Monday, July 27, 2009

Diamond

Back in June the kids and I trekked to Wisconsin to help my dad's parents celebrate their 60th (!!!) wedding anniversary. 60 years people. They were high school sweethearts...


They renewed their vows and stood proudly together.


Sixty years, six children, twenty-one (I think!) grandchildren, and five great grandchildren add up to quite the married life.

My Aunt Kathleen made them a beautiful scrapbook filled with thoughts and memories written by their children and grandchildren. It was one of the most amazing things I've ever held in my hands. Our family is certainly not without its troubles, but I'd say they are far outweighed by blessings.

Tonight Matt and I celebrated our seventh wedding anniversary. Nothing would make me happier than to proudly be standing beside him in another 53 years. (We'll probably have colonized the moon by then, so the pictures will be really neat.)

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Confession

It is time for me to admit it...

Harper still wears a diaper to bed.

I feel like this is some deep dark secret we've been keeping. My child is over 4 1/2 years old and still wakes up wearing a soaking wet pull-up each morning. Less than 1/2 a dozen times in the two years that she's been potty trained has the child woken up with a dry pull-up.

Our pediatrician is not worried, since Harper is consistent during the day. And, though she rarely naps anymore, she does stay dry during a nap. There is a general feeling that she'll just figure it out eventually. And yet, I still find it just a little bit worrisome.

I suppose I am open to suggestions on this matter, however, here are the things I am not currently interested in (re)trying:

- waking her up before I go to bed at night to go to the bathroom (it is like waking the dead, and she is not a happy camper if you wake her up, EVER)

- restricting her fluid intake (she has one small cup of milk and dinner and a tiny Dixie cup of water when brushing her teeth occasionally she has some other water after dinner)

- just letting her wet the bed, hoping she'll figure it out eventually

Thoughts?

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Sprayground!

On Monday we had a chance to meet up with some other friends/bloggers at a park and "sprayground" near our house. Emily was visiting from other realms of Ohio and Jen was there with her kids as well. I know Emily because she was great high school friends with a college friend of mine. Jen and Emily, I think, grew up going to the same church. I first met Jen through our blogs but now we are somewhat "real life" friends. All caught up now?


We arranged a meet up since Emily was in town. Harper has played with Emily's daughter, Katy, before, but this was the first time she met Jen's kids. Even though I suspect we'll get together with Jen again and our kids will get along well, Harper mostly played with another random park-going child who was not a part of our arranged meet up - which I guess I can't argue with! Even if they didn't stick together like glue, it was still fun to see all of our kiddos in the mix. It is sort of cliche to say so at this point, but one of the great things about blogging is the people it has brought me in touch with, people I would not likely have know were it not for our little online lives.


Michael was an angel and just chilled in his stroller for the first half of the morning, just on the cusp of falling asleep. Once he got restless I entertained him for a while in the swing; he was not at all interested in the water. I suspect this will change once he is walking around and steady on his feet. I wouldn't want to crawl into geyser either.



Harper was all over the place: in the water, playing "pirates" on the equipment, and playing hide and seek.


The sprayground isn't a park we go to very often since Michael is a little young to really enjoy it and it is often very, very crowded (As in the daycare vans pull up and let out dozens of kids at a time!), but it was lovely to spend the morning there and catch up with Jen and Emily a bit.

The most shocking moment of the day came when we sat the three littlest down together and I saw that Michael and David are practically the same size - I wish I had a photo from when they were together LAST spring and Michael was about half David's size. My little preemie is certainly catching up. I really love this photo of David, Michael, and Emmy:

All three kids are facing the camera - that's success when you're dealing with little ones. And this was taken after Emmy had tried to take off Michael's hat; sometimes you can't recover from those photographic circumstances!

*****

On Saturday we are going to get up before the sun (seriously, by several hours), put the kids in the car, and head to the Wisconsin Dells for a week of vacation with my family. We will be totally off the grid - no internet, no cell phones (gasp!) for the week. If all our packing is finished I might schedule a few things to post while we're gone. So it will seem like I'm here, even though I'll be partying it up family style. The internet is tricky that way. Hope you're all enjoying summer - see you after vacation!

Monday, July 13, 2009

It's Good to be a SAHM, It's Good to be a SAHM...

Yeah, so, I didn't get the job.

Interviewing was a good experience, and the principal I interviewed with told me quite enthusiastically that I had done a good job. He reiterated this sentiment over the phone when telling me he would not be hiring me. They went (surprise, surprise) with someone who had more job experience. I understand this, and yet, I will never have that specific job experience if no one will give me a job! Ahem.

Again, I was disappointed. As my mom gently pointed out to me earlier this summer, I haven't "tried out" for very many things (teams, jobs, scholarships) and not gotten them. Not that there have been so many, but I've been pretty lucky (and had some fortuitous connections) in the past. It may be that my ability to deal with this sort of disappointment (I temporarily sobbed like a baby) is a little underdeveloped.

Harper was disappointed, too. "You didn't get the job?! I really wanted to go to day care!"

Fortunately not working outside the home (or only doing it on the occasional sub day) means I have more time to enjoy Harper's interpretation of questionable musical numbers like this one:

video

Annie has been good to us, but I feel like we need to branch out, what child-friendly musicals do you suggest?

P.S. Thanks for all the supportive comments here and on facebook - you internet people are nice!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

To Work or Not to Work?


Add ImageSometime last winter Matt and I started talking about whether we might be ready for me to return to work (for the purposes of this post, let's all assume I mean outside the home when I use the word "work"). Without diving headlong into an ugly debate, let's just say that my views on whether two parents should work have changed significantly since I became a mother - this is one of many, many issues I have had shift since I faced the reality of raising children rather than just the idea of raising children.

Before having children I liked my job, but wasn't necessarily ambitious career-wise. Then Harper was born, at the beginning of a long Midwestern winter, and the isolation of the stay-at-home life hit me like a Mack truck. I am a social being, I discovered, and even though play groups and blogging (Oh how the blogging saved me, no joke!) eased that, eventually to a great degree, I have never felt totally at ease in the stay-at-home mom gig. Don't get me wrong, of course I love my kids, and I wouldn't trade them for another kind of life, and while the "mommy" role suits me better now that it ever did that first year, I find myself feeling like I might be a better mother if I also had chunks of time devoted to an endeavor beyond the walls of our home.

At first I thought I would be a stay-at-home mom forever, now I don't think so anymore. No one is more surprised about this than me.

When I returned to school to get my master's degree it was a crazy time, it was difficult and I was usually exhausted, but I loved it. I loved being challenged in that way and having conversations with adults about education and technology and literature on a regular basis. I loved the adult companionship. I loved having something that was mine.

The agreement, when I went back to school, was that I did intend to put that degree to use, sooner or later. As a result of a multitude of factors, this winter it started to feel like it might be the right time to look for a job and I started to research child care options. One thing that made it easier to decide that I could go back to work was the place we plan on sending the children if I get a job. It is a gorgeous center, a place where both children can receive both preschool and child care, and it is peanut-free to boot. I liked it so much when I visited that it made me want to go back to work, just so the children could be there.

Even though it was scary I started to wrap my mind around the idea that I might really want to go back to work, then I had that long-term subbing job. Despite being only half-days, it actually made me feel like going back to work was do-able.

Here are some things (purposefully vague) that have happened, job-potential wise, in the last few months:
  • Get a call from a family friend indicating there might be a half-time library position at a nearby elementary school - perfect! We start discussing a return to work in earnest and look into childcare options.
  • Visit, talk with, several child care providers, find one we love, put down deposits to save spaces for the children for the fall.
  • Get letter from principal of previously mentioned elementary school, they don't end up with any openings for the coming school year, find myself surprised at the crushing disappointment I feel.
  • Accept and enjoy long-term sub job.
  • Find out two local high schools (one actually a middle and high school) are hiring media specialists for fall. Debate whether I want to work in a high school (initial thought: no).
  • Apply for high school positions, deciding, if nothing else, that interview experience would be good for me.
  • Do not get interview EITHER place - too late applying for one, apparently not among most qualified applicants for other.
  • Again with the disappointment.
  • Seeing no other positions available, I begin to shift my mindset and think of all the great things about being a stay-at-home parent for another year. (I won't have to stop watching bad television, I don't need to "dress up" except for church on Sunday, etc.)
  • Get phone call this morning from another high school where a library position suddenly opened up which needs to be filled quickly.
  • Arrange interview for Thursday morning.
  • Try to push mindset back to "I'm ready to go to work" mode.
  • Repeatedly remind myself that an interview and a job offer are two very distinct things.
  • Realize I won't sleep much for the next two nights.
And there we are.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Oh, Hi!


So I have been pretty much out of the blogging loop for nearly two weeks. Not writing (obviously) and not reading or commenting much either.

It was nice, in a way, to take a little break, not feel so compelled to jump to the computer every three minutes. But I think I'm finally over the break and will try to ease back into things.

The problem with a blogging break is that I am now so overwhelmed by all the things I'd like to write about I am not sure where to begin...

How about a couple of quick Harper stories?

I have mentioned before how charming I find some of her language misunderstandings and how I'll be sad when they've been outgrown. Here's what's cracking me up lately:

When Harper is at loose ends she'll come over to me and whine, "Mom, I'm really boring!"

Tonight on the phone with Auntie M she was trying to say something didn't bother her and it came out, "I just don't matter."

***

Later tonight a bug surprised her in our front hallway, some kind of beetle, about a centimeter or two in diameter, and the shriek she let out nearly gave me a heart attack. I was on the phone with my mother-in-law (Nana, Ann, etc.) at the time and she thought something horrible had happened. For the rest of the night Harper refused to cross that part of the floor, claiming she didn't want to step in any leftover bug blood.