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Archive for the ‘parenting’ Category

Our little Sammy is starting to exhibit his personality more and more. Having 2 older siblings, I can’t help compare his personality & actions to his brothers. He seems more like Finn than Stephen – in terms of stubbornness and seeking out the company of others. Stephen prefers to be by himself quite a bit more where Finn always wants to be right there with you. Right now, Sammy is fascinated with his brothers and is always watching. He’ll just follow us room to room.

But…he’s also my first thumb sucker. That’s been unique to him.  He’s only been doing it for a couple of months, but he’s my first to do so. It only happens when he’s sleepy. If one of us is holding him (like upright on our hip), then he’ll suck his thumb. If he’s laying down in his crib, then he tends to suck on a couple of his finger.

I particularly like feeding him his last bottle of the day, right before bed. As I’m holding him in the recliner in his room, he’ll hold his own bottle, drink as much as he wants, then he’ll drop it. He’ll roll over onto his stomach to curl up on my chest. He’ll put 2 fingers in his mouth and start sucking. If I don’t start patting his back, he’ll reach back around and pat it himself as if reminding me of my job. It’s just adorable. It’s a good moment in a good phase of life.

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Have you seen the Chewbacca lady on YouTube? I’m sure you have, but if you haven’t, check out her hilariousness!

A friend of mine posted an interview she did by her pastor at her church and she had a couple of points (made to students) that really resonated with me:

She gives 2 words of advice at the very end. Something like this:
“Have patience. Have those moments where you wait upon the voice of the Lord. Don’t rush into a ministry or opportunity because it seems shiny.”
I can see myself doing this. As I transition to being a stay-at-home mom, I can envision all the new opportunities that I could have. I could actually join a Women’s Bible Study now! I could attend a mom’s group. I could volunteer with a ministry. I didn’t have time for any of those before. Most of the Women’s Bible Studies & Mom’s group met when I was working.

I gotta have patience and not grab onto the shiny things just for the sake of shiny.
“Have obedience. When He tells you to move, move. When He tells you to stop, stop. When He tells you ‘indulge in the delights of my table’, indulge. But when He tells you ‘that’s not yours, you can’t have it’, step away.”
This is where I’m at. He’s told me to step away from working. Left to my own decision, I might not be stepping away. Or I might pursue working, but in a different way than I have been. Working, for now, is something that I feel God saying “That’s not yours, you can’t have it, step away” and so, stepping away I am. And I don’t say that lightly. I’m not a big “God told me” kind of person…I just feel like this is where He’s leading me.

So..hi ho, hi ho, it’s away from work I go!

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Reality sets in

I’m about 2 weeks away from my last day at work. It’s so bittersweet.

  • I’m not leaving my job because it’s bad. Because it’s not — it’s great.
  • I’m not leaving my job because I don’t like what I do anymore. Because I do like what I do.
  • I’m not leaving my job because I’m not good at what I do. Because I do like what I do.
  • I’m not leaving my job because it isn’t financially worth it. Because it is – very much so.

I am leaving my job because I think it’s best for my family. And because if I don’t at least give it a try, I’ll always regret it. In most ways, it’s an easy decision.

But an easy and clear decision doesn’t always mean lack of tears and sadness. In the last few months, I’ve cried many days on the way to work. And I’ve cried many days on the way home from work. And I’ve cried many tears when things were difficult at home with the boys.

There’s a part of this that’s very much like a grieving process. And that makes sense. It is the end (at least for now) of a very significant time period of my life. I’ve been in Corporate America, specifically software management & design for 18 years. That’s huge.

I’ve likened it to graduating from college. Great things lay ahead. But great things are behind me too.

But now that my replacements are in place here at my company, it’s really becoming real. And it’s starting to feel more comfortable. The tears have largely stopped. My duties at work are (rightly) dwindling now. It’s starting to feel comfortable.

And on the home front, I’m ready to have this baby. Technically, I have a month left til my official due date, but I’m close enough that it’s real and I’m ready for the birth.

My transition to stay-at-home mom is near. The birth of my 4th son is near. A new reality is close, so it’s starting to feel right and true.

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Man, could my boys be triplets or what!?

(By the way, you can definitely tell which 2 were born in the same season based upon their clothing – Finn and Samuel were both born in April, so their clothing seasons are the same, while Stephen was born in October, making him in the complete opposite season!)

Here are pictures of them taken when they were 38, 39, 40, 41, and 42 weeks old.

kids_week38kids_week39kids_week40kids_week41kids_week42

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Why I’m (Going To) Stay At Home

Ask 10 different moms why they stay at home instead of full-time work outside of the house and you’ll likely get 10 different answers.

For some, it’s financial.  It just doesn’t make sense, in their situation, for them to work.  Maybe that’s because their personal incomes are low.  Maybe it’s because the number of kids they have make daycare expensive.  Whatever the reason, it COULD be a financial no-brainer for them to stay at home.

For some, it’s emotional.  They really, really, really want to.  It’s where they want their focus to be.  It’s what they’ve prepared for.  Maybe they haven’t found a non-mom job that they really like.  Maybe home is just where they want to be.

For some, it’s just practical.  Maybe their spouse is military and moving is something they frequently do.  Maybe their spouse works long or irregular hours or have lots of travel.

For me?  Why am I deciding to stay at home?

It’s my influence.  I’ve lost too much of my influence with my children.  It isn’t that I have no influence with them, but my influence is too small.  When I was just working part-time, it didn’t bother me.  When they were really young and the major goal was keeping them alive and thriving, it didn’t bother me.  When my sister was my babysitter, it didn’t bother me.  When there wasn’t so many of them, it didn’t bother me.

But all of a sudden?  It started bothering me.  My kids are in a church-ran preschool and they do good things there.  They’re even thriving there.  In particular, Finn has done great with an established routine.  (Something that kid really needs!)

But I’ve realized that Mr. Jacob has more influence over my 3-year-old Finn than I do – by a long shot.  Mr. Jacob seems to be a good guy, but I don’t know him.  I’ve never had him over for dinner.  I haven’t met his wife or his child.  I don’t know his philosophy on teaching or discipline.  I don’t know how long he’ll be at that pre-school.  Same with Stephen’s teacher – she seems great, is a grandmother and is very kind.  Sammy is too young to have much influence on, but the same things apply.

Even though the decision-maker wasn’t financial for us, it still has financial ramifications.  And that does bother me.  I make a great income and it’d be financially worth it (on paper) to have up to 7 kids before daycare costs are more than my income — especially once you factor in that we’d probably hire an in-home nanny.

It isn’t that I want to be the only influence on their lives – grandparents and family are wonderful influencers.  And I like the idea of preschool a couple of mornings a week.  I like Sunday School teachers and Awana leaders. I’m just not ready to give up 50+ hours/week at this stage in their lives.  I’m excited to stay home for the major reason that I can start to have the influence on my kids that I want to have.  

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Gotta Make A Change!

Many moons ago (okay, back in October), Jeff and I started discussing me quitting my job and starting to be a Stay-At-Home Mom.  Things just weren’t working out well with my job any more.  My job was great – I was still rocking that.  But our home life was starting to suffer far more than we liked.  Several things were happening; there wasn’t just 1 thing that was causing the pain.

Cue the (unexpected) positive pregnancy test.  With that news, it seemed even more clear – and it influenced our timing.  Before we had been talking about the end of 2016, but with Baby #4 coming in June, it just appeared as a natural time.

So we decided!  We decided that starting in June, I’ll be leaving Corporate America for Home!

I have mixed emotions about it, to be honest.  I firmly believe that it’s the right decision…but that doesn’t make it easy.  As I’ve said elsewhere, I feel like a college senior.  You look forward to graduation and what is coming next, but you also recognize the great life you have right now.  You have friends.  Free time.  Pizza runs at midnight.  Classes are fun and challenging. It’s just a great place to be.

That’s me right now — my job is a great place to be.  I do well there.  I have fantastic co-workers and a fun product.  We’re doing good work and some exciting things.  I really, really, really enjoy it.

But I’m also excited for staying at home too.  It will be challenging – probably far more than I realize.  Most women who stay-at-home (I’m guessing) do so when their first is born, not their fourth.

Is this move permanent?  Probably not.  Maybe, but I suspect not.  But again, I don’t want to work full-time.  Not with little ones.  Not with school age kids.  Life will only get crazier not more simple – at least not for a really long time.  So, who knows where this all will lead?

I’ll write more about this later – in particular, I have some old posts that I’ve written, but never published on being a working mother.  Maybe it’s time to dust those off!

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This time, it really is a baby.  We’re not as surprised as, say, Mary & Joseph were, but we’re still pretty darn surprised.

Last week, Jeff and I were supposed to meet to go over our budget.  I had an inkling that maybe I should take a test (fully expecting it to be negative), so I did.  Positive.

No way, I thought.  I’ll take another.  Positive.  Right away kind of positive.

But, still, I thought.  That might be a fluke.  I better get another test — the digital kind of test.  Nothing can be unclear about a digital test.  No ambiguity there.  So I run to the store, get another test, take it.  Yup.  Totally pregnant.  Oh boy.

A Summary Of This Moment In My Life:

  • I am the mother to 3 little boys.  A 3 1/2 year old.  A barely 2 year old. And a 6 month old.
  • We are 2 weeks into an 11 week remodel where we lost our kitchen and master bath.
  • Where they shut off electricity for big chunks of days to install new fuse boxes.
  • Where they turn off water often to install new plumbing and move pipes.
  • Where they’ve roped of 6 feet of our living room to better contain the construction.  And where our kitchen table was moved into the living room.  Giving us about 60 square feet of space to actually live in.
  • Because of that remodel, my husband’s “office” has been moved into our bedroom, causing there to be more furniture in there than there ought to be.
  • Dust is everywhere.  You just can’t contain that stuff!
  • My sister moved to South Carolina last month, causing a big void in my life.
  • That same sister was my babysitter, causing us to hire a nanny.  Which isn’t going super well.  Mostly because of the construction in the home.  So we’re switching to a daycare, something I wanted to avoid.
  • My OB, who has been my doctor for almost 2 decades, has stopped taking pregnancy patients to focus on other areas of her practice.

The good news?  It’s a baby!!!!

In June, This Will Be A Summary of My Life:

  • I will be the mother of 4 little ones.  A 4 year old boy.  A 2 1/2 year old boy.  A 1 year old boy.  And a newborn.
  • The remodel will be over!
  • We will have a master bathroom that I can shower in.
  • We will have a finished basement with an official bedroom.  And a mancave.  And a living room.
  • We will have a kitchen that is fully functional – a working oven & stovetop, a microwave, and a fridge.  Appliances that aren’t in our entryway!
  • We will have our living room back.
  • We will have order back in our life!

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