Sans Offspring

As I sit typing this post, at 3:30 in the afternoon, I am HOME ALONE. Yes, it's true. My parents came to visit Sunday for two days and informed me Tuesday morning that they were going to take all 4 of my kids home with them. I did not complain. I have been plagued with a sore throat on and off (mostly on) for nearly three weeks now. It had gotten pretty bad and I was feeling really run down. So I packed them up and sent them on their way. No one complained. In fact, when they heard they were going to Nana and Pop-Pop's house without me, they were quite happy. I don't know what that says about my relationship to my kids, but I DON'T CARE. I am enjoying 48 hours to myself and though I miss them, have been able to accomplish a lot since their departure.

I have cleaned our bedroom, which is unfortunately a dumping ground for furniture, important papers, artwork, and home decor that doesn't have a place anywhere else in the house. It becomes the room where I put something I don't want the children to touch (and thus destroy) and close the door. Though I clean out the drawers pretty often, they are still over-flowing. Though we only sleep in there, the amount of dust I found could stuff a small pillow. And the mildew I discovered on the windows literally made me gasp. Our master bedroom holds nothing masterful at all and should be called "The Master(ed by Children) Bedroom."

I also accomplished what I was ordered by my mother to do, which was rest and eat. I stayed up only a little later than usual last night (reading a book, not working) and challenged myself to sleep as late as possible. I even restricted fluids so as not to have to get up and pee, thus ruining my chances of sleeping in. I don't like to sleep in, and even before children would get up by 8:30 or 9. I really didn't think I could do it, and when I awoke, did not open my eyes for quite a few minutes, telling myself it was probably only 8 a.m. and to go back to sleep. Because once I look at my watch, I begin calculating how many things I have to do and how long it's going to take and how I need to get started. But I caved, looked at my watch, and it said 9:55! Yes! I was amazed! I did it! I slept in! I was afraid that having children had ruined my abilities but it has not! And to make things even better, my throat wasn't even sore.

Needless to say I am thanking God for my parents who saw what I did not--that I really needed to rest and get better and be without my energy sucking, sanity stealing, calorie burning, germ filled children for a couple days. Hopefully my parents won't get too exhausted or sick themselves. And now I've spent enough time doing this. I've got much to do before the offspring are back on again!


The Homely Virus

Well, we're on like day 10 of some person in our family being sick. The whole "it takes a week for it to go around the whole family" is no exaggeration. It's not enough of one. It started with Jackson getting fever, then Libby had pink eye in both eyes, Cash is finally over his diarrhea (which included one episode of poop in his bed that was so disgusting I can't even make a joke about it) and Penelope has had a little of all these symptoms, including a rash. I have a sore throat. Jimmy, somehow, has escaped unscathed, although today feels pretty run down. For this recovering emetophobic (fear of vomit, yes it has a name) germ-a-phobe mommy, this whole viral plague has left me with bloody knuckles (from 24-7 hand washing) and living on a diet of Altoids and lip gloss. (Just exaggerating for effect, Mom. I'm eating.) I half-apologize for divulging this information. Who wants to know, right? But if I document this maybe I can offer up a little sympathy in a few decades to another young mommy like me who is SO OVER IT. Can you please get better!? Yes, they're awesome. Yes, I'm thankful for them. Yes, I am blessed. But sickly, whiny, feverish, smelly children are still sick, whiny, feverish, and smelly and it takes it's toll.

Last week, Jimmy was looking at a photo of the author on the back of a book Jackson was reading and said she was "homely." Jackson wanted to know what that meant and so I said, "Watch it, Jimmy. I'm homely. Jackson, a person who is homely is someone who doesn't fix themselves up because they're home a lot. So they don't wear make-up or nice clothes." I mean, I was only two days into the sickness at this point, but if anyone fits the definition of homely, it's me when everyone is sick and I can't leave the house nor want to. (I later looked up the definition to see if I was correct, and I did a pretty good job combining all definitions.) So the next day we went somewhere and when we pulled up I said, "Don't get out of the car yet, I'm going to finish putting on my make-up." (My make-up bag lives in the car...there are only four things in it, and I just put them on while driving on the way to wherever I'm going. I can barely be on time getting everyone else ready, and getting up earlier to apply make-up is NOT important to me.) Anyway, Jackson watched me finish up the mascara (it's hard to apply mascara while driving when you wear glasses and need your glasses just to see your speedometer) and as I put it away he said, rather enthusiastically, "Not homely anymore, Mom!" Yes, it's as if I have an alter ego. No one will know I'm the same person they saw walking to her mailbox in her pajamas with ratty hair and a snotty baby on her hip. Homely girl has left the house! And she's packing mascara! Look out, world.

So anyway, in the midst of all this, I am trying to potty train Cash. And miracle of miracles, he is doing REALLY WELL. Like, he's further along than either of my other two were at this age. I have had to change my reward system up a bit, though. He was totally working the system and squeezing out two or three drops or a tiny terd just to get candy. His entire life was peeing or pooping just enough to get candy. After six days of constant candy, he got what's going around and so I had to take him off all the sugar. So he was sick AND going through detox. It was quite a day. But now he is content with goldfish and Gatorade and is really having a lot of success. It's a Festivus miracle. Cash wins the "feats of strength." (If you haven't seen this Seinfeld episode, you have no idea what I'm talking about.) He amazes us with his ability to control his muscles. Not just sphincter muscles. All muscles. You go, Cash. As long as it's in the toilet.

P.S. I know it's incorrect, but I really like spelling terd with an "e". I think if you wipe up enough of them you should be allowed to spell it however you want.


For Mom Only

Well, vacation is over soon. Garage sale is done ($102 and a lot less junk later), Christmas is put away. Tomorrow Jimmy is back to work, I'm exercising at the park, schooling, and attempting potty training. I meant to take this next week off and do some major planning for school, but Jackson is expecting to have work to do, so I'm going to dish it out, no matter how unorganized I am behind the scenes. The kids don't know. I tried to get some things done today and actually did but ended up getting side tracked and doing things like collecting my own back to school box and making this message on the top. My personal pencil box is full of unbroken crayons, adult sized scissors, markers with lids (that are the right color), and sharp pencils. I'm not bitter. I'm glad the kids are at work with paper, pencils, and scissors, but I'm a little tired of sharing and never being able to find a pencil that works or a pair of scissors that aren't preschool sized. At a home school, you don't have a big brown intimidating desk with a drawer that locks; giving you at least a small amount of personal space. My students not only invade my personal space, they begin doing so rather early in the morning and until the sun goes down. I showed Jimmy my pencil box. He laughed. Not because he thought I was funny. Because he knows it will never last! Oh well. I can't help trying.


Yellow chair Yard Sale

Well, although I vowed to spend this week strategizing and planning ways to make school more efficient in my home, I instead spent today organizing, pricing, and piling up all the items I have collected for a yard sale. I have hit a point where I can't stand this extra crap in my home and in my crawl space for another week and so I'm going to stick it out on the lawn on Saturday and let the chips fall where they may. I have learned many interesting things about myself and my relationship with money. This one chair in particular, a comfy yellow rocker I reupholstered myself, has been sitting in my living room looking really ugly for quite a few months now and I want to kick it to the curb but have held off, thinking someone might want to buy it. I bought it for $5 myself at a garage sale and so really can't expect to get much more than that out of it. Is it worth months of the chair bothering me to maybe make five bucks off it? NO! But this is who I am, so it still sits, waiting for a price tag and a sale, earning me a little satisfaction that I did my part for the family. That I wasn't wasteful. That I helped someone else (I'll try not to gag as I write this...) recycle.

After working all day on this task and suffering the allergenic consequences, I realized that the majority of the items I'm selling were already either handed down to me or bought at a garage sale or thrift store themselves so what in the world do I think I'm doing? Does anyone else really want my junk? Is a penny saved really a penny earned? And why don't I donate it to a worthy cause? Are the truly thrifty really greedy deep down? Is my need to save and go to way too much effort for a load of junk hereditary? Will I ever be able to spend money without feeling guilty? If Jimmy says, "Let's buy such and such..." will I ever be able to give him a huge smile and say "OKAY!"? These are questions about myself I may never have answered. But I admit, if I can get more than $5 out of the nasty yellow chair, I'll feel pretty good. Will all this effort be worth the pay off? I'll keep you posted. ha.