"I have told you this so that my joy might be in you and your joy might be complete." John 15:11

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Sweet Feeling of Freedom

Freedom from work that is!  Last month I stopped working for my old company in favor of being a full-time domestic engineer.  I had been working at least two hours a day from home since Philip was three months old, squeezing in work during naps and after bedtime.  We always knew that this arrangement would be temporary, but weren't sure exactly how long we would do it.  This summer I took on an extra hour each day to fill a gap and it was really tough. I was so ready to be done.  In November, it was finally a good time, both for us and for my company.  I had my last day of work a week before Thanksgiving and we promptly left for vacation two days later! 

Since then, I haven't stopped. I'm not sure when I found the time to work!  My to-do list is definitely getting worked through much more quickly now, but there are always things to add to the list.  I'm happy that I no longer have to worry if Philip takes a short nap one day or falls asleep in the car on the way home (because that would cut off the amount of naptime I was able to use for work).  No conference calls or urgent calls from work interrupt the flow of our day.  And I don't mind if I miss a little bit of a weekend nap because I need to eat lunch - those weekend naps used to be precious times because they were my only free time to take care of special projects or business around the house.  So, life is even more sweet these days. 

Some people ask if I miss my work, and I have to say, no!  It was a great job for me, we did good work and I loved my co-workers, but I have always, always, always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, so I feel like I have finally reached my career goal!   I'm so blessed to be able to do this, even if just for a few short years.

No post is complete without some pictures.  Here are a few I dug up related to work.

I visited some beautiful places...
Palm Springs

Even got to take Andy with me on a few trips...
Guitar from the band Yes, at one of our hotels, one of Andy's favorite bands
Made great friends...

And had a little fun while I was at it!
Twins game

Giving a penguin a check-up
High-fiving a Beluga whale
By looking at these pictures, you may think my job had something to do with biology or nature, but it absolutely did not!  We just took on a lot of different projects!

Closing down a conference in Vegas with who else?  Elvis!

Friday, December 16, 2011

{this moment} A Field Trip

{this moment} – A single photo – no words – capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Visit Soulemama to share your "moment."

Saturday, December 10, 2011

16 Months

Philip is 16 Months!  Lots of fun developments as usual.

He loves to sing.  He will usually sing at mass anytime there is music - whether the congregation is supposed to sing or not.  Many times the music ends before he does, so everyone hears a little bit of his joyful noise!  He also sings a lot when he is tired - when I sing him lullabies he will often sing along in his own way (no words, just lots of aaaahhhh's).

He likes to strum Daddy's guitar too!

He is becoming a great imitator.  It is funny to see the little ordinary things of life that he is starting to imitate - like throwing things in the trash can, unloading the dishwasher, or dialing the phone and handing it to me.  One day I was working on dinner and he came up begging for food.  I gave him a piece of cucumber which he never eats.  Andy and I both watched in amazement as he put it in his mouth.  A few seconds later he took it out of his mouth and threw it in our recycling bin!  He throws lots of things in the recycling bin - if we are ever missing a toy, I will assume that it went out with the garbage! 

Tomato paste anyone?

He also tries to snap his fingers when he sees Andy snapping.  It is super cute!  He is starting to wave more, but usually at the wrong time - like when a person has their back turned to him or when the door has already closed.

Clapping (while sitting in a storage ottoman)

Philip is starting to make the sign of the cross when we say a blessing before meals.  He taps his fingers on his heart and smiles when he gets our approval.

He is starting to try to use utensils and is a big food moocher.  He is realizing that sometimes Andy and I are eating yummy things that he doesn't have on his plate - I was dreading this day!

A special Halloween treat

He likes it!

He loves brushing his teeth now that he has his own toothbrush and gets to use apple-banana toothpaste!

Getting ready for bed - half undressed and brushing away

He has nice long eyelashes...


A favorite toy is his shape sorter.  He is starting to get pretty good at fitting shapes in the holes just right.  He still hasn't figured out that only one shape can fit in each hole!

Mischief of the Month:

Oops!  I didn't realize he was pulling the cat's tail until after I looked at the pictures.

Herbie trying to hide under the dishwasher - his only defense!

Our Cheerios commercial:

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Our Thanksgiving

We had an extra special Thanksgiving this year.  My in-laws had their beach house for Thanksgiving week, so we rented an extra house and everyone met up at the beach.  It was the first time Philip saw most of his cousins, aunts, and uncles since last Christmas when he was only five months old.  All of his cousins grew so much in the past year!

Philip has 20 cousins and two second cousins...this is just a "few" of them.

Even though he was a bit apprehensive at first, he warmed up pretty quickly.  He somehow knew that this was family.  On our first night, he was running in circles around the living room, arms stretched over his head, shrieking in excitement.

Once again, Philip loved the beach. When we came over the summer he was barely walking, but now he is pretty steady on his feet, so there were many adventures to be had.

Leader of the pack

The first day was so warm and he went straight to the water (he avoided it this summer).  He had a blast jumping the waves and splashing in a kiddie "pool" that his cousins dug for him. Afterwards, he had the pruniest feet I have ever seen.

Sign of a good time

Even though I checked the weather beforehand and knew we would be spending a lot of time on the beach, I had a hard time wrapping my mind around the idea that we wouldn't need winter clothes.  I had to run out to the gift shops to pick up clothes, a hat, a towel, and sunblock - whoops!

Philip's new outfit

Andy picked up a couple shells and gave them to Philip who brought them up to show me. When Andy gave him a stick, he threw it down on the ground. Sticks aren't for girls!

On Thanksgiving we took part in a family tradition - the annual Isle Mile.  It is actually a series of events including a Kid's 1/4 Mile, a Fun Run/Walk, and then the main event in which Andy and his siblings are required to participate and others are welcome to join.  The same brother wins every year and he makes sure to keep the tradition going.

Philip and I getting ready for the kid's race

All the kids get a ribbon for participating

The top three winners of the Isle Mile, plus the winner of the Fun Run. 
Yes, we have a trophy and t-shirts just for this event.

The whole family - can you find us?

This was the first year Philip ate Thanksgiving dinner. He had stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, and cranberry sauce.

The cranberry sauce was his favorite (other than dessert)


The big kids table at our house. 
We got together with the other half of the family for dessert.

Philip has turned into a big food moocher.  Even though he is shy around adults, he wasn't too scared to beg for food or to be taken out to the beach on this trip.

He walked right up and took a bite out of an apple my Mom was eating.  He polished the rest of it off.  First time he ate apple off the core.

The last couple of nights Philip cast off his shy tendencies and became the life of the party.  He had us all cracking up.

Jumping on Grandma and Grandpa's bed

The lighting is bad, but you get the idea of Philip's state of mind

Before leaving we spent one last hour on the beach. Philip wanted to get his feet wet again.

He was so happy to play with the sea sticks - we went on an expedition with this walking stick.

Then he learned how fun it is to break sticks.

He was so proud of himself!

If you haven't seen enough pictures yet, here are some more favorites.