Monday, February 27, 2012

Full-time, Part-time, Full-time, Part-time.

When BBZ was 6 months old, my boss allowed me to drop to 32 hours/week for work. It was a really hard decision that I mulled over for quite some time. Read about it here, if you'd like.

What made the decision even harder was that BBZ's daycare didn't take kids at 4 days/week, so we had to pay for the 5th day that we didn't send him. I took a cut in pay but had to pay the same for daycare. Anyone who has their kids in daycare knows that it is crazy expensive. It was awesome that as a family we were able to do that.

So I worked my 4-day work week until the summer of 2010.  When we found and decided to purchase our new home, and became landlords over our previous home, I knew it was time to go back to full-time.

BBZ was almost 2, I wanted our new home, and I liked the idea of being able to provide all of the things he would need in his life, so the decision wasn't that hard.  I was ready to go back.

Shortly after, December of 2010 to be exact, I accepted a new position within my organization that had many more responsibilities than my previous one.  I became a program director for 7 departments (or programs) and oversee the work of about 30-35 people either directly or indirectly.  It was, and continues to be, my dream job.

2 weeks after I accepted the position, I found out I was pregnant with LBZ.  New baby and a new job?  Pregnant brain while trying to learn a new job?  And clean up some messes, too?  It was a lot.  It is still a lot.  But all that aside, I knew recently that something needed to change.

Remember my post about not being able to identify the feeling I had after the new year?  Well, I have continued to be in a "rut" of sorts.  I love my job and I love my family, but I was feeling like something just wasn't good enough.  That something had to give.  I miss my boys so much.  I was losing my patience when I was home and not enjoying the moments I had like I thought I should be.  I was getting my work done, but aching for something, I just wasn't sure what.

I've been thinking for a while about going to 4 days again.  I guess since I returned to work in November I knew it could be an option.  I think that I knew in the back of my mind that if I didn't feel great about being back at work that going back to 4 days was an option.  Well, it's official...

...I'm going to 4-day work weeks starting in March!!!

I am so excited and relieved and feel like I can breathe easier already.  I re-read the post I wrote last time and am feeling many of the same emotions as I did then.  I even had a cold that wouldn't go away last time, and now I have been sick almost non-stop since LBZ was born.  I really think a lot of it is caused by stress and trying to be every single thing to every body.  Something has to give.

While I am so excited that today is my very last Monday I will have to work for a while, I am nervous about trying to cram 40 hours of work into 32 hours.  I really love my job.  The job is one that is a true culmination of every single thing I worked for.  I look back at my career and see the path that led me to where I am, and it is exactly where I would like to be, and I hope that I can maintain it with this change.

So there it is.  I had a little tease with last Monday off for President's Day and we had an incredible time.  We went out and about and BBZ listened so well.  He skipped a nap, but wasn't grouchy and seemed to like our special day together.  While the change is scary, I believe that it will all end up the way it is meant to :)

Sunday, February 12, 2012

N is on a home improvement kick.

When N and I got together, he did not seem to me like someone who was handy.  Not that it mattered, really, it's just one of those things.  Some people like home improvement projects, and others don't.  I figured it was just something that didn't interest him.

Fast forward a few years, and we've moved into our new house.  N became instantly interested in maintaining the yard that we fell in love with.  He has done projects here and there, but lately he has been on a kick!

First it was a lego table for BBZ.  Legos had taken over our house.  They were in every room and all over the floor.  Even in BBZ's room they were out of control.  Knowing our second born would be crawling around soon enough, we figured we'd better get something set up out of his reach.

So N built this...

A sweet Lego table!
It really is a perfect space for BBZ downstairs in our unfinished basement.  He goes down there and plays all the time.  It's a great place for his friends to play in when they come over too.  And besides the fact that we have to leave the gate open because BBZ can't open it by himself, it's pretty safe for keeping legos out of little 5-month-old fingers.

So his next project was bigger.  When you entered our home, you came face to face with a blue floor.  And when I say blue, I mean blue!  See?

(Photos courtesy of Nikki over at Purple Lemon Photography)

N always complained about this lovely blue floor.  I actually quite liked it and am thrilled that my friend and awesome photographer Nikki was able to get some photos of the floor before N did his next home improvement project.  LBZ was just 6 days old in those pictures.  These were the only photos of the foyer I could find, so that makes me even more happy that she got such meaningful photos before we made the change.

N's dad came over to help with the project.  N did most of the demolition during the week leading up to the Saturday they chose to work, but there were some final things they did together to get the floor ready.
There was a little set back because of a saw situation, but the whole thing worked out and they were able to lay the tile.

N had to do some final cuts and put done the grout, which he did after the tile set there for a few days.

There was a full length mirror on this wall that got a crack in it during the demo phase, so we decided to take the whole thing down and start fresh.  The wall needed to be painted, so BBZ of course helped.

And there it is!  I really love the way it turned out.  While I like the blue just fine, I agree that this feels a little more welcoming when entering our home.

Then we were on a hunt for a new mirror for the wall that previously had one.  We saw a few online but I didn't want to pay for shipping.  N went to an antique store and found this one for $12.  Score!  He says that the next project is the red door in the back of this photo.  I don't mind that red door either, but I can see a dark brown one blending in a bit better.

Great work honey, I'd definitely call you handy now!  Love you!

Saturday, February 11, 2012


I am up earlier than anyone today.  The house is quiet, and I could have slept in, but I craved some quiet time to gather my thoughts, and I have found myself reminiscing.

I stumbled upon a post I wrote when my dear friend, Laura, was 3 days post partum with her sweet little munchkin.  I read that post, which ended with a video of BBZ at 5 days old.  I started watching old videos and was reminded of all of the things about watching BBZ grow that I have enjoyed.  I am so excited about watching LBZ grow, too.

So here are some of the videos I watched this morning.  Enjoy!

Here is BBZ at 6 days old.  I can't believe he was ever this small!

And here is my sweet LBZ, at just 4 days old.

And just 1.5 months ago. He's changed so much already!

BBZ, showing off his "counting" skills.

My sweet BBZ, singing the ABCs. This happened exactly 1 year ago today!

I love reminiscing. I love looking forward to what is to come, being the mama to my 2 boys :)

Friday, February 10, 2012

Little Brother Z is 5 Months Old!

Oh my sweet littlest boy, I say the same thing and it continues to hold true...we are having so much fun with you!  I can't believe how fast the time is going.  It went fast with your brother, but it's hard to believe almost a whole half of a year has past since you came into our lives.  I feel as though you have always been here.

You continue to have such a pleasant nature.  You're still an awesome sleeper.  You usually beg me to go to bed around 7pm, and I try and keep you up later to spend more time with you, but you sure are persistent!  You usually sleep until 6:30or 7am, and occasionally wake to nurse.

I don't mind one bit waking up with you in the night.  Not only does it do wonders for my milk supply, but since you go to bed so early, it gives me special time in the quiet night to snuggle and nurse you, which I enjoy so very much.

You are officially rolling all over the place.  You will roll and scoot and play so much!  You first rolled over at school and your teacher talked about it one day before you did it at home.  Then it dawned on me that when you are home in the evening, I don't put you down!  I either hold you all evening or have you in your high chair while we eat.  You haven't shown any interest at all in solid food.  BBZ started at 5.5 months, and I was aiming for 6 months for you, so we'll see how this month goes!

I took a few videos of you that I love to watch while at work.  Oh how I miss you and your brother while at work.  It makes the weekends so sweet!  I got some great news about how my work life will change a bit next month, which will allow me to spend more time with you.  I so look forward to that :)

I've put babylegs on you a few times, and your daddy always teases me about it.  I think they are pretty cute though!

I took you to a meeting at my work one evening, and you were such a good baby!  I held you for most of it, but when You seemed tired I laid you down on this blanket to rest.  The next time I peeked down at you, you were snoozing away!  I love that I nursed you in our formal board conference room.  That was awesome.

I've contemplated a nursing bucket list to track all of the cool places I've either pumped for you or nursed you.  I am so much more comfortable this time, I always have you or my pump with me and am ready to go!

This is your first time in our new seat!  I love this thing.

One thing is for sure, you love being on your tummy!  As soon as I put you down on a blanket, you roll right over to your tummy and play!  You kick your little legs while on your tummy and I can picture you crawling all over the place, something that I am certain you will do before we know it.  And that fuzzy hair??  I'm madly in love with it.

Our washing machine broke and I had to put you in disposables for a day, and when I picked you up from daycare, you had a TERRIBLE diaper rash.  It was pretty cold in your room, so we did some diaper-free time with a shirt and some baby legs.  I had to get a photo of this.  Your future girlfriends are going to love this!

And here you are, just this morning, happy as happy can be.  You are ALWAYS happy.  Even when you have been sick, which has unfortunately been a lot since starting school, you still "win the best baby award" according to your teachers.

Oh my sweet baby Lu, you and those beautiful blue eyes (yes, they are still blue!) absolutely melt my heart.  You love your big brother so much!  If he just looks at you, you smile from ear to ear.  He makes you giggle and you just love being around him.  I sure do hope that you both will always love each other.

Happy 5 months, my sweet littlest boy.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Dinner at the Z house

When I was growing up, we ate dinner together every single night.  This may have changed when I was in high school and my dad commuted home from out of town on the weekends, but for the majority of my life, dinner together sitting at the table was our way of life.

I didn't realize how important this was to me and to who I am until N and I moved in together.  I remember once getting my feelings terribly hurt because he ate dinner without me and didn't even ask what I wanted!  It was so ingrained in me to have that time together, it never occurred to me that anyone did anything differently.

Our first house did not have a casual kitchen, but rather a dining room which was just a few feet from our family room where the TV was.  Our routine quickly became eating in front of the TV.  When BBZ was born and began eating solid food, we would usually sit in the dining room and eat while BBZ was in his high chair.

He ate in his high chair until we moved into our new house.  At that time we set up a little table in the small living room where he began to eat his snacks.  I remember having him eat at the table with us a few times, but I quickly learned that he would eat all of his food and often twice as much if he was in front of the TV.  Having a child in the 10th-25th percentile in weight makes way for bad habits like this.  Especially since it seemed to help him eat.

So this became our normal.  He ate every meal at home in front of the TV either at the coffee table or at his little table, depending on what room he was in.  Since I cook dinner (nearly) every night, we all ate at the same time, but BBZ would eat in the little room watching his show.  I was huge and pregnant and would sit at the table since it was easiest, and N would sit in the big room watching what he wanted to watch.

I always knew we would sit together as a family eventually.  I figured it would happen at some point, but I made the decision to change the way we eat when I noticed the way BBZ started behaving in restaurants.  We like to go to restaurants and often do on the weekends.  BBZ's behavior was starting to ruin our meals out.  He wouldn't sit still, would crawl under the table, would constantly complain and would barely eat a few bites of food.  I realized that the only time I was teaching him how to sit at the table was about once/week when we ate out.  Little Mister was not learning a thing.

So one weekend night I told N that I wanted to start eating dinner together as a family at the table in our dining room.  He was on board, so one Saturday night I cooked dinner and called to everyone that it was ready.  BBZ went to sit at his little table to watch his movie and I let him know that we were going to eat at the table together rather than in from of the TV.  What happened next, I did not see coming.

He threw a fit.  And I don't mean a small fit, I mean a 45-minute long screaming fit about wanting to watch a movie.  I was totally unprepared for it.  Once I said it though, I had to stick to my guns, so I did.  Eventually he calmed down and came to the table to eat.  I kept saying to N that I just didn't see that coming.  I really didn't think it was a big deal.  I had no idea that he was that stuck on his routine.  Crazy.  Had I known I would have talked about it all day or lead up to it or something.  Whew, lesson learned.

The next night he came to the table for dinner with no questions.  He did say to me though, "is this better, mommy?"  "Better than what?", I said.  "Better than me screaming?"  It sure was :)

Other than the occasional question about watching a movie at dinner time, the new routine is working beautifully.  He still wiggles and moves and doesn't eat as well as he does in front of the TV, but I think the trade off is definitely worth it.  He's still a skinny-mini at only 30 pounds at 3 years old, but I think this is building a routine that our family will follow for years to come.  LBZ is already sitting at the table with us in his little high chair, so it really is a family dinner.  I've even nursed him at the table while eating my dinner.  It is dinner time for all of us, after all.

BBZ still eats breakfast every day and lunch on the weekends in front of the TV.  He also has a family style meal with his friends for lunch at school.  I figure as long as he has one meal a day with all of us, I have time to teach him how to behave at a table.  It's been about a month or so now, and I know things will just keep improving.

I actually asked him one of the first nights during dinner what happens when he gets up from the table at school and he says to me..."I don't get up from the table at school", like the idea of him doing so was completely absurd.  Ha, I guess I should be happy that he reserves his naughty behavior for us at home!  At least I can be the one teaching him my expectations this way.