Tuesday, April 26, 2011

KidBlog - When I Grow Up (2011/4/25)

What do you want to be when you grow up?

David says:
"I want to be a helicopter pilot."

Dani says:
"I want to be a princess."

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Sunshine & Disappointments

Yesterday was a perfect spring day. After several mornings of rainy, snowy, cold weather, we woke up to sunshine and mid-50s. It was clear we needed to make the most of it, especially being Earth Day. After running a few errands, we filled the day with outdoor activities, appreciating everything the environment had to offer us. Sticks and rocks and dirt are nature's toys, and the children had a blast creating stories around everything they could find on the ground. Other than my morning step aerobics, the TV remained off and there was a strict no-Wii policy in place. We followed our perfect day with an evening round of front yard soccer and some food cooked on the grill. It was joyous and what we needed after a bit of a stressful week. We all went to bed tired, feeling confident in what had been accomplished.

Today has been a completely different day, filled with unstable weather and a bit of a downing mood. Yesterday morning left us hopeful for a great day, but today has been dark and cold, with a few surprising disappointments. Even the optimist in me is striking out at every turn. It's unfortunate when holidays come with heartbreak and the best laid plans don't happen as expected. The children feel the effects, as well, and as a parent, it becomes difficult to keep them upbeat. In addition to looming questions, this Easter weekend has my family split in two, with my husband and son on a road trip, and my daughter and I home alone. We also received a phone call bringing bad news regarding a summer vacation we've enjoyed for the past 7 years. It's hard to get past all that and still feel hopeful, even with my inner optimist chiming, telling me otherwise. All I can really do, today, is remind myself that tomorrow is another day.

Yesterday was a great day.

Tomorrow could be a great day.

Tomorrow IS another day.

No matter how much you try to make a day a good day, some days are just bad days. That's just the way it is. Tomorrow is another day.

And, at the very last moment of this blog, fate stepped in with a little sunshine. It didn't stay for very long, but it was there. :-)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Dani Sings the Snow Day Blues

This video is from a couple mos ago, but with all our crazy weather, I thought it fitting to repost.

Dani's song goes like this, "It snowed...and then, it melted...and then, it snowed, again..."

The End is Near

I realized, this morning, that about 5 weeks from now, my youngest, Dani will be done with Preschool. David will follow 2 weeks later, from Kindergarten and we will be in to summer vacation. Looking outside at the snow coming down, it doesn't seem likely summer will be here anytime soon. But, there it is, on the calendar, circled and labeled.

Just like with every year in Vermont, the seasons are sneaking up on me. Though I am entitled to complain when it doesn't work in my favor, I secretly kind of like the surprise of it all. It doesn't matter what weather is thrown at us on any given day. Tomorrow could be completely different. There's always that glimmer of hope that the next day will bring something new. Seasons, up here, come and go at will. They don't gradually make an entrance. They shoot in, loudly announcing their arrival, and then, shoot out again with a giggle. I like to think of it as a game of whack-a-mole. Sometimes, if you're lucky, you plan it just right and hit the best of the day. Other times, you hit an empty hole. It makes it really hard to schedule things, but at the same time, surrounds me with that eclectic feel I love. We get the chance to experience what every season has to offer and have learned to appreciate the sunny days, something those that live in constantly mild weather would have a hard time understanding. Even the plants in my yard know the pattern. They don't come on a set day. They just pop up at the 1st opportunity and I'll look out my window to see a garden full of flowers where there was just a pile of snow. No matter what doubts I have in my mind about the seasons, they will be here, eventually. Soon, after weeks of cold, crummy weather, I'll wake up to sunshine and 70s, and a new hope for the season to come.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Mud Season Blues

After yesterday's beautiful weather, we are once again stuck inside a la mud season style. Days like this bring out contradictory feelings of both dread and wishful hoping for more sunny days to come. While yesterday's indoor tasks faltered, rainy days like today pull me back in, forcing me to play catch-up with the week's laundry, vacuuming, etc. While it's a wonderful opportunity for cleaning, it's tough to get over the darkness outside, especially with 2 active children in the house. Everything takes just a little bit longer, with the inevitable "I'm bored" and "there's nothing to do in the house." It doesn't matter how many toys are sitting idle on the shelves, they are just not enough to fill the empty void left by dark looming clouds, overhead. I'm constantly having to pause and use whatever creativity I have left in my head, to gain 10 more minutes of concentration. I've learned to accept, on days like this, that I will not always finish what I start. The goal is to not give up or give in to the temptation to say, "screw it all" and plop down on the couch, in front of the tv. It's a battle of wills, stopping and starting, trying to squeeze in 1 more task, before someone realizes I'm not paying enough attention to them. Even the cats are extra snugly, rubbing my legs, trying to distract me from what I've set out to do. All I can do is turn up the lights, crank the tunes, and set the example that today will be a glorious day.

Monday, April 18, 2011

KidBlog - When I Grow Up (2011/4/18)

Since this seems to change weekly, I thought it would be fun to keep track of the kids' answers to the question, "what do you want to be when you grow up?"

For the week of 4/18/11:

David says:
"When I grow up, I want to be a pilot. I want to fly a plane that can land on water and has 2 seats, so someone can fly with me."

Dani says:
"When I grow up, I want to be a princess."

Starting Over

After the initial shock of losing about 5 yrs worth of blog posts, thanks to Google, I'm now looking at this as a wonderful opportunity to start over. Those early blogs were a lot about my trials in dealing with a high-needs baby, a surprise 2nd pregnancy, and a f/t job that made me miserable. This was my place to get it all out and it was helpful, at that time; My quiet, unshared space to vent, without judgment. But, those days are in the past, and I'm at a different place in my life, right now. My children are 5 & 6, and I've been a stay-at-home mom for the past 2 yrs. It's time to take this blog in a new direction and make it something that fits my life at present.

Where I am, right now, is living day by day, planning my next moves around what is most beneficial to the needs of my family. I feel I owe it to my children to give them the best of myself, right now. Life has taught me that you cannot predict what is coming around the corner, no matter how hard you try. You can simply hold on to your children when you can and trust that when the time comes, you've given them everything they need to survive on their own in the world. There's no simple remedy or plan for that; I just make it up as I go and hope I've done right by them. I figure no matter how badly I screw up, if at the end of day, they know without a shadow of a doubt that they're loved, I've done what I set out to do. When all else fails, hug them, hold them, and tell them I will always be here for them. There is no real manual for being a parent, though many have tried to write one.

I am looking forward to seeing where this crazy ride will take me. With the children now older, I've been trying to expand outward and take on some new challenges. I've already added some volunteer work to my schedule and awakened my creative side, which got a bit lost in the stress of trying to juggle work and 2 young children. I'd forgotten how much I love art and crocheting and music. I've even dusted off the piano and pulled out some sheet music I'd been meaning to learn. I may decide to offer lessons or I may just work on my own skills. There are so many opportunities, right now, to improve oneself. While some see the now as an economic struggle, I'm looking at it as a push to spend time over money. I mean, how much stuff do we really need? Having little money for that "stuff" has opened my eyes and shown me just how much I allowed myself to get bogged down in it. It's amazing what happens when decluttering begins. The best things in life really are free and there are times when fate has to step in and force you in the right direction. If it weren't for two RIFs, I would never have left my job and most likely, never have had this wonderful opportunity to spend time with my children, before they get too old to appreciate it. I've learned so much in the past 2 yrs and know there is still so much more. It may be a crazy ride, but I'm not looking to get off it, just yet.