Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Hurry Up! We're Running Late.

I have a mantra and that mantra is, "Hurry Up! We're running late!"  It doesn't matter where I'm going or what I'm doing, I'm running late in the process.  It wasn't always this way; I was once a timely person.  If an appointment was at 9, I was there at 9 or (gasp) a few minutes early.   That time was a long time ago, dare I say about 13 years ago.

With the arrival of each Harrell baby, I slipped further and further behind.  There were unexpected diaper changes and sippy cups spilling in the car and a zillion other baby things that left me racing to make up time.  We are long past the diapers and sippy cups, but here I am still running late.  Sometimes, I can blame it on the kids - like when we are half-way to school and one of my posse realizes his/her backpack/instrument/lunch/other important item is still sitting on the kitchen counter.  Most times, I don't have the kiddos as an excuse.  I overestimate how quickly I can get out of the house and underestimate how long it will take to get where I'm going.  The perfect recipe for "Hurry Up! We're Running Late."

This week, as daylight saving arrived and we sprang forward, I decided to spring my backside into on-time gear.  How's it going?  Well, I'm batting about 500. (Can tell baseball season has started?) Though I'm not sure if picking a week when you loose an hour is the best week to start trying to be on-time, I'm trying nonetheless.

With Scott out of town and new activities starting, I have ample chance to try. The rain finally stopped and swim lessons started. Fingers crossed this is finally the year, I can sit on a lounge chair at the pool reading a magazine, while the kids splash unaccompanied. Baseball is well underway for Mick and Opening Day scheduled for this Saturday.  Who knew that a) Opening Day of Little League was an all-day affair and b) Opening Day was actually many weeks into the season.  Jaley got a medal at the Science Fair (no worries, everyone got a medal).  Sarah is busy with all the things that middle schoolers do.  If you know exactly what that is, please share.

Best of all this month, my mom came to visit.  As moms often do, she spoiled us. She cooked and made cookies.  She had "Nana time" with the kids, so Scott and I could have a date night.  She even timed her visit to share her birthday with us.  As a gift, I made her hike through miles of sand and cold, windy weather to look at wildlife.  I'm not sure if it was what she wanted, but you can be guaranteed no one else gave her a beach side elephant seal tour.

There is lots more to write, but "Hurry Up! I'm Running Late" to pick up Sarah.  That is life in MomZania.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

I'm Looking Forward to Summer...The Rain will Get Warmer

“The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house all that cold, cold, wet day.”  I believe Dr. Suess may have predicted this winter when he penned the opening line of The Cat in the Hat.

It has been a wet and wild winter here in California.  While we have had a few issues from the water and wind, we have been so much luckier than many others - friends with 5-hour commutes, colleagues with mudslides in their yards, neighbors with downed trees, and all those whose homes were destroyed by the massive flooding.  After years of drought, we are now just hoping the rain will end and end soon.

While the weather has been putting a damper on things, it hasn't slowed us down very much.  Jaley and her good friend are ready to debut their Science Fair Project next week.  Yes, it is every parents "favorite" project of the year.  If you are wondering, you can get a charge from a lemon, but you can't get it to power an iPhone (or at least we couldn't).  Jaley also advanced to Red Belt in Taekwondo.  Just one more belt before Black - what an accomplishment.

Sarah finished basketball and Mick is finishing next week.  They may not be ready for the pros, but it is impressive how much they improved over the season.  Just as winter will turn to spring, basketball will turn to baseball and track in the coming weeks.  

That is getting ahead of myself, this week was Winter Break.  Winter Break is awesome!  The kids and I had the week off of school; while Scott was traveling for work, we had ourselves a "staycation."  I love to travel, but staying home this week was wonderful.  As the rain fell, we went to movies, and ice skating, and go carting.  The kids caught up with friends and I caught up on my to-do list.  I ran into a mom-friend at the library yesterday and she said, "I have never seen you look so unstressed."  I'm not sure what that means about the stress level of my regular vibe, but this week I am feeling pretty relaxed.

This month we also said good bye to our cat, Epy.  She was a stray kitten who joined our family in 2001, just as Scott and I bought our first home.  She was a master of hide and seek - hiding from us and seeking any food anywhere.  We nearly lost her when she ran outside and hid as we loaded the truck to move to California.  After that, she decided never to leave the house again.  She slept most nights right above (or on my head) and had the loudest purr of any cat.  She was skittish of most everything, but when she wasn't hiding, she was in your face convincing you to pet her.

Today, is the regular Saturday drill of kids activities and chores.  Next week, it is back to the regular routine.

That is life in MomZania.

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Welcome to the Teen Years

This weekend Sarah turned 13.  She is officially a teenager.  On the path of life, it is one of the big milestones, the threshold to adulthood.  She is ready; I am not!

As with all birthdays at our house, we made sure to celebrate it fully.  She enjoyed a delivered lunch and dessert at school (I wish moms bringing take-out to school was the thing when I was young).  Using only our cleverness (and some clues from the host) we beat the clock at an escape room.  Finally, there was the (mandatory) slumber party.

With a teenager in the house, I find myself wondering.  Who will Sarah become?  Then, memories of my own teen years come to mind and wonder turns to worry.  Is she working hard enough?  Is she working too hard? Will she enjoy her teen years?  Will she enjoy them too much?  Is there a right path?  Is she on it?  Is she making her own path?

Instead of asking questions and stocking up on books to parent teenagers, maybe I should simply remember the final letter from The Breakfast Club.

"Dear Mr. Vernon,
Who (do) we think we are...We found out each one of us is a brain…and an athlete…and a basket case…a princess…and a criminal. Does that answer your question?
Sincerely yours,
The Breakfast Club”

Who will Sarah become?  That is not my question to answer; it's hers.  Yes, I will still wonder and worry.  As a mom, I will still give guidance and advice.  As the adult, I will still make the rules of the house.  But, I won't be the one to decide who she becomes.  Happy Birthday, Sarah and welcome to being a teenager.

That is life in MomZania.