First week down, about 13 years to go


Lola’s first day of kindergarten.

It all went well. We got there early. Which wasn’t the best idea actually, because it meant we had to stand longer in a crowded, sweaty gym waiting for the whole ribbon cutting thing (this is the school’s first year at this location.) I was super hot and impatient. All the other parents were reverent, and I was totally whining and rolling my eyes. And then again it hit me, like when Lola’s 4K teacher told me she was “emotionally immature and doesn’t take direction well.” I am not a good example!

Parents cried. And gave me weird looks when I was just relieved to be finally getting out of there. Lola was happy and excited, I was late for work, and I just didn’t feel terribly emotional. And then I felt like a broken mom because of it.

Corbin cried though. Because he wanted to stay too. He kept incorrectly saying “best day of school” instead of “first” day of school. So when he found out we had to leave there was a lot of sadness. “I want my best day of school ever!” Aw.

When I went to pick Lola up, I was a little more maternal. Standing waiting for her to come out, I had a little more time to ponder the milestone. I can’t believe how big she is. What happened to this girl?:

She came out with her teacher. She was happy but dead tired. Same the next day. Happy but tired at pickup. (Same the next day at drop off too, with Corbin insisting that he stay for his best day of school ever.) By the end of day three she told Brian she doesn’t like school anymore. And my heart sank. I hope it’s just that it’s an adjustment for her, and she’ll come around. Because I’m looking forward to this journey with her (I’m also wracked with anxiety, don’t get me wrong.) I want her to make good friends and enjoy learning. So great, another thing to stress about. Because let me tell you, I’m stressed.

I’m so afraid that we are going to be bad at this and everyone’s going to know I’m not a great mom. I already feel like her teacher knows I’m a basket case. I’m already That Mom! Ugh. I don’t know, honestly, whether my craziness and ineptitude shows through already, or if I just THINK it does. I hope I’ll get a better handle on it. I want to be the good mom with the good kid!

And I want Lola to like school and make good friends. I think she will.

Wednesdays are back y’all.

I’ve been meaning to add a Wednesdays post. I never post anymore and these Wednesdays posts are a good way for me to continue to keep the occasional snapshot of our life. But this Wednesday, while busy, was super snoozy from a blogging perspective. I’m gonna just go ahead anyway.

Corbin slept in! Well, I mean he got up at like five like usual, but he came into my bed and instead of demanding “breakfast bar!” and insisting I get up, he fell back to sleep. Now, he slept in such a manner that I didn’t actually get much more sleep. And really, I’ve been waking up at five for the last 2 1/2 years so I can’t usually sleep in anymore. But still. 🙂

When we finally get up at like 6:30, Lola joins us shortly, and I offer to make pancakes. And what does Corbin say? “No! Breakfast bar!” My kids! They hate homemade things! I’m not even a bad cook, to be honest. I don’t LIKE to cook, but I’ve discovered I’m pretty ok at it. But no. Homemade applesauce? Gross. We only like apple sauce that comes in squeezable pouches. What about homemade applesauce in squeezable pouches? No. They can tell the damn difference. Just one small example. But Lola eats my pancakes. And then demands “a Tum.”

My kids think Tums are candy. One day I gave Lola one because she was complaining so much about her stomach hurting. And then of course shortly after I found Corbin in the bathroom with Tums all over the floor saying “canny, I want canny.” Now Lola asks for one like every day. “My stomach hurts. I need a Tum,” in a whiney, pathetic voice. I can’t decide if this is just a thing now, or if I should be asking her Dr about this.

Every Tuesday night I swear to myself that I’m going to wake up Wednesday and hit the ground running. Get up, get ready, get the kids ready, just like a work day, and I’ll get so much done! Today, in particular we have to grocery shop, clean the house, and do it all early because I want to take Lola to a county fair. Currently it’s 8:15, and all I’ve accomplished is breakfast and kicking the ass of Bubble Witch on my iPad. We are all in jammies, I haven’t even washed my face.

So I thought since Corbin slept in he would be in a particularly good mood today. That would be incorrect. He’s a particular little shit today. But we finally make it out the door and make it through grocery shopping ok. And since bribery is a-okay by me as long as it works, and the kids are actually pretty good at the store, I let them share some skittles. (With each other and with me because I love skittles.) And then I realize I don’t have my debit card (again! This happened to me the other day! I’m such a loser!) So now I’m having a little flip out in the checkout line. The man behind me is lightly admonishing my kids for eating skittles off the floor, and I’m pretending not to notice they’re doing it (because I don’t want him to judge me for the fact that if I DID notice I wouldn’t actually care,) while I try to figure out what to do. We have to go home and come back. Fine. Y’all don’t take IOUs then? Fine.

I then make the mistake of asking the kids whether they’d like to drive past the horses or the airplanes on the way home (a farm or a small airport.) It’s clearly a split decision. Involving yelling (loving this “NO!!!!” phase with Corbin, btw.) And then I realize that’s no prob, because we not only have to drive home from the store, we have to drive right back to the store, and then back home again. I love that seeing horses or planes out the car window is like a big to-do. Can you tell that my kids don’t have a real fancy lifestyle? Lol.

Now, generally I am as annoyed as anyone by my kids fighting in the backseat. When Lola’s in manic mode and won’t leave her brother alone, and he’s screaming his head off while I try and navigate construction traffic- that sucks. But once in a while, when it’s just hilariously over-dramatic arguing about whether that’s a horse or a pony and whether or not Corbin actually saw a motorcycle or just said he did, minus the high pitched screeching, I just find it pretty funny. This one ends in “Corbin you smell like dump!” as we drive by the yard waste place with the windows down. I probably shouldn’t have laughed out loud at that.

This is getting long, so I’m going to skip to the rodeo. 🙂

I had been kind of wanting to take Lola to a rodeo, mostly because I wanted to go to a rodeo. But I sort of sidelined that because none of the options seemed both fun and affordable. And then as we looked at the horses at the state and county fairs, she said “I wish I could see a cowboy riding one.” And I said, welllll…there’s this thing called a rodeo….

And then I saw that a county fair about an hour away, that I’d never been to but always heard was nice, was having a rodeo. And so we go. First we enjoy a bit of the fair. Meaning I eat Hot Wisconsin cheddar nuggets and check out the craft and agriculture buildings. Because those are my favorite parts. And Lola rides overpriced rides and plays an overpriced game, eats cheese fries, and refuses to even TRY a funnel cake. Wtf!? It’s fried dough with powdered sugar on it. She would eat powdered sugar off a spoon. But not off deep fried deliciousness? We settle on a caramel apple, no nuts, and head to the arena to find a seat.

When the main event finally gets started, she’s a little….troubled. By the violently bucking animals and cowboys being jerked around like rag dolls. And I realize, we didn’t actually talk specifics about what a rodeo involves. And it’s sort of like when I took her to see Epic, and she kept telling me it was scary, but when I asked if she wanted to leave, she said no she was enjoying herself. She loves the barrel racing though. And the drill horses with “sparkly hair and sparkly butts” (these things are COVERED in glitter glue or something.)

We have to leave a bit early because it’s late and she’s cold. But we have a really nice time.

When we get back to the car she tells me not to roll the windows down because it’s nighttime. This from the girl who is always asking me, to my constant devastation, when we are going to have a jeep again. I say, “Lola what if we had a jeep right now with the top down? I loved driving the jeep with the top down at nighttime. I can’t think of hardly anything I like better.” And she has a very well-reasoned response, “well, I like unicorns better.” So there.

About halfway home she tells me she loves me “as much as grandma.” So I guess she enjoyed the rodeo. And we both ride home, sticky with caramel. You try eating a caramel apple with no nuts on it!

Are you smarter than a five year old?

So, there is now a grocery store in my town that has a child care service. For free! You can drop your kids off for up to an hour while you shop. So, of course I drove all the way across town to pick up a few items yesterday because, hello, peace! Also, there’s a Vietnamese restaurant next door with spring rolls. 🙂

Halfway through shopping I get paged overhead and panic like a crazy person. “Corbin is choking on crayons!” “Someone is bleeding!” “Lola is misbehaving so badly that we’ve been expelled!!”
None of those, actually; Lola just needs to go pee.

As she’s finishing up in the bathroom, she says to me, about the lady in the childcare room, “I’m going to ask her if she thinks I’m pretty. I bet she’ll say yes.”

And I’m not sure why exactly I think this is one of her more brilliant remarks, but in my head I just thought, “you really know where it’s at, kid.” I’m thinking it might be a benefit to my admittedly low self esteem to start asking people leading questions that leave them feeling obligated to tell me complimentary things about myself, lol.

When I think about it, she has a lot of wisdom. Other things to learn from Lola:

If you hate something, don’t do it.
Now, possibly this isn’t the best advice for mature adults. But then again, I don’t know… For example, Lola hates having the front of her hair washed because she never holds still enough to make sure she doesn’t get soapy water in her eyes and mouth. So she just refuses to wash her bangs. “But sweetie your hair is going to get really greasy and gross looking in the front.” Shoulder shrug. Lola knows that, in the scheme of things, partially greasy hair is just not as detrimental to one’s day to day life as some would imagine.

“You get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.”
She says this a lot. Mostly to Corbin. I’m sure she learned it at school where the teachers can’t spend all day making sure everyone’s craft paper that day is in their own personal favorite color, or whatever. And certainly there is a strong case to be made for NOT just accepting whatever life throws at you. But also, sometimes you just get what you get. And throwing a fit in those situations rarely proves fruitful. So just use your YELLOW construction paper instead of the purple, finish your art project, make it a really good one anyway, or don’t, and move on.

If you don’t know the words, just make them up.
You don’t have to know what you’re doing all the time. You don’t have to do something WELL, or even CORRECTLY, to enjoy it.

She also tells me often, “if you eat poop, you’ll die.” Less applicable than some of her other wisdom, but she seems to feel its so important that I think she’d want me to pass it along.



Better late than never, Easter edition

I kept meaning to get some Easter photos up.  I’m trying to start taking pictures more again.

Easter was very very cute this year. The kids got some neat stuff, they were excited, and thanks to my in laws, they got to have a fun and adorable outdoor Easter egg hunt.  We actually had decent weather for approximately one day this year. Also, Corbin discovered that his love of chocolate really knows no bounds. He honestly wakes up in the morning, comes into my room, and says “troccodet.” I’m probably going to walk into his room one day and find a little shrine to it next to a candle and a picture of the Virgin Mary or something.

Heading to church:


The divine and delicious pie I made:



Egg hunting:




And here’s a nice photo of Corbin with his godmother:



Mornings These Days

Early on, I wrote a post about mornings with my kids. Corbin was just a baby then! Who would lie on the bathroom rug and be delightful while I did my hair and makeup.

How things have changed!

Mornings these days start even earlier. Around 4am most days, actually. That’s when Corbin comes to my room, usually wanting to either eat or play on my iPad. Both of these things are my fault, because when he began this fun new 4ish am wake up time, I first tried to catch some extra sleep by handing him my iPad (that didn’t work because every two minutes I’d hear a desperate plea for “help-y!” because he couldn’t figure out how to play candy crush or whatever) or giving him some food and turning on a cartoon.

I realized that giving him games, food, and cartoons was not really deterring him from waking up so early, so I’ve stopped those things. But he still comes to my room. And sometimes I walk him back to bed, find his pacifier, and hope he goes back to sleep. And sometimes I’m too tired and just pull him into bed with me hoping he’ll fall back to sleep (it always worked on the other kid!) He doesn’t. He just squirms around until I can’t take it and I either get up with him or walk him back to bed. And SOMETIMES (a large portion of the times) I poke Brian and say “hey Baby will you put Corbin back to bed?” Which isn’t fair because he inevitably went to bed way later than I did, but he’s like a sorcerer with getting that kid back to sleep!

Either way, by 5:15 I have to get up and start getting ready for the day. And Corbin is no longer content to lie on the bathroom rug and giggle. Usually I can keep him happy with breakfast and Disney Jr. At least while I get my hair done. But somewhere around the liquid eyeliner portion of the morning, he’s inevitably whining at me and/or making a big mess in the bathroom. And it’s hard to concentrate on eyeliner when he can only reach the HOT water handle, but still insists on playing in the sink.

This morning was kind of odd in that they both got up at the same moment. And it was pretty cute to have two sleepy kids standing in the bathroom doorway with crazy bed head and squinty eyes, the whole house dark except the bright lights in the bathroom as I try to slap some pretty on this face.

Then the whirlwind starts. I have to tell Lola roughly 87 times to “get dressed, already!” And I have to get Corbin ready. He is delightfully still kind of a morning person, and he laughs when I get him dressed. Then stands up, gives me a hug and tells me, “thank you, mommy.” Aw.

Everybody’s gotta eat, I have to prepare my glass of iced coffee, which gets larger and stronger as the days go on, lunches have to be packed, Lola STILL has to get her damn sweater on, etc., etc. It’s usually around this time when I start looking forward to that ten minutes alone in the car as I drive to work after I drop them off. Seriously, about halfway through the morning I’m like, “it’s so close!” Lol. And then almost every morning, I look at the clock and say, “everybody get your shoes and coats on, we’re running late!” Lola has to be first out the door. Today she holds it for the rest of us instead of me having to stop it at the last second before it crushes her little brother’s fingers. He says, “thank you, whoa-why.” Lorelai’s a mouthful for the little ones.

And on the good mornings they don’t fight and scream in the car. Lola keeps her hands to herself, and Corbin doesn’t pull everything out of his lunchbox, and we listen to music and/or sing. Anyone heard of a little number called “Let it Go”? Well my kids pretty much know all the words at this point. But since we don’t own the movie (though I’m petty sure the Easter bunny will have something to say about that) or the soundtrack, it’s more of an a Capella trio kind of version. And let me tell you, it is AWFUL. But what we lack in singing ability, we definitely make up for in volume and enthusiasm.

Other mornings Lola wants to listen to the same song on CD over and over and over again. This morning it was an old Cyndi Thomson song called “I Always Liked That Best.” And she asks me, “how do you sound just like her?” Oh, Lola. Her other favorites are Wagon Wheel and a handful of Luke Bryan songs. By the way, can anyone give me some input on whether or not it’s okay that my five year old happily sings the line, “you’re looking so damn hot”? I thought country music was pretty safe, but maybe no? Thankfully she hasn’t quite figured out what he’s saying during the “gonna sound like a winner when I lay you down and love you right” bit.

Usually we get about three or four rounds of whatever song in, and by the fourth “again! Again!” we are blessedly pulling into the parking lot. Then Lola takes her usual two to four minutes getting out of the car (how does anyone take that long getting in and out of a car!?), and we all hurry in. I’m so grateful that my kids like this place. They rush in to start their day. I get happy goodbyes. No drama.

And then I get a full ten minutes of time alone. And it’s just as good as I’ve been anticipating.