Thursday, February 4, 2016

All that and a bunch of stuff

I'm such a terrible blogger.  I have things I want to say and then don't have time to sit down and write them.  I was even late putting up Tyler's birthday post!  Mom fail.

So what have I been busy with?  So much!  January was actually a pretty crummy, stressful month. I don't want to dwell on it, but here were a few lowpoints from December and January.
  • We finally had to replace the sewer line in our front yard.  We had been avoiding it for awhile, limping it along with a good rotor-rooter once a year or so.  Basically what had happened was tree roots had broken into the pipe leading from the house to the main line.  The line backed up twice in a week, so we knew the problem had escalated.  Sure enough, the pipe was actually beginning to break/collapse.  So we faced the music and had it done.  $4000 (financed) dollars later and we were left with a very muddy yard that looks like a giant gopher had dug across it and a house with plumbing we could actually use without worrying. Yay.
  • Mom was sick sick sick for like 6 weeks in a row.  We all had colds, then she and I both got a horrible cough that was REALLY terrible for her.  After that came ANOTHER cold and THEN a severe ear infection with a ruptured ear drum.  That last part entailed Adam and I taking the combined total of an entire work week off because she was so sick, there was no way should could watch the kids.  After that, we came up with a back up plan for these sort of situations, since obviously we need to be at work whenever possible.  Adam's dad is retired now, so he may be able to serve as a back up, so that combined with Adam and I driving separately and me going in to work very early so I could leave in time to pick up Tyler from school will work in the future.  His dad watched both of the kids on MLK day, which they all enjoyed, and after that, mom was beginning to bounce back.  Her ear is still healing and her hearing is coming back slowly, but it's progress.  I have another cough, so I am hoping she doesn't catch it or anything else!
  • I've had some disappointments at work lately.  I've been trying to figure out the next steps in my career for awhile now.  It's challenging, because the path I originally thought I would take hasn't worked out.  They changed the preferred qualifications to include a preferred degree in a technical or engineering field. Obviously, I don't have that.  It's not like that particular job was my DREAM job, but it was just about the only one I thought I'd be able to transition into (that would be a promotion, not a lateral move). I've applied for that job a total of 4 times now and not gotten the position.  I'm at peace with it now, but it was tough and frustrating at the time.  I also applied for another position, and I'm told I was definitely a top candidate, but I more or less took my name out of the running, because the amount of business travel required was up to 50%.  It was a great opportunity, but with the kids still being so young, it just wasn't possible for me.  It was my hope that by applying and interviewing for it, it might open doors down the road, so we'll see.  My boss is being great about the whole thing too.  He's contacting a lot of people on my behalf, so hopefully something will come of it.  
  • My sister had moved out, but unfortunately she lost her new job, so she moved back with us for awhile. She's got a good job now, so hopefully it's just a small setback
  • We're still working on the house, but with Christmas and illnesses, we're a little behind (again, some more).  The goal is looking more like early May to list.  Fingers crossed!!
  • Our dryer also broke, but thankfully it was just a belt and Adam was able to fix it fairly easily.  What did we do before YouTube how-to videos?
So, on to more pleasant things!  Another thing that has been taking up a lot of my time and attention, is a project a friend and I have been working on. I can't remember if I mentioned it or not?  I have mentioned that I've had aspirations to write a book.  I talked about writing one about infertility, and I still might someday.  I also wrote a novel myself, but never felt like it was something I could develop into a real project.  But awhile back, my friend Kelly came to me and asked me to work with her on a writing project.  Our writing styles seem to compliment each other. We are both very creative, and we have different strengths and weaknesses in our writing.  I edited what she had written and then we worked together to develop the and complete the story.  I don't want to say too much yet, I have no idea how this stuff works, but it's geared toward Young Adults, but fairly mature young adults.  There is a love story involved, even a bit of a love triangle, but it also deals with heavy issues like teen suicide, self-harm, and depression.  We've completed the manuscript, so now we're hoping for some feedback and we are preparing the necessary items to start sending it out to publishers.  I'm not assuming anything, we may get a slew of rejections, but it feels good to be trying and who knows where it will lead!

Okay, enough for one night!  I hope someone is still reading out there!  I'm still reading blogs, but since I can't comment like I used to (my phone is terrible for commenting), I know it doesn't seem like I'm reading!  But I'm still here!  Take care, all!

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Stupendous Seven!!!

MOM FAIL!  I wrote this post last Wednesday, the day before Tyler's birthday, with the intention of adding the pictures Thursday after the kids were in bed.  Yeah. That didn't happen. I totally forgot and then I kept remembering when it was not convenient to finish it!  Such is life!  So here it is, a few days late!

My baby is SEVEN years old!  I really don't know how that is possible.  I can't remember my life without him!  He is just the most incredible gift, the smartest, sweetest, most amazing little guy in the world and I can't believe he is my son!  Like last year, I'm going to go down to the school for lunch (with McDonalds) and we'll have Steak N Shake for dinner, with chocolate sprinkled cupcakes for dessert!  Things have been terribly crazy lately(have I published my update post yet?), so instead of planning a big family party, I decided to take Tyler and a couple of his friends to Monkey Joes (a bouncy/inflatable place) for a play date, so I am working on arranging that soon!

Here are some things about Tyler at 7!
  • He's doing really great in school!  He loves his "special" classes, especially PE.  He seems to do pretty equally well at math and reading so far.  He reads extremely well and seems to comprehend what he's reading well.  He is doing well at spelling too.  He has quite a few friends, although his best friends aren't in his class this year.  
  • I've fought it for awhile, but I'm coming to grips that he's a gamer.  We tried to limit screentime for years, but now we are sort of shifting gears and focusing more on making sure that a good amount of screentime is educational.  He just loves video games, just like his daddy.  We closely monitor the subject matter, of course.  It's fun now because he can play games that have words and storylines, because he can read them himself.  I've had to accept that games are what he really likes, he's not very into playing with toys! Recently, he's also gotten into Skylanders, a video game that uses small figurines.
  • He still shocks me with his vocabulary. I keep thinking he'll stop surprising me, after all, six and seven year olds can be pretty well spoken, but when he uses words like "apparently", it still makes me smile.
  • He's still my super sensitive sweetheart!  I would have never thought I'd have a child MORE sensitive than I am, but he seems to be!  We struggle sometimes with him getting upset about silly things, or getting upset because he ASSUMES something upsetting will be happening. I'm trying to work with him to keep calm and ask first, then if the result is upsetting, crying is justified.  I can't blame him, I certainly know tears can't always be controlled, but I hate when he gets upset needlessly.  He's also a worrier!  I'm always telling him to let me do the worrying!
  • He's still on the smaller size for his age.  He went to the doctor back in October, I think?  At that time, he was 3 feet, 9.75 inches and 46 lbs.  I'm guessing he may have gained another inch or two and probably a little weight, but not major growth spurt, I don't think. Finding pants that fit in the waist and are the right length can be a challenge!  He is mostly in boys extra small clothing, although they are a little bit big.  He also wears size 10 boys shoes, only one size larger than AJ! He hasn't lost any of his teeth yet, either!
  • He's still a picky eater. I've tried and tried, and we've made some progress on getting him to TRY new foods, but we haven't had a ton of success with him actually LIKING the new foods. He's also not terribly consistent.  He loves McDonald's chicken nuggets and the chicken from a frozen meal we get for him, but he won't touch any other kind of chicken. He loves cheese. He still doesn't really eat any other meats, aside from a little bit of bacon.  He likes strawberries and bananas and green beans and corn on the cob. He likes Steak N Shakes vegetable soup and O'Charley's Chicken Noodle soup.  He will try just about any kind of pizza, and most of them he will eat a decent amount.  He also loves when Mom makes homemade potato soup or rice and Chinese food.  He has an incurable sweet tooth! He also shares his daddy's love for loaded cheese fries!
  • He is a great big brother!  AJ likes to see what he's up to and Tyler loves to make him laugh!
  • He likes music. He'll hear a song on the radio or in a store and recognize it. I guess they listen at school sometimes.  Compared to AJ, who tells me "No gank (thank) you!" when I sing, I'm happy!
  • He is giggly, lively, always moving, and he LOVES to talk!  Even when he is playing a game, he's wiggling and talking to himself about it!
I love him more than I could ever have imagined loving anyone! I am so grateful to be his mommy!

One last birthday note:  Tyler's sweet friend made him a birthday card that totally cracked me up! 
Quite the impressive Turtle!

If you can't read it, it says "No cake, eat your candles.  It's a joke."  LOL!