Tuesday, March 31, 2015

The big FOUR!

Little C,

Happy Birthday to my best boy! I can't believe you are four now. Actually, that's not true... the other day your Dad and I were chatting about you and we both agreed how much you have changed in the past few months. Not only do we notice how much taller and bigger you are getting, but your conversations and your behavior seem very "four-like." I hope that makes sense. ;)

Anyway, your Dad and I are so stinking proud of you! You have so many noble qualities which we truly admire. You are very empathetic and considerate of others feelings. You are generous and kind. You are also extremely good at expressing how you feel verbally. I believe this to be an impressive trait which you developed at a very young age. Some may call it sensitive and as the outside world begins to impress upon you their own ideas of how little boys are "supposed" to act and feel, I hope you don't lose sight of all the characteristics I just mentioned. Your empathy and kindness are not boy or girl qualities, they are human qualities that most people lose sight of as they get older and suppress who they really are for the sake of fitting in. My hope for you is that you remain your authentic self as you continue to grow and don't lose sight of the sweet little boy that you have always been.

But aside from all of that (I think by now we know where you get your talkative nature from), you are also one tough cookie! Still a calculated risk taker but every time you get nervous or don't think you can do something, you always go through with it anyway and learn that you could do it all along! You love sports and currently soccer is what you enjoy playing the most. Your skills have come a long way since you started at 2 1/2.

You thirst for knowledge and have really taken to reading books filled with facts and tidbits about animals. All animals. All the time. You want to know everything about them and I'm always impressed by how much you retain what you learn.

Your favorite food is pizza. Favorite snacks are grapes. Favorite shows are currently Octonauts (mostly because you are on an ocean animal kick) as well as The Croods. You still are very attached to your white blanket and your monkey lovie, both of which you've had since your newborn days.

You love your little sister so much and always come up with fun new games for the both of you to play. Of course, you do get weary of her typical little sis antics but as I mentioned before, you are great at letting us know when you need a break and some alone time. You retreat to your room to play, read or watch a show on the portable DVD. My point of sharing this is that I appreciate your ability to know when you just need to be by yourself for a bit. I admire that and I love how before long, you're right back down with the family ready for action.

You are super friendly and every day at school people, young and old, are eager to say hello to you. Your Dad said it best that walking through the halls of school with you is like walking next to a little Politician! People gravitate to your charisma and personality like a whale gravitates toward krill! ;)

Bottom line, I could go on and on with more reasons why I love you. Every so often you look up at me with your giant chestnut brown eyes, your contagious happy smile, while you're having a conversation with me and I feel something inside that I just can't describe. The best way I can try to explain it is a sense of disbelief that I am your mother. Your father and I are simply blessed to even know you, let alone call you ours.

Happy 4th Birthday, my son!
We love you to pieces.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

I told Little C he wasn't a rock star...

Last night at dinner our two year old did exceptionally well at eating everything on her plate. She willingly tried a new type of chicken, that I don't think the kids had before, and asked for seconds. She ate almost all of her broccoli, devoured her rice and polished off her applesauce. She had good manners and great behavior, earning her dessert.

Little C struggled. He didn't care for the chicken, but tried it any way. He ate some applesauce and licked a broccoli floret claiming that was his way of trying it. We had to urge him to eat the whole time and remind him of good table manners. He actually ended up pulling through and eating most of his plate earning him dessert as well.

I gave the kids their cookie and proclaimed to Little Miss that she was a rock star! I praised her good behavior and the fact that she ate her dinner so well and even tried new things. That's when a very disappointed Little C asked in a tiny voice, "what about me? Am I a rock star too?"

I told him "no." I explained why Sis was a rock star and that it didn't mean he wasn't awesome himself, it just meant he needs to have better behavior to get the "rock star status" next time. I let him know what we expect and that his sister just happened to knock it out of the park on this particular day.

The situation was over as fast as it started and we all went about our business. But then my mama guilt set in and I started to think about the concept of giving praise to one sibling when the other is right there and won't be receiving the same props. Is it acceptable? Is it confusing for the kids? Does it foster sibling rivalry in a good or bad way? Did I handle the situation appropriately or is there a more constructive way to let one kid know they nailed it and the other has some work to do?

Of course both of my kids are rock stars but it's just the reality that at times one demonstrates better behavior than the other. Sometimes they're both on point and other times they are trouble as a team. It's hit or miss and you never know what you're going to get. Regardless, I'm eager to know what the best course of communication is in this case.

I plan on doing some reading on the topic and will report back what I find. But I thought I'd also throw it out to you. Have you been faced with this same issue? Are there any good resources I should reference to help shed light on this topic? I'd love your feedback!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Lucky day

My morning started off pretty rocky but it all turned around while I was working out over my lunch break. I had my playlist on shuffle and it put together the perfect mix for me! I love it when that happens. I had a great workout and felt really accomplished and strong. My mood did a complete 180 and I was feeling great!

I'm not sure where it came from but I thought to myself while sweating it out on the elliptical, that it would be a true sign of a happy-go-lucky day, and a bit ironic on St. Pat's, if I were to find a penny on the floor somewhere. And wouldn't you know...

I kid you not! I couldn't believe my eyes when I stumbled upon this copper beauty. It was a tiny little symbol from the universe that I need to cheer up and be happy. My rough morning felt like a distant memory and I'm now feeling festive and fun. I can't wait to go home to my little family had have a (hopefully) peaceful and enjoyable evening. You can never be too sure what you're in for with a four and two year old. Ha!

Anyway, I hope you all have a fun and festive St. Patrick's Day and maybe there's some luck from the universe headed your way as well.


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Full circle

A year ago today, I wrote this post. I cannot believe that it has been a full year since I lost my last job.

I have this to say about the whole ordeal... it changed me. Plain and simple. I'm a completely different person today than I was a year ago. The whole experience taught me how naive and clueless I was about life outside of my tiny "work bubble" that I had become so comfortable in for seven long years.

The way it went down does haunt me from time-to-time. I have dreams about the past... the position, the people. It definitely still fills some negative space in my head and I'm hopeful that the farther down my new path I go, the more and more the hurtful parts will fade.

I have grown more confident coming out of this experience. More confident in my own skin and more willing to be my authentic self in the workplace. I'm also loving being a little sponge soaking up as much knowledge as I can. My current role is exciting and challenging and I'm having to overcome hurdles in creative and collaborative ways. I have a new mentor who I absolutely love and cherish, I get to workout on my lunch breaks, I get to attend Women in Business lunches and the networking potential here is huge!

I've been able to put my name on some really great projects and I can clearly see opportunities for growth and advancement where I am today. I'm thriving. I said goodbye to a place that was suffocating and negative and I now find myself with a renewed energy and love of what I do.

Being unemployed was the most humbling experience of my life. Even a year later I'm reminded of it constantly as we financially get back on our feet from it all. But we're close. Man, are we close.

The future is looking good and I can't wait to see where my journey will take me next!


Thursday, March 5, 2015

My Anecdotal Little C

Last night as I read a bedtime story to Little C, I read a line that referred to "litter bugs." Naturally his almost-four-year-old little brain started thinking about what a litter bug was.

C: I don't like litter bugs! They are really, really mean. If I see one I'm going to squash it or run away...

::pause for reflection::

C: Mom, what does a litter bug even look like?

Me: Actually, a litter bug isn't a bug at all. It is what you call someone when they drop their trash on the floor instead of putting it in the trash can.

C: Oh. But when I drop my snacks on the floor, I just pick them up and put them back in my bowl.

That Little C! He cracks me up! I love how literal young minds are. It makes for some cute conversations.

What funny thing has your little one said recently? 

Monday, March 2, 2015

March Goals

What's that quote? "March comes in like a lion, out like a lamb." I'm really hoping that rings true this month. I'm over the snow and the cold! Spring fever for sure.

I did embarrassingly horrible with last month's goals.
  1. Get an accurate scale. Just didn't do it.
  2. Lose 5 lbs. Only down 3ish.
  3. Exercise at least 3 times a week. Two out of the the four weeks were a home run, the other two? Not even close. In fact this past week I didn't workout once! I was slammed at work so no lunch break workouts and could not bring myself to get up at 5:30am because I was so exhausted!
  4. Get through my Series 6 study guide. I was definitely overzealous with this goal. I need to come up with a new game plan on how I get through these materials. (le sigh)
Basically I am not feeling too hot about February. I also noticed that the weeks I didn't hit my exercise goals were particularly stressful weeks. One was hard outside of work and the other was stressful at work. I am not good with handling my stress and need to get a grip of this ASAP! If I'm going to hit my weight/fitness goals I won't be able to do that by shutting down when times get tough.

So, onward and upward!

March Goals:
  1. Lose 5 lbs. - For real this time!
  2. Exercise at least 3 times per week - I will continue to have this goal in writing until it becomes second nature.
  3. Develop a study calendar for Series 6 materials by 3/9 - My goal last month was too vague. This month mapping my time out will help me tackle this goal.
  4. Take the stairs at work every day - We're on the 4th floor but I enter from the basement so it's a pretty decent climb. I used to do it every day but started to get lazy. There's no time like the present to get back at it!
My goals feel pretty boring but they are very important to me at the present time. I'm hoping to start shifting my focus to goals that feel more productive or fun. But for now, this is it. Wish me luck!

What are your goals for the month?