Friday, April 22, 2016

The Day I Missed My First's First

It has been a challenging week.  One of those weeks that make you ask yourself, “Is the world against me?”.  It began with a broken toilet, a leaky kitchen ceiling, a husband flying out for business, a teething baby, a needy toddler whose tummy ALWAYS hurts these days and a schedule jammed packed with t ball practice, and dance lessons and meetings and work.  The library books were due, the taxes were due, and lunch money was OVERdue. 

All in all we have been surviving.  Powering through sight words and homework, eating  home cooked meals for dinner (although mine was typically cold and I hovered over the kitchen island shoveling it in before the next “MOOOOMMYYYY!!!  I NEED….” most nights).  Everyone made it to school and work and t-ball on time. Tuesday night was long – the baby woke up at 1:30.  It wasn’t until around 5 that he finally found a comfortable spot on my chest and I was able to fall back to sleep just long enough to wake up with a crick in my neck.  But we got through it.  


 I remembered to pack snacks and lunch and even a hat for the field trip to the ball park Wednesday.  Midway through the week I get a call at work from daycare.  The baby has a fever.  With Eddie in Minnesota and my back-up (mother-in-law) on the field trip with James, I use my “phone-a-friend” life line to call a friend, who happened to have the day off to recover from minor surgery, to pick the baby up and watch him for an hour until I can reschedule patients and get home. 

 I score the last appointment of the day with our pediatrician at the expense of missing Wednesday night dinner at church – Earlier that morning, I promised the kids they could play on the church’s playground that night.

But with all the chaotic scrambling, leaky pipes, fussy sleepless nights, gas station frustrations, and other, now long forgotten, surprises, I was doing okay.  Exhausted, YES.  But I was still above water.  I continued to move from fire to fire, extinguishing some but leaving others to smolder until I could return later with back up. 

Until Yesterday.  It was a hurried morning, like always.  My mother-in-law came over to help get James to school and take the sick baby for the day.  I usually don’t remember much about mornings like this.  They are blurs of yogurt spills, major decisions regarding cereal, educational seminars of the importance of wearing pants in public, and sometimes negotiations about who will feed the dog in the morning and who will feed him tonight.  Somewhere along the way James updated us on his “loose” tooth.  “It’s getting ready to fall out!!”   He has said this before.  I checked a few days ago and it was nowhere near ready.  I look up and see him wiggle it.  I dismiss it and turn my attention back to getting the baby’s medicine ready and James’ snack packed for school.  I hurry through the rest of the morning and finally sit down at lunch for some mindless FaceBook time.  I have a message from one of James’ teachers.  It’s a picture of James holding his tooth and grinning ear to ear.  

I missed it.  I missed one of my First’s Firsts.  

It’s not the first one I’ve missed (I missed is first field trip yesterday in fact), I’m sure there are others and I’m sure there will be more. 

But this on stings.  This one HE'S been waiting since the first day of kindergarten when he saw his classmates, one by one, lose their first tooth...He's been so excitedly waiting for his turn.  It was important to him.
He updated me, asked me to look, to check and see and inform him of the “status of his tooth”.  I was in a hurry and preoccupied with finding Emory so that I could get her permission to throw her half-eaten cereal away instead of acknowledging James’ excitement.  Boy, has he been wishing for the day he would lose a tooth.  He’s one of the last of his friends to reach this milestone in a boy’s life.  And now it stings, that I didn't just miss this first...I brushed it off in order to complete other mundane tasks of our morning routine.  I wish I could give each of my children my undivided attention.  I wish that I wouldn’t hurry through the morning focused on completing a check list to ensure everyone and everything is prepared for the day.
It seems that from the moment we become mothers, we worry if we are giving enough.  We worry if we doing it right.  We all want our kids to be successful.  But the reality of it is, that they all aren’t going to be.  We all know good parents that have a child that may have succumbed to addiction or run away from home, or simply just wandered down the wrong path.  And THAT scares the crap out of me.  So I try…but mostly worry, ‘was I a good mom today?’  

Yesterday?  Yes.  I am devastated that I was too distracted to not give more attention to his tooth.  But when I left for work, I gave him a big hug and told him how much I loved him.  I left him in the safety of his MoMa who took him to a school full of teachers who love him as their own.  When James lost that first tooth today, he was surrounded by friends he could show it off to.  His teachers made a big deal over reaching this milestone and his class celebrated.  And one of those wonderful teachers took a picture so that I could experience the raw emotion, the excitement of the moment, even though I was working.  Was I there? No.  Will I be there next time? Maybe, maybe not.  But, I do know that my first born is constantly surrounded by people that love and care about him.  And to be honest, I believe that’s more than enough.


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

A Moment's Notice

A moment's notice.  That's it.  She will no longer by "the baby" in less than 24 hours now.
Tomorrow, she will have two roles to play:

Little Sister 

And Big Sister.

She will become a "middle child", a title that comes with stereotypes and preformed impressions that I know this fireball of red curls will never surrender to.

I didn't have the same anxieties when James transitioned into his role as "Big Brother".  

While I often joke that Em runs all over James, bossing him around daily, James has always had an instinctive but subtle "something" that says, 'I'm the leader of this pack of wild jungle monkeys'.  

Up until now, we have all protected Emory from the responsibilities that come with being an older sibling.  While we expect her to simply brush off the dirt when she falls outside (because this girl is as tough as nails), we rarely expect her to be patient or put her own needs on hold for very long. 

We ignore the tantrums for attention but are quick to rescue her from a bad dream at 3AM.  We don't require her to adjust often, but in just two weeks' time, we will expect her to be just as flexible as her older brother has been for the past two years.

Even though I'm filled with worry and angst and fear of how this strong willed baby will transition into her new role, I know that once she settles into it, she's going to be pretty darn good at it.  I know that she'll be a nurturer because of the sincere concern she has for anyone who appears to be upset.

I know that she'll be responsible because she always makes sure everyone has a napkin at supper and no one leaves the house without shoes.  She's observant.  And, if someone is missing or something is out of sync she demands answers.  No matter what new roles Em takes on, she'll still be our wild child, the daredevil scaling the banister, the one that wants to roll the car windows down for every ride, rain or shine.

In just one day, a new Baby Foy will arrive into a world full of crazy.  He will meet his family where two awesome kids already exist and are equipped with their own unique qualities that will make them Big Brother and Big Sister Rock Stars!

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Sunday Surprises!!!!

Life in the Foy House has been some kind of crazy for a while now. Most days Eddie and I are out-matched by James and Emory. James is into Spiderman these days so just watching him go from the den to the kitchen is like watching an episode straight out of American Ninja Warrior. And Em? She still the spitfire we've come to expect...even though we never know exactly WHAT to expect. 

Well, life is going to get a little crazier soon...A special kind of crazy! 

We can't wait to meet the "Littlest Foy"! James has told me several times with the upmost certainty that we are having a baby dinosaur. Here's a video of what James and Emory will be getting when September rolls around. 

(SPOILER ALERT: It's not a baby dinosaur)

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lucky Enough

One thing that I have realized since Emory rolled into town is that dressing a red head for the holidays often proves to be difficult.  While most kids are dressed in bright reds and pinks for Christmas, Valentine's Day and The 4th of July, I go on a wild goose chase trying to find something just as jolly, heart themed, or patriotic that doesn't clash with those red ringlets.  So far, we've completely gone off the mark, opting for  navy most of the time.  

Fall holidays bring woes of their own.  Pumpkins?  Nope.  That easy go-to orange jack-o-lantern t-shirt I always turned to with James is a no-go for Em.  So again, I start my search for that "festive find" early hoping to stumble upon something that represents the holiday but doesn't make her look Gothic.  

Sounds easy enough, right?  I could choose green at Christmas, a light pink will pass on Valentine's Day, mix in some red with a blue and white dress on The 4th, wear black instead of orange.  Yeah, I get it...YOU TRY IT!!

Oh, but St. Patrick's Day (in my mind the doors of  Heaven are opening and angels are singing).  Now that's the girl's holiday! 

A day where emerald green is everywhere you look...and she rocks it!!  Her hair, her fair skin, her name, her temperament all align with the stars and shamrocks on March 17th.

Then there's James, who, on his best day, is quite picky about the most random things he wears.  Like the buttons on his shirt or the draw string on his shorts.  The size of the arm holes or the number of pockets he either does or does not have access to. 

Today, James was stressing about the green.  Apparently, when his teachers reminded the class to wear green to school on St. Patrick's Day, the instructions processed in James' head as "wear green...everybody will wear green...don't be the left out loser...wear green, only green...MUST BE ALL GREEN...HEAD TO TOE GREEN".  And, of course, I was not made aware of this ALL GREEN ultimatum until this morning...with approximately 15 minutes to finish breakfast, get dressed, get in the car, get the kids to school and to a morning meeting that started promptly in 17 minutes.  Thankfully, Eddie talked him off the ledge and he settled with his St. Patrick's Day shirt, green underwear and green socks. (As I type this, I am now stressing that he will be compelled to show off that green underwear at school.  But that's just a risk you take to survive a morning in the Foy House.)

Convincing a 4-year-old, who is adamant about wearing ALL GREEN, to wear anything else in a 2 to 5 minute window???? 
Now that's the Luck of the Irish ladies and gentlemen. 
(Well done Eddie).
 Thanks to Kids Kute Kreations for James' "Pinch Proof" shirt and Emory's Shamrock shirt with matching chevron skirt.  

Sunday, March 15, 2015

What It's Really Like Pulling for a "Bubble Team"

Most people know that I’m a North Carolina State fan.  I didn’t go to college there and acquire the allegiance; nor am I the bandwagon fan that hitched a ride with the “popular team”.  I’ve always been a State fan.  When most kids were getting bedtime stories about fairytales and castles, I was getting a history lesson on a different kind of Cinderella story, where Lorenzo Charles and Dereck Whittenburg played the leading roles. I likened Monte Towe and Tommy Burleson to our founding fathers. My stuffed animals would run the triangle-and-two (which, as a child, just meant running up and down the court as I, the coach, yelled ‘triangle and two’).  I think I might have learned to spell "Corchiani" before I learned to spell my full name. 


Most of the time, the ‘playlist’ at the Lane House consisted of the Wolfpack’s fight song, the “Red and White” song, and a western sounding song I’ve never heard anyone but my dad sing about the 1983 basketball team.  My family photo album even had a 1983 team photo alongside my baby picture, both signed by Coach Valvano himself. 

My dad had a Jim Valvano trading card that he kept in the back of his closet on the top shelf.  He’d pull it out and give it to me on certain occasions where a little extra luck would come in handy.  I would stick it in my shoe and hope that I could absorb just a piece of the luck that Jimmy V had because, throughout most of my childhood, I grew up believing my dad when he’d joke that Coach Valvano had a horseshoe crammed up his…
...yes, I was naïve.



While those are all great memories, they’re not the reason I love being part of the Wolfpack now that I’m a little older.  North Carolina State’s most recent NCAA Basketball Title Banner was raised over 30 years ago now.  Most anyone in the world of sports views State’s basketball program as mediocre at best, undeserving of top ranked players and coaches.  Fans of other more prominent North Carolina teams often mock State fans for being delusional dreamers that meet each new season with the hopes of being nationally ranked, or leading the ACC, or even winning a long overdue national basketball title. 

But when everyone sees NC State as the inconsistent, the second-rate annoying little sister, the hanging on by a thread bubble team where every game is a must win, State fans see Trevor Lacey’s buzzer beater half-court shot to win the game (although the shot clock disagreed),

they see the wins against a top ranked Duke, Carolina and Louisville during regular season play,
they see a team with a shot blocking giant named BeeJay Anya. 


And even when we're down by 27 points at the half, State fans will stay in their seats and keep watching because even when it looks like there’s no way to win, State fans don’t see it that way.  We still have the fight of the underdog.

So, what the hell does all this have to do with the Foy Family?  Everything! 

It’s fun to pull a team that wins most of the time.  To walk into a stadium filled with national championship banners.  And all those jerseys of current NBA stars must only amplify the confidence fans and players already have of that guaranteed win against their unranked opponent.  Teams that win most of the time acquire bandwagon fans by the masses and show off championship rings during recruiting visits.  But,there are more empty seats than there is excitement when their team comes back to win after being down by 12 points with 2 minutes left in the game.  That’s not The Pack. 


Eddie and I are not only raising our kids to pull for the Red and White from State, we’re trying our damnedest to teach them to think like the Wolfpack.  Instead of conforming to the play book of a systematic coach, I hope that they think more like the unpredictable Jim Valvano, matching a 6 foot point guard to a 6-10 power forward…not with the intention of shutting him down by blocking shots but to “annoy the heck out of him.” 
I hope that our kids will be the kind of friend that’s there to catch an “air ball” (???) and slam it in for the National Title, making it look like an alley-oop in the process. 
I hope they believe in themselves, waking up each day ready to beat any odds because they’ve learned that you have to survive to advance.  
I hope they have the leadership of Cat Barber, maintaining confidence in his team even during the low point in the season and ensuring that the job gets done.
I hope they have the work ethic of Ralston Turner, who busts his butt on the court every game to open himself up for 3-pointers. (Do you know how difficult that is?)
I hope they find something, anything they are so passionate about that they smile as big as BeeJay Anya and their enthusiasm causes them to split the seat of their pants the way Coach Valvano would at least a few games a year (Okay…that’s a metaphor.  I would never wish for one of my kids to split their pants in public.  But if they do, I hope they remember ‘V’). 
 And of course, I hope there’s the voice in the back of their mind reciting Jimmy V’s most recognized quote: “Don’t give up, don’t ever give up” while they’re sitting in the stands still cheering like hell and down by 12 with 2 minutes to go in the game. 
I know it's a long shot, but we've got a shot.  And in true Wolfpack fashion I believe, with a little luck and a lot of hard work, we can bring home the title.