Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Apples to Oranges

I know you aren't supposed to compare your kids, but that seems to be an impossible task. I thought second babies - especially when born close together - developed faster, and I keep waiting for it to happen, but it's not. I try not to worry that at 8 months the baby hasn't started walking around furniture, even though at 6 months the toddler was practically running circles around the coffee table (while holding on). But it feels like months that we've been saying "she's going to crawl any day" and now it looks like she'll crawl at 9 months, just like the toddler did. And, that's fine, because honestly, I don't really need two mobile kids, I'm good with one. I just don't always remember that when I'm thinking "why doesn't she have any teeth?" and other random comparisons. The baby is perfectly healthy, except for being low on the weight and height chart, but I'm not going to worry about those things until the doctor says "we need to run tests". Currently, we're watching her weight and her height to see if her weight increases and she grows onto the height chart, which could be nothing. Her numbers are right in line with me as a baby, and other than being a little short (5'3"), I'm doing just fine.

Do you compare your kids? If so, in what ways? How did they stack up against each other developmentally - do younger babies generally develop faster at all things?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

And Repeat...

The format of all conversations with my toddler:

where's daddy?
he's working
where's daddy?
he's working
where's daddy?
where did i tell you he is?
that's right
oh, ok.
where's daddy?

What is with the repitition??? And, how do I make it stop? Seriously, I'm looking for suggestions; this is driving me crazy!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Weekend Wrap-Up

We decided to head down to Virginia Beach for the weekend. A neighbor of my husband’s family has a house down there and invited his parents, and the rest of the family, to come down anytime. His parents were going this weekend, and our original weekend plans were rescheduled, so we figured, what the heck? It's only a 3-4 hour drive, right? (Right??? WTH were we thinking?!)

Since we decided this early in the week, I stacked my hours and knocked off mid afternoon Friday to go home and do some housework. I got a good amount done and then went to get the girls, thinking I could do the rest when we got home, and then when my husband arrived he could load the car and we would be on our way! Well, turns out after a week of skipping naps, the toddler was a total wreck when we got home, and we ended up sitting next to each other (not snuggling because God-forbid I should TOUCH her when she is upset), watching WALL-E. My husband is so amazing (sometimes), he actually cleaned the disastrous kitchen while we did this, and then we eventually managed to get loaded and on our way – around 8pm! Thankfully, both kids slept almost the entire way, and we only had to stop for about 30 minutes to walk the baby and feed her a bottle. Even with the kids sleeping, it took 4 hours, and we did not arrive until almost midnight.

Saturday was great. We walked around the boardwalk, played on the beach, saw the Neptune Festival Sand Sculptures, and hung out with my in-laws. They actually have a boat-themed playground set on the beach (around 10th street I think), which the toddler loved! Despite the chill and the wind, as soon as her feet hit the sand, the sweatshirt was off and she was digging! It was great for the baby too – her first time on the beach!!!  She was just hanging out, feeling the sand, kicking her legs, and checking out her bucket. The toddler was pretty good about sharing buckets (there were two, but she wanted both, one for sand and one for water). We did go down and get our feet wet, which was awesome. I love the beach and was sad that we did not go this year, but we are definitely planning a trip for next year!

Sunday we went to church, met my cousin for lunch, and headed back around 3. The drive back – being in the middle of the day, when the kids were not tired – was not as smooth sailing as we had hoped, but was entertaining! 30 minutes into the trip I was already tuning out the repetitive (WTH is up with the repetition?!) conversation with the toddler and didn’t catch on to “I’m taking a bath! I’m taking a real bath!” until my husband turned around and saw her pouring her water bottle out on her head!!! Hours later, incident forgotten, I gave her the water bottle back and again did not catch on the “it’s raining” until my husband turned around and caught her in the act again!  Luckily, there was considerably less water the second time around. We hit a fair amount of traffic and had to make a number of stops, but we managed to make it home by 8ish.

Overall, it was a great weekend, but not one I will be quick to repeat. Weekend getaways are great when you are single, and I think they can be great with two young kids, but next time I willl choose a destination no more than 1-2 hours away.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Little Friday Work Humor

One project I'm working involves gathering requirements from different divisions.  There is one division with a number of requirements, which are slightly complicated, and division chief gave us the most incompetent person ever to work with.  At first he was just annoying, but yesterday he was straight up CRAZYtown!

I talk to him a couple times during the day, and during our second conversation (after he's already gotten on my nerves), he asks me a question, and this is how the conversation goes:
Me:  "The best person to answer that is so-and-so."
Him:  "I can't talk to her.  I am dead to her.  She banished me from ever going over there again."
Me:  "Umm...okay...I'll talk to her then..."

Since when is it appropriate to "banish" someone from your office?  And can I do that? 

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Terrible Twos

The toddler had a rough day at school yesterday.  Apparently, she kept acting out.  It was mostly in response to other kids acting out - she would see someone do something, get in trouble for it, and then go do it, clearly wanting the attention they got.  It's frustrating because up until now she was (and I am not exaggerating) almost every teacher's favorite, even teacher's she didn't have, that saw on the playground or during group activities.  I got nothing but good reports every day, which was so awesome.  And lately, it's been one thing after another - jumping on the mat during circle time, jumping on her cot, climbing the stack of cots, not listening, waking the other kids up when she doesn't want to nap, etc.  Boo :(

I do have to say, I love our daycare.  They have the normal behavioral problems, but not to the extent I've seen and heard about at others.  When I asked what they did and if she sat in the naughty chair, the teacher said that she took Julie out of the classroom, into the hall, to talk about making better choices.  She said that they try different things for different kids based on the action and what the child responds to best.  It is so nice to see that they do not just send kids to a naughty chair or put them in a corner, they really look at the child and try to work with the child's specific needs.  Yay! 

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

the oven is ON FIRE

These are the words i frantically screamed into the phone when my husband answered (on the third try).  We had a small oven fire last night. That really sucked.  The fire was contained to the oven and burned out within 10 minutes of turning the oven off. So, no big deal. I was just going to make stouffers lasagna, so I tossed that in the fridge and we ordered in dinner. And I didn’t cry or freak out or throw things. I let the toddler eat frozen chicken nuggets and potato chips for dinner, for the second day in a row (cringe), even though I bought steamer bags of broccoli for the sole purpose of giving her the only vegetable she’ll eat and there was nothing wrong with the microwave. But, other than that, I managed to keep my cool and spent the rest of the night watching tv with the baby and my husband.

I don’t know why, but I always feel like I am three whines away from a complete meltdown, and I cannot seem to snap out of it. My kids are generally well behaved, happy, and in good moods, and my life is great, but still I’m always on this emotional precipice, and I hate that. I want to be happy and carefree, but I can’t be. And it’s not ruining my life, so I don’t need therapy, I just need to relax and let myself live in the now instead of worrying about everything.

Sometimes I something wrong with me or are my feelings normal?

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


We had these tapes growing up.  I can still remember how much we enjoyed singing along with our wee sing tapes, in the house and in the car on long trips.  I want to collect these for the toddler, who has really gotten in to singing lately (our daycare rocks!).  She goes to a Christian daycare and they sing lots of children’s songs, including a bunch of bible songs.  My sister got the baby “Wee Sing Bible Songs” as a Baptism gift, and we wear this CD out!  The baby, of course, doesn’t care what we listen to, but the toddler gets in the car and immediately requests “Bible Songs”.  She can’t get enough!  And, honestly, neither can I!  It’s such a throwback, and I LOVE it!  If you listened to these songs growing up, I highly recommend picking up a CD.  You can get them from a bookstore or order online.  And if you aren’t into the Bible Songs, get the other ones.  We like these so much more than all of the other kid songs CDs we’ve gotten.

“Who Built the Ark? Noah! Noah!...”

Monday, September 21, 2009

why does daddy dress me like a homeless person?

We are so blessed to have such awesome family and friends, and because of their generosity we did not have to buy my daughter any clothes until she was 18 months old!  We got tons of new stuff, and TONS of used stuff - it was awesome!  As with most used stuff, some is good, some is bad, and some is so-so.  I have so-so t-shirts in my closet.  I wear these to lounge around the house.  I kept the so-so stuff for the girls for days when we weren't doing anything/going anywhere, or the laundry was so overfull that they had nothing else to wear.  I specifically line the bottom of the drawer with these items.  Yet, my husband always finds them, and not only does he find the slightly yellowed white shirt, or the ugly pants, but he then pairs them together in a horrendous outfit.  Why???  It's so awkward and difficult to work "daddy dressed you" into every conversation! 

Someone gave us this one-piece outfit that we affectionately titled the hammer-pants outfit (b/c it looked like hammer pants and was striped pink and yellow, with a solid pink top half).  I can't tell you how many times my daughter wore this outfit.  If I wasn't so scared the giver would ask to see the outfit grateful for everything we'd been given, I would have thrown it out to avoid the issue.  Just recently, we had the first school recital.  I, of course, had to work late - for the second time in the four months I've been at this job - so I met them at school.  I specifically laid out cute clothes because the toddler was singing with her class on stage and we'd have the baby with us, and I planned on taking lots of pictures.  My husband couldn't figure out if the overalls I laid out were for the baby or the toddler (they were sized 6 months...), so he dressed the baby in a random onesie instead of a cute coordinated outfit from the outfit drawer (I'm not sure he realizes I even have these clothes organized).  Then the toddler had an accident and peed on her outfit, so he changed her.  Instead of getting a cute dress out of the closet, he pulled out a denim jumper from her drawer, and paired it with a shirt that didn't match.  Not a big deal, except that the jumper doesn't have bloomers, so instead of borrowing some from a dress, he just put khaki shorts on under the dress.  It looked like she dressed herself in a variety of clothes from her drawer!  And it's all on camera, of course!

Friday, September 18, 2009

I've come to realize...

I did this note on facebook and I liked it so much, I'm reposting in my blog.  It was very interesting to think about how I have changed over the years.

1. I've come to realize that my something I appreciate.

2. I've come to realize that my something that drives me and makes me feel empowered as a woman.

3. I've come to realize that when I'm driving... I zone out. not good...

4. I've come to realize that I need...a bigger house and to win the lottery.

5. I've come to realize that I have (had) interest in doing stuff every friday and saturday night.

6. I've come to realize that I hate it when...I let the house get too messy.

7. I've come to realize that if I'm drunk...I don't know my limits and will probably end up puking (because I drink so rarely!).

8. I've come to realize that something I may never manage well and that bothers me a lot.
9. I've come to realize that certain people...are a waste of space.

10. I've come to realize that I'll always....let my expectations run wild and ruin a good moment.

11. I've come to realize that my sibling(s)...are my best friends.

12. I've come to realize that my a big part of my life.

13. I've come to realize that my cell phone...really is a crack-berry and I am as bad as my husband with his iPhone.

14. I've come to realize that when I woke up this morning...I woke up late, hit the snooze, and didn't have to worry about making up the time because I've worked too many late hours this pay period.

15. I've come to realize that last night before I went to sleep...I should have picked up our bedroom.

16. I've come to realize that right now I am thinking...about how I want to leave and I wish the boss would leave because that's the only reason I'm still here.

17. I've come to realize that my my hero.

18. I've come to realize that when I get on Facebook...I haven't logged on and caught up on everyone's status in a long time.
19. I've come to realize that today...was awesome and I rock at my job.

20. I've come to realize that tonight...I will follow through on my cleaning motivation since our plans were cancelled.

21. I've come to realize that going to be productive and fun.

22. I've come to realize that I really want to...get in shape, but lack the motivation.

23. I've come to realize that the person who is most likely to repost not something I care about.

24. I've come to realize that an awesome gift and I am blessed every day.

25. I've come to realize that this weekend...will be the start of the redskins season!!!

26. I've come to realize that the most important thing in my life.

27. I've come to realize that my friends...are AWESOME!

28. I've come to realize that this flying by and my January baby is growing up too fast.

29. I've come to realize that my ex-friends...are ex-friends?

30. I've come to realize that maybe...I should slow down and enjoy things more.

31. I've come to realize that I life.

32. I've come to realize that I don't understand...why I can't figure out how to be a good wife, mother, housewife, and employee at the same time.

33. I've come to realize my lost to me because my memory sucks and I don't have enough pictures to remind me what happened.

34. I've come to realize that parties...can be fun, but I prefer hanging out low-key.

35. I've come to realize that I'm totally terrified...of all bugs, not just spiders.

36. I've come to realize that my awesome.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

To work or to stay-at-home?

I love working! I love the thrill of "fire drills" and being stretched too thin, realizing that not a thing got done on my to-do list because I was too busy dealing with new higher priority tasks. I thoroughly enjoy what I do, but more than that, I love having a job, a place to come to every day, co-workers, and all that stuff. Sure, there are days I complain, and I usually hit snooze 3 or 4 times, depending on what time I absolutely need to arrive at work. But by the time I'm in the shower, I'm going through the plan for the day, reviewing my tasks, and prepping for meetings. At the end of the day, I can't wait to tell my husband all about what I did at work and funny co-worker stories and I appreciate his opinion on how to deal with sticky subjects. I like taxing my brain, and as much as I resist, I enjoy coming out of my comfort shell to do new things. I am amazed at how much I have grown in the last 5 years since graduating college, and I can't wait to see what my career path looks like in 10, 20, and 30 years.

I know if I stayed at home, I would deal with the same things - nothing on my to-do list would get done because of "fire drills" (hopefully not the kind that involve 911...), I would plan the day in the shower, and have lots to talk about when my husband got home. I think about staying home in the future, and I think I may consider it if we have another child and we've got lots going on and my day is broken into little chunks of time and full of scheduled activities. But, this time in my life, when my kids are young enough that it would be me and the girls all day, every day, is something I can't handle. Even on maternity leave, most of the days stretched too far and I was overdone at the end of the day. By the time my husband returned home, I was all too ready to thrust the kids at him and hide out for a bit. Don't get me wrong, I love my kids!!! I'm just not that great at parenting. I'm not creative, I'm too impatient, and I'm too anal about stuff. I don't know what the future will bring. I would love my kids to have the security of having a parent at home all day, but I would also love to instill a great work ethic in them, and show my girls that being a girl doesn't mean you can't go far in your career.

If you stay home, what made you decide to stop working? Did you love your job? If you work, would you consider being a SAHM?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Just Say Maybe

We royally screwed up this weekend. My mother-in-law was having a BBQ party at her house, which we knew about for weeks and planned to attend, and I even offered to make corn casserole. But, the husband decided to attend the 9-12 Project Rally in DC, which meant he was gone from 7:30-4:15, and I was home with the kids trying to clean the entire messy, disorganized, and dirty house, grocery shopping, and making said casserole. We spent all of Labor Day weekend out and about with friends, in-laws, and my family, so the housework was forgotten, and I spent all week recovering from the weekend, again ignoring the housework. By Friday night I was done, overwhelmed by the amount of stuff I had to do. Being alone with the kids makes everything move slower (why is that, btw?!) and then the casserole cooked over and made a mess of the stove. By the time the husband returned I was not going, all I wanted was for him to take the kids and leave me alone to actually move through the house vacuum cleaner and dust rags in hand. He decided he was also too tired to go and so we skipped the party. And forgot to give my brother-in-law the casserole, so we left them short a dish. I feel terrible. I know I screwed up by not going. But I also know that if I hadn't, my house would still be a wreck instead of the halfway decent mess it is.

I need to change my tune. I'm all about "we can do it" all the time, and I fall for the guilt trips (even the ones that I only perceive in my head), and so I say yes, and I overbook our calendar and overextend, and it continues until we hit a breaking point. And that's just ugly. But I also don't want to start with the "no" all the time or else we'll be those people that no one calls because "what's the point?". So, from now on, it's "Maybe. It's a game time decision. We'll bring a dish if we come, but don't count on us." And maybe that's sucky and I'll hate it after a while, but at least it gives us the flexibility to back out at the last minute.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Deep Sleepers

If you like crime dramas, you need to check out Criminal Minds!  I love this show! 

There is an episode where a guy sneaks in families houses in the middle of the night and kills the husband, then waits until the wife wakes up and realizes what's happened to take her and the rest of the family hostage.  After watching this happen, my husband and I looked at each other and said "that's so me/you!"  I can sleep through anything!  My husband wakes up if a leaf taps the window, I don't even hear the baby screaming until my husband is waking me up.  It's really unfortunate for him because he generally finds that it is just easier to deal with the baby than to wake me up and wait for me to figure things out before I can process and get the baby.  Plus, we watch so many crime dramas that I won't go downstairs in the dark and must turn on every.single.light!

And, it appears the toddler has inherited this trait!  We took the front part off the crib, making her crib in to a "big girl bed" and she has fallen out three times.  She sleeps through it every time!  I almost wish I could fall out of bed just to see if I would sleep through it or if that is some sort of subconcious toddler trait!

Speaking of sleep, I was in bed by 8:30 feeding the baby a bottle, and asleep by 9!  Had a great 7.5 hours of sleep and I feel awesome today!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Laundry System

It feels a bit ridiculous writing this because right now, my system is not working. But, when things are going well, and we are on schedule, this works great. I bought two 3-section laundry sorters, one for our room and one for the girls' room. Ours is obvious - darks, whites, delicates. For the girls room I separate it by the toddler, the baby, and blankets/burp cloths/etc. One of my biggest laundry issues is sorting and folding all the laundry, and when I had all the girls stuff in one load it took forever to sort and fold because there were too many items. What is up with baby laundry?! It's the worst - the socks, onesies, long-sleeve onesies, pants, outfits, blankets, burp cloths, sleep sacks, and I could go on and on, it's crazy! While the loads are generally smaller, unless I combine, they are also easier to fold and put away because I'm either going to one dresser, the other dresser, or the closet/bathroom (washcloths, towels).

As for getting the laundry done, I try to do one load per day, more on weekends if we are around. I get up and go to work early, so I'll throw a load in the washer before work. My husband goes in later since he does the morning routine and takes the girls to daycare, so before he goes to work he'll move the laundry to the dryer. When I get home from work the clothes are usually dry, and if they aren't, I'll restart the dryer to run while I make dinner, play with the girls, or what not. Then, when we settle in to watch tv, or while my husband takes the dog out before bed, I quickly fold and put away the laundry. I've found that this system of one load per day works great. It's also nice to come home to a dried load of laundry so it doesn’t feel like you've been up and down the stairs a million times.

Unfortunately, like I said, this system only seems to work when things are good and we are on schedule. If we go away for a weekend, get lazy for a few days, or have company, it's all downhill and can take me weeks to recover! Just this weekend I folded 3 loads of laundry, put them away, and then realized that those were the loads I did LAST week and had all FULL laundry baskets staring me in the face!!! Ugh...

Friday, September 11, 2009

My Work Story

I majored in Electrical Engineering. However, I was not a great student, and I definitely did not know what I wanted to do with my super smart, cool degree, so I interviewed with anyone who would see me! Luckily, I ended up getting a job at a FANTASTIC company doing network engineering! And I stayed for 5 years. In that industry, five years is a lifetime; 3 years is average! I was almost like a mini-celebrity there - other than the lifers (engineers that had been there forever and would probably never leave), and some operations people, I was one of the few junior, or even mid-level, engineers that had been there for so long. This place was like an extension of my family. I knew how to do things, who did what, how to get what I needed, what supplies were provided, what the Christmas party was going to be like (AMAZING!!!). They saw me through marriage and two kids. The thought of leaving was nerve-wracking and scary and everything else. I could not tell these people I was leaving. I wanted to stay. But, I also wanted to get out. In some ways, my job had become suffocating. I had been there too long and needed to branch out, spread my wings.
I went to work for another government contractor doing the same type of work - like someone once said "same street corner, different pimp". I thought that was how it would be; I would seamlessly transfer in here, meet new people, and grow my experience. What I was not prepared for was how different these government agencies would be, how I would not know anyone, and how I was not a known quantity. I was so used to everyone knowing that I rocked at my job that I could totally suck and no one would be the wiser. That was one of the reasons I left the company - I felt like I had maxed out my potential. Plus I hated the project. So I had to start from scratch, make myself known, prove my worth, and learn, learn, learn! It was so hard. I am an introvert, and not prepared to throw myself out there in everyone's face, I wanted to be quiet and sit in my cube and do work. I thought the job was a bad fit for me and worried that I had made a bad decision. Until my sister inadvertently caused me to realize it was my problem and I could do something about it! So, I went to work the next Monday armed with questions for various people, and you know, you don't have to say much to get someone started on their own soapbox. It wasn't long before everyone knew who I was, started copying me on e-mails and meeting invites, and now, four months into this new job, I love it! I could not have made a better decision. I will still go through (frequent) periods of questioning this fit and worrying that I'm not good enough. But today, the stars are aligning, and I feel good!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

where have you looked?

This is a question I ask my husband almost daily!  His ability to not see things RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIS FACE drives me up a wall!  What scares me, though, is that my kids will also inherit this trait.  In case you didn't know, it's an actual personality trait.  My mother suffers from the same affliction.  When we were in college, my dad has us take the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator test.  I am an ISTJ.  My mom is something totally different, like ENFP (because that's how much we see eye-to-eye)!  We read this fascinating book that explained these traits and things that people with x, y, or z personality will do.  One of the ones we all laughed about was that my mom will "look with her mouth, not with her eyes" because it is so dead on!  Then I went and married my husband...guess who's not laughing now?!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

I'm not really cracking. I'm not really under pressure.

Though some days I feel that way.  Sometimes I'm cracking under pressure and some days I'm just plain cracking up.  Kids are funny that toddler can drive me to the brink of craziness and then bring me to tears of laughter with one look or phrase.  There are days when the toddler is tired and crazy, the baby is screaming, and my husband and I appear to be speaking a different language that I wonder how we got here and how I'll ever survive.  And then, I think, what is wrong with me?!  My kids are amazing. 

You hear the phrase, God doesn't give you more than you can handle.  Well, I'd say that's true for me.  I have no patience.  I've got lots of great qualities, but patience is a virtue I got too little of!  The toddler was such an easy baby, random strangers would comment on her amazing-ness.  And then, when I got pregnant, everyone from my family and friends, to strangers would tell me that I was in for it and the baby would be terribly difficult.  But, she isn't.  In fact, just recently, I turned to my husband and said, I always thought the toddler was the easiest baby ever, but the baby is even easier!  Naturally, they still drive me crazy and can make my head spin.  But, they are so freaking happy and content, it amazes me.  Okay, I'm done bragging. For today at least.

The toddler has mastered the art of manipulation.  At least of her father; I'm a tougher nut to crack!  The other day he looked at me and said, "you know, at daycare, they make her pull up her pants after she goes potty?", to which I replied, "so do I."  Then he said, "you know, at daycare, they make her try everything on her plate before they give her more food", to which I again replied, "so do I."  This went on for a few more things, and then he said "I guess I'm just a big softie".  Oh yeah.  BIG softie.  He has no willpower, all she has to do is lean over, smile cute, and say "I love you, daddy" and he is gone.  It melts my heart too, but she knows it won't get her out of eating her veggies!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


I read lots of "mommy blogs". It all started innocently enough with the discovery of the baby bunching blog. Then I started checking out the links in the "bests" posts, and then I started logging these in to my google reader. And then, I got a blackberry and downloaded a blog reader (Viigo - I love it!), and now i'm addicted! I frequently think, "I should do this, I could write. Maybe I am witty and fun and people would be interested in what I have to say." So, I'm giving it a shot. It's time to stop thinking "that would be an interesting blog post" and actually write them. So, welcome to my blog.