Sunday, November 27, 2011

Gobble Gobble

For the past eight years, I have taken on the task of preparing Thanksgiving dinner for my husband and whomever else needed a place to go. Often it was my BIL, cousins, or friends. I remember that realizing that I couldn't go home for Thanksgiving meant that we truly no longer lived at home and it was time to start making our own memories. And we did.

I remember that first Thanksgiving, how scared I was that I was going to mess it up. I remember scouring the internet for recipes and shopping at the Farmers' Market (Oooooooohhhhh how I miss the CA Farmers' Markets....). I remember calling my future mother in law, asking for her sweet potato recipe. I remember cooking for 2 days straight and then having over some of the best friends I could have ever made in California. After dinner we walked up the street to the top of the hill on Euclid, and looked down at the lights of San Francisco. I couldn't believe that we lived in this beautiful city, or for that matter that we were walking around at night in November without coats on.

I remember preparing a plate of food, pie, and hot drink and putting on the homeless man's cart and bags that lived in the stoop of an abandoned building. I never met him, but I hoped he got the food.

I remember taking an after dinner drive through Sea Cliff and showing a friend where Robin Williams lives. And then seeing Robin Williams standing outside his house. It was one of my only celebrity sightings in California. My husband had more.NOT FAIR.

I remember the 32lb turkey that I had to make to feed the Lahman twins and the Spiess twins.

I remember learning how to make the best after Thanksgiving sandwiches from "Friends" complete with moist maker. DON'T KNOCK IT.

I remember finding my own footing, and not needing recipes anymore. I remember learning to flip the turkey upside down to cook it so all the juices stay in the breasts.

I remember the first Thanksgiving we were a family with Isaac. He loved the green bean casserole and pumpkin pie.

I remember last Thanksgiving, it was the first and last one that we would have just the three of us. It was quiet. It was nice. It was relieving and bittersweet, knowing that the next year I would not need to cook a full meal, merely a side dish or pie.

And that's what I did. This year past weekend was Isaac's first major holiday with his extended family. We were all so happy. We had a great dinner with my family and then a second dinner yesterday with Ben's. We had two amazing meals with our amazing families. We made memories of this, and had time to reflect on the ones we brought from California.

This Thanksgiving we saw what we appreciated and what we are truly thankful for, and that is being back home with our family.

Monday, November 21, 2011

It's a Funny Thing, Time

The last time I was in graduate school, I was working 30+ hours a week at VS, taking a full class load, teaching 2 lab sections of undergrad intro bio, conducting my research and writing my thesis. I was also planning my wedding that was taking place across the country, and maintaining a home, albeit small. My planner WAS COLOR CODED. I never missed a deadline or paid a bill late. I was caught up on my TV shows, I cooked and cleaned, and I blogged. I also had time to spend with friends. I am pretty sure I was a MACHINE.

This time...well, everything is completely.

I'm teaching. I'm taking a full class load. I'm planning out my dissertation. The academic part is still there.

My priorities have shifted. And I have realized that things that used to be important...they really just aren't anymore. Spending an extra hour on a paper as opposed to doing puzzles with Isaac? Not a hard choice. I still want to do the best I can do. But an A on a quiz just seems so petty next to watching a movie with Boo and tickling him. It boils down to this...I COULD spend extra time on school stuff. I could spend every waking minute possible on campus. I could read into the night.

But at this moment in time, that all seems trivial. There are better uses of my time. I don't care if I am the best anymore. I want to be the best mother, the best wife that I can be. I know I am a good student. I'm a great one. I know how to learn. I know how to study. I know to teach myself what people want me to. This is my 3rd post-secondary degree. I got this. That undergrad and Master's student mind frame has dissipated and only relics remain.

Time has changed me. My time is valuable. My time with Isaac is more precious than any degree could ever  be. This's already teaching me more about myself than I ever thought it would.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mom Fail

Wednesday is my favorite morning of the week. I don't have to be on campus until I teach at 10:30, so I let Isaac sleep in and enjoy his morning. Plus I get to sleep in until 7:30. That's saying something right there.

Anyway, this morning started off wonderfully. I checked my email to discover that my parking citation had been repealed, saving me $25. Isaac woke up happy and ate his breakfast, which he chose: a strawberry poptart. He got willingly into the car, which is saying something. He was on his second poptart when I strapped him into his seat.

We get to his school, and I notice a sign that had not been there when I picked him up on Monday. It was a reminder that Christmas pictures were being taken for the school. IT WAS PHOTO DAY. I looked at Isaac, in his play clothes which were clean and nice, but not my first choice for a photo. He hadn't had a haircut in months, and was looking a bit shaggy AND he had poptart all over his face. I took in the Christmas sleigh and wintery background. SIGH.

The sign said that the photographer had been there since 8 am. It was almost 10, meaning they were getting ready to pack up. I had no time to run home and get new clothes. Isaac looked pretty confused as I frantically wiped poptart from his face and tried to smooth his hair into place.  He doesn't go to daycare on Tuesdays, which is when I am guessing they gave notice of the photographer.

I'm not sure if he actually got a photo taken or not. He hates getting his photo taken, and family photos are a nightmare.

I felt guilty. I felt that nagging Mom-guilt. I know it was stupid, and not really my fault, but it was still there. I don't like letting my son down. This semester has been hard on him, and has been full of big adjustments. He's my world and I hate that feeling. :(

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Musings from the Week or the Weak...However you prefer to see it.

As Saturday evening descends on my house, the weekend is really just beginning. Today was the first day of potty training boot camp that I mentioned yesterday. It has been...interesting to say the least. We are 5 pairs of Thomas the Tank Engine undies in, one load of pee soaked laundry down, 2 prize candy bars given....and I can't tell if progress has been made or not. 

I have been prepping Isaac for this. We have been talking about his "big boy" underpants and going in the potty all week. He was excited to show Nonnie his undies. However, this morning he woke up with grumpy pants on. I tried to change them. He had peed through his pjs AGAIN, and he hates that. He hates pee in his bed. But...he would not put on his underwear. He screamed for a diaper. SCREAMED. I finally gave in and put a pull up on him. He watched a movie, and after awhile, he seemed in better spirits. 

I got the undies on him. We started a puzzle. And then....


Yep, that was the first pair. However, it was more of a Mom, my pants are wet I need you to change me type  exclamation. He wasn't really bothered by it. No idea why. 

It's been that way all day. I put another pull up on him for naptime. He's been asleep for 2 hours now. He's exhausted. I'm exhausted. All we have been doing all day is changing clothes. 

Maybe I was wrong. Maybe this is too soon. Maybe he isn't as ready as I thought. 

Or maybe I am being weak. Maybe I am just trying to hold onto my baby for a bit longer. As much as I hate buying diapers, if it means he's still my little baby for just a few more days...well, you know. That doesn't make sense unless you are a mother who is far away from having another baby. 

This week itself has been exhausting. Emotionally. Physically. Mentally. 

So many things that I want, that Ben and I want, are so close to our grasp, yet so far away. It seems like there are always challenges. And I am not one to shy from a challenge. I like challenge. But at the same time, I have enough of it. I just want one thing to come easily because I, we, have worked so hard to get through other challenges. 

You know, like the prize candy bar you get for finally peeing in the potty.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Boot Camp

This weekend is Boot Camp at my house. Not the physical kind, cause Lord knows I don't run (unless someone with a machete is chasing me). I am talking about Isaac's Potty Training Boot Camp.

I have heard from multiple mommies that this is the way to go. Isaac is so close, that I am hoping this weekend will cinch it for him.

The undies with Thomas the Tank Engine and Mickey Mouse have been bought. The waterproof crib liners are ready to be put on the furniture. There is a bucket of small prizes sitting by the potty.

Starting tomorrow morning, Isaac will wear underwear all day. Apparently the wet feeling of peeing yourself does the trick and will send him to the bathroom. I am really really REALLY hoping this does it. I am tired of buying diapers. He goes potty at school and at both his grandma's houses. Just not for me. I already have to clean up Luna's bathroom mishaps. I am kind of over changing the diapers too, when I know Isaac knows how to use the potty.

Fingers crossed that by Sunday night I will have a story of victory and not just a house that smells like urine.