Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Invincible or Invisible?

Where does time go? It's middle of the week already, that means I get to round up to "29 weeks pretty much". Really I'm on the 28th week so that means I'm really only 27 weeks along. Technicalities only a pregnant woman would worry about.....

Anyway, we had a great weekend in Las Cruces. The girls had another swim meet and we got to get off the mountain for two whole days, hang out with G & Pop and do a few things we just don't get to do in our "mountain town". Emma had a few tears of disappointment on Saturday (I know, she's only 8) but made up for it on Sunday with another qualifying time, this time the 100 Back. The whole team did a terriffic job and represent Ruidoso so well. This is really a neat opportunity to be a part of and very exciting to watch. Karly made a big splash on Saturday and did okay, but was so proud to win her heat on Sunday in the 50 freestyle. A perfect turn, to boot--another swimmer on our hands!

Ahhh, Ruidoso... I had an appointment with Dr. Harkins, which went great. I saw some of the neatest pictures ever on the sonogram. I saw detail that either I never interpreted before or being the self-acclaimed "expert" now, I see much more clearly! Cheeks, chin, lips.....all to melt a mother's heart. My excitement just keeps growing....pardon the pun. We pray each day for a healthy growing baby--boy OR girl!

Oh, the answer to my post is Invisible, by the way. Props to all those stay at home moms that work so hard every day to keep their families running with little or no gratitude, intentional or unintentional as it may be. My wonderful husband finished working late tonight and shut off all the lights in the house totally unaware that I was in the middle of several household duties at the time. A big deal? No. A clear message? Yep. Not to be taken personal, I know, but being the state that I am, I get the privelege to be a little extra sensitive. Though, it seems, a mother's/wife's work is never done, regardless if the lights go out.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Well, I was busy this weekend. But we got a lot accomplished. Thanks to the help of my wonderful husband, I was able to get our bedroom cleaned immaculately (by my standards--we vacuumed under the bed and dressers even--that's pretty incredible for me) and prepared for baby. This is the most "nesting" I've done out of all my pregnancies I think. I have a completely different perspective this time around and am almost more excited than the last 3 times because I feel very lucky. I have been so very excited ever since I made it past my first trimester yet still I have been reluctant in some ways to prepare and "celebrate" the upcoming events. I guess it's away of protecting myself but the closer my due date gets, the more my wall is torn down. And it is fun! Reese was a part of the entire crib assembly and is very excited to bring a baby home. Even if it is a girl! (which "we don't need", according to him) Speaking of crib assembly, I've put together and taken down that thing by myself at least 3 times (probably more with our moves) but having all the extra help of my husband this time, it was like we had never done it before. The instructions were in a different language I guess becuase we struggled.....but in the end, it all worked out. I had wanted to paint the crib & changing table/hutch black and then distress it. After looking at this project closely, though, I'm not sure I could have tackled this task. Unless we can find osmeone else to do it for us (for less than the original cost of the furniture!) it looks like it'll stay honey brown. That's okay. This set has seen a lot of mileage and a lot of babytime. A lot of history, I guess you could say. Maybe the kids will paint it some day....who knows.

Anyway, I'm 13 weeks away from delivery and counting. Dr. Harkins says the baby is big so maybe will go early. Things are going very well and I feel pretty good. I wish I could share the experience with my sisters and my mom more in person but that's just not possible. I know at least one of them will give me a hard time about the oversized wedding picture above the crib, but I'd take it all just to be able to share.... However, photos, videos and phone calls will have to suffice until we get reunited this spring probably.

We are headed to a big swim meet this weekend and I'll be back to update you on the outcome. Emma has some big goals she's trying to achieve--and Karly, too. And Reese will be there to cheer them on! Here's to a great week!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Perfect Kids?

I had a blast hanging out with my kids yesterday. They had a ball and I think I have learned nearly all the tricks of the trade (until my kids humble me again soon....). We went to Cruces yesterday for dentist appointment and Sears pictures, not in that order. I started stressing about all this the night before as they were not getting in bed early enough....we had to get up real early to fix hair....yada, yada, yada. They could have cared less. We got out of the house 20 minutes late (ONLY 20 MINUTES!!!) and made it in plenty of time, even a little school work on the way.

Pictures were first. I bought a Starbucks for them right before we went in and everyone was happy. And by that, I mean in a good mood. Smiles and all. It only two a couple snapshots and all three have them were magically transported to a make-believe real-live hollywood photo shoot. All I did was tuck in shirts a couple times and move a few whisps of hair, and other than that, I may as well not even been there. They all, and especially Karly, could have taken 200 more pictures and then some. Some pictures were self-posed, others carefully orchestrated. Most important, it was my first time since Emma was an infant (when we went for pictures every month!) that we didn't have a meltdown at the photo studio!!! All in all, they had fun, I had fun watching them and it was time to head off to the dentist.

The dentist was uneventful, thank goodness. Karly is excited to have a couple loose teeth. We ran a few errands, took our time in Barnes & Noble and got home by dark. A fun day. Emma & I had some great conversations, grown-up talk and Karly & Reese entertained us. I am very blessed, as I have said, and I sometimes wish I could stop time. I know when Karly does finally lose her teeth, she'll never look the same. They are growing up and time just keeps going faster and faster. I hope they remember these times, though. And maybe that they are as important to them one day as they are me. I can't think of anyone or any way I would have rather spent the day. Now I have to go because they are running around the house screaming at each other, haven't had breakfast yet and it's time for school. I'm ready to ring some necks....(thanks for that cliche mom).

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Swimmers Weekend

We had a fast and furious weekend with swim meets. Wishing we had a weekend to catch up on rest, now. Emma had a meet on Saturday afternoon in Albuquerque at Academy (a very nice school!) where she competed in 8&Under events only. At this meet they award high point swimmers in each age group, male & female. She usually competes in at least some 9-10 year old events because her birthday falls one day short of being able to compete in the 8 year old state championship meet--so she may as well be used to racing these older kids if she is going to compete in a state meet this year. However, if she competed in all 8 &Under events, she could probably have one some trophies so far this season as she performs pretty well in this age group. So this meet, she did so with the intention trying to place overall, hoping to do well.

She did well! She won! We were very proud of her and she was extremely happy! Not only that, but she improved some of her times immensely. Partly because it had been almost 2 months since she last competed, but I think her practicing and work ethic is paying off. She qualified for the state meet (9&10 year olds) in 50 back and came within a second of qualifying in the 100 IM and within 3 seconds of qualifying in the 100 Free. Pretty good, we thought. Then today, she swam a 500 Free in a fun meet (not sanctioned, though, so no qualifying times) with a time 45 seconds faster than she was hoping for so if we're lucky, she'll qualify in that, too. Very good job, kiddo. You have some pretty proud and goofy parents. Keep up the good work.

Next we have Miss Karly Jo. She competed in a fun meet today in Las Cruces and did awesome, too. She got a 3rd place, two 2nd places and a 1st place ribbon. If she wasn't so busy lifting her head to check out her copmetitors during the race, she probably would have 3 1st places! Nonetheless, she was a champion today and got to shine in the spotlight after big sis had the whole thing to herself yesterday. We are very proud of you, too, girl. Stick with it! She's preparing for a gymnstics meet, too, so we have to keep up with her.

So what does all this mean? It means we are the total stereotypical sports mom and dad. Yes, I even wore my big buttons today, one with Karly's face and one with Emma's face, just so everyone would know who were my kids. Not really, I wear them so the girls see me wear them. So hopefully they will know how proud I am of them. It has nothing to do with what other people think because if you ask me, I think moms who wear those buttons are dorks! Well I used to, I mean. Now, no judgement is passed, trust me. Whatever your reason, all the power to you. Fashion statement, hardly not, but a proud parent, heck yeah. It's all about our kids. Patric and I have been comparing times, to the hundredth of a second, speed counting points, awaiting result postings and replaying home videos for the past two days, playing a role we never thought would come this early. Those nutty parents who are so into their kids, maybe too much into their kids?...that they are totally consumed by all this. Perhaps that's why watching Michael Phelps mom can make me cry when she tells Cooper Anderson, "I was just a mom who wanted her kid to do well." I understand. And I am there, too. I think will be this way for the rest of my life.

Hang in there Reese. Before you know it, it'll be your turn!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Woe is Me

You know, I just don't know. I don't. I just don't see how I can be so extremely happy with my life, my family, the people whom I surround myself with and then so insanely insane, at the same time. I mean, I keep going through this metamorphosing thing with homeschool. I'm changing, my kids are changing, we are all going through these phases as we are all still getting the hang of it and of each other. But it's all good. I mean, I'm at a place now, this week, this day, where I feel so incredibly lucky to be able to do this with my kids. It is the coolest thing ever. I see my kids in a way that I never would have if I hadn't started homeschooling. I interact with them differently, I get to see the light come on in their eyes when they learn something, I get to see them want to do better when they botched a test, I get to tease them about having the absolute coolest teacher in the world and then watch them laugh when they see I'm making a joke. But they tell me, you are mom.

The way this experience has changed our relationships has been so rewarding, too. I feel like they are truly my buds. My confidants. My playmates. My guinea pigs! Because if something doesn't work, we try something new or get a new lesson. But don't get the wrong picture here. Trust me--I'm also a bitch. I'm a nagging, "pick up your stuff", sarcastic, always using reverse psychology mean mom that gets tired and cranky and yells. Well, not so much yells as just nags a lot. I know I do it. But I talk to them like adults about why I do that and how I hate being that way and if they would just..... But you know this new "relationship" that we have developed or bond we have made through homeschooling, has given me a better sense of where I stand with them and where they stand with me. That unconditional thing that your kids have for you--it's priceless. I mean, the fact that you have to be their parent while you are being their "buddy" at the same time can just ruin it sometimes. My kids know what we're doing, why we're doing it and what the alternatives are. They know that they are old enough to make choices on their own and are also old enough to endure the consequences. If I got a dime for every threat I made I would have been rich after the first month of school. My bark is definitely worse than my bite and therefore I bark a lot. That's my biggest downfall. They sense that, too, but somehow, I think they know my limits. Starting back up after Christmas was as much to my dismay as theirs but we do what we have to do. And this week has been the best week of my "homeschool" life. Class has been so much more productive and successful with Karly than it has ever been, I guess the break was for a reason. Emma had 3 tests this week and hardly skipped a beat being out for nearly three whole weeks. They make me proud. And being their teacher, I know proud in a whole new perspective. Each time Karly recites a "special sound" or math fact that she pretends not to know, I feel a little victory. And whenever Emma completes a test in Math or History and I have to look up the teacher's book answers to tell her why I'm right, I know she's on the right track, too.

Now the insane part, right? These same angels that give me so much pleasure and so much love, also subconciously know what it takes to push me to the edge. No, I don't think it's at the top of their list every day to do these things, but when it turns 5 o'clock (or 1 o'clock, or hell, even 8 o'clock a.m.) and I'm in one of my nagging, "pick up your stuff" modes and their dad--my husband, my best friend, my soul mate--walks in and says "Man, you're nagging ALL the time at them. Whatever you're doing, it's not working. You're doing something wrong and you need to figure it out," I go insane. Those words, reverberating in my head. How do you know? Now don't get me wrong. I'm all for checks and balances in the whole parenting thing and I feel like that's how we are there for each other. If I'm all over one kid and ignoring the other and I am not aware of that, I need you to tell me those observations. We get so caught up in this thing called life some times that it's nice to have your significant other there to point out the obvious when needed.

But this was a little too much. I mean, you aren't with us 24 hours a day, practically in each others' space. You don't see all our ups and downs and how we make it up to each other. I get more hugs and kisses in a day now that I'm homeschooling than I would have in a month of sending them to school. I get them in the middle of Language class, during a spelling test, after Math is over, before science starts, AND when they wake up in the morning, before they "go to school", at lunch with them, before they go to swim practice in the afternoon, when they get home from swim practice, after supper and before bed. Do you? And that's before and after all that nagging you just heard and criticized me for doing. Now don't even get me started on the fact that pregnancy hormones are running wild in this 6 months along body and all the stress that comes with managing a household when the economy has stricken and no funds are available on which to manage! And have I ever told you that you suck at what you're doing? No, because I wouldn't. You may have been specifically talking about some nagging piece of laundry I said to pick up, but what I heard was this whole job of not only raising the kids, running the household (which you have also told me I suck at) but also and more importantly TEACHING them. You're doubts about homeschooling, though you 100% supported the idea when we made our decision, are constantly protruding. "Just send 'em to school then" when I'm yelling and frustrated and in tears because of a school day. That's not the support I need. And frankly, that's just not support.

I could not be happier with my life. I have a great husband whom I am attracted to and in love with, three amazing kids and a belly full of kicks and punches right now constantly reminding me I will have one more being to love as much as I do the rest of them in about 2 1/2 months. (Is that all?) But I also feel like I'm crazy sometimes. I don't know if I'm not handling it well, if I think I'm doing a good job and I'm not, if I think I'm prepared but I'm not, or what. But what I do know is that even amidst these daily arguments or nagging episodes or apparent negativity, I am getting all I need in the human love factor. And I couldn't imagine it any other way.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to School

Well, all things considered, and maybe my new year's resolution of having more patience during school is helping, today actually went pretty smooth. Hoping to get done by noon, we finished about 1:30 or so but got everything done we needed to and I felt the girls were pretty much immediately back on track without skipping a beat. I think Karly forgot to be her usual pain in the butt self during school and her personality was, for the most part, very easy today. No real obvious defiances. She got a little tired but stayed on task very well considering the break and remembered where we left off. The break definitely helped her out. Emma, as usual, did very well. Struggling with place value a little bit, but she's such a smart kid. Every teacher's dream. I only hope and pray that I am not inhibiting or, should I say, holding her back by not doing what she needs to keep her creativity. She loves to read and she's a great writer but she isn't as long-winded as she used to be when we first started. That's pretty easy to work on, as long as she's interested. Of course Reese had to participate, too, since I wouldn't let him watch Cars. He worked on his school books, played blocks and worked with Karly on fractions, answering questions as he saw fit. We actually got to Science today and they all enjoyed that.

Not a bad day. I actually got in the shower by 4:30pm, quick workout as the kids went to swim. I have a phone interview tomorrow to start back working and am anticipating a job soon. Unless I mistakenly let my apprehension show through for this job, I passed all the tests so far and things look good. I'm just not excited about it. I will definitely like the money, I just wish I could make it doing something else. Who knows, maybe having some of this under my belt this time will make the job easier this time around. I'll hope for the best!

I spent wayyyyy too much time uploading pictures for my slideshow today. Time I could have used uploading them for my photoalbum I'm making on snapfish. So please humor me and take a peak. There are some that poor Reese will sue me for posting when he gets older. But as a mom, how can I help myself. Enjoy.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Last day of Christmas break

It's movie night at the Pearson household. Kid movie, then parent movie (without kids). That's how it works around here. First things first. We choose our battles around here and some things are not worth the fight. That's okay, though. This time it's Narnia. A movie that's not a cartoon. We can usually handle that.

We have Christmas behind us know and it's time to welcome the new year wholeheartedly. I'm getting the buzz for baby things. Figuring out what I have and don't have to prepare for. Of course, as usual, I'm bothered by a huge archive of pictures for 2008 virtually untouched. Photos are taking a back seat these days, however. Then, as though without remorse, school is upon us Monday. For the kids, I must say homeschool has to be a relief. To know they only have 3 1/2 hours of school work and they're done has got to be a good thing. I'm feeling a cloud over my head, but it's not all bad as at least I get to be with them. If they were in school, I probably wouldn't get much done anyway! This forces me to have a schedule. Maybe not my optimal schedule, but one nonetheless. I truly do cherish every day I spend with them. Even at our worst, I wouldn't trade it. They are all my best friends.