An avid blog reader and internet user who can't be that hard. Famous first and sometimes last words.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

take care of the living first

...or why my house isn't always clean

My grandma was a Native American with a unreliable mind. She was eccentric and strange to some, never kept a clean house and loved the order of things stacked one on top of another. On more than one occasion I remember her telling me to "always take care of the living first" and that is how I remember her. Watering her plants, feeding the cats, birds, fish, guinea pigs, and dogs, and doing what she could to keep my belly full.This responsibility to the living creatures she surrounded herself with was was her burden and purpose. While my grandpa got up in the morning to drink coffee and do busy errands that amounted to nothing, my grandma stayed home, milled around and cared for the living.

By many standards my grandma was what you would call crazy. I always knew she was a bit different but never realized the depth of it until I was an adult. But I love her madness to this day and those words are a simple phrase I live my life by.  Being in a career that involves both paper and people work, I always keep in mind to care for the living first. At home I will walk right by a sink full of dishes to feed a meowing cat without an ounce of guilt. I want to live this life simply, surrounded by happy animals and being present for the living and ever-changing details.

Although I have room for improvement, I am proud of this life so far. Don't get me wrong, some days I wish I was a compulsive cleaner that cared about the details that make for an always-clean-house, but its not me and it never will be.I go for the things that make for happy memories, even if that means a mess will be made. My childhood lacked a lot of things, including an overly common word children hear so much of- NO! In every situation Sawyer finds her wild little self in these days, I step back and think to myself- is she going to hurt herself doing this? If the answer is no then I allow her to carry on. There is no consideration to the mess it will make or how many little things I will have to pick up because of it- I want to let her explore, fulfill her curiosity, and not constantly be told NO! So have I let her play in the dogs water dish? Yes! She loves it! Did I lay a towel down to avoid a slippery disaster- yes! When Aaron looked at me like I was crazy, did it phase me? Nope! I come from a long line of crazy and my only hope is that I channel it well.

So cheers to the living! I will care for, cherish, feed, love-on, and adore all the heart beats (big & small) in my space until they don't beat any more.

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Heart-felt fear

The boss lady herself!
I got my dream job 10 months ago tomorrow and in a little over 4 months I am getting a promotion!

Last night I was overwhelmed by how much I love that job, my "boss" and how good I wanted to be for her at that job,  yet how ill equipped as a person I am for the responsibility. One of my biggest insecurities in life is my ability to truly be a good mom. Through psychology classes and personal sessions I sorted through those feelings. The fear that you can only be what you have seen terrified me. I didn't want to be my mom because simply, that meant not being there and if I know anything about being a good mom, it starts by showing up and sticking around.

I feel like as a kid I read an article about working at NASA, it read perfectly, glamorous if you will, grew up, got that dream job, and was sent to work with no training and that old, inspiring, article folded up in my pocket. I have so little experience to go off of but all the work ethic in the world!  

There are a load of things I know I can do right as a mom. Tie up a pair of skates just-right tight, kiss any size ouchie, do picture day hair, ignore any mess because they are having so much fun, encourage adventure, make it to the county final with a science project... you get the picture. But the other things...I worry. I want more than anything to be The Giving Tree, to keep on loving even when it makes no sense. Yet I worry...

So I cried.While Aaron fed the dogs during a break in the Kings game, I cried. I let that all too familiar fear rise all the way up and out. I remembered the young 17 year old Sara that went off to Boston to be nanny, all to test a fear. Over three years I "tried-on" motherhood by being a nanny to three kids and I left feeling whole and confident. I had a giving tree within me that I would nurture until it was my time. Yet the fear still overwhelms me in the quiet moments.Simply, I just want to be a good mom!

Today is Aaron's Mom & Dads 38th wedding anniversary. Though stories of them may be slim on this blog, they are two of my favorite people. I adore them. One of the sweetest compliments I have ever got was from them saying how much Aaron and I remind them of their young love. I use them as a model for what I want for my family, Aaron's mom as a role model for motherhood, and the comfort of being part of something complete in this world- a family.

Wish me luck in this journey because besides hope, its all I- by myself, have got.


And HAPPY ANNIVERSARY to Mike and Katie Fredericks! I do just adore you both and the love you have for each other is inspiring to say the least!  Here's to many more anniversaries together!

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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

The wait for weight

A women's weight is a heavy topic. No pun intended. 

I remember in the first few months I was pregnant with Sawyer gaining weight at an amazing rate. Going from 105lbs, give or take, to almost 130lbs in 4 months was an experience. The day that we took the dogs on a walk and I felt poured into my favorite pair of jeans was the turning point into maternity clothes and an interesting revelation into how my weight is directly tied to my sense of health and beauty.  Gaining weight and not working out go together naturally but it felt like defeat. At the same time, I did not want to work out, I kept saying "I don't want to shake this baby up at all- she is here to stay." I was scared to loose that baby so if it took weight and laziness to keep her, then that is what I was going to do. Throughout the pregnancy I would gain a total of 55 lbs, and no matter how many times my mid-wife or the Dr. told me it was necessary and I was "too skinny" to begin with, each pound still felt like an unwelcome guest.

So here I am making baby #2. I should interject now to include the fact that this post is spontaneous and rooted in a perfect storm of personal feelings and parent comments. Last night before bed I asked Aaron if he thought my belly was too small for how far along I am, wanting him to somehow recall what my 19 week Sawyer belly looked liked. We could have easily looked up the pictures from our weekly belly shots with Sawyer but I was eager to go to sleep, so I brushed it off and away I went. Or so I thought. It had stuck with me, surfaced in my dreams and in those brief moments of waking through the night. My belly is small, does that mean my little boy isn't healthy? And every variation of that thought paced my sleepy head. Then this morning I had a mom at school say that I was looking skinny... you've lost look good...all of this before I could tell her that I was pregnant. When I did she replied "Are you sure? You don't look like it." And there I stood wishing my pants didn't fit.

I returned to my office, filled with moms and delicious food to celebrate Mother's Day in Mexico. Even though I had a bagel for breakfast I  welcomed the huge plate of food the moms had made for me. I filled my belly up with celebration for motherhood, all the worry and joy that comes with it, and let go of my belly sizing angst.

At 19 weeks today, I am one week from the 1/2 way point! That is almost unbelievable to me. This belly will surely grow twice as fast in the second half of this pregnancy and I will be reassured that each baby belly is as different as the baby that grows within it.

Forgive the bathroom shots and rainy day clothes- this was the best I could do for such a spontaneous post.

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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Here's to the small things...

The thought struck me last night- Sawyer is 9 months old and we have not dropped her! Now this must read as such a simple and small measure of "good" parenting but it strangely felt really good. I highly doubt that every child by the age of 9 months has been dropped accidentally, rolled off of something, or just plain had a unexpected tumble- but I was really proud that ours hadn't.

I remember when Sawyer was just a tiny babe and I watched Aaron walk away from her while she was on the changing table, so he could go get her a change of clothes. With informative care I told him what you have to worry about when you walk away from them in a place they could roll off of. "You would feel horrible if something happened and she fell." Here we are, 9 months of sky high throws, turning our back on the changing table, and "just sit here for a minute" moments and Sawyer has never had a tumble. I am proud!

When I was a nanny, on one of many trips with all the kids to the beach, I packed 9 month old Jackson into the stroller to walk with the girls to the concession stand for ice cream. Well I hadn't buckled Jackson in, he was going through a wiggly phase, and he came out the front of the stroller and I rolled right over him with the stroller. I FELT HORRIBLE! He thought it was funny! Olivia, 6 at the time, says- "That's why you are supposed to buckle him in." I picked him up, covered in sand and away we went to the concession stand- leaving the stroller in that spot until the walk back. That moment was strangely formative. On the ride home the girls asked me,  "Are you going to tell Mom about Jackson's fall this morning?" And for a moment I actually thought about it. Of course with  6 and 7 year old witnesses she was going to know one way or another but naturally I was going to tell her. She laughed it off and said something along the lines of- if that is the worst mistake you ever make then you will earn a place in the Nanny record books. But I took a different kind of caution for the details after that.

Here I am now, a mother to my own child realizing, I can't say for certain I carried that into being a parent to Sawyer. I am relaxed, not afraid of germs, think perfection is for the birds, know that accidents happen and act cautiously but not overly.

So I celebrate that at 9 months we have not dropped Sawyer! YAY US! And maybe that is something we all need to do, seek out and celebrate the small accomplishments rather than acknowledge our own self-criticisms.


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Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Masa y manteca

My lunch made me realize I was looking for comfort. Two tamales, rice, beans and watermelon water, although it sounds much better in spanish- aqua de sandia.

A mexican girls comfort food, all piled up on a stryofoam plate.

Kids, parents, board members, teachers, and still... ringing phones. Today was a rare day that I didn't leave my personal life at the door, it somehow had arrived in my office before me, unpacked and settled in- waiting patiently for my arrival. Your grandfather is dying, why did you pass up that interview, have you talked to the Detective, the nanny, you don't have a Masters degree...
but I had work to do, professional Sara needed everything to wait until the end of the day or at least till lunch time.

I was present for it all but completely in my head and somehow in the heads of everyone else- the interactions, the beauty, the love, the insanity and emptiness we all feel and how trivial it can be at times. My head was chaotic but my lipstick was perfect and it all felt strangely calm. That overwhelming sense of being part of something great(er). This is part of everything. The human experience was showing it self in a fit of commotion  and I was overwhelmed by it various shades and their ability to all exist at the same time.

So once the hunger and a quiet moment came, I went to find comfort and think. The mexican bakery on the block was perfect. The smell of sweet bread and tortillas was exactly what I needed. I smeared my lipstick and sorted my thoughts while the masa and manteca filled my belly and souls emptiness. I walked back into my office knowing- We are all trying to move forward, to find our truth, to be better, to share... to share something (ANYTHING!) helpful, meaningful, or at the very least, honest.

A tall man of God who got complicated with age.
My grandfathers time has come, this job isn't forever- but that one wasn't for you, Natalia is wonderfully amazing, I may never see my mom again, you CAN get your Masters with 2 children...and many more.

Call your Grandfather and get to work!

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Friday, April 5, 2013

The Ark

I truly have happened my way through life. A bit of naivety paired with an overly rosy, positive outlook on things has gotten me this far- not planning. I love it that way! I make vague attempts at plans on occasion but if they don't go as planned- well, whatever.

So, the news of baby #2 fits right in with that. We didn't plan for it, but boy do I love the plan that the universe has for us! Sawyer came to us the same way, no trying or expectation but so welcome! We have already named our future summer home The Ark, a not-so-subtle acknowledgment to the 2x2 approach we have for life in our home.The two of us have collected 2 dogs, 2 cats, and created 2 babies. Later on in life it will be 2 donkeys, 2 goats, 2 get the point!

Oh yeah, by the way, we are having another baby!

In early October we will welcome Baby #2 into this family!

To me, no plan is the best plan! 


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Friday, March 15, 2013

Fluff filled nothingness

Dedication. Consistency. Time. An interest to stay up past 9:00 p.m. A belief that my life is worth sharing.

These are all things I need to be a blogger.

I have discovered in the past few weeks, I am about as good as blogging as I am at writing in my journal. Actually- I am better at writing in my journal. So I suck at blogging. I recognize that my lack of blogging is not leaving a gaping hole of emptyness in the blogging world...and this only helps the days pass with more ease. So what to I do about it? Address it and move on.

There are good reasons but more on that later.

Its funny though, when I log into my blogger account I see drafts from days past that I read and enjoy. Why didn't I just push publish and be done with them? Who knows, but I recognize that it makes no real difference whether they sit there as drafts or get published to the 3 lovely followers I have. Either way, I am happy that I didn't just given in to the passing of too much time. Here I am! I will continue to show up in some irregular fashion.

Recently in the Still House...
I have been seriously missing the 1/2 house. All 400 sq feet of it. Full of reminiscing and without any reality.

Moosh, the other man around the house has found himself to be a very handsome, snuggly house cat. This is wildly new to me. At the 1/2 house Moosh lived a life full of adventure.

Sawyer has seriously taken to music! So far Raffi and Beatles are her favorites. It's also a great distraction during daddy's world famous pedicures.
Our back yard has turned into a jungle and we have none of the equipment to tackle it. Both elements are on our to-do list. 1) Get stuff to tackle the jungle.2) Tackle the jungle. Unearth the earth is my motto for this project. No photos of the currents state of the jungle.

Have a happy, sunny weekend!

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Thursday, January 17, 2013

A sacred exchange

Last night a beautiful thing happened.  Although it  was only a conversation it stuck with me and I have found myself daydreaming about the possibility more than once this morning. I can see it so clearly in my head and it is a beautiful sight.


Aaron and I have had baby planning on our mind, which is surely a symptom of having family and friends with inquiring minds. My answer to the question of when we are having our next has consistently been "If I knew it would be a boy we would start tonight." All humor involves truth. I want a little man, this is no secret, but there are no sure bets when it comes to baby making. As we sat in the living room last night, in the middle of talks of dinner and a laughing baby, Aaron asks me "Do you know the one sure way to get a little boy?... Adopt"

And so began a conversation. So many factors will determine if this conversation will ever turn into action but it is an idea we will keep in hand.I have a lot of love to give to a child and I am fortunate to be welcomed into a family that will embrace and adore any life we choose for ourselves.

The Fredericks Family Christmas pictures will be eclectic visions of multi-culturalism by the time we have all paired up and made/adopted babies. I can't wait!
Fredericks Family Christmas 2011- I love that Sawyer is in here too!

Fredericks Family Christmas 2012- Minus a few people, plus a whole Sawyer! Funny thing about this picture- it was taken two minutes after we checked out by a camera propped up on a lawn chair. Resourceful folks! 

But in the mean time- I am not ready for number 2, whether boy or girl. With the day dreams from last nights conversation I will take from it that we will not always be a family of 3, this has almost surely been decided. Whether from my womb or the world, we will welcome another life into this family.


Someday our family album may have a photo much like this...?

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Gloom & grain

This post began a few days ago and came to a halt for some reason. Checking back today it is still so relevant, so I will hit post and release it to the universe.

Today I am a mess.

I imagined that I would be writing a Happy New Year post full of cheer and excitement but that is not the place I found myself in this morning. Surely it will wear off but for now I will acknowledge it and share it truthfully. It is probably exaggerated by lack of sleep and an overwhelming desire to spend the day reading books to my baby in the park but whatever the cause- a grey cloud has pulled up a chair for the day.

Another day, another post will share our wonderful Christmas in Palm Springs surrounded by family sharing lots of laughter. This is not that post. Another day, another post will share exciting news, projects, and "resolutions" but for now- this is not that post.

My Mom & Dad the way my mind will always see them.

This is the post that wallows in a bit of self-doubt, anxiety, and over-whelming desire for a big change. This kind of soul sickness is hard to pin point but it is located somewhere between work and a missing mom. Both are dirty secrets that I have barely whispered to myself- I am unhappy at work for many reasons and my Mom has been missing for almost a year. There is no coming to terms with either. They both require action and/or acceptance. So with work I am taking action. With my Mom, some form of acceptance. I realize even as I write about my Mom that, for my own healing, I should devote a post to sharing more about her and the situation. Another day, another post.

There is hope on the horizon. On Monday (with the delay in post, that is today) I will take a small step towards a huge change. Having little Miss Sawyer Day has given an urgency to living a life filled with happiness, meaning, and true passion, so I will waste no more time.Wish me luck!

Apologies for the choppy writing, these subjects are spotty in my head and loose substance when formulated to words...hopefully this blog will help me though both the emotion and the writing.


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