Hello! Welcome to my blog! Here I post my thoughts about my family and whatever else I feel like talking about. Feel free to comment!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Looking back, trying to find myself..

I have realized that I don't really know my parents.

Which sounds like an odd thing to say. I mean, how can you not know your parents, especially your biological ones, the ones that gave birth to you, and loved you unconditionally your whole life. How can you not know them?

Well, it's kind of complicated. And I do know them, I just don't know them.

I know my parents. I know their names were Alvin and Idell Olson, their birthdays, their wedding anniversary, some information about where they grew up, and so on. But I don't really know them.

My parents died when I was 17 and 18, respectively. They weren't young by any means, my father was 75 and my mother was 58. My father was a lot older than my mother, and they didn't think they could have any children, so when I was born 19 year later when my dad was 57 and my mom was almost 40, well, it was a blessed surprise.

Being an only child, my parent's deaths changed my life dramatically. And it was hard the first few years, I'm not gonna lie. It's still hard at times now, and even though time may heal the wounds, scars can still hurt too.

I never really thought much about my parent's history in great depth, except that, you know, it exists. I've been a bit of a family history buff for years, but lately it's been ratcheted up a notch, and I've been putting information into a online family tree program with fervor.

I even managed to find some of my parents' friends from way back, and when I was trying to explain why I was looking for them, I really had to say, 'I don't know why I want to get in contact with you..I just did.' And even though I won't be physically able to visit these people, or any other of my family for at least another 6 months, somehow, I want that connection.. People that knew my parents better than I did.

I have the urge to literally contact people that knew my parents well, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc, and say, "I want to know more about my parents. Please tell me about them. Favorite memories, what they meant to you..", things like that. I can know the statistics all I want, but tell me about the person.

I'm afraid that I'm forgetting. Not my parents themselves, but details. I can't remember the sound of their voices, and I'm yearning for a way to hear it again. (I do have some very old tape of them somewhere, on a old fashioned reel to reel tape recorder, but I have no idea if it is my possession right now. If I have to guess, I'm have to say it's not, and I have some suspicion of where it is, which will be another 6 months before I can access that either.)

I have a lot of 8mm home movies that I'd like to get on DVD, which I never seem to get around to doing. I think I want to see those images of them, maybe it will be tangible again, and I won't feel this want.

My husband and I were watching 'World War II in HD' on Netflix last week.  It was a very personal thing for me, as the episode we were watching, I could reference my dad's Army letters and determine, that, yes, my father could have been in that very part of the world, only in about 3 months' time. Somehow, it made his letters and the situation much more real to me.

So why am I doing this, looking back, trying to reconnect with my past at this level? I used to want to go back to my grandma's house and "up north" to try to remember a simpler time, when I had no worries and life was more carefree. But I know I can't have that again. Is it because I see my children growing up, and the struggles and breakthroughs they have, and I wonder what my own childhood was like then? Is it because I know my children will never know their grandparents, and I remember having a set of grandparents I have little to no recollection about? Once again, I don't really know. I just feel it is important for me to try and reconnect.

This picture is one of my favorites. It was taken in October of 1995, about 9 months before my dad died. It's my dad with my mom, and my Uncle Everett (my dad's brother) on the right. I could have cropped it to bring my mom and dad more into the picture, but I didn't. And here's why. I want the whole picture because of the details, of things I don't want to forget about not only my parents, but the house I grew up in. The tacky kitchen wallpaper, the items on the wall, even the fact that I can look out the kitchen window and see a truck parked in the yard. (doubtful it was ours, but still, the memories...) I don't want to lose any of that in my mind's eye. And so, I guess I search.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A day in the life..

My day so far:

7 am: get up, get the son ready for school, take him to the bus stop.
Get the girl up, ready for school, get her on the bus.
Did some dishes.
Put some laundry in the washer.
Picked up the junk on the counter, took out some recyclables.
Started picking up our bedroom.
Husband came home at 9 for breakfast break, made him an egg.
9:30: Went to son's school to straighten out a registration mess.
Went to the ATM at the bank.
Went to the library.
Went to the gas station.
Went to the post office.
Went to Walmart.
Went to McDonalds to get lunch.
I was home by 11 or shortly after..

Yet to do today:
Figure out the school registration thing. (I think it's my laptop, gonna try the tower next..)
Put the laundry in the dryer.
Try to work on my fic that's due 6/2.
Work on cleaning up the rest of our bedroom.
Make sure the kids are fed/keep a general eye on them.

..I think that's it for today. :D Usually I don't have quite that many errands to run, but you get the idea. I'm one busy mama. And tomorrow I get a "Big Special Project", cleaning out our shed. Once a year the community we live in has a "trash amnesty day", where we can throw out all the big stuff, and leave our junk at our curb and they will pick it up. Well, this year, our day is Friday. But, Friday is Heidi's preschool graduation in the morning, so I won't have time for that Friday. So tomorrow it is. I am armed with my big black trash bags, and I will not be distracted by that tomorrow.

Friday is Heidi's preschool graduation. I can't believe the school year is over, and my little baby (she's 5) will be graduating and be in Kindergarten next year. And my son Roger's last day for the year is Friday as well, he gets out early and will be in 2nd grade next year. My little man..

The kiddos have summer school this year, and it'll be a supermama challenge to keep it all straight. The girl starts 6/13, and she'll go Monday through Friday for 2.5 hours in the morning for 6 weeks, and the son starts 6/22 and goes for 2 hours in the afternoon 2 days a week for 8 weeks. Neither are in summer school at the same time of day! And the girl is going to a different school for summer school (same district, different building..) But they are both getting bussed, so I just have to have them ready.

The girl was kind of sick last week, just a stomach bug or something. She was feverish, and she didn't want to eat for drink for about a day and a half, and the only thing she would take was tylenol.. (and that's still like wrestling a piglet to get that in, believe me.) And she was mad at me for the medicine, too. She said "you're fired" to me once, I just laughed..

But she did have a milestone, too. I finally got around to fixing the Diego trike and brought it in the house. She usually just pushes it with her feet, but this time, she's been using the pedals and doing it right! I'm excited for the weather to clear and time to permit so she can pedal outside to her heart's content. The son still can't ride a bike, he wants to but is having trouble with the brain/feet coordination. He'll get there.

Since it's almost lunch and husband will be home soon, I'd better wrap this up. To quote Frost, there are still "miles to go before I sleep."

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The highs and lows of the autism ride..

So this happened Mother's Day.

Son: Mom, how do you close up this zooble toy?

Me: I have no idea, ask your sister. She knows those things.

Son: Okay. [to his sister, sitting at my feet,] Hey, can you show me how to close up this zooble? [He hands it out to her.]

Girl: Uh, okay. [she takes it from him, closes it, and hands it back to him.] Here you go.

Son: Thanks. [he takes it, goes off]

Girl: You're welcome. [she goes back to her toys]

A normal conversation between siblings, right? Maybe for a "normal" family. But my kids aren't normal, especially my girl. So for my girl to be so "on" and actually help her brother and respond to her brother and help him with what he wanted, without any prompting from me, well, I just about cried.

Then today, son was sick in the night. He stayed home from school, because his stomach hurts. Well, the truth finally came out that the reason his stomach was hurting was because his sister was beating him up last night and getting him in the stomach. The son is not much of a defender of himself, even though we tell him he needs to be more assertive, and tell us when his sister is being mean to him.

Sometimes there's progress, and sometimes there's regression. Well, one miracle per day at a time, I guess.

Monday, April 25, 2011

This supermum is on strike!

Well, part time. And for a couple hours..

Kiddos are off school today, for Easter Monday. And they're already driving me nuts. They won't stop taking each others toys, pick up any messes, and need something every five minutes. So on my way home from Walmart this morning, I thought, this mom's on a temporary strike. I got Hardee's breakfast just for myself, even though they fussed, and also even though they usually don't eat what I get them from Hardee's anyway. I also bought some Swiss Cake Rolls at Walmart, and plan on eating some later. (all diets start tomorrow, I say..)

I'm tired. Not just physically, which is what happens when I work full time at McDonalds with a bunch of kids serving a bunch of sometimes ungrateful customers for just over minimum wage, and then come home and get the kids to school, clean the house, make meals for everyone..No wonder I crack. But also emotionally tired, when my work doesn't appreciate anything I do for them, and oh yeah, the same thing happens at home. No one appreciates me here either. I'm the only one who picks up anything, takes out any garbage, does any dishes, or mows the lawn. And I can't keep up. No one listens, or if they do listen, they sure don't hear.

Trekfest is the end of June. I'm going on the Saturday of it, and possibly as Janice Rand if I can get my act together to get the wig done. Hubby doesn't want me to go, of course. Because I'm meeting people I met online and that I don't even know. Even though I met these people last year, and survived. I never get a "day off" to do something I enjoy, even though how many Saturdays last summer did he leave early in the morning to go golfing with his friend, and not get home til 5, or later? And I'm home with the kids all day. And I can't have ONE day out of the year to go do what I want? Tough noogies, I say. He'll live.

After lunch maybe I'll bribe my kids with dollars to go pick up the yard so I can mow sometime this week. Or not. At any rate, the world won't end if it doesn't get done today. Cause this mom's on vacation.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Notes from the bottom of the hovel...

I, like most moms, struggle with house cleaning, especially when the kids are little. With a husband, a 7 year old and an autistic 5 year old, my house always looks like a tornado hit it, or like my friend Annie says, like a frat party that you have to clean up, but didn't get to enjoy. I manage to get some day to day cleaning done every day, such as dishes, picking up toys/clothes/misc out of the footpaths, laundry, etc, but the deep cleaning that probably should happen more often just doesn't. There simply isn't enough hours in the day when you're the only one doing it. And not getting any help or appreciation either. One of my friends that means well (but has no children) commented on the state of my home, saying that "a clean home makes for a clearer mind and better environment for all." Maybe so, but when you're the only one who can or will make an attempt at cleaning, it gets old really fast.

Lately I haven't been overly worried about the state of my house. Because I just really don't have the energy, and not much time, either, to be cleaning like a fool. I'd much rather be reading with my son, or tickling my daughter and making her laugh until she gets the hiccups. Because they are already growing too fast, and sometimes I feel like I've already missed too much. I turned around and they are 7 and 5, almost in 2nd grade and Kindergarten. The next time I turn around they will be 17 and 15 and almost in 12th grade and 10th grade.

I've had the last part of this poem in my head the last week or so, and while my "babies" aren't really babies anymore, and I no longer rock them, it's still true. The details on the origins of this poem are sketchy, but I've seen it labeled as being published as early as 1958. The last paragraph is especially true. ETA: Upon further research, it is called "Song for a fifth child."

Dedicated to the other "supermamas" in my life, Annie, Corrie and Catrina. <3 and hugs!

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

- Ruth Hulbert Hamilton