Tuesday, April 12, 2016

THE BEST OF TIMES, THE WORST OF TIMES

It's been a while since I have been so saddened by a sporting event.  But it happened last week in Houston.  David and I had the trip of all trips - we ate the best Mexican food, the best brisket and the best steak we've ever had.  We took Uber all over the city.  We drank Texas beer and met many nice people.  (my view of Texas is formally changed to the positive).  We walked here and there and enjoyed the hell out of Houston.  And that doesn't even include the amazing basketball we got to see.  Except for those 4.7 seconds of pure awful.

I have never wanted anything more (well, I have, but relatively speaking...) than two wins in Houston.  I wanted the championship shirt.  I wanted to tell people I was there.  I wanted the world to know that despite all the odds against us, Carolina prevailed.  I wanted it for me and David, to make the trip completely worth it.  I wanted it for our school, because we needed it.  We deserved it.  I wanted it for the players, who could not be better people.  They deserved it more.  It's been a rough few years and for the whole thing to go down as it went down.  Well, that was bad.

Whining about the officials is legitimate, but still doesn't help get us that ring.  Whining about missing free throws or layups or wondering why we took those shots....still doesn't get us the ring.  But we won.  Because we have character.  Because we almost won in spite of all that was against us.  The refs, the shots, the mess of the last few years...

I am so proud of our team.  I am so sad for us.  But we still had a blast.  (and I am still exhausted).

God bless Texas.


Thursday, March 31, 2016

KICKING AND SCREAMING

Just another day in paradise.  Emma, as precious as she is, is a bit spoiled.  She likes her way, and she likes it all of the time.  She has no reason to fight over things, she's the only kid, and it's not like I'm trying to play with her toys.  (those Magnatiles though...)  So, when things are asked of her, sometimes she plays objector.  And sometimes, like the last two days, she straight up kicks her teacher in the shins.  The first of those days, she did it in front of the preacher.  Well, if that's not a reason to go to church...  So, when she did it again yesterday, I got a nice phone call and a request to come pick up the lil delinquent.  Here is hoping for a better day today because I cannot adult anymore.

In other news, WE ARE GOING TO THE FINAL FOUR!  And by we, I mean me and David and Carolina and for the love of everything it's going to be awesome.  We spent a good deal of cash in relatively little time preparing for this, but as David said..... "making memories."  And I can't wait to celebrate 5 years with him.  Watching basketball.  How romantic :)

Anyway.

I have figured out that I am not the best at this parenting thing.  I don't know how to make her do what I want when I want her to do it.  It's like she's a person and is making all these decisions to spite me.  Oh.  Well.  So, we are switching up strategies.  My goal every day is to not yell at her.  I have been successful maybe one day.  It's like when I get home and it's time to put her to bed, I just cannot.  I am done.  I am ready for an hour of my life until I wake up and do it all over again.  Except I can't sleep.  It's kind of nightmarish.  Maybe she gets this whole frustration thing honest.  And by maybe, I mean, bless her heart, she does.


Wednesday, March 2, 2016

FAILURE AND SUCCESS

I graduated high school, and then college, and then grad school.  Those items I'd deem great success, perhaps the high school event less so.  I found the man I married and made it happen, which seems like it worked out very well.  We created a baby named Emma, who is growing up to be somewhat amazing.  We have a lovely home and two cars and a cocker spaniel.  On paper, those things are all awesome and would make me think that the American Dream landed in my lap.

I am blessed in all of those ways.  I am very grateful for my job and the things that I get to do for money on a daily basis.  The fortunateness of it all isn't lost on me, but then I look at where I thought my life would be and it isn't there.  My college magazine comes in the mail and looking at the class notes of people in my class and the ones before and the ones after....  I'm not there AT ALL.  These people are CIOs of companies, doctors in Malaysia, run their own law firm and pretty much have won at life.

Maybe I am just happy where I am, not trying to get destroyed in the corporate world.  Maybe I am scared to try something completely new (though the whole baby thing was what I'd call "new").  For whatever reason, the networks I have or don't have, the outgoing qualities that I left behind in my preschool classroom... I am just not there.  So, those magazines, when they come in my mailbox?  I drop them like a hot potato, because otherwise it leaves me feeling like a big fat failure, when my life is so. much. more.

What my life is ....is wonderful.  I am a wonderful wife.  I am a wonderful mother.  Despite feeling like a Pinterest fail on the daily, I am decent at both roles.  I am a wonderful daughter.  I am a wonderful worker.

All the days and all the hours that I felt like I failed at everything I did, because I was all of those things.  All at once.  And it's hard to think you're dominating when you're spread out, but I am.  I am dominating it all, and that's definitely a great success.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

HOW WE DITCHED THE PACI

(this originally did not appear in July, but instead is appearing now so that I do not forget the adventures that I created for myself in the summer of '15)

The July 4, 2015 weekend gave me the bestest of ideas to both eliminate the pacifier from our house and commence potty training.  With Cheeks turning 3 here soon, we were really past the point that the paci was in vogue.  And, she won't get to move up in school until her pee and poop hit the water.  So, a plan was hatched.

Off we went to Target early in the morning and we "traded" our paci for a new toy of Emma's choosing and BIG GIRL underwear (in the form of Frozen and Minnie Mouse).  The poor Target lady was totally confused as to what to do with the paci I handed her.  I whispered "throw it away" and hoped the kid didn't hear me give away her most prized possession.  Once we got home, she was stoked to try on her new underwear.  This was going well.  I was proud of myself and ingenuity in combining milestones.  Her first pick of underwear was cute.  And then she peed on David's leg.

FOUR MORE pairs of underwear and an absolute breakdown on all of our parts (really, Emma needed that paci, David ditched the whole thing and went upstairs, and I was ready to wrap everyone in diapers while enjoying wine straight from the bottle).  I realized that I made a huge error in thinking that we could accomplish all things at once.... and that when we went to the beach she still wouldn't been wholly potty trained and I'd rather cut my head off than ask "do you need to go potty" every 15 minutes on my vacation.  So we threw on some diapers and kept up with the no-paci rule.

The first few days she asked for her paci and I was all "remember how we traded it for a toy and you were a big girl and you're doing so great and you don't need it anyway because big girl."  I straight panicked when she found one in a cabinet I hadn't cleaned out...  But with some redirection to Peppa the Pig, I escaped unharmed.

She sticks her hands in her mouth more than she used to....and I wonder what prayers I should say to stop the crying now that I lost my crutch....and overall she is doing GREAT GREAT GREAT.  I am so proud of her.

If I could just get her to take a break from life and pee in the potty, we would be in some business around here.

BYE FELICIA

This same old story is getting old, no?  But the life we are living has been the kind dreams are made out of.  The literal kind where we venture off to parties and playgrounds and gymnastics meets.  The literal kind where Emma slaps me in the face, gets red notes at school and then just DOES. NOT. LISTEN.  I think that's about the gist of where we've been.

Since last summer, Emma has turned 3 years old.  She pees and poops in the potty with great regularity and the times she hasn't....well, let's not talk about those times.  Those times were in Chickfila and I poured purell on the floor and said some prayers and we ended up leaving without pants and my dignity.  She is without paci, though there are times I wish I could shove one in.  We went to the beach, where she ate seafood, doughnuts, jumped into each and every pool the resort had to offer and melted our heart with sunglasses and sandals.  The kid who would not could not let the sand touch her precious toes at 1 year old, would not leave the beach willingly this year.  Let's be honest, I wouldn't either.






She has discovered a love of candy, birthday cake and the gift of song.  She's learning manners, and we are hoping she uses them more often than not.  She is going to play soccer in several weeks for an actual team, which means she'll get a jersey and shorts and OMG the absolute cuteness will kill me dead.

We've celebrated Christmas, New Year's and made Valentine's Day treats for her friends at school.  We have had dear friends move away - and we visited them - and then we had more friends move away - and we continue to foster our kidships at school each day.  

Due to unforeseen and slightly annoying car issues, we got a brand new car!  It was like getting a puppy.  We picked her out, then they got her all ready and then they shipped her straight to us.  Originally, she was supposed to go to a family in Baltimore, but the manager stepped in and re-routed it to the Perry family.  And then less than two months later, I went to get Chinese food and .... BAM.  No more functioning transmission.  I know what that means now and what it means is "do not drive home spicy noodle, drive straight to dealership instead."  So that was my bad a little bit.  But at least we ate dinner before the emotions turned to anger.

Emma moved up to the 3 year old room after I pitched a little fit about the 2 year old class she was still mired in.  After some ups and downs, we're settling in.  But Emma has turned into a non-listener, so we may have to look for new childcare after all, once these people boot her out.  She had her 3 year old checkup at the doctor and her first trip to the dentist - the office seriously looks like the jungle.  I asked if I could go there too.  

She continues to be cute and amaze us each day with things she has learned or said.  She loves to be tickled and thrown in the air.  She loves to dance and watch Night at the Museum.  She loves Play Doh and coloring and riding her bike outside.  Her blankets must be in a certain order for her to go to sleep.  She prefers to hug, kiss, high five and pound it out before laying down and upon arrival at school. 



There are days that I feel so very blessed to be her mom (which is all the days), but there are days that I just need to go to my happy place before I send her away to boarding school.  But at the end of those days, she's 3 and is learning how to push my buttons....and how to get them unstuck, which only takes a kiss from my favorite kid in the world.