Day 151-156: little surprises

The past week was full of little surprises.  I noticed things that I overlook, and discovered things that I had forgotten or that even took me off guard.  In true Rachel-organizational form, I will list all the little things:

– I moan about my children and their behavior, and what mom doesn’t?  They can be naughty, sneaky, tricky, and even mean.  But I noticed several times that in spite of my struggles with them, I have generally well-behaved children.  They are polite and considerate.  Lorelei’s ballet recital on Saturday was 2.5 hours long, which was long even for me.  She sat with her class, patiently waiting and coloring.  She did not run around or whine.  I told her she had to sit still and wait, and she did (don’t ask about her finale, where she cried – AGAIN – right in center stage!).  Anya listens and is helpful, even if I do not ask for it.  Addie is still a work in progress, but she did really well at a birthday party we attended on Sunday.  She listened, she played with the other kids, and we only had a minor cry when the birthday boy was opening his presents.

This makes me feel pretty good as a mother.  I do not expect perfection out of my children, because that is just unrealistic.  But I do expect them to try their best, to listen to those in charge, and to be respectful and kind.  I was reminded this week that even though they have their naughty moments, my children are generally well-behaved, and I can be grateful for that.

– I love my landlords here.  Anytime I have an issue, whether it be with the house or just a question about how things work here in Italy, they are so helpful.  I had our hot water go out twice this weekend, and each time I called them, they either came over to help or sent a plumber the next morning.  Funny thing was, it was birds in my water heater; yep, 3 birds that were blocking it up.  We had a good laugh about it.  I hear so many horror stories here of landlords that cannot be reached or that are not cooperative or kind to their American tenants, so I am glad we lucked out with ours.  I tell people who come to my house that although it is small, my landlords make up for it.

– Which is another surprise – birds in a water heater?  Crazy!

– I received a surprise refund check from my university.  I get a portion of my loan money sent to me to help pay for my ridiculously expensive textbooks, but I thought that I had received it for the semester already.  Turns out, they did not send me the full amount.  Awesome, right?  Especially since my books prices just keep going up.  2 more classes, 2 more classes….

– I realized this week that I am still discovering myself.  In a normal life, this would make sense.  I am only 27 years old, and your 20s are a time for finding yourself and who you are, among other things.  However, I am a mother of 3, which changes things a little.  I know many things about myself:  I am a wife and mother,, a daughter and a sister.  I am educated and intelligent.  I have likes and dislikes, some long standing and others more recent.  However, I find that I am still changing and growing as a person, and I sometimes wonder if it is okay to do this in spite of all responsibilities.  There are things about me that will not change, but I realized that it is okay to question and to change, to try new things and to grow.  I often forget that I am only 27 – I still have plenty of time and a right to figure out myself!

– Frozen fruit.  What am I talking about?  I always gave it a bad rap, since I really prefer fresh fruit (don’t even get me started on canned fruit, I will only eat pineapples).  I would buy it for smoothies or random dishes but never regularly.  Some of the fresh fruit selection has been less than ideal lately, and I started using frozen fruit in baked goods and yogurt.  I am now using it daily.  If you buy the right kind and thaw/cook it the right way, it’s just as good.  Why didn’t I listen to anyone before?  I was a fresh fruit snob, I guess.  🙂

Speaking of that, I am going to fix myself a little frozen peaches and yogurt snack.  They say life is full of surprises, and this week proved that.

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