Pitzy Crafts: Mother’s Day

I was up at 6am today, yes on Mother’s Day. Only so that I could help Mike wake up Colt and get him ready. Mike was taking Colt and his Mother, to the flea market first thing this morning. There was a time that Mike could get Colt up without a screaming fit, but I decided today would be better to not tempt it.

Since I was up any way, I thought I would take this time to make some cards. But those will be for another post. I have actually made a handful of crafty things that I think are perfect for this post. First, gifts. I have spent quite a bit of time on Pinterest and saw these adorable handprint keychains and wanted to make them for Colt’s Grandmothers.

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I got Colt set up at the table with his paint smock on. Used a foam brush to paint glossy green acrylic paint on his hand and then pressed it on to some Shrink-Dink plastic. It took a few tries to get the handprint just right, but we managed to get 2 good ones. Of course as I was setting them aside and trying to start cleaning up, Colt dumped the rest of the paint out and started painting his left hand. So I had a little more clean up to do. But he had fun at least. Once the paint was dry, I cut them out, wrote his name and year on the opposite side with sharpie, punched a hole, and then put them in the oven per the directions on the package. And once they cooled, I attached them to the keychains.

Earlier this month, I was able to steal a few kid free minutes to put together the treat

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boxes I made using the Lawn Fawn Spring House Add-on for the Scalloped Treat Box. I love all of the detail that Lawn Fawn puts into these boxes. There are tiny window boxes for the windows, with green leaves and little flowers, butterflies, a picket fence, and a cute little tree. Each one has a keychain and a gift card to Joanne’s. Both of my mom’s are crafty and I can definitely see where I get my crafty side from.

Of course I couldn’t resist making them cards too. I wasn’t going to originally but I felt I needed something more. I found some inspiration on Pinterest yesterday, and after checking through my stamps I found a cheap stamp set that I thought might work. I have been so spoiled by how well my Lawn Fawn stamps work, decided to do a test run to make sure they wouldn’t be all splotchy. Well, with really nice paper (Bristol Smooth Koh-I-Noor) and really good ink (Ranger Archival Ink) I was so impressed with how well my test was turning out that I kept going and created two cards.

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Cheap Stamps from Joanne’s. Ranger Inks in Forget Me Not, Chrome Yellow, Bright Tangelo, Vivid Chartreuse, Vibrant Fuchsia, and Cactus Flower. The Scripty Sayings ‘Happy Mother’s Day’ stamp, and the ‘Grandma’ stamp from the Mom + Me stamp set, both from Lawn Fawn. I trimmed them down and put it on black cardstock, and then on a white card base. Inside is stamped, “From all of us” from the Lawn Fawn Simply Sentiments set.

And last but not least, I have two friends that have had, or will be having babies soon. I bought the Lawn Fawn Little Bundle set last year not sure when I was going to be able to use it, and I am going to get some good use out of it this year! I stamped the images onto Tim Holtz Distress Watercolor paper (my absolute favorite watercolor paper). I painted them with Distress Inks in Spun Sugar, Worn Lipstick, and Abandoned Coral. The hardest part was lining up and stamping out the laundry line so that it could be cut with my Cuttlebug. I even went a little more professional then I usually do, and used clear embossing powder over all of the black stamping. I loved how these came out and I hope the recipients loved them too!

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I am truly grateful to have two great mom’s in my life. I never take that for granted because I know so many who no-longer have their moms or never had a good mom. And I am can say that I feel more complete now as a mom and I only hope that everyone can feel that joy. And if for some reason you can’t, please know that you are no less of a person because of it. My heart goes out to so many on this day.

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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Happy New Year! 

As 2017 comes to a close, the house is quiet. Mike has had a bug keeping him in bed all day. Colt has been in bed asleep for a few hours now.

I look back at photos and videos of Colt from this time last year and I see so much growth. It’s not many of the big documented achievements, but more he’s grown into his personality. Every day we have new conversations. He tells me stories; both about his experiences and from his imagination. He sings songs. He reads his books along with me. And I think he even tells jokes (in the way that an almost 3 year old does).

Playing with Colt is still very much on his terms. He dictates what he wants to play. Right now, he’s obsessed with the show, Fireman Sam, and so we do a lot of pretending to put out fires and rescue people from mountains. He also loves to pretend he’s an engineer on a train. He frequently pretends hooks the couches together like cars and drive them. More recently, his Aunt Jessie got him a train costume, so he pulls a laundry basket of toys around the house.

I guess you can say we had one big achievement. Colt was potty trained and we have had a nice 6 months diaper free. It’s even been a while since he’s had an accident. If I can just get him to go on his own more often without me…

Colt and I got to do some traveling. He got to ride in a plane, a train and a bus. Mike also took him out on Grandpa’s boat a few times, letting him stear. Colt loves all kinds of transportation. And farms! I’m glad we were able to get out to Cook’s Farm Dairy a few times. 

Colt is doing really well at school. Sometimes I worry about him not sitting still long enough to do his lessons, but pictures from daycare seem to prove otherwise. He’s learning his letters and numbers. Starting to learn how to trace shapes, circle pictures and “draw”. He’s got a really good memory. It still makes me laugh how he’s come up with a name for the street that leads into our sub, “Bumpy Trees”. 

Oh, and we’ve entered the world of “Why?”. I enjoy, so far, answering his inquiries. I usually try to do the best I can to answer him correctly, completely, and honestly. Though, occasionally, he stumps me at the end of a long line of whys.

Mike and I are still doing pretty well with parenting in a similar way. We’ve had a bit of a hard time lately with Colt wanting me to do things and not Dada. Mike was gone for quite a few evenings taking care of his dad and so I was the only one tucking Colt in at night. Add in that I generally get him up, fed, dressed and to school. And picked up. And I bathe him and brush his teeth. Mike says he feels like he has to be the bad guy. I feel like I am the “bad guy” five days a week. On the weekends I try not to pick fights with Colt if I don’t have to.

I’m grateful this year that I have really come to be better friends with Brian and Jessica. I am forever indebted to Brian for all the nights spent at Doons talking about everything and nothing. He explained it perfectly last year, to paraphrase, he said he liked my (and Matt’s) friendship because it’s easy and drama free. I appreciate that so much. And in Jessica I have a friend who is passionate and free-spirited. She inspires me to let down my guard and speak up.

I am also very grateful for another year spent close to family. Another year of grandmas and aunts who can take care of Colt when I need an extra hand or a break. I got a few good visits in with J and Ronnie and hope to continue to have many more. I hope this year can be a year I spend more time with my cousin Kelly and her sisters. I have also been digging further into my family tree and hope to add many more stories. 

My wish for 2018, is to continue to be a good wife, partner, mother, friend, sister,  daughter and colleague. I have heard a few people say that 2017 was a year for women and I agree that it was only the beginning. I will continue to raise my son as a feminist. I will continue to educate my family on ways to be more inclusive. I will find a more productive use for my voice at work.

I raise my glass to 2018! 

Charles Rowland Jackson 

The below is an oral history that was written by an unknown grandson of Charles Rowland Jackson [Sr.] and copied and sent to various family members.

Above the hearth, centered on the mantelpiece, was a model sailing ship with masts and full rigging, mysteriously inside its bottle showcase.

Grandfather Jackson told how it was carved and rigged to lift the masts once inside its container. So simple to explain the mystery, but it took skill to make it and mast it inside its perfect enclosure.

Then he picked up a piece of darkened metal, a copper cube less than an inch to a side, fingered it, and said “I could draw a mile of wire from that – – the finest wire in Canada”.

When he sat back in his rocking chair and I asked for stories of the past, he said simply, “I’m sorry, but my memory has failed and I cannot recall what happened yesterday”…

And so, let me tell you what he did say, in bits and pieces conversation that I have treasured for nearly sixty years.

He was a little man sitting there, not quite 5 feet tall when he stood. his face was somewhat long, find featured, a heavy mustache, and a noticeably high forehead. There was an air of tranquillity about him. Peace and quiet prevailed in all he said and did.

“Least said, easily mended” was one of his mottos. Clear-voiced, his words bore traces of a good Lancashire background. But he could speak with perception, sympathy, and intelligence on man a matter, and well he knew Canada (Ontario and Quebec), the USA, east and west, and Britain.

What was his story?

We went for a walk from his #8 Humberside Avenue home, over to Keele Street and the houses beyond the tracks.

“I know I’m slowing up. A young couple passed me the other day, and I’ve always been a good walker”. “In the plant (Canada Wire and Cable Company) I went to pick up a roll of wire which was out of place and I could not lift it”.

I’ve lived to see five men doing my work”. His work had been foreman (and wire drawing expert), and when the plant moved to its Leaside site he went every morning early by street-car across the city, into his 80th year. How could such a quiet little man be a boss in so big a factory?

We passed some freight cars on the siding known as “the junction”, a busy industrial area made famous in J.E.H. MacDonald’s painting by that name. “We started here”, he said, “in a freight car – – materials at one end and a bench and tools at the other. One day the owners came to me and said to lay the men off as there were no more orders.”

Charles Jackson said “No”. “We’ll keep them on, and I’ll keep them busy, if it’s only sweeping the floor. Then when you get orders we’ll turn out quality products, and your business will grow. This will be best for you, and for the men, and for myself. I’ve trained them, and we need them.”

(A plant manager of RCA Victor once commented on this, “We don’t get that type of person nowadays”). What then went into the making of this man?

Born in Kentucky, September 5th, 1857 at Newport, Kentucky, USA., Charles’ family was apparently engaged in raising horses. Young Charlie was tiny, agile, and bright, and it was thought what a great jockey he might be. (In later years he went to the Woodbine Rate Track in east Toronto to enjoy the horses and racing).

Kentucky must have been a good place to live as a child. The name has been said to mean ‘Land of Tomorrow’ — (Iroquois). Kentucky’s motto is “United We Stand — Divided We Fall”.

‘Kentucky thoroughbreds’ were raised on its ‘Blue Grass’. In the east and west of the state, coal was mined for new industries. Agriculture flourished and in particular tobacco was grown extensively on plantations.

Kentucky was therefore a “slave” state, but did not secede in the Civil War. In 1861 it was occupied by both Federals (north) and Confederates (south).

The story is that when the shooting began from both sides of the valley, the Jackson family packed and moved back to the safety of England. As a southern Virginia friend said, “The best place to be then”.

The more generally accepted meaning of Kentucky is ‘dark and bloody ground’, from conflicts of Indian tribes.

The Civil War was to far exceed anything in the past, a symbol indeed of modern war’s long , drawn-out stalemate and great loss of life.

As he fingered gently the little copper ingot, one noticed two fingers missing. “Lost in a planer in early days in California — could not play the piano well after that”. But he could sing with a good tenor voice, happy with the old songs, popular in their day. ‘Juanita’ was a favorite. “Nita, Juanita, ask my soul if we should part, Nita Juanita, lean thou on my heart”. Southern songs often had lyrics to appeal to the tender and best sentiments.

But we should review the years in Manchester, growing into England’s second major city.

My mother would say how well he did in school, finishing the curriculum of those days before legal quitting age, and that he had to repeat three times before graduating. One can imagine a gifted child perhaps helpful to the teacher, perhaps a problem.

Adolescence then was an invisible line passed over as one went to work, and into the family business of wire-drawing.

The family included brothers and sisters, all to be looked after, and striving to fill an adult’s role in the great industrial society of Lancashire in the later 19th century.

From a friend of the family I’ve been told that Charles married, wanted to return to America, but his young wife was afraid, dreading the sea and ocean voyage.

The ship then on the mantelpiece was a symbol of journeys, family ventures of earlier days, and others to come.

When his wife died, Charles was free to go at last, at 28, in 1885.

His goal was adventure — to reach the Golden Gate, San Francisco, California.

The log of his sea and rail journey gives interesting views of the immigration and travel — some beauty, some distress, friends, strangers, and newcomers all a-mix, seen though the eyes of a young man eager and hopeful.

(see attached ‘The Log of Journey from Liverpool, England to San Francisco, California, US’ Liverpool March 14th, 1885)

How long he stayed in California we know not. But it always remained a part of him, and at the end of the Golden Gate Bridge, mighty cable strong, seemed to symbolize the best in progress, across the bay and great harbor, linking San Francisco to the more northern parts of the west coast.

He had missed the California earthquake and Great Fire in San Francisco, but more particularly he spoke of escaping (missing? surviving?) the Johnstown (Penn.) Flood, a natural disaster in 1890.

(By this time he was back in the eastern states).

It was only on reading of that tragedy (the Johnstown Flood) that the connection seems relevant. A broken dam, (clay based), let a man-made mountain lake (20 million tons of water) tear through the valley.

Woodvale got it next, and got no warning. It was prosperous, new, and the pride of the Cambria Iron Company, a sort of model town. It was connected to Johnstown by a horsecar line that ran along its main thoroughfare, Maple Avenue. At the western end of town, the end almost touching Johnstown, sood the huge Gautier Wireworks, A terrific geyser of soot and steam when tup when the water hit the factory’s boilers, and then everything simply slid off with the wave. The streetcar shed went, with eight-nine horses and thirty tons of hay. When the water had passed, there was not a tree, not a telegraph pole, not a house, not a sign of the railroad. About a thousand people lived in Woodvale. The figure for its dead would be set at 314.

The wireworks contributed miles and miles of barbed wire to the mountain of wreckage and water that had only a few hundred yards to go until it struck Johnstown. it was now not quite an hour since the dam had given way.

Most people in Johnstown never saw the water coming; they only heard it. It began as a deep, steady rumble, then grew louder and louder until it became an avalanche of sound. Those who did see it seem to have been most impressed by the cloud of black smoke from the Gautier works that now hung over the front of the wave. It was talked of as “the death mist” and would be remembered always.

Charles Rowland Jackson was married in New Haven, Conn. USA on May 11th, 1887, at Grace Church by the Rev. Elihu Sanford, to Alice Dyson, born June 15th (?) at Biswick, Manchester, England.

In the Family Bible their children were recorded as follows:

  1. William Thomas, born Sept. 18, 1888, New York, D. Nov 18, 1899, Astoria, Long Island.
  2. Charles Rowland, b.Nov.22, 1890 New York
  3. Margaret Emma, b.Sept.10, 1892, Lachine (Montreal), Quebec.
  4. Elizabeth Alice, b.Aug16, 1895, Turcot, Quebec, d.Aug.1, 1897 Montreal
  5. Albert Yarwood Dyson, b.June 14, 1899, Motreal
  6. Robert Wilson, b. July 30, 1902, Montreal, d.Oct.5.1910, Toronto, Sick Children’s Hospital.

—–The family story continues with the move to Montreal and work at the Northern Electric Company.

Margaret Emma (my mother) was born September 10th, 1892 at Lachine, Montreal, Quebec.

Elizabeth Alice born 1895, died at Montreal 1897.

Albert Yarwood Dyson was born 1899 in Montreal. He grew up there and Toronto, and went to Detroit in the automobile industry, and was active in labor relations.

Robert Wilson, born 1902, died in Toronto 1910 after a long illness with a ‘rheumatic heart’ condition.

Charles Rowland Jr. joined the Toronto 48th Highlanders. His name is entered in the Honor Roll in the Edinburgh Castle, died June 17th, 1917 after serving in the trenches of France and Belguim.

A book at Grandpa’s was “On the Side of the Angels” (I beleive) which told of soldiers’ experiences, and the spontaneous truce and carol singing in “No-Man’s Land” the first Christmas of the war.

Grandpa, C.R. Jackson served in the Home Guard, and factory work. All others who could went overseas.

Mother married (April 1915), and went with my father, returning to England. he was R.S.M. in the 1st Canadian Contingent, and was back on recruiting business.

Mother’s diary of 1916 tells of family in Manchester, and many friends from home in the services mostly station, or in hospital, or on leave in the south of England.

In their family days mother recalled how her father took the children to Church and she would practise her short-hand recording the sermon. Her mother would be preparing dinner at home.

Grandmother Alice (Dyson) Jackson died February 10th, 1920, after a kidney stone operation.

—-Let us now continue our last long walk, begun on such a lovely day.

We looked in on an Orthodox Chapel, a small sanctuary near Keele Street. It was candle lit and icon bright. Then we went over to the parish Church of St. Martin in the Fields. In the garden-like surroundings was a life-size Calvary. Grandpa recalled the ritual riots when the first surpliced choir appeared back in Manchester.

—-Then one final day, when he grew weaker, I was called.

For some time he had been unable to go to the plant to see the men and lend a hand or give word of encouragement.

This now was his final hour, and the Rector administered Holy Communion. Grandpa seemed so still, until the “Our Gather” of thanksgiving. Then his lips moved in cadence with the Lord’s Prayer.

Peacefully, he went to his Rest in Christ.

O Lord, support us all the day long of this troublous life. Until the shadows lengthen and the evening comes, the busy world is hushed, the fever of life is over, and our work is done. Then, Lord, in thy mercy, grant us safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The writing is well, not the greatest, and the facts a little vaug, but all in all a little part of the Jackson Family history. 

22 Months! 

I’d start by saying time really flew by, but for the first time in a while it didn’t seem that way. 

Colt has learned the art of the tantrum. Though, I do count my lucky stars that they have all been at home and fairly brief. Usually it’s because I won’t let him play with something, or eat something. Tonight was an epic whine-fest because he was hungry but didn’t want to eat the dinner I served. Sorry kid, goldfish and oranges are not an acceptable dinner. 

Colt still loves to be read to and thankfully he’s bringing me more than just the same 2 books over and over. We’ve started playing games of “I Spy”  to make the books more entertaining. 

Regardless of what type of music I choose for Colt he still loves to have the radio on most of the time. He’s particularly fond of Mike’s “90s County” station on Pandora. He’s also quite the singer now. His song book includes; “Ring Around the Rosie”, “Frères Jacques”, “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, and “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed”. He also knows the hand movements to “Bringing Home A Baby Bumble Bee”, “Patty Cake”, “Itsy Bitsy Spider”, and “If You’re Happy And You Know It”. 
Colt’s communication style has moved to more spoken words and less sign language. When he wakes up, he calls for “mama” and “dada”. He now asks for “milk” or “fish” and I think today he tried to say “oranges”. He says “hi” and “bye” to most people and things, and recently started asking for “hugs”. Other favorite words are still “book”, “dog”, “duck”, “bath”, and “outside”. Very recently he started saying “go poop”. 

As a matter of fact, the other weekend Colt started saying “go poop” and looking around for his potty, which he drags all around the house. I asked him if he needed to go and he kept running around and occasionally sitting. Smelling the familiar oder, I asked if he needed a diaper change, and he ran into his room and grabbed a diaper. Not thinking anything about it, I took him to his changing table and was surprised to find no poop. I told him he went pee and that he can do that on the potty as well. I don’t think it was 5 minutes later, he sat on his potty while playing and actually pooped. I guess he was warning me after all. 

The following week, we came home from school and he started running around and proclaiming again “go poop”,  so I asked him if he wanted to sit on his potty and he was very eager too. I was even able to pull down his pants and remove his diaper, he’s resisted sitting bare butt in the past. We waited for a while, but nothing happened. He was however not happy to put a diaper back on. And the same thing happened a few nights later, and then again. I’ve since decided that I’ll put him in pull-ups while at home in the evenings with him.  I’ll get into the habit of asking him frequently. If we have some success, then we’ll try to fully potty train over Christmas break. If he’s not ready, I won’t push it. 

Speaking of holidays, Colt got to experience Trick or Treating a few times this year. Once at the campground Doug and Debbie were staying at. That was just about perfect. It was at the beginning of October so the weather was still warm, it was during daylight hours, and we only had to walk a few feet between campers. Later, he got dressed again and visited the retirement home my friend Jessica works at, and Trick or Treated with the residents. And then there was his party and costume parade at school. Colt was a pro by the time his dad and I took him around the neighborhood. 

Thanksgiving was probably more about fun for him than it was about food. He had a blast playing with his aunts and grandparents. He snacked pretty regularly, but come dinner he didn’t want anything to do with what was on his plate. And apparently he easily forgets how much sweet potatoes don’t suck, which has been the reason for tantrums the last few nights. 

Patience continues to be something I work at. I’m getting better at choosing the battles worth fighting. I know dinner is going to be a long one again. We’ve been busy a lot and we’ve been too quick to offer up the chicken nuggets. I’ll be focusing on offering good dinners again. 

It’s also been very easy for me to get fired up about politics and my son’s safety lately. Watching the news is crushing. I won’t go into details, but if you are messing with my child’s safety,  the country he will grow up in, or the planet he will inherent, I will have words. I’m a momma bear. 

A Whirlwind Week 

This past week has been busy, fun-filled, and exhausting. I’ve laughed and cried. It was far from perfect. But it was filled with love and family and I couldn’t ask for more than that. 

Earlier this year my Aunt Barb decided that rather than coming home to Michigan at Christmas like normal, she and Eileen would make the trip out for a week in the summer. This excited me as it meant that she’d get to meet Colt sooner rather than later. And we’d be able to plan a few activities in the warmer weather. 

Warmer weather was an understatement. It may have actually been the hottest, most humid week of the entire summer. We did our best to beat the heat and still have fun.  

As a kid, my Aunt Barb was another of my mother’s goofy sisters. Only she lived in Boston so we didn’t get to see each other often. But that never stopped her from being a part of our lives. We frequently received colorful packages in the mail. She runs a childcare center out of her home and always related to us kids in fun educational ways.  

Since becoming a mother, I’ve reconnected with Aunt Barb. I love sharing Colt with her and Eileen through stories and pictures. It’s like my way of validating that I learned something about raising a kid from all the experiences of her kids she shared. Having her meet Colt for the first time was important to me. I hoped that she’d be impressed with how smart and well behaved he is. 

Of course, the trip back to Michigan ended up staying little more important and sentimental then we had planned. Barb was diagnosed with breast cancer after Memorial Day. It’s been a bit of a roller coaster emotionally and physically for her. I can’t imagine how difficult the trip had to be but I’m eternally grateful that she and Eileen did. 

Monday Colt had his 18 month check up. And aside from the long wait to see the doctor, everything checked out well. He’s a typical 1 and a half year old.  Mom, Colt, and I had breakfast after, did a little shopping, and then visited with Barb and Eileen at our house for a while.  

On Tuesday, Barb and Eileen took Mom, Colt, and I to the Sea Life Aquarium at Great Lakes Crossing. It’s a great little place for young kids. It wasn’t too busy, thankfully. Unfortunately, Colt is just old enough to want to roam about freely without the understanding that he needs to hold an adult’s hand.  He was a bit fussy, but overall I think we all had a good time.  

Wednesday Colt and I spent some mommy and son time in the morning visiting the Stage Nature Center in Troy. For being so close to home, it’s a nice little get away. It’s definitely a place I can see going back to frequently. And hopefully Colt will continue to grow and appreciate what he can learn there.  

Thursday started with some miscommunication, but ended on a positive note. Most of my mom’s family was able to get together for dinner at Olive Garden. Colt has been a bit of a fussy eater again lately so I was embarrassed that Barb and Eileen paid for a meal that went mainly untouched. But Colt was well behaved so I can’t complain. 

Friday was more visits with the aunts and grandma at our house. We kept it pretty low key, since we would all be up early Saturday morning. 

Saturday was our big family outing to the Detroit Zoo.  And of course it was the hottest day, with the most humidity, and of course rain. But most of the family headed out any way. It was great to spend time with my sisters, and my cousins Amber, Kelly and Valerie. As well as my Uncle Wayne, Aunt Jan, and Uncle Mike. Along with my cousin Tyler’s kids; Kenzie and CJ. It was a lot of fun and I hope that we can spend more time together soon. And thanks to a gift of a membership from my aunts, my family will be able to enjoy the zoo many more times. 

Sunday was a day of rest, in that I tried to rest as much as possible while also wrangling Colt. He’s really a lot of fun, but he seems to suck all the energy right out of you. It’s exhausting just looking at him some times. While I can’t say it was the best vacation, it was definitely memorable. 

Maybe next year we can all head out to Boston! 

Work/Life Balance 

Work/Life Balance is one of those key terms that keeps buzzing around corporations these days.  And it’s definitely something that I hear often where I work.  

I am grateful to work at a place that allows me to occasionally work from home. This is great for me, even though I still have to take Colt to daycare. It means I can sleep in a little longer, skip the shower, and just throw on jeans and a hoodie when I get up.  I can also do things like run the dishwasher and throw a load of laundry in.  And once I even let something cook in the crockpot for dinner. 

Unfortunately, the ability to work from home means that I pretty regularly log back in at night after Colt goes to bed. Though, I have to say I do this less frequently than before he was born.  

Today I was “reprimanded” in a way for letting a client know that a rescheduled meeting was technically outside my working hours, but that I would try to attend. My boss basically called it a lesson in professionalism.  And I get it. Just because my official day has come to an end, I should have stated it differently. I’m an honest person and I responded with an honest answer. I attended the meeting and all was well. 

But that was my half hour

I wake up at 6am. I am dropping Colt at daycare by no later than 7:15. I’m at work by 7:30,and there for the next 9 hours. Then I fight traffic to pick Colt up and it’s 5:30 by the time we’re home. It’s dinner, playtime, baths and bed by 8pm. That leaves me 2-3 hours for me. And that includes eating, showering and if I’m lucky, logging back into work. 

That’s right, I’m spending 9 hours a day at work, plus 1 to 2 more a night, at least once a week. And I’m spending 4 hours with my son. 

4 hours that also includes arguments with someone who can’t talk yet. We don’t stand in chairs, don’t throw food on the floor, yes you need to wear pajamas,  yes it’s time for bed, and no 3am is not a good time for snuggles. 

I understand now why people choose to be stay at home parents. But it’s also very obvious why I do work. And it’s because I’m lousy at arguing with tiny people who can’t talk yet. 

So where exactly is this balance and how does one make that work? 

Edit: I should also point out that I get a lot of time off. It’s just remembering and figuring out when I can take it. 

Edit 2: I am also extremely grateful that I have a parenting partner in my husband that I can count on to help with Colt in the evenings and weekends. 

Thanksgiving

A little late but not any less grateful.

We hosted Thanksgiving in our home this year. My mom and sisters, as well as Mike’s mom, brother, dad and Linda all came over.  More so, I think, to see Colt.

And Colt loved all of the attention!

He’s such a little ham, and a turkey too! Laughing and giggling at every opportunity. Squealing in delight at his new toys, and the fun new games he got to play.

We had a wonderful feast; ham and turkey dutifully smoked by Mike. Potatoes and stuffing, of course. A verity of dips and crackers. Vegetables. And surprise pierogies made by Dan. Oh, and dessert! Bread pudding, pie, and cake!

It was fun putting together a plate for Colt, especially since he can eat most anything now. And watching him eat was a treat!

Coming together as a family. Laughing and joking. And genuinely having a great time. That is what I am thankful for this year. 

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Colt’s First Trip to the Zoo!

2 posts today!

Today I skipped work, and along with my mom and sisters, took Colt to the Detroit Zoo.

I really wasn’t sure what to expect, figured Colt would be comfy in his stroller and sleep most of the time. But the weather was perfect and he seemed to enjoy it.

We got there around 10:30, slathered on the baby sunblock and decided to walk around and see how far we could get.

We skipped the butterfly house and the amphibian/reptiles for things outside. And where we didn’t have to ditch the stroller. 

My family and I saw quite a few animals, but I think Colt enjoyed people watching more. 

We made it all the way to the back and took the train back. That ride might have been Colt’s favorite part. His head was darting back and forth trying to take it all in. 

We hit the penguins on the way out. It will sure be neat when the new penguin house opens.

All in all, I’d say it was a fun first time. Colt seemed to enjoy being outside at least. And he was still a load of giggles when we got home.

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Happy Father’s Day!

I know this is a bit late.

I think Mike had a pretty good first Father’s Day. I got him a mug with Colt’s pictures on it, that reads “Happy First Father’s Day, Love Peanut”. Not quite as cheesy as a “World’s Greatest Dad” mug, but still fun.  Colt was having fun banging on the box it came in. 

Sunday, I made Mike breakfast after Colt let us sleep in til about 9am. Then we went to Mike’s dad’s for a cookout.  We had a pretty good time.

Mike is really a great dad to Colt. I love just how excited Colt gets when he sees his Dada. Even if it is distracting while we’re trying to eat. 

Daddy is also pretty great to mommy too. Mike paid off the rest of Colt’s hospital bill. He’s finally all ours! No risk  of the repo man coming, lol. 

Happy Father’s Day Mike! You deserve it!

A Long Weekend

Now that I got that off my chest (Defeated).

Our long weekend over the Memorial Day holiday was pretty nice.

Mike was able to get more done on the laundry room. We spent time with my sisters and mom, as well as Mike’s mom and dad.  And we even had a few hours of just the 3 of us.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows. As some plans were derailed. Some naps were missed (and paid for). But overall it was a good weekend.

Mike and I were also able to take Colt to his first parade. I’ve been going to the Auburn Hills Memorial Day Parade since I was a kid and it’s something I hope we can keep doing with Colt.

I’ve really become fond of the small town feel that my hometown has, while also being close to things and expressways.

I couldn’t ask for much better.

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