Thursday, November 29, 2007

Smooth Sailing

Life has been going very well for our little family as of late, so I figured I would write about it before things change (not that I am hoping for more trials or hurdles of any kind).

Part of the reason the world is moving just a little bit smoother is because Papa Bear is jumping in and helping out (without being asked first) with the girls and around the house. This is appreciated even more so than normal because right now he is in his final two weeks of the year and work stress is at an all time high as he is trying to get clients to bring in promised paperwork to make sure he hits his sales numbers. While this might seem like a strange thing to be grateful for, I am grateful for this extra help and participation in what often times feels like my part of the universe.

I sometimes think that it would be nice to go back to work. You know outside the home. Back to the officially recognized work place, the 9 - 5 routine (wait, I never did that - it was more like 8am - 9pm or later, but at least I was paid for the overtime). Back to the place where you get to hang out with grow-ups and be involved in adult conversations on business, entertainment, financial news and world related topics. Not the kid-centric, diaper checking/changing, "did-you-eat-your-lunch-before-you-need-to-catch-the-bus, "don't-hit-your-sister", "who-made-this-mess" conversations that I feel I have been having on a daily sometimes hourly basis.

Plus, when I was working outside the home my day actually had beginnings and endings. I got to go to work. I got to leave work. I got to have a lunch break. I got to use the bathroom without having two kids trailing after me. I even got to sleep for 8+ hours straight with no interruptions from crying or whimpering kids who scream out in the middle of the night even though they are still fast asleep. BB1 has done this with more frequency as of late and it scares the biggevis (sp?) out of me and sends me rushing into her room to make sure nothing has happened to her.
Of course since I am less than half awake and even less aware of my surroundings, I often wonder what good I would really be able to do in the instance that something was happening that actually required intelligent thought or action on my part. Most nights I just pat her head, whisper a few soothing words (at least in my sleep muddled mind they seem soothing - in all actuality they could be grunts!) and stumble back to bed. A couple nights back she actually rolled/fell out of her bed and was left sitting on the floor, half awake and a little dazed. I am pretty sure I managed to pick her up and put her back into bed before I realized what I was doing - thank goodness that moms can function on auto pilot.

And, if I had to be completely honest with myself, for as much as I might look back on my working days with fondness, there are some things I don't miss. I don't miss the mind blowing stress, the office politics, the deadlines or the commute. I don't miss the crazy people you had to deal with (and every office has at least one). And I do know that I would miss watching my little girls grow up and discover the world around them and helping them find their place in it. I would miss seeing BB1 come home from school and telling me all about her day and listening to her plans for where we can go that day so that we can have family fun time. I would miss BB2 and her constant "conversations" on her toy cell phone and her singing lullabies to her monkey. She has hit a stride where she never stops saying something. I wouldn't want to give those moments to anyone else, so for the time being, I make my peace with being out of the work force and in with the mom-force.
SO, to my point and what I think I am really trying to say with this long rambling thread is that I am thankful to Papa Bear for stepping in with a more helping hand; even when he is at his busiest, because sometimes you just want to feel like you are not alone in doing the day to day things like feeding, washing, caring, soothing, clothing, changing, and constant picking up routines that all moms do.

As for BB1, she is doing awesome in school. During her recent PT conference, her teacher says she is an excellent Peace Maker - there is even a little pledge that goes with this and once I get her to recite it to me, I'll post it because it's just too cute. She is a great little helper to both her teacher and to other students. Granted we still have our "teaching moments" as we are calling them at home with BB1, but for the most part temper tantrums are getting shorter. Her initial over the top crying fits are diminishing and when she is told the ever dreaded "NO" she is getting better at accepting the answer and moving on with her day.

BB2 is a little mimic of all that is going on around her and pure entertainment when she tries to do all the big things she sees her sister doing. She gets so excited when it's time for Sis to go to school, but I think that has more to do with seeing the school bus, rather than getting rid of her sister for some one-on-one mom and BB2 time. She says "Thank you, mom!" which makes my day and when it's time for anyone to go anywhere, she's all about the "love you, bye-bye!!" Her smiles and laughter are like gold and more precious to me than anything else.

It just does my heart good to share my life with such unique, intelligent, inquisitive and beautiful little girls and even though at times they are frustrating and trying, I know it's due more to my short comings in patience and temper than in any fault of their own.

Being a mom is hard, sometimes painful (ever get cracked in the head by a temper tantrum welding toddler?), emotionally and physically draining at times, but I would not trade it for any thing else in the world. The rewards in kisses, night time snuggles and "love you moms" is priceless.

So to all the moms and dads (both present and future) hang in there, know that you are not alone in anything you may be dealing with, and just take a moment to enjoy and love your little ones for the special gifts they truly are. Take a moment to appreciate your spouse, as he is in this with you, even if his focus is on different things. And especially take a moment for yourself, to recognize all that you are doing and just know that it does count for something pretty great.
And if ever you need a helping hand, know that I am here to help (although at 3 in the morning it may be more in spirit than in physical being! :o)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Good Friends = Good Times

Even though we spent almost as much time driving in the car as we did hanging out with our good friends the G's from Colorado, it was totally worth it to hang out with great people who just get us and visa verse.

It is a very rare thing indeed to find a couple where both the husband and wife get along with both of us and it's an even better bonus when your kids all get along and in fact look forward to the time we can all spend together. In fact our kids get along so well, we have to wait to tell them we are getting together or there is not a moments peace from the questions of when we are going to get together.

It was our 3rd annual trip to Santa's Village in Colorado Springs, where there are more than enough nausea inducing spinning rides to last you for a life time. The kids went on everything from Santa's train, the aerial sky cabs, rocket ships, motorcycles and automobiles, a reindeer carousel to a giant peppermint slide.

They could not get enough and BB1 could not get to the next ride fast enough. In fact she was so fast she got onto the Tilt-A-Whirl all by herself before we knew she had even gotten off the previous ride.

Sometimes, she is just too independent for her own good. Darn assertive and independent "I can do it myself" gene passed on by both her parents!

After spending the day watching the simple joy on both my kids faces, I have decided that for as long as BB1 and now BB2 get enjoyment from their time at Santa's Village, then we will keep going. I know that the time will come when they will think the village is cheesy, so for now I will embrace their childlike enthusiasm for carnival type rides, I will let them think that hot chocolate, nachos and funnel cakes are a satisfactory lunch and I will provide an outlet for them to indulge in their whirly cup and Ferris wheel passions for as long as I can.

As the day wound to a close, the girls both got to pick out a special treat from the little candy factory in the Boys Toy Shop (and as to why it's not in the Girls Toy Shop, I will never know) and of course they both loved their little sugary treats. Papa Bear and I got to indulge in some pretty delicious fudge and I just have to say it's a good thing I don't know how to make the stuff because it's dangerous. Not that I couldn't make it, it's just that me (and my backside) would just prefer not to have that little bit of knowledge in my culinary repertoire.

This is also the 2nd time we have had a surprise run in with friends from our old neighborhood and it was great to catch up and just see how they are all doing. M&D - Congrats on Baby #3 and please keep me posted once she makes her grand debut!!

There was just no time this trip for a visit to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, which was a hard blow for BB1 to take when we told her we wouldn't be going, but we were able to take in the Sunday Brunch at the Broadmoor. I highly recommend going if you are ever in the area.

Also, I have to note that the kids were awesome in terms of their behavior. I guess all those little talks of being on their best behavior, because we were in a really nice place, must have sunk in. Of course there comes a time when it has to end as I have yet to find a way to make it last forever, but at least they were on their best manners when it really counted and for that I am grateful.

But back to the buffet - I have never seen so much food in all my life and in proper brunch fashion started with the dessert table, even though it was 9:00 am. Creme brulee, Black Forest Truffle, and a chocolate fountain - need I say more. I stayed away from all the things I would normally eat (like omelets and other simple breakfast foods) and indulged in fabulous cheeses, pastries and other breakfast delicacies. The cheese blintzes with strawberry sauce, fillet of beef tenderloin, honey baked ham were delicious. Also, for the first time ever I tried Eggs Benedict and it turns out they are a pretty tasty item. One of Papa Bears favorite items was the Bananas Foster (I tried a bite and it was delicious). I truly believe he tried everything there just to make sure he got his money's worth. Even BB1 got into the spirit of things and had everything from waffles to an ice cream sundae.

So after eating for about 2 1/2 hours (and realizing with our aching tummys why we do not eat at buffets very often) we walked around and got a few family photos to capture the moment. Of course they are all on N&B's camera, so until I get them, you'll have to wait on pins and needles for the latest family photo. I know I am horrible about taking family picture with any kind of consistency, so I can only anticipate the excitement you must all be feeling of finally getting an updated picture. Just hang in there for a few more days.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Learning to Dance

"Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…
It’s about learning to dance in the rain."

I pulled this from an email sent to me and I guess it hit me given what I have been feeling, and so I will try and take from it the lesson that I need in this specific moment - I guess I need to learn to dance in the rain!

Anyone care to join me? :o)

What I want . . .

or more to the point, what I don't want... in this moment I don't want to be mom anymore.
I don't want to cook, I don't want to clean up the same mess over and over again, I don't want to be the referee, I don't want to have to be the disciplinarian, rule maker or rule enforcer.

I don't want to be in charge, I don't want to break up arguments between BB1 and BB2 over the same toy or blanket, I don't want to have to say "No" for the hundredth time when BB1 asks to go out and play at her friends (where she has spent every day for the last few weeks) ... basically I don't want to me mom right now.

Big Sigh, plus a little bit of least tomorrow is another day - hopefully one in which I am better able to handle things.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Happy Halloween!

Some people love Halloween, some don't. I think I am one who likes Halloween, at least the dressing up and decorating aspects of the day. I hope that at some point in my life I can attend one of those really pulled together Masquerade/ Halloween Parties were everyone is in super detailed costumes. It might be the only way I can get Papa Bear to put on a costume. Plus, it just sounds like something really fun to do. I have to give some serious props to the adults that are comfortable enough to walk around in a full on Spiderman costume (thanks to Boo at the Zoo) and would like to say that in my opinion, if you are going to wear a costume, go big or go home.

As for the things I don't like about Halloween, I don't like anything that oozes or looks like wrinkled prunes hanging from a string and even though on most days you would not find me within a foot of a huge ugly spider, this year they were hanging all over the place. They were dangling from our balcony and all over the spider web that was strung along every available surface of our house (roof line included). I thought the overall affect was pretty cool. Plus this year we added a couple of tombstones and little Halloween signs that I strung purple & orange along and all in all it made for a pretty festive looking house.

I would also have to add that after walking around the neighborhood in the freezing cold, I am not a huge fan of the candy gathering aspect, nor do I like the kids that show up at your front door, not wearing a costume and holding out a baseball hat looking for their little treat. But that is just me.

BB1 (aka the cutest witch ever!) had a BLAST running around the neighborhood with all her little friends and of course wanted to eat everything the moment she got it. We decided that she could pick out 10 pieces of candy that would be just hers - and mom and dad couldn't touch them - and everything else went back into the candy bowl. All the gross stuff (seriously - why do people still hand out those orange and black wrapped peanut butter flavored taffys?) was given back out to the trick or treaters that came to our house, and we were left with only the good stuff (ummm -chocolate!)

BB2 got to help hand out the candy and was really good about it until she decided she didn't want to put the Lollipop she had pulled out of our candy bowl into another kids pumpkin. She also did really good with everyone being in different costumes and especially liked the other "animals" she saw throughout the night.

Both kids were so tuckered out at the end of the night, they almost went to bed in thier costumes. Actually to be honest, BB2 did sleep in her costume becuse it was so super soft and snuggly, I thought why not. Huge thanks to CA GMa for doing such an awesome job on the kitty costume and BB1's Cape.

The leaves have almost all fallen off of the trees and what autumn scene would be complete without two of the silliest little kids sitting in the middle of a huge pile of leaves. I have some pretty special memories when I was a kid of helping my dad rake leaves and especially helping to smoosh them down in the garbage pail. So here's to giving them some fun memories (and me not thinking about all the creepy crawlies that can be found amoung the leaves.)

Finally, I am including the picture of BB2 with this post just to share how big my little baby is getting. If anyone knows a way to slow down the process of growing up - Send it my way!!

Also, we would love to hear (and see) what your little one's dressed up for this Halloween. Let the comments and picture exchange commence!!