Archive for June, 2010

Nesting Syndrome

Wednesday, June 30th, 2010

We are narrowing in on less than a week until our second son arrives into the world.  I can’t believe how quick this pregnancy has flown by. I owe that partly to Jack for keeping me so busy and also moving to a new town and getting acquainted with everything.

This past weekend, my friend hosted a baby shower for me. It was so beautiful and generous of her. I immediately came home and got to work.  I washed everything and put it in its place, hung a few things on the wall, and made sure the nursery was ready to go.  I am just waiting on one sweet little boy to make it complete.

I have been making to-do lists like crazy lately.  I always have them around, but it’s starting to get out of control.  My husband is about ready to kill me with tedious tasks I ask of him daily. I want to make sure everything is perfect and in place before the baby arrives. I guess the nesting syndrome has kicked in. I find myself doing ridiculous amounts of laundry, cleaning, organizing and making sure Jack gets a lot of attention.  On the other side, I am trying to get as much rest as possible.  It seems to be quite a challenge when there is so much going on and being 38 weeks pregnant makes it hard to catch some Z’s. The last three weeks have also been filled with runny noses, sore throats and coughs.  I think all three of us are finally on the mend.

Although, my nesting habits have taken over, I think we’ll all be happy once the baby arrives and there isn’t much to worry about except for baby and Jack, of course.  I wish I had this energy/motivation every month to clean and do the random things around the house that must get done.  As I always say…Someday it will get done!

Knoebels Day of Fun

Monday, June 28th, 2010

Today was our first trip to Knoebels Amusement Park this year. I am sure many of you have heard of Hershey Park, which is closer to our home and fairly well known (thanks to the chocolate). But Knoebels is another local park, much less commercialized. And they have a great Friday night ride deal ($7-kids, $9-adults). Can’t beat that for 4-hours of entertainment!

So we went down with a friend of ours and his two daughters. It was amazing to see how much Brady has changed since the last time we were there (about 10-months ago). First big change was his asking for his DVD player to watch GeoTrax. Last year he didn’t realize that he could even WATCH TV in the car. All three kids brought their DVD players and it was eerily quiet the entire 90-minute ride. Is this a good change or bad? I am still thinking about that.

While at the park this year, Brady definitely liked different rides. His ever-favorite digger ride and kiddie bumper cars seem to have been replaced by the log flume and giant slide. Last year he wanted to do the same rides 5-6 times in a row. This year he ran quickly from one ride to another. Last year I followed him onto each ride and made sure his seatbelt was properly connected – this year; I was more relaxed and trusted him and the workers to check the belt. It is funny how cautious I was just one year ago. Last year he sat in a stroller, this year – he walked! Now, I will be honest and tell you all that I did take the stroller. But the stroller was used more for storing drinks, snacks, and sweatshirts.

Brady seems so much more independent at 4.5 years old. I often wonder what 5 will be like? With parenting it often seems that each year you let go a little bit more, let your child be a little more independent, and adjust to your ever-changing role in their lives. I guess the best we can do is hold on to our hats and enjoy this ride – because time surely flies.

Time Warp

Friday, June 25th, 2010

Ten years ago, hubby and I were thrown together. Not because we were in all the same classes at a new school together. Our roommates, despite being grown adults and although they wanted to be together, were seemingly incapable of going anywhere without us. Through a series of forced interactions at all hours of the day and night, we quickly became good friends. Of course, the rest of the world could see that we were crazy about each other, long before we were able to admit it to each other. Or to ourselves…

Nine years ago, we decided to give it a shot. The decision could have been fueled by the after-effects of scorpion bowls. Maybe the liquor quieted the fears that cautioned us about risking the friendship…or maybe our hearts finally spoke louder than our heads.

Seven years ago, our frantic search to find jobs after law school led to us covering the east coast in resumes. Somehow, we managed to land jobs not just in the same state, but in the same courthouse.

Six years ago, before we started our new jobs after the clerkship, he proposed. It was right after I convinced myself that he would NEVER pop the question. It was also one of the few times in my life where I was truly speechless.

On July 2 five years ago, we were finally married.

It’s hard to believe five years has already gone by. In that short time, we’ve had our ups and downs. We’ve had professional successes. We have an amazing child together. Of all my accomplishments, he’s the one I’m the most proud of.

Next week, thanks to our family, my husband and I will be enjoying our first real vacation since Andrew was born. They are generously sending us away as an anniversary present. Andrew will probably be spoiled rotten by his grandparents and, hopefully, he won’t give them too hard of a time.

I can’t wait!

So, to my family, thank you again. To my husband, I love you. And to everyone else, have a great weekend with the ones you love.

Blueberry Bliss

Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010

Jack and I are part of a play group organized amongst the wives of our squadron.  Every couple of weeks we get together and do something fun with our kids.  It may range from meeting at the mall jungle gym on a rainy day or exploring museums two hours away.  The last function we attended was blueberry picking.

Miraculously, Jack and I were up, fed, packed and ready to pick blueberries by 7:30am.  In our area we do active things early in the day to avoid heat stress. We arrived at the farm and were surprised at how beautiful it was.  The farm is family owned and pesticide free, which made for eating while picking very exciting. It was beautifully landscaped with a small lake, large trees and so quiet we could hear the birds chirping in the highest of trees.  We were given buckets and pails and off we went to the fields to collect some yummy berries.

Jack had so much fun picking berries.  He was determined to fill his pail, but I think we would’ve been there all day at the rate he was picking.  He would pick about 5 and then inspect each one while squishing at least one of them.  He found a furry caterpillar he fell in love with and managed to not get stung by the swarm of bees beside us.

Jack asked a lot of questions while we picked our berries. “Mommy, why are blueberries blue?” “Why are the blueberries wet?” I was happy to see that he was very interested in our adventure, and it ended up being a great learning experience for him.  That was the first time I picked blueberries, too.   All the kids had a blast and we were all done by 10am and headed to the pool to cool off.  We ended up taking home five quarts of fresh blueberries for just under $4. To top off the morning, the owner had baked blueberry bread with blueberry icing that we all devoured when we were done picking.  Needless to say we’ll be making another trip back there soon!

Only You!

Monday, June 21st, 2010

Not a week goes by that I am not asked, “Are you having any more children?” Now I find this funny for two reasons. First, I am single. Not that being single means you can’t have children, but all of my friends/acquaintances know that I am still going through the final stages of custody arrangements from my divorce. So another baby definitely isn’t a top priority in my mind. Second, why do people automatically assume that if you have one child, you will never be satisfied and always want another?

I will be honest, when Brady was first born, I had intended to have another one five years later (which would be 2010 or 2011). Of course by the time he was a year old, I realized that my marriage was going south. And I also realized that this little boy filled up my entire heart.

They say you just “know” when you are finished having children. I guess that I have known for a while now. I had the true test this past month when two of my closest friends had babies. I held the babies and felt no yearning from within my own heart (and was relieved). Brady may end up with step-siblings if I ever remarry. But he will be the only child to ever grow in my stomach; any other children will have to grow in my heart. I am sure the questioners will continue asking me and wondering why I don’t want any more children, but as for me and my heart – there is only one little boy for me… Brady.

…On the Flip Side of Technology

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Last week I wrote about some of the good things technology can do. How it brings my family closer and how it’s helped relatives all over the country get to know Andrew. It’s not always easy or ideal watching someone grow up long distance, but blogs, online photo galleries, web cams and Facebook help to bridge the gap and close the miles.

But technology isn’t always great… Let’s start with the fact that I have not one – but TWO – smart phones. My Treo keeps me tethered to my office and my Blackberry ties me into my dad’s office and my personal accounts at all hours of the day and night.

I feel like one of Pavlov’s dogs. When the phones go off, I immediately reach for them. And if I don’t have one of the phones on me, I get kind of twitchy.

Clients expect to be able to reach you – at any time – particularly if you represent anyone overseas. I represented a company in New Zealand and when I was getting ready for bed, they were in the middle of their work day. It wasn’t unusual for them to email me at midnight or three in the morning… Crazy as it might be, it wouldn’t be unusual for me to email them back if I happened to be up with Andrew when one of their emails came through. (I KNOW mom. It’s sick. I admitted it was crazy.)

Andrew and I used to use car rides home to call daddy to find out when he was coming home. Or we’d call nana to say hello. But this week, I asked him if he wanted to call Nana while we drove home. Andrew got very upset and told me “NO TALK ON PHONE IN CAR! IS DANGEROUS!”

I knew it would mean a lot to my mom to talk to Andrew, but it was hard to argue with that logic. Particularly since it’s true… So no more phone calls during our rides home. We talk instead or sing, loudly and very off key.

Hubby and I both have our laptops on the couch downstairs. Andrew routinely closes them, whether we’re working on them at the time or not. A lot of the time, he’ll start playing with his toys right on top of the keyboard. I could be in the middle of typing a brief, but Andrew will line his cars up on the keyboard and ask me to move my hands so he can race the cars around the computer.

If we’re hanging out on the couch, he’ll try to hold my hand. Not the one closest to him. The one that’s trying to type on the keyboard WHILE I’m holding him so that I can’t work. Or play. Or do whatever I’m doing on the computer.

I read an article today about how kids can grow very resentful of technology and the time their parents spend on computers or phones instead of hanging out with them. The article really made me think about how much time I spend on my phone or on my computer. It also showed me that Andrew, in his own way, has been expressing to us all along that we should be spending less time on the computers and phones and more time with each other.

And I’m going to listen to him…

It’ll be hard to break myself to checking my phones the second they chime at me. It will also be a little weird not to turn on my computer as soon as I get home. But my little guy is only going to be little for a short amount of time…and I should be spending that time enjoying him not playing Cafe World on Facebook.

Now you’ll have to excuse me. I have a date with my little guy to play cars. I’m going to be Doc Hudson. He’s going to be Lightening McQueen.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Tech craze….y?

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

Both of Jack’s parents are equipped with iPhones.  Both of his parents are addicted to their iPhones.  Is this a problem?  Some may think so and others probably not so much.  Every technological advancement is distracting to some extent.  This week, several major news outlets detailed parents’ obsession with their phones while ignoring their children’s needs as they were talking, texting, and networking away.

I do my best to put Jack before my iPhone/computer.  Yes, I am guilty; there has been a time or two where Jack was yelling for me and I didn’t give him my undivided attention right that second.  It’s usually because I’m waiting to hear if daddy landed safely on his flight or something important along those lines.  When someone is so involved that they are reading friends’ statuses or posting something to let the world know what they do every two hours, that seems a little ridiculous.

Jack has learned very quickly how to navigate our phones, and he is in the process of learning the computer.  I have downloaded educational games, puzzles, videos and many many other apps for his entertainment (all free may I add).  Let me tell you what a lifesaver it is when we are out shopping, waiting in line or at the doctor.  He is happy, I am happy and his little brain is getting exercise.  It’s amazing what tools are available at our fingertips to stimulate our brains, especially at critical times.   A little play time on your phone in moderation is okay.  I don’t know what I did in the past without mine.  Let’s hope others can come to the realization that children do come first, and Facebook can wait a few minutes.

The Sandwich

Monday, June 14th, 2010

As many of you know, my parents sold their house and moved into my home after my divorce last year. While many people may think we are crazy, things have really been going well. I know Brady LOVES having Mamaw and Papa living with him. And I have heard my parents say many times how they will cry when (and if) the day ever comes that Brady doesn’t live with them. (Notice, they didn’t say they would miss ME – just Brady). But you know what, that is okay.

Sometimes I feel like the middle of a sandwich: tending to my 4-year old and helping my parents with random tasks. Thankfully, they are both fairly healthy. Now my mom’s mother has been very ill lately and that has taken quite a toll on my mom. But that would require it’s own blog entry!

Brady loves having both Papa and Mamaw here. Some of his favorite activities are doing mulch with Papa, riding to sneak some Dunkin Donuts in Papa’s truck, and just spending some “guy time” together. I am so glad that Brady has this positive attention from a male. And I think it really keeps my dad younger. He always asks Brady to come help him and claims that Brady is a huge help. I think Papa just enjoys being with the little guy myself. They both wear lovely straw hats, carry their water bottles, and take LOTS of little breaks to sit on the deck.

Now don’t think Mamaw doesn’t have her special place in Brady’s life. I think every child needs someone who truly thinks they are amazing – that is Mamaw. I often tease her that she thinks that Brady can walk on water. And although we sometimes disagree about acceptable versus non-acceptable behavior (I am a bit more strict), it is nice to have someone out there rooting for your son. She truly sees the best in my little boy and believes he will do great things.

Living together does have financial benefits too, as well as workload benefits. I don’t use my parents much as babysitters, and I rarely even ask them to watch Brady so I can get a haircut. But they frequently will play with him while I take a shower or am on a business call – which is nice. We each have our chores, which cuts down household work time. No one ever said who would do what, it seems we have just fallen into the roles.

So although I never imagined that I would be 33-years old, have a 4-year old son, be divorced, have my parents move into my house, etc.. It has been a HUGE blessing. We have always gotten along very well, so that was never an issue. Brady adores having three adults around. It keeps my parents younger. And our family sandwich may not be a traditional turkey on wheat, but the ingredients that we have put together to create our sandwich have changed the lives of all four of us.

Technology…The Good Side

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Andrew has family all across the country. Some of them he only gets to see once or twice a year. Unfortunately, some of them have never met Andrew.

However, due to the wonders of technology, they still get to watch him grow up.

Hubby has an extensive online photo gallery. Our Andrew pictures started in the hospital when he was born and we have posted over 4000 pictures since that time. We also put some cute videos up there as well. In the beginning, we would post new pictures every week. Admittedly, we’re not always THAT great at posting pictures.

Before I started posting over here weekly, we had a baby blog. We would try to post weekly (but sometimes it ended up being more like monthly) about what was going on in Andrew’s life. Some of the posts were silly. Some of them were serious. And when Andrew was in the hospital with his mystery fever back when he was 11 months, writing about what was going on helped to keep me sane.

Recently, my grandmother joined Facebook. It shocked me. But she probably got frustrated with the fact that hubby frequently posts new pictures there as soon as they’re taken – and it takes much longer for the pictures to be uploaded to the photo gallery. Now she’s one of the newest Facebook members and gets to see new pics instantaneously. (Next step is getting the rest of Andrew’s great grandparents on there)

I was shocked when my grandma put in a request for us to get a web cam. My mom helped her get set up with the same one. Now she can see Andrew whenever she wants, listen to him scream crazy songs at the top of his lungs, play with his toys. They’re not in the same room, but it’s the next best thing.

All this technology bridges the gap (and the miles), helping to bring the family closer. No one gets to spend as much time as they want to with Andrew, but I think it helps that everyone can watch him grow up through all these online means.

Of course, with the good, there’s always the bad. But I’ll save the bad side of all this techy stuff for next week’s post.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sibling Class

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010

The hospital where I’m delivering my next child hosts a sibling class for all big brothers and sisters to be.  I signed Jack up for the class, hoping to interest him in becoming a big brother.

We arrived at the hospital ready to learn.  First, we went on a tour of the Labor and Delivery area.  Jack and the other siblings were able to see what the rooms were like and where mommy and daddy were going to be staying for a couple days.  Next, we went to the nursery.  Luckily, there was one newborn we saw through the window that was just hours old.  He was so sweet all swaddled in his blanket and sleeping so peacefully.  I held Jack up to the window and pointed toward the baby and right away he smiled and said “ me have baby brother.”

Next we moved onto the tough stuff.  Jack was given a bag with a bunch of diapering supplies in it.  He was taught how to change a diaper.  Surprisingly, he did a pretty good job.  He also learned how to swaddle, take the baby’s temperature and feed the baby a bottle.  As the children were doing their duties they were all dressed in their scrubs, shoe covers, masks and hair nets.  If only you could have seen what they all looked like.

All in all it was a great class to prepare Jack for what it’s like having a sibling.  I know once the baby arrives things might change, but the more he is exposed the better it should be.  With only one month left (or less) before baby arrives we have a lot to do and learn.  Jack has been a great sport by being gentle with me and saying sweet things to my belly.  I can only hope and pray his attitude remains this positive.