Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year Goals

Once again I am going to set goals rather than resolutions. I think my goals this year are going to look a lot like last years, only because they are basically life goals rather than yearly goals. It's things I strive to change daily, but I have a hard time.

1. I'd like to be a healthier version of me.  And a lot of that is losing weight, yes. I know it is the ultimate cliche at New Years to say you want to lose weight, but it is still true. This year I am going to join Weight Watchers as a sign of my commitment and to motivate me. If I am paying for something I am going to get all I can out of it. I just want my clothes to fit me again and to not feel gross about myself. So I am going to give it a go. Along with that is working out again and dragging my butt out of bed in the mornings to get it done. While I always think that being runner is really cool, I'm probably not going to that. I might attempt the C25K again but I am not committing to that. Rather I am going to try for 3-4 days of exercise and then healthy eating to go with it. I want to show my kids what the right lifestyle looks like and teach them. But mostly I want to do it for me.

2. I'd like to be on my phone/electronics less. I didn't do great with this last year. I am on the computer much less at home but not my phone. I am on my phone a lot. I need to just put it down and pay attention even if it is just to watch TV with my kids. Along with that is the resolution to make Bub get off his electronics too. He is taking cues from me and his dad about that and it needs to stop.
 
3. To have more family dinners. We use to do this everyday. But most nights it's just me and the kids and I have become very relaxed about eating dinner together and with the TV off. That's about to change. Some quiet family time for dinner and then homework and family time afterward, that's how we use to do it and we are going back to that.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry and bright

I hope everyone is having a merry Christmas.  The nice thing about this year is that we are finally home after having spent the last 2 years at my in-laws. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy Christmas over there. It's just that we usually alternate years and due to an obligation with my family we ended doing 2 years of Thanksgiving with my family and 2 years of Christmas with his. And I do look forward to that year at my own home. It's so much easier and involves a whole lot less hauling of gifts and hiding of Santa presents. So far the plans involve the traditional reading of "T'was the Night Before Christmas" by BT once he gets home from work (he has to work late) and watching Christmas movies. We will also be spending some time with my family, I'm sure since my sister is in town. I'm looking forward to a nice, relaxing Christmas.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Climbing

I was a climber apparently. I remember climbing onto the kitchen cabinets pretty young. I liked climbing on things. Bub was not. He never really climbed on anything and never seemed that interested. Button is a climber and no one warned me about how stressful having a climber is. She is on everything. She's pretty good at it. I guess my first indicator was when she learned to climb on the sofa and then the chair. My mom has bar stool height dining chairs and Button can climb on them. She loves stairs and ladders. Anything that can help her reach things she shouldn't have basically. I have a ladder bookcase in my bedroom and I caught her trying to climb that. She'd be up on the counter if her legs weren't so short. Her ability to climb up on things is actually useful in a way. She doesn't need me to put her up on so many things. The other day she was walking on her dresser after being changed and I asked where she was going. "I don't know," she said as she walked to the edge. She fell down a hill the other day that she had climbed and her nose is all scratched up. Yet BT said the thing she was most mad about was that he wouldn't let her climb the hill again. She is fearless and that's not good. A little fear never hurt and certainly would make her mother feel better.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Santa the stranger

I've been trying this holiday season to take my kids to see Santa. But things like sickness and the weather keep getting in our way. Finally I gave up and we decided to go to the mall. It's not that I don't like the mall Santa. I do. We have a very good mall Santa and the set-up is really pretty. It's just that it is expensive and, more than that, can be overwhelming for little ones. The only mall Santa picture I have with Bub was when he was about 2 and he was not happy about Santa. Now the thing about Button is she doesn't like strangers. She gets very serious with people she doesn't know. It's part of the reason why most of the professional pictures I've had taken of her are with a serious face. So knowing what I know, I kind of knew how this was going to turn out. The only saving grace could have been her brother. But not even his presence was going to save her from Santa. It did not go over well. Santa, in the end, had to stand behind the chair and even so the picture is not the best. C'est la vie, I suppose. I did get some great pictures of them in front of our Christmas tree in their nice clothes and I'm thinking about taking them to a local restaurant where Santa is going to be and trying again. Maybe in a more relaxed setting I can get a decent picture. And, if not, oh well. This will all be apart of the story of Button's 2nd Christmas.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Seven years old

Bub's 7th birthday was yesterday. I can't believe he is already 7. I say that every year, that I can't believe he is X years old and it's true every time. So this year for his birthday I took him and 2 of his friends to see Frozen and then to a dessert parlor afterwards for cake. They had a good time and I think he really enjoyed himself. Usually I pay for a party at a place and about 4 kids show up and he plays with his best friends only anyway. So this was nice for them. They wanted to play outside but it was freezing so I only let them for about 5 minutes. But they had a good time and he enjoyed himself which is what matters. Sunday we had a small family party for him and I did a abbreviated Skylanders theme (meaning I made invitations and a banner and had it put on a cake). He also had a good time playing with one of his older cousins and Button. She loves the cousin and will follow them around. It's pretty cute. It was cold and rainy yesterday though so there was no outside play but they had a good time anyway. Bub has fun wherever he goes. All in all, I think he had a good birthday and now we are ready for Christmas.








Monday, December 2, 2013

The Grateful Project wrap-up

I had actually intended to finish out the month with posts of gratefulness Friday and Saturday but it's been really busy. We were at BT's parent's house till Saturday morning and then Saturday afternoon I drove to a small town near us to buy a present for my aunt and then we went to my parent's house to have dinner and watch TV (how about that Auburn-Alabama game). Sunday BT put up the outside lights and the kids and I did some shopping for Bub's birthday party and some other household things we needed. Friday is going to be cleaning day and I wanted to be prepared. Then I cleaned up Bub's room which is no mean feat and started on Button's but I lost my momentum. So I watched a movie with them and then we made gingerbread men and went to the local zoo for their Christmas light display. We had a lot of fun but it took longer than I thought so everyone went to bed much later than we should have. Both me and Bub were hard pressed to get out of bed this morning.

So I guess to finish out the month I have to say I am grateful for being busy. Amber Riley said on DWTS that if you complain  when  you are busy then you'll complain when you are not and you'll never be happy. That is so true so it's good to be busy and to have plenty to do. I do wish for a little downtime but other that that is good to have such fun stuff to do.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Day 28: Family (The Grateful Project)

Happy Thanksgiving to all who are celebrating! We are with BT's family this year having spent the last two Thanksgivings with my family. It's chilly outside but it makes for good holiday weather.

Family means a lot to me. Family is everything. We are lucky to both have parents who have loved and cared for us our whole lives and we still support us to this day. I am grateful our kids have 2 sets of really excellent grandparents. I know not everyone gets that. And that our kids also have great aunts and uncles who care for them even if they don't get to see them very often. It's nice that we both have siblings we get along with and that are fun to hang out with when we see them. I am grateful that we have such great families that make the holidays a fun time. Our family gatherings seem to get smaller with time as people move away or pass on from our lives but it is the quality of time spent together that matters so for that I am grateful.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Day 27: The youngest (The Grateful Project)

Button has decided that she is a big girl just like her brother. No more plastic plates or cups with lids or booster seats. She can sit in a chair, thankyouverymuch. I asked if she realized that she was still a baby and she shook her head "no." She thinks she is as big as him. I think she has second child syndrome. The second child is always as old as the oldest child. I knew she would be his little shadow once she caught on and I warned him. I don't think he believed me because she annoys him so much and he is constantly trying to get her to leave him alone. Baby sisters are the worst. But he loves her and I find it just so sweet when he plays with her. She loves that so much. Big brother is playing princess castle or whatever with her.

It's hard to explain what's she added to our life. I worried about having another child. We had a good thing going just the three of us and would having another screw up our life? No. She is just what we didn't know we were missing. It's like we needed a fourth piece and she came along and fit. I marvel at her still. She is so beautiful and sweet and crazy and very much a strong-willed child. My mom said she is me all over again. She is my mini-me. She has my curly hair and my face and my strong will and she will not be denied. I hope she holds on to that. She is so smart and inquisitive and she loves the outside (that did not come from me). And even though she doesn't have the words yet she is incredibly opinionated on how things should  be. But then she's been that way since birth. She's always liked things a certain way (her way). Now I can't imagine life without her. How we lived our lives for so long without her, I don't know. But she came along at just the right time and she is one of the best decisions we ever made.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Day 26: The oldest (The Grateful Project)

I found a file on a flash drive the other day of photos of Bub from when he was a newborn to about age 3 and I got a little misty. He is about to be 7 and I don't know where those years went. I was watching Button do something toddlerish the other day and I asked BT if he remembered Bub at that age. And neither one of us can really remember. It's like the memories get crowded out and I only have few moments here and there. Sometimes things come back especially watching her. Like when he decided he had to do everything himself at about that age. He was always so cute and he was so chubby when he was little. I look at him now and I wonder where my fat little baby went. He is so skinny now (but still so handsome. Seriously that kid has the best face). And chatty and opinionated and he knows so much. And he is so funny. I love him and I love talking to him even when he is just rambling on and driving me crazy. He is getting so big and I like just hanging out with him and playing games or walking outside.

It's hard to explain how you feel about the oldest. They are your first and, for so long, he was my only. This is the person who made me a mom, who shaped so much of my identity now and who continues to change me as he grows. There are always new stages and I have to grow with him. He is so adaptable and so forgiving of my shortcomings and my failings as a mom. I am thankful that he is who is and that he loves me like he does. I don't know that I could love someone as much as I do him. Like I always tell him "I love you the most" to which he responds "I love you the most too." That will always live in my heart even as I forget the other moments.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Day 25: My husband (The Grateful Project)

I know I said this project was going to be all about the small moments in life but the truth is I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the big things in life. So it seems fitting to do that the week of Thanksgiving.

I am always grateful for my husband. Some people are just meant to be and while I don't believe in soulmates I can say we were meant to be. I cannot imagine life without BT. Well, I can give it a try but it seems harder and much lonely without him. When we first got together there was never a decision to be boyfriend/girlfriend, we just were. Like I knew we were going to get married. He hates it when I say that, but I did. We've been through a lot together and the thing is that we've gotten through the hard times together. We've never really been apart and we've stuck it out through the moments that should have/could have broken us. I think that there has always been a certain denial that we could ever not be together.

There are so many things to be grateful for about him and there's no way to completely sum up what a good husband he is. And what a great father he is. Our kids are infinitely lucky to have him as a father and they will never appreciate it because they won't know any different. And that is fine. It's the way it should be. I take for granted the things he does; the laundry, the cooking, the cleaning. But I'm occasionally reminded when talking to other ladies and they are always impressed that he does all that. I cannot imagine a husband that does not participate in the household chores or that doesn't do anything for the children. My husband does all that. He wouldn't even consider that it wasn't part of his life. So, day 25 and every other day, I am always always grateful for my husband.

Day 24: Play time (The Grateful Project)

Sometimes I feel like I'm too busy doing things for my kids rather doing things with them. Someone always seems to need something or the laundry needs to be done or the floors need to be sweep or someone is hungry, tired, thirsty, having emotional problems, etc. So it's always nice when I can just stop and focus on playing with them. Yesterday we went to an outdoor flea market for a little Christmas shopping (mostly I ended up with bows for Button) and then we went home. The weather was beautiful if a bit chilly but Button loves to be outside so we went and played in the yard for a while. Then I thought it would be fun if we went to park so we drove over the the nearest park and played there for a while. It was nice. We had a good time on the slides and playing in the dirt (Button) and with sticks (both). After that, we went home where I had to do some housework. But still I enjoy the moments when I can just play and have fun with my kids.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Day 23: Privilege (The Grateful Project)

For the last couple of days I've been complaining about the rental, a Dodge Avenger, we were given while my car is being fixed. The truth is it is growing on me. It's not a car I would ever buy but it's not that bad. As my sister-in-law pointed out, there are way worse rental cars. But I was thinking about how I was complaining and how I hate it when people complain about their privilege and here I was complaining about what it is a pretty nice car, just one that is to my own taste. But I only have to drive it for 3 weeks so it's really not worth complaining about. And while I wouldn't say I've been complaining loudly and bitterly I haven't been completely happy about it. But I need to shut up. Because I am very privileged to even get a rental car and to have my car fixed at all. Some people don't get that. It could have been so much worse all around. Button or BT could have been injured. The guy could have not had insurance. It could have been bad insurance. So what if I have to drive this car? At least I get a car while my car is being fixed.

(I will post Day 24 either later today or tomorrow).

Friday, November 22, 2013

Day 22: A level head

I was thanked, at work, for having a level head. Without too much detail, let me just say that sometimes situations develop in the workplace where emotions run high and interpersonal conflicts happen. I've surprisingly developed a good management style and I have great conflict management skills. So we had a meeting to talk about a few issues that have cropped up in our departmental librarian program and in that meeting a few other (unrelated) issues were brought up. I was later thanked by the assistant dean of public services for my level head. I've never thought of myself as a level headed person. My emotions tend to run pretty high but something happens at work. I believe in maintaining decorum and also in remembering that it is just work. We're not saving lives here. A few mistakes are not that big a deal. And questions are always good. A program can't evolve without questions and mistakes. So today I am grateful for the compliment. I like thinking I have a level head and more than that I like the senior librarians thinking I have a level head.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Day 20 and 21: BT and feeling better (The Grateful Project)

Yesterday I went back to work after being off for 3 days with the sickness and dealing with my car. BT has been really wonderful about getting the car to the body shop and taking care of the rental and the insurance and all that. So for that, on day 20, I will say that I am grateful that my husband is taking car of this whole car wreck fiasco and getting things moving in the right direction. I haven't had to do anything which is a relief.

And, for today, I am grateful for feeling better. I feel so much better today than I did yesterday and infinitely better than I felt on Sunday. It sometimes takes me a while to get over being sick especially the older I get. I am not a good sick person and this time was even harder because I had two sick kids to deal with and that is no good. But anyway, I am finally feeling better.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day 19: The Driveway (The Grateful Project)

Five 1/2 years ago  when we moved into our house, my husband was driving his late grandfather's Plymouth Breeze which promptly broke down shortly after. BT was going to donate it but he'd lost the title. And 4 years later it is still sitting in our driveway. BT is, well shall we say, a procrastinator. Finally, finally he has become proactive and lately has been on the ball. It's strange but I'm not complaining. So today I am grateful, nay thankful, for that freaking car finally being towed away and getting that patch of my driveway of my back. Now we can play in the whole driveway and park in the whole driveway. It is glorious. And best of all, BT finally did something we've all been asking him to do for a very long time.

Goodbye car. I hated you for so long and now you are gone.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day 17 and 18: Hot tea and naps (The Grateful Project)

Sorry. I didn't realize I'd be so bad at this. We had kind of bad weekend around here. Everyone but BT is sick. Bub had strep throat and was home from school Thursday and Friday. Button has a cold with double ear infections and I have a sinus infection that is just wiping me out. On top of that when BT was coming home from bringing Button to the doctor on Saturday, he was rear-ended by a guy who somehow failed to notice of at least 4 cars waiting to get into the roundabout. So my car is all messed up. Plus we didn't get to go to the Christmas event we always go to since Bub was 1. So we missed for the first time in 5 years thanks to being sick. It sucks. Now I'll have to figure a new place to get Santa pictures, preferably not at the mall. Anyway, I'm trying to find a small moment to be grateful for in the midst of all of this.

So, Day 17, I am grateful for hot tea for a sore throat. Seriously, this illness is kicking my butt and I am missing too much work for this late in the year especially with having a presentation to do next week, but you really have to take care of yourself first. My cough and runny nose have made my throat so sore but hot drinks especially tea have really been helping.

Day 18 I am grateful for toddler naps even if they come too late. Button doesn't let being sick slow her down, that's for sure. I've been trying to get her to take a nap most of the day but she won't do it. We watched a movie in my bed as a last resort and she stayed up to see it. Then she put on a learning Leapfrog movie and passed out... 15 minutes before we need to leave to go get her brother. But she is finally sleeping. A toddler without a nap is a terrible thing. A sick toddler without a nap is even worse. Luckily my mom is going to go get him so I won't have to wake her up. If only she's slept earlier so I could have too. *sigh*

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Day 16: Christmas money (The Grateful Project)

Back when I started my job with the university I started a Christmas Club fund. My parents always had one when I was growing up and more than once my mom remark on how great it was. The fact that Bub's birthday is also in December adds to the amount of money we have to spend. So when the opportunity arose I started a fund and it has been one of the best money decisions I've ever made.

A certain amount of money gets pulled out of my paycheck every month and I budget how much goes to who. And then I have the money to get everyone something nice. Plus we have the money needed for Bub's birthday presents and his party. It's the party that costs the most. So it's nice not having to worry about where the money is going to come from.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day 15: My aunt (The Grateful Project)

I get along really well with all my aunts but only one of them lives down here by us. I've always enjoyed spending time with her and we get along really well. Plus there is the extra added bonus of the fact that she is retired and can watch Button when the need arises. Like Monday. My mom normally watches the kids in the afternoons but she is really sick right now. So I called my aunt and she came out and watched Button and I picked up Bub. And then again yesterday when my mom turned out to have a touch of pneumonia in one of her lungs so she stayed  home and my aunt came to watch Button while I took Bub to the doctor (he has strep throat). It is so wonderful to have someone to likes to help out and likes spending time with my kids. I know that they love her as much as I do.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Day 14: Flexibility

Today I am grateful for flexibility at work. I have a set schedule and, yes, I have to take my time so it's not like flex time. But the dean of my library is a family man and he basically told me in my interview that he knows that my family is first and my work is second and to take care of my kid first and not to worry about here. I think he meant it because I've never been given a hard time for having kids, not even when I got pregnant and was gone for 8 weeks. It's good that my job is tech services in this case. I think it's easy when you are tied to a desk schedule or doing public work.

Winning and then not {Update}

I enter a lot of contests because you really never know. At most it costs me email spams, not that big of a deal. So I won one the other day and by other day I mean 3 weeks ago for a baby girl lace romper, headband, and necklace Halloween set. Yay! I emailed the people my address and then started looking for it about a week after I'd won. Now almost 3 weeks later, it still hasn't arrived and so I debated. Do I just let it go since basically I've lost nothing and I didn't pay for anything? Or do I let them know?

I let them know. I can't let it go. Yes, I've lost nothing but I also don't think it's fair to go through a contest with people expecting something and then not giving it. So I debated about how. The thing is with social media it is just all too easy to call out a company on bad or suspect behavior to the public and I don't always think that is fair. The only email I had was by the person I thought was only running the contest and I didn't know if she was the right one to talk to. I could write on their Facebook page but that is really public. Instead I opted to FB message them. It turned out to be the same person over email. She said it was "an inner company miscommunication" which I took to mean that they forgot. She offered a Christmas set instead since Halloween was over but the thing is that I had plans for the purple romper for Button's birthday and a Christmas one wouldn't be the same. I felt ungenerous sort of demanding the one that I actually won which is weird. Don't get me wrong. The Christmas set is very pretty. I just like the purple and it will probably get more wear than a red. I finished messaging her this morning and  I hope to hear from her soon and get this sorted out. 

This isn't the first time this has happened. Once I won some books from a pretty well known YA author. I forgot about the books actually for a while and then one day a few months later I remembered. So I emailed her and it took several reminders for her to finally send them out. I try not to be an ass about so many things but apparently have strong feelings on contests. I just think that if you are going to say you are giving something away, you should actually give something away.

ETA: They got back to me and let me pick out a romper, headband, and necklace of my choice. So that was awesome of them because they could have just as easily sent me the Halloween set and called it fair. Instead I got to pick out what I wanted. This contest just got way better!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Day 12 and 13: Creativity and a Warm Home (The Grateful Project)

Yeah, yeah I know. I am not doing well with this. I meant to write yesterday but by the time I got the kids to bed I was pretty eager to get my own.

Day 12: I love making things and I am grateful to have the talent for it. I guess if I didn't have talent I wouldn't love it. But, at any rate, I do like being crafty and having the ability to make things for other people. I get real joy when someone likes what I've made for them.

Day 13: I am grateful for a nice warm house. It's pretty cold right now especially for around here and I know that I am lucky to have my own warm home. I know a lot of people don't have that and I can't imagine what it is like for them.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Day 11: 2 Things (The Grateful Project)

Today I am grateful for two things. First, on a personal level, I am grateful that the book sale is over. Every year I get so stressed out but for the most part I have every thing running smoothly and it usually goes off without a hitch. It's just so much and I begin to resent all the other librarians who don't have to deal with it. Also I hurt myself moving stuff around for it and I'm still feeling the pain of that. It went really well and I think it was my most successful sale so far.

And second, since it is Veteran's Day, allow me to say that I am grateful for the men and women who have served or are serving our country. Truly they need more than a day for everyone to say thank you. But thank you for your courage and self-sacrifice.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Day 10: End of Soccer (The Grateful Project)

Today I am grateful for the last soccer game this year. I know yesterday I was grateful for team sports but I am mostly grateful today for getting my Mondays and weekends back. Don't get me wrong. I enjoy watching him play and think it's good for him to participate in team sports. He's getting good at soccer and seems to have a natural instinct for it. But Mondays are the night he has the most homework and it was a struggle to get everything done without losing my mind. So while I enjoy Bub's sports, I'm also happy to get a break for right now. We can start again in the spring.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Day 8 and 9: Soccer and Weather (The Grateful Project)

This book sale and soccer tournament are consuming my time right now. Yesterday I worked a long day and then went to a soccer game. Anyway.

Day 8: I am grateful for being healthy enough to play soccer. Not me obviously. But for having a son who is not only healthy enough to play soccer but is actually pretty good at it. He seems to have an instinct for where to be on the field. I know he didn't get that from me. I enjoy watching his team play and he is doing a great job.

Day 9: Beautiful weather. Seriously it is gorgeous right now. This is the best time of year in south Louisiana. It's what I call "not hot" weather. Because weather down here is basically hot and not hot. It is lovely right now, perfect for doing outdoor activities.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Day 6 and 7: Good Workers and Cool Mornings (The Grateful Project)

I missed yesterday. I knew what I wanted to write about, but one of my biggest responsibilities at work is the annual book sale and yesterday was set-up day as well as the preview sale. So by the time I got home I was exhausted and didn't feel like doing much of anything.

So for yesterday, I am grateful for people who are willing to hard work. I have a staff of 4 and they always manage to step up when it comes time to get the book sale done. I am so happy that I have a group of people that know when it's time to get things ready even though it's a lot to do. But they always get it done (even if they don't seem to remember what to do and I have to give a lot of instructions).

And for today, I am grateful for bread pudding coffee and a brisk morning. It's a cooler morning today and I love that. The time of "not hot" in south Louisiana is short so I appreciate a brisk morning. Plus yesterday I bought some bread pudding flavored coffee and it turns out to be pretty good. A nice way to start the day off.


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Day 5: Chances (The Grateful Project)

Today I am grateful for multiple chances. I am  not always a good, kind, patient mother. Heck, I am not always a good, kind, patient person but I feel like my children especially shouldn't suffer because I am in a bad mood or they are annoying me. I try to be patient. I strive to be patient. There are many ways in which I am a great mother every day but sometimes my actions or tone or words don't always reflect that. But the great thing about life is getting the chance to do better the next time. To be a better person and a better mother when faced with situations that try me. So I am grateful for those chances and the people that are willing to give them to me.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Day 4: Grumpiness (The Grateful Project)

Y'all I'm not going to lie. I'm having a hard time with this today. It's not that I'm not grateful for anything, it's just when you've had a headache all day and you know what the coming week has in store, it's hard to appreciate anything fully.

But I'm not giving up. So I'm grateful for that I'm allowed to be grumpy all day and no one at work gives me a hard time about it. I hate it when people try to "cheer" you out of a bad mood. Sometimes I just want to be tired and grumpy and complain about doing things.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Picture: Fall activities + Day 3

We've been pretty busy the last couple of weekends and really got a break this weekend. Bub has a soccer game every Saturday this fall plus we've done a few Halloween/Fall activities like Boo at the Zoo at our local zoo and we went to a pumpkin patch one day to play and get a pumpkin. We also took family pictures last Sunday for Christmas cards and to update last year's picture. Button looks so different from last year and Bub looks so much more grown up. This weekend we didn't have much planned which was a bit of a welcome change because next weekend gets hectic again.


So for Day 3, I have to say that I am grateful that we get to go out and do these kinds of fun activities and that the weather (mostly) allows for it. I enjoy doing these kinds of things and I try to bring the kids to as many activities and fun things as I can.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Day 2: Taking Turns (The Grateful Project)

Today I am grateful for taking turns. When Bub was a baby, my husband and I established a system where one of us got up with him on Saturday and the other got up on Sunday. That way we each got a turn to sleep late. We did that until he was old enough to get up by himself. And then we had Button and we reestablished the system. It's nice to get at least one day of sleeping late even if we still occasionally argue about who has to get up.

More thoughts on potty training

As Button moves closer to 2, I've been considering more and more giving potty training a try at Christmas. We will be home. I'll be off. Maybe it could work. She is certainly showing more signs of readiness than her brother ever did. She doesn't like to be dirty. If you ask if she needs a diaper change she will walk into her room and wait by the changing table. She seems grossed out by it. She's starting hiding a little now too. She is definitely interested when someone in the household uses the toilet and likes to throw toilet paper in it. So these are small signs but some signs nonetheless. I'm contemplating getting the potty seat down from the attic and putting it out to see. But then should I get pull-ups or just let her get use to it being in the house? I don't even know. It's new territory for me having a child who is interested in this at all. Bub was 3 1/2 by the time it was all done with him and he was only vaguely interested. He didn't see the value in having to stop what he was doing and so we had to make him see the value. She is much different than him. Button loves to be clean. I think that is partly why she enjoys her bath time so much. So I'm beginning to feel like my 2 weeks off could be an opportunity I shouldn't pass up. I mean, how awesome would it be to have a child potty training before the age of 2? And no more diapers. *sigh* I can only hope.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Day 1: Babysitting (The Grateful Project)

Today I am grateful that my mom is willing to babysit pretty much whenever we ask. For example, today I am working the Reference Desk as the afternoon librarian. My university closes at 12:30 on Fridays (a left-over measure from Hurricane Katrina) but the library is open til 4:30. So there is always one Reference Librarian on duty and I usually volunteer to be on the rotation since the extra comp time is a good thing. BT was unable to take the day off so my mom is watching Button. She usually watches the kids in the afternoons but not typically on Fridays since I get off early. Her willingness to help out with the kids and to be flexible about it makes my life so much easier. We try not to take advantage of her kindness. It's nice to have someone to help out though.

The Grateful Project + NaNoWriMo

So I thought for November I might do a month of saying what I am grateful for everyday. I'm thinking of stylizing like I did with the 31 Things Project. I had a lot of fun with that. I know last year people did this on Facebook but I don't think I want to do it there. I'd like to keep it to something I am grateful for that day rather the general my family, my house, type of thing but I can guarantee there will be a few days at least devote to those topics. But I'd like to celebrate the small moments if possible. It might end up being a day behind if I do that since I will be saying what I was grateful for the day before which will be fine too. I guess I'll have to see how it works out.

The other thing that has come up is I think I might try to do NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). I have an idea swirling around in my head and though I don't want to really be a writer for real or anything, I do like writing and I miss it. I use to write all the time before grad school but I don't do that anymore. This seems like a good time to try again.



Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween!

It's suppose to rain here but my city didn't reschedule trick or treating so that is still on for tonight. We took them last night to a nearby neighborhood that was trick or treating just in case it does rain. So they at least got a little in. Button was a bit confused but happy to see candy in her bag. She did a little dance later when she got to eat some. Bub, as always, had a good time. If it isn't raining tonight, I will take them for a lap around our neighborhood but at least they did a little this Halloween rain or not.

BT carved pumpkins Tuesday and they turned out great! Each matches a kid's costume. Bub is a ninja and Button is Cinderella. I think he did an excellent job.



Hope everyone has a fun Halloween!


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dancing with the Stars (so far)

Dancing with the Stars is a show I always meant to watch and never got around to it. Well, in fairness, I don't get to watch a lot of TV just in general anymore, but every time there was a contestant I was interested I always make plans to watch and then never did. But Amber Riley is on this season and I love her from Glee and I follow her on Twitter and she just seems like such a genuine person that I decided to go ahead and finally watch the show. But then we don't have TV service anymore. So what to do? YouTube and Hulu were my answer. Now every Tuesday at lunch I've been catching up on DWTS. I tried to talk to a co-worker about it but she apparently hates Derek Hough who is Amber's partner and since I like Amber and Derek is a great dancer, we didn't get very far in our conversation. I have virtually no background on any of the dancers so I think I'm missing a lot of information that long time fans of the show have. But that's okay.

My favorites so far are Amber and Derek and Bill and Emma. Bill has a charm that I find endearing. Of course, I've seen his stand-up routines and the Blue Collar Comedy Tour so I was already familiar with his charm. But you can see how much he honestly seems to care about the others. And he's clearly made friends. Everyone always looks so excited to see him finish a routine and he brings a levity to rehearsals that the rest of the stars/dancers need on occasion. He genuinely looked super sad when Nicole (Snooki) was outed and he was safe. I thought he was going to cry. He looked stunned and confused. I think he is just a good guy.

Corbin Bleu seems like a cool guy but, I mean, let's be honest. He's had professional training. Maybe not ballroom dance training but if you are use to training and you have natural ability like he does, then it's not really a fair competition. Still I enjoy watching him and Karina dance. They have amazing chemistry and I wonder about them together as a couple. Maybe most couples are like this since they spend so much time together but they do spend a lot of time touching. Elizabeth Berkley is very intense, almost disturbingly so but she is a good dancer and I like her with her partner Val. They seem like they are just really intense together. Brant Daugherty is not someone I previously heard of but apparently he is on Pretty Little Liars, a show I never watched and a book series I couldn't get into. He is a decent dancer and he has really nice teeth. He is another one with great chemistry with his partner, Peta, and I wonder too about them. That was a pretty decent kiss at the end of their last routine.  Jack Osbourne, I am only familiar with from the reality show with his parents. But he is a cool guy though he falls more on the pessimistic side with good reason. Lately he's been dealt a raw hand between his MS and the recent miscarriage his wife suffered (something thankfully DWTS hasn't mentioned). He is a good dancer with a natural musicality (as they say) though his face is stiff and in the first few dances you could almost see him counting. But I like him. Leah Remini is not my favorite. She as person seems cool, very dry wit and sarcasm but she is not a good dancer and certainly should have went home before Nicole. And then lastly is Amber who is my favorite and I hope she wins. She is doing good this season and has a lot of talent. But it's basically the same thing as Corbin. She's had professional training and I know that on Glee there are long days and long practices so it's not like she hasn't done this before. I know ballroom is different though and she certainly struggled with the hold for the paso doble but her timing and her musicality and her acting ability are certainly coming into play for her. I don't know if she will win. I like her with Derek. They have a brother/sister vibe that works for them.

This past episode with the team dances was crazy. I like Team Foxing Awesome's the best but that shit was crazy. I also don't think it was fair to have Corbin and Amber and Brant and Derek on the same team. The cards were definitely in their favor. But they also did bring it with a bizarre song. So that was a challenge. Team Spooky BomBom's routine was also really cool but not as crisp as Foxing Awesome. Bill held that team's routine together and he did a great job. However it's hard going up against Derek's choreography and Amber and Corbin's talent. I think Team Spooky BomBom should have had at least one 10 though.

Some of the complaints I've been seeing on the scoring are how can Jack, say, get an 8 for that and Corbin a 9 when Corbin's is clearly superior? Well I think they need to be judged differently. One of them is practically a professional and the other is not. They can't be judged on the same scale so I think the judges might have different standards for them. Certainly Jack is not going to pull of the same moves Corbin does and so I don't think it is fair to judge them the same way. And Corbin is capable of those higher standards so it is fair to expect more of him. No one was going to judge Valerie Harper the same they were going to judge Amber or Elizabeth. It's only fair.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Thriving

Button had her 1 1/2 year check-up last Friday. I was so afraid of the doctor once again saying she was failure to thrive but finally she got back on the height chart in a more significant way at 30 1/2 inches (10% height). She still hasn't hit 20 lbs yet coming in at 19 lbs 5 oz but she's getting there. She's basically made her own line on the chart just under the 1% line. So she following a line, just not one on the chart. She's made her own line which is pretty typical for her. Everything on her terms and how she likes them. She's hit all her milestones. Run and throw? Check. Mimic what others are doing? Check. Knows 50 words? And more. Knows 3 body parts? Check. Can climb? How do you think she got that cut on her lip? By climbing onto a box, that's how.

She got her last Hepatitis shot and a flu shot, by which she was thoroughly offended and we were off. We need to do a weight check in a few months and I think I'll take Bub too because the doctor recommended one for him too back in September. All in all, it was a good appointment. And not just because there was no blood work ordered, but because I got to watch her run around in circles in her diaper and dance while we waited for the doctor and try in vain to open all the drawers in the cabinet. She has a good time wherever she goes.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

The Second Day

I've been trying, mostly in vain, to get back into a workout routine pretty much since Button was born. Well, almost. And then I was going to start in earnest when Bub was out of school this summer and then again when he was back in school. My trouble is the second day. I've gotten up multiple times and done some sort of workout, usually a video, but I can't seem to follow through to a 2nd day. I'm not sure how to motivate myself. I mean, if the fact that my clothes don't fit anymore and I feel gross most of the time doesn't do it, then what will? I've gain some weight ever since Button weaned. I didn't realize what breastfeeding was keeping at bay until we stopped. And part of that is just readjusting my eating to sustain only me and not a baby too. That part I've worked out though I still am not making the best choices sometimes.

I would like to work out again. I always felt better about myself and my day when I did. It's just so freaking early in the morning. The only time I can do this is before everyone wakes up. I don't have the time after work though I suppose I could get my lazy butt up at break times at work and go walk around. I use to do that. The weather is super nice right now so it would be a good time. I just can't seem to get my motivation going these days and I'm not sure what to do about that.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Nine years


Today is our nine year anniversary. Yes it does follow closely on the heels of our dating anniversary. I did that on purpose. It would have been the same date if the 22 hadn't been a Friday. While I won't say every year is better than the last, I will say that every year has been something new; a new challenge, a new baby, a new way to live our life together. I am extraordinarily proud of what he has accomplished in the past year with finishing school while caring for our baby girl while working full time. It's amazing what he can do when he sets his mind. I am thankful to be married to a man who works hard to provide for his family and betters himself not only for himself but for the good of that family as well. And the fact that he cooks and does the laundry doesn't hurt either. I'm looking forward to seeing what the next year brings us. But I know no matter what we will face it together.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Fifteen years

Today is the anniversary of the day my husband and I got together. I wish I had a really cute first date story but the truth is our first day was about a week or so later. We went miniature golfing and he let me win (so he says). But 15 years ago at the beginning of October we first met and I thought he was cute but short and that was about it really. His best friend was roommates with my best friend and we had gone the whole summer without seeing each other. Partly because he was home for the summer, partly because he was scared of my friend (different story). Anyway, we hung out as a group a few more times and then October 22 we went out for a friend's birthday and we ended sitting across from each other in a booth at a bar talking and flirting and that was about it. I knew then. That was it. Sometimes you just find that person, the person, my person. So I still celebrate this day. 15 years is a long time and the six years we had together before we got married were pretty important in shaping who we are as individuals and who we are as a couple. Sometimes I look at him and I'm not sure where that time has gone. But we've done pretty well for ourselves in those years, especially with our lovely children. And in five years we'll have been together for longer than we were apart. It's crazy how that happens.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

On why I'll probably never be a SAHM

A conversation with my mom lead to her saying that if BT made X amount of money I could quit my job and be a stay at home mom. At that moment I realized I don't want to do that. Shocking, I know. It's not that I like being apart from my kids. It's just that Bub is at school all day anyway. And Button, well, as much as I dislike daycare I know that in a couple years she will be going to school too. So yes, it would be nice to stay home with her in the meantime, but at around 3 I will want her to start some kind of preschool and then hopefully at 4 she can get into public school preschool at her brother's school. And then I would want to go back to work. I don't love my current job 100% but I am comfortable here and I am finally in a good place with my staff and my work. I worked so hard for so long to get us where we are now too. I feel like I've found my niche in the academic library setting like I belong here. So if I left for say, what a year and half, I don't know that I could come back to this university. Maybe if there is a job opening but it wouldn't be the same.

I've said before that my ideal situation would be a work-at-home type of job but Button would still probably go to a Mother's Day Out or something because I would still have to work and, frankly, I believe in children getting out of the house and into social situations pretty early on. I think it is good for them. Or I'd even take a part-time job but what kind of part time job would make me happy? I'm a librarian. I like being a librarian and finding a part-time librarian is fairly nonexistent in our area. I would like to be able to get Bub every day from school and spend more time at home with Button and with him. But I don't think I'd want to do it all the time. I admire moms who stay at home and love it. Maybe you just get use to never having a break from your kid. Maybe other people's children aren't as needy as mine. Maybe they are just better, more patient mothers. I don't know. But I honestly don't think I would like it. Maybe that makes me a bad mom. If so, then so be it. I try to do my best for my kids but also for myself.


Monday, October 14, 2013

Sew easy: T-shirt dress

Let me preface this by saying that the most I've ever sewn is to hem pants and I just learned how to sew on a machine about a month ago. I got a craft sewing machine for Christmas last year but I just learned to use it. So what I'm saying is I made a dress for Button this weekend and I'm pretty darn proud of it.  Button has two t-shirt dresses from a local flea market that I love but I thought Hey I could make that and so I decided to try.


It was relatively inexpensive and pretty easy. I actually used my mom's full size sewing machine and she gave me direction but I did it myself. I got the material at a fabric store and it was on sale plus I had a 20% off coupon. I got the shirt from a consignment store for $2.50 so overall the dress cost about $6.00. The shirt was a turtleneck but I ended cutting off the neck since I took a chance getting long sleeves in the first place. It is rarely cold enough in South Louisiana to wear long sleeves in October. But you can never tell. I followed this tutorial and this one too. I didn't add a sash but rather added ribbon like a belt and then added a bow to the ribbon like the other t-shirt dresses she has. I cut out the turtleneck and so it looks a little more like a boatneck but I'm pretty happy with it. I have the stuff to make her a Christmas dress and now I can't wait to make that one. I think I've caught sewing fever.

Friday, October 11, 2013

On why pictures are important to me

I wrote yesterday about taking professional pictures of my children for their birthdays but I don't think I really explained why it is important to me. There are 2 pictures of me as a baby. Only one as a newborn and a squishy, disgruntled newborn at that. And then one when I'm a bit older, maybe 3 months with my sister. And that is it. I don't think my mom had time for pictures even though there are a ton of my older sister from birth on. And to be fair, taking pictures 35 years ago was not nearly as easy as it is now. But still, there are almost no pictures of me. From about maybe a year on, there's a bit more. I'm assuming the stress of dealing with a 2 year old and a new baby is a contributing factor to the lack of baby pictures of me. There's nothing to be done about it now obviously but I'm missing something with these lack of pictures. After all, we have albums full of my husband as a baby so it's easy to compare him to our kids' baby pictures and say Oh s/he has your (fill in the blank). It's not easy to do that with me.

So I was determined that my second child was going to have many, many pictures of herself and I take way too many pictures of my kids altogether. I need this for them and for me. Who doesn't like to look back at baby pictures of themselves and think about how small they use to be or an event that happened? We have so many pictures of both them and I don't want her to have less than him. After all, she is not less important or less pretty or less anything just because she is second. Of course, the digital age helps. It's so easy just to snap a quick photo with your phone or go outside and take a few pictures of them playing outside. Bub is harder to photograph now that he's at that silly grin age. But one day I'll be happy to look at those pictures of that silly grin. And he will too. And she will have that for herself as well.


Thursday, October 10, 2013

Leave it to the professionals

My cousin, Kia, and I were discussing photographers the other day. Specifically she wanted to hire a photographer to take pictures of her and her 8 month old son with her (half) sister and her newborn. The problem is that my cousin's dad's family doesn't seem to believe in professional pictures. For the aforementioned sister's wedding, a neighbor with a nice camera was going to take the pictures (that wedding didn't happen). And so when Kia mentioned to her sister about taking pictures her sister agreed but then wanted the entire family which wasn't the point of the whole thing. And then it became well so-and-so has a nice camera. He can just take them. But what I think people often fail to understand is that it is not all about the camera. It's knowing how to use the camera. It's knowing how to edit the pictures later. I have a pretty decent camera and it doesn't compare to someone who knows what they are doing all around.

I didn't take newborn pictures of Bub. That wasn't popular like it is now. BT actually took a few of Button out in the garden and they turned out nice. I like to take pictures of my kids and I'm slowly learning good photography skills and tricks. And that's fine for just snapshots. But I try to take them to a professional for birthday pictures. I'm not sure why this became important to me but I like having really good, really awesome pictures to commemorate their birthdays.

The photographer we used for Bub's first 4 birthdays was amazing but he was really expensive and it got to the point where I couldn't afford the pictures anymore. I actually skipped his 5th year picture because I was pregnant and didn't have the energy for it. I know, bad mommy. And then I stumbled on the boutique photographers. You know the kind that basically only do outdoor photography. They aren't too much cheaper but they often run specials. I found one girl and used her for family pictures/Bub's 6 year pictures last year. She did a great job and so I used her again for Button's 1st year/cake smash pictures. She, unfortunately, is focusing mostly on senior pictures so we are trying out another lady who was running a fall mini-session special. And once again I'm combining Bub's pictures with family pictures. Somehow I don't think he cares. One day I'll devote these sessions just to him but for now we can update the family pictures every year and it isn't too expensive. I like the packages that include the digital images. That way I can keep them and print them however I choose. I notice last year she did a Spring/Easter mini-session package and now I'm considering doing that for Button's 2nd year pictures. I'm trying to be frugal and keep up with the tradition I started and don't want to give up on. It's just important to me to have quality pictures of them for later.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sick Day

It's been a little pitiful around my house lately. Luckily not with the kids but unfortunately with BT and myself. He took off a few days of work for a little mini vacation from Friday to Monday. But sadly he got sick on Friday and was out of it all that day and was still blah on Saturday. Cue to me Tuesday. I woke up and had a few stomach issues but went on to work anyway. On the drive over I could feel the nausea and I knew that I had whatever he had. I tried to tough it out but once I threw up I knew it was over. So I left for the day. Button was very happy to see me home but she was less enthusiastic when I went to take a nap (she was avoiding her own). I slept about 2 1/2 hours which was nice and when I woke up she was asleep on the couch. My mom came for her right when BT left for work so I had a few more hours alone. It was nice. My mom picked up Bub after school and bought them back home. It wasn't a good night after that. I fixed them food even though it made me queasy and we barely made it through homework and bedtime was a mess. I wish I was a better sick person because I feel like I was a terrible mom last night. I did what I could but I wasn't happy about it.  I wonder how other moms deal with being sick and having to take care of their kids too. Am I the only one who does it grudgingly?

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Eighteen months

Button is 18 months now and I don't usually mark her monthly anniversary dates after 12 months. Mostly I just start to look forward to giving her age in years. But 18 months is a bigger deal for me than say 15 or 20 only because it is the halfway point of the 1 year stage, the last stage where they are more baby than child despite the toddler tag that's been attached since 12 months old. One year olds still make remarkable development leaps and bounds. Not quite as drastic as newborn to 1 year but still there is a big difference between a 12 month old and a 24 month old. Walking, running, words and phrases, it all happens and happens quickly during the one year age. So now she is 18 months old and at the halfway point to becoming a 2 year old. It's amazing the progress she's made in the last 6 months. Walking at 15 months. She just learned to climb on the sofa and ottoman. She's started reaching for hands to cross parking lots and streets, something Bub never did. The other day she reached for both my hand and her brother's to cross a field. It was pretty adorable. The amount of words and phrases she knows is astounding. We can carry on a mini conversation sometimes. And even if she can't say the words she understands so much of what I say. She loves her brother so much. She follows him around just as I predicted. And he gets annoyed with her also as I predicted. But he takes care of her too and they love it each other. She loves the dogs way too much. And they tolerate her as much as they can. They are good dogs.

Her hair is almost long enough to put in a tiny ponytail and it is curly like I wanted though still blond for no good reason. She is a pretty little girl. I love her face and her tiny little self with her no longer chubby thighs but her round little belly. She reminds me of Bub. Sometimes it is hard to remember him at that age. But I look at her and I remember. And I look at him and I realize that she will be that big one day. It all goes by too too fast. Even if it is a cliche to say, it is still true.

I wonder what the next 6 months have in store. Her 18th (closer to 19th)  month checkup is next month and I am hoping she's gained some weight and the doctor will finally start to leave us alone about how small she is. I'm hoping she will have less separation anxiety when it comes to me. Lately she's been really clingy and I wonder if going to all the daycares has made her paranoid because she isn't that way with BT. Maybe it's because I see her a lot less. Who knows how the mind of a wee one works? I have to say that I'm looking forward to seeing what happens next. And I have to remind myself to enjoy the free hugs and the baby kisses and the general smallness of her. It goes away faster than I want to admit.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Soda Pop

I've decided to give up soda. Again. I gave it up once when I was 16 and didn't drink it for 10 years or so. Well, total truth, I think I drank Sprite. Basically I gave up caffeinated sodas. I wasn't a fan of being addicted to something and once I realized that I was addicted to caffeine, I gave it up. I did so well for so long. And then I got pregnant and had a craving for Mr. Pibb. So I would have a small glass a day.  But later that lead to drinking it more and more. I've given it up off and on since then. But earlier this week I realized that 1. I don't need to be drinking as much soda as I do now and 2. It's too expensive to be buying it all the time. Right now I'm not thinking of giving up caffeine altogther or anything because that's crazy especially with the coffee and sweet tea that I love. I'm thinking I'm going to give up caffeinated sodas to start. It's seems reasonable and I need to get back to drinking more water anyway. If I slip and have one now and again no big deal but I don't want it to be a daily habit anymore. If I can't seem to get out of bed to exercise right now, then this is the something that I know I can do.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Banned Books Week Read-Out

You'd think I would have posted about this at the beginning of the week rather than the end. But this week was Banned Books Week, a week to celebrate books that have been challenged or banned and to bring to light how often and pervasive book banning can be. A lot of libraries have read-out where they invite the public to get together and read passages from banned books. Or at least that's how my library has celebrated it for the past 2 years. Our read-out was Tuesday. I really hate getting up and speaking in front of people but I managed to get it done. And somehow I decided to read the passage from Like Water for Chocolate by Laura Esquivel, one of my favorite books, when Tita breastfeeds her nephew. I had originally picked out a section when Tita's crying into the wedding cake makes everyone cry and get sick, but it seemed too tame. Then I thought about reading the part where her other sister is taken by the solider but in the end I compromised between the two and went for the breastfeeding. Because I could see someone objecting to it. It fairly well and I was only somewhat embarrassed.

There wasn't a huge turnout though. I think the first year is always the best and it was pretty hot out. There were a few students taking notes because I am betting they will get extra points for showing up. But not that many faculty came which is a disappointment. The head of the English Department came and that was nice. All in all it lasted an hour and I think it was nice. It was a good way to celebrate Banned Books Week at any rate.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Light in their eyes

One of my new coworkers has a 2 year old girl. I met her the other day. Afterward I was telling BT about it. And I was telling him about the light that a lot parents get in their eye when they hear I have an 18 month old when they have a toddler who is older than mine. They get this gleam in their eyes like they know more than me. Like they can't wait to say "well, when so and so was that age" or "wait till she hits this age!" I know because I'm pretty sure I get it too. But the funny part is really when they hear I have a 6 year old. They look a little deflated. Their moment have a parenting superiority is over and by a lot. Because I have not only managed to survive baby years but I've done it twice. And I've already made it past the toddler years once and I'm working on the second time. BT knew what I was talking about. He's seen it too. So it's not just me.

But it's a natural thing, I think, to want to flaunt your ability to keep your kid alive and relatively happy for a decent length of time, well, basically any length of time. It's not any easy thing to do. And surviving year one is really something as is surviving year two and every year after that.

It's also funny that parents of pre/teens will generally just roll their eyes at you and basically tell you that you ain't seen nothing yet. I believe them. Because I know I haven't.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Worthwhile

Homework is a serious source of frustration at my house. Serious. It's hard to get an ADHD child to focus on his work. He needs to move. He needs to tell me as many stories as he can rather than write his spelling words. He needs to complain about how much work he has to do. I get it. I do. But I just want to get through it, to get it over with and done. I don't have the best attitude about homework frankly. And I know I'm suppose to be the example and to be his cheerleader. I try. I do. But it's frustrating. And on top of that, I've got Button who is either upset that most of the attention is being paid to big brother and so cries for my attention and then proceeds to get into everything in the pencil box when I pick her up. Or she realizes that she is not the center of attention and proceeds to use that time to wreak havoc while my attention is focused elsewhere. Case in point last night we were doing fairly well going through homework (why does a 1st grader have so much?). She realizes this is her moment and decides to go through the liquor cabinet, pulling out crystal candle holders and gnawing on the candles. And every time I said her name, she smiled and put them back... until I looked back to Bub. Then she'd do it again. She was pretty pissed when I put a hair band around the knobs so she couldn't open it anymore.

I honestly really need another adult home at night. I'm not sure how single moms do it all the time. I have such respect for them. Because even though 5 out 7 nights I'm on my own with them, BT is there for the other 2 nights and that really helps out. Both for the kids and my sanity. But that hasn't happened yet so wishing does me no good. It also doesn't help that Button is the littlest bully. I had to put her to bed last night so the dogs could eat. Because she took the bowl away from the big dog and then went and kicked the bowl the little dog was eating from out of his way. She is a mess. That's the thing about toddlers. You can't turn your back for a second but I feel like I'm either ignoring one or the other. If I focus on her all the time, then Bub gets neglected and I don't want that. I guess that's a balance most mothers of two or more have to find. Spending enough time with each child but not ignoring the other. A lot of moms worry about not loving the second one as much as the first. Because how can you love someone that much and turn around and do it again? You just can. That was never my worry. I knew I had enough love to go around. My worry was and still is time. How to find enough time when there isn't much to go around already. I have 3 hours at night for suppers, baths, homework, bedtime stories. I need a time turner or something.

But despite these frustrations and more to come as she gets older and starts to have activities too plus school in 3/4 years, it is all worthwhile. Even when I have had enough of them and wishing the age of safe haven laws extended beyond 30 days, the hugs and kisses and the I love you Moms make up for it. I remember one time when Bub was being ridiculous and we'd had enough of him. Then he turned around and threw his arms around me and gave me a kiss.  And BT said "There he goes, making it all worthwhile."

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Songs about my children

It's a little silly but for each of my pregnancies I've found a song that sort of sums up how I felt about the new baby.  Or at least a few lines in the song do. This morning I was feeling sentimental and I listed to the songs I identifiy with each pregnancy.

For Bub, Michael Bublé was becoming popular and he had "Feeling Good" out. I love jazz standards and I love this song. But it's really the lines
It's a new dawn
It's a new day
It's a new life
For me
And I'm feeling good

that summed it up for me. Because it was a new life for me. A new life growing inside of me and a life that was about to change drastically for the better.


 For Button, it was nothing so classy. It's actually the Wanted's "Glad You Came," specifically the lines
The sun goes down, the stars come out,
And all that counts, is here and now,
My universe, will never be the same, I'm glad you came, came came


I know this song is about a girl and a guy but for some reason those lines really summed up how I felt about having another baby. I was glad she came and my universe would never be the same. It's amazing how such a tiny person can change everything. But she did and she does and I am ever so happy about that.



I wonder if anyone else does/did this or if it's just me. 

Monday, September 16, 2013

No TV, no football

I've never really been a huge football fan. And I'm still not to a certain degree. When I was at LSU for graduate school they won the National Championship and it was around then I started to pay attention. I think my problem was I didn't understand the rules of football. It always seemed to me they would take forever to play one minute and it took a long time for them to set up for less than 10 seconds of play. But once I understood the rules better, I started to enjoy it more. Now I will seek any LSU or Saints game and try and watch it. I don't try to watch other teams so I wouldn't say I'm a football fan, just a Louisiana football fan. I will root for my team but very few others. My husband is a big football fan though. He plays fantasy football and will watch just about any game.

But we canceled our TV service if you remember and now there's no football at our house. It's a little sad actually and I think if anything breaks us and makes us bring back TV it will be football. How sad is that? Surely we don't really need sports. We get along fine without it most of the time. Luckily my parents will invite us over so we can watch with them. Football is always better as a social activity, right? Right. Well we will just have to see how this goes.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Where you were

There are some questions that define the lives of a generation. JFK's assassination is one for my parent's generation. 9/11 is one for both theirs and mine. And the question is always where were you?

I was living in Baton Rouge at the time. I hadn't started graduate school yet and I was working at the mall both at a shoe store and doing seasonal work for the San Fransisco Music Box Company. Actually that day we were unpacking and setting up the store so I had to be at the mall early. I remember driving to work and the DJ of my favorite morning show talking about the Pentagon. It didn't occur to me that something serious was going on. It seemed like unconfirmed rumor. I didn't understand what was happening. But by the time I got to work it was pretty apparent what had happened. The district manager for the company kept saying if the president goes to Colorado then war has started. No one really knew what was happening at that point. Sometime during the morning I thought to call BT to see where his dad was. He does a lot of flying. BT was sleeping and had no idea what was happening. But his dad was home, I think. We listened to the radio as we worked and virtually no one was at the mall that day. When we were done, we went home and I finally saw the video of the Tower falling. And I cried. It was just so very unbelievable. All of this loss and devastation. People who were just living their lives, going to work, doing the same things they did everyday, just ... gone. So much. It was too much. It's always too much when something like this happens.

So I don't have a dramatic story to tell. It's a small story but it is the answer to the question. The question to which everyone has an answer. There are moments that stick with you forever. This day is one of those.


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Looking at daycares

BT finished with school and now has an associates degree in computer networking (with a 4.0! So proud of him). He needs to take a certification test next but he has started looking for a new job. So I started looking at daycares in the last couple of weeks. I don't want to have to scramble looking at daycares when the time does come and we do need one.

There is a new daycare opening very near Bub's bus stop and it would be the perfect place. We went to look at it two Fridays ago and it is super nice, very state of the art with cameras and huge rooms and an awesome playground. But imagine my shock when Bub's last Pre-K teacher turned out to be the Pre-K teacher there. Yes, the lady who was borderline abusive to my child and who is the main reason we had to pull him out of his last daycare is a teacher there. So needless to say Button will not be going there. I told the owner that although her place is super nice I can't bring my daughter there while that lady works there and gave her a brief explanation of what happened. I wonder how the conversation went after I left. So that place is out.

Last Friday we went to another new daycare that just opened. Well, it's a new building but an established daycare. It's not quite what I'm looking for but it is still nice. Instead of having individual rooms for the ages it is one big room sectioned off with gates. Not what I'm use to, but it makes for smaller classes for the one year olds. It seems fine. Also with cameras though not internet-accessible. Still the more monitoring the better in my opinion. I went ahead and put her on the waiting list just in case. There are two more I want to look at and maybe put her on the waiting list.

I am both ready and not ready for the changes that are coming. I really don't want to put her in daycare. After our last experience I have developed such a distaste for daycare. But she will enjoy socializing with other kids and it will be good for her to get out of the house and explore a new place. Maybe I'd be happier if she only had to go part-time. No matter what she is ready to go somewhere, whether it be daycare or mother's day out. It's about time for her to learn to play well with others. I'm just sure I'm ready for her to go.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Hot times in the 'ville

Saturday was already a hot kind of day. Bub had soccer and then we ended up at my university looking at the wildlife (we have a swamp on campus) so we'd been sweating and outdoors most of the day. Saturday night we were relaxing and about to have dinner when I commented that it was getting out in the house. I figured it was just from having the oven on but BT went to check and nope the AC was no longer blowing cold air. After some online research he figured out it was the capacitor, a part we couldn't get til Monday. So what to do?

Well, we ended hauling Bub and a sleeping Button and our dogs plus my mom's dogs (they were out of town for the weekend) over to my parent's house. I slept with Button on a mattress on the floor of the guest room that is being fixed up. I always think how lovely co-sleeping is until I actually have to sleep with one of my kids then I remember how uncomfortable it is. Maybe it's just my kids. So that was one night of not so great sleep but at least we weren't sweating in our beds. And we stayed again on Sunday night too with Button in a pack-n-play that I finally found out in my dad's shop. But my parent's have laminate wood floor and all night long the damn dogs were pacing around with their nails clacking against the floor. Click clack click clack. It was insistent. But, though I am complaining, at least we got to sleep in a cool place. It's just not my own bed with my own stuff. And Button woke up at 6 a.m. because of me or my alarm or the dogs or something. I think the only one who slept great was Bub but that kid can (literally) sleep through fireworks. 

Luckily this morning he got a replacement part and got it fixed. Now I need to go clean up my mom's house and get the stuff we left over there. It will be nice to be back home and only with our own dogs who know the drill. Routine is very important in my household. It's how we make it through the day.

And this is the downside of home-ownership. When something big breaks you have to fix it yourself. Thank goodness our house is fairly new, but I'm afraid of what happens when the AC breaks and BT can't fix it himself or if the water heater goes out. Knock on wood that none of these things happen anytime soon.

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Bus Decision

Ever since we found out about Bub's new school, there's been a debate about bus over car rider. Mostly an internal debate for me since BT is cool with whatever. It's because his new school is really close to my work, about 15 minutes away in regular traffic. In theory I could take him and pick him up. It would be leaving work everyday for my break twice a day. And I would get back in time in the afternoons to spend 15 minutes at work and then leave for the day. The simplest solution is to just let him ride the bus. It's a long bus ride for him but the easiest thing. I bring him to the bus stop every morning which puts me 15 minutes late to work but I can take it off my lunch. And then he rides the bus home where my mom or BT picks him up at the bus stop. So, although I hate to make him ride the bus for so long, we decided to go with the simplest thing first. And if the bus doesn't work out then we can switch to car rider. I'd heard horror stories about the length of the line but when I picked him on Wednesday it wasn't that bad. I think it was because I went late.

Thursday was actually his first day to ride the bus both ways. He said it was long but good. He had no complaints and I think that this bus driver has control over his bus unlike his last one. The last bus was pure chaos and I don't think the bus driver cared so we had started to bringing him and picking him up everyday. But with the new school, it had to be the bus again or at least give it a try. So far so good. A 5th grader who gets on the bus with him offered to watch him on the bus which was very nice and sweet and actually makes me feel better about the bus. So although he's only been on the bus in the mornings since Wednesday and in the afternoons one day, I think it might work out. Though I'm ready to move on to plan B if necessary.


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

On repeat

Lately Button has been our little mimic. It can be odd to hear yourself repeated back in an unsteady little voice, but this is about the age when everything you say starts coming back at you.

For the purposes of these anecdotes let's call her Lotte.

So the other day she was playing her favorite game of talk on the phone. This is where she holds up anything vaguely phone shaped and talks into it. Sometimes she hands it off to the nearest adult and makes us talk on it. Anyway, so she is on the "phone" pacing (just like BT does) and talking. Suddenly I hear No Lotte! So whatever conversation she was having she admonished herself. And last night the pantry door was open and she wandered toward it. And then clear as day I hear her say "Whatcha doing Lotte? No no" in a tone so very much like her dad's. It was hilarious. Apparently we tell her no a lot. No, you can't plug things in. No, you can't dig in the trash. No, you can't pull your brother's hair.

It really does drive home the most frequently used phrases and shows you just how you talk to your kid. It can just be so unexpected when they start repeating you back to you.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Kids at work

Bub came to work this morning. It's a nice perk I have here, that if your kids need to hang out for a little bit than no one really says anything. I have an office with a door so I can always close it if necessary but he is pretty good at work. Lately whenever he comes to work with me he plays on his Nintendo DS or on my Nook so it keeps him occupied. When he was younger he would color or write or I'd bring his little computer for him to play on. He's always been good at coming and hanging out quietly with me which is saying something for him.

I'm not the only one who brings her kids to work.  But the others tend to bring theirs more often. Two ladies get their kids from school and they come almost every afternoon. I've thought about doing that with him since his new school is closer but the school doesn't let out til 4 and I don't think I'd have enough time.

Bub shows up rarely. He came for a week in the mornings before a mural painting camp he did at the Childrens Museum this summer and he came today but it is a rare thing for him to be at work especially now that school has started. It's kind of nice having him around. I like having a little extra alone time with him that I don't get anymore now that my attention is so very often divided. Because for 5 years it was just us and he got so much attention and now he has to share. I don't think he minds but mother's guilt and all. Still I'm glad to have a few extra minutes here and there or even a few hours even if he is just drinking hot chocolate and playing in my office.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Fortune Favors the Brave

One of my favorite quotes is "fortune favors the brave" but I'm here to tell you I am NOT the brave. I'm not big on change. In fact the only thing I've ever prayed for is a normal life with normal children, nothing extraordinary need it happen as long as I had those things. And so far I've gotten my wish. But something exciting is happening in our family. 

Bub was accepted into the art and technology elementary program in our school parish and we're pretty excited even if I've managed to screw it up so far. Right now he is not technically in any school because no one explained to me that it takes up to 24 hours to actually withdraw a child from a school. It's so strange to me that I have to withdraw him when he is only transferring within the same school system. It seems antiquated. But that's how they do it. So the transfer is not going as smoothly as I would have liked.

But I am hoping that once there he really gets to explore the arts and learn different things that would not be available in a regular public elementary school. I think his energy level will be useful there though it is still a public school so there are still the regular classes and such which is fine because he does need to learn how to read and do math. It's the extra arts and tech that I am excited about. 

The transportation system has been a worry to me. Because I honestly don't want him on the bus forever but then I can't drop him off and pick him up everyday either. I don't have that kind of time at work to pop in and out all day. So we are doing the easiest thing first and having him ride the bus. And if that doesn't work out then we will go to Plan B whatever that might be. 

At any rate, it's exciting and scary and a really great oppurunity. If only I can actually get him registered at that school...


Thursday, August 22, 2013

Bzzzz

It's been a busy week for me. I had a lot of meetings Monday - Thursday, much more than I usually have. I'm working with another librarian to put together a new program for the librarians and it has been a bit of headache but hopefully the work will pay out. Plus, at home, we are still getting back into the school routine. This is the first week with homework and neither Bub and I are that enthusiastic about it. Luckily it is just one math sheet and then I'm making him go over his sight words but still. I forgot how much extra school adds to our nightly routine. Add to that a general sense of sadness and this has been one of the longest weeks. I'll be grateful when it is over. This weekend should be fun at least.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Older and Far Away

It's a good thing that emotions are allowed be complicated and conflicted. On one hand, everyone (mostly our sisters) seems to be moving and moving on, happy with their futures and their prospects and all that it entails. And on that hand I am happy for them. It's good for them to be growing and developing their futures. I am grateful that they have these kinds of opportunities.

But on the other hand, I am sad. I am sad they are going and leaving us behind. That the future I had envisioned has been torn down and the new future isn't as pretty as it once was. That my kids are out of aunts and uncles who live nearby. I am sad because I will miss them.

And I know it's just one of those things. That sometimes jobs end and new jobs need to be found. That new opportunities come up in far away places. That the only person who can never leave never will and I should just be happy about that. That I can't have it all and it was selfish to think that I could.

The theme of this year seems to have become moving away. I sincerely hope this isn't a trend that continues. I am tired of it right now.

Monday, August 5, 2013

The Ideal Situation

A while back I left work at 2:00 to take care of Button so BT could go to work early. I picked up Bub after school and we did normal after school stuff.  Right now I usually only pick him up on Friday afternoons when I get off of work. But this was a Tuesday and it was nice. I realized then what my ideal situation would be. I like picking Bub up from school and having more time in the afternoon/evening to take care of things. As it is right now everything is so rushed from getting dinner on the table to doing homework to having baths and story times and getting them both to bed at a decent time. Granted these things will be easier once BT gets a daytime job and is home at night to help. But even then I think my ideal would be to work from about 9:30 to 1:30 but earlier if necessary. Button could go to a Mother's Day out program at a nearby church. I'd have plenty of time to go get her and then to pick him up later. And we could spend time together at a more relaxed pace. I could get out and do the work that I like and she would get social time with babies her age. So this would be the ideal.

The ideal ideal would be to have work at home job. Every now and then I look at jobs that are library related and allow telecommuting. I just haven't found one that would be right for me. In that situation Button would still go to a Mother's Day out program so I could work and she could get out. I would love that so much. I don't know if I will ever get to do either of these things. It would be great though.
 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

A few of their favorite things

Last night I was playing with Button in her room in an attempt to give Bub some peace during his bath time and I started thinking about the toys she plays with consistently. And then about the toys he plays with regularly too. Honestly, his favorite toys are moving to mostly electronic. He loves his Nintendo 3DS and to play on our tablets and to play games on the Wii. Toy-wise though I think his favorite toys are his Legos and the Mega Bloks that he got as a toddler. He will still build things out of those and I don't mind them being where Button can reach them. Unlike his Legos which are smaller and a bit of a choking hazard. (His aunt and uncle actually gave him a Mega Bloks Power Ranger Super Samurai for Christmas I haven't let him open still. 284 tiny little deathtraps, I mean, pieces. But he is desperate to put it together. But 284 tiny little pieces.) They both like to build things and destroy them so the bigger Mega Bloks are a good go-to toy for them to play with together. His other favorite things are his VTech Switch and Go Dinos. He has about 4 of them and he plays with them quite often. His favorite is the spinosaurus and he'll play with those for a while.

Her favorite toys are anything that belongs to him and I would say her Little People Princess Castle. My sister got it for her for her 1st birthday and I didn't know how she would do with it. But surprisingly she plays with it a lot. Big brother will even play with it with her. The nice thing (I guess?) is that you can buy the princesses separately and they make good little presents for Easter or Christmas stockings. Right now she has Snow White and Cinderella who come with the castle and Tiana and Rapunzel. She likes to make the princesses do their sounds and open up the castle doors. She also likes her Walk 'n Roll motorcycle and her stroller style walker. She doesn't play with them as much now that she can walk on her own but she still likes to ride on the motorcycle and push around the stroller. She also loves the LeapFrog Peek-a-Shoe Talking Octopus. But I keep losing the balls that go with it so right now there are only three. Toys with multiple pieces don't do well in my house but I try. She also has a picnic basket and tea pot that she loves. They make sounds and play songs. Anything that plays music is a hit with her.

It's funny. They have so many toys and really only play with a few. But those few favorites rotate over time so I never know what the next new favorite is going to be.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Almost time for daycare

Daycare has always been one of my biggest stressors. Finding it when Bub was 10 months old, moving him at 17 months to a different one when I changed jobs and then the issues that arose before we pulled him out when he was 5. Luckily we worked it out til he started school. But now it's almost Button's turn and it is starting to stress me out again. Because of our bad experience with Bub's last one I just don't want to send her to daycare. But BT will hopefully be changing jobs soon to a daytime job and she is going to have to go somewhere. I wish I knew someone who did in-home daycare who I could trust. But I trust a random stranger alone with my daughter less than I trust a certified daycare. So that looks to be our best option right now.

My problem is finding a daycare with aftercare and a summer program. Right now my mom takes care of Bub afterschool and it is working out great. I'm concerned that one day it will be too much for her and she will stop and I will be stuck. So I want to find a daycare with an afterschool program that will pick him up from school. I'd like for them to be in the same place when it is time to pick them up instead of trying to get them from different locations. And then he will need someplace to go for the summer and I'd ideally like for it to be a summer camp with field trips. Yes, I know I ask a lot. So beyond Button, I need to factor in Bub, mostly for the summer but with after-school care in the back of my mind as well. But if I can't get them at the same place then we will work around it. I'm trying to be flexible but I want to be practical too.

My biggest problems are finding trust in daycares and timing. The trust thing, well, that is just something I will have to get over. It's a hard thing but if you are in a situation where you have to trust someone else to care for your child because you have to work then that is what you have to do. But the timing is a problem. Because we don't know when exactly BT will get a new job and how much he will be making, we can't commit to a daycare until then. I'm afraid to put her on lists only to have to turn them down because we aren't ready. So I'm trying not to stress but then I can't help it either.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Sunday pictures: Wicked

Back in May for my birthday, my sister took me to see the musical Wicked when it was playing at the Mahalia Jackson Theater for the Performing Arts in New Orleans. It was really good and I enjoyed it immensely. I'd like to see it again one day in fact. The theater adjoined a beautiful park and it was a beautiful day. I've also enjoyed musicals and I really want to take Bub to see Beauty and the Beast when it comes to New Orleans next year.




Friday, July 26, 2013

Currently streaming

Long ago I said I wanted to cancel the satellite TV and just have Netflix and maybe Hulu+. And we kicked the idea around and finally BT agreed despite the fact that it is almost football season. But I ended up suspending it for 6 months to see how we liked having no regular TV before we all out canceled it. So Monday was our last day with regular TV. I subscribed to Hulu on Tuesday and we are giving that a whirl. So far I haven't missed it. I don't watch a whole lot of TV. I use to watch a lot of TV and then I had kids and just stopped. There are a few shows that I really wanted to watch and some of them are available on the services mentioned. But I will mostly miss Cupcakes Wars and Tia and Tamera, two of my favorite shows and ones that I made a point of watching. I think I will survive without them and hopefully they will show up in streaming one day.

I know quite a few people who do this and none of them have said too many negative things. One of my co-workers even said that it was good for the kids since they see a lot less advertisements and that is one benefit I am looking forward to. Bub was getting too invested and wanting too much of what he saw on TV. So this is good in that regard.

I am pretty happy with the selection available so far but I wish there was one more streaming service available. Netflix lacks in some pretty big company areas due to rights agreements and so I wish I could get one more supplementing service. But so far so good. Bub won't care and BT will only care if he gets a daytime job and will be missing football. But as of now Netflix has his science and history shows and so he is good. As far me, well, like I said, I don't watch a lot of TV on my own anymore and the one show I do care about trying to keep up with is available on streaming (Once Upon a Time) so I think I'll be okay.