Friday, February 25, 2011

You guys I am getting so excited! My goals are all coming together and I have so much stuff I can already cross off my list of ideas/plans!

  • I signed the kids up for a tumbling tykes class that will start our first full week home and take us until the start of spring. 
  • We've made a few tentative play dates for next week with other stay at home moms in the area. (I need to see how everyone handles the adjustment before I fully commit. I'm sure I'm just being overly cautious.)
  • We're hopefully going to get to go to the zoo within the next couple weeks with GG!
  • I've already started organizing some of my cupboards which was one of the projects I was hoping to start when I was home, so we're ahead of schedule there.
  • I've found a class at my gym that is twice a week so the kids and I can get an hour break from each other. (Operation "Size 2" is underway.)
  • I've got to run to the liquor store to stock up on beverages since our house is very low on its liquor supplies for Mommy. (Operation "Drunk by Noon" will be underway.)
Yes, I am totally kidding about my operations; your welcome for the laugh.

Today I get to celebrate with my company over pizza at lunch and hopefully avoid any awkward speeches as they wish me bon voyage. Monday I'll be focused on my crash course for my replacement. Tuesday? I'll be drunk and working out before noon! Cheers!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

While Rory does a lot of talking, her talking is mainly gibberish we're stuck deciphering. So I feel like she gets the short end of the stick whenever I share funny stories. So today is all about Rory!

Story #1:
This morning I went to get Rory in her crib and she was awake and giggly. I started throwing her blanket over her head and taking it off and saying "Peek a Boo!" She naturally thought this was a great game but then suddenly started saying "no more". So I stopped. Then she got mad and started making the sign for "more" and saying "no more" at the same time. Talk about confusing! In her excitement she was saying "More! More!" although it was coming out "mo mo". So we happily played "Peek a Boo!" for another few minutes with her screaming "mo mo" for my enjoyment.

Story #2:
Rory's new favorite game is to be chased. This isn't bad in itself but it does pose a problem when you want her to come near you and she takes a couple tentative steps and then turns away squealing in delight. The worst part is that her laugh is so contagious! I can be completely upset that she has run away and I will try to express that emotion while going to get her but as soon as she is in my arms squealing and laughing it is impossible not to smile and laugh with her. She really just thinks it is the greatest game in the world and doesn't understand that it is wrong. I'm just smiling seeing her doing it right now and laughing at how much my reaction is going to hurt us down the road. I promise you. I am doing everything in my power to show her that it is not OK to run away, I'm just not strong enough to overcome her squeals of delight I tell you! She's good...

Story #3:
I was hoping to start potty training Rory this spring when it gets warmer out; I can put her in dresses so it's easier to go. Rory apparently has different plans. Every evening this week she has insisted on sitting on the potty chair after Max goes potty. And as of yesterday morning she now insists on sitting on the potty chair after Max again. I'm feeling ambitious with this new curiosity of hers and may try some potty training next week since I'll be home with her all day. We'll see how it goes, it is sooner then I had expected, she isn't even 18 months yet, but the girl is curious and I think it's best to run with it. It may just be a short lived thing so I'm not getting my hopes up, but it does make me excited that she could be showing us she's ready to go big girl potty!

Story #4:
My baby girl is going to be 18 months old next month. My initial thought when I figured this out was "Huh? she isn't even 18 months old?" Either I'm completely unaware of where Max was at this age or she really does act a lot older than Max did and I'm swinging towards the latter. I think it's all this talking she does that throws me. She just seems able to communicate so much better that it makes her appear so much older than she is. I'm going to have to get in extra baby cuddles while I can with that one. She's 18 months going on 8... I love that girl!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

While driving home from work yesterday Dusty calls me to tell me that Randy and Ashley are coming over for dinner. Shortly after I get off the phone with him Andrea calls to tell me that her and Taylor are going to stop by. I get to daycare and tell Max that all these people are coming over tonight and he says "We're going to have a party! Another one!" So apparently we've recently had a party I wasn't aware of?

So last night was last minute and perfect. The kids were excited and wild to have all these people over to play with. They were being tossed in the air. There was snacks before dinner which led to very little dinner being eaten. And there was Maya, who is apparently very intriguing while eating her treat.

Don't mind the shirtless kids. Rory got salsa all over her shirt during "snack time" so we removed it and then Max also wanted to be "naked" as he called it. They really are so dang funny!

Another good factor in becoming a stay at home mother. Last minute parties are much easier to prepare for when you're already at home!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

I like working. I enjoy the break from the kids and I enjoy feeling useful. That was one of the biggest factor in the "cons" side of the list while debating if I should stay home. Obviously we know where that "Pros and Cons" list lead to as I'll be staying home with the kids starting March 1st.

This week I've got a list of things I need to do at work and the main items are cleaning out my desk, cleaning the surrounding area and organizing my computer. Basically I'm removing myself and after 5 years, that is no easy feat. I was sad thinking about doing it, and I thought I'd have a hard time. Instead I find it really rejuvenating! Sure there are things that I hate to let go, to pass on to someone else because I'm so sure they won't be able to do it as well as I have, but I'm mainly feeling excited. I'm so happy to write that! It feels GOOD to remove myself from this space!

One of my friends pointed out that I did not seem very excited about our decision and I think that is because I've been dreading leaving the working world. This unexpected feeling of happiness, rejuvenation, and peace are reaffirming in me that I am making the right decision.

This next week is going to be rough. Next Monday will be sad. Next Tuesday I will be starting a new chapter and I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, February 21, 2011

This weekend we escaped to the lake house. Thankfully it was warmer so we could spend some time outdoors. Mom and I did some ice skating which I hadn't done in over a decade so it was scary at first but I had a blast! (If you click the picture you can admire my ice fishing gear for warmth and my awesome pompoms for color!)

Max loved being pulled around on the sled. Grandma was great for whipping him all around.

Rory preferred the warmth of the bonfire and lots of snuggles.

Naturally I spent a lot of time next to the bonfire warming up my tootsies.

Oh, and don't worry. There were plenty of fish to be caught too. We certainly weren't going to starve.

It was a great relaxing weekend before the next winter storm hit. Thanks Mom and Dad for letting us spend the weekend with you!

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's Friday, I'm looking forward to sleeping in and relaxing with my family this weekend. So I think we'll share some small stories and photos today.

Rory had pigtails in on Tuesday this week. (She is adorable in pigtails people!) That evening Daddy took her hair out and decided to comb it. What do you think of her new hairdo?

I don't like to post pictures of my kids in the bathtub. Well, OK, when they are fully clothed in the bathtub that is one thing. But I got these two pictures of the kids a few weeks ago and I have finally convinced myself that they are fine and really worth sharing as they are so cute!

And to finish off, two stories about why my children are geniuses. (Because you haven't heard that enough from me yet.)

Max is starting to talk in developed sentences and it has lead to some amazing revelations (and giggles). On Monday we went out to dinner. Max had Valentine stickers on his shirt and started sticking them to the side of the table. (I peeled them off before we left but Max didn't see that I had taken them off.) Fast forward to Thursday afternoon. We're in the car and Max tells me he wants to go back to Auntie's work house*. I told him we were staying home for dinner. He says to me, "My stickers are at Auntie's work house. I need to go there and go get them." It was so amazing as he paused a few times to form the words in his head before saying them so I could just see the wheels turning the whole time he put that sentence together. I was so proud.

*Auntie does not, in fact, work at "Auntie's Work House" anymore. We've tried to explain that to him but we have not been successful yet. He'll get it with time.

Rory can now sing "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star". Don't get me wrong, she's only 18 months old, she can't actually say all the words. But she can successfully sing the whole tune with gibberish words. The one mistake, that makes it even more adorable to listen to, is that she adds a 3rd line of "Twinkle twinkle little star" before getting to "Up above the world so high". It never fails to make me laugh, which in turn has Max and Rory giggling too. Maybe I have a Beethoven in the family?

I hope you have a good relaxing weekend. That's what I'm hoping for!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

If you remember, I had listed that I looked into a few places to visit when I booked my trip to Miami. Dusty was most comfortable with me taking my alone trip if I took it in a location where we knew someone for that "just in case" reassurance. Don and Roberto are friends of Dusty's family and live in Miami. Don was a huge help for our wedding as he assisted with the groom's dinner and danced the pants right off my grandma at our wedding. (I'm still laughing as I recall those two tearing up the dance floor!)

I called them to let them know that I had booked a hotel in Miami and wanted to know if they would like to get together for dinner one night. Don and Roberto were so great! Not only did they invite me to have dinner at their home but they also insisted on being my transportation for the weekend. They even met me at the airport with some snacks for my room. Don called to check in with me twice a day to make sure that I was doing well, suggesting places I could check out that were close to my hotel if I felt like going out, and laughing at my desire to just sit and read and do nothing.

We had dinner on Sunday evening while watching the Grammy awards. I will never be able to watch the Grammy awards again unless I am in Miami and with Don and Roberto. Their enthusiasm and commentary throughout the whole show MADE the show for me. I didn't know it was possible to giggle so much over the Grammy awards.

Of course, I never once took out my camera while at their home. And when we were in the car driving around (they were great for car tours of Miami) my camera was always in my bag in the back seat. So, no pictures of Don, Roberto and myself. You'll just have to imagine some of the most fun guys around and then you'll know who I was with!

Thank you so much Don and Roberto! I hope we get to see each other again really, really soon.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

The Miami post. A little late, but very well detailed and pictures to share!

I arrived in Miami and was disappointed to see that I was still comfortable wearing my sweatshirt. It wasn't quite 70 and I am a freeze baby so the sweatshirt remained on. I got to my room and snapped an instant picture of my view, which was perfect as I was able to look out at the ocean while comfortably relaxing in my bed.

Being able to see the ocean from my bed was going to be even more of a bonus then I realized. As you know, I planned to do a little bit of reading on the beach while I was there. I hardly packed clothes, my bag was full of books.

I instantly went out to sit on the beach, but had to take a picture of the boardwalk because I couldn't believe how many people were out walking and how bundled up some were while others simply were not. I kicked it in capris because I was in denial that I was really that cold.

I didn't spend much time on the beach and ended up curled up in bed the rest of the evening reading and watching the ocean while the sun set. The following morning I woke up to rain. It stopped raining around noon and I had to go for a walk. I mean, who flies to Miami to sit in their hotel room and read all day? My feet were freezing as I took off my shoes to walk in the sand. But again, I'm stubborn, and I wasn't going to be all bundled up. Notice how red they are from being cold?

I stumbled across what I can only assume was the setup for a wedding that must have come and gone as there were flower pedals scattered all around. It was very pretty and naturally I had to get a picture. Shortly after I took my picture a man approached me and had me get a picture of him and his wife. They were leaving  that day on a cruise ship and would be celebrating their 45th wedding anniversary. It was so cute! I snuck a couple pictures of him helping his wife down the aisle too. Hopefully they liked the little surprise. I can only hope Dusty and I are so lucky in 40 years.

After an hour walk I once again ran for the warmth of my bed and spent the rest of the evening snuggled up and reading. It was just too cold and there was no heat option for my room. Really, did I not tell you that my view of the ocean was very lucky? I would have been so disappointed being locked up in my room and not able to at least have a nice view. I woke up Sunday to finally see the sun. Around 10 a.m. people started braving the cold and lying around in their swimsuits. I did have quite a few goosebumps from the winds but I was determined to sit in the sun as long as I could manage. It was too windy to be on the beach though, so I was pool side. Really? That was just fine as I was warm and comfortable.

There were always planes flying about pulling advertisements along the beach. Really not a big deal but than people started mumbling as one came by. You'll have to take a look, it was rather funny!

This is what a sunny day looks like. It was short lived but it was beautiful. It is always so amazing to see how much the ocean waters change their colors based on the day and you can really see how much more turquoise it was Sunday compared to Friday when I arrived!

Miami was not the vacation I hoped for. I didn't get to relax on the beach, reading and soaking up the sun as I had hoped. I also was not prepared for my allergies to act up thanks to all the wind, nor the lack of sleep I would get because of all the noise. I could hear toilets flushing in other rooms, phones ringing, the airplanes constantly flying by, along with the occasional helicopter it didn't make for nice, deep sleeps.

So I came home pretty exhausted. (Although Don and Roberto are partially to blame for that, more to come later.) It was still great to be by myself and to have no one else to answer to. So for that, I'm glad I took this vacation. I thought I'd want to blog more, keep up with Facebook, or do other social things but I must have an inner hermit (or a strong desire to just connect with myself) because I rarely touched my computer except to check the weather in hopes it would be warm that day. Harry Potter and I became fast friends last weekend, and I'm very happy with my decision to reread the series as it was a great way to get lost in the books instead of dwelling on unanswered hopes.

My next vacation? I WILL learn how to perform a sun dance that guarantees beautiful weather! And maybe bring my husband with...if he's good.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I was really hoping to show off some of my pictures from Miami today and share about the trip. Instead I went through over 1200 emails and assisted with 4 interviews for my replacement at work. After leaving late I rushed home to jump into Dusty's car where we zoomed off to dinner with my family to celebrate my birthday.

I'm exhausted, I need a vacation!

Monday, February 14, 2011

You guys? It's my birthday and I'm in Miami!

Happy Birthday to me!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dusty and I made a big decision this week. Well, actually, the decision was finally made last week but we didn't start announcing it until this week. (Trust me, you don't even want to hear all the circles I talked myself into while we weighed the pros and cons.) As of March I will be staying home with my children full time!

To best summarize my feelings, I'm stealing a line from Armageddon (the movie).  "I got that 'excited/scared' feeling. Like 98% excited, 2% scared. Or maybe it's more - It could be two - it could be 98% scared, 2% excited but that's what makes it so intense..."

Some days I'm super excited. Like when we started telling people about it and all the great advice and encouragement came out. Then I start thinking about my kids and how comfortable they are at daycare, the friends they've made and the education they are getting there and I get scared that I can't compete. You don't have to reassure me, I'm doing fine. This is just who I am and my feelings will continue to fluctuate between excited and scared until we adjust to our new schedule, whatever that may be.

And to keep this post from getting to wordy and to also point out just what an amazing mother I am and will continue to be. Let's reflect on the last night's incident. Rory was playing with my phone and I went in the bathroom to start the bathtub and the kids followed me in. Rory followed me in without my phone. So I quick went to the living room to try to find it. After a couple minutes I located it and returned to the bathroom to find this:

Yes, that's right. I left my children unattended in the bathroom with the bathtub filling up. I am such a good mother! For the record, I've never claimed to be perfect. Amazing yes, perfect no.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Rory is hitting. When Max started hitting I would get so upset and had a hard time keeping my cool. I specifically remember a few times having to walk away because I took it so personally. It's so funny how much changes between one child and the other.

When Rory hits, I usually pick her up and remove her from the situation. While I'm not pleased that she has hit, I'm also not nearly as upset or shocked. When I put her down? She usually turns on me and starts hitting my leg/arm/face/whatever is nearest. If Max had done this? I would have had to run out of the room I'd be so angry. When Rory does it? I have to stop myself from laughing!

Don't get me wrong, it isn't that I'm holding higher standards for Max. It's just that Max has helped me relax a bit in my child rearing and has taught me how to recognize some of the stages that kids go through. (It comes with the territory of being the first born.) It also helps that when Max hits me, which he still does on occasion but very rarely, it hurts! So basically, when Rory hits me, she is so angry and wants to show me that anger by hurting me but the reality is that she couldn't even leave a red mark on my body if she tried. At least not at this age. So it's funny!

And that is where I get concerned. Max rarely hits when he is upset, and I have to believe that is because he sees that it is wrong and that it upsets me. Does this mean that Rory is going to see that I'm not upset, not even bored, but slightly amused? Will I have more of a struggle with teaching that hitting is unacceptable because I occasionally have to hide so she doesn't see me smiling? Now I may be biased being the oldest child myself, but I totally get why the younger kids are so much more messed up then us older ones!*

Hopefully we get this figured out before she can really start leaving a mark. I don't think I'd find that nearly as amusing as her little fits are right now.

*Yes, I'm being facetious here.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Sunday morning Dusty and Rory left us to get her throat swabbed and to pick up some medicine for her. Yes, that means the kids and I have all got strep throat in 5 days, fun! Max was not happy that we were stuck home while Daddy and Rory got to play and I had to get ready for a baby shower. So I did what any normal mother would do.

I flipped over a truck and made it comfy for little toes.

I gave him a makeup brush and some shiny bright blue eye shadow and I told him to go to town.

Doesn't he look so handsome with his bright blue unibrow?

I know, I'm going to be mother of the year if I keep this up! And I should point out, that I'm currently "the favorite" parent. I'm rarely in this position as they both are constantly changing their minds as to who they want to be with, but yesterday, it was me. Aren't we cute cuddling and watching the Packers win the Superbowl?


Friday, February 4, 2011

So today started out well. We all got up and got ready. Max was especially crabby this morning so I was pretty much covered in snot, drool, and tears by the time we got out the door. We get to daycare and I turn around to talk to Max but stop. His face is suddenly covered with a rash.

So I leave Max in the car, bring Rory in and tell them I'm taking Max to the doctor to investigate a rash. So I get back out to the car, call and get us an early appointment and we're off to the doctor. With Max singing, mind you, because besides the rash and a case of the crabby pants first thing this morning he doesn't seem to be ill at all.

So naturally he has a positive strep test.

I am reassured that I am not crazy and was correct in thinking the rash was a sign of strep even if he does not have a fever or seem to be bothered by the extremely large tonsils they found. Since we're already at the doctor's I get a quick appointment to the audiology department and Max and I fill his prescription and get some breakfast between the appointments. (I love that there is a cafe and a pharmacy all right there!) I end up having to send off my hearing aid because it is malfunctioning. Not the end of the world but I wish I didn't feel like an 80 year old woman because I have a hearing aid I need to take care of. I mean, I'm trying to take care of a 2 year old, 1 year old and hearing aids? That just isn't supposed to be happening at the same time.

Thankfully, Max did amazing at the doctor's! We were there for almost 2 hours when it was all said and done and outside of needing some reminders to not yell or climb on chairs? He really was very good. Oh, and I am that mom that lets my kid run around the waiting room. Especially when my appointment was supposed to start 15 minutes ago. The nice old lady that was sharing the waiting room with us? She didn't mind Max's energy and even scolded me for not letting Max climb on the chairs. "Oh, his boots should be dry enough from the carpeting!" Ha ha! I loved her!

Now I just wait for Rory to get it. Max and Rory shared dinner and a sippy cup last night so it isn't a question of if she'll get it, just when. Happy Friday to me!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

We had a special treat this week as Max and I picked up a box of ice cream cones while shopping. Max held up his cone and yells "Cheers!" so naturally we all clinked our cones before eating them.

Did you notice Rory's upside-down cone? Yeah, she never turned it right side up and instead ate it from the point down. (Well until Dusty had to step in and eat the melting ice cream. Such a tough job for Daddy!)

I'm sure when the warm weather comes and the ice cream starts melting faster, she'll figure it out. For now? I'm just going to laugh at my girl who eats ice cream cones upside-down!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I skipped work today and instead got the pleasure of visiting our doctor's office, and subsequently the pharmacy, for my strep throat. Which I might add, I haven't had since high school or maybe even younger.

Any bets as to who in this household gets it next? Because you know it won't just stop with me. The first two weeks of January wiped out everyone but me so my guess is Dusty will avoid this bug but the kids will get infected. Just my luck. At least I don't leave for Miami this week, that gives me a little more time to get this family healthy.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

This is going to be one of those "My son is the next Pablo Picasso" posts. Deal with it, I'm so proud!

My kids like to color. And I love to sit them down and have them color because it keeps them out of my way. Ahem.

While Lyla was over the kids were all coloring nicely and when they were done I had them put their art on the refrigerator. You could tell which one was Rory's because she is very dainty and just barely pushes the crayon so there are always faint marks of color. Lyla was very nice and helped color in Rory's papers with her own darker marks. Then there was Max. He had the Buzz Lightyear paper. Just take a look.

Do you see that? Do you see how he actively colored over the Buzz Lightyears instead of just scribbling on paper? When did he figure that out?! Did daycare teach him that or did he just start grasping this concept on his own? Don't you think this means he's going to be a genius?! Possibly the next Pablo Picasso?!

OK maybe I'm making a bigger deal about this than is necessary but seriously this just blows me away. I'm in awe at his growing intelligence and just so proud!