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sometimes I feel like I’m on candid camera.

  • December 15, 2009 10:32 pm

I’m not sure if it’s me, the kids, our stage of life, where we live, or what we do, but the Scroggins Five live in a spastic world.

Take this morning…

My husband had a meeting that required him to leave before 7, meaning the morning routine was in my hands.  It seems to work so much better when it’s in both our hands.  Besides, it wasn’t just a normal morning routine, we needed to be at school at 7:30 for my daughter to go caroling through the halls before classes started. I was prepared, and had myself all ready well before I even WOKE the children.  I even remember slyly smiling to myself at my productivity.  That must’ve been when the jinx occurred, because O MY GOODNESS I never stopped after that. 

Here we go…

We had ZERO breakfast foods in the house.  I’m not quite sure how that happened, but it made for a unique meal of apples, dry cheerios, and a Christmas cookie thrown in for effect.  I know.  I’m terrible for giving cookies at breakfast, but I already have that Mother of the Year trophy, right?  In the meantime, there were wardrobe issues going on with my older two.  I guess it’s wrong for me to require them to wear long sleeve clothing when it’s 27 DEGREES OUTSIDE.  Maybe I should abandon that little battle.  Finally, as everyone was dressed and moderately fed, they grabbed their respective bags to load up in the car.   I had a little difficulty with my load because I was balancing all my Christmas cards and presents to mail.  On top of that,  my car was in the shop (getting EVERYTHING THAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG FIXED), so I had my mom’s car on loan.  Nothing ever quite fits in someone else’s car the way it does in your own.  Have you ever noticed that?  So, I threw one kid in the front, another in the carseat (an older car seat my mom keeps in that car that I can never remember how to buckle!), and the other kid behind me.  Whew.  After a few sprints back and forth to the house (tripping over the cat who was yelling at me at her lack of food) to lower the thermostat, unplug the Christmas tree, and grab my Secret Santa gift, we were off-a few minutes late, but off nonetheless.

We even had time for a few “oooooooo-aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaas” leftover for the drive to town.

Except then I realized I’d forgotten my Diet Coke.  Crap!!

At school, I ditched the bigger kids, and headed to the post office to do the Christmas Mailing.  At that point, my phone dinged to remind me of a staff meeting starting in five minutes.  Crap.  Ya, that wasn’t going to happen.  I quickly texted a fellow teacher friend hoping I just spazzed in my date inputting, but apparently I was on the ball at some point, and correctly entered the date.  Crap again.  I hate hate hate not being on the ball, but since my school was 40ish minutes away, and I still had one kid in tow, I had to just let that one go.  So, we again focused on our post office errand.  I figured I might as well get something off my list, and my three-year old is a grand helper both at the post office, and affixing stamps to letters.  Those of you who receive my card, keep that in mind.  :)  After we accomplished the mailing task, we headed to his school, where I realized I’d forgotten his lunch.  At home.

Now, you’d think this would be an easy fix, except that it just wasn’t at all.  Remember I was in a borrowed car?  Well, that car did not house my garage door opener, and (don’t gasp) I didn’t have a house key on hand-I blame the dealer for confiscating the keys along with my car.  So, obviously, I was locked out of my house.  As I sat in the parking lot trying to problem solve, I realized my in-laws should have a key to my house.  I headed that direction only to find that my father-in-law did not have such a key.  Crap.  So, I did the only thing left to do.  I went to my own house and broke in.  I retrieved the lunch AND A DIET COKE, and headed back to the school.  Here I had another dilemma, because I didn’t want my son to see me.  If he did, he would assume school was over, and that would’ve been a complete other issue that frankly, at this point, I didn’t have the time or mental capacity to deal with.  So, in my super-stealthy James Bond style, I crept along the halls and was overjoyed to see one of his teachers outside his classroom.  Problem solved. 

And yes, I could have gone to a grocery store for a lunchable or something, but that seemed just as hard to me and my brain at that point, and I was figured my son would rebel against anything not housed in his OFFICIAL lunchbox.  Sometimes we Scroggins’s aren’t that great with MIXING THINGS UP.  (Actually, it’s those other Scroggins’s, I’m just fine with it.) :)

At that point, I looked at the clock, and it was 8:45. 

See what I mean???  Spastic.  That’s the only word that makes sense here.

The Rule of Three

  • November 8, 2009 2:01 pm

“Please go get ready.” 

(A few minutes pass, no significant change in status)

“PLEASE go get ready NOW.”

(A few more minutes tick by.)

“PLEASE GO GET READY RIGHT NOW!!!!”

“Ok, ok!!  You don’t have to yell, mom.”

Really?  I don’t?  Because it seems like every single request I make, I start out courteous, even with a “please” thrown in for effect.  I then move to a more stern request, with emphasis on CERtain SYLlables.  When still nothing happens, I’m forced to morph into this crazy mean person who yells at people to PUT ON THEIR SHOES or BRUSH THEIR TEETH. 

Noone told me about the Rule of Three before I became a Mom.  I wonder what else they’ve been holding out on me.

Or is it just me?

sometimes things just get mixed up

  • November 2, 2009 8:22 pm

In the hustle and bustle between piano lessons and softball, I noticed my 6 year-old’s pants were WAY too long, and WAY too baggy.  In that hectic moment, I just rolled my eyes and went on with our list of Monday night activities.  I didn’t have a second thought about it because this isn’t necessarily an odd happening in our house.  We have inconsistent growth issues, and Mr. 6-year old especially likes to sprout up, then fill out.  I think he plans it just to drive me crazy.    The same clothes have fit off and on for the last 1-2 years, depending on his growth plan for that week.  So, in my defense of today’s issue-there is a history here.

But, today his pants just seemed EVEN MORE baggy than usual for the latest growth spurt.  When I pulled him to the side to roll up the EXCESSIVELY long pant legs, I checked the tag.  Yep, you guessed it.  Older sibling’s pants.  An actual 2 sizes too big, and on top of that, girl pants.  Sadly, not one of us noticed the pants problem this morning, during school, or early this afternoon.  We are just THAT observant around here.

I win.  Hands down.  The Mother-of-the-year Grand Champion Trophy has a permanent home on my living room shelf. 

Just try to beat this one.  :)

Here Mommy…

  • October 1, 2009 2:18 pm

My three year old likes to share.  I guess some of the lecturing has actually sunk in after all.  Only, he likes to share EVERYTHING, including his boogers.  Yep.  Booger sharing.  That’s what we’ve got going on over here.  Gross, right?  Every time he picks his nose he goes out of his way to find me, and….”Here, Mommy!”  Great.  Thanks so much.  I’ve discussed the value of a good tissue, a hankerchief, and even the bottom of a shoe.  No luck.  I’m still the best person to share each wonderful snotty boogery mess with.  Some girls have all the luck.  Oh look!  I’m one of them.  Aren’t you jealous?

A New “Do”

  • September 29, 2009 5:55 pm

“Danielle!!!”

“Yes?”

“Who is missing some hair?”

These are the problems we face in the Scroggins household on a day to day basis.  Tonight, it was a chunk of blonde hair in the sink, which we narrowed down to my 6-year-old.  He decided that a few hairs were out of place, and took it upon himself to fix that.  Sadly, this is the second time we’ve had this issue, and I have the kindergarten pictures to prove it.  I know I’m not the only one with a wacky hair story.

What’s yours?  And how did you fix the new “do?”

Coming out of the fog…

  • September 25, 2009 11:38 pm

In high school, I had an allergic reaction to Sulfa.  I was literally bed-ridden for two weeks, and my mom and I began to joke that I’d “lost my health.”  I was so grateful when I regained my health, that I promised to never again take it for granted.

In my first year teaching, I was sick every other day.  I blamed the kids.  I decided they were germ-ridden, and that their papers were out to get me. Because of that conspiracy, I became a huge fan of Germ-X.  I also became a pro at working when I felt less than wonderful.  For me, getting a sub was a pain, and the planning involved for just a one day absence almost wasn’t worth it.  It was always easier just to fight through the day.  Plus, in the back of my mind, I knew I still had my “health.”  I was never “that sick.”

Pregnancy was a different kind of sick.  With my daughter, I had “all-day sickness,” and would literally choose foods based on their acidic properties-I promise it makes a difference in the end.  Plus, that sickness-the growing a person inside of you sickness-wasn’t going away in 24 hours.  I had to learn to deal with feeling like crap everyday.  I think it was then I began to develop this martyr syndrome around sickness in general.  In fact, when I was pregnant with my third child, I was on the phone with my doctor and mentioned that I hadn’t been able to keep anything-including water-down for the past few days.  She instructed me to immediately go to the hospital for IV fluids, and I said I would be there when I could-but that I was on my way to Museum School, and had a few other errands to run first.  In a very nice way, she redirected my plans to not include Museum School that day, and to include a hospital stay instead.  I think I heard her roll her eyes at me when I said I wasn’t “that sick.”

And, let’s be honest, as a Mom, when do you get the luxury to be sick?  No matter how wretched you feel, when the baby cries, you answer.  You learn to live sleep-deprived, and to cope with sickness.  I’ll admit I’ve spent my fair share of afternoons on the couch watching Dora over and over as I’ve tried to recover from something trying to take my health.  You do what you have to do, but you can’t stop, right?

Wrong.  This week, I was forced to stop.  In fact, so was my husband.  He’d been fighting some annoying bug for a few days, but was hit hard Wednesday.  He even took an actual sick day from work-something he’s done maybe twice since I’ve known him.  Tuesday I started feeling less-than-wonderful, and actually went to the doctor to make sure it wasn’t Flu.  With all the craziness this year, I thought it better safe than sorry.  With a clear negative test, I trudged onward.  Wednesday was bad, but still not that bad.  But Thursday, even my students were telling me to call a sub.  I buckled, and fell into the sickness.  In my house, there were sounds of my own children around me, but by some twist of fate, they were not sick.  My daughter took the reins, and entertained the boys after school.  My husband coordinated homework folders, dinners, and practices-all the time preaching Germ-X and hand washing.  In an attempt to keep the kids healthy, we let them buy their lunch everyday at school (so we wouldn’t be handling their food), and every night, dinner was out of a can or from a local restaurant.  They thought it was awesome.  If we get through the next week still healthy, I’ll agree.  For now, I’m glad to have my own health, again reminded of how quickly it can be taken for granted, even though I really wasn’t “that sick.”

There’s a chill in the air…

  • September 22, 2009 7:05 pm

Anyone else ready for pumpkins?  Because, my kids have been begging me for weeks to get out the Halloween stuff.   There were a few times I almost gave in, but finally decided on a rule:  It has to be less than 90 degrees outside in order to officially declare it pumpkin season.  As last night’s storms rolled in, three little heads turned my direction with pumpkins on the brain;  I conceded, and now we have pumpkin explosion.  They walked around the house last night constantly “getting scared” by the spiders and black cats accompanying the pumpkin motif.  It was awesome.  Really.  Next on the pumpkin agenda:  Halloween Costumes and Pumpkin Patches.

Any fun pumpkin plans going on at your house?

When Daddy’s in Charge…

  • September 14, 2009 8:26 pm

I think it’s fair to say my Dad never had to dress me.  It wasn’t until my sister was born, and my mother was recovering in the hospital, that he was actually expected to make me presentable to the world.  He failed miserably.  As a first grader, I guess I had no clue as to what was fashionable, so I went with the rat’s-nest-side-ponytail-dress-on-backward look.  I know it was popular in the November 1981 issue of Teen Vogue; I’m sure they have a back issue just waiting for an interview from yours truly.  Needless to say, my dad was never in charge of my fashion or hairstyle again, per my Mother’s request (and later, my own request).

When my husband and I moved to a 2 child household, there was an adjustment period for both our relationship and our abilities to multi-task.  I specifically remember my first weekend away, when I took a roadtrip with my Mom to Houston to visit my sister.  I’d left instructions for my husband on how to manage the TWO children, but I also had confidence he could PARENT as well as BABYSIT his own offspring.  When I returned on Sunday, the children were playing happily in the backyard, but sporting the same outfit from Friday.  I looked at my husband with the typical “What the….????” look, and his only reply?  “I kept them alive.  You gotta be happy.  I kept us all alive.”  From that moment, our only request of any babysitter was to keep our dear children alive.  A simple, yet crucial goal.

Today, I had an early meeting at school, so my husband was in charge of the Morning Routine.  When I collected the children this afternoon, their outfits made me do a double take, and think about calling Teen Vogue for a “follow up generation” interview.  My daughter was mismatched and mis-sized (her shirt had been in the “to grow into pile”).  My son had a tshirt on from last year, a few sizes too short, and a few shades too faded for “school clothes.”   I hoped they managed clean teeth, brushed hair, and breakfast to start the day, but I didn’t ask. 

And to add to all of this, I have to admit I perpetuate the Daddy Incompetence Factor.  When I have to be out for an evening, I work double-time to ensure the kids are fed, bathed, homeworked, and ready to just “hang out” by the time my husband and I tag eachother at the door.  Why?  Why do I do that?  Is it because of my OCD?  or Is it because I know if I don’t, the children might not be clean, fed, or in bed at a reasonable hour?  I enable my husband’s caretaking shortcomings.  Of course, there are exceptions, and there are attention-to-detail dads out there.  To those, I salute you.  But, as a general rule, when dads are in charge, sometimes things fall through the cracks. 

But, despite slimy teeth, mismatched clothes, and unbalanced meals, kids love Daddy Time.  They crave that special bond, and maybe it’s the fly-by-the-seat-of-our-pants attitude that makes that bond so unique.  I guess someday the kids will be able to match their own clothes, and will want to brush their own teeth, so maybe I should just go with it.  But, I also might document a few of these missteps along the way for future blackmail.

Just 2 more hours…or 3, 4…ok, 5 is all I need.

  • September 10, 2009 3:50 pm

5 More hours in the day would do it…

Today:

3:30 Dentist appts for Kids 1, 2, 3

4:00 Found a cavity in Kid 1, fix said cavity

4:45 Feed Kids 1, 2, 3

5:00 Kids 1, 2 homework and reading

5:30  Kid 2 baseball practice

6:30 Kid 3 soccer practice

7:30 Kid 1 gymnastics

9:00  Mommy collapses

Part of it is my fault.  I purposely tried to pile as many things I could on Thursdays to ensure at least ONE free night at home.  But, between mine and my husband’s extracurricular activities, and my kids’ ever-increasing activities, it’s hard to get to that dinner table to eat as a family.  And you know what they say about those families that “eat together”…only wonderful things happen in their lives.  The pressure of mealtime!  So, tonight we ate McDonald’s super early to get some of those Roses, Thorns, and Buds in there.  I did skip out on the play area, opting for the drive-thru, and eating at the dinner table.  I’m hoping maybe that gives me a few more bonus points in the long run, too. 

It’s either that or permenant insomnia.  I can’t decide which would be more useful.

it’s all mixed up

  • August 30, 2009 9:01 pm

My six-year-old has a new aversion to food that’s “all mixed up,” meaning casseroles (including King Ranch Chicken, a Scroggins Family Favorite), soups (minus Cars Chicken Noodle), and salads (even the fun pink fruit salad that all the Grandmas know how to make).chicken-casserole-sl-1704091-l

At first, I was ok with my new picky eater.  I remember not wanting my food to touch, so I could stretch that thought, and relate it to this “mixed-up food” ideaology.  But, it’s getting a little ridiculous.  This morning, we mixed eggs and sausage for breakfast tacos.  That was a no-go.  This evening, I mixed peas and corn.  No bueno. 

More than his actual dislike of mixed-up foods, is his over-the-top reaction to seeing the foods mixed-up.  To put it mildly, total meltdown.  Complete with yelling, and a chair slump-or for a more dramatic effect-a slump to the floor.  Both equally rude in my book.  So, I’ve explained that it’s OK to dislike certain foods; it’s ok to not eat those foods; it’s even ok to put those foods on a “never eat again list” if absolutely needed.  What is NOT OK, is that reaction.  At home, sure, tell me when you don’t like something.  I promise I might not make it again.  But, as a guest in someone’s house, eat it.  Even if it’s dirt, eat it, and say it was yummy.  That’s just good manners.

Every time I think I’ve made headway with this lesson, we backslide a little.  Hopefully, it will sink in before he meets his future in-laws as they serve Spaghetti Chicken with a side of Cool Whip Fruit Salad.