Saturday, May 12, 2012

So tomorrow is Mother's Day....a day to thank all of  those mothers, women who have acted like mothers to us, and really all of those women who have inspired us to become better people.  I truly cannot begin to name all of the amazing women who have touched my life, but as I look back, I can see that each one of them was different and each one of them was able to teach me something about who I want to be as a woman, wife, and mother.  I have had the amazing opportunity to have stay at home moms, working moms, overworking moms, going to school mom, overacheiving moms, and a little bit of everything in between.  How lucky have I been!!
So this week I had a little mom identity crisis.  I have chosen (for more than one reason) to be a working mom.  It is never an easy choice, but after some breakdown, I know it is the best thing for our family.  However, each time I hear of another mother making the decision to stay at home with her children, I have to I doing the right thing?  Are my children going to feel the brunt of me wanting to work outside the house?  I struggle with that.  I also struggle with trying to balance work and kids and making sure that the right priorities are there.  I must say, I love the fact that I work, and I love the fact that I have something that I can call my own, and maybe that is selfish...I don't know.  I like that people know me as, Stacey, and not just Gavin and Noah's mom.  Dont get me wrong, I am amazingly proud to be called their mother and think of it as my greatest accomplishment that they have made it this far without any of us going crazy!!  But, I also like that I also have the title of RN, and that I can be looked at as also contributing that way. 
So...that's one reason I like to work outside the home....the other is that I'm fairly certain that I would be a terrible mother and frustrated beyond belief and would probably want to lose it on a daily basis if I was home with the boys all day.  I love them, but I know they learn so much more by going to daycare and spending time with other kids and with the teachers there that actually try to teach them something.  I'm also pretty convinced that they are smarter for that.  I know myself and know that I wouldn't teach them nearly as much as they do.  But...shouldn't I WANT to stay at home with my children???  That's the question I struggle with.  I guess that question doesn't matter as much at this point with Noah starting KG in the fall...but I will say that my job now is giving me a little more balance with all of it.  In the fall the boys should be able to ride the bus home and I will be here to meet them, which gives me a little piece of the stay at home mom thing.  I guess this is a question lots of women deal with, I'm sure I'm not the only one!
I suppose that I really  should consider myself lucky that I have the choice to do what I feel is best for our family.  I have so much respect for moms that do decide staying at home is right for them.  I know that I would probably go crazy, so I bow down to you and your awesome stay at home sanity!!  I also have so much respect for those working moms who keep everything balanced and manage so many things.  I am constantly amazed at what moms keep up with every day, you are AMAZING!!!  I am proud to group myself as a mom.  Some of the most incredible people I am privledged to know are the mothers I have known in the past and know now.  Thank you for being amazing and doing the most important job in the world.  Love you all!!!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Wow!  What a great day it has been.  The boys had their first Tae Kwon Do tournament today and really their first real competition for anything...well, aside from soccer games!  This was an individual kind of thing, so they really couldn't rely on anyone but themselves.  I was trying to think of a way to describe how I feel about what they accomplished today, and "proud" just doesn't really seem to cover it.  It actually started last week when they were practicing.  Gavin had to learn a new form (which is a series of 16 steps with feet, leg, hand movements including kicks, blocks, etc), and he just started learning it two weeks ago.  Normally he would have about 2 months to learn the form before he would really have to know it and be proficient.  Not this time, not for his first really big competition!  He had two weeks.  And, instead of saying he didn't want to do it, he said, "can I practice on my own while Noah has class?"  And that's exactly what he did.  That was my first proud moment with this experience.  The fact that he knew it would be hard and that he took the road of working hard to get what he wanted.  I love it!!  Of course Noah wouldn't be shown up, so he took some time to practice on his own during Gavin's class too, although what he was competing in wasn't quite as hard and he had a lot more practice in already. 
So then comes the actual competition today.  We of course had the talk about no matter what happens, it only matters that you do your best, and that is exactly what we expect from you.  Now, when we get there, there are about 500 kids there competing, and then all of the parents, grandparents, volunteers, etc around this gym, and they have it broken up into smaller groups for them to compete.  They still have to do their events in front of the judges and probably about 100 pairs of eyes....which can be pretty nerve racking, especially to a 7 year old who has never competed and doesn't have the 100% confidence that I would like for him to have!!  He did great, did get a little mixed up, but finished strong.  In this competition, everyone got a medal...they had 1st, 2nd, and 2 3rd place and they were in groups of four.  Here's the most amazing part...Gavin has always been very sensitive and a perfectionist...which is a bad combination.  So, a few months ago when he would get something wrong or not do something quite perfectly, he would cry.  So, I was of course waiting for the tears when he came off the mat.  But, to my surprise I saw a great big smile!  He knew he made a few mistakes, and he did get 3rd place, but he also said he knew it was going to be hard because he didn't have much time to practice.  I know that probably sounds really stupid...I was proud that he didn't win, and more proud that he didnt' cry, but for that boy, I consider it a success!!  For the record, he did amazing at his board breaking and blew the other kids out and got first place...and yes, the smile was bigger that time!!
One of the most interesting things about all of this is watching the contrast in the two boys.  Gavin has always been more sensitive and a little unsure of himself.  Noah on the other hand just assumes he is cool s&&t and assumes everyone knows it!  He got out there and was confident and knew he was going to have first place!!  And he did.  There was a mix up with this scoring when he did board breaking and thanks to Jeremys video taping we figured out that they wrote his scores down wrong and he got to trade his 3rd place for a 1st place!  Good thing daddy was paying attention!!
I had a flash back today to when I was in dance and doing competitions every weekend and how exciting it is to win.  It does just feel good...and even though everyone got a medal today, I think more than that they were proud of themselves for giving it all out there today.  They both definitely have their own style and their own personality about it, but they were great winners and we couldn't be more proud.  And, in a few years when we watch them both get their black belts, I'm sure it will be much the same feeling!!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Little time off...

Hello folks!  I"m back after a break for a bit to finish up my semester.  I wish I could say that I would be posting more in the next few weeks, but I start classes back up for the summer next week, so I'm going to be real and say I don't know when it will happen again.  So...guess I better make this one a good one!!
I guess first an update:  I'm now in the second trimester of pregnancy, and there are still two in there.  I am in that strange limbo between regular clothes and maternity clothes so if you see me wear the same thing everyday it's because it the only thing that fits me!!  As much as I hate to say it, I want to get bigger already so that I can wear something (won't hear a woman say that very often!)  We have the exciting "find out the sex of the baby assuming they cooperate" ultrasound coming up in a month, so that's very exciting.  The parents will be here a few days before and are staying for about two weeks, so it's always awesome to see them. 
Speaking of getting to see parents, we got to see the first parents that we matched with and had the baby girls with.  Well, I can't really call them baby girls anymore, that's for sure.  They are three now, and are happy and beautiful and just perfect.  It really is such a blessing to get to see them and know them as they grow up.  THAT is what makes you sure you are doing the right thing in all of this.  It is amazing to get to help someone have more children, and I am so lucky to see it.  I'm trying to get them to move this way too!!  I have said before that we really became good friends with them, and of course I would love to have all of our good friends closer.  We have a couple that are spread out (you know who you are), and we really need them closer...just sayin....
We have made a little progress with the adoption.  It's a slow process, which is okay since it's not like we can travel to Russia right now anyway.  We know that the government got our I-600 form, and we are waiting to get our appointments for fingerprints.  I got my passport, and Jeremy's is in process and we will hopefully have it soon.  There is just one question left on the huge autobiography that we need to finish and then send on to the social worker.  Then it will be just getting reference letters and a few other papers to her and we can officially send our "registration" packet to Russia and begin the wait for a referral.  Wow....still surreal to say that....I think that until we actually get a picture and something about her that it will be really hard to connect to all of this.  It's still just a lot of paperwork and a hypothetical as of now, but I'm sure that will change.  We have started figuring out her room and furniture and things, so that helps to keep me busy too.  (not that I need something else to keep me busy!)  So...that's where we are with that...
Maybe in my next 5 days of freedom from school I can manage one more post...we will have to see.  Between 4 nights of tae kwon do, one night at church, and a tae kwon do tournament this weekend, I think I will manage to stay pretty busy...oh, and I guess I should work in there too at some point!  Again, thanks for reading, hopefully next time I can post sooner and do something other than just a "State of the Tornado" address.  Maybe I can write something inspiring...hahaha....who am I kidding, my brains are fried and the odds of something inspiring coming out are pretty slim...but I'll see what I can do, I do have some ideas up there...just have to dig them out!!

Also, don't forget, one month until the next garage sale!  Lots of time to clean out lots of stuff!!