All posts by Kim

Mornings

I used to like mornings. I still do occasionally.  If I’m able to get up early, go on a run with my friends, and come home and have a cup of coffee all before I hear the pitter-patter of little feet, mornings can be nice.  The comfort of a morning routine mixed with snuggly hugs, and little boy warmth can be a great start to any day.  But, lately, it’s been winter.  Cold.  Icy. Stagnant.  And that’s just me. The weather has been cold, too, and that means running isn’t an option.

the air hurts my face
Word. [Source]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yesterday morning was especially rough.  The plan was that Jon was going to take our youngest, Greyson, to the babysitter on his way to work, which meant I had to physically remove Greyson from his warm, cozy bed. Meanwhile, he’s wailing, “I juuuuust want to staaaaay asleeeeep in my buuuuunk!” I took him downstairs, laid him on the couch and listened to him cry.   I wanted to lay down beside him and go back to sleep, but there was too much that needed to be done. 

I got the older boys their breakfast and was finally able to coax Greyson from the couch by telling him I needed help getting Conner’s toast out of the toaster. He loves that job. However, it doesn’t last all that long and then he was back to whining. He wanted cereal, but he didn’t want to sit in a chair. So, he laid down on the counter and ate his cereal while on his belly.  Because I stopped caring. 

I made Conner’s lunch, said goodbye to Jon and Greyson as they headed out the door, and started getting Rylan ready for his day at preschool.  After Conner got on the bus and Rylan was ready for the day, it was my turn to shower and make myself presentable. 30 minutes later, I got Rylan on the bus and I realized I forgot to give Conner his morning dose of antibiotic. “No big deal,” I thought. “I can drop it off at the school on my way to work. I actually have a little time to spare.” 

I grabbed my bag, headed toward the door and grabbed my keys…except my keys weren’t where they were supposed to be.  So, I looked in my coat pockets, dug through my purse…looked through Jon’s desk.  I’m notorious for losing things and I was dreading having to tell Jon that I couldn’t find the keys, so I turned the house upside down.  I went out to the car, thinking I left them in the ignition. Nothing. Finally, I needed to call Jon. No answer.  I sent him a text. Nothing. I started sending messages in all caps: “WHERE ARE YOU? WHERE ARE THE CAR KEYS?!”  No response.

Meanwhile, it’s now 8:45, my training starts at 9, and it takes me 20 minutes to get there. I turn the corner and head straight into panic.  I call the hospital where Jon works and ask for the IT department. An irritatingly calm voice answers stating that I have reached the IT Department. I asked for Jon and the nice, calm man said, “Let me see if I can reach him…”  As he looked up his extension, I stated in a nice, calm voice, “Please find him soon because I CAN’T FIND MY KEYS!”  He may have giggled. I may have sworn at him in my head.

I finally got through to Jon’s coworker.  “John, this is Kim. I need to find my husband because I CAN’T FIND MY KEYS AND I’M LATE FOR WORK.” John had the good sense not to giggle and he calmly said, “He’s standing here in front of me. I’ll hand him the phone while you take a deep breath.” 

Jon: “Hello?”

Me: “Honey, I can’t find the car keys. Do you have any idea where they are?”

Jon: “Oh dear. They’re in my pocket.” 

Me: 

funnydogfaces-darn
“Super.” [Source]

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Things after that point are a little fuzzy. What I do know is that I had to borrow our neighbor’s van in order to get to work. What would the world be without neighbors helping neighbors?  Angry. The world would be angry.

I finally made it to my training.  I was the imbecile who walked in late at 9:15. They had to pass all of the materials to the back of the room where I was able to find a chair.  I sat down, took a deep breath, and looked over the agenda to see what I had missed.  Then, to my surprise, I learned that the training actually started at 8am, not 9am.  Isn’t that HILARIOUS?! [Insert hand slapping forehead *here.*]

For the record, Jon never does stuff like that. He’s a picture of responsibility and dependability.  He felt terrible…and perhaps a little concerned that his wife was going off the deep end. But, then he remembered who he married and that on the edge of the deep end is where she typically lives…unless she can go on a run.  Then the world makes sense to everyone again.  That’s why he is going to buy me this shirt: 

shirtjpg
Truer words have never been written. [Source]

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here’s hoping your morning was better than mine!  Happy weekend!

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Starting 2016

Where does time go?  We are in our second month of the new year and last week, I started to write the year 2014 on a check. Apparently, my brain hasn’t caught up to our calendar quite yet.  My boys are now ages 3, 5, and 7.  I think they’re the reason my brain isn’t firing on all cylinders.  Do you know how many brain cells it takes to keep up with three little boys?  It’s a constant, head spinning game of “Who left this here for me to step on?” and “Who spilled this?” and “What is that smell?” and then, “Never mind, I don’t want to know.”  Fortunately, my anxiety about their physical well-being has reduced some since my Dad got the boys football helmets for Christmas. What he may not have anticipated is that I make them wear the helmets all of the time. There’s less crying this way. 

Boys in Helmets
Safer competition. And yes, Greyson does own pants…he just never wears them. I can’t wait to hear from his teachers and principal one day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We’ve had our share of sickness this winter, too, and that never helps my ability to think clearly.  When kids are up during the night coughing, gagging, and crying, we all suffer.  It can be frustrating in the wee hours of the morning, but then when they look like this…

Sick G
Poor Buddy…

 

 

 

 

 

 

…it’s hard not to just lay around all day and snuggle.  So, Jon and I took turns staying home from work and doing just that. Watching movies and snuggling with our boys.  It was tough, but someone had to do it.

In other news, Jon and I are building a house in the country.  We have lived in town or on a campus for all of our married years, but we both decided it was time to return to our roots and give our boys the opportunity to grow up on a farm like we did.  The process is ongoing, but we do have a driveway now and we’ve been spending a lot of time on the computer and on the phone planning out some of the details. 

Driveway
The new driveway…we can’t wait until there’s a house on the other side of it!

 

 

 

 

With the few brain cells I have left, I’ve been reading this book:

Book
Relevant for work and home…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have drastically reduced the amount of time our boys spend playing video games and on interactive screens such as ipads and cell phones. We found that their innocent racing games and competitive sports games were turning them into monsters who couldn’t deal with questions, problems, or decisions without throwing giant tantrums. It was exhausting and frankly, very tempting to walk away from them while yelling, “Whose kid is that?!  GET.SOME.CONTROL!” 

And last, but not least, I’ll leave you with some artwork created and named by our youngest artist, Greyson. 

Exhibit A: “Mommy Eating Corn on the Cob”

Corn on the cob
Eating corn on the cob without hands is a true gift.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit B: “Daddy Holding his Pants Up with his Mouth”

Holding up Pants
He had to hold them up with his mouth because, again, he had no hands.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So, life moves forward whether you have all brain cells firing or not. Fortunately, in my circle of friends and family, having brain cells that function is completely optional.  It’s all part of this exhausting beautiful stage of parenting little boys.  

 

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The Traumatic Magical World Of Disney

Our family recently returned from a wonderful vacation in Sarasota, Florida with my mom and her husband, Bill.  We had so much fun.  We swam, went on long walks, ate delicious food, fed flamingos…

Boys and Flamingos
“Hey, Buddy!”

  …and went to Disney World. We were up bright and early and the boys were eager to get to Magic Kingdom.  We awoke to gray skies and a cool drizzle of rain.  But, we put on our sweatshirts and braved the elements like good Yankees do (sorry, Mom).  We arrived at the park just in time to see the Magic Kingdom Welcome Show, and Mom and I both were weepy at the end. There is something about those Disney songs that just gets to us.  Everyone is just.so.happy. And my boys were happy, too.  

Magic Kingdom was everything we hoped for. We rode the rides, drove “racecars” and shot at the evil emperor, Zurg, along with Buzz Lightyear.  The boys loved it.  It was stressful, however, keeping everyone together.  We had three adults and three little boys, but it was still difficult to keep the kids from running off every time they saw something shiny…which was often.

We finally made it to lunch time.  My mom and I got lunch for everyone and we ate outside one of the restaurants on a lovely concrete bench.  I thoroughly enjoyed watching the hundreds of people that walked by constantly.  There were so many excited kids and stressed out parents and it made for great entertainment.  As we were finishing our lunch, Greyson announced that he needed to go potty.  Jon volunteered to take him so the rest of us could finish eating.  

Rylan bounced over to me and announced that he was done eating.  I thanked him for finishing his food and went back to people watching. Approximately thirty seconds later, my mom looked at me and asked, “Where’s Rylan?”  I snapped my head to the left and to the right only to discover that Rylan, our Silent Ninja, was no where to be found.  It was as if he had vanished.  I made a conscious effort not to panic while my mom jumped into action mode. She found a Disney staff member (not too difficult, considering they stand approximately 14 feet away from each other. They’re everywhere), and informed her that we were missing our little boy.

Meanwhile, I called Jon with the hope that Rylan had followed him to the restroom. Our conversation went like this: 

Me: “Hey – is Rylan with you?”

Jon: “Well, no Rylan isn’t with me. Why would he be?”

Me: “Jon, we can’t find him. Anywhere.”

Jon: “I’m on my way.”

So, I prayed.  And breathed deeply.  And then I sat down next to Conner and hugged him close because I needed to.  Some staff members approached me and asked for a picture of Rylan so they knew who they were looking for — great idea, except I didn’t have any forward facing pictures of him in that day’s clothes. So frustrating!  I did the best I could to describe his alligator shirt and then I was told to stay put in case he returned.  So, I paced.  And I prayed.  If you know Rylan well, you know that he would follow a squirrel all the way to California before even noticing he is alone.  He’s in his own world a lot of the time. It’s something I absolutely love about him most of the time. Unless I’m at Disney World. 

Jon handed Greyson to me and then he left to join my mom and the staff members in their search for our boy.  15 minutes in, I started to cry. I kept picturing worst case scenarios – it was so hard to stay calm.  Greyson kept looking up at me and saying, “Mommy, I can’t find Rylan.  I can’t find him!”  It’s rough when even the 2 year old notices the fear. I needed someone else to share in the panic, so I sent Vicki a text.  She called me and we prayed together.  And I told myself to hold it together.

Clearly it’s a long story.  Finally, about 30 minutes later, a staff member approached me and said, “Ma’m, there’s a security guard walking this way with a boy matching your son’s description.  Is that him?”

Me: “Where?!  I can’t see him!”

And then, there he was.  My sweet, Silent Ninja, holding hands with a kind security guard. He was calm, but his eyes were extra round – he knew something wasn’t right.  Rylan ran to me and I wept as if I hadn’t seen him in 3 years, not just 30 minutes.  As I hugged him, the security guard spoke into his lapel radio, “Family reunited.”  More beautiful words had never been spoken. 

Reunited Closer
A hug never felt so sweet.

I asked Rylan where he had gone.  He replied, “I was trying to find Greyson.  But, Mommy, I couldn’t find you.”  Be still my heart. 

Five things that I want to make clear to all of you who may be considering a trip to Disney World with your small children.

1. Take a cattle prod…or a leash for each child. Whichever makes you more comfortable.

2. Take individual pictures of each child right before you enter the park so you have a detailed view of what they’re wearing and how adorable they are. 

3. Talk to your kids about what they need to do should you find yourselves separated. Rylan is only 4, but I should have told him to look for an adult wearing one of the park’s nametags so he would know they were safe to approach. 

4. Be like my Mom and immediately get help.  It’s a waste of time to look on your own. There are simply too many people.

5. If you must find out how awful it is to lose your child, do so at Disney World. We got free ice cream and fastpasses as a result of our nightmare. They’re just so nice there.  At one point, I stopped a kind gentleman who was helping in our search and I tearfully asked, “How often do you all have to search for missing children?”  He answered calmly, without hesitation, “Approximately 10,000 times every day.”  Every team member at Disney has been trained to look for kids like Rylan – even the people serving food. They have the search thing down to a science. 

The fastpasses and the fun times we had later in the afternoon almost made up for the trauma of the early afternoon.  Well, not really, but we did end up having fun for the rest of the day.  I hugged my kids closer and I definitely didn’t feel as irritated with them. It’s amazing the perspective one has on life following an event like that. We were (and continue to be) so very thankful the little guy was back by our sides. 

Thunder Mountainm
He loved the roller coaster. I loved having an excuse to hold him tight.

 

Thunder Mountain J and R
Sweet contentment.

At the end of the day, while we ate our ice cream, I said, “Boy, Rylan…thanks for the free ice cream.”

Ice Cream Cropped
It was very delicious ice cream…and a balmy 62 degrees.

 He gave me a sweet smile, shrugged nonchalantly and replied, “You’re welcome.”  God bless him.  If he only knew how much that ice cream really cost.  We all laughed and then licked our fingers.  It was really good ice cream.  Thanks, Disney World.  For everything.

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