Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Too Much

I have too much going on, I cannot tell a lie.

House is being rented this weekend, Husband is working, Brother needs a little help at the office, grants need to be written, children need a mother, and a mother "gets" to chair the auction at Parochial. No where in there do you see that I get to be a wife, blogger, or fun-lover.

I keep thinking that life is a comedy, and it is.

I'm just freaking busy.

All of the things I am doing, I love doing them. I adore going to Brother's office and helping him file things and double check his work. It's awesome to watch him work. It's awe-inspiring to see him start a new company within his current one and build it from the ground up.

He's my hero all over again.

Now, if I could get him to pay me....

Since I was a child, I always wanted to be a writer. Wow. That's the first time I have ever "written" that down. It is something I have always enjoyed doing and I feel like there is talent there. Writing grants, editing grants, uploading, and all those things that go along with grants allows me to check that box in my life. I am paid to write. And that makes me feel good.

Those little cherubs. Those blessings that are the reason I get up in the morning, have a streak of gray hair, and can't keep a house neat enough for anyone to surprise me- yeah, those. They keep me on my toes and in my car.

Check this out:

School, 8a-3p: Birdie
School, 9a-1p: Bennie
Ballet, 4p: Bennie
RCIA, 7p-8p: Husband

School, 8a-3p: Birdie
Piano, 3:15p: Birdie
Tennis, 5:30-6:15p: Birdie

School, 8a-3p: Birdie
School, 9a-1p: Bennie and Fuzzy
Ballet, 5p-6p: Birdie

School, 8a-3p: Birdie
School, 9a-1p: Bennie and Fuzzy
Gymnastics, 3:15p-4p: Bennie
Tennis, 5:30-6:15p: Birdie

School, 8a-3p: Birdie

It's a joke, right? RIGHT? Then there's homework, naps, snacks, and whatever else I forget. Dinner has been thrown out the window. We eat cereal, Stouffer's, or turkey sandwiches when I remember to go to the grocery store. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade it- but when I finally wrote down where we had to be and when, I fell out.

And then there's the auction. 

People hate change. I love it. It took me a long time to realize that I adore change. I thrive in it. It is why Husband and I have lived three years at the time for our entire marriage, how I have not stayed in one residence more than two and a half years since my father's house- which I left when I was 17.

{side note: We just entered our third year living in The Manor.}

I don't deal with chaos under time constraints, but give me change-- change I can work with and, typically, succeed. 

SO-- the auction. I am really enjoying chairing it. I am not kidding. You can tell by how much time I spend on it and the little details I keep thinking of that need to be dealt with. 

The one thing that scares me, keeps me up at night- really, is what is going to happen the week of the auction. That's when all that chaos drops in my lap and we have a finite amount of time to get things inputted, organized, transported, and set up.

Failure is not something I enjoy. 

I put together an awesome group of people who are helping me. As I find things that need to be done, I find someone that can help me do them. For instance, one person has the job of printing logos for me. That's it. Her entire job is printing logos. And I ADORE her for it. It makes me have one less thing that needs to be done that week. 

My team is amazing. They put up with me and my emails. And my updates. And my structure. I have a lot of structure. And excel sheets. Lots and lots of excel sheets. I don't think they knew what they were getting into when they thought I would be good for this job. 

Husband asked me if I was going to end up being the PTO President and I politely told him no, with just one expletive in front of that two letter word. This is the extent of my handiwork. 

Brother has an office, grants need to be written, children need to be mothered, a husband needs a wife, and I need me back.

It's Wednesday and almost one o'clock. It's time to get back in the car and get on with my day. 

Forward motion.

Friday, September 9, 2016

It's Friday!

It was a short week- we went to Beaufort this past weekend and I have not a single picture as I misplaced my SD card. Whoops.

But, it's Friday! Husband was on call last night, which meant I was the driver of Birdie this morning. Friday, I invoke my father and his parenting skills. When I was a kid attending Parochial, Dad drove the morning carpool. We would pile into the War Wagon- my mother's wood paneled station wagon and the original SUV. Those red vinyl or velour seats held a smell of melted crayons, McDonald's french fries, and throw up.

Dad was always doing fun things in the morning, telling us we were going to the beach instead of school, practical jokes... or that time he wrote in shoe polish on the side of the car that "Today is NOT Alison's birthday" for everyone to see when he pulled up to drop us off.

The nuns loved him.

He blared The Bangles and MC Hammer as loud as those old speakers could handle and roll the windows down. We'd sing along- a car full of girls and my poor brother in the front seat. There were five, six, or seven of us- depending on the year. But, always Brother was the only boy. He was not a fan of the times when the chick music went on and the volume went up.

It's Friday! I only yelled at Birdie once when she insisted on having butter on her waffle. Finally, I said, "If you want it, do it yourself." A light flicked when she realized she could do it herself. She smeared a full tablespoon all over that EGGO waffle and I didn't correct, as much as my OCD self wanted to.

I wake up Fuzzy, ignore that Bennie is without pants and crank the car.

"It's Friday! You know what that means???"

Birdie responds first- "Whose turn is it to pick the music?"

My response?

"It depends on who picks which song."

We agreed on "Best Day Ever" and the four windows went down. The sunroof opened up and the kids screamed, "Cut it ALL the way up, Mama!" Fuzzy was fist pumping, Bennie was singing along and Birdie screams, "I LOVE THIS SONG! HAPPY FRIDAY, MAMA!"

We drive the mile and a half to Parochial. As we get off the main road and into a neighborhood, the faces I once went to Parochial with are older now with children of their own. They turn around to see what moron has their volume turned all .... the... way... oh... It's the Cagles.

That makes sense.

I turn the volume all the way down and stick my head out the window to passers by. The girls and I all scream, "Good Morning!" or "Happy Friday!" or "It's going to be the best day ever!"

Fuzzy fist pumps.

The girls are gleeful.

The principal looks at me like I have two heads. The reading instructor finds a way to pull her eyes above her sunglasses to see who this person is that is roaring into Parochial with the music louder than a mother should.

I laugh and lower the volume as we pull into the parking lot.

Birdie says, "AHHH.... MOM! Cut it back up!"

Bennie says, "Video Keeled Da Ray-D-O star, Mama?"

The eighth grader opens the door for her and doesn't make direct eye contact. He's confused as to what to make of this car. Kisses to the blonde girl and I send her off the same way my father did.

"Bye Nerd. Have the best day ever! Don't give the zoo keepers any trouble!"

"I won't, Mommy. Promise."

As we pull out of the parking lot, Video Killed the Radio Star comes on and Bennie screams, "Cut it ALL DA WAY UP!"

It's Friday, so I have to oblige.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Open Faced Squash and cheeseburger

I had yellow squash AND zucchini.
I had English muffins.
I had hamburger meat and I even had yummy cheddar cheese-- the kind you have to slice, not the stuff that comes in individual wrappers.

Last night we made open faced hamburgers. I would give them a name, but the name would basically give every ingredient in the "recipe" ... if one can call it a recipe.

Long story short-- YUM!

Check it out:

Season your squash and zucchini and allow to rest on a paper towel for about 20 minutes before grilling. It was too hot last night to light the grill, so I used my grill pan inside-- with the air conditioning.

Toss 'em in the oven to keep 'em warm.

Spread the tiniest bit of mayonnaise on your English muffin.

Grill your burgers and when you flip them, put your muffins in the oven.

When everything is ready, assemble!

English muffin on the bottom, two pieces of zucchini, one piece of squash, burger patty, and yummy cheese on top. I put them back in the oven for about two minutes to melt the cheese.

Don't be fooled- you can't pick it up. It has to be eaten with a fork. And it's awesome. Give it a try.

As Dorothy says, "Do write and speak of your mistakes."

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Remember Yesterday?

I was thinking to myself how pleasantly quiet the house was last night. Perhaps, I might even go to bed early. Lights off and to the back, I head.... only to find my seven year old watching television in my bed.

Oh dear.

"Birdie. I'm not going to yell. I was perfectly clear that it was bedtime, was I not?"

"Yes m'am."

"Ok. No exceptions. Go to bed, right now."

"But, Mom-EEEEEEE"

"No. I was perfectly clear."

That's how the night closed down.

Somewhere in the pre-dawn hours, that same seven year old made her way back to my room to snuggle. I let it slide. 

This morning, the younger two slept in, I only had to sternly correct {read: not quite a yell} Birdie once and there was minimal whining. Minimal? Okay, maybe not minimal, but there was less than normal. 

One kid needed a bath upon waking up and his patio door is currently wide open with the fan blowing maximum speed. And a friend picked up Birdie so Bennie could sleep in. 

We are currently outside- Birdie at school, Bennie and Fuzzy in the pool and I am getting a little grant writing done. The music is up, the air is starting to warm and the day is good. 

The day is great. 

I have a goal this school year-- I have left my blog by the wayside of recent and I hate that. I hate that I haven't made it a priority. On the other hand, my family, my brother, my work, my husband, my house... those things have become a priority instead. Why can't I balance it all?

So, my goal... I'm going to work to entertain you more. I am going to work to post more. 

Like today, today is a good day. 

Monday, August 15, 2016

Discipline and iPad Chargers

You know those days when you have changed as many diapers as you have outfits on your child? Somehow, you too have changed as many shirts. Those days when your seven year old gives cold pizza to your 18 month old in the car and the only rectifying moment in carpool line is your children beg you to roll down the windows and blare "Video Killed the Radio Star" {so, of course you do... and all adults stare at you with a bewildered look as if to say, "ohhhh-kay?!"}?

When one child wants salmon and the other wants chicken and after eating exactly zero protein at supper, there is no shampoo in the bottle, but plenty elsewhere, and more water on the bathroom floor than in the shampoo ladened bathtub?

Two naked girls running in circles in the 27 square foot bathroom, hopping in soapy puddles, and laughing too loudly too keep their man-made Seattle weather a secret. Compound that with when the rainmaker slips on the floor while dancing in the water only to howl at the unfairness of gravity. Oh, and the drenched baby is crying on the other side of the door in a puddle of tears and bath bubbles?

You know those days. Surely I am not the only one.

That time when there is a pretty cut on your face where that diaper wearing son threw a block at your face... and laughed. That kid has an arm, even if he doesn't have aim.

I hope he doesn't have aim, otherwise I am schticked.

Or how when the cable is out, the iPads are dead and that has perfectly coincided with Husband being on call?

Yeah... those are the days. The days that "they" say we will look back on and smile? Until that time- I am doling out discipline and iPad chargers like scary men in conversion vans dole out candy and promises of bright modeling careers.