Remember when birthday parties consisted of pin the tail on the donkey, cake and a few presents? Well, that was then and this is now. Or it was, back in May (yes, May), when we celebrated our little dude’s 4th birthday with snakes, toads and turtles. and a Caymen.We had Little Ray’s Reptiles come to the house to amaze all the little guests with their creepy crew. This girl was so awesome with the kids. Answered each of their 8 million questions and was even able to keep them fairly calm when she brought out some of her ‘friends’.There were scorpions:Adorable wide-eyed toads (this one was named Pee Pee, for potentially obvious reasons):Shirt-climbing lizards:A blazing fast turtle named Speedy:And the creepiest of all, the Caymen:I think back to how easy those parties were a generation ago. Gather friends, provide sugar, let children run free. Nowadays we plan, scour Pinterest for ideas and try to out do ourselves every time. But I’m not going to lie, I love every second. I’m a birthday lover on a grand scale. I love everything about the day. The kids energy as they wait for their friends, the look on their faces when the doorbell rings for the first time, and the sound of chaos as they race around and tear up the house. I remind myself that it is only for a few hours, and in those few hours, that birthday kid feels like the most important person in the universe and I will do everything in my power to make that happen for them – even if it means having peeing frogs in my living room.Happy 4th, Little Man. You are worth the risk of frog pee. Always.
Halloween 2014. The one that fell on a Friday night. The one that did not require an early bedtime. But did require visits from friends who stayed long after trick or treating. And I almost didn’t blog it.
Wes and I were sitting together at sister’s swim practice, 30 minutes before we’d be running to her hour long soccer practice (in the same night – our new reality) and he was starting to get bored. I could tell. The fidgeting began. The trips to the water fountain were more frequent. I looked up at the clock. I wasn’t ready to just hand over the phone yet and let him disappear into a game.
So I improvised. I started talking about Halloween pasts. He loves Halloween. And I told him I’d show him a picture of when he was dressed as a skeleton, from his first Halloween, one he had no memory of. I pulled up the blog and showed him pictures of not only his skeleton costume, but when he was a zebra, Spiderman, and a dragon. He loved it.
And I suddenly felt awful. I hadn’t made time to blog this Halloween. Or Wesley’s last birthday. Or Jaia’s. I’ve missed posting a lot of moments – moments that I’ll wish I’d documented down the road when the kids ask questions and want to see pictures.
So I decided that I need to keep on keeping on with this little space. And I hope to spend a bit more time here than I have been. And I’ll start with this year’s instalment of the Fullerton Halloween.
This year we happened upon Jaia’s costume. In August. There was only one. It was in her size. And she loved it. The boy? Slightly more difficult. I brought home an amazing pirate skeleton that was a no brainer. But wanted nothing to do with it. When I asked him to try it on thinking he would fall in love once he WAS the pirate, he cringed like it was burning his skin. (Dramatic? Yes.) He wanted to be the Flash. Out of nowhere, and of all the superheroes, it had to be the Flash. And the Flash he was.
The actual day/evening of Halloween always flies by so fast that I often forget to pull out the camera until it is way too dark out or the sugar high has hit and they won’t stay still. So for the second year in a row I dressed the up a few days befre Halloween and went out for a little impromptu photoshoot.
And we had some fun with it.
The kids were pumped. And a little creeeeeepy.
Make that A LOT creeeeepy.
And well, there was also this.
Hope your little monsters enjoyed the heck out of the day. I’m starting to think we’re going to have a hard time outdoing this Halloween…
When Wesley started kindergarten in September, I made the heartbreaking (for me) decision to go back to work, full-time, after 5 years. The ‘work’ part wasn’t so heartbreaking, it was the full schedule part that weighed the heaviest.
I feel lucky. Five years ago I was able to adjust my schedule to fit our needs. The first two and a half years were spent at home, every day, with my kids. The last two were spent working part-time in the office, where I could maintain a bit of my sanity, get prettied up twice a week, have adult conversations and uninterrupted coffees but still spend most of my days at home.
But this full-time work business is no joke. How have my mommy friends been keeping up this ridiculous schedule for all these years?
The last few months have been hard for me. Being back at work means missing out on breakfast every single day with the kids. Every single day.
I miss them.
Evenings are spent running the kids to swim practice, soccer practice, swim lessons, and activities galore. In between we are making lunches, making dinners, tidying, trying to squeeze in a load of laundry now and then. And with a 7:30 bedtime, I have almost no time to actually be with my kids – the exact thing I stayed home from work to do in the first place.
I miss them.
Staying home was also no joke. Anyone, ANYONE who thinks being a stay-at-home parent is the bees knees ought to give it a try. It is HARD. It is thankless. The days can last weeks. But you are WITH your kids. You can snuggle, talk, feed, teach, play, read, chase, scold, laugh, nap, clean, love on, hug them any time you want.
I miss them so.
Last night, with dishes piled up in the sink, a red light flashing on my work Blackberry, a to-do list a mile long, I chose to slow down.
We didn’t rush after Jaia’s swim practice and Wes’ swim lesson. We took our time. Blow-dryed their hair instead of throwing a toque on. Walked to the car instead of running. Ate dinner together, sitting down, instead of standing to save time. At bedtime, I read to Wesley, and snuggled him for awhile instead of tucking him in and ducking out quickly. I turned off Jaia’s light and crawled in with her for awhile to talk about her day and get excited about the upcoming weekend.
I left their rooms and walked downstairs, continuing to ignore the now angrily flashing red light, and spent some time hanging out with Dan.
I did not prepare in advance for today. Messages were left unanswered. Tasks were not completed. Laundry sat untouched. Plans to go to the gym were changed.
Yesterday I slowed down. And the world just kept on turning. But instead of collapsing at the end of the day feeling stressed and overwhelmed, I crawled into bed feeling happy. Mission accomplished.
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