Monday, May 12, 2014

Hello again

I didn't mean to neglect this space for over a month, but sometimes life is like that.  This semester has been an intense one for hubby, which has made for a busier life for all of us.  Most of this semester when I've sat down to write, I've felt entirely uninspired.  I think a good part of that was a case of the winter blues - especially since this was the first winter we've experienced in years.  But some of it was because I have felt like we are on the go constantly.  And personally, I hate that feeling.  Everyday there as been somewhere to go, something to do...and after a few days of it I feel tired...and after months of it I feel like a cranky shell of myself. 

I have been working hard at trying to pull back and settle things down, but first we had to get through a long series of exciting weekends and I had to get to a certain point in the year before I could pull back on the number of days I work each week.  This past weekend was the end of the busy weekends and starting around noon yesterday, things have felt far more peaceful than they have been in months.  And therefore, I have started to feel like a more loving and patient person. 

Don't get me wrong, life has overall still been great.  And the majority of the trips we took or company we had in town made for wonderful times, laughs, and memories.  But after awhile even fun things become exhausting.  So, to catch you up on all the fun involved in our April and early May...

We got tadpoles!  The kids named them Frog and Toad.  They were a huge hit.  We also got caterpillars.  Of the six caterpillars that came in the mail, five spun a chrysalis, and only two fully emerged as butterflies.  One died in the cage after a few days, so tonight we released the lone survivor before he died also.  The kids named the two that emerged after themselves.  Needless to say, there was a large debate over who lived and who died.  Oops.  Next time maybe we'll pick names with less attachment value. 

Closer view of Frog and Toad.  I did not do my research before ordering these two.  They will grow to be about 6" and can live for over five years.  Given our current living arrangements, I don't even know where we will keep these guys when they are full grown.  I just hope we have a better survival rate than we did with the butterflies.

Hubby's grandmother came for a weekend and we were able to sneak away to a local vineyard with her.  The mountain views around here are beautiful.

We've made a lot of pizza.  Friday night is set as pizza night around here.  The kids get overly excited about making their own pizzas each time.  Mannchen's is on the right.  That boy makes the most elaborate, gourmet pizzas.  What we're more shocked by is Töchterchen has finally started to add spinach on hers!  Slowly but surely she is emerging from her attempts at being picky -which doesn't fly around this house (Mama makes one meal and one meal only.  If you don't like it you don't have to eat.)
We've also made a substantial amount of bacon, by our standards.  We don't have a deep freezer and the fridge/freezer in our kitchen isn't even full size (think somewhere between a regular fridge and the micro-fridge units everyone has in college), so ten pounds is the max amount we can make and store at a time.

Easter!  Easter morning came way too freakin' early at our house.  The kids got bubbles, sidewalk chalk, stickers, and a few new handmade eggs.  Oma and Baba chipped in also, adding the most exciting gifts - Mannchen got a large combine to go with our play barn and Töchterchen got a Shirley Temple DVD.

Töchterchen also found a pink hairbrush in her basket.  She was refusing to brush her hair on a daily basis because we didn't have a pink one.  I guess the Easter bunny decided it wasn't worth the fight anymore.  Just let the girl have pink everything.

And immediately they were out the door trying everything out.


Finishing off a warm spring day with Sangria for everyone.  No worries, only mine was made with wine.  These two got a huge kick out of having fruit in grape juice though.  Maybe more excited than I was to have a drink after a very, long trying day...maybe, but not quite.

In early May the kids and I took a trip to Pittsburgh with my mom to visit my great aunt.  The highlight of the trip was the swimming pool in the hotel.  Oh how I love this silly, precious girl of ours.
On the way home we stopped at the New River Gorge.  I think at this point Mannchen was ready to put up a fight rather than get back in the car, hence the stick.  Both kids were tired going into the trip, but held it together on the six hour drive up on Friday and all day on Saturday while visiting with my aunt.  The drive back on Sunday was a slightly different story.  At least we were able to find an exciting place to stop for our picnic - plus, it included a small hike and ice cream cones!

How I spend Mother's Day - soaking in the sun and watching these two play happily in the water.  I started the day off grumpy and groggy from a ugly case of poison ivy and the lasting effects of Benedryl.  The sun slowly warmed my heart and soul, as did these sweet kids.

I sure do love being their mama, even on the most difficult days.

Besides, they know how to make life fun and exciting!
We also took a quick trip for a baby shower in early April.  The kids loved seeing her homestead - chickens and pigs are excellent entertainment!  In late April we took a long weekend trip to visit with my best friend's family.  Our kids are close in age and watching them play together is good for the soul.  Plus, she's good for my soul.  She's less friend and more family.  For the first few years of motherhood we were only two miles apart.  Most days it really sucks being hours apart, but at least we are still in the same state!
Hubby has been neck deep in school work lately, with the past few weeks being more intense than ever.  This week is finals week and next week he takes his qualifier test (this test will determine if he gets a Master's or PhD).  I am grateful for his dedication and hard work, but I know he's getting tired of it all.  As much as I sometimes think I would like to go to grad school, when I see how much time and commitment it requires, I realize there's no way I could put out that effort while we have a young family.  This semester he has had multiple days each week when he is on campus for close to twelve hours a day, only to come home and work even more.  At one point this winter we discussed having both of us in grad school at the same time...but then rather quickly realized we would never see our children.  And we most certainly didn't have them so that someone else could raise them.  So that idea was nixed.  I'm glad that even though I dislike working outside of the home for any amount of time while the kids are young, my hours are few and the majority of my waking hours are devoted to supporting him and caring for our family. 
I guess that's about all we've been up to.  I hope that the return of the sun will continue to increase my creativity and enthusiasm for life, along with my patience and attitude in general!