Wednesday, August 27, 2008

First Day

The kids went back to school today. :0)

Last night, instead of hovering over my children while they picked out their clothes, and got their backpacks ready, I lay in bed with a fever and terrible headache. Today I get tested for Strep Throat at the doctor's office. (Although, my fever is gone today, so who knows??)

Of course, since I wasn't hovering...and I was just yelling the checklist out to them while laying there like an invalid.....I wasn't completely sure they had everything. It seemed so last night when everyone fell asleep. I stayed up until 11:45pm doing laundry, because my dear Jacob crumpled his PE shirt into a ball and stored it in his dresser all summer without putting it in the hamper. GROSS!!! Yup- the darn thing smelled......BAD. He was supposed to bring it the first day, so I stayed up to wash it and put it into the dryer.

This morning....everything went off seemingly without a hitch. I asked each child if they had their ID cards, I asked them if they had their schedules, gym stuff, snacks, etc. Yes, mom. All three were ready early, and waited impatiently to leave the house at their three different respective times. Ben- 6:35am. Jake-7:35am, Nate-8:10am.

At 7:40am I received a phone call. It was Jacob on his cell. He was on the bus. He informed me that he didn't have his schedule.
What?? Didn't I ask him if he had it?
He said he grabbed the wrong paper by mistake--a map of the school...not his schedule. Immediately I considered reading the whole list of teachers, subjects and room numbers off the paper to him to write down. I told him to get out a pencil and paper and listen.
Then, he said...uh, mom?
I also forgot my PE shirt and shorts.....sorry.
WHAT???? Oh my are kidding me.

So.....I was in the car at 8am this morning driving to the Middle School across town--one half hour after my 7th grader left from our house......EARLY, I might add, because he was tired to waiting....and he was ready. Sigh.
I should also point out that I left before my elementary school child was on the bus. YUP. He went off to the bus stop, where all of the other parents gathered with cameras, and smiles, sending their children off while watching and waving....and I, on the other hand, just left my kid there without as much as a kiss goodbye...because my other son needed his stuff PRONTO, before his 2nd period gym class began. Sigh. Double sigh.

Here are my cuties in their annual --"please your mother, and just stand for a picture outside, before you leave" first day of school picture. We did this picture-taking in my backyard, so as to not humiliate my dear boys in front of anyone that might notice their crazy mom insisting on a picture. :0) I am so thoughtful, aren't I??

Here is Ben....a Sophomore, the day before he turns 16. Not exactly sure why he chose not to wear any of the new clothes we bought him....(???) And by the way--don't you know it is not cool to smile when you are a teenager?

And a head shot...ain't he cute? :0)

Here is Jake. He is starting 7th grade today. When we went shopping, he was pretty excited about this shirt. He is a funny kid.

And a headshot of do you like that faux hawk? He got his haircut yesterday....actually all the boys did. Ben was sad most of his curls were cut off. Jake said "sweet" when his hair was done.....although I noticed most of his summer blond
highlights are now gone. Oh well--I'm over it.

Finally-here is my "little" one. Nate is in 4th grade this year. Hope he remembered who his teacher was when he got to school. We only spoke about it once....3 weeks ago.
Nathan insisted on wearing these shoes--they are old, and definitely have seen better days. I haven't found him any "slip-ons" to replace them yet, so this is my punishment. :0) He does have almost brand new adidas sneakers sitting on the floor in his room. Yes, I know.

Keeping with the pattern...Nathan's headshot. And before you say it....I am aware that his hair is a lot crooked. That would be the hairdresser's fault. I guess it is also my own, for not noticing until we were gone from that place, and I had already listened to Ben complain about how short HIS hair was. I didn't bring it up to Nathan when I finally noticed. He didn't seem to notice himself, or care. So I decided not to either. There you go. I will also be glad when his braces are a go. As of now, we need to wait at least until January for more tooth loss and adult tooth eruption. Until then...I will love my Bubby's gap toothed cutie patootie grin.

It is now 1:30pm. I have not gotten much done today other than getting my own hair cut, making a doctor's appt., driving to Jacob's school, putting drops in Emmy's ears, and generally putzing around. This post took more time than I would have liked it to, but Matt also called me twice during the process. I now need to run to Campton United Soccer Club's office to hand in medical forms, and arrange my carpool options for this afternoon's practice. Then--the kids will be home. Where did the time go??

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

short lived


yesterday was a hard day for me. ben decided not to play soccer.

for those of you who know me, (and lets be real......if you are reading this stuff---you must know me.....why else would you bore yourself with my life's details?) you know that ben's "finding his way, and niche" has been somewhat of a struggle.

I was so thrilled when Ben decided to try out for soccer again after taking a year off. last year was a difficult one for him, and us. he just didn't seem like himself. his grades were down, he didn't want to be involved in anything....he was generally fairly difficult to live with---and i spent most of last year concerned about him and the decisions he was making. so, this summer, when he announced he was going to try out for the HS soccer team, we were thrilled because we felt it was a good sign. maybe, just maybe, he was working his way out of the "funk" he has been in.

but alas....his soccer days were short lived. ben started complaining after the second day of tryouts. we chalked it up to him being out of shape. we told him it would get better. the whining continued, though. his "what was I thinking?" statements continued. we encouraged him and held our breath.

yesterday ben flat out told us that he was not enjoying soccer as he hoped he would. that he woke up everyday thinking about how he had soccer practice, and it immediately would put him in a bad mood. he did not look forward to practice, and did not look forward to playing games. he wanted to quit before the season took off.


okay--i feel it is important that you know that it is not the fact that he doesn't want to play soccer that is so hard to take. it is the short lived hope that maybe things were changing and looking up for him. i just want him to be happy. i just want him to realize there is more to high school than going to classes. i wanted to see some sort of self-motivation in him. i want to see him passionate about something other than hanging out with friends and spending time on the computer.

it is a fine line to walk. this whole teenager thing is difficult. he is so sensitive, and moody. we have been trying for a year to light a fire under try and help him find something he can be excited about..... some of our attempts have been interpreted by him as us thinking he is a loser. (not our goal here, folks....) some of our attempts have resulted in him thinking we are trying to run his life. some of our attempts have been listened to and pondered, and maybe made a difference for about a week's time. (more frustration....)

yesterday, we concentrated on the whole aspect of just wanting him to be happy, and to feel supported..... he agreed that last year was not a good year for him, and that he wanted to change things a bit. he wants to concentrate more on his classes. to put a little more effort in. i know he is nervous about his heavy course load. but, we also told him that we feel he needs to find something worthwhile to do. to get involved somehow. to find something to get excited branch out a take a chance. we are not going to force him to play soccer--even though we are more than disturbed that he wants to quit something else. again. but, at this point in his life, there is no reason to force him to do something he is miserable doing. our goal is to help him be happy-not depressed everyday!

i have to tell you, though.....
this is hard on parents that were both very involved in numerous things in school. it is also very hard to see lack of motivation, and desire. it is also VERY hard to see your child struggling to find his way.

please pray for us---for wisdom. we want to make the right decisions. we want to help him build character. we want him to know above all else, he is loved.
please pray for ben---that he finds "that thing" to capture his interest. that he finds success this year for his efforts. that his heart is softened, that he seeks God, and and that he has the desire to make the most out of his life, rather than just coasting through it.

it is hard to be a parent.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Houston, we have a problem....

Okay--so I thought I'd share a little problem I have here.

I have always collected underwear. I am not sure what my deal is. I never think I have enough. need just the right pair for certain occasions, you know what I mean?

For instance, you need a few thongs for those tightish shorts and pants, so no panty lines show. You definitely need the ugly comfy pair for when you just want to sit around in sweats and eat ice cream. You need a few normal useful regular ones for everyday--the ones that are really the most loved. A few crazy funky ones for when you feel the need to be a bit silly and fun. The ones that work best for that time of the month (you know the ones....admit it). Then you have ones that sit in the back of your drawer that you pull out occasionally when you are feeling a bit romantic. AND--then there are the ones that mostly fit, and you don't wear very much.....but they are perfectly good, and you can't seem to get yourself to throw them away, in case you have a time that you just didn't get to the laundry, and you need to resort to the ill-fitting less favorites.

Like I said....this has always been a problem of mine. I remember in college....I had two full drawers dedicated to just underwear. It was more important then to have plenty--because doing laundry was never a guarentee. Time did not always allow for getting it done.....and I never wanted to be the one having to turn a used pair inside out to wear again. How gross! My closest friends knew of this "collection", and kidded me about it. I was even given a few little girl ruffled pairs for my birthday from my RA staff as a joke.

I thought, though, I had mostly outgrown this need for an incredible amount of underwear.....UNTIL.....I recently tried to cram all my pairs into my underwear drawer. Sadly, I guess this was one of the few times all of my laundry was clean at the same time, and I had nothing left dirty in my hamper.

And this is what my underwear drawer looks like now.....

What am I supposed to do about this??? (And please do not suggest that I actually throw some of these away......)

These are packed tightly in, BTW. The drawer is halfway shut....and I have now added three pairs to the hamper since this problem occurred. So....maybe I just need to wear two or three at a time until I can shut the drawer??? My hubby just shakes his head at me......

Thursday, August 14, 2008

maybe I should go back to bed.....

this has not been a good day. and it is only 9:00 in the morning.

my bad day actually started last night, when my cell phone refused to accept a charge. it has been slowly dying the last few days, and i have been in denial, i guess. i am now facing the fact that it is gone now, and what is a girl to do when her phone dies and we were waiting until sept. 7th to change phone plans? (when our other contract is up). i spent some time last night using the last bit of juice in my phone to copy down all my phone numbers i had stored in there. :0(

jacob has a tournament in milwaukee, wisconsin this weekend. it started out that matt and jake were going unless i could find someone to dog sit. this is not incredibly easy when there is no family around to help us. since i haven't been to one of jake's out of state tourneys in a while....(well at least since last fall)... it was important for me to find out a way for us all to go. you know, we'd have a family weekend--as the summer comes to a close. so....i need to ask my dear friends. which i hate having to do, by the way. then--yesterday, when i thought it wasn't going to work out, i was excited to have not one, but two offers of people volunteering to take care of emmy. the second offer was also to have nathan stay with his friend (along with the dog) so that he could attend the said friend's birthday party. matt and i spent a while last night discussing the options, wondering whether it was necessary to have nathan with us, or whether we should let him stay with his friend (which is what he wanted to do....). we did not reach a decision about this, really. we were back and forth, and matt basically left in my hands to do what i thought best. WELL....this morning, i woke up at about 6:45am after thinking i heard emmy bark (she didn't--i must have been dreaming). I started my day checking email. matt IM'ed me, seeing i got on the computer, and told me that he thought he should stay home this weekend, due to the amount of work he had to do, and because he has been so tired, and he never gets good sleep while away at tourneys. (maybe because games usually start at 8am and jake as to be ready for the team breakfast by 6:30am???) anyway, i was fairly shocked by this turn of events----and to be honest, a little disturbed by the thought of having to do it all on my own. although, it would solve the problem of deciding where emmy should go, and most likely ben would jump for joy when he found out he could stay home, too. it is just a bummer for me. (plus...i have no phone!)

then i came downstairs to mull everything over, get my tea and glance at my calendar to figure out my day. hmmmmm....ben has his materials pick-up at school from 11am-12pm. 1:00pm i need to take jake and 4 other boys from his soccer team to a team building event in sycamore (about an hour round trip). at 3:30pm i need to get ben to his second day of soccer tryouts. at 5:45pm I drive nathan to his soccer practice. 7:30pm he gets picked up. matt is late tonight, hmmm...i should really go food shopping, too. oh yeah, i need to get Austin (nathan's friend) a birthday present.... let's see....what else? maybe i should get my cup of tea and think it over.....

i get my mug, my teabag, my sugar substitute (I know.....don't talk to me right now about how bad this probably is for me....), and my hot water from the cooler (i love that thing!).....and then reach for the milk....

what?? what's this?? NOOOOO...... Nooooo.....please don't tell me.....


oh dear...this is bad. very bad. i looked inside, hoping that matt was maybe in there this morning to get OJ or something, and it really WASN'T open all night. I knew that was not the case when i felt in there, and noticed it was actually HOT in there! The light was on all night too, and so it heated up the whole inside of the fridge. My butter melted....into puddles. I almost burnt myself on a pickle jar located right next to the light. I made the realization that everything would need to be tossed. OUCH! i think the only things that can be saved is the ketchup, (maybe), the pop and beer that hadn't been opened yet, and maybe..... nope, i think that is it. ARGH!!! this is an expensive mistake someone made. and i don't want to point any fingers....but ben, jake and jake's friend were up late and hanging out down there last night because jake had a sleepover. you know how boys are with late night fridge raids......

so now, i guess i also need to fit in a trip to the food store today to re-buy everything that went bad. of course, that is only after i throw it all out, and write down a list of everything i am tossing..... do you feel bad for me yet?

here are a few pictures I took this morning after my discovery....

here is my butter dish...yup, threw that away already.

the light that caused all of the heat...darn light....

and finally...a view of the fridge before i emptied it of all it's contents. good bye food and all the things i took for granted inside....the mint jelly i don't think about until we have lamb....the minced garlic....the specialty salsa and marinades i bought from "Little Traveler" and "Pampered Chef" ....yogurts, and applesauce.... pickles and olives.... salad dressings, ice cream sundae fixin's......oh the sadness.....

at least the freezer door stayed shut. gotta look for the silver lining... right?

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

checklist overload

I have got to get something accomplished today. For sure. I don't care what it is, but I feel like each day flies by and I have nothing to show for it. My easy going non-eventful summer life is about to come to a close, and the crazy days of Fall, soccer and school are about to take over.

So, what should I do? I need to wash dishes. I need to make beds. I need to vacuum. I need to straighten the little messes all about the house. I need to drive my son to soccer tryouts, and my other son to goalie training...... I need to shower, and get dressed, and make myself generally presentable. I need to RSVP to a birthday party. I need to do laundry. I need to figure out a plan for dinner. I need to sweep up the dog hair scattered about my tiled hallway and kitchen floors. I need to dust the stair banisters because I noticed yesterday that they have been way too neglected. There is more I should do, that falls into the category of general house cleaning and clean toilets, and wipe finger prints from the stainless steel. I need to finalize plans for this weekend--who is going with Jacob for his tournament in Milwaukee?? Will we have a dog sitter? Is the whole family going? Or just Matt and Jake? Or just me and Jake?? If it is just me and jake...I need to print out lots of maps, and schedules, etc.....that Matt usually handles when we are all going.

When do I find the time for the other stuff? Like going food shopping, and school supply shopping? When do I set my children up with a few new shirts and jeans, etc. for their first months at school? When do I shop for Ben's birthday on the 28th? (He will be 16!!) When do I finally spray paint that darn light fixture? When do I contemplate what I'd like to put on the shelves in the front office? When do I start tearing the wallpaper off my dining room walls? When do I paint? How long will it be that my boys need to suffer with the hideous blue and mauve fleur-de-lis, and grids (hand stamped by the previous home owner) all over their bathroom walls? What about the Living Room furniture? When do I shop for that? That's a biggie by the way..... I can't stand the LR right now the way it is.....

Seriously.....there is ALOT to do around here. I need to cross something off the list. TODAY would be nice. Why do I get the feeling it will just be like all the rest of days in the last few weeks..... doing little jobs/tasks that take up the whole day, and then the day is gone. AGAIN.

Better get moving.... time flies.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Museum Mom

I thought this was really fun. Check out this picture I made at
I think my mom should use this as her facebook profile pic....what do you think mom? :0)

Art Museum by

Friday, August 1, 2008 happened

Poor Nathan's frog bit the dust.

I think he may have drowned. He normally would be sitting in a dry portion of the tank, or near his frog food....but this morning he was floating at the bottom of the tank under water. We have witnessed him swim before, so we know he can do it---but Nathan would also give him a little push up onto land when he seemed tired. Maybe this time, he needed a little shove and no one was there for him. :0(

At least we got to see him change into his froggie form. Sadly, he was only a frog for a few days....after months of tadpole living.

Sorry, froggie.