Monday, August 18, 2014

Why I'm not ashamed to need coffee....

I like coffee.  I even love it a little bit.  Making coffee is a morning ritual that I enjoy and look forward to.  Pouring fresh, hot coffee into a mug when the house is quiet and adding flavored creamer (usually hazelnut, but lately coconut) and inhaling the steam as I sip, is a meditation.  A prayer to the gods of sunrise.

Last Wednesday, I ran out of coffee.  Even the instant coffee in single serving packets that I sometimes take camping.  Normally this would not have been a problem.  Normally, I would have steeped tea for a change and headed to the store later in the day to buy more.  Normally, it wouldn't have caused me to disintegrate into a puddle of tears and regret.  But it wasn't a normal day (normal being relative, of course).

Wednesday, August 13, 2014
8:21am     I receive a phone call from a pregnant woman in labor.  She will need me soon.

Thursday, August 14, 2014
9:38am     More than 24 hours later, the baby is born.  I go home, there is still no coffee.  Going to the store is not an option.  Going anywhere is not an option.  The rest of the day is a blur.  I think I made dinner?  

Friday, August 15, 2014
7:15am    There is still no coffee.  I vaguely remember taking somebody somewhere, probably one of my children, but I am too weary to stop at the store.  I have a headache. My teeth hurt. Maybe I'm getting a sinus infection.  The rest of the day is a blur.  I think one of the kids made dinner?

Saturday, August 16, 2014
9:22am    Because yesterday is a blur, there is still no coffee.  I slam doors and break dishes while pretending to clean the house.  I am achy and feel feverish.  I definitely have a sinus infection.  And I may be developing a bladder infection on top of that.  Was anyone home for dinner?

Sunday, August 17, 2014
10:31am  This morning, I rally.  There is still no coffee.  I settle for a Coke on a picnic and paddle adventure to Causey Reservoir with the family.  I am useless by afternoon.  By evening I am a a hot mess.  On top of probable sinus and bladder infections, I think I may be getting the flu and a case of major depression.  Everything is sad, all problems are unsolvable, the world is a hopeless place.

Monday, August 18, 2014
9:46am     I go to the grocery store.  There is a Star Bucks.  The world is a glorious place.  My sinuses and bladder are healed.  All flu symptoms are gone.  I am teaching math to my 9 year old as I calculate my coupon discounts while simultaneously testing produce freshness and googling potential volunteer opportunities in my community.  I am sure I can be the greatest motivational speaker to any and all who will listen.  But right now, the grocery shopping.  First on my list:  coffee, then creamer.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Ch ch ch changes....

While most moms cut the apron strings on the first day of Kindergarten, I have resisted. I have resisted with stubborn, determined, selfless (or possibly selfish), well intentioned, joyful, fierce mother love.

Home schooling was never a conscious decision. It's just always been a way of life: reading stories, museum visits, library outings, art projects, science experiments, reading stories, writing, counting, zoo field trips, reading stories, traveling, exploring, learning, learning, always learning.

When Liv turned 5, there was no doubt in my mind that she would stay home. Kindergarten? Why? We were spending every waking moment engaged in child-directed play and exploration. She was doing unit studies on dinosaurs, mermaids, and pumpkins. She was enrolled in weekly music classes, gymnastics, book club, and home school group. We didn't have TIME for her to go to school....we were too busy learning! And so it went year after year..........

She is 10 years old now. Each year, her learning has become gradually more structured, more challenging. The subjects she studies have become more diverse, complex, and interesting. I have learned right beside her, marveling at all of the things I missed during my own education as a child. She has learned how to play piano, violin, and guitar. She is an accomplished swimmer and BMX racer. She has been in Latin club, Destination Imagination, theatre productions, nature center classes, Liberty Girls club, art lessons, and is a Girl Scout. She has raised rabbits, chickens and ducks, planted vegetable gardens, built forts, earned money with lemonade stands, and gone to summer camp. She has spent countless hours playing and interacting with her younger siblings, forging friendships with them that are priceless. For the past 10 years, she has slept until her body is ready to wake up each day. She has eaten when her body feels hungry. She has been physically active at any time of the day that she needs and chooses. She has friends of all ages and both genders. She is confident and kind, cheerful and curious, creative and empathetic.

Would she have experienced the same things, developed the same skills, met the same people, showed the same interests if I had put her on that big yellow bus five years ago? Of course not. Would she have had enjoyable experiences, developed useful skills, met good friends, and tried interesting things if I HAD put her on that bus? Certainly. Did I make the right choice? Yes. Even though there is no way for me to know how our lives would have been different, I know I made the right decision.

How do I know?

When she took her first step, she walked into my outstretched arms. When she got her p's mixed up with her b's and her d's, she wasn't embarrassed to cry out her frustration in my arms. When a playground bully pushed her down in the dirt, she wasn't afraid that asking for my help would be "tattling." When she expressed herself with bold and unusual fashions, she wasn't worried that I would tease her. When she had a secret to tell, a crush to share, or a lie to admit, she knew she could confide in me. Has our academic focus always been perfect? No. But my daughter, my forever first baby, has learned that she is good, sweet, smart, cherished, loved, respected, appreciated, and valued just as she is.

This school year, we made the big leap to public school....5th grade. It was a decision that our family discussed openly, honestly, and at great length. We all agreed that it felt like the right thing to do. Is she ready? AM I READY? I think so. I worry about all sorts of things. Will she be challenged enough academically? Too much? Will the other students treat her respectfully? Will she fall into a clique and pretend to be someone she's not in order to survive the social pressure? Will her teacher treat her differently because she's a home schooler? Will she learn the right kinds of things? Will she learn anything?

This is where I take a deep breath. She knows how to learn. She knows who she is. She knows what to do. I trust her to trust herself. If she's learned nothing else in our years of home schooling together, she HAS learned that making mistakes is a big part of learning, that the process is more important than the product, and that mom is always here with arms outstretched in case she stumbles. It's only the third day, and I miss her already.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Summer 2011

This summer may have been our best ever. It's a bold statement, I know. I can sum up the proof in one glorious moment several weeks ago.......

As I stand in the berry patch with warm raspberry juice dripping from my fingers and lips, the hot sun freckling my shoulders, I look around me. Scarlett is herding our flock of chickens through the yard and away from the vegetable garden, where she has been tending her crop of green beans planted so carefully by her tiny hands earlier this summer. She is already living her dream of becoming a farmer. I can hear Olivia's giggles and shrieks from the creek running behind the house as she and a friend brave the cold water and muddy slime to tube down the area that she's termed "the rapids." Milo, wearing diaper, sneakers, and helmet, is ripping up the pump track on his bike. He stops every so often to say, "Mom, watch this," or "did you see thaaaat?!" The expression on his face is simultaneously concentration, exhilaration, anticipation, and joy. The dirt on his face and knees reminds me of his dad's biking gear, soaking in the laundry room. I gladly wash out the mud, knowing that the afterglow from yesterday's great ride will remain with Ben all week. My scrubs are waiting for their turn in the washer as well. I've come straight to the berry patch after returning home from witnessing another miracle. A baby came earth side, a woman became Mother. As I watch my children, I reflect on the great outings we've had this summer: Grandma and Grandpa's cabin in Island Park, rafting the Provo river, hiking Mount Timpanogas's cave, the Heslop family reunion at Donate Springs, parks, pools, plays, a demolition derby, concerts, cookouts, bike rides, water fights, sleepovers, the list goes on and on......

But none of it compares to this moment right here and right now in our own back yard.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

15 Glorious Days

5 people
1 family
2 airplanes
1 rental car
621 miles
4 hotels
2 amusement parks
1 world famous Mouse
1 aquarium
1 boat
5 orca
3 seasick kids
6 trips across the Golden Gate Bridge
12 new sister midwives
1 weekend spent with a personal hero
1 hike among majestic redwoods
1 afternoon on the beach
4 beautiful births
1 incredible and generous husband
3 deliciously sweet children
1 completely grateful and fulfilled self
15 glorious days

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Whole Year?!

Yes, an entire year has passed since my last post. How exactly did that happen? I don't know.

Is it possible to look back and attempt to summarize the last 12 months? Probably not. But here is a look at the random snippets my memory held onto....enjoy the ride.

MILO finally started walking at 17 months then promptly sustained fractures of 3 metatarsals a week later during an innocent fall involving his oldest sister this required two weeks in a "disturbingly cute" blue cast that prevented any and all weight bearing so he was back to scooting on his heinie he has mastered the art of non-verbal communication and if there were an award for the number and variety of motors a person can impersonate he would win because when he is asking for a toy there is no doubt whether he means his jeep motorcycle dump truck tractor train race car bicycle bus van helicopter jet vacuum lawn mower or stroller because he makes a different "motor" sound for each and every one he experienced many "firsts" including a hair cut (grandma wore me down) eating lemons and cartwheeling down various steep inclines such as our stairs and rock retaining wall his pediatrician chuckles because he's been to the doctor more in 2 years than my girls combined in 9 years wish me luck SCARLETT left the land of preschoolers and hasn't looked back she is a girl who marches to the beat of her own drum and although she cares little what others think she is still kind and considerate of their feelings it is a surprising and lovely combination she celebrated her 5th birthday among the princesses at Disney World and you'll have to take my word for that because I managed to lose every last picture of the entire week long trip she continues to be hypersensitive to all tactile input and we've finally realized that her screams that once convinced us she'd amputated a limb generally mean she's scraped a knee on the cement or has a trampoline burn on her elbow she would rather wear pink pants a size too small with holes in both knees and a stained yellow t-shirt than any of the latest fashions her love of animals has expanded far beyond dogs and horses and when asked she will tell you that when she grows up she wants to be a zoo keeping-farmer-dolphin training-rancher who lives among wild wolves she is freakishly strong and agile for her size and can outrun and outwrestle her older sister her favorite kindergarten activities are music class coloring and chemistry experiments she has been shockingly cooperative and sweet for the last year and is suddenly showing signs of shifting her approach wish me luck OLIVIA completed the 3rd grade at home by some miracle as I was sure we would kill each other on a daily basis the funny thing about all the drama and conflict is that it ends up that we both wanted the same thing- for her to be more independent she grew her hair amazingly long she finished her second year of piano lessons and switched to violin she sold hundreds of boxes of girl scout cookies and has her first "real" best friend who now hears all of her deepest darkest secrets instead of me she performed her first monologue on stage in front of a decent audience and turned 9 years old she added the family laundry to her chore list and started wearing a bra she continues to have a knack for fashion and loves to sketch original designs she has used my sewing machine a few times and is making noises about having one of her own she is straddling the divide between little girl and young lady it is bittersweet to witness her play with Barbie one minute then roll on her lipgloss and play Taylor Swift on her ipod she is lovely and complicated wish me luck BEN is still the love of my life he parents our children with the wild abandon of a mountain biker the hard working drive of a marketing VP the creativity and finesse of an artist and the sheer joy of a perpetual kid he has travelled enough this year to easily explain the existence of a second family he has opened new Cafe Rios in 5 states rallied his bike down the slopes in 2 countries and taken some or all of us to Arizona California Oregon Idaho Florida Las Vegas and Hawaii his lastest venture rendered him injured when his bike bucked him off he is every shade of black and blue and struts around like John Wayne will it slow him down- only until the next ride wish me luck TINA baked four birthday cakes witnessed a baby's first steps and a daughter's first heartbreak she learned history science and latin along with her girls she considered her lumps and lines and shaved her head she attended births started a new business went back to school and began a new journey wish me luck OUR FAMILY was busy at county fairs water parks museums school activities music lessons theatre productions play dates vacations amusement parks national parks backyards book club art class mountain cabins beaches hiking trails biking paths zoos campouts cookouts concerts recitals races weddings reunions parties and street festivals it will be a tough year to live up to wish me luck

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Celebrating Baby's First Birthday

Milo recently turned a year old. I have been avoiding this post, just as I was in denial about his birthday. I cried for a week. Although there is no noticable change in him, I feel his babyhood quickly slipping away. The last year has passed in giggles and grins and snuggles and a lingering triumph over having created this masterpiece of a boy. It has been the best year of my life thus far, and I continue to be in love with the little human below.

September 17, 2008: 8:00 am

8:00 pm

Long, but very sweet......

Summer Sailed

Summer was a whirlwind of activity. Here is a very brief and unorganized synopsis.

The boy ate and grew.

We played at Cherry Hill.

We went to Yellowstone National Park......

Jackson Hole, Wyoming......

and Island Park, Idaho.

We celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary.

Kiki learned to swim.

We went to the Utah Art Festival

Mac and Walter learned to bike.

We had lots of silly fun outside.

The girls won ribbons at the science fair after hours of experiments.

Mac ate and grew, then ate and grew, then ate some more.

Did I mention all of the silly and MESSY fun?