Without a hitch

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Too busy to pose for pictures!

Yesterday marked Katie and Timmy's first day of daycare, and Tim's first day in daycare ever. He was off, busy playing, the second his coat was hung up. I knew he'd be a little sad after I left. Except he wasn't. Katie was so busy playing that she refused to even submit to a "first day" photo. When I returned, two hours later, they were gushed over and I was assured my children were SO sweet. Timmy saw me, came over to hug me and then ran away. His new teacher giggled and explained, "Oh, he wants to show you his goldfish!" And indeed she was right. My little snack monster had gone back to the snack table, grabbed a handful of goldfish, and ran back to show me exlaiming, " Mum, mum, mum" the whole way back. He held them up to me, showed his charming smile and gobbled them down. Monday he will have the first go at napping at daycare. That's my biggest concern.

I wish I could say the rest of the day went so well, but shortly after coming home from her district pre-school, Katie proceeded to yack all over my kitchen table and floor. Through 1am she couldn't keep even a sip of pedialyte down. Katie is not always the most verbally descriptive child, but my God, when she came into me every 10 minutes because she was "so thirsty and could NOT keep her mind off of her juice," it was one of the hardest things I've had to do as a parent. The pediatrician told us to switch our tactics and provide nothing at all to drink until she hadn't been sick for 4 hours. It was a long night. Thankfully, she's feeling better today.

I'm also participating in Saturday Snapshots, hosted by Twinfatuation.


I'm Pregnant

Wednesday, January 27, 2010



I did accept a job offer today!

In my senior year of college, I took a "free pass" class, Accounting in the Hospitality Industry, for my graduate accounting elective. My professor was awesome and I believe impressed that I already had a job offer in hand to a Big 5 (pre-Enron) accounting firm. Everyone else in the class was a hospitality major. As a result, I didn't have to do much. For our term paper we were allowed to pick ANY topic relevant to accounting. I chose to do a comparison of various accounting jobs. Public vs private. I also delved into how recruitment by the Big 5 was similar to rushing a sorority. What I didn't know then was that job hunting could also be like trying to get pregnant.

For those who don't know me personally, I was laid off back in August of 2008. I had naively felt I had job security. My performance was good. And then suprise, I was part of the first non-performance based mass layoff since 2001. My husband had suspicions the night before my meeting. But I was in shock. I had worked there for 8 years, straight out of college. I resisted the many recruiter calls over the years and was dedicated to a career with the firm. I was also 6 months pregnant.

I received a generous severance package that covered the time I would have been on maternity leave. I kept in contact with several recruiters with an ear out for an appropriate position. After a year, I decided I could and should be doing more in my job hunt. I valued the time I got to be home with my kids. I never would have had the opportunity if that layoff hadn't occurred, but I needed to get back to work quickly. For both financial reasons and my sanity.

In September, I put my search into overdrive. I began to consider positions that I wouldn't have before. Within a week I had an interview. I got called back for a second interview and had great feedback. And that happened again. And again. Employers have gotten more choosy. They know the job market gives them the advantage. With tons of applicants to choose from, positions that would have been filled by a Manager with 8 years of Big 4 experience in a heartbeat a few years ago are now holding out for someone who also has experience working for a private company.

The ups and downs were hard for me. I had gotten my first position out of college with my excellent transcript and stellar interviewing technique. I had never even considered that I would have so much trouble this time around. And trust me, I know 4 interviews isn't a lot compared to some experiences. But I got to the point that I didn't want to discuss my job search with anyone. I was sick of talking about my excitement after a great interview only to be questioned by everyone in the aftermath, with no good news to share.

I got pregnant with my first born in the first month of trying. I naively expected the second time around to be as easy. The five months of trying felt like an eternity to me. The anticipation, the waiting. And again, I realize that I was blessed to ONLY have to try for five months. But as every other trying to conceive woman knows, the disappointment is there every time. And only gets worse with time.

Recently, I began to communicate to those close to me that my job search was becoming an off limits topic. I would share good news when I had it. If I wasn't sharing anything, clearly I had not heard back from my most recent interview.

Interestingly, when I finally did get pregnant the second time around, it was the first month that we didn't "try." We had just booked a trip for Disney World 3 months later and I decided I didn't want to be pregnant for the trip. I planned to put everything on hold until after the trip. If something happened before then, great, but we weren't "trying".

Two weeks ago, I decided to consider a temporary position I found on careerbuilders. At the very least it would hold us over for a bit. It had the chance to become a permanent position. But if it didn't, I would have the opportunity to be home with the kids for the summer. And I would have gained the much coveted private accounting experience that every other place was focused on finding. I was familiar with the company because I had audited their benefit plan in the past. It is a good NJ location (yay for no parking cost and bridge toll!!!) and I always enjoyed working with the CFO there. Yesterday, they called and offered me a position. A newly created permanent position. And I accepted today. I will be the Financial Reporting Manager. Oh, and I start Tuesday. YIKES!

And so, my fairytale year and a half home with my cherubs will very quickly come to an end. They will ease into their new daycare on Friday and Monday. And Tuesday is showtime!

While writing here and reading all of my new friends' blogs has been an amazing outlet in the days of no other adult contact, I don't think I'll be quitting all that. I may not be able to visit everyone as often, but I do plan to keep writing. I love it. Who knew.


Mother of the Year

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Yesterday, Katie brought home the flyer announcing spring soccer signups. Can't WAIT! Similar to dancing, Katie isn't the most coordinated on the team, but she certainly has heart! And if I do say so myself, already shows a natural penchant towards defense. In the meantime, I have her running sprints back and forth to the mailbox everyday while we wait for the pre-school bus.

Playing along with:
Two for Twos-day


I wish you were here right now (said to the subject of my picture)

Friday, January 22, 2010

I made this for my BFF's birthday last week. Bundt cake filled with an entire package of strawberries - sliced with my egg slicer. No photo editing at all. It was THAT good. She generously cut me off a very large piece to take home when I came back to pick up my kids. Yes, she is that kind of amazing and generous friend who babysat for me during a family emergency. Even though it was her birthday. So, that very large piece of cake - that was cut large enough to provide a snack for the whole family - was my late dinner. I don't usually eat a lot of sugar (in lieu of my good friends cheese and salt) and holy moly did I have a sugar rush.


The other night, my 4yo had a nightmare. Apparently Swiper the Fox was tormenting her. It was difficult not to laugh. But she was scared. REALLY scared. I layed on her bed with her to calm her down and did my normal post-nightmare spiehl. She shuffled and reorganized her pillows and put her pillow next to her, laying in a pseudo-sideways position. After a few seconds she closed her eyes. Then she sat up and told me, "Mom, it's ok you can go now. I'm laying like this so I don't see Swiper anymore. And now I'm not scared because I'm thinking about Chuck E. Cheese instead."

And this is funny for two reasons: 1) Her BFF Max, is terrified of Chuck E. Cheese. And really shouldn't everyone be? He's a giant rodent. Who lures children to his lair. Isn't that like way scarier than a little sneaky fox who is just a little naughty? and 2) She has never ever been to Chuck E. Cheese. Never even heard of it, so I thought. I certainly never told her about it. But when I tested her to see what it was she rushed on an on about all the fun games there that you can play if you put money in the machines. A little sleuthing and I realized, "Chuck E. Cheese is a proud sponsor of PBS Kids." ACH!!!

I've been like a little kid at the candy store checking the mail every day. I love getting all the tax documents. I get so excited when they are all finally here and not just to get my return, but because I actually enjoy doing my taxes. I have issues.

I'm tired. SO tired! Wahh, I had so many more thoughts stored up for today, but I am currently suffering from amnesia. I'll do better next time.

Playing Along:
Mommy's Idea


Class Act

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

In a move set to create an uproar among the parents of 2-5 year old girls everywhere, Katie's dance teacher has suddenly left The Little Gym just 1 week before their "recital." This is good and this is bad.

This isn't the first time we have experienced sudden and unexplained staffing changes, but with just one week to go before the end of the semester, this one has classy written all over it. Packaged with a bit of irony and likely some karma, our replacement teacher is our old favorite Miss A, who happened to leave us dramatically at the very end of our summer session. Miss A is fun, fun, fun. She is patient, energetic, and genuinely enjoys the kids. Katie adores her and I love that she treats the girls with respect. Katie loved her summer class. She knew she'd have fun every week and she learned a little bit of dancing along the way.

At the beginning of the fall, we were at first crushed to find out that we had a new teacher - but with change comes new pros and cons. Miss X was more authoritative and more structured. I thought that was nice at first. I struggle with balancing the coddling of Katie's personality with trying to get her to grow out of her quirks. I wasn't sure how the new class would go. She did ok, but over time I think she stopped having so much fun. She was caught up in all the rules and having to remember so many different steps that it seemed like too much work for her, at 4. I also began to grow tired of comments such as, "If you girls don't pay attention and get this right, your going to embarrass everyone at our show." Once, Katie refused to allow Miss X to pretend to glue her knees together. Katie favors routine and every other class they had created glue guns with their hands and glued their OWN knees together. Katie was proudly trying to tell Miss X that she had already done it. Instead of saying "Ok, great" and moving on, she was told, "Katie, it's just pretend. All the other girls are pretending and you're ruining it for everyone else in the class." Katie takes comments like this in stride, but as a parent I was ready to look up a hitman.

So, Miss A is back and as a result the girls have had to scrap the entire routine they've been working on for weeks. I feel sad for some of the other girls who were so proud of the routine and practiced diligently at home. For Katie - this is not a problem. She would have never remembered the routine anyway and the new one is FUN and cute. Perfect for Katie. And while I'd love Katie to "be serious" about learning to dance - I know this will not be "her thing." This is why we chose The Little Gym for dance to begin with. She gets to be a ballerina to her heart's content and then run off all of her energy doing gymnastics in the second half of class.

Bad for some, good for us. If Miss A decides to stick around. Oh, and this is what the girls will now be performing for their recital. They love it and the parents love it. Miss A has even generously offered an extra class before the show so the girls can get a bit more practice. And we mom's convinced Miss A to do the routine one more time, so we could videotape. So we can help the girl's practice during the week. I can assure you - this is the week to be a fly on my wall.

My talented daughter is the tallest blonde. The one who refuses to wear a leotard. The one just a little bit "off" from the rest of the class.


Katie, Katie full of grace

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Dances like a crazy lady and manages to not fall on her face. Katie has been taking dance classes at The Little Gym for almost 7 months now. Her "show" is in 1 week. It should be memorable. Cameo appearance by Timmy.

PS. Please try to pretend you don't notice that I have pink chairs in my green kitchen.


Little darling

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Naughty, devious, smart, funny, darling boy!

It's well known among my 12 cousins that growing up, the older group of us had a slightly different relationship with our grandparents than the younger few. It was all we knew growing up. Something to complain about when the younger set arrived. And something to laugh about now.

But something funny happened. The oldest of the group started having their own children and it seems that I've done the unthinkable. I've managed to bring the family's little darling into the world. For over a year, I watched my grandparents' eyes light up at the sight of him. When that little darling was no longer content to sit on a lap, I watched my grandfather protectively walk behind my son, holding both of his hands firmly, giving him the freedom of walking with the security of his great-grandfather holding on tightly.

The little darling managed to evoke a sensitivity unheard of from our family's most emotionally shuttered members. Over the last few days, my aunt and grandmother told me how much my uncle was enamored with my boy. He spoke of him to my grandmother on the phone just last week. My aunt reinforced that my uncle felt a very strong connection with him and just gravitated towards him.

My son is cute. His smile is sweet. But, he is bad. Bad in a "I'm only going to be bad if you're watching me so you see how smart I am and then I'm going to shout a great big belly laugh about it" bad." I broke the news to my grandmother 2 days ago. And I may have jeopardized his "darling" status.

And while this "badness" is in no way a recent thing, I did share with my aunt last night that our evening's occurances shockingly reminded me of a certain man that we both loved. That I may have found our "Whoopi Goldberg." Since, last night our little darling:
  1. Started yelling at us belligerantly at dinner, all the time trying to make us laugh.
  2. Wripped Chris's beer out of his hands, attempting to guzzle it. Took a sip and did NOT spit it out like he does to soda, but instead tried to reach for more and more and more.
  3. Slammed the door open to our office and sauntered in with his shirt pulled up and his belly hanging out, like it was the most natural thing in the world.
Little darling my ass! But he does make me laugh.



Thursday, January 14, 2010

Less than two months ago, we said goodbye to my grandfather. As the funeral procession passed the NJ Transit Bus Depot, there was a bus parked in his honor. It's destination read "Out of Service, No Passengers." At his funeral, he was saluted by an Honor Guard. Gunshots were fired. Marines stood by and presented an American Flag to my grandmother in his honor. He lived a long life. As we all should. He had seven children, six of whom were by his side at his death. His youngest son was not able to be there that night.

This week, his youngest son has flown to his side. As he should be. But not yet.

Somehow Uncle Mike managed to evade my camera on many an occasion, but his memory lives on strong in my mind. He enjoyed his parties and could always be counted on for entertainment at some point of the evening. Usually up to no good with my other uncles. He cooked, he fished, and so much more.

This past Christmas he amazed me with a side of himself I hadn't previously seen much of. He grabbed up my son intent on keeping him from the danger of my grandmother's steps. He cuddled with him in the kitchen and gently hand-fed him a brownie.

Yes, I'm using cuddle and gently to describe Uncle Mike.

He was also patient,
and dear.
Dear Uncle Mike, please watch over us
knowing that you are loved and missed.
I didn't know that it was the last time we would see him. Here.


Her mother's daughter

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Contributing to the delinquency of daughter

It began just after her 2nd birthday on our Caribbean cruise.
And now, even her school has gotten involved. Teaching her to gamble for candy.


Bath Night at The Other Boufs

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Since I generally can't control my gift of gab, I usually participate with WordFUL Wednesday or even Way-Back Wednesday, but this week marks my first entry for Wordless Wednesday.

EDITED: Wanted to clarify that he was getting to eat spaghetti and
red popsicles BECAUSE it was bath night.


Life lessons with a 4-year-old

Saturday, January 2, 2010

She has no issues with self-esteem.

Since she was a toddler, I've had many people tell me how pretty Katie is. Strangers have felt a need to recommend I submit her photos to modeling agencies: "Oh, her eyes are beautiful; she's so tall." I've laughed it off because of any child - Katie is the last to stand still or listen to directions - a requisite for modeling, I'm afraid. But yesterday, I thought, "Hmmm, maybe she DOES have what it takes." Attitude and a superiority complex for being tall.

As I sat watching Katie play video games, with her legs folded to her side I remarked on how pretty she was. I teased and asked, "How did you get so beautiful?" She giggled and replied that she just is. I scolded, "You know, you're supposed to say because my mommy is so beautiful."

Her response?

"Mommy, you are NOT beautiful. You are way too short to be beautiful. AND, only girls with long hair can be beautiful."

Needless to say, we had a little talk about beauty.


A great beginning

Friday, January 1, 2010

After the children were tucked snuggly into bed, we crept into the office to romantically sit back to back at our computers. We then ended 2009 with the worst mistake of the year: watching Land of the Lost. Silly fun, but I was tired and it definately was not a good movie to help me stay awake for the ringing in of the new year.

With 30 minutes to spare, I convinced Chris to waste the time away playing Peggle with me on our XBox360 - our new family favorite game. However, with just 15 minutes to go we heard a commotion above us and I rushed upstairs to comfort a non-sleeping baby back into slumber.

With just 5 minutes to spare, I found Chris back at his computer. I took my place across the room. And soon, the clock stroked midnight.

"Do you want a kiss?" Chris asked.

"Mm, nah," I sighed, not wanting to leave my comfy seat.

A minute passed.

"I can not believe you haven't come over here to kiss me yet," I muttered.

Then, I heard a chair creak. And I received my kiss.

And THAT is a terrific beginning for the new year.

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