Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Why is Summer so Short???

Why does summer vacation seem so long in my head, but in reality is always so short???
Lately, we've been hanging out more at home. Mark's been working summer school in the morning. I've been hanging with the boys then and teaching them the beautiful art form of sleeping in. This week they've slept until 9-9:30am. I never thought I would ever see this stage of my life reappear again! The kids and I slowly get up, eat breakfast, and get ready. We clean up and do some chores and then head out for the day. I find that since the boys have been able to wake up when they are ready, they are happier and more relaxed. It's so nice to not have to hurry up and rush out the door.
Julian is no longer taking naps so now Liam's nap time is reserved for him and mommy to do some "work". We've basically been doing reading, writing and word work. I'm so impressed with how quickly he learns and how he remembers EVERYTHING! He likes to learn and is so eager to work with mommy. Thanks to the new pool, Julian has found a new love. We're in it daily and Julian will now swim completely under water. I never signed him up for swimming lessons this year, but he really is becoming a self-taught swimmer.
Liam is growing up so quickly too. This week he transitioned into his "big boy bed". He's been doing great! He's been talking up a storm too. I can't believe that he'll be 2 in 2 weeks!
As for me, I'm getting the last odds and ends together for the 3-day walk. Making sure I have all the right "tools" for the walk. I'm really excited, but so nervous too! I just hope the weather is nice!!! Pray for me !!!!!
Next weekend is homecoming, the weekend after that is the walk and Liam's b-day and then as soon as that is over we are going to PA to go to Sesame Place and Hershey (which I have yet to book). I think we'll see the beach of Lake Huron once more too.
I love summer, but it really is too short!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Goodbye Babies!

Over four years ago, before Julian was born, Mark spent so much time putting together this beautiful nursery.

Julian spent two years in there and then Liam. Next month Liam will turn two. Our convertable crib finally came apart today and is now a bed. It seems too weird to not have crib in our house. Soon we will have two "big boy" rooms in our house. ((((SIGH))) Where does the time go??

And this is how I'll always remember this special room:

**I'll post pics soon of the new rooms soon!**

Friday, July 23, 2010

My Decision to Stay at Home

This year I have decided to stay home from work and stay home with the kids. I'm very lucky that my employer allows me to take a leave for up to 3 years and I'm guaranteed my position back and any salary increases. Great deal, right?

So, why, is the question that I hear all the time! Well, it was a series of things actually. For one, I've always wanted to stay home with the boys or at least only work part time, but I was never able to until this year.

So, really, that wasn't really the reason why. It really started back last year. Without going through everything from March- June, the long and short of it was that Liam was very sick. We had spent lots of time at Children's Hospital seeing various specialists and two weeks before school let out I realized that he couldn't go back to daycare and had to stay home. The summer went by and his health began improving. Then at the end of the school year I was laid off, as usual, however, I was told that I was going to be brought back to a position in my building as a technology and reading coach. I was really excited about this position because I would be able to use and teach others all the interesting things I had learned the previous years about technology and use what I had learned from my master's degree (reading). Well, the day before I went back to work, I was called back to teaching a preschool classroom. I was told though that it was a glitch, report there the first day, and we'll move you back to your own building. Later that day I was moved to a different building, then on my Fri. off before Labor Day weekend I was told I was going to be teaching Kindergarten at a different building. This time they said there was no way they were going to move me back to my old building. Boy, was my principal mad! Anyways, I walked into a completely empty classroom. Literally NO materials. Now, the year before I was sure that I would never teach Kindergarten again because I just didn't have the patience for the little ones while I had my own little ones at home (never say never right?).Well, needless to say I had to make the best of this situation. Thankfully God was looking out for me and I ended up with a parapro, who is beyond awesome and has become a lifelong friend, as well as the other kindergarten teacher in the building. I really thought God's looking out for my best interest. Never question him!
Well, come November, we went back to one of Liam's specialists and found out that his growth was slowing down and diagnosed him with failure to thrive. At this point I was ready to walk out the door and leave my job behind. Instead, I thought rationally and Mark and I, both, applied for an intermittent FML leave. Mark and I worked a part time schedule from Thanksgiving until Christmas break so that we could stay home with Liam and make sure he was getting what he needed.
During this whole mess in December, I found out that cuts were being made throughout the district because the state cut funding and I would be laid off Feb.1, 2010. Well, honestly, with all the problems we were dealing with Liam, I felt like this was blessing!
Jan. 29 was to be my last day with my kindergartners. Sad day, but I was looking forward to staying home. On the evening of Thur. Jan 28 I just happened to check my work email to see that they were calling me back from lay off and placing me back at my old building (where I was supposed to be at the beginning of the school year) to teach kindergarten. Oiy vay! I was not prepared for that.
The next weekend I spent packing up my old kindergarten classroom and moving into a new building and setting up a new kindergarten classroom. Now any teacher knows how difficult and time consuming it is to set up a classroom and this was the second time in less than 6 months for me. Not only that, but I was to be teaching the "at-risk" kindergartners (basically the ones who were identified as the lowest academically). So basically, a BIG challenge.
I faced each change and transition with a positive attitude. I didn't waste time complaining, griping and groaning because I knew I needed to stay positive. And I was. I did the best I could do. Well, working that hard, and stressing about doing well at work and doing what's best at home took a big toll on my body.
See, after I had Julian I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia and through the years of taking meds. and doing other holistic treatments, I finally realized that what helps me is to eliminate stress and/or do things that eliminate stress. Well, easier said than done. Towards March I felt weaker, but not bad. After Easter break in April I started feeling much worse. By May, it was a struggle to make it through the day. Although I had been off meds. for more than 2 years at this point I was desperate to do anything to get some relief. I went to a Fibromyalgia specialist, who also diagnosed with me with Chronic Fatigue. Insurance didn't cover her proposed treatment of daily injections, herbal meds., and IV's twice a week. I decided I couldn't put myself through the treatments.
By the end of May I couldn't make it through a full week at work and when I did go to work the afternoons were unbearable. I would come home and immediately crash on the couch and stay there for the rest of the night. I couldn't make dinner, watch my kids play, or even take a walk around the block.
In a way, my job was killing me. I didn't want to be this kind of mother, or teacher. I was doing a disservice to my family and the people I work for. So this was the "last straw" for me. After talking to Mark about it (and thankfully getting his full blessing) I put in for a leave. After finishing the school year, I have felt like a big "bear" got off my back. I don't have to sit around all summer, laid off, waiting to find out 2 days before school starts where and what I'll be teaching. All I have to worry about now are my boys, and really, that's all that matters!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

No More Excuses!!

That's right. I have no more excuses as to why I can't keep up on this blog. I'm not working for awhile and the kids are getting bigger and less needy. Wow, I never thought the day would come.
We're enjoying our summer. Of course, it's going by too quickly, as usual. We spent 5 days up in Oscoda at my dad's condo with him, Marilyn, Tim, and Stephen. It was pretty crowded in there, but thank goodness the weather cooperated and we spent most of the time outside. Julian and I had fun jumping the waves of Lake Huron and all the boys had a great time building sand castles. On the fourth we partied at our yearly condo association picnic/bbq. Lots of fun playing games and eating. The boys got their first chance to play with water balloons. The boys also got to finally enjoy sparklers and pop 'ems too. Liam got his first taste of a smores and whoa did he love it! The night was capped off with the annual city's fireworks. It just so happens that they go off on our beach, so we just have to step out onto the deck. It's perfect!!!
Right before we went to Oscoda we went to B.'s house (a good friend) who just happened to have a very small pool. It's one of those blue blow up Intex pools. Anyways it was really small, which was perfect for the boys, and just big enought that Mark and I could go in and enjoy ourselves. It also came with a filter which was awesome because we were so sick of dumping water and letting pools air dry. We went home that night and began our internet search for one. Of course, being late in June, pool season was coming to an end and we couldn't find the size we wanted. We happend to go to Toys R Us that night and they had two different kinds on clearance. One was a 10ftX30" and the other was 12ftX36" for a dollar more. Since it's always been my dream to have a pool, I begged Mark for the bigger one and got my way (as ya babe).
As soon as we got home from vacation Mark about melted to a puddle putting that pool up for us. Trust me, we have already gotten our money out of it. We've been in it practically everyday. I even got to sit outside with a book and then lay in the pool for a full hour one day when the boys were taking a nap. Talk about luxury!
That's pretty much all that we've been doing for now. Mark's back at work for the next couple of weeks teaching a summer school class. Can't wait for that to be over with. August is already jam packed. Can't wait to share all the fun things we have planned!