The magical month of July!!

How come the magical and arguably the best month of summer July,no school; end OR start, no stress, (wait was the “no stress” part before having children!?) always go so fast?. It races away in a haze.

Our July doesn’t start great with illness and almost unbearable heat. We are trying to save by not turning on the AC as much in the house but with our many large windows framing the family and living room it creates a vacuum of heat and you can hardly breathe. The kids have swimming three days a week (and are making great advances-when they listen to the swim instructor that is) and no camps. I signed my daughter up for dance Friday mornings and have the nanny come entertain my oldest (or is it the other way around?!).

I’m keeping baby girl out of the pool the first week due to some “diaper issues” (those swim diapers are not really built for holding anything, now are they) and I’m trying to save our pool (and myself from a major clean up) and my daughter from embarrassment (she totally wouldn’t care) even though she is feeling better. She is very mad that brother gets to swim and very curious about the swim instructor. We (meaning my daughter) watch brother every lesson in full on swim gear even though only toes (and feet) can go in the pool. Every time my son needs to work towards a promise of a favorite thing in order to listen to instructions (since he doesn’t like most food the options are limited and pretty much narrowed down to “Subway” , frozen yoghurt (ice cream) or a cookie at Starbucks (don’t judge). I also promised him a small toy if he will swim by the end of the four weeks. His listening skills are improved by constant reminders but he tends to forget very frequently and has been known to do “his own thing”. The instructor who apparently used to be an elite swimmer gets very frustrated-seemingly much better at swimming than dealing with small kids.

All the lessons means less social time outside of the house, especially if you add soccer Mondays and dance Fridays but we are still able to steal some ice cream dates with close friends. By the end of that first week the kids are all feeling like themselves again and I am beyond relieved to be out of the bad diapers/added laundry (gross) trenches!

I finally think the leaking of various body fluids (I know major yuck! …oddly enough less so if you are a parent of little kids…or maybe not so odd considering the frequency of said fluids..) is over. I venture out to Target. With the oldest (still recovering somewhat) safely at home with daddy (watching football) , I bring the other two.

Since I am the youngest’s walking, talking food source (and since hubby is not quite comfortable with him yet) he is coming too!
He is all smiles so it clearly (almost…eh not fully) make up for the two year old’s whining.

I know she has been sick and all and that she is tired but come on…everything is “no”.
Are you hungry, tired, need diaper change, hug…new shoes? No, no, no!
She is in full on 2 year mode, and of course everything I do is wrong-and she complains about it-loudly!!

I’m barely hanging on as I scroll down my “iPhone reminder list” of stuff we really need (and you know a few… occasional extras) as my toddler is reduced to tears after not getting a new “Peppa Pig” toy! In my head I mentally repeat “avoid the toy aisle…always always avoid the toy aisle…even if it means getting creative with diversion strategies and round about ways to get to the things you want. Even if you need something in the aisle next to the toys- do not, I repeat, do NOT pass them!!”
No shortcuts parents-this is serious mental planning. Think I should suck it up and take the whining, crying, melt down, “tantruming”?
Let me tell you many of time-I have and let’s just say it’s so not worth it, but today she spied this toy and being in the mood she is in; its all over…

I briefly distract her with some new shiny shoes but let’s face it- they are no Peppa pig’s dream house substitute…
At least the full on drama tears have subsided into heavy sobs and violent hiccups, not (barely) facing this brave mama! But here we are back to full on tantrum tears (aren’t they the most fun “people are officially starring and judging” kind”). Wait, what the heck happened now???
Oh, I see who was the complete idiot putting “Doc McStuffin’s” Lego set amongst the shoes huh, huh??

It’s clearly time to escape this place before my perfect little angel of a baby boy wakes up too- not so perfect…and far from an angel.

It’s Sunday-therefore all lines are long. When we are up next and I think we made it, guess who wakes up…?

The not so sympathetic cashier ring up my items painfully slow as both my kiddos wail, scream, yell and cry in a potpourri of scorned, disappointed, ignored, hurtful (as well as hungry) emotions. They are clearly being unfairly treated (according to everyone but me. This is when the cashier holds up a pink and purple Peppa Pig set (well…you know…) with some suspicious brown stains on them. I match her disgusted look at first genuinely confused …until I look down at the cart…and the seat occupied by my daughter…

 

 

Pool Parties and Preschool Graduations

The last day of preschool approaches and the “class moms” (including the one that called me rude about a year ago) have organized a graduation party. I was able to get back into their good graces by smiling more (no more bitchy resting face-it IS a thing people!) and by being more chatty, engaged and interested (even though I’m so not..). I got mixed results, but one being, the other moms at least greeted me and would even throw out a random question here and there, and take some interest in my pregnancy and then newborn (not AS interesting since labor went flawlessly…am I’m being mean and bitter now…?) I did it all for darling son of course. But then said “darling son” goes and tells his entire class (12 boys and two girls) about his birthday party and that they are naturally invited each and everyone of them!…except they are not, not one of them. He has apparently told them all the details of his Pirate Pool Party so that the next time his teacher (miss butterfly in the butterfly class…) tells me I’m such and angel for inviting the whole, entire class! (Yep…angel!!!) and the class mom’s twin boys are dancing and screaming “pool party, pool party, pool party” jumping up and down with glee!
I try to get a word in but am very unsuccessful. After the fact – meaning AFTER the party where not one of his preschool class friends attended/were invited (WHAT? I’m not friends with these parents, I don’t know them whatsoever, we have just moved…into another community and our son is moving on to another school in another part of town in the fall…and truly we have enough with a large family and his little Swedish friends! Wait…are you still judging??) I lamely tried to tell the class mom and the teacher as said son said he had the best party EVER (well, that is just awesome…but…) that it was mostly just close family…
“Yes mom was worried because SOO many people were invited so we needed TONS of food, two cakes and lots of stuff…we had like 50 guests…” Ooookay!
Back on the s*it list I’ll tell you!

Our baby boy is already seven weeks and almost two months old, where did the time go? My oldest is now graduating from preschool which I guess it’s pretty big! I can’t believe he starts school next year (even if it’s only kindergarten, we didn’t think he was ready but he has matured so much and has so much language now, maybe it’s just his parents who aren’t ready…). Big boy wears a cap and gown (even if the gown is just a small white sheet…or hmm table cloth, with a hole for the head). First ceremony of many, it’s a little silly I know but I actually like this kind of silly, I like how Americans embrace celebrations and (sometimes) go over the top, and as I look around the church at this, my sons preschool graduation, I sob with the best of them (to my defense you not only get extra emotional while pregnant but also while breastfeeding!…google it! The struggle is real). The whole family dresses up so nicely and we are immensely proud of our boy-even if he does keep his head down, starring at the ground both as he walks in and out, shouts in the microphone and keeps asking his teacher what he is suppose to say (instead if answering questions about his favorite things to do at preschool etc ” WHAT DO I LIKE AGAIN?” .

This preschool graduation party at a nearby park went “so-so” if you know what I mean. I was “politely” told not to breastfeed so close to the kids, completely ignored after having answered the question where our son would attend kindergarten, and got many eye rolls for various things. I even overheard some moms taking behind my back about how I think I am “all that” “, so catty and also so not true!

I wouldn’t even care (I truly evolved in that department…from caring what EVERYONE thought…) if it didn’t affect my son. Even kids this young pick up on these things…
I even have the audacity to ask one of the moms to keep an eye on my oldest while I change a particularly bad toddler diaper in the park’s bad excuse for a restroom while my infant hangs low from the baby carrier as I try to wipe and change his sister (not the easiest task mind you). Even though my 5-year old is in the same spot where I left him (unfortunately being a little rough with other boys, at least they are being rough right back) I still get more eye rolls.

As we leave the class mom with her mom pose yell out that they will probably never see us again now that we moved on to (dripping with sarcasm here) “bigger and better things”…
If my get away was smooth it might have been a good wrap up, but of course I have to stump my big toe on a picnic table (it freaking hurt) and then as I drive away I go completely over the high curb with my big new SUV…(very smooth)  Oh well, the kids thought it was cool (even if I almost had a heart attack and thought I hit something at the loud thump)…

We have such a long, fun summer planned ahead. Even if I know it will be a lot with a newborn and my husband’s busy, hectic work schedule meaning I will be alone with all three kids a lot, I know we will enjoy having those special moments together..

Sisterly Love and Adulthood

Last week we made (the long overdue) trip to see my little sister (in my eyes she is still 15…or more like 5…but she is not anymore..). So much has happened in her life lately and is seems like I’m missing so much. Actually we are missing so much in each other’s lives and I can’t help feeling sad about it. I mean I know that is what happens and that its natural and even a normal, healthy progression of life but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.

We were once so close and I now treasure those years that we both took for granted, looking back we seemed to have it all but of course we were then too young and dumb to realize that. We grew up close but with 4 and a half years between us, she was always so much younger. In our twenties however the gap wasn’t so big and we started enjoying the same things.

The moment my sister decided to extend her summer trip in the sun visiting me to actually starting school here and moving in with me was one of my luckiest! We had years of fun, bonding time that neither one of us will ever forget. Sure it was the heartaches and the lack of money and the exams and some hardcore studying (partying) and numerous disappointments but overall it was our years in paradise. Basically no responsibilities, we were in our prime, pretty, blonde, smart, tanned, carefree and overall happy. Our biggest problems included “when will that cute guy call?” “where should we go out tonight?” “how to ace the next test”, “what movie should we watch?” “this dress or that one?” and “what to eat for dinner?”

It’s not like we just fluttered around supported and without ambition and goals, we were both in school full time and we both worked having rent and bills and “hobbies” to pay for (with tremendous help from our parents of course). How lucky were we to have each other? Sisters who didn’t only love each other because we were family, but honestly best friends! We seriously were almost always on the same page and got along better than anyone could or would have expected. We made new friends, bought and sold cars, saved up for special shopping trips, spent holidays in a foreign country away from the rest of our family, lived on little, cooked for each other and helped each other out with everything from school work to nannying to being the “designated driver”.

I went from completing my Masters program to starting my journey towards becoming a doctor of psychology while my sister worked on completing her bachelor degree in business by both working at the school and nannying. I went from nannying to internships to actually small but legit psychology jobs. We shared everything from food to jobs to laughs and most importantly friendship (and in some cases boys… kidding…sort of…).

Now we have been a part for well over five years first surviving her moving back to Sweden for a while and then to a completely different state- very far away while I met my man (had to stay for this one…) here and put down roots-becoming an American myself and everything!

My sister has been here of course but when you work and is a horse and dog mommy (read that right: my sister is not a horse…) you have REAL responsibilities you all of a sudden can’t ignore, it gets more difficult to leave your life for constant trips back and forth. When you get married, get a house, a dog and kid(s) – forget about it. We haven’t missed the huge stuff like her moving into a new house, my firstborn’s homecoming, my bed rest as well as random celebrations of Christmas and birthdays but it’s not the same as seeing each other and being there for each other every single day!

I get sad when I know I’m about to miss some crucial milestones in her life (me being older I know I pretty much have the big ones out of the way!) I was devastated that it took us a year to introduce my sister to my baby daughter… but I know that is life. As an adult you have to work and be responsible and you can’t just drop everything at the drop of a hat. I appreciate my adult life, I really do(wouldn’t change it for the world) and as a big sister, I’m immensely proud of hers!

I’ve always felt some responsibility in being the older sister and before I had kids (and even now I must admit) I worry about my little sister a lot, and I think about her and I naturally only want what is best for her! I can’t believe she made herself into the strong, ambitious and beautiful woman that she is today. Quite the careers lady with a horse and a dog to take care of, a house and a huge white truck!

She had planned an amazing stay for us in one of  the coziest and most charming little village part of her big city, where she now lives. With boat and bus tours for the kids downtown, amazing restaurants, yummy ice cream and treats and endless entertainment. We really, truly had a wonderful time (even the kids “semi” behaved. Me and my husband joked that a couple of days are plenty and very much enough with our kids- maybe you will even still like them at the end of the stay!).
The constant diaper changes (and blow-outs), car seats and strollers, wants and needs, potty breaks (and potty humor), picky eating, toys and tantrums wear you down after a while (but it’s good practice guys!)

Asking my little sister if she was ready for babies (and don’t you just love mine!!? – as they were running like crazy at a rather fancy restaurant) she looked at me with a (very) hesitant look, taking her time to answer…
– well maybe, I think….it’s different when you have your own!

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I just hope I can be there for her now as she embarks on the journey of “real” adulthood and all the huge and great milestones that lay ahead!

Love you Sis!

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