First off, I hope everyone is doing well. If you keep up with my Facebooks posts you'll know that Dev, B and I recently returned from bringing our rat terrier Kit to the vet. She cut herself pretty bad on our woodland adventure yesterday. It had been a partly cloudy day, but knowing today was going to be rain, rain and more rain, the younger boys, Kit and I went to a park in the making.
A park in the making is most definitely what it is! It has one pavilion, a porta potty and lots of mowed grass. Right now the trails aren't really trails so we spent most of our time walking through the woods. B had one bumpy ride in the padded seat of our all terrain wagon. He was OK with it, laughing most of the way. We were there for a geocache, I am addicted, but also just a walk in the woods with colors all around us and dried up, crunchy leaves on the ground. So crunchy, Dev and I had to stop walking so we could hear ourselves speak! The more and more I hunt for these things, the more I dislike caches in the woods! Especially when there is no hint given! With the cloudy skies and leaves still on the trees, my GPS was slow to update. A find or no find, we enjoyed our time on that walk and Kit seemed fine, appearing from all sides, keeping us in sight, although she could definitely locate where we were by sound!
Monday started off rough. While my morning coffee was brewing I turned on my computer and as I sat down to check my email I heard a click and then the sound of a machine humming down to silence. A push of the button on the tower front and a flick of the switch at the back did nothing, like I knew it wouldn't. I called for my hubby who was thirty seconds away from leaving for work and he confirmed with an annoying smirk that, Yup, your power supply is capoot and I'm going out of town for two days, ha, ha, ha!
We have another computer in the house, the one I'm currently typing on (feel free to suggest Tim get me a laptop). He built it for my online store use and I'm not allowed to have any fun on it.
So, I took my coffee down here in the finished basement where it's at least 10 degrees cooler. In the summer it's a great place to be, not so much so during the colder months. I actually did have some store work to do, so I turned the power on, sat down here and reached for my wireless mouse...but it was gone. Bryce loves to come here and spin in my desk chair. Wide, soft and with raised arms to keep him from falling off, he crawls into it and kicks off my desk, spinning so fast my stomach turns sometimes just watching him. In his excitement, he often kicks the mouse onto the floor or once I found it upstairs. It wasn't under the table, it wasn't upstairs and I spent a good 30 minutes looking for it. Finally I gave up and came back down here and tried to update my FB status using the Tab button. Oh, that was time consuming and so very annoying.
After suffering through that, I decided to continue to try and find it under more and saw how dusty and dirty my house is. I haven't done an in depth cleaning since the spring and realizing that was like sitting all healthy in a doctor's office during flu season. It's something I don't do because I'd probably get sick. So, like the flu bug, I tend to avoid such situations where I might catch myself the cleaning bug, but there are times that it can't be helped and looking for that computer mouse was the start of one of those times!
Since I was searching in the family room, I started the fight there. Tim had already moved the board games and the like from the fireplace mantle to Hunter's closet. With that done, the room already looked less cluttered. I continued by boxing up the old VHS and cassette tapes we hadn't used in years and also packed away the empty music CD cases. I cleaned up the DVD collection, de-cluttered the top of the big screen, wiped down the fireplace and surrounding area, moved in and out some toys between there and the boys' bedrooms. There aren't a lot of rooms in my house I can rearrange, but the family room is one of them so I moved the couch and treadmill around
Oh, the couch. I hadn't cleaned underneath the couch since the spring. My boys play in this room a lot. They jump up and down on that couch, they eat on that couch.... I wasn't quite sure I wanted to look under that couch. With a quick breath I toughened my You're already half way resolve and lifted the back of the couch forward and over onto itself. Hmmm. I won't go into all that was under there, but three kids and six months time....Yeah. I grabbed two Wal-Mart bags, one for garbage and one for salvageable items, and got into it. During this time, both Devin and Bryce were upstairs, keeping themselves occupied with just a little direction from me. Each time I went upstairs to check on them I switched off all the lights Bryce had turned on. Returning back downstairs it was a good bet I'd be switching them off again. Then suddenly, as I start to sort thru all that mess underneath the couch, Bryce appears and wants the intact but grimy Goldfish cracker underneath a dryer sheet and demands the hair balled and melted to the floor sucker. I had to carry him kicking and screaming from the room and bribe him with Blue's Clue's and a cookie.
I finally got everything separated and vacuumed up the mess and put the couch back down. Cleaning goes faster when you listen to music. That day, however, I turned on a recorded episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show I had saved. On it was the story of a stay at home mom who had survived a terrible plane crash but was horribly burned and scarred. It was a terrifying story of her struggle and survival while her family admits to considering taking her off life support during her three month, medically induced coma. My reason for bringing this up is this: Oprah had gotten a letter from another stay at home mom who wrote about being bored and mostly bothered by being at home with her kids all day. Oprah not only invited this woman onto her show, but asked her to spend the day with the burned stay at home mom and then come meet her, Oprah and talk about the experience on TV.
The mom who didn't appreciate the opportunity that staying at home brings a parent, the joys of seeing her children grow, of hugging and holding them whenever they needed to be, was humbled. She didn't see for herself, but she heard from the burned mama's own lips how her children 9, 7 and 4, were scared of their own mama's appearance and wouldn't go near her for weeks. She also heard of the grief and agony the burned mama's husband had for his wife as she lay covered in so many bandages that only her red painted toenails showed. She saw firsthand her new mama friend struggling behind her smile as she went through seemingly mundane tasks like making her kids breakfast and taking them to the park. This mama has to wear rubber gloves on her hands to give her children a bath and still, months after her accident, can't pick them up and out of the tub.
I don't mean to stand up on any soapbox for stay at home mom's. I am proud to be one, but I have to admit that I sometimes have the same feelings as my fellow stay at homer did when she wrote that letter to Oprah. For some reason or another, I decided to watch that episode instead of listening to music while I cleaned. I would have gotten the job done faster, but instead I cleaned, I listened and I appreciated.
But then I went back upstairs. Devin was screaming down at me how thirsty he was and that I needed to get him a drink. My once soft spoken and well mannered three year old had turned into a bossy and bratty four year old. I took the straw bottle he was shaking in my face and asked him to come into the kitchen with me. Once there, I implemented some tough love. With Devin watching me, I took his much loved blue straw bottle and I dropped it right into the garbage. He immediately started crying and when he settled down, I pulled it out, showed it to him and said that was exactly how I felt when he behaves the way he does when he wants something. What I did had been spontaneous and as he broke into tears I thought, Oh, my gosh! What have I done?? I have talked and talked about this all before and didn't want to say it again right then. Actions can speak louder than words and it looks like my possible overreaction, depending on your point of view, worked. Devin is using Please and Thank you's once again!
One more thing I'd like to add.... When Tim cleaned the games off the mantle downstairs and put them on the top shelf of Hunter's closet, he found something surprising. For some time now, Hunter has been doing great with his toileting habits, or so we thought. Apparently he's not. He's been hiding his accidents in a box on that shelf in his closet. I haven't noticed up till now because Hunter keeps the closet door shut and the bedroom door as well to keep Bryce out of there. Hunter hoards small items that are still a possible choking hazard to his little brother and they are all over the bedroom. So, it's back to putting Hunter on a schedule with certain must do's to get this back on track.
Thanks for reading all this and I hope it gives you a little insight into our lives! :) I do have pictures to share and hopefully can get them up for you to see when I get my other computer back.
Till I type again, take care!