Friday, June 28, 2013

7 Takes, Vol. 2013. Part 19 - So Sleepy Edition

Joining with Jen

1. Hannabert was awake until 4:55am. Horn has to leave for work at 6:30am. I have to leave at 9am. Horn got the most sleep.

2. My parents are visiting and staying in the room where Hannabert sleeps. He understands that concept completely and wasn't upset that they were there. He didn't claim possession over the room but did ask to visit them and sit in the chair in the room. It was surprising cute to see him knock on the door somewhere around 2am and say, "Hello Gunkles.  Are you there? Hello." Very polite this very alert child.

3. Despite the fact we are in near tears exhausted, we will still make an valiant (and I am hoping SUCCESSFUL) trip to Panegyri tonight. Yes, we will be making us of my parents handicap placard. The food....oh the food...

4. One reason why the toddler might have been so excited to be with me at 4am is that he might have been a wee bit tired. Horn and I closed on our house yesterday and the excitement caused a late night trip to Menards to look at paint colors because...

5. My parents have offered to paint rooms for us! AND install a closet organizer!  Picking out pain with a tired toddler wasn't fun especially since it was dark by the time we got back to our place so we really couldn't see colors very well. They will be tired.

6. Hannabert napped for the gungas...on the couch..after reading this gem 4x in a row

ok, so he sleep for Horn as well....

Monday, June 24, 2013

Nontraditional Schedules and Family Life

Stacy at Catholic & Crunchy wrote a blog post this morning that struck particular tone with me: family relationships with nontraditional working schedules.

I completely relate to this topic as Horn and I have been there and do that on a regular basis (as do a surprisingly large number of my co-workers).

Our first job (after preventing shoplifters at a particularly noxious mall store whose only redeeming quality was introducing me to a new genre of music) was with a 24x7/364 legal research company (more than happy to do a referral for my small but true blog following.  Just shoot me your email address BEFORE you apply and I can get it to the right internal department).

Our training schedule had us working from 8am to 5pm and then we got our "regular shifts."  For medical reasons, Horn had to immediately take a leave of absence but my shift was from 1:30pm to 10pm T-Sa. Horn eventually returned to a 9 to 6 M to F schedule. Eventually we ended up on a selected schedule or 2:30 to 11pm.

This schedule worked extremely well for us for about 5 years.  For our family members, it was entirely confusing and I think that there was a general feeling that we were "lazy."  While I understand the "not waking up to noon everyday" thought, most family seemed to neglect to remember that while working full-time jobs, we also worked part-time jobs, teaching college level courses 2 to 3 days a week.  In fact, while I was pregnant will Hannabert, I averaged 60 hrs between both employers up until I literally went to the hospital to be induced (as in I hadn't even packed a bag because I was working on a major project and Horn had to physically pull me out of my office). The prevailing thoughts from both of our families was that we were lazy because we didn't arrive at our main employer until 2:30pm.

Our families felt that we were disorganized and that Hannabert didn't have a schedule. We heard a lot about him not having a schedule. For the record, he did have a very set schedule, it was just very different than most toddlers but it was extremely frustrating to hear how he didn't have a schedule and how kids need schedules....

This was our schedule until Horn got a fabulous new position which now required him to leave our house by 6:30am to make for an 8am start time. HUGE FAMILY CHANGE.  Now, on days that I teach (still 2 to 3x a week), he and Hannabert are out the door and on the way to daycare by 6:30 with a pick up time somewhere after 4pm (depending on case load, equity court status, traffic, baseball games, etc). On these days, I work until 10 or 11pm (depending on the circumstances).

This schedule caused a lot of problems for us.  1) This was the first time in TEN YEARS that we didn't see each other all day, every day or at least be in the same building together for most of the day. 2) See #1! 3) We now had a toddler who didn't understand that his schedule was dramatically changing from being a late night owl to an early morning dove.

Horn needed to adjust his schedule because of his new, earlier hours. I still was awake late at night but couldn't do things that involved noise because of the needs of sleep. Horn now had primary parenting responsibilities at night while I only have primary responsibilities on  the mornings when I didn't teach. This was a big change for all of us. I would come home, wired from my 14+ hours of work and want to relax and read or watch TV. Horn was exhausted from keeping up with toddler and want to spend time with me while he was falling asleep. Toddler just didn't want to sleep so "early." I would be cranky on the days when I came home early and frustrated with the state of the house, what I saw as failures to get things done, and feeling like I was going from one pressure cooker to the next.

I was tired on the weekends, he was tired on the weekends, the toddler hadn't seen me all week and only wanted to be with me. We really started to get cranky at each other. I would yell and be grumpy and tense as soon as I opened the door. We started to doubt ourselves, marriage, relationship.

Luckily, I hit rock bottom and poured out everything on my heart to him. He was shocked, scared, and upset. We knew we needed changes in our lives.

First, we established that we needed better communication. We talked about how I was frustrated with my long hours and the fact that he couldn't get things done while Hannabert was awake (and if you have ever read one of my blog posts, it is a well known fact Hannabert does not sleep when he is with us). He said he was frustrated and upset when I would not talk to him at night and that I be passive-aggressive angry when I did come to bed.

Second, I switched my hours (for the most part) so that I would have more nights at a "normal" time than note. While this really hasn't happened as I still teach 2 to 3 days a week which required me to work late (but only to 10pm rather than 11pm), the days that I don't teach, I am usually home by 7:30pm.

We are working on using the slow cooker more and doing a calendar of meals to help us avoid the "what's for dinner discussion." I try to fully encourage my husband to cook and make supper. He makes incredible spaghetti (which, along with boiled eggs, is something that is just I cannot do). We are also working on putting Hannabert on a task while we are working around the house to help encourage him as family member to do his part to share in the responsibilities.

The other day he helped make cookies and just this weekend he told me that "bad water, bad glass. Juice please for dada" and helped make a glass of emergen-c for Horn who was working very hard at packing up the living room in preparation for our move. He carried both cups into the living room . His face was beaming with pride as he handed it over for his dada. It was the same look I see when we ask him to help us.

As we prepare to move into "our" house, I know that we will still have struggles. I will be teaching 3 morning a week next term and Horn is teaching 1 night class that will have him gone until 11pm or later. I know that communication and prayer will help us get through the tough times...any maybe some toddler sleepy dust.

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Friday, June 21, 2013

7 Takes, Vol. 2013, Part 18 - Hannabert's Morning Protest

Joining Jen at Conversion Diary (because I may never write anything unless I join in a link-up.)

1. When Horn's alarm went off for what felt like the 100th time this morning, I decided to make my across-the-hall trek to Hannabert's sleeping space (note that I did not say HIS room for he won't actually sleep in his room as he prefers the guest room with the larger bed for toddler acrobatic performances). The door was met with resistence. It was early and I was sleepy so I forced my way into the room to discovered that said toddler was physically blocking the door by sleeping in front of it.

2. He was sans diaper. I can only imagine that the diaper was his attempt at protest of the indignity of being left alone.

3. Said diaper, abandoned on the floor, was dry. I didn't bother to check the floor, bed, walls to see if they had been territory targets.

4. In stead, we did this:

Still no diaper on - it was a wild and crazy of me I know

That is arm, not boob. It was hard taking a selfy this morning
5. I managed to get the diaper on him by the time I loaded him into the car but no clothing. I am trashy mother of the year for ROUTINELY bringing him to daycare in semi-states of undress.  As in pretty much every day that it is my responsibility to get him to daycare I can nearly guarantee that he will not be fully dressed.

6. The only way I was able to get a diaper on him this morning was feeding him:
nothing says YUM like berry flavored fish oil!
I used to feel kind of guilty about him eating  but we call them candy and it keeps him happy so I can shower
I don't care if you judge. He has strong bones and a well developed brain.

7. Hannbert cried all the way to daycare, in between requests for

Itsy Bitsy Spider (free download!) by Sean Kelly of The Samples.

PS. Grandma cancelled her surgery as she "felt better" but my bff from law school (besides the hubby)'s father just had a QUAD hernia operation this morning.  Prayers are needed from him to RELAX and heal.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Theme Thursday - Water

'Cause we have a lot of water pictures, I am joining Clan Donaldson

At my work there is a duck/goose pond. 

The park that is less than a block away from our current house has a splash area 

Cold enough for a jacket but warm enough for water play

Friday, June 14, 2013

7 Takes, Vol. 2013, Part 17

7 takes with the crew at ConversionDiary!

1.  Was I last to hear about fetal cells being used to test flavors? One of my students brought it to my attention in class the other day when she asked what agency approved of this.  The SEC knew about the relationship due to a 10k filing in 2011

2. I was a huge fan of LOOKING at paperdolls but not really playing with them.  I have vague memories of not being allowed to use scissors (because I would routinely use them to chop holes in clothing that I didn't like in an attempt to force my mom to buy me some new clothings - FYI, didn't work; she just patched the holes). I saw these on Cool Mom Picks and said, "I really DO want to play with paper dolls!"

3.  Hannabert truly thinks he is an adult. Check out his made PB sandwich skills. Apparently he and Horn eat PBJ sandwiches at night when I am not home. Does that make me the worst mama/wife mom ever for not leaving meals ready for them to eat?

4. The toddler, after spending THREE hours playing at the splash park next to our current house in balmy 70is weather, literally turned blue. We enticed him home by promises of ice cream.  Little did I know that he knows the difference between ice cream and frozen fuit icy pop things.  Speaking of that, have you tried Mott's Freezer Pops? We pick outs up at the dollar store. No added sugar, based on apple juice with "natural flavors" (which now makes me nervous because of #1). Much sobbing and destruction of childhood happiness occurred.

5.  So it looks like our house purchase is a go....Very very nervous. The seller isn't happy because we have an extremely thorough inspection which is resulting in him having to install a radon abatement system AND a new chimney from roofline up in addition to fixing electrical issues.

6. We need paint advice...Any thoughts as to brands that are great? We loved Benjamin Moore paint when we painted our first bedroom but the cost was a bit 'gasp!"

7. Please keep my grandmother in your prayers. She is having some surgery in a week or so. At 93, any surgery bears some risk.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Etsy Review: Sandrandan Jewelry

After reading about Sandrandan Jewelry on "I am Not the Babysitter," I had to purchase one of whimsical pieces.

When I was growing up, one of my favorite books was Bunnicula (some seem to be written by James Howe and others by Deborah Howe).  The stories are about a "vampire" bunny who sucks the juice out of vegetables.  It is very mysterious and many of the pieces in her Etsy shop remind me of the book.  It was kind of like buying a piece of my childhood.
Similar to my purchase
First, look at the great packaging

I loved the piece that I purchased.

It is the perfect length to wear with a t-shirt.

These pictures were on my cell phone camera and apparently the pictures (edited here but not very much so) lead to my Mother-in-law to think that I was "sextexting" her dear son.  I wasn't. I just have tons of cleavage.   Trying on dresses for my wedding was...interesting because of the cleavage issue (see below)

Friday, June 07, 2013

7 Takes, Toddler Tactics

Linking with Jen

1. Back molars are awful. Hannabert either sobs and complains that his "mouf hurts" or literally uses us as trampolines.

2. After staying awake ALL NIGHT LONG. By all night I mean he sleeps until 2am and then is awake until 7am.  On Wednesday night he and I watched the following movies:

3. By the time Horn woke up to go to work (6:30am) I had spent 22 hrs awake. Hannabert and I had a heart to heart:
     Me: Why don't you love me?
     H:    CARS!
    Me:  I am desperate for sleep. Please can you snuggle and try to sleep?
    H:    No Snuggles! No Snuggles! No Snuggles! No Snuggles! No Snuggles! No Snuggles! No Snuggles!
   Me:   "Eli Eli lama sabachthani?"

4. I finally fell asleep (for 2.3 hours - totally skipped the shower) to find this guy next to me:
Getting him dressed to go to daycare was as easy as dressing a piece of cooked spaghetti.  Upon being dropped off at daycare, he slept for the next 1.5 hrs and then took another nap.  

     4.5 I actually donated blood at work yesterday just to get a 30 minute nap.  Is that wrong?

5. Horn took ba'y duties last night. Guess who was asleep in bed by 10pm?  Yes, they both where. Guess who crawled into bed at 9pm and fell asleep watching a episode of Psych on our tablet?  Me!

6. I am really wishing that I would have purchased a teether made for molars.  It is evident that Hannabert needs them as he chews on the droppers from his teething medication like it is going out of style. 

7.  Horn and I were blessed with 2.25 yrs without those "blow out" diapers of which we had heard so much...These molars have introduced us to the concept in full force. 

Wednesday, June 05, 2013

Blog History - Link up with Grace

Grace is celebrating her blogiversary and is having a link up to celebrate our own blogs!

My favorite post might be the one where I showed the steps to make his toddler sized "packback."

I figured I would join along and then I discovered that I have been on Blogger since 2004...and I have only 122 posts to show for it when I look at my blogger profile although when I view my blog I can see older ones... .  I am wondering where the first 8 years of posts went...

While I ponder the missing years of my life (I am guessing they weren't too interesting), I want to reflect on the last few years of blogging. I have done a lot of the 7 Takes and a few Natural Parenting Carnivals but I feel like I don't have a "fit" as a blogger.

Although Catholic, I don't feel like I make it enough to Mass to take my place with Catholic Mom Bloggers. While I subscribe to many ideals of Attached Parenting, I work outside the home so I don't feel like I fit quite in with the mommy bloggers out there.

I don't feel like I am home enough to have endless witty things to write about when it comes to Hananbert's developing independence.

So, while I do not know what "kind" of blogger I might be, I know that having a blog allows me to look back and see where we as a family have traveled together on our family journey.