Friday, September 26, 2008

Company's Time?

Why is it that companies these days desire their employees to devote the majority of their time to the company? It's expected and oftentimes required. When my husband got his new job we were thrilled. He was moving from a company that required him to travel the majority of his time to a local company that seemed to promote families.

Shortly after his employment, it started. It was just supposed to be until the end of the year when the project finished. Today, it's still going on. He leaves for work in the morning and returns 11 hours later. Then he works three hours or more from home in the evening at least four days a week. It's exhausting and now it is expected and required of him. What's next? The talk around the office is that he might be required to work weekends.

What happened to our world? When did work become more important than families? Maybe my expectations are too high. Still, I'm not naive. I know the grass isn't always greener on the other side. Find a new job? Start your own business? It may not necessarily give you what you're looking for.

How does one fight against what has become the norm in this world? I've thought it might be nice to become Amish. Then again, maybe my view of their world is skewed as well, though.

It's something I wish we could fight against. Work should not be #1. Family should be. No wonder so many families are falling apart. If you try to take a stand however, be prepared. You'll probably lose your job and home and then where will you be?

I truly believe this is one of the contributing factors to broken families in our world today. It's something we need to fight against.

The Morning Rush

My past couple of mornings have gone somewhat like this:

5am - Ande wakes up and needs to eat and goes back to sleep
5:30am - I decide there is really a good 1/2 hour to 45 minutes left of sleep before I need to wake Nikelle and crawl back in bed
6:14 am - I convince myself that I really need to get out of bed
6:15 am - Wake Nikelle up and make certain she gets ready for the day
6:30 am - Hop in the shower
6:50 am - Instruct Nikelle to get her shoes on
7:00 am - Nike waves goodbye to Rod and Ande wakes up
7:02 am - Attempt to get out the door
7:03 am - Jaycie wakes up and needs to go potty
7:05 am - Have Nike watch to make certain we don't miss the bus
7:10 am - Get out the door with the girls
7:12 am - Bus arrives at the corner as we are only halfway there (not a long walk either!)
7:12 am - Run!
7:12 am - Bus Monitor gets off bus to meet us and take Nikelle to the bus
7:13 am - Wave goodbye and head back to the house
7:15 am - Get breakfast for Jaycie; Feed Ande
7:20 am - Take a deep breath

The last two days were a rough start to the morning. Getting Nikelle to the bus on time was a struggle. We are supposed to be to her bus stop ten minutes prior to her pick up time. Needless to say, the bus was two minutes early the past two days as I tried to push my luck. Thankfully, there is a bus monitor on the bus who is very helpful. Both days she came and met me so that I didn't have to run with Nikelle. She advised me that if she sees me coming, she'll come take Nike and not to worry about it. I apologized and expressed my gratitude.

Today I was determined to get to the bus stop on time. We were out there and waiting for the bus to arrive. I have to say this was due to my husband's help prior to leaving for work. It never fails that the two little ones wake up shortly before leaving to take their sister to the bus and completely throw off my schedule. (I will sometimes leave them sleeping as I just run down the street and back.)

In my determination today, however, I made certain (with Rod's help) all three girls were up and ready to get to the bus stop. Thankfully the weather has been nice. Next week as the true fall weather hits, I'll need to think my morning again. Today, however, my deep breath was able to come a little sooner.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Got Firewood?

Just thought I'd mention that if there is anyone out there looking to get rid of some firewood or knows of anyone looking to get rid of some firewood, we could use it. My parents' house is heated with woodburning stoves. Dad mentioned at the end of his life that he built the house for a healthy him. He never thought about it becoming a problem...until he got sick. He was always able to find firewood and cut down trees to heat the house for the winter. Now Mom faces the winter in need of wood. We have some but are looking for more. If you have any or know of anyone, please let me know. Thanks!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Dad and the Harvest

My heart tugs in all kinds of directions this time of year. Initially, as the leaves start to change colors and fall from the trees, my heart warms. This is one of the best times of the year! Brisk air. The smell of Autumn. Thanksgiving. My birthday. Sweet potatoes. Pumpkin pie. The harvest.

We have always brought in the pumpkins, gourds, squash and ornamental corn this time of year. We'd make a point of heading over to Mom & Dad's with the kids at a time that Dad could harvest with the kids. He enjoyed showing the beautiful colors of corn to the kids. They'd guess what colors there would be and then the reveal: purple; red; rainbow; as well as the spooky looking ones. We have some of this on video which will help us to remember. This tugs my heart in a different direction. Fond memories which follow with heartache that Ande will never experience this and Jaycie didn't have the opportunity either.

Last year we harvested without Dad with hope that he'd be around for future harvests. I have Nike and Maty talking to Papa on video telling him they love him and want him to get better soon so he can pick the corn with them. I'm not even sure if I ever showed him the video.

This year we intend to harvest whatever there is. Mom did plant again this year for numerous reasons but with everything going on, we haven't been able to help her as much as we should have. Dad was the one that loved to garden. He took pride in his garden. He enjoyed every bite of what came out of it as well as just the appeal the harvest had for the eyes.

Dad didn't like to have a meal served without his vegetables. I'd say vegetables were often the main course. Dad would take his salt shaker out to the garden, pick a tomato and eat it like an apple. The memories flood as I recall Dad in his garden.

Eating fresh sweet corn this year... and green beans... there was an enjoyable taste that left my heart tugging in different directions. I found myself reaching for another ear of corn... not because I was still hungry... simply because Dad would have a pile of empty ears with a meal and I knew if he was still here, I'd be letting him down to stop at one ear of corn.

Will the pain ever stop? We have to be intentional not to allow ourselves to fall into a pit of grief that we have to climb out of. I find myself literally shaking my head often. It's as though I'm telling myself I can't go there. I have to remember the good times and be grateful for what we have. It doesn't do any good to delve into my wishes for the future that can never be fulfilled.

Still, pain is part of this process. Grief is a part of my life. It's a daily learning process to live with it and in spite of it.

Recording and sharing memories of Dad helps medicate my heart. It keeps his memory alive and reminds me of how blessed we were to call this man "Dad" or "Papa".

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Trick or Treat, Smell my Feet

Trick or Treat
Smell my feet
Give me something good to eat
If you don't, I don't care
I'll just pull down your underwear

This is what Nikelle came home having learned on the bus today. I know everyone learns this little rhyme at some point in their life. It's just a silly little rhyme. Still, I hate that she is growing up. I hate that little by little, she is losing her innocence. I want to keep her young and naive for as long as possible. Thankfully, this is mild in comparison to what she could be learning on the bus. Still, I have to stress to her that although it's a funny little jingle that she can use at home, it is not something nice to say when she is out trick-or-treating. We'll see if she remembers this when Halloween rolls around.

I may not be able to protect her from everything. She is out in the world and she's bound to learn things I don't want her to learn. I just pray that we always have a relationship where she will share with me what she is learning. I want to guide her in a way that doesn't feel condemning when she talks with me but rather allows her to continue to feel welcome to share, all the while learning to make right choices.

Any input?

Potty Training

My mind has been bouncing around doing a post on how well Jaycie has been doing with potty training. I've been hesitant because I fear that it will be followed up with her having all kinds of problems. Now that I don't have to worry about that anymore, I'll just give an update on her potty training.

She's been doing great. I can't remember the last time she messed in her pants. That's a relief. If we're going to have accidents, I'd rather they be the easier ones to clean up. She's been consistently wearing panties during the day. I've even begun to allow her to wear them when we're going out. She's been doing that well with telling me she has to go.

Yesterday my mom and I went out to run some errands. We were near the mall and it was time for Andelise to eat. I decided it would be nice for Jaycie if she could play at the playplace while Ande ate.

Jaycie was enjoying playing because nobody was at the playplace (the more kids, the more shy she decides she is). I wasn't really thinking about how long it had been since I had her go to the bathroom last until I saw her standing there with liquid forming underneath her! She stopped going when I told her to and my mom cleaned things up and took her to the bathroom. I blamed it partly on myself because I didn't have her go to the bathroom prior to playing.

Later in the day, she was playing outside and told me she needed to come in and go potty. I thought to myself about the progress that revealed. That's when I realized she went up to her bedroom and got new panties for herself. She had had an accident outside. I suppose if she's going to have an accident, that's the best place for it.

All these accidents seem to happen during the baby's feedings. I need to do a better job of making sure she's been to the bathroom in the recent past before I feed the baby. Especially because she had another accident after Nikelle got home. Again, while I was feeding her sister.

I was sitting with Ande when Nikelle came up to me and said, "I think Jaycie had an accident." I put the baby down and went to the bathroom where the floor was soaked. When I asked Jaycie why she didn't tell me, her response was simply "I just wet."

After informing my daughter that there would be no more candy while she was having accidents during the day, she did better to this point. I

Thinking about it, t's been a while since she's been to the bathroom...

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Late Bus

Nikelle's bus was over 40 minutes late yesterday. Thanks to hearing prior stories about late buses from other moms, I was able to remain calm. I did call the school and they confirmed that the bus was running late. Still... 40 minutes!? Thankfully, it wasn't a time that I chose to leave either of the girls in the house sleeping. At least they were both with me.

Here's the cool thing about our wait. Some neighbors from down the street introduced themselves to us: the Martins. When they saw us still standing out there waiting for Nike, they brought lawn chairs out and sat and talked with us. Some people just know how to be neighborly and I could really learn something from the neighbors on our street.

Nikelle got home safely. Supposedly the driver is new and learning the route. Hopefully, she learns it quickly... 40 minutes each day will add up quick. Nikelle said she didn't realize she was on the bus for a long time so that's good. I was just grateful to see her home safely.

Oh, and Nikelle now knows how to tie her shoes by herself. (No,she didn't learn it on her extended bus ride.) It's just one more way she's growing up!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Perfectionism and Humility

I have perfectionist tendencies. They come from my Dad. He was always striving for perfection. One problem with perfectionism, for me, is that I beat myself up when I realize I've made a mistake.

For example, I just sent out some birth announcements to family. I did birth announcements for the other two girls so I knew I would do them for Andelise as well. The bulk of the announcement was completed prior to her birth. I just had to finalize them now that we knew for certain that she was a girl. On Saturday, I finally mailed them out with a sense of relief that I could check the task off of my to do list.

Last night as I was getting Ande to sleep, the realization hit me. I spelled Rod's grandpa's name wrong. His name was Bror Anders. I spelled it Broar Anders. Why? Who knows. I typed it up when I was pregnant. That's always a problem. My brain is far from working accurately when I am pregnant. I hate that I realized this mistake because the announcements are already gone and there is nothing I can do about it... other than beat myself up and let my day go in a downward spiral. Silly, I know. It's something I have to intentionally fight against.

I tell myself that it's done. The mistake is made. I can't change it now. I'm going to look a little stupid to his family members. Good thing I explained our decision process with Andelise's name so that I don't have to tell the story over and over again. Now I get to explain that I did realize I spelled Grandpa Andy's name wrong but it was too late to change it.

I suppose for a perfectionist, these things happen to keep me humble. I'm not perfect no matter how hard I try. I shouldn't expect it of others and I shouldn't expect it of myself. Strive to do my best and expect and accept some lessons in humility.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Check it out?

Looks like this could be another good one from the creators of Facing the Giants:

What an adjustment!

I have yet to adjust to this new life of school all day for one child, potty training another and taking care of a newborn who wants to eat all day long! I thought things were going well yesterday as I walked to the bus stop to pick my 1st grader up. This was the first time since the baby was born that I took on this task alone. The baby was fed and sleeping, my 2-year-old had napped and been to the potty chair. Things weren't looking all too bad.

I was able to help my 6-year-old with her homework as the baby slept and our middle child played. So far so good. With the homework done, I was able to sit and relax a little bit as I fed my newborn.

As I fininshed feeding her, I realized things were a little quiet. The older two had been playing together but now Jaycie was missing. As I walked to the bathroom to check on her, that's when I noticed the wet floor. All the way down the hallway. Ughh! Jaycie came around the corner. "Mom, I need new panties." Why is it that I just don't stick to the pull-ups? Isn't the convenience worth the cost? Sending her upstairs to get her own panties, I walked into the bathroom to find why she had been so quiet. The roll of toilet paper was now unrolled and conveniently piled up in the toilet bowl. How fun for her and how quickly a relaxing moment can turn around and bite one in the butt!

Frustrated, tired and just plain done, I cleaned up the mess and realized how grateful I am for friends who bring meals! Thank you so much!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Been a little busy...

Wednesday evening, September 3rd at 6:08, we welcomed another little girl into our family. She was 7lbs 14oz, 20.5 inches long. We named her Andelise Randall Carlson and are calling her "Ande" for short. Andelise is a combination of Rod's paternal grandparents names and Randall was my Dad's middle name. We are home now (after 24 hours)! :) and all seems well. Jaycie wants to be overly helpful and Nike is off to school. She woke up Thursday morning with a loose tooth. Seems like some pretty appropriate timing as she is now the oldest of three sisters.

For now, you can see Ande at (September 3, 2008 - Tristi). I'll try to get some pics up soon.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Inducers

I had Mexican for dinner last night...
worked with Nikelle...
not this one!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Now overdue

I had grand plans of already having this baby and being back home before Nikelle returns to school tomorrow. That has not happened and unless something changes, will not be happening today either. I attempt to tell myself that the baby will come when it is ready and that is the best time for it to join us. At the same time, I'm anxious to be done with this pregnancy. I know I have only been pregnant for 9 months like everyone else but it does often feel like I've had the gestational period of an elephant with this one! I think with everything going on this year, it's made it seem extra long. I just keep attempting to get out of the house and do things to take my mind off of it. Nikelle was a week late and everything went just fine. My biggest concern is that my midwife will be gone next Saturday and I really want her around for the delivery rather than the doctor. She delivered both my girls and I've chosen her because I'm comfortable with her. The doctor is just supposed to be used if there are complications. I'm getting ahead of myself, though. There are plenty of days between now and then. I might as well get myself out and walking around today again. This baby is due to come sometime soon...or should I now say overdue?