Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Miserably Behind . . . But Still Alive!!!

My blog has taken a back seat to life the last 18 months. I waffle between feelings of guilt for not recording the details of our life, and the realization that I actually CANNOT do it all.

Steve has been working full-time on a light rail project in Los Angeles for the last 18 months (and off and on for the 12 months before that). He is gone Monday to Friday most weeks, so I'm on my own. We're hopeful that his assignment will be winding down by the time the holidays roll around, but I'm not getting my hopes up.

I've made the best of the situation in many ways. I've done a lot of crafty projects and sewing this past year. I've completely forgotten how to cook—a good night is scrambled eggs and toast. The DVR is set to record a whole bunch of shows that are of absolutely no interest to Steve (think Million Dollar Listing Los Angeles), and I watch them at night when the kids go to bed.

I've put 23,000 miles on my car since July 2013. But Steve has only put about 1,000 on his two vehicles combined, so as a whole, we're probably below average. The funny thing is rarely do I drive more than 5 miles in any direction from home!

The old adage "absence makes the heart grow fonder" has proven true in our case. The distance between us truly has helped us to appreciate each other more. We try to make the time together count and not sweat the small stuff. And believe me . . . most of life is filled with small stuff.

The kids have missed having their dad around as part of their every day life. It's been a year of big changes, and more lie ahead.

Olivia is now a sophomore. 15 years old. Getting ready to learn to drive.

Jack is in 6th grade. Discovering that girls kind of dig him. Wondering when he's going to start sprouting armpit hair.

Grant is in 3rd grade. Has lost 8 and grown 4 teeth. Is creatively expressing himself in many ways. Case in point: His teacher told me today that she nearly fell over with laughter when reading Grant's latest essay, about my chocolate chip cookies. His first sentence? "The first time I tasted my mom's chocolate chip cookies, I fell into a coma for 3 days." Wow, who knew?

When I look at our 17 years of marriage, this has by far been the hardest . . . on both of us. For different reasons, but equally challenging. And yet, I know we've all experienced some tremendous growth, and for that I am grateful.

My goal for the next few weeks is to get caught up on the big happenings of the year so when I print my annual blog book, it's more than 2 pages long. Stay tuned!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

The Key to a Happy Life

Another funny kid story...one I don't want to forget!

A couple of weeks ago, Jack was battling a case of acute hives. We were back and forth to the doctor several times before we figured out what it was . . . poor guy, his entire body was covered in this awful red rash.

One night as we were going through the nightly ritual of creams, ointments, pills, and lotion, Jack was just sobbing. He looked awful—his neck, face, abdomen, arms, and legs were completely covered with big red welts.

As I was trying to calm him down with soothing words, this is the conversation that ensued:

Jack (in a sobbing, breathless voice): "I look so ugly. It's like I'm deformed. I'm never going to be normal again!"

Me: "You're not ugly Jack. You're going to be fine. I promise, it's not going to last forever."

Jack (still sobbing): "If I look like this, no one is ever going to love me!"

Me: "That's not true Jack. Lots of people love you. And I promise, you're not going to have this rash forever. I PROMISE!!!"

Jack (barely able to breathe at this point): "If I look like this, I am NEVER going to get a wife!"

Me: "Jack, calm down. You're going to be fine. I PROMISE!"

Jack (still barely able to breathe): "And if I don't get a wife, I AM NOT GOING TO HAVE A HAPPY LIFE!!!" (followed by a gut wrenching wail)

I wasn't sure whether to laugh or cry at that point . . . his sorrow was so real and so raw that it pained me. But at the same time, I was cracking up that at 10 1/2 years old, he was thinking about finding a wife. And that he was equating a happy life with being married. Which makes me think, maybe Steve and I are doing something right . . . !

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"Udderly" Hilarious

I know I'm months behind in blogging. A lot has transpired in the last 5 months that I hope to try and capture in the weeks to come. But I had a recent conversation with Jack that left me in near hysterics, and I don't want to forget it.

The boys were scheduled for their annual physical this week. I mentioned it to them over dinner one night, and Grant asked what a "physical" entailed. We had a brief discussion about it, and I did my best to summarize what all the doctor would be looking at and checking for. Grant asked if the doctor would look at his "privates", and again, I did my best to give him the information he needed to not feel any anxiousness over the appointment.

I told the boys that even grown ups have physicals. In fact, I had mine just a few months ago. I explained some of the things the doctor did, and I thought that was that. Then Jack asked rather sheepishly, "When you had your physical, did the doctor check your udders?"

I nearly spewed water all over the table. I wasn't sure if I heard him right.

"My what" I asked, with as straight a face as possible. His fifth grade class recently has been learning about the body . . . did he mean "uterus" and just mispronounce it?

"Your udders" he repeated. "You know, the things that made milk when we were babies."

It's true there were times I felt like a cow while nursing my babies. But udders??? I nearly died laughing. But not in front of him, of course :)