Saturday, March 27, 2010

It is what it is...

It's naptime. The kids are snuggled in THEIR beds in THEIR bedroom fast asleep-safe and happy. I'm running around the house cleaning up the morning's messes and wishing I was capable of cleaning as a went. Dishes in the sink need to go to the dishwasher. A load of laundry crackles and spins in the dryer while another waits, wet in the washer. I set the table for dinner and prep a few items for our evening meal. I look at the calendar a few times and think about the week ahead. I put a few groceries on the on-going list on the fridge. I race around the house trying to get it all done so I can have a few minutes to myself to e-mail, check my favorite blogs, and try to stay connected.

As I wipe off the kitchen counters for what seems like the 100th time since 6AM, a feeling comes over me. Happiness. Contentment. Peace. I do wish I was cleaner and didn't have to race around the house all the time picking up things. I do wish I liked laundry. I hope Amara wakes up happy and that Alaric didn't pee his pants and bed. I hope Bri is having a good day. Those thoughts are there. But I feel like there is no other job in the world I'd rather be doing at this second that the one I am. Cleaning, caring, nurturing, loving, cooking, snuggling,...

I'm a stay-at- home mom and damn proud of it. My profession is the raising of my kids and the care of my home and if you've ever met my kids, you'll know I'm doing a pretty good job. If you've ever been in my house, you'll know it's not always clean but it's always warm, it's always safe, and it's almost always a happy place.

I love being here all day with my kids. I love having the freedom to go for nature walks or head to the library for new books or run errands or plan a playdate. I love that I get to see my children grow and develop each and everyday and that I am the one nurturing them all day long with questions, games, activities, songs, and more. I love that if the house is messy when Bri gets home from work, it's because we've been having too much fun or are too deep in a project to care about the messes and that he won't mind because we have stories to share, memories that were made, and pictures to post on this blog.

I'm content. I'm happy. I feel at peace with the job I've chosen and the work I do each day. Because of that, I'm scared out of my mind. Scared that I might have to work more than the one day I choose to now just to keep me going. I'm frightened I won't be home each day to see what my kids do and what they learned while they read a new book or dug in the dirt in the backyard. And I'm terrified that I may have to ask someone else to watch my kids for do the job I want to do...just so I can do the job I have to do to keep things going.

Brian is on the job hunt. He's constantly looking, constantly searching, always talking to someone about a different opportunity. There is no doubt he'll find a job and no doubt he'll provide for this family. He feels the pressure and he wants to. But will it be enough? Will it fufill him and make him happy AND pay the bills and allow me to stay home? Who knows. Only time with tell.

For now, I stop. I look around. I listen to my babies breathing through their monitor as they sleep away the afternoon without a care in the world. I pray. I count my blessings. I sigh. I breath. I move on...the laundry needs to be switched, muffins need to be made, and there's plenty to do. My mantra these past 9 days...

"God only gives you what you can handle...this too shall pass...everything happens for a reason...God only gives you what you can handle...this too shall..."

Pray for us. Pray for Brian. Pray for my messy house and the endless loads of laundry. Pray for my babies and their health and happiness. Pray for the job I love each day and that Brian finds one too. Pray that we stay strong and HAPPY! It is what it is...hard, scary, and sad... but also so full of love, and laughter and sunshine. Pray there are more good days than bad and that my mantra serves its purpose.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Easter Party

Today the Mortlands hosted an Easter Party at the Community Building. It was a way to get our kids together during spring break, allow the mommies to catch up, and celebrate Easter. It was so fun.

Look at my two as bunnies!
and real BUNNIES!!! Liz breeds and shows bunnies so these were for sure the highlight.
Once I told Alaric he wasn't allergic, he was thrilled and couldn't wait to pet them

Nothing like huddling up with your friends to color
All the kids-14 plus one baby!
Then the kids colored eggs. My kids had never done this so they were so excited!
Cora and Emmie- Friends Forever!
Amara's first Easter Egg Hunt!
The kids had to find eggs with their names on them!
Each egg had candy inside!
Then we played Pin The Tail on the Bunny!
Alaric got it right between the eyes!
Frosted confetti cupcakes were the perfect Easter snack!
By the end of the party, Mara was comfortable enough to pat the bunny too!

It was such a fun time! The kids had a blast and so did the moms! Thanks Liz for planning it all! What fun!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Chicago Vacation-Day #3

Well, today was our last day in Chicago. We woke up early and the kids were so eager to get to Aunt Anitas. They did the sweetest our short trip from the hotel to Anita's, we looked behind us and they were holding hands ON THEIR OWN!!!! Uh, melt my heart!
Alaric loved his gift from Aunt Nita- he got a personalized t-shirt with his name and FIVE new DVD's!
Mara didn't get any gifts but she loved playing with Aunt Nita's blackberry and pretending she had her own.
We were off to the Museum of Science and Industry. The Farm Exhibit was a big favoriteMara and Anita listened in on a dollhouse exhibitThe kids rode a life-sized cow
The airplane exhibit was incredible
And the brand new storm chaser exhibit was OUT OF THIS WORLD
We spent a long time waiting in line for the Coal Mine exhibit and were really nervous our kids were going to shut down, hate it, or be disinterested. Instead, they were perfect and were very engaged. It was great.
We also got to see the Submarine and Alaric told us all about how they go under water and can see out the top.
We headed home from the museum in early afternoon. It was such a great trip and we loved every minute of it! Thanks for all who made it extra special!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Chicago Vacation- Day #2

Well, this is the mood Mara woke up with this morning...loved being naked but wanted her shiny shoes ON and was pissed when we tried to take them off.
She recovered nicely however and Alaric was a sweet big brother
We wanted to go to Navy Pier today but found out it didn't open til 10. When your kids are up at 6 and you are totally ready to go at 7:45, that's a problem. The front desk person told us that the Norstrom Mall had a LEGO land that opened at 9 so off we went. Unfortunately, we got to the mall and it wasn't open either til 10. We made the most of it and took complete advantage of an almost empty mall.
We let the kids run around and control their own strollers.
We hung out with LEGO creatures all over the mall
We rode the escalator over and over and over and over and over and over
and over...
Then we hung out some in the family bathroom and lounge ( so cool)
and finally walked to Navy Pier. They had a firefighter exibit that wasn't open the last time we were there and you can imagine who was eager to play...Brian! Oh, and Alaric too
Alaric had never been in the basket before so this was so cool
Mara wanted to be like her brother
The construction exhibit was a big hit for both kids. Mara stayed at this one for a really long time.
Mara and another child build a clock together.
Me and the kids went on a dinosaur dig
After naps we swam in the hotel pool and showered and got everyone ready for a dinner out.
I looked down at Mara and she was on top of her stroller chewing on the handles. Huh? I don't get it.
But when I called her name, she looked so innocent and sweet!

Look at us cuties!
It was a bit cold but we tried to walk everywhere we could and we loved it. We went to Giordano's Pizza and met Anita and Joe, Jenny and Joe, Rachel, and Todd, and Alicia and Cathy. We had to wait an extremely long time to get seated but the kids were great and it was a wonderful time together.
Amara and Joe used the floor of Giordano's for some car races.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Chicago Vacation-Day #1

We left this morning for Chicago for a 2 1/2 day mini-vacation. It was supposed to be to celebrate all three of our birthdays as a family but it was definately all about the kids, especially Alaric but we all LOVED it!

We try to always stay at Residence Inn's by Marriot because they have two rooms and kitchenettes and are just wonderful. Here the fam is watching a little movie about firefighers before the highlight our trip....
...a visit to the Lincoln Park Firestation to meet Firefighter Patrick. For those who follow this blog, you'll remember that we met Firefighter Patrick at a Super Bowl Party in Monticello and I asked if we could visit in March. He agreed. It could have been a 10 minute tour and we would have been happy but he spent more than an hour with us and made Alaric feel like the biggest, most important 4 year old IN THE WHOLE WORLD!
Here Pat shows Al the thermal imaging cameras to show heat. Al had no idea it was so technical!
Then they practiced with the hoses
Alaric tried to carry the hose- it was heavy!He got to try on everything and really pretend to be a firefighter, just like Patrick!
This is Patrick's helmet.
Patrick put on his entire suit, from removing his shoes, to putting on his facemask. Alaric was fascinated by the mask and got to try it on with the oxygen.
Seriously, this kid was in HEAVEN!
Then the ambulance returned from a call and we got to meet the paramedics and tour the ambulance too. Patrick hooked up leads to Alaric's heart and showed him what his heart looked like on the monitor. Ironically, exactly 4 years prior, just down the street at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Alaric was hooked up to heart rate monitors 24 hours a day in the NICU as a preemie!
One happy 4-year-old!
Before we left, Patrick surprised Alaric with a Chicago Fire t-shirt and a patch like his. Alaric couldn't hardly stand it, he was so excited- he showed everyone that badge. Look at this sweet boy hugging his new favorite person!
Thanks Firefighter Patrick for being so kind to our family and for making Alaric's birthday extra special! It was amazing and we are so grateful!
After dinner with Brian's best friend, Anthony and fiance Maria, we headed back to the hotel, got naked and changed into jammies- nothing better than zerberts on the belly and trying to get mommy too!Good Night, Sleep Tight- what a great day in Chicago!