"I’m going to make him an offer he can’t refuse."

     For the past nine weeks we have been able to avoid the topic of work because thankfully I haven’t been at work. I have enjoyed being home with my family, my son, and just having time to be free from the responsibility of work. This all ceased to be when I got a call yesterday. {Dun, dun, dunnnnnn!}

     My boss called while I had a friend over for lunch. Sure enough I answered the phone since I didn’t recognize the phone number. She started with the normal pleasantries, “How are you? How is baby? What have you been up to?” I have to admit I am always a little interested in how they are doing without me, but today I felt like she was really trying to beat around the bush. So, I told her that Peyton and I were just fine and just asked for her why she called.

     She tried to skip to the juicy stuff. One of my co-workers is taking a new position with a different company. This means that one of the apartments that was occupied by an employee will now be vacated and is now available so she wanted to offer it to me. This would mean that I would get a 33% discount on the rent and the apartment would be vacated by January 1st. Then she dropped the bomb… After talking it over with my regional manager they would like to offer me the position of Assistant Community Director upon my return. Of course the rest of the conversation I had pretty much stopped listening because I had so many things running through my head. After a few more minutes I told her that I had to return to my guest. She said get back to me by the end of next week and to have a good day.

     After I got to enjoy the rest of my visit with my friend I got to take the time to absorb the conversation that I had with my boss. They are offering me an apartment at a discounted rate and a promotion. Now, most people would be thrilled at news like this, but it is all a ruse. I have been waiting on this promotion for about a year and a half. It is has been dangled over my head for about a year and nine months. The promise that it was “in process” was always the tease and now it has been handed over to me on a silver platter. Of course it’s prefect timing.

     My boss is a smart cookie. She wanted to keep this one in her back pocket in case she needed to throw a “hail mary”. She knew that with me out on maternity leave that she would need something good to make me want to come back. If you have read some of my earlier posts, she has been “threatening” me about coming back to work. I know she wants me back, and I can guess it’s because my colleague has found another position.

     Now, I would like to ask you all what would you do? Do you go back to work, take the job? Go for the cheap apartment and potential for more money? Do you bask in the glory of your new title and ignore that they are just using it to get you back in the office? Tell me your reasoning before I give you mine.

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6 days to 2013

     I hope everyone’s holiday was a good one. I know for sure that we had a blast here. I am going to post a few pictures of Peyton using a few of his new gadgets and wearing some of his new outfits. We really did get to enjoy family this year. A few days before Christmas we got to skip the end of the world. I have to admit my generation has survived like 3 end of the world days. We all better feel pretty lucky. My brother-in-law and his wife came by to announce that they have a little one on the way. They have tons of planning to do. It just reminded me of when I first found out I was pregnant. Oh, to reminisce!

     After that the holiday pretty much snuck up on us. Christmas eve pretty much smacked us in the face. I barely got to finish my gift wrapping that day. It felt so hectic. But, the nice thing about it all was we really got to enjoy my in-laws. We haven’t been able to visit in a while because they hadn’t felt very well, and with Peyton not vaccinated, I can’t afford to have a sick baby. It’s just a million times more challenging to handle a sick baby than a normal baby. So we went over there and talked, laughed and just enjoyed each other’s company. It was nice to hear how Ben’s side of the family is doing. There’s not many family members to keep in touch with on his side (well, at least not many people that are able to keep in touch) and so it’s nice to hear how everyone is doing and what they are up to.

     After that we enjoyed some time with my family. My mom went above and beyond to make a roast. It was super yummy, but unfortunately that was overshadowed by my stubborn grandmother. Every family has one, but man, oh man… she is a handful.

We all love her to pieces, but sometimes this woman can be… how would I describe her… a bitch? Yeah, a bitch. She was not nice at all to anyone and she kept asking to leave when dinner hadn’t concluded. I am very blessed to still have her with me. I wouldn’t want her to go anywhere, no matter how bitchy she is, but she was sure pushing peoples buttons. My grandfather on the other hand is by far the sweetest man I have ever met. He is kind, understanding, generous, and just a great guy. In this couple, opposites really did attract. They were meant for each other. But, back to dinner… my grandmother was just not on her best behavior, so when the meal was over we were ready to get to dishes.

     After dishes were dried and grandparents were taken home, we got to let things settle down some and have a little more fun. We laughed, did our standard gift exchange, and talked over warm beverages. It was very nice. The next day, Christmas, that was just a mellow day of watching “The Big Bang Theory” and playing Uno. This day would not have been complete without my brothers, and by brothers I mean my two brothers and my third brother from another mother, Regis. My handsome hubby was there to enjoy the festivities too of course.

     It was just a nice holiday. Now, we get to look forward to the New Year. Yep, just a few days from 2013. It’s going to be a champagne toasting, ball dropping, confetti throwing, monopoly playing, fun night! I can’t wait! It will also get me a jump on my next task at hand… joining Weight Watchers again, but that is worthy of a whole other post.

     How was your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day? Do you celebrate? If you do, what is your traditional day like? If you don’t celebrate, what do you enjoy doing if you have the day off work? Well, I will look forward to your responses. Have a great day!

Times have changed

     It’s 2012, the end of the world was promised to be on December 21, 2012. I suppose that times have changed since the Mayans occupied the world, because the date has come and gone and we are blessed to still be here. There was no Armageddon or World War III. To say the least I am thrilled to still be here, and I am looking forward to many more years to celebrate life.
     Now being alive during this time, I stopped to evaluate what was really going on in our society. I thought how the times really have changed from child rearing to celebration of holiday to even music. We have not only evolved in technology, but society as a whole has really made me sit and think. I suppose one of the things that I associated with this change comes with this song.
Some Nights by Fun. – Lyrics retrieved from www.elyrics.net

Some nights, I stay up cashing in my bad luck; some nights, I call it a draw
Some nights, I wish that my lips could build a castle
Some nights, I wish they’d just fall off
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for
What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know anymore…
This is it, boys, this is war – what are we waiting for?
Why don’t we break the rules already?
I was never one to believe the hype – save that for the black and white
I try twice as hard and I’m half as liked, but here they come again to jack my style
That’s alright (that’s alright).I found a martyr in my bed tonight.
She stops my bones from wondering just who am I, who am I, who Ia-a-a-am, oh who am I, m-mm, m-mm.
Well, some nights I wish that this all would end
‘Cause I could use some friends for a change
And some nights I’m scared you’ll forget me again
Some nights I always win (I always win)
But I still wake up, I still see your ghost
Oh Lord, I’m still not sure what I stand for
What do I stand for? What do I stand for? What do I stand for?
Most nights, I don’t know…
So this is it? I sold my soul for this?
Washed my hands of that for this?
I miss my mom and dad for this?
No. When I see stars, when I see stars, that’s all they are
When I hear songs, they sound like a swan, so come on
Oh, come on. Oh, come on.
That is it, guys, that is all – five minutes in and I’m bored again
Ten years of this, I’m not sure if anybody understands
This one is not for the folks back home; I’m sorry to leave, mom, I had to go
Who the fuck wants to die alone all dried up in the desert sun?
My heart is breaking for my sister and the con that she called “love”
But when I look into my nephew’s eyes…
Man, you wouldn’t believe the most amazing things that can come from…
Some terrible nights
The other night, you wouldn’t believe the dream 
I just had about you and me
I called you up, but we’d both agree
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance…
It’s for the best you didn’t listen
It’s for the best we get our distance…

     I thought that this song was perfect because in times before our own people were a lot more aware. To me this song represents how we are so lost in our own civil war. We are forced into a situation where all we want to do is stand for something, but because there is so much to “stand for” in this world we are lost in “love” or “war” and we can’t seem to find out what we are really working towards. It turns family member against family member all because we have no wiggle room for compromise. We all end in the sad frustration of not wanting to die alone and succumb to what every person feels is inevitable… lonesome misery.
     I don’t know if this is just the lost ramblings of someone who is just longing for some days of the past where there were neighborhood barbecues and you didn’t have to worry about getting your child kidnapped from the local park. Where we didn’t mark our calendars and almost look forward to the end of the world. When people didn’t have to prepare for dooms-day and instead planned for birthdays and anniversaries. I wish for the time where we looked forward to holidays because of family instead of dreaded them because you are forced to go out in public because of the masses of gift givers who would crowd us in stores and fight over the last LCD flat screen TV.
     I know it is a lot of randomness here in this post and I suppose I can’t really pin point the one simple thing that I am trying to say since there is so much to say on this topic. I just have so much hope for our future starting with our children. I hope that I can raise a family where we can enjoy the simple things.
     What did you think of the end of the world? Where were you on December 21, 2012? Do you think that people are missing out on anything because of all that is going on? What do you hope for you and your family’s future?

"Chestnuts roasting on an open fire…"

     The holiday season is upon us and Christmas is approaching quite rapidly. The one thing that constantly reminds me of the holiday seasons and the wonderful memories I have with it is Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song”. The song is on one of my parent’s Christmas CD and we play it every year when we decorated the tree and the house for the season.

     To me, this song represents family traditions, memories, and shared celebration. This particular song makes me think of the future of my little family. I look forward to our future traditions. I want to be able to make hot cocoa and apple cider while we gaze at our living room decorations and listen to our version of Nat King Cole while cuddling together under blankets. I look forward to many more domino and monopoly games that run late in the night with laughter and conversation. To enjoy the long day of cooking as a family, baking chocolate chip cookies while dancing around the kitchen and sharing tastes of freshly mashed potatoes or warm rolls. These hopes and dreams are what I see in my future when this song plays.

     I hope to pass on my love of family, laughter, and memories when I have my own family gatherings. I want to be able to see my family grow in these traditions. I hope to have them learn the old and have them create new traditions with me. Thanksgiving will not be a holiday of shopping and sales, but of thanks and forgiveness. Christmas will not be a holiday of gifts and greed, but of sharing, kindness, and family. The New Year will not be just lists of empty resolutions, but of new beginnings and refreshing opportunity.

     This song is a wonderful beginning to so much more. What is your favorite holiday song and why? Do you have any family traditions or recipes that you plan to pass down through your family? How do you start your holiday season?

Parenting: Fail #1

     I have been a parent for about a month and a week. In the time I have been a parent I have learned to change a diaper in under 15 seconds in order to avoid target practice, I have mastered the bounce-sway-rock to get him to sleep, I have learned to undress with one hand and bathe two bodies at one time, but I have found that I am still very challenged at some things. My first big parenting fail was noticed today.

     As a new parent, doctors warn you not to take your unvaccinated child to public places, to avoid sick individuals, etc. After experiencing my own sick baby early, I do not want to tempt fate. This of course only leaves you with the option to become a hermit. Well, as much fun as that is, Ben has opted to bring us out of the house. This meant we packed up Peyton and made an attempt to go out.
     We didn’t even go out for very long. Our trip out involved feeding Keidy and picking up a Christmas gift for my Grandmother. Admittedly Peyton was having a rough day already, but we thought we would be safe taking him out since he was asleep when we left. I was sadly mistaken. Every time we stopped the car he started to fuss. He would spit out his binky, make his stink face, and wiggle about. Then started the cries. More like loud whines I suppose, but none the less it was awful.
     He settled down as the car would get started and we were driving around to put him to sleep. Finally, he was out for a bit and we were at the end of our outing we decided that we wanted to eat lunch. Well, I don’t feel comfortable having Peyton in too public of a place, so we picked up food and went out to an empty local park. This was not a good idea. We ended up with a squirmy, fussy baby.
     After that fail, we decided we would try to sit comfortably in the car, chat, people watch, and eat there instead. That didn’t last too long either. Just as we got ready to put food in our mouths, the Peyton alarm sounded. This time I hopped on it hoping to settle him down so Ben and I could just try and relax a little before going home. I failed yet again! He was just not having it.
     Finally we decided to make our way to the house. We hoped that he would quiet down and go to sleep so we could pick a spot by our community park and eat there. Luckily he decided to have mercy on us and let us have just enough time to eat then woke up again. It took us about 30 seconds to get home from where we parked. Once we got there I fed him and he was fine. I was so happy!

     This was the first serious fail in my attempt at parenting. I suppose common sense would have help here, but sometimes the desire to go out and not be cooped up in a house overcomes common sense. What I should have done was get him comfortable, go out, and when he started to get fussy I should have just taken him home. Setting of the Peyton alarm was not worth my tense trip out and about. Babies take control no matter what the situation. The baby take precedence and that is how it should be. It was just one of those live and learn kind of situations I suppose.
     I know I will encounter a number of other parenting fails. Next time hopefully I will be a little more prepared. What was your first parenting fail? What parenting fail do you notice among other parents when you are out and about?

Remember when you were this small?

     We all have had those moments when our parents whip out our most embarrassing photos and videos of our childhood. They always start with, “Don’t you remember when you were this age/small?” or “Look how cute you were here!” That is when your eyes have the automatic reaction of rolling and we try to quickly change the subject so we don’t have to think about it. I know that as a new parent I will inevitably torture my child with this, but I have also recently been introduced to some alternatives that are not as harmful to a child’s ego.

     My friend Kate brought it to my attention, and I had seen it once before on a blog belonging to a friend of mine on twitter, Caroline over at Crackers & Carrots. (Her blog is amazing and to be quite frank, so is she! Her son is adorable and is a little over Peyton’s age. Plus, she has some fabulous recipes for pretty much anything sweet.) Now, Kate and Michelle came over on Saturday for a little girl’s night fun. We decided that it would be a great time to do some crafts. The one that worked out best was the salt dough impressions (link includes ingredients and directions). This is by far the easiest thing to mix together, but the hardest thing to hold a child still for.

     The reason why I say go for this option when it comes to childhood memories is because this is a lot less painful than the naked bath tub pictures or the not so flattering middle school yearbook photos. This limits the criticism to “look how messy that print is” or “how big could a 6 month old child’s feet really get?” Plus, the parent can always decorate it to be a lot more decorative. We will see what I am going to do with Peyton’s. But, here is how it all went:

Michelle mixing, rolling, and shaping our dough.
Kate taking a picture of me and getting her daughter ready to go feet first into the dough. 

     It was so much fun until I had to try and do Peyton’s hands. His feet were a piece of cake, but his hands were almost impossible. I had to fight with him a little for those hands. But, this was the final product:

Hands, Peyton’s are on the left.
Feet, Peyton’s are on the left again.

     We still plan to decorate, but so far this is what we have. The feet turned out great compared to the hands, but that’s ok. What ways do you plan to share your child’s growth? Photos? Pictures? Artwork? Etc? Any other good suggestions?

The view from here…

     With my husband at my side quietly browsing the Internet and twitter on his iPhone 4. I gaze across the living room to see my Dad in the unworn, slightly stiff la-z-boy. He is relaxing in the half way reclined chair, my son in his arms. My wawas are sitting in their crate with the cushy blue comforter lining the inside. Each wawa is snuggled up against the other trying to keep the warmth from escaping. The fireplace mantle is lined with family photos. I see my childhood scattered through these photos.

     This is home. This is where I grew up. This is were the majority of my memories have been made since I was nine. After venturing out on my own on a few different occasions to different “homes”, this has remained the place that I can call home. One day I will have my own. One day I will be able to offer this to my son. Until then this will remain my surrogate home.
     I love my view from here. I love being able to see my family untouched. It is beautiful to see that we all come back to home when we know we need a place of sanctuary.