Monday, December 2, 2019

Right Now: December Edition

Reading: My 4th grade reading group is reading Hatchet, which is actually a very good book and one I'd enjoy reading on my own (if I ever made time to read for myself). The kids bring home beginning reading books a few times a week that we read together as well.

Watching: Right this very minute, Surf's Up is playing on Netflix. I am home with a sick Ayden today. He has had an off and on again fever since last Thursday, on Thanksgiving! He also has a nasty cough. For myself, I've been enjoying This is US, A Million Little Things, and New Amsterdam, all of which are now on break till after the New Year unfortunately.

Listening: currently listening to Ayden whine about wanting to go to school. He is SO sad he is stuck home today. As for music, we listen to a lot of Disney on Amazon Prime, and their current favorite is the song Old Town Road by Lil Nas X. That's a song that gets played in their P.E. class often at school, and they come home singing it and asking for me to play it.

Drinking: Sparkling water! Lot's of sparkling water, which my husband calls "fuzzy drinks." Hahaha! He likes to give things names. My favorite flavors are the cran-raspberry flavor from La Croix, and pineapple-coconut and blackberry-vanilla from Safeway's off brand, Signature Select. I also try to drink lots of regular water and have an occasional Diet Pepsi.

Eating: Crap. Writing this post made me realize that I don't have anything planned for dinner yet. Ugh. I had a bowl of Honey Bunches of Oats for breakfast. I'm going to eat leftover Yangs (teriyaki) for lunch. I can't get Ayden to eat anything today except for two applesauce pouches! That doesn't bode well for him getting better. Or for him being in a better mood, because he is one that gets HANGRY!

Wearing: Jeans, a black Central Softball sweatshirt with a grey jog-a-thon t-shirt underneath, socks, and my hair in a ponytail.



Loving: That the kids LOVE school so much and seem to be thriving! I'm going to enjoy that for as long as possible!

Wearing their Dolphins (school mascot) shirts

Anticipating: Our trip to Great Wolf Lodge for Ayden and Rylee's birthday! We were hoping to stay two nights, but because it's so close to Christmas, the price is outrageous and we can only afford to stay one night. We are going to take full advantage of the two days at the water park though!

Hoping: That Rylee doesn't catch whatever bug that has plagued Ayden. She performs in the Nutcracker in just three days! Fingers crossed she stays healthy, and that Ayden gets better SOON.

Following: hmmmm.... the status of my Uncle Bob's health through updates from my Aunt D. He has cancer and has been on the decline for a long time.

Wondering: Who all will be coming to our big 6th birthday party and if it's a mistake to try doing it at our house this year, lol! In an attempt to not spend so much on their birthday party so we can go to Great Wolf Lodge, we decided to have their party at our house. I'm hoping I don't regret that decision.

Trying: to get Ayden to eat something besides an applesauce pouch today! He says he's hungry, but all he wants to eat is applesauce. He's already had two pouches. Pick something else, Buddy!

Worrying: How in the world I am going to be able to juggle coaching, working full time, and momming during softball season. I've pretty much made the decision that next year will be my last season. I would quit after this season, but I don't think it would be fair for this year's junior class to have yet another new coach for their senior season. That would mean they would have to go through three different coaches throughout their four years of high school and I don't want to do that to them. As much as I love coaching, I love my children more, and I have realized how short my time with them is going to be. I don't want to miss it by being unavailable three months out of the year!

Planning: A 6th birthday party! We are having a Pokemon/Superhero costume party. Ayden is currently obsessed with Pokemon, and Rylee has wanted a Superhero birthday party for the past several months, so we are combining the two!

Contemplating: If we should keep Ayden and Rylee in the same class again next year, or separate them. They do a great job of working independently of each other and don't really have any issues being in the same classroom. It's easier for ME as far as only having to keep track of what's going on for one class, homework, one parent/teacher conference, etc. I think they would totally be find in separate classes as well. My biggest concern for that is what if one of them gets a phenomenal teacher, and the other gets a sub-par teacher? We still have time to figure it out, but it's something that has been on our minds as parents.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

The Job

It's been awhile! I've thought about sitting down and writing a blog post MANY times in the past few months, but actually doing it is another story altogether. Even now, I should be in bed, but here I am instead...

It's been quite the adjustment for me going back to work after being a SAHM for the past 5+ years. It's been challenging, but I do feel like we are finally falling into a routine. I just feel like I have no time to do anything anymore. No time for myself. No time to clean the house or do yard work. No time to cook dinner. No time to run errands. My freedom is gone. But really, now that I think about it, did I have freedom to begin with as a mom of two young children?

I know that working moms have been managing it for years, but my goodness, how??? I look at it kind of the same way as all the people that say they don't know "how we do it with twins." You just do. As a parent of multiples, you have no choice but to figure it out and make it work. I figure it's the same way with working parents. You simply find a way to make it work the best you can. You find your own routine.

I really struggled with my job at first because there wasn't a lot of guidance. I was basically handed my schedule and I was on my own. Literally. Nobody gave me a tour of the school or introduced me to the other staff members. I was given a map of the buildings and was told to walk around and find the classrooms I would be working in. It felt very awkward and unwelcoming. I started about a week before school resumed in the Fall, so there weren't any students. Once school actually started, things did got a lot better and I do like my job now.

I absolutely LOVE that I am working at the kids' school as an Instructional Assistant. I love that I can walk by their classroom and see that they are where they are supposed to be. I love that I am there if something happens to one of them. A few weeks into school, Rylee fell on the playground jungle gym and scraped her leg up pretty good. The school secretary told me about the incident and asked me if I would check her out and make sure she was okay. The scrape was up by Rylee's underwear line, and the secretary thought it would be more appropriate for me to look at it to see if she needed more attention. Easy peasy since I was right there at the school already! I also love that I get to be there for all the school assemblies. I was able to be there when Ayden received an award for being a responsible student last month!



Another positive to working at their school is that I am getting to know who their friends are, as well as the teachers. Their teacher is awesome, and always fills me in if there are any incidents that come up throughout the day so I can be ready for potential conversations later at home. It's so great to hear from all the teachers how wonderful Ayden and Rylee are, and how they are so kind and respectful. Makes my Mama heart proud!

As for the job itself and what I spend my time doing all day... my schedule keeps me hopping! I am not working in just one classroom or with one teacher. My schedule has me moving all day long, spending a half hour here, a half hour there, all day. I run reading groups, do classroom supervision so the teachers can have a break/prep period, help with math intervention, and I spend a lot of my time in the "wellness room," helping with the kids that are having trouble behaving themselves.

It's been extremely eye opening! Holy smokes, I had NO idea what goes on in public schools these days. I knew there would be troubled kids, ones that are especially ornery and have behavioral issues. But I never came close to imagining the reality of it. I had no idea that there are some kids that cause so much havoc that classrooms have to be cleared for the safety of all the other students, because desks are being pushed over, and chairs are being thrown, among other things. I had no idea that kids would go into the library and wipe out entire bookshelves. I had no idea that I would be chasing kids around the school that REFUSE to stay in their classrooms. I had no idea that a 6 year old boy would be banned from using the student bathrooms because he was exposing himself to other students inappropriately.

Just this last Friday, we had to call the police to come help contain one of the students because he was so out of control and his parents couldn't be reached. He assaulted a student and a teacher. He took a swing at me, but thankfully missed. The school went into lockdown so that he couldn't enter the office, classrooms, the cafeteria, because he was on a rampage to destroy and was terrorizing staff and other students. So the police had to be called. This was a first grader!!!!

Our elementary school has roughly 500 students, and there are about 10 that are on the extreme end of being behaviorally challenging. The others are wonderful. Because I am in so many different classrooms throughout the week, I have gotten to know a lot of the students. I feel a little like a celebrity when out and about in town and they holler "hi, Miss Amber!"

I may have gotten off to a rocky start at the beginning, and I may have to spend a good portion of my day dealing with hooligans, but I do feel like this has been the perfect job for me to step into as the kids have started school. I am mostly on their school schedule, get to see them a few times throughout the day, and am fulfilling the financial need that is necessary for our family.

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Life Update

So many changes since my last post! Life is definitely keeping us on the move these days. I am currently sitting at the Honda dealership, while I wait for my car to get an oil change and address the airbag recall that I've gotten several notices for. Since I knew it was going to take a few hours, I brought my laptop so I could work on finally getting a blog post done!

*****

The biggest news is that I GOT THE JOB! Within an hour of submitting my application on a Friday, I got the phone call to set up an interview for the following Monday. When I left the interview, I was told I would hear from them the following day. However, just a few short hours later, I got the phone call offering me the position! So now, after 5.5 years as a stay at home mom, I am a full time working mom! It's been good, but also quite the adjustment. No more being able to get things done during the day, like cleaning the house, paying bills, making appointments, etc.

*****

I completed the Hood to Coast! I ran all my legs of the relay and I didn't die. This was my 11th time running in this event, and I feel so accomplished every single time.

At the starting line with my half of the team, in Van #1

Our whole team at the finish line, 199 miles later

*****

We took an end of summer weekend family trip to the coast to celebrate the kids starting school and me getting the job. It was much needed family time. We had an ocean view room, spent a lot of time at the beach, visited the Marine Science Center, swam in the indoor pool, watched sea lions at the bayfront, and took the kids for their first trip to a candy store.

Family selfie



It was so cool seeing the octopus so active and moving around.
Touching the starfish and sea anenomies.

Jumping in the waves.

He spent almost the entire time at the beach exploring the tide pools.

*****

The kids started kindergarten! They are loving school, but are so, so, so exhausted. Thankfully, our school district did a "soft start" for the kinders, which means that they went only half day for the first two weeks, easing into the full school days. Even with that, they've been tired and super cranky when we get home from school. Thankfully, they save the meltdowns for when we get home and are good at school, but ugh. It's exhausting.






*****

Tony and I celebrated our 22nd anniversary. We had very little fan fare this year. We exchanged small gifts and Tony brought ice cream home from work, so we could enjoy a little treat after the kids went to bed. That was it!

*****

Rylee is back in ballet, and both kids are playing soccer. This is a big reason why they are so tired! Rylee has ballet on Mondays and they have soccer practice on Thursdays, with a game on Saturday mornings. We don't even get home on Mondays and Thursdays until bedtime (or slightly after), and then they need a snack, get pj's on, and teeth brushed. Hopefully we will settle into a good routine soon and they will adjust to their new school schedule.

First soccer game of the year

Friday, August 16, 2019

Interview

Ever since the kids were born, the plan has always been for me to return to work once they started kindergarten. The plan had been for me to apply as an Instructional Assistant (IA), which is basically the same thing as a teacher's aid, but our district calls it an IA for some reason. I followed the district webpage for job postings all last year and beginning of this summer. I had started to get stressed about it, because there wasn't really any jobs opening up that I would be interested in.

After talking with an acquaintance who has been working as a sub in the district for the past few years, I decided that I would go that route instead. My understanding, from talking to numerous people, was that I could basically work every day as a sub if I wanted to. Subs actually make pretty good money; they just don't get the benefits that full time employees get. Tony and I thought this might be the perfect way to transition back into work. As a sub, I would have the flexibility to not work if one of the twins gets sick, or to go to dentist appointments, etc. Softball season would be so much easier if I am only working as a sub. I could choose to work when I want, but could also choose not to work on days I have a lot of softball stuff to take care of. It would also get my foot in the door, paving the way into a full time position down the road. Okay, decision made. I would be a sub.

A few weeks ago, I started working on my subbing application and updating my resume. Then last weekend, I was notified that an IA position was opening up at the kids' school! Ackkkk! So much for my decision being made. Being a sub sounded ideal, but.... this is basically the job I had been hoping for all along! But am I ready to take the plunge?

I have spent the last three nights staying up WAY too late working on my application, resume, and cover letter. Whether I was applying as a sub or as an IA, it all still needed to be done asap, with school starting just around the corner. I spent all day yesterday weighing the pros and cons of each. I talked with a friend, and then last night Tony and I talked about it.

As much as being a sub sounds appealing, I'm not sure I would enjoy having every day being such an unknown. I would have to get up every day at 5:30 to find out if anyone needs a sub that day. As an IA, I would know what my job is. For the most part, I would be working with the same kids everyday. The best part is that I would be working at the same school the kids' are attending. It is the ideal spot in our school district for me to be working, at least for the next few years. Who knows if an opening will come up again any time soon?

Decision made. I got my ducks in a row: online application complete, college transcripts ordered and delivered, resume done, cover letter written, letters of recommendations collected. This morning I hit the submit button and it was official. My application for the IA position was in. Shockingly, I got a phone call only an hour later to set up an interview! I'm not surprised I got an interview, but I definitely am surprised to get a call and have it be for Monday already, because the application deadline is also Monday! They'll still be accepting applications through Monday, so I assumed interviews wouldn't start until after that.

My days as a stay at home mom are numbered. I hope that this job is meant to be and I get hired, and I hope that we can settle into a new routine with the kids going to school full time and me joining the work force.


Friday, August 2, 2019

Right Now: August Edition

Reading: Ironically, my answer to this question in the last Right Now post I did in February is my same answer today! We just tonight finished reading the Captain Underpants books they got for their birthday for the second time. They aren't my personal favorite, but the kids have enjoyed them enough to want to read them again! As stated in my previous post earlier this week, I have not read anything for myself. I need to do that.

Watching: Tony and I have been watching Veronica Mars. I never watched it when it came originally, and Tony had only seen the first season and the movie. We are currently half way through season 2, working our way up to the 4th season that just came out! I've also been watching So You Think You Can Dance.

Listening: I've been listening to the podcast Terrible, Thanks for Asking while out on my walks/runs. It's not the most uplifting, feel good thing to listen to, but it is very engaging and keeps my attention. I've struggled to find podcasts that keep my attention and make me want to extend my workouts, but the stories on this podcast have me walking an extra few blocks at the end of my workouts just so I can listen to the entire episode. I'm also currently, at this very moment, listening to an annoying fly buzz around our living room.

Drinking: Water and sparkling water. I recently purchased a blackberry vanilla sparkling water. It's just okay. Not great.

Eating: We purchased a new barbecue last month. We haven't had one in over 20 years and we are very excited about our new purchase! We have been bbq cheeseburgers about once/week and bbq chicken once or twice/week since we got it. We are also enjoying all the summer fruit: peaches, blueberries, plums, watermelon, etc. And then there's the chocolate coconut covered almonds I found at Costco. I'm eating too many of those. Oops.

Wearing: I am currently wearing my orange homemade (by my mil) Oregon State shorts and a turquoise v-neck t-shirt. They don't go together at all, but I really don't care if I match in whatever I wear to bed.

Loving: That Rylee and Ayden are enjoying their swim lessons so much! They are currently learning how to tread water and how to flip over from a back float to a front float. Tonight they jumped into the pool and were able to swim to the wall with very minimal help. We also recently had photos taken of the twins, and I am loving the end result! I'm having a bit of trouble figuring out how to get them downloaded, but as soon as I get that done, I will be sharing here. In the meantime...

After swimming lessons yesterday.

Anticipating: Our sister visit at the end of this month! Little Sis and her family will be coming for our annual visit (4th year running) for the last week before school starts. I'm looking forward to the new memories we will be making.

Hoping: For a smooth transition into kindergarten. For them to make lots of new friends and to have an amazing teacher.

Following: Job postings for the school district. Even though we have decided that I will start out subbing (hopefully), I do check the job postings regularly. It's become a habit since the original plan was for me to hopefully get a full time job within the school district as soon as the kids started kindergarten. 

Wondering: Who their teacher will be. I've heard that all the kindergarten teachers at their elementary school are pretty amazing, so I'm not really worried about that. We know one of the teachers personally, so it will be interesting to find out if the kids are placed in her class. We are also crossing our fingers that one of their preschool buddies will be in their class. There are three (public) elementary schools in our area, and he is the only friend we know of that will be going to the same school. Side note: this same boy tells his mom almost daily that he is going to marry Rylee when he grows up. It will be fun to watch them grow up and see how that pans out. lol

Trying: To get myself prepared for the Hood to Coast race coming up very, very soon. I ran/walked (I do intervals) 3.5 miles on Tuesday while the kids were at a Superhero Dance Camp, but that's been my longest one so far. I need to up that and be going 4-5 miles consistently and I am running out of time.

Worrying: That I won't be healthy for the Hood to Coast race. My knees and achilles have been bothering me recently. No full on injury, but very tight calf muscles that have been affecting my achilles. I struggled with that last year right before Hood to Coast as well, but I made it through. My knees have also been aching off and on as well, but that is something I've struggled with a lot over the  years. Overall, my body has been feeling very stiff and sore recently. I'm worried I may not be able to pull my load in the relay, which would mean somebody else would have to run my legs, and I'll be damned if I make someone else have to run their own in addition to mine!

Planning: The kids ask me CON.STANT.LY what we will be doing. "What are we doing today? What are we doing tomorrow?" And when I answer them, they respond with "what are we doing after that? and then what?" And on and on and on. It's exhausting. I don't always have an answer because I don't always have the days planned out to the T. Sometimes I just want to fricken NOT HAVE PLANS! Gah!

Contemplating: Hmmmm. At this exact moment, I'm contemplating going to bed. No, actually I AM going to bed! It's way too late, but I wanted to get this post done. Good night!







Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Goals? What Goals?

So, how are those 2019 goals coming along that I set for myself? To be honest, I completely forgot about them while I was coaching softball. They've been resurfacing in the back of my mind, so I just read through them again. I've actually managed to accomplish a few, or partly, without even trying! But most of them, welllllllll....... I still have 5 months to at least make somewhat of a valiant effort, right?


  1. Run in four races. Nope. Hasn't happened. I know I'll at least be able to check off one big race, as the Hood to Coast relay is fast approaching next month. However, I didn't do any races leading up to that big event. Softball kind of got in the way. I know there's still time in the Fall/Winter, so maybe I'll manage to get another race or two in there.
  2. Lose 25 lbs. I haven't weighed myself in a very long time (over a year), so I'm not sure exactly how much I weigh. I know for sure that I lost some weight during softball season, but I also know for sure I've gained most of it back since then. Oops.
  3. Self care. There's still time left in 2019 to make this happen! I did have my eyes checked, and have reading glasses to wear (whenever I remember to put them on). I still need to find a gynecologist and discuss perimenopause and should probably see my regular doctor for a general physical.
  4. Mail birthday cards to all my nieces and nephews. Giant face palm! Hasn't happened. I've missed all of them so far. There's still three more birthdays this year, out of the eight total. Maybe I'll finally remember???
  5. Send a love note once a month to a family member and/or a friend. This is a big fat fail so far. I've managed to send one, but that means I've missed six. This should be an easy one and one that I'd really like to do. I actually did buy a few cards and have them on hand, so I need to just do it!
  6. Put together a resume and find a job. Outside of putting together my softball resume and getting that job, which was already done before this goal was set, I have not done this yet. I still need to. My plans have changed somewhat though. Instead of getting hired in a full time position within the school district, I'm going to get on as a sub first. That way I will still be pulling in an income, but will have the flexibility to not work when a kid is sick or anything else that might come up. We think this will help into the transition of the kids starting kindergarten and me starting back to work. Also, this should make it a million times easier to get hired on when the perfect job opens up.
  7. Finish painting the kitchen and dining room, and also get the hallway painted. This hasn't happened yet, but we are hoping to make headway on this again soon.
  8. Finish unpacking and organizing the garage. This is a work in progress. There hasn't been much more unpacking, but there has been some organization. Key word: some. We still have more time left in the year to make a dent in this as well.
  9. Read five books. Other than reading books to the kids, no books have been read for my own enjoyment so far.
  10. Make the state playoffs in softball. Done! Accomplished! We made it to the State Quarterfinals. This was the first time our softball program had made it to the quarterfinals in 7 years. And we came so close to advancing to the semi-final game!
  11. Have a family adventure once per month, May-September. I honestly forgot about this goal. We didn't do anything remarkable in May, since I was still coaching softball and our season was extended with the playoffs. We did have a family adventure to Enchanted Forest in June for Father's Day though, and we made up for missing May with two trips to the beach this month!
From our day at the Enchanted Forest

While I'm not 100% on target to completing all my goals I originally set out to accomplish, I have made decent progress at some of them. Writing this post has served as a great reminder and motivator for me to get back on track and get some of this stuff done!


Tuesday, July 16, 2019

It's Been Awhile

I can't believe I haven't written a blog post since February. It definitely hasn't been for lack of thinking about it. It was a challenge juggling my family life and my first year back to coaching softball! It was a little overwhelming, but we all made it through.

So, how did softball go? We had a lot of ups and downs throughout the season, but we thankfully ended on a high note! We had to go through a lot of adversity with injuries and sickness through the first half of the season, but we pulled it together and made it to the state playoffs. In fact, we made it to the Quarterfinals and lost in a very exciting game to the eventual state champions. If we had to lose, there was no better way for it to happen, coming down to the very last play of the game. We lost 2-3 in the bottom of the 7th inning.

Ayden and Rylee weren't fond of me being gone at bedtime a couple nights a week. Tony struggled with having to get off work early to pick up the kids and go through the whole evening routine by himself. He also struggled with being jealous of not being able to be out there coaching with me. He was very supportive and helped me in every way he possibly could, but really would have liked to be on the field with me as well. But somebody has to support our family.... Sigh.

Here's a little snapshot of some of the things we've been up to in our personal little corner of the world:


This girl got glasses! She doesn't have to wear them all the time, but will need them for school and whenever we are reading/writing and crafting at home.




These two are officially registered for Kindergarten!



Rylee had her spring dance recital and loved every second of being up on stage performing.




Ayden was quite the little climber as a baby, and he continues to be a climber today!





She does her best to keep up with her brother's climbing skills.



But she is definitely still our little princess!



Dressing up in costumes is a regular occurrence around here.



They both played t-ball for the very first time! Thank goodness for grandparents who helped get the kids where they needed to be while I was back coaching softball.





This guy has mastered riding his big boy bike without training wheels! Rylee is still pretty timid about it. She can ride her little 12" bike without the training wheels, but it's a work in progress to get her confident on her big kid bike.



They've also been working on conquering the monkey bars. Ayden can now make it all the way across! Rylee can go about half way. It won't be long before she's going all the way across too!



On June 23rd, we celebrated their half birthday! The grandparents had us out for dinner and cake, and we sang them happy half birthday. No presents. Ayden and Rylee now tell ev.er.y.one how old they are, emphasizing that they are 5 and a HALF. It's a big deal!



Hopefully now that I've finally gotten this post done, there will be more to come. I've missed the blogging world. I've done an absolutely terrible job of keeping a baby book for these two, other than what I've documented here in this space. I want all these memories, not only for myself, but for my kiddos to look back on someday.

Even more than that, I really appreciate keeping in touch with all the friends I made through this blogging community. Many have stopped blogging, but there are some I keep in touch with via Facebook and text. A few are still blogging and continuing their story (which I love!), and some I've lost track of altogether but still think of them often and hope they are doing well.