Friday, October 28, 2011

all in one day

last night was alex's first grade conference. it's a goal setting conference to discuss progress and goals for the rest of the year. alex and i sat down with her teacher and discussed very important first grade things. first her teacher laughed and said, 'wow, don't you two look alike'. i told her how i was the spitting image of her at that age. i told her that my grandparents often call alex 'carrie' by mistake as even after 27 20 years they still see me as that curly haired 6 year old. we also discussed things like what her teacher loves most about alex. 'she always follows the rules', she said. 'she always listens, pays attention, and that is the best thing a student can do for her teacher'. I beamed.

i also kind of smiled and shook my head. this child is me. i always followed the rules in school. i always listened, and i never wanted to disappoint or be in trouble. i mean, a few times the social butterfly in me earned me a seat outside the classroom for 'chatting' and a passed note was read in front of the class. but otherwise, ANGEL.

i wished sean was there to hear. he was doing something equally important (talking to important people about important things) i also wished i wasn't tearing up and acting like a total emotional wreck. i apologized and dabbed at my eyes, 'sorry, i'm just exhausted.' she smiled, 'you should be proud, she's a great kid'.

we then discussed her schoolwork, how she is in the top reading class and according to her teacher, 'I can't really come up with any necessary goals as she's doing great'. she then assigned her some extra projects to keep her challenged which included a book report, and the challenge of over-coming some of her 'shyness' by raising her hand and speaking up in class more often. also, something she acquired from yours truly.

alex can be challenging at times. she is emotional and stubborn. she is not the most independent child and she has a bit of a temper. but, she is also very smart like her dad and i'm convinced has his photographic memory and mixed with her mom's desire to be a 'people pleaser' she makes a great little student. i'm so proud of my little 6 year old.

now let's rewind an hour to where i picked up ian from school. i was approached by his teachers on tuesday with another issue. whenever ian's sign out sheet has a note 'see teacher', i never know what to expect. for instance on friday, sean picked him up and was told that he was running around the playground with his pants down chasing girls. i have never been so thankful to have asked sean to grab him that day. oh the embarrassment. but on this tuesday, the problem was this: 'ian, after 4-5 helpings of lunch is complaining of a stomach ache. we want to know how you'd like us to handle that.'

i'm not gonna lie. i laughed.

my sweet, caring, emotional, empathetic little boy is also a bruiser, a human wrecking ball, and he can eat like a grown man. he is most recently known for running into his room and super man flying onto his bed. when he hurts himself (which happens 90% of the time) he responds with, 'when am i ever gonna learn' crying through tears the phrase we say to him a million times in one week. also this week, during the hectic 30 minutes before we all leave the house was something that went a bit like this:

(immediately following a series of crashes and bangs and an overall sound of what can only be compared to an earthquake)

sean: ian, i just don't understand you. i cannot keep you safe.

ian: i wasn't even being crazy

(another serious of loud noises)

sean: ian, you are going to hurt yourself!

ian: no, i'm not

(tears and wails from ian as he apparently crashed into some cupboards)

sean (mumbling): i cannot keep you safe from yourself. sit on the stairs until it's time to go, i don't know what else to do to keep you alive.

anyway, back to the school sitch. i suggested they cut his helpings down to just 2nds or 3rds and if after a half an hour he is ethiopian style STARVING they could give him something else to eat but chances are, he will have long forgotten about food and be more interested in throwing large objects towards the ceiling, running in circles, and folding paper airplanes. sure enough it worked.

and today? 'Carrie, we did as you said and he's been doing much better'.

i love this preschool so much. for loving my crazy son for the good, the bad, and the weird he brings each day.

all in one day i find myself just so swollen with pride over alex's school report and at the same time oddly proud that ian is no longer eating himself sick at lunchtime.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

does this stuff just happen to me or am I the unknowing star of some reality tv show?

nothing ticks me off more than when good intentions go awry. when you make a concerted effort to do something good and it backfires. when you pump yourself up for something dreary and then it fails.

today = train wreck.

this morning, sean found me stretching and contorting my body in strange ways near the dining room table as we were getting ready to leave. he didn't ask questions probably because the look on my face was something resembling hate. if hate is a facial expression.

what i was doing, was stretching out my jeans so when I got into the car i wouldn't lose circulation to my lower extremities on my way to work. a friend today referred to my current predicament as 'the growth of my winter coat'. well, it's just nearly fall i'm not ready for a winter coat, muffin top or anything resembling it. so quickly, i packed my gym bag this morning. it's time to put a stop to this.

i was actually looking forward to it. taking a break from work, getting out in the fresh air and taking an hour for myself each day is good for my soul. it gives me more energy, it makes me happier, and it is the one thing i can do that is my choice in a days time.

a co-worker dropped by my desk around 11 today and with a look of, 'i'm gonna ask you anyway, even though you always flake on me' asked if i was going to hit the gym today. I say yes, WITH enthusiasm and point to the gym bag next to my desk and say 'I'M IN'. she says we should take the office bikes over and i politely decline because a)riding bikes in jeans makes my teeth hurt much like seeing people in flip flops and socks and b)i needed to hit the atm machine so opted to drive. also c)i'm lazy and working out is hard enough without riding a bike to get there.

after circling the parking lot 3 times i opt to live on the wild side and take a 4 hour 'visitor spot'. i mean, you can get towed but squeezing this workout in with an afternoon meeting looming was bringing up the anxiety monster in me. so i pulled in, put the car in park and hoped for the best. i think this is when karma swooped in, donkey kicked me in the gut, and then slapped me in the face.

I walked around the car to grab my gym bag out of the back. just then, another rule breaking citizen pulled in to the 4 hour visitor spot next to me. to allow him to park and get out of his car, I had to slightly shut my door to let him by. when i turned around i realized i had just shut my keys, my phone, and my gym bag in my car.

all doors locked.

after the gentlemen walked away with his gym bag in tow i stood there and stared at the car for a bit, tried to open each door three times each and then said a few words i won't repeat here. not knowing what to do i threw out some options to my own self. i could call sean, IN SALEM and maybe in an hour and a half he'd be here to what?, call the locksmith for me? i really didn't want to put up with his looks of, 'how did you let this happen' as if i did it on purpose because standing outside my locked car with a blouse in my hands in an illegal parking spot is super fun. i could call my dad but he's leaving for his big annual hunting trip today and nobody wants to stir up flashbacks of the time in high school i skipped school with friends, went skiing, and then my car died on the way down the mountain (also the day before his big annual hunting trip). because, that was not awesome.

just then a co-worker who i had also planned to meet up with walks by and says, 'it's so good to see you here! it's been awhile'. i look at her with sadness, holding a white blouse that had fallen out of my car in the shuffle. 'i don't think this is gonna cut it for the treadmill' I said.

luckily i was able to use her phone to call campus security who after just 25 long minutes in the crispy cold air came to my rescue with raised eyebrows as i was CLEARLY breaking the rules. they used a blood pressure type thing to crack my door just a tinch, and then slid a big pole in popping the locks for me. apparently, it was a record for the gentlemen who made it happen in less than 6 minutes time where their previous rescues were well into the 7 minute time frame.

so with my lunch break gone, and my spirit shattered i got back into my car and went back to work. not without doing a few deep squats to loosen up the jeans before settling in for the rest of the afternoon.

i'll try again tomorrow and maybe ride a bike over, or god forbid walk. and maybe today is the day there's a big fatty check in my mailbox for that new candid camera show that's out there filming my daily drama's. here's hoping.

Monday, October 10, 2011

The trials and tribulations of home ownership and a human wrecking ball.

there are days that i'd like to sell all i own, and move to an 800 square foot loft in the pearl district. i want cement floors throughout that I can sweep with a push broom in a giant drain into the center of the room. If they are really dirty, I'll hose them down. i want a couch, a chair and a television mounted on the wall AND NOTHING ELSE. we won't have toys, or tiny metal cars to puncture the bottom of our foot on. we'll live the simple, non-cluttered, minimalist lifestyle that does not coincide with child rearing.

so for fun, we'll go to the park and roam the streets of downtown. we'll live the city life and we'll have time to do this because we won't be raking up 9 giant bags of leaves, or replacing the floors in our bathrooms.

one can dream.

3 weeks ago, we wanted to do the responsible thing and upgrade our downstairs toilet to a more energy efficient model. that, and it couldn't handle our son. or, anything for that matter that required more than one square sheet of tissue paper. basically it was worthless. so on a saturday family outing to home depot we picked up a beautiful kohler thrown and left the store shaking our heads at the things you get excited about in your 30's.

sean is now a pro at replacing toilets and this being his 3rd installation thought it would be a 20 minute job and he'd be watching football by noon. hahahahaha.


basically it went like this:

1. sean removes toilet

2. sean begins swearing

3. i run into the bathroom and find him scraping the wood floor beneath the toilet WITH A SPOON. that stuff was coming up like chocolate pudding.

so after a brief assessment we realize the entire floor is not just dry rot, but wet rot. so we do what any responsible home-owner does and spent the next few days ignoring the problem. we thanked our lucky stars the floor did not give way while grandma was visiting and we shut the door and weighed our options. put the house up for sale? no. hire someone to come and charge us a million dollars? uh, no.

so we called my dad who over the course of the last three weeks has once again saved our bank account from a significant casualty. so now for steps 4-10

4. sean and dad tear out the floor. FUN!

5. it becomes clear special order wood is needed. YAY.

6. 2 weeks later we locate 'special wood' at parr lumber in albany for $8. SCORE.

7. sean barrels down I-5 with a 12 foot board sticking out the back of his pimp honda accord. TOTALLY SAFE.

8. sean and dad install new floor, replace tiles, and install toilet base. WE ARE ALMOST HOME FREE.

9. somehow during #8 (explanation vague) a hole was put into the sheet rock.

10. i arrive home after a few hours of errands hoping to find the project done, but instead come home to a cracked toilet tank in the middle of the garage floor and a very guilty looking 4 year old who apparently was 'helping'. SUPER.

so although i'm sleeping better knowing raccoons can no longer crawl into my house at will, we still have a hole in the wall and half a toilet which SURPRISE SURPRISE requires a special order replacement tank for a mere $80 extra dollars. here's the crime scene. I took the opportunity to draw a tank and the line below the toilet use to be the raccoon and opossum's entry site. I KNOW THEY LIVED IN THERE FOR A WHILE. with the spiders.

thanks to my dad for getting us through this disaster and thanks to sean for remaining relatively calm and patient during this difficult time.

Friday, October 7, 2011

The week according to my iPhone

in honor and respect of mr. Steve Jobs, here is my week according to my iPhone.

here we have a summary of what my 2.5 hours in the car looks like. speedometer at zero, break lights as far as the eye can see, and rain.

look what we have here. a collection of my childhood barbies and clothes strewn about the room by the beloved SOB. arms and legs everywhere. i might as well have bought him a $79 chew toy, and allowed him to crap on all my childhood memories.

a happier moment this week where ian asked if we could take a photo kissing. he's only 4, it's still acceptable, right? RIGHT?

i done chopped my hair off.

my gap toothed girl taking a bath, all smiles. love.

and this here sums up my week of words with friends. kicking me while I'm down (100 points) with a bunch of vowels. If only e-i-e-i-o from old mcdonald were a word.