Thursday, October 12, 2017

All in 120 seconds

That's all it took. 120 seconds. Even at the age of 12 and 9 these boys can get into trouble in nothing flat. Let me paint the picture:

A few weeks ago, it had been a long Sunday with friends over, so when it was time to go grocery shopping, the thought of leaving the boys at home and only going with Nate sounded refreshing. Quiet adult time with the husband. We've left the boys home alone quite often. Maysen is generally in charge but usually the boys are playing XBox or watching videos. Pretty low-risk things. They know not to answer the door or allow friends in when we're gone.

The same warnings were given and off we went! We decided that we'd grab the mail, as I was expecting a few things in the mail. Considering most of our bills are online and long-gone are the days of letter-writing, I can honestly say that we get the mail about every 1-2 weeks or unless we're expecting something. Needless to say, our mail hauls are pretty big.

Our mail box to our little neighborhood is a few streets away (at the top of our loop). After seeing how large our bundle was, we decided to run it home instead of hauling it around with us. We headed for home; down the hill, around the corner. I wasn't prepared for what I saw.

You see, it had been a mere (approximately) 120 seconds from the time we left our angels and headed out. Running around the yard with no shoes was Griffin. He was crying and running from the garage to the front door. Maysen had locked him out of the house. Confused, we stopped the car and all we could understand from Griffin was "Locked out. Maysen. Jerk."

I entered the house and the confusion just got worse. There, on the floor, were ice cubes. Everywhere. I entered a little further. A second culprit had no entered the scene making it only more confusing. Sidewalk chalk. In places where there wasn't ice, there were hunks of side walk chalk (I had brought in for drawing on my welcoming board).

That's right. In 120 seconds, they entered the house and the story goes like this:

Griffin: "Maysen was walking up the stairs so I jumped on his back."

Maysen: "Yeah, and it P'd me off, so I ran to the ice maker and grabbed a handful of ice and threw it at him."

Griffin: "But I cound't get any ice to throw back so I just grabbed the sidewalk chalk and started throwing it until I ran out. Then I ran outside and MAYSEN locked me outside."

That's all it took folks. 120 seconds. And instead of my nice, quiet, grocery trip with Nate, both boys had to grab shoes and hike it to the store. Then I made them go searching for item by item at the store.

UPDATE: I've sat this post out for about a week waiting to finish it's beauty and let me clue you into a nice little added bonus to this fun loving family. Now, mind you, they didn't get away "cheap" from the last incident. I even threatened hiring a neighborhood girl (who is Griffin's age) to come and babysit them while we left. That was only a threat.

So, last night we decided to try it again. We had left Griffin home for about 1.5hrs while we were at a athletic parent meeting at the school and he did just great. After the meeting, we took Maysen home, dropped him off and ran to Cottage Grove.

We were gone an hour.

We arrived home and everything looks great - there is no blood. No missing teeth. No broken windows or broken down door. Even a cheerful "Hi mom!" when we entered. Then I go to set my purse down on the counter and I am puzzled because on top of our black counter top I could see a blue'ish sticky slimy substance.

"What is this blue goo on the counter right here?"

*Deer in headlights* all movement stops. Then they look at each other.

"Before you start coming up with some bullcrap, I just want the truth .... NOW."

"Ohhhhh, it's this ..." Maysen walks over to the freezer and pulls out my huge meant-for-back ice pack. You know the ones that are filled with blue gel? Yup. Well, this giant gel-filled ice pack had a split down one whole edge.


"What happened to that, Maysen?"

Story 1: His back hurt so he put the ice pack on the couch and it popped open.

Story 2: GRIFFIN decided it might be fun to throw the ice packs up in the air and see if they could hit the fan. Griffin was too scared to do it, so Maysen thought he'd be the brave one and try. Of course - the repeated heaving of the ice pack up into the air trying to strike the circulating ceiling fan was enough to break it wide open. They cleaned up the evidence ... but not good enough, leaving blue slime in a spot easily visible to the M.O.M.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Backsplash project

As the boys grow up, its fun realizing the many things you have in common with them. Music, movies, sports. One of the things Maysen and I have in common is HGTV Home shows including House Hunters and Property Brothers. We compare how we would decorate this room, or which wall should be taken down to make the concept more open. 

I also love his spontaneity. He's the first one to jump in the car and run with me somewhere if I get a hair-brained idea.

It was a Thursday when I got the idea that we should update the backsplash in our kitchen. It's something I've always wanted but kept putting off. I painted the backsplash years ago, which lead it it's own adventure altogether. 

But still I wanted glass backsplash. So, I posed the question to Maysen about how hard he thought it would be. By that afternoon we were at Jerry's picking out glass backsplash. His resourcefulness amazed me. And he has great taste! We were trying to picture what the backsplash would look like and he got the idea to take it to the set-up kitchen areas and find one similar to ours to use as a reference. It worked great and the pattern/colors could not have been more perfect.

Friday afternoon is when we started the project. He worked hard to get the pieces cut just right. It was both of ours' first time using a hand-held glass tile cutter but before long he was eye-balling where to make the cuts and really going for it with confidence.

Not once did he complain or get frustrated. There were parts where we had to literally free lance mosiac parts and he did a great job. 



Overall completely impressed by this kiddo. He took the bull by the horns, learned right along with me, and even at times lead the project. More growing and learning completed! (For us both!)

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Maysen's Honor Science Video

Ms Reed gave the class a chance to partner up and pick a topic that the group could therefore expand on by either drawing posters, etc. Maysen and Garrett decided they'd go one step further and make a video. Their topic? Food waste = bad.

What could have been just a simple thing, an easy 1 hr project and done. Nope. Not these boys. They worked on this video for days ... editing, re-shooting scenes, the whole 9 yards. I'm so proud of both boys going above and beyond with creativity and wit.

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Anger and Attitude

Maysen is truly challenging these days. I've always known there was an anger trait in the Shindley clan but I've always tied it to something. Dad always seemed angry - but he's had a hell of a road. Alcoholic father, major abuse, troubled childhood including abandonment, Vietnam draft and all that entails, marriage to mom - she got sick, and on and on. The guy hasn't had a very good streak of happiness.

Then there's me. I had a good childhood; mom and dad did what they could to always give us our wants. We had summer vacations, we had a stable household. But, mom was sick. She had MS and it was terrifying. She, herself, didn't accept the disease much so as kids we were screwed on getting any support and training on how to cope with any feelings that might arise. You know, feelings of fear, worry, confusion. Not to mention that any noise/stress made mom "worse" so eggs shells is what we walked on around our house (enter weight problem and isolation at the age of 10).

Anyway, I digress. Any anger issues I had/have I've tied to that kind of crap.

But Maysen!? He walks around here, at the age of 12 (going on 40) with the hugest chip on his shoulder. The world has wronged him!!! I can't think of one thing that he has to be angry or disgruntled about. When you ask him, he has no idea what you're talking about. It's just "him", like it always was a part of my dad. He doesn't get violent but the elongated sighs - the frustration in his voice - being mad all the time.

Then there's the constant noise/movement. He walks around talking in weird dialect. He can't just answer you normally - it'll have the volume of a wild hyena. There is no such thing as dead space when it comes to him - he will fill it with a grunt or "BRUH", which is tied to no conversation. Just something to fill the quiet.

I mentioned before how Mom used to always claim that MS was affected by noise/stress and I'm starting to think it was just something she thought. Because I don't have MS but I've got to tell you; these days I walk around like a cat on a hot tin roof. I hear the bus stop at the house and I have to mentally prepare for the whirlwind that is about to walk in the door.

"HIIIIII (octive lower) iiiiiiiiiiii. BRUH!" *immediately slamming the door shut, dropping jacket and backpack right where he entered* "LETS GO!!!!"

"Maysen, pick up your shoes and hang your stuff up."

"FRICK!!!!!" *slowly running his index finger down his cheek to imitate a tear falling while singing "Only Time" by Enya* "...Who can say where the road goes ...."

Another one - randomly "Tastes like chicken" (screeching on the word "chicken")

Then. To confuse me, he and I will go to Cottage Grove to run an errand and I can talk to him like he's a peer, almost. He's so mature. Gone are the voices, the grunts, the sounds of animals. Where is this kid most of the time and how do I summon him?

I've recently started giving him melatonin at night. I do this even at 9:00pm he is ramped up. I know he's tired - being amped up and tired only equal disaster. He'll sit in bed and stare at the ceiling, keeping Griffin awake.

I only want to document this frustrating time in Maysen's life because life isn't perfect. I capture his successes on here ... proud moments ... but realistically, there are challenges. I love this kid with all my heart. I live my life for these boys. So it kills me when he is ramped up and angry because that only makes me ramped up and angry. I don't want there to be a wedge between us. I try my hardest to understand him. At this point, though, I think he's trying his hardest to understand himself.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Vegas 2017

I waited 30 years to go to Las Vegas for the first time. What's funny is we chose to go with Papa (retired pastor) and Sherrill for the first ever trip to Sin City. We had such a fun trip and when we realized how easy it was to get there, we've sort of made it an annual "Get away from the kids and into the sun" trip every Spring. 

Nathan didn't even take a day off of work for this trip. He just tapped into the Wi-Fi and worked the whole week from the condo.

I, on the other hand was here most of the time - by the pool. If I wasn't by the pool I was in the room watching Redbox movies. It was a glorious week. We Uber'd for the first time and it worked out great! We had groceries delivered to the hotel, which was nice that we didn't even have to leave to go get groceries.

On the last night we went and saw a ridiculously priced Cirque de Soleil show, but it was a real good time. Yes, I do believe we'll probably do this every year. Maybe one day we'll even make some money doing it!!