Friday, November 30, 2012


...then I have met the most beautiful person.  May he never get glasses as long as our paths cross.  He's mischievous and playful and flattering and awesome.  He makes my days.  I'm too tired to write more but I laughed today.  I wanted to be able to remember that.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

One of Those Days

I put one foot in front of the other all day.  I walked in circles, repeated myself, said the same things I do all the time. The pile of papers on my table grew.  I spoke more loudly.  I yelled. My voice was shrill.  For moments I would think about where we are going to live or how we are going to make it and I would need to catch my breath.  I pushed through.  And then at the end of the day I decided to speak to someone who doesn't deserve my words and he yelled at me.  Normally I yell back and walk away laughing.  It doesn't get to me.  He is like that.  Today, before I knew what was happening I broke.  I felt the tears come and I turned my back and quickly walked away with him yelling behind me that he was joking.  He wasn't joking.

I walked quickly down the hall looking for a room with no one in it so that I could just cry it out.  I turned the corner and there were people I greeted them quickly and made my way upstairs to an empty room, cried, washed my face and cried again.  Why is everything getting to me now?  Someone came in to clean the room.  I told her how I hate to cry and she told me to cry, to get it all out and then to have some wine and chocolate.  I couldn't find wine but I did buy chocolate.  Now to write a paper and plan tomorrow.

Sunday, November 25, 2012


I hatch such wonderful schemes.  I have plans.  I have purpose.  I also have responsibilities that must be met before I can live in that in-between place where tomorrow is made.  For me, it is in the wee hours, neither day nor night.  ... it does take courage though.  It takes courage to determine which of today's musts can be overlooked for an investment in tomorrow.  I set aside a little time to ensure a life and not just an existence.   

A Strong Finish

Today I have to work but I also have to map out a plan to move forward from now to the end of the year.  Nothing that lies ahead of me is optional but each task must be conquered in an organized, well planned manner.  I cannot do stress this month.

Source: via patricia on Pinterest

I simply must stay focused and handle each task as if it weren't mine.  You know, you go into the office (when you're not a teacher) and you do what lies in front of you without thinking about how it affects your life or doesn't.

I don't have time to even dream right now but if I somehow manage to get these things done, then I will find when I take a moment to reflect that I have indeed moved closer to my goal and my "dream" is tangible.

In that plan for the next few weeks, I must include my health.  That is the only way that I am going to get through it unscathed.  I must schedule glasses of water and stretches and moments to laugh. I must go through checklists and delegate...  I must do a bit of pleasure reading.

Today I will do my assignments for this week and organize the rest of my week.  Dear God,  Please send snow.   Love, ME

Saturday, November 24, 2012

I Just Listened

I didn't now you...well, I don't know you and I didn't understand why we were having that conversation.  I just listened.  I deconstructed your face as I watched you speak and I listened.  I wondered why we were still there.  Were you being polite?  I should have warned you that I don't know how to say goodbye.  It feels rude.  It's never the right time to break off a conversation.  I listened but I prefer to write.  If I had known you I would have said,  "Me too!"  When you told me that God had put you there for a reason.  I don't know if my words would have been as sincere.  I have to believe that my struggle is not in vain, that what I have learned about being a mother and a woman will save someone a tear.  I believe that, most of the time, and sometimes I just say it because I need to believe it again.

I would have asked questions when you told me what you want to do because even though it isn't good listening, it made me think of what I want to do and I would have told you all about it.  I just listened.  I would have gotten your opinion.  I would like to know where you would begin if your vision was like mine.  

We are the same. You have lived something good that you want to share and I have lived somethings that I would like to help others to avoid...maybe we are not the same or maybe I just didn't ask the questions.

I would have laughed at you and scolded you for referring to yourself in the way that you did.  I thought hmmm you don't know me and yet you keep talking.  I tried to refer back to the original conversation but it no longer even made sense.

You said the intimate questions are the best ones.  I responded, "I know, aren't they?!!"  I will never ask them.  I will text something simple and you will text something suggestive and you will never see how hard I laugh when I receive your text.  I will respond to that text with the sole purpose of making you laugh harder.  ...and I will NEVER AGAIN correct your grammar!

But you will never know that I will flat iron my hair and workout daily because I understand from whence cometh my laughter and you won't know how you give me my power back.   This is where it must remain and as it must remain.  I've got to be a momma but for a moment in ways that only I am privy to, I get to be a woman too.  

Worth it...

It is always that I should have done more or said something different.  I spend most of my time feeling silly.  I seldom allow myself to be silly, though I love deeply the few people with whom I am comfortable enough to be truly silly....

2012 comes slowly to a close, slowly because the weight of responsibility has slowed me down.  I relived Tuesday's laughs all day Wednesday and then wondered what new laughs I missed because I wasn't in the moment.

After I caught up on my class work and was able to breathe I was able to relax for a moment and remember where I was going, am going.  I was just running, all out, away from poverty and want and constant feelings of not being enough when things are busy and of wanting a moment of quiet luxury once things have slowed.  For just a few moments I can sit back and just enjoy the ride.

If I've learned nothing else, I've learned that life doesn't just stop because you do and if done right, a time of quiet reflection, a momentary pause will help you to give purpose to that very moment which will give purpose to the rest.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Journal

This blog has really been a tool for me.  On one hand I totally intend to do like the rest of those who find success and put these days so far behind me that I won't even remember them but as I seek to help people who are going through these times too, when I have the luxury of doing so I will need to remember.

Another reason for the blog is just that it is cathartic to express some measure of what I am feeling, express as in get out, especially when I am overwhelmed.  This is a glorious moment; the children are asleep.  All I hear is the sound of the washing machine and dryer.  And the first of three assignments is almost finished.  I sip my coffee and wake up.

With any luck I'll have time to do the girls' hair today AND mine.  I can handle this week...yes... YES, I CAN!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

It will be Okay...!!!

Source: via Tracy on Pinterest

I'm exhausted.  I woke up to screaming children.  "Get outta my room!"  I woke up in a less than sweet mood and I have to fit a lifetime into this weekend so that we can make it through the rest of the year with some measure of hope.  All day every day I say, "Be a peacemaker."  My words fall on deaf ears and I am not the person to teach them how to manage their anger or better relate to each other because I have exempted myself from those rules due to lack of sleep and general overwhelm.

... the children did get it together and started to clean the house.  I am out of words.  I talk and talk and my throat is sore and I'm tired.  I think I'll refrain for a while.  They interpret my silences much better than they do my words.

Lately I've felt my overwhelm physically.  For the first time since having 7 children I feel, um, beaten.  I don't know if that is the word but the constant bickering is getting to me and the only thing that I can do is worse.  How do I teach them to cope when I am not sure that I can?  Being able to cope is one of the most important lessons I can teach. 

Then there is the "compromise"  I must tolerate all of the decisions of my oldest because I need him to do what he is doing and take the little one to school.  That has been the biggest part of the blessing/curse.  I always have to bite my tongue and bury my pride and swallow my tears because when I weigh the benefits against the deficits I cannot afford to do otherwise, if we are going to advance as a family.  The disrespect concerns me most but first I must get through today.  There are real concerns like food and clothing and shelter and pride just has to be put aside. 

Life lacks balance right now.  If there is balance anything is possible but when there is not one must push with the hope that there will be.  This weekend is dedicated to tomorrow.  It is dedicated to eventual balance.  Today is so important.  This cannot be how my story ends.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Ready, Set, GO!!!

It's early and my coffee cup is empty.  I have so much to do today and I just need to get my mind right first.  I need to embrace optimism.

I can allow myself to read the New York Times in the morning until my coffee cup is empty but then I must start work.  ... my attention is divided. I need to wash but the washing machine is not working properly.  I have work to do for my classes and classwork to do for my job.  I also need to communicate with parents and do my lesson planning for the week.  The easiest and most productive thing to do today will be to design some learning games.

I have long suspected that I had what some might refer to as an attention deficit disorder.  When I was little I would stuff my ears, usually with tissue, if I needed to concentrate.  Yesterday I had to put on earphones but I enjoyed the music too much.  I need to find a corner to read in.  I may go to Panera, I may not.  I spend money that I cannot afford to spend there but I do get work done and I must get through this day having raised my grade from an E.  Overwhelmed with observations, Sandy, sick children and work I dropped the ball.  Today I must pick it up and run.  This is one of those moments where I am running for my life.  The tasks in front of me are not insurmountable but the closer I get to the end of the day the bigger they feel.

I look into my mug and wonder if I should have another cuppa or if it would just make me jittery.  I so enjoy the act of drinking a cup of coffee.  I don't even know that it wakes me up or gets me going.  I like the feel of the warm mug in my hand and the smell of the coffee.

I need to have a fabulous week.

Thinking about the little ones...

One of my children wakes up when I do every morning almost no matter what time it is.  He senses that I am awake and comes out of his room.  I send him back to bed one, two, three times.  He sits in his bed with a chapter book (I am almost certain he can't read whole sentences in the book).  He has decided to be a reader and carrying big books makes him feel smart.

My oldest daughter is finally beginning to care about how she looks and she has accepted that I cannot keep up with her hair so she has started to do it herself.

My second daughter has perfected getting under the skin of her siblings.  She can make them cry with impotent rage by little things she says and does.  They return the favor.

My oldest daughter's twin has found his goofy side and it is maddening.  Why is it that when boys that age play they don't care if the other person wants to play or not?

The baby, who they keep telling me is not a baby, is just the funniest person ever.  Yesterday he wanted chocolate.  His sixth sense is candy/McDonalds detection.  I sent him to go ask his oldest brother.  (I knew there was no more but he doesn't take no for an answer very well.)  My oldest son was taking a shower.  The conversation went something like this, each one yelling through the bathroom door. Mateo is 3 years old.

Isaac:  Hey Mateo hand me a towel.
Mateo:  Isaac, can I have some chocolate?
Isaac: There is no more chocolate.
Mateo:  [after a few seconds of silence].... so you don't need a towel?
Isaac: Ask mom if she'll take us to the store to buy chocolate.

I imagine that Isaac got his towel.  Mateo came back out to me and asked if I could take them to the store to buy chocolate.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

I've Got This

Source: via Chris on Pinterest

This is the part of the week when I feel that I have squandered Saturday, my biggest work day.  I feel that way because if I don't have 10 loads of laundry done and a research paper written, if I haven't gone to the grocery store and figured out what the children are going to eat for the next two weeks then ahead of me I see a mountain - or rapids.

The truth is yesterday I pulled up and printed my reading for my online class.  I made two attempts to begin my work but couldn't decide which format I preferred and finally I decided that I didn't have the background information to do my work without doing my readings first so I decided to start with those.

My lease is up in two weeks and I don't even know how to begin to think about where to move.  I need to dedicate a day+ to that but I have so many deadlines looming and so many I've missed.  In a moment I am going to go finish organizing my study space and settle into my work.... after I wash my hair.  I still have to go to the grocery store.

This time of year I feel like an ogre.  I wear jeans not dresses.  I wear my hair in a ponytail and I don't shave but every once in a while I realize that I might actually want to be noticed.  Today I will wash my hair, bleach my upper lip :-) and shave my legs.  I will be a girl again.  It feels endless and useless but for a moment it makes me feel confident.  In the Spring I will make the real transition which involves waxing, threading and  Barbara at the Dominican hair salon - I need to find a new salon though.

My exercise goal is to lose the wiggle on my arms by spring and decrease my overall body fat percentage.  Zumba, I'm back.

... and still I need to steer my cubs to safety.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Keep Going

I am cautiously optimistic.  I am behind in my graduate classwork and exhausted after a demanding week in the classroom.  I have thought of 50 things that I would like to accomplish this weekend.  I will begin first thing in the morning. I am tired.  In a moment I will turn on CNN and doze off.

I read the New York Times for the first time since election night - one article.  I haven't had time to do anything. I will keep going.  My daughter is cooking tonight.  I think I am too tired to eat.  I will take a shower and have tea before I sit down. I feel grateful  the week ended much better than it started.  The children are wide awake.

There is so much that I want to do this weekend. I pray for the fortitude and the ability to block out distractions.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Election Day!!

Why I Voted for Obama

As I listen to all of the talk of the election I hope that it comes down to millions of voters like me to whom no one asked any questions.  I hope that we come out in droves and quietly say our piece.  I stood there this morning and watched the place fill up.  I took my 11 year old son so that he could see the process.  We arrived about an hour before voting started and we had walked in the cold to our local polling location.  This morning was the first time this season that I have seen frost.  We talked.

I looked around the polling station and the beauty of where I live is that you see quite a few newer Americans.  I could hear their accents.   There were Indian accents and African accents and the man behind me was born in Jamaica and stood there proudly with his son.  We wanted to quietly make history again.

I signed onto Facebook this morning and read some of the comments under the pictures of our President and I was saddened and disgusted with people.  I think Facebook is not good for me. I signed off remembering why Facebook is something that I don't frequently do.

As my son and I walked back I listened to the rhythm of our steps as we crunched the leaves underfoot.  He told me how he used to cry when I would drop them off at Grandma's and I told him how I felt on all of those days and why I work as hard as I do.

I pray that one by one without fanfare we bundle up and brave the cold so that our children have the best chance.  I don't think that Romney is a terrible person but he has no idea what the struggle is and he doesn't seem to be the least concerned with that door ahead of me that just has the slightest light coming through it and the way give my all every day to be closer to it.  He would close it and I will not let anyone deny my children the opportunities they deserve but how much of my life do I have to give and who will pick up the torch if I have given all?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Make it all Better

It's all starting to feel quite a bit bigger than me.  I have been thinking all morning.  My concerns this week are what are we going to eat and will one tank of gas get me to payday?  I have to put my blinders on but how do I do that when I just want to bury my head in my hands and cry?   This time of year is the worst.  It always is.  I hate Christmas because people to whom I cannot give anything give to me and my children and I have to smile and thank them when really I feel like I owe so much.  I just want to go far away because I cannot afford the transaction that is civilized life. 

Yeah, I know this will pass.  I paid the babysitter $50 of the $160 I owe her but that leaves me $2.13.  I paid part of the electric bill and hopefully that will keep it on.  I have the car payment coming up.  I have too much work to do today to feel like this.  I have done 3 loads of laundry so far and I'm still working.  I am packing away summer clothes because as long as they can reach them they will wear them.  The car breaking down and purchasing the used car wiped out my savings.  I was so proud of that little savings. 

The kids are going to school without lunch every day and I am going without lunch as well but I can handle it.  This should motivate me.  This will motivate me.  I'm going to go wash my hair and sort laundry until I can quiet my mind again enough to read.  I have so much work to do for my students.  Right now though I would like to ostrich; I would like to hide out until things are better.  ...except that I know that they don't get better unless I make them better.  I take a deep breath and plow on vowing to make it better.

Another Beginning


If this is true, I am really living now.  It seems like every day I say that I will do something that I don't complete.  The error I usually make is sitting down.  Once I sit down I fall asleep.  I come in the house from work and feed the children and wash the dishes and put a load of laundry in and I must keep going because if I sit down or lay down I fall into dreams of a different life - the life that I am creating.

Last night after doing all of those things that must be done as I walk in the door I took a shower and then curled up with my laptop ready to work.  Soooo I slept with my laptop last night.   'sigh'.  This morning I am working but decided that before I really begin I must reflect.  I am just a little inspired to work out today.  I think that I am going to start working out again.  I usually give up on anything that involves leaving the house (other than work) for the entire winter.  There are some awesome things going on downtown for kids but I can't seem to get past the weather. 

Today I would like to be able to complete my lesson plan for my observation and write 2 research papers and respond to all of the discussion questions for the entire course.  If I can just do the first 2 things I will feel that I have accomplished something.  First cup of coffee finished I am about to have a cup of tea. 

I had gotten away from working on me.  I will begin my exercises today.  In a small way I had started to exercise again when I got my car.  It just helps me with the sacrifice.  I do my belly exercises while I drive. I need to work on the cardio.  I look in the mirror and I am not entirely unhappy with my body.  I need to tone. 

The most difficult part of single parenting is finding balance.  Time marches on and I must find a way to take care of me physically and to continue to grow spiritually and intellectually while I do the same for each of my children. 

The sun is coming out.  It's going to be a good day.