Thursday, December 27, 2007

Thursday?

It's Thursday, right? These holiday mid-week manage to eliminate any tenuous grasp I have on remembering what day it actually is. I'm fairly certain it's Thursday. If it's not, I'm in trouble, because I have plans on Friday. Going shopping with my best friend. I need clothes for work, so we're going to take a trip to the Auburn Supermall- a wonderous place with a Gap and an Ann Taylor Loft outlet. I've been buying clothes at Target and Ross, which is fine, but they tend to fall apart after one or two washings, so I'm going to try to spend slightly more money, in the hopes of getting slightly better quality clothes.

Speaking of clothes, I'm blatantly ignoring the fact that the washing machine and dryer are both silent, since this indicates that I should get up, remove one load from the dryer and put another one (the 4th or 5th of the afternoon) in the dryer. But I dont want to. I spent the early afternoon sorting through Ethan's closet and trying to figure out where I'm going to put the bags of clothes that we inherited yesterday from my relatives and all the new clothes that we got as gifts this weekend. Fortunately, I have a girlfriend who I can pass the extra things on to, and we're getting ready to have a clothing swap at church, but I still have lots of clothes to somehow cram into the closet and dresser.

I also spent the morning being incredibly annoyed at the fact that baby clothes sizing rivals women's clothes sizing for confusion and inaccuracy. My baby is concomitantly wearing 0-3 month clothes, 3 month clothes and 6 month clothes. And dont even get me started on how confused I am by trying to figure out the difference between 6 month clothing and 6-9 month clothing. Apparently one should be worn up UNTIL the baby is 6 months old, and the other BEGINNING at 6 months of age. Ugh.

Okay, okay, I'll go finish the laundry. Sigh.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

It is SO good to be home

We're home from Canada. I survived a pretty good, but very long 4 days with my in-laws and assorted other Chinese people in Canada. I understood only about 10% of the conversations the whole time, since most of them were conducted in Cantonese. I ate a vast amount of Chinese food, which caused my baby to produce more dirty diapers each day than he normally produces in a week. I caught a cold Friday, so felt pretty awful for most of the trip.

But- we got lots of gifts on Sunday night (I LOVE presents!), had fun with Daniel's parents, and learned a lot about Daniel's family. And we got some nice family pictures on Monday. And we finally got the photos for Ethan's Canadian citizenship card- it's too hard to do that in the US, as the Canadians are VERY VERY picky about the pictures. So, overall it was a very successful trip.

I am so tired. I never want to leave home again. Now I'm just hoping that Ethan might decide to sleep through the night tonight. It really is a shame that 4 month olds cant be bribed. He could probably get a car for sleeping well tonight.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Playing "party chicken"

My friends and I played a game of "party chicken" today. It's like the game when you ride bikes toward each other and whoever veers away first is the "chicken". "Party chicken" is similar: 1) friends plan a visit from out of the country and suggest that a group should get together 2) everyone agrees on a day when people are free and decide that we'll discuss details when the international visitors arrive 3) everyone ignores the fact that we have no details set until the morning of the planned get-together 4) someone finally caves in on the day of the planned party, in early afternoon, and offers to host the party. I lost.

Actually, I don't mind hosting the party at all. It's kind of fun to have people over at this time of year, and since we're heading to Canada tomorrow, we're not having any Christmas festivities here. So it'll be fun to turn on the Christmas music and lights tonight, and have friends over to eat cookies and drink apple cider and mulled wine. And, as I'm learning quickly, it's so much easier with a baby to have people come here than to go to other peoples' houses. I actually stand a small chance of getting Ethan in bed tonight at something approaching bedtime.

So, it's been a crazy day, packing for our trip, cleaning for tonight and shopping for food and drink for tonight. I think I'm almost ready for everything now- thanks to Ethan's great afternoon nap. Christmas party and travel, here I come!

Merry Christmas to you all!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Performance anxiety

Ethan has a bit of performance anxiety these days. We keep telling people that he finally rolled over (front to back), and keep trying to show people, both in person and over webcam. And nothing. Ethan just lies on his stomach and screams. Thank goodness I got it on video once, so I know I didn't hallucinate the whole thing.

My silly little boy has developed a new, fun trick. This usually takes place when he's in bed, falling asleep. He pulls the paci out of his mouth and waves it around in the air, all the time screaming because he has no paci in his mouth. Then Daniel or I come in the room, give him back his paci and he's quiet and happy. Repeat at least 6 times before sleep. In general, he's losing interest in the paci except at nap time. Mostly because he likes to talk. All the time.

I've had a couple of encouraging experiences in the last 24 hours. At the women's dessert last night, there was a really good speaker who talked about a number of things, including anxiety. I've been dealing with a bit of that lately, as I try to juggle my old life and my new life and all the challenges and responsibilities that have come along lately. And today at our new moms' group, our pastor's wife visited and shared with us about things she learned in regards to how to allow her husband to find his place as a new dad, and how to support him in that process.

Then I got home and discovered that the cats had been digging in our bathroom garbage can (eeew!) and they later decided to knock over the diaper pile. Clean diapers, fortunately. But it was still a good day, and I'm glad to have had it.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Resurfacing- briefly

It's been a busy week around here. A bunch of projects went into hyperdrive at work, with everyone scrambling to get reports and work products and everything but the kitchen sink out the door before people start disappearing for Christmas and New Years. I've worked 15 hours already this week, which is a little overwhelming, given that it's been done mostly from home, while trying to entertain Ethan at the same time. I think things are going to slow down a bit now though. I hope.

Tonight I get to have a fun evening though, I'm off to a women's dessert at my church. Even though I'm scared of talking to people I don't know, I think there will be quite a few friends of mine there, so I should be able to hang out with them and have a good time. And dessert is involved, so it has to be a good evening :)

Also trying to get ready for heading to Canada on Saturday morning. We'll be up there until Christmas Day. Staying with my in-laws in their tiny condo. I'm not sure how that's going to go. They did come down this past Saturday for the day. We met up for lunch at a Chinese restaurant, then they followed me around the Asian grocery store and around Trader Joes, while I shopped. You haven't lived until you've tried to shop, while being trailed by your husband, baby, mother/father/brother in law, and their friend.

We ended our day on Saturday by wandering around the very very crowded Best Buy and Target. Where we lost my father in law at one point, and their friend at another point. I actually found my father in law, and had to try to explain to him (his English isn't the greatest) that he needed to stay with me, while Daniel rounded up the rest of the family from where they'd gone off looking for my father in law. It was pretty darned entertaining.

I think Ethan's nap is going to be a short one, so I better wrap this up and get some things done around the house.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Prayers please

Prayers please- not for me, but for a friend of mine from my church. She's 33 years old, married just a few years, and has stage 2 breast cancer. It's one of those very terrifying cases- no family history, physical exam a few months ago that showed no problems, now she has breast cancer, and it's already spread to her lymph nodes. She's starting chemo on the 26th. Please pray for her and her husband. I cant imagine what they must be going through right now.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Apparently not showing up for work is a good thing for me!

I got my annual performance review yesterday. Best one I've ever received, hands down. 99% of the comments from my project managers and coworkers were positive. They raved about what a great job I've done this year. Which is amusing, given that I haven't actually gone to work since the end of July, and I barely did anything while I was there. I'm afraid that I'm just going to screw this up when I actually do go to work :)

So, I've had to start changing the baby's diapers in the crib or on the floor, since on of our cats has taken over the changing table. Since she's been very upset about things lately (and showing it by peeing on things), I have elected to let her win this battle and have the changing table. She'll lose interest in it soon, I hope.

Ethan's still coughing, but seems to be otherwise doing pretty well. The cough sounds bad, but the doctor assured me on Monday that he was fine, so I'm going to trust her for now. And keep an eye on it.

And I'm in the process of trying to find a cheap, used Bumbo or Bebe Pod chair for Ethan. I've seen those discussed on other blogs, but didn't think we needed one. Then we went to PEPS today and Ethan sat in one. And now we have to buy one. Such a cool idea!

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Reflections on self esteem

I've been thinking a lot about high school lately. High school wasn't a bad time for me, just not the best part of my life to date. My friends and I were kind of in the middle of the high school popularity totem pole- not the super nerds, but not the cool kids either. We were in a lot of classes with the cool kids, and they seemed to like us, but we definitely were not part of their group. We just kind of existed in our own little middle world. I think high school was uncomfortable in some ways for me, just because I was very unsure of myself. I'm a bit of a late bloomer- didn't really figure out who I was until my mid-20s. Then I really started to like myself and develop some self-confidence. Or so I thought.

Then a couple of things happened. One of those things is Facebook. I've been having fun messing around on there, and finding old friends from way back when. Yesterday I located a girl that I babysat for when she was 5. She's turning 18 next week. I'm trying to not think about how old that makes me. I've found a lot of other people on there, including people that I went to high school with. And I find my old insecurities popping up. I sit at the computer and think "oh no, I cant send that person a friend request, they were cooler than I was in high school." And I don't send the request!! This morning I actually got a friend request from one of the cool people, and it totally confused me. I found myself thinking "there has to be some sort of mistake, she couldn't have wanted to add me to her list."

The other thing that's been causing me to revert to my high school level of self-confidence is my PEPS (a Seattle Moms' group) group. Don't get me wrong, I completely like and respect all of the women in the group. They've been a fabulous source of support and information for 3 months. But being at the group makes me feel like I'm back in high school. Most of the women in the group are back to their pre-baby weights, they all wear very expensive clothes and drive very nice cars, and live in houses about 10 times the size of mine. As I've said before, we're not poor, but we're having to cut back a lot right now,so my lifestyle is very different from theirs.

So I go to the group, and I just sit there feeling insecure and adolescent and poor and fat. And that's kept me from making friends in the group, and that makes me frustrated, because I feel like I missed out on a good opportunity.

When do we actually get past our teenage images of ourselves? Why does it pop up years after we thought that it was done away with? How do I get back to seeing myself with a more realistic perspective?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hi, me again

As most of you know, we had some serious flooding here in Washington State last week. I've not mentioned it here because I've been relatively oblivious to the extent of the damage. We live in the city, where the weather tends to not affect us much, and I dont really watch the news, since it's generally depressing.



So I was shocked to read Daring Young Mom's posts on the topic and realize just how bad things are, so close to where I live. Go read what she has to say.

4 months old. Wow.

My little sweetie is 4 months old today! To celebrate, he got to go to the doctor this morning to be poked and prodded and immunized. There is nothing harder to a mom than seeing the look of pain and shock on a baby's face, after some nurse has interrupted his nice morning by sticking a needle into his thigh. I have to say though, the front desk people move MUCH faster to get you out of there when your baby is screaming at the top of his lungs :)

So, Ethan's napping now. After his 2 month shots, he was a nightmare, so I'm glad he's not reacting so badly this time. He needs some sleep. Everything else looked good at the appointment too. Apparently the congestion that we've been hearing in his chest isn't lung congestion, but is related to him not keeping up with my milk supply when he's eating, which results in the milk going down wrong and rattling around and making scary noises. I am supposed to prop him up more when he eats, to prevent that from occurring. Hopefully it'll work!

It's been quite a 4 months. Ethan is a sweet baby- and I've never enjoyed getting to know someone more. He's at a fun stage now where he'll just stop whatever he's doing and stare at me. Like he's trying to memorize everything about me. He's so amazing. I'm so blessed.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday

Ethan is definitely going to be quite a talker when he gets older. He's sitting in his bouncy chair, carrying on quite the little conversation with himself. Occasionally he sneezes, which still scares him. It's all pretty funny. I would so love to know what's going on in his little mind.

Thanks for your nice comments yesterday. Daniel and I had a long talk about the whole daycare thing (long conversation #2056 on the topic), and we're still confident that we made the right decision for us. Working from home really isn't an option for me for much longer. Ethan needs me to be spending time with him when I'm home, not putting him in his swing or bouncy chair and begging him to let me work for just a few more minutes. Working from home also has the unfortunate effect of making work time drag on all day and evening. I need a clear line drawn. Daniel and I also decided that when I go back to work, we're both going to be more intentional about not getting drawn into work stuff in the evening. No more "I need to just check one email", since that inevitably turns into 30+ minutes of working.

In other news, we have snowflakes again this morning. Apparently the weather didn't get the memo that this is Seattle, and we don't do winter. Doesn't look like much snow though, so we're heading to church.

I don't know if you all saw this news story. I'm sad, because YWAM is a great mission organization, and I know the kids that were training there have hearts to serve the Lord and other people. It's always tragic when lives are cut short so young. Pray for their families and friends in this tough time.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Ugh.

This is a sucky Saturday.

We looked at our finances for the last month, and realized that we're going to have to start sticking to a really strict budget. Which is no fun. I know lots of people have to do that, but we're already extremely frugal, so cutting more corners is going to be hard. There arent many things left to cut back on.

The decision to enroll Ethan in daycare is not so popular with some in our family. To say the least. So I'm discouraged about that too.

I was up late last night worrying, and that was even before the whole budget/upset relatives thing came out today. So I'm tired. Which doesnt help my being able to deal with other stuff.

Anyway. Anyone have any good cost-cutting tips for me? Other than never setting foot in Target again? :)

Friday, December 7, 2007

Since everyone else is writing about Santa


My stocking is the one on the right. The empty one. Now, I realize that in this case, "Santa" has a demanding job in the technology field, and is especially overwhelmed with work since all of his employees were stuck in their homes for part of the week with no electricity and no way into the office because of flooding, but still. I do not like the empty stocking. It just looks so sad.
A bunch of people are blogging about Santa this week and what to tell their kids. Read here, here and here.
Neither Daniel nor I was raised believing in Santa. In my case, we didn't even celebrate Christmas. At the time, the church I was attending believed that Christmas was mainly pagan and should be avoided. My parents still don't really celebrate Christmas much. I've embraced it to a certain extent. I like the presents and I like Christmas Eve services. It's a great time to worship and I always enjoy the sermons and music. Daniel's parents were more of the "why give Santa credit for things we bought" school of thought. And they were in Hong Kong when Daniel was little, and I'm pretty sure Santa isn't really a big deal over there. His parents still don't do Christmas very well. Last time we were up there we went to Christmas Eve service, and that was it. Gave each other gifts that no one opened in front of anyone else. It was kind of strange.
But now we have the little one, and he's going to have friends who believe in Santa. Even though I was raised not believing in Santa, my parents were careful to teach my brother and I to respect others and to not explain to our little friends the "error of their ways". And we just smiled when people asked what Santa was bringing us that year. I'd like to teach Ethan to do the same, to respect others' beliefs, even though we don't plan to have him believe in Santa as a person.
I really hope that we can manage to keep Christmas as a religious holiday in our family, and not make it all about the presents. I'm the present-fiend in our family, so I'm actually the one who most needs to be reminded about that. :) And I know that presents are going to be more exciting to Ethan for quite a while than church services and the Nativity story are, but we can do our best to keep the holiday focused on Christ.
But I still want some presents to hurry up and show up in my stocking.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

All registered!

After an afternoon and evening of talking it over and weighing our options (for the eleventy billionth time) and doing a whole lot of praying, Daniel and I decided to go ahead and register Ethan in daycare for this coming February. I dropped off the paperwork this morning and saw the infant room again. It's a nice room with nice people taking care of the babies. And lots of toys and things to do! I think Ethan's going to have a blast.

So I'll start working 3 days a week in February. But I'm going to work from home the first month, so that I can run over to the daycare whenever Ethan needs me or I need him. The latter is a whole lot more likely to happen.

I think this is the right thing for our family. Not the easiest choice, but I think the right one. And, as someone commented on yesterday's post, we can always change our minds later if it's not working for us.

Nothing else of interest going on here. Ethan and I stayed home from church moms' group this morning, since he woke up with a stuffy nose and a cough. The cough he's had for a few days, the stuffy nose is new. Hopefully he'll feel better soon, I'm starting to go a little stir crazy.

Looks like the munchkin has fallen asleep in his swing, so I better go put him down in his crib to nap.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The first hard decision

We got a phone call from our first choice daycare today- Ethan has a spot in February! I'm glad, but also feel like crying. This is hard.

Here's the dilemma. 1) I'm not very good at just playing with Ethan and spending time doing baby activities. I get distracted by the computer and my work email. I spend my day running back and forth to the computer when he's napping and rushing to get work done, and getting annoyed (very wrongly so) when he wakes up from his nap before I finish my emails/edits to the manuscript/whatever else.

2) This daycare is two blocks from our home. It has Spanish lessons and music lessons and field trips to Seattle Center and to the local retirement home. It's very highly thought of.

3) But Ethan is my baby. How can I leave him.

I hate these situations when there is no right choice. And I know that this is just the first of many hard decisions that Daniel and I are going to have to make as parents. I'm not ready for this.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Things that make me smile

As I've posted about before, one of my biggest struggles with my new life as a stay-at-home mom is the lack of socializing and the loneliness of being home with only a baby and some cats for company. I left the condo this morning for the first time since we got home from church on Sunday afternoon. And that was just to take out the recycling. I still put on makeup :)

One of the ways that I survive the days is fantasizing about 8:30 PM, when I'm done with Ethan's last evening feeding, and I can have a glass of wine. Or two. Another way I survive is by reading people's blogs. Lots of blogs.

One of the blogs that I read often is "Mommy Needs a Cocktail." This woman writes great posts, and has ADORABLE merchandise that reflects how I feel many days. And she has contests quite frequently, which are fun ways to vent about life as a mom. She has another contest going on right now. Go take a look- the website is located here.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Singing in the rain...

Okay. Not singing. More like sighing and quietly complaining to myself about the gigantic volume of heavy precipitation that has been falling from the skies for the last three days. It has to stop eventually, right? I'm trying to not remember that I was in Hawaii, basking in the sunshine, on this day last year.

So, today I decided to do a fast. Not from food, but from TV. I've gotten really bad about the amount of TV that I watch lately. It seems like it's usually on in the background. And Ethan's to the age where he not only can see the TV, but he is drawn to it. Daniel and I keep laughing that when we put Ethan in his exersaucer, no matter what direction he's facing in the beginning, within less than a minute he's turned himself to watch the TV.

And the TV is having a bad effect on me as well. I keep saying that I don't have the time to read my Bible or devotion books or do the praying and meditating that I should be doing. But I watch re-runs of the Real Housewives of Orange County for hours. This is not right.

Unfortunately, I ended up swamped with work today (I know, I shouldn't be blogging), so I probably wouldn't have watched TV anyway today. So I may have to continue the TV fast another day. We'll see how long I can make it.

I think that, when I get done with work and make it to my Bible-reading time, I'm going to have to start with the sections on Noah building an ark...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Snow!!!


Normally when the weatherman/woman forecasts snow for Seattle, we all get very excited and stock up on milk and bread, then no snow actually falls. So, I was very surprised when I looked out the window of the gym yesterday and saw big snowflakes falling. Lots of them. By afternoon, we had a pretty good coating of snow on everything in Seattle. We enjoyed the view out the window and went and took pictures with Ethan outside. Then the snow seemed to go away by late afternoon, so we felt safe heading about 20 miles north to our friends' baby's 1st birthday party.

So, we loaded up in the car and started to drive. Crossed the bridge to the Eastside. Snow was falling, but it was mixed with rain and didn't seem to be sticking to the roads. Drove a few miles further north. Noticed that snow was starting to stick to the interstate a bit. Kept driving north. More snow sticking to the road. I'm starting to get nervous. We made it up to the exit where we were going, and found most of the roads with quite a bit of snow. Continued towards our friends' house, and I'm starting to really worry. Having an accident with Ethan in the car is one of my new greatest fears. He's buckled in well, but I still don't want to test the system. Daniel knows how to drive in snow, but a lot of the other drivers in Seattle do not, and it can be scary to be out when it snows here.

By the time we made it to a mile from our friends' house, we couldn't see the roads or the street signs (making it challenging to find their street!), and other cars were slipping and sliding a little. We ended up finding our friends' house, finally (it's too new to show up on our GPS), and Daniel hopped out, gave them the birthday present, and we turned around and went home. Unfortunately, because of the way the interstate runs around here, the best way to get back to Seattle was to drive further north about 5 more miles, which was a little scary. But, eventually we made it back to Seattle, where it was still just raining.

Daniel says he would have stayed a little while at the party before heading home, but I was just too nervous (and annoying) for that, since the temperature was dropping rapidly, snow was falling heavily, and roads were freezing as the temperature dropped. I still feel really bad about missing the party, as Daniel rarely gets to hang out with his friends anymore and he was looking forward to spending some time with them. But we're home and safe, and that was the most important thing to me.

We have a rare and highly unusual quiet afternoon at home today. With NOTHING ON THE SCHEDULE!! I'm so confused- I have no idea what to do first! Don't be too jealous :)

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Almost all well again

Daniel's still hanging on to the last bit of a cough, but other than that, we seem to be all recovered from our various illnesses. Ethan's fever lasted just Thursday evening, then he was cranky yesterday, and now he's back to normal. Right now he's in his exersaucer, taking his new friend Monkey for a ride. Monkey is a Baby Cozy from North American Bear Company and is Ethan's new best friend and new favorite chew toy. The only problem with Monkey is that he's small, and I'm in constant fear of losing him when we go out. So Ethan's going to get another Baby Cozy for Christmas, just so we have a backup.



I'm on my own again this morning. Daniel actually made it to men's group at church today, which he hasn't done in months. I'm glad he got to go, and told him he could go, but then whined about being left on my own with the baby again. Thankfully Daniel just ignores me when I do that. He should be home soon, and then we'll go do our big weekly grocery shopping and other errands, before heading to a 1st birthday party for the daughter of some friends. Should be fun.

I've discovered Ethan has another part of mine and Daniel's personalities. Yesterday he was fussy most of the day, but seemed to be feeling well in the evening, so we bundled him up (think the kid in Christmas Story) and headed out to Seattle Center when Daniel got home from work. Ethan didn't make a peep between the time we left the condo and returned a couple of hours later, just sat in his stroller and looked at the people and the lights. I think he gets cabin fever just like his parents do, as he seems to be happiest when he's out and about. That's our boy.

Friday, November 30, 2007

A Friday Post- or- I'm too tired to come up with a good title

Ethan's in his crib whining to his mobile about what a mean mommy he has. For some reason I seem to think that he needs sleep occasionally and keep trying to get him to nap. There has been VERY little sleeping on his part for the last 24 hours, and I am determined to change that.

The munchkin decided to run his first fever last night. Never got above 99.6 (armpit temperature), so wasn't a fever worthy of calling the doctor. At least, that's what I kept telling Daniel. In our house, the roles of "worrier" and "it's fine, it's nothinger" are a little reversed. When something goes wrong with Ethan, no matter how minor, Daniel's the one that clutches the baby in fear and says "should we take him to the doctor/emergency room?" And I say "no, it's nothing". But then I sneak into the living room and look things up on the computer, or pull out one of my multitudes of baby books to research the issue.

Ethan's fever went down by 1:30 AM, but then he had an upset tummy and seemed to just generally be feeling rotten. This led to him deciding that I was not allowed out of his sight all night, so he slept on the bed next to me during his brief sleeping times, against my better judgment. Daniel was banished to our bedroom, since we do need him to actually do decently at his job during the day.

This was just a very minor illness, and he seems to be pretty much better today, if a little fussy. I'm dreading the first real sickness. It's so hard to see your little one feeling bad and not be able to fix it.

So, we're going to just rest today and hopefully Ethan will be feeling completely better soon. I hope you all have a great weekend- they're predicting snow here in Seattle! Stay warm and well!

Thursday, November 29, 2007

A year ago

A year ago today was the day before my life changed forever. November 29 was the last day that I didn't know about Ethan's existence, on the 30th there was a very very faint line on the pregnancy test. So faint that I didn't even tell Daniel until I tested again on the morning of December 1st. At 4 AM. November 30th of last year was probably the longest, strangest day of my life, knowing that I was probably pregnant, but not being 100% sure. But on the 29th I didn't know what was about to happen. We'd been trying for a few months to have a baby, but I didn't really have any indications that November was going to be any different from the months when I wasn't pregnant.

What a difference a year makes.

Ethan and I went downtown today to have lunch with my coworkers and do a little shopping. I have a kitchen drawer that keeps eating my kitchen utensils, so I needed to get an organizer for that. We had a good lunch, with only minimal fussing. This time we went to FareStart for lunch. It's a great program that trains formerly homeless people to work in restaurants. Great, affordable food, good atmosphere, and socially responsible. What more could you want from your lunch! If you're in the downtown Seattle area, check it out.

The drawer organizers are calling- I need to put naptime to good use and get some stuff done!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Overwhelming

Before I get in to the real post, I thought I'd answer a question from a previous post. Yes, Daniel is Canadian- his family emigrated there from Hong Kong when he was 8. So he's a Canadian citizen and Ethan will be as well, once we finally get ourselves up to Canada and get the pictures taken for his application. The Canadian government is beyond picky for the requirements for the photos, so we have to wait until we're in Canada, as American photographers are just too confused by the whole thing.

Anyway.

I am reading a novel right now, and it's a good book. By Luanne Rice, called What Matters Most. And in this book, the main characters are trying to find a son they gave up for adoption 23 years before. In one section, the mother is describing how she felt when she held her newborn son and then had to give him away. I was completely unprepared for my reaction to this. The deep pain that I felt for this fictional character and the almost overwhelming sense of nausea and the thought of giving away a baby. It just made me want to run into Ethan's room and grab him and hold him. I don't know how people find the strength to make that sort of decision- even though they know it's right for the baby- I just can't imagine.

I'm still so caught off guard by the depth of my love for Ethan. Especially since it took a while- I was not a mother who deeply loved her baby at first sight. I liked him and worried about him and wanted to take care of him, but this love took time. People try to explain mother-love, but it truly is incomprehensible until you live it.

Okay, I have to stop posting and go hug my baby. Naptime be damned.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A new favorite picture

As I've said before, Ethan's a pretty laid back baby. He doesnt get mad often, thankfully. But when he does, he can scream at levels that I never imagined such a little baby could reach. The other day I was getting off the elevator with the groceries, and could hear him all the way down the hall from our condo. Daniel was trying desperately to get Ethan's bottle warmed up, but apparently wasnt moving quite fast enough. I'm not sure Daniel's ears have recovered yet.

Ethan also likes to pout sometimes. It's the cutest little pout. And it works, honestly. We are powerless against it.


A quiet Tuesday

Yesterday I was reading a baby magazine, and commented to Daniel that the magazine said that babies Ethan's age should be sleeping 10 hours at night. Which Ethan doesn't normally do. He must have heard me and felt some sort of baby peer pressure, because he slept 10 1/2 hours! He then woke up, ate and projectile vomited his entire breakfast all over me, necessitating a complete change of clothes for he and I both, but at least we had had a good nights' sleep before that fun event.

Just spending the morning working and contemplating what else to do today. It's a pretty, but cold day outside. Also trying to organize photos online and order copies for my scrapbooks and for Daniel's parents.

Speaking of Daniel's parents- Daniel sprung some news on me yesterday. When we go up to his parents' place in Vancouver, we usually stay at a hotel, since their condo is very small and all their spare beds are twin sized. And because the condo is filled to the brim with breakable knick-knacks, making it an overall not baby-friendly place. And because, while his family is lovely, they do stress me a bit, and I need time to decompress. We were discussing his need to make a hotel reservation last night, when he uttered this terrifying sentence "Sure, I'll look at the hotels and see what's available. But, my mom really wants us to stay at their condo and has it all figured out." So, now we're staying at his parents' place for the 4 days that we're in Canada. I agreed to the plan since his parents do need to spend time with Ethan, but warned Daniel that I'll probably be a little nuts by the end of the trip. Or a lot nuts. Not sure exactly. We'll see how it goes.

Time to go be productive now. I think grocery shopping is in my future for today.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Seattle Center activities

I went to the gym today- hurray! On my way home, I had one of those fun Seattle experiences. The Seattle Marathon was today, with the finish line for the race located at the Seattle Center. Also at the Center today was the wonderful Pacific Northwest Ballet's production of the Nutcracker. So, at 12:40 when I drove past the Seattle Center, runners were running to the finish line, but having to dodge small girls in frilly dresses who were walking hand-in-hand with their mothers along the same path. The sight brought such great joy to me as I drove home from working out.

We went out to the Center later in the day to show Ethan the Winterfest train. He was slightly less than impressed. But we had fun.






Ethan was less ethusiastic than we were.




Thanksgiving recap

Ethan has decided to protest his afternoon nap, so we'll see how many breaks I have to take during the writing of this post!

Our flights to Roanoke went really well on Monday. Ethan slept most of the flight to Cincinnati, we made our connection just fine, and then he slept the whole flight to Roanoke. After creating a hugely poopy diaper right at take-off, which we couldn't do anything about until landing in Roanoke (a 40 minute flight), since there was turbulence and we weren't allowed up and about. Mom and Dad were thrilled to see Ethan and eventually remembered to say hi to us too.

The weather in Roanoke was unbelievable this week- 70 degrees the first two days we were there, and nice and sunny the whole time. My brother and sister-in-law arrived Wednesday night, right before we all went to a Thanksgiving Eve service. Dad (one of the three pastors involved in the service) held Ethan while he greeted the people as they left the service, so Ethan met a lot of people in one evening. The other two pastors did not have cute grandbabies to hold, so got much less attention.

Thanksgiving was nice- Mom and Anita and I survived being in the kitchen and the food was good. Mom had bought 29 pounds of turkey (for 6 adults!), so we only made a good dent in it, but we made a valiant effort. Friday was our biggest adventure- a family picture at Sears! It went well though, Ethan was intrigued by the lights and looked cute in all of the pictures.

Then we headed back home yesterday. The return flights didn't go quite as smoothly. Ethan was the annoying baby on the plane for part of the trip. But he wasn't the only screaming child, so I didn't feel too bad about it. It was wonderful to get home last night and get back to our condo. Pretty much the only really tough part of the trip was getting home and finding out that there had been a miscommunication with our cat sitter, and no one had been to check on my furbabies since we left. They had enough food for most of our trip and still had water left when we got home, so it was really just a matter of petting them and apologizing profusely to them. The cat sitter felt awful when she heard. I think she's more upset about it than anyone else, since she really loves our cats. But they're fine, and that's what matters.

So, now it's time to readjust to real life. We did a pretty good job of keeping Ethan on West Coast time while we were gone, so that is helping a bit. Just have lots of laundry to do, pictures to upload and groceries to buy! Speaking of, I should stop blogging and go do those things!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Packed

The giant suitcase is packed, the very full diaper bags are packed, and our clothes are ready for us to put on tomorrow. The cats are glaring at us, and eyeing the suitcase. Hopefully they will leave it alone for a while longer.

We're heading out early tomorrow morning. Daniel's going to have to drop me and Ethan off at the airport, then go to the off-site parking lot to park the car, then take the shuttle to meet us. I'm in charge of checking the suitcase while I wait. Then we plan to go enjoy the Seattle airport (which really is lovely) and take approximately 1,000,000 photos of Ethan at the airport.

So, that's all from me for a while. I wish you all a very wonderful Thanksgiving and wonderful time with your loved ones. I know I have so much to be thankful for this year- I hope you all do too.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A year ago

By my calculations, my little munchkin was conceived somewhere around this time last year. It's hard to believe that this whole crazy journey has only been going on for a year. It seems so much longer. I already can hardly remember what my life was like before Ethan. A lot less laundry, that's a definite memory though.

We're staying close to home today due to illness and the monsoon like rain outside. I've been using the time to clean the condo and do laundry. The pile on the dining room table grows ever larger- fitting it all into a suitcase and two diaper bags is going to be interesting!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Dear God, is it still Friday?

Daniel's got my sickness now. He has a sore throat and no voice, which is where I was last Saturday. I'm on to the slight fever and earache part of the illness. I hate to still be sick- it's going to depress him, seeing how far he has to go before he's going to get well! Thank goodness, Ethan still seems fine. He's probably saving his germs for Monday, when we're on the plane :)



So, today I spent the day researching car seats and convincing Daniel to come work from home this afternoon so that I could get out before Seattle traffic made it impossible to actually make my way to any of the local Targets. I ended up at a Target in a part of town that I had never seen before, and that I prefer to never see again. I bought a car seat and some cat urine remover spray. Used the spray on the infant car seat. It sort-of worked, the smell is very minor. But I think we're going to stick with the new car seat anyway, and stick the infant seat in the closet for train trips and such.



Ethan's new car seat is like a baby throne. Seriously, the kid is going to be begging me to take him on car trips. The car seat is the most luxurious thing I've seen in a long time. We put him in there to test it out, and he gave us a look that said "I'm so glad you finally caught on to the type of amenities that I prefer from now on." I just really hope that it fits in the car when Daniel goes to install it tomorrow.

A couple of follow-ups

Sorry, I'm going to sound whiny here for a minute.

1. Went to put Ethan in his car seat. Realized that the smell of cat urine that I couldn't locate earlier in the morning was coming from the car seat. The fabric is removable and washable, but the straps are not. So, now I'm stuck in the house today (don't have the energy for public transport) and we're probably going to have to buy a new car seat. Thankfully this one was a one that we got from my aunt and uncle for free. But I dont know what we're going to do about this problem. I love my cats so much and would be heartbroken to have to give them up. But we only have a 3-room condo, and I can only lock them out of so many places. And I cant have them destroying all of Ethan's things. Sigh.

2. Several of you commented on my post about the car seat at my parents' house. Mom got completely lucky and ran across a community fair the day she bought it, including a police-operated car seat installation. She said it took 3 policemen to install the seat. I'm SO glad my parents didn't try to figure it out on their own.

Ah, Friday

It's a lovely, rainy Friday morning in Seattle. I'm trying to decide whether to spend the day packing (boo) or to head out to wander around the mall and do some shopping (yeah!). I've been piling things on the table all week, but that's the extent of the packing so far. I keep hoping for the magic packing fairies to show up and take care of things for me. No sign of them yet.

Jenny the cat is still mad at us about something. She hopped up on the bed this morning and was about to wet on the bed again. Sigh. I know it's not a health problem with her (we've had her checked out by the vet), but I'm not sure how to make her stop wetting.

There's really very little worth blogging about going on here. We did finally get out of the house yesterday to go to my church new moms' group, which was nice. Other than that, our days have passed in a haze of coughing and sneezing. And trying to figure out how many outfits to pack for each of us in our carry-on bags. I have a feeling there's little chance that we're all three going to make it all the way to Virginia in the clothes that we leave Seattle in. Not with Mr. Poop and Spit-up Boy on hand.

Well, it sounds like I have a messy diaper to attend to. Then it's off to the mall (packing didn't stand a chance).

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh my goodness

I should be at PEPS this morning. But, given that my cough has actually increased in intensity and makes me sound like I have a mild case of tuberculosis, I opted to not go and hang out with 12 babies. Their moms probably would have pelted me with baby bottles if I had come near their little ones. And I wouldn't have blamed them in the least.

So, instead of being out and having something to do, I'm home. And am beginning to freak out because "OH MY GOODNESS I HAVE TO FLY ACROSS THE COUNTRY DURING THANKSGIVING WEEK WITH A 3-MONTH OLD BABY!!!!!!". What were we thinking. I'm not ready to do this, not ready to put Ethan and Daniel and myself through the hell of jet lag and being off our routines and WE HAVE TO BE THAT COUPLE WITH THE BABY ON THE PLANE!!! People are going to stare at us in the gate area and mentally will the gate agents to make us sit as far away from them as possible. Preferably in a soundproof booth or somewhere on the wing of the plane.

Okay, I'm going to make a list of the things that I'm freaking out about.
1. Ethan need naps. He naps best when it's quiet and we're home, because he likes to watch people and loves lights. Therefore, the airplane is going to be fascinating to him and he's not going to want to nap, which is going to lead to screaming.

2. I have to breastfeed. In public. With some stranger sitting in the airplane seat next to me.

3. We have to get through security with 2 diaper bags, 1 baby bjorn, 1 laptop (Daniel needs it for work), 2 adults who have to remove shoes, belts, etc., at least 1 bottle of breast milk (which I have to declare separately in the security line), Daniel's evil Blackberry and all the other contents of his pockets, and one very wiggly baby.

4. We only have an hour to connect in Cincinnati on our way out and an hour to connect in Atlanta on our way back.

5. Daniel has to drop Ethan and I off at the airport and go park the car off-site, since we aren't taking Ethan's car seat and I don't want to ride in the parking shuttle with him unsecured. I just hate letting Daniel out of my sight when I'm already stressed. I've been flying my whole life, have made multiple trips across the globe by myself, to countries where I don't speak the language and I've always been fine. But adding one 12 pound person into the mix just makes it a whole new ballgame.

6. Our cat sitter is amazing and great and the cats love her more than us, but I still hate leaving my furbabies for 5 days.

We'll be fine. I know that. We'll get to the airport way too early to be sure that we have oodles of time for parking the car, check-in, security, and getting food. And I cant do anything about the connection time. I'm just going to be so glad when this travel is done and we're safe and sound in Roanoke!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My poor dad

One of the major drawbacks of traveling with children is that they require stuff. Lots of stuff. I'm very much in the "travel with as little stuff as is humanly possible" school of thought. When my best friend and I spent a week in Spain, we managed to each take only a tiny little carry-on suitcase.

But now I have to practically use a forklift to load my car with all the paraphernalia that we need for a week-long trip. This does not amuse me.

Thankfully, my parents have decided to purchase a car seat for their home in Virginia, so that we don't have to drag our infant car seat across the country next week. Hurray! My mom and I have both spent the day today looking at car seat reviews and trying to find the most affordable and safe car seat that we can find. And we managed that, and I think she's headed out now to pick one up.

Which then will leave the car seat responsibility in my dad's hands. And, horror of horrors, he's going to have to read the instruction manual. Which is about as terrifying for him as traveling with lots of stuff is to me. And I've also requested that, after he subjects himself to reading instructions, they take the car in to have their installation checked at a fire station. I'm pretty sure that asking a man to both read the instructions and admit to someone else that his work may not be 100% right and that it needs to be checked... well, it's pretty much a mental emasculation.

But it's all for Ethan's sake, and we all adore Ethan. So we'll continue with packing giant piles of "stuff" and admitting that we might need to read instructions and ask input from others. I'm adding this to the list of things for which he owes me. Big time.

Monday, November 12, 2007

You guys better appreciate this post

I'm using up my remaining store of energy to write this post. I hope you all appreciate it. :)

We had a good trip on the train on Thursday to Portland. And a good weekend at my grandmother's house. Then I got sick about halfway through the weekend, and my voice has been completely gone since Saturday night. Ethan keeps staring at me, as if thinking "you look like my mommy, but you dont sound like her." We got home last night, thank goodness. It's always so nice to get home and get us all back to our routines.

Although it's great to be home, today sucked. Big time. Ethan wasn't bad last night, but I couldnt breathe when I tried to sleep and kept coughing, so I was up half the night. Thankfully Daniel took the 6 AM wakeup call from Ethan and fed him a bottle, so I got to sleep a bit more. But when I got up at 9, there was a work crisis going on, and our cat Jenny had decided to punish us for our absence this weekend by wetting on our bed and Ethan's playmat. So, I got to do laundry this morning, in between answering work emails and trying to convince Ethan to nap. And coughing.

Daniel is due home any minute. He's probably going to find me sprawled out in the middle of the floor and trying to convince Ethan not to cry. Because Ethan has either caught what I have, or is teething. If we survive this week, it's going to be a miracle.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I know there's no instruction manual, but is there a translation guide?

I wish I spoke baby today. My poor little one is unusually fussy today. And he hasn't slept well in a couple of nights, which is fun for all. Today he's fighting naps, but is so clearly tired. He just doesn't seem like himself. I wish someone could translate his cries and whines for me.

We're off to Portland on the train tomorrow. We'll be at my grandmother's for a few days. Daniel will drive down to join us on Saturday. Hopefully Ethan will like the train as much tomorrow as he did last time we traveled Amtrak. I'm sure my grandmother will be thrilled to see us and shocked at how much Ethan has grown in 8 weeks.

I hope you all have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

The end of a very nice day

Daniel realized the other day that he has 140 hours of vacation time left for the year (and he will lose it all if he doesnt use it!), so he took today off to spend with Ethan and I. We had a lovely day. Ethan didnt sleep well last night, so we were up. A lot. But that's so much less annoying when I'm not worrying about Daniel having to be functional the next day. We had a nice morning, and I made it to the gym (hurray!), then we headed out on the bus to downtown.

At the bus stop we met the nicest lady- she lives in the retirement home one block from our place. She is 86 and still riding the bus around the city. She was headed to Macy's to find a nice outfit for a family wedding. What a precious lady and so much fun to chat with.
We had a lovely lunch at a Thai place in Pike Place Market, did a little shopping at Cost Plus World Market (one of my 3 favorite stores), and then headed to the Seattle Aquarium. I missed a Seattle Mom Blogs outing to the aquarium last week :( so was happy when Daniel suggested that we go there today. We hadnt been since the new part of the aquarium was opened. It's really beautiful. And not crowded on a Tuesday afternoon, which was lovely. It was just so nice to have a leisurely afternoon with my boys.

Daniel did end up on one work call when we got home tonight, but I'll let that slide. I know it's hard for him to be away mid-week. Taking a day off just means he'll be more buried with work tomorrow, but hopefully this time helped him to be able to relax and recharge a bit. He works so hard.




Anyway, that was my nice day. And I hear my little one, up from his nap, so I better run!


Monday, November 5, 2007

I think I might be sick

I just logged in to our bank account to check on the status of a few things, so that I could update my records in Money. And there was a direct deposit from my company. MY LAST REAL PAYCHECK. As of last week, I've wiped out my vacation/sick time, and am no longer receiving a full paycheck. I'm still working a few hours here and there and will, for the next few months, probably make a few hundred dollars each month from that. But not my usual amount of income. Even if/when I go back to work this spring, it'll only be part-time, and 99.9-120% of my paycheck will go to daycare.

I'm suddenly feeling kind of overwhelmed. Not about the finances necessarily, my husband has a good paying job, so I'm blessed to be one of those women whose paycheck is just icing on the family's income cake. Just overwhelmed because in some ways, that was my last hold on my old life. The life where I got dressed up and went to work in my downtown office, my high heeled shoes clicking on the halls of the building.

Now I'm sitting on my living room floor, wearing my pajamas, working on a laptop while watching my baby carry on a long conversation with the toys hanging down from the top of his playmat. I'd give anything to know what he's talking about with them. This is a good life, a wonderful life. But it's so different from where I was just a year ago. So much different that it still catches me off guard and simultaneously fills me up with so many different emotions that I want to either cry, laugh or vomit.

Well, Ethan's calm and hopefully drifting off to sleep, so I should go work and earn my few dollars for the month. Daniel has said that any money I earn can be mine to do whatever I want with. I'm sensing a trip to Sephora in my near future!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Half-way through the weekend

I feel like it should be Monday today- we did so much yesterday that it felt like we used up the whole weekend!

The highlight of the day yesterday was when my husband got up early, got ready and LEFT WITH THE BABY!!! For 2.5 hours!!! He went to meet a good friend of his and his friend's baby for coffee. It was the first time Daniel had gone out alone with Ethan, and the first time I've been alone in the condo without the baby. It was so quiet and peaceful. Lovely. I slept for about 30 minutes, then got up and rushed around doing miscellaneous things that I never get done. Including getting all my photo albums up to date. It's so nice to have the pictures in the albums instead of balanced in piles on top of the albums :)

Did a bunch of other things yesterday and then wrapped up the evening by (I cant believe I'm admitting this) watching Legally Blonde- the Musical on MTV. It was actually really cute and funny, and I don't normally like musicals. We also had a long discussion last night about balancing work and family time, but that wasn't cute or funny, so it's not as much fun to write about.

Ethan seems to be going through some sort of massive growth spurt. He's eating every 2 hours, massive volumes. I'm trying to get in as much water as I can- I'm afraid my supply isn't going to keep up with his demand! We've only had to defrost one bag of milk from my stash so far though, so that's nice.

Gotta run- need to clean the litter box and then get ready for church. Another busy day ahead today!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Performance review

I had to do a self-evaluation as part of my annual performance review for my job. This was not my most career-oriented year, to say the least, so the evaluation was kind of laughable at times. But I got it done, and that makes my supervisor happy, and that's good.

But it got me thinking. I need a 90-day performance review for this job, this motherhood thing. What other job hires you full-time, permanently from day 1 and lets you do a job that you're utterly unqualified for, with no supervision and no 90-day evaluation from someone with job experience. I need validation and kudos! I need a raise! :)

Overall I've just had a lot on my mind lately. A good friend of mine is in a situation which has been prolonged and painful and now seems to be going in a direction that I really hoped it wouldn't go. And I'm sad. And I'm having to keep myself away from the situation for my own mental well-being. Which is hard, and possibly not the right thing to be doing right now, but I've run out of things to say to her about it. She's an adult and gets to make her own decisions. Darn it. I still love her and communicate with her about other things, but not this particular part of her life. And I don't know how that's going to affect our friendship.

As for motherhood, boy do I miss the part of life where there were right and wrong answers about things. Parenthood pretty much seems to be trying to find the right shade of grey for yourself and your family- there are very few situations when the answer really is as simple as black or white. I like absolutes and facts and things like that, so it continues to overwhelm me at times.

One of the decisions that I'm going to have to make soon that has no right or wrong answer is about my job. I love my job (for the most part), although it's challenging and stressful and tiring too. But, if I just go back to work part-time, after we pay for daycare 2-3 days a week, I'll be bringing home just a few hundred dollars per month. Which doesn't seem worth the effort. I can make that much working on an on-call basis from home, which is what I'm doing now, but it's challenging to work in such a small condo with a baby, and will get harder as he gets bigger and more mobile. The third option, of course, is resigning altogether for a few years, and going back to work when Ethan goes to school. Which has a whole 'nother set of issues that comes with it (such as the fact that I would probably go stark raving mad)
They tell you that life will never be the same. Boy, they weren't kidding.

I think about these things all day, then we get to the evening. And I'm sitting on the couch with Daniel and Ethan and the cats, and I realize that they are what matter in my life right now, and the other stuff will sort itself out with lots of prayer and time and patience. I'm blessed beyond what I ever imagined in my wildest dreams.

So, that's all for me for this afternoon. We're having friends come over for dinner tonight, so I need to stop contemplating and go dust. Our poor friends cant make it to our place until 7:30, and we're practically comatose by 9, so they might not get much intelligent conversation from us. I hope you all have a great Friday- I'll send you out into the weekend with a picture of my darling Ethan in his Halloween costume.



Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Christmas music??????-EDITED

I just was getting ready, and turned on the radio in the bathroom. And immediately heard Christmas music!! I like Christmas as much as the next person, but it's Halloween! I'm wearing a Halloween t-shirt and am getting ready to put Ethan in his costume. There are pretty orange and red leaves on the trees and a pumpkin sitting on our windowsill. It's FALL time, not winter! I'm not mentally prepared for Christmas yet. Let's wait until at least mid-November, people, seriously.

***So, I emailed the radio station to question the Christmas music, and they said not to worry, that it's just their costume for today, and they wont start Christmas music for real until the day after Thanksgiving. Phew.

Busy- and loving it!

Ah- the contentment that comes along with a full calendar :) I'm kind of disturbed that way- when I have nothing to do and nothing going on, I turn into a big lump on the couch, and even simple tasks get complicated. But when things start picking up, I build momentum and it's full-speed ahead!

We're busy these days. I've been working as much as possible, during Ethan's naptimes and a bit on the weekend when Daniel can hang out with him. We have a paper that we're submitting to a journal for publication in January, so there's lots of work to be done for that.

And our social life is getting busy too. Between PEPS and church and hanging out with other friends and trips, we've managed to book up most of November. I actually had to turn down several invitations this week!

But, in the midst of all of this, I'm still having to learn balance. Yesterday I bought treats at the store (for a party we're going to tonight) instead of trying to bake something, as I had planned. And we have to accept invitations and make plans while still leaving lots of time for Ethan's naps. We didn't do that on Saturday and paid the price.

It's so nice to be coming out of the "new-baby" bubble and re-entering the real world!

Picture of our pumpkin patch outing on Saturday:

Monday, October 29, 2007

Monday's topic

One of the lovely women over at Seattle Mom Blogs gave us this assignment to write about today: How long have you lived in Seattle? Why here, of all places? Where else would you live, given your choice, and why?

1. I have lived in Seattle since September, 2001. Before that I was a missionary in Ukraine, then came home and lived with my parents for the summer in Pittsburgh, and worked as a telemarketer. Not my favorite job memory. Then I packed up my belongings, and drove to Seattle with my grandmother (who had flown out from Portland to keep me company on the drive).

2. I moved to Seattle to go to graduate school at the University of Washington. But I was inspired to apply for grad school here because most of my extended family is out on the West Coast. My parents grew up in Portland, and I lived in the Portland area until I was 12, when Dad's job moved us to Tennessee. When I was applying for grad schools, I wanted to attend one close to my relatives, so that I could get to know them all again.

3. Seattle is home for me. I've moved a lot in my life, but have never lived anywhere that just felt so right. I love so much about this city. I'll be very sad if we ever have to leave. No plans to do so though, as my husband loves it here too.

Friday, October 26, 2007

I never thought I would be that woman

I've read people's blogs and comments on moms' message boards where they are bemoaning the fact that their little babies are outgrowing their clothes and it's so hard to put the too-small clothes away. I was completely, 100% convinced that I could never feel that way. I hate having "stuff" in the condo and the fact that Ethan currently owns more clothes than I do- that stresses me. Or rather, used to stress me. I thought I would be thrilled when he outgrew his newborn sized clothes and could start wearing the 3 month size.

People- he's outgrowing his newborn clothes! And they're so cute and I cant believe he's getting big so fast and he's already ready for the 3 month clothes. I just finished going through piles of clothes in his room and sorting out what to pass on to friends and I practically had to tear myself away from the adorable little piles of onesies that he looked SO cute in! :( In truth, he still could probably wear some of the newborn sizes for a bit longer, but he has tons of 3 month clothes, and those fit a little better. So it's time to pass on the newborn clothes. But I don't want to.

In other news- we're working on getting on a better sleep schedule. So far the idea of not letting him stay up for more than 2 hours at a time seems to be working. I think I was letting him get a little overtired before. He's napping really well now. The other nice side benefit of the baby sleeping more often and going to bed earlier is that Daniel misses holding him in the evening, and actually begged me to let him get up with Ethan at 6 AM today. Um, yes!! I got to sleep until 8!

We're going to a pumpkin patch tomorrow. I'm so looking forward to that. Gorgeous weather again here in Seattle, so it should be great fun.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I guess it is the season for horror movies

Isn't there a classic horror movie in which one of the characters has an episode of projectile vomiting? I don't watch horror movies (scare too easily), so I don't know which one, but it seems like I've seen that somewhere.

Well, we decided to re-enact that last night. Ethan had just eaten and had a full belly. I decided that it was a good time to give him his Tri-Vi-Sol vitamin drops. I know that I always feel better when I take vitamins on a full stomach, so the plan made sense to me. I laid him down on the counter, gave him the drops and was feeling very proud of myself because the drops actually went in his mouth instead of all over his face and neck. I picked him up and was holding him while we chatted with Daniel.

Then Ethan gave a little cough, I looked down, and a fountain of brown-tinged (from the vitamin drops) spit-up came out of his mouth. It went all over him and on my shirt as well. Just my pjs, no big deal. Not too fun, but we've had worse. Then Ethan gave another little cough, followed by a larger fountain of spit-up. At this point, there is spit-up running off my arm onto the floor. He's managed to get spit-up on the counter, the floor, the carpet and the side of the counter. I just stood there, dripping, not entirely sure what to do. And while I stood there, he did it again. I don't know how he even had that much food in his stomach. More stunned standing in place from me, and Daniel stood and stared at Ethan and I. Somehow he had no spit-up on himself.

I finally got Daniel to mop up the spit-up that was running off my arm and to wipe off my foot so that I wouldn't track it through the house. I'm not entirely sure what I would have done if I'd been home alone at the time. Clean-up of Ethan was pretty easy, so I took care of that, then dumped Ethan in Daniel's arm, poured a glass of wine and went to take a bath. That's really the only way to deal with this kind of situation.

There is just no way that you can be prepared for this type of thing. You hear about it, but it's totally unbelievable until it actually happens to you.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

So, this is motherhood

According to some of the comments on my past posts, the things I've been thinking about and experiencing are not too weird- they're just part of my new life as a mom. Thanks to all of you for reassuring me that I'm not crazy.

So, here's the summary of what I have learned in 10.5 weeks.

Motherhood is being disturbed by my body with its sagginess and flabbiness, yet still being amazed by what my body has produced every time I look at my son. And it is being proud that I feed him every day, and feed him well, with this body that I don't entirely recognize.

Motherhood is being tired on the mornings when I have to get up at 2 AM to feed Ethan, but on the mornings when I haven't gotten up in the middle of the night, motherhood is the part of me that worries about his silence before reveling in my lack of exhaustion.

Motherhood is doubting the decisions that I make, while at the same time knowing that I'm the one that needs to make decisions for Ethan, and that I am more qualified than anyone else to do so.

Motherhood is craving my husband and loving him for helping me have such a beautiful baby, yet at the same time blaming him for getting me pregnant in the first place (even though it was kind of my idea- I've just rewritten history a bit) and having an overwhelming fear of ever getting pregnant again.

Motherhood is being overwhelmingly frustrated with his crying and needing to get out of the condo- away by myself- anywhere- please, then missing him when I'm gone and enjoying my return more than I did my exit.

Motherhood is taking pride in my well-fed baby and piles of clean laundry, even though part of me misses the paychecks and status that went along with my job.

And, most importantly, motherhood is knowing that I don't know anything- that I have so much to learn, from Daniel, from Ethan, from older mothers, from people around me. And it's knowing that I will pretend to know everything for as long as I possibly can, and that I will be sad on the day when Ethan finally figures out that I've been faking all along.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Physical appearance

One of my major struggles these days is with my physical appearance. To get right to the point, I'm not very happy with it. Still packing around 25 extra pounds of weight (20 of which were gained in pregnancy, 5 during the holidays before pregnancy). I've lost the "baby" weight- that came off pretty quickly. Now I'm left with "I'm pregnant and can't do anything fun and feel sorry for myself, so I'll eat cake" weight. I'm only 5 feet tall, so 25 pounds is huge.

And my hair, my beautiful new haircut that I was so excited about a couple of weeks ago- not looking so great right now. Darn it. I have challenging hair, to say the least. It's actually a lot better right now than usual, since it still hasn't started its post-pregnancy suicide.

I know how to lose the weight. I just don't want to do the things I need to do. So I have no one to blame but myself for my physical appearance. And my hair would probably look better if I went somewhere that charged more than $15 for a haircut. Which Daniel said I was free to do, that I deserved a nice haircut if that would make me happy. But I couldn't do it. I'm just too cheap. When it came down to it, I went to the academy for a fancy Seattle salon, not the salon itself.

I just feel so self-conscious about my appearance these days. I feel like when I meet people, they look at Ethan, comment on his cuteness, then that conversation topic is exhausted, because he still doesn't do much worthy of conversation. Then attention shifts to me, and that's terrifying. I should just show people the stretch marks on my stomach, then they'd run away in fear, and I wouldn't have to worry anymore. I do exercise, which is something. Not the world's best exercising, since my energy level is pretty low by the evening. But it's a start.

I just need to suck it up and get my act together. I know that my self-image and my marriage and my energy level would all improve if I can eat better and exercise more vigorously. And I could wear my cute clothes again then! Hopefully I'll manage to get my brain and my body on the same page soon.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Monday, part 2

We went to the store (not QFC, for once), then over to Seattle Center. Where I continued on my path of un-healthy eating (sigh- we'll deal with that tomorrow). But- my mood has improved about a million times. The first mood boost was just being outside in the glorious fall weather. Blue sky, pretty leaves, nice warm day. Cant beat it.

Then I got to the Center House at Seattle Center, and found out that they had a band there and were having a dance. The Center House stage was full of older folks dancing. Too cute.

I wound up my outing by sitting outside and enjoying the musical fountain and the sunshine. And a chai latte (and some fudge, if we're being honest).
video
Finally, I came home and uploaded some pictures from our camera. How can you not be happy when you see a picture this cute (disclaimer- he's not always this cute in reality).


Bleh

I need to find something to do today. Preferably out of the condo. I just called Daniel and whined to him that I was bored. He did not have any suggestions that I approved of. You can only walk around Seattle Center so many times before that gets old. Especially by yourself. It's just not that interesting. I like walking, but I prefer having someone along to talk to, to distract myself from the fact that I'm exercising.

In related news, feeling fat today. I think I ate everything in the fridge this morning. Not a great way to start this weight loss challenge that I'm participating in. I may have to not be a part of that after all- I'm tired of being stuck at this weight, but I don't know if I'm ready to employ the discipline that it takes to actually do something about that. And diets are a waste of time without that mental discipline.

I'm lonely today too. Being a mom at home with a baby is not a job with great conversation. No water cooler and no one to gossip around it with. Ethan's way behind on pop culture, so he's useless. :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Conflicting needs

I have two needs these days- sleep and time to myself. Right now it's 11:30 PM, my husband is asleep (mostly), my baby is asleep (hallelujah) and I am awake, playing on the computer. The reason that I am awake and playing on the computer is simple- my husband and baby are asleep. I love them both dearly, but when they are awake, they are either demanding my attention or just generally making noise and being distracting. This is not their fault. After all, we live in a 900 square foot condo, so we are frequently getting in each other's way.

But, right now, they're asleep, and I am free to do whatever I want. I have no distractions and no one bothering me. Other than our two completely insane cats, who are chasing each other around the house at the moment.

I find that I crave this time- the time to just play and blog and read and zone out. I also find that at 2 AM when the baby needs me again, I regret taking this time. Nevertheless, here I am again, on the computer instead of sleeping. My beloved just stuck his head out of the bedroom a minute ago to see why I was still up (I so should have lied and claimed the baby was keeping me up- would have gotten sympathy points then!) and asked if I was coming to bed soon. I do like to snuggle with him, so I'm sure my alone time will soon end.

Is this what motherhood is? A constant weighing of needs to see which one wins out at the moment, never mind the price that will be paid when other needs aren't met?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

So, apparently I have to be an adult about this

As I've mentioned on this blog before, my beloved and I are not planning to have any more biological children. The pregnancy was hard on my body, the delivery was rough, and I don't want to put us through that situation again. And, adoption has always been a dream that Daniel and I both had, so it makes sense to us.

So, we're having to figure out long-term birth control. Although, I have to say, Ethan's refusal to fall asleep until I'm 30 seconds from collapsing into an exhausted coma, is also very effective :)

Since I cannot envision any situation in which I would want to have another biological child, Daniel and I had discussed him having vasectomy. Which he talked about with his doctor today. Being a good doctor, she advised that it is not a good procedure to go through unless a couple is SURE that that's what they want to do. She suggested alternate options, such as an IUD. Daniel told me that, and my first reaction was "but I don't WANT to do that." I managed to not phrase it in quite that way when I answered him. Because I know that Daniel's totally needle and doctor-phobic, so I'm sure he's not exactly jumping up and down at the option that involves him. But my body has been through so many pokes and prods and invasive procedures in the last year that the thought of undergoing any sort of anything medical, well, it makes me feel a little ill.

Now we'll have to be rational adults and weigh the pros and cons of all ideas, and make a rational, logical decision. Seriously, I just want to whine and complain and generally gripe, and make Daniel go ahead with the decision that we'd originally made. But that's not a good plan. I'm 30 years old, I'm a mother, and I'm a wife, and it's time to step up and be a mature adult (for a little while, at least). Sigh.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

My way of coping with baby stress (not a recommendation)

So, here's how I've been coping with baby stress lately. It seems to have gotten worse since I decided to try to get back on track with my points counting.

Get up at 3 AM- baby's crying. Grab a cookie on my way to feed him.

Get up at 7 AM- feed baby. Make coffee. So far so good. Eat 3 pumpkin muffins while waiting for coffee to finish. Already in trouble for the day.

9 AM. Finished with feeding/changing/talking to baby. Drink the relatively healthy fruit smoothie that my husband made before he left for work. Follow it up with waffles.

Manage not to eat again until noon. Get up to go into kitchen to do something. Cant remember what. Instead get a bowl of pita chips.

1 PM- lunch

2-4 PM- randomly snack whenever I feel bored or when the baby cries.

5 PM- pre dinner snack! Usually more pita chips.

7 PM- dinner

8-10 PM- dessert. Followed by another snack. Followed by a second dessert.

Sigh. This is all especially frustrating because I know how to lose weight and how to eat healthy. I just don't want to now. But then I get frustrated because my clothes don't fit and I have no energy. I'm really hoping to get on track soon. I'm joining a weight loss challenge from another Seattle Mom Blogger. Maybe that will spur me to action.

Okay, gotta go. I convinced my husband to buy cake when he stopped by the store, and he just got home. Love that man!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Not about the baby

My best girlfriend met a guy almost three years ago. And dated him for a couple of years. During which time he failed to endear himself to any of her friends or family. We all tried to like him, but none of us succeeded. In fact, the longer he was around, the more I disliked him. I think it's safe to say that I dislike him more than I've ever disliked anyone in my life. He treated my friend like crap- giving her just enough to make her stay, and emotionally manipulating her into putting up with his bad behavior. When she tried to express her feelings, he would accuse her of being selfish or mean. She would try to make compromises on things that were important to her, only to lose the battle entirely.

Earlier this year, she finally managed to cut the ties to him. Which was excruciatingly hard for her, as she is a sweet, caring person. And she truly loved him. Thankfully, the jerk was too lazy to really pursue things too much, and we thought she was finally rid of him.

Then he came back. And now my friend is confused and upset and scared. And, I fear, in danger of getting back into a relationship with this guy. Which cannot possibly lead to anything good.

I'm really scared for her. I just wish he'd tried to start this all again back when I was still pregnant. I was much crankier and hormonal then, and I would have totally kicked his butt.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Oh well

Apparently not all babies deal with 2-month shots by sleeping. Ethan napped for an hour when we got home from the doctor. Then started screaming. And hasnt stopped yet. He almost never cries like this, so he must be feeling pretty rotten.

To all of you who have babies who have colic or just cry a lot, hats off to you. I'm totally in awe. Two hours of screaming, and I'm about to lose my mind. Gotta go, time to head back to the couch to hope that snuggling will eventually make him feel better.

Okay, first things first



This nice long post comes to you courtesy of Ethan's 2 month shots. I intend to get so much done today! I feel kind of guilty being so excited about him sleeping, since I know he probably doesn't feel well. But not very guilty :)

Most important thing- on Friday night, I was wearing my absolute favorite, incredibly cute shoes. But I had to take them off at the door, since the floors were bamboo. So, for those of you who were there Friday, here's what you missed.




Had a nice day yesterday. Church was great- good sermon about discipleship and spending time in the Word. Something I have become sadly lax about lately. I really need to use some of my baby-feeding time for reading the Bible instead of watching America's Next Top Model and Top Chef. After church we went to Discovery Park, a very cool park in Seattle. We didn't manage to make it to the beach or the lighthouse, because we're directionally challenged and kept going the wrong directions. But we'll try again next time.

Here's a photo of the new haircut. It doesn't look as good now as it did Saturday when the stylist had it looking all pretty. But it's way easier to care for than the old longer hair style, which is nice. I need to do something about the color too. Another day.


I'm wearing the shirt that we got from Method on Friday night. Too cute.
Ethan's 2 month appointment went well. He was not fond of all the shots, but he's gaining weight well and everything else looked good. Sadly, our doctor is leaving next month. She's been my doctor through the pregnancy and now Ethan's doctor as well, so I feel sad that she's going away. I'm sure that the other doctors at the practice are just as good, but still.
So, I'm off to clean and organize things now. Thinking about baking some pumpkin muffins later. The weather seems to call for it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What a great weekend so far!

I am having the best weekend! Last night I got to go to a wonderful and very fun Seattle Mom Bloggers event. I'll post pictures soon, when I get them off my camera. The event was hosted by Method (the cleaning products). We got to check out the cleaning products, which I already loved, and like even more now, enjoy fun cocktails made by Liquid Muse , and, most importantly, chat with a whole bunch of the other Seattle Mom Bloggers. All of whom were great. The funniest part of the evening, in my opinion, was when we would meet someone new. People would introduce themselves by name, then stare at each other's chests, where the nametags were that indicated the name of the blog that the person wrote. It's so strange to not know someone's name, but to know pretty much every other detail of their lives.

Today Daniel and I traded off getting haircuts and going to the gym. He went and did both in the morning, then I went to the gym after he got home. Later in the day, I went up to the Gene Juarez Academy, where I got a fabulous haircut for $12. And, honestly, it's probably the best haircut I've ever had. It's short, but will be easy to deal with in the mornings. I might actually be able to look decent during the day, and to avoid the omnipresent ponytail. I miss running Saturday errands with Daniel, but it was nice to get things done.

The other thing we did today was get passport photos taken for Ethan. Poor Ethan, he's going to have to spend the first 5 years of his life with a passport photo with his mom's hand holding him from behind his head. My fingers are visible in the photo, but that's about the only way you can get a photo of a 2-month old against the required background at the photo store.

And, to top it all off, tonight we went out to Fisherman's Terminal in Ballard and had a lovely dinner at Chinook's. A great restaurant with great food, and fairly noisy, so no one would notice a screaming baby. Ethan actually slept the whole time though, so Daniel and I were able to sit and hold hands and chat. It was all nice.

Tomorrow's church and some family time. I've had a great last 24 hours getting stuff done on my own. And I am so blessed to have a husband who never complains or acts at all unwilling to watch the baby while I'm gone. I know I've said this before, but seeing Daniel with Ethan, and how wonderfully he takes care of him... just makes me fall even more in love with him.

I'll post pictures from Friday night and of my new haircut soon!