Saturday, September 7, 2019

7 Quick Takes - Update & Growing Up

Hello, friends.  Well, so much for my attempt at getting a post up once a month this year.  Where the heck did August go???  Anyhow, I guess that's some indication of how my summer has been.  I blame it on the garden.  And kids.  But oh, how I've missed writing and now, I'm just trying to keep this blog alive until a hard freeze kills back the garden and I no longer have to keep up with all the demands of summer.  In the meantime, here's an update to cover the past 8 weeks.

First, the garden.  I realize I write a lot about gardening. I guess I need to get out more.  Outside of blogging, gardening is my therapy, but unlike blogging, the return in investment is much greater (which I suppose is why most bloggers have stopped blogging).  By mid July, the corn was ready for picking (this is the corn that took me 3 attempts to get planted, you may recall.  Totally worth all the effort.  Almost.), blackberries were ripe, and the first of many buckets of tomatoes was ready to be picked.  Let the freezing and canning begin!  This summer, I put up more food than I think I ever have before, mostly because we eat healthier now (i.e., no preservatives) and even more, because I have two boys who can now out-eat their dad. For skinny little runts, it's amazing how much food that they can pack away.  Lord help me in five more years!

Second, the kids.  We had two birthdays in the past month.  Our oldest turned nine and our youngest is now a 3 year old.  I have officially left the baby years behind now, and yes, I'm more than just a little heartbroken.  One of my goals was to have him potty trained by the age of 3, and we came in just under the wire after 3 months of potty training failures and setbacks.  Anyone who says you can potty train in a day, three days, or a week obviously knows more about parenting than I do!  This is my third time around, and I have yet to have one successfully trained in less than a few months.  But then again, God only gives me the stubborn and strong-willed kids!

3 years old now!

For the Feast of St. Dominic (his name day),
we took him out to eat waffles!

The newly minted nine year old is growing up too fast.  Nine is an odd age, such a mix of big kid and little kid.  I know that the days of cuddles in bed, holding mommy's hand on walks, and jumping in all the mud puddles is coming to an end soon.  But not too soon.  Today, he is anxiously awaiting for me to return home from the library (where I go to write) so that he can show me the cliff he found along the creek and take me on a "adventure I won't soon forget" hike, as he likes to put it.  He's full of stories, loves nothing more than a captive audience, reads every book in the house, and turns music up way too loud.  He's a lot like his daddy and a little bit like me but more than anything, a person unto himself.  He'll always be my free spirit, and I dread the day he flies the nest because he just can't wait to see the world.

9 years old now!

Celebrating his Baptismal anniversary on the
Solemnity of the Assumption of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary

My free spirit jumping into the pool.
He said he felt like a bird.

Meanwhile, the middle kid continues to keep us all on our toes.  I think that's just what they do, eh?  I like to say that God gives some people ten kids and he gives other people one kid that feels like ten.  Ha!  That would describe our Joah.  Not to ever be outdone by big brother, this summer, he made some pretty big gains, including conquering the water slide and diving board and swimming now like a champ.  He's also been a ton of help with the gardening, has started enjoying reading more, and of the two older boys, Joah plays with Dominic best.  I see a lot of similarities between Joah and Dominic, and I'm so glad they have each other, especially since they share the adoption bond.

Best little corn husker around!

Kindred spirits.

As for me, my last blog post was a bit of a lament as I struggled with my feelings of being a stay-at-home mother.  It's so easy to feel isolated as a SAHM, and although I have a great husband who encourages me to get out and do other things from time to time, the day-to-day responsibilities are hard for me to walk away from.  I carry a lot of mom-guilt when I leave everything in his hands because I know it is not easy.  Yet, on the other hand, I feel a restlessness building up in me when I am in full time mom-mode day after day, month after month.  I'm working on trying to find a balance, and really admire all the women out there who are successfully living multiple vocations.  All that being said, I did manage to get away for a couple of days last month and be a biologist again.  I and a few other biologists trapped a Rafinesque's big-eared bat cave, and we caught 28 of these cute little guys (and gals) in one night.  It was so much fun!  Aren't they just the neatest looking bats?  Definitely one of my favorites.

My, what big ears you have...

My alter ego.

So, I think that pretty much brings you up to speed.  All is well, or as well as one could hope.  Every day brings its struggles but every day,  I wake up and offer it all to Jesus.  The good, the bad, the ugly, there is some of all of that in each of my days.  It's a constant challenge for me to look for the good, repair the bad, and to not get lost in the ugly.  Each day is different, but the pattern does not change, and in some uncomfortable way, I think that's a blessing, because it's God's way of showing me mercy until I finally get it right.

Taken after Mass during which we celebrated Dominic's
Presentation to Jesus (a Hispanic Catholic tradition for 3 year olds)

Thank you, Kelly for the link-up, and don't forget, tomorrow is someone's birthday so be sure to wish her a Happy Birthday! She never forgets ours. ;o)