Tuesday, October 22, 2013

the next chapter

Yesterday, I quit my job.

Well, quitting sounds like I was disgruntled or something awful happened. Really, I think I more "retired." I don't know if I've ever mentioned this here, but for the last seven years I've worked for my dad and uncles' insurance agency. My grandpa founded it in the '50s and my dad and all of his siblings run the business. It's been a blessing of a job. I have been able to work and learn with my amazing family, and a staff of really awesome ladies that I'm lucky to call friends. The management has always accommodated my quirked out schedule, has been more than understanding about last minute sick days for myself or Jordan, and has thrown me not one but TWO baby showers. I mean, good people here.

After much debate, number crunching, hemming and hawing, Sean and I concluded that, since he's landed this new job with a better salary, I am able to finally come home to the babies. Both sweet and bitter, this determination. I live but two minutes down the road from my work, so popping in for a visit will be no problem. It won't be the same, however, as ambling down the hallway and throwing a "hi Dad" at his office, or being able to walk four feet towards Kimmy's cubicle to give her the latest on my feelings.

In the spirit of honesty, I'm daunted. This new season of my life...it's thrilling and exciting and truly exactly what I want to do with it. I know that growing up with a mother that was able to stay home and raise me and my siblings has impacted my life greatly for the good. I want to give that to these fools

plus someone has to save Weston's life every hour on the hour

but I know, and am a bit afraid of, how much work is before me. Important important work! This article that Ana put me on to (THANK you Ana) says it all. I am these kids' anything and everything, for a few years anyway. Jordan has to learn potty skills, counting abilities, language comprehension, manners, reverence and prayers, and maybe some normalcy? from me:

ok, let's start with counting then

And Weston, well, pretty much this pin sums up Wes' needs as of now:


So yes, I am now unemployed. And thus begins what I think may be a more challenging career. That's not a shot at the working girl! or the working mom! Heck, that was my jam for seven years up until yesterday. All I mean is: I'm confident that I'll be hitting up God for a little/lotta extra patience, vast amounts of know-how, and some vigorous self-motivation. Up until this point, I was just on "maternity leave." Now, well, this is happening.

just you wait, Mom

Seasoned vets, leave your very best counsel below. Because here I go: carpe crazy.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

at the lake

This whole week I've been meaning to write of our splendid weekend. Here's what happens though, perhaps you can relate:

I head toward the couch where the laptop casually resides, with the best intentions to pen a post. I spot a water glass on the side table, so I bring it to the kitchen. Wouldn't you know it. There are dishes that need to be washed, might as well do that while I'm in here? The dishwasher is...clean. Of course it is, which means I need to empty it before I stack these dirties. Phew, I finished the kitchen and wiped the counters and this rag needs to go to the hamper in the bedroom. The bed's unmade! And my pj's are on the floor! Well, I'm in here, might as well take care of that. How did Jordan's shoes get under the bed? I'll put those away now... Oh yeah, I forgot about that pile of Weston's clothes I was going to put away but it's actually just sitting here in Jordan's room. So I'll do that and then finally head back to what I was originally going to do. Which was... ??? I don't know, but now it's time to feed Weston.

But a glimpse at my ADD. And the reason that even if I HAVE something I want to put down, I haven't been getting around to it.

First off, our weekend bears someone background explanation. Sean got a new job!
He got it a couple weeks ago, but then had to put two weeks in at his old job, so it didn't feel very celebratory to say anything until he actually started. Which was yesterday. I'm super stoked. It pays better, and just from the looks of his first day, it sounds like he'll be learning a lot at this new place. All this to say, when Sean put in his two weeks at the old place, he made it so his last day was last Thursday, and his first day at the new place was yesterday. A mini vacation! Woop woop.

Therefore, we trekked to my parents' cabin in Lake Arrowhead. It's truly lovely and rustic and woodsy and wonderful. It's much more fall in the mountains than it is back at our place; it's actually crisp, in the temperature-y sense of the word, and in the leaves-y sense of the word. We took walks with hot cider, traversed about the lake, and dipped our toes in at the Village's Oktoberfest. I drank beer with hints of orange, I did.

This was just before Jordan and I took stage left and danced our buns off to the authentic German music. It's on video and everything.

We met up with my mom, sister and brother later in the weekend and did our due diligence at this "puckin" patch that had a huge blow-up bouncy "puckin" which was, y'know, super fun. We also window shopped a few of the high end stores in the Village.

Here we are at Coach. Sean, oh so adorably and ridiculously naively scoping out a "purse as a surprise for Jess" (I assume for our anniversary) and beelining away as if the purse was a hand grenade. That dinky one he's holding was $450 ("I thought it was gonna be like $50...") *smirks in a saccharine manner and rolls eyes condescendingly* Oh but they were having a 50% off event, so I picked up a beautiful, yet unassuming, emerald green wallet out of the $50 box. $25 for a Coach wallet? Yeah sure! As I was standing in line to pay, this very young couple in front of me was being rung up and their total was over $4000. You read that right. I just, can't. And turns out my gorgeous wallet was misfiled and was originally $150 and ain't no way I was paying $75 for that thing. We're talking I'm a committed Target enthusiast here.

Anyway one of the definite highlights of the weekend was this moment:

Oh I'm sorry, you can't tell that I'm standing one foot away from Gwen Stefani? Well, I did. Embarrassingly enough, I wouldn't have even noticed her appropriately incognito person had I not recognized her son Kingston, who she's watching race my daughter on the go-karts. I know. I'm that person that recognizes the offspring of celebrities... Anyway Sean Googled to confirm that yes, Gwen was weekending in Lake Arrowhead. I literally could have put my arm around her like we were best buds, but I'm sure she had security lurking about somewhere. Kudos for me for being the absolute worst paparazzi of all time? Yes. She turned toward me several times and I have way to much pride to just snap a shot right in her face. But here's Sean doing his best impression of a celebrity dad as he and Jordan exit the attraction:

the stud in the $8 shades

The point of all this murky recapping: it was a thoroughly successful vacation for Sean and I, rife with Kodak moments and margaritas at the local Mexican place and the discovery that Jordan's delicate constitution is completely intolerant of swervy car rides (the puke smell lingering about the family vehicle that infiltrates the nostrils nearly a week later testifies to that fact) and cuddles on the couch with our little minions sandwiched between us. It got us to thinking that weekends should always be four days, and the work week but three. 

In a perfect world. But we'll take the perfect pieces where we can.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

on the count of three

Three big ones today. Three years ago at this very moment, Sean and I were exiting the most gorgeous chapel as man and wife. And almost eight years today, we had our very first date. Dang! Almost a decade, boyfriend. I'm impressed. Continue to impress me, why don't you, and I'll try my best to do the same. 

This boy,

Starsky and Hutch called...

turned into this guy,

wine tasting...I'm lit

Camarillo Air Show...he's lit

turned into this man

and I couldn't be prouder. 

Anyway, that's my shout-out to my bff and the astounding father to my babes. I try to keep the sap at bay around here, but I gotta say I love this guy and the family we have. A happy anniversary to you, Sean Michael.

1 + 1 = 4

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

new best friends

Now for some things that are fast becoming staples around here, as I and my diminutive cohorts grasp about for a routine. I'll write them here then send them hence to Hallie's.

1// Language Comprehension Skills

In truth, there are many things about having a toddler hanging about that make the care of a new infant pretty difficult. However, there are also some really great perks, particularly if said toddler has taken a shining to said infant. I can't tell you how many times a day I go to change one of Weston's diaper bombs, get sat and settled on the floor with a half nakie baby, and I've forgotten to grab the wipes. Not only does Jordan understand what I need, she gets unnaturally psyched to help out. She yells "Oh! Yeah!!" and scrams to the next room, bringing back the prize with a prideful smile. Same goes for diapers, onesies, binkies, and so forth. She's become quite the helper and the responsibility is going right to her head.

2// Drive Thru's

This bears some explanation. I'm actually quite staunchly and patronizingly disapproving of fast food - the glaring omissions here being an In n' Out cheeseburger with grilled onions and (cue chagrin) the occasional M&M McFlurry. If the day has been appropriately lousy, you understand. I mostly always keep food that is fast from my lumbering frame. What I actually mean here is: did you know there are things like drive-thru pharmacies? 20th century Jessie just found out. I went to fill a thrush prescription for a then-seriously-pissed-off Weston when what should I eye at Walgreen's, but a drive-thru. This saved me from withstanding a pharmacy queue sporting a flattering shade of flustered whilst trying to bounce poor Wes to complacency.

Also ummmm Starbucks drive-thru's. A couple of months ago one went up around the corner from us. Coffee stops are such a quick errand that I normally wouldn't justify the time to get two kids out of carseats and back in them just for the five minutes it takes to grab the addictive substance. But driving thru? A blessing and a wallet curse. Which brings me to...

3// Caffeine

I found this on Google Images, and am so amused people get this excited over a couple pumps of orange syrup

We might need to finally get me that Members Only jacket to the Mom's Club because I'm thiiiis close to enjoying coffee. Right now I'm mostly masking the flavor with, say, pumpkin spice or caramel or toffee nut, but this morning - after a real doozy of a night with Weston - I added an extra espresso shot by way of necessity and it...wasn't terrible. Step aside, chai-obsessed Jess of yesteryear. There's a new girl in town. And she's tired.

but why, Mom?


You gotta give it to TJ's, they really delve into the season. Which, by the way, is my very favorite one. Today was deliciously chilly, windy, and heavenly, with a little drizzle to boot. Jordan pulled out her "khakit" (jacket) and "cuuuute boots, mom" and we had ourselves a TJ's excursion, where we encountered this

all the pumpkin

Pumpkin ale, pumpkin butter, pumpkin granola bars, pumpkin crackers. Oddly enough, I didn't make even one pumpkin purchase - opting instead for the autumn apple route that I might try my hand at some homemade sauce. Prepare to be pored over, Pinterest. I'm in the serious market for the perfect sauce.

I heart you, Joe's. I'll procure some of your pumpkin wares next time, promise.

5// Tell me this infant position is not your absolute fave

Mostly I find it so entertaining because I try to imagine a fully grown human pushing his bum that far in the air to sleep. Why do they do this? I know not, but it cracks me straight up.

PS it looks like Wes' face is buried in the mattress - but I assure you it's not. When he sleeps on his tummy I'm right next to him. (At night he's in the bedside rocker.) He loves a tummy nap though - from the sounds of it because he's working out some issues going on in there. A lovely post-nap diaper always awaits me.

So! These are the days of our lives lately. You should go visit Hallie's roundup now.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

of late

I haven't been able to write with any frequency, or really, think coherently with any frequency in the recent weeks. Coming up with topics for blog posts proves tricky, as I'm not sure how interested any of you would be in reading about the fog density enveloping my brain, which speaks to the bleariness of my days and my inclination to start an alcoholic beverage earlier and earlier every afternoon.

Nor did I think Jordan's hot-off-the-press hair feats merited a full post

even though I really can't say which strikes my fancy more: the fact that at two full years she managed to produce enough hair for the twin ponies; her flawless pronunciation of "pigtails" (anyone who's had the pleasure of hearing Jordan speak knows she has nearly unintelligible speech impediments that I almost hope she never loses, so dearly do I love them); or her exclamation, upon my fashioning her hair as such, that she wants to "show Deerdin" (="show Jordan" = "look in the mirror"). At any rate, she's come a long way.

Really, I've just had these fleeting ideas that halfway form into something about which to write (<--- fear of dangling prepositions for $500, Alex). Welcome, therefore, to the half-empty caverns of my mind:

  • When Weston is ramping up for a feeding in the middle of the night, he sounds like an impending car crash. Squealing brakes and screeching tires and lots of drama to boot. It takes him a few minutes and some jerky T-Rex arm manipulations before he goes for the kill (that newborn wail - ah! so effective and so tragic) so I know I have a few minutes to prepare the midnight feeding before all hell breaks lose.

which led to the "more suggestions" column underneath and the discovery of this diamond:

and may I just say: Stephen Merchant is tall in stature, twerkability and hilarity. And well, Joseph Gordon-Levitt boasts the lead in a top five fave:

so ya know, he has my heart forevs.

  • Another meaningless tidbit: I'm tired a lot lately. Stinging eyes tired. I've tried to convince myself to sleep when the kids do but I find myself trying to catch up on the Kilimanjaro of tasks to be completed while I have a spare sec. Somehow somehow I still think it's a good idea to log on to Pinterest every stinkin' night as soon as I body check the mattress. Whhhyyyy? So stupid. Close your eyes Jessie.

  • I am completely, but I daresay not irrationally, fearful of blogging about anything that my children are doing that aid my day - make it easier, you know. This is because I have burned by the jinx. You put something out there like, hey guess what my kid's doing? And then. THEN. They don't do it anymore. Suffice it to say that Weston doesn't only cry a lot, nor does Jordan only pull out every single book from her library or find the toy with the most pieces to strew about the apartment and under furniture never to be found again. But I'm not telling you what those little perks are, because then they shall be no more. Superstitious wench that I am.

  • Weston has made it his short life's mission to conquer every uncovered square inch of my body + my entire pajama wardrobe (extensive, let me tell you) with one body fluid or another. The traditional spit-up route, the somewhat unpredictable urine tack (you've been burned by that one, haven't you Wes? Right in your own eye...) and his specialty: the way of the poop. He tends to pull out all the stops (ew) during his nighttime feedings and changings and I find myself making frequent costume switches or sheet strippings at 2 in the a.m.

feigned shame. I don't buy.

  • The completion of this post spans several feedings and a couple Gossip Girl eps. I know. I've sunk so low. But GG is mindless enough that I don't have to pay much attention should Weston choose to funnel spit-up down my third shirt of the day, plus it doesn't require the appendages that Pinterest does. Sub-par tv it is. No apologies.

So, how's your day?