Monday, September 30, 2013

Phone call

Hello Friends!

We have had the potty seat out at our house for awhile now.  Just available.  Sitting on it occasionally, nothing happening.  Whatever.  On Thursday night, Z asked to sit on it and accomplished... PEE!  And Friday night, and Saturday night, and Sunday night too!

I told the sitter this morning and today, while lunching at Br.avo with my BFF from FL, my phone rang.  Sitter.  Oh shoot (she rarely calls.....).  I answer and she says Z needs to talk to me.  "Mama pee an poo!!!!"   WOW! YAY!!!! So now I am very excited with out saying pee or poo, in the middle of the restaurant.    My BFF is chuckling very hard at my struggle.  So was I. 

So there you go.  Z is leading his potty training.  No stress, no pressure. Just offering to go before nap and bed for now.  Here's to it going as easily as it did for J. We are on the same track!

Have a great day everyone!  I'm smilin'!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Catching my breath!

Hello Friends!

I am sorry to have kept you hanging.  The acquisition at work has been nothing short of a blessing.  But I have been SOOOOOOOOO busy.  I get to work at 8 (ok 8:15) and all of a sudden it's 5.  That is good.  But tiring.  And exciting!

I did lose my General Manager title.  I am now Operations Director (previously Operations Manager so its still a step up).  And I am happy with that.  That is what I truly do here, it fits in my head and in my heart.  I make sure the day to day goes well.  I do it well and am recognized for doing it well.  I have taken on some other responsibilities and I like them.

Husband was so unhappy with previous management. Which was hard because I was part of the management but I had no say and things were a bit weird.  We wouldn't talk about work cause it made me sad that he was unhappy and admittedly I didn't handle it as gracefully as I should have.  He was job searching and I didn't want to know because I felt like in my position, I knew our lead (only) developer was looking and I should tell someone but then I would be breaking marital privilege and if I did tell he probably would have been walked out and we need his was yukky. For a long time.  So we had come to where I knew he was looking and I knew he had interviews and meetings with recruiters but no details other than that.    And we just kinda lived on edge.  Then the acquisition happened and now we work for a global software publishing company.  Husband is now one of 26 developers and is working for the type of company he was looking to work for!  He called all the recruiters and told them he was not looking anymore!  Rides home are good again.  We can talk about work again.   There is no more uncertainty.  It is good.

And guess what!?  As part of this, he needs to go to Headquarters overseas to meet with the main development team, and so do I so, they are talking about sending me at the same time!  How cool is that? No date to travel yet but it may even be before the holidays!

All this happened right before we headed to South Dakota for a family celebration.  My dad had gone out the week before to spent time with his brother in Nebraska so he and that family met us there.  My mom, who doesn't have as much vacation time as my dad, drove with us. The boys did great in the car.  We did 3 hours on Thursday night and 5 on Friday morning.  Spent Friday late afternoon, all day Saturday and Sunday with family celebrating, visiting, seeing and doing some things in town and having a wonderful time.  My cousins who were there are aged 17-25 and they were all sweet and inclusive with my boys, I am so blessed.  As part of the celebration, on Saturday, my aunt arranged a chuck wagon catered meal with the food all cooked in dutch oven right in the coals for the family and their close friends.  So yummy and it looked cool too.

Here are my boys at a beautiful park on the SDSU grounds on Sunday. 

We drove the whole way home on Monday with only the last hour and a half being awful.  Truthfully,it wasn't all that bad we just all wanted to be done in the car.  Here are the boys at a rest stop as we headed home.  A welcome sign:

Tuesday we all jumped back into work, and.... J ended up with strep .  Here he is at the Dr., one sick and sad little boy.

On Wednesday, the sitter called me and said she had strep.  Crap!  So I took Z in for rule out culture (cause he had been so exposed and had a weird cough) here he is at the Dr.  Thankfully, no strep!

My goal for the rest of that week was to NOT go back to the Dr.  Sadly, by Sunday, Husband had a weird stomach thing and was cramping so badly he asked me to take him to urgent care.  Sigh!  It was just a flu, but man I'm over it!

On to better things. I have a third grader!  Who insisted on wearing this on the first day!  Handsome!

We are settling into the new normal of this school year.  J is playing soccer (shhhh: I don't think its his sport.  He wants to be goalie so he doesn't have to run so much!) and has joined Cub Scouts.  And of course there is immediately a fund raiser.  Here he is proudly wearing his new uniform and selling his stuff to a few close friends in my moms neighborhood.
Oh an I also had another rummage sale to try to sell the rest of our baby stuff. The one we had in July was a great learning tool.  I knew how to better display and it wasnt a holiday weekend.  All the big baby stuff that we are done with is gone.  (ex: we still have 2 strollers but we are using them.) We are down to 3 bins of really nice baby cloths that I will try again with next summer.  I donated some stuff and there is visable space it the basement!

OK, I'm done. Whew!  You are pretty well caught up and can see why I have not been on here in the last 6 weeks. Holy Cow that was only 6 weeks!!!!!!  :)   Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Its done...whew

Hello Friends,

Sorry for the weird Changes post earlier.....I was so nervous.  I didnt know what to do with my energy.  

So the company I work for has been sold to another.  A move that I think will be fine for everyone.  BUT its been something I havent been able to talk about with anyone but 3 other people at work.  FOR MORE THAN 7 WEEKS!  Not my besties, not my husband, not my mom or my sister or my dad.  That is how I process.  Talking.  It has been a loooooong seven weeks.

I havent been sleeping well.  I havent been eating well.  Well, I've been eating, dont get me wrong....just not in a healthy manner (says the scale this am - UGH!).   I have had what I am assuming are mini panic attacks. I LIED to Husband.  We dont lie in our marriage and I had to lie.  I was legally bound.....this did not sit welll with me.

Its done.  Its out in the open.  I feel so much better.  Husband is not upset with me.  He understands the position I was in.  He is a bit on edge as this is all news to him and the new owners will be here in a few hours and I have had 7 weeks to process this.  Understandable...right?

We have 2.5 days with new owners before leaving for vacation on Thursday evening.  I think its gonna be a long 2.5 days.   Im a little worried about leaving.  Im so curious to see what they have planned for this office, for the people here.  For me.  I'm certain I will lose my General Manager title, I will probably gain some other title and still have the same job....whatever...

We shall see.

Thanks friends.


Changes have been a brewing at work for awhile....I have been sworn to secrecy for well over a month.  I could not even tell Husband who works here too.

Today is the day.  Today it happens.  Today they will all find out.  Husband will find out.  I hope its just like ripping off the band aid quickly....

I think it will all work out.  I think we will all be fine.  I think Husband will understand the position I'm in. I'm nervous.  I'm kinda shakey.  I have nothing to do today until this announcement happens.....Trying not to let it show to others.

Needed to vent to someone. Thanks for being there.

When I can speak freely I will..... I hate this!

Here we go................

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A bit muddled up

Hello Friends,

So things here are good.  Z is finding words and being 2 all at the same time...He argues and cries about everything and holy cow is he loud about it! I may have lost my temper with him a few times lately and yelled.  OK I have lost my temper several times as of late....he has definitely spent a decent amount of time in the corner pulling him self together. He only has to stay there until he is done crying and carrying on.  It seems to help a little.  Oh Two!

J is going well, trying to be a good big brother and enjoying his summer.  He got to try archery with my dad the other day,  he loved it!  We are going to have to go back to the facility, its only a mile or so from our house. That's actually OK with me, I loved the archery units in HS.

One of my besties, A (she's almost like a sister as she lived with my family for 3 years just out of HS) lives in FL and I don't get to see her much.  She and her new husband, a brilliant photographer, are traveling the art show circuit this summer and home based out of her moms here in WI for about 6 weeks while they did Midwest shows.  My family got to have a lovely dinner with them both on July 3, they spent the night at my parents and then we all had breakfast on the 4th before they headed to another show.  Her husband was out of town this week and she squeaked out a little more time to spend with us.  I bit the bullet and took a last minute half day of vacation and spent it with her!  It was sooo nice. We met my dad for lunch at BRA.VO (yum!) then we just hung out for a few hours before it was time to get Husband and the boys.  We spent the time chatting and visiting like we have never been apart.  I miss that sooo much!  My mom, dad and sister joined us for dinner at our house and it was wonderful.  They head out of town this weekend for some fairs out in UT and then they will go back home.   I can't wait for next summer when I think they will be here longer.  I may also get to see her, and help with a show in IL, in Sept....still working out the logistics on that one! Trying hard!

Husband is also doing well.  He has been helping his brother with some stuff and ended up with some extra spending money.  He bought a 90 gallon fish tank!  OH BOY!  We had a 55 gallon salt water tank for 5 years before we moved into our house.  Then he just decided that with a new house, yard, and new baby (Z) on the way, his time and $ could be better spent.  I have sensed the itch to get back into it coming for about 6 months now.  He is building his own stand for it, so it will probably be a month or so before it gets set up.  He seems quite pleased with himself and is happy puttering around in the garage.

Not sure if I have stated this here or not, but Husband is not a licensed driver.  Some stuff happened before we met and he lost the privilege.  Then he moved to WI with me and getting it back became complicated over state lines.  He almost got it back twice, but misinformation has prevented it one way or another.  Its also "easy" in that we work together so we can drive together and we live on a bus line so if he has to he can get around that way too.  He is worried about increased insurance and another car payment when he does get it back, so just never has.  I cannot fight with him about it.  If I push him, he shuts down and I will NOT fix this for him.  Its his mess to straighten out.

So, yesterday, Husband came to me and stated that maybe its time to get his license back.  He said all the right things.  Things I have said to him over the years.  It would be easier to divide and conquer the errands, the kids activities, I wouldn't have to do all the driving etc....  And, well, when I should have been grateful, I got kinda irritated.  I'm still kinda irritated.  This, this one thing (I cant mention it here yet) is going to prompt you after all this time to get it back?  Not the times when I was so tired and had no driver to back me up on a trip, or when getting it all done with one car and one driver is hard and often times complicated.  Not when I was at the end of my rope about it all?   Nope.  Just this one thing.  UGH!  and yet, I should be feeling grateful.  I should be jumping for joy.....still processing.  No answers yet, no action yet.  Just these muddled up feelings.

We are headed into our craziest part of summer next week.  Husband and I took off on Wednesday and are going to take J to Amer.ica for the day.  He earned a free ticket for a reading challenge at school.  He worked really hard at it and I think its what prompted his reading taking off.  If it wasn't for that, I would have said HELL NO!.  I ordered tix online in advance (saved $44!) and just for Husband and myself it was still $97!  We still have to do parking when we get there and figure out food.  I'm thinking we will be packing a lunch!  Highway's the best part.  I hate those rides.  A lot.  I'm only going cause, well, I'm the driver and I want to experience it with him.   From the ground!  Maybe I can just work on my tan and read my Kin.dle.

Thursday, we will head to our friends cabin 6 hours away for the weekend. An annual thing for about 5 or 6 years now.  We will return home on Sunday and crawl to work exhausted on Monday!

Have a good day everyone!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

A Slightly Smaller Catch Up (June - July to date)

Well hello friends!  Look, look its only been a little while since my last post!  hahaha actually that last post was getting crazy long so I decided to stop and start new.

I forgot at the end of May, our air conditioning in our van went out.  $1500 minimum to fix it they tell me.  Forget it, I tell them.  Off to we go.  So a few months earlier than we hoped, we have a new van.  Not as fancy of a model as our last one, but still nice, lower milage and it gets COLD!

June found us at the end of second grade for J.  His teachers had nothing but great things to say about him.   Nice to hear from others.  I never know how he is away from us.  You can only hope right?  He finally conquored reading around Christmas and is devouring books.  He is almost through the "Di.ary of a" Series and has finished several other chapter books in the meantime.  He adores school and I cant wait for this next year.  His school just got accepted to be a Charter school for Arts.  That means art of all forms will be a part of everyday learning!  This should only enhance his love of school as he is very artistic with drawing, painting and dancing!

In the summer, we have a crazy daily schedule.  I allow J to go to his Daycare about 2 times a week for big fun field trips (museums, ball games, tours, play zones, etc....) and the rest of the days are spent at his beloved Babysitters where Z goes.  Unfortunately, as she is self employed, she also takes many Fridays off in the summer. In past summers, I have struggled to fill these with a college age person at the house and then only when I needed to, fell back on the daycare for both boys.  This year, we just decided to bite the financial bullet and if she was off they both went to Daycare.  This does mean that to drop Z in for just one day a week is $94! (ouch!)  But it has resulted in a much easier life.  Sort of. I still have to check my calendar before bed every night to see who goes where in the am!  :)  Thank goodness for Google Calendar!  I can type it in on my computer and check it on my phone.  It also sinks to Husbands phone so he can see too.  Very helpful!

The Friday school ended, we started our summer adventures. We drove 3 hours to Door County, WI, and spent the night.  All day, Saturday we were with family at a reunion of sorts while seeing that beautiful part of the state, we left after dinner and drove 3 hours back home.  Sunday morning we woke up and I packed J for a week and we drove to 3 hours to St Charles, IL to my sister-in-laws home. She had agreed to take him for a weekn in addition to her 4!  And she babysits during the day!  Husband, Z and I turned around and drove 3 more hours home.  Thank goodness for the new individual DVD players my mom got for the boys in the van.  This was Z on the way to IL.
J did great, except for the 2 times he called home at night.  He was just so exhausted that he cried and wanted to come home.  But he didnt really.  But he did.  So we just decided not to talk and I texted my SIL for updates.  He was exhausted because they have a trampoline and a zipline in thier backyard, they went swimming at least twice, they went bowling, and to Se.venEl.even for slushies!  Whew!   Husband, Z and I went back Friday night, spent the night and stayed through lunch the next day and then headed home.   That was just the first week of summer vacay!

The second week, we were blessed to have my dad home and on vacation from work so every morning he came to our house as we were leaving for work with Z and stayed with J until it was time to go to Vacation Bible School at our church.  He then picked him up after and they had adventures.  They went to the library, to the Dinosaur Museum in Kenosha and got to ride the trolley.  On Thursday, as they were leaving my parents house to go to the barn to ride horses, J noticed a large fire at the neighbors backyard and told my dad.  They ran over to see if anyone was home, nope, and my dad put out the fire with the hose that was filling the pool.  J saved thier house!  They were so grateful they wrote a letter to him saying he was thier hero and gave him $25 to Cul.vers!  He was very proud.    I am very proud!  Here is a pic my dad took after the fire was out of J putting wather on the smoldering fence. Thats my parents house on the other side of the bigger fence so he may have saved thier house too!

July arrived and Husband and I took off on the Friday after the 4th for a 4 day weekend.  It was sooo nice. 

We bit the bullet and had our first rummage sale.  The baby stuff must go! We need to regain space and I dont think there are any babies in our future!  Apparently 4th of July weekends are not great but it helped us get prepared.  We learned some and I think will have another in Sept...when its cooler. 

We invested again in a splash pool for our backyard.  (They dont seem to winter well but the price is less than $100 and we use it A LOT) I also found a new Coast Guard approved life jacket for Z.  He loves it and is learning how to puppy paddle.  (I promise I was only out of the water for the pic).  

I think you are up to date on our home life and our cutie kids.  August is set with adventure already so I will do my best to keep you updated.  

Have a great day!

A HUGE Catch Up (Feb - May)

Oh my goodness friends, it has been since February when I posted last!  What the heck!?! Im so lame!

I faithfully follow blogs, sometimes its every few days but I am caught up on all the blogs I read.  I'm inspired by so many moms out there.  I am moved by so many stories I read, sometimes even moved to action.  Then I go to write my own stuff about my own little life and kinda feel like what do I have to put out in this world?  My stories are not inspriring, my stories are far from moving. But I keep coming back to this blank page.  So, boring and uninspiring as it may be, here we go again.

Life since February....  well, the last post showed me getting organized with photos on my walls.  To be honest, I'm not much further.  I did get a watercolor that we bought in Puerto Rico on our honeymoon framed.  Its gorgeous, just not on the wall yet.  Its so dumb, sticking nails in the wall is so easy and quick and yet, I'm sort of terrified to do it.  Like I might mess it up.  I love when its done.  Cant stop staring at what we accomplished back in February and just cant get it done.  Someday soon I hope.  The paper pile in the bedroom, well that needs to get tackled does J's room which is just a dumping ground for his crap. I'm to the point that I need to take everything out of his room and then only put back the stuff thats good and in a "home" spot.  Never gonna happen with Z around.  Maybe a magic wand?

In late March, I took Z for a hearing test to see if that is the cause of his delayed speech.  Nope. He hears just fine.  Of course that fell into Easter and it took awhile to get the Birth to Three program to call me back and set up a visit/evaluation.  First visit was end of April and the evaluation wasnt until mid-May!  A little frustrating.  Especially for a little boy who has so much to say he just cant make us understand him.  Well, we are on the right track now and have had 3 visits now. He is making leaps and bounds progress.  He can usually make himself understood now, sometimes even with 3 and 4 word phrases!  There is still work to be done on his word formaiton and some other things but it is so nice.  His latest little word is "yep" and its sooo cute!  I love to hear him say it.

In April, J had his tap dance recital.  It was the 25th Annual Recital for the studio where I used to teach.  I danced in the show as an alumni and as part of a crazy parents dance.  Sooo fun!  J did great too.  A friend of mine is a photographer and was taking shots backstage. She took this one of J and I.  Love it!
 She also took this one of J, his teacher Mr B and his classmates waiting to go on.  Im there too waiting to watch my tapper!   Love behind the scenes stuff!
His tap teacher has retired and moved away so I have agreed to go back and teach the boys tap class and a boys dance class one night a week.  J is excited and so am I!

Also in April, J & Husband participated in the science fair at the elementary school.  This was supposed to be a father son thing....that got procrastinated on until it became a family (almost a huge fight) thing the day before it was due.  It turned out pretty well and J did a great job speaking in front of the crowd and doing the demonstration of his Volcano.

May started off with me missing the step from our family room into the kitchen and gettting into a fight with our garbage can......Garbage can won.  This pic was 2 days later, it got even prettier (not) and then it took almost 3 weeks for all the color to go away!  Poor Husband had to endure lots of looks!

May was full of normal everyday stuff.  End tap class, Kentucky Derby party (with hats and bets) at a friends house, Grandparents day at school, start of baseball practice for J (first foray into organized sports) AND J finally learned to ride this little bike.  
Here is Z trying hard to catch up!

So J was finally able to call up my mom and say "guess who gets to buy me a new bike?" (Last summer, my parents had promised him a new bigger one if he learned to ride the one he had. )  So a week later, as promised, he came home with......
and can ride it pretty well.  Corners arent so great but he's getting there.   

May was also full of more grown up events:  For my birthday in December, my sister had bought me a ticket to see Kenny Chesney at Miller Park and one of my besties came along too.  Great sister/girlfriend outing, beautiful, fun, night.  

Thats my sis!  

Husband and I got to go to dinner and see a show with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert- very cool. AND....we had our 11th Wedding Anniversary.  My sister watched the boys and we used a gift certificate from two years ago to go out to a fancy resturaunt in Milwaukee and enjoy great food.  A good, busy, fun month.

June brought us the end of second grade and the jump into our crazy summer. This is getting very long.  I think I will start a new post.  Thanks for sticking with me friends!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

A start .....

Hello Friends,

A strange phenomenon has started to take place at my house.... organization....its weird and great and I kinda want to take a week off of work and keep doing it...but lets not go crazy!

So, the weekend before Husband went on his week away, I dug into our pantry.  Like I pulled everything out, got rid of the expired stuff, stuff we weren't going to eat, wiped down all the shelves and put it all back in, in an orderly manner.  It was NICE!  It has managed to stay that way for 3 WEEKS!

The weekend he was gone, I hunted down all the frames I have bought over the last 2+ years, opened them all up, dusted them off, cleaned the glass and reassembled so they could dry before pics get inserted. Those sat against the wall in the living room for a week waiting.

This past weekend, my mom came over on Saturday to help me finally get some pictures on the wall.  You all know this is a stresser for me, I have written about it often. The fact that I have 6 yr old pics of J in the envelope and I just picked up his 8 yr old pics......ugh!!!!  So Husband asks if I want the boxes of pictures from when we moved brought up from the basement.  Mom and I said sure......7 boxes (yes 7 she admitted sheepishly) came up.  Leaving a rather nice gap in the basement! One was pretty vases etc that I am not ready to deal with so went back down stairs.  One was 1/2 pictures and half pretty breakables that went back down after we pulled out some pics and put some that needed saving but not going on my walls back in.  One was wedding (yes from 10 years ago) knick knacks that I went through and finally made decisions on, we actually emptied out a box!  In one of them I found my jewelry I had been halfheartedly looking for since we moved. Nothing special, but some pretty costume stuff that would add some color to my wardrobe!    The other 4 were all lovingly wrapped photos in frames.  The result, when unwrapped, looked like this:

The taller pile in the middle, those are all of would think he was an only child for a long time...... :)

We spent some time picking some pictures to go into 2 collage frames (why is that so hard for me?) I will share those later.  We then decided to put up the things we KNEW where they were going.  So we started in Z's room.  The end result:

The rainbow fish pics have always been up.  We put up the "Z" and somehow that corner looks complete now.
On the wall opposite the stripes, we put up a white shelf that contains a "brothers" picture and a baptism pic with his godparents along with a personalized Noah's ark bank from my sister from the same baptism.  Under that is a newborn pic of he and I.  Next to the closet door (the decals have been there all along) We added a cross from one of his god-mommies and added a hook for his bath towel.  That's it.  Thats all we did in that room and now when I go in there it is perfect!

Next up. The bathroom.  We have the tiniest bathroom on the planet.  It is only as wide as the tub you see below and as long as a sink and a toilet on the opposite wall.  The gray frame you see on the left has always been there and hides behind the door, until you close the door and sit down to do your business, then you see a pic of an old outhouse... We added 1 wet baby pic of each boy at about the same age and again, its done.   Two nails in the wall and a sigh of contentment.
We did get a few more up but those walls are not complete.  so Im not ready to share.  The pile on the depleted a bit.  We have a plan for some.  I have to go through some...some will not be put up as it would just be the J show! 

Lastly, Husband and I tend to dump paper in our room to "deal with later."  Especially when guests come over.  So on Saturday night, he sorted through and organized his side of the bed.  Sunday night, it was my turn.  I can see my dresser top again.  (Refer to bedroom pic above) I can walk along the bed and not have to follow a path.  I have to find homes for the few small piles of stuff I kept, but I reduced the piles by A LOT.  I'm also working on not letting the paper accumulate in the first place.  Deal with it as it comes in and be done with it....Hard stuff for a busy household like ours.  

Baby steps are  feeling so good.  We have a busy weekend ahead, hopefully we can squeeze in some more picture organizing/hanging.  Husband wants to finish a shelf in the basement which will allow us to better organize down there - potentially clearing off the train table again......the holes left down there by the boxes coming up....more potential!  And my first rummage sale this spring........its almost too much to think about!  :)

Have a great day everyone!

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Valentines....

Hello Friends,

A quick peek at a photo from our birthday shoot.  Its probably the only time it will ever work or be totally appropriate.  J adores Z, Z adores J and looooves giving kisses (look at those fishey lips!).  The photographer, worked some serious magic in that session, probably deserves a raise and a vacation. But what a moment she caught!

Here you go!

I hope you all had a great day yesterday!  (sorry the quality isn't great. its a phone camera shot of an actual picure...on my kitchen counter)

Have a great day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Single mom for a week

Hello Friends,

I did it! I was a single, full-time, working mom for a whole week! The house is still standing, the kids are healthy, well rested, clean and fed.  I am healthy, sort of rested, clean, fed and SANE.  The driveway got shoveled twice (thanks dad) we had people over for dinner twice and went to dinner once.  We had a small crisis and I figured it out.

I thought it would be harder.  I am sort of shocked....and sort of not. Husband and I do have a partnership, but lets be honest, I carry the lions share at home, especially with the boys.  Some by choice, some by stubbornness on my part, some cause no one else will do it in a timely manner.

The mornings were the hardest.  We do work well as a team there (we had a cometojesus conversation a year or so ago).  So doing the get everyone ready including lunches and milk for Z, get everyone and everything in the car, double daycare drop off, and get self to work in a timely manner was tough.  J helped as much as he could and did great.

Weekday evenings were relatively normal.  Double day care pick up and then the following:
Monday we braved the grocery store for a few necessities, had dinner, bedtime etc...
Tuesday drive-thru dinner (20% benefited J's school), my dad came over to help blow snow, we played outside for awhile, came in for baths and bedtime.
Wednesday was J's dance class night, came home made dinner, bedtime.
Thursday...well Thursday showed me that it does take a village to raise a child.  A friend of mine said, nope, it takes a FAMILY, she was right.  We had a pretty good snowstorm all day Thursday so I let my staff leave at 4:15 pm to get a jump on rush hour and get home safely.  I had to pick up J from daycare and go straight to school for his student led conference.  In the meantime,my mom picked up Z and went to our house for dinner.  Due to the snow, my dad also met them there (good thing as mom got stuck in my driveway and he had to push her out).  By the time I got home with J, dad had most of the driveway done, Mom had dinner cooking, and Z was happily playing.  J got suited up and went to "help" shovel.  They found our snow brick makers and started a fort.  (Z was super unhappy to not be included).  We all had dinner and all three "boys" went back out to play some more - they were all very happy and had a nice time.  Mom and dad left to go shovel themselves out and I bribed Z to come inside with a bath.   It was such a beautiful snowy night that if we didn't have school work etc the next day we could have stayed out for awhile!
Friday we ate dinner at my parents and came home to bed (it was a long work week and I was beat!)

On to the weekend.  Again, we did pretty well.
Saturday we were all lazy.  I snuggled with Z, then while the boys ate breakfast I cleaned out and organized my dresser drawers.  (you know you can fit more into your underwear drawer when you take out all the nursing bras..... ;) ) I folded some cloths, cleaned up the kitchen and then some friends came and took J for a fun day as his Xmas gift.  While they were gone, I fed Z and put him down for a nap.  I then hunted down all the frames I have bought over the last 2+ years, opened them all up, dusted them off, cleaned the glass and reassembled so they could dry before pics get inserted.  Then our friends came home with J and we had a lovely dinner, 2 bottles of wine, and great conversation.  J slept with me and life was good.
Sunday despite freezing rain and slippery roads, we were off to church, the congregational annual meeting, and then home for lunch and naps.  I tried to shovel some of the now icey slush off the dice.  I started to put pics in frames....didn't get far. (but am started and feel good about that. I think mom is coming over on Sat this week to help me!)  Again braved Sa.m's  Club and the grocery store with they boys - it wasn't too bad.  Came home and was ready to chill and be done. But first, had a small crisis with the sump pump....due to some warm weather we have had, Husband had disconnected it to ensure it wasn't trying to run through a frozen hose so that it wouldn't back up into the basement.  WELLLLLL Sunday rained all day, and while it rained it got up to 40 degrees and melted the 7 inches of snow we had gotten on Thursday.    As I was unloading the car, I heard water discharge from the house and 30 seconds later I heard it again and then again.  I went and looked and it was discharging right next to the house.....down the foundation, and it was a big wet muddy mess.  I tried to reconnect the hose and (as he had thought) it was frozen so water couldn't go through it just sprayed everywhere.  I ran downstairs and looked in the sump area and there was some water trickling down the wall.  That is NOT something you want to see.  I grabbed a plastic cutter (I have it for the kids toys) and cut the hose, pushed it back in and the water immediately started running down the driveway and not down the foundation.  I called my dad to stop by to just check my handiwork so that I could sleep with out worrying about water in the basement and he did and said it was fine.  Gave the kids baths, put them to bed, tidied up the house and crashed.

Husband got home yesterday morning after taking the red eye. He said hi to some very excited boys and I (it was very nice to greet him NOT at the office), I dropped the boys at daycare, went back home to pick up a now showered but sleepy Husband and we arrived at work only 30 min late.  And the cycle of real life started again.

I slept great last night!  ;)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Weird feelings.....

Hello Friends.

I have been struggling with some weird feelings.
I need to blog about it, I need to get it out and this is my safe place.
I need friends (esp real life friends) who read this not to have feelings hurt or to feel the need to protect me.
I just have these feelings and that is that.
Here goes.

I think.

Arrrgh!   Why is this so hard to say?
Its hard to say because, its stupid.  Its selfish.  Its childish.  It is base and shouldn't be discussed out loud or in writing or anywhere and yet I think its strangling me.

Ok.  I get jealous and feel bad about myself when others announce pregnancies.  (And purchasing of huge houses. That's the same right?)

There I said it.

What about it?  I'm sitting here, in my office, with tears in my eyes as I write this stupid, stupid thing.  I just wrote Monday that I was content with my life.  And I am in those moments.  Z is mobile and (frustratingly) independent   We have our lives back after being back in baby mode.  I don't think I could handle another baby.  I'm old.  I'm fat.  I work a full time job.  I already have two kids.  We have a tiny house with an even tinier bathroom. We do not have funds for daycare for a 3rd child.  We certainly don't have funds for college for any of them.  Who knows if we should even mess with Gods plan?  What if another baby is His plan?  What if I could be pregnant one more time and bring home one more baby?      Don't get me wrong, I don't adore being pregnant, its kind of a means to an end.  But a new baby, a new life.....      

....and the struggle to get pregnant, to stay pregnant, to not freak out the whole time in fear of losing what I so desperately wanted.  To await each cycle with fear and hope and tears and .......ugh. It took so long to get Z, we tried so many things.  Then it just happened.  Would it take long?  If I started on the path, I couldn't just walk away....could we, should we?  Husband says hes too old and doesnt want more.  He also says that if that is really what would make my heart complete then we can I?  Should we?

Then, I look at my mom friends who seem to do it so effortlessly.  They get pregnant on a dime, have babies that are perfectly spaced, perfectly groomed, perfectly behaved.  They bring them home to perfectly decorated, pictures on the wall, everyone has their own bedroom and possibly even own bathroom houses.  Moms get 12 weeks of maternity leave.  Then they go to work, and come home to a huge house. They go to the gym! There are not dirty cloths waiting to be washed in a pile in the basement or toys scattered EVERYWHERE.  The bathrooms (plural) are actually clean.  They do all sorts of activities with and without children, are super engaged with their children and yet no one seems to be at their wits end.  They don't lose their tempers with their children.  The bank account is never low and the grocery shopping is always done and dinner is rarely cooked in the microwave from a box.

OK maybe this is more about my feelings of inadequacy in all aspects of my life.  See I told you I needed to blog.  OH PLEASE DO NOT THINK LESS OF ME FOR THESE FEELINGS!  I know they are senseless.  But I feel them.

My bestie, says we are just in different places.  I want to smack her. She is 5 years younger than me and her life is F-ing perfect.  Seriously.  Nothing hard ever happens at that house.

Another friend told me that the "hard" things that happen in my life just build character.  Well, friends, I have LOTS of character!  Lots and lots and lots.

I have to go.  I really have a few things to do before I leave today.  But this was bubbling inside me and just needed to get out.

If you have thoughts or feelings like this or if you hate me now.....let me know.   Thanks for listening.

Monday, January 28, 2013

2 year old Z

Hello Friends,

I should be fair and do a snapshot of my little Z at 2 years old.  

Holy cow that went fast and yet it feels as if hes been a part of us forever.  What can I tell you about him today?  He is tiny, barely 26 lbs and 35 inches.  Still wearing some 18-24 month outfits and some 2T stuff is falling off of him.  And yet this little guy is a full on whirlwind of energy.  He wakes up around 6:15/6:30 ready to play and never stops but to sleep; one decent nap a day and bedtime at 8:30.    He has a fantastic smile and his giggles are infectious.  He runs, jumps, gallops, rarely walks, climbs, tumbles, and launches himself through life.

Z understands everything we say.  He follows simple instructions fairly well and clearly has things to tell us just does not have the words to do so. Husband, babysitter and I made a list; it has about  36 "words" that we have heard him say. I use words loosely as for many of them you kinda have to interpret but in the last few weeks it has gotten easier to communicate with him.  Frustration levels have gone down significantly on both sides. He still exclusively signs for "thank you" and "all done" - wont even attempt to say them and happily nods yes or no at you to confirm what he has signed.  The Birth to Three social worker will be calling be soon to follow up and see if we need to do anything further.  His doctor says hes certainly not ahead but he is doing fine for the age.

He is so easy to put down at night.  We say prayers as a family, and give kisses and hugs all around.  Then, we read three books, in a specific order (his choice not mine), while rocking in his room.  I play a lullabye cd for him, put him in his crib, tuck a Poo.h Bear lovey in his arm as he pops his two fingers in his mouth.  I cover him up with 2 specific blankets (again, his choice lately) and walk out.  He has been having some trouble sleeping through the night but I think hes confused with the time. When he gets up and I let him get up at 6:15/6:30am its still just as dark in his room as it is at 4am......   The other night I went in to soothe him and he reached up to be picked up and he pointed to the hall way and said "pay car?"  Play Cars?  J has a Hot Wh.eels Wall Track set and Z LOVES to play with it.  He thought it was time to get up and play....he was VERY sad to find out it wasn't time to get up. On the plus side, he is just as easy to get to go back to sleep.

Z goes to the babysitters house daily during our work hours and is so happy to see her every day.  She takes such good care of our boys.   He has also spent time at the day care where J goes before and after school and easily integrates into their routine and loves to be there too.  If I could afford it, I would send them both there.  Not because its better than her house, its just different and it would mean only one drop off in the morning and one pick up in the afternoon.  Sometimes I take him in with me to pick up J and all the teachers smile and say Hi to him and he smiles and waves back and usually cries when its time to get in the car after only 5 min.  That makes me feel so good (not the act of crying just that he is comfortable there).  Its nice to have options for him  - especially since his sitter takes off A LOT of days in the summer.  And I refuse to take her days off as mine if I don't have to.   

Shopping with Z has proven lately to be less than pleasurable.  He wont sit in the cart for anything not even candy (yes I have tried).  Seriously, he screams bloody murder - like I'm torturing him or something.  So I let him out of the cart to walk and he refuses to hold hands - again sliding to the disgusting store floor and crying....I would let him walk alone but he doesn't listen, he wants to run the aisles and J cant help because Z either thinks its a game and runs faster, or hates it and screeches.  Then, if we actually make it to the register, when I am paying, he runs towards the door (because we are done and it must be time to go right?) and those automatic doors that are so nice when you are pushing a cart are NOT good at stopping a toddler!  AT ALL! They slide right open!  I cannot tell you how many times I left my purse with wallet open to sprint after him to stop him before he actually gets outside.   Husband says, you shouldn't leave your purse like that.....(eye roll.  Really?  Kid or purse.....?hmmmmmm)

So we have stopped going.  Yes, we gave up going in as a family.  We either stop and either Husband or I run in alone while the rest of us wait in the van, or we order P.ea Pod.  They deliver right into your kitchen!  You can order online right up until the night before and  then they bring it in!  As long as you watch, price wise its not much different and we don't have to take him in there! Note: In the last week he has gone in with Husband for short jaunts and has apparently been good. We'll see.......

Lastly, my little ball of energy has figured out that snuggling is a good thing.  I LOVE IT!  He has never liked that very much, that kind of made me sad sometimes because J was/is such a snuggler. We were better off putting him down as an infant than trying to rock it out.  Within the last few months, he will crawl up next to me and put his head down with his fingers in his mouth.  Sometimes laying right on me, other times just being real close to me and touching or patting. Over the weekend, he pulled up my shirt and laid his cheek on my tummy.  It was like he needed some kangaroo snuggling or something! Sigh...all of it makes me very contented!

Have a great day everyone!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

J at Eight

Hello Friends,

I thought I should take a moment or two and document about my sweet J at 8 years old.

J is a dark blond, blue eyed, tall (4 feet 3 inches), skinny (60 lbs) heap of second grade sweetness.  He is almost out of size 8 pants because they are too short. But 10's are too long depending on the brand.  No matter what brand he wears, we have to buy slim AND the waist has to be adjustable or they just fall off!  He thinks its hilarious when he can "pants himself" by walking around the house!   He is polite (most of the time) and thoughtful to and about others (again, most of the time).

J is very artistic.  The art work he brings home is so intricate and beautiful.  Classroom teachers often have children draw an idea to prompt writing;  they tell me they have to remind him to stop with the drawing in order to do the work.  Deep down, I like that.

He is frighteningly good at math.  Seriously, he can do stuff in his head that amazes me (and I need to think about hard before I get the answer) multiplication, easy division, subtraction and addition - all of it.  He just seems to "get" it.  He brought home some work before the holidays that was pre-algebra! Do you recall he is only in 2nd grade?  :)

J still takes tap dance and is pretty good at it. I might be a bit biased, but I think if he continues he could be great at it!  He was taking Tae Kwon Do through our Rec program, but we are taking a semester break as it added to our cold weather running around and the registration fee was due right after the holidays.....He seems ok with it.  I think that when we re-join, Husband is going to take the class with him.  It will be good for both of them.

He adores his little brother.  J is prideful of him and is thrilled when he is rewarded with hugs and Z attention.  He tries hard to play with Z and makes concessions with toys in order to do so.  J has turned the corner in reading and likes to try to read to Z.....who doesn't always appreciate the effort!

J always was and still is a cuddle bug.  He will still snuggle at every opportunity and although we don't fit in the rocker together very well anymore, he will try to climb up on me for a rock at night if he gets the chance.  I suspect that a photo would look like arms and legs everywhere.  Its not very comfy for me but he likes it.  I try to snuggle with him in his bed at night but sometimes, its too late and we just need everyone to get to sleep ASAP.  J has nightmares sometimes, I suspect it's his body's way of waking him up to use the bathroom, but he sure gets frightened. And from silly stuff like " D.oo" Needless to say we monitor what he watches and don't push that envelope very far. He is very interested in H.arry P.otter stuff - I'm just not sure about introducing it yet.   When he wakes up with a nightmare, I send him to the bathroom and then he can come sleep in our bed for awhile.  Cuddles again!  That only lasts until Husband or I needs to move around or it gets too hot, our bed is only a Queen and not intended for 3 people.  I know this cuddle stage will eventually go away as he grows older.  I try to treasure it and allow it when I can.

He is a relatively easy going boy who adores his electronics; Wii, 3DS, computer games in general, and he is thrilled when he can get his hands on Husbands or my Android based phones for Angry Birds.   He is also very into Leg.o's and other little boy toy collections that I do not understand ie: Beyblades.  As I said earlier he turned a corner in reading ability and comprehension and is on a roll.  He asked for books for his birthday so my sister took him to a major local bookseller and he got to buy 3 beginning chapter books.  He also got a timer bookmark from my sister-in-law.  He is very proud when he finishes another book and accomplishes his weekly school reading goal.

I could talk about my sweet boy all day long, but I think I should get some work done ;)

Have a great day everyone!

Monday, January 21, 2013

2013.....8 & 2 oh my!

Happy New Year Friends!

Here we are safely embarking upon 2013.  A brief catch up (hey did you notice its only been one month-ish since my last post?)

Christmas was....ok. The kids had a great time, we did not stress about it too much and it was nice.  But I had a stomach bug the entire weekend of and Christmas Eve.  I wasn't full blown sick, I just really didn't feel right.  Food smelled great, tasted great, just couldn't eat lots of it.  So weird (and a bummer as Husband made an AMAZING lasagna and Italian salad). Not one but 3 people asked me if I was pregnant.  I said I hope not as I have the Mir.ena and that would not be good.    Christmas day I was finally back to normal and we had a nice time opening presents with the boys.  Then we spent all day playing with our new stuff.   Sadly, back to work the next day.

Next up, New Years. We headed to my sister-in-laws for New Years Eve and we went early to maximize cousin time for the boys.  My boys are the youngest 2 out of 7 grandkids and they get mucho attention there.  We gather annually on NYE and do appetizers all night long and usually the cousin Christmas exchange.  Then on New Years morning, Husband and I make breakfast and we start the birthday celebrations for J and Z and they get their gifts from that side of the family.  We were home from thier house by 2:30 and napping by 3.  It was a nice weekend.

On January 2, J turned 8.  Eight years old, holy cow!  Really?  I have an 8 year old........  It was back to work and J had school that day.  So we sent a fun treat to school and another to daycare and he was allowed to pick a place to go to eat.  He picked Ap.plebee's.  My parents and sister joined us for dinner and here is the sunday they brought him when they sang.   (I took the candle and gave it to the waiter when I told him it was his birthday. )  He doesnt really like cake so this was great for him.

Yes he ate the whole thing! 

We went back to our house for presents and then it was bedtime. And reality of life returned (school work life)!

On Saturday, Jan 19th, we had a gathering of our close family friends with kiddos to celebrate both J and Z. I had found a great Leg.o party kit and did a loose theme.  I looked and looked to find a cake to make that looked like a brick, but then reality set in; I'm capable and willing, but just did not have time.  So I called a local bakery and asked for a Leg.o themed cake.  They said sure.  At the last minute I asked them to put a small monkey by Z's name as he is a monkey!   I think it turned out cute.   

 I think it turned out cute!!
And I think they liked it!!!

Then yesterday was Z's actual birthday.  He's 2!  Can you believe he's 2 already? We invited my parents over for dinner (my sister was traveling for work) recycled the dinner from Sat,  and re-used a portion of the cake from Sat.   He seemed happy and the food was just as good on day two!

Blowing out his candle

 His big present from us (on sale at Club)  Cant wait for spring I think this is going to be fun!
A quiet moment. Look at that little face!

J will actually get one more party next week.  He asked if a few friends from school could come to the family friends party and it was already too big, and it would have been complicated to have them there too.  So Im taking a 4 of them bowling after church on Sunday.  Then we are done.  NO MORE BIRTHDAYS for awhile.  I get this way every year.  The run from Thanksgiving to Christmas all the way through Z's birthday is just one very long ride.  We did it right this year, it was very nice all around.  I'm just tired, a bit broke and now need to clean out closets and toy shelves to fit all the new stuff in.  

We are blessed.  I love my boys. I have contributed at least two beautiful things in this world!  Have a great day!