Tuesday, October 6, 2015

My two year old letter to Remington

I wrote this in his baby book, but decided to write it here as well, so that even if something happens to the book someday, it will still be safe.

I want you to be independent and I admire your willingness to fight for it, though it sure makes you a handful at times. I love your passion for sports and your great imagination too. But I think my favorite moments are the glimpses of baby still lingering, like when you cuddle up with me to read a book, give me a hug, play with my moles ( as much as it bugs me) and say,"Hi, momma ."

I am so torn between looking forward with you to the things you want to do, like go to preschool and be on sports teams, and trying desperately to hold onto this time that I get to be with you for most of the day and share in your fun and games. 

I loved you when you were little, and I'll love you as you grow. 

Love, Momma

Monday, October 5, 2015

The Overload of Last week

I hope to post a good number of pictures, and limit my word count, but I at least wanted some description to match the craziness that was my last week.

I wish I could say that I endured all of it like a champ and wasn't stressed at all... but any member of my immediate family can tell you that is not quite the case. I may have been a bit more short fused last week, but by the end of this, you will see why.

The Elements of the Storm
Since March, we have been planning to do a trail Ragnar with two of our running friends. For those unfamiliar with this kind of race, it is a relay race that lasts somewhere around 24 hours, with at least one member of your team running at all times till you finish.   Different than the road Ragnars, we didn't have a van and have to keep driving to different places (nor did we cover the extensive ground those do), we had a campsite, and each person of our eight person team had to run each of the three loops (that all started and ended near the campsite) to be finished.

I was somewhat scared/nervous about this race, but mostly excited. However, it went from just fun for me to a bit of work, as one of my two friends accepted the amazing opportunity to work with the UN and assist with processing refugees. She asked if I would take over captain, and I accepted... and then had a bit more on my plate coordinating carpooling, supplies, and when everyone was running.

Since this summer, I was planning a joint birthday party for my kids. The date got nailed down when I learned that my sister in law, who moved halfway across the country in May, was going to be in town right around birthday time... and if I planned it right, she could be there for their party, which meant a lot to my kids.

As life goes... this date was the Sunday following the Ragnar planned in March. No problem, I thought, I can make both work, this is doable. I planned a good amount ahead of time, in hopes that the weekend of, I could just run the party for the most part.

On the week of this party/race, I added two more things to my plate... because I apparently like the feeling of spinning plates.

After meeting with Grace's teacher on Tuesday, long story short, I became the class room mom. Also, I decided to go back to school.

The going back to school thing is kind of funny, in that even with my degree, minor, credential and masters... I am not qualified to sub in a preschool classroom. I don't have the CA mandated 12 early childhood units. But the teacher mentioned they have trouble finding subs, and I think it would be a very viable thing for me to do once Remington starts there next year. Plus, if I get qualified to teach preschool, I have more job opportunities open to me when I start looking for a job full time (though that isn't until he is in school full time).*

*This will be pushed back if there is some way that our current status on third child changes.

All of the above meant that Tuesday through Friday, at any given point, I was planning race stuff, or making bags for the party, calling IVC, e-mailing the school to figure out room mom stuff, and also planning for the extended babysitting while we camped/ran.

The race Friday/Saturday went great. It was totally scary at times for me, but once I finished I felt exhilarated, knowing that I had accomplished things that were definitely out of my comfort zone. I was one of the slowest of our team, but our awesome team didn't hold it against me.

The literal storm
On Thursday, the day before our race, two days before the party, my cousin in law texts me to ask me if I had noticed the weather report. Honestly, I hadn't... probably because of all of the aforementioned stuff. Yes folks, rain was due to rain on my park party. Sigh. I couldn't deal with it then... or Friday...or most of Saturday. I had no reception at the race... except for at the top parts of our runs, and that wasn't a great time to do it.

So we get back Saturday, and that pesky rain hasn't gone away, but our house wasn't party ready either... because we had been gone at a race (and it's natural state isn't party ready).

I make a desperate play for a clubhouse near our house, was told I had a shot if I went in person the next day. So, even at 7AM on the day of the party, I couldn't tell anyone where the party was going to be. Unfortunately (though in retrospect, it might have been for the best), my ditch effort was unsuccessful.

At 8 on party day, I was texting everyone it was at our house, and between 8-10 I worked hard with my mother in law and sister in law to get everything ready. We felt prepared at... 9:55. Party started at 10:00, but we did it!

Our party was a superhero theme, so the kids decorated masks, tried to lasso a pumpkin, rescued "captured" adults, played pass the Kyptonite and raced like Flash. I think the kids had a great time, and I was so relieved to have two major stresses off my table (still room mom and going back to school, but still seems better overall).

Friday, August 14, 2015

Stream of Consciousness about the Here and Now

I neglect this blog, I know I do, and yet, it is actually quite substantially read, especially compared to anything else I write. I find that I only can find the effort to post pictures or write about big dramatic events and the day to day nuances get left in the dust.

It's sad really, that I take these days for granted, and I have thought about that a lot recently for a variety of reasons. I am living my dream, truly. If you asked me what I wanted to be in high school, one of the things I would have told you was a mom. I spent years waiting only somewhat patiently for the "right" time to try, only to discover that when the time was right, based on our understanding, that God said not yet. Then I spent years actively working towards the dream, trying to get pregnant and working through the intense process of an international adoption, only to find myself pregnant after all when I thought I had truly come to terms with not experiencing that part of life.

Now here I am, two great kids sleeping in their rooms. Two kids that light up my days, that make me laugh, that are so creative and so much fun to be around, and I don't write about it. I throw pictures up when I can or talk about the big, non-essential, not big dreams that I waited for for so long.

The best reason I can come up with is that I am happy. Truly, resonantly happy with my day to day routine. The days that I felt like I would burst if I couldn't write a long cathartic blog about how I was feeling are gone, for the most part. I have dreams, I have aspirations and goals, but they don't damper my current joy with my family.

I accomplished my marathon goal, I am working towards my writing goals, I am pursuing a more generalized goal of strength building now, and of course, my long time goal of maintaining that balance of mom and housewife and time for me that keeps everyone happy.

Grace, sweet Grace, is generally having less tantrums, but she still has intense anxiety at nap time and when people she cares about leave. We had gotten to a point where she would take naps without me, but for some reason she has recently reverted, and needs my physical touch to be able to get to sleep. She loves sculpting, and is getting pretty good at it. She can be content for a long time with just some playdough or silly putty to continually mold into different things, and will tell you all about her dolphin or mermaid or whatever else she created at the time. Without her top two sculpting materials, she can be content with molding a napkin or toilet paper (though we are trying to curb the toilet paper use and aim more for the silly putty when the need to mold hits).

She was taking dance, for a long time, but at the start of the summer started doing gymnastics and gymnastics camp, which she loves. Though if you ask her, she prefers the class over the camp. She says it is because of the art room and she doesn't like to do art (and don't even get me started on her sculpting being art... it isn't to her, and don't try to tell her otherwise), but I think it is because I leave during camp, but stay during class. This September she will be going to preschool three days a week instead of two, and at her request, is no longer doing dance, but wants to do soccer instead. So she is signed up for a soccer team, and will have practice one or two days a week and a game once a week. We shall see how that goes, but she really wanted it, and is old enough to start.

Remington is a handful at almost two, and he really wants to get his own way or he will give you "Remington face," but is generally a happy kid. He still loves sports and on a day playing at home will play hockey, soccer, baseball, and basketball, all without prompting. When he plays hockey at home, he still asks for skates from time to time, and is really improving with them. His favorite is basketball, and every time Blake calls to say he is on his way home, Remington takes the phone and asks if they can go to the basketball court. If Blake says yes, then he gives me the phone back, and goes away and plays again.

He is also in a gymnastics class and loves it. His favorite parts are jumping and hanging. He knows his coach's name, and is really happy to see her, and cries when he thinks it is a gymnastics time and it isn't. He apparently really loved our recent trip to the fair, and still, almost two weeks later, thanks God at night like this, "Thank you God, we go vroom vroom, thank you God, got the Ducky, thank you God caught the fishy." He got to go on a ride that was a pretend car, and played a look under the duck game and a catch the fish game, and apparently they left a huge impression on him!

A nightly tradition for us now is to play a couple of rounds of hide and seek with the kids before bed. They LOVE it, but are not good hiders yet, and frequently are giggling so much that you can hear them even before you see them.

Most nights, I am either working on writing something, playing a computer game with Blake or getting through the books on my Rory Gilmore reading list. Blake's passion continue to be in either video games or sports. We are all happy, and loving life as a family.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Skipped June... so Pictures first

Remington is likely to wake up any second... with Grace close behind. So, this post will be pictures first, captions if I have time.
 My brother got his masters!
 Date with Remington above
Pictures from Temecula vacation below

 She is so proud of her tall tower!

 How the kids slept in the hotel
 Above- Blake had to have computer time on the trip
Below- Blake opens Father's Day presents

 Remington LOVES batting, especially being pitched to, doesn't love the tee.
 Angels baseball games on back to back nights

 Above- watching finding Nemo on the field after the game.
 Below- Remington also loves playing basketball with dad like so:

 Both kids in gymnastics at least once a week, often more.
 Remington's favorite part- hanging

Friday, May 22, 2015

Serenity Prayer for the Body

If you haven't heard of the Serenity Prayer, it starts like this:
"God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr

(It is actually longer, but that's the part I care about.)

I am tall. Both of my parents are tall, my brother is tall, and I am as well. If I don't order jeans in the "long" size, they won't fit me. I had to wear flats for my wedding or pay for them to lengthen my dress.

In high school, my height made me slouch in pictures next to my first boyfriend, who was shorter than me. It also meant that my prom date had to stand on a box for the picture. So there is really no arguing the point that I am tall.

It used to really bother me. I would joke about giving some of my height to my shorter friends. Even now, Blake doesn't like me to wear heels because we are the same height, and if I add a heel, I am actually taller than he is.

But my height is in the category of "things I cannot change." Over time, I have come to have peace with my height and be thankful for the advantages it gives, and I try to help others when I can, as there have been a number of times I can help someone reach something that they just couldn't quite get.

I also really wanted blue eyes. Not sure why, but I have loved blue eyes for a long time, I am typically attracted to blue eyed guys (both in real people attractions and the celebrities I find attractive), and I wished my eyes were blue too. They aren't. They are brown, though I think growing more hazel with time. (Notice though, I caught a blue eyed guy, and even have a blue eyed son, so that's a win).

I could go on, as I think most people can, with the things about my body that I don't like and can't change, but that isn't my point.

I am also not a "girly girl." I admire people who know how to dress stylish, do their hair, put on makeup, etc. But here's the difference. I could change this. If I put in the time, the effort, the money, etc. I could learn how to do my hair and makeup and I could look put together every day.

I go in waves of trying to work on this area, and deciding that I don't care enough to try. But either way, this is not a "thing I cannot change." I can change it, it just would require more work than I am willing to do.

At the end of the day, the desire to look put together isn't a big issue. It doesn't affect anyone but me, it doesn't hurt anything either way. It doesn't matter which way I decide.

I am currently reading a book called "Fat Land" and it basically explains all of the elements of our nation's rise to obesity.

A lot of it comes down to culture. Our culture has become one that preaches, "Love your body! Accept who you are! Embrace differences!"

I don't disagree with that. As previously mentioned, I need that message to accept my height, accept my brown eyes. My daughter may just need that message to be happy with her hair, or skin color. There is definitely a lot about our bodies that we are born with and we can't change (at least without surgery). Height, skin, eye color, etc. fall under the first part of the prayer. We do need to accept those things about ourselves that we can't change!

But weight and health are not one of them. They are in the next part. "Courage to change the things I can." Our culture, for too long, has preached a positive body image so much that people who are clinically obese and experience a myriad of health issues because of it, still say that it is their body, and they accept who they are, and they love themselves and don't need to change anything.

I am not a doctor. I am not pointing fingers. I am not pointing blame. I will not say to any of my friends, family etc. that any specific person falls under this post. But if a doctor has told you, or you know you are experiencing health problems due to your weight, I urge you to have the courage to change it. The courage to take the time and effort necessary to help yourself to live longer, to stay off medicines, to be there for your kids, your family, and everyone who cares about you.

Here is the real tragedy in this area: we are so afraid, as a culture, to encourage people to eat healthy and exercise for fear of offending them or making them self conscious that we risk losing them early to any of a number of obesity related health problems. We would rather not hurt their feelings? Many people in our nation are dying, physically dying, because of something that CAN be changed.

My hope, my wish, my prayer, for our culture in this area is that we can start finding the courage to speak up, and not put weight and health in the same category as height. That people would see it isn't something to accept about yourself... but something to have the courage to change.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. - See more at: http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com/serenity-prayer.html#sthash.3d

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. - See more at: http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com/serenity-prayer.html#sthash.3dPLatoi.dpuf
God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference. - See more at: http://www.prayers-for-special-help.com/serenity-prayer.html#sthash.3dPLatoi.dpuf

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Sonnet for May 2015

Grace's first year at preschool is nearly at a close,
while Remington's time at gymnastics has barely begun.
In her weekly dance class, she learns to walk on her toes,
He finds that swinging, climbing and bouncing is lots of fun.

Times spent at home are full of reading books,
followed by a evening walk with dad to the playground to play.
Imagination runs wild at home with little practicing cooks,
when asked to stop, the little boy says, "I walk away."

Superman is the focus of a little boy's delight,
and our daughter loves to look and dream about the distant outer space.
"On top of Spaghetti" is the favorite song at night,
and fights break out when he calls her "Gracie" and not "Grace."

Lisa's focus rests on getting through "Rory's List" some each day,
and Blake's main hope is that the Ducks go all the way.

p.s. apparently the videos posted this way don't have sound... so you can just watch cooking and skating.