Thursday, October 30, 2014

Hard gig I signed up for

Ugh. This parenting gig is no joke. Little kids come with their own challenges, but it feels like I'm always going to struggle with my oldest. He's closer to 5 than 4 now and I know parents of truly big kids will laugh at me, but it seems somehow do much bigger than 4. Four I feel like I can mostly handle, 4.5 has rocked my world upside down somedays. Maybe it's just because I'm like that and struggle with the new, the unknown every time. Maybe it's that I'm parenting a brazen, talkative choleric who in some big ways is just like me. I so love him, but he challenges me daily and honestly, it's hard and some days I wish I could just give up.
However, I realize these same days, usually a little later than I should, how he was given to me for a reason. God knows what he is doing, even if I struggle to see the forest for the trees most days.
Each day, if I really think about it and am not tired from a rough sleep patch from the baby, I learn something about him. For instance, Benjamin does his best in a non group setting. He flourishes when he's taught one on one. To take him into something where he cannot have autonomy right now, well, bad things will happen. And its not to say we can't do some group setting things, it's just maybe they need to have their limitations for the time being.
I think the one thing that's really hard for me right now is that I feel like, and maybe put too much stock in it, that his behavior becomes a reflection of who I am. I realize more and more that this little person is not someone I can control. It's a falsity to think I can do so. To offer guidance and direction, that I can do. To give a reasonable consequence for his ill behavior I can do. But I can't control him. I feel like this is a big lesson for me to try to work on because with that NFJ it becomes easy to be a meddler. But that's when my strength becomes my downfall, when it's taken too far. So, today, today I'm thankful for a new day so I can try and learn and love some more.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Structure, Freedom, Balance

I go through spurts where it seems we don't have anything on the calendar and I almost feel sad and like no one cares. It makes me schedule things, and sometimes too much.  Lately, I feel like we've been trying a dry run to what a school set up for next year is going to be like for us. How much structure will it have, how much freedom will it have? What outside things will be be doing?  How much time should be actually be at home?
I've been testing out group activities and actually formed a group for outside adventures with other parish homeschool moms.  I even have a friend who set up a studio for classes for pre-schoolers and we have been trying to support her too.  And to top that we are committed to gymnastics thru June of next year.  Honestly, it feels like a lot.  Maybe its because we are in this weird transition phase, where we aren't really in school yet, or doing school, but the mom in me that wants the best for her kids is trying to try everything out and see what works best for her kids.
So what structure do we need? One thing we have been doing lately, and it seems to be going well is morning basket.  We light candles and say thankful prayers, bless ourselves with Holy water, learn about a Saint, and say a Hail Mary. We blow out the candles and then end with reading books, it works really well right now, except for when the baby gets a little fussy sometimes.  This is really our extent of anything that is more traditional school-like for the moment.  I like it, the boys like it, it takes about 20-30 minutes tops.
I really do like morning basket. It brings us together in prayer and helps me to feel like we aren't floundering about in our day.  Now I don't know if we should add any more to it, I mean attention spans are only so long. It feels good in this aspect that is where we are right now.
I think the hard part then comes from balancing what we had been doing, with play dates and  field trips with when we should be at home. I feel overwhelmed at times, and even though I want my extrovert to see other people, I sometimes feel like there is almost too much going, going, going. So maybe we do 3 days out, 2 days at home.  We have been doing more of a 4 to 1 ratio, and its tolling. And then there are errands and groceries, things that have to get done sometime, somehow.
Ultimately want my kids to have freedom to learn, but I think I need some boundaries for myself to make that happen.  Praying for discipline to keep my boundaries so I don't feel burnt out.

At my friend's studio. 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Ring pics

Hey y'all. So I realized that I never put pictures of my rings in on my story post.  So here they are.

Old Ring:

New Rings:

Sunday, October 5, 2014

What I wore Sunday, Fall has Hit Ed.

Hi all. It's been a while since I've participated in the linkup, so I thought I was due for a post. It's been a full day with mass and a family birthday celebration for a brother-in-law who turned the ripe old age of 20. He's the youngest of the aunts and uncles for our kids and the kids enjoy having a young uncle to play with when we get together. 
Anyway, mass went okay, though there was a lot of crying today for some reason. Besides that my brain was wandering with people watching today, so I as much as the kiddos allowed it I would close my eyes for focus. For some reason, shutting off sight for me really helps focus. Anyone else ever do this at mass?

So here's the outfit:

As much as I like this outfit, it was hard to photograph, thus the black and white. 
Sweater dress: Marshall's
Skinny jeans: Old Navy 

And here is an outtake with the littlest one. Check out more sunday attire at Fine Linen and Purple.

Friday, October 3, 2014

The ring story

A good friend Emmy, blogged about marriage the other day and it made me think about the story of my ring.  You see I have a sapphire as my engagement ring's main stone, paired with small wedding band.  It wasn't always that way though.  Like a lot of American ladies, my first engagement ring was a diamond, a princess cut diamond that my now husband picked out in a lovely setting.  To say I wasn't someone who had thought about what she wanted as a token of her future husband's love would be a lie. I did think about it.  I had witnessed so many girlfriends get engaged and married in the few years before my engagement that I had checked out the websites where you could build your ideal ring a few times.  At least to know that I wanted a princess cut diamond in a non-solitaire setting.  I also thought it would be cool to have something blue, but well, Keith would have to had been a millionaire to appease that last request and be a diamond too.
So with those characteristics in mind, my now husband picked out a ring for me. And it was beautiful. It felt classic and I like classic. When we were married, I had my wedding band fused to it so that I wouldn't be constantly turning around the two rings to match.  I blamed it on my large knuckles, but otherwise thin fingers for my rings, so anyway, I thought it might help. It did.
Fast forward a little over 2 years, I was pregnant with the baby who turned out to be Ben. My husband told me a horror story about his mother having to have her ring cut off her finger due to swelling when she was pregnant with his youngest brother.  It was enough to influence me to not wear my rings on my finger, so I thought that a heavier chain would keep my rings near me but not run into issues like what my MIL had. After all, I liked these rings, because my husband had picked it out for me, and that meant a lot. The chain worked for while.
One day when I was on my way to the lab, I took the city train, the Rapid as the Clevelanders call it.  I got up to leave and heard something like a coin fall, but didn't think anything of it. I exited the train and made my half mile walk to my lab.
At the lab, I looked down and noticed that the chain I was wearing was caught in between my two shirts but there were no rings. They were gone. I pretty much crumbled in that exact moment. At the time, I had no idea where I had lost the rings and pregnant me was an emotional mess. I think in the mess I called my husband and he said to file a police report and so I went to the campus station and did so. However, at some point I realized that coin dropping sound on the train was the ring falling. My rings were gone.
A good friend and I went retraced my steps and checked out the station where I had gotten off the train to check if I had lost the rings on the tracks or in the station. It wasn't found.  A flyer was made and my husband, the same good friend and I spent a lot of time taking the train and posting the flyers around the stations along the train line. We got a whole one call from a passenger who had said a lady had found a ring on the train, but he didn't know her but said she was looking at pawning it.  We were told if that did happen, with the police report filed with all the diamond info, we would have been informed if they found it. They didn't.
For a while after I lost the ring, I wore cheap Claire's kid jewelry rings on my ring finger. It some how made me feel better, but I wasI still really sad that I had lost something that meant a lot to me. On my first mother's day, my husband presented me with a new wedding band. The exact same one that I had before.  It was super sweet and I was excited to have that reminder of that life long promise I made to him on our wedding day.
Come December, Keith took Ben out for a little excursion. I believe I was finishing up preparing for my PhD final defense. He came back with an engagement ring of the same setting, except this time with a sapphire in it, because after all, I had always wanted something blue anyway.  And you know what, I loved it from the moment I put it on and still do.  Sometimes people think its an odd choice for a ring, but eh, it has history to it and well, I like it. 
So I guess the root of it is, not that I had to get this ring or that, but ultimately that this guy I loved and was learning to love more and more each day wanted to show me that he loved me too, and this was one of those ways of doing it.  I don't think a perfect ring has to be a way a husband shows his love for his wife, or fiancĂ© for fiancĂ©, but for me I could and can see his love for me in many different ways.  The way he wanted to get something just right for me in the beginning, the hours spent signing and resigning the train corridors and the picking out a replacement ring set so I could have that reminder of his love everyday.  And that is the ring story.