Love to all!
You may have noticed that I’ve been distant lately. I really don’t mean to be. It’s not personal. And I mean this when I say this, it’s not you, it’s me. Since finding out I would become the next Verity Mom, lots has happened. All good stuff! But it’s resulted in me not posting on this blog as often. When I began this journey, I knew I would have to make some sacrifices, one of them most likely being that my personal blog would suffer a bit. So if you’re feeling lonely and a little abandoned lately, now you know why.
But there is good news! Although I won’t be able to post as often on my personal blog, I will be blogging often for the Verity Mom site. Much of the content will be similar since my job is to blog about being a mom — just like I do here! So over the next year, if you feel you need to connect a little more with me, and I hope you do, follow me as the Verity Mom. I’ll be on all the cool social media sites like I am now. I am looking forward to my new journey and look forward to connecting with and learning from other moms, grandmas, aunts, dads, grandpas, and uncles, and anyone else who wants to connect! No one is excluded and everyone is welcome.
So please come join me!
The applications, videos, blog submissions, and votes are in from the top 15. The Verity Mom Meet-Up is over (and was amazing by the way), and the Verity Mom Team has made their decision. The top 3 have been decided upon, and lucky me, I’m one of them! It’s been a long process — I submitted my application on September 3rd! — and it’s still not over. But I would have to say the hardest part is behind me. It started out with 35 amazing moms, then narrowed down to 15, and now down to the final 3. I feel lucky to have been a part of such an unbelievable journey with all 35 moms, let alone end up in the top 3.
I woke up at 5:00am yesterday morning anxiously awaiting Verity’s decision on who they selected for the final 3, as were all the final 15 candidates. We spent several hours on Monday at Verity Credit Union’s headquarters in North Seattle meeting with the final 15 candidates and the incredible Verity Credit Union team. And when I say incredible, I mean incredible. From the moment you walk in their doors to each moment we spent during the intense “stations” and camaraderie-filled break room conversations, we were treated with enthusiasm, excitement, and the genuine respect you can’t fake or force — it’s something that emanates from people who are genuinely happy with where they work. This is one of the reasons why I am so passionate about this organization.
Being in the top 3 leaves me with mixed emotions including pride, excitement, determination and a little bit of sadness. I know how much I want this opportunity and the hours I’ve spent dedicating myself so that I represented the best possible me I could. But I know each of the top 15 put just as much of themselves into this opportunity hoping for the same result. So with that I feel sadness. I am proud of the company I held, and still do with the final 3.
But now that it’s down to 3, I need your votes! In case you need some reasons to vote for me, I put together a video of the reasons why I would make the best Verity Mom and why you should vote for me.
If you didn’t already know, I made it to the top 15 of the Verity Mom Contest. Yay! I finished my final blog post and video submission on Monday and submitted it yesterday to Verity Credit Union. Can I get a hallelujah? I put everything I had into that video — from the videoing itself down to the editing and music. I think I could pretty much do a blockbuster movie now. I’m thinking about collaborating with Steven Spielberg. I haven’t gotten back to him so not sure yet.
Okay, maybe I’m not quite ready for blockbuster movies, but I do enjoy doing video editing. It’s like a piece of art you can put your artistic spin on and mold into what you envisioned it to be. I also learned a bit about compromise. You don’t always get the exact footage you pictured, and you learn to adjust, and maybe cut out a few clips here and there. I also learned that after 3 days of filming with 4 kids and a husband in 6 different locations while PMSing, isn’t always the most pleasant experience. Mostly for them. But we all survived and it’s done!
The next step is for the top 15 finalists to head down to Verity’s corporate headquarters in Seattle on Monday for a Mom Meet-Up. We’ll spend two and a half hours meeting each other, eating lunch, and doing interactive activities so that Verity can get to know each of us. They will choose their top 3 to go to the final round based on our final video, blog post, and the Mom Meet-Up. If I make it to the top 3 I will count on all my friends, family, and anyone else to cast their vote for me. I apologize now for the social media blast coming your way if I make the top 3.
So here’s my final video… Enjoy!
It doesn’t matter how you follow me, just follow me!
Front Page Forum
Some of you may have noticed the increase in cost for this edition. I am not going to blame it on the economy, the mortgage industry or the Bush Administration. I actually had a few people who wrote in letting me know there were some uncharacteristic mechanical and context errors in the last circulation. So in order to avoid this embarrassing realization I will have to put some extra time and effort in during the editing process to ensure we continue to put out the highest quality of newsletter our loyal readers so deserve. We do appreciate your continued loyalty and will definitely put your extra money to good use. I can’t be expected to work for free as I’m sure you all understand. Now on to the weather… it’s cool, it’s windy, and it’s spooky outside… ah yes, it’s fall! Anyone who knows me knows this is my favorite time of year!!
Levi is days away from turning 4. We cannot believe he is about to be 4 years old. I think we all say it every year with each child because it just doesn’t seem possible that our kids can be as old as they ever are – ever! We are having a fire truck themed party this year. You would think with 4 boys and Keith being a firefighter we would already have had a fire truck themed party but this is actually the first one. Levi is really into fire trucks and LOVES going to the station and sitting in the bucket truck. It is definitely his favorite. I’m sure it has nothing to do with the fact Keith drives it and tells Levi it is his favorite too. Although he is almost 4 we haven’t quite mastered potty training. And the minute you judge me just remember someone else is judging you for something. He goes pee just fine and makes it to the bathroom when he has to go. He also is fully aware that he needs to poop in the potty. The concept is by no means lost on him. He just simply chooses not to. When he has to go he will tell us he has to go poop and he will take off his pants and put his Pull Ups on and go into the bathroom and poop. He will then come out and tell us he pooped. And just in the more recent weeks he will proceed to tell us what size his poops are. As with any boy he is most fascinated with his poop. He always wants to see it. We tell him he cannot see it because he needs to poop in the potty in order to see it. We even bought him a Batmobile and Batcycle AND a Diego Rescue Pack and showed them to him and told him if he wanted them he must go in the potty. He was so excited and ran and sat on the potty and actually tried to poop. The problem was he didn’t really have to go. He asked us if we could help him “squish it out” for him. I felt so bad for him. Over the next several days he would sit on the potty and try to poop because he really wanted those toys. We never had any luck. Ahh!! I don’t know anyone who went off to college who wasn’t potty trained so I know it will come in time.
It seems our little Lukey finally busted his teeth through. He is doing so much better and not whining as much which means he is not in as much pain. He had the worst time getting those teeth in. The poor kid. He also has broken through the “verbal threshold” as I call it – or maybe someone else called it that and I stole. Whatever it may be, he’s talking! Now it’s not like he is spewing out sentences but he will repeat about every word when prompted and he will communicate what he wants now with attempting to say the words instead of standing there crying (which is what his main mode of communication has been for almost two years). It must be frustrating to understand what’s going on and know in your mind what you want to convey but not be able to form the words to say it! I’d be a whiney little sh*t too. We’re also pretty sure that Lukey thinks he’s still the baby. He’s very high maintenance and refuses to have much independence. He’d just as soon remain little forever and let us wait on him and carry him around most of the day. He likes to be swaddled, cuddled and talked to like a baby. I think if I let him nurse he would. But we don’t mind. We did sort of screw him out of being the baby for very long. He was only 7 months old when little Layton was conceived (about the same age Layton is now). Dad has taught him some bad habits lately. It seems he’s been giving Lukey Dum Dums to make him happy (a little sucker for those who don’t know what that is). Keith calls them “pop ups”. So I was holding Lukey the other day and I walked past the cupboard where the Dum Dums are and Lukey says, “hmm pop up” in his cute little voice. He kept saying it and then I realized he was asking for a sucker. Remind me to lecture Keith some more later.
Okay, when it comes to perfect little babies Layton wins this category. He must have known he had no choice than to be a sweet little being with little resistance to his surroundings. He just goes with the flow and looks around waiting for someone to make eye contact with him and then when he catches someone he gives the widest, toothless grin and kicks his feet with the most absolutely adorable delight he can muster. Okay that sentence didn’t make sense but bear with me. I’m a proud mom talking about her precious baby. Anyway, as I was saying, he’s just so deliciously sweet it’s ridiculous. Anything that comes his way he’s fine with. He doesn’t whine or fuss or really object to much. We introduced him to solids a couple of weeks ago and he thought that was a long time coming. He thoroughly enjoys eating pretty much everything – although we’ve struggled a bit with spinach. I’ll break him down. Layton just went in for his 6 month appointment and the doc said he lost a percentile in weight so he suggested that we give him formula during the day and only nurse when he wakes up and goes to bed. He’s concerned I’m not making enough milk – which really makes me feel bad that I’ve caused him to not gain enough weight due to lack of milk production. It also makes me sad because I really enjoy nursing. I know that all good things must come to an end and it’s better for him so that he gains weight. After all, I have nursed four hungry boys so I guess I need to come to grips with that chapter coming to an end soon. Do you think my boys will always need me? I think so too.
Life of Logan
Logan is doing fabulous. He started 7th grade and he loves his teachers and is excelling in his classes. We couldn’t be happier. I contacted his teachers the first week via email to let them know Logan struggles with staying focused and socializing in class so we could get an action-plan in place before he gets too behind. They all responded with the same theme stating Logan was doing well and they have not had any issues with him keeping focused but would keep in contact with me if there were any issues. We also implemented a travel card so that they could fill it out in each class with how he did and what assignments, if any, needed to be completed at home that day. I have to say that I love this card! And I love his teachers. It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make when a child likes his teachers. Last year Logan’s main teacher was about as organized as Levi on caffeine. This just made Logan’s issues exacerbated to the nth degree. Logan feels good about his classes and his homework and told me the other day he makes his homework into a game so that it is fun. I have to give my dad a shout out on this one because my dad is always telling him “positive affirmations”. It drives Logan crazy because he would tell him that every time he saw him for a while but I think Logan is actually getting the concept. We are very proud of Logan and tell him every single day he comes home from school. Okay, let’s get to the dramatic part of Logan’s life. Logan has a crush on this girl (going on two years now). Her name is Elyse. He finally asked her out on the bus last week. He came home and told me proudly. He says they hug all the time on the bus (no comment) but she won’t answer him. Well finally on Friday she told him no. She said that she “still loved him but no.” I asked him how he felt about that and he said he didn’t care because they still hugged the whole way home. I told him to act like he didn’t like her and she would instantly want him. He promptly (and so wonderfully) told me that would be very hard to do because he does really like her. Oh what would it be like to be so innocent again?
Keith has been one very busy boy. I am so proud of him because he is officially done with school and will obtain his Fire Science Degree in the mail any day now. He completed his courses last month which now makes him officially qualified to be a Captain (a job he’s been doing for the last several years). He joked when he received his last and final grade that there was this amazing transformation that occurred and he instantly knew how to do his job. Okay, joking aside, we are very excited and relieved after all these years he’s finally done. So what has he been doing since he graduated? Studying of course! He now must study to take the Captain promotional test which he will participate in next Friday. He had to read a 500 + page IFSTA book all about being a company officer. He also has to go through a video personality test, a written personality test, a written IFSTA exam (going over the material he’s been reading) and a tactical evaluation. They pretty much put them through the ringer. He feels fairly confident because he’s been studying very hard and has been doing this job for so long. He tends to do well on tests anyway – which I have to admit turns me on a bit. So after he tests next week they will make a list based on how well each person did and that is the list they use to promote the next year when a Captain’s position opens up. Since they are growing so much we are hoping one opens up in the beginning of the year. Stay tuned! So other than that, Keith has maintained his normal insane schedule at work, home, and his extremely demanding Fantasy Football messenger board (aka “smack talk board”). It’s like a bunch of middle-schoolers all talking smack to each other about how well their players for the week will do against their opponent’s players. If you don’t’ know what Fantasy Football is, just Google it. Let’s just put it this way – you would think Keith was actually in the NFL by how emotionally invested he is with Fantasy Football.
So as for me. I wish I could report something new and exciting but unfortunately I can’t. I guess I could report about how hectic my life is and how crazy it gets, but I love every minute of it so I don’t like to focus on the chaos. Each day is a struggle and completely fulfilling all the same. Our house is never picked up or clean but we don’t care. I don’t get everything I want to get done each day but I’m fine with it. I would like to run 5 times a week but I’ve settled for walking 4 times a week instead. Basically I’ve learned with four children (and 3 of them being so young) that life is about balance. I don’t resist what is and I just go with it. Yes I have my bad days and yes I get stressed out. But there is not a day that goes by that I don’t think how lucky I am to have four perfect little boys. And there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t appreciate how wonderful of a husband I have. Our life is great and I try to stay in the now and just be. I don’t want to wake up in 20 years and look back and wonder if I truly appreciated each day. I can definitely say that I do. I’m also very happy right now that Halloween is approaching. The house has been decorated for a couple of weeks now. I’ve purchased my share of new decorations like I do each year. The kids’ costumes have been ordered and received since last week. I guess you can say that I LOVE Halloween. I already know what treats I’m making for the kids’ Halloween party at daycare. I can’t explain what it is about this time of year besides there’s something about the crisp and spooky air, the colorful leaves (which most certainly look like Fruity Pebbles) and thoughts of going to the pumpkin farm. Heating apple cider and carving pumpkins is slightly arousing, to the delight of my husband. I just love it! You can pretty much find me in a good mood from now until the beginning of the year. Happy Fall everyone!!
It’s been a long week. As I touch on in my video, I am a wife of a fire fighter. Being a fire fighter’s wife is exhausting, sometimes scary, but most of all, an honor. But let’s just touch on the exhausting part for a moment. Yes, I’m proud of my husband. Yes, he has an honorable profession. Yes, he’s hot… oh wait, that’s not relevant here. But anyway, being a wife of a fire fighter has its challenges. One of them is that he’s gone approximately a third of the year. Yes that’s approximately 126 days a year, give or take (don’t quote me on that – I didn’t do the exact math).
There’s a perception among some that fire fighters have this plush schedule. It isn’t so. Without going into the whole politics of it all, fire fighters have a brutal schedule. They are at the mercy of the public — at all hours of the day. And that mercy carries over to their families, kids, and everyday existence of them all. I’m not complaining, just stating facts. So that said, us significant others, are left to fend for themselves during those 126 days or so per year.
On this Wednesday Video Confessional, I thought I’d give a glimpse of the lighter time spent while the hubby is gone. Us moms gotta entertain our kids (and ourselves!) somehow. Let me set the stage — My BFF brought her 3 boys over for a sleepover on a Friday night in October. Full-on Halloween season! Full-on Halloween season for me actually starts the last week of September, so by mid-October, it’s on. When you have a house-full of boys, you need to think outside of the box. And if you’re my BFF, you just sorta fly by the seat of your pants and make it up as you go along.
Pretty funny what two exhausted moms, 6 kids (all boys), and an iPhone can capture on an October Friday night. I have to give it to BFF for her impromptu Halloween Ceremony! And please take note of the freaky, red eyes on all the kids. Those were unintentional from the ceremonial candle in the middle of the circle. But they added quite the spooky effect, if I say so myself!
Today is the day! Voting begins to vote for me to be the next Verity Mom Blogger. Verity Credit Union rolled out the first Verity Mom contest 4 years ago. If you think about it, it’s actually a brilliant marketing tactic to spread the word about their offerings and services as a credit union. They hire a “mom” to blog for them via video and type on being a mom, promoting Verity’s services, and providing financial tips on cost-effective measures we can take, most of which is done through social media. Sign me up! I’m their gal.
If you haven’t seen my video and blog application, you can check it out here. There are 35 entries, mine included. Voting starts today, October 7th at noon PST, and runs through October 14th noon PST. Each person can vote one time per email. The top 15 go to the next round (yes I will be asking for your votes again if I make it to the 3rd round – thanks in advance!).
I thought I would make it easy on all of you and put together this video with some helpful tips and reminders on helping me get votes!
Thank you for voting and sharing!!
I get the day off today (sorta) from writing a post on my own blog. Today my good friend, fellow blogger, amazing mom, wife, and business woman (all of which I admire) was so very kind to feature me on her very popular blog. She is someone I adore, which makes it that much more special to me. If you like witty, smartass, talented, stylish people, you should get to know and follow Kendra as well!
Check it out!
Oh, and she’s a mean scuba diver. That’s a story for another time.
As the end of August approaches and September looms in the near future, each year I have this recurring struggle with everything August represents as opposed to everything September represents. August is full of long, hot summer days. The kids don’t have a care in the world. They wake up all groggy-eyed, stumble into the living room to watch TV, play on the Ipad, or putter on the computer for a while. No concept or concern as to the time. If time enters their mind at all, it’s because they’re hungry. Their days are spent running around the neighborhood with whatever neighborhood kids they can muster up, most of them shoeless with feet the same color as the dirt that covers them. Their faces of a similar color from dirty hands rubbing their faces throughout the day. The sun hangs high in the sky for hours and hours and then drops into a colorful backsplash against the horizon. Then the August nights begin… s’mores around the fire pit, intense sessions of hide-n-seek, again all with no care as to what time it is, that is, until it’s time to head in and get ready for bed. Then it’s all bath time and bedtime routine. Bath time lasting a little longer in the summer because of the several layers of dirt and melted marshmallows smeared across their faces. Ah yes, August is a good month. Takes me back to those long, lazy days of summer as a child when time and dirt were of no concern.
Now enters Labor Day Weekend. The last weekend of the summer. The end of all that’s lazy, loose scheduled, and carefree. Something happens after this weekend. Visions of big, yellow suns, swimming pools, and s’mores, are replaced with dancing pencils and rulers in my head. It’s like a switch is flipped and summer comes to a screeching halt. Groggy-eyed, relaxed mornings are replaced with strict time schedules, hustled breakfasts, assembly lines of teeth brushing and clothes dressing, packing lunches, organizing backpacks, finding missing shoes – all of this before 9 AM. My mind immediately leaps to fall and Halloween (yes I know Halloween is in October). I happen to be unnaturally obsessed with Halloween – witches, bats, spiders, anything spooky, but that’s for another post.
I think why this whole shift from August to September intrigues me so much is because I feel like they are two distinct personalities, and when September hits, my personality changes along with the turn of the calendar. I’m all about back-to-school, fall, Halloween, turning leaves, fall clothes, tall boots, scarves, you name it! It gets me all fluttered and excited. But for this to all happen within a week so suddenly, it makes me feel a little sorry for August to get dumped so quickly as if it never mattered in the first place. After that month-long relationship of fun summer activities, how can I so quickly forget about our long lazy days together and everything August represented? I feel a little cold about my ability to shift gears so enthusiastically. But nevertheless, I do it every single year.
So for now, until September arrives, I’ll make sure to enjoy this last week of long summer days and fun summer nights. Who knows, I might even actually eat a s’more!
Well here I am. 37 years old, 4 kids, a husband, a dog, and I just lost my job. Ever wake up in the morning and think to yourself that your real life you just opened your eyes to cannot possibly be yours? That’s the way I felt, and still do, since getting laid off a month ago. I’ve been through trying economic times with my previous employer over the past 8 years, watched countless co-workers, some very close and dear to my heart, get laid off. But not me. I just kept on truckin along comfortable in my job with the miss-placed arrogant notion that I would not and could not get laid off. I was too valuable. Too much of a team-player. Too liked by too many and too good at what I did. Apparently not everyone shared this notion alongside me. So here I am, 37 years old, 4 kids, a husband, a dog, and unemployed.
It’s been too long since I wrote my blog. I love to write but I never made time for one of the things I love. So now that I have some time on my hands I can sit and ponder this. And while I ponder it, I can write, or type, my ponderings. I find myself in a position I haven’t been in for quite some time. I’m asking myself, why am I not doing what I love? I mean, my previous position I did find enjoyable occasionally. I got to work from home, worked with some amazing people, gave birth to two babies while working there, made some everlasting friendships, made really good money, and increased my skill set that I now must depend upon to find myself a new job. But did I love my job? The answer is no. Sure I’ve told people I love my job throughout the years when asked if I liked my job. Who wants to hear someone go on and on about how much they hate their job? I don’t. I wouldn’t ask someone if they liked their job if I thought I would be subjected to 20 minutes of them complaining about just how much they don’t like their job. But the fact remains, if I was being completely honest when asked, I would have been that person.
I’ve always been jealous of those who love their job. And not just because they make good money or it was their childhood dream job, but because theytruly from the deepest part in their soul, love their job. You can tell the difference when someone truly loves their job. There is passion and conviction in their voice and their eyes light up with excitement when talking about what they do. Sure Confucius said, “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” but is Confucius right? If you love what you do for a living, is it no longer considered work? You just receive a paycheck for doing something that fulfills you internally and makes you happy? It’s that easy? I may have to give this one to Confucius. I believe this to be true from the deepest part in my soul. I truly just want to do what I love. I may still consider it work, but at least I would be happy doing it and I could finally answer people honestly when they ask me if I love what I do.
So here I am, 37 years old, 4 kids, a husband, a dog, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. So for now, I’m starting up my blog again. I’m claiming one piece of happiness back into my life.