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.