Apr 18, 2013

A Day of Drama

4/18/2013 — cori
Winter storm Yugi is bearing down hard on us today, this 29th day into Spring.  We have had to drive around in sleet all day long.  Snow is easy, sleet is a whole nother story.  It's slippery first of all.  And second of all, it's deceivingly alot like rain, but it's not.  And lastly, that would mean it's still COLD if it's sleeting.  Not 70 degrees like we would normally be experiencing.  Oh well...go with the flow,  right?  That's the first bit of drama.

This is a 3 part series.

Drama Number 2:  Chloe and I decided to do school at the library today in one of the study rooms.  We  do this every so often for a change of scenery.  It's fun.  But today I noticed someone lurking outside our study room door.  The doors are all glass and see through.  At first I thought it was just someone who was using one of the other study rooms near us.  He was dressed in slacks, a white button down shirt with a tie and a gold watch.  However, every time I turned around and looked through the door, he was still there, looking at the same shelf he's been looking at for the past 10 minutes.  The shelf that had a clear view through our door.  And a few times I thought I caught him looking in at us.  Strange.  But I just thought it was a coincidence.  Maybe he was waiting for our room to be vacant.  It came time for Chloe and I to leave.  We packed up our stuff and headed out of the library.  The guy started following us.  He suddenly didn't need anything on the shelf he spent the past 15 minutes perusing and started shadowing us on our way out.  We had to walk around a wall and down a hall.  Surprise...so did he.  I turned around once and saw him on our tail, maybe 20 feet back.  I was just telling Chloe that I would let her wait in the vestibule and would drive around and pick her up since the sleet was coming down hard, but then I noticed he was still tailing us.  I changed my mind instantaneously and cheerfully announced that we would now be sprinting to the car and not looking back.  Right as we started running...so did he.  Creepy!  I turned around once more and he caught my eye, looked away and darted off to the opposite parking lot than us.  Whew.  We made it to the car and I kept a look out for any signs of being followed.  I made lots of stops in public places like, the drive-thru at the bank, a gas station and a random store.  Thankfully, I lost my tail.  But seriously, I felt like I was on a crime drama show being tailed by the FBI or something.

Drama Number 3:  As if that wasn't enough drama for one day, I was the recipient of one more random act of craziness.  The time of day when I go pick up Bennett from school finally arrived.  As I'm driving in the sleet on the horribly, icy roads, my windshield wiper on the driver's side flies off.  Yes.  It flies off.  But instead of being flung onto a passing car, it somehow comes back and hits my windshield.  At first I thought a bird hit my car.  But seeing that birds don't fly in sleet, I had to reassess the situation.  Then I noticed that my windshield was getting very blurry.  That's when it dawned on me that my windshield wiper hit me.  I drove as far as I could and pulled onto a side street and got out to check the damage.

Mind you, I totally wasn't dressed for problem solving in the sleet.  I only had on a fleece, no gloves or jacket.  Suddenly I have to perform a windshield wiper operation.  I was under extreme duress.  The sleet is pelting down on me.  I have zero clue how you attach the wiper blade to the wiper thingy.  I'm desperately praying for wisdom.  The school is only 1/2 a mile away from me.  I figure I can drive the best I can to the school thru the blurry windshield.  I get back in and clumsily, carefully, grope my way to the school on the icy roads.  The whole time I'm telling myself, think, think, think, Cori.

Thank God I finally make it to the school.  The first thing I do is call Chuck.  But I know he's in a meeting and can do nothing for me.  I thought maybe he could instruct me in the fine art of how to fix a broken wiper...but I only get his voice mail.  Now I really have to think.  I get back out of the car with my broken blade and attempt to attach it yet again.  I'm not very tall.  I have to lean very far onto the car to reach the wiper thingy ma-jig.  It's still sleeting.  I'm still cold and wet and now my hair is getting all messed up (thankfully I had the foresight to take my glasses off and leave them in the car).  By some miracle, I actually attach the two pieces.  I heard angels singing.

I get back in the car.  I had texted Chuck before getting out to do my little auto repair.  This is the exact text:  I have a big problem.  My windshield wiper flew off and I still have to pick up both boys and its selecting.  (Obviously I meant sleeting here, but my phone decided to auto correct me thinking it could not possibly be sleeting in April.)  I'm not really sure what I was hoping to accomplish by freaking him out in his meeting, but I just didn't want to go thru all this alone.  He responds:  Agh!?  Exactly like I thought he would.  I was quickly able to follow that up with an explanation of my car repair skills and told him not to worry.  I can do hard things.  It's ok now.

I don't like to do hard things, but it's nice to know I can do them when the challenge presents itself.  I preferred to be rescued.  Thankfully, I keep a little superhero powers tucked away for just such occasions.

At dinner, while regaling all with my tales of woe, everyone had opinions on how I should have responded to Creepy Guy.  Since I'm not one to think of a good line until long after it's needed, I came up with this at dinner time (a full 7 hours too late):  I should have turned around, faced him and bluntly asked,  "What can I help you for?"  (my typical style of getting my words all mixed up) or warned him, "I took kick boxing for 3 months - you don't want to mess with me."  or my personal favorite, "watch out Buddy, I have pointy elbows and I will use them to inflict pain on you."  My luck, he was probably only trying to let me know I left my lights on in my car or something.

Apr 15, 2013

"Liking" Something

4/15/2013 — cori

So this evening Chuck and I were perusing through his Facebook page together.  I was wanting to show him a post I saw earlier in the day.  When all of the sudden I come across something posted by me.  Hmmm....I think....I didn't post anything today.  I take a closer look.  It is a post of me 'liking' something.  Not just something....a definition.  Apparently I 'like' the definition of "projectile".  Why would I 'like' that?

Then it dawns on me...'projectile' is one of Chloe's spelling words this week.  Part of her assignment today was to look up any of the words she doesn't know the definition of.  The pieces are coming together now.  She always uses dictionary.com.  Apparently, she saw the option of 'liking' the definition, so she chose to 'like' it since she could, not knowing that it linked to Facebook.


I suddenly felt the need to explain to all Facebook-dom that I don't necessarily 'like' the word "projectile" but my 9 year old daughter does.  Like anybody would care, really.  If I'm ever going to 'like' a word it is going to be infinitely better than "projectile".  I'm sure I confused all my 'friends' out there today...just keeping them on their toes to see if they really know me or not.  You never know what random word I might like next.

Apr 11, 2013

The Time Escalator

4/11/2013 — cori
Every night when I tuck the kids into bed it hits me....they are getting bigger every day.  I know most people are already aware of this, but somehow I get accosted by this reality every single night.  And it makes me ask myself, Did I enjoy each moment to the fullest with my favorite people today?  Because if I didn't, my focus was wrong.  They will never be this age again.  And trust me, I've already started trying to go back down the up escalator looking for that lost time.  Funny thing happens though, you can never go back down - only up.

I try hard to remember what Gavin's little squeaky, high-pitched voice was like at three and four when he was asking me such hard questions about life such as: what makes a light bulb work, Mom or what would happen if I got sucked into a tornado?  Try as I may, I can only hear his current voice in his deep baritone octave telling me about his recent troubles in trying to simplify monomials.

Oh how I would love to go back and have one more chance to hold baby Chloe.  I think I held her on my hip for 2 years straight when she was a baby.  She never wanted to be put down.  But now I can't remember what she felt like in my arms or how sore my back used to be.  I would pay money to have that sore back again if it meant I could hold that soft, cooing, wiggly baby in my arms again for just 5 minutes.  But the escalator only goes up.

I would even be willing to go back and relive every single potty training episode we encountered with Bennett if it meant I could hear his deep little voice again that repeated everything in triplicate and feel his wet little chin that was never dry from constant drooling.  But alas, it always remains just out of reach and only in my memories.

Ah, to go back down that escalator sure would be nice.  When our biggest problems were sharing our Rescue Heroes or deciding who should be Batman and who should be Superman.  When everyday began with cuddling on my bed and reading 10 Berenstein Bear books.  

But this is now my current reality.  I realize one day I'll look back on these ages with the same longing I do their younger years.  And I'll wonder, did I play enough with them?  Did I sit and listen to their dreams or their days?  Or was I distracted?  Did I stop what I was doing, give them my undivided attention and enjoy that exact moment with all my senses?  Because I know the escalator only goes up.  If I try going down while they are going up, I miss all the life that's going on now right in front of me.  I can't live life in the past.  But it sure is fun to remember it.  It's kind of like labor, you only remember the joy of holding your precious newborn and all the pain it took to get to that point seems to be a moot point.  

If I could encourage young parents in anything it would be this: enjoy the moment.  Invest in your children while they are young.  Spend time doing what they like.  You can't wait to start teaching/training them until they get older, you won't have that raport with them.  The important things don't just happen when they're older.  The most important things happen every day: time together - doing the mundane, living life together - learning how to work together, disagree agreeably, play together.

The escalator only goes up... enjoy the ride.

Apr 8, 2013

Dance Party

4/08/2013 — cori
There is something very important that needs to said right up front:  I don't dance.  I love to watch people dance.  I like to tap my foot to music.  But I definitely do NOT have what it takes to get up and just let loose in front of people.  Ya.  That's never going to happen.

Chuck and I love to dance though.  Privately.  We have the 'Stand and Sway' down pat.  Sometimes we even spice it up by adding the 'Waltz Step' variation so we can sway and move around in a circle at the same time.  That's about the depth of our dancing prowess.  We won't count the time we were Minuet partners in high school.  Who does the Minuet when you're 15 and living in the 1980's?!  It was a 'forced dancing' situation.  We'll leave it at that.

We tried to move outside our fear of dancing comfort zone.  Truly, we did.  We attempted to go out dancing with friends not once, but twice.  Both times were so stressful.  We couldn't stop counting.  We tried learning how to country western dance.  Instead of it being a fun, calming, romantic evening it felt more like we were trying to cram for a final exam.  We would just look at each other and count (out loud) with our eyebrows all wrinkled in a fearful expression knowing that we would be the only ones either 1), off beat or 2), out of step or 3), going the wrong direction if we didn't get the counting right.  Add to that the LOUD music, ALL the people and the DARK atmosphere.  We all know my 'condition', right?  The one where I get all confused whenever I enter a store (or any area for that matter) with loud music playing.  Seriously, I can't focus.  The loud music triggers something in my brain and all my neurons decide to go on strike simultaneously.  Apparently I have 'sensory issues'.  And then having to be in a large, dark room with a bunch of people I don't know....scary.  I like lots of sunlight.  Clubs aren't known for being the most 'sunny' places.  I have an aversion to crowds.  So the combination of these three plus the lack of dancing confidence equals one exciting night.

All that to say I love to dance with Chuck, privately.  Or do goofy, crazy, who-cares-who's-looking dancing with the kids.  At home.  With lots of light.  And our favorite music...up kinda loudish, but not so loud that I get confused.

So out of the blue the other day Chuck brings me down to the family room and has a song already playing and wraps me in his arms to dance.  I love it.  It's the epitome of calmness, serenity, security and love for me.  Favorite music, lots of sun, home, dancing with the one I love.  Could life get any better? And then the kids come barging downstairs like a herd of elephants.  Never to be left out, they start 'dancing' with us.  If you think Chuck and I don't know how to dance, you should see our kids.  I don't think they even got the 'stand and sway' genes.  Think more like the 'Pentecostal Two Step' or 'Circus Show'.  They 'dance' with pure, uninhibited bliss and abandonment.  And they insist on doing this right next to us.  Why would we want to dance alone when we could dance together?

At first I close my eyes and pretend they are not crashing my special dance time.  If I can't see them, they aren't there.  Then Bennett starts slowly trying to infiltrate our dancing space...meaning he's attempting to wedge himself between Chuck and me, ever so slowly so we don't notice that all of the sudden there are three of us 'dancing'.  Then we open up the circle even more and all hold hands and start 'standing and swaying' together.  But the kids think that dance step is too boring so they invent a few of their own.  All to the lovely song that is miraculously still playing.  By this point we are all laughing so hard at the depths to which our dance has fallen.  It was one of those where you have to catch your breath and hold your sides you're laughing so hard and long.

And then the thought hits:  Embrace It!  When, if ever, will my 14, 11 and 9 year old all want to silly dance with Chuck and I ever again?  One day they'll be 'too mature' for that kind of abandonment (secretly I'm hoping that day will never happen).  It was another one of those snap shots in time that will always stay with me.  All of us just loving being together....even doing something we're all horrible at.  Dance party at the Mallott's!

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