Monday, August 19, 2013

Pressure cooker

Here we are in the last days of summer! There are still so many things I want to do with the kids and I am feeling anxious about Ben starting preschool five days a week. I keep thinking - these are the last days I will have to spend time with BOTH of my children. Which is, of course, ridiculous and not the slightest bit true - because we will still have every afternoon together.

In addition to time slipping right on by me, our funds appear to be going the same way. We had an AC leak this summer that led to exorbitant electric bills and an increase in our expenses. Also, I quit my job which eliminated that additional income (a pittance, but still...). So, I am continuing to check and recheck our  budget to try to find ways to eliminate additional expenses - staying home more, cooking rather than eating out, renting movies instead of downloading them, etc.

Of course, this is the time of year for spending. A's birthday is on the horizon, as well as the hubs milestone birthday, multiple in-law birthdays and (of course) Christmastime. However, my children want for next to nothing so I am hoping this will give us a chance to experience a leaner holiday season and hopefully help them to truly appreciate what they receive rather than being so overwhelmed by everything they get that they never play with any of it.

Recently, I've been debating getting another job. I think I am a person who does well with structure. As much as I would hate the additional demands on my time, we could definitely use the money. And the longer I go with out working, the more anxious I become that I will never be able to fully return to it. Of course, these thoughts are always followed by the subsequent guilt of "the kids will only be little for so long" and "If I work, I might miss out on so many important things" and "I should at least wait until BOTH kids are in school before finding a job" etc. It's the old familiar pull between work and family that I know we all have. Well, those of us with the XX chromosome at least! I am not sure men feel this conflict as acutely and I don't know that I will ever fully understand why. Whether it's societal or social or whatever, there is always this anxiety around making sure that I can catch every moment and milestone with the kids and still feel like I am not falling behind in my professional life. It's an impossible decision to make but one that we all must grapple with eventually and sometimes over and over and over.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

A Nap Treaty

One of the members of this household has given up napping. And it's not me. We have discovered recently that when Ben naps, he doesn't want to go to bed at night. He can stay up as late as 9:00-10:00 on a nap day but will go to bed by 7:30-8:00 if he skips his nap. I knew this day would be coming, I just didn't know when. I guess by all accounts, I should count my blessings as Ben is 4+ years old and many of my friends have reported letting go of nap time as early as 2 or 3. So, we are practicing quiet play. I get to write and indulge in my new favorite show - Call the Midwife - and he gets to play in his room with his hero toys, his tag reader and his leap pad. It is a learning experience for all as he continues to want to come out of his room to "ask questions" or for other various reasons. I am hopeful that after a few weeks of practice, he will be able to entertain himself for a minimum of an hour without interruption.

Meanwhile, the lack of downtime has caused me to struggle with finding time for myself and things I would like to be doing. Blogging is at the top of the list, obviously, but so are a lot of other things. I have many projects around the house that I would like to accomplish this summer - organizing my cabinets and rearranging my kitchen, purging the playroom (and the house in general) of detritus before our garage sale, rearranging furniture, painting multiple rooms, etc.

I have also really been wanting to spend more time in spiritual study. We have recently been having some struggles with our church and it has caused me to feel very disconnected from the Lord at a time in my life when I feel like I need more of Him in my life rather than less. I find myself feeling lost and detached during a time that we are struggling with the impending loss of a family member and my own medical issues. Times that I would ordinarily turn to bible study or worship on Sundays and find that I currently have neither. Our church has recently elected a new Senior Pastor and while I found him to be very engaging at first blush - that blush has worn off. He is what some would call a "visionary" and others might describe as "micromanaging". As a church employee, I was struggling to manage the needs of my family and balance the demands of my job and I was finding it difficult to adapt to all of the changes in the church. So, I resigned a few weeks ago. I was sad to go but I knew it was the right time for me to return to being a parishioner rather than an employee. I was hoping to get back to a place where I could enjoy worship, but unfortunately, the church politics is starting to make that difficult. Such that my husband and I have started considering another church. This is a very difficult decision for our family as we have many friends in  our church and have always thought of it as home, but have continued to feel marginalized by many of the recent changes. We are continuing to pray about it. The hubs (who was raised in a more conservative setting) is excited to try a new church and continues to point out that it can't hurt, it can only help. If we go to a church and love it - then we know we need to consider changing, and if we don't - then we know we are blessed to be where we are and will maybe feel a renewed connection to our own church. I won't deny he has a certain logic but I am still on the fence. In the meanwhile, I am going to continue to forage my own spiritual connections by setting aside time for personal bible study. I am currently reading "Real Moms Real Jesus" by Jill Savage and following along with the bible scripture as well as trying to keep up with my prayer journals as best I can.

In addition to all this - I have started a couch to 5K program. At the beginning of this year, the hubs and I entered a "biggest loser" contest with some friends in my mom's group. And at the end of the 90 days - he placed 1st and I placed 3rd! I ended up losing like 25 lbs which was great! I was also really focused on working out and eating better. However, once the contest ended, my weight loss stagnated. I even gained back a couple of lbs. I have found that I seem to do better when I have a goal, so I saw an ad in town for a free couch to 5k program and I signed up! We have scheduled runs 2x weekly and we have to work out on our own in between. My thinking when I started this was that I was going to "learn to love" running. Three weeks in, I must confess that may have been an error in judgement. I think I hate running. I am not sure that I will ever love it like I had hoped. But, I am determined to complete the program and run the race, just to prove that I can do it. After that, I have decided that I NEVER have to run again if I don't want to. There is a tiny piece of me that still hopes that by the time I hit mid-July, I will be a super awesome runner and will somehow automatically love it, but I am doubtful. I am learning to be okay with that. If I finish the summer and determine that I am not a runner, that's okay with me because at least I know I gave it a shot and I didn't quit. Sorry to get all "after school special" over here! On that note, I better get to those midwives before I miss my chance to get my Netflix fix.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Long Time

I haven't blogged in almost a year. I have no big reason for this. There was no life event that caused me to stop posting and, likewise, no similar event that caused me to return to it other than the realization that I feel better when I am writing. That and the fact that I like going back over past entries and remember various events that might otherwise be forgotten. I am regretful that I have missed that opportunity this passed year. We have had so many wonderful experiences that did not get documented as I would've liked.

Alex's first trip to Savannah

Ben's 2nd year of Preschool

Halloween with Cinderella and Iron Man

Alex's 1st Birthday!

Our Family's first trip to Disneyland!

So many important things and probably so many more that went unnoticed, unobserved. I can't promise that I will blog every day or that I will be able to record every milestone but I have decided to try harder. To carve out time for myself to write about whatever is happening or nothing at all.