Friday, May 30, 2014

Stupid Apple Orchard

After dropping L off at preschool the other day, J and I headed to our local orchard.

I thought he would enjoy running around, climbing on the pirate ship, scaling the rope wall and drinking cider.

It takes a while to get to the orchard. It is out in the country in the next county, but since we had a couple of hours, I knew we'd have plenty of time.

Upon arrival, I notice there are not many cars and NO buses in the parking lot.


This means there are not many kids around so I can easily keep an eye on my kid.

Because when they bus kids in, oh man, it is mass chaos. Think Disneyland but at an apple orchard.

For serious.

Anyway, we head inside and purchase a ticket for J to the play area and the animal area.

We walk over there and one other kid is playing who is the same age as J.


They play together for a while and have a big time. We take a break so he (and, alright, me) can get apple cider and an apple cider donut.

Yes. An apple cider donut covered in cinnamon and sugar. It is divine.

After we are refueled, J plays for a little longer, then it's time to go and pick-up L.

On my way out, I ask some construction workers which way I need to go to get back the way I came because I cannot remember.

So I followed their directions and it took me the wrong way.

No worries!

I just turn around to go back the way I came and look for my turn off.


With my stomach turning into knots, I realize we are lost. I am getting a little worked up.

Okay. A lot worked up.

"Oh do I turn at that tree?" "How about that tree?" "Or maybe that tree?"

Give me a break. All of the trees look alike.

Quickly, I call my step-dad. In a not so calm voice, I explain that I am lost and I need him to go and pick-up L from preschool as I do not know if I will get there in time.

Meanwhile, J is in the backseat saying, "Mama, are we going to get L in time? Oh, I hope we get L in time. I really miss him."


Frantically, I call the preschool and leave a hurried message that L's grandpa will be picking him up from school.

While I'm leaving a message, I see an older gentleman walking to his mailbox. I zip the car over to him, roll down the window and ask for directions.

Me: Excuse me. Can you tell me how to get back to town?

Him: *Scratches beard.* Where in town?

Me: I don't care. Just to town.

He chuckles and tells me what I need to know. I hastily drive away after thanking him. I am feeling slightly calmer. We finally make out way back into town.

AND I have enough time to pick-up L early from preschool.

I phone my step-dad and tell him I got it from here.

Cheese and biscuits!

Give me suburbia any day.

At least in suburbia you can say, "Make a right at Kroger's. Or hang a left at Wendy's. Or if you see the Jiffy Lube, you went too far."

Stupid apple orchard.

Friday, May 16, 2014

That One Time I Stole A Hand Towel From Target


Here's the deal.

I did not steal the hand towel on purpose. It was an accident.

It happened accidentally.

I'm not a stealer.  I don't go around stealing things because that would be wrong.

One day about two years ago, I thought it might be a good idea to go shopping with my then 15 month old and my three year old.

Why are you laughing?

Anyway, I had a plan. I would take both boys into Target, get them each an Icee and never let them out of the cart. 

Sounds like a solid plan, right?


See, what I did not factor in to my fantastic plan was that my three year old was recently potty trained and I was really, really, exhausted.

Two kids twenty two months apart = One tired mommy. (Math majors, step off. It doesn't look like most math equations but it's definitely real math.)

So, the trip started innocently enough with the littlest in the front seat of the cart and the biggest in the back of the cart.

Everything seemed to be going swimmingly. They each had their Icee which kept them quiet and entertained so I could look around for a few minutes. I grabbed a few things I needed and everyone was keeping it cool.

Then, I made the mistake of strolling over to the towel aisle.

While looking at the price of a few towels, my youngest took the opportunity to snatch some hand towels closest to him and throw them in the cart. My oldest saw what was happening, thought this was a genius idea and decided to join in the fun.

It's like they have mob mentality. One of them does something and no matter how crazy or asinine, the other one is like THIS IS AN AWESOME IDEA. Both of them start in on it and it takes forever to get them to stop.

So, I abandon my hopes of finding towels that day and scramble to get all of the towels out of the cart and back on the shelf in some semblance of order while getting the cart far enough out of arms reach.

However, these little suckers are fast so this game of "Where Do The Towels Go?" ensues for quite a few minutes before mom emerges the victor.

That's right. Winner = Mom.

I finally make it to the front and check the cart to make sure there isn't anything hidden away in there. 

This isn't my first rodeo. My littlest has sticky fingers and past experience has taught me to check every square inch of the cart before checking out at a certain grocery store which shall remain nameless.


So, we check out, I get the kids in the car with both of them crabby as it is now nap time and also time for the biggest to go another round of visiting the potty. I get the bags put in the car, then I realize there is a hand towel on the tray underneath the cart. The flipping tray UNDERNEATH the cart.

Standing there with the towel in my hand, I look to Target and realize I need to return this because I didn't pay for it. 

I glance back at my car and see my crying kids inside and think about how it would be for me to get them back out of their car seats, into the shopping cart, go back inside to return the towel, walk back to the car, strap the kids in the car and put the cart back, all the while the kids would be crying and cranky.


So, I admittedly threw the towel in the car, drove off and decided I would be sure to spend twice as much at Target next time to make up for it. (Don't judge me, Judgy McJudgy Pants.)

Moral of the Story: Don't go shopping with your kids. But if you do, always check the cart for miscellaneous items. And also the flipping tray UNDERNEATH the cart.

This has been a public service announcement.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Doesn't Matter How You Get There, Just That You Arrived

Me with Sweet Baby J shortly after his arrival

Back in 2000, I was diagnosed with Graves' Disease.  For those of you not familiar, Graves' Disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the thyroid. It is basically a ridiculously overactive thyroid.  My thyroid was the Arnold Schwarzenegger version of thyroids.

While my doctor was treating me with medication, he explained that I should not get pregnant during this time because it would be considered a high risk pregnancy.  He went on to say that even if my thyroid levels were at normal levels in the future that I may have trouble with my thyroid putting me at high risk if I ever got pregnant.

To say this news was troubling would be putting it mildly.  When I was diagnosed, Jeff and I were newlyweds so we were not yet thinking about children.  But let's be honest. After I said, "I do", I constantly dreamed of the day when I would be pregnant, when we would have children of our own.

Once my thyroid levels were under control two years later, Jeff and I went about our business as usual.  We were not trying to get pregnant but we were also not trying to prohibit it either.

For the next couple of years, we worked on establishing our careers and obtaining our Master's degrees.  We built a big, beautiful house.  We had a little beagle named JJ who was the sweetest dog ever.

Life was good.  We had a good life.  Things were going well for us.

However, I am not going to lie.  I wanted to have a baby.  I wanted to be a mom.  I wanted that little person to be part of me and part of Jeff.  

What I didn't want was to talk about it.  If I talked about and said it out loud, then it would confirm what I already was thinking.  I could not get pregnant.

So, miracle of all miracles, I became pregnant six years after getting my thyroid under control.  Then, thirteen months later, I was pregnant with my second little guy. To say we were shocked would be the understatement of the year!

We were going to have a baby.  I was going to be a mom.  Words cannot describe it. Elated. Ecstatic. Excited. Scared. Hopeful.

Some moms are not as blessed as I am.  Some moms have to have help getting pregnant.

To those moms who are undergoing artificial insemination and in vitro fertilization. Your commitment and endurance is inspiring.

To those moms who have adopted children.  Your willingness to open your hearts and your homes to a child is a testament to the warmth of the human spirit.

To those moms who have lost their children.  Your courage to persevere after walking though what I imagine is the shadow-of-the-valley-of-death gives me the strength to face my hardest of times.

It doesn't matter if you are a mom for five minutes or for eighty years.  It doesn't matter if you are a mom to one child or twenty.  It doesn't matter if you have kids via natural birth or via c-section.

At the end of the journey, the result is the same.  You are a mom.  It doesn't matter how you get there, just that you arrived.

Happy Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Maybe He Really Is Prince Charming

**The previous post with Nat and Adam can be found here.

"Come on. I'll show you." Adam says as he heads towards the staircase closest to him.

I take my time walking over there. I imagine what it would have been like to be some of the first people in this beautiful library.

After climbing the staircase, I find him sitting on a window bench under a stained glass window depicting Noah's Ark.

Pointing to the window, Adam declares, "This one. This is my favorite."

Looking at the glass, I see an enormous boat in the water in front of a rainbow. And in front of the rainbow flies a dove with a branch in his beak.

Sitting down beside him, I ask, "Why Noah's Ark?"

Smirking, he replies, "Isn't it obvious? It's about hope."

"And you thought this as an eight year old kid hiding from mass?" I question, raising my eyebrow in doubt.

Spreading his hands wide, Adam teases, "What can I say? I was a really insightful kid."

Shaking my head, I counter, "I'm not buying it."

Laughing, Adam concedes, "Okay. I liked them because I thought it would be cool to be on a giant boat with lions and giraffes."

"Now that sounds about right," I state.

Reaching out, Adam takes my hand. "But now, I like it because it sends a message of hope. And I think hope is a very good thing." He admits, giving me that lopsided grin.

His face is sincere. He does really mean what he says. And he wants me to believe it too.

I find myself looking into Adam's eyes. He has the greenest eyes I've ever seen. 

Kind of like an emerald. But way better.

And in a cuter package.

They get darker as they get closer to his pupils. They hold so much depth.

And right now. Honesty. Humor. Compassion.

Maybe he really is Prince Charming.


He exists only in fairy tales, Nat.

And yet...

Adam rubs his thumb in slow circles on my palm. I think he means it as a comforting gesture.

However, it is having the opposite affect on me.

I feel a fire in my belly that begins to spread outward. I know my face is aflame. 

"Adam," I begin.

His hand stills in mine.

"What did you say?" He asks.

"Um, I said your name," I offer lamely.

Smiling, he says, "You have never said my name before."

I shove him playfully with my other hand. "Oh sure I have."

Pretending to think about it, Adam answers, "Nope. No, you most definitely haven't."

Rolling my eyes, I state, "You are too much."

Reaching out, he takes a stray piece of wayward hair and tucks it behind my ear. His hand lingers there.

"I like hearing you say my name." Adam says, quietly. He is looking at me with so much intensity. So much want.

Nobody has ever looked at me this way.

Swallowing, I tell myself to pull it together. Don't let my hormones take control. My brain is in charge, not my body.

But right now, my body is telling my brain to shove it.

Here's another post with Nat and Adam. I like these two.

Adam seems like the seasoned veteran when it comes to relationships and Nat is definitely new to all of this.

I can't wait to see where it goes...