Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back in the swing of things

Now that ALL the holidays are behind us, we can finally put some order back into our lives. Sean has gone back to work. He has been crazy busy with "new year" meetings. Since the company will be staying with its present owner, its back to business as usual. Everyone is however, waiting to hear what the owners are planning to do with the company. On a positive note, any employee who stuck with the company through the uncertainty is being rewarded with a retention bonus. They are paying them out in two installments. The first on the 26th of this month and the other at the end of June. Because Sean is one of the top 5% in his salary bracket, he got the highest payout, which is AWESOME for us, since we have a little catching up to do in bills after Christmas. Plus, we still need to finish the boys room (sheet sets and curtains still need to be bought.). We've also decided to buy the girls a trundle bed. The extra cash this month is a big help to us.

Last week, Sean received a call from his boss around 8am. She never calls that early, so right away he knew a wrench would be thrown into his day. He was right. His bosses, bosses boss (still with flew in from Seattle to go on a "ride along" specifically with Sean. I guess there has been a "buzz" about his performance with one of the companies bigger accounts. Sean has been #1 in the market with this company for the last three months. (Since he started this new position) I guess they wanted to see what he was doing that the other markets were not. He spent 6 hours with this 7 ft tall man and blew his socks off! The guy reported back to his boss, the VP with glowing remarks about Sean. Its pretty exciting that all these big wigs are taking interest in his work. Maybe another promotion will be in his future a lot sooner.

Yesterday he had to get up super early to be at a race track by 8am. The company was holding their annual AOP meeting and this year they got to race cars before the meeting. Sean had never driven a race car, but he was thrilled to get the opportunity. They each got to race ten laps. Sean came in seventh because he was rear ended by one of the other SDRs in the 9th lap. He just didn't have enough time to catch back up. After racing, it was meetings and presentations all day. He was asked to do a presentation on how to drive sales. Since his stores are #1, they wanted him to share his secrets with all the other markets. He had to give his speech in front of over 150 people and several "high ups". It must have been pretty important since he actually changed his clothes twice before he left the

Today, at 8am, he and the other two SDRs' had to go meet with the VP. It was for something called a "round table" meeting. The VP is basically filling the guys in on what will be going on this quarter with the company. Since no one really knows what the future holds with the company yet, this is a pretty important meeting that will give some enlightenment. This is the last early meeting he has to go to until February 1st, when he has to travel all the way to San Diego for some event.

The boys and I have returned to our school schedule. We are in week 14, a bit behind where I'd like to be by this time, but with all the illnesses we've had, I should consider myself lucky. Declan had a bit of trouble with English last term. He received a C- on his final, which brought his final grade down to a B-. Sean wasn't pleased and had him explain why he did so poorly on his exam. His biggest problem, he doesn't read or follow direction. (he actually has that problem in most classes) He just assumes he knows what he's doing and then gets the problems wrong. He has a lot of problems with Nouns and Proper nouns, so I have been trying to find extra activities for him to practice with. If any of my teacher/home schooling friends have any suggestions, please let me know.

Cian is doing really well. He is ready to start reading, so we are starting him on the "I can Read" book collection on level one. They are simple, Dick and Jane style stories. He isn't ready for the bigger 4 and 5 letter words yet, so these simple words are perfect for him. I owe Time4Learning a lot of credit for helping out where Setons could not. It really is a great online curriculum! Now if they could only teach him to write. That has been an uphill battle with him. Sean suggested maybe hiring a tutor twice a week to help out. With Fionn starting school next year, that might not be a bad idea.

I got a new cell phone!!! The HTC Sensation, its super fast compared to my old Vibrant and has an awesome camera. Since Microsoft rolled out the new Nokia Lumia 710, all managers and higher got the phone last week for free. Sean gave me his phone because he is required to use this phone for three months. He loves it. He didn't think he would since Windows has had a bad mobile application in the past, but this phone is amazing. Its super simple yet classy. Great start for bringing Nokia into the smartphone world.

Lastly, I wanted to give a special mention to my friends Michelle and Adam. Adam was in a motorcycle accident last weekend and suffered a concussion, two broken wrists, an ankle and damaged his knee. I have know Adam since working at the Marriott back in Arizona over 11 years ago and his wife and I have become great friends. Adam and Michelle, our prayers are with you both for a speedy recovery. The Air Force needs you!!!!!!!lol

I'll leave this post with some new pictures of the kids. Have a great weekend!!!!

It was a sunny morning during breakfast.

Bear and Wookie

Bear, he thinks he owns the couch.

Wookie too

Lizzie being silly

She has such a pretty smile!

I like your tulip Mommy!

Sam, looks just like Sean as a baby.

Mary thinks she's still a baby.

Mary and Sam

Friday, January 13, 2012

Just a little venting, don't mind me....

I was reading my blog list and came across a womens blog who was bashing stay-at-home moms. She made a top 10 list of what we do all day long. It made me laugh because so many times I have been asked these questions and more. I never thought of it before, but they are rather rude and annoying to be asked. So I decided to answer these questions and add my own. So here are my top ten "NEVER Ask a stay at home Mom" questions.

10 Things You Should NEVER Say to a Stay at Home Mom

1.  It must be so nice to sleep in every morning.
I think this is my favorite.  Because we have 7 children ranging from 9 to 0. Most mornings the 4 oldest boys are up screaming, yelling and slamming doors before the sun is even up. Seans' alarm goes off at 7:30am every morning. Not that we ever actually need it. I must then get the laundry started, dishes put away and counters/tables sanitized before I even begin to make breakfast. (We have two annoying cats)  I have to fix breakfast, change diapers, pull out something to thaw for dinner and clean up the trail of garbage from the dogs, all by 8:30am. Then its on to feeding the kids, stopping food fights, and generally keeping the peace while my husband does his morning conference call. I also have to feed the baby some time in between. I have to clean the kitchen AGAIN, get the little ones settled in the living room and the older kids started with school. Did I mention I home school? All by the time you leave your house for work.  Sleeping in to me is 6am.  What time do you wake up again?  Oh yeah, did I mention that weekends follow this exact same pattern?

2.  Can you tell me what is happening on my favorite soap?
I have to admit, I have been watching the Young and the Restless since I was in kindergarten. Thanks to modern technology, the DVR is my new best friend. I currently have around two weeks   of episodes waiting for me. Not that I ever have time to sit and watch them. If you want to know what is going on in Sid the Science Kid or Thomas, I'm your girl.  If you want to know anything about the adult world, you're asking the wrong person.  Since I can't drive, I never leave the house. On the off chance that I do get to watch TV during the day, it is while multitasking - you know, folding clothes or vacuuming floors.  So I probably don't know if Luke and Laura are still together.  But I'll be sure to ask my mommy friends for you.

3.  Don't you get bored just sitting home all day?
Sitting?  What's that?  The closest my butt gets to sitting is while feeding Sammy, but I'm usually standing while doing so because I am teaching a class in the process.  I don't get lunch, so no sitting there.  I usually eat my dinner while serving the family theirs, again that's standing.  I am constantly running around between teaching and household chores.  I do get to sit down, but its usually only to pee.  I long for boredom.  I long for one day of having an hour uninterrupted to sit down.  So, no, rest easy - you don't have to worry about me getting bored!

4.  It must be nice to have nap time every day.
Babies nap.  Mamas do not.  In the two hours of nap time (if I'm lucky) I teach, fold clothes, pick up toys (that will need to be picked up at least 10 more times before the day is over), vacuum floors and dust furniture.  If I'm feeling really lucky, I may try to squeeze in a three minute shower.  So don't worry that I'm dreaming away while your working - the only dreaming this mama gets to do during "work hours" is daydreaming about a break!

5.  Don't you just love never having to get dressed up for work?
I always want to answer this one with "Why yes, because I prefer spit up covered PJ's to pant suits any day of the week!"  Once upon a time, I got to wear a nicely pressed skirt suit with pantie hose and heels. Those days are long gone. Do you know how frustrating it is to never have time to get dressed?  Or do your hair and make-up?  Or perhaps actually leave the house? PJ's and boxers are my uniform of necessity.  I can't crawl on the floor in a skirt.  I can't clean bathrooms in heels.  And I miss being dressed up and not having to worry that my clothes are going to end up with formula, jelly or some other sticky pre-eaten food.  

6.  What do you do with yourself all day?
Well, let me tell you what I don't do.  I don't get to close my office door for five minutes alone. I don't get an hour lunch break where I can just get away.  Actually, I don't even get to go to the restroom alone.  So what do I do?  I teach, cook, clean, referee, pick up toys, bath babies, fix bottles, clean litter boxes, pick up chewed up toys, kiss boo-boos and pretty much anything else that needs to be done during the day.  And tomorrow I'll do it all over again.

7.  It must be so nice to not have a boss!
I do have a boss - 8 actually!  Their names are Sean, Declan, Cian, Liam, Fionn, Mary, Lizzie and Sam.  And it's quite humbling when you are directed around by a 9, 7, 6, 4, 3, 2 and 7 month old.  If I was my own boss I would schedule a lunch hour alone and make nap time 4 hours a day.  But my bosses don't agree with this.  Some days they don't want to nap.  Some days they don't want to give me time to eat. Some days they don't give me time to breathe.  My bosses are some of the most demanding out there because reasoning doesn't work with them.  Pleading doesn't work with them either. If the house is a rec by time Sean gets home, I have him to answer too as well. And taking a sick day - that definitely doesn't work with them!

8.  What's the last good book you read?
Do you mean an adult book?  As in not "Super Fudge" or "This is Our Home"? If I am still awake by 9pm, I may read a few pages on my tablet.  I did just finish reading "The Help", but it took me almost two months to do so. Most nights I crash when my head hits the pillow. I'm lucky to get 6 hours of sleep with Sean tossing and turning all night. So you enjoy that new novel that you're reading on your lunch breaks.  By the time I get to read it, you'll have read at least a dozen more.

9.  What are you going to do on your holiday?
I'm so glad that your work closes for certain days each year.  And that you get a paid day off to do nothing.  The kids don't have an off button.  And unfortunately I don't get federal holidays or two weeks of paid leave a year.  So on scheduled days off for the rest of the world, I'm jealously looking on while doing the exact same thing I do the other 364 days of the year.  

10.  Why don't you just put the kids in public school?
Again, this is a favorite. Have you actually taken a stroll through your local public school lately? How many kids are in your childes homeroom class? How many visits to the principles office have you made because your child has come home with a black eye or a split open lip? These are all questions I don't have to face because I refuse to put my children in that situation. With the federal budget the way it is, most schools have cut out after school sports, field trips, art, music and my favorite, school lunches. Now what does that leave for your children to do in their spare time...The classes are far too crowded for one teacher, leaving slower children to fall behind. I have two that need extra help. And lets talk about the students. Have you seen or heard the language that spews out the mouths of 8 and 9 year old these days? Or the talk of sex in elementary schools? My girlfriends 14 year old daughter, who is in 8th grade, was caught in the shower with a boy while ditching school. She spends more time texting her boyfriend than doing homework. What's worse, she can't even speak proper English. What the heck does "Slow much" mean? So the next time you ask me why I refuse to put my children in public school, why not ask yourself who your child is hanging out with or why Sarah is failing English.....

Now, don't get me wrong.  I am sure there will need to be a follow up to this entitled 10 things you should never ask your working friends.  But in all seriousness, please respect that I work hard at my job.  No, it may not be traditional.  Yes, it may be a little less structured then your corporate position.  But do trust me when I say there are days I would switch with you in a second! But in the end, I bet I'm a lot happier with what I do then you are....

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy 2012!!!

Happy New Year! I can't believe another year has come and gone in the blink of an eye. Christmas was wonderful, but I'll get to that in a few.

This holiday season wasn't as great as it normally would be. The past three weeks have been filled with illness and infections. Backtracking to my last post, I was blessed with a UTI on Thanksgiving. Only days later, Sean came down with a small cold that spread like wildfire throughout the house. Everyone except myself caught it. (It was a miracle I didn't.) Even Sammy had a nasty cough. My poor baby boy had his first illness. It was heartbreaking, but he fought it like a champ. Around the same time Sean caught the cold, he also developed a boil on his lower back. Of course Mary then caught the infection and ended up with three, one her side, one her tailbone and one on her inner thigh. The one on her side was huge and scary looking. I had never dealt with anything like it before, so I was pretty worried. It took two weeks to get rid of them and she still has small outbreaks from it now. A week ago, Cian cut his finger open and didn't bother to tell anyone. That turned into a boil as well, and spread to his leg, on the side of his knee. By New Years day, it was 10 times worse than Marys. He had a slight fever as well. So Sean took him to an urgent care. The doctor didn't seem too concerned, but did give him two antibiotics and a shot in the butt. Cian has not taken any of this as well as Mary. He has been the biggest baby about it, lol. All of this has made the holiday season a bit stressful. Between playing Santa and doctor, I have been running ragged.

Enough depressing talk. On to the Christmas festivities!!! Sean worked 6 days in a row to have Christmas day through this past Tuesday off. It was the first time we have ever had him around for a whole week after Christmas. It was soooo fun!! We did have a great Christmas day. Mom went crazy this year with gifts. She bought Declan a new 24 inch bike, that was way too big for him. Sean had to take it back and exchange it for a 20 inch.

She bought Cian a new scooter that I got stuck putting together. Santa bought him the same one last year, but I broke it trying to put it together. We tried to exchange it, but they were sold out. So he never got his scooter last year and Declan did. He loves it! She also bought Mary and Fionn Radio Flyer My 1st Scooters, pink and red. Those were easy to put together. They both love them. She bought Liam a Radio Flyer Trike, he is constantly stealing Marys, so now he has his own to ride. Lizzie got a cute little bug to ride. Stupid Bear chewed off all the toys the day after Christmas. She was so upset. Mom also bought the Fisher Price Grand Dollhouse and all the rooms to go with it. She's crazy, the house alone was $75. Each room was between $12 and $25. She bought 8.

For Sean and I, she bought a red professional pots and pans set. A red yogurt/ice cream maker. I really nice knife set along with new cookie sheets and utensils. Last, but not Xbox 360 with Kinect and the Disneyland Adventure game....THAT WOMAN IS CRAZY!!!!! I love her to death, but she's still crazy. I won't even go into what she bought my Dad, Aunts Rene and Doreen and Jazmin. (She got her the Xbox Kinect and Nintendo 3DS) She decided this was going to be the last Christmas she would go crazy with.

As I had mentioned in my last post, this was going to be my first Christmas buying gifts for Sean by myself. I was able to get him the Star Wars Blu-ray set, a really cute key chain and, his big gift....A new smoker with wood chips and a grilling set. It wasn't going to get here until after Christmas, so we decided to do a second Christmas on New Years Eve. He apparently had another gift for me as well........a 10k white gold diamond wedding band, to replace the one my Mom bought me for our wedding. At the time, Sean couldn't afford to buy me one. I was shocked and thrilled!!!! It's so beautiful and he even cried when he gave it to me. He had our song playing on his tablet as well.

He gave me my gift first, so I felt a little bad that my gift to him wasn't as flashy. He loved it anyway! We spent the rest of the afternoon putting it together so he could smoke a big brisket for dinner on New Years Day.

The girls made out with lots of dollhouse stuff, princess jewelery and even a vanity. (which they fought over) The favorite gifts were the dollhouse and the Disneyland Adventure Xbox game. Mary and Lizzie love that they can hug and dance with Minnie Mouse and all their favorite princesses.

We had a yummy turkey dinner with all the trimmings and our wonderful landlady Keiko cooked us a delicious prime rib and brought it over for dinner. She has been such a blessing in our life and come to think of her as part of the family. (Sean goes over to play Wii Bowling with her a lot. Not too shabby for an 82 year old

All in all, it was a lovely Christmas. The best part, we aren't broke in January this I'll leave this with some photos from the gift opening!!