Thursday, April 22, 2010

7 Things I learned this week

The last two weeks have been spent largely in the car. It's my second home, and I think I spend more time driving than I do sleeping. It takes 20 minutes to get to school in morning traffic, and then the kids' activities are all over Fremont. We are in the process of transitioning to our new town, slowly but surely.

Tuesday was rainy. Like "need an ark" downpour rain. All three kids were set to be in school, and I had a lot to accomplish in the hours by myself. We left the house at 7:55 in order to get Jack & Olivia to school, and then Grant to preschool, on time. The freeway wasn't moving, so I took the back roads. It took forever to go the 6+ miles to Sunol. We made it just as the 8:30 bell was ringing, and the kids dashed out of the car.

Since the freeway wasn't moving, I then took the back roads to get Grant to preschool. Another 25 minutes in the car. As I pulled into the parking lot, I heard a sound from the backseat that could only mean one thing. . . Grant was throwing up. I quick grabbed an empty grocery bag and managed to get it in his hands, but not before the damage was done. We proceeded to turn around and head another 35 minutes back home, in traffic, in the rain, with a car that smelled of barf. We arrived safely home, I got him cleaned up, and cozy in my bed watching a movie (surrounded by towels, just in case...). I got to work on laundry, cleaning out the car, and tackling my mountain of "to-dos". By mid-morning, I reached the conclusion that he had been carsick - he didn't throw up again, and was back to himself. From now on, there will always be a plastic bag within reach.

On Wednesday after school, the kids had piano lessons and gymnastics, in Fremont. When we loaded up in the morning, I reminded Olivia to get her piano bag and put it in the car, so we wouldn't have to go home first. She forgot. So after school, we drove back home. She decided to sharpen some pencils while she was in the house, so she could work on her homework. I went to get the mail. We got back in the car, drove the 25 minutes to Fremont, and as we got off the freeway, Olivia said "Oh shoot. I forgot my piano bag." WHAT????? That's what we drove home for in the first place!!!!! I tried to keep my cool, because I could hear in her voice that she knew she'd messed up. I called her piano teacher, who said that they could work on other stuff, and not to worry about the bag.

The events of the week have made me stop and reflect on many things.
  1. Making a plan only works some of the time. I have to be more flexible.
  2. I need to double check on what I ask the kids to do. At least for now, they need extra reminders.
  3. I need to better stock my car for emergencies. Whether it's an extra bottle of water (or an empty one to serve as a potty in a pinch), snacks, towels for cleaning up, or a dry set of clothes, I am sorely under-equipped for the day to day needs that pop up.
  4. I should keep reading material (preferably my scriptures...I need all the spiritual help I can get these days!) in my car. There are days when I have 15 or 30 minute to sit and wait somewhere, and I should do something more productive then lurk on Facebook or play Scrabble on my iPhone. Although that does provide some much needed stress relief on some days!
  5. I will be so appreciative when we finally land in our new house in a few more weeks. Much closer to school and other activities, I won't be driving nearly as much. And if we forget the piano bag, it won't be an hour round trip to get it. Or forget it again.
  6. I need to update the music in my car. I've listened to School House Rock so many times I can sing every song by heart. "Conjunction, Junction...what's your function?" I have a couple of custom playlist cds, but again, I've listened to them so many times I could sing them in my sleep. I hate the commercials on the radio. For Mother's Day, I'm asking for an iPod connection for my car stereo. Then we can rock out for days without hearing the same song twice.
  7. This craziness won't last forever. I know people who can't understand why I do all that I do with my kids. They think I'm crazy. But I see the skills, talents, and confidence that is being built and nourished in them, and I know that it is time worth spent.
Stay tuned for what I learn next week!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Saying Goodbye

Last weekend, we bid farewell to our home of the last 6+ years. Selling our house was a lengthy process, filled with ups, downs, and in betweens.

There were times when we (or at least I) questioned our decision and had second thoughts.

We weren't able to find a home to buy in time, so we were forced into an interim place. Fortunately, the Bishop of the ward we were hoping to move into got wind of our situation (thanks Wanda!), and just happened to have a rental property that was vacating right when we needed to move in. He was willing to go month to month on the lease, and we were thrilled to have a roof over our head!

Going from a 3,000 sf house into an 1,800 sf condo meant that not all our stuff could come with us. We put the majority in storage, keeping just the necessities with us.

This is what pretty much every room of our house looked like for the last month!

Then moving day came.

As I watched the boxes leave, the trucks fill up, and the house empty, I was a bit surprised at the lack of devastation I felt.

Once the house was empty, and cleaned from top to bottom, we went back in to say goodbye.

I will miss the boys' Superhero room...
think I'm gonna have to recreate that one in our new house...

I was ready to be done with our UPS Brown bedroom...
time for something lighter and brighter!

Olivia has been begging for a more "grown up" room for over a year now.
Guess she'll be getting her wish...

I'll miss my "project room" most of all.
Six weekend's worth of Steve's blood, sweat, and tears
(not to mention a whole lot of love...)
went into building that room for me.

I think I spent the most time in the kitchen, and enjoyed almost every minute of it!

We spent hundreds of hours in the family room, watching movies, playing games, doing "Dance Pad", and wrestling around in a space that wasn't quite big enough!

As we walked from room to room that last time in the empty house, I reflected on the happy times we had there, but didn't feel sadness in leaving. Perhaps it's because at 37 1/2, I'm finally gaining control over my emotions. Perhaps it's because this move is the right thing for our family right now. Perhaps it was the realization that without our stuff and the liveliness of our family, the house was just an empty's what lives inside that makes it home. Whatever the reason, as we drove away the final time, I didn't even look back. Only forward.

Friday, April 9, 2010

A goose egg for Easter...and the day I learned to watch my mouth!

Grant has been a little wild man since birth. He has no fear, and tackles life full speed ahead.

Easter morning, we took the kids to the park to run off a little steam and excess energy before the family all came to Steve's mom's house for the holiday celebration. While we were at the park, Grant jumped off the highest platforms, biggest slides, and twisty ladders. I looked at Steve and said "How long until we're in the ER with that kid?"

I got my answer less than 2 hours later. He and Jack were wrestling on the floor, Grant flipped over and whacked his head on a 35 lb. metal dumbbell. I rushed over and grabbed him and saw there was blood everywhere. Not a pretty sight.

Steve and I drove him to St. Joseph's Hospital in Orange. They called us back pretty quickly, took a look, and put some numbing gel on his forehead.

Grant was pretty comfy on the bed, and was entertained watching Phinneus & Ferb on Disney Channel.

He doesn't look too miserable, does he?

The doc opted to use Dermabond over stitches.

While his scar may be a little bigger than with stitches, we didn't have to restrain him in a papoose in order to close up the wound. A fair trade-off I think.

We arrived home in time for a yummy Easter dinner, and delightful afternoon together with family. The Easter Bunny even made an appearance.

The kids had a ball hanging out with their big "cousies", and a boyfriend even joined the group this year. A sign that the big girls are growing up indeed...

By the time evening rolled around, both Jack and Grant were beat, and crashed out on the couch.

The wound didn't slow Grant down a bit. And I think I learned my lesson about speaking my thoughts out loud.