Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Weekend Recap

If I had to choose one word to describe this weekend, it would be vomit.

I know.  Gross.

I got home from work on Friday, pizza in hand.  I left the pizza on the kitchen table and dashed upstairs to hurriedly change into comfy clothes.  When I got to the bedroom, I quickly realized that Addie had puked after taking her medicine and left spots all over our bedroom carpet.  Spots that were impossible to clean.  Awesome.  I seriously want to rip all of the carpeting out of our house.  And if that weren’t enough, S puked in my bed after a coughing fit.  Super.

Saturday, we planned to grab lunch while A’s car was at the mechanic for an oil change.  We chose a nearby (crowded) restaurant that we just so happened to have a gift card for.  Lunch was going well when S starting having a coughing fit and puked all over the restaurant.  I know what you’re thinking… C, haven’t you learned your lesson by now??  And you’re right.  I should’ve known better.  S had been fine all morning, had lots of energy, but I should have known it would inevitably happen at the worst possible time.

The cutest Irish boys in town

Note S's painted toenails
On the bright side, the weather was nice and we got to spend some time outdoors.  So good for the soul!  Late afternoon, we headed to my mom’s house for our annual corned beef dinner.  W got to drive the Jeep again (after some initial hesitation) and dinner was delicious.  Corned beef, sides, and cake for dessert.  We headed home with full tummies.

S is obsessed with his jean jacket and W asked if I'd order one for him too. :)

I didn’t sleep well at all Saturday night, anticipating that S would wake up.  He did.  At 4:30am.  It was rough.  And he basically puked all day long after every meal.  A and W went to church while I stayed home with S. His cough was bad and I wondered if I’d have to take him to the doctor.  A kindly did the grocery shopping and I went on a solo trip to Target just to get a break.  S took several warm baths throughout the day.  I made a yummy dinner and we called it a night.

Monday night, S puked in his bed again.  Or as he says, “I pooked!”  Luckily, he seems to be on the mend and has hardly coughed today.  Phew.

I need a vacation.  The end.

Friday, March 16, 2018

Work, Life, and In Between… Friday Thoughts

It’s no secret that I’m unhappy with my job lately.  On Wednesday, I had a meeting with my new boss as I do every week.  I watched as he hesitated just a bit and then asked about my professional goals, where I saw myself in the future.  Internally, I panicked a little.  Should I be honest about how miserable I was, should I provide some vague response, should I pretend everything was ok?  I quickly decided I needed be honest and hoped it would be a catalyst for change.  I explained (in a professional and respectful manner) that a year ago, I liked the work I was doing.  I was challenged and on track for a promotion.  I was learning and developing professionally.  When the reorganization happened, my title changed to the same title I had four years ago.  It felt like a demotion.  Not only was I no longer learning and developing, but I felt like I had taken a huge step backwards in my career and in the work I was doing.  I felt like I was heading nowhere and I was incredibly discouraged and frustrated.  I told him that I could not be doing the same type of work a year from now – it was unfathomable to me.  That I absolutely needed a change.  I told him I had questioned my role and my future within the company numerous times.  And while I have a new project on the horizon (which I have not begun to work on yet), I still had concerns about my role and responsibilities.  We talked for an hour.  I explained that I was hesitant to discuss my frustration because I didn’t want to be labeled a complainer or uncooperative.  I was afraid my concerns and dissatisfaction would impact how I was perceived and ultimately my job.  And as our conversation came to a close, my boss thanked me many times for my transparency.  He said the ultimate goal was to keep me and if that meant moving to a new role or a new department, then so be it.  I’m not sure what further changes will occur or what the future holds, but I will say that it feels like a huge weight was lifted.  I’m proud of myself for speaking up.

On a completely different note, W has been asking for a sibling lately and it’s a little heart breaking.  I’ve tried to explain that my body can’t have any more babies – it’s just how God made me.  But that we do have an incredible family.  I’m not sure where he got this idea.  There are a couple pregnant moms at his school so maybe that sparked his interest.  I’m slowly coming to terms with accepting our family status.  ‘Accepting’ doesn’t seem like the correct term because I don’t think I’ll ever be completely fine with not growing our family, but I find myself not dwelling as much as I once did.  W then asked about a former classmate, David, and pointed out he had several siblings.  I had to think for a moment because I didn’t remember exactly who David was.  And then I realized David was adopted and had three adopted siblings (plus two biological siblings!).  I explained that yes, I would be open to adoption, but I didn’t think it was going to happen.  By that I mean, I’m open to adoption, but at this point in time, I’m just not willing to go through all of the financial, legal, regulatory, etc. hoops.  Perhaps that means I’m undeserving.  But it would basically take a birth mom reaching out to A and I or a baby appearing on our doorstep and that’s not going to happen.  So family of 4 it is.

And on a much lighter note, we have no major plans for the weekend.  Just a corned beef dinner at my mom’s.  I’m desperately in need of an uneventful weekend and I couldn’t be happier about having no plans.

Sadly, Addie doesn’t seem to be getting any better and it appears there isn’t much we can do (aside from major surgery that offers no guarantees of full recovery).  We’re just making sure our girl has lots of love and treats.

S appears to be getting yet another cold.  His second one in just a couple weeks.  That means that A and I will be cleaning a pukey mess because puke is inevitable every time S gets a cold.  I need a vacation.

Speaking of vacation, we booked our annual trip to Maryland.  Yay!!  But now I’m worried about Addie and her care while we’re away. L

I can't end this on a sad note so are you all doing March Madness brackets??  I am currently in very last place.  Number 22, baby!!  You may find that sad.  I, however, think it's hilarious!  Someone has to bring up the rear... haha!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Weekend Recap

Such a busy weekend for us!

Throughout the day on Saturday, W kept a running total of how many errands/destinations we had completed and how many we had left.  I have a feeling this boy is going to be great at math!  We started with a trip to the bank.  W has started doing chores and earning an allowance and both boys had birthday money to deposit.  We’re mean parents and make them put any money they receive into savings. ;)  It just so happened that the “Easter Bunny” was supposed to be at the bank so we decided to accomplish several things at once.  Per usual, S wanted nothing to do with the Bunny – he’d only wave from afar.  But W humored us by sitting next to the Easter Bunny for a picture.  Are kids really supposed to believe that this is the Easter Bunny?  I’d be very skeptical if I were them.  I can’t blame S for keeping his distance. 

From there, we had to drop off documentation to have our taxes prepared.  Every year, I say I’m going to be more organized and keep all necessary receipts and necessary documentations and I suck at it.  BUT A and I are at least good at keeping track of expenses and deductions and always have that organized – our tax preparers/accountants have complimented us and it makes me wonder if other people just throw a bunch of receipts at them.

The boys were getting hungry and cranky at this point so the next stop was lunch at W’s favorite restaurant.  We were also running late.  We ate as fast as we could and headed to our next stop (stop #4 if you’re keeping track): haircuts for the boys.  The boys were great, thankfully, and they looked adorable when they were all done.

Next stop: a quick trip to Target to pick up birthday cards for our final stop, a birthday party.  I always forget to buy cards ahead of time.  We made it through Target and W mentioned something about the Target Starbucks.  In full disclosure, I was wanting a coffee myself so I offered to get the boys drinks (apple juice) as a reward for being so well behaved throughout our several errands.  And that was my mistake.  S could not understand why nothing was written on his Starbucks cup in the usual black Sharpie and had a meltdown.  Because these things are of the utmost importance when you are three.  So I carried him out of the store screaming.  A classic mom mistake – instead of getting the hell outta there on a high note, I had to stretch it.  BUT I did get my coffee so there’s that.

Finally, we headed to a birthday party for our friends’ three girls.  The boys had fun playing and A and I had fun catching up with friends – something we don’t get to do very often.

It was a crazy busy day and I was exhausted when we finally got home.

I woke up the next day so tired and cranky.  Damn time changes.  I really despise them.  We did our usual routine.  I began organizing items for the consignment store.  A did all the laundry and took the boys outside for a bit.  I made dinner.  And that was our weekend.

Friday, March 9, 2018

S at 3

The two comments I hear most often regarding S are “he’s so big” and “he’s so happy”.  Lately, I’ve been asked quite a few times if W and S are twins or if they’re really close in age.  S has always been off the growth charts and that remains true.  He’s tall for his age and I love that he’ll eat almost anything.  He definitely has a major sweet tooth and has been known to ask for cake or cookies for breakfast.  Also, DONUTS.  I’m sure we’ll share many sweet treats together in the years to come. J  I also think that at some point, he’ll level off – A and I are not even close to being considered tall so I can’t imagine S being well over 6 feet.

As far as happiness goes, S can find joy wherever he goes (except for the doctor’s office) and in whatever he does.  He just exudes happiness and is usually found with a smile on his face.  He’s always been that way and I consider myself incredibly lucky to experience and cultivate his jubilant spirit.  I never have to worry about S fitting in or taking on a new endeavor – he just does it.  With that said, he is 3 and being 3 comes with stubborn streaks and the occasional tears when things don’t go his way, but he rebounds to his happy self quickly.

You can often find S with one sock off or both socks off.  I re-read his one year post and apparently, this has always been his “thing”.  He also wants to take off his shoes wherever we go.  At a restaurant, grocery store, church, wherever, he’ll ask, “I take shoes off?”.

He just loves to have fun – even if it means getting in trouble.  He often tests limits by jumping on beds, standing on chairs, and climbing furniture.  At school, his teacher’s only concern was that S sometimes finds “naughty behavior” fun (or funny) and will join in even when he knows it’s against the rules.

He seems to have natural athletic abilities and can easily climb, throw, etc.  I’m anxious to sign him up for sports and discover his interests.

S still adores his brother.  This hasn’t changed over the years.  One thing that HAS changed is the boys now play together well and communicate.  They certainly have disagreements and argue over toys, but they’re also really sweet to one another.

S communicates really well.  Talking seemed to come rather easily to him.  He speaks in complete sentences and has a rather large vocabulary.  He knows all letters, numbers (through 10), colors, and has even begun to identify some words and spell his name.

S is incredibly sweet.  He gives hugs freely and often and it melts my heart every time.  He’s been known to yell, “Mommy!” and then run at me for a giant bear hug.  Lately, before tucking him in for the night, he’ll tell me he loves me and then declares, “I love everyone in the whole world”.  No doubt this world needs more of that.  He’s told me that I’m his best friend ever and asks to cuddle.  I can’t get enough.

He LOVES to be read to and will remain attentive through an entire story.  Pete the Cat, The Little Snowplow, Apples and Robins, and garbage truck books are his favorites.  He’ll easily go through 8-10 books in a day.

He is NOT potty trained and has been fighting potty training and diaper changes like a champ.

He enjoys painting and coloring and often comes home from school covered in paint.

Outdoors is still his favorite place to be and we are eagerly awaiting warmer weather.  He’ll ask to go outside or to the park multiple times per day.

I can’t emphasize enough how grateful I am for this boy.  I love watching him learn and grow.  He and W have quite different personalities and it’s been amazing to see each boy become their own unique person.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Weekend Recap

Not too much to report from the weekend.

On Saturday, we finally made it to the restaurant S affectionately refers to as “Cluck-a-doodle-doos”.  I had promised we’d go for his birthday and it ended up snowing when we wanted to go.  W tells me they have the best chicken there (even though he initially did NOT want to go) and S can’t get enough of the French fries and homemade chips.  Obviously it’s a very healthy choice.  But I was happy to have finally fulfilled a birthday promise.

Sunday was our usual.  We met up with a family friend (or maybe more of an acquaintance?) who will likely be watching S next year, 2 days per week.  I’m really hoping this works out for the best.  She loves the boys and talked about spending a lot of time outside, which is great.  But she also asked if I had a back-up plan, which made me nervous.  We will see…  It’s definitely going to be a big change having W in school all day every day and having to get him there by 7:45… gasp.  I can’t even get myself out of the house by that time so getting both boys out the door is going to be really challenging.  On the flip side, I’ll be able to start work a little earlier.  The school schedule this year has been tough on me since the boys don’t start or finish school at the same time.  I’ve been super stressed about making sure I’m getting in enough hours for work and have worked some nights to catch up.

Nani and Papa are on vacation this week so I took Monday off to watch the boys.  W had the day off of school for Casimir Pulaski day so we decided to grab lunch and go to a local museum.  A had a workshop to attend and was able to meet us for lunch and my mom decided to join us too.  With the exception of S dropping his drink no less than 3 times, it was lots of fun.  After lunch, we headed to the "museum".  I would NOT classify this as a museum at all, more like an indoor play area, but it was super cute.  The boys had a blast and we were the only ones there.  When we left they both described it as “really fun” and we can’t wait to return.  Mom win!  I loved hanging out with the boys all day and told A that I was quitting my job.  If only… ;)

Monday, February 26, 2018

Weekend Recap

“I hate people,” I muttered as I processed a complaint for one of the company’s products.  The patient wasn’t using the product according to the prescribing information, but was complaining about its physical properties and inquiring about off label usage (something only a physician can speak to).  My colleague chuckled and gave a sympathetic smile.  That’s basically how I felt all week.  Angry, upset, completely fed up, and close to (or in) tears each and every day.  I just wanted to avoid everyone.  I wanted to crawl into bed and not emerge until somebody, ANYBODY gave me some good news for a change. 

So what happened?  Well, on Monday, a routine appointment for our dog quickly turned into a likely cancer diagnosis.  X-rays, a fine needle aspiration, a cell culture analysis, and $1000 later, we still have no definitive diagnosis (though the vets believes Addie does have cancer).  In my mind, this was just the latest in a 6 month series of bad news, setbacks, and struggles, and I was DONE.  Now I was faced with the possibility of losing my dog and I couldn’t bear the thought of any further obstacles.  I was in such a terrible mood and I felt like I had reached my breaking point.  DONE.

But then something happened.  I realized how many people were reaching out to me.  My colleagues were asking for updates on Addie and asking if I was ok.  I had friends sending me messages asking how I was and if they could help.  Family members were sending love.  A friend stopped over for a quick visit.  I realized that one of my colleagues had even logged a product complaint for me – at 7:30 on a Friday night no less, just so I wouldn’t have to worry about it on Monday morning.  Those little actions restored my faith.  Yes, things really suck sometimes and life is HARD, but there are amazing people who reach out and show up when you’re in need of support the most.  And suddenly my sorrow turned into gratitude.  That gratitude further expanded in celebrating A’s birthday on Sunday.  When he was young, I’m sure a 38 year old CF patient seemed unfathomable.  And yet, here were are.  I am immensely thankful for A and my little family.

As for the rest of the weekend… it was insanely busy, but packed full of family time, which is the BEST.  My company offered free admission to the Adler Planetarium on Saturday so we decided to check it out.  We all had fun.  The boys loved the special kids area and A and I liked the Destination Solar System show we saw.  I don’t remember learning much about space in school so I found learning about the planets to be fascinating.  Methane lakes on Saturn?!  A storm the size of the US?!  SO cool…  

Once we got home, I had about 30 minutes before I had to leave again.  My mom and I worked at an auction that night to benefit my high school.  It’s something we do every year and we always enjoy it.  Unfortunately, turnout seemed to be at an all-time low.  It’s sad not to see more parents supporting their children, but I also understand that attending may be difficult from a financial perspective.  I ended up having the winning bid on a few items – Papa John’s gift certificates (I am NOT a fan of the pizza or the politics, but the boys love this pizza and the money was going to the high school) and also tickets to the Shedd Aquarium.  Earlier in the day, while in Chicago, A had remarked that we should go the aquarium next so I was excited to win tickets.  I finally got home around 10:30ish and couldn’t wait to hop into bed.  So tired.

Sunday was the usual.  I actually had to take S to the lobby during church because he was misbehaving.  A rarity, but he eventually settled down.  We went grocery shopping where the boys flirted their way into getting free cookies.  We topped off the weekend with an early birthday celebration for A.  He chose his favorite pizza place and the entire family came to celebrate.  All in all, it was a wonderful (albeit busy) weekend.  And we finally have warmer temperatures and sunshine today!!

As for Addie, the tests continue… hoping and praying she gets better.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Weekend Recap

Gosh, weekends just fly by.  I’m jealous of A and the boys who all have today off for Presidents day.  Why didn’t I become a teacher??  Oh yeah, because I have no patience…

W’s school was in a bind and asked if I could pick up groceries for them over the weekend.  We have to earn parent participation points and this seemed relatively easy so I didn’t mind at all.  The only catch was the grocery shopping had to be done at Walmart.  Not my favorite store.  I promise I’m not a grocery snob, but I kind of despise Walmart.  Anyway, it was relatively painless and the boys liked checking out a new (to them) store.

From there, I met up with a couple girl friends I’ve known since middle school.  I love catching up with them and we ended up talking (and eating) for over 3 hours.  The poor waiter… It was so great to reminisce and vent about work issues that we’re all going through.  It’s funny (or maybe ironic) – they’re both teachers, but we all have similar work complaints.  There really is no perfect job (or maybe I’m just unaware of any that exist).

While I was with the girls, A took the boys to lunch and then to an indoor bouncy place.  Best dad ever!!

Sunday was our usual.  The boys were super cranky in the morning and I ended up putting S in the car to go to church without shoes.  I think they were worn out from the day before and S woke during the night (he seems to be getting another cold L).  After church, I asked the boys if they thought they deserved Starbucks after such a challenging morning. W (my thoughtful, analytical one):  “Well, we weren’t very cooperative this morning, but I think we’ll be better this afternoon.  So we should go and we’ll be good this afternoon.”  So we went.  But mainly because I wanted coffee.  The rest of the day was mostly uneventful.  The boys were still a bit cranky.  I took them both to the grocery store with me to get dinner items and they were perfect while we were out.  I think we’re all just tired of winter and longing for some fresh air.

And that was our weekend.  I started a new book about raising healthy sons.  It’s interesting – the author suggests that three things essential (or especially helpful) in raising successful boys are a relationship with parents (especially dad), practicing religion, and avoiding pressure.  I just started it and I’m trying to read it with an open mind, but there are already ideas I’m questioning and/or disagree with. J  It also mentions that boys these days do not spend enough time outside exploring and too much time inside playing video games, which I definitely agree with.  My goal is to avoid gaming systems for as long as possible (but that’s so easy to say now when the boys have no clue what they are).