Saturday, August 25, 2007

Table for 4 please...

It's amazing how time flies. I feel like I refer to it so much that I should have given this blog that title. My younger son will be blowing out two candles on his birthday cake next month. I'm seeing that o so lovable "terrible two's" eeking its way into our already hectic family life. Hubs and I have decided that our family is perfect with the two babes we've got in tow and I'm delighted with the decision. However, I'd be remiss if I didn't say I had a few twinges of a third every now and again. These feelings have come more quickly recently as I watch my youngest grow and reach new independence at lighting speed.

I've always referred to my oldest as a "spirited" child. He is inquisitive and adventurous but still holds on to some caution. My youngest has been quiet and "along for the ride"....until now. For my youngest, his high chair has been a lifesaver when getting a meal prepared or even getting dishes from the sink to the dishwasher. He'd play happily, enjoy a snack or even color. The highchair is now no longer an option. This devilish little guy can crawl up into the highchair on his own. In one turn of your back you can age 10 years as you, frightened to the core, see him standing on his high chair seat. So, bye-bye high chair, hello booster seat. (with a seat belt thank goodness)

The aggravation the missing high chair has caused has allowed my heart to skip a beat and the corners of my mouth rise to make the wrinkles that smiling have developed on my round face. Last night we sat as a family around the dinner table. A Mom and Dad at either end and a child between us on either side. It was so nice. Our family of four around a dinner table, almost no whining and each participant eating their own food on their own plate. With a fork I might add. This mental picture touched me so. Have I grown to be a mother of two boys? Why does this 1950's image make me feel so validated as a mother. I have to confess, I've quickly updated this image to the 21st century as my husband actually cooked the dinner.

I secretly feel a pain as I watch my boys grow, age, learn and become independent of me. One day they will not need me in the same way and I will need them in different ways too. For now, I hope I can be in the moment, savor their childhood and help them learn to play, laugh and of course remember to wash their hands before they come to the dinner table so we can all share our adventures from the day.

This post is cross posted at Chicago Moms Blog

Click your Heels

I'm probably not the first person to discuss the storms Chicago had this past week. However, I found the storm exhilarating and exciting while also being reminiscent of the TV thriller "The Day After". I happened to be driving along the lake when the storm engulfed Chicagoland. It was eerily similar to what I thought a hurricane would be like. I drove around instant lakes, huge tree parts that littered the streets and avoided people that searched for cover and hung on to light posts so as not to blow away. The storm came in an instant and roared it's ugly head upon an unsuspecting urban oasis. I drove maneuvered, white knuckled, several miles home as I made my way through the obstacle course of the aftermath of the storm.

I arrived home to no electricity and my husband and boys who were armed with a shared flashlight under a homemade fort of sofa pillows. We didn't want to panic the kids and although we didn't have a crystal ball, we intended things would be OK and that we would make this experience an "adventure"....

The rest of this post can be found at HERE

Monday, August 13, 2007

BSM Swingin'

I suppose I'm all about archives these days. I can't believe that this is, my now, 5 1/2 year old when he was just 11 months. I love his giggle, can't you hear it? I love my husbands hand pushing...I just love this moment!

Find other Best Shot Mondays HERE

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Themed Thurs.-FLYING

I know I've posted this picture before (photo credit goes to my big brother), but It was indeed the first pic that came to mind when Tracey mentioned FLYING.

I suppose if you wanted to get even more literal, I could have used this one ~ when I traveled by myself with the boys and caught this break in an otherwise chaotic trip.

Other Themed Thursdays can be found HERE

Monday, August 6, 2007

BSM - CPA in Training

Future CPA...the little one. It's so nice to see my dad do stuff with my kids that he did with me. Growing up, I was not the best math student. My dad would often help me "check the check" at a restaurant. Here, he and my oldest found an error on the bill. Turns out the check was indeed correct but the $1.60 coffee, wasn't written down. What 5 year old doesn't love buttons - calculator.... a great thing for your restaurant bag of tricks.

Check out other Best Shot Mondays here.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

PMS & LIFE Make My Heart Hurt

Have you ever had one of those days weeks when you felt like nothing would ever go right in your world again? I'm hopefully FINISHING up that kind of week. I start a new job tomorrow and I suppose that and a healthy dose of PMS has really made me do some reflecting on my job as a mother, how I am to myself and me in general as a person. First of all, I have to laugh because I just haven't thought of ME as a person in so long. How sad. Another post topic indeed.

Well, DH had to work today. I feel the family is so disjointed when he has to work on the weekends. Today was additionally harried in that my almost 2 year old has been waking at 5am every morning for so long that I can barely function. DH leaves the house about 28 seconds before my youngest starts stirring and then immediately belting out the tears. It's almost as if it's choreographed. Every morning it's the same thing. I scoop him quickly from his bed so as not to wake my oder son. I have dreamy thoughts of snuggling with my young son in my bed as we both drift off to sleep for a couple more hours. EVERY morning I find myself getting more and more cranky as this plan never works. Somehow, in my own self deprecating disturbing way, I blame myself that he's up so early and that I must be a bad mother. My crankyness and raised voice do not help my case any. Don't ask me how I link the two but somehow I make that head trip during PMS each month. Some Visas should never be issued and I wish the governing party of PMS would stop being so generous with theirs.

The fact that it was raining cats and dogs this morning accompanied by phenomenal thunder made me;
a. not want to get out of bed
b. tell my older son that I'd take him to the movie Ratatouille.

I'm sure you aren't surprised to know that 2 hours later the sun had no cloud competition and her rays washed all over the city. Lovingly & thankfully, we met my folks for breakfast and they immediately commiserated and helped me divide and conquer with these two "curious" yet lovable little boy souls of mine.

How do you love two boys so much and feel so much strife in parenting them all at the same time. Two hot emotions that are such different ends of the spectrum. I constantly feel like I want to be "THERE" for them and yet there are so many details that have to get done. Afterall, I'm just one person . . . . who ends up doing an awful lot. How do I do less chores and still have good credit with my kids AND the bank? I'm not talking about keeping a clean kitchen. These are real life chores that must be tended to. So often I imagine playing ring around the rosie with my boys and having carefree times with them. I always find my very next emotion is devastation in that my oldest is starting kindergarten in the fall and his "at home Mommy time" is OVER. I always thought I'd be home with the kids the first 5 years of each of their lives and I feel like I've failed as a Mother because I haven't held to that. Our family needs the double income. Part of me would have died if I left the workforce for 5+ years. However, I feel that sacrificing ME has been a sacrafice that they will feel forever.

There is a family member on my husbands side that keeps a flickr account. They always make me yearn for the ability to give my children the carefree CHILDhood that this extended family is giving to their daughter. Trust me, on a single income, teacher salary they don't have millions in the bank. We aren't striving for that either. However, the choices that they have made are choices speak to their very strong sense of self. Their daughter is learning about life IN life. Getting dirty in Mother nature, exploring through a pumpkin patch or in a fantasy world of pillows and blankets. The images never have a "c'mon, we've got to get going" flavor. Instead, there is a consistent feeling of exploration and wonderment. What else could a parent ask for for their childrens growing up years? The fact that this extended family hasn't embraced our family only makes this wound sting more.

Motherhood to me was always a feeling of "filling". I'm so scared that I've created a void in them. I'm fearful that they don't feel strong in the who of who they are. I'm scared I don't have time to "fix" it. At 5 and 2 I can't tell you how close to 18 they feel. This pressure I put on myself is deafening, suffocating and yet so natural. How have I existed this way for 40 years. I'm at a cross roads and I hate that I feel like I must choose. I can't choose between me and them. They will always win. I just wish I felt stronger and more prepared as an adult to handle and help shape them into the self assured boys and men I strive for them to want to be. I'm terrified of failing. How do I BE the person, mother and wife that I've envisioned. How do I know when I get there? Is it ever too late? Does PMS exaggerate these emotions or help me to remember not to let them slide under the heart aches for my boys, for me... yet I yearn for a progress report from some all telling, unknown source to inform me that I'm on the right path no matter how my heart hurts along the way.