That’s a wrap on year #4!

I usually don’t end the month with a “this is the last slice” slice. I love writing these blogs so much that I don’t want to waste one that I could be writing something clever and funny or emotional and stirring. But… I’m at my in-laws, and it’s already 5pm. And I have nothing creative in my head nor the time to write it if I did.

Soooooo….you’re getting a “this is the last slice” slice! This was my 4th year doing the challenge, and I loved it just as much as ever. It reminds me that I love writing. And that I’m pretty great at it. It is cathartic for me. And it helps me get some fun memories down as well. I love when I see views pop up, knowing that someone is reading something I wrote! My heart leaps every time I see the number of views go up! And if there’s a comment…my whole day is made 🙂 So thank you to all who have stopped by and put a smile on my face. I’ve loved having you here in my blog.

See you next year! (or maybe on Tuesdays!)

Wrestle and Tickle

Breakfast is finished. Dishes have been cleared. Pancakes have not yet been digested, but apparently, it’s time to wrestle!

Sometimes warring sides, brother and sister, unite against the evil forces of Daddy and his tickling hands of terror. They attack, full force, brother on the south end, sister on the north, attempting to take down the tremendous power of paternal arms and legs. But Daddy is too strong and they go down, one, then the other. Giggles and screams ensue from the tangle of family members sprawled on the family room floor. They do not give up though. “Get off my sister!” the courageous brother cries. With newfound strength, he gets the upper hand on his father and begins his counterattack. Sister wriggles free and joins in on the action, tickling and tackling, “Leave my brother alone!”

Soon, though, Daddy has reestablished his power and the brother and sister holler for Mommy’s help. Putting aside her loathing of tickling, Mommy dashes into the fray to help save her children. She calls on her mommy strength and pins Dad down while her offspring commence a barrage of tickles and torment. A suddenly free hand reaches out and tickles Mom’s stomach to which she screams and sits on said hand. We have him. We have him. We have hi… HE’S BROKEN FREE!! Every family member for themselves!! Mommy sacrifices her children to escape the clutches of her husband.

Howls and shrieks resume as the children are futile in their attempts to attack and tickle their Daddy. However, finally, age is on their side, as they still have energy to besiege their now tiring Dad. Victory is theirs!

 

Level 6

Levels of Exhaustion and Pain

Level 1- Resting

Level 2-Hanging around the house

Level 3-Running errands, Cleaning the house, or shopping

Level 4- Attending a party

Level 5- Throwing a party

Level 6- MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY FOR 7 HOURS.

 

Level 6. I’m at level 6. Good night.

Moments of doubt and sadness

For the most part, I love that I’m not working anymore. I get to spend more time with my kids. I can let my daughter participate in more extracurriculars during the day. I actually have time for all of my many many doctor appointments. I have less stress. A lot less. And probably the biggest benefit, and really why I resigned… I don’t have to work through unedurable pain every single day anymore. I can get rest when I need. I can rearrange plans if I’m having a high pain day. I can be flexible. I am not forced into job requirements that I know will hurt me.

But there’s a small part of me that still struggles with not being a music teacher anymore. Yes, yes, I know, I’ll always be a music teacher. But you know what I mean. I’m not teaching the kids anymore. I’ll hear music that reminds me of a cool lesson I used to teach. I’ll hear a song that I used to do with my chorus kids. Or like today, I’ll run into old students. And I miss it. I miss the fun and engaging lessons I used to create. I miss when we would practice a chorus part over and over and then it would finally click and… yes!! (cue jumping and woohooing!). I miss the kids getting excited about music. I miss knowing they learned about music because of me. And now there’s a boy in MY classroom, teaching MY kids! LOL. (Hope he enjoys all the super girly TPT decorations I just bought my last full year, lol!!)

I really am happy and relieved that I am free from the pain and stress of work. It’s just, sometimes, moments of doubt and sadness sneak up on me, like they did today.

What’s really ironic is that this slice is the opposite of the slice I wrote 3 years ago!

Spring break accessories

The sun is shining. Despite the cool breeze, I can still feel it warm my skin. All around, the sounds of spring are making their seasonal debut.

The kids are laughing and playing together at the park. They climb trees and play tag. This outdoor peacefulness and their smiles are great accessories to our spring break.

Slumber party!

“Mommy is going to sleep in my room tonight!” She tells anyone who will listen to her. “We’re having a sleepover!”

My 5 year old daughter has been asking begging me to sleep over in her room for months now. I blame myself. I think I mentioned it at some point because I heard some other super mom friend did it. What was I thinking? I’m not that good of a mom! But once it was in her brain, it wasn’t leaving.

I told her we would do it over winter break, but that came and went and we both forgot. So we rescheduled for Spring break. And she was not letting us forget! As it’s gotten closer, the frequency of her reminders has become daily. Starting 2 days ago, she began planning out the activities. “We have to have snacks! And games! It wouldn’t be a sleepover without games! And we can do each other’s hair! That’s definitely something you do at a sleepover!”

The day comes and she is bursting at the seams. “I’m so excited for tonight!! I actually want bedtime to come!” As evening rolls around, we clean up her room a bit to make room for a mattress on the floor, which she decides she will sleep on because she wants it to feel different. I’m happy to let her…her bed is more comfy!

We arrange all the blankets and pillows. Gather our snacks and hair accessories. We hug the boys goodnight (they are having a little guy time) and we close ourselves up into her pastel purple room for the night.

We do hair. We play games. We tell stories. (“This is fun, making up these stories!”) We watch a movie, cuddled up on her mattress, with snacks in hand. Then we finish the night with a must of hers… Drawing for each other.

I tuck her in bed and sing her a song. She says, “I usually wait just a little bit before I got to sleep.” but I insist she close her eyes and fall asleep right away, as it’s late. She’s unsure if she can but then a minute later, I can already tell she’s fast asleep.

I’m writing this slice while laying in her bed, her dreaming away next to me 🙂 I probably should go to sleep too. She’ll have me up early in the morning, and I’m not sure how well I’ll sleep.

I blow her a kiss, and we’re both off to sleep.

UPDATE: Slept pretty poorly. Not her fault. Ugh, it’s going to be a long day!

Lollipops

What’s better than a Jolly Rancher? Why, melting it in the oven and turning it into a lollipop, that’s what!

My daughter has been begging to make lollipops for a while now. Well, it’s Spring break, might as well fill the days with fun (and super easy!) activities like this. She arranges them on the cookie sheet, one just a blend of 2 flavors, the other strawberry with a vanilla melt in the middle. We pop them in my brand new toaster oven (that I love!!). She keeps a close eye on them.

“This is kind of boring,” she says as she walks away for a couple minutes. But then she scurries back as I yell, “They’re starting to melt!!”

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When they are finally ready to come out of the oven, we leave them to cool and she continues ask “How long will it take for them to harden???” I assure it won’t take long. And just a few minutes later, we peel them off the foil and voila! Homemade lollipops!

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Fireworks!

Fireworks!

I love fireworks. Like, love them like a little kid, love them. Look at my face during a firework show and you will see childlike awe and wonder.

So you can imagine my glee when I learned of a little extra bonus my house has after we moved in 9 years ago.

Fireworks!

The first time we saw them we thought, that’s odd, what kind of festival are they having on February 11th? Maybe it’s for Valentine’s Day? But then another rando celebration on March 23rd? What’s going on?

But they kept happening. April 17th? May 10th? Another completely arbitrary day? We can see them outside our upstairs windows and also from our driveway. We’ll be sitting on our couch and hear the familiar booming sound, and I go running like a 4 year old who hears the ice cream truck.

I finally learned that the golf club across the street sets them off for some of their weddings. So we get to see a firework show at least once a month. It is awesome. And now that my kids are old enough, they join in on the fun. Unfortunately, during the summer, they go off later, so they are half asleep in their beds, and I suddenly hear from my daughter’s room, “FIREWORKS!!! AHHHH!!!” and then the scampering of little feet.

Last night was a firework night. It’s been a few months. So we were all very excited. We hear it. It takes a second for our brains to register what it is. Then, is it? Is it really? Yes! We ran as fast as our legs could take us up the stairs and crowd ourselves around the window. Little one sits on my lap. Big on sits on my husband’s lap. And we watch our private firework display. It was a great end to a very fun day.

A great day

I have a lot of hard days. Days with pain. Days with stress. Days with more pain. But today was a great day.

I drop my daughter off at school and I now had a couple hours before I had to head off to therapy. I often rest and watch TV or read. But since I’ve been sick all week and then had injections, I’ve been laying around too much! It’s 42 degrees and sunny outside, and I decide it’s time to get outside for a walk! And a walk by myself, even better! It was glorious. I could feel the sun and the fresh air lifting my mood. I loved how I saw little signs of Spring popping up from the ground and on the trees.

Then therapy. It’s really great to be able to go and talk. Talk about anything I need. Talk to someone who has to listen to me, lol. Talk to someone who isn’t expecting me to be invested in what she’s doing or how she’s feeling. It’s all about me. And that feels good and really helps.

After therapy, I was going to pick my daughter up right away, but timing wise, it actually made more sense to wait a bit. So instead, I parked my car in the lot of a forest preserve across the street. I gave myself a view of a stream and pond, rolled the windows down, and turned the car off. I luckily had my book in my car, so I read to the sounds of quiet nature.

When we got home, it was just too nice outside to go in. My daughter wanted to dig for worms. In between helping her, I did some garden cleanup…clearing out all of the dead plants and leaves, etc. Even though, it’s not the same as actually planting flowers or getting to see pretty blooms, I love this part. It is Winter’s grip being loosened. It is Spring poking its head out.

My night ended with my son giving me performances of The Greatest Showman songs.

It was a great day.

Strangely excited about lawn care

Despite not feeling like a functioning adult (as my blog title tells you), I definitely am an adult. Why else would I be strangely excited about hiring a new lawn care service?? Like, giddy!

When we moved into our house 9 years ago, my husband did our fertilizer. It worked okay, but I soon decided I wanted better. And after some research, I figured out that hiring a service wasn’t really much more expensive than doing it ourselves. We hired Green T and our lawn looked much better that first summer. Little greener and fuller. WAY less weeds. I was happy.

But into the second or third year, I realized our yard wasn’t SO awesome. They would come out and spray for weeds and leave big, dead circles in our grass. They tried to tell me it was some kind of fungus or something that did that, but it was totally from their sprayer. I started thinking of getting a new service. But that takes time. Mental energy. Goals. And apparently, I didn’t have any of those things.

Then last year, I get a notice saying that Trugreen bought out Green T. And that’s when things really went downhill. It took weeks for them to come out for a weed service call in between applications. They would come out and say, “I don’t see any weeds” and leave. WTF? One whole side of my lawn was nothing but weeds. And the grass was just generally starting to look like crap.

So finally this year, I worked up the gumption to “quit the bank” (any Friends fans??) and cancel Trugreen. I am now trying a more local company who gets fantastic reviews. And I’m weirdly excited! When can they get started??!! When will I see that new lawn sign with their logo on it in my yard?? When will my yard look fantastic??! All things that a person should not be so excited about. But I am! It also just feels good to have taken care of it. And I think it is also helping me look forward to Spring, warmer weather, flowers, and being able to be outside.