Saturday, July 30, 2011

We are Family

So our AC went out on Thursday! Can you believe it? One thing I do not like about summer is that it seems so many things go on the blink in the summer. We've had more bills this summer than the law should allow. Thank God we have savings and help from our parents, but we hate to use that as who knows what will happen this fall! Here are some of the things that we've had to pay for this summer:
-A/C in the jetta went out (and something else, but I can't remember)
-master bathroom toilet broke
-A/C in the house goes out
-oh and did I mention those medical bills for Joel's birth keep streaming in each month...
Despite this, I'm thankful that we can still get by and that we've received so much help from our Dallas family. There are days when I think to myself that things would be so much easier if we lived in Kansas close to my parents. I see all of my friends with family near by and I do sometimes get jealous. However, this week we were really reminded that we have a family here. Friends came forward with technician recommendations and we even borrowed a window unit and fans from friends. Joel and I spent yesterday at my friend's house enjoying her A/C. Joel even got to play and read with 3 year old Rowan!
So, even though part of the house is hot, we're still sitting pretty cool until the AC guy arrives with the new fan for the outside unit! Hoping he gets here soon!
So thanks to our Dallas Family! We're so glad we call this city home!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

2 days

It is amazing what a difference 2 days can make. Monday and Tuesday I spent most of the days bawling because I was not ready for Joel to go to daycare. I'm still not totally ready for him to go and I know it will be a difficult adjustment for me (I'm sure he's oblivious), but some things have happened that make me feel secure in returning to work.
Yesterday Joel and I went to my neighbor's house to play. She's a stay-at-home mom to two under two. Watching her with the kids was fun, inspiring and exhausting. Being a stay-at-home mom is probably more exhausting than being a working mom, in my opinion. I mean sure we're away from the babes all day (agony), but we can focus on just them when we get home and we can tag-team tasks with the hubby. With a stay-at-home mom it's a constant juggling act. You're the sole entertainment and disciplinarian for the majority of the day. I have so much respect for stay-at-home moms. I know my neighbor doesn't think of it as work (how could you when taking care of cute little babies), but I know she really appreciates adult conversation and her free-time. Luckily, she waitresses a few nights a week and since I'm off this summer we get to hang out with our kids. Next summer I'll be in her boat with Joel being a year old (walking and getting into things) and me being home with him! Let's hope I can survive.
Today Joel and I took a walk down to his daycare to visit. We were greeted by all his new friends. They were so excited to meet Baby Joel. We watched them play some sort of ball game as they got ready to eat lunch. We also received a beautiful diaper cake from them (yay!). Our daycare provider also told us that they bought a brand new Chicco pack n play for Joel to nap in while he's in their care. This is great because he sleeps in a Chicco pack n' play in our room (more on that later). We were really excited to hear that they are taking extra steps towards making their home his 2nd home. Makes my nervous mama-heart feel so much better. I really am excited about him going to daycare. He's going to have so many great opportunities and the socialization....couldn't ask for a better environment for him to learn about sharing and caring. Overall, I am really excited for the life Joel will have. I feel blessed that Mr. Soup and I are financially able to and emotionally (is that the right word?) able to give him the life we feel he deserves. We have so many hopes and dreams for him, but more importantly we're excited to see how he chooses to live his life. I'm trying to focus more on the blessings we have. If I stay in my current career, I will get to be a stay-at-home mom each summer and will have every major holiday off with him. Mr. Soup's career allows him to come home during the day to spend time with us this summer. We still are the most important and influential people in his life, which is what I feared we would lose with daycare. While I am sad about leaving Joel, I do feel secure that we made the right decision for our family. I'm slowly becoming eager for the fall!
Okay so last night was the fifth night that Joel slept in his pack n' play! Yay! He's making so much progress. Hope to have him sleeping in his crib in his room by November!
This weekend I'm going shopping for myself! I haven't done that since Joel was born. Thanks to my mom (for footing the bill) and to my husband for letting me have Friday night (Harry Potter with my friend Christina) and Saturday (for shopping) to myself. I'm getting a nice outfit to wear to his baptism and some back to school clothes. I'm sure I'll pick up a few things for Joel while I'm out. I always do!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

back to school blues

every year I feel a mixture of dread and excitement as I return back to school. Dread because I'll be busier than I can imagine and excitement because I'll have structure. I'm not one of those people who makes the most of my time off. This was true even before Joel. I usually spend my days in PJs, watch TV, maybe hit the gym or pool, etc. Sometimes I struggle to buy groceries. This summer I had an excuse to be lazy because my baby boy was born. It was hard for me to get out of the house each day. I preferred just to sit and watch Joel play, cry and sleep. However, I made a point to do something outside of the home with Joel whether it was a walk, or a lunch-date, or something.
When Mr. Soup and I decided to have kids we knew we'd be working parents. I felt fortunate to have a career where I have all major holidays off and summers off too. However, when I do work, I'm consumed by grading, stupid meetings, tutoring, etc. So, my heart has been really heavy as I prepare to take Joel to daycare next month. I never knew that I would feel such sadness. I have so enjoyed every day of maternity leave. I'm pretty much worthless with Joel around as evident by the piles of laundry that need to be folded, but I love waking up each day, seeing him smile, watching him wiggle on his tummy and watching him explore his surroundings. He looks so cute when he discovers something and focuses in on it. And while I'm sad that he's getting bigger, I love his little fat rolls on his body. His chubby arms and legs are the cutest. Even when he cries, I find it adorable. His little bottom lip starts to quiver and hot tears roll down his cheeks. His hands are so delicate and soft, yet surprisingly strong. I am absolutely in love with my boy.
I know I shouldn't be sad, but I am. It's an end of an era and the beginning of something new and great. I also now know how his daddy feels. He has to be away from him 8 hours out of the day. His time with him in the evening is so precious. Now I will experience that. I do look forward to it in a way because I will be forced to take advantage of each precious moment with him. It will force me to be more organized and disciplined. I look forward to the new family we will welcome in our daycare provider and the friends Joel will make. I look forward to interacting on a regular basis with adults. I look forward to not spending money frivolously. And maybe if I ever get the chance to work from home or work less, I won't be so worthless and the laundry will get done! I'm a big bag of mixed emotions right now. Still want to be a working mom, but wishing I had just three more months at home with him. Wish we could've prepared more for that. I'm quickly learning there is no way to plan for a baby no matter how hard you try. There is also no way I could have prepared to have my heart removed from body. He's it now!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Officially 2 months

Joel is officially 2 months today! Today we had his 2 month check-up. Big day for our family! I feel like he's changed so much from the little baby we brought home to the boy we have today. It's bittersweet, really. I shed a few tears last night as I looked at him. I love watching him grow and learn, but I also miss holding my tiny little one. I DO love getting more sleep though!

Here are his stats:
10.2 lbs (10-25%)
21 1/4 inches (5%)
head circumference (10%)

He had his two month shots complete with tears. Oh, how my heart broke to hear him cry. He kept looking at me like, "mom! how can you let them do this to me?" Well, bub, it's a necessary evil. He goes back in September for more. Maybe daddy can take him that time. Not sure if I can handle watching that again! haha!

He has hit all his developmental milestones. Lifting his head, smiling, cooing, wiggling and reaching are all things he does on a daily basis. He spends a lot of his time wiggling and reaching for things. He is so curious of the world around him. He can also roll over and give kisses (I'm sure those weren't on the milestone checklist)

Well that's it for our little guy! Stay tuned for more updates!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

2 months

On Friday JT will be 2 months! He has his two month doctor's appointment where he'll get his shots. Last week when I stepped on the scale with him, he weighed 10 lbs. This week he feels heavier and even has little fat rolls! So cute. I wonder how big he'll be Friday? JT has so much personality now. He's more like a little boy than an actual baby. He smiles now and it absolutely melts my heart. I spend most of my day oohing and awwing over him rather than updating my blog (sorry!) Here are some things we've noticed about him:
-loves to have his feet rubbed
-he likes Notorious BIG, Fiona Apple, Marcia Ambrosia and any slow R&B music or music with acoustic guitars
-he's reaching for the toys on his tummy time mat. He can entertain himself reaching for those things for minutes
-he likes to give kisses! It's the cutest thing. He even gave Maya a kiss and she reciprocated with a big lick on his face!
-his hair is more of a dark, chocolatey brown color like mine rather than black like Murad's. His hair hasn't turned curly yet, so we think the soft waves are here to stay
-when he smiles he makes his eyes go to one side and he also likes to ball his fists up near his face. both are things we noticed in Murad's baby pics
-his eyes are a medium shade of brown like Murad and Abby's instead of dark brown like mine.
-he can roll over on his own
-he still sleeps with us in the bed, but we're slowly transitioning him to the pack n' play and then to his crib in his nursery. My anti-cosleeping hubby is now on board with it, so he's stayed with us a little longer than expected. It's kind of good because since he's learned to roll over he rolls to his stomach during sleep. It really freaks Mommy and Daddy out, so we're keeping him in our bed so we can flip him to his back. He has an AngelCare monitor in his crib, but not in his pack n' play, so we haven't figured out how to monitor him in the pack n' play.

Some more updates:
Grandpop Joel and Gigi came to visit at the end of June! What a great time JT had with them. He received a new swing and mommy and daddy received a digital photo frame and coffee maker! It was so cool to see grandson Joel (JT) and Grandpop Joel interact
New friends - JT has quite a few friends his age. This past weekend he met Isaiah Jr. (3/31/2011) who came from MD to visit his grandparents in Richardson. His friend Walt was born in KC on July 16th! Walt and JT were only supposed to be 5 weeks apart, but with JT arriving early and Walt a week late, they are almost 2 months apart! He has a friend arriving 8/11 in Lawrence, 10/11 in Sweden and 12/11 or 1/12 in Denver. Lots and lots of friends for him to meet!
Baptism - We are excited that JT will be baptized next month in my hometown. This is the same church at which my brother, my mom and I were baptized. That weekend JT will also meet his big sister Abby for the first time, as well as his Uncle Ryan and some great-grandparents.
JT had his first cold - not fun, but it only lasted 2 days.
Updates for the Soup family:
I've been cleared to work-out! I started last week. I only went 3 days, but it felt really good to do intense cardio and lift weights. I kind of overdid it on the abs (because let's face it, that's the area that needs the most work!), but I'm going to start back up slowly. I lost 15 lbs immediately after having Joel and then kind of plateaued. Last week I lost 3 lbs. I figure if I average 3 lbs a week, I'll be back in shape in no time!
I go back to work in exactly a month. I'm so dreading it. While I know that JT will be fine in day care (in fact, Mr. Soup and I both agree that he will be better cared for at day care than with us but for real), it's still hard for me to imagine leaving him all day long. I know my day will be amazing when I jet over to daycare to pick up his smiling face! I'm trying to soak up my JT time now. I think I'm averaging 5-10 photos and videos daily. I don't have the patience to upload them all on here, but I've posted quite a few on Facebook. He's just so amazing. I love capturing his little world.
Mr. Soup and I have decided to start a non-profit! I'm going to be blogging about the process as we'll be going through the filing with the state and the IRS. Right now we're in the infancy stages: gathering our board of trustees, filling out paper work, etc. After that we'll wait and wait and then we can finally start applying for funding. Our goal is to be up and running next fall (2012). It kind of started out as an idea that we thought sounded good, but when we started talking about it to people we realized there really is a need for this kind of organization in the community. So many people have volunteered to help us with everything including working with the IRS and other legal matters. We're hoping that once this all gets running in a couple of years, that we'll be able to spend more time with JT. We also love the organization, because it combines our passion for education and social services. Like I said, I'll try to blog about our ups and downs with starting a non-profit. Right now, I'm working on the mission statement and some materials while I'm on maternity leave (in the little time when JT is sleeping or when I'm nursing him)
Mr. Soup took his social work licensure exam. He missed passing by six lousy points. He saw one of his classmates there and she only passed by 2 points. Most of his friends failed by 20 points, so he's glad he's not in that boat. He'll take it again in October. He was able to identify the area in which he needs to improve: speed. The test is only four hours long and he realized he took too long on each question and wasn't able to go back and correct his answers. So, he's going to do drills once a week until the date of the next test. I'm still very proud of him. The LMSW test is one of the hardest tests out there.
I think that's it for the Soups! Til next time!