Work is Sometimes Fun

This past week, I flew to Salt Lake City, Utah for work.  I have to begin with saying that it is a beautiful area!  Snow-capped mountains surrounding the city, beautiful buildings, the Mormon church and more.  Just breathtaking!

The Mormon Church

 

Just beautiful!

One funny thing about the city though.  Some crosswalks are equipped with bright orange flags to carry from one side to another to ensure a safer crossing.  After going to dinner with about 20 of my coworkers, most from other countries in Europe and South America, we all had to try the orange flag crossing!  Here are a few photos following dinner (and a lot of drinking for some people) with the crossing.

Flag crossing!!!

 

Here we go!

 

My flag and I

 

A few friends with their flags

27 Weeks

Between the St. Patrick’s Day Celebrations, traveling to Utah for work and everything else in between, I have been rushing around so much that I haven’t had a chance to post any updates, and believe me…I have a ton of them!

Now that I essentially won’t be traveling for the rest of the year for work, this will help me to free up more of my time and allow me to focus on my family and our search for a new home.  (Nope, haven’t found anything yet!)

27 Week Questions:

How far along? 27 weeks
Estimated size of you: A head of lettuce
Maternity clothes? Yes, and some of my maternity shirts are already getting to be too short in the front!
Stretch marks? Not that I have noticed, but Chris has been slathering on the belly butter for me at night.
Sleep: In Utah, it was TERRIBLE.  Now that I am home, it is much better!
Best moment this week: Completing the last trip for work for the rest of the year.  Looking forward to not traveling for a while!  😉
Miss Anything? My mother.  This week with St. Patrick’s Day has been exceptionally hard.  This holiday was considered to be the high holy day in our family and it just was a constant reminder that she isn’t here with us.
Movement: You are still a bit more relaxed than Jack was as far as movement.
Food cravings: Deep fried pickles with ranch.  To.  Die.  For.
Anything making you queasy or sick: No.
Have you started to show yet: Absolutely.
Gender: BOY! (But I keep having dreams that the ultrasound was incorrect…weird)
Labor Signs: Braxton Hicks.
Belly Button in or out? Out!  As much as it will be.
Wedding rings on or off? On.
Happy or Moody most of the time: Moreso happy, but this week has been a tough week emotionally.
Looking forward to: Holding you in the next 3 months!!

I’m finally back

After a long weekend, I had a short, but busy first week at my new job.  Flights were good, meetings were good, and I really like my new coworkers.  Everything was really great!

Since my flight was not until 10:30am on Tuesday, I was able to go with Chris to drop Jack off for his first day of school.  He knew something was up and that we were going somewhere when he was dressed and being put into the car around 8:00am.  We listened to music and I explained to him that Mommy was going to work and that Daddy would come to get him at the end of the day.

It was tough leaving him, but he immediately began playing with the trucks and the other kids and never blinked an eye.  He was in his element.  We got him sorted out and ready for the day, and he looked at us and smiled as I kissed him goodbye and told him that I loved him.

Once I left and the plane was taking off, my first view out the window was my husband’s office and the daycare.  That is when I promptly lost it.  The fear and the emotions set in as I realized that this would be the first time that I would leave Jack for more than a few hours.

I have to admit that it was strange to go to dinner, in a car, or go to sleep without Jack.  I was always so used to eating a cold meal, or making sure that all of his needs were met and haven’t really had time like that to myself in a long while.

Since being away, I feel as if I was able to recharge my batteries, and that the absence between myself, Chris and Jack absolutely strengthened our love for each other.  It also made it more apparent that Chris can absolutely handle the time as a single parent when I am called elsewhere for this job.

We did FaceTime on our iPhones while I was away and Jack loved being able to talk to me, blow me kisses, and show me his shoes.  However, it did cause for him to run to the door to see if I was there.  Tears came when I was getting of of the phone.

My excitement to come home had me awake by 4:00am on Friday and ready to be covered in kisses and cuddles for the rest of the day.

When I finally landed, I jumped in the car and headed to the daycare to get Jack.  His face upon seeing me was something that I will never forget.  It was as if I was a huge ice cream cone and Jack had just walked across the desert to get to me.  I breathed him in.  I felt his soft skin and held him close as he cried and clung to my arm.  He had really missed me.

We came home and my plans for the day were to cuddle with him, play with trucks and go for a nice walk when Chris came home.  Jack wasn’t really himself, so after a high temp reading and seeing that he was a mess, we went over to the doctor.  He has a little virus and is not feeling good in the slightest, so we spent the rest of the day and night cuddling with cold compresses, drinking juice and watching The Wiggles.  The doctor said that the virus will run its course, but I am so glad that I can be home to care for him when he needs me most.

All in all, it was a great first week and I look forward to seeing what this coming week has to bring.  It would also be awesome if Jack’s fever went away quickly.

Last Week as a SAHM

This week begins my last week of the blissful 10 months of being a stay-at-home-Mom.  Initially, I had anticipated a short stint of being home with Jack until we sold our house and I was working again full time, but nothing seems to work out exactly the way that you plan.

My hopes are high for my new job and I am excited to get to know my new coworkers and get back into the swing of working 9-5 again.  However, I will absolutely miss this little face.

I love his coy little smile

Our cuddles after an afternoon nap, storytime before breakfast and playing with trucks all over the floor will no longer be a schedule that I will keep.  Instead, Jack will be off to play with 6 other toddlers his age to master his fine and gross motor skills, work on crafts, play outside in the sunshine and to make new friends.

Seeing him interact with the older children at Mommy and Me on Thursday mornings is great, but I see a lot of hesitation when trying to initiate play or to even have parallel play between him and the other children.  I have high hopes that his school and their curriculum will give him the opportunity to explore and to become more independent with play and more independent as an individual.

A week from today, I will be in Chicago prepping for a week of meetings, hellos and introductions.  Jack will also be spending his first day at a new school with new people and having the same types of introductions.  Its a new start for Jack and I.  New beginnings.  Building on what he has already learned and mastering new skills.

I am excited for this next chapter in our family, but I can’t say that I won’t miss being with Jack 24/7 as I have for the past few months.  Hey, I mean, who wouldn’t miss seeing this face every minute of every day?!

Big Changes are Coming

I have been busy with a few things these past few weeks, including interviewing for a new full-time job!

After a three four interview process, they have decided to offer me my dream job!

We are so blessed to have this wonderful opportunity.

Jack is being registered as we speak for a local upstanding child-centered day care which will be minutes away from Daddy’s office and on our way home from work.  The rooms are bright and cheery, the playground is brand new and was constructed with recycled plush flooring, and a trolley comes occasionally and beeps at the children.  Just a wonderful place.

When Jack and I went to tour the center, he felt right at home.  As I set him on the floor, his little legs were immediately running for the toys and the other children.  As they finger painted, sang songs, read stories and played with toys, Jack was right in the mix with them as I listened to the Director about the curriculum.  He obviously was comfortable and safe there, and I felt the same way.

The new job will require some travel, domestic and international, but mostly just occasional travel.  I am looking forward to learning all about my new company and proving myself as I work my way up the ladder.  This is a wonderful opportunity, and although I will miss being home with Jack every day, I am thankful that I can help provide for my family in a different and worthwhile way.

I have very high hopes for the challenges and new things on the horizon.  🙂

Motown Philly Back Again

The family headed down to the old house in Philly for the weekend to plant some flowers, clean, catch up with friends and to meet with our Realtor about how the market is going.  Since it was pretty much a weekend on tour between the To Do List and everyone who was hoping to see us for the first time in a long time, we tried to just keep up with the pace.

Friday night, we got in, had some pizza and just took it easy knowing what Saturday had in store for us.

Saturday morning, Jack and I were up early and after some breakfast, we jumped in the car and headed to the Lancaster Outlets for some deals.  Banana Republic was buy 2, Get one free!  Right up my alley!

First stop?  J.Crew.  If I could make a deal to only shop at one store for the rest of my life, it would hands-down be J.Crew.  The classic styles, silhouettes, soft t-shirts and denim…I am in heaven.  My only request would be that they would make dresses and button downs for girls who are D cups and up.  Don’t get me wrong…I get my fill of D-cup bathing suits from them, but dress shopping would be easier if I wasn’t trying to fit gigantic boobs into a dress made for someone with beestings.

But, I digress.

After picking up some Crewcuts clothes on sale for JackMan and a dress and more Matchstick denim for me.  (Side note: I want to be buried in these jeans!)  We then headed to Banana to get some suits and more outfits and then finished it off with a little Baby Gap action where I bought Jack his first Superman shirt with the removable cape on the back.  That will be for this fall/next spring, but such a great deal!

We drove through the farms of Lancaster and with each cow that Jack saw, I heard a “mooooooo!” in the back seat.  What can I say?  The kid loves cows.

We then had a BBQ with our friends Eric, Erica, Briella, Adam and Katie.  We absolutely miss them all terribly.  Living here is not the same without them.  After stuffing our faces with Erica’s delicious cooking, we decided to play “The Michael Jackson Experience” on the Wii.  Best.  Game.  Ever.

Briella and Jack cuddled up and watched a show and played with toys.  A great time was had by all!

Sunday, we got up early and prepped the house for the Realtor’s visit and packed up.  A quick brunch at Kate & Sean’s new house (Yum!) and after a nap, we headed to see The Shanafelts.

We had a nice visit and were able to take a sneak peek into the new baby’s room while Bryce and Chase entertained us and Jack.

For dinner, we stopped at a local tavern on the way home with them and shared some laughs and beers and talked about the events coming up.  “Baby Johnny” (this is what Bryce and Chase are insisting on calling the new baby, but not the name) will be here in early July and we are all on pins and needles until his arrival!  Andrea looks fabulous and is ready to take on a life with three little boys.  Such a wonderful adventure!

The weekend trip made us realize how much we really do miss our friends in Philly.  Although there is some distance between us now, we hope to make more of an effort to get together and keep the friendship going.  🙂

We <3 New York

I truly consider New York City to be my second home.  The sounds of the city, vibrations of the subway, smells of burnt salt at the pretzel stands and the hustle and bustle are truly something to be experienced.

Standing in front of the New Years Eve ball in Times Square

Since we were young, my mother has been taking us into the city for plays, Broadway shows, shopping and of course, to see the sights, so when we go, we truly feel as if we are coming home again.

We came in this weekend for a visit with my sister, Colleen, the Revlon 5K, and to enjoy the spring weather amidst the fresh grass and new leaves on the trees.

On Friday, we headed to Kenneth Cole’s corporate offices where my sister works for a quick hello and to have a chance to meet her coworkers.  As we suspected, everyone there was so nice and welcoming.  Jack was thrilled to tour the place and made himself right at home.

Jared and Chris at Kenneth Cole

Aunt Colleen and Jack at KC HQ

KC HQ

Afterwards, we went down to the pier to check out the water, submarines and cruise ships followed by a quick cocktail while Jack napped for a bit in the stroller.

Out at the Pier (submarine behind him)

The submarine at the Pier

Yum...an $11 bottle of beer

We took it easy on Friday night in anticipation of the early wake-up call on Saturday morning.  Read all about the Revlon Womentum 5K to eradicate Women’s Cancers here.

After our 5K, we had some brunch and let Jack nap for a while before heading back to SoHo.  Chris met up with friends and headed to the new Yankees stadium to catch the afternoon game for another friend’s 30th birthday.

On a side note, if there were a contest for a free apartment anywhere in Manhattan, I would absolutely choose SoHo, TriBeCa or The Village.  Hands down.  The people, the shops, and the neighborhood feel just bring happiness to my soul.  The little local shops that can sell fun trinkets for my mother-in-law for Mother’s Day and the fabulous dining al fresco in Little Italy makes my heart sing.

First cab ride (We usually take the subway)

Following dinner with the best little date that I have ever had, we hit the hay and left that one for the record books.

My date in Little Italy

Since a lot of the weekend for Jack was spent in someone’s arms or strapped in his Maclaren stroller, we decided to take him somewhere that would be an activity just for him.  So, off to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum we went.

Just a fabulous and busy weekend with my sister and with my little family.  Such a beautiful city, and I hope that Jack can one day feel the same love and passion that his mother feels for the city.

Photo taken by Colleen's coworker

And someone had so much fun, that this was the scene in the car seat on the way home.

Passed out on the ride home