Back to School Times Four

emptynest

I knew it was coming, that I could not escape it.  It was inevitable, but it still took my breath away and has me typing this at one in the morning.

This year, our youngest baby starts kindergarten.  For the very first time, in the history of sending our babies off to their first day of school, I will be coming home alone.  No little hand in mine, walking home together, collecting leaves and planning our day.  No little voice singing along to the radio as we drive the older kids to school.  No kids shows as background noise.  No little shadow following me around the house.

Just me.  And the fur babies.

Every single last piece of my heart will be leaving me at home by myself all day.  Just the thought has me sobbing and in tears.

For over fourteen years, my life has been my children.  I went on maternity leave with my eldest and once he was born, I never looked back.  My entire day centered around my babies, it’s all I’ve known for so long, I feel lost knowing this chapter of my life is closing.

Sara still feels like a little baby to me, not ready to be sent away all day.  She still says words that take us several minutes, to her great frustration, for us to understand.  She just barely turned 5 a little over a month ago, and already, she has been stamped as ready for school and will be starting her journey outside of our home.  Away from me.

This all feels greatly rushed, especially not being in our own home, still living in a rental house as our place is in the process of being put back together from the fire.  I feel cheated out of our last summer.  I had so many plans, so many dreams of the perfect summer vacation with my babies before school started.  I allowed our circumstances to steal that away from us.  Shame on me.

Already, the hectic school year schedule has started, with dance and marching band kicking off earlier this month.  The days are flying by, I am running out of summer, and there is nothing I can do.

So I cry.  And I type at 1 in the morning, trying to make some sense of my sadness until my brain is too tired, too exhausted to think one more sad thing, and I finally drift off to sleep.

Tomorrow, I will hold my babies.  I will kiss their sweet, chubby, little baby hands, and I will cherish every last glorious minute I have with them before the school year steals them away from me.

I don’t know how moms survive this.  It feels unbearable to me, watching my babies grow up so quickly right before my eyes.

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Feigning Interest

As we are in the process of *hopefully* buying a house, I am finding myself undernourished in the department of motherly love.  I expected my mom to be one of our biggest cheerleaders, someone who I could excitedly ramble on to about how amazingly new and awesome all of this is.  I don’t have that.  Not at all.

My mom doesn’t even ask me about the house we are interested in.  She brings up homes closer to her, but I feel my excitement drain away every time I talk to her, almost like a black hole for happiness.

Now, I will admit, right now, we only live about 2 minutes away from my parents house.  Very convenient for frequent visits, which she does.  We are hoping to move about 15 minutes away, hardly a huge distance, and certainly no reason to be completely unsupportive.

I decided to try and extend an olive branch yesterday, knowing that things have been tense since the silly argument with my dad last Mother’s Day.  My dad is a union carpenter and has specifically studied both online and through books, how to perform home inspections, planning for when we would be buying our new house.  My intent was to ask if he would like to come look at the house when we have the inspector come out, giving a chance to kind of glaze over what had happened in the past and attempt to move on.

To clarify, I wasn’t asking this to “get anything” out of it.  Yes, my dad is a carpenter and can do amazing work around the house, etc, but my only goal was to break the ice.  I have no interest in having him work on my house in any way.  I only tried to make things less uncomfortable for everyone.

So I mentioned to my mom yesterday the idea of having him come look at the house.  She had a completely blank look on her face when she shrugged her shoulders and said, “I don’t know.”  Now, it wasn’t just an “I don’t know”, nothing can be that simple with my mother.  It was dripping with drama, eluding to us needing to beg for forgiveness, like she felt she suddenly had the upper hand.  That sounds crazy to say, but you don’t know my crazy family.

I instantly regretted my white flag and wanted to rip it off the field.

“He said he would like to look at it online though, so you can tell me how to do that since I don’t know how.”

I held back my frustrated sigh and changed the subject.  I won’t lie, it stung.  It was the salt in an already gaping wound from a week of my mom not showing an interest in our home search.   I vented to Abe, who didn’t seem surprised at all.  He is the pessimist, always assuming the worst of people and therefore never getting disappointed.  I envy that.  I see sunshine and rainbows in nearly every situation, giving people who don’t deserve it the benefit of the doubt.  Until they give me reason not to.  I think I have my reasons now.

It is very disappointing that I can’t count on my mom for the support that I need right now.  I was looking forward to showing off our new home, our projects, our accomplishments.  Luckily, I have amazing friends that have shown my far more love and support, even just in casual passing.

Chapter closed?  I think this book needs to be donated.  I keep picking it up and expecting a different story, forgetting that the characters never change.

Fun Bites!

Okay, this is a really awesome product!  As a mommy to little ones, I spend a lot of time cutting up their food into bite size pieces.  Like, a lot of time.  Fun Bites is a kitchen tool that instantly cuts up kid friendly foods into bite sized pieces!

There are two varieties of Fun Bites, Cube It!, which cuts the food into 12 bite sized cubes and Luv It!, which cuts the food into a big heart using 10 geometric shapes.  I received the Cube It! for my review, and I have been having a blast making meals more fun, and less work, for the ninos!

The first thing I used the Fun Bites on was a yummy quesadilla!  Hey, tortillas reign supreme in mi casa!  How fun does that plate look?  And yummy too!

This, mis amigos, is one very happy little boy!  He very happily gobbled up his healthy lunch, and thought the bite sized squares were both hilarious and delicious.

The strawberry jam sandwiches got a bit messy, I think it’s because the bread was too soft.  But that’s okay, the tiger cookies just wanted a piece of the yummy jam action and shredded the bread a little.  My kids thought this was hysterical!

Do you have a melon baller?  Me neither.  But you know what?  In the time it takes to make 3 melon balls, I have 36 melon cubes.  I don’t know about you, but I love saving time, so that is game changing for me!  Plus, again, it makes fruit fun for the kiddos.  I can just imagine the 3D castles and igloos that will be made out of melon cubes this summer.  Awesome times a thousand.

Besides making convenient, bite sized pieces, Fun Bites truly make meal time fun!  What kid wouldn’t want to devour their food when it is in fun shapes?  I have had great luck getting even my picky eaters to eat a more healthy food, just because of the fun shapes.  And having the fun shapes, definitely inspires me to make up the fun scenes for the kiddos, which makes meal time even more fun.  Win-win, wouldn’t you agree?

Fun Bites is not a flimsy little tool, either.  I was surprised with its weight and sturdiness!  This is definitely a tool that will be well used for years to come in my house.

Learn more about Fun Bites by visiting their website HERE.

“Like” Fun Bites on Facebook HERE.

Follow Fun Bites on Twitter HERE.

 

The awesome people at Fun Bites sent me a sample for free so that I could review it and share it’s awesomeness with you all.  You’re welcome.  Now go get one and make something awesome!

Blah!

Excuse me from my usual, awesome, entertaining and informative writing today.  I am recovering from a lovely case of food poisoning.  Feeling better today, but quite drained.

We had a nice weekend celebrating Saraphina’s first birthday with friends and family.  And then I was oh so rudely thrown out of commission from a tainted St Louis Bread Co sandwich.

While you are missing me, go enter the giveaway for the No Throw tethers!  They would make an awesome gift if you are out of the pacifier/sippy cup phase with your munchkins.  Enter HERE.

I hope you had an awesome weekend with far less barfing than I did!

Heating Up

Very Hot Weather Warning

So, here in the lovely Midwest, we are expecting to reach 107 degrees for our high temperature today.  Umm, last time I checked, we weren’t living on the sun, so what gives?

The hot days were exciting as a kid when we were in school because we would get sent home if it got up to 100 degrees.  Now all the schools have air conditioning, so they just skip the outdoor recess on the blistering hot days like today.

Have you ever tried frying an egg outside on the asphalt in the hot weather?  I always wanted to, but I could hear my abuelo in the back of my head, shaming me for wasting food on such a silly thing.  He has a point.  Plus, eww.

Icky hot days like today also make dinner planning a pain.  Who wants to slave over the stove or turn the oven on when it’s a billion degrees outside?  Even using the crock pot sounds too hot, because who wants to eat hot food when it’s already balmy as it is?

I guess being hot makes me crabby, since this entire post is one gripe after another, huh?

Wherever you are, I hope you are keeping cool.  I think today calls for lots of freeze pops.  Or margaritas.  You know, to keep cool.

 

That thing that goes at the end of a sentence

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Ya know, a period.  Been lots of period talk lately.  I received an invitation to a “Period Party” in my inbox from Nickelodeon.  A fun way to talk to my daughters about menstruation!  Erm…

Then I received a flyer in the mail, also referring to the “Period Party” and advertising special tween pads and liners with pretty little hearts and stars all over them.  Uhhh….

My baby girls are 6 and almost 1.  I don’t like even thinking about my own period, and now I need to start telling them the wonders of their own?  So soon?

*sigh*

I decided too soon is better than too late and I ever so calmly in passing told Bella about her impending acceptance into womanhood.  I was very awesomely cool about it.  That’s just my way.  I told her it’s a good thing to get your period because that means your body is working like it’s supposed to.  I also told her that it means that one day she will be able to have babies of her very own.  After she graduates from medical school and marries a doctor and is financially stable and well into her thirties.

She asked if boys get periods.  “Nope.  Only girls, that’s is one of the many ways we are better than boys.”  We both giggled at that.  The truth is funny.

She didn’t seem scared or freaked out, and I told her she could ask me questions any time she wants.  Then I gave her a cookie and we went to Build A Bear.

True story.