Sunday, November 04, 2012

Emotional yet Thankful

I'm not a crier.  I don't cry over the small things.  I'm mostly stoic and keep my emotions in check when it comes to things some people would fall to pieces over.  It's not something I'm bragging about, it's just how I am.

Last week, I watched in horror as Hurricane Sandy devastated the Jersey Shore.  Decimated the town I grew up in, and loved being at every summer.  Destroyed homes, and lives, and caused havoc among the people that live along those shorelines.  I found myself desperately texting my sister and my mother, silently willing them to answer me back that yes, they were alright.

I sat in front of the television all day, weepy.  I talked with my mother on the phone, and it was hard for me to maintain my composure.  I found myself aching to be there, to help, even though there was really nothing I could do.  And this surprised me for many reasons.

It would sneak up on me, the hot fresh tears that would suddenly appear in the corners of my eyes.  The times I had to retreat to another room, because I didn't want my children to see their mother in such a state.  I didn't want them to worry.  I needed to be strong, for them.

I am thankful for the fact that my family is alright.  I'm proud of the way my family and friends have banded together to assist in the recovery efforts.  People can say what they want about New Jersey, but the humanity and compassion and outright generosity of those who have also lost so much moves me every time.

As a Jersey exile, I pray for my hometown, and those who have lost so much.  I pray that they find comfort, peace and love in this tough time.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Peek into our Weekend!

Daddy took Wyatt on his first scout camping trip this weekend.  The theme was Knights of the Roundtable, and they also did a 'Tent or Treat'.  Chris and Wy headed out Friday night to assist in setting up, but the majority of the families showed up on Saturday.

Jordan had a softball double-header, so we stayed in town so she could attend that.

As soon as Chris and Wy left the driveway, Jo and I headed to Blockbuster to rent the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Twilight movies.  We had burgers on the grill, candy and soda, and watched the Twilight marathon.  We're stoked about the last movie.

Saturday while I was at the softball fields, I got a text from Chris telling me that one of the dads had dressed up with a chainsaw (sans chain) and was chasing the kids around the campground scaring the crap out of them.  At one point, Wy came over and asked Chris to take off his night lights so the chainsaw guy couldn't see him.  For the grand finale, the boys were all sitting around the bonfire, eating their candy, and the guy jumped out at them.  Chris said one of the kids threw his candy at him, screaming the entire time, and ran.  I haven't laughed that hard in a long time.  And for the record, my kid is fine.  He laughed right along with us retelling the story.

Jordan's team won their first game, and they tied the second.  Jojo is struggling a bit with her hitting, and so we're trying to figure out how to get her past that.

The boys came home this morning, tired, dirty, and more tightly bonded.

Wyatt proudly showed me his mosaic, his catapult that he built, and his shield.  He won the jousting competition, and earned three beltloops and a patch.  He was a proud boy.

And I'm a proud mama.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Wyatt turns 9.

Wyatt turned nine on Monday.  It's amazing to me the young man he's becoming.  Memaw flew out on Thursday night.  We celebrated with a small party on Saturday with some of his friends from school, and ordering his favorite dinner (Chinese) on Monday.  The highlights of his day were getting a call from his favorite older cousin, the real-life-army-guy Mike, and skyping with his favorite cousin, Skylar.

Wyatt is now the same age that Jordan was when we brought them home.  I can't quite express why that is so significant to me, but it is.  I've also come to terms with the fact that I will never have an 8 year old again.  He is exactly half the age of my eldest son this year.  He is my baby, becoming a good young man.

He's come to love school again, thanks to a wonderful teacher.  He's blowing through his multiplication facts, and division is starting to really click with him.  He loves playing outside, hanging out with daddy, camping, the Broncos, watching Saturday morning cartoons, drawing, playing basketball, fighting with his Nerf swords, building Lego's, fighting with his sister, eating spicy wings, and making us laugh.  Hard.

He's stubborn, snarky, loving, happy, and empathetic.  He's handsome, quirky, smart, and funny.

I'm a blessed mama, getting the opportunity to parent this wonderful child.  I am thankful for his little presence in my life.

Monday, September 24, 2012

10 Years, Fall, and Other Random Thoughts...

Friday we celebrated our tenth anniversary!  My husband took the day off, we did some shopping, had lunch, and in the evening went to a fabulous meal at Gordon Ramsay Steak in the Paris Hotel here, and then headed over to the Wynn for Le Reve - a Cirque du Soleil-esque show done entirely on/in/around a pool.

It's hard to believe that we've made it to ten years already - and I don't say that because it's been SO difficult.  That's not to say we haven't had our difficulties, because we have.  But it seems like it was just yesterday that we were planning our wedding.  Crazy how time just slips away.

Saturday was the first day of Fall and in true Las Vegas fashion, it was hot.  Jordan had softball practice and we decided to stay to do some shopping in the area afterwards.  By the end of the practice, I was pretty warm.  It was humid, so that didn't help.

I'm currently studying to take my test for my Nevada RE license.  So far so good.  I've got a lot of this knowledge locked up in the back of my head, and it's been making its way slowly forward and reminding me that I could probably just skim through it and take the test and be done with it.

Chris and I are headed to Rock Vegas at Mandalay Bay this weekend.  It's a two-day festival with various rock bands headlining.  I'm most excited to see POD, Staind, Godsmack, Adelita's Way, and Buckcherry.  Chris is super excited!  Friday we're heading over around 4, POD goes on at 5.  The concert actually starts at 1 with some lesser-known local bands.  Saturday will be busy with a cub scout event for Wyatt from 9-11, then Jordan's softball practice from 12:15-2, and then the concert which starts at 1:30 with some lesser-known bands, but we're heading over around 4.

Sunday we're going to try out a new church near us, so wish us luck on that one!!!

And now I think I'm going to go take a nap.  My right eye has been twitching all day and I'm ready to tear it off my face and throw it in the pool!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

What's going on around here?

I'm grabbing a few minutes to myself to blog and write down what's going on around here.

I re-read my last entry and found myself shaking my head.  I feel like I am a pretty good judge of character, but sometimes even *I* find myself shaking my head at my complete lack of judgment.  That 'job' down there? Yeah, it didn't quite work out.  Seems I was mislead - A LOT - about the position, the state of the company, the opportunity, and the staff.  Sometimes a hot mess is just that, and you need to walk away from the smoldering ashes.

My kids came back from Arizona where they had a blast with their grandparents.  Our good friends Scott and Jason came to visit us and we enjoyed spending the weekend with them.  After that, Chris's brother Eric and his wife Misty came to visit for a few days.  And Monday, my kids went back to school.  Which means mommy has been waking up, making lunches, and getting them out the door.

I've actually been very busy, taking care of errands and small little projects that need to be done but could be put off while the kids were home.

Jordan is getting quite the reality check with her new junior high schedule.  She changes classes, has an elective, and a locker.  Wyatt loves his new teacher.  So much so, that his math has VASTLY improved, over the less than stellar teacher he had last year.  He WANTS to go to school, and she's amazing with him.  It's wonderful what happens when you have a teacher that cares, and doesn't just constantly complain about having 27 students in her class.

And I'm back in the hunt for gainful, SANE employment.  We'll see what happens.

This weekend is the last long weekend we get until October.  So we decided to take the kids to California and head to Magic Mountain and Hurricane Harbor!  We surprised them with it last night and they're very excited.  Chris and I want our children to have the best possible childhood we can give them.  Memories are way more important to us than things.  We don't buy our children a lot of things, but we do a lot to make memories.  We started behind the eight-ball with a very skeptical and cautious 9 (now 11) year old girl, and a shy and reserved 7 (almost 9) year old boy.  They've since come to understand that this is their family, and we are it, like it or not.  So while we missed some of their very formative years, we've been blessed in that we can do these things where we take trips and make memories.  Our most recent proof of the love our children have for our travel bug was when Jordan told us, in no uncertain terms, that she wanted to go to the family reunion in October.  We're most certainly going to try and make that happen.

So that's what's happening here in the Den.  It's a lot, and keeping up with it has been daunting.  So if you've called me, or emailed me, and I haven't responded, I apologize.  It's been a bit crazy.

Friday, August 03, 2012

It's WAY too quiet around here...

I've been throwing out my resume here and there and not really expecting any rapid responses, considering the state of the unemployment rate.  However, Wednesday I received a phone call and two hours after speaking with the recruiter, I was sitting in a conference room with the CEO of the company.  The company is a large-format printer manufacturing company based in Shanghai, and the CEO is a woman.  Which in and of itself is amazing, but when you consider that she is a woman in Shanghai, with a successful company that is about to go IPO in China, that's incredible, and admirable.

During the interview, we hit it off quite well.  It was a little challenging with the language (although her English is great, there's still that accent and the differentiation in inflection that can sometimes throw you off), but I think I did well.  And then it hit me.  She just offered me the job.  Right here, at the interview.  Holy crap!  I let her know I had to talk with my husband.  She asked me to call her that night.  I explained that I had a lot of upcoming commitments and she had no problem with that, or with the fact that I have two children I need to take care of.

Wednesday night we flew the kids to Arizona to drop them off with Memaw and Papaw, and turned around and flew back home in the space of about 4 hours.  We fly for free, and it was cheaper than paying the UM fee.

Yesterday morning, while sitting and drinking my coffee and doing various things around the house, it almost caught me off guard as I thought, 'Gee, my kids are sleeping in really....oh.  Whoops!'  Yep, it had momentarily slipped my mind that they are in Arizona.  We've had them home since December of 2010 and in that time, we haven't had any extended time together alone, without them, since then.  Let me rephrase - Chris and I haven't had any alone adult time outside of a dinner date or two since December of 2010, or roughly 20 months. That's not to say we are resentful, or angry about our choice.  This was our choice, and we embrace it gladly.  It's just that the reality of not having to make lunches, or fix snacks, or approve television shows, or do laundry, or clean up messes, or referee fights, or listen to tweenage drama, or talk about disgusting boy things really hit me yesterday.

My Wyatt is a talker.  He will talk from the time he wakes up until that noggin of his hits the pillow at night.  He will talk about anything.  He will give you a play-by-play of what just happened 2.7 seconds ago, even if it was YOU who was doing it.  He will be in the middle of a conversation with you and then suddenly switch lanes and be off on another tangent.  I've gotten used to it, staying home with them over the past ten months, but my poor husband has not.  And Wyatt LOVES his daddy.  So when he has daddy's undivided (or even sometimes divided) attention, he's off!!  Chris will sometimes look at me and I just laugh.  Welcome to my world, buddy!!

So to sit in an empty house, with just the sounds of the pool filter and the air conditioners running, is weird.  I'm grateful that my kids have this opportunity to spend some time with Memaw and Papaw.  I'm grateful that they are active and willing participants in my children's lives.  I'm grateful that they love them, and always have, without hesitation, since the day we learned we were bringing them home.  Adoption is not only tough on parents, who most certainly struggle with 'what if I don't love them like I would my own biological children', but it can be equally hard on grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and even existing siblings.  I have to say that our families have shown nothing but love for my kids, and for that I'm thankful.

Oh, and that job offer up there? I accepted and signed the official offer yesterday.  My carefree days as an unemployed SAHM are over.  Another thing I am grateful for is children who are old enough to come home after school and hang out for an hour and a half.  And that we live in a neighborhood full of children that my kids have already met and started playing with.  And the bus system.  That's a plus as well!

Staying home with them over the last ten months was great, but it's time for this mama to go back to work.  I'm not going to get into the debate of the SAHM vs. the WOHM, because quite honestly, it's not worth it.  Everyone does what is best for their families.  I did what was best for my family in California, and now I'm doing what is best for our family in Nevada.

Now if I could just convince my in-laws to move up here...

Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday's aren't what they used to be...

So it's 8:44 on a Monday morning and I'm sitting here with my coffee in a quiet house.  My kids are still in bed, which is not so much a stretch for the tween, but for my go-go-go boy, it sure is.  He may be up there playing his DS right now for all I know, but he's still in bed.  Which is weird.

Today is an errand day.  I need to get some groceries, badly.  We went through a lot of stock that I had before we moved, so we wouldn't have to move it all, and now I'm a bit low on some staple items.

Tomorrow we are going to have our very first official visitors!!  My best friend Joni and her two girls are coming up from Phoenix for the day.  She works for an airline as well, so it's easy for them to jump on a plane and come up.  Her oldest and my Jordan hit it off immediately when they first met, which made our hearts SO happy.  And we've decided on an arranged marriage between her youngest and Wyatt.  They've already been informed that they are only allowed to marry each other.  Check THAT off my list!

Wednesday I have to register the kids for school, and then that evening, they are leaving to go to Phoenix for two weeks!  Memaw and Papaw are taking them and they plan on having a blast!  It will be a nice time for all of them to spend together.  They're very excited about it.  As for Chris and I, who knows what we'll do.  I'm thinking I'll be rearranging closets and shelves, putting finishing touches on this house.

And speaking of the house, I cannot tell you how happy I am to be in a large living space again.  A 1,200 square foot townhouse just does not do it for our family. Maybe I was spoiled at the start with our first house in Phoenix, but having all of this room to spread out is much easier on the nerves in our family.  I see families that live in 500 square feet and I just don't know how they do it.  God bless them, that's for sure!  The pool is an added bonus as well.  I don't think the kids have skipped a day of swimming since we moved in!

And finally, I am furiously looking for a job, as I've decided to head back to work.  It was nice having time off with the kiddos last year, being able to shuttle them here, there and everywhere.  And not having a bus system for the school kind of demanded it.  Now that we're back in a metropolis, they will have a bus, and the schedule for their schools will allow me to work and not have to worry too much about getting them places.  Ideally I'd like to have the rest of the summer off, but if something comes along that is too good to pass up, well, you know how that rolls.

And that's all she wrote for now!  Enjoy your week!

Friday, July 27, 2012

No time, no time.

We're moved in! We're (97%) unpacked. I'm waiting for the cable guy as I type this. Somewhere between 8-12 he'll be here.

Jordan is still sleeping and Wyatt is building a fort with moving boxes, which he has been at for three days.

Mama's drinking coffee and looking at the little things that still need to be done. Daddy is at work.

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sometimes, it's awkward.

I took the kids to the dentist today, to get a checkup so that it's something I won't have to worry about for a while after we move.  This is only their second time at this dentist, and only their third appointment since they came home.  Their medical records before this are a bit spotty (e.g. there is no record of their last dental appointment before we brought them home), and so I really don't have anything historical.

Their hygienist came out and asked me when Jordan's last panoramic x-rays were.  I told her I wasn't sure. She looked at me a bit puzzled and, as if trying to nudge my memory, said 'they usually take them at around age 8.'  Here's where it gets a bit awkward.

She was two months shy of 10 when she came home.  Also, I don't just offer up that they are adopted to everyone I meet.  It's their story, and I usually let them lead the way on whether or not they are ok with me sharing, especially if they are standing right there.

This time, however, I had to let the hygienist know that she was adopted, and she didn't come home until she was 9, and her previous dental visits were not consistent.  She was very understanding, at least her face didn't reveal any sort of surprise or shock, which I was extremely grateful for.

I sat back after she left and thought to myself, a little bitterly I will admit, that it must be nice for other parents not to have to explain that.  Not to have to explain that I'm not a bad parent who doesn't know what her medical history is, it's just that I don't have it.

I ran into this recently with Jordan and her softball team.  A lot of the parents were shocked that this was her first year playing.  Many times I was asked 'how come she didn't play before this?'  Thankfully, Jordan was ok with me explaining that they were adopted.  Once that explanation was made, it was no big deal.

It makes me wonder, though - how many times have I overheard a conversation and silently judged a parent for not knowing their child's medical history? Or judged because they may sidestep a question about that child's past?  How many times have I assumed bad parenting, and in all reality, it may have been a situation such as ours? How many times have you?

Everyday I learn something.  Everyday I am shown mercy and grace.  I try very hard to show that mercy and grace back.  And days like today make me realize I still have some growing to do.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Super Busy!

It's the last week of June.  We're wrapping up this month of busy, busy, busy and heading into the mid-summer!

The kids and I drove Chris's car out to him last Tuesday (easy drive, my kids are SUCH fantastic travelers!), and then stayed Wednesday to find a home.  Yes, one day.  I had been scouring the MLS and working with a RE Agent and had narrowed our search down to 9 homes I wanted to see.

Sidenote: We're renting for now.  Easy peasy in the Vegas area.

Our RE agent met us bright and early Wednesday morning at our first home.  The day continued on with us touring each home, me making notes, us noting how hot it was getting, and then out to eat.  While we were at lunch, Chris and I and the kids reviewed each home and narrowed it down to the four we liked most.  I pulled up my app on my iPhone, and we rated the schools in each area.

Our number one choice, which was the second home we saw, had the best ratings for the schools; 10 for the middle school, and 9 for the elementary.  I was beyond excited as the entire family really loved this home.  We called our RE agent and told her the news.  An hour later, we had dropped off our application and fee and waited.

Thursday morning the kids and I decided to head back to SFO earlier than originally planned, to get some stuff done because we were going to Jordan's last softball tournament of the year and it was out of town.  SFO had some weather delays and we sat in the airport from 7:30 until 11:30, and then on the plane until 12:55.  Again, my kids are fantastic travelers!!  We got home, I did some laundry, and we repacked for the weekend.  Chris called to tell me that we got the house, and he was heading to drop off the deposit.  Fantastic news and what a load off of our back!

Friday we got up early, and headed south to Jordan's first game at 10:00.  They won that one, and I left Jordan with one of our softball families and rode back to the airport to get Chris.  Back down to the fields where we got there just in time for the start of her second game.  They unfortunately lost that one, and had to come back on Saturday at 2.

Saturday they also lost.  It was a double elimination tournament, so they were out.  Sad faces all around.  Back to the hotel where the kids hung out with some of their friends, the adults hung out in the lobby/bar, and we had a great time.

Yesterday, Jordan started softball camp.  She LOVED it.  Wyatt had a playdate with a new friend, and watching them play together made me a little sad that we were leaving again.  I know we'll all keep in touch, but still, a little melancholy.

So Jordan has softball camp until Thursday, and then Friday we are OFF to Puerto Vallarta for a much-needed vacation!  Nine glorious days of just us, hanging out, family time.  No obligations, no worries, no stress!  I'm excited and cannot wait.  We come back in time to get a few things done and then the packers and movers come and take our stuff away!!

And now I must finish up laundry and start packing again.  Busy, busy, busy!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Softball Champs!

This weekend our girls Tournament Team had a tournament in Burlingame.  Three days of softball for our U8, U10, and U12 teams.

Jordan is on the U10 team.  It's her first year playing, so the fact that she even made the tournament team is so wonderful.  She's been in a bit of a batting slump, and no matter what I say or do to try and help her, it's one of those things that's in her head and we can't do anything about that.  Her coaches are trying to help her as well, but they also realize it's in her head.  We've decided we'll get her a batting coach, or find some kind of immersion camp for her this summer, and perhaps that will help her.

So Friday night we had a game at 6:30, then games at 11:30 and 3:45 on Saturday.  The team won all three games, and were seeded first place for playoffs.  Until this point, the girls hadn't made it past the second game in playoff (it's single elimination in each tournament), and so we had high hopes for these ladies on Sunday!

Sunday at 11:30, our girls played their first game and won!  We moved fields where they then played their second game and won that as well!  Side note: All of the parents on this team are AMAZING and supportive and so nice, and Chris and I are really sad we're leaving soon.  Moving on.

For the final game, we played our arch-enemies (insert dramatic music), and a team that's been a rival for a long time.  AND. WE. WON!!  The girls had some AMAZING catches, some great plays, and overall, fantastic attitudes and spirit.  As someone who didn't even start playing competitively until high school, I'm continually impressed at the sportsmanship and skill of these 9, 10, and 11 year olds.

So Jordan was able to get her first trophy from a tournament.  And it was a first-place one.  I'm so proud of her and of her team.  Afterwards we all gathered at the home of our fabulous team mom for a father's day BBQ.  Good times were had by all, and it was with much grumbling that I shuffled my family out at 9, since I had to get my husband to the airport this morning.


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bah! Where does the time go?

Right.  I always have some lame excuse for why it's been so long since I've posted.  Except THIS time I'm for reals.

Let's see:  My 18 year old graduated (sniff sniff), my daughter made competitive softball and we've been living and breathing practice and tournaments, and my youngest made orange belt at Taekwondo.

And also, we're moving.  Again.

So I've been consumed with the logistics of moving (again, I really should write a book), running the children hither and yon, and trying to get through the end of school.

As it stands, it looks like our last day in the Bay will be July 13th.  Chris is already in Las Vegas, as he's started his new position.  The good news is that with an hour and fifteen minute flight time, commuting is a breeze.

ALSO!!!  I've noticed that I get visitors from some very far and away (and not so far and away) places.  So, if you could, would, want to, please leave a comment with your name and where you're visiting from!  I love to know where you're all coming from and why you're here.  =)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

And it's only 9:30

A little peek into how my mornings generally go:

6:30 - alarm goes off, but I need time to 'wake up', so I lay in bed, watch morning news, and check my email and Facebook.

7:00 - go wake the kids up, head downstairs, get their breakfast going.  Make lunches.  I make their lunches every day.  I let Wyatt put some money in the hot lunch account this year, grudgingly, because those lunches are just, blech!, but I make their lunches.  Today it was hot ramen, carrots, fruit and veggie strips (100% no preservatives), a fruit cup, and an Honest Kids drink pouch.  I usually send water bottles with them, but I had an extra box of juice pouches from when we were snack parents.

7:30 - get the kids out the door - they have been riding their bikes to school, so they head up and move out!

7:40 - make coffee, watch morning news, or watch a DVR show or two.

But today, it went like this:

Make coffee (I have a Keurig).  Throw laundry that I started this morning into dryer, add another load to washer.  Decide to scoop litter box.  Break out vacuum to clean up litter all over the place from the cats kicking it around.  Look around and decide to vacuum the downstairs.  Vacuum the kitchen (I don't sweep, it's extraneous).  Decide to vacuum the couch.  Put the vacuum away.  Clean the table.  Clean the kitchen counters.  Look over and see that your coffee that you made 45 minutes ago is still sitting there.  Laugh.

Isn't it funny how we just decide to 'do one thing really quick' and it turns into an hour of chores?

Such is the life of a mom!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mothers Day 2012

It is amazing to me where my life is today. 17 months ago we brought home two wonderful, precious, beautiful children who needed us as much as we needed them. At the time, they were 7 and 9, and now they are 8 and 11goingon21.

They came to us scared, unsure, and cautious. Today they are brave, confident, and curious.

I've watched my baby girl spread her wings and take root in her generous spirit. She's learning how to be a good friend without being taken advantage of. She's discovering the drama that accompanies the fifth grade hormones. She's learned that she is a rock star softball player, and the confidence boost has done wonders for her self-esteem. She's learned that sometimes, things don't work out like you want them to, and you take away the lesson and move on.

I've watched my baby boy become a funny, sassy, self-assured little man. I've seen him find a way to overcome his trepidation on certain things. I've watched his anxiety level go way down. I've learned to deal with his penchant for always seeing things in black and white, constrained in a neat little box. I've worked with him on his quick anger, trying to teach him that we must be quick to think, slow to speak, and slow to Anger. He's learned that you can't always get what you want, and he has learned to graciously respond to the word 'no'.

I've seen my older son hit several milestones that I realized I was dreading. He turned 18. He went to prom. He got his first job. He got a car. He's going to graduate high school in a little over a week. I've been cautiously navigating this relationship twist. I'm still his parent, but I've taken a more advisory role, rather than a teaching role. It's been a journey for me.

As a mother who has come to motherhood both biologically and through adoption, I am so very thankful for this day. For the day that reminds me to be thankful for my blessings. To be thankful that I have a husband who loves our children, and sets an example for them by loving me. Who provides for his family without complaint, and who is someone that I can trust beyond a shadow of a doubt to be my partner in parenting. I am thankful that he is not someone that I have to ask 'to watch the kids', but rather a willing participant in their growth, learning, and life. Someone who doesn't feel that his family is 'something to be dealt with', but something he willingly helped grow.

To all of you mothers out there, happy Mother's Day. I hope you are as blessed this day as I am.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Looks Like She Made IT!!

Jordan tried out for our All-Star Tournament Ball softball team on Sunday, May 6th.  We've been anxiously awaiting word on whether or not she made it, and it finally came on Wednesday night!  She's ON!  We're so very proud of her for trying out, for giving her all, and for making it.

She's my All Star!

Monday, May 07, 2012

Super Proud Mama!

Jordan is in our local softball league.  She plays first base primarily, with her backup position being catcher.  It's her first year really playing, and she's doing exceptionally well.  Her team just took the playoffs and has been sent on to the championships.

Due to all of the rain we had at the beginning of the season, the girls had a lot of makeup games to play, and the playoffs and the championship games were all pushed forward.  I did not know the final dates until about three weeks ago, and because of this last-minute decision, had to cancel on attending my cousin's wedding in NYC this weekend.  I'm sad about that, but I'm attending my daughter's first championship game.  It's caused some hurt feelings, and for that I'm sorry, but as a parent, you do what you have to do.  It's just too bad that those without children can't understand that our children's schedules do not fall into neat little rows all of the time.

Moving on, this Sunday Jordan also tried out for the Travel Ball Tournament Team.  We're breathlessly awaiting the results.  23 girls tried out, and I know that there were a couple of more that had asked for accommodations due to a soccer tournament, and they only take max 15 for the roster!  It's nail-biting, especially since you could tell that the girls who went out gave it their all and really wanted it! 

Wyatt's soccer team is plugging along.  They haven't won a game yet, but they did tie one!  Poor guys!  I feel bad for them, they just play their little hearts out.

It's hot today, and my kids will be walking in the door any minute.  They've been riding their bikes back and forth to school, saving me gas and time.  I bought them little mango and cream fruit bars from Trader Joe's as an after-school snack.  They'll love me for it!!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Something to Think About

Sometimes in the hectic rush and routine of our daily lives, we often forget to stop and be thankful.

I'm a Pinterest addict, and I 'pinned' a saying the other day.  It says

'I urge you to please notice when you are happy, 
and exclaim or murmur or think at some point 
"If this isn't nice, I don't know what is"' ~ Kurt Vonnegut

I read this and it really resonated with me.  I AM happy.  Happy with my life, happy with my husband, happy with my children.  Happy that we can give them this life of carefree days, no worries, the opportunity for world travel, never needing for anything (although the wanting part - that's what gets them!), always feeling loved, and secure.  I look into those faces, and I see that they are relaxed, and solid.  

We've been through a lot of changes since October.  Changes that, without this solid foundation of our family unit and sticking together, could have easily torn us apart.  Changes that might make someone anxious, yet because we have our cocoon, we were able to endure.  

And it's not over.  Far be it for me to say that our lives will now continue in this same routine, no.  That's not the way our family works.  We enjoy the restless wanderlust that we are faced with.  We enjoy that feeling of having connections all over this earth.  We are secure in the fact that no matter where we go, no matter where we end up, we are together.  

Our children have been bitten by that bug.  They are both itching to go somewhere, especially Wy.  His common question on Thursdays is now: "Are we going to go anywhere this weekend?"  When I tell him no, he answers with "I love our adventures."

I'm happy.  And if this isn't nice, I don't know what is.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Summer Lovin!

I know, I know, we just left Spring Break and I'm already focused on making summer plans!!!!  YAY!

Two things we have set in stone: A vacation to Puerto Vallarta in July; and the kids are going away for a week at Memaw and Papaw Camp in Arizona!  Today Jordan told us that she was invited to go to Indiana with one of her BFF's for a week this summer so we're going to try and make that happen.  What a great opportunity.

In addition, I want to get back to New Jersey for a week so I can show the kids where mama grew up, point out the guidos and explain to them that if they bring home a 'Snooki' or a 'Situation', there will be the mother of ALL situations at our house.

I also want to take them to the City.

I'm headed to NYC next month for my cousin Michael's wedding.  It's only for a quick weekend, and Chris and the kids aren't going, so I want to go back when the kids are out of school to take them.  Jordan was born in February 2001 and Wyatt in October 2003, so for all intents and purposes, they've always lived in a world without the Twin Towers.  I would love to take them to Ground Zero, get them a Sabrett hot dog, and ride them around on the subway.  Additionally, I want to take them to FAO Schwarz and watch their heads explode.

We're also going to try and get to St. Louis to see the family again.  We all love going there, and we've been twice now, and the kids LOVE that side of the family.

However, that's not the whole entire summer.  So today, I came up with an idea, after perusing some websites.  I told the kids today that they have three goals for the summer:

1. Learn something new.  This can be a new skill, a new language, or whatever.
2. Read a great book.  I'm not really worried about Jordan, she's my voracious reader, but I did tell Wyatt he has to get a book that has no pictures, and he has to read the whole thing.  I know this will require a trip to the bookstore as opposed to the library.
3. Complete a project.  This will involve them creating, designing, and completing a project of their choosing.  

I'm pretty excited about the summer, and the possibilities it holds!  School's out on June 14th!  We're leaving on a surprise trip for the kids on the 15th!  Can't wait!

I am the mother of an adult...

Yesterday marked a major milestone in my life.  My eldest son turned 18.  For the last 18 years I have dreaded this day, wishing it to stay away a few more days, a few more moments.

I remember SO vividly the feeling of utter fear as my water broke 8 weeks earlier than expected.  I remember the panic rising in my throat and whispering to my baby 'not yet! It's too soon, too sudden!'  I remember the car ride to the hospital and praying, begging God to PLEASE, let him be ok, let my baby live through this.

36 hours later, my son made his entrance into this world, screaming to my relief, showing us that indeed, his lungs were ready for this life.

Those first 12 days were stressful, sleepless, panicked, prayerful, and hopeful.  My baby made it, and he grew, and he learned, and he loved and was loved.

And now he's 18.

He's a great son.  A great brother.  A great friend.  And a great young man.  I'm so proud of the person he's become and of the things he accomplished.  I know he will be successful in all that he does, and I am excited to see what the next 18 years hold for him.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March 26...Almost Spring Break!

Wow!!  I can't believe that the first quarter of 2012 is almost over.  I also can't believe how much I've 'neglected' this blog.  One would think that being a SAHM leaves me tons of time to blog, but sadly, no.

So...what's happened since my last bloggity.

I have a daughter who likes to brag about her mom playing softball in high school and college, and that landed me a free guilt trip to help coach her softball team.  So I'm doing that.

I signed up to volunteer at the school for an hour two days a week during the lunch period.  I handle Wyatt's lunch period on Mondays and Jordan's on Thursdays.  The jury is still out on which group is harder work - 2nd or 5th graders.

Wyatt is super busy with soccer on Mondays and Wednesdays, and Tae Kwon Do on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  Games are about to begin and those will be on Sundays.  Jordan has had a couple of games but some have been rained out.

In addition, I've gotten back on the health wagon.  I've been alternating between running 1.5 miles, doing the elliptical for 4 miles, biking for 6 miles, and Zumba!  I've also been using the My Fitness Pal app to keep track of my calories, fat, etc., and my cardio.  I'm not doing too bad!

My eldest son turns 18 in 15 days.  I'm refusing to deal with that right now, and putting it in a little corner.  I'm not going to be able to do that for long, seeing as it's happening in 15 days, though.  He also graduates high school in 58 days.  And then can I breathe a sigh of relief?  He's had a lot of support in getting to where he is today, and I couldn't be more proud of the young man he has become.  He amazes me in his quiet gentleness, his thoughtful wisdom, and his sense of humor.

We're leaving Thursday evening to go to AZ for a little Spring Break visit.  I'm excited to see our good friends - and they are all excited we're coming for a little visit.  I wish we could stay longer, but we're saving our vacation funds for a little visit to Puerto Vallarta we have planned the first week of July.

And as I now look at the clock, it's 2:35, and I need to go pick up my children from school.  I will then rush home, get them through homework, get them changed, get one to soccer practice at 4, drop the other at softball at 4:30.  Wyatt has soccer practice until 5:30 and then Jordan has a game at 5:30.  Looks like snack shack hot dogs for dinner!  Cheap, but tasty.

How's your world?

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Sports, sports, and uh, Sports. Yep.

Hello to my readers!  Um, there's not much excuse for my long absence from our blog except this:  It is crazy around here.  I posted a picture of my planner on Facebook a bit back, and the color coding and activity is enough to make your head spin.

It's color-coded for my sanity.  And that was February.  March is shaping up to be just as crazy.

Regardless, between sports and activities and school and errands and basically generally running a household, I've been a little, shall we say, pre-occupied.  Much has happened that I need to blog about, however today I just don't have the time.  My purpose for posting was to dust off the cobwebs and to post on leap day.  Yep, I'm posting so that I have a post on leap day!  

Eh - it's the small goals that help achieve the big ones!!

See you soon!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Reality Check Please!

We've been focusing a lot on little man lately.  He's been going through some stuff and we've been getting some testing and help and so on... and throughout it all, I've checked in with my daughter to make sure she doesn't feel like she's being forgotten or pushed aside.

She assures us she doesn't feel that way, that she's fine.  And I'm relatively assured that she is.  Still, I can't help but feel guilty that there's so much energy being directed at one child.  

It seems that, thankfully, our little man is finally getting to that light at the end of the tunnel.  I've been able to take a breath and turn our focus a bit more to my daughter.  

And just when I feel I've reached the tippy-top of my guilt, I get an email from her teacher that says this:

I wanted to let you know how wonderful Jordan is doing and what a great person she is.  She knows how to have fun while still staying focused on the work.  Always positive, always energetic; helping everyone.  I've never seen a hint of discouragement from her.  She constantly sets a great example for her classmates, because everyone loves her and falls in line with her focus on the assignment.  Please have her cloned as soon as you can.  Nice work!

There are times in a parent's life when your heart swells and you feel such pride at something that you had NO IDEA you were even doing.  The immense pressure and guilt I've put on myself feeling like I've been pushing my daughter off in an effort to deal with the load I've had with my little one has been notably self-inflicted.  Why are we so hard on ourselves as parents?  Why are we so self-flagellating, questioning and scolding ourselves when we don't feel like we have made the right choices?  I try very hard to be a laid-back parent, letting my kids navigate their way through choices and being there as a gently guiding hand.  

And when I get to see the positive fruits of my labor, it makes my day.  

Be assured, parents.  You're doing a good job.