Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Times They Are A-Changin'

My Baby Turned FIVE.
No, seriously. I have a five year old and a seven-and-a-half year old. How is that even possible? Wasn't I just pregnant with kid #1 yesterday?

Liam is an amazing little dude. He is outgoing, social, and will chat your arm off if you let him. He has lots of passion for life, a great desire to explore and climb, and very little concern for his well-being. He also sucks at listening and following directions if he is mid-Lego-building or show-watching. He drives me crazy.
I love him madly.

Emma is awesome. She loves art and music, but I have to fight to get her to practice piano. She loves reading, but is quite particular about the type of book she'll choose from the library. She loves to swim, but dislikes swimming lessons because they are "no fun" and she doesn't like when her instructor tells her what to do. Welcome to the rest of your life, kid. Her freckles match mine, her stubbornness matches mine, and her sensitive nature matches mine. We're going to butt heads in her teen years, but I think we'll come out okay.
I love her dearly.
Emma is still off all arthritis medication and has been so for nearly six months. Fingers crossed her arthritis stays away, but I'm not so sure it is listening to me. We're keeping a close watch on a squishy knee of hers. Autoimmune diseases are stupid.

That big kid will soon be in 2nd grade, the baby child is about to start kindergarten. KINDERGARTEN. I'm not old enough to have such grown up kids. What is even happening?

With both kids out of the house every weekday, my life is going to change. I'm a little bit excited and a lot bit anxious. I know they'll do amazingly wonderful, (have you seen these kids? They're incredible!) but my routine is about to change, and anytime I face a big change I get nervous.

It's nothing too new... I'm going to work more at the veterinary office where I have worked part-time for the past twelve years! Soon, I will work daily instead of one or two days a week. I'm going to be back to the grind!

Hooray for work outside of the home! There are many things about my job that I look forward to: Adult company, financial compensation for a job well done, using my skills to help others! Things I am not looking forward to include: When the hell am I going to have time to do the laundry/go grocery shopping/clean the toilet/sit down and relax?!?! Those are all the normal concerns of working people, but I've been mostly at home for the past seven years and I run my household like a machine, so I will need to adjust. And adjusting to change is hard.
It will all work out, but my machine is going to need a tune-up and some new settings.

Anyhow, that's what is new with me. What's going on with you? What do you do when you are facing life changes and feeling nervous? What changes are you currently experiencing in your life?

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Art. Art Art Art. Art.

E-Mom! Did you take a picture of the name?!?!!?
Me- I think I can remember "Still Life with a Melon."

For months I have been longing to take Emma to a fine art museum because I know how much she would love it. Finally, today, we went.

In case you wondered, I was right. Emma loved the experience. Poor Liam was dragged along too. He was bored and quickly grew tired of being told to hold my hand, to stop jumping, and to go dance in the corner away from the sculptures, but hopefully some of his memories of today are pleasant. 

Emma is my artist. She will draw, color, write, dance, sing, or create at the piano with a patience and attention span that frequently amazes me. She has been this creative being since she could first sing and hold a crayon. I love that about her. I want to nurture that element in her. We absolutely had to buy a sketchbook at the museum's gift shop because she insisted and I couldn't say no. *sigh*

My parents are members at The de Young and The Legion of Honor museums in San Francisco, which means I got to get in for free! (I like free.) Mama, the greatest woman in the universe, drove the kids and me to The Legion of Honor this morning. It is a wonderful museum that I have been to many times. I have fond memories of going there as a kid and as a teen, but it's been a while since my last visit. There are paintings and sculptures within those walls that moved me when I first saw them, artwork that I will always hold dear, and I'm glad I was able to share that space with my children today. Bonus: The special exhibit right now is of Monet's early work, which I'm glad we were able to see, even if it was crazy crowded and we were exhausted.  

It was a lovely day. Behold our photos:

Me, Sassy, Sassier, and a famous bridge.

So many Rodin sculptures.

Emma was really attracted to still life paintings. 

My girl and a Renoir.

"Get dressed and stop bothering the cat!" -A story of my life.

Two beauties admiring two beautiful Monet paintings. 

My favorite girl in front of one of my favorites.
"The Russian Bride's Attire" by Konstantin Makovsky

Babies + Monet = Swooning Mom

He wasn't miserable the *entire* time.
In addition to still life, Emma adored all of the fancy ladies.
This was purchased on a postcard and is pinned into the wall next to her bed. 

Someone insisted on buying a postcard image of this one, too. 

Mom! Mom was there, too. 

I wasn't allowed to carry my backpack on my back,
but sometimes I carried this monster on my front.

Also, because tomorrow is Memorial Day...

Seek beauty and art all around you, my people. It is nearer than you might think.

Thursday, May 4, 2017

What's Up?

Let's talk about life, shall we?

My daughter is amazing. She is 7.25 years old, has a doublewide gaping hole in her teeth, and is as sassy as ever. Her arthritis is officially in unmedicated remission - her last dose of meds was February 19th, 2017. Fingers crossed we see no JA for many, many, many months. Even with no active arthritis for over a year, I shield that kid. She is only just now learning how to ride a bicycle without training wheels, partly because her knee flares in the past made it really hard for her to pedal, partly because I fear her falling, hurting that knee, and causing another flare. Ugh. Am I a lame mom?

My son is amazing. He is 4.75 years old, a daredevil, and a selective/terrible listener. He brightens my world when he runs up to me and hugs me, just to say that he loves me. I don't push that kid very hard. He'll be ready enough when kindergarten comes in a few months, but he won't be ahead of the game and his penmanship will be pretty crappy. That's okay. He is a kid who likes to pick up sticks and wave them around like swords, he climbs everything and fearlessly jumps off, he makes friends everywhere he goes. He'll do well in life.

I'm me. I'm happy and healthy. I dyed my hair dark burgundy a week ago and love it. I'm contemplating my next step in my education and career. I'll be working more hours once school starts up in August. I may go to school to become a licensed veterinary technician. I really want to take some Spanish classes so I can keep up with the kids. However, I hate spending money on myself, especially since we have a goal of adding on to the house in a few years, so we shall see what happens.

The Cowboy is doing well. He loves working in the next town over instead of commuting across the Bay Bridge every day. He recently fixed his Suzuki Samurai and got it to pass SMOG, so he has his beloved "truck" again. Driving it makes him giddy and joyful. He spends a lot of time shopping, researching, and thinking about ways to improve the Samurai further. He then spends time designing, fabricating, and welding to actually improve it further. He hopes to use the remainder of his free time driving over rocks and wilderness trails. I went off-roading with him once or twice. It's fun but it's not really my thing, however, it sure makes him happy.

The kids and I submitted letters of resignation to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints a couple of months ago. It took some time to process, but the requests have gone through and now I am officially not a Mormon anymore. That means our names will not show up on the roles in our local congregation. I feel really good about it. I don't want to be a "non-active" member on their roles, someone they worry over and feel obligated to visit. I know people will still worry about me, but by removing myself from their records, I'm freeing myself and them of the guilt inherent in the system. I'm glad my kids' names are removed because I want them to be able to make their own choices regarding religion, when they are old enough to decide for themselves, rather than being pulled in one direction simply because they happened to be born into it. Barry will stay on the records of the church because we are different people who like different things. I'm just glad that, in spite of our many, many difference, we still like each other.

So, what's new with you?