Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Life Is Good

Rant of the Week
Before Jaley arrived, my good friend, Sheila, told me that the first year of having two kids was the toughest of her life. That is coming from a lady that had major open heart surgery the following year. But, she also told me that one day, right around the time your youngest turns one, you are going to wake up one morning and think - boy this parenting thing is getting easier - life is good.

Well, I have to tell you - Life is good. For all of you reading regulars, you know that our entry into a family of four has been far from smooth. A tough pregnancy topped with bed rest at the end. Jaley's colic and ear infections. Sarah's normal toddler tantrums. The loss of Sally, my Dad's companion and partner of nearly 20 years. My dad's escalated heart problems. A case of baby blues that may have crossed that invisible line to post-partum depression. My thyroiditis. Scott's long hours and travel at work. Broken leases and dishwashers at the rentals and the decision to start exiting the business all together.

No one thing was a mountain, but stacked together it was a really tough climb. Now that we are here, I can tell you the view from the top is really good. For the first time in a while, I really feel like myself again. And now that it is swimsuit season, can say I pretty much look like myself again, too (though some parts droop a bit more). It isn't that life is perfect. Jaley still doesn't sleep through the night, Scott still has to work too much, and I still get bitchy. But, I am happy, really happy.

The girls are just adorable and becoming my best friends. Sarah is a quite the little person. Sometimes full of piss and vinegar, but mostly full of sugar and spice. And I must say even when she fights against me all day, I may not like it, but I have to admire her sense of dedication and independence. Jaley is too cute for words. She is into everything and can turn a neat house into a war zone in minutes. She has figured out how to get around the gate/blocker at the bottom of the stairs and often sneaks upstairs just to get to the playroom to find more toys. She idolizes Sarah goes to her room first thing in the morning to wake her up. She gives out hugs and kisses (at least that is what I call them) which just melt my heart.

I know that there are lost of bumps in the path as we move forward, but for the moment Life is Good and I am happy just to soak that in.

Life in the Stroller Lane
This weekend Nana and Great Papa (Gigi's grandfather) came in for a visit. We had a great time. We went to a Durham Bulls game, a town Carnival, and, of course, Nana and Sarah baked. They made Scott and Papa a chocolate cake for Father's Day and they outdid themselves making pizelle cookies. We are still enjoying all the indulgences, and need to spend extra time at the gym as a result.

Scott arrived back from California marking the end of some heavy work travel. He is glad to be home through the rest of June. He is also finished hiring. There is always constant churn of workers as people try out new opportunities, but for the moment, Scott's team is fully staffed.

The rental is all spruced up and on the market. The tenants have been a mixed bag. They are cooperating with the showings, but the wife has been a royal witch to me. Oh well, I wasn't looking for her to be my friend anyhow. So now it is just a waiting game. If we don't get an offer in the next couple of weeks, we will just re-rent it.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Mommy, it's giant

Rant of the Week The other week were were at a restaurant and Sarah had to go to the bathroom. As I am holding the door and she is in the stall there is the regular Mother - Toddler dialogue...

"Are you don't yet?"

"Not yet."


"No, I'm going poopy." While we are going through this banter, another woman is giving me, do you have to discuss poop in public look, but I just ignore her.

"Done now?"

"No, Momma, lots of poopy, and it's stinky too"

"OK, tell me when your done." As the banter continues, the woman's look changes to how can you let your daughter talk about the stink of this unmentionable bodily function, but I just ignore her again. And then.

Sarah yells out at the top of her voice "I'm done Momma, and my poopy is GIANT."

At this point, the woman in the bathroom just groans in disgust. But, do I tell Sarah to quiet down or not discuss such topics - No. I am a well-seasoned mother, who is now officially immune to all discussions of bodily functions. Instead
, in my proudest voice, the only thing I say is "Wow, Sarah, I didn't know you knew the word GIANT. That is a new word - good for you."

The poor woman was so disgusted with this whole event, I think she left with a sigh and never even took care of her own business. As for us, we just went on our merry way. I am way too far into this whole mommy thing to lets some bad looks and talk of poop put a shadow on Sarah learning a new word. And, in case you are curious, I check the pot and she definitely used the word GIANT correctly. My, oh my.

Life in the Stroller Lane
You would think that flying home from TN with a screaming baby would be enough to dissuade me from flying again, but no two weeks later we were in the air again. And this time, I flew with the girls solo. We headed down to FL to surprise Poppa for his 60th birthday. Scott had to leave town before us for work and met us at the Orlando airport. So that left just me, to juggle it all. I packed economically with stuff for all three of us in just one suitcase, but that doesn't mean we traveled light. On top of the suitcase, I had to get three people, two car seats, one stroller, and three carry ons, checked in, through security, and kept seated through the majority of the flight. Let's just say that Scott picked us up in the airport and made sure there was a cold beer in the car.

But the travel "adventures" were more than worthwhile. It was a complete surprise when Sarah rang the doorbell at Mimi's and Poppa's house. We were so happy to be away from the daily grind even Tropical Storm Barry couldn't rain on our parade. Though the storm did curtail one day's worth of pool time.

It seems that life in the stroller lane is getting busier every day. As I mentioned last time, we are putting one of the rentals on the market. So with some sweat equity from me (and at 95 degrees there is lots of sweating) and the help of some professionals we have prettied up the place. One day, I even repainted the picket fence. As much as I pretended to be Huckleberry Finn, not one person stopped to help. So I had the pleasure of doing the job myself. And if you need proof of my efforts, all you have to do is look at my hair, which 10 days later still has wisps of white paint sprinkled in. But, as of now, the house is ready to show. That is if the tenants are helpful, which I am paying them to be. So next Tuesday it goes up for sale and then I will hold my breath. I have priced it well and it seems in nicer shape than the competition, so cross your fingers we get an offer quickly.

Next week Scott is headed to CA and Nana and Great Papa (Gigi's grandfather) are coming to town. The girls are just getting spoiled from all directio
ns these days - and they love it.

That is the news from the stroller lane. Lots of love.