Thursday, August 30, 2007

Confessions of an Unfit Mother

Pictures are from Maxwell's First Day of Kindergarten

For the last two days I have been questioning if I am fit to be a mother, but I have since talked myself down from the ledge. All this paranoia stems from my lack of paranoia. Let me explain. Those of you who know me well know that I am a very laid back mother. All of the potential dangers that my children face do not naturally come to my mind, rather I have a more "Pollyanna" approach, thinking that only good things will happen to my children. Maxwell started kindergarten on Monday, and this is where my story starts. I sent him off to school on the bus, yes on the first day, because he insisted. I assumed he would ride the same bus home from school, so I made sure he knew his bus number and I wrote it on a card attached to his backpack, but I assumed wrong. He was supposed to ride a different bus home. After the driver was done with his route he realized there was still one child left on the bus, so he headed back to the school. In the meantime, I was trying to track my child down. 90 minutes after school ended, the bus dispatcher finally found my child. The bus driver was kind enough to drive Max to our home, and he arrived home safe and sound, with a big smile on his face because he just got to ride on a bus for an hour and a half. One would think that I would have been frantic, because all you mothers reading this are probably having the beginnings of an anxiety attack right now, but I was not worried at all. I knew that if he was on the wrong bus he would be taken back to the school, and I would be able to come and pick him up. I also knew that Max loves buses, and does not have many fears, so I figured he would be handling the situation magnificently. I was correct on all those accounts, however, after discussing this with many other moms, I started to wonder if I should have been more worried. I started to wonder if I am not just an abnormal mother, but an unfit mother. If you care to continue reading, the story continues. On the second day of kindergarten, I tried unsuccessfully to reach the bus company, and their website was down, which means I could not find the right bus for Max to ride home. So, I decided to pick him up myself. When I reached the school, I saw lots of moms standing around the bus area. After talking to several that I knew, I discovered that many moms come to the school the first few days or weeks to make sure their child gets on the right bus. It had never even occurred to me to do this. It had never even occurred to me that there would be any kind of problems associated with getting on the right bus, other then your mom telling you the wrong bus number! Again I began to question my fitness to be a mother. After waiting about 15 minutes for Max to come out of the school, I decided to check on the buses, which was a good move. He was back on the wrong bus. The bus driver told me that he was just going to take him home again after his route was completed! I got Max off the bus, but he insisted on finding the bus he should be on, rather than just drive home with me. So I poked my head into each bus, trying to find our 4th grade neighbor. I found her and the bus problem has officially been solved. Is it okay to not think about all the "what-ifs" as a mother, or is that my responsibility in order to keep my child safe? I have come to the conclusion that somewhere in the middle is probably best, and for a happier, more stree-free life, lean to the "Pollyanna" approach. I think I need to be a bit more attentive to the safety of my children, but I also feel that if they make it to adulthood they will be very well-adjusted and confident! Already Maxwell has had more experience finding the right bus than many 4th graders, so there's one more notch on his self-reliance belt! One more thing...when your child starts kindergarten, ask if they are supposed to bring snacks. At Paramount Elementary they are. Sadly I discovered this 2 days late! When I apologized to Maxwell he said, "it's okay Mommy, I wasn't very hungry."

Monday, August 27, 2007

Boise Zoo...a LITTLE piece of paradise!

Last Thursday I woke up and decided to stray a bit from my norm of going to the gym or running errands (i.e. post office, Target, Wal-Mart). I decided to take the kids to the Boise Zoo. I called a plethora of family and the few friends I have to see if anyone wanted to join me, but to no avail. No one even answered their phone. Can we say "Caller ID"? We still had so much fun, and Maxwell and Sophie even played together really well - I'm sure out of necessity! The Boise Zoo is much smaller than the Phoenix Zoo, however, I really liked that. There were not 10 million strollers on the sidewalks, and 20 people all trying to see the tigers at the same time, it was just nice and pleasantly populated. They also have a butterfly exhibit right now, which the kids loved. If you hold really still sometimes a butterfly will land on you for a while. There are lots of lizards and birds, a few different kinds of monkeys, tigers, even a racoon,which is really funny because racoons are a slight niusance in Boise. They have a big giraffe poster that says "Help us bring lions and giraffes to Boise...please donate". They have to raise 2.8 million dollars to get lions and giraffes, and they already have over 2 million. How exciting is that!! Okay, now calm down everyone...but really, why are lions and giraffes so dang expensive?
Sophie played so hard she crashed in the car amidst trying on Mommy's sunglasses! So cute!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Photo-op Chair & Princess Lea Buns

Our new thrift store purchase, that is waiting patiently to be recovered, has become the official photo-op chair. Whenever I tell Sophie that I want to take a picture of her she goes directly to this chair.

And check out those adorable Princess Lea buns in Sophie's hair. That only took me about 10 hours to do the first day, but after a few days of practice I can give her the look in just a few minutes. The first day I did them, the part in the back was hideous, but she looked super cute from the front. 50% of the people she comes across will see her from behind, so I decided to work on the part! Sophie is such a trooper through it all. Occasionally she says in a quiet little voice, "hurt", but she doesn't cry or move. I never thought I would be able to do little girl hair. French braids are on the horizon!

Friday, August 17, 2007

Indigo Girls Reunion!

I got to see one my favorite people ever...the second half (actually the better half) of the Indigo Girls wannabes. Let me explain. My friend Rebekah has a beautiful voice and she introduced me to the Indigo Girls while we were roommates at BYU. We would sit for hours, with our ears to the speakers, trying to harmonize to Indigo Girls songs. (I can't believe I'm admitting to this.) We even started a short lived band, called Lemon Chug (the name was inspired by our love of drinking straight lemon juice.) We were absolutely terrible on the guitar, and my voice was all over the place, but her voice made it kind of bearable to listen to...maybe. We had one of the big party houses at BYU that always had people sleeping on the couches and floor, and was usually disgustingly filthy. If you went to BYU and didn't get married as a Freshman, you should know what I mean. One night we had a big house party with a friend's band playing and Lemon Chug opened. There were probably only 25 people there at that point, thank goodness, but I wish I could apologize to those 25 people. Later in the night, I also got on the mic and rapped a Beastie Boys song, which might have made up for the earlier bomb. Many of my favorite memories are with Rebekah. We were pretty much joined at the hip for several years. We have each grown up, at least in terms of age, and somehow have managed to become respectable Moms. She has two beautiful girls named Mira and Olivia. Mira is 3 weeks younger than Max, and Olivia is 3 days younger than Sophie. It's interesting that even though we haven't seen each other for 3 years, we still seem to have the same menstrual cycle!! Rebekah and her beautiful family, including her adorable and sweet husband, Dustin, moved from Denver to Portland and stayed with us on their journey through. We are so excited to have them live a short 6 hour drive or a cheap flight away. Dustin claims that I am not allowed to visit without bringing Maxwell or Steve (any form of testosterone) with me! I will definitely bring Steve with me, because Rebekah is on the short list of people who bring out his goofy side, which I absolutely love.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Triathlete Wannabe

Steve and I raced our first triathlon. It was so much fun, I am already anxious to do another. My brother, Sam, and his wife Hollie, Hollie's sister and brother-in-law, and my sister, Hilary, were kind enough to let us tag along to the race with them. Let's start off with the bad news. Steve and I were among the last 7 out of the lake for the swim portion. Hilary, Hollie and Lisa were truly devoted race partners as they waited for me to finish my snail's pace swim. If you know about triathlons, transition times between the segments can really help or hurt you, but I didn't know about triathlons. Needless to say, not only did I take my sweet time drying off and putting my bike shoes on, but poor and devoted Hilary had already waited 4 minutes for me to get out of the water. This left her with the longest transition time of any of the 130 people in the race (nearly 9 minutes). Quite a feat! Sorry Hilary! Steve and I borrowed road bikes for the race. My bike was sweet, and I had a blast riding through the country roads of Emmett, Idaho. Steve's bike really sucked. The front wheel was bent, both tires were low, and there were no foot cages or clips, so his feet kept slipping off the pedals. It was a miserable ride for him, but he made it in, even passing lots of riders. We both loved the run. Steve was a dear and slowed his pace down so we could run together, which I really loved. We crossed the finish line together...actually, Steve slowed down his last few steps so I could finish first. Is that a man without an ego or what?

Okay you can all stop laughing at the picture now!

For those of you who don't know my family I will list the people in the picture from left to right: Heroic Hilary, Studly Sam, Hot little Hollie, Lovable Lisa, Six-Pack James, Yours truly, and The Hairy Hunk of my Dreams