Archive for the ‘Motherhood’ category

For Ever And Always

December 1, 2011

Last night my sweet Cooper knocked on my door about 20 minutes after bedtime.

“Mom? Can I come in?”.

“Sure… what’s up?”, I asked.

As he entered my room, I could clearly see that he was upset.

“What’s wrong Sweetie?”

He proceeded to tell me that he was really sad after reading a book. When I asked him which book had turned my brave kid into a weeping mess, it all made sense.

There is one book that I simply cannot read without blubbering like a complete baby. I can’t even TALK about the book without tearing up. For me it is such a simple representation and reflection of my love for my parents, and as a parent, my unconditional love of my children.

As I hugged and comforted him, the emotion took over me as well, partly because of the premise of the story, and partly because I saw what I already know… I have such an amazingly tender and loving boy.

If you haven’t read it, do.

COME ON!

September 19, 2011

A few weeks ago, Cooper wasn’t feeling well one afternoon, and by the time his dad picked him up in the evening, it was clear an InstaCare visit was in order.

Diagnosis: Strep.

Antibiotics for 10 days and Cooper was fine.

Of course Emma came down with a sore throat last Monday. A quick visit revealed she too has strep. This time they offered Emma a shot as opposed to just oral meds, which I had never even heard was an option before. It hurt like hell (her, not me), but she was a real trooper and didn’t cry. The doctor and nurses were shocked that she opted for the more painful yet more worry free method, and I was proud of her bravery.

Saturday Cooper said he was not feeling well. His throat hurt and I could tell by feeling his forehead that he had a fever. He was also wanting to lay down and rest, which is not like him. UGH! He had only been off his meds for 4 days!

After my SaharaCares duties, I took him over to the InstaCare (aka, our new home).

Diagnosis: STREP. AGAIN!

This time Cooper opted for the shot as well. He knew Emma had done it, and he is not one to be outdone. He was totally brave, and didn’t even whimper! Again, the nurses told me how it is their least favorite shot to give because it’s the most painful injection both during and after it’s given. Cooper is walking with a little bit of a limp today. Poor kid… I love him!

The doctor recommended that we talk to an ENT to discuss the possibility of getting his tonsils out. YUCK! I’m just hoping he can go a whole week this time without another dr visit, and that the rest of the family escapes the twins fate.

I’m Not Dead. Yet.

September 17, 2011

I’m still alive, in spite of my dwindling posts as of late.

There are two main reasons I’ve been staying away, and they both happen to do with work.

I’m still nursing my two real estate deals along, but it looks like there might actually be an end in sight… someday. Not only are these two simultaneously going on, but I’ve had various issues along the way. That is not uncommon in real estate, and the good thing about being in this profession is that even after years, you still learn something new from every transaction.

The agent stuff has kept me busy, but the real time murderer is my new job. And after a few teases here and there, I’m taking this time, at 7:30 am on a Saturday morning, which is about first second I’ve had to catch my breath these days, to tell you about it.

I am working for a property management company whose home base is located just below  Solitude Ski Resort. I’m working at the office 3 days per week, and I while I’m sure my tune will change once snow hits, I couldn’t ask for a more beautiful place to go to. Here is what I get to see when I look out the window at my place of employment.

The leaves are just starting to change, and for now, the 30 minute drive isn’t too bad.

The other part of this job is more of an “on call” thing that I am able to do from home.

I’ve been “training” for the past month, and getting various details worked out definitely took longer than expected. But I’m now up and running, and feel like I have a pretty good grasp on things. There is still a lot to learn, but as the season gets into swing, I have no doubt I’ll be baptized by fire. The great thing about it is that I actually am enjoying the job. Not only are the hours ideal (the majority of the hours are when my kids are in school), but it being part-time makes me feel like I might actually have a chance to still have a life and be a good mom/wife AND work :).

The first “real” day on the job was INSANE for me. Actually, the past week has been a crazy one. I thought working (partially) from home would be easy. HA! I have had some days that between my two jobs I’ve put in 10-12 hours, and went to bed with a ton of stuff left to do. PLUS, I have those 5 kids that sort of need me. I think the words, “I might have a nervous breakdown soon” and “I wish that there were 30 hours in a day” might have escaped my lips at some point. Luckily things have calmed the past 3 days. Or maybe I’m finding my niche and getting into the swing of things. But now you know why I’ve been a little M.I.A.

This morning I’m sitting at a booth for the charity that I sit on the board for. Other than that, I hope to have a weekend that entails me catching up on laundry and housework, and also wiping the sweat from the brow of Mr. N while watching the HOLY WAR tonight :).

40+ Years and Still Going Strong

September 5, 2011

The rate of divorce in the United States is over 50% (it’s over 67% for 2nd marriages. OUCH!).

There are lots of theories as to why so many marriages, more than HALF, crumble. Life is quite a bit different from 50 years ago. Even 20 years ago. Money problems, stress of children, sexual dissatisfaction and infidelity are to name a few. My generation and the ones since have grown up believing that they deserve and can have everything they want. Life is incredibly fast paced compared to that of my parents.

I think that this new mind-set has a lot of amazing benefits and have opened doors that our grandparents never imagined for us, but this also comes with an attitude that threatens the sanctity of marriage. If you’re unhappy, change it. Think someone else is better for you? Go for it. Unsatisfied with your spouse? Divorce! That is a simplification of reality, but I think it fairly represents the current attitude.

As someone who has been through divorce, maybe I am no different. I am part of a statistic that is, unfortunately, the majority out there. I’m not saying that divorce is always a bad thing, or those who get divorced are simply throwing in the towel to find something better. There are so many different reasons and scenarios as to why people choose to end a marriage. Divorce is sometimes a blessing. Sometimes not. But the ever-growing rate of divorce is pretty alarming, at least to me, and I think more often than not, people are too quick to throw in the towel. When I was a kid, I had very few friends with divorced parents. Now, it seems to be the norm.

I am so proud to have parents that are still together. Their marriage has survived having very little money as newlyweds, 5 children, the death of 1 child, teenagers, and many things I’m sure I was not privy to while growing up. I’m grateful to have such amazing examples when it comes to compromise, selflessness, and sticking it out no matter what. Greg is also lucky to have parents that, through everything, stayed by each others side. I never got to meet Greg’s dad, Neil. He died a few months before we met, but I am impressed by his mom’s committment and unconditional love for her husband. And the stories about Greg’s dad and his love and loyalty to his family are wonderful to hear. My grandparents are no longer living, but they all stayed together until death, and life was not always easy for either couple. But if they could work through it, anyone can!

I’m grateful that Greg and I are both committed to never repeat the past, and are in it for the long haul. Cuz that 67% is just not acceptable! There seems to be this attitude of arrogance that “kids” (OK, 30 somethings) have. We know more than our parents, and are more savvy than the people who raised us. Since over 50% of us are screwing up somewhere along the lines, maybe they must have SOME idea of what they’re doing.

Marriage advice from a divorcee. HA! No, not really. I suppose my advice here is look to those who’ve had a successful marriage, shut up, listen and watch, and implement. If you’re married, do something extra nice for your spouse today. And tomorrow. And the day after that. You, your kids, and your partner will thank you for it.

 

Ever An End?

September 2, 2011

When you’re pregnant, you worry about the health and safety of your unborn baby. Should you eat that fish, cheese, Coke with caffeine?

Having an infant, it’s a constant worry of if you’re doing it right. Is your baby healthy, happy, safe? Are they gaining enough weight? Are they gaining too much weight? Are they meeting all of their milestones?

Toddlers are a train-wreck waiting to happen. I remember thinking that if my children survived themselves, it would all be downhill from there.

When your child starts school, you worry about them making friends, being OK without their mom all day. You worry that they don’t realize that they are still just a little kid, and maybe jumping out of that swing or climbing that tree may not be the best idea.

A few years of kids in school under my belt, and I still worry about each of my children. It doesn’t really get any easier, the points of concern just change. My dad has told me many times that he still worries about each of his children, and the youngest is almost 34.

It doesn’t end at 18, as many would have you believe. That heart wrenching concern I think will stay with me until the day I die. I guess this is what it means to REALLY love someone. Motherhood… who knew.

Oodles of Changes

August 22, 2011

This past week has been a full one, and life is going to be changing around here.

First, our 9-year-old girls have been bugging us for quite some time about sharing a room. My twins, Emma & Cooper, have been sharing a room for about a year, and while it’s been fine, in the back of my mind I’ve known that it would be short-lived. As much as they love each other, I think that at some point a brother and sister have to go their separate ways when it comes to the living arrangement. And really it made sense for the girls to room together. Not only are they the same age, but they almost never fight and they like the same things. Greg & I told them it would happen, but hadn’t really made any plans or preparations for the move. Last week I just sort of started the process one day, and 24 hours later, we had switched Alex & Cooper. Alex & Emma are now roomies, and for the first time since moving into this house, Cooper has a room of his own. Everyone seems pretty happy with the new arrangement.

All of this room swapping made me realize that we can never move. The sheer amount of crap that these kids have is overwhelming, and it’s only a fraction what is in the house. Guess we’re here to stay.

I’ve also been really busy with work. I’ve got a buyer who I’ve been working with for over a year and who this last week put an offer in on a house. It’s kept me really busy, but it feels good to be on the front line of negotiating a deal and seeing this through. Also on the “work front”, which is typically slow for me, I was offered a part-time job working with my real estate broker (already kind of my boss), assisting him with his other business. After Mr. N & I married, I put my real estate-ing on the back burner and focused solely on my family. Getting semi-back into a working state of mind is exciting and also a little scary. Luckily it’s only a few days a week and will be somewhat flexible around my schedule. There are still a lot of details to be worked out, but it will be interesting to see how this all unfolds.

Last but not least, today was the first day of school for the older kids (Kindergarten doesn’t start until next week). I cannot believe I have a child in 6th grade! I remember sending him to his first day of preschool, and it doesn’t seem that long ago. Now my babies are in 3rd grade, and my step-daughter, who I started caring for every day when she was only two, is starting school as well. My how the time does fly!

This summer has honestly been the best since becoming a parent, and I’m oddly sad to see it end. Most years I’ve been ready to have the kids start school and out of my hair for half the day. But I’ve enjoyed having them home for the past 2 months, and I’m not sure that I’m ready for the early mornings, days filled with volunteering, and hours of homework at night. UGH! But it will be nice to get back into our routine and have a schedule. I’m also pretty sure that their brains deteriorated over the summer, so getting a little cranial exercise will be good for them. I hope they all love their teachers and give their best efforts this year. If we could only get them to smile even slightly naturally. It’s the truest  evidence that they are getting older… they are too cool to smile :).

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It’s Gotta Go Wednesday

August 17, 2011

I’ve discussed sunburns, skin cancer, and sunscreen here a few times.

A couple of weeks ago I sent my oldest to his friends house. The mom did tell me they might play outside in their little pool, so being a responsible parent, I sent him with his swim shirt, sunscreen, and applied sunscreen before he left.

My son slept over at his friends house, so I didn’t see him until the next day.When I picked him up that morning, I was absolutely shocked at what I saw. Lobster red doesn’t begin to describe the condition of his back and shoulders. He had the worst burn on any of my kids that I’d ever seen. I was torn on what to do… Do I give him the idiot slap on the back of his head, or gently hug him and slather on the sympathy? I hugged him, but I made sure to let him know how dumb I thought he was for not reapplying the sunscreen but most importunately, NOT WEARING HIS SWIM SHIRT. My kids ALWAYS wear a swim shirt when they are in the water just so that what happened would NOT happen.

The mother of the other child called the next day to apologize  for the burned. While I do think that it was Ian’s responsibility to take care of himself, I was a little bothered that she didn’t make sure that they put on sunscreen and that she didn’t tell him to wear his shirt (what did I send it with him for if not to wear?!). Anyway, I think this was a very painful and uncomfortable object lesson for my son… one he will not soon forget. Here he is 1 1/2 weeks after the burn:

Yes, those are scabs. And every night for two weeks we got to hear about how it hurt, how it itched, and there were nights that he literally cried himself to sleep.

Kids not heeding the words of their parents because they are soooo darn smart, and parents not being proactive to protect others kids from themselves… it’s gotta go!

Another Year Older

August 15, 2011

Having twins was a life changing experience. So when I met Greg, the thought of having another child only 9 days younger than my twins was something I found comical in a way… going from twins to what is essentially triplets.

After Emma & Cooper’s b-day in July, having another birthday party only a week later was a little daunting, but I’m so glad we did.

Alex wanted her friend party (which we only do every other year) to be at Classic Fun Center. I had done a party for Ian the year before, and swore I would never do it there again. But as everyone knows, children can be pretty persuasive. Luckily for us, it was MUCH less crowded this time, and the biggest and best part of it is Alex said it was her best birthday party ever!

The following day we celebrated Alex’s b-day with our families. We appreciate everyone who came to show her some love :).

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Alex can be a tough nut to crack. She tents to be a little more reserved than most kids, and the first year after the joining of our  family was definitely a learning experience. But I absolutely LOVE the relationship I have with Alex. I feel like as I’ve come to know and understand her more, I’ve come to really enjoy having her in my life. Alex is a smart, creative, and thoughtful girl, and she has grown from a child who had some questions about me to one who talks to me about her joys and fears, and knows that she can count on me no matter what.

Happy Birthday Alex… I hope this 9th year will be your best yet!

Best. Birthday. Ever.

July 29, 2011

“This was the best. birthday. EVER!” were the words that escaped my twins mouths yesterday after their birthday party.

If I’m going to be honest, I can’t say that a reptile party was entirely their idea. I definitely planted the seed, but with my love of animals, can you blame me? Luckily the twins love animals as well, and jumped right on board.

This wasn’t a terribly complicated party. I booked the Scales and Tails reptile show months ago, and other than cake & ice cream, plus present opening, that’s all this party entailed. But I invited quite a few people, including about 30 kids and 15 adults (not including our family). Not crazy, but bigger than anything I had ever attempted.

Shane, the owner of Scales and Tails, and the person who did the party, showed up earlier than expected, got set up quickly, and was entertaining the kids before he was on the “clock”. He was the perfect mixture of professional (he kept calling me ma’am), teacher (he knows SOOOO much about his subject), goofy and fun. I don’t have much experience with these kinds of parties, but I know enough to know he was amazing! So funny, for both the kids AND the adults, brought wonderful animals, and spent an hour of extra time with us. Shane was great at focusing on Emma & Cooper, and I know they felt very special. What was great about this show is that after introducing us to all of the animals and telling us some interesting facts about them, he brought most of the creatures out again and gave everyone time to handle them. He didn’t rush through it, and everyone got to hold or touch all of the animals they wanted. It was tons of fun for the kids. AND me!

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The photo where Emma is holding the snake was maybe my favorite moment. When the snake was crawling on her, she kept giggling and saying, “this is so awesome”. It was a moment of pure joy and excitement. LOVED IT!

Yes, there is a scorpion in Shane’s mouth. Yummy! Every animal was awesome, and I especially liked the giant tortious named Twinkletoes. He gave rides to the little ones, and was super gentle and cute with all of the kids. On our lawn, there is a “U” shape in the grass from where he ate (yep, they eat grass). I think he especially enjoyed the dandelion leaves that I hunted down for him. All of the snakes were beautiful, but I absolutely loved the 16 ft. python… especially because I got to help carry her out of her enclosure and display her on the lawn. Holy crap she was heavy. And AMAZING! When the sun hit her body, there were patches that became iridescent and I couldnt’ believe all of the amazing colors. Seriously, I was in awe. And she was great letting all of the kids maul her.

Actually, all of the animals were wonderful in their own right, and each one was exciting and fun. These kids (and myself) get to now say that they touched an alligator! From the tarantula and scorpion (the only non-reptiles of the day) to the Nile monitor and bearded dragon, to all of the snakes, big and bigger… they were all awesome!

I’m so glad that we had such a great turnout and that so many of Emma & Cooper’s friends were able to make it to the party. Thanks to all of our family and our friends who came to wish the twins a great 9th birthday… we hope you and your kids had as much fun as we did! I’m going to have to agree that this was the best. birthday. ever!

E.P.I.C.

July 25, 2011

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“Epic”. That seemed to be the word of the weekend, at least coming from the kids mouths.

I’m not sure how “epic” it truly was (or why that seems to be new, choice word, kind of like “rad”, “sweet”, and “killer” was), but based on what I saw, I think the kiddos had a wonderful time.

Friday, after our afternoon swimming at Maree’s house, Ian & Emma had friends over to spend the night. For the first time this year, we pulled out the tent and let the kids sleep outside. Which is also what happened the next 2 nights as well, but I’m getting ahead of myself.

Poor Cooper has been the odd one out when it comes to friends and sleepovers as of late. The other two have friends that are also siblings, so when one wants to play, it only makes sense that the other come along. Luckily a boy just Cooper’s age has moved in to the house that we share a back yard with, and this new friend was over pretty much every day this weekend. Yahoo! There were a few times that we had 9 kids running around, and while it got a little crazy at times, it was fun watching all of my kids play.

I did have a revelation at one point. Don’t get me wrong… I like kids. That being said, at times I do have my limits when it comes to chaos and noise, but I never did reach it. And I realized that we are becoming that house. The house where all of the kids come to play. Thinking back, I think that my parents had the same thing going on… a home in which we always knew we could bring our friends and they would be welcome. A home in which we could have sleepovers, be loud, and not get in trouble.

I think it will be good to have our house be a kid “hub”. I like knowing where my kids are at and what they are doing, and if that means that it looks sort of like a day care at times, so be it.

Saturday afternoon we pulled out the big, inflatable water slide, and all of the kids had a blast trying to kill themselves and each other on it. At one point Cooper’s lip met the head of his friend, and mouthfuls of blood and a few tears later, he was left with a seriously deep gash on the inside of his lip (check out the pictures). I did call the dr. office, unsure if it would require stitches, but was told they didn’t stitch the inside of mouths and we were both happy that this injury wouldn’t require a visit.

Saturday night, Alex had a friend sleep over, and all of the kids ended up sleeping outdoors, including the dog. I’m happy to say that no one was kidnapped or murdered, as this girls parents were seriously terrified they would be. Too much Dateline is dangerous.

Yesterday after getting rid of excess children, we took our kids to the Oquirrh Park Swimming Pool. The weather was awesome, the kids had a blast swimming and playing in the water, and I attempted to relive my youth by performing some of my old diving standbys. It was definitely not perfect, but I did my first 1 1/2 off of a platform. Scary, my suit came off of half of my body when I hit the water, but not too bad.

In celebration of the 24th, we planned a bbq, and s’mores and fireworks with friends. Greg is sort of a pyro and has some serious firework history. His family ran a Black Cat stand growing up (and up until he was an adult), so he’s no stranger to this game. The owner of a stand he went to, who happened to know the family, hooked him up and gave him a great deal on a bunch of fireworks, including some really cool aerials. One did happen to malfunction and shoot flames at our neighbors, but that just added to the excitement :).

Here I am, another weekend gone, and me totally exhausted. In 3 days I am throwing what will be the biggest birthday party I’ve ever attempted, and while I think it will be fun, I’m not quite sure I’m prepared for it. Which will then be followed with, 11 days later, Alex’s b-day party which is no small shin dig either. Ugh!!! The great news is that after this August b-day, we’re done for the rest of the year. Woo hoo!

Well, I’m sure after all of my descriptions of this weekend, you think it’s pretty dang epic too.