"What we do in this life, echoes in eternity."
Maximus, Gladiator
"Our creator would never have made such lovely days, and given us the deep hearts to enjoy them, above all thought, unless we were meant to be immortal."
Nathaniel Hawthorne

Friday, May 30, 2008

A little bit of everything

I can't believe school is finally over! Next August I'll have two children in elementary school. Gorgeous and I have been looking for the perfect school for our children ever since our Gorgeous Boy was born. Somehow, we always miss a deadline, or the kids are #78 and #98 on waiting lists all across the valley, or tuition is $350 a month for 3-times a week 3 year-old preschool (er, no thank you?). So we feel extra blessed for living where we are living. Our school is very nice, we got wonderful teachers, and ... it's free. So yea, we like the school. This week we had several talent shows and presentations, that kept me VERY busy, but very proud of my babies.  
Here's Swan Princess singing like a nightingale, shaking hands with the principal, and then with me. 




And yesterday, I ran all morning. If you know me you know I really don't like to run around all over the place. I like my breaks between activities, and I love being home. I picked up my Swan at school, and we ate sandwiches in the car. El Cangri and Chubbers were exhausted, but they didn't take a nap in the car. My Gorgeous Boy had a talent show at one, and he was playing a guitar solo. All the children were flushed with excitement, and my son kept waving at me, begging me with his big brown eyes, "Mom, look at me!" I did watch him, here and there, between chasing El Cangri and trying to video and photograph him while holding a baby Chubbers intent on breastfeeding RIGHT NOW! standing up and all. My baby sling was very useful waiting for me in the car. Ha! Why don't I just sew one permanently to whatever outfit I'm wearing that day? In the middle of the nightmare, I realized there was this beautiful salt water fish tank in the room we were. So I tried to keep my Cangri entertained with Nemo and Dori.  He started making up a story, and kept running around the tank getting more excited every second. You should have seen his face. Until he asked, "Mom, where's the whale?" (in English and all, to the delight of almost 100 people present). "Mom, RUN, RUN, RUN, THE WHALE IS COOOOOOMMMIIINGGGG!' In the midst of craziness there can be sweetness. And I had to smile. And after that, people clapped (one of the kids had just done a karate demonstration) and Chubbers clapped and cheered and then blew, like she was blowing hundreds of invisible candles. 
Here's the very only picture I managed to take during the talent show.



Today is Friday, and the older kids had school for only 1 1/2 hours. They went in at 8 in the morning, and came home crying because they'll miss their teachers so much. I don't know what their father was like the last day of school, but I cried every last day of school too. I was such a nerd!!!! But I loved every second of it. Of school, not of being a nerd. Got it? ;) 

I had thought to surprise the kids, and take them to the movies. Even though after all the tears a certain pretty boy was being totally irrespective, I decided to take them any way, and we saw "Nim's Island" at the dollar theater. We stopped by Hoggi Yoggi for some dreadful lunch (it was so horrible! I'll never go back there!), and came home, ready to enjoy summer vacation. I really need a vacation, and I don't see one for years and years (after all, I'm a mom for life, right?), but I do love the little breaks here and there--like having dinner with two of my dearest friends, having mate at the wee hours of the night, shopping online, sorry baby, reading and reading, and knitting a little, and sitting outside and watching my kids play. Yes, I'm always tired, but I'm alive, and content. I just miss my husband, but hey! 8 more days!!!!!!
Chubbers did NOT want to be in a picture, but notice El Cangri... There's a model!!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I've got the tickets!!!

Not for the Stadium of Fire, which I tried (Miley Cyrus is performing this year), but to go see Jeff! I just bought them because I found a really good deal, but it still was a lot of money. So much for planning on going back in August. I guess he won't be able to sell all through August. I even told him that we need to find a solution for next year. I really can't do this again! Even it means we'll have to take drastic measures like getting rid of our cars... but we'll think about that later.  Today's Memorial Day and it's been raining for days here, which is very good for the plants I just planted along the fence by the creek that runs in our backyard--raspberries, grapes, honeysuckle, trumpet vines, elderberry (for all the immune strengthening reasons!). I love seating in the backyard and listen to the murmur of the running waters. Now that we have a fence, the sound relaxes me instead of stressing me out. 
Gorgeous Boy had a play at school. It was a Tribute to Broadway, and his class sang "It's a hard-knock life" from "Annie". He sang so loud and passionately like a little child only can do, it swelled my heart with love. It made me realize that even though my children have such a privileged life, it's still hard being a kid-fun but hard. I just read the "Attachment Parenting Book" and even though we've been breastfeeding, babywearing, and co-sleeping for years, even from when our first baby was born, I still feel I need to parent more gently. Yesterday I was on the phone with my mom, and I literally lost my balance when she admitted out of the blue that she wishes she hadn't be so hard on us. I realize now that when she's disapproved of the ways I handled a situation with my kids, it was because I had done it exactly the same way she would have done it when I was a kid. I know, it's confusing and a little crazy. I really value the upbringing my parents gave me, but there were things that I really need to get out of my system. Like sometimes, I know the conflicts I have with my 5 year-old are a reflection of the struggles I had with my own mother. I want to have a great relationship with my daughter, without ghosts from the past. So this afternoon, we'll have our ritual spa, and do our nails, and talk girl talk. For now, it's about her friends and make-believe stories. Let's hope that I can earn her trust enough so that in a few years she'll want to tell me her dreams, and fears and hopes without being afraid of being chastised in any way. 

Side note: Chubbers learned how to tiptoe and open the doors: the fridge, the bathroom (unlimited access to the toilet water!), and the PANTRY. So it's been a non-stop banquet at home, for my three younger babies: El Cangri, Chubbers, and Dandi the dog ;)          

Friday, May 16, 2008

Weekend Night-Date Night

I have a million things to do: work on my some translations, prepare a few things for my class on Sunday, clean the house, do my eyebrows... but my baby is sleeping, Princess at a birthday party and my boys are "cleaning" their rooms. I love the buzzing of the ceiling fun, and seeing the curtains flutter. It's sunny outside, and the sounds of the brook in the backyard, the wind chimes, and the birds singing are lulling me to sleep. I know I just posted about how tired I am all the time, especially on Mondays, and I'm extremely tired now, but hey! It's Friday!!!! Fridays are always my favorite day of the week. Last week my Swan Princess had a ballet recital and they gave two performances. It was Saturday, and that usually means soccer games. So I was driving back and forth all day, dressing my little ballerina, picking up tickets for the show, grandparents to attend the show, etc. Gorgeous Boy stayed at the neighbors' after his soccer game which was at the same time of the performance. So that night, I got to go on a date with my handsome son to watch his gorgeous sister. I loved listening to his conversation about school and webkins and bullies. I just couldn't stop looking at him. And then it was the turn to cheer for Princess. She looked so slender and feminine, almost like a fairy. And she didn't forget any of the steps. It lasted all of 3 minutes, but I really enjoyed watching the second act of Swan Lake which was performed by the professional dancers. Some of the girls from my young women's group were there. They are so talented!!!! 
Gorgeous Boy was so worried--we didn't have any flowers for our ballerina, so I invited them on a date and we went to the Village Inn where their father and I met exactly 10 years ago. Can it really be 10 years? I ordered the same thing we always ordered when we were dating, one of those succulent skillets, a strawberry shake and a ... Coke! The kids were so shocked to see me having a soda! Princess didn't know if she should laugh or cry. My poor babies. I really have them brainwashed. Who would have thought that one day I would be sharing a table with my kids at the place I met their father 10 years ago? It was so surreal, and bittersweet. I just don't think I could miss him any more than I do now! Sometimes I think I can do it on my own, but no, I really need him too. 
So tonight is date night, and "Prince Caspian" just came out. A lot of people might think I'm crazy, but I'm taking all my kids to the movies. I better hurry to get my make-up and hair done. My dates are waiting!!!     

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day Blessings

Last night, before I went to bed, my Gorgeous Boy told me, "Tomorrow is going to be such a wonderful day for you and Swan Princess!" His little big eyes were sparkling with excitement. I finished reading "The Host", and then I couldn't sleep, pondering the book story, the characters, the what-ifs...
This morning I slept through the alarm and missed church. I always feel so bad when we don't go to church, especially because not getting up on time doesn't necessarily mean getting more sleep. I woke up to the sounds of a lovely fight between my older children, and then the older daughter came to ask me to please get up, the dog got sick all over the carpet. Yes, how nice. I'm being very sarcastic here... I finally got up and my beautiful children gave me notes and letters they made at school. They were so happy to give me something, and they tried so hard to be good. But you know how it is; sometimes, the harder you try, the worse you do. I'll leave it at that. And I won't tell you how Chubbers practically yanked out a bookshelf from Princess' room wall. The wall was a teensy bit scratched, and I thought I could just fix the screw on the wall and put the shelf right back. Well, I did try that, and I was very proud of my self reliance, when as I was walking out of the room, imagining the look of satisfaction on my husband's face. I heard the most horrible sound. The shelf had collapsed, leaving a gaping hole where the screw used to be, and a path of destruction all along the wall. Do I have any leftover "Rose Pink" Benjamin Moore paint? Yes, that one! The $60, a gallon one! 
Not exactly fun, but I won't tell you about that...or the water that leaked from the fridge downstairs. It was empty, so I unplugged it to save energy, what a wonderful wife, but I forgot to empty the ice box. You can imagine the rest. On a good note, it was on the tile floor, on not on the expensive wooden one...
Don't get me wrong, I did have a good Mother's Day. Isn't this what motherhood is all about? The non-stop work but also the sweet moments, and the sweet words, like these ones my son wrote (and this will be original spelling, in every sense of the word): 
"Why I love You? I love because you cook good food and you are nice. You are beautiful." 
And, on another letter, 
"My mom is: nice
My mom likes: going to vacations
My mom knows: a lot how to cook
My mom says: We are going to Virginia
My mom wishes: to be with as all day
My mom loves: my sesters and brother and my dad and me
My mom is: beautauful!

Love,

Gorgeous Boy."

After reading those true words, I certainly felt happy. He thinks I'm "beautiful"!  

Monday, May 05, 2008

Monday that feels like Friday

Monday that feels like a Friday night and not because of the anticipation of going out, dressing up, meeting friends. Those were the Fridays of yesteryear, long gone. If I could see myself on a Friday night, I would see a woman who started the day full of energy, and ended up dragging her body and consciousness through the motions of putting the kids to bed so she could also crash on her pillow. That's how I feel tonight. Today I scourged the garage floor, cleaned the air purifier filter, made lunch, did dishes, did laundry, nursed a baby, cleaned the floors, steamed high chair, steamed area rug in Princess' room, had Family Home Evening, took Princess to ballet rehearsal, payed bills online, drove to the accountant to leave paperwork... Not all in that specific order, and a few of those things simultaneously. I'm not posting my chore list to brag about what I do, but just to show how insane I am. I do the same things again and again, and I realize a lot of the things I do are important and essential for the family to function, but others, the things that aren't urgent, are the only things that truly matter and that I tend to leave for last. Teaching El Cangri and Chubbers how to do housework, listening to my Princess when she comes home from school, singing happily while Gorgeous Boy leads the music during Family Night. 
I feel so elated when I do those little things that make my kids the happiest, but the unimportant things trap me like a fish in a hook. Why am I so obsessed with a clean house? I don't know. My sister is the same way. Growing up, our house was clean, but not immaculate. I think it's just a way to have control, release stress and show that we work and we're a kind of superwoman for having a clean house. I wish I were more relaxed, that I could smile more easily, and make time to see my babies grow. There will always be laundry to be washed, floors to be cleaned, counters to be wiped. But the babies will grow, and tomorrow I will have four grown people whom I hope will love me and want to be with me, still.