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Friday, December 31, 2010

What Were Your Proudest Achievements in 2010?

On one of my facebook pages that I like give me frequent updates from Parents.com. I like it as it gives interesting perspective of thoughts of other Moms, updates about recalls and questions to its audience. One question it asked today was, what was your proudest achievementin 2010? For me, I can not narrow it down to one. I actually have a few, so here is my little list:

1) Speech Therapy: As noted in the previous post, my husband and I researched, discovered and got the aide my son needed for his speech development. It took a long time with meetings, board approvals, testing, etc., but he is now getting the therapy he needs and will have it until he doesn’t require it any longer. Getting speech therapy for my son has improved his life and hearing his little thoughts and questions because of all the progress he has made is beyond wonderful.

2) My Girl: I obviously didn’t care what I was having because this could have been easily an accomplishment about my second son, but becoming pregnant with my girl certainly is a achievement. It is beyond amazing. Beyond wonderful. It is truly a blessing.

3) Car PAID Off: It doesn’t go without saying that not having TWO car payments is a wonderful thing. I worked like crazy to get that sucker paid off. It took a lot of budgeting, a lot of cut backs on other things I wanted to blow my money on and I did it. I set a goal for myself and I accomplished it.

4) Debt Reduction: To me this is separate from my car. My husband and I are team mates in whatever we do in life and we have a plan in action for paying off debt, saving money for a rainy day and putting more money into college for BOTH kids. We are doing awesome with our
set goals with a little bit of scrimping and budgeting here and there. My girl isn’t born yet, but she already has a stash saved away for college until I am able to open a 529 account for her. My children WILL go to college. They can hold off their education if they make it into a professional league of some sort, which is a million to one (okay maybe less). So if they achieve that then they have my permission to withhold their education for a little while. Otherwise, they are all going to benefit from their parents paying for their education.

5) Loving God at a Deeper Level: This year I had A LOT of conversations with God. There were many times this year when I knelt down to cry and pray for encouragement and courage and there were times when I couldn’t thank him enough for all the blessings in my life. I am remembering more so every day to stop and think of God, sometimes multiple times a day and thank him for even the smallest of blessings.

So there you have it my year wrapped up in my five greatest achievements?

What is your proudest achievement(s) for 2010?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blissful Days

As Moms we have a lot of weird, crazy and some even bad days. Regardless if you stay at home or go to work there is a constant juggle in the house, especially with little kids on maintaining
somewhat of a schedule, making sure your house doesn’t get destroyed (easier said than done) and striving to have some great quality time. Every day is of course different. There are days where your kid doesn’t like anything you do and/or doesn’t listen to a damn thing you say. There are days where you have a little less patience. There are also days where your kid decides that they would like to be naked and play in the kitchen sink with your front windows WIDE open (this happened last week…interesting….and very funny). However, there are days where it is pure bliss. Days where everything goes right. You are able to keep a fantastic schedule, patience is aplenty and quality time is at its max. I don’t claim to ever have the perfect life or
perfect family. I DO think they are pretty incredible though and over the last few days it has been a fantastic blissful period.


My Zaichik has really grown in respects to his speech development. He understands better, talks better and I think he’s happier for it. I am so thankful for his progress. The work my husband and I have put in with him, the work his teacher (I LOVE HER) has done with him and the
fantastic work his speech therapist has also done with my boy is really starting to show. It doesn’t go without saying that in my last parent/speech therapist update meeting that I teared up thanking her for everything. She saw the tears in my eyes, teared up too and held my hand for a minute so we both wouldn’t cry! She has not only taught me to help my son more, but has taken the time to teach his teachers how to help him and through her therapy she has improved my son’s life. What does this have to do with bad and blissful days? A lot.

I know my son and I know his tender side. I understand him like I’ve always understood the little being inside of him. It is our connection. He had a period where he couldn’t communicate well. He lashed out due to his inability to communicate to the people around him by biting and hitting. I believe it was due to all the ear infections, because like his Mother, he had plenty of them causing both of us speech delays early in our life. Last year at this exact time frame my son was dismissed from his horrible, wretched school (it was a blessing now that I look back on it as even county school teachers were aghast at the treatment) causing my husband and I to
panic to find care for him as we both work full time. It was a mess. We had so many ups and downs and stresses because of his lack of being able to communicate well. We were ridiculed by people that were close to us and not so close to us and had several (and I mean SEVERAL) nasty, horrible, heartless, cruel comments made about our child. For goodness sake he was a baby! He was just a little two and half year old kid. If you’re a parent and ever faced that, knowing your kid isn’t bad but just frustrated because he needs help, support and love due to a developmental delay because of infections, you know that the Mama bear in each Mother comes out to fight like HELL to protect their cub. My claws came out once or twice and I cried many, many tears for not only my son that was given such a harsh treatment (unbeknown to him), but shocked more
or less due to people’s inability to try to even understand. As parents, my husband and I banded together through the enormous amount of stress we were under (the stress was more imposed by the outside insensitivities of others more so then our son) and got him the help that he needed. It made us stronger. We worked hard getting the help our son needed and deserved.

A year has passed since that time. My son, as I have said, really does well with communicating to us now. It doesn’t go without saying that he does act like a typical three year old little boy. There are times when he doesn’t want to listen or needs to go to time out. I’m not raising a doll, I’m raising a child. He moves, acts and talks on his own will with guidance from his parents and the people that love him. He has the cutest little vocal tone of when he’s jokingly “telling” on his Dad and throws out some pretty hilarious sarcastic comments. Simply put, I’m in awe of our little conversations that we have together and I think have a deeper appreciation then some parents do for their child to be able to verbalize his thoughts, wishes, needs and wants. He has a soft little soul and does well pretty darn well with listening, sharing and treating others with how he wants to be treated. Sometimes you have to explain it a few times, but that goes with parenting. Parenting is a continuous journey of guiding your child(ren) in the right direction.

As I’ve said, my Zaichik has been at his best the past few days. We had an amazing Christmas day. He did so well especially not taking a nap all day and running around with a lot of excitement. I was almost expecting a few outbursts due to all of that, but was pleasantly surprised to not see any of it. He shared his new toys. He listened to directions. He even went to bed (very over tired) without much complaint. The day after Christmas was beautiful. He wanted to be by my side even though it wasn’t my turn to wake up with him, so after breakfast he came back upstairs to snuggle and sleep with me for an hour more until we both got up. He squealed with delight when I took out his wonder paint and his new play dough set and we happily played together for hours. He ate well all day. He didn’t complain at all or whine at all. He even went down for his nap and bed time without the slightest protest or peep. On Monday it was another repeat fantastic day with him after I picked him up when I got out of work. I gave him a bath. He requested politely to have some mac and cheese, which I was fine with since he was so polite about it AND it was just so cold outside we needed something to warm our tummies. He played quietly with me and gave me mounds of kisses and hugs. He even saw a boo boo on my elbow and kissed it just to make it feel better. He just made me incredibly proud and I was really sorry that I had to put him to bed a little after his bed time. Some days you’re done with either your kids behavior or just tired, so bed times are welcome, but really…I was quite sad about it. My blissful days really were wonderful with Zaichik. I hope we have a repeat again today. If not we’ll strive to do that tomorrow. I think all in all he’s a pretty terrific kid and he really does make me proud. I love you my little man.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The End of the Second Trimester

I love being pregnant. Really, I do. Even through all the nausea I endured the first six weeks of this pregnancy, the weird spurts of back/tail bone pain, and the constant runs to the bathroom, I can honestly say that all that gets pushed aside hearing her heart beat at the doctor’s visits or the constant movement I feel especially when I’m ready to go to bed. It’s a sense of knowing that my baby is okay and for now I can take her along wherever I go and know she’s okay.

This pregnancy has been by far quite different from my first with my son. With my son I had food aversions to random things like onion rings and grapes. I gained weight like crazy, although I’m sure the Breyer’s Chocolate ice cream that I had once a day had NOTHING to do with it. I also had high blood pressure as soon as I started into week 20, but I’m not sure if that was stress of my first pregnancy and my body going “WTH?!!!!!” or being afraid for my Mom as she was enduring quite a lot of medical obstacles during that time period. I also was incredibly swollen. I had cankles people. My ankles were the size of my thighs and no shoe would fit me expect stretchy ballet slippers. I remember how my ankles used to seriously gross out my boss, and he had three kids, so it wasn’t like he was unaware of weird pregnancy side effects. With this pregnancy, I’m not sure if it is because I am carrying a girl or because my body has already done this before but it is just different. As I said earlier, I was nauseous ALL DAY for six
weeks. It was pretty horrible feeling the urge to vomit while driving on a major high way. I learned to have a bag near me just in case. I also do not care at all to eat or even want to smell meat most of time. I also love fruit juices. I have to have them. I crave them. I almost would rather have a smoothie then have my favorite dessert. Another thing that I recently

I know most pregnant women have that crappy 2 am rush to the bathroom (or more), but I literally wake up around 3 AM and I stay awake until it is time to get up. I don’t really appreciate that. I’m tired. I know it is normal and people will say that “it prepares you for having a newborn.” I’m not an expert with all newborns, but from my experience and what I know is that you can at least feed them in the middle of the night (once or twice) and they’ll go back to sleep which means you can go back to sleep. You are certainly sleep deprived, but
you’re not awake for the heck of it.

Through all of the weirdness symptoms of this pregnancy, I really do love it. I am actually surprised how fast this pregnancy has gone by and can’t believe I’ll be entering my last trimester in the New Year. I feel blessed, humble and thankful that despite some rockier days
with feeling bad or sleep deprived that I have this little, beautiful girl growing strong and healthy inside of me. I don’t want this time to pass too fast, but I also can’t wait to meet her. I can’t wait for her Dad to meet her. I can’t wait for my son to finally see his little sister.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!




This year really has flown by. It started a little rough with switching my son to a different day care, but in the end it worked out perfectly as my little guy is thriving and making great strides in learning his preschool curriculum and speech development. Our year was certainly full of fantastic highlights as not only is our son doing well and I have a new job, but we will be welcoming a daughter also in the New Year. During this time of year, one really reflects on the importance of family and although my family means just as much to me throughout the year, the holiday season is a wonderful reminder how much family really means to you. Since my family is the purpose for this post, I decided to write a little blurb/reflection on each of them.

My Son:

One thing I would like to reflect on as being important in my family life is that my little guy and I have a routine every night after our prayers and after we bless our usual list/modified list of special prayers, we always thank God for the thing we were able to do or accomplish that day. Sometimes it is meaningful things like thanking God for the health of our family or the wisdom he gave my son to listen to his parents during an important time. Other times it could be a silly thank you like getting macaroni and cheese for dinner or being thankful for play dough. You never know what will pop into the mind of a three year old, but I always love hear his reflections of the day and in my opinion it teaches gratitude for the things we have and to share his love for God. I am so grateful to have these little opportunities and moments with my son. It warms my heart knowing his little thoughts of the day that I don’t think I would hear otherwise.

Just last night my little guy saw a baby on the television and then turned to me and asked if he could hold his sister. He thought about her just because and if you know three year olds, it is special when they think of other people out of the blue and ask you about them. I told him that she should arrive in a few months and with Mommy or Daddy’s help as long as he is gentle and careful, he can most certainly hold her. He was quite thrilled about that. I don’t think he really grasp the whole sister coming to stay and live thing yet though. However, he has such a sweetness in his never ending energy and helpful attitude that him becoming a big brother is something I think he will learn quite well. He’ll obviously have to share attention, but he also likes to make sure things are even in the household, that everyone is where they should be and that if he can help and if asked appropriately, he will respond enthusiastically. He already loves to hang out in his sister’s room and has already helped me with various tasks of cleaning things up, putting things together and even putting her things away. What a great guy.

My little man has the same soul I do. I get who he is with that fire in his eyes and the sweetness of his hugs. I love the little person he is becoming and even though he is hard headed, it shows
determination and independence. I also love that he has his Father in him. He has a confidence in his achievements and honestly doesn’t care what you think of him because he’s just going to be who he is. To me it shows that he will grow into quite an amazing man. He will fight for things he is determined in and show confidence in himself. He will show gratitude for the things he does have in his life and hasa love for God. He already is learning what family means to him as
he is already thoughtful of his sister, Dad and Mom. He loves his Dad and has such a great, unique relationship with him. By leading him through example, I hope he too has a close family of his own someday where he is a loving doting husband and plays an active role in his children’s life. I also hope he comes and visits me a lot when he is grown with his own circus and calls me every so often (I would love every day but I know that can’t always be). I know my days with him being little and holding my hand through movies is quickly fading, but no matter how old he gets, he will always be my baby.

My Daughter:

I have yet to meet you but in some respects I feel like I already know you. Even right now you’re moving about my belly making your little presence known in your Moms busy life. You took a while to get here, but you did and I truly thank God for that. Perhaps you’ll take your time with things in life doing them when you see fit and letting no one rush you.

With the help of your Daddy and brother, we are busy preparing for your arrival. There are so many things to get done such as putting your new crib together, but if you know your Mom, it will all be done way ahead of time. Your brother, even though he is just three, has already helped me put your dresser together and has already helped me put parts of your room together. I know I have already said this before, but I honestly believe God whispered in his ear letting him know who you are and about your arrival. He always knew you were going to be a sister. I can’t wait to see the special bonds you will havewith both of the guys in your life, your Dad and brother. They can be very silly at times, but just know in life that boys are usually silly
and your Mother is here to back you up.

I really hope that you have much of your brother’s personality in being determined, confident and not caring what others think. I think as a woman it is quite difficult to put aside what the world thinks about us or what they think we should do in certain scenarios and just go for what we think is best. I don’t care if you’re athletic, a career woman or a stay at home Mom as I just want you to fulfill your dreams in life and put other peoples judgments aside. You will learn my dear girl that in life there are times you will face harsh judgment from others but just know that judgment is typically lined with their own jealousy. Be your own person. Know yourself. Know how beautiful you really are. Your Mom and Dad will walk through fire for your brother and you. We will always be there to support you and love you both.

My Husband:

Where would my family be without you? You literally fought to have me in your life in the very beginning and through that we grew from being kids into adults together. I know my role in the family is to be the glue that binds us, though you do certainly do your part. However, you are our rock and the love of my life. You have given me what I always wanted, a home and beautiful children. I know we drive you nuts some days, but I know behind that steadfast exterior of yours, your life wouldn’t be complete without all that noise and you would miss it.

I love so many things about you, but I love that you remind me to be strong and that we need our together time as a couple. I think I forget that in all the running around I do, that I need to breathe a little for us. I love that you remember the things I forget. I love that we date often. I love that you do these sweet, thoughtful things for me like putting under cabinet lighting in and the cute, boyish look on your face of contentment and pride when you see my reaction.

I love the way you are with our son. How you are certainly a little bit more of the disciplinarian and remind me to not be such a softie. I love that you have become our son’s personal lounge chair and that no matter how hot you get from a thirty three pound kid on top of you with two blankets and his entourage of bunnies and furry pillows, thatyou’ll stay put. Our son believes you can punch ghosts, monsters, tigers and alligators. You are indeed his hero as much as you are mine. However, I’d rather you not punch or come in counter with those scary things. I think it is beautiful in the fact that our little guy thinks of you, he remembers playing hockey with you in the basement or playing blocks with you in the living room. I also love that you are slowly teaching him how to cook and are patient in showing him how to do new things. I cannot wait to see the type of Dad you will be having a little girl in your life. I already think it is hilarious that you have pointed out some of the things she is NOT allowed to wear when she gets older and that you’re already prepared (if she wants to) to teach her the game of hockey and how to skate. I know there will be some differences in raising a boy and our girl, but I know in most of the aspects in their life you won’t stereotypically divide them in who plays sports and who learns how to cook. I’m grateful that you just know that. I can’t say that all men really realize they hinder their children by not letting them experience things that society thinks girls should do or what boys should do. You will be in fact our children’s greatest male role model in life
and I feel so lucky and so blessed they have such a wonderful man to fulfill that in their lives.

I love you my dear sweet family. You are my world and I’m so grateful to God for blessing me with each of you. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year my sweet family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Daughter

Dear Princess,

My sweet little girl, we have already been on such a wonderful journey together. Life keeps your Mommy certainly busy with taking care of your brother and doing day to day things, but you already have made your little presence known by kicks and little flutters. I have yet to formally meet you face to face, but already I'm in love with knowing God is giving me another blessing, you.

I wanted to let you know your Daddy and I choose your name as we both think it is beautifully feminine but also strong. We want to raise our daughter and our son to be strong, independent, intelligent, God loving, people loving and family loving people. Our hopes for you is that you are ultimately happy and healthy. Whatever dreams and goals you have for yourself someday, we'll be behind you 100% lifting you up and supporting as much as we possibly can.

My beautiful daughter, know that you are so very much loved and have been wanted for such a long time. Your Daddy and I spend our evenings with his hand on my belly feeling you kick and move about. We talk about your future, our family outings that we want to attend with you and your Daddy already jokes about what you are NOT allowed to wear.

Your Daddy has such a beautiful, soft heart and I know you'll have him wrapped around your finger in no time. He jokes about the girly things he'll get to do with you and he certainly will have no qualms about doing it either. He also comments on the fact that if his little girl chooses to play hockey, she'll be the one out on the ice with pink laces on her skates. My only fear for you my sweet girl based on my own experience, is to NOT have your Daddy do your hair. Maybe he will learn how to make a pony tail, but just know to leave hair dos to your Mommy until you learn how.

Your brother is so excited about your arrival. I don't know if he knows exactly how much you'll rock his world, but I am so excited to see the type of fun sibling relationship you two will have. I'm sure you'll have your arguments and I am sure you'll have days you'll want to kill each other. However knowing you two will be there for each other warms my heart. He always knew you were a girl from the very beginning. I would ask this little three year old if he was going to have a brother or a sister and he never deviated from his confident answer of "swister". It was as if God whispered in his ear letting him know your of your arrival.

My dear sweet pea, even though it didn't matter if I was having a girl or a boy, having a someone on my team after having an all male household for so long is pretty amazing. I dream of all the things we'll get to do together. I hope that our relationship blooms into the relationship I have with my own Mom. I want you to know that you can always come to me no matter what the subject is and I'll be here for you with a listening ear. I won't always like the things you do, but I will always love you and I will always be here for you. My wish is that you are confident about the girl you are and about the woman you will someday become. Don't ever let anyone decide who you are. You decide that for yourself. You are in charge of paving your own road in life. Don't let anyone or anything get in your way. Follow your dreams and think with both your heart and your mind.

I love you princess!

Love,

Mommy

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Christmas Calendar


Growing up my sister and I had a Christmas calendar similar to the one pictured above, except ours was a bit better. Our Mom hand sewn little embroidered ornaments for each of the days of Christmas. I think it was probably one of our favorite Christmas things to do. I remember that my sister ALWAYS got to put the star up the 24th and for years I wondered how she accomplished getting the prize ornament. Obviously older and wiser in being able to do the math certainly worked in her benefit. Usually most of the ornaments were just placed back after the countdown and Christmas season were over. It wasn't until THIS year, my Mom told me about the symbolisms of why certain ornaments were place in certain pockets. Maybe it won't matter to the entire world, but I wanted to share in any case.

Dec 3rd

For this one I had to laugh when my Mom told me the story. She uses the embroidered teddy bear ornament on this day to remember her brother as it is his birthday. The reason WHY she always puts the teddy bear back in this particular pocket was because when he was little, he was a naughty, little boy. My Grandmother was so mad at him one day, she took his bear and beat the crap out of it. She beat it so badly that she had to sew the bear back up. He must of did something spectacular!

Dec 7th

The meaning behind this ornament runs certainly deep with just about every American family. She had embroidered the word "Peace" in delicate gold and silver thread. The particular meaning behind it was, this also happens to be Pearl Harbor Day. A day that rocked the nation and certainly changed her life (my Grandfather fought in World War II) and so many other lives around the world.

Dec 13th

The 13th happens to be my Nagymama's birthday. Growing up, my Nagymama never had a doll. Could you imagine being a little girl and not ever having a doll? When she grew up, her husband bought her very first doll only to have it stolen. Had I known, I would of certainly gotten her loads of dolls. It doesn't make up for it, but I wish I could of shown the gesture any how. For this date, we have a small embroidered doll to remember her by.

Dec 14th

The 14th was my Grandfather's birthday. When he was a little kid, for Christmas he was give a whole dollar. He was sent to by his two brothers, two sisters and himself a Christmas present. Some how he had enough money to buy himself a sled. For this day, my Mom always put the ornament of a little wooden sled to remember one of his own childhood memories.

There are other memories here and there with different decorations around my house. Certain ornaments on my tree remind me of things in the past like a ball with the NYC skyline as it reminds me of visiting NYC with my sister and Mom after 9/11 or an ornament of little squirrels selling hot nuts to remind me of when we visited Morrows Nut Shop in Cleveland. The Nutcrackers share special memories as we would see the play every year when I was a kid. My Moravian tin angels reminds me of Winston-Salem, a place where I spent a lot of my childhood. There are so many memories wrapped up in Christmas and such a wonderful time to celebrate family especially Christ's birth.

Do you have any interesting symbolic things you do for Christmas other then celebrating the obvious meaning of Christ's birth? Do any of your decorations hold a special meaning?

Last Day

Today marks the last day at my current job. While I knew this day was coming, having to actually go through it is another story. I'm not sad. I think I would of been sad had I not found a job already that I will be starting tomorrow. I just feel WEIRD.

Its odd to think after learning an entire new process, working my tush off creating metrics that NEVER existed before I came (and going years back to collect them) and spending my days helping a contract for the past two years that now it is all coming to an end. Almost like it didn't matter in some ways. I know the work I did was productive. I helped the teams get to where they want to go especially during some more strenuous times. I also learned quite a bit too along the way thanks to a fantastic manager. Closing the door to this period in my life is just...well weird!

I will say that a few people commented how I will have a new "awakening" when I start this new job. Sure I probably won't be working from home as much as I have (or if at all) and will have to put my best foot forward in proving myself once again. However, I know that. I know what to do. I know how to kick ass in a new job. I know that there will be a learning curve, but I'll do it. I know I can. I've done it in the past and obviously have been hired based on credentials and upbeat personality (the hiring manager did say he liked my personality over another candidate).

However for those that work, take this into perspective for a moment. Pretend that you find a new and exciting position which you THINK will be long term. Only to find out that the job you were hired for isn't stable. In fact, another company is suppose to take over and you don't quite know when they will take over or perhaps they may never take over! You just aren't sure. You obviously start looking for a new position as your family depends on your income, but the economy and job market is in the crapper. Jobs, especially in your field, are so much harder to come by. Pretend that you interview for COUNTLESS positions. You have four verbal offers in which you think that you will FINALLY have a stable job but for one reason or another they all fall through. Then finally at the end of a long haul (two years is a LONG, LONG, LONG haul to be looking especially in this area), your luck changes and a new job is presented to you and something that is promising, has growth potential, is a fantastic commute AND actually has benefits! Did I not tell you I never had ANY benefits (no holiday pay, no sick pay, no vacation pay, no 401k) the entire time I was here?

So really my awakening is, that I actually have a job and I appreciate the stability. I like to dig my heels, roll up my sleeves and get into the grime of things. I feel like I can really contribute to a team and also do the best thing I can do for my family in the long term. Having that when you don't have the morale of your team or stability for so long, you certainly learn to appreciate it. I'll actually be paid on holidays (YAY) and won't feel bad knowing I'm not getting paid that day. I'll actually belong to another great company for a contract that does some pretty awesome work. I'm pumped!

As I've sad before, my last day here is a bit weird and awkward, I know that tomorrow will be a whole new start for me. I believe in the power of your own personal hard work, prayer and the will of God that is leading me down this path. I know there are some uncertainties, but there are always a few uncertainties with life. Wish me luck!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving

This week is already shaping out to be pretty busy. Tomorrow is my son's school party. Thursday is the obvious Thanksgiving holiday. Then Friday is our annual tradition of watching the Reston Parade and getting a quick meal somewhere in the town center. This holiday also brings up distant memories.

Thanksgiving for me always sparks old memories of how I used to celebrate this holiday. I wrote quite a bit about it in my 2008 blog about Thanksgiving. It reminds me of a bitter sweet time that will never happen again. Gathering at my Nagypapa and Nagymama's little suburban, farm house. The cold crisp air of Cleveland. The smell of hot cashew nuts at the Nut Store downtown. The loud clanging of the moving rappies (aka metro for Clevelanders). No matter how many metros I've rode, none have ever sounded the same as the drive in on the orange line. I miss it.

I am starting to love the new traditions of Thanksgiving. I wish my grandparents were still alive but as much as I want nothing to change, it has. It is nice not having to travel. Its fun starting new traditions with my family. They may change, but as our family grows, it is nice to see everyone including both sets of Grandparents. My son is starting to have a pretty cool friendship with his cousin just like I had with my cousins. I'm looking forward to watching the parade yet again this year and to see my son's reaction with the floats and marching bands. Some traditions will stay the same, the time to be with family, which for this holiday as well as the next means the most.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

God I Love Him


Thankfully this pregnancy has made me more sentimental then going through some crazy mood swings. I'm reflecting a lot. I'm becoming more appreciative in my opinion then reaching out more. I've always been family oriented but feel even a closer bond then I ever imagined possible. My son and soon to be daughter are my world, my little sweet loves, my everything. However I wouldn't be here without my rock, the love of my life, my best friend and my team mate.

My husband is a quiet guy. He can surprise you with the most hilarious and funny things. His little Russian bad ass ways proves he doesn't take crap from anyone. He's blunt with the world and holds nothing back. He's genuine, real and observant. He is patient, calm and nonchalant. He surprises me with so many things from finishing projects around the house to ordering my favorite cheese off the internet as it is not available in stores just because he thought to. He's an honest, true friend and will always lend a helping hand. He loves his family above anything and will fight, protect and take on anyone that tries to hurt us. He is, as I have said before, the best person I have ever known.

This post isn't to talk about this or that event, which lately have been quite amazing in my life. Its another reflection piece to say what is on my mind. People (including myself) tends to look and talk about the negative side to whatever is happening in their life or just not say anything at all. I just want to honor the best friend I have ever had in saying what I truly feel about him. I love you babe. Thank you for everything ; )

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New JOB!!!!!

I got a job! A different position in a different company and I couldn't be more thrilled! I could of wrote about it yesterday, but until I have something in writing, I don't celebrate anything. That may sound a bit odd, but after having four verbal offers in the past two years fall through, I learned to not celebrate anything until you have something in writing and a start date.

I can't rave about this position enough. The commute is great and the entire office is even moving closer to my home starting early next year. The pay is pretty damn nice and the benefits are AMAZING. I will actually be spoiled by actually having paid holidays, vacation and sick leave. This was something I haven't had in two years. Gone are the days that I dread holidays due to lack of pay or feel guilty taking a vacation.

Obviously it was stressful knowing I was losing my job. I was pretty calm about it as I previously wrote because there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn't freak out because I'm also carrying a sweet little baby girl and have to think of her. So I made myself calm down. I planned out what could happen if this or that occurred. I had decidedly dug my heels in and was going to wait for the ride to stop. I was prepared for the worst, but prayed and fought for the best. It is wonderful to see hard work, persistence and God leading me down this path.

I could complain to God that I didn't get this until the last minute, but in all actuality I think it made me and my family stronger. In all the jobs I interviewed for and applied for, this was probably the most ideal position I have seen. Regardless of me getting this position right when we're down the wire, I am so damn thankful. I feel like I can finally breathe. I know more or less what is going to happen and I can't believe how much of a tremendous weight has finally been lifted off my shoulders.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Closing Another Chapter

Today marks the official end to my contract. While I have until the 30th to stick around and see if the other company needs help.....those who are left are all just sitting ducks. It feels a bit weird/awkward/nerve-wracking that really its all over. Sure I thankfully (unless I get some type of other news) get a pay check for a little while longer and I am employed, but after two years of working on my contract, learning the ins and outs, it is all over.

I have been through a huge range of emotions since I heard the news we lost the contract. I went from shock, to a bit mad, to sad, to FREAKING out and then finally I am calm. It really has been an experience. Not an experience I really want to go through again, but its the reality of the contracting world and the area I live in. I've been looking for a job....for a long, long time. WAY before I knew this contract was officially turning over to a new company. The economy stinks. Jobs aren't what they used to be even in this area and despite getting four verbal offers....they all one by one tanked for some reason or another. Before I had a Plan B, the planner part of my personality was literally freaking out at the unknown and what will be next. As I wrote in a previous post, my husband took me aside to tell me to chill out and we'll figure things out.

So I'm calm now. Not ecstatic about not having a job as of yet, but I think God has a plan for everyone. You put your best efforts in doing everything you can for yourself with the tools you have and LORD knows I have tried, and then its up to God's plan. Maybe I'll get this new stellar job that is waiting in the wings or maybe I need to be home for a while for some reason or another. I'm not sure what will happen next, but I have Plan A, Plan B and Plan C thought out. I'll be fine. My family will be fine. As long as we have our health and each other, then I am happy.

"When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window. "




Thursday, November 11, 2010

Indoor Play Places


Since the weather is getting cooler out and I am getting more pregnant, I was searching the other day for indoor areas to take my son. Low and behold Dulles Moms (seriously facebook friend them) comes up with amazing links to area events, things to do and lately just posted a link to indoor play places! I am so excited to try some of these out!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's A Girl!


On Monday October 25th, my husband and I went in to the twenty week ultrasound (even though I was technically 18 weeks) to see our baby, make sure he/she is healthy and to HOPEFULLY find out the gender of the little person growing inside of me. I was so nervous and excited the night before about going to the ultrasound that I barely slept that night and was a bundle of nerves going into the appointment. THANK GOD I scheduled it for 9:30 in the morning. I would be a mess if I had to wait all day.

The technician we had was a very nice lady. I was glad for that because you never know who you may get walking in the door. You could get one negative tech on your hands or someone just having a bad day. She started right away first measuring my cervix, which I could thankfully empty out my bladder once she did those measurements. Next, she called in my husband so we could let the fun begin. If you have ever been pregnant, you know that each and every time you see or hear you baby it is one of the most reassuring sound/sight you will see. I then told the technician my apprehension of my baby being shy and not being able to find out the gender. She gave me a reassuring smile and told me we would find that. It did not matter to me if the baby was a boy or a girl. I didn't dream of having one versus the other. I just wanted a healthy baby and to just know.

She took about a million photos of the baby that day. The heart measured around 150 beats per minute. The baby weighed in at eight ounces. My due date didn't even change (due March 28th). Then we got the big news. She told us, "its a girl!" We were silent for a few seconds. It wasn't a disappointed silence or a angry silence. It was a "Um, what?" silence. Obviously we knew we could have either one but I guess since we have a boy we were kind of shocked/surprised. I smiled. A tear streamed down my face. I was going to have a little girl. My husband smiled at me as our eyes met. Our little Zaichik (our three year old boy) had been right all along. He was going to have a sister. My husband and I joked during the rest of the ultrasound about different things like her playing hockey and that she'd be the cute little girl out there with pink laces on her skates. It was a fun experience and I walked away still a little stunned, but glowing. My baby was healthy and the fear of not being able to find out quickly dissipated into thinking "girl".

The shock of it all is still wearing in even after telling the world what we were having. I think having lived in an all male household with even the dogs being boys is maybe why I'm so perplexed that there will be another female in the house besides me. I don't really distinguish doing girl things vs. boy things with my son, but I know there will be a time when things may change to doing more boy stereotypical things with my son versus girl stereotypical things that I will do with my daughter. Maybe she'll like the American Girl dolls and want to have a girly tea party when she gets a little older. I doubt my son in a few years will really be interested in playing dress up the dollies with Mom and having dainty tea parties. He would always be invited though! I also can't very well dress up my son in little hair bows and ribbons and the same goes for my girl in not being able to dress her up in little old man suits, but she will certainly rock out hockey jerseys! Both will have a lot of similarities in the way of being taught, how to act, etc., I want my girl to be just as independent as my little boy is. I want my boy to know how to do just as many little domesticated duties as my girl will know how to do. I also will encourage sports and academics. In all, I want to raise my children to be healthy, independent, God and people loving, educated individuals.

I'm so excited!!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Happy Birthday


Today my husband turned 29. TWENTY NINE. I'm not trying to make it sound old, but its hard to believe he only has one year left in his twenties!

I met my husband when he was a teenager, which I think is why the whole twenty nine thing is baffling me. When I met him he was cute (still is the cutest man in the world to me), but man did I think he was nothing but trouble! He had such long, curly hair slicked back and looked pretty cute driving his red Dodge Stealth. Mmmmm....boys and red sports cars and their appeal young adolescent girls. I know he saw me when I was a Senior in High School (funny I think his first memory was me kissing another guy while I was dressed in an Army uniform), but I have no memory of him until I was out of high school. It took me a while to care for him, but when I did...I fell hard and fast.

We spent together the last bit of our teenage years together. We met the milestone of turning twenty one together and then finally twenty five when our insurance rates went down. We have spent the better part of the decade together learning from each other through patience, love and understanding. Our marriage has had its crazy outside stresses, but we bonded together as a team and have always pushed through it. We have a beautiful, energetic loving son and another sweet baby on the way. Its all so odd to think about the girl I was when I met him and how we both saw each other grow into adulthood.

My husband is my everything and I would be lost without him. He knows my thoughts before I even say them. If I give him a "honey do" list, he always complete them without complaint or annoyance (just as long as I don't keep repeating the same list because of my own OCD). He gets me and I get him. He gets my sensitive side, my loving side, my feisty side. I get his quietness, his enthusiasm to see old friends and to play sports with the guys, his fun quirky thing of reorganizing the house (how I love that) and all the small ways he reaches out to show how much he really loves and supports his family. I know no better man and I am so damn glad he fought for us during our VERY early part of our relationship when I was completely indecisive. He truly is my rock. I said it in the past and will say it again that I still crush on him like a silly high school girl, but love this man so very deeply as a wife should love her husband.

Happy Birthday babies!!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Que Sera, Sera



I hope my husband will agree with me when I say that during this second trimester of not feeling like I'm about to die, I've been in a pretty awesome mood. I don't feel the mood swings that much as no one has really made me angry or perhaps should I say LET them get me angry.

I've had stress in this pregnancy just like I had in my first pregnancy with my son. This stress is different though because I'm not wondering what is going to happen to my Mom. This time I'm just worried about my job situation and will I get a job or not. How will it change our family dynamic and how I will adapt to it? The planner in me quickly got a plan A, B and C together (after some long discussions with my husband) and now I can say I'm quite calm. My last blood pressure reading was 110/67. This is insurmountable compared to my old average of 147/91 when I was at the same stage in my pregnancy last time.

I suppose I can hear my Mom singing in the background that old Doris Day tune "Que Sera Sera" (the embedded video is above) to help ease my conscious and nerves as my husband holds my hand in this new journey together. I'm not letting anything impact this pregnancy and honestly I'm in a new happy zen in life right now. Sure I try to do what I can but at the end of the day, I really am just humbled knowing that in the end everything will work out. I have my family and we all have our health.

I've also carried this same thinking of Que Sera, Sera What Will Be, Will be with other areas in my life. Be it a co-worker that doesn't always say the nicest things. Instead of being angry, I just feel sorry that perhaps its just stress making this person say the things they do. If a friend doesn't want to hang out, then my feelings aren't hurt like they used to be because I have a bazillion other things to do. If someone cuts me off on the road, then I hope they get home okay(after calling them an asshole). The most I got upset about was my doctors appointment got changed, but was more of a disappointment. I always look forward to hearing the thump thump of my baby's heart beat. If you've been pregnant before, you know how awesome it is to hear that sound.

I guess what I want to pass on this blog post is to not get so caught up with the little silly moments of todays stress. If you have the health and love of your family then everything is really just fine. Everything works itself out and I believe there is a plan and a reason why things fall in place the way they do. We don't always know why its happening, but I think we see the reasoning after some time and patience.

Que Sera, Sera. What Will Be, Will Be

Friday, October 1, 2010

HELLO 2nd Trimester


Now that I am officially into my second trimester, I think my ALL FREAKING DAY sickness is finally gone. I endured it. I mastered the art of NOT puking in my cubical for six weeks straight, which I really should win a gold medal for the amount of effort that took. I am actually a productive person and I kind of feel like me again....just have a little bit of a bigger pouch then usual and sleep has become my new best friend.

I hit the second trimester actually having lost weight. Its no big thing if you consider how insanely sick I was for the majority of my first trimester. Still, I was a little surprised as I kept seeing my tummy grow larger. I actually physically needed to wear maternity pants because I was too big for even my fat pants and it was not because my stomach couldn't handle the tighter bloating first trimester tummy. I was getting a pregnant belly...for realz.

Yes I purposely misspelled "realz"

Now that I don't feel so sick, I want to eat. If you're eating something (unless its that stinky ass fish that someone seems to cook daily in my office), then I want whatever you are eating. I'll seriously eyeball you. I was eyeballing my sisters lunch yesterday (but already had my own). I've eyeballed my husband on numerous occasions or saw someone on the television eating something and will say "I WANT THAT". My shopping list is growing. While I am still having a bit of a food adversion to meat, I want to actually eat instead of being forced to be some anorexic pregnant woman. I don't have a mental disability and I wasn't abusing the innocent fetus growing inside me, the kid did NOT want food and suddenly has changed his/her little mind about the whole food idea.

Dear lord help me if I have a really picky eater once this baby is born.

So far I've wanted various brands of pizza, strawberry smoothies, cheese-curl sandwiches (don't ask), waffles, chocolate ice cream, cashews and apples. I want apples in a BAD way right now. I want them freshly sliced like my Mom used to cut them when I was little and how I cut them for my son now. It just sounds absolutely delicious right now.

I just don't get why in the HELL I have such a distaste for meat. Sure I'll eat it from now and then, but the steak that I used to EASILY polish off looks more like some nasty, infested, smelly, piece of fish to me. Its just plain yuck. My Mom made turkey last weekend. I LOVE turkey. Did I eat that much? No...someone didn't want me too. Apparently I'm just growing into becoming a vegetarian...against my will.

While I sit here and complain and demand things, I really am enjoying this pregnant. Even the sickness was okay because I knew the baby had to be okay. Its a miracle really that babies are even conceived and its such a honest to God blessing that I get to be a Mom of another precious little person. Happy Second Trimester to me! I'll be seeing you for another 14 weeks. Then its on to HOLY MOLY MAMA at 28 weeks ; )

Friday, September 24, 2010

My Little Guy, The Gentleman


Zaichik is a typical three year old boy. He loves to get messy, test boundaries and loves to play from the moment he wakes up until the moment he goes to sleep. Raising a little boy certainly is a lot of work, just as I assume raising a little girl would be lots of work (though I have no experience). I want to raise a little guy who loves God and family, is educated, has good manners, thoughtful, considerate, compassionate, and can really open his eyes to observe the beauty in the world. I also want to raise a little gentleman.

I know some women dislike men opening doors for them, but in my world, when a man does that, it proves that his Mama raised him right. It isn't a demonstration how a woman needs to be taken care of. It is considerate and thoughtful.

Zaichik really is turning into a little gentleman without me even prompting him to do this or that. Sure his Mama reminds him of some things, but overall he's picking things up on his own. For instance 75% of the time, he will open the front door of the house for me and hold it, especially if I am carrying something. Zaichik has killed tons of little bugs for me, even when his Dad is around. He takes great pride in it and wow does that kid have gusto when he's annihilating an insect! He also has done gentlemanly things for the little neighborhood girl next door. He's helped her pull out her toy car when it got stuck in a rut many times, which usually requires him to stop playing in his car to help her out. He has gone under bushes to get a rock one kid threw in it that completely devastated another little girl who thought her rock was precious just to hand it back to the little girl. Just yesterday a little girl didn't like the dirt in her car. Zaichik heard this and came over just to brush off the seat for her. He does all this without asking and without any encouragement from me.

I know the lessons aren't done with teaching him gentleman like behaviors, but he is well on his way. I can't be more proud of the considerate way he is thinking of others and how thoughtful he is in his actions. It is tough for a three year old to think of someone other then themselves, but he has truly and most wonderfully surprises me in thinking of others.

You make Mama proud little man. I love you!

Hello Fall!


I absolutely LOVE Fall. I love nothing but semi quiet hay rides, the beautiful colors of the trees, the smell of apple cider and the excitement of so many festivals to go to! Many of them are also free! There are so many festivals in Virginia. Take a gander at the different things going on in Fall: Virginia Fall 201o and DullesMoms.com: Fall Festivals. There is something to do every weekend!

Our weekends are busy around our house, but you can be sure that if we aren't doing pre-planned X,Y,Z then we are headed to one of these to enjoy the outdoors and wear the entire family out so we can all crash for a family evening movie at home. After this hot summer, I am so looking forward to the weather cooling down (just a tad).

As an added bonus, this Fall (end of October/beginning of November), I find out the sex of the new baby. People for the most part is saying its a girl. I have no idea and no guesses. I just am relishing in hearing the little person's heartbeat during appointments and can't wait to meet him or her. Zaichik is going to be such an amazing big brother!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Wow

13 almost 14 weeks into this pregnancy, I am almost still in disbelief that is actually happened. I can see my stomach starting to grow. The constant and I mean CONSTANT nausea paired with sporadic migraines certainly is a reminder. I guess I am just as shocked as when I first got pregnant with Zaichik. I am in complete awe.

I am obviously busier this go around. I can't take after work naps and relax like I used to when I was pregnant with the first. I need to keep up and and play with my very energetic three year old. There have been a few times when Mommy had the guilt trip of trying to get Zaichik to sit down and read or watch a movie, instead of going outside or going up and down the stairs, but it was either that or Mommy was going to be forced to lose her lunch. I've also gone to bed more often then not at 8 o'clock. I'm just worn out.

Today I had another doctor appointment. I was scared I would not hear a heart beat during the visit. It reminded me all to well how often I would hold my breath during the visits I would make when I was pregnant with Zaichik. I just needed to hear that thump, thump thump. On the way to the doctors, I can't tell you how many Hail Mary's and other prayers I said. I did not want to stress myself out. Prayer is calming. I just needed to put it in God's hands. At first the doctor had a hard time finding it. The baby is still so little, but she did and he or she was curled up on the lower left side of my abdomen with a healthy 156 bpm. I will never get tired of that sound. Its simply amazing.

I'm still getting used to the notion I'm pregnant. I started bonding with the baby already by talking to it and getting Zaichik involved with little things here and there. I just am amazed. Pregnancy is a miracle.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pregnant!


Yesterday my husband and I decided to let the cat out of the bag so the rest of the world would know...we are PREGNANT! We told close family and friends initially, but decided it would be best to keep it a semi secret until around my second trimester.

Finding out was one of the BEST birthday presents ever. To be honest, we were trying for a while and I couldn't figure out what was wrong. I charted. I knew my cycle. I just wasn't getting pregnant. There were a few (okay a lot) of teary months and I did keep that all in the shadows of my home after the baby would go to bed and I would be sad with my husband. He told me to keep faith and it would happen when the time was right. Being patient just isn't one of my virtues. Finally I confessed to one of my friends that I was trying and feeling quite heart broken, especially when it was so easy to get pregnant with my first. It was one of the HARDEST things for me to talk about. Its almost admitting that you're failing somehow as a woman. It may sound silly, but if you've been there...you know what I am talking about. We talked a bit, but she told me point blank (and it was something I needed to hear from a third party) to CHILL OUT. Next month, I did chill out. I knew the cycle, but we stopped looking at specific days, etc., We prayed and let whatever was to happen, happen. I finally breathed. Guess what? It took.

I found out the Saturday before my birthday. My husband and I just came home from a party and I decided...why not? Needless to say, I was shocked but ecstatic to see two VERY clear pink lines. I came downstairs and handed the test to my husband. He at that point was used to seeing one liners even though we would squint in hopes of seeing a second line. He didn't need to squint. I can remember his face clear as day...surprised, almost a bit shocked and asked me "REALLY?!!!!!" We told Zaichik, but he really had no reaction at that point, which is expected of a three year old.

That Sunday we told both of the parents. My parents picked me up for church, and unlike most days, I asked if they could come inside. My husband told them and they were so excited! I did let my Dad tell the priest. It was the Sunday that Zaichik thought Father John's name needed to be blessed like the sign of the cross, "Father, John, Holy Spirit" instead of "Father, Son, Holy, Spirit". Later that evening we told my husbands Mom and her boyfriend. The boyfriend got it when my husband said that Zaichik was going to have a brother or a sister. His Mom initially thought we were just telling her we were trying, and was so excited to hear that we were actually pregnant.

Zaichik is the sweetest little guy of them all about this pregnancy. In the past few months he has become accustomed to knowing that Mommy has a baby in her belly. He even thinks he has a baby in his belly too sometimes too. We talk about the baby. He tells me how he's going to be nice to the baby and share, although he did state that he would NOT share his bath toys. That is fine with me for a while since the two won't be sharing baths initially. He also told me he would share his old crib and points out that the nursery is the baby's room and his room is the one next to it. He even makes it a point now to say "hi" to other babies when we are out in public.

I will also say, that neither his Dad nor I care what sex the baby is. I think most people are a little surprised to hear that, but honestly we just want a healthy baby. If we have another boy, then great because we know boys and Zaichik will have a brother. If we have a girl, then great because we will get another type of experience raising a girl and Zaichik will have a sister. However, when we have asked Zaichik if he is going to have a brother or a sister, he always replies with "swister". He has never deviated from that. I have told him a sister means a girl and a brother is a boy, but he is adamant that it is a girl. So we will see if my little predictor is correct when we hopefully find out at the end of October.

Lastly, I thought maybe I would feel different when I got the sonogram (pictured above). I have already experienced sonograms with my first pregnancy and even though I obviously think this baby is a miracle and it is such a blessing, I almost thought I would be used to it. What a silly notion! The moment I saw my baby, my heart fluttered and I could not stop tearing up. Hearing the heart beat (a steady 170 bpm) was amazing. It was the first time I got a glimpse of my baby, my second child, my Zaichik's sibling. I was in complete awe and truly humbled.

Babies will come when they want to and honestly, even with all the stress and new beginnings going on in my life, it was the perfect timing. There are some hurdles to jump and new things to figure out, but life is forever changing and I'm so happy that God has blessed me with another child, a sibling for my son. This pregnancy has been hard with feeling nausea and having multiple migraines in my first trimester, but it has also humbled me too. I would rather feel healthy in some respect, but I almost am glad that I don't feel terribly well because for me its a sign the baby is fine. It certainly is a completely different pregnancy then what I experienced with my first, but it is still just as amazing and pretty awesome.

Thank you God. I could never thank you enough for all the blessings you have given me.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I Always, Sometimes, Never


I Always
Kiss and tell my son and husband I love them every day.
Drink Diet something or other (my one source of caffeine).
Try to plan everything, especially for the future.
Do the best I can for my son.
Cheer for the CAPS.
Hum or sing in the shower.
Try to find a great deal.
Get personal satisfaction when I get something for my son rather its
clothes or a silly Pez dispenser. It makes me really happy.


I Sometimes
Let my emotions get the best of me.
Have lack the patience I need.
Cry because of what was on commercials, television shows, etc.,
Forget to shave my legs. Okay...a lot because I'm always so tired.
Wish I could move to another country and/or state temporarily.


I Never
Have eaten a pickle (the smell stops me).
Shop for a car or anything electronic (I loathe it).
Salt and pepper my food.
Eat sushi (yuck).
Wear orange.
Make our bed...ever. Hubby makes it from time to time.
Wear shorts or skirts.
Drink wine or beer.
Caught up on house chores.

What's on YOUR always, sometimes, & never list?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lessons


Yesterday my son and I were watching a show on Discovery. I think it
was Meet the Jones's of something of that nature. All I can say is the
show was about a family surviving with five babies and an older
sister. During the show, my son noticed that two of the babies were
wearing helmets. Surprisingly my son pointed at the kids and said
"eww" Mama". I was shocked! I don't think he thought the problem they
had was gross, but more confused of what or why could they possibly
have on their heads. This mean LESSON TIME.

Me: What the babies had on their heads are not "eww". They have special hats to help shape their heads. People have all sorts of different things that make them who they are and that isn't "eww". God made us all different to make us all unique and special.

Zaichik: No ewwww???

Me: Your hair color is brown and some of your friends is red. Is your
hair eww because it is brown?

Zaichik: Nooooooo.

Me: Lots of people have brown hair, but not all. It is apart of you that makes up what you look like. Those babies have special hats and that is just what they will look like for a while.

Zaichik: Okay Mama. HI BABIES!!!

Hopefully I got the point across. I was trying to pin point the issue at hand to make it as understandable as I could for a three year old. I think the conversation worked. Usually if he's adamant something is this or that he will repeat it a few times and this time he was fine with it. Lesson learned....hopefully.

Uh, What?


Four things today (and more then likely will always) that baffle me:

~ Why would anyone call their child Dexter unless it is a family name?
I get that you may like the show, but naming your son after a serial
killer....not too endearing and it kind of freaks me out.

~ Why do Moms continuously judge other Moms for the choices they make
for their own kids? For example, breastfeeding vs. bottle feeding,
disposable diaper vs. cloth diapers, working Mom vs. stay at home Mom,
etc.,? If the Mom has the child's best interest at heart, then why
not respect her decisions?

~ Why would a Mom put cool aide and/or soda in a baby's bottle? I mean
really?

~ Why would anyone want a Dexter doll?

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Open Letter to All Moms Out There


Dear Moms,

Before I had a child, I thought I knew mostly everything there was to know about kids. I can all hear you chuckling and shaking your heads thinking that I actually thought I knew what I was getting into when I was pregnant. Man, was I so wrong on so many levels! I wanted to write an apology letter (to myself included) about how clueless I actually really was.

I am sorry for the fact when I saw you toting kids with a messy hair do, no makeup and sweat clothes that I thought you could of tried harder to present yourself out in public. What I should of noticed is that your clothes were clean and it didn't consist of spit up, smushed snack and/or boogers that don't belong to you.

I am sorry that I thought I had true sympathy for you when I saw your child having a temper tantrum on the floor of the super marker. I knew that kids had temper tantrums and those were annoying for any parent, but never got how much patience it takes for a parent to endure those embarrassing moments, trying to get necessary shopping done and also getting glared at by strangers like they are the worst parent in the world.

I am sorry that I grew impatient when I wanted your parking spot and it seemed like it took forever for you to get going. Needless you say you were dealing with your own war of buckling up kid(s), getting necessary binkies and lovies, and trying to load everything you had just bought in your car hoping you don't forget it in the cart in the parking lot (I have seen this happen) or that is actually makes it home in one piece.

I am sorry that I speed through the neighborhood when your children were outside playing. I know now that at a split second a three year old can run out into the road, which thankfully I think I nipped that one in the bud (knock on wood).

I am sorry that I got jealous of when parents could call in sick to work because their child was sick and I thought they were getting a care free day to themselves. I didn't realize that you were probably trying to fit your kid in to see the doctor that day, probably stayed up most of the night before with them and were going to have to deal with a cranky lunatic all day.

I am sorry that I didn't truly understand how hard a working parent has it. I know stay at home Moms have it rough but in my circumstance I can not relate just yet. However, I know now that juggling child(ren), work, home, spouse and any other relationships is not an easy task. I also know that as a working Mom, there is guilt (at least for me) to have to work.

I am sorry that I didn't understand why your car and/or your house was messy. Sure I knew kids made a mess, but I had NO idea. Plus you have to ask yourself, do you go wash the dishes or play outside with your kids for a while? 9 out of 10 times, I play outside with my son. He'll only want his Mom with him for a little while.

So thus far is my open letter to all of you Mommies. I am sure there could easily be a part two, but for now, this is the apology I would of wrote had I known.

God bless!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Thoughts

"If someone wants to be a part of your life they'll make an effort to be in it so don't bother reserving a space in your heart for someone who doesn't make an effort to stay... "

Yesterday while using some downtime to search around for things on the internet, I came across the quote above. I wasn't looking for quotes at all and although I have heard it before it struck a chord with me to actually meaning more then just thinking about silly boyfriends of the past when I was young and my heart knew nothing of love. Today, it was a reflection of what I want in my life in regards to my own relationships with people.

My son is my number one concern. Sure I care about what my husband does, feel, thinks and says, but I am my little boys world. Everything he does do (minus his own free will obviously) is calculated by me. I picked the school he goes to, the clothes he wears, how to discipline him, what stories and toys to buy for him to play with, etc., etc. etc., etc., So obviously when he needs Mommy, my brain and heart go into tunnel vision mode for him. It's a Mommy thing that most loving Mothers just go through. Sure there are days when I am tired (as are most Moms), but my mind never shuts off thinking about him even when I am not with him. He is in fact my little heart with legs.

However there are always other people in your life like friends and family that play a role somewhere in between being a Mommy and being myself. I've gotten closer to some members of my family which I am very grateful for and other extended family that I have reached out to meet me for dinner or hang out somewhere and they just haven't found the time. The same thing goes with friends. I've reached out to a few and some have reciprocated wonderfully with asking me to meet up just because we enjoy each others company. The relationships I have with these people aren't difficult, there is always time to squeeze in somewhere and we truly enjoy each others company.

For me its all about making the time and the effort and it is a two way street for all relationships. If someone wants to be in your life then they will make an effort. If you're the one that keeps on trying with no return, then it is just better off letting some people slip quietly away because you obviously don't mean that much to them. I am a very busy person that has a lot of things on my plate and I am constantly juggling them. However, I always have the time to spend with the people I care about. It may not be today or this week, but I will certainly put forth the effort.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Reflections of Motherhood

Yesterday while reading one of my favorite blogs, Baby Bunching, I came across this little video on youtube they posted called Reflections of Motherhood. I was moved to tears people. Its so nice to see the fake act put away for a little while and admit that everything isn't okay all the time. It was also nice to see real Moms give REAL sound advice. I also caught myself nodding in agreement to 100% of what they had to say. One line that really stuck with me, that is now my favorite is, "You are about to meet true love." I love my husband so very much, but a mothers love for their child is just insurmountable. Enjoy Mommies and Daddies

The Joy Of Townhomes


Living in a townhouse certainly has its perks and its absolute downfalls. I absolutely love the spacious interior of my townhouse as well as the floor plan. When searching for houses, it was the only floor plan that was for me "liveable". Other townhouses lacked a dining area to eat in and a lot of them could not fit the furniture we had in our apartment. I was really happy when we came across the current home we are now living in. It had mostly everything a first time homeowner could want and then some.

What I have found about not liking townhouses is in my particular community, there are no assigned parking. Some people are rude and will leave their cars in front of your house for days/weeks at a time or hog the lack of guest parking. These are the neighbors with garages/driveways while my row lacks either. I admit, I have written my share of friendly but point blanks notes giving my ill-mannered neighbors my disgust, which all of them have thankfully taken my advice. There is also a lack of back yard, which I find annoying since my son LOVES to play outside. I kind of dreamed of planting a small garden or just having a fenced in space so he can do as he pleases, but thats not going to happen right now. However, I am thankful that our place backs up to a common area, so he can ride his power wheels, play ball, or pick little dandelions.

What I do like about my street and row specifically is that all my neighbors kind of look out for each other on some level or another. I have told multiple neighbors that they left their lights on in their cars, borrowed sugar or an ingredient if I so happened to run out (same goes when they have run out) and I even found a lost child at one point. This week I have found another joy about living in a townhouse...LOTS OF KIDS.

For some people having an abundance of children might be annoying, but I love hearing the sound of children playing and laughing. I really can't think of a more happy noise in the world. For the past several days as soon as we get home from school, my son wants to do nothing more but get out of the car and run to see his little friends who are playing outside on our row and also happen to be the same age. For hours the kids play and share their different toys. There are some tears (hey they are only three) and there are some arguments, but it is all quickly forgotten five minutes later. I love that my son can play for hours outside with his friends, wear himself out and come home smiling ear to ear smudged with a peck of dirt. I can also take a moment to socialize with the other Moms or Dads as well. Thankfully we all seem to be on the same dinner schedule so no one is upset that they need to go in while the other kids are playing, which hasn't been a problem since my son has told me multiple times that he is all done with being outside because he is simply worn out.

So while I say there are some negative things living in a townhouse, it mostly is only crappy annoyances for the parents. For my son, it has a lot of perks with having playmates so close by to pal around with. I love more then anything to see the joy on my sons face and if there are a few annoyances for me...I'll gladly take it just to see him smile.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Creative Edible Ideas To Try

After my sister made some insanely, delicious Smore Brownies for the block party at my parents last weekend, she inspired me to look at some other online fun things to make/eat that I and/or my son would love. I came across several fun ideas and I thought I'd share them with you all and maybe you too may have some cool ideas to pass along.

The first idea is the food marker. I ran across a blog that briefly mentioned it but I couldn't help but stumble on the line "food markers". Um what? NEVER heard of them....never saw them. Maybe this is not a new thing to you, but I'm kind of giddy about trying them. You can do a million things with them from making cute designs on sandwiches for school (before it embarrasses them), put some pizazz (I love that word) on cookies as shown below, finish off details on a cake or even make it into a fun edible art craft for the kids to do themselves.



Another fun idea I ran across was by Gourmet Mom On The Go, who blogged about making edible crayons she makes with her family by using some free print out labels, white chocolate, food coloring and medium size pretzel sticks. Don't the crayons look like a fun project for a back to school theme or for a family themed fun night? This Mom certainly has a creative edge and I love her ideas. Certainly scroll through her blog for some pretty awesomely creative ideas!


Finally (at least on this blog post), I am really itching to make individual pies in a jar. Our Best Bites really hit the nail on the head for making easy, but quick pies for families or for fun give aways. Essentially by using canning jars (not regular jars because they can't withstand oven temperatures), you can make little pies in these jars of your choosing, cut out a fun, easy pie top you have your pie. If you have a family of two and the recipe calls for six pies, you can easily freeze the other four pies by just putting the canning tops back on and placing it in your freezer until a later day. You could also make a fun label and use them as giveaways for friends, co-workers, teachers or family. Its unique and homemade goods like this is always appreciated. Don't they look yummy?

Do you have any great ideas to pass along that you've made or have come across on your "to do" list to make?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Whew!!! What A Summer!


This summer has been quite the busy summer this year. It has gone by so quickly, I can't believe the school aged kids are already back in school today. My little guy has been going to his day care all summer long, but for me...summer ends when the traffic once again increases and you see more yellow and black school buses on the road (and if you're unlucky enough to get stuck behind one of them).

Here's what we did this summer:

  • Family vacation to Williamsburg (for free yay!)
  • Zaichik rode his first all by himself ride in Busch Gardens
  • Countless game nights
  • My parents celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary...my sis and I threw a party for them.
  • Several fun birthday parties for some very special three year olds
  • Gave Zaichik a fun kid birthday party at the Loudoun Sports Bounce.
  • Visited the Zoo
  • Finally got to take Zaichik to Great Country Farm (and had a great time)
  • Attended a wedding/reception for a good high school friend
  • Went to Massanutten Resort Park and had a blast at their indoor water park
  • Zaichik saw his first live show...Curious George Live
  • Went to a Family Reunion
  • Lots of fun trips to Frying Pan Park
  • Went to Clemyjontri Park a few times
  • Took the family to the church camp out...we didn't camp but Zaichik had his first snow cone!
  • Saw a double feature at a drive in
  • Zaichik saw his first magic show
  • Hubby built an entertainment area in the basement
  • Hubby also rearranged the house/organized it...again ; )
  • Zaichik got a big boy bed
  • Making huge strides on potty training Zaichik
  • And some other exciting news around the corner...
Some not so fun things:
  • Got a huge bill we weren't expecting (but thankfully resolved it)
  • Found out I'm losing my job
  • Had more sickies then I cared for this summer : P

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Arts


This week I got one of my Mommy Things To Do With Your Kid emails about a arts activity in the area sponsored by Greater Reston Arts Center. The program run two days a week during the hours of 11am-5pm. It does not indicate age (I am guessing kids of all ages go here) and for five dollars your kid gets a bucket and their imagination can run wild. This will certainly be an activity I take my son to in the near future. I grew up appreciating the arts mainly because my Mom exposed my sister and I to all sorts of things like ballets, plays, art museums, art classes, music classes, dancing, etc., We lived in a slightly small southern town (Winston Salem, NC), but she really had a knack of showing us the beauty of the arts and encouraging us to embrace them head on.

When I saw the email for the Greater Reston Arts Center, it reminded me of the days where my sister and I would go to SEECA (Southern Center for Contemporary Arts). I remember like it was yesterday walking up to the big front, iron framed door of the mansion (pictured above) and pushing hard to open it. The main area was old with large fire places and smelt of of a Grandmother's basement (for some reason I love that smell), but has thus since expanded into a beautiful center to display even more artist work. The 32 acre estate was absolutely beautiful, and was filled with all sorts outdoor art. I even remember at one time there was a hedge of bushes that they cut out into a shape of a house. I also still have a poster from the 80's where SEECA at one time had a display of painted BMWs in my basement.

It may not look like much but for me, but the picture above illustrates a fun fragment of my childhood. During this particular class, I remember being told to make some sort of a building. Being slightly tom boyish, but still girly, I made a doll house. The doll house was made of simple things like cardboard boxes, paint, popsicle sticks, pieces of fabric and cotton balls. I let my imagination run wild, using my favorite colors and even had a ladder leading up to the roof where I had a swimming pool. I remember constructing that little house like it was yesterday. I also remember my sister making all sorts of art that once she brought home, I would secretly go play with. During one class, she made a life size sculpture of a woman. I believe her face was a tin pie plate? I also remember her making a musical instrument where she tied different pieces of metal to a string, hung them over a painted stick and you would hit them with a long, narrow piece of metal, almost like how you would play a symbol.

I appreciate the fact my Mom showed me so many of the arts in so many different ways. I loved my experience with SEECA and I just want to show my son the different arts so he hopefully has an appreciation of them as well.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sickies


Lately I've been sick...just not feeling so great in general. I feel guilty for not doing everything that I want to do or just not having as much energy to them. In general...its made me feel down in some ways. I'm certainly thankful for what I have, so don't get me wrong. I'm just drained.

I write all the time how much I love my husband on this blog and I really do. He's picked up slack in so many areas by letting me catch an afternoon nap while he picks up my son early from day care so I don't have the guilt with him staying there too long and I get some extra zzz's. I don't know why, but I damn near cried when he offered to do that for me.

Then just yesterday I had another work from home day. I felt like while I had some down time I should of cleaned up a bit, and while I emptied the dishwasher and tried picking up a few toys...I didn't do what I set out to do. So I felt like poo. Guess who comes home a little early to boost up my spirits? My husband. What does he have? The caffeine free drinks I told him I needed (but we were going to get a different day) and one of my FAVORITE junk/dessert foods, fudge!!!!

Really its the little things that matter. The small efforts people make in each others lives that can really make a difference. The big things are nice too, but just having a small gesture in being thoughtful is truly a gift. My guy isn't big on flowers (though I have had my share of them) or lavish jewelry (then again I probably wouldn't wear it). He's big on thinking about lots of small things that make me happy. I'm just so thankful to have a husband that thinks of those things.

Love ya babe.

Friday, August 27, 2010

No! No Green Mama!


As I do every night before I go to work the next day, I lay out clothes for the following work day. This allows me to easily put on clothes sleepy eyed and I don't have to turn on the overhead light while my husband is half snoozing in bed for another 15 minutes. Since it was Friday, I decided on a pair of khaki's with a green polo shirt. It matched and it was suitable for work...plus I didn't have to iron either item. SCORE!

I put the outfit on in the morning and my three year old shot a look at me and whined while pointing to my green shirt, "No Mama. No green." I have no idea why he did not like the shirt. He wears plenty of green and there has been no traumatic experience while I wore this shirt in the past. I was not in the mood for a three year old to judge my outfit so early in the morning, so I told him that this is what I would be wearing and that is that. He said nothing more about but eyeballed me like I was making some sort of fashion faux pas.

I got to work and went the ladies bathroom. Now that I was awake, I looked at myself in the long mirror and instantly hated my outfit. The shirt really didn't go well with my slightly larger waistline. Bottom line: it was not as good of a match as I thought.

So how in the heck does a kid who does not know how to button his own pants, wears animals characters on his shirt and still poos in his diaper can judge my own outfit before I can? I guess I was just really off today. Either that or maybe I birthed the future Oscar de la Renta.

....Mommy apparently needs a stylist.