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Posts Tagged ‘kids’

He asked me if he could help him wrap his presents for his brother and sister.  My youngest, my baby, now 7.  He is no longer a baby.  But sometimes even he will admit that he still needs his mommy.

He was intent on finding little boxes in which to put the presents before we wrapped them.  Decorative duct tape and a Lil’ Webkinz are too recognizable wrapped on their own.  So we found little boxes, the one for the Webkinz with a little plastic window where the baby seal could look out to surprise his brother when he opened it.  We got the paper, cut it to size, and began taping.  He broke the cheap 99c tape dispenser, looked up with surprise.  “It’s not a big deal, Lukey.”  A moment of relief, then a refocus on the task at hand.  I held the paper for him while he got a piece of the Scotch tape and carefully placed it on a wrapping paper seam.  His hand, still so small, so beautiful, acting in a moment of love and joy for his brother and sister.  It touched my spirit in a way I just didn’t expect in that moment, and it’s still bringing peace to my heart.

His sister loved her duct tape, and his brother gave a big smile and a Jake sized-laugh when he saw the baby seal poking his little face out.  And it was beautiful.  And it was Christmas.

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My youngest made a Thanksgiving card for Cory and me.  The message contained within said, “Daddy, thank you for making me breakfast every morning.  Mommy, even though I don’t see you much, I still love you.”

Heartbreaking, because it’s true.

I’m in school full-time.  I’m working a job I love full-time.  Just over a year ago, I was doing neither.  I was home full-time.  I was mommying full-time.  I was available to the kids full-time.  I’m not anymore.

I don’t have to be working or going back to school.  I do love what I’m learning in school.  I think that this degree, hand-in-hand with the job I’m working, could really lead to a career that I love, that I’m good at, that makes me a better person.  I want to be a better person for me, for my family, for my friends, for my community, for my world.  I want that.  And, most of the time, I’m confident that this is worth it.

Sometimes, today, through the eyes of my youngest, I’m not so sure.

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….crazy for feeling so lonely.

First of all, crazy is one of those words.  You know, one of those words that, if you keep looking at it long enough, just doesn’t look right anymore?  Look at it:

CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY CRAZY

Am I right?  That ‘Z’ just starts to look wrong all up in there.  Crazy.

So, I was going to say that I don’t feel lonely, but I do kinda.  I’m surrounded by people I love, newish and old.  This whole family/school/work thing is just throwing me a bit right now.  I’m scattered.  I have one life, set of responsibilities, and attitude at home.  I have another life, set of responsibilities, and attitude at work.  I have a third life, set of responsibilities, and attitude doing schoolwork (and showing up in class).  And then there’s the lives I’m missing, social and physical fitness.  I loved those parts, and I’m just barely hanging on by a thread on those (but still hanging on!!!).  So, yeah, I’m lonely in the way I have to compartmentalize right now.  No one is right along side me in every facet.  Lonely is an apt description.  (Hmmm….lonely is becoming one of those words, too.  Lonely Lonely Lonely Lonely Lonely Lonely )

People looked at me as if I was crazy when I said I was going to start school full-time not long after I started work full-time.  And there’s the family that I love, too.  Husband, 3 kids, a dog, 2 kittens.  Yeah.

I didn’t REALIZE that they weren’t joking, or overreacting, or just didn’t know how amazing I am.  Ha.  Maybe not that last thing.

Turns out, maybe I should have listened to them.  Maybe I should have slowed down. Stress is what I feel right now.  Stress from good things and bad.  Stress from healthy choices and not.  Stress from healing and growing.  Stress from not knowing if I can do all that I’ve set out to do, all that I’ve told so many others that I will do.  Stress from not wanting to care about appearances of success or failure.

And so, here I am.  Batshit crazy (sidenote, have you seen the book, What Shat That?  I’m such a 12 year old boy sometimes; I had to have it.).  Commitments made, responsibilities set, getting by one day, one hour, one minute at a time.  That’s what I can do.  That’s what I can offer.  So, if I appear to not exactly know what I’m doing one minute to the next, you know that that’s the true me right now.  That’s my journey on this part of the road.  That’s me, giving the best I have to give.

Be gentle with me.

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So, a year ago today I was still technically a SAHM.  I was volunteering at a teen homeless shelter, an agency of which I knew I always wanted to be a part even though I’d never stepped foot inside.  I spent most of my days taking the kids to school, then headed to the gym for a run or a swim, trying to prepare for my first triathlon.

Fast forward one year.  I’ve completed three triathlons, and a half-marathon.  I am going to school full-time.  And still doing the wife/mommy gig, the most important gig in my life. 🙂

I’ve also begun working at that agency that I’d admired for so long.  Full-time.  And today we begin a new venture in that agency.  I was and am privileged to be a part of a new team hired to bring this project to fruition from the ground up.  It has been a growing, exciting, hopeful, and stressful process.  I’ve learned a lot about myself through this process, and a lot about my co-workers.  And, more importantly, how we, with our differences, can feed off of each other to make a great team.  I think we’re getting there.

Today is the first day that we’re opening our new program.  So excited.  A little stressful (remember, stress can be good stress, too!).  And, mostly, tons of hope for our new clients.

New ventures are exciting.  It’s going to take more balancing of all of these good things than I ever thought possible.  I, and my family, are still trying to figure this whole thing out.  I am amazed at how loving, supportive, and patient my husband and kids have been.  I am one lucky lady….

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I’m not one of those people, one of those grown ups who no longer expects people to make notice of their birthdays.  My age is not a curse, embarrassment, or a lie.  My age, my birthday, and my life are something to be celebrated.  I cringe when Baldman quotes, well, whoever it is he quotes when he says, “There is an age at which you should stop expecting people to make a big deal out of your birthday.  That age is 10.”  (FTR, he doesn’t say that to me. 😛 )  So I really don’t understand the grown-ups who say they just want to spend a quiet day doing things with their family for their birthdays.  That doesn’t scream celebration to me.  That screams hum-drum (if, indeed, hum-drum can realistically be screamed.  It seems a screamless sentiment.)

I thought that’s how I felt about Mother’s Day as well.  Bring me breakfast in bed, bouquets of flowers, take me out to dinner, take me to the movies, SPOIL ME ROTTEN.  No, it doesn’t always happen that way.  It never happens quite that way.  And that’s probably good.  Who wants to get used to all that attention?  Psh.  This year, though, I really did want to have a simple day.  Okay, weekend.  I tend expand the holidays a bit. 🙂

I told Baldman and the kids I wanted to take Saturday for Mother’s Day (since Mom and my MIL both live in town).  I slept in, had a homemade breakfast (not made by me), we did yard work and some shopping.  They all watched and gave opinions while I chose a dress and shoes (total under $30—Gabriel Bros.  Gotta love it!).  No one even whined about hanging out around the dressing room!

The rest of the weekend we celebrated with our moms.  Dinner and game night with one, breakfast and yardwork with the other.  I find I like sharing Mother’s Day with two amazing moms who are such a big part of our lives.

And, much to my amazement, the best part of the day was present time after breakfast.  Handmade cards, tissue paper flowers, handprint ceramics, decoupaged candle holders, and kids beaming with pride at their creations.  And me, beaming at mine.

So, it appears that I’ve grown up a bit in the whole Mother’s Day celebration.  When it comes to my birthday, though?  Pretend I’m turning 5 and party it up. 🙂

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“Mommy, in the summer we can use those water guns again!”  Luke spots the toys in the basement, where they hibernate through the long winter.

In his five year old reality, summer seems another lifetime away.  Outside, snowflakes are rapidly falling to the sidewalks.  He’s home from another grueling week of Kindergarten, already changed out of his uniform and into his jammies.  He sits at the table, sipping hot chocolate.  It’s a great day, because he gets marshmallows AND whipped cream.  Life doesn’t get much better.  In his eyes, these chilly days are far removed from the pool and suntanned days of summer.

For me, it will be like the blink of an eye until their little browned bodies are running barefoot through the grass.  Just a quick flip of the calendar, and we’ll be seeing swimming lessons and days dedicated to the splashpark  littering the schedule.    Boots will be packed away, and socks will be forgotten for a season.  Bring out the Crocs and the flip-flops and we’ll all be ready to go.

Mommy time is so much different than kid time.  I sometimes feel like their birthdays come around weekly, and the time between Christmases seems to be only a matter of a few months.  Everyone told us that their growing up would fly by; told us until we were about to lose our patience hearing it.  Really, how many times can you politely smile at the same inane statement?  We knew it would be true; we know it has been true.  And yet, the reality of it seems to almost defy the laws of chronology.

So, in what will feel like a breath to me, and a lifetime to him, my little boy will trade his snowsuit and gloves for swimtrunks and goggles.  We’ll have a spring, summer and fall full of new friends, new activities, and far too many photos than the kids will ever want to entertain.  And a year from now, with the snowflakes falling and the cocoa steaming, I’ll wonder again, “How in the world has another year gone by?”

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Okay, nothing major here, just a tip on getting your kids to eat veggies.

We’ve started Crunch Contests with the kids when we serve raw carrot sticks.  Sounds basic and maybe dull?  I didn’t realize how much they would get into it!  And, we make them eat everything else on their plates before they can participate in the contest, so we get all the other nutrients in as well (AND we don’t spend forever at the table waiting for them to finish their supper!).

What are your tricks for getting kids to eat and enjoy the veggies?

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