Friday, May 25, 2012

A few late confessions and happy moments

Life has been busy. So busy in fact that I’ve been wanting to do the midweek confessions that my two friends from work started doing, except Wednesday keeps passing me by. So I’ll just do some end of the week confessions in general. So here goes….
-          I brought home toilet paper from work. A student brought in toilet paper instead of Kleenexes last quarter for extra credit. He was a senior and needed the extra points so I gave him the credit and then a few days ago I didn’t feel like stopping at the store on the way home so I brought home toilet paper home for us to use.
-          Sometimes I stay out in my trailer a little longer after the end of the work day because between my students, my coworkers-who are fabulous by the way, and my own children-who I love immensely, it might be the only peace and quiet I get to myself for the day
-          Our house is almost ready to put up on the market and because there are many reasons we want to move I hope it sells quickly, but for several other reasons, including what a huge pain in the ass process it is going to be once it does sell, I kind of hope it doesn’t sell very fast but either way I am so glad it’s almost ready and I plan on enjoying whatever time we have left in it before the stress of moving begins whenever that will be.
-          I let Averi play with her sister in the crib even though Daddy tells her not to do that. They’re safe in there and she’s light and they have so much fun together but I haven't told him that I let her do it so shhhh.
-          I hate Calilou. I think that kid is so whiny. I make fun of how the “wonder pets” talk too.
-          I hate washing dishes ( we don’t have a dishwasher), I hate putting the laundry away (I do love folding little girl clothes though)
-    sometimes I really miss my sisters and wish I didn't live so far away
-    I just totally indulged in eating a bunch of brownie batter after trying to lose a few pounds the last two weeks
The girls are doing great. I love watching the two of them together. If ever I’m down about things I just think about all the great things to come, watching the two of them grow up together. We had a scare about a week and half ago with Averi. She was bit by a tick and developed the bull eye rash that indicates lyme disease. We took her to the doctor who confirmed it was lyme disease, but because we got her to the doctor for an intense antibiotic treatment so quickly after the tick bite, she should be fine and not suffer from any complications from the disease. There is not much known about the disease, but as the news cover story showed the other night due to our mild winter the tick population is large, increasing the risk of the disease this summer so please check your children, parents. Research seems to say that as long as someone is treated quickly and thoroughly with antibiotics they are expected to have a full recovery and not suffer any further complications later down the road. We were extremely lucky that she developed the rash in the first place because otherwise, the other early symptoms of the disease are flu like symptoms that most people don’t go to the doctor to check out. Early on, lyme disease test come back negative, so usually it isn’t until people develop the nervous system or arthritis symptoms that they are diagnosed with lyme disease. To my understanding it can still be treated then, but some of those further complications are rather scary and debilitating. She’s only three and has so much in front of her so we are extremely blessed (God does work in mysterious ways) to have had such an early warning sign and to know what we needed to do to get her treated.
Kenzi is a rolling fool with two little bottom teeth that she proudly tries to show off with her smile. At almost seven months she gets to wherever she wants by rolling across the room. She still hasn't sat up yet, which I kind of wish she would do soon. Averi was crawling by this time, but I am more than happy to let my baby be a baby a little longer before she gets too mobile. Averi has one speed-super fast so this much slower pace suits me. But at the same time, it's at times like yesterday and today when Averi's playing in the sprinkler that I keep thinking of how in a year they'll be able to run through it together. I love that she's become such a happier, more active babyand now that her little personality is starting to show, I'm so excited to watch the two of them grow up together and form that special sisterly bond that I love and miss so much with my own sisters.
I often let myself get overstressed and I think my husband can usually figured out when I’ve started letting everything weigh me down, and at the moment I am in one of those moments where I feel like everything is great and perfect. The house is almost ready, the school year is winding down, our money for the first time since my car left us broke down two years ago is in okay shape, and besides the same old daily chores I feel that I finally have a chance to just focus on my girls and not much else, which I’m sure is the contributor to my excessive cheeriness of late. Sometimes I think I have a mood disorder of some kind or maybe I’m just a typical woman but whatever the reason behind my crazy mood swings of happiness and moments of depression, I will gladly take and enjoy this moment of things on the upswing and make the most of it with a chance to spend time my girls. Nine more work days left in the school year and then we're going to spend some much needed quality family time together.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Countdown until some much needed Mommy time

I know I mentioned the guilt that comes at times with being a working mom, and at this point in the school year it gets to be quite overwhelming. I feel rushed in the evenings to rock the baby quickly and put her to bed even though some nights I do stall and stare at her a little longer or sing her songs I don't really know the words to. But eventually I give in to the nagging voice in my head telling me I still have dishes to clean up and it's past eight, laundry to fold or throw in the wash, and myself to get bathed and in bed at a decent time so I don't come home at 330 ready for a nap. And poor Ave; she's so ready for some Mommy and Daddy time. She's at the age now where she can tell you, "Come play soccer with me, Mommy." or "Sit on the porch with me, Mom." And even though we manage to usually squeeze a little bit of those wants in in the evening, I'm always glad her and Bettis play so well together. Whenever I'm busy trying to take care of her sister or something around the house, I can always count on Bettis to chase her around the house or play catch with her in the backyard. I just always feel so rushed right now and hate that when I am catching those moments with them in the evenings, I'm can't get that damn to do list out of my head. I really don't know how working moms that work all year round Mon-Fri 8-5 everyday do it. I always have this two and half month break to look forward to that allows me a small window to be a stay at home mom. If I didn't have that break, that light at the end of the tunnel, those precious few months every year to spend with my kids, free of the obligations of my career. I have seventeen more working days and then I am going to spend every day hanging out with my girls swimming, playing soccer, having picnics, play dates, going to the park, and of course traveling to see all our family we don't get to see very often. It's just seventeen days right now feels like sixteen too many.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The monster of mommy guilt

I had extreme anxiety about going back to work with two little ones at home. We didn't have any family within six hours so it was him and I against THEM. I can remember yelling at my husband around three in the morning a week or so before I had to go back to work that if my kids did not start going to bed at a normal time (that would be Averi) and not waking up during the night (that would be Kenzi) I was not going to be a very happy person to be around and if I'm not happy that probably meant he would be sure to hear about it. I just kept envisioning myself literally losing my mind. Being short and impatient with my oldest daughter, not liking my new baby because she was a more difficult baby to handle, fighting with my husband and just utter chaos in our household on top of hating work because I'd have to be away from home eight hours a day dealing with other people's children, that at times could be some real pains. Getting frustrated because it was just too much. A full time job that at times involved doing work at home, two small kids to not just take care of but make time for some meaningful, quality time together, running a household that involved cleaning, managing the finances, the grocery shopping at times, and the ridiculous amount of laundry that four people go through, dishes along with soon to be cooking because my husband was going back to graduate school and coaching baseball so for two of the upcoming months he wouldn't get home until seven or eight at night and be gone on Saturdays. On top of that the housing market was finally in a place where we could list our house for sale after we spent a few weekends taking care of a few things, and I decided to take two online classes to qualify for a pay raise the following year. I was sure I was going to have a mental breakdown. And I did close myself in the bathroom for a quick scream or short cry, and would tell my husband and daughters I was  not home and to let me hide out in my room for a few minutes of peace and quiet. There would be times I would feel like oh my gosh this is sooooo hard.

And here's the thing it wasn't the managing all the balls in the air thing that was so hard. I'd done that my whole life. I always worked, had extra activities whether it was coaching or graduate school, on top of doing home improvements and taking care of running the house and planning for weddings or whatever next big life event was coming. But I was okay with doing all that half ass, pardon the phrase, if need be. I could BS my way through any assignment if I didn't have time, I could put off cleaning the house, washing the dishes, let the laundry get out of control, not be there 100% mentally for my students or players whenever things got to be too much. I was okay with doing all those things at once but only giving them all only 75% effort. But I was not okay with giving my kids 75%. They deserved 100% +, but unfortunately with all the things us working moms have to take care of in a given day there's too many days than I care to admit we're they didn't get the 100% they deserved from me. And then comes the Mom guilt that I'm sure we're all too familiar with.

I ve been getting an average of maybe six hours of sleep a night these last weeks, and I come home in the afternoons exhausted. I just want to lay on the couch and close my eyes for a few minutes, and I could start to tell Averi was getting frustrated with the whining that she rarely does and the occassional acting out for attention. I HATE being so tired I don't have the energy to play with her and this is when I get resentful of having to be a working mom. I get jealous of the moms that get to stay home, I get jealous of my nanny because she gets to hang out and do fun things with my kids all day, I get frustrated that my husband doesn't make more money so I could stay home or at least hire a weekly maid to do some of my chores so I'd have more time and energy for my girls. So for me it's not all the demands and caretaking that a child requires that makes motherhood so hard, but feeling like your efforts aren't enough and no matter how much you want to take care of everything for your child and do everything that the ideal mother that society expects would, there's this thing called life that just makes it feel like it's not possible. But I always remember two things I heard once. It's not quantity but quality that matters. And someone, I think my husband actually, said that think of your child like an investment, the more effort and time you put into your investment the better your return will be. Even if I can't be at home with them, I try to make the best of the time we do get to spend together coloring, playing in the backyard, going for walks, taking family trips and adventures, and cuddling together on weekend mornings. And hopefully in the end they'll turn out to be the remarkable people I hope they'll become and they'll know and understand how much we truly love them even if it did seem at times we were too distracted with all the other things going on in life.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Meet Averiella and Nakenzi Grace

I've decided to try this after getting addicted to following my two friends mommy blogs. You can follow them here at  Life Imperfected and here at Grover's Corneras they entered motherhood this last year. I have about three years of catching up to do as my first daughter was born a little over three years ago. So even though I've had three years of practice at this mothering thing, you will see that I don't quite, okay I'm a long way, from having it figured out. I have always found motherhood an amazing journey that is way better than what you actually imagine unlike many things you imagine in life as a little girl. However, it also WAY more challenging than I also imagined too.The positives and joys without a doubt make up for all those frustrating moments we all experience as parents. There really is no experience like it. It so true what they say about how it's a love like you've never known. It amazes me how as a parent you can just be entertained by just simply watching them, how a hug or smile from them can make brighten your day. All your hopes and dreams now are on their future and well being. They become your world, your center, your everything.

My first daughter, Averiella, was like the perfect baby. She slept five hours straight by like the third night and was up to seven, eight hour stretches within a month. She hardly fussed. She was always so happy and content. I'm sure I had to have those moments with her that I thought man this is hard or I was frustrated. I guess those memories disappeared with time. The years following her first year stand out a little more in my mind. The girl is quite the character. Anyone that knows her or has even heard my "Averi" stories know the girl is afraid of nothing, is a daredevil, never met a stranger and will be your best friend, is quite the little actress, and has to be full of more energy than the typical three year old. She NEVER sleeps. We're lucky if she finally falls asleep by ten when we go to bed and if she starts to fall asleep even for a five minute nap we try to wake her up because all she needs is a little power nap and she's refueled for an endless amount of time and takes even longer to get to sleep.

On her second birthday, we found out we were expecting what would become our second daughter, Nakenzi Grace. I found my pregnancy with her so much less enjoyable. I was starting to suspect that I was suffering from so sort of depression before I got pregnant and unfortunately it continued for most of my pregnancy with her. Once she was here, and she was the complete opposite of her sister. I would frequently wonder if she was so unhappy as a newborn because I wasn't very happy when I was pregnant with her. I wondered if my slight disappointment that she was another girl someone made her an unhappy baby. I kept comparing her to Averi and I kept telling myself we can't do that. I kept saying the whole time I was pregnant that I was so excited Averi would get to experience the special bond of a sister as I grew up with two sisters that are now my best friends, but I didn't want one to feel like they were constantly getting compared to another or didn't feel like she measured up to her sister in some way. People bragged on Averi all the time from how pretty she is to her great personality to how smart and noticeably athletic she already was. As a teacher, I saw too many siblings with this Gene/Finny complex kind of relationship and I didn't want that for my daughters. But I was the first offender in constantly comparing them.

But I feel like I am getting better at seeing how they are each special in their own way. At first I was disappointed Kenzi didn't look like Averi. But now I see them each beautiful in their own way. I have my brown eyed and my green eyed princess (hopefully Kenzi's eyes continue to stay blue). Averi's my risk taker and I think Kenzi will be my more cautious one like me. Averi has a loud, noticeable personality and loves attention, and I think Kenzi will be more the one to accomplish things in quieter way. They're both going to be great in their own way and I just need to sit back and give them a chance to each become their own person. Anyway, those are my two, sweet baby girls. Next time, I'll share the craziness that come with being a working mom of two young girls.