Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What does the Joshua say? RAWR!!!!

We had our ward Halloween party tonight. It was fun! The best part was dressing Joshua up, of course. He's a dinosaur this year, and it's perfect--if you ask him, "What does the Joshua say?" he'll roar at you. It's pretty adorable. Here's a video for proof (and by the way, he keeps flashing his cheesy "I'm cute, so take my picture!" grin because he thinks Daddy's taking pictures, not video):
video

And here are some pictures of him, both before we left and during the actual event. He's quite the handsome little T-Rex, I must say!
He LOVED this balloon, by the way...
We plan to dress him up on Halloween night too, though we don't plan to take him trick-or-treating. It's been ridiculously cold around here lately, so I think we'll just stay home and hand out candy. But hey, that's fun too!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Night Watchman

For anyone who doesn't already know, and for those who do know but want more details:

Cody has a job!!!!

He's been looking for awhile, just something part-time so our finances aren't hurting so severely. And he was seriously looking everywhere...but of course it's really hard right now. Anyway, a friend of his mentioned an opening where he worked, and Cody sent over his resume, and he was offered a job! He's working as a night watchman at this placed called Maple Lake Academy. The hours aren't great (Sunday and Wednesday nights from 11pm-7am), but we think it's going to work out. He already worked his first night on Sunday/Monday morning, and luckily didn't feel too tired all day yesterday.

So yay, Cody has a job now! He'll keep looking for something else, maybe better hours and/or something more related to the legal field, but for now, at least he's bringing in some much-needed income. I'm so grateful that he is willing to sacrifice to help our family. =)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Some fun video clips :)

First of all, thank you so much for your comments on my last post. All your words meant so much to me, and I am so privileged to know such good people. I want to respond to each of you individually, so look for an email from me. =)

We broke out the video camera on Sunday. It had been laying dormant on our bookshelf since...well, for a long time. Joshua has been being a lot more interactive these days, and so we tried to capture some of his latest talents on film. First up, singing with Mommy and Daddy (please forgive the horrible out-of-tuneness that is our duet):

video

You may have noticed that he pointed at the video camera and said, "Ah-DEE!!!" Well, "Dee" is what he calls practically everyone right now. I think it's his own form of "Daddy," and he hasn't quite grasped the concept that he only has one Daddy and everyone else has a different name. So far my efforts to get him to say something similar to Mommy have proved unsuccessful.

And, second, here is Joshua performing some of his animal sounds. Some of them are a little hard to tell, but he does make them sound almost like the real animal. It's pretty cute.

video

Thanks for showing off, Joshua!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dedication?

I've been thinking a lot over the past few days and decided it was finally time to write some of my thoughts done. So, I decided to take advantage of my lunch break, and here I am. This post is prompted by an assignment given by my RS President last week, and that was to share a few of my thoughts regarding a portion of the Relief Society Declaration, more specifically this sentence:

"Dedicate ourselves to strengthening marriages, families, and homes."

Honestly, I was kind of puzzled that I was assigned this part of the declaration, mainly because I'm far from the ideal wife and mother. And I don't mean that as a slight to myself--I'm referring to the current situation of my family. It had always been my plan to stay at home with my children. That's what I envisioned would happen when I was growing up and even up until a few months after Cody and I got married. But that's definitely not what actually did happen.

Most of you know that I currently work full-time away from home and part-time from home (amounting to 9 or 10 hours of work each day), and that my husband stays home with our son and goes to school in the evenings. This is most definitely not the norm in Mormon culture. The norm, as I see it, is usually the following: if the couple marries while the husband is still in school, the wife works while the husband finishes his degree, and they delay having children until he graduates and they are more financially stable, and then the wife can then stay home once they have children. If children come before the husband graduates, he takes on a full-time job and takes classes in the evenings so that the mother can stay home.

Obviously, this is not the case in the Alleman Family. And I'm really not trying to complain about it--we know without doubt that we were supposed to have Joshua when we did. But I do have to admit that it hasn't been easy, this being a working mother. I went back to work full-time when Joshua was just four weeks old, and though I was able to bring him with me for a few hours each morning, I still resented the fact that I had to work when he was so tiny. As Joshua's birth drew closer, I can remember feeling so jealous of the women around me who were also pregnant and looking forward to quitting their jobs just before giving birth. I often thought, "Why wasn't this going to happen to me? Why can't I stay home too? Did I do something wrong?"

So when I was assigned this topic by my RS President, I didn't quite understand what made me an authority on dedicating myself to marriage, family, and home--I could think of many other women in our ward who spent more time focused on their marriages, families, and homes. They had it all down pat and could offer tons more than I could. I don't even remember what I said, though I do know I tried to avoid talking about myself and my current situation because I just didn't want to get into it all. As the lesson wore on, there were comments made about how grateful some sisters were for their hard-working husbands who make it possible for them to stay home. And try as I might, I could not help but feel the jealousy burning once again.

But as I've thought more about it since church on Sunday, I realized something: yes, my situation is not ideal, but it works for me and my family. My husband has gained so much from staying at home with our son--and he often mentions that, once he finishes school and works so that I may stay home, he will understand how hard it is to care for children and that he will help out as much as he can. And I like to think that I treasure more the few hours I get with Joshua every day. Would I change things if I could? Of course I would. I would love to stay at home. But resenting it and being upset about it doesn't help anything.

So, I guess I will conclude that I dedicate myself to my marriage, my family, and my home by working hard to provide for them. It is my labors that help us survive, that pay our rent, that allow us to purchase the things we need. Working makes me treasure the time I have with Joshua so much...and even though he can't read yet, I want to apologize to him for not always giving him my complete attention for the 2-3 hours I see him every day. I will try to be better.

I'm grateful for my jobs. I'm grateful for the income they provide and that they give me satisfaction. But I look forward to the day when I can say that my full-time job isn't a paid position with healthcare benefits--it's being a wife and mother, which pays more and gives more benefits, emotionally and spiritually, than any other full-time job could ever hope to give.

Those of you out there who do have the chance to stay at home with your children, please do something for me: give each of your children a hug and a kiss and tell them how grateful you are for being able to stay at home with them. I know it's hard, but please treasure the time you have. I hope you realize how lucky you are.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What a Hot Dog Day!

Have you ever watched Mickey Mouse Clubhouse? It's got this song that plays at the end of every single episode, and I have to say, it's one of those songs that just gets in your head and doesn't leave. But, of course, Joshua LOVES this song, so we found the closing sequence on YouTube and played it over and over (at his request) one night. After about the fifth time, we knew we had to get a video of him...this one isn't actually as good as the first runthrough that night (maybe he got tired of dancing to it, I dunno), but it's still super cute.

First, to get the full effect, you have to see how Mickey and Minnie and all them dance, so click here first. Then, watch this video of Joshua:
video

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Silly kid likes to wear big people clothes :o

I haven't posted pictures of Joshua since Cody's birthday, so I think it's about time again. The past few days, he's really enjoyed wearing my clothes--I got a new shirt from the company I transcribe for, so he wanted to wear it...I love this smile:I got some new shoes in the mail today--I haven't had new shoes in a really long time, and it was way overdue. Joshua somehow got them on and was trudging all over the house in these boots:Yeeeah...I love this kid =)