Monday, August 24, 2015

The Truth

Because Facebook is really good at showing our best moments rather than showing day to day reality, I just want to share some truth. 

I am tired. 

I am grateful for three healthy children, but I am exhausted and occasionally wish to resign. I am a working mom, working 9 months a year with 50+ hours a week, with about 8 hours a week tutoring in the summer. This means I should be basking in the sun with my children the rest of the time, loving every minute. 

I don't. 

Of course there are highlights and a lot of love, but many times it can feel like a chore. 

I wash their bottles and sippy cups three times by nap time. They seriously multiply! I seem to be prepping or cleaning up a meal/snack constantly, and not because it actually takes that much time to prep the food alone. But entertaining and removing danger from three small children who want to be held or play with the waffle iron WHILE prepping food does take an extraordinary amount of time. 

The art of distraction has been nearly perfected this summer. Two 18 month olds presented a challenge but I think I fared well! Whether I distract one with a different toy when they fought over the same item, or I got them all busy so I could pee or change laundry without tears, it has become an art form for me. 

Baths happen frequently. Experiences I want to give my children end up meaning extra cleaning of the house/yard, and them. And that means I'm tired. I actually didn't plan a day trip to an activity in the metro area (1.5 hrs away) worried I would fall asleep driving. See they fall asleep on the way home, but I have to stay awake. Keeping three children alive and safe away from home is taxing! And back seat drivers are not helpful in these instances. 

Therefore the mom guilt steps in. Am I just an exhausted mess? Shouldn't I be loving this more? They say time flies, but this hour before bedtime is inching by. "Enjoy it while it lasts," they say. The little two fight over the same item, and as soon as I have distracted one with something new, that's exactly what the oldest wanted to play with! Can't win some days! 

I wish there was an easier way. Maybe there is. I know there are healthy things to improve my energy, but we restricted the budget for a short time, and that is not a need for now. My solution right now  is praying to God to help me each day share in the joy of my children. Thankfully those moments get me through the chore like moments. I was chosen to be these three kids' mom, and I am so blessed. But having a blessing doesn't mean it isn't work. We are blessed with a home, doesn't mean there isn't maintenance and chores. We have a happy marriage, doesn't mean we don't have miscommunication and frustration over who gets up with the kids this time. We are blessed with jobs, doesn't mean we aren't frustrated by it at times and wish we were paid more or had some more vacation time. We are blessed with children, doesn't mean it doesn't take every ounce of my energy and self control to keep everyone well and growing. 

I am blessed.
I love my children, but I'm also tired. 

That's my reality.

Sand everywhere:

Yogurt - feeding self, I mean facial

Water colors: 
Water colors on the face:

Saving grace: Daddy doing bedtime stories! 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Summer time!

June was a month of adjustment.
Adjustment to life as a Stay At Home Mom. This is of course a career change. Not a flip of a switch. I knew there would be adjustment, so I gave myself low expectations and eased in to daily activities, outings, and my overall proficiency as mother of 3 littles. In the past I have gotten frustrated because I didn't seem to just transition in to summer life easily, with or without kids. After my ninth year teaching, I have finally realized that it is a career change, and with such a major change, grace and understanding should come with it. I started tutoring three students in July, so June really was a time we got to be home together with the kids going to daycare about 2 days a week. This was when I got cleaning and shopping done. Somehow it wasn't the rest I thought it would be. The time filled quickly with To Do items. The greatest joy was just seeing my children, day in and day out, and having the time to notice the little things about their development and personalities. I loved the summer buzz haircut Caleb got to really signify summer! And the after nap snuggles were absorbed and treasured! I could go on and on about the laughs, the art of distraction and redirection, and moments I will recall with love for years to come. But, my time is limited, so here are the summer highlights by calendar:

June 9: Splash Pad in Eden Prairie with some other Moms of Multiples.
June 11: Mollie and Will held hands in the car.
June 12: Attempt at PlayDough. Mollie can play with PlayDough and not eat it. William can not resist the green soft stuff!
June 12: Caleb caught his first fish with Daddy. Small mouth bass
June 14: Date night and cards with Josh
June 15: Finally planted the garden
June 21: Father's day and supper at Sibley Park
June 23: Caleb went to the dentist. Did much better with the cleaning; got 1/2 done. But sadly found 2 cavities.
June 26: Leaving at bedtime for South Dakota.
June 27: Met Fishers in Hill City, SD.
June 29: Mount Rushmore
June 30: Storybook Island & Bear Country USA
July 2: Children's Museum in Brookings, SD
July 2-5: Harjes Family Celebration, celebrating Ur Oma's 80th Birthday
July 8: Twins Play Date at Children's Museum
July 9-10: Oma Camp - Caleb slept over at my mom's
July 9: Blueberry picking at Greta's
July 11: North Mankato Fun Days parade
July 13: Ice Cream Cones for Mollie & Will
July 14: Library with Nana
July 15: Blueberry picking with Meghan in Northfield.
July 17: MoonDogs date night with Multiple Blessings group
July 18: 3 different jam recipes
July 19: Tourtelotte Pool with Johnson Family
July 22: Day with our favorite nurse, Lisa Taylor.
July 24: St Peter Kiddie Pool with Scholl family
July 25: Family Barn Dance in Green Isle; Mollie & Will's first
July 27: Caleb has a chore bingo card to earn iPod time and $1 when it is blackout.
July 28: Negotiations, I am a member of the team, ended with a tentative agreement between MTA and ISD 77
July 28: Caleb had two cavities filled and was a champ! Laughing gas works like a charm!
July 29: Owatonna Water Park with my Littles, Eli and Sophia, and Mukamuri family
July 31: Target run with all 3 and left the van door open

August 2: Anniversary day date in Minneapolis area
August 5: Josh has ACL reconstructive surgery
August 5: Caleb started garden class
August 8: Mom, Gene, Greta, and Krista return from 12 days in Guatamala on a Mission Trip. Krista stops by for a quick visit and the next day Mom and Gene stop by. 
August 12: Caleb and Mommy went to garden class, followed by the Children's Museum with the Tapescape exhibit.
August 13-14: Renew, Reflect, Re-Charge: A Courage to Teach retreat for me


Saturday, August 1, 2015

7 years

Feeling an itch can actually be low-grade pain. So the phrase "7 Year Itch" could be referring to quite some pain! Luckily for me, Josh and I are not feeling any itch. 

Each year our relationship grows, we overcome another hurdle, we love on our children together, and we enjoy the blessings in our lives! Looking over our first seven years, our marriage has been the harbor, not the storm. We've lost family members and grieved together; we added family members and rejoiced together. There was a job change, a basement flood, an upstairs bathroom geyser, and upstairs remodel. We've had hikes in Alaska, Colorado and California. A few weeks and weekends apart, but always anticipating a wonderful homecoming. Our biggest curveballs have been two pregnancies with a nauseous Bri, resulting in three children. But children we prayed for, anticipated, and rejoiced in their arrivals. There have been some highs and lows, but we've had a safe harbor, and truly a happy 7 years! I am so grateful to have been joined in love and purpose with Josh. He is the man and teammate I need and want in life and beyond!