Saturday, November 26, 2011

Hannah's Turkey Day

Hannah started her turkey day by racing down to the basement to wake up Grammy and her little teacup chihuahua, Winnie. While Eric and I made blueberry pancakes, Hannah and Grammy camped out on the couch watching the Macy's Day Parade--a favorite past-time of my mom's.  After watching a few of the numbers from various Broadway shows, Hannah ran upstairs to get a costume of her own that, in my overly bias opinion, rivals the best of Broadway's dressers. Check it out: sleep sack, butterfly wings headband (plus flower headband around neck and rabbit ears headband in arms), two purses, keys, backpack, and sunglasses around the neck.  Watch out Broadway!!!

Clay came then and the two spent the rest of the morning running around after each other while Eric and I made turkey and all the accouterments.  I tried to get a pic of the kiddos with their little Thanksgiving plates, but by the time I had the camera, Clay had pushed his plate aside. Within seconds of taking this picture, he had stood up, turned around, and was jumping up and down. Hannah chowed down on some turkey but was otherwise unimpressed with the food as well.  They weren't even interested in the pumpkin pie! Crazy, right?

Shortly after dinner Clay crashed on the couch with his mommy.

Then his daddy flopped over and passed out with the rest of his family.  The rest of us watched two episodes of Olivia, one of Hannah's favorite shows and one that I actually don't mind watching with her. Olivia reminds me of future-Hannah sometimes, all eccentric and spirited.

After an hour of resting, we trekked down to the playground to get a little fresh air and enjoy this amazingly warm weather.

Hannah and Clay took turns pushing each other on the bike.

Chip and Erica went home then, but Clay stayed over with Grammy. Hannah's first sleepover!!! We put the crib mattress on the floor in the guest bedroom for him and aside from rolling it off it a few times, he slept great all through the night.  Both kiddos woke up around 7:00 and sat down to breakfast in their pjs.

After breakfast we took the kiddos to the pool at the gym. I left the camera in the locker for obvious reasons, but took the video camera and put my mom in charge since she doesn't have a bathing suit and had to sit on the sidelines anyway. Leaving my mom in charge of getting video proved to be a colossal mistake. No offense, mom, but Hannah could have taken better video. There are 11 videos, 8 of which are completely unwatchable. The picture actually goes in circles from my mom's thigh, to the wall, to the ceiling, before settling back on her thigh.  Seriously mom??? My guess is that she'll blame this on the fact that she didn't have her glasses, which I'd buy if the video at least held relatively steady, but when I say that it moved in circles, I am not exaggerating.  I got sick watching them.  So here are the least offensive:

The first is of Hannah jumping off of Eric's shoulders.  Like my mom says at the end, she cut Hannah's head off. That's okay though--she held the camera steady with no ceiling shots. (For some reason the embed code is not turning into a video so I'm going to link the text and you can just follow it to YouTube if you want to watch it.)

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This one is just miscellaneous swimming footage worthy of posting only because it, like the one above, does not include a ceiling shot.  A couple weeks ago we picked up a little Speedo swimming vest at the consignment shop for $5, and Hannah is loving it.  She takes off across the pool now with no problems and constantly tells me to "wait here" while she sets off after her ball or some other toy.

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I took the last video since I had a better angle being in the water.

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Although swimming wore the kids out, we pushed 'em a bit more and walked them over to the aquarium for lunch and fish-watching.

Clay pooped during the dolphin show so Eric took him out to change him (except we didn't have another diaper so he didn't actually change him so much as just remove the poopy diaper and cross his fingers that Clay didn't pee until we got back home--and he didn't). When we came out of the dolphin show, Clay was passed out in Eric's lap. Those two really bonded, and it was super cute. It's also super amazing to see a kid pass out like that in the middle of everything. Hannah was exhausted too, but not enough to let herself go to sleep. Even after a day that busy, she was laying in bed that night saying "I not tired!! I not tired!!" In between yells, she rubbed her eyes and yawned emphatically.

Eric, with Clay asleep in his arms, high-tailed it to the car to get Clay wrapped in a pee pad and buckled into a car seat. Hannah and I lagged behind considerably because Hannah felt the need to stop and hug every tree. I gotta admit, I love that she was hugging trees.

We spent the rest of the weekend recovering from all that awesomeness and excitement. I hope everyone else had a great turkey day too!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

"Moooommmmmyyy. Cleeeeaning."

For days I have been trying to get a video of Hannah playing the piano at my aunt's house off of my phone and onto this blog, but that particular skill is apparently above my head, so I give up. This post will be a bit of a repeat for those of you who saw the pic that Eric posted to Facebook last weekend using my phone and my Facebook account in spite of my repeated requests that he do it on his own account because I prefer to keep all of my memories in one place with this blog being that place.

If you didn't see it on Facebook, here's the story: while I was cleaning the bathroom last week, Hannah grabbed a clean rag and took it to her room. Shortly thereafter, I heard "Mommmmmyyyy.  Cleeeaaaning." I finished up the bathroom and and popped my head in to find Hannah standing among the pile of books and toys that she'd pulled from every shelf she could reach, meticulously wiping the now-empty shelves with her rag.

Aside from cleaning the bathroom each week, I don't really clean more than once every few months so I have no idea where she learned this skill. Does Dora clean? Or Elmo?  Hmmmm....

Mommy's little helper is not always the most helpful, but her intentions are charming none-the-less.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Pics from this year's trip to Weber's

Today I remembered that we took Hannah to Weber's Farm last Saturday with Amy and took a bunch of pics.  Look how much Hannah has grown since our trip to Weber's last year. We went a lot earlier in the year last year so we didn't have to bundle up as much as we did this year. It was 38 degrees when we left the house last Saturday.  Brrrrr!!!! The good news was that, whether because of the cold or because it's after Halloween, we had the place pretty much to ourselves.

Hannah was a big fan of the maze this year. She saw an entry way and tore off running so fast that I could barely keep up. Of course, the narrowness of the maze combined with the grown-up size of my shoulders and the added weight of a winter coat didn't help my nimbleness.

 We skipped the hayride this year and spent the rest of the morning on the slide.

After the first time down, Hannah insisted on going by herself. I was a little worried but figured the worst case scenario was that she tumble down the hill Jack-and-Jill style...and hopefully not break her crown.

Then we started racing down the slide; that was pretty fun.  By this time, the weather was nearing 50 so each time we came down, we shed a layer before tromping back up the hill.

Amy got in on the action then. She slid down really fast for some reason so all the other pics I have of her have Hannah way in the back.

Down to just clothes (with long johns underneath)! Dressing for fall weather is impossible.

After asserting her independence, Hannah decided to have company again and chose Amy as her running mate in the race against Daddy.

I'm hoping we'll get back out there again before the season is over, but knowing us, that won't happen.  

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Conversations with Hannah: Learning to blame daddy

Hannah: "Sharing's not fun."
Terri: "What?? Who told you that??"
Hannah: "Ummmm...Daddy must've."

Monday, November 7, 2011

Conversations with Hannah: "2 more hours"

Eric: "Are you ready to go up for a bath yet?"
Hannah: "No not yet. 2 more hours."

(After 2 minutes)

Terri: "Hannah, it's time to go up now."
Hannah: "No thanks. 2 more hours."

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Mama gets a job

Pardon the posting hiatus; mama got a job! And just in time because Hannah's fun factor has plummeted significantly in the last few weeks.  The terrible twos just keep getting more and more terrible. Everything is a fight: getting dressed, brushing teeth, brushing hair, getting in the bath, getting out of the bath, putting on shoes, taking off shoes, singing in music get it. It's insane. I lost it last Tuesday and just started screaming, not even saying anything, just screaming, "ahhh! ahhh!" like a deranged lunatic, like Hannah....

The morning after that, I didn't have the energy to fight.  I just wanted to get her dressed, and get in the car without it being a huge ordeal.  She, of course, didn't want to get dressed, so I put her clothes in my backpack and took her to the car completely naked.  I strapped her into her car seat in her birthday suit, climbed lethargically into the driver's seat, and headed for the highway.  I called Eric on my way downtown to the gym, looking for sympathy I suppose, but he just cracked up laughing. Hannah thought it was pretty funny too. She sat in the back saying, "nakee mommy! nakee in car!" I"ll admit that in hindsight it was a teeny bit funny, but I was way too burned out and beat up to find humor in anything that day...Anyway, by the time we got there she had stopped laughing at being "nakee" and said, "ready to get dressed mommy!" Yeah, I bet you are, I thought. I think it was a whopping 45 degrees out that morning.  I don't know how she made it that long.  So I parked, dressed Hannah, and then strolled her to the gym where I happily left her in the kids room while I jumped on the treadmill and tried to jog off my insanity before pilates, all the while thinking that maybe going back to work full time would be the easiest option because it would get me out of having to deal with the insanity of raising a very headstrong, spirited 2-year-old.

I could never do that though; I'm way too much of a control freak, and anyway, as hard as it sometimes is being a stay-at-home mom, I have no interest in crawling back into a cubicle and staring at a screen for 8-9 hours a day while I get fat and lethargic. Not to mention having to deal with commuting and getting dressed in something other than yoga pants on a daily basis. Yeah, no thank you.  Even on the worst days and when money is at its tightest, being a stay-at-home mom is way better than working, in my opinion.

So when the recruiter called a few weeks ago I told her I wasn't interested, that I'd only consider part-time, work-from-home options. I get lots of calls and emails from recruiters looking for a proposal writer, but I NEVER answer a call from a number I don't know, so why I answered that call that day is beyond me.  Said recruiter sighed and said my qualifications seemed like a perfect fit.  I thanked her and got back to my business.  She called back a few hours later and left a message saying that the VP said that part-time, work-from-home is ideal for this position and would I come in for an interview.  Since I never answer calls from unknown numbers and since I was particularly stressed about money after taking on a car payment, I agreed to an interview; I thought this might be fate and figured I better at least explore the option.

I shook the dust off of my suit and made the 45-minute commute to interview this company.   I liked the VP, I liked the company vibe, I liked that the majority of the employees work from home if not all of the time, then at least a great deal of the time, and I liked that they don't really have any other people who are just writers so although the position is for proposal writing, they'll be giving me tech writing, press releases, website updates, newsletters, and whatever else they need written.  I told him I had no interest in growing my career at this moment and didn't want to lead any efforts or be in charge or climb any career ladders. I just want to log on, edit/write, get paid, and then go about my day.  He offered me the job on the spot at the hourly rate I requested (which makes me think I should have asked for more or at least asked what range he had in mind, but oh well), and I accepted. 

I'm working 20 hours a week, and although I can work whatever hours I want from day-to-day, I am working from 1:00 to 5:00 most days.  That means I don't have to sacrifice my morning routine with Hannah; we can still go to the gym and to gymnastics and music class and keep up all of our activities.  What I'm sacrificing is my domestic time and my quiet time: the time of day where I clean and figure out what to make for dinner and then prep it and check emails and talk to my mom (and run up and down the stairs dealing with a child who refuses to nap)....On the days that I managed to finish dinner while Hannah napped, I would take her to the playground when she woke up, but on the days when I didn't, she'd end up watching TV while I finished dinner.  Now she has an awesome babysitter who arrives after Hannah's nap (or lakc thereof) and is solely devoted to playing with her. I think this works out way better for Hannah, and now I'm not stressed about her watching TV, which I hate.

Last week I managed to cram the cleaning and meal preps into other parts of the day (cleaned the bathroom after I brushed my teeth, before putting naked Hannah in the car last week), and Eric is helping out a lot more and seems happy to be doing so.

One thing that really helps is that Eric and I sat down last weekend and created a meal plan for the whole month.  Figuring out what to make for dinner day-by-day was a huge waste of time, but I just couldn't make myself plan ahead until I had too. I love having a meal plan--it's so much more efficient! My grocery trips are more efficient, and since I know what I'm making way in advance, I start prepping dinner the night before and at breakfast and lunch, that way I can throw it all together when I come upstairs at 5:00 each day.

So my first week went pretty well once I made it through all the technical glitches of getting logged onto my computer (which turned out to be a huge ordeal that required me to ship my computer to the tech support department in Fredericksburg, Virginia so it could be reset).  So far I like what I'm doing and I like who I'm working with, and I like how it's fitting into our lives even though it means I'm juggling toilet brushes with tooth brushes and doing all kinds of other crazy multi-tasking. Mostly I like that we are going to keep living on Eric's salary and use my income to pay off the student loan and the car loan which means that if no other emergencies come up, we should be out of debt this time next year.  Then we can start saving for a house with a front yard which is something I have ALWAYS wanted since I was really, really little.

I was definitely incredibly exhausted this weekend, but it's manageable. I have always functioned better with a busy schedule anyway. When I get a little free time, I lose a lot of productivity.

And now, some pics from a random photo shoot this week: