Children's Schedule, growing, SAHM, Thankful

How did I get here?


I have these “moments” every now and then where I seem to be hyper aware of being in the moment:  remembering the sights, sounds, smells, enjoying the present.  The first moment that I can truly recall like this was when I was hmmm… a sophomore in college.  I was driving around my little college town and breathing in what must have felt like the “freedom” of being a grown-up.  Of course I had no idea in my 19-year-old head what being an adult actually meant, but I was kind of trying it out.  Like trying on clothes.  I wanted to see what it was like, see if I could do it.  I remember that I had my windows down in my car, I remember what the wind felt like and that I was listening to a lot of Green Day at that point. It was springtime and warm outside and the air smelled sweet because the cherry blossom trees were in bloom.   I had a car phone.  (LOL!  Right?  That’s how long ago this was.  A CAR phone.)  I felt so important because I had a phone.  IN my car.  I was obviously not supposed to use it except for emergencies because it was absurdly expensive per minute, but still.  Fun to have.  I remember that I used to love checking my mail at the college post office because it was the first time I had an address that was just my own.

The next “moment” that I recall capturing was when we first moved to Chicago.  We had an adorable apartment on the north side of the city.   It had french doors opening to the dining room, a completely square kitchen and zero closet space.  I loved that apartment.  That is where DH and I really stretched our wings.  We had to “sink or swim” in the big city and we learned how to swim together.  Amidst all the other 20-somethings trying to figure out life and how to use the transit system.  We were very broke, so we spent a lot of time playing video games at home or playing rpgs (role playing games) with our friends.  I remember playing Theme Hospital on the playstation game system and feeling so content in my little apartment, 650 miles from my family.  We ate a lot of macaroni and cheese (from a box) and ramen noodles.  It was hard, really really hard, but also satisfying in the way that you might be creating  a sculpture and you’re trying to get the vision in your head worked out in tangible form.

Five apartments, 6 jobs and 2 college degrees later, my oldest son was born.  He was beautiful.  A skinny baby with long spindly legs and big blue eyes.  If I think back on it now, I can see his personality just as it is now, but emerging through his little baby gestures and sounds.  I remember the first time I cared for him by myself, completely alone after our visiting family left and DH was at work.  I had not gone back to the office yet, and there I was with this little newborn.  Had anyone even checked if this was ok?  That I had this little baby?  What was happening?  It was surreal.  I was sitting in an ugly-patterned orange wingback chair, a hand-me-down from family.  I loved that chair.  It wasn’t a rocker, but it was super comfortable, and most importantly, it fit in our tiny 2-bedroom apartment.  DS made little cooing sounds and wiggled around in my arms.  His little hat was too big and would slide around on his head like a lopsided sailor hat until I straightened it out again.  I was so astounded that I was responsible for this little life.  I had just sat down on this enormous rollercoaster of a ride without an end.  I didn’t even have time to think about whether or not I could do it, I constantly had to keep up with actually doing it:  the care, the love, the food, the diapers, stimuli, tummy time, eventually my workplace and socialization.  If I stopped to think about it anymore I would become overwhelmed, so I just looked at that little baby with the lopsided hat and green dinosaur slippers and smiled and cuddled and held on to him for dear life.  He’s 8 now.  I still love to watch him sleep.

So is this how we recall life in a series of flashbacks like this where you hit highlights and occasionally look up from all the busy-ness and see where you are before digging in again to “real life” and work and  details?  What a ride.  I wonder what’s around the next bend?

Be Fierce.  Buckle your safety belts.



Children's Schedule, SAHM, Thankful

Quiet!! I’m trying to have a moment over here!!


Its cold.  They predicted 8 inches of snow.  We got 18.  We’ve all got cabin fever.  DH can’t get on the road to travel for work, the mons-ners can’t get to school.  We’ve ALL had our fill of screen-time.

 “We’re all mad here…”, comes to mind.

 It occurred to me yesterday as I was looking at myself in the mirror that I could not believe my age, I could not believe my children’s ages, without slowing down, it was going to be gone in a flash.  I don’t wish for my children to be younger again or for just “one more” baby, or to relive those moments.  I did it.  Three times, and I loved it.  I love love love babies.  I also love watching my daughter play with her pony action figures and the fact that I no longer have a diaper genie in my home.  In any case, I was purposefully trying to relax while cooking breakfast, so I turned on some music.  As I’m standing there bleary-eyed over the stove stirring oatmeal, I began to try to will myself to be thankful. This is very hard for me to do when faced with frustration.  I read several “mom blogs” and they make it all seem so easy to be thankful for things we take for granted every day.  I, on the other hand, have to work at it.  Its not that I’m not thankful, I think I just forget temporarily.  I consider myself hyper-emotional.  You can imagine how this brightly clashes with an autistic child.  So, I’m stirring the oatmeal and listening to the music and I begin to think, “make this a moment”.  I stir in craisins trying to ignore the sugar content and begin breaking up the walnuts, again, “make this a moment”.  Soon breakfast is on the table and DH has come in from shoveling mountains of snow and the kids are bouncy and itchy to go somewhere and we eat breakfast.  Its not idyllic, we’re all a bit grouchy, M, my spectrum child, is just dying for more screen time.  After breakfast DH has put down the “law” that there is no more screen time.  The table is cleared and the legos come out.  The janga blocks come out (my kids use these for building blocks, almost never actual janga).  The My Little Ponies and tiny doll action figures come out and imagination begins.  Make this a moment.  And it is a moment. Soon though attention spans begin to wander and it is time for a new activity.  We pull out a science experiment box, one of those Magic School Bus activity sets.  Unfortunately, this only takes about 10 minutes and then it has to sit for 3 days.  Oy.  Next activity.  Spectrum child has already turned on two electronic devices before being reprimanded.  Keep calm, keep calm, keep calm, make this a moment.  As soon as I’ve almost gotten upset my daughter has pulled out her Duplo Legos and the next activity has begun.  Three minutes in and they’re now playing with M’s school project which is due on Wednesday.  “NOOOO!!!!”, I silently scream in my head.  I urge the mons-ners away from our weekend-long work on the project and onto other building activities.  And….. a deep breath.  Everyone is building blocks and playing legos and enjoying themselves for now. This is a moment.  I just need a few seconds to drink in the sounds and sights to really remember what it looks and feels and sounds like so that in a few years when legos are no longer played with and blocks have fallen by the wayside, I can remember this moment and enjoy the next moment.

#BeFierce  #MakeThisAMoment