Thursday, October 30, 2008

this one's for Bryan

This morning while I was in the shower, my boys were playing with horses in their little castle in the bathroom with me. I overheard them talking between Jaden's knight's horse and Clay's smaller farm horse. Jaden's horse was the daddy and Clay's horse was the baby.

They frequently play together with various creatures and inevitably one of them is the baby and the other is the mom.

So, this time I was curious, why was there a dad and no mom.

I asked Jaden, "How do you know that your horse is the dad and not the mom?"

Without pausing, Jaden responded, "That's because the dad saves the baby, not the mom. Moms can't save babies."

It was so sweet to hear him say that. So great to know that Jaden loves and respects his dad.

My boys are momma's boys and always have been. I have tried hard to get them to be daddy's boys but it hasn't worked. That could be because Bryan has had to work so much over the last 3 years we were in Rochester, MN for his internal medicine residency. Now Bryan is home so much more. He works on average 32 hours per week and we love it. We love having Bryan/Dad around and it is nice to see that the kids love it too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

nervous excitement.....job interview

I have my first in-person job interview in the Minneapolis area!!!

I will be interviewing with ATK for a position using my aerospace engineering degree. The interview is this coming Monday! That is very soon for me to brush up on everything I learned in school and work! It has been almost 4 years since I have used that part of my brain and it frightens me to think how much I have lost.

I do believe that it will come back once I use it again but I just don't want to look like an idiot at the interview and I would really like to get the job.

It is good that I have Bryan to remind me that I have had 5 interviews in my life for aerospace jobs and every one of them offered me a job. Hopefully I will be 6 for 6 come next week.

You can pray for whatever you want for me. Pray for knowledge to return. Pray for calmness. Pray that I would continue to know clearly what God wants me to do with my time. Just pray cause I know I will be praying a lot over the next week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Feed My Starving Children

On Saturday night, we volunteered with our meal group (from church) at Feed My Starving Children. We had a great time assembling meals with imitation chicken flavoring with vitamins, dried veggies, soy and rice to be sent to starving kids all around the world. We really felt like we were contributing to help others. The organization is amazing! It is well organized and focused on getting people involved. And 94% of their donations goes directly to the food. If you live in the Minneapolis or Chicago area, I highly recommend volunteering with them for a couple of hours just to see what they are doing. They also have a traveling volunteer service that allows churches, youth groups, schools, etc. assemble meals in any city.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

astronaut Jaden

I can't possibly leave the blog with such a negative picture of me because there is still joy in my life (see previous post if you are lost).

Yesterday, on Friday, I got a nice break from the boys while my sister-in-law, Chrystine, took care of my boys for the afternoon. I hungout at Caribou Coffee for 3 hours working on job stuff.

On the way to Chrystine's, Jaden says to me (unprompted), "Mom, when.....I.....grow....up.....I want to be.....a astronaut." (Jaden talks nice and slowly when he has thought about what he wants to say. He also knew that I was leaving the boys to go and do work stuff and try to find a job.)

Me, "Oh, really. That is nice."

Jaden, "Ya, because I want to go in space with you. You, me, dad and Clay can all go in a spaceship together."

Me, "That would be great. I would love that. Who is going to build the spaceship? Will you build it?"

Jaden, "No."

Me, "Who will build the spaceship for us then?"

Clay, "Me! Me!"

Jaden, "Mom, what is a satellite? Can I see one?"............

These are moments I don't want to forget. I love my boys. We had a great conversation. I love that my kids want to be with me. I know that they get lots of time with me and it is nice to know they like it. I know someday they may not want to be with me, especially not in a spaceship together. I love that my interest in space is transferring to them. I don't need them to be astronauts or work for NASA but I do like that they will care about space exploration no matter what they do in life.

On another note, Jaden has wanted to be a teacher until now because his cousin, Kira, said she wants to be a teacher.

frustrated mom

Kids will wear you out. Well, they wear me out. My boys can bring me so much laughter and joy but also so much frustration and endless struggle.

My frustration comes today after numerous timeouts with both boys for doing repeated things that they know are wrong. Then one of the boys had a pooping accident. That was all I could take. I just had to yell in disgust in the air. The boys laugh at their crazy mom.

I made the boys go play in the toy room now so mommy can get a break. I told them to pray for me to not yell and be nice to them.

I am having problems with my own selfishness. I am dealing with letting go of all my own desires. My desires of leaving the house to do something fun. My desires of getting somewhere on time and maybe even early for once. I know I am a selfish person and I need to let go of those things that are really just for me, or mostly for me.

Today I wanted to get out of the house to take the boys to a Halloween Big Tent party in front of a local grocery store. Jaden clearly let me know that he didn't want to go but I think I should be able to change his mind. Maybe him and Clay acting out is how they are trying to get me not to take them.

Maybe we will still go but just an hour later than I wanted to leave. We'll see what happens when I get off the computer.

I am struggling with selfishness. I know that kids will try to beat every selfish desire out of you until there is nothing left of you. How do I continue to know who I am but let go of the selfishness? It seems like I am losing the knowledge of what I like, what I enjoy, my character, my personality, my strengths, my weaknesses and who I thought I was.

This is not a new battle for me. I have had this battle going on since I had kids. Almost 4 years now. The battle for loss of selfishness and knowing myself is a tough one for me. I know it is impossible to get rid of all selfishness but I wish I didn't have to feel like it was such a struggle. I may never feel that so maybe I just need to get ok with my struggle. I need to learn to let go of my own will more, especially when it comes to my kids. I will still discipline them but I am talking about all the other areas. What I want them to wear. When I want them to do something. When I want to leave. When I want to go. What I want them to learn. Let it go...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

new pictures

I finally updated my picasa pictures. I added 21 albums of pictures from June, July, August, September and October.

The link is always down on the right of the blog.

Here is another link.

There are even some messy pictures of our Bloomington house under the 'peas and house' album.

Monday, October 20, 2008

great neighbors

Today the boys and I had a blast playing outside for 2 1/2 hours with our neighbors in our cul-de-sac. I love my new neighbor friend, Karen. She may not know that she is my friend but she is. She is such a laid back mom that it is refreshing to be around her. She is a mom to an 8 year old boy, Keegan, and an almost 4 year old boy, Aiden. Jaden just loves Aiden, or more appropriately, loves his toys.

We spent time raking leaves, jumping in them (yes, me too but it ended quickly after I got grass and mud stains), riding bikes, playing with balls, writing with chalk, shooting air rockets, watering plants, washing bikes and anything else with wheels and bagging leaves. I love our beautiful old trees with colorful leaves but they sure are increasing our outdoor workload. The time outside ended with Jaden racing me to his bike. He sure is getting fast! We had to come inside and eat the boys favorite, macaroni and cheese, to warm up from the 50 degree weather outside.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Kira is 4

My niece, Kira, turned four on Saturday and had one awesome party! Kira's mom, Chrystine, is the ultimate birthday party-thrower! She has the knack for party throwing! The kids had a blast even though Kira was a little overwhelmed with it all. My boys thoroughly enjoyed the princess party and Jaden loved all the pink. I think he is just getting me back because I have had to tell him repeatedly that pink is a girl color. The boys each picked out a princess gift for Kira and we gave her some blocks too. Jaden picked out reusable juice bottles with princesses on top and Clay picked out a princess phone to give Kira. The kids all got out their phones for a little group shot of the cousins.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

neglected kids

Yesterday my boys got neglected. I think they watched about 3 or 4 hours of PBS. To be truthful, they did play intermittently throughout the TV watching.

My parents are here this weekend and that gave me motivation to clean and organize some more stuff since moving in. I know my parents don't care how clean my house is, which is nice. They just want to hangout and play with their grandkids. I just enjoy the pressure to get some stuff done because people are coming to my house.

I spent most of my day organizing stuff that just got shoved into drawers and cupboards in our bathrooms and picking up items around our house that were not put away. I love organizing. I spent some time cleaning but not much. I like to leave that till the end. I am a true procrastinator at heart and then ran out of time to do all the cleaning I wanted. Oh well, I like feeling organized.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

fishing weekend

We had a great weekend with Bryan's family in Yankton, SD. We stayed at his Uncle Dave and Aunt Linda's house and had a great time with his cousins and their families. We went there so that Bryan could go fishing. He enjoyed the fishing and wishes that he could go more often.

The boys and I had fun going to a bridge opening celebration on Saturday. Then on Sunday everyone went to an apple orchard and pumpkin patch. It rained off and on throughout the weekend but lots of fish were still caught. We ate some yummy fried fish prepared by Uncle Dave.

The best thing about the weekend (in Bryan's estimation) is that I had fun and am willing to do this again. I did not go fishing and do not enjoy it but want to help my husband do the things that he enjoys. Bryan's family below from left to right: Bryan, Uncle Dave (mom's sister), brother Eric, and dad Cal.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

don't want to go to preschool

I was so excited earlier this school year when Jaden wanted to go to preschool. I figured it was short-lived but I didn't know how long it would last. It ended today.

Last Friday Jaden got very scared by the expectation of firefighters coming to his classroom. Then he was even more terrified when they came into the room. He was not comforted sitting next to the teacher so the teacher's aide had to take a crying Jaden out of the room.

The teachers and preschool director reassured me that Jaden was just fine when they went outside to see the firetruck. He recovered quickly and was happy to play again in the classroom.

We thought everything was fine but I figured it would resurface. It did today. He hasn't been back to preschool until today because he only goes Wednesday and Friday mornings.

So this morning Jaden told me repeatedly, "I don't want to go to preschool." I was understanding of his feelings and talked with him endlessly about it for the first hour but the last half hour before we left for preschool, I lost it. I couldn't take it any more. This kid never quits. I told him he had to go and it didn't matter.

Thankfully Bryan rescued me at the right time when I was yelling that we would be late if Jaden didn't get dressed now. Bryan calmed Jaden down and I got to talk reasonably with Jaden on the way to preschool.

I am sure the anxiety will resurface. Once Jaden returned home, he said did have fun at preschool. We'll see what happens on Friday.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

feelings in Rochester

Today I took a spur of the moment trip to Rochester, MN with my boys (Bryan had to work). Jaden was invited to a birthday party for his favorite girl, Jenna, who just turned 4. Jaden has been asking to play with Jenna ever since we left Rochester so I felt like we should make the drive just for the party. The party was a blast and gave Jaden a much needed Jenna fix. We'll see how long it lasts. Clay had fun playing with all the big kids. I wish I had pictures but I forgot my camera.

The cutest, unprompted line of the day from Jaden: "Mom, I will share my toys with Kira (my cousin) and Jenna."

Driving back into Rochester without Bryan brought back a flood of feelings. We have already visited Rochester once since we moved but that was only a week after we left and it was as a family of 4. This time I was flooded with memories of life without Bryan when he was so busy with residency.

We have visited Washington DC a few times since we moved from there. I have only fond memories of that place. We have so many loved friends that will be friends forever in the DC area. I didn't think I had such negative feelings of Rochester because we have great friends there too and have lots of enjoyable memories there too.

I think today brought back feelings of loneliness and the sad feeling of doing life without Bryan. Life was really rough during residency and I don't want to relive those years for anything. I wouldn't wish that kind of life on anyone and have much better insight into the lives of doctors and their families.

Life was hard during residency and at times I felt like a single parent. But I do know that I was not and still am not a single parent. I was happily reminded of that today by meeting a single mom to two kids at the birthday party. My life was hard then but it could have been harder.

Today also reminded me of how good life is now. Bryan may still have to work some nights and weekends but he is around so much more. He can be the dad he has always wanted to be and he is even more of the husband I already knew he was.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

good times

The last few days have been quite enjoyable.

I keep saying that Bryan and I don't have friends because we just moved to a new place and don't yet have people to call. We are grateful to have my brother, Kirk, and his family nearby but they can't be our only friends. This week I was contacted by two old friends that live in the Minneapolis area because they want to hangout. That makes me so happy! This was especially great to me because I am usually the one calling all my friends to do things. It was so nice to be wanted and contacted. I can't wait to get together with friends.

Then on Tuesday night, Bryan and I got a babysitter so that we could go to the Art Music Justice Tour with Sara Groves and 4 other great musicians. The concert was inspiring and encouraging and such a treat to go and listen to great music. It made Bryan and I want to be more active in our Christian faith. It was reassuring to me that what we did in Honduras this summer will happen again and it is what God wants for our family. I recommend Sara Goves music for everyone who enjoys a song with thoughtful, challenging lyrics, not just fluff. I also enjoyed Brandon Heath and didn't know that I had heard some of his songs before. His songs are upbeat and have a good rhythm to them.

Love things that inspire me like old and new friends and great music!