Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Spider & a Centipede-3 to Momma-0

This guy managed to escape...barely

It was a tough battle and one that left me defeated, although, I am happy to report that I wasn’t subjected to centipede poison (or is it centipede venom? I’ll have to confer with Ayden). Shocking enough, neither was Caler despite how roughly he handled the stupid (excuse me, I mean the s word) bug. I have yet to understand why Caler is so fascinated by creepy crawly creatures who (I’m almost certain) have it out for his Momma! He knows the power he possesses when he’s holding something as detestable as a worm or a spider (one of his recent favorite creature's to catch in Myna's garden).  He knows all he has to do his creep up to his momma with a proud yet mischievous glint in his eye and open his hand to expose the nightmare within and he’ll see his momma run as fast as she can knocking over lawn chairs and small orphaned puppies out of the way to escape the terror. Nothing sends him into a fit of giggles as much as this scene does.  Which is why he does this as often as he can.  He can spot an ant from a mile away. He runs over to it and stares moving rocks or any other object that might block the ants path while it moves over the bumpy cement. Caler’s eyes are glued.  He wants to pick them up , put them in a mason jar, and keep them as “best-friend-pets”.  His record so far: 12 snails all of whom he named Best Friend, he put them in his mason jar and made sure to add grass for their dinner. He was the proud pet owner of Best Friends and checked on them as often as he could. Those little buddies went anywhere he went (I’m guessing here, but I’m sure they were the first snails accompanying humans to the grocery store and to the Children’s Place). At night, he kept them on the shelf above his bed and made sure a bed time story was read to them each night. Momma allowed them to stay in the house for a few days before their own Momma called and asked that her babies be returned to her.

 We can’t leave Myna’s house with a stone left un-turned, disheveled dirt piles, or a scream from a Momma being chased by something slimy. After my heart stops pounding and the goosebumps have disappeared, the way the boy cares for his bugs is quite cute and I am proud of him. Caler’s cute Myna is sweet enough to leave the stones where Caler left them. Unable to put them back into place, he leans them in a row on the storage shed.

This may be one of my biggest fears, but it  is Caler’s solace. It's what he thinks about. It’s where he goes. It’s his hobby and after a day of hard work at the US Government, he's earned this I suppose.

Monday, June 13, 2011

I've got a little Mayberry in ME...

I miss the Mayberry days of my childhood. The days when I would wake up at 7:00, stretch my arms clear to the ceiling as I sat up on the top bed of the bunk I shared with my younger sister. Stepping down from the ladder to the carpet below,  the smell of pancakes and homemade maple syrup wafting through the summer air would draw me to the source. I loved opening the 1950’s style refrigerator, pouring an ice cold glass of milk and sit at the breakfast table. The days when I wouldn’t think twice about wearing spandex shorts and a t-shirt, and ride my bike from sun up until sun down. When the only problem I considered was… What on Earth am I going to do today? I long for those days when I stepped out onto my porch with a can of my dad's Coca-Cola and I knew that the world was there for me to mold into whatever it was that I wanted.  The possibilities seemed endless. I had time to read a chapter book cover to cover as I swung on the porch swing in the back yard sipping on an ice cold Coke or a glass of Kool-Aid we were bound to have on hand at any given time.  The days were sometimes spent organizing our candy sale with profits going toward our Lagoon fund.  I long for the nights when the sound of children's sneakers slapped against the pavement as quietly as we could manage in an effort to not be found by the person titled ‘it’. The terror we felt when we passed the neighborhood “grump” sitting outside to let us know it was not ok to hide in his perfectly manicured lawn (no matter how many amazing hiding spots were littered throughout his maze of bushes). I enjoyed myself and worried less. I made lists (yes, I’m one of those types) of my favorite things to do and what I wanted to be when I grew up. I made lists of the things I wanted to accomplish, some were realistic and some were… well let’s just say I’m probably not going to marry Joey McIntyre of New Kids on the Block (and I’ve finally stopped crying about this.)

It’s not healthy to divulge into something so completely that you simply forget the extra’s we have available in life. Don’t consume yourself with one thing so much so that you lose focus on what makes you happy. It’s easy to fall into the daily grind of a career, to arrive home from work take a deep breath finally acknowledging your fatigue and assuming you need more sleep, go to bed early and wake up feeling just as, if not more, exhausted than the day before. Take a look further into what’s causing the feeling of not being completely happy and figure out what it is making you feel so tired and not-yourself.  Do something that is fun for you.  I recently asked a friend what she liked to do for fun. 30 seconds pass with her “umm-ing” and “hmm-ing, before she looked back at me with a small giggle escaping and said “I forgot.” Her answer was the same as mine before I stopped and contemplated on just where it was that I had disappeared to.  We both recognized that feeling of losing ourselves in our children, work, children, bills, and cleaning up after our children. It was this unknown answer that woke something up in me. I made a list of some of the things that made me me. I am Ayden and Caler’s Momma, I’m a bill-payer, a housekeeper, sometimes a laundry-doer,& an employee. But I’m also Kristal. At times it’s hard to remember that I love to write, sketch, run, jump on bubble wrap, read, I get embarrassed easily and blush so often I wonder if it’s just my natural skin color, I love thunder storms, I have to sleep with one foot uncovered, my car is a mess and although I may vow to clean it out one day…. I probably won’t, I bake cakes when I’m stressed (Mr. Elliot, our next door neighbor, is often the recipient of such cakes), I blow dry my hair upside down, I giggle, I love chick flicks, and Dr Reid from Criminal Minds makes my heart flutter…. There are so many quirks that make me Kristal and not just a mom but a momma.

I know that the world is there for me to mold it into whatever it is that I want.  All I need to do is take a step back now and then and do something to remember that I’m still here and not buried under the mountain of laundry that, I’m sad to say, has returned .

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Sugar and Spice and Snips and Snails... OH! and Flour...

And who says Boy's can't Bake?

Why is it that after a long day, a short day, a bad day, or a good day Sweets just always sound so amazing?

The boys and I decided it was imperative to make Cinnamon rolls. Cooking with the boys is always a pleasure even with an over-crowded kitchen, and this time was no different. Ayden was proudly in charge of reading the ingredient list out loud and he made sure I retrieved each item and placed them in order on the counter in front of the large mixing bowl. Ayden also enjoyed measuring the ingredients (note: this can be a great way to interactively introduce and practice fractions. No need to mention who was the student and who was the teacher for our fraction lesson...)  Caler loved to help "cwack the silly eggs". The way his cute little smile lit up when he heard the first hint of the shell snapping makes my heart smile and I hope he always finds joy in the simple things. Ayden thought this was a great time to explain to his little brother that the "silly eggs" can lead to a number of diseases and poisonings (accurately explained I might add, I googled!). By the time Ayden was done explaining every possible problematic outcome from handling raw eggs Caler's eyes had nearly glazed over completely. He was a good sport when listening to Ayden's professor-like speech, but looked right at him defiantly and said "Well then, Ayden, you don't have to cwack these silly eggs. You won't get smanenella seasoning (aka: Salmonella Poisoning) if you don't touch them now will you?." I started to laugh so hard the milk I had just taken a drink of, came out of my nose (which hurts by the way). Ayden couldn't have giggled harder, and in true Ayden fashion.. he randomly reminds me of  'the-time-you-were-laughing-so-hard-the-milk-came-out-your-nose' which is always followed by his cute little snicker and "that was so funny!"

The cinnamon rolls came out a bit dry, not too entirely surprising, seeing as Caler thought they needed an extra handful of the white stuff.... and the handful wasn't really because he wanted a white hand to make a Caler print on the side of Momma's face, shirt, Caler's shirt, Ayden's shirt or any other surface within his reach, this handful was the handful that launched the biggest flour fight in the history of flour fights. Laughter, smiles, and handfuls of flour were tossed around the kitchen for quite some time. Hand prints of white were plastered on cupboards. The flour fell down around us like snowflakes. Our little flour war was the most fun I've had in awhile, and as much as I'd like to claim victorious... the congratulations should be awarded to the two giggly little munchkins who cornered their Momma and lovingly dumped the entire bag of flour on her head.

** not pictured: A kitchen swimming in Flour, two smiling kidlets with bleached flour eyelashes, two flour kisses for each face,  one white powdered Momma **

Who doesn't love a good flour fight? I don't care if you are 5 or 95... flour fights are fun! I know it isn't going to be the last one in our household.

A kiss on each powder-covered forehead, a broom, a little bit of Mr. Clean lavender-vanilla cleaner, a mop, a bubble bath, and memories I hope the boys will cherish as much as I do, are well worth the time spent cleaning up after a war with refined grounds of carbohydrates.