Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Quiet

Silence. That elusive and intoxicating lack of sound. The moments a mother has to herself when the sound of her children sleeping takes place of the daily bustle and grind...

I lay awake tonight, unable to sleep and fully aware that in 6 hours, my world will be chaotic again. I will be unable to sit on the sofa without a child in my head. I will be unable to use the bathroom without a frighteningly captive audience. I will not know how to talk, but only how to respond to incessant whining. But asking with that, the hugs and kisses and cuddles and smiles and laughter and joy and love and genuine goodness.

Sleep is overrated. But silence is not. Without these moments alone, my husband snoring gently beside me, my girls asleep upstairs, I would not have the time I need to recharge and find the peace within myself that I desperately need to keep up with my insane children. 

What nobody tells you when you are expecting a new baby is that motherhood is both the best and most exhausting job you'll ever undertake. Sure, I spend 40+ hours with teenagers 9 months out of the year. I attend inservices and trainings and extra duties throughout the whole year. That's exhausting. But add to that the constant needs of your own household, and the exhaustion is tenfold. It burrows into your soul and feeds on every hope you have of being a good parent. The thing is, though, that because you get up each morning and feed the kids and dress then, you shuffle of to Kindergarten and daycare and then the commute to work where you then shuffle through the needs of a hundred other children, you come home again, feed and bathe your kids and read them as bedtime story and then realize you've forgotten to eat, because of this you are already a great parent. 

You were present today in what your child needed. Some days I just need someone to remind me of that.

So, Natalie finished Kindergarten last week and also had her tonsils out.  She's a first grader now and so far from my tiny baby girl. She still cuddles, though. Sometimes too much, because I find it hard to breathe worthy an elbow in my throat!  Caitlin has one more year before Kindergarten, and then she's off as well, running to activities and wearing me out even more.  But because I'm here, it's enough. 

Tonight, I enjoy the silence. Tomorrow, we play!

Monday, February 16, 2015

Teamwork

What a fabulous day.  We opened board games, spread all four of them around the floor, and then covered them with blankets.  We terrorized the cat.  We watched 4,000 episodes of Pororo because Netflix wouldn't load the Disney movies.  I wrote.  I planned some strategies for my future as a writer.  I decided to crack down and make it work, for the sake of my children and my sanity.  
Caitlin "helped."  By helped, I mean singlehandedly tore apart the house, destroyed some jewelry, cut her and her sister's hair, and spilled milk on her dress...  Yup. That's help.
For every web page I updated, and link I clicked, Caitlin destroyed one more item in my house.  I make it seem way worse than it actually is, but when I cleaned twice yesterday and once today, it really is a national disaster of EPIC proportions.  That, and I am working on becoming a master of hyperbole.  After all, what good is life with children if you can't embellish it a little bit?

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Polka Dots

Polka dots. Something every little girl loves. Something fun and carefree. Except when on your skin for reasons you don't understand.  Caitlin is a beautiful girl who has such a wonderful outlook on life. For nearly 6 weeks now, she's had itchy, flaky, crusty polka dots. She continues to smile and show off her personality while recovering from gianetti crosti syndrome. Her body attacked itself after having a virus, yet she smiles.  Reason 1233736442828 for loving her so much.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mommyhood

There comes a time in our lives when we wake up and realize that we aren't just a single individual anymore.  We are a wife, a mother, a teacher, a daughter, sister, friend ... but the signs of life as just "me" are hidden deep in the world of other responsibilities.
I know I'm not the first person to talk about it, and I won't be the last. I have discovered for myself, though, the importance of not letting go of my needs as Sarah.  I can't help my family if I neglect myself. 
So, I've taken charge and finally decided that it is time to get healthy.  I started about six weeks ago.  311.6 pounds.  I couldn't fit into the clothes I loved (even though there weren't very many. ..) and people around me who I never thought would lose weight were posting their success for the world to see. 
I wondered why they could do it but I couldn't.  The answer was simple, though.  I could.  The only thing standing in my way was me.  Excuses like "I don't have time, " or "its too hard for me" made it easy to decide not to do it. 
Then, I tried. 
It has been a small rollercoaster with loss and gain,  but I'm down 9 pounds in 6 weeks.  How can that be failure? 
I look at Natalie and Caitlin and while I will never love them less if they grow up to be fat,  I hope it isn't an issue for them. I want them to see that I was successful in my own quest to be healthy.  I don't want them to lose their mom to a heart attack in 5 years just because I couldn't find the motivation to get healthy.
While I see other's success and it pushes me to do the same, our reasons are all the same, too.  We want to see our children grow older with us.  We want to chase our grandkids through the sprinkler. We want our children to know that we love them enough to be healthy. And we want them to learn about self love.  Love yourself so that you can love others better.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

This is Me.

According to the eyes and brilliant talent of my 3.5 year old, Natalie, this is me.  I think it sums things up pretty well.  I'm tall, not quite skinny, my hair is frazzled, and I'm likely trying to catch something or someone at any given moment.  I'm also a combination of many, many, MANY different emotions and "colors" right now.  You see, tomorrow is my last day of school as a first-year teacher.  My "kids" will be moving on, growing up, coming back from summer break in a few months to someone who isn't me.  My heart is breaking because this year, I gained 80 children between the ages of 15 and 18.  I'm eternally grateful for what I learned from these kids this year, but wow, I'm going to miss them!

Through all of my struggles as a first year teacher, Natalie and Caitlin have grown as well.  I have watched Caitlin learn to walk, heard Natalie construct full conversations, built a stronger relationship with my husband, and witnessed my family crumble and re-build.  I am a patchwork of a woman right now.  I crave the ability to sit and read a book, or write something other than lesson plans or data analysis.  I crave the wind in my hair as I sit beneath a tree, spilling my soul onto a piece of paper.  But I also crave the laughter of my children.  I want to sit and stare into their deep, blue eyes and see their souls.  I want to hold their hands and kiss their feet, and love them with everything I can.  

Knowing that tomorrow will be the last time I will ever see most of my students makes me want to hold onto my children that much tighter.  Natalie asks already if she can go to Kindergarten.  She wants to go to work with me, and learn about the world.  She wants to be "all growm up."  The hardest part for me is that she really is growing up so fast.  And Caitlin.  Wow.  That little girl wants to be just like her sister.  She watches Natalie intently, and laughs when she does something funny.  They share kisses and hugs, and sleep in the same bed.  They watch out for each other.  

Natalie really watches out for me, as well.  I can see the love she put into my portrait on the sidewalk, and I know that she wants to be strong and grown up.  Caitlin holds my hand at the end of the day and they put together the patchwork pieces of my heart.  Even though my life is held together by the grains of chalk, waiting for the rain to wash away any bit of stability I might know, these girls, my beautiful daughters, still see me as whole.  I love them for it.

Monday, May 20, 2013

When it Snows... Digital Story

Let it Snow!

videoIt is the first snow of the year, finally! More notably, however, it is Natalie's first real snow - the first that she noticed there were little white flakes falling from the sky. So, of course, in proper childish fashion, we bundled up at 10pm to go play in the snow!
She loved it!
A fairy princess, or rather a pink marshmallow, Natalie was so beautiful standing in the snow, in the light from the house, flakes falling gently around her. At first, she was apprehensive, she didn't know what it was. After a few handfuls thrown her way, however, she started to get the idea! She truly is my snow-baby! I can't believe it's already Christmas time again - though Thanksgiving is this Thursday, that is close enough for me! I put up the tree, garland, some lights and our stockings (which I claim to be because that wall was so bare I couldn't stand it anymore, but we all know that isn't true!) I am ready to start baking and wrapping more presents, and showing all of my favorite Christmas movies to Natalie. I'm ready to indoctrinate her with the happiness of Christmas as a child, and hoping to re-gain some of the joy for myself as well.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

What a crazy world...

I have no time to write anymore, but my life is so full, I'm not sure I can complain about not writing for a while... We now have Caitlin and Natalie keeping us running all day long, and I don't know that I had any clue parenting would be this exhausting.  I love every minute of it, and may only trade a few minutes of silence if I could... Caitlin is 15 months old and is a little firecracker! She is so smart, I'm afraid I can't keep up with her for long.  She is so remarkable!
Natalie is 3, and already knows how to add! Holy buckets!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Does the INSANITY ever end?


Don't get me wrong, motherhood is the most rewarding experience of my life so far. I love Natalie with everything I have and wouldn't trade her for anything in the world... possible exception of a Margarita night here and there. It has now, however, been confirmed for me that my mother might not be anything like a saint, but rather should have been committed to an insane asylum oh, say, 28 years ago...
My mother had me in 1983, when she was 25 years old. She then continued to have my brother in 1984 and our youngest brother in 1985. I wonder what in the world she was thinking, and then can only conclude that she wasn't. I have been pregnant a majority of the time I've been married now, and though I have an almost 2 year old and am 32 weeks pregnant with another, I think I should have been committed, too.
My husband, on the other hand, deserves a medal of honor. I cannot imagine being married to a hormonal, tired, cranky, starved wildebeast of a wife that I can sometimes be. I could blame the babies. After all, they cannot defend themselves. It's the perfect set-up. "The baby needs chocolate..." "I need to sleep so the baby can grow..." "This baby is sucking the life out of me..." Even my husband who has never been pregnant knows that's a line of, well, baby poo.
I wonder if our predecessors had the right idea, a tinge of whisky on the gums for "teething" (translation: shut up and sleep so I can) and letting the child cry itself to sleep (translation: I can't handle it anymore and its easier to tune you out.) I must admit that while the whisky trick is tempting, I'd never do it. I love Natalie too much to take that risk. I do, however, let her cry-it-out. I'm still lazy and use disposable diapers because it is infinitely easier than washing poop out of cloth. I let her have a cookie sometimes because it is easier than slicing an apple. I let her sit and watch television just so she will stop running the dog ragged for ten minutes. And, I blame most of this on her baby sister. (shhhh, don't tell anyone.)
Having felt Caitlin's movements for the past 4-5 months, I've developed an attachment to her that I really didn't get much of with Natalie just because I was so afraid to lose her. That doesn't change the fact that I'm beyond ready for her to evacuate the premises. I will hug her and hold her and feed her and change her, but I want my body back! So, in the meantime, I'll use her as an excuse. I can't mow the lawn or move the laundry around because it will hurt her...
Mostly, though, I just can't wait to meet her. Even though I know the insanity of two children running wild through my house will make me more tired and possibly less sane, I can't wait to see them smile and laugh with each other. Soon, my Natalie will not be the only baby in the house and while part of me is sad for that, I'm excited for her to learn what it means to be a big sister. She's going to be amazing and for that, I will sacrifice my sanity.

Friday, July 8, 2011


So after many many long months of not writing anything, here I am to say "HOLY COW!!!" I cannot believe how amazing Natalie is and how fast she grows and changes. She says so many things now and has even started to show more signs of independence. She puts on her own shoes, buckles her own carseat and even tries to put my shoes on for me! I don't know where the little baby went, but I now have an awesome toddler to chase around. Even less familiar to me now is energy - six months pregnant with a toddler in the heat of summer wasn't the best idea I've ever had. Natalie pokes at my belly and says "baby?" quite frequently and with how independent and helpful she is (she helped me make the bed tonight,) I know we will have no problems with her adjusting to being a big sister!
This past weekend we went back to my parents' house for the Fourth of July and (ugh) my 10 year high school reunion. She was a doll on the road and kept herself entertained really well. The only snafu we had was a period of about 2 hours when she just screamed and I didn't figure out until the 2 hours was almost through that all she wanted was her shoes off her feet... Well, live and learn I guess!
Natalie and her cousin Ze spent a lot of time running through sprinklers, playing in swimming pools, watching a parade and entertaining each other thoroughly! I was so proud of them both for how well they interacted. They shared nicely and even shared their mommies!
I am starting to realize as I wish for the next three months to fly by so I won't be pregnant anymore, that it means also that I only have three months left of time with just Natalie. It's bittersweet because I want to meet this new little one so desperately, but I cherish every second I have with Natalie. I felt so blessed to have had the entire weekend to just sit back and watch her be herself. I learned so much about her personality and her strengths and came home even more proud of the little person she is!