August 28, 2012


After a pleasant day at work, let me just tell you how the first hour home has gone:

4:59--driving down our street with Hope, I pass the Ice Cream truck. As I pull into the driveway, Mr. Ice Cream Man turns the corner to go around the block behind ours.

5:00--enter house.  Grant is eating mini pepperonis as his 'supper' because he was too lazy to heat up the Tuna Helper Tetrazzini that only HE likes.  He needs to eat because a friend's dad is picking him up in 20 minutes to take him to football practice.  I remind him of this, and I ask him if his football gear is packed up yet (we covered this in my phone call to him at 4:10 today). 

Grant: "You never told me to get my stuff together!"
Me: "What the hell, Grant?? Yes, I did!" Then I repeat verbatim what I said on the phone. Grant sulks but gathers his gear and gets to the tetrazzini.

5:02--find Ross in the living room surrounded by his pile of piggy bank nickels and pennies, frantically trying to gather money for the Ice Cream Truck.  I don't have ANY cash, so I quickly help him count out $2 for the overpriced spongebob ice cream treat, and then walk him part way down the block to try to find said truck. In my mind I silently hope against hope he finds it; we've been through this routine three other times this summer and that damn truck always disappears on us.

5:03--try to get dinner started, but truly, Hope and I just snack on Pringles and sour cream while Grant eats.  Go to the bathroom. 

5:10--Ross walks back in, stomps to the living room sofa, and buries his head in a blanket.  He's sobbing. He could hear the truck but couldn't find it until he saw it turn four blocks away.  I try to console him and ask him if he wants me to come out to look with him.  He agrees, and Hope insists on coming. This leaves Grant alone, and he absolutely HATES being alone. I tell him he has to stay; friend's dad will be here any minute to pick him up.

5:15--Ross, Hope, and I walk two blocks east.  We hear snippets of Mr. Ice Cream man's song playing, but not consistently. It's like the wind wafts it to our ears for a few seconds and then it fades away. We give up after a few minutes, and Ross is devastated. That is to say, his is thoroughly angry.  I see friend's dad pull into our driveway, so I jog back home to meet him and say goodbye to Grant.  This is when Ross starts calling me a meanie. 

5:20--back in the house. I have told Ross I will take them to Tutti Frutti after supper so we can have some frozen yogurt instead. Hope is standing on her barstool at the sink washing her hands.  Then--"Mommy, I'm peeing!"  Hope grimaces, screams, and stands there peeing all over the stool, her clothes, into her tennis shoes and onto the rug by the sink. I grab her and carry her to the bathroom, but not before urine drips onto my feet and sandals. We peel off her underwear and (new) skirt, I wipe her down, and reassure her (with a teeny bit of edge to my voice) that it's okay. Accidents happen. Next time, don't wait to go--go as soon as you feel the urge.

I head back into the kitchen to absorb the pee and then scrub the barstool. Ross comes to the kitchen counter: "Hey, where's my Doritos?!" he scolds.  I ate the three Doritos sitting there when I first got home. I tell him so and apologize, and he starts to scream-cry.  And THAT, ladies and gentlemen, is when                                          
                                                                    I   lose   it.

I scream back at Ross. He screams back and me (this kid doesn't back down). We scream at each other.  "I am NOT a meanie! I think I am pretty nice to try to find the ice cream truck, clean up pee, feed the dog, and try to get dinner on the table!"  Oh, the indignance is flowing now. "I'm working really hard around here, and it hurts my feelings when you call me a meanie!"

Ross:  "I worked really hard all day too, Mom!  I worked harder than you did!"

And so it goes.  I shut up; Ross quiets down. I heat up some stupid fish sticks and feed the kids. Then I unload the dishwasher, feed the dog, and apologize to Ross for yelling.  I decide I'm not eating supper; I'm just going to have a healthy (read: large) serving of Tutti Frutti yogurt. 

6:00--Hope and Ross are finishing dinner. I take out the garbage. And guess what's coming down the street?  The goddamn ice cream truck.


I come back in and close the door. Miraculously, neither child hears it.  As I finish this post, Ross heads outside to play...and he hears it.  He opts for Tutti Frutti.

Thank God.

July 28, 2012


It's Saturday afternoon, and both Ross and Hope have a friend over to play.  Hope and J are happily listening to books on tape, and Ross and R are playing baseball outside.  Grant is at N's house.  Grant was supposed to stay overnight last night, but I got a call at midnight from Grant saying he wanted to come home.  Since Kris isn't here, I told Grant I wasn't able to leave the house to pick him up, so N's dad very graciously brought him home.  As the got out of the car, dad said, "Don't worry about it Grant, this happens a lot.  Just call or text me whenever you wake up--6, 7, whenever--and I'll come and get you so we can all have pancakes for breakfast."  How awesome is that? True to his word, N's dad came to pick up Grant when we called (after 8) and Grant has been over there ever since.  I am so grateful for this family, and for all my kids' friends, for being willing to have the kids over once in a while to play. I'm also glad we have two little friends at our house today, so we can reciprocate.  I just pulled chocolate chip cookies out of the oven for a snack.  It's a good day.

July 20, 2012


It's 12:26AM and I should be in bed asleep.  I've noticed that when Kris isn't here, I tend to stay up later. I think it's my way of capturing some 'me time' after the kids finally go to sleep.  Tonight, mom took us out to dinner after Ross's T-ball game, so we didn't get home until toward 8:00.  I let Hope play in the tub a long time while the boys played Minecraft on my ipad, and I finally folded two baskets of laundry that had been sitting in the hallway for a full week.  After everyone was squeaky clean, I let the kids start a movie so I could go downstairs and use the elliptical trainer for a bit.  It felt so good to MOVE.  I've been experiencing a lot of lower back pain this summer, and I think it's because I'm sitting so much--at baseball games, tball games, swimming lessons, and in the car.  However, this late evening workout meant that I didn't tuck everyone in until 10:30!  I've showered, read, snacked, checked email, and here I am, still awake.  At least we don't have to get up too early tomorrow.  'night, all.

July 19, 2012

Talent Show

Well, we have survived one month without daddy and we're doing pretty well. We miss him terribly, but we get to talk to him every day. Sometimes we also skype or facetime. I think that's harder for Kris, though. He smiles at us, but his eyes look sad.  We're sending him a carepackage for his birthday--complete with his fave Special K bars--as soon as I can find a box big enough to send it! 

The kids have been super busy with their summer activities, and I've spent more time shuttling them back and forth than I care to think about.  Last night, instead of vegging out on the couch (again), we went to the Fargo downtown library. I love that place--it's so pretty inside, and the kids always find books, dvds, and wii games to entertain us all. When we got there, we stumbled upon a kids' talent show that was in progress. After we watched one act, I asked Grant if he wanted to sneak out to go look for books, fully expecting him to say yes.  To my surprise, he vigorously shook his head no. He, Ross, and Hope all wanted to stay to watch the talent show.  I was secretly proud of my crew for setting their original plans aside to see what other kids would perform on the little stage. Turns out that the daughter of one of my friends was in the show (although we missed her number), so we ended up sitting with them for the second half of the show.  Grant saw a boy his age perform some impressive yo-yo tricks, and we all enjoyed the dancing and singing.

We topped off the night with an ice cream from DQ, and there was very little bickering, which was a treat for me!

June 19, 2012

Well, it's been two years since I posted anything, and during that time I had no desire to write. Life just gets busier and busier, and I quit blogging when it began to feel like one more thing I had get done just to cross off my 'to do' list. I can't really explain what's changed; maybe it's just that with the beginning of summer I've had a chance to breathe...which is strange, because this summer is going to be very busy with kids' activities.

Grant is 10 now, and he's in Little League. They have double-headers every Sunday afternoon. Ross is 6 and in T-ball, which plays twice a week in the evenings. Both boys are also starting the Lil' Bruins football camp this week, and Ross has already finished vacation bible school. Grant is taking golf lessons through Fargo Parks, and Ross will be going to a basketball camp later this summer. What about Hope? Well, she's 4 now, and she loved swimming lessons this spring, so I need to enroll her (and the boys) in another session very soon.

The sad news is that Kris has to go to another Officers' Training School for the Air Guard this summer--in Orlando, FL. He leaves tomorrow, and won't be home until September 15. :( We will miss him SO MUCH, but I think he'll miss us even more--he won't be around to enjoy all the kids' activities and just tool around the house all summer. He'll also miss 24 days of his next school year. So--between kids' activities and going in to work a few days a week, it's going to be a balancing act.