Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Here we go again!

Here we go again!  (No, not another baby!)  Another move!

Tomorrow, Jeff & I go sign some papers, hand over a really big check and get some keys to our new house!  Then it’s moving time!

Well, almost.  We’ll own 2 houses for 1 week, giving us that week to move.  Tomorrow, complete with family, we’ll attack the house by tearing out carpet, prepping walls for paint and doing some general cleaning.  The rest of the week, we’ll paint most of it.  And on Saturday, new carpet will be installed.  Just in time for us to move in on Sunday.

We’ve been talking to the boys about moving (since, you know, the house is just down the street from us).  Today as we were getting into the car to go to church, this conversation ensued:

Finn: “Mama, I don’t think we should go to church.”

Me: “Why not Finn?”

Finn: “I don’t think we should leave our house.”

Me: “It’s okay, we’ll be back after church.”

Finn: “But if we leave our house, someone else might move into it while we’re at church.”

Me: “Oh, Finn…no one else will move into it until Mommy and Daddy say its okay.  In another week, me, you, Stephen,  Sammy and Dada are going to move to the new house.  THEN someone else can move in here.  But we will have a new house first.”

Finn: “Okay.  But I like this house.”

Me: “I know.  But the new house will be good too.”

Sad, huh?  Poor little guy.  Especially since we’ll see the new people who move in.  I suspect that will be confusing for a while!  For that reason, I plan on making his new room at the new house look as much like his old room at this house as possible.  Something familiar!

2 Months Old!

Look at me!  Posting “on time”!  Sammy had his 2 month check up today as he turned…2 months old yesterday!  Man, time flies!

In general, it was a good check up.  He’s growing.  He’s gaining weight.  He’s eating well.  He’s sleeping well.  He has good head control.

If the appointment would’ve stopped there, it would have been a fabulous appointment.  But it didn’t.  Unfortunately.  It appears that Sammy might have the same medical issue that Finn had: craniosyntosis.  It’s where the skull bones fuse before they should.  At best, it causes an abnormal head shape.  Sometimes extremely so, but usually just mild.  At worst, it causes headaches and brain growth restriction.  Babies can be born with it (where the skull bones are already fused before birth) or they can be diagnosed with it as they grow.  We’re in the “diagnosed with it as they grow” camp.

Nothing is definitive yet.  The skull isn’t fused yet, but it’s showing signs of closing already.  His head is longer than it should be and you can see flat spots in his head shape behind his ears.  It looks like it’s different bones that have fused too early than was in Finn’s case.  But again, nothing is definitive yet.  We won’t know until about 6 months if it will be a problem that will need surgery to correct.  If he gets to be 6 months old and the bones haven’t fused, then we’re good.

So, we’ll keep an eye on it, especially at his 4-month and 6-month check ups.  We’re blessed to live in a city that has doctors that do this surgery every week, so we’ll be in great hands (again!) if it comes to that.  It is a strange thing as this isn’t usually genetic, so the odds of 2 children in the same family having it aren’t real high.  But, again, whatcha gonna do?

Here’s his scrapbook page:

month2

And a recent picture:

Sammy2Months

Sammy: Month 1!

In this addition of “You know you’re the third child when…”  your mom doesn’t post your scrapbook page right away.

In my defense: I had them created on time, but I just didn’t post them here.  It isn’t because 3 kids is overwhelming (that part has been much easier than I feared!).  It’s because the move is sucking up so much of time and energy and thoughts.

But here’s Sammy’s birth scrap book page:

month0

Here’s his Month 1 scrapbook page:

month1

Here’s a recent picture of him:

(I know you can’t see his face well, but I love seeing the interaction between him & Stephen):

sammy&stephen

You know, I think it’s really hard for Christian authors to write a book about their life and not come across smug or conceited or boastful.  I don’t know why I read so many of books by Christians and I think “Braggart!”, but I do.

If some of the same comments made in a non-Christian context, I wouldn’t blink an eye.  But if you’re writing “Jesus is so great and has brought me through so much” and then turn around and write “I’ve made some really great decisions in my life in order to follow Jesus”, I get all judgmental.  Just because you played the Jesus card.  Bad Jayme.

All that to say, I recently read a book by Sally Clarkson called Own Your Life.  I saw it recommended on someone else’s blog (can’t remember who) and checked it out from the library.  It was pretty good.  Not earth shattering, but there were some real gems in there that I found helpful.  One, in particular, is that she wrote some life goals for herself and one of them struck me: “To see God’s fingerprints each day of my life, as I knew my children probably longed to have a happy mother.”

Uh oh.  I had a really bad week last week.  Maybe it was the house selling.  Maybe it was the house buying.  Maybe it was being 4 weeks post-partum.  Maybe it was lack of sleep (see the 4 weeks post-partum fact).  Maybe it was the multiple daily “accidents” from a 3-year-old who has been potty training for 7 months. Whatever it was, I was not happy.  I was not a good wife.  I was a horrible, wretched mother.  (Don’t tell me I wasn’t: I was.  Yes, my children stayed alive and fed, but other than that, it wasn’t good.)

Yes, my children want a happy mother.  But more than that, I want to be a happy mother.  Maybe seeing God’s fingerprints in my life will help with that.  Seeing that my house sold in 4 hours.  4 hours!  Seeing that we found a great house to buy that was actually less expensive than the house we’re selling.  Seeing that I have a healthy newborn who is actually a great sleeper and eater. Seeing that I was able to get the new carpet installed right on time.  Seeing that I was able to find a neighborhood kid who could mow the lawn when I was unable to.

I’ve seen videos on this. I’ve read articles on this.  I’ve seen facebook rants on this.

What’s “this”? It’s the concept that America should be kinder to “working moms” and give them more maternity leave.  Paid maternity leave.  That other countries get up to a year off and gosh darn it, America is greater than those countries, so why shouldn’t our women have a year off too? And probably more!

Answer: Because we’re capitalists.  And when someone who is in the workforce, producing things (whether that’s widgets or services or documents) and they stop producing things, they stop earning money for the company that has employed them.

Women who are self-employed understand this.  Say that they own a house cleaning company.  If they take off of work for a year, they know that they won’t get paid.  Houses aren’t being cleaned (by them anyway).  Say that they are a piano teacher.  If they stopped teaching lessons for a year, they know that they won’t get paid.  It’s the cost of taking a year off work.

Why should women who aren’t self-employed get a long paid maternity leave?  Take me for example.  I’m on week 5 of a 6-week maternity leave.  I am being paid – at 66 2/3%.  Why?  Because someone has said “Jayme is disabled because she had a baby”, so I’m really collecting Short Term Disability. But after that?  My job is protected for another 6 weeks, but I won’t be paid.

Who should pay me if America did have a “year off for working moms”?  My company?  Why?  I’m not doing anything for them.  The government?  Why?  I’m not doing anything for them either.  And if it were the government who was paying me, then it’s really me who is paying me.  (Since I pay taxes).  And since you pay taxes, it’d be you paying me for having a baby.  And since I’ve been popping out babies quite a bit lately, should you really pay me to take a year off every 18 months?  I’d be: having a baby, get a year off, work 6 months, have a baby, get a year off, work 6 months, have a baby, get a year off.

Women can’t have it all. We can’t say “Pay me the same as a man!” and say “Give me preferential treatment when hiring someone” and say “Pay me to be off work for a year each time I have a baby!” and say “Let me have flexible scheduling that you don’t give to men” and say “Make me a partner in your law firm at the same time as a man who worked more hours than I did” and say “I want to be absolutely indispensable to this company” and say “Be okay with me taking lots of time off” all at the same time.

I’m incredibly grateful for the paid leave that I do have.  I know that I’m not really disabled right now.  (Heck, I just did a lot of physical work getting a house ready to sell!).  I know that the people who really suffer when I’m on maternity leave are my co-workers (someone has to do the work!).

To be clear:

  • Women absolutely should be paid the same as men, when they’re doing the same work – at the same rate.
  • When I started with my company 5 1/2 years ago, I know that they could have chosen to hire a man who wouldn’t have asked for 6 weeks off every 18 months.  Is it fair?  I dunno.  It’s reality.
  • Luckily, I got skills and my company loves me, despite taking lots of time off.
  • I have made choices in my career (namely to work only part-time) that I know will put me at a disadvantage over someone who hasn’t made those same choices (be they man or woman).  I know I won’t get promoted as quickly.  I know that I won’t have as many opportunities for bigger projects or cool travel assignments.  I get it – my choices matter.
  • No one owes me a paid maternity leave.  It’s a benefit, not a right.  And certainly not a benefit that should be provided by Joe Public.

We bought a house!  We’re moving. Yet again.

Background:

We live on a circle – not in the middle of the circle, but on the straight part right before it turns into a circle.  Our house is a tri-level.

About a year ago, I mentioned to Jeff that if 1 of the 2 ranch-style houses in the circle ever became available, I’d be really tempted to consider them.  I hadn’t ever been inside of either them.  I’ve just always wanted a ranch or a 2-story as I really dislike the tri-level floor plan.  But I love, love, love our location for lots of reasons.  Jeff laughed as he considers this house “our house for the next 20 years or so” house.  Til the kids are grown and mostly gone and we’re ready for a smaller house.

A couple of weeks ago, I was on a walk with the oldest 2 boys and met a neighbor.  Seems he was back up from Florida to get the house ready to sell.  We hadn’t ever met him as his daughter was living there with her son and her boyfriend while Mom & Dad were ‘trying out’ Florida to see if they wanted to retire there.  Answer: Yes, they do want to retire there and No, daughter can’t afford to buy the house.  Hence, time to fix ‘er up and sell her.

Not thinking that Jeff would ever really go for moving, I still mentioned it to him in case he knew someone who was looking.  If it couldn’t benefit us, at least it could benefit someone else that we know, right?  We still had never been inside.

Needless to say, my husband really loves me and he suggested that we knock on their door and see if we could get a tour.  So, Jeff did.  The owner was surprised, but gave Jeff a tour.  Jeff came back and said that I should go see it.  So I did.

Great house!  Jeff told him that we were interested and the man gave us an “as is” price.  Meaning: that he was going to stop all work on it, not list it with a realtor and they’d just be done with it all.  It was a great price (at least $15K less than we were expecting) and we said “DONE!”

The house:

It is a 3-bedroom ranch, but the basement is completely unfinished, giving us a blank slate for the future.  It does need work, but nothing major like no holes in the floor or mold or leaky pipes.  It will look much updated once we remove all the wallpaper, give it some fresh paint and new carpet.  The biggest “needs to happen” change is in the master bathroom.  It isn’t unlivable, but it really shows its age and the wallpaper is already off on part of the walls.

We do plan to do some major changes, but that’s mostly because we want to.  We would not have to in order to live there.

  1. Master Bathroom – We’ll make it pretty much all new.  Nothing fancy, but a new shower surround, new laminate floor, new toilet, remove the ‘already-half-gone’ wallpaper, paint the walls, paint or stain the existing vanity and fix the mirror.  There’s another bathroom that we can use in the meantime.
  2. New Paint & Carpet – It’s soooo much easier to paint and install new carpet when there isn’t any furniture to navigate around.  There’s wallpaper borders to remove in the kids’ bedrooms and then we’ll paint the walls and put down new carpet (existing carpet is pink…okay, maroon.)
  3. Make a mancave – In reality, it’ll be a bedroom, but it’ll really function as Jeff’s mancave.  But we’ll carve off a section of the basement, convert the existing windows to conforming windows and frame out a bedroom.  Nothing fancy, but it will be a place for Jeff to retreat to while making the rest of the unfinished basement a good place for kids to ride their Big Wheels in the winter!  In several years, there’s another great spot for another bedroom (if we want it) or we’ll finish it off by installing a bathroom and a great room.
  4. Combine the dining room & kitchen – The house has a kitchen large enough to fit a table, but it also has a dining room.  Current plans are to remove the wall between the kitchen & dining room to make one big huge kitchen area.  The concern is that we might not be able to move the plumbing to where we want the sink to be.

I hope to/want to/plan to/would love to post pictures of this progress as I wish I would have with the house we’re currently in.  It’s fun to remember the before when you’re living the after!

One of the advantages to having a 3-year-old, an 18 month old and a 2 week old at the same time is that they’re all due for a visit to the pediatrician at the same time.  I’ve done 2 at the same time, so I thought it was worth a shot to do 3 at the same time.  I could’ve gotten a sitter for 1 or 2 of them and made 2 different appointments. I could’ve brought Jeff, my mother or my sister with me for support (all of them offered), but I thought the doctor’s office would make a good first-trip-out-with-3-all-by-myself adventure.

And it was!  Finn likes to see “Dr. A” and he isn’t scared of the doctor.  Stephen had no idea where we were going and was just happy to ride in the van.  There were minimal tears (Stephen did need a shot and Sammy cried when I undressed him).  But it was a great experience!

Just for my records, here are some stats:

Finn:

  • 37 1/2 inches tall (53 percentile)
  • 32 pounds (57 percentile)
  • I do suspect some degree of color blindness as he rarely gets his colors right, but has been aware of colors for about a year.  Any color-based games (like Candyland) are just lost on him.  We’ll give it some time and do testing when he’s Kindergarten age.  It doesn’t really matter until he’s learning to drive.

Stephen:

  • 34 1/4 inches tall (92 percentile)
  • 23 pounds (14 percentile)
  • His weight percentile astounds me as this is my kid that eats and eats and eats.  He’ll sit at the table long after we’re done and just keep eating.  It’s Finn that I think of as a small eater, but his percentages were higher.  And it’s Stephen that seems heavy to me.  (But I think that’s because I’m comparing him to a 7 pound newborn!) We’re not overly concerned by it or anything – Stephen eats good solid food, he just might tend to the slimmer side of life.
  • He is not as verbal as he “should” be.  In fact, he really only says 2 words clearly: Dada and Baby.  Yes, no “Mama” yet.  But he’s on track on all other metrics and he seems to understand instructions quite well, so another thing to just watch and maybe test his hearing at 1 year.  He does “talk” all the time – it’s just not understandable.

Samuel:

  • 21.5 inches long (75 percentile)
  • 7 pounds, 10 ounces (13 percentile)
  • No concerns here!  He’s back up to (past) his birth weight.  He’s eating well (just moved him up to 4 ounces/feeding).  He’s sleeping well.  He’s just a content and growing little guy.
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 39 other followers