Tuesday, August 21, 2012

A Fun and Festive Weekend!

James stayed home from church on Sunday with Jackson because he was still sleeping when we were leaving for church at 9 am - the kid was exhausted so we didn't want to push it.  And when Ben and I returned home from church, we found both James and Jackson passed out in our bed.  So what did Ben and I do?  We read stories and then fell asleep together in Ben's twin bed.  For two hours.  What I'm trying to get at, is by Sunday we were all very tired out from a fun and festive weekend.
It began on Friday with the Ringling Brothers circus.  Ben really loved the show and when asked his favorite part, he simply replied "all of it."  The tricks and spectacles of both the human and animal kind were truly amazing and we had a great time.  But since the show didn't begin until 7:30 and it only was at intermission by 9:30, we decided to skip out on the second half.  Because they turned on all the lights to commence intermission and most everyone got out of their seats, Ben just assumed it was over and left very willingly.  He was tired.
Then on Saturday we got to attend the reception of a dear family friend's cute daughter, Alyssa.  It was held at a beautiful vineyard in Brentwood and everything was just gorgeous.  While we don't know the groom, he seemed like a very fun guy, evident through their lively entrance and fun choreographed dance with their wedding party.
Mother-in-law, Alisa's bundt cakes made a wonderful first impression as you left the indoor area for the beautiful outdoor spot.
We danced and dined and got to introduce Jackson for the first time to a lot of great friends.  Plus all my boys looked super cute in their wedding duds.
I always love fun-filled weekends, but always am thankful for my understanding that Sunday is a holy, sabbath day.  A day of rest.  Because boy did we need it this weekend. : )

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Better Days

For a while there Ben was really testing my patience and my sanity.  His behavior was getting out of control and one day James commented that he thought that Ben was really starting to like being bad.  Not in a psychotic sorta way, but being bad (i.e. annoying everyone in the house anyway he could) was becoming his entertainment, his fun.  Two things had to be done.  We had to nip that bad behavior in the bud through discipline, and two, I had to stop letting him get to the point of boredom when at home that he needed to find creative ways to entertain himself.  So James enforced the hour long timeout.  Yes, one hour.  The first time he was sent on this extra long timeout in his room he cried for over half the time.  Luckily James and I are pretty tough (i.e. slightly cold-hearted), and didn't really let it get to us.  The second time I had to enforce it went pretty smooth.  Actually too smooth.  You don't want your kid to be miserable or fighting you tooth to nail when you are disciplining him, but you also don't want it to be too easy on him.  He went into his room with only a little hesitation and then all was quiet.  A little too quiet.  I checked on him maybe fifteen minutes after sending him in there, and there he was.  In his bed.  Fast asleep.  But actually it seems to be doing the trick so far.  When we give him a warning that he is in danger of a "long timeout," he knows we are not messing around and corrects his behavior.  As for my part, I'm trying to be better too.  While my kid has no shortage of extra curricular activities I plan for him outside the home (camps, park play dates, kids gym, etc.), I can be a little preoccupied when at home.  I'm trying to take more timeouts and play.  This seems to be an increasingly difficult thing for me as I've gotten older.  But I'm working on it.  I'm also just working on me.  My health mainly.  My migraines have been getting out of hand over the last few months.  It had gotten to the point where I was having two a week, which would last each two days.  And on the days that I wasn't having a migraine, my head just felt cloudy- always on the verge of one.  And my two week hiatus from exercising I know was not helping me.  I'm now on a preventative medication and the cloud has lifted.  No migraines for five days now.  And I also got my booty back in the gym.  Which feels great- although my quads would beg to differ  So the last two days I'm happy to say have been much better days.
Yesterday it was a bike ride to the park.
Jackson and I lay on a blanket together watching big brother have a blast running around in the fountains.
I pushed my two sons on swings and was flooded with memories of baby Ben on the swings in the park in front of our Utah student apartment.
Today it was a family walk down to our little neighborhood park.  (All pics are from yesterday.  No my children don't wear the same clothes two days in a row). : ) 
I had to smile to myself thinking how lucky I am to have a baby completely content sitting in his stroller chewing on the arm strap.
And I loved watching Ben walk around the park gathering treasures to place in his beloved bird's nest, which he created the time before at the park and had placed in a bush for safe keeping.
Not all days are going to be great.  Some really stink.  But if you choose to you can always make the next day better.  Last week I drove my children an hour away, paid for parking, and walked everyone over to a deserted coliseum.  Turns out the circus was not that night after all.  Ben cried.  Understandably so.  Even as an adult I was really disappointed not to be watching a fun show that night.  But guess what, that circus is tomorrow night.  At least we didn't miss it.  And at least tomorrow is going to be a much better day than that one.


A couple weeks ago we made the decision for James to leave his wonderful position at ArcSight for an opportunity with a great company and a fantastic new position.  James began his career with ArcSight just shy of two-years-ago.  He has excelled in his position as an Account Development Representative (ADR); always meeting or surpassing his monthly quota. His position was basically to get the ball rolling on deals by setting up interested, well-qualified companies with an ArcSight sales representative.  James would sit in on the initial call, but then the sales reps would take it from there.  He has loved his time at ArcSight and has learned and grown so much in the tech industry, specifically security, through his time there.  His managers have been the best and will continue to be great contacts and mentors for him in the future.  He adored his team; the texting that occurred between him and his co-workers reminded me of high schoolers.  I really don't know if he will ever find a group of co-workers that clicked as much as these guys.  There were so many wonderful things about his position at ArcSight but James was ready for more responsibility and a closing role.
After a few interviews and a couple offers that weren't a good fit, a friend from church after having a lengthy conversation with James during a 4th of July parade, set him up with an interview with his new company WhiteHat Security.  Things moved really quickly after James interviewed: they called the next day to see what James thought about the company, position, etc., and then presented him an official offer the next day.  As of last Tuesday, James is now an Accountant Executive for WhiteHat Security.  Which means that he is now in a closing role as an inside (no travel) sales representative for the company.  He is so excited to be advancing and on his way to becoming an outside sales representative.  Already he is blowing me away with the product knowledge and overall market knowledge he has gained over the last week with WhiteHat.  Another change that this brings is a change in schedule.  For now he will be working a 7-4 shift (but in sales, things always become flexible so long as you are getting the job done).  We were really worried about traffic at this time, as opposed to the east coast hours he had been keeping, but so far so good.  The traffic has only added an extra fifteen minutes or so to his commute.  He gets home right around five, which in ways has actually been nicer than him getting home at two.  We cherish the time as a family more, and I tend to be more productive during the 3-5 o'clock hours than I was when he was home before.  I'm so proud of him and I know that he is going to experience lots of success.  He gets on the phones on Tuesday and I know he's pumped.  Good luck honey.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Jackson turned six-months on the 25th of July.  Hey, I'm not as late as last month.  Starting solids and growing teeth were his big accomplishments of the month.  His bottom two middle teeth popped through at the same time several weeks ago.  At first I thought teething might be a breeze like it was with Ben because they came through without a fuss from Jacky.  But they are still only half way through and those suckers are driving my poor baby crazy.  He is constantly gnawing on his hands (he doesn't like his teething rings), and they cause him a lot of pain.  I know because my baby is not at all a fussy baby, and he now has some fussy times almost every day when his teeth are getting to him.  A little baby Orajel fixes him right up though.  I just hope all of his teeth don't take as long as these first two.
Transitioning to solids has been pretty smooth.  At first he was indifferent to food, and could take it or leave it.  He wasn't getting super excited over it, but he wasn't really turning his face or spitting it out either.  So far he hasn't met a fruit or veggie he didn't like, although he nearly gagged over my homemade green beans.  Which I realized probably had to do with the fact that I blended up our leftovers, which I had seasoned with pepper, because he eats store bought green beans right up.
My baby can now sit up, although he's very wobbly- we've already had two bonking head instances.  He prefers to be laying on the floor, usually on his tummy- yes a baby who likes tummy time.  He is still rolling around like crazy.  He is all over the place and even managed to get his head stuck underneath the ottoman, resulting in a little cut on his forehead.  His little legs have become so much stronger.  We used to call him "lazy legs" because he absolutely refused to put weight on his legs for the longest time.  Now he stands for several minutes on his legs while his daddy holds his arms and makes him do funny dances.
Jackson loves to talk- completely the opposite of Ben, my little quiet baby.  He likes to carry on conversations with whoever will talk back to him, and he loves to squeal and scream.  Yes once he discovers his loud voice, he's thrilled and wants to show off with it.  I was on the phone with an advice nurse one day and Jackson was just yelling away in the background and the nurse thought that his symptom under discussion (diarrhea) was causing him discomfort- and I said no, he's just found his voice again.  Another funny thing he re discovers daily are his hands.  He holds one out in front of him and just moves it back and forth, simply starring at his palm and then the back of his hand.  It's pretty funny to watch him.  Another thing he does with his hands is reach for and touch my face.  It reminds me of a blind person who uses their hands to figure out what someone looks like.  He seriously moves his hands slowly all over my face.  I love it.
I just cannot believe how fast time is going and how big Jacky already looks and acts.  He's such an amazing baby and I don't know how we ever got so blessed.  He adds so much to our family.  He makes all of us so happy- including his big brother, Ben who just can't get enough of trying to crack baby Jacky up.  Which is just so easy for him.  I don't get even half the amount of laughs out of him that Ben can.  Time please slow down.  Or stop all together.  That would be even better.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

And so it begins , , ,

Ben had been wanting a snap bracelet (you know the old school kind that you snap on your wrist and it folds up) since a kid at the gym had shown him his a couple weeks ago,  Well I found one at the craft store and surprised him with it the day after he spent the night at my parents house this last Saturday by having him close his eyes, stick out his arm, and snapping it on his wrist.  He loved it.  So funny.  Jackson discovered it on his wrist the next day and grew rather fond of it too.  Over the next couple days it would occasionally catch his eye and Ben was great at sharing it with him.  He would straighten it out and hand it to Jackson who would then just look at it and switch it from hand to hand.  He never once put it in his mouth; surprisingly not everything goes in his mouth like most babies.  Well, yesterday it happened.  While on Ben's wrist Jackson apparently snatched at it and pulled off the decorative cover from the plastic bracelet.  Ben cried out, "Jacky," and proceeded to tell me that he broke it.  He was only a little upset but I had to laugh to myself and thought this is only the first time your little brother is going to break one of your things, Ben. Poor kid has no idea what's coming.

Ben quickly forgave his little brother and the two remain best friends. : )