I forgot the password

Both my kids are now in school full time, from 8 am to 3 pm.

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No, it’s more like

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I have recently started participating in activities that I had abstained from in the past due to the pursuit of such activities being an exercise in futility.

What are they?  Oh, you know, stuff like bathing regularly and being able to hear myself think.

I have been immersed in 24/7 child care for so long that seven hours on my own feel awfully strange.

I have to keep reminding myself about tiny details, like that it’s okay to sit down to a meal without having to worry if the boys have had theirs, and that I can now pee with the door completely closed.

And locked.

That last one is still taking some getting used to.

Summer vacation 2015 felt like the long weekend from hell.  Each day was so much like the other that I felt as if we were on constant rewind.

Even my boys were bored out of their minds with so much free time.  The other kids in our neighborhood were either at camp or on vacation.  Sure, we had swimming and karate classes twice a week, but what else is there to do to fill up the many, many hours of radiant sunshine that is summer?

That’s right.  Video games.

And don’t even get me started on the fights that these games caused.

Each morning I would wake up to the sounds of screams and shouts, some excited, some plaintive, some whiny, and some of them combined with tears.  I would stumble my way to the living room like a zombie, still half asleep, the effects of not having gotten enough rest clearly showing in my puffy face.

Blogging?  What blogging?

I am an avid reader/follower of many different, wonderful blogs, and I hate when they don’t get updated for extended periods of time.

Of course, I would never do that, I prided in myself.

Which just goes to prove that it’s easy to blame the chipmunk if the nut has fallen from the tree.

Didn’t get that?  I didn’t either.  I think it’s my summer brain still doing the talking.  Or should I say typing.

But you know what I mean.

Oh, the onslaught to the parental brain that is summer vacation.

And don’t forget its evil sibling, which is the transition from late nights and lazy days to early mornings, parent teacher conferences, PTA meetings, and homework.

Shudders.

No, it’s not that we don’t want to spend time with our kids.

What ever gave you that idea?

It’s just that summer kids are bored kids.  They’re bored kids with bored friends who are so bored that they start thinking up of devilish things to un bore themselves and then they end up not bored, but also not very happy.

Like my 5 year old, who thought it would be fun to go all George of the Jungle on the long living room curtains.

Watch out for that coffee table!

He flew right into it.  On TV, little birds go round and round your head when you crash into something, but in real life, you get a big hole in your chin, where, upon impact with the coffee table, your incisors chewed through your lower lip.

You get blood that looks like a chocolate fountain coming out of your mouth, 3 hours in the ER, and seven stitches.

And you get a momma with severe heart palpitations from the stress.

And that’s not even the worst part.  You want to know what the worst part was?

The worst part was that when they were all backpacked and ready to head out the front door that first day of school, I didn’t want to let my kids go.

That’s right.  Even after this crap fest of a summer, all I wanted that day was to have my sons stay home with me.

Figure that out if you can.

I wanted to diaper them, feed them mush from a jar, and have myself be their go to person for their boo boos, their stories, their meals and their play time.

I wanted them to be my babies forever.

Damn those onion cutting ninjas!

With precious little brains left, I had no time nor energy for creative wording, so I just gave up attempting  blog posts during the summer.

And because of that, I forgot the password to my WordPress account.

Late in August, when the reprieve, AKA the first day of school, was right around the corner, I attempted to log in and failed.

Five times.

And now that I’m here, that’s all I had to say.

Hope your kids are enjoying being back in school as much as mine are!

I am done

Shit, it’s been a long week.

I recently completed a 48 hour school workathon, which is the only type of marathon you will ever find me participating in.

I can assure you, it was just as much of a bitch as the real thing.

Seriously, I think I’m applicable for the Guinness Book of World Records or something.

By the time I hit the last submit button, I was almost awash in tears of relief.

I am DONE DONE DONE with school for now.  And I am ready for a vacation.

That’s why The View Through the Window is going to Florida!

Our vacations are usually on the shorter side.  We take four day treks to a city within a few hours drive and get back home in just enough time to say mother eff, tomorrow’s Monday!

But this year we decided that a good vacation is a very important part of life.  Everyone needs to exit the traffic circle of work, school, home, repeat once in a while.

And what can be a better destination than the happiest place on earth?

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After that bitch school workathon, I needed to find a happy place.

I still have my concerns, though.  The drive from Chicago to Florida is around 18 hours long.  Add my kids to it and we might as well hire a donkey cart for our mode of transportation.

We’d probably get there just as fast.

Flying is completely out of the question.  I swore I would never board an airplane with my boys again after my last plane ride, one of the many highlights of which was my very concerned son, a first time flier, asking things like why there were so many cops at the airport, was something wrong with the plane, would it crash and would we all die?

Loud and clear enough for everyone on board to hear.  He apparently inherited my flying apprehensions.

This was me.

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Everyone knows you don’t say crash when you’re on a plane, especially if you’re a Muslim.  I couldn’t believe it, but most people just laughed when they heard him voice his concerns.

Me? I almost threw up all over my friendly fellow passenger from the stress, combined with plenty of air sickness.

I’d rather drive to and back from Florida ten times than go through that again.  Any humiliation we experience will be confined to the privacy of our van.

I tried to persuade my husband to postpone the trip until our kids were older, but he was adamant that they were at just the right age to experience the magic that is Disney.

And because he’s paying for everything, I felt I should agree.

And when I did, he was all

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So we are going.  Suitcases have been packed, Florida relatives have been notified, and neighbors have been asked to keep an eye on our place for us until we return.

Wish us luck!  I am sure one hour into the drive I will want to shoot myself, but I believe in living in the moment.  And in miracles.

Last week was also my birthday.  I am now 31 26 years old.

Here are some birthday dinner pictures.

My mom refused to eat the restaurant’s prized steaks because “they bleed when you slice into them”, so she ordered that enormous vegetable tagine instead.

Here comes the best part about birthdays.

It pays to be old.

New Year, same crappy weather

Happy New Year!  I’m back!  Literally.

We returned late Saturday night from our mini vacation to the in laws house in Terre Haute, IN.

Here are some pics of the view from their huge living room window.

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I wanted to take more pictures of their beautiful home but didn’t get the opportunity.  I’m lucky to have nice in laws that tell us to leave the boys with them and go out and have fun.  In the two and a half days we were there, my husband and I managed to catch the latest Hunger Games movie and have a belated anniversary dinner.

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Here are pics of the condiments that came with the bread and the soup I ordered because I thought it came free with my meal.

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Terre Haute’s a cute little semi-rural town that’s full of farms, hills, woods, and railroads.  I probably think more of it because I associate it with free babysitting and lots of touristy type of fun, but it’s definitely home to some beautiful natural scenery.  I managed to get a few pictures of the area, but neither my phone’s camera nor the fugly winter weather did the landscape any justice.  I’ll post some spring/summer pictures in the future and you’ll know what I’m talking about.

I also hope to devote a blog post to the neighboring city of Bloomington, IN, which houses the main campus of Indiana University and was my home for a few months after my wedding.  I was accepted to IU but unfortunately never attended :(.  Bad decision making at its finest.

Here are some really ugly winter pics of Terre Haute for your viewing pleasure.  It was a rainy, foggy day when I finally got the chance to drive around town for some camera action.

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Terre Haute is home to Indiana State University, which my husband tells me is famous for Larry Bird.  Whoever he is.  The city also contains the Wabash river state park, which we didn’t get a chance to visit, a huge federal correctional facility, and what seems like half the country’s railroads.  It’s definitely train town there.

We had to stop at the local Walmart for some essentials while we were vacationing.  When we got back to the car, I adjusted my scarf and found this. IMG_4752

Yes, those are two and a quarter old french fries stuck to my scarf via crusty old ketchup stain.  I’m on a low carb diet and mostly sticking to it, so they weren’t even mine.  They must have come from my four year old’s lunch, where he was sitting on my lap, and I missed it because they got lost in the folds of an infinity scarf that wraps around your neck a few bazillion times.

And here I was thinking the people at Walmart were staring and giving me the kind of pitying smile you save for homeless people because of the fabulous new way I did my hair.  I was slightly embarrassed at first, I must admit, but compared to the other social and fashion faux pas I’ve made, this is pretty minor.  Let’s just laugh and move right along, shall we?

We came home to a lovely dinner put together by my family <gushing family love> and this. IMG_4856 IMG_4857

Have I mentioned I find winter fugly?

I’ve given up on football for the season, but my husband is still into it because his team, the Indianapolis Colts, are in the playoffs.  He’s not loving the outcome of the first round, though, where Dallas beat Detroit.  My husband feels bad for the Lions because they live in Detroit they play in the same division as the Bears and the Packers and he feels they never get a fair chance.  Lucky for them that this year the Bears decided to suck ass.

I hope not to spend so much time away from blogging in the future and want to thank the internetters who have been wondering where the hell I have been.  I started this blog as a means of catharsis after the demise of my social life around (how old is firstborn child?  oh, yeah, seven) seven years ago and as a way to keep my writing mojo intact.  Soon after, though, I realized I do have a life and it keeps me busy, apparently.  But no worries.  I return, fashion faux pas and all.

Motherhood. 24 hour service.

All mothers, or all parents rather, know that the time gap between one oh, shit! moment and the next is small.  There’s that golden five minutes when everything is right in your world and the rock of now freaking what?! hasn’t shattered the glass of homework is done, dinner is ready, house is habitable, and the kids are mostly clean.  Yes, when you’re a mother to two little boys, one of them prone to fits of extreme hyperactivity, that is your utopia.  It’s a step up from the game of limbo I was playing when both my boys were under the age of three and how low can you go was anyone’s guess.  That point was crossed when the washing machine crapped out at the same time as my breast pump.  Begging God to grant you just one effing onesie that’s clean, just one! while you rummage through the pile of baby clothes like a homeless bag lady with her udders full to bursting wouldn’t rank very high on anyone’s Nielsen box.

The past week has been a mad rush of trying to get all my school work done and handed in on time.  The feeling of thank everything that’s holy, the semester’s over had barely registered when I saw my first grader get off the bus and walk towards home.  He paused to fiddle with something the neighbor across the street had put up in his yard and that’s when we both heard it.  The extremely loud, nasal voice of our neighbor, demanding that my son keep his hands off whatever it was he was fiddling with for fear of it breaking and him hurting himself.  The man was shouting so obnoxiously, at the top of his lungs, that I and the other kids walking home from the bus stop could clearly hear every word.

My son stared in the direction of the voice for a minute, stunned.  Then he turned and slowly walked towards me, shock, hurt, and humiliation written all over his face.  I felt those emotions myself, along with guilt.  Not the kind of guilt you feel when you’re perusing Wikipedia articles while ignoring their please donate requests, but the kind of guilt you feel when you know you’ve failed someone.

My seven year old is a sweet little guy with an over the top zest for the funner things in life and an inability to keep his hands to himself.  He’s the typical boy, just extremely overactive.  He’s fried chicken, cooked extra spicy. If something in his vicinity is just standing there, minding its own business, he has to get his Facebook on and poke it.  Often that something is his little brother.

He’s a curly haired cutie that neither listens to nor fears anyone.  Being the first occupant of my womb entitled him to certain freebies in the minds of his grandchild starved grandparents, both maternal and paternal.  Before we knew it, he was spoiled to the point of no return.  He’s got an attention span of a full sixty seconds and a proclivity for bouncing off walls, sometimes literally, and getting himself into trouble, usually of the type that requires bandaging.  He is the road runner to my coyote in the  Sisyphus like trials that are the mothering of a child with a mind of his own.112699-15951

That’s not to say he’s mean or hurtful.  Far from it.  He’s the Macaulay Culkin of Home Alone, not the Macaulay Culkin of The Good Son.  If he knew what he was doing would bother our neighbor, he would never have done it.  He’s well aware that he’s only allowed to make his parents miserable.

While standing at our door watching him walk over to me, I remembered another shouting my son had received from the same man, earlier on in the month, for not stopping to look right and left before crossing the street.  I had let that pass at the time due to it seemingly coming from a genuine concern for my son’s well being, but in light of the most recent screamathon, I felt like the world’s biggest dumb fuck of a mom for doing so.  If I hadn’t let the man think it was okay for him to raise his voice at my son the first time, he wouldn’t have dared to do it for the second.

Along with the guilt came the confusion of what exactly to do about the situation.  My mama bear instincts were raring to go ape shit on the guy, but were held in check by the fact that on both occasions, my kid was being careless.  And even though the man was loud and vile, the end result was that my son was safer due to his actions .  It was a tough few minutes of mental and emotional wrangling, but in the end I decided that, even it was for his safety, no one could talk to my child in a way that made him feel and look the way he did when he slowly walked towards me from the driveway across the street.  No kid’s safety should have to come at the expense of his self esteem.

I dialed the number for the neighbor and spoke to his extremely polite and really mature for his age eight year old, who rides the same bus and was witness to what had happened.  He calmly explained to me that his dad was too harsh and that when his dad shouts like that, it scares him, too, which made me think the man’s fuse seemed to be only slightly longer than that of the incredible Hulk’s.  The boy said not to worry and that he would send his father over to talk to me as soon as he returned home.

I hate confrontation.  I’m a five foot zero inch shorty, but my brain forgets that little detail when it’s trying to put out the fire in my she’s pissed off as hell quadrant.  I can’t say I wasn’t scared of meeting the man.   I was actually hoping he would show up after six o’clock and then he’d be my husband’s problem.  But I remembered the way I felt earlier, when I saw my son’s reaction, and that decided it for me. I had had enough of feeling like I had failed him.  Whether I wanted to or not, I would don my warrior mom, she bear out to protect her cub, this bitch means child protective business outfit and confront that bastard.  Which I did.  I don’t remember exactly what I said, but I got the point across, with double the prize money awarded because I did it without…wait for it…raising my voice.

This whole ordeal, and some of the other dear god, what the eff scenarios I’ve been through in the seven years I’ve been a parent, have taught me that being a mom or a dad is challenging.  Very challenging.  It’s the test of your life, without the option of open book or open notes. You’re expected to have all the answers when half the time you don’t even know what the fuck the question is.  Your job comes with the requirement that mommy will make it all better, even on occasions when mommy’s ready to shit her pants.  But it’s worth it in the end, when your children go off to college and become the state’s problem.  Just kidding.  It’s really all worth it just to hear those sweet little guys call you their momma.