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Archive for May, 2007

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This is going to be more of a reflection than anything else. But since my children are quickly growing past my reach, and what better way than putting the 12 year old twins next to the 2 year old short legs to see this, I will take this time to really savor the moment. This will, undoubtedly, be a long post. I’m starting on Wednesday the 23rd… let’s see when it gets posted! 🙂 I’m going to eat away a bunch of my storage limit adding pics too. Everybody likes pictures, huh?

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Twelve years ago my husband and I were busy, like all young couples, trying to stay out of debt long enough to make it to the holy grail of education. For him ~ a wonderful, well-paying profession – not a job, but something he could dream about and be fulfilled in. For me ~ well, we hadn’t really figured that out yet since I had left my college days without a degree. I spent my time at a department store, thinking of all of the “what ifs”. What if I went back to school? Would I finish my education degree or go for something else… library sciences, or art history. Either would have probably turned out to be just as unfulfilling as the teaching degree.

We answered any questions about my near term future without much conversation, debate or planning. When I found out I was pregnant in the fall of 1994 (WOW! That’s a long time ago!), we were very happy. A little anxious about how we would handle this since my Heart was still in graduate studies, but the little ray of light that fell into that was the expectation of everything his studies would do for us afterwards. So, we could bide our time and put in the work. Most people do. When he saw that second little arm in the ultrasound, things got a little more interesting, but just a lot more of the same kind of story for us. For more on the birth of the twins, you can read this post.

When S and P were little, my life was everything to do with them ~ schedules, sickness, who they got to play and when, a support group for me because of them. The biggest cart I could find at Kroger because they were in tow. Not going here, there or the other place because they were potty training or it was their nap time or because children were not really expected to be there. I loved my children dearly and this self-imposed isolation was not a burden for me. I could not understand the moms who needed to go back to work for their sanity. It’s just the way some of us are wired. This is not to say that we didn’t go places, but I took them on our terms, not anybody else’s. I did end up taking my children to a lot of functions, whether the folks in charge liked it or not. We were, for the most part, a package deal. And they behaved well, because they were required to. When they didn’t, I was upset with them, they were disciplined, end of story. I did not have very many complaints from anyone around them. Not even the ones that you know go unsaid… S and P were VERY well behaved and I had enough forethought in most cases to plan ahead with snacks and quiet activities. I didn’t get a whole lot of time to myself, so my adult time required them to be on their best behavior. So, I guess THAT saved my sanity, rather than me having to go back to work. They are better off for it, too.

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Raising them has been one of the few true joys in my life, joy being that thing God gives you when everything seems to be, at the least, challenging, at the worst, going against you. Joy has been something that I could touch in every day, no matter what. My children’s hands in mine, their faces turned to me, their happiness challenging every other thing in our lives to remain little and in the background.

Until about 4 years ago, there wasn’t a view outside my window that did not involve them. I was Momma. Homeschooling grew out of that. Then Daddy thought it best -for several reasons that, only with the benefit of hindsight, seem not so significant now – to send them to a public school. Begrudgingly at first, I got a renewed taste of adult life and possibilities and my dear Heart’s belief in me and that I could do whatever I set my mind to do. I started my business and I was suddenly not only Momma, but a teacher with experience in the trenches! An easy-going one that a lot of fellow mommies could stand with. I had insights and ideas and concerns that made me more than a Momma – I was a compatriot in the land of parental ups and downs. Everything I had been through now had more of an outlet than just my own, which seems a bit selfish and self-centered, things I’ve never wanted to be. I found a lot of happiness in helping other parents through my classes, but not joy. That’s OK though. There are a lot of things in this life you are just not meant to put that high up on the shelf of priorities.

So S and P came back home after a year. Shortly after beginning that school year we began to expect the addition to our family that was not only not planned, but walked away from. God has a way, just when we think we are in control of our lives, of reminding us that we are not.

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Through His grace we received M with joy like we had not known in 10 years, with unbelievably the same attendant challenges. (More of the M story here.) It was at this time that my Heart decided that the lack of moral aptitude in state government had reached it’s limit with him. So he left that job to begin his own business in web solutions for businesses ~ websites with databases behind them that did exactly what the company wanted it to do. I have never seen him more fulfilled than when he labored over THAT baby!

Now, after 2 years with a constant but slow growing business, he went out to supplement that income with something reliable that he doesn’t have to turn around and pour everything back into. He use to say”42 and out”… meaning, S and P would graduate high school and we would be out of the parenting 24/7 phase (as if!) and into a time when we decided things for our life and didn’t have it decided for us. On this side of things, I think we were putting way too much stock in the future instead of living our today. We were happy and content, but life is different when you have a baby in the house and 18 more years to look forward to. With a little one, you’re much more apt to catch the times between naps for things that matter and make them happen; much more apt to recognize the big events and that they require your time, energy and joy poured back into it.
When my dear friend of a lifetime was expecting her second she told me that it was like watching a good movie over again. You know everything that’s coming, but you anticipate all the good times and savor them. When I roll the film back in my old age… to recall that I was an uptight first time parent or a lax second time arounder, to picture in my mind the times I sat on the floor with my children and colored or took them out for a picnic and to feed the ducks just because… I want to remember that it was because I became Mommy that I became Me. Mommy didn’t replace me, it filled in the cracks and crevices and made me more complete. Being Mommy made me confident that I could handle anything and capable enough to take the first step. The first step in many more miles that I look forward to.

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My son and I have been reading The Various trilogy by Steve Augarde , and I have been ruminating over a possible Midsummer Night’s Dream, fairy plays, Christian/Catholic/Jewish feasts/festivals kind of curriculum or co-op for next year (yes, one school year is not even over and I begin ~ nay, get giddy ~ thinking about the next school year).  So I plug into the almighty Google “fairy plays” , or something like that and get the site for Steve Augarde.  How happy am I?  AND – he has a blog!  I’m adding it under writers or you can check it out at the link above.  I do so suggest reading the books!  The third should be due out sometime within the year I would think… it will be called Winter Wood.

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Maybe Milestone… NOT!!

Weeeelllll… the milestone I thought would occur, did not. We started out this morning with my son begging his sister to ride bikes with him to the library. It would have been an accomplishment had they done it, because the library is about a mile or a little more away, down a hilly street into downtown. They didn’t go. I’ll let you know when or if they ever get up the nerve.

Sort-of Milestone ( A continuation)

So, to replace that milestone, more on M’s library storytime! At least this time she did not cower in my lap. She didn’t sit still anywhere, let alone my lap! Here are some pics for you (took my camera this time… the Dad next to me must have thought I was crazy for taking pics of her NOT doing storytime. LOL).

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At least we were able to get her library card today.

We’ll See Milestone (OK, this one is stretching the limits a bit, but oh well)

I would really, really, really love to incorporate the Jewish Festivals and Catholic Saints Days into our Christian year next school year. Got any suggestions on really good books for that? I am not anywhere close to being either a Catholic or a Jew, so I’m flying blind! I am shamelessly using my meme in a “doesn’t quite fit” way to beg for your help! But since you can’t get much more of a milestone than festivals, feasts and holidays, I thought I’d slip it in. Anybody?

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Well, 5 Minutes For Mom, that is! Several fun chances to win going on. Sign up at their site for a chance to win a book called Chocolatherapy, a video set called Meet the Letters or 45 boxes of bandaids from Nexcare. Good luck!

If you’re here for a Monday Milestone, I’m expecting one a little later today ~ come check it out later or just comment and leave a link for your milestone!  What’s Milestone Monday?  Check it out here!

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Feast 144

{Featured Flickr Feast by no_surprises}

Appetizer
List 3 emotions you experienced this week.

frustration, relief and joy.

Soup
Name a car you’d love to have.

Classic Ford Mustang. Yeah, I’m predictable.

Salad
Describe your typical morning routine.

One of two: 1: I get out of bed when I hear one of my twins come downstairs, I drink some coffee, do my e-mail answering and blog checking, eat some breakfast, play with M and get S and P onto schoolwork.

2: I get out of bed when I hear my husband home, awake and bathing… share some coffee and catch-up talk with him, stand at the window with or without my children to wave my husband goodbye, and then the rest of the above list.

I prefer #2.

Main Course
Have you ever emailed someone famous? If so, who, and what did you say to them? Did they reply?

I don’t know… how famous are we talking here? There was a syndicated radio talk show host I got absolutely ticked off with a few months ago about his comments on the Edwards family and how they have chosen to deal with their children, his bid for election and her cancer. I had told him that he had some kind of audacity for saying they couldn’t possibly care for their children because they were both going to continue with the campaign trail AND take their children along on it with their mother sick. He responded with the cowards approach that I was indeed the one who was audacious for calling him on his stance. Disclaimer: I am not a democrat, nor will I be voting for Edwards. I don’t agree with the majority of what he says or stands for. I just felt like he was getting the shaft by this talk show personality and that said talk show personality was, by the very act of spouting on the way he was, giving conservative folks a bad reputation.

Dessert
Do you listen to podcasts? If so, which ones?

No. Sadly, as expressed in a previous feast and post, I do not own an Ipod and have way too many other things that I do on my computer while my children are also trying to claim my attention. Besides, I like music too much to think I might lesson to them on a frequent basis in the car.

Want to play along or read other feasts? Go to http://www.fridaysfeast.com for more participants and their links.

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I’ve found a new columnist that I like to read ~ John Rosemond.  I’ve added his site to my blogroll under sites I like.  You should take a look, but only if you consider yourself a parent who leans toward the traditional parenting styles, otherwise you will just be mad.  He doesn’t advocate spanking, but he’s not against it either.  His view on co-sleeping requires more consideration from me, and even though M currently does sleep with me, I like it.  It will give me impetus to move towards my goal of having her in her own bed (when I’m ready… I have different reasons ~ and of course, right ones 😉  ~ for allowing her to sleep in my bed).  I think I like this guy.  Check him out, but don’t come hollering to me if you don’t agree!  haha

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Now that mom in the previous post who wasn’t at the picnic table ~ I can’t tell you how many times I counseled her on when to step in with other people’s children and when to just let it go. See what I mean? Sometimes my close up vision needs work but I just know my distance vision is impeccable. 😉

Now I also pride myself on being pretty hard to hurt. I tell folks you would have to knock me over with an anvil to hurt my feelings cause a subtle comment is just not going to do it with me. I used to be the person that saw every little move a friend made as a possible slight to me. I was very easily hurt. So I spent a good deal of my childhood and teen years feeling like a victim. When my twins were born that all started to change. And the easiest way for that to happen was for me to develop tougher skin and a bit of a “did you mean me?” kind of attitude.

Anyway, so sometimes people do say things that, for some reason, just cut me. Hurts more than I like to admit. And sometimes it’s children that say it, and there’s a double wammy cause I know they don’t know any better (most of the time, although I have had dealings with one tweener that hurt out of spite. Seems I was a bit more of a discplinarian than her mom and her mom was giving me leeway in this particular instance. ). So, here I stand, hurt, but I’ve got to be responsible for the person I say I am and just let it go or else say something… definitely not let it fester. I have to take responsibility for my emotions and ask myself if what was said really matters. Cause in the end there’s only one other that knows me better than me. I like to tell P that her brother can’t “make” her feel any way (“he’s making me feel bad”… the guilt trip thing). I hope she gets it.

So Yau was suckered out of a nice truck and got booted out of the game to beat. So what? It was obviously more important to him to trust others. I can respect a man who takes responsibility for who he is and not blame it on others when things don’t go the way they should. I wish more people were that way. I think that would be one less difficulty we would have to live with.

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