Friday, July 31, 2009

Show us your wedding ceremony/flowers

I felt inspired to participate in the goings-on at Kelly's blog today. Wanting to reminisce a bit, I think! So, today's blog post idea was "show us your wedding ceremony/flowers."

As I've mentioned before, we got married on February 25, 2006 at the Smith Tower in downtown Seattle.

My brother walked me down the "aisle" (not really much of an aisle, the room is fairly small), since my dad is a pastor and performed the ceremony. I figured my brother needed something to do.
There wasn't really anywhere for us to stand out of sight while waiting to make our entrance, so we had to stand there with people looking at us for what seemed like an eternity. But it gave me a chance to scan the crowd and see where people were and who all was there, so it was okay.

Dad performing the ceremony. View of Puget Sound in the background. Dad made it all the way to the "welcome to the wedding of Daniel and Carrie" before he choked up.


Mom watching the ceremony. Given the size of the room, she was about a foot away from me. She was also crying. As were my grandmothers sitting next to her. I have a very emotional family!

Daniel and I. Yes, he's crying. And yes, I am not. I rarely cry. I did finally get a little teary at the end of the ceremony though. Actually, the most emotional person was our best man. I kept staring at him, since he was in my direct line of view, and wondering why he was crying so much. Then I would notice the ferries out the window and get distracted by those. I am VERY easily distracted.


Our parents laying hands on us and praying at the end of the ceremony. By this point I am crying and my nose is running and I know I have to stand up and kiss Daniel and walk back down the aisle. So I'm trying to listen to the prayer and get the hankie out of my mom's hand at the same time. She didn't understand what I was doing and kept moving it. Fortunately, Daniel figured out what was going on and gave me a tissue.


Daniel and his groomsmen. On the left of the picture is his best friend since childhood, on the right another close friend. As you can see by the lack of wedding ring on Daniel, photos were taken before the ceremony. At my brother's wedding, he deliberately wore his ring at the photos taken before his ceremony, so he wouldn't look unmarried in his wedding pictures :)

Me and my girls. On the left is my best friend/aunt (it's a long story) and on the right is my other best friend, who I've known since middle school. Now, you think finding wedding dresses for your bridesmaids was hard? I had to dress an average size, 5'6" inch, very pale, Caucasian, and a plus-sized, 5' 3" dark-skinned Pakistani-American Muslim who had to have her arms and chest covered. In the winter. Hardest part of the wedding planning, hands down.

This photo shows our flowers. We made the bouquets ourselves. By we, I do not include myself, because I am not capable of doing crafts.

With our parents. Yes, his parents were happy, they just don't really smile in pictures.

When we got engaged, I didn't really want a wedding and had to be talked into it by my family. But we managed to keep our wedding small and it all turned out great in the end. And we've been happily married ever since!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

So, someone finally asked

We woke up to 72 degree weather outside this morning- and since it was still well over 80 inside, I made the split second decision to pack the kids up in the stroller and book it over to the Children's Museum before it got too hot to walk over there.

When we got to the museum, it was already fairly insane. Actually, that's an understatement. It was REALLY insane. But whatever, it was air-conditioned insanity. So I put Vivian in her pretty Hotsling (that was fun- there's nothing like strapping a little space heater to your chest when you're already sweaty) and let Ethan run off to play.

Since Vivian's been born, when I'm out alone with the kids, I've been getting a fairly standard look from people. They look at me and Vivian, then they look down at Ethan, then they look back at Vivian and I. And you can see the gears turning in their heads as they try to figure out if Ethan looks Asian and if there's any way I can be Vivian's biological mother. I really feel like Daniel should be forced to always be with us in public, just to spare people from having to try to figure it out.

Today I was standing in one corner of a room with Vivian while Ethan played nearby. When, all of a sudden, this very sweet British grandmother came up to me and said "where did you get your baby?" Since I am well aware that my child does not resemble me in any way, I was in no way offended by the question and told her "She's actually my biological child, her daddy is Chinese and she just looks more like him." Then the lady smiled and said that Vivian was a pretty baby and we went our separate ways.

People who know me well accuse me of doing this on purpose. I am a person who loves to plan and organize and, honestly, who generally gets her way with things. So the fact that I managed to have not only one kid of each gender, but pretty much one of each race... well, let's just say people are impressed by my efficiency :)

Off to drink water and Gatorade and wait to see what fun weather record we break today. Forecast of 88 for tomorrow. Never thought I'd be thinking that was nice and cool!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

At least we're miserable in a record-setting fashion

In case any of you out of towners have been fortunate enough to escape my constant whining today on WW, Facebook, or Twitter... it was HOT in Seattle. 103 degrees at the airport, apparently. Hottest day ever in the history of the city.

And we felt it. Thank God that Daniel bought our big bulky portable a/c unit three years ago. I've been hating the thing since then, because it takes up a lot of our limited space. But without it I would have had to pack up the kids and drive somewhere cooler. Like Miami or Phoenix.

We had a rough day today. Ethan's still teething and so is utterly unpleasant to be around. He doesn't like to eat under the best of circumstances and is definitely not up for it when he has teeth coming through. Unfortunately, he also gets a bit cranky when his blood sugar is low. Today was kind of comical in some ways. If I had the audacity to suggest anything to him, especially offensive things, like offering to get him a snack or read him a book, he would just repeat the word back in his toddler speak and then scream "no" and dissolve into tears. I must learn to stop suggesting things.

We did finally try to go to a friend's house so Ethan could play in the wading pool. I thought it would be okay in the shade for Vivian and I, but I have no concept of how truly hot 103 degrees is. So we ended up hiding in my friend's house while Ethan cried in the wading pool, since being forced to play in a wading pool when it's 103 degrees outside is also apparently torture to an almost 2-year-old.

After that the evening continued on in a similar fashion, with a failed attempt to eat dinner in an air-conditioned restaurant. I did escape to QFC where I slowly walked up and down every aisle. Air conditioning AND 30 minutes sans kids? Heaven.

Now we're bedded down as close to the a/c as we can get. Picture posted below. The cool air reaches about to where Ethan is in the pack n play. Not to where I'm at at the table, one foot further away, so I need to wrap this up and get back to the cooler zone.

Those of you in Seattle and other hot places, stay safe!

No, Vivian's not under a mosquito net. It's a cat tent.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Dear God

Dear God,

As you know- I'm a fairly trusting person, and I usually believe you when you say that you have a purpose and a plan for things. But I've got to say that I'm not so much with you this week. Seriously, 97 degrees in Seattle? With a forecast in the triple digits for the next several days? What is the possible purpose and reason for this? And, as you know, I am a 5th generation Northwesterner. The capacity for coping with weather that leaves the 60-80 degree range no longer exists in my genes. I just do not cope.

Please, spare my poor husband and the three readers of this blog from having to hear me complain any longer. Give us a break here.



I packed up the small people and my best friend this morning and drove 20 miles out of Seattle to the local outlet mall to shop for a dress for my brother-in-law's wedding. It was already really hot by 10 AM, so we hurriedly got the kids out of the car and into the stroller and dashed into the closest store. Where Ethan threw a fit and scattered peanut butter crackers and dried blueberries all over the floor. Then in the next store Vivian woke up and started fussing. By the time we got to the third store (20 whole minutes after we started shopping in the first store), Ethan was crying for crackers (there were no more) and Vivian was fussing loudly. I turned around, left the store, put the kids back in the store and headed home. Shopping will have to be done another day.

Then we went to my friend's place so that Ethan could swim in her pool. Vivian and I sat by the side and watched until I reached unbearable warmness, then we packed up and headed back to our condo. Which didn't feel so bad for once, since it's only in the mid-upper 80s in here and is in the upper 90s outside. It's all about perspective :)

We can do this... it's all about survival. Staying as close to the fans and portable AC as we can. Just letting Ethan watch DVDs and trying to not move any more than possible. Stay tuned for further warm updates.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Since I talked about it on Twitter and Facebook

Today I gave in and joined Twitter. Mostly to follow Mckmama. Now I'm hooked. Unfortunately, I started out my first day on Twitter by discussing how the people across the street were coping with the heat. By sitting around their kitchen. In the nude. Pictures were demanded by friends on twitter. My husband said that I should not take pictures. I did. Join Twitter and follow me to see them. (edited- I took it down this morning. Even though it was VERY fuzzy and hard to see anything and impossible to identify anyone. I still felt guilty) :)

It was only 80 something today. I'm seeing reports of 97 degrees forecast for Wednesday. I'm not sure we can handle that here in Seattle. I'm scared for us.

Pray for Stellan

If you're not already following what's going on with Stellan tonight, you might want to go over to Mckmamas blog and check it out. Things are not good. Pray for them.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Giant parenting FAIL. And not really such a success as an employee either.

It's been a fairly busy week here- yesterday was productive around the house and today we had an outing to the Children's Museum with friends. And we're headed there again tomorrow with another friend. Hurray for people to go on outings and practice my grown-up sentences with!

Anyway, something has been weighing pretty heavily on me since yesterday. In the morning, I checked my home email and my Google reader and Facebook and Daniel's email and then finally my work email. And there was an email from one of my local co-workers, asking if I wanted to take a small project that just came in. This projects was one of my projects- something I've been working on for over 5 years. Interesting projects- when women at a particular company get pregnant, we take a look at the chemicals that the woman is exposed to and determine if there is any risk to the baby. And the most recent list of chemicals wasn't too long and looked manageable, so I told my coworker that I would take the project.

That's all fine. The giant fail came when I sent the email- when the thought ran through my mind: "oh good, today I'll get to do something that actually matters."

I still tear up when I realize that that was my first reaction. I thought maybe I was making a little more progress with this stay-at-home mom thing*. Apparently not.

And then I ended up not having a synchronized naptime and so rushed through the project (I did go back and checked later to make sure I did everything right, dont worry!) and snapped at the kids when they were having the audacity to actually want my attention. Yeah, quality actions all around on my part. You should see how much chocolate I bought last night when I went to the store.

Today when I was out with my friends, I mentioned that part of the challenge for me lately has been simultaneously adjusting to being a SAHM and a mom of two. Up until the end of May, I only had Ethan home a few days per week and we usually had a car one of those days, so we were out running errands and stuff. Now I'm home all day most days with a toddler and a newborn and no car and it's so much effort to get everyone dressed and out for a walk and I don't have a clue how to keep Ethan entertained all day. Especially when he's teething and whiny and says "no" constantly. (Possibly one of the top 10 questions I'm going to ask God someday- WHY DO THEY HAVE TO TEETH FOR TWO SOLID YEARS? Could we not just have a really bad week or month and get the silly things all in at once?)

I KNOW that raising these kids is the most important job I will ever have. I just wish I could convince my brain of that. I miss my paychecks and my clean, quiet office and the pats on the back and the "job well done"s at the end of the project. (Lament of many moms everywhere, I know).

Seriously. Adulthood. Complicated. Angsty.

*= No, I have still not made any decisions about my job as far as what I'm going to do next year, but moving doesn't seem to be happening, and I can't afford childcare unless we do move, so it's not looking terribly likely.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Photo post

I have to admit, there's rarely a dull moment during the day when Ethan is up and about! Yesterday he was playing with playdo and stickers. Usually the stickers go on his forehead, but this time they went on his paci, and he spent the next 5 minutes trying to figure out how to get the playdo to stick on his head.

Vivian isn't quite as entertaining. She just lies around looking pretty.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Like monkeys and the works of Shakespeare

I am a big fan of saving all my deep conversation ideas for the worst possible time and then bringing all of them out and presenting them to Daniel all at once, in no logical order, jumping around from one to the other as fast as possible. :) I decided to do this last night at about midnight. Because midnight on a Friday night is the ideal time for a serious conversation, right?

Anyway, there we were. Lying in bed and trying to not move, since it was still over 80 degrees in our room. (Note to God- this is Seattle, not Atlanta. Please turn down the thermostat 15 degrees or so. Thanks.) And I start crying about the week and bringing up different things right and left. The challenges of doing stuff all day that is undone again pretty much as soon as I finish it. The fact that, as of a few months ago, I was working at a job that I trained for and had an advanced degree in and that I am darned good at, and now I'm spending my day dealing with poop. And about how it's not fair that we get no training and virtually no instruction for this, the toughest job in life.

And then we finally got to what's quickly becoming our biggest challenge, and the source of most of my stress during the days at home. Our beloved 23-month-old and our lack of a method of discipline that actually works. Here's the thing. He's a good kid. He's just a boy with a LOT of energy and we live in a very very small home. So, like the monkeys who could type the works of Shakespeare, given enough time, Ethan is inevitably going to hit on something that he's not supposed to be doing, when he's constantly bouncing around from thing to thing.

I don't mind the energy- he's a funny kid and very entertaining to watch and be around. But at the moment, he's not even acknowledging me when I tell him to stop doing something, and he laughs when I say no or try to discipline him. Recently he's started pulling my hair and kicking me when I'm changing his diaper, and again, he laughs when I tell him to stop. And boy does he like to push the limits or find a slightly new way to do something that we've told him not to do. We had a few methods of discipline that did work before, but now those don't seem to be working either.

So we really need to find some time to sit down and discuss exactly how we're going to handle Ethan's misbehavior and what's going to be an action that is disciplinable (a word? no?) and what that discipline is going to be.

But not today, because my in-laws are arriving in a few hours, so I need to go get ready for that. We're taking them to the Bite of Seattle this evening, which I'm excited about. If you're in the Seattle Center area today or tomorrow, go check it out, especially the section of the festival called The Alley. We've been the last 4 or 5 years now, sometimes returning multiple times over the three days. The Alley is a fundraising effort by Tom Douglas, a top Seattle chef. He has different chefs from other top restaurants come in and make a small bite, and for $10 you get 6 or 7 of these different small bite foods. They're always unbelievably good, so I'm really looking forward to it!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Little blessings

I never cease to be amazed at God's love for me, and His unfailing provision and patience with me. As with a lot of other things in my life, I have a fairly easy time trusting Him for the big things, knowing that He will work out His will and that His best for my life will be done.

But there are also days where He blesses me in the little things- sending answers to small prayers, encouragements that I need to stop and refocus and smile again.

Yesterday was discouraging and tiring and rough. I did end up going to the grocery store and getting chocolate, and that helped. And I made it through until Daniel got home at 7:30 and all of us were still alive and functional. The kitchen looked like this when he got home, poor guy. But I told him to ignore it and I cleaned it up later.

Then I read Liz's post about yesterday, and it made me smile, as her posts often do. And I was reminded about the wonderful women that I've met, both online and in real-life through blogging, and I felt blessed.

And then Vivian slept through the night. And I felt REALLY blessed.

And then Ethan woke up in a good mood and has spent the morning happily playing on his own, while doing a minimum of destructive activities. And when he smeared his breakfast into his hair, it was just at the front, so made less of a mess than usual.

And then the UPS man arrived with a package, and it was a prize for a giveaway that I won 2 months ago that I had totally given up on.

And Ethan brought me a book to read him this morning, and it was "When I grow up", and I was reminded again to stop worrying about the cleanliness of my house or whether I get everything checked off my to-do list and enjoy these quickly-passing years.

Nothing big today either- just like the things sending me over the edge yesterday weren't big problems. Small blessings, but blessings just the same.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

The little things

It's all about the little things when you're a mom, isn't it? Our days are full of small activities and chores- all the little things that our kids need. We're not curing cancer or finding a cleaner way to power our cars, just reading a book to our kids, or kissing a hurt knee or changing a diaper or making our 5th meal of the day. And those little things are the things that matter most to our kids, those are the things that make them feel secure and loved.

But there are days when it's hard to remember about the good little things. Because motherhood is so full of so many other little things that just chip away at our patience and our energy. Today was probably the roughest day that I've had since Vivian was born. Not because of anyone being sick or any major crisis, it was just a morning full of those little annoyances. The condo was a disaster zone by 8:15 AM. Ethan ate one bite of breakfast and then smeared his messy hands in his clean hair. Every statement or suggestion or look in his direction from me resulted in a gigantic meltdown from him, and eventually a minor meltdown from me as well. Vivian responded to all of this with her own crying, and the cats went and hid in the other room. I did not go check and see if they wet on the bed (again). I just don't want to know. And I had to get myself dressed and my hair combed with two crying children yelling at me in the background while I whimpered to my reflection about just needing three minutes, that's all, just three minutes.

Most of the time I can get through my days okay. We've fallen into some sort of routine and the days are starting to pass pretty quickly. But today I had plans to meet a friend at the park, so I needed the car, which means Daniel has to take the bus to and from work. And taking the bus means that he leaves at 7 AM and doesn't get home until after 7 PM. It's hard to be willing to let him out the door on those days. When I surveyed the messy living room and the piles of dishes in the kitchen this morning and thought about just how many hours I had left on my own with the kids, I just felt like I couldn't cope. AND THERE IS NO CHOCOLATE IN THE HOUSE!!! HOW DO I KEEP LETTING THIS HAPPEN!!! And why do I keep being surprised that I'm not losing weight when I keep buying comfort chocolate and then eating it all!

But we're getting through today too. We made it to the park and had fun in the wading pool and made it home (although I did discover when I got back that I'd been driving around with the trunk partly open, since I don't actually know how to put the double stroller in the car in the one way that it will fit with the door closed). And even though Ethan isn't napping and didn't eat more than a couple of lunch (how does he not get hungry?), he's also not crying, so I'll just ignore the lack of sleeping going on right now.

And I know that my afternoon will be full of those other little things of motherhood- Vivian practicing her newfound ability to smile, Ethan giving me hugs when I get him out of his crib, and the sight of Ethan running over to Vivian's swing to say "hi baby!" and giving her kisses with the stuffed animals. Those little things are such gifts from God- and some days definitely the only things that keep us going.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


My conversation with Ethan this morning. Scene- our living room, about to sit on the couch and read a book to Ethan:
Me (smelling something): Ethan, did you poop?
Ethan (grabbing his diaper): No. (he's almost 2. That's ALWAYS the answer).
Me: You pooped, I can smell it. Let's go change the diaper.
Ethan says nothing, keeps playing.
Me, getting up to walk into the other room: Okay, let's go. You did a poop, we need to change it. Poop, poop, poop, poop (said in a sing-song voice).
Me, stopping suddenly in my tracks with horror at the realization that I am making up songs about poop. Starting to seriously worry about my sanity.

My life revolves around poop. And feeding. So we're always dealing with it on one end or the other. Last Sunday we made it to Target for the first time in ages. Target is usually my happy place and never fails to cheer me up. This weekend it failed. Not Target's fault though. The problem was that, while Daniel browsed the electronics section, I walked over to the baby section to get some things that we needed. And I saw the potty chairs and decided that we should probably get one of those.

Then I was overwhelmed by a wave of depression and dread. On a scale of 1-10, my not wanting to do potty training comes in at about a 45. Truthfully, I don't mind diapers at all, even now that I have two kids in them. Diapers are quick and easy, the mess is usually fairly well contained, wipe, wipe, wipe, roll up the diaper, deposit in the Diaper Champ and we're done. Everyone is clean and fresh smelling. Potty training is going to involve hanging out with Ethan while he does potty stuff and looking at it and interacting with it. The mere thought makes me want to run to the store and buy a giant jug of white wine. And cake, of course.

Oh, and then there's the fact that potty training just seems like such a grown-up, mom thing to do. And I'm still in denial about being both of those things. I don't think I'm ready for that level of grown-upness just yet.

I don't think Ethan is necessarily completely ready for starting potty training just yet, but he's definitely showing many of the signs, so I at least have to start thinking about it. And by thinking about it, I mean coming up with a plan to convince Daniel to take a month off work and deal with it so I don't have to :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

New blog template!

As you can all see, I have a new blog template. I won it on a giveaway over at Busy Mommy. The blog template is designed by Delicious Design Studio. The whole process was very easy- I'd say I have a moderate amount of computer knowledge, but I'd never changed my entire blog template before, so I was a little concerned. But my concern was unnecessary.

The template was emailed to me from Delicious Design Studio, along with detailed instructions on how to edit the header and how to install the whole thing. They also included a link to a video showing the installation step-by-step. There were a couple of minor problems with my installation, but the nice person over at Delicious Design Studio emailed me back right away with the fixes. And here we are!

Monday, July 13, 2009


Today was my 6-week-postpartum checkup. I left the kids with Daniel and headed over to the OB's office. 6 weeks to the minute after we had made the same drive on our way to have Vivian. It was really strange and oddly emotional.

Emotional because today's appointment marked the end of my association with OBs forever. The very final chapter in my child-bearing journey. Which, incidentally, I admit hated pretty much every minute of. But still, it's so strange to be done with pregnancy and childbirth and all that forever. You spend so much time in life thinking about having a family and talking about it and dreaming about it and planning for it. And now my kids are here, and, barring some sort of freak post-sterilization incident, our family is complete. Our little four-person unit. I'm never going to be the pregnant person waddling down the street again, I'm never going to have to wait in the OB's waiting room for another appointment, I'm never going to be counting down the days on the calendar until a baby's arrival and wondering about that child. Done.

After the appointment I had to stop by the grocery store and was wandering around, dragging out my kid-free time. Still feeling a little teary and emotional. Then I walked past the bakery clearance rack and saw this cake.

Seriously, you're all better people than I am if you could walk past such an adorable, cheery cake on a day that you were feeling down and not buy it. Cake is ALWAYS the answer to life's problems. Especially happy, cute cake with bees and flowers on it.

And a picture of my baby to send you on your way. She still has very entertaining hair. :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

More evidence that my brain is completely gone

It's Saturday again- hurray! Another running errands day, not an exciting fun-filled day. But it makes me awfully happy to get things checked off the to-do list, so I'll take it. We dragged the kids out this morning and got things done like trips to two different banks, stopping by the drugstore and applying for Vivian's passport. Then I dropped the rest of the family off and made solitary trips to the library and the post office. (There is a point to this long list). So, by the time I made it to my final stop, the hair cutting place (I hesitate to call the budget places that I frequent "salons"), I had been to multiple places around the city and had been seen by lots and lots of people. And only when the hairstylist began to wash my hair and I started to reflect back on my busy morning did it occur to me...I never put on any makeup this morning. Not a bit of it. Which is scary and horrifying on its own. But the really awful thing is that I distinctly remember getting off the couch after feeding Vivian, passing her off to Daniel, and walking into the bathroom to put my makeup on and finish getting ready. And I have NO IDEA what I actually ended up doing instead. But it wasn't putting on makeup.

I lived in the South for 10 years of my life and in Ukraine for a year. Women in both of those places would weep with horror at the thought of leaving home without makeup on. I feel like I have betrayed them.

Sigh. I want my brain back.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A different post than I came online to write

I logged on just now, ready to write a post about my newest gripe- my lack of personal space. This is a common problem for moms, I know, but I am a person who loves her personal space, so having the two little ones climbing/sitting on me all day is making me a little nuts. Especially in the heat. My 22-month-old does not comprehend his mommy's #1 life rule: "no touching Carrie for any reason if she is in an environment that is over 70 degrees."

But, before I started writing, I was looking at the blogher links and ended up over on Maddie's mom's blog. Maddie is the little girl who passed away suddenly three months ago. Her mom's pain radiates off the computer screen and just tears your heart out. I cannot even begin to fathom what she must be going through. I hope I never am able to understand firsthand. I pray that she and her husband will find some measure of comfort.

So instead of whining, I'm typing with a baby lying on my stomach, but I'm grateful for that. Even though I know I probably wont get to eat lunch anytime soon, since her highness disapproves of me moving when she's napping on me. I'll make up for it later in rolo calories. Have I mentioned my new Rolo addiction? Seriously, I'm going through 2 packs a night. Those things are so good. Thank goodness for the combination of being too busy to eat during the day and those extra calories being burned by breastfeeding. I'm in big trouble when I lose those excuses.

Vivian update- month 1:
Weight- 8 pounds, 4 ounces. How do you people that give birth to 8+ pounders manage? My great-grandmother produced 11+ pounders. And she was not a large woman. My back hurts just thinking about it.
Length- Supposedly 20 inches. But since she was 20.5 inches at her 2 week checkup, no one really knows for sure. Apparently doctors dont put much faith in this measurement, since babies are so wiggly.
Activities: Sleeping all day. And most of the night lately (thank goodness). Eating 12+ times/day still. Growing more chins- she's up to at least 3, possibly more.
I got lucky and got another non-cryer. I think God knows that I am not the type of person who could cope with a baby who cries all the time. When Vivian cries, it's because she wants something, and she usually stops right away.

Funny story. Well, funny to me. Last night, after Daniel got home, I went out to the store to get some high-fat foods for Ethan, since he hasn't really been eating lately and we're starting to get concerned about his weight and height. And when I got home, Ethan was running around wildly (an hour after bedtime) and had been crying because Vivian was crying earlier. Vivian was no longer crying, but was demanding that Daniel hold her. So Daniel was trying to get Ethan back to bed while balancing the baby in his arms and keep everyone from crying. My evil inner self giggled when I saw the scene. Daniel's a saint and so good to me, but I still like him to get a glimpse of the reality of daily life in our home with two little ones!

**One week left! Please go vote for me at the parenting picks contest!**

Sunday, July 5, 2009

All weekends should be three days long

Seriously, we really need three day weekends all the time, don't you guys agree? Friday was a good day for errands and then dinner with friends. Saturday I went and had brunch with a friend who has moved out of town and a bunch of her friends who I know through group get-togethers. I was the only married person out of the group and the only person with kids, which was kind of strange. But good for me to have to remember how to have a conversation that doesn't revolve around diapers and breastfeeding. Then we had a great afternoon hanging out in our friends' backyard, watching kids run around and eating 4th of July food.

Today we made it to church. Barely. Ethan's sleep schedule is a little messed up from all the activities and the very loud Seattle city fireworks going off close to our home. But he managed to wake up just before 9 this morning, so we hurriedly got everyone ready and out the door. We haven't managed to do much else since then.

It's been a great weekend- a little cleaning, a little shopping, a little socializing, a little lying around on the couch. Really, what more can you ask for?

Photos of the kids being American/just darned cute below.

Friday, July 3, 2009

I so have no idea what day it is anymore

This morning I got up early to take my turn hanging out with Miss Nocturnal, and kept staring out the window in confusion at the coffee shop. Why was it open so early on a Saturday? It took me 2 solid hours to figure out that today was actually still Friday. Three-day weekend! Seriously, I appreciated three-day weekends and vacations when I worked, but now appreciate them even more, since it means I get to hang out with my sweet husband.

Today is running errands day. That's definitely been another shift since Vivian showed up- we used to do pretty much all the miscellaneous errand running together on the weekend. Now that's just not really practical, so I tend to go out and take care of most of it alone on Saturday. Or in this case on Friday. I'm also doing more online, since it's hard to get everything done in my limited time alone/with a car. I got my first order from yesterday and was pleased with that. It's another household goods shopping site, and the prices seem to be good. The thing I liked is that shipping is always free, which is nice since I usually end up wasting money trying to get up to free shipping on other sites. And when shopping at my favorite stores, I definitely spend more money than I planned, as I wander the aisles and see things that I "need".

Can I just say one thing? I know I've been kind of cranky/whiny lately. And I know that I am so overwhelmingly blessed and have so little to complain about in the grand scheme of things. But I am going through a big transition and dealing with lots of hormones and very little sleep, and this is my reality and sometimes I find it kind of challenging. Not challenging like I can't deal with it, but enough to need a place to vent. And, as a stay-at-home mom of a newborn and another small one, I don't really talk to people during the day and rarely leave my condo during the week. Right now my world is small, and this is my place to vent and write about what's bugging me so that I can get it out of my system and be smiling when my overworked/undersleeping husband comes home. Writing helps me process my thoughts and figure out what I need to talk to Daniel about and what is the silly stuff not worth mentioning. And it helps me remember to pray about the things that are bugging and stressing me. So please, bear with me.

Now, go forth and enjoy the sunshine (I hope you have sunshine where you are!). And have a safe and happy 4th of July!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Things I have learned so far

Here are my pieces of wisdom from my vast experience of being a mom to 2 under 2. By vast experience, of course, I mean one month. So take all this with a grain or 40 of salt.

1. Having two kids is not twice as much work/busyness. More like 3 or 4 times as much.

2. When the baby wants to eat, we have to go through a long process EVERY time of reminding her how to latch on and suck and get her settled in a position she likes. Which changes at every feeding. This whole prolonged process triggers something in Ethan where he desperately needs to be lifted up or fed a snack or needs something that he can't reach and he must scream at the top of his lungs until his situation is resolved. Or he decides to misbehave and needs to be put in timeout. All of which mean I have to unlatch the baby and button myself up (for the good of the people on the street with a view into my condo) and deal with the situation and then start over with the baby.

3. Naptime is the most precious time of the day. NOTHING shall be allowed to mess with it. Ever. I went to a friend's house for a mom's group/bible study thing on Tuesday. And it was wonderful and I was so glad to get out and be with my friends. But Ethan fell asleep in the car on the long drive back and that was it for the day. A napless toddler plus Daddy getting home late because he has to take multiple buses (since I had the car) is a bad thing. So I think we're going to have to hold off on participating in that particular outing again until I'm more mentally stable and able to cope with a cranky toddler.

4. Sleep deprivation sucks. I forgot just how much. I never have been much of a napper, but I miss the freedom to take one if I wanted. Although the kids' naps overlap, it's not by enough to nap myself, and I'd still rather use the time to make a dent in my house stuff and computer stuff and veg out watching TV.

5. I've had to lower my standards for house cleanliness/organization by a lot. Daniel and I are neat freaks. Really bad neat freaks. But it's just not happening right now, and I'm having to deal with that and it's tough.

6. (not a new realization) My husband is a saint. He has a nasty cold and is really tired himself, but has been staying up with Vivian until midnight so I can get a couple of hours of sleep before staying up with our little night owl. I would not be even remotely able to cope without these few hours of sleep, so I am so grateful to him.

7. There is always laundry waiting to be folded. Even when I don't remember washing a load of laundry. I think it just spontaneously appears. Amazing.

8. It is possible to love two kids, each with 100% of your heart.

9. I am so blessed.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Happy Canada Day!

Hope you're all having a great week so far! Can you believe it's already July? And that Vivian is already a month old? How did that happen?

If you get a chance, please drop by and vote for me at the Parents' Pick Awards- not much longer on the contest, I promise!

Just wanted to share some photos of the kids from this morning- they wish you all a happy Canada Day! (My husband is Canadian, and my kids have dual citizenship in the US/Canada. And yes, it's the same shirt in both pictures. We don't have one for Vivian yet, but I wanted a picture of her being Canadian as well)