Tuesday, August 31, 2010

hi, my name is..........

yep, let me introduce myself... :)
i feel like it's been eons since i last posted...too long...
but if you're reading, you probably already know who i am anyway, so i won't waste my time with the formalities! :)

but, with a HUGE smile on my face, i can tell you that i'm HOME and here to stay for awhile... :) my trip to PA was good...definitely some QT time with "be-bot" and "be-bot" (what K calls my mom and dad :)) i LOVED spending time with my mom and K...we always had a good time... :) we did a little shopping, visited some old neighbors, played outside A LOT, went for several walks, fed the ducks, went to a big playground, visited the dog park...it was a full but relaxing time! the weather was beautiful...and we just loved every bit of it!
i'll be posting pictures and a little bit more detail about our little excursions now that i'm HOME and have access to the internet... :)

admittedly, i was ready to come home...i missed it...and Ry...and it was good to be back. my mom came back with K and me, and then my dad headed down a few days later to visit and then the "be-bots" headed back home to PA... i think i had some serious empty nest feelings without my mom being around...we spent almost 3 weeks together! i would love for them to move down here so that we could do lots of things together all the time...

"be-bot" grandpa wanted to get K a swing set while he was here...so we shopped for that one day. that was a fun experience...and boy, they have ALL sorts of things that you can put on a swing set these days...a step up from the metal a-frame wonders that we used to play with in the 80s! :) hehe :) we ended up getting our swing set at Lowe's, and we're waiting for a few parts to come in before we hear from the installer... it will be wonderful to play on the new "wee" (slide) and swings as the season turns from summer to fall... :) and, with our track record for injuries, we'll be doing a lot of praying and eagle eyeing to make sure K stays SAFE on her new swing set!

as we get back into the swing of a normal work schedule and the "normal" life, i will be better about posting... i need to get back into posting meal plans and things of that sort, too! :) i feel like i have about 40 posts that need to be put up...swimming around in my head... but, for now, it's time for dinner... so, i best sign off and say that it's good to be back... :)

oh, and happy September... :) (which translates into cooler weather, i hope!)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Raising Children

i saw this on another blog recently... i love the message... :) i thought i'd share it with my other faithful bloggers... :) i think, sometimes, we need a reminder...
enjoy :)

Raising Children
by Anna Quindlen, Newsweek Columnist and Author

All my babies are gone now. I say this not in sorrow but in disbelief.

I take great satisfaction in what I have today: three almost-adults, two taller than I am, one closing in fast.Three people who read the same books I do and have learned not to be afraid of disagreeing with me in their opinion of them, who sometimes tell vulgar jokes that make me laugh until I choke and cry, who need razor blades and shower gel and privacy, who want to keep their doors closed more than I like.

Who, miraculously, go to the bathroom, zip up their jackets and move food from plate to mouth all by themselves. Like the trick soap I bought for the bathroom with a rubber ducky at its center, the baby is buried deep within each, barely discernible except through the unreliable haze of the past.

Everything in all the books I once poured over is finished for me now. Penelope Leach., T. Berry Brazelton., Dr. Spock. The ones on sibling rivalry and sleeping through the night and early-childhood education, all grown obsolete. Along with Goodnight Moon, and Where the Wild Things Are, they are battered, spotted, well used. But I suspect that if you flipped the pages, dust would rise like memories. What those books taught me, and finally what the women on the playground, and the well-meaning relations -- well what they taught me was that they couldn't really teach me very much at all.

Raising children is presented at first as a true-false test, then becomes multiple choice, until finally, far along, you realize that it is an endless essay. No one knows anything.

One child responds well to positive reinforcement, another can be managed only with a stern voice and a timeout. One child is toilet trained at 3, his sibling at 2.

When my first child was born, parents were told to put baby to bed on his belly so that he would not choke on his own spit-up. By the time my last arrived, babies were put down on their backs because of research on sudden infant death syndrome.

To a new parent this ever-shifting certainty is terrifying, and then soothing. Eventually you must learn to trust yourself. Eventually the research will follow.

I remember 15 years ago pouring over one of Dr. Brazelton's wonderful books on child development, in which he describes three different sorts of infants: average, quiet, and active. I was looking for a sub-quiet codicil for an 18-month old who did not walk. Was there something wrong with his fat little legs? Was there something wrong with his tiny little mind? Was he developmentally delayed, physically challenged? Was I insane? Last year he went to China. Next year he goes to college. He can talk just fine. He can walk, too.

Every part of raising children is humbling, too. Believe me, mistakes were made.They have all been enshrined in the "Remember-When-Mom-Did " Hall of Fame.The outbursts, the temper tantrums, the bad language, mine, not theirs.The times the baby fell off the bed.The times I arrived late for preschool pickup.The nightmare sleepover. The horrible summer camp.The day when the youngest came barreling out of the classroom with a 98 on her geography test, and I responded, "What did you get wrong?" (She insisted I include that.) The time I ordered food at the McDonald's drive-through speaker and then drove away without picking it up from the window. (They all insisted I include that.) I did not allow them to watch the Simpsons for the first two seasons. What was I thinking?

But the biggest mistake I made is the one that most of us make while doing this. I did not live in the moment enough. This is particularly clear now that the moment is gone, captured only in photographs. There is one picture of the three of them, sitting in the grass on a quilt in the shadow of the swing set on a summer day, ages 6, 4 and 1.

And I wish I could remember what we ate, and what we talked about, and how they sounded, and how they looked when they slept that night.

I wish I had not been in such a hurry to get on to the next thing: dinner, bath, book, bed. I wish I had treasured the doing a little more and the getting it done a little less.

Even today I'm not sure what worked and what didn't, what was me and what was simply life. When they were very small, I suppose I thought someday they would become who they were because of what I'd done. Now I suspect they simply grew into their true selves because they demanded in a thousand ways that I back off and let them be. The books said to be relaxed and I was often tense, matter-of-fact and I was sometimes over the top.

And look how it all turned out. I wound up with the three people I like best in the world who have done more than anyone to excavate my essential humanity.

That's what the books never told me. I was bound and determined to learn from the experts. It just took me awhile to figure out who the experts were.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

the van is in the driveway and is in park...

i'm pleased to say that we'll be home for a little over a week now... we have traveled close to 2000 miles in the last 20plus days...
quite frankly, i don't care if my rear end sees the grey fabric of our van seat for weeks...months...years, even!
in a little over a week, K and i will be heading to PA to spend a week or so with my parents while Ry stays home and starts his "pre-school" week... it's hard to believe that, on the 18th, a bunch of high schoolers will be gracing his classroom again... no, he's not smiling about that, in case you're wondering... i really can't blame him, though...
i think summer goes way too fast...
in the meantime, when i can get my energies and motivation working together, i will download pictures and relive our trips and experiences here... :)
until then, i hope everyone is enjoying this FIRST day of August... :) (geez, i can't believe it's august already!) :)