Friday, January 24, 2014

8

Happiest of birthdays to this guy!


8 years ago today, he surprised us by coming almost a month early.

8 years ago today, scared of a too-quick labor (an hour and 10 minutes with his sister, from first labor pain to baby in my arms), and because I had dilated 1 mm in less than 24 hours, I was induced.  A couple hours later, a good push and a laugh at my husband's joke, and there he was.

He was a surprise.

Pregnancy with him was a surprise, and so different from his siblings.  I was so nauseous all I could eat was Taco Bell bean burritos.

Guess what his favorite food is?

Given that he was a surprise, we decided to be completely surprised and not find out the sex of this little one.  Best surprise ever.

He has surprised us ever since, with his quick wit, curious mind and extravagant imagination.

I could go on and on about this kid, I love him so, but I'll sum it all up by saying that it's been so fun to be his mom.  I'm so very lucky.

So very blessed.

Happy 8th birthday to my little T!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

It's a Long Road

It is cold.

Verrry cold.  Especially for Richmond.  Enough so that my oldest son asked me if he’d ever experienced such cold in his lifetime.  He hasn’t.  He asked if I had.  I imagine I have, but I don’t remember.

He came in my room this morning and announced the temperature to me…9 degrees (but it feels like 1).  That’s the first thing he said to me as I lay in bed enjoying the extra sleep time a 2-hour-because-it’s-so-cold school delay afforded me.

Since he’s an early riser, and was already dressed, I asked him to take the dog out, reminding him to bundle up.  He agreed, donning his hat and gloves and heavy coat (gasp!) without even having to be told to (typically, bundle up means halfway pull your medium-weight coat on).

When he came back in, he was gasping.

“Cold out there, huh?”

“Just on my feet.”

I look down and see that he is barefoot.  BAREFOOT.  “Will, WHATAREYOUTHINKING?”

“I had shoes on.”

“What shoes?”

“I was wearing my slides.”

In other words, the kid bundled himself up head to toe knee and then wore flip flops in 9 degree weather to walk around in the crunchy frost-laden grass while the dog peed.

“There was steam you know.”  A gleeful twinkle in his eye, because who doesn’t think “smoking” pee is hysterical?  Certainly not my kids.

“Go put some socks on.”

“M-O-M, it’s fine.”

“NOW.”

You know, I was so pleased this morning by his taking responsibility for the dog, for bundling up without being threatened asked, for his unfailing good nature in almost all things.  I thought to myself, ever so briefly, we are getting there.  Mentally patting myself on the back, just because I love him and he's growing up so well, so far.  Wherever “there” is.

Clearly, the road to "there" is a long one.  Loooong and winding.

It’s his good nature and sly grin that save him, time after time.  I'm a sucker for 'em.  And all I can do is shake my head and trust that we will arrive at our destination.  One day.

May I be alive to see it.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Resolutions and Reminders


It's that time again.

Throughout my life, I have made countless resolutions, some of which I  have kept, and some of which I have promptly forgotten.

The problem with resolutions (for me) is the accountability.  I'm not always great at being accountable to myself.  I get in my own way.  Impede my own progress.  My personality and the very essence that makes me "me" often thwarts the efforts of the person I want to be.  But isn't that true for all of us?  I'd like to think I'm not the only one.

I have discovered that by writing things down, I can make myself accountable.  I can give myself measurable, tangible goals where they live on paper or the internet for all to see instead of just my head which is too full as it is.  Writing it all down is like cleaning out your sock drawers.  When they're a disaster, you pick the first pair of socks you can find and the really great socks get lost in the muckety muck underneath.

It's time to clean out my sock drawer.

This brings me to resolution #1.

1.  Clean out my sock drawer.  The reality is, I clean my ACTUAL drawers a couple times a year.  And I recently did a colossal purge, so now, the items in my drawers (not just the sock drawer) are the items that are necessary for my life.  Translate that as you will...what is important for my life (i.e. a variety of striped tee shirts, cute patterned socks, ridiculously worn-in pjs) may not be necessary for anyone else, but I like striped tee shirts.  They are a must.  Decluttering my drawers felt great.  Now it's time to de-clutter my life so I can focus on the "socks" that are really worthwhile.

2.  Make lists.  My husband will complain about this one as there are already way too many bits and pieces lists lying around.  A recent purge of my purse netted no fewer than 37 grocery lists.  That is no lie.  And while grocery lists are integral because if it's not written down, I forget it, I plan on taking my own advice to my daughter.
"Make lists.  Lists of what you need to do.  Lists of what you want to do.  List for what you want to achieve.  Lists of what you dream of.  Lists of what you dream to be.  Lists of what you hate.  Lists of your favorite things.  Lists of the places you’ve been.  Write it all down.  It will keep you organized, provide focus and nothing feels better than checking things off your list.  Both in the long term and in the short term."
Now that I have a fresh, organized office space, I plan to paper my cork board with lists.  Now, I just need to make a list of my lists to make.

3.  Make myself more of a priority.  Last year, I promised not only that but also to leave my comfort zone and put myself out there.  I even started running (see, if you write it down...).  I have continued to run and to pursue fitness, although I still am one to get bogged down with everything else that needs to be done and put that low on my to-do list. And then proceed to feel frustrated and disappointed with myself for doing so.  So this year, my goal is to incorporate it into my every day somehow, no excuses.  I am going to rise early and get 'er done, which will be a challenge because I am so not a morning person.  But I need to think long term -- will I feel better having worked out later today or will I feel better having gotten than extra 45 minutes of sleep?  You already know the answer.  So do I.  Admitting it is the first step, doing something about it is next.  Onward and upward.

4.  Run more races.  Now that I actually enjoy it, I need more goals to push myself.  It's too easy to say no when you're not training for something.  And while I don't want to be training for something all the time, I think I need it to keep me focused on resolution #3.  In addition, it makes me feel powerful.  When you're a mom trying to keep it all together all the time, that's not such a bad feeling.

5.  Put down the phone.  It's so easy to check email messages in the car, or catch up on Facebook while we're waiting for T's drum lesson to finish.  Increasingly, we have had moments in our house, when we're all sitting around watching TV, where I have looked up and witnessed each and every person on some sort of digital device.  It's heartbreaking.  From now on, there will be more stringent rules on screen time, my husband and myself included.  If we're not modeling that for our children, we can't expect to change their behavior, right?

I'm keeping it simple this year with 5 in the hopes that it will help me focus on these first and foremost.  It's all about editing.