Monday, December 10, 2012

Ch, ch, ch, changes...

It's been a while since I got on here. So much has happened since this summer! The biggie being that I got a job! Woot! I've been hired (suckers!) by the local community college in the Financial Aid Office. I've been there for 2 1/2 months now and it's going really well. I love all the people I work with and it's a very laid-back and family oriented atmosphere. Since I started at the same time flu season hit, I was using sick leave before I even had any built up. But my boss has small kids too and he understands. He keeps telling me family comes first. So nice. Actually today I was home with a Class 4 puker. I'd rather be at work-trust me. The highlight of my day was when he threw up on the way to the bathroom and then slid and fell in it. Yeah, it was that kinda day. Ugh! I should be grateful because the last time someone puked around here, it was on the top bunk. Don't they know it's damn near impossible for me to get up there and change the sheets when they're clean, much less when they are covered in vomit?! I have a new rule here. It's the no top bunk rule during flu season.

Anyhow, back to the job thing. It was quite an adjustment for us, especially the kids. Sam in particular. It's the first time he's ever gone to preschool or daycare and he had a hard time not being with mama. He was on strike 2 in less than a month. After a lot of tears (his and mine) and many, many, prayers he is back on track and enjoying school a little more. He still fusses in the mornings and begs me to stay home with him, which is soooo hard for me, but once he gets to school he has a great time. Thank God for the YMCA and the teachers there who have all had boys. He gets a variety of things to do during the day, including swimming and exercise time, which is so great. The girls adjusted a little better. They were already in school and chugging right along when I went back to work, so for them the biggest thing was starting Fridays at the Y since we are on the 4 day week here. They really don't like it all that much, but Vince takes off a lot of Fridays toward the end of the year so they don't have to go every week.

We've had a rough go of it this fall as far as people being sick. Just about everything that has come down the pike had made it into my house. I have been pretty immune from most of it, but Vince and the kids have been hit hard. They traded pink eye back and forth for a couple of months, this stomach bug thing has made a couple of rounds, of course we've had approximately 5 millions colds, and Sam has his reoccuring cough that never seems to fully heal during the winter. I actually thought he may have whooping cough at one point. Turns out it was just ear infections with a NASTY cough. Even the doctor said, "wow, that's baaad" when she heard it. So, Vince has had to stay home with sickies a lot. Not that he minds working from home. :) I think he's finally getting how hard it is to be home all day with the kids. One of the biggest adjustments for me was getting up and getting into a routine of workout, shower, get kids going, getting ready, packing lunches for all of us and getting out of the house on time and looking decent. There are many days when I get to work and realize that I forgot to brush my teeth (I keep a toothbrush at work just in case), or that I forgot to make the kids brush their teeth or take their vitamins or whatever. It's a good thing I'm not a control freak. Ah, well, we can brush our teeth tonight. Big deal. It does get frantic and I do turn into mean mommy some mornings, but who doesn't? I have definitely learned that I HAVE to do a workout in the mornings or I will drag and be fuzzy all day. I decided to sleep in once and it did not work for me. I could hardly keep my eyes open. So, Insanity or Bodyrock in the mornings keep me going for the whole day.

It's also hard for me to not be able to volunteer for every little thing at school anymore. I couldn't get off for the girls' Halloween parties this year. It's the first time I've missed a school party. It sucked, but Vince went and we all survived. I do get 4 hours a month of k-12 leave so I can volunteer or take off for p/t meetings or whatever. So that's good. I've spent a couple of days at Sam's school so far. He LOVES it! Every day after I volunteer he asks me when I'm going to "teach" his class again. Vince says I baby him. Whatever. He IS my baby. What else am I supposed to do? He's definitely a mama's boy, but he sure does love his daddy too. He's beginning to get interested in football a little bit. He'll sit down with Vince for about 5 minutes and ask questions and cheer a couple of times before he gets bored and wanders off to shoot at some imaginary enemy. Or his sisters. Except for the fact that my husband is brainwashing him to be a Redskins fan, I enjoy watching them bond over football.

Sam hasn't changed a lot in that he's still crazy, busy, loud, and into everything. He does listen a little better and can tell us what he wants, although his speech is still hard to understand for anyone that doesn't know him. Hell, it's hard to us to understand him sometimes. The dentist said that because he's knocked out his front teeth, it's harder for him to make the correct sounds and to learn how to say things properly. We are supposed to repeat the words that he mispronounces correctly and slowly, showing him how to form the word correctly. Sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn't. Eh. He'll get it eventually. What he lacks in pronunciation, he makes up for in volume. He is THE loudest kid I have ever met. Yes, his ears are fine. Mine aren't. Seriously. I have this ringing now. It's so annoying. Probably it's because my son doesn't have an indoor voice.

Katie has changed. Oh, she's still that sweet, quiet, emotional kid that loves everyone as much as everyone loves her. But physically she's becoming such a little girl and is no longer my tiny baby girl. She's been losing teeth left and right and is starting to find her sass. She's reading so much and is just a joy to be around. She's not crazy about school, but she does well. She's so creative and is always singing and making up songs and words and drawing pictures for us. Audrey is constantly telling her, "That's not a real word!" but Katie doesn't care. She's not a logically driven soul, much like her mother. She doesn't like to think too hard, much like her mother. She would rather create and nurture. Much like her mother.

Audrey. *sigh* I'm getting glimpses of the teenager she'll soon be. Girlfriend has a lot of fire in her. I swear to you, she'd make a great lawyer. Her daddy is none too fond of lawyers, but she won't care. If that's what she wants to do, she's gonna do it. Come Hell or high water. Much like her daddy! She's in that awkward stage of half little girl, half big girl. You know? She wants to be so independent, but also still needs her mommy and daddy sometimes. We're trying to hold off the transition to full-on big girl status because we still need her too. It's hard to hold onto the little girl side. Some of her friends are so...ugh...I don't know what. Her best friend though is a blessing. She is almost the exact opposite of Audrey, but they are like peas and carrots. They complement one another. It's nice to have someone like that. I love them all equally but differently. Being a parent is not for sissies.

Currently we are heading into the downhill portion of the Halloween to New Year's death spiral, as the ladies over at Rants From Mommyland would say. I will be glad to get back to normal without so many things to do. Mom, I need $3 for crafts. Mom, my pie party is tomorrow and I told them I would bring a cherry pie. Mom, my teacher said that I HAVE to wear orange, rust, or brown for our fall concert and all I have in my closet is neon pink. Mom, I want to be a calico kitty for Halloween. Mom, I can't find my snow boots. It goes on and on. I am excited for Christmas. Vince's parents are coming up here and we are not traveling this year, which is a welcome change from the last 12 years. Luckily, they know me well and do not expect anything fancy and overly over-done (yeah, I said overly over-done. I made it up, move on). Whew! Since I've had kids, Christmas is so much more special. I get just as excited about it as they do and it's so hard to wait until Christmas to let them open their gifts. And they are getting old enough now to want to shop too. It's so cute. They have a Christmas store at school and they pick out the best stuff for us. Last year I got several ink pens with "Mommy" on them, and a light up squishy Santa head. Vince got a tiny set of dominoes and a flashlight. The kids are so excited to see us open their gifts. Gosh, it's just so fun! For me, it's the best part of it all.

Katie was filling out a paper from school this afternoon about family traditions and what her family likes to do for Christmas. I felt terrible because we really don't have a lot of traditions. Every year we have traveled so much visiting family from across the country that we haven't ever set anything in stone. Most years, the kids would get to open their gifts from us way before Christmas so that we didn't have to haul all that stuff with us and then Santa usually brings them one other gift wherever we are. If my mom shipped any gifts to us in advance to save on us hauling too much back home, we would just let them open it when it arrived. We don't have a special meal we always eat, we don't bake a birthday cake for Jesus. We don't always get Christmas jammies and wear them Christmas Eve while we watch Polar Express and drink hot cocoa. We just don't. Once I thought about it though, I realized that my kids will have memories of holidays just the same as those kids growing up with all the traditions. And maybe they'll be better for it because they won't be so stuck on the way things "have" to be to have a good time. They'll be flexible. My kids have always had to be flexible. That's how our life is. It's all in my plan to be the laziest parent I possibly can while not screwing up my children to the point of no return. It's a fine line, people. Well, I should get off of here and get into bed. It's going to be one of those hectic mornings tomorrow. I can feel it. Please, Lord, let no one puke tonight. But just in case, they are all in the bottom bunks.