Thursday, March 26, 2009

Real love

When each of my girls turned one, they received lockets from their grandparents. More recently, Lydia has taken an interest in hers- feeling pretty special when she gets to put it on.

On Sunday she was wearing it when my sister asked her whose picture was in the locket. Lydia wasn't quite sure what to answer because (whoops) I guess she really didn't know that's what lockets were for. My sister explained that the picture would need to be taken from a distance so it would be small enough to cut out and put in the locket.

Well, this afternoon as I was rushing around between clearing the supper mess and gathering my stuff for class, she told me to stop so she could take a picture of me, then she proceeded to move across the room. You're a little far away, I pointed out. She snapped the picture and answered, There, now it will fit in my locket.

She made this tired moms day.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Part II

That same little girl that dragged me out of bed so early this morning, you know?

Well, she's now trying to see how late she can make me stay up.

She's always full of such good ideas, this one.

(I encourage you to stay tuned for part III, sure to arrive sometime between the hours of six and nine a.m. tomorrow morning.)

Good morning?

I'm trying to remain sane as my darling little thirteen month old peeks over the side of my chair, plops her thumb in her mouth and rests her head against the armrest. In other words- I'm ready for my nap now, Mom.

Where was that sweet getsture at 4:30 a.m. after I wearily trudged up the stairs to give her a bottle- imagining irrationally that this middle of the night waking thing might just have the cruel tendancy to last forever?

Or how about every fifteen minutes after that when she cried out, demanding to get out of her crib like I might somehow forget to feed her breakfast if she didn't make her awakeness known loud and clear.

Or when I finally admitted defeat and retrieved her from her crib for good- afraid she'd wake the other two- for no other reason than for her to spend some quality time pulling my hair and poking at my closed eyes while I made a false attempt to greedily snatch a few more precious minutes of sleep on the chair.

In case you haven't gathered, I'm losing ground quickly over here this morning- trying to stay afloat, consuming coffee at impressive rates, and finding my patience growing thinner as the minutes pass. I'm sure the fact that it's unnaturally dark out there for 9 a.m. has nothing do with my nagging need for sleep either.

Good morning, merry sunshine. And what kind of Wednesday morning are you having today?

Monday, March 23, 2009

M is for TODAY. (Er, uh, Monday, I mean.)

Is rearranging part of the change of seasons or what? I suddenly feel a bit claustrophobic in my living room that hasn't changed its furniture layout for nearly a year. I want to push things to the walls, free up some space in the middle of the room but I'm begining to conclude (after eight months of trying to come up with options) that I'm limited. I've got three doorways (one is double) and three windows to work with- none of which I feel like blocking off with furniture.

I'm also looking around and seeing for the first time since Januray just how many remnants of winter remain around the house. Snowflakes hanging on the wall, red berries in on top the bookcase. Oops, and on piano as well. Snowmen on the kitchen shelf. Gulp. These all must go- it's not conducive to encouraging spring along, I fear. I don't mind keeping these things around for the winter months... But we're almost into April now and even if I've been nummed by the lingering snowbanks, I can at least pretend spring is going to make a real entrance soon.

Jack just brought the kid's little computer to me claiming that the batteries are "deaden". Actually it's just the sound that seems to be gone. It's one of those things with little learning games on it and truthfully, I'm enjoying the absent sound.

I only see one slight problem. They're playing the "find the letter game" right now and since they're looking at the pictures with the letters (and no overexcited computerized monkey to tell them otherwise) I'm hearing them shout out things like, "Q is for BED!" (Uh, quilt perhaps?) and "W is for TIRE!" (Wheel?) Huh. How did we ever learn things before computers came along? I mean really. How did we know R was really for RING and not circle without that animated voice chirping at us? (Insert loud, exhasperated sigh and comment, kids these days, with an elaborate shake of the head.)

So much for all those times I thought they were so intelligent.

Oh, wait. There is some small hope. They've found paper and pencils and they're now playing school.

Have a great day.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Just wanted to say thanks for all of the positive comments that were left on my last post. I know I'll refer back to them when motivation is running low. It's great to hear from those of you who are or have been in similar situations.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One Day At a Time...

When I began going to school, I did so becasue my husband was working in the construction business- which inevetably meant being layed off in the winter months. Deciding I needed to be doing something during that time, I made the chioce to go back to school for nursing. I already had some credits in from clases I had taken before we were married, and rather spontaneously I signed up for classes. To make a long story incredibly short- Ryan took interest in what I was doing, did some major desicion making and decided he needed a change of careers.

As most of you know- we're soon facing the end of the school year and the completion of the practical nursing program at G*****C. In approximately six weeks, we'll be done with this part of the journey. Which also means it's time for me to finally make the decision I've been waffling over all year long, the one I've been neglecting to involve any of you in because it's been so back and forth: go back in the fall to complete the RN program (along with Ryan) or wait another year. On the kitchen counter, my acceptance letter awaits my signature, the deadline is growing near.

My biggest fear has always been: how will my kids deal with it? I am, after all, a mother first. That has, and always will come before anything else. I've dealt with my share of irrational guilt. My consolation is- they're always with family when we need to be away and they're young; they'll have little to no memory of these days. And, up until this point- my part time schedule has been rather light- very manageable. Today we got good news- news that will probably make my choice a bit easier. We learned about the schedule for the RN program and found out (besides the one day of classes each week) we would be able to be on opposite clinical schedules. Which means our kids would almost always have one of us around.

Looking around at those I know, I've seen the struggles in this economy, I know times are difficult. We've felt the burdens here at home. And to wait it out a year might make it more difficult for me to return at all. So I'm leaning toward one more year. Two more semesters with an entire summer off. I'm just trying to regroup my motivation and understand if this is the right choice for us at this point.

I know people don't quite understand how we're both going at once... But it's like anything in life: one day at a time. I had a nurse tell me, "That's cute," when she heard our story and I laughed, then got serious and said, "No it's not." It's just the way things fell into place, the way it all worked out. And it's working for us right now. Somehow. This might not have been our plan several years ago, but it's amazing how life meanders and pivots and alters our direction in ways we'd never guess. Things happen, life presents us with difficulties and joys alike, and choices are made accordingly. In fact, if someone had told me we'd be in this scenario at this point in our lives I would have responded: Impossible! Because we thought we had it figured out. In life it's important to remember: we never have it all figured out.

I just wanted to share this with you because it's such a big part of who I am. Up until now, I've kept rather quiet about the details of our schooling on this blog. For some reason, this just felt like the right time to share.

And, now you know a few minor details to our crazy life.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Sleepyheads & Sunshine

Apparently spending Friday night and most of Saturday at Grandpa & Grandma's was just a bit tiring on these two. This afternoon I went into the kitchen for some coffee, was sitting at the table just enjoying the peace and quiet (and yes, silently chowing my way through- uh, not one, but, yes two- cinnamon buns) when I decided to check what they were up to. And here's how I found them:

I had to take pictures because this is an unlikely event at this house. My kids do not willingly take naps. Jack- who still needs a nap most days- always puts up a fight and Lydia gave them up a long time ago. So, for them both to fall asleep in the living room in the middle of playing... they must have been exhausted!
The warmer temps today had me longing for some serious snow melting to take place. I regret to say, aside from going to church this morning, we did not even get out to enjoy the sunshine. I need to get our stroller out since I heard the weather is supposed to be decent this week. We all need to get out of this house, throw open the windows, freshen up the stagnent air that's lingering around here making us all feel so blah.
Let's hope for an early spring: sunshine days, warm air, evening walks...
Don't tell me I'm dreaming-I'm well aware that in April last year I was blogging about a blizzard. Let's hope for better luck this year!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We're going to the moon, where are you going on vacation?

Lately there's been much fascination with the moon, the sun, and the stars from our four year old. She's full of questions, like where does the sun go at night? And, how come sometimes it's a big roundy moon and sometimes it's just a sliver moon? And then there's, what color are the stars really, mom?

And then I stumble through an answer thinking- it souldn't be this hard to answer a four year old. Uh, well, you see dear... the moon... Okay. look at it like this: when the sun shines, um. Well. Pretend this is the moon... Okay, wait. Uh... You should ask daddy that when he comes home. The stars are really pretty, though, huh?

Today she was debating what type of moon would be out tonight when she said, "Mom, maybe some day me and you and Dad and Jack and Hannah can go for a trip to the moon!" Go to the moon?!

"Well, we'd need a spaceship to get there," I told her. (Yes! One that I can finally answer without feeling like I should have just failed earth science back in school.)

She seemed to think about this for awhile, ran off to play, and later came back with more questions for her not-so-smart mom. "Who has a spaceship, Mom?"

"Astronauts." (Score! I got this one right too!)

"Oh! I know! We can just find an astronaut then and ask him to take us to the moon!"

I promise I've never warned her that I'm going to ship her to the moon, either. I don't even think that would worry her to tell you the truth- I think she'd probably ask when she was leaving and where the spaceship would pick her up, then hurry off to pack her bag.

That's this week. Next week will probably find me stammering through answers about why the leaves fall off the trees and how they grow back, but this week we're busy planning our trip to the moon.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Under the weather

I'm growing weary of this never-ending cold/fever/bug that has wormed it's germy self into our house over here. It started with Jack a week ago- high fever, runny nose, cough, crankiness. And he still seems to be fighting it.

Now it's moved on to Lydia who seems to have only have a mild cold- but enough to slow her down. She's in denial, however, and wants to keep going despite feeling run-down. Keeps saying she's just tired because she didn't sleep well- becuase Hannah cried all night long. Hm. Hannah started crying at 7:30 this morning- waking Lydia after 12 hours of sleep, so... Not sure that's the real story, but she's convinced. We started letting her stay up a little later than the other two lately and she's so concerned that we'll make her go to bed at the "little kid's" bedtime that she refuses to admit she's tired or sick at all. Stubborn, she is.

Other than that... I'm happy to see the storm has passed (for the most part) although it still must be quite chilly outside as this old house is struggling to keep the temp up in here today. And the wind still seems to be raging. Maybe it hasn't really passed? I know better than to think winter is done... But the sun peaked through the frosted windows this afternoon and I'm hopeful for nicer weather someday soon.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Thinkin' about...

Lydia: Hey Mom, know what I was thinkin' about?

Me: Um... What's that?

Lydia: I was thinkin' about what if I moved to Liana's.

Me (adding plenty of drama for a startled effect, of course): What!? No way! You can't move to Liana's, what would I do without you? Hannah and Jack would miss you. Dad and I would miss you-

Lydia (cutting me off, shaking her head, with an expression that reads, do I have to explain everything to you?): Mom, I was just thinkin' about it, I'm not really going to move there.

Oh, my little girl how did you get so old already?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Little Things

"Friends are the angels that
lift our feet when
our own
wings have trouble
remembering how to fly."

There are moments every day, all around us- things we don't even see or always take note of- that occur at just the right moment, in just the right order, causing alignments we are only occasionally aware of. Typically these slight events go by without our recognition, passing like the breeze through a screen.

But sometimes, they're bigger than that. They take us by surprise, startle us in ways we can't explain. Sometimes that breeze through the screen stops us in our walk through life, flutters past us in an unordinary way and makes us realize: these little things are so much more than the little coincidences we sometimes pretend they are.

I had a difficult afternoon today for minor reasons that aren't really important at all. Things built up, the day wore on, and by the late afternoon hours that I was feeling worn down, tired, and frustrated. At my lowest point, I went to retrieve the mail and found a small envelope addressed to me in handwriting I'd never have difficulty recognizing: that of one of my oldest and closest friends. Inside, I found a card- so encouraging, uplifting and heartfelt. Through her words she provided me positive thoughts, happy memories, that crossed out my previous doubts of the day.

I sat down at the kitchen table and felt tears in my eyes as I thought- there's no way she could have known today I'd be having a difficult day when she mailed the card two days ago.

And I felt myself start to smile, I read the card, read it again and knew: this was one of those moments so much, much greater than a little coincidence. This was one of those moments when I was lifted by my friend's wings.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


I've been contemplating picking up knitting again. A few years ago I always had a knitting project going- loved picking it up in the evenings after the kids went to bed or during that hour right before lunchtime- that compares in length to the one right before bedtime.

But then I put it down, tucked my knitting needles and skeins of yarn away in a couple of baskets on the highest shelf in my craftroom and declared my interest in knitting had passed. Yet, I was visiting a couple of sites yesterday that sparked something inside of me and now... I'm hovering over some of my old knitting books: wondering. Imagining.

I need some projects to get me through the last (and longest, in my opinion) stretch of winter. Although we've had a lot of sun lately, the temperatures have been in the single digits. And because it's only the very begining of March, I'm preparing myself for weeks of winter before we see a change in the height of the snowbanks or listen to a forcast that doesn't call for more snow.

Also, right now- and for a week or two- I have a slight lull in schoolwork which makes me feel like shutting the books and concentrating on something that doesn't require too much brainwork. In other words, I need a distractor to help pull me through to spring, warmer weather, and the end of the school year.

There are plenty of projects/things I'd like to do... Now to decide where to start...
  • Finish living room curtains (3/5 are done- why is it so hard to get the last two completed?)
  • Visit the library and actually check out some books this time (maybe today?)
  • Sew covers for the couch pillows
  • Make some doll clothes for the girl's dolls
  • Paint a wall with chalkboard paint (I just can't decide where)
  • And, uh, maybe... Find a fast-moving, quick-gratification knitting project to get me inspired in the craft again

I don't expect to do it all in the upcoming weeks... But hopefully I'll at least pick one or two to get going on.

Clear your mind, relax, and have a calm Tuesday.

Monday, March 2, 2009

So, what do the cool moms do on a Monday night?

Sometimes as I sit here, trying to harness some energy from my coffee just to make it through the evening, feeling too tired to connect a string of thoughts together much less read an entire 12 page book to my kids, I wonder what the cool moms are doing.

Chances are they're doing cool mom stuff, like sipping on herbal tea and playing 25 games of candyland without a blink of an eye or a single yawn. Or whipping up fun, yet nutritious gourmet snacks like banana tangerine smoothies topped with maraschino cherries and a drizzle of chocolate topping while they sing along to every song on the wee-sing-silly songs tape, not missing a word.

It's quite likely they're not sitting in a daze, inhaling coffee- wondering if it helps elevate the caffeinne level by breathing in the fumes between sips-, and secretly counting the minutes till bedtime. Or thinking up creative ways to get the four year old to stop the baby from potentially dangerous situations by suggesting things like, "Uh-ohhh... Hannah probably shouldn't be going in the hallway... She might try to climb the steps....!" (Oh, and if you have your own four year old, this tactic works way better than actually asking them to move the baby, by the way. I realize this is only going to work for a limited time- four year olds are still eager to please. But, hey, guess what- when that one moves on, I've got another one lined up.)

The thing is- after a busy day slumped on top of five measely hours of sleep (okay, okay, this is just the best lame excuse I could think up, you got me)- I'll take my tired, lazy mom status, put my feet up, and pour another cup of coffee. And I'll probably even smirk as I think about what the cool moms are doing in all their energetic, un-laziness. (Trust me, deep down I'm just jealous).

Yesssss... fifty minutes till bedtime. Ahem, er...Uh. Maybe tomorrow I'll try to be a cool mom. Or, then again... there's always next week.