Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mother's Day

This is what I wrote about Mother's Day last year

Again this year, the day itself and the days leading up to it were indeed bittersweet.

I have so much to be thankful for.  Obviously.  My five healthy and happy kids.  Who again showered me with sweet homemade gifts and cards and letters that not only made me real true ugly cry,  but also made me wonder how on earth I got so lucky to have these five wonderful little people love me.  Just me. Because I'm their mom.  They don't see my flaws. They just see love.  They look up to me and trust me.  They love me right back.  Because I am their mom.  

And for that I am so grateful.

Of course this being only the second Mother's Day spent without my mom....this day also brings many different thoughts, feelings, emotions and so many memories of her up to the surface.   Not that they're not always there, I don't think one day has gone by that I don't think about her or talk to her,  but on Mother's Day all these things just seem to run...deeper.  more intense.

I guess looking back at what I wrote last year, I can say this year I felt differently about Mother's Day.  Hopeful sign of progress?  Last year I was so focused on my loss.   I was devistated.  Lost.  Broken.  Angry.  And in many ways I still am all of those things, but I am also so much more.....

This Mother's Day my focus,  my thoughts, were on her.   Her life.  What made her happy.  What qualities made her such an exceptional mother and grandmother.

This year the constant stream of memories were so much more sweet than bitter.  I have so many memories of her, of her funny quirks, her smile, her laughter, her constant desire to be surrounded by her family....

The way she lived her life and even the way she accepted her own dying she taught me so much.  About life, about love, about being a mother.

Again, I am so grateful.

For the time we did have.

For all that I've learned from her life.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Two Steps step back.

only it feels like one huge leap back....


all thanks to the wonderful principal and his spectacular ideas on class placement.   (can you feel the sarcasm?)

I have never had the urge to junk punch anyone as much I do when I think of this man.   He still has no idea the impact this has had on my child.

end rant.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Is anyone still there?

Cuz we're here.

And life is just as crazy as ever.   I miss writing.  I wish I could get back into it.

There's lots to write about.

Like birthdays

And well, moving....again!

then of course there's this

And one last thing, cancer you can suck it.   Leave my family alone.

I'm putting my faith in this.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Hockey Night

Friday night was Hockey night.... a fundraiser for the kids school.  Apparently anyone who's anyone goes to the game.   Well, unless their mom totally spaces the date, even though it's written on the calendar, and never buys the tickets.   Luckily, said mom is married to a pretty awesome dad who knows a guy, who knows a guy, who was able to score some pretty kick ass last minute seats.

Since Jud saved the day, I thought he deserved the honor of escorting these three crazies to the game:)

Highlights of the night according to Sam

-Hockey can be really bloody!
-Some of those guys are really huge!
-I saw a guy lose a tooth!
-Daddy let us get LOTS of treats!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

What have we been up too???

I guess it's been quite awhile since I've blogged... I've gone through and deleted about 20 half written half thought out posts, if you subscribe sorry you got that totally random post on friendship last week, I meant to hit delete....simply no time or energy to finish them.   So what have we been doing?   Why am I too exhausted to even get a few thoughts together for the old blog once in awhile?  Well, I just downloaded all the photos I had on my phone, (I have no idea where my real camera is that's how long it's been since I've used it) so I guess this is what we've been up to...

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Embracing life...

It may not always be simple.   It may not always be happy.  But it is always full of love...

I've been neglegting the blog a bit, this I know.   For lots of reasons really... lack of time is at the top of the list followed closely by lack of clarity.   And also(?) I'm sick of complaining.   I miss the days of writing about my funny, happy, beautiful kids, which they are...they've always been.   I've just been too distracted to really take note.

I'm really going to try and focus on all the positive wonderful things in my life for awhile.  Yes, there are still reasons for stress and worry,  and issues that I refuse to burry my head in the sand about, but BUT there are so many reasons for me to be happy and grateful for this life I do have.

Thanks to a wonderful group of parents who accompanied me in the battle with schools, there has been a resolution.    In my opinion, no it's not perfect, but it is a resolution non the less.  Now, life here can go on without all the uncertainty.    We will stay here.  We will add on to the house.    We will make this home.

We will get back to embracing life:)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


Ugh.  My kids are already smarter than me so it's not even an option...

The fact that this thought even crossed my mind should give you a good idea of just how upset and disgusted I am with our school...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Monday, October 31, 2011

Longing for simplicity again...

Jud and I were talking the other day about how difficult life is lately.    He said something like he just wishes something in our life was easy.    I laughed and said something snarky about how no one's life with 5 kids can be easy, let alone all of the other crap going on in our lives...

Really though,  I do understand his point,  up until a little over a year ago our lives did always feel easy.   Not that we didn't have stress, or worries, or chaos in our lives but it was always manageable because it was never everything all at once.   We were both full and happy and energetic and able to take care of one another, fill in each others rough spots, pick up each other's slack so to speak.   These days, I think one of the reasons life feels so much more difficult is because we are both feeling a lot of stress and are exhausted from being pulled in a million different directions.    We both need support from one another like we've never needed before, but for the first time honestly in our entire marriage it's been a struggle to hold each other up.

Now, I'm not saying we are unhappy or our marriage is in trouble,  I'm simply saying that we are real people.   Our life is not always perfect.  Although under normal circumstances it's pretty damn close:)   We are both working really hard.  We are a team, but life is hard right now...and we are both longing for simplicity again.

So what's so stressful you ask?

Well, for one Jud has had some major changes at work, which in the long run will be great,  but for right  now it means lots more work/stress and even more time.  Leaving early, getting home late, working at home once the kids are asleep, traveling.   Even when he's not working he is always thinking about not just his ( and our family's) future but also for every employee that he over sees.   It's a huge weight to carry, and it's taking a toll on him.  Every minute of every day is packed with work or family, there's no time for himself.   He doesn't have nights out with  friends or even time for a run or a bike ride, which is normally a great stress relief for him.  And I have not been as understanding or supportive as I have been in the past.  Not that I could carry the burden for him, but I used to be so much better about listening, asking questions, understanding what he needs, taking care of him, even if it just means insisting he take time to go for a run outside rather than just a run to the grocery store to pick up the milk that I forgot to get.

I haven't been there for him because my plate is overflowing too.  I'm making progress with understanding myself and my ADD but it has not been easy.   I've had to rethink and relearn everything about myself and who I am. Who I've always been.   Why I say or do the things I do.  Why I feel the way I do.  Why I can't let things go.  I wish my mom were hear to talk to about all these things, because the more I find myself, the more I feel like her.   There was a connection there.  I wish I had realized that sooner.    I'm getting closer to accepting her death, but of course that's not easy either.   Meeting my dad's new"friend" has of course complicated the grieving process more than just a little bit and has brought up a lot of feelings of hurt and anger and betrayal and sadness...and guilt.

still with me?

because that's just the stuff going on in my head, then of course we have all the real life stuff too... not just the soccer schedules or the piano lessons or the what do I make for dinner or how much do I still hate doing homework,  but big heavy real life stuff.

For instance, Caroline is really growing up.  My sweet little girl, who used to have wonderful, open, heart to heart conversations with me, has been replaced with a moody, eye rolling, adolescent girl, who is struggling to find her independence.  It hurts my heart to see her growing up and to feel her pushing me away.   She's having a tough time these days but doesn't want my help.   I never imagined watching her grow up would be this hard.   Again, I wish my mom were here so I could apologize for all those years when I was such a little shit to her....I'm sure she's up there somewhere smiling down and nodding her head...she always said it'd come back to me:)

Sam has also been having a rough start to the school year, which means meetings and emails with the teacher and principal and conversations with our pediatrician and lots and lots of reading and research.  Staying on top of all of those issues are a big stress on me too...remember I have ADD?   Following through with important details is a huge struggle.

Then there's Emma, my dear sweet Emma.   She's been on quite an emotional roller coaster herself lately.   She is really starting to feel real feelings...She has always been very guarded emotionally.   Lately she's had lots of questions about Ethiopia and her birth family,  her birth mom in particular.   She's trying to sort out the truth of her story.  She obviously doesn't have any memories about her early life in Ethiopia,  however we've always talked about it, about her Ethiopian Mommy...about her history.    We've always answered any questions she's had as honestly as we could, with the information we have, but we also had to keep in mind what she was emotionally ready to hear.  I guess in hind sight this allowed room for her to add in her own details which she started to see as real.   Details that she has only recently started to share.  Emma had created a sort of fantasy life story.    We've recently had several REALLY honest conversations about what is real and what is not.   I think part of this has to do with her age, she's getting to understand much more, but also I really think  a big part has to do with the loss of my mom.   Emma saw me open up and allow myself to be sad and cry uncontrollably, she saw me being vulnerable and angry and upset.   She saw that I started to question things that I had always known... I think it opened up the door for her to finally realize and feel and grieve the loss of her own mother.   It is sweet and heart felt and in many ways beautiful  to witness but at the same time unbelievably heart breaking...Every night she sleeps with a photo of the most beautiful woman whom she has no memory of...but still, it gives her comfort.

again, I never imagined her growing up would be so hard...

still there?   You may want to go pour yourself a cup of coffee, or better yet a glass of wine because here's where life gets really interesting.

So Then...and this is absolutely the biggest stress these days...for me anyway.   Let me tell you this has caused many a sleepless nights in this house.

We are in a fight with our school.   The school that we love.  The school that we moved here for.   The school where we Love our teachers.

It turns out this year a new policy was put into place in which students were to be allocated to certain classes according to race.

mmmmhmmm you read that right.

separate students into classes by race.

You all get why I'm pissed right?   Because I don't know if many parents at our school do... But then again, most parents in our school don't have minority children.

The fact that a policy like this, (which is illegal let alone morally wrong)  was allowed to be implemented in our school, which is considered to be one of the best schools in the area,  without the support or even the knowledge of parents has me wondering if we moved to right place after all.   Who the heck is in charge here?   Who let this happen?   How can I ever trust that they are looking out for my white children and my black children?

I've talked to the principal.   I've attended school board meetings...I've actually called every single school board member personally at home.  I've had meetings with the superintendent.   And every time I get off the phone or I leave a meeting I feel like banging my head against the wall.   They just don't get it.

It is beyond frustrating.

Which has led Jud and I to have several serious conversations about if in fact this is where we want to raise our family.   No, of course I don't want to move again...I hate that we've moved as much as we have.  I want our kids to feel grounded in a community.   Build lasting friendships.  But this?  Really?  I don't know if we can deal with this...

problem is...we live in Milwaukee which in general is a particularly segregated area.    This is where Jud's job is.   This is where we have to live.   We could move again to another area around the city, but which one?   We've already tried 4 different ones and none of them fit either!    Is this just what our life is  always going to be like?   Will we really always have to fight to have all of our children treated fairly even for the most basic of things, like a good education, no matter where we live?

Let's just say current plans for the expansion on this house are on hold.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

People living deeply have no fear of death. ~Anaiïs Nin, Diary, 1967

I have no idea who Anaiïs Nin is, but when I stumbled upon that quote today it struck me.  

This was how my Grandmother lived.   And she was not afraid.   She was genuine and loving in everything she did,  and we have been blessed to have been in her presence as long as we have.   Even though I will forever miss her quick wit, her incredible sense of humor, her loving smile, and really everything that made her, her, I know that she was not afraid.   She was ready.   I'm quite certain that my mom was waiting to greet her...two beautiful angels.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

A little Thursday Rant

You know what I'm sick of?

Feeling put down because I am just a mom.

Not like this is anything new,  but today I had the third comment in two days coming from other women, other moms.    Not that it doesn't bother me when the belittling comments  come from men but it just feels bigger, harsher, more judgmental and frankly, infuriating  when it comes from other women.  Women who work outside the home i.e. have real jobs.

I have never judged another woman for working outside the home, wether she needs to or loves to.  

I am so sick of the working moms who think they are superior or more important, or smarter or whatever, just because they work outside the home.  

I happened to bust my ass at work all day every day at a job I love, but which does not include sick days, lunch breaks,  potty breaks,  bonuses for remembering who has library on what days, (wouldn't that be cool?) or even appreciation, or respect or acknowledgement.    This is my job.  And I love it.  Wouldn't change it for all the money in the world.

Now if you'll excuse me, the littles are sleeping so Will and I are heading off to the shower for the first time in three (or is it four?) days.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Back to School

was a  few weeks ago.

No back to school pictures. Not a one.   Four excited, clean, nicely dressed kids with backpacks and no pictures.    Ugh.   Mom fail.  again.

So far everyone is really liking school, their teachers, friends and I think just being back in a routine.    I love our school and I'm so glad that we all get to walk together every morning.   It's such a nice way to start our day.   This is our first year that all four of the bigs are on the same schedule.   One drop off- One pick up.   Which means Will is the only one home from 8 until 3.   Sounds easy right?   Just one kid all day?   Yeah, I don't do easy very well.    I've never had just one at home before.  Well, I guess I did last year because Emma was in all day 5k, but Will and I were always running errands in between drop offs and pick ups and nap never really felt like I was home with him all day.

So....I decided to do something that most people will think is crazy  (Jud included:)

I'm watching a friend's twin one year olds during the school days!

I didn't really mention it to many people, not even my sisters, because I realize it sounds nuts....I finally have just one at home, why don't I just enjoy the simplicity, and maybe have a little down time?    Well, here's the thing, I wouldn't do that.   I didn't do that last year.  I was always working on some project, repainting someone's room, or running around town in search of some new rug or shower curtain or... whatever...(can you say ADD?)   My point is, I didn't take the time to just sit and play with Will.   Not like I did with the other kids.   And I felt a tremendous amount of mommy guilt for that.

I was missing the best of little Will.  

So when my dear friend asked about watching these cuter than cute babes,  I had a hard time trying to find a reason to say no.

My initial thought was this would force me to really be home all day.   I mean have you ever tried to bring three toddlers anywhere?   It's really quite comical:)    

But now that the boys have been here for a few weeks,  I realize I don't feel forced to be home.   I really love it.   This is what I do.   I love spending time with kids.  

It's been so great, I have time to play with just Will when the little boys are sleeping, Will has time to work on the art of sharing when the little boys are awake,  and when Will is sleeping I get to snuggle little wee ones again:)

I mean really I get paid to watch this?   What on earth could be better?