Thursday, August 5, 2010

Growing and Growing

Again, it has now been almost a full year since I last posted.  At least I posted to our remodelling blog as that was my baby for those 6 months project time.  Both of you boys have grown so much over the past year, and yet to mommie, you really do look the same as you did a year ago.  However, I think you may actually be more of a challenge than you were a year ago!

Henry you just finished your last year at Reveille Preschool with Miss Rose and Ms. Hinson.  You had a really great year, starting the year off with one of your best friends, August, and meeting a new best friend, Hudson.  I think it's cute that you are probably one of the smallest kids in class with the biggest personality, and friends with one of the biggest kids in the class, Hudson.   We had your birthday party with Hank this January and your Meema and mommie made SuperHero capes for about 40 kids.  It was insanity, but you are worth it.  We had a great time with daddie dressing up as Batman and mommie made you a Super H cake as well.  Although I think your favorite part were presents - you always like to have lots of presents.

You are a very verbal and curious boy. You sometimes get in trouble with your mouth, but have much better control over your emotions than you did a year ago.  I am often amazed at your vocabulary and I think you are going to be an excellent PreK student this fall.  You will start at your new Preschool called Maymont.  I loved that when I told you this you explained to me that Maymont doesn't have a school, it has animals.  So now we call one Maymont School and the other Maymont Park.  You will not be going to school with any of your current best friends although I believe that in a week, you will have already made a whole class full of more friends.  You love SuperHeros and playing games right now.  Jack has taken over your love of cars and trucks and trains, and you enjoy more interactive things. You have become pretty good at Clue, which is actually 8 and up, but you insist that you can still play.  Yesterday you beat me, but you made sure to have 2 people in the envelope, as well as a location and a weapon. I like that you like to have the victim and the aggressor in the envelope and always name 2 when  you have the chance.  You also love what you call 'the Navy Game'  this game is traditionally called 'RISK' and is quite a complicated game even for skilled adults.  While your idea of playing it is fairly different than ours, you have made up your own rules and i'm proud of your creativity.  This summer we have gone to the movies and movie night is one of your favorite times.  We saw your first 3D feature and you had a great time.  Babee is still probably your best friend and you are a self-proclaimed 'Daddy's Boy,' though I know you secretly love Mommie too. 

And last but not least, you are an athlete.  Maybe not the biggest and strongest kid, but surely a competitor.  If you put your mind to it, you were a soccer star at the next to last game where you scored at least 4 goals and almost a 5th, but assisted Hudson in scoring.  While you didn't understand his score counted for your team, you had a little Mommie-competitiveness in  you and punched your best friend when he 'stole' your goal.  This fall Daddie is going to coach a team with you and  your friends.  It should be a really fun time and I think  you will prove to be an excellent competitor.  Next week you are headed off to Baseball Camp.  I am excited to see how you will do with  a more formal camp for baseball. I think you will do great and show up a star as you love practicing, but almost always under your own rules! You are a great swimmer and I can't wait until you can start swim team next year. It is going to be so much fun for you.

Jack is our spitfire. At just over 2 1/2 you are way more of a handful than Henry ever was.  You love Curious George and ask to watch him. You have a very certain way about how the world is supposed to be and go and temper easily if you do not get your own way.  Life with 2 1/2 year old Jack is challenging.  You are an angelic looking little one with sparkling white-blonde hair, but tan so perfectly and have crystal clear blue eyes.  You are almost always mistaken for a girl, even in your Spiderman swim trunks.  YOur hair is beautiful and you have an infectious smile.  When I get home, you are always the first to run and great me. I love how you smell me and cuddle with me, demanding that I also cuddle and kiss your blankey.  Your blankey is your most prized possession.  You take it everywhere. It is about 12 by 12, blue and has a small penguin stuffed animal on one corner.  i attempted to purchase a few more look alikes, but you know. YOu have accepted them as additional blankeys, but there is only one for you.  You love reading and books and carrying around cars or tools.  Like your brother at this age, you liek to be a worker-man and love to put stuff in your fire engine and take it places.  You talk all of the time, but often we don't understand you because you continuously suck your 2 middle fingers on your right hand. You have done this since you were a baby and I think will do it for some time to come.  It is your pacifier in times of frustration or temper tantrums.  YOu throw many tantrums a day.  Challenging for all of us and you refuse to accept time outs!  You think  you are still mommies baby and you are!  You finished your first year of preschool this past year, and will start your second in the same class Henry was in with Miss Katie and Miss Anne, 3 mornings a week.. That was the class Henry first made his best friends and I am excited that Pierson is going to be in your class and whether the two of you will become friends!

We love you both so much and are so excited to see you both grow and change, becoming such wonderful big boys!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Has it been over 6 months now?

I can hardly believe I have waited this long to be able to write anything, but as always our lives are crazy busy. I keep thinking that one day things will slow down, but as you all get bigger and want to do more, we only add to the craziness of our lives.

Jack just turned 18 months old last Friday and Henry you are on the verge of 3 1/2 years old now. You are both having lots of fun, but also lots of tantrums.

Henry is our resident engineer and builder. You love everything that goes (as you always have) and love to play 'struction with anyone who is willing. You don't like to play 'struction as much with Mommie, but do enjoy your games with Babee and our nanny, Jen (and Daddy, of course). At the beach, you played just about every day and now eating or bedtime is very difficult because pulling you away from your projects is not the easiest thing in the world.

You are finally (mostly) potty-trained and very good about 'poo-poo' on the potty, just not so much 'pee-pee'; unfortunately your potty-training is coinciding with the approximate 5 months that we will be without a washer and dryer and so you are the proud owner of lots of bedsheets and lots of pairs of size 2 underwear! But we are very proud of you- that you are able to run to the bathroom when you need to go and have made potty-training relatively painless (knock on wood!)

You have just finished your second year of preschool in Miss Katie and Miss Anne's 3 day a week class. You love going and have three 'best friends' this year: Hank, August and Mason. It is so nice to see you developing your friendships and I am hoping that you will get in the same class as your friends in the fall.

You are still a good eater, when we can get you to eat and will generally try anything I ask you to as long as you can look at the TV. You are probably the only boy who prefers cucumbers and peppers and tomatoes to pizza, but I will be thankful that you love your veggies and hope your little brother gets the same gene. We are working of sharing with your brother. That is certainly a challenge as he is 'destruction-prone' and you like to organize. But I think you are doing spectacular with the little brother you really love.

Jack you are a spitfire, even more than your brother was, and if now is any judge of the times to come, seem to be our little devil. You love climbing and investigating everything. And what makes that worse is that you have little to no fear. At the beach, you loved jumping into the hottub and going under and running around the inside until you would slip and fall under. You loved the beach and the sand during your first trip to the beach (where you weren't an infant) and were dubbed 'the sandmonster' because of your love of the sand (even dipping your fingers or food in it and eating it). You often look like 'pigpen' from Charlie Brown with a cloud of messy following you wherever you are headed.

You also love animals. You are very gentile with both Graycie and Oliver and love petting, hugging and kissing them all the time. When you get up from your nap, you wave hello to the doggies and are delighted to see them every day. You are a sweet, hugging little boy who sucked the two middle fingers of his right hand. You also have a 'blankey' which makes a ton of difference at bedtime each night. It is so wonderful to see you comforted by your blankey and fingers; perhaps making it easier for me to know you will be happy in your bed with your comforts each naptime.

You love the bedtime story 'Going to Sleep Book' and you like to get to the end to point to and say 'boat.' You don't have too many words, but have perfected signing for 'please' and 'more.' Which is so cute when you want to do it. You love carrying your sippy cup around, placing it on tables, etc. and then getting it when you need a drink, like a big boy. You don't have many words right now; I think you know a lot, and you like to talk a lot in 'Jack language' (which Henry and I try to translate), but your all time favorite word is 'hot.' You see lights and the oven and the stove and the sun and point and say 'hot.' It is really adorable (to your mommie), but I think most of it is that you are proud of your word. I think you understand a good deal of what I say to you, so it's probably only a matter of time before you are babbling away and we can understand you.

We had a great Memorial Day weekend/week at the beach and it was a joy for Daddy and I to get to spend a whole week with you both and have lots of fun at the beach. We're enjoying all of our time with you as you grow and constantly change!

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

You Get Butt Home Right Now. . Henry at 33mos

My darlings Jack and Henry

You two are such amazing boys and I hate missing every day with you both. I know that you both are growing and changing every day. . .and one day I won't remember the silly things you did.

Currently, at 2 and 9 months, Henry, you are verbally excelling as well as amazing me at the way you put concepts together and are such a productive child when you want to be. Our usual eveningtime is mommy coming home around 5:30 and we get ready for dinner, eat together (the three of us) and hope that Daddy will get off work by 7:30 so that he can come and help putyou to bed. Usually around 6PM Daddy calls to tell us whether he is coming home. Usually you ask to speak with him.

A few weeks ago, when you were just starting to repeat things that I say with accuracy, I said to you "Tell Daddy to get his butt home for dinner." That day you told Daddy: "get yours butt home now, right now!" in a very stern and serious manner. Because both Daddy and I thought it was funny, you now repeat it in every conversation you have with Daddy.

Also right now, you like to pray before bed. I am not sure where you figured out to put your head down and close your eyes, but you do this. We usually thank Jesus for all the things he has given us and pray for all the people in our lives. You love to start with Meema and Papa and go through all the family by name. Then you are ready for bed. You also like the number 7 (although in soccer you are 8 because there were no more 7s left- sorry if this haunts you as a teenager- your dad is really into what number he is for soccer). Daddy told you that you can't get up until your clock reads "7" and so nowyou usually like it when there are two 7s, which you will point out to me when you see them. I love how much you love learning right now and how much you like school.

You are also a wonderful artist. You love coloring in your coloring books and will do so for long periods of time. I am often amazed at how you are able to concentrate at trains, or trucks, or coloring, when you want to. In soccer, you like to listen to your coach and do a great job of following directions and talking to adults. I am so happy you like to have conversations with people and are not shy about meeting new friends.

Jack, you are almost 10 months old and the fastest crawler I have seen! You are definitely interested in experimenting with walking, but being such an excellent crawler, you often resort to your expereienced mode of transportation. I love coming home to see your face light up when I walk in the room. It might be because I am your favorite food source, but I like to think we have a wonderful bond. You are starting to sleep better and longer at night. My beanpole child though, you do like a midnight snack or two. I try to think back to when Henry was your age and he was definitely more of a thinker than a crawler. He was very calculating about where and when he wanted to get somewhere, but you just go! Thank god we put the gates up about a week before you took off because now you climb to the gate, climb up and shake as hard as you can. You also will try to climb anything that appears to be climb-able. Hopefully you will outgrow this before the time comes to get out of your crib!

Your smile is infetious and you will give it away to whomever you fancy, as long as you are not tired!

I can't believe how much you both have been growing!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Choosy Moms choose What?

I think I am jealous. I am jealous of all the mommies that knew they wanted to be a stay-at-home mom. I am also jealous of all the mommies who knew that they wanted to go back to work. I feel bad for the mommies who want to stay home, but have to work, and for the mommies who want to work, but have to stay at home.

I am none of them.

Tomorrow is the last day of my life as a stay-at-home mom. Well, a quasi-stay-at-home mom. My last day to plan out a day with my kids and not worry that I am using a vacation day for nothing. I have been riddled with emotion over the past several months, ever since I accepted a new position that requires me to go back full time. So many women tell me that I am lucky to have the choice, but am I?

I have been lucky in so many ways: I had a job that let me take a long maternity leave. I had a job that allowed me to return to work part time. I am also lucky for my work situation because my husband was a full time student when I had our first baby and just graduating when I got pregnant with our second. If he hadn't been in school, I would have had to make the decision sooner. I also know what it is like to go back to work part time and to have my mom be our only childcare. I know first hand how difficult it is to be a SAHM. I know how much it sucks when your husband calls to tell you he isn't coming home/is working late, neither kid took their afternoon nap and you seriously considered driving to McDonald's for the cheesburger your toddler would eat so you didn't have to coax him into eating a dinner you created and the baby only wants to be held. But I also don't know what it is like to leave your six week old baby in the arms of a stranger at a daycare. I don't know what it is like to be up all night with a 3 month old and then at your job with no sleep attempting to depose someone or to meet with a new client. I don't know what it is like to not worry all day that your baby is getting tummy time or your toddler is being hugged enough. I got to be there with both of my children for their first eight full months. I got to have the toughest job you'll ever love. I got to meet my friends at the pool with their kids, have lunch, albeit at McDonald's with a Happy Meal on one side and a spoonful of Gerber on the other. I got to pick up my son from just about every day of preschool and 'talk' to him on the way home. I got to nurse my baby down for his naps and walk my children through the neighborhood just about every day. I never had to dress up for my job and I even got to have "PJ days" when I needed them.

I won't get to do that anymore.

But I also know how great it is to go to work, have adult conversations, lunch with your friends that doesn't involve you nursing in public or having spit up on your clothes. I know how great the extra income is and how many more projects we can easily get done around the house. I know how much of a better mom I will be if I can leave work at work and come home to focus on my children because I missed them all day. I know how lucky I am to have a 5 minute commute from my house to my office and to have a boss who is a compassionate leader to say the least. I also know how extremely lucky in our profession that I have somewhat 'regular hours" (8:30 to 5). And I won't know what it is like to have to "try to get back in" competeing with women who are much more my junior. I have been able to take a trial run as a SAHM without messing up my career. So many people would say that I am 'lucky.' I even say that I am lucky.

But really I am jealous.

I want to know that the decision I am making is the right decision. I can stay at home. I like staying at home. I like making dinner every night for my family and I like playing games with my preschooler. I like making baby food and having our house on a schedule. I like making dinners for my mom friends when they have babies and I like taking care of my husband. I like nursing my baby down for his naps and being there when he wakes up with a devilish grin because he's figured out how to get from his belly to a sitting position. I want to see him crawl and start to talk. I want to be there to make sure he doesn't pull down my china cabinet on himself or to console him when he bumps his head trying to stand. I want to watch my preschooler play soccer in the backyard and enjoy endless hours on his swingset. I want to know that having every day with me is what makes my child who they are, and better for it.
But I also don't want to leave a career I have worked at for eight years and seven years of school before that. I don't want to put the pressure on my husband to continue to keep hours that aren't good for his health or the family in order to support our family. I don't want to wake up in five years and feel like I left the 'most perfect job for me' on the table and wonder what my career would be like if I had only taken the job. I don't want to be competeing with people who were in high school when I left my career. I don't want my kids to have a mom who is with them all day and who is impatient with them because she is having to often been a single mom with dad working long hours. And I don't want my sons to only have one roll model as the breadwinner.

So I have had a glimpse into what my life would've been if I had stayed home and I liked it. In some ways though, I even loved it. But perhaps I want the glimpse of Christmas to come, and owe it to myself to at least try it. I wish I knew absolutely what was for me. So for now I am jealous. A little bit sad, but mostly jealous.