Friday, September 18, 2009

Midlife Baggage

When I was a younger, prouder woman I vehemently proclaimed that I was going to be done with childbearing by the time I was thirty and was NOT going to be one of those ladies that took her newborn to her high school child’s games and activities. I’m not too much over the thirty deadline, but being in a foreign land (even if it is the same country), it is evident that gestation and being a parent of a middle schooler here is the equivalent of being the pregnant mother of a high schooler in, say, Idaho.

I went to the middle school open house with Rylee and was the only obviously pregnant parent (there were two toddlers in strollers, however). I was suddenly very homesick for Idaho if only because I have too much pride, and it would have felt a bit less awkward not to be the ONLY one.

Today they had a Morning Coffee at the Middle School. Not knowing what a Morning Coffee is, I assumed it was like a quick PTA meeting where they bribe you with coffee and donuts to be there at 7:00 am. So I got up early, got all four girls ready and headed out the door at 6:45 so I wouldn’t have to walk in late.

Again, stranger in a foreign land, apparently a Morning Coffee is actually just coffee and donuts in the library where the parents of middle school kids can mingle. If I wasn’t socially awkward and if I, in fact, knew more than three people in this town, mingling might sound fun.

(Irrelevant side note/Ryleeism: Rylee seemed excited about me going and told me that one of her teacher’s said “There might be juice if you don’t drink water.” Hmmmm. I love that girl’s jumbled little mind! For the record, as a double side note, there was not juice, but there were drinking fountains, for those who don’t drink coffee.)

As it was, I was trying to think of a polite way to leave within 3 minutes of realizing that it was not a meeting, but rather a social gathering. Especially since the early arrivers were all very nicely dressed and put together, by appearance, working (outside-the-home) parents. I myself was pretty proud to have been showered and dressed, with hair done and make-up on by 7:00 am – not to mention having done hair for 4 girls as well (thanks Daniel for making sure they were dressed and fed!).

In the end I did attempt to mingle a little, and had to laugh when the three new people I met looked at my bulging abdomen and said something along the lines of, “And your 6th grader must be your oldest.” I almost wanted to say that I have a freshman at the high school as well, just to see the eyebrows go higher.

Really, though, in their defense, people were very nice and it was refreshing to realize that there is a world out there beyond the cornfields that surround my house. Wondering what people might think is, of course, just my own baggage that I will have to let go – because if I don’t, I’ve seen what the Lord can do to humble a proud woman – hello baby number six in Rylee’s Junior year of High School. Augghhghgh!

Speaking of baggage, Morgan yesterday picked something up that I dropped on the ground and said, “Don’t worry mom, I’ll get it. I know it’s hard for you to bend . . . you’ve got too much luggage.” She then gave me a very pleased smile and proceeded to pat her luggage-less tummy in an all knowing way. No wonder I’m getting so heavy, I’m carrying it around on both the inside and out!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Presidential Influence

With the outrage and concern going on about Obama’s address to the school children, I was trying to decide the best way to respond to the situation. Once the propaganda portion of the whole “show” was dropped I figured that there were enough people on watch that the message to the schools would have to be pretty benign and therefore wasn’t overly concerned about what Obama was going to say. Besides, they listen to talk radio (not by choice mind you – driver gets to pick) and they hear me yell at the radio and TV enough that we end up talking about politics and cause and effect of policies with some frequency.

When Rylee got home yesterday I asked her if Obama talked to her class, she said “No I think they may have recorded him and will maybe play him tomorrow.” (I’m chuckling here at her casual disregard - like he’s a cartoon character or something)

Then I asked Morgan, who off the cuff said, “No. Actually, yes, he said ‘Come on kids, raise some money. Pay off the debt . . .”

I love it! And for those of you out of the political loop – no that’s not what he actually said (and no, they didn’t “play” him at her school either), because we all know that paying off the debt is not really one of his priorities. However, I love that she can see some of the bigger picture!

Sakes alive. . .

It's GIRL number five!!!

I pushed for another ultrasound and, well, there you have it! It's not a big surprise and I'm actually excited because I just made the cutest girl quilt and knew I would have a hard time giving it away if I wasn't going to use it. Add that on to the previously acquired hair bows, clothes, and toys - we shouldn't have to get anything for this kid until she's old enough to realize she's getting gypped and that it's not fair. Good deal, huh? Pragmatic as always! :)

(Imagine the cute little ultrasound picture here that says "IT'S A GIRL." I tried to get it on but it just took too long - so consider this your imagination exercise for the day.)

Notably Unappreciated

As we returned back home from our trip to Idaho this summer we found out that Emily didn’t get into the preschool that we had signed her up for. We were the first non-parishioners (it is a Catholic school) to turn in our deposit and the lady who runs it stated that we would surely get one of the four remaining spots. However, they had more parishioners sign up than were expected and Emily was bumped, as they get first dibs. Of course, assuming that she was in at this school, I didn’t really pursue other options, especially since most of the other schools were at least three times more expensive than this one (I know, I’m cheap, I know!).

Although this doesn’t seem like a big deal, it was the “last straw,” so to speak, in coming back “home” from our vacation to a gross house and a lonely place and so far away from friends, family, and the familiar. As a result, I was, very maturely, storming around (shocking, I know) for a few days, wallowing in my self-pity. As we went to bed a few nights later Daniel asks me to tell him about what’s bugging me. So, of course, given the opportunity I just dump on him about how much I dislike our life here, and how I’m tired and lonely and frustrated and I used to be good at things and now all I do is a series of jobs that get undone or need redone within hours or moments from when I do them, which really seems quite pointless, and nobody appreciates it, and. . . .Well you get the gist.

I learned a very interesting and important lesson from this outburst. There is apparently nothing that works more effectively as a sedative for a man than an emotional female outburst. I’m pretty sure he was snoring by the time I actually got to the fifth sentence. (It’s all right now, Daniel; word on the street is that it is a normal male response ;})

Of course, then I was up all night fuming about that, as well as the rest. However, the next day I decided to pull myself together and move on, so I was looking up preschool curriculum ideas on-line so I could just teach Emily myself at home. As I saw what options there were I was getting more excited because there’s lots of fun stuff out there.

Emily walked in while I was looking things up and asked what I was doing. After I told her she said, “I don’t want you to be my preschool teacher.” I told her that there weren’t other options right now. To which she again responded, “But, I don’t want you to be my preschool teacher.” Then she left in a huff.

After a few minutes she came back in, quite worked up (I guess getting worked up while mulling things over is a family trait?) and again stated that she didn’t want me to be her preschool teacher. To which I asked who she did want to be her preschool teacher, because we don’t really have any options. She said, “I want Morgan to be my teacher.” Inside I’m actually thinking this is an awesome idea – she’s a really good teacher! But instead I said, “Morgan’s going to be at school all day, so what will we do all day while she’s gone if we don’t do preschool?” Emily just looked at me and commanded, “You just go and do your dishes.”

Then last week we were in the car and I wouldn’t let her come in somewhere with me and she got mad and we had the following conversation:

Emily yelling: “I’m not going to be a Mom because of you!”

Me: “That’s too bad, because I bet you would be a really good mom,”

Emily: “No I wouldn’t, because of you! You do the MEANEST things!”

Then there was a slight pause before she stated in a very grumpy tone, “but I’m still going to leave my kids at your house while I get my hair cut.”

Nice! I figured I would forget these darling little exchanges if I didn’t write them down, and now I can keep them in my arsenal and remind her of them when (if?) she has children of her own! Hah, motherhood is pretty fun after all!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Summer Daze

It’s been a while since we updated about our goings on. So I will give a brief synopsis of our seemingly short summer:

JUNE: trip to Idaho to visit friends and family.
Yellowstone after camping out in Island Park, ID with Dan's family

Emily with her "best" worm she caught for fishing and then grew attached and carried it around all morning.

I married him for his charm - not his table manners.
S'mores at the Andersen's - the best accommodations in A.F., I might add

"Camping" as Wyatt called it, (actually S'mores over a fire pit) with the Andersens and with our awesome friends the Wards

The ladies - need I say more?

JULY: working on 4-H projects and quick trip for Kari and girls to Utah to visit family.

I don't have pictures for the 4-H projects since our house was virtually trashed with sewing, wood working, leaf drying, and cookie baking - I choose to keep no incriminating evidence.

On the trip to Utah I brought my camera and used it at temple square where we met up with Daniel's mom, and then again at Hogel Zoo, but of course got few other pictures of my family during the melee/play.

August: 4-H, fair, and school started again

I'll upload the pictures of the girl's fair projects later - the previous pictures took over a half an hour (that's just the uploading time it actually took a day and a half - as my computer kept shutting off while trying to upload) on my S-L-O-W internet connection. They did really well this year. Especially for this being their first 4-H experience. Rylee won Grand Champion for her leaf display and in the Agility dog competition (perhaps the credit goes to Daisy for the dog show, since she did most of the work). Morgan won a Champion ribbon for the throw pillow she made in a summer clinic and Reserve Champion for her leaf display. Both of the girl's leaf displays were submitted to the state fair where, ironically, Morgan received a purple ribbon (highest award) and Rylee received a blue ribbon (second place). We thought it was funny, since it was just the opposite at the county fair - I guess it's all dependant upon who's judging and what they like, huh? They both also ribboned with other sewing projects and each made cookies and did a public fashion display with some pillowcases they made. They had lots of fun and did great - and I took a two hour nap after the last item was submitted fair week. Whew, it was exhausting!