Mommy Gone Berserk (over a Cheezit)!

cheezitInstead of spending my typical, lazy Sunday afternoon taking a much deserved siesta, I let my 12-year old talk me into a cleaning frenzy (she wants to have a friend over next weekend – read ulterior motive). Me, being, me figured, OK at least I’d get some help with the drudgery and agreed to her plan. She’d start in the kitchen, I’d focus on the living room/dining room, and the little one got stuck with the bathrooms. She plugged in the iPod and the tunes blared through the house as we got down to work.

After about ten minutes, the youngest decided to “help” me instead of working on her designated room (can’t say I blame her there). One corner of our living room is called the “peace” corner. Originally the idea behind said “peace” corner was to give the girls a place to “chill” when they got overwhelmed and needed a “time out.”  Unfortunately, it quickly became the dumping place for all the stray toys that never made it back upstairs to their bedroom. We targeted that area first, sorting stuff into various piles: the Barbie pile, the American Girl Doll pile, the Polly Pockets/Littlest Pet Shops pile, the book pile, the hair stuff pile, the pens/pencils/markers pile, the stuffed animal pile and laundry/shoe pile. As you can tell a lot of stuff fit/crammed into that little corner.

I made painstaking progress as my helper found her “long, lost” something or other and switched to playing instead of helping. I let it go as I could clean a lot faster (and put a bunch of junk in the “trash” pile) without her watchful eyes. My 12-year old was still on a mission to somehow turn our house into one out of Better Homes & Gardens (I applaud her lofty goals). Three hours later, the kitchen gleamed and the living room looked descent (at least we wouldn’t be showcased on Hoarders Buried Alive this week). I’d just finished wiping the sweat off my brow, priding myself on a job well done, when the incident happened. (I shutter even now thinking about it:))

The little one is making her American Girl Doll kick an American Girl Doll-sized soccer ball across the freshly vacuumed carpet. My oldest saunters into the room and informs her little sister that she doesn’t get to have a friend over because she didn’t help clean up. (I know that’s a lot of she’s, but you get the idea.)

“Yes, I did too help!” the youngest screams in her loud, screechy, seven-year-old voice (you know the kind that makes you wish you had ear plugs). She then reaches into the box of Cheezits that sat on the end table (she hadn’t gotten around to putting away yet) and throws one at her sister. I watch as it sails across the room and lands in the middle the carpet. It was in this moment (the last straw so to speak) that I lost it and am ashamed to say dropped the “F” bomb. My oldest recoiled in horror. The little one just shrugged her shoulders and smiled at me. Can you believe her audacity!?! I let a few more expletives fly and looked directly at my oldest daughter and said, “Yeah, I said a bad word and I’m going to say some more if you two don’t stop fighting and some one doesn’t pick up that blankety-blank Cheezit right now.”

Thank God above, they didn’t argue over who was going to pick it up and the little one bent down and actually picked it up. I don’t really know what she did with it next (I doubt she ate it, though, as she is my germ-a-phobe) as I headed upstairs to lace up my running shoes. Five minutes later I hit the pavement. Forty minutes and four miles later, I felt much better. I apologized to the girls for yelling and swearing. They apologized for fighting and being a tad messy and we forgave each other. Hugs all around and our house is mostly clean.

Next Sunday afternoon, though, I’m definitely taking a nap!

Fun (?) At The County Fair

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Fun Times!

Our week-long County Fair ended last Thursday. I am still recuperating from the fun of it all and trying lose the extra five pounds I gained from the vast array of “treats” I indulged in, because ‘Hey, it only comes around once a year…”

The county fair is kind of a ‘big deal’ around here. All the school kids in the county actually get an extra day off school just to attend even though they already have the entire weekend including Labor Day to go. The reason being that in a farming community a good portion of the kids are in 4-H or FFA and are showing animals that they supposedly need to take care of (I’m not implying the animals aren’t actually being cared for, but I saw a lot of parents in the barns ‘helping out’ including myself – I’ll get to that in a bit).

When you live in the of nowhere there aren’t a lot of big events to look forward to – we aren’t exactly a cultural mecca, but that’s OK. The fair in and of itself really is kind of, well almost fun.This past fair has most notably been one of our family’s best which is in sharp contrast to last year’s experience, which while it could be considered a “learning” experience wasn’t one of our better fairs.

You see last year was my  daughter’s first year she was old enough to be in 4-H and take an animal to the fair. She was so excited! At the previous year’s fair, she’d gone through the various barns trying to figure out what animal she’d want to take. She landed on rabbits. This was fine by me. I could actually help her with this project, they were small and cute. Perfect and when I found she could take a breed rabbit and not actually have to breed it, I was even happier with her choice. So that spring we got her first rabbit and all the accompanying rabbit stuff (more stuff than you would think). She spent the next three months, doting on and spoiling the little guy.

A month and a half before the fair, my husband treated the bunny with Frontline as a flea preventative while he was treating all our barn cats. Unfortunately, for the rabbit, my daughter and my pocketbook, Frontline is toxic to rabbits. After several weeks of giving him IV fluids, hand feeding, and vet visits, the poor little guy went to rabbit heaven. My daughter was devastated because now not only was her little pet gone, she also couldn’t show at the fair. The deadline to have the project rabbit in her possession had already passed, so even though she got another rabbit, it wasn’t eligible to go to the fair. My heart broke for her as she watched all her friends and club mates show their rabbits. She handled it well though, and I was proud of her.

This year we didn’t make the “one” rabbit mistake again. We had a whole garage full of the furry beasties. She took both a market and a breed project. We actually had two litters of rabbits. They are quite cute. She ended up taking five to the fair and coming home with two first place ribbons, a third place, fourth place and fifth place ribbon and the Reserve Champion Breed Rabbit. She could not have had a better experience. You couldn’t wipe the smiles off any of our faces the whole day.

But the fair drug on for four more days after the rabbit judging. We did the rides (or the girls did and I stood watching and sweating in the hot sun – still better than being subjected to the Freak Out, Orbiter or Zipper – although I might not have gained those extra pounds if I had). We played the carnival games and the girls brought home a gold fish, which died three days later (after I bought fish food, etc.). We visited the smelly rabbit and poultry barn two to three times a day (I swear it is the chickens stinking up the joint) and watered, fed, and cleaned bedding. I started questioning bringing five rabbits to the fair by the second day when my daughters watched the rabbits, while I scooped…umm…used bedding. And we ate the junk food (I mentioned that once or twice didn’t I?) – shakes, funnel cakes, fries, cotton candy, caramel corn, pop corn… I’m starting to get hungry just thinking about it. Good thing it doesn’t come around again until next year or I would weigh 500 pounds!

Do you go to your county fair? What’s your favorite part?

Watch Me, Mommy! Please!

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Watch Me

“Mom! Mom! MOM!!!!” the girls call to me in unison getting progressively louder.

“What!?” I ask slightly irritated.(To be fair, I am deaf in one ear, so when I am absorbed in something, I really don’t hear them.)

“Watch me!”

They then proceed to show the their cartwheels, dance routine, play or cheer for the tenth time in the last hour.

“Great!” I smile and return to my book, laptop, gardening, laundry or whatever else has preoccupied my mind.

“Mommy!”

“What?” I ask again cranky.

Watch us! Please!

They then start their routine over.

I sigh. Smile wryly and silently ask God for patience.

Does this sound familiar? Or is it just me? Have you ever noticed when you start talking on the phone,, pulling weeds in the garden or reading a good book or writing a blog article, that all of a sudden your children take a special interest in you? Their neediness moves into overdrive, questing for my undivided attention to the point of almost rudeness. As an introvert I need to have a little “me” time to escape into my thoughts and recharge. A time where I don’t have to answer questions or find lost shoes or help with chores or make a PB&J sandwich. I long for interrupted alone time, but lately this time has alluded me. Pushed to my limits of patience, I become a bit “grouchy” and a little “snappy” with them.

Don’t get me wrong. I love spending time with my girls. Working 40 hours a week in my day job, they miss me and I miss them. I enjoy their company, yet also enjoy my own company. I need to find the balance between “mommy” time, “work” time and “wife” time (yes, my husband wants me time too – go figure) and “me” time. My head throbs trying to work it out so everyone gets their “piece” and there is still enough left over for me.

In the past I tried getting up extra early in the morning to carve out that time. Lately though, insomnia’s knocked right on my door around 3 AM, so I’m just falling back asleep when the early alarm goes off. I’m not sure how to solve this problem and am not likely to figure it out this evening as…guess what?

The girls are calling me. They need help feeding their rabbits, getting a Popsicle from the freezer and…

Any ideas? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?