Saturday, September 26, 2009

These are the days

I cannot believe that this is the last week in September. I feel like I've been avoiding my blog, but the truth is that life with three active, fun loving boys, we're on the go, even if it means on the go at home, playing, cuddling, hanging out. By the time I have time for myself, the last place I want to be sometimes is online, since lately when I have gone online its first looking for social work jobs. That said I've been a busy bee, as one friend put it to me recently. The boys are doing awesome in soccer, love how they're growing and learning from their coaches and from their teammates, love how friendships between us and other families are beginning through our connections to both school and soccer, and it is such a blessing for us. It is great to have conversations with other parents at practice about the school, and making new friends for our family.

That said, I have had an awakening of sorts, as mentioned previously in a former post. The comfort level with myself is expanding-who knew that would happen when hitting 30? I've accomplished great and wonderful things, and while enjoying what is, have one foot outside my world, wondering what the future holds, wondering what lays beyond the horizon. I'm at peace with decisions I've made, and have stopped thinking the grass is greener on the other side, since its green and tall and wildly beautiful right where I'm standing. I'm looking in the mirror, and while at night I'm exhausted, its a good exhausted, I'm sleeping at night and taking care of myself, a little more every day.

The holidays are approaching, and it will be a beautiful season. This year, we're doing without the stampede of overspending and list making and craziness of holidays, and just enjoying what we're blessed to have around us. I recently learned how a mom I used to work with for years, one who has a daughter just a few months younger than M, is choosing a different life path now, one far removed from charter schools, soccer, and PTA. She and her husband changed their lifestyle, one that was already far from cushy being social activists in the Bay Area, and relocated to Latin America with her husband and daughter, in the hopes of doing international community-development relief work, which was something she wanted to explore. She wanted to teach her now 5 year old daughter about consuming less, and having a global understanding of the world. That was so profound, and it spoke to how I'm trying to move forward in how and what I and R want to do for our children. I'm a big believer in progress, there's only one way to go, and that's how I and R are living life with our family. So that said, we'll spend less this year, but do more. Give more. Be more. And in the end for us, that will be the best way to be.

One final tidbit, more lighthearted than the previous paragrah, here are some wonderful pictures of the boys, growing more everyday.

Monday, September 21, 2009


Oh baby, the bug has hit. Holding a cute little one at playgroup this morning (even though E was not having it, clingy and whiny about it) was part of it. Then again, coming home and dealing with the madness that is three kids, I wondered what the heck I am thinking-three kids have my house/life in chaos-and that will never end-even those with three (or more) older kids say the madness never subsides. What the heck are me and DH thinking considering having one more? Its a matter of time, if its meant to be its meant to be, I keep saying that, but I definitely think I'm leaning towards letting nature take its course. This in between stage is driving me nuts. Think its time to send out more resumes, and still go with getting rid of all the extra baby stuff (w/ E all we used was the pack and play and double stroller). With my luck I'll get a job just as i find out I'm pregnant (like I got my acceptance letter to grad school when I found out I was pregnant w/ #2, and i still went on to get pregnant with #3 before I graduated), and get rid of the baby clothes. I'd say I need to take a deep breath, but last time I said that (way long ago), I ended up pregnant. Hmmm food for thought as I take time to pause and think (w/o breathing too deep)-or is that totally impossible?.

Friday, September 18, 2009

The message

This week has been a busy week, then again, aren't they all? I had an awaking though this week, one that seemed out of nowhere, but as I'm feeling more and more, is meant to be. I saw the woman who used to own our home outside of M's school; her baby daughter, youngest of four girls, is in school now. So strange to me since I remember her baby daughter best as the chubby faced baby in the high chair as we did our first walk through of our home.

We started chatting and the talk turned from the community and school, to life with children and going back to work. It wasn't just what she said, but how she said it, that something clicked for me. We talked about helping the schools, on the PTA, music boosters in highschool, sports, etc. I told her how eager I was to help, but wondered how I was going to make it work with three kids. Even told her how I was on the fence about having baby #4. She reassured me that no matter how many (or few) children you had, you can never do everything-its impossible. Something always has to give, sometimes even two kids have things on the same night. She talked about being pulled in many directions, even with her two oldest daughters in high school-how the two of them were needier than her younger two, more for emotional and moral support than the physical caregiving of their younger days. She talked about how going from three to four was easier than going from two to three (chaos is the norm by that point, we both agreed). And no matter what, we make it work, because that's what we do. She encouraged me to work now, instead of waiting later when E starts kindergarten. Having teenage daughters at home, she said now is the time to work because what R and I do still is the law of the land, M and his brothers know that. Later on, she said, during the junior high years, is when it changes, peer influences more than mom and dad. She said in her experience, she's been needed more for moral support, needed for driving to various activities, needed on boards and planning activities, etc, than during the elementary school days. She said its more critical to be at home then so you know what's going on, especially when friends take precedence over mom and dad. When I told her my concerns about missing field trips or helping out in the classroom, she said the bottom line is you're available to your kids, both now and in the years to come. To her, now is the time to get myself established work-wise so when the kids do have activities (even activities now) I have enough foundation to relax my schedule, to have more flexibililty later. She's walked it both ways, staying home and working, choosing career paths more than once, starting over, creating a quilt of her time that cuts through both worlds, figuring out what was best for her and her life.

Her passion for her life, and the peace she has from how she leads it now, along with her words resonated with me. I don't have to decide now what I want. I can enjoy what I have with the boys. Have another baby too if I want. Enjoy it when I do find a job that works for me and my life. I can change my mind later on, that if it doesn't work I can find something else that will. I can stop feeling guilty about applying for jobs, ones that seemingly have more requirements that I don't have, ones I think I might had I not taken a detour and stayed home. The thing that would hurt the most is not trying at all. So I'll stick my neck out, apply. See what happens. Isn't that what I always say? Life is a journey.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Motherhood, now

The past week has been a swirl of emotions, everything from pure bliss to pure chaos. I hope part of it is PMS, or dare say next week will be another emotional week (but on a happier note for sure). Anyways, this week has been trying. For the most part, we've been grooving with school and schedules, but something is happening-more work. More homework (not work in the class), and while it doesn't seem difficult, its not basic tracing and cutting and pasting. I totally understand how kids learn different ways, but there comes a point where I wonder, wow this is a lot of work. I spoke up yesterday with the teacher, along with another parent (whose daughter is smart and eager to learn) and had the same issues as me. We found out that we need to speak up, give the teacher feedback-she said sometimes she gives more work than can be done in three days (since homework is turned in on Thursday mornings). Then to add to it, M turned in his homework packet on Thursday (half completed) even though the teacher apparently told the kids that homework was due on Friday due to the shortened school week. Already I'm writing notes to the teacher explaining why the remainder of the packet wasn't finished; she told me this afternoon not to worry about the missed papers, M is doing fine, and she saw my note in his green daily folder.

Soccer, the one activity I have the boys in, is a lot. And its just the two older boys. Then w/ Gabriel yesterday, on the car ride home, a completely dirty, sweaty mess, he was grinning ear to ear, and said how much fun he just had. Made all of the driving back and forth and expense completely worth it.

Babies are on the brain. A friend of mine just found out she's due with number 5 (yes, number 5!) next spring. She has two older school age that are just a couple years older (8 and 6) than Matthew, one that's almost 4, a 6 month old, (all are boys) and a new bundle on the way. When I heard the news, the first thing that came to mind was how lucky she really is. Not how crazy she is, or how is she going to do it, or how is her and her husband going to afford this additional child, but real joy for her. She is a devoted mom, has a great husband, been staying at home for years, and is always on the go. Even while pregnant this last time, and even more this summer with a young infant. Everyday she was out and about, sometimes doing overnight trips with all her kids w/ another mom and their kids. It was mindblowing to say the least. Hearing the news made me think-what if we went for another one? What if I became pregnant now? I am not leaning for it by any means, but yet I know we would make it work. I'm not trying to play keeping-up games, nor do I want to try for a girl. I'd feel blessed either way. R's concern is age, and to some extent, finances too. Yet he knows we'd make it work, because until we finally go for a permanent end, anything can happen (and no, I don't need a lecture on b.c methods, we're good there).

Finally today was Grandparents Day. The schools here goes all out, invites the grandparents to visit the school, and spend time with their grandchild. M's teacher was awesome-had treats and the kids did a 15 minute presentation on some of the things they've been learning in school. Totally adorable! I loved how many grandparents came, about 20 for the 25 kids. I did ask M to "share" his grandma, and my MIL was so friendly, I think it helped put some of the kids in a better frame of mind. M was all smiles, and enjoyed the one on one time with his grandma. I think he also liked the $1 Chutes and Ladders game and 25 cent Scholastic books (same style from his school book order!) we got at the thrift store today from her too.

This weekend will be very busy, but very fun. Tomorrow is the kick off for soccer, and we get to participate in a fun community event for it. Love that! Then we have our first two games throughout the morning. The day will end with us going to Sac town for the night to bring Grandma home, and enjoy a visit with our cousins and my SIL. I'm looking forward to it all, and love how we've done everything we can to make it a frugal weekend.

Thats the up and down, all around post for the past week. Life is busy with the boys, and I wouldn't have it any other way.