We transitioned Mateo's bed into a big boy bed back at the beginning of April.
This next pic is from the first night when he realized we were going to leave him in there alone.
The first few nights were a BREEZE. Mateo is such an easy child (most days) and I was thankful this was going so well. However, after a week or so, he started waking in the night/early morning and coming to our bed. Since I'm back at work/a softy/in need of all the beauty sleep I can get, I would just put him in between me and Antonio. We(I) have created a bad habit of doing this, so it's time to put my foot down and stop this before it gets too bad. He did nap today in his bed for almost 3 hours and didn't get up a single time!
I love to see how God works. He amazes me time and time again. It is sometimes hard to keep faith through the storm, but when you can look back and see that HE was always in control and with us along the way, it feels great!
Here's the story...yes it is LONG...no, there are no pictures, but I wanted to document this for me...(If you choose to take time to read this blog, you will have to follow closely because there are lots of pieces that come together to make the puzzle complete.)
So, as I blogged at the beginning of 2010, I very unexpectedly lost my job. While Antonio and I were shocked/upset/etc., I really didn't think it would take too long to find something new and get back to work. However, this wasn't the case. Despite my search for a new job, there just wasn't much out there. So, for the next 13 months, I searched without finding anything.
Antonio and I decided to keep the kids in school/daycare as long as we financially could for several reasons. There were a few times we seriously discussed pulling them out, but after long talks, decided to give it another month, 6 months, 2 weeks, or whatever.
I had talked several times with a close friend "A" over the 13 months about the situation and she was great to cheer me up when I was down or just listen when I needed someone to talk to. During Feb. 2011, we had one of our talks. I expressed to her my huge concern that I would be HORRIBLE as a stay at home mom. My kids are used to going every day to school, a strict learning schedule while at school, crafts, entertainment, interaction with other kids, routine, etc. I was trying to figure out how in the world I was going to keep my kids happy, keep them learning, etc. I had lots of doubts and fears and nightmares about this....LOTS. "A" was great and listened to me whine about my situation. After I finished, "A" said (and I will semi quote her)....You know that God has great plans for you. I am sure as soon as you come to terms with being an official stay at home mom, God is going to do something. He just wants to know you trust Him...have faith in Him...and are letting Him be in control. I left there knowing she was 100% right, so I started making a list of things to do with the kids....park visits, story time at the library, pool days, zoo days, etc. I was making our little schedule that would take place when the kids were pulled out of school. I was beginning to get excited about all the things I had on our list.
Long story, short, we set a date at the end of Feb 2011 that would be the kids' last day of school. I notified our daycare director of our situation and gave notice that we were going to be pulling the kids out. So, I told her on a Friday that the next Friday would be their last day. Later that day, I got a call from a friend asking me if I would be interested in a certain job.
After talking to her for a few minutes about the position, I told her YES! This was a job that my friend "A" heard about from her friend "L". "L" had worked with a friend "G" for a while and "G" later took a new job at a different office but "G" and "L" still stayed in touch. (Are you following me here?) So, "G" had been at her new job for about a year. "G" is pregnant and decided that she would be staying at home with her baby instead of returning to work, so she was helping in the search to find her replacement so that person could start early enough so "G" could train them.
Although I was feeling like it would be a long shot to even get this job because I had NO experience in this field, I sent my resume to "A" to pass to "L" so she could pass it to "G" who would pass it to her HR manager on Sunday afternoon. Well, Monday I got a call from that HR manager asking if I would be interested in interviewing on TUESDAY! I said yes.
Tuesday came and I was pretty nervous, but ready/excited about the interview. When I went in for the interview, the HR manager and I really hit it off and it was one of my best interviews ever! We did lots of the typical interview questions, but some how we talked about lots of other things too. I also met my possible future boss and he and I hit it off pretty well too. I left feeling great and expecting to hear something by Friday of that week.(This is the same Friday that would be the kids' last day of school.) I was very confident that I would get the job. In fact, I would have put money on it because the interview went that well.
SO, I talked to the director and she was so great to us. She promised to not fill the kids' spots until I found out for sure about the job. I had already decided to that the kids and I would be heading to Florida the next week to see my parents (because the kids were not going to be in school anymore anyway), so we kept those plans. Friday came and went and I didn't hear anything, so I talked with the daycare director again and we agreed that the kids would use their "vacation week" the next week so we wouldn't have to pay and she would still hold our spots.
The following Monday came and went with no word about the new job. I will admit, at this point I was thinking that maybe I didn't get the job. Tuesday arrived and I decided to call the HR manager to see if the position had been filled or what the status was. When I called, i got voicemail and left a message. About 30 minutes later, I got a call back with an offer for the job!! I was super excited and after hearing the offer, accepted.
Shortly after I hung up with the HR manager, I called the daycare to let them know that the kids would be staying in school because I did get the job. It was an exciting day!!
So, I am now working as a medical assistant for an orthopedic surgeon in town and I LOVE MY JOB!! My doctor is amazing, young, laid back, super nice, great family man, (and most female patients tell me how cute he is too). The other people in the office have been great too! They are all so quick to help me when I have questions and they have also welcomed me into 'the family' with open arms. I get to wear scrubs and tennis shoes every day...NO MORE HIGH HEELS for work!! (um..YAY!)
I do work LOTS of hours and stay very busy all day, but I would rather be busy than bored. Time flies for sure. The great news is I get paid overtime for anything over 40 hours, so while I don't like working extra hours, at least I am getting paid for the time I am putting in.
It is true that God puts the right people in our lives at the right time. Sometimes those people become life long friends and sometimes they are only around for a season of life. Even when we don't realize it at the time, for whatever reason, these people tend to make a great impact on our lives.
One of the people that I know impacted my life was Bro. Jimmy Yarbrough, my preacher during my teenage years. He put a new face to christianity for me. He didn't have a perfect past, he wasn't polished, he didn't speak perfectly correct English, but there are 2 things he did perfectly, he loved the Lord and loved others like God loves us.
(This picture was taken by his daughter at Thanksgiving 2010)
Bro. Jimmy found out a few months ago that he had colon cancer. They tried a few treatments, but nothing worked and at the end of November, he was told nothing else could be done. Because his cancer was so bad, he was unable to eat anything. Hospice was called in to attempt to keep him comfortable. Bro. Jimmy had more fight in him and although he was unable to eat, he still hung on until Jan 6th which is when he passed away. He was of sound mind until the end and took care of many business things(selling his truck, trailer, horses, planning his funeral, etc) so that his wife wouldn't have to after he passed. He was also able to tell many people goodbye when they would come to visit him. I can't imagine how hard that was for the visitors or for him.
Bro. Jimmy always gave great advice. Two things, specifically, still stick with me to this day and I often find myself giving the same advice to some of the teenagers around me from time to time. I will share these 2 pieces of great advice with you.
1. I can see Bro. Jimmy now saying this to me. Bro. Jimmy always had a routine of standing at the back door of the church after service was over so he could shake hands with everyone as they left. He would shake my hand and say "Remember April, there ain't no man worth having what you have to offer." After I married Antonio, he would always tell me to be sure and remind Antonio how lucky he was. :)
2. His second piece of advice is my favorite! It makes sense and it often helped me make some wise decisions during high school and college. Bro. Jimmy's second piece of advice was "Never date anyone you wouldn't consider marrying." If you stop and think about this, it is such wise advice. Why waste your time with someone you would never want to spend the rest of your life with? You could be missing out on Mr. Right if you have your time tied up with Mr. Right Now!
Bro. Jimmy, you lived an amazing life and impacted so many lives. While I have no doubt you will be missed by so many here on earth, I know you are right where you have always dreamed and prayed of being. Please pray for Mrs. Dianne, his wife and his daughter and grandchildren. May they find peace in knowing he is no longer suffering with pain.
I have worked and updated my blog over the past 2 days. If you want to read the new blog posts, I post dated them going all the way back to Thanksgiving! I know, I was WAY behind. You can read about Thanksgiving, birthdays, Christmas - including why Santa did NOT come to see Tatum, etc.
Mateo went for his 2 yr check up yesterday. I stated in a previous post that Mateo does not like going to the dr, but I had high hopes he would do better this time. Usually, he does great in the waiting room, but once our name is called, he cries, kicks, hits, etc. because he doesn't want to go back there.
This time, he did great! Once we got into the room, he colored a picture of Spongebob. I was even able to take a few pics.
Mateo is showing me his tongue after I asked him to.
Here are his 2 year stats:
Height - 33 inches
Weight (fully clothed) - 28 pounds
I can't give percentages because for some reason they had Mateo listed as a girl. The office just went to a computerized system which means they had to enter in all the records manually, so our pediatrician said she would get it fixed for us because Mateo is no girl, obviously.
Mateo was sick on his birthday, so he stayed home with me that day instead of going to school. However, I had already made cupcakes for him to take to school, so I sent half of them and kept the other half for us to enjoy at home.
We didn't do anything big for Mateo's birthday since he was sick all week. I did make his favorite, speghetti, for dinner, but he didn't eat much.
He did LOVE the candle that played music.
He wouldn't even blow out the candle. Poor little man had the worst runny nose and it was getting raw because we had to wipe it so much.
While Mateo didn't touch his cupcake, Tatum sure enjoyed hers.
After dinner, cupcakes, and bathtime, Mateo opened up his presents. He got lots of toys, books, games, clothes, and money. Here is the best picture I could get of Mateo after he opened up his presents.
Mateo started running a fever overnight Dec 30th, so I took him to the dr. New Year's Eve. He has an ear infection in one ear, but he is taking medicine and it is slowly getting better.
I know I haven't posted any Christmas updates (or Thanksgiving for that matter), but I wanted to be sure to post a quick blog on Mateo's actual birthday.
This little man makes me smile daily!
You are one 'cool dude' Mateo, and all the teenagers at church just love you!! Your teachers at school also always tell me how easy going, loving, and funny you are. Honestly, I can't blame them though. ;) You have the best personality and just go with the flow 99% of the time. You and Tatum still play so well together which makes life for Daddy and I much easier! While you are talking more and more, you still aren't much of a talker (or should I say you can't really get a word in when Tatum is around).
Other things about you right now...
*You LOVE your pacifier. I know, I know...it's time to take it away. We did take it away back in August and you did fine...until you had 4 teeth coming in at the same time and Mommy folded. Now, I don't think it is going to be an easy task at all this time. You are sick right now too, so although I said TODAY is THE DAY to take it away, I might not be able to do it. You have turned Mommy into a softy!
*You are wearing 18-24 month clothing finally.
*You are in a 5-6 size shoe depending on brand.
*You wear a size 4 diaper.
*You have had more haircuts than I can remember. They started off as an easy task and then you decided that you didn't like them at all and I dreaded taking you every time. However, Daddy and I took you last week and you were great! Not a single tear, so I am praying we have rounded a new corner and we won't go back.
*In the past, 3 things that really made you cry like nothing I have ever seen: a haircut, cutting your nails, and doctors appts. Now that the haircut has gone well recently, I am holding out hope that Monday's 2 yr checkup will go well.
*You love shoes...no one's shoes are safe. If you see an empty pair hanging around, you will strip your shoes off and put on the abandoned ones. While this is okay, it also makes finding shoes hard at times. I have to remember this about you and not get upset (with Tatum) when I can't find her shoes in the morning.
*You also love baby dolls. While this might concern some parents, I know you see Tatum loving on her babies and you are just copying her. You also copy Tatum walking around in her princess shoes.
*You don't like to be left out. Tatum is in a makeup phase. She always asks me to put makeup on her in the mornings and I will put some powder on her(or pretend to at least) if we are headed to church. You now stand in line behind her wanting some too....or hairspray for your hair. The hairspray might be because you like the mohawk look(and I use a little hairspray to make it happen) on you as much as I do or you see me spraying Tatum's hair sometimes...I'm not completely sure on that one.
Mateo, I can remember being pregnant with you and wondering how I would ever love another child as much as I love Tatum. Well, I can't imagine NOT loving you as much as I do....as the saying goes, :You had me at hello." Well, except for the fact that I would say, "You had me with your first cry!"
(2 yr stats will be posted Monday-if we can get accurate stats)
We woke up early the day after Christmas and had to drive to my parents house. This was the view as we drove. It was snowing and sticking, but we didn't have far to go.
We ate breakfast and opened presents at my parents house, but I didn't manage to get many pics there. However, I did get a picture of just Tatum and Mateo's presents. It was crazy how many presents they had to open!
As soon as we finished at my parent's house, we headed to celebrate Christmas with my dad's family. Many people weren't able to be there, but this was the group that day. My dad had asked us earlier if we could do some group pictures and I am sure glad we did! We set up our tripod and put the camera on a timer. It worked great!
There are 4 kids in my dad's family...2 girls and 2 boys just like in our family. Here he is with his brother and 2 sisters.
And here I am with my brothers and sister. Matt, me, Laurie, Clif (Laurie is the oldest, then Clif, Matt, and me) My parents had 4 kids and 5 years...can you imagine??!?! I sure can't!
And here we are with my parents. I can't remember the last time we have a picture of all of us together.
Then we decided to do family pics. Here is my sister's family...
And of course, when we tried to do the family picture thing, it ended up like this...
we will get a good family picture one day...I just KNOW it...lol
My brother, Clif, and his wife Jennifer. They live in Virginia and he is in the Navy, so we don't get to see them too often.
Matt, my other brother, and his wife Stephanie live in Knoxville. Mateo (which is Matthew in Spanish) was named after Matt. I sure wish they lived closer.
And here are my parents. They survived the 4 of us kids and seem to still be happy. :)
And here are ALL of us. I think this is a great picture of everyone!
We did a 'silly face' picture for the kids and this cracks me up everytime I look at it! My mom and dad HATE 'silly face' pictures, but after looking at this, I LOVE it. You can really see everyone's personality. My sis-in-law, Stephanie has her head down and that is so her...just very clever! Of course, I think she is really praying for help since she is in our crazy family. haha
My parents with the grandkids. Can you tell Mateo was up 5 hours past his bedtime the night before and was also going on NO NAP?? He was good, just not very into the pictures.
And last but not least, the 'inlaws'...those that chose to be in our family. haha
I am a wife to my wonderful husband, mom to my 2 beautiful children (Tatum-3yrs, Mateo-1 yr). I don't have the cleanest home, I spend my free time enjoying my family. I am not perfect, and I don't try to be. I am blessed beyond measure and I am thankful for all that God has given me.