Archive | Parenting RSS feed for this section

On Turning 30

16 Jan

Today I crossed in to another decade. I know many women might feel depressed about the big 3-0, but I feel pretty content.

A few years ago, one of my friends was getting ready to turn 30. I remember thinking it was unfortunate that she was going to hit a new decade. “I’m going to be 30,” sounded so old. She also shared that on her previous birthday she had made a list of a bunch of goals that she had for herself before she turned 30. I remember thinking how cool and inspirational that was, and how I hoped to do something similar.

Well, several years have passed, and I have no list of goals that I am reviewing. Last night, my husband asked me if I accomplished all that I had wanted to accomplish in my 20’s. I think I have, but I also feel like I achieved more than I wanted.

My main goals upon entering my 20’s were to graduate college and get married. That’s pretty much it. However, in my 20’s, not only did I graduate college, but I got my Master’s Degree by age 24. That definitely wasn’t in my plan, but it just got thrown at me, and I said, “well, why not?”

I didn’t have the goal to travel to XYZ places this decade, but I made it to Mexico, Central America, Africa, & Europe (& DISNEYLAND on two continents!).

I didn’t have a goal to get a stable job, so I’ve had the incredible experience of saying that I’ve taught everything from ESL, Biology, Chemistry, Math, Dance, & Spanish.

I knew that I wanted to have kids, but I don’t know if I made it an official goal. It was always just, “this is the best time to get pregnant, so let’s do it!” Now I will have 3 kids at the age of 30.

I’ve spent a lot of time in the past few years sitting on the couch, making hundreds of breakfasts, PBJ’s, changing thousands of poopy diapers, calming tantrums, reading books out loud, doing dishes & laundry. Were those on my goal list entering my 20’s? Yesterday I thought, “I am SO glad Emmanuel pooped 4 times today. If he hadn’t, I would have missed my 2,000th poopy diaper goal before turning 30.” True story about the number of poopy diapers yesterday, and a hyperbole for the poopy diaper goal.

Today I did a few loads of laundry and showered, but intentionally neglected the kitchen (it is my birthday after all). If you can’t find joy in these mundane things, what is life for?

I had a goal of becoming a doula starting last summer, but over 18 months ago, I was literally gifted with ownership of a school. Yes, it seems impressive to say that I am the director of a school, but, even though starting up an immersion kindergarten was in my nebulous future plans, I feel like I cheated somehow in this goal. I’m so glad I have had this opportunity to own a small business, but that definitely wasn’t on my radar when I entered my 20’s.

Other reasons I feel absolutely fabulous entering my 30’s are due to me being pregnant. A 30 year old woman might feel a dread upon recalling that she is not as fit and trim as when turning 20. But, once again, I am cheating here. First of all, I feel greatest about my body when I am pregnant. I feel more feminine and beautiful when pregnant than when not pregnant. And at 6.5 months pregnant, I am approaching that peak of pregnancy beauty. How could I not love that?

And other complaints about a 30 year old body?

“I’m a little chubbier than I used to be!” a fellow female might lament.

Well, I’m pregnant! I am celebrating the fact that I gained 14lbs since July.

“I’m not as energetic and fit as before,” says another.

Once again, I have the most beautiful excuse. I’m PREGNANT!

In conclusion, I am feeling thirty, and flirty, and fine! Many thanks to my pregnancy for letting me off the hook on some of the depressing issues about a new decade. However, I feel that I might need some extra moral support on my 31st birthday, so please celebrate me with gusto next year.

Hi, Jesus!

12 Feb

Hadassah loves to play pretend. She loves playing with her baby dolls, her vitamins, her blocks, and her food; they all get personified and have cute conversations at some point in time.

This morning, as I was preparing coffee, I was so struck to hear Hadassah begin a conversation like this, “Hi, Jesus! How are you?” She was sitting sweetly on the couch with a blanket covering her, surrounded by a small pile of yesterday’s junk mail. I don’t even know what she had in her hands. I think it was either the mail or nothing at all. She continued to converse, and I didn’t hear what followed. I was too absorbed in the ease of her morning conversation.

My first impulse in the morning was to make coffee. Hadassah’s first instinct was to greet Jesus like a family member. I can’t remember the last time I embraced Jesus as a real person hanging out in the room with me. Convicting.

Busy life

24 Jul

Aghhhh life is so/too busy!

I’m working. I now own a language school, which is awesome, but I did not imagine spending my summer working every spare second. I’m marketing, recruiting, interviewing, training, schmoozing, shopping (business stuff), and organizing like crazy. This is challenging when I am still holding my full time(+!) position of stay at home mom.

I’m menu planning. We just used our last freezer meal the other week. These were the freezer meals I made way back in October, I think. I had made 9 or 11 meals and I only used them in emergencies. In addition, if I ever made a big batch of something (that was more than we could eat for 2 days) I would freeze the extra for a quick meal. That lasted me about 9 months! Now, I’m planning on stocking my freezer in a similar but better manner! All of the website I’ve seen about freezer cooking claim making 12 meals (for example), but the cook tripled each recipe…

Part of my cooking woes are that I have a picky pallet. I like yummy and varied recipes that fill me up, are healthy, and are cheap. Is that too much to ask?!? Apparently it is, as it takes me days to menu plan.

With all of that said, I plan on doing some freezer meals in September, and, yes, I have already begun planning!

Lastly, I’m having insomnia and sleeping poorly. Little pumpkin Emmanuel has been starting out the night in his crib lately (instead of our bed, since he started crawling), and once we are ready to crawl in bed I cannot fall asleep due to the fact that Emmanuel is not in bed with us! I am addicted to having him in bed with me. Not only am I a sleep aid for him, but he is a sleep aid for me! (Insert here an audio of a scream of horror of the revelation).

I am thinking that there is a scientific explanation of this dependency. Since relaxing hormones are released during breast feeding, and Emmanuel is latched on literally all night long, I think my body has developed a dependency on this release of hormones to sleep. Crazy! I hate sleeping with Emmanuel because he is totally in my space, but I can’t sleep at all if he isn’t in bed.

So on that sleep deprived note I leave you…

The Boyscout motto

19 May

20130519-162505.jpgToday we went on a semi-last minute picnic and as a mother, I’m used to being pretty well prepared. I packed our sandwiches when we woke up, I brought water, milk, found some guacamole, chips, and crackers, and washed, cut, and packaged some strawberries. I brought sun block, extra clothes, made sure the kids were in summery clothes (we only have a few summer outfits for the kids right now), brought a big blanket plus several nursery blankets, sun hats, toys, extra shoes, cameras, hand sanitizer, headbands, hair ties, Chapstick, sunglasses for the whole family, a book, and umbrella to shade the brutal sun, and other standard items. I felt pretty proud of my mom self.

As we pulled out of the driveway, I noticed it was quite a bit chillier than I was expecting, but it was sunny and as it was still early morning, I figured it would warm up.

We went to church and when we finished at church and were ready for our picnic, it was cloudy and cooler than the morning was. And it was sprinkling.

While I obviously never was a boyscout, I think we are becoming rather qualified mountain dwellers. It was in the 50s, windy, and cloudy by the time we started our picnic, but I had an emergency (very fuzzy) blanket in the secret cubby in the car. I had a North Face sweater and Hadassah’s winter coat that I threw in the car the other week because it snowed, and I happened to have a pair of pants for Hadassah that I stuffed in there the other day because I took her out without a diaper and had them in case of an accident. In addition there was a sleeper for Emmanuel plus a spare (now rather tiny) winter hat for Emmanuel in the diaper bag. It turned out to be a good picnic, because thankfully we had everything but the kitchen sink in the car and were rather prepared. Always be prepared, whether a boyscout, mountain dweller, or parent.

20130519-162438.jpg

A mother’s compulsion

19 Apr

A few posts ago I mentioned I had taken a Facebook break, and I confessed I felt a weird compulsion to check Facebook after I had just thoroughly checked it. I have been self diagnosed with obsessive compulsive disorder (It used to been really weird like checking my alarm clock 11 times, making sure the alarm was set for 6:32am and not 6:31am, heating something in the micro wave for 27 seconds and not 26, and probably way more strange things that either I can’t recall at the moment or seem so normal to me I can’t remember). I have given up a lot of my compulsions (that statement makes it sound like it is/was a choice, but I can assure you it is not), and note that my biggest compulsion is counting things (mainly my steps!). I don’t think my compulsions interfere with my life or relationships, and they are just a normal internal thing that makes me feel comfortable and secure.

I have noticed a new compulsion. It actually doesn’t happen very often, and perhaps it is on the side of normal, at least for a mother or parent.

Yesterday will serve as a great example. I spent every minute attending to two needy kids that had gotten up especially early, weren’t napping well, and, in the case of Emmanuel who is freshly teething, were fussy. The house was a mess by the end of the night, even though I had cleaned it many times in between episodes of crying and whining. I put both little ones to bed by myself, as is our normal necessitated Wednesday routine, and dozed off for an evening nap. I was exhausted. I woke up around 8:15pm, and thought how I could have a wild hour or so of “me” time. While I could have cleaned, my other options were eat, read, or waste time on the Internet. I did engage in those activities, and although I wasn’t super tired anymore I found myself zoning out. I didn’t really want to read. I was having a hard time concentrating. What was I thinking about? How much I missed my kids. I wanted to crawl back in bed and snuggle with Emmanuel. I had just peeled my two fussy and needy kids off of myself for the evening, and I felt the compulsion to go be with them again.

I have been fantasizing about being kid free for a few hours, a half a day, or maybe even a full day (doing something fun, not grocery shopping), but I don’t know if I could do it. I realized that, as long as I physically have enough sleep under my belt, I only really need about a half hour to recharge after a long day with the kids.

Right now Emmanuel is napping and, even though he has been a teething bear this morning, I’m ready to scoop him up and kiss his chubby cheeks. Is this a normal, mother’s compulsion?

20130418-132950.jpg

Definition of Vacation

29 Mar

Wow, this Spring Break has been interesting. First, we got snowed in and thought we might have to cancel our road trip. Then, we ended up going, and it was not the most relaxing time in the car, especially with both kiddos crying in the car nonstop for the last three hours. We were seriously 40 minutes from our destination and we passed a hotel and I seriously considered stopping there. It was tough.

After being “on vacation” for about 24 hours, sweet little Hadassah got super sick throwing up. She puked constantly for about 6 hours, then it slowed up. Either way, I could tell it wasn’t fun. Five days later, this horrible virus has conquered 8 of the 9 people in the house. Emmanuel is the only one left standing healthy at this moment and I am just praying praying fervently that he does not get it. Sickness like that is just too serious for babies. So please join me in praying for his health. I am hoping my body is really pumping out the antibodies in my breast milk, although my supply really plummeted after I spent hours throwing up and got super dehydrated.

So, what is vacation? I don’t know, but we were supposedly on it this week.

Happy Good Friday. We have been made alive though His death!

We’re Not in Kansas Anymore!

24 Mar

Ok, we are still in Kansas, but I will say this phrase happily in about 100 miles. We are in the middle of a very long road trip across the Midwest. This is our first long road trip as a family of four. Come to think of it, this is Hadassah’s first long trip in the car.

We anticipated leaving yesterday afternoon for our “Spring” break trip, but unfortunately a snowstorm swept across the country closing key highways of our trip. I had times everything so perfectly to leave at our proposed departure time. I just started the dishwasher, all electronic devices were charged 100%, and there wasn’t a piece of trash in our house. Then I learned about the road closures and was lost at what we were going to do with ourselves without a fixed departure time.

Luckily we were able to leave today, which was behind schedule but the roads have been good so I won’t complain. All last week I was getting excited for vacation time but stressed about driving with two babies. After being in the road for 10 hours, I can honestly say it hasn’t been bad! We have been stopping every 2 hours for me to feed Emmanuel. Unfortunately, even though I was super prepared and brought a nice amount of pumped milk, plus formula, plus a double electric pump (with extra batteries), plus a manual pump, my little guy has been mostly refusing the bottle (this is a “yay!” moment and a *sigh* moment). He has resorted to crying about 3 times plus a major meltdown. Now he is sleeping peacefully and I refuse to stop for at least 4 hours (if I have to pee in a cup, so be it. Emmanuel wakes up every time the car stops and I’m not risking it!)

I have been trying to have the mentality of just enjoying the road trip. It is time we have to spend together as a family. I think that is a huge part of why Hadassah has loved being in the car this long. She has been in close proximity to both her parents for over 10 hours straight! There is no escaping us here!

Last week I secured a portable DVD player for our trip, and we didn’t even break it out until hour 5. That was only because Emmanuel had just gotten over a crying fit and was sleeping, and Hadassah wanted to be chatty Kathy and I didn’t want her to wake up Emmanuel.

Pictured is a shot of the gorgeous windmill farms in central Kansas. Hadassah loved them and kept calling them “stars”

20130324-191441.jpg