Intro to reality

"Mom? Mommy! Mama?!".. I can be out shopping alone (a very rare occasion indeed!), yet the siren of a child's voice calling still sends me reeling.  That's when you know you're in deep.  REAL deep. 

Who am I?  Just your average housewife.  Wife of seven years, mother of four, ages five and under:  Miss B (5), Mr H (3 1/2), Sir L (2 1/2), and Princess P (14 mos).  There's no turning back now!  But somehow, amidst the endless dirty diapers, runny noses, broken dishes, dramatic episodes, destroyed rooms, stained clothes, sibling rivalries, and Dora the Explorer episodes, I wouldn't have it any other way.  I am the luckiest mama around, and "my minutes", if I want any.. start at 1am when the house is finally quiet.

As many moms can attest, it is far too easy to let days slip by without changing out of your jammies.  I could spend an entire afternoon shopping on amazon for nothing in particular while my kids watch countless hours of cartoons to pass the time until dinner when daddy comes home to save the day.  But, having experienced a day or two like this, it usually ends with a pound or two of chocolate and overwhelming remorse for doing nothing of real worth, failing to create memories for your kids that will shape them into some of the best adults this world has to offer!  They grow up so fast after all, and you just wasted an ENTIRE DAY! 

That's when the blogs and facebook start egging you on with everyone's picture perfect moments plastered in your face, screaming at you for your pathetic incompetence.  Sound steep?  We all play the same game..  We post the pictures of our children posed perfectly, holding hands and smiling lovingly, while we gaze on with picture perfect make up and salon fresh hair.  We share our success stories and talents, hardly recognizing the efforts and failures that accompanied the journey.  Then so many of us look on longingly at the lives of our fellow bloggers and facebook friends, wondering why our days aren't so perfect.  Well, my days may not be glamorous or "perfect", but they are still great!  Poop on the walls and all, they are GREAT! 

Now we are uprooting our little clan and heading to a world completely unknown to us.  Brazil.  For the next 3 years of our lives we will reside in Sao Paulo.  From a quiet suburban house in Michigan to a 14th story apartment in one of the largest cities in the world.  A new language, new friends, new school, new life.  Forget perfection.. here's to survival!  I am a planner.  A scheduler.  A call before you head over-er.  The only surprises I like are typically scenes coming straight out of  a mushy romance movie.  Hence, I have spreadsheets.  LOTS of spreadsheets.  I have spreadsheets for the family budget, important dates to remember, movies we own (by name AND rating), school loan payoff plans, things I would like to try someday, and of course daily schedules.  As we are entering a new chapter and my eldest two children will start school this coming August, I of course HAD to plan out a mock week to make sure I could get everything that needs doing done.  Check this bad boy out:

Granted, I know things will change as I gain more confidence to venture outside the protective gates of our Sao Paulo community, but, you get the basic idea..  For me, schedules = productivity.  What works for you?

Keeping it real, one day at a time.  I'm out.
-Mama E