Monday, January 28, 2008

What a way to start Monday

First off let me tell you that this weekend was not the norm. I have been sick. I feel like I just got over a cold and now it's back. It's nasty.

So I have not been myself.

Saturday as Brian sat in a library room struggling with his Edward Jones homework, I cracked the whip at the kids (not literally). They pretty much did chores for three hours. I kept repeating the mantra "we all have to do things we don't like to do". But they did them. And I was thankful. This left me to do some things that needed to be done. For instance,

  • finish the mountain of laundry and vacuum the laundry room floor that has been covered with said laundry. Now I just have to put it all away. =[
  • Clean the overflowing, smelly cat box. Not my favorite job.
  • Organize the books in the boys room and clean under the bed...I think I threw away 10 pounds of junk (old books, "baby" books, broken toys and of course, the ample amount of "artwork" that comes home from school).
  • scrub the dickens out of the boys bathroom (eeewww, it almost smelled worse than the cat box)

Sunday, Brian blessed me by taking the kids to church and the mall play area so I could stay home to rest. By Myself. Which I did, half-hearted (why is this hard for moms?) I ended up listing things to sell on eBay. They probably aren't even going to sell. The kids and Brian came home and we rested some more. All the while, Caleb's homework burning a hole in his backpack. Unfortunately, procrastinator me, has taught him how to procrastinate. Bad news.

This brings us to this morning. Good Ole Monday. Brian left at 5:30 to get crackin' on his homework for the day. I rolled out of bed at 6:45 after being given a slight heart attack by the sound of the alarm. Stumbled to the kitchen to make some much needed coffee filters! BAH! I had to supplement by folding a paper towel. I MUST have coffee! Kalie gave me heart attack #2 by standing behind me without saying anything. Off to get the boys up. Caleb is already an emotional wreck but he manages to get dressed and come upstairs so we can tackle his homework, which is USUALLY 3 stories to read maybe 4. Easy Peasy. We can do this while we eat breakfast. Well, it was 12 stories! There is no way to explain the feeling I had. I reverted back to high school days and felt sick to my stomach with the thought that this homework was not going to get done. With all of my lessons on Saturday about doing things we didn't want to do but had to, I forgot to mention that we always have responsibilities. And homework is his responsibility. But it's my responsibility to remind him.

I felt like a failure. If I had opened his backpack on Friday, I would have seen that it was not usual homework. We would have worked all weekend to read 4 stories each day so it wouldn't have been such a big deal. I wrote Mrs. Schleper a note, explaining that 'we hadn't finished the homework and I kept it home so it would get done tonight. I would return the book tomorrow'. Was that the right thing to do? It was a parenting problem...we dropped the ball. I could have signed the homework sheet and said he did it when he hadn't. I could have "forgotten" to put the book in his backpack and returned it tomorrow completed, without saying anything. Surely she must know that it was my fault anyway.

School was always hard for me. Homework was hard. I hated taking tests. I had friends who didn't study and still got A's and B's...I studied and got C's or D's. It makes me sick to think I have to go through this again. I want better for my kids. I guess this is my first lesson.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Alas, we are home

We just returned from an amazing trip to California! We left a blustery Minnesota for sunnier shores at 8 in the morning on the 21st of December. The kids were amazing on the plane and thrilled for our adventure. We have not all been to California together- ever! So this was a big deal.

The weather there was incredible! But, in my opinion, anything is better than 20 degrees and snow on the ground! We spent many a day on the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, soaking up the sun and thawing our frostbitten bodies. But the white runs deep and wouldn't ya believe, not a single one of us came back with a tan???

We stuck our fingers into sea anemones in the tide pools...we collected rocks and sea shells. We went to the San Diego Zoo with our Grandma Sharon, Great Grandma Carol and cousins, Erin and Brian and our second cousins, Marley and Gwenna. We had a wonderful Christmas day with lots of presents and laughs. Dinner was prime rib roast with other tasty sides. There was even a bread fight (with designated 'butter free' rolls)! The kids were instructed on "roll throwing ettiquette" and luckily no other vittles were tossed! Fun for all.

We ventured up the coast of California for three hours and landed in our old neighborhood of Ventura, California. While we were there, we went to the Ventura Pier (our favorite spot to stroll when the boys were very young) and walked out far into the ocean. We played at the play area until the sun set. It was a highlight of our trip.

Mostly we had an amazing time with our kids. It was wonderful to enjoy them without daycare kids around and the distractions of home...t.v., computer, phone, Playstation. They were surrounded by grandma and great grandma's menagerie. Two dogs, a cat, a bird, three tanks of fish plus an outdoor pond full of Coi!

Check out the pictures here...but be warned, there's a lot