Wednesday, August 12, 2015

News & Notes, Post Vacation Edition

Just a few randoms today...

1) I forgot to mention last week that Carter has a chipped tooth!  It's not that bad and we have no idea when it happened, but while we were at Fantasy Island I happened to notice that a little bit of the lower corner of one of Carter's front teeth seemed to be missing!  He falls on his face all the time, usually from a full sprint, and there have been plenty of times where I have walked over to him post-fall expecting the worst.  I do remember one particularly nasty face-first fall not long ago on a hard surface, but I can't remember where it was or when it happened.  Even still, I feel like after that one I would have looked closely, so who knows when it really happened.  It's really not that noticeable, and I'm sure over time it will smooth out a bit, but I've still pondered taking him to the dentist just to get it checked and possibly filed in case it's sharp on his tongue.  Poor kid, but I guess we should consider ourselves lucky as it was clearly a close call!

2)  Carter is really talking a lot now.  Sometimes he's still hard to understand as he's got a couple speech issues (Cs sound like Ts, for example), but his sentences are getting more complex and he's getting more perceptive about what's appropriate to say when.  He's gotten to a super cute stage, for sure, though I think we're in trouble!  The other day I was scolding him for trying to go down to the basement, and I told him he was in trouble.  He replied with a smile, "I not trouble, I just Carter!"  He's definitely got a mischievous side and he likes to run off more than I'd like, but he's still generally more easy-going than Jacob.  He can get very riled up by his big brother, however. He can be a complete angel in the grocery store alone with me, but with the two of them together it is nearly impossible!  When he's got an opinion he will let you know loudly, but he's still got a sweet side where he will ask where someone is (out of concern) or will help clean up when asked.  He's very polite with using "please", "thank you", and "you're welcome", and offers to brush my hair sometimes.  He's stubborn, though, when it comes to eating, as he will not eat a single bite of non-french fried potatoes or most vegetables, no matter what we do.  But gosh, he's one lovable kid.

3) Jacob is still trying our patience all the time.  We're still dealing with him thinking he's right all the time, and that he can make his own rules.  Like I've said a million times before, it's not that we let him get away with things--we don't--but he just cannot get it through his head that the rules apply all the time and that he needs to follow them, end of story.  He'll constantly one-up our ultimatums with one of his own or try to find a loophole.  He will flat-out refuse punishments ("You're not playing Wii tonight."  "Yes I am!"  (And of course we win.)), and find any excuse to weasel out of things.  It is maddening.  He still needs to write some thank you notes from his birthday (I know, it was almost two months ago) because the thought of bringing it up exhausted me.  Well, the other night he did lose the Wii because of some grocery store antics, so I offered that he could earn it back if he wrote a thank you note.  You would think the world was ending.  I even wrote out what he needed to write (baby steps, people--this is his first time) so he could just copy it.  He agonized over it, complained of a headache, freaked out about mistakes (we used pencil), and made it way more dramatic than it needed to be.  But you know what, he got through one.  And last night, after much angst, he got through another one.  And each of the next couple nights he will have to do it again before he can play the Wii.  For reasons like that, in general he's not a big fan of mine.  He says I'm boring, and to be fair, it's hard for me to get involved in a lot of what he does.  I can't play sports at his level, I'm not very good at Lego, and I don't understand half of what he tries to do with other toys.  Craig is the man for all of that stuff.  Jacob is completely obsessed with Craig, constantly asking where he is and basically just wanting to be his permanent sidekick.  On one hand it's great, and on the other it's a little frustrating...both for Craig who never gets a spare moment, and for me, who is easily cast off as unneeded.  Even though we both dole out punishments, for some reason Jacob is convinced that my goal in life is to make his life miserable.  I am constantly trying to remind him that I love him and just want to help him, but it's not going very well.  He's still not a fan of his brother, either, though we do have functional moments now and then.  But mostly he tries to trick Carter into saying something he can make fun of him for, or to do something he shouldn't, which is so frustrating.  We try to explain to him that he's being a bully, but in true Jacob fashion he insists he's not, even though he'd see someone else doing the same thing and know it's wrong.  I'd say I hope he outgrows some of this stuff, but I can't say I'm optimistic based on what I hear from other parents.  Ultimately I just hope he realizes at some point how much we love him and that we're just trying to do what's best for him.  But right now, it's hard.

4) Work is finally consistently busy for me, and I like what I'm doing, but I still miss that feeling of overarching knowledge about the job as a whole.  I still feel a bit clueless at times.  I've certainly learned a lot and come a long way from where I started, but there's still a degree of uneasiness and unfamiliarity with what I'm doing, particularly now that a new year has started and I haven't done this part before.  I'm constantly second-guessing myself because I know there's still so much I don't know.  The thing is, I was in such a good spot at my old job.  I was the master of my (Excel) domain.  I knew what I was doing and could do most of the job in my sleep, if I had to.  That's certainly not the case now, and I miss that ease.  I think I can be very good at it with more time, but the interim is mentally exhausting.  It appears they're happy with my work, but I'm still feeling guilty because my two closest co-workers are still super-stressed and crazy busy, and I had hoped to alleviate some of that when I got here.  My one co-worker feels like she can never take vacation, and my boss has actually been here for part of this week even though she was supposed to be off.  I'm definitely doing what I can to contribute, and down the road I will definitely be taking on more, but I feel bad not sharing in their stress-fest.  It probably doesn't help that the workflow is just different here.  At my old job I could check a dozen things off my list in one day, whereas here projects tend to be a little more long-term or multi-step.  Without that ability to constantly check things off, it's hard to measure my productivity like I used to, and mentally that's a bit of a challenge.  Still, I'm happy to be here, particularly when I see my paycheck.  I'll admit that the memory of my time as a stay-at-home mom does linger in my brain more than I expected it to, which is an added mental challenge, but I know this is where I need to be.

5) The daycare situation is still hanging in there.  Did I mention we got a $25 gift card as a "thank you" for sticking with them?  I'm not really happy with things, but as I keep telling Jacob, we're sort of stuck there for now.  We don't really have any other options for Jacob these last few weeks of summer, so we just need to push through even though he's insisting that it's boring and the kids don't like him.  I know that for the most part it really is fine--maybe not fine like it used to be, but tolerable--but it's sad that things are like this because it was completely avoidable.  Carter still has teachers he's comfortable with, but his class is really tiny now and two more of his best buddies are probably on their way out.  Both are probably going to Doodlebugs at some point--one is on the waiting list and the other turns three next month so he should just be able to pop into that classroom at that point.  Ultimately no one trusts the management (aside from the new director, who is sweet), and I know that when Carter turns three there won't be a familiar teacher waiting for him, so it just makes sense to find a better spot then.  I'm still holding out hope that the old directors will figure out their plan, as they've definitely been looking into sites and working out some numbers.  But I still wonder how many people will jump at the chance to go to them once their kids are already settled in their new place.  Some will, as they have reservations about their new places and trust the old directors completely, but others might discover they like the new places better.  We're trying to do playground dates to keep everyone in touch and familiar, but I have no idea how this is going to play out.  None of the options thrill me right now, but eventually we'll probably need to settle on one. 

Sorry, this was probably boring, but sometimes you just need to get some of that housekeeping stuff out there.  More soon...

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