The past couple of days have been wonderful. With each day I wonder about the reality of SAD in my life. I always get a little melancholy in winter, when the sun comes up late and goes down early. It is more difficult to get out of bed, and harder to fall asleep. I'm not sure if that's normal or if it really is some sort of seasonal depression. Maybe it's just Vitamin D deficiency.
While I think I'm happy with the way my life is turning out, and in general I am a happy person, I haven't felt this happy -- this easily motivated and energized -- in a long time. Getting up in the morning hasn't been so easy for years. Maybe it's just because it's the first few days of really nice weather, but maybe I have been stuck in some sort of California fog, hoping and waiting for a summer that isn't coming. but I'm happy to say that I think that when we left the California coastal fog behind, the fog of my brain lifted a bit too, and after two days (and soon three) of warm - almost hot - sunshine I'm happy to say that I think the fog has completely burned off.
This morning I got up to see the sun shining. I opened the window and was greeted by a cool, crisp, spring breeze. It was not difficult to get up and get moving this morning. It wasn't even hard to be happy about doing so. The lessened necessity of coats and mittens brightened my morning even more than the sun that began shining brightly at an early hour of 6:30 AM. Funny, I didn't mind being up at 6:30 this morning. I guess I was wrong the other day. I can handle mornings like this. My toes are a bit chilly, but the kind of chilly that makes you feel alive, not like they're going to be frozen off.
There is a smell in the air that I had forgotten existed, but happily remembered the moment I took it in. The smell of damp soil and freshly budding plants and dewy grass just says spring. Yesterday I had to put sunblock on the kids as we sat outside, and I was never so happy to smell little kid sweat mixed with Coppertone and soil. Little Monster and his friend dug in the dirt with their Tonka dump trucks. Butterball waddled around the yard, picking up sticks and putting them into a bucket and pulling grass.
Last night I laid in my bed, sheets cooled by the crisp breeze coming in the open window. They almost smelled as if they'd been freshly washed and dried outside on a line. I got dozy as my body heat warmed the sheets and finally fell asleep with the smell of sweaty kid, Coppertone and baby bath on my hands. It has been amazing. It is going to cool down this weekend, but this cool down comes the hope and promise of brighter, warmer, summer days.
I had a few minutes while Butterball was napping and Little Monster entertained himself with some paints in the kitchen to edit some of the photos I took on Easter. Only a few came out, but I don't need hundreds to remember what a wonderful day it was. I'm thinking about going through and editing some more, just because I'm afraid of what is waiting for me in the kitchen. It could be bad. Very Bad.
I'm a little bit crazy. Sometimes more than others. I'm grateful on those days when I seem to be able to contain my sanity with supernatural powers, that I'm sure are only heaven sent.
This morning was one of those mornings. Note that it is only 9:11 AM as I start writing this. I know it's the same story heard around the country on any given morning, but really?
My day started at 6:07AM when Butterball began wailing from her crib. She was awake and wanted everyone to know it. She didn't need food, wasn't in dire need of a diaper change, but she was lonely and the toys in her crib just weren't cutting it. It is Tuesday. It is a day when I theoretically should be able to sleep until 7:00AM since Little Monster doesn't have preschool and I don't have any obligations outside of the house. I know you working moms are laughing at my idea of "early" wake up calls, but I don't like getting up before 6:30AM. Never have. Probably never will.
After listening to her wail for what seemed like forever, Not the Momma came out of the shower. The clock read 6:17 AM. He brought her to me, and I tried to nurse her, even though we're working on trying to wean. My hope was that she'd go to sleep and I'd get another 15 minutes of unconscious bliss. I was dozing off, hoping we were both on our way when she. bit. me. That ended that!
Up we got and I trapped her in the living room so she could wander around while I chopped up her morning banana and got her brother's breakfast ready. He wasn't up yet, but I knew he'd be up asking for his "Apple Whacks" soon.
I don't even think it was 7:00 when Little Monster got up and started making demands. "Turn dabathwoom WIGHT ON! PUH-WEEEEESE!"
It's 7:20, the kids have been fed. Little Monster is dressed, and I still haven't used the bathroom this morning. (Note, that it's only because Little Monster doesn't have preschool today was he able to get up and be dressed without a fight. If It had been a preschool day, he'd still be sleeping.)
Such is life. I was looking forward to the nice day, the sun is shining. We are going to the park today. We ARE going to play outside today.
I grabbed a second to use the bathroom, since I hadn't done that yet. When I came back into the living room, where Butterball was safely trapped, this is what I found:
She found a stash of chocolate eggs that the Easter Bunny had forgotten about. Perfect. Now Butterball is topless, running amok while I clean chocolate off of books, the floor, the couch, and everything within reach of a 10 month old girl. A 10 month old girl can reach a LOT of things. And she does when she's covered in slobbery melted chocolate. Luckily she only sucked on the tin foil wrappers and didn't eat any. That I know of. Yet.
Half way through cleaning the carpet I heard the splash. I assumed it was Butterball in the dog dish.
She had 'stolen' her brother's juice -- OJ mixed with an acai berry blend, and dumped it on the floor. Have you ever seen acai berry juice? It's very sticky. And it stains everything it touches. The juice is dripping off of the table onto two chairs, the floor, and all over Butterball.
I finally got that mess cleaned up and got Butterball into the bathtub. I was grateful that her squats and grunts were for nothing. I looked at my phone. It was 8:21 AM.
I'm glad that I, somehow, was able to keep my composure this morning. I think it has something to do with the memory of the angel that existed the night before:
Many of my days are like this morning. Most of them, probably. Sometimes the messes are bigger or my composure goes out the window. If I do have a quiet morning I often find out later that I should have been paying more attention to something or someone. If there's any doubt left in your mind as to why I'm insane, and this post hasn't convinced you, Let me show you something:
I like Christmas. The air has a bite to it, and there's joy. But there's stress too. Too many things to bake, too much commercialism, the whole bit. I enjoy the fourth of July with it's sticky humidity, barbeque's during the day and fireworks at night, but it hasn't been as much fun as an adult as it was as a kid. Thanksgiving is wonderful with family, and friends and so much food it's easily one of my favorite holidays.
Easter, however is easily ranking high on my list of favorite holidays again. All that it represents, new life, warm weather coming around the corner, and the Resurrection. There is so much to be thankful for.
This year, Easter was amazing around here. We got the kids all spiffed up:
We took them to church, where Little Monster "participated" in the Easter program. I have participated in quotes, because he stood at the front of the church looking at the giant crowd in front of him. I think the sight shocked him so much he forgot all the words to his songs. But he did shake his little tambourine at the end. I might post some video of that once we get the right cord for the camera.
After church there was an egg hunt at church. Butterball is walking -- WALKING -- well enough to carry a basket, so I let her loose. She proceeded to find two eggs and sit in the dirt to inspect them thoroughly. It was still pretty cute.
Then, we came home and let Little Monster have his fill of candy. And candy. And candy. And maybe some chocolate. Followed by another Easter egg hunt, and dinner of ham, homemade mac n cheese and green bean casserole.
It was a nearly perfect day. I'm grateful for the opportunities we had to be together as a family -- I know all too soon, Daddy will return to sea duty and he'll be gone, gone, and gone.
The other day I went into Little Monster's room to find a huge mess. It's nothing new. Lego's all over the floor, blocks and little plastic soldier men laying, guns facing up, just waiting for my bare feet in the middle of the night. It's not normally a big deal, but this time his room had a certain unfriendly aroma.
It wasn't sour milk. It wasn't any kind of rotting food or dirty sheets, diapers or anything else. It was that little boy sweat smell. It surprised me to find that my little baby is big enough to make that sweaty boy smell, and that it can take up residence in his room already. (I am so not looking forward to puberty and the horrible smells that go along with that!)
I started tidying his room so that I could vacuum and maybe spray some deodorizer into his carpet to try to fix the problem. Little Monster was in a helpful mood so I tried to convince him to help me clean his room. He wasn't so sure he wanted to pick up all of his toys, so I explained to him that his room stunk and I wanted to pick up the toys so I could get rid of the smell.
A few minutes later, Little Monster stopped all cleaning and stood there. He was making the sound he makes when the wheels start cranking in his brain -- it's almost a sigh with a hard beginning -- and as he was making that sound, you could see the light bulb turn on above his head as he reached his "aha" moment.
"MOMMY! I KNOW WHY MY WOOM IS SNINKY!!" A SNUNK GOT IN HERE!!"
A Snunk? What is a snunk? I'm pretty sure it wasn't in here.
YES! MOMMY! A SNUNK! THAT SNEAKY SNINKY SNUNK!
What is a snunk Little Monster?
A. SSS.NUNK! A BWACK AND WIPE AMINAL! A SNUNK!!! WE NEED TO FIND HIM! HE'S HIDING IN MINE WOOM AND MAKING IT ALL SNINKY!
After that I had no trouble getting him to help me clean the room. However, he was really disappointed that there wasn't a skunk in his room. His imagination knows no bounds, my kid. And that skunk? Little Monster says he lives in the bushes in front of the house across the street. Waiting to sneak back into his room when it's all messy. I'm sure we'll be getting a visit from him again very soon.
Charisma. One of the definitions is "personal magnetism or charm" according to http://www.dictionary.com/ Little Monster normally exudes that kind of charisma, but today it was pouring out in buckets and leaving a mess all over the floor at the Commissary (that's the base grocery store for you non-military folks).
It all started in the car on the way to there. He asked about something related to Easter, and I took it as a teaching moment to tell him about why we celebrate it. I told him that Jesus died to save us and was buried behind a big rock in a mountain. Everyone was sad, but a few days later, he came back to life and (because he's super strong like super man) pushed the rock off. It made everyone happy to see him again. Now he's in heaven waiting for us all... Okay.. So, then I had to explain that Superman is not, in fact, Jesus -- or vice versa. I wasn't sure how much of it he picked up.
Until we got to the grocery store.
He saw the chocolate rabbits and wanted one. Daddy is on a diet, trying to prove that the military standards for people built like him aren't exactly correct about body fat, so I hadn't bought any chocolate rabbits for anyone. But, I caved today and got one for Little Monster. I picked one out and told him he could have it on Easter.
"After Jesus comes, on Easter Day?!"
Yes, I told him. So, he was very excited about the fact he was going to get his chocolate rabbit on Easter. Add to that, the fact that this particular commissary hasn't dished out the cash for any kind of child-friendly shopping carts we had back in California. Man, do I miss those. So, Butterball is in seat of the cart (I should be saying carriage since I'm in New England!), and Little Monster is supposed to be walking very near the cart, keeping his hand in contact with the metal cage at all times. Instead we walk past the fruit section and he yells out "I WANT ORANGES!" and runs over to try to grab one. I reminded him that we weren't there to get oranges, so he calmly came back and walked with me. Since he was so anxious to help pick out groceries, I let him be my helper. He was in charge of finding the items I needed on my list.
In theory it was a good idea.
In reality, it wasn't a terrible idea, it just meant that he really wanted to help. And everyone within a thirty foot radius of us was going to find out what we needed, what color it was and how many we needed. If they were lucky enough, they'd even get to have a discussion with him about whatever it was. And then there was the miraculous sudden cravings for things like pickles -- which he normally won't eat. Or lettuce. He wanted to buy everything he won't eat, claiming he liked it.
Then there was the employee who was guarding the hams. (I say this, because she was standing next to a grocery cart full of hams. Not stocking them, just hanging out with them.) She struck up conversation with Little Monster. Which was a mistake. He started talking to her about his chocolate bunny. And how he was going to eat it on Easter. And then he talked about his Daddy and Mommy and sister. Then the poor lady asked him who was coming on Easter -- expecting to get an answer about an Easter Bunny, she looked a little confused when Little Monster said VERY excitedly:
"Jesus is coming! And he saved huss (he can't say us without the H)! And he's Coming! On Easter Day Sunday! And I get to eat my chocolate bunny with the carrot on Easter day after jesuscomesbackandbutterballdidn'tgetachocolatebunnybecauseshesababy!
My husband is glad he wasn't along for that ride. He doesn't like a scene. And Little Monster was the scene in the store this morning. When people in the ham aisle heard him talking about Jesus, they all turned to listen to his story, smiling sweetly. We created quite a traffic jam in front of those Easter hams while he explained that he was getting to eat that chocolate bunny right after Jesus came back to life on "Easter Day."
In the checkout aisle, the clerk got the whole schpeal too -- only now he had Easter cookies. And onewasforbutterballanditwastheeggoneandtheduckoneisformeanditsbecauseitseasterandiwasgoodandjesusiscoming. And he wanted to give the bagger man his pennies to say thank you for his hard work. And he was determined to give the man his penny. He HAD to give the man the penny!
I swear the kid was oozing so much charisma, he was why they had to call for a clean up on aisle three. By the end of the trip, I was exhausted. And so was Butterball.
Do you think there's anything in the Easter story about how after Jesus comes on Easter Day, and chocolate bunnies are eaten that three year olds should take a nap? There should be.