Monday, January 16, 2017

How to Pick Up Your Kids After School in 50 Easy Steps

How to Pick Up Your Kids After School in 50 Easy Steps

1. Get off work and drive to after-school program while mentally preparing dinner so you can hit the ground running when you get home.

2. Enter building and sign kids out.

3. Smile as other kids start yelling "Your mom is here! Time to go!"

4. Approach younger child's teacher to chat about his day.

5. Make eye contact and let child know you'll be leaving soon.

6. Finish conversation with first teacher.

7. Watch another family arrive and leave withing span of 5 minutes.

8. Argue with first child about putting on coat because he's already "too hot!"

9. Leave child 1 to get his backpack on and approach child 2.

10. Tell child 2 it's time to leave.

11. Turn around to see child 1 back to playing with friends.

12. Wave at child 2's teacher while praying she doesn't have a bad report.

13. Go back to child 1 to collect backpack and coat.

14. Watch child 2 approaching you.

15. Watch child 2 realize he forgot his hat.

16. Watch a family of three pack up and leave.

17. Get child 1's coat back on and head toward door.

18. Listen as child 2 runs back to his class and makes a request to his teacher to pick out a book to take home.

19. Allow child 1 to sit on bench outside because he's "soooo hot!"

20. Stand in position to monitor both children at same time.

21. Contemplate which parts of dinner you may have to now skip with your limited time.

22. Glance toward child 2 as he selects book and starts walking toward you.

23. Check on child 1 on bench. All is well.

24. Turn back to see child 2 talking and laughing with friends again. Yell and gesture for him to hurry up.

25. Walk into lobby with child 2 just as child 1 comes back inside and removes coat, hat, gloves, and backpack so he can go to the bathroom.

26. Try to catch child 2 before he goes back to say something to his friend while he's waiting for his brother.

27. Stand awkwardly in lobby area, outside boys' bathroom.

28. Contemplate how much of your life you spend waiting outside the boys' bathroom and whether that is creepy.

29. Hear child 1 flush and call to child 2 to come back.

30. Watch child 1 exit bathroom. Cringe as the the words "Did you wash your hands?" come out of your mouth before you can stop them.

31. Watch harried mother walk in, hug and kiss her smiling children, and leave.

32. Turn around to watch child 2 do a U-turn as child 1 goes back into bathroom.

33. Yell, "I'm leaving!"

34. Watch as nothing occurs.

35. Help child 1 put his coat and backpack on again.

36. Walk back to child 2 and tell him "We're leaving NOW!"

37. Walk out towards lobby.

38. Turn around to check if child 2 is following.

39. Yell, "Goodbye!"

40. Observe child 2 grabbing backpack and running towards lobby.

41. Walk outside. Finally!

42. Walk determinedly towards vehicle as both boys frolic in the snow outside child care center.

43. Get in van and start engine.

44. Buckle self.

45. Ask boys to shut van door.

46. Referee argument about who's turn it is to shut the door.

47. Unbuckle and get out to shut door because van is "on a hill!" and the boys can't do it.

48. Check mirrors and begin departure from parking lot.

49. Cringe as child 2 says, "I think I left my violin!"

50. Cry as you drive home and modify dinner plans again to account for the five minutes you now have to prepare it.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Middle of the Night Musings

Places I have fallen asleep:
  • the couch
  • the passenger's seat of the car...while I was talking/singing along to the radio
  • a movie theater
  • the dinner table
  • my desk at work
  • naptime at the daycare (sorry Pam!!)
  • my bed (obviously)
  • my children's beds...while reading them bedtime stories

Apparently I have no trouble falling asleep. If I'm tired, you cannot stop me from just switching off and snoozing. Unless of course I'm awakened unexpectedly. Then I just can't go back to sleep. That's my real problem: not going to sleep but going back to sleep.

If the kids wake me up in the middle of the night, I know I'll likely be up the rest of the night. Even Ken has figured out that if I fall asleep on the couch, it's best to just leave me alone because if he wakes me up to tell me to go bed, I'll never go back to sleep.

When I can't sleep, my brain starts working overtime. I start composing blog posts (that often make no sense later) or coming up with craft projects that are physically impossible to accomplish. My brain language in the middle of the night is weird too. I can't just have thoughts like, "That couch I saw online was pretty." My brain has to make it all complicated and third-person: "The couch she had observed while perusing her favorite decor site had really caught her eye. The lines, the pop of colour in the pillows. There was just something about that couch!" My middle of the night brain is pretentious...and British apparently.

I know I shouldn't, but sometimes I'll try playing a game on my phone until I can go back to sleep. I don't want to disturb Ken with the screen, so I play under the covers until the phone fogs up from my breath and I have to come up for air. Now that I think about it, I'm probably disturbing Ken more with all the moving and adjustments required to keep the phone under the covers in a place I can see it without hurting my neck.

I used to get out of bed and go sit on the couch, but this house has a programmable thermostat that turns the heat way back in the middle of the night and I hate being cold. Also, the couch is not very comfortable. And full of laundry.

If the stars are aligned properly (I'll just assume, I'm not getting out of bed to check) I might go back to sleep. Usually about 10 minutes before the alarm goes off. Ugh!

This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “When I can't sleep,…Finish the Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular sentence. If you’d like to stay ahead of future sentences and participate, join the Facebook group

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mama Mayday

Good morning Internet,

I have a parenting question I need some help with. But first the details.

I put Benjamin to bed the other night. Ten minutes later he came out to ask if he could sleep on the floor.

"Whatever makes you  happy, Buddy!" I'm not much for arguing over trivial matters.

I didn't think much of it after that. I went about my business for the evening {ahem} Candy Crush {ahem} and went to bed myself some time later.

At 1:00 AM, I was awakened to Benjamin calling my name. I stumbled into his room and kicked him in the head. Not on purpose of course! But he was on the floor and I had forgotten.

"Mommy, I'm cold," said the shivering little boy, wearing only his underpants, huddled under a fleece blanket.

"Why don't you climb into bed, honey. I'll put the blankets on you and you'll warm up in no time."

"I don't want to! I want to sleep on the floor."

"OK, how about some jammies then? That might help"


At a complete loss as to what to do, I went to the living room and grabbed another blanket to throw on him.

"Is that better?"


And then I went to back to my nice warm BED and tried to fall back asleep while my brain was fixated on what must be wrong with my son.

Do you think it's poison ivy?

Monday, January 9, 2017

My Blogging Why

This little old blog here turned 9 over the Christmas break! It's gone through a lot of changes in those nine years, but for some reason I keep coming back to it. There were times when I blogged every day and there were times when I blogged once a month. There have been a lot of times in between. I've joined blogging social groups and I've participating in blog building seminars and activities. Some of those things have stuck and some have just worn me out, but I just can't seem to quit this blog. Don't get me wrong, I've thought about it. But the thought just makes me sad. I like what I've got here.

So I really examined why I like this online space of mine. I came up with three answers: memories, money, and mental challenges.

I first starting writing to record memories. Those posts are all that attractive to people besides me and my mother, but I still go back and read them on a regular basis. They show up in my Timehop or in my "posts like this" suggestions, and I'm never disappointed when I go back and read stories of when my kids were smaller. I've used my old posts to jog a memory or clarify a date. I've shown them to the kids so they could read about and look at themselves from a younger age. I can't give up this blog because I'd miss all those past memories and I'd miss out on recording new ones.
Frances (4) and Henry (6 months)

There was a time when I thought I could hit it big with my writing and make some good money. I saw other bloggers doing it and I wanted to try it too. I've come to terms with the fact that I'll never retire on my blogging income, but every little bit helps and I've made about $500 each year for the past few years. I like doing product reviews and having contests because I just think it's fun. If you're hobby brings in a bit of extra income, there's no harm in that, right?

I said on Friday that I really like participating in the Secret Subject Swap. There are other blog challenges I enjoy participating in: Blog with Friends, Finish the Sentence Friday, my own Tuesday Ten, etc. These challenges often push me to write things outside of my norm. I get the chance to create things in the physical world as well as to use some creative writing juices. I also get more of a chance to interact with different people who I might not normally have by for a visit. Working and Momming full time don't often give me the chance to be terribly social, but when I visit other blogs or have other people visit mine, it's like a virtual cup of coffee (or tea) with a friend.

This year, the three Ms will be my focus. I'm aiming for memories on Mondays, sponsored posts on Wednesdays, and Blogging Challenges on Fridays. Of course, those might get mixed around a bit depending on my own whims and the deadlines imposed on me by others. It's my house, I can rearrange as I see fit.

Whether you are a long-time reader, or just stopping by for the first time, please know that I value your time here. If you make a comment, I try to reply. If you have a blog, I do my best to stop by your place. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you come back soon!
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