Sometimes we just have to wait

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Your wedding day is one of those special days some girls dream about. The proposal, what the ring will look like, what the style of dress will be, etc. I loved every part of my wedding, from the small little details to dress shopping and just a night out at the lake with girls for the bachelorette party.

I asked my sister to be my maid-of-honor. I am 4 years older than she. Growing up we fought like siblings do but there is no one else I wanted to have standing beside me than her. At the time she was dating someone. They had been together for a year or so. He didn’t have any interest in getting married.

Four years later, there still wasn’t a ring on her finger. My family and I kept asking her “when is he going to do it?”. I believe his family also gave him a hard time. Every Christmas or Valentine’s day there would be a small box for her to open and we would think, “here it is!”, only to see that it was a pandora charm for her bracelet. Ouch. She handled it very well though. Much better than I would have. I suspect you would have sen the disappointment on my face for days. Not Morgan. She didn’t let it bother her.

A couple of years later she called me and said, “I have some news for you”. Oh my gosh, I thought. FINALLY! “You’re engaged?!” I asked frantically. The answer was “no”. Instead, she told me I was going to be an aunt! I was speechless. Somehow we just skipped the idea of marriage and now we are talking about babies! How could I not be excited for her. But how I wanted her to have the experience of being a bride still.

A year or two after Ayson (my nephew) was born, my sister started receiving a dozen roses the week leading up to Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately, my sister’s birthday IS on Valentine’s Day. I thought, “This is it. There has to be a ring on her birthday. Why would someone send a dozen roses for a week and then nothing.” I think my sister got her hopes up as well because on Valentine’s Day, her birthday, there was no sign of a ring.

At this point I am starting to get upset. I am sad for my sister because I want her to have this experience. I know that marriage isn’t for everyone. But I also know that my sister would like to get married. However, at this point, she said she didn’t really care about getting a ring.

This past year my sister and her boyfriend welcomed another baby boy into the world. With Adam working away for his job, often gone for 1 – 2 weeks at a time, my sister is super mom. She works, takes care of a home, and is the best mom to her two boys. I am in awe of her everyday. I don’t know how she does it.

This year, after Valentine’s Day, I got a text from her. Honestly, I thought it was going to be her giving me crap for not ordering her Mary Kay yet. Instead, this is what I got…

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Supportive Working Environment

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So yesterday I had to take a sick day to stay home with my daughter. She has been feeling under the weather and not really eating for the past 5 days or so. Saturday night my mother-in-law came down with it and my father-in-law wasn’t feeling any better. Since they are our day-care providers I thought it would be best to keep her with me.

Sunday night at 7:30 I sit at the table and write out my plans while my 2-year old is crying for mommy to take her. It was so hard to not be able to comfort her right then and there but if I didn’t get my work done then I couldn’t have stayed home with her. Luckily, I have master plans all ready on my computer and so I just need to plug in a few things here and there. Within 30-45 minutes I was done. Phew!

The one thing that is frustrating about teaching is that it takes so much extra work to try and prepare for a sub and then I worry about my kids and the routine being out of place, etc. I am fortunate for a wonderful group of co-workers who are willing to help in any way that they can.

In order to prevent myself from getting my daughter dressed in the morning and taking her out when her eyes and nose were like a faucet, I asked a couple of co-workers to print my plans, give my sub some information and I even had a chance to have a good friend of mine pick up my son and take him to school and drop him off.

What a blessing. I hope they know that if they are ever in the same situation they can absolutely ask me to help them!

The Love of a Sibling

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My husband and I got married in August 2009. I had started a new teaching job in September and in November we bought our first home. Later in November we found out that we were expecting our first child. We had planned on having children, but didn’t expect for it to happen so fast. Nevertheless, we were so excited for this next stage in our life.

Our son was born and life felt perfect. I don’t think I knew the depths of unconditional love until I became a Mom. He could make the most difficult days better and I would have loved to do nothing more than stay with him during his first few years of life. We were, however, very fortunate to have family care for him while we both worked. My husbands parents were both retired and offered to be our “day care”. What a wonderful gift for all of us.

Four years later we discussed the possibility of adding another addition to our family. In March of 2014 we found out we were pregnant again. Our son was so very excited and was determined that we were having a girl because he was already a brother and didn’t need another one. Fair point of view. 1780835_10101542244626259_1398626879_n

In November of 2016 we welcome a baby girl into the world. Once Mackenzie arrived we invited Carson into the room with just us so he could  meet his sister for the first time. She had brought him a big brother gift of ninja turtles and as he looked at her he whispered, “Hi Mackenzie. I’m your big brother Carson and I am going to take care of your forever.” Melt. My. Heart. I am so sad that I didn’t get that on video. But I have the memory to visualize whenever I want. 10647002_10102103534017819_8408011538153713893_n

They are the best of friends and she is at the point now that she wants to do any and everything he does. As I mom, I couldn’t be more blessed. Blessed with the life I have been given and those I get to experience it with.

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Comfortable in your own skin

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In today’s society I feel like there is so much pressure on girls/women and how they look. Women in magazines and even young girls are “fit”. They fall within a certain size category that not all women/girls fall into.

Growing up I was always involved in sports, which carried over into my college career. I never had to worry about what I was eating and how many days I was working out because I was constantly exercising and practicing for the sport that was in season. I vividly remember going to my apartment after basketball practice in college and eating from a tub of vanilla frosting for my “lunch”. I could never dream (yes, I could!), of doing this now because I don’t make time for myself to work out but also because it is absolutely not healthy… lol.

I have daily struggles with my image now. Not so much because I don’t work out as often as I’d like but because my confidence was striped from me when I was a sophomore in college. I was engaged to someone who went to school at USM and one night he told me that I was overweight and needed to run everyday and only eat salad for lunch and dinner. I couldn’t imagine how someone I was supposed to spend the rest of my life with could say such hurtful and harmful things to the person he loved. I broke the engagement off that year, but the damage by his words still haunt me today.

I have a daughter now. I wish I could count how many times I say, “Hi Beautiful”, “Good Morning Beautiful”, “Yes Beautiful”, etc. It is important to me that she grows up knowing that beauty comes from within and shouldn’t be judged by what your physical appearance looks like. Just as we preach to our students not to judge a book by its cover.

I still have some work to do, but I hope to one day not think about the one negative comment that I received about my appearance, and instead, celebrate that my body was blessed to give my husband and I two beautiful children.

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Living With Anxiety

slice-of-life_individualI have never considered myself an anxious person. Just like I didn’t consider myself a person with OCD tendencies, which the pizza post proves!

Every February is hard for me because it brings back a memory I wish I never had. My son was 18 months old. My in-laws have been wonderful to us and offered to watch our kids so that my husband and I didn’t have to pay for daycare. During this time we were living with them because we had just sold our house within a week and didn’t have a plan of where to go next.

It was a Friday afternoon and I was stopping by the bank after school. I was on the phone with one of my girlfriends and was receiving a call from my in-laws. I didn’t answer it. I had just spoken to them and I figured it was about what we were having for dinner. I said to myself, “I will call them back.” Then my phone rang again. Voicemail this time. I said goodbye to my girlfriend and checked my voicemail.

I can still remember the calm panic on the other end of the phone. It was my father-in-law. “Carson has had a seizure. He is okay, but the ambulance is here and we are taking him to the hospital. Call me back.” The 2 mile drive to my in-laws on a camp road never seemed so long.

I cried, I sped, I screamed. I don’t know how I made it there safely. As I turned the corner before their house I saw the ambulance. My heart sank. No one wants to see that vehicle parked in their driveway.

I swear I didn’t even have the car put in park before I unbuckled and swung the door open. I ran to the back of the ambulance hysterical. There was my 18-month old. Strapped down in the back of the ambulance not coherent. The paramedics put me in the front seat and tried calming me down.

I remember driving too fast for comfort, listening to the sirens of the emergency vehicle and just asking questions to the driver about how my son was doing. I made the mistake of asking if he stopped breathing and she told me that he did for a little while. Finally, 6-7 minutes into our drive I finally heard my son let out a cry. I never felt so thankful to hear that sound!

After tests were done, we found out that he had pneumonia and the seizure was due to a spike in his fever. We took him home that night and I watched him sleep. The next day we tried to keep his fever down and before we had gotten the 2nd dose of medicine into him he went into another seizure. I froze. He was sitting in his high chair eating lunch and I couldn’t get him out. I felt helpless as I screamed to my mother-in-law asking what was happening. Thankfully she was able to get him out and lay him on his side. The seizure didn’t last long but when it was over his body was so tired. He was limp and barely awake.

That was the last time he has had a seizure. But from that moment on I have been a nervous wreck about my children getting sick. If they have a fever or even a cough I start to feel sick to my stomach. I worry that the worse is going to happen to them. Most of my thoughts and worries are absurd but I can’t help to think of the series of events our family went through that day. I am not sure if I will ever overcome this anxiety I feel with sickness, but I have a great support system (my husband) who is with me every step of the way.

Moving Away

slice-of-life_individualI am the oldest of 3 children. I was the first to go to school, the first to play sports, the first to graduate, go to college, get married and have kids. I am a family person. You typically hear of a “Daddy’s Girl”. My father is a wonderful and hard-working man. I have learned so much from him. I have found, though, that I am more of a “Mommy’s Girl”.

I have so much in common with my mom. After I graduated high school I went to college at UMF. Not terribly far from the small town that I grew up in, but far enough away from my family that I hadn’t been away from before. I shed some tears as my parents left that first day of college. Wondering how I was going to survive without them. Knowing that my mother broke down on the car ride home was even more heartbreaking for me.

Fast forward to when I had my first child. It was 2010, and I was living about 2 hours from home with my husband. My sister and mom have made the drive to Lisbon at the perfect time because I was being induced. They stayed at my house and had a “welcome home” sign for when we brought Carson home.

I remember coming home that evening and being so excited that my mom was going to be there for another night. Someone who knew what they were doing! That all came to a halt when my sister got sick. Which meant they decided to go home. I was devastated. I remember rocking Carson to sleep in his bedroom and just crying. Crying for my mom. Crying because I felt alone. Just for clarification, my husband was there and super helpful, supportive, you name it. But there is something about having your mom there with you when you have your first child.

Six years later I still live about 1.5 hours away from my family. My brother and sister both live with 45 minutes of my parents and are able to visit more frequently than my family is. I feel sad. I feel sad that I can’t just come home when I want or visit my nephews for the afternoon. When we come, it usually is for an overnight because it is just too much work to pack up 2 kids for just the afternoon.

When we do make the overnight trip, I shed a few tears again when Sunday comes and I know we have to leave. As we pull out of the driveway I hold back the emotions so that my son, who is already upset about leaving, doesn’t worry about why I am sad. Tonight I came to my parents house without the rest of my family. I spent the evening with my sister and her two kids. Tomorrow we will go shopping, just us girls (mom included). I am really looking forward to it. But what I am not looking forward to is leaving on Sunday. Leaving with those tears that I just can’t seem to hold back. At 33 years old I still need my mom…

Let It Go

slice-of-life_individualGrowing up I didn’t need to make sure that things were “perfect”. I remember trying to make sure that the house would be clean for my mom when she got home from work. Mostly I would vacuum the living room and bedrooms for her. I enjoyed doing that the most because you could see the vacuum marks on the rug and it just “looked” clean. On days that I didn’t do it I could feel the stress my mom was having. I didn’t like that.

As an adult, I noticed that I started experiencing the same stress that she had when my apartment wasn’t clean. I would be stressed if the sink was full of dishes and if things weren’t put away where I thought they should go. I am surprised that my boyfriend still decided to ask me to marry him! Unfortunately, he was the one who would have to “deal” with my attitude until the house was “up to par”.

Now, I should mention I now have a 6-year old and a 2-year old. Plus a dog that isn’t even a year old now. When we first found out I was pregnant I knew I had to try to let things go because I didn’t want my child to experience the stress about something so small.

My son arrived on July 21st of 2010 and I didn’t really pay attention to how clean the house was. I was so wrapped up in being a mom to him that it didn’t seem to matter. This isn’t to say that I forgot about the toys being all over the floor, the dishes piling up with bottles, etc. My husband was wonderful about helping out when he could because he knew how I felt about it.

Fast forward to 2017 and another child and puppy later… we made english muffin pizzas last night and I asked the kids if they wanted to help.

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Of course, they did. My 6-year old spread the sauce and they both sprinkled the cheese. As the sauce and cheese went all over the counter and floor, I took a deep breath and soaked up the moment that I would never be able to get back with them. One day they will be too old to help with pizzas or too old to snuggle. I fear for that day. I will have many hours to clean and organize when I am older and no longer “needed”. Until then, my home is lived in, which is how it is supposed to look.

The Struggle is Real

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Day 104 seems like day 4. Coming back from vacations are so difficult with 5 and 6 year olds. As vacation approaches I try to mentally prepare myself for routines and transitions that are going to have to be practiced and modeled again. Yet I come back from a restful week only to be stressed out that they have forgotten how to line up nicely or how to try and “talk it out” with a peer before coming to tattle. Tattling… that is another subject!

I love my job and I love the age that I teach. If anyone were to tell me that I could trade with any grade level I would stay right where I am. They are babies when they enter my classroom and leave with so much more independence and knowledge that it warms my heart. I should post quotes throughout my plan book and in areas that are only for me in my classroom so that when I am having “one of those days”, I can glance at it really quick and remember that I love what I do.

So back to the struggle… I have a student who, in addition to having difficulty with returning from vacations, etc., I am having a hard time finding my patience with her. I like to think of myself as a patient person. With this child, she has to come and tell me if her sock has come off or if she put her shoes in her backpack, etc. She already has a hard time keeping her focus long enough to get ready to go home that hearing about her sock falling off her foot isn’t really a big deal to me. I just feel as though it is taking time away from students who really need my help.

This is something that goes on all day long which I think is why I am losing my patience. Anyone else have a similar situation? How are you handling it?