Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Knock Knock

Here are a few of Summer's latest "knock knock" jokes.  Enjoy!
Knock knock.
Who's there?
Banana.
Banana who?  (Repeat about 6-7 times...)
I said "banana" soooooo many times!  Because...I'm telling a joke.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Stick.
Stick who?
There was a stick on a tree... and it fell down on somebody's head.  And he said, "Ouch, my head!"  And the stick's feelings got hurt.

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Bob.
Bob who?
Bob, Bob, black sheep has a runny nose.  Yes sir, yes sir, three bags full!
That song has a completely different meaning to me now.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Not Quite Rock Bottom...But Close.

2014 has gotten off to a rocky start for us.  It began with the stomach flu, immediately followed by head colds.  For the entire month of January, someone was sick.  My days were spent wiping noses, applying Vicks vapor rub, and refilling our trusty cool mist humidifier.
In addition to sickness, we experienced bone chilling weather.  When it wasn't bitter cold, we were getting dumped on with snow.  Since Christmas break, Kylie hasn't had a single full week of school because of snow days or 2-hour delays.  The tiny chip in my windshield spread to a long, jagged crack overnight.  And--get this--it can't be repaired until the weather is above freezing.

Another side effect of the cold weather is trouble with our washing machine.  The hook-up happens to be attached to the exterior wall of our town home, so when we experience sub-zero temperatures, the pipe freezes.  Fortunately, that's the only problem area, but it sure throws a wrench in things when you have a mountain of laundry to do and there are only single-digit temps in sight.

Josh's job has also taken an interesting turn.  His boss {who was amazing} recently left the company to care for his ill father.  Many of his responsibilities have fallen on Josh and he's really feeling the pressure.  His peers aren't thrilled about the new changes and that's been pretty obvious...

That's enough, right?

Apparently not.

Yesterday I discovered that Kylie had lice.  Lice!  It's been going around at her school but I never thought in a million years that she would ever catch it.  I mean, we bathe regularly, wear freshly laundered clothes, and keep our house tidy.  We're very clean people!

It doesn't matter.

As I chopped my daughter's hair and spent hours combing through it, I felt like I had reached the lowest of all lows.

Wrong again.

The very first thing I did this morning was test my washing machine which, of course, didn't work.  I trekked to a neighboring apartment building and began a load of coats because I knew we'd be making a trip to the laundromat later.  I gathered up 5 HUGE loads of laundry, stuffed them in garbage bags, and loaded up the van.  Despite the fact that the building was not heated {what????} and I had all 3 kids with me, things actually went very smoothly.... until I was getting ready to leave.
Jackson spit up everywhere and was screaming.  Kylie and Summer were playing tug-of-war with the iPad and arguing loudly about whose turn it was to play with it.  Meanwhile, I scrambled to fold my "delicates", feeling incredibly overwhelmed by the other 4 loads of still-damp laundry piled on the table.  

Next came a moment that I'm not proud of at all.

As the girls began to scream at each other, I yanked the iPad away, not realizing that Summer was still tightly holding onto it.  She fell onto the floor and burst into tears.  I was just as embarrassed by my behavior as my kids' so I began shoving clothes into trash bags {classy, I know} so we could get the heck outta there.

Just then, a woman came over and asked if she could help me carry the bags to my van.  I'm sure there were daggers in my eyes as I told her no because she immediately began to walk away.  

But then she came back my direction and asked in a quieter voice, "Are you sure?"

I almost burst into tears right then to a complete stranger.  I wanted to tell her that I needed SO much help, and not just with my laundry.  Instead, I turned her down a second time, strapped my kids in the van, loaded up my laundry basket and 5 trash bags of damp laundry and drove home. 

Enter my new traveling companion: humility.

In that moment, I realized that my pride was as good as gone.  I was driving in a 10-year-old minivan with a cracked windshield and 5 garbage bags of laundry in the back... thanks to a bout of lice.

My day got even better.

The girls had dentist appointments which, thankfully, went quickly but not exactly smoothly.  Summer kept getting in and out of her chair during the cleaning.  I wasn't much help because Jackson was demanding attention.  At the end of the appointment, the girls received a token that they could use to get a toy from a machine.  Kylie began to cry because the machine ate her token... and the people at the front desk didn't offer her another one.  And then Summer complained that her toy wasn't the one she wanted.  We left the office with both girls in tears... but cavity-free :)

I then had another realization: my life was far from rock bottom.

Don't ask me why that realization hit when it did.  Let's be honest; it was a pretty crap day.  But as I looked back at who was in my 10-year-old minivan with the cracked windshield, I had a change of heart.  Even though Kylie was wearing marker-stained sweatpants and Summer had already kicked off one boot, I felt lucky.  And laughing seemed like a better option than crying.
Things aren't much better as I write this post than when I woke up this morning, but sometimes you just have to embrace the bad days because things could always be worse.