Monthly Archives: March 2012

Lotto Fever

With an estimated jackpot at half a billion dollars, lotto fever is sweeping over our country. I’d love to say that even though there is more of a chance that we will be struck by a meteorite or lightning that we haven’t bought some tickets, but we have.

It’s a nice distraction. In Reno, NV (the city with the second highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the USA) we can use distractions like this. It’s fun to imagine what we would do that with that money. It’s fun to think about how life changing it would be.

We’ve purchased tickets and today has been full of day dreaming and what ifs…

At the top of my list would be paying off all of our debt, creating a trust for our child, hiring a personal trainer, getting new cars, helping out charities, friends and family that mean a lot to us.

The thing that I enjoy thinking about the most? Not budgeting. I’m the money manager in our family and I find myself budgeting everyday. I run the numbers constantly, trying to gauge how much room we have in our budget to have fun, eat out, pay off debt, etc. I have Spreadsheets, online budget tools and Dave Ramsey.

The Type A Control Freak in me loves it. The Type B in me doesn’t love it.

What would you do if you never had to worry about money again? What is a life like that like?

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A visit with Uncle James

My not so little brother came to visit us last weekend. Soon, he will be moving to Austin, TX for a big job in a big city. I’m so proud of him and excited for the opportunities I know he has coming.

We had a great time visiting with him, eating sushi and pizza, watching The Hunger Games, and watching him play with Henry. Henry is now at the age where he loves to jump and wrestle. He loved having an extra adult in the house to show off for. We’re pretty sure that Uncle James taught Henry to lick other people’s faces. At least that’s a new skill that has come to light this week. Sorry kids at daycare! It’s a phase, I promise, well, I think it is.

I wouldn’t say that Uncle James has the most traditional babysitting methods.

CaseĀ  in point:

Exhibit A

Uncle James and Henry

The "Hold Them by the Hood" method of toddler restraint.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit B

Uncle James and Henry with rake

The double arm hold to prevent said toddler from running into the suburban street. Notice the keen attention to detail so the rake borrowed from the neighbor's 3 year old is not left behind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Exhibit C

The retreat. A good babysitter knows when to throw in the towel.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Life for Granted

I struggle with life. A lot. I get frustrated, sad, angry, overwhelmed, and I take for granted what an absolute blessing every day on this earth is.

It always seems like it takes a tragedy or tragedies to remind me of this. I wish that wasn’t so. I wish I could live every day with the zest that I feel when I am reminded that nothing in this life is promised.

On Friday, I learned that a co-worker’s son had passed away. She’s an amazing mother and only a few days before her son’s passing we had a conversation about how amazing motherhood is. I really just can’t imagine what she is going through.

That news moved through my body until it made me feel sick to my stomach. It sprouted in my mind until all I could think of was getting my baby and squeezing him to my body. It was a not so gentle reminder that everyday on this planet is a gift.

I was so down that I left work and grabbed my baby and the whole way home I said to him, “Henry. I love you. I love you more than you will ever understand. Well, until you have your own kids. I always want you to know how much I love you. I love you, I love you, I love you.”

All I can say to end this post is that I’m going to try so much harder to keep things in perspective, to live more in the moment, to not worry so much and to take absolute joy in my family.

Zombie Baby

We’ve been watching a lot of The Walking Dead in our house lately, so in honor of next week’s Season 2 finale here’s a pic of our Baby Zombie.

Ahhhhhhh!!!!!!

Scary right? He attacked that Beefaroni with a fervor we’ve never seen before.

Daycare Etiquette

My son goes to daycare. If you’ve followed me for awhile then you know that the decision to put him in daycare was somewhat tumultuous. I just couldn’t imagine turning my son over to those people for 8+ hours a day. From 2 1/2 months to 6 months he was taken care of during the day by a stay at home mom in my neighborhood. When the stay at home mom could no longer watch him, I chose to move him to a daycare a block away from where I work.

Fast forward and he’s now been in daycare for over 6 months. He is truly so happy there. He loves his teachers and all of the other kids. I can’t imagine being able to give him that much activity and stimulation if I was home with him all day.

That being said this is a post for all the mommies out there who think it is okay to treat daycare teachers like they are your indentured servants. These people spend more time with your child than you do. Best be respecting them and treating them kindly.

Henry is in a classroom with 12 other children. There are between 3-4 teachers in his classroom everyday. The babies range in age from 10 months to 18 months and all they are all at developmentally different stages.

Let’s stop a moment and think about the responsibility/duties/insanity of watching 12 babies under the age of 2 EVERY DAY. You’re tired already, right? Think about the number of diapers you would have to change, the number of personalities and quirks you would have to learn, the tears and the biting and the wrestling. Your desk job sounds easy peesy compared to what these teachers do everyday.

So here are my tips on how to create an excellent relationship with your child’s daycare:

  • Spend time there. Henry’s daycare has an open door policy. If possible, spend time there on your lunch hour. This doesn’t have to be forever or everyday, but your child’s teachers need to know that you care, what your parenting style is and that you are likely to show up unannounced on a regular basis.
  • Be kind to these teachers. Thank them everyday for taking care of your child. Yes, it’s their job, but wouldn’t it make you feel great if your boss thanked you regularly? And don’t kid yourself. When it comes right down to it you are the boss.
  • Listen to them. Sad to say for us working moms, but sometimes these teachers are privy to behavior that we don’t see. When they suggest something to you, be open to it or at least listen and consider what they are suggesting. Henry’s teachers were the first to tell me that he was ready for more solid food. Something that I was scared to try as a first time mom.
  • Don’t threaten them. So your kid had an incident? Yeah, it’s going to happen for the rest of their lives. Yes, your job is to protect them, but things are going to happen. Bites, wrestling, hair pulling, bumps and bruises. If every time your child has an incident you threaten to pull him/her out of daycare, intimidating the staff with your demands is not going to help your relationship with the school or the teachers.
  • Be reasonable. There are parents at Henry’s school who have planned their child’s day out by the hour and expect the daycare teachers to follow that exact schedule. Set reasonable expectations for your child’s day to day. At no other time in their life will a rigid schedule help them out. Flexibility is a learned skill. Start now.
  • Get to know the parents of your child’s classmates. You don’t have to be friends with them. You don’t have to invite them to your kid’s birthday. It’s just helpful to have an extra set of mommy or daddy eyes. Say hello. Say how cute their kid is. Make nice.
  • Trust your daycare providers. If you’ve done your homework then you’ve chosen Professional Childcare. The key word here is professional. These are people who love children, are knowledgeable in early childhood development and have years of experience in caring for other people’s children (or their own!). Trust that they are doing what is best for your child everyday and helping them get to the next level of development.
  • Try to follow the same daycare feeding/napping schedule at home. I mentioned above how a strict routine is not necessary, but a routine of some sort is. Take the time to learn how the teachers handle nap time and eating. On the weekends or holidays, try to mimic that schedule. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but babies thrive on routine and knowing what to expect.
  • Lastly, if your child’s (or your) personality is just not cut out for daycare think about finding another option. Maybe a home daycare or a nanny is better for you and your child.

I’ve probably forgotten a few tips so if you have any feel free to leave them in the comments.