in june 2010, our lives got turned upside down in the best possible way: the birth of our awesome kiddo, john. in october 2013, brother charlie charged into our life to change the status quo again. and june 2016 brought us brother ben to round out our trio.

i'm proud to have "mom" at the top of the list of titles on my resume, but i'm also still a hard-working professional. how does a working mom juggle work and family? ride along with me and see if i can figure it out!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

fighting the good fight

i forgot to mention last week that i published another article on yahoo. this one's actually about john, so you might enjoy reading it.

bad mommy: how my 3 year old became an ipad junkie.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

a million dollars

my little benefactor counts his dollars.
from time to time, when john gets a case of the "i wants" -- you know the drill, "i want to go outside. but i WANT to. i WANT to go outside." -- i have a stock answer for him. i will say, in my most empathetic voice, "my love, mommy wants a million dollars but we can't always get what we want. i'm sorry."

this morning's case of i wants wasn't too bad, and it passed with barely a blip in my brain. within moments it was in the past and soon forgotten.

or so i thought.

when john woke up from his nap, he was in a particularly cuddly mood. nana and jean jean and daddy were all at the store (nana and jean jean drove down from tennessee to visit this weekend) so it was just me and the bug, and we snuggled in his chair for some time.

then his eyes lit up. he looked at me with big bright serious baby blues and said, "mommy, you want a million dollars?"

i said, smiling, "well, yes, baby, i sure do."

he climbed off my lap and walked to his closet, where he pulled down his snowman piggy bank.

"you open the top for me?" he asked. so i popped the top hat off.

he reached inside and carefully pulled out three crumbled dollar bills, the only bills in a bank full of change. he plopped them carefully in my lap.

looking up at me with those melt-worthy eyes again, he said so earnestly, "that's my million dollars for you, mommy! it's for you. here, take it!"

i am not ashamed to say that i cried big fat pregnant-lady tears of appreciation in that moment, as i held him close.

"thank you, baby," i told my generous little man, who would give me the only dollars he owned, "that is definitely worth a million dollars."

Saturday, May 18, 2013

a 'summer' day

chocolate face? check.
good music? check.
sleeeeeeep eyes? check.
today was one of those days that just felt like summer vacation.

it could be because it was over 90 degrees for probably the first time this year. 

but i prefer to think it is because of what an awesome family hanging-out day we had.

we were up pretty early, but it was a snuggling kind of morning (my favorite kind) and my husband made us a delicious breakfast. eventually, we made it out to a local produce market that was having a "louisiana food festival" and tasted all sorts of delicious goodies (including the fudge that is smeared all over john's face in the picture above). there was a band playing great music, and john and i just sat and enjoyed it while my husband made our produce purchases.

it was hot as blazes, so we stopped for a snowball on the way out. it was john's first-ever snowball, which is no major surprise, but somehow my husband had never had one either. (i know, i was BAFFLED to find that out!) sticky, multicolored messes, we made our way home.

we tried to put john down for a nap - his droopy eyes belied his low energy level - but unfortunately he just fought and fought and never really did go to sleep. i think part of the problem was that he had fallen asleep in the car on the way to the produce market, and even though he only snoozed about five minutes i think it sort of reset his wakefulness.

finally, we gave up on nap. and since it was so hot and sweaty out, we decided to break out the swimming pool:




what was mind-boggling to me was how small that pool looks this year -- last year, it looked enormous with my little teeny boo sitting in it. now, with a three-year-old wildman bopping around in it, it just looks like your average tiny backyard play pool. i guess that's what happens when kids grow? i'm still not used to it.

after the swim session, my husband took buckets of water and watered some of the plants around the yard, so john decided to 'help' by taking water by the cupful and watering things around the yard himself. he was so excited to be helping his daddy out, it was great to watch.

when we came inside and dried off, my husband decided to install the fancy-schmancy new toilet seat we got for john's bathroom -- it has a built-in child seat that flips up and sticks inside the lid when it's not in use. and of course, john wanted to help some more. so daddy showed him how a socket wrench works, and john "fixed" his step stool with a screwdriver. i just stood by and took pictures -- never have been particularly handy -- but this was my favorite picture i managed to snap:

the hard hat was at john's suggestion.
john kept asking my husband if he was bob the builder. i'd say that's pretty high praise from a kid his age.

the rest of the evening wasn't so hot, to be honest; a very sleepy, nap-deprived john broke down, failed to listen, yelled, screamed, and fought pretty much everything my husband and i said for the rest of the night. he was mostly inconsolable, though we got some food in his belly and he went to sleep with no fight once bedtime came around.

but despite the less-than-fabulous ending, this was one heck of a day. happy "summer"!

Monday, May 13, 2013

mothers day weekend, of course

just chillin' on the trike.
i wouldn't be a self-respecting mother if i didn't do a little blog entry about mother's day weekend, right? that's what the latest polling shows! so here it is, the requisite mother's day blog.

one of the coolest parts of the weekend was that it started so early - and that that's going to be the new normal for me at my new job. leaving the office at 11am on a friday felt like cheating. i felt like i was playing hooky all afternoon. i think i'll get used to the feeling pretty quick, but in the meantime, it's a little odd! 

but my husband and i took advantage of the time since he's off by noon on fridays too. we went out for a celebratory new-job lunch and then we took naps. it was wonderful.

then we went and got john, who wanted to ride his tricycle in the driveway - or more accurately, to sit on his tricycle in the driveway and talk to mommy and daddy, but that was fun too.

after some hard playing and some fun "under the tent" (a blanket thrown over their heads, here's how my boys spent part of their evening:
i can't even handle the amount of adorable cheese in this
particular daddy-son pic. and take note of that position -
it'll come back later!
saturday we slept in a tiny bit - i don't think we were up until 8, which is downright luxurious. then we headed over to my new company's family day, which was an outdoor party at a nearby park. it had stormed like crazy overnight, so everything was sopping wet, but the rain held off while we were there and we got to meet some of my fellow employees and their families, eat some tasty food, and john got to jump in the bouncy castle. (he was actually too afraid to go in the big jumping castle, so he stuck to the little one.)

john also had plenty of fun jumping in the mud puddles and had to come home just about naked because he was soaked to the skin.

i can't even remember what we did with the rest of saturday afternoon, to be honest with you. i know john took a nap. did we just hang out at the house? maybe i took a nap too? it was just so low key i can't even remember, and that doesn't bother me a lick.

for mother's day proper, john woke me up before 7am. i was a little disappointed, having hoped to sleep in a little ... but then all john wanted to do was snuggle on the couch, and what kind of mommy would argue with that? so we snuggled until daddy woke up, and then the boys went and got donuts from the little bakery around the corner. stuffed with donuts, daddy and john headed off to church while mommy ... laid around on her butt. hey, it's mother's day, right?

by the time the boys were home, we packed up and headed to auntie c's house for a big family gathering. i have to say, if you can't be with your own mama on mother's day, a big extended family crawfish boil is a great way to go. got to celebrate with aunties and uncles and cousins and, of course, the matriarch of the whole bunch, my grandma. john played in more mud and ran around like a crazy man. he used uncle's truck as a jungle gym. he rode his little non-motorized quad around the yard making "monster truck" noises. he chased dogs. and we all stuffed our face with lots of delicious food. could a pregnant mom BE any happier???

when we left to head home, i knew john was exhausted. he hadn't had a nap, and he'd played HARD all day. heck, i was exhausted just watching him. but i figured, as usual, he would talk and keep us company the whole drive home.

nope. this is john three minutes into the drive:

we hadn't even made it to the interstate yet.

when we got him home, we tried to scoop him straight into his bed even though it was about an hour earlier than usual. it almost worked ... but then he woke up and was extremely cross at us for trying to put him to bed. a little more food and some snuggles later, here's what i found on the couch:

recognize that pose?
but despite falling asleep in our arms every two minutes, john refused to happily go to sleep in his bed. we finally found a compromise: he would sleep on the floor, surrounded by his stuffed animals. and moments later, you could hear a faint snoring from his room.

not too many moments later, there was probably a snoring coming from our room too. we were one tired family.

but i was one happy mama.



Friday, May 10, 2013

adjusting

i'm a monster, coming to get you, mommy!
we're adjusting to a whole new routine at our house -- or, if i'm honest, we're figuring out what the new routine is and then how we're going to adjust it.

my new job requires me to start my day at 7am. that means i have to be up at 5 to have time to get ready, eat breakfast, get john up at 6, and drop him at the daycare at 6:30am when they open. (on the plus side, on fridays i am done with work at 11. so i am currently sitting on my couch listening to birds tweet and considering a nap. so the tradeoff is a good one, i think!)

what that means for our family, though, is some major adjustments. john will be waking up a full hour earlier than normal. (tho he does often wake up earlier anyway, so hopefully he will be ok!) it might actually be harder for me - i'm truly not a natural morning person, and will probably have to start going to bed earlier to have any hope of being a functioning human being at 5am.

the way i see it, we've got a good five months or so to get into this new routine before the new baby comes and we have to figure out what routine means all over again! and of course that's assuming that life doesn't have any other changes in store for us between now and then.

but you know what? it's all in the name of growth, and that's pretty awesome. 

and if john keeps waking up like in that picture up top, i don't think we'll mind mornings at all. i walked into his room, gently shook him away, and while his eyes were still closed he said with a smile, "i awake, mommy! that thunderstorm woke me up. but it's morning. can we go to school?"

i'm sure that won't be the norm, but it made my short friday start out with a grin.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

big brother/little brother

how did my first baby get to be this big?
you might have seen our "announcement" earlier -- that this baby i'm baking right now is another little boy! we've actually known for a little while. when we got the blood tests back that told us about the blood type, the dna also said it was a boy. but we sort of just wanted a visual confirmation before we made it public ... and this morning, we got that confirmation at the specialist's office.

a boy! a little brother for john. two boy puppies chasing us around the house in not to many years.

i'll be outnumbered, for sure. even our dog is a boy.

but you know what? i couldn't be happier. a house full of boys just makes my day. (not to mention the relief i know my husband feels -- he was sweating the possibility of a daughter to protect!)

so my mom-in-law will have two pair: two sweet little girls from my husband's brother and his wife, and two dirty stinky boys from our family.

and we'll have to let my grandmother know that apparently, her predisposition to birth boys (besides the baby of her family, of course!) has been passed on to her grand-daughters: this baby will make the fourth boy great-grandchild. that's a lot of boy cousins running in circles around the house in a couple of years!

i will leave you with this little anecdote. for weeks, john has insisted that the baby in mommy's belly was his "little sister." but he was totally ok when we told him it was going to be a little brother instead. last weekend, though, as we drove around town, my husband and i were discussing possible names. john was listening and playing in the backseat, until he suddenly interrupted us.

"no!" he yelled. "his NAME is JENNIFER!"

don't worry, we won't be taking that name suggestion to heart.