busy mama

It has been a busy few weeks around these parts. And when it does slow down, I am reluctant to sacrifice any free time I have to be alone with the computer. With all this warm weather has come family water play, picnics, and evening walks and bike rides.

But a few things struck me today as I rushed from one thing to the next and was mentally patting myself on the back for some calm and grace I showed while handling the boy’s particular ‘crisis’ of the moment.

When big E was born and my husband would arrive home, I would feel like the day amounted to very little. I could barely put into words what had even happened. HAD anything happened? Yes – rocking, crying, diapering, feeding, changing clothing, starting laundry, dishes, more diapering, more feeding, more crying. But those tasks just seemed like daily tasks and did not seem BIG enough to be worthy of making a day. They just seemed like the survival basics of raising a child. My husband was not concerned with what did or did not get done, even it meant folding laundry each night just to catch up with our little spitter. This helped as I sorted out my feelings about staying home and how to handle these feelings of the daily grind of being a stay-at-home parent.

Now with number two though, I have accepted that the basics is all that can be expected most days (and some days, maybe not even the basics!).  I am also learning how important those basics are too. How I serve lunch, how I handle a blow out diaper, how I get one child to sleep and calm the screaming child in the other room at (nearly) the same time, how I handle dropping my cell phone into the toilet in front of two pairs of eyes, how I express love, how I express anger – it is all important. I am raising children and they will be the adult soon enough, modeling back this behavior to me and their own children. Since I am far from perfect in how I execute my daily work, I felt I could pat myself on the back, while also making a mental note to try for that same calm and collected reaction the next day. (Where did I just hear this… Pretend like someone is videotaping you for some reality show all day long and see how your behavior changes towards your tasks. Worth a try!)

The other amazing realization today for anyone making the step from one child to two is that I feel like I get twice as much done in the same amount of time. Fancy that! I love what my friend Noelle had to say on the matter of adding more kids to the bunch: It just becomes your new normal. And it is true. It can be a rough few weeks, or months, adjusting, but it seems like it just happens because it has to happen. And children get fed, children get dressed, and mom can still get a shower and read a book in there too. It can be done!

So happy summer and happy family time! Now, time to get back to my little boys’ shenanigans…

just a bit healthier

Today, as I served myself a sweet potato for lunch, I added the necessary amount of butter (a heaping scoop, yes? maybe two?) and a large chunk of brown sugar. When I realized that the amount of brown sugar I had already scooped out was far too much and too unhealthy for my potato, I did the logical thing. I ate it. Yes, I just popped it in. My rational was that I was not eating too much sugar on my potato and this was the healthier option. Hmmm. And until now, oddly, this never seemed illogical! I guess my brain started working before the sugar could get to it today!

This is all much like adding more butter so you are eating more veggies, or making the cookies smaller so you can eat more, or the chocolate bar divied out over the course of the day in small bites, or the idea that I cannot see the sticks of butter once incorporated to a baked item therefore they do not exist.

And just when I thought all of this healthy thinking was important, my son asked what an asteroid was. In all the explanation of space matter, planets, rotations, the importance of the sun, I got the big overwhelming fear and shock of what is important and how fragile things are.  The days are like that – torn between the little details and the BIG picture. Not in an all-powerful-being kind of way, just a oh-wow kind of way. How humans actually fit into the picture, the great difference in everyone, the great similarity in everyone, how important some things feel and how important some things are. And then I feel small and out of control and a bit saddened by things happening now.

So I guess, to cheer me up, I need another bite of brown sugar, and maybe a cookie, and, oh yes, butter and sugar with a side of potato. And I feel lucky I can eat these things and think these things and write these things, though not always clearly articulating exactly what I am feeling while doing it!

reflecting on the weekend

Today was the day to upload pictures and videos and reflect on the weekend trip we took to Ohio. A lot of the trip was driving, or stopping while driving, and more driving, which was not captured (phew!). But looking over the highlights, I am feeling good about our trip. We visited with family, took an animal safari (yes, in Ohio!), hunted for fossils, ate great meals, and brought home some free garden-fresh vegetables. The boys played with cousins, aunts, and uncles, read books with grandparents, and had a lot of outdoor playtime.  Plus, we have great new family pictures with everyone in them!