Dolesh Family

Dolesh Family

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Good and the Bad

Stimson's won the wellness challenge drawing
As tax season wears on, we all get a little more tired.  This past week, Nana left town.  Our live-in maid and nanny is back home and we are left to fend for ourselves for the last few weeks of tax season.  The fighting with the kids has ramped up.  Each kid has had their moments – good and bad.  The bad usually ends with a countdown to bedtime…if we can make it.  The good comes in spurts and often it is enough to keep us moving forward. 

Crazy 8's with Merritt's friend Anne
There were a few moments this past week that brought out the good and the bad.  First the bad – another adventure to Costco.  During the winter months, these trips have been good opportunities for Merritt and I to get out of the house and move around a bit.  Merritt is typically a great helper and knows all of the food we usually need.  A typical trip usually involves us racing inside and running to the fruit and vegetable section, with a short stop to press the buttons on the phones at the Verizon station.  We usually have no problem getting through this portion of the shopping trip.  However, the rest of the trip through the freezer section and into the chips and baking aisle involves running through each aisle hoping that I can stay up with Merritt so the 3 foot lightning bolt doesn’t get be-headed by a shopping cart and another shopper who has maxed out their cart and has no ability to see Merritt…..OR it involves me bribing my daughter to somehow make it to the checkout without losing her mind (randomly pulling items off the shelf, licking boxes, laying on the floor, crying, etc).  Yes, my daughter… not our dog.  If Stimson isn’t along to activate the competitive side of her and the antagonistic side…things are usually pretty good.  Last weekend, the two of us made a trip to Costco after she had spent a week out of town throwing up, playing with her cousins, and staying up late.  I think her tank was on ‘E’ when we got to Costco, but sometimes there are still fumes and samples at Costco to move her along.  We got through the fruit and vegetable section when she wandered off (away from me intentionally) to chew on some boxes while looking at me with the ‘eye’….that eye that says “I know I’m not supposed to be doing this and you don’t like it when I do this, but what are you going to do?”  I asked her 3 times very nicely to keep moving along so we could get the rest of our things.  It was now a challenge as she said under her breath “I dare you to come get me…sucker”.  I walked over and grabbed her hand so that we could walk to our next area.  She did the thing that all kids have pre-programmed in them as they come out of the womb – threw a fit.  She twister her body and proceeded to twist to the ground with her hand still in mine.  She then started to cry saying “You hurt me dad and you did it on purpose”.  I’m thinking, well for the record, I did ask you three times very nicely and I know you heard me.  I also did nothing other than grab your hand.  Hmmm, she must be tired and this is the emotional side of her coming out.  She doesn’t know what’s going on and all that she knows to do is cry.  Well, she kept repeating (loudly too) – “You hurt me dad and you did it on purpose”.  OK Merritt….I know we haven’t talked about this yet, but our society gets weirded out by those phrases….can you keep it down a bit?  Not everyone knows you haven’t been sleeping.  A lady walked up to me and asked me if she was OK.  Yes, I said, she is just tired.  However, as we continued to walk through the store, my tough daughter who rarely complains when she is sick (Let’s just throw up so we can move on)…..and rarely complains when she gets hurt (band aids are for wimps), kept saying that it hurt.  I then started to notice she was carrying her arm and not moving it.  My heart started to sink a bit as I thought back to a time when this happened with Katy.  As we checked out, I tried to get her to move her arm and she wouldn’t.  I knew something was wrong…..  Off to pick-up Katy at work.  I shared the news with her and we could see her arm starting to swell….Katy confirmed my suspicions.  She dislocated her elbow – AH!  After not really EVER going to the emergency room or urgent care, we have been there 3 times so far this year!!  Let’s see, we went to the ER for a freak infection and ended up with a large invoice (not doing that again) for someone to give us a prescription and a sling (that we didn’t wear)….then we went to Urgent Care for Katy’s dislocated shoulder only to have two people struggle to get her arm back in place (should have gone to the ER).  Which should we go to this time?  Well, we know what it is and we can beg them not to do X-Rays…..let’s try Urgent Care.  As we approached the parking lot of Urgent Care, we had another sinking feeling….they close at 5p and it is 5:05p….and Merritt is tired!  She needs to go to bed at 6p tonight if not now!  We stopped quick and Katy quickly ran inside to see if we could somehow get in.  
Our new babysitter
The receptionist responded – Sorry we are closed.  “I just need someone to pop my daughter’s elbow back in place!”, Katy said.  Then, as if the music started and Doogie Howser (remember him) entered the scene in slow motion, a doctor came to the front.  His response was, “I can’t do anything in here since we are closed, but I can help you in the parking lot”.  Wow, things aren’t like they used to be.  C’mon, can you help a brother out?  I know there are policies and scripts, but this is actually a real person and happens to be our kid.  He came out to the rescue and popped her elbow back in place, shook our hands and disappeared back into the walls of the American healthcare system.  Wow, what just happened?  Needless to say, there were several cookies that were made the next day and delivered to that doctor.  That was the bad.

The good……Merritt asking for Stimson (not mom or dad) to put her to bed.  One of those sentimental moments that you file away for the rest of your life of Stimson reading a book to Merritt, putting her in bed, tucking her in and saying a prayer to her.  Hmm, babysitting may have just gotten a whole lot cheaper!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Ides of March

The last of winter
The Ides of March are here.  That means we are halfway through the month of March and everything feels like it is changing fast.  The weather is warming up - A couple of weeks ago, it was bitterly cold and now we are wearing shorts.  Spring break is over and Nana is about to head home and leave us to survive on our own!  Somehow, it seems like the end is near….with only a month left.  I would describe it as “mile 17” of a marathon.  Of the 26 miles in a marathon, mile 17 is where it starts to get real…and fast.  The euphoria of starting a race with hundreds and sometimes thousands of other runners has worn off.  For me, this is when I begin to pull on any reserves I can find.  I start squeezing gels in to get quick energy and I think about the easiest 9 miles I have run so that I can correlate that to the remaining miles I have left.  Nature starts to apply pressure in the form of leg cramps, side aches, and possibly suicidal thoughts.  The optimistic and energetic outlook as a result of the carbo loading is gone.  Negative and sometimes masochistic thoughts run through my head.  “Why do I do this?  Can I really continue putting one foot in front of the other for another loooooonng 9 miles?  Who cares that we are over half-way done with the stinkin race….9 miles is a long way!   Well, we are mile 17 of a marathon with tax season.  Cramps are starting to set in.  We are close, but those last 9 miles are brutal. 
Stimson was throwing up so Merritt had to take over

Did I mention Nana has been here?  It has been nice to have meals prepared for us nearly every night, someone to wash dishes, clean the house, do laundry, help watch the kids.  She even took the kids to Kalispell on her own while kids took turns vomiting.  Katy and I were left alone in a quiet house for a few days.  Party right?  Stay up late, go out to eat, sleep in, watch movies?  Heck, no!  That’s not how tax season works…..still get up early, still work a bunch, still look for the quickest meal we can find, etc. 

Speaking of running, Katy and I ran the annual Run to the Pub race this past weekend.  We didn’t win the race and we didn’t win the free trip to Dublin, Ireland….but we did get outside and enjoyed the nice weather in between taxes.  Stimson also built a leprechaun trap.  We will see if we catch anything tonight on ‘St. Patrick’s Eve’.  Apparently it all happens at midnight tonight.  Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 

Race Day
Hoping to catch a leprechaun

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Keeping up with the Kid-ashians – (Tax) Season 1

Winter was back this week
I doubt there are many people in our family circles that “Keep Up with the Kardashians”.  If you don’t know what I’m talking about, there is little to gain in ‘keeping up’ with them.  For a couple of days last week, many locals were tracking the Kardashians and their visit to Bozeman.  Apparently they had an interest in extending their rather uninteresting reality TV show into the state of Unabombers, open space, fishing, hunting, gun rights, and mountains for a dog sled excursion (aka film event).  For most people, that visit probably would have gone undetected had they not attempted to drive the roads here. Check it out if you want to learn more about their high maintenance adventures.  Regardless, if you do keep up with the Kardashians, you will be happy to know they are safe and unharmed….only uncontrollable screams and crying from the entourage during the car accident.  If they had filmed that, I might actually watch it.....

Our family has similar drama, as most with kids do, so I thought it might be a good point to help you keep up with our “Kid-ashians”.  Before I update you on our reality show, I gotta say there are two scenarios with kids that make me smile and enjoy life a bit more.  One is a happy household.  That can mean several things, but a few characteristics come to mind - my kids playing well together, no emotional drama from my kids, no attitudes from my kids, my kids laughing and playing together, my kids wanting to help, my kids saying they love me, etc.  The second scenario is when I see the emotional drama, attitudes, fighting with kids.....and they are NOT MY OWN!!!! is so refreshing to see other kids doing those long as my kids are not taking notes.  Sometimes our pictures and our social media updates make it appear as if everyone else's kids are perfect and mine are the only ones acting up.  There has been plenty of drama here…...breaking up fights and arguments and trying to help my kids understand that competition is a good thing, but it doesn't have to involve who eats the fastest....among other things.     
"Fancy Day" at school

During our walks to school this week in the winter weather, I had several conversations with the kids about life….or life as they know it.  I thought I would share those here.

Question 1: Do you like tax season?
Stimson (S) - Yes
Merritt (M) - Yes

Question 2: What do you like about tax season?
S - The before-school program
M - We get to go to a hotel

Question 3: What are you looking forward to doing with Nana when she comes to visit?
M - Go shopping

S - (unanswered)

Question 4: What do you like least about tax season?
S & M - We miss mom

Question 5: What would you tell mom if you had an hour with her over dinner?
S - I don't like tax season because I don't get to spend time with you.
M - Can I have some french fries and a flat egg?
"Shopping" with Dad

Question 6: What is your favorite food that mom makes?
S - Scones for breaskfast and Oreos
M - Granola (cereal) for breakfast, Pickles for lunch, and Pesto Pasta for dinner

Question 7: What is something you like doing with mom?
S - Playing "Sorry"
M - Going to Nastiks

Question 8: What is the best thing that mom has taught you?
S - How to be polite
M - How to go down a water slide at a hotel

Question 9: What is your favorite game to play with mom?
S - Uno
M - Crazy 8's

In other news this week, we were desperate and pulled an old friend off the street to watch the kids so we could attend a wedding reception....only to discover on the way to the reception that we were off a day.  UNPLANNED DATE NIGHT!!!!!  Stimson and Katy got to ski today and Merritt and I hung out downtown.