May 9, 2011

My Mother's Day 2011

Mother's Day is one of a few days that often leads to disappointment for me.  I learned several years ago that I set myself up for disappointment by the expectations I set up.  Yet, I continue to do it, year after year on my birthday and Mother's Day.  I grew up in a house where these days were BIG.  These days were SPECIAL.  For Mother's Day we took my mom to brunch (read over priced but delicious meal) and did our best to treat her like royalty all day.  If we didn't meet up to these expectations there were reminders a plenty that it was HER special day from my (step)dad.
However, as much as I have attempted to raise my kids the same way, that these occassions really are special, no matter how much they want to, they still require help.  But more imporantly I need help.  I need help remembering that it is really the thought!  One Mother's Day my oldest brought my a can of Pepsi and a bowl of dry cereal in bed because it was all he was allowed to do in the kitchen.  But I LOVED it.  I may have helped that it was done at a reasonable hour.
This year however, my Mother's Day started at 3am with a screaming toddler.  When I went into the boys room, the only thing he said was "I can't sleep." So I scooped him up and brought him to bed with me.  Where he proceeded to flop and flail around like a dying fish, attempting to use me as his personal pillow/punching bag.  Then shortly before 6 am, my oldest began attempting to bring me breakfast.  With less than 4 hours of decent sleep, I shoo'd him away every 20-30 minutes until just after 8am.  That's when I rolled over and attempted to take a plate of what I assumed was cinnamon rolls.  That WAS, after all, what we made a special stop at the store for the day before so that he could handle breakfast without help.  But instead he had filled a plate full of raisins, graham crackers, a package of peanut butter crackers, a bowl FULL of dry Cheerios and a fruit cup.  Immediately the raisins when sliding off the plate and onto my bed and somehow into Bryan's diaper.  Apparently raisin's in the diaper don't feel very nice, or he thought they were bugs (which HATES right now) and he began to FREAK OUT while I attempted to recover the raisins.  Once he was calmed down and deloused, I attempted to sit up and check out the balance of my breakfast.  And then promptly spilled the juice from the fruit cup onto my comforter.  That was enough "relaxing" breakfast for me so I got up and started getting ready for church.  After getting everyone ready we took a minute so I could open the gifts from the boys.  Johnny made me a cute butterfly magnet and a GREAT card and Timmy made a pretty and very thoughtfully written card.  After downing a cinnomon roll we headed out to church.  Where Bryan first said he wanted to stay with me and go to service. Until we got to the other side of the church and he began pulling me by the hand and pointing and insisting he wanted to "go."  So we went BACK to the Sunday school area, signed him in and then he began melting down.  I ended up having someone literally peel him off me screaming.  As I turned around from the room, two moms with similar aged kids gave me knowing half smiles and wished me a Happy Mother's Day.  To which the tears began to floor and I hurried to the closest restroom.  Once I composed myself I head to service.  I was thankful for a nice service that did NOT focus to much at all on Mother's Day.
And I was extra glad that Bryan went to Sunday school as he proudly presented me with the bright yellow tulip pictured above.  Amazingly despite a day in a hot car, it perked right up when I put it in some water hours later!
From church we headed to the party store were we got some balloons and took them to the cemetery.  We left cards and a balloon for my mom and grandma.  We attempted to let a balloon go with the pictures the boys made for my mother in law but in disappointing fashion the construction paper outweighed the balloon and went...nowhere.  
So we packed up and headed out to find somewhere nice for lunch despite Bryan's protests for Burger King.  I drove through about 8 PACKED parking lots before finding a decent looking lot at Applebees.  It wasn't my first (or fifth) choice because we have one really close to home and it's our go to place so I wanted somewhere different but with just me and the three boys I was NOT down for an hour, or even a half hour wait.  We slid right into a table at Applebees.  Where I had a DELICIOUS steak and replaced the healthy veggies with an extra side of garlic mashed potatoes.  Luckily, Timmy was starving for some reason and ate most of the second portion for me.

As much as I really just wanted to go home and take a nap, I thought that it would be a good day to make our first visit to Six Flags.  The weather was perfect and I was convinced that few people would be there since it was Mother's Day.  But as we pulled in and were directed to a far lot, which I had never had to use all of last season, I was worried.  But as we got to the gates areound 1:30 in the afternoon, there was no line to get in.  But since we have season passes we had to first stop and get our new cards.  THAT line looked horrible, but you have to get your card the first day you visit.  So I got inline with the boys and prepared for the worst.  While standing there I realized Johnny had ketchup ALL over his face. So I sent him (with Timmy for my peace of mind) to a near by bathroom to clean up and by the time they got back we were almost inside the building.  It went quickly and there was minimal complaints from our smallest thrill seeker.  We each got our new cards with our smiley happy faces printed on them.  Well mine also includes a bit of the lady next to us as she refused to move out of frame after repeated requests from the employee but it wasn't really a glamor shot anyway.

We headed off to what, if you're familiar with Six Flags Great America, used to be the Wiggles area filled with kids rides.  We rode the cars and the planes (both a first for me as last year I let my husband do the riding) and Johnny and Bryan rode the little tea cups and the three boys rode 'the strawberries.'  On the planes and the strawberries Bryan began screaming when he got on the rides that he didn't want to go. But once they start moving he loves them and wants to go again.
From the kids area we wondered, saw a few Warner Bros characters, ate a JUMBO pretzel and then rode the big tea cups not once but twice.  As we left the ride and got back in line I hoped we'd get a minute to regroup but we got right back on.  Without a break in between I wouldn't let the boys get the cup really spinning but it was still priceless watching all three of them CRACKING UP through the whole ride!
After 5 hours, I could hardly walk another step and we still had a decent hike back to the car.  We took a quick break and then headed out.  I really thought Bryan might lose it as he started to get tired and impatient about getting to the car but he did great.  We grabbed dinner on the way home and were all ready to collapse by bedtime.

Us with Foghorn Leghorn
 Part of me is convinced it was a horrible Mother's Day as it wasn't the relaxing day I always think it should be.  But the boys and I had a great day.  It's all about expectations and perspective.  So while I am not one to sugar coat things or try to deceive myself or others of just smiley happy pictures of our "perfect" day, this year, I'm going to cherish these great photos and remember the good time we DID have this Mother's Day.

Bugs Bunny

the boys with Daffy Duck and Sylvester


  1. I definitely agree that your satisfaction with Mother's Day or any day for that matter, is about expectations and perspective. I, too, grew up in a house where a big deal was made over holidays but my husband didn't grow up the same way. So with our wanting to save money and his upbringing, holidays usually aren't very celebrated around here. I'm hoping as my daughter gets older we'll find ways to celebrate more to make the day a little more special and a little less ordinary but I'm happy that we're together and healthy as that's really what matters most.

  2. OH my mother's day was no picnic either. I actually spent my day with my Mother in Law and then had to almost cry in the car before my husband realized how much I wanted to go see my Aunt (who raised me like her own) and we finally went.

    Your day sounds like a rough one too. Happy Mothers Day! Your kids are the real gift.

  3. I'm sorry the day had so many stressful moments for you. . . but I see so many sweet moments from your boys. How awesome that they tried to do little things for you! And, I think doing something fun with them is always a good idea . . . big hugs!

  4. I wish we lived close enough to justify season passes! We love Six Flags. That sounds like a pretty good Mother's Day, actually. Relaxing just can't happen with 3 little kids!

  5. Love the pictures! Looks like you had a great day with your family :)

  6. It might not have been the day you imagined, but it sounds like your Mother's Day ended up being pretty great! You are a brave woman for taking three boys to Six Flags by yourself! :-D You'll get to relax one day, but until then, soak up the fun with those three little cuties.

  7. I think that mothers set themselves up to have high expectations of a lot of things and think that they must be failures if things don't go perfectly. We need to realize we're not super human and not one of us is perfect. Neither are our children. I'm glad you realized that it was a special day with your boys, even if it wasn't relaxing.


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