Saturday, March 20, 2010

Thanks!

I have to say "thank you" to my children for not being total assholes the past four weeks. We had a few bad days, but generally they were so good. And I was reminded of that today, John's first day home, when they returned to their usual douche-baggery. Whining, pushing, stealing toys, GOING INTO GWEN'S ROOM (obviously an offense that results in severe punishment if Gwen were handing out punishments), and the usual sibling rivalry. Ah... children, the light of my life. The weather was the major culprit, they always get crazy when cooped up indoors.

Here's to a better tomorrow.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Jealous!

By the way, I am incredibly jealous of everyone at SXSW this weekend. In the past I have not cared much but it seems like this year there are a bunch of people I follow on FB or Twitter in Austin for the event and I can't go to anything! Booo responsibilities. Maybe next year!

Homecoming

John is over the Pacific Ocean right now, about 90 minutes from landing at LAX. He's got a 4 hour layover before boarding a flight to Austin. I am SO-EXCITED to have him back at home. I was lucky to have a great babysitter helping me out and my parents visit to distract me. 4 weeks is way too long for a business trip.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Life as a Single Mom

I can't really report on my few weeks without John as being "a single mom". I don't think 4 weeks can compare in any way to what a single mom deals with every day for 18+ years. All I can say is, I'm not going to recommend it to anybody, and that I miss John a lot. The kids have been mostly good and I did have my parents here for a week to help out. I also have a great babysitter/mother's helper that has been giving me a hand.

Our few bad evenings have been undone by something simple. Tonight, I made a fatal error.

The hardest part of the evening is getting dinner ready. Everyone wants attention, they want to eat (even if they aren't really hungry) and they want to eat NOW! If anyone is going to hurt themselves, require help in the bathroom, try something dangerous - they pick 5:45 to do it. So tonight I decided to pick up take out after getting the kids. Gwen chose McDonalds. They were in the backseat, focused on Dora and Boots robbing a bank on TV. I got the food. I checked the bags to make sure we got everything. I... took... out a single fry... and ate it. Did you catch it? My big mistake? I ate a fry. Madeline of course saw me and demanded one. Jack did not see me, but if Maddy was yelling about something he might as well pile on. I quickly handed them each a fry and started driving. I made eye contact with Gwen in the rear view mirror. Mistake two. She asked for a fry, but luckily was pacified by my promise to give her $100 when we got home but this started a trend of her feeling slighted for the rest of the evening.

Well, you can't eat just one fry, right? Even an 18 month old knows that. Maddy and Jack both started yelling for more fries after about 15 seconds. Rather than try to drive and pass around fries, I just turned up the volume and begged them to calm down. Cause that always works with toddlers, begging. If there is anything that puts me on edge, it's crying in the car. So that set the tone for the rest of the evening. Maddy was mad at me for about 10 minutes after getting home and ended up in time out. Once she realized I was trying to server her dinner she did calm down and enjoyed her apples and nuggets.

The rest of the night was peppered with a few meltdowns per kid as they assulted, robbed and annoyed each other. Pretty typical "rough" night for the Mills.

Ahhh... so now I sit with a glass of wine to relax and bitch about my evening. ~Sigh~. Here's to a better tomorrow - with more patience, kindness, gratitude and fortitude. Cheers!

Good night! (or Good afternoon to John!)

Photo Updates - for John

I can never remember how to load photos to our family picture website (from http://www.amandanjohn.com/) So I will post some here today.

Here is Maddy at Layla's birthday party a couple weekends ago. She wore that hat for almost an hour which is impressive for an 18 month old.

Gwen hanging out in the play room at home.
Gwen at Fire Bowl Cafe learning to use chop sticks. I must not be representing the proper use of chop sticks when I eat out with her.

Jack in the swing in the backyard.
All three kids enjoying a snack after a morning at the Zilker Gardens with Grandpa and Nana. Maddy walked probably a mile herself, she refused to ride in the stroller, be carried or hold hands. She's 18 months going on 18 years old.

I take the most pictures when the kids are cute. When they are obnoxious and crying I am usually trying to control my temper, so I don't think to grab a camera and document their "other side". On the last morning my parents were here, I tried to get a picture of them and all three kids. Huge mistake to leave this for the last minute, but I learn something new every day. Here is the best of the 3 pictures that I took. I like how Gwen is distancing herself from the whole thing and Jack and Maddy are desperately trying to fight through it. Ahh... kids.