Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Summer Crazy - Just Another Season of Raising Kids

I was talking to a mom friend today and I asked how it was going.  Her first words, "summer is crazy."  She is right, summer is crazy.  I know the last time I wrote, I was singing the virtues of the lazy days of summer.  That was all bullsh**.  My lazy days lasted through the first weekend of summer and then the real world reminded me the kids are on break, but I am not.

Yes, summer is crazy.  The school year is crazy, too.  Pretty much everything about raising kids is a bit crazy, just the type of crazy changes from season to season and year to year.  We no longer have baby-crazy or toddler-crazy at our house, but we do have plenty of loud-banging-boy-crazy and a bit of can-you-give-me-a-ride-to-hang-out-with-friends-crazy.  Unlike the school year, the kids don't go anywhere during the day unless I plan it out.  Call me the summer kid cruise director - today's activities included my kids watching WAY TOO MUCH TV.  I'm hoping their brains haven't melted into a Nickelodeon-induced gel by the time school returns.

When the kids aren't wasting their days watching too much TV, we have had a few cruise-worthy excursions.  We thoroughly enjoyed the Harrell Family reunion in Beech Mountain, NC.  Plus, Sarah and Jaley each enjoyed one on one time with Auntie Em.  Thanks for all that wonderful Southern Hospitality.  We love our home here, but we sure do miss family.

We even got over to the beach for the day - though I still don't understand the weather in Northern California.  We left home with the mercury reading 93 degrees and no clouds in the sky.  We drove 30 miles to find howling winds, cloudy skies, and a very chilly 59 degrees.  We lasted about 30 minutes, never touched the water, and headed home. Unlike the rest of us, Sarah did enjoy some amazing days on a warm, sunny beach.  She took a tropical beach trip with Mimi & Poppa all to herself.  What a great (delayed) birthday gift for her.  Thanks Mimi & Poppa.

So here we are in the middle of July.  We are still battling the dust storm of landscaping.  They say it took a thousand years to build Rome, our timeline is about the same.  Someday it will be done, just not anytime soon.

Scott is in Vegas right now.  It may be sin-city, but it is also conference-city.  He is in Vegas three times this summer.  All work + No play = Scott's trips to Vegas.

I am still looking for the right nursing position.  All I need is a great job, with great hours, and great commute.  It may be easier to find a Yeti, but I'm going to keep looking.  In the interim, I re-upped all my nursing certifications (BLS, ACLS, PALS, NRP, NIHSS, yada, yada, yada) and amped-up all of my healthcare volunteering.  I may not be bringing home a paycheck, but I am definitely working a lot.  

That is life in MomZania.

Monday, June 6, 2016

School's Out for Summer, School's Out Forever (or 10 weeks)

Another school year is a wrap.  Put the lunch boxes and backpacks away.  Sarah is officially a 7th grader, Jaley a 5th grader, and Mick a 1st grader.  While the entire year has flown by, the last month was a particularly hectic blur of school, activities, and work.  Here are a few highlights...

Sarah finished strong in Track and Field.  As the only 6th grader at her school throwing discus and shot put, she automatically qualified for Districts.  But it was her hard work that led her to place 3rd and advance to the County competition.

Mick had a ball playing T-Ball.  Watching a bunch of 5- & 6-year-olds reminds me just how complex the game is.  Why do you get four balls and only three strikes?  Why can you overrun 1st base and home plate, but not 2nd or 3rd?  Why is a foul ball a strike except for on strike three?  And on and on and on.  The coaches were so patient with the boys.  By the end of the season they were running the right way around the bases, catching a few throws, and, occasionally, hitting a pitch.

Jaley is back to taekwondo.  She is my total girly, girl until she puts on that white uniform.  It transforms her into a fighting dynamo.  Don't let her petite size fool you, her kicks and punches are strong.  On days when they spar, she is often "King of the Mountain."

With the exception of a few short trips, Scott has been in town recently.  Now it is time to pay the piper, he is off to Asia next week and then a few other trips right after.

As for me, I have decided it is time to head back to work.  I love being Queen Mom, but I loved being Gigi, RN, too.  Now, I'm hoping to, once again, do both. Last week, I finished an intensive nursing continuing ed program and several other accreditations.   It was a great program with a terrible commute that I'm glad was short-lived.  I dusted off both my resume and my Dansko's.  All I need now is to find the right job.  I'm ready.

I'm also ready for summer.  Summer is an entirely different pace.  It is the freedom to wake up and ask, "what do we want to do today?"  Today, was the library.  Saturday, was white water rafting.  Tomorrow, who knows, we will figure it out tomorrow.

I hope that you wake up soon with the leisure to ask, "what do we want to do today?"

That is life in MomZania.

Monday, April 25, 2016

Now I know My ABC's...

Tomorrow Mick needs to bring in a "Z" item for Show-N-Tell.  He will be bringing in a wand (cast off from a long ago trip to Great Wolf Lodge) that, wait for it, Zaps.  Don't judge, zipper and zebra were already used, I don't feel like going to the store to buy a zucchini, and kindergartners aren't the right crowd for Zeppelin, Led.

With Mick's Zap, my days of Show-N-Tell will come to a close.  I have now Show-N-Telled for 10 straight years.  I know it is "actually" my kids who do the Show-N-Telling, but what young child remembers to pack something on Monday night because, Show-N-Tell day is every Tuesday.  For our family, Show-N-Tell days started in Sarah's first preschool and I have been quietly sending in Show-N-Tell ever since.  Yes, A to Z, one letter a week for 26 weeks a year.  That is 260 different Show-N-Tells - which have spanned from fabulous to fails and everything in between.

There have been the lazy weeks - it's M-week, just bring yourself, Mick.  There have been the disrupt the class weeks - it's Y-week, just bring this microphone and Yell.  There have been the get on the teacher's good side weeks - it's R-week, bring your teacher these Roses.  There have been the last minute weeks - oh no, it's F-week and we're already at school, just take a Floor mat from the car.  There have been the hope it comes home weeks, it's B-week, bring in your hand-crocheted Baby blanket that can never be replaced.  There have been the delegating weeks, it's K-week, Sarah hfind something that starts with K and put it Mick's backpack.  And so many other weeks along the way.

Here we are at the final Z, marking the end of the Harrell's Show-N-Tell days. While I won't miss figuring out what to send in every week, I will miss the innocence age of Show-N-Tell.  My last baby is finished with Show-N-Tell, his time in kindergarten is nearly over.  They grow up fast.

Outside of Show-N-Tell, there is the rest of regular life.  Even though we moved back into our house last year, the house projects continue.  We are hoping to start on the landscape in two weeks.  We should be able to drive on our driveway next week - yippee, no more schlepping groceries.  And, drumroll please...We installed solar panels on our house.  We turned it on today.  That is our electric meter and that is a negative number.  Running the house and sending power back to the grid.  Bye-bye, power bill - or at least when the sun is shining.  Solar on the house - we must be Californians now!

That is life in MomZania.