It's getting harder and harder to do as I find myself with less and less time, but I enjoy it, so I still try to sit down and post when I can.
I have thought many times about changing my blog address and making it private, since I do post so many family photos, but I don't want to close out some of my crafting friends I have met online. Keep watching; if I do find the time to make a separate blog then I will create one for family/friends only and then one for crafting and other things, and I will give due notice. I might also shift to a photo only blog... We'll see.
For now, same as always. First, some important updates on all the family:
Me - I gave my notice at work a few weeks ago. I have worked at my job, for my family, for the last four years. It has always been a very stressful job and environment, but I always just tried to make the best of it. As time went on though, I became more and more frustrated until it finally got the best of me. I had a terrible time making such a big decision and was super upset because I knew it could have big implications for my family (both good and bad), and we had worked SO hard to get where we are now. Thankfully, Brian has been supportive and understanding, and so amazing. I am SO blessed to have him as my husband. I only love him more every day, and when it comes to times like this, I just want to hug him forever.
What are my plans now? Well, I have been taking medical transcription classes since before Gabe was born. I had hoped to finish them while I was home with Gabe, but his reflux was a challenge I didn't foresee (and one I will never forget), and then working full time and coming home to take care of two kids didn't leave much time for studying. (I worked in an hour or two here and there, but it wasn't consistent.) So I took my remaining personal and vacation time last Thursday, Friday, yesterday, and today to work on my courses, and I go back to work tomorrow. My last day will be Friday, and then we have enough saved up that we are going to keep Tommy and Gabe in full time care for one week while I spend some more time plugging away at my courses. (I know I am taking a break now, but trust me, I have been studying; I was dreaming in medical terms last night. It was scary!) The program I selected is intensive, so I don't expect to be done in a week, but I should be able to make some significant progress, and with the added pressure I will continue to make time to study in hopes of finding a way to work from home as soon as possible. -I may still have to put the kids in part time care, but I'm hoping I can spend more time with them than I currently do.
My biggest dream has always been to have a family and to spend time with my kids. I know I still need to be able to support my family financially, and while I would love being a stay at home mom, I also appreciate the rewards a successful career can offer, so if this all works out I will just be over the moon.
The ultimate reality is that I just feel in my heart that this is SO right for me, and for all of us. I just need to make it work, and until the hard part (finishing this up and getting a job from home) is over, I will be worried and stressed - but also cautiously excited. I also hope everyone will understand, but I have come to terms with the fact that I need to do what I know is right, regardless what others think. --This is the first time in a very long time that I feel like I am following my heart and listening to my instincts instead of doing what others would want me to do or what looks best on the outside. That's been very hard for me, but it feels so much better than the other way around. Wish me luck, include us in your prayers, or just support us if you can! Maybe by summer this will all be ancient history and things will be better.
Brian - He was very sick throughout most of December. I have never seen him affected by any illness as he was recently. He had a hard time walking from the bedroom to the bathroom and was always out of breath. He finally seems to be better now and is back to curling, cooking, and all the usual activities, and it's good to see.
He is now taking his second course toward his masters degree, which has been hard to work in, but he has been committed and trying his hardest. I am not a big fan of using the word "proud" because I think it makes it sound like I have some status over him or something, and that's just not how I think, but at the same time, I truly am proud of him for all his efforts - and proud to be his wife. Since our senior year of college, when Thomas was born, he has been nothing but dedicated and committed to his family and all the right causes, and he has always been such a wonderful husband and father.
He will be my biggest motivation for getting all this work accomplished and finding another job ASAP. He works so hard that I want to help provide and return the love and hard work he has shown me and the boys. And I want to help everyone by getting us back into a position where we can start looking for houses again. (This job bust killed the last deal... )
Thomas - What a happy, loving, caring kiddo. Last night he got up to get a tissue after he had gone to bed, and he gave me a hug, said goodnight, and told me, "I love you so much Mommy. You are one of my favorite people." He is still every bit as helpful around the house as he was when Gabe was first born, and he loves that I love what a wonderful helper he is.
He has four stripes on his yellow belt now and is very determined to become a black belt one day. How we struck it right when we signed him up for Tae Kwon Do! Who knew?! I have been very impressed with his dedication through the program. It's so great to see.
His latest report card was good. Thomas is so imaginative that he is always making up stories and playing them out, so some times that gets in the way at school, but he still manages to listen and learn, and his academics have been good. Of course his reading is particularly great and above grade level expectations, which we knew, and we will work on the distractions, but overall, we are pleased.
He's such a sweetheart.
Gabe - He's no longer on any reflux medicine! We finally stopped it about a week or two ago, and he has only had one minor episode since! It has been like night and day, and we couldn't be happier. He has been happy at daycare and eating like a champ. He's taking whole milk now and rarely uses a bottle. His favorite word/words is/are "uh-oh" and he says it/them all the time. It's so cute. He's still a little peanut. His pants still fall down around his skinny waist (he's just like Tommy), but his face has filled out quite a bit, and he looks great. He takes steps on his own every now and then but never when we ask him to. We know he will walk when he decides he is ready. On the other hand, he totally freaked us out about two weeks ago when he climbed Tommy's loft ladder from bottom to top without assistance. He is such a monkey!!! We are scared now though. He still sleeps with us at night, for a variety of reasons, and part of my plan with this new schedule of working from home was to get him into the crib, but when we put him in it now he puts his hands on the rail and jumps up and down, and we know he can definitely use it to jump up and over in the way a gymnast would use a bar, so we are afraid to leave him in the crib by himself, and we can't put him in a bed in Tommy's room for fear he will get up and climb the ladder again. (He does it with such ease. It's both amazing and alarming. He has NO fear when it comes to climbing.) I've thought about pulling out the pack-'n-play. We'll have to figure something out!
Here, a couple more photos from last weekend -
Until next time!