Friday, October 31, 2008

She's autistic, not deaf!

So one of the Senior VPs has a daughter, Johanna, who is 23 and autistic. She comes in the office a few mornings a week to do filing, clean the kitchen and other small jobs. She reminds me of Chloe. I mean that not in a demeaning way, but she is sweet and inquisitive. She asks lots of questions and doesn't have that adult filter. Her mom has worked really hard to give her a normal and meaningful life. She works, lives out of her home (with assistance) and does things like take swimming classes.

Well, one of the admins upstairs is basically in charge of her and I wanted to punch in the face. Now I understand having to make things simple for her and give her lots of direction, but the tone was so demeaning and she talked loudly as though Johanna was deaf (like people do to foreigners) or maybe like a dog. Ugh...

Maybe it's because I have friends with autistic and special needs kids, but it really bothers me.

Rant over... Happy Halloween! I'm sure I'll have pictures and stories to share tomorrow.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

They hugged!

My kids are awesome. They love each other and for the most part play well together. Chloe is sometime ornery but usually nice to her brother, and he's generally happy to follow her around and is a captive audience for her general silliness. Him chasing her around the dining room table is a favorite activity for both.

Chloe loves to hug and kiss on her brother, especially when he's nursing. This morning was no different but then he insisted I put him down so he could walk over and hug Chloe. Talk about a smile to start your day.

Which reminds me... I've been slacking in the picture department but with Halloween coming tomorrow, I'll be sure to get some great shots. Chloe and Stacey are going to the Blues game tonight and they're going all out for the holiday with games and candy for the kids who are also encouraged to wear their costumes. Chloe will be wearing the infamous monkey costume with a Blues jersey over it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Reason 456,634,598 I love my husband

When I began crafting The Plan, I hadn't really run it past my husband. He has always been supportive of the way I've wanted to parent the kids and goes along with basically anything I want to do, but this one was pretty big. I would be asking to quit my job (basically my only adult job and I've been here almost 8 years) to stay home and watch kids for income (with security being iffy).

Well, not only was he ok with it, but he turned my 1 or 2 years plan into about 4 months. He is trading in his prize car for something we can pay off in a few months and has agreed to work as much overtime as possible and to even get a part time job if needed.

This morning he told me he was excited to have a stay at home wife. I think it makes him feel manly that he can support us well enough that I don't have to work out of the home. He said he feels like our evenings now are chaotic but I'm not so sure that will change.

One step closer on The Plan

Today I scheduled myself for the Essentials part of the A+ exam. It's a two part exam and both tests must be taken within 90 days. Having this certification will make me a little more comfortable about jumping out of the IT field for a few years. It may be an indefinite exit, but at least if I want to get back in, I have a little something extra on my resume.

I'm scheduled for Friday, December 5 at 9am.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Overwhelmed by all the materials

So while we work on our family budget and get things in order for me to leave my job, I am putting together a curriculum plan for preschool. There is so much great information out there and tons of resources, but how do I begin? I need help formulating a plan for teaching Chloe and the 'others'.

I want to have at least two months worth of lessons setup so I'll have things ready to go during the initial adjustment period I know we'll all go through.

I'm feeling a little overwhelmed by it all, but luckily have some great smart friends who are already doing this. I will be gratuitously stealing their ideas. Muwahahahaha!

(by the way, this is really a cry for ideas so share some already!)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Halloween and Chloe's party

We're getting a double dose of Halloween this year. Of course the main holiday is this Friday, but Chloe has decided to have a Halloween themed party this year as well. Her birthday is 11/8 so the timing is great, it's easy to decorate for, it's not some annoying character plus it lets all the kids wear their costumes again (except for Pat who says he's not dressing up lol).

Chloe will once again be a monkey (her idea, not her cheap mom's) and Stacey is renting a gorilla costume. He's such a case but he's all excited so why not. He also spent yesterday afternoon decorating for Halloween. Our exposed brick walls were the perfect backdrop for that fake spiderweb stuff and he'll be pulling out the black lights later this week.

I still cannot find Benjamin's dinosaur costume but my friend Caroline made him some awesome fall color wool longies so he'll be sporting those with a fun shirt. He can't have candy but I'll be happy to help him trick o treat for mommy. muwahahahaha!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

More for the list...

I haven't decided if editing one post or just using labels is the best way to keep my information so these posts might change and/or get deleted later.

  1. childproof all cabinets and put latch on door to basement
  2. find resource for preschool worksheets that I can print out, copy, etc
  3. mock up meal plans and kid friendly, yet healthy, food items (all kids might not be as agreeable as mine)
  4. mock up daily/weekly schedule
  5. research field trips (firehouse tour, library tour, etc)
  6. talk to Christine and others about their childcare/SAHM experiences

Friday, October 24, 2008

I've been authorized to quit my job

When I decided to share my plan with Stacey, I though I might meet some resistance. Well, I got quite the opposite. I was basically told I could quit my job ASAP and we'd figure it out. Ok, so my husband is a gung-ho kind of guy and this plan will require a bit more, uhm, planning. Without further ado, here's my list of things to be doing in the next few weeks. Realistically, I'd like to quit about Feburary/March but I know Stacey would like this to come sooner.

  1. Put together a "Val at home" budget and review with Stacey
  2. Move Stacey's overtime pay into saving account to also be used for extra money we get selling items on CL, rebates, side work, etc
  3. Work on killer CL childcare ad. I figure I'll take in 1-2 toddler/preschool age kids for money and playmates for Chloe and Benjamin. I'm looking to say over 12 months in age and ideally not in diapers (but I won't hold my breath)
  4. Find preschool/home school resources I can use.
  5. Take infant/child/adult CPR class (11/19 $52)
I'm sure I'll have more to add...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Eckert's, Blues, and Aunt Flo

We took the kids to Eckert's Saturday to meet up with some friends and pick pumpkins. It was a great fall day and, while exhausting, we had a great time.

Stacey took Chloe to see the Blues. They've been going to Saturday night games and having a great time. Chloe especially likes the fights and the cheap seats actually give the best view.

Chloe also got her first haircut Sunday. I was less than impressed with Cool Cuts for Kids and will not be back, but her hair does look better with some of the split ends removed. Taking some of the weight off has also brought back the curl. It looks nice.

My arch nemesis (ok maybe that's a bit dramatic) Aunt Flo came to visit Sunday. You'd think after two years I'd complain less but no, I won't. Not only do I get that monthly unpleasantness but now I have ot worry aobut fertility. While I'd love to have more kids, I'd like to wait another year before we start trying. Maybe I'm wrong, but I get this nagging feeling I won't have that long. Maybe I should start reading up on family planning. Anyone Catholic? :)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

On a happier note

I had a great time with Amber and Cathy. It was so good for my soul to have my friends here and be able to talk in person and love on them. I get to see Amber once or twice a year, but had not seen Cathy for, gosh, 2 1/2 years. I can't believe it had been that long.

Cathy takes wonderful photos and always seems to catch those action "real life" shots I feel I often miss. I guess it didn't feel like such a long absence b/c I'm able to peek almost daily at her family.

Here are a couple cute photos she took of Chloe at a local park.

Chloe and Ariel had a great time together. I'm not sure what they're talking about, but I'm certain it was deep. lol

Chris, Chloe, Ariel and Pat

I feel so frustrated today

When Chloe was born, I couldn't have imagined quitting my job. I like my job and she was such a demanding infant (or maybe it was just that I had no idea what being a mom was really like). I needed work to get away and not feel so needed.

Now that she's almost 4 and we have Benjamin, I ache to be home with them. Last night I was helping Chloe make a Birth Day card for our friend's new baby (her idea, isn't that awesome?). I printed some tracing letters and put them on the card so she could practice writing her name. She was having trouble and got frustrated.

I get it. I too get frustrated when I hit a challenge. I think so many things came easy to me in the learning world that I tend to shut down when I face something I cannot immediately master. I tried to help her and we did make progress, but I wish I could be home. I feel like I could use my experience to help her work past it and learn how to push through challenges.

I know I still can but evenings and weekends are a blur of cooking, cleaning and trying to have quality time with the family. I just feel like I'm not doing the work God intended me to do. I know I have a greater purpose and I'm so close to getting there. I know it's not time yet so I pray for patience.

Until then, I have to figure out how to make those limited hours more meaningful.

I try to remember that one day, when I'm home with my kids full time, I'll miss work. I'll miss being here and being needed by adults. I suppose the grass really is greener.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

The only bad thing about having real life online friends

At the risk of sounding like a nerdy loser, I love my online friends. I have found people who really get me and it's great. Good or bad, my online friends have made me forget that most of my crazy parenting is crazy. I forget that everyone else isn't like me. It's wonderful.

I am very fortunate that some of these people live nearby and I'm able to spend lots of face to face time with them. I've also been lucky enough to travel and meet some of them.

However, there are so many I have not met in person and I yearn to. Wouldn't it be great if you could bundle up all your fiends and live in one place. Here I go on my wishes for a commune again...

They are my bosom friends, they are my 'people', they are the women I love...

Monday, October 6, 2008

Love this picture!

Thanks to my lovely friend Cathy for snapping this picture of me and Benjamin. I love how he holds my shirt. You can't see it, but his other hand is usually holding hte back of my arm and/or rubbing it. Almost like he's thanking me.