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Friday, December 7, 2012

I worked hard for the money

Since I was old enough to have a job, I have worked. I have had so many jobs while I was growing up. Majority of them were waitressing jobs. I loved to wait tables. I met new people and felt like I was pretty good at it. It was a great way to help me make money through school. Once I graduated nursing school I loved to work as much as I could. I enjoyed all the incentives they threw at me. There was always a shift to pick up, and usually a bonus to go along with it. I did this for many, many years. I was young and had no responsibility to anyone other than myself. I could work all day, and go out all night if thats what I wanted to do. I could spend all my money on any luxury item I wanted. Up until earlier this year, I always had a full time job, or maybe even two. I love my job. I get to work with kids every day. I don't have to have one of those nursing jobs that stress me out beyond what I could handle. I have a wonderful boss who understands the importance of family. When my husband was set to be deployed this past summer, that same wonderful boss presented me with the idea of going part time at my job. She stopped and made me think how important  it is to be home with my kids, so I decided that day after we spoke on the phone that part time hours would be much more fitting for my families needs. I would have the best of both worlds. This is not only one of the greatest decisions of the year, it is one of the greatest of my life.

At first, all I could think about was the drastic decrease in income. We were a two income family, and I thought we needed that money more than I was needed at home. One week after I decided to take part time hours, I was hospitalized for pregnancy complications and placed on bedrest for the remainder of my pregnancy. Now I was left with zero income. Who would have thought it was the best thing to ever happen to my perspective on "needs" and "wants". Sometimes I WANT a little extra money to blow, but I know that I NEED to be present every second I can in my children's lives right now. If this means that I work the bare minimum, then so be it. There is not a single material object that can replace the joy I feel from being with my children and my husband. Money is gone so fast, and the more you make, the more you spend. I now have mastered the art of finding a coupon for everything and finding every item on sale. All I want to do now is provide for them. " If your doing what your able, and putting food there on the table, and providing for the family that you love, well thats something to be proud of." And thats exactly what we are, and that is PROUD. I made a concise decision that the almighty dollar really is not all that important. And I am blessed to have a husband who agrees with this way of thinking. He is pretty amazing. I think I will keep him around ;)

I now have this overwhelming sense of appreciation for the stay at home mother. Each and every one of you is my hero. I am ashamed to say, I used to look a them and say " They don't even work, I sure would like to stay home all day." Now, atleast half of the time, this is my reality. I spend my days making lists, and then making lists of lists of things to get done. Do the laundry, clean the house, then clean it again after my toddler is through with it. Put the toys away, just so he can get them out again. Make a healthy lunch, feed the baby, rock her to sleep. Get my big baby down for a nap, try to squeeze in a 5 minute shower ( while probably singing the Curious George themesong), then repeat. There are no breaks and down time usually is just the calm before the storm. I am worn out by 8 and feel like I am rarely out of sweatpants. Im chubbier than I once was and don't always feel pretty.  I am out of the loop in just about everything that is going on, but I have seen every episode of Super Why and break out into singing " Hat, Mat, Cat, Wonderific your Terrific" to Grant anytime he isn't happy because I know this makes him laugh. I do this in check out lanes or in dressing rooms, wherever we are, I will do  anything to make that kiddo smile. These precious kids don't care how I look, Im just their mommy With this blog, I hope someday I can show my kids what is really important. My time with them is priceless. I do not feel like I lost the person I once was. I instead know that I found the person I was meant to be. No big paycheck will ever compare. You may not be able to tell by looking at us, but we are as rich as they come.

And on a totally unrelated note is this picture. As I was getting ready for work this morning Grant kept coming in the bathroom and grabbing stuff. I have him 4 crackers and a small bottle. He went in and out of our bathroom several times. When I arrived home from work today this is what I see in the spare bathroom.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 1- December 1

Prompt from Think Kit by SmallBox: Did one photo encapsulate your year? Maybe it takes a gallery.  Go out and take a new one that represents your year if you need to.  Let's see those photos.

Im starting late on this, so have so me catching up to do. Being sick has put me behind a bit.

Not sure if one picture could sum up the entire year for us, but this one could come close. Our  little family of three was expanding to a family of four. I found out I was pregnant with our second in early February. We were so excited to say the least. Grant has been more than we could ever imagined he would be. He teaches us so many new things every day. Nothing even compares to being his parents. How could we be this blessed again?

  I have loved a lot of things in my past. Mostly going out and doing my own thing, with no where I had to be and no one to answer to and not having too much responsibility. Life is much different now. Im LUCKY to get to squeeze in a shower, go to the bathroom by myself, sleep in, spend extra money on something I do not need, or have an evening out with just my husband. But this amazing life is the one we have created. We are not fancy people, and that is an understatement! We do not dress all that fancy or have fancy things. and if we do, chances are it came from a garage sale or Craigslist. We are practical. We love a bargain and shop at garage sales!  We are sleep deprived most of the time....but most of all we are HAPPY!  We live a wonderful life. We love our home and our children to the end of the earth. I always want them to know how loved they are. Right now, nearly everything they do is pretty adorable. But I know there will come a time when I won't always love their choices and may not like them, but I will always love them.  To quote my all time favorite kids book " I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always,  As long as I'm living, My baby you'll be". Being a mom is the greatest thing I will ever accomplish. If someone were to ask me what I have done with myself, I can just show them this picture. There is no other accomplishment that will ever compare. If someone asked me 5 years ago about the things that make me happy, it would have been a much more shallow answer along the lines of a big house, nice car and expensive clothes. My definition of happiness now is chasing my rambunctious, very curious toddler around the house as he explores anything and everything and snuggling my sweet baby girl, and spending  my evenings at home with my wonderful husband discussing our day. It may sound simple, but thats what we are!

Now don't get me wrong, it's not all sunshine and rainbows all the time. I have days where my frustration is so high, I just want to scream or cry...or both. But those days get overshadowed by the days when I see Grant learning something new, or my sweet Millie smiling back at me. I have to take time every day to realize what I have and appreciate it in its entirety. I tell myself. " Someday we will laugh about this" and at the time, some of those things don't seem like they will ever be funny.

So this picture is our family of four. I don't care that Grant is squirming and won't sit still ( per his usual) or that I hardly ever want my picture taken and this one was taken before I could say " No just get the kids". I want to have pictures to show them someday of how proud I really was in that moment. Ross and I are so proud to be their parents, and its obvious here.

Day 2

Day 2
Prompt from Think Kit by SmallBox: "Get Unplugged" Unplug for an hour, a half day, or a whole day.  Choose a time that feels a little uncomfortable.  How did you feel?  What did you do?  Reflect on your experience.  How much did you unplug this year?  How does this experience make you feel about unplugging this coming year?

"Unplugging". This may be the most difficult one of this entire month. It is just so easy now. Everything is always right at your fingertips. It's way to easy to log onto facebook, to check your email, to play games on your phone, to go on pinterest ( my obsession).  Im am guilty of every single one of these things, far more than I am proud of. I find myself in the evening so ready for the kids to go to bed so I can  do a few things on the computer. Majority of these things are  not of any importance, but to me it is just fun. Ross usually will have his headset on and is playing Call of Duty online with friends, and Im usually playing on the ipad.  I want to make an effort to unplug a bit, but I cant give any guarantees. I love having my handy dandy little phone that does it all on me at all times. I want to make an effort to chat with my husband undistracted about something other than the kids.

We have  family everywhere in the country ( and across the world in Japan) that this is an amazing tool to keep in touch, so I'm justifying some of the "plugging in".

Day 3
Prompt from Think Kit by SmallBox: If you could meet someone new in 2013, who would it be?  Or would you rather spend time with someone you already know?

I went to part time at work this year for the main reason of being home with my family more. One of the things that made me want to do this is to meet new "mommy" friends with kids my kids age and to get them out to meet new friends. Grant has always stayed at home and never gone to daycare. I am blessed to always have help from family to watch the kids, and my mom comes to our house on my workdays to babysit. Its such a great set up for us both. I have been back to work about a month, but have yet to do any of the fun things I wanted to do with Grant. Like going to the zoo, or the museum or the park. I was behind in everything there was to be behind on when Millie came along, due to being on bedrest for so long. Now I have no excuse. I have off days now. My husband's deployment was cancelled, so he is here! I want to get out there and enjoy things with Grant. He loves to explore and play. This year I want to meet some more mommy friends to do things with. I do have great friends, but not many with kids the same age as mine. My best friend lives on the opposite side of town, so it makes getting together a bit tough.

I have never had a problem meeting new people. People tell me I have never met a stranger. I know that Im very outgoing and I think  fun to be around, but being a mommy makes things a  little different.  My conversations are not nearly as exciting as they once were ( well to me they are more exciting because my kids are involved, but others may not see it that way). Im ready for bed by 9,  I cant even remember the last time I was in a bar, my kids schedule determines my schedule, Im drunk off of one glass of wine ( ok maybe a half of a glass),   and a night out has sure changed from my single life. This may not sound exciting, but its a life I never in a million years could have dreamed I would get to live.  To say I am blessed would be the understatement of the century! I know there are more mommies out there like me. Ones who need someone to talk to every once in a while regarding the trials and tribulations of this thing we do called Motherhood. This is not easy. It is a far greater challenge then I could have anticipated. It is a job where you are not rewarded with a monetary bonus or raise for doing a good job. You just pray every day your doing a good enough job. Sometimes I need that reassurance. I want to meet a few more of these people this year. I want to join play groups, or mommy groups, workout groups etc.. This is a huge goal for me in 2013. I'll let you know how that goes.

On occasion we do get a night out. This was one of them, last weekend at my husbands military ball. Such a great night!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

I have always wanted to start a blog. I have talked about it so many times but have never followed through. I have read so many other ones out there. Anything I have ever wanted to learn about, or do, or who I wanted to be, there seemed to be a blog about that. Well this is my chance to blog. I want to tell the world about who I am, not who I wish I could be or who I was in the past, but who I am right now. Right now Im Kathleen. I am married to Ross, a man who sets the standard for all other men out there. He is pretty top notch and I will never know what I ever did right to get to call him mine.  We have two delightful children who light up our world. Grant turned 1 this past July and baby sister Millie came along this September. To say we have our hands full is the understatement of the decade. These kiddos keep us hopping all day long. Before my babies, I worked full time as a school nurse, which is a mommy dream job in itself! Now I do the same thing, but part time so I can be home with the kids more. Ross currently teaches ROTC at a local university and is in the national guard.

So now you have met us, so here is the start of my blog. I came across a friends blog she was doing and instantly was inspired to do the same. Hope you enjoy.