Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The swine ruined the summer!

We've had some sorrow around here this week...After DS1 attended camp and had a fabulous time, the camp had an outbreak of H1N1 (swine flu). Camps all over the nation are succumbing to this easily spreadable disease. The state shut them down for the week that DD was supposed to go and it did not work out for her to go the next week. After much deliberation, we decided we didn't feel comfortable sending DS2 (nor did it seem fair). There really was not a good answer here and of course, the kids were sad. Admitedly, I was a bit relieved. I didn't know if I could have enjoyed the week, worrying about the kids there all that time on their own. I just don't know how they'll react yet. I'm not helicoptering...but with DD having a split lip that is still scabbed - well, it just seemed like a reason that she may tell a story!
The positive of this is that although they were sad (we told them seperately and allowed time to 'grieve' with us) - they handled it and really acted mature about it. They understood that it wasn't us out to get them. It wasn't a battle that they continued to fight. DD mentioned it a few times - being sad for not going...which I TOTALLY understand. I told her she gets extra hugs every day for being such a brave, big girl. This week is really a test for her. She was supposed to be gone and so - I put DS2 in a day camp and DS1 made lots of plans, as did I! So, she is making a go of it on her own (not alone in the house...but 'alone' in that the other kids are gone and I'm swamped). This is my child that cannot spend 5 minutes alone. She's done more like 30 minutes so far today. Big stuff!
We registered DS1 for 8th grade today. I can't believe how fast time flies. He was bummed about his a couple of class assignments and the fact that, again, he doesn't seem to have any buddies on his team at school (they are separated into teams for core classes). As we talked though, I could see realization that life stinks sometimes. You take what you get and don't throw a fit! He'll make it through...and I'll be able to let him do that on his own - even when it stinks! I hope...
I'm working on setting more realistic goals...both long-term and short-term. I'm the one who preaches that IF TODAY IS AS GOOD AS IT GETS, you have to be ok with that...but I don't live it very well. The stress that lingers around here seems to be tied to expectations. I know I'll never be able to completely not have any - I'm too goal-oriented...but maybe making them a little easier to achieve would be ok.
I'm trying to read the Four Agreements. Anyone read that? It seems very 'crystals hold power' to me...but I'm only a few pages in. I seem to have ADD every time I pick it up. But, it was assigned by my therapist and like the little geek from high school, I'll finish it just to be able to kiss up and look like a good student!

Friday, July 17, 2009

tears on my pillow

Sometimes you just have to cry. I hold it in a lot...especially in front of the kids. It's incredibly sad to know that my crying means they'll feel they've won. But, tonight was the night. I'm mourning for things I'll never have. Normal - even the new one I've been trying to nail down...seems to always be right out of reach.
DD has a big performance tomorrow. I have been SO excited for her and for us - really, our family. This camp has taken a lot of time and she's worked hard. While she knew she had my support, I toned down my excitement for her because it's overwhelming for her sometimes. She's the star of this show tomorrow...tumbling, cheering, stunting...it felt so good to know how proud she could be of herself - HOW PROUD I am of her! Tonight she goes out to ride her scooter and it somehow turns into catastrophe. She comes in with a totally split lip - in three places. Blood everywhere and stories flying. Thank heavens DH was here - I'm bad with blood and the moments around that were flying. Once a calm set in I realized that she'll look like a mac truck hit her for the performance tomorrow. Forget the make-up she's supposed to wear...she may have black eyes and the whole package. Then I remember that she never cried. Not at all...
She and DS2 did this mess together and basically he ran into her face after she fell down with his bike. I don't believe a word of the story we were told. Neither of them cares.
I don't want to go tomorrow...I'm tired of explaining stuff and feeling embarrassed. I'm tired. I let it go...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

busy bees....bzzzz, bzzzz

We've been busy! I think everyone in our family rarely knows if we are coming and going and somehow, we are often doing both. There is some street maintenance going out right on our corner and one day the 'stop sign lady' actually walked to my driveway to ask me where I go all day!
I do have to say that our overscheduled summer has kept the incidences to a minimum. I would say the hardest couple of things going on right now are that the boys' want little to nothing to do with DD. She is a bit clingy because they are staying away from her. So, sad little girl mopes around our house with 'nothing to do'. That is why her camps are a savior this summer. The second thing that is happening is stupid questions! They are just getting worse. I'm hanging on, but wondering what brings this back up so often around here. Our therapist says that if a child wakes up every day and pretends to a be a chicken - soon they'll forget how to be a kid. So, my kids have woken up so many days and pretended to be stupid that they've forgotten how to be smart. They are SO smart...I can see things in them that I know are gifts - but unused for sure! I think part of my job is to remind them how smart they are.
I have come to start saying "there you go" all bubbly like when they get something right! At a concert the other night, DS2 looked at me and said "I feel stupid when you say that". Bummer. When I think I'm doing something right - it's not!
We had family in town last week and we had a great time. We rafted the Arkansas River and hit some class 2 and 3 rapids. DD rode right up front and was crazy brave...just so little fear in her. Thankfully her self harming is getting much better and she seems proud of seeing her legs clear up...however, there are still mysterious spots that show up from nowhere!

I get to find out who the kids teachers' are on Wednesday. I must admit that I have some nervous feelings about this. I just want to know that this will be a good year...and I feel like the teacher decision is a big part of that. On the school front - I can't believe that DS2 is going into 6th grade...can't believe it so much that I'm dying to hold him back. I feel scared for him...his maturity, his attention span and his size even. I don't want him to have to be the 'little' guy his whole school life. DH says we need to let him go through 6th this year and re-evaluate before he moves on to middle school. I'm open to that...but will be hard core about letting him move on again! His grades are fine...it's the other stuff that gets me all worked up.

Can't believe I have an 8th grader this year or that little girl is going into 4th. I'm amazed at how quickly time flies! Tomorrow we are off to a HUGE water park and I'm hoping for a good day!

Sleep away camp starts on Sunday with DS1 heading off first. I have to figure out this week how to put all his 'stuff' into one backpack...he may not get to be as big a fashion plate as usual!

Hope all your summer's are going well.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Plug in for summer!

I feel like I haven't written in forever...need to catch up. Summer is getting the best of me for sure.
First - I want to make a couple of plugs. An 'adoption' friend has written a book about adopting an older child from Russia...there aren't a lot out there and I want everyone to buy, buy, buy this book to show that we all want to know more. I'm going to be lucky enough to review the book for Grown in my Heart and am looking forward to reading it. It's called Adopting Alesia and is available on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Second plug - www.growninmyheart.com has published their first e-book. It's on having a culture camp in your home. There are tons of great ideas for many sending countries and it's focused on kids who either don't want to go/or are too young to go...please check it out and support a new adoption site. If you can't buy the book...at least go and read - great writers over there (including me - Voni)!

On to our life!
The summer is going well and we are busy most of the time. I really may have overscheduled a bit...but baseball in over until August for DS1 and track is over for DS2...that frees up some weekend time. We've had swimming lessons, cheer/hip-hop camp, softball, day trips and upcoming camps including weight training, sports camp, architecture camp and sleep away camps for all three kids. We have family coming into town next week - which means fun stuff like rafting, hiking cool trails and baseball games! There are days that I run kids to and fro from 9am to 7pm. But, they are overall staying busy and that's good!

The boys are in a hot and cold relationship. DS1 has gotten himself in hot water with his attitude again...so lots of free time on his hands to spend with the dogs (see him if you'd like to know how to get a dog to puke on your bed in 15 short minutes) and his sibs. There have been a lot of frisbee games in the backyard, until a younger one gets fed up with the competitive attitude of big bro. So many excuses - so little time in his life. I can't quite get a handle on him. He has been staying home a lot (even when not in trouble) and seeming very needy of my time and attention...but doesn't actually want to talk about anything. Just wants to invade my space. On the upside he is incredibly helpful around the house. He can nearly make a meal on his own now - definitely helps pack lunches for camps and laundry gets done quickly. Part of that is him being in my realm...if he's going to stand right by me - he should be busy. Sometimes he loses interest mid-task and that can be frustrating for me. Lots of pots boiling over and laundry getting wrinkled from sitting too long in baskets. But, being honest - that would happen if I was totally in charge also!
DS2 and DD were home for 10 minutes alone the other day. They had been plugged in most of the day...watching movies, playing Xbox, listening to music....and, just as I knew would happen - it all blew up. When I got home there were two angry, screaming kids. So and so spit first, then so and so threw first one down and both are hurt and mad and tattling like crazy. Imagine their surprise when they both ended up in trouble! Don't know why the shock...
So, neither has any plug in time right now - if you can't stand the heat...I'll get you out of the kitchen! This leaves plenty of wandering around the house with looks of boredom on faces. Those looks earn worksheets. So, really, they'll be prepared for school this year!
DS2 is totally back in swing with the stupid questions. I'm holding it together with 'what do you think?' responses...but I must say that I'm happy to see him hit the sheets at night. A red car drives past us and he asks "was that a red car?" Doesn't seem big until it happens 2,000,000 times a day. We attended an outdoor concert/movie the other night in a gorgeous spot nearby. I finally had to ask him to move away from me (switch spots) because I couldn't handle anymore. Then he tells me how mean I am. I want to shout "I'm only mean because you are a jerk with these stupid questions"...but I'm trying to exhibit control. I am the adult after all.
Cool little fact...we sat right by Annasophia Robb - the girl from Bridge to Terabithia and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Of course, none of us knew it. At the end of the movie a lady accosted her for an autograph and we put two and two together. Wish we could say we were more 'in tune'...kids didn't notice either!
I hope all your summers are going well!