I don’t want to make you jealous, buuut my mom and I have some pretty big plans. #goals
I don’t want to make you jealous, buuut my mom and I have some pretty big plans. #goals
Me: Auggs, could you please get your shoes on? (Auggie runs out of room).
Me: Right. So about those shoes? And did you put jammies back on?!
Auggie: I’m Boots and Bonner!
Me: So I’m thinking we’re going to be late.
Auggie: Do you want a hat too??
Not every day, but a lot of days, I put a note on a napkin in Baylor and Auggie’s lunches. Sometimes they’re funny, but mostly they’re just little love notes and wishes for a good day.
Yesterday, I got a note back. It was so simple, but it touched me so much that B would keep her napkin until she was back in her classroom and then remember to write a love note to me.
I need it on my desk forever – especially on the days I’m not feeling so awesome ❤
I’ve written this post in my head several times. And the list about where I’ve been and what we’ve been doing keeps getting longer and longer and longer. It’s been a whole new level of nutty around here – but as usual, it’s a good nutty!
More to come on all of the below, but in case it takes me another month to get back to blog, he’s a taste of what we’ve been up to…
First – we moved. No really. I can hardly believe it myself. I was convinced that when we started our remodel, we were going to be able to live in the house – or at least do it in phases. Then reality hit and it became clear that we had to move everything out of the house. Like everything. I think I was still telling myself that it wasn’t REALLY everything as I was moving each room. Thankfully it all got done and we are now settled in to the parent’s house while they are away for the summer. And fingers crossed we’ll be move in ready by the time they are ready to head South or things are going to get a liiiitttle squishy around here….don’t worry Noni, Baylor said she’ll share a bed with you.
The remodel is in full swing with sledgehammers flying. Even though it’s the beginning and there’s more undone than done, I can see it. I can see what it will look like, and it’s going to be awesome. And because “we” (oh yeah, I put quotes there, PW) are project managing it, it’s been busy with decisions, scheduling and lots of running around to find what we want and at the best prices. It’s nutty. But it will be worth it. If we don’t go broke in the process. Any time we get an unexpected expense (which we knew were coming!), I read the kids an extra book because they’re going to need college scholarships. Kidding. Kind of.
Let’s see…what else? Oh! Baylor graduated kindergarten! As I watched her walk across the stage and get her diploma, I was filled with gratitude. We are so lucky that we listened to our collective guts and that there was a space available for her at this school. It’s such an amazing community of funny, kind, fun loving people. From the staff, to the teachers to the parents. What an amazing year it’s been!
And that same little face turned SEVEN yesterday. Seven! Where do the years go? Although I have to say, I think this was my favorite birthday so far. She was incredibly spoiled by all her family members – including new golf clubs. And my sweet pokie little puppy’s speed aligns perfectly with the speed of golf. Look out, Annika Sorenstam.
Auggie boy wrapped up his time at his preschool and is off to school with Baylor next year! He’s super pumped about a uniform – no seriously. He “performed” in the gymnastics show and got his coveted blue ribbon. He’s actually pretty good – I think he’s got a few more years working on his cartwheel ahead of him.
Peter and his Teal Tornados finished another great season. It was amazing to see how the team had improved from last year to this year. Next year he will have Baylor AND Auggie’s teams to coach – and Baylor’s team will be doing player pitch. I think he’s secretly really excited for the challenge.
Oh! And Disneyland! Because things were nutty enough, we decided to take the kids to Disney over spring break. Which I foolishly thought since our spring break was so late, that it would be quiet. It was not. But it was Auggie’s first trip and it was very fun. I think we tried to pack too much into two days, but at least we’ll know for next time.
I swear he was having a good time despite what his face looks like….
And last but not least, I’ve started to make good on my New Year’s resolution. It’s amazing what putting something out in the world will do! Not long after my post went up, a friend reached out about some content writing work. Then another. Then I finally started that freelance writing class I had put off for a year and it turned out to be a bust. But it enlightened me to realize that I really do like doing content writing. It seems that work keeps finding me, and when it does, I am always silently amazed and awed. It’s been hard, and yet really fulfilling which means it’s meant to be. I’ve got my website up – it’s rough so don’t get too critical. It’s a work in progress that I can keep my publications listed and hopefully keep it growing. Let me know what you think: www.bethwand.com. No really, let me know what you think (just don’t be mean!).
More to come – I miss this place!
This is the conversation Auggie and I had walking into the bathroom at the doctor’s office today:
AW: waving his hand in front of the light sensor: “IIIIII. AAAAMMMM. A genius! See? I made the yight (light) turn on. I knew you had to wave your hand in front of it. Genius.”
Me: “You know your shorts are on backwards, right?”
AW: “Uuuuuhhh…yeah. I did know dat. I like dem dat way. Genius!”
Me: palm to forehead
Baylor’s school had the privilege of listening to Sr. Adele O’Sullivan speak about our city’s homeless. And where their school is located, they see homelessness everywhere. She spoke about how it is our duty as Catholics to care for the least among us and how we can do that. Sr. Adele is the founder of Circle the City, a respite that delivers healthcare to the homeless. In anticipation of her visit, she asked all the students to bring in hygiene items, snack foods, waters and bags. Then each class created Kindness Kits that the Circle the City volunteers hand out to those that visit the facility.
We decided that this was a great way for us to continue this stewardship at home. With a quick trip the Dollar Store and $15 later, we were able to create 6 bags full of soap, toothbrush and toothpaste, water, EmergenC packets, snacks and a few other small hygiene items. We keep them in the car and when we see a homeless person, we offer it to them. Sometimes I get worried that the person won’t want it, but we’ve yet to be turned down.
Creating the bags opened up A LOT of questions. How do people become homeless? Why are they homeless? Why do they need all this? It was a heavy conversation to have. But it opened up a lot of topics too about how blessed we are to have what we have and how we can share that with others.
We all know what a hassle it can be to get out the door in the morning. Just moving people can be tough, let alone remembering all the stuff – lunches, backpacks, water bottles – I’m ready for a cocktail just writing about it! So here are some easy steps to getting out the door in the morning:
Step 1: Wake Up Children
If your house is anything like my house, then your kids sleep like angels until 7am on weekdays and are up at 5:45am on weekends. So how do you get those little sweeties up and at ’em? I like to think of it like waking a hibernating bear. Approach with caution. Open the door a crack. Open the door some more. Gently sweep hair off of faces and whisper “good morning”. Quietly open blinds. Stomp out of the room. Turn on light. Warn in a not-so-quiet tone that we’re going to be late. Commence physically removing rag doll children from beds. Threaten them with naps if they don’t get up right freaking now. Put palm to forehead when they ask why you yell so much. Inform children that they haven’t even seen your best yelling yet.
Step 2: Breakfast
You know what I love? Those amazing Pinterest posts about creative, delicious and nutritious breakfasts for kids. So step 2 is a snap; go to Pinterest, the grocery store and then wake up extra early to create said Pinterest breakfast and then spend 20 minutes force feeding it to your kids.
Step 3: Get Dressed
I have found that giving your kids a sweet printable checklist or adorably decorated magnets with pictures of the activities they need to complete is an excellent way to throw your money down the toilet AND it gives you another thing to scream about. Now not only can we repeatedly ask if they have their socks and shoes, but we can incorporate the checklist too! “Did you check item #3 off??” “I think there’s still a magnet on the ‘to do’ side of the board!!”. It’s an awesome way of adding a layer of difficulty to the morning.
Step 4: Gather All the Shit
Backpack – check. Lunch – check. Water bottle -check. Different water bottle – check. Uniform sweatshirt – check. Non uniform sweatshirt so we can fight about it – check. Teacher appreciation gift; roses in a vase that are sure to spill all over the front seat and my lap – check. Yet another fundraiser check – check. And after remembering all of this, you know who the freaking hero is?? Daddy. Because he
forgot to take out of the car remembered the cheap, plastic bracelet for said fundraiser on the booster seat. Advantage; Daddy.
Well played, sir. Well played.
Step 5: Transport
After all of the stuff is loaded, begin the process of strapping children into the car. Do the willing ones first, that way when they change their minds and decided that they too need to find and obscure toy that might possibly be under the seat in front of their sibling, it’s too late because they’re already hog tied.
Once everyone is secure, put on what you want to listen to. They will fight about what is on the radio – even if it’s the Frozen soundtrack – anyway so might as well have a few minutes of peace.
After the extraction from the car is complete and your little angels are safely in the hands of their unsuspecting teachers, high tail it out of there. I prefer to do an arabesque on my way out the school gate. I find that it gives other parents hope that the misery that is School Morning is close to being over.
Good luck, kitties. It’s a jungle out there. Or rather in here. It’s a jungle in here.
A conversation with Baylor in the backseat of the car:
“MOMMY!! Don’t blow [roll] my window up!!”
“Babe, it’s hot. Could you please roll it up?”
“I didn’t blow it down, my toe did. So if you want it blowed up, you’ll have to ask my foot.”
“Ooookkk. Baylor’s foot? Could you please roll…”
“STINKY! His name is Stinky!”
“Stinky, could you please roll the window up?”
“Mommeeeee. He’s a foot. He doesn’t have ears! He can’t hear you ask him to blow up the window!! But I can do it if you ask me nice.”
Que the sound of the wine bottle opening….
Also? Winky? Is her other foot. I asked her why her feet were boys and she just rolled her eyes at me. We’re in trouble.
While eating her dinner, watching me make lunches for the next day, Baylor asked
“could you please cut my cheese into a heart shape?”.
WTF? My first response was an incredulous “whose MOTHER is cutting their cheese into heart shapes in your class??”. Because clearly someone is making all the other moms look bad. It’s not enough that I A. remembered to pack a lunch B. it was something you liked and C. it was reasonably healthy…now I have to cut shit into hearts too?? Gah! I can’t keep up. Why is just making a nice meal not enough? Why does it have to have fireworks and hearts too?
When I found out who the culprit was, I was knocked back down a bit. I actually really like this mom. So if she was taking the time to cut hearts, I could too. And it turns out, I’m pretty good at free handing hearts in dairy substances with a butter knife.
The next day when I picked up Auggie from class, the first thing his teachers said was “he loved that cheese heart so much!”. All smiles, he ran up for a hug. It was a good reminder – the little things count. They get noticed and they are important. Yes, healthy delicious meals are important too, but that little extra thing makes a big difference.
I got all inspired and found a three pack of cutters that were made for sandwich. Dolphins, dinosaurs and of course, hearts. I surprised the kids with dinosaur shaped grilled cheese that night for dinner. Baylor was thrilled. Auggie, not so much. It turns out he’s not such a big fan of eating dinosaur heads. Or dolphin tails for that matter. So back we go to free handed heart shaped cheese. And peanut butter cups. Nothing says love like a peanut butter cup.
At the beginning of the school year, I cleaned out a bag full of books from the kid’s collection. Some duplicates, a few that we had out grown, some that we didn’t like, etc. I donated a bag of them to Auggie’s class. They love books and the board books are perfect for little hands to explore.
When I picked up Auggie from school after lunch one day, he was sitting on the little couch, totally engrossed in a book. I realized it was Goodnight, Gorilla or as he calls it “Night Night Monkey”. His teacher told me that it’s his favorite and he gets it every day to look at.
As I pried it from his squishy little hands, I reassured him that we had the very same book at home. We never read it because you can’t read it. It’s essentially a picture book, there’s like 4 words in the whole thing. And because by the end of the day, my ability to cleverly narrate a picture book is lacking so we stick with the books that provide the story for me.
I scoured the shelves at home looking for Night Night Monkey while Augs recited the book, page by page from memory (“den monkey takes keys! den he let out gerrraffe!”). Slowly it dawned on me…the freaking book he was in love with at school was the one I had given away to his class.
Augs then got to learn what it meant to same day deliver from Amazon Prime. Because when a kid loves a book, you buy it. Even if it’s the second time.
Goodnight Gorilla. Thank you for providing sweet, albeit ironic memories for us.