Archive for the 'family' Category

exhausted

I’m home with C today. It’s nap time and I have a moment to myself. I’m staving off the afternoon sleepies with a half-caf coffee from Starbucks, and am committed to getting a post up today. I have work I need to get done, but I’m pushing it off to write instead.

I was fearful of going back to work and not being able to cut it (I swear I wrote about this somewhere, but I’m at a loss to find the post). Among other fears, I worried that I would feel even more exhausted than I already did every day. But here’s the thing… although work seems to use up most of my energy by 5pm, I don’t find myself tired during the day. For the most part, I’ve been on the go, fully functioning and plugging away. Which is good. Very good.

The other thing I’ve found? I’m still exhausted the days I’m home with C. By her nap time, I’m ready to nap as well. And, I am at liberty to do so (assuming I don’t have any accounting work outstanding). Is it the freedom to do so that makes me feel more tired? Or is it just because it’s a different kind of work? Spending the days constantly distracted, never able to finish anything, and everything taking twice as long as it should to get done can be quite draining. Coffee helps, but it doesn’t take away the fact that I feel completely wiped by mid day.

I enjoy the time I spend with C, and it’s definitely high on my priority list, but I don’t feel like I’m at my best when I’m with her. I tend to feel scattered, halfway put together and frustrated. Simple tasks like going to the store are complicated acts and require careful planning. Everything becomes a negotiation. I just don’t feel like it’s my best “me”, but I’m not sure how to behave any other way when I’m wearing my mommy hat. It’s like my brain just doesn’t work as well as it should.

There are pros and cons to going back to work. Working outside the home gives me back the freedom to go to the store unencumbered (pro). However, sometimes trips to the store are a great learning opportunity for C and she misses out (con). I love being able to put my degree and CPA license to good use (pro), and even missed doing training for work (pro), but I worry that C ‘s education might be stifled by the “teaching to the lowest common denominator” approach that you find in many education settings (con). The money from working is a definite bonus (pro), and more than covers our preschool costs for the week, but it’s a balancing act, as I find that the more I work, the fussier and clingier C gets (con). One big con is the shorter nap times on days she’s at school. At home, she takes 2-3 hour naps, but at school, they only allocate 1.5 hours for nap time, so she’s getting short changed a bit on sleep, which is probably contributing to her being fussy and clingy.

I can tell that C’s adjusting to the change and trying to figure things out, and although outwardly she seems ok with it all (she talks about how much fun she has at school), little shifts in her behavior lead me to believe it’s harder on her than she lets on. It’s all about easing in to things right now and getting her used to being away from me for longer stretches of time. Really, there are work arounds for all the cons above, and ways to give C the best home and school experiences possible in a complimentary fashion – it’s just a matter of figuring out what works best for us.

We have C signed up for preschool 5 full days a week now, mostly because that was the best deal and gave me flexibility to schedule work as needed. The difference between 3 full days a week and 4 was $12. The jump between 4 and 5 days a week was $4 more – we’d be crazy not to sign up for full time! So, for $16 more per week, I can keep C home when I have time off, and take her in to school when I need to work. I make that back in less than an hour of work, so it’s not a bad deal. However, she was at school 4 very long days last week, and that was just too much for her. Taking her in late and picking her up early seems to work best – it gives me a good chunk of time to get work done and she seems happy.

I’ve picked up more work these past few weeks than I originally intended. The first two weeks of April, I clocked 65 billable hours – plus I had nonbillable hours for training and business related tasks. That’s with working 3 days per week. Phew, I’ve been busy.

So quickly I forgot how all consuming work can be. Very recently, I was giving a friend a hard time about not blogging. And, yet, I find myself 3 weeks out from my last post, struggling to find time to fit in the briefest of posts. It’s not just the time commitment – it’s getting my head out of accounting mode and in to writing mode. Even my last few posts were canned entries that wrote weeks before and had in the queue for times when the writing tank was low. Guess we’ve hit that space.

I’ll try to keep up with posting more frequently. I’ve gotten through a big chunk of work and have a bit of a lull (although I’m meeting with a CPA firm regarding some potential consulting work this week). It really is good to be back at work, and I’m glad I’m doing this. C will adjust, regardless, and so will I.

Until next time!

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shhhhh…

Wanna know a secret?

I missed work. Yup. And I like it. That, too.

I went back to work today. It’s been nearly two years since I left the workforce. I’ve had a great time at home with C, but I learned something about myself today. I really do enjoy accounting work. I missed looking through financial statements, performing analyses, finding missing pieces of the puzzle and seeing it all “click” in to place.

Remember when I said I wanted to find an easy bookkeeping gig? Yeeaaahh… that didn’t happen. I drug my feet, and didn’t really look for work so much as it found me. I got an email from an associate I met a few years back at a training. He started a business last summer and was looking for help. Specifically, looking for someone with my accounting background. It’s not the low key, easy, sleeper job I’d envisioned, but it’s also not the high stress job I’ve had before. Hopefully it will end up somewhere in the middle. Challenging without being overwhelming.

For now, I’m working a few hours a week, picking up projects here and there as needed. My plan is to ramp up to three days a week, with some flex hours to wrap projects up at home. For now, I’m enjoying it, and glad to be back.

~suzy

Protected: videos – july 2011

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eating off the fat

It’s become overwhelmingly obvious to me that we (as a family) have an embarrassing amount of food. No, really. Between our pantry, fridge/freezer and upright freezer, we have enough food in this house to feed a small army. It might be a strange meal of veggie stock, edamame and roasted eggplant dip, but a meal, nonetheless.

Meal planning, while great in concept, continues to be lacking in execution. I get a wild hair to make this dish, or this one, or maybe this one, and simply must have it. Even if it means the food in our pantry/fridge/freezers goes untouched.

So here’s my goal for the next week… eat from our abundant inventory of food in the house and not go to the store. This is an incredibly difficult thing for me. I LOVE going to the grocery store. Trader Joe’s is one of my and C’s favorite outings. “Want to go to Trader Joe’s?” I ask. “Go to Trader Joe’s? Get sample? Find the horse?” So sweet. I <3 that kid. We also LOVE our farmer’s market outings. It’s a great way to get fresh produce. But, to utilize the things we already own, and for the good of our pocketbook, we must abstain. The one exception I see in this “no buying” plan is getting fruits/veggies for our juice day. I guess I could stock up now, but if that’s all we end up buying in the next week, it’s a small expenditure. Or, maybe we do a smoothie day instead, using up some of the frozen fruits and veggies we already have. Hmmm… that may just work.

Think we can do it? It’s a pretty lofty goal, but I think it’s manageable. We’re working through some leftovers from last weekend and I depleted some of our freezer stock at a St. Patty’s Day party yesterday, so we’re already on our way. The things that will be more time consuming are the beans, and veggie/chicken stocks I need to make (and then freeze). I managed to buy about $25 worth of stuff at the Sprouts market here, though, so I haven’t fully hopped on the “no buying” wagon yet.

c's pantry

The rest are a matter of coming up with creative preparation. We have lots of frozen veggies, frozen fruits, some frozen meats and some carb-y stuff (which, honesty, we never eat and can probably just get rid of). Our standing pantry mainly has foods for C… lots of dried fruit, cereal, oatmeal, pastas, crackers, etc. Stuff that, for the most part, she doesn’t eat. Again, pretty astonishing how quickly food accumulates. Especially when you’re buying in bulk from Costco. We probably don’t need half of what’s in here, and yet, we hang on to it. This next week will be a great opportunity to find out what we need to keep around.

Wish us luck!

sleeeep

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I love me some sleep.

If I could, I would stay in bed all day long. Pre-kids, pre-adulthood, pre-marriage, there were some days when I did. Or at least attempted to. Now it’s a luxury I enjoy only when I’m sick… and even then I don’t really get to “enjoy” it. I mean, if I’m sick enough that I need to stay in bed all day, can you really call it a luxury?

Gone are the days when I had the option to sleep in and head to the office a bit late. Gone are the days of hitting snooze. My alarm clock is loud and unforgiving, and she wakes up hungry. Ben is fantastic about helping out in the mornings, especially when I somehow manage to sleep thought said alarm clock. Good thing he’s here, right?

C has yet to figure out that she can just climb out of her bed and find us in the mornings. Or at night. Or in the afternoon, for that matter. When she wakes, she calls for us until we come in to “release” her from her bed. It’s strange, because I know she occasionally gets out of bed during nap time, to retrieve a book or turn her light projector on again, but she must know it’s against the rules, because she climbs back up quickly if I see her and she hasn’t ever left her room on her own during designated sleep times. Our lives will be over after she figures out she can leave any time she wants.

We co slept with C when she was an infant. I know, I know, co sleeping is “risky”, but a colicky infant trumps it all. Mama and baby both needed sleep badly, and that’s how we got C to sleep long stretches (2-3 hours, instead of the 50 minute cat naps she’d do on her own). I read every parenting book, website and magazine I could get my hands on to search for another solution, but ultimately, co sleeping was the right answer for us.

Aside from that, we grew to enjoy co sleeping with her. It was an incredible bonding experience that I’m really glad we had. Until she was eight months old, that is. Then she started waking up around 3am wanting to play. She’d toss herself back and forth between Ben and me, making a game of it. At that point, even though she was still nursing at night, she simply had to move into her crib. None of us was getting any sleep, and it was a welcome opportunity for the shift. She protested the change, as expected, and it took a bit of tough love, but we got her sleeping on her own. (Sleeping through the night didn’t come for several months after that, though. Oy, I don’t miss those days of sleep deprivation.)

Which brings me to the next acceptable time to spend all day in bed… with a newborn. I do miss napping with C sometimes. The snuggling, the closeness, the warm little miracle snoozing next to me. I don’t think I’d give up her independent sleeper status for it, but I wish she was a bit more flexible with her sleeping arrangements. She is still that excited eight month old when we try to lay down with her – sleep is practically impossible when we’re there.

Maybe someday she’ll let us snuggle with her again. For now, I’ll enjoy my bed and let C enjoy hers.

disappointed

Today was a rough day.

It started out well enough. We decided to make today our juice fast day, just to reset from our weekend away. I woke up tired and in desperate need of coffee. Unfortunately, coffee is not on the juice fast diet, so I heated some water and made tea.

This morning, baby ballet class was on the schedule. C usually really enjoys it, but it was an off day for her. She wasn’t focused. I couldn’t blame her, though. Two of the five toddlers there were having tantrums, alternating between screaming and crying. Overall, baby ballet has been a fantastic experience for C. She picks up the moves and french terminology quickly and loves to practice at home. She’s done so well, in fact, that her teacher has asked her to drop in on the 3-5 year old class that she holds Tuesday afternoons.

This afternoon, we headed over to the more advanced ballet class. A poorly planned trip to Costco resulted in us being about ten minutes late to dance class, which set us up for a rocky start. I was stressed about being late, and C was meandering at her usual toddler pace, which stressed me out more. Then, she started acting up during class. Being that she is a year younger than even the youngest student in this class, she requires a bit more direction and hand holding from the instructor, but she did well the last time we went. Today, though? I’m not sure what was going on. She was behaving in ways I’ve never seen before. Hitting, pushing and stepping on the other girls in her class – completely unprovoked. I was shocked.

At first, it almost appeared accidental, or perhaps a “friendly” motion, and I wasn’t sure if I should step in. Class was continuing, the teacher didn’t notice the bad behavior, but the other girls did, and so did I. Then, it happened again. I pulled C aside, talked to her, made her apologize to the other girl and gave her a warning. It happened again, but with more gusto. This time, I pulled her to the side and made her sit with me for several minutes while the other girls continued to dance. I gave her another warning, telling her we would leave dance class if she hit anyone again. Then, she started testing the waters. She stepped on one of the other girls foot. Perhaps accidentally at first, but then she continued, making it apparent that the subsequent efforts were, in fact, intentional. Being that this was a “new” behavior (one we hadn’t specifically discussed yet), I sighed heavily and hoped it would stop. It did – the girls moved on to the next exercise. But then? Then I watched her swing her arms and hit two girls standing on either side of her. This was no accident. Angry, frustrated and embarrassed, I scooped her up, gathered our belongings and headed for the door.

I’ve never seen this behavior from her before. I can’t help but think she’s seen it in preschool, which is just incredibly disappointing. The good that we hoped C would get from social interaction during preschool seems to be overshadowed by bad habits she’s picking up. Maybe it’s not related –  just something coincidental that comes with her age, but I have a hard time swallowing that answer.

So here we are, at the end of the day, and I find myself seriously wondering if wine is allowed on a juice fast day.

the reason

She’s the reason I get up in the morning.

And the reason I get up in the middle of the night.

The reason I sing lullabies at three a.m.

The reason I know yo gabba gabba, raffi and sesame street songs by heart.

The reason I’ve relearned my nursery rhymes.

The reason I’ve relearned ASL.

The reason I buy goldfish crackers.

Which leads to the reason I strive to make healthy, balanced meals.

The reason I get excited when I see an Elmo book or shirt.

The reason I use words like “potty”, “poopy” and “pee pee”.

The reason my expletives now consist if “oh my goodness!” and “oh my gosh”.

The reason I know I say the word “awesome” and the phrase “that’s so cute!” far too often.

The reason I’m not in the workforce right now.

The reason I try to be social on a regular basis (despite how much I might feel like being a hermit).

The reason I use good manners.

The reason I question my actions.

The reason I step back and look inward when I’m frustrated.

The reason I wave and smile when someone cuts me off (or at least refrain from other less than becoming behavior).

The reason I try to be a better person.

The reason I’m taking better care of myself.

The reason that I’m incredibly challenged every day.

I love you, C! <3

Protected: christmas photos

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magical

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Christmas morning is such a magical experience.

My parents have always done an incredible job making Christmas morning amazing. This is my third year trying at home, and it never feels the same as it still does when I go back to my mom and dads. The tree glows, presents sparkle and everything has a warm aura to it. It’s something I think that you can only get by going home. Maybe C will feel that way about Christmas at our house some day.

As a kid, I remember coming out to the living room early in the morning (most likely not too long after my parents had gone to bed). Some presents under the tree were left unwrapped. Having a brother, it was always fairly easy to figure out who’s present was who’s between those ones. Anything unwrapped was fair game to play with, but wrapped presents were off limits until everyone was awake. Stockings were also fair game. It gave us something to do while my parents got some extra sleep.

My favorite part of Christmas is just spending the day relaxing. We have a tradition of wearing pjs most of the day and enjoying it leisurely. We’ll open a few presents, then have some breakfast, open some more, watch a movie, open some more, etc. It usually lasts the entire day, sometimes two. We try not to feel too pressured to rush through it. We each take turns opening presents and take time to admire each others’ new things. We open snacks and goodies as we get them. It’s not uncommon for us to open and explore our new gadgets as we get them, either. It’s a nice day.

Having breakfast now. C has had a blast playing with her play kitchen, food, bbq, pans and utensils. C’s opened a few things, but we adults have only gotten through our stockings so far. The rest of the day awaits!

We didn’t get Christmas cards out this year – we couldn’t coordinate taking photos to get them done in time. So, we’ll have to make due with digital photos this year. Enjoy!

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This is my second attempt at this post. I wrote it once already this morning and lost it when my phone went to sleep. My rewrite isn’t as good as the original was, but I’m sleep deprived and this is about as good as it’s going to get. Merry Christmas!

It continues

This is the second week of C’s swim lessons. The weird thing is, she does great in friends pools, but she hates the lessons! She clings to me for dear life in the pool and cries the majority of the lesson. They are trying to teach her to kick and scoop and blow bubbles, but she just wants out. I thought by the end of the first week she would be better acclimated and like it more, but every day has been a struggle. We were in a friends pool over the weekend and she was excited to practice blowing bubbles right away when she got in! Not sure why she dislikes the community pool so much. I’ve even gone to giving her a sucker at the end of her lesson to give her a positive reward. Lessons go through this thursday, then we move on to gymnastics and baby ballet a few weeks later.

My low cal, low carb approach continues this week. It’s tough not to splurge over the weekend, especially when ben is still taking advantage of his cheat day on saturday. So we had a few carby items on saturday. Then on sunday, C and I made some homemade ice cream… which C LOVED. As did I! I had a small amount from C’s bowl. I was surprised when I entered the recipe in to myfitnesspal.com later and, despite bring made with real sugar, discovered that it was only 8 carbs per serving. Not terrible! Not the healthiest of carb choices, but still not too bad for a treat!

I’ve been avoiding the scale for a few days past cheat days, so I’m not sure where I am overall, but my clothes are fitting better than they have in a long time and I’ve pulled a few things from my pre-pregnancy box.

I’m loving having an exercise bike in our room. It makes getting a work out in so easy! Logging my daily exercise has helped motivate me to do more of it, which is awesome. It’s easy to get discouraged by set backs, so I’m enjoying the little things that are motivating me to stick with it.

Bedtime now. Hoping for good numbers on the scale tomorrow. Good night!



Mom to "C", wife to Ben. I'm a part-time blogger, cook, organizer, seamstress, house cleaner, taxi, nurse (the mom kind), accountant... I could go on, but really... it's all in the blog. Read away!

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