most days

My days are virtually the same, hour-by-hour, sitting at my desk, searching for photos, making lunches, begging telling Josh to play outside, cleaning up cat puke, and avoiding anything resembling housework. Thankfully, most days are punctuated with little bits of humor, like watching Wipeout. I know, I know, it’s all kinds of wrong, but I can’t help it. 🙂 And, yes, I let Josh watch it too…

Anyway, I wanted to show you a few things I typically see around here on any given day.

Look closely at the top of the photo. Yes, there is an extra cat in the picture. George is often found sleeping with toys piled on top of him.

I know I’m not the only mother in the world whose kid has extra sensory perception regarding the phone. Right? As soon as it rings, or even if I silently start to dial – he’s in the room. Talking to me. Or giving me hand gestures. Anything to get my attention. Or to listen in. Every single time! This photo? If I had saved them all I would have hundreds just like it:

Have you ever been to Passive Aggressive Notes? Well, I could have had a whole website of “I’m On The Phone Notes” if I had just planned ahead.

Lately we’ve been on a kill the clutter kick and we’ve decided to have a yard sale. A whole lot of crap is now piled in the garage:

And that’s not even all of it. Every day I put a little more in the pile, now named the Monster that Ate the Garage. We need to have that yard sale soon!

And last, but not least, is an older photo I found, taken by my husband that perfectly illustrates most of my days:

A cat that thinks he’s a person sitting on a Garfield book with Legos and crap all over the place. If a corner of a computer and a coffee cup were in the photo it would be perfect. 🙂

censored!

We had a fabulous day at the beach with my sisters and their families yesterday. The weather was absolutely perfect, 85 and sunny, and the water was warmer than its normal freeze your toes off temp. Perfect shark weather, but no, we didn’t see any. 😉

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I gotta tell you, I had better pictures than this one, (all taken with my new-to-me iphone!) but my boy won’t let me post them. ~sigh~ This blog has been going through some growing pangs lately, because he doesn’t really want me to write about him or post pictures of him anymore. He only approved this one photo because his back was to the camera.

I’m being censored.

If we are doing anything fun or if I innocently take a photo I am often asked “you’re not gonna blog about this are you mom?” Huh. I guess not!

He and I have been here before…you may have noticed there have been several posts about him lately that didn’t really show him. A birthday post without a birthday boy, a science post without a clear face, a post about his treehouse with only one blurry image. As you can see, I’ve had to get creative with my photography. It helps that I’m not particularly good at taking pictures so blurry faces are a natural. 😉

I knew this would come eventually. I just didn’t think it would be so soon! I kind of thought I had until he was 10 or 12 before he stopped letting me write about him. In fact, if he knew I wrote this recently he wouldn’t be very happy about it. I published it because I know someday he’ll appreciate it.

I’ve always self-censored anyway, not wanting to get overly personal on something that can’t ever really be deleted, but I’ve always felt pretty free to post about his childhood. Like I own it or something! Well, he is his own person, and has the right to keep his life off the internet if that’s what he wants. I still might write about him, but only if he approves it. Future photos will be faceless, like they were back when I first started and blogged anonymously. Or there won’t be any photos of him at all. I just don’t know yet.

What happens to a mommy blogger (ugh, it’s what I’ve become but I still hate that word) who can’t blog about her kid?? I really don’t have the answer right now! It’s why I don’t post as often as I used to, and I don’t foresee it getting any better.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t depressing. It’s just different. I have to make a change. Write about my own life, or don’t write at all?

holding on

His hand has always fit into mine perfectly. For years now my response to standing next to him is to hold out my hand. His response was always to take it. There is safety in holding hands, comfort, and silent communication.

This spring has shifted that, ever so slightly. His instinct to reach out hasn’t changed but more often than not instantly pulls back, then glances around in case anyone saw him. Apparently seven is too old to hold hands with your mom, at least if your friends might be around.

Sometimes, even in the school parking lot, he forgets to pull away, and his fingers press lightly against my palm. I don’t remind him, and I can’t help but grin.

***************

I was sitting in a rocking chair a couple of days ago, sewing a Toy Story pillowcase for his bed. He had just picked out a few yards of fleece for a new blanket and there was enough for a pillow too. Suddenly, he looked at me and asked if I could work on that later; he wanted to sit in my lap. He snuggled in, as best he could do with those long legs, and let me rock. Never say no to a seven year old boy who wants to sit in your lap, it just might be the last time he ever asks.

***************

He lost another tooth at school yesterday. He wanted to keep it a secret, I’m assuming so he could test the tooth fairy, but he couldn’t contain himself and told me within minutes of getting off the bus. The tooth fairy left a dollar last night, more than expected. He told me this morning that it must be because he’s such good kid. Yes, yes that’s exactly right.

***************

Tomorrow is his last day of first grade. It’s move-up-day, when he finds out who his new teacher will be, who the other kids in his class are. His excitement is palpable. As much as he will his enjoy his summer vacation, he would be just as happy to start second grade on Monday.

I’m glad we have the summer together though, to read books and play legos. Because I once he’s in second grade, I doubt he will still believe in the tooth fairy, or sit in my lap, or forget himself and reach out to hold my hand anymore.

treehouse

A little back story for you; when we bought this house a little over 4 years ago there was a swing set on the back lawn that was perfect for Josh (who turned 3 the month we moved in) and we asked to keep it in the contract. The sellers were more than happy to leave it behind – they really didn’t want to tear it down and move it anyway.

There was also a treehouse behind it, a bit into the woods, but of course Josh was far too young for it and we didn’t give it much thought for a long time. We knew the treehouse would be nice to have someday, but that it would need some work before it could be used. We just took down the ladder and left it be.

Fast forward to now, with a 7 year old boy getting bigger by the day, a swing set getting a bit rickety from tons of use, and a lonely treehouse with a rotten floor.

And a husband who is apparently really great at building things.

He has spent the last few weekends tearing out the rot, replacing support beams, putting in a new floor, and combined the components of the swing set that were still in good shape into a big kid complex!

Doesn’t this make you wish you were a kid again? Who wants to come over and play?!

I can’t get away with another cat picture post can I?

I can probably answer that one for myself. No. So you’re getting a mommyblogger brain dump instead.

I don’t have writer’s block. I just don’t have any time. Right now I’m in a different stage of production on six different books. Four of them in super duper tight deadline mode. Arghhhhhh! I feel like I have a white rabbit running around the inside of my brain muttering I’m late, I’m late, I’m late….and I really hate being late!

Then there’s baseball. Why oh why did I talk Josh into playing baseball this year?? Because I knew he would love it dang it, and he does. And I would too if only I had time to go to all of it. Two games a week, one a week night and one always on Saturday, plus Sunday afternoon practices. My weekends are wicked fun.

Did I mention before that Josh won’t let me talk to him during games? Apparently I embarrass him or something…just like I used to do to my mother when I played softball. That? Would be karma, biting me very, very hard.

Sometimes coach asks me to be dugout mom, that is, keeping the kids from killing each other when they are waiting for their turn to bat. Back when Josh played t-ball that really was like herding very funny cats. Alas, they are cute little kitties kiddies no more. With first and second graders, it’s more like herding howler monkeys, they’re fast, loud, and are always trying to climb the fence.

Except they really are kinda cute. (Even though they all hate that word!) There’s just something about a seven year old wearing a batting glove:

Anyway. This is my life right now. Work interspersed with baseball. And very little sleep.

kicking cancer’s ass one science post at a time

If you don’t know WhyMommy, well, you should. And if you do know her then you know why I’m doing this.

I was very fortunate to meet and hug (and eat chocolate-dipped fruit with!) Susan aka WhyMommy at BlogHer this summer, but I feel like I’ve known her for oh so much longer. I’ve been a reader of her blog Toddler Planet for years, long before I was a blogger myself. One thing that has always been clear in her writing is that throughout her trials with cancer, Susan is first a mother. She’s also, quite literally, a rocket scientist.

Some of you may know that Susan has recently been diagnosed with cancer again, and is undergoing surgery again, today. We wanted to do a little something to support her, in the way only bloggers know how. In the spirit of Susan’s love for her kids and for teaching them science we bring you Team WhyMommy’s Virtual Science Fair! (Thanks to the amazing Stimey for the putting it all together!)

So the science fair project I did with Josh was one he didn’t actually know was happening. I stealth-scienced him. 🙂

My goal for this last week was to fit any science topics I could more into our daily life and conversations, whenever and wherever they seemed to fit. Here’s a few of the highlights!

First we took a walk in the swamp behind our house. It’s early for the frogs yet, (and for mosquitoes for that matter! Yay!) but even without spotting any wildlife we enjoyed it. Clearly he did:

It’s so pretty back there, and we’ve never really taken the time to appreciate it. I’m so glad we did. And we’ll be going back weekly to watch the changes as spring and summer progress.

While we were up in Maine this weekend, we had a chance to stop by my friend’s house to see her new baby cow named DC. Short for Diet Coke, the cow was only 3 days old, (!!) and as cute as can be. I don’t think Josh has ever petted a cow before, at least not a tiny one. I wish I had gotten pictures though! I didn’t even think of it. He also got to pet one of her chickens, which she picks up and holds just like I do with my cat. (She’s been known to comment under the alias “Cluckers” here. I wonder why?)

When we got back to my parent’s house from visiting Cluckers, it was dark and the sky was full of stars. Josh and I really don’t get to see that very often. We have too many trees, and far too much light pollution around our own house. So I made him stop and look. I pointed out Orion, and Cassiopeia, and he asked where the Big Dipper was. Now I’m planning an evening out with him, with a star map in hand, and we’re going to look at the stars for as long he wants to!

One of the most fun things we did this week was taking a walk by a nearby brook that looked more like a river from the heavy rains we’ve had.

Whoa! Of course we talked about the flooding, and we inspected the edges to see how high the waters had come up just a few days before.

See where he’s standing? All of that was underwater!

Then he found a clearing and danced like a leprechaun! So much for real science. 🙂

This week has made me realize that I really don’t do enough of this stuff with my kid. Sure we spend lots of time together, and he loves to read science books, but we don’t experience it as much as we should. I think we just forget to stop and pay attention to things during our usual hectic days, but now that we’ve started I’m not going to stop our science adventures, it’s been too much fun!

Thank you Susan, for inspiring us in so many ways! I hope you can look at the stars with your boys again soon. xo

ps. Go check out all of the other Team WhyMommy’s Virtual Science fair posts!

party on

Okay, I have officially lost my mind.

So we’re having a birthday party for Josh this weekend. AT MY HOUSE. His birthday happens to fall on Saturday this year so naturally that seemed appropriate for a full out party. I am so dumb.

Last year Damon was out of town on Josh’s birthday and we did very little for it. Josh was so mad at us! It seemed (even to me) like every kid in his class last year had a huge party and he was the only one who didn’t. He was so upset he actually told all of his friends he was having one and they were all invited. Uh, no. And oy. Yes, I made him go back to school and tell them the truth.

We started planning this one shortly after that little incident. This party is a year in the making. So it should be well planned yes? Heh.

So yeah. Anyway, we invited every kid in his class. It seemed like the right thing to do at the time.

We also invited a few of his close friends from his class last year, as well as a few close friends that have kids around the same age and live nearby.

And almost everyone has said yes.

Not that I wanted anyone to say no!! I really like everyone we’ve invited, but still…

Put it this way; I’ve made 28 goodie bags so far. Twenty-eight. And I’m afraid we’re going to run out.

help!!

A couple of things are going in my favor.

  1. I thought in advance to ask one of my friends with older kids if they can help monster kid-wrangle, and at least one if not all three are going to actually do it. And yes, Nicole, I am paying them whether you like it or not. pffft.
  2. Most of the parents are planning to stay. I’ve bribed them with adult friendly food. (Pulled pork!)
  3. Josh doesn’t want any typical party games. It’s a Lego party, and we’re going to just play Legos!
  4. The weather is supposed to be gorgeous. Partly cloudy and 71 degrees. 71 degrees! In March! In NEW HAMPSHIRE! We can throw the kids play outside!!

Even so, I’m still a little scared. And clearly, insane. And I hope I didn’t just jinx myself and it’s going pour buckets on Saturday instead.

Dear Josh, you’d better enjoy your party, because I’m never doing this again. Love, Mom.

Sigh. Maybe.

At least getting ready for the party has kept me too frantic to have time to think about the fact that my baby is turning 7. ::weeping::

snuggles

Most evenings we let Josh have one tv show before bed. Usually he has a snack and plays Legos while he watches, but once in awhile I have the pleasure of cuddles instead. Tonight was one of those rare nights, and I don’t ever take them for granted. Damon has been out of town for a few days, and Josh needed some mommy time.

Josh cozied up to me on the couch, and then George snuggled up to him. Sigh.

Josh loves his cat, and George loves his boy.

My foot fell asleep but I didn’t move an inch. There was no way I was going to be the one to disturb them!

on raising a geek*

Geeks rule the world.

If you’re reading this blog, then chances are you’re a geek* too, so you know what I’m talking about. And you get why I’m actively striving to raise a geek. But not just in an I-<3-scifi kind of way. In a I-love-to-read and question-the-universe and take-things-apart-just-to-rebuild-them-all-day-long kind of way.

I don’t talk about Josh’s brains much here because it can get awkward and braggy sounding and I don’t want to be ~that~ mom. But, it’s something I need to talk about sometimes because omg the kid makes me crazy with the smarts. I’m a little bit afraid.

For example. He’s now reading The Hobbit. (Not an abridged version.) I was looking for something to read TO him that would challenge his listening skills. After I finished reading a few pages and Damon finished reading a few pages he took it to bed with him and read it for another half an hour alone.

Of course, reading alone in bed is a nightly event and highly encouraged, but The Hobbit? Really? Surely he didn’t understand any of it? Right? Hmmm. So after the second time he read some of it alone, we questioned him, and he was perfectly able to recount the whole chapter to us. To be completely honest, I am floored.

Remember, he is still 6. Six. First grade.

Anyway, we are encouraging the geek in him:

Last Friday I asked him if he wanted me to get him anything from the library since I was going while he was in school. He thought for a moment and said “can you get me some good non-fiction?” Um. Yeah. I’ll get right on that.

Don’t get me wrong, he’s definitely a six year old in so many ways. We don’t even push him to do any of this, it’s happening spontaneously, and I’m left stunned by the things he says and does. So I throw as many geeky** things his way, and we’ll see what sticks. If you have any ideas what I should throw at him next, I’m all ears.

*It’s important to note that around here geek is a good word, nay, a great word. We pride ourselves on our geekdom.

**Including some scifi. Ahem.

this little piggy stayed home

Wednesday evening I noticed Josh had a little cough. Last night when I put him to bed I noticed he was a little warm. Yep, he had a slight fever, 99.2. This morning it was 101. Josh doesn’t get fevers very often so I figured since it’s Friday I’d better take him to the doctor while I had the chance. Why do kids always get sick on Fridays?!

By the time he had his temp taken by the nurse it was up to 102.5. That with a bunch of other symptoms meant the dreaded flu. They won’t test for H1N1 because he is otherwise healthy. Apparently the state is afraid they are going to run out of testing supplies so they only test those with health problems or who are bad enough to be hospitalized. The assumption though, is that it is H1N1 because that is what is going around, mostly among kids. Whatever, either way the symptoms are basically the same, and it’s no fun.

We did get some Tamiflu for him so hopefully he won’t have a bad case, but we’re stuck at home until his fever is gone for at least 24 hours. I have no idea when that will be and it’s really screwed up my weekend! I’m supposed to be in charge of a haunted house tomorrow, but I really shouldn’t go now in case I’m contagious. (If I’m going to come down with it too I would be contagious before I have symptoms.)

We were also supposed to go to my new baby nephew’s baptism on Sunday and obviously we won’t be going to that either. ~sigh~ Darn it, I really wanted to get my hands on that baby!

At this point I’m just hoping Josh is better in time for Halloween. We’ve worked way too hard planning his costume! (Luke Skywalker from Return of the Jedi, all in black with a hooded cape, one black glove, and a GREEN lightsaber. Blue will just not do.)

The final icing on this no good very bad day was finding out my laptop bit the dust. It wouldn’t boot up this morning and my go-to computer guy just couldn’t make it better. The system board is deader than dead. (The laptop killer strikes again!) I either need to replace it or get a new computer. About the same amount of money either way.

I think I’d better get crocheting. I’m gonna hafta sell a lot of scarves to pay for a new computer.

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