Sunday, April 25, 2010

Our life makes me smile

Don't the first two pictures melt your heart? Brothers sharing secrets, and Owen finally letting me get his smile on camera! Enjoy!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Land Run Day

As most of you know, I live in Oklahoma. Not The Pioneer Woman Oklahoma, but normal everyday city Oklahoma where we have a lot of things but a Crate and Barrel is not one of them. Love it, am very proud of it. And because many of you DON'T live here, I feel the need to tell you a memory that only a child born and raised in Oklahoma can share.

Today is Land Run Day. In case you didn't know, Oklahoma as a state began formally (albeit not officially) on April 22, 1889 with the Land Run. And we celebrate this as part of Oklahoma History. This is the day the lands of Oklahoma were opened up for pioneers to stake their claims in a massive run that established such great cities as Oklahoma City in a matter of hours.

'Round these parts, 4th grade is (was?) the year for Oklahoma History. Later in high school we had a semester of Oklahoma History as well, but in 4th grade you spent a year studying the vast amounts of Native American and land thief roots that brought this state to reality.

The pinnacle of 4th grade Oklahoma History was Land Run Day. This is what we spent all year working toward. 4th graders got to reenact the Land Run. We spent weeks with our assigned "families" building covered wagons after school out of Radio Flyers and chicken wire. Our moms made (or bought) bonnets and pioneer woman dresses. The boys wore their cowboy boots. And every single elementary school in Oklahoma roped off plots for claiming on their playgrounds each April 22nd morning.

Since every school did it, every child under 4th grade spent years waiting for their turn. And when it finally came, it was the BEST. DAY. EVER. We lined up, a whistle went off, and we took off for the best land plot. I remember getting close to what we wanted. Thought it wasn't fully shaded by the one shade tree on the playgound, it did have some shade and we enjoyed our day of snacking on our bagged lunches for the afternoon.

We built our covered wagon at my friend Amber's house. April 22nd is actually her birthday. All these years later and I can still remember her birth date because it's Land Run Day. And I remember wearing a blue pioneer dress that looked a lot like my American Girl doll, Kirsten's dress, with a pink bonnet just like her.

It was just a fun day. Maybe I'll find pictures. But now you can all be jealous that you did not grow up in Oklahoma during 4th grade. It was awesome, I assure you.

The Land Run also gave my great alma mater (University of Oklahoma) both it's mascot name (Sooners) AND it's fight song ("Boomer Sooner"). And if you just clicked on all those links, you really DO want to be an Okie like me!

Thanks for letting me remember this historic day!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wow, like, a REAL blog post!

This week has gone surprisingly very well. One of the great benefits to having kids in daycare is that they have so much fun playing all day they sleep very well at night. Here I am after TWO nights in a row of both children sleeping soundly through the night. I'm not saying I'm getting used to it, rather just enjoying it when it happens.

Although, the downside is that when I wake up in the morning after uninterrupted sleep I immediately jump out of bed, run to Owen's room and check his breathing. I'll be glad when that panic goes away at about 9 months!

Another thing I've discovered: caffeine has a much larger effect on me than I ever realized. Or maybe ever wanted to admit. This week, kind of by accident, I stopped drinking caffeine after lunch. And, whaddya know, I feel asleep faster and slept REALLY good sleep each night. Now, maybe it has to do with going back to work but I like to think it's because I'm making healthier choices.

Speaking of healthier choices, I promise one day I'm going to start the 30-Day Shred. Promise. I just haven't found the time. Which is so not an excuse because I need to make the time. I have yet to fit into any of my pre-pregnancy clothes. So instead of buckling down and eating right and exercising, I just went and bought "transition clothes" to get me through. Sigh...what a waste of money when I have a closet full of adorable clothes in a size I'm proud to wear and wish I could wear again. I'll work on my stomach and butt, but if someone could please encourage my boobs to shrink back to their normal size (which is still too large for my taste) I would REALLY appreciate it.

I am pretty happy with how this week has gone. I've managed to keep up with laundry, keep the house picked up, given John some golf time, AND I'm only 2 shows behind on my DVR. Success, if I do say so myself.

Today I officially have a 2-month-old and a 16-month-old, and I absolutely love it. Owen had shots yesterday at his 2-month checkup and it was quite traumatizing. At Colt's 2-month appointment John went with me so I could avoid feeling so guilty. This time it's all me. Good news is that Owen is growing like a week, 12.8 pounds and 23 1/4 inches. He's grabbing, smiling a little, making eye contact, and has great neck control...other than that there's not much I can ask from him!

Word of warning: make sure you understand ALL the ins and outs of maternity leave and vacation with your company. Or you, too, could be out a paycheck. I did not truly grasp the situation at hand and ended up losing a chunk of my normal paycheck. We'll be fine (thanks Dave Ramsey and Emergency Fund), but still...starting a second child in daycare is NOT the time to be out any money!

Speaking of Dave Ramsey, we haven't been full-on Debt Snowballing yet, but we did use our tax money to pay off one of our cars, all the remaining medical bills, and stock our emergency fund. We still have a long way to go (another car, credit card with adoption expenses, and the house) but, you know, we're in a much better place now than a month ago! Gotta love it.

And you know my ongoing hatred for all things medical bills...well, we got one in the mail the other day that I had no problem paying. Writing a check to pay for my epidural was easily the happiest I've ever been giving my hard-earned money away. It also made me all the more grateful for my health insurance as it only cost me $160. Worth every. stinking. penny.

I've gone on long enough...have a great weekend! I'll be busy celebrating my first year of being 29, as my birthday is tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Return to Work

Well, yesterday I returned from my 8-week maternity leave back to the grindstone at work. I had been dreading it since the day the leave started. Not because I hate my job or my work, but because I hate leaving my babies.

I wrote here about all the things I wanted to do differently on my maternity leave this time. It was a lot easier for many reasons: knowing what to expect (generally) and not fearing a phone call from our agency were among the top reasons. Once I was physically recovered it was much easier to convince myself to get out, even for the littlest thing. I also did a fairly good job (if I do say so myself) of keeping the house picked up and laundry done and our general household operating smoothly.

And while doing all these things, I also worried less about "THE SCHEDULE" and didn't Babycenter the heck out of every little cry. I ENJOYED every second of snuggling with Owen because I knew I would never, ever get these 8 weeks back nor would I have another opportunity for such consistent one-on-one time. Even if I didn't have to work, I would have had Big Brother at home and Owen and I would have had far less bonding time. I am so, so grateful for the time with my second baby...I know few second children get that and I will always look back fondly on this.

Dropping off at daycare was far less traumatic than with Colt. I already knew the teachers and the schedule and the care Owen would receive. They LOVE his brother, I knew they would fall madly in love with him, too. Especially after we switched formula (AGAIN) and got his fussing settled down and made him a happier baby. I still dreaded the end of our time together, I dreaded the morning, I cried like a baby when handing him over to our beloved Mrs. V. But my heart didn't break as it did with Colt because I knew what a blessing this center is to our family.

So here I am, back at work. Trying to get into a routine, trying to balance the few precious hours I get with my 3 boys with being a great employee. All the more mindful of how blessed I am to work for a company and a boss that are flexible with me and the technology of smartphones and Wi-Fi and laptops...but admittedly struggling with jealousy for my friends that get all day every day with their babies. I know the grass isn't always greener on the other side, but today I will embrace those ugly and depressing emotions and feelings. And after I embrace those feelings, I'll dial in to my conference call and count down hours til I head home to sloppy toddler kisses and baby smiles.

Monday, April 05, 2010

What a difference a year makes...Brothers much?!

Easter Sunday 2010

FINALLY got some good ones of the boys together. The Easter Bunny was good to us!

The last few weeks

We've had a fun few weeks, with my grandparents and aunt visiting. They had a blast seeing the boys. My grandma held Owen for about 2 1/2 days straight! This is the perfect time, because pretty soon he'll either be too big or too mobile for long periods of snuggling! Colt, even though battling a nasty case of strep, was still a show-off. He especially loved his aunt Linda who played and played with him and always brings good toys!

We also had an impromptu playdate at Anna's house, where we realized both needed baths and now is an OK time for girl/boy bath sharing. In a few years it will NOT be ok, so we relished the photo op while we could!

Owen is getting huge. Next Monday starts his first day at say I'm sad and nervous and depressed about it would be a gigantic understatement. I KNOW it will be ok, but it doesn't make it any less difficult. But I'm going to cross that bridge when I get there.