Friday, September 25, 2009

This Magic Moment

She hears the dog across the street barking long before we are actually ready to get up. She barks back a few times before standing up in the crib and screaming "Ma!! Ma!!! aaaaaaaaare youuuuuu?? MA!!! MA?? MA!!!" I haven't even rolled out of bed yet and the cat walks by. She meows at him relentlessly, as if asking him questions in cat speak. "Mow?? Mow mow?? MOW kitty cat, mow?"

She sees me sneak by to get her bottle ready. She knows where I am going but insists on screaming "Out? Out??" and when I arrive with her bottle like clockwork she picks up her blanket and hands it to me. "See?" she says as if I should be surprised that the blanket was in her crib. As I lay her back down with the bottle, her hand shoots up to ask for her blanket back.

I usually take my shower while she is taking her bottle, and by the time I've gotten out, she's got the big kids up and has somehow convinced them to entertain her. She is standing in her crib clapping and laughing at their antics.

I get her out, and get her changed and dressed for the day. As soon as she's dressed, she asks for her shoes. She carries them and her socks to grandpa's room shouting "shoes! on!" the whole way there. She loves her routine and is a creature of habit.

This is my absolute favorite part of having kids. That magical time when your child turns from baby to toddler, expanding their comprehension and vocabulary seemingly by the minute. A year ago, she laid around like a lump. Now--she moves from morning until night. Sure, there are rough spots, like the fact that she doesn't sleep through the night or the fact that she routinely throws a temper tantrum during dinner, but she is such a bright spot in our lives right now.

When I am leaving her in the morning, she runs to me with her lips turned up for a kiss goodbye. She does the same to her daddy, brother and sister at bedtime. When it's time to read, she is climbing in to the bed, just as excited as the big kids. "See book?", she asks and then settles in to a lap to listen to the story.

Remember way back when I was pregnant and was worried about how she would change our family dynamic? It was a real concern then and to even think of it now, it seems like it was an irrational worry. Of course she fits right in with us. She is one of us. Hub said it best a few weeks ago when we were talking about how lucky we truly are. "She is the icing on the cake."

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

But if I WERE to have more kids...

My boss and his wife had their first child last week. They just named her this past weekend. This is UNFATHOMABLE to me. Could you even imagine? I have so many names lying in wait for children that I will never have (though we've spoken more recently about MAYBE having a 4th) you would not even believe it. I can't imagine showing up at the hospital without having at least a pretty good idea of what my child would be called. In all three of my own pregnancies, the baby was named pretty much as soon as we knew the sex. (Aside from Liv's middle name which was changed at the last minute when Hub called his mom to tell her she was here.)

This seems like as good a reason as any to discuss some actual names, doesn't it? I think that if I were to define my own naming style, it would be classic, with a bit of modern flair. Bud's real name hasn't made it in to the top 100 list in about a zillion years, but it is a recognizable, normal name. And my girl's names are much more common, each of them slightly modern; slightly classic.

Prior to having children, I was obsessed with the name Sebastian for a boy (What is he, a CAT?) Hub was hell to the no on that one. We did actually end up naming our cat Sebastian. And for a girl, aside from the name we chose for our first daughter, I loved (still love) Felicity. Felicity was a great show, and a great name too. Hub vetoed for no "nicknameablity" and I'll give him that, but pretty.

If I were to have another child the (very few) top boy contenders would be: Callum, Andrew, or Erik. Something tells me that Hub would loathe Callum. But I love it. And also, Cal.

For a girl, I really like(in this order) Fiona, Carly, Abby (not Abigail), Delilah, and Lilly.

I may never have the opportunity to use any of these names. The point is that if I do, here is our starting point. I have a list. The baby will surely be named before he or she is born. I could not deal with having to make such a decision in the delivery room.

What about you? I'm dying to know what you would name your future child--or what the contenders might be.

**for the record, my boss named his daughter Ava

Friday, September 18, 2009

Friday Free For All-FALL! AUTUMN! WAHOO!

* This is my favorite FAVORITE time of year. For real. Everything. The air, the events, the frame of mind; the anticipation of what's to come. Yes, I love the fall. LOVE IT! Passionately.
* I do get mildly depressed though to realize that we will not be spending any portion of Autumn in the foreseeable future in the White Mountains of NH. Damn school aged children. Hub did promise me that we could go next year, however, it will be a late summer trip. New Hampshire in the fall is my heaven.
* Be proud of me--I've only had 3 Pumpkin Spice Lattes so far.
* I can not wait to make Mommy Daisy's pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, which have been an autumn staple the last 2 years. (link to be added later)
* And No Whey Mama's Autumn Soup (again, link later)
* I think I am most looking forward to apple picking. This was a new activity for us last year and ended up being our favorite. Plus, the orchard we went to had homemade pumpkin ice cream!!!
* And of course our annual photo at Letchworth State Park--at least there's no chance of the big kids dropping Liv on her head this year. (jinx)
* Ok but (really) most of all, I'm looking forward to the kids enjoying it all. Liv will be able to take most of it in and be an active participant. I love that the kids know that we have traditions and that they are looking forward to doing all this crap as much as we are.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Growing a Pair

Yesterday I did something that I normally wouldn't do. The background is basicall that I applied for a new job last week-within my current company-a new position that would suit me so well I couldn't even believe it- and awaited a phone call. I arrived Monday morning to find 2 emails from our recruiter. The first was the generic "I am reviewing all applicants" email, and the second was a canned response that basically stated she was pursuing candidates with a skill set that better matched the position.

I was annoyed, and then pissed. My skill set IS this position. Yes, I have done a different job for the last 10 years, however, my resume and college experience speak to being qualified. How am I not a match?

I would normally just let this sit. I feel so strongly about this job though, that I sent an email to the recruiter. I asked her whether she could explain how my skill set didn't match, and whether she would have some time to discuss it with me. I asked to be put through to the interview process and to let the line of business decide whether or not I was a strong candidate.

She and I played phone tag all day yesterday, and I have an appointment to speak to her on my lunch hour.

BOOYA! (really??)

Regardless of the outcome, I am proud to have stood up for myself. I am at a point in my life where it is time to take control of my career. If it doesn't work out with this particular position, I want it to be known that I am motivated to move. To take the next step.

Well, that's kind of exhilarating now, isn't it?

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The Grind

We had such an amazing long weekend that I needed a day to recoup just to write about it. (ok, not really, heh.)

When I picked the girls up from my mother’s on Friday Lucy mentioned that she had seen on the news that there was a chicken wing festival in town, and boy does she love chicken wings! Hub and I had been to Wing Fest before, and didn’t necessarily plan on going, but how can you resist this face?

Lucy and I went on our own Saturday afternoon and spent a couple of hours sampling chicken wings. I don’t remember where they were from, but this was a sea salt and vinegar wing, which we decided was our very favorite.

While we were there, plans were in the works for Hub and I to spend the evening out. My parents took the big kids overnight (for the very first time--OMG) and Liv stayed home with FIL because I wasn’t ready to hand her over to someone overnight. Hub and I saw a late showing of ‘Inglourious Basterds’, which was an amazing movie ( a testament to how good it was is the fact that at least 75% of the movie was subtitled, and Hub didn’t even mind) and then had an appetizer at The Cheesecake Factory. We took some cheesecake home because it was after midnight by then, and had dessert and coffee in front of the TV.

Sunday morning Hub and I relaxed a bit, basking in the glory of having only one child, and then we worked around the house and yard for a bit. My parents brought the big kids home in the afternoon and stayed for the evening while we barbequed and played with the kids in the yard. It was a nice relaxing evening.

We got up on Monday itching to do something, but really had no plans or ideas. We thought about checking out a park in Erie, PA that has been suggested to us several times, but came upon the Erie Zoo instead. The kids slept on the way down, about 1.5 hours, and we had a really good time. It was Liv’s first time at the zoo, and although she thought all of the animals were “woof woofs” she really enjoyed herself. Especially in the petting zoo with Hub. We stopped for dinner on the way back and were home fairly early; Bud had school in the morning.

(on our way home)

I feel like this weekend was the precursor of fun autumn weekends to come; this is by far my favorite time of year. Soon, we’ll be apple picking and taking our yearly trip to Letchworth, and then heading off to the pumpkin patch. And let’s not forget Pumpkin Spice Lattes, now.

Hooray for fall. And Hooray for spending time with my wonderful and beautiful family.

Friday, September 4, 2009

And So,

“Hey everybody, I'm on no sleep, no sleep!. You don't know what it's like in there; all night long things are creeping and cracking. And that red light is burning my brain!”

The baby was up like, 25 times last night and I am exhausted. It wasn’t her usual “I’m up for a little snuggle” deal, but rather, “I’m up!! Let’s play!! Is that the kitty???” She didn’t want to lay in her bed, or even lay on me, which usually works. She was UP. And screaming “OUT! OUT! OUT!” and when I got her out, she wanted to wake daddy and Grandpa. She just goes and goes all day long, and when it carries over in to the evening…we’re all screwed.

Yesterday ended up being not too horrible, although Bud already came home with a note that someone in his class was sent home with head lice. Apparently, one of the first things they did was take a walk down to the nurse for a healthy hair check. I’m just hoping that it was early enough where we don’t really need to worry about Bud’s exposure. He enjoyed school, he told me, although, he was miffed that he ‘didn’t learn anything’.

The last Buffalo preseason game was last night, and Hub got free tickets, so he and Bud went after Tae Kwon Do. I got home later that I would have liked because of stadium traffic, but once there I packed up the girls and headed to the farmer’s market. It is pretty close to our house and I see it all the time, but never remember exactly where it is. In any case, I had been meaning to go, and the girls were up for a trip, so we went. And it was cute. Small, but cute. We picked up some grapes and fresh baked goods, and Lucy picked out some smoked sausage for dinner. By the time we got home and I cooked it up, it was nearly bedtime. The boys were on their way home, so we waited up to see them. Everyone was in bed a bit later than I would have liked, but in all, I think we all had a pretty good day. (you know, prior to the baby being up al night)

I am really looking forward to the long weekend. Aside from playing some baseball in the yard, we have no plans for the first weekend in a very long time. Personally, I am hoping to get out from under some of the clutter in the house that has been compounded by having all of Hub’s mom’s stuff there, in addition to some strategic relocation of some items from when our sewer backed up in to the basement earlier in the week. (yeah.) I also need to set a plan for picking up some fall clothing for Bud and Lucy, who have close to nothing for the upcoming season. (yes, Lucy got all new summer clothes for her birthday in August. SRSLY. But I am not mad; I look at them as an investment for Liv.) Anyway, I’m thinking of checking out consignment. Does anyone have any experience with that?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I want credit for not sobbing and collapsing in to a heap of mess…

Today I put my firstborn on the bus for the first time; it is his first day of Kindergarten. Those of you who have done it probably know that it is a bittersweet event. On one hand, here is my baby, MY BABY, on a bus and then in the hands of strangers for the better part of 8 hours. He may have to make INDEPENDENT DECISIONS! And OMG! My BABY!! But really, on the other (slightly more rational [ish]) hand, I know that he is ready. My husband and I have prepared him for this day in the best ways that we could. He is a smart, well rounded child. The real question should be ‘is kindergarten ready for him?’.

The bus left and we waited a few minutes before heading over to the school. Hub pulled in to the parking lot and we took a spin around. Bud was already off the bus, standing on the steps of the school. As we left the parking lot, he saw us and waved. It was no big deal.

I, er, may or may not have driven by the school again on my way to work.

So now we wait for him to come home and hear how his very first school day went. I wonder if anyone will ask me how MY first day of having a school aged child went.

I want my baby back.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Crack is Whack!

I love technology. LOVE it. I am definitely not the most tech savvy person on the planet, but I do enjoy my toys—Sirius Satellite Radio, TiVo, the whole shebang.

For the last 2 years, I have used my LG Fusic with no issues. It fulfilled my need for an MP3 player and I have been able to use it to access the internet in a limited capacity. It was very handy when I was nursing Liv and still serves me well when I am up in the middle of the night with her; it gives me something to do to keep my eyes open.

Recently though, especially after my job put the kibosh on using such sites as Facebook and Twitter, I’ve been looking for more. There are so many things I’d been used to doing on my lunch break, that were no longer possible. As of today, I am eligible to upgrade my Fusic, and I am heading right down to the Sprint store to pick up a Blackberry.

I know! A crackberry! I am, like, foaming at the mouth over it. It has TV! And GPS! And Radio! And so much other stuff! And I never have to deal with T9 again! I am just so excited. It probably won’t be perfect, I know. But I think we’ll get along just fine.

What about you? Is there any piece of technology you can’t live without? Anything you want to tell me about Blackberry?