Wednesday, October 28, 2015

The X Factor

If you have kids, you know this to be true: no matter how well you plan, you can still be late.

A person without kids tends to think about where they are going, how long it takes to get there, and decide from that when to leave. Most moms I know, myself included, add time onto the base prediction in hopes to cover some of the child “x factors” of delay, but even then, it doesn’t always work.

When you have a baby, most people know that there is always the chance you will be late based around the infant’s intense demands on your schedule between nursing, napping etc.

But babies also come with the always dreaded “blow out.” For those never initiated into this plan changer, this is when you have your baby completely dressed, packed for the outing, ready to step out the door and get them into the car seat… and then realize they pooped. But this is not any low level, change diaper, get out the door kind of poop, but a poop that somehow has mysteriously made its way out of the diaper, onto your child’s back, legs and I even had one that went up to my son’s neck. No one quite knows how these little bodies can project their poop so far, but they don’t seem to struggle to accomplish these feats.

Congratulations mom, you will now be late. No matter how much time you allotted for, you probably didn’t plan enough for a complete quick bath/shower/full scale wipe down, plus outfit change, plus restocking a backup outfit.

As they get older, to toddler and preschooler age, you don’t lose the chance of unexpected delays, they just change.

Last week, I had a need for an impromptu change of clothes for my toddler, when he decided he was old enough to get his own water from the fridge… and then promptly dump it out, both on himself and the floor, of course when we were trying to get out the door for my daughter’s preschool.

His “I do it myself” mantra has also made it so that he wants to climb into his car seat himself. This leaves me with two options, both bad, and both slow. I can let him do it… it just takes three times as long for him to climb first into the car,  then into his seat, using his little arms and legs. Or, I can try to “speed up” the process by just putting him in myself. Trouble is that he fights me to put him down, arches his back to keep me from buckling him in, and generally makes my life difficult, so much so that I would have to time it to see which is actually the more efficient way to get us ready to go.

Thankfully, at some point, the scale starts to tip back in the mom’s direction as your kids truly become more independent (instead of the toddler version where they want to be independent but can’t actually do things by themselves for the most part).

One instance of this is that my daughter is perfectly capable of going to the bathroom by herself, while I work on getting my son ready, so that on good days, I can actually get out the door quicker. But one of the fun things about my four year old is that she is at the age of epic tantrums, which can strike at any minute, for any cause.

This means that I can have days where I ask her to go to the bathroom as her last step to be ready to leave before school, and instead of a happy girl that goes and does what I ask, she starts to yell, and scream, and then I have to put her in the bathroom myself.

When I put her in the bathroom, I had a fully dressed daughter, down to her shoes. When I checked on my grumpy preschooler, forced to go to the bathroom against her will, I had one in just a shirt. She had decided that as her sign of protest, she would remove all of her bottom half of clothing, including her socks and shoes.

Of course, I didn’t leave enough time for this clothing protest. I didn’t have time for her to keep kicking her legs so I couldn’t get things back on easily. I didn’t have time for her to kick her shoes off again in the car. I didn’t have time to have to carry her to her classroom, having her kick her shoes and socks off again as we went, but that was my Monday, so long story short, we got to preschool fifteen minutes late.

She is my oldest, so I can’t speak for the moms of older kids and teenagers, but I tend to think that the statement still holds true, that you can never plan well enough for the refusing to get up days, the “I have nothing to wear” days, the “I don’t want to go to school days,” and all of the other myriad of ways that kids have found that cause the same end result… you are late.  

Fellow moms, I know. I know that best intentions mean nothing when it comes to life with less than full grown individuals working against you. We can’t stop trying, there will always be a start time that we have to try to make it by, we can just keep allowing more “x factor time,” in hopes that it will cover the newest way our children have found to make us late, yet again.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My two year old letter to Remington

I wrote this in his baby book, but decided to write it here as well, so that even if something happens to the book someday, it will still be safe.

I want you to be independent and I admire your willingness to fight for it, though it sure makes you a handful at times. I love your passion for sports and your great imagination too. But I think my favorite moments are the glimpses of baby still lingering, like when you cuddle up with me to read a book, give me a hug, play with my moles ( as much as it bugs me) and say,"Hi, momma ."

I am so torn between looking forward with you to the things you want to do, like go to preschool and be on sports teams, and trying desperately to hold onto this time that I get to be with you for most of the day and share in your fun and games. 

I loved you when you were little, and I'll love you as you grow. 

Love, Momma

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Overload of Last week

I hope to post a good number of pictures, and limit my word count, but I at least wanted some description to match the craziness that was my last week.

I wish I could say that I endured all of it like a champ and wasn't stressed at all... but any member of my immediate family can tell you that is not quite the case. I may have been a bit more short fused last week, but by the end of this, you will see why.

The Elements of the Storm
Since March, we have been planning to do a trail Ragnar with two of our running friends. For those unfamiliar with this kind of race, it is a relay race that lasts somewhere around 24 hours, with at least one member of your team running at all times till you finish.   Different than the road Ragnars, we didn't have a van and have to keep driving to different places (nor did we cover the extensive ground those do), we had a campsite, and each person of our eight person team had to run each of the three loops (that all started and ended near the campsite) to be finished.

I was somewhat scared/nervous about this race, but mostly excited. However, it went from just fun for me to a bit of work, as one of my two friends accepted the amazing opportunity to work with the UN and assist with processing refugees. She asked if I would take over captain, and I accepted... and then had a bit more on my plate coordinating carpooling, supplies, and when everyone was running.

Since this summer, I was planning a joint birthday party for my kids. The date got nailed down when I learned that my sister in law, who moved halfway across the country in May, was going to be in town right around birthday time... and if I planned it right, she could be there for their party, which meant a lot to my kids.

As life goes... this date was the Sunday following the Ragnar planned in March. No problem, I thought, I can make both work, this is doable. I planned a good amount ahead of time, in hopes that the weekend of, I could just run the party for the most part.

On the week of this party/race, I added two more things to my plate... because I apparently like the feeling of spinning plates.

After meeting with Grace's teacher on Tuesday, long story short, I became the class room mom. Also, I decided to go back to school.

The going back to school thing is kind of funny, in that even with my degree, minor, credential and masters... I am not qualified to sub in a preschool classroom. I don't have the CA mandated 12 early childhood units. But the teacher mentioned they have trouble finding subs, and I think it would be a very viable thing for me to do once Remington starts there next year. Plus, if I get qualified to teach preschool, I have more job opportunities open to me when I start looking for a job full time (though that isn't until he is in school full time).*

*This will be pushed back if there is some way that our current status on third child changes.

All of the above meant that Tuesday through Friday, at any given point, I was planning race stuff, or making bags for the party, calling IVC, e-mailing the school to figure out room mom stuff, and also planning for the extended babysitting while we camped/ran.

The race Friday/Saturday went great. It was totally scary at times for me, but once I finished I felt exhilarated, knowing that I had accomplished things that were definitely out of my comfort zone. I was one of the slowest of our team, but our awesome team didn't hold it against me.

The literal storm
On Thursday, the day before our race, two days before the party, my cousin in law texts me to ask me if I had noticed the weather report. Honestly, I hadn't... probably because of all of the aforementioned stuff. Yes folks, rain was due to rain on my park party. Sigh. I couldn't deal with it then... or Friday...or most of Saturday. I had no reception at the race... except for at the top parts of our runs, and that wasn't a great time to do it.

So we get back Saturday, and that pesky rain hasn't gone away, but our house wasn't party ready either... because we had been gone at a race (and it's natural state isn't party ready).

I make a desperate play for a clubhouse near our house, was told I had a shot if I went in person the next day. So, even at 7AM on the day of the party, I couldn't tell anyone where the party was going to be. Unfortunately (though in retrospect, it might have been for the best), my ditch effort was unsuccessful.

At 8 on party day, I was texting everyone it was at our house, and between 8-10 I worked hard with my mother in law and sister in law to get everything ready. We felt prepared at... 9:55. Party started at 10:00, but we did it!

Our party was a superhero theme, so the kids decorated masks, tried to lasso a pumpkin, rescued "captured" adults, played pass the Kyptonite and raced like Flash. I think the kids had a great time, and I was so relieved to have two major stresses off my table (still room mom and going back to school, but still seems better overall).