- Feelings. Kids have powerful feelings in little bodies. AJ has been very opinionated and independent and tantrumy lately. Basically, a two-year- old. My sister suggested giving him names for his feelings. So now AJ bows his head and slumps his shoulders at least ten times a day, says, “I’m sad”. And refuses to move…. But at least he can name it and at least he’s not screaming.
- Marriage and change. We are in many ways completely different people than we were when we got married. Sometimes, it frustrates me. Change stresses me out, especially when it’s not planned changed and when it’s not me that has changed. And then I remember, that I, the girl who asked for a hope chest for graduation (my parents wanted to give me a laptop), the one who dropped out of graduate school to have a baby, who wanted nothing more than to be a homemaker, is letting the house go, and doing whatever she can to outsource and streamline cooking, to chase the dream of becoming a published writer. I remember that my husband is going in to work 2 hours later than normal two days a week to help me chase that dream. Motherhood still brings me amazing joy and fulfillment, homemaking less so:) Change is uncomfortable and needed and just always there.
- Marriage and sameness. In many ways we are the exact same people we were when we got married. I still am extremely sensitive to violence, sex and language on TV. Several years ago, Justin convinced me to watch the TV version of The Patriot, I made it a half hour in before I was bawling uncontrollably and we turned it off. Justin’s more accepting of this quirk than he was when we got married. Last week when I apologized for not wanting to watch something he just said, “I love you, don’t worry about it.” We can’t ask each other to change or to stay the same. We just are.
- Sports: This is my favorite sports season. Basketball and soccer tournaments. I am still amazed at how much I love watching my kids play, and how much I care about the outcome. Sports have never been my thing. But watching my kids try so hard, learn so much, and be so brave, it’s awesome. I still have never yelled at a ref, but I’m no longer putting it out of the range of possibility.
- Love and Fear: I want to teach my kids to deal with fear in healthy ways. Lately I have been studying fear in the scriptures. It has many meanings there, being scared, awe….The scripture that keeps sticking in my mind is “Perfect love casteth out all fear.” Beautiful. I’ve often heard that we are either acting out of love, or out of fear. But then I stopped. Love of what? Perfect love for my kids only makes me more scared. I have more to lose. No, it has to be love of something else, something bigger, greater, expansive and inclusive of us all.
Archives for 2019
You are a “tween” as you so delightedly called yourself this morning. Double Digits. In between.
I haven’t seen you play with your Barbie House in months, but you asked for PJ’s that matched your doll for Christmas.
You still love to cuddle, but haven’t come down scared at night in a long time.
Back and Forth. Childhood to young womanhood. But mostly, forth.Continue Reading
I love to travel for the same reason I love books: new ideas, people, and places, all of which make my life richer and wider.
I also love to take my kids. I’ve heard a lot of people say that they don’t like to spend money to take their kids places, they won’t remember or appreciate it. But…. I don’t do it for my kids as much as I do it for me.
Not everywhere is a great kid trip, but Peru is! All outside adventuring.
Peru was Josh’s dream. It also has a mile long wave. Justin will make anyone’s dream happen if there is surfing involved.
We explained that we wanted to take anyone who wanted to go. But you had to want to. So each of the kids had to save a certain amount of money to contribute to the trip. $100 for the older two and $50 for Max. It was touch and go with Max, he almost stayed home with AJ and Grams, but I’m so glad he decided to come:)
He left four days before us and stayed at the Chicama Beach Hotel with his brother. A boat pulled them out to the waves and then they surfed in. There was tons of amazing food and daily massages. When they checked out, Justin was floored at how low the bill was. He’s already dreaming about his next trip.
He picked us up at the airport in Lima and we made our way to our airbnb in Mira flores. Our top priority on this trip was the Sacred Valley. I had read that it was best to take morning flights within Peru because they tend to get canceled later in the day. With three kids, we decided to spend a day in Lima instead of flying out super early the next morning.
Lima is tricky to get around. There’s no easy public transportation – And taxis for a family of five can get expensive (taxi green was the best). So we knew we needed to use our time wisely. The kids were most excited to do a day trip to the Isla Palomino and see penguins and sea lions. At the beginning, we were all smiling.
Justin and Josh saw the penguins and swam with the sea lions in too small, holey wetsuits. But we all survived.
Max was a trooper. Whenever he got tired he’d just lay down and close his eyes, and then smile at us groggily when we woke him up.
We made it to Cusco the next day. Our guide, Oscar (he was fantastic and I don’t particularly enjoy having guides as a rule) picked us up at the airport and drove us directly down to Ollyantaytambo. I was nervous about the altitude so we stayed in the sacred valley for five days before seeing Cusco.
On the way, we stopped at the Ccochahuasi Animal Sanctuary and saw llamas, alpacas, vicunas…
The last stop was Pisac, before we made it to our B & B in Ollyantaytambo.
We saw our first farming terraces,
And saw the Pisac Market.
Justin is a worrier. He can overreact and I often under react. I’ve been known to feel a little superior in my calmness.
But, these last two weeks all of our kids have gotten really sick and I noticed something…
Worry = kindess = empathy = service
He went to the store at least twice a day for popsicles, drinks and medicine. He put work on hold to play rocket league for the 500th time. He bought multiple thermometers to make sure we had accurate readings. Each temperature taking involved three different tests, because you can never trust just one. He sat on the couch for hours and was there with whatever child was currently unable to move.
I, on the other hand, tend to make kids go back to doing their chores as soon as possible, ask them if they’re really still hurting or if they just don’t want to go to school, and beg them to please, please turn off the screens….
We had so many plans this Christmas:
Instead, we spent a lot of time like this:
Hours of Screen Time:
Record for hours slept:
Josh at 27 in a 48 hour period.
Record for tears cried:
Some people got in a few of our plans. Two sets of cousins, one before, and one after Christmas.
More pictures of the fun parts if you’d like to see.