Thursday, January 31, 2008

Never watch Biggest Loser with a thin person

I watched Biggest Loser on Tuesday night with my husband. To give some background, I'm 5'1", and definitely not thin. I had lost a bunch of weight on Weight Watchers before the baby, but am now about 25 pounds above my goal weight and at least 20 pounds above my pre-baby weight. Daniel is 5'4" (yeah, our kid is going to be a giant, really!) and might weigh 120 pounds. With all his clothes on. Like all the clothes he owns. And it's virtually all muscle, because he (gasp) enjoys working out.

I love him anyway.

So, there we were, watching TV. And it got to the weigh-in part of the show, and one person didnt lose weight, despite cutting calories. Daniel looked at me in confusion and said "but if you cut calories, you will always lose weight, right". Then another person gained weight, despite doing everything right. Daniel said "but that's impossible. If they're working out and eating right, they'll lose weight." I also had to try to convince him that women have a harder time losing weight than men. The whole conversation just left him completely confused. And left me tired. So I went and ate a snack. :)

I've spent the last two days trying to find software for compiling all of the videos of Ethan that we've taken this year, so that I can burn them onto a DVD for the grandparents. And I really want to label the videos on the DVD so that the grandparents know what they're watching. Sounds easy, doesnt it. Two days of my life down the drain, and I still cant get it to work. It's very frustrating.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Too cute for naptime

I put Ethan down for his nap, then came to check on him a few minutes later. And found him completely turned around in his crib, smiling up at me and waving his arms in excitement when he saw me standing next to his crib. Yeah, it worked, he's now playing on his playmat instead of "napping". The daycare people are going to HATE me.

We're having another good day here. I've been in an astonishingly good mood since Sunday. Probably because I had a complete breakdown on Sunday night complete with crying and sobbing and telling Daniel all of the things that have been bothering me lately. It was one of those conversations that men hate, since none of the things really involved him and most were unfixable. I felt better though.

(note- Ethan used to be able to roll from front to back, but now he rolls from back to front and gets stuck there. Weird).

Other random things that are making me happy today:
1. I'm going to have coffee with a girl from church this weekend. She's pregnant with her first son, and I just met her this past month at our new moms' group. Havent met her husband yet, but she seems really nice and I'm looking forward to making a new friend.

2. I put all of my blog entries from the beginning of the blog through the end of 2007 into a book that I made using Blurb. It arrived yesterday and looks great. I splurged and got the hardback version, which cost $50. But, Valentine's Day, our wedding anniversary and my birthday all fall really close together, and Daniel never has enough gift ideas, so this will count for one or two of those events. I'm so happy to have the journey of my pregnancy/first months of motherhood in print!

3. I found out this week that I still have 2 weeks of vacation left at work, which is surprising. And I also found out that they're going to leave me as an hourly employee, so on those weeks that Ethan is sick or we just cant fit in all the work hours, it's okay- I can just not get paid for those. If I'm salaried then I would have to find a way to make up the hours or use vacation time. This gives me a little more freedom, which is wonderful. Especially next week when Ethan wont be in daycare all day yet.

I'd like to close with the life-defining event that happened yesterday- I was holding Ethan and he was screaming (teething?). I looked down and noticed that he had been screaming so hard that he got a booger on my shoulder. I wiped it off and went on with my afternoon. Things that would have freaked me out 6 months ago....

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Have I mentioned how much I love weekends?

I'm on day 2 of my last week of maternity leave. Today is a mentally stable day, so I'm not sad about the imminent arrival of daycare/accounting for every moment of my time/getting up at 5:30 AM. Really I'm not. But tomorrow I probably will be.

I think Ethan and I are going to stay close to home today. I have things that I could do, but nothing that I should do. So I probably wont do much at all. Except watch my baby try to figure out how to escape from his crib/exersaucer/swing/bebepod chair to catch whichever cat made the mistake of walking too close to him. He's so freaking cute. He did learn how to roll from back to from this past week, so I think the cats' days of freedom from tail pulling are limited.

So, back to the title of this post. I know I've mentioned this before, but I love weekends, mainly because Daniel's home and I love spending time with him. We actually spent the day doing different things on Saturday, then went out for Korean food on Saturday night. People always look nervous when we walk into the restaurant with a baby, but so far (I know that'll change) Ethan is well-behaved about 99% of the time. And it's really important to us both to have Ethan learn how to behave in restaurant and travel and church situations, because these are important parts of our lives and we're not planning to change that too much.

Sunday was a REALLY fun day though. Went to church, heard a great sermon on accountability. Drove up north to the home of some friends of Daniel's. Ethan fell asleep immediately in the car on our way home, and Daniel jokingly said to me "he's sleeping so well, we should just keep driving." To which I said "let's go to IKEA". So we did. I was nervous about finding a place to feed Ethan, but IKEA has wonderful baby care rooms with a nice chair for nursing and a changing table and all the things you need. It's wonderful. And we got some great deals at IKEA and were able to redecorate our bedroom for a small amount of money. It's nice to have a change every once in a while. All in all it was just a really fun day, and I got to spend it with my two favorite people. You just cant beat days like that. One of the reasons I fell in love with Daniel was that I enjoyed just being around him, even if we weren't doing anything special. He's just a great person to be around. And many years later I still feel the same way about him!

Friday, January 25, 2008

Like the Eskimos and their words for snow

The sun is shining again here in Seattle, so I'm contemplating going for a walk with the baby later on today. I need to take advantage of the good weather before the bad weather returns tomorrow. Of course, going out involves combing my hair (or I could just put the hood up on my coat...). So, we'll see if I make it out or not.

I know I've mentioned this before, but I really think that parents need more versions of the word "tired". It loses it's effectiveness after a while because, as my husband points out to me, I'm always tired. But it is a different type all the time. Some days I have "the baby wanted to eat multiple times last night" tired. Or "too many frantic emails from work today" tired. Or "I cant believe my husband is even willing to consider us going through another pregnancy, but it would be so much easier than adoption so who knows" tired. And in Daniel's case, it's the "work sucks and my wife is insane and the baby is teething and I have a cold" tired.

You get the drift. These things all have very different causes and very different effects on my mood and behavior. So lumping them together is just not right! But it takes way more time than Daniel or I actually have to explain the reasoning behind our tiredness of the day. So we just say "tired", and often remain unaware of the things that accompany that day's tiredness in each other.

Today it's yet another case of "my baby just will not nap or sleep through the night and I'm afraid I've screwed up all his routines and that he'll never sleep again and oh my goodness they're going to hate him at daycare because he wont nap" tired. I know he needs to nap and we were doing so well for a while. But lately it's been a battle at every single naptime and he usually wins. I can only handle a maximum of crying, and he has more energy to cry than I have to listen to it.

But, I'm not going to worry about that right now. I'm going to comb my hair and we're going to go for a walk and enjoy the sunshine. And I'm going to wrap my friend's baby present and get excited about going to her baby shower tomorrow. She's having a boy, so there's less cute-clothing-envy than I have at the showers for baby girls. And maybe there will be cake!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Today

I was going to go to the mommy&baby movie time at one of the local theaters. Then I realized that I didn't want to go to the movies at 10 AM. Who watches movies at 10 AM? Not to mention, the theater is 15 minutes away if there is no traffic, and even further at rush hour. So instead of being at the movies, I'm still sitting around the condo, wearing pajamas, eating cereal and listening to Ethan not napping in the other room.

Every time I look over at my TV, I'm sad. We're returning the digital cable box today, as we're at the end of the 6 month introductory cost time. So now it's back to regular TV for us. Network stations and the discovery channel. I'll probably get a lot more done in my life though.

Still crying in the other room. I'm a little worried about his refusal to nap, especially with daycare looming on the horizon. They're not going to like his screaming through naptime.

So, that's what's going on here. I have some work to do, and we might go to storytime at the library today. I really enjoyed it last time that we went, so hopefully we'll make it today too.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Still no tooth

Still no tooth, but Ethan seems to be feeling better today anyway. The screaming and yelling continued most of the day yesterday, until he fell asleep at 8. After that we've been back to the nice, happy baby. Thank goodness. His daddy and I are wiped out.

I've started gathering information from some China adoption agencies. There are a lot of them out there! I don't personally know anyone who has adopted from China (besides online people), so I don't have any personal advice coming in. But the agencies that I have talked to have included reference lists, so I've been able to email some of the people who have adopted through the agencies. Which has been very educational and encouraging.

We're planning to go ahead with considering a China adoption, despite the current wait time. It does work in our favor that Daniel is Hong Kong-born Chinese, so we will get to have the process expedited a bit. I'm not sure I'd be willing to consider it otherwise. Also, I'm really interested in the waiting child program, where you get matched with a baby with a health problem, usually a fixable one. Daniel's a bit more hesitant about that idea. So we'll see.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Tuesday

I've noticed that I almost never have good titles for my posts on Tuesdays. They seem to suck all the creativity out of my brain. Oh well.

I think I have PMS. I'm not sure, because I haven't had PMS since November 2006. Not that I'm complaining in the least about the absence of PMS. I did not miss it. But I'm pretty sure that the good times are over. Great timing too- because I needed something else to make me mentally unstable right now.

Another gorgeous day here in Seattle. I think the munchkin and I are going to have to head up Queen Anne hill to go to Trader Joes and the library. And who knows, maybe I'll have enough energy leftover to go to the gym tonight after Daniel gets home from work. I was going to go on Sunday, but then I fell down the stairs and hurt my foot, so got out of it (I promise, it was not a deliberate thing to get out of exercising). I'm feeling better today though, so my excuses are running out. Darn it.

I did have one deep thought the other day. (Not sure how I slipped up and let that happen!) As a general rule, I don't like people to get into my personal space. Daniel's allowed to sit close to me most of the time. Unless I'm in a bad mood. Then I tend to get annoyed and make him sit far away from me on the couch. And our most frequent conversation at nighttime involves my belief that he should "GET OFF MY SIDE OF THE BED AND STOP PUTTING YOUR HEAD ON MY PILLOW!!!!" But I was holding Ethan the other day, when he was in one of his rare cuddly moods. And I realized that it doesn't bother me when Ethan is in my personal space. In fact, when I'm holding him it doesn't even feel like there is another person touching me. He's just an extension of my own body. Which is strange and wonderful all at the same time. Being a mom never ceases to amaze me.

I better wrap up and go deal with the puddles of drool that Ethan's making. This tooth has to come in eventually, right?

Monday, January 21, 2008

I wanna go outside

The view out my window this afternoon is so gorgeous- beautiful blue skies, lots of sunshine... so pretty. People are pretty bundled up though, so it must be pretty cold. It's always 75 degrees in my condo, so I have no concept of outdoor temperatures. I think Ethan and I are going to walk down to QFC when he gets up from his nap, so I'll see for myself then.

We had a rough night last night- Ethan refused to eat most of the day yesterday, then didn't want to sleep last night and was cranky. He's still not eating well today. I think we're still teething, but if he doesn't get better soon, then I'm going to call the doctor soon.

I feel a little bad about something today- I got a phone call from my mom this morning. She was calling to talk to me about their visit in April, and to make sure that we were really okay with them coming (I've told them in the last few weeks that it was fine, and that they were welcome to come stay with us). But she was worried that it would be a problem for them to come visit, since they're still unhappy about the daycare decision, and she was worried that they'd offended us to a point where we wouldnt want them around. My dad's taking it really really really hard still, apparently. I'm sad that this is causing a problem for us (mainly them). I told Mom today that I really wish we weren't so far apart on the issue. And I reiterated that this was not a permanent decision, it's just something we're going to try in February and March and re-evaluate then. But it's still really hard on them- they just don't understand the logic behind our choice. And I don't expect them to. I just wish they weren't so very sad about it. They're Ethan's grandparents and they need to be around him. And that's the most important thing.

Nothing much else new and exciting going on here. Just enjoying the scenery and the quiet condo. It's amazing just how loud a 5 month old can be when he isnt feeling well!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

This was a little scary

I'm always nervous when I'm carrying around Ethan- afraid that I'll trip over a cat or that he'll wiggle and hit his head on something or that I'll fall down the stairs with him. Today I decided to test out one of those fears. We were leaving church, and I was a few steps from the bottom, when my feet went out from under me, and I went down, while holding the baby. Thankfully I fell backwards and I had a good hold on him, so he didn't fall from my arms. And we both missed hitting the wall next to the staircase. He was fine, just freaked out and a little upset. I'm a little sore in the bum area (thankfully I'm well padded there!) and my ankles are going to be pretty stiff in the morning, but overall I'm fine too.

But I feel like I've betrayed Ethan. He trusts me to keep him safe, then I go and fall down stairs with him. God was watching out for us and protecting us today, and we're fine, and that's what's important. But I still feel badly about the whole thing. Hopefully babies have short memories. :)

I think he's trying to drive us insane

My lovely, sweet baby, who was such a good sleeper- well- he no longer is. Since we returned from Portland, he's been getting up in the middle of the night. Really getting up. Not lying in his crib, whining quietly (which he used to do, and was quickly soothed by a paci), but the wide awake, "hi mom! Do you want to play now?" type of awake. Ugh. He's the most adorable child on the planet, but I really see him enough during the day and do not need to spend quality time with him at 2 AM. This morning he didn't wake up until 4, and I finally broke down and nursed him at 4:30. We haven't been doing middle of the night feedings anymore, but I was desperate for sleep. And it worked.

The other problem with this middle-of-the-night waking thing, is that my beloved is currently winning the subtle "I'm tireder than you are" contest that new parents play, to try to figure out who is going to get up with the baby and check on him, or who is going to go sleep in the baby's room so that the other parent can get some rest. Daniel's been having a really rough time at work, and that's really getting him down. And he's just generally worn out. I don't blame him. I've actually been pretty proud of my maturity and unselfishness this week in not whining about my bigger lack of sleep. But I wanted to.

The clothing swap was not a success yesterday. But we tried. And now we know what not to do again next time.

The only other news of note is that my parents are planning a visit for the first week of April. Hopefully they'll be less upset about the whole daycare thing by then. And my brother and sister-in-law are planning a visit for May. It's their big vacation for the year, so my brother wants to fit in as many activities as humanly possible. We're going to need a spreadsheet with the days broken down into 30-minute increments. It's going to be that busy. And he still has 4 months to add in more activity ideas.

Okay, I cant go to church in my pjs, so I need to go get dressed.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Another problem with being an "older" mom

I've discovered another problem with being an "older" mom. I make noise when I walk. Usually when the baby is napping and I go in to check on him, I'm coming from the living room, where I've been sitting down. So I get up and my back cracks and my knees pop. And they're still doing it when I go into Ethan's room. And if Ethan isn't sleeping soundly, my chorus of noises wakes him up. I'm such a freak.

Supposed to be getting together with two girlfriends today, one of whom has a 4 month old and the other of whom has a 7 month old. Coordinating a get-together around 3 sets of naptimes is impossible. Don't even bother trying it. I'm not sure who's coming today and whether we're all going to overlap for more than 10 minutes.

Tomorrow's our church clothing/toy swap, which I'm really hoping goes well, since I'm the one who organized it. We'll see. I'm just glad it'll be done soon, and, if nothing else, we'll have stuff to donate to charity at the end of the day tomorrow.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The best news EVER

Okay, so yesterday I got the BEST NEWS EVER. Are you ready for it? My husband's company is going to stop paying for their employees to carry around Blackberries, effective at the end of the month! THERE WILL BE NO MORE EVIL BLACKBERRY IN MY LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! My beloved is going to switch back to a normal phone, one without email access. Hallelujah!!!!

The baby is napping, so I really should be getting myself ready for the day. Today is our church new mom's group meeting, one of the high points of my life these days. It's such an encouragement to be able to get together with other moms going through similar challenges and to talk about those, but more importantly to be reminded of what the Bible has to say about things and to have the opportunity to pray together. It's such a blessing to me.

We have to go to the post office too this morning. I'm mailing off another box of baby clothes to a girlfriend of mine. I'm totally in big trouble if we decide to have another biological child, but truthfully, we dont have the space to store things here in the 900 sq ft condo. We're already in serious risk of being killed by falling stuff every time we open a closet.

Okay, time to comb my hair, possibly for the first time in several days...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ah, peace and tranquility

Yesterday kind of sucked. I ended up working 11 hours, which is quite a feat with a 5 month old around. I spent the whole day moving him from playmat to swing to exersaucer to bouncy chair, and making faces and talking to him while I worked on tables for our upcoming publication. It was reaffirmation that working from home just doesnt work for me, I end up stressed and frustrated. At the end of the day, I called Daniel and asked him to skip the gym and come home to pay attention to Ethan. Thankfully he did. At which point I picked a fight with him, because he lost his bus pass, and will have to pay the $3/day to get to and from work for the rest of the month. Which annoys me, since I'm spending so much time clipping coupons and looking for bargains and just generally trying to save money every way possible.

Another blogger responded to my post from yesterday and informed me that the wait time for China adoptions is up to 4-5 years. Which I hadn't heard, and which came as quite a surprise for me. I'm not sure we're willing to wait quite that long to adopt. This is going to make the decision on having another baby very interesting.

And I have a new mom question- why is it that baby poop is able to defy the laws of gravity? Ethan can be sitting upright in his chair, make a dirty diaper, and I pick him up to find that the poop has traveled upwards, and out the top of his diaper/pants. Seriously. Explain this to me. Hopefully the addition of food to his diet (in a couple of weeks, probably) will help this situation.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Excuse me?

The trip to Portland went fine. Exhausting, but fine. I'm working on a huge work project today that has a really tight deadline, so am drinking copious quantities of caffeine to try to stay awake. While also trying to convince Ethan to sleep, because he's tired and I dont have the energy for a cranky baby on top of everything else today.

But I shouldnt whine. I was just reading a care page for a little boy who is dying of a brain tumor. His mom updated today and apologized for her bad mood. The woman is sitting around watching her little boy die, and she's apologizing to others for her mood. If anyone has the right to be in a bad mood, it's her. Pray for the family.

In other news, I had a VERY interesting conversation with my husband this weekend.

Me: "So, we're coming up on our 2nd wedding anniversary [under current Chinese adoption laws, you have to be married for 2 years before you can adopt]. Do you think you could talk to some of the people you know who have adopted from China and start getting some referrals for adoption agencies."

Him: "Sure, I can do that. But, I've been thinking. I really like having a baby around. (then he stops and pauses)."

Me: "What are you suggesting, that we have another biological child? After we've been talking about adopting pretty much since we were first dating? And after the suckiness that was my pregnancy with Ethan? And after the every-other-day hospital visits for the last two months of the pregnancy? And the horrible labor and c-section?"

Him: "Yeah, I really like having a baby around at this age, and I dont like the thought of not getting to go through this age again. So maybe we should think about having another baby."

Me: Silence. Just staring at him.

Later in the weekend, when I had scraped my jaw off the ground, I asked him how much he wanted to have another baby, on a scale of 1-10. He said he's a 4-6. I'm 75% against having another baby, so I'm still winning. We decided to go ahead and look into adoption agencies and get info from them, and do a lot of praying and thinking about it, and we'll make a decision later in the year when we get to that point. I plan to play subliminal message tapes while he's sleeping.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Not the suitcase again!!!

It's official, I hate the sight of my suitcase even more than my older cat hates it. When she sees the suitcase, she gets very annoyed and spends most of her time trying to figure out how to sit in the suitcase so that she isnt left behind. Then she goes off somewhere and sulks about her upcoming abandonment. Sometimes she wets on things. It's fun.

Dont get me wrong, I love my family and friends and I'm so glad that we have so many people who want to see us. But I'm tired. Traveling with a baby is approximately 1.5 million times more complicated than traveling alone. And he's actually on a pretty good routine at home, and every time we leave, that gets messed up for the duration of the trip and about a week afterwards.

Ethan was born in mid-August. We went to Portland in early September. We drove to Idaho in October. In November we went to Portland again, followed by a flight to Virginia. In December we went to Canada. Now it's back to Portland again. This is the last trip for a while though, I hope. Unless Daniel wants to whisk me off to a tropical beach somewhere. I could manage to suffer through that :)

Okay, I need to go try to figure out how many diapers Ethan's using per day these days and pack twice that. I have a overwhelming fear of running out of diapers!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

More pictures




I couldn't resist showing him off again :)












Just a Tuesday

Ethan's energetically spinning around in his exersaucer at the moment, while also chewing on one of his toys and producing fountains of drool. I just wish that darned tooth would come in already! He's started a new, incredibly annoying thing this week- the low pitched, constant (doesn't he need to breathe!) whining noise. And he makes it all the time. We're not enjoying that too much. Good thing he's so darned cute.

This morning was a trip to Safeway for us. Trying to stock up on things that are on sale. And trying to get in the habit of using coupons. We don't subscribe to the paper, so I've gotten out of the coupon habit, but, since we're now surviving on 60% of the income that we used to have, coupons are a necessity. And I did pretty well today, saved $40 with sales and coupons. But I have to work on my skills in terms of juggling the shopping list, coupons that I'm using, those that I'm not using, and bouncing the baby in the baby bjorn all at the same time. Ethan's become a bit of a celebrity at Safeway- everyone recognizes him and stops us to say hi to him. He appreciates the attention.

We're off on the train to Portland again on Thursday. We needed to fit in one more long trip down there before I'm working on Fridays, making Thursday-Sunday trips less possible. And visiting Ethan's great-grandmother is going to be increasingly stressful as he becomes more mobile, since her home is pretty much the complete opposite of a baby-proofed house.

So, that's all from here! Hope you're all having a good Tuesday. If you see the sunshine, send it this way.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Recent pictures




My baby is getting so big!














"My name is Carrie, I'm almost 31 years old, and I'm addicted to Facebook"

My friends are to blame. I had ignored the existence of Facebook for quite some time. I would get a request every so often from someone, asking me to join Facebook. But I was better than that, and I ignored them. Then one week I got multiple requests from different people. So I begrudgingly made a little profile. Just for their sake. Just so I could see other peoples' photos and profiles.

Now I'm hooked. I play games on Facebook, track down people I knew way back when (this week I found someone that I went to summer camp in France with in 1994!), upload pictures of my handsome husband and baby, send messages to my friends... you name it.

I thought that this wasn't too pathetic. After all, I'm home all day with relatively little contact with the outside world.

Then I talked to my best friend this weekend. She's on there too. Quite a bit. As is her high school aged sister. And I was ashamed to find out that her high school sister thinks we're all pathetic for playing games and sending strange messages to each other and adopting virtual pets. Apparently she and her friends are too mature for those things, they just use it for pictures. She's actually a little concerned about us "older folks" and the amount of time we spend on Facebook. :)

Maybe I should cut back. Maybe I wont go onto my page today. After I just do one more thing on there...

Friday, January 4, 2008

I've figured it out

Yeah, it's me again. Posting twice in one day. For the second day in a row. I blame the weather. It's sucking out my energy, leaving me with no choice but to sit in front of this computer during the baby's naps.

Speaking of naps, I've finally figured it all out. What I really need in life is someone that will pay attention to my mood and actions, and when they can tell that I need a nap, pick me up and physically place me in my bed. And make me stay there until I've napped. It works for Ethan.

I'm not sleeping well these days. It's become kind of a vicious cycle. I cant sleep because of things that are on my mind and the voices of disapproval that I keep hearing in my head. Then I get tired and cranky from not sleeping, which makes more stuff be on my mind and the voices get louder. Daniel keeps waking up in the middle of the night and finding me gone. I figure, if I cant sleep, I can at least lie on the bed in Ethan's room and watch him sleep. It does seem to help.

Maybe if I had a nap monitor I could catch up on some sleep and then I'd feel better. Or maybe I need a sun lamp. I really wonder, on days like today, what on earth the settlers that founded Seattle IN NOVEMBER!!! were thinking. I bet they had some fun family discussions around their rain-soaked campfire.

Spilling

Yesterday I got up, made a desperately needed cup of coffee and set it on the footstool while I got Ethan situated on his playmat. I then turned around and knocked over the coffee, spilling a large mug worth of hot coffee onto the light colored carpet.

In the early evening, I went to make hot apple cider for Daniel and I. I opened the packet and spilled powder everywhere.

Then I was having a cup of (diet) hot chocolate in the late evening. I sat down on the couch with it and sloshed it all over the couch.

Why did I need to have a baby if I can create this much mess on my own?

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Identity

There are benefits to having a baby "later" in life. Such as, while not rich by any stretch of the imagination, we do have enough money saved up that we didn't have to live on ramen noodles during my 6-month maternity leave. And, since a bunch of my friends are pretty much done having kids already, we inherited a lot of free baby gear.

However, there are also drawbacks to having a baby when you're 30, instead of at 22. For example, I like to sleep. I'm past the age when I enjoy staying up all night with friends or being out late for much of any reason at all (late is now defined as anything after dark, which occurs at 4 PM in Seattle in the winter). And I've grown accustomed to spending my money on makeup from Sephora, and it's hard to watch it all be diverted to medical bills and diapers.

And then there's the biggest challenge of all. The identity crisis. I've talked about this before. I suspected that this was going to be my big issue for the early stages of motherhood, and so far it has been. It's hard to take what I was before, an identity that I was happy in and comfortable with, and suddenly rearrange all the pieces. I know that daughter of God needs to come first (I'm working on remembering that), but where do wife, mother, toxicologist, daughter, church member, friend all fit in. In what order? And does it need to be something that is fluid, that changes as the requirements of the day change?

Sometimes it's so hard to get past other people's disapproval of things in my life. Past the need to be a good friend or daughter or whatever it is right now that has become so overwhelming. Because focusing on these things makes the other pieces of my life suffer. And that's not right. My goal for this year is to spend more time focusing on who God wants me to be and who He tells me to be, and less time on obsessing over my weaknesses in other areas in life. Part of me is a little glad for the current struggle that I'm having, because it's forcing me out of my laziness, making me spend more time in prayer and reading my Bible and less on watching the Real Housewives of Orange County. I know that when I focus on Him, He'll give me the wisdom to see where the other pieces fit. I just hope that I can actually remember that for more than 5 minutes at a time.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

My first meme

I saw this on another blog this AM, and thought it was a good idea to help me reflect on 2007.


1. What did you do in 2007 that you’d never done before?
Was pregnant, gave birth. Traveled to New York City and actually left the airport.


2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I cant remember making any last year. I think Daniel and I were still way too much in shock about the pregnancy to be able to look at any goals beyond that. I was only about 8 weeks pregnant at New Year's last year, so my only goal/resolution was to do everything possible to keep the baby healthy.

I have a bunch for this year: spend more time doing quality activities with Ethan (reading, music, etc). Learn more about my in-laws and develop a deeper relationship with them. Escape the fog-world that I'm living in right now.

3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
LOTS of people. Tons of friends from church and me, of course.

4. Did anyone close to you die?
No. Praise the Lord.

5. What countries did you visit?
Just Canada. Not that there's anything wrong with Canada.


6. What would you like to have in 2008 that you lacked in 2007?
More confidence in my new self, more balance between different areas of my life.

7.What dates from 2007 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
August 4-10. They started trying to get Ethan out on the 4th and he finally showed up on the 10th. Boy, he owes me some giant Mother's Day gifts.


8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
Ethan.

9. What was your biggest failure?
Nothing specific. But I've become sort of a brat lately, and I don't like that.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Just a complicated pregnancy. But we all got through it fine.


11. What was the best thing you bought?
My new clothes, last week. I accepted that I'm not going to get all this baby weight off for a while, and decided to spend some money on nicer clothes.

12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
My beloved, wonderful, practically-a-saint husband. He's amazing. I've not heard one word of complaint from him, despite the fact that he's overworked, exhausted and has had to put up with a hormonal wife all year. I've never loved him more.

13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
Mine. Unfortunately.

14. Where did most of your money go?
Target.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
See, there's the problem. I don't really get excited about things anymore. Like I said above, I feel like I'm in a bit of a fog. No real happy emotions, no real sad emotions. I was thrilled to have Ethan arrive, but even anticipating the birth was more scary than exciting, because of what I knew I had to go through.

16. What song will always remind you of 2007?
Casting Crowns- Praise you in the storm.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:? a) happier or sadder? b) thinner or fatter? c) richer or poorer?
This is depressing- happier, fatter and poorer.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
I wish I'd been nice to my husband more.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
I didn't enjoy the moment enough. I was (and am) always waiting for something.

20. How did you spend Christmas?
At my in-laws in Canada. On Christmas Day itself, we went out for dim sum (along with about 1 billion Chinese people) and then drove home to the States. Then we opened presents at home that night. Not a real traditional Christmas.

21. Did you fall in love in 2007?
Yes, with my son.

22. What was your favorite TV program?
Jon and Kate plus 8. Or How I met your mother.

23. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
Intensely dislike someone, but I didn't like him last year either.

24. What was the best book you read?
I read so many books that I have a hard time remembering individual ones. Nothing in particular sticks out.

25. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I have no idea.

26. What did you want and get?
A healthy baby.

27. What did you want and not get?
A baby who was born potty-trained :)

28. What was your favorite film of this year?
Didn't see many- I liked Harry Potter 5.

29. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I had some friends over for a small party a few days after my birthday- on my birthday itself, I took a half day off work, went to the library, did some shopping, sat in a coffee shop and read a book and then went to a fancy dinner with my husband. I was 30 this year.

30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
Nothing really.

31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2007?
I was pregnant. Enough said.

32. What kept you sane?
Daniel. He's amazing.

33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I have loved Vern Yip for years. And we got cable this fall so I was able to watch him on HGTV, which made me very happy.

34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Haven't paid attention to politics. I'll worry about it next year.

35. Who did you miss?
Me. The real me. The one who had emotions and got excited about things and didn't live in a fog.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
The L&D nurses were amazing people. And I have gotten to know some of the women at church a bit more and think they're pretty amazing.

37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2007.
Babies really do change your life, both for better and for worse. And even in the bad times, you wouldn't change anything for the world.

38. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year.
Disclaimer- I know that most people who love this song are going through some sort of really rough time. And I have had a pretty good year. But it's been full of upheavals and changes and unknowns, and that's been really hard for me. And this song has been my reminder to cling to God and trust Him, even when I don't know where I'm going and what I'm going to do once I get to the place that He's leading me.

"Praise You In This Storm"
I was sure by now
God You would have reached down
And wiped our tears away
Stepped in and saved the day
But once again, I say "Amen", and it's still raining

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear Your whisper through the rain"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

And I'll praise You in this storm
And I will lift my hands
For You are who You are
No matter where I am
And every tear I've cried
You hold in Your hand
You never left my side
And though my heart is torn
I will praise You in this storm

I remember when
I stumbled in the wind
You heard my cry
You raised me up again
My strength is almost gone
How can I carry on
If I can't find You

As the thunder rolls
I barely hear You whisper through the rain"I'm with you"
And as Your mercy falls
I raise my hands and praise the God who gives
And takes away

I lift my eyes unto the hills
Where does my help come from?
My help comes from the Lord
The Maker of Heaven and Earth

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Sorry I haven't been around much lately. I was off shopping on Friday- very successfully finding lots of great clothes at dirt-cheap prices. Always fun. Then my friend stayed in the evening and she and I went to happy hour while the baby stayed home with Daniel. That was fun too.

Then came the weekend, which was very productive and lots of cleaning/organizing got done around our condo. It's still ongoing. I love a nice organized home. Hopefully we can keep it that way for more than a week.

Unfortunately, the weekend was a little overshadowed by some ongoing family conflicts. I have no idea how we're going to deal with it.

Then yesterday we were productive again. Went to the Canadian consulate and dropped off the forms for Ethan's Canadian citizenship card. Got eye exams. I find it (rather irrationally) annoying that my 40-year old husband needs no eye correction at all, while I cant even see that there are letters up on the eye exam screen if I remove my glasses/contacts. BUT- my husband's generally crappy health insurance pulled through for me on the eye exam front, when I was able to get a year's supply of contacts for 66 cents. Groovy!

Last night we were able to watch the Seattle fireworks at the Needle from our bedroom window. The fireworks that stopped working halfway through. Some computer glitch. Ethan did get woken up by the firecrackers and yelling and fireworks, but we got him back to sleep by 1 AM.

So- that's the recap of our lives lately. I hope you all had a great New Year's Eve and that you will have a very blessed 2008.