Got a job as Marketing Director! Woot! Yay!!

Company: The Helix Financial Group (Yeah, I'll make the website look prettier over the coming months.)

I'm working part-time- three full days a week. Josh will be enrolled into daycare next week.

Early mornings are better. We have a system: Josh still rouses out of bed around 5am everyday, but now we lay in his room on the floor while he goes back to sleep. I'm not sure if it's the company or us monitoring him to stay in bed that works, but when he goes back to sleep he's down for another 2-3 hours. Now we're getting up between 7-8am.

This week Josh turned 21 months old. In the coming few months we'll be exploring how to get him off the 'binky' (he calls it a 'ki-ki'). Ideally I'd like to do it before his second birthday. I need to get ideas on how best to do this. I read somewhere that letting your toddler be involved in the process of getting rid of it helps them understand that it's really gone. Like burying it. Or flushing it. Or throwing it over a canyon edge. Then it will likely take 2-3 days (or more) for him to get the idea that it really is gone and to cope with the change. Meanwhile we're practicing drinking from a cup without a spill-proof lid. So far so good as long as I don't put too much in the cup. Otherwise it becomes too much temptation not to play with it.

Josh has three phrases he can now say:

  1. Where is it?
  2. There it is.
  3. All gone.
And no, he still cannot say 'grandma'.

In other news, I'm tempted to take a road trip with Josh to Corpus Christi to visit grand-folk. I'm still toying with the idea so no firm plans yet. Rusty will be out of town for a few days and I dread being home alone during that time.

Josh's cold did indeed turn worse yesterday. He developed wheezing shallow breathing (bronchiolitis) around 3am warranting breathing treatments. Yesterday I gave him breathing treatments every couple of hours. He was miserable, the poor guy. Nose constantly running, no energy, coughing, wheezing, and a very slight fever around late morning. He spent almost the entire day resting on my chest or lap, or being held as I walked around.

I had my own battle- still do. Something in this house is causing my allergies to go crazy. Every 15-20 minutes I sneeze, eyes water up, nose constricts, mucus builds up... then it all relaxes until the next allergic reaction. I'm not sure if it's a plant, mold outside from rain last week, dust, some weed pollen?? Whatever it is, it's adding to the challenges of taking care of a sick toddler. It's tough to get Josh to sleep when all of a sudden a huge sneeze erupts and a quick grab for Kleenex distracts him.

Today should be better. He already has more energy and has less of a runny nose. Hopefully he'll have more appetite. Maybe I'll actually get out of the house today.

Josh has a cold. Since it's January, this is a great time to start counting how many times he gets sick in a year. Last seemed like a lot, but then I normally don't get sick 6-10 times a year like most toddlers. This cold is mild so far. Runny nose, sneezing and crabbiness. So far no breathing problems. We expected him to sleep like crap last night. Usually when Josh has a cold he's restless. We expected he'd be up at least four times. Surprisingly not! He did toss and turn shortly after he went to bed. So I slept with him on the couch in hopes that keeping him elevated would help drain his nasal cavities. This worked fine for about two hours until he started tossing and turning on me. I laid him in his own bed and he didn't so much as peep the whole night. At 6:40-ish he woke up fully rested and ready to run. Rusty, on the other hand, did not sleep well. He says I hogged the bed, stole the covers and took turns snoring with my cat. I deny these allegations.

Looks like the so called "winter blast" is going to rip through town again this weekend. Being couped up inside with an overly active toddler will be so much fun!

We're still teaching Josh to put himself to sleep. I'm fairly consistent at night time in keeping him in his bed to go to sleep. But in the early mornings, especially 5:30, I break down. I'd rather hold him on my chest and snooze for an hour on the couch than lose sleep trying several times in vain or getting up so early. I got more than an hour nap this morning from him. It doesn't help him learn to put himself to sleep but it makes me feel better getting that extra hour of sleep. I think I would be better at these early mornings if I weren't waking up several times to put him back to bed or to sleep each night. Last night I was woken up 4 times helping him go back to sleep. By 5:30 it's no wonder I don't want to budge. When Rusty's shoulder heals better I'm going to propose that one of us gets up throughout the night to get Josh and one of us gets up early in the morning. I can't do both and it's not fair anyway.

The project for this weekend: teach Joshua how to say/sign "please".

I'm loving the book David got for me this Christmas: Lamb (The Gospel According to Biff, Christs' Childhood Friend) by Christopher Moore. The main character is a riot and the stories are just as outrageous. I love how this book does not take religion seriously, it just tells a good story. The book refers to "the Savior" from the Greek translation of the Hebrew Yeshua, which is Joshua; the book is narrated by Joshua's friend Biff. Classic example of why this book rocks...

"Joshua, you're the Son of God. You're the Messiah. That implies- oh, I don't know- that you're a Jew! You can't eat bacon."
God doesn't care if we eat bacon. I can just feel it."
"Really. He still feel the same way about fornication?"
"Killing? Stealing? Bearing false witness? Coveting thy neighbor's wife, et cetera? No change of heart on those"
"Just bacon. Interesting. You would have thought there would be something about bacon in the prophecies of Isiah."
"Yeah, makes you wonder, doesn't it?"
"You're going to need more than that to usher in the kingdom of God, Josh, no offense. We can't go home with, 'Hi, I'm the Messiah, God wanted you to have this bacon.' "
"I know. We have much more to learn. But breakfasts will be more interesting."
"Go to sleep, Josh."

In other news, I've polished my resume and cover letter. It was a tough task with all the cobwebs on it and tarnished brass. But it looks fine now. Fit for any employer of interest. Thing is, before I can go sticking my neck out for jobs, I need to do some research about daycare, Montessori school, in-home care, and other options for Josh. I would like to send him to Montessori school but it's not cheap (~ $1100+ per month). Daycare isn't cheap either but it's a little cheaper. Some daycares teach some basic skills (colors, shapes, sharing, music, etc.) much like the schools do. I need to figure out what my options are, who has a spot to enroll him, and how I can transition him smoothly to a new routine. This is will be the hard part. I don't really want to drop him off in someone else's care but I also don't want to be a stay-at-home mom forever either. Unless something big happens, I feel the need to go back to work and contribute to our income in some way. This will be no simple task. I fear I'll be exhausted with the juggle.

Ice ice everywhere! It's the "Winter Blast" that the news is all over this morning. There's frost and sleet on the ground, but it's not a disaster. Certainly not worth shutting down the city for in my opinion.

Josh snoozed with me on the couch this morning. He woke up at 5:40. We had breakfast, juice and played a bit. Then I rubbed his belly and tried to teach him the word "belly". He thought it tickled at first then got droopy eyed. So I rubbed his belly and coaxed him to lay down. Next thing I know, I'm snoozing in and out of sleep with him resting on my chest. Rusty snickered when he woke up to see where we were, then kept super quiet. Josh napped a whole hour with me. As for me, my ankles were cold and I obsessed over whether Josh was cold too. I went in and out of sleep but it was enough to help me feel more rested. woot!

We're on our way to a play date. Ethan & Signe are moving to College Station soon so this is their last time to host a play date.

Josh has been waking at 5:30am these days. It totally sucks butt. Luckily Rusty has had a bit more energy in the mornings and has taken care of Josh an hour before me. Everywhere I read online says it's normal after converting to a toddler bed. Last night I tried to keep him up late oping he would sleep in. Nope. Didn't work. I might as well embrace this change and put to sleep early (like 7:30-8pm) and go to bed early myself. The thing that sucks the most about being up so early is, well, lots of things: lack of sun, not enough sleep for me, nothing to do until hours later when the rest of the world wakes up. I'm whining and rightfully so.

New milestone: Josh can now feed himself with a spoon all by himself! He's been practicing with oatmeal in the morning and other thick foods. Yesterday evening he surprised us at dinner by digging into his veggie pasta O's all by himself without dropping it all over the place. This afternoon he had a rare treat: whipped cream! I had to have some caffeine and he wanted some too so I gave him his own cup and a spoon. He was very happy to lap up the cream by himself while I enjoyed my own rare treat.

The weather is going to get cold and icky so we'll be stuck to indoor activities tomorrow and the weekend. Today he went to Jump Town and, as expected had a total blast. Tomorrow is library story time then play at the mall with his buddy Vincent. (pictured above)

2 minute update while Josh is playing peacefully him his room.

I've been dusting off my resume and job site profiles this week. As I put it to friend Preethi, I don't want to stick my neck out to employers until I'm ready. So I'm taking the whole month to polish off my resumes, cover letter, portfolio (the one I don't have put together yet) and other job tools. I plan to interview with my blue hair until I either land a job that requires a conservative appearance or until it's obvious that blue hair is not to my advantage. I would prefer to keep it, but we'll see.

I visited Kim yesterday delivering baby gifts. Her due date is in February but she's likely to have that baby any day now since she's already dilated and having contractions periodically. She's taking a risky approach to natural delivery. Her insurance doesn't cover the hospital she wants to deliver at so she's going to labor at home until the last possible moment then rush to her preferred hospital for an emergency delivery. I applaud her idea and hope she's successful. She and I both hope she doesn't get stuck delivering in the car. That would suck.

Josh is done playing alone.

Josh has become an early bird since we moved him from a crib to toddler bed. Now he wakes up before the sun at around 6:30am. It's driving me crazy waking up so early after months of sleeping in until 8-ish. I've pushed his bedtime back to 8pm so that he'll get the sleep he needs. Before we converted his bed, he would stir early in the morning then usually go back to sleep for a bit. Or he'd play in his crib while I snoozed a bit. But now he can spring out of bed the moment he's not sleeping. I hope the newness of his new bed will wear off soon. I look forward to the days of sleeping in until at least sunrise.

He's also shifted his appetite over the last few months. He wakes up starving (like me) and usually has a bowl of oatmeal. Then after a couple hours, he has breakfast number two, usually fruit or yogurt or cereal bar or something like that. Then it's lunch time two hours later, just before his nap. I'm sneaking in vegetables with his spaghettios or serving up half a grilled cheese & ham sandwich or doling out diced veggies with breaded chicken. Spaghettios are his favorite though. Then another snack after his nap and light grazing until dinner. Dinner used to be level with dinner. But lately he's only eating a snack's worth of food. A few bites and he's done. He still make him sit at the table with us even though he's not eating much with us. We want to teach him that dinnertime means we all sit down together until we're done. That lesson comes in handy when we find ourselves out to eat or at someone's house where we can't let him run around unattended.

This week will run as normal then next week I'll begin the process of job searching. I'm fairly set on finding some work and putting Josh into daycare or Montessori school or some other arrangement. I want to start contributing financially and keep my mind sharp.

Darnit. His awake from his nap already. He went down at 12:45. I guess today is just too exciting for him to sleep. Bummer for me. There goes my free time.

Happy New Year!!
What's in store this year...

February 17th begins the Year of the Pig in the Chinese calendar
For Western Astrology, this is year belongs to Pisces
This year is designated as International Polar Year
Matt & Oana will tie the knot
Quinh & Son will have a baby
Matt & Sam may buy a house
Joshua will start daycare or Montessori school



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