Friday, September 27, 2013

Catching my Breath

Four days a week the alarm goes off at 5am.  I hit snooze at least one too many times before forcing myself out of bed.

I attempt to quietly get ready while the rest of the house sleeps, but then I stumble getting onto the scale and the crash booms through the house.  I am horrified. With both the noise and my weight.  I then stumble getting OFF the scale and once again I cringe at the insanely loud boom as the scale drops back down onto the tile floor... what is WRONG with me?  Oh, right.  It's five in the morning.

I put on deodorant, then accidentally drop it.  I don't even care anymore. I am sure Nick wants to kill me... or at least wrap our bathroom in bubble wrap. 

I am at work at 6am.  I stay until 5pm on non-class days.  On class days I shoot out the door at 2:45, flying across campus to be in a desk from 3-5:30.

I sprint to pick up Henry and am home by 6pm.  Then it's cooking dinner and picking up the house, homework and capstone analysis, playing soccer and reading books before bed, watching TV and doing laundry... it's a full life squeezed in the middle of being a full time working mom and a part time grad student.

I feel like I have a million balls in the air.  And I honestly feel like most of the time I am doing pretty well keeping them all up.  But sometimes I get a little scared of how I can continue to keep this going.  I worry of being stretched too thin and not doing anything really well.  I try to keep track of game days, weddings and birthdays, spending time with our families and friends, spending time with just Henry and Nick... trying to be everywhere and do everything and trying to not complain because I am choosing to take these classes and get this degree, choosing to have Henry in soccer, choosing to work four days a week so I have a day with my sweet boy, choosing to read and blog and do things that are just for me.

But today, at the end of a long day, at the end of a long month, I am exhausted.  And I wish there was a way to hit pause, just for a few minutes, so I could catch my breath.

Eight months until I graduate.  I can do this.


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Four Year Old Soccer- The Reality

In my HEAD four year old soccer would be like, one eight week long fall festival.  Lots of crisp fall air and beautiful trees.  Some cheering, some goal scoring... definitely NO RAIN.  Who would have four year olds play in the freaking RAIN?  THEY ARE FOUR.
1st Soccer Game 2013
It's raining, people.
Also, can I just point something out in that picture... take a close look at those kids.  I am not naming names (I don't know them) or pointing fingers (I am too lazy to edit the photo to add giant glowing arrows) but do maybe one or two of the kids in maroon look a TOUCH older than the rest?  Like that ten year old (estimate) boy in the front running with the ball?  This is a four/five league... that's all I am sayin'... (maybe they are just really large five year olds)
mama Henry Soccer
So anyway, it rained during our first game.  Don't we look totally into it?
1st Soccer Game 2013
I mean, look at the love of the game, just pouring off of him... (Confession, he was not feeling that well, and 9:30 is actually sorta early for us, so we had a lot of things not working in our favor)
1st Soccer Game 2013
Shockingly, the kids mostly didn't mind the rain...
1st Soccer Game 2013
Except for Henry, god bless him, who ran around the first quarter with his hands over his head saying "Um, it is RAINING WAY TOO HARD to play soccer!"  (He is his mothers child) but once we put his hooded sweatshirt under he jersey he was good to go!  He even got the ball a couple of times, kicking it down the field then looking at us like "DID YOU SEE THAT?? SOCCER!  I DID IT!"
1st Soccer Game 2013
It helped that he had quite the cheering section, even in the rain.  I think Henry had more fans than all the other players combined.  The kid is popular...
1st Soccer Game 2013
A section of his cheering squad congratulating him for a ball well kicked
1st Soccer Game 2013
As it turns out, we lost the match in a narrow defeat (it was like 15-0... although we scored ONE of those goals for them, so the score is a little misleading) but the kids had fun.  And surprisingly, even in the rain, so did all of the adults.
1st Soccer Game 2013
So... soccer.  It's not for the faint at heart, even at the age of four.  But it seems to still be enjoyable.  Who knew?


Friday, September 20, 2013

I Would Write A Real Post, But I Can't Stop Watching the Vlogbrothers...

**Thank you for all the support for my last post.  It has been a hard few days with missing her, but you all make it a little easier. So thank you.**

So, somehow like a million years late, I am sorta addicted to John and Hank Green and every single thing they have posted on Youtube. Which... turns out is a LOT of stuff. Like, how can two people have the time it takes to KNOW ALL THE THINGS and then make videos about them? Plus write awesome books like The Fault in Our Stars.  AND John's son's name is Henry. Consider me impressed. 

So although I know I only gave you one blog post this week, I am too distracted by the Green brothers to think of another topic.  except to tell you that Henry's first soccer game is tomorrow, and although we didn't practice actual soccer much this week, we DID perfect his goal scoring dance... because we have priorities in our house.  If he scores, there will undoubtable be a video early next week.  Actually.. even if he doesn't score I have no doubt you can expect some soccer related pictures and/or video coming your way...

Now, enough with this pointless post.  Go watch some of the Green brothers.

Hank telling 53 jokes in 4 minutes (Candice... this one is mainly for you) followed by several other clips that are extremely enjoyable.

Something from the Mental Floss channel...

Something from John Green on Health Care... (We talked about EXACTLY this in class on Tuesday.. who needs college when you have Vlogbrothers?)

Wait... they HAVE A VIDEO about if you should go to college. (Of course they do.. they have a video about everything)

Really.  Everything.

So.. check out the vlogbrother channel, and the mental floss channel, and Crash Course.... any anything else these two post.  Because they are awesome.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Braces and Grief

So I got braces.

Now is when I would usually say I can't believe I forgot to tell you, but that would be a lie.  I wasn't really sure how to write this post, so I just continued to NOT write it, choosing to go with heart friendly soccer or circus pictures instead.  I have known I was getting braces for months.  I have been to the consultation, the creating of the molds, the application of the braces on the bottom teeth, the ordering of the Invisalign  for the top teeth, back in to have brackets that popped off replaced... it's been a process.  A completely non-talked-about process.
photographic evidence of said braces was attempted, but mostly unsuccessful since the only braces you can actually SEE are on the bottom teeth.  Photographic evidence of me being an idiot while attempting to photograph said bottom braces was most definitely achived..

Missy left us some money.  Enough money to do one of those things you always want to do, but never have the money around to do it... something like home repairs, or taking a family trip or...getting braces. And when we decided on what to do, this is where we settled.  I would get the braces I have wanted and needed for years, and they would be a gift from Missy.

Missy and I had braces when we were young (damn boo and her naturally straight teeth).  We went to appointment after appointment together, living the tragic life of a metal mouthed teenager and all the woes that inflicts together.  Once we finally (FINALLY!) got them off, Missy became a prime example of what happens if you DO wear your retainer, and I became an example of what happens if you don't....

After we lost her we went through picture after picture after picture of our sweet Missy.  And the same thing was said again and again, what a beautiful smile.  Our orthodontist actually came to the visitation, seeing the picture of her in the paper, with that smile, and remembering her.  So when we found out about the money, Nick thought of this.  Something from her, something that will remind us of her constantly, something that she would be so happy to have a part of...

So I got braces.  And it's hard to talk about because they are so closely tied to my grief.  And my grief is hard right now.  Changing from spring to summer was hard, a season passing and she wasn't here.  Now, are we move into fall, it is hard again. It's always hard, but it's hardER.  The leaves are changing, we are talking about Halloween costumes, pumpkin patch trips, football games and soccer season, and she is still not here. And it continues to take my breath away with missing her.

This weekend was Boo's birthday and we were talking about how hard this all is; the events, the milestones, the life that is continuing to move forward even without her here.  Boo said it perfectly when she said "I am no longer in shock or denial.  I understand what has happened, I believe it... I just MISS HER.  I miss her so much". 
Sweet Missy
I miss her too.  And I am so grateful for her gift.  I promise I will wear my retainers after these braces come off.  And whenever I look in the mirror and like my smile, I will think of how much I love my sweet baby sister. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Me When I Heard JK Rowling Is Writing the Screenplay for Fantastic Beasts Movie...

Now that the Harry Potter books and movies have all been released, you might think my love for the series has died down.  You would be wrong.  I listen to the audio books usually once a year (currently on book six... and Harry just saw the memory of Tom Riddle in the orphanage, and he is about to pretend to slip the lucky potion into Ron's drink before the big quidditch match.. Ah, the memories!)  I check in with mugglenet more often that I care to admit (WHAT?), and I still love wearing my Harry Potter shirts (who wouldn't?)....

So yeah.  I am still a pretty big fan.  It's just that now my nerdiness rarely has an opportunity to come shining through.  That is, until yesterday.  I was sitting in the dentists front office when I read about JK Rowling writing the SCREENPLAY for the MOVIE based on the Book Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.  My reaction was something like this:

And I know most of you don't even know what 'Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them' even is ... and that really is sad for you.  It's a textbook in the series that the students read.  Several years ago JK wrote  it for charity, but that's just the textbook.  The new movie will be about the author of the book, Newt Scamander, and his adventures within the magical world.

 So I know it's ridiculous to be THIS excited since  it isn't even a NEW Harry Potter movie... it takes place 70 years before good old HP, But STILL. It's based in the magical world, and JK is writing it.  WHAT COULD GO WRONG?!?!

Possibly a lot, but I prefer to think NOTHING!  It will be perfect and magical and I WILL LOVE EVERY SECOND OF IT!  Plus, I will get to see it with Henry.  And if there is one thing that has made me sad about Harry Potter, it's that the series ended before Henry was old enough to share in the excitement of a new book or movie release with me.  Looks like that might have at least kind of changed, and that in itself is exciting.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

An Entirely New Era In Mommy Bloggging...

Someone has strapped on his shin guards and laced up his cleats...
 First day of soccer!
Prepare yourself for an onslaught of adorable four year old soccer pictures in 3-2-1...
 Henry and Hudson at practice :)
At least I have finally embraced the collage picture idea, so LOOK AT THAT!  You already saw SEVEN pictures of his first practice! (Yes... practice.  Lord help us all come game time)

For now, Coach Brian and Coach Ryan (ha... it's Hudson's dad) are working on the soccer basics... like, what are the actual rules, because who the hell knows that... (not me).  They are adorable and all over the place, choosing to kick the ball out of bounds instead of at the goal, hanging on the net, going completely the wrong way, picking flowers to run to their moms on the sidelines... I LOVED EVERY SECOND OF IT!
First game in two weeks.  Prepare  yourselves.


Monday, September 9, 2013

Weekend Wrap Up: Circus Fun and Positive Reinforcements

So the weekend happened!  It was excellent, full of football, time with family and a couple of extremely enjoyable Outings.  Like the fact that we went here:
Just like everyone else in our town with small children... at least according to my Facebook feed.  But when the circus is smart enough to advertise at daycare, parents sorta have no choice but to pony up the money and go.  Although I will say the circus seems to REALLY have improved from what I remembered as a kid.  it was much more of a show... I enjoyed it, Boo did not.  So... there are two opinions for you!
Henry was scared at first because they kept talking about the REAL DRAGON they were bringing out. And he may be four, but he is old enough to know he has no interest in being in a trapped arena with a FREAKING LIVE DRAGON.  Once I explained the dragon was pretend, he settled right down and loved the show.

Boo, Chris and Cici enjoying the greatest show on earth

Besides the circus, another large event happened this weekend.  Awhile ago we introduced a positive reward system with Henry.  It felt better than constantly telling him "Don't/Stop/Quit" or begging him to eat new foods, go to bed easy, stop crying at daycare drop off, etc..  So, we told him about gold coins.  Every time he went to bed easy, stayed in his own bed all night, went to school easy or tried a new food he could get a gold coin.  And if he collected SIXTY, we would use them to buy Disney Infinity.

 I didn't know if it would hold his attention long enough to keep going to sixty, but boy was I wrong.  He LOVES his gold coins. He is SO PROUD of his gold coins.  He was like a new child at bed time and daycare drop off.  He regularly wants to count his coins, and asks how close he is to sixty.  It has taken awhile, but as of Friday he had 42.  Nick told him if he was really brave with his shots, he could have nine coins for each shot and that would put him at sixty. It was the sweetest, most heart breaking thing I have ever seen when he tried to stop crying after they gave him the shots and he said through his tears "How.. many... coins... did I get??"


So anyway, Saturday we made a trip to Toys R Us
Someone saved up SIXTY gold coins for good behaviour to buy a very exciting new toy! the whole family is already loving it :) #DisneyInfinity

This is one happy boy.

Actually its one happy family because we are ALL loving this game.  Although now that I understand how Disney Infinity works, and how much extra STUFF you buy, I have a sneaky suspicion the "Infinity" in the name secretly has a dollar sign in front of it.  (KILL ME NOW.  Also, grandparents:  Christmas... hint hint)

And now Henry is trying to decide what he will save his gold coins up for NEXT :)  I am loving the positive reinforcement plan.  It's fun to talk about and plan, and it just makes things seem a lot easier around our house.  Even if sometimes it does feel a LITTLE like we are buying his good behavior.  OH WELL!  Whatever works.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Four Year (and Four Months) Stats

So... like back in May Henry turned four, right? And I was apparently suppose to get him to the doctor for that four year well child check. And I REALLY meant to get right on it... but we were changing doctors due to an insurance change, and it seemed harmless to wait for that to happen (July 1st). So we waited...

and then I just kinda forgot about it.


That was, until we got a nice letter from daycare saying that since his vaccines were not up to date, they would politely have to request his absence until that was rectified.


So we went to the doctor today!  The timing was actually terrible, with work for both Nick and I being crazy busy this week, but you gotta do what you gotta do.  Henry's Nana was awesome and said she would keep him after his appointment so he didn't have to go to school.  He was pretty upset about the need for shots, but good old bribery worked wonders and he was VERY BRAVE.  It was adorable... and absolutely broke my heart when he got the shots.  Lucky for all of us, he is done with vaccines until the 6th grade... MY HEART CAN'T TAKE IT.

Everything with the appointment went great.  Since we are so delayed with this check up, they were able to go ahead and do his kindergarten readiness exam as well!  So...SCORE FOR PUTTING THINGS OFF!  Turns out he can hear, he can see, he has excellent balance and knows all kinds of stuff.  He also is a ham, and we had to keep telling him to "try his best" so he wasn't acting silly and pretending to fall when he was suppose to walk in a straight line... Sorry to his future teachers...he is a clown.

Anyway, just to keep records for my online baby book, here are his stats:

Weight: 34 pounds - 25th percentile

Height 42 inches - 75th percentile
My boy sure is growing up.

Henry in basket
Same basket... three years ago.  Feels like maybe last month.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

This and That (with Pictures!)

Wow... is it Wednesday already?

That's weird....

Yesterday I started my new work/school schedule where I get into work at 6am and am on campus until 5:30pm.  I am not going to lie, it was a long day.  Doing it four times a week may turn out to be brutal, but I am keeping my eye on the prize of graduation in May!

This weekend held a lot of grilling out, watching (terrible) football games and time with family and friends. Most of these events/people I did not even think to photograph. (Fail.)  But I did capture a few pictures worth posting around here, so lets just do that and call it a post so I don't feel like I am neglecting my blog...

Saturday we went to a birthday party for two amazing little girls, Daisy and Azalea.  Their mama's are sisters and I was best friends with one in high school and Missy was best friends with the other... how handy is that?  Their sweet girls both turned one and we were thrilled to be at their party.  In all honesty, we have been pretty hermit-like  when it comes to seeing friends since the loss of Missy, and that holds true especially for friends of Missy's.  We have all always been extremely close to each others friends, but it just felt very painful to be with them without her.  But this weekend we decided it was time to see people that we love and have missed over these months.  It was a really nice visit, and I think we have opened the door to being able to spend more time together, sharing our lives and sharing our love for our  Missy.
I didn't get a picture of Daisy with her Mama, Becky but did get this hilarious one of Emily with Azalea... that face... she CLEARLY wasn't interested in me taking her picture :)
Henry and Miss Leighton. I can't believe how fast these babies are growing up...
I also go this sweet one of Henry and Leighton, Mandy's sweet girl.  Love her!

After the party we did other, non-photographed things.  But at some point in the weekend we DID go buy Henry his new soccer gear!  He is playing with the YMCA this fall so we had to get him some cleats, shin guards... a soccer ball... clearly we have not been on top of telling him about soccer.  As of last week I asked "do you use your hands or feet in soccer?" And he happily shouted "HANDS!!"  So... there is some work to be done.


So as of this weekend we are officially starting soccer season in the Bio Girl house ("NOOOOOOOOO HANDS!")  They told us he should wear his cleats around the house to break them in, so we figured might as well toss him the ball and let him practice at the same time.  I am sure nothing could go wrong here...

So in another random update from this weekend/week, we got THIS message from Cousin Matt and Blair this weekend...



When I told Henry Matt and Blair are engaged he asked me to take his picture of his 'most most most excited face' after he saw it he said 'okay. Send it to Matt and Blair'! Clearly we are ALL really excited for them :)

This was pretty much all of our reactions.  (Henry said he wanted me to take his picture of his "Most Most Most Excited Face" and to send it right to Matt and Blair :)

Congratulations to two of our favorite people!