Friday, June 24, 2016

What a week....

Sorry....this is a long one....get a is fine.....gin is better....

School ended on Friday the 17th at 11:53.  By the time I got there, I was so ready for it to be over.  It is for so many that time, I knew we were losing out new principal, but petty sure we were well on our way to losing our Vice Principal, Office Manager, and at the very least four teachers.  I have been in HR enough to know that we are not ripe for the picking.  And, one of our old Vice Principals is in charge of a school in Federal Way.  Great.  Would I do the same thing?  You bet.  And it is happening.  Who wants the heartache?  Who wants the challenge?  Who wants to deal with yet ANOTHER NEW PRINCIPAL?!?!?!   They are all jumping ship.  I just needed a break.  We took off from school with lunches for the boys in the car and drove straight (with one stop) to Pasco where we went there our "new travel trailer" orientation.  It took one hour and we conveniently had one hour in the store.  We had a $225 credit because Grant rejected the bike rack we got with the trailer, so we went crazy!  As we were leaving, the woman at the front said, "You have such great energy.  So positive.  So bright."  I get this a lot.  Grant and I have been getting it for years.  Us, together, traveling have always brought people to us.  "Are you lost?"  "Do you need a room?"  (They are like calling us down the street.......and we do.)  "Can I assist you?"  This is minus the time Grant had a fit in the middle of the streets of Montreal about Mason getting a Canadians' Hockey Jersey.  Everyone politely ignored his "Ontarioness" that day.  I thanked her and told her, "Is there another way to be?"  She replied with, "Uh, yeah, but I don't think you got it."  We left with all the essentials and off to the campground a frightening 10 miles away.  I drove.  We got there while several of the employees waved at us on the drive.  I told Grant I wanted a "drive thru" spot, no backing up for this girl tonight.  We parked and practiced all our stuff. I microwaved the hot dogs from the BBQ last night and forgot ALL THE CONDIMENTS.  So, there was onion dogs and chips for dinner.  YUMMY.  Fail.  Breakfast was simple, but there was no yogurt for Grant - fail.  Lunch was at Fred Meyer in Yakima where Grant was like, "We can park there!" and I am like, "I am parking here."  First night a RV park, second night National Forest.  So, we pull off the road and Grant is like, "Okay, it is up here, I think, but what if I am wrong....."  The road gets narrower and narrower and rougher and rougher (which is NOTHING compared to what my Daddy took us on....) and he starts to get really nervous.  I look at him and say, "Dude, this is like NOTHING to me.  I got this.  My Dad took me on bad roads with a 2000 foot drop on the side."  Then I was all, "Yay, look, this is nice (forgetting I had a trailer.......)" and all the boys are like, "TREE!!!!!"  Oh, yeah, that is close, but I didn't hit it!  By the end of the weekend and backing out of the campsite, out of my neighborhood, and into my parents, Grant and I have it down.  See, we met before we both had cell phone, messages on board were normal, and you had sign language.  We get each other and I love that.  He will drive soon, he just needs to watch a little more, but he is getting really good at the backing me up stuff.  The only think our trailer needs is extended mirror and a sign on the back that says, "I CANNOT SEE YOU......LIKE AT ALL......FOLLOW AT YOUR OUR RISK!"  I understand that some of my sweet friends and neighbors were taping my backing up the neighborhood, so that should be posted soon.  It will be pretty funny!

Monday - My boys and four other boys all that went to preschool together went to Kentridge Basketball Camp together this week and we all took turns taking care of them (except one couple that feels so guilty I am rubbing it in....simply because I do not care!)  They go until 12 and then they have adventure with all of us for the afternoon while other families are working.  Monday and Tuesday I am off, wow, I was running around getting stuff for the trailer, running errands, going to the library (yes, I still read real books), Fred Meyer, Target, Walmart (who has an amazing amount of travel trailer stuff ONLINE - how is that helpful?!?!), learning Camping World and the "Academy of Take My Money" of the Travel Trailer front.  Then, Tuesday pm I got sick.  You know, something hit my sensitive colon that said, "BAD."

Wednesday - I was picking up all the boys.  I had to work for my parents on Wednesday too.  They are trying to sell their Travel Trailer.  You ask, "Why did you not take theirs?"  I reply with I did not feel comfortable towing the Taj Mahal behind our truck.  Take their truck.  Really.....have you driven that thing.  I have - I am the only other one he lets drive it.  It is a monster.  Plus, I really wanted a shorter, more off road worthy trailer with bunks for the boys.  My parents was a retired trailer with a lot of tvs and seats.  No bunks.  So anyway, my understanding was that they were going to have it totally cleaned out, washed, and ready to go at the bottom of the drive.  NOPE.  Mom got vertigo being in the trailer.  They had have of it cleaned out and then, guess what, I got to do the other half of the Taj Mahal by myself. with the queen bed falling on my head the entire time.  Nice feature in the new trailers - they don't fall on your head.  So, I do it, then I clean it.  Done.  The place that they bought it from is picking it up between 10-12.  It is 10:30 and we are all sweating.  Mom is mad, Dad is frustrated, I am like, "What the heck?!?!"  They call...we will be there closer to noon.  Yay.  I have to leave to get the boys and I say, "David is coming.  It will be fine.  Just trust the process."  I go.  I get the one wants to go to the zoo, we go home and they play basketball, go to the river, play inside, fight, play, and finish.  And I start my regime for surgery on my esophagus the next day.  This was not part of the plan, but scheduling is so awful that I could not postpone the appointment.  Grant offered to work from home and help and drive and it was great.  The next two days are a hoot....

SIDE NOTE:  On Wednesday morning, one of the parents drops her boys off and then sends me this text, and I quote...

"Hi.  Yellow bag has their lunches, a jacket for XXXX, and $20 in the side pocket if needed.  Please put sunblock on their faces, necks, arms for the zoo.  Sunblock is in the bag.  Also in there is XXXX's baseball uniform.  Can you remind him to get dressed in it (except shoes) before I get there?  We need to run straight to practice.  God I am high maintenance!"

I read this to all the boys and responded with....

"Gotcha.  I give away the sunblock because it is for wimps, $20 is for beer, and XXXXis to be naked with his shoes on at 4:45."

Her response, "Perfect."  She knows me too well......I took the $20 and put a Rainier Beer in its place.  The boys were rolling.  Then, at pick up, they told her what was going on.....OMG, clearly, they do not get a running joke.....

Okay, Thursday, I have four of the six and it is 8:12. I have to leave at 8:20 to get the other two and get them to camp.  My Dad calls.  I enthusiastically ask, "How was yesterday?!?!"  My Dad, in a downward voice says, "It was fine, but I do not trust this Paul."  Okay, FYI, I have had nothing but lovely conversation with Paul and David, and all the people at Baydo's in Fife.  He goes onto this conversation of how Paul is not even looking at the trailer and giving him a price, he can do it on consignment for nothing and that was good and how he doesn't trust Paul because he didn't even look at the trailer before he gave him a price.  So, now for those of you that have worked with older people, it ALWAYS turns into a circular discussion.  Quite honestly, I do not like working with the elderly, yet I get to ALL THE TIME.  I took care of my Grandmother (still sorting her stuff in my garage because my Dad will not do it), I am now taking care of my parents, and I am pretty sure I have an aunt on the way.  On the third cycle, I was like, "Dad, this is NOT my top priority today.  I have six boys to get to Basketball Camp, I have errands to run, and then I get to go under general anesthesia at 2:00, so they can band varacies from my esophagus.  I  have to go."  He said, "I honey, I am sorry.  I didn't know."  He did.  "No one told me."  We did.  "Good luck.  I love you."  I cried.  The poor boys said nothing......XXXX just said, "Families are hard."  I love XXXX.  More than he knows.  Read all his books in Preschool.  I was so sick, I think I was the only that had time.  I still remember them.

Got to the hospital - they were running late (as usual).  People are starting to remember me and my Mom.  They are complimenting her a lot.  Others in the surgery room are asking how I am doing. They tell the other nurses what a great story I am.  I give the short, short version because I am out soon and I fall asleep to, "Oh my God, I am so happy for you........"

I wake up.  I am okay, but my chest hurts a lot.  I know if I say anything they will make me stay.  I get dressed.  I go with my Mom.  I help another woman out with how to work the parking machine while she is complaining about being rescheduled and she lives in Mountlake Terrace.  My Mom is looking cross eyed at me and I am like, whatever......she doesn't know.  We get home.  Mom goes to get me a vanilla milkshake and I am uncomfortable.  I can't get comfortable.  I call to Grant, "I am making dinner....can it wait?!?!?!"  Clearly I do not have trained like the medical staff at Swedish....NO, my pain is at a 9 which is unheard of for me, so get the frick up here."  He says, "Take whatever you never need pain meds.  I take 2 Tylenol and an anti-anxiety pill.  I do not want to call the docs tonight.  It is just pain.  If it continues, I will call tomorrow.  I was blissful until Nolan came in and jumped on me.  One Advil more....done for the night.

Today has been okay.  A little pain and my good friend picked up her kids and made me laugh too much and made me hurt, but in the best way I know.  So, it is Friday.  Did I get everything done?  No.  Lara, I am sorry, I did not get to the bank.  Juliet, I am sorry, I did not get to Denali.  I will try Saturday and Monday.  The good news is they got all the varicies and I do not have to go back until January.  I missed Nolan's first Tournament Game of this weekend, but he told me all about it.

So here is what I have learned, I am happy that my sons survival depends mainly on his family, because we are secure, have good friends, and a solid foundation.  I was not supposed to be here after 2007, but I am and I taken advantage of it everyday with friends, family, and my community.  Gotta say my school community is in a really bad place and because of all the crap that they have thrown me (Administration, not my school) I have little trust and am losing patiences.  I will give it another 1 to 3 years.  Not so much for me, but for my "low income, "Kentistan", we can't possibly be educated enough to know what we need (based on the interviews I just wet through) attitude that the Kent School District Administration just had and disregarded everything the community had to say. "   No worries, you see, I have options.  Others don't.  I wanted to represent all of our community, but if they do not represent us, I am out.  That may make some happy.......oh well, I am not will to sacrifice my children for someones career ladder, issues, power issues, etc.  They are my babies.  I worked hard to have them and I worked harder to raise them, but apparently, I don't matter, because, well, I am not in the right zip code.

Life is complicated and I wish it wasn't.....thanks Kent School District.


Friday, June 3, 2016

My Birthday Week, Nolan, and not so graceful parenting.....

It started fun and then Tuesday both boys woke up green.  "I am pooping A LOT!!!!"  "I started pooping a lot at Grandma's!"  Needless to say, we stayed home.  They ate almost nothing and slept a lot.  Wednesday eating back to normal, still some napping.  Thursday, we are back to school. Thursday was my birthday, but Grant brought me my flowers, card, and ice cream cake on Wednesday. We are having a crazy baseball week.  Three game in four days.  Grant told the boys to write out/make a card for me.  Mason did.  Nolan gave me the pictured.

I should tell you that I have been taking a "Grace Based Parenting Class."  This meant to me in this moment, I should kill him "Gracefully." Funny funny ha ha.  Not really.  Okay, back to it.  I had to explain to him that I stopped their allowance because it is a performance based system and since there had been NO PERFORMANCE there is no money.  Usually I will give them $3 just for breathing and going to school, but not for crying about how much homework they have, NEVER making their beds, the cats are living in squalor, etc.  "What is squalor?"  My response, "Do not worry, you are about to know...." In addition, I said, "I have just stayed with you for two days, sought and provided your every need, and this is your response on my birthday?!?!?"  In addition to that, I do not want presents!!!!!!!  I want a card.  I got a card.  On my birthday proper, it was a super busy day, Bible Study Brunch, pick up Clifford Costume, drop at school, Student Leadership meeting, Baseball at 4:00.  At 3:00, I am exhausted.  In the truck, we discuss how Mason is getting dressed for baseball and Nolan will do his homework.  Nolan has also decided that he does not want to go to baseball but Family Health Night at school.  What happens.....they both get out of the truck, play outside until Mason comes in stomping and pouting about Nolan.  Then Nolan comes in and they are both talking and crying at each other about how the other one gets their way all the time, etc, etc. etc.  Apparently, siblings do this all the time - what do I know about it?!?!?!  I start conflict resolution on them, but apparently, it just turns to the most ridiculous crying, insult flying, self promoting crap fest ever,.......clearly, I should have repeated the rules AGAIN.  Then, I was just, "Nolan, do your homework.  Mason go outside." Grant comes home, gets briefed, get Mason and I stay home with Nolan as we are going to the Family Night at school.  I check Nolan's homework of which he states, "You are wrong.  I do not want to be here.  I want to go to the beach.  I don't like Mason.  etc. etc. etc."  While I am still trying to come up with graceful ways of wringing his neck, I just grab my purse and leave.  I wanted pizza, but I was going to Family Night, but NOT ANYMORE.  I am doing what I want on my birthday.  Yes, I left my nine year old at home.  I said, "I will be back with what I want to do for dinner tonight."  When I got home, Nolan was so nice and I was just like, "Why are you being nice now?!?!?!  Nolan, I can't take it."  The evening got worse from there.  We never made it to Family Night or Baseball.  I ate A LOT of pizza on my couch with a martini and refused to speak to anyone.  No one was following my protocol for dinner where my silence was broken (too bad for them) and the "easy ways to dispose of latex paint by drying it on a tarp and throwing it away" turned into the tarp flipping over paint on my driveway and on the grass, too big to fit in my garbage, and me infuriated.  Still mad, I then asked Grant why he can't fill the paint hole or is that, "A weekend project?!?!?!"  That did not put us in a good place, but I do not have weekend projects, my entire life one never ending project of taking care of Mason, Nolan, and Grant.  It is 24/7, 365 even when I have doctors, low tire pressure, paint to dry, toilets to clean, PTA, Student Leadership, laundry to do, etc. etc.

Then, I went to bed.  This morning I talked to Nolan and said, "What will it take to make you happy?  You don't like living here, you don't like your room, you don't like playing with Mason, you don't like that we go mountain biking, you say we can't play soccer properly, Nolan what?!?!?!  If you had three wishes, what would they be?"

Nolan's wishes:

1.  Teach him how to set his alarm clock.
2.  Nolan and Mommy day EVERY week.  This was negotiated down to a date every week.  Nolan clarified it is not the kissing kind.  Check.
3.  Couldn't think of a third.

"And this will make you happy?  No more negative statement, no more complaining about EVERYTHING from food to our cars, no more complaining about soccer, hockey, baseball, track, and basketball (two of those are his....), no more no more?

"Yep."  "Deal."

Here is being graceful,