Tuesday, September 28, 2010

We Made It Through

The anniversary of my Dad's passing was on Sept. 25. I wasn't sure how this year would be since we decided to go away. I didn't know if it would help make it easier or if it would actually be harder. I knew we wouldn't forget and that wasn't my intent. I just wanted to get us out of the habit of moping, being sad, and me being angry. It definitely helped a great deal. We still talked about him, we still remembered what it was like years ago, but having the distraction really was nice--for me at least. I was able to enjoy my time with the boys rather than getting frustrated with everything going on around me and I think we will continue this tradition. It may not be the beach every year, but doing something fun and enjoyable was much nicer than what it's been like in the past. To honor him, we dressed the boys in bibs (what my dad wore all the time), went out to dinner and toasted him--me with a Michelob Ultra (not quite a Michelob Light, my Dad's drink of choice, but close enough). The only thing that would have made the trip better was if my husband and sister and her family were there.

Dad--we made it. It's still not easy, but I hope you were proud of us this year.
Dad with Troy
A siggy made for me by Linz

Monday, September 27, 2010

Through a Child's Eyes

One of the coolest things about being a parent is getting to experience life all over again. There are so many things we overlook, ignore, basically, we just don't truly even notice anymore. However, when a child comes along, we go back to really paying attention and noticing how wonderful and exciting things can be, no matter how simple. I experienced this a lot this past weekend since I took the boys to the beach with my mom and a couple family friends. Troy had been before, but it had been awhile so it was like his first time all over again and of course it was Will's first time. It was amazing to watch and see them explore and figure things out. Troy didn't take long and was very fascinated with the water, shells, sand....Will was a little hesitant at first, but by the end of Saturday, he was the same. I felt like a kid again squealing when we found things, pointing simple things out--surfers, pelicans, dolphins or whatever, and it made me realize how much I had overlooked for so many years. Then, we went to the Aquarium. I was very excited about this because I just knew the boys would love it, especially Will, since he's obsessed with all things fish. I was definitely not disappointed. Both boys were in awe and excited and loved every exhibit they had. I felt like a little kid watching with them and cannot wait to go back!

Will walked into an exhibit that was basically a tunnel of fish. He was awestruckThis one says it all to me

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Silly Lessons

When you become a parent, you are always asked about what you have learned or how you have changed. There are so many standard answers because they are true--you learn that you have so much love that you feel like you could burst, you learn that your life now belongs to your children, you learn how to function on little sleep......These are huge life lessons for any parent, but there are many things you learn that seem a bit silly, yet, when you talk with non parents--well, they just don't understand.
1) I know so much about the Wiggles--who wears which color, words to the songs, the dances....
2) I know most of the names to the Thomas the Train engines
3) There are many books I can recite from memory--Goodnight Moon, Green Eggs and Ham, most of Eric Carle's....
4) I now know the difference between a grader, scraper, track excavator and bull dozer (this is probably the most important to my boys)
5) I have learned how to do the all important Cookie Monster voice since Will loves for Cookie Monster to brush his teeth (Cowabunga!). I have yet to master Grover, unfortunately, much to Troy's dismay.
6) I have learned that PBS has awesome cartoons, however kids don't care about repeats so I get to see the same Sesame Street episodes every week. (I mean, really, can't you show more that the 4 I see???)
7) Whenever you take your children alone out to eat. One of them will need to go to the restroom right after the food gets there or right after your youngest is FINALLY happy. So I have finally learned to make Troy try before we even sit down.
8) Another very important one--the food on your plate is ALWAYS better even if they have the same on their plate
9) This is one that took me a while but I finally get it--if you want your child to start playing with a toy, just pretend you are finally getting rid of it and it will become their favorite.
and lastly (although there are TONS more)
10) No place will ever be as fun as Granny's. Period.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Can Feel It Happening

I have mentioned this MANY times but I feel inclined to talk about it again. The anniversary of my dad's passing is coming up :( This year, I swore things would be different. I was NOT going to get angry. I was NOT going to get sad. I was going to laugh and remember good things. I was going to take the boys and my mom to the beach so we wouldn't sit around and mope. I was finally going to handle the anniversary of his death the way that he would rather me do it. However, I can feel it happening all over again. I feel the anger and frustration building inside me. I remember all to well going to the hospital, seeing him those final days and I get angry. Sad is more like it, but unfortunately to all around me, I handle sadness by getting angry, having the patience of a gnat, and being generally unpleasant to be around. I don't cry much around others, so when I start to feel sad, I snap instead. It drives me nuts, yet I feel like I have no control over it. I know I need to change it because I can see a change in Troy this week. I was telling Mom how Troy's had a rough week and I didn't understand why. I get it now. The more frustrated and angry I feel, the more he feeds off me and we just are not a good match :( I am getting away Saturday for a much needed night with friends and I am hoping it helps. I am still taking the boys to the beach and Mom and a couple friends are coming and I am hoping that rather than being sad and moping, we can laugh and reminisce about the fun things. To anyone who I come in contact with however--I apologize in advance if I seem a tad snippy. I am trying, I really am.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I May Just SAH...

Suddenly I am finding myself very busy. I always tell people "I am just a stay at home Mom so I have plenty of time and flexibility." Yes, this is true in a way, however, I keep adding stuff to my plate and am realizing that although I don't work, I don't JUST stay at home either. I do have a lot more free time than my working mom friends and family. Yes, I do have more flexibility, but I think I have to stop saying "JUST a stay at home mom". At this moment, I am JUST a SAHM, Sunday School chair, Communications Chair at church, a member of the PINKS--a group that plans a training program for a race that recently took place, U6 Soccer Commissioner, soccer coach and then of course, the other usual things that go with being a SAHM. You know, housekeeper, taxi driver, event planner, teacher, story teller, cook, secretary...... I am in no way saying that I have it harder than working mothers (there is no way I could ever think that after watching my sister and all that she does), but I think I have to give myself a tad more credit.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Show and Tell

We had a great weekend and lots of fun at a local event that features tractors and steam engines from years ago. They do demonstrations and drive them around so it's pretty cool to watch. I am not HUGE into it, but my cousins are really big into it and I just love seeing them since we don't see them often. But my boys and husband--it was just so much excitement for them. The boys were just in awe of everything going on around them and Jay was pretty much in heaven.

And the highlight? The "Corn Box" lol

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Is it possible?

As a parent, we try very hard to raise our children to be nice, polite, well behaved little angels. Very rarely does it actually happen but it does. We teach them to share, be considerate, take turns, use nice words, say thank you and please....But is it possible that a child can become TOO nice? I am noticing that Troy is always the child that gives in, gives up his turn, follows others even when he REALLY wants to do something else, and I just wonder if maybe I need to teach him it's okay to say no (to others, not me of course). Sometimes it just makes me so proud to see that he's willing to give something up to make someone happy. For example, my mom has 2 huge frisbees that all the kids like to play with. Troy had one and Will had another, but my nephew wanted one. He started throwing the typical 2 year old tantrum and nothing worked. Troy went over and gave him his frisbee and found something else to play with. It was the sweetest thing to see and all the kids were just happy. But other times, this actually makes it harder to teach Will (who's really showing his temper lately) because he'll get mad when he doesn't get his way and I try to teach him to be patient, wait his turn, or whatever the lesson of the moment is and Troy will come in and give Will what he wants and everyone is happy. This is great in some ways, but in others it's not helping with Will's tantrums. Sometimes he doesn't like giving something up, but he's just so willing to do it to keep the peace that I wonder if he'll be able to be assertive when he really needs to be. I actually feel silly even questioning it because he's such a good child and so very sweet and caring (he's not perfect--he has his moments of course, but overall, I can't complain) but as my father always said--"You have to find something to worry about, don't you?" Yes, Pop, I guess I do.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Our adventure!

I went to school near Skyline Drive which means that when given the chance, off to the mountains we would go. I hiked a bit by myself, but that got me lectured by many people so I didn't go as much as I had wanted, but still got a lot of time in the mountains. There are so many choices of hikes and I did many of them and have my favorites. This is something that I have missed. Jay and I just don't take the time to go when we get the chance and we usually avoid taking the boys because there is so much more thinking/prep involved and of course, you have to worry about naps, meals, snacks, ..... so basically, we just don't go. We talk about it, but it just doesn't happen. Labor Day, we decided this should change so we pack lunches, snacks, water, jackets (just in case), the camera, and of course, the boys and take off in the AM for a beautiful day in the mountains. Of course, Troy had his own ideas. "Mom, I want to go over a smooth mountain, not a bumpy one". Um, have no idea, but sure, that's what we'll do I guess. We get there and there are just a few other people there (can you since the sarcasm--Labor Day, gorgeous weather=no parking) so we finally create a space (thank you SUV) and start our adventure. Will, being Mr. Independent, had to walk himself and step on every rock, try to throw many and tripped more than he walked. So our hike was a tad on the slow side, but we didn't care. We just loved the fact that the boys and Buffy were enjoying themselves immensely as were we. We didn't go far at all, but just watching the boys want to play down by the creek, walk and explore was enough to give us hope that our future will be filled with them wanting to try all the hikes I used to do. If there is one thing I want them to inherit from me, it's my love of being outside and exploring. So far, so good.
The hike
"Walk!" Will had to do it himself
Troy patiently waiting for little brother to catch up

Even the 13 year old deaf and almost completely blind dog (my Buffy girl) enjoyed herself

Will finally agreed to be carried

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Hope this continues

Troy just started his 2nd year of preschool. Last year at this time, there was the typical separation issues, anxiety, tears, ..... This year, he couldn't wait. He asked every day, "Am I going to school today?" When I would say no, he was so upset and would ask when he could go back. I wondered what would happen when the first day came. Would he decide he didn't really want to go? Would there be tears? Would there be nervousness? This year, he's in the same school with the same wonderful teacher, but all of his classmates are new so I was very curious how he would handle the new situation.
So what do you think?