Sunday, March 24, 2013

The last week

My time off comes to an end tomorrow and unlike N, I'm so not ready to go back to work. He has really missed the big boy and has asked to go and see him every day. Sadly we are still struggling to get back to being healthy. N still has a cough and runny nose,  poor J has bronchitis and is now on antibiotics. She had to take off from work on Friday and has already called out for tomorrow too. She hardly ever gets sick, especially not at this time of year. This so called spring has been so crazy!

We've mostly been playing at home during the last two weeks, but I did take N for a much needed haircut! The hairdresser asked if he wanted it spiked and N said yes. He totally loved the spiky look and I had to buy gel to recreate the look at home too!




N got these magnets for Christmas and they were the favorite toy for a while - thankfully he isn't the kind of kid that puts everything in his mouth, so we don't really worry about him with the tiny balls that are part of this set. He lost interest after playing with them every day for months, but they became popular again this week. This picture is of an 'airplane' that he made. That tiny diamond you see was my seat (he obviously has no idea what size my butt is!) and his seat was behind it. We flew to London to see my sister and his cousin, before heading to Florida to see the big boy.



There has been lots of dress up. The favorites being cowboy, pirate and astronaut. He has totally got the cowboy thing down. He lifts his hat and says 'howdy partner!' It's so cute! 




We've also been doing a ton of art projects. I noticed in the last couple of weeks that N's art work has become more deliberate and especially when painting it's less about mixing the colors and spreading it all around the paper. I'm not sure if this is related to his age or the adult 'help' that he gets at school. Most of the projects that come home from school are a little too perfect and have me wondering how much 'help' he gets with them! All the art work has left me wondering what to do with it all. I have to admit that I'm not that sentimental about it and know that we are going to see so much of it that we don't need to keep everything. Some of it goes to J's office, but I've also been using it to make birthday cards and wrapping paper. That way we can share it with others and it is then up to them what they want to do with it!

Tissue paper and glue

Sponge painting


Finished painting

Birthday cards put together by me

Today was our street's Easter egg hunt. N was so excited by the prospect of candy!!! Considering he didn't have any candy until he was around 2, he is now candy crazy. We've been talking a lot about healthy foods and treats while we've been home and I know they talk about it at school too. He knows that he has to eat healthy food before he can get a treat, but he's not always happy about it! Just like last year our neighbour separated the little kids from the big ones and it was so funny to watch. The big kids  had their eggs collected within minutes while the little kids were over it before all of the eggs in their area were picked up. We were sad that J didn't feel up to coming out for it, but N was so happy to show her his loot when he got home!



Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Smoothies

J and I just finished our first attempt at a cleanse. It was a quick 48 hr one aimed at jump starting us into some healthier eating. Luckily it wasn't too bad, we still got to eat food, unlike some of the juice only ones and it included smoothies. Seeing the blender in the kitchen, N decided he wanted in on the smoothie making action. So today I put him to work. He cut up his own fruit (strawberries and banana), put it all in the blender along with some almond milk and ice. Then got to his favorite bit, blending it all up!!!
The best thing is that he got to work on his knife skills and enjoy a healthy snack while I got everything together and put into the slow cooker for dinner!!



Thursday, March 14, 2013

Mornings

This pic sums up how we feel in the mornings around here :-)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sick

I felt a little smug the other day when first N and then J started getting sick. I totally convinced myself that I'd dodged this one, but it wasn't to be. I'm sick and totally miserable.
It's hasn't been helped by the fact that I didn't sleep well last night and N basically decided to start the day at 4.45am. I thought I'd settled him back to sleep, but was back in his room by 5.30 and I'm not sure he even went back to sleep. At which point. he told me 'I don't like to be alone' and I crawled into his bed where I tried to convince him that we both needed to sleep a little more. He wasn't having any of it, so at 6 we finally got up :-(
I am so not a morning person and am totally spoilt by the fact that he normally sleeps until at least 8 and often closer to 9!
The positive to such an early start is that we got to see mommy this morning. She usually leaves by 7 at the latest so it was nice to spend some time with her - even if we messed up her normal routine :-) Sorry hon!
We were at the library by 9 and headed home again by 10.30 when N decided he didn't want to stay for story time. The car ride is only 10 mins and as we were getting close to home I spotted N's eyes getting heavy. I asked him if he wanted me to keep driving and he said 'yes', so I did a quick loop and he was out. I got him into bed and went back to bed myself :-)
He was up just after 12 and we ate lunch, watched a movie, played outside and then I parented from the couch or floor until J came home to save us! She came home from a full day at wok and took over, made me dinner and did all the jobs I didn't get to today. I love my wife!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Good and bad...

On friday the kids hopped on their grandparents plane and started their spring break travels. Leaving behind a very sad (and sick) N, who is missing his buddy and constantly asking to go to 'big boy's' house. It's going to be a long 2 weeks!  I was planning to keep him busy, but he came down with a cold  so we are going to have to stay closer to home than I planned. I think that I'm even going to keep him home from school as I don't want him to share his germs. I know I wouldn't be happy if I dropped my kid off at school and saw another kid coughing and sneezing away.

There have been some discussions in our house recently on the pros and cons of my job. I realise that I'm really lucky to have a job that lets me bring N along with me, but it's becoming a tricky line to walk as N gets older. I've been with the family for 6 years now and have known them for 12, when I worked for my boss' sister. I was at their wedding and the hospital soon after the big boy arrived nearly 5 years ago. Until N arrived I was their only nanny and traveled frequently with them, often working 60+ hr weeks. Even now my schedule is somewhat unpredictable and I don't usually know what is happening ahead of time. The family don't run their life like that, they decide things in the moment and expect it all to be taken care of. (If you've ever seen the nanny diaries movie you'll have an idea of what it's like!)

By coming to work with me N has seen and experienced a lifestyle that most people only dream of, but it's a lifestyle that will (probably) never be his. I mean how many families have a full time house keeper,  2 nannies and a whole host of other staff taking care of their every need?! N has gotten to ride ponies and milk cows at the family's small dairy farm. He has ice skated and hung out at their private clubs. He was introduced to an amazing swim instructor and we even had the cost of lessons covered for us. We spend the early summer and fall swimming in their beautiful pool and roam freely around their property whenever we feel like it. There is no doubt that he's picked up lots of great things from being around the kids, being the 'third child' while we are at work has motivated him to try and keep up with them. He's even picked up his numbers, shape and letter knowledge while I've been working with the big boy. His imaginative play is far beyond his years - the favorite right now is pirates, but cowboys and super heroes are also right up there too. I have to admit that J's wonderful storytelling has helped with this too, N is great at telling his own stories now.

There are however some negatives and they become more apparent as he gets older. The family that I work for is a hunting family. Mom is master of the local fox hounds and rides out with the hunt 3 times a week. The big girl rides her pony with the hunt as often as her school schedule allows and they are hoping that the big boy will get more interested in riding this year so he can join them too. The family also hunts with guns......something that N is becoming more aware of as he gets older. They breed pheasants and turkeys for hunting and I'm sure N thought they were pets, until he saw a dead one that my boss bought home the other day. Both my bosses have guns that are kept locked in different gun safes and the kids will not doubt have their own guns in time. We tell him that in our family we don't have guns, don't like them and distract or discipline him when he tries to pretend play anything related to them. But we don't tell him they are wrong (in our opinion), because we know he's going to tell the kids that and obviously their family doesn't think they are. I try to closely supervise the boys to keep an eye on what N is hearing and have explained to the kids that our family doesn't do guns. But still the other day N told J all about how to load bullets into a gun - something he must have heard from the big boy.....

I always thought that it was school that taught kids all the stuff that you had been choosing not to teach them. Being around older kids means that N is getting a jump start on that stuff. Now he's probably going to be the one that is teaching the other kids all this stuff when he goes to school! I used to say that school ruins kids because they are not under your control when they are there, but it turns out it's happening right under my nose because he is picking up on what the big boy is learning at school and from his parents too!

The truth is that I get paid well especially as I bring N with me, but it's getting to that point that it just may not be worth it. I like my job, I don't love it as much as I used to, but I do get a little stir crazy home full time, like the routine of working and knowing that I'm contributing to the household income - even if it's only a little! There is only a couple of months until the kids are done with school for the year and their summer travels will begin. In September the big boy will be in school until 3 and I'm not sure if I will still have a job then, but I've been saying that for years! We are also still TTC, even though I'm not writing about it, so once number 2 arrives I'll be staying home full time, I'm always telling myself that there is no point starting a new job, just to quit when the new baby arrives.... I guess it's something that we will keep talking about and see what happens with N.