Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thoughts on Patience

I used to think I was a patient person. Okay, so maybe I was delusional. Or maybe it was because I did not have big expectations.

I first noticed my wonderful patience slipping away once I had a child. I know part of this was because of the chaos that ensues when a newborn hits your life. Part of my lack of patience was being a first time parent. Wanting him to “hurry up” to get to his many milestones. I remember worrying about why he wasn’t walking. Why wasn’t he talking yet? Could I not have been patient, like the doctor told me? No.

I have learned not to hurry those developments. My son has grown before my eyes, but it seems like a blur. It is so hard for me to believe that he once was like his little sister. I try hard to remember him as a toddler…but there are so many other versions of my son (the five year old giggle puss who found out that saying “poop” and “fart” were HILARIOUS; the eight year old so into Halloween that he was constantly talking about it in August). Life hurries past me and I wonder how come it is not patient with me. Why can’t I push the pause button and have those special moments stay a bit longer?

Not that I haven’t had “Teaching Moments” in Patience 101. Fertility treatments alone forced me to be patient despite myself. Taking those shots in anticipation of egg retrieval (resting afterwards) and transfer (more resting afterwards). And then the horrible Two Week Wait. Not to mention the years of TTC on our own and wondering “why?”

So, I have strived to be patient in my life. And sometimes it works out. Like when I was unemployed. I knew the situation. I knew we were going to be okay for a while without me working. So, I bid my time and patiently looked for a job. And I got another lesson in Patience 101 – being home alone with your children on many, many, many rainy days…

And now, I cannot believe those four months flew by. And yet. I am impatient. Again.

Here are the things I have no more patience for:

The copier at my new job. It jams every 3rd page or so. (ARRGH)

For my vacation to start!

For time to get back to my book—it is at a really great part and I keep being interrupted.

For my exercising and watching what I eat to actually amount to some weight loss already!

For our bedroom closet to be repaired and organized!

For Willow to start talking!!

I guess I need to go the Advanced Class on Patience.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Show & Tell #43

For Show & Tell, I am mixing two of my favorite things: Family Guy and Massachusetts. I love the fact that the only clear YouTube I could find for this spelled Massachusetts wrong...

Having been in Massachusetts for over 15 years, I am quite happy to be considered a New Englander. Here are just three things I love about Massachusetts:

First Place to legalize Same Sex Marriage

Lots and lots of history.

Tons of nature and trails.

Show and Tell
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Saturday, July 25, 2009

Firsts

Willow had her first ice cream cone today. Yeah, sure, she has had licks of ice cream before...but this was her first one ALL for herself.





We went to Dairy Queen. She had a vanilla soft serve. She LOVED it. Got ice cream all over her face, her outfit. She also dropped the cone once. We picked it up--it only had a little bit of dirt on it...we brushed that off. Then she saw the dripped ice cream. Which she proceeded to clean up. With her hand at first, then with a napkin. While Willow was busy cleaning up that spill, in her right hand was the cone, which she dipped down ice cream first onto the pavement. And then she ate it. Her face looked like she had Oreo cookie ice cream...black speckles of dirt. Then, she found a twig, and used the stick to spoon out ice cream. Then we decided that was enough. (She was almost finished anyways). Ummm..she did not like that we took her mashed ice cream cone away. But after a bit of fussiness, she fell asleep in the car...

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My first couple days at work went rather well. The people are nice and I am being eased into the position. And they remembered that I am going on vacation in 2 weeks, which is nice that they don't have a problem with that. I got many compliments on my work (although I have not really done anything too hard or out of my element yet). Monday starts the "New Normal-Summer Edition".

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Michael had his first camp Field Trip of the summer. It was at the fine arts museum. Since it was his first day of camp (and they had assured me that they were NOT going on a field trip), we did not have field trip money...but we are members of the museum so my husband gave my son his membership card. Michael then let everyone in his group use it to get 1/2 off of their lunches. The teachers made sure to announce a big thank you for him doing that.

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Husband had his first day off from work--his work sprung a surprise "Snow Day" for all the workers. At a company meeting on Thursday, they told everyone that they did not have to come in the next day--they were having a "Snow Day" and they manufactured snow in the meeting--they even made up t-shirts that said "Snow Day 2009"! Huh. (Maybe I should have gotten a job there).

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Show & Tell #42

One of my favorite activities of the summer seems to be one of my daughter's newest obsessions. Our neighbors have a swing set and they recently found the baby swing and hooked it in for us. Every chance she can, she wants to be on that swing. Today, I picked her up from daycare, got out of the car--and she indicated that she wanted to swing. For 40 mins. She would not have stopped, except I was tired of standing there pushing her and I wanted to get into the house already.

Here she is, my swinging fool, along with my son and one of our neighbor's kids.






Show and Tell
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Epiphany with a side of Guilt

Long ago I knew I was not the Stay At Home Mom type. Or any Stay At Home type. When I was first married, I was unemployed for 6 months and it was hell. I get antsy. I get bored. I long for intellectual pursuits and people to see/meet. I start projects around the house that cannot be finished. And that was without children!

Being unemployed these past 4 months has been my chance to see what life would be like if I was indeed a SAHM. It does help that I was getting unemployment checks, because, at least for the short term, the financial aspect of why I have to work was out of the equation. And, surprisingly to me, it.did.not.suck. Yes, there were times when the isolation from adults made me lonely. And, the weather could have cooperated more so that I could have enjoyed more of the out-of-doors. The many projects I thought I would do (organize the clutter, loose weight, cook spectular meals, read more) did not happen as I found other things (and a toddler into everything) to occupy my time.

But I found new appreciation for my children. I got to know them even more than I thought I ever would. I got to look at them with non-hurried eyes. I was able to GIVE to them experiences that I hope they will remember for a long time. This time has bittersweet memories for me that I will cherish forever.

A bit of me now feels totally guilty for having to leave this situation and go back into the work world. A guilt I had not had as strongly 4 months ago.

It will be back to the "normal" life for our family, with an appreciation for the what might have been.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Contemplation



Summertime is a good time for contemplation.

It has been a rough year so far for our family. But things seem to be looking up. Times are changing. My husband and I are approaching new jobs and new obstacles will be presented to us.

When dealing with tough times, I am often too in the moment. Too frustrated, depressed, frantic. Too much in survival role. It is only when the crisis has passed or settled in that I can then take the time to contemplate its complexities. Its role in shaping my family.

And in doing so, I often look back at other tough times. And how we overcame them. I realize that with each set-back we have been resilient. That the bond that I have with my husband can stretch thin, but not break. That, despite my worries, despite my utter lack of faith at the outcome--we do our best and not only that, we grow stronger from the struggle.

That my family has grown is an accomplishment that has made me stronger. In our lives, our time of infertilty was small, but significant. And a lot of the burden was on me and I realize that is one of the times in my life I did something that was frightening to me (fertility treatments) but I found the strength and accomplished so much. I am very proud of how, as a family, we brought Willow into our lives.

Now I face the next chapter in our lives with confidence in myself and my family. Starting new jobs at the same time, while still adjusting to being a four person family...it can be tough sometimes. But we have faced worse and kicked its ass! And we are going to kick 2009's butt in gear and this second half of this year is going to be something to be proud of!

(Yeah, yeah--Gipper! Win one for!) (I am usually the cheerleader of the family--sometimes I need to cheerlead myself!)

Friday, July 17, 2009

Obsessions - UPDATED

Michael is obsessed with Marvel Ultimate Alliance. He plays the Wii game; when not playing it, he is talking about Marvel superheroes and what ones we like; we have re-watched both Fantastic Four movies.

Willow is obsessed with Shoes. Her shoes. Her shoes on. Her shoes off. Other peoples shoes. Old shoes that I have put aside for going to the beach. New shoes with tags still on them. Shoes.



I am obsessed with enjoying the summer weather now that it is finally sunny here! I am obsessed with spending all the quality time I can with the kids, because I might be getting a job offer soon. I am obsessed with checking my email to see if I have any news on said offer.

Time to check e-mail.

UPDATE: Got the job. Start Thursday. Oh wow. Husband started a new job 2 weeks ago. I start a new job next week. This is my last day with Willow all day--starting her full time at daycare next week...gotta find summer day camp for Michael...summer is finally here and NOW I get a job?...ahhh, at least I am going to the Cape in August...luckily told the new job that...Michael and I will have 3 days just the two of us together...I did have fun with them...but I have gone crazy too...glad to be working...scared and nervous too...going to celebrate this weekend...and rest up too...wow, you would think I would have gotten more accomplished in my 4 months of unemployement...but yet, I did have LOTS going on...and I did do some wonderful things with the kids...ugh, the commute is the same CRAPPY one I did for 10 years...I get to know my iPod better again...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Tall Ships - Show & Tell #41

NOTE: I posted this on Sunday, but it is a perfect post for Show & Tell...

First off, I must say I do LOVE LOVE love my cell phone camera. It is so easy since I almost always have my cell phone on and in my pocket...its great to just whip it out and snap a picture. Last week, my husband started a new job and I sent him pictures of the kids doing various activities through out the day (bummer for me, cuz when I get a new job I won't have anyone doing that for me!).

So, Saturday we went on a cruise on Boston Harbor to go see the Tall Ships . It was Willow's first time on a boat (it was more like a small Ferry). She was wonderful the whole 2 hour cruise--she especially liked it once I brought her up to the front of the ship where she could really see the boats.

The weather was wonderful and we had great views of the harbor and the ships. The harbor was jam packed with boats going around trying to see the ships, which were from all over the world. Luckily we were on a commercial boat, so we got preferential treatment and got to see everything real close. But the wakes from the other boats were pretty substantial and those of us (ME and Michael) who are more susceptible to motion sickness started to feel a little queasy...luckily it wasn't too bad and we were both fine after a bit.

It did not help that Michael and I had watched "A Night to Remember" (one of my favs) the day before--its about the Titanic, if you don't want to click on the title to find out. So, that meant at the beginning of the trip, Michael kept worrying that the boat was tipping over, and later on he was talking to another boy about how there were not enough flotation devices for all the children on board (by his calculations). Despite that, he actually enjoyed himself and loved seeing all the boats in the harbor (I think he liked that more than the Tall Ships).

At one point, Willow wanted to walk around and we were doing the boat-walk (where you look tipsy) and a gentlemen commented on how she is probably better suited to walk this way than we are.

I did bring my video camera, of course, but I did get some nifty shots from my cellphone too. And here they are:


On the way to the cruise, we passed by this very weird sculpture of just people's heads. Ummm..in the distant future will they think we were cannibals based on this weird totem of heads?


A lot of the Tall Ships were docked along the World Trade Center corridor.


We got very close to many of them.


The lines to go inside these ships were LOOONNNG! We decided the cruise was far less of a hassle. We were told by our ship's captain that the lines just to get onto the wharf were long.


This is a Russian ship which is one of the biggest in the world.

Show and Tell
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Saturday, July 11, 2009

Discovery



Whisps of hair;
Nose and small mouth;
Eyes and face;
Who could it be?
It's me!

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Show & Tell #40

It's been weeks and weeks of rain here in New England. It was great weather for the Fourth of July and we had a lot of fun. I thought it was blue skys and sun after that. But this week has proven me wrong. SO, what do you do on a rainy summer days?

You take them to a kids indoor play area, where the clean up is on THEM.





You take them for their first fast food Kids Meal!


Don't forget the TOY!


You make homemade clay, then decide PlayDoh does it even better (with toys to go with it no less!)


You enjoy them, because rain or shine, they keep growing every day.

Show and Tell
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Monday, July 06, 2009

Pepi Returns! - UPDATE

In perhaps an omen that our tough times are starting to change, our lost Iguana has RETURNED! Tonight we went out to dinner to celebrate my husband's new job (he starts tomorrow). We came home, Michael was changing into his pjs and then he found him! Pepi has been missing since April. We had assumed he was dead. He is back, looking a little haggard, a little dehydrated...but he has survived!



UPDATE: Sadly, Pepi died today. I think he came back home to die. We did all we could for him, but I think he was just too dehydrated/ill. I told Michael that Pepi came back for him. The past two days Michael has been holding him and playing with him and I think love was exchanged between both of them. Michael is sad, but he is happy he came back. We are going to the pet store later today, Michael wants to look around and perhaps get another pet...snakes have been mentioned...gerbils/hamsters too. He is not sure about another iguana...but on the other hand, he doesn't want something that is going to die too quickly (like hamsters/mice--he's had a mouse before). How very druid of Pepi. He returns to die, so the new chapter can start.

April Understands - A Quick Meme

Everybody has done this one I am sure...if not, what you do is google your name and "understands"...see what comes up. Here is what I got and my comments...

April understands her own problematic identifications. Yes, wife, mother, worker, cleaner, geek...it can be a jumble in there...

April understands more, and suffers for it: The apron strings that tie her to husband and kids might as well be chains. Umm...what is this "apron"?

April understands, but January is crying... I don't know what January's problem is...

April understands how to apply Incident Management processes to the service improvement project... Will this get me a job? Then, sure, sure I do!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Show & Tell #39

Okay, here is a fright:


Yes, that is me in my pre-teen years with some of my passions at the time, MJ and horses...



But, I am tired of that coverage, so...






This is Willow and my mom at a resturant. Summertime brings visits from relatives far and wide and Willow is enjoying getting to know her Grandparents...and a plastic straw!



Show and Tell
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Drained, Excited, Busy

Getting ready for the big weekend ahead and already feeling drained emotionally and physically. Bullets explain:

  • My husband has this week off, as he is going to be starting a new job next week. The new job is a longer commute, and as with any new job, the push to show you are worthy of being hired means I will be Single Mom a lot in the next few weeks.
  • My mother just finished visiting. Nuff said.
  • Spent more money than I wanted to this weekend.
  • Michael is off his ADHD medications for the summer. While I think this is a good idea (hell, I advocated it), it does mean that there are some times when I want to take him and drop him off a very long cliff.
  • The past three days Willow has been TEETHING. She has never had a real problem before with the teeth coming in. This time they are Molars and she was a drooling, clinging mess. She was constipated one day and quite miserable. Tylenol and Baby Orajel (as well as ice and lots of comforting) were used. Luckily she still was in top Willow form most of the time for Grandma.
  • I had a positive job interview yesterday. However, it is practically the same crappy commute I had. And the responsibilties would be huge. I am a little scared. I know I can do it, but I have been able to coast through my previous job for the past 5 years or so...it is a bit intimidating to start a new job with such responsibilities. I choose not to worry about it now--I still have the second interview to look forward to!
  • Haven't been able to exercise the past few days, with company here, husband home and interview and all. Now I just don't seem to have the energy...oh and don't get me started on how the start of my husband's new job is going to affect my exercise routine...
  • It has been and will be rainy here in Massachusetts. I am soooo sick of rain and cloudy skys. Its summer, damn it! I wanna go OUTSIDE!!!
  • Big weekend plans include: July 4th going to Canobie Lake Park as usual, celebrating my husband's birthday on July 5th with a BBQ. Going to see a couple movies with Michael, sans Willow Bean.
  • Every weekend in July is booked with things to do. I like that most times, but it is nice to have a breather every once in a while...