Pocketfuls of Sunshine

Archive for January 2009

In college, I remember using the word “Random!” all the time.  It was a part of the daily vocabulary for the girls at 430 Charles Street.   So since I haven’t updated in awhile, I’ll give you a “random!” look at what’s been going on around here lately.

The big news?  I managed to land the perfect stay-at-home job for me!  It’s the triple bonus.  1)  I can work from home and around the kids’ schedules.  2)  It is something about which I am very passionate since Beanie’s birth.  3)  I can help other children while teaching my own what it means to do something good for others.  The new gig?  I’m in “Creative Development” for the charity that has done so much for Beanie and our family.  I’ll be working to write grants, fundraise, and bring in donations from various events.  The Husband and I are very excited about this new endeavor.

In baby news…the kids are doing so well!  The Bean is learning new words every day and she is very compassionate towards her little brother, offering him toys, calling him to follow her down the hallway, and giving him the cutest hugs and kisses before bed.  She tells him she loves him every night, and I think she really means it.  Mr. Bubby has become an easy toddler, sleeping straight through the night for months now and always happy and smiling.  He waited a long time for a tooth, and now is in the process of getting three.  You wouldn’t know it, though, because he is very happy to just be crawling and cruising, exploring the house from one end to the other.  We had a great day at the mall today with a friend of mine and her two kids.  Lunch, the carousel, and walks around the mall–a great way to spend a Thursday afternoon.

Oh, I read Twilight finally.  I had to see what the buzz was all about, and frankly–I still don’t know.  Admittedly, it’s not a genre I read normally, but it seemed manageable.  And it may have been enjoyable, had the book been severely edited and the author not used “incredulously” about 78 times.   I’m clearly in the minority, but I have no idea why this book is a bestseller.

Since I’m on the entertainment kick, the DVR on our TV is filling up by the day.  I can’t keep up.  Unless the kids are watching a cartoon, the television is off for most of the day.  We listen to music instead.  At night, I get excited to see what the DVR has in store for me, but there’s not enough time in the day to catch up.  So Idol had to go.  The audition rounds are so contrived anyway.  I’ll check back in when they go live and there’s some actual talent there.  Until then, I keep fast forwarding through commercials as I get my percentages down.

Gymnastics has started again for Beanie.  She is a rock star on the balance beam.  She looks ahead, puts one tiny foot in front of the other, and motors right across the four foot high beam.  All while singing.  She uses a high pitch and sings her way across, happy as a lark.  I love it.

It’s getting late and I should work on that DVR percentage while I have the chance.  Stay tuned!

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Another new year is upon us, and as Lori at Barefoot in High Heels reminds me, it is time to make those dreaded resolutions. Every year I struggle to find something that I can stick with throughout all four seasons. Lately, I seem to catch little clips from the morning shows and Oprah about unleashing a new you. Most of these segments begin with intentions of weight loss. They all review the same information from last year’s show, such as eat right, exercise regularly, and get adequate sleep. All three are things to which I should devote time in the New Year. With those in mind, I’ll make my top ten list.

1. Eat better. (I’m not as enlightened as some with their nutritional mumbo jumbo, but I can cut back on fatty and sugary foods and replace them with more veggies.)

2. Exercise regularly. (I’ll be honest. After having two babies within nearly a year of one another, I was amazed at how the weight came off just by not having time to eat. But now, the weight is off but things are, well, um…let’s say they are “out of place”. So I just told the hubby I’ll be making a date with our treadmill as much as possible to put those wandering parts back in line.)

3. Get sleep. (This one is easy. The kids are sleeping now, and I’ve been staying up late relishing time to read, watch TV, and fall asleep on the couch in a hazy cloud. But I’ve been meaning to back up my bedtime by about an hour. The goal now is 11:15, right after the local weather report.)

4. Drink water. (Two pregnancies back to back found me carrying bottles of water everywhere I went. I was a good girl. I drank like a fish. Now, I enjoy one can of pop a day. Not so bad, except that I haven’t been drinking water throughout the rest of the day. Time to turn on the tap again.)

5. Read more. (Now that things have settled down, I want to read more. I have some books on hold at the library and a few in my pile in the meantime. Now I just need to snuggle up and read.)

6. Write more. (I have some good ideas. I really do. I need to put them to paper, or on screen as the case may be, and see what happens. I have two pieces out now, and I need a rotating stash to submit to publishers when I get those inevitable rejections.)

7. Stay informed. (This one is tough. Since the kids are at that age where they understand MUCH more than we think, I have turned off the news. I used to know what was going in fairly soon after it happened. Now, I’m a little slow on the breaking news. It’s worth it so that the kids don’t see the ugliness that is live and in living color now. But I need to find time to catch up online and stay atop of the stories that affect the country and the world.)

8. Make playdates. (I am one of the only stay-at-home mothers I know in my circle of friends and family nearby, so it’s hard to make playdates easily. And up until this point, it wasn’t much of a playdate because the kids were so small. I couldn’t really just sit back and watch them play. And with Bubs, I really still can’t. But we are getting closer to all out playdates that are fun for both the kids and me as well.)

9. Shop smarter. (This one has been in effect for awhile, but I should improve upon it. I use coupons at the grocery store, shop mostly during sales, and bargain hunt online. Every penny adds up.)

10. Keep my closet organized. (I really think this one is the hardest for me. I reorganize two to three times a year, usually at season changes. Somehow, no matter how nice and neat everything looks, it inevitably becomes disheveled as I tear through it trying to find something in a hurry. It sure would be nice to keep it put together this year. But really, who has time for that when doing all these other things? This one might have to go.)

So there’s my list. Wish me luck. I’m going to need it.

Happy New Year!

Last year, we heard enough about Wall Street and “Main Street” and, quite frankly, I’m tired of hearing about bailouts and depressing economic predictions on either street. This year, I prefer a different, more fun street. Easy Street.

While I was walking the malls with my pregnant waddle and an infant in a stroller, people looked at me like I had lost my marbles. “How far apart will your babies be?” I was asked everywhere I went.

“Thirteen months,” I would answer with a smile that conveyed that I’d had this conversation before and was ready for the second, usually nosy, comment. It was generally something like, “Oh my God. You’ll never sleep again.” Or “Did you want babies that close?” Or “I couldn’t imagine taking care of kids a year apart. It’s so hard.” Thank you for the encouragement, ladies.

But occasionally, someone would follow up the “how far” question with something interesting and insightful. It was like a breath of fresh air.

“Really? My kids are 13 months apart and it was the best thing I ever did.” Or “I never would have planned mine to be so close either but it works out and they are close for life.” Or even “you are going to be busy but it’s the best kind of busy.”

So, one day not so long ago, while I was pregnant with Bubs, I remembered a little gem of wisdom from a mother with kids in tow. She said, “I won’t sugar coat it. It’s hard in the beginning with two so close. But you do what you have to in the beginning. The first year is hard. But once the youngest hits one, it is so much easier. Get through the first year and you will be amazed at how much easier it becomes.”

I wondered at the time, will it really take a year? I was hoping for a little let-up after four months, maybe six. A year seemed like an eternity.

But here I sit, as Bubs turned one two days after Christmas, and I can say that woman was right.

In my son’s infant stage, he had acid reflux. Badly. And it wasn’t just the spitting up. I can handle spit up. Trust me. I’ve been covered in it to such a degree that I could market a new fragrance. It was the wincing, the arching, the screeching out in pain. I cried. A bunch. It was hard to see my little guy in pain and not be able to help with just the touch of my arms or the sound of my voice. But, with the help of a little medicine and a lot of reading, we got through it.

He also didn’t sleep. And I don’t mean normal “babies don’t sleep” kind of insomnia. I mean, he would sleep for only 45 minutes to an hour at a time, night after night, month after month. I have never, ever felt that kind of sleep deprivation and I hope not to ever again. I remember saying, “He’s six months old! He should be sleeping!” I was grateful for those odd nights when he slept three hours at a time. People would ask, “How is the sleeping going?” I would reply happily, “He had a good night last night. I got a three hour block.” And I could hear their jaw hitting the floor because, really, three hour blocks at six months is a dismal performance, but I was so thankful for the little respite I could find. Miraculously, the night of October 20, 2008, he decided to sleep through the night and continued to this very day. It was such a monumental night that I remember the date. So we got through it.

During this time, Beans got a new myoelectric arm, started to talk, and learned to walk. For the first four months of Bubs life, Beanie scooted to get around. Slowly, at first and then more quickly. It was quite the sight. I lost my baby weight quickly as I spent my days picking up and moving both kids from one place to another because she wasn’t yet walking. I lugged Bub’s carseat to Beanie’s therapy sessions, learned to grocery shop with two kids in the cart, and mastered getting them in and out of the car relatively quickly while running errands. At first, it took me a good hour to get out of the house. Now, I move faster than Superman as I race around and get them loaded and to our destination on time, most days.

And now, one year later, I am sitting on the couch as both kids are sleeping. And I’m blogging. And reading. And meeting friends for the occasional dinner. And raising awareness for Variety. And writing. And just keeping up.

That woman with two kids in the mall that day was right. One year is the turning point. And now it’s Easy Street most days. Don’t get me wrong. Even the nicest streets have cracks in the sidewalk that trip you up when you aren’t looking. But it’s worth it to take that walk. Just remember to take a warm coat, some comfy shoes, and a bag with some extra diapers and wipes for emergencies.