Tags: work

June 2011 kids

Shuffle, shuffle, slide of the privileged plate

One of the best aspects of my job is that I am willingly invited into people's homes. I am a home visitor. I go into homes and meet the family on their turf, where they are most comfortable, and ask questions about their family system. While there are things that I really, really dislike about working, expanding my knowledge base and love of learning isn't one ot them.

It is amazing to see the different things people value as important in their home and in reflection, what I consider important myself. I'm learning a lot about my beliefs. I don't have this parenting thing all figured out yet. Maybe I never will.

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I think I was acutely aware of the priviledged plate from which my children dine but it is becoming more and more obvious as I enter more and more homes.

My kids have a lot. My kids are given a lot. They have no idea how much.

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As an example, let's examine this past week. Last weekend, we traveled to Wichita to attend the Air Show. While the show (and Grandma and Grandpa's house) was free, the gas back and forth across Kansas was not. As if you didn't already know: gas is super expensive. On Sunday, we went to the pumpkin patch. While the patch was free, the pumpkins were not. We bought a lot of pumpkins.

Yesterday, we participated in a Zombie Walk through downtown. The zombie walk was free, but the dinner we dined out on was not. (Don't worry. More pictures are coming. Braaaaains.)

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Tomorrow we are all running in the ColorRun. We paid a lot of money to enter this race. In my head, I like to justify this cost as a donation to a good cause. (Truthfully I have no idea what cause the ColorRun is even supporting. Let's pretend it's the Democratic party, eh Grandpa?) In total, we donated 100 BONES for a couple of t-shirts and an afternoon of family fun.

What is the point of all this? I'm not really sure. In one week's time, Matt and I have showered our kids with car trips to see airplanes, pumpkins, zombies, and an expensive run through colored chalk. Does doing all this stuff make them better people? Why are we driving, and going, and doing, and spending, and giving?

Simon, Bennett, and Cora Jane's lives are one good thing, one more fun activity, after another. Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle, slide. We have no room for dirty houses or crunchy kitchen floors or bad attitudes. It's fun all the time! We like it! We thrive on activites! 

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When I go into a home for the first time, (knock on wood) I'm never surpised to see that each family loves their kids just as much as I love mine. The clean houses and the dirty ones. The English speakers and the non-English speakers. The high incomes and the low incomes. The highly, highly educated and the not.

Maybe I am just naive or really lucky but (so far) all my families want is the very best for their kids which, consequently, is all that I want too.

June 2011 kids

Over it

We had such a good weekend. A road trip to Wichita on Friday, the air show with family on Saturday, a trip to the pumpkin patch, my favorite friends over on Sunday, and beautiful weather to boot. I wish every weekend could be this jam packed and full of goodness.

To the up-coming week: bring it on. My cup is (currently) over-flowing.

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I never used to relate to "finally Friday" comments or jokes. When you stay home all day with kids, every day is work and weekends are nothing but the same. But now that I am working? I totally get it. I so look forward to the weekends with my family.

Only 5 more days until we can do it all over again.

June 2011 kids

For sale

If you saw this on Facebook, then you'll know this is a repeat. If you aren't on Facebook (ahem MOM), then you should know my status update from earlier today:

"A certain 15 month old threw my cell phone in the toilet today. Yay! If we're playing Words with Friends, I call time-out. If you need to reach me, you can call or text Matt. If you are interested in an adorable but naughty toddler, message me for details."

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Interested buyers: please be aware that Cora Jane does not sleep through the night. Oh, she's actually 16 months old too. (I didn't realize today's date.) She's kinda a "Mama's Girl," but warms up quickly to new people. She's really picky about food and likes to feed the dog from her plate. She does like to eat actual dog food and Lego pieces, however. Also is known to give sloppy kisses especially after she's been naughty. 

In summary: 16 months, wakes often, requires boobs to sleep, eats nothing, and enjoys playing in toilet water....sounds like a perfect deal!

I'm totally not joking about the playing in toilet water either. She chucked my phone straight into the bowl and then put her pretty little hands in to pull it out. The only good news? At least the water was clean. The majorly bad news? We literally JUST bought Matt a new iPhone last week. I don't have an iPhone but maybe this is the opportunity I've been waiting for?


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I guess we'll see what happens. Maybe, HOPEFULLY, my cell phone will dry out and come back to life tomorrow. If not, we'll go with worst case scenario: feel free to email me offers on that doll baby above. Just know that I'll take nothing less than $200. 

My next (potential) cell phone (iPHONE?) depends on it.

I'm totally kidding, MOM. She's not really for sale. I'm working now to put money into our savings account and to pay off the van. Not to buy fancy new phones. Consequently, if you do need to reach me this week, call Matt. ♥

June 2011 kids

Season of change

I feel like I have completely fallen off the blogger wagon. Working, getting into the daily school routine, and many other responsibilities seem to push writing to the very back of my very long to do list. I think about writing, I really do. I even write posts in my head while I rock the baby to sleep. But then I think about going to bed at 10:30 instead of midnight or later. Or I sit down to watch TV with Matt. Or I can't put my book down. Or Cora starts screaming and so I go upstairs to nurse her back to sleep.

Basically, my bed/the TV/Cora Jane always wins. But the buck stops here. No more hiding.

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Whenever I take a writing break, one of my biggest hurdles is starting up again. I have so many things that I neglected to write about. (Our 9th anniversary!) (Bennett starting preschool!) (The entire summer!) I feel guilty for leaving things out. I even have so many things that I could currently write about. (Labor day weekend!) (The time Bennett fell out of bed and needed stitches!)

Where did I leave off? Where do I pick up?

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When I look back at this season of late summer/early fall, I know a big part of not writing can be contributed to me having to work every single day. BOO HOO, right? It's just that work is...work?

And I'm not really used to working outside of the home. I'm used to sitting around my house all day and never getting out of my pajamas. I'm used to Cora's afternoon nap-time and Bennett's "quiet time" while Mama checks Facebook and eats candy corn without sharing. TRUE STORY.

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Truthfully, work isn't "bad" but I still hate being away from my home and my babies every day. I have to look nice every day. IT'S JUST NOT FAIR. I shouldn't complain, especially because I really only work 25 (or less) hours a week, but it's a hard adjustment for everyone. Bennett asks me every day if I am staying home. On Friday, I left a screaming baby at the top of the stairs.

Not helpful, Cora Bean. Not helpful at all.

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But it will get better. I know it will get better. It just takes time and the daily reminder that this is a learning experience for everyone. All the working Moms in the group are shaking their heads at me.

Sorry, I'll shut up now.

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I promise to be back with more this week. Not because you care, but because I do. I don't want to forget this season of change. I also pinky promise not to complain any more either.

Until then, I hear my bed calling. It's 10:34 and I've got to work tomorrow.  

June 2011 kids

Honored privilege

Today was my 2nd interview for the PAT position. It went pretty well again. At the time, I felt that I confidently was able to discuss how I am flexible and can keep boundaries (ha, ha) and be professional. Then I got home and I started second guessing everything I said. The conversation runs through my head on repeat. I should have said this or I should have said that.

I suppose it doesn't matter though. An hour after I returned home, my cell phone rang.

It's time to break out the professional shoes because Mama's got a brand new job.

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I'm not going to lie. I am very anxious for all the changes that are about to take place. I am not at all nervous about the job, however. I think it will be a perfect fit for me. In fact, I am looking forward to the challenge of helping others be better parents. I want to be a better parent. I want to learn. It's exciting to think that I am going to be a resource in our community. I get the privilege of working with new Mamas and their babies. It's an honor really.

It's a big job to raise babies.

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On the flip side, I am greatly nervous about being away from my babies. 30 hours is a lot of hours. The very best part is that my work schedule will be extremely flexible. I can work evenings or even on the weekends or whenever is convenient for me and my families. I get two weeks for Christmas and Spring Break and a "relaxed" summer vacation. I get health care and a steady paycheck (yay!) and retirement and all the other grown-up crap that comes from working outside of the home.

I can do this. My kids are wild and annoying and I yell 24,439 times a day to eat in the kitchen and to stop jumping down the stairs and NO, NO YOU MAY NOT PLAY THE WII. Thank you. Have a nice day.

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Change and transitions are hard on everyone. I don't officially start work until the middle of July, so I fully intend on enjoying this last month of complete freedom. Soon enough school will start for Simon and preschool will begin again for Bennett. We'll hire a college babysitter if need be for Cora Bean. Eventually we'll find a groove and we'll all make it work.

Until then, I'll be at the swimming pool. I'll be the one surrounded by my (sometimes annoying but terribly cute) kids.

June 2011 kids

Interview update- UPDATED

My 2nd, follow-up interview is next Tuesday at 12:30. Yay? Yay!


The interview went...well? It's hard to know for sure. Right now I am waiting patiently by my phone and hoping for a 2nd interview. Ugh to that. Overall, I felt pretty confident answering their questions and we spent a lot of time discussing how the process works. Under contract, I would be expected to work approximately 30 hours a week. The hours are very flexible though and can vary greatly week to week. The number 30, however, leaves me feeling slightly panicky.

All my full-time working friends are rolling their eyes right now, but how can I be away from my babies for 30 hours each week?

Simon at the lake

Then I look at this picture and start envisioning the bill from the (future) orthodontist and I don't feel quite so badly.

*fingers crossed*

June 2011 kids

Nervous nelly

I have a job interview later this afternoon and WHOA BOY, SIMMER DOWN NOW but MAMA IS JUST A WEE BIT NERVOUS. I've only interviewed for a handful of positions in my short adult life and selling myself for a prospective employer isn't something that I necessarily enjoy doing.

My stomach is all full of raging butterflies and, frankly, I kinda feel like I might pee my pants. I'm sorry. Am I being inappropriate again? I just can't help it. Blame the butterflies.

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I am especially anxious because it's for a job that I have recently decided that I really, really want. The job is for a Parents as Teacher's (PAT) parent educator. The PAT program is a free, nation wide program through the school system that is designed to work with children and their families, birth to age 3, through home visits, classes, and play groups in order to encourage, evaluate, and prepare children for life in the classroom and beyond.

Doesn't this sound like something that would be perfect for me? An opportunity to work with babies and new moms? To foster and encourage a love of learning? We all want to be good parents but parenting is stinking hard work. I am not an expert and I have made plenty of mistakes. Trust me.

But, oh boy, I do love my babies. I want to love on other babies too.

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It is a part-time position and the hours are flexible, (think evenings) so I wouldn't be sacrificing my own children and could schedule some home visits for when Matt is up for the day. (Read: minimal childcare needed.) I love substituting for the school district but the opportunity to earn more money would also be very helpful. I do have a stupid van to pay off, remember?

So if you would be inclined, friends, say a prayer for me? Or send a positive thought? Or good juju? Or dance a jig in my honor? Or cross your fingers and jump 3 times? Whatever you do for luck, do it for me. I need this job. I want this job. I'm either going to be terribly disappointed or fantastically elated. Only time will tell.  

Please and thank you.

June 2011 kids

Working, crawling, not working

I am "working" for my Dad this week. This is the 3rd year in a row that I have worked for him around Christmas time so that his secretary can take a vacation. It just means that I get to sit in his office and answer the phone while I play on the Internets. Yesterday the phone rang ONE time. Today we are up to THREE. Basically, I have a really hard job.

I asked for a raise this year. The boss said no.

The boss does let me bring my baby to work, so at least there's that. Oh, he also promised to take me out to lunch to Mr. Burger- the best place to eat in all of Great Bend.

He's pretty nice like that.


She crawls! 4

She crawls! 5

She crawls! 3

She crawls! 1

She crawls! 2

Crawling progression pictures taken with my new lense: a Nikon 70-300 mm for those that asked. I don't even know what that means. Seriously. I do know that I get better depth of field and bokeh. I'm just a Mom with the cheapest DSLR on the market and I have no idea how to work it. Why all the noise in some of the pictures? Your guess is as good as mine.

My laptop suddenly stopped working after lunch. I'mma 'bout to throw something and feeling kinda rage-y about it. WHY WON'T YOU WORK!?!?!

Maybe I could afford a new computer if the boss gave me a raise. What do you think, Dad?
June 2011 kids

Reminder for the slow one (that's me)

I'm leaving Cora tomorrow morning with a friend. Bennett will be at preschool and I am going to substitute in Simon's classroom. It will be Mikayla's first time to keep Cora. It will also be Cora's first time to be with someone besides family. Since August, I have worked a handful of times. I've left her with my Mom and Dad once. Katie, the neighbor who might as well be family, has kept her long enough for me to run and do school pick-up.

Never with any one else. 

In a perfect world, I wouldn't work EVER. I would putter around my house all day. I would cook delicious meals from scratch that everyone eats without complaints. (Hell, they might even ask for seconds!) I would read endless stories to the children while the maid sweeps the floor. My patience would never be worn thin and my garden would always be growing. I'd have a fabulous figure, an envious wardrobe, and perfect skin. 

I wouldn't owe the hospital any money. My heart would be thinking more about others and less about myself. 

But that's not the world I live in. Instead, I shriek when Simon and Bennett drive me crazy. I make muffins but only if I have a mix. My jeans don't fit and my BFF told me my sweaters were out of style. I spend too much time wanting what I can't have and dwelling on what I think I need. (AFFILIATE LINK: CLICK HERE AND JOIN ZULILY. You're welcome.) My checking account hovers around empty more often than not and my savings account even lower. I spend only in cash and I (seemingly) never have enough.

So tomorrow I will get up. I will yell at the children to hurry and grumble about having nothing to wear in my huge, walk-in closet. I will pump plenty of milk for Cora and I will pack a diaper bag full of expensive, perfect cloth diapers. I will rush out the door, probably 10 minutes later than I should be leaving, and I will work the morning away. I will leave Cora in gracious, loving hands.

I will not worry. I will be thankful for my friends.

Not only for the ones who tell me that my sweaters are out of style but also the ones who trade childcare for free.

I am blessed and I know it. If only I didn't need reminding.

7 down, 23 to go.

Linked up at Just Write.
June 2011 kids

If wishes were horses, then beggars would ride.

I really feel like I've fallen off the blogging horse as of late. Things happen. We go places. Stories are told. Pictures are taken. (Yes, we did in fact go trick or treating. No, I ever shared the pictures. We also went to the pumpkin patch and carved pumpkins. It's like you lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. We've done blog worthy things, but you can't make me blog it. Mom blogger fail.) I just can't find the motivation to sit down and write it all out. The truth is that I am feeling slightly better, so I can't even use the all day-can't stand to smell anything-get away from me with that food-nausea that was plaguing me before.

An aside: I don't think people really recongize that the early parts of pregnancy are miserable. Terrible. Not fun. Yet the expectations to act like a normal person still apply. Lunch has to be made. Dinner dishes stacked in the sink put away. Grandparents carted to doctor appointments. Oh, wait. I'm the only one carting around the elderly? Sorry. Vomit has to be cleaned up. Butts wiped. Life goes on.

So, yes early parts suck. We've established that quite well. I can't beat that dead horse any longer and I certainly can't use that as my excuse for lack of blogging.

I've also been substituting more frequently. During the entire month of October, I worked 3.5 days. Three and half days in. a. month. November is looking better. I've worked 6.5 days total which isn't too bad considering that the kids only have had 16 school days. In fact, I am working right now.

(Shh. Don't tell the principal.)
I guess I can't use working as an excuse for lack of blogging either.

Fine. I'll be 100% truthful. I have no excuses. I just haven't felt like blogging. My apologies. To my three faithful readers, Mom, Grandma Pool, and my brother-in-law: I promise to provide more content. I won't even make you wish for it.

No more horsing around.

(And no more horse idioms either.)