Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Bee update

So apparently our bees reside in the changing table. A couple days after writing the last post, I randomly had the idea of covering up the area where Annika swore she saw bees with a towel and voila - no more bee fears. Granted, every night (or nap) she now says "Cover it! Towel on the bee!" but once I put the towel in just the right spot, she quiets down & goes to sleep. I wonder how long she'll insist on me covering up the bees....

For Annika, bossing around her parents must trigger sleep. Sort of like a bedtime story?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Annika's Bee

So about a week ago, Annika wakes up at 2am and starts screaming about a bee. We run downstairs and calm her crying, but she keeps insisting there is a bee and says it over and over. Finally she asks for her sunglasses (which she has not worn for 3 months at least) and when we put them on her, she calms down and goes back to sleep.

Every single nap or bedtime since then, right when its time for her to go to bed, she starts crying and saying there is a bee. Over and over and right now she is punctuating it with screams from her bed. Naptimes are easier, I just say "there's no bee" about 20 times and then leave her in there. She only cries 3-5 minutes. At night she'll cry for 15 minutes or more sometimes.

We've asked her where it is, many many times. Usually its by her door somewhere, but tonite she pointed at the top of her dresser, where there was quite clearly no bee, and said over and over "Bee!" "Bee!" "Right there!", crying and distraught. We've faked killing the bee, we've tried to reason with her, looked everywhere for it, all to no avail.

It is so frustrating and I wish I understood what was going on in her little brain. All I can figure out is that she doesn't want to go to bed and pins her emotions on the imaginary bee so that she can express herself. It seems like the bee is the worst on days I know she had a long late nap and might not be too tired.

We were having sleep issues before this happened too, she used to be the easiest child to get into bed. From about 7 mos - 2 years we just laid her down and she went to sleep as long as she had a teddy bear or some toy she had picked out. Ever since she's turned two, she's gotten super picky and has a list of about 10-15 things she wants before she can go to sleep. We've gotten tough lately and made her pick just 2 things, and kyle has gone in to discipline her when she gets out of bed crying. Then, just when we thought we were making progress....the imaginary bee appears.


Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My New Job

In September, I accepted a part time job being the volunteer coordinator for a small, growing, non-profit called Giving Anonymously. ( I call it a job, but the entire non-profit is run by unpaid volunteers – so I am not hiring childcare and will be doing most of my work in the afternoons during naptime & “quiet time” and in the evenings. The beauty of it is that I can do almost everything from home during very flexible hours. Ideal for a stay at home mom!

Giving Anonymously (GA) is an organization that facilitates people giving each other anonymous gifts. You see a friend in need or a family member who is struggling and you can give them a financial gift with complete anonymity through the organization. Just go to the website, enter your credit card & the person you want to give to and GA takes care of the rest. A volunteer (maybe me!) contacts your recipient through email or phone and once they have confirmed their address we mail them a check with our name on it so they don’t know who the gift is from. If they want, they can call and leave a thank you message and we will forward it to the gift-giver as a voice file email. That’s it!

Friends of mine started Giving Anonymously in 2007 and the husband was managing the entire thing by himself in the evenings AFTER working his fulltime job, going to grad school for his MBA and managing his consulting company on the side. This summer, the NY Times found the website and did an article about it. NPR read the story and did an interview with him a few weeks later, and by August, NBC national news was sending out a film crew for interviews. NBC did two stories weeks apart and by then everything exploded and he was suddenly swamped with anonymous gifts, way beyond his capacity to handle alone. That’s where I came in….

Before I had kids, I spent my entire career working with non-profits. I loved it and managed to land my dream job at World Vision exactly 9 months before giving birth to Saben. Making the decision to stay home with him was so hard for me because I loved that job! When I heard Giving Anonymously needed help desperately I thought there was no way I could fit it in…but my heart yearned to help them and I felt absolutely giddy about working for such an amazing non-profit, using skills that had been inactive for years. So I offered a few hours and loved it so much….I got to call people and let them know we had money for them! It was a blast and next thing you know, I had become “volunteer coordinator” and was helping organize many aspects of the day to day responsibilities.

Giving Anonymously excites me because it is such a new way of giving. At World Vision, I was always fascinated by Child Sponsorship – how they take the time & energy to connect people with a real child, a face & a story. It would be easier for them to just ask for money, but World Vision wants to engage & educate donors, not just take their money. Sponsorship is one of the ways they do this. They take it so far too – if you are traveling to the country where your child lives, they will actually spend time & money to help arrange for you to meet your sponsored child. That would be such an incredible experience.

In my mind, Giving Anonymously is an extension of this. It encourages thoughtful giving, it lets you see need in your community and respond to it. It engages people in the giving process. So many times when you donate, you just let the non-profit take on all the responsibility of solving the problem with your money. There’s nothing wrong with this, and I wholeheartedly support non-profits. But I still love the idea of a more personal sort of giving.

So that is my story of why I am THRILLED to be volunteering for this unique non-profit, I feel like this “part time job” is a dream come true and I am so excited to have the opportunity to pursue it.

*I wrote this when I resigned as president of a local moms club, so if it sounds oddly formal, that is why. I am still involved with the club, just no longer president, which actually is a huge relief. : )