Sunday, May 19, 2013

Dream vs Reality....

I had this beautiful image of waking up Mother's Day morning, sipping coffee on the deck with my kids.  Last Sunday, it was gray, rainy and cold.  This morning was beautiful so the three of us headed to the deck with our coffees, breakfast and jammies. 

Reality was not the same as my beautiful image.  I forgot about dew, freshly cut grass and wet bums from wet lawn chairs.  I forgot about trees and neighbors taking walks.  It turns out we aren't the only ones outside in our jammies!  The reality was grass and dirt over everything.

Fortunately, I was able to get over it quickly and enjoy my dirty kids dancing and playing soccer in the wet lawn full of grass clippings at 8:00 a.m.  They are now in the bathtub cleaning up.  Laci is making funny hairdos with Calvin's soapy hair.  Water, soap and grass clippings cover the bathroom floor.  Yep - that is better than my original Mother's Day image. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Ordinary is Extraordinary

I just watched the series finale of The Office.  I was a loyal viewer for all 9 seasons - the good and the bad.  The end was good.  Everyone had an ending or a new beginning.  As they were reflecting on the last 9 years, I related a lot to it.  I have been in my job for 14 years now and while I'm not as close to my co-workers as they are on that show, it is and they are a big part of my life.

The last line of the show struck me "There is a lot of beauty in ordinary things.  Isn't that the point."  I may have gotten that quote off a little bit.  But to me that really is a lot of the point.  It's the point of everything. That is one of the core values that I live my life on.  The ordinary is the most extraordinary thing there is - in marriage, parenthood, jobs.  I have noticed that the times I am most at peace and stressful is just sitting at the park watching and playing with my kids.  Or just sitting in the same room as them.  Or just cooking dinner for them.  It's reaching out and touching my husband while he's sleeping and knowing he is always there.  It's the most ordinary, boring, daily routines of life that I really love the most.  That is why we do everything we do.  

It's always something...

t's always something with kids, isn't it?  Just when I get something figured out, they throw a new loop at me.

Last week, at 8:30, I had a call from the school nurse.  The school nurse?  School doesn't even start until 9:00!  I took the kids that morning and when I dropped Laci off at 6:40, she was fine.  What could have possible happened?  The nurse said she had an unexplained rash.  A rash?  Why didn't I think to do a full body scan on the kids!  Oh yeah, because they were arguing over who got to hold Calvin's stuffed Monkey in the car.  I had to take Laci to the doctor. 

Ugh.  Here is the amazing part.  On the way to Laci's school, I got a doctor's appointment for 9:45.  I picked Laci up at 9:15 and headed to the doctors.  We got in and out and back to school with a note from the doctor by 10:45.  She wasn't contagious and it wasn't bothering her.  It just looked horrible.  Laci was buying hot lunch which she rarely does and wanted to be back in time for lunch.  I had a lunch and learn at work that I wanted to be back for - free lunch and a continuing ed credit.  I couldn't believe the whole thing was less than 3 hours from the call to when I got back to work.

The rash was just that - a rash from some sort of irritant outside.  Who knows what.  Now Laci walks around wondering about what she could be allergic to.  The doctor prescribed a cream but when I heard the cream was $100, we did not get that filled!  We just used over the counter stuff and within a few days it was gone.  I just never know what to expect when I get a call from the school!

Mother's Day at the Track

can now say I am raising good Indianapolis kids.  They have had their first visit to the track.  They loved it.  I know I am not supposed to say this but I am not really a fan of Mother's Day and we didn't really have plans, unless you call cleaning the house plans so we decided to go to the Indianapolis Speedway.  It was really the best day to go.  The weather was not hot, almost chilly and it was just practice so it wouldn't be crowded.  There were only one or two cars on the track at a time so the noise wasn't too bad either.  The kids are just getting to the point where we can do outings like this and naps and schedules aren't as vital.  The kids really wanted to go to the park so we made a deal - track then the park. 

Speedway is about 45 minutes from our house.  It was funny because they both fell asleep on the way to the track.  I knew they were be tired afterwards but I didn't think they would be tired before!  But they were both up at 6 a.m.  

Charlie had just finished a 4 week class at IUPUI with Donald Davidson, his Indy 500 hero.  If you don't know who Donald Davidson is, you are not from Indy.  Charlie is a huge Indy 500 fan and Donald Davidson is the track historian.  The class was at Speedway High School so he had been to Speedway a lot in April.  We parked at Turn 3 and took the tram to the track.  He said it was the first time he ever took the tram and not walked but with the kids and no stroller, there was no way we were walking that far!
 Charlie has this same picture from his first trip to the track when he was 5 years old. 
Fortunately there was a Kids Zone area that day and the kids got to dance, kick footballs and get tattoos.  Plus they were handing out roses to mothers.  The day was good.  Next up, the track!  We had been hearing the sounds of the cars since we got there and Calvin was ready to see the race cars.  

When we first got to the stands, there was some drama.  I don't know what but they were both crying about something silly.  Charlie was all smiles.  As soon as Calvin saw the cars, he was a happy camper.  He absolutely loved it, everything about it.  He clapped every time a car drove by.  Laci needed more entertainment and I spent some time walking around the stands with her.  Firestone Firehawk was there and that made her happy.  We were sitting right behind Sarah Fischer racing and got to see Sarah Fischer.  I have always been a fan of hers.  She seems to be a class act as a driver and now an owner.  I had to throw in a little lesson for Laci that "Girls can do anything!"

We only stayed about an hour.  We still had the park to get too.  As we waited for Charlie to go to the gift shop, Laci found a race car to sit in.  She loves getting her picture taken and trying things.  Calvin kept saying "Can we see a few more cars, Mommy.  Pwease!"  It was so sweet.  I really wanted to stay just for him.  We got back in the car, passed out snacks and off to our favorite park.  

We didn't stay at the park very long.  The kids were wiped out.  Calvin fell over and lost it.  But the first trip to the track was a huge success.  Practice was the perfect day.  Maybe next year they will be ready for qualifications but it may be a few years before they can handle the race.  i realize spending Mother's Day at the track may be unconventional but any place I am with my kids is Mother's Day.  Charlie has always said that what makes the Indy 500 special is the tradition and passing it down from father to son.  I'm so glad that we got to take the kids there and start our traditions.  

Deep thoughts at 3:00 a.m. ...

I was laying awake the other night at 3:00 a.m.  I do my best (and worst) thinking in the middle of the night.  I was working on my list of all the horrible, annoying habits I have.  We always get so down on ourselves and beat up ourselves.  I thought "I will just add this to Charlie's list of why I am a horrible, annoying person.  Everyone has that list for their spouse, right?"  Then I thought about "the list" I have for Charlie, all of his annoying, horrible habits.  The list is completely blank.  Not a thing on it.  Then I thought "That is what marriage is, right?  No list.  We don't keep score.  We don't have a list."  It was a nice thought and a nice reminder.

Of course, in the light of day, I can think of plenty silly little things for "a list": doesn't make the bed, forgets to turn the closet light off, doesn't do the dishes immediately.  But those things really aren't important.  I am thankful every day for Charlie and our marriage.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lessons from my Garage Sale

I had my first big garage sale this weekend.  This was the one with all the baby clothes.  Fortunately, I labelled all the boxed when I packed up the baby clothes.  I used diaper boxes for my basement looked like a diaper warehouse.  When I brought them upstairs, there were over 35 boxes!  Plus a few boxes from the guest room of things that hadn't been brought down yet.  

I kept the garage sale simple - 50 cents for each item, $1 for new with tags, 50 cents for books and toys (Laci got that money) and 25 cents for little items (bibs, socks, onesies).  i was able to borrow three 8' foot tables from a co-worker.  That helped so much but I could have used many more tables.  I still had a lot of boxes on the floor.  I laid the books, toys, misc. household stuff on blankets.

I learned a few lessons this weekend.

1.  Most people were looking for older kid stuff.  I think most people when they have their first baby want everything shiny and new.  Plus they get tons of stuff from their showers and excited first time grandparents.  By the time their kids are preschool, they are ready for all the garage sale clothes they can get.  Sizes 3, 4 and 5 were the most asked for stuff.  By noon Friday, I reorganized and put the bigger stuff on the table.  I didn't have as much of the bigger stuff because by the time Laci was 4, I started giving her stuff away more often to people we know with little girls.  Plus, later I found a box of size 3T that I was kicking myself for missing that I could have set out.

2.  But on the flip side, as soon as I would organize and box up the baby stuff, I would have someone come looking for newborn and infant clothes.  You just never know what people are looking for.

3.  Every time I saw someone hold up an outfit, all I saw was my baby wearing that. The memories attached to the clothes are so vivid.  I wasn't sad and it wasn't hard but I was shocked at how vividly I could remember every outfit and Laci and Calvin wearing them.  It was a strange feeling.  I mentioned that to Charlie and he said he couldn't remember any of the clothes.  That is the difference between a mom and a dad.  

4.  Friday is the best day for garage sales.  I had heard that was true but it doesn't make much sense.  Aren't people at work on Friday?  Wouldn't Saturday be better?  But that didn't seem to be the case.  I had my garage open from 8 - 3 on Friday and made $130.  I closed up shop on Saturday at noon and only made $40.  

5.  Garage sales are exhausting.  I was tied to the garage.  I don't think I went inside all day.  I was hoping for a quiet day to read my book (I'm behind for book club Friday) and didn't have a chance.  When the kids came home from school, they wanted to play outside all afternoon too.  

6.  Clean the kids closets before the garage sale!  What was I thinking.  Rookie mistake.  I cleaned Laci's closet on Sunday.  At this turn of season, I packed up another box for size 6 clothes and brought them into the basement.  I could have put all those clothes out!  Size 6s was a popular size.  I still need to clean out Calvin's but I am sure I will have to throw another box or two back into the basement.  

7.  Clean the garage and put everything out.  Charlie found two boxes of stuff in the garage just sitting there and he set that stuff out.  Most of it sold.  We even got rid of a box of stuff in the garage. 

8.  Use drop clothes and other unattractive blankets to lay things on.  I used a drop cloth on one side of the driveway for some items.  I used my favorite nice picnic blanket on the other side.  When I laid things on it, nobody noticed.  On Saturday, Calvin insisted on using it to eat his breakfast.  Then it laid there with just a few of his toys on it.  I had so many people ask about the blanket.  It's my favorite - not for sale! 

All and all, I am calling the garage sale a success.  I made $171 overall.  I gave Laci the money from the books and toys.  She made $6.50.  Most importantly, I only have 25 boxes in my basement of baby clothes.  That includes two bins of the special baby clothes that I am saving from my kids, a box of baby blankets and a box of my old baby clothes.  I also have a box of baby toys for next years sale ready.  

I don't think I will be making this an annual thing but I may do the baby clothes one or two more times to try to downsize before sending it all to Goodwill.