mommy nails it…then mommy blows it….science projects and bikes and cookies, oh my!

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Ok. Yesterday was MY day. I mean, I made that day my you know what. Seriously. I rocked it, in every way you can as a stay at home mom.

I made lunches for the next day. I simultaneously cooked THAT night’s dinner while I also cooked the NEXT night’s dinner. I baked 2 dozen brownies for the book fair and grandparent school shindig. I worked out. I cleaned my closet.

YEAH. I was THAT awesome.

Then I got the kids from the bus stop, where I gave them their snack of HOMEMADE choc chip cookies. BOOM. Take that martha stewart!!!! We ate supper. I bathed them all. (And no that does not happen every day so yeah, I was still on a roll.) Heck, we went for a family bike ride minus Kenny because daddy is out of town becoming a godfather to someone else’s baby….(WHOLE other story….sigh……and yes I actually did say, “um, is there something you want to tell me? Is this actually your kid? You get a 5 minute pass to tell me anything” but nope, not his…still though, who shares a once a year email with someone and then asks you to be the godparent and then you don’t check with your wife on that and then when do you make plans to fly up away from your own family to go do that and still not check with your wife on that????? um, hello???? no it ain’t all hershey’s kisses and moonbeams and farting rainbows at the Sweet family home….). Anyway, I digress.

We arrive home.

Cue Jaws theme.

Kincaid drops the baby. Elis Rey headbutts Hadley. Chase forgot her math book. Hadley is starting puberty and is crying about how NOT tired he is. Hadley broke the chain on my bike.

And I YELLED. You know, like the yell you say you are not gonna do unless it is a major infraction?? Well I did it. The neighbors probably heard me. (Well, no they didn’t cause they are all over 100 so…..). I felt awful. But we got all cleaned up, laid clothes out for the next night, and I owned that I shouldn’t have yelled, and Hadley sort of owned that he shouldn’t have broken my bike, and it was better.

For an hour.

Because we then realized that, by accident, the housekeeper (I love you forever and always Adriana) threw out his science project.

You know, that bain-of-your-existence protract that all kids ages like, 3rd grade through 7th grade or whatever have to do??? We did the experiment part this weekend, recorded the data, made the videos. And the poster boards, which yes were neon green, and yes, looked like scribbling messes (because 10 1/2 year old boys with sharpie write in scribble language) but still, it got chucked.

So meltdown. Again. Not mine though, so that was nice. Still, now I get to go back to the store, buy another 20 Pepsi 2 liters, another 10 packs of mentor (the FRESHMAKER!!!!), foam boards, packing tape, sharpies, meter sticks, blah blah blah….AND WE HAVE TO DO IT ALL AGAIN.

Our old school had a teacher who held a camp. 1 week, five 8 hour days, and the kids created their experiment, researched and recorded the data, did their experiments, wrote the reports, decorated, and typed it all up. 250 bucks for the whole week. 10 students. 2500. That teacher supplemented her income. Heck, maybe that teacher went to bora bora every year. No clue. But yeah, attention teachers or creative OCD types. Please, someone, hold the camp this summer. I already have 4 kids ready for you.

Today? Hoping to buy supplies and not yell at anyone. And maybe I will just end up sitting around, watching Uncle Buck. Sounds good to me……

Can’t believe it has been 3 years….happy forever family day, Elis Rey!!!!

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My mind is like, totally blown right now.

It was 3 years ago today. And yet, it also feels like yesterday. Then again, it feels like we have had this precious soul with us since the day she was born.

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The joy….I can’t even tell you. Elis Rey is so much herself. And so much ours. All of the scientific and moral and sociological arguments about nature versus nurture….I don’t know. And all of those debates about first families, birth families, God’s plans and intentions and so on….I don’t know that either. All I can tell you is that this perfectly adorable little munchkin is exactly where she is supposed to be, right now, right here.

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People see us, all the time, in the store. The mall. The school. Disney World. Any and everywhere. They say, “Oh my. She is so lucky. Your girls are so lucky!” And like almost everyone else in the adoption community would respond, I too say, “nope. WE are the lucky ones!!!”

But really, it is so much more than that. It is not luck. It is pleasure. The purest, most beautiful kind of pleasure. The kind that melts and blurs into this big ball of mushy innocent perfection that only a child makes you feel. The kind that only the deepest of belly laughs and sweetest of ear splitting giggles makes you know, in the depths of your soul, what heaven is like here on earth, for a bit.

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To you, Elis Rey, I say this. Baby, my life is MORE of everything since you came into it. Not a day passes in which I don’t thank God for you. Not a night descends during which I don’t close my eyes, and think of your dimples, of your scent, of your incredible eyes and even more incredible heart. I have a passion for you, my little monkey, that well surpasses the combined passions of all of your favorite storybook princesses and heroes. YOU are MY treasure. And I love you more than there are stars in the sky, and more than there are fish in the sea, and more than there are grains of sand on the seashore. I am the luckiest mommy in the world.

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a quick post of a crazy kid car conversation…and yes, i lied….wouldn’t you???

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“Whore.”
“Um, what Kincaid?”
“Whore. What is a whore??”
“Um, honey, why? Where did you hear that word?”
“I am reading it, right now.”
“Um, honey??” I know I was getting repetitive but the words I wanted to exclaim were far less appropriate. “What exactly are you reading??”
“Oh, it’s just something for school. So mom, WHAT is a WHORE???”
“For school????? What are you reading?? Hand it up to me right now!!”
“But mom, you’re driving. You shouldn’t read and drive.” (love my kids….)
“I won’t read it til the stoplight. Pass it up.”

Some passing, kid grumbling, some dropping….and finally up to me. (My car, like the cars of all moms of 5 kids, is like 100 feet long…) The book is a cute school book, whereupon at the next stop light I see the word, “hour.”

“Honey, that is the word hour, pronouncer OW-er, like ow, like a booboo and then the sound er. An hour is a measure of time lasting 60 minutes.”
“Oh okay. Well, what is a whore then?”
“Nothing. It’s not a word, which is um, why I was so confused about why the school would give you books with nonsense words.”
“Oh. Okay.”

Don’t you judge me for lying. This was a non-win. Bad. I could have lied and given it a fake meaning. Lie. Bad. Or I could have given the real meaning to a 6 year old. Definite Bad. Or I could have given that “Oh honey, it is something really bad so we won’t discuss it,” which, as any wise and experienced mom will tell you is the WORST because then the kid either looks it up in the dictionary or far far worse, nowadays, on the internet.

So yeah. I lied. Oh well.

i know, i know…I am a total lazy, non-blogging bum. oh, and a funny few videos.

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But honestly, I have an excuse right??

Ok. We have been busy, with a capital B.  The good news?? Just five minutes ago I ordered our Halloween costumes. That’s a plus.

We took the kids, all 5, to Disney World. I have been there, hmm….somewhere around 500 times I think. I grew up a few hours away from there, spent 5 years living in Orlando, and now live a few hours away with my family. In high school we sang there for performances and Candlelight, toured the back scenes….heck, I dated a guy that worked at the Haunted Mansion and made out pretty much behind the scenes in every area of that ride. Ahem. Anyway.

But this was my first, and please Lord, ONLY, bad Disney experience. The magic bands, the room check in, the hotel food (we stayed at the Polynesian…) it was all awful. However, 1 out of 500 is not too terrible, so I am letting it slide. This time. Regardless, we had quite the family adventure. So here are some cute videos from the trip. Oh, and one from after the trip, when I went for a run with my friend Tzizzle and afterwards packed up baby and stroller to discover a little creature trying to get into my car…probably because of the huge amount of snack foods crushed into the seats and carpets…

Here is us riding Mt Everest…

Here we are having a room dance party (not just the Marlowe version from Facebook…)

Here is an adorable video of Elis Rey and Marlowe after the Epcot Nemo ride….M even waves hello I think….

Oh, and um, here is the killer squirrel video. Heads up…there is a naughty word. Got nervous for a second that the squirrel (or dingo) would try to eat my baby.

why yes, my social worker wanted to eat my baby….can’t say I blame her. and more cute Marlowe-isms

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I have posted about the illustrious social worker Carmelita before. Why? Because she rocks.

And no, I don’t say that to curry favor, to kiss butt, or anything else. I don’t recall kissing butt in my life. Ever. Probably to my own detriment, but it just is so wrong to me on so many levels. Once you sell out, you have sold out. And that just ain’t my style.

Man, she knows her stuff. Thousands and thousands of adoptions, international and domestic. She thrives and absorbs ongoing training. So I respect her. And additionally, she is funny, outspoken, real, and tells me, and everyone else, like it is. So I respect her more. I personally don’t think life should ever be sugar coated. Grew up that way, keeping all the stuff in the closet. Many years ago I said never again, and I have lived that way, good or bad, ever since.

But I digress.

While most folks worry or fret about the visit, and then want it to end as soon as possible, I do no cleaning. And I cook lasagna. And sadly she had to be on the road to another family, or I think we would have gone out to a movie and left Ken at home with the kids. (Gone Girl is opening, right??)

The point is this.

She loves my baby. And how could she not??
This is the same kid whose favorite toy is the bidet. (Yeah, the toilet kind of thing.)
The same kid who can slurp down fish tacos and guacamole like a professional.
The same kid who wrestles and rough houses like she has been here since day one.
The same kid who has, by far, the most pungent, eye wateringly, most awful farts in the history of man kind.
The same kid who loves to ride the bike with me, as she grips my hips and squeezes my butt and squeals.
The same kid who loves to climb on daddy and punch him in his man business. I swear, on purpose.
The same kid who grins from ear to ear when you pick her up out of her crib first thing in the morning.
The same kid who loves her bottle scalding hot at bedtime, but lukewarm the rest of the day.
The same kid who has the craziest little under eye dimple, and gives the best, biggest, wettest, open mouthed kisses.

And the same kid who, after hanging with Carmelita for a couple of hours, leaned in for lots of extra hugs and snuggles, again and again, as she went to leave.

So yeah, she loves my baby. Because no one in their right mind wouldn’t.

why sometimes I hate my own heart…and how laundry can be the most precious gift….

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I ran only 2 miles this morning. But I ran them very hard, and very fast…relatively speaking for me. In fact, get ready to laugh, but I ran two miles, at about 18.5 minutes. That means a 9.25 minute mile.

Not so fast, you may say, and scoff, rightfully so.

But to be fair, it was a mile up and a mile down, pushing a stroller up, and holding it back on the way down. AND I am very, very slow. So this, to me, was basically a two mile sprint. And I am pretty sure I will feel it tomorrow.

And it still is not enough.

8 miles on a bike later, and now I KNOW I will feel it tomorrow.

Maybe though I wanted to feel. Maybe I want something to burn, to hurt, other than my heart. Loss is part of life. I know that. I get that. I even embrace it. When someone dies well, I get it. I have great compassion and patience and understanding. Until that “someone” is too young to be dying. Then it just seems, well, SO not right. My dad dying at 63 was young, but not so young. Either way it was sad, but not altogether shocking. Watching my precious aunt and godmother pass after her valiant battle with cancer….Again, late 60’s which is still too young but she saw the birth of all of her grandchildren. Impacted more people in her life and world than most of us will ever do even if we live to 120. My FL father inlaw’s sister in law…another cancer battle, another loss, but a life lived longer.

It is the young.

Or when only the young are left….then oh, it burns. It burns badly. My warrior friend Ingrid…she is in glory, and I feel for her husband, a man of great faith and strength and resilience, but more for her children, left behind as young teens. Ugh. A young husband, drops, just a couple of weeks ago. A shocked and broken wife, and 2 kids, still grieving. Ugh. A father at home, murdered by an intruder, teenaged kids left behind. Ugh. A sweet little girl, battling since birth, broken, but now home in heaven. Double ugh.

And now I watch as one of my best friends in the whole world sits, day in and day out, with the mom of a young man, barely a man, although a 16 year old boy would say he is ALL man and any mom would say, no, he is just a boy….is lost. I knew him, his mom. His family. But not well. Not years of my kids playing together. Not years of family outings and milestones. So I don’t know the real pain in my head but my heart just breaks again and again, passing that place where he was killed SO needlessly. And for those who truly LOVED him, and still do, it is almost too much to bear….my friend, crying, as she did the laundry of her own boys yesterday morning, because she still has her sons whole and in tact, to do laundry FOR.

We can easily forget, family and friends and online mystery people, that laundry is a gift. I mean, who would think that?? Who would ever imagine that the folding of socks, or better yet, the picking up of nasty, stinky, smelly teenage boy socks, is a precious gift? Is something to cherish and absorb and breathe in like air? Like sustenance? Keeping us whole and balanced? Because we are not ever promised more….more days, more health, more anything.

Then this morning in an online group I posted a quick note, because someone had asked me, about jet lag. And I got a quick silly negative response….So petty, meaningless really. I don’t care about that person or her comments. But in all honesty, it was the straw and the camel and all that, as I told someone, and I just realized….why? Why waste ONE of my precious minutes in this unpromised life, listening to, reading, absorbing, or even defending myself against online negativity? What really does it bring? What is the benefit? Nothing. That’s what. Nada. I get more beauty and joy and fulfillment and truth and LIFE out of each moment spent changing a dirty diaper. Wrestling with my boys. Cooking another casserole…and picking up dirty sweaty smelly boy socks….than I could EVER get out of a silly online debate with people who fight, just to fight. So I left. I bailed. And I will continue to do that…from all things and all wastes and all people in my life who do nothing but tear down or dwell on the negative. Because there is not a promise. And I want to breathe in my beautiful, rebellious, whiny, funny, crazy, back talking, exhaustive, brilliant, perfectly imperfect children and family.

Which means yes. I would rather do laundry.

puberty conversation, sweet family news, travel pans, and hopefully, a break through…

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Man. The last 24 hours have been banner ones.

First up? The hubs left town for a few days. He has been working on something for about 4 months…preparing and tutoring as he was considering going back to school because a pretty major opportunity was presented his way. Well, yesterday was the final interview and decision day. And despite the fact that he has never gone to college, my husband will be starting an incredibly prestigious executive MBA program in the new year. He will have to be gone from us a bit more for the next 2 years, but in the long run it should be worth it.

Next up?? Sweet little Marlowe has regressed a tad in the sleep department which can be normal. We made a few changes in how new people meet her, not being held, etc. I also took all dairy out of her diet….and this is now the second day in a row she has gone to sleep without getting upset. Knocking on wood that she sleeps through the night again!!

Thirdly, we have some amazing travel coming up. Everything is now confirmed and booked….NYC for Christmas and New Year’s anyone?? ME!!!! Can’t wait and just praying we get some snow this time and NOT a crazy heat wave. And maybe even more importantly, in two weeks, yes, TWO WEEKS, we will be introducing little Marlowe to the wonderful world of DISNEY!!!!!! Can’t wait to cry my eyes out – i mean enjoy – it’s a small world with my baby.

And finally, we went to dinner tonight with some good friends. We discussed many things, including their older boys, one of whom recently got married. Staying in close communication with my kids is vital…open communication was NOT something I had at all growing up, nor was unconditional love and acceptance so making my home a place of safety and acceptance has been a priority for me. Anyway, we chatted with these friends about approaches to s*xuality, adulthood, language, being honest, etc with your teenagers…and then I came home to my oldest being still awake. Hadley is 10 1/2 and is in some ways far older (sensitivity wise) and in some ways far younger (naivety and innocence wise). I tucked him in and somehow it morphed into his commentary on recent potential pubescent changes, all of which he keeps me very well informed as he tracks his progress daily, which then turned into him mentioning that at school he would soon be having some “talks.” I knew this was my moment…

I dove in.

I dove in deep, ya’ll. Yup. Although we had already talked about puberty and what happens for boys, I explained why it happens, and the purpose behind it, the whole physical process side of things, what s*x really is (and I put the asterisk for sensitive browsers NOT because I am shy hahahaha), the purposes behind it, puberty for girls, and the egg and the sperm and the whole thing. It took like 4 minutes total. At the end, Hadley was like, “that’s it? i thought it would be more complicated. so explain to me exactly what a tampon is again? ok. makes sense. i love you mom.” And that was it.

So ladies, as you enter into high school with my boy, be assured that, if your purse spills and your lady products roll out, my kid will NOT be the one laughing. In fact, when I said some people are shy, and others are mean and tease he said, “Why? It is just body stuff. Who cares??”

Exactly, son. Exactly.

I showed parenting who’s boss tonight. Cyber fist bump, thank you very much.