Thursday, May 27, 2010

“Sometimes when we are generous in small, barely detectable ways it can change someone else's life forever.” ~Margaret Cho

I have a poster in my office that my parents got for me after I graduated college in 2001.  It was in my house for a while and moved into my office when I accepted the position that I currently hold.  It says this:

One day,
A man was walking
Along the beach when he noticed
a boy picking something up and
Gently throwing it into the ocean.
Approaching the boy he asked,
"What are you doing?"

The youth replied, "Throwing starfish
back into the ocean.  The surf is up
and the tide is going out.
If I don't throw them back, they will die."

"Son," the man said, "Don't you realize
there are miles and miles of beach
and hunderds of starfish?
You can't possibly make a difference!"

After listening politely, the boy
bent down, picked up another starfish,
And threw it back into the surf.  Then,
smiling at the man, he said...

"I made a difference
for that one."

My lunch was interrupted today by a call that one of my former participants was in the building taking a budgeting class and wanted to speak with me.  When I walked into the room I was very pleased to see a man that I worked with a few years ago.  I first met him at a church in deep downtown that served lunch for people who were homeless.  He had been on the street after losing his home, his wife, and his family.  I think there was some substance abuse going on, but he never made me aware of any.  He was alone, a bit lost, but extremely driven to improve his situation.  On a few occasions I was able to get him clothing, food vouchers, and bus passes to travel around the city to find housing.  He ended up finding an apartment that he and I saw together a few times before he signed the lease.  It wasn't the nicest place, but it was near his grandchildren, which was an absolute necessity.  He needed assistance with the first month's rent and the deposit, which we were able to help with.  He moved into the apartment and began rebuilding his credit.  Shortly after, I changed departments and he began working with another specialist.

Today, this man thanked me for the huge difference I made in his life.  He said that I came to the "bad place that takes homeless people" and saw through the surroundings and into this man who needed some support.  I remember the place very was a huge church that had table after table of people who carried every belonging to their name with them.  He said he didn't want people to see me give him anything because he wanted to appear to have nothing to give (or to be taken).  I don't always remember places I go, but I remember that place well.  He said I brought him clothing, helped him find an apartment, and gave him hope that things can (and would) get better.  Today he said that he used the apartment to get out of where he was, but now he is ready to move on.  He is working with a financial advisor to purchase a home through a lease to own program.  He thanked me over and over for everything I did for him.

I honestly didn't realize I had made such an impact on this man.  I really just did what I thought was my job.  But he says he would have never been successful if I hadn't been there during what he describes as his darkest time.  I had no idea that I made such an impact on this man, but I humbly said "you're welcome" and wished him luck with his next step.

Next time you think that you can only do a small thing, so why bother, just know that one small thing truely can change someone's life forever.  Apparently I did for this gentleman, which just gives me chills.  I am so pleased to have made such an impact, and even more please that he took the time to make sure I knew what a difference I made.  For that, I am also thankful.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Random Updates.

I haven't blogged in a week!  Summer months keep BBZ up later and leaves little time for updates.  Here are just a few...

We are now landords with a signed lease that will begin on August 1st.  We have movers hired, boxes ready to be packed, about 17 home projects completed, an official loan commitment letter and an excitement I cannot describe at the thought of soon being in our forever house.
This is my last 4-day week before going back to work full-time.  Except, of course, that next week is a 4-day work week because of the holiday.  Yes, I am veyr happy that my first week back is a short one to hopfully ease me into this change that I am realy beginning to hate.  I dont' actually hate it, I just really wish I lived in a magic world where I could have everything...a great career, endless time with my child(ren), you know, what most women want.  N made me feel a million times better about it when he said I should think if this as going back to work to be able to work less after out next child is born.  Sort of like we are getting ready to get ready for the next baby!  I want to have our next child at least 3 years apart from BBZ, but I LOVE thinking about another baby!
I am having daycare dilemmas.  I am not 100% happy with where he is and am considering changing schools to one where he is closer to our new house.  I am not a huge fan of change and there will be lots in the coming months, so to add another one makes me very uncomfortable.  I'm not sure where we'll head with this, but I think I will call the lady I toured with and ask some additional questions.  Maybe BBZ, N and I can have another play date there soon.
We are going camping this weekend!  We haven't been since July 4th of last year, which was right before his surgery.  I hope BBZ does well in the tent.  I'm sure he will...he has snuck into bed with us a few times in the last week or so, so hopefully he will crash either in the playpen or in the sleeping bags with us.  The weather is supposed to be absolutely perfect and I can't wait!
We took BBZ to a his first swim pool party!  I can't believe how much fun it is to play with him in the water!  He did pretty great.  There was just one point where he thought he could walk through the 4 foot water to play with the older boys that kind of freaked me out, but otherwise he had so much fun splashing and playing in the water.  It was good practice for our camping trip this weekend since the lake there will be nice relief from the warm weather!
BBZ has a new obsession with trains.  He lined his cars up in a long line and kept saying "choo-choo, choo-choo!"  We went on a hunt for trains and found a 120 piece set for $32!  He absolutely loves it!  It's all he wants to play with now and has incorporated all of his little people animals by piling them on either the train cars or the track or around the track as spectators.  He insists that I sit on the floor next to him by saying "mommy, mommy" over and over while pointing at the floor next to him.  He is so much fun to be around!

There was a contest recently on the cloth diaper blog I read where you are supposed to say why you are happy on mother's day.  I really wanted to enter, but I forgot to.  I have written many times about how much I love my little man, but one thing I may not have mentioned is how much I really, really like him.  He is fun, and personable, caring, snuggly, sometimes shy at first, looks back to me if he's about to do something wrong (then does it anyway), is independent, intense, happy, and just fun to be with.  It goes without saying that I love him, he is my child so of course I do, but I really like him as a little mini person!  I can't wait to keep learning about him!  I have lots more to write, but as you can see, this is a short update post.
This evening my very good friend, Laura, was watching another friend's little boy so BBZ and I went over to visit so the boys and Laura's little girl couls play.  We had so much fun!  The boys were so cute playing together and Laura's little munchkin was trying so hard to keep up with the big boys.  It was fun seeing how sweet BBZ is with a baby, and to see him rough house with another boy!  The first picture was from tonight, the other is from a little over a year ago when they were together another time...I can't believe how much they change in just a year!

Happy Wednesday!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Building Blocks and Lots of "Nuv"

I had an absolutely amazing day with my little man today. First, I must post that on Monday I heard the sweetest words I have ever heard in my whole life. I was nursing BBZ after we got home and I said to him..."Guess what?!?, I love you!" and he looked at me with those beautiful big brown eyes and said "I nuv oooo." I almost cried. I tried to get him to keep saying it, but nope. That was it! N and I both heard him try to say it this past weekend, so to hear the words so clearly was pretty awesome. I posted this on facebook and said that life doesn't get any better than this, and a good friend of ours commented that he hates to burst my bubble, but it does in fact get better! He has a beautiful little girl who is 2 1/2, so I think he probably knows what he is talking about.

So back to our wonderful day. We had a guy come out to the house last night and a different one this morning to give us bids on fixing our damp basement (both were expensive which sucks, but that's another story). So after he left I though BBZ and I would go out and enjoy the day, but he was begging me for a nap, so I laid him down and he slept for almost 3 hours! Growth spurt, anyone?

Once he woke up we ate lunch and ran to Target. He insisted on bringing Roar, which cracks me up since he never really cared much for stuffed animals, but this Roar has him hooked! I tried to think of something fun to do afterwards...go to the Zoo, the park, the mall, but all I really wanted to do was spend time with him, so we came home and just played! He got his blocks out and built tall towers with animals on them, like he and his daddy did a few weeks ago. After he built the towers he stepped back and looks so proud of himself! I ran and got the camera and snapped this...

Do you see the way he is holding his hands?  And look down at how he has his feet cute!  He was so proud of himself and of what he built.  Do you see the tower with only one block with the giraffe on top?  Here's a close up...

He had that pose after he did all of the tall towers so I ran and got the camera, but before I could snap a picture he looked down and saw the giraffe laying on the floor and exclaimed "Oh, no!!!" and picked him up. He looked at his towers with this troubled look because all of the towers had animals on them. I didn't say anything because I wondered how he would solve this problem. He grabbed one of the single blocks that was lying nearby and set it next to the tall tower. He planted the giraffe right on top and returned to his spot leaning against the chair admiring his accomplishment. He cracks me up!
I'm just posting this one because I love his concentrating face...he's so serious!

I took this one because I found it pretty funny that we have this nice house with many rooms, but every member of my family (that was home) managed to be on this small rug in our living room for about an hour together. That's kind of funny to me. Why are we moving into a bigger house?

Friday, May 14, 2010

A haircut and the newest member of our little family...

Here are some pictures of my very first attempt as a hair stylist...

That one looks pretty good, but you can see the unevenness in this one...

At least I can anyway.  Not too bad for my first try!

And now to bigger news.  The newest member of our little family is...

...ROAR!!!!  Everyone Meet Roar, BBZ's newest best friend.

Even Bill thinks he's ok.

N was out of town tonight so BBZ and I went to the mall and decided to Build a Bear!  He chose the tiger and seemed to love making it!  He carried it through the whole mall but said he didn't want to stop for me to take a here is one while we are walking.

He let me take a few more at home though...

So welcome to our family, Roar!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Totally random updates.

I am watching a documentary on the Doors right now.  They rock, er rocked, I guess.

I gave BBZ a haircut last night that started in the bathroom and ended this morning while he ate breakfast.  I'm way too much of a perfectionist and had to keep trying to get it just right.  Well, it's good enough and I can deal with that!

We are super close to leasing our house.  I'm pretty sure we will have a lease signed this weekend.  This makes me super excited and a little scared too.  Hopefully we are making the right decision.

I stood out front of our new house today talking with the owner about how life in the city has changed over the last 50 years.  We talked about how no one in the world can understand how hard it is to leave their home.  How he was on the city council years ago and helped keep the fire and police department in the city as opposed to merging with a nearby community.  We talked about their kids, and the neighborhood, our excitement about raising our family in their home, and even the tools he plans to leave for N in the workshop in the basement.  It was a very special time that home buyers (who use realtors) don't often get to do.  The best part was when he said that after we are all done with this negotiation stuff they want to have us over for dinner.  I am really looking forward to that.

Our basement is what kept a recent potential home buyer from making us an offer on the house.  N has an idea of how to fix it and plans to try it this weekend.  I hope it works!

BBZ has an early release day on Friday that I didn't know about.  N is out of town so that leaves me to take time off to get him.  There's nothing like a surprise short Friday to finish the week out right!

My friend Kelli is having her baby shower this weekend and I can't wait!  I LOVE baby showers and can't wait to see all of the fun stuff she and P get!

Another friend Laura is moving this weekend and I can't wait to se her new place!  She's moving toward me and next month I'll be moving toward her so we will be so much closer!  Yay!

I got the papers signed and mailed off to the state to begin my hours for my LPC!  As soon as I get a date from them the hours can begin.  I am happy and sad about what this means.  Sad that I only have 2 more Wednesdays left with my baby boy, but happy about what this means for me and my career.  The next chapter begins!

I realize that I haven't taken many pictures lately...what's up with that?!?  I'll take a picture of his new haorcut tomorrow.  This one is from a few weeks ago while he was playing with all of his animals and his blocks.  He's such a cutie!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

My day began with my 2 favorite men in the world crawling in bed with me holding a kid-plate full of breakfast. Included was a sausage and cheese on an English muffin, fruit snacks, junior mints and strawberries. Oh, and also a diet Pepsi. (I can't blame them for the breakfast choices; I haven't been to the grocery store in like 2 weeks!) It was so sweet! BBZ insisted on sharing the junior mints, but he had his very own package of fruit snacks, which he enjoyed there in bed with his daddy and me. What a wonderful way to awaken!

Then we headed downstairs to 2 beautifully wrapped (in newspaper because N refuses to waste paper on wrapping) packages and a card inscribed "Mommy". Inside were a handmade hummingbird feeder and a gorgeous locket necklace! Both presents were bought on, which makes them even more special since I love handmade stuff. I found 2 great pictures to put in the locket and enjoyed wearing it all day. We spent the morning cleaning the house and getting it ready to show and the afternoon at N's sister's house celebrating mother's day and our niece's birthday. It was an amazing day! I am such a lucky lady :)

I am doing my very best to relax about things with the house, although it is very hard. Friday we got a call that a couple who saw the house wants to make an offer but they wanted to see the disclosure form and have her father come and see the house first. We rushed home and completed the form and also scheduled the showing for 12:30pm today. Yesterday 2 potential renters came to the house and one really, really loves the place. We have her application and are sort of holding it until we see what happens with these potential buyers. Part of me really, really hopes we sell the house so we don't even have to be bothered with it, but the other part of me knows how much this young woman loves our house and I like the idea of her staying here for a year. We hoped that we would have heard something by now, but we haven't. I guess maybe we will tomorrow. I'd even settle for hearing that they changed their minds...this unknowing is killing me!

To add to all the changes, I have decided to go back to work full-time in June. This was a very hard decision, but I think it is best for us and for our family. I hope to begin working toward my LPC, which is the long run could open up many more career opportunities for me. I'm trying to remember "never resist a temporary inconvenience if it results in a permanent improvement", but it is really hard to do! (I don't know who said that btw...if I did I would give props) I know going back to 40 hours is the right thing to do, but I will miss my extra day with my baby boy. He has so much fun at school that he probably won't even notice the change. I'll just have to plan some vacation days for the 2 of us every now and then.

So we are sitting on pins and needles wondering if this couple is the deciding factor in our house saga...I'll keep you posted!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

A story about N I have to share

You guys know how sensitive I am and how much family and history mean to remember my grandfather's house, right?  You also know how creative N is, remember the letter to Mr. Redlegs?  Well you are not going to believe this...

So imagine for a minute that you are strating your life with your young family.  You buy a house and love it so much that rather than move into ta new and bigger house, you build an addition that is featured in the St. Louis Post Dispatch and a 1970 issue of Better Home and Gardens.  You raise your family in this home, watch them grow into adults and have families of their own.  Grandkids and even great grandkids have stepped in and out of your home for years.  Then before you know it you are in your 80s and the home that was once full of love and people, is now large and difficult to maintain and nearly empty.  Reality sets in that you and your husband must move on and sell this home you have owned for 53 years.

This is the situation that the people we are buying the house from are in.  They are amazing people with a story that N and I can only dream of having in our future.  We truley feel honored to be the next family to live and grow in the home that they have obviously filled with love and dedication.  So I had the idea of sending a thank you card or other gesture to show them how much we appreciate their home and our future in it.  Well N already had it covered.

He sent the family a 100 bloom bouquet of flowers signifying the 50 years they were in the home and the 50 years that we will be there.  Can you believe that?  He is so thoughtful and caring and always has a creative way to show someone how special they are.  He does things like this for people (especially for BBZ and me)all the time.  He is an amazing gift-giver and always thinks of somthing amazing that someone would never expect.  He does things like this all the time, and I am so happy to have him love me so much.

The flowers should be delivered today.  I hope that they realize from the gift how much we do really see purchasing their home as an honor.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Not Me! Monday

I did NOT fall in love with a house, buy it, put our house on the market, show it, and advertise it to rent all within 5 days.  I am extremely plan oriented and would never do something so risky.  I mean seriously, the market is terrible right now!  And even if I though it would sell, it's crazy to do somehting so last minute and impulsive.

While working on some things in the front yard, we did NOT get distracted by a woman wanting info about our house only to notice BBZ had wandered into the neighbor's yard.  Our street is extremely busy and dangerous and we would never be so irresponsible.  I did not have a nighmare this weekend that he wandered the other direction into the street and got hit by a car.  It did not literally keep me up our of sheer terror and reality that things really can happen that fast.  I did NOT make a strong decision to never, ever let him play in the front yard again, as long as we are living here anyway.

We did NOT think that our 19-month-old extremely active child could sit through a Cardinals baseball game.  After arriving at the stadium and paying way too much for lunch, we did NOT walk to our seats only to discover that they were literally at the top of a staircase.  Not only is it hard to get BBZ to sit still, but to have a very long row of concrete stairs staring at him begging him to climb them made it impossible.  I did NOT miss the entire game while he ran around the children's space chasing a ball.  It was NOT still an amazingly fun afternoon!

We have NOT had 2 people look at our house to rent since I posted it on Craig's list last week!  We also do NOT have 2 more appointments scheduled!  Even after getting great feedback I did NOT have a bit of fear wash over me today after realizing that we might have to pay two house payments and wonder what the heck we are getting ourselves into.  I am NOT convinced that once I see our new house again on Wednesday for the inspection that I will be reminded of why we are doing all of this.

What have you NOT been up to this week?

This blog carnival was started by MckMama, she is skipping NMM this week, but head on over to her blog anyway and see what else she up to!