Thursday, September 30, 2010

Proverbs 31 (Part III)

It's raining buckets and buckets at this exact moment. I love days like these if we have nothing scheduled. The kids seem to be content snuggling, reading, or watching a little "chee-vee."  But today is not one of those days. Boogie has preschool in a few hours and we'll be trekking out in the rain to take him and then coming back for his first monthly pre-school sing, which is pretty darn cute.  Buggy has dance class tonight and I know she's looking forward to it, especially after watching her try to mimic some of the dance moves from this week's Dancing with the Stars episode.  It will be a fun day, but a very wet one!

Yesterday was a better day. I put things in perspective and I rolled merrily along.  Today will be a little tougher, in only that I got up later, and we things going on today which will make it difficult to get too much done.  I'll be asleep when my head hits the pillow tonight.

Here is my take on the second part of Proverbs 31:

16 She considers a field and buys it of out of her earnings she plants a vineyard.
   ---For me this is like looking at the possible private schools the kids may be attending now and in the future. I would like for them to go to a school that shares the same religious and moral beliefs that we hold at home. I'm not against public schools as I'm a product of public schools and I dedicated 8 years of my life teaching in them. I just would like my kids to go to a place where they can talk about God and pray when they need or want to.  So I'm earning money here and there and saving up so that my kids can attend a school that I think is suitable for them...

17  She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.
   ---I try to work hard and get things done and get things knocked off my to-do list.  I'm not feeling so strong these days as I can't do as much as I want to do. But at least my arms and lap are strong enough to hold, hug, and snuggle my children. That's probably the most important work I do all day.

18-19  She sees that her trading is profitable, and her lamp does not go out at night.  In her hands she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.
   ---I would like my writing to be profitable some day (or even now). If you or if you know of someone who is looking for a witty writer and would like my voice and style...hook me up! But seriously, I enjoy writing and I hope that I can provide for my family in this way.  On another note, and in the meantime, I seriously considering setting up an ETSY site for my baby blankets. Anyone have any thoughts (good, bad, or otherwise) on that?  Has anyone set up an ETSY site. What do you think?

20  She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
  ---One of my favorite things that I do each year is ask for donations to a local pregnancy for my daughter's birthday.  We kind of take the Hobbit approach and prefer to give gifts on our children's birthdays. Buggy's birthday has been designated for a pregnancy center and we ask for diapers, wipes, onesies, etc.  I feel like we are teaching her to be giving and I love that someone else will benefit from Buggy's birthday. We are so blessed to have her and to be able to provide for her.  If I can crotchet fast enough, Buggy and a recipient from the pregnancy center will be receiving one of my handmade blankets next month.

21-22 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet.  she makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.
   ---Not so much in scarlet but definitely layered for the cold.  Me, not so much in fine linen and purple, but in what I think as a mom's wardrobe...jeans, t-shirt, and running shoes...who knows when I'll have to chase down one of my stray kids who heads into the road.  But we're comfortable and happy and ready for whatever comes our way. My favorite for the family on snowy days is having us all in our fleece pajamas enjoying hot cocoa and time together. Definitely wonderful!

How are you feeling about your motherly duties. I'm finding that this verse is forcing me to look at all the  good things I do for my family. So even on my worst days, I can look back and say, "Yeah, I do provide. I just do it in my own way."  Here's to wishing you all another peaceful day!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Proverbs 31 (Part II)

So yesterday I had a bit of a panic attack.  I just felt like things were happening so fast and  I have so much to do and not enough time to do it all in.  Ever feel like that? Unfortunately, I feel like that all too often.  I think mine started yesterday when I was working on my daughter's and nephew's joint birthday party invitations. I had already worked on it for a couple of hours a few weeks ago and then realized yesterday that if I don't get them out into the mail pronto, no one would know about it.  So as I printed them out on the new invitation paper I bought, I realized nothing fit and spent another 2 hours tweaking it, printing them out, and eventually mailing them. I'm only sending them to immediate family and a few of Buggy's friends. She's got 3-5 close "girlfriends" if you can call them that at the age of two.  So I invited them as well.

But in looking over my to-do list for her party I realized that I don't think my house is going to get neatened enough in the next 3 weeks if we don't find time for Hubby to help. Then I started worrying that things won't get done before the baby is putting the kids together in the same room, painting the kids' room so it reflects their personalities, and just plain being ready.  Don't get me wrong, Hubby has been helping, but his priorities are different from my priorities. Right now certain things are bugging me and I want them done and for him, eh, not so much. So I hit panic mode...which is really tough when you realize that you aren't supposed to be doing anything but stay off your feet. Doh!

I definitely didn't feel like the wife/mother described in yesterday's scripture.

Here's my take on the scripture from yesterday:

Proverbs 31:
10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies
   ---Don't I wish I was! I think after yesterday's meltdown I'm thinkin' Hubby is thinkin' I'm worth far more trouble than I'm worth...not rubies HA! He has been really patient with me and the whole situation. I'm pretty lucky.

11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.
   ---Hubby does seem to have confidence in me on most days and in most things. Just don't ask me to put anything together. I've put together my fair share of shelves and dresses backwards and upside down.  He was a little concerned when I wanted to put the double stroller together by myself. But I did and it's held up this year. So has the back patio set I put together.

12  She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
    ---This is my prayer everyday...that I can be the type of wife God wants me to be.  Though yesterday, eh, not so much. My stress was stressing him and the baby. I was having quite a few contractions because of the stress and it was stressing out Hubs even more.  I have to work on that whole stress thing.

13  She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands
   ---This I can relate to. I have been making baby blankets for a year now. It's definitely getting easier and I'm much quicker about it. I'm currently making one for Buggy because she's so disappointed that I've been making them for other people. She even selected her own yarn the other day.  This is one of the few things that I can sit and relax while doing it. I love making them and I love the finished products. I hope the recipients like them as much as I do.

14  She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
    ---Um, the furthest I go is Costco and I hate going there.  It's just too overstimulating for me. I don't like big box stores. Too much going on. Same goes for Ikea. I love their stuff, but it overwhelms me.  But I try to make my weekly treks to Giant and my monthly treks to Costco so that I can feed my family. I am learning to be a better cook and that's been satisfying. I think Hubby likes that I'm trying to expand my repertoire.

15  She gets up while it is still dark...
    ---I've definitely been doing that, but lately it's because of insomnia.  But, seriously, I do try to get up before the kids during the week. It's the time I can devote to preparing for the day. It's my time to pray and I find that praying for the day before it's started makes for a better day. I also feel like if I'm up before them, then I'm not behind the 8-ball. I feel like I am "up and at 'em" and that I can handle most things more effectively.  

I'll finish my thoughts tomorrow. I wish all of you a peaceful day!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Proverbs 31 (Part I)

Proverbs 31: 10-31 can be a very daunting piece of scripture. Talk about the ideal wife and mother! There are so many times that I try to capture perfection and I'm sorely disappointed. I'm learning that I don't need to be perfect. I'm learning other virtues that are helpful in the long run such as grace, patience, and forgiveness.

Here is the NIV (New International Version) of the scripture:

10 A wife of noble character who can find? She is worth far more than rubies.  11 Her husband has full confidence in her and lacks nothing of value.  12 She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.  13 She selects wool and flax and works with eager hands. 14 She is like the merchant ships, bring her food from afar.  15 She gets up while it is still dark; she provides food for her family and portions for her servant girls.  16 She considers a field and buys it; out her earnings she plants a vineyard.  17 She sets about her work vigorously; her arms are strong for her tasks.  18 She sees that her trading is profitable and her lamp does not go out at night.  19 In her hand she holds the distaff and grasps the spindle with her fingers.  20 She opens her arms to the poor and extender her hands to the needy.  21 When it snows, she has no fear for her household;  for all of them are clothed in scarlet.  22  She makes coverings for her bed; she is clothed in fine linen and purple.  23 Her husband is respected at the city gate, where takes his seat among the the elders of the land. 24She makes linen garments and sells them and supplies the merchants with sashes.  25 She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come.  26 She speaks with wisdom, and faithful instruction is on her tongue. 27 She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.  28 Her children arise and call her blessed; and her husband also, and he praises her: 29 "Many women do noble things but you surpass them all."  30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.  31 Give her the reward she has earned, and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

I have a quite a few thoughts on this verse and will be commenting on it over the next day or two. Something to think about. How about you? Ever feel like you need to achieve perfection? Or are you able to look at your celebrate your joys and learn from your challenges. I'm trying to learn from the latter and become a better person day by day.

Monday, September 27, 2010

So I Sit

This weekend my hubby was out of town helping a friend of ours move their stuff out of their place, onto a U-Haul truck and bringing it back to Maryland. In the meantime, our friend's wife, my dear friend A. and her daughter stayed with me to keep me company and to help me while the guys were out of town.

Friday night she was helping me edit a piece that I had written for something else.  As she read it she made the observation:  when you decided to become a stay-at-home mom you tackled motherhood much in the same way you tackled your job. Always trying to do more than you need to.

As she's known me for 13 years and we've vacationed at least 10 days a year together for at least 8 of them, I'd say she knows me pretty well. I'm very type-A and I have great expectations for myself and the things that I do, including parenting.

With this pregnancy I had great aspirations to make it to the gym at least 5 days a week, continue my TREK and Spin classes, stay fit, and not gain a horrible amount of weight like I did with the last two pregnancies.  I also planned to sign up the kids for after school activities like soccer and dance classes. Get all the things on my to-do list accomplished while the kids were sleeping/napping, and keep up the go-go-gadget life that I intended while my son was in school.

Um, yeah. Life had other plans and I have been put on restricted activity this pregnancy.  This truly frustrated me.  I had already had severe exhaustion the first trimester (and yes, I truly forgot what it was like with the two pregnancies) and barely had gotten anything accomplished.  Then in the beginning of the second trimester I was placed on restricted activity. I had to realize that I would not be getting as many things done as I had originally planned. When a trip to Target or the mall makes it difficult to walk around and I'm having cramping, then yeah, I really need to sit back and relax.

I hate being (what I consider) a burden to my family and friends.  Although if any of them were in this situation I would be the first one to tell them to follow doctor's orders and relax. I would also extend any help that I could.  I know this is what my friends and family are doing. I know that my friend D. is coming down once a week to give me a break and rest. I know that his wife A. coming down for an entire weekend while my husband was away is for the same reason. In retrospect I would have had a very difficult weekend if she had not been here and I am grateful.  I know that the baby's health is way more important than baby weight and that yes, I will lose the baby weight, and no it won't take me four and a half years to do it because I now know better.  I'm only frustrating my friends and family by being so hard-headed and that graciousness is a much better virtue.

So I sit and: read books on the couch with my children, become my proficient in my crocheting as I'm about to mail off the fourth baby blanket to a friend and I'm working on number five for a very special little girl who is turning two next month (Buggy went to the store and chose the colors for her new lovey), give Boogie much cuddle time and assuring him that I love him more than words can say and giving him some extra special mommy and Boogie time before the baby arrives, catch up on my reading (and thinking I should get audio books so that I can "read" while working on my baby blankets), continue my quiet time in the morning and spend time with God and pray for my family and friends, sleep & sleep & sleep because I need it, and learn & practice grace knowing that my friends are helping out of love and I can repay them by being grateful and gracious and know that my turn will come in time.

So I sit.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Ghost From the Past

A friend of mine recently posted on her status update the following:

There are some life events that can turn your world upside, but eventually they are put behind us. So why is it that just the smallest reminder can make everything feel just as bad as it did then?

I had been having the same thoughts.  So true to form I'm writing about my experience because it keeps nagging at me.  I've been avoiding this post since I started blogging. But if you've known me for any length of time or have worked with me, then you probably already know this story. But here I go because it just won't leave me alone! (By the way it's a long one. You might want to make yourself a snack to read this one).

When I worked at my last school assignment I had met another teacher and we became fast friends.  We were not only colleagues but friends outside of school, too. A bonus was that our husbands got along really well. It's nice to go out with friends when the Hubbies get along.  We were also on the same track...had the same work ethic (ie worked really, really late and were the last ones out the door most nights), became a part of leadership team, were champions for our students, and worked really, really hard to be the best teachers we could be. We were very much the type-A teachers. But even though we were similar in our work ethic, we still had our own personalities. We worked with our colleagues differently. I tried to put a more positive spin on certain situations (though I did find out from another friend and colleague who knew us well that I had started to become a negative nellie). I loved where I worked and I loved my colleagues and her? She didn't have the same feelings. But we still got along and we worked well together.  She was even there for the birth of my first-born. Yeah.....

Things went really well for a while, but then one summer she became angry with me and stopped talking to me. I found out the hard way when we were supposed to buy a gift together for a friend's baby shower and carpool to the shower. After going ahead and buying the gift and waiting around to carpool and many calls later, I arrived at the shower only to find that she was already there and had bought her own gift (Clue #1).  At the time I just figured she was having a bad day and we'd get down to the bottom of it after the shower. During the shower I got up to go to the bathroom and asked if she would hold my 4-month old son who she always loved to hold and snuggle. As soon as I came back from the bathroom she shoved him at me and said, "Here." (okay, Clue #2.). I was so incredibly hurt and had vowed to myself that she would never be allowed to hold my son again...and she didn't.  After the shower we drove back to my house and worked on a project that we promised we would do.  She was rude to my husband, my son, and to me.  I finally got down to the bottom of the issue: She had asked me earlier in the year to put in a good word for her and to have her assigned the same project I was assigned over the Summer. I had reservations about it and stuck my neck out and did it.  She was accepted and then at the last minute she told me she couldn't do it because of an overloaded work schedule.  I felt like a moron for having recommended her and made her stick to the project. I wouldn't let her back out and she was angry.  She also wanted me to send the e-mail bailing for her and I refused to do it.  So we finished our assignment and there were a lot of hurt feelings on both sides. We mended our ways, but our friendship was a little worse for wear.

Clue #3--They were running out of space in our building and had given up my room for a 1st period class. At the last minute they assigned me a class for 1st period and found out we had run out of rooms. I suggested putting me in my friend's room. I had a small class and she wasn't teaching 1st period.  She wasn't pleased with the idea and kept saying she had never shared a room and didn't really want to. But it was a done deal and I taught 1st period in her room.  Things went well. I didn't care that she was in and out of her room while I taught. I could roll with it and so could the kids. However, I did ask at one point if she wouldn't do it during our 15 minute DEAR (drop everything and read) time.  It was a schoolwide initiative to encourage our students to read and I had asked all staff to model the same behavior. Having her in and out of the room at that time made it hard for my reluctant readers to focus. I asked nicely if she refrain from coming in at that time, but any other time would be fine. She stopped speaking to me again and thought I was ridiculous.  We again got over this hurdle and patched things up.

Clue #4--She stopped speaking to me on her birthday a few years ago. This one I had no idea why.  After I brought gifts and a card and left them in her room I found out she wasn't speaking to me.  To this day I still don't know why.  I called and e-mailed several times and tried to speak to her in person. I never got an answer and I was left with very hurt feelings. Weeks went by and she never spoke to me either in person or via phone or e-mail.  It made sharing a room awkward especially when I would leave her room and she would slam it shut behind me.  I struggled by and was deeply hurt. At the time no one on staff knew about the rift except for another teacher who knew us well and tried to help us on either side. At which point this very dear friend told me to just let it go and that I'll probably never know what happened.

Unfortunately, at the end of that same year she became a substitute administrator in the building. She called me into her new office and told me she didn't want to be friends again and didn't want to talk about it. So I got the final answer with no resolution.  It didn't make me feel any better and the following year was worse when she became a permanent administrator and the continued to make my life a living hell with write-ups, referrals to the principal, and constant complaints of non-compliance...none of which were valid.  The one positive is that before that final year finally got rolling I had made a clear headed decision to stay home with my son.  So fortunately my decision to be a full-time Stay at Home Mommy is not and will not be tainted with the nastiness from my final year in the work-force. It was not a decision in haste and it was not made because of circumstances. My decision was made with a real desire to be a full-time SAHM and spend as much time as I could with my little one.

So you would think that now that I'm no longer working with her and have no cause to see her that the situation was done. Over. Boy am I wrong. So why am I writing about this now if it's over?  Because in the last week two people who had no idea what went down brought her up to me.  I kid you not.  They aren't the only ones. Just this Summer a former colleague I saw at a luncheon brought her up to me knowing the history between us said, "She's changed. She's much better. She's in a better place." What was I supposed to say? She was a complete bizatch to me and I don't believe she's changed?  Great, I'm happy for her that she's found happiness? How about silence, because she will never believe that she treated me so poorly and that she was only doing her job.

I let it go, but it nagged at me.  And then this week at a dinner with several people, one woman who I've been acquainted with for several years but never had a real conversation with asked me if I had worked at my previous school. I said yes, and then she starts to talk to me about their new administrator at her building...who just happened to be this former friend. Of course this woman didn't know there was a history and was chatting away. I held my tongue and groaned inwardly. Can't I get away from this?  When I thought it couldn't possibly happen again, when I went to my first MOPs meeting another newbie confirmed my name and asked if I had worked at my previous school.  This can't be happening again...I confirmed it and she identified herself. It turns out that we worked in the same building for a brief period of time.  I did finally recognize her. She of course brought up the other woman and said, "Weren't you really good friends with her?" To which I let out a strangled, "We don't speak anymore."  She just looked at me knowingly and thankfully didn't pursue the situation.

So now that I've written this and have finally gotten it out on digital paper, I'm left with...why can't this be over? Every time it comes up I feel like I've gotten a slap in the face.  I know that it still stings because while  there was a resolution...that being an ended friendship, I still don't know what happened to end it. At this point if I heard the reason, I probably wouldn't be satisfied because it's festered for so long.  I keep thinking that with time, it will be gone...but every time it's brought up it's like a wound reopened.  But in reality, it was good that the friendship ended. I was tired of walking on eggshells and feeling bullied.  I was tired of the constant criticism and the constant negativity which was bringing me down.  I was tired of the "look, see, I'm better than you," coming from her when I just didn't care and the derision on her face when I decided to start leaving work earlier than 6pm so that I could see my beloved little man. I had found a new identity and calling, "MOM" and I was reveling in the challenges and joys of new motherhood.

With that being said I just want this ghost from the past to disappear.  I'd also like an answer to the question that my friend posed:

There are some life events that can turn your world upside, but eventually they are put behind us. So why is it that just the smallest reminder can make everything feel just as bad as it did then?

But most of all, I'd just like the ghost of this past friendship to be gone...

Thursday, September 23, 2010


This morning during my quiet time I read about the "alpha mom" and how Proverbs 31 can be daunting to us mommies who are trying to make it through the day.  But how in reality that description is really just that of a woman who contributes to her household and values her family...someone like us.

However, this week I feel like I haven't had it together and definitely did not feel like the mom/wife described in Proverbs 31. Last week I did, until Thursday. Until I had to take my son to the doctor for the 2nd time in one week because of his allergic reaction to poison ivy.  After Thursday things had gone downhill...lack of sleep, Bug getting her thumb caught in the van door, the medicine making my son a hyper active go-gadget-go machine, hubby having to travel out of state for business.  

It's Thursday again and it's amazing what a solid (if you exclude bathroom stops and a son waking up to use the bathroom and then complain about itching from the poison ivy) 8 hours of sleep will do for a person. And really even with Boogie's stop in our room to get some help, it's more consecutive sleep than I've gotten in about 3 days. It was really helpful that Hubby got up to give Boogs more medicine last night so that I could keep on sleeping.  I feel more refreshed than I have felt in...well...about a week.

Yesterday, I went to my first MOPs meeting. After being on the wait list for  about 9-10 months I finally got in with a little help and push from a friend who was already in the group. She was keeping an eye on enrollment and saw that they had openings this year and helped to push through my registration and application. Anyway, having had less than 11 hours of sleep over 2 days I was definitely not feeling my best. I was rushing around trying to get snacks for the kids and for me, making sure we had everything for the day in case the meeting ran over and Boogie would go straight to school. I was also: trying to find my hairbrush and in frustration had to my hair put in a messy, wet bun because I never found my brush, trying to find clothes that were clean and fit me, making sure the kids were fed before we walked out the door, and oh, trying to be on time for the first meeting and the list goes on. Basically I had 45 minutes to get us out the door, fed, clothed, with supplies for the next several hours. (You would have thought I would have done this the day before when I couldn't sleep, but I was in an exhausted fog from lack of sleep and I couldn't do anything).

I walked in to find out that I wasn't on anyone's list because I was a last minute addition...last minute being the day before even though I had turned in my paper work well over a week ago when they were first calling for new applicants.  They gave me a temporary name tag and showed me where to go to drop off the kids. Fortunately Boogie was on the list for his class and he was happy to see friends from his school. Success. Unfortunately, Buggy was not on the list for her class. But she still got in. Even though she was hesitant to speak, she did go in and I was able to leave without incident. Not bad. Having my own friend in the meeting was nice.  

But I have to say as I looked around the room I felt very out of place.  I felt disheveled and exhausted and out of my realm. The other moms looked relaxed, happy, perfectly coiffed, stylishly dressed with coordinating shoes, handbags, and accessories.  My hair was in a wet, unbrushed bun, I was wearing well-worn (yet so comfortable) Birkenstock sandals, I've been wearing the same accessories since my son was born (mary pendant along with charms representing my children, my grandfather's bracelet that I never take off, my wedding band & engagement ring, and the celtic earrings that I have yet to change out since our celtic themed preschool camp over the summer), and my clothes clean, but wrinkled and a bit disheveled, and probably didn't match too well.  I was in a group of professional moms who looked like they walked out of a magazine. I was the professional mom who looked like I came out of an episode of Roseanne.

It's been awhile since I've been done up.  It would be nice...but right now things had been piling up on my plate and I think my own appearance has taken a backseat.  I shouldn't compare myself to these moms. I don't even know them. They all seemed to be perfectly nice and well put together.

One of the activities we did was a personality, getting-to-know you, activity. Yippee skippee.  We circled a bunch of character traits in different columns and added up the numbers.  My character column described me as a lion: bold, leader, decision maker...etc. I definitely did not feel like a lion yesterday...I felt more like the lamb going to slaughter.  I wasn't my usual witty, self-affirming, confident self (where's Lorelai Gilmore when you need her?). Instead I was meek, overwhelmed, and self-concious.  Even afterwards when my friend and I met up she asked me about my traits and when I told her lion she said, "Really? you really don't seem like a lion." My reply, "I guess the traits were leftover from my leadership days when I worked."  

It made me think...where were these traits? They are obviously still there, but they seemed to be buried. They seem to show themselves when I'm in a meeting with other educators, preparing for a new adventure (like teaching preschool camp), and when I'm comfortable in my surroundings. But it's also made me think...I've been so caught up with my kids' well-being, being concerned about this new Baby, trying to put away my anxiety every time I have a spotting episode, and having to rely on my friends and family for help and support because I shouldn't be doing too much per doctor's orders. Probably to someone who just met me I'm coming off as a self-concsious, needy person who is becoming more and more discombobulated by the day...kind of a train wreck.  I kind of would liike to have a part of the old me back. The one who can take charge of my kids' illnesses and get through them without freaking out, taking the Baby situation day by day and not worrying about it while still taking care of myself, and becoming more independent (again) and take care of myself and others more effectively.  

I think once I can get more sleep (that's a huge help) I won't be in such a fog. Now that I've had a little self-reflection, it's time for some of the Lion in me to come out.  I'm ready.  Oh, and a haircut and a makeover would probably help, too...or maybe just finding my hairbrush :)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


Last night I went to dinner with a women's educational society I joined a few years ago. We have meetings throughout the year and pay dues.  Even though I'm not currently teaching, I stay a part of the society so that I still know what's what in the educational world, to stay connected, and to use my brain in other ways. It was really nice to be out last night.

We talked over the agenda and looked at future dates for meetings and projects that are on the horizon. I'm really excited for one of the projects and hope that we do as much as we can to support one of the communities in our area.  I'm looking forward to the next meeting when we discuss next steps.  However, as I looked over the dates for future meetings, luncheons, etc. I realized that I already have something planned for each of the future get-togethers. How is that possible?  Seriously? Here are some examples of the conflicts: October--Buggy's birthday party, November--weekend with a friend and possibly celebrating a SIL's birthday, February--my due date.  There were other dates, but I was already booked for them, too. The only two dates that we were able to plan something and I was able to attend were the two dates that wereTBA'd on the agenda and we set the dates last night. Since I was able to give my input for scheduling I will be able to make those meetings. Crazy!

So does mean I'm overly scheduled or just really, really organized? I've been getting better about giving us a weekend here and there to have absolutely nothing planned and Hubby is always pleasantly surprised when that happens. Maybe it should happen more often. But not for at least 3 more weeks. We're already booked!

Monday, September 20, 2010


Last week became progressively tougher as it wore on. Poor little man. The poison ivy kept spreading and by Thursday and two restless nights we had gone back to the doctor for stronger meds. Unfortunately they make him a hot emotional mess. Fortunately, the doctor warned us and Hubby and I were prepared for the aftermath.  Boogie is definitely doing better, but it hasn't been easy on him. We started lowering his dosage last night (per doctor's instructions) and I'm hoping for a better week. But can you believe that even until now he's still coming up with new bumps? He's not scratching them, so I don't know what's going on!

Saturday was a tough day all around. I had been pretty productive during the week, but started with the insomnia again on Friday morning and it continued throughout the weekend.  It makes me tired and grumpy!  Even though I took it easy on Friday and grabbed a nap and finally made it back to sleep on Saturday after two hours of early morning insomnia, I started spotting again. Although the doctor warned me it would happen and told me signs to look for, it's still really disconcerting.  It makes me more anxious and I still worry about this new little baby. But I'm 19 weeks along and everyday is a good day that I get to keep this baby in.  I always feel better when I feel baby kicking...that's definitely a good sign!

The rest of Saturday was fine, until the very end. After a fun ice cream outing with my parents we rolled into our driveway.  Hubs and Boogie made it to the door and usually I'm the last one to get moving out of the car.  I started grabbing odds and ends to throw away or take out of the car when I realized Buggy wasn't racing with the boys. Just as I asked Hubby where Bug was and as I rounded the car to look for her she let out a terrifying wail.  She has learned how to close the van sliding door using the automatic button. But she left her thumb in and it was shut in the door.  I yanked the van open to find a huge divot in her quickly swelling thumb. She's so little the van didn't sense her so there she was stuck in the door.  I grabbed her (by the way against dr's orders to pick up my little ones) and held her. Lots of screaming, loud crying, and tears (okay, okay, so some of it may have been mine, too!).  After snuggling with mommy, a relaxing bath, a call to the advice nurse, it seems that all is fine. She was scared and a little worse for wear, but overall fine.  Not me, though.

This week has been so tough with the lack of sleep, the worrying about the kids, and Buggy catching her thumb in the door, that I was so done.  By the time Hubby finished putting the kids to bed, I think we both collapsed into bed by 9:30. An early night for us.  We still made it to Mass the next morning, but definitely dragging. I was so tired, I cried. I think I just needed a release and that was it. I held Bug in my lap most of Mass and rocked her throughout the service. She was definitely not her usual self and let me do it.

I'm looking forward to a better week...but worried it will be tough in other ways. Hubs has a business trip tomorrow and then he's gone for the weekend to help our friends move out of their house in Maine because they just moved to the area (hurray! for the moving, not for being gone all weekend.)  Fortunately, my friend A. will spend the weekend with me to keep me company and to help me out. I would normally say, "don't worry about it," but even with taking it easy I'm still spotting, so I've got to pull back some more.

I think I just need a break from all the worrying. The kids will be 100% again, it will just take some time.

Some of the BEST things about my week:

  • Buggy snuggling with me in our rocking chair and a half. Her sleepy head on my shoulder as we rocked together.
  • Family movie night in our bed on Friday. Complete with popcorn.
  • Bug saying, "Wa ewe" to Boogie
  • Bug saying, "Wa ewe, Mama" when I put her down for a nap.
  • Boogie's great imagination and his planned out trip to Africa. He even packed socks, underwear, shoes, books, and toys in his backpack for both him and his sister. (Now I've got to unpack it all so that they have underwear and socks for the week!)
  • The kids playing together so well. (It looks like Boogie will keep his sister!)
  • Buggy catching me watching the QVC special on new Dooney & Burke handbags and immediately sitting next to me riveted.  (No we didn't buy any, but it was fun to oooohhhhh and ahhhhh over pretty purses together. I think my husband just sighed.)
  • Seeing good friends who I haven't seen in months and celebrating their's son's birthday.
  • Ice cream with my parents
  • My parents coming over for dinner and hanging out with the kids.
  • Buggy sitting next to me and grabbing and snuggling half of the new baby blanket I'm crocheting for a friend and giving her approval as we rocked together.
  • The hugs and "I love yous" heard throughout the week from my precious children.
  • Grabbing a nap on Friday because a friend came down to give me a break and played with my kids.
  • Hubby's delicious banana, chocolate chip, walnut bread he baked on Saturday morning. He's the best!
  • Being one lucky Mama to be so loved!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hey, Where's the Manual?

After a couple of weeks of diagnosing poison ivy and all of its crazy symptoms I feel like I should have gone to medical school. My little boy spent a week breaking out without any complaint and then BAM he was scratching, crying, and miserable :(  Fortunately he is doing much better with a combination of cortisone cream, antihistamine, and prednisone. Unfortunately, it got so bad that he needed the prednisone, and now he's a hot mess emotionally, but we're going with the flow and trying to make things easier for him.

After being a parent for 4 1/2 years I feel like I should have gotten a degree not only in education, but in psychology, and in med school.  I feel like no one is completely ready for child-rearing. I mean, many of us think we are, and many of us want children, therefore we have our families...but did we really know what we were getting into?  I knew about the late nights, had an inkling to the anxiety, the benefits of routine and consistency, but no, I wasn't ready for this.

I wasn't ready for the complete fear that grips me when my children are sick and there is nothing that I can do except follow doctor's orders and whatever prescribed meds (if any).  The sadness that fills me when they are hurt, sad, or upset.  The incredible joy I feel when I hear, "I wa ewe, Mama," "You're the best, Mommy," "I love you, Mama," or when I see my children accomplish something new, like lines in the preschool Christmas play, scoring a goal in soccer, or learning a new dance step.

But there are days that I'm glad I have a degree in education and can help my kids learn how to read, count, and have a love for learning.  There are other days that I wish I had pursued a degree in child psychology (like I had originally planned), and definitely medical school.   I wonder if any of that would alleviate some of the anxiety that goes along with parenthood.

Parenting has been a roller coaster ride and a learning curve. Despite the weariness, the anxiety, the fear, it has been the best job I have ever had. I have to say that the joys definitely outweigh the bad stuff :) Just wish I had a manual...

Friday, September 17, 2010

So Much for Not Making Mistakes

Just last week my son was surprised to hear that Mommy makes mistakes. Boy do I ever!

Just this morning I read on the Tecnu bottle (the poison ivy wash) that you should wait a day before using it if you've been using hydrocortisone, yeah, missed that the last two days. Fortunately, the effect of using both at once doesn't seem to be overly harmful, but makes the skin more irritated. Hence, why Boogie has been waking up and crying and scratching.  I think I'll have to lay off of one or the other. I'll take a look at his torso today and see which one seems to be working better. His skin is definitely better after the Tecnu bath, but we didn't do one last night. Just the cortisone cream, the antihistamine, and the prednisone...

Also I have to figure out why my little girl doesn't seem to be as good a listener as my son. Age? We're more lax with her? Her personality?  Last night after dance class I picked up dinner from our favorite Greek place. It's this little hole in the wall, mom & pop place that we love.  The restaurant is tiny and the tables are really close together. Last night it was just us and my kids were running around. I managed to round up my son, and he sat down quietly. I called to my daughter, she laughed and ran away...smack into a table, ricocheted into another one until she fell on the floor. Just great. I was so frustrated with her and my inability to reign her in.  She was fine and a little more subdued by the time I reached her. I think all the employees held their breath. No one said a word. I brought her back to the counter and I could tell the owner was trying not to say anything to me.  As I paid for the food he said with a nice smile, "Kids fall, and they're alright. It's fine." I was really expecting him to reprimand me for allowing the kids to be crazy, but he was nice.

Fortunately, none of my mistakes have been devastating. We learn from them and move on. No wonder the last kid in the bunch seems to have it better. You get all of your practice from the first couple. HA! But in reality, parenting is a learning curve and I'm just trying to keep up.  Overall, life is really good and we're happy :)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting Focused

I'm a procrastinator. I was the students that was always up late finishing the paper that was due the next day. It's not that I mean to do it, but I think something more important or more immediate needs to be done....probably due to my lack of organization.  But I try to stay organized...I'm also a list maker. I love making lists and crossing things off my list and adding to my list :)

However, with doctor's orders to take it easy and the inability to do as much as I want to do and not being able to go to the gym has been frustrating. Not going to the gym does give me back about 2 hours in my day.  I've gotten my energy back, somewhat, so I'm doing what I can without overextending. If I get too tired, I pull back and hang out on the couch, usually crocheting a baby blanket...

So I decided to revaluate my "to-do" list. I have about 124+ things that are on my list...which is not including my other list for cleaning the house :)  I've tried to do the every other day thing...focus one day on the house, the next on errands and other "to-dos." But things weren't getting done to my satisfaction. So I revamped this week and I decided to give 2 days a week to cleaning, 2 days a week for errands/to-do, one day for playdates or catch-up and leaving my Saturday/Sunday to rest, do something fun (and non taxing with the family), visit friends, work on my beloved baby blankets, etc.  I'm now on Day 4 of my new regiment and my husband has commented the last 3 days that the kitchen and bathrooms look great! I'm getting more done, crossing more things off my list and not adding more! I'm finding that since I'm more focused I'm able to get more done in a shorter amount of time, which leaves me more time to rest and spend time with the kids.

I should also mention that I have started turning the computer off, and use it when I'm done with my housework/errands, and I've started going to bed earlier. It also helps that I'm not exhausted from going to the gym.  I think I was overdoing it at the gym and it was too much for me. I'm going to have to revaluate my work-out return after the baby arrives. I still have to work-out...I mean really, if it took me 4 1/2 years to get rid of the baby weight from Baby #1, then I  have to think about how I'm going to eat better and work out more efficiently after the arrival of Baby #3!

But all is well so far...let's see how long I can last!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"Wa Ewe"

Last night, poor Boogs woke up screaming and crying after being asleep for only 30 minutes. We have found out that he is terribly allergic to poison ivy and the rash has slowly creeped up all over his torso in the last 10 days.  He's been a trooper and hasn't complained. Because it has gotten drastically worse we went to the doctor yesterday and she gave a topical ointment with some cortisone in it. Last night was the worst he's felt in all this time.

We managed to calm him down and he lied in bed with me watching a little tv. His crying woke his sister who did some sympathy crying and screaming in her own room. Hubby got her out of bed and took her downstairs while he finished closing up the house for the night.  She came up a few minutes later with Boogies "travel" bag. A little canvas book bag that holds Boogie's treasures for his imaginary trips to Maui, Africa, and other far off places. Inside is trusty Chester and Boogies favorite yellow blanket.  She knew Boog wanted it and brought it to him. She then proceeded to crawl into bed with us. Of course being not even two she stepped on both of us as she walked her way to the other side of Boogs and promptly got under the covers.

Boogs being grumpy fussed at her for walking on him. She looked at him and said, "Wawwy, Wawwy" (Sorry, sorry). She said with sincerity, but one of the best things about her is that she doesn't get upset when Boogs reprimands her. She says "Wawwy" and moves on. LOVE her!

 I asked Boogs to thank Bug for bringing his bag. "Thanks, Bug." He then stretched out his arms to her and says, "Hugs!"  Bug leans in and hugs him back and says, "Hugs!" and goes back to watching tv. As she settles under the covers and just before she puts her thumb in her mouth I hear "Wa ewe" (Love you)

(Buggy is just starting to say "wa ewe" on her own without being prompted. This is the first time I heard her say it to Boogs. I think my heart melted instantly after their little exchange!)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

"Mama, You Never Make Mistakes"

If it were only true. This past Saturday, Boogie and I went to the bookstore to pick up a gift for a friend.  I was cutting it close on time because we had another event we were attending in the afternoon. The entire time we were in the store, Boogie was fantastic. He helped to choose the gift for his friend, found books he was interested in, and followed me around the store.  After paying for my books I realized that I was 15 minutes later than I wanted to be.

I said frantically, "Boogs, we gotta go!  Mama is late. I didn't realize the time!"
B: "Sorry, Mama. Sorry for making us late."
M: "Not your fault, Baby. It's my fault. We've gotta go."
B: "Mama, you never make mistakes! It must be my fault!"
M: "If that were only true."

This was bittersweet for me. My little Boogie man has so much confidence in me that he thinks I never make mistakes. If only he knew how many mistakes I made on any given day. How hard I work to try to be the best mommy to him and Bugs, but I'm not perfect.

His confidence was so sweet and endearing. Yet, at the same time, what am I doing so that he's taking the burden on himself?  Is it my frantic, "Boogs, we gotta go! We're going to be late for school. Stop dawdling"that makes him think that we're always late because of him (see! if he thinks that, then I'm obviously making mistakes!) Probably. *sigh*

Thanks, for your confidence, Boogie Man. I just wanna be the best mommy for you, Bug, and Baby. I'll keep tryin'. Love you.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Music Lovin' Household

Our home is filled with music on a regular basis, be it the kids singing, my husband's singing, my (very off-key) singing, radio, or CDs. We love music.  I love that we have music in the house.  One of the best Christmas presents my husband ever bought me was a little kitchen CD/radio system that is mounted on the underside of the cabinets.  It's out of the way, but it gives me the opportunity to fill the house with music. When I'm making dinner or cleaning up the kitchen I'll put in a book on CD and have "my time" because the kids are usually resting or being put to bed by Daddy.

One of the parts about having music on in our kitchen is the impromptu dance parties we have. I love it! Our kitchen is large enough to hold a table and chairs and there's room between the table and the stove that is a nice wide open space. You will often find 3 of us, if not all 4 of us, dancing to something on the radio. We dance as if our hearts are depending upon it.  Buggy wiggles back and forth. Boogie man dances like a crazy mad man and Mommy and Daddy are a little goofy in their dancing. I admit I have no rhythm, but who has to know besides my family and well, now all of you? I have to thank J. for teaching me how to enjoy dancing in college and to do it and enjoy the music without being self-conscious. Now you've got a crazy dancing mama.

Just this morning we put on a veggie tales best of Christian Hit music. Bug immediately started wiggling and Boogie started singing the words.  LOVE it!

Some of our favorite artists/songs:
Big Big House
Sadie Hawkins Dance
Beach Boys
They Might Be Giants
Veggie Tales CDs (Here I am to Worship and Christian Hit Music)

The list could go on!

Do you ever do an impromptu dance party?  What are some of your favorite songs to dance to?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Overcoming Weariness

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you.  Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls."  (Matthew 11:28-29)

Being on doctor's orders to be on "restricted activity" has made me reevaluate what I need to do versus what I'd like to do. I'd like to do a lot. There are so many things on my to-do list that I never ever get it done. If I can get 5 things done a day, I'm a happy camper.  Having to reevaluate and decide what actually needs to get done has been really helpful. I really do feel the stress leaving me.

I've been trying to take it easy and I've been lucky enough to have one lunch date and one playdate this week.  Hanging out with other adults, even if only for an hour, has really improved my disposition. So has being able to "let things go." So the house isn't perfect. So what. So the laundry isn't done. So what.  My kids are happy, fed, clothed, and housed. I think we're doing all right.

I did wake up this morning in a bit of a panic. My friend D. was coming to down with his daughter for a playdate and I got up at 9am. This is unheard of, but I was struck again with pregnancy insomnia at 4 this morning and managed to get back to sleep around 5:30am. My son woke me up at 7:30am and my response was, "Here's PBS, can you watch some tv while Mama sleeps?" He sat in bed with me. When I finally got up at 9am I realized I needed to shower and feed the kids because he would be here anytime.  Lo and behold he got there as I was feeding the kids breakfast.

While I realized that the house was not in the state that I wanted it to be in and I was barely ready for the day, I decided to let it go. So what? Right? I've known D. and his wife A. for 13 years. We went to college together, vacationed together, and they've seen me through some of my worst times.  Through it all we've been there for each other.  So I let it go.  He was there to give me a hand with the kids and not to judge. For that I was grateful.

After a playdate at the park and lunch out with the kids. We came back, put the kids down for a nap. I ran an errand, he helped tidy up the kitchen for me and then we chatted until his daughter woke up from a nap.

He kept saying, "Just relax. That's why I'm here." Being so type-A it's hard for me to sit back while people are at me house and for me not do something. But I promised his wife last week that I would do just that. Let them help me when I needed it.

So I did. I'm learning to overcome my weariness and to find rest. Thank you to all of my good friends and family for your words of encouragement, offers to let me rest, and for your unending help and support. xoxo

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Just What the Doctor Ordered

It's amazing what happens when you are given permission to do nothing.  Especially when it's doctor's orders to do nothing!  I felt so much more relaxed. More relaxed than I have in months! There is no more guilt about things not getting done and that alone alleviates a ton of stress!

Yesterday, I was able to go out to lunch with a friend. We chatted for well over an hour and having that time to just hang out with her was great.  I didn't feel guilty that the dirty laundry was piling up or that things weren't as neat as they could be at home.  I had a relaxing morning with the kids, did a few things around the house that I could do while off my feet (like folding laundry, I can sit on my bed, fold laundry and watch the Gilmore Girls. Easy peasy.), and then took the Boogs to school and had lunch with a friend.  Since Buggy and I got back from lunch with a few minutes to spare before leaving again to pick up Boogs, I was able to marinate the meat for dinner, and pick him up. We came home for snacks and read books. The kids went up for a naps/rest and I worked on another baby blanket.  I think I could get used to this gig!

Because there wasn't pressure to get things done and I got done what I could and let the rest go to the wayside, I actually got a few more things done than I normally do.  I think stress makes me procrastinate, procrastination makes me feel guilty, guilt makes me tired, and being tired makes me cranky, which leads me back to not getting anything done, which makes me stressed and the cycle begins again!

I think I need to fill my days with more lunch dates (thanks, A. I had fun!), playdates, and days to just hang out with the kids. I think that's just what the doctor ordered!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Even (Wanna-Be) Superheroes Need a Break

I'm not saying I'm a superhero. Far from it!  But a lot of times I feel like I should be one!  Especially one that had more hands to do the things that need to be done and speed. I wish I could get things done more quickly!

As a mom I try to everything I can for my kids: teaching them to be independent, teaching them basic educational skills to prep them for school, provide healthy meals, provide lots of lots of snuggles, read with them, and most importantly let them know that they are loved. Truthfully the list can go on and on.

One of the things I've been most frustrated about with this pregnancy is my lack of ability to get all the things done that I feel like I need to get done during the day. I have been so tired.  The chores have been neglected, dinners are just barely getting done before Hubby gets home. And lately more often than not, he's been bringing home dinner.  I haven't been able to make it to the gym, and I feel like a lot of our days are spent playing inside while Mama rests on the couch.

Well I now have a doctor's prescription for more rest and restricted activities.  My body has been telling me for months to slow down and I've done it kicking and screaming...well from the couch because kicking and screaming just takes too much energy!

Warning:  The next paragraphs may be TMI!

The last few weeks have been nerve-wracking. I had been experiencing some bleeding, which is not good when you are entering your 2nd trimester.  After going to the doctor she recommended another sonogram to determine placental placement. It took me two weeks to get an appointment. The first week they were completely booked and the second week I had to finagle a time when I could get care for my kids.  The technician gave me a hard time about waiting so long but it wasn't entirely my fault!

Well the week before getting the sonogram I had more spotting. After the sonogram this past Friday I had more spotting on Monday night accompanied by some cramping. After all the lab work and internal exams all they could say is all looks normal, but be prepared for  a miscarriage.  I'm 17 weeks along.  Terror filled our hearts as Hubby and I heard that.  Monday was a holiday and I was sent to Urgent Care. But they recommended I see my regular doctor ASAP the next day.

I managed to see one of the OBs in the our practice and thank goodness for his calm demeanor. He's overseen both of my previous pregnancies and I felt really comfortable with him.  He did say that while technically he couldn't diagnose me with placenta previa, I was an inch away from it. Meaning that the placenta was very near the cervix, which is causing my spotting. So even if I'm taking it easy, I might have some spotting. He gave me some good advice to know when I should realize that's what it was and when I should call to get checked out again. Though he did say, I could always call and get someone to check me out and that was fine.  He also said that the believed the cramping was not related and that I may be dehydrated. Recommendation: more water!

With that being said, I am not on bedrest, but I am on restricted activity.  I'm allowed to let the house get messy. I'm allowed to sit on the couch and watch my children play.  Yes, I can still make meals for my family, but be sensible and not do a lot.  He said it was very difficult to put me on strict bedrest because I already have two small children. But if I promised to take it easy, then I should be fine.  I have to be sensible.

I'm used to pushing the envelope a little bit. Doing a little more than I should. But the possibility of losing this baby when I can prevent it by taking it easy is enough for me! I'm allowing myself to take it easy. I'm even calling the gym to suspend my membership until after the baby arrives! (That's huge for me since I vowed that I will not gain excess weight with this pregnancy!)  I'm allowing my friends to take over for me when I need it. I will ask for help when I need it. I will sit and I will let the house get messy. I will be grateful for the wonderful husband I have who will never complain (at least to me!).

I will allow my wannabe-Superhero self to sit. I will cherish every moment I have with my children and know that everyday that this baby stays in the womb is one day closer to full-term. Praise God!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Back to School Routines

Boogie started school this week! The last two days have been transition days at the school. Just an hour each day and today will be his first regular school day. His school is only 2 1/2 hours long.  This year will be different in many ways:  He will go in the afternoon, Ladybug is older and is down to one nap, Mama is pregnant and tired.  We will have to adjust our schedule to fit our new needs, routines, and situations.

I was really proud of the Boogie Man. He did well on the first day.  He shared his toys, he was polite, he defined the word nocturnal and gave an example of a nocturnal animal.  I loved that I got a chance to spend his first day of school with him (which is the requirement at the school. It's only an hour the first day and a parent must accompany the child for that hour).  Did Boogs really need me? No. Was it nice to spend that extra time with him? Yes!

Today is the first day that Boogie has his regular schedule and this evening is Buggy's first dance class. This will be a busy day for us!

I realize that I have to shift our schedule around. I'm used to going to the gym in the morning and then relaxing in the afternoon.  But now that I have energy in the morning, I think I need to get some chores/errands/"to do"list accomplished, then taking Boogie to school, and then take a nap before he gets home. I think it might take me a week  or so to see what will work best in our schedule. I was hoping to go to the gym this morning, but I realize that I have to buy birthday gifts for our annual Labor Day/Birthday party celebrations!  I guess I'll try to hit the gym next week! I really should since the baby weight is creeping up on me! Wish us luck as we try to figure out our new routines!