Monday, November 15, 2010

Having it all

How do working moms do it?
I'm only working about 15 hours a week in the evenings and weekends to help make ends meet until Mr. Reliable finishes the Academy (one more month!) and gets hired on somewhere, but I'm starting to fall behind. My energy and patience are being stretched thin, the dishes and laundry are piling up (more than normal), and our nutritional needs are not being met in the way they were when I had an extra 15 hours a week. Only since I have entered the workforce outside the home have I realized how much I love my job as a homemaker and how very valuable it is. I think without this time I would have continued to believe the Great American Lie, that it was possible for women to "have it all." Maybe it is possible to "have" it all, but I think it is absolutely impossible to enjoy "it all." We sacrifice according to what is important to us. And unless we have endless amounts of hours and energy, either career or family life (probably both) will have to suffer.

Working is necessary for now, but I'm really looking forward to being able to invest all of my time and energy into our home again.

I cannot imagine the plight of a single mom who has no option but to work full time. What a difficult position!

Thank you for letting me sit and ramble while I should be washing dishes.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


My older boy is turning 3 on Saturday!
I cannot believe that this precious baby is really a preschooler!

He just learned to sit up yesterday, didn't he?
At least he still sleeps with Shine Shine Bear!

He's not a baby anymore.
He's a smart, funny, energetic little boy!

And I love him even more than I did the day he was born.
Happy Birthday Boots!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bringing Up Boys

I'm not really a big "Focus on the Family" fan. Someone gave me the FOTF Baby Book when my older boy was born and a lot of the things that are important to me (cloth diapers, natural birth, midwifery, breastfeeding, the list goes on...) were dismissed as old fashioned or even dangerous. So I haven't used them as any sort of resource since then. Until recently, that it.

I finally got around to picking up the copy of Bringing Up Boys that my Mother-in-Law gave us a couple years ago. To say that I was skeptical would be an understatement. I was pleasantly surprised by what I found: a mostly balanced view on how to teach boys to become good men. Most chapters included in depth research, which was rather important to me considering the rash conclusions drawn in the only other Focus on the Family book I had read. I really enjoyed the studies on the differences between boys and girls. The book looks at many of the challenges facing boys and their parents today and offers practical advice on how to avoid some of the most common pitfalls.

Just like any book, there were areas I don't particularly agree with, but all in all it was a good read!

And the more I read the more thankful I became for Mr. Reliable, who is a great man and an excellent father.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

5 thoughts

  1. I made the most wonderful protein bars this week (they came from Passionate Homemaking) ; everyone who has tried them adores them.
  2. Now I just have to figure out how to cross things out without deleting them.
  3. Mr. Reliable is plugging away at the academy; already 5 of the 30 cadets have dropped out. They spend most of the day outside, doing drills in their turnout gear (in 100+ temperatures). Most of the guys have quit because it's to hot and/or hard. Maybe they didn't think this whole firefighter thing through... because most people would assume that fighting fires is both hot and hard.
  4. I have read Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? At least 8 times this morning, and will probably read it again as soon as I finish this post.
  5. I got a job! And I love it! I've started waiting tables on the weekends to help make ends meet while Mr. Reliable is in the academy. It's really fun to get out of the house and relate to other adults!
Have a happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Room Time

Room Time is the #1 sanity saver in my day.

It's pretty simple. Each boy goes to a separate space (Boots in the bedroom and Snugs in the pack & play) and plays all alone for 30 minutes.

Here is a little glimpse into my life before we re-instated (I have no idea why we ever stopped) room time:
It's 4:45 and both boys are crying. The little one because he just got tackled by the Boots. Boots tackled his brother because I couldn't read him a story while I cut the veggies for the salad. I walk into the living room to try and fix things, but neither boy wants to be in my lap with the other. So I alternate between the two (neither satisfied) until Mr. Reliable walks in at 5:30 to see our messy house, teary faces, and dinner that's not quite ready.

Now instead each boy goes to his space at 4:45 and I do my final dinner prep, pick up the living room, and take a few minutes to sit my myself. When room time is over at about 5:15 the boys are so excited to be reunited, they act like they haven't seen each other in weeks and play together happily until their daddy arrives at 5:30.

It works perfectly; except on days like yesterday, when Mr. Reliable didn't walk in the door almost 6. On those days I just remind myself that someday this will all be funny.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

a year and a half.

It's been almost a year a a half since we left Asia to clear our heads and "figure things out." We're settled, I gave birth to our second baby, we bought a house, and have a new career on the way, but my head is no clearer and I've figured nothing out.

A good friend recently told Mr. Reliable that he has felt that his time in the ministry is a race and he has always vowed to finish well; not knowing wether that finish line is at the end of his life or just around the corner. Mr. Reliable later explained his feelings to me this way:

"It's like I was running a marathon. I was doing well, keeping a steady pace the all of the other runners, not struggling to keep up and not running far ahead, just running well. Then, when I closed my eyes for a second it was gone. Not as though I had finished the race, but like it simply vanished. There was no trace of the race, so sign of the other runners, and no markers for the course. I couldn't find any evidence of it at all."

He put into words exactly what I have been feeling for the last year and a half. I just keep hoping that as we move on with life, we'll find more than just proof of some race, but maybe we'll stumble onto the... I was going to say prize, but that's not really what I'm looking for. The truth. Maybe we'll stumble onto the truth.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

He Did It!

He did it!
Mr. Reliable is officially a fire cadet!
2 boys with fevers are calling my name; but I had to share my excitement!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fighting Fire

Tonight is Mr. Reliable's last night at a job he hates. It's exciting and terrifying at the same time. He's leaving his steady job, (at which he would easily be promoted within 2 years) to fight fire. He has applied for the fire academy that 23 of the fire departments in our area hire from; but we won't find out if he gets accepted until the last week of July (the academy starts the first week of August). We saved and saved and have paid our mortgage and car payment ahead until February; we've done all we can to get our ducks in a row. So now we wait.

He's not a man who can just "do a job" for a paycheck. He needs to do something he finds meaningful. The job he is leaving could lead to a $100,000 a year salary within 10 years, the one he's trying to get will probably never reach anywhere near those numbers. But it will allow him the freedom to love people, to treat people with compassion and respect, and to be with people in their hour of greatest need, and no six-figure salary can compare to that. I'm so proud of him and there is no one I'd rather be out on a limb with.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Our Favorite Muffins

Since I've been gone so long with no logical explanation, I thought I start back up with something useful: Our favorite muffins! These are easy enough for little ones to help and delicious. I just puree the veggies in my little food processor.

1. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).

2. In a large bowl, whisk together oil and sugar. Beat in egg, then applesauce. Stir in carrots and zucchini.

3. In another large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.

4. Fold dry ingredients into wet, until just mixed. Grease muffin tray. Spoon batter to the very top of muffin cups and bake 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in a muffin.


Saturday, May 8, 2010

My Poor Neglected Blog

Dear Blog,
I am sorry I have neglected you. My thoughts lately have been sort of personal, and well, I'm sorry to tell you, but.... You are a huge blabber mouth. I can't tell you anything without the whole world (or at least 6 people) hearing all about it. But I really do like you and I'll be spending more time with you in the near future.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

finding new jeans

I've been thinking about growing pains (the actual process, not the show) About how it just kind of hurts to change and grow; and how sometimes the ideas you've worn for years just don't seem to fit anymore and not only that, they're more worn out than your favorite pair of jeans (you know, the ones that have holes in all the wrong places, but you just can't toss). And where do you go to find new ones that fit anyway? The new ones are all too low and they make you look like you have a serious case of mom butt.

I can't contemplate anymore tonight. I'm going to watch lost on hulu and pretend that my jeans fit just fine.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

slow down

As I was preparing lunch today Snugs started crying. I quickly remembered that I hadn't changed his diaper in a little while and started to have a mini mental meltdown. I sat my sauce-covered spoon on the counter, grabbed him out of the exersaucer, and frantically looked for a clean diaper cover. He was laying on the floor looking up at me and crying as I pulled at the snaps on his sleeper. Then I saw his face. I took a deep breath and realized that no one was going to be upset if lunch was five minutes later. No one even cared! Mr. Reliable had taken Boots to the store to pick up something he needed, but my little one needed me. I smiled at him and spoke to him quietly. He stopped crying.

I had completely missed his need. Yes, his diaper was wet and he wanted a dry one, but he NEEDED to know that I love him, that I think he is wonderful, and that a late lunch and messy kitchen are not more important to me that him. I don't know why the tasks get so overwhelming that I forget why or for whom I am doing them.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Thank You Blogger Moms

Yesterday morning, as we were eating breakfast, I was explaining the health benefits of the lacto-fermented salsa I've been enjoying making lately to Mr. Reliable when he suddenly stopped me. "You should teach a class!" he said emphatically.

"A class about salsa? It isn't really that hard, I doubt anyone needs a class on it."

"No, I mean... The way you combine thriftiness and healthiness! I can see you teaching a class on it."

This is possibly the best compliment I have received in years! Not because I want to teach a class or because I think I'm even half-way qualified, but in that statement he was telling me that he thinks I take care of our family so well that I should teach other people how to do the same! I think as a wife and a mom I am constantly trying to find a better way to do things- and it feels so good to be recognized!

So thanks friends and blogger moms for sharing all your tips, ideas, recipes, trials and errors! You are helping me be a better homemaker; and that makes my home happier!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Morning Joy

Having two babies in two years has made me forget how wonderful a quite morning is! For about a week now I've been waking up an hour before the boys stir to stretch, grab a piece of fruit, and sometimes even take a shower in privacy (it's wonderful!). I am so much happier to hear their little voices in the morning when I'm awake and alert than when it's the first sound I hear and I'm just praying that it's still nighttime and that they'll go back to sleep.

I hear a little voice right now!