Monday, August 31, 2015


Well, so, Adam, I mean I survived the first week of REAL school, Kindergarten.  It was not pretty.  There was a lot of cooking and some wine, more cooking than wine (should have combined the two) but still it's been a while since I needed to do things to pass the time.  First, an apology. I need to apologize to all the moms I mocked in my head, for posting all their sadness over their children going off to kindergarten.  I pooh-poohed you all and thought I was better than you.  Adam was excited, so I was excited. He's already been to preschool so, honestly what is the big deal?  Well,  as is so often the case, I realized that I am not above any one of you.  In fact, I'm maybe worse because I thought I was better than you, stronger, sooooo much less emotional and sappy.  But low and behold I got choked up walking him down the hall and it hit me how much of a step this is for him and me.  Leaving him somewhere for a span of seven hours with people that I, at most, had spent about two minutes with.  Who are these people? Are they nice? Will they be kind to him? What about the kids?  Are they nice?  Will he make friends? What if he gets lost? Who will he ask for help in a sea of strangers, in a building he's barely been in?  What if someone makes fun of him?  Will he cry? If he cries who will comfort him? Will anyone comfort him? What if he gets hurt? Who will call me?  Will they know he's hurt?   What is he learning? Does the teacher like kids? Does she like Adam?  Do past students like her?  Are we doing the right thing? Should we be homeschooling?  Should we send him to private school even though we can't afford it?  Honestly, how many questions can run through one's mind?

Now I will admit that since we lost Jacob I tend to work very hard NOT to physically cry and get emotional and for the most part I have got that down now.  The months especially after losing him, the emotional and physical toll of a breakdown were incredibly high.  One good, hard but needed cry could take days or weeks to recover from.  The roller coaster of emotions was not a friend of mine and I quite hated the roller coaster because it was so far from what had been my normal state, pre-child loss.  But still you press on because you have a life that existed before your baby died and that life still exists after, and so I just think I've become very good at managing my least outwardly.  What I manage to suppress in outward emotions however seeps out into an inner anxiety that probably surpasses what many experience daily.  I think I've learned to manage covering that up pretty well though.  

So, long story short, last week was hard.  Adam fell the first day of school and was minorly hurt but enough to garner a story, which I must say is a HARD thing to get out of a kindergartner!  One question about what happened that day might as well have been the hundredth question I'd asked, "Mom, I don't know! I can't remember."  But what he did say is "Mom, she's not like my preschool teacher.  She didn't ask if I was okay.  She just said "get up."  So, then my heart broke more.  Who is this woman!? It is my fervent prayer that one day this will be something I am laughing about and despite a long week of unknown days and I'm pretty sure one morning he was lost and only made it to class by the kind help of a 3rd grade neighbor, that his teacher and I will be friends and I can share this with her and we will have a laugh together.  I want him to love kindergarten and that is all. I want him to love it because he learns and has adults around him, other than his parents and family, that care and help him and adults he can trust as well.  I think that is nice and important and sweet.  

So after a long week, dissecting every moment I've met his teacher, every nugget of information Adam has unwillingly given me, researching private schools, agonizing over the possibility of giving up my small bit of free time to homeschooling our brood, God calmed my anxiety and, I think, answered my prayer this morning.   We were running late, sort of.  If Adam had not changed his mind and we had gone through the drop off line he would have been on time, but he changed his mind last minute that he wanted me to walk him inside so I dogged traffic and small sweet pedestrians to find the nearest spot to park and power walked him into the empty halls of the school knowing the bell had already rung.  It has been a VERY long time since I felt tardy:)  But as we walked to his hall we passed the assistant teacher for his room, a woman I've not really seen smile, and she gave us a huge smile, an unmistakable smile.  A smile to calm a mama's heart and to top it off, as I watched him walk to his chair in his class, I caught his teacher's eye from the door and she too gave me a smile.  Sigh.  Relief.  Hope.  That is all I need.  I am not sure if the rest of the week will be so reassuring but I'm basking in the hope that I had this morning as long as I can:)  

So about the cooking...we successfully cooked six lasagnas, six turkey tetrazinnis and six loaves of banana nut bread.  We threw in some chocolate chips for good measure:) What I've learned ~ I've learned that six is too many, my bowls are not that big and I ended up having to do everything twice and dirtied twice as many bowls which was obviously not the intention, but lessons learned and I have a lot of food to show for it!   Disclaimer: There were children crying while these meals were being prepared, some helping, me yelling "don't touch that!" a lot, and my kitchen is just now recovering to the normal state of messiness it usually is. I've included a picture below of what my kitchen looks like post cooking so that you all don't think I'm some crazy fool who keeps a neat house while doing all this.   

I said to Allie just now as we cut into our first loaf of freshly baked banana bread (which she helped me make, start to finish), "This is the best part of cooking!"  Allie said, "No, this is the best part of eating!"  That's right honey! 

Here is to another week of excitement! Hope your week goes well too.  

My sous chef at work! (notice the opened bag of Pirates Booty to the left...what I eat while cooking lasagna, lol)

Talk about attention to detail (she gets this precision from her daddy, mostly)...also explains the four hours it seemed to take to make the lasagnas!

These turned out pretty darn good! 

All those dishes to wash (the only  real reason I hate cooking but if I moan then sometimes the coffin maker does them for me...he's a keeper)

Very proud of my freezer meals...grab and heat, which is about all I can accomplish most days!

And last but not least, our lil Elena!  I'm not sure of what this pose is but she did pose for the picture so it's classic Elena:) 

Monday, August 24, 2015

Chicken Stock and Kindergarten

Well, you would not think chicken stock and Kindergarten would have anything in common but, seeing as in the last week they are both firsts in this household, they do:)  Are you laughing?  Well, it's the truth:) Confession: I have not made chicken stock in my entire eight year marriage.  Not successfully, although I never tried.  It's quite easy and given I finally purchased a knock off stock pot, which I love, I thought the prefect way to christen it would be to be purposeful with our leftovers for a change (leftover roast chicken; not a first but also VERY rare for me).  The alternative usually happens where I leave the leftover gnarled bits of chicken carcass in the refrigerator until it a.) turns moldy and must be removed by husband, or b.) I need the pot the leftover moldy chicken is in for another dish and so am forced to confront the remnants.  All in all, I was quite proud of myself and hope to alternate our easy Sunday dinner's of Papa Murphy's pizza with a roasted chicken followed by productive chicken broth.  One of these days I'll figure out how to make Matzo Balls and then the comfort food will be complete, for a while. Something also tells me with Adam's first year of kindergarten there may come a day or two this fall where a good stock is necessary.  

(Not sure if I'm more excited about the pot or the stock?) 

And so the more exciting, sad, nervous, proud, concerned, happy news is that Adam started kindergarten today.  I have heard the quote, "the days are long but the years short" or something like that, and indeed it is true.  I am writing this post partially to pass the time till I get to go and pick him up.  A long day.  He was happy and I held back tears walking him down the hall because little boys don't understand "happy mama tears" and I didn't want him to get nervous and then rethink his excitement or feel the need to comfort me. I'll be honest, I thought I'd hold it together, but I did get choked up.  After a goodbye hug, I stood longingly just outside the door and made sure to watch till he found his seat.  A part of me selfishly hoped he would look back my way once more, maybe for reassurance, more for me than him I suppose.  But, he did not.  He didn't need to search the room for me.  He was ready and so I let him go on to his day.  I hope the day unfolded in the same manner and am excited and nervous and anxious to hear, as soon as he steps foot in our car, all I missed and he experienced.   Stay tuned:)   In conclusion, I reserve the right to change my mind and home school him and may do so one day, but today, today Adam was excited and proud and I let him do something he's been looking forward to for years.  

Onto other news from the week.  I caught this picture with Ella (who also had her six month birthday this past week)  and Grand dad on Saturday...if that's not a great smile I don't know what is:)  

And I'll leave you all with this.  Below, a picture of Elena at church yesterday.  I think my friend said it best, she is "the most adorable hot mess, ever!!!!!"  Indeed, she is.  (I mean if someone looked at you like this at church, while holding a collection basket, would you not immediately find your wallet and give??:) 

P.S.  I intend to post less and less of normal family life stuff on Facebook so if you want to keep in touch or know what's going on around these parts, you can subscribe to new posts up above and to the right, I think, this is all new to me:) I think it will send it to your email?? Have a great week!

Monday, August 17, 2015

I gotta start somewhere...

So I was trying to find a way to start a new blog for our family.  Those of you that know me well, know that I originally started Grieving Jacob after we lost Jacob in March of 2012.  It's been three plus years now and so our family has changed quite a bit, as have my days.  I have been wanting to start this also as a more personal account of our family life. Not just for friends and family but for me selfishly and for the kids.  I can not remember ten minutes ago, much less yesterday and I anticipate that will not improve anytime soon.  So, this is my scrapbook in a way.  In addition, I find myself looking and searching for other mothers of four plus living kids for reassurance, guidance, ideas, insight, hope and figure it can't hurt to be one more voice for those moms out there like me that have, what today's society would probably call, many kids.  Our days are crazy, exhausting, intense, fun, happy, sad, reassuring, defeating and every other word you can think of.  We are blessed and we have also lived through some tough stuff.  For those of you that don't know me well, you may not know that I am too the wife of a coffin maker...that is not lie!  It's a story in it's own and I will post about that later for those that want to know how I went from being married to an architect to a coffin maker.  Needless to say, I was not surprised that this blog title was still up for grabs on Blogger! How many of us coffin makers wives can there really be?!  So, here it is.  And for a reality check, yes, I did just over boil some attempted hard boiled eggs in the short time it took for me to write this first post.   My husband gently clued me in that water was rapidly boiling on the stove not 15 feet away from me, so we'll see how those turn out:-/ But that is our life in every way, every poorly time managed, multi-tasked way, and I'm trying my best to love it!