Saturday, May 9, 2015

A full heart

As I've pondered on the celebration of mothers coming up, I've been filled with feelings of gratitude.  How did I get so lucky?  and why the heck do I feel so frustrated some days?? It's true, I'm human. I get annoyed with the day to day routine sometimes and there are days when I feel the burden of parenthood more than anything else.  But as I woke up to Vivienne tickling my toes this morning, I felt a peaceful feeling- one which I've had often and wish I could never forget- of being grateful for being a mother.
Last weekend at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival
This gratitude really begins when I think of my own mother.  She is so amazing.  I know I tested her patience growing up from throwing tantrums as a child to bleaching my hair blonde without asking for permission (I looked terrible, by the way).  But as I look back, I can't remember a time when my mother was so upset with me that she told me something to hurt my feelings or to shame me.  She was just always there to support me. I am grateful for the life lessons she has taught me, her willingness to give her children everything that was possible and to make sure we had rich experiences growing up. I am grateful for her strength during trials and to see the positive attitude she has each and everyday.  Her motto has always been to not be downtrodden about things out of our control.  If we can't do anything about it, then it's time to move on and keep working.  I love her stories about growing up in Myanmar and to hear about her industrious family, working so hard to get to the states and to start a new life in the US.  She inspires me day to day to be a better mom and to work hard to give my everything to my own children.
Christmas 2014
I also think about my sweet mother in law, who raised five kids and taught them all valuable lessons day to day. I am grateful for the lessons she taught Carl through growing a garden, canning fruits and vegetables, and even sewing.  She taught him to be kind and to be a gentleman, to serve others in whatever way he could.  He has treated me like a queen since I've known him and makes me feel like the most drop dead gorgeous person that ever existed. I am grateful for the friendship my mother in law and I have. I love to sit and chat with her and I love how giving she is of her time.  She has shown me that motherhood can strengthen a woman and that it can extend beyond being a parent- mothers can be the best of friends too.  All her children are such good people with good hearts full of kindness and love.  They definitely learned this not only from being threatened to be knocked in the head with a 2x4 (haha!), but by example.

I got married when I was 19, which I realize is incredibly young, but it has been the best decision I've ever made.  Carl has been an inspiring person to spend night and day with and has helped me to become the mother I really wanted to be so very much. We decided to grow our family a few years later and I have found now that that decision was also a choice to grow myself.  I am a changed person because of my children.  I am grateful for the lessons they teach me in looking for the joy in the simple things like the excitement over an ice cream cone or building a block tower taller than themselves.  I wish I could bottle up that pure joy and breathe it in whenever I'm frustrated that I've asked Ezra to put his shoes on for the umpteenth time or when Vivienne decides that coloring her hand and the couch with a sharpie is a good idea.  It helps to take time and ponder the joyful things though and I will be making more of a conscious effort to remember these things.  May we all have more gratitude in our hearts for the people who have made us mothers. Happy Mother's Day!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Back Better Than Ever!


christmas 2014

After having a nice texting chat with my sister-in-law a few weeks ago, I decided that it was time to jump back into blogging.  Sure, I've been busy, but it's not like I'm trying to make a career out of this! I blog for enjoyment and to keep those who are interested in my life- namely a few friends and family- up to date on the happenings of our life.  Also, it's a great record keeper- I'm basically writing my family bible. Ha. But really, I used to be into journaling so that I wouldn't "forget a moment" and that fizzled out once I got married. Whoops. A lot of precious moments forgotten I guess.

What the heck are we all up to now? Well, we are still in Oregon! Yay.  I love it here.  I miss my dear friends and ward in Wisconsin, but Oregon is wonderful in every way- close to the mountains, ocean, beautiful weather, and best of all- close to family.  I never thought we would be homebodies, but it has been a blessing to be close to both our families for once.  We live with my in-laws (how much closer can we get?? hahaha) and Carl's siblings are all within an hour's drive.  There are aunts, uncles, and cousins every which way we look because something about this Leder family keeps everyone in the same area, many in the same town, for generations.  My parents, sister, and brother-in-law, are only a mere 9-1/2 hour drive down south- only a 1-1/2 HOUR plane ride! It has also been wonderful for our kids to be so close to their cousins.  I love seeing Ezra and my nephew play and use their imaginations together. 

Makes you think National Geographic cover, right??
Little miss Vivienne just turned 3! Full of sass, attitude, and an unbelievable talent to be so adorable all at once- we sure are glad to have Vivi in our family! I can hardly believe that she's 3 already... and that I have a third baby on the way! Eek!
Vivienne's favorite..

  • color is purple
  • food is cucumbers and pickles. Oh and goldfish. duh.
  • beverage is chocolate milk
  • activity is playing in water (endless bathtime, sprinklers, the sink...)
  • show/movie are my little ponies and the book of life
  • book is "where's spot?"

She is a master of getting under Ezra's skin and making sure all the attention is on her. She loves to have the spotlight! She is our big talker.  I can hardly remember a time when she wasn't talking now.  She was an early bloomer when it came to talking! We thought she was an early bloomer when it came to using the potty, since she started wearing undies at around 18-20 months, but that has been a 1+ year process.  I guess some parents claim their children are potty trained when they use the potty 50% of the time, but until my kids are 100% day potty trained, I claim almost potty trained. So, as of one week now, she is 99% day potty trained! I'll take it. Potty training is my least favorite parenting venture.

Ezra is in preschool and a teacher's pet- they all love him! Unfortunately, preschool takes a lot of his time and energy, so come the end of the day, we have noticed a lot more attitude from our little guy. Nonetheless, he is such a good kid! I love this kiddo.  He will be so good with the new baby! I love his imagination and expressions.  This kid is so outgoing and social.  I never have to worry he won't make friends. We decided to "homeschool" him for kindergarten this upcoming year.  I say "homeschool" because I enrolled him in the Oregon Virtual Academy (ORVA) which is through k12.com.  It is essentially public school brought to your home.  So, I'm not coming up with my own curriculum, but I do have a lot more active role in instruction and support.  We weren't really sure where we would end up after Carl and I graduate, and enrolling him in public school has been up for debate since we started having kids, so I figured, why not just try "in-between homeschooling" and see how he does? The one thing about Ezra's preschool is that I don't feel like he has been challenged enough.  I like the idea of him attending kindergarten for 2-4 hours a day so that we have more time to do activities he really wants to do like gymnastics or going to museums. And if I completely fail at this, at least it was just kindergarten. Ha! Good plan, I know.

my favorite 2014 picture!
Carl is doing great.  I am so proud of this guy. PA school has been crazy hard with long hours, but I'm so glad it's only a 26 month program, ending in July!! Carl has completed clinical rotations in family medicine, cardiology, women's health, internal medicine, and now currently emergency medicine.  I don't know how he does it some days! We have had good years and rough years, but 2015 is beginning to feel a little too good with all sorts of prayers answered.  No complaints here though, we are happy to be out of the mud for a bit!

I can finally see a time in our life where there is a solid plan and no moving to a new state.  I have loved our moving adventures over the last 7 years, seeing our country from coast to coast and getting to know people from all walks of life.  It has been a blessing.  Not many people can say they've lived in 7 states (13 moves? I keep losing count) in 7 years.  But- I am glad to say we are settling down in Oregon.  This is our home now.  Carl received two job offers this week, so we definitely will be staying in the area! That is probably are most exciting news!

I am surviving most days :) 26 is not very old, but something about have two kids and a baby on the way has aged my body. I guess I need to actually try harder to get back into tip-top shape after this baby is born.  This baby is very active and kicks me hard every hour.  The pregnancy has been quite different than my other two, namely the morning sickness for the first 20 weeks.  I am grateful for zofran but grateful to not be dependent on it any more.  I've actually had sciatic pain too- I can now relate to other moms in that matter.  It hurts a LOT.  My abdomen grew very quickly as well, so I have many more stretch marks than before. We are stoked to meet our tie-breaker in July though! Either way, baby girl or boy will be adorable and loved :)

This is my last and final semester as well! I am beyond excited to never go back to school if I don't want to.  I am glad to be finishing my BSN though.  It just needed to be done.  Overall, I'd say the workload hasn't been too horrendous and this semester is my (thankfully) lightest one, with only one class at 3.0 credits.  I took 9 credits in the fall and 7 credits last semester.  There is some busy work, but I'm at a point where I could care less if I get an A anymore. It's funny the things that used to matter don't really mean anything anymore.  I was working to get an A again last semester and was doing well until the last three weeks of the semester when I thought, "what am I trying to prove?" I knew I could do it, but why did I want it? Just to say "Boom! I got straight A's!" ? So I skipped all of my last few busy work assignments and received a beautiful B.  It was the best way to end my semester!

I hope you all are doing well! I look forward to chronicling our life more in upcoming months! We've had a trip to Spain, grandparent visits, and all sorts of fun :)