Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 29, 2008

Perspectives on clean

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

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 28, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 27, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 26, 2008

I am a bad, ungrateful, bratty person

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

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

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

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

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

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

I need a glass of wine. 

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas, part 2 (not really saga-worthy)

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

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

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

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

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

Pictures of our Christmas below...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Christmas saga, part one

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Note to the weather

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

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

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

Friday, December 19, 2008

High hopes

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

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

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

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

Stay safe, everyone. 

Thursday, December 18, 2008


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

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

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

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


Pointing out the window at the snow

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

On another sugar high

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I'm trying, I promise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, December 15, 2008

On hold with the doctor's office

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

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

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

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

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

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

Potential redemption

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

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

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

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

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The joys of a quiet day stuck close to home

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

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

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

My last Christmas gift vent, I promise

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Rain, cupcakes and urine tests

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Banana bread...yummmmmmm

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

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

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

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

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

Okay, must go eat bread! Bye!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Somehow it's Monday again

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

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

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

And for this I leave my child?

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

Friday, December 5, 2008

Friday, Friday!

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

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

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

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

Have a great weekend, everyone.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Well, that's one mystery in my life solved

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

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

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

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Enjoying the outside world

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

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

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

Monday, December 1, 2008

Oh my goodness, he understands us

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

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

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

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

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