Sunday, April 29, 2012

Big Truck Night

Our city had a big truck night on Thursday.  They had trucks and tractors and police cars, etc available for the kids to go right up to and climb on.  Mike wasn't able to come because he volunteered for a double shift at the temple open house, so it was just me and Mason.
The first one we saw a was a big John Deere tractor.

Mason enjoyed that.

I brought the stroller along, but he ended up pushing it most of the time. That's ok, I had my purse, the diaper bag, and our mug of water in it, it saved me having to carry it.  Though I had to carry him quite a bit too, there were too many people and he kept getting overwhelmed.
He liked the police motorcycle.

And there was a big fire truck that scared him a bit.
There were two of these "people" built out these, a man and a woman.  Mason stared at them for awhile, a little confused.
Here he is in one of the few moments he let me put him in the stroller.
Here he is in a big dump truck.

Vroom, Vroom!
Here he is in just a regular truck.
And another truck, I forget what kind. It might be the dump truck above, I'm not sure.
They had a sandbox full of Tonka trucks, and Mason played in it for a half hour or so at the end before he left.  He was kneeling on the asphalt and got really dirty.

It was lots of fun!  I wish Mike could have come, he would have enjoyed it, and Mason would have been a bit less overwhelmed if we'd both been there.  But he was at the temple, and needed to be there.

Mason's room!

 So this last Friday we moved Mason out of our bedroom into what was the office.  These are some before pics of the living room and office. I forgot to take some specifically, so I just used some I had of Mason with the background. 
This one is kind of blurry:
And here are two shots of the office, kind of different angles.

 We moved some of the bookshelves into our bedroom, and then put everything else in a sort of cubicle we made in the living room.

 And here is two shots of Mason's new room!

I love the little bed!  He has slept on it two nights and one naptime so far.  The first night wasn't much fun for either of us, he kept waking up and I had to check on him several times.  He fell off at least once, maybe twice. Last night, though he slept through the night.

So nice having our room to ourselves! At least til the baby comes in July.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Almost a year later . . .

Almost a year ago, I quit my job.  My last day of work was May 6th.  I haven't regretted that choice at all.  Mason has been so much happier with me at home, he has grown a lot, and become less clingy.  And I have been happier being at home with him.  Being a stay-at-home mom isn't easy, but my stress level dropped significantly because I hated having to leave my child with others to care for him.

There have been setbacks.  I tried to set up daycare, but never managed to make it work, so I wasn't able to contribute much to our income.  And we have built up a little bit of credit card debt, because I stopped paying it off each month.  I decided it would be better to have the available cash, rather than worry about a little bit of interest.

Mike finished his degree in December, and we started job hunting the end of November or the beginning of December.  I had been a little spoiled by my experience getting my job, because it had seemed like such a sure thing, and I was in a better situation, financially (I was living with my Dad temporarily, and and was single, much easier to deal with.)  But we had applied for so many jobs for Mike and hadn't even heard from half of them.

On a side note, government jobs are annoying to apply for, because you don't hear anything once the application process is complete unless they decide to hire you.

Anyway, back when I quit, we had managed to save enough money to pay for our expenses for 8 months or so.  We started running low at the beginning of the year, which was about when I stopped paying off the credit card each month (which we mainly used for gas, but since Mike had an hour drive to and from school everyday, that added up).  Then, of course, we could file our taxes, and we did so as soon as possible, expecting to get a good sized tax return, which, thankfully, we did.  I had worked long enough, and with child tax credits and everything, we got enough to pay for several more months.

The whole time we had Mike's part time job, and the income from that, which wasn't much, but helped to extend the money some.  But we were starting to get worried.  We'd been job hunting for at least four months, and hadn't even gotten any nibbles.  We extended the search to part time jobs, figuring that he could keep the one he had, and having two might get us enough income, as well as getting a foot in the door for future full-time possibilities.  It wouldn't have been ideal, but it would have been better than what we had.

Still nothing.  We were running low on savings. We still had enough for a couple months at least, but we decided that if we didn't find something by the beginning of May, we'd have to go to the church to get some help to extend our savings a bit longer.

Then it happened.  It was kind of interesting how it worked out.  A guy in our ward had known about  job openings at his work, and had helped another guy get hired there.  The only reason Mike hadn't heard about the job opening was because he had never talked to our ward employment specialist about needing work.  He had been working with the stake employment specialist, but it hadn't occurred to him that he should talk to both.  Anyway, I had heard from someone about the job openings, but by the time Mike spoke to the guy who worked there, all the openings had been filled.  But he said to go ahead and fill out an application online anyway for future openings.

A couple weeks later, a friend of mine in the ward mentioned to me, that she'd been told by the new hire at this company, that they were looking for more people again.  This was a Thursday or Friday. I passed the info on to Mike, and he applied for the job Saturday.

The next Tuesday they called him for an interview on Wednesday.

Thursday, they called and offered him a job.

And he starts work next week, two weeks after being called for the interview.

It's a full time job, that pays more than we need to survive, so we can save up for, hopefully, a down payment on a house, and other things.  It has benefits for employees and their families, which seem to be fairly competitive.  And it starts the first of May.  Mike finds it very interesting that the job starts on the day that we set for our cut-off of going to the church for aid.  All I can say, is that the Lord has been watching over us.

Not only that, but we have almost enough in savings to pay off our credit card when we get the first paycheck.  It all worked out just right.

When I quit my job, it was a gamble.  I had a good, secure job, with good benefits, and opportunities to advance, whereas Mike was still a college student.  My co-workers thought I was nuts, and I can't blame them: by the world's view, I was.  But I've always wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, and when Mason was born, that desire was intensified.  And Mike and I both felt that Heavenly Father wanted me to be home with our son, no matter what sacrifice was involved.  So we took what steps we could to ensure that we wouldn't be a financial burden on anyone, and took the leap.  And the net has finally appeared.

Mason's newest haircut

 Mike decided that Mason needed a haircut, and I sort of agreed with him. Here is a before pic:

 Here is a floor after cutting pic:

Mike used his razor hair cutting set.  He was pretty well behaved, he just kept trying to look towards the razor.  I held him in my lap wrapped up in a towel while he cut it.
And here is an after pic:

Takes some getting used to.

Temple open house pics

The new Kansas City temple

Family shot: kinda far and Mason was too interested in the fountain to turn around.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Easter Sunday

We went to Grandma's house for Easter Sunday and dyed eggs. Mason was NOT allowed to participate, I didn't want him getting dye all over his clothes.  The colors are funky because the eggs we had to dye were brown.  We had some fun experimenting with the different shades of brown in the different colors.

Then we went and gathered the plastic Easter eggs Grandma had been hiding in the back yard.

The dogs were freaking Mason out, especially the beagle, she is overly exuberant all the time.

He wasn't quite sure what was going on. . .

but he figured it out pretty quickly.

There's Mommy's big belly, half hidden by Mason.

Extreme close-up!

Daddy was very proud of this next picture.  Auntie Missa's birthday was the next week, so we had cupcakes with candles, and Daddy managed to get Uncle Jeffrey's toes in the shot, and thought it was amazing.
Happy Birthday Auntie! And Happy Easter everyone!

Some random pictures

Here are some cute pictures from our walk the other day.  He likes to go for a walk every day and on Conference Sunday, when his aunties and uncle Jeremy came home, he enlisted them to come along.

Mason, with his entourage and bodyguards, stylin his shades

Asserting his independence: "I can walk by myself Mom!"

Random picture mostly of me, the baby was protesting my position here, kicking like crazy.

He looks so grown-up here!

Then we have a couple of pictures showing what happens when Mason wakes up too early, and Mommy doesn't jump right up when she hears the empty bedtime snack yogurt container hit the floor.

Tired little man!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A few random thoughts (plus pictures!)

As my pregnancy progresses, I've been finding myself wondering, will I miss the time I have with my sweet boy all to myself?  How will this new baby affect our relationship?  How much will I miss one on one time with Mason?  I mean, I'm sure at first I'll still get some time alone with him, because new babies sleep a lot, but it won't be quite the same.

Don't get me wrong, I don't regret getting pregnant again.  I've just been thinking that I should use the time I have alone with my little bug as effectively as possible.

And now for the pictures.  I have bunches of pictures of different things, and figured I'd just stick them all on at once, along with a couple of videos.

Mason has a new favorite game.  It's called ride on Daddy's back!

He loves this game, it's on of those things that we have to do over and over again.

 And here is a quick video of it.  At the end of the ride, he likes to get dumped on the couch next to Mommy. Sometimes he gets overly excited and dumps himself off early.

 Here is a random picture from the zoo, with Mason playing with his wagon.

One Sunday, during our outdoor time, Daddy decided to climb a tree, then Mason wanted up with him. So cute!

Here is Mason figuring out how to build with Mega Bloks.

 And here's another video.

Mason has become a lot more interested in things like park play areas and swings.  Sorry he's looking away in this pic, but I still thought it was cute.

Sorry the video is so blurry, I was using my phone camera. 

And we've been blessed with a garden plot that a family in our ward is letting us use for the summer.  Mason has been enjoying helping out with the garden.  Daddy tilled it up using a shovel, then Mason saw Mommy and Daddy breaking the dirt clods, and decided to help. Using his hands.  Cute!

Again, blurry video