Friday, August 26, 2011

Friday

I know this will seem like a piggy back from last week's post My Boys, but when thinking about my Favorite Friday Things I have to include, well, Fridays!

Since I work a Sunday-Thursday work week, Fridays are my day to just spend with my family. I don't plan to do any work, and rarely take work related calls or check work email. It's not easy, but I have to for my own sanity.

We usually try to do some type of family activity in the morning--out of the house and usually as cheap as humanly possible.

Today's adventure took us to the new playground at our local park. I read a blog post about how this park, located right around the corner from our apartment, had toddler appropriate playground equipment and was very intrigued. I also loved the fact that it has a library within walking distance. For a child who loves to play and adores books, this had "win-win" written all over it.

Like looking in a mirror.

I dunno about this thing.

Climbing! Now that's what I'm talking about!

Up or down?

Reading to himself. Priceless.

 
I love watching his little mind work. 

Climbing and reading?! Well this is just too much for one day.

Books. Piles and piles of books just for Thomas.

Soak 'em up little man. Every last one.

One person that was absent from this week's Friday adventure to the park and library was Daddy. My husband started back to school this week and classes prevented him from spending time with us this morning. We did get to meet him for lunch and chow down on some excellent pizza. This afternoon while he works we'll head to the pool for a few hours before we call it a night. Man, I love Fridays.

Happy Friday everyone!
What are some of your Family Day activities?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nerd Love

Birthdays are always a super big deal to me. It's a day when people get an entire day celebrated to their life, their accomplishments and looking to the future. Today we got to celebrate my husband's birthday and in addition to its regular pomp and circumstance, there was one more thing that made this even more exciting:

My husband's birthday isn't until September 15. The reason for celebrating so early was because of his gift so I wanted to make it super special in addition to the early celebration.

Throughout the day I gave my husband clues that would spell out his ultimate gift. The first clue was a birthday card with a pirate saying, "Arrrr!" So "R" was his first clue. The next was a little bit easier: a new folder for school with a "N" written on it. Later in the day I changed his Facebook profile picture to the University of Alabama "A." (We both went to Alabama and are huge football fans.) A friend of ours randomly texted him the letter "G." I sent him a picture of a carbon dioxide sign. This was to represent "C," and two "Os." My son brought home a dye cut letter "N."

Finally he was given a Star Wars sound card from Hallmark with fifty dollars and a "D" inside."

RNAGCOOND

Got it yet? Unless you're a huge nerd (like my husband), you probably don't. So here it is: Dragon Con.

Dragon Con is a huge geek fest hosted in Atlanta each year during Labor Day weekend, hence the need to deliver the gift prior to September 15. There are all kinds of guest speakers, usually stars, writers and creators of Sci Fi movies and TV shows, workshops and some ca-razy costumes.

I'm totally not into the nerd scene, but he is. And I know he loves it. And he knows I am not. Our first date we rode 60 mph down the highway with him talking about role playing. Not naughty nurse/dirty doctor role playing, but what-dice-should-I-use-so-my-elf-can-kill-your-dwarf role playing.

I wanted to tuck and roll out of that '99 Chevy Silverado.

But this is his thing. He loves it and for the most part, I don't have to be involved in it--sort of like him and my blogging. He tells me about some of his "adventures," and I smile and listen because I love him and want to take an interest in what he loves. Over the years I've gotten into some of the Sci Fi movies and a few of the shows, but that's where I draw the line...so far. :)

Nerd love.

What are some things your significant other is into that you have little or no interest in?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mom-xieties

I've always been a pretty anxious person.

For example, my sophomore year of high school we moved from Texas to South Carolina. We had only been in town a couple of weeks when I heard about alligators being found in area parking lots. Alligators? I thought those things only lived in lands where people spoke in strange, Southern dialects. You know, not regular Southern dialects.

I started freaking out about alligators being in my backyard, in my pool, in our garage and--get this--under my bed. That's right. Under my bed. Keep in mind, I was 15.

As I got older my anxieties became a little more understandable--college exams, job interviews, speaking in front of others. You know, normal things that most people freak out about except I would break out into horrible sweats and become unable to breathe.

Finding out I was pregnant was not easy for my anxiety. I've had type 1 diabetes for 26 years and had always been forewarned about the dangers of being pregnant, especially if it was unplanned. Unplanned is an understatement of what our pregnancy was. Everything went fine, but not without a lot of nights of crying, clinging to baby clothes and refusing to unpack many of our baby items until the final days of my pregnancy.

Then there was this.

Being a mom comes with a whole different set of anxieties. Mom-xieties. Worrying about a child while you're at work or running errands. Hearing thuds in the house and waiting to see if it's your child falling off the bed or the cat knocking something over in the next room. And the biggest one: how am I going to pay for this kid?!

Today we took Thomas for his 15 month check up, and we expressed concern that he's still not speaking. At all. He doesn't say "momma" or "dada" or "no" or "milk." Nothing. He'll babble his head off and imitate sounds when he hears them, but has yet to officially say his first word. With every blog, parenting magazine and birth board on the Internet declaring delayed speech as an indicator for Autism and other developmental issues, this of course has my anxiety on maximum overdrive.

Nurse Lesley, our PA who I absolutely love, isn't concerned at all. She pointed out awesome his motor skills are and how the babbling is a good sign that he wants to communicate. She asked questions about his social skills, and I told her about him walking up to strangers at the beach and laughing and babbling to them. She was even less concerned at that point and my fears began to subside. She gave me the numbers of speech therapists in the area in case I was still concerned, but I think I'm going to give it about eight more weeks before I do anything that drastic.

Mom-xieties are a part of most moms, especially first-timers. I think it's just a sign that we love our children and want to protect them as much as possible.
Just doing our jobs...

What are your mom-xieties? 

Friday, August 19, 2011

My Boys

I'll never forget that morning on December 15, 2009. After I forked over my co-pay and a sweet, bubbly nurse checked my vitals, I was taken to the exam room at the end of the hall. Of course it's the last one, I thought. The anticipation is killing me.

I was told to get on the bed, get under the sheet and lift up my shirt. Then came the "this is going to be cold and gooey" spiel from the ultrasound tech. Blah, blah, blah. I don't care if you dump arctic ice on my body--let's do this!

She searched around til she found what I assumed was my baby, but also looked like a gas bubble. She made some key strokes on the monitor, looked at the screen and then turned to ask the question we had been dying to hear: "Do you want to know the sex?"

YES!

It's a boy.
 
And there it was. Like a little flag claiming its future in skinned knees, throwing rocks and driving fast cars. I was so excited, and I looked to my husband and could tell he was withholding a "YES!!" or "Woohoo!" As soon as we got in the car he had to call his dad to let him know that the future of the family was secure with the procreation of our son.

Our son.

It would be five more months until we would meet the little gymnast, but my husband talked all the time about being a dad and having a bouncing baby boy. To say he was excited was an understatement.

When Thomas was born, my husband cried, something I had only see him do a handful of times up to that point. He was a trooper about helping take care of him in the hospital and was a stellar dad straight from the beginning.

A daddy is born.

They've always had an incredible bond, and my husband is a trooper when it comes to caring for Thomas. The first week we were home we slept in the same room with the little man. One night Josh got up with him and as he stood there shirtless holding Thomas and rocking him in the moonlight of that tiny green and brown bedroom, I realized something:

There is nothing sexier than a man with a baby!






What do you love about your husband and child's relationship? Comment below!
Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

When He Gets Where He's Going

Once I got through the initial shock of finding out I was pregnant, I began praying. Praying for safety for my baby. Praying for my health. Praying that my husband and I could raise a child and not completely screw up his or her life.
Working with teenagers, I've seen my fair share of parenting styles and their results. I've seen the super uptight parents who are incredibly hard on their children and expect nothing less than success. I've seen the super liberal who don't even know where their child is five nights out of the week. I've seen parents who keep secrets from non-family members and try to sweep their child's problems under the rug so no one can see their "dysfunction," as well as those who tend to share every problem their family encounters. It's like the cloth diapering vs. disposable argument only 14 years later.

Now this is not where I'm going to become Sanctimommy and say that I'm going to be so much better than all of these parents. In some regards I think each of these parents are doing something right with their children. I mean, they've made it 17 years with no major incidents, right?

My biggest prayer is that Thomas becomes a confident, responsible and respectful young man. Whether he does that as a plumber or the person who cures cancer is not up for me to decide or dictate. He will choose many paths in his life--career, family, college, etc.--but my husband, my family and I are responsible for helping to shape the character through which he will make those decisions.

No pressure, Mom.

I can't say that I'm exactly worried about the kid. He's got a slew of people looking out for him and ready to support and love him. Four generations of folks looking after that sweet little face.

 "The Gang" at Thomas' baptism
Me, my dad and my great-grandmother with Thomas. My grandfather (her son) passed away one week before Thomas was born.

Not to mention, he's got a momma who will beat the tar out of anyone that messes with him.

Don't let the smile fool you; she'll cut cha!

Oh that boy. Wherever will he go?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

How My Job is Killing My Bank Account

Don't get me wrong. I do a fair share of overspending in some areas, impulse buying and treating myself to things I can do without, but after looking over some of my financials tonight, I realize just how big a role my job actually plays in managing my family's money. Here are just some of the ways it's impacted us recently:

1. Change in Benefits
Going into my job in 2007, I had a pretty good deal set up for benefits: medical and life insurance, continuing education and pension. Two years ago our staff was informed that we would no longer receive continuing ed. We could go to continuing ed conferences and purchase materials--my company just wouldn't pay for them.
Last year, due to the number of dwindling staff members, our insurance company dropped us as a group. I was the only one who was strongly affected by this due to my type 1 diabetes. My company helped me out by paying a portion of my new $801 conversion plan, but I've been hit hard by the $2500 per year deductible and prescription plan. After all, a month's supply of insulin for me is $350!

2. Reimbursements
Also around two years ago, due to some shadiness with a previous employee, we had to give up our company credit cards. For many employees this was having to pay for a cup of coffee or a few weekly supplies out of their own pocket and requesting a reimbursement. For me, it meant paying for 50 teenagers to go whitewater rafting out of state and request a reimbursement for said event. Have I also mentioned that I royally suck at keeping up with receipts? And without a receipt, I pretty much have a better chance of that money falling out of the sky than getting my company to reimburse me. (For the record, I've never lost a major receipt like rafting, but I have lost MANY small receipts that really tend to add up!)

3. "Gifts"
This sort of goes along with reimbursements. Many times I purchase things and say, "well, I'll get this one. No need for a reimbursement." Again, those tend to add up.
Also, I use my personal cell phone a lot for work. I work with teens and they like to text. I use over a thousand texts a month and very few of them are to my friends and family. I also use quite a bit of data on my phone while working. I do not get a stipend for my phone, although some other staff members do. I keep saying I want to ask for a stipend, but I never do.

4. I'm a Couponing Slacker
We've had an incredibly busy summer, but letting this many coupons go to waste should be a crime.