Sunday, November 2, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up (and my first confession)

Wow. I mean, just wow. It's been so so crazy lately, I don't know how to wrap this up. So forgive me my therapeutic post, but I could really use it.

At last some pics from Riley's bday at Disneyland last weekend:

So that was last weekend. Then, there was the cruise that my sis and I went on, which rocked, but since I haven't asked my sis if it's okay to post pics, I won't.

The week got off to a bad start when I went to pick up Sylvia on Monday after cheer practice, and she wasn't there. We had completely forgotten that she had her cheer camp at one of the local high schools this week. She went, but she didn't bother to call me to tell me that I was to pick her up at 5 (instead of 4:15) at the high school (instead of her school). It was the beginning of many arguments to come between Sylvia and I this past week. (Given the stance I took last week, I feel like I have to come clean on some of this.)

I partially blame the people running the cheer camp, as we never got a firm schedule on this, and I realize that Sylvia's still young - but at the same time, I just have to know where she is and when. Bottom line.

Similar problems ensued throughout the week due to both the lack of communication from the cheer camp as well as Sylvia. And my patience wasn't what it should be.

Meanwhile, Riley and I have continued to battle over homework every night. I realized mid-week that part of the problem lies with my own resentment over the fact that I feel like her teacher isn't very effective. The homework still isn't very inspiring, and sometimes Riley's lack of understanding makes me question just what's going on in the classroom every day. But that's not our only issue. The other issue is Riley herself: even when she knows the answer, she gets distracted SO easily that unless I'm standing over her the whole time, barking "Riley, homework!" it doesn't get done.

But I'm also trying to make dinner, or do the dishes, or throw in a load of laundry, or have a conversation with Sylvia. Those household chores are about as much as I can get done during the week. There are still many many more to be done, and we haven't been home often enough during the weekends for me to get them done. So I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed by what I need to get done.

A constant struggle this week was figuring out what was happening on Friday, aka Halloween, aka Sylvia's bday, aka Sylvia's performance for her cheer camp at the high school football game.

First things first. Costumes for the day. Sylvia made an amazing Queen Elizabeth:

(see what I mean about needing to get other housework done? Please ignore all the crap on the ground there. Here, I'll help with a close-up)

Riley was Scarlett O'Hara:

But as I watched her in her school parade, she looked more to me like a prostitute from a Western - I think it's the black lace gloves:

And as we got closer to the big day, the girls reversed their earlier "no trick or treating" decision. Okay, but when are we going to do it? Sylvia was told they could go around the neighborhood after she checked in, but it turned out they were escorted directly to the stands for the game.

So here's a little note about how our kids open us up to new things: this was the first high school football game I've ever attended. Come to think of it, my first football game ever.

Sylvia had an awesome time cheering. She did a great job (of course!), but it was a long night. Riley really got into it for the first half, but after the half-time show, she was done. But the 3rd quarter was when Sylvia was cheering with the high school cheerleaders. So we had to stick that out. Longest 12 minutes of Riley's life.

I feared a big scene with Sylvia, as we didn't end up getting released until almost 9 pm, and I believe it's bad form to knock on anyone's door after 9 pm. So there was a big sigh of relief on my part when Sylvia immediately said, "I want to go home."

They did get candy from their schools, the Boys & Girls Club so they weren't completely deprived. But Sylvia wanted to come home and play with her presents, most particularly the Fashion Design Studio I got her. (Both of the girls questioned their father on where their presents were from him. They didn't really get an answer.)

Saturday, the plan was to go see High School Musical 3 and go roller skating later. After, I was to take them to my parents' house to spend the night (yay!) and my dad was going to take them running so Sylvia could train for the 5k she's running in December. Well, we made it to HSM3, which we all enjoyed (I'm such a geek - I got all teared up at the end), but then the girls started to fall apart - and I totally fell apart.

Then, we found out roller-skating didn't start until 8 pm, so my parents suggested that we go Sunday instead. Well, that just about did it for Sylvia. So I called my parents and said, "can you take them now?"

I took the girls to their house around 6 pm, and I'll be meeting them at the roller skating rink this afternoon. Sylvia still wasn't happy about it, but I told her, I just didn't see how we were going to survive the next 24 hours without a break from each other.

So, I didn't try to drive them to Nevada, but I gave up for a while. I came home, and while doing 4 loads of laundry, I watched girlie tv (namely, 4 episodes of The Starter Wife) and went to bed at eleven.

Today, I'm getting some things done around the house. The crap at the bottom of Sylvia's pic is now gone. I'm all caught up on laundry. I still have to vacuum, sweep, mop, etc., but since I got up at seven (thanks, end of DST), I still have a few hours before my free time is up.

I hope this will be enough to re-focus all of us, but most particularly, me. I'm not so naive to not know that it all starts with me.

I need to stop falling apart when they fall apart. I need to suck it up and deal. I need to step up my game, and hand out some tough consequences. I need to raise the standards, and demand more responsibility. And I need to make sure I take care of myself so that I have the energy to do so.

The truth is, the real Scarlett O'Hara lately has been me. I've been leaving a lot of things to think about tomorrow. There simply are no tomorrows left. Carpe diem must be my new mantra.


Tara R. said...

Needless to say I am very partial to the Scarlett costume... gorgeous. Queen Elizabeth is stunning! I can certaining appreciate having to take a break from the kids. Is it bad that I like for the boy to hang out with his friends after school so I have some alone time when I get home from work? I think the downtime can help us be better moms, and give us a little moment to unwind.

Kori said...

Holy shit; are you totally in my head or what?

Jen said...

April, cut yourself some slack! ;-) First off, if Riley is dropping the ball on homework, remind her, but let HER take the responsibility for it getting done and let the TEACHER take responsibility for the consequences of Riley not getting it done. She's only in third grade - C's behaved exactly like Riley at that age, I really do think some of it is that they make a huge cognitive/maturational leap at that age and it drains them and they act hormonal (ie. very, very spacey). You need time to focus on you and Sylvia if Riley isn't cooperating.

Does the house really need to be that perfect? Ours never is and I probably have a lot more time to do that sort of thing than you do. FWIW, I used to mop, etc., religiously, but now I spot clean and do heavy cleaning only occasionally.

Laundry sucks. You just gotta do that.

Glad you got some down time last night.

Huge hugs.

Unknown said...

"And I need to make sure I take care of myself so that I have the energy to do so."

So, so very true. You've really got to make an effort to put your own self up there somewhere on the to-do lists. When I spent those few weeks as a single mother, I put myself dead last and the entire household was affected. Then I spent 5 weeks straight sick and so did my kids. We were all pretty much useless...

That said, it's so hard to find that time to take care of yourself...if only there was 5 more hours to a day, I think even the busiest of us could do it. But then, five more hours to a day?? That's a nasty thought sometimes :)

Anonymous said...

I love the costumes. It sounds like an up and down week for all of you. It's so hard to carve out time for ourselves without feeling guilty, isn't it?

FreedomFirst said...

Don't knock yourself for getting overwhelmed. I think the biggest difference between the moms who make things work and the ones who lose it, is whether or not they have someone else to lift the burden of parenthood occasionally. Even for a brief time. Like a battery that's winding down, but recharges a little after you turn the item off for a while. You can't live treading water all the time. Every now and then, someone has to give you a boost and let you relax a bit.

Anonymous said...

I love the Scarlett O'Hara costume.

We all need a break now and then. I find when I get my time, it makes the blow ups harder.

Anonymous said...

Ditto everyone above about giving yourself a break.

Homework advice from the high school side: let Riley see the impact of not getting the work done now so that you don't have to be on her case into the high school years. A helicopter mom is really not a pretty sight, neither is a kid who is in the passenger seat of her own life.

Anonymous said...

Great costumes and I'm just going to reditto everything that everyone goes on April and it just doesn't matter if your floors are clean or if you have to wear a pair of socks twice...keep focused on what really matters....glad to hear you had a great time on your cruise!!!!

Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Whew! Time for a breather now eh?

Great costumes!

Shiona said...

Glad you got to get some free time. It's understandable. Easier said than done though. Especially the taking care of yourself part. I find it hard to do with one and being at home. I hope you guys work through it. Those were great costumes. And I so want to see HSM3!

Single Working Mommy said...

I need to do more of that taking care of me stuff. But it's practically impossible sometimes. I know it's important, I really do, but I just lack the support to make it happen.

The girls costumes were adorable. Is Riley giving a "pageant" wave in the second one?

Anonymous said...

It's a hard thing to do indeed, but a wise one. They need to see you be you AND for them. It will teach THEM to be strong and how to deal with situations as they arise. I believe it's one of the best things you can do....for all of you.

They girls look ABSOLUTLEY adorable!

dadshouse said...

Wow, that Queen Elizabeth costume is amazing! My daughter dressed in pink this year, including a pink wig. Her friend dressed in green with a green wig. They are 16, so they kind of sort of pulled it off!