Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Snow Day 2014

South Carolina doesn't get snow very often.  When it does, we have to make the most of it!  The news said we got between two and four inches.  Seems about right from what we saw.  When James saw the snow for the first time, he said "Uh oh.  Boken."  Everything that is NOT as it should be to him is 'broken' or "boken" as he says it.  Definitely the white-coated world outside his window qualified as "boken!"  

We played in the snow for about thirty minutes.  James had fun walking around in it.  He refused to wear gloves, but didn't seem to mind the cold. (It was about 35 degrees.)  Reese on the other hand, wanted to touch the snow until she did and realized it was COLD.  She started crying and didn't stop for ten minutes after we went inside.  Her poor little hands were so red and cold!  We don't own a snow shovel (because why would we??), so instead of shoveling our driveway, I swept it with a broom and used a rake to get the icy parts.  Fun times!

We had some hot chocolate.  Scott made us some yummy cookies.  All in all it was a good day.  Hopefully it will all melt away tomorrow.  This stuff is really annoying to actually have to live with on a daily basis.  I don't know how so many of you do it!

The backyard.

James needed snow tires or chains or something for his car.  He kept saying "Stuck! Halp!"

One of two snowmen creations of Scott's.

Reese testing out the snow, skeptically.

A Conversation Between Siblings

Monday, January 27, 2014

First Day of School!

I'm not (too) ashamed to admit that yesterday I felt sorta like Nemo in this clip about my upcoming first day of work:

I was excited to go back to work.

I was excited because it's a brand new place (to me).

I'm an extroverted extrovert, so the idea of PEOPLE gets me pumped.

I cannot say that I was dripping with enthusiasm this morning at 6 am when my alarm went off.  But after waking up a bit and washing the sleep out of my eyes, the excitement resurfaced.  Also, perhaps related, the venti caramel chai tea latte encouraged enthusiasm to bubble to the top.  It also helped my hands be a little jittery, but that's neither here nor there.

For my badge-picture-day recently, I did my hair all purdy and even put on makeup (a rarity for me).  Today, when I was pretty certain there would be no pictures, I did my usual no-makeup, hair in a pony tail routine.  Last night as Scott and I were discussing what time I would need to leave in the morning and how long it would take me to get ready, I mentioned my no fancy hair/no makeup plans.  "Somebody's not getting a first impression rose,"  he said in typical quick-witted-Scott-style.  Thankfully for me, this is not "The Bachelor".

Back to this morning...  With minimal traffic encountered, I arrived at my new job site just before orientation day began.  I expected this first day of orientation to be a large group of people in one room all day with 7,612 presenters indoctrinating new employees on company culture, policies, and procedures.  I was not disappointed.  Of note, I learned that almost every speaker pronounced the word "Palmetto" as "PAL-metto", as in ole buddy ole 'pal'.  I had been pronouncing it like pall-metto (like in pall-bearers).  I'll let you know if my pronunciation changes throughout this first week of orientation...

I met a labor and delivery new-grad nurse at my table first thing this morning.  YAY!  Somebody remotely in my world!  At lunch she brought me a chocolate chip cookie from the buffet line.  As you can imagine, I declared her to be MY NEW BEST FRIEND.  (I'm so so sorry Amy, you knew I was easily bought with chocolate chip cookies...)

Speaking of food, they fed us twice today!  Breakfast and lunch!  Hey, if you wanna feed me two decent meals and pay me to be there, I'll listen to however many presenters you wanna throw at me.

All in all, it was a good first day.

Tomorrow begins clinical orientation (still not on the unit yet).  And it may SNOW tomorrow afternoon.  WHAAAA??  This is South Carolina.  There should be NO snow here.

I'll keep ya posted!  Yay!  Second day of school!  Second day of school!  Oh geez....there I go again...

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Two Kids

Do you have more than one kiddo?  How did that transition go for you?  How far apart were they?  How did you think it would go compared to how it really did go?

I'd like to tell you that this picture below is how it goes all of the time...  So sweet...together...

But the reality is something more like this...

James was 17 months old when Reese was born.  That was super fun.  He was pretty non-verbal at the time, unable to communicate much other than his displeasure about the new lack of space on my lap due  to the frequently-nursing Reese.  His tantrums and whining seemed worse to me after she arrived.  Hard to say if that was because of Reese's arrival, or just because he was 17 months old.  Or did it only  seem worse, but in reality had not changed much?  (Because I rarely slept more than 1-2 hours at a time and so my tolerance for such nonsense reduced dramatically.)  We'll never really know the true cause, folks.

Having a 17 month old and a newborn was fairly ugly.  I expected it to be ugly.  It was indeed as I expected it to be.  I was told that I would expect so much more out of James since he was the "older" child now.  That compared to Reese, he should know better about a variety of things (feeding abilities, behavior, life in general).  Since I was warned about inadvertently raising my expectations of him, I made a conscious effort to not expect him to suddenly act older than he was.  I did, however, expect him to continue to act how he used to act (reasonable with occasional flip-out sessions).  What actually happened was that he went backwards a little bit.  Flip-outs became more regular, reasonable behavior became a little less regular.  No shocker there.  His world was rocked.  He had to express it somehow.  If I had to go back and tell myself some advice, I would tell me to lower my expectations of James.  Allow him some space to regress a little and have less patience, problem solving skills and comprehension than he demonstrated pre-baby sister.

Three months into the gig, however, life was much more glorious.  Having a 20 month old and a 3 month old was tolerable.  Reese wasn't sleeping through the night yet, but she slept more than she used to.  James had adjusted a little and seemed less bothered by her in his behavior.  I could finally hold his hand while he went up stairs and have Reese in my arms.  I didn't have to carry them both upstairs.

Side note about his behavior:  James didn't really act out TOWARDS Reese, for which I was really grateful.  He was overall disinterested in her.  He didn't try to hit her with things or drive over her with his ridey toys.  He mostly ignored her.  I realized later what a blessing in disguise that was.  Other moms told me thrilling stories of their young toddlers feeding their newborns choking-hazard foods/toys or smothering them with "love" and kisses and hugs and slobber (read: cooties).  I was then grateful that he pretty much left her alone.  His "bad" behavior involved flopping around on the floor wailing, harming only himself (and maybe my ears).

It has only gotten better as each of the munchkins have gotten older.  I keep both of them locked safely secured in their high chairs during meal times.  This keeps them a) away from each other and b) out of my way while I cook.  James loves to share food with Reese.  Particularly stuff he's not interested in eating.  If she is close enough to reach his tray, she helps herself to his food, of which he is not a fan.  Girl loves to eat.

Running errands is doable, but not my favorite thing.  I'd rather wait until Scott gets home to go the grocery store with the rest of the city after work than lug two kids into the store mid-day.  Places like the post office, no drive through and no carts to put kids? Those places just.don't.happen.  Or at least not often.  Keep in mind, I have a husband that works normal, regular hours.  Arranging errands for a time when he can be with the kids, or having him run the errands in conjunction with his commute is very doable.  I know not all moms have that option.  To you, I am so very sorry.

Bedtime is something Scott and I usually tackle together.  One of us picks a kid to diaper/pajama-up for the evening.  The other parent gets the kiddo leftover.  We take turns getting to pick the kid.  Factors in the kid-choosing include:  dressing Reese is like changing an octopus.  Sweating may happen on her part and/or the parent's part.  James sometimes takes convincing to allow the changing to occur.  The parent must decide which is stronger this evening: my verbal reasoning skills? Pick James.  Or my physical wrestling skills?  Pick Reese.  No skills this evening??  Beg the other parent to show mercy and give a pass on the evening routine.  (rare)

So how did it go for you?  What about from two kids to three kids? (or more)

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I'm Happy When...

  1. I get to go to sleep when I'm tired and sleep until I wake up on my own.
  2. I get to leave town for a few days.
  3. I get to see my family after being away for a few days.
  4. I'm petting a purring cat. A kitten is preferable, but a cat will do.
  5. It's cold and I'm drinking hot chocolate.
  6. It's warm and I'm at the beach, under a huge tent, just watching the waves crash.
  7. My kids figure something out on their own and grin ear to ear with pride in their accomplishment.
  8. You ask me to tell you a funny story about my kids.
  9. The agenda is small and time is plenty.
  10. I get to help a momma hold her baby for the first time.
  11. I connect people to each other that have things in common.
  12. I'm done working out.  (back when I used to work out)
  13. I'm looking at kitten pictures or videos.
  14. Scott cooks dinner. (that happens a lot)
  15. Dave Ramsey responds to my tweets.
  16. I get to spend time with all 3 of my siblings at the same time.
  17. I'm eating almost anything my mom makes.
  18. Lots of Acuffs get together and I get to be there.
  19. I spend quality time with a dear friend, usually talking.
  20. Bills are less than I expected them to be.
  21. I observe a random act of kindness by a stranger.
  22. A stranger shows me gratitude.
  23. Someone gives me the benefit of the doubt.
  24. I'm laughing.
  25. My son wants a hug.
  26. My daughter lays her head on my chest while sucking her thumb.
  27. My firstborn calls me on the phone.
  28. I win a game of Cities and Knights.
  29. I win any game at all.
  30. I'm on a date with Scott.
  31. I watch a movie that happens to be just what I was in the mood for at the time.
  32. My mailbox contains a personal piece of mail.
  33. I figure out the challenging harmony in a song.
  34. You ask me about my thoughts on adoption.
  35. A friend risks being vulnerable with me.
  36. I hear a new-to-me old story about my grandparents.
  37. I get to watch my children with either set of their grandparents.
  38. I'm skiing.
  39. I'm looking at pictures of trips I've been on.
  40. All the laundry is clean, folded and put away in my house. (a rarity)
  41. You comment on my blog posts. :)
  42. Listening to really well done acapella music with strong bass voices.
What about YOU??

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Lake Gaston (part 4)

Hopefully you're getting a good picture of the weekend we had.  Relaxing, lounging, enjoying great company.

Aden the wonder-dog soakin' up some rays.

More jaw-dropping furniture Papa made.

A rather CHILLY boat ride.

Don't we look warm and cozy??!

Oh Captain, Our Captain (and her 1st mate)

Selfie before we headed home.


I can never thank Brooke enough for the invite.  Or Scott enough for being at home with our kids.  Thank you both!!!

Lake Gaston (part 1)

Lake Gaston (part 2)

Lake Gaston (part 3)

Lake Gaston (part 3)

Brooke made us fantastic food while we were at the lake.

Pan-seared steaks and veggies.

Brownies (almost gone in this picture).

Stir-fry chicken and veggies and couscous. And salad.

Not pictured:  sausage and eggs and cinnamon rolls for breakfast.  Brunswick Stew and grilled cheese sammiches for lunch.  Lots of hot chocolate and hot tea (for me).  Ralph's BBQ in Weldon, NC on our way home.  They had to-die-for chicken and dumplings.  Oh. Em. Gee.

I am now starving just typing up this post.  Awesome.


Did you miss:

Lake Gaston (part 2)

Oh the games we played...

 Pounce.  A fast-paced card game, also called Nertz

Settlers of Catan:  Cities and Knights.

We played a LAWT of games.  Fun was had by all.

Did you also read/view:

Lake Gaston (part 1)

Lake Gaston (part 3)

Lake Gaston (part 4)

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Lake Gaston

I had the amazing opportunity to chaperone hang out with two great people this weekend, Jason and Brooke.  Brooke's parents have an incredible lake house on Lake Gaston.  We headed up I-95 on Friday afternoon and arrived ready to get our relax on.  Scott, bless his heart, had a church commitment that required he stay home.  Conveniently (for me), the kids opted to stay with him. ;)  THANK YOU SCOTT FOR THIS TIME AWAY!!!  And thanks to my parents for pinch-hitting for Scott on Sunday. And thanks to Brooke for the invite here.  And thanks to Brooke's parents for providing this retreat from reality locale.  And thanks to Jason for dating Brooke.  Okay, okay, enough with the gratitudes...

The house was just plain awesome.  I want one.

We didn't hang out here.  Tooooooo cold.

We did spend a great deal of time here.  Yummmm.

Also didn't spend much time here.  I value my non-frost-bitten toes.

I slept here.  Incredibly spacious bed, complete with stairs to hike up into it! Brooke's Papa made that bed.

Some of us bathed in the sink...

This is where we ate meals, played a lot of games and put Jason in time out.  (Papa made that fantastic table.  He is a gifted man.)

We watched some movies in this room, quite comfortably.  (Jason still in time out.)

Brooke crocheted some.  Aden (the dawg) cuddled for warmth.  Jason hung out.

We all spent a little time here.  Did I mention how awesome this place is?

We are having a great, great time.  More to come, but I'm busy peace out for now.


Lake Gaston (part 2)

Lake Gaston (part 3)

Lake Gaston (part 4)