Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Right Choice for Us

Allow me to reiterate. I love my job.

I love working.

I am not cut out to be a Stay At Home Mom.

The more and more I do it, I believe that I was meant to be a teacher.

All of that, plus more, does not mean that I don't question my choice to put my children in daycare/pre-school.

I don't question the choice my husband and I made, on a frequent basis, because if nothing else, I work because I HAVE to.

I don't question our choice when our son comes home with new additions to his vocabulary such as, 'shut up' or 'that's cool' or 'you're freakin' me out'. (Ok, that last one MAY have come from me!)

I don't question our choice when my daughter comes home in clothing that does not belong to her because she had an accident at school and was out of extra clothes.

I don't question our choice when my son's teacher pulls me aside and lets me know that there is lice in the school.

I question our choice on days like today.

I got a text at work from my mom, who had the kids today, that my daughter's eye looked pink and maybe I should consider taking her to the pediatrician.

OYE! (We're doing 'Fiddler on the Roof' as the Spring Musical at work...this word is now permanently in my vocabulary!)

My daughter did NOT have pink eye. NO WAY!

I was waiting for the text that told me that she was having flu-like symptoms and maybe we were experiencing the Swine Flu.

I left work early and met my mom and the kids at the doctor. I took the kids in and waited to see one of the extremely capable women who run the pediatric practice that we use.

The kids were actually quite good. Surprisingly for the pediatrician's office. Usually they are like wild banshees set loose at the zoo when we go there. Today? Not so much.

That should have been my first clue.

We got in to see the on-call sick doctor. Who, incidentally, was rated as one of the top pediatricians in NJ.

Not even 10 seconds into her examining my daughter she stopped and looked at me, "Uh, yeah, she has double pink eye."


She proceeded to examine the rest of my daughter's head.

She stopped again.

Oh, crap.

"Has she been acting differently? Is she teething?"


"Well, she has a double ear infection, as well. And her right ear is quite bad."

Seriously?!?! WTF, DOUBLE?!?!?!?

In a matter of moments I went from feeling like this was the most ridiculous doctor's appointment ever to feeling like the worst mother ever.

How in the world did I NOT know that my daughter had a double ear infection (raging, mind you) AND double pink eye?!?!

I could blame it on the fact that my child, my children are in daycare/school three days a week.

I could blame it on the fact that I work my ass off everyday teaching over 100 teenagers and then coaching well into the evening.

I could blame it on the fact that I'm convinced my daughter has the attitude and personality to match her fiery red hair.

But I won't.

My daughter showed no signs of any type of illness. She has not been sick. She does not have allergies. She has not slowed down one bit.

Yet, I questioned the choice that my husband and I made when we decided to have children. That choice to work and send our kids to daycare/school.

I questioned it because there are days when I am convinced that my daughter wouldn't end up with double ear and eye infections if she were not in daycare. There are days when I truly believe that my son would not have landed in the hospital for a week last year if he were not in daycare. There are days where I think it would be easier to be home and not work.

And then my daughter cries when I tell her we won't be going to school tomorrow. She wants to see her friends.

My son asks me what is going to happen to all the of the stuff he was supposed to learn tomorrow at school.

And then I know that the choice we made is right for everyone. It doesn't matter that the choice, for the most part, is based in the need for that second paycheck.

My kids love school.

I love my job.

Our choices are exactly as they should be.

And tomorrow, I get to stay home and sleep in and spend the day with my kids. And we'll have fun and enjoy our day together.

And by Monday, I'll be ready to go back to work and my kids will be ready to go back to school.

And that's ok. Our choice is right for us.

Even if it does mean Antibiotics and Eye Drops sometimes.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Incredibly Fearless

My daughter is incredible.

We rock her before she gets into bed each night. We have been doing this since she was about 6 months old. Once she was able to get herself to sleep, we started rocking her.

Backwards? I think not.

So, each night either my husband or I (usually my husband since she is the biggest Daddy's girl I've ever encountered) get my daughter ready for bed and then we sit in her rocking chair and we sing some songs and when she's ready, she points to her bed and that is that. She's out in 10 minutes or less.

Last night I had the privilege of being allowed to be chosen to put her to bed.

Those moments are my favorite.

She ran into her room and stood in front of her chair and said, "Rock with me mommy."

We sat down and I asked what she wanted to sing. At first it was clap hands. I put the kibosh on that song pretty quickly. Clap Hands leads to dancing and dancing never leads to bedtime! We did the itsy bitsy spider and I watched in the dark as my daughter sang along.

Her tiny mouth, that can seem so large at times, formed each word with perfection. She sang along with perfect inflection. Her voice getting softer as she became sleepier.

We did Twinkle Twinkle next and she sang along with that, as well.

We only made it halfway through the ABCs before she pointed to her bed and asked to sleep. She was asleep before I made it downstairs.

My daughter is incredibly fearless.

We have been taking the kids to the park and having dinner there most nights. It's been nice. The kids eat and then run off all of their energy and by the time we get home we do baths and head to bed. It works out quite nicely.

My daughter adores the swings. She chooses the "baby swing" over the grown up swing. She does this because she can go higher in the baby swing than in the grown up one. She constantly asks to go higher and higher.

With each new height she laughs harder and becomes more excited.

With each new height my heart skips another beat.

She is incredibly fearless but I am full of it.

Fear, that is.

I pushed her the other day and as I watched her climb higher and higher it was all I could do to contain my anxiety. All I could think of was, "If I can barely deal with her on a swing, going a touch too high for my comfort, how in the world am I going to deal with her in sports and going out with friends and as a teenager!?"

I used to wonder how I could or would deal with two children.

I would hear stories of parents dealing with their child in the hospital and I would question whether or not I would ever be able to handle that.

Along the way, each obstacle and bump in the road that we have encountered, we have met and conquered.

I often talk about fear because I think it is the one emotion that, for me, is overwhelming at points.

My daughter is incredible and fearless. She throws her body in every which way and lives life to the fullest. She seizes moments, as a two year old, that I am afraid to seize as a 29 year old.

I may live with fear. Fear of overwhelming everything, but my daughter she makes up for what I cannot do.

Isn't that what we want as parents? Don't we want our children to go above and beyond what we have done and cannot do?

While my fear may be overwhelming and frightening to me, I often wonder if it is what guides my daughter. She conquers that which we tell her cannot be conquered and amazes me at every step.

My daughter is incredible and fearless and has been since she was conceived.

Thursday, April 2, 2009


I'm down 26 pounds and I'm stalled.

Ok, well not stalled exactly. I've been down 26 for the past two weeks and don't get me wrong, I'm THRILLED with my progress but I'd like to try for about 10 or 15 more pounds.

My past few weekends haven't exactly been "healthy" eating so I'm pretty sure that's why I've stalled. And believe me, I'd much rather be stalled than gaining.

So, I just reaffirm myself and I keep going. I start anew each day and I'm right back on the horse.

In the midst of losing these 26 pounds I'm running out of clothes. Nothing fits.

Shirts I can deal with. I can shrink them a bit or work with their bagginess.

But pants and skirts are an entirely different story.

I am at the point where I put something on and I have to worry about whether or not it's going to stay on the lower half of my body.

And that's wonderful.

But I am fearful.

All of the books I've read say that I should get rid of my "fat" clothes. I should throw them away because their sheer existence in my closet gives me permission to gain all of my lost weight back at some point.

I understand that.

But, what if I do gain it back? What if I get pregnant and I can use those clothes for the first few months instead of maternity clothes? (THIS IS NOT HAPPENING) What if, well, I don't know but what if I wake up one morning and those 26 pounds have magically reappeared on my stomach and ass? (If they appeared on my chest, I might not have such a problem with it!)

I fear the downsizing of my closet.

I'm not so sure I'm ready to let go of those items that really are a crutch to me. I'm not so sure that I am ready to say, "I am never gaining this weight back again."

To put it quite plainly, I'm not so sure I have the confidence in myself to believe that I won't gain it back.

And that sucks.

Maybe it needs to be done in baby steps.

About a month ago, I unloaded bags and bags of clothes. Maternity clothes. REALLY "fat" clothes. Old clothes. Just tons of clothes went to good will.

Maybe now I need to unload a few more things. Maybe it's about taking it one or two pairs of jeans and an XXL sweater at a time.

Maybe it's about believing in the moment of myself and saying, "Right now, I won't allow this weight to come back."

I really don't know.

I just know that I fear the downsizing because I fear that I may fail even after so much success.

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