Saturday, October 31, 2009

fall party at first school.

Thursday, Hayden's school had their "Fall Party." They don't celebrate Halloween per se; rather, the kiddos get to get decked out in their pajamas and they celebrate "fall."

So here are some pictures of Hayden in his pajamas before heading off to school...

Friday, October 30, 2009

my big weekend plans!

This weekend is very full! Here are my plans:
  • This afternoon, I will be driving to Tulsa with Jamie Wetsell, Courtney Ray, and Leslie Nix. We are going to see ‘So You Think You Can Dance’. I think it will be awesome! And I will be sure to provide you all with a blog post dedicated to this adventure some time in the near future.
  • Saturday is Halloween. It is also Homecoming for the Arkansas Razorbacks. Jamie, Courtney, Leslie, and I will be heading back from Tulsa Saturday morning. And later Saturday evening our plan is to go to the football game with Hayden in tow. Kickoff is 6pm. Not ideal. Not ideal at all. But we are going to try and make it work. If Hayden is up for it, he will wear his Fireman costume and go trick-or-treating around the stadium to other boxes. It will be different, that’s for sure. But hopefully it will be fun. That is what is most important.
  • Sunday time changes. And that is all we have “planned” for that day. Which is a good thing… because I am going to need a break.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

haydenisms - take 2.

About 7 months ago, I posted about Haydenisms: a term I made-up to describe words/phrases that Hayden uses.

Back then, his verbage was simple. Now it is more complex (yet still just as adorable).

I thought it would be fun to share with you some of the common phrases currently in Hayden's vernacular.

So here goes:
  • Oh gosh.
  • I can't tell you.
  • I don't know... tell me.
  • How you doing?
  • I'm working on a project.
  • That's a great idea.
  • I don't know what's the problem.
  • Alright... thank you.
  • I think so.

Now don't get me wrong, he definitely says more complete sentences and is quite adept at answering questions (most people are impressed with his verbal skills). These are just the phrases that he uses all the time (meaning at least daily).

I will have to do another one of these posts in a few months because it is so neat to "see" his vocabulary and especially to "see" it in retrospect.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

update on living situation.

Another suggested blog post, also recommended by my sister Mary, was to discuss our living situation and whether or not we plan on moving, adding on, etc..

So… here goes.

As previously mentioned several times, we have architectural plans for our dream home.

We worked very hard on these plans. It is our dream. Currently, our dream is unrealistic and unattainable. In all honestly, it may never be obtainable. We hope so, but times are hard and this dream home is not cheap (to say the least).

So Randy and I have been struggling with what to do. We are comfortable where we are; however, having another child in our home could be tight. Our home is a two-bedroom Craftsman. There is a bedroom in the addition, but the addition is a separate building - not appropriate for a child to live in.

We started casually looking at homes and found an amazing home. It was modern and it was amazing. It is a little farther than we would like to live, but not too far. We talked about it. We toured the house with our real estate agent twice (once with my mom). We talked some more. We made the decision to not buy the house. Furthermore, we made the executive decision to stay in our current home until we are able to build our dream home.

We came to the conclusion that we can’t compromise on our dream. We can’t let it die. Assuming we have another child while we are living in our current home (which is definitely a possibility), we have decided that we will convert our current dining room into a bedroom. A little unconventional, but it will work. When we want to sell the home we will convert it back to a dining room (it will be converted to a bedroom in such a way that it can be easily converted back to its former, more practical purpose).

So that is our plan. Stay where we are until we are able to build the dream: to make our dream a reality.

Hopefully that is something that is truly possible. Only time will tell.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

playing outside.

The other day, Hayden and I did some playing outside with Alfie and I took some pictures. They turned out pretty cute so I thought I would share them.

Monday, October 26, 2009

career paths.

So in asking for suggestions regarding future blog posts, my sister recommended that I blog about my future and whether or not I ever want a “career” (and if I do, what that career might be).

So here goes…

To begin with, I asked my mom what I had wanted to be when I was little. More specifically, I asked her, “When I was little, what did I say that I wanted to be?” Her answer: A doctor. When I was little I was rather sickly. Not deathly sick by any means… just lots of allergy issues. I was at the doctor’s a lot: getting allergy shots and what-not. I loved it! I loved the attention I got. It made me feel special (note: I still love going to the doctor, being a patient, etc. – I really like being cared for and attended to)(note: Hayden HATES the doctor...).

So I wanted to be a doctor. As I got older though, the blood and gore associated with being a doctor disagreed with me so I changed my mind and decided I wanted to be a child psychologist. My friend’s mother was a child psychologist and her career and job appealed to me. Plus, I could still be a doctor and I wouldn't have to mess with the “yucky stuff.”

Then, I wanted to be a marine biologist… still a doctor of sorts. Although the main reason I wanted to be a marine biologist was because I didn't want to eat seafood and being a marine biologist gave me a good excuse not to eat it because I couldn't eat what I worked with (at least in my 10-year-old mind this sounded like a good argument).

Then I didn't think about my future for awhile. In high school, I really liked writing although my English teacher didn't make me feel like I was a good writer. My work was too dark. She rarely gave me an “A”. This prompted me to think that maybe writing wasn't my forte. I did like Psychology a lot in high school and I was really good at it. I took an AP Psych class and did very well in it. I understood Psychology. I enjoyed it and it made sense to me.

So that is what I majored in when I went to college. Not a good decision in retrospect. You can’t do much with that degree. Looking back, I wish I would have become a speech pathologist or maybe even a lawyer. Something more practical.

When I graduated, I went and taught 2-year-olds for a year. While teaching, I realized that I was drawn to certain children. I wanted to work one-on-one with the kids who needed more help and attention. This is not possible as a teacher… so I decided maybe I really did want to be some sort of child therapist. The easiest and most appealing way to accomplish this goal was to go back to school and get my Master’s in Social Work. So that is what I did.

At the same time though, I wanted to be a mother. For some time, I had the idyllic dream that I would be a stay-at-home mom to two kids, two years a part, while my husband worked and supported the family (while also helping our tremendously in the parenting department – I mean, don’t get me wrong, I am traditional in some ways but I certainly didn't want to do it all. I expected Randy to help out as much as he could).

A few days before I graduated (getting my Master’s), I found out that I was pregnant with Hayden. I was elated. I was going to be a mother. After conferring with Randy, we decided that I would be able to stay-at-home with Hayden. This did result in one significant “compromise” of sorts. I decided to let my Social Work licensure lapse. I am appreciative of my education and my degree; however, for the time being I have opted to be a mom and not be a Licensed Social Worker (note: don’t get me wrong, it is possible that I could have done both but I didn't want to… I “just” wanted to be a stay-at-home mom).

So that is essentially where I stand now. I am a highly educated stay-at-home mom, and I am happy. Seriously. Now that isn't saying that I don’t have my “bad moments” or “bad days”. Sometimes life can be very mundane, yet stressful.

I do keep myself quite busy volunteering. I am co-chair of the Women’s Giving Circle’s Grants Committee, I am a member of the Junior League, and most significantly I am President-Elect of Peace at Home Family Shelter. These volunteer jobs keep me quite busy and require a good amount of time.

I also blog. I’m not getting paid for it (although that would be WONDERFUL), but I think of it as a job. It’s my outlet. It’s my hobby I guess. Although it feels more important than that: it’s more like a means of communication that I feel compelled to distribute and impart.

Now back to the initial question: Do I ever want a “career” and if so what? Honestly, I’m not sure. In a few years, we may have another child. If that happens, I want to be able to stay-at-home with him/her too. Therefore, I may be a stay-at-home mom for another 6-8 years. Wow. That is a long time!

Either way, once I'm done procreating I’m still unsure what I will do (procreating... that sounds SO funny!). I may want to continue being a stay-at-home mom, although I may find myself bored at home all day alone. Then again, volunteer jobs could keep me very busy and they are jobs too (just non-paying ones). Another thing I think I would really like to do is work at my son’s current school as an assistant teacher. The ratios at the school are small and the school is wonderful. I really think I would enjoy it and be good at it. I could work part-time or full-time: also very appealing.

That is really all I have my eyes on right now in terms of my future “career.” Who knows though? Something else could always come up!

I will admit though that if I was a more career-oriented person and I hadn't met and married Randy… if I didn't have Hayden… if I didn't want to be a mother… essentially, if the situation was different, I think I would be a good lawyer or judge (for children). I’m not sure if I would really enjoy it though. A Speech Pathologist for Children though… that might have been a good, better fit. But seriously… who knows?

This is my life and really… it’s not too bad.

P.S. To Mary: I bet you never expected this kind of blog post when you recommended I do a blog post about my future career.

Friday, October 23, 2009

another update on alfie's weight.

As previously mentioned several times, Alfie is on a weight-loss drug.

This past Tuesday we went in for another weight check and he weighed in at 14.1 lb. That is a good thing! He lost .7 lb since his last visit (which was about a month ago).

So my big boy is slimming down and the doctor mentioned that although 10 lb. is Alfie's theoretical goal weight, if he looks good at 12 or even 13 lb. then we will call it a day. That sounds good to us!

Our plan in to continue with his current batch of Slentrol (we are on our second batch which I just bought about 2 weeks ago) and then quit giving him the medicine (the medicine will probably run out in another month or so). We do plan on continuing with the food measuring because Alfie simply isn't able to regulate how much food he eats. He overeats (just like his poor mommy). So that is our plan. I'll keep you updated with his progress...

Thursday, October 22, 2009

young frankenstein.

Last Friday night, The UARK did its ‘Dinner and a Movie’ night. This is the 3rd one Randy and I have gone to.

The featured movie was ‘Young Frankenstein’ and the food was a delicious buffet of German-themed food prepared by Jason Werner (Randy’s brother). The Chicken Schnitzel was fabulous!!!

My parents went too and I took two pictures:

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

my "fickle friend"

Note: Reader discretion is advised. Especially men-readers! The following blog post discusses a feminine “issue” and may be disturbing to some readers.

My “fickle friend” refers to my “monthly” menstrual cycle. ‘Monthly’ is in quotes because it is not monthly at all and that is why it is fickle and I hate it.

Before getting pregnant with Hayden, I was on birth control. When we decided to start trying to have a baby, I stopped taking the birth control. My period never surfaced. Never (note: I had been on birth control for about 5 years).

In order to have a cycle and to get pregnant with Hayden, I had to take medication (and it took a year of trying with medication and medical assistance to finally get pregnant with Hayden – although in the end, he was conceived without assistance… so ironic).

Anywho, after having Hayden I decided that I was not going to ever take birth control again. I decided that although the birth control wasn’t the cause of my lack of cycles, it covered up that fact. And I didn't want to cover that up. I want to know if I am having a period – or not having one.

So since having Hayden I have been having periods “naturally”… very irregularly. And it drives me insane. In an effort to try and understand the “situation” and feel like I have some control over my body and my monthly cycles, I have taken to documenting them.

On my calendar, I mark when I get my period. I have done this for almost 2 years (I realize this might seem crazy and illogical to many of you reading this, but it works for me).

After all this time, you would think I would have some understanding of my cycles… right? Nope. I am still clueless as I try to comprehend their sporadic appearance and random existence.

Here are my cycle lengths for the past 2 years: 42, 42, 35, 55, 45, 47, 33, 33, 41, 28, 41, 33, 31, 34, 35, and 54.

Sometimes it seems to be consistent, but then… nope. Off again.

When it is “late” I get paranoid that I am pregnant… which I never am (and I don’t currently want to be). I take pregnancy tests. They are negative and I am happy… but then my “friend” still fails to show… and I get stressed. And I wonder what is wrong with me and all this probably makes my cycle length stretch longer and longer (as my stress level continues to increase).

Very frustrating. To be regular, I would need to take birth control which as previously mentioned I refuse to do, so I am “stuck with” my irregular, fickle friend. Awesome.

Randy suggested that it may be “seasonal” but when taking a closer look, it’s not. It’s just random. And irregular and frustrating. Good times.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

pumpkin fun!

Sunday, we decided to gut our pumpkin and make some seeds in preparation for The Hobbs' Pumpkin Carving Party. So Randy set about gutting it while Hayden and I got the seeds ready for toasting.

Here are some pictures of the process:
Later Sunday evening we went over to Sage and Naomi Hobbs' for their pumpkin carving party.

Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures at the party. But Randy and I had a very fun time. Randy got a little bit of carving done and finished up our pumpkin late Sunday night after Hayden went to bed.

Here is the result.
Monday morning, Hayden woke up and checked out the pumpkin family.
Then we put them outside. (Much to Hayden's dismay. He wanted them to stay inside.)
Then Hayden rearranged them. So now we have daddy pumpkin on the far left, Alfie in the middle, and then mommy and Hayden on the right (Hayden is the farthest one on the right) and then of course we have the carved pumpkin "announcing" our family.
P.S. Last night, Randy convinced Hayden that his pumpkin was lonely so now the whole pumpkin family is together.

Monday, October 19, 2009

picture day and a rough day.

Last Thursday was ‘Picture Day’ at Hayden’s school. Let’s just say it did not go well. When I picked him up, his teacher informed me that they were not able to get an individual picture of Hayden. Apparently, Hayden wasn't up for that – to say the least. He was in the class photo though (because one of his teachers held him).

Oh well. When I asked him about it he told me that he didn't want to have his picture taken because he didn't want people looking at him. Interesting.

Aside from the calamity that was picture day, Hayden’s teacher also let me know that Hayden had had a rough day. She said that he was particularly rowdy and aggressive. He body-tackled his friends at least 20 times - without any warning. He just threw his body onto his friends and tackled them. Apparently by the end of the day, one little boy began whimpering/whining whenever Hayden would get near him.

In addition, when playing together outside Hayden took off running away from the group (twice). One of his teachers had to run (at full speed) to catch him.

His teacher said that this was unlike him, and she perceived it as an isolated instance and just suggested we work with him on his aggression (if he acts aggressive). She said that she used distraction to try and curb his behavior and repeatedly let him know that he needed to have gentle hands and be nice to his friends.

Hopefully he will be back to his old sweet self tomorrow (when he goes back to school).

P.S. As a side note, his teacher confided in me that Hayden was one of her favorite students. That’s good to know!

P.P.S. Fortunately I took a few pictures of Hayden in his “picture day outfit” at home before we went to school. So although there aren't any real “picture day pictures", here he is in his “picture day ensemble”:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

the cabinet - hayden's house.

It has been awhile since Hayden has played in the cabinets.

The other week though he really got into some "cabinet play" as he set about rummaging through the food.

When I first went back to check on what he was doing, he was in the cabinet and had taken most of the items out of the cabinet. Things were scattered about and he was just hanging out in the cabinet (this is very similar to what he did back in March when he played in the cabinet).I then returned to the living room as he continued his "cabinet play" and apparently, he was just getting started. When I returned to check on him a few minutes later, I discovered this:He told me it was his "new house" complete with a kitchen, tables, chairs, milk, and 'Wiggles' movies. He said that he worked very hard on it. He requested that I join him in his house and made space so I could come in. Once in his house, he showed me his "pen."

Saturday, October 17, 2009

An Evening with David Sedaris

Tuesday evening, my mom, Randy, Dave, and I went to the Walton Arts Center to ‘An Evening with David Sedaris’.

First we went to Bordinos and had a fabulous dinner. Here are two pictures from the restaurant:So after dinner, we went to the show. It was HILARIOUS!!! We were in the front row. I kid you not. We were seriously in the front row.

Quick FYI for those who don’t know who David Sedaris is: he is an NPR Humorist and Best-Selling Author… he is a funny, witty, sarcastic, unapologetic humor writer. He is awesome.

So the show… it was very enjoyable. I actually took notes and wrote down a few of the phrases that I found particularly amusing.

Here they are…

  • “Here I am hungry as can be and my daughter calls me from the ‘Golden Corral’”
  • Thought regarding a spoiled only child: “You’re a dime a dozen, I can have another one, so shut up”
  • To her paraplegic sister (who also happens to be her husband’s ex-wife): “I don’t think it will kill you to climb up a ½ dozen steps”
  • “I oftentimes call him shadow, not because he is black – but then he is – but because they are always together”
  • “How can you not want to stand in judgment of your fellow man?”
  • Common Acronym… Everyone will know what it means: “A.S.S.H.O.L.E.: Another Savvy Senior Hopes Obama Loses Everything”
  • “I’d like a Jesus so fat that he would break the first cross”
  • “Comb-over Jesus with acne on his shoulders, fur-covered man titties”

Now reading these, you might not laugh or find them particularly amusing… you may be highly offended. But in person, in context… HILARIOUS!!!

David Sedaris rocks!

Friday, October 16, 2009

pumpkin patch!

Last Wednesday we went to the pumpkin patch to pick out pumpkins. It was awesome! Hayden was so pumped. Driving there, as the pumpkin place came into view, Hayden said, “I’m excited” and “Spud’s on the job” (note: Spud is the pumpkin-headed character on ‘Bob the Builder’).

Our pumpkin tradition is for each of us to have a representative pumpkin. We don’t carve them. We just each get a pumpkin that is “our pumpkin.” So we needed four. One for Hayden, one for Randy, one for me, and one for Alfie.

This year, we let Hayden pick out the pumpkins.

He was more than willing and quickly set about choosing our pumpkin family: placing them in the provided wheelbarrow.

We also got a big pumpkin that Randy and I plan on carving at a pumpkin-carving party we are attending this weekend. We are thinking of carving ‘The Werner Family’. Then we will have the big pumpkin announcing our family as the four smaller pumpkins (representing our family) surrounds it. Adorable!

Here are some pictures highlighting our pumpkin picking adventure.

Hayden and Randy getting started on the pumpkin picking journey.
Hayden telling me which pumpkin is which.
Hayden admiring his selection.
Hayden pulling the wheelbarrow.
Picking out the big pumpkin!
Hayden posing with the pumpkins.

Taking our pumpkin family to the car.

Back at home - setting up our pumpkin family.
Note: Hayden is the biggest small pumpkin, I am the smallest pumpkin, Randy is the mid-sized pumpkin and Alfie is the black gourd-like thing.