Monday, December 8, 2014

My Middle Name is Procrastination

I had expected to be up to my eyeballs in Reindeer Mobile Home Park fabric by now, but since my supplier has decided to be shady I can't sew.  I should be getting to other duties.

A trip to Lowe's, a run in Target and the grocery, checking gifts off of wish lists, and finally making all those doctor appointment check-ups that I've avoided for the last, um, few years.  No, nothing is wrong with me.  I just can't make time to schedule a regular well visit because I find a million other things that I think are more important.  But quit worrying about me, Dad, because I'm at least going to the dentist tomorrow.

And what do I do when my check list gets a mile long?  I update my blog. 
 Lucky for you I'm a procrastinator . . .

All this procrastinating makes me think of a convo I just had with one of my best good friends Saturday night.  She was my first friend when I moved to Chicago (nine months pregnant and didn't know a soul), and she has been my savior many, many times.  In a few short weeks -- oh, wait, is it now days??? -- she'll be moving 1,400 miles away from me, and I can't even find a way to write about it yet.  Sigh.  But anyway, she's a lot like I am.  We love food, wine, and procrastinating.  Why do today what you can probably put off until the last minute?

So we decided that we're okay with who we are.  We have sisters who are planners and put together like All.  The.  Time.  and the thought of being that way just stresses us out -- we're just not that and that's okay.  We are both the youngest of four, and we were, um, born this way . . . right?  

The truth is I woke up this morning feeling lots of pressure to get a month's worth of things accomplished in one day, which is why I just need to sit in front of my computer and regroup.  Coffee, my favorite Pandora station (Indie Children's -- I'm not kidding.  Love.  Edward Sharpe, Head and the Heart, Jack Johnson, Band of Horses, with a little Build Me up Buttercup thrown in.  Love, love, love.).  I skipped pilates because I have a cold (sort of), and I've narrowed my list -- my goal this morning is to get the Christmas cards ordered.  

That's right -- I haven't even ordered the freaking things.  This is something a "planner" would do Thanksgiving weekend, but I'm having trouble finding a "card-worthy" pic this year.  I have some great ones of my children but they aren't together or it's the back of their heads, or Clint is in the background sneezing.  We have completely thrown the idea of professional pics out the window because have you met my kids?  I can do one of those cards with several pics on the front, but then I worry about not having even numbers of great pics of the kids and should I include Clint and me?  And then what about Ruby?  It's all too much for me this Monday.

So I'll just post pics here about the fall.  Maybe some runners up will hit me . . .

  My children love a good waller in wet leaves.

This might be a runner up.  But only one face.  And it's a fall pic not a snowy, wintery scene.
See how I put so much unnecessary pressure on myself?

Sweet, but Clint is wearing shades.  And it's quite cloudy.  That's right -- he completely messed up this moment with frivolous sunglasses.

Oh, that hair.  Maybe I should just put this on the card and that will be enough.

We had a bit of snow in November (where the heck is it now?), but the kids wouldn't cooperate and stand nicely together.  And this is the neighbor's dog anyway.

And speaking of dogs, our Little Black Puppy is still the best.  Right now she's curled up in a beanbag next to me sleeping.  She sleeps about 20 hours a day and causes zero trouble.  Sometimes she is most definitely my favorite child.

This guy, on the other hand, has no use for a decent night's sleep, which, in my opinion, should be from about 6:00 PM to 8:00 AM for a kid with his energy.  He is a freaking handful and a half right now.  The last few weeks have been smooth sailing for him, so I knew it was coming.

When we returned home from Thanksgiving, he suddenly began throwing tantrums and didn't want to go to school.  He asks for milk and then throws his cup at me when I give it to him.  He asks to watch Handy Manny and then screams and flings his body to the ground.  The horrible toddler stage ends for most children by four, but because of Mack's delays we get to enjoy the "extended stay" version.  He was actually becoming my easier child and then BAM! he returned to being unregulated.  His OT tells me this happens when he has grown developmentally.  He is figuring out more about the world, social cues, his body, and what he can and can't control, and he is very angry about what he can't control.  I guess I also get pretty angry when I also realize what I can't control.

But we're working through it and his amazing teacher at school immediately got to work on this fun little poster with pics of Spongebob and Buzz Lightyear with velcro letters.  And this is how she gets my son out of the car without a meltdown in the morning.  She's pretty much a genius.

Now Mimi has taken her role of the easier child, and it's about time.  She has been a challenge since adjusting to the grueling demands of first grade, but now she's returning to her sweet self.  So I took her downtown to Daddy's office for lunch when she had a day off school recently.

Not the clearest pic, but I love seeing my creations with Chicago skyline in the background.

And I took her to Annie.  That's right.  Same print in navy and pink (ooh, and it's velvet).  If you didn't know it yet, I've turned into a sewing geek.  I thought she was growing out of mommy making her clothes until her kindergarten teacher last year made a big deal out of it.  And then her friends thought of her mom as a hip fashion designer.  Um, not really but I'll take it.  

Happiest kid on the planet.

 So we took the kids south ON AN AIRPLANE for Thanksgiving.  
And we survived.


And this is how we did it.

#1  O'hare has an awesome play area near the F gates (and probably other gates but we didn't venture).  They ran and ran and ran and pushed buttons and climbed in and out of things.

#2  I bought thick milk shakes for them right before we boarded the plane.  They were big, so they needed both of their hands to hold them, which meant they weren't touching anything.  Mack paused when he saw the pilots in the cockpit with all those amazing buttons but then remembered he'd have to put down the milk shake to touch them.  Also, their breathing slows down when using the straw, so that helped calm them after playing so hard.  AND drinking helped their ears pop.
#3  I wrapped inexpensive gifts for them to open when they had the wiggles.  They each only opened one :).
#4  I used CARE straps for Mack.  I thought about bringing his car seat, but both Clint and I really needed as few carry-ons as possible so we could chase, grab, or tackle our children during an emergency.  The straps kept him in place and made him feel like he was in his carseat.  Thank you Betsy, and I promise I will return them!  Maybe after I order those Christmas cards . . . 
#5  We splurged and bought an iPad mini for Mimi and let Mack use our iPad.  Ugh, I know.  It's like cheating to stick kids in front of screens but I can own being a cheater if it meant my kids weren't screaming and running up and down the plane aisle.   

#  And last but not least, I prayed.  As we were about to board the plane, I kept the kids back a little and let everyone else board who was in the area so I could check them out.  I asked God to please let all of these people be kind and understanding.  Hopefully they were all parents or grandparents or child care workers.  Whatever they were, I prayed that they wouldn't say anything rude to my children or me because we all know a harsh comment makes every bad situation complete hell.

As we found our seats, I heard a southern voice say, "Hey, Jeri Anne."

Huh?  I saw a familiar face but was so anxious I couldn't put a name to it.  Because what would someone with a southern accent who knows me be doing on a plane in Chicago?  

It was a friend from high school who had just taken her daughter and a friend to New York, and I was so happy that she was in front of us and the girls were behind us that I could have cried!  You can call it coincidence, but I call it God.

Decorating cupcakes with cousins and Shug in Memphis.

A wonderful dinner with the Darby siblings who I adore.

Checking out the horses in Mississippi.

Silly, silly girls.

Run, run, run before we get back on that next plane, Mack.

Sitting still for three seconds at the kids' table.

Happy birthday, Amy and Poppaw.  Mimi always has to steal the spotlight.  Always.

Ruby was in good hands having a sleepover at her BFF Scout's house.  

Cool girls.

My parents live near Tishomingo State Park, and I think we should visit this spot every time we go back home.

They even have the dangerous old see saws that I love.

This could be a runner up.  But Mimi isn't smiling and does it give a false impression that we live in a log cabin?  Our life really isn't that cool and adventurous.

Loved the swinging bridge.

This pic has nothing to do with anything but it makes me giggle.
I need a dozen cookie robots!

Okay, time to get to those Christmas cards.  Ugh, this is so hard.

Until then, Merry Christmas.  And Happy Hanukkah (Mimi is so jealous of all your nights of gifts).  And Happy New Year.  May your lights be twinkly and your bellies be full.  May you not honk your horns at all the traffic jams and please remember to hold the doors for that mom with several packages and a whiney toddler who is throwing his body on the floor.  Better yet, just babysit her toddler and give her a gift certificate for a massage.  

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