No pictures this time, so if that's all you're here for, move along.
Riley has been driving me crazy. For sometime now. And I imagine well into the future. This week in particular she has been a whiney little thing. And demanding. The clothing battles continue to rage on. In fact, I think it was last week, maybe the week before, I dropped her off at school with her dress on backwards and no shoes on. ..both days. Luckily, the preschool is prepared for these kind of days. And she's much more compliant with them. Interestingly enough, Rachel is being the perfect angel. I say 'get dressed' and she gets dressed. Even donning socks and shoes without being asked. As long as the ying/yang of that relationship continues, I just might be able to survive. Rena is moving right along. I know I'm prejudiced, but she is turning out to be a delightful little girls. All of them, really, but Rena has developed self-awareness that the twins haven't necessarily found yet.
It's not all battles. Yesterday, for example, Riley sat down and read the entire Green Eggs and Ham book to herself. Now, she wasn't actually reading the words, but the pictures. She was reading outloud and it was adorable. She was totally engrossed in what she was doing. I got video tape of her. Unfortuantely, it's not digital.
Rachel has always been good at entertaining herself. She's a little obsessive about watching TV. I'm well aware that I shouldn't let her watch so much. She walks around quoting whole scenes from Nemo and Sleeping Beauty. Interesting kid. I love watching her grow. She's got a great imagination too. Probably better than both her sisters.
Rena is definitely growing more independant. I love it. And not just because it has some benefit to me. I love seeing the sense of accomplishment she gets when she gets herself a bowl of cereal or makes a snack for herself and her sisters. She made lunch for them all last week. Peanutbutter and jelly sandwiches. How cool is she?
I may have said this before, but when the twins were born, I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't make Rena the 'little mother' that sometimes happens with older siblings. Rachel and Riley were not her responsibility. I didn't ask her to get me diapers or wipes or bottles or a million other things that she could have done to help me. So, I find it interesting that she still seems to be exhibiting those 'oldest child' traits of being a caretaker. Like I said before, she's a neat kid.
Of course, there's more to my life than the girls. Ok, not really. I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday that also has a 5 year old and we seem to be on the same page...boring. I think since it was rainy all day yesterday and we were stuck inside all day, it just made things feel worse. I used to have a sense of accomplishment. I had a job. I got up and went to work everyday, accomplished things, talked to other adults, came home tired. Now I get up and (aside from the undeniable joys of being a mother) do the same things over and over. Laundry, dished, picking things up off the floor, vacuuming, making and/or cleaning up from some meal. At the end of the day, there is no sense of accomplishment. And it's frustrating.
It's also frustrating that actually trying to do something for myself is almost not worth the effort. One of the things I do for myself (really the only thing) is play tennis. I love it. I love the girls, I love the game, I love the physical and mental challenge. The problem is I have to rely on someone else to be able to go play. Blair's never here, so it's a babysitter. And they can be unreliable. This week is a perfect example. I've started using a 15 year old neighbor (Carly)to babysit. The girls love her. They are usually playing some sort of dressup whenever I get home...a big hit with Riley. I haven't played in weeks, but 'my' team just started their spring season practices tuesday night. We've added some new people and I was looking forward to seeing all my old friends and meeting the new ladies. So I had called Carly monday and asked if she could be here at 6:15. Sure! So 6:15 comes and goes. At 6:20, still no sign of her (and I can see up the street, almost to her house) so I call her. busy. call the cell number. no answer. call again. busy. Now it's 6:25. Practice starts in 5 minutes. I'm dressed and ready and in the middle of preparing dinner. So I call one of my 'grandma' neighbors. She's already in bed, sick. Then I see 'the guys' from across the street. So I call out to the mother (who hasn't talked to me in about a year and a half) and ask if Sabra can babysit for an hour and a half. Now, she's only 12, but, really, she's very mature and better than most teenagers at manipulating small children. She really does have the knack! She can! Send her over. I run back inside to check on dinner. 6:30 there's a knock on the door. It's Carly. She thought she was supposed to be there at 6:30. Then Sabra showed up. I decided to let both of them stay and now I am frantically trying to get to my tennis lesson which has already started.
So even when I try to do something for myself, it takes so much effort and planning and drama, it's almost not worth it. Then to add even more frustration to my situation, at the end of my lesson, the team I played with this winter (a much higher level team) called me over and wanted me to practice with them. I couldn't, because I had babysitters at my house. So frustrating.
Alright, back to a positive note. Once I pick the girls up from preschool, I'm off to register Rena for kindergarten. I can hardly believe it. So, I'd better run for now, there's vacuuming and laundry to be done!
You know what sucks? There's a house that's being raffled off about 3 miles from my house for $5 a ticket. The house is valued at over 400,000 dollars. I was just taking a virtual tour of this house and it would be perfect for us. Master on the main with a guest room on the main. Large mudroom. Deck and covered porch. 2 bedroom/bonus rooms upstairs that would be perfect for the girls bedrooms and playroom. Secluded lot. And that's where the problem comes in. As great as that sounds, my girls (and me, for that matter) wouldn't be happy there. Forget about me. They love to go visit their neighbors and play with the other kids in the neighborhood. When it's not cold, we spend alot of time outside and alot of that time is spent visiting with our neighbors. Rena's best friends lives directly across the street. And even though she's only 5, she has a bond with those children. Yes, I know if we were to move away tomorrow, she probably wouldn't even really remember those kids. But now, they are her best friends. My girls ride their bikes in the streets and run up and down the sidewalks blowing bubbles and playing with their friends. What would they do secluded in the woods?
Now, I'm acting like we've won this house. We haven't and chances are pretty slim that we would. But if we did, we would have to make a decision. And a tough one. I don't know why I grow so attached to the places I live, but I do. As much as I hate this house....and I do...it would be hard to move away because I love my neighbors. People say you can't stay because of your neighbors, but I'm not entirely sure that's true. Would you trade a really good 'known' for an unsure 'unknown'?
Either way, I'm stuck here. For better (and there has been some better here) or worse(which seems to be mostly over). It may not be my 'dream' house, but it's where my children will spend their childhood and grow their memories.