Saturday, April 27, 2013

Working-Mom Guilt

For the past 7 months, I've been working customer service.  I have felt thankfulness for the job, sheepishness at re-joining the workforce with a bunch of 18-year-olds (who frankly surprise me with how hard they work), and guilt about leaving my family a few nights a week to go to work.  I know moms are working all sorts of jobs and making ends meet with all sorts of sacrifice, so this has been eye-opening as to how they might feel no matter how much they love their jobs or how much they make.

A month or so after I started working, Annie (who isn't super into babies) came up to me with her Special Baby--holding her so sweetly and gently and whispering so quietly.

"Here is my brand new baby!  We just came from the hospital.  She's brand new.  Isn't she beautiful?"

Me (also whispering, with pride at my daughter's emerging maternal instincts in my voice):  "She IS so beautiful.  What is her name?"

Annie:  "Her name is Special Baby.  Can you hold her?" (tucks her in with a blanket in my arms).

Then, in a much more matter-of-fact and slightly bossy tone:  "Can you watch her for me?  If she cries, give her a bottle.  I'm going to work.  Goodbye."

That was a little unsettling.

But we do what we need to do, and Jeremy and I are a team and this is what we're doing (though we just decided that I would take a break for a little while).  And I just have one more thing to say now that I've worked in customer service doing returns and solving problems in a retail environment...

You get what you get and you don't throw a fit!!!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fun 'N Games

A while ago (a long while ago...I lament the absence of my blog writing!), my sister came to visit and got to be a guest speaker in my boys' classrooms at school. She is a Lieutenant Commander in the Navy and has flown quite a few different airplanes, traveled the world, landed on aircraft carriers, and currently flies a 737. We had fun visiting the school because it is also where we went for kindergarten through 6th grade.
In fact, Evan is a kindergartener in the exact same classroom where Kendra and I both attended kindergarten. 

We looked in our old photo albums for pictures of the classroom when Kendra was a student...and we found a few to share with the kids. 

Evan got to introduce his aunt and show the class his flight suit and model aircraft carrier.  I got to squat down in my jeans to help with props and hope that my bum didn't show.

Kendra taught them how to salute and to surprise their parents by answering "Yes, sir!" or "Yes, ma'am!" that night at home...a few of my friends said they were truly surprised when their kids did!

At the end of her presentation, Kendra had the students stand up and state their name before asking a question or making a comment. The kids were so cute because they would get so distracted and nervous about addressing her officially, they would forget their question. One boy stood up, swallowed and sputtered, said his name, and then blurted out, "Your teacher was a very small person!" 

Lt. Commander Kaufman as a kindergartner...with her very small teacher, I guess.

Kendra also visited Sam's class, where the questions were a little more on topic and the students got really into saluting and playing with the toy aircraft carrier.

We liked looking through the old photos to find the kindergarten pictures so much that we did more of it later that night just for fun.  There were a lot of first-day-of-school pictures and other milestones.
Awesome scary van in the background.  Awesome scary hair, too.
Cheesy smile, knee highs and wood panelling!  You know you all have pictures just like this one.
There were also a lot of old family memories and awesome t-shirts.  We wished we still had fashionable shirts like those to wear today and be super rad.

Us with our grandparents, my dad's
My dad had the awesomest beard and Hang 10 shirts, they would be so vintage now.  Also, it appears that Brad Pitt in disguise is just behind me on this ferry boat.  Thirdly, why does it appear that Kendra has a mullet?  That's just unfortunate.
Some fashion was just downright embarrassing.  And the baskets on the wall?  Glad those aren't in style anymore!
Before razor scooters were invented, my dad made us our own homemade scooter.  He attached a handle on a regular skateboard, we added the lawn chair and curly bangs.
Looking at the funny pictures and laughing inspired us to start one-upping each other...finding the worst pictures of each other to laugh at (in true sisterly love). So I started with one like this:

Followed with another priceless beauty like this:
Kendra came back at me with this one:

And then hit me with this one:
I'm sorry, I know I'm holding a trophy but I sure don't look like a champion...and am I sticking my tongue out a little bit like the effort of holding the trophy up is too much for me?  Wow.  And Kendra's mullet's got nothing on my hairdo here.

I couldn't resist pointing out these unfortunate ones...
It's like bad costume mug shots.

And she laughed at me for being a little too big for Santa's lap.

Many were just bad of both of us...

But I especially liked this one and am contemplating posting it on her Facebook wall...

What was I thinking with the hat bill situation?


....(sigh) Puffed Sleeves!  (Anne of Green Gables reference, for those who didn't get it)
Then there was that one that Kendra really did not want me to share, and there were many that I would be mortified if you saw (most during that awkward pre-teen that called tween now?) we'll end with this series of ridiculousness at one of my dad's forced photo shoots with us:
Note Kendra's clenched jaw at her teenaged embarrassment and being subjected to this torture...

Can we like stop this right now before we like both embarrass ourselves?
No, clearly I had no shame.

Okay, that's it.  Let's end this.

Oh, but not without this one.  More BUNNIES!

And more HATS.  Okay, I'm really stopping now.

I hope you really enjoyed that.  We sure did.  Oh, and remember that awesome fashion from the 70's and early 80's?  I might not fit in it anymore but look at who does...