Friday, May 30, 2008

Life and other oddities

Things are going along here. Mom left last night amidst many tears from all of us. She should be finally arriving home in the next hour. I know she's exhausted from flying all night and missing Ethan (and possibly us as well, but I doubt it). It was so nice to have her here, but it's so hard to watch her say goodbye to the baby.

Daniel and I had a long talk last night about a lot of things. We've gotten in to the bad habit of not focusing on our marriage and have begun to realize the need to make time to make that a priority. And I really need to be nicer to him. I tend to take out my frustrations on him, since, truthfully, I don't really talk to many other adults on a daily basis. He deserves me to be nice to him, and I'm glad that he brought my attention to the problem. God blessed me with an amazing husband, and I need to treat him like the blessing he is.

So, things are slowly getting back to normal around here. Or they will after today and tomorrow. Today I have to dash from work to the gym, to home to finish the laundry/vacuuming/shower/finish packing, before my in-laws arrive at 5 and I get picked up to head to the church women's retreat at 7. We're just staying one night at the retreat instead of the whole weekend, as the other people I am going up with are also new moms who haven't ever left their babies overnight. I think we're probably going to be driving VERY fast on the way home tomorrow night :)

Moving on from all the whining and complaining that I've been doing lately....

So, at my great-aunt's funeral, one of my mom's cousins gave her a CD with PDFs of my great-grandfather's handwritten memoirs. I started reading them on Wednesday and have been having a great time going through them. We were particularly surprised to learn that my great-grandfather was born in Seattle, in an area that he referred to as "Brooklyn". When we went back to some Seattle history books, we learned that that was the old name for the University District, where Ethan was born! So we've kind of come full circle in 5 generations. I spent most of my life in Tennessee, away from the Washington/Oregon area where my family had been for many years. It's been strange and fun and educational to be back on my "native turf" and to find that the places that I've grown to love are places that my ancestors lived or played or worked. I think I come by my love of this place honestly- it's in my blood somehow.

That's the wrap-up from here. Hoping for a good time at the women's retreat tomorrow- I really need to stop putting my spiritual life on the back burner as well, and I need a good kick in the rear to get going again with that!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wednesday

Mom arrived safely on Sunday and we've been having a nice visit since then. Yesterday was my great-aunt's funeral, which Mom and Ethan and I attended. We left Seattle early in the morning and headed over the mountains. It was a gorgeous drive over- we made it in plenty of time, even with a bathroom/baby feeding stop in the incredibly cute town of Cashmere, Washington. After wandering around lost in the 4-block long town of Manson, we finally found the church where the funeral was being held. Family was already arriving, so the crying began immediately.

Ethan and I sat in the back by ourselves, where I cried through the first 15 minutes of the funeral before he woke up and wanted to play. So we spent the rest of the time in the hallway, where I was more distracted and did less crying. The end of the funeral was the hardest- as everyone left, they filed past the now-open casket, while the family sat and watched them. Mom said that was really tough for the family to take. I came back in at that point, but opted to not walk past the casket. I really prefer to remember people as they were. My aunt isn't that person anymore, that's just her body- she's with Christ. I know some people need the closure, so it's probably good that they have that option, but it's not one I wanted.

The graveside service was fairly quick- Roberta was buried in a lovely graveyard under a tree. Ethan sat directly on the grass for the first time ever while we were there! He seemed kind of confused. I'm afraid my dislike of nature is keeping him from some things- I need to work on that.

After that we had a reception at my great-uncle's house, where Mom got to spend time with cousins that she hasn't seen in 20+ years. Everyone enjoyed being together and reminiscing about Roberta and fun times together. Ethan was passed around from relative to relative, not minding a bit.

Finally we packed up and headed back over the mountain. At which point Ethan completely melted down. His third tooth is just about to break through, and he didn't eat well on the trip and he had been held by about 50 different people, and it was all just too much. He cried for about an hour of the trip, finally dropping off to sleep just before we crossed the pass. But we made it home safely and all got a good night's sleep.

Today Mom and Ethan are having a quiet day at home, while I try to catch up here at work. Mom's visiting until tomorrow night, so we still have a little time left. It's been a great visit, despite the sad reason for the trip.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Please stay, sunshine

The sun is out again. According to the weatherperson on TV, it's not going to last. I want to throw my arms around the sun and cry and beg and drag my feet and not let it go away.

This has been quite a month, hasn't it? It's been a month that I'm glad to have my faith to rely on. Because it's awfully hard to understand why so many bad things happen and to such good people. I'm mourning for Steven Curtis Chapman and his family. I cannot begin to fathom what they must be going through. And the death toll in China and Myanmar just keeps going up. And my family is still going through their own stuff. Ugh. I know someday we'll understand- but I wish it didn't have to hurt so much in the meantime.

Ethan's napping and Daniel's watching the morning news. Another sad story is on TV right now- talking about our baseball team, the Mariners. Ouch. Not sure what we're going to get up to today- probably laundry and getting ready for Mom's arrival tomorrow. This weekend is Folklife Festival at the Seattle Center, so we'll probably head over there a time or two to enjoy the food and music. Always a good time there.

So, that's the wrap-up of what's going on today with me. Hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Slowly getting through the week

My aunt's funeral is scheduled for next Tuesday. It's a long delay since the funeral of the doctor (who also died in the crash) is this Friday, and the community members want to attend both services. It's kind of strange to be in this lull between the death and the funeral- you cant really finish grieving until you have the closure of the funeral, but at the same time we have to go on with our daily activities and regularly scheduled lives.

The good news about the delay though is that my mom is going to be able to fly out here after all. She's coming in Sunday and staying with us until Thursday night. Then Daniel's parents arrive Friday. I'm so grateful Mom is able to come, but I'm going to have to run away from home soon if family members don't stop visiting us.

Other than that, just trying to survive a busy week at work and deal with the constantly changing weather (seriously Seattle, pick a season already). I think it's autumn today.

And in motherhood news, I thought I was going to have to use the bathroom while holding the baby yesterday. Stupidly, I drank a bunch of water before we went shopping at Fred Meyer. Which would have been fine, but we got stuck in construction traffic and then caught by the drawbridge in Ballard, so it took 3 times longer than usual to get there. Thankfully, I went in the handicapped stall in the women's room and saw the wonderful sight of a Koala seat- not the diaper changing type, but the wall mounted baby/kid seat. Hallelujah! Oh, and I bought a bathing suit. So I can actually take Ethan swimming this summer!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Update

Thanks for your thoughts and prayers. It's been a very long day.

My mom woke up randomly last night around 1:30 AM and saw the missed calls light flashing on her phone- she got up and heard the voicemails from my uncle and myself. She said today that she was really thankful that she found out then and not first thing this morning. Now we're just hoping she'll be able to find someone to cover for her at work and a plane ticket out here so that she can be here for the funeral. I know it's going to break her heart if she can't be with the family at this time. They were very close, as my great-aunt was only 10 years older than my mom, and so they pretty much grew up together. We're all still waiting to hear when the funeral will be though, since this was classified as a violent accident, an autopsy has to be done.

We're getting more information on what happened yesterday, both from my family and from the news. I'm finally going numb to the sight of the crash photos on TV and the internet. According to my grandmother, the other person who died had actually gotten himself and his wife out initially, then he went back to try to get my great-aunt out, but couldn't get her seatbelt off. He was a surgeon, so I'm sure it was not in his nature to give up on saving someone. Unfortunately he did not succeed. We mourn for his wife and family as well, but are grateful for his efforts.

I just still cant believe my great-aunt Roberta is gone. She was the most energetic person I've ever met- despite her diabetes and failing eyesight, she was our family's version of Martha Stewart- always working on a craft or growing something or canning something- or doing all of the above at the same time. Our family just isn't going to be the same without her. I'm glad she's at peace in heaven now, but we weren't ready to be without her here. We'll miss you, Aunt Roberta.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Big prayer request

My great-aunt was killed in a plane crash tonight. She lived in a small town at one end of a large lake in Central Washington, and was flying home. She survived the immediate crash, then died on the boat back out to the nearest hospital- her husband was not on the plane, but was able to be with her on the boat before she passed away. They have one son who is married with a young son. This is a really tough time for them, as well as for my grandmother and her siblings, as my aunt was the baby of the family and this was completely unexpected.

It's hard when your family tragedy is in the news and constantly in your face. Tonight I found pictures of the rescue workers trying to save the victims. Praise God, I couldn't see my aunt, but still, knowing she was there.

Please pray for my uncle and their son and all of us. This is going to be a hard time for us. Oh, and as of tonight, my mom, who was very close to my aunt, doesnt know yet. My parents live on the East Coast and apparently turn off their phone at night. So they are going to have some very sad phone messages in the morning.

He's just NOT nice

So, it's 6:10 AM on Saturday. I've been up since 4:45, when Ethan woke up and assured me that he was 1) starving and 2) wide awake. He ate two bottles, I stumbled around the kitchen making coffee, got myself all caffeinated up, put in my contacts, folded some laundry and was ready for the day. After his bottles, Ethan played for a few minutes, then decided it was time for a nap. Just not right. I'm not one who can go back to sleep easily, especially after going to all the effort of waking up, so I guess I'm up for the day. Thank goodness that it's another gorgeous day, all sunshiny and blue skies and all. And I did go to bed at 7:30 last night (yeah, I'm wild and crazy), so it's not such a big deal.

I have to go shopping for capri pants today, as it is going to be 90 degrees here today, and I don't have any summer clothes that fit. Last summer I was hugely pregnant, and the summer before that I was thin, so I have no appropriate clothing for this summer. Ross, here I come.

That's about all from here- just glad it's the weekend and that I get to hang out with my two favorite boys. I think we're going to the Ducati store today so that Daniel can drool over fancy motorcycles. They have some new bike in that he wants to see, and they're giving out free snacks, so I'm willing to go visit for that.

Friday, May 16, 2008

I'm still shocked that there was no dancing in the streets

THE SUN CAME OUT!!!!! We are on day 2 now of lovely weather. It's so amazing to look out the window and see light instead of grey drizzle. Yesterday Ethan and I went over to Seattle Center. There were tons of people out, sunbathing, playing in the fountain, walking around and smiling. I fully expected people to break out in song and dance. We all just grinned widely instead.

And, since I'm no longer nursing/pumping, I was able to remove the bookshelf-window barricade that I'd had to put up in my office, so now I have actual light coming through the window from the reception area as well as through my outside window. What a difference, to be able to see out again!

It's really weird to no longer be nursing at all though. I've been a pregnant or nursing mom for a long time, and it's strange to no longer fit in that category. And to not be sure if I'm ever going to be in either of those categories again. I really have no idea what we're going to do in the future. I'd still really like to adopt, but as Ethan grows up, Daniel's wanting a baby more and more. I'm not sure I could go through pregnancy again, but I'm also not sure if I can handle the emotions of adopting. This isn't really the time to worry about it though, so we're just going to keep praying and talking about our options and we'll decide later.

Yesterday was my church moms' group meeting- have I mentioned how much I love those women? It was a small group yesterday, and I was finally honest with them about how much I've been struggling lately. They were so encouraging and prayed with me and I feel so much better today. Prayer+ sunshine=a very good thing.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Empathy

Empathy for other parents is another thing people tell you before you have a baby, another thing you cant really comprehend. But boy is it true.

I cant even turn on the news this week. The stories of Myanmar and China and the tornadoes in the US... the pictures just overwhelm me. I know there are so many parents out there who have lost their children and whose children are hurt. And then I'm sure there are so many more parents who are scared and worried about keeping their families alive in the desperate situations that they're in. Makes me feel so guilty for whining about things while in my nice home, with my nice, safe, well-fed child.

Our church is praying particularly hard for the people in Myanmar, since we've had church members go and teach there and we have missionaries in the country that we support. We're not even sure if all of them are still alive now- the kids in the orphanages that the church sends money to are okay, but homeless. The bible schools were also destroyed, although, again, the people are fine for now. But now there's another storm heading their way. Please, please be praying for them and all those in other bad situations right now.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

So he's clearly not the son of Midwestern farmers

Today was Ethan's 9 month checkup. No shots! Hurray! He weighed in at a whopping 16 pounds, 12 oz, and is now 27.5 inches long. I was slightly concerned about the weight when the nurse came back with the growth charts, since he's below the 5th percentile line. However, his doctor, who is a small Indian woman, reassured me by pointing out that the growth charts are based on the children of Midwestern farmers (or other equally large Caucasian population) and don't really apply to half-Chinese offspring of a 5'4" man and a 5'1" woman. Ethan tried to eat the stethoscope and the computer mouse and everything else in arms reach, which apparently is what he should be doing at this age, so all is well!

So that's all good.

Did I mention that it's raining again here? And cold? And grey? And I am totally running away if we don't get some decent weather soon? A mild case of PPD plus a mild case of seasonal affective disorder=someone who really needs sunshine. If they're lying about the forecast for Thursday, there will be hell to pay. I'm trying to not look past the nice little sunshine icons for Thursday-Saturday. I'm even so desperate for sunshine right now that I don't care that it'll be 90+ degrees in the condo. Anything for some sunlight.


Monday, May 12, 2008

The grass, it is always greener

Taking a break from one of the most mindnumbing projects that I've worked on in almost 5 years at my company. A project that is going to be at the top of my work to-do list for months. I'm going to have to come up with some sort of survival strategy.

Anyway. Just thinking about something today, after having a short e-conversation with my best friend. She and I haven't seen too much of each other lately, what with her job and activities and dating and with me no longer able to leave the house after 5 PM or get online to chat with her in the afternoons (both courtesy of the world's cutest baby). When we do talk, it's mostly about what's going on in her world, or the general details of what Ethan's up to. Nothing too deep. And, truthfully, I haven't really talked with much of anyone about the "deep" things going on with me right now. Except for all of you. Not people I know in real life though. I don't really like relying on people much.

So today we were chatting and she commented how her branch of my family (she's also a relative) had decided this weekend that marriage and motherhood agrees with me. They were apparently concerned, since I don't actually like kids very much and they didn't know how I was going to handle being a mom. But they concluded that I was doing wonderfully and shouldn't have worried.

I casually mentioned that I was struggling quite a bit right now, but that I was good at pretending when around others. She kind of blew it off. Said I was doing great and that she was jealous of my life with a husband and a baby. Granted, she had to rush back to working, and we didn't really have time to talk. But she didn't even really acknowledge what I'd said. That's hard, because I thought I was being brave by saying anything at all, given my usual focus on appearing perfect and happy. I don't expect her to be able to fix it or understand even, but just listening would be nice.

I wouldn't want to go back to being single, and I cant imagine life without Ethan. And I feel guilty for even having problems since my life is great and I have all the things I ever hoped for. But this great life came along with some things I never expected, and I don't know exactly what to do with them.

Okay, whining over. Back to my project. It might be mindnumbing, but at least it isn't complicated. And anything simple and easy to deal with is much appreciated right now.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Happy Mother's Day

I had such a nice first Mother's Day today! Ethan woke up early and ended up sleeping in our bed for a few hours- at one point he enjoyed a bottle while lying next to me, and I thought "oh, he gets breakfast in bed". Then an hour later, Daniel woke up and said "I have to go make your breakfast in bed now". Which he did- and it was great. The breakfast came complete with a gift bag containing a gift card for a local salon/spa, which I look forward to using. Daniel had already gotten me pajamas and a wine bottle shaped like a cat for my "fancy wine bottle" collection. So, good job Daniel! He pointed out at one point that I should enjoy good gifts while I can, since things will go downhill once Ethan's old enough to pick gifts out on his own. Very true.

Church was great today too- our pastor had all the moms stand up and he prayed for us all. I can always use more prayer! And we got the good news that a friend of ours who has been fighting breast cancer is cancer-free!!! What a blessing!

We had planned to go to Taco Bell and take our lunch to Green Lake, but it ended up raining today and Ethan fell sound asleep as soon as we got in the car, so we changed plans and drove to IKEA, where we had a nice lunch and bought a bunch of organizational things. As soon as my brother and his wife head home on Tuesday, I have massive projects to begin.

Oh yeah, our visitors- we've been having a nice visit with them. They'll be back from Victoria on Monday afternoon, then head home on Tuesday morning. I've enjoyed having them here, but I'm very ready to get my condo back to just us again- for 2.5 whole weeks before Daniel's parents come to visit...

So, that's the news from here- off to bed now for me. Early morning and busy day at work tomorrow.




Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday morning

My brother and his wife are arriving for a visit today. Or rather they're arriving to use our condo as a base for all their travels in the area. Tomorrow they're ferrying to Bremerton, Thursday we go to Portland, and Saturday they're heading to Victoria. My brother has been assuring me for a week that I had his most current travel info. However, when I looked up the flights this morning...they don't exist. So I'm not actually all that sure what time I should be at the airport.

On the mother's day gift front- I ruled out the facial, since I realized that I don't really like people to touch my face and it's a lot of money to spend on something I may or may not enjoy. And we went to Ulta this weekend to look at the perfume, and I decided against that too, since I still have 1/2 of a bottle at home of the same perfume. So, I had him buy me some new pajamas at Target, and he's going to buy me other small gifts. That'll be more fun anyway.

And Daniel's scooter arrived here yesterday. He was so happy this morning, riding off to work, wearing his motorcycle jacket and helmet. It was cute.

Okay, back to the laundry.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

More love

Things I love today (other than ice cream):

1. My husband- he has been doing 90% of the baby care this weekend and I was able to sleep last night and nap today and just generally recover. Which is good, because the damn weather decided to change again here this weekend, leading to pressure shifts and a nasty sinus headache for me, which meant I needed...
2. Sinus headache medicine. How on earth I made it through 2 years without it- I do not know. Love the stuff. I'm in a total fog, but it's a painless one, so who cares.
3. Okay, I still love ice cream. In fact, I'm going to have to go eat some when I get done posting here.
4. Fred Meyer. See below for reason.

So, last night I went to bed at 7:30 with my nasty headache and didn't get up until 7:30 this morning. Then we did Saturday morning stuff before heading to a 1 year birthday party for the daughter of some friends of ours. For which the evite SPECIFICALLY SAID!!! "no presents". We were the only ones who showed up without a gift. So I gave Daniel the baby and the diaper bag and ran out to Fred Meyer to buy some books and a card and a gift bag. I was so embarrassed- but we don't know this family that well yet, and I believed their request!

Then we came home and I napped before we went grocery shopping. So we're mostly done with our weekend chores, and hopefully it'll be a fairly quiet day tomorrow after church.

Okay- I need help from you guys- please! Daniel is trying to decide what to get me for Mother's Day. My choices are 1) a facial from a spa- I've never had one before- are those any good? I have pretty well-behaved skin in general, if that's important. 2) a gift set of my favorite perfume, which also comes with a free purse and movie tickets at Ulta. or 3) a membership in the wine-of-the-month club. I do like nice wine. Any suggestions/input? Particularly on the spa/facial option. I have no idea what that would be like.

Ice cream is calling. Bye.

Friday, May 2, 2008

I think I'm in love

Okay, so apologies for being whiny and cranky and hormonal last night. I'm just not a person who deals well with being tired, and I'm very very tired this week. But it's Friday now and we have a fairly quiet weekend ahead of us, so there's hope for recovery in my near future. Maybe I can even take a nap or something. And I'm going to go to the gym today and get actual exercise!!!

And I'm going to need to visit the gym a lot in the near future, because I AM IN LOVE with the new fancy Haagen Dazs ice cream. The honey flavor... oh my goodness. Daniel tried to eat some of it last night and I about hit him. Thankfully for my waistline, I cant actually afford to buy the ice cream unless it's on sale.

Oh, and we now own a scooter. Daniel got a good deal on one that only had 20 miles on it. Some guy's girlfriend was too short for it. She's my height. But the scooter has an engine that's big enough to require a motorcycle license to ride it, which I don't have, so the height thing doesn't matter anyway. I'm glad Daniel got the scooter- it's at least a good toy for him. I feel badly sometimes for how much Daniel's life has changed in the last 4 years. When we met he lived alone in a 3 bedroom, 2 bath house. He owned a motorcycle and a BMW and went snowboarding and rock climbing. Now he spends his spare time with me and the munchkin in a tiny condo and drives a Mazda and a scooter. And hasn't made it to the mountains to go snowboarding in several years, since he's married to me, and I don't set foot outside willingly. And he has such an amazing attitude about all of it- so I'm happy when he gets to do or buy something that brings him joy.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Losing it a little

I'm going to whine and be depressing in this post. Feel free to not read it. But if I don't write this out, I might lose my mind.

I'm not doing well. I'm tired and grouchy and sick of all this. I love my baby and my husband, but I'm already tired of being a mom. Not the part that involves Ethan, but the laundry and the dishes and the diapers. And especially the waking up at 3 AM because the baby wants to play and when he is ignored, he screams so loudly that it keeps us awake, even if we turn off the baby monitor. And I'm tired of mom hormones, especially the ones that result from my body still resetting itself post-pregnancy and post-nursing, the ones that have made me have PMS and my period 3 times in the last 6 weeks.

Today we got a notice from our home owners association that we owed $25 for a fee for a check that hadn't gone through right. It was mainly my fault and partly the bank's fault, but mainly mine. And I ended up yelling at Daniel about it and then being rude in email to the home owner's association person (and then having to call and apologize to her, and she hadn't even noticed that I was rude, but I knew I had been). Over a $25 fee.

And now Daniel's off scooter shopping again, and I'm stuck at home with Ethan, who didn't nap all day, so he went to bed at 5:15, which means he'll be up again around 10, right when I'm about to fall over from exhaustion.

Sick of my complaining yet? I'm so sick of my brain and all my discouragement. Truly, I know I have nothing to complain about and that I have a life that many people would envy. Which is why I'm so sick of this being down and discouraged and tired all the time. I don't have any real reason for it.

But I just want to sit on my couch and cry. And eat ice cream. Which I got a great deal on today at the grocery store- the fancy new Haagen Daaz Private Reserve kind- some sort of caramel and sea salt- I got it for $1 with sale and coupons! That alone will keep me going for a bit longer today.

I don't know. Maybe I should go talk to someone. But my doctor has left practice to be a stay-at-home mom, so I don't have a good option there. And Daniel keeps trying to understand, but he just doesn't get it. Which I don't blame him for, because I don't really get it either.

Okay, off to cook dinner now and stop whining. I can do this. I'm fine, really. Just needed to vent. If anyone is still reading- thanks for listening.