Friday, July 24, 2009

Lazy Summer vs. Boring Summer

Just wanted to give an update to nothing, I suppose. There's nothing happening.

This is, I suppose, a good thing. Nobody is sick. Nothing monumental is happening, other than my own internal crises about which nobody needs to hear. As we begin the slow build-up back into the school year, we're just whiling away the days.

Gosh, that sounds nice, doesn't it? Whiling away...

Some would call it boring, and I suppose it is. But sometimes boring is a good thing. I read somewhere that we should let our kids get bored, because it's through boredom that their imagination and creativity are allowed to flow. And I fully subscribe to this theory. I just can't believe that kids really enjoy having such full schedules, and I can't help but opine that it hinders their ability to figure out how the heck to entertain themselves.

I'm definitely not one to orchestrate every week of their summer to maximize their summer learning experiences. In fact, I don't understand those people at all. Over-scheduling the kids is punishment for me. Rushing from this lesson... to that camp... to that practice... to that playdate is just torture . No, thank you. I just hate those days when we're crazy-busy.

Of course, I can't escape the second thoughts about this stance. I can't help thinking about all the opportunities my kids are missing. They could have participated in the community play. They could have gone to science camp. They could have played baseball. They could have taken tae kwon do lessons. Repeat ad infinatum...

And someday, they might look back at these days and judge me harshly for all the missed opportunities. But then again, the kids of those super-moms might look back and wish they'd had twenty free minutes in a row that weren't spent in the car between engagements.

Neither of us is going to win.

And the significance of this video? I first heard it several years ago, during a particularly dark period in my life. Silly as it may sound, something about the lyrics helped me to hang on until I could see my way through to the sunshine on other side.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Passing it on...

Question: does the younger generation know the origin of Drink The Koolaid?

Friday, July 17, 2009

How do you post when you have nothing to say?

Not much of anything is happening around here... well, I DID spend 4 days in on my own in Chicago, which might someday be a blog post of its own. But other than that, we've been doing nothing, and I've been loving it. I know I have to start gearing up for the upcoming homeschool year, but for now I'm just decompressing. Last year was not our greatest, you know.

So far, this summer has been trips to the playground, swimming in the pond. Visits to the amusement park. Gardening.

No school. No stress. No deadlines. No pressure.

But it doesn't make for good blogging. It's not like I've gone head-to-head with Mother Nature like KathyB or anything! I don't even have batteries for my camera, so I haven't taken a single new picture during the past month. And I feel bad about it, because I know several of you have been by regularly to check if I've put anything new up. You know who you are. [Hi, Jeff! ;-)]

We've had swim meets and a tornado watch. The bunnies are master escape artists who always seem to get one step ahead of us. But they're also dumb tame enough not to run away, and they always get re-caught. The garden has grown exponentially - the jalapeno plants have flowers, we have the cutest baby bell peppers, and our first cuke is ready to be picked. (I know, it's late in the season, but we got a late start.)

The twins, at 2-and-a-half, are totally uninterested in potty training. They're also supremely adorable. Tonight they had an altercation:

Noelle takes away Natalie's toys.
Natalie starts screaming.
Noelle says, "Sorry for taking you toys, Nonnie."
Natalie says, "That's okay."
They hug.
Noelle says, "Let's share the toys!"
Natalie says, "Okay!"
They kiss.
Altercation over.

Brian is starting to go girl-crazy, and is about to go away for a week to Scout camp. He's up for election to the Order of the Arrow. {insert mysterious oohing and aahing here} His cast came off a few weeks ago and it was really ugly where the pins came out. He had to stay out of the pool for an extra two weeks while it healed. And there we were, thinking he could jump right back into swim practice the day the cast came off! He's increased by 45 seconds on every one of his strokes across the board, but he's really dedicated himself to get back into shape. After all, he did lose 6 weeks of training.

Sarah's working her tail off at the park, and trying to squeeze in an amazing summer before she leaves for college on August 27. Scott's also working a lot at the ice cream shop, and he's on antibiotics, for the second time in a month, for some type of antibiotic-resistant germ whose name usually strikes up a panic, so I won't mention it here. All I wanna know is HOW he got it, TWICE. But he's always been kind of a walking auto-immune disaster.

Conor, Clare & Theresa get no mention here. I guess they haven't been particularly good OR bad.

It's been in the high 80s every day this week.

Okay, now that I've resorted to mentioning the weather, I'm convinced this post is over.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Dear Family,

Today is the worst day of the month for me. I'm sorry. I just can't help it.

As a family, this whole extreme PMS thing is fairly new to us. You know, you've been relatively lucky. I have spent the majority of the past 19 years pregnant or breastfeeding, so we've all been largely spared the horror. Sure, you've had to deal with a sometimes-unstable pregnant mom, or a cranky, sleep-deprived postpartum mom, but there was always that baby to look forward to or the newborn to fawn over.

Those days are over now. The twins are out of babyhood and long past weaning, and there are no new babies on the horizon. Now we have nothing to anticipate except the arrival of Aunt Flow.

It was never like this when I was younger, when the worst I had to deal with was extreme cramps the first two days. Nothing like it is now - NOW, I feel like my mind's been hijacked and I've become some other insane person that I don't like or understand.

Sometimes I don't realize it's happening to me until I'm well in the middle of it. It starts as a vague, unsettled feeling inside. Then I feel like I'm going to shake apart, like I'm losing my mind. The first time it happened to me, earlier this year, I seriously suspected I might be going crazy. Now, at least, I can recognize it for the temporary hormonal insanity that it is.

For approximately 24 hours, everything bothers me. The smallest task feels too big to contemplate. My mind is exhausted. Everything makes me cry. You didn't realize it, but I was sitting behind you today while we were watching Finding Nemo, silently weeping at all the fish pulling together to escape the fishing boat's net. The grumpy old lady at the supermarket, grouching out loud because we were in her way, made me cry right there at the checkout.

I really don't know what to do to make this better, but at least recognizing it is a small step. I hope that this is the start of early menopause for me. If it isn't, we're in for a long haul. I think the best thing for all of us is that for those 24 hours, you don't make any messes, scurry around doing every bit of housework imaginable, don't fight, and just generally try to be invisible. Yeah, that ought to do it.


For all of us.

Love, Mom

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