Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Working Mom's Lament

Once upon a time, I wanted to stay-at-home with the boys to have more quality time with them, allow them the opportunity to sleep past 5:30 a.m., and allow myself the opportunity to volunteer at their school.  These were things my mom did with me and I hoped to one day be able to do them with my children.  While I was able to stay at home with the boys for a year, I feel as though it was not enough.  Now that we are back in the swing of school/work, Tim and Josh are both in elementary school and some days I feel as though my head is going to explode.  I miss waking up with my boys and making them lunch.  I miss walking them to school.  I miss being put together.

The grass is always greener on the other side.  It ALWAYS is.  When I was home with the boys, I missed teaching and completely lost myself.  I've always been "Sassy Berry," the teacher.  Being a stay-at-home mom was a new role--one that I'm not sure I adapted to very well.  That being said, it's overwhelming being a working mom and while I KNOW that being a stay-at-home mom is NEVER easy, some days I just wish that I was home with my boys.

I feel like I'm letting my children down--like I'm not the best mom that I can be.  Why?  Because I come home from work and I'm exhausted.  It's all I can do to get them to do their homework and get dinner on the table.  Yesterday, I made myself take them to the park--they biked and I pushed Danny in the stroller.  I had cleaning and laundry I needed to do, but I knew it was more important to spend good, quality time with my boys.

I'm trying to let things go--like the cleanliness of the house, but it's hard.  I want to spend time with my boys, but I also have a house to run.  It is what it is.  I am thankful that I have a job with the shortage of music jobs/programs in the county and state....I am thankful to have three beautiful boys.  I must keep swimming.  You do what you have to do to keep the family going.  We need a house, food, clothes....and I must provide for my family.  The glass is half full...  Just keep swimming...  I think I can, I think I can.....

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Craziest. Day. Ever.

What mom schedules TWO well child checkups at 8:20 followed by TWO dentist appointments at 9:30?  THIS MOM!  What am I--crazy?  YUP.

So, today started off with the Berry boys headed for an adventure to the doctor and dentist.  The doctor appointments were for Tim's 8 year check up and Danny's 2 year check up.  While both are doing fine, growing well, and developmentally great, Danny was getting very antsy.  The office was very hot, so I was sweating like a crazy person.  Then, I couldn't remember if we had well water or city water.....and I couldn't remember if Danny had his one year blood work done.  (BEST.  MOM.  EVER.).  Anyway, turns out we have CITY water, which means we have fluoride and don't need fluoride supplements.  And according to the doctor, Danny never did have his 1 year blood work done, so I guess I'll be taking care of that later this week.  Again--BEST.  MOM.  EVER.

So, we finish up at the doctors and head to the dentists.  Tim and Josh both have cavities that need to be filled.  The visit starts off well--both boys were complete troopers.  Danny decided to let out his inner demon (honestly--the kid could put a 35 year old opera singer to shame).  They had to close the door because Danny was being so loud (and at this point, I'm super embarrassed).

Both boys finish up and we have to wait to be called to check out.  Tick. Tock.  Tick.  Tock.  Yup--we finish up at 10:20 and it's 10:45.  We should have been checked out by now.  Danny decides to poop.  Great.  He comes to sit down next to me and OH.  MY.  GOSH.  There is a LOG hanging out of his diaper!!!!  There is now POOP on the chair!  This frazzled, embarrassed mom just became completely mortified.  I had to ask the office staff if there was something I could use to clean up the poop.  They said they'd clean it up, but I did say that I didn't mind.  I asked for a bathroom key and proceed to swing Danny over my arm, grab a diaper, and head for the bathroom.  I get in the bathroom, strip him down--there's poop all over his clothes (yuck).  I have to use the trash can that's used for paper towels that people dry their hands with because I have no other options.  I'm literally bathing him with paper towels to clean up his mess. In this smelly, yucky process, someone walks in.  I apologize.  I keep cleaning him up.  Finally, he's clean and I put on his diaper and shoes.

Who doesn't bring a change of clothes for her 2 year old?  THIS MOM!  So....Danny goes back in the waiting room with his diaper and shoes on.  We get lots of stares.  I'm mortified.  I apologize profusely for the poop explosion, but that doesn't make me feel less mortified.  Finally, it's 11:00.  They apologize to us for misplacing our files (after Timmy had been called back TWICE more even though he'd already been seen), they gave the boys another popsickle, and we went on our merry way.

Phew.  I am so blessed to have three, beautiful, healthy boys.....but I really hope I don't have another day like today any day soon (that's a lot of days).

Monday, June 24, 2013

Life Since March

Wow!  What a crazy 3 months it has been.  Scot started a job in April working for the Department of Energy and he loves his new job.  I finished up the year at TJ and am looking forward to taking part in a Curriculum workshop in July in which we will solidify our Theory and Music History curriculum--to make sure that the curriculum works best for the kids and provides them with a smooth transition from Theory I to Theory II, etc.

Josh finished up his final year in Pre-K and was absolutely adorable in his graduation ceremony.  Timmy finished up 2nd grade and was excited to learn that his 2nd grade teacher will also be his 3rd grade teacher.  Danny....well, he keeps us busy.  He turned 2 the same day Tim turned 8 (May 26th) and he's a funny, sweet, adventurous little boy.

We had the pleasure of filing our 2012 taxes and found out that last year, we only brought in $33,000.  For a family of 5, this is nearly impossible to live off of.  At the time, I was scrambling wondering what we were doing wrong as a family and why we weren't able to pay our bills.  When your mortgage is about $30,000 for the year, it's impossible to live off of $3,000.  For the first time in my life, we were unable to pay the credit card balance off each month and racked up quite a bill.  2013 started with us unable to pay our mortgage, but we were approved for a loan modification (thank the Lord)!

Our time in need was a very eye opening experience.  We received numerous notes, gift cards, love, and prayers from family and friends.  A dear friend had groceries delivered to our house and others sent us gift cards to Walmart and Target--these were able to get us through difficult weeks and we were able to eat things other than pasta.  Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Before our financial situation, I would have been the first to have been disgusted by someone having a SmartPhone while struggling to pay their bills.  While dealing with our struggles, I found that the cancellation fee alone we wouldn't have been able to afford--not to mention the need for email and Internet so you search for a job and respond to job inquiries.  The biggest lesson I learned was really not to judge others because you have no idea what they're going through.

While I wouldn't wish our situation on anyone, it was very humbling and eyeopening.  It brought us closer as a family and I honestly think Scot's new job is much less stressful and better for him.  He has Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday off and our summer is going to be AMAZING!

Special thanks again to our friends and family who are always there for us through thick and thin--and who put up with me even if I'm just plain nasty (because I'm super stressed out).  We love you!  xoxo

Sunday, March 24, 2013


Joshua is quite possibly the funniest 4 year old I know.  The other day, he and I were having a conversation in the bathroom and he was doing the "pee-pee" dance.  I asked if he needed to go to the bathroom, and he replied, "no."  He quickly changed his mind and asked if he could use our bathroom--"of course", I said!  He proceeded to pee, but had two pretty big sneezes (and of course, a boy standing up who sneezes doesn't quite have control over the stream of urine).  He then exclaims, "the bleshooo's made the poop come out of me!" and he had to turn around real fast to poop in the potty.  Ah........Joshisms.  Gotta love 'em.

So--a quick update with a disclaimer:

Don't ever assume my blog is about you.  I'm not stupid enough to write my blog about a specific person I am friends with on facebook and then SHARE it on facebook.  

Update #1:  I learned quickly with Berry Boy #2 that each baby/child is different.  Danny has no fear.  He will RUN away from me and laughs because he thinks it's funny.  I finally broke down and got a child harness/leash.  It's a safety issue.  I honestly could care less about the looks/stares I get--if it means my child is safe and can NOT run away from me, so be it.  

Update #2:  Danny is continuing to have night terrors and is up 2-3 times a night.  If anything, I feel so bad for what I put my parents through the first 12 years of my life.  Our bed has become the communal family spot (don't judge--it is what it is).  We're hoping and praying that Danny becomes a better sleeper, but for now....we have to do what works for us.  And yes, that is also Josh in the picture.  :-/  
Update #3:  I can't believe that Timmy will be 8 and Daniel will be 2 on May 26th.  It seems like just yesterday Tim was born.  Every once in a while, I'll come across an old picture of Tim and can't believe how much Danny looks like him.  With that being said, Danny makes the same goofy faces I do!

I hope that all of you are doing well.  We have been blessed with love and support from friends and family as we continue to struggle with making ends meet.  God is good and Scot should be starting his new job soon.  Please know that all the notes and prayers have not gone unnoticed.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!

Monday, February 18, 2013

And the Mom of the Year Award goes to......

One of my most feel-good memories of childhood is sitting by the fire and my mom blow-drying my hair.  BEST.  FEELING.  EVER.  I've always loved when people play with my hair and even pay my children to do it now.  Yes--I pay my children to play with my hair.  I also fall asleep when my hair dresser cuts my hair and blows it dry.  :-)  That, of course, is probably because it's the longest I ever sit still anymore.  Anyway, I digress.....this memory popped into my head and I thought--why not do this with my boys?  It's so cold it will be nice to blow dry their hair for them after their bath.

Josh (my 4 year old) is hilarious because he's very particular about his hair.  He wants his hair "flat."  Well, as I'm blowing his hair dry--I am reminded that he needs a hair cut (wait--I'm reminded every time I look at him that he needs a freaking hair cut), so I pull out my scissors and begin to play hair dresser.  Ahhh--a child's dream....the ability to have a "client" in front of you and the ability to be the hairdresser and actually cut the "clients" hair.  Okay--maybe I was have a little too much fun living out a childhood memory.  Anyway, I snip a little around the ears--just a little trim.  Then, I realize...I've given my child a mullet.  WHAT?!  I've actually cut my child's hair and now he has a MULLET!  Okay--calm down...time to fix this....cut a little here....cut a little there...... was fun while it lasted,  We now have a 4 year old with a 1970's "bowl" cut.  Yup.  Mom of the year award.  Josh runs to look in the mirror and screams, "YOU LIED TO ME!  I LOOK LIKE DANNY NOW!"  I assure him that he does not.....and what do I do.....I proceed to cut Timmy's hair.  Not only do I get the Mom of the Year Award, but I also get Idiot of the Year Award.

So now, my family looks like we belong in That 70's Show....but not in a good way.  We need to fix their hair tonight or they won't hear the end of it at school.  Ugh--and I was trying to do a good thing.

Oh--and I refuse to take pictures to document this event.  Poor boys!  :-(

Note to self:  No more playing hairdresser.  Blow-drying hair is fine, but no scissors for mommy.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Life's Too Short...

This has been a difficult month for many people.  A friend of mine lost her father suddenly, a local family in Myersville lost two of their daughters in a house fire, one of my friends had a miscarriage, and a very dear friend's brother is in the hospital in a coma from a horrible skiing accident.

Moments like these remind me of my reasoning for wanting to be a Stay-At-Home-Mom.  Life is too short.  You need to cherish every moment you have with your family and your little ones because it can be taken from you in an instant.

That being said, we are embarking on the busiest time of year for musicians.  As the Arts and Communications Academy puts finishing touches on Sweeney Todd, we are having massive evening rehearsals.  We just started the audition process for the TJ Musical, Young Frankenstein.  The ACA (Arts and Communcations Academy) will also have three weekends of auditions (basically college auditions---in which students have applied to the academy and must audition for acceptance....or denial for our Music Magnet).  While I love my job, I am torn with all of these tragic events and the realization that I am missing precious moments with my beautiful family.

Some really amazing opportunities have been presented in my professional world.  Our Academy has currently been asked to pilot a new technological program (very fun, exciting, and NEW!).  I have also been asked to be interviewed by my alma mater, Elon University.  They are putting together a video and have asked about a dozen people to be included.  I am SO honored to be given this amazing opportunity!  Honored and humbled!

My point is that even with my recent blog posts just complaining about why people do things the way they do...I've been humbled because life is too short.  Let people do things THEIR way--it's THEIR life.  I will continue to do things my way--my good, ole' practical self.  But please--don't complain about the petty things in life.  Life's too short.  <3

***Special prayers the the above mentioned friends that are dealing with incredibly difficult hardships.  I love you all and think about you and pray for you daily***

***Also, please know that I am praying for those that keep their hardships to themselves.  I, too, do this, but please know that I feel your pain and I love you and pray for you as well.***

Monday, January 7, 2013

Eat Clean Challenge: Day 1

It's no secret that I've had difficulty (lack of control) in losing weight after giving birth to Danny.  I suppose it's a mixture of the lack of sleep, change in schedule (being a stay-at-home mom for a year), and just plain laziness.  I was excited when a friend of mine posted a 30 day challenge--to eat cleanly with the help of Arbonne products.  I had already purchased the protein powder and fiber boost and have plenty of it.  I decided to try the fizzys (they're a great, natural alternative to soda), detox tea, 7 day detox, detox bath soak, and the metabolism boost.  After Christmas, I made it a point to hop on the elliptical for 25 minutes a day.  That kind of went south last week when I jumped back into work and had All County rehearsal among other crazy things.  I had a great weekend, though and managed to get back on board.  Now, here's hoping I can keep it up and lose 20 pounds!!!

With that being said, I had an egg white veggie sandwich for breakfast and a large diet coke (I know, but I have to have a treat somewhere).

To hold off the hunger and soda cravings, I had 2 fizzy sticks.

Lunch included a chocolate protein shake.

And for dinner, I'm making a lovely vegetable soup including many colors of the rainbow:  Yellow-Onion, Green-Cabbage, Orange-Carrot, Red-Bell Pepper.  Okay, I'm missing blue and purple.  Sue me.

I'm a firm believer that the more colorful the meal is, the better it is for you.
 That's what I say and that's what I'll stick to!

Day 1:  Success so far!  I still have to get on the elliptical.  I just hope I can keep my energy up to do so!!!!!