Thursday, August 29, 2013

The First Day Of School

This is Jack's friend - whose parents are really super great. At the same time, I was wondering on how they were keeping composed and I was about to burst into tears?

Jack and my husband. Right after this photo was taken, Jack turned around and realized he was about to walk into a huge school by himself. He made a pouty lip face and that was when I lost it. Thank God for sunglasses, as they hid my tears very well.

Jack and his grandma, who was nice to be with us to watch her first born grandson go to school.

This was the face that said "really? another picture? Why are my parents such photographers?"

The first day of kindergarten was  - uneventful. I say that because there was no running around trying to wake Jack up to go to school. No running to catch the last bell before the doors closed. In fact, the only highlight of the morning was that everyone woke up early and on time. Charlie woke up early, Jack did. it was just another morning, except this was the morning in which Jack was going to start his school career for 12 +years. School for the rest of your life Jack !  

Jack was great. He woke up early. Ate his breakfast and was in great spirits the whole morning. We walked to school and as we were approaching, Jack said " I'm not excited about school." Yikes. Alert! I told him in my most calm voice that he was going to be fine. Of course there were going to be jitters. His whole life was just playing, eating lunch and the occasional play dates and camp here and there. Now , he would be somewhere away from his parents every single day. I remember feeling a bit nervous when I went to school and I remember my Dad holding my hand right as he walked me up to the classroom. I wanted to do that with Jack but this school was just a leave em hanging at the door. The kids lined up and went into the school themselves. I felt that the goodbye was so rushed and cold at the dropoff. I didn't even get a chance to really give him a kiss goodbye. My husband said that it is like that here - there is no more hand holding. Really? He's only 5, why can't I hold and guide my child in anymore? My kid is starting a new life in which now his mom and dad can't nudge him all the time to pay attention when someone asks him a question. NOW HE REALLY HAS TO PAY ATTENTION. 
All in all, I think I only shed about 5 tears. Not bad for a really sentimental mom like myself.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

The Full time Of Lectures

This was pretty much the most frustrating weekend. I think at this point we are facing an incredibly hard stage right now. Charlie is at an age where he is learning to talk but also learning how to talk back and fight back.
Jack is at this age where everything is his way. Everything is no, no, no. I find myself constantly just lecturing him and scolding him. Don't do that. Be gentle. Be nice. What did I say? Time out. Time out. Time out.
It's at a point where giving him a time out is so stupid that he just sits there but then will still do the exact thing an hour later.
I was the full time parent this weekend and it sucked. We live in a place where you can walk for 15 minutes and still be in the neighborhood complex. Not a lot to see or do here if there is no car. At least if we lived in the city, I could have gone to the city with the boys, walked to a different park, be with my family. Here, all I could really go with the boys this weekend was go to the park, to the front yard, and to the park.
There is no one out here to help us or even be with the kids while I can maybe take a jog for 15 minutes. All I need is 15 minutes! 30 if you'll let me! I find myself alone out here and with just two boys to be with, especially with two boys who don't listen, tensions run super high.
I'm sure that the boys didn't really want me with them for the third straight day in a row. That was made clear when Jack asked me today- don't you have to leave or go to work today? Maybe for them seeing me stay here meant another day of nothing special in a neighborhood where nothing really happens. I felt like shit when Jack said that and today proved another day where lectures upon lectures happened.
In the end tonight, I ended placing them both to an early bedtime as I witnessed another brotherly fight. I couldn't take it and I erupted saying I was done. I always feel like shit when I give them lectures, but I want them to know at the same time that the pulling, the squeezing, the teasing and the hitting is not acceptable at all. I call bullshit to the theory that boys will be boys. So that means that this intense wrestling is ok? Absolutely not.
I'm not saying that it's like this 24/7 but I will give them lectures and punish them before it becomes that way. I think I made some leeway with Jack. I reminded him that for everything that he does, Charles will do. So if there is intense squeezing and pushing from Jack, then Charlie will do the same. However if Jack doesn't want to see the intensity that he gets from Charlie and in turn acts nicer, then Charlie will be nicer. I reminded him that Charlie looks up to Jack and just repeats everything that Jack does. In the end Jack said- I'll be a nice kid. That broke my heart.
As for myself, I know exactly what's going on. I'm stressed. The place that we were supposed to live to is now not happening anytime soon and meanwhile where we are now has just gotten inconvenient in so many ways. My stress is coming out tenfold and I need to calm myself down as well as listen and practice on what I preach. I would love at this moment to just get up and walk somewhere. But no one is here to stay with the kids and it's just me. Life is so hard. I need to know when all of this ugly phase will end soon.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

The Best Summer Weekend

Buster Bunny was going to make an appearance at the Miss Lori show, and then he realized that he was about to go out in a 95 degree summer day. I caught Buster waiting in the wings at the grocery store, catching his last breath of AC air before heading out to the scorching sun.

For free fun, take a chance and go to a Miss Lori's Campus show. It's a lady from PBS Kids that goes around from grocery stores to malls to the nearest Sprint store and will sing songs to kids about eating right, exercising and all that jazz. I wish that she would emphasize more on how to eat vegetables and would make the kids eat some right then and there. That would have been a good one for my oldest. 
We went to a "show" by our grocery store and they had stands of food and snacks. I was sold. I wasn't sold however that it was one of the hottest days of the summer and that she was dancing up a storm in dead heat. Miss Lori, you need to hurry up and show who the special PBS guest is so we can go back to the AC. Stat! 

The pic you see below is Miss Lori herself, with a little chap named Charlie who is in the midst of the big kids. Just standing there and watching her. Do you see him? Look closer!

On Sunday, we went to a photo exhibit showcasing work from the former Sun Times Photographers. We took the boys there and it was my intention for them to meet my mentor, photographer John H. White but to also look at different photographs and talk about what they see. 
What I didn't expect was a sea of photographers, in a cramped space, with no AC. On a really hot day. So much for showing them around, looking at each photograph and explaining to them on what a composition is. I was also going to explain to them that photography is in their blood and by nature it was a 50% chance that one of them will grow up to be one. Or just really really like photography. It was too hot for them to care, there were hardly any kids around and there were no snacks there. This was not a Miss Lori's campus.

This photo was taken in one of the cool spots of the gallery. These guys really didn't care that they were at a gallery show. They did care however that they were able to get some cookies and cake at Dinkel's bakery afterwards. My idea, of course.

The Hard Times

This is a hard post to write. My oldest is going thru some weird phase right now. He discovered something called independence and it really sucks right now. Almost everything is no. No. I don't want to take a bath. No. I don't want to eat. No. I'm not going to bed. I'm going to watch tv instead. That last argument is the worst one.
Sometimes he will tell me that he's not tired but tells me this with one eye open. This kid is fighting his sleep and he'll tell me somewhat defiantly "I'm not tired". Yes you are. "No I'm not!"
I see myself losing my patience a bit more each day. I want to be one of those moms that really keep it cool every day but when I hear no all the time, how can I?
I placed this pic on this post to remind me that my children are young only once. Especially with my oldest now at an age where he will remember these memories. I don't want him to think- my mom used to reprimand me all the time. It kills me to think of that now. I'm asking to be blessed with something people ask for all the time- patience. And for my children to understand that i love them so much that even when I give them time outs- it's not fun for me to do so.

The Missing Spouse

This moment was captured while we were at the Chicago Botanic Gardens on Saturday. Beautiful right? Except that my husband had one kid climbing on his back and I had the other slightly larger and older kid climbing and sliding down my back. Notice our tired faces. Yet, our faces were one of happiness, as in, It's a gorgeous day, we are out and about, and for once we do not have two kids running around. We can actually lay down here on the grass for a good 5 minutes. 

My husband just started a new job last week that he loves. He is perfect for this job and I love the fact that the job that he has been looking for has been treating him so well. He actually gets to work with normal thinking adults!! Yes, there is such a job that exists. He found it and that is all that matters. For all the searching and patience that he has had over the last couple of months in finding this job, we are truly blessed.

Here is the hard part. He works the evening shift, and I am gone in the daytime. His days off are Tuesdays , Thursdays and Saturdays. 

Let me stress again that he is working the evening shift, I work the day shift. I come home Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays scrambling for something to make for dinner for the boys that will be healthy, not boring and above all, not boring to eat. Plus, in our shift as we move into a new place, we have either my dad to come over and watch the boys. That is a not an easy thing for my dad to do all the time , since we live sooooo far away. There have been times where I come home so mentally exhausted, and I really needed my husband there, yet he was working. How can I be mentally exhausted yet put on the cap of the fun mom? Fun mom was there at 8 am, but my kids get swollen eyes since she looks at the computer all day mom. That is the mom that comes home at 6pm.

I do have one fun thing that I have invented last week. I have discovered that if I just sit still on the floor and do nothing, that gives my kids a chance to climb on me and jump off from my head. I really don't care if it hurts to have kids stand on my shoulders or head, so long as I can sit on the floor and not think for 5 minutes. I feel like I have become one of those gorilla moms from the zoo. They just sit there with their huge mass of a body and proceed to let their little gorilla babies climb and jump on top of them. That is me, gorilla mom. Take it or leave it. 

Then when the kids go to sleep, now I can turn around and talk one. My husband comes home late at night, so I watch How I Met Your Mother and laugh to myself. I would call my husband for a chat, but I don't want to disturb him. 

This is tough, this two parents working full time business. Not because I am taking care of the kids myself, that is not the issue. I just miss my partner. I miss my husband.