Sunday, August 4, 2013

Mama + kids = music, art & sports

Daddy + kids = science, math & history

It's so funny to me to watch the activities of the boys when they are influenced by either me or Justin. When we take our turns with the boys separately, the days are geared so differently. With Daddy, the boys are all about science, math and history. When they are with me, it's all about art and music and being active. While Justin was away, we spent our week making field trips to the college practice rooms for their real pianos to practice on. We spent three nights at Sugar Creek rehearsals getting ready for our gig at James Ranch and then an evening of performing and goat herding. (We had a baby goat join us on stage for Wagon Wheel!). We spent a day at the lake swimming and went on countless bike rides. I got the stuff for them to craft in their scrap books and I've had watercolor "classes" at the kitchen table. And we piled all the balls, bats, tennis rackets, frisbees and the sort and went to the park one day to have some skills practice. There is a reason God intended there to be two parents. They learn so many different things from each of us.

Here are a few captures from James Ranch.

First Week Report: Camp Daddy

In case you were curious just how my first week back to work was for the kids was, here is a recap of the activities I came home to witness over lunch and at the end of the day.

Science. Bases versus acids. They tasted EVERYTHING.

And kept detailed notes about each one. 

Sushi for dinner! Mango as well as avocado nigiri is remarkably simple and delicious.

Potato gun building and launch.

It took some fiddling but they eventually got this thing to shoot potatoes to the edge of the trees.

On our way home we found the most terrific toad. 
Check out this beast!

A history time line in the hallway of Animas.

Thanks to the history prof down the hall from Justin, they scored some history books that they were able to cut pictures out of to use for the timeline.

Color coded for Old World, New World and people. They add to it each day. And they did reading and math flash cards each day. This Dad's default is education and there is just no way around it. They may thank him one day for all of this.

I am pretty sure, they don't miss me at all! What do you think?!?!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Working Mama

Some of you may or may not know that I started back working full time three weeks ago! I can't believe it. Both my kids are gone during the school year from 8-3 and with as much as I love graphic design, it was time to head back. The summers will now be very difficult as Justin and the boys will have all the recreational fun but I am excited at getting back in to the swing of a career.

When I was the sole breadwinner of our family in order to put JP through graduate school and had no kids, the idea of our livelihood resting on my shoulders alone was so daunting I was almost crushed by the weight of it all. And once I had babies and was working full time with an hour commute on either end of my day I felt guilty that I wasn't there for them and a bit resentful that that was our situation. I was able to nurse on my lunch break and pump (which is no picnic), much more than a lot of mamas get to or are able to do but I ached to be home with them.

When we moved to Colorado 5 years ago and I got to stay home with my little guys for the first time outside of maternity leave, what I thought would be so easy and relaxing turned out to be just as stressful and guilt generating as when I worked only in different ways and for different reasons. I felt guilty that I wasn't contributing financially, that I wasn't as good at parenting as my husband and that these boys would grow up remembering an impatient mom. Or worse, a mom who didn't prepare them for the world in the way she should have. YUCK! I didn't realize just how exhausting the stay at home mother job is. You are never off and if your kids are awake, then you are on duty. There is no recoup on the weekends or evenings, it's go go go all the time.

I sound a little ill-content in all of those situations but the more accurate read of this is probably insecure. I want to do right by my kids. No I have higher hopes than that even. I want to do stellar, amazing, even unbelievable by my kids. So all of that to say, as I enter this new season of life, of parenthood, I am excited, relieved, ready and yet terrified at the same time as to how we will shake into this new lifestyle.

I just finished week three and you'd think I'd be in to a routine by now but the second two weeks JP has been on the other side of the world and so I got to be full time working from home mom to two rambunctious boys on summer break. (Major props to the single mothers out there. If you aren't a single mother, help one out with her kids every now and again. They need it, no doubt.) So ask me in a month when we get in to school and settle a bit. When I have time to actually sit at my desk with my own computer and we are in the swing of things. Once I get to see just how awesome flex time in a full time job where the commute is literally a walk across campus and my kids are in school most of the day anyway.  This is a new season. I think it's gonna be a good one.

The littler chef

Justin will let the boys cook what ever they want as long as it is reasonably square. For the kid who picked mac and cheese for his first daddy and son cooking lesson (no surprise there) he went to the other end of the spectrum on his second go round. LOBSTER! The seafood dinners are always my favorite. I wonder why?!? It was delicious!