Goodness, Gracious, Great Balls Of Fire

We have five weeks of school left.

On one hand, FIVE WEEKS!  Can you even believe that the light at the end of the school year tunnel is so close already?  And on the other hand, FIVE WEEKS!  Can you even believe that there are STILL five entire weeks of this school year left, because didn’t we start this year in September of 1988?

You know, when Bon Jovi was the cassette to have and a spiral-permed, side ponytail with Aqua Netted bangs spelled out SHE HAS THE BEST HAIR IN THE ENTIRE HIGH SCHOOL?

I’ll just be honest with you and say that I’m looking forward to an existence beyond weekly lesson plans that require some creative thinking on my part, and telling 3rd graders continually that playing dodgeball every single PE class will not get the state standards met, because we actually have to learn things like PROTEIN IS GOOD and THESE FATS ARE BAD and HOW TO DRIBBLE A BALL WITH ONE HAND.

No child in my gym is going to be left behind on the basketball court.

My 3rd grade class clown asked, “Well… can’t you just READ us a list of the bad fats over the microphone, while we play dodgeball?  Would that work?”

If only life was that easy.

Right now, we are smack in the middle of my baseball unit for gym class, which is my favorite, because softball was MY SPORT, y’all.  I played it every summer of my life, well into my adult years.  I don’t mean to brag, but I probably could have been an Olympian, if I’d dedicated myself to more practices than I did to flipping the pages in Tiger Beat, and gently pulling out the staples in the center of the glossy pin-ups of Rick Springfield for my bedroom wall.

The most wonderful thing about planning my baseball unit to coincide with the opening of baseball season is that it keeps RAINING, and the rain causes baseball to become an indoor sport, instead of something we play outside on the grassy field, where baseball was meant to be enjoyed.

For the past few weeks, we have been working on learning how to run the bases.  Do you think that all children get to the 2nd grade and understand that after you bat the ball at home plate, you take off for 1st base, which is to the right?  No.  No, they do not reach 2nd grade and absorb this concept through osmosis.  A decent percentage of them will connect with the ball at home plate, and run straight for second base… or even third.  We have done all kinds of fun relays and drills around four bases, as I sing out, “This is the way the ball player runs, the ball player runs, the ball player runs…”

It’s really no wonder that they all claim the art teacher as their favorite teacher.  She’s constantly flinging glitter at them and playing the radio, while I sing them corny songs that I make up on the spot.

With the downpour yesterday, I brought in my oversized, plastic bat that is approximately as big around as a brontosaurus’ tail, and a plastic ball.  Indoor baseball it was.  The goal of the day was EVERYONE WILL HIT A PITCHED BALL, EVEN IF WE DIE TRYING.  I did all the pitching and had to jump out of the way when my athletes got a piece of the ball.  I was without a glove, and that hard, plastic ball was really zinging.  And then, I had to ignore the sighs and the eye rolls and the three boys laid out on the gym floor as they moaned, “Why are we not doing strikes?!  Why are we democratically allowing seventeen swings and misses, just so everyone can put a check mark beside HITS A PITCHED BALL?  WHY IS THE 3RD GRADE SO HARD?!”

Because life is unfair, kids, and sometimes your PE teacher wants the smallest little girl in your class to know the satisfaction of smacking a ball off a pitcher.

The smallest little girl in the 3rd grade ended up at home plate, and had no idea how to stand.  I helped her.  We situated her feet.  We situated the bat on her shoulder.  We encouraged her to stare the pitcher down and put on her mean face, which made her laugh out loud.

And then I pitched to her.

And then I pitched to her again.

And then I pitched to her again.

And then I moved a little closer and pitched to her again.

And then I pitched to her again.

And after approximately twenty times of her swinging to the wonderful encouragement of boys palming their faces in the outfield and hollering out, “The bat is the size of a tree!  HOW CAN YOU KEEP MISSING,” I scooted up really close to her.

You know… REALLYCLOSE.

REALLYCLOSEREALLYCLOSEREALLYCLOSE.

I gave her the slowest pitch I could manage.

And that little thirty-eight pound, 3rd grade girl, who weighs less than my four-year-old does, connected the bat with the ball…

… and she smashed it, with flames coming out of the back of that ball, right into my face.

Have you ever been to a family hog slaughtering?

There is less blood at one of those get-togethers than there was in the gym yesterday.  My nose burst like a pile of dynamite had been unleashed at Hoover Dam.  I had blood pouring down my neck and both of my arms and the front of my shirt, while I clutched my nose with both hands and hollered for someone to grab some paper towels from the nearby bathroom, because YOUR PE TEACHER IS ABOUT TO BLEED OUT HERE, and I’D LIKE TO GET THIS STOPPED BEFORE I FAINT FROM BLOOD LOSS.

People, I had blood in my eye.

I also had three 3rd graders bawling their heads off, as they circled me like a pack of protective tigers, shouting, “ARE YOU OKAY??!!  ARE YOU GOING TO DIE??!!”

Someone alerted another teacher, and the alarm was sounded.

OUR PE TEACHER IS LOSING BLOOD QUICKLY!  SOMEONE GET THE PADDLES!

My teeny-tiny 3rd grade girl now knows the full satisfaction of hitting a pitched ball, and I can mark that achievement off for her.  And I’m thankful to say that I can still claim that I’ve never needed a blood transfusion, because after slinging blood everywhere and causing my gym to look like a grim crime scene, everything was under control in fifteen minutes.

Which was when I realized the ball had also managed to split my upper lip open.

In other words, no spiral-permed, side ponytail is going to be able to make me look hot this week.  I’m just going with the look of a cage fighter for the next few days.

Y’all have a good evening.

It Was Just A Monday

Our weekend is over, as tends to happen when Monday rolls around.

If you have any questions on how I have felt today, let the picture that our boys’ pediatrician, Dr.  B, posted on Facebook this morning bring you up to speed:

13076821_917568171688705_1954769339171354322_nOf course, I should have used Photo Shop to enhance the bags under Monday Lisa’s eyes for a more accurate representation of me today.

On Friday, the boy had a golf tournament that was over the river and through the woods and across the mountain from us.  This whole concept of catching the golf bus at 6:00 on a Friday morning is not something that I’ll ever come to adore.  Although Thing 2 pops out of bed at 5:30 in the morning fully charged and ready to run two back-to-back marathons, the boy cannot even manage it.  He needs to be given time to lie in bed, after his alarm goes off, and vocally criticize his desire to play varsity golf.  He then needs time to mumble that he wants to be homeschooled… IN THE AFTERNOONS, so that he can continue sleeping in the mornings.  After that, he needs time to soak in a hot shower, where he falls asleep standing up and requires one of his parents to pound on the bathroom door, letting him know that there are exactly fourteen minutes until the bus’s departure.  When he’s finally out of the shower, he will then require forty-six minutes to sit at the kitchen counter, with his head bent over a bowl of Lucky Charms, which he will eat with all the speed and motivation of a drunken sloth.

And then he won’t be able to find his sunglasses or his ball cap, so  he’ll need time to sit on his bed and think about where he might have left them.  Sitting on his bed, THINKING about where his lost items might be is always the warmup for actually getting up and physically searching for them.

People, it’s a miracle that Hubs and I are able to get that child onto the bus in time to join the rest of his team for an out-of-town tournament.  It’s actually nothing short of miraculous that our older child actually makes it to school every morning before his 8:20 bell rings.  The boy doesn’t DO mornings.

In the meantime, while the boy has been struggling through all of that, getting ready to head off to a golf tournament, Thing 2 will have had his shower, gotten dressed, done seventy-six laps around our house on his Strider bike, eaten a bowl of oatmeal, chased it with a container of Greek yogurt, re-enacted a tractor crash in his bedroom with fourteen John Deeres, run out to the living room to retrieve his firetruck, so that the fire engine can get to the scene of the accident, eaten an orange, changed out of the initial outfit I dressed him in, because he decided he didn’t like the shirt, eaten six strawberries, taken his vitamins, slurped down a protein shake, practiced his pushups and shared a cup of coffee with his dad.

All of this will have happened between 5:30 and 5:41 for Thing 2.

Anyway.

The boy was back in Small Town, USA by 8:30 on Friday night.  He let us know that varsity golf tournaments are a bit more intense than JV tournaments, and that his score was just okay, because he lost a ball in the pond.  Twice.  He also complained that he had suffered through twenty layers of sunscreen, because he remembered that he completely forgot to apply sunscreen during the last golf tournament, which is why he looked like this last week:

pcqKA6BRi

But, the boy said the tournament was a ton of fun, and that he laughed until his sides ached on the bus with the rest of the team.

While the boy was golfing on Friday, I was at home cleaning.  It was the kind of cleaning that involves moving furniture to vacuum and using Pine-Sol to scrub down your bathrooms and actually dusting until you sneeze.  I scrubbed our house for five hours on Friday, because apparently I was desperate to smell all the cleanliness while the windows were open, bringing in the spring breezes.

I have no idea why I wasted five hours of my life doing this on Friday, because this morning, I was met with THIS in our kitchen:

IMG_6151-1It’s exactly how every mother wants to wake up on a Monday morning… with her hair disheveled, bags beneath her eyes, and six years’ worth of dirty dishes crammed into the sink.  My only saving grace today was that the boy didn’t have to catch a 6 AM bus.

And thank heavens I cleaned all day Friday; I can’t imagine what the kitchen would’ve looked like if I hadn’t.

I also ran my new washer and dryer all weekend, washing everything I could get my hands on.  The boy had invited his buddy, Eli, to come stay with us after his golf tournament, so I washed sleeping bags for them, because I COULD.

I washed the entire stack of blankets in the family room that the kids use to keep the chill off while they’re watching TV.

I washed our bathroom rugs.

I washed jeans.

I washed Thing 2’s heavy coat and snow pants.

I washed socks.

I washed towels.

I washed sheets.

I also discovered that my new washer, which lacks an agitator hogging up space in the middle of the drum, is so enormous, I can wash two sleeping bags at the same time.

GOD SAW THE SAMSUNG WASHER AND DRYER AND THEIR CAPACITY TO HOLD AN ELEPHANT FOR A BATH, AND HE DECLARED THEM GOOD.

Our water bill this month may look like we filled a backyard swimming pool that we don’t own, but if it can go into a washing machine for a cleaning, you can bet your favorite pair of boots that it’s sanitized and smells like Tide at my house.

On Saturday, Thing 2 crashed  his Strider bike into our kitchen counter.  The bridge of his nose took the hit.

IMG_9194 IMG_9196He decided that maybe the injury was big enough that it required a bandage.

He applied the bandage himself.

IMG_2485And then he took six more out of the box, which he stuck all over his arms and legs.

Thing 2 is the lone reason that I never can find a bandage when I sever my arm and find myself in desperate need of one.

On Sunday, it poured rain.

And then it poured snow.

We had a lovely family outing to Walmart, where we filled the cart to the brim and gave all of our dollars away in exchange for bread and Lucky Charms and more laundry detergent.  Afterwards, we brought all three hundred and fourteen plastic Walmart bags full of loot home in the sloppy, wet weather.

It was the kind of trip that dreams are made of.

Later on Sunday, we went to some friends’ house, where the grownups talked and chatted, while the kids all went outside to play in the wet snow.  They built snowmen and rode the sleds down the hill; they used Tonka tractors and dump trucks to plow snow off the deck, while we sat inside and drank coffee.

It was the decaf kind, because it was 4:30 in the afternoon.

Today, our bushy-haired boy…

IMG_9213 IMG_9214… got his hair cut.

IMG_9221 IMG_9225He cleans up kind of nice, even if the evidence of his indoor bike wreck is gonna scar over and make the chicks swoon.

Chicks dig scars.

And then tonight, Hubs came home to learn that he was needed on the construction site.

Apparently some Play Doh drilling was going down, while I was using a Jedi mind trick to create supper.  OSHA will be so happy to see that all employees were wearing their safety goggles.

IMG_2509Or… oggles, as Thing 2 calls them.   Beginning G sounds are often overrated.

After our dinner of Shake ‘N Bake chicken and baked potatoes (because I threw out all the stops tonight, and went gourmet on the family), the kitchen looked like this:

image2Let’s all stop and give a loud slow-clap for that clean kitchen.

And THAT, y’all, was our weekend.  And also our Monday.

Y’all have a good one.

The Samsungs Have Arrived, In Less Time Than It Took Pioneers To Walk The Oregon Trail

Thirty miles down the road from us is a little place called Smaller Town, USA.

Except… you know… it’s not really called that, but the World Wide Web is filled with weird people, so you can never be too careful.  Cue the vagueness.

In Smaller Town, there’s a little Mom-and-Pop, family-style diner that is so famous, people will drive for miles to eat there.  It hasn’t been featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, but that’s only because Guy Fieri’s people haven’t alerted him to it yet.  I imagine Guy would roll his eyes back in his head and utter his signature moan over the nacho plate.

Anyway.

This little hot spot closes for a month at a time.  The family takes a month off, here and there and randomly, because they are busy little restaurant owners, and their crowd of burger-needers is so enormous, they know that when they reopen four weeks later, the line will snake out the door and across the parking lot.  Everyone wants their burgers.  Everyone wants their nachos.  Everyone wants one of their strawberry shakes.

I feel like this blog has become a lot like that little diner now.  Apparently the CEO keeps closing up shop, with no warning.  I hear she’s even come into work a couple of times in her pajama bottoms, with an unwashed, messy bun perched atop her head.  Casual Thursdays obviously needs to be revisited at the board room table.  Sadly, I don’t think her product is strong enough to keep everyone waiting with baited breath for her grand reopening, when it finally gets around to happening.  Our days have been so crazy-hectic-busy lately, that some things have had to take a backseat to the priorities.

Mainly, the housework and the blog are riding in the backseat.

This is a picture of the boys’ bathroom:

IMG_6130This morning, it was the cleanest room in our house, and that was COUNTING the small fact that there was not even enough clean, pee-free space on the toilet seat to accommodate a single butt cheek from a grownup.  I kept expecting the Department of Family Services to knock on my front door and softly say, “Ma’am, we’d like to talk to you about the living conditions of your children.  Your son’s teacher has reported that there’s still syrup stuck on your kitchen counters from pancakes that you made four entire days ago.”

Today, in an effort to be proactive, I actually wiped that syrup off the counter.

And by wiped, I mean chiseled.  With some pre-soaking beforehand.  Some people go to the gym for cross-fit; I let syrup dry on my counters for four days, and then I build bicep muscles by scraping it off.

For the time being, we’re back to a state of cleanliness, which I expect to last for exactly twenty-four minutes, before someone drops a box of cereal and THERE GO MY CLEAN FLOORS.

We haven’t had any enormous excitement over here at the Jedi Manor; just the usual routine of raising boys, buying groceries, driving teenagers around, teaching PE, fixing computers, and making dinners, because SWEET EVER-LOVIN’ MERCY!  BOYS ARE ALWAYS HUNGRY.

Earlier this week, we had some rain.  It rained enough, in fact, to make some of us call the lumberyards to check on their in-stock supply of gopher wood.  Now, I don’t know what the rest of you with preschool-aged boys do when it rains for a few days on end and you haven’t been able to get outside, because you don’t want the mud that’s out there to come in and compete with all the dirty clothes / dishes / toys / junk mail sitting around your house, but WE load up and hit the indoor playland at the local rec center.

Thing 2 and one of his very best buddies played for nearly two hours at the playland on Monday, and this is the only picture that I took, because I was extremely busy TALKING to my sweet friend, Sarah, while our boys played:

IMG_6126Besides, those two had no strong urge to slow down long enough for more than this single snapshot.  The enormous slides and tunnels were singing their siren songs, and the boys were powerless to say no to the promise of fun.

I imagine that the biggest news of my week is simply this:

THE ERA OF THE LAUNDROMAT, WITH THE PRESCHOOLER IN TOW, IS OVER.

It.  Is.  Over.

How do I feel about that?

Let me show you:

giphyYep.

That about sums up my feelings on waving goodbye to the public washing machines.

It has been nine entire weeks since my old washing machine broke down.  Hubs was determined that he’d look at it, because he’s clever and handy and can use a screwdriver and understands things like motherboards and spark plugs.  However, his schedule didn’t permit him any time to actually drag his tools into the laundry room at our house and tear the washer apart for almost three weeks.

And when he did finally get around to it?

Well.

He informed me that the clutch was burned up in the machine, and YOU’RE LUCKY IT DIDN’T START A FIRE, BECAUSE IT WAS BASICALLY A PILE OF ASH.

Raise your hand if you had no idea that washing machines had clutches in their nether regions?  I just want to be assured that I’m not the only one.

Besides the clutch being a goner, the blah, blah, blah was fried, and the blah, blah, blah was skewed, and then my brain kind of shut down when Hubs announced, “I’ve priced all the parts.  For $830, I can order stuff in and fix it.”

Now, that Whirlpool had been a well-loved, fully-used member of our family for years, but she was a hand-me-down kind of family member, who was seventeen entire years old.  There comes a time in your life when you have to admit that Granny Whirlpool needs to be put out to pasture, while you bring a sleek, digital, sassy thing in to take her place.

So we ordered a middle-of-the-line washing machine, because I couldn’t justify the two-thousand-dollar, stainless-steel showpiece that captured my attention.  She was a beaut, but her husband, the dryer, was equally as expensive, and $4,000 will still buy a used car, people.

I didn’t have it in my conservative little heart to spend that kind of money on a washer and dryer, because YES.  We decided to replace the matching, seventeen-year-old, wheezes-when-he-starts-up, hand-me-down Whirlpool dryer, too.

Also, I didn’t have it in my conservative bank account to buy the superstar celebrity duo, because part-time PE teachers who are married to IT directors are not sleeping on mattresses filled with money.

Our order for the new washer and dryer was placed, and we were told that it would take seven to ten days for them to arrive.

Ten days later, we called to inquire about our purchase, which we had already paid for.

In cold, hard cash.

The fellow on the other end of the phone announced that, “Let me check…” and “Just a second…” and “Can you hold, please?…” and “Well, this is embarrassing, but your order was never actually PUT IN.”

Do you know what a mother of a preschooler wants to hear, when she’s been hauling dirty clothes to the laundromat for FIVE WEEKS, with her kiddo at her side?

That would be the words, “Your order was never actually put in.”

So…

… we reordered them.

Or rather, we ordered them.  For the second time.  Because reordering makes it sound like they were already ordered once, and that wasn’t the case.

We were told that they would take seven to ten days to arrive.

Ten days later, Hubs called.

YES!  WE HAVE YOUR WASHER AND DRYER!  COME COLLECT THEM!

Hubs and the boy went to fetch my new babies, and Hubs said he was surprised to see that they weren’t in boxes.  They were just sitting, in all their naked-white glory, by the cash registers, but he went with it.

That set was loaded up in the back of the truck.

As Hubs was closing the tailgate, he noticed that the dryer was… well… dinged.

And by dinged, Hubs said, “It sort of looked like it had been to a demolition derby against a shopping cart.”  That dryer was chipped and dented and scratched.

Hubs asked about it.

The store manager said, “Well… this is a bit embarrassing… but your order was never placed in our computer system, so these are the floor models.”

Yes.

My PAID-FOR-WITH-COLD-HARD-CASH washer and dryer were not ordered… for the second time, and the manager made the decision to rather quietly sell us the floor models.

Hubs had the floor models taken out of the truck, because what we want to pay for is an un-dented, un-scratched set.  We will dent them and scratch them and beat them up ourselves.  We didn’t want someone getting a head start on us in this.

The store placed our order.

AGAIN.

I could have cried.

Seven days later, Hubs called the store to ask on an estimated delivery time.

He was told, “Um… well… just a second…”

And that is when Hubs knew.

It was no surprise when the manager came back on the phone line and said, “Well, this is embarrassing, but because your washer and dryer were already paid for, they were marked as delivered… and they were never actually ordered.”

And THAT, y’all, is when Mama snapped.  Mama started rocking back and forth like someone in the lobby at an asylum, as she chanted, “Laundromat.  Preschooler.  He climbs in all the washing machines.  So hard.  Back and forth.  Wad of hair in my clothes that wasn’t ours.”

Hubs patted Mama on the head and politely told the store manager, “We’d like our money back.”

And he gave it to us.

And then we ordered the exact same washer and dryer online, from a store in Bigger Town, USA, which is two hours away.

We ordered them on a Wednesday night.  Three days later, the store called to tell us that our washer and dryer were sitting in their back room.  Hubs asked, “Are you sure?  Are they in boxes?”  This store manager stuttered and said, “Uh… yeah.  They’re… uh… right here, sir… and they’re wrapped in plastic…”

We loaded up our boys, and we headed North.

IMG_6122 IMG_6113 IMG_6114We brought Mr. and Mrs. Samsung home with us, and Hubs and the boy hooked them up, where our ancient Whirlpools had been.

IMG_6132 IMG_6133 IMG_6134My joy at having a real washing machine on the premises again cannot be contained.  Those Samsungs made their performance debut today, and I cheered them on to the first load’s finish line.

Happy-danceAlso?

I can control this washer and dryer…

from.  my.  phone.

Y’all!  Listen to me!  I may be showing my age and giving some indication that I may have survived the Great Depression by reusing aluminum foil and growing beans behind my house, but WHEN… WHEN… would I ever need to remotely start my washer FROM.  MY.  iPHONE???

I can’t envision it happening.

But then, I never could have envisioned a store forgetting to order a customer’s new washer three times in a row.

Y’all have a very merry weekend.  If you need me, I’ll be washing every piece of fabric we have in this house, because I CAN.

There Are Only Eleven More Years Until He’s Legal For A Driver’s Permit

IMG_6121Yeah… Some kids stayed home today and watched Paw Patrol, but I went out and taught myself how to drift in this rental Range Rover.  Got it for the day with a fake ID.  BOOM!

And I don’t call them the brakes.  When I’m driving, it’s the coward pedalLook away, Mama.  The only braking I’m going to be doing is with the hand brake, while I oversteer this thing and lose traction in the back tires.

Also?  Well, I’m guessing this button right here might be the rocket booster I’ve been looking for…

Just Some Catching Up

I opened up my blog portal (Is that even what you really call it?  A blog portal?  That makes it sound so science-y, and, if you know me at all, you’ll understand that nothing can make my eyeballs roll back inside of my head and cause me to lose focus more than ANY discussion on ANY science-related topic.), and apparently, when you don’t use your blog for anything more than posting a couple of memes in the week, disguised as legitimate posts, there are all manner of cobwebs to be swept out.

Specifically, the giant web that said, “We have updated your WordPress account.”  Apparently, all I had to do was click here and click there, accepting the new terms, and I was fully in business.  Bless WordPress, because THAT is exactly the level of IT help I want, when it comes time for computer help.  I know that Hubs still heaves a giant sigh every time I ask him, “Um… HOW, exactly, do I burn some pictures onto a disc again,” but I’ve stopped caring.  To balance that out, Hubs will stare at the control panel on a washing machine and ask, “Um… HOW, exactly, do we load this thing?  And where do you put the soap?  And no, I didn’t spend a lot of time sorting colored pieces of cloth out of the giant white pile.  Will that become an issue?”  I rest my case that we were a match made in Heaven.

Anyway.

Our last week has just been one of ups and downs and sideways turns, and ain’t nobody had time to come into work at Jedi Mama, Incorporated.  My apologies.

We haven’t done anything at all fun over the past week, so I’ll just leave you with the bigger things that have happened, in a nice LIST FORMAT, because lists do my soul good.

1.  The boy has started the spring golf season at the high school, which means his life now has renewed purpose.   That boy of ours loves all the golfing.  Of course, another golf season means that I’m picking up kids and running kids to golf courses around town, and picking kids up from golf courses and running kids home after practices, and getting kids to the bus at the high school before the sun has even peeked over the horizon for tournament trips, and then everyone wants dinner of some kind, because golfing can create a hunger that’s on equal footing with the military’s boot camp kind of hunger.  I tend to have these little daydreams, where I sort of stare off into the middle distance, and envision the boy turning sixteen and having his driver’s license and a car.  And then the dream ends with him loading his clubs into his own little truck and getting everyone to practice on time.

Bless.

2.  At the end of last week, the boy had a little minor surgery on his toe, which never even stopped him from practicing, or slowed down his game the following day, as he walked eighteen entire holes of golf in an out-of-town tournament.

IMG_6079He spent the evening at home, with his foot propped up, while he said things like, “Can you bring me a glass of water?  Could I have my cell phone charger, please?  Can you bring me my laptop so I can do my homework here?”  Of course, these were all asked AFTER he’d just been to practice with Novocaine and a stitch in his toe.

3.  I fell victim to strep throat this week.  People, I have had strep throat approximately four thousand times in my life, and THIS TIME was THE VERY SICKEST I have ever been with anything.  For forty-eight hours, I couldn’t focus on anything beyond, “Is It Time For My Next Dose Of Advil To Take This Fever Back Down?”  I was home alone with Thing 2 one of those days, while everyone was off at work and school, and this is how we managed:

Play Doh.

IMG_6080 IMG_6081And if you think that I even bothered to sweep that mess up, you weren’t really paying attention to the part where I said SICKEST DAYS OF MY LIFE.

At one point, Thing 2 helped himself to an entire sleeve of Thin Mints, compliments of our Girl Scouting next door neighbor, and ate himself into a minty, sugar coma, while his mama laid in bed and encouraged him to just eat ALL OF THE COOKIES on the floor, and PLEASE DON’T GET THE CRUMBS IN MY BED WITH ME.

I dozed off once to wake up to a kitchen bar stool beside my bed.  Thing 2 was standing on it, clutching the cord of our window blinds.  I got to see him jump off and swing, right before the blinds came crashing down.  He said, “I was just being that Tarzan man.  You know that Tarzan man, mom?  He swings on those jungle ropes all the time.  I was just doing THAT!”

And that is why I had no blinds for the rest of the day, because I couldn’t even be asked to care about getting out of bed to rehang them.

Eat the cookies, Son.  Eat the cookies and swing on the blinds and start fires and flood the bathroom.  Mama just needs to rest.  We’ll clean up tomorrow, when I’m well.

Thankfully, after I finally got myself to the walk-in clinic and had the doctor proclaim, “Oh, my word!” over the size of my tonsils and glands and depth of my fever, I came home with antibiotics and steroids, and I was better almost instantly.

4.  We lost Hubs’ grandmother this week.  She was 95 years old, and we had been anticipating this for a little while now, but still.  Our hearts have been heavy with her loss, even though we know that she is enjoying her time with Jesus now.

GreatGrandma GreatGrandma25.  I’m still a frequent customer of the laundromat.

Don’t even ask about it.

It’s a first-world problem, that I honestly have no right to complain about, because I could be washing my family’s clothing in a muddy creek under the watchful eyes of alligators and guerillas.  I CANNOT COMPLAIN.  And yet, I do, because the story behind my broken washing machine is one that makes me want to bang my head against a brick wall.  I’ll save the telling of it for another time.

Basically, this is my life every week now:

IMG_6090If you think the weight distribution on that laundry cart doesn’t look safe, you would be guessing correctly.  Apparently, there are parents who are such slackers, they take pictures of their Evil Knievel children BEFORE settling safety issues… before the cart flips…

Kids, please don’t try Thing 2’s stunt in your own local laundromat.  He is a trained professional, whose balance is six thousand times better than yours is, and he nailed this trick without toppling the cart over.  Children, his stealth mode is something you’ll never achieve in a lifetime, so be safe and leave the cart surfing to professionals.

6.  I drive carpool each week to youth group, so I always have a car filled with teenagers.  Thing 2 never wants to miss the carpool trip, because he gets to sit smack in the middle of all the cute girls!

GirlsAndNash7.  We had one day this week that was so gloriously beautiful, I took Thing 2 to the park, while the boy was at school.  It was the perfect-weather day… the kind of weather where you sigh, and think, “THIS!  This is how every day should be!”  And then you Google all the world’s average temperatures on your phone, trying to find one spot that you could move to, where every day would be 71 degrees and warm, with blue skies.

I’ve never been much for taking nature pictures, but the sky was so brilliantly blue that day, I absolutely could not resist snapping a picture of the trees in front of it.

IMG_6092After all of this week, it felt GOOD to sit on a park bench in the sunshine, while Thing 2 ran and ran and jumped and slid at the park.

And then the underground sprinklers popped up with zero-point-zero warning, soaking me to be the bone with water.  Apparently, watering the lawn in early April is a real thing these days.

I had to drive home with my wet hair dripping down my face.

OH, GLORIOUS DAY.

And THAT, y’all, is the very wordy version of HOW WE HAVE SPENT OUR LAST WEEK.  Y’all have a happy weekend.

He’s Still Our Favorite Four Year Old

If you ever catch wind that I’ve been put into an institution, please know that it’ll be because of the preschool pick-up time.

More specifically, me being in a bathrobe and slippers in a private place smack in the  middle of the mountains with the wind whispering through the trees will be directly related to that small space of time when I walk into Thing 2’s classroom to fetch him after a solid morning of ABCs, and see his teacher smile and make a beeline straight for me.

Bless her.

Today, Miss K told us that, overall, Thing 2 had a JUST FINE day, but yes, there was a little issue involving someone who didn’t want to sit still for carpet time.  The honest truth is, Thing 2 has already nailed beginning letter sounds.  I kid you not, folks; our four-year-old can tell you what letter nearly every word in the English language starts with, so perhaps he’s bored and ready for the third grade already.  THAT may be the reason that sitting still at carpet time was difficult today.

No matter.

We still love him, even if he does prefer to encourage his classmates to participate in gymnastics — LET’S DO SOMERSAULTS!  AND BACK FLIPS!  AND WHO’S UP FOR SCALING THE BOOKCASE AND LEAPING FROM IT TO THE BEANBAG, AS WE PRETEND THE RUG BETWEEN THOSE TWO THINGS IS FILLED WITH HOT LAVA?! — and we’ll still keep him.

This afternoon, when Hubs asked him how preschool had gone today, Thing 2 just shook his head and said, rather seriously, “Well, Dad.  It’s not going to be a story of good news for you.”

Then…

… if you know Thing 2 at all, you know how much he enjoys toy segregation.  He has several close little friends who are girls, and he loves them dearly, but our son is of the opinion that girls should play with dolls and fairies and pink purses, while he should play with John Deere tractors and swords.  He hates the color pink so badly, he won’t even eat the pink M&Ms that were out for Easter.

You think I’m joking.

Rest assured… I.  Am.  Not.  If you hand that kid of ours a pastel pink M&M, he will refuse to take it, and he’ll let you know that PINK IS FOR GIRLS.

We’ve been working on this at home, trying desperately to convince him that PINK IS  OKAY FOR BOYS!  Yes, it is!

So imagine my joy when Thing 2 woke me up out of a dead sleep one morning this week — at 2:36 AM!! — hollering out, “Mommy!  Mommy!  MOMMMMYYYYY!!!” from his bedroom.  Every mother will run for her child when she hears this at 2:36 in the morning, and we’re usually preparing ourselves mentally, between our bed and the kid’s bedroom door, to clean up puke.

When I threw open Thing 2’s door at 2:36 in the morning, he was sprawled on his bed.  I asked, “What is it?”

He replied, “Pink is okay for boys, right?  Right, Mom?  I can eat pink M&Ms, and it’s okay, right?  Pink M&Ms are okay for boys to eat.  Isn’t that right, Mom?”

My biggest hope is that the mimosas at the institution are pink every weekend.  I feel like I’ve earned them.

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