Thursday, April 4, 2013

A Couple Sad Goodbyes

Over the last couple of weeks two people I remember fondly from my childhood summers have passed away.  This has left me saddened but also scrounging up some wonderful memories I had nearly forgotten.

A few weeks ago I was told of the passing of Dr. Mason Romaine.  When I was young, my mother used to clean their house once a week.  She would bring my sister and I along and we would spend our time having tea parties with Dr. and Mrs. Romaine or playing with them or walking across the street and playing on the beach.  Tea parties were our favorite as we would sit and sip hot chocolate and eat little cookies with a true southern lady.  If you are going to learn manners, you should learn them from a southern lady.  True to form, a week after sending my sympathy note to Mrs. Romaine I received a sweet note from her thanking me for my kind words.  That's how manners are done.  Dr. Romaine was a lovely man who lived a very important life and spent 68 years married to his wonderful wife.  How lucky am I to have such sweet childhood memories of him and his wife!

This weekend I learned of another passing which still leaves me in disbelief, my childhood friend Katie lost her mother Lori this past weekend and I am still struggling to comprehend that the lovely lady I knew as a kid is gone.

Nearly all of my memories from summertime as a child involved Katie and her family.  She came to the island during summer vacation and it seemed we spent all of our waking moments together divided between her house, my house, and the beach.  I can remember spending mornings at the beginning of the summer waiting at the end of her driveway to see if she was on this boat, or maybe the next boat, so summer could officially begin with the arrival of my friend.

We spent a lot of our time at the beach, playing on floats or building forts in the rocks.  We played with our dolls, we played dress up with the finds from the rummage sale that our mothers would scrounge up for us.  We had lemonade stands and pooled our earnings to buy penny candy from the Dark Harbor Shop.  We picked berries, we had sleepovers, we drove her brother nuts.  We had fun.

Always, our families were in the background.  Her mom making us lemonade for our lemonade stand or giving us free reign of the kitchen to "cook" whatever berries we discovered in the backyard.  Our moms sitting together in the sun at the beach while we spent hours playing in the sand.  Her mom trying to teach me to swim, tripping on a rock and dumping me into the ocean.

I haven't seen my friend Katie or her mother in years, and it leaves me very sad that Lori is gone.  But I am so very glad that I still have so many memories of all of them.  Not just a few, but summers of them.

"Seashells remind us that every passing life leaves something beautiful behind." 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Leprechaun Hunting

My son has leprechaun fever.  I'm not sure why he has chosen to become obsessed with leprechauns, but he has, and it's kind of hilarious.

This week at daycare a leprechaun snuck into the house and left some sneaky footprints on the kids' snack table and turned the milk for their cheerios green.  Since then, my son has been obsessed with this leprechaun.

I came home Tuesday night after class, when he as supposed to be in bed already, and got dragged upstairs to hear all about the leprechaun.  Ben was very concerned that Ms. Holly needed to catch it fast so it doesn't turn our milk green.  He was also very determined that once this sneaky leprechaun was caught, he was going to make a little bed for it and buy it some green shoes so it would play toys with him.

Yesterday we spent our whole car ride hunting for the leprechaun which, oddly enough, we never spotted.  While I was at work, Ben convinced his Dad to build him a leprechaun trap.  Said trap consisted of a cardboard box propped up with a plate of cheerios underneath.  Apparently, this wasn't enough to please Ben.  He woke up this morning and insisted that Dad's best friend Tim build him a bigger trap.  Good call on Ben's part, since Tim is an engineer and a propped up box and cheerios is a pretty lame trap, even to a three year old.

Since St. Patty's day is this weekend, I've got to admit that I'm dying to buy the kid a box of Lucky Charms to celebrate with.  It has nothing to do with the fact that I haven't had Lucky Charms since I was twelve...nope...nothing to do with that.  I might just have to send this leprechaun a note and ask him to leave a box in the leprechaun trap.  You know...for Ben to enjoy....

Friday, March 1, 2013


It would appear I'm losing control.  To my three year old.

We have reached the phase in which my son thinks he needs to control everything.  Including me.  Sometimes it's kind of funny:

"Mom, I asked you TWO times to move this off my chair.  Mom.  Move it off my chair!"

"Mom.  I don't liiiiike those choices.  Those are not good choices.  I need new choices."

Other times it's annoying:

Half way through a bowl of cereal:


Cries for five minutes, finishes cereal and eats two more with the same damn spoon.

And then there are mornings like this past Monday when I'm fairly confident none of us are going to survive to four:


"We're going to be late, let's go."


There was a lot of yelling, door slamming and temper tantrums.  Not all of them Ben's.  I'm not proud of this.  But it is what it is.

I keep reminding myself that this is a phase.  That he's testing me.  He's trying to get the upper hand.  I'm the grown up and I can handle this.

But let me just tell you.  I don't waaaaaaaannnnnnnnnttttttt tooooooooooo.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Mommy Guilt

It has been a pretty rough week.  What was supposed to start out as a fun weekend with Ben's birthday party, ended up being a quiet weekend of recovery when the little guy woke up Saturday morning with a fever.  He still had fun at his party, and I'm so thankful to everyone that came despite his sickness.  Unfortunately his fever hung around for most of Sunday, but by that evening it was gone and when he woke up Monday he was still fever free.

Unfortunately, he still wasn't feeling better.  He woke up whining and crying because he didn't want to go to daycare.  I knew he didn't feel well, but without a fever, I really hoped he would feel better once he got there and started playing with his friends.  That was the case, for him, but I felt horrible all day.

I've had some bouts with "mommy guilt" when I find myself too busy to play cars with him, or working on nights when he wants me to stay home.  Going back to work, even part time, brought on some mommy guilt.  Monday, I was consumed with mommy guilt all day long.  I knew he didn't feel well, but I took him to daycare anyway.  I should have kept him home for more rest.  But what can you do when you have obligations to work?  When I checked in on him late in the morning I got a good report saying that while he was definitely more mellow than usual, he was still acting normal.  I breathed easier for a while, but it didn't assuage all of my guilt for leaving.

On my way home I got a call saying he wasn't feeling well anymore.  My husband was already on his way to get him, so I knew wouldn't be there too much longer, but I'll admit I drove home as fast as I could.  And I may have cried a little.

The next morning I stayed home with him for the morning.  He still wasn't feeling well, but at least when I dropped him off a daycare for a couple of hours, I knew he was doing ok. The next morning the fever was back and I stayed home with him again in the morning and took him to the doctor.  Poor little guy has a case of bronchitis.

Today we're home together all day.  Watching cartoons, reading books and hopefully recuperating.  I wish we could do this everyday.  But we can't.  And that's where mommy guilt comes in.  It sucks, and I hate it, but I have a sneaky suspicion it's just a part of motherhood that I'm going to have to get used to.  I need to work.  He needs to play with friends at daycare.  This isn't going to be the last time I'll feel guilty about not being there for him, but at least I've survived this round, and hopefully he won't be getting sick again any time soon.

I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that he feels better by Sunday since it looks like we're in for a massive blizzard this weekend.  I'm pretty sure our yard is going to need a snowman, or two, and definitely a fort...

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Happy Wednesday!

I really thought January would be a quiet month.  I was very, very wrong.  Both jobs have been busier than I expected and I've piled on extra this month with my work from home job, since I had to prepare tax documents and will now be starting year end journal entries....which haven't been done for the past three or four years.   Busy, busy!  School started last night, just one class this semester due to the almost impossible task of scheduling classes around two jobs and a three year old.

Did I say three year old?  Yup, Ben turns three next week and I'm still in shock at how fast this has happened.  But then when I think about the fact that Jake turned TWENTY last week I can't help but be overwhelmed at how fast time goes.  TWENTY.  Ugh. 

Fortunately twenty year old children don't require elaborate birthday parties.  In fact, this year Jake asked for a pie instead of a cake, so it was a very low key birthday.  Phew.  It gives me time to gear up for what I hope will be a pretty sweet "Jake and the Neverland Pirates" birthday for Ben next weekend.  Spoiler:  I'm planning on making a pirate ship birthday cake.  Because I AM super mom....

Since I've only managed to steal a few minutes this morning to write, I'm going to have to keep this short.  I will share a pretty hilarious Ben story though.

Last week Ben and I were leaving the house, I was going to work in Portland and he was off to daycare.  As we were walking out the door he turned to me a said, "Mom!  You forgot your work cape!"  And I said, "My work cape?"  "Yeah Mom, you're work cape."  So I looked over at the counter and saw the apron I wear to waitress laying on the counter.  "My apron?"  "Yeah mom!  You're work cape."

I had to giggle at that one....

Thursday, January 3, 2013

New Year: New Resolutions...sorta...

Happy New Year!

Ok, I know, I'm a bit late, my resolution this year should probably be to be a bit more timely, but oh well.

Last year I spent a lot of time thinking about my resolutions.  I set some goals for myself, things I wanted to do, milestones I wanted to reach...and I'm proud to say I met none of them.

Am I disappointed?  Nope.  Because 2012 brought a lot of unexpected things with it that I am just as pleased with!

My first goal for 2012 was to read 100 books, including 5 Jane Austen and 5 non-fiction.  If you count text books, I think I reached the non-fiction goal.  As for Austen, I read three.  Which I don't think is bad at all!  It's Jane Austen for Pete's sake!  As for reaching 100 books, I didn't quite make it.  I read 65 books.  It's still a pretty impressive number!  Especially when you consider that once school started in September I completely gave up reading for pleasure!

My other goal for 2012 was to write more.  Definite fail on that one.  I think I wrote less.  And I really wanted to force myself to do some more creative writing, which did not happen at all.  Oops.  I really have no excuses for that.  I could have done more writing, I just didn't. 

Despite not meeting any of my 2012 goals, it was still an excellent year!  When the year started I was a stay at home mom, home everyday with Ben, working a couple evenings a week.  A couple months into the year I started working during the day one day a week and I put Ben in daycare.  I am so glad I did!  Ben has learned so much from daycare.  He gets along well with others, he communicates well and he's learned to be caring and compassionate towards his friends.  I can tell because he likes to tell me about how much he likes them all and how he loves his best friends.  His current best friend is a one year old little girl, so I'm pretty sure he's a gentle and caring friend.

When the year began we were struggling financially and still had the IRS repercussions of the short sale we did with our house in Limerick hanging over our heads.  What a relief it was to get that taken care of and discover that we had enough money saved up to pay our taxes!  Financially, that was a turning point for us. 

2012 also brought with it my decision to go back to school and work on an Associates in Accounting.  After doing basic bookkeeping for years, I decided that I wanted to increase my knowledge so I could maybe someday start a job in that field.  At about the same time I decided I wanted to go back to school, I was offered an entry level position in an accounting department.  It was a pretty good sign that I was on the right path and I started my new job at the beginning of the summer and have enjoyed being back in the work place, even on a part time basis.  School started in September and while it was definitely more challenging than I anticipated, I survived, with a 4.0 GPA to boot!

2012 also brought an awesome visit with my sister who came home for Utah for a week, and (almost) monthly visits to the island to visit my dad and stepmother. 

As you can see, 2012 was busy and filled with changes, which is likely why I didn't meet any of my goals for 2012.  But I'm really quite ok with that.

So, since 2013 is here now I should be setting new goals for myself, but unlike last year, I'm not going to set goals in terms of numbers or even specific things I want to do.  My goal for 2013 is to go with the flow.  I want to challenge myself to keep going with school, keep working at both of my jobs, keep reading and keep start writing.  But I also want to keep making time for my family and making memories with my son.  So my goal for 2013 will simply be to do the best I can at doing everything.  And I think that's a pretty good goal.

Bring It On 2013!!