Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009-Lessons learned

2009 has been quite a year. We've had laughter and tears, love and heartache, and through it all, I've learned many things about myself. The lessson I've learned the most is how I have the ability to be resiliant. I've adjusted and finetuned how we live, how I conduct myself, only to backpedal, and then take time to refocus and adapt to whatever situation presents itself. Its been an uphill battle at times, full of emotion, but I'm still standing today. I've had my share of personal demons, ones with my mom, those as a result of friendships that came to a close, and through it all, I see that life does not end. As my husband and dear friends have told me, you dust yourself off, and keep going foward. Life doesn't end because people don't want you in their life. They have their own demons they need to work out.

So this year has been a roller coaster. Am I, and my family, any better off than we were this time last year? I'd like to think so, even as we have more problems with the house. I paid off two large outstanding debts from last year, and although we gained a new, unexpected debt with our hot water leak, and another with the vandelism of our pool equipment, one will be paid off in March, and another paid off by May. Life was changed when R had his series of paycuts, and who knows what lies on the horizon. I know without a doubt we'll deal with the hand we're dealt, and make the best of it.

It has been far from an easy road, but I like to think we've learned a lot about what's important this year. Letting go of material objects, realizing how fortunate and blessed of a life we lead, to have our health, our minds, and our able bodies. Personally, I'm on an ongoing quest to reprioritize what is important to me, which is certainly different than it was in my twenties. This half year of being thirty has been a comfortable period-I'm more secure in my decisions, marching to my own drum. Some friendships have ended, and others have blossomed. I've learned I don't have time for negativity, and I need to not only take care of my children, but of my own life. I cannot control anything but my own actions. So hats off to this year, it has been turbulent, but I am grateful for the lessons it taught me, so that I can experience the year yet to come.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Paying it forward

I've been dragging my feet on cleaning out the baby items we have in the boys room. Its been sitting there, in bins, and boxes, neatly labeled, wondering where or when it would find a home. I have been on the fence about having a fourth, and while the thought is appealing, I know another baby would not need all that we have put away. Yet the neatly stacked pile of bins stood.

On another note yesterday a purebred lab approached the boys while we were outside playing. Soft and sweet, she must have been at least a couple of years old. G and E who normally shy away from dogs, were in love. M gently stroked her, and asked if we could keep her. My heart bellowed, knowing that I wanted this dog too. She didn't have a collar, and we thought it would be a good idea to take her to the SPCA to see if she was microchipped. Ugh. That was not the thing to do. Because we filed a "found" file, they require her to stay and be checked out. She's held there until Sunday, hoping that her owners come forward. We have to wait a week because she's a purebred, otherwise the wait would have been less. We're listed as the intended recipients though, so when we go on Sunday morning to the SPCA, we'll have first dibs on adopting her. The boys have already named her, and R and I think she was already an inside dog, so we'll have her inside. Its hard to believe how things happen, but I really feel that while we weren't intending to have another dog, we are open to bringing this one into our home, and call her ours. In the end though, I do hope this dog is adopted, whether by us or someone else.

Back to the baby items. A woman, one who I've met before, sent out a message on a local messageboard about needing clothes for her daughter in law who just had a baby after not being able to have one for four years. She was requesting a baby bath and the shells for the playtex bottles; something clicked for me-I asked her if they needed anything else. She told me everything they had had for babies was sold the weekend before they found out her daughter in law was expecting, and while the family had all the big items, things like spare blankets, cribsheets, and infant toys had gone to the wayside. They had just a few to get by, but nothing like it was when they had their first. I plowed through those boxes, and blessed another mother with items that would make taking care of her new baby just a little bit easier.

Another email came, from another woman. This time she needed a coat for her three year old daughter. I had seen her post before, but didn't get a reply. She had reposted her request after two other failed responses. Not only did I bring her one of Gabriel's (gender nuetral) heavy coats, but a big bag of toddler and preschooler girls clothes that were in great shape; I had received them from Freecycle, and did not have someone to pass them onto.

I love doing things like this to help others. It helps ground me when I have my low moments, and go through the "what-ifs" in my life. I have come to the conclusion I can only move forward, be there for myself and my kids and husband, and be there for those who want us in our lives.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009

This year was a memorable holiday, for the gifts that cannot be wrapped and placed under a tree. R's aunt came to visit, and it was loud, and fun, and lots of wine (and coffee) were poured. We focused on activities, long walks, seeing holiday lights around town, and relaxing! I cooked a lot this year, all the food, with the exception of the prime rib, was made by me. I thought it may be stressful, but I loved it. We finished up our baking, and pased out treats to our neighbors. I think it caught some of them offguard, but there were smiles aplenty. We made sugar cookies for Santa, and Santa brought the boys books and coloring books. We enjoyed the cookies and food sent to us by my dad's girlfriend and our neighbors. Christmas day was spent lounging, watching holiday movies, walks, and then I cooked-a lot! Even through all of it, I still managed to take a nap on Christmas Eve, and one on Christmas Day, and oh it was wonderful! Here are some pictures which capture these memories.

Christmas Eve baking is a family affair-Daddy included!

Mommy and boys cookie making!

Look at those plates of goodies-five houses had some awesome treats!
Ready to make cookie deliveries!
No tree this year with all the repairs to the house, but Santa left treats!

A new book for Matthew!

New books for Gabriel!

Elijah took forever to open up his new book!

Homemade treats from Zadie and MaryAnn was the best present!
The boys got an activity set from Zadie and MaryAnn!

Elijah with Aunt Kathleen enjoying his new toy from Zadie and MaryAnn(a keychain that wiggles when the string is pulled!)

The cinammon rolls our neighbor delivered to us on Christmas morning! They were still hot from the oven, and oh so good!

So happy to have slept in until 7:40 am, a wonderful Christmas present from the boys!

Sneaking to eat some treats!

Matthew making Christmas Dinner dessert for the family.

Elijah making another dessert for Christmas Dinner.

Our full oven-full of good eats!

Jennifer getting the table set for Christmas Dinner

Jennifer's cooking-oh sooooo delish!

The boys eating Christmas dinner.

The adults at Christmas dinner.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


As if my plate weren't full enough, baby fever has hit. Now more moms I know are having babies, and going from three to four, four to five, and its driving me a little nutso. Life is busier than ever, and while its hard to keep up, I wouldn't have it any other way. The house is better fuller, more laughter, more cuddles, it is a weird blend of chaos and fun, and always something going on. And then I wonder, what the heck am I thinking. Having E turn two means our baby days are ending-more and more signs of independance, seat getting turned forward (yes, rear facing until two-what a small fry he is!) and no more high chair. Talking in sentences that we can understand, and while we have issues with crying-more and more words everyday. Scary how much this child understands and can tell us. I'm finally in a good groove taking three kids out somewhere. So really why go back? I hear naysayers saying think of finances, think of how to raise the children you have, just stop and think about what kind of life you already have. Then again, money is not the end all and be all, it doesn't matter how many children you have, there's always a chance of the bottom falling out, but is the fear great enough to stop; discipline and caring for children is alway there, no matter how many you have; and finally, I love what we have, these little boys are my treasures and I tell them everyday I couldn't imagine not having them, and not doing what we're doing. Yes its hard to deal with the stress we're going through, but that's not because we have three instead of two, it could have easliy happened with two and not three, or four (or more) instead of three; it is what it is because it just is. I can't control what happened to our house-in my life, I can only control my own actions. The rest I can influence, but I don't have control. I'm not as far fetched as some people, leaving how many children we have up to God (ie no birth control), but I will say that what will be, will be, and if having one more is meant to happen it will. On one hand I want to figure this out, and on the other, I want to let it go-let it go and just enjoy the ride, because who knows, maybe we'll have another. Nothing is set until we actually keep the appointment that was cancelled twice.