Fall Bike Rides

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The best part about trolling the thrift stores weekly is coming across a gently used Radio Flyer trike for $14. Potamus is in heaven, and we’ve even bent the ‘no bikes inside’ rule for him. The hardwood floors might get banged up a bit, but it’s really cute to see how much he loves his new mode of transportation. Scooting down the long hallway, sitting in the living room eating a snack and watching his show, I’m happy we found such a good one for him!

And then I look at this picture and see how quickly time goes by. How the days ARE long and the years ARE short and think in just a mere two months he’ll be 3. And my anxious mind spirals into all the what-ifs about trying for another or staying one-and-done, and it doesn’t help that some facebook friends have ‘come out’ as one-and-done parents and I begin to be envious of anyone who can clearly make up their mind about anything parenting related. I love this little boy, and how he still snuggles in to my body, especially when he’s sick. I love that daycare teaches him to be polite, saying ‘okay mommy,’ and ‘thank you mommy,’ because Lord knows if he was in my care 24/7 he’d know how to say ‘this fucking_________’ because I can’t seem to control my potty mouth.

I’m thankful for the calm fall weather, and bike rides around the neighborhood, and that life is good in moments even when it’s hard in others.

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On Starting Another Fall Quarter

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I have fond memories of Indian Summer in Seattle. The air is warm, the nights are beginning to cool and get shorter, and there’s the smell of freshly sharpened pencils and new shoes all around. Fall feels like back to school, and it’s no wonder that this rhythm feels comforting to me. I love academia. I enjoyed my time in K-12 schooling, and certainly continued to enjoy my time in college and further on in graduate school. I enjoyed the school environment so much I got a job in Academia, and here I am, beginning my third year as a college instructor.

This quarter I had the privilege of teaching outside of my normal program, in a First Year Experience class with incoming freshman. It was so refreshing to teach my similar human development coursework to these bright eyed and bushy tailed incoming freshman. To create a mini community a week before classes start and see how they interact with the material. I loved it, even though I am exhausted from teaching 5 hours straight and then holding office hours. I remember that I’m an introvert.

And it makes me extremely pleased when students come up and ask me, ‘what class do you teach here? can I take it?’ Unfortunately I only teach classes in a program for students who’ve dropped out of high school, so they won’t be in one of my classes again. I guess it makes me think…is there something more for me? If these students wanted to take a class from me, what would it be? Would I like to someday teach Psychology 101, or English 101, or another course subject? And if I do want that, how do I go about getting there?

I forget how much I love teaching at this level.  I forget, when I’m in the overly frantic summer quarter off, trying to cram camping trips and house projects into my three months off, that I live for this academic school year rhythm. I am not sure that I would love it so much without the break, that it leaves room for me to come back in the Fall with an “Ah, yes, this is what I’m meant to do.”

But it leaves me thinking, pondering, reflecting, on where I am and where I want to go in the future. I know that this is right for me right now. I absolutely believe that. I think it’ll be right for me for a little bit more, at least, but then what? Where is this ship going?

Will the sun come out tomorrow?

I have no idea. But the sun is out today and my mood is that contentedly happy sun-napping-cat feeling. You know the one. And just like I know that my nervous-breakdown crazy feelings are complicated by the time of year/horribly raining weather/darkness/crazy schedule, it’s moments like today where I realize all the little things that make me super happy.

Like the fact that Potamus slept through the night last night. Why yes, the first time in almost 22 months, and I couldn’t be more proud. The fact that he did it IN HIS OWN BED, even better! I’m also ignoring that sleeping through the night meant waking up at 5 (because we were then able to get him to snuggle in bed with us until…wait for it….NINE A.M.!). Yeah, that’s right, adding it up (taking into account his 5-5:45 am crying in our bed jag), I got 11 hours of sleep. Sleep feels amazing. In that book I mentioned yesterday, she said that research shows that parents are about 5 months behind in sleep by year 2 of their child’s life. That’s about how it feels. So getting 8 uninterrupted hours PLUS 3 snuggled up…feels freaking awesome.

Family time. I’ve seen Boof so little the last few weeks that it’s nice to just get to do stuff together. Boring family stuff, like daycare open house, and dog-training. And eating Chipotle. That was yummy too. And stealing kisses in the kitchen while Potamus is eating his blueberries. It’s just being around my husband that calms me, makes me feel like I’m not alone in the world of insanity. We don’t even have to have any deep conversations, just existing in the same breathing space.

And the weather. Hot dang I love fall. I mean, the leaves are turning, if you stand really still the sun warms you (but you still need a sweater), and it feels crisp and new and exciting. Normally fall is like this until November, but then it’s Thanksgiving and looking forward to Christmas so that I can get through the dreary rainy season. So the record rainfall has seriously cramped my style lately. It feels good to sit in my big comfy chair with the sunshine beaming through the window.

 

Fall=Fair Tradition with Bio family!!

**I was going to write a lovely post about how much I freaking love the Fall, and that while I’m somewhat sad that I’m not going to be a stay-at-home mom anymore (okay, who am I kidding, I’m thrilled I get to use my adult brain again), but I read Karen’s post on the subject (see link earlier in post) and resonated so much with it that I thought writing my own would be redundant. So go read her post, imagine it’s me, and then come back and read this post about how Fall brings about a fair tradition! 🙂

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Mama and Potamus

Mama and Potamus

Five years ago I went to the Puyallup Fair for the first time with my biological dad and little sisters. It was a tradition in their family and I was so excited to get to be a part of it. My little sisters were 4 and 9 at the time, and like my bio dad says “she’ll never know a time without you,” as we pulled the littlest in the wagon behind us. It was there, at the Puyallup Fair, that I taught my little sister to tie her shoes. And she fell asleep in the wagon after a long, hard, day of riding rides and seeing animals, and miles of walking. Miles. Seriously. My legs hurt so bad the next morning that I had to crawl to the bathroom.

So, this year, with Potamus approaching 2 and our schedules magically coinciding, we headed on down to the Washington State Fair (previously named the Puyallup Fair, don’t get me started on the politics of this name change. SO ANNOYING!) and Potamus was ushered into the fair family tradition. It’s things like this that make me step back and see how adoption has really colored my life…I am forming family traditions for my son, with a family I didn’t know until I was 25. My heart feels both bursting with love at the traditions and memories to come and sad about the time we missed. And yet, I also temper that with the strange soul knowledge that the time we missed would have been different, possibly harder?, or just different had he been taking me to the fair since I was a child.

Potamus loved it. Rather than bore you with the details, here are a few pictures to highlight the revelry:

petting zoo fun

petting zoo fun

MOM LOOK AT THAT GOAT!

MOM LOOK AT THAT GOAT!

milk cows

milk cows

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I learned that my bio-grandad, at age 13, drove a team of horses like this to dig the basement of a fish hatchery in Eastern Washington!!!

I learned that my bio-grandad, at age 13, drove a team of horses like this to dig the basement of a fish hatchery in Eastern Washington!!!

mama's little rebel

mama’s little rebel

grandpa telling Potamus about the horses

grandpa telling Potamus about the horses

Grandpa. Grandson. Love.

Grandpa. Grandson. Love.

My son will always know my bio-dad as grandpa. This makes me happy.

What Fall traditions does your family have? Do you enjoy going county or state fairs?