Thursday, April 14, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
Since my last blog, my family has moved back to Virginia, I've become a working mom, and things have changed in more ways than I can count. Some changes are good, some...not so much. But in all of this, we're still a strong family. We're still moving blindly along a path. Someday soon, I hope to be able to look back and take a breath.
I'm working as a manager at a restaurant now. Dinner and graveyard shift is very difficult! Actually, the job itself is easy. The hard part is what it does to your family life (or lack thereof). I work over 50 hours a week and feel like I never see my family. I may be in the house, I may be present, but I'm not awake.
All 3 of the kids are growing up while I'm trying to catch up on sleep.
Jr is now 16. 16? Seriously, it feels like just yesterday that he was curling up in my lap to watch Rugrats. Now it feels like I can't get his attention to say hello. He's been driving here and there to get his learner's permit hours. Although, I remember being much more excited about driving than he seems to be. He's been able to maintain good grades so far. When did I get a 10th grader? Didn't I just take him to Kindergarten?
Z is going to school to try to catch him up on the skill sets he's falling slightly short on. I see marked improvement in him. He's following some simple direction and is starting to show signs of constructive play. I simply wish I could find his volume button. Wow, that child has some lungs!
My quiet child has been replaced with an increasingly loud and talkative little girl. M is talking so much these days that I find myself longing for her silence! Not only has she begun talking over the last 3 months, but she's nearly using full sentences. Everytime I turn around she's using a new word or phrase that surprises me. Most recently she told me that it was "Untomturble" (uncomfortable) when I changed her diaper. Can anyone say potty training?
I must say my house couldn't run nearly as smooth as it does if it weren't for MIL. She watches the kids a lot now that I'm working so many hours. Not to mention, she feeds Sr & Jr multiple times a week. I know I don't thank her enough and need to work on that.
Sr has been most affected by my new work schedule. I feel horrible sometimes about NEVER seeing him. It feels like we simply pass eachother in the hallway of life. I'm getting off work as he's leaving for work. When he's getting home, I'm headed back out. I miss him.
My new saying, "Stop counting Fridays". I'm going to live each day to it's fullest, regardless where it falls in the calendar. I need to be more proactive in getting more out of what life has to offer. There won't be enough sunny day walks and rainy day color parties when I look back and miss my kids.
Let's keep this roller coaster going!!
Sunday, September 27, 2009
I came across an interesting quote that answers my questions, to a point.
"A genitor who does not parent the child is not its parent" (Ashley Montagu)
I'll admit that when reading this comment the first time I had to look up the word "genitor". For all of you reading this, it means, "giver of life".
Surely the act of giving birth would, in some aspect, make me a mother but would it automatically give me the right to be called a "Mom"? All over the world people ask this question of fathers; going so far as to call them "sperm donors". Mothers can be egg donors too, I suppose.
I suppose all of this is coming from fear on my part. Each day I love three children of whom I had no role in their births. I know that I do more for each of their children than their natural mothers do. I'm not saying that I love them more or less, just saying that I really do put a lot into trying to mold them into loving, functioning adults. Each of them is special to me in so many ways.
Jr. - My first child. In the beginning, there was only him. That mischievous grin that told me he was surely up to no good, is one of my first and fondest memories of him. He stretches me in so many ways. As frustrating as he can be sometimes, he makes me a better person and makes me question things in ways I wouldn't otherwise. He's begun to question everything. Sometimes its like he's trying to pick fights, just to see me get riled. Sr keeps telling me not to take it personally. I'm trying. I'm learning a lot through this banter with him, though. Its made me question things on different levels. He is going to be an amazing man someday. I pray that as he grows, that he knows how much I've loved him from the very first time I saw him. He truly was love at first sight!
M - With a smile that lights the room, she came into our lives with such force and fervor. From the minute I held her the first time, I knew that she was a special little girl. Those blue eyes could melt the frozen tundra (and they have). Sometimes when I feel so overwhelmed that I can't figure out which side is up, she does something unexpected and suddenly the world it righted again. Recently, she's been really enjoying being read to. "Brown Bear" has become one of her favorites. She's begun to turn the pages for me as I read, right on queue. I went from wondering if she even understood what I was doing, to being amazed that she's following along.
Z - What can I say about that boy? Dear God, he's a handful! From the minute he wakes up to the second he falls asleep, he's demanding.... demanding attention, demanding a bottle, demanding a diaper change, demanding something! I get the most frustrated with him, I think. Just not being able to figure out what he wants sometimes is a task I just can't grapple with. Usually just when I think I've found the end of my rope, he stops just long enough for me to catch my breath and head back in. He is such a loving boy, though. His kisses (or dive bomb to the face) are the sweetest and out of the blue. All of a sudden he'll stop what he's doing and just plant one on ya. It usually cracks me up when he does it, which make him laugh and then, once again... a moment of fresh air.
My fear is this: will they know how much they were loved? As Jr grows into the man he's sure to become, will he know how dearly he was loved and will he pass that love to his children? I don't think a teenager is capable of understanding the magnitude of love that their parents have for them. I remember thinking that my parents were raising me because it was what was expected of them to do. I know differently now, of course, and I hope he does too as he becomes an adult. My fear with the twins is slightly different. There is some part of me that still fears that someday I'll be faced with having to let them go back. Should that happen, I wonder if they will know how much they were loved and cherished while they were here. My heart would break if any of the three were to be away from me for any length of time.
I love each of them in so many different ways. To explain it would take up the entirety of cyberspace. They are, each one, very endearing and special. Sometimes I wonder why I do this. Why do I spend all my time, energy and money on raising other people's children?? The answer is simple. Because they deserve it!
That leads me back to my original question. What makes a person into a parent? I think the answer is "Love".
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Monday, August 24, 2009
The morning started off with a whole house pick up. With the help of Jr I was able to get the entire house ready for company; floors mopped, swept & vacuumed, fresh sheets on beds, dusting, he even helped me dis-assemble the kitchen table and put it back together (one of the boards was stuck for the leaf to go in). My parents arrived a little after 1 and about 3:30 or 4, some amazing friends got here too. On top of it all, Sr was making a fantastic meal for us all. The babies were being overly fussy (teething, and all the commotion didn't contribute nicely to naps) but we managed to fit in a small 1st birthday celebration. L didn't understand the whole cake thing and was none too pleased to put her fingers into the mushy cake. Z took a little while to warm up to it and eventually had it all over the place (including the inside of his diaper). I still can't believe they're going to be a year old this weekend.
After we were all thoroughly stuffed, we descended into the living room for a haze filled gab session. Mom & Dad left for their hotel and Shari, Al, Woody & I sat around the table running our mouths about everything from religion to politics and beyond! I must say this was the highlight of my weekend.
Surrounded by friends & family with loud laughter and good food is the way I'd spend EVERY SINGLE DAY! I'm sure it would get old, but I'd definitely enjoy trying to wear it out!
Sunday morning, Sr got up and prepared another amazing meal. We all gathered around in my kitchen and ate and laughed some more.
When the dust settled, our visitors all got into their vehicles and headed to their respective homes. About an hour or so later, I found myself napping, snuggled sweetly beside my honey.
This weekend has made me reflect on a few things. I love living here. My only regret is that one friend in particular lives so far away. Sometimes in life you have to sacrifice things. This is not one of those things I wanted to sacrifice. So, for now, daily phone calls and e-mails will have to do. That is until I can convince her that she needs to live here too.
I've been able to spend more time with my family than ever since we've moved here. Even when we all lived 45 minutes away from one another, I don't think we saw each other as much as we do now. We may have, but it wasn't quality (not to say that I still didn't enjoy it). I've heard over and over again how quality over quantity was better. Now I'm a firm believer.
I said something to Shari yesterday morning that has been stuck in my head. I told her that if we lived closer that we wouldn't enjoy the time as much. In some ways, I still think that's true. But it would be nice, though, to be able to have her closer for an extra set of hands on occasion.
Another thing I said to her that's been stuck in my head is that I wanted to be her when I grow up. In my eyes, she's got such a knack for organization that I severely lack. She's always learning and teaching her children and I admire that. She's focused and determined to make things better for her husband and her children and herself all at the same time. By better, I don't mean that her life is bad. Rather that there is so much in this world that our families are exposed to that they REALLY shouldn't be. Sometimes its just easier to let "the system" tell you what's good and whats not without questioning why. I wonder if I'm guilty of that. I know I am to a certain degree. I'm more apt to sit back and accept something as truth without truly delving into it to find out the reasoning behind it. That can't be a crutch anymore. "The system" doesn't have my family's best interests in mind, and its my job to determine what's best for them.
Today I start moving in a different direction; trying to stay focused on a larger picture and managing myself and my family accordingly.
To my guests this weekend, I say, "Thank you".
Thursday, August 13, 2009
This month we will celebrate the babies 1st birthday. Geez... I can't believe their going to be a year old. Where has the time gone? They've been with us now since December 12, 2008. I remember the first time I held each of them. Zack was so tiny and frail looking. He was skinny and seemed weak, but had the cutest little sideways grin. Lissa had a head full of hair and was clearly the stronger of the two. She started wrapping Sr around her finger from the very start. Once they came to live with us, they really began cementing their little feet into our hearts. At first, I was so tired that I could hardly enjoy being with them. Once I got used to going without sleep, I was able to take it all in. Now, Zack's got a grip like a strongman and Lissa's ready to take on the world... as long as I'm within her line of sight.
Jr has been in school nearly 2 weeks now. I still can't get over having a high schooler. He's having some of the same struggles we've had since 1st grade. The beginning of the school year always seems to be the hardest. I guess its just getting back into the swing of things and not having any free time on your hands. I have faith that he'll get on track and do what's expected of him... and do it well! Especially with Sr behind him nudging him along.
Sr's taking more classes for his designations. Sometimes I think its the classroom environment that he enjoys more than getting the designations. That man always wants to know MORE... part of the reason I love him, I suppose. I'm very proud of all he does for us!
I'm finally beginning to feel better. Whatever creepy crud I had this week has certainly taken its toll on me but we're on the road to recovery..... sniffle sniffle
Hope all is well with you.....
Keep moving in that direction!!!