Saturday, August 30, 2008

i just have to blog about this

Still in the midst of the parent visit here, still very busy and very tired from all the socializing, but there were two thing that happened today that I just HAD to blog about.

1) this one is just weird to me still. So, my friend generously gave us tickets to the Museum of Flight, so this morning we loaded up the car and headed down south. I like planes. My grandmother and grandfather both flew planes (we totally ignore the fact that my grandfather died in an airshow in our family, in terms of our love of flying). I have been to pretty much every airplane museum on both coasts. And this was my umpteenth trip to this Museum, so, although I think it's the best EVER, I was a little bored. As was Mom. And we had lost our husbands to the VERY EXCITING SPACE EXHIBIT!!!, so we wandered off, with Ethan in his stroller. And found a "make your own pin-on button craft area". So Mom decided to make a button for Ethan. She finished drawing it, and we went up to have it put into the button. A very nice volunteer took her drawing and started to make the button. And this is where things got weird.

Him: "Oh, what a cute little boy" (looking at Ethan)
Me: Thanks.
Him: "How old is he?"
Me: "he just had his first birthday a few weeks ago"
Him: "How long have you had him?"
Me: confused silence for a minute. "um...since birth. He's mine"

He thought Ethan was adopted. Now, I barely even see that Ethan looks Asian. Most people say that he looks just like me, but with slightly darker skin and slightly Asian eyes. The only people who have ever asked about his ethnic background have been adults who were themselves of mixed race backgrounds. I expected this if I had a girl who looked more Chinese, but it totally caught me off guard in this situation, with this not-particularly Asian child.
Inserting a picture for your opinion:














2) I got my first check from BlogHer!!! THANK YOU!!! to those of you who read my blog. I blog 99% for my own sanity, but it felt so good to get a check in the mail today and know that I had been paid for my thoughts and my time. Thank you, thank you, thank you, to those of you who read. Please, let me know who you are, so I can link your blogs here. And to those of you here in Seattle who read, especially those whom I haven't managed to meet yet at a Seattle Mom Blog event (I'm talking to you, Maggie, Liz, and Ashley), thanks for your time. you're all great!
Daniel and I are off to a fancy hotel in downtown Seattle tomorrow. After church and lunch with the family, we run off and leave the baby with his adoring grandparents and go have fancy meals out and enjoy the theatre. And sleep for 12 whole hours, hopefully! I'll report back on Wednesday. I hope you all have a great Labor Day!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Just picture a witty title in this space

Ethan's teething again. He likes to do that when people are visiting us or we are going on a trip or have some activity planned. And, given that he's almost 13 months old and only has 5 teeth, I have the sneaking suspicion that we have a lot of teething in our future.

My parents arrived safely on Wednesday night. Ethan was glad to see them and has been enjoying the undivided attention of grandparents. Although they have had to tell him no and swat his hand when he insisted on doing something wrong over and over and over and over again (pretty much Ethan's favorite hobby). Today they're off at the Science Center while I'm at work, and we actually have sunshine, so hopefully they're having fun! Tonight it's off to my 5-year-old cousin's birthday party, where Daniel and I will attempt to look like we slept last night and were not awakened frequently by a monster teether.

This weekend is our first night away from Ethan together, hopefully he'll do well! We're looking forward to it, greatly.

Okay, off to weight watchers to see how much I've gained. Seriously, not a good WW week. Oh well.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Randomness

I survived talking to strangers. The daycare picnic wasn't bad at all, Daniel and I just mainly were by ourselves at first until time to eat, then we spent most of our time talking to the grandparents of some kids. Saturday's dinner was also not bad at all. Actually it was a lot of fun. Mainly because of the great food and great wine, but also because we were sitting near Daniel's friend and his friend's girlfriend, and we, of course, know them well, and the guy on my other side was also really nice.

Other than that, I have nothing coherent to say, so will leave you with random thoughts.
1. Why is it that no one can drive in the rain around here, even though it rains a good bit of the time? Seriously, our drive home last night took 6 hours instead of 3 thanks to all the traffic. NOT fun with a 1 year old.

2. I know I've asked this before, but why is my kid totally disinterested in his toys and instead focuses on a) destroying the new cat toy, b) getting the window blind pull from where I've tucked it out of his reach, c) playing with the remote, d) climbing on our bed.

3. Did anyone else feel a little sad for the London Olympic people during the closing ceremonies of the Olympics last night? I kept thinking, that's nice, but where are your other 20,000 performers with the synchronized dances and fireworks and light show? It was a little pitiful.

4. How can I learn to carry Ethan with my other arm so that I don't end up with one ridiculously well muscled arm and one puny one?

5. Is Daniel ever going to come home from work? He hasn't even left yet, and traffic is going to be a beast (see #1).

6. Why am I blogging instead of doing the 74 million things around the condo that need to be done before my parents show up in 49 hours?

7. WHY IS IT 57 DEGREES AND RAINING IN AUGUST??? It's summer. Summer. It's supposed to be 75 degrees and sunny. Please come back, sun, please!

Okay, he's in my magazines again, and is trying to eat things I haven't read yet. Must dash.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Talking to strangers

So, you know all that work that I stressed about getting done on Wednesday? Trying to fit it in with the sick baby and all? All for nothing. We're not using it at all. Which happens fairly often in my job, but still. Grr.

But I'm not really stressing about that, because I have something else to freak out about. I have to talk to strangers TWICE in the next 36 hours. People, this is giving me an ulcer. I'm fairly certain I've written about this before, but here's the thing. I love people. Once I get to know them. Until then, I am terrified. I don't know how to start conversations, I don't know how to end conversations, and I stink at small talk. And the situation has become so much worse since I had Ethan, because now I'm 1) tired and 2) have no life, so have nothing to talk about with strangers other than diapers and what Ethan's up to that day, and they don't care!!!

This afternoon is the yearly picnic for Ethan's daycare. In theory it's supposed to be nice weather here today. I'm not entirely sure that I believe it yet, but hopefully they're right. At least this group of people is also tired and probably also has no life. And I realized this morning that all the moms at this picnic will be working moms, which is a group I don't hang out with too terribly often, so that'll be interesting.

Tomorrow night is my real scary experience though. We're going to Portland for Daniel's best friend's birthday dinner (and to see my grandmother) and are going out without the baby. I sort of hide behind Ethan in scary social situations, but that wont be an option this time. Tomorrow night I have to 1) dress fairly nicely (it is Portland, so that's a relative term), 2) stay awake past 9 PM, and 3) socialize with strangers who do not have kids. What am I going to say? I may have to resort to just chewing my food very thoroughly so that I look busy eating all the time and have an excuse to just be quiet.

I'm sure both events will be fine. They usually are. But I am still going to live in fear for the next 36 hours.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Shrek the Musical!

I'm so excited- I just saw a news report about Shrek the Musical and it looks so fun! We have tickets to go next weekend, so I'm really excited!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Coloring on Mommy's deposition

I had ONE thing to accomplish at work today. One. I had to read a long deposition and summarize it. That's all. Nothing else on my to-do list. But when I got in this morning, I couldn't track down the person with the deposition, so I had to do other little tasks while I waited. Then I finally got going, only to be pulled back into some ongoing drama from another project. And then when I cleared everything off my desk and inbox and really got going again....the phone rang. It was daycare. Ethan had been screaming uncontrollably for several hours and showed no sign of stopping. Ethan rarely cries and never at daycare. He loves being around the other babies and is always in a good mood. So they were a little freaked out.

So I left work (deposition in purse) and headed to daycare to get Ethan. And he was a mess. I've never seen him so upset. Poor thing. It was really scary. Fortunately he finally fell asleep and woke up happy and ready to play. Have you ever tried to read legal documents and entertain a 1 year old at the same time? No? Be grateful.

We finally settled on the fun game of "steal Mommy's papers and crumple them up", which kept him entertained for a while. I managed to keep it to pages I was done with, which was good.
Now he's coloring (rolling the crayons over and occasionally trying to eat a crayon) on the pages I'm done with, while I still try to summarize. And I have lots and lots of pages left to read. But the ones I've already read are all pretty with crayon marks now :) More joys of a working mom. This is a tough gig some days.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Riding the bus

This weekend is Daniel's best friend's birthday, so we're headed down to Portland to attend a fancy dinner in his honor. And I have nothing to wear, as 1) I live in Seattle and 2) don't fit into my nice clothes from pre-baby and 3) have had no reason to buy nice clothes in my current size.

So, Ethan and I took a bus ride to downtown this morning to do a little shopping. Upon boarding the bus, Ethan immediately started waving and smiling at all the people around him. Still no stranger issues, apparently. At the stop after us, a very nice elderly woman boarded and sat across the aisle from us. She asked if Ethan was a little boy, how old he was, etc. He smiled at her and she smiled back. She continued chatting with us for a few minutes, then said "It's so good that you're not one of those awful working mothers. That's just not right, when women have kids and then don't stay home with them. They're missing all of the important years and their kids are just never going to be okay." By this point my smile was a tad bit forced as I am, in fact, a working mother, this just happens to be one of the days that I don't work.

It was hard to hear those things. I didn't say anything to her, just smiled. She was (as I found out later in the conversation) 98 years old and had never married. So her perspective on things is not the same as mine. And she's entitled to her opinion. But seriously, she needs to be careful. She assumed I didn't work just because I wasn't in an office at 10 AM on a Tuesday. And there was a bus full of people right near us, most of whom were probably working moms.

Luckily, I had a successful shopping trip and didn't dwell on her comments too much. I got two cute dresses, a jacket and a shirt, as well as a few other random things. Hurray! And then I took the monorail home, and rode with my IPod playing in my ears. Just in case.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Update on Canada in the Olympics

It was a busy weekend for Canada! They are now in 15th place for the medal count with 9 medals! 2 gold, 3 silver and 4 bronze. My husband is ecstatic, to say the least.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Watching the Olympics on Canadian TV

We're a week into the Olympics now, and the Canadians have won exactly zero medals. This is leading to some really sad commentary on Canadian TV. My husband is Canadian, which means my son is also Canadian, so I spend a lot of time trying to figure out Canadian thinking. And watching Canadian coverage of the Olympics has given me an interesting perspective on things. The Canadians are great athletes in a lot of sports. And they are trying so very hard. And getting their little Canadian butts kicked all the time. But they are not upset, that I can tell. The interviewees keep talking about getting 15th place in the gymnastics or being the 18th fastest world swimmer or having the eighth best score in an event for a Canadian.

I think that this is a good attitude. They're probably never going to take over the world or anything like that. They just don't have the ego. But they have "stick-to-it-ivness", that strange ability to keep going and try for your very best, even when you know you wont win. This is an attitude that I wish I had, and I hope my son grows up with, along with his Canadian passport. Just do your best and try your hardest, even if you don't have a chance to win. Just give it your all.

PS- but seriously. Please, can Canada just win a medal already?

Thud.

That was the sound of Ethan falling off the bottom of the growth chart. For weight at least. I'm not sure exactly where he stands. The lowest line is fairly far above where he is, so I'm guessing 1st or 2nd percentile. He's in the 25th percentile for head circumference and in the 40th percentile for height (not sure how that happened), but he's skinny. His doctor is actually a little concerned about his size, especially in combination with the gagging/projectile vomiting, so we're going to see how things go this week, and then go see a children's occupational therapist if the gagging doesn't improve. And we get to go back in a month for a weight check- hopefully we can fatten him up before then!

Anyway, he's napping now, so I'm going to go try to get some cleaning done. We had a spill of juice in the fridge last week and I'm getting tired of everything being sticky, so I should go work on that. Actually, I just want an excuse to sit with my head in the fridge, as it's in the mid-80s here today and very warm in our condo. Off to the cleaning!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

At least the workday went quickly today

One of the big tradeoffs of only working 24 hours a week (and being very clear about my refusal to work overtime) is that I do not get assigned to a great deal of projects. For the last two weeks, I've only had one project to work on. It's dull. And stressful, all at the same time. Not sure how that's possible, but it is. I about went into a coma from boredom on Monday. Today I opened my work email and found a long, upset email from my project manager, concerned about some of the things that we'd been doing. We'd been following instructions and doing what we were told, so technically we'd done nothing wrong. But I still feel badly about it. I have been working hard on this project and trying to do my very best, despite a constantly moving set of instructions and the aforementioned dullness. And I want everyone to be happy with things!

So, we were told to not work on the project anymore, which left me with nothing to do. So I packed up and went in to the office (I was supposed to be working at home today) to do some mindless work that I begged off of another co-worker. And to field phone calls from people involved in the bad project.

I just don't know what I want anymore. I like my job, and they've been so good to me, but it doesn't seem worth it to be away from Ethan just to work on projects that are dull. But, at the same time, I don't want to take on much more work responsibility, because managing projects and working on faster-paced projects would involve a lot of overtime and stress. And I don't want that either. We're talking about me going down to just 2 days/week, which would mean that I would lose my PTO benefits, but that's not such a big deal. It's not really time to make that decision- we don't really know what our financial situation is going to be with Daniel's job, since he's only gotten one partial paycheck so far, and he actually is still getting paid for another week by the old job. I'm kind of glad that we cant decide yet, since I have no clue what to do.

I really don't know if I will like being home all the time, but Ethan is getting a lot more interesting, so maybe it wont be that bad. And when we have another baby, that'll be it for work for me for a while anyway, since I don't make enough to pay for daycare for two little ones.

So much rambling on today- sorry about that. I'm all conflicted these days.

In other news, the weather is gorgeous here today! It's so nice to see the blue sky and sunshine after a long weekend of bad weather. Maybe Ethan will wake up from his nap in time for us to go for a walk- I need some fresh air!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Happy Birthday, Ethan

Wow- my little baby is officially a year old. We were going to document the exact moment of his 1 year birthday, but Daniel fell asleep and I got distracted, so we were a few minutes late. oh well.

Ethan had a good first birthday- we missed church this morning, due to extreme tiredness. I did make it to the gym eventually, as did Daniel, and Ethan and Daniel went to Mandarin lessons, but otherwise, not much was done. It was LOVELY. Ethan had his birthday cake while talking on the computer with his grandmother, his great-grandmother, and her twin sister. His great-grandmother and her twin sister celebrate their 82 birthday tomorrow, happy birthday to them! My grandmother was so disappointed last year that Ethan missed their birthday by a few hours- I informed her that after a week of trying to get Ethan out, there was no way that baby was staying inside for even one minute longer!






Growing up so fast
I'm so cute!
Officially one year old. Mommy and Daddy love you so very much.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Birthday party update!

We woke up to rain and wind this morning- after watching the bad weather out the window for a few minutes, Daniel and I finally admitted that our plans for an outdoor birthday party had to be scrapped and a new plan was needed. Fortunately, we both realized that there is a party room at our other condo (the one we rent out), so I called and the room was available. We scurried around calling our friends and family and rerouting people. Everyone was tracked down and made it to the party just fine. So, all was well and fun was had by all. Here are a few pictures:










Thursday, August 7, 2008

Feeding issues


This is a picture of how Ethan ate dinner tonight:



That's right. In the bathtub. Mid-bath.

There comes a point in time in parenthood where you say "screw it all, I'm just going to have to do whatever works." We're having some pretty bad feeding issues here. Ethan does NOT want finger food and he does NOT want baby food and he does NOT want a bit of whatever we're eating and he certainly does NOT want his bottle or a sippy cup or something from a straw and how dare we insult him by trying to feed him these things. And when we try to make him sit and eat in his high chair, it inevitably results in screaming (him) and vomiting (him) and crying (me). So, we're just going to do whatever works for now. But any advice would be much appreciated.

He still has lots of energy and seems fine. Just not hungry. He does have his 1 year appointment next Thursday and we'll ask the doctor for advice then. Hopefully she'll have an answer or he'll start eating again before then!

In other news, I have a fridge full of birthday cupcakes. And a forecast of rain for Saturday, but we're ignoring that.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Contemplations

1) How is it that instant oatmeal is so very disgusting, but real steel-cut oatmeal is actually very yummy? And how did I manage to make it through 31.5 (oh my goodness, I'm getting old...) years of life without knowing that?

2) Why am I blogging when I should be a) working and b) making sure that we have thought of everything for my baby's first birthday party on Saturday. To which we now have 27 adults and 9 children coming. And that is the pared-down guest list.

3) Can I talk Daniel into letting me have sushi again for dinner tonight, even though we just had it last night? It is going to be 90 here today, which means our living room/kitchen will be unbearable tonight, and I don't want to cook.

4) I think I've figured out a lot of the issue with my moods lately. I'm just feeling a little lost in terms of purpose. I am a VERY goal-oriented person. I've always had a plan for my life or something I was hoping for. Graduation from high school, college, mission work, grad school, job, marriage, baby... there's always been something to hope for or work on. But now I've done all those things, and it's just a matter of improving things and continuing on the same path. Which is deathly dull to me. I am not only goal-oriented, but I have the attention span of a gnat. My one-year old has a longer attention span than I do. As I've mentioned before, I never just relax, I have to be doing something. On the weekends I have to bite my tongue about 10 times a day, because I desperately want to bug Daniel about making a to-do list and a schedule for the day. I NEED PLANS!!!

I know this all probably seems silly. I just need to figure out who I am now, and what it is that God has for me in His plans. Besides learning to be a much better mother and much much better wife. Two very important areas where I have not excelled lately. And I think I need to find things to be involved with other than work and cleaning the house. Maybe if I had more outlets for my energy, then I would have less time to worry about things.

It's funny, you never imagine when you're young that you will understand less about life and yourself as you get older. I had things pretty well figured out at 25...

Monday, August 4, 2008

This is going to be an interesting week

Warning- this post is going to be a little bit on the angst-filled side. Sorry. Hopefully I'll get a grip on things soon and will be able to have amusing things to say. But probably not this week.

Monday morning, 6:30 AM. I'm at work. Dreading the week, since last week was rough and I am a little disillusioned with my job right now. Opened my email. Found an email from daycare. Tuition has gone up $100/month. With all the other increase in expenses and decreases in salary- that's a tough one to add to the mix. But I do still bring home a bit of money per month after daycare costs, so losing that would be very hard on our budget. And, being home all the time would probably drive me to lose the very slight grip on my sanity that is remaining.

But more than the daycare/work thing, I'm having a very tough week because it's now been a year since the whole fiasco of trying to get Ethan out happened. And I KNOW that it is all okay because he and I are fine. But that somehow doesn't stop the flood of emotions and fear that I still have from all that happened during that very long week. I don't know why I am still so overwhelmed with it all. But I am.

And to round it all off, my body is betraying me a bit (too much information warning!!!)- I get my period every two weeks, which means I'm in a constant state of hormonal flux. And my blood pressure is up. Way up. While on medication. Yeah, I'm having fun.

I need a break. A real one. A vacation away from this stuff. Not going to happen though.

Crap, I hate being so whiny and discouraged. I am SO sorry for making you all read all this junk. What a rotten way to start your week.

We did get to see the Blue Angels this weekend! Mandarin class happens to be in the part of Seattle with the best view of the proceedings. This meant that we had to park far far away from class and walk, but it was a gorgeous day and it was really fun to watch the amazing flying skills of the Blue Angel pilots. Ethan wasn't as thrilled by some of the really low passes that the planes made, but we had a good time anyway.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

What a good idea!

Motherhood Uncensored had a great idea- for the month of July, we're going to click through to people's actual blogs and not just read the posts on our feeders. Go read her post for the details.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Feeling emotional

It's August today. My baby was born in August. This means that he is almost a year old!!! Seriously!!! How did this happen?

This was a really rough afternoon for me. I didn't get to really see Ethan much before leaving for work this morning, so I was missing him all day. Due to the work crisis yesterday, I had extra hours done already, so got to leave early. I did a quick workout at the gym (cannot lift my arms!) and then headed to daycare to pick up my sweet baby. My sweet baby who took one look at me and started crying, because he was playing outside with his friends and knew that I had arrived to take him away from the fun. Knife right through mommy's heart. I knew he was tired (he doesn't nap at daycare) and that he loves playing with his friends, but still it hurt. Ouch.

Daniel totally didn't get it. He said something logical like "Ethan didn't mean it, he just wanted to play." Whatever. I know that. But it's still no fun to be rejected by your little one.

We had a good rest of the afternoon after Ethan got a nap and a nice dinner at SushiLand. Then I had the bright idea that Daniel and I should have some quality couple time and chat while working on a puzzle. I forgot that he's a "focus on whatever he's working on and nothing else" kind of puzzle person and I have the attention span of a hummingbird. Right now he's sorting through the pieces and muttering to himself. And you can see what I'm doing. So much for quality couple time.

Now I'm off to watch slideshows of Ethan's first year. And sniffle into Kleenex, because my baby has gotten so big! (about 19 pounds, according to my unofficial weigh-in of him and me this morning). Not so gigantic, I know, but way up from where we were a year ago. Still really cute though :)