I am not perfect

My kids are not perfect. I know, this is earth shattering. They are small people with lots of thoughts and ideas. They have big imaginations and hundreds of ideas on how things should be done. They are growing and changing and learning and are full of questions. This is all how it should be. That’s what small people are all about.
Sometimes I forget.
I’m not perfect either. Far from it. I’m a big person with zillions of thoughts and ideas running through my head. I have a wild imagination and ideas on how I think things should be done. I’m growing and learning and am so full of questions. And this is also how it should be. This is what being a parent and an adult are all about.
And sometimes I forget that too.
We had an incident earlier today in which I found myself using a Very Scary Voice and screaming at my child while the other one cried. And as I heard the scary words come out of my mouth, I was more than just a little horrified. Everyone was ok. Maybe a little scared but otherwise ok. 
I had just told said kid not to do what they were about to do. And shockingly, they didn’t listen. And I lost it. None of this is the proper response to a child’s behavior. After I calmed down and the crying child calmed down, I sat down with my kid. I looked my baby in the eye and talked. I spoke calmly and rationally and mostly told the kid how awesome he/she is. How I love and cherish  them and how wonderful I think they are. And the tears streamed down their little face. 
It’s been too long. Apparently it’s been way too long since we talked about love and pride and the things that make Paul and I happy. I’m not perfect. And my kids are just kids. And maybe my expectations are too high. Maybe I need to let the kids be kids and learn from their mistakes. As I hope to learn from mine.

Who doesn’t love a vacation?

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Me? 
OK, that’s not quite true. I love vacation. I love the change of scenery and the beach or the mountains or the ability to read books and relax. I love spending time with my family and trying new restaurants and doing different things. But man, do I love to get home.
We went to the beach last week and had a great time. The weather completely cooperated and it wasn’t too crowded. We saw dolphins and manatees and rode boogie boards and built sandcastles. We read books and ate yummy food and had tequila well before 5. And we all got to spend lots of quality time together.
But it was exhausting. The packing and the organizing and the shopping and the driving. The refereeing and the ability to function outside of our normal routine is where things sort of fell apart. Courtney and Patrick both were GO GO GO all day. We spent loads of time outside, in the sun, playing in the ocean or the pool, eating all the crap and generally not doing our normal things. And boy oh boy, did it show. Not only was Courtney awake at night and not sleeping but she was up insanely early. And since she was sharing a room with her brother, he too was up insanely early. There was a lot of tears and a lot of arguing and quite a bit of ultimatum-ing. And some of that wasn’t so fun. OK, all of that kind of sucked.
It makes me nervous for the next trip. The kids and I are heading out for 2 weeks. Is every night going to be a battle? I hope not. I REALLY hope not. I won’t make it. Or some small human won’t make it. 
Do vacations get easier? Do small people become medium people and things are less of a battle? Please?SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURES

Bits and Pieces

So what have I been doing that I can’t find the time to write for over a year? A lot and nothing. Or so it seems.
Well, there’s the every day stuff. The parenting and the cleaning and the cooking and the laundry. And then there’s the exercise. My bestie and I were walking 4 days a week until she left me and moved away in November. Bitch. So after a 2 month funk, with some occasional hot yoga thrown in, I joined a karate place that has kettlebells and kickboxing. I LOVE the kettlebells. It’s a grueling 30 minutes with a LOT of sweat but a great workout. I figure I can do anything for 30 minutes, right? But my strength has definitely improved and I’m able to swing and lift more and more weight. My arms are looking great and I’m way more toned but I still have a long way to go. The gym also has crossfit and with my membership, I get 2 free weeks of CF. I’ve only done 2 WOD’s so far but I can already tell I’m hooked.
And then there’s the sewing. I have been doing a TON of sewing. I can definitely see a marked improvement in my skills and am all over the map with clothing (for the kids and I), bags, pouches and quilts. I feel like sewing is one of those things where the minute you think, “I’m pretty good at this,” you then spend 2 hours taking something apart. But I really love to sew. I love choosing fabrics, putting things together, the way that it allows me to be creative and imagine how things will look. It also keeps me engaged and I really enjoy that. Of course my “I want to make that” list is a good 6 years long and I’m sure I’ll never get to them all but I really love it. We completed my sewing room ages ago but I’m still working at the dining room table so I can be part of the family. Maybe someday I’ll move downstairs instead of using the designated sewing room as a dumping spot.
Then we’ve been doing some traveling. Let’s see… We went to Connecticut and New Hampshire last summer. We also went to Florida in the summer and fall and then to Disney this past spring. All of them exhausting trips but great fun and full of wonderful memories. Our ability to travel at will and off peak times has come to a crashing halt as Courtney will be in the public school in the fall and we’ll actually have to be there on the designated days. Total crap.
I’m sure there’s more but that’s a highlight and I’m sure you’re bored silly. Then again, I’m pretty sure no one is actually reading this….

On saying goodbye

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One of the things that brought me back to this long-neglected blog is my grandmother. I’ve written about her many times before. About what an inspiration she’s been, a role model and a wonderful grandmother. We named Courtney after her, which has always been hugely important to me. Baba, as we called her, was a writer and a mother and a strongly independent woman. She traveled the world and saw many beautiful things and took chances and didn’t allow the circumstances of her life get in her way or hold her back. She was remarkable.
 
My grandmother passed away not long after her 96th birthday. 
It’s taken me awhile to sit down and write about her, her life and her death. It’s been weighing on me heavily, the inablity to sit down and write about her without breaking down into sobs. The ugly ones.
Baba was a fixture in my life for as long as I can remember. She was a New Yorker through and through, though not by birth but as a transplant, and if not for her Colombian accent, you wouldn’t have known it. She loved New York and all that it had to offer. She embraced the people, the culture, the good and the bad, the museums, the food, the movies – everything that made it the epicenter of the universe. We would take the bus or the train or drive in from Hartford to spend weekends or spring breaks with her. We’d go to the theater or the movies or the Met and almost always the same chinese restaurant several times a year. She’d come to Hartford and spend weekends and holidays with us but her heart strings would pull her back to the city. As we grew older, and she grew shorter, our trips were less frequent but always a wonderful time. Her apartment on the Hudson was always a sweltering 85 – winter or summer – and she snored like a very large man, but they were always worth it. 
I can remember times as a small child when we’d sit in the den and she’d brush my hair or rub my back. I can remember WAY back to a time when she babysat for me while my parents went to Hilton Head and we flew down to meet them. I don’t
know how that worked because she didn’t drive… She was there in my earliest memories, always a figure to admire, a person to love.
Baba’s been gone almost a month now, but in some ways she’s been gone several years. Because we live 900 miles apart, my visits with her have been few and far between. Every time I saw her, the changes were drastic. She was smaller, less of her former self. I’m not sure she knew who I was all the time and I know she couldn’t hear me well. She knew that my kids were her great grandkids but maybe not which ones. It’s been hard. So hard. And while I know she’s in a better place, it doesn’t make the loss any easier. 
I know we have our memories and we have to keep them fresh and alive to keep Baba alive in our hearts. I want my kids to know who she was and I’ll make that a point in raising them. I miss her. I miss her so much and while we haven’t had much of a relationship in several years, it doesn’t make the loss any less severe.

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Then this happened

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In the blink of an eye, or so it seems, my baby girl is done with pre-k. Just. Like. That.
Let us first mention how asinine it is that we’re done with school on May 20th. Asinine I say. I can’t believe we can’t even go until the Friday of Memorial Day weekend. Unacceptable.
Anyway, it seems like just yesterday we debated the merits of the public school versus the little church pre-school. And now here we are, done with it. 
Courtney had an amazing year. She started off slowly but came into her own and is just a pure genius. A 5 year old prodigy, if you will. She get’s it from me. OK fine, she’s a 5 year old who can read some words and write some words and count to a zillion. But DUDE, can she sing her some Let It Go. Priorities.
I just can’t believe that kindergarten is in the fall and she’s off to the big school. Long days and school buses and new friends and great adventures. It’s times like this when you want to stop time, keep our babies young and little and innocent. I know there are great things ahead for her, and I’m anxious to see where life takes her. Let’s just slow it down, shall we?
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