Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Dealing with Disappointment

I hope the following blog doesn't come off as whining and complaining. Bryan works 55+hours/wk on salary. This doesn't count the 1/2 hour commute both ways and 1/2 lunch he doesn't take. He's been working this many hours for probably 5 mos. or so. When I was eight months pregnant with Caroline, I warned him that I wouldn't be able to handle these long days with three kids. Well, Caroline is 3 mos. old this week and things are just now beginning to change. We were led to believe last week that there was a great job available for him at the county jail. He'd work 6 am -2pm Mon-Fri. The pay would be less but I thought it was worth it for Bryan to be home more with me and the kids. Currently, he sees the kids from 7-8:30 pm everyday. He reads to them every night and says their bedtime prayers with them. Today we found out there really wasn't a job for him. Hopefully he will be able to switch positions at work to something where he can be home more.

Anyway, to deal with my disappointment that I won't be seeing my husband for dinner every night and have someone to help me with a dozen daily potty trips and discipline issues and that my kids won't see their dad but for a little bit before bedtime every weeknight, I am outlining some truths to tell myself. I've found boundaries help keep my emotions from getting out of control. That's exactly what happens when I'm on duty from sunup til past sundown Mon-Fri.

  1. My husband doesn't really work the day shift. He works 6am-7pm most every day. Having plans with friends on weeknights is not a good idea. On Mondays, which are usually even longer days, I have a friend to hang out with in the evening.
  2. Weekends are our time together. We need to make the most of this time. It's not wise to go do our own thing for half the day. That's too much being gone.
  3. Being cranky is a waste of time.
  4. Thank You, God, that we have a job, paychecks, healthy, smart, decently obedient kids, extraordinary friends and family.
  5. Accept help and don't be proud. Do not apologize or feel guilty if I find a little time for myself.
  6. Everything on my to-do list does not have to be done before noon on Monday, nor does it have to be done before noon any other day. Running errands with 3 children can be difficult. Lower personal expectations.
  7. Spread things out and use every bit of time available.
  8. ENJOY enjoy ENJOY enjoy ENJOY enjoy -that's my biggest fear - that I will look back and not have appreciated this amazing time in my life having 3 under 5.

Diary of a Busy Mom

I want to start blogging about my days. They aren't anything spectacular to read I'm sure, so please don't feel obligated if you find them monotonous or annoying.

Today I woke up to rain on my bedroom rooftop, wishing I could stay in bed all day:) But, I got up and helped Luke get ready for school and get on the bus. Since the girls weren't up yet (which is strange for Norah certainly), I got a little quiet time to myself, then napped for 20 min. on the couch til Nor got up. Norah and I had breakfast and got ready. Then I got Caroline up and tried to feed her. She was very snotty and didn't want to eat. We packed ourselves up and headed to the RSEC, now the CFSB bldg, to walk for half an hour. After that we went to story time at Immanuel Lutheran Church and had a wonderful time playing, listening to a story and doing a craft. Plus, 3 of my friends were there, so I got to talk to them - bonus! I dropped the girls off at home with Amanda so I could work for a couple hours w/o them. I picked Luke up, ran an errand, treated us to lunch at McD's, then worked for an hour. I was so so glad to get home and put on comfy warm clothes. Worked on laundry and chores til I tutored at 3. Now I'm getting ready to make some meals to have on hand. No plans tonight, just hanging out at home and staying dry.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hand-Picked Friends

Kristin and I have been talking about this new season with Cate and Luke in preschool now. Our routines have changed; it's strange not having them with us, but we know it's part of growing up. One thing that is neat is that our kids are choosing their own friends for the first time. All the friends they have up until now are our friends' kids. That works out pretty perfectly.
Now Luke comes home talking about friends at school and it's weird to me to not know their moms or anything about them. So we've got some playdates to work on that.
On the subject of friends, Luke and Norah got attached to a couple of my sister's friend's kids at Audrey's first birthday party. They still talk about these friends they played with at the party, Jordan and Jaylin. So this weekend when we were up at my mom's we got the kids together to play. I guess I'm amazed that they remember these friends and were so anxious to see them again. They played and were sad to have to part again.

Quirky Kids

I know I won't remember these little things if I don't write them down or scrapbook them or tell my friends so we can laugh about them in the years to come. Here are the latest antics from our house.

Norah has taken to wearing her pink Dora rubber gloves quite often. She got these from her Grandma Stacy last spring. They are gardening gloves. She ignored them for months and now wears them to bed and around the house. I think she is associating them with the purple gloves Willy Wonka wears on Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. The best part is, she wears them when we go potty sometimes and I don't have to wash her hands:)
Luke has been cracking me up lately when he uses a deep voice to speak for his toys, but especially when his toys talk to me. I will hear Luke call me Jaclyn and before I can say something about it I realize his toy is talking to me. I talk to all kinds of toys throughout the day - Batman, Optimus Prime, Iron Man. My favorite though was War Machine the other day. He accidentally took a swim in the toilet so I asked Luke to put him in the kitchen sink for me to clean. When I gave War Machine back to Luke, War Machine (in a deep voice) said, "Thank you Jaclyn for cleaning my circuits."
More antics to come...:)

Monday, August 9, 2010

What My Kids Teach Me

I haven't blogged in a long time, obviously. Yet my mind has been on overdrive. One thing I thought about quite some time ago was what my kids have taught me. After having trouble having Lluke, I wasn't sure we would have anymore. So I did the best I could to not have any regrets. Luke definitely taught me that it's ok to get dirty. Messes clean up. He loves to jump in puddles, adopt bugs as pets, dig in dirt, and play in mud. (Yet he freaks out if his hands are sticky after a popsicle:))
Now, Norah and I had a rough start. It wasn't entirely her fault. Circumstances at home were difficult, she didn't sleep very well at all, and I was a hormonal mess. Eventually, everything worked itself out. She is such a delight to me. God gave her to me to teach me to dance. I secretly would love to dance. To swing dance actually. But I have lived 32 years as inhibited and that is too hard to change apparently. But in the privacy of my home with my Pandora set on Abba, we dance away. She dances to ringtones, commercials, movies, and actually to nothing at all. She has a bounce in her normal everyday step.
It's natural for me to wonder what Caroline will teach us. I wonder what she will be like, knowing she will be herself and different from her brother and sister. No matter what, I know she will have much to teach me.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Good News

Bryan and I were excited about the ultrasound appointment on Tuesday. We'd decided originally that we'd be surprised like we were with Luke. That wasn't really that hard and it was so exciting. On the way home from our Omaha trip though, I told Bryan I was really on the fence about finding out and he said he was too:) So we decided that if the baby cooperated, we'd find out.

Everything looked good. The spine, the legs, the arms, the heart, etc. Then the technician started putting her computer arrows around another part and I said, "It's a girl?," being pretty sure about what I'd seen. She confirmed and we were so surprised. My gut feeling was that we were having a boy and apparently I'd convinced myself of that. Bryan too. We were so glad we found out! So, you're looking at Caroline Mae Tompkins. Her profile looks just like her brother and sister's did:)

Friday, March 19, 2010

I Remember...

Something Beth Moore said struck me as I was working on my bible study of Esther. She said that sometimes we need to actively remember the hard things we've been through, not just tuck them away under the "Already Taken Care Of" file. "Remember what God has done for you! Rehearse the story again." It made me think of this:

I remember...
nearly five years ago I found out I was pregnant.
I got my first speeding ticket driving to Nashville where Bryan was taking a class for work.
we spent the weekend at Mom and Dad's, excited about the news.
things started going wrong.
Dad came in to talk to me as I sat on the side of my bed heartbroken and crying.
I laid with my feet up at home and hoped things would turn out ok.
bloodwork showed bad news.
we spent the weekend in Paducah to get away.
the clinic called and said I needed an ultrasound.
the ultrasound showed the pregnancy was in a tube.
Dr. Hjerpe told me I needed surgery the next morning, despite the fact that Bryan was out of town.
I called Mom and her and dad drove to Murray that evening even though they had just been here for the weekend. And Nic and her friend followed shortly.
Dr. Green prayed with me before I went into surgery with Dr. Hjerpe.
Dad holding my hand and telling me what happened while Mom was picking up my pain medicine.
the dr. thought I would still be able to have a baby.

And here I am nearly five years later, sixteen weeks pregnant with baby #3. Unbelievable to me. No charts, taking temperatures, tests, timing of our own. Just a true surprise. Just a gift from the One who held my hand, dried my tears, listened to my sobs, and delighted in the story He was weaving in our family and our faith.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Birthday Girl

It's my birthmonth. Besides Christmas, my favorite time of the year. Spring is around the corner. It's almost flip flop season. Sweaters are put away and t-shirts I forgot I liked come out of storage. Daffodils pop up in the yard. All this makes me smile.

This year I was spoiled rotten by my friends and family. My calendar was filled with dinner dates (because I'm pregnant?). Don't know. Don't care:) I am just thankful that people thought of me! People making time to spend with me is a big part of my love language. I feel loved when people want to hang out with me. So when Nic, who is already coming twice for other spring events in Murray, came for my birthday weekend, I felt really loved. And when Aaron made time to stop packing before his big move to take us to dinner, I felt loved. And when Mom made my favorite foods for our visit, I felt loved. And when Kristin and Greg gave up a Sunday to let me beat them in Settlers twice:), I felt loved. And when Kim took me to lunch and for a pedicure on her Saturday morning, I felt loved. I know times are tight for people, and that makes it even more meaningful.

So today when the dr. asked me if birthdays were getting harder for me, I happily said "No." I am too spoiled to complain about being another year older:)

My Boy

Many things Luke does can be labeled as Jaclyn-esque or Bryan-esque. He hates change, needs to be made aware of our daily plans, and likes to know what's going on - those are Jaclyn-esque things. He pees outside, likes to play, seems fearless, loves to get dirty - those are Bryan-esque things.

He's started dressing himself, and yesterday put his shirt on backwards. I told him it needed to be turned around, and he informed me that "that's the way Murray State guys wear it." I'm guessing he noticed this at the basketball game we went to a few weeks ago. So I let him keep it that way. Why not?

Doing things backwards is a very Jaclyn-esque thing:)

Something Different

For my birthday, Aaron asked if he and Leigh could treat us all to dinner on Friday night, and I couldn't pass that up:) When he told me to choose a place, I said Tumbleweed and he asked if I'd ever been to Shogun, the Japanese restaurant. Of course I hadn't. I just started liking Chinese in the last couple years, so liking Japanese was pushing it I thought. Plus I'd heard that place was expensive so I haven't ever tried it. But he said they had great steak, and I trusted him on that.

We sat around the grill and got to watch the chef twirl knives and slice and dice. Luke did not care for the little show but Norah was pretty amazed. The food was plentiful and delicious. At least once we got to the meat and veggies;) I think the kids' favorite part was the cute umbrellas the waiter brought them.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Movie Review

When Kim mentioned that she wanted to go see the movie Valentine's Day, I hesitantly agreed. For some reason I wasn't excited about Valentine's day this year. I pretty much don't get excited about that "holiday," but had kinda gotten into it while I was a teacher. Just about the best day in my elementary classroom always surprised me as Valentine's day. The kids were so sweet.

This year I didn't really feel great that week and couldn't muster up the energy to let the kids make cute boxes to take to a friend's party. My heart just wasn't in it, no pun intended;) I felt overwhelmed - What should I get Bryan? I want Luke to get something for Norah and her to get something for him, and us to give them something... All for this very small holiday to me. Plus, money was tight. So, I felt a bit like a party pooper, but we all still had a good day.

Anyway, Kim and I went because I'm pretty much always good with going out to a movie. I was so pleasantly surprised, really actually shocked how much I liked the movie. I thought all the famous people would just have these bit parts and only show up for 30 seconds or something. (Don't ask about the Morgan Freeman movie Kristin and I picked out once...). All the famous people had plots. At first I thought it was going to be depressing when I realized half the relationships were adulterous or hiding something. But it redeemed itself as teenagers made responsible decisions and people flew 14 hours to show their love and others were generous.

One more thing. I think Jennifer Garner is my new favorite actress. Sandra Bullock has held that spot for me for a long time, but something about Garner is so genuine and real. I really like her.

Last thing, really. The Pretty Woman reference was excellent, and I'm glad I'm old enough to get it:) Happy Birthday week to me!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sore Throat...Ugh!

I've been dealing with a very sore throat for over a week now. Four days of last week found me almost voiceless. Talking hurt. Swallowing hurt. Since the rest of my family was sick and had tested negatively for strep, I figured I shouldn't bother getting tested. By day 5 or 6 without getting good sleep, I got frustrated and decided it was time to take care of myself. I tried a couple medicines but they weren't very effective. So last night I went to see our doctor friend at 9 at night and he wrote me a prescription. I slept last night. Slept hard. Drooled. Snored loudly apparently. That's what I needed.

I shouldn't have been too surprised at this sickness. With each of my other pregnancies, I have gotten terrible sinus infections. The one I had while pregnant with Luke was so bad I still vividly remember it. I guess I was waiting for that and the sore throat caught me off guard.

All this to say, I learned something while I was quietly suffering every swallow. Pretty much every comment I had didn't REALLY need to be said. Yes, it was difficult not being able to talk to the kids, to encourage them or tell them I knew what they meant. But when it came to talking with my husband, I would think about whether the comment was worth the pain of talking and usually decided it wasn't. It's humbling to think that most of what I say isn't that important. It reminds me of the verses in Proverbs about keeping your mouth shut and the ones in James about listening first, then speaking. I'd like to not have to learn this lesson again:)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

More Snow!

Bryan always makes fun of me because when the weather forecast predicts snow, I say "It never snows in Murray." Well, we all got enough ice to last a lifetime last year. But this year it has snowed significantly (for Murray) three times this year! The first snow wasn't much, but that's what we expect in Murray, so we went out and played in it. The next snow was predicted to be a nasty storm on the anniversary of the ice storm so everyone seemed freaked out. We didn't get much ice but got snow so we played some more and Bryan took the kids sledding.

Another snow came yesterday. It started about 4:00 pm and snowed all evening. We woke up to a blanketed neighborhood. It's also blowing around so it looks like it's still snowing sometimes and big chunks are falling from high places. So pretty! We all went sledding this time and it was a lot of fun!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Norah has liked shoes for quite some time now, and she's only 21 mos. If there are a bunch of shoes by the door, Norah can match up which shoes go with which person. She stoops down to examine people's shoes. She tries on flip flops, slippers, sandals, high heels... When winter came, she discovered boots. Nic got Hello Kitty galoshes cheap for Audrey and when I mentioned wanting some for Norah, Nic said Norah could wear them this year. I think she enjoys boots even more than other shoes because she can put them on by herself:)

Helping in the Kitchen

Just wanted to share this picture. Luke was helping me make sugar cookies. He cracks me up.

More on Ladybug the Tramp

Luke's love for ladybugs in the house hasn't waned much. He still enjoys finding them and talking to them. Today he wanted a snack so I let him have a couple fudge graham crackers. A few minutes later I heard him talking about how hungry the ladybugs were. I looked over to see four ladybugs perched on his cookie. Gross! When I put him down for his nap, I noticed the four ladybugs were sitting on the arm of the couch. I'm pretty sure the cookie was gone. Yuck!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Fisher Family Christmas

We celebrated Christmas with Bryan's side of the family the weekend before the holiday. The kids got spoiled rotten, in fact, we all did! I got this stroller I'd been wanting and the kids got a huge dinosaur and lots of other toys (and in Norah's case, shoes;))

As you can see, Norah was a bit hesitant with this talking, eating creature that was bigger than her. She warmed up quickly though.

Sometimes it's nice to have a face to go with a name.
Bryan's family - the Fisher side

Left to right: Rhonda (Bryan's mom), John (Bryan's stepdad), Chris (Bryan's stepbrother), Alex (Bryan's brother), Uncle Gene, Uncle Dennis, Aunt Dana, Bryan
Grandma Fisher, Aunt Marcia, me and the kids

Life at our house.- just an update

I feel like it's been way too long since I've blogged. Life has been happening and time seems to be flying faster than usual. I often get a panicky feeling of time passing too quickly at the New Year. We've been spending time with friends and family, Bryan's been working a lot, and I've been working, managing the house and taking care of the kids.

Luke and Norah seem to get along most of the time and I enjoy that. Luke is pretty much potty-trained and that is awesome!!! He's a big boy about going to the bathroom himself. Sometimes he has to be talked out of a corner, but he usually gets the main work done in the potty and that's all that matters to me! His sister must've been making mental notes the last year. Of her few words, she says "My pee" while holding her crotch. Sure enough, she wants to go try to use the potty. Girls amaze me in this way! So we're working on that with her.

Norah's vocabulary is growing every day. She's always managed to get her point across but now she's using words and phrases more and babbling too. Pretty new to this month is the singing and dancing around the house. I don't know what she's singing but she sure does.

Bryan was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism several weeks ago so he is taking medicine to help with that. Slowly but surely it's working we think.

Luke continues to crack me up with his observations about life. Today he came out with his underwear on inside out and backwards and his t-shirt tucked into it and said he was having issues. Yep, I think he was:) He talks just about constantly and changes subjects so fast it's hard to keep up.

I am trying to finish up my master's portfolio this month and then I will have earned my master's for May graduation. Yaaaaay!

Just wanted you to know I hadn't fallen off the face of the earth:)