Thursday, January 31, 2008

What will $10,484.10 buy you?

$10,484.10 will buy you:
  • 18 - 32 inch Vizio Flat Screen Televisions
  • 6 - GE Bottom Freezer Refrigerators with French Doors
  • 600 - Packages of Pampers Diapers
  • 3,691 - Gallons of gas at $2.84/gallon
  • 8,387 - Cups of Coffee at the Gas Station I usually stop at
  • 13 - Dell Laptop Computers (just like mine)
  • 3/4 of a year of daycare for our boys.

Holy Crap! I say 3/4 of a year because Connor didn't even START daycare until August 1st! We received our statement from daycare today for tax purposes, and you always know you're paying a lot, but you don't really put it into perspective until you read it in black and white.

I vividly remember visiting daycare back in April 2004. It was one of the first things we did as "pregnant parents", because everyone warned us about the long waiting lists at our local daycare - and they were right. Like I said, it was April and the soonest they could even get us in was January 2005 - and I was going back to work in December.

Our first visit to daycare was a blur. I was pregnant, and don't think I could even conceive of what we were going to do. Okay - yea, fine, this is daycare, excellent, see you later. Then, Tyler was born.

Tyler was not what you would call an "easy baby". Actually, if there was a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the easiest, I would probably give him a 2. He didn't sleep at night, he was always fussy, and after about 8 weeks I finally just succumb to the fact that I had a "high needs" baby. I was nursing at the time, and he ate literally every hour and a half. That included nights. He was growing like crazy, but there was never a minute for rest. He didn't play AT ALL by himself, and cried, a lot, and never, ever smiled. I have a total of 3 pictures of him smiling before the age of 6 months. We tried two kids of Reflux medication, I cut out all dairy, and hunkered down to the house for my 12 weeks maternity leave.

Then we returned to daycare about 2 weeks before I went back to work just to familiarize ourselves with it. I was stunned. It hit me then. "This is where my child is going to live for about 10 hours a day. These will be his 'substitute mommys'".

I looked at the cribs lined up, and it reminded me of an orphanage. There was one baby fussing in a swing, and another being fed. I remember it seemed quiet for the number of kids that were there, but I still couldn't believe it. I was sick to my stomach because this felt so wrong. "How could someone leave their child in a place like this," I thought. "My job is to raise him, not have strangers do it".

That sick feeling in my stomach didn't go away for weeks. I cried a lot, and actually had nightmares about it. I couldn't even bring myself to drop Tyler off at daycare for the first week- making Kyle do that for me. I couldn't imagine dropping him off without bawling, and this was the same baby that made me wonder why people have children, because it was really that hard.

Fast forward to today.... What does $10,484.10 buy me:
  • Tyler learned sign language at about 14 months old. (I didn't even know they were teaching it to him until I saw him to a sign at home - then asked. "Oh yea, we teach them about 10 signs - Tyler's pretty good at it!". I had no idea!)
  • All of Tyler's teachers that he was attached to are all still there today, except one, and she just left to open her own daycare. These ladies LOVE their job, and view this as their career. Shira and Cally took care of Tyler, and are now taking care of Connor.
  • These ladies know when something isn't right, and won't come right out and tell you, but they usually know when something is wrong before you do. They might hint "Hum, Connor seems to have quite a cough", leaving you to be the judge.
  • Tyler knows his A,B,C's, every nursey rhyme known to man, and will try to read you a book, holding up the pictures just like a teacher would.
  • Connor smiles when I walk into his daycare room with him. He looks around, and knows exactly where he is. He especially smiles at his pretty teacher, Staci.
  • Tyler has had visits from a dentist, the fire fighters (during fire safety week), the baby chicks during Easter, Herky and Clifford the Dog. They also went to an Apple Orchad and a Pumpkin Patch, and have gone on countless walks along the cornfield.

So, this same daycare that gave me nightmares, has become a HUGE part of our life. It's not just a place I take my kids while I work, but it's their second home, and it feels that way now. All of the teachers know us, and especially know our kids.

So, what will $10,484.10 get me? The biggest family in the world!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Ever have one of those days?

Have you ever had one of those days that was just supposed to turn out perfect, and in retrospect, if you were given a "do-over", you would've turned off the alarm and NEVER got out of bed? Yea, it was one of those days. (Consider yourself warned - serious ranting ahead!)

So - since Connor is sick with every virus known to man right now, and has his 2nd ear infection, he can't go to daycare, and your husband and you freak out yesterday about who is going to stay home because you both have something going on that day that you CANNOT miss and while you are fighting about this your angel sister-in-law calls and says she can go in to work late and watch the sick baby in the morning so you can go to work and your husband can go do his one critical appointment and then come back - no problem. Perfect, right?

So you go to your offsite meeting with your boss which is the BIGGEST, FATTEST, HUGEST, waste of time you've ever spent in your ENTIRE life and if you would've been given the choice of that or cleaning gas station bathrooms for a month, you might've had to think about it for a minute.

Then, above mentioned boss, actually lets you out of your offsite early because for hours they have been saying travel is NOT ADVISED on the roads because of a blizzard that is now on top of us, and you actually make it within a mile of your home before you can't see 2 feet in front of you with your 3 year old in the car that keeps asking "why are we stopping Mommy", "why can't we see anything Mommy", "Why is it windy, Mommy?", but you finally make it to your warm home in one piece. You cook some dinner for your kids, and your husband actually has his own dinner in the oven because he knows you have a hair appointment that night. Perfect, right?

So you go to your hair appointment and find out that the hair salon had been trying to get ahold of you to come in early if you would've liked (which would've worked out perfect) so you could get home to spend more time with the kids before they go to sleep but you don't get the message because you phone was still on vibrate from your stupid offsite today where your boss had you turn your cell phone off but you wouldn't because you knew you had a sick baby at home. So you get your hair done and go home and find out that your husband didn't listen to you or even WATCH when you were 1 foot in front of him giving the baby his medicine before you left and proceeded to give him another dose of Aug.menten right before you walked in to the house, which then caused the baby to have a horrible stomach ache because that stuff just TEARS HIM UP and tomorrow he will likely poop his own weight in diarrehea because of that. And because he has a stomach ache it takes almost an hour to get him to sleep as he arches his back and winces in pain. Then you get the kids to sleep and finally pick up the computer to check your e-mails from work that you didn't have a chance to check that day and find out not only do you have 90 unread messages, that most of them are messages where you are just copied because someone wants to be a tattle-tale on someone else or bitch about the way one of people that works for you is doing their job because they are obviously incompetent and if only THEY could do their job the world would be a perfect place.

Yea, it's been one of those days.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Now I know how that happens!

Yesterday my in-laws watched the boys for a few hours so Kyle could play some indoor golf, and I went in to work for a bit, then did a little shopping. It was nice - and I picked the boys up at about 3pm.

Tyler usually naps during the week at 12:30 - but I'm fairly flexible with him on the weekends - as long as he HAS a nap. (If he doesn't have one, watch out!) So when I picked the boys up yesterday, he of course hasn't slept because he was playing hard with Grandma and Grandpa, so fell asleep on the way home.

We pull into the garage, and I carefully remove his shoes, making sure not to disturb him too much in order to carry him in to the house so he can continue sleeping. Well, that plan didn't work - he woke up, and fought me so hard to NOT take a nap that I gave up, and ended up letting him stay up. It wasn't too bad, he was tolerable for the rest of the evening, didn't have too many meltdowns, ate his supper well, and was asleep by 7:30.

This morning, I'm in my Monday morning meeting that starts at 7:30. Around 7:50 my cell phone rings and I can see it's Kyle. "Oh crap!", I think, "if he's calling my cell phone at this time - this couldn't be good. Someone's sick or something happened."

I sneak out of the conference room and answer my phone...

"Hello...", I whisper.
"WHERE ARE TYLER'S SHOES???", Kyle yells, very frutrated.
I stop and think....
"Oh, shit!", I say, once again in a whisper, "they WERE on top of my CAR!"

Yesterday as I was stealthy removing Tyler from my car, I placed his shoes on top of the car. He had taken them off on the way home. And that's where I left them - on top of the car.

This morning I took Connor to daycare at about 6:30 (since he's up WAY before the rest of his "carpool"), and then I can get to work a few minutes before my meetings start. I apparently drove down the road and somewhere along the way, the shoes probably flew off the top of my car.

Just to make it even better - Tyler is the fattest feet ever, so I have to special order his shoes off the internet to get Extra Wide sizes, and they usually cost about $60. So, I only buy one pair at a time, and he wears those until they are falling apart, and I buy another pair. The only other "shoes" he has are his Spiderman boots.

So, Tyler went to daycare with Spiderman boots today, and I had to order him a new pair of shoes online that will arrive tomorrow - which means he'll be wearing those boots again. I think they are letting him run around in his socks at daycare since it's almost 50 degrees out here now (much warmer than last week were boots would've been nice!).

I received an e-mail from my husband about an hour ago, saying:

Order a new pair and overnight them if you can. I did not see them to or from daycare.

I used to always wonder when you saw those random shoes sitting along side of the interstate, how that could happen. Now I know.

UPDATE: 12PM!!! Can you believe this???

Kyle just called and said on his way north on the Interstate, found the shoes lying on the side of the road in the only dry spot within miles. He stopped and got the shoes, picked them up, brushed them off, and turned around to drop them off at daycare! Just to put this into perspective, that means I drove about 3 miles to daycare, brought Connor in to daycare, drove to the Gas Station - got my coffee, then drove anouther 3 miles or so to the interstate - all with his shoes on top of my car!

And yes, I'm accepting nominations for Blonde Moment of the Year!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Who am I kidding???




I don't need Merry Maids - I have Tyler!!!

He LOVES to clean everything in the house, and did the entire kitchen floor last night, and just finished up in the bathroom today - he's back to the kitchen floor. And yes - he's using the very mild "Clorox Everywhere" cleaner...since he dumped the windex down the drain.

Friday, January 25, 2008

That's Cheating!!!

I mentioned in my last post that I was in New Hampshire for a couple days this week, visiting one of our suppliers. While I was there, I spent a lot of time with their General Manager, who was a woman about my age.

The first night I was there, we didn't finish up until about 6pm or so, and it was just her and I left at that point. She told me she had overheard a conversation of some of the people that work for her, and they told her (the GM) that "Jenny certainly isn't coming because she has small children". I told her I did have small children, one three and a half and one 8 months.

She just sat and stared at me for a minute, and then replied,

"So do I," she said, "Ally was born in September 2004 and my youngest was born in May."

"That is exactly when my boys were born!", I replied.

I ended up finding out that her oldest daughter was about 2 weeks older than my oldest, and her youngest was literally 4 DAYS older than my youngest!

I'm thinking to myself at this point, "Oh my gosh - someone JUST like ME!!! Someone who GETS me!"

Then she continued, "And my husband is a Stay-at-Home Dad!"

My heart kind-of sunk. "Huh," I thought, "That would SURE be nice - I pretty much consider that CHEATING!!!"

Instead, I just smiled and nodded. Okay - THAT explains how someone my age got to be General Manager of a multi-billion dollar company. How she was able to leave her house at 3am when she had to fill in for one of their GMs that had cancer. How she is able to work rediculous hours now - and stay at work until 6pm with no question.

I have to admit, quite a twinge of jealousy was felt throughout my body. I've been known to utter the words quite frequently that "I would like to have a wife." And I'm quite serious. Someone to cook for me, clean for me, pick up my drycleaning, etc. Okay - I realize it's not 1955 anymore, but that would still be nice. At least someone that you knew would be home with the kids at all times, healthy and sick.

Anymore, I have trouble keeping everything straight. Being the Mom, the Wife, the Boss, the Co-Worker, the Expert, the Novice, the Mentor and the Mentee - gets pretty confusing. I was scooping some formula out of the can for Connor tonight, and it didn't even occur to me that I NEED to get formula tomorrow! Oh - and now our fridge is on the fritz and we need to get it fixed - which means I threw away about 10 pounds of food. So - shopping tomorrow so we have food to eat.

It's been really difficult keeping everything organized and moving. I think I have just accepted a different lifestyle now. I cannot have a perfectly clean house - and I've considered cleaning services, but I can live with a little dirt to save $50 per week now. I can live with Tyler eating a can of carrots, cold pineapple and plain cheese for supper - so I don't have to cook. Hey - that's what he prefers. (And he seriously ate a WHOLE can of carrots tonight - then asked for more!)

I'll still secretly dream for my wife to show up some day. Until then, I'll be VERY thankful for my husband. His work schedule is so flexible at times - when the kids are sick, he spends the most time at home. He picked up my drycleaning last time (after I hauled it around in my car for a month!), and even cooks dinner (because he knows that's the only way he'll eat anything other than a can of carrots!)

I still wouldn't trade this life for anything! Like the song says "Just Another Day in Paradise!"

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Mommy, I'm pooping..."

I have the fortunate pleasure of sitting in a hotel room tonight in New Hampshire, watching TV, eating room service, reading e-mail and now, wasting time. I've travelled a lot in the past for my job, but have only travelled once since late 2004 until today. Believe me, I haven't missed it, and with all of their "customer-friendly" rules they have now (I literally threw away about $35 worth of hair products because there were too big to carry on), I can say - I haven't missed a thing.

One thing I wasn't quite prepared for was when I called home tonight. I expected Kyle to answer the phone. "Connor's asleep and Tyler's in the bathroom," he said. Connor is apparently going for a new baby record with the amount of sleep he's trying to NOT get during the day. Today he slept for a whopping 20 minutes between 6am and 5pm. And he's 8 months old. Seriously. I think I sleep more than that during those hours - but don't tell my boss.

Kyle was excited for me to talk to Tyler, because of course he had asked 100 times where I was. So I talked to Tyler:

"What are you doing buddy?", I asked.
"I went to daycare today," he answered.
"That's great buddy, what did you do?", I asked.
"Where are you Mommy?", he asked.
(I can hear my husband in the background telling him I'm in Massachusetts although I'm really in New Hampshire. Close - I guess, but hearing a 3 year old say "Massachusetts" is HILARIOUS!)
"I'm in New Hampshire", I answered.
"Neww Hamsher?", he asks.
"Yep!", I answer.
"Tell Mommy what you're doing." I hear my husband whisper.
"Mommy, I'm pooping."

Yep - I had a full conversation with my little boy while he was sitting on the toilet!

then the conversation continued...
"Tell Mommy you miss her."
"I miss you Mommy."
"Tell Mommy you love her."
"I love her." Tyler answers.

When your children are born, you understand that you've become a parent. You understand you have to take care of this child, feed it, bathe it, (insert everything else here) it. It never occurs to you that every minute of the day this child is learning from you - just sucking everything up like a sponge. Tyler can have a conversation on the phone now because of what we taught him. He's learned his sense of humor from us, and he's learning to love, from us.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Do you believe in ghosts?

The other night I was in our bedroom putting away some laundry. As I was standing at the foot of the bed, I saw something out of the corner of my eye, flash by in the hall. "Tyler...", I thought, and went to see what he was doing in his bedroom. He wasn't in there - but was still sitting quietly in the living room watching one of his shows. But, I could've sworn something just went by. Oh well - probably just something in my eye, or it was in my head, so I didn't think anything else of it, but it did get me thinking.

I guess you could say I've always been a believer in ghosts. And maybe not so much "ghosts", but "spirits". I firmly believe there are good and bad spirits, and sometimes we can see those spirits, or see what they do. Please don't think I'm some sort of "Ghosthunter" freak or anything, but certain things have happened that really make me believe.

I vividly remember one day a few years ago (2001-ish). I was shopping at our local mall during my lunch hour, and was browsing through a store that I typically didn't shop in. While I was shopping I got that strange feeling....you know? Like someone is watching you, or looking at you. I turned around and looked outside the store, and sitting there on the bench was my grandma. She was sitting there holding her purse, just looking around, as if she were just waiting for someone. My mind started racing as I turned away. "I couldn't have seen what I just did...", I think to myself, "What is going on...", so I turned back around quickly, and she was gone.

I'm pretty sure I'm not crazy. Well - at least most of the time, but since this happened before I had kids, I was getting regular nights of good rest and was fairly healthy. My grandma had passed away in June of 2000, and during the last years of her life, I saw her more often than I did while I was growing up. My dad made a point to go see his mom at least once a month, if not more often, in order to to just visit, but I think he knew to take every last opportunity he had to spend with her. I sometimes went with him, just spending the day with her, chatting about local gossip, and what new restaurant had opened in town.

What does this all mean, and why am I yammering on about this today? I think about this incident often, and think it was a fluke that I saw her that day, but believe that people that we have touched in our lives, continue to visit us even after they're gone. I believe it is their "guiding spirits" that help us through bad times, keep us going through it all, and even slightly offering advice when we need it but are too stubborn to ask out loud.

In the meantime, any flashes of light in the hallway I usually chalk up to pure exhaustion, but I do keep my eyes peeled now when I go to the mall. I still have the jacket I bought that day that I saw her, and think about her whenever I put it on. Maybe that's all she wanted. Me to have something specific to constantly remind me what is important in life.

When I think of her, I think of family.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This is what it's all about

We're closing the chapter on the best weekend ever! It's just like everything went right - you know what I mean?

Here's a brief recap:
  • Went out after work with some friends on Friday for a few drinks.
  • Slept in until 6:45 Saturday morning (THANKS CONNOR!)
  • Did laundry Saturday morning, played with the kids on the floor, finally took a shower around 10am, while Connor took a 2 hour nap.
  • Went to the grocery store with Connor, a.k.a., the best baby in the world. He just sat there and smiled at me throughout the store. Read the labels to everything I bought. I'll post again later about that.
  • Came home and fixed dinner with Kyle. Connor sat in his highchair and ate forever, while Tyler played quietly with his toys in the living room.
  • Got in bed at 9pm, fell asleep sometime before 10. Woke up and hour later - TV still on and my glasses on.
  • Got to sleep in until 6:20. (YOU'RE A STUD CONNOR!)
  • Played with the kids.
  • Ran on the treadmill - yes RAN - about 1.5 miles. My body is still in shock at this attempt of fitness!
  • Took a shower around 11am
  • Got ready, and went shopping.

Okay - here's where I have to pause. I went shopping. BY MYSELF!!!!!! Kyle went to the casino last night with a friend, which was totally okay with me because I was beyond exhausted. So, I got to spend some time today shopping - so I headed to the Outlet Mall.

(Insert "Halleluiah Chorus" here)

It was awesome!!! It was one of those shopping days where everywhere you turned, you found good deals, and stuff that you liked, and actually FIT! I only went into half the stores that I wanted because I had spent enough already. I finished up with 3 purses, a pair of shoes, and a couple of outfits. How can you go wrong - in one store I got 3 sweaters for $16!!!! Then I headed home, to a quiet house - both boys were napping. I unpacked my treasures, and Connor woke up. Now I sit on the floor next to hime, while he is playing with his toys - and he keeps smiling at me. He's too cute!

I swear our family it totally reformed because of the Feingold Program we have Tyler on. He's a completely different kid. Where I used to almost have anxiety attacks thinking of the impending doom that was about to happen to us on the weekend, I now look forward to them. Tyler is relaxed, happy, patient and kind. I never realized just how much tension he was creating in our family because of his behavior. I'm definitely a believer.

So this is what a family is all about!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

My Superpowers!

Ever since becoming a mom, I swear at times that I'm a Superhero. Not a "put on a cape because I'm so great" superhero, but because I have super powers.

I think all moms would know what I'm talking about. I'm talking about the being able to hear your child if there would be a tornado going through your house, being able to almost physically feel their pain, and your ability to pick up a 50 pound child and literally throw them over your shoulder like they are a sack of potatoes - kind of powers.

The other night, I was awoken quickly at 3am - my senses immediately went in to "Super Mode", and I froze. I lie there motionless, holding my breath, trying to figure out what it is. At first I thought Connor had woken up and made a noise, but no, he was still asleep. It took me about 5 seconds to realize that I didn't feel right. The temperature in our room was a little too cold.

For the last few weeks we have been having problems with our furnace. Nothing huge, just the ignitor was going on the fritz, and had to sometimes be wiggled in order to get the gas to kick on. The furnace itself would run, but not make any heat. It was a quick fix, and although we knew we would have it to get it fixed eventually, we kind of just dealt with it. That night, I was startled awake because there was a 3 degree difference in our house. Something I probably would've just slept through 5 years ago. (We got the furnace fixed yesterday by the way).

Sitting here in the living room at night, I can hear if Tyler gets out of his bed. Kyle never hears anything, and usually thinks I'm crazy, until he sees Tyler coming around the corner.

I've walked into daycare at night to pick up Tyler or Connor, and could hear them crying. There could be 100 kids there making all sorts of noise, but I could pick their cry out in the middle of all that, from the front door - when their room was the farthest from that door.

Another cool mom superpower I've developed is multi-tasking. I hate to brag, but sometimes I almost impress myself with how much I can be doing at one time. (ha ha) Tonight it was: Give Connor a bath in the sink, wash the pans from dinner in the other side of the sink, prepare Tyler's meals for tomorrow, clean up the kitchen from dinner, towel off the entire floor on my hands and knees, talk to Tyler, all while doing 2 loads of laundry. Impressive - I know.

And smell - holy cow smell. I can smell a poopy diaper from a mile away, and what's even more disgusting, I know what I'm going to be surprised with before I even open the diaper. Will it be tolerable, or will it be yucky, gusy, musy poop? I can tell by the smell. I can also tell if Connor is sick by the way he smells. When he's sick, it's like his body just radiates of "sick" - like when you're sick and you just sweat it out at night. Yep, like that. Very yucky to have a 8 month old that has BO.

I think one of the best Super Powers that moms get blessed with is the ability to love and forgive. Even these beautiful children you have sometimes push you to your absolute limit - when you think you are going to go stark raving mad, rip your hair out and move to France. But, you don't. You actually forget about it. Gosh, I've had days with Tyler that have reduced me to tears, where I wanted to put him in a UPS box and ship him anywhere. Anywhere but here. But the day ends, and a new day begins, and you forget all about that. And oddly enough, you love them even more the next day.

Tonight, it took 2 of us to get Tyler though his bath and into his pajamas. At one point, Kyle had him suspended in the air while I attempted to get his pajamas on him feet first, without getting kicked. (Imagine trying to get an octopus in a onesie - another superpower!) He was SO tired. He was kicking and spitting and crying, it was so frustrating, but so sad, because I knew he couldn't control it. And while you're in the middle of it you think you're about to lose your mind - but you don't. You get through it, and even become a stronger person because of it.

These Super Powers are pretty cool, I must admit. I used to think my mom had eyes in the back of her head, because she ALWAYS knew what we were doing. She actually didn't (thank god), but she just had these powers.

So that's why I always got busted sneaking home at 12:10am in high school!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

We need another prayer for Madi

We received an update on Madi today. Although she's recovering well in the hospital, the pathology results came back today...

Well, the results are back, and it’s not what we hoped for. She has a Grade III fibrillary astrocytoma. This is generally very aggressive, and the oncologist didn’t really give us much more information yet to let it sink in. She will most probably get chemotherapy and radiation therapy after she makes it through this acute hospitalization. Odds are greatly stacked against us, but apparently it can be beaten. We know this type of astrocytoma has never faced Madison Paige Couser. We also know who we’re going to bet on.

Say your prayers for the Couser family. In this update they went on to say how they gave Madi 2 rides in the wagon today around the Peds ICU, and ate Teddy Grahams for breakfast. They are trying to remain so positive for her, even after receiving this news. I'll post the rest of their update below if you're interested, just because even in the bleak time, they are receiving so much hope from so many people.

I gave both boys and extra hug and kiss tonight. Tyler's new thing when I put him to bed at night is to ask for a kiss, "kiss! kiss!" he says, and then just as you start to walk away, it's "hug! hug!". Then he wants to give you a hug. It's not good enough to just give him a hug, but he has his own special way.

Tonight he told me, "Mommy, I need to hug you around your neck.",
and he puts his arm around my neck and gives me the strongest hug he can.
"I love you Mommy!", he whispers.
"I love you too Tyler, see you tomorrow.", I respond.
"Night Night, see you in the morning!", he whispers, "Tell Connor I love him too."

He is going to be an excellent big brother!


---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Here is the rest of the post about Madi:
From an acute medical standpoint, she’s made great strides today. Her sodium seems to be stabilizing, and she's on a less concentrated sodium chloride solution now. As that's been happening, she's been perking up a bit. Right now she’s the most alert we’ve seen her, and she’s starting to talk more. Also, she's showing more deliberate motion of her right side, and her right eye is still swollen but now not completely shut.

Madi took two wagon rides today. She took the first ride with Mom around noon. She rested while riding in the wagon and watched the pictures drawn by children on the tiles of the peds ICU. This was after having a pudding cup and bag of Teddy Grahams for breakfast, with a popsicle for good measure. Shortly thereafter, the Mayo psychiatry residents stopped by and brought pretty much all of Disney’s characters for Madi in stuffed animal form. Thank you!

Later in the afternoon, Madi took a long wagon ride with mom and dad. After that, she ate three popsicles. Her kindergarten teacher, Anne Gerth, stopped by to bring Madi a cool purple monkey (with a smaller light purple monkey, both hanging now from the ceiling), and some cards from her classmates (that we’ve yet to read to her). Then Ms. Gerth read a book to Madi, and she seemed to really respond to this. (Thanks, Ms. Gerth and Folwell kindergarteners!) She was alert after that time and watched TV.

This news is still raw—we just found out. Please keep the prayers and the messages coming. Madi needs it more than ever now, as it looks like this is an ultra marathon as opposed to just a regular one. (Leave it to Madi--she skipped her first 5k, thinking it was too easy and instead opted for the ultra.) We’re excited to see the light come back into Madi’s eyes. Go Madi!



"

Monday, January 14, 2008

Compromises Today

You would never guess what I'm doing right now. Never ever. Nor would I have guessed it about 5 years ago....

As I type this, I'm sitting on the floor of our bathroom. Seriously. I could be sitting on the toilet (with the lid closed, of course), but that is too close to the tub, and could result in a fairly new laptop, being destroyed. See, Tyler is in the tub, and didn't want to get out today (like most nights), so - simple compromise! I get to mess around on the computer, he gets an hour bath. He can sit in there until he splashes water out of the tub, or literally wears himself out - whichever comes first.

We make all sorts of compromises today that we didn't have to a couple years ago. Some people would call them "sacrifices", but I like to refer to them as compromises. Okay - sitting on the bathroom floor, in your pajamas, being a referee to decide when the water gets splashed just "too much" and it's time to get out, doesn't sound like fun for most people - but it works.

I think one of the largest compromises I had to make, was with myself. Everyone that has kids quickly learns that it isn't about them anymore, but I never realized just how true that would become. I've always been very "career minded", and would admit (only in a court of law) that I am a "yes woman". (Remember that old Monster.com ad?) Only recently have I had to stop myself and admit failure (or so it felt), in order to compromise with my family.

I've had to make changes at work recently that were very painful for me, especially to admit that I can't "do it all", and then give those projects up to another co-worker that seems to be able to do it all. That didn't sit too well with me, and still doesn't. But I learned a very valuable lesson from a former manager that I talk to every once in a while....

He was a manager for years, and I asked him "how did you do it, for that long?".
His response... "Jenny, I went to work in 1986, and came home in 1994. During that time my little boy grew up, and graduated from high school, and I missed it. I missed a lot of it. I wasn't there, I was at work. If I wasn't at work, I was thinking about it, and my family knew that..."

That really hit home to me. I have one vivid memory as a child. For a period of time my mom went back to work as a nurse. She was working second shift, which meant she dropped us off at a babysitter for a couple hours in the afternoon until our dad could come get us. My dad was like clockwork, and showed up about the same time every day, until one day, that time came and went. The minutes ticked by like hours, and he still didn't show up. I was so worried, I was about sick. The family that babysat us started eating supper, while my sister and I sat in the living room and waited. He finally showed up, and I felt like a prisoner of war that had just been rescued! He was finally here! He didn't leave us! He still loves us!!!

Yea, that was just a fluke. He probably got stuck in a meeting, or had to get a project out, and just one night had to stay a little later. I'll never forget how I felt though. I still vividly remember that night like it was just last week. What the interior of their house looked like, where they were sitting, what I was doing, etc. I remember all of that because of that one night. I don't remember anything else that happened there.

I have to make a committment going forward that these people (my family) are the most important people in my world, and that includes my husband. He accused me of being married to my job, and lord knows, he's right. I've spent more time in staff meetings the last week than I have talking to him!

So, going forward, I will watch this ad every day, and just remind myself, what is it that we are really doing? Yea, it's a very important job (I just keep telling myself that), but when put in to this perspective by kids, puts a whole new spin on things. I'll have to think hard before compromising the most important people in my life.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rJB0CzlzSwY

Found the Checkbook!

In the coat pocket of the coat I usually only wear on weekends! Yippeyyyyyyy!

We're slowly getting things under control!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

My new workout program....

How to burn 10,000 calories in 45 minutes.

Get the kids dressed in their snowsuits.
Calories burned = 200

Get the baby in the stroller, get Tyler outside, pull sled down from 5th shelf in the garage
Calories burned = 100

Have the following conversation:
Tyler: "Mommy, I wanna ride in my caaarrrrrrrr!"

Me: "Tyler, I'm already pushing the stroller, I can't push the car too."

Tyler: "But Mommy, I wanna ride my caaarrrrrrr!"

Me: "Tyler, I have to push Connor, can you walk with us?"

Tyler: "Moommmyyyyy! I wanna ride, in my caaarrrrrrrr!"

Me: "Come on Tyler, let's go, you can walk, and when we get back, you can have a pop!"

Tyler: "I don't wanna walk, I wanna ride in my caa- oh, can I ride in my sled?"

Me: "Tyler, how on EARTH am I supposed to pull you in the sled on the sidewalk while I'm pushing the stroller?"

What a stupid question on my part! You know how - you just pull the freaking sled on the cement!
Calories Burned = 9,700

I swear to God the neighbors were probably laughing their asses off! Here I am, pushing the stroller on the sidewalk, trying to keep it in the clearest path possible (some sidewalks haven't been shoveled yet), and at the same time, trying to keep in a path with lots of snow for the sled, that I have tied around my arm, and am pulling behind me. Do you think I could possibly make this up?

Can you imagine the sound we were making, walking down the sidewalk, pulling that sled on full cement????

Why we don't let Connor get in his exersaucer before 7am!

video

Today Tyler slept through this....usually we're not that lucky!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

How Tyler's diet will save us money....

Kyle is "down south" hunting today with his "gang". (down south = around Brighton, gang = Jamie Jenn and his posse)

That means it's just me and the boys today. No problem. I have pleanty of things to keep them entertained, I hope, but I think our strategy will change a bit. My old strategy was get as much fun food for Tyler to keep him (and myself) distracted. We probably would've already picked up McDonalds for breakfast (he loves their hashbrowns and me, their pancakes - oh and their COFFEE!), and been back. Not today. I pretty much let Tyler have whatever he wants whenever he wants, as long as it's within the limits of his diet. Today he had his "diet compliant" mac and cheese with mixed vegetables mixed in. For breakfast.... eecckkk! But, he ate it all.

For dinner tonight, I probably would've ordered a pizza. Not now. Maybe we'll figure out how to make our own pizza, maybe with "diet compliant" alfredo sauce (I found a cool recipe on the internet) with black olives (which he would eat until they were coming out his ears) or something. So, we're going to save a lot of money - and maybe the "diet" isn't such a bad idea for me too! (I could use it if I want to fit in to any of my summer clothes!)

Since I started this blog in an attempt to capture some of the stuff that goes on around this house, here is another classic conversation Tyler and I had over breakfast.

(Tyler was sitting with his food on his "Rainforest Cafe" placement, with all of the animals on it. The Rainforest Cafe is a restaurant in Woodfield Mall that Aunt Beth took us to last Spring.)

Tyler: "There's an elephant on here."

Me: "Yep"

Tyler: "Was there an elephant there when we were there?"

Me: "I don't remember, was there an elephant there?",

Tyler: "Yea, and he was big and he ate all our food and sprayed us, and then went down the hill then up the hill. Then he went to daycare, and ate the windows, and I said 'No No Elephant, you be nice. You go to time out' and the elephant did, and then he went away. Right Mommy?"

Me (smirking): "Right, Tyler!"

I witnessed some of this "imagination play" when I picked the boys up from daycare a little early yesterday. Almost all of the kids were running around just pretending all sorts of anything they could think of. It was so cute. Pretending to play with puppies, or be princesses. And Tyler pretends that huge animals are eating his daycare building.... Should I be worried? =)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Just got myself recalibrated....

Anyone that knows me knows that I've been having a hard time balancing everything that's been going on between work and at home. Sick kids, a crazy job, a new diet for a hyperactive 3 year old, it's not been easy. Then we received this message tonight...

Madi is scheduled for a craniotomy tomorrow, which means they're opening up her head. She has a grape sized area of hemorrhage/mass in an area of the brain near the left side of the optic chiasm (the vision center) and the hypothalamus. The procedure tomorrow should tell us exactly what is causing the hemorrhage, take away much of the clot, and take away some of the mass as well. We're hoping that getting rid of this clot takes some pressure off the hypothalamus so that we can get Madi back full time rather than only for a few seconds at a time. Then we pray for a good prognosis on pathology results. There's still a chance we could get a benign tumor, which would probably require further radiation and/or chemotherapy--this is all speculative. In any case, tomorrow is an extremely important day. Madi has the best neurosurgeons in the world, the best support in the world (all of you), and her own fighting spirit on her side. We're praying that's enough.

Madison Couser is the 5 year old daughter of some friends of ours that moved to Minneapolis about two years ago. We haven't kept in very close touch with them since they moved, but do see them when they come back to town. They used to be in our "card club", and Greg and Marianne (Madi's parents) are the nicest people in the world!

Apparently, Monday night (just 3 days ago!!!) Madi woke up vomiting. Thoughout the day, they said she just started making less and less sense, and was slurring her words. They took her to the ER, where they did a CT and found this mass on her brain that is bleeding. They immediately did everything they could do to relieve the pressure on the brain by draining the fluid. She is responsive to them every once in a while now, but has her big surgery tomorrow.

Holy Cow, does this put things into perspective for me. It's like I've been hit with a brick. With all of my complaining and wallowing in my own sorrows, here are some people that have their little girl being operated on by neurosurgons at the Mayo Clinic. I complained about Connor's last ear infection.

Additionally, they were supposed to be in Disney World today with a couple other familys. Madi has two older brothers, Chad and Ethan, who were supposed to go meet Mickey and the gang. Greg (Madi's dad) is a marathon runner and was going to run in Goofy's Challenge this weekend, which is a half marathon one day, then a full marathon the next. Marianne was going to run the half marathon, and Chad, Ethan and Madi were going to run the 5K. It would've been Madi's first.

I have a good friend that reminds me frequently "When the student is ready, the teacher will appear". That couldn't be more true at this point. The teacher has definitely appeared, and reminded me of what is important in life, where my priorities should be, and what I have control over and what I don't.

When you say your prayers next, please say one for Madi.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

How fast they grow up...

Tyler moved into the "Red Room" at daycare last Thursday. His first official day in the "3-year-old" room. Tyler has always been much bigger than the other kids, and always seemed "ready" to move up to the next room long before the other kids. (He's a bit like his father in that he just craves socialization and people that are constantly moving and talking!) This time though, he's seemed a little more reluctant. Almost like he knows he's growing up, and that he's not "a baby" anymore.

Flashback to January 2005. Tyler's first day at daycare. I didn't even bring him, because I knew I would just cry. I don't think I brought him for the first week, and due to my husband's schedule - I believe he picked him up every day that week as well. When I had to start making my regular trips to daycare, I looked at the kids in the first room (the room that Tyler just graduated from last week), and they looked SO old - they were almost 3! My child will NEVER be 3, I thought! Now he's in the room PAST that one, and his next room after this is the Preschool room - his last step before kindergarten. Holy Cow - what happened to my baby?

Then, I pick Connor up yesterday, and talk to the teacher in his room. They have the infant room split up into two "sides" basically, the crawlers and non-crawlers. Connor isn't quite crawling yet (almost!), but has been moved over to the "big kid" side because he loves to watch the bigger kids. He's eating food in a high chair now, and can feed himself (and loves it!).

Sometimes I wonder what has happened to our time. It's like it just vanishes. I used to love to go to bed early, but anymore, I find myself wanting to stay up later and later, almost as if to suck every minute out of the day that I can. As for the kids, every day it's something totally new. Connor will be crawling any day now, and is perfecting his "da da da" phrase every day. Tyler, Holy Cow! I can have an entire conversation with that kid like he's my best friend, with a few random thoughts thrown in every once in a while. Here's a snippit of our conversation we had on the way home from daycare tonight:

Me: "Tyler, isn't the sky pretty?" (It was a beautiful pink and orange sunset)

Tyler: "No, it's scarey. It's bery bery bery bery bery bery bery bad. It's gonna rain."

Me (puzzled): "Why is it bad, and why do you think it's going to rain?"

Tyler: "See the clouds?" (there were some clouds) "It's gonna rain, and the guy is going to be up there, and I'll go up there and burn my legs."

Me: "What?????? How are you going to burn your legs?"

Tyler: "Because, I'll go up there because there are gumballs up there, and I'll get one so I can eat it."

Yep, so we can have an entire conversation. A quite interesting conversation if you ask me! I really miss the baby stage sometimes, but conversations like this take the cake!!!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Pretty sure I'm losing my mind...

Nope, actually I'm positive. I'm almost embarrassed to admit what I'm about to say, but here goes....

I get home from work tonight, and there is a ton of mail. One of the packages is a book that I had ordered off of Ebay. It's "The Feingold Cookbook" that I bought so I could get a little bit more creative with Tyler's (our) meals. (By the way, I'm the most uncreative person you've ever met when it comes to cooking. BORING! Kyle has to remind me to use salt and pepper at times...) So, anyway, I open the book, and then set it down right where I opened it and go about feeding Connor, cleaning up the kitchen, etc.

Fast forward to 2 hours later. I CANNOT FIND THIS BOOK ANYWHERE! Seriously. I swear to God there are elves that streak through our house and hide things, because there are more things missing than just this book, like.... our power cable for our digital camera, one certain bill, LOTS of random socks, and our checkbook (at this moment). We could tear the place apart looking for any of those things, but not tonight. We're doing that tomorrow (won't that be a BLAST!). But I still cannot find this book.

I ask Tyler if he put it somewhere. "Nope," he answers. I ask Kyle, and he laughs at me. He's not really surprised that I lost something - you should see how disorganized I am here at home now. It's a shame. I dig through the trash - three times. I walk through the entire house, trying to remember if I would've set it down somewhere. I check in the pantry, the refrigerator (I've been known to leave things there - found my wallet there once), and the microwave (where I've found the milk before). It's NOWHERE! I'm convinced that I've completely lost it, and even start to question if I ever received it in the mail, or if I just dreamt that...

Kyle puts Tyler to bed tonight, and I grab his Mike Wychowski doll (Monsters, Inc.) that is in the toy basket in the living room. There's the book, underneath Mike. I have NO idea how it got there. Tyler wouldn't have put it there, it's Connor's toy basket. Did I put it there? Did the streaking elf put it there?



CHANGE SUBJECT! Here's a little addition for my parents....

Sunday, January 6, 2008

The Sleep Nazi

I politely refer to myself as the Sleep Nazi (remember the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld? Yea, that's me....) I take great pride in having rested, healthy children. Key words, rested AND healthy. Both at the same time is amazing, and you can't have one without the other. They will get sick without sleep, and when they do get sick, they need even more sleep. I become the Captain of Bedtime (and bitchyness) after 7pm, and become quite bossy. Kyle has just got used to taking my orders when it comes to putting the kids to bed, but he too has learned what happens if you just let it go, and let them go to bed when they "seem tired".

Bedtime around here is like bootcamp. It is VERY routine, but I found out very early with Tyler, without a routine, he was quite confused. Now, he knows exactly what is coming next, and sometimes moves to that "step" by himself. We're now starting those routines with Connor, although Connor's problem is that he just wants to go to bed so damn early, that his day starts anyway between 5 and 6am, or earlier. Tyler used to be the exact same way, and I didn't know that kids slept past 6am until he was almost 3 years old. That was a LONG 3 years. We just had gotten to the point where he would sleep until almost 7am on the weekends (Wo Hoo!!!), and now we're starting over. This morning (Sunday), Connor was up at 6am. Ugh!

Even the best bedtime routine though, cannot control what happens in the middle of the night, and last night was no exception...

Around 3am, I am in a dead sleep, and something wakes me up. After I slowly figure out what is going on (I must've REALLY been dead!), I realize that Tyler is standing about 2 inches from my face. Something must've woke him up. I ask him if he's okay, needs to go potty, etc., etc., and he says he's okay. I then start following him back to his bedroom, but instead, he makes a beeline for the living room and literally starts jogging!!!! "I wanna watch a show!" He keeps saying. I bear hug him and carry him back his room, and then sit on his bed with him to calm him down. I get him back to sleep and get back in bed.

4:15, Connor wakes up. No surprise. He took a 3 HOUR NAP Saturday morning! I believe that might be a new record - we even checked on him a couple times to make sure he was still breathing. (It was like having a 4 day old baby in the house again.) Because of all of that sleep (and about 1 more hour of napping throughout the day), he didn't want to go to bed at night, and, woke up early. I made Kyle get up with him since I had just gotten back in bed. Kyle said he was WIDE awake, but fought him back to sleep.

6am, Connor is up for the day. No problem, except he is the NOISIEST kid in the world in the morning! For some reason, he has this constant "drone" noise that he makes that is on such a key that it makes your spine shiver. By 6:45, he had woken Tyler up, who didn't nap yesterday, went to bed too late last night, was up once last night, and is VERY crabby. *sigh*

I try not to let their sleep, or lack of it at times, bother me too much, but everyone knows a rested kid = a happy kid. And a happy kid = a happy mommy!

Our friends and neighbors remind us that soon enough our kids will be independent and won't need us to get up with them in the morning, and will put themselves to bed. The thought of that makes me giddy with excitement, but, I also secretly love this cuddly "needy" stage. One of my favorite parts of my day is when I'm putting Connor to sleep in his room. I have his sound machine one, which drowns out the noise of the rest of the house, and it's just me and him, and my thoughts. I can think so clearly, and spend as much time thinking about stuff as I need. I'll miss that when it's gone, so I'll probably hold on to that as long as I can, or at least until Connor tells me to stop! =)

Saturday, January 5, 2008

Why do I do it?

Let me start by saying I'm a Super Wal-Mart addict. Actually, I'm in recovery, but still an addict. I can seriously spend every dime I have in that store on everything I can justifiably need, but....not really need. I set a new record there a couple weeks ago, spending $400.86. Seriously. With that much spent, you would've thought I bought a TV, or new tires - but no, this was food, diapers, etc. I couldn't believe it myself, and thought the computer had an adding problem or something.

So, today starts like most Saturdays. I'm up WAY before daylight with Connor, and Tyler wanders out at about 7:45 - which is sleeping in for him. At that point I thought for sure that Tyler wouldn't need a nap that day after sleeping so late. Oh, I couldn't have been more wrong.

At about Noon, Kyle decides we should all go to Wal-Mart. Especially because I need an oil change. (Correction, NEEDED an oil change - about 2,000 miles ago. [Right now my dad is falling off his chair and weeping for me because a) that I neglected my car that long, and b) that I took it to Wal-Mart for service - you buy deodorant at Wal-Mart, NOT get oil changes]. I am having the hardest time doing anything now that doesn't resemble laundry or giving small people a bath - so oil changes or even visits to the dentist are nearly impossible.)

Right before we head out, Tyler starts his "tired whine". Oh - very distinct. Everything is a TOTAL tragedy when he's tired. I think one of the wheels on his tractor wasn't moving quite right. Oh my god, you would've thought his entire world was coming to and end. It was at this point that I mentioned "Maybe Tyler should stay home and take a nap". Kyle reminded me that 4 hours ago I thought he wouldn't need a nap, and "Let's go!". It's times like these that I don't say a whole lot, just grit my teeth, and mention to Kyle, "Fine, but he's yours.", which is always followed by a "Whatever..."

Getting Tyler into the car was such a chore, I was almost in tears. I'm not sure why, but I think it's because I knew what was about to happen. As I was literally throwing Tyler into Kyle's car, and Kyle politely mentioned that I could probably use some time to myself. I thanked him for the 5 minutes I was about to receive, and got in to my car. Kyle had the kids in his car, I drove by myself in order to drop my car off for service.

We get to Wal-Mart, and Kyle apparently has to get his glasses adjusted, and headed off to the Vision Center, leaving both kids with me. He had completed neglected to mention this before we left, so I was a bit surprised. And then, I had both kids by myself, in Super Wal-Mart, by myself, in Wal-Mart....

Yes, I just repeated myself, but that is what was going through my head. I NEVER, EVER, EVER shop with both kids. To be honest, it scares me to death. Connor is easy. So easy. He just sits in his carseat - and today, didn't make a sound. Tyler sat in the cart (after I bought him some Sprite -which he can have on his diet), and I thought "I can handle this". We head back to the baby stuff to spend a small fortune in diapers and baby food, and then Tyler decides he's done sitting in the cart.

"Mommy, help me..." He keeps saying. With the huge carseat in front of me, I can't really see what he's doing. He's trying to climb out of the cart. After a desperate attempt at negotiating gone wrong, I let him out of the cart. THAT SCARES ME TO DEATH! What do I do if he runs off (which he's been known to do), I can't leave Connor, and weaving in and out of Wal-Mart with a cart chasing a 3 year old would be like a scene from the movie "Cars". "I can do this, I can trust him, just keep him distracted...."

"Tyler, can you get me some milk?" Tyler gets the milk, and literally drops it into the cart. We got WAY lucky on that way that milk didn't explode everywhere. I beeline through the back of the store, keeping him busy. Then he finds a huge display of Coke cases. He is pounding on the Coke cases like they are his drums. People are everywhere, and I cannot pull him away from that damn Coke display. I bribe him, I beg him, I try to have an intelligent conversation with him. Finally, letting him some more pop gets him to move away, and we continue down another aisle. It's a nightmare. People are stopped everywhere, and he just keeps moving. I was probably reported as a "Drunk Cart Driver" or something, the way I was plowing people over.

Kyle shows up an aisle later, and take Tyler to go get his haircut. (Okay - this is why I love Wal-Mart. Where else can you get your oil changed, buy your groceries, and get a haircut, all in the same hour???) I make it through the rest of the store, just me and Connor. He doesn't make a sound, and just sits there and literally smiles at me the whole time. (He's the reason people have more kids!) We get to the cash register, and it all falls apart again.

You've been to Wal-Mart. It's just not a Wal-Mart without every cash register that has about 10 people in line, with $100 minimum stuff in their carts. I pick one line, then opt for another at the other end of the store. I have to stand in line so long, my feet literally hurt. I read every headline on every trashy magazine, as well as every cookbook up there.

Just as I'm finishing up, and Kyle shows up with Tyler, who is EXHAUSTED at this point. Kyle mentions something about wanting to kill Tyler, and we fight his coat on him. Poor kid, he's so tired, but Daddy is even more frustrated. It's times like that where I get a smug smile on my face, and don't say a word.

We get in the car to head home, and Kyle says "Boy, Tyler is really tired".

"Hum" I say, "It's too late for him to take a nap now, I guess when we get home, he'll have to play outside with you."

Hee Hee, I'm so evil. Let this be a lesson to all you dads out there. When Mommy says that the baby needs something - she's usually right!

Tyler did do without a nap today, but not well. Some friends stopped over tonight with their 6 year old, and Tyler was like a miser with his money - not wanting to share his toys. It just continued to escalate downward, until I finally put him to put at 8pm, which was too late for him after not having a nap. We'll see what tomorrow holds, but I can guarantee it will hold a NAP!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Choices

If I think I count correctly, between Kyle and I, we were up with Connor about 6 times last night. (I'm not quite sure about the count, because Kyle told me this morning that I was basically dead between 2 and 5am when he woke up a couple times, and Kyle got up with him. Kyle also has a tend to embellish so that I feel sorry for him, but I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.) So, I planned on not going in to work today. Called my boss at 5am, and told her I would be working from home...

Then 7:30 rolled around, and Connor woke up. He was perfect! Good color, no circles under his eyes (his tell-tale sign that he's sick or tired), and was smiling. The first thought in my mind was "We can't waste a perfectly good 'healthy' day at home! There will be TONS of more sick days!". So, I got ready, got him ready and headed off to daycare.

So, I made a choice - to take my son, that was up approximately 6 times last night, and last had a fever that I knew of at around 5pm the night before, who hadn't eaten from a bottle since 2am because he can't breathe through his nose, to daycare. I used the "you don't have a fever - you go to daycare" philosophy that I developed when Tyler was about 5 months old. If I stay home with them every time they're sick, I'll never go to work.

But, how sick is too sick? At what point do you say "this is my BABY that NEEDS his MOM!", or "suck it up kid, mommy has to make an appearance at work". It's no kidding that I could seriously pound out 2 times as much work while working from home, but in our conservative company, you're not "working" unless you're "at work".

So, these are the choices that no one ever tells you about before you become a parent. I guess you are totally oblivious to reality, and you just think about a healthy baby - because if you thought anything else, you would go crazy.

No one ever tells you that you will have to make a choice to let your baby cry himself to sleep in order to learn to sleep though the night. That thought was ridiculous to me - until Tyler was 8 months old

No one ever tells you that you will have to make a choice to stop breastfeeding when your baby is 4 months old because your schedule at work is too hectic to support it. "Breastfeeding is Best" they all say, but when you're literally interrupted in your office by co-workers and your boss while pumping, you have to make a decision to stop.

No one ever tells you that you will have to make a choice to walk out the door in the morning with both kids crying in order to make it to work on time for a meeting that is completely unnecessary, but you have to be at.

No one ever tells you that you will have to make a choice to leave your child with total strangers at daycare to go back to work, when every ounce of your being tells you that is just wrong.

No one ever tells you that you will have to make a choice between sitting and playing with your kids, or doing the laundry, the dishes, getting clothes ready for tomorrow, picking up toys, or changing your clothes, just so you can have 15 minutes to yourself later that night.

It's amazing the choices we make, as parents, every day. And these choices seem so small, but are actually HUGE life-changing events. But, they have to be made. To me, this is the most stressful part of parenting. Everyone can handle the lack of sleep, the colds, the tantrums, etc., but when you have to balance them with something else, they become so much bigger.

I've been trying really hard lately not too let these choices effect me so much. I've been trying to just take the punches as they comes, and deal with them one at a time. But, I am still constantly making choices for my family. (Continue writing, or go to bed.......................)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Blogging

Happy New Year!

I started this blog about a month ago just as a place to dump my feelings, say what's going on in my life, and generally keep friends and family updated on us. So far I've talked about work, my parents, Christmas, the kids, a new diet for Tyler, etc.

I'm actually hoping this turns into something else. Just for fun, while you're reading this blog, click on the "Next Blog" icon at the top of the screen. I did that, and was taken to a blog devoted entirely to Brittany Spears. I think I can find better things to do with my time than reading what Brittany Spears did yesterday, but I found it interesting. Then clicked into one that looked like Russian, and then Portuguese. I attempted the read the one in Portuguese, but since I got a C in the class, I only got through the first paragraph and then gave up. It's just amazing to see where we've come in our society.

I guess I think about that every once in a while too. When I'm having a frustrating day with Tyler (like today), I always think "What did parents do 100 years ago when it was the middle of winter, and they didn't have electricity, much less and HDTV with a DVR?". What did they do when they couldn't put on their favorite episode of "The Backyardigans", or shove "Toy Story 2" into the DVD player? We have done all of this already this morning, plus some!

Happy New Year to you and your family, and here's hoping you're enjoying the technological advantages of today!