Saturday, October 15, 2011

My First 5k.

I said I'd never run.

I'm not a "runner." Well, unless someone is chasing me. (that was always my joke).

Then I saw this program called Couch to 5k. (C25k). And people I knew were having success with it. The premise is to take you from sitting on the couch to running 3.1 miles in 8 weeks. Honestly, I was terrible about sticking to the schedule. I do remember running one of the days, in the beginning, that I was supposed to run for three minutes straight and thinking, "what am I doing?" Ha!

So I kept trying. And because my first 5k was coming soon, I only had six weeks to train. But I stuck it out and did it, running my first 3 miles two days before the race day.

My sister, Mishka, was originally supposed to run it with me (she does half marathons so this was more of a show of support for me) but her back went out the week of the race. So sadly, she wasn't able to make it. But she was still a big support for me.

So I set out to race.. but I figured it would be better to have a before picture (instead of an after).

Up until today, my best time was 10:51 minutes per mile.

My goal was to finish the race (3.1mi) in under 35 minutes.

But I was able to beat my record and ended with 3.33mi in 31:58. That is an average of 9:48 a mile!!

I am so excited! And now I hope to run another 5k while I train for an 8k or a 10k.

(Special thanks to my biggest supporter my hubby, Jorge. He was always quick to encourage me not to give up and to do whatever needed to be done so that I was free to go run/train. I love you babe. THANK YOU).

Friday, October 14, 2011

My "Mental Health Day."

A while back I posted about mommy's needing to take breaks, and that you shouldn't feel guilty for doing so. It's for your mental (and emotional) health. Thus, a "Mental Health Day." Granted, not every time looks the same. I may only have an hour to work with.. or as in the case today, three.

So that meant I had time to include two of my favs:

Step One: A pedicure. My first time with a darker color, for fall.

Step Two: Lunch at Taziki's. Yummmmm!

What was funny about step two was what I did before it. I got done with the Pedicure about 30 minutes before Taziki's opens (11 a.m) so I had some time to kill. I decided to park my car in the parking lot and walk over to a neighboring store and peruse the "stuff" but then I caught a glimpse of my UNIBROW in the mirror (I swear it seemed like it had grown to this)..So I decided to pluck my eyebrows instead.

So there I was, in my van (ALONE.. ahhhhh) with the windows down (beautiful sunny, breezy day) with Jack Johnson playing and plucking my eyebrows. I was just sure that somewhere someone was going to have a Facebook status update: "there is a weird lady sitting in her car plucking her eyebrows..music blaring. Seriously?"

But to me.. it was heavenly.

After lunch, I went to pick up the kids and headed back for naptime. Which is Step three for a MHD.

I had a lot of fun and I look forward to the next Mental Health day!!

What do you do for MHD? Or what would you want to do?

Thursday, October 6, 2011

already Five.

So my handsome blue eyed boy turned 5 last week.

He had a fun time at his Captain America party.

Im sure he wished for many more years with his awesome family.

before that familys' traditions made him rethink his wish..

I love you Alex. And all your goofyness. Thank you for being such an amazing son. That makes us laugh. A lot.

(wonder when the "dressing myself" skills will kick in). ;-P

Friday, September 30, 2011

The little house.. in Pelham.


Six months ago my husband said something to me that made my skin crawl.

"Why don't we take the money that is set aside for a buying a bigger house and put it on this mortgage. Then we can pay off this house super fast."

{{cringe}}

You see, at that exact moment I was feeling very cramped. Four small children, two adults and two fish all "cozy" in a 1300 sq. ft. house. (They say 1300, but I think it's more like 1000-1100). There are apartments bigger than our house. And I was feeling it. I was NOT saying I didn't like our house. This house is so much more than what either I or my husband grew up with. And our kids have never complained.

It was just that we actually had money to put toward a bigger house. So I cried my lament and my loving man (also wanting more space) agreed to put the house on the market, again. We had already tried to sell it for almost a year before that point. No luck. But we decided to put it back on the market.

Would you know that within two months, FOUR houses on our street also listed. Totaling TEN houses for sale on our street. TEN. Also, several were foreclosures less than $80k. So you get the idea, in this market, to be remotely competitive we would have to lower our price to the same price it was purchased at 10 years ago losing all the money we put into it. In the meantime, every house that we showed interest in would get an offer as soon as we thought we'd put an offer on it. This happened three times.

So, then this strange thing started to happen. As I am pondering the fact that our house may not sell I am seeing that it may not be "that bad" to stay where we are. Then God started to lead my thoughts to "what would life look like if we paid off this house?"

And for a week I wrestled with: the legitimate desire for more space and the legitimate freedom that would come from being completely debt free. Sure, we are debt free from "bad debt" but a mortgage payment is "acceptable debt." Even Dave Ramsey says so. But I just couldn't get it out of my head, all the possibilities that would open up if we delayed our dream home for about 5 years, to gain the ultimate dream: Financial FREEDOM!!

It took a single day of wrestling and in that same day I texted my hubby and said, "Lets do it. lets stay." That meant taking the house off the market, which we did and then making "the plan." Which involves taking our savings, putting it on our mortgage and then paying off the balance, which we believe we can do in two years by doubling our monthly mtg payment (which we are already doing). TWO YEARS. Then continue to stay in the house for at least three, to build up cash for the next house. Then sell this one and with the savings, buy a bigger house: with CASH. (but I know, I am fully ready for God to lead us to something else, something different, as in another change of plan.. I just want to be ready).

In the meantime, being able to give like never before and to be able to see dreams realized.

And part of this process, trying to see the bigger picture and delaying a dream (not the death of one).. all of the sudden my house seems so much sweeter to me than it did before. Suddenly, I am beyond thankful for this small space and all that it is allowing us to do. I am so thankful that, while it wasn't a wrong vs. right decision, God gave wisdom and I think, divine intervention: hello 10 houses for sale on our street, pitiful market. etc., to allow for us to make an amazing decision that we obviously didn't choose at first.

so that's it. We are staying. And we couldn't be more excited.


the fisheye lens makes it look bigger..but I am so thankful for this space..

We've always LOVED our back yard.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Sweet.. or is it??

Take a look at this precious picture..

Two brothers, embracing each other. Connected by the bonds of brotherhood. Awww.. everyone say "Awwwww.."

Wait, what is Jorge whispering into Alex's ear?

A plot to attack the boys who won't play with them on the playground?

"You take the front, I'll take the back?"

Well, a momma can still be proud of the unity of at least these two, right??

Thursday, September 1, 2011

after a "bad" homeschooling day

(I finally wrote this down..to keep my sanity. I know I am opening myself up to attack for posting this.. but oh well).


WHY AM I DOING THIS?

Face it Rachel:

· There are better teachers out there than you.

· School isn’t evil.

· Your children would “survive.”

· Life would be “easier.”

You obviously aren’t hs’ing for academic reasons. You aren’t hs’ing because you think that this is a quicker way to sanctify yourself.

It’s also apparent that hs’ing isn’t:

· Easy.

· A quick return.

· Convenient.

· Fun (most of the time).

· What allows for the most free time.

· For everyone.

· Law (as in, “you are more spiritually pleasing” to the Father if you hs).

So, here is what HS’ing is (perceived negatives):

· Difficult

· Frustrating.

· Emotionally taxing.

· Physically draining.

· A slow process.

· Inconvenient (at times).

· Demanding of your time, energy, and brain space.

But Rachel, it is a CHOICE.

So why in the world, knowing all of the above, are you choosing to do this?

I want to do home education because:

1. I get to follow my kid’s learning pace.

Yes, Rachel. Your child will hit a wall. He will forget what he’s learned and you will have to back track. But hs’ing allows for you to catch on when this happens and then give him/her the attention they need. You can stop the class and say.. “Lets scratch that and move on to this” or “hey, lets go back a few lessons and review.” This is NORMAL. And being able to work the lessons around where he is will build confidence and the truth is: HE/SHE WILL get it soon enough. Part of hs’ing is not defining what grade your kid is in bc, quite honestly, while he may be 1st grade math he could still be kindergarten with reading. That is NORMAL. And will likely be like that his entire education years (ahead/current with some subjects and “behind” in others). And imagine the confidence he/she will have knowing that that is Okay.

2. He/She avoids playground politics.

One of the main reasons why you want to educate at home is because you want for your kids to not have to deal with “the reality of the real world” as a young kid. You want to allow them to be free to play and learn instead of worried about Johnny on the playground pressuring them, or berating them. You are not na├»ve in this effort, knowing that, YES the world is brutal, but you want to build your arrows strong before you send them into that battle.

3. You are able to work on the heart issues that come up everyday.

This used to be pie in the sky for you, but now it makes sense. Remember Jorge being the bully. In school, this would be up to the teacher to work on, until he got home and then you would only have a few hours to help him. But at home all day, he is with you and with his siblings and you are able to see it first hand and deal with it every time it comes up. And you are able to have those heart to heart conversations leading him to the Gospel of Christ and His desires for his little life. That is so worth every ounce of frustration over phonics. But also having them home all day means that you see their sin (all day long) and not just one kid.. but four. It is very draining, emotionally, to have to deal with this.. but you know it is close to your heart. And that drives you to pray for wisdom and remember that THIS is a benefit of hs’ing: you have all day to pray with them and talk with them about the very things they struggle with.

4. So much flexibility with the daily routine.

Rachel your heart longs to cherish this time while they are young. To be able to go to the park, have fun, snuggle at naps and just be around each other.. while that season exists.

With this said, you need to remember a few things, Rachel:

· There will be GREAT days. Progress is evident. Life seems perfect.

· There will be “BAD” days. They will regress. Life will seem bleak. And you will question, “Why am I doing this?” Remember: THIS IS A CHOICE. Your risks/benefits analysis says that you can handle the frustrations in light of the benefits for your family and for your children.

· You believe that the perceived negatives are really things that God can use to glorify himself (remember the day of spiritual warfare that turned into a wonderful sharing opportunity with the kids?).

· Your kids, at times, will have to back track. This is GREAT. It means you are listening to their needs.

· The younger kids will still “distract you” from school. But this is for their good too. Because they are learning as well. Not only from the discipline, but from what the older ones are learning (remember the catechisms).

· While you may not be the “best” teacher out there, you know your children the best. And you can be a great tool of encouragement in their lives.

· Daily struggle with patience or even desire to hs is an opportunity to go back to this list. But also to bring it to God. Ask Him if this is what’s best. And at any point, he could say “no.” There is grace to make a different choice. And there is also GRACE to keep the current one.

· Just like marriage, hs’ing is not a fairytale. At times it is painful, gut wrenching, crying, full of emotional roller coasters, fights, repenting of wrong, loving in spite of sin and a HUGE opportunity to receive grace as well as give it. It is not always the happy facebook updates/pictures. Those are the good days. Not everyone posts pictures of the crappy days. But that is not reality. Remember: it’s difficult to do home education. But good comes from both types of days.

· - You are not motivated by boot strap mentalities or thinking “Just push through” or even spiritual sounding mentalities, “this is for our good,” etc. What motivates you is this truth: You are a beloved daughter of the king regardless of where your child goes to school. Your desire to hs your kids doesn’t improve your standing with God (that is already sealed). What encourages you is to know that God is using even those depressing days with no progress and complete meltdown for His glory. Yes, that’s the same answer as “this is for our good” but if feels less preachy in the context of “he loves you regardless of what you decide to do.”

· It all goes back to YOUR list. Not someone else’s.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The many faces of Isaac..

I've upgraded phones, to an android. It is wonderful to be able to take pictures of my kids. In the process, i am able to capture some of the many funny antics of my, now, 15 month old.

Hot and sweaty..

D.O.N.E with lunch at California Pizza Kitchen...

Worn out after the McWane Center..

Exasperated after playing with his older siblings.. (aka confused).

Silly happy..

"I want my food now, Mommy" fit..

"thank you for my food, mommy" face..

I love that angel.

Monday, August 15, 2011

I gladly give up my legalism..

I've talked before about some of what God has done in my life in the past year. The path has been difficult and not without a lot of falls along the way. And not only has God done a lot of work in my relationships with those in my world, He has also had to do a lot of uprooting in my heart as it relates to Him. And my relationship with Him.

1. I used to think that if I "did" for God, that would make Him smile (at me).
2. I used to think that if I can "get" God to "smile" at me, THEN I am in fellowship with Him.
3. I used to think that I should spend time "in the Word" everyday or else I run the risk of disappointing God.
4. A lot of times I would devour the Word in an effort to know how to respond to someone who was "in the wrong."
5. I used to pride myself on being so "black and white" about everything.
6. I used to think I had a vat of wisdom and therefore was a great resource for friends struggling with sin.
7. I most always had a "to do" list I'd offer to anyone that came to me saying they weren't feeling that close to God.
8. I had a lot of standards I placed on everyone, even though I wrapped them nicely in "convictions that could be backed up with Scripture."

I wish I could say there were only 8 points. Lots more. But I think you get the picture. All of this is why I say I am a recovering "legalist." While I had no problem identifying God's mercy in my life, I had no idea of His grace. I mean, yes, Grace in salvation: but grace beyond that? Not a clue. I had no idea of his affections toward me, and how silly it was to actually think there was anything I could do to secure them. So let me share a little bit of what God has taught me.

1. I used to think that if I "did" for God, that would make Him smile (at me). Let me say that my motivation was the problem. I was motivated by the wrong thing. For some reason, I thought that I could woo the Lord. When the truth is that I am his beloved at.all.times. I am a beloved daughter of a king and that position and affection stands regardless of what I do or don't do.
2. I used to think that if I can "get" God to "smile" at me, THEN I am in fellowship with Him. My fellowship with the Lord has nothing to do with "getting" God to be happy with me. Because of the response of #1, the only time I am not in fellowship with God is my own issue. If there is unconfessed sin, well that can keep me from fellowship, but only in as much as I am in the circle of "guilt --> shame --> isolation." But that isn't the Lord doing that cycle. It's me. I am the one choosing to live in that cycle. But once I can confess that sin.. the cycle can be broken, If I accept that I am forgiven. But the affection of my Father never changed. Not through any part of that process.
3. I used to think that I should spend time "in the Word" everyday or else I run the risk of disappointing God. While drawing near to God involves hearing Him, it is not out of guilt or shame that allows that intimacy to flourish. I would see other moms (the comparing dance again) who seems to be as busy as me constantly reminding me that "if you do nothing else, get in the Word." Well the reality was, that my kids are my alarm clock in this season of life and they hit the ground running all.day.long. And then by the time night time hits, my head hits the pillows like a brick before the lights are out. Granted, not every day is like that, but it feels like it. But again, the motivation was way off. God does not have a secret quota for me to meet when it comes to "time in His Word." Let me remind you of John 1:1- He is the Word. Intimacy with him isn't measured in how long I sit reading the Bible. I can hear a praise song (full of scripture, BTW) or call out a prayer while standing at the sink loading the dishwasher, and be in closer intimacy with my Father with my heart fully His then three hours with my Bible open and distracted the entire time. My point is this: God's heart is for us to draw near to Him. Tell Him whats in our hearts. Ask to know His. Wait for His answer and listen to where you know He is leading. That creates intimacy. So many times I used to tell people: "well building intimacy with God is a lot like building intimacy with your husband. You spend time with each other. You block off time with each other. That is what God wants." Well lets follow that through. Have you ever hired a babysitter, made the plans and had a big fight before your date night out? Then go ahead with the date because you've already set it up. Sat right next to each other for three hours but felt worlds apart? Why? Why isn't time "with them" making a difference? The same is true if you think the only answer to an intimacy problem with God involves "doing" the disciplines of the Christian faith. The truth is: intimacy involves drawing near to God. Telling Him whats in our hearts. Asking to know His. Waiting for His answer and listening to where you know He is leading.
4. A lot of times I would devour the Word in an effort to know how to respond to someone who was "in the wrong." After years of doing this, and then the breaking point and then on to legalistic "recovery" I had a season of dreading going near the Word. Not because I didn't believe its power, or because of anything lacking in it. But rather, because of my own heart. I had to beg God for a fresh perspective on His Word. Not that there isn't a place for apologetics. But sadly, in my little world, everything had become apologetics. I had taken up a burden that wasn't my own: change everyone around me. You see, that is born out of a need for control. And a huge inability to trust the heart of the Father in the lives of his own children. Did I believe it was enough to pray for someone that I saw "struggling?" No. I needed to confront. Or worse, lecture them when they came to me for a listening ear. My point is twofold: I am not the Holy Spirit for others. They have their own. And my time in the God's Word should not be about proving someone wrong. I can encourage someone to reconciliation with God, without the motivation of "proving them wrong."
5. I used to pride myself on being so "black and white" about everything. Again, to go with #4, the need to have all the answers. I felt I did. How prideful. I also failed to see my own sins. Or my own shortcomings in the way I loved those around me. How I knew so little about Grace.
6. I used to think I had a vat of wisdom and therefore was a great resource for friends struggling with sin. I think this is becoming self explanatory. You see the pattern of thinking, right? I was the older brother in the story of the prodigal. I did not understand why God would throw a party of my younger brother, lost and returned again, when I never left. But as my good friend Melody points out, notice it never said that the older brother entered the feast with his brother and Father? We won't know if he actually did until we can ask God face to face.. but imagine the symbolism in that. So caught up in my own "doing" "being" "right living" that I can't even enjoy the grace extended to another. Mainly because of my own resistance and not accepting that grace in my life.
7. I most always had a "to do" list I'd offer to anyone that came to me saying they weren't feeling that close to God. Refer to #4 for this one, too. The burden that comes from having to follow a list to get close to God. Let me give you an example of this (but it was in my recovery..so I have the right answer this time). I was visiting a friend. She was beaten down, burdened and not feeling beloved at the moment. Why? Because she had not been "spending time with God" and she felt she was doing nothing good for her family. There was so much to do in a day and not only did she not finish it all, that just made her want to sit on the couch even more (sound a lot like hopelessness?). After talking to one friend that told her, "Listen, you just need to get off the couch and do it. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and just do what you can and move on." (because this used to be my mantra advice, I understood it's core- BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION). It can also be worded in spiritual terms: "Just be thankful. You only have this time for a season. God wants you to rejoice." ((cringe)). After she told me the advice she had been given, I looked right in her eyes and said, "Amy (name change) God adores you. Right where you sit. You are a beloved daughter of the king. There is nothing you could do to make Him love you more and nothing you could not do to make Him love you less. Amy, His affections toward you-at this very moment- are strong. Unending. And faithful. His passionate pursuit of you is constant and there is nothing but a pure record before you. RIGHT NOW... EVEN as you sit on the couch in your despair... He loves you, Amy. YOU." Now as tears entered Amy's eyes, what do you suppose she was feeling? Maybe a little hope. NOTHING motivates getting out a pit like RESTING in the LOVE of the Father. NOT your bootstraps peptalk. NOPE.. that brings "guilt -->shame--> isolation." Ah, but Grace. That feels different. That is motivation, but not for motivations sake. For a change of heart. NOT behavior modification. HUGE difference.
8. I had a lot of standards I placed on everyone, even though I wrapped them nicely in "convictions that could be backed up with Scripture." Once again, using Scripture to change others. Rather than to keep the focus on me. It is very hard to keep the focus on ourselves isn't it? I think that is a great tool used by our enemy. If he can keep us all busy trying to do the work that can only be done by the Father, then that is a great distraction from our own sanctification.

Let me sum this up for those that are actually still reading this insanely long post. A sermon I heard yesterday made so much sense to me. He gave a great illustration: imagine God holding onto your wrist. You can either have your hand grasping his or have let it go. Either way, God has his grip tight on you. Not letting you go. And then He will give a gentle squeeze and remind you that you have let go.. thus allowing you to grab tight again. I love that illustration. Here is the point: God never lets go. His affections remain constant. And those of you still uncomfortable that you have nothing to do at all to earn those affections will send me emails and messages about all the Scripture that says we are to live a certain way. And in that moment I can only ask, "what do you think the heart of the Father is toward you if you didn't "do" your list today?" And nothing draws me closer, gives me the longing to sit at the feet of my Father in His presence (Word or prayer) like understanding my position and His affection.
Thanks for reading. I hope it encourages you.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why the teacher is always learning too..


I'll tell ya, this homeschooling thing isn't as bad as I thought it was (last year).

Yes, I gave up on K5 last year. I hated to admit it. But I did. And now, I am so thrilled that I did. I had a newborn, a family crisis and too much invested in what my peers where doing.

Granted, all the HS'ing veterans tried to warn me: "don't become a slave to the curriculum," or "don't beat yourself up about having to do it a certain way," and my favorite one to ignore, "You don't have to go out and buy all the fancy curriculum to teach them what they need to know. It's kindergarten."

Well I totally failed. I went and bought the fancy curriculum and tried to put so much on my poor child that it burnt us both out. It wasn't fun. It wasn't sinking in for him and on top of that I had to put Eva in MDO because I couldn't even focus through one session.

So fast forward to today. I have all the kids at home and am able to successfully get through a 1st grade school day (which lasts about an hour for Reading, Bible and Math). And I feel much better about it and actually LOVE it and so does Jorge. We are into week two and he is still waking up in the mornings saying, "Mommy, we are going to do school today, right?"
(he has also said while doing math, "mommy can you get a pillow for my head, this is making me tired.").

So what changed in a year?

1. I no longer put stock in what my peers are doing. If you got something that you love, I'd love to hear about how great it's working for you. But if you sell it to me as, "your kid has got to get this _________ (curriculum, concept, etc)" I immediately tune you out. I am all too easily swayed to peer pressure. And not the kind that involves drugs. But the comparison dance. The one where I go back and forth in my head about all the ways someone else is doing it better than me. Well I hate that dance, and I no longer buy the music. I try to recognize the song when it comes on and turn it off. This has helped me so much in paying attention to: the learning style of the kid I'm teaching, what he/she likes to do, and their own rate of learning. If we spend a week on one Bob book and two days on the next.. that is JOY to my heart and I'm not worried that your kid just read the entire set in one sitting. Hello, Freedom! Goodbye, Pressure.

2. I am honing in on the art of distraction. Homeschooling is the easy part. It's the younger siblings that can make a momma loose her ever.loving.mind. So I have to spend equal time figuring out how to get the younger three occupied (if they are deciding they don't want to do school with me and Jorge) with something entertaining or fun for them. So far Eva and Alex want to "do school" which includes a modified version of whatever we are doing, whilst they are coloring or playing with counting cubes. And Isaac, he either wanders around destroying the house or in his pack n play contained with toys. For me, I had to realize that it takes creativity to include the younger ones or even to keep them busy. And some days this works better than others.

3. I've learned the difference between routine and schedule. I LOVE a good routine. A schedule, is of the devil. (I jest, sort of). There can be so much more grace with a routine. And flexibility too. It also frees us up to do fun things. I used to be a stickler for the clock. Now I can tell what time it is by what we are doing.. and not stressed that it's 30 minutes later than when we did it the day before. My kids get dressed on their own after breakfast, because that's the routine. but there isn't a mandatory time that that is supposed to happen by.

4. I stop when the fun stops. This is huge for me. Obviously, in learning there are times where it isn't our favorite thing to do, so we persevere. But when mommy starts getting frustrated that little Jorge's 3's look like a number of evil (I don't know what that means exactly) we take a break. Mommy needs to move on. Mommy needs to remember that little Jorge is just now learning this stuff and he won't go to college writing his 3's like an alien. "Mommy move on." That's what I keep saying in my head.

I tell ya.. the growth has to happen in me. I hear people say all the time, "I could never teach my kids." And I won't pretend I don't know what you are talking about. It is definitely hard work. The patience that has to come is painstaking. But the joy I get when I see the hard work pay off, it's unreal. It's not all, bake days and fun outside. It's hard. It's long hours and lots of worrying, "will they ever write their 3's so we can recognize it?" And the answer is yes. And the process of what I am learning is just as priceless as seeing them persevere too.

I'm looking forward to growing more and more each year and becoming a better teacher than I was the year before.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

The Absentminded Professor, but without the Professor.

So, I guess that just makes me "absentminded."

I tell ya, sometimes I truly don't get it. How is it that I was once a very bright, intelligent person?
Now, my brain is mush.

Yesterday, while on the phone, I was exiting my car and about to walk into the grocery store. I realized that my keyless entry alarm was not locking the van doors. I turned around to notice that my door (not the kids') was wide open. As in, I walked out of my drivers seat and left the door wide open. Good grief.

this is me back in the day.. when I had a brain.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Alright already.

I am sorry.. life is crazy and I have no time to blog about it.

We started school this week (1st grade with Jorge, K5 with Alex) and the younger two are making that a little difficult to do.

I did have a great time in Boston (thanks for asking)
and I still hope to put up the rest of my conference notes on my birth blog.

Well, I promise as soon as I come up for air I will let you know how crazy it's been. (but with 9 clients from now until January.. don't hold yer breath!).

Monday, July 18, 2011

North Bound!


So Im heading to Boston tomorrow morning.. 6 a.m flight (ouch). I know that I will definitely be updating my birth blog (since this is a doula related adventure).. So if you don't catch me here.. you can get updates (all things birth related) there.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Can you remind me again..

Can you remind me again that the kids aren't out to get me?

WARNING WARNING WARNING WARNING:

If you are a person who:

a) lives in a bubble and your kids are little drops of sunshine all day long, everyday or..

b) does not talk about the times in motherhood where you really start to question why you opted for children at all and you certainly wouldn't like to talk about that publicly..

This post WILL OFFEND you.

(Just thought you should be prepared).

Lets' start with this:



That's Eva, my 2 year old, in a cast.

Sunday (as in 5 days ago), while at a church we were visiting, she got her finger shut in the nursery door. It was a freak accident (Eva was behind the worker who was letting out another girl to her mommy). GROSS ALERT: We had to rush to the ER. I saw flesh.. and lots of blood. Eva was hysterical. Mommy was trying not to be. They had to remove her fingernail AND she got 8 stitches (thus the amount of blood I freaked about). She was a trooper. She watched the surgeon as he stitched her up and didn't even cry when they gave her the local block (shot) to numb up her hand. She was super strong. That night she did wake up every four hours for pain medication but by Tuesday, she didn't need anything.

On Tuesday we went back to Children's to get the cast put on so that the wound could heal. It looked nasty, even all stitched up. But that's just mommy. Daddy said they did a good job. He should know.

So fast forward to today, Thursday. After a few days of Alabama heat, where it's too hot to be outside longer than 15 minutes without some kind of water activity.. things in my house are starting to get crazy. And we can't do water because Eva's cast can't get wet.

Then it just started going downhill.

-I went to pick up two towels on the floor in my living room only to realize that Alex brought his cup of milk over from breakfast (I have NO idea why, never done that before) and set it under the towels. So of course the milk spilled. Thankfully towels were handy.

-Eva had a near miss on a HUGE glass of water spilling over her cast, which I was warned not to let get wet... they put the fear of God in me. Apparently my daughter has a Gremlin cast and one drop will suck her arm into a wormhole and we won't ever be able to get it out. Never mind that they make waterproof casts. But I'm seeing that a lot of doctors don't like to let you in on all the options available for your treatment plan, they only suggest the option that's easiest for them.. because you are their last patient of the day and they just want to get home. Never mind that you just spent two hours waiting in a small little room waiting for them.

-I send the kids outside to play for that 15 minutes allowable by the heat index and then Eva comes in crying with blood because she put her ONE GOOD HAND inside the fan. Yes. IN the fan. Thankfully it was only a small flesh wound. No stitches necessary.

-Mommy needs a Valium at this point.

-The boys are fighting. Normal, but at this point, I'm done.

I decide to get out of the house and give them a new view and head to visit my SIL and her new baby. I thought it would be nice for the kids to play and I can fold some laundry for my SIL while she sits and cuddles her baby.

-After 15 minutes of being there I hear Jorge "MOMMMY, you need to come here quick!" I walk in to the playroom to see Eva sitting on her cousins (Kevin, 3) potty. No biggie, right? Well, except that she has taken off her underwear and shorts, which have poop in them and all over them, poop on her shoes, poop on the carpet, poop (in the shape of a toddler rear) on the red elmo chair, poop on her leg, and so much poop on her foot I think she actually stepped in the poop.

-I have to spend 30 minutes bathing my daughter and, what seems, most of the belongings in my SIL's house.

- Oh, and how do you get poop off of a cast you aren't supposed to get wet?

-I decide that it's probably best if we just head back home. As soon I get in the driveway, Eva falls down and gashes her knee.

I promise I'm not kidding.

I know my kids aren't out to get me. None of this was done to me. But I can assure you the thought has crossed my mind: "Now, tell me again why I wanted to do this?" oh and: "can we fast forward three years?" (and don't tell me I will want that time back. I get that. But it's hard while I'm in it).

Someone said we may need a padded room for Eva. I think I am the one that needs that room.

I'm hoping that tomorrow. . will be much better. IF I can make it through tonight.

from photo to paint...

My very talented friend, Teresa, did something pretty cool. And I just want to brag on her. Because she is cool like that.

I took this picture while out on a Girls Night Out (said friend was there too). Granted I don't know any of the people in it.. but I just loved the colors and the string lights (that was my favorite).

When Teresa saw the picture I posted (on facebook) she, in all her talent, painted it.



I just think that is so amazing. I love her own take on it (she didn't want random people in it, hehe) and of course I love the string lights!

Great Job Teresa! She is also a professional photographer and you can check out her great stuff here.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Inspiration is back..

turns out that a photographer (or a novice, in my case) can gain tons of inspiration when given a new lens to try out..

so here I have a new love.. bokeh.



stunning.. (in my humble opinion). Nevermind that she put on her little brother's pj's.


I love that the subject "pops" out in front of that blurred backgroud (bokeh). It's gorgeous. (adorable nephew here).

my goofy son and his pal, cousin Asher.

Livia (niece) enjoying the zip line.

handsome Levi (nephew).

and then the lens captures the yumminess of the Pineapple-mango salsa my sister made..

and the delicious pasta I made..

and also the baby.. who was upset his daddy put him down..


all in all.. Im pretty sure I won't be using my other lens for a long time..


but she said it's okay. She likes it.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Motherhood: it's all about survival.

Sure, motherhood is about making a difference in lives. Helping little ones learn the difference between right and wrong and helping them understand life.

In between those moments.. there are the "how do I survive this?" moments.


Take for instance, laundry. What's the point, really? (Jorge at 1)

cleaning the house? What does it matter. (yes, that'd be coffee grounds). Alex @ 18 months


(isaac @ <1)




And as a mother.. you live for daily heart attacks, right? (jorge @ 2)


and then clean kids? Psh.. it's overrated.

I'm telling you friends.. it's all about survival.