Saturday, December 19, 2009

Finally a Break

As of yesterday the kids and I are all officially on break from school. I wish I could say it was all about relaxing and enjoying some peaceful family time. Unfortunately, I still have two papers and a drug presentation to write, not to mention a test when I return to school that requires studying. There will be downtime though starting with a night out at Glendale Glitters with the kids. Then after I put in my required holiday shifts at work December 24-28th we are off to the mountains for a few days at my parents house. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate and their will be some good snow for sledding. Images of snuggling by the fireplace, enjoying food, and family are what has kept me going for the last month.

I thought I would share some funny things that happened at my house recently:

Coversation between Allison and I:
Me: "Alli be nice to your sister and brothers they are the only ones you are going to get".
Alli: "Why Mommy?".
Me: "Uh, because this baby factory is closed. There will be no more babies in this house".
Alli: (Starts crying) "But I don't want to be the youngest" at which point she turns to her sister and says "Well at least I am older than you".
Becca: (Starts crying)
Me: "Ugh, nice Alli. As far as I am concerned 1 minute doesn't really count, you are both the youngest"!
At which point they both ran off to play together again.

A little girl from school called Cameron last night to come over and play. I asked to talk to the mom and after discussing we set up a play date. I asked her towards the end of the conversation if she knew that Cameron was a boy not a girl as Cameron is a gender neutral name. She did not know he was a boy and so after more discussion we decided the play date should be at her house so she could supervise. It's a good thing I said something!  Life at our house with 4 kids is never dull.

Now that I have the time there will be some updates and changes to the blog:
 We should have a closing date for our new house in the next few days. Which will lead to a new feature on this blog : The Rodriquez Renovation...lots of before and after photos to come as we restore and renovate our new vintage home!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Calm After the Storm

Winter has finally arrived in AZ. Now I know that cold is all relative, but my thin skinned self is freezing right now. Following a weekend of brisk weather in Palm Springs I returned home to a massive winter storm. As rain hammered the state I headed off to work and school bundled up with my coat and gloves. Driving home from work I weaved through an obstacle course of downed trees, sprawled trash cans, and street lights that were out. The rain came down in sideways sheets as the wind howled. Craig opened the garage for me and I entered our candlelit house. The power had gone out and stayed out until the wee hours of the morning.

This morning I snuggled in my warm bed listening as the house woke up around me. Snatches of whispered conversation punctuated by laughter drifted from the girls room. As the word "mom" became louder and more persistent I rose to make the kids breakfast and drive them to school. Now, I sit in my office drinking a cup of hot tea thinking about how blessed I have been feeling lately. Blessed to have such a strong, close knit family. Blessed to have such supportive old friends and grateful for the new ones I have made over the past few months. Blessed to watch my kids grow and find their own voice each day. Most of all I feel blessed that we have the opportunity to flee the suburbs and head to a more urban environment. That sounds odd as most people I know flee TO the suburbs with their kids. I just can't wait to show them all the city has to offer and watch their world split wide open. For the first time in a long time I feel content and happy. Why is it I keep waiting for something to change that happy state? Craig tells me that instead of enjoying the moment I am often fretting over what lies ahead, anticipating that challenges and problems will crop up again. Today, I am going to make every effort to just sit in this moment and enjoy it for what it is, without worrying about what comes next.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Settling In

Lately I feel like my life has been preempted, taken over by a force bigger than me. That force is called nursing school. My days revolve around homework, lectures, labs, tests, with work and family time added to the mix life as I know it has changed. Confidence wise I am mostly feeling stronger than I ever could have anticipated, yet there are still nerve wracking moments that punctuate my calm facade. My first three tests scores were truthfully best case scenario. On my drug calculation test I obtained the required 100% on the first attempt. This was followed by an 86% on our first module test. Then this past week I was delighted and shocked to learn I had earned the highest grade in our class with a perfect 100% on the fluid/electrolyte test rumored to be one of the hardest this block. Though I spend many hours working on my own I have also settled into a study group.

On a personal note, Craig and I have made the decision to relocate our family out of the suburbs and into Central Phoenix. After an exhaustive search we made an offer on a home and after 45 days, which included some negotiations with the bank as the house is a short sale, it was accepted. Still working out a few details, but if all goes well the keys should be in our hands by the end of December. It will be a bittersweet as we leave many friends behind, but we have come to the conclusion that for us now is the right time to move. Oh and before I forget, we added a new member to our family. Gracie, a gorgeous and sweet Siamese came to join us from a local shelter in late October. She has quickly settled in and found her place in our chaotic household.

Finally, I just returned from a weekend respite in Palm Springs with my "original" family, my Dad, Mom, and sister. It was the first vacation just the 4 of us in 15 years. As we ate our way around Palm Springs, enjoyed wine tastings in Temecula, and rode the aerial tramway to the top of a snow capped mountain, we reconnected finding the dynamic that once held us together as a unit. Great music, laughter, inside jokes, deep conversation, insightful thoughts, and a few tense moments marked the three days we spent together. In the end, I felt incredibly blessed and lucky to have such a remarkable, close knit family. It was however, after the quick escape, a relief to return to the family Craig and I have worked so hard to build over the past 14 years. As I write this the girls are chasing each other around the house while Cam occasionally wanders into the office for help with his homework. All is for now right in my little corner of the world. Pictures to follow as well as some more updates in the upcoming weeks.