Thursday, October 28, 2010

Parenting Skills - he gots em

Reason #543 that being a parent is tough work: work.

Really struggling being a working mom today.

Noah got sick on Sunday night. My MIL stayed with him Monday and my dad stayed with him Tuesday. I’ll spare the details of formula amounts, concentration and time lapse but he’d get better, then puke, then get better, then puke. Super great. He went back to school yesterday after no puking for nearly two days and did great on diluted bottles of a smaller amount. Last night we gave him two bottles of full formula but a smaller amount and he did great. We thought we were in the clear. This morning, shortly after his 7am feeding at daycare I got a call. Can I tell you how much parents dread seeing their kids’ school phone number pop up on their caller ID? There’s no positive reason for this call. Either sick, hurt or in bad enough trouble that they are calling you. They don’t call to tell you that your son was an amazing sharer or really killed it at storytime this afternoon. So, they tell me that Noah only took 2 ounces (when he normally attacks his 8oz bottle) and didn’t want more. 15 minutes later, he puked it all up. Jeff wasn’t to work yet so I called him and he turned around. I got an appointment for an hour later and we both went to the appointment. I hate sitting at my office working when Jeff and one of the boys is at the doctor. All I can think is, “is he asking enough questions?”, “will he remember what we’re supposed to do?”. Jeff’s an amazing dad and a super smart guy but two parents are better than one. The doc told us that it’s just a “typical day care stomach virus” and that we should really try to keep him out today and tomorrow to be safe. Fine.

Jeff’s staying home today even though he has a super important lunch meeting that he’s missing, and shouldn’t be missing. Working and being a parent is incredibly difficult. My job is busy, super busy. I’m the only one who does my job, it’s super time sensitive and enough work for two people to do and stay busy with. If I’m gone for a day I’m incredibly handicapped when I get back. Worse? I’m traveling Monday and Tuesday of next week so I’ll already be coming back to a nightmare on Wednesday…I seriously cannot miss tomorrow too.

This puts parents in a horrible spot where they have to weigh their options. Do I send my kid to school and try my luck that he’ll be okay? Our boys are funny that they don’t act sick when they are – they smile, laugh, want to eat and play. He’s already sick and isn’t going to get worse…but I hate when other parents send their kids to school and they get mine sick. Hate it. I want to be able to be with my baby when he’s not feeling well afterall. With work it’s not just having to get the day off…it’s never catching up on work, not having any vacation time left after taking so much time off to actually have the kid and the stigma of not being at work because my kid is sick again. I hate that I have to make this decision…the choice should always be the kid right? But the job is what pays for us to have the insurance to take the kid to the doctor when they need to be there. It’s a cycle I tell you. But I’m not a SAHM personality really, so this is what we do. I'm sure dad's have the same feelings on this, but this blog is about me and my family so well, there it is.

That’s my rant for the day. Thanks for listening.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pumpkin Patch 2010

We took the boys to Mother Nature's Farm this Sunday and Papa Van Hook & Tashi came along. It's a fun, low key time. I think when they are older we'll head to Schnepfpfpfpfpf farms but for now this is a perfect fit. There's a petting zoo, bouncers, hayride, huge pumpkin patch, a hay maze and other stuff. Plus kids admission includes a little pumpkin to decorate.

We arrived around 12:30 and had lunch. It was nice out but I think ten degrees cooler would have been perfect since the sun was totally bright and the sky was completely free of clouds. I took about 100 pics so there's lots here to check out :)

always entertained by Papa Van Hook

Jeff & Connor attempting the hay maze

success is sweet

there was a huge pile of dirt at the farm and kids were walking along it...we wondered if this was a meant to be an attraction or if it was just an added bonus

Connor hunting for the perfect pumpkin

he made his selection and is now off to decorate it

this pic cracks me up. i feel like it sums up our family perfectly. i'm taking pics while connor goofs off about something and noah screams in the back. look at his little arms thrown up in protest. if only jeffrey was in the background checking his fantasy football scores on his crackberry. hilarious.

skull & crossbones. i'm a proud chi omega mama.

enjoying the hayride

I'm ready. Noah is chewing on Tashi's arm. Jeff looks annoyed with photos. Connor has lost interest. Super.

we found him here throwing the pumpkins. boys.

this is when my dad called me "parent of the year" for propping my baby up between pumpkins for the sake of a cute photo

3 feet tall :)

i love them so hard

Papa & Tashi with the boys

Pumpkin Man

We had a crazy busy weekend so there are lots and lots of pics to post and I'll work on it throughout the week. For now, because I love comparrison photos, here is a quickie of the boys at the pumpkin patch. Mother Nature's Farm has a cutout and it's fun to see the similarities/differences with the boys.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Made by Survivors Event

Here's a great opportunity to do some good friends, family and blog stalkers :)

I'm the President of the Phoenix Alumnae Chapter of Chi Omega and one of our goals is to stay committed to community service. Our National Organization supports Make a Wish, but our local chapter selects a different charity for each event. Last year, we hosted a fun evening of silent auction, bbq and music for Gabriel's Angels.

This year we decided that instead of holding one large philanthropic event every year, we'd do a smaller, quarterly event instead. Gone are the days of black-tie, pricey plated dinners. We're focussing on collection-based events like book collections, clothing donations and other events that cost those who participate little to no money, but still allow us to continue supporting worthy organizations.

Made by Survivors is an international organization dedicated to fighting human trafficking and modern day slavery. They help survivors of slavery rebuild their lives after rescue from slavery, with sustainable income, education and help reintegrating into society. They work to prevent slavery in high risk communities such as red light and refugee communities, by creating jobs for adults and through volunteer trips and donations to the shelter partners for rescue, school fees, emergency needs and reintegration. (from their site)

Our alumnae group is hosting an open house event on Sunday, November 21st from 2-5pm in Mesa at the home of our Philanthropy Chair, Jerilyn. Anyone can (and should!) attend to check out the homemade items of the women assisted by this organization. There's jewelry, art, home goods, clothing, kids toys and more at all price points. I think I'm going to do some Christmas shopping while I'm there and find some one of a kind items for friends and family. We have a facebook event set up if you're interested in attending or looking for more information. We have an amazing Philanthropy team who are working on making the event a huge success for this organization. If you can't make the event please let me know and I'm happy to get you more info on how you can still shop through their site or catalog. Here are just a few of the items available, but there are many more on their site.

I may pick up a few of these silk business card cases at $10 each - great stocking stuffers

I love this bracelet and it's only $28

some cute kids items too like this little blue butterfly purse for $18

I'd love to see as many people there as possible. Everyone is invited so please spread the word to friends or family who may be interested in supporting the organization. The party will be a casual & fun opportunity to make a huge impact on the life of a survivor.

Too lame for facebook

When I was pregnant I tried to be better about eating. Not eating better, just better about eating. I get busy and I totally forget to eat. Not good I know, but really not good when you're supposed to be sustaining a life, right?

So I brought a bunch of easy stuff to the office so that I didn't have an excuse. I brought in a ton of those Quaker instant oatmeal packets - Apples & Cinnamon, Maple & Brown Sugar and plain.

Today I was completely disappointed to find that I'd finally scavaged for all the green and brown packets and was only left with blue, the plain. Not excited for breakfast today folks.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Too lame for facebook

Sometimes there are things I want to put out there into the internet world that are just way, way too lame for even a facebook status. Forget about putting it on twitter because about 99% of my friends on there use their twitter for real, work related tweets and they def dont want to hear about something far too silly that even facebook can handle.

I've decided that this blog can be my outlet for those dumb, ridiculous thoughts that no one wants to see in their FB news feed. So 'too lame for facebook' begins. Whenever you see that title, feel free to skip over it completely and find something more engaging to read. It will help you avoid reading something and then thinking, well she warned will also satisfy my insane need to post something utterly unimportant.


Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

We've been pretty busy lately with tball, fall festivals, weddings and lots of other stuff. The boys are doing well and fortunately keep up with our crazy schedule like pros!
Noah is threatening to become mobile, though it will surely be a couple more months before it actually happens...hopefully. He's mastered rolling from his back to his belly and will do it as soon as you lay him somewhere unless you're dangling a toy over him or making silly faces :) He can't quite roll from belly to back, but enjoys tummy time and pushing up on his arms to look around. He's reaching for toys and swatting at everything. Still, one of his favorite activities is watching Connor do just about anything. When Noah gets fussy, we like to make Connor dance for him. Creepy? Oh well.
Connor is having a better week this week, so hopefully it will keep up. Thank you to those of you who sent emails with suggestions. I really appreciate it and have been trying out some of your tips!! This past weekend he got to go to his fall festival, a Mickey Mouse show and his first tball game so those were fun things for him. There are fall festival pics below and I'll post Mickey and tball pics later.
Noah attacking his puppy, Cinnamon

it would be super if he knew how to really hold his own bottle - he's pretty close

Connor and Noah's school held their fall festival this past weekend. There was a crazy dust storm in true AZ style that gave about a 5 minute heads up so most of the activities were moved inside. We didn't have Connor's Handy Manny costume all done yet so he went as a baseball player and just wore his tball uniform. I wasn't about to put Noah in his tigger costume since it's still really warm, so he wore his "Got Candy" shirt he inheirited from Connor.

the finished product
Noah and Grammy Van Hook

Friday, October 15, 2010

Funkafied Friday

I am finding myself in a bit of a funk over the past couple of days. Nothing huge, nothing really funk-worthy...just a few teeny tiny little things and they are finding me on the verge of tears and mascara meltdowns. I'm moody and snippy - kinda like a tiny little purse dog. Not a fun person to be around I would assume.

Connor has been having some new behavioral issues at school. I don't know if it's the age, a phase or the school he's at...but something sucks. He's hitting, spitting, and being totally stubborn and whiny at the same time. This is new for him so it's quite an adjustment. I'm pretty close with a couple of his teachers so they are great about stopping what they are doing when I arrive to give me the daily rundown. We have a sticker chart (only thing that works in our house) that he gets a sticker on for each day that he's good at school. If he's good at tball that day too, he gets an extra sticker...we've had tantrum issues at tball so it became necessary.

Anyway, it's really starting to wear on me listening to them everyday tell me that he didn't have a good day and that it's not getting any better. I brought it on by telling them to fill me in when I know most of the parents just walk in, grab their kid and go. I'm so burnt out on hearing it everyday that I feel like I've admitted defeat and instead of talking to him about it I just say "get in the car" and sadly head to tball or whatever we've got going on that day. Again, not a fun person to be around. I think it would be a bit easier to swallow if it wasn't just me dropping off and picking up each day. Jeff doesn't have to hear it each and everyday. I mean, he hears it from me but that's different than hearing it from his teacher. I drop them off at 7, head to my too crazy, too busy job for 9 hours and then have to hear about how Connor hit several children today and spit at the teacher. Who spits at people!?! My kid apparently.

We tell him that if it's a bad report day, there's no tball or no wii or no whatever is on the calendar...unfortuntely, sometimes the calendar wins out and we head to tball anyway because the family is taking time to be there to watch him. We've started bringing a kitchen timer along so that he has to sit out and watch everyone else play for a bit. It's a great idea in theory but I don't think he gets it. It just ends up being tougher on me because Jeff is out there coaching and I'm trying to juggle a bored/fussy infant and an anxious Connor.

I spend many a lunch hour feeding Noah, or hunting around for a tool belt or a specific green shirt to finish up Connor' Halloween costume. Which reminds me that I need to grab some white felt for his Handy Manny hat...ugh. Some days/weeks/months I really love running kiddo errands but sometimes it catches up with me and I feel a, what's a nice word for strangled? Oh, there's not one. Damn. Ok, I feel whelmed.

I think I'm just feeling overtaken with mommyness right now. I love it, being a mom is everything I'd hoped that it would be and more...but that doesn't mean the task is simple! I discovered the other day that just a few months ago my commute used to be spent listening to talk radio, listening to audiobooks, on the phone catching up with friends or commute is a third of what it was and it is 100% full of I spy, singing the bumblebee song, trying to focus on the road with two screamers in back and lecturing Connor about his bad report from school. I have completely lost that alone time in the car. Does that sound selfish? Hope not, but if it does I think I'm allowed.

Not surprisingly, my post is not at all helping me get out of my mood. I think I'll end with this picture of my amazingly adorable boys and get back to work. I've got lots to do before I head out in a couple of hours in search of white felt. :)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Nearly Wordless Wednesday

yummy rice cereal. we ditched the shirt AND the bib this round!

hanging out in the big boy seats at school

at school - he's getting so strong and really good at tummy time and propping himself up...he'll be crawling in no time...sigh.

thanks ikea

Noah's 4 month dr appt. when connor wasn't playing on the doctor's swirling chair, he wanted to be right next to Noah. bros.

...or finding it hilarious to get in the way when i tried to take a picture!

sneak peek at Noah in his Halloween costume. This is the only hand me down costume he'll wear but we had to let him wear Connor's from his 1st Halloween. Kinda a tradition. a tradition involving short pants.

We all went out for Carly and Lauren's 30th birthday. As you may imagine there were nearly 80 photos taken and I managed to get 4-5 keepers. It was a good time :) We all get together so rarely now that we really enjoy it when we do.


Lo and Carly in front of the 100oz beer tower Dawn gifted them with. Would you be impressed or concerned if I told you that Jeff ordered one for me and I emptied it myself? All myself.