So, I did a little thing this summer

I decided to join an adult co-ed softball team. I dusted off my old cleats… then threw them away because they were so old they were literally flaking apart. I was able to pick up a new pair for $5 at Dick’s Sporting Goods. This was partly due to my family giving me a gift card for my birthday and partly because the shoes were totally miss-priced.

I chose to do this on my own sheepishly telling Tré I signed up for a thing. He told me he knew — seriously nothing is private on Facebook. But, even without prior discussion he supported me. This meant five of his free Sunday evenings would be spent getting our three wild children to bed. His usual work schedule has him working Sunday nights so they are a precious rarity in the summer. But, as usual he didn’t complain.

I was nervous, but tried not to let me nerves win out over playing a game I love. I went to the few practices that were held before our first game. One time I brought Vivianne and she shouted encouragement to me every time I made a play. “Great job Mom!” “I love you Mom!” Mom, can I have a hug?”

I liked that she got to see me play. I know I’m not in peak shape –not even close, but getting out there and playing anyway. I hope she remembers that playing isn’t about perfection. I hope she wants to try even when she doesn’t feel “perfect” some day. And I admit as I played third base my heart swelled each time I heard her little voice cheering from the dugout.

The sad part was that my actual games were pretty late at night (6:15 or 8:45) and always double-headers. It was evident after my first game that the girls could not handle it. Tré was run ragged trying to keep track of all three of them. They kept coming in the dugout to be with me, but it wasn’t exactly safe in there.

Vivi would have probably been fine, but the other two wanted to do everything she was doing and weren’t as safe. I ended my first game by helping Tré take the girls (in screaming, raging fits) to the van. They didn’t get to come to any more games.

I wanted Vivianne to come, but double-headers meant she’d be watching me for 2 1/2 hours. I couldn’t leave her unsupervised for that long so I lost my cheering section. But, I soldiered on and played well with my team.

36579019_2219078721439572_7761632397866565632_n

They were a fun group scattered all over Yakima. We were the “Adrenalien Junkies.” I’m pretty sure we ended up last in the league. We started with 20 adults and ended with 7 at the last game, but that’s the nature of life. I missed two games myself – one from sickness, the other because I decided to go out boating with friends.

Overall I’m glad I chose to do this. One of my eight boiled-down reasons that I want to lose weight is so that I can play. Just play. Play with my kids. Play softball. Play volleyball. Play games. Play on the water. Play in the snow. This extra weight is hampering my ability to enjoy playing.

I don’t want the achy joints, the shaking belly, the wobbly arms — I don’t know how many times I fell down playing softball. For. No. Reason. I’d be rounding second and I’d fall. I’d be going to catch a ball and I’d fall. I’d ground a ball and I’d fall. I’m so sick of losing my balance and not being able to get back up.

I want to play and play well. My life is an example to my daughters. The good, the bad, the ugly, the choice to fall and then get back up. I’m raising amazon princesses -they are witnesses to it all. I will not let my children starve for a good role model while I “perfect” myself on the side-lines. I’m jumping in with all my flaws because life is happening now, not after I complete my next diet.

 

Our life won’t ever slow down

I have this ridiculous belief that our life will settle down in the forceable future. But, I’m not sure that’s in the cards for us. Since February we have been working on our front yard. Yes, I said February. I even spelled February correctly -thank you very much shame inducing seventh grade English teacher.

We decided to refinance and found someone who could help us dismantle and tear down our deck. They also helped us build a cement deck patio that is ten feet deep and perfect for our home and our children.

_DSC3382

We also built a retaining wall at the end of the property that we’d been meaning to do for years so we could level our front yard and put in a lawn. We have a HUGE front yard that went to seed our first year here.  We had a lot to learn about Yakima summers. Like that you HAVE to water your lawn because very little of it sprinkles from the sky.

So, we are reseeding the yard AND putting in a sprinkler system. The anti just keeps going up and we’ve been so undecided about what we want. But, today – we had more cement poured so we are locked in. We have half the sprinkler system working so we are getting there.

IMG_20180529_172900797_HDR

Just as I lament to my husband that I can’t keep going at this pace – things start happening. We get a bit closer to what’s started to feel like a mirage in the desert. Once the lawn is hydroseeded we can rest–right?

We can’t do anything in the yard while the seed is growing so off to the mountains we go! We have a trailer, a truck and a desire to leave our home and all it’s projects for a bit. We have three little girls who have been neglected while we finish all of these projects.

I just can’t wait to enjoy our hard work. I can’t wait to see my kids on the swingset we bought and playing in their future playhouse. I can’t wait for the trees we just had delivered to give them shade as they play. I can’t wait to listen to music out under our gazebo and have a fire in our new fire pit.

IMG_20180530_074052115_HDR

We could save for family vacations or make our home vacation worthy. It will hopefully be vacation worthy by the end of this summer. Not to say we can’t enjoy some of it here and there. I totally plan to watch the fireworks with our girls under the gazebo and I can’t wait to plant my garden.

It’s going to be a beautiful family retreat. I can’t wait! We’ll keep you posted.

Well, here I am

I decided to commit to one post a week as an attainable goal for 2018. It’s not that I don’t love writing or that I don’t love writing about my girls, but 2017 kicked my rear. It was “go, go, go” all. the. time.

I was diagnosed with postpartum depression around May because my perpetually crying daughter was sucking the joy out of me. I’m a pretty hopeful person, but I felt overwhelmed and stuck many times this year. It’s hard to turn that into a blog post that isn’t just whining.

Annie crying Collage.jpg

Life is still fairly fast-paced, but I’m giving myself a deadline to post every Sunday. This week I wrote in a Planner/Journal I received from MOPS. On the cover it say’s “All The Things” and it has a place for journaling, planning goal setting, helps with decluttering, games to play with your kids – it’s seriously all the things.

Instead of using the Calendar feature to write out a schedule I’m using it write one main memory from each day.

Here is this week:

12/31: Played Pieface and the Fart game with Vivi and Evie. Much laughter was had by all.

1/1: This one is censored -lol But, it involved some one on one time with my man.

1/2: Evie had a screaming meltdown because I tried to help her get toothpaste on her toothbrush. Epic meltdown!

1/3: Vivi said three verses in Awanas and got another jewel. Carol said two after I helped her.

1/4: We looked at houses. I dream of changing our fixer-upper situation with something more manageable with small kids.

1/5: Met with Melody and Stacy for dinner at Provisions. Love them and am so thankful for their friendship.

1/6: Tré spent the day with his guy friends, but came home to help with dinner and bedtime. Annie was horrible about going to bed. We have to fix the bedroom situation. Took Vivi to see Wonder. Tré and I decided to refinance and use the cash to fix the house up how we want. We’re changing the laundry room back to a bedroom.

1/7: Today is our 11 year anniversary of Tré’s proposal. Annie is 11 months old and is taking steps more and more. It’s the 13 year anniversary of my divorce, but I hardly thought of that. I’m thankful for the new anniversary and how much it supersedes the old.

Well, that was our week. I’m going to go ahead and publish this so I can get to the seven baskets of laundry I need to fold before calling it a night.

Man works from sun to sun, but a woman’s work is never done.

What my daughter’s tantrum taught me

My five-year-old has a best friend named Carol. If you ask either of them they will tell you they are sisters. If you mistakenly call them best friends they will correct you. These girls are fierce in their love for each other and they fight, well like sisters.

One time they were having a squabble during lunch. One was in the other’s space or something like that. On our drive home from the restaurant Vivi was complaining about her friend so I asked her what are some things you like about Carol. The first thing that came out of her mouth was, “Well, she looks like me.”

IMG_6560Carol is the sweet little girl on the left. Mine is making the scrunched up face on the right.

Vivi often comes home from Carol’s house wearing fancy dresses.  Sometimes with a hat and gloves. Her playdate on Tuesday was no exception. She came into the house dressed in white sandals that were slightly too small for her feet. A sparkly pink and brown dress and a pink straw hat that she wore backwards with the bow in the front.

The next day she wanted to wear the dress to Vacation Bible School. We told her no. We reminded her that VBS is a time to play, get dirty, get messy, sweaty etc… She chose a different dress – we compromised because it was denim and at least not as fancy. Then as her dad and her sisters were about to leave she changed her mind. She wanted to wear the fancy dress.

We said no again and they drove off.

Once they arrived at the church it took Tré 45 minutes to convince Vivianne to go to her class. It him took finding a T-shirt to put over her dress to turn it into a “skirt.” before she’d go inside. She was running away from him, hiding behind the church’s old bell-tower. I would not have had as much patience.

IMG_7368

When she came home I tried to dig deeper into her behavior. Her answer to me is that she wanted to look pretty. As her mom I immediately reminded her of how beautiful she was, that beauty was on the inside and is reflected in how she treats others. But, I’m not sure she needed to hear me say that again.

As I listened to her and her friend Carol bits and pieces of the story began to add up. It was like deciphering morse code. I gathered that another girl at VBS had told Vivianne she wasn’t pretty and laughed at her. This struck my daughter at her core.

I realized what that dress meant to her. She wanted to prove that she was pretty to this person who had made her feel ugly. She thought if she showed up in this fancy dress that this little bully would realize her mistake. Don’t we all have that fantasy in same way or another?

Her behavior from earlier that day made so much more sense. My heart went out to her and the ways she was trying to make sense of what had happened to her. 

The next day I helped her pick her clothes. She wore her wonder woman shirt with matching cape, sparkling skort and Wonder woman crown. Then we talked about some Wonder Woman tricks she could use if she ran into trouble again.

Things like what to do if she says mean things again – go to an adult. That this little girl might have been hurt by someone else and hurt people, hurt people. That as a Wonder Woman she has the ability to be kind even when someone else is not.

IMG_7052

I don’t know how much that helped my daughter’s interactions. I do know she went into VBS without a fuss and her old confidence seemed to be back.

It’s so hard sending your babies out into the world. You don’t know if they’ll be bullied, become the bully or just be lost in a sea of children. I don’t know if I was seeing the whole problem. But, I did what I could with the little morsel that was given to me. My sweet girl dug down deep and conquered her problem from within – no fancy dress needed.

Why Amazons?

My daughter’s were each about eight pounds at birth. They weren’t tiny, but they weren’t tipping the scales yet either. It only took about two months for that to change. All three of them doubled their birthweight by eight weeks and have been in the 90th plus percentiles ever since.

Whenever someone meets me and my girls for the first time they ask, “Is your husband tall?” I am of average height 5’3″ and my husband is 6’2″. So, when my 5-year-old’s head reaches my chest folks speculate…aloud. It’s fine. I’ve accepted my limitations in that area and I’m glad my girls are on their way to being athletes or ballerinas or just very tall women.

daughter-dressed-as-wonder-woman

I love that Wonder Woman is an Amazon Princess. I love that they have a super hero that  they can claim. The lasso of truth. What an amazing weapon to have in this day and age. Wouldn’t we all love to be able to cut through the garbage? To restore enhanced images? To eliminate personal bias in news reporting? To have a shared perspective born out of recognizable and relatable truth?

So, despite having not seen the movie yet. It’s so hard to get out of the house with a newborn. I know I will love Wonder Woman. I can’t wait to take my oldest daughter and talk with her about those themes. I hope those themes will permeate this blog as I endeavor to raise my Amazon princesses with wit, wisdom, and wonder.