Naptime

Having a three year-old is great. I love her take on the world. I’ve done this three times before, so I think I’m up for the challenge. Mostly. I am tired all the time, still. I don’t remember it being this hard to stay awake. Oh, you thought I was talking about her nap time? Does she have one? I don’t know, I’m usually the first one asleep. I can’t remember the last movie I stayed awake for. I think it has something to do with the fact that I’m finally able to relax. I hope it’s not a symptom that I’m becoming narcoleptic. I’d hate to get a job once she’s in school and find out that I can’t stay awake any time I sit down for long periods. The good news is, there couldn’t possibly be a fast-paced law firm around that could have me jumping the way my daughter does. I am not afraid of a challenge. I can tackle office work after this. I give baths, manicures, pedicures, and preschool lessons before most people finish their morning commute. I might know the lyrics to every Disney soundtrack ever, but I still manage to get the housework done, bid on jobs, take the boys to and from the bus stop on time, and fix all five meals that a growing child needs. I even manage to do a few of those jobs I bid on. Working a 9 to 5 job would be a vacation– sorry, all you moms with jobs, the secret’s out. Working out of the house is so much easier than actually putting in the time to raise a child. Hands down. I’ve done both. I’d rather stay home with my daughter, but I know a job would be so much easier. Pays better, too. I don’t think I could trade spending time with the world’s most prolific conversationalist to spend time listening to someone discuss whatever vapid television series I didn’t bother to watch last night. Honestly, chasing someone around trying to get them to wear pants is so much more fulfilling when it’s a toddler and not your boss. I’m going to miss these happy, golden years when I join the “real world”. I’m going to miss our little talks while she sits on the potty, or when she’s “helping” me fix dinner. I’m going to miss it all someday, but not because I wasn’t there. I’m going to miss it because she’s moved on to some other grand adventure just a little bit sooner than I was ready. One day I’ll be able to make it through the day without a nap time. I just hope it’s not some day soon.

 

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Weight

I really don’t think much of my world is in line. At this age, I really thought I would have more adhesion. What I thought would be the easy part turned out to be almost impossible. I have actually gained weight since I started trying to lose weight. Pretty much sums up my success rate in life. Probably because my idea of getting rid of bad food choices was to eat it. So , now that I have added another ten pounds to my frame, I get to recalculate everything.
Sometimes it seems so futile. It’s not like anyone cares but me. Let’s face it, though, having a baby at forty kind of forces you to make healthier choices.  You want to live to see the milestones. I have made improvements. Organic whenever possible, way less carbs , more vegetables. just want to see a little reward for my good behavior once in a while.
I’m not giving up. I don’t see a fat person until I look in the mirror or get on the scale. I just have to get my outside to look like my inside.

Resolve

Really, I can tell you all the ways my life needs to change. I can make a list. I love to make lists. I mean, I LOOOOVE to make lists. The hard part is getting me to check anything off the list. My list for this year is extensive. I want to lose weight, get a job, move into a bigger house, find a good church, get my daughter into a good preschool, organize my house, make my marriage enviable, spend more time with my kids one-on-one, start a garden, raise some chickens, talk my husband into getting a miniature cow, teach my eldest son how to drive, establish a regular exercise routine, and whatever I have to do to turn myself into the “better woman” that my sister will be completely jealous of when I visit her at the birth of her fifth child in July. That may necessitate a growth spurt in which I grow another half a foot taller. A lot of that is never going to happen. What I actually have the best chance of accomplishing is the weight loss. I would say the job, but the preschool doesn’t yet exist in this area and that would be necessary in order to work outside the home. So, weight loss it is. If that works out, the growth spurt may not be so important. What I like to do is explore my beautiful mountain property. I’ve also gotten a lot better at eating healthy foods instead of comfort foods. These two things make weight loss more attainable than ever before. When I lived in Wichita, it was kind of scary to go out alone. I’m a country girl and all the people and pollution and noise just went totally against my idea of a nice healthy run. Forget walking when there was literally nothing interesting to look at and no way you could lose yourself in an upbeat playlist on your iPod when you are constantly using all your senses to keep from being mugged. Look, Wichita is not Chicago or Detroit, but it is not known for it’s healthy citizens for good reason.
Tomorrow will be beautiful. I fully intend to make the most of the weather. In a few days it will snow again and the temperature will drop twenty degrees. I fully intend to take advantage of that, too. Being cooped up in a cabin with a toddler does not mean I’m stuck under a pile of warm blankets all day drinking hot cocoa. I said toddler, so that pretty much throws out the lying still in one place part, anyway. I will be running around the house chasing someone naked from the waist down at least twice a day. At some point we will hear a song on the satellite radio or television that is just begging us to get up and dance. It will take five trips to the refrigerator to get just the right food for lunch, and by that time I will not have an appetite. I really can’t believe I gained weight over these last 20 months with a new baby, until I think back on all the times my loving husband brought home a gift of chocolates or my favorite fattening foods. There were also times earlier on when I didn’t want to take her out because it was too cold or rainy and all she seemed to want to do was sleep — in my arms. Last summer it seemed to rain every afternoon between naps. So, I guess it wasn’t too hard to let the pounds sneak back on. The trick is to have a plan B. When we’re going through our summer rainy season, go out earlier in the day (even if it means wearing a light jacket in the middle of August). She’s a mountain girl and should get used to the climate up here, anyway. My husband is only home one week out of the month, so I can splurge if I behave the other weeks. If we go out on our walks during her nap time, maybe she can nap and I can get some “alone” time. If we go before her nap, she may sleep more soundly so that I can get something else done besides watch her sleep.
New Year’s resolutions hardly ever last, but resolving to keep living and growing and changing and learning from your mistakes doesn’t need it’s own holiday. It can be an everyday thing. If I had to have a resolution, I suppose it would be to keep my resolve no matter what new or old obstacles cross my path. Even if one of them just happens to be the most adorable little imp around.

Family

I don’t have a lot of time to jot down my thoughts with a toddler girl and three teen boys. My husband is on the road for long periods of time, so I guess I can empathize with many single moms and those who have spouses in the military. This time we have all together is so precious and fleeting. In the best of circumstances we may only have one or two more Christmas vacations as a family. Maybe I should be more upset that I don’t see my siblings more often, but when I think of family I only think of those who share my home. My brothers and sister have their own lives. I never imagined they would grow into the people they’ve become. I guess there will come a time when my babies will be on their own, too. If I stay here I will have to enclose the deck so we can all sit down and enjoy a holiday feast together with the new members. Surely, my boys won’t find it too difficult to travel here the way everyone else has. If anything, they will want to see their sister. I love my family, and I will not let them disappear.
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Happy Birthday to Me!

It isn’t hard to turn 40 when you are surrounded by all this beauty. The aspens have just started to bud. Most of them have completely lost their little “caterpillars” and the whole mountainside is covered in chartreuse and pine green. Just as I’m starting to enjoy the long walks in the warm sunshine, however, another snowfall covers everything in white. All the little flowers are sagging from the extra weight. It’s beautiful, but I have not been here long enough to be sure that the plants are hardy enough to take it. So, I enjoy it with hesitation.

Sweet Baby Girl

Oh, wow! You never know how you’re going to react when you give birth. Every child is different, as well as every mother and every circumstance. Put all these variables in to the mix and you just never know what will happen. With me, each of my pregnancies were delightedly uneventful. My babies seemed to enjoy my hospitality just enough and came out just when they were supposed to (except my youngest son, who stayed just a little while longer–but he’s always had his own pace). My first labor was 36 hours, but mostly relatively comfortable until my water broke 24 hours into it. The rest were cut in two, or half as long as the previous labor, so that my second labor was only 19 hours, my third was 12, my last 6 hours.

The thing that I see as the game-changer is my age. My last pregnancy ended before my twenties did. By the time I went into labor with my daughter, I was 41. Those 12 years did a number on me. I feel better than I have in at least 6 years, but that doesn’t change the fact that I am not bouncing back from this like last time. Luckily, unlike last time, I don’t have 2 toddlers in diapers waiting for me when I get home. My God is accommodating! Still, I could do with some extra energy, just to spend a little time with my teens and preteen without talking to them over a nursing baby. When she sleeps, I sleep, but I’d like some time beyond potty time and shower time. You know, I didn’t even have shower time with the others, so I should just be thankful and wait until next week when I can sit out on the deck with the boys and enjoy the mountain air with my new baby girl.

The biggest surprise that came from this labor was how fast I fell for this little imp. I know my husband is smitten, too, but I’m just gaga over this girl! I look at her and see perfection. I talk to her and I can’t help but smile. I don’t want to hand her over to anyone so I can eat because I don’t want to miss a thing. I just finished the degree I’ve been needing to get the dream job I’ve wanted my whole life, and now I can’t imagine spending five minutes away from her. I have an appointment next week and I’m going to have to leave her with the boys for an hour or two and I don’t know how I’m going to do it. It’s not just that I’m worried how she’s going to do if she gets hungry, but how am I going to think straight when I don’t know what she’s doing?

It’s A Girl!

I can’t believe that when I was 20-24 I thought I would never have a baby of my own, and at 40 I am pregnant for the fourth time! Those years of torment helped me appreciate not only what a gift my children were, how necessary it is to have a serious talk before marriage about family ¬†and children. If I had been honestly informed of my ex-husband’s known inability to have children, I still might have married him, I just wouldn’t have wasted so much time basically trying to get pregnant by myself. God lovingly allowed me to become immediately pregnant with my firstborn so that I didn’t have to spend another moment in despair.

After more than a decade of being the only girl in a house full of males (including the pets), I am finally going to have a partner in crime. I found out the baby is a girl and I cannot wait to share in “girl stuff”. I love my boys and I have loved doing things that they enjoy, but it’s just not the same. I can tell you that I’m not much of a shopper, but it’s all I can do not to spend every dime on all things pink and lacy. I’m not much of a girly girl myself, so I’m not expecting a diva. I could even handle a tomboy. Whatever she is, she will be a little princess, because her older brothers are going to spoil her rotten. I daresay there won’t be a boy brave enough to come within five miles of our house as long as there are big brothers around! This is going to be the adventure of a lifetime!