Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Sickies

Last week - a great week - ended with a batch of sick kids and now a sick husband.  The funny thing is that I'm not even miffed about it.  I feel like that much good in one week was bound to have to get sideways; the universe had to realign itself and spread the good out amongst everyone.

Heading to work at the break of dawn is already tough (even though it's getting better), but when my kids are sick is when it is the most difficult for me to leave.  My kids are well taken care of but when they are sick sometimes all they want is for "Mommy" to hold them.  My poor big girl woke up in the middle of the night with the worst bloody nose I have ever seen.  It was like a faucet and the amount was scaring her.  After about 30 minutes of gushing, it started to scare me.  I mean how much blood can someone so tiny even have?!  At one point I'm holding the pile of toilet paper on her nose and Googling Baby Center to try and find pointers to help.  Head leaning forward and a cool washcloth later the bleeding stopped and she was fast asleep - thank you Baby Center!

Sometimes in these tired moments with your kids something gets said or a thought pops into your head that you just can't shake.  The bloody nose was a minor issue, but scary for her nonetheless.  At one point her poor little tired eyes looked up at me and asked - very seriously "Mommy, am I dying?"  It sounds stupid, but that question broke my heart.  Not because I thought it was happening or that it would, but because she felt like this  question was warranted.  Thank goodness my answer was an easy "No" but it made me empathize with anyone who has ever had to say "Yes" to their child.  I hope I never have to walk a day in those shoes...

We all survived that night, albeit ridiculously sleep deprived and everyone seems to be on the mend.  I miss them every day and almost every moment I am sitting at my desk, phone glued to my ear.  That small question my daughter asked has stuck with me the last few days. It puts things back in perspective - which we all need sometimes.  My situation is not ideal and I never look forward to work, but I know my kids are home safe, waiting for hugs and kisses when I walk in the door every night.  For some, this IS like winning the lottery.

Have a good week everyone!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Pretty Things

For the record, mom's deserve pretty pampering just as much as anyone else out there, but for some reason we are the first to sacrifice these things for our families, for our checkbooks, for whatever.  My friend joked that the only way her "...bra and underwear match these days is if they are both solid white."  Yeah, we got a good laugh out of that...because it's true. 

Today for the first time in YEARS - yes, it's sad, YEARS - I bought a matching bra and underwear - or "panties" as I called them in my pre-Mommy days when they were true delicates.  It has a simple, yet pretty pattern and the panties are well... pretty for lack of a more deep descriptive.  I know you don't need a play-by-play on the details of my unmentionables, but I was am SO excited.  I had forgotten how it felt to wear pretty versus functional undergarments - even though no one sees them. 

To ice the cake, everything was on sale!  A gift card (thanks to my husband) and a guilt free shopping spree (not technically a spree, but it was for me) later and I've had a great day.  Did I mention it's also FRIDAY?!?  Another 15 minutes of procrastinating at my desk and I'm outta here...

Have a great weekend everyone!  Go hug your kids...or your pets...or anyone else you might love!

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Big Plan

First and foremost it is tragic that I have to work today on MLK day.  The only good thing about working today is that there was NO traffic.  If it only took me 30 minutes to get to work everyday, it would be a game changer.  Moving on....

We were supposed to go to the snow this past weekend, but my little man got sick late last week and we didn't want to push it.  There is no such thing as a leisure pace when there is snow to throw and fun to be had in every direction.  Instead, we did a quick stop at the beach and we all got some fresh air.  The weather was perfect.  Not too hot and not too cold.  The kids got to dip their feet in the ocean and found tide pools to explore.  What's not cool about petting star fish and finding clams and hermit crabs?

I have often talked about the greener grass in previous posts and I have often debated on what the best decision is for our family.  Should we move to a more affordable area or stick it out and stay where we are? We have concluded - at times against my better self - that we are not going anywhere.  The longer I work, the less I want to work to pay for a house.  I have come to know very well that the size of our house doesn't make our home.   

When we first moved in my daughter wasn't even a year old, so the size of the house was manageable for three.  It was more space than we had every known...we had a back yard for crying out loud!  We also figured we'd move to a bigger house in a few years - once we built up some equity (ha!).  An entire economy down the drain and six years and two more kids later, we are busting at our seams.

Today was an incredibly exciting day for me.  A few hours ago I made the call to an architect I've been corresponding with to tell her we are ready to have her draw the plans out to expand our house.  My husband works in construction and I have a good amount of experience running construction projects so between the two of us, our plans have been drawn for some time - just not to code.  Our date nights have consisted of sketching ideas out on paper napkins at the table and I think we're there; we just need someone to put polish it up.

Truthfully, we are in no position to break ground tomorrow, but knowing how much the project will cost will determine how far away we are.  My fingers are crossed for raises, bonuses and income tax returns.  Right now I have three small kids sharing one room - which I understand is a luxury for some, but if I don't have to do it, I don't want to.  Sharing never killed anyone, but neither has a plan so that's where we're starting.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Optimistic Pessimist

I had my annual Employee Review on Friday and it went well - really well. As much as I don't want to be here, being viewed as someone who is competent and does a good job is still important to me. Doing well was really important - not just for me, but for my team. The hurting economy caused our company to hold salaries and reduce bonuses the past few years. Based on my "score-card" I should know by the end of the month whether I will get a much needed raise and bonus. Every extra dollar I make puts me one step closer to being where I want to be.

I am a planner by nature and a pessimist against my own will. I want so badly to be that positive and optimistic friend we all have (or should have) where everything works out peachy in the end. But, I am not built that way. I read articles and reports all the time from parenting tips (home) to the comparisons of sectional boilers (work). I cover the pros and cons of each, then bank them as a resource. I may never tap into these "resources," but I'll be ready if I need to. I have come to accept this oddity about myself. I've also come to understand that the more prepared I feel for the unexpected disaster, the safer I feel in my everyday life.

My plan of getting out of here in the next year is still in effect. By the end of this year, I should be closer than I ever have been - pending any horrific changes to my financial forecast which is always a possibility. I've paid down our debt, secured our mortgage, worked my ass off to be considered for a salary increase, and threw out to my boss I'd be willing to accept a new position in a different capacity if it meant I'd get closer to home. I'm trying...and that's all I can do. Here's to a slice of optimism today :-)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Basketball Season

Basketball season opened for my Big Kid this past Saturday and I bid my open weekends adieu until softball season ends this summer...

My eldest daughter is tiny, but scrappy.  She will work harder than any player if it means she will out play them...I envy her athletic appetite.  Basketball hasn't typically been her sport (in my opinion). Last season was her first year playing and it was just okay. She had a tendency to "butterfly chase" sometimes, so I thought it was just a matter of time before she got bored and we would move on.

This year I saw a whole new player. She had 12 points and 4 steals. Where did that come from?! I was stunned.  It certainly wasn't what I sat down in the bleachers to see that morning.  We were so proud of her and it ended up being really fun.   The best part is that SHE looked so happy and alive on the court.  As much as I complain about how time consuming sports are, there are so many worse things she could choose to do. 

Happy Monday everyone!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Who They Are Today...

So far this year is off to a good start.  Everyone is healthy and my house is mostly clean:  my criteria for a "good start" is not complicated.

Each year that goes by it's like a smack upside my head that my kids, no matter how I fight it, continue to grow.  I like to jot down who my kids are at random times, just so I don't forget.  There may come a time where I read back through these profiles just to remind myself that the unruly teenagers I'm looking at were not always so tough.

My Big Kid is just that:  a Big Kid.  She is definitely my girl.  She is doing so well in school and absolutely loves sports.  There is a fire that burns in her to challenge herself to be the best.  Right now, it's not mean spirited just determined.  She can be such a good big sister, but more times than not she's tough on her brother who continues to try to please her, regardless. My only bone to pick with her is her sassy attitude - which is inevitable since she is my daughter.  Someone once said to me "You'd rather have a child with spirit than a child without."  I sure hope she was right...There is something about your first born that will always be special.  At a respectable 7 1/2 years old, she still periodically wakes up in the night and stealthily climbs into my bed to be close to me.    I think her and I will never be too far from each other.

My son.  My sweet, sweet, little boy who I didn't think I was capable of loving as much as a daughter has stolen my heart.  He loves both my husband and I equally and deeply.  He, more so than the others, craves affirmation and tries so hard at everything he does. He's more reserved than the girls.  He doesn't gloat or show boat; he just goes on about his business.  He starts kindergarten at the end of this year...I hope it doesn't ruin him.  He is a good brother and the sweetest boy I could have ever hoped for.

My baby girl.  I love our little "Itty-Bitty" blondie...she is spicier than her big sister already, but loves everyone and freely gives out hugs and kisses.  She's so funny with her new found facial expressions and expanding vocabulary.  She's started using the potty more frequently these past few weeks and the thought of being free of diapers is both exciting and devastating.  She loves me, but she is a "Daddy's Girl."   I cannot imagine our lives without her.

If everything in my life goes sideways, as long as I have my family I will be fine...

Happy New Year everyone!  Go hug your loved ones!