Monday, October 24, 2011

Dream a little dream

It has been wonderful and crazy, time consuming and exhilarating, to have my mother in law, and dad, brother too, here over the weekend. It was a careful orchestration of going to Sacramento last week with Rebecca to pick up my MIL, come home, do all that needed to get done for Cub Scouts and soccer, school too, to chill and enjoy family. I love seeing my dad, and brother. Rebecca took to everyone well, some sooner than others, but that's to be expected. I had time with my MIL, alone, with Robert, and with the baby too. The children enjoyed seeing their grandparents, not only for Grandparent's Day, but for the weekend too. It was bittersweet bringing his mom home yesterday, but at least I didn't do it alone. Somehow going with the kids and Robert, time went by faster. The six hour trip was smoother than when I did it alone with the baby.

Robert and me grew closer this weekend, sometimes I wonder how that's possible, we've been together so long, or so it seems, yet seeing the old pictures up on his mom's walls, it reminds me how time flies. Time flies... There were bittersweet moments, like just why my dad is here this week, or Grandparent's Day, to know that while everything is not "perfect", nothing really is, but I'm grateful for what we do have.

Life is worth living, so I enjoyed that glass of wine I had the other night, the one I'm having now too. We had a blast with Cub Scouts at the dinner and camp-out. Soccer was fun the following morning. Our family has plans to acquire camping equipment, emergency preparedness necessities as part of the boys reaching their goals. My dad gave me a great lead on acquiring items from a friend back in the Bay Area, so we'll see how that pans out. I also have plans to acquire items through other means, so it will stretch out our dollars. As long as the kids have fun, and we're properly set up, its a win-win situation.

I have plans for Robert for his birthday, scoping out Las Vegas tickets (both plane and show), seeing what we want to do next year for his 50th birthday. We do have our share of concerns, what we want to do if/when his job ends, where that road will take us. Yet planning to do something for the two of us, no credit cards necessary, sounds sinfully sweet. Unheard of. Who goes to places like LV paid for before you step on a plane? I feel like the crazy woman with the cash envelope, biding my time for our vacation, the proceeds getting thicker, slowly at a time. So this birthday is on a smaller scale, but with grand plans for next year. We'll enjoy each other this year, and kick off the three birthdays that follow his own within a two week period. It'll be a birthday bonanza, but how fun that will be. Times like celebrating 4 birthdays in a two week period could be uber-stressful, or a lot of fun. I choose to have fun-never in my wildest dreams did I see myself with a large family, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. That's what I get for dreaming a little dream, and the reality is sweet.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Plank Pulling Thursday: She's come undone

It’s Plank Pullin’ time! The one day a week that we strongly resolve to ignore the multitude of specks and sawdust around us and pull one bona fide plank from our own eye. Matthew 7:3-5 style.

As I brought Elijah into preschool this morning, I heard the wailing from the front gate. I didn't know who or why, but I knew what-someone was not happy. I brought Elijah in, he proceeded to sit down at a table with his friends, and seemed unfazed by the commotion. The teachers looked at me, and said "Someone's having a rough morning." I smiled, and said "I understand. Sometimes I wish I could do the same thing." It had been one of those mornings, which has slowly become one of those weeks. I don't want it to unravel further, and become one of those months. Yet its clear that I'm slowly coming undone. I'm working on being at peace with that-its a struggle. Often times I tell the boys its okay when things go awry, such is life. Yet when Murphy has knocked at the door before, and I've taken steps to ensure his presence is far from welcome, and still I see his shadow lurking, it gives me pause. Life will cantor on, I may do the two step shuffle right now, instead of my samba or mambo. Yet, I think of the elderly frail woman I saw in Target the other day. Bent over, her husband (who looked just as frail and elderly as her) with his arm draped around her, she made her way from one side of the store to the other. Their few selections in their basket, pushing it together, one small step at a time. This may have been the one outing they took together all day. In the grand scheme of life, what's going on with life now is minute. I need to remember that, realize its okay to let it all out, because eventually I do come back. I will have battle scars, but those scars are signs of a survivor, not a victim.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Hiding behind the ice cream

It has been a rough weekend. We had to put Sammy to sleep this weekend. The kids are devastated. Robert and I are both heart broken. I replay what happened, and all the what ifs, what could, what should have happened's in my mind. Its on auto replay. Constant. Its hard to shut it off. You would have to have a heart of stone for this not to have bothered you, or to have compassion. I told my brother this weekend, it really sucks to be a parent sometimes, and this was one of those times. I hope time dulls the pain-eases the memory of having to break the news that Sammy wasn't going to come home with us, it makes me sad now writing it, even though I thought it would be cathartic writing. I hate the silence in the morning-the gap of not hearing her bang her bowl around, leaving a trail of kibble just the way she did. The fur, somehow vacuuming it up is harder this time, I can't yet do it. I've left myself open to the children-grieving in their own way. Robert is too. He was with her when the vet gave her the medicine to go to sleep. We all had an opportunity to say goodbye-both before she was given the dose, and after it was done. It was one of those occasions that we were in unfamiliar territory-we didn't know what we were doing until we were in the thick of it. I have pictures of the boys with Sammy, and of Robert with her too. Right now though, its hard to look at them. As a final gesture of love, the boys left a doggy treat by Sammy's paw, and a human mint too. The human mint was for Uncle Merle, who we hope greeted Sammy on the other side. The doggy treat was a treat for Sammy, something for her to enjoy over there. The questions come and go, is Sammy in heaven? When is Sammy coming home? Why did Sammy have to go? Will we get Sammy back? I hate the questions-if only because I don't have the answers. The tears come and go, the sadness is there. Its heart wrenching, grabs ahold of your throat, and makes it hard to breathe. I hate what its doing to the boys, and as us as a family. For all the times I wasn't fond of having a pet, its nothing compared to the happiness I had at having something here that made my children happy.

So I'm hiding behind ice cream, dulling the pain tonight with ice cream. The pain of losing Sammy is there, it will be there, but this is comforting. Writing and having outlets may help, it doesn't erase it, make it go away. At the same time, it helps me cope. Maybe writing is helpful after all.

Thursday, October 6, 2011


Time crunch. It hits. I'm exhausted. Overwhelmed. Freaked Out. Panic Attack. I hated being like this. It a vicious one, one that I've been slowly disentangling myself from, slowly, unraveling the layers, one layer at a time. Going to the family dinner and bible study on Wednesday night has started being a good outlet for me-and the family. I was worried about adding one more thing to our plate, wondering if it was going to be too much. Yet, its having the opposite effect. Its causing me to reexamine how I live my life, how I want to live. Really live, not just exist.

Speaking of living, I about busted up laughing yesterday with a good friend. I just read this stupid post on facebook, one where I congratulated someone on paying for a brand new car in cash. A reply to my comment was, "How does a new car equate to no payments? Usually a new car means new payments unless you're a billionaire!" Immediately I thought of a friend who paid for her minivan in cash, and thought, well she's a billionaire when it comes to love and family, so maybe that's alright. Mind you, I don't know what's in her wallet, and I don't care.
I then saw a post where my friend wrote about struggle to follow Dave Ramsey at that moment, and I wrote, "I just saw the stupidest post about only billionaires being able to pay cash for cars. seriously, the phrase slave to lender came to mind. ugh, lets be weird together, and go to dinner tonight at the church. much better use of our funds :)" Over dinner we laughed about how she's trying to get rid of her car payment, and how we've been going for
almost four years with only one car, because to add a car payment to our budget would stress us out. I look forward to the day of not having a car payment, of paying for Robert's truck with cash.

So time, it has a way of going. I have been soaking up Rebecca's babyhood with cuddles, helping the boys with the challenges of homework, the watching old Dennis the Menace shows with them. We eat together, Robert and I chill after bedtime. I'm reexamining commitments, realizing its okay to say no. Its hard, because I always say yes. Yet its okay to be still, its necessary. Robert is telling me to slow down-and I am. Its hard, I fight my inner worker bee mentality. I want to show my children what it is to live, not just exist. We're becoming weirder by the day, and that's okay.

Monday, October 3, 2011

What matters

We had a late morning this morning, first time since school started. I took the kids out of order for drop off, no sense in making everyone late since only one child was really late.This song came on the radio, and I could see Gabriel trying to sing along to the lyrics. He's my active boy-always on the move. So when I saw him doing something incredibly sweet, it made me smile. He blushed and grinned when he caught my eye, didn't think I had seen him. We laughed together, and then I dropped him off at school. He still let me give him a kiss goodbye, I think I'll miss it when he stops. Until then, I'll take his wet kisses-he's my tough guy, but he still loves to show affection ♥

Short and sweet

*should have posted this last night-posting it now.

I'm overdue for bed, but was able to accomplish quite a bit during these quiet hours. My daytime is filled with baby R, who I snuggle and love to bits. The boys are less snuggly, but have been grasping for my hand, my words, my eyes. They seek me out-and I'm doing what I can to be available-so the computer sits. Work sits too, and that's a-ok.

I'm rising above the mess, what comes when there's a mess. Life happens. I am working on seeing things as annoyances, yet the control is sometimes hard to relinquish. Once I let go, I'm at peace. Its getting to that point sometimes that's a struggle. Always wanting to take a full plate on, but learning how to balance seems like its always a struggle.

We scuffled through a week. Eye doctors and soccer, and cub scouts too. Throw in a playdate at a park and one at Chuck E Cheese, topped off by more soccer and a baby shower. I tagged and sold clothes at Just Between Friends too. It has been quite the week. Somehow I made it through, and relaxed today.

We went to a bbq for the buyers at the Fresno Fair today. My friend Heather took us as her guests; the boys loved seeing the behind the scenes at the fair. We ate lamb, and goat, turkey, and something else. The kids played, and Rebecca ate goat. So weird, but so good. Perfect bbq weather. We're buying top off bids for Heather's daughter's lamb, so next year we'll get tickets to the fair and tickets to the bbq. I'm glad we get to help her out; K already said she'll babysit us as a thank you-I'm all for that, but I love family time. Time has a way of going, soaking it up while I can.