July 29, 2009

He's Lucky He's Cute!

Yesterday was "Bring a Friend Day" at our church's Vacation Bible School so I invited the twins on the next block figuring one stop and each of my kids would have a friend to bring. I got my three kids dressed and fed breakfast, picked up their friends, and safely deposited all but Seth at church. I usually go home after dropping the kids off, but I wanted to be close just in case one of the twins had issues being dropped in a strange place only knowing my kids so Seth and I headed to the pet store for hamster treats.

Seth and I took our time looking at the birds, fish, guinea pigs, and other furry rodents. We picked out treats for Sarah the hamster and also found treats for the dog and a few tiny toy mice for our cat. Seth convinced me that he absolutely *had* to have the green squeaky ball for himself. Ball is one of the only words that the kid says on a regular basis so how could I say "No." with him looking up at me with those beautiful baby blues, pointing and repeating "Ball, ball, ball."? Yeah, I'm a sucker. We looked at all the cats for adoption and I had to drag myself away reminding myself it wouldn't be fair to the wonderful kitty we already have.

Seth and I killed over an hour poking around the pet store, but he was not ready to go when I took his hand and steered us toward the door. He launched into a full blown tantrum so I scooped him up, threw him under my arm and continued out the door. At this point, I get a text from my friend so I call her back as I'm approaching my car. You need the visual on this: screaming 2yr old under one arm, shopping bag and purse hanging off the other arm with keys in hand, phone pinned between ear and shoulder.

I unlocked the car with the remote key chain, opened Seth's door and plopped his sobbing self in. I closed his door, opened my door, dumped my purse and bag in the driver's seat, put the keys in the ignition, did not start the car, but turned the accessories on so the A/C would start as I continued to chat with my friend. I shut my door, turned to open his door to strap him in and, as I was reaching for the door handle, I heard it... *click*. H-o-l-y S-h-i-t!!! My kid, mischievous little monkey that he is, scaled the center council and pushed the lock button... with my keys inside the car!!!

My stomach dropped to my knees as my heart jumped into my throat. I briefly explained to my friend what had happened and hung up. I spent the next ten minutes trying to coax Seth to "hit the button for, Mommy." which he did, repeatedly relocking the car. I may not have had my purse or my keys or my kid, but I did have my phone so I sent the husband a text, "Call me now." He responded, "I'll be on lunch in 30 minutes." To which I replied, "911, I need you now!" He called back, I explained the situation, he left work to rescue both his trapped son and panicked wife. Thank God he is in training this week. He cannot leave his work station unattended which means he has to wait for backup to be called in if he needs to leave mid-shift. He would not have been able to leave to help me if he was working his normal job.

I still had at least 20 minutes until the husband and his set of keys would arrive so I called my friend back going straight to voicemail twice. I pleaded with her in my messages to call me back as I began to realize I had other problems... the four kids that I had dropped off at VBS were going to need to be picked up. The thought of this sent me into another wave of panic. I don't know the parents of the twins all that well. We are neighbors, their mom was an aide once a week at Gwen's preschool, we sat together at the kids' T-ball practices and games. We are friendly and I really like them, but we are still in the getting-to-know-you phase.

I was terrified at the thought of having to call them and explain that I had been irresponsible enough to let my 2yr old get locked in the car the first time that I was entrusted with their children. They don't know that this is the first time in the 6.5 years that I have been a mom that I have done anything remotely this stupid. I just saw our relationship and maybe the relationships of my kids and theirs grinding to a screeching halt on the premise that I'm a negligent parent and a bad mother.

As you can probably tell, this is the point in the story where the stress was starting to get to me and I was starting to overreact. My friend got my messages and showed up to stand just as helplessly at my side in the pet store parking lot. Her arrival signaled to Seth for the first time that something was wrong. Up until this point he had been bouncing around, relocking the doors over and over, enjoying the freedom of not being tethered to the car. Seeing both of us standing outside looking in at him triggered something in that little head of his and he started to cry.

People were noticing through this whole ordeal what was going on and were asking if I needed help or if there was anything they could do. With the husband on his way and the A/C going inside the car, everything was as under control as it could be. Seth's crying did add another sense of urgency and panic, though. A woman had walked by and made comment that I should call the police because it was probably getting hot in the car. I assured her that the A/C was running but, as she walked away, I started to question whether or not it was. Seth was crying harder now and starting to break a sweat. Was he sweating because he was crying or was he crying because he was frying to death?

With this new doubt, I started calling the husband every five minutes for reassurance that he was getting closer and wasn't stuck in traffic or encountering any other delays. My last call to his cell placed him 3 minutes down the road. The relief that this would soon be over, that my child would soon be free and that I would have enough time to get to church for the other four kids began to edge in through the panic. That small ease in the stress lasted all of 30 seconds before the police showed up. Damn it! Someone called the cops.

In hindsight, I don't blame the caller one bit. At that moment, however, I was pissed as a whole new set of worries came crashing in. Could I be in trouble for neglect or endangerment? Would the police question me and how long would that take seeing as I just figured out that I could actually make it to VBS pick-up on time and not have to rat myself out to the twins' parents?

I told the cop that my husband was on his way and only two minutes down the road. He asked if I wanted him to try prying the lock and I said, "No, since my husband is almost here, but I understand if you want to hangout and make sure." He did a once over of the car taking in my crying child, keys dangling from the ignition, purse and shopping bag on the front seat. He didn't get the chance to ask me any questions before Seth's daddy was pulling up along side us and setting our child free. By the time I turned around, the cop was gone.

The rest is fuzzy. I was in a daze once it was all over... 40 minutes of intense panic gone in an instant left me a little dizzy and sick to my stomach. The husband and I had a few words before he headed back to work, my friend went off to run her errands since she was out, Seth and I picked up the kids as if nothing had transpired while they were at church. The one thing that I do remember clearly is hugging my sweaty child (the A/C was running), kissing him multiple times before looking into those beautiful baby blues and yelling, "You don't touch buttons!"

July 23, 2009

Always a Snag!

It appears that my calendar with Todd's work schedule was off and I booked my little getaway at the wrong time in his shift rotation. Ugh! My calendar is NEVER wrong, just for the record. So I now have three options:

1.) Reschedule for the week before which means I will be leaving town on the kids' first day of school and will not be here to see Gwen get off the bus safely for the first time ever unless I check-in late cutting into my "me time".

2.) Find a sitter to be at my house at 4:30 in the morning when Todd leaves for work who will get the kids on the bus and watch Seth until I arrive home. Any volunteers?

3.) Hope against hope that Todd's idiot bosses actually have a clue what September's training schedule will be and reschedule my trip for next month.

I just thought of another option that I'm not quite sure if Todd would even be willing to do...

4.) Use the vacation day that he had previously scheduled and ended up not needing because above mentioned idiot bosses can't agree on a schedule for my husband which is why my friggin' calendar was off in the first place!!! Aarrrggghhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

OK, I feel better now. Plenty of options so I'm sure I will figure it out somehow and keep my mini-vacation mostly intact. I hope...

July 17, 2009

Planning My Escape

I just booked a two day getaway for myself in Nashville, Indiana. I am beyond excited!!! 44 glorious hours all to myself to read, shop, wander, and sleep at my leisure. Ah, bliss. I was feeling a bit guilty at first and started thinking about taking a friend, but then I realized that I don't want anyone to go with me. I don't want to have to take someone else's wants and needs or boredom factor into account. The whole point of me going is to spend time on my own schedule with nobody's demands but my own to meet.

I find it funny that I can justify a girl's getaway or that I don't think anything of the husband going to Vegas with the boys every now an then, but it is hard for me not to feel selfish going away alone. I guess because the purpose of trips like those is to spend quality time with your friends where as this trip is about running away for a bit. I guess a girl's weekend is the same thing, but it can be disguised better behind bonding time and comradery with others.

My little escape is about getting away so I don't have to listen to the kids being cared for by their dad or feeling obligated to help him do so despite my claim of being "off duty". Is a mother ever off duty in the vicinity of her children? Even when the family does go out leaving me behind, I feel guilty for not participating in family time or for not being more productive while everyone is out. Yes, I need guilt free me time. No laundry or dusting or other random chores glaring at me while I sit on the couch. Only time carved out as I desire, to do as I please. I simply can not wait.

Here's a link to the cottage where I will be staying and the photos of the boys' room with their new bunk beds that I promised in my last post:

July 16, 2009

Lilacs and Lofts

We have been in this house for just over two years and I have *finally* gotten the kids' situated into the bedrooms that I have wanted them in from day one. Seth has moved out of his crib and into a brand new set of bunk beds with his big brother. Miss Gwen, who has been rooming with Noah for at least a year and a half, has moved back next door to the room she was in when we first moved here. We found that it was best for Noah that Seth sleep alone and not wake him every night so we swapped.

I was nervous that Gwen was not going to adjust well to being alone again at night or that she would have separation issues from Noah, but she was thrilled to see the crib come down and to have her very own "big girl" bedroom. The room needs paint (eventually a soft pink), but it has come together nicely and my favorite part is the loft area that I finished today. I made the seat (was so proud to make my first lumber purchase ever!) and Gwen helped me make the pillows a few nights ago. The stairs were the last piece to complete the project and I put those together while dinner was cooking this evening.

I'll take pictures of the boys' room and their new beds soon. For now, here are the photo's of Gwen's room (which I absolutely adore)...

July 10, 2009

Poppin' Cherries

I spent a fortune grocery shopping yesterday, but I think my splurge in the produce section was totally worth it. Everything is in season and looked so delicious. Besides our normal staples of oranges, apples and bananas, I also bought apricots, cherries, red plums, black grapes, and strawberries. I did have to practice self control, however, as the pineapples, watermelons, and nectarines were also begging for a spot in my cart and a ride home.

Oh, I also picked up some fresh sweet corn. I think I'm going to cook some of that tonight with the apple, cinnamon pork chops I just started. I must remember that there are some tasty benefits to summer the next time I am complaining about the heat and humidity.

July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July

It is raining and cold. We stood in the rain for over an hour waiting for the parade this afternoon. We are soggy, but the kids had a blast jumping in puddles, twirling umbrellas, collecting water-logged candy from the street. Today was definitely a "continue as planned for their sake" kind of day, so I'm glad they had fun.

I'm thinking tonight's plan to set off our personal firework display might have to be postponed, though. Maybe it will be better weather tomorrow night... or maybe the rain will stop in the next few hours and we can proceed as planned. We took the kids to our town fireworks show last night and Seth loved it! I kind of hope this weather clears up so I can watch him get excited and screech in delight again!

I set this blog to private today as well. I have a link to my blog on my Facebook and I don't necessarily want everyone who views my Facebook profile to be able to stalk every aspect of my online life. My last few posts were a little raw and there are definitely people in my life that I do not show those vulnerabilities in fear of what they may do with them.

That being said... I'm feeling better now that I've shaken off the doldrums. Looking forward to the rest of this summer with water parks, camping, and a few other activities slotted. We've also started planning our big Disney vacation for later this fall. Things are good, schedules are hectic, the kids are doing their slow summer burn. Life is as it should be. It may rain on my parade every once in awhile, but I'm learning not to let that spoil my fun...