Tag Archives: balance

Thank you Shutterfly!

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When it comes to Christmas cards, I’m a creature of habit. I get the kids all dolled up in their Christmas clothes and take anywhere from 45-60 shots of them standing on the stairs or in front of the Christmas tree. This involves a lot of time, crabbiness from them, and stress for me. If I’m lucky, I get 2 or 3 good ones to choose from.

This year I didn’t really feel like going through all the drama. I had seen a note on the kids’ school pictures about a promo of some sort from Shutterfly I decided to take a look and see what they had. I liked what I saw right off the bat on their website. I had a ton of fun playing around with several different card styles…putting various pictures in, changing them around, tweaking things till they looked awesome. Here’s what we’re going with this year:

Stationery card
View the entire collection of cards.

Overall, I’d say this was definitely the way to go. Much less stressful for me and no crabbiness from the kids. It would’ve been less time too, but I just couldn’t resist checking out all of my options.

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My, how things have changed around here

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In my last post, I mentioned that things were very busy and that I had intended to start writing again about the many things going on around our house.  Yeah, well…I lied.  I thought I was going to get back into the swing of things, but it never happened.  Now that I’m not working, I’m not spending my downtime in front of a computer. I’m not having these random thoughts that I can just quickly draft into a post during my lunch. I’m at home now, where things are different. I have 2 children in school, one is just for half the day. I also have my own classes, which also keep me busy.

So, here I am again, saying that I’m going to start posting again.  Let’s see how I do this time. 🙂

I don’t do closure

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The dream of not having to get up and rush out to work everyday is finally within my reach.  It’s so close, I can almost reach out and grab it.  In just over 2 weeks, I will walk out the door at my current place of employment for the last time.  Standing between me and that day is what seems like an eternity.

Sure, I’ve had these plans in mind for months.  I’ve been working on making them happen.  I’ve been looking forward to my new start.  But now that it’s so close, I have to face the reality.  There is going to be closure.  Let me tell you, closure and I are not good friends.  Take the excitement I have about starting school and embarking on my new journey.  Add to it a strong dose of anxiety about new, unknown territory.  What you have there is already an emotional tidal wave.  Top it off with the fact that everyone and their brother here at work is going to want to say goodbye to me, and you’ve got yourself a really big mess.

This is a reality that I knew would come.  Right now, the excitement is pushing through pretty strong and is drowning out the anxiety.  That surely won’t last.  I expect that by the time I return from our vacation, the anxiety level will be maxed out. 

On my last day, my group is having a “going away lunch” for me.  While I do appreciate the gesture, I don’t want to have to stand in front of people and say goodbye.  It’s going to be tough enough to have people come to me one by one.  At the lunch, I’m sure there will be some expectation that I’ll say something to the group.  There will also be people there that I don’t really feel the need to say goodbye to, but I’ll probably have to do it…as a formality. 

I don’t want to have a grand sendoff.  I just want to leave quietly…like I would any other day. 

Of course, I’d still do a major happy dance in the parking lot.

The cat is out of the bag

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Back in January, I was talking about reflection and direction, about goals (AKA resolutions) and about soul searching.  At that point, I had outlined these 3 broad goals:

~Turn our house into the home we’ve been dreaming of by prioritizing home improvement projects.
~Sacrifice quantity for quality in everything that I do.
~Define my dream for the future and work towards implementing it.

Many people know about the home improvement projects.  I’ve discussed them here quite a bit.  Those are ongoing, and I must say, are moving along nicely.

The sacrificing quantity for quality…that’s a tough one, but also ongoing.

That brings us to the 3rd goal.  As it’s written, it sounds incredibly vague and open-ended.  Truth be told, I had already started working on that one when I wrote it.  Now, I’m happy to say that the dream is definitely defined and I am in the process of implementing it.  I haven’t discussed the details here at all just because I didn’t want it to accidentally slip out.  Sure, the likelyhood that someone from work would stumble upon my blog is pretty low…but it was not out of the question.  So, now that my boss knows and all the people who should hear it directly from me (or who would expect to) have been informed, the cat is officially out of the bag.  In 6 weeks, I will be leaving my job of almost 9 years.  Why?  Because it is time for a fresh start.  I’ve been looking, albeit halfheartedly, for the next thing for quite some time.  Several times over the past couple of years I have hit lows with this job.  I have wanted a break.  I knew it was time for something new, but it wasn’t until this year that I knew what that something was.

I have enjoyed my career as a chemist, but I must admit that I stumbled into it in a very odd way.  The decision to switch to a chemistry major in college was a very spontaneous one.  I didn’t spend a whole lot of time thinking about what I wanted to do with my life.  Now, 15 years later, I have revisited the idea of what I want to do with my life.  And, it is through my life experiences that I have come to know of this career direction.  I don’t think I ever would have chosen this even if I had done serious soul searching back then.  This fall I will be taking a couple of classes that will prepare me for a program that I will be applying to, and hope to begin the following fall.  By doing so, I will get a bit of a break.  I will get to spend more time with the kids, even volunteer in Anna’s kindergarten classroom.  Sure, going back to school will be challenging, but I feel up for the challenge at this point.

So, what is it that I’m going to be doing?  Do you really want to know??  OK…I’ll tell now.   I will be pursuing a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy.  Over these past few months with Tommy, I have not only been exposed to the field, but have also gotten to see the impact it has on the lives of others.  The ability to have that impact on someone else’s life is what I’ve been missing lately.  I want to work with children.  I want to help them overcome obstacles.  I want to make a difference.

So, 6 weeks from today I will begin a new chapter of my life.

Don’t mess with me!

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I don’t know quite why I can’t let go of this situation.  It happened on Friday.  I had plenty of opportunities to vent about it over the weekend…which I did.  This morning, I addressed it directly.  Still feeling a bit miffed about this.

On Friday afternoon, the kids summer camp was scheduled for a trip to the local sprinkler park.  Thursday night, I dutifully packed their swimsuits and towels into their backpacks.  Friday morning, I made sure that they both left with their bags.  I gave no more thought to their day, as I had sent them equipped with everything they needed.

That afternoon when I picked them up, things were a bit chaotic.  An ugly thunderstorm had just rolled through, and we weren’t sure if there was more to come.  I didn’t stick around and chat at daycare like I might normally have.  So, as the kids and I were driving away Tommy said to me “Mommy, we’re supposed to have our swimsuits for the sprinkler park.”  To which I replied “I know, that’s why I sent them with you today.”  I admit, that was the last point at which I was calm about this.  Tommy just looked at me kind of dumbfounded and said “oh.”  I started asking more questions, but since I had already allowed myself to get angry (and displayed it to the children), getting answers out of Tommy (or Anna) was very difficult.  Once Tommy knows that I’m angry and that he might be in trouble, he shuts down.

I was frustrated on so many levels.  First of all, what did the kids think was in their backpacks?  The only days they took them last week were days that they needed swim stuff.  Second, who was the teacher that allowed this to happen?  I really thought that all the teachers working with the camp kids knew Tommy well enough that they would know to double check.  Did someone assume that because Anna agreed with Tommy, that there was no need to double check?  Why wasn’t Anna thinking and speaking for herself?  Did someone assume that because many parents forgot, that all of us forgot??

I starting firing away, desperately trying to piece this picture together and to understand where the breakdown was.  I started getting answers from the kids, but their stories didn’t match.  I talked myself out of calling the center director that afternoon because I felt that would be overreacting.  Instead, I chose to send a text to our babysitter, who is also a teacher there.  She didn’t get back to me right away, but when she did, everything became more clear.  Tommy’s story was  pretty much true.  Anna’s was probably different because she really didn’t know what was going on.  At least I had the peace of mind of knowing more about what happened.  In general, most parents missed that on the schedule so only the kids that had swimming lessons earlier in the day were prepared to go.  That doesn’t surprise me at all.

I saw a lot of odd things there last week.  One kid who was signed up for swimming lessons showed up on Monday with no swimsuit.  uhhh…ok.  The kids are supposed to wear their camp T-shirts on Tuesday for bowling and on Thursday for field trips.  Many parents failed to do this on one or both of the days.  My kids however, had their appropriate swimwear with them on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and they were both in their matching camp T-shirts on Tuesday and Thursday.  My kids were prepared for each day.  Why?  Because that’s how I am.

I am almost neurotic about making sure my kids have everything they need everyday.  I obsess about those details, checking over and over again.  I don’t want to be responsible if they miss out on something because they weren’t prepared.  I have enough guilt issues.  I don’t want to see their sad little faces come home disappointed because I forgot something.

Do I like that my son can’t remember by lunchtime what he left the house with in the morning?  NO.  Do I like that he needs to be reminded of so much?  NO.  It is what it is though.

Exhausted

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This week has been one of those weeks.  Simply exhausting.

There’s always the nightly craziness of homework, dinner, kids’ showers, and so on.  These things aren’t new, but I wouldn’t exactly call myself adjusted when it comes to the daily routines.  This week has just been a tad bit off of the normal craziness, and that has been enough to lake me over the edge.

I didn’t get the groceries out of the way over last weekend, so that was one more thing I had to squeeze in.  Not usually too much of a problem though, I can usually squeeze them in before I pick up the kids on Monday afternoons.  This week…got my hair cut instead.  Add in a major snow storm, 100th day of school, Valentine parties and parent-teacher conferences, and you’ve got a recipe for one crazy week.  Everything took longer on Tuesday because of the snow and the subsequent need to clear the snow.  Wednesday I squeezed groceries in while Anna was at ballet.  Then it was home for dinner, a shower to scrub the colored hairspray out of Tommy’s hair, a pile of Valentines for Tommy to address, and then off to choir practice.  Tonight, I escaped the craziness of taking the kids to gymnastics, but replaced it with a parent-teacher conference and the PTO bookfair.  There were no surprises there, but it was still an hour of running around at school with 2 kids in tow.

I’m done for the week.  Sure, I have to go to work tomorrow, but then I’m done.  We have family plans tomorrow night, followed by a 3 day weekend.  Saturday I’m planning a lazy day with the kids.  Sunday, I’m making a roast and watching the Daytona 500.  That’s it.  Nothing else.  And Monday, I think I’ll be giving the kids their request for a pajama day.  Perhaps I’ll fit some hopelessly overdue laundry in there too, but no guarantees!

Moving right along

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Things have been fairly smooth and steady around our house lately.  Each day, I have been thinking about my goals.  I am finding that this is leaving me a little more calm.  I have direction now that I didn’t have before.  With that direction in mind, I am better able to realize that the bumps we encounter in the road and the detours we take are just that.  They are not the end of the world.  They are not a complete derailment.  This is good. 

That being said, last week was a fairly busy week.  Things just happened.  We hit several bumps in the road.  Wendesday the garage door went kaput.  The tired old thing just didn’t want to open.  Thankfully Aaron was able to get someone out to look at it on Thursday over his lunch.  $400 later, we have a new garage door opener.  Meanwhile, I was returning from my lunch when I got a phone call.  Anna was burning up with a fever, so I was off to daycare to pick her up.  Friday morning, I attended the funeral of a friend’s mother.  Then I spent the afternoon nursing Anna back to good health.  Satruday brought a bit of a break.  Anna was well enough to go to a birthday party in the afternoon and then we all turned around for an impromptu get together with some of my husbands co-workers.  I must admit, I had serious doubts about this shindig.  It wasn’t clear to me how many children would be present.  Without other children, the kids would’ve been terribly bored and I would have heard about it.  Thankfully, we arrived to find that there were a total of 11 children there, ranging in age from 4 months to about 12 years.  Yay!  When we left 4 hours later, I was stunned.  Both of our children were well behaved all evening.  Unfortunately, we paid dearly for that on Sunday, as it appeared that their good behavior had run out and their unruly behavior was being fueled by lack of sleep.

This week, things have been fairly normal.  No surprises.  That’s exactly the change of pace we needed this week.

I must admit that I am worried today.  Tommy hasn’t had any huge behavior issues lately at school.  There was an incident 2 weeks ago in art class, but that wasn’t huge.  He didn’t get to do the project that day, but because he apologized and corrected his bad behavior after the 2nd warning, he did not miss out completely.  Today is the day he will get to make up that art project.  So why am I worried?  He’s been struggling with keeping his hands off of other people’s property.  3 of the last 5 school days he has been moved to yellow for this.  I’m worried that today he might go too far, perhaps while in art class, and end up losing his 2nd chance for that project.  I really don’t want to see that happen.  We talked this morning about being on our best behavior today and making good choices.  Now it is up to Tommy to make it happen.  We shall see.