Monday, July 25, 2011

the end of my 3 week hiatus

It's been about three weeks since I posted...and I'm kind of annoyed at myself for slacking.  I can't even say that I don't have anything to write about, because that's never a true story with three active little munchkins!  In the past three weeks, we've had guests visiting...first my amazing friend Jill, and then my baby brother Jason and his adorable fiance, Juliana.  It was so nice having guests from 'home' and to have an extra set of hands and eyes to wrangle the troops.  Randy's schedule is still grueling (on us both), but he's actually getting three days off starting tomorrow after working pretty much non-stop for the past few weeks.  Not only is he getting three days off work, but Thursday night, he and I are having a date night...Gavin DeGraw, Train, and Maroon 5 at Red Rocks :)  We're so looking forward to an evening alone with some great music and amazing scenery!

Tonight I'm exhausted.  I have the onset of a cold, a mild headache, and the overwhelming urge to go into the kitchen and eat something that isn't healthy.  I've been having *huge* personal issues with how my body is not quite 'bouncing back' post-Raegan.  I think that might be a part of why I feel blah, and especially why I haven't written a lot recently.  I don't want to write a lot about what my feelings are, as I'm not totally comfortable with putting them 'down on paper', yet.  Someday...but not today.

So, rather than write any more, I'll share some photos from the past few weeks...

my munchkins dressed up for a wedding

@ Red Rocks

in the Red Rocks visitor center

all my girls...Brynn, Raegan, and Jill!

my sweet girls

he's an awesome big brother

they're best friends :)

handsome dude

goofy girl

sweet pea

my girls watching Tangled

getting a mani from daddy after mommy said no
my little loves
Aunt Juliana and Uncle Jason!
my *baby* brother

Sunday, July 3, 2011

yey! Daddy's home!

There are days when I hate Randy's job.  Believe me, I know that we're extrememly blessed to have jobs, especially in this economy.  But still, at times, I hate it. 

Randy works on-call hours as an engineer.  That means, for 7 days in a row, his life (and ultimately, ours as well) revolve around the beckon call of his cell phone.  2:00 pm, 2:00 am, and every hour in between, the imminent ringing of his phone adds an extra (and often times unwelcome) layer of anticipation to nearly any activity we participate in.

Of course, this schedule makes it virtually impossible to make long-range plans.  If he is on-call, I pretty much have to discount his presence, and as the time approaches, hope for the best.  During the school year, I spend many evenings after a long day of work catching a glimplse of the life of a single mom.  As the daughter of a hardworking and amazing single mom, I grew up knowing a lot of the challenges that role presents.  However, those 'glimpses' give me an even higher level of respect for every single mommy out there.

The hours he works are taxing--on him, and on me.  I worry for my husband as often times he spends his 7 days on call in a near-sleepless haze, just waiting for the next phone call.  He eats at odd hours (if at all), sleeps when (and where) he can, and drives so many miles--most of which are in the middle of the night on little sleep down nearly deserted roads, or on highways alongside tractor trailers (who you hope are being driven by people who've had enough sleep themselves!).  It's stressful for me as I close up the house for the night, set the alarm, check on all our munchkins, and then try to get a decent night's sleep knowing all of these extraneous factors that contribute to the overall 'dislike' feeling I have for his job.

When he's working back-to-back (to back) jobs, and is coming home for a shower, meals, and sleep; it takes a toll on us all.  The kids miss him terribly and all but attack him when he walks through the door.  It's darling to watch the 'rock star treatment' see how estatic they become, how they cling to him and sit on his lap and tell the minute-by-minute account of what they've done since he left.  So darling in fact, that for that brief moment in time, I don't mind that I've become second fiddle to his 'daddy awesomness' (just that brief moment though!). 

I miss him when he's gone too, of course.  Because of the dynamic of his odd schedule, there are times when I literally countdown the minutes until he walks through the door.  I know when he's home, I have 'back up'.  I have 'relief'.  I have someone else to hold the crying baby, pour a sippy cup, answer questions, help with a video game, give a bath, etc, etc...  I face a bit of dichotomy when he comes striding in (or, often times, lumbering through the door, exhausted and knowing he's about the face the onslaught of our own little lollipop guild).  I feel as though I should give him time to relax, recoup, rest...after all, he did just finish working.  But then there's the part of me that needs to escape.  The stir-crazy part of me that is begging for a solo trip to the grocery store, the nail salon, or even just to the shower in our bathroom without the pitter-patter of little feet, the squeals of fighting children, the screams of an inconsolable infant.

That's about when the guilt kicks in.  I feel badly asking him to go from one type of demanding work to another type of (even more) demanding work.  I feel like I should give him a break for a while, however that of course means I wouldn't have a break.  We both love the kids endlessly, but taking a break from parenthood is what keeps us sane and the good parents that we've heard we are.  Teaching isn't quite a break from kids, but it is one of my passions that offers a variation to the routine of the stay at home mommy that I get to be during the summer months.  During those months, however, I don't have that variation.  I find myself having more of 'those' moments recently...the moments when I want to run out the door as Randy's coming in, just so I can have a few brief moments of no one to answer to, hold, change, or take care of.  But how can I leave him with that craziness when all he wants to do is sleep?  Or, if it's 'days off' for him, how is it fair for me to expect him to take over the role of full time daddy so that I can have solo time?  (which, by the way, is most often spent running errands for the family because it's so much more efficient and effective to do so without toting around three kids and a diaper bag). 

Today, I eagerly (almost too eagerly) asked Randy if/when he'd be working today.  When he told me he wouldn't be working until tonight, I began planning some 'me time'.  I needed a haircut.  Not anything major, just a trim since I'm growing my hair out (hopefully).  But I wanted to go alone.  There's always a 'set up' to me leaving without the kids though.  Feed Raegan, get myself at least somewhat presentable to be in public, feed Raegan some more, make the kids lunch (or dinner or snack, pending time of day), feed Raegan yet again (the girl loves to eat!), and head out quickly so I can hopefully avoid Brynn's tears and begging to come along.  Today, I wasn't able to avoid a tiny little voice asking to accompany me, however I was able to say 'no' without much hesitation.  Normally I'm a sucker for her adorable little curls and rabbit-toothed smile.  Normally I bring Raegan along with me in case she's hungry (and because she's also recently become a 'hold me all the time and never let me go or else I'll scream' type of baby).  But not today.  Randy's either been working or recovering from a long stint of work for the past week.  When he's on 'work recovery' mode, I withhold the urge to have him watch the kids while I get some 'me time'.  But not today.  Today, Randy was operating on a full night's sleep.  I was going stir crazy.  I needed the 'me time'...after I went throught the preparation process (which took nearly as long to get through as the time I was gone!).  In that short amount of time I managed to get three errands accomplished.  Had I taken the kids (any amount of them), it would have been double if not triple the time, included at least one treat in the form of a bribe, (and of course included a feeding for Raegan.)

Before I went out, I asked Randy if it was ok if I went to get a haircut.  He said yes, and asked me why I was asking him.  Why do I ask him?  I don't need his permission to go...

I told him the reason I ask is because he's worked hard and I feel like he deserves to have a break.  I guess I asked because I feel like I'm going to burden him by leaving, and because I feel that twang of guilt in doing so.  I feel like I shouldn't need to take a little time for myself or just by myself to accomplish things in a more timely fashion than if I had the kids tagging along.  I feel, most especially in summer time, that since I'm 'not working' (I recognize stay at home mommy is a full time job...I mean not leaving the house to go to work), I shouldn't really complain.  I have all the time in the world to enjoy my kids.  I'm not the one waking up at all hours of the night, driving in an exhausted stupor, and logging a well.  But then again, when he's doing that...I'm home...trying to do everything else.

I know we could have it worse.  Randy could have to travel further, or for longer periods of time.  He could be fighting for our country's freedom on the other side of the globe.  There are dozens of other possible situations that could present us with more challenges.  I am grateful to have the situation in which we find ourselves.  I do feel bad for complaining, because sadly, there are so, so many people who find themselves struggling in so many more ways.  So, thank you, God.  Thank you for blessing us with this miniscule problem in the whole scheme of life.  Thank you also for the grace and serenity to remain sane and calm, even in those moments when I need to escape.  But today, thank you especially for the hour and a half of uninterrupted time for me.  It made me so very much more grateful than I already am to come home and be the one who get the 'rock star treatment' from the kids.