Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

It's been a busy day- shopping with my friend, sitting in traffic, running around randomly- and time is short before we need to grab our stuff and head over to the rental condo to clean, enjoy free cable TV and watch the top of the fireworks off the Space Needle.  

But, I had to blog one last time to wrap up 2008.  Last year I turned my 2007 blog into a book, using Blurb, and plan to do so again. So I need a good wrap-up post.

So, this year.  Kind of kicked my butt.  This was, of course, my first year of being a mom for a full year, and in a leap year, no less. It was a wonderful and challenging 366 days.  We had some stresses- most particularly Daniel's job sagas, but God was faithful to us and gave us peace and strength while we waited for answers.

And Ethan has grown and grown and is now a little boy who likes to play with cars rather than the lumpish baby that he was last New Year's Eve.  He never ceases to amaze and amuse us.  And drive us a little insane, but I think that's in his job description.  

It's really hard to believe that we'll have a whole other little person celebrating with us next New Year's Eve. Really a weird thought. But I'm looking forward to that.

So here's to 2009, the year of more changes and more realizations that yes, I am an adult and a mom and a wife and that's my reality and I need to embrace that.  I'm looking forward to seeing what God has in store for us.

I wish you all a very blessed and wonderful New Year. 

Monday, December 29, 2008

Perspectives on clean

I've mentioned before that we own a couple of rental properties, both of which have been causing a little stress lately.  Well, things are finally improving- the vacant unit in the property down south finally rented, and we have a good application in on the other property here in Seattle.  

Anyway, our renter for the Seattle condo moved out finally this past weekend, so I decided to take Ethan over there and go swimming today. Because he loves the water.  This summer he loved swimming and he loves his bath and is always trying to swim around.  Yeah, any guesses as to what he did today?  Anyone?  He screamed from the second I put his bathing suit on him until I finally gave up about 10 minutes later and got out.  We had invited friends to come with us, and they were hanging out in the hot tub, so I headed back down to the condo to clean. 

Clean, you ask?  Why did you have to clean?  Okay, so I have not set foot in the actual unit since I moved out on Memorial Day 2006.  Daniel has visited 4 or 5 times now, all recently, to show the condo and to meet up with our former renter to do the walk through and sign the final papers. He assured me that things were in good shape there and it looked good and was clean.

People, I walked in and gagged.  Now, granted, I am a dirt-phobe and especially sensitive right now, but the bathroom as a whole and the kitchen sink terrified me. I don't think they have been cleaned since I moved out. The bathtub looks like something from the before pictures on those property flipping shows.  I went straight to Rite Aid, bought a bunch of cleaners and put them on the tub. I scrubbed a little, but thought I should not risk baby #2's health by inhaling too much, so am generally leaving the cleaning for Daniel to deal with. He admitted he didn't look at the bathtub. And our prospective new renter must not have either. There's just no way.

Hopefully we'll be able to get it much cleaner. Any advice on cleaning a very dirty tub?  I have Magic Erasers and some sort of foaming cleaner. Probably need to get something else too. But there's no fan in the bathroom, so I'm scared to get anything too intense.  I guess it's a challenge for this week!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm operating under the assumption that you all find me amusing

Apparently the majority of my Facebook friends find my angst to be entertaining, so I'm assuming you all do too.  If so, HA! You're out of luck! I'm not angsty today!

Okay, so one of the main reasons the in-laws stayed so very long (how has it possibly not even been three full days yet?) is that Daniel and I were supposed to go away last night for a getaway. We did it when my parents visited as well, since real vacations are few and far between. 

But, by yesterday afternoon, I was in a rotten mood, as you may have noticed. And feeling yucky, because I'm rapidly expanding, thanks to baby#2 and consoling myself with chocolate cookies (food that you get for a Christmas present has no calories, right?).  So I told Daniel I didn't want to waste our time and money going to dinner and staying in the hotel.  I was just too annoyed/tired/sick to enjoy it.  However, Daniel ignored me, and we packed up and left around 4 PM. I swear to you guys, my mood improved before we made it to the elevator in our hallway.

We stayed at the lovely new Pan Pacific Seattle last night, had a nice dinner at the BluWater Bistro on South Lake Union, and dessert at the always fabulous B&O Espresso.  And the best part of the evening was when we stopped by Whole Foods and got some sparkling juice, then I was able to sit in the gigantic soaking tub in our hotel room and drink my juice from a champagne flute and relax.  Fabulous!  

So I'm better today, and thankful for a husband who ignores my insanity about 99% of the time. And we're down to 4 hours and 19 minutes of togetherness- the bus for Canada leaves at 3 PM. And we have lunch plans with friends of Daniel's who are also down for the weekend (the Canadians all tend to show up on the same weekend to visit), so we will have distractions soon!

Seriously, I have great in-laws. They took wonderful care of Ethan on Friday and last night. He's happy and healthy and having a wonderful time.  And they try not to meddle too much (hence the conversing in Chinese rather than English).  I wish I could get over my insecurities and not get so hung up on the little things. But as I was telling Daniel last night at dinner, sometimes I feel that the culture and generation gap is just too big. We literally do not speak the same language. We don't like the same foods, we have different perspectives on a lot of little stuff. And Daniel cannot possibly comprehend this, because he pretty much totally understands both cultures and shifts fairly effortlessly between the two.

Hopefully things will continue to improve with time.   We still have been married less than 3 years, so we're all still getting used to each other and how our cultures/families fit together. I hope we get there. And I hope I can get over my attitude issues before Ethan is old enough to understand.  

But I'm still going to be awfully glad when 3 PM rolls around and I have my condo back to our little family. :)

Saturday, December 27, 2008

MISTLETOE!!! MISTLETOE!!! Christmas Saga part 3

Lindsay, over at Spacebooke, wrote a blog entry about the holidays, and said that she and her husband have introduced an idea from the movie "Four Christmases".  It's a code word thing, to use when family activities have just gotten to be too much.  And in this case, the code word is "mistletoe".  

I probably will remove these posts later, but if I don't blog now, I'm going to take the car and leave. Seriously. I'm losing it.  Currently hiding in Ethan's room with the laptop and crying.  The important thing to remember here is that I'm 4 months pregnant and totally irrational and emotionally unstable.  So am not handling things well.

1) No, I do not want to eat congee for dinner. Or any other meal. Yes, I know it's just porridge, but I don't like porridge even without the meat in it.  And no, I don't want fried rice, thanks, but it doesn't sit well with my pregnant stomach. No, thanks, I don't want fried rice. Really.  Really I don't.

2) Target is my happy place. When we are there, please do not follow me around muttering "so expensive" under  your breath.  I know that things are cheaper in Canada and the exchange rate makes things even cheaper there. If that's true, why do I have to go to all these stores looking for Ensure and Caltrate vitamins for you if they're too expensive to buy.  And no, I don't remember how much I paid for eggs last time. I'm sure you can get them cheaper. I don't know because I rarely buy eggs and when I do they're fancy eggs and not the cheap ones. And I'm pregnant and sharing a room with a toddler, my husband and two cats, so am not getting enough sleep and my memory is shot.  I DON'T KNOW!!! Oh, and in my culture, we do not discuss the price of everything INCESSANTLY.

3) This morning when we were getting ready to leave, I had Ethan dressed in a long sleeved shirt and long pants and shoes and socks. And a coat and mittens and a hat under his hood.  Daniel said that Ethan needed a sweater as well, because his mom thought Ethan was cold. It's 45 degrees out today, and Ethan runs warm (he's usually sweaty), so he had on plenty of clothes. I said that Ethan did not need extra clothes and Daniel just shock his head and said, okay, but my mom thinks he's cold. !!!!! Who's side are you on here? 

4) This pushed me over the edge and caused this crying.  Okay, so after the turkey was eaten on Christmas, I asked Daniel if he would like homemade turkey soup. He excitedly said yes, so I spent 30 minutes researching recipes online, trying to find the one that look best. We then spent another 15+ minutes packing up the carcass and picking out the best bones for the soup, which I was going to make as soon as I could get to the store and buy noodles and veggies.  
Today we were out shopping, and I mentioned that we needed to buy milk for Ethan and that I still needed the veggies for the soup too. Which is when Daniel said "oh, yeah, my mom used the carcass and all the bones to make the congee yesterday."  Seriously, I'm still having trouble not crying about it.  It seems like nothing, but I was looking forward to being domestic for once and making something special for Daniel, since he was excited about it. 

Then my mom emailed and said that their trip in March is going to be 9 days, rather than 6.  I don't think I can do it.  So now I need to find a way to get them to go stay with relatives instead of here, because at that point I'm going to be 6.5 months pregnant and I don't know if there's any way that's going to work for us to sleep in Ethan's room by then.  

Friday, December 26, 2008

I am a bad, ungrateful, bratty person

And I have a confession. I really dislike Chinese food. Not the Americanized stuff that you get at the mall, I really dislike real Chinese food. It's either too bland or too greasy or too weird for me.  Right now my husband and his parents are eating congee, which totally grosses me out for some reason. Gag.  Amusingly enough, Ethan hates it too, no matter what is added to it or how it is prepared. Some part of me is secretly glad.  I like to see that his Caucasian side has a small foothold in there somewhere.

So, anyway, I'm being a brat. Yesterday went really well and I was all happy. This morning we got up and got ready for work. And I, oddly, wasn't a part of the instruction-giving process, because Daniel was giving his mom all the info in Chinese.  I felt really strange about that. I'm the mom, after all.  Work went fine, it was great to be back in the office, despite the fact that our computer network was still on vacation for the first 2 hours I was at the office. Whatever.  And Daniel picked me up and brought me home... and my bad attitude returned.  

I've mentioned this before- I like having visitors, but I get weird about my space and my stuff.  Partly because I'm 1) a neat freak, 2) a germ/dirt phobe and 3) an introverted extrovert. So guests throw all of those things out of whack.  So I was starting to feel off kilter already when I was informed that Ethan hated cold milk and he needs to have a bottle of warm milk with his meals instead. Blink.  The child drinks cold milk from his sippy cup every day, multiple times per day. He just likes throwing his cup and refusing things when they're first offered as a power struggle.  I know they were just concerned and trying to make sure he got his milk in. I KNOW that. 

But I still have been in a snit since then. And the congee slurping (totally acceptable in their culture, I know!) is not helping.

Did I mention that I'm a brat?  And far too old to be behaving like this?  

Oh, and I have 6 pounds of leftover turkey and masses of mashed potatoes and stuffing that no one wants to eat.  Because they don't really like it anymore than I like Chinese food, which I understand.  But big sigh anyway.

I need a glass of wine. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas, part 2 (not really saga-worthy)

Let's see- recap of the last 24+ hours. Daniel made it home from work in time for us to head up to our 4 PM Christmas Eve service. The roads were totally fine from the time we left our road (which had about 3 inches of slush) until we got to the road that church was on. The road was snowy, turned into the parking lot, headed to a spot... and realized we were stuck. But we were more or less in a parking spot, so decided to worry about it later.

Had a nice service with lots of other people who were VERY happy to be out of their homes. The service was nice- it was so great to be back worshipping with others. I've missed that so much! When we went to leave we had to dig our car out of the spot, and Daniel and the
husband of the family stuck in the spot next to us helped each other push the cars, and we made it home.

This morning we got up and had a very relaxing morning. Opened presents, played a bit. Talked to my parents on Skype. Daniel caught up on the phone with another friend- and when he got off, there was a voicemail from his brother saying that his parents were on the bus and would be here at 2 PM. CUE THE FRANTIC CLEANING. We expected them closer to 4, so I suddenly lost 2 hours of my day. Anyway, things got cleaned, and some of dinner got prepped.

Daniel had to deal with the raw turkey, as I cannot stand the smell of raw meat under non-pregnant circumstances. I did do the seasoning and buttering, so I think it still counts
as my turkey. And it turned out great, and only about 30 minutes later than I had hoped. The potatoes were also good, the stuffing not so much, which was disappointing, as I had worked really hard on that.

I totally used up all my cooking ability for the next LONG while, but I'm going to risk it and try to make soup with the turkey carcass once I can get to the store and get some veggies. Hopefully I wont be pushing my luck for cooking!

Pictures of our Christmas below...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Christmas saga, part one

First off, I'd like to start by saying, I blame the snow. For many reasons. I dare you to disagree with me. 

So, I was lying in bed tonight. Poking Daniel in the side and annoying him by telling him that I can't sleep. Even though I had spent the whole evening telling him how tired I was. Whatever, I'm pregnant, it's my prerogative.  Anyhoo, after a while, I started freaking out about the fact that my in-laws are coming on Thursday, and other than turkey, I have no food in the house that they eat. They were supposed to be bringing some food with them (not my idea, but if it makes them happy, great).  But now they're coming by Greyhound, since my brother-in-law doesn't want to drive in the bad weather (blame the snow #1).  So they can't bring food. And I have absolutely nothing resembling any of the foods that we ever eat at their home, and I have never seen any of the foods in my cupboards at their home.  I only have white people food, and not that much of it! They're going to discover my sad little supply of white rice and realize that I don't feed their son rice more than once every two weeks! (Pretty close to abuse in a Chinese household)

Okay, so lying there freaking out. Wondering how I can get food to magically appear in my house, since it's supposed to snow again tomorrow and I'm not pushing the stroller in the snow and slush again (blame the snow #2).  I was particularly worried about what they will eat on Friday, when Daniel and I go to work and they're left alone with Ethan. Daniel said that they can just eat turkey all day. Then he mentioned that he had poked the turkey today and it seemed to be defrosting well.

Which is when I had the awful realization that I had not done anything with the turkey after we bought it on Saturday, except stick it straight into the fridge in the Safeway bag.  Because we had a ton of groceries and stuff because it was our last post-snow shopping trip (#3!!) Starting to worry a little at the mention of the defrosting turkey and the thought of its plateless/panless status, I got out of bed and went into the kitchen to put the turkey and bag into the disposable roasting pan that I had bought as well on Saturday.  Opened the fridge, shifted the food sitting next to the turkey on the bottom shelf... and was met with the sight of a sea of pink turkey juice.

Fortunately, most of the stuff on the bottom shelf was in sealed bags or cans and we only had to throw out a few things.  And now I have a clean, disinfected bottom shelf of the fridge! I need to be sure to point that out to my mother-in-law. Without telling her why, of course.

So, that's the first part of the Christmas saga. And it's not even Christmas Eve yet, which is why I have entitled it "part one". I assure you, more drama will be forthcoming. Because it's supposed to snow again tonight. 


You know those little suction cup Garfield toys that you see on car windows (not many, fortunately). Picture that, in the form of a 4-pregnant woman, getting as close to the window of her home as she can, trying to catch a glimpse of the outside world. And, honestly, trying to get a little further away from the two loves of her life. Who she truly does love, but whom she is honestly getting a little sick of spending 24 hours a day with, trapped inside a 911 square foot condo.

THEN- a break in the despair came. Last night, Ethan's daycare sent a message to all the parents to say that daycare would be open today from 10-3:30. He usually does not go to daycare on Tuesdays, but about 1 nanosecond after getting the email, I wrote back to ask/beg if I could bring Ethan over for a couple of hours. Because he's starting to go as nuts as I am, and I thought two hours of playing with his friends would do us all a world of good. They agreed (which is good, because I pay almost $1000/month for daycare, and he's been 8 times this month, total), and I went to bed happy.

So, this morning we packed up and walked the two blocks through the snow to daycare. It's downhill on the way there, so it was a pretty easy trip. I then walked over to get my haircut and stopped for a cup of tea at the grocery store and chatted on my cell phone with a friend. Pretty much the best two hours I've had in a long time.

Then I was a little stupid and went to the other grocery store for groceries before getting Ethan. Which would have been fine, but the courtyard at daycare still has about 6 inches of snow, so I couldn't push the stroller through. So I had to leave the groceries in the parking lot, go get the stroller in daycare, bring it out, load it up, go get Ethan, and walk out with him. Then push everything back up the hill. The sidewalks weren't too bad, but the intersections now have about three inches of slush, so that was an adventure. Pretty much my workout for the month :)

Now we're home and happy to have seen the outside world. Still not sure what's going on for Christmas, since more snow (weeping) is forecast for tonight. I'm trying not to think about the fact that I have a 12 pound turkey in the fridge and there might just be two of us. I'm also trying not to think about the fact that I don't actually know how to cook the turkey. I keep hoping to wake up one morning with the knowledge of turkey cooking magically appearing in my brain. :)

Pictures attached of my new haircut (I worked hard for this haircut, so thankfully it's a good one!) and my sad little 17 week pregnant belly. I am the least pregnant looking 4-month pregnant woman ever. Especially since I'm not thin, so essentially always have the same size bump that I have now. BUT!!! I felt the little one move last night. I've been feeling little movements occasionally, but last night it was definitely him (no, I don't know for sure yet, but I really think it's a boy). So that was fun and reassuring. Still no return phone call from my OB, so I have no idea what's going on with my medications or when I'll have my ultrasound. Soon, hopefully!

Okay, gotta go put away the groceries and use nap time to start cleaning, just in case the in-laws arrive on Thursday.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Note to the weather

Hi, Carrie here.  Um, in case you've gotten confused- this is Seattle. Not Boston or Chicago or one of those cold places.  Seattle.  Winter here consists of a lot of rain and gray days and damp people wandering around holding travel cups full of coffee. You're confusing the heck out of us.  Feel free to relocate this snow back to Canada or Alaska anytime soon. Okay, thanks.

So, anyway, it's Sunday afternoon now, and it's snowing again. A lot. We reportedly got about 5 inches in downtown Seattle last night. Which is freaky. Generally Seattle itself doesn't get much snow, since we're next to the water. But it started snowing at 3 PM yesterday and didn't stop until about 2 AM.  We went out this morning to play, and discovered that the snow looked pretty, but was actually covered by a thin layer of ice, so it was sort of painful to walk through. And now there's snow on top of that- apparently we are supposed to get another 6 inches. I don't even know how to process that information.  Doubt seriously that I'm going to the office tomorrow though.  Not sure how Daniel and I are both going to work from home tomorrow with one laptop and a toddler running loose. Should be fun!

Photos from today! Ethan is an inside kid, so he was less than enthusiastic about the playing in the snow. 

Friday, December 19, 2008

High hopes

I have high hopes today. Not for anything exciting, just that I will get to leave the house sometime in the not-too-distant future. I went downstairs yesterday to check the mail, but other than that haven't left at all since Ethan and I ran to the grocery store on the corner on Wednesday. Yeah, the cabin fever is getting bad. Except I am looking out my window to the sidewalks and street, which are a solid sheet of ice. Right before I wrote this, I watched someone slip and fall, hard on the ice.  So that's tempering my enthusiasm to go out. 

Daniel made it in to work this morning and dropped off Ethan at daycare. I actually do need to go get him in a couple of hours, so will have to brave the ice then. It's a little intimidating to be pregnant and walking on ice while pushing the stroller. Too much responsibility- the well-being of two little ones and me with a messed up center of gravity (and fairly little coordination to begin with).

Tomorrow we have to make it out to the store at some point, because I need to buy our Christmas turkey so that can start defrosting for Thursday.  Oh, and Daniel has to get out to buy me a present already. My grandmother mailed us small gifts, so I have something under the tree and in my stocking now, at least. :)

We're supposed to get another storm on Sunday, to add more fun to the ice and snow already on the ground.  Hopefully we'll be able to get everything done before that and safely tucked back inside.  And maybe the storm will hold off a bit so we can actually go to church! That would be lovely. 

Stay safe, everyone. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008


That's the sound of Seattle grinding to a halt. Because of the snow. It snowed!!! They've been telling us that a big storm was coming.  So everyone prepared and schools shut down yesterday, and we waited. And waited, and waited. And watched video of all of the areas around Seattle get snow. Nothing for us.  We mocked the weather people. And I think most of us went to bed last night seriously doubting that any snow would fall at all.

As of 4:30 AM (I know this because we were up every hour with the cranky kid who has a cold and must wake up and yell about it all night), still no snow. Then around 5:30, I was finally asleep, and suddenly heard very loud thunder. And then more. This confused me, as we don't get many thunderstorms here at all, much less in December. When I got up at 7:45, Daniel was on the phone with his friend, canceling their plans to carpool to work, since it was snowing! Turns out the thunderstorm I had heard was called "thundersnow". Those two systems on either side of us collided this morning and dumped a lot of snow on the city.  We probably have several inches now.

Fortunately Daniel did not have to drive to Bellevue this morning. Which was good, because our tires are not that good, and the news clips of the bridges to Bellevue were kind of intimidating.  Ethan and I lurked in the condo all day and tried to not get in his way too much. It's nice to have him home, but it does throw off the routine a bit. As does a sudden influx of winter weather.  Since Ethan's still sick, I didn't want to take him out in the cold, so we just looked longingly out the window most of the day. Hopefully he'll be well by this weekend, when the next wave of bad weather arrives. We need pictures of him doing winter activities!

This is the best I can do so far for a winter activity photo :)


Pointing out the window at the snow

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On another sugar high

I'm working from home today. This was pre-planned and very fortuitous, since Ethan's little cough yesterday turned into a big cough and fever this morning. I planned to work from home because, supposedly it's going to snow here today. Still waiting for that. It's snowing all around Seattle, but they keep talking on the news about the "donut hole effect" protecting Seattle itself. Daniel's at his company's Christmas lunch today and I think he's coming home when that's done, so I'm hoping the snow holds off until he makes it back.

Still haven't heard from the doctor again. Hopefully she wont call while I'm on my sugar high. I'm a little hyper right now.  That's the problem with working from home. Too much junk food around.  I convinced Daniel to get Dominos pizza last night (yummy!), so I've been eating that and leftover Halloween candy and Christmas candy and who knows what else.  In waistline-sparing news, I discovered that I dont really like cake balls, so I'm not tempted by those. Which is good, because I have 80 in my freezer.  Most of which I still need to dip in chocolate tonight.  

Did you guys watch Biggest Loser last night? I'm happy with the results, but boy does that show need a better editor. Daniel and I always are shocked that it takes them two hours every week to do virtually nothing, while on the Amazing Race the contestants make it across entire countries and the show covers it in an hour. Just our thought. 

I have nothing else to talk about.  Except the condition of my living room at the moment, but that's just too scary to think about. Must tidy before Daniel gets home. 

Okay, back to work/juggling sick baby now.  Have a good Wednesday evening!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm trying, I promise

Every evening, during the 30 seconds or so between lying down on my bed and fallying asleep, I think of the things that happened that day, the amusing and fun stories and mentally compose blog entries in my mind that will be amusing and entertaining and will make you all laugh and brighten your day.

Then I wake up, and start the day, and by the time I get around to blogging, I'm back to my usual Eeyore-like status. I swear, there's a black cloud hanging over my head. I'm starting to worry that I have caught my brother's bad luck. We always say that he makes Murphy look like an optimist- not with his attitude, but with his sheer ability to have things go wrong in almost every situation.  But his stuff is usually more major, and mind is still just little things.

To those of you who still read my blog- thanks. And I'm sorry. I want to be happy and cheerful and share the fun and amusing things that are going on, but I also feel like if I dont talk about the things that I'm struggling with- well, I might just go insane.

I had a lovely morning today- some friends of mine came over and we walked (in the record breaking cold) to the Children's Museum to play. It was fun, even though I had the cranky child in the group today. Ethan's a little not well, not enough to stay home with, but enough to make him out of sorts.  He's in bed now.  

(okay, totally off topic- I'm looking at my little sidebar photo slideshow while I write this, and a picture from my baby shower with Ethan popped up and- oh my goodness, the cleavage! Wow. Must remember to not wear low-cut shirts late in pregnancy this time).

Anyway.  Since I know you're DYING to hear about my latest whiny problems.  The renter that was interested in the Belltown condo fell through, so we're back to square one with that. Which means... no Hawaii trip.  We have the savings, and Daniel still really wants to go, since it would be so much cheaper to go now with Ethan being under 2 and no second child, but I just dont feel like it would be very responsible for us. That was disappointing, because it was really giving us something positive to think about and plan for. 

To distract myself, I'm off to make cake balls now and watch my Season 6 DVD of Monk that I picked up last night at the library.  Cake and fun tv shows should help!

To all of you out there living in places with cold weather- stay warm and safe!!!

Monday, December 15, 2008

On hold with the doctor's office

That seems to be the major use of my time lately. Either on hold with the office, dropping something off at the office, or waiting for an appointment. And I'm only 15ish weeks pregnant. I forgot what a time-suck pregnancy could be.

Anyway, I got a call from my doctor an hour or so ago, but it came in while I was in the bathroom (HUGE surprise there), so I missed the call. Apparently my labwork looks fine, so that's good. But she's concerned about the medication I'm taking right now, and wants to discuss switching me to something else.

So here's the thing. This is not an ideal medication to be on while pregnant. It doesn't cause birth defects or anything like that, but it does cause fetal growth issues. For that, I present to you exhibit A, my 5 pound, 15 ounce full-term kid, who has just now clawed himself onto the growth charts at 16 months old. So yeah, I know that. BUT, this medication controls my blood pressure and heartrate in a fabulous manner. I love this medication, and have not done well on any others that I've been on. And if my BP gets out of control, then that also can affect the baby's growth as well as put me at risk.

At the old hospital, they were pretty much the world experts in this particular medication, so I was monitored very carefully and so was the baby. Unfortunately, at this hospital, that isn't the case, so they are more conservative with the use of the medication. And I trust them at this new office and all, but given that I do reproductive/developmental toxicology for a living, I feel a certain amount of responsibility in making the right, most informed decision about medication usage.

Seriously, I want to print out all of these posts for all the people at church who seem confused that we are not, in fact, having another baby so soon so that we can join the club of people with 4+ kids. You have no idea how many times I've been asked that. And we're non-denominational Christians, so it's not like it's a denomination that's known for huge families.

In other news, on my weight watchers board, someone posted a recipe for something called cake balls. They sound like a little piece of heaven, so I plan to head directly to the grocery store after work and get the supplies to make some. I love that I get my best dessert recipes from my weight loss board. :)

Potential redemption

I think the snow and cold got to us last night, because when Daniel suggested that as our Christmas/anniversary gift, we book a long weekend trip to Hawaii, I jumped on the idea. He distracted me from the fact that I really wanted to get him something nice. But I guess a joint gift of a trip to Hawaii should count as a good present, even if it was his idea.

So now we're trying to figure out when to go and what hotel to stay at and things like that. Which I really think is the most stressful part of any trip. We liked the hotel we stayed at before, but we're big on trying new places, so we probably will branch out a bit. And I think we're going to go at the end of February, which is a really cheap time to go to Honolulu (seriously, if you have some spare time and a little spare money, look at Hawaii if you live on the west coast. Great deals these days). The only challenge is that my parents are coming to visit during the first week of March (sometime, we still don't know when, for sure). But if we have to all arrive at the airport the same day, that's not the end of the world.

In other cheerful, happy news, I got done with the stupid 24-hour urine test and got the jug out of my fridge and delivered to the OB's office this morning. It made me want to gag every time I saw it. I'm not sure why. It's not like I haven't spent the past 16 months dealing with worse things. Still no phone call from them about scheduling the "big" ultrasound. I didn't get a referral for that on Friday, and I'm not due for another check-up until 19.5 weeks so I think I need to make the appointment for the ultrasound before that. Hopefully they'll call back with that info soon. I want to buy gender-specific baby gear!

Oh, and I have a little belly. Not much of one, but it's definitely there. One of these days I might actually look pregnant. Probably not soon though, knowing me.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The joys of a quiet day stuck close to home

There's definitely a lot to be said for a weekend day stuck close to home.  The roads around here were pretty good, so we probably could have driven somewhere, but most of the places we tend to end up on weekends are either at the top or the bottom of a large hill, so we opted not to go anywhere in the car. Instead, Daniel had the good idea to meet up with a friend of his who has recently moved up to the Seattle area, and who now lives less than a mile away from us.

So we bundled up Ethan in his new (two sizes too big) winter coat and his hat (which he couldn't take off, since he couldn't move his arms in his giant coat) and his bundle me, and we headed out. And boy was it cold!  It's still over 70 in the condo, with no heat on, so we had no idea how truly cold it was outside. But we warmed up as we walked to the restaurant and had a nice lunch. I'm still full, 6 hours later!  Then we walked back home and spent the afternoon watching the rest of season 2 of Northern Exposure on DVD and cleaning a few things.  So it was  productive and relaxing day, all at once. 

Now I just have to figure out how many layers of clothes I can fit under my coat for my commute to work tomorrow. It's supposed to be a high in the upper 20s, so I'm guessing it's going to a pretty cold wait for the bus at 6:15 AM. Brr! (You'd never guess that I spent a winter in Eastern Europe, would you? I've lost all weather tolerance ability that I might have had back then!)

My last Christmas gift vent, I promise

It snowed last night. Not much, but enough to get the roads wet and then it didn't get above freezing this morning.  This means, of course, that we did not leave the house for church this morning. Which is too bad, because we were in nursery all of November and out of town last week, so haven't been in services in 6 weeks.  And I can feel it!  But the side roads reportedly were icy, so we didn't want to risk it, given our total and utter lack of recent winter driving experience. We're definitely Seattleites.

So we're home today, doing laundry and cleaning up the piles of stuff that we left sitting around yesterday. Daniel and I are both obsessive neat freaks, so it speaks volumes about how tired we were yesterday to leave our condo messy overnight.  

And I was wrapping presents this morning that we bought (on behalf of Ethan's grandparents) for him for Christmas.  Then Daniel started doing something on the computer and I found out that he was looking at phones for me for Christmas.  In the $100+ range. Okay, hear me out before you think i'm insane here.  Last month, after MONTHS of begging him to tell me what he wanted for Christmas, he decided that we should save our money and put it toward a kitchen floor/counter re-do instead of gifts.  You can read about it at the link.

Anyway, I was disappointed, but decided that it would be the responsible thing to do, so just bought Ethan some small gifts and got Daniel some stocking stuffers and one $20 gift.  Which isn't anything too exciting, but it fit in the "really small gift" budget.  So I was done with the Christmas shopping and was happy.  Then I find him looking at gifts for me that are 1) nothing I desperately need (but want, I hate my phone) and are 2) nowhere near our budget. And now he's waivering on the whole kitchen thing.

(Please, still stick with me here).  I like getting presents. But more than that, I really really really love giving nice presents to people. And I have NEVER been able to get Daniel anything that he really likes.  I'll buy him things that are okay, but that he just ends up stashing away somewhere and forgetting about.  He never seems to want or need anything.  I beg for months before every Christmas and birthday and anniversary for an idea. Any idea. Or a specific. Anything. And he never comes up with anything. And this is so frustrating, because he is a wonderful husband to me and dad to Ethan, and I just want to get him something to thank him.  And instead I just end up buying things that are okay.  Meanwhile, he goes out and buys great gifts for me, usually because I tell him exactly (or close) what I want or would like.  

And buying a phone for him had been my idea, because he really needs a new phone more than I do. But he told me last month that it was too much money and that he didn't really need one.

I yelled at him this morning and told him that he couldn't go around changing the rules less than two weeks before Christmas, and that he wasn't allowed to buy me a phone. And I told him again how important it was for me to buy him something, anything that he likes, but he just stared at me blankly again.

I'm crazy, I know.  I just feel so often like Daniel takes such good care of me and I don't do nearly enough to spoil him back. I try, I promise, with lots of little things, but I just want to occasionally be able to make a bigger gesture of love and thanks.

I think I might blame all this on being stuck in the house with piles of laundry. A walk will be taken later today, despite the 12 degree (with wind chill) weather. I don't think an entire day in the condo would be good for any of us!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rain, cupcakes and urine tests

How's that for a title? These are the things that are occupying my thoughts this morning. It's raining here. And cold. And it's supposed to get MUCH colder and maybe snow. We have a forecasted high of 29 for Monday. This is as strange to us as the hot weather that shows up sometimes in summer. And truthfully, we're not really prepared for it. I don't have real winter clothes. So I just wear lots of layers of my not-warm enough clothes and hope for the best.

I should be baking cupcakes instead of blogging. We're going to a potluck this afternoon and I'm in charge of desserts. The peppermint bark brownies are ready, just need to make the gingerbread cupcakes and I'll be all set.

Oh, and the urine test? Have to do a 24-hour test. Something about kidney function testing, since I'm a high-risk pregnancy and at risk for pre-eclampsia. Having to collect all your urine for 24 hours makes it challenging to leave the house, especially when you're pregnant and pee every 35 minutes. But I think I have it all figured out.

The week ended up to be pretty good. Work was still slow, but less frustrating than Monday. I got my annual performance review and it was great, but no raise, since they froze raises at my company to save money. My OB appointment yesterday was LONG, but fine. The doctor that I saw yesterday seemed nice. We're still trying to get all my records and test results sent to them, my old hospital is not cooperating and sending everything, which is frustrating. Hopefully it'll all show up sometime before this baby is born. I was able to hear the heartbeat for the first time (we've seen it twice, but never heard it). The doctor had to chase it around for about 5 minutes before she could catch it. I told her that another stubborn child was really not what I needed :)

And my friend and I had a good time on our outing to downtown Seattle on Thursday. The other four moms or their babies got sick, but the mom that did go with me had a good time and so did I. Pictures posted below.

Sounds like Ethan's up, so I should go entertain him for a while. I think Daniel is going to a motorcycle show today, and I've told him he's taking Ethan with him, so hopefully I wont be on baby-duty too long this morning. I have cupcakes to bake!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Banana bread...yummmmmmm

I'm making banana bread right now. It's almost done. And I've been putting off breakfast so I can use all my morning calories by eating half of the bread. So I had to come blog for a while so that I wouldnt keep sitting in front of the oven and drooling. So hungry... bread is so yummy....

In pregnancy news (remember that?- yeah, I realize I actually mentioned my first pregnancy on my blog originally and have virtually ignored the second one), I'm 15 weeks today.  Which is weird.  The first trimester was slow and just as nerve-wracking as the first one, but then it was like "pregnant, yeah, whatever".  I'm looking forward to this baby, but Ethan's so energy and time-consuming, and actually there, so he takes up most of my brain space.  And I dont look or feel even vaguely pregnant right now, so that also makes it hard to remember that I'm pregnant sometimes.  I have an OB appointment on Friday though, and should get to hear the heartbeat then, which will be nice.

So, yesterday. SUCKED.  I sat at my desk and sobbed for several hours (while trying to work), made sad phone calls to my supervisor begging for not stupid work, cried some more, then came home early and ate the chocolate out of my Christmas stocking. Since I put it there in the first place, I felt that was acceptable :)  Then I felt better. And I think I might have less annoying work for later this week, so that's fun!  And I'll be off work for a long time over Christmas, so I'm just trying to make it to that week.

On the rental property front, the person that seemed really interested in our condo called to cancel his viewing. So we're doing lots of praying for wisdom on what to do about that property and the one we live in and the other property... it's hard for me to see long-term about these things when it's having an effect on our bank account soon, but Daniel has a better perspective and I know we'll make a good decision in the end.  I hope.

And on the more fun front, Daniel asked his parents to stay an extra day over Christmas, and he and I are going to go away for one night and stay at the Pan Pacific in Seattle. It's a fancy new hotel and we got an amazing deal (and have a coupon for dinner at a restaurant nearby), so we're looking forward to our mini-break.  Hopefully Ethan wont totally wear out his grandparents, since they're also watching him all day Friday, in addition to Saturday night when we're gone.  

Okay, must go eat bread! Bye!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Somehow it's Monday again

The weekend went by in a blur of driving and chatting with family and watching Daniel work on the computer late into the night. He was typing away on the laptop until 1 AM on Friday night/Saturday morning, then online most of the day Saturday as well. Sadly, they're so busy that he cant use the hours he already worked and take off early this week. And tonight he's decided that he needs to go to the HOA annual meeting, so I probably wont see him again until 8 or 9. I miss my husband!

We had a good weekend catching up with my grandmother and other relatives and had a nice hour at a bakery chatting with Daniel's best friend and his best friend's girlfriend. Then we headed home yesterday, making it in a record time, thanks to not awful traffic and a toddler who is suddenly happy to ride in the car and peacefully look out the window. I'm not sure what's gotten into him, but I hope it sticks around for a while!

Then came this morning, and it was the first morning in the 10 months that I've been back at work that I actually teared up at the thought of leaving. Ethan was sleeping when I left, which is pretty typical and never easy to leave, but today just hurt, since I knew I was headed to the office for a day of doing silly tasks that are not science-related, and involve lots of emails and phone calls to people to please explain to me what to do. Then the people just get annoyed, because if they had spare time, they would just do it themselves. I really wish I could get a small project in so I could actually use my brain and feel useful at work instead of just annoying.

And for this I leave my child?

I know I'm probably going to be looking back on this in a few months and kicking myself for not appreciating the fact that I am actually dressed in fairly nice clothes and wearing makeup and am not in the condo having food thrown at my head. Somehow that isn't helping this morning.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday, Friday!

So, when Daniel got home and fished the lids out from under the stove, there were 23. And still, when I went to put away leftovers from dinner, there were no lids in the drawer that matched the first three of the four containers I tried. Meaning, there are many more lids under the stove. Sneaky little kid.

Thank you for giving in to my patheticness and leaving comments on the advent calendar. Someone (Jen, I think) asked how it was made- it's a big piece of foam board, wrapped in wrapping paper, with boxes (jewelry/small gift boxes) glued on. Inside each little box is a verse from the Bible story of Jesus' birth, and some candy. We forgot to open last night's box and we'll be gone tonight and tomorrow night. So it's the 5th day of Advent and we're already failing at this. Oh and yes, I am a little tyrant in real life too, demanding that people do what I want all the time. But I'm small and round and people tend to just think I'm cute and pat me on the head and not take my attempts at world domination too seriously, so I get away with it.

At "work" today. Not much to do. Except writing this service sheet on a project that I know nothing about for a department of the company who might as well be spinning straw into gold, for all I know about their work. The scientists and the engineers don't interact much at my company. We're all incredibly nerdy in our own way, but we confuse each other too much for much socializing.

Two more hours at the office, then I am off to get Ethan, give him a large snack and a bath, pick up Daniel at the office, and then drive what I hope will be 3-3.5 hours but will likely be 5, since it is Friday night, down to my grandmother's house in Portland. Then we'll reverse the process on Sunday and will head back home to quickly do some laundry before the week starts again. I need a weekend after my weekend!

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well, that's one mystery in my life solved

You know how when you go to find a lid to your tupperware and things never seem to match up right, no matter how often you sort through and make sure you have lids for all your containers?  Perhaps Ethan has been visiting your house...

You have no idea how many times each day I have this thought: "oh my goodness, soon there will be two of them..."

PS- No one else likes my advent calendar? Seriously, people, I'm needy in crafting ability reassurance! Dont make me eat all the candy out of the days yet to come to comfort myself :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

I'm humming the hamster dance song to myself. I have no idea why.

I think it might be the sugar. I just ate a candy bar. Lizzie laughed (in a very nice way) yesterday at my utterly sucky willpower, since I was eating a cookie while discussing my problem with gaining too much baby weight. I'm highly educated, but fairly dumb a good bit of the time. I also ate ice cream while watching Biggest Loser last night. Which I SOBBED through, since it was the makeover/reunion with closest family member episode. So sweet.

Yesterday was totally busy and totally fun and I was asleep in about 30 seconds when I went to bed, since I am not used to that level of activity. But worth it. I was contemplating what I am going to do when I have the car tomorrow, but then Daniel reminded me that we're leaving Friday afternoon to go to Portland to see my grandmother, so I have to pack. Darn it.

Oooh, I almost forgot again. Picture of my advent calendar!

Yes, it's gigantic. No, I have no idea where I'm going to put it in January. Perhaps it will hang on the wall all year.
Anyone else feeling really worn down by all the bad news lately? It seems to really be getting to me, especially in combination with the weather. I know God's in control and that I need to pray more and focus on good things. And I've tried to keep the Christian radio station on instead of the news, and things like that. But it still seeps through. And there are all those little things in my own life that are adding up- the rental properties, finding out I don't qualify for disability money this pregnancy, finding out that work is freezing raises/bonuses this year. It's nothing major, and nothing we cant handle, but Daniel and I have started joking that there's some sort of minor bad news financially every day. Can I take a vacation from bad news.
I know I shouldn't complain. I was reading a book my great-aunt wrote, and when she was born in 1928, my great-grandparents had just moved (with their 18 month old twins) to a house with no electricity and no running water and just one room. Could you imagine? And they all turned out fine, somehow!
Okay, now leave me comments praising the calendar, please. I'm so not crafty that that took a lot of energy and I need reassurance :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Enjoying the outside world

I'm feeling so liberated- it's Tuesday and I'm NOT hanging out at the Seattle Children's Museum. Not that there's anything wrong with the museum. I'm just completely sick of it. 

But I unexpectedly had the car today, thanks to an appointment Ethan had this morning (everything is fine). We took Daniel to work in Bellevue, drove to the hospital for Ethan's appointment, then went to Fred Meyer for some grocery/stuff shopping. Managed to focus on groceries and didn't buy anything off the list.  We also dropped by the local Goodwill, where I got a nice winter coat. It's funny to shop at Goodwill these days, because it's definitely a very different crowd than used to shop at thrift stores. Very nicely dressed people in expensive cars mostly.  Anyway, I managed to spill red juice on my white coat a few weeks ago, so I have been wearing my pre-Ethan sized winter coat, which barely buttons across my 1.3 babies later chest.  So for the sake of not freezing this winter, shopping had to be done. Fortunately I found a nice, petite sized coat for a very reasonable price, so the shopping trip was a success.

Now we're home, catching up on email and Internet stuff. But we're leaving again soon, to go hang out at a coffee shop with Lizzie and Lucy. Hurray! More socializing!  Sigh of happiness.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh my goodness, he understands us

We knew this day was coming. We keep saying that we have to start watching what we say in front of Ethan, because he soon will be parroting things back when we least expect it. But, given that he doesn't really talk, we were kind of in denial. Last night we were sitting on the couch, watching Northern Exposure, Season 1 on DVD. Ethan kept sitting and watching it, so we turned it off and jokingly said, "Ethan, go get a book from the pile and bring it over here and we'll read it to you." And he turned around, crawled (seriously, learn to walk already!!!) off to the pile of books, grabbed one and dragged it back to the couch. Wow. There really is a smart little person in there!

Back at work now, after a fairly long hiatus. I worked Monday in the office and a half-day Wednesday at home. It feels like I've been gone for a month. Unfortunately, still out of work, which made returning this morning even worse. But I'm scrounging things up to do.

On the kitchen floor front, we went to Home Depot last night. Where I kept pointing out to Daniel that we already have the flooring that costs $3/sq ft and we're planning to replace it with something that is much cheaper than that. But he has his heart set on laminate floors, so we're pressing on. The main problem is that we have really light wood cabinets and the closet doors and trim in the entry way and living room all match, and the kitchen/living room are one big room, so the whole thing needs to flow. So we need to find a floor color that's going to look good with all that wood. Kitchen counters (which I actually do want to change) are also being discussed. But we're kind of in a bit of a financial bind, as we have two vacancies in our rental properties, and I'm going to be out of work for at least 6 months, starting sometime in the middle of May, so if this ends up being expensive, it's just not going to happen.

I'll post pictures of my craft from Saturday when I get home tonight. It turned out amazingly well. And I had a lovely morning of running errands alone, followed by a lovely afternoon with friends, and came home to a condo with all the Christmas lights up and decorations put out, which was sweet. So that was a good day.

Unfortunately, we ended the weekend with a small spat last night because I tend to take out my stress over money/where we're going to live/planning for the next year on the handiest target, which is pretty much always Daniel. I need to stop doing that. He deserves better. Poor guy. I cant imagine how much he's looking forward to the day when I'm no longer pregnant/nursing/dealing with masses of hormones. Which I've been doing for most of our not-even-3-year marriage. He qualifies for sainthood at this point, I'm pretty sure.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Um, yeah, he's your problem today.

That's the general unspoken message that I've been conveying to Daniel all morning. Thankfully Ethan is thrilled to see Daddy and so needs no convincing to follow Daddy around instead of Mommy and demand that Daddy read him a story from his Baby Blessing Bible for the 95millionth time in an hour.  So far this morning I did do laundry and unload the dishwasher, and I changed two diapers, but that's about as far as I contributed on the childcare front.  Then I grabbed the car keys and ran out the door.  

Then I ran errands. Alone.  This is momentous because I haven't left the house alone in probably close to a month. With the exception of running to Taco Bell one night to grab some food.  Lately I rarely leave the house at all. Daniel and Ethan are off at the Children's Museum with a friend of ours and his daughter.  I'm resting and drinking some diet coke before I go pick up another friend and head off to craft afternoon.


Note to self. Get a life. Seriously, you're pathetic.

No real resolution on the whole kitchen/Christmas gifts thing.  Whatever we do, we have to be budget conscious, because money is getting tight, due to vacancies we have in rental properties we own.  This is not a good time of year to be trying to rent out a property, much less two.  I just told Daniel I needed him to decide soon (like immediately) about what he wanted to do, because I cant afford to wait until he researches kitchen floors for weeks if he's going to then decide that we should do gifts instead.  Which is what he typically does, he researches things very very thoroughly. And that's great, but not in this case.  

Okay, time to go! Out!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Kitchen floors? Seriously?

Last night I finally realized that there was no possible good reason for me to go shopping today, and that it just wasn't worth driving Daniel 30 minutes to work and then back home, just to shop for things I don't really need.  Sigh.  I did some online shopping this morning, but again, couldn't find anything that I desperately needed.

I had really hoped to buy Daniel's present today. I have spent the last two months begging and pleading with him to give me ideas. And I had been getting excited at the thought of giving him a list of what little things I wanted (we usually just buy a few small things and don't spend more than $50 total).  I also had a few small toys chosen for Ethan at since he still mainly has baby toys and is getting bored with those.  But as of this morning Daniel had still given me NO ideas, which lead to some, um... discussions early this morning. 

Then he came out of the shower and informed me that he had been planning secretly that we shouldn't do presents this year, and that we should just do a family present.  I was a little excited at this idea, until he told me that his idea of a family present was a new kitchen floor.  (insert blank stare here).

There are a lot of things in our condo which bug me. The kitchen and bathroom floors are NOT on that list. I happen to like our floors and think they're really practical and have said so many times to Daniel.  

So now I'm totally grouchy.  It's raining, so we're probably going to be in all day, and Daniel's at work all day (he told me originally that he would come home early, but that's apparently no longer the plan). And my little Christmas tree is going to stay lonely, with no gifts. Because I'm getting flooring instead.


In happier news, Thanksgiving was really nice! We caught the ferry to Bremerton with about 1 minute to spare, thanks to the massive lineup. But we made it and had a fun ride over. Ethan loved watching the water and the things go by outside.  Our afternoon was fun as we socialized with my relatives and caught up with them. Dinner was yummy, and I didn't have to cook, which made it even better!  And then we caught the ferry home with 5 minutes to spare and had a relaxing evening at home. 

Tomorrow I'm off to a craft afternoon at a friend's house. Which should be interesting, given that I do not do crafts and have a 1.3 second attention span and tend to get bored quickly and wander off. But I'll get to socialize with my girlfriends and catch up with them and have a break from home, so I'm excited!

Okay, time to entertain Ethan and work on getting our Christmas cards done. Busy day at home!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Yeah, so I skipped a holiday here in my blog

I signed off and then thought 'duh, it's thanksgiving tomorrow and I didn't even mention it! And I have SO much to be thankful for this year!'

Tomorrow should be a nice Thanksgiving. We'll be catching the ferry over to my grandmother's house in Bremerton, but that's not until noonish, so we'll have a nice quiet morning at home. And since it's a holiday there is nowhere to go and nothing to do.  No work, no shopping, no cleaning (I got that done today!).  Just watching TV and relaxing. Which we need so desperately. In the pre-baby days we would have slept in, but Ethan believes in sleeping until 8:15 on weekdays and until 6:45 on holidays and weekends. Maybe he wont realize tomorrow is a holiday and will sleep late. But I doubt it. 

Then we'll spend the afternoon with my relatives and will head home after dinner.  A fairly low pressure Thanksgiving. All I have to bring is the wine (sigh) and sparkling juice.  I tend to drink relatively cheap wine under normal circumstances, and some of my relatives are wine aficionados, so it might not be up to their standards. Since I just bought whatever the Trader Joe's people said went well with turkey.  But I don't get to drink it, so who cares.  

Anyway, Happy happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. May your holiday be full of love and happiness and many reasons to be thankful.

More Christmas stuff

Okay, so 1) I am totally out of work, 2) it's already 4 PM on the east coast so no one is around to give me work and 3) I don't want to work anyway, so I'm using a few hours of PTO and am shopping online. 

So far I have bought something for myself and my best friend's Christmas present. Which took me all of 5 minutes. I logged on to, browsed the cute stuff, saw something I liked, put it in the basket and purchased it. 

Why can't shopping for my husband be so easy? He needs nothing. He wants nothing. When he does want something, he just buys it. Which is why I've totally given up on birthday gifts, but darn it, I need something to put under our (2 foot tall, fake) Christmas tree. I keep begging for ideas, but he has nothing. Whereas I usually either give him a list, or tell him to go to the Sephora store, tell the salespeople how much he wants to spend and he comes home with a perfect gift.

This is going to be pretty much my second or third "real" Christmas. And I'm almost 32. I didn't grow up celebrating Christmas (that's a whole 'nother LONG blog entry).  I've had a few since then, but I'm still a little lost with the whole thing. I love going to church on Christmas Eve and all the pretty music. And, fortunately, my parents don't celebrate Christmas still (they go to church and all, but no presents), so I don't have to buy them anything. 

Oddly enough, I married into a family that also doesn't really do Christmas. They also go to church and give presents, but there's no decorations or tree or anything, and they usually just hand us the gifts (or money) when we are leaving to go home. 

This year the in-laws are coming here for Christmas, since daycare is closed December 24-January 1st, and Daniel and I both need to work on Boxing Day, so they'll come down for Christmas and Boxing Day and will leave on Saturday. I'm cooking a "traditional" dinner this year, because I'm utterly tired of Chinese food. And, although I do not cook, at all, I figure they don't usually eat "white people" food and wont really know the difference unless I totally foul it up.  

On a slightly different topic, I just emailed one person with my list of recommended downtown Seattle Christmas activities. Drop me a note if anyone else wants it!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

New post

I deleted my last post. It was just too whiny. Apologies to those of you who got it on your reader feeds before I took it down.  Seriously, I'm pathetic today.  

Last night my bladder apparently got the memo about me being in my second trimester of pregnancy.  It's amazing that one small cup of tea before bed can lead to 4 trips to the bathroom between 10 PM and 6 AM. Seriously, what's up with that! And I know that I'm only in the second trimester according to some sources, others start it at 14 weeks. Whatever.  Oddly enough, I look less pregnant than last time at 13 weeks.  And my pre-pregnancy clothes are still too big, although I am starting to gain weight.  

Well, Ethan's done with snacktime, so I need to go figure out a new activity that doesn't involve taking everything out of my kitchen drawers or hitting the cats with his sippy cup.  Coloring maybe. If I can convince him to stop trying to eat the crayons. The kid is sneaky and fast with chewing on the crayons. Thank goodness they're non-toxic!

Oh, in other amusing news, I got an email this morning from a new special interest group forming as part of my professional organization. A special interest group for Chinese people in this field. :) I wrote them back and said my last name was courtesy of my Chinese husband, but that I appreciated the invite and wished them luck with the new group.  :)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Christmas is coming!

One of the best parts about living in the city is being able to be downtown during the Christmas season. Because it is very dark and fairly cold and totally depressing in Seattle in the winter, but when you go downtown there are lights and music and decorations and carousels and people in Santa costumes and everyone is happy and smiling! I even smiled at 6:15 this morning when I was walking from the bus to the office, because there are more decorations going up all over the place and they're so bright and cheery. I'm looking forward to bringing Ethan downtown to enjoy them all. Last year he was fairly unimpressed.

Okay, so do you want to know how to drive me insane? Tell me there's something that I need to do or fix or generally deal with, then tell me I CAN'T do anything about it for two days. There was a billing error with one of my appointments at the hospital I was visiting originally for my OB stuff, and they charged my old insurance. So I got that statement on Saturday and wanted to call and fix it, only to discover that I couldn't until this morning! Ahh!! I tried to keep the obsessing to a minimum though. And this morning I called and they knew about it and were getting ready to bill the right insurance, so whatever.

Today I'm going to the eye doctor. I'm about out of contact and want to get my eyes checked before baby #2 totally screws up my blood pressure and vision. I'm not a huge fan of the eye doctor because to do the exam the doctor has to be rightupinmypersonalcirclepleasepleasemoveawaybeforeIfreakoutIhatehavingpeoplethatclosetome!!!

Yeah, I need my personal space. Badly. I do get lonely at work sometimes, but overall I greatly enjoy the fact that when I'm here, I can sit at my huge desk in my huge office without even seeing another person for 99% of my day. It helps prepare me for the evenings and my days off when I just serve as another piece of furniture for Ethan to try to climb.

So, that's my insanity for the morning. Hurray for a 3-day week! Daniel has to work on Friday, unfortunately, but he claims he's going to leave early. I'm still trying to decide whether to come downtown and shop or to make Daniel bus to work so I can have the car to hit the malls on Friday. Not sure I really have the energy for either option though. I'll figure it out later.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Rain, rain go away.

I had to restrain myself this morning from grabbing Daniel as he walked out the door to work.  Partly because I love him and partly  because he was taking the car with him on my usual Carrie-has-the-car-and-gets-to-go-out-day [Weeping].

It's been a tough week and a half.  Daniel's been super-duper busy at work lately. Insanely busy.  Far too busy to have time to call me or answer my plaintive messages on Skype. Which I've been trying to keep to a minimum, really. And by the time he gets home from work after 7, I'm wiped out and he's wiped out, and we don't have the energy to even talk, and just watch TV for a while, before I go to bed at 9 (it's really pathetic) and he works for another hour or two.

And although I go to work three days a week, my work is fairly insulated. My three coworkers and I don't say much more to each other besides "good morning", and most of my work is alone, with communication through email.  

I told Daniel this morning when he left that I felt like my only adult conversations this week were the ones I had with nurses and doctors at our many appointments. They are all nice people and all, but I'm not sure that counts.

If I'm going to make it through this long, rainy winter, I need a plan.

But, on the good side, I've used my angst this morning to fuel the following activities:  1) made the list for our Christmas cards and put our pictures in all the cards, 2) put the other pictures that I picked up into the appropriate albums, 3) did 2 loads of laundry, 4) unloaded the dishwasher, 5) organized Ethan's clothes, and 6) tidied the scary hall closet. Now it's 10:45 AM and I'm out of things to do.

Oh, and I totally scared the UPS man this morning with my uncombed hair.  He was dropping off a big box of diapers though, so my appearance probably was not totally unexpected. Fortunately I did get dressed around 10 AM, so at least he was spared that sight.  :)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Entering the danger zone

What is the danger zone, you ask?

This is the point in pregnancy where I finally don't feel sick ALL the time! I have an appetite and only feel sick when I get hungry, which work together to mean I am now eating ALL the time! Which would be not so bad, except for the last 8 weeks I've been eating pretty much nothing, so when I did feel motivated to eat, I didn't worry about what it was or the calorie/fat content. So I have a houseful of really yummy, totally not healthy snacks.

And that, my friends, is how I managed to gain 40+ pounds in 6 months when I was pregnant with Ethan.

This time, I'm in exactly the same place as I was last time. I'm down 8 pounds since I got pregnant. My clothes actually fit better (I'm not sure where my babies hide, but it's not in the usual place, as normal people have clothes that are getting tight by now) than they did before I got pregnant. So in addition to the cupboards and fridge full of not healthy food, I have the bad thought running through my head of "oh, I lost weight in the first trimester and things fit so well now, one more cookie/piece of candy/meal of mac and cheese won't hurt".

I need to post pictures of myself 9 months pregnant and immediately post-partum everywhere for a reminder. I cannot afford to put on that kind of weight again. I'm now 14 pounds heavier than I was at this time last pregnancy and I need to put the brakes on the unhealthy eating immediately, for my sake and for the sake of the new baby.

I think Daniel's going to be taking a big bag of candy to work tomorrow. Although this means I now have to get through the next 6 months of without all of the following: alcohol, good sushi, candy, ice cream, cake, and macaroni and cheese. Someone, please tell me that this is even possible.

Online sale at Fleurville

When I was shopping for a diaper bag pre-Ethan, I developed a serious crush on a bunch of different types of bags, including Bumble, Petunia Pickle Bottom and Fleurville. Thanks to a great sale on Amazon, I ended up with my Bumble bag, which I have loved dearly for the last 15 months. But I am really wanting a new bag for the new baby, so was excited to hear about Fleurville's annual sale on seconds, going on now.

The website has this disclaimer:
As we clear out space in our warehouse, we may find more bags to add to the sale. Please keep checking back for new bags! Seconds are bags that did not make the cut during our rigorous Quality Control process. They are all functional bags with all of their components that have cosmetic blemishes which could include but are not limited to: fabric flaws, stains on the fabric, wrinkles, cloudy TPU, and lamination issues. All seconds sales are non-refundable, non-returnable.

I figure that my current bag also has some issues after being dragged around for months and exposed to a toddler, so for these prices, I was willing to take a chance. Go check it out, their bags are gorgeous.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Update from today's appointments

Our ultrasound this morning went well. I dutifully drank my 24 ounces of water, then sat in a waiting room full of equally uncomfortable pregnant women as we waited for the ultrasound people to call our names. They were running about 10 minutes late this morning, which is an ETERNITY when you have a full bladder. Fortunately, this place worked differently from the clinic that did Ethan's ultrasounds- I had to have a full bladder until my name was called, then was allowed to go use the restroom right away, before the actual scan. Before I've always had to suffer through a full bladder while being poked and prodded in the abdomen, so this was a welcome change.

The scan went well, even though the baby was being overly laid back and refused to turn the right direction for what the technician needed to measure. I had to keep shaking my hips in a 'hula' motion to try to jostle him/her into action. It finally worked and we got the necessary measurements. And I am measuring 4 days ahead of my last scan, so my due date is now June 2nd and I'm 12 weeks pregnant! Almost out of the first trimester!

After that, Daniel dropped us off at home and went to work, then an hour later Ethan and I hopped on the bus to go to Ethan's 15-month appointment. Ethan's finally over 20 pounds! He weighed in at a whopping 21 pounds this morning, up in the 7th percentile! His height was a little less impressive, but the doctor admitted that it's hard to accurately determine the height of a wiggly toddler. He got his shots and we walked home where, thankfully, the annual fire alarm testing was all done. We do have one issue that we have to follow up on for Ethan at Children's Hospital, but it's nothing major, I think.

So it's been a busy day and we're totally exhausted at 2 PM. But it was a good day and it was nice to get good news from all the medical professionals in our day today.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Beware the leaning piles of paperwork

I'm totally buzzing on a sugar high at the moment. I had one maple cream Santa, one snack pack of butterscotch pudding, and 5 Trader Joe's ladyfinger cookies. Oh, and a diet Pepsi. And the sun is out! Energy surge!!!

Then I remember the leaning piles of paperwork and feel very tired again. It's not work paperwork, it's the dreaded "prove that you're really married" paperwork for Daniel's green card status change. And there is a lot of paperwork. Which I feel is a bit of overkill in our situation, because of two main reasons.

1. Seriously people. I'm pregnant. And I have a 15-month old at home. No one would EVER do that for the sake of proving the validity of a marriage for ANYONE. EVER.

2. He's Canadian, not from some far-off country that frequently shows up on immigration watch lists. We like Canada. They watch our TV shows and our news and shop at our stores and our restaurants and their economy gets dragged around with ours. If they want to live in our country, let them. It's cold up there. They need a break. And Daniel's been in the US so long that he says things like "let's pray for the new leader of OUR country and OUR government." Of course, I point out to him that it is not his country or government, but he thinks that it is. That should count for something.

We've spent the last 3 days gathering up bank statements, mortgage statements, donation statements, Ethan's birth certificate, pictures of us and our families, you name it, it's in the pile to be photocopied and sent in. The newest problem came up today- and I feel really bad about this one. My dad is writing one of the affidavits for the application. The other person writing one asked for the address to put on the letter, so it looked professional. Which made sense, so I sent that info to my dad as well. Not thinking anything about it. Then he emailed today to say that he'd made it to get the letter notarized and he'd mailed it off to the immigration office earlier today. It was not supposed to go to the immigration office- they will have no clue what to do with it, since there is no case number or ID number on it. The letter was supposed to be sent back to us to send in with the rest of the giant pile. But that info got lost in the shuffle, so Dad now has to do it all again tomorrow.

Good thing Daniel is such a good husband, he does make all of this insanity worthwhile. And I'm certainly not going to live apart from him or move to Canada with him, so I'll just suck it up and keep photocopying/harassing my friends and family for letters.

I need more sugar.

Oh- we have our second ultrasound tomorrow. I so totally need to see the baby! This part of the pregnancy is so stressful- my symptoms are diminishing, I don't look or feel pregnant, too early for baby movement, too early to hear the heartbeat (or at least it was on Friday). I need reassurance! It's an early appointment, so I'll post in the morning and let you all know how it goes.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Appointment update

I'm back from my LONG appointment. And I smell like cigarette smoke. From the bus, I think. Yucky. Anyway, made it to the doctor in plenty of time, since the bus was early. But it turns out that was good, because it took forever to update my record. Since apparently I'm mysteriously in their system, but from 4 years ago when I was single and had a different name/address/insurance/emergency contact, etc. I'm still not sure how I ended up in their system, since I have no recollection of ever visiting a doctor connected to this hospital.

Anyway, the reception people were so nice and friendly and I know the life's history of the person who checked me in, which would annoy me in some instances, but I liked in this case, since I left my old doctor due to cranky reception people. I've been assigned to an OB now, who I'll meet in 4 weeks. And I have my ultrasound for the integrated screening scheduled for Tuesday morning at 7:30 AM. Full bladder ultrasound! Hurray! Oh wait, no...

The only slightly bad thing was that the PA couldn't find the baby's heartbeat with the Doppler. But it's early still in the pregnancy and I'm, um, well padded in my abdominal area, so she was not concerned.

Oh, and then I had to go to the bank and get something for Daniel's green card from our safety deposit box, because he needs to start applying for his permanent green card. Getting stuff from the safety deposit box involves these things 1) talking to strangers, 2) waiting patiently while they fill out all the forms for accessing the box and 3) being LOCKED in a small room!!!!. Daniel totally owes me for that one.

I really need to work now. I've accomplished little today, and something must be done about that.

Friday! It's FRIDAY!!!

We have a fairly busy weekend ahead of us, but I'm still really looking forward to the chance to have a little downtime in my own home. There was quite a bit of resting time at my parents', but it's different when you're at someone else's place. I think the highlight of this weekend will be watching Kung Fu Panda, which should be on my hold shelf at the library by this afternoon. Fun!

This morning I'm off to my first OB appointment at my new practice. I'll be meeting the PA today, since that's their procedure for new patient intake, then I'll be assigned to an OB after that, and since it'll be a scheduled c-section, I should be seeing pretty much the same person all the way through. Hurray! I'm hopeful that my medical records have made it over to the office- the old hospital says that it can take 15 days to get them out, and it's been 14. Cutting it close.

Not really anything else exciting going on this morning. It's 7:30 and sort of daylight, which is nice. It was dark so early last night- way earlier than in Virginia, since we're so far north. I'd forgotten how draining that is. I was so conflicted when we were watching the Office- it was a great episode and I wanted to watch, but I so desperately wanted to go to sleep too! I managed to stay awake until 9:32. Then that was it for me. Ah, the exciting life of a jet-lagged pregnant woman.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

This is why moms of toddlers drink in the afternoon

And why it's so sad to be a pregnant mom of a toddler and not get my evening glass of wine for recovery purposes... he did this over and over and over. When I removed him from the situation, he whined about something else.  Not enjoying this particular phase so much. 

You need to have your audio on for the full effect. Listen carefully when the door is closed. Keeping in mind that he's the one shutting the door repeatedly. 

Trip recap

Okay, I am unpacked, Ethan and I have been to the grocery store, my kitchen and bathroom floors are relatively clean, and I am really hoping Ethan's nap is going to continue a while longer! 

As I said before, the trip went well. Ethan slept for 3 of our 4 flight takeoffs, napping for about an hour on most of the flight and sleeping for 3.5 hours on our flight home. So that part of the trip went SO much better than we had thought it would go.  On our flight home, we were in a section of the plane that was full of kids, so we weren't too worried about Ethan crying then. But he still was fairly happy until the very end of the flight, when he had just had enough and really wanted to go to bed!

We also had fun checking out the different play areas in the airports we visited. We were impressed by the play areas in Seattle and Cincinnati, and were really upset to find out that Atlanta has closed ALL of their toddler play areas because of insurance costs.  Even the tiny little Tri-Cities airport had a table with one of those bead toys on it, which Ethan enjoyed.  He also had fun looking out the windows at the airports and screaming at the airplanes and airport workers.  

Probably the funniest part of the trip was when we arrived in TN on Tuesday night. We had made plans to stay with some old friends of mine for that night, so after landing and meeting up with my brother to borrow his car for the week, we drove to my friends' house.  We got out of the car, rang the doorbell, waited a few minutes, and then the door was opened by my friend, with a VERY shocked look on his face. In the busyness of life with their three kids, trying to sell their house and planning for a trip of their own, they'd lost track of what day it was and when we were coming!  Fortunately, things were clean, since the house was being showed the next day, and they'd randomly made a double batch of food for dinner, so it wasn't a big deal. But very amusing to us.

The next day we drove to Roanoke, where my parents were outside to meet our car within about 0.00001 seconds of us driving into the driveway.  Daniel and I pretended that they were happy to see us, but we know the truth.  Ethan then spent the next 5 days being utterly and completely spoiled rotten.  

The other really amusing part of the trip was our family picture experience on Saturday. We decided to all wear blue shirts for the family picture, and made lots of jokes about matching outfits.  But it wasn't too bad, since we parked near the photo studio and walked quickly to and from our car. BUT- my parents and I ended up in one car together while Daniel and Ethan went back to my parents' house with my brother and his wife.  And then my parents remembered that we had to drop by Sam's to pick up something. So there we were, wearing our matching outfits, walking around the giant warehouse store.  Where we promptly ran into a pastor friend of Dad's, who gave us very strange looks until we explained that we did not normally dress in matching outfits and that it was post-family photo.  I told my parents that I felt like I was 14 again, embarrassed to be seen in public with them.  

So, travel went smoothly, visiting family and friends went well, and we're slowly readjusting to West Coast time.  I'm really glad we were able to go on the trip, and I'm really glad to be home again! Probably our last plane trip for a while, as Ethan's getting big enough to really need his own seat, and costs are really high for that many people to fly cross-country.  But we got our money's worth on this trip, so all is well.

Now I need a nap. Badly.  Or I need to get my Internet to work properly so that I can watch last week's Ugly Betty online. I need to catch up!