Thursday, December 17, 2009

Thomas' Birthday

I am finally trying to update my blog. Things have been busy around here with the holidays and preparing for our new arrival.

Thomas had a great birthday party. He wanted a monster truck themed birthday party. We got one of those birthday party magazines in the mail that shows all the different themes you can do for a party. I asked Thomas to picked the one he wanted. He chose "Monster Jam". That is all we heard for weeks. "Mommy, when are we going to have my monster truck party?" He even started asking to watch the Monster Jam videos on Youtube (that was partially my mistake for introducing him to Youtube in the first place).

We had family and friends come for a barbeque and some fun. There were only two other kids at his party so we let them go outside and have at it with the silly string. Here is Thomas enjoying being the target.

And here is Thomas being the sprayer. Look out!

Here is Thomas' friend covered in strings.

And Thomas' other friend at the party -he was not too sure about the whole silly string thing.

Thomas got a ton of awesome presents. Many were monster truck or car themed, of course.

Here is Thomas checking out the new bike we got him. I think he was a little overwhelmed with all of the presents and people, because it did not get quite the spectacular reaction I was hoping for. But, by the next day he was riding his bike all around the house. And he couldn't wait to get it out on the open road.

Here is a picture of the cake that I made for him. Not as fancy as the Thomas the Train cake from last year, but it got the job done! Thomas kept trying to take the Grave Digger truck off the cake.

Make a wish!

We had a great time with our friends and family. I still cannot believe my "little baby" turned 3 this year!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Surprise Baby Shower

This last Friday I was pleasantly surprised to get a surprise baby shower thrown by my co-workers. I had no idea I was going to have a shower. I found out later they had been planning it for weeks!

Earlier in the week, one of the other managers called me and said there was some unfinished payroll things for me to sign. He also said that Sandy, the store manager, had to sign them with me and only she could sign them. He then proceeded to tell me she would only be in on Friday around 11:00 am. All the time he is telling me this, I am thinking, "Oh great! The one week I have a million things to do (Thomas' birthday party was coming up on Saturday) and my work wants me to come in just to sign some silly papers!" But I figured, I need to go to Walmart that day to get some things for the party so it really is not that big of a deal. Walmart and my work are all in the same shopping center.

I walked into my work to the back office and my manager was there with just my paycheck for me to sign. There were no special papers that the payroll department needed me to sign, so now I was thinking, I really need to get going so I can get to the store!

So she took me into the break room and a bunch of the ladies I worked with were there and the room was all decorated with pink streamers and balloons. I was so surprised! And one of the ladies who is the cake instructor at our store made the cutest cake with a little pizza on it. The funny thing is we are still calling the baby "Pizza" since we don't have a name picked out for her yet.

We got many beautiful handmade gifts and some great special things for our little baby girl! I guess it is a great thing to work in a craft store when you are expecting a baby. There are so many talented women there. I felt so silly later for being so grumpy about having to go in, but it was such a special surprise!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mysterious Multiplying Projects

Now that I am no longer working and I am not yet completely huge, we are trying to tackle the projects we need to get done before the new baby gets here. Essentially our house looks like it was run through by a tornado. It is amazing how a "project" can multiply so out of control.

I am not trying to minimize the enormity of our project. It is a biggie! We had to get rid of our large fish tank that was in our main area of our house. We then had to move things from the office out to that space. All of the furniture in the office had to be reorganized and rearranged. We then had to start moving the things out of what is going to be the baby's room into the office. Basically we are trying to cram two rooms full of stuff into one room. And each step of the way is dependent on something else getting done. Add to that we are trying to go through things to have a yard sale and you start to get a picture of what this project is like.

Add into the equation an almost 3 year old and you have a recipe for disaster. As I am moving things around, sorting through things, trying to box things up, Thomas is pulling out his regular toys as fast as he can. I think his goal everyday is to see if he can get at least 10 toys in each room of our house. And not just in one spot of the room. These toys must span all four corners.

As I leave him alone for a few minutes to get something done, he has pulled apart his whole closet. Well, I hadn't planned on going through his closet yet, but since he has already pulled half of it out, what the heck, right? So put on hold what I am working on to go through his closet full of baby stuff. We start to move all of these things into the babies somewhat cleared out space. Thomas continues to go through the bags and boxes of toys and baby stuff saying, "I used this a long time ago." So I say to him, "Now they are going to be for Baby Pizza (no, we still don't have a real name picked out). Do you think we are going to be able to share these things with the baby?" You can tell he is thinking about this for a minute and then he tells me, "No, these things are ALL mine. I used them a long time ago. They are mine. Not for the baby."

Super. So now I have to worry about Thomas reclaiming all the baby things and putting them back in his room because he believes they belong to him. And he isn't completely wrong because they were his things. So I avoid this conversation any more for the time being.

Even better, but we have a houseful of people coming over in two days to celebrate Thomas' 3rd birthday. At least it gives us a deadline for getting this stuff done!

Friday, October 9, 2009

One Week Later . . .

I had my last day of "work" this previous Wednesday. So, this means it has been just a little over a week that I have not had to go to "work." Now, I put this in quotes because somehow I have been just as busy.

Now, instead of rushing to work after cooking/eating dinner with a sink full of dishes left behind, I stay in the kitchen for an half an hour to clean up. And then Thomas requires that I play with him. I have been with him all day mind you, yet he still wants to play with me and not always his Dad. You would think he would want to play with Daddy because they have been apart all day, but it doesn't always work that way. And when he decides to play with Daddy, then I am on the computer doing work for my Dad. I am lucky enough to be able to make some extra cash helping him out. Then, we pick up the toys from the days mess and do a bath, story and bedtime. By this time I am utterly exhausted and collapse on the couch.

I do have a cleaner house now and I am able to go to bed earlier, but I have not seemed to regain any of the free time I so desperately need. We shall see in the weeks to come if I can get back on track!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Baby Pizza is a Girl!

Last night Aaron and I went to our rescheduled doctor's appointment. We had our ultrasound and found out Baby Pizza is a girl! We are completely thrilled. Each of us was hoping for a girl. Since my pregnancies have both been kind of rough, we have pretty much decided that we were only going to have two kids. And we are really excited to have one of each.

Now the next step is to come up with a name for this little one. I would hate for her to actually have to be named "Pizza" because we can't come up with anything else.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Frustration at the Doctor's Office

On Monday I was supposed to have my five month checkup at the OB's office. I am now 20 weeks pregnant and my husband and I were supposed to find out the sex of the baby. We have been telling people since my fourth month checkup that we were going mid-September to find out. Everyone has been eagerly anticipating finding out if Baby Pizza is a boy or a girl.
So, my husband asks weeks ago to get off work early so he can go with me to my appointment. It is really sweet. He really wanted to be there for this appointment to see this really special ultrasound. We drive all the way to my doctor's office which happens to be a little over an hour away.
We got into the office and the receptionist looks sort of confused that we are standing there. She says, "The doctor is not in the office today, he is out of town. There isn't even a nurse here today." So then the yelling started. My husband was furious. Somehow, my appointment did not get entered into the system. They didn't have me down for anything. So, of course, they could not call me to let me know the doctor had to go out of town unexpectedly.
Aaron and I were arguing about when to come back, which was really more of, "Well if we come back, is the doctor really going to be there?" kind of a thing. The receptionist suggested we just call back when we can figure out a time to come back.
And as annoying as the situation was, I think the thing that irritated me the most was that the receptionist didn't even apologize for the office making a mistake. Where are basic customer service skills? Granted, Aaron was yelling at her, but she had to understand we drove from out of town, my husband took off work and lost some of his PTO, and on top of it all it was the visit we were supposed to find out the sex of our baby. Instead, she just kept saying that it was an honest mistake and there wasn't anything they could do. I get that. She cannot make the doctor magically reappear. But where was the common courtesy to say, "I am so sorry for the inconvenience." Is that too much to ask?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Attack of the Fleas

Aaron called me at work a few nights ago to inform me our dog, Sadie, is infested with fleas. So, after work, I went to Walmart to figure out what I could get to get rid of the little buggers. I sat in the aisle for about a half an hour reading all of the labels and packages. We have Sadie, our dog, but we also have two cats. And of course you cannot use the same stuff on both types of pets. Especially since our dog weighs about 5 times that of either one of the cats. I am not a real big fan of unnatural products and pesticides, but I don't think I have much choice on this one. I will not have my house infested with fleas.

So Thursday morning, bright and early, I started cleaning. I did laundry since about 7:00 in the morning. So far, all the dog's bedding has made it through. I then had to give the dog a flea bath outside. She was stuck in her crate until she dried out or she
would have just rolled around in the dirt where she probably got the fleas in the first place. In fact, I know she would, because about mid-shampoo she got away from me and did just that.

I then had to go inside and give our two cats flea shampoo baths. Amazingly enough our cats do really well with baths. Although, they were a little scared that I had on rubber gloves. There were toxic warnings about the shampoo being absorbed through your skin and I am pregnant, so I wasn't taking any chances. I am sure the cats also really enjoyed being yelled at by Thomas who thought he was cheering them on while they were in the tub.

Here are some pictures of our poor soggy cats.

I then had to vacuum the carpets in the house and the couch, wash all of our bedding, and sweep the hard floors through the rest of the house. I sure hope that does it. I don't want to have to clean for a few weeks again, but according to everything I have read I need to keep up the vacuuming a few times a week until the fleas are gone.


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thomas' Rules

A friend of mine shared with me that her pediatrician recommended doing a rules chart for her almost three year old son. Her pediatrician said even though her son could not read yet, he would memorize it just like he does when you read a book over and over to him. My friend told me she tried the rules chart with success, so I thought it couldn't hurt for us to try it. Thomas' behavior has been getting worse lately, and I figured anything that might make him act a little nicer would be good.

I should have known to choose a day where Thomas was in a really good mood. But, I decided to put this new chart into effect on a day when his behavior was really testing my limits. We sat down at the kitchen table and I explained to Thomas what Mommy was writing on the dry erase board. The rules we added to our chart were:

- Be a good listener
- No throwing
- No hitting, kicking or biting
- Help clean up

He thought the whole idea was really cool, until I decided to tell him what happens if he breaks a rule. I told him, "If you break one of the rules, your consequence is going to be for you to go to time out or your toy will go to toy time out." At this point, he no longer thought this was a fun project.

He was yelling that he wanted to use the dry erase marker to color on the chart. I told him no, but that I would get him his own crayons and paper out to color. He was not happy with my compromise. I decided to ignore his outbursts so I could figure out a way to hang the chart above his official 'time out' spot. I got creative with some wire and some tape, and hung up the chart. Meanwhile, Thomas is screaming at me about how he does not like the chart and how he wants to color it.

So, away he goes to time out. I set the timer for two minutes and walked away from his screaming tantrum. About a minute into his time out, I hear a crash and even more crying. I rushed over to see what happened. The time out chart fell on his foot. Apparently my makeshift hanger didn't hold. I was trying really hard not to laugh. He just kept saying he didn't like the chart and I needed to take it down, and then it fell right on top of him. Let's just say we were adding injury to insult this time.

I eventually got it hung back up securely. He still isn't thrilled we have this chart, but I do have to say his behavior is improving. He even comes up to me to tell me, "no hitting" or "no throwing" from time to time.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Pizza

I have not posted to my blog in quite some time because I have been out of commission expecting baby number two. I am now just about 14 weeks pregnant. Again, like my last pregnancy, I have been blessed with morning sickness. Every time that I hear the phrase "morning sickness" I get a little irritated. For me it isn't just the morning. It is morning, noon and night. Needless to say, I have been pretty wiped out. I have been doing my best to take care of Thomas and go to my part time job. That is about all I have had the energy for.

We have been talking a lot about the baby to Thomas to try to prepare him for his new little brother or sister. I told him that I have a baby growing inside my tummy. I then proceeded to ask him what we should name this new baby. His reply, "Pizza." So, the baby is now called Pizza in our house. Aaron and I both lovingly refer to the baby as "Baby Pizza."

I am hoping to get more into the swing of things here in the second trimester. So hopefully there will be more blogs to come.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Forty Pounder

Okay, so this is just a funny story about Thomas. Lately he has been really into measuring things. With a tape measure, the bathroom scale, rulers, etc. But the funny thing is, for some reason any time he measures anything, whether it be a weight or a unit of length, he says, "Wow, a forty pound-er!"

It is too funny! This may only be funny to my husband and me, but every time he does it, it makes me laugh so hard. I am not even sure where he picked it up. He certainly is not a "forty pound-er." In fact, he is only a "twenty-five pound-er."

Mommy is on the scale. Thomas' response: "Wow, a forty pound-er!"

Thomas has the tape measure to measure Mommy's hands and feet. Thomas' response: "A forty pound-er!"

Thomas picks up the big shovel in the back yard, which is really heavy for him. His response: "Oh, this is soo heavy. It is a forty pound-er!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Our Garden

So this is mostly just me bragging about my stupendous gardening skills. Seriously, I am really proud of myself. You may be thinking, "Wow, this girl is really full of herself." But let me give you a little history of why I am so proud of myself now.

Before I met my husband, I never had a vegetable garden before. Or really any kind of garden for that matter. I was a plant killer. You know those supposedly 'easy to grow' plants? Well, apparently, for people like me they should be called 'easy to kill'. There must be something really special about my husband. Before him, no plant around me was safe.

When we moved in together, I took over the care of his plants. My husband is not only special, but brave, too. There was one particular plant, that although did not look terrible, certainly could have looked better. I was very careful with this plant. I found a new home for it with just the right amount of light. I watered it, making sure not to over- or under-water this plant. It began to grow, and grow, and grow. It was huge and a beautiful shade of green. (It used to be this sort of sickly looking light greenish-yellow color).

Then, we moved into our new house. At this point we had many flourishing indoor plants. I thought I would fertilize all the plants. It was easier to do this outside since we had so many plants. It seemed my curse of plant killing was finally over. I was so wrong. The beloved plant that was so lush and green was out in the sun too long. All of the leaves turned yellow and fell off. I was crushed. There were only two tiny little sprouts left on the plant after its traumatic ordeal outside. I nursed this poor plant back to health. It is finally (almost two years later) back to its original glory. All the plants seem to be doing fairly well in our house. Thank goodness for them, right?

So back to our garden. The first summer after we moved into our house we built an above ground garden. I was not very confident that it would go well since this was right around the time the other plant lost all its leaves. It was a lot of work to build, mostly on the part of my husband, but so worthwhile. Each year we get better at our gardening skills. We have had quite a harvest each year. And I am so looking forward to it this year as well. We planted our garden only a few days ago and already we have sprouts.

Like I said before, I am really proud of myself.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Little Person, Big Words

The other day, Thomas and I were outside in the front yard doing some landscaping. I was finally going to fix the bricks that were all messed up. I was not looking forward to doing this project. I figured the way to get motivated would be to at least pull up all the bricks that needed to be fixed. Even if I didn't get to lay them all back down right away, they would be sitting in the front yard staring at me every time I went out there. And that would drive me crazy enough to finally get it done.

Let me explain something about these bricks. We have a circular driveway. Our front yard is not even remotely landscaped yet. Last spring, I painstakingly laid each brick around the circular drive. This took me several days. I am a perfectionist and I just kept going out there to make sure that each brick was "just right."

Fast forward to last fall. The city was finally installing the sewer lines to our house. We had been on septic (which, by the way, we were perfectly content with). However, it was mandatory that the city come crush our septic system and hook us up to the city sewer line. So in the process of installing this sewer line, they pulled up half of my bricks in the front yard. They were supposed to put everything back the way they found it. Well, they did lay the bricks back down, but they looked awful. I was really upset, but since I am not one for confrontation, I just complained incessantly to my husband about how unhappy I was. Well, Aaron is good about confronting people, and he marched right outside and told them to redo the bricks. I have to admit, they looked better, but were not exactly as I would have liked them. I had no interest in relaying those bricks though, so I let it go.

Enter the present time. The bricks not only looked bad, they were now falling over. The nice men that installed our sewer somehow did not get the bricks in the ground correctly and with the rain, etc. they were tipping over. They looked awful, so it was time to take action. I was dreading this task.

Thomas and I were out front getting ready to pull up the bricks. I was having a hard time getting them up. So, Thomas says to me, "Pull really hard Mommy, you can do it." It was really funny because he was saying all this while trying to pull a brick out himself and he was really straining when he was telling me. I kept digging and pulling up each brick, getting more and more irritated that I should even have to do this project at all.

Thomas just looked at me and says, "Mommy, you are doing a GREAT job."

This may not sound like much, but first of all, he has never said this to me before. He hears it from me all the time, but I have never heard it from him. It was the best encouragement I could have gotten to finish my project.

The bricks, however, I have to say are not perfect, but they will have to do.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thomas the Trailblazer

Thomas and I had a fantastic day. We met up with some of our MOMS Club friends and went for a hike on Slick Rock Trail. It was awesome. The weather was perfect. It was nice and warm and a little breezy, but not too hot. We have never hiked this trail before and were really looking forward to it. Every other time our group has gone, it has been in the afternoon and too close to the time I need to leave for work. Needless to say, I was really excited to be going, but was a little worried about how Thomas would do because this trail is not stroller friendly, and he would have to walk the whole way.

But, Thomas was an amazing little boy today. He ran ahead of the whole group down the entire trail, as if he had been there a hundred times before. When we got to the rocks that you can climb on, he scurried up like a professional rock climber.

I was completely impressed with him. Although, it scares me as a mother that he is so completely fearless, I am also a little in awe of him. I no longer have the bravery to just run up a mountainside without worrying about falling down. That is one of the great joys of motherhood - being able to see things through the eyes of your child. You get to have experiences that feel completely new because they are new to him.

Thomas and one of his friends were really excited when they discovered a little "cave" to explore. His friend was so excited to be smashing pine cones on the ground. He even offered one up to Thomas for him to try and eat.

I am grateful on days like this that I live an area of the country where I am able to go to places such as this in less than a half hour's drive from my house. We had a such a great time. I am looking forward to returning to this trail with my husband and have a nice family day out.

After we got done hiking, we still had a whole list of errands to run and it was getting close to nap time.

First stop: Walmart. I had bought some juniper plants for our front yard. Unfortunately, I found out that I am allergic to juniper, so we had to return them. So, after we had finished with our return we went to buy some groceries.

Second and third stop: Frys and Safeway. We are trying to live on a pretty tight budget, so I typically grocery shop at all three places (just not always on the same day). Today, we were going to all three places.

Thomas behaved really well at all three stores. That may not sound like a big deal, but lately, going shopping with Thomas has landed us both home in tears after a very stressful time together. He didn't complain about riding in the shopping cart. He wasn't begging for me to buy him things. He wasn't pulling things off the shelf and throwing him on the ground.

I was really proud of him today.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Super Mom Syndrome

About a week ago, I had what can only be described as an epiphany. My discovery was that I was suffering from 'Super Mom Syndrome'. Now, I thought I was being clever in calling in that, but apparently many other mothers are suffering from this disease as well. (If you don't believe me, just google it).

Here is what happened.

I was driving home from work at almost 10:00 at night. I was feeling completely overwhelmed. I hadn't had a day off in quite some time and the last few days I did have off were spent cleaning, cooking, doing laundry, entertaining a cranky two year old, the usual mom workload. And I just burst into tears. I tried to compose myself before I got home but couldn't. My husband and I ended up having a small fight about it because I didn't want to talk, and then we both went to sleep.

The next morning after he left for work, I was still feeling crummy. So I decided I would sit down and write him a letter about all that was ailing me. And as I was writing this letter, I thought to myself, "I better come up with some solutions to my problems, or this letter isn't going to do anyone any good."

So, as I wrote and wrote I started to realize that I was trying to do everything in every aspect of my life perfectly (i.e. 'Super Mom Syndrome'). However, I realized I was a complete fraud. In trying to do everything perfectly for everyone all the time, I never really accomplished anything. And the more I tried to stuff into each minute of each day, the more I ended up not making room for myself and my needs. I wanted the house to be spotless. I wanted Thomas to have educational, fun activities ready for him and I to sit down and share together. I wanted to be a gourmet, five-star restaurant chef. I wanted to be the perfect wife, always happy and willing to please.

But somehow among all of these wants, I seemed to have lost myself. I couldn't remember the last time I did something just for me. And unless I decided to stop sleeping, there were not enough hours in the day to get it all done.

And that is when it hit me.

I must make time to take care of myself, or I won't have anything left to give to take care of my son, my husband and the other people in my life. And the funny thing is, there really are not enough hours in the day to complete all that needs to be done.

So I have made some resolutions to myself:
  • I must make more time to do the things that I love to be able to recharge my batteries.
  • There will be days that all I do is play with Thomas and the housework will just have to wait.
  • There will be days when Thomas must play by himself so that I can get to the inevitable piles of dishes and laundry and cleaning that must be done.
  • I must let let go of the perfection of it all. Sometimes, good enough just is . . .

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Introductions - The Usual Suspects

If you have stumbled upon this blog, you are probably wondering "who is this woman?" and "why should I read her blog?" I am finally jumping on the blogging bandwagon. I have so many friends that already blog, and a few that just recently started, so I thought, "What the heck!"

So, I thought I would introduce myself and the main characters of this blog (and my life). My family is made up of the usual suspects:
Mom, Dad, child, two cats, one dog, and fish.

A.K.A. Mommy, Laura, Lou, Schmoo
Age: 29
Stay-at-home mom. Part time manager of retail craft store. Mildly OCD, or what some people would call a perfectionist. Best friend to Dad.
Interests: Scrapbooking, reading, being outdoors

A.K.A. Daddy, Aaron
Age: 35
Account executive in sales. Amazing dad. Best friend to Mom.
Interests: Hunting, archery, guns

A.K.A. Thomas, Boo Boo Chicken
Age: 2 1/2
Rambunctious. Stubborn. Oh so silly. Tests limits on daily basis.
Interests: Trucks, trains, cars, airplanes - pretty much anything that moves.

Cat one:
A.K.A. Sweet Pea
Domestic short hair. All black.
Stand-offish at times. Other times very affectionate. Has strange affinity for people that are not part of our family.
Interests: Chasing her tail. Cat two.

Cat two:
A.K.A. Tigger
Domestic short hair. Grey, black and white tabby.
Lover. Overweight. Tolerates great injustices by child.
Interests: Playing fetch with toys. Cat one.

A.K.A. Sadie, Pooper Piper (Enemy #1 to Cat Two)
Yellow labrador retriever
Spastic and hyper.
Interests: Fetch, fetch, eating, fetch


Tank #1: 150 gallons
Occupants: One cichlid, one plecostomus

Tank #2: 55 gallons
Occupants: Approximately 100 guppies, one plecostomus, one cichlid with bullying complex (used to reside in Tank #1)

You now have a small glimpse into who we all are. I am simply writing this to share my experiences as a mom, wife and woman. Perhaps you will be able to relate, perhaps not. If nothing else, I hope you will enjoy my take on life. And it is always nice for family and friends to see what you are up to.

So until next time . . .