Thursday, September 23, 2010

In Which I am a Bad Mommy?

So here's the thing.

I do all of these things to be a good mom.  Like volunteering in Riley's class and being involved with PTA and saying yes to being a den leader for boy scouts.....

But when I'm feeding my kids dinner out for the 3rd night in a row, I have to wonder if "being a good parent" isn't getting in the way of me being a good parent.  And I don't mean that to discourage other people from being active in leadership of children and children's groups, because for heaven's sake, if we all did a little, then the same 10 of us wouldn't end up doing it all.  Or at least trying to do it all.  Which would, seriously, make things way more fair.

It would also make it easier for me to make dinner.

(Okay fine, also if I wasn't running so far behind because I let my car run out of gas thinking I could squeeze just one more meeting in before I stopped.  That probably would have helped, too.)

I also have to wonder how my kids benefit from me being the only leader in their lives.  I always push that children need positive role models other than their parents, but how many are mine really getting? I've read the studies, for example, that say that kids need to hear people besides their parents telling them about Jesus.  If I'm always the children's pastor- who's stepping up to tell my kids that Jesus loves them besides me? Do I leave them at a church without me so they get other people to tell them? Not that that's an issue right now, it's just a thought that's occurred to me several times in the past, especially at my last "work church".

This next week I'm going to work really hard on finding more balance in our lives, despite all the things I'm trying to do.  It's such a shift from summer and I know that I should give myself more room to adjust, but I've never enjoyed failing (or mediocrity for that matter- although it seems to be my speciality lately) so it's difficult for me to admit that I need to re-find my groove.

In other news, somewhat related, Logan, Savannah, and I went to speak to the French Honor Society at the high school today because they're helping with our Multicultural Festival.  They are led by my former French teacher.  I still understand French really well, but to speak it? I totally lack the confidence especially when the first sentence out of my mouth is incorrect (pendant que vs. depuis my bad) and the little snot in the front row points it out.  I totally deserved that- I was SO that girl in High School.  However, the cute part was the whole club exclaiming that Logan looks JUST like Le Petit Prince when we walked in.

I can see it. :)

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In Which We Travel to Philadelphia

My friend (who was originally Austin's friend...but I usurped her during a time of great emotional need- thanks Claire!) is moving to California to take a job in her now PhD-ed field.  It's a great opportunity for her, but I knew that since she'd be moving across the country seeing her this weekend was my last shot! The weekend was not without errors (for example me deciding that we could stay after driving up for dinner because "I worked at the Jewelry store LAST I think I'm good!" ended up being did the notion that the traffic wouldn't be bad going north).  However, we had a great under 24 hour trip!

Austin couldn't go with us, so the kids and I hopped in the car and headed up alone Friday afternoon thinking we would head up and meet Claire and Evan for supper.  That didn't happen because the traffic was horrendous.  However, we did have cheesesteaks at 10:20 pm.
Tony Luke's!!! Nice!!  We ended up staying with Claire and Evan and the next day (after an angry phone call from the aforementioned work and me freaking out because i.hate.messing.up.) we decided that we would see the PMOA (aka ROCKY STAIRS!!) and then we checked out the Franklin Institute. It was really weird for me to PAY for a museum!! I've decided that I will toss some money in the basket at the Smithsonian from now on because OhMYGoodness was this museum nowhere near as good and it cost $50 for us to go in!!  I think that maybe churches should try this technique because I never appreciated our fantastic FREE Smithsonians so much until I went somewhere that charged and wasn't as good!!

However, the kids and I still had a fantastic time and we were so happy to say goodbye to Claire and Evan.  We hope they have a safe and easy trip to the West Coast!!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

In Which I Recap The ENTIRE Summer

Hmmm.....I think that journaling is a spiritual discipline...which would explain why I am so freaking bad at it!! I also think that many things have fallen by the wayside for me as we've gotten closer to school, so hopefully now that some type of order is returning to our lives, I'll be a little better about leaving a legacy for my children. (Or, alternatively, leaving something for everyone to laugh at!!)


So.  Summer. My last post was July 1stish.  So I will now recap our summer using my facebook statii as my guide :)

We played with friends.  Lots of friends.  At awesome places like Burke Lake Park and the Sprayground and the Pool and our house for BBQs and smores and fun.  We went to the Dale City 4th of July Parade and the P-Nats Game and Fireworks.  Savannah left early with Daddy and thinks fireworks may be the 8th level of Dante's Inferno.

I also tried to be reasonably brave and let Riley be a little more independent.  I try really hard not to be a helicopter parent, but so many bad things happen and I think especially as someone who worked for a church and got training in all the horrible people out there, it makes me nervous.  I let him walk down the street to talk to a friend and cross the street and play at Kendall's house without me.  It was kind of a huge deal with tears and hyperventilating.

For me.

He was fine.

So.  The week after 4th of July, my mom and I took the kids to Myrtle Beach thanks to my VERY generous bosslady and her VERY awesome sister who let us rent their awesome condo for next to nothing!!  We had a great time in the water and relaxing and visiting a local children's museum.  We also went out to lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe one day! It was very awesome :)
Then we did some VBS.  High Seas Adventure and Egypt (where we did makeup and Ema Anne came along for the ride!!) and a kind of neat one done by a local Episcopalian church where they just all met up in someone in the neighborhood's yard!!  Savannah helped.

We went with our friends the Lamonts to Williamsburg and did Busch Gardens and Water Country and a brief (and unpaid) tour of Colonial Williamsburg.  We also visited the Yankee Candle Flagship store and made our own candles and saw Santa (in Bermuda shorts!) It was awesome!

I went a little crazy for 2 weeks and did nothing but scrub my house and take the kids to the park.  And bake.  It was almost like I was nesting, but minus the pregnant part :)  We made foccacia and cookies and dinners galore! And I think we enjoyed every park on this end of the county!!  Then we were dirty and needed baths.  So we did that.
                                                         Multitaksin- Ur doin it Rite.
We went to the beach for our annual trip with my family, which was fun to do, but also a little bit of the stinky because there were millions of jellyfish and lots of stormy days.  We got to meet Uncle Kevin's new "friend" Miss Lauren- and we all think she's pretty awesome :)

Ema Anne came for a visit and not only helped with VBS (she hasn't converted yet that I know of....but we would love to have her on team Jesus- she does some mean VBS makeup!) but also helped me put up some peaches from the farmer's market into frozen sliced peaches and peach jam.  Yum-o!

I cleaned out the PTA closet and with the help of some awesome friends and fellow suckers, got the budget, audit, bylaws and calendar planned for this year.  We're doing some really fun stuff together and I hope it all works out!!

I was reminded I am not a United Methodist. And, that Table-Flipper Jesus is still my favorite Jesus.  He's the same one who likes Kids and Sick People and the Poor.

We went to the fair.  It smelled terrible and felt greasy.  The kids got to see their first ethnic rumble between two groups of teenagers.  That was unexpected and not fun.

We.Read.7,000.Books.  And enjoyed our county's fabulous summer quest program.  We went to Vienna and watched the Great Zucchini.  He needed more of a shirt, but the kids enjoyed him anyway.

Auntie Elaine moved to Texas and Everyone Cried.

(This picture is actually from High Tea at the Willard Intercontinental for my momma's birthday, but it's the picture of Elaine that I have right now....and high tea is FULLY AWESOME!)

We babysat.  A lot.  And Logan explained me:

 ‎"Some mommies are nice, and some mommies are mean. My mommy is mean, but her rules are fair and she has them because she loves us."

Nice Logan.  Thanks. 

I got to see my friend from college, Jess, who came down for DanceSport.  We went to LuckyStrike lanes for date night with the Meeks'.  We bought school supplies and baked more and had fun and fell into bed exhausted and woke up excited.  We watched Derelict Dog with friends in Occoquan...and subsequently spent hundreds of dollars on Belgian Beer with friends.  Multiple times.  It was great :)

It was a fun summer.  A tiring summer.

And then, I had a glass of Lambrusco.  And watched the days get shorter and my children get older and smarter.  And waited both excited and sad to see them go off to school again.

And had a little more of that Lambrusco.