Sunday, April 29, 2012

Adults, Please

So widowhood hasn't been too bad so far.  I don't really know what to say when people ask how I am, usually with a sickly sweet sympathetic voice.  I appreciate their concern for me, the kids, even for Travis as that is usually the next question.  But the truth is, it's all very manageable.  A lot more planning is required to execute a day without dual transportation, but otherwise fine.  So although you think I am nuts and so obviously lying about how broken I am, fear not.  But I will inform you I do face two major dilemmas, one which can't be helped (I'll spare you) and the other, well that's where you come in dear friend and devoted read.

My second dilemma was under way this weekend once again, two and a half weeks into our human social experiment we are calling life right now.  The problem is this.  Without Travis and a normal job routine my weekends are much like my weeks.  And there is little break from kid land and general monotony reigns.  This is so not my cup of tea as I am generally very social and somewhat of a party girl.  So I implore you, if you live close by and you are interested in girl's night, dancing, karoake, etc..let me know, because I am all over that.  And that's all she wrote!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

More While You Were Gone Moments

I'll spare the viewing public my multiple humiliating and awkward moments of this week where I slowly lost my mind and instead share with you other things we have been doing while Travis is away.  But just an example, think - being the last to leave the church building, turning off all lights, shutting it down, locking doors and double checking to make sure they are locked to realize that you don't have your keys.  They are indeed now locked inside the church in the primary cabinet hanging.  And multiple calls later and someone coming to the rescue and realizing that indeed you did have your keys.  Yeah that's just the tip off the iceberg.  But I am choosing to dwell on the positive, because that's how I roll.

So we had field trip week, where I went on field trips with Bella and Wyatt's class.  Bella's class went to Rohrer's Quarry and hiking at Governor Dick Park.  Look at my cute group of girls.

Of course, more baseball.  Look at the cute boys, numbers 1 - Issac and 3- Wyatt.  And Wyatt chilling at first.  I don't know if either of them realized they were in the exact same position.

Then I went with Wyatt's class to Hershey Factory.  My cute group of kids is the bottom of this group.  Below is the chocolate lab.  It was very cool.  We made chocolate treats and toured the Hershey Museum.  Wyatt and I on the bus goofing off.  Do you see the snaggle tooth that is practically falling out that he refuses to pull?

The we went to purchase the much talked about "cups".  And it poured raining.  I love this picture.  Afterwards rain and all we went to a dance party and bogeyed down.

And Kody walking to Pre-K.  He gets so excited and talks the whole way about all the things he sees, which is so weird since he is typically my silent one.  He is so cute in this time frame.  And also a day at Roots and his lunch that day being a tie-dye Whoppie Pie.  I know "Mom of the Year Award" right???

Sunday, April 22, 2012

It's All About the Boy Parts

When Travis and I were first dating I took him through a litany of both hypothetical and real life situations where I wanted him to tell me how he would handle such things.  I really wanted to make sure that despite our raging attraction and general playmate friendliness that we would make a good match in terms of spousing and parenting. 

Shortly after we were married and I think I was pregnant with our first child, gender still unknown, we were once again discussing parental roles and who would be giving the sex talk to our children.  Because let's be honest nothing could possibly be more awkward than two parents sitting down with one child in the recesses of your home free from noise, distraction, and okay let's be honest normalcy to discuss sex.  After much debating we had decided on our family strategy.  Unknowing of the outcome, we had agreed that he would cover this topic with all the boys and I with all the girls.  Likewise we would carry this gender specific parenting style to other awkward conversations including but not limited to puberty and other such topics, I'll spare you the graphic list, because even writing them makes me feel weird.  Undoubtedly one girl and three boys latter I lucked out.

Well about a month ago the two boys started baseball.  They have been doing so good and this past Saturday was their first official game after a month of practicing and scrimmaging.  Early in the season mention had been made that all boys wanting to play the position of catcher would be required to wear a cup and that all as a general rule of thumb should be wearing one just because.  I thought little of it, until Saturdays game, Wyatt was killing it in terms of fielding the ball.  And the other team kept hitting pop up foul balls.  His coach called Wyatt up and asked him if he wanted to start getting the other team out by fielding these fouls balls.  Wyatt happily agreed and his coach verified he was wearing his cup.  Alas he wasn't and so with slight disappointment he looked at me where I sat on the first row of the bleachers.  His message had been clear, buy me a cup.

I made a note of this on my hand for that night's Wal-Mart run.  In the evening I walked into the store four kids in tow and found the section.  And as I stared at a moderately large display I died a little inside, because Kody is giggling with embarrassment and hiding his eyes while simultaneously shouting "that's for his dingy" and other ear catching phrases that garnered the glances of nearby customers.  And as I studied the back instructions for both correct sizing and usage on the back, I couldn't help but think - I got gypped.  Where is Travis now?  And do you wear these over underwear, under them, or do they count as your underwear?  And once we got home and Wyatt wanted to try it on and have me take a look to make sure it fit properly I felt borderline horror.  As you can imagine I opted for the over the underwear look.  And as he practiced running up and down the hallway to make sure it wouldn't interfere with his running, I started to laugh, and when he put his baseball pants back on I tried to contain my uncomfortable giggles at the protruding bulge. 

I'm still not certain we're doing this right, but hey it seemed to meet all the criteria outlined in my mind - protect junk, allow for movement, and when in doubt opt for the underwear. 

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Since You've Been Gone

We've spent our days at the park (especially on this gorgeous day),
 playing a lot of baseball (first scrimmage)
 the other team's coach loved issac
for both his skill despite being the smallest and youngest
and for being a lefty
our very own road runner
and going to the Poconos Cabin

Worst Moment to date: While writing this, Issac threw up in bed.  A whole lot of gagging and a load of laundry later, I'm finishing this post up.  I sure do miss you when the kids are sick :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Am I Offensive

On my last post, I had labels that included single mother and widow.  If someone finds my blog because they have googled these terms and are actually a single mother or widow, do you think that they will be offended because I am actually not what I claim, either single nor do I have a departed husband.  Well what can you do?  I apologize if this applies to you and you are offended.  That was not my intent.

What I learned this weekend:
First you need back story (Travis left on Thursday while the kids were at school.  I had prepped the kids for this and our upcoming diverting trip to the Poconos.  They knew once they got home on Thursday life would be busy with after school activities and packing for the trip.  We then left Friday immediately after they got off the bus and the car was loaded.)
  • I learned that keeping busy really does help you keep from feeling sad.
  • That pretending to be strong for others really can make you feel strong.
  • That diverting trips really can help smooth rocky transitions.

I also learned:
  • That half the time I repeatedly tell the kids to do something, it was actually Travis just doing it.  (this will be remedied quickly)
  • That there were quite a few tasks he had been doing, that were so habitual I never realized it, until they weren't getting done.  Think - kids packed lunches, trash taken out, the picking stuff up that was mentioned in the line above.
Last I learned:
  • That the kids will still be sad, no matter how much fun you pack in to distract them. 
  • Tiredness will exasperate this sadness.
  • And when you least expect it, it may just punch you in the stomach momentarily too.  (Stop fretting Travis:  it's already done.)
Things I'm keeping in mind for the future:
  • Remember the small victories.  I'll see Travis in 26ish days.  I can do that easily.  No need to think ahead and worry about the next few years. 
  • I have the best support group of family, friends, neighbors, and even acquaintances who have been offering to help when needed.  I appreciate all the love. 
  • A wise man who knows me better than anyone else once told me:  "you will be able to do many things, and you will not be able to comprehend how you could accomplish so much."  Here's to believing him.

Friday, April 13, 2012

It All Begins

It all began with a goal and then an idea and then some personal revelation; Wham-O, my husband is in Wyoming, basically for the next two plus years.  I'm sure you're all thinking, "Is your family moving?"  It's the question I get most often.  But let me answer it definitively, NO, for right now anyway.  Because truth be told I'm not sure what we're doing here totally.  I've got an idea, my husband has a slightly better one, but mostly we are going on gut instinct and spiritual impressions.

Let me make this exhaustingly long story short, great job opportunity+temporary position+working with family=Wyoming.  The job is drilling Uranium, at the longest it will last until 2012, but could totally collapse before then, and he'll be working with his Dad and likely brother(s) before too long.  And the even shorter version is that Travis will come home when he can, likely assorted weekends, holidays, family vacation, but that's it for a while.  This first stint will be four to six weeks until we, the kids and I, see him again.  So in the meantime we'll engage in a lot of phone time, Skyping and package sending. 

So this blog has vamped into a journal specific for these two years as an update for my long distance hubby and a record of my experiences as widow or somewhat single mother.  So hopefully my honest insights won't bore you to tears, upset you on my behalf, but enlighten you all as to what's it's really like to have your best friend and eternal companion living across the country from you.

Adios, until next time.

Post Script:  Travis - some days this will be sad, but don't let it upset you too much.  You know you married an emotionally resilient girl, it's how I survived my childhood and not only that, but look back upon it with mostly happy memories.  Not only that, but I had bad days even when you were here.  So fear not for me.  Be happy and enjoy this experience.  I love you, Babe!

Monday, April 9, 2012

In Praise of Men

As many of you know, I'm not a morning person, not even a little.  Granted I would love credit for the large strides I have made over the years.  But still when I see neighbors at the bus stop who can hold longish and coherent conversations at 7 am, I wonder if I will ever get to that stage.

The worst case of morning dread I have ever faced was when I lived in Alaska.  It was in 2001 and I had to be at work by 6:30 every morning Monday thru Friday.  Travis didn't need to be at work until later in the day so that often times when I left our apartment for work he was still sleeping.  Not only was I miserable to be out of bed, dressed, and leaving, but I was most miserable with jealousy that he wouldn't wake up with me and therefore spare me the envy of watching him sleep as I left.  It may have been June in Alaska, it may have been light as noon day by 6 am, but still I would walk outside and it would be snowing some mornings.  These were the mornings I felt absolute rage towards the world.  These were the times I thought to myself as I had often times throughout the first year of my marriage, "when my husband gets a real career - I am going to wake up every morning with him, pack his lunch, and usher him out the door with a kiss and a flip of my leg" all June Cleaver like, making his day a better start than he has mine.

Fast forward 11 years later and Travis well engrossed into his career.  Minus a few anomalies that included an attempt at morning co working out and guilt induced efforts, I have never consistently woken up with my husband.  As someone who leaves for work well before 6 am most everyday, he is a morning person, he is the lone man awake in our house these days.  But every morning before he leaves for work he comes and we have morning prayers together, he climbs in bed with me and we cuddle and spoon for just a few last moments before he leaves.  And I know that he would rather stay in bed too.  He would rather be sleeping with me or cuddling also. 

So this post is for all the husbands everywhere with wives like myself.  I appreciate you.  I love that you go and provide for your spouses and families, that you tackle your job each day, that you wake up often when everyone else is sleeping.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you for working and doing such a good job at it, so I don't have to.  And for Travis specifically, I love you babe.  You rock my world.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy Easter

I'll cover our family fun and festivities later this week. 
But for now you can see what really matters.
May the joy of the Savior and his Atonement reside in your hearts today.

Friday, April 6, 2012

March Is Over???

Days are going to fast:
here's what happened in March

We had lots of nice weather,
Saint Patrick's day parade,
the first day of spring and
waiting out Rita's long lines.

We had a wild bird come inside,
a 50's themed party at school,
our first round of sprinklers and
General Conference.