Sunday, June 20, 2010

Father of The Year

As much as I sometimes want to devote entire blog posts extolling the virtues of My Beloved, I generally refrain, as my love and adoration for some of his virtues ebbs and flows (Sometimes I love his biting wit, other times, not so much). Today though, in honor of Father's Day I will share a few things that I love about My Beloved and why he's a such a great dad.
When you get married, before you have children you only have an inkling of the commitment required to be a parent. Before the blessing of babies, you have no idea just how consumptive they are of all things, big and small.
Yesterday, after a long day of work and running our garage sale we decided to go out to eat to a family restaurant. We divided up sides of the booth, 3 on one side, 2 on the other. Just as My Beloved began to take a bite of his juicy, much longed for cheeseburger he felt a tug on his arm, and he looked down to see Baby Henry smiling as he happily pulled a scab off of My Beloveds arm (from an earlier landscaping injury). Instead of getting angry, My Beloved looked across the table into my eyes, smiled and said "We've reached a new low, even scabs aren't sacred." Strangely my eyes filled with tears at the love I share with someone who is so deeply entrenched in parenting that even really gross things are some how meaningful.
Did I ever imagine 12+ years ago that the highlight of our days would be a successfully executed bedtime routine, when we operate like a well-oiled machine transforming wild, grubby, noisy children into sleeping angels, incapable of nothing but sweetness (note I said sleeping!) until morning? No, I somehow thought it would be more exciting and glamorous, or at least I would be more fashionably dressed, and significantly thinner in my imaginings.
Nevertheless, My Beloved does not disappoint in the fatherhood area, is he always perfect, NO WAY. Does he sometimes yell? Yes. Does he occasionally swear in front of the kids? Yup. Do they often repeat these swear words? Of course, but only when it's really embarrassing for me. For the big stuff though, the man I married is Father of the Year. He works incredibly hard for our family, both at the office and at home. He tries hard to teach our kids lessons in everything he does. This summer he and the kids designed and planted a garden in the backyard, which was somewhat bigger and more work than he bargained for, I think. So far so good, although I'll be interested to see how some of the more exotic things turn out (planting our own cantaloupe for instance). This endeavor has been enriched by our family foray into composting, and everyone is into that. The kids now beg to see how the food scraps are rotting in the backyard compost bin, can you say EXCITING?
So while this life of rotting compost and scabs was not what I imagined when I met my husband, I would choose it again in a heartbeat, scabs and all.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Man In Motion

This week has been a big week for our family. Little Monica is completing 2nd grade and moving up a group in gymnastics, Norah is graduating from pre-school, and Henry is completing his first full week in a big boy bed. We have been busy!
We have also completed a journey that at times I truly believed would never end. Rory, my Beloved, completed and presented his thesis today. Six years ago when he began this journey we were a happily married couple with one child living in the first home we'd ever purchased, and did we have a lot to learn.
Sometimes I think that movies portray these life journeys in a montage set to a tune (I'm hearing the St. Elmo's Fire theme here). The road is hard, the mountain is steep and the protagonist ultimately makes it to the end of his journey victorious, with a sweat soaked brow and a hot babe waiting at the finish line.
That was not the journey we have been on for the past 6 years. Our road has been mostly gravel, with a lot of stumbling, bruises, skinned knees and hands, and at the end of Rory's journey he did have sweat soaked brow and was victorious, and the hot babe at the end was not a busty blond, but me.
While completing graduate school will give My Beloved 3 new initials after his name (M.P.H.) and a nice diploma, ultimately completing this degree is a sign of the true strength within the man I married. He is certainly not the "dumb jock" I thought he might be the first time we met, but rather he is the smart, sensitive guy who finishes what he started, despite the adversity he may face.
By completing this degree he serves as an example to our children of perseverance and tenacity. With time they should forget the part about MAJOR procrastination and Coca-Cola consumption.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

At Long Last

If you don't have anything nice to say...take a break from blogging. Alas that's been the reason for my hiatus from blogging. I've been pretty stressed and overwhelmed for the past few months and opted out of offending my readers by turning my blog into a bitch fest. Trust me, you should be thanking me.
That said, I am back and cracking under the pressure to offer some tidbit of something that intrigues you enough to keep reading. So I think I'm going to keep this one short, and it might be lame. You were warned.
Summer vacation is banging down the door, and while I remember it fondly from my younger years, as a mother I am filled with both anticipation and dread. 3 months with my children 24/7. My Beloved and I sat down mid-May and tried to sketch out the summer plans, we didn't want our kids to be over scheduled, and we wanted to spend time enjoying our new home. We also wanted to head East to Maine. After careful planning on our part we penciled in plans for various activities, and times we'd head to WI to see family. One week to go and we've already blown our carefully laid June plans to pieces.
I won't lie to you though, I am nervous about being home with the kids, not because I don't adore them, I do, just separately. As a group I would say it's about 90% arguing, fighting, shouting, nagging, whining, and 10% wonder, joy, smiles, happiness and butterflies. Strangely that 10% is usually worth it.
As I've mentioned before, we are working hard to be debt free so that somewhat limits what the kids and I can do. Unfortunately, Jimmy John cannot make lunch for us everyday, we simply can't afford it. My kids are 8, 5, and 2, so they aren't exactly interested in the same things, we've signed up for a few things but are planning on using our YMCA membership to it's fullest. Outdoor pool here we come.
I am going to try to offer healthy snack choices and we are enforcing some rules and chores. I am going to try not to be resentful of My Beloved when he comes home and wants more family time (at this point I usually want to run out the door.) I am going to try to keep my yelling to a minimum. I am going to play with my kids and stay away from Facebook. If I succeed even halfway at this I will consider our summer a success. If not, well, there's always next summer.