Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Two Important Phrases

It seems like two of the most important phrases are sometimes the hardest ones to say.  Just last night I was chatting with a friend and we talked about how sometimes we rarely hear the word thank you and she mentioned that my hubby and I are really good at thanking one another. I didn't realize anyone had noticed.  But it's something we do and it's instrumental in our marriage.

 But I had to admit to her that it came about because of a big argument we had early in our marriage. I was nagging my husband about something and he retorted that I never said thank you and had asked when was the last time I had thanked him for something. I couldn't remember and it was a wake up call. As a result I make it a point to thank him for things that he does, whether it was making dinner, taking out the garbage, fixing something in the house, or just listening to me when I needed a sounding board. Over the last 7 to 8 years, it has become a part of of my everyday vocabulary. I thank him for at least one thing, but it's never insincere and I am truly grateful for whatever he has done for me or for our family.  He does the same and it's really nice to feel appreciated.  I think we all feel a little better about ourselves or the things we do when someone notices and thanks us for it. Who will you thank today?
I bet your thank you will make a difference in someone's day.

"I'm sorry" is the other important phrase. I think this one is much, much harder. It forces you to be humble and to admit when you're wrong and no one wants to be wrong.  It can be a matter of pride and I remember in my younger years that I would not say I'm sorry, even if I should. Instead I would become defensive and try to justify myself when a simple and humble, "I'm sorry" would have sufficed.  I think I could have avoided a lot of hurt feelings and resentment if I had just said, "I'm sorry."  When I taught, I found that telling my students I'm sorry or telling them when I was wrong gave them more respect for me than if I had tried to hold onto my pride and not apologize.  It's a hard and long lesson, but I think I'm better for it.  My students have made me into a better person.

I'm definitely not perfect. I have a long list of friends and relatives that can tell you that I'm anything but perfect.  But despite my imperfections, they manage to overlook most of them and still accept me for who I am.  For that, I am grateful.  Over the last 4-5 years I have really working on the type of wife, mother, friend, sister, daughter, in-law that I want to be.  It's not easy for this mama who is stubborn, opinionated, obstinate, judgmental, and critical....(I know a few of you are chuckling. It's okay. Yes, I am all of those things and I know it...now).  But I really have been working on being a better person.  On the flip side I am loyal, caring, and honest.

Speaking of imperfections, I blew it on Thanksgiving. Big time. Something had happened and I became upset with someone. I said things that I shouldn't have said.  I hurt her feelings. I realized it pretty quickly and sincerely apologized. Unfortunately, words hurt and are not easily forgiven.  She left that night hurt and I ended the night upset that I had hurt her.  I still haven't heard from her...

It seems like every time I take a step forward in being a better person, I put my foot in my mouth and take a ginormous step backwards.  Forgiveness is not an easy thing. Unfortunately, in my family it was not something that was given easily or often.  My side of the family holds grudges and we can hold them for a loooooooong time and freeze someone out pretty easily. Way too easily. If you've ever been on a receiving end of one of our grudges. I'm sorry. It's a terrible place to be.  I've been on the receiving end and it's pretty awful. Over the years my husband has taught me in his humble way how to forgive and I continue to learn from him.  I'd like to think I don't hold grudge anymore. It's unproductive and hurtful.

I try to recognize my faults and make up for them. With this most recent situation, I've sincerely apologized, and now I need to let time do its thing and heal the hurts. In the meantime I pray and wait for forgiveness...

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jamal Coates Article

I wanted to share a link about the young man I had once taught for anyone interested.


Remember to tell your loved ones how much you love them.


Tuesday, November 23, 2010

In Memory of Jamal Coates

As a teacher, you may never know the impact you may have on a student. They rarely, if ever, come back to see you.  You might hear through the grapevine how they are doing.  It's better nowadays with Facebook. I've connected with a few of my former students.  I wait until they are in college before they accepting their "friend" request.

About a 6 weeks ago I was cleaning up after dinner when I heard a commercial clip about what would be in the news that night. It was the shooting of a 20-something young man. Unfortunately, you hear this quite often on the news, but when I heard the name I stopped. I stayed awake late that night to hear the story.

The story was that a young man was leaving a funeral with another young man. He was the passenger and while they were stopped two other men got out of another car and shot inside. The passenger was killed instantly and the driver went to the hospital.  The young man who was killed was Jamal Coates...a former student.

I didn't recognize Jamal from the pictures, but I did the math and the age would be about right, the name was spelled the same, and I knew that he had at one time lived in the DC area.  I did some research and found the name of someone who had mentored him the last few years. I Facebook messaged him and tried to determine if it was the same young man I had known 7 years before.  The mentor was helpful and thought it might be, and was going to get back to me. Unfortunately, I haven't heard from him yet. I decided to take it a little bit further and contact a former colleague who may have taught him, too. She just got back to me today and yes, it is the same person we both taught years ago.

My heart is so sad and heavy that this is the outcome for one of my former students.What I remember about him as an 8th-grader: he was learning to enjoy reading instead of looking at it is as a chore, he had a good sense of humor, he got along well with his classmates, he didn't like my class initially but when he moved out of the area and then came back, he requested me as a teacher again. He progressed well and I was proud of him.

As a young man I read in the papers that he had been in some trouble, but was working to change that. He left the country with a group of other teens to go to another country to teach kids how to play basketball. He was making positive changes in his life and he was mentoring others.  That sounds like the young man I knew.  I am so sad that his life ended so abruptly and at such a young age. I'm glad that I had the chance to be his teacher.

Rest in Peace, Jamal. I am proud of you.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Enjoying the Moment

I am guilty of doing one thing and thinking about the million of other things that I need/want to do.  I rarely take time to slow down and enjoy the moment because I'm thinking about some unfinished task.  I have been making a conscious effort to focus on one thing at a time even if I'm planning ahead.

It's especially hard around this time of year as we prepare to host Thanksgiving for our family, prepare for Advent and Christmas and not lose sight of the reason for the season, celebrate Hubby's birthday in January, and prepare for the baby's birth in early February.  I find that I'm constantly thinking about the state of my house and how I'm going to get it party ready for family for Thanksgiving; the gifts that still need to be bought, but I can't bring myself to buy because it's not Advent yet; and preparing Boogie's room to fit him and Buggy while the same time prepare the nursery for our new baby boy.  I feel like my to-do list is miles and miles long.  I think Hubby is feeling the pressure, too.  He's the chef behind Thanksgiving dinner and the foreman for any big projects around the house.

This Saturday, Hubby and I took a break from our to-do lists. We decided to take the kids to our local orchard for their free Open House.  Though when it was time for us to make our way there, it was hard to get moving. We were so tired from doing other tasks and it would have been so easy to hunker down and not leave.  However, we decided to go to the orchard and it was a great decision.  The day was sunny and gorgeous! Perfect for being outside. While at the orchard we tried their yummy hot apple cider, roasted marshmallows, took a hayride around the Christmas trees and strawberry patches, played in the haystacks, and enjoyed more roasted marshmallows.

The best part of our day is that we took our time. We weren't hurried or rushed. We enjoyed every moment and the kids loved it. My only regret is that we left the camera in the car and we didn't take any pictures. I loved the feeling of utter bliss. I'm so glad that we stopped to enjoy our day and not get caught up in the busyness of our lives.

As the holidays are swiftly approaching and we start to join the madness of the season...I hope that we all remember to stop and take a breath. I hope that we all remember that this is a time to enjoy being with family, friends, and all of our loved ones.  I hope that you are able to stop and enjoy this moment.  Peace be with you as you prepare for Thanksgiving and the holidays.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Counting My Blessings

Yesterday when I put the kids in the car to take Boogie to afternoon preschool, I noticed some things out of place. I quickly called Will and asked if had been looking for something in the van. The answer, "no."  As I buckled the kids in, I noticed more and more things out of place and all the little handy compartments were open.  I took a quick peek into the back of the van where I had some buckets of maternity clothes that my SIL loaned me and I noticed that one was opened and rifled through.

Someone had gotten into our van two nights ago and was looking for stuff. Fortunately, we don't keep anything of value in the van so only a couple of children's DVDs were taken. This really shook me up. For one, I think we live in fairly safe neighborhood. We live in a cul-de-sac and I know most of our immediate neighbors.  I make it a point to say hello when I see them and bake them cookies and give them a Christmas card in December.  We are also at the end of the development. You have to walk past several other cul-de-sacs in order to get to us.

Though two years ago on New Year's Day as we were leaving to go to Mass we found one of cars had been taken from the driveway.  Fortunately, we found it on another street. After Hubby had called it in, we decided to go through the neighborhood. We found it and when the police showed up we were able to show them where it was. When Hubby went with the officer to get the car, they happened to drive by another man clad in his pajamas standing in his driveway with a bewildered expression on his face talking on the phone. Apparently he had a better, newer car than ours and they took his instead.  Total bummer.

Anyway, even though I feel violated and a little shook up, I'm counting my blessings:

  1. The car wasn't damaged.
  2. There was nothing of value in the car (I had had a birthday check for my daughter that had been sitting in the van for weeks that I had just deposited on Monday; I sometimes forget to take the digital camera out of the car when we go to an event. I'm not worried about the camera so much as the memories that are on it. Fortunately, I had remembered to take it in.)
  3. They only took two DVDs: Curious George and Finding Nemo.  I guess they didn't like March of the Penguins.
  4.  They had inadvertently found the garage door opener, but didn't appear to use it. I looked in the garage and everything is still in the same place, it doesn't look like anything was taken. This is what scares me the most. They might have tried to get into the house.
  5. As my sister-in-law pointed out, the van was still there in the morning.
We got by unscathed. However, I was up for about two hours early this morning and it had nothing to do with pregnancy insomnia. I kept listening for sounds around the house that might not belong. But despite feeling violated, I really feel blessed and feel as if God was watching out for us. They can have the DVDs!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Where did it Go?

Okay, I think I'm losing my mind...I'm definitely blaming pregnancy brain. I can't find anything!  I keep picking things up and putting them "away" only to find out that I can't find it later on. It's driving me nuts!!!!!

I knew I had swiss cheese brain, but now it's gotten worse. I realized it a month ago when my son brought home his weekly folder from school. I remember opening it, taking out the contents and looking at all of them.  I remember putting everything back and then setting the folder aside. Now I can't find it anywhere! I've torn up the house looking for it and it's definitely gone. No one knows where it is.  I had to ask his teacher for a new one! As a teacher I know what a pain that is!

Example #2: We netflix. If we can't stream from the Wii then we get our netflix by mail. We've been watching the series The Wire. Hubs and I love watching a series and I try to be diligent about mailing back the discs so that we have a new one when we're ready for it. Again, I brought in the mail and I recycled all the junk mail and put away the important mail.  I set down the netflix envelope. I had no idea where I put it. I looked in all the usual places (kitchen counter, beside the tv, upstairs beside the other tv) and it was no where to be found.  Hubs found it. You know where? In our junk drawer. (It's actually no longer a junk drawer but we still call it that). How? Why? Wha? I have no idea how it got there or why it was there. I would never put it there, but apparently I did and now I have amnesia. For the love of Pete!

Example #3:  Hubs was asked at work if we would be willing to adopt a nun for Christmas and provide a Christmas present for her this year.  It just so happens she is part of the order that provided a reception place for our daughter's baptism two years ago.  We agreed. Hubs brought home a list of her favorite things. I looked at it, I gave it to him to look at and now we can't find the sheet! Ugh! I want to start shopping for her and now I can't find her information. I can't even remember her name.

This is just getting ridiculous. My pregnancy brain has been bad, but never this bad.  Do you know that I set an alarm on my watch so that I don't get sidetracked and remember to pick up my son from preschool?  Now you do. I hope regain my senses, because I don't think my sanity can take any more of this! *sigh*

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Brought to You by the Letter H

Today's post is brought to you by the letter H.

I think I've hit the 3rd trimester slump.  I was taken off restricted activity just in time to hit my slump. I'm not technically in my 3rd trimester yet, but will be in another 4 days. It doesn't matter. I'm tired.  Not as tired as my first trimester, but definitely tired and feeling heavy.  For those of you who thought I would overdo it because I'm off restriction you have nothing to worry about. Really. Though I do wonder how we're going to pull off hosting Thanksgiving dinner. I think I'm just going to have to break it down all next week to get everything done. Fortunately, Hubby does all the cooking. I'll be doing the cleaning. I can at least sit and rest when I'm tired and I can spread it out over the next week.

When anyone asks me how I'm feeling I say "HUGE!"  I'm finding it harder to put on my shoes and to get up from any sitting position easily. If I'm on the floor for any reason, forget it. I'm not getting up anytime soon.

So if you're wondering how I'm feeling. Think of the letter H as in: heavy, huge, and hippo.  I definitely feel like a hippo :)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Oh Where, Oh Where Did our Money go? Oh Where oh Where Can it Be?

Last night Hubby and I had a serious talk about our financial situation.  For the last three years (since I've become a SAHM) I have let him handle the money. It makes sense...he's better at budgeting, since we graduated from undergrad his career has always dealt with money, he's better at seeing the big picture, I'm horrible with numbers (I have a deep rooted fear about math and anything to do with it and to me finances=math), and I can't always see the big picture. Being happy at letting go of the responsibility of the home finances I have been seriously delinquent in knowing how we're spending our money.  Hubby takes care of the big stuff and I buy what I need for us, the kids, and other family members (food, clothing, gifts, etc.).

The first year that I was home full-time really stressed out Hubs because we lost a big chunk of our income. I swear I could hear his heart palpitations from a mile away when the issue of money came up.  The second year got better and he was less stressed, and he's much better now.  However, because I didn't want to stress him out and he didn't want me to automatically consider going back to work (because neither of us wants that right now) we kind have silently agreed not to talk about money.  Not a good idea!

Don't get me wrong. We are not in dire straits.  We can afford our bills and fortunately because Hubby has been so diligent we definitely do not have any credit card debt. But a couple of things came up over the last two weeks that has had me wondering, where does our money really go?  What can we truly afford?

In my opinion, we are probably living a little beyond our means and we could certainly tighten up. Last night we spent two hours looking at where our money goes. (Hubby likes to geek it up and had made a table with graphs and charts. Being a visual learner, it works for me.).  We talked about where we could make changes and where we need to be more aware of how we're spending.  This was a good exercise for us.  It made us have an open discussion about our finances and what we can do together to help alleviate some of the stress.

I write about this because I have been struggling with how I think I contribute to the family.  I think this is one way for me to once again be proactive in the family income by looking at what we can truly afford and where we need to take a break.  At the same time I think it helps to alleviate some of the stress on Hubby.  He feels the need to protect me and to make sure that I do all the things that I want to do, including staying home full-time with the kids.  His protective instinct has inadvertently given me a false sense of security and kind of blind faith that we were better than fine financially.  I love my husband for wanting to provide for me and not wanting me to worry.  But I also need to feel that I contribute. It's important to me and how I view myself as a financially contributing member of this family.

I think finding areas where we can save will provide us more "income." I relish the challenge and will take it full-on.  First up, less dining out. I think I can cut at least 10% of our dining expenses in the first month...let's see if I'm right!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Too much?

A week ago I received the good news that the placenta has moved up and that I am off of restricted activity. I haven't spotted in about 6 weeks and I haven't had contractions in two weeks.

I celebrated this week by picking up my beloved children (even though I still have to limit it and I really shouldn't be picking them up), shopping at Costco with the family (Hubby picked up all the heavy stuff, but it's the most walking I've done in over 2 months), going on a date night with Hubby and probably staying out later than I should and walking more once again, celebrating my SILs birthday by going out to dinner and then working together to prep for our other SILs baby shower (we worked for about 3-4 hours and I left at midnight and got home at 1am), cleaning and organizing the house on Saturday (think that the nesting instincts are kicking in?), and finally celebrating our newest niece who is due to be born in the next two weeks by co-hosting and attending a baby shower for my SIL M.

Ummmmmmm, I'm exhausted!  I think I was so thrilled to be allowed to do much more than I have that I've overdone it. Ugh!  I think I have to realize my limitations and pull back.  But I was so excited! Okay, okay, I now know my limitations and I'll still do what I can do, but take a break when it becomes too much.  13 weeks to go!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Quilting Bee

I have found over the last few years that I really like craft projects. I like working with my hands and making things. There's something about it that totally de-stresses me.  I have no qualms working by myself. I love a mug of tea next to me, a book on CD playing in the background, and my crafting supplies scattered about me on the table.  I really enjoy making, creating, and being productive.

Twice this week I had the opportunity to craft with friends.  Both times I think we spent over 3 hours crafting and talking. I really enjoyed myself. I found myself doing something productive and at the same time talking with my friends and catching up with them.

While at times I like being a solitary person and doing things at my own pace, I have found that working with others, is like an old-fashioned quilting bee.  Last night I spent time with one of my SILs to prep a project that we will be doing for another of our SILs for her baby shower. While we measured and cut pieces of fabric for our baby shower project we covered topics from religion, politics, raising children (joys and challenges), our families, babies (especially as there are 3 of us in the extended family who are pregnant), and the list goes on and on.  I stayed much later than I had intended, but I also work a lot slower than she does as I measure everything half a dozen times (and still get it wrong) and found that my pregnancy boobs and belly get in the way.  But as we worked we chatted and it was a nice relaxing evening. Thanks, Sis!

I think I need more quilting bees in my life.  I've posted in investing in my family, investing time with my Hubs, and I think sometimes I need to invest in myself. I mentioned it before, but I forget in the chores of the day and trying to do things for my family. I found that the crafting projects I did with my friend and SIL was a great way to invest in myself. We talked about things that are important to us, relaxed, and had a good time.

If anyone is interested in doing a craft day with me, let me know :) I'm always up for good conversation and a fun project. Cheers!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Investments (Part II)

Hubby and I work hard to invest in our children. We do our best to spend as much time as we can with them while still trying to do our everyday chores, Hubby's work schedule, and finding time for ourselves.

As I was thinking of investments, I realize that Hubby and I need to make sure we invest in time with one another.  Don't get me wrong, we're happy and life is good. I couldn't ask for a better helpmate and love of my life.  But we really need to make an effort to spend time together.  Just us. No kids. No friends. No to-do list. Just us.  It's too easy to forget about making time for us because we're making time for everyone else.

Last night, we did just that, we went out for "us" time. Hubs had off yesterday for the federal holiday (gotta love them!) and he's off today for his flex Friday (Hello 4-day weekend!).  We got some things out of the way yesterday in prepping for Thanksgiving and we have a family celebration on Sunday so no relaxing Sunday together.   It's amazing how quickly we lose time together because of things that need to get done or gatherings to attend.

We used to do date night once a month. But over the Summer we lost track of it because of other obligations and we didn't have time.  I've decided to reinstate it. We started last month with dinner and a movie.  It was great (and I actually stayed awake through the entire film!)

Last night we went out again. We went to dinner and while I wanted to add something to our agenda like bowling, Hubby nixed the idea. He was a little concerned about his 6 1/2 months pregnant wife trying to throw a bowling ball down a slick alley. He also nixed my idea for roller skating....just kidding...I know that I can't do that either!  But we did dinner and talked (and decided on a baby name that we're not sharing!). We took our time and made it leisurely.  We even ran a quick errand (okay, two!), but we did it together without being tugged in 15 directions by our kids. We walked and held hands. Afterwards we decided to prolong our date and go out for dessert.  It was wonderful. 

I think making time for your beloved is a great way to re-energize your marriage. I feel that sometimes we go through the routines of childcare, work, chores, etc. that sometimes I think we forget that we're in this together.  Making time for us is so important and I look forward to planning our next outing (Harry Potter, anyone?). Hubs and I appreciate our time together. It makes the rest of the mundane chores easier because there's something to look forward to and to remind us that we're in it together. It makes time with our children and friends that much sweeter because we know that we're also making time for just us.   

Life can be hard, sometimes, but we're doing it and we're doing it together!

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Lately, money matters have been on my mind. Why? Because of the following:

  1. We're having a baby in February (but I know that we have everything we need, so why worry)
  2. I have to decide in February/March to resign or to go back to work (I have no desire to go back to work quite yet, but I often think, did I just screw my family financially when I decided to leave my good paying job with the County? Yet, at the same time, I can't afford the stress of going back. Too much for my family, too much for me); 
  3. I want my kids to have access to all sorts of different activities like dance classes, t-ball, soccer, swimming, art classes, music classes, etc (they do, we just have to limit them, which is a good thing, because even if we could afford them all, there is no way we have time to do them all.)
  4. S-l-o-w-l-y make changes to the house...which means waiting for certain appliances to die before we can begin looking at new ones  (our appliances are sooooooo old, but they still work. But it would be nice if things could work a little more efficiently)
  5. I would love for Boogs to go to our parish supported Catholic school, but doubt it's going to happen in time for him to start kindergarten next year. (But at the same time, the local elementary school is just a few blocks away, there's nothing wrong with it, and the proximity is worth it's weight in gold. It's the middle school and high school that I really don't want him to go to)
There's more to my list...but that about covers it. I know I'm sounding spoiled. I have a roof over my head, food on our table, clothes on our backs. We are fine and I know this, but every now and then a seed of doubt gets planted, especially when I would love for my kids to participate in the end of year dance recital and the total bill (with costumes and performance fees) just isn't in our budget this year. 

Of course as I worry about the above financial matters I've come up with some "Lucy-type" harebrained schemes ideas to support our family while I'm a SAHM. For example I signed up to do a ton of surveys and get paid for doing them. This drives Hubby nuts because he thinks my time is worth more than that. I'm also always looking for a business that I can start. I was a at-home consultant for The Body Shop (yes, the same store at the mall) and I did parties selling bath and body products. In all honesty I wasn't that good at it, but I enjoyed the extra money, meeting new people, and being my own boss. But it was a mixed blessing for me when the company decided to cut all of it's at-home consultants. But that doesn't stop me from thinking of things I could make and trying to sell them (hairbows or baby blankets, anyone?)  I have a ton of ideas and I always run them by Hubby and my two BFFs and they usually tell me, "no." I think they (affectionately) call my ideas Lucy-esque behind my back...as in "I Love Lucy."

If I had my druthers, I would earn money by writing. Plain and simple. I love writing, I would love if I could contribute to the family income by writing. I don't know if I'm any good at it, but I love it. Wouldn't it be awesome to earn money by doing something I love?

Why am I sharing all of this with you, especially since it makes me sound spoiled and ungrateful? Because when my friend J. stayed with us this weekend, she read me some of the research that she was reading for one of her classes.  It basically boiled down to that the time that is spent with kids in their early years, the better the relationship will be with them when they are older, like in their 20's.  That is something I'm totally striving for with my own children. I want us to have a great relationship now and for it carry on through to when they are older. I want them to want to come home and visit from school or with their own families. I want them to be able to talk to us and not hide from us when they are confused, hurt, or angry.  

So what J. read to me was like a balm to my worried and weary soul. I always worry about money now that we don't have my income. I wonder (often) if I really hurt us financially by not working and earning money to help support the family. But she gave me the best news ever, that I am contributing to the family and that my investment of time with my kids is worth it's weight in gold and that I will reap the benefits down the road.  That everything that I am working towards is good and that I am building a solid relationship with my kids. 

It's not a bad thing that we can't have everything we want when we want it. It will makes us more appreciative of what we do have or will get.  So I will shelve the seeds of self-doubt and know that I'm doing good work right now, and that my family is benefitting from our ability to provide them with a secure and steady home with a mama who is available when they need her, because that's what works for our family. 

Thanks, J. for giving me a powerful reminder of why I'm doing what I'm doing!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Baby Update

I have been on restricted activity for over two months, now. My diagnosis was that I had a low-lying placenta and it was causing my spotting.  The contractions I have been having are due to dehydration.  I have been trying to stay off my feet more and trying to take it slow, which is not easy for a go-go-go person like me who likes to tackle 20 different projects at one time.

Yesterday, I went to my routine OB appointment. I have to be honest and tell you that I was nervous and anxious, and resigned myself to not get my hopes up. I have asked for and have received prayers from friends and family, along with well-wishes, words of encouragement, support, and love.

The good news is the placenta has moved up on its own and I am no longer in need of a c-section for Baby #3!  I am off restricted activity and can resume light exercise. The baby still has a due date of February 7th and it looks like he will stay put until then! Praise the Lord!

The best part of hearing this news was sharing it with my son. When I came home from my appointment yesterday the babysitter asked how it went and with a big smile I told her it went well.

Boogie perked up, looked up at me and said, "What does that mean, Mommy?"
M: It means Mommy is okay and the baby is okay.
B: Does this mean you can pick me up now?
M: Yes, it means I can pick you up now (not really true, just like any other pregnant woman I'm not allowed to lift more than 15 pounds, but still....)
B: Really? (He ran to me and asked me to pick him up (all 35 pounds of him)
B: (looking at the babysitter) My Mommy can pick me up now!
and I got the biggest longest hug. Oh, how I love my Boogie Man!

That was the best!  I won't go overboard and pick him all the time. Heck, he doesn't want to be picked up all the time, he just wants to know that I can.

While I promise not to go overboard, just knowing that I can do a little more will help with my mental and emotional well-being.  My husband is nervous that I'll try to pick up my previous gym activities, but I've decided to not go to the gym until after the baby is born. In the meantime, I'll try some swimming and light walks around the neighborhood.

Praise the Lord for He is Good!

Monday, November 8, 2010

I Like the Kissing Parts

My son is 4 1/2 years old. His best friend is a girl and she is 3 weeks older than he is. While we don't live close by to one another, her mom (my BFF) and I make every effort for the kids to see each other at least once a month, more if we're lucky.  Unfortunately, it's getting harder these days as the kids are in preschool more days in the week and our weekends are filling up fast.  But her mama and I diligently pull out our calendars and make it work.

This weekend, my BFF came by with her girls to spend the weekend with us. Her hubby was out of town for the weekend and what better way to spend it than with friends?  I was thrilled to spend some time with her and the kids were happy to have a full house. I loved it last month when my other BFF stayed with me for the weekend while both of our hubbies were out of town. It takes the edge off the parenting chores/duties when someone is there to lend a helping hand while Hubby is away.

Anyway, this weekend the kids played fairly well together. I remarked a few times how Boogie and J. were like an old married couple. They play well together, do their own thing, have differences, but don't really squabble.  They may have their moments, but it's not often.  In fact they have so much respect, admiration, and adoration for each other like true best friends. It's really sweet.

At one point I asked J. about her other sleepovers. She loves sleepovers and has done several. She said, "Oh, yes. I have a lot of boy friends" (she was sincere and totally meant boys that were friends. It was cute.) My boogie man looked at her earnestly and said, "But you like me the most, right?" and without hesitation, she said, "Of course."  I think it's true. While both kids have other friends that they spend time with and love dearly, it always comes back to this friendship.

The next day the two of them played house. J. played the mommy and Boogie was the puppy dog and they played for awhile outside. They came in and continued the game, but changing the parts. I think Boogs became the daddy. They had these cute conversations about the kids needing a quiet time and where they were going and what they were doing.  At one point, J. came into the family room with a baby in stroller. After asking for Hubby and I for help to take her out, the stroller was then filled with Chester (Boog's cheetah) and Baby Jaguar. My heart swelled when Boogie took over the stroller duties and helped her with their pretend chores. It shows that Hubby and I have been good role models (whew!) in the roles that men & women/mommies & daddies/husbands & wives have when they are in a true partnership in their relationship.

That night we decided to let the kids watch a movie before bed.  We decided on the new Disney move "The Princess and the Frog." While the big kids were downstairs in their jammies waiting for the little kids to get dressed and join them,
Boogie sits next to J. and says, "How about if you are the princess and I'll be the prince."
J. "We're not playing anymore. We're watching a movie."
B. "I know, but you can still be the princess and I can still be the prince."
J. "Okay"
B. "I like the kissing parts."
Me: "What did you say, Boogs? Did you say you like the kissing parts?"
B sheepishly, "Yeah. I like the kissing parts."

Oh, boy...

Saturday, November 6, 2010

You're Kiddin'!

Being pregnant has opened a whole new world for my son. He has a lot of questions about the baby: how Mommy uses her body to feed the baby (B: Can I try? M: No, it's only for babies. I fed you that way when you were a baby and soon it will be your brother's turn); How does the baby get in your tummy? How does the baby get out of your tummy?

He is just fascinated. In speaking with other MOPers (Mothers of Preschoolers), apparently, it's a question that 4 1/2 boys have been asking. (It just so happens that the other MOPers have sons and they happen to be Boogie's age).  I have just avoided the question and keep saying "we'll talk about it when your father gets home." It's not that I don't to tell him, but my standard answer, "God put the baby in Mommy's tummy" is just not cutting it for him.  He wants to how God put the baby in Mommy's tummy. I've been looking for a preschool friendly way to tell him how it happens. I got one when I went to a MOPs MNO (Mom's Night Out). Another mom told her son that mommies have eggs and that babies grow in those eggs in mommy's tummy. That answer worked for me and I was prepared to use it when Boogie asked again.

Yesterday before we headed to the store, Boogie asked me again how babies got into a mommy's tummy.  I told him that Mommy has eggs and that when a baby is ready it grows in her tummy.  He looked at me, gave me a small smile, and waited. When he realized that was it, he giggled and said, "You're kiddin'!"  I told him, "I'm not kidding. It's the truth."  "Mommy, I think you're teasing me. Mommies don't have eggs! They are not reptiles, dinosaurs, or birds!"  "Mommies do have eggs, but they are on the inside.  Do you know how dinosaurs have nests for their eggs?  Mommies have a womb in their tummy and it's a nest for the baby egg. It stays there until it's ready to be born." In an awed voice, "You have a womb and it's like a dinosaur nest, and the baby stays there until it's born. You're kiddin!"

I got two or three more of "you're kiddin'!" and "Mommy, I think you're teasing me."  But I can tell he's thinking about it and the idea is fermenting in his brain. I guarantee he'll bring it up to Hubby or someone else in the next few weeks. But I loved his sweet, goofy smile and his incredulous, "You're kiddin'!"  I just hope I can hold him off until I can find a good book on babies to share with him!

Friday, November 5, 2010

When You Get a Little, You Have to Give a Little

Yesterday, Hubby was able to come up a few hours early. He came home in time so that I didn't have to get up, wake up Buggy, and pick up Boogie from preschool.  He came home and went directly went to Boogie's classroom. When they got home I was in bed under the covers trying to nap.

Boogie doesn't yet know the meaning of "shhhhh" or please use your indoor voice. His voice is turned up almost all the time. Maybe he's prepping himself to be one of a lot of kids in our house, who knows. It's kind of hard to sleep when he's calling from downstairs, calling from upstairs, or on the main floor talking to himself. He's just loud. Fortunately, I'm so used to it, I'm starting to learn to nap through it.

Hubs came home, played with the kids in the basement to let Mama sleep. Except that meant kicking playground balls into the wall, having the children squealing with delight, and lots of excited yelling.  He later asked if we could hear them. Um, yeah. So much for napping :) But I was happy the kids were having fun with this extra time with Daddy.

Hubs made dinner, cleaned up dinner, and did the bedtime routine with the kids. While I joined the family for dinner, I went to bed soon after dinner. I missed the nighttime hugs and kisses, and I think I was asleep well before the kids were even in bed.

This was all very nice. It was also our preemptive strike for me to be as well as possible this weekend since a friend of ours will be here.  We are a family who likes to give, and unfortunately, we seem to always give them our germs. Yuck!

This, however, does not come without a price.  Since Hubby came home a few hours early, it meant that after he put the kids to bed and cleaned up the kitchen he had to work from home.  He worked for several hours to put in the hours that he missed at the office. He's also been working on a memo with his team that has been written, edited, revised, rewritten, re-edited, and written again. Yesterday's presentation was a final go on the matter, and now he's on to "next steps." Unfortunately, "next steps" means that he will be working late at the office tonight and most of next week.

So my  few hours of rest will be balanced with Hubby working late next week. Fortunately, he'll have Thursday off (thank you federal holidays!) and he has his Flex Friday off, if he can get the work done over the next 4 work days.

I am so grateful for the extra help yesterday, but maybe I should be careful what I ask for. 1 day of extra help=to 4 late nights at the office. But maybe it's good he came home early to help me. I do have a feeling that he would have been working late next week, anyway. The next steps have a deadline and if I didn't get the help I needed it would have been 5 late nights at the office instead of 1 night working from home and 4 nights in the office.

Kudos to Hubby for stepping up and giving me a hand!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

No Sick Days for Mama

I'm coming down with a cold. I thought I dodged the bullet when my daughter caught a cold several weeks ago. I never caught it, then Tuesday night I started to feel run down. I chalked it up to being tired and pregnant. Yesterday, I didn't feel like doing anything and after taking Boogie to preschool, I took a nap on the couch. I woke and realized it might be more than feeling tired. When did I know? When I walked out the door to pick up Boogs from preschool, looked at my van and realized that I had left my daughter napping in her bed. I went back in, woke her up, and took her with me.

I went straight to bed after the kids' dance classes.  I had called my husband earlier in the day and warned him that was what I was doing. I also asked if it would be possible for him to work from home the next day so I could rest. Unfortunately he has a presentation to give today and it doesn't look possible.

I'm okay, not severely sick. Stuffy, sneezy, and runny all at the same time. Nothing that a day in bed wouldn't cure. But if I keep running around, my conditions will only get worse. So I've decided to stay in bed as long as possible today.  I've made myself some hot tea and brought all of the things that I can do in bed with me (computer, thank you notes, crocheting, etc.) in the hopes that I can rest until I have to take Boogs in to school. It's a rainy day and that usually means my kids will sleep later today. It's also Thursday and they are exhausted from Whirlwind Wednesday and again, will sleep later today.

I simply am not allowed to get sick this weekend. My BFF is coming over this weekend with her girls and I can't wait to see her. We've planned this weeks in advance and I refuse to give up this day with her.

But seriously, what do Stay at Home Mamas do when they're sick?

When my daughter was 3 months old, I caught a stomach bug three times in a row, with several days of being well in between. Hubby had already taken paternity leave and simply could not stay home with the kids.  I spent days in bed with Boogie watching PBS, with my infant daughter between us. In between nursing her, throwing up, and emptying my insides, I managed to feed him and sleep. I don't remember if he ever got out of his jammies on those days. He went to school Mondays and Tuesdays. By Wednesday I was sick, had gotten over it by Monday to drive him to school and was sick on Wednesday, yet again. Come to find out, some of the kids in his preschool had gotten it and their parents kept bringing them in even if they weren't 100% better. And because preschool kids love to share, Boogie kept bringing it home with him. Thank goodness he never got it, he was just the carrier.

I remember crying to my husband on the phone begging him to take time off so that I could be sick in the bathroom all day and not worry about the kids.  It just wasn't going to happen.

However, when Hubby is sick and has to take a sick day he calls it in and stays in bed. I wake up and tend to the kids, and shut our bedroom door. I usually don't even tell the kids that Daddy is home so that he can rest. By late afternoon, even though he's not better, he's had enough rest that he can come down and be part of the family.  And I am jealous!

It usually takes me longer to get over any illness because I don't get to rest as long as he does, unless it's on a weekend.  So Mommies...what do you do when you are sick? Do you turn on PBS and veg with the kids, does Hubby come home from work so you can rest, or do you power through your day because you know that no one else will be able to help you?

Today is going to be PBS day in our house so that I can sleep and I'm calling Hubby to bring home take out for dinner :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Baby Names

You would think that after having one son, that Hubby and I would have a list of names we didn't use, but we don't. It was really hard to come up with a name that we both liked. For Baby #1 Hubby kept campaigning for Atticus after a character in his favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird.  I vetoed.  Our son is named after both grandfathers. And he likes to use his full name, no nicknames please.

For our daughter I had a name in mind and stuck with it. She is named after my grandmother and Hubby's great aunt. I love her name as well. We use a shortened version of her name, but recently she has told me that her name is her full name. Again, no nicknames please. I don't think it's going to stick. For two years we have called her by both and her extended family usually uses the shortened version.

Now we are on to Baby #3 and he is a boy. We're stuck again. We actually had a girl name picked out and we were both pretty happy with it.  But nada on the boy names. Even the ones we sort of liked before aren't necessarily in the running.  We honestly don't have a name for this little guy.

Boogie, however, has already named him. Some background:  before Buggy was even a glimmer in our eye my son told me that he wanted a sister and that the next baby would be a girl. He was right.  When thinking about this current baby, Boogie told us he was done with sisters and that he was going to have a brother. He was right.  The funny thing is that well over a year ago, before this baby was even in our thoughts Boogie came up to me one night, told me that I was having a boy and that his name would be Isaac.  He has stuck by that name.  However, it was never a name that Hubby and I have discussed or even considered.  But who am I tell a young man who seems to have the inside scoop with the Big Man Upstairs that it's not in the running? So now it's a consideration.

I have a name that I've been playing with, but here's the deal. Hubby has a cousin that lives in another state. We're friendly, we saw him and his family last Summer when we were up his way on a business trip.  I think Hubby is LinkedIn with him and possibly Facebook friends, but other than that, not too much contact.  They had a daughter about a year before we did and gave her the name that I wanted to give our daughter. I was shocked because it's not a common name. But Hubby's cousin's wife had given her favorite baby doll that name when she was a kid and loved it so much she gave the name to her daughter.  Again, I gave the same name to my daughter because it was my grandmother's name.  Hubby's cousin just had a son, and yep...they gave him the name that was on my top 3 list. So what to do? Do I go forward with the name or do I say forget it, because now it's just weird and I look like I'm copying? I haven't decided yet.

But I better decide soon. Boogie has been praying for baby Isaac this past week and if I don't come up with another name, the baby will be Isaac or Lucifer. Because, yeah, he suggested Lucifer last night. Um, no. Lucifer is not in the running. Thankyouverymuch!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

So...When are You Due?

So I must have popped over the weekend, because 7 new people mentioned my pregnancy over the last 2 days. I am currently 25 weeks along.  I feel like I have a long way to go, while at the same time feeling like time is flying by way too fast because before I know it, February will be here!

Before this pregnancy I had planned to continue going to the gym and staying fit with walking and some cycling. But this baby had other plans and prefers for me to sit with my feet up. While I definitely eat better than I did with my first and second pregnancies, I started to put on weight pretty quickly this past month. Easy to do when you're not allowed to even walk around the block with the kids and Hubby makes really, really, really good banana chocolate chip walnut bread for breakfast.

So, I'm really self-conscious about my weight right now and the fact that I feel like a ginormous beach ball rolling everywhere. Or maybe more like Violet Beauregarde when she turns into a blueberry after trying out Willy Wonka's infamous gum. Anyway I feel HUGE.

So on Sunday two different people at Church asked when I was due and if it's a boy or girl. Normal non-judgemental questions.  Then yesterday...

I just dropped off my son at his classroom and was walking out and happened to walk alongside another parent from the same class.

Preschool Mommy #1:  When are you due?
Me: February
PM#1: Big (with eyebrows lifted)
Me: Um, yeah.
PM#1: Just one?
Me: Um, yeah (and started using my daughter as a distraction to get us to hurry through the parking lot).

We part ways and I see a mommy friend (Preschooler Mommy #2) parked next to my car. She's trying to get her daughter buckled in.

PM#2: So when are you due? January or December?
Me: February.
Uncomfortable silence ensues as we finishing buckling our daughters into their carseats.

This is making me think that I must have really packed on the weight  in the last week.  If only these women knew #1 that I'm smaller than I was for the first two pregnancies, and #2, I'm not allowed to do much because of spotting and contractions!!!!!  If only they knew. Argh!

By the way, I am by no means a small woman, and I own that.  However, I did lose 25 pounds before conceiving Baby #3 and was getting thinner by the week. I was at my healthiest this past Spring running on a regular basis and starting spin classes.  Knowing that I was able to lose weight on my own without resorting to Weight Watchers, Jenny Craig, South Beach, Diet, or Nutrisystem was awesome. I had tried a few of those systems in the past and never lost a lot of weight and/or kept it off. By exercising and watching what I ate I finally lost the dreaded baby weight from my first born and kept it off!

However the day was redeemed in several ways:

Picking up Boogie from school:
PM#3: You're expecting. When are you due?
Me: February. I know it's a long way off...
PM#4: No, it's not, it's just around the corner. You look like your carrying it well. You look good.
Me: Thank you!
PM#5 (and one who currently has an infant): Yeah, you look good. You're carrying it well.

Whether or not it's true, it totally made up for the morning. However, the best part of my entire day was walking into Buggy's bedroom while Hubby was saying bedtime prayers with the kids. I happened to hear them praying for Mommy and the Baby.  When I walked in, the kids each said, "God Bless, Baby" and kissed my belly.  Okay, yeah. That was totally the best part of my day. I love my family!

Monday, November 1, 2010

"Tick o Teat"

A pumpkin for each kid:  Kitty cat for Baby #3, Buggy's Pig, Boogie's dog.
The kids had so much fun going trick or treating last night.  Boogie is 4 1/2 and knew what to expect. He was so excited to go out that he tried to put on his costume right after church.  I had to convince him to wait until after dinner. Buggy was with me when I bought candy to give out and she kept saying, "Ha-o-wee."  She also insisted that she would be a "fower" and definitely not a "dwagon."

I wanted the kids to carve pumpkins, but we are always so behind and I didn't have the energy to set it up.  However, our neighbors had found these cute plastic faces (kind of like  Mr. Potatohead pieces) and told me where to buy them. I bought a set and Hubby helped the kids make fun pumpkin faces.  He did carve one jack-o-lantern and Bug does not like it. Too "sca-wee."

A bear for Mommy and Daddy's Jack-o-lantern
After dinner the kids changed into their costumes. Boogs had no problem and Bug was excited to be a "fower."  After the kids were dressed my son looks at my daughter very seriously and said, "If Lolo (my dad) doesn't give us any candy, let's play a trick on him."  Buggy's response: "Okay" just as seriously.

The kids walked around the neighborhood with Hubby. I just did our cul-de-sac (4 houses since I'm not allowed to even do light walking around the neighborhood) and waited for them to come back so we could drive to my parent's house for trick or treating.

Hubby said when they got back that Buggy went up to each house said, "Tick o Teat," took her piece of candy, said, "Ha-o-wee is FUN," then said "thank you" and headed to the next house. Boogie ran from house to house with our neighbor and Hubby had to practically drag him back to the house.

They had  a ton of fun. When we got to my parents' house Buggy kept pulling out a piece of candy and hand it to one of us to open. I would say, "no, tomorrow." She'd pout, put back the candy and pull out a different piece and we'd do it all over again. She cracks me up.   She didn't realize that it was no to all candy until the next day. She'd already had a lollipop, fruit snacks,  and a mini candy bar.

Our flower and knight

We stopped by my friend K's house. I figured since we were already in the car, we'd take a detour on the way home and show off the kids and say hi.  By the end, I was pooped! And all I did was walk to a few houses, hand out candy, visit my parents and friend, and head home.

It was fun. I appreciated that Hubby enjoyed going out with the kids and that the kids had fun and nothing was too scary.  Good times had by all :)

Visiting my parents for Trick-or-Treating

My kids with my parents

Our "fower"