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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Quality Time

For months my husband and I have been trying to figure out the best way to make the most of the 1.5 hours we had with our two boys during the work week before bed time.  Although we both would struggle with not showing our exhaustion and stress from being at the office earlier that day and show our kids "I'm excited to see you and spend time with you as much as you are!" we couldn't find the right balance.

Attempts to do everything together with our two young boys (now 2 and 4 years old) we realized that the needs of each was difficult to tackle at the same time in such a short period.  From having them alternate what they wanted to do each night or us picking an easy win of watching a Leap Frog video for 20 minutes before reading books we were about to give up.

I know that I was very lucky that both my husband and I could be home with the kids for dinner and bedtime most of the time but it pained me that the small window of time was not ideal or best used.  After months and months of unsuccessful attempts I finally came up with an option that made us all happy.

Every night we would split - then switch, for example:

Monday: Mama and 4 year old would do an activity that 4yo would pick while Papa and 2 year old would do an age appropriate activity for the 2yo.  Then after bath Mama would read books to the 2yo and put him to bed and  while Papa would do the same for the 4yo.

Tuesday: Mama was with 2 yo and Papa with 4 yo then after bath time they would switch...

and so on...

It's been about a week of this and I have to say not only do we feel we get to have some one on one time with our kids and build a bond but at the same time the kids get to enjoy an activity that they love and grow.

Sounds simple right?!  Just wish my brain would have as much energy as my heart when it would come to these types of things sometimes.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Religion: please or no thank you

I was looking to see what upcoming holidays were coming up and it made me ponder on something that has been on my mind here and there.

Although I grew up in a religious household I never grew up with it feeling like it was a part of my identity.  I never really cared that it didn't or that it wouldn't - it was just the way it was and I was totally fine with that.

However once I became a mother I started to think about religion more and more. I don't know if it was after the fiftieth time I heard my mom say a Punjabi phrase that is somewhat equivalent to "oh, God bless his heart" when A smiled at her or if it was after the nth time a proud church goer came to our door to tell us how awesome their church is and we are missing out for not going, but something got me thinking.  Was I doing my children wrong by not being a religious person?  Are they going to grow up incomplete?  

I got to a point to where I realized this is not something I can dwell on alone and after plenty of "don't worry our kids will be fine and be great" from Dude was not enough I did what any rational person would do... I posted the thought and question on Facebook. I got quite a few responses from friends and friends of friends and came out of the experience feeling much better about who I was and how I am as a mother and a person.  People from all religious backgrounds all said the same thing - as long as you teach them to be good people and love they will be great.  

Not that I need Facebook comments to tell me what to do but it did help that people that I know that know me well and some that do not validated what I knew all along.  Love and respect your children and teach your children to love and respect others - that is the base and foundation.

For some, religion provides a common base and foundation.  I don't want to exclude my children from having that so Dude and I are coming up with our own base and foundation.  Some of the very same fundamentals found in most religions: don't lie, respect everyone, show love to be loved and so on.    

I do want to open the boys to religion and ultimately leave it to them to choose.  When A & J are old enough we can have them learn about Hanukkah, Easter, Diwali, Baisakhi, Ramadan, Bastille Day and all the other special events that take place in various religions. It will be a great learning experience for all of us in the family to do together.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Jar of Sin

The evil jar starts luring you in with the word "crunchy" (well maybe not for everyone else but for me it does, so go with it).  Then once the jar is opened and you crack open the seal... sniff... ah, the aroma of roasted peanuts fills your nasal cavities and automatically your mouth starts to salivate (and perhaps makes you thirsty for some milk).  As you may have guessed it the "Jar of Sin" is peanut butter.  Well at least it is for me.  
Whenever I have a spoonful (or five!) of the stuff I feel like such a horrible mother.  What does peanut butter have to do with being a horrible mother you might ask.  No, I don't torture my children by making them have a mouthful of this stuff after they ran a marathon outside as I hold the milk carton hostage and laugh in their face.  I am a horrible mother because I have to indulge in my guilty pleasure of peanut butter at work, away from my kids.  It makes me feel like I am cheating!

Why oh why out of all things must A be allergic to PEANUTS!  Well along with the rest of his lengthy list of allergies and food impairments.  I love peanut butter and now the only way I can enjoy it is if I slyly buy a jar to keep at my desk at work.  They probably think I am a fiend who is addicted to peanut butter because I always have a jar and come 10am or so it's go time with my favorite snack... sliced apples with tons of peanut butter.

I could just see it in my head unfolding... the cheating affair!  Dude brings A & J to work to surprise me and A comes into my cube and asks "What is that smell Mama?" and then I get the glare of "oh no you didn't" from Dude as my head hangs lower and lower and then grab A into a tight hug to show that I am guilty but I love you so much.  Of course, this is after I have gone into the bathroom and washed my hands, brushed my teeth and sanitized my desk to avoid a peanut outbreak (remember this is all in my head so it all works out).

A little dramatic?  Yes.  Motherly dose of guilt? Yes.  Will I still go on to enjoy my peanut butter?  Oh yes.

I'm sorry A, but you know that Mama loves you and if I had to ultimately choose it would be no contest - you would win every time hands down.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Work-Life Balance?

Okay, so in a previous post amongst my rant about being so busy I mentioned that I resigned from my current job and will be starting a new job this upcoming week.  Well tomorrow is my first day at the new job.  I'm all over the place about how I feel about it... excited, thrilled, relieved, nervous, scared, guilty, and hesitant.  Let me explain....

I have had this great cushy job for almost three years.  My boss was not the type that would walk in the room and seem approachable but regardless he was an awesome boss.  He kept me out of the line of fire when the queen (actually it was a dude) of a CEO we had was looking for the next victim.  He also was really simple - as long as the work got done it didn't matter where I was doing it which meant that he was totally fine with me working from home 2-3 days out of the week so that I could be home with my son.  I always got my work done but it was so nice to be able to do the work in my pajamas and with my son playing on the floor right next to me. 

However our company was recently acquired and as anyone would do - my boss found a new job elsewhere.  I wasn't really looking for new work as I was hoping to get a good size severance and be able to be home with my son (peanut) until he was close to a year old before I started to look.  Oh but how life is funny and how things come up out of no where.  I had applied to some 40 or so jobs online and really was just doing a test run.  You know, practice sending out my resume and hopefully get some interview practice as well.  Well, I did and I guess my skills were not so rusty because I got an offer!  I was thrilled - it was at a large corporation (which is what I wanted) and it was with a fantastic company and apparently they are known for telecommuting and working well with working moms (we'll have to see) so of course I was at a cross road.

After several sleepless nights (yes, well peanut waking up doesn't count when it comes to this) and pointless (one sided) conversations with Dude I came to the conclusion that it would be better in the long run if I took the new job.  I know that there will be great opportunities for me there and wonderful connections to be made but I can't shake off the guilt and hesitancy because I won't be able to spend the same amount of time I do now with peanut and I don't want to regret that later.  I mean he's only going to be this young once!  I've been trying to prepare myself by leaving earlier to go to work (my current job) and I haven't worked from home... well its not like I can since I have only a few days before my last day.  I gotta say its been tough and quite trying on me and from what I see and have heard it has been hard on peanut too.... which is the worst part.  During this past long weekend I spent every waking moment possible with him so we both get our share of mommy and baby time before I start the work week again.  I guess that is how I will have to play this out - by compensating the time I am not here with plenty of face time during the weekend and first thing in the mornings and last thing in the evenings.  I don't mind but it just becomes difficult when other things in "life" get in the way.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Super Mom or Super Crazy

Doesn't the title of this already give enough for you to make a judgement about me already?  You guessed it.  I have found myself in a downward spiral of self sabotage.  I'm trying to do it all - which of course means doing too much!  However I find myself always finding my second, third, fiftieth wind! 

I mean don't get me wrong I know that there are millions of moms (and dads) that do a hundred and one things everyday for their kids, spouses, parents, and everyone else in between.  However this is the first time that I am adding on a whole seperate laundry list of things to do in a day, week, month, year, lifetime than what I had before.  I think I just got too ambitous to make up for the last trimester (of my pregnancy) since I was on bedrest.  Just to give you an idea of what I have done or am doing so far...  I am a lead mom for one playgroup, I started and lead my own playgroup (yes a totally different playgroup), I am the co-chair of speaker events for a non-profit volunteer based parents group, I am the co-coordinator for an upcoming festival in our local area for children, trying to find a good preschool, looking for good swim classes, and I belong to two book clubs and this is all while I am/have planned two baby showers, two bachelorette parties, three bridal showers, two birthday parties (for adults), one kids birthday party, manage two yahoo! groups, resigned from my current job and will be starting a new job this coming week (which I will talk more about at another time), manage the chaos in my life and others (I know, I should be getting paid for it but I'm not), and all while I keep the bills paid, a clean house, a happy husband, and even happier baby boy.

No, I'm not trying to brag but it helps to just have them all out on black and white so that I can keep track as well. Maybe I'm not super mom or super crazy but just normal... a super crazy mom.

From Pregnancy Journal Archive (Week 5 thru Week 7)

** Reminder... this is from my pregnancy back from July 2009 - March 2010.
Since I've missed quite a bit (life as always has been crazy which I will talk about in a different posting) I've put up three journal entries from my pregnancy journal

I do want to remind you that some of these pregnancy journal postings can be quite personal so don't be too shocked...

Week 5 (Aug 4, 09)7 Weeks

Today is Week 5 day 2...

My breasts are getting so big! Wow! I had no idea that they grow so fast which sucks because I just bought new bras two weeks ago and I can't even fit in them comfortably... I'm starting to bulge out! However, even though they are getting big they don't seem to be tender or maybe as tender as they were before. That is starting to scare me because that was the first sign that I had that I was losing the baby. I'm trying not to think about it and just going with the flow of things... it is my new motto... "go with the flow" along with "taking it one day at a time".
I started to take a look at some maternity clothes just to get a feel of when people typically start to buy them and how they cost and all. It gets me excited but I have been restraining myself to go forward because the last thing I need is new maternity clothes to later find out that I lost the baby... I definitely don't need another reminder of a failed pregnancy. So I have put it on hold... not like a bad thing but as a way to ummm... damage control I suppose. Hopefully I'll be able to go maternity shopping along with blabbing to everyone that we are pregnant!
I haven't told anyone... well that isn't true... I have told a few but at least it is a much smaller number to manage then last time. It is so hard because you want to share the great news and your stories with all your loved ones. We are waiting until the 1st trimester is over and then we will spread the news so I still have 7 more weeks... Wow that sounds like a lot to spread good news but it will be worth it. A new found friend who has a one year old loves to talk about her experience when she was pregnant and I honestly love to hear them. I typically can't wait until the next time I see her to hear more... to compare notes (in my head) and to have an idea of what to expect soon enough (hopefully).

Week 6 (Aug 12, 09)7 Weeks

Today is week 6 day 2

Well I gave in... I bought a ton of shelf bra tanks - it feels good to have something that allows "them" to be free and not so tight and in my face. ahhh.... I also bought a pair of maternity jeans so that I can wear them in a few weeks for camping and all since my pants are already starting to feel tight around my belly (no where else thank goodness). They just arrived today but I haven't tried them on yet. I'm almost afraid too - again I don't want to get overly excited (which is so what I would normally do) before the first prenatal appt but if I waited until then I would have had to spend more money since I had coupons and there was a sale and you know... yeah.

I've been feeling a bit down lately, probably the hormones getting the best of me but I have been trying so hard to think positive and think of cute and cuddly things to prepare myself and peanut. Talking about peanuts, this week the baby is the size of a lentil. How can something the size of a lentil cause so much craziness in one person! Goodness they are strong! I have still been experiencing insomnia but no morning sickness. I have had to get up more often at night to go to the bathroom. All of this makes me think about how difficult it will be when we are camping for a week in Tahoe. Camping in Tahoe is my favorite time of the year, we go every year during Labor Day Weekend. I keep thinking about how am I going to get to sleep out there if I have insomnia now with my comfy bed and how am I going to manage the multiple bathroom breaks. Sigh, I'm sure it will be fine but I still think about it especially since only 4 other people who are going will know that I am pregnant out of a group of 18.

Think about it being 4 people at camping who know... let me see who does know at this time... hmm... Jacques, Tan, Nikki, Susie, Katie, my mom, Donna, and Diana (from work)... yup that's it... well other than my gym trainer and my chiropractor for obvious reasons. Wow, I applaud myself... that actually isn't too bad since I just went to a number of parties with many of our friends and relatives have been to. At least it is a smaller group of people to tell if there is bad news... you know what.... WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME! I will be fine is what my attitude should be like... that's it... from now on we are looking at this pregnancy for the long haul... this peanut is going to grow to be a fantastically beautiful and very healthy and happy baby! Ahh... that feels so good to say that.

Week 7 (Aug 18, 09)7 Weeks

Week 7, Day 2

Here we are again. You must be thinking what do you mean again?? Well, tomorrow is my first prenatal appointment and if you remember I was pregnant only a few months ago and here.. at 7 weeks in... was when I had my first prenatal appointment for that pregnancy. There are though quite a few differences between this pregnancy and that pregnancy. For starters, I feel much better (I was terribly ill the last time around), I have been exercising before and during this one, and I am trying much harder not to stress out so that peanut is in a happier place.

Am I nervous about tomorrow's appointment, you bet I am! I just want to hear those magic seven words, that isn't too much to ask for - right? The - baby - is - healthy - and - looking - great. I want to look at that ultrasound screen tomorrow and see a chillin' growing peanut. I do have a bunch of questions (of course) for the doctor but this time I want to wait until I see peanut before I ask - I don't want to get my hopes up even more to later find out there was a problem. I know I know, I'm not supposed to talk like that anymore but hey aren't moms supposed to be worried all the time, anyways?

For the past few weeks I kept thinking about this baby will be coming around so close the wedding, oh gosh... when I should be thinking... this is awesome! The baby will be here around the wedding! I will be a mom! wow, holy shit... did I just say that... MOM... me, wow, that is going to be something. I guess for someone who wants to one day be a psychologist what better way to gain some clinical experience other than from being a parent! Let's do this!

Monday, August 30, 2010

From Pregnancy Journal Archive (First Person Told (5 weeks))

** Reminder... this is from my pregnancy back from July 2009 - March 2010.

We decided this time around we didn't want to tell anyone until the 2nd trimester starts (which in this case is Sept 21, 09) since the last time it was hard enough for us to face that I had a miscarriage but to tell our friends and family was devastating. However I was planning on visiting Tan in mid August for the weekend and I didn't want to be hassled for 3 days about not drinking, not eating sushi (which is my favorite) and possibly by that time having huge boobs and a little show of tummy or maternity pants. So I thought I will just take a chance and tell Linda to see what her reaction would be. You see Tan is a selfish friend... no I am not talking behind her back... those are the exact words from her own mouth - selfish! She would prefer for me to wait a few years and all but to my great surprise Tan was so supportive and so positive I thought I was dreaming! It would have been nice to see her facial reactions but nonetheless it was great to talk her and tell her the news.