Monday, July 8, 2013

Working Mama Wows

2 years, 1 month, 3 weeks

Honestly, I'm not a fan of the term 'working mom'. To me, it sort of implies that moms who stay home don't work. And let me tell you, that couldn't be farther from the truth. What they do is more meaningful and much more difficult than what I do all day at the office. There are days I am green with envy at all the time they get to spend with their precious babes and then Brock has a tantrum and I am so so grateful for my job. I love where I work, I love the people I work with and it challenges me in different ways. I also know I'm wired to work. The structure, the organization, the day to day duties - it keeps me sane. I wish I were more of a free-spirit, but I'm just not. Having a child has definitely softened parts of me in that way. But I also find myself getting into my control freak-OCD mode at times. I have to pull on the reigns to get myself to enjoy the moment. Sometimes, you just have to let him wander up someone's driveway when we're out on a walk, stop to look at the bug and sit on the front porch for an extra 5 minutes, just because he wants to (and I get to see this face).

 While I don't have the luxury of being totally 'schedule' free, there are some things that just make it all worth it. And hands down, one of those things for me, is seeing his sweet face light up with pure excitement when I pick him up from school.

At his old daycare, Nick did the picking up most days. But we have switched and now I get that job! At first, it was hard because it puts us home so much later than before which means dinner doesn't get started and therefore, served until much later. However, that all quickly fades away from my mind when I see his face. He sees me and his eyes get big, he drops (literally) whatever he is doing and just runs over yelling 'Mommmy! Mommmy!!!'. I bend down to hug him and he gives me the biggest hug and says 'Hold you' asking me to pick him up. He loves school, but it's nice to know there is still nothing he loves more than Mommy. He says his goodbyes and thank yous to all his friends and teachers and off we go. On the way home, we talk about what he did that day and sing songs and, for awhile, it's like time stands still. It's one of my favorite working mom wows (WMWs).

Speaking of singing, we may have a little Justin Bieber (or hopefully Timberlake) in the making. He has always liked music, he had a favorite song at a really early age and he has always been a little mover and shaker. However, now he's gone from simply repeating words he hears in the songs to knowing the words already and singing along. It's pretty amazing. It leads me to another one of my WMWs. Every night since he was very very young, I would sing 'You Are My Sunshine' to him before bed. We sit in the rocker and I sing this song to him because it truly describes how I feel about him in a few short lines. He usually lays his head on my shoulder and listens quietly. Until last week, when out of nowhere, he sang the ENTIRE SONG right along with me. Literally almost every word. This isn't something that was taught, it's something he learned simply from listening to his mommy every night trying to put into words how much he means to me. To say I got choked up would be an understatement!

Now on to some fun photos and events we've been up to lately. Last week was 4th of July and we kicked it off with our neighborhood bike parade (organized by Yours Truly).
Here is a picture of his car all ready to go!
After the parade, we relaxed at home. Then we had dinner at Uncle Mark and Aunt Jan's followed by Fireworks at the Great Mall. This was Brock's first time seeing the fireworks. He was a little unsure at first, but definitely was intrigued. We had headphones for him to numb the noise a bit, but anytime someone would ask him about them the next day, the first thing out of his mouth was 'fireworks are loud!'. 

Friday morning started out with a visit to the pool with Grandma and Grammie. Out of nowhere, Brock has started calling Grandma, Judy. We have no idea where he learned it other than hearing other people call her that. It's kind of random and funny! After swimming, lunch and nap time, we headed out for a Royals game! We went with some family and friends and while it wasn't his 'first' game, it was definitely the first where he could really understand what was going on. Here he is with Grandpa and sporting his new hat, which he picked out himself! 

And here he is being the little tailgate pro!
We got into the stadium and I could tell he was a little overwhelmed at first. Now that he can speak and understand so much, we like to talk to him about things we're doing before we do them, especially 'new' things. So for 2 days leading up to the game, we talked about going to a baseball game. He could tell you he was going to a 'baseball game' and was very excited about it. However, he clearly didn't really know what that all meant. When we walked into the stadium, there were sooo many people and sooo many things to see. At one point, he looked up and me and said 'Mommy. I'm scared'. I think he was mostly overwhelmed but I assured him it was ok and that the baseball game was fun!

He ended up being such a good boy! He had fun watching everything and even got to see more fireworks that night. He definitely liked them much more the 2nd time!! 

The 'being scared' is a new concept that he's picked up on. He can definitely tell when things are 'scary'. Like the roar of a dinosaur. He is becoming increasingly aware of what can be scary so we try and monitor what we watch on tv or expose him to that much more so he's not seeing anything too 'scary'. 

In addition to the 4th of July festivities, we had a Princess birthday party to attend. Our favorite little Diva, Marlee Hugunin, turned 2! Between me and 4 of my best girlfriends, we have 7 kiddos and ALL of their birthdays fall between the months of March and July - with most of them from the end of April to the end of July. So that makes for a busy but super fun summer!! 

Last week we were at Tripp's dinosaur party so when Brock heard he was going to a birthday party, he kept talking about dinosaurs. I had to explain that this party was different and it was a princess party. His gears quickly shifted to princess (with the help of a little Sofia the First during breakfast) and he was ready to rock. I took him with me to pick up Marlee's gift and he was in strictly Princess-mode. He picked out the first Princess card he could see, and even helped pick her gift (a princess dress of course!). While we were at Target shopping, he was in the best mood and we had the best time. He was waving at everyone we passed by, saying hi and just being his happy little self. He tends to get a little shy with strangers so to see him  be so friendly was so fun!

Here is a picture of some of the kiddos from the party (minus Tripp and Charlie - we missed you boys!)

 We ended the 4 day weekend with Brock's first movie at the theater!! We saw Despicable Me 2. We had been talking about the minions every time we saw a commercial so he was very excited to see them on the 'big tv'. We got to our seats and got settled with the popcorn (his new favorite treat) and he was in Heaven. Especially once the preview for the new movie Planes came on! He already has a book and toy from the movie so he was beside himself when he saw that!

He did pretty well for most of the movie. A little over halfway in, you could tell his attention span was starting to fade and he said 'I wanna go bye-bye'. This is his new 'go to' line whenever he's done with whatever we are doing. In some cases, we oblige (like at the pool) and realize it's simply him telling us he's done. In others, however, (like the movie) we wanted to stay to the end to help him understand that you have to stick with something until it's finished. I know, he's 2 and probably doesn't get it and won't for awhile. But such is the constant struggle of every mother in the world - the balance of teaching them while also allowing them to have their own freedom and make their own choices.

We have noticed he's started just discarding things, people, toys, etc when he's done. Most of the time, it's not an issue. However, when it comes to people - that's where we draw the line. We are trying to help him understand that when someone is speaking to you, you look at them and listen to what they are saying. Also, when someone else is talking, you don't interrupt. This is going to be an uphill battle but hopefully it will help him be a better listener, friend, and husband one day.

Being home with him for 4 straight days was such a gift. It's not often we get that much time together all at once so I soaked up every minute, which of course flew by way too fast. It also showed me how much he truly loves school. By the end of the weekend, he was starting to get a little bored with us and lashing out. He also started talking about all his friends at school. We knew as much as he loved being home with us, he was ready to get back to seeing his friends!