The other day we were all driving to Zack’s first swim lesson of the season. Out of the blue he asks me, “Mom, how did your Mom passed away?” I could have gone one of two ways with this. I could have gone down the path of sadness, being quiet and choosing not to really talk about it, but instead I took the opposite approach. “She got really sick.” I told him. “And she couldn’t get better so she died, and now she’s up in Heaven?” he asked. “Yes.” I replied. Zack went on to say “That makes me really sad because I never got to meet her.” That just about broke my heart.
I explained to Zack (and Brayden listened quietly too) how my Mom was now an Angel up in Heaven and just because we can’t see her anymore, she sees us. I told him that it is hard for me to have the reality of he and Brayden never knowing my Mom, their Grandma, but that she knows all about them. She sees them and she is with us always. We can’t hear or touch her, but she knows all we do and she is in every breath of air we breathe, every leaf that flutters in the wind, every drop of rain or snowflake that gently hits the ground.
Zack seemed to take it okay, and I told him we could look at pictures of Grandma when we got home, and whenever he wanted. I have lots of pictures!
We got to swimming, Zack did amazing – as if I expected anything less – and we came home. I forgot to get out the pictures of my Mom (I’ll have to make myself a reminder note). It was a touching moment to have Zack ask what he did and to genuinely feel the sadness and love. To have my five-year-old with such deep expressions of emotion… it humbled me and made me proud.
Yesterday I got an email from my Dad regarding a memorial for my Mom from the hospital where she had been cared for. It also was very touching, and the timing couldn’t be any better. I posted it on Facebook, but this is what it read: “In 2005, Olga Sommer, a long-time patient of Sequoia Hospital received the unfortunate news that her lengthy battle with leukemia and lupus was nearing its end. Rather than retreating quietly, Olga and her husband, Fred, openly approached the Sequoia Hospital Foundation to see what they could do in support of the hospital’s Infusion Center that had so compassionately cared for Olga. Their first gifts helped purchase comfortable chairs for those receiving infusion treatments. Next, they funded a blanket warmer for the department, followed by a patient scale, and a television. They had only just begun. Olga passed away late in 2006 but not before instilling in Fred the importance of providing for Sequoia Hospital’s future. He continues to give passionately in her memory, and to assure that Sequoia is cared for even after his passing. Fred Sommer has joined the Foundation’s Legacy Circle by including Sequoia Hospital in his planning with a charitable gift annuity. When the new Sequoia Hospital opens this year, the Infusion Center’s waiting area will be named in memory of Olga Sommer, loving wife and mother. The dedication to Olga is a lasting honor to the impact she and Fred have had on the care provided to Sequoia’s patients.”
Yes, bedtime again. The boys are both in their beds, lights out, humidifier, sound machine and glow buddy all on. I used to be SO great at getting those boys in bed and walking out of their room no later than 7:00pm. Not sure what has happened over the past month or two – other than Brayden being sick, and Brayden being extra particular (yep, he gets that from me…).
I finally have them both quiet – well, semi-quiet – and just about comfy-cozy. Zack is tucked into his bed and Brayden and I are rocking in his chair with a blanket and the puppy dog he got from his ER visit a couple of weeks ago. Brayden is actually just about asleep, and I’m just about to put him into his crib, tuck him in and give him one last “I love you, sweet dreams” kiss.
Whack! (Zack slams his arm down over his covers)
I whisper as sternly as possible, “Zack, shh be quiet and go to sleep.” And Brayden whispers an echo, “Zack, be quiet.” Okay – time to start the “quiet down” process again. We’re almost there, Brayden’s eyes are heavy and almost about to stay shut for the night. He’s breathing slow and deep, and his head just starts to slip off my shoulder onto puppy dog. I whisper into his soft little ear, “Okay, ready to go in your crib?”
“I love you.”
Now what Mother doesn’t love to hear their child say this? “I love you too now stop talking and go to sleep. Good night, sweet dreams.”
“I will if you will.” Oh no, he didn’t just say that did he?
“Don’t you talk back to me!” Yes, I did – I got a little peeved. “I’m only talking to tell you to be quiet and go to sleep.” Deep breath… “I love you, sweet dreams.”
“I love you too.”
Brayden, luckily, stayed pretty still and quiet so getting him into his crib was not too difficult. I figured he was tired after a long day of school and playing out in the sun, hell I would be!
Bedtime was saved. 7:20pm and I walked out of their room (and came directly to my computer so I could capture this before I forgot). It wasn’t the worst bedtime. It wasn’t the best, but it could have been better. I managed to stay calm and regain positive energy and love (that’s what it’s all about anyway, right?), and the boys are now happily tucked into bed, hopefully off to sweet dream land, all comfy-cozy.
I had really been looking forward to this past weekend. A weekend without plans. Nothing we had to do. Nowhere we had to be. Nobody we had to meet with, attend a birthday party for or even see. It was supposed to be a quiet, relaxing at-home weekend around the house. Those weekends are the best. I love those weekends, even if we end up being busy beyond belief, at least they get filled with the kind of business we want to do, versus the kind we are committed and obligated to do. You all get it, right? We love our friends and family, but sometimes it’s nice to just be home.
My entire weekend of having no plans turned awry Friday night the second I laid my head down on my pillow. I’d been fighting a sore throat and some sinus congestion for the past couple days prior, but nothing that I wasn’t used to thwarting off with some proper self-care. I was feeling fine (energy and happiness were both up), but I sounded horrible – probably much worse than I actually felt. This sore throat and congestion wasn’t going to slow me down and ruin my no-plan plans. Except… it did. I was up most of the night with excrutiating pain in my ear. Yep, it was an ear infection. I’ve had so many of them I can pretty much diagnose them myself – too bad I don’t have my own prescription pad.
Saturday morning I went to Urgent Care. There was nothing urgent about it. I sat in the waiting room for over two hours, bored out of my mind and starving (my coffee was all I had consumed before leaving the house, and I wasn’t expecting to spend my entire morning reading magazines from 2009). Not all of the magazines were four years old, there was actually one from 1999! Yes, I read that one too. The pictures were quite amusing.
When the doctor (and she was the only doctor in the entire office that day) finally saw me I was out of there in about fifteen minutes with a prescription for antibiotics faxed over to the pharmacy. Kudos to CVS because my prescription was ready before I even got there to pick it up. So now I’m on day 3 of a 5-day dose, complete with miserable side effects, but at least my ear doesn’t hurt anymore.
Sunday morning I rolled out of bed just after 8:30am. I slept pretty good that night and actually slept in a little – which felt good. The boys were eating breakfast and watching a show, Will brought me my coffee – a typical morning. At 10 o’clock both boys were going to have a play date with one of Zack’s friends from school and his little brother, who is also two like Brayden. We were all looking forward to it. Until…
Will was washing dishes, Zack was sitting at the counter writing a note to give his friend, thanking him for having him over to play, and Brayden and I were just starting to play in the living room. I was sitting on the couch, Brayden was on the floor on his back, and I spotted that cute little belly button. I had to go in for a tickle. Brayden rolled and wham! Banged his head right on the edge of the little bookcase. I could tell it hurt because it was loud, and he immediately starting crying. I picked him up to cuddle and console him. A second later I pulled back to check his head and his little hand was up near his eye, covered in blood. “Will, I need you now. Like really now.”
Three hours, an extended play date for Zack, ice cream for all and two tiny stitches later, we were all back home and back to “normal.” Brayden will be fine, it’s just a little gash next to his left eye that should heal completely and by the time he’s ten will probably not even be noticable anymore. Yeah, just a little gash by his eye. There’s no just when it comes to stitches for my little baby. Especially on his face. I cried laying there next to him in the hospital as he was all wrapped up in a sheet like a burrito – not as much as he cried – but I shed some tears.
As for the weekend of no plans. I would much rather have had them.
I don’t usually write two posts in one day, let alone in one week sometimes, but this is post-worthy.
Zack came home from Kindergarten with another yellow card today. It’s his second one this year (as in 2013, calendar year, not school year). I could tell he was upset. I was upset. I was disappointed. I was frustrated.
Zack is young. He’s the youngest one (literally) in his class. The one thing we are always watching out for is how easily influenced he is. Every morning when we get to school, before we get out of the car, we have a conversation about making good choices. Just because someone makes a bad choice doesn’t mean you have to do the same. “You are your own person and can make your own good choices.” I tell him over and over and over. I feel like he gets it – he understands, at least when we are discussing it. BUT, he is constantly getting stuck following other kids’ bad choices, which sometimes lands Zack in trouble.
I know Zack is a smart boy. I know he understands the difference between right and wrong. I know he understands rewards… today he learned a big lesson about consequences.
We get home from school (and from picking Brayden up from school too) and before we even get in the house, “Can I play, Mom?” “No. There is no playing today.” I get Brayden settled with a snack and a movie and go digging in my office for a small pad of lined paper. I tell Zack to sit at the counter (as he does most days after school to have his snack and do his homework), but this time is a little different. I write out a little note that he must copy: Dear Mrs. B, Sorry for throwing food at lunch today. I will make better choices. -Zackery (Yes, you read that right, my sweet little boy, with whom I snuggled with most of the morning yesterday, took part in a lunch room game of catch-the-broccoli).
I made Zack sit quietly and write a letter of apology to his teacher, and all five of the other kids in his class who took part. I made him sit there until all six letters of apology were done. By the time he finished it was already dinner time, so from the kitchen counter to the table he went. He moped as he ate, and I attempted to talk to him more about the earlier incident. He didn’t remember everything, but he said he knew that what he did was wrong. “What was going through your head when you were throwing food?” I asked him. He didn’t know, other than telling me “Well *kid’s name here* started it first!”
I made him sit at the table while Brayden and I finished our dinner. He wasn’t happy about that. He wanted to play. There is no playing today. I made him sit at the table with nothing to do for another half hour after dinner was over. Brayden was playing, but not Zack. Zack was learning about consequences.
I don’t know if I was right to make him sit at the table for so long or not, but what I do know is that I truly hope he understands now what it means to NOT follow bad choices. I also don’t know if his teacher will give out the letters of apology to the other five kids (the other five kids who also played catch-the-broccoli), but for me it’s more about Zack writing those notes and understanding why.
Once bedtime came and both boys had their jammies on it was a pretty normal evening – if ever there is one. We sat on the couch and read books. Zack even read two books out loud to us (I am really proud at how well he is doing with his reading, and I made sure to tell him that as I tucked him in). Zack and Brayden are both comfy-cozy in their beds. Let’s hope for different – better – choices tomorrow.
Yesterday was President’s Day which meant Zack had off of school. Brayden’s school was also closed, but he doesn’t usually go on Mondays anyway, so it was a “normal” at-home day for him. I usually dread school holidays because it means both boys at home, all day, no break. I was counting on the weather being sunny and warm (I should know better than to believe the weather man) so that I could send them outside to play in our wonderful backyard. Nope, I was cold all day just looking outside at the cloudy, overcast and windy day.
The day wasn’t so bad after all. I got myself up out of bed (mainly because I had to pee and I just couldn’t hold it and not think about it any longer to stay cozy and warm under the covers), and pattered over to the kitchen where I made sure my husband knew I was up (not awake, just up) and needed coffee. Good man he is. The boys were both still in jammies, munching on dry cereal, watching Dora The Explorer (not my favorite show or first choice, but every now and then something new on TV does keep them quiet and self-entertained).
I always get a warm “Good morning, Mommy!” when they see me. That alone puts a smile on my face and almost makes it enough to wake up without needing coffee… almost. Yesterday morning was no exception.
I cozied myself up on the chair with my feet up on the ottoman and a blanket covering my legs and torso. Halfway through my coffee and I’m starting to feel a bit more like a normal, living person. Zack comes over and scooches his way up on my lap, half on me, half squeezed between one of my legs and the arm of the chair. I’m glad it was comfortable for him, probably because he’s still so little, because that did not seem comfy for me. I wrapped one arm around him, the other still holding my coffee. We sat for a while, until Dora was over and my leg started falling asleep. It was nice, cuddling and snuggling with Zack.
Brayden wanted his turn, and how could I resist? He climbed up on my lap where Zack had previously been, and like a cat, took a few minutes to get situated, but finally found his cozy position. I didn’t expect Brayden to sit very long on my lap. He usually gets antsy and gets up. 45 minutes later, we’re still snuggling.
You know that saying from old Mr. Murphey? You know, Murphey’s Law: “If anything can go wrong, it will.” Well, this post isn’t necessarily about things going wrong, it’s about things that happen at the most in-opportune time (and I will pre-apoligize for the swiftness – a.k.a. short – of this post, as I’ve been writing on some other things instead of my blog – but when inspiration calls, I answer :)).
I change Brayden’s diaper. He’s all nice and dry and clean with a brand new Elmo just under his cute little belly button. I barely have enough time to wrap up the old diaper, put it in the trash and wash my hands, before I find Brayden standing in the corner of the play room, grunting. “Are you going poop?” “Yes” he says between pushes (yes, sorry, this is essentially a Mommy blog so there will be talk of poop and such – you are offically fore-warned). “Why didn’t you poop before I changed your diaper?” I ask – as I do every time. He answers with a very definite “Cuz.”
It’s five o’clock and dinner is on the table. It’s well-balanced, complete with a colorful vegetable and all. I am very proud that everyone’s plate (including mine) looks beautiful and delicious. Brayden is buckled into his highchair on my right, and Zackery is scooched up to the table on my left. First bite. Yum! Second bite… and Zackery is half off his chair, still chewing. He gives me “the look.” I know this look. It’s the look of I have to go potty, Mommy. I ask him, “number one or number two?” He holds up two fingers (he can’t speak because he has food in his mouth – at least I have taught him good enough manners to not talk with food in his mouth). “Okay, go.” ….. I am done eating, and Brayden is nearly done. Zackery – well, he’s still on the potty, reading his Lego magazine (catalog). Like father, like son (sorry, Hon).
There was one more example I had in my head, but as it would be, I have forgotten it! Ha, pretty fitting I guess considering my post. Well, I guess until next time… Happy Friday everyone! May you also cherish (and laugh) at the little discrepencies in life that remind you to enjoy the little moments.
Oh yes, today has already been a great day, and it’s only 9:36am! Both boys got dropped off at school (happily, I might add), checks were deposited into the bank, a quick run to the grocery store for milk, all before the bell rang at Zack’s Kindergarten. I even finished my coffee – without gushing it down my throat – and ate half an apple (the other half I am enjoying now). I’m dressed in clean clothes (as opposed to the clothes I sometimes sleep in from the day before – I know, don’t judge), and I even have a teensy bit of motivation to take a walk later today in this gorgeous pre-spring weather.
So, what will I do with my “free” day? Well, for starters I get to write! YAY! Writing makes me happy, fills a space inside me so that it doesn’t get filled with junk. Then I’ll finish preparing for a meeting Will and I have on Friday for our taxes – yeah, that’s not so sexy sounding, but none-the-less, it’s important. After that, a quick 15 min aqua-massage at this new self-automated spa (more on that later) before it’s back to reality and an afternoon of kids.
I must say, the days when I get a true break, I am so much more prepared to deal with the boys. It’s amazing how such a simple thing of free time (which isn’t always so simple to attain), can have such a grand impact.
Cheers to a happy, healthy, harmonious day!
Dinner’s over, Will and I are cleaning up (well, I’m cleaning up and he’s monitoring and playing with the boys – so that dinner CAN get cleaned up), and for about the fifth time in a span of about six minutes, Zackery and Brayden are at it again. Seriously? We literally JUST had this conversation. “Leave your brother alone!” And that goes both ways – it’s no one’s fault, it’s both of them equally.
Will takes Brayden down the hall to his room for a timeout, and I tell Zack to go sit in the corner for his timeout. They giggle. This timeout thing is not working tonight. It’s not doing the trick. They think it’s a game and don’t seem to care. Will and I, however, are not so amused. In an effort to change-up the obviously not working discipline strategy, I tell Zack to try some yoga.
“You need to calm down,” I said to him. “Let’s try some yoga.”
He smiles. “I don’t know what to do.”
“Well what’s your favorite pose?” I ask him.
He tells me, but I’ve never heard of it, and honestly I can’t remember what he said, although it was quite unique (it was a few nights ago, so those memories are loooong gone). He struggles to show me, and then tells me “It’s hard. I can’t do it.”
“Pick a different pose. Do tree pose.”
“I don’t want to do tree pose. I want to do [insert name of yoga pose here].” And he tries again, but struggles. “I can’t do it.”
We go back and forth like this a few times. Me, suggesting other, simpler poses I know he can do, and he, remaining stubborn (hmmm, where does he get that I wonder?) and wanting to do his pose. By this time Brayden has wandered back out of his room and is curious yet timid about the new yoga discipline tactic. As he hears Zack and I going back and forth, he decides to come over and show me his tree pose – and a cute one it is, chubby little legs and all.
I use Brayden as the example for Zack, saying “Look at your brother! Brayden’s doing tree pose. Can you do that with him?”
Finally, and out of nowhere – and I mean I was shocked – Will looks at Zack and says, “Can you do the Sleeping Ninja?”
“Yes, the Sleeping Ninja!”
Okay by now I am laughing because here is this man who has maybe done yoga once in his life – ever – and now he’s teaching our son this crazy new (I’ve figured out made-up) yoga pose.
“How do I do it?” asks Zack.
“Lay down on your back, feet straight out and put your hands on your belly. Close your eyes and take ten deep breaths. Feel your hands move up and down with each breath.”
“Then what do I do?”
“That’s it. The Sleeping Ninja.”
How cool is that?! It took Zack a couple of seconds to get settled down and actually breathe slow enough that he could see and feel his hands moving up and down, but it worked. Thank you, Will! So, the next time the boys are getting a little bit too out of control, I’m going to whip out the Sleeping Ninja move – watch out! Maybe I’ll try it sometime too.
Brayden’s better. Phew! He still has a bit of a cough, and still has 7 more days of antibiotics and breathing treatments… but he slept through the night last night! Yippee! I am so happy his night went well, because when he sleeps, Mommy sleeps. And when Mommy sleeps, it is just so much easier to function during the day (after, of course, I have my coffee).
I know when he starts feeling better because something in him switches from being the completely lovey, snuggling, I-just-want-to-sit-with-Mommy boy, to being a little more energetic (both physically and verbally). The last two days have been tough emotionally – for me. I know every child goes through an “I hate you” phase (I’m pretty sure I topped the list for the number of times I said it to my parents), but boy does it sting when it’s your little two-year old, and all you want to do is take care of him and make him better. Probably doesn’t help that there has been huge gaps of necessary sleep in our house (for everyone), and that darn little thing called PMS, but still, it hurts when your child says nasty things to you. Makes you want to cry – which I did.
I am counting on today being a better day. I’ve had my (first) cup of coffee, I’ve showered and washed my hair (mmm, smells like rosemary and mint!), I’ve eaten breakfast, and Brayden has taken all his morning medicines. Toys are precisely scattered on the floor, Mickey Mouse is singing on TV, and hey, I got to sneak away for twenty minutes so I could write this really quick (well, I almost got through this post without having to get up).
I want to say, thanks to my husband for bringing me a wonderfully tasty mini lemon tart (one of my favorite sweet treats), thanks to Zackery for making me feel better two nights ago when all I wanted to do was cry my eyes out, and thanks to my best friend for giving me a card with a giant hershey’s kiss! I accept all your acts of kindness and cheerfulness.
Parenting is hard. I know that. I believe it’s the hardest when they actually need you the most – like when they’re sick. My boys are great boys, but sometimes they will say or do hurtful things. I know not to take it personally – I just keep having to remind myself. Someday (in a really, really, really long time from now – that will seem to come much too quickly) they will not be so little anymore. So while they are small and young, I will love them big, with all my heart, every single day… even if it makes me cry.
Yes, that is exactly what I had for dinner tonight. Oh, and one piece of cauliflower that I stole off of Zack’s plate to make myself feel a tad bit “balanced” at the dinner table. Popcorn, pita chips and cauliflower.
Brayden is sick again – really sick. We spent about four hours today between the doctor’s office, going to get a chest x-ray, back to the doctor’s office, and then to the pharmacy to get his prescriptions filled (which took two huge paper bags for them to put them in – I felt like I was stocking up for the end of the world or something… but no, it’s all for my little boy). He has bronchialitis and RSV. At least it’s not pnemonia again – which he’s prone to. And at least he is happy when he’s sick. That makes it a little (a teeny, tiny little bit) better. The poor guy is so tired from barely sleeping for the past two days. The last time he got solid sleep (more than 20 min without waking in a fit of coughing) was Monday’s nap, where he slept a good hour and a half. He was so tired he fell asleep on the way to the doctor’s office this morning, and then I felt so bad having to wake him up. But again, the poor guy smiled through it all.
I’ve been bribing him with M&M’s to take his medicine. It started with the tylenol a couple days ago for his fever. He used to love the stuff (which I’m not sure is entirely a good thing), but now he just says “yucky!” I don’t blame him – liquid medicine has never really tasted yummy to me. So, he gets one plain M&M after each round of medicine… until today, when I had to give him one after the breathing treatment at the doctor, another after the motrin at the doctor, another after his chest x-ray, two in the pharmacy while we were waiting for his prescriptions to be ready, four more in the car while we were waiting for Zack to get out of school, one so I could take his temperature, one after his nebulizer, one after his antibiotics, and two more at “dinner” (his consisted of one bite of cauliflower – which usually he would eat a whole head of – and two pieces of popcorn) with his final (um, final for the next four hours) dose of motrin. I brushed his teeth twice tonight in an attempt to scrub off all the sugar.
Needless to say we are a little exhausted in this house. Even Zack seems extra tired, and I can understand why since he and Brayden share a room and Brayden’s been coughing for most of the past two nights. I’m surprised I’m actually functioning enough to write this post… I guess I couldn’t let a good title like that go to waste.
I’m hoping Brayden sleeps tonight – so that the rest of us can too. I know he’ll be fine… it just might take a day or two for everything to really kick in so his little body can fight this off. In the meantime, I have a very cool excel spreadsheet I created to keep track of all his meds. Not too happy about why I need it, but glad I have the skills and the mindset to create it. With my lack of sleep the last thing I need is to forget what to give him when. I really hate dosing him up on all kinds of medicines, but I honestly tried the homeopathic and essential oils route and it just wasn’t doing the trick like it usually dose.
Okay, before I start rambling in my sleep here… signing off.