Thursday, March 19, 2009

Family Fun (AKA don't let vacation end!)

This week both Sergio and I were off from work for Spring Break, so we had a truly FANTASTIC time together as a family.  Serg and I spent the first couple of days tackling the mess that is our storage shed and our inside closets--it was a true spring clean.  We tossed 2 pick-up truck loads of junk!  Now, amid the trash, we also discovered a few treasures here and there--photos, letters, and trinkets that we hadn't seen for years and which prompted a spontaneous "remember when...?" or "have I told you about the time...?"  We also found a bundle of Pier 1 gift cards we'd been given for wedding presents (yes, almost 5 years ago!).  I
 figured it was worth a try seeing if any had money left on them, so after a few minutes talking to customer service, I found that we had a combined $100 + left on the cards!  That called for a shopping trip to Pier 1 where we bought a new set of plates, placemats, napkins, etc.  

The week also included Michael's first swim.  We outfitted him with swimming shorts & shirt, hat, 50 SPF sunblock, the works.  He definitely inherited my skin color, so I 
am taking NO chances when it comes to sunburns (OK, so maybe this wasn't all necessary at 5 PM but it sure looked adorable).  

While it's incredibly warm here in the Valley this week (I'm writing this post at 5:30 PM and it's currently 85 degrees), the water hasn't quite had a chance to catch up--it was definitely a bit chilly.  Serg insisted he'd get used to it, so I sat back and watched the crying without too much protesting.  However, once Michael's little chin started shivering with cold I had to intervene and make the decision that swimming 101 was over for the day.  :)  We ended the evening with some delicious Texas BBQ--Serg makes to-die-for fajitas that are nothing less than addictive.  Fajitas, barbequed chicken, rice, and hot-off-the-comal tortillas warmed us up very quickly.

Michael thoroughly enjoyed our trip to the park.  He adores being outside and could be walked in his stroller forever--constantly watching all the action and listening to the sounds.  We took our dog Prince and Jason's new puppy Rambo to romp and run to their heart's content.

Last Friday afternoon my colleague Carrie--principal of another school in the district--called me out of the blue.  "Bethany, I'm having such a hard time finding work/family balance and my son's four years old.  I can't imagine what you're going through with a baby."  We shared gratitude for great husbands that make it possible (both our hubbies own their own businesses and therefore sometimes have the flexibility in their schedules to take care of the kiddos when our jobs as principals require more time on campus than usual).   She then proceeded to remind me I wasn't alone and that she's there as a support, listening ear, anything.  I so appreciated her spontaneous phone call and have been thinking about the craziness of this past year and how I can better put my family first.  Opening a new school as a first-year principal while also living the ups and downs of a first-time mom has been challenging to say the least.  I cringe thinking of the times I've had to work late into the night at home--bottle in one hand, typing on the other.  I sometimes feel like I give more to other peoples' children than I do to my own.  Don't get me wrong--I truly love my career and am deeply passionate about what I do but I don't know that I wouldn't make some fundamental changes if we didn't currently need to be a two-income family.  During vacations like this past week, I get a glimpse of everything I miss on the days I'm at work and Michael's in daycare.  At the same time, I also get a better sense of the challenges that come with being a stay-at-home mom and trying to accomplish a number of tasks while being the primary caregiver 24/7.  Definitely has its own set of challenges I'm not sure I'm totally ready for either.  Ultimately, I've got to find a way to flourish at work and feel like I'm giving it my all without feeling like there's not enough time/energy left for my family.  Relaxing vacations are a definite first step!  :)