.

This never happens

They give me so much love

This REALLY never happens

Once we got the day started, it was fairly normal but out of our normal routine since I couldn't take the girls to the gym KidZone. I made the traditional birthday pancake and it was actually well received despite their normal attitude when I present them with a delicious meal. Maybe I should serve more meals with whipped cream from a can.

After doing awesome mom stuff like changing gross diapers, I decided it was time to call the doctor about some interesting #2s Lena's been having since she was sick. Her dukes are straight up black. I know that that can mean blood, but I wanted to wait it out to see if it cleared up. It didn't. So I called and they wanted to get her in asap. I stayed calm, but was still pretty concerned about the outcome - it could be so many different things.  It tested positive for blood and the doctor said it's not typical, but it could be that she has the hand, foot and mouth lesions down the bottom of her throat. It's common to have the sores inside the throat, but usually not down into the upper GI. He did not seem overly concerned, given that Lena was in good spirits and eating and drinking normally. We just need to give it more time at this point. What a fun way to spend her birthday!

Then we met up with my husband for a birthday lunch and also to spread germs to as many strangers as possible. He was on a conference call and ended up being almost 30 minutes late and my debit card was declined because I apparently I am scum. So I waited with two cranky kids at Culvers with no food because I didn't have the funds to pay for it. We had a seat while we waited and they brought out a huge box of crayons and some coloring pages for the girls. So nice!!

Once Marcus arrived and was ready to pay, they brought our food out and said "don't worry about it. It's all taken care of." I almost lost it blubbering like a fool, but I kept it to a general "eyes misty with gratitude." It had just been such a crazy morning, I was really taken aback at their kindness.

The main reason we chose Culvers is because CUSTARD.  What better birthday treat than frozen custard with sprinkles!

Focusing on what's important here.

I got the kids home and they both took killer naps, I even snuck one in too because I'm ultra productive. 

Since it's Monday, Charlotte now has ballet in the evenings. I knew ballet began at 6:00. So I got Charlotte dressed, fixed her ponytail and loaded both her and Lena up. We arrived with a few minutes to spare so I responded to some texts in the parking lot. Once we got to the classroom, I was surprised to see all the little kids prancing about. I asked another parent if it indeed began at 6. She confirmed but then looked at me quizzically and added "it's 6:25 right now."
And in that moment, I had that very same feeling I had upon waking this morning. This strange time vortex where I was left bewildered and like I was only one left out of this new way of counting days and time. Everyone else seems to know what's going on but somehow I missed the memo of how time works. My forehead literally hurts from having a confused look about where those 25 minutes before ballet went. These are serious problems, people.

Related: I'm also confused about how my iPhone is autocorrecting "yes" to "Myra." It makes me look even crazier via text. 

I'm looking forward to everyone being healthy and me feeling much less insane. Is this even a possibility?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Preschool Begins!

Today Charlotte had her very first day of school!
I woke her up before her cow started dancing ( This is what I'm referring to ), and she would not drop the subject until after she had eaten breakfast. That clock, by the way, has been a real helper in getting her to stay in bed longer in the morning and taking a nice rest in the afternoon. We had been struggling for a couple of weeks with tantrums, and since she's better rested, she's much happier.

I woke her up with plenty of time to spare because it seems like when I head to the gym at 9:30am (school begins at 8:15)  it's basically a shit show for an hour and a half getting those kids ready. Well, I gave her too much time because she was able to ask "is it time to go to school yet?!" one million times before I even woke Lena up.

This is what we call her "school smile" where she tries to look at the camera and stand still at the same time. It's very challenging for her.

And one with her umbrella because it was POURING all morning.

On Tuesday we had a visiting day to get a feel for what the day would be like and I was given instructions to bring 1/4 cup of goldfish crackers to contribute to  a special "friendship mix" with her classmates on their first day. I knew I had some goldfish crackers at home but when I went to portion some out, they were staler than styrofoam packing peanuts. So...I just didn't send anything. I felt okay with that choice would they notice that something was missing? I saw a bunch of baggies with goldfish and pretzels and raisins on the counter when I dropped her off, no one would know that my kid didn't bring one in.

1) It's the first day of school. How am I already doing this??
2) I didn't feel too bad about it until I was recounting the story with my husband and realized...what if each kid poured in their own little baggie into the friendship mix and Charlotte just sat there. Chin cradled in her hands, just watching her classmates enjoy mixing a big snack to share.
3) I should have just packed the stale ones. No one would know they for sure came from my house. I mean, if they ever got to know me, they'd probably be able to piece together that puzzle, but whatever, right?

Charlotte did so great at drop off. 

She's always happiest not looking at the camera

I think her teacher is a special woman. Charlotte doesn't too freely hug someone she doesn't really know. (thankfully?)

ok mom. go now.

This is before she learned she doesn't get to stay

Lena helped herself to a spot at the table with all the confidence in the world. She waved and said hello to everyone and when I said it was time to go, she looked at Charlotte, looked at me, and was like "come on Charlotte. Let's go." (in so many words.) 

I headed home with Lena and realized that 2 hours feels like 15 minutes when you're at home doing basically nothing. So I need to plan out those mornings a little better and get something done like get groceries when I only have to take one kid. This is a learning experience for me. 

So that's that. My first born's first day of school in the books. Or on the blog. I don't do books.

Please tell me a story where you had a basic mom fail. Make me feel better.