Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Transition

Well, I'm staying home with the kids this year. A stay-at-home mom. Tobin and I debated this decision quite a bit during last school year. It was a really rough work year for me, so when the decision was finally made, I was REALLY excited to be home with the kids this year. The count down to the end of the 08-09 school year was agonizing. I was so trunky! (By the way, what is the non-Mormon word for trunky? Anxious?) Then, suddenly it was the last week of school. I said goodbye to my seniors at graduation. It was the first time I've cried at an Antioch High graduation. I said goodbye, well "see ya later," to my colleagues with a little more crying.

I spent the next two months in a whirl wind of traveling, spending time with family, helping my parents after mom's surgery, trying to get my kids back into some sort of routine, and then a little more traveling. During all the summer craziness I tried desperately to come to grips with the fact that I am not working. I never expected to feel so sad and impotent. I felt like I had lost my identity. People made comments like, "She used to be a teacher, " and I started wondering who I am now. I am still a teacher, even if I'm not working this year. Why is it that the outside world has now determined that I am nothing? I went through a wide range of emotions trying to figure it all out, and sometimes wishing I was going to be at work again this fall.

Time rushes swiftly on, and it's now the first week of school in the Antioch district. I'm glad to be home with my twins. I'm certainly missing my teacher friends and a new group of students. I miss the gratification of knowing I am touching so many young people's lives (hopefully for the better). I miss the satisfaction of earning a paycheck, miniscule though it may be. But I know that the work I'm doing at home is more important. The influence I have on my children now is greater than the influence I may have as a teacher.

I've always wanted to stay home with my children. So then why do I feel such a keen sense of loss over leaving my job for now?

Where Babies Come From

We have a few friends who are pregnant or have been in the last year. This has prompted a lot of questions from Peyton and Maryam about babies - where they come from, how they get in the mommy's tummy, how they get out of the mommy's tummy, etc. I really thought we would get to avoid these types of conversations for a few more years at least. But, alas, I guess it is better for them to learn about the birds and bees at home, rather than some other place.

Yesterday Maryam and Peyton were telling me a story about when Tobin and I were babies and they were big. (This is their current favorite story basis: When Daddy and Mommy were babies, Peyton and Maryam were the parents.) They proceeded to tell me that I was in Maryam's tummy and Tobin was in Peyton's tummy. Maryam said she went to the doctor, they cut open her foot, and the baby came out. Peyton agreed that this was the same experience he had giving birth. I figured I better make the correction, and informed them that babies do not come out of people's feet. Of course, that prompted the next question: "Then where do they come out?" Well, there was no way around the truth here. So I told them that babies come of out the mommy's vagina. Peyton looked at me with concern in his eyes and responded, "But I don't have a vagina!" (These kids are quick!) Then I had to explain that only girls can have babies. Boys don't have the right parts. Peyton's next question? "Then what do the boys do?" We talked about how the daddies have to help the mommies because it's a lot of work being pregnant and sometimes the mommy doesn't feel that good. They seemed to understand it all pretty well.

Today, our friend went into labor, and we went to her house to stay with her and their two-year-old while her husband went to the airport to pick up her mom. As we pulled up to the house, Maryam said, "Mom we need to pull down her pants so the baby can come out of her vagina now." I calmly explained that it takes a long time for the baby to get here, and we would let the doctors take care of that. Later, she asked if we could go with them to the hospital and watch the baby being born.

I'm glad my kids are so intrigued by the workings of the human body. I guess it's time I started looking for one of those "birds and the bees" books for kids.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Lewis and Renee's Wedding

My younger brother Lewis and his fiance Renee were married August 15, in the Redlands temple. Yes, this is our third wedding this year! Most of the Walther clan met up in Ontario on Thursday evening. Friday we went to Newport Beach for the day. We had so much fun! The little ones played on the beach with Mormor and Tobin, while the rest of the adults had a great time in the ocean. I really had forgotten how much I love the beach, especially when I get to go there with my family. We had such a nice time!
Mor Mor and Maryam
Lydia, Tobin, Peyton, Grace, Hope
Lydia & Maryam

Tobin, Peyton, Maryam, Grace, Hope
Oompa Loompa & Mor Mor in the background

Saturday we met at the temple for a beautiful wedding. Lewis and Renee's sealer was awesome. He was sweet and clever and funny. I hope they can remember some of the things he said. After the wedding we had some time to hang out at the hotel and go swimming again. Then in the evening we were off to Renee's parent's beautiful backyard for the reception.
Renee & Lewis
Maryam, Lydia, Peyton, Tobin
Peyton and Maryam loving the disposable cameras
Charlotte, Lydia, Peyton, Marissa, Bruce
Tobin & Peyton

Lydia, James, Bruce, Renee, Katya, Lewis, Nina, Sarah, Emily, Anna

I loved being on vacation with my family. It was really fun to have us all together with no obligations but to have fun and spend time with each other. We have to do this again!