Wednesday, February 27, 2008
We went to the zoo on Tuesday; Daniel took the day off work to belatedly celebrate our anniversary, since we had to work on Monday. We saw a bunch of animals, including these hippos. I was totally shaped just like that, and weighed approximately the same when I was pregnant with Ethan. I feel connected to these hippos, somehow.
Other than that, it's just been a week. Thankfully the sun is still shining here. I'm not sure that I would have gotten through the week otherwise. Not too much going on this weekend, so hopefully Daniel and I will have some time to rest and regroup and actually talk.
I think the lyrics to this Greg Long song, "Everything is Gonna Be Alright", best sum up things right now- I cant remember if I've posted them before, but they frequently come to mind during those relatively minor but still tough and annoying trials:
What can I say, when faith slips away into doubt
And the fear that I feel, is incredibly real, and there's no way out
Everything is shaken, hope is almost taken, but there is something making me say
I'm good I'm fine, but I've seen better days.
Maybe say a prayer when you think of me, I could use some help when you're on your knees
The Lord is kind, I know He's gonna see me through
Everything is gonna be alright
I'm holding onto the mercy and truth of His plan
I'll weather this storm, safe in the warmth of my Father's hand
But through the healing stages, I will stand courageous
Though the hurting rages in me
There is trouble on every side, but I'm not broken
I have been struck down, but I am not destroyed
Persecuted but I'm not abandoned
My hope is in the Lord, my hope is in the Lord...
Everything is gonna be all right
Everything is gonna be all right
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Pictures are from our wedding in 2006, our first anniversary in 2007, and our second anniversary in 2008. For some reason, I loved Smith Tower for years, way before I even met Daniel. Then, when we got engaged and were thinking about wedding locations, I mentioned the Chinese Room at the Smith Tower, but we thought the room was too small for all our friends and relatives. Thankfully, Daniel's mom decided to host a whole second reception up in Vancouver, so we were able to keep our actual wedding small, and we were able to hold in at the Smith Tower. And we've been back every year since, and it never loses its magical properties. Seriously, if you're in Seattle, go there. It's worth the visit.
Saturday, February 23, 2008
On the topic of work- can I just say that I'm loving the every-other-day work thing? It's so nice to have one day of quiet and productivity, and then the next day to snuggle with my baby and see what he's up to.
And speaking of what the baby is up to- feeding him solid foods has been...interesting.... The diapers are unbelievably messy, when he actually gets around to pooping. Which he hasn't done in several days. I'm in for a bad diaper this afternoon- and his daddy is gone snowmobiling today! They have some sort of pact that Ethan will only make poopy diapers when I'm home alone with him. Last week he actually pooped in his baby bathtub, during his bath. I was frozen in place for several seconds- the bathtub is where I put him when he's messy, so what to do when he had messed up the cleaning place! I finally just grabbed him out of the bath, wrapped him in towels and cleaned everything up. I'm hoping that we wont have a repeat of that experience anytime soon.
So far Ethan only likes carrots. Trying to feed him peas or sweet potatoes results in the kind of response that you would expect if I fed him poison. The gagging and spitting and horrible faces are Oscar worthy. The child is going to turn orange if I don't find another food that he will eat very soon. I think a trip to the store to brainstorm is in order.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Ethan and I did go for a long walk yesterday. On our way home we walked past some pretty purple crocuses which were coming up in the landscaping around a nearby hotel. I love to see the first flowers of the spring, even if we wont have a full-on spring around here until early July. The flowers yesterday reminded me of when I used to live in Ukraine. Talk about yucky winters- snow and ice everywhere, having to put on 6 layers of clothes to go outside, getting yelled at by babushkas because I refused to wear a hat. Winter in Ukraine is particularly depressing in the city because the snow gets so dirty and then there's mud everywhere in the flat, and you just cant keep things clean. But, eventually spring does arrive there, and the first sign of that is the little bundles of flowers for sale on the street corners. People bring the little bunches of small white flowers into the city, all wrapped up in leaves to make a tiny little bouquet. I used to love buying those- it gave me hope that the winter was actually going to end and that I wouldn't be cold and muddy forever.
Daniel and I are in desperate need of the equivalent of those flowers in our life right now. We're not going through a bad trial, just one of those endless, slogging on through the mud type of times. Yesterday at my moms' group one of the other moms read a verse about the Israelites "trudging through the wilderness". I think I can relate, just a bit.
So, that's the Friday update from here. I'm working busily this morning, and need to clean during my lunch break. Mainly vacuum, since the cats appear to have gotten the memo that it's spring, and are leaving giant clumps of fur all over the condo. I should brush them or something.
Okay, back to work.
PS- Hurray! The spell check works again!
Thursday, February 21, 2008
Just got home from my church mom's group and caught up with my blog reading. Just one other mom and I there today, but the group was such a blessing, as always. In my busy life, I need someone to pick me up every so often and turn me back toward Christ. Sadly, I lose focus way too quickly these days.
Our big prayer request at the group today was for our husbands' safety. Daniel and four of his friends are driving over the mountain pass tomorrow and snowmobiling on Saturday. One of the husbands has an 8.5 month pregnant wife, and all of the others have babies under a year old. So all of us wives are a little nervous. But they really need the time away, so we're letting them go and praying that they'll stay safe and have a wonderful time.
Ethan's napping now, but hopefully he'll wake up soon- we need to go out in the sunshine. I love the nice weather, but there is a bit of pressure to soak up as much of it as possible, since this is a very temporary break in the weather and we'll be back to drizzle and grey skies very soon. Today is lovely again though. It's so nice to have sun coming through the windows.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
We haven't done much worth blogging about lately. Daniel and I are pretty much just barely functional these days. Neither of us has anything approaching any level of energy. Thank goodness the baby goes to bed at 6:30, so we can lie around on the couch and be useless after that. My day usually starts around 5 AM these days, so I'm pretty much done mentally by dinnertime.
No resolution to the Comcast thing yet. The account is in Daniel's name, so I'm letting him deal with it. And he's been too busy to call again. Hopefully he'll get around to it today, because calling strangers (and sometimes people I know) is a major phobia of mine.
That's all. I have nothing interesting going on.
Monday, February 18, 2008
It looks like it's going to be another long week here. Daniel's still really frustrated with things that are going on in his life. That's so hard to watch. I want to fix things for him and see him happy and unstressed again. But all I can do is pray and try to be supportive as much as possible. And send him snowmobiling with his friends on Friday. I'm hoping that that outing is a real stress relief for him.
We had a pretty good weekend here- managed to get our taxes about 95% of the way finished, and we finally got our wills witnessed and notarized. Such a huge relief to have those things done. I got a few hours of work done at my office too- mostly organizing and filing things that haven't been taken care of since I left last August. Since there are only 4 of us in the office and we have no admin staff, I do most of the library/admin work when I dont have real science stuff to work on. It's a nice break sometimes.
So, that's what's going on around here. Looks like it's going to be a busy day and a busy week, but hopefully it'll turn into an unexpectedly good week. I hope!
Friday, February 15, 2008
We went out to dinner last night after all. And Ethan was well behaved. He just sat quietly in his stroller and stared. There was background music, which he likes. People looked nervous when we walked in, but smiled widely at us when we left, since our child was so well behaved. Actually, the people next to us smiled widely because Daniel and I had depressing conversations the whole time and they wanted us to go away and stop ruining their good evening.
I think I'll be able to say more about the depressing stuff in the future, but cant do so yet. Mostly because we dont know the whole story yet. All I can say now is, it cannot be a good sign if your company literally sells your desk chair (and most of the other office equipment) out from under you, during the work day.
I keep forgetting to talk about my newfound love for the TV show, Monk. I've been watching it in the afternoons while I feed the baby and scurry around trying to get things ready for the evening. It's so funny. I put all the DVDs of past seasons on hold at the library, to get me through when our cable goes away. I think I love the show because I hate dirt, although not to the extent that the main character does. But I about fell off my couch during one episode when Mr. Monk was telling a little boy about nature while walking outside in a park. "We dont touch brances, that's nature and nature's dirty. Nature, dirty, nature dirty." TOTALLY how I feel about the outdoors :)
Have a great weekend!
Thursday, February 14, 2008
So, to save money we downgraded our cable once our 6-month promotional period was over. But we live in a condo building, and it's more work for them to put the filters back on than it is for people who live in a house. Yesterday the cable guy called to say that he was downstairs and ready to downgrade the cable. But I wasnt home to let him in- so we still have cable today. I yelled at Daniel last night every time he stopped on a network station- we must watch all cable, all the time, since we dont know how much longer it'll be on!
I really need to go finish the laundry and clean the kitchen. I really dont want to. When will Ethan be big enough to do those chores?
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Yesterday was so incredibly busy, it's almost nice to be working today. Because work means 8+ hours of sitting still. Which doesn't happen on my days off. Ethan had his 6 month check-up yesterday. He's almost up to 15 pounds, and is 26.3 inches in length. We're short in this family and we count every 10th of an inch :) He did really well with his 3 shots and one oral vaccine. They wanted to give him two other shots, but I deferred them to next time.
Then we headed up to a town just north of Seattle to meet someone at a mall up there so that I could buy a small breast pump. Found it on craigslist, and got a good deal. I'm going to be taking my Medela double electric pump to work, but wanted something to have here as a backup for weekends and my days off, if I need it. Ethan and I finished up our Valentine's Day shopping at the mall- I got his daddy a few small things, and he got a gift for one of his girlfriends, since we have a playdate scheduled for tomorrow.
After that we came home and I made a bunch of baby food- peas pureed in the blender. Nice neon green sludge- I cant believe he ate it. And seemed to like it pretty well. Hopefully he'll continue to be a good eater. We also finally got around to lowering the crib, and did about 1 million other small things around the condo. I could really use a few more hours in my day.
So, tomorrow's Valentine's Day. My fourth one with Daniel. We're going to the Greek restaurant across the street, same place we went last year. But this year we'll be a warning to the masses to use birth control, as the baby will be coming to dinner as well. Hopefully he'll be in a good mood.
Okay, I should get back to work.
Monday, February 11, 2008
1. Talking to our very nice, very helpful financial advisor is exhausting. I dont want to make decisions. That's why I pay someone to help out. I just want to have enough money to not have to eat cat food when I'm 70. I do not have the brain power left at 7 PM to understand the benefits/drawbacks of mutual funds/foreign investments/stocks/shoeboxes under the bed. Thank you for having mercy on me and just making a recommendation.
2. I get to watch Jon and Kate Plus 8 in 9 minutes, which will make me feel SO much better about my own life.
3. I really miss my baby when he's at daycare, but it is nice to be able to get work done without many interruptions.
4. Wondering if the cats are going to get into the crib now that we've removed the crib tent. But so glad to not have the stupid tent up anymore, because I did not like how it looks.
5. I'm wishing the No Pudge brownies in the oven would bake faster. I'm hungry.
6. I also wish that the spell check on blogger would start working again, because when I type I tend to leave out punctuation, and I count on the spell check to fix that.
7. I am going to the gym tomorrow morning, but it's been 2 days already since I washed my hair and I just dont think I can make it another 10 hours.
8. If you look up my name on www.ginfo.pl, it finds me, with one of my publications, and lists me as "world scientist". I get a kick out of that. Makes me feel cool.
Ooh, brownies are done. Gotta run.
Sunday, February 10, 2008
This photo is from yesterday at the Seattle Lunar New Year celebration. Which, sorry to say, kind of sucked. And now that I think about it, it was pretty boring last year too. We drove to the International District to go to the festival instead of taking the bus, since Ethan's not feeling well and I didnt want him exposed to more random germs. But driving in Chinatown on any Saturday is just a bad idea, much less on the day when the Lunar New Year celebration is going on. Daniel and I rarely argue, but trying to find parking in Chinatown inevitably causes an argument. Yesterday was no different. But we finally did find a parking spot and hauled ourselves and Ethan to Daniel's favorite Chinese restaurant. Where he ate less than usual (he's got a cold), but still managed to down almost his own body weight (not difficult) in Chinese food. Ethan was fawned over by people sitting at the table next to us, which I always appreciate.
Then we went to the New Year celebration. Waited in a shockingly straight line out front to get in. Then realized that the entire celebration consisted of a stage with some martial arts demonstrations, and some booths set up by random banks in the area. We didn't stay long.
Today the boys both still had nasty colds and I had a headache, so we had to miss church. Which was sad, since it was our church's 10th anniversary potluck today. We listened to last week's sermon online, and have spent the rest of the day doing miscellaneous chores/grocery shopping/etc. Hopefully everyone will be better tomorrow for work and daycare- we need one good day before Ethan gets his 6 month shots on Tuesday and everything descends into mayhem again.
We're going to have a little 6 month celebration for Ethan tonight- we got some cake in Chinatown yesterday and I bought candles today. I'm actually much less excited about the cake than usual, since Chinese cake isn't sweet enough for my American taste buds. But it always looks so pretty!
So that's my recap of this weekend. I was going to post deep thoughts that I've been thinking. But I've already forgotten some of them, so I'll hold off for now. Maybe my brain will return tomorrow from wherever it's gone off to. I hope!
Friday, February 8, 2008
So, today his daddy and I blearily took his temperature, only to see that it was still above 100, too high for daycare. Daniel went to work (hopefully without falling asleep on the bus), and I've been juggling sick baby care/work all day. This afternoon he was fussy, so I put him on the couch and turned on the TV. Instant quiet. Even sleep. Which leads me to wonder if this whole "fever" thing was just a ploy to get mommy to plant him in front of the TV.
We're hoping that he's better soon, because yesterday was Chinese New Year, and this weekend is the celebration down in Seattle's Chinatown. Daniel doesnt get good Chinese food that often, so he's always looking for a reason for us to head down to the International District. I hope we get to go- I think Ethan would enjoy the dancing and bright colors and sounds of the festival.
Happy Lunar New Year to you all!
Thursday, February 7, 2008
So, I was just in the bathroom, and happened to see the bottom of Ethan's inflatable bathtub. In French, the words were "advertissment". In English, it said "warning". Interesting that the word in French for warning is so close to our word for advertising. I believe that though. Especially when you have a baby. You have to have the "right" version of everything. Having name brand items goes from being a status symbol of your money, to a status symbol of how much you love your child. After all, who wouldnt want their baby to have the "best" of everything.
Today was my church new moms' group. I was hesitant at first about joining this group, but it's turned out to be one of the most amazing blessings in my life. I love the woman who opens her home to us and to the other moms who come. All of us who come regularly are in our 30s, have mixed race/culture kids, and just have a lot in common. That's such a blessing to me. Today we had a lady from our church come speak to us who has 4 kids, and who has been a missionary for many years. And the things she said really struck close to home, because they are things I've been thinking about lately. Including warning us to not be so caught up in the name brands and spending our time trying to pick the "right" outfit for our babies that we miss out on other things that God is leading us to.
One of the other things that she talked about was our roles as Christian wives. Mainly, we are to be a helper to our husbands. Which I believe, 150%. And I'm worried that my job, even part-time, is going to get in the way of me being that helper to Daniel. Because he's going to have to take on some more responsibilities at home if I work. And I'm really conflicted in myself (and was before today) as to whether that's right for us right now. His job sucks these days, to be honest. He comes home stressed and tired, and I dont want to make that worse. It's another one of those things that I'm not going to know until we try though. Maybe he'll really enjoy his morning hours with Ethan, since he doesn't always see him that much on weekdays.
It's hard to be a good Christian wife sometimes (all the time). Especially when you're very strong-willed and selfish. I definitely need to pray about this more! I think trying to find the balance of what makes me/Daniel/Ethan happy and fulfilled is going to take, oh, the rest of my life. :)
To Karen- yes, they have music classes at daycare. And Spanish lessons! Another reason why daycare is so much more fun than home!
Wednesday, February 6, 2008
It is nice to have him home again though.
It's weird to be home by myself, with only the psycho cats for company. And even they are not too much company right now, as it's kitty sleep time.
This feels so strange.
Thanks for your comments on the whole feeding thing. I need to get over doing what the books say is "right" and just go with what works for us. I know that. Really. Sort of.
Daniel and I had another "discussion" last night about daycare/work/scheduling who will pick up, drop off the baby. Mostly planning for next month, since this month I'm working at home. Since the majority of my coworkers are in Boston, it makes sense for me to try to work East Coast hours, and leave early in the morning after Ethan's first feeding and then get off work mid-afternoon. But, truthfully, I have very little confidence in my beloved's abilities to get himself up and dressed and the baby up and dressed and fed with solid foods, and get everyone to daycare/work by 9 AM. Hopefully if we prepare enough the night before, we'll be fine. I hope. I need to stop worrying about this and just see how things go. Since it isnt even an issue yet. I think I just needed somewhere to project my stress last night, and it landed on Daniel. I've got to quit doing that too.
I ate my way through watching Biggest Loser again last night. That show is making me fat.
So, baby is napping right now. I'm always shocked when naptime actually happens. I put him down in his crib since it was a few hours since he got up this morning, and didnt really think he'd fall asleep. But he did. Which was surprising, but lovely. Hopefully he'll get a nap in at daycare too. I'm taking one of his toys to daycare today, and maybe that will make him feel more safe in his daycare crib. I just dont think that I can stand it if he's crying again when I pick him up this afternoon.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
I'm a registered Republican. So my choices were limited. Truthfully, I'm tired of the current situation. I voted for President Bush. And believed in his choices. Then became increasingly disillusioned in these last few years.
So, I suddenly had to make a choice between the Republican candidates. Which is hard. I'm a relatively moderate Republican, but I'm a very conservative Christian. These two things are not mutually exclusive, but they make voting hard. I read all the candidates' stance on the issues, and I voted.
Then, today, I read this post. And I took a test online to see who I should vote for, based on my opinions on different issues that are important to me. And I got the results. And they surprised me. And so I took another test. And again, the same results. Results which were for someone who is not in my party. Someone who I'm intrigued by, but who I would have never though of voting for, since that person is on the other side of the aisle.
I'm glad I have until November to figure this out. And maybe things will be more clear tonight, since the person I'm considering voting for might be out of the contest.
Yeah, I need more things in my life to confuse me right now.
Okay, so yesterday I got up and worked (I'm working from home this month, since I'm not mentally prepared for pumping in the office and no one really cares where I am anyway, as long as I actually get my work done). Then Ethan woke up and I fed him and changed him and we took him down to daycare. He's in the new infant room at daycare, with just 3 other babies. All girls. He was thrilled, as he's quite the little ladies man. He went happily to the daycare lady, then was all settled in quickly, so we left. And came home and worked and got the vaccuming done! I went to get him two hours later. And found him crying in his crib, because it was naptime and he was exhausted, but he 1) hates naptime and 2) was in a strange place and couldnt sleep.
So begins the headspinningly confusing emotional road that I'm on. The daycare lady said that he had a great time the rest of the time. I know he was just tired. He does that freak out every day when I try to put him down for his nap. And I know that he needs to learn to nap without me going in and patting him every two minutes, and then getting him up (sans nap) when I cant stand the crying anymore. But my baby- he was crying! And I wasnt there!
And then there's the whole solid food issue. Oh my goodness, I had no idea how complicated starting solid foods is! I need a chart to keep track of what I'm supposed to be feeding him and when. Actually, there are charts, but I'm not smart enough to understand them. And I have a master's degree in science. But seriously, I'm so utterly confused. And I need to figure it out by like tomorrow, so I know what foods to take to daycare with me and leave for Ethan. I was doing solid food at night, but that's apparently not right and I need to do it at lunchtime, but he's not home for lunchtime 3 days a week.
Maybe I should just quit my job and be a stay-at-home mom. I'm certainly not going to be bored anymore. He's out of that boring baby stage and into a fairly high maintenance baby stage. With the playing and the rolling and the solid foods.
So, we're one day into this, and I am more confused that ever about what to do. Tomorrow we'll give this daycare thing a try again- probably for about 4 hours this time. Hopefully it'll go well.
Monday, February 4, 2008
Daniel had a great weekend at the church men's retreat. For which I'm so glad. He's such a cheerful, positive person, but even he's been a little discouraged lately, since his job is pretty tough on top of all of the changes and adjustments going on at home.
Amusingly, I got up at 5:30 this morning, to be sure that I had plenty of time to get ready so I could start working by 6. I was ready by 5:37. I forgot how much I've trimmed down my morning routine since becoming a mom.
So, the plan for today is to let the baby sleep, then after his brief morning nap, we'll take him over to daycare and leave him there until about noon. Then Daniel will take off the afternoon to entertain him while I try to get in as many hours as I can today. This week is going to be challenging, since Ethan's not going to daycare for the full day on his three days. Too soon for that for all of us. But I still have to try to work as close to my normal hours as possible. Hopefully we'll be able to juggle things. And, very hopefully, we can get the condo vaccumed after we take him to daycare this morning. He's scared of the vaccum cleaner right now, so the cat hair is really starting to pile up!
Friday, February 1, 2008
I've been up since 4:30, thanks to Mr. Baby's internal alarm clock, which goes off at 4:30. Every morning. Today there was no snooze button on the internal alarm. I finally broke down and fed him at 6, then decided to go to the gym, since I was up anyway. This is a good thing, because now we can go to SushiLand for dinner tonight, since I wont have to go work out this evening.
To you Seattle readers- I'm thinking of organizing a group to walk in the Walk for Hope, which is in October at Warren Magnusson Park. I'll probably try to get people from church involved as well. Anyone out there interested? Anyone done this event in past years and have any advice? We were looking at the Breast Cancer 3-day, but that's a bit much for us at this point, especially since you have to train for it, and all my friends at church are still nursing. This one-day event seems like a good alternative.
Okay, I'm going to spend today cleaning and snuggling with the baby. Must have a spotless house for my return to work on Monday. I have tomorrow to clean too, as Daniel's abandoning me this weekend for a church men's retreat. It's kind of good timing, as I'll be ready to put Ethan in daycare on Monday after spending the weekend alone with him :)