The truth is, anyone who reads this blog is probably more interested in cute photos of Noah than in my deep thoughts anyway--so I don't know why I am apologizing. But tonight, I am just going to write. I will update about Noah with lots of cute photos sometime in the next few days. For this post, you lucky readers get a full update on the not-so-exciting lives of Rach and Ry! (How often are we the featured subject of a blog post anymore??)
First off, Mr. Ry. (And I have to include this photo because it's just so darn cute.)
Ry has been so busy. He is busier than I ever remember him being in dental school. His residency program is incredibly demanding, and his boss is not very nice, but he is hanging in there. On top of all of the day-to-day requirements for the program, he is finishing up his major research project (which he has to present at a national conference in May), studying for his Boards (also in May), and serving as the president of the men's group at our church. Oh, and did I mention he is looking for a job? Yeah, he's looking for a job. We have one really promising prospect, but they are considering some other applicants too, so I don't want to get my hopes up. I am starting to panic a little bit that he doesn't have a job lined up yet and his graduation is three months away, but I know it will all work out--somehow, life has a way of doing that.
Ry went to lunch with some buddies at Panda Express today, and his fortune cookie said, "You will enjoy full contentment by summer's end." I certainly hope that is true!
Ryan was also filmed today modeling emergency procedures for his dental clinic. His program does emergency simulations, and apparently Ryan is the best in his program at handling these high-stress scenarios. They even wanted to capture him on film to show future residents. I think this is kind of hilarious, so I asked him what he does that's so impressive, and he said, "I just yell orders at everyone in the room." Really?? Ryan is the quietest person in his residency by far (they all tease him for never saying a word), and yet he is the best at yelling out orders in an emergency? When I pointed out this irony to him, he responded, "I am silent but deadly." Hahaha! Love that man!
As for me, I am keeping busy at home. I hang out with Noah all day, and though 12 hours with a toddler can feel a bit mind-numbing at times, for the most part, I am really happy and content. Sometimes I feel guilty that Ryan's life is so stressful right now because mine is pretty darn easy. As I've mentioned on this blog before, Noah was a really fussy baby, and the first year of his life was quite difficult, but the last few months have been kind of a breeze. I hesitate to admit that, since I don't want to jinx myself, but he is the best little toddler and so fun to be around. He talks really well for his age, so I think that is preventing him from having too many tantrums because he can pretty much tell me what he wants and needs. Of course he has his days, and I'm sure we'll have tantrum phases in the months ahead, but I have been savoring these past few awesome months with him.
One thing that has been hard for me to get used to is all of the housework. I don't enjoy it much. Sometimes I feel like my life is Groundhog's Day, with never-ending dishes to be washed and laundry to be folded and vacuuming to be done and meals to be made. But I figure I better get used to it if we want a big family (which we do), and I have been trying to come up with "systems" and techniques for making it all easier and more enjoyable. (I welcome suggestions.) I'm also trying to remember that I am not just a housekeeper--I am a homemaker. I know that's an old-fashioned term, but I like the idea of working hard to make a home. It's not the most glamorous job in the world, but I know it's worthwhile. I also know that Ryan appreciates all of my efforts, and I would do anything for that delightful husband of mine.
I have pondered in the last few months why the housework has felt so all-consuming. Shouldn't I have felt more overwhelmed by housework when I was a busy teacher who didn't have time to get this work done? I think when I was teaching, I didn't care as much if our house was a mess. We were rarely in our house. Now, this is my workplace--it's where I spend the majority of my time--and I need it to be clean or else I lose my mind. I also recognize that the 19-month-old who lives here adds a significant amount of mess to my life that did not exist while I was a teacher (wouldn't trade it for the world), and Ryan hasn't had as much time to help around the house this year as he has in previous years. He is always willing to help; he just doesn't always have the time nowadays. But hopefully that will change once he starts a 9-5 job...you know, the one that he is going to secure any day now so his wife doesn't have a panic attack. :)
When I'm not taking care of Noah or doing the dishes for the 300th time that day, I manage to squeeze in a few projects and hobbies. During my years as a teacher, I kept a list of projects that I would complete once I was a stay-at-home mom with "lots of time on my hands." I think I conveniently forgot that mothering a child was going to take up the bulk of my time. Getting my list of projects accomplished has taken a lot longer than my naive, pre-baby self thought it would, but I keep reminding myself that I essentially have no deadlines anymore--all of the projects on my list are worthwhile, but they aren't time-sensitive, and I can just continue to work on them over the months and years. I am grateful that Noah finally takes a good nap once a day (he has never been a good napper, but in the past six weeks, he's started sleeping for two hours in the afternoon--hallelujah!) because now I have a bit of time every day to work on my own stuff. I try not to spend much time on my computer when Noah is awake, so I use naptime to do my editing for The Power of Moms, recruit for the Hogar, journal, work on my projects, catch up on emails, etc. I must admit, and I'm sure most mothers in the world agree with me, those two hours of peace and quiet are blissful. Nothing like a little break to "recharge" me for the rest of the day with my crazy boy!
In other good news, I have found some really kindred spirits here in Denver. I love having girlfriends. The first year of Noah's life, I spent a lot of time at home trying to figure out how to be a mom and how to calm him down, and though I had fun friends at church, I didn't spend a lot of time with them outside of Sundays. I will admit, I was lonely and ached for Buffalo a lot of the time. Though I still miss Buffalo more than is probably normal, things are different now that Noah is a happy boy. We love getting together with friends and going on outings, and I have a girlfriend whom I run with three mornings a week at 6 a.m. (yes, 6 a.m.--never thought I'd see the day), and another girlfriend whom I get dessert with on occasion (you know, just to counteract the running), and a group of women from church who get together for Girls' Nights and Book Clubs. I feel at home here. It's kind of a bummer that just when I am feeling so happy and comfortable here, we are probably going to move in three months--but I am just grateful that the last six months have been so good, and the next three will probably be even better. From this experience, I've learned that there may be periods of time in my life when I don't have close friends, or my babies need almost all of my attention, or I feel lonely and out of place in a new environment...but those times won't last forever. I truly believe there are kindred spirits to be found everywhere--it might just take a little bit of time to discover them.
So, overall, as you can see, life is good. Even for poor Ryan who is busier and more stressed than he's probably ever been in his life. He is getting excellent training and is going to be an awesome pediatric dentist (who handles all emergencies with ease as he shouts orders at people) when all of this is over. I feel like I am getting great training too--as a mother and a homemaker and a balanced human being who is less stressed than I used to be and more able to enjoy my friends and my life. The last seven months have been really wonderful--and I can't wait to see what the next seven months will bring.
Update on this Little Guy in the next few days (with lots more cute photos, I promise)!