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The post you probably shouldn’t write but are going to anyway…

16 Jul

I.

I don’t know how to write this one..and maybe I shouldn’t.  After reading this you might think I’m incredibly selfish..or self-centered.  Or whatever.  I don’t really care.  This is my way to deal.

I guess I should start from the beginning.

About a year ago Dave and I began to look for daycare for Holden.  We had an awful experience at a “Happy House”.  Have you ever noticed how daycare centers have ridiculous names–and don’t even get me started on the ones that spell words incorrectly just for alliterations sake.  Like “Kiddie Kollege”  or “Kinder Kare”.  First of all my kid will never go to “Kollege” if I start him off in life with morons who cannot spell..or are spelling incorrectly just to be KUTE.  I’m getting off track.  Holden had a bad experience.  Like way bad..like..my momma claws came out and I yelled like I never yelled before..at grownups.  Don’t mess with my kid..I learned that.  He was there four days.  Then I posted a message on Facebook asking for in-home daycare recommendations and a parent of one of my students basically sent me this in reply.

GIRL!  CALL ME!

This wasn’t just one of my students moms.  This was the mom.  The homeroom mom.  At school for every party, handmade cupcakes for birthdays, gift baggies for every kid on Halloween, Christmas and the end of the year.  She even came on Halloween and taught a lesson on spiders and then had the kids make a spider craft.  No joke, my principal came in for goodies to our Halloween Party (we call her Swiper, as in Swiper the Fox of Dora the Explorer fame) on party days because she comes and gets the best food from every room and she actually said, “Wow, you guys are actually learning?”  Quiet the compliment actually.

And she had four kids..three of them at our school.  It turns out she kept three other kids while homeschooling her oldest and had room for one more.  Enter Holden.

He started with her the next day and began instantly calling her “Aunt Angie”.  She sent pictures during the day (and about 25 on his birthday).  She often sent me text thanking me for letting her take care of Holden.  What?  She became so much more than just a parent or a babysitter.  She became my friend..my savior in a way. I’d pick up Holden and we’d spend at least 30 minutes talking. She’s the only woman on the planet who can get Holden to nap willingly.  He says “please” and “thank you” and I pay her back by having him drop a “What the Hell” after prayer time.  He sings the clean up song and picks up his toys without asking because she taught him that.  He talks about his best friends Bennett, Miles and Guilana like they were sent straight from heaven.  He knows his letters, how to count to twenty and can even say sounds to some of the letters.  I didn’t teach him that..it’s all her.  I believe in God but I am not one to shout from the rooftops about Jesus and prayer and usually do it privately.  He asks me some nights before bed if he can say prayers.  It’s all Angie.  None of that comes from me. (Don’t think I’m saying that I have no effect on this boy because OH I know that I do..he is oozing me…but all of those particular things are because of her).

Her family became my family.  Her husband quickly became Uncle Dean.  Her oldest son is Holden’s go to playmate and her older daughter is the love of his life.  I’m not joking about that one.

On Tuesday we drove by her street and Holden asked to go see her.  I quickly turned in telling him I needed to see her too.  I had no real reason but since it was summer I hadn’t seen her in about a month and I missed her.  We talked for awhile and she told her oldest son was at Boy Scout Camp and was really excited because he was going to go spalunking and he had always wanted to go Spalunking.  I thought Spalunking was when you jump off of cliffs..apparently it’s not.  It’s caves.

I woke up Saturday morning with six text messages from Angie.  Her oldest son was in a car wreck at camp.  The van had flipped several times and he had been trapped inside the van.  He had to have his leg amputated and had chemical burns all over his body.  I put the phone back down and slammed my eyes shut tight hoping it was a dream.  It wasn’t.  I read it..and re-read it..and woke up Dave because I didn’t know how to process it.  Mostly because with all that going on..she was texting to say she wasn’t sure if she would be able to watch Holden in the fall.  That’s the kind of woman she is.  She hadn’t slept in days..her son was in a coma and going through something awful and she was worried about Holden not having a babysitter in four weeks.

I’ve never had something so awful happen to someone I was so close to.  You always hear about these things.  My best friends mom died but she was very sick so she knew that it was coming.  I knew a girl who died in a carwreck but I used to babysit her and hadn’t seen her in years.  In high school my teacher died but this was years after I had her.  My grandparents have all died but they were much older.  Those things don’t make it easier of course..just a little more separation between me and catastrophe.  The first thing I said to Dave was, “I don’t get it.  These are like the BEST people in the world”.  He is 15 and it just seems so unfair.

I think when something tragic happens like this people can only view it from the perspective of how it affects them.  I can’t pretend to understand how Angie feels at all.  I hugged Holden a little bit tighter than normal all day Friday (and Saturday..and Sunday..you get it).  Most off all I am heartbroken…for something I can’t understand and because Holden won’t have her in his life on a day to day basis anymore.  See, that’s the incredibly selfish part.  I think how he just mastering the potty and how will I find anyone who will be as patient with him as she is?  Then I have to step back and think that no matter where he goes and how many times he pees on himself Holden will be okay eventually.  Her son will never be the same.

I am also heartbroken because the illusion is shattered.  I was naive enough to think this was the hard part.  The birthing them, the toddler years.  I don’t know why but I thought that there would be this imaginary cutoff point in his life where I would just go “WHEW!  I don’t have to walk in your room and make sure you’re still breathing because I am a psycho-path and am terrified something is going to happen to you every single second”.  I guess there isn’t.  I told my mom this thought and she laughed loudly and said she wakes up some nights in a cold sweat because she thinks something has happened to me.  It’s why I still have to call her the second I get home after any long car trip.  It’s why during my wonderful ages 15-17 she’d gained 40 pounds.  It only gets worse apparently.  She has Holden to worry about now too.  Crap.

Dave and I didn’t talk about it all day Saturday.  We went to the pool and tried to pretend everything was normal.  We broke down after dinner and just talked about everything.  He was not your average 15 year old (very little angst) and he loves our little boy.  He even changes his diaper..without being snarky about it.  I told Holden on Sunday.  I took him out to the porch and gave him watermelon.  I explained that he was hurt and it would take him a long time to get better.  It was heartbreaking for me to have that conversation with him…luckily it was mostly one-sided.  He asked if he was hurt and I said yes.  He asked if Aunt Angie was hurt and I said that her heart was hurt.  I told him we couldn’t go there to play anymore and he said okay and asked if I wanted some of his watermelon.  A conversation like that when he can really process the information is going to kill me.

I guess it was cathartic just to vent. I won’t apologize for writing this..or for wasting your time.  You could of stopped reading if you wanted to.

Twenty Things You Probably Could Care Less About

8 Jul
  1. I say the phrase “Absolutely not” all the time instead of “no” or “no thanks”  a great friend of mine on the Beijing Trip asked if I’d like to split Peking Duck with her and I said absolutely not!  I think it hurt her feelings and that was the first time I thought to myself..am I being rude?  She talked to me again so I got over it.
  2. More people read this blog post than any other post I’ve ever written.  To save you time it’s about me being crazy 8 weeks after Holden was born so Dave kicked me out telling me to go take some “me” time.  However, the title “My husband kicked me out of the house today” is what gets people to read it.  I should add this is because they have done a google search for “My husband kicked me out”, “I kicked out my husband”, “My husband thinks I’m crazy”.  What exactly do you think this says about me?
  3. I don’t write about Wedding Cakes anymore.  I got burnt out.  On cake.  Seriously, do you know there are only so many ways you can say “This cake is gorgeous” before you start to hate the thought of fondant?  I still love that blog though and hope my girl Brooke takes it all the way.
  4. Holden loves pirates.
  5. My favorite food ever..is Corn Fritters from Baugher’s Market in Westminster, MD.  I used to think “Grandma Baugher” was my actual grandma because whenever we went there she gave me a cookie.  Clearly as a child I had high grandparent expectations.
  6. Speaking of Baugher’s when I was 19 I found $300 in cash on the floor under my table.  I turned it in.  I should have karma built up for years for that insaneness.
  7. I teach Kindergarten now.  This makes me so, so happy.
  8. I hate drama.  However, I’ve lost a lot of friends because of it.  Usually because whenever something gets too drama/crazy I just kind of fade away.  I haven’t had any drama since college and I like it that way.
  9. I am secretly glad that Johnny Depp is single.  Not that I am.  Or have any chance of meeting him OR if I did that he’d even look in my general direction but it makes me happy because that French lady was never good enough for him.
  10. My dad thinks Johnny Depp is weird.
  11. My dad thinks anyone who doesn’t wear khaki’s and play golf is weird.
  12. My dad thinks I’m weird.
  13. I painted my kitchen last week.  I would take a picture of it but it’s two o’clock in the morning (insomina) so it wouldn’t look awesome.  I kind of love it.  If it’s possible to be in love with a room that is me with my kitchen.  I should invite over Johnny Depp and make him corn.  I got my inspiration from this kitchen on the Restored Style blog.  Love it.
  14. I am very tired.
  15. I stopped eating fast food.  I will probably blog about this one day but I’m trying to eat 52% of a whole foods diet (for health reasons) and did you know that a cheeseburger is not a whole food.  That my friends, is not awesome.
  16. 16 is my lucky number.  It’s my birth date, Dave’s football number, and Holden was born at 1:16 and weighed 8 lbs 8 oz.
  17. I recently crossed an item off my bucket list.
  18. I got stung by a bee yesterday.  I haven’t been stung by a bee since I was 6.  THEN the next day Dave got stung by a bee in the same place.  Clearly we have nest.
  19. I say clearly a lot.  As if you are stupid and cannot understand something unless I point out that clearly you should.
  20. Summer is becoming my favorite season.  I used to hate it and prefer winter..but..with 10 weeks off…I mean really.  How can I hate it anymore–even if it’s in the 100’s everyday.  I have AC.  I’ll just stay inside.  Clearly.

Friday Brian Dump

6 Jul
  • WordPress has changed so much since I last logged in that it took me nearly 3 minutes to figured out how to make a post.  Therefore, this post will be awesome.
  • I inherited a bunch of positive things from my mother.  Most notably my eyes, my career, how I stopped having cramps when I had a baby (thankyoujeeesus!)..but recently I’ve discovered a little inheritance that I would like to give back.  Insomnia.  Seriously.  I’ve been up since 8 a.m.  It’s 2 a.m…GO TO SLEEP.
  •  It’s two a.m. so technically yes, it is Friday.
  • I still after almost 31 years can never figure out, where exactly, to put a comma.
  • Speaking of dumps.  Holden is potty training.  When he does his “business” in the toilet he says he has to “dump” and then names his “dumps” Mommy, Daddy and Baby Holden.  If there are more than 4 that gets named Reilly (our dog).
  • That last comment was the kind of thing that would make me stop reading someones blog for good.  Luckily only like 3 of you read this and most of you have known me so long you HAVE to love me.
  • A year ago I wrote a post about Holden in Kindermusik.  For some reason I decided that torture was awesome and signed him up again.  What a difference a year makes.  The kid can’t get enough.  The teacher called him brilliant (he knows all his ocean animals..what what..even an octopus which like..blew my mind).  He asks me every morning when he wakes me we get up if it’s time for music class.  He also asks if we can go to Disney World..so there’s that.
  • We went to Disney World.  Please go to Disney World when your kid is two (and free) because it was the best thing.  ever.
  • I went to China.  Ni hao!  Wo hen hao!  Dou shou tien!  Those are the three phrases I said the most..Hello, I am very well, That is too expensive!  The last because I shopped..a lot.  Seriously, I walked around this one market in a daze shelling out one 100 RMB after another.  Luckily people in my group found me and snapped me out of it before I had to start making fried rice to earn enough money to eat for the rest of the trip .  I’ll have to write more about China..it was amazeballs.

Image

Brain Dump…Again

11 Mar

On Friday Holden went to the doctor. He had been sick all week with a mild fever and when mucus started coming out of his eyes on Thursday I decided it was time. It was probably passed time actually.
Turns out he had Pink Eye, Strep Throat and a double ear infection. So while I cried in the bathroom for being the worst parent in the world on Friday afternoon I just knew this weekend was going to be tough.
It got even tougher when I got home on Friday afternoon to find Dave sent home from work because HE was sick. Double sickness in my house this weekend.
Oddly enough though..this weekend did not suck. Holden was in pretty good spirits despite being sick and having the worst most uncaring mother in the world (that’s me). I got to spend it at home doing all those little things I have meant to do for months like spray paint curtain hooks and plant new Azaleas in the front yard.

That one was more like a brain purge not a brain dump actually. Whatevs.

I am not going to lie I have been struggling with my job this year. It has been challenging and tough and sometimes I look at Holden and I long for those first nine months I got to be a stay at home mom. I also want another baby so bad but I just cannot imagine how a second little booger would fit into our lives at the moment. I get a little envious of blogs of SAHM or WAHM’s. I want to blog on the back porch while Holden plays. But that is just a “grass is greener” kind of thing. Because honestly I am lucky. I adore my job. Even though this year has been tough and some mornings I would rather stay in bed and watch Sesame Street I still love doing what I do. I also know that after Holden has grown and baby number 2 has made it to school I would feel a bit…empty. Teaching is a huge part of me. It is what I love to do. In a way I am lucky because some people never find what they love to do. I am also in that lull between Christmas Break and the end of the year where I forget that in just about nine weeks I will have about two months off to be that stay at home mom that I am daydreaming about. It really is the best of both worlds.

We have these trees in our backyard. They are Dogwoods I think. They bloom white flowers before they grow their leaves. The blooms smell like dead fish or cat urnine. I know this because Holden and I have spent the betternpart of the afternoon outside. FYI, I am blogging on the back porch. So yeah. Dream accomplished.

I am thinking about taking the blinds off of the doors in the kitchen. Now that Spring has come I want to see sunshine people. My biggest problem will be making sure Dave doesn’t run in their naked or something.

I have got to get Holden to stop saying “what the hell!”. Seriously, how do I do this? I think step one would probably be to stop laughing everytime he says it. But. It. Is. So. Funny. I can’t help it. He said it in McDonalds this afternoon when he dropped his spoon.

Titanic in 3-D! Oh, yes!

The ice cream tuck that is circulating our neighborhood plays “My Lumps” by the Black Eyed Peas…in Ice Cream truck type
music though. I wish I was kidding.

My mind..it’s a big jumble of weird up there…

6 Feb

So I haven’t been here in awhile. But I have a lot on my mind today..and where better to dump my random thoughts on than the interwebs.

You’re welcome.

Call it a brain dump if you will.

  • I think this is the reason I haven’t been blogging lately.  Most of my thoughts are a sentence or two..and I think..who would want to read that?  So I skip it and don’t blog.
  • Holden doesn’t even look like that baby up there anymore.  We had a conversation the other day which sort of blew my mind parts.  He said, “Mommy, I need oranges”.  I said, “Alright, I’ll get you some”…and then he said “Okay Mommy.  Thanks”.  Then whilst eating said oranges he comes up with this gem, “Thanks so much Mommy”.
  • He sounds polite right?  Notsomuch.  At his nanny’s (fancy name for in-home daycare–but she prefers nanny to babysitter..I can’t blame her she’s a 37 year old woman not a 13 year old girl) Holden dropped his crayons and busted out with “What the hell!”  in front of all his little tiny friends.  I should mention this was right after they prayed for their lunch.
  • I thought the pull to want to stay at home with your kids was supposed to get easier as they got older..not worse?  He’s just SO much fun these days.  I want to hang with this kid all the time.  Stupid work.
  • I forgot to buy dog food for the 2nd day in a row.  I am completely unmotivated and just fed my dog a bowl full of Cheerio’s.
  • Holden can eat 4 bags of Oatmeal for dinner and be super pumped about life.
  • Reilly (my dog) barks every time the neighbor’s come home…and poor Holden always says, “Daddy’s here”.  Dave works til 8 and it kind of breaks my heart to tell him it’s not him
  • 70 Days until school is over.  Round house kicks and finger guns in every general direction.  This year has been so hard.  I love what I teach but one of my classes is challenging and the other can be emotionally draining.  I still love those stinkin’ kids though.
  • I have apparently coined “stinkin” as my new phrase.  I say it all the time.
  • I had the stomach flu last week..Dave & I caught it from Holden.  It was awesome and I have never been more excited to have 2 toilets in our house.  It was that bad.  It did lead to an impromptu Sistare Family Sick Day a few weeks ago.  I went to work..got a call that Holden was sick so I had to leave early and go get him and then a little bit later Dave came sulking in still sick.  Yuck.
  • We got Holden a potty training toilet.  It’s Lightening McQueen (nothing else will do I’m telling yah) and it goes “Vroom Vroom” when you use the flusher.  We haven’t actually used the thing yet.
  • I’m reading Pride and Prejudice for the first time.  Yes, I’m on page 12 and yes, it’s been two weeks..but that’s how it goes around here now.
  • I have so much work to do at school I feel like I could stay there for 24 hours a day for 7 days and still not get it all done.
  • Dave got a new job (yeah!) but he works til 8 (*&^%)..so I don’t see him til 8:30 on weeknights.  I go to bed at 10:00.  Lots of quality time together.  Not really.

The ne where I confess my love for towel racks.

5 Nov

What happened to days 18-31? Well in classic Christen style I just got too busy and forgot. Well I didn’t forget so much and ignore. Oh well.
I did do stuff though. Holden’s birthday party was last week and I am kind of proud to say that our house did not look like we were waiting fora truck from Salvation Army to show up ans take away all our crap. At least not what people could see anyway. The guest room was a bit terrifying and the garage is still filled with boxes…but baby steps.
As for the stuff…Holden’s bathroom got a new coat of paint and a new shower curtain. It is not finished yet though. I was looking for towel racks and just had not found any that I liked or that were reasonably priced. We had towel racks before but seriously the day we moved in all the towel racks in the house started falling off. We had six when we moved in…none of them are still up. I found towel racks and towel hangers (the circle looking ones) at West Elm for $1.99. Yeah, a dollar friggin ninety-nine. I was terrified that it was some sort of crazy price error and it would go away so I scooped them up fast. I ordered enough for the entire house plus some. Knowing my luck I will probably get a stupid out of stock e-mail from them next week like I ALWAYs get from West Elm whenever I find something awesome for cheap.

I am pretty sure that I never ever thought I would blog about towel racks.

31 Days of: Making a House a Home:: Day 8 & 9

9 Oct

Bathroom Makeover Beginnings

 

In our last house we had two bathrooms.  However, since we’d lived in that house awhile before Holden was born it always read more “Guest Bath” than “Kids Bathroom”.

In our new house?  It doesn’t just look like a kids bathroom it practically screams it at you as you walk in the door.

I have good intentions for that shower curtain.  I promise.

In short it’s completely boring and predictable and I have BIG plans for it before Holden’s birthday party on the 29th..in which I am expecting that some people will have to pee.  Just a shot in the dark there though.  I want it to be a bathroom that works for guests but is still kid friendly.

Here is the plan:

  •  Paint the walls a lightish dark gray.  I tried to explain this color to Dave and he said “like the road”..no.  A light gray but not so light that it looks white.  It’s a small room so I don’t want too dark.  Also, I think gray is a grown-up color that might be kind of fun mixed in with kids stuff.
  • Fix the towel racks.  No joke..the day we moved in almost every towel rack fell down.  Whoever put them up was a crack head.
  • Put up a white waffle shower curtain and lower the shower curtain rod.  Seriously, it seems twenty feet high.

Those are the plans for the near future.  Long term plans include:

  • Making the mirror look less “builder grade” and more custom.
  • Replace the light fixture
  • Replace the flooring

But that stuff can wait.