Sunday, June 9, 2013

Long time, no post!

Well, I know I seem to have dropped off the face of the earth! I was busy with a 3 year old, an infant, a (busy) husband, homeschooling, and working... Now I have a 3 year old, a 1 year old, a still busy husband (he's averaging 3+ days a week working out of town and 50 or more hours a week!), homeschooling, and working. Not much has changed, except the job I have and the age of my kiddos :)

I was working at WIC as a breastfeeding peer counselor. That job lasted about a month. It wasn't a good fit for me. I was expected to be a bit more pushy than I was comfortable being, honestly I don't care how you feed your baby, just that you are! My job wanted me to push breastfeeding as the only way to feed your baby. I know there are plenty of reasons that formula is a better choice for a family (not just a mom) and I don't think it's my choice to decide if the reason they are giving me is right or wrong, so I quit.

JR turned 1 in April. That was a bittersweet moment for me because he is my last baby. In Korean tradition we did a table of objects that the baby picks from that supposedly is his future. Allison picked a pencil, that typically means academics/smart. Knowing her now at 3, there might be something to it :D JR picked a golf ball, meaning athletic/physically gifted. He started walking at 9.5 months, but I'm still waiting to see if he's going to be a star athlete.

James is working out of town quite a bit lately so I'm home with the kids and getting very little break. Thankfully, my dad enjoys watching the kids 2 days a week so I can go to Zumba. I also go to Zumba and yoga on Wednesdays. The kids go to childcare at the gym and love it! We also do a stroller strides type activity 3 days a week. This is giving me an outlet and a break from the kids.

I am going back to the classroom in August! I was at an open gym activity at a local gymnastics place in March with my MOMS Club. The owner was talking with us about her future plans for the gym and the preschool came up. I mentioned I was a former teacher, although elementary/middle school, not preschool. I was going to ask what her rates were and she asked me to come talk to her about teaching there! I went back later (without kids to keep up with) and we talked about me not only being the teacher but the director as well. She has had a preschool Gym and Learn program at her other gym in Cottonwood so I don't have to invent a curriculum. I just have to come in and teach! My kids get to come with me to work, Allison will be in the class and getting to go to gymnastics class 5 days a week because it's part of the curriculum! I am so excited for August to arrive :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Wow, what a whirlwind month of February! Allison turned 3, she started gymnastics classes, JR got 2 more teeth, he started walking, and James is changing jobs... I'm tired just writing it all down!

Just after Allison turned 3 I decided to take her to open gym at a local gymnastics place. It is free (trying to get more kids in their classes) on Wednesdays for an hour. The kids get out and play with all of the equipment and run around like maniacs. She had so much fun that I asked about classes. Ironically, it was the first week of classes and they had a class starting on Friday. I signed her up for a trial class. Her teacher put her in the class with the older 3 year olds and 4 year olds because she's so big. After her first class, it was a good decision. She's the same size as the other 3 kids in her class! If she was in the 2-3 year old class she would tower over them!

In 2 weeks she's learned so much. They do all 4 gymnastic events (beam, bars, floor, and vault) every week. She isn't a big fan of beam or vault (she's afraid of heights) but she loves to tumble and can do a rotation on the low bar and swing herself! It's adorable to watch. I was worried because she'd never been apart from me or listened to someone who isn't family but that fear was unfounded. She does great with Mr Eric. The other kids have had meltdowns or left the floor, not Allison. She only gets mad when it's time to go!

JR took his first steps on Sunday. He was in the bedroom with James and I hear come to Daddy, come to Daddy. I sneak in just in time to see him take 6 steps to James! He still prefers to crawl most of the time but he's getting better! In no time I'll be complaining that I have to chase him everywhere!

James is very tired of his old job. They don't appreciate him or pay him all that well. It's enough to get by on one income but there isn't much room for extras. James went to talk to a friend of his who owns a well drilling company in town (but doesn't do many jobs locally). He has really wanted James to join his crew for a while but Friday they talked about it seriously! He offered James $2 more an hour and guaranteed 20 hours of overtime a week. The only drawback is he will be working out of town and working 10 days on and 5 days off. It's not that big a deal for me because my dad has moved back and is willing to move his trailer to our property to help out with the kids! The extra money will be nice and the extra days off will be great too!

It's hard to believe that I'm already making plans for summer! Our local movie theater does cheap movies (10 movies for $7 a person) during the week all summer. It's a different kids movie each week. You pick a day and go the same time each week. I have been telling Allison about going to the movies and we are planning on going with a group of friends every Tuesday morning! It's just going to be just the 2 of us because JR is too little. He'll be staying home with my dad! Should be fun :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

Allison's Third Birthday

This time three years ago today I was having my wonderful little girl! I can't believe how time has flown.

Saturday, we went to the Phoenix Zoo for her (and another friend's) birthday. We saw a ton of animals, ate way too much junk food (snacks all day, cupcakes, and cake for the girls), Allison rode her first Merry-Go-Round, and had a wonderful time! The only complaint was the weather- it was 50 degrees, cold, rainy, and windy. Allison didn't care- we brought the giant double jogging stroller/bike trailer and blankets. When she would get cold, she'd climb in and snuggle under the blankets. She thought it was like riding in a princess carriage. JR was perfectly happy to sit in his ring sling, with a blanket and my coat over him. He took a couple of great naps walking through the zoo.

Sunday, we went out to breakfast at Golden Corral. Allison loves going there because we let her have all the veggies she wants and don't force her to eat meat! I'm sure the cotton candy doesn't hurt either :)

Overall, it was a great weekend to celebrate Allison's third birthday.

I'll update with pictures when I have a chance!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

February 6th

Today would have been my mom's 63rd birthday. I have spent today looking at pictures, laughing and crying over crazy memories of my mom and my best friend! It's been a crazy roller coaster of emotions for me today- I've been happy, sad, angry, and giggling. The happy has been thinking of how much she loved her family (even JR who she never got to meet). The sad has been the missing seeing her interact with JR. I remember seeing her in the first moments of Allison's life and how much she loved being with her. Angry that Allison and JR will miss having their "Nina" (Allie's name for my mom) in their lives. I've been giggling over some of the silly stuff my mom and I did together.

She was a SAHM until I was 17 and a junior in high school. She was the first person I saw every morning, the last person I saw every night, she took me to school every day, picked me up every afternoon, taxied me to my activities, and was room mother for my classroom (even when I didn't want her to be!), I miss the long phone calls when I was driving somewhere- I live in the boonies so those were some LONG phone calls :)

This was the church directory photo for our church- Allie's 3 months old! I was finally a normal color and able to carry Allison.
Looking in the nursery window at Allison for the first time. James took the picture from inside the nursery for me. It never fails to make me smile from the sheer happiness on her face!
My parents at my wedding (at the county courthouse). They'd been married 37 years at this point and 42 years when she passed.

Wedding day- standing in front of "my fountain" I have always been in love with that fountain- 28 years or so!
Momma modeling the new wig she was given (she hadn't been a blonde in 55+ years) She hated that wig and only wore it home that day- she re-donated it the next week at chemo. She prefered to wear a scarf or nothing. It was an adjustment to see Momma with her "spit shined" head but she didn't care!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Whiny Mommy!

I have rheumatoid arthritis. I was diagnosed at 22 but probably have had it since childhood. Most of the time- it means I move a bit slower in the mornings (or wake up earlier to compensate) and have swelling and pain in various joints. I have taken different meds over the years to combat the disease but I have been off major meds since before I got pregnant with Allison, 3.5 years ago. By the time I started feeling the need to go back on my meds after I had Allison, I was trying to get pregnant again so I just did a couple of Prednisone tapers and felt fine.

The last couple of weeks I have been feeling pretty icky, my hands are swollen, my feet are swollen (had to go back to wearing my old Crocs that I wore during pregnancy), and generally, super tired. I know, I know, I have a 9 month old, I should be tired but he sleeps from 7 pm to 6 am with one wake up at 11 pm. I know that's not causing my exhaustion! I called my rheumatologist and asked what I should do, since I'm still breastfeeding. He said to try a Prednisone burst and see how I felt. I'm a week in to a month long prescription and still feeling crappy :( Normally, by this time, I'm ready to run a marathon! I called on Thursday and was seen on Friday. He said it might be time to start thinking about meds. He wasn't sure what ones are breastfeeding safe (he'll check with the LC at the local hospital, I gave him the number!) but in the mean time to try using my braces and resting as much as possible.

I wore my foot and wrist braces last night, for the first time in ages! I wish I could say they helped and I felt great. But I woke up with numb fingers (like usual from the swelling) and sore feet. I shuffled through Lowes and Fry's to get the errands done and came home and spent the rest of the day on the couch with ice packs! I'm still swollen.

I know I'll go to work on Monday, probably wearing at least a couple of ring (finger) splints and maybe one of my foot braces. I hate wearing them in public. It always feels like everyone is watching me. I always say, I'm not sure they help but I'd hate to see the alternative!

Oh well! Mommyhood doesn't stop for issues and I have 2 awesome kids to take care of. I feel a bit better after this whining session so that's a plus :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

TGIMF- Thank Goodness It's My Friday

I am happily finished with my first month of work. This month my schedule was Monday, Wednesday, and every other Friday so my bosses could train me and supervise me. Starting next week I work Monday, Wednesday, and Friday on weeks 1 and 3 of the month and Tuesday and Thursday of weeks 2 and 4. This is so I average 20 hours a week and can meet with more clients on their schedule (if they need to meet on a Tuesday, they only have to wait 2 weeks instead of a month when I can change my schedule). Now, I am off until Monday!

The 4 day vacation is a good thing- it will give me a chance to get my tax forms organized and done for my new business. If I get them done this week, I can make my first order early next week and build my stores (Facebook and website) over my 3 day weekends at the end of the month. It will give me the next 2 weekends off because this weekend Dad is coming up and I'll spend the weekend with him and next weekend is Allison's third birthday!

We have been invited to another girl's birthday (Belle is a day younger than Allison) on her birthday. Belle's birthday is going to be at the Phoenix Zoo! We're going to spend the entire day at the zoo for their birthdays.

Allison requested to have a lunch picnic and playdate at the park for her birthday with 3 of her friends. It's going to be so much fun- they are going to do this on the Monday after her birthday (I'm off that day). She's been planning the menu (Sams Club chicken wraps or enchiladas, fruit plate, cake with ice cream, and Kool Aid) for the past week! She can't wait!

This is a super busy time but I thrive on stress and action! I can't wait to see where this leads me :)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Life Changes

As if things weren't busy enough at my house with homeschooling Allison, having JR, and working part time. I am considering starting my own business!

It makes me sad to see families paying outrageous prices for cloth diapers. I bought all of mine for less than $4 each. I was looking online to replace a few that were different than the ones I like and saw the exact diapers I use from $3-$20 depending on what website you look at! This got me to thinking about people who don't have time to do all the research I have done on cloth diapers. Why should they have to pay such an exorbitant amount to diaper their child? This led me to ask the manufacturer of the diapers what it would cost to wholesale them to me. Then, what it would take to create a website to sell them on and what taxes I would have to pay to become a legit business. All of this led me to discover I could have a business of my own (with tremendous stock) for less than $2500!

That sounds like a ton of money to me, but I found out that Sam's Club offers small business loans for a low fee (~$70/month). The more I research, the more I realize I want to start my own store! This may not happen in the next few days but I'm hoping by JR's birthday (April 26) that I have it online! I'll keep everyone posted on the details and the website, coming soon!

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Back at work

It's been an odd couple of weeks- I started working again after almost 4 years! It's a part time job (24 hours one week and 16 hours the second week, so it averages out to 20 hours a week). I'm working as a WIC breastfeeding councilor. I've been training the past 2 weeks (how to do my job) and the next 2 weeks will be doing my job with a supervisor in the room. Starting next month (when I'm on my own) my schedule is Week 1, I work M-W-F and week 2 I work T-Th. This month it is M-W- every other F.

I get to take JR to work with me (he's my breastfeeding aid/model) and Allison stays at home with the babysitter/nanny (I don't know what to call her but she's awesome!) Allison looks forward to being with someone different and having their sole attention and I look forward to some adult interaction. I hope this is a job that I stay at for a while, the hours are great, 3 day weekends every week, get to bring JR (so I don't have to pump!), and the possibility of moving up with the county.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Cloth Diapers Again!

I've been using my pocket diapers for the past 7 months. I had a bit of a learning curve, figuring out how to wash them with the hard well water, which detergent to use, and how to prevent leaks. The last one I just couldn't solve with my pockets. I had 3 problems- JR sleeps 12+ hours a night, he sleeps on his side, and he's a heavy wetter. I tried double stuffing with microfiber inserts, adding bamboo, folding inserts, stuffing, not stuffing, everything and still had leaks most nights!

I started researching what other moms used and had good luck with. The answer kept coming back to one thing- wool. Everything I thought I knew (hard to care for, expensive, itchy, and hot) came to a screetching halt when I found Amy's Diaper Stash, a wonderful mom run retailer in Highland Village, Texas. She had a really cute wool diaper cover that looked soft and didn't cost $50-60. I decided to take a chance, for $28. If it didn't work, I could always resell it (another benefit of cloth diapers!). I emailed her and asked her opinion on if it was worth it and what to use underneath. She wrote me back and said she uses prefolds and wool full time. She also warned me that it's addicting.

My next worry was how to care for it. I knew it had to be hand washed but I didn't realize it takes 2 minutes or less of work every couple of weeks. All you do is fill up a sink with warm water, disolve some lanolin and wool wash, and put the cover in. Then, you leave it for 15 minutes, come back wring the water out (without twisting it), and roll it up between 2 towels to get more water out.. All done!

Next, I prepped my new prefolds- 4 hot washes and dries. It took all day but finally I was ready to try it! I got JR from his bath (Daddy's job) and put it on him. I am by no means a pro at using a prefold but I got it on hin and pulled on his wool for the night. Now for the test! When we woke up at 6 (slept a bit later than usual) there was no wet spot in our bed! I felt a bit of dampness on the inside of the cover but nothing on the outside!

After 3 days, I am completely in love! I am already looking at a few more prefolds, wool covers, and a few regular covers. I don't think they'll replace my pockets completely but they make a nice change for things!

Monday, January 7, 2013

What a difference a year makes

This time last year I was at the hospital with my mom as she passed from this world! Then, I was transferred to the other hospital in town to be monitored for preterm labor (I'd been having contractions for a couple of hours). I spent 2 days there, plugged up to machines and meds. I got sent home on bed rest for the rest of my pregnancy.

I've spent most of the day looking at old picture and crying! My mom was more than a mom, she was my best friend. Things are different when you're an only child- and really different when your mom was a SAHM until you turned 17! She knew how to make me laugh, make me angry, and keep me sane!

I wouldn't have survived my first birth without Momma. She lived in my house Sunday-Friday for the first 8 weeks of Allison's life. Was home for a week and back to my house for another 4 weeks (damn emergency c-section and gallbladder removal!)

She taught me how to love and be loved and be a mommy. She let me be who I was with no judgements, no criticism, and no worries. I hope I can be as good a mom to Allison and JR as she was to me!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year!

Hello 2013! It feels odd to write that- I don't know why.

I haven't written much about homeschooling lately. Allison loves it! She begs to do school everyday, even weekends! I will do about a half hour before JR wants my attention and I have to quit. Some days she'll continue on for a bit longer with "reading" or repeating her days of the week or ABC's and others she is happy to be done.

She knows 30 sight words, all of the alphabet (upper and lower case), the sounds they make, can count 25 without help and 100 if the numbers are in front of her, all of her colors, shapes (even the weird ones like octogon or trapezoid!), and the days of the week in order (but she adds a couple of extra Fridays. Don't we wish!).

I have been using a complete workbook of kindergarten type book with Allison. She finished it up before we took a break for the holidays. I got a new one to start on Monday. She knows how to trace all of her letters but forming them on her own is iffy. My goal is between now and August is to improve her handwriting. I don't care if she can write them (she'll only be 3.5) but I want to see her consistently tracing them with good form. We're also going to work on simple, conceptual addition and sub