Thursday, November 29, 2012

No rest for the weary

This post has been ruminating in my mind for the last two weeks but I have not had a chance to put it into words. I am too busy running this household of six, which is what this is about- raising a family is a lot of work.
I  know this is not  exactly news but sometimes I just feel this reality more than others. The laundry, cooking, grocery shopping, dishes and the constant constant clean up. I clean up after my kids all day long and then when they go to bed at night I spend another hour or two cleaning up some more- putting away books, toys and clean laundry, washing dishes, sweeping floors, wiping down counters. And this past week I added on doing lots of  vomit and poop-laundry as a stomach bug hit Baby AY and some of the other kids.
The crazy thing is the more cleaning I do, the more I see needs to be done.  I am really just covering the basics, I have my running list of projects to get to "when I have time": clean random stuff off the bookcases, wipe off the walls and all those hard to get to corners, organize closets, clean the fridge, wipe down cabinets, etc. The list goes on and on. The funny thing is I actually have cleaning help but once a week really cannot hold us over for a whole week. Usually not more than a few hours actually, once the kids come home and wreak their havoc.
A home requires constant maintenance. I was discussing this aspect with a friend  recently. About the difficult of having spiritual aspirations when most of our life is so physical and really requires us to be hands on all the time. And the impermanence and repetitiveness of all the things we do. I remember once learning that it is all about "who you become in the process". Currently, the only thing I am becoming in the process is cranky and tired. This is something I will need to work out as I go along on this journey. For now I will just keep on cleaning- and possibly relaxing at the end of it all with a nice glass of bubbly wine.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Things I am thankful for

Although I am not really a fan of Thanksgiving, it is always nice to take stock and appreciate all the great things I have in my life. So in no particular order, some serious, some more in jest, here is my list of things I am thankful for this year:

-My little AY. Turning a year and bringing so much joy into our life. He is at an age where he is busy exploring and is keeping me on my toes, but it is fun to watch him discover things, play with his siblings, and to hear his infectious giggle. Of course I am thankful for my other children, who say the funniest things and always find new creative ways to give me minor heart attacks

- that my kids love spending time with my in-laws. We took a train out to their home today and they were so excited for our little trip. I love that think they view taking a subway and then a train as an adventure (I know, we don't get out much) and that they were looking forward to this little outing for so long, planning it and talking about it at school.  They even spent the morning making special cards to bring my in-laws as a present

- That my big guy is making progress.

I love this kid. Some days he frustrates me so much I want to scream (this is not really unique to special needs, the other kids have that amazing quality too) but the truth is he is really growing a lot. His speech is expanding every day and he amazes us with the things he tells us. We are ever so slowly seeing progress in the last few hurdles of toilet training. He is obsessed with football (and the iPad), loves his baby brother and playing with his cars. If he stopped waking me at 5 15 that would be awesome, but he truly is a great kid and I am thankful for him.

-My Ergo baby carrier that lets me have my hands free when I need them. We decided to leave the stroller home today on our trip, which was a good decision because the train was packed and it also saved time. Enter the ergo. When I need to run down to get the kids from the bus, I often use it too. In the afternoons when AY gets cranky and does not want to get put down and I have to make dinner/give baths. etc, I use the (you guessed it) Ergo.
Riding on my back
I do have a moby wrap and a sling that I use sometimes but this is really the easiest and most functional. Thank goodness for babycarriers.

-My husband. He is supporting me on my venture to obtain a nursing degree which means a lot to me. I know it is not easy for him that I am less available and busier, to have to pitch in more with childcare when my babysitters are not reliable (don't get me started...) and of course to pay for all of it :) But we are doing this thing together, slowly and steadily. It's nice to be a team- in this and all other areas.

-That my dad came to visit for the week bearing gifts- most importantly Belgian Kleinfeld chocolate. Now that is something to be really thankful for....

What are you thankful for?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Happy Birthday AY

Today, Rosh Chodesh Kislev is my little AY's first birthday.
Hard to believe that in one year he went from this
to this

He is such a happy kid, a pleasure to be with, as long as he is well slept and fed. He loves playing with his brothers and sister and interacting with people in general..his giggle and infectious laugh are an often heard sound in our apartment these days.
For those who are interested in such things and I know most of you are not, his birth story can be found in this post

I hesitated to write this post with all the craziness going on in seemed too happy and carefree. Rest assured Israel is in our thoughts and prayers. We mourn the tragic loss of life and feel for our nation who is once again under fire. May the month of Kislev bring lots of light and miracles into the world.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Redefining busy

 When I was newly married and in school, trying to make dinner and master household chores while studying and taking tests I felt busy. When I had an infant with special needs and was balancing therapy sessions and household, I thought my hands were full (by the way, I hate that expression but that's for another post). When I had two kids 15 months apart and moved halfway across the world to become the Rabbi's wife, I had a lot going on. Just when things were getting into a routine, along came baby number , beginning the period of time called "3 kids under 4 in diapers" which was pretty intense 
Then little AY was born. Then I went back to school, taking just one course. This semester I am taking two courses with labs. In September, I hope to start nursing school full-time. Can you say "busy"? 
There are still only 24 hours in a day. I still attempt to get about 7 hours of sleep a night. Yet somehow it all (or most of it) gets done. This is not about bragging about how amazing I am...quite the opposite. This is about the realization about how much we can actually accomplish. Just when we think our days are full, something else gets added to our schedule or responsibilities and we manage to squeeze it in. Then we do it again.
Of course there is always a limit. Eventually something has to give. There needs to be downtime- to eat, relax, recharge, whatever. But it is still pretty cool how much we actually CAN do, even when we think we can't. So give yourself a pat on the back- we are all supermoms :)

On the topic of taking some time for  yourself, read this
To read more about what an amish birth center can tell us about lowering the C-section rate, check this out
And this is the final word on being busy and what moms really do all day:

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

I love birth :)

I had an interview tonight with a doula client for the first time in a while...I had pretty much taken a break from doula-ing with having a baby and being back in school, but this opportunity presented itself so I decided to go for it.

What I discovered is that I (still) love childbirth- talking about birth, labor, coping mechanisms, educating is truly my passion. It also reaffirms my decision to continue working in this field whether as a doula or in a different role as a nurse.

In other news, I am back to attending yoga weekly. I am loving it, feeling stronger each time and almost almost getting up into a headstand. I know yoga is all about the process, but the competitive/impatient side of me just wants to be able to say I can stand on my head....not sure for what purpose, but it would be kind of cool.

Also, it's snowing and freezing out. It has been quite a crazy two weeks weather wise-  Happy November!

Saturday, November 3, 2012

some crazy/cute stuff going on

Where to begin?

This morning A. said she is going to vote for Romney because he is a friend of Israel and he will lower the price of taxis...we almost died laughing. And we do not talk politics with our kids so she picked this up at school.

AY discovered his shadow this afternoon. It was the cutest thing. he was kneeling by the wall and kept waving his hands and looking and trying to "catch" his shadow by moving or standing up. He was entertaining himself for a while this way and I was being entertained by watching him. It's amazing how kids discover the world. Sometimes I just want to eat him...

On Friday morning I discovered that someone had peed on the bathroom floor....far away from the toilet...intentionally. Said child was very lucky that they were not home when I discovered the sizable puddle. I will not reveal the identity of the offender, but will just say that it is not who you think it is. Seriously, what are my children thinking?

M. had a major tantrum/melt-down on Thursday. The cause of his distress was yogurt, specifically the fact that I would not let him eat straight out of a 32 oz. tub and requested that he eat from a bowl instead.  When he finished screaming and yelling, he fell asleep on the cold kitchen floor, which led me to believe that the cause of his tantrum was really severe exhaustion and not the yogurt. It looked something like this

Yesterday, when cleaning behind the radiator cover in our living room, which I had not done in a long time I discovered about 25 matchbox cars and 20 little wooden blocks that Y had deposited there. He was so excited to have them back and started playing with them right away. I warned him that if he hides them there again, he will not get them back, rather I will throw them out or give them away. 24 hours later, guess where most of the cars and blocks are again. Question is, am I going to follow through on my statement?

That's about all folks. Wishing us all a boring, calm week!