the ongoing hole in my heart

Last night together before heading back to collegešŸ˜¦

One might think that after having 4 kids, and sending most of them to school every fall, year after year….. I would be numb to the pain of “the first day back”.

Maybe this year feels worse than usual because last summer I didn’t know what it was going to be like without the oldest at home during the school year. This summer, I enjoyed her at home (most of the time…), but I also knew what was coming when summer vacation ended.

And it can’t be avoided… so I loved having her home, but dreaded her going back-for my own selfish reasons.

Adding to my pain, we have the 3 year old starting preschool tomorrow.

She’s ready! She’s soooooooo ready. But I am finding myself really depressed this week, as the days creep by. I squeezed her and kissed her so hard this morning that she faked an injury to get me to stop.

 

Will her school understand the importance of chocolate cake to her academic success???

 

I know I’ll be at work while she’s at school, but knowing she’s not safe in our little nest while I’m gone is stressing me out. Interacting with her teacher and other kids all day, going potty, eating lunch and snack, napping, playing, learning….. all these things will happen. She will be bossy, she will be bossed back. She will possibly be unhappy at some point.

Hyperventilating.

The 15 year is taller every morning. He’s back in high school, no longer a freshman. Lets me hug him at home, I don’t know about in public……

And the 6 year old started first grade today, away from the “baby wing” of the school, and upstairs with the big kids. He wore loafers today for gods sake…..and he loved it. He told me after school that he wants to live in first grade.

And so we are back in the school year, and all that goes with it.

Dammit, they keep growing up.

 

 

 

 

Starting back, but I’m not ready.

Image result for back to school blues

It’s coming….. end of summer, and Back to School. A time I mourn before it gets here, and mourn harder when it comes.

People think I’m weird for being sad to send my plethora of children back to school, but I hate it. For selfish reasons like not having to pack lunches all summer,Ā or forcing children out of bed before seven in the morning each day. I hate how the clock starts ticking as soon as I make the drop off at school, and I have to make sure I get through my work day efficiently enough to make it back to school for pick up on time.

Everything feels like a rush, and too many things have to be jammed in the day.

Don’t getĀ  me started on the fights about homework and dinner, and last minute stops to buy things needed right NOW for school the next day.

Cold weather, darkness, rain, ice, snow…… follow up to round out the crapfest that is the school year.

Hmmmmm. I might be a little pessimistic right now.

I think probably I’m moody because I’m dropping the oldest off at college again on Saturday. Tomorrow is my last day to spend with her, and part of it will be spent doing last minute shopping for things like pens, pencils, book bags, and water glasses to replace what I keep breaking. Not especially memorable, but necessary. Then she leaves, with only a messy room, and the shirts she steals from me as a reminder…..

And the youngest. Oh my god, how did I think she was ready for preschool??!Ā  She starts in 6 days, and I feel the squeeze starting in my chest. I know she’s smart, and social, and so far seems to have no sign of separation anxiety from me…. but she’s never actually been away from the house, without me, for a whole day. I want to pull her out, forget it, we aren’t ready.

I’m not ready.

 

I hate those litter box dreams

Last night I had a dream that I tend to have every once in a while. The location, and people, and all other details change….but one thing remains the same.

I’m going along my merry way…. and then suddenly I become aware that I have a cat. Sometimes it will be a cat that I thought died, or had been given away or something… other times I just realize that I’ve had this cat but wasn’t aware of it until now.

And then I realize there must be a litter box somewhere. I have a little anxiety attack in my sleep as I think about how many days/weeks/months/years???Ā  have gone by without any litter box attention. I search for the box, not wanting to search for it, but knowing I HAVE to.

Usually, it will be as horrible as imagined. Once it was a huge pile of dirty litter making a mountain in my parents basement. Last nights dream was me finding a new litterĀ box, and conveniently finding big box of clean litter in my shoe closet. As I’m scooping, I realize the clean litter isn’t clean. It’s full of lumps, clearly the poor cat was tired of waiting. Last nights dream was probably the least disgusting of my litter box nightmares.

Cats roamed: In the garage were dirty litter boxes and empty cat cages where the five dead animals may have once been kept in the disgusting home

In addition to finding horrendous amounts of filthy cat litter, the whole mood of the dream is kind of dark and angsty. I wake up feeling gross, like I still have dirty litter lurking around somewhere in my subconscious…..

How do I interpret this dream? One person suggested I must be going through a lot of stress, and the dirty litter shows up when I’m the most stressed out. Or you could think that maybe I have a dirty secret……. But I think it’s not as exciting as that.

I used to have cats. I was the only one who scooped the litter box. I was terrified of dirty litter, scooped it daily, and would freak out if I left it for anyone else to do and it wasn’t done.

I think I’m scarred from my fear of having a dirty litter box. And that sucks because although that made me extra attentive to it in real life, I’m still suffering for it in my dreams.šŸ˜¦

 

 

 

Kids in the hall for dummies

A tragedy has come to my attention.

A grievousĀ injustice.

At what point did The Kids in the Hall become unknown???

If you don’t know what I’m talking about….then you are partly responsible for the senseless loss of humor occurring at this very moment.

I can’t let it continue. Click on thatĀ link. Educate yourself. Don’t allow my secret crush, Dave Foley to fade into obscurity.

I tried to explain the magic of this particular comedy group to my oldest…. she walked away, leaving me watching YouTube videos on my kitchen floor. I feel sorry for her. She will never understand why I sometimes crush her head when standing across the room from her and she’s not looking. I alone have that power for now.

They’re from Canada. Another reason to love Canada, along with Justin Thoreau…..

So now, I have given you the tools…. watch, learn, repeat.

 

 

 

 

 

when death is cheaper than living, and less embarrassing….

Image result for Growing Older

I met a couple last week, married 68 years!

Sharing a little apartment in an assisted living community, they sat at the table in their tiny kitchen talking with me.

As we talk, I’m noticing how good looking they both still are, appreciating great bone structure in their 90-some year old faces. Is that weird? I wanted so badly to see a picture of them as newlyweds, they must have been blindingly attractive back then.

Now he’s scooping out raisins on their plates, and she’s crumpled in her chair, her body isn’t keeping up quite as well as her lovely face. She can’t see much anymore, can barely walk, they don’t like to leave the place because it’s just too much work.

They are funny, intelligent, and enjoy a bit of dark humor. She’s got a form of cancer, had some chemo for it. They tell me the doctor said she’d last for 2 more years. This was about 3 years ago. He’s laughing as he tells me how he went back to the doctor and asked why she was still alive… “you promised 2Ā  years, not more!”

She laughs too, but tells me “it’s too expensive to live”, she’s serious. They feel like they’ve overstayed their welcome here…Ā but don’t know how to make a graceful exit.

They aren’t the only ones, I hear this a lot.

Cute lady today, almost 100. Fought with her son about wanting to keep her own house, take care of herself, she didn’t need any help. He took the knobs off her stove because she left the water boiling once.

She is very neat, pretty too. bright blue eyes, and a flowered headband. So tidy and precise as we talk. She’s embarrassed that her son caught her in a moment of weakness. Embarrassed that she fell and had to crawl to the bathroom, trying to pull herself up on the toilet so she could stand again.

Almost bewildered to find herself in this predicament….

Sighing as she talks about how her son put his foot down, she’s not allowed to go back home. Planning to sell her house, not sure how much time she should plan for….

How does it feel to get to that point,Ā when person feels like they should possibly apologizeĀ  for living too long?

How can we do this better??

 

 

When things go missing

IĀ had a plan the other night…. it was about 8:30 and I was going to let the kids watch something before bed for a treat…. and to keep them away from me so I could get some computer charting done for work.

But where was the remote?

It’s always in a predictable place, but after checking the usual places, and then more places, I started to worry. I couldn’t focus on anything until I found it. Grilled the littleĀ kids, checked with the older kids….no ideas for me.

I thought back, and couldn’t recall when I last had the TV on, could it have been days ago? Did my toddler nephew hide the remote when he was over Sunday? Possibly in the pantry where he likes to hideĀ and poop? Nope, not in the pantry. Not under the tables, in any of the other rooms, in the toy boxes, on the mantle. Not in the basement, the bathrooms, my room, my kids rooms…..

Time ticked by…. no remote. After a good hour, I was standing on a chair, looking from a higher place to see if I could find it. Then I saw it. Tucked in next to a dish filled with decorative flowers, the highest shelf of the entertainment center, way off to the side…

The babysitter hid it, then forgot to put it back.

This she does because she has a hard time telling the kids “no”. So she hides the remote, and tells them she can’t find it so they can’t watch TV.

Sometimes I will be cleaning, and find a hidden cache of annoying toys that have been silently tucked away and forgotten…… in an unused cabinet in the basement, or under a couch….

 

 

I found the kids Easter baskets, full of candy, hidden in the top of the pantry last month.Ā Those poor milk chocolate rabbits just dying for some attention.

I’ve asked her not to hide things…. the kids are used to being told “no” if I don’t want them to have something. Besides, they’re on to her, the 6 year old seeing through her excuse that his kindle disappears when she comes over…. but she can’t help it.

I expect when we eventually move, we’re going to find all sorts of things we will have long since forgotten, hidden by a well-intentioned sitter who doesn’t like to be the bad guy. I guess I could put a positive spin on it, and treat every day after work like the scavenger hunt it is.

 

 

 

 

Kidpik Review

Oh guys, I couldn’t resist.

Somehow I stumbled across an ad for Kidpik….an online subscription box for kids fashion.

….can you see where this is going?

I signed up for Jenna. Of course I did. After I checked out the site and read that most pieces are in the 12 dollar range, it didn’t seem like such a bad deal, not to mention the 30% discount for keeping every item.

It’s quick and easy to sign up. A simple style profile to complete online, and we were all set for our fashion box to arrive.

It came today!

We wasted no time opening the box, and Jenna loved seeing a personalized message for her inside, along with some fun things to try on.

I actually didn’t have amazingly high expectations for this box, it was more curiosity to see what they would send. I have to say I was surprised because they sent things I really wouldn’t have purchased on my own, but I found really cute on my daughter. Of course I did…

Jenna loved everything, and found nothing too scratchy or tight. She loved twirling in the dress, the bright colors of the clothes, and the soft hairbands with cute flowers to accessorize with.

I loved that the pants had an adjustable waist, and also gave bonus points for the extras in the box for Jenna….. some iron on patches and coloring pages for her to play with.

checking out…also very simple.

Things I love about Kidpik:

  1. NO styling fee!Ā  It’s free. Just pay for what you keep, you aren’t going to feel “stuck” buying at least one piece because you’ve invested a fee that you’ll lose if you don’t buy something.
  2. You can choose to get 4, 8, or 12 boxes per year… and cancel anytime with no strings. I signed up for 4 per year, so unless I change it, our next box will be for winteršŸ˜¦
  3. It’s fun!!Ā  And knowing we aren’t paying for anything unless we want it keeps me interested in trying it again..no strings!

Right now, Kidpik is styling girls from size 4-14, they don’t have an option for boys yet. Given that my boys hate wearing anything but the basic athletic shorts and Tshirts, I don’t think that’s a problem for me. If Sammy saw a box of nice clothes for him to try on, he would be wondering why he’s being punished.

There you have it! If you’ve got a girl at home, and especially if you ALSO subscribe to a fashion box service yourself…… your little one might love it too. Mine did, and keeping her box was about $58 for all pieces with the discount. Not a big investment for the big smiles it producedšŸ™‚