Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Favorite Moment(s)

I'm stealing this idea (just this once) from my good friend Jules. My favorite moment(s) do not include my children this time. Normally my whole identity is tied up in "mom-ness". This weekend I remembered I am me and I am a wife too. It was a nice discovery.
As an anniversary present my parents watched all 3 of my children all afternoon and into the evening so my husband and I could celebrate 14 years of marriage by having a date! We have not been alone together (when one or both of us is not snoring) in ages. We didn't have any specific plans or big, grandiose ideas. We just like to "be". We are happiest when we can just talk and be silly or be silent-that's who we are.
It ended up we went to a restaurant in Port Aransas (which involved a ride over the ferry to the island) then we drove around a bit-which is nice when you don't have children clamoring and screaming in the backseat. Our waitress at the restaurant was a hoot! She kept commenting on hubby's oyster order...and then when I turned towards him at one point she (stage) whispered to him that it meant I was really "into" him. LOL We then informed her we'd been married 14 years...but you know what? I am into him! Still!
So, after this we drove out to the beach and went for a walk. Just holding hands and leaving two sets of foot prints-in step with one another-in the sand.
My dear husband also took me to a shop on the island and let me browse among the swimsuits and such (which he knows I like to do but that it's not much fun with 3 children along-and by the way he hates to shop!). My most "un-favorite" moment was when I got a bee up my something or other and decided to try on a bikini. Yeah, that was not a good idea. After that we left the store and he bought me some m&m's to ease my fat induced pain.
We then walked on a pier that I'd never been on.
Like I said, nothing exciting (no dining at the top of some fancy building or dancing in some fancy club) just us. I love it! I hope to have 50 more years of this kind of life with my husband!
And by the way, we were glad to be re-united with our children at the end of this day-and they were glad to see us too!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

A Dilemma

So, I have this dilemma. It might not seem like a major dilemma to some but to me it is very big. I have this baby. She's attached to me. Literally and figuratively. I have her down to one nursing a day-at bedtime only. And it's for the snuggle/nurture factor. It's no longer nutritional and I totally get that. I'm also not one for long term nursing. It just isn't "me". For the most part (98%) I have enjoyed my nursing relationship with each of my 3 children. All so different in personality but all very enjoyable to breastfeed.
Lindsay was so easy to feed. She had reflux and vomited constantly so we nursed a lot (she wasn't "sick" just threw up, so then we had to "re-fill"). She was a very peaceful, lingering nurser. Meaning she was content to just lay there and nurse peacefully for long periods of time during which time I could either stare at her with smooshiness or I could read or watch tv. Because she was my first and only child it was easy to enjoy that type of nursing. I weaned her-very naturally and peacefully at 13 mos. We just switched to story at bedtime. No problem.
Jared was a champ of a nurser from the beginning. He loved it! I guess he was a boob man from day one. Prob'ly comes partly from being a fairly big baby-8 lbs 14 oz at birth. He was loud and voracious about it. Lots of grunting and smacking and snorting and grabbing. All boy! He was less likely to peacefully linger and relax. But, that was ok, because I was also chasing and potty training a 2 year old at the time. It worked. When he got older (past 1 year) I banished Lindsay from the room at bedtime. Harold was out of state working and that was my only alone time with Jared-nursing him at bedtime. (Lest you think I slighted Lindsay-after Jared was put to bed I spent equal time with her little 3 year old self). about 17-18 mos I made the transition-again, easily-to story time rather than nursing time. Same routine, just sweet time in the rocking chair in his room. No problem
Then, with Haley...for the first time ever I had thoughts of bottle feeding in the deep dark nighttime when I was up constantly feeding and trying to put her to sleep. It was not easy. Sure, she nursed wonderfully and she flourished physically on my milk. But that's where the "ease" ceased. Unfortunately everything has been more difficult with Haley. Weaning (even to this point) has been hard won. Nothing gradual or easy about it. I realized when she was around 13 or 14 mos that I was still nursing her about every 2 hours all day long. Ummmm, no. So, the day I realized that was what was happening, I cut it down to twice a day. It was not easy but we did it. (The down-side to that is gaining back 10 lbs that I lost just by nursing a lot)So, here we are. She is almost 19 mos old now and if I let her lead we'll still be nursing at 12 years. Or at least that's how it feels...So, where do I draw the line? I don't think I'm really, truly enjoying it anymore...I just hate to give it up because she is the last baby I will have. Also, she is truly relaxed only when we are nursing. That is the time that I can look at her and see her calm and peaceful and I love that. I will never again experience this relationship that is part of who I am now. I am a nursing mom. That is me.
For today, I will nurse her again. I guess this is something I will decide when the time is right and that will be it. I will move on to a different phase in my life.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Truth is Out

So, I admit it. My name is Cara and I'm a nerd. A shameless geek. I love school supplies and office supplies and new school books. A new package of pristine notebook paper and some pens can make me so happy I get the shivers. It's so new and ready for a fresh start. How can you not be excited about it? For me the new school year was tantamount to the New Year (you know, January 1st) when all my dreams for the year would be running through my head-my resolutions if you will. It was always a chance to do better than last year. I was going to write neater, study harder and be more organized. Usually by October those were all out the window...only to be contemplated again next September.

When I go to Walmart or any other store at this time of year I just have a hard time controlling myself. I could literally spend hours on these rows just looking at every pen and pencil and notebook. Does anyone remember Trapper Keepers? Those were the awesomest folder ever made! Why did they quit making them?

My mom swears that the only reason I went back to college (a couple of times) is because I wanted new school supplies. She might just be right. I guess we'll never know, huh?

Now I am a homeschooling mom. Do you know what this means? I get to buy my kids school supplies! Not just school supplies but books! I get to compile the list of supplies they (and I) need! Do you just know how that makes me feel? It makes me so darn giddy I can hardly stand it. I get to drool over millions of choices in text books for every subject until my head is spinning. Then, when the books come in the mail (and by the way, there's just something so exciting about knowing a package is coming and waiting for it! I am beginning to LOVE online shopping!) I get to open them (since my children have not inherited my love of all things school they don't care if I do this) and poor over them again! In person. Fresh paper, spines of the books never having been bent! Is this why I homeschool? I guess we'll never know, huh?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Drama in the Unlikeliest of Places

For 2+ years I have been a part of a very close group of ladies. We have been through thick and thin with each other. "Holding hands" through some very tough and scary times and laughing when things are good. You would never guess that not one of us have ever even met each other face to face. Not that we haven't wanted to, but we live (collectively) all over the world. We live in different time zones but always have seemed to be on the same page. We have rushed to tell each other our good news as well as bad news. We knew we could lean on each other as well as laugh together. In all, it's been an awesome experience to have such a close-knit group going through a lot of the same things at the same times (since our babies were all born in or around February of 2007). Premature labor,bedrest,post-partum issues, sickness,sleeplessness, teething, reflux and sibling rivalry. We've all been there. I always felt like it was the Cheers theme song-- Where Everybody knows your name....and they're always glad you came.

When there was too much drama at our original "home" we left and built a new home. The new home was so nice. No more worries about lurkers getting into our business-the "peeping toms" of the internet world. No more drama about the way you chose to parent your child. It was all good. Then, one innocent post and it all went down-hill. One mom simply said how frustrated she was over being "dismissed" by other people when they found out "all" she was was a stay at home mom. This had nothing to do with whether it's harder or easier to work or stay at home. This had nothing to do with which makes you a better parent or person. But all of a sudden that's what it turned into. And now, there are locked doors and people staying away. Not just people, but friends. I wonder if it will ever be the same again.

I'm sad to think that something so nice could be over-or at least forever changed. No one is even really right or wrong... We are all moms doing our best to bring up these little people God has given us in the hopes that they will be happy, healthy individuals.

Friday, August 15, 2008

A Little Project

So, this summer I decided that since I am so good at keeping up with all my house work and entertaining the kids and doing things with them and I have time on my hands that I just don't know what to do with...sigh...that I would take on a project. I decided to redo the (hall) bathroom. It has been 1/2 done several times (in other words we've partially redone it and then partially redone it again...) but never fully done to my satisfaction. One of the issues I had with it was that it had several different versions of texture on the walls-due to repairs at different times. So, I took on the task of skimming the walls (this involves skimming all walls w/ drywall mud and then sanding it and then starting over w/ the mud again--you do these two steps until the walls are smooth). I figured I'd have to texture the walls-to hide all my mess-ups since this was my first attempt at doing this kind of work. My mom came over and looked at it and said that she thought it was very close to being good enough to skip texturing and just have smooth surface walls! I was so excited-my mom is very perfectionistic about these kind of things-so that was a compliment of the highest order!!! :D My dad did help with a few areas but by and large this was my project and I'm very proud of it! And the kids survived my being busy for a while.

Next Project? Our bathroom. It is only a 1/2 bath and is very ugly and old and gross. It has a big closet in it and we are going to turn that into a shower--at least that's the plan! I'm a little nervous but we have most of the materials sitting in our garage right now. Just waiting on my dad to have time to help us with the drain line for the shower and the plumbing aspects of it. I hope to do a lot of this one by myself too!
After that? Hopefully a school room!

I have decided rather than pine for a new, bigger (ie more expensive house) I should make the most of the one I have and stay here. I'm trying to practice what I preach to my daughter---be content with what you have! :)

Some pictures!

Here are some of all 3 kids that I loved! The one of the 3 of them so shows Haley's personality...I didn't get that one because of her tongue hanging out. :)

Here is a little collage I put together from our most recent photo shoot. These pictures are soooooo Haley but I just couldn't see buying portraits of ones where you can't really see her face. I wanted to at least share them here!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

The blahs...

I don't know if this is what they refer to as the "dog days" of summer or not but it sure feels "dog". I'm so blah. No energy, no interest in anything...just cranky and hot and bored and tired and...pathetic! I don't even feel nice.

I should be cherishing every moment that I am not dealing with homeschooling (I like teaching my kids, just not fighting them to want to learn or keeping Haley off of the table and the computer desk and everything while we're doing this)

Instead all I can see is how the days stretch on endlessly like a scene out of the movie "Groundhog's Day". Every day it's the same joys over and over. I get up (after a night of interrupted sleep) and begin the routine with the kids' not liking anything we have for breakfast. Tough. Then we get through the morning and get to lunch where, once again, the kids don't like the menu choices ("sandwiches? What else do we have?" as they peer into the refrigerator as if something will miraculously appear other than peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese. They do this until the penguins are knocking at our front door thinking they have found their new home) Then, the afternoon is all about snacks and the coveted tv time. I limit their tv viewing so that they really do appreciate the tv time they are allotted. The shows are on from 4 'til 5:30 at which time (every day w/o fail--I could set my clock by it) Lindsay comes and asks me what we're having for dinner. Sometimes I feel nice and I tell her, most of the time I say "food" or "like it or lump it". Then, when I fix dinner (w/ Haley pulling on my legs and trying to knock me over until I want to scream--and unfortunately sometimes I do) and put it on the table, here is what happens:

Lindsay: "What is this"
Me or dh: "Food, eat it"
Jared: "But does it have onions or mushrooms?"
Me: "Only yours."
Jared: "Do I have to eat it?"
Me: "No, you don't have to eat anything. Breakfast is at 8:30 am"
Jared: "Do we have dessert?"
Dh: "It doesn't matter. Eat your dinner or leave the table."
Lindsay: {gags} "I can't eat this, it gags me."
Dh: "Then don't eat it"
Jared: "Did I eat enough?"
Haley: {climbs out of high chair while signing "all done"}
Haley: Rolls her eyes at me and continues standing.
Me: "Haley, sit down"
Haley: "all done" again in sign language.
fine, we let her down at which point she begins to try to mooch food from all of our plates and climb on our chairs which we still occupy.
Jared: "But did I eat enough?"
Dh: "I don't know...did you?"
Jared: "Can I have dessert?"

Then it's time for the bedtime routine. Have you seen Bill Cosby as Himself??? The old comedy routine he has? If you are a parent and haven't seen it, or haven't seen it since becoming a parent, you should get it. Every night for almost 8 1/2 years there is the routine, dinner, clean-up toys,bath, brush teeth, story and bed, right? And yet, every night, they act like this is all new. We have to remind them to do each of these things. In minute detail! It's a joy to behold. Every night. The. Same. Thing. They act as if they have never followed this routine before.

So, I must go. Because my children have forgotten, again tonight, that they need to brush their teeth. And clean their room. But they don't forget the story part.

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