Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Snow?!

Yes, dear readers of the North, you of the frostbitten toes and snow shovel-strained backs, this, this paltry sprinkling of white stuff is what passes for snow in the South. This meager showing of Mother Nature was enough to close down the schools, send people panicking to the store to stock up on break and milk (I don't get the bread and milk thing. Is that all you eat when it snows?), and keep people home from work - apart from the owner, Shawn was the only one to show up at his job.

Disgusted as I was by the snow, or lack thereof, the kids were thrilled by it. They were begging all morning to go out and play in it. I kept stalling because, I mean really, what all can you do to play in this??? Well, they did their best. Most of the time was spent trying to scape together enough snow to make a snowball. I finally accomplished one about the size of a ping pong ball.





"Look Mom, snow angel!"
"What do you mean you can't tell I made a snow angel?"


Love this one


Love this one too - well, except for the river of snot pouring out of Ben's nose. Please excuse.

How cute is he in his Paddington Bear coat?





Happy snow kids


This video is of Ben making "snow piles" and telling me from where he thinks snow comes.

video

Snow from the moon. Makes perfect sense to me.
The snow was completely gone about an hour later. Here's praying that we get a more substantial snow next time!

Worth It

After Claire was born, I continued to teach for a year and a half, but my heart was at home with my little girl, and I felt like I wasn't able to do the job I wanted to do, neither at work nor at home. Thus, leaving my teaching job of 4 years was really a no-brainer. This decision wasn't made lightly. We knew that sacrifices would be made, particularly in our finances, but we were willing to do this.

One sacrifice I hadn't realized I would be making was the sacrifice of the satisfaction that comes with completing a task, the satisfaction one attains from doing a good job on a task or from attaining a goal. For nearly my whole life until my decision to stay at home, I had been in a school setting, either as a student or as a teacher. With classes come assignments which require hard work all of which result in grades. As a typical first-born daughter, I strove to do my best, and earning A's on my report card was important to me, not just for the A's themselves, but because those grades represented the culmination, the completion, of some very hard work on my part. They were a very real representation that I had done a good job. As a teacher, I was able to see students learn new information, improve and leave my classroom better students than when they entered it. (ok, not all of my students did, but you get my point!)

But there are no grades given for being a good mom. Most of the time, I am quite thankful for this! But, whether it is selfish on my part or it is a common human trait, there are times when I do really wish for some type of grade, some idea of how well (or how poorly!) I'm doing this "job." Don't get me wrong, Shawn is very supportive, but there is still something inside me that yearns for the days of being able to "check off" items on my To Do list with a feeling of satisfaction. Now, of course, moms have huge To Do lists, but somehow these jobs never actually get done.

Item 1: Vacuum. Sure you can check that off, but guess what? Your son just dumped his bowl full of cracker crumbs all over the floor, and now you have to do it all over again.

Item 2: Go grocery shopping. Check. But wait, not only do you have to do this again every single week, but you also have to spend money on food that just never seems to stay in the refrigerator.

Item 3: Change Diaper. Check - for this hour at least.

Anyway, you get the idea. The list never ends. You never get to finish the list and throw it away.

Now, I, in no way, am suggesting that moms who work outside of the home don't have just as many things to do, nor am I trying to start a debate on the whole "who works harder" issue. I know lots of working moms and am totally amazed at the jobs they do, both out and in the home. I'm just saying that there are days when I do envy them the opportunity to achieve goals in the adult world. I want to have that sense of achievement again.

But then I have a day when I just happen to walk into my son's bedroom and see this:



Would my children love each other were I to work out of the home? Most definitely. Would Claire "read" stories to Ben and would Ben want his sister to "read" to him. Surely. Would this moment have happened some other time. Probably. Is this moment something I have "achieved" as a stay-at-home mom? No. But would I have necessarily been there to witness this one particular moment. Maybe, maybe not.
So, maybe I'm not earning A's, writing and defending a thesis, or teaching intelligent young women how to think and write critically, but I am a stay-at-home mom, and, right now, being privy to moments like these make all the sacrifices worth it.

Children's Museum

We have a really neat Children's Museum in town. However, it isn't really close to us nor is it reasonably priced, so we really don't get to go too often. Nevertheless, the other day, Claire announced that she wanted to go to the museum on Saturday. It's not too often that we give in to our children's every whim and desire, but in this case we did. Ben has been there before, but he was too young to really remember it or to really even enjoy it. This time, however, was another story. He had a wonderful time, cried when we had to leave, and was asking to go back the next weekend.


Super proud grocery shoppers. This had to be their most favorite attraction. (just wait, little ones. The attractive hypnotic gleam of the shiny grocery cart will soon fade - like right about the time you actually have to pay money for all that food you put in the cart and then do it all over again the next week.)
Ben also had a ton of fun "fishing." I think his Papa needs to plan a summer fishing trip.




Remember Lincoln Logs? Meet the giant Styrofoam version. They look pretty proud of their house, eh?

Isn't he a cute little doughnut maker?


Quick, the "Hot Now" sign is on!!

5 year-old on the half shell. HA!


Thursday, January 8, 2009

In Memoriam

I had on a new necklace this morning, and upon seeing me walk into the kitchen, Claire, ever the lover of all things jewelry related, said, "oh mommy, I like your necklace. Can I wear it?" I said no she couldn't because I was wearing it right now. She replied:

"Oh, I didn't mean right now. I meant after you were dead."