Thursday, December 31, 2009

Thoughts on 2009

I'm writing this year-end post on Daniel's microscopic computer, and I've already had a glass of champagne, so please ignore spelling/grammar errors.  We're still in Portland- very, very tired and done with traveling.  Hopefully tomorrow's drive home will be uneventful.  We almost went home today, after I had a little "I hate crowds freakout" at the local science museum, but we stuck it out and are here still.  Thoughts on my crowd-phobia and other people and my latent, but gigantic people-pleasing instinct to come later when I have a real keyboard.

Anyway- 2009. Wow. Not a bad year. Just tough.I was on bedrest for months, and scared about Vivian's prenatal growth and honestly not sure if she was going to make it at times.  Then adjusting to life to two under 2.  And trying to figure out who I am now that I'm not a successful professional and trying to find my place in this new life as a stay-at-home mom.

But I have been so blessed. Daniel has continued to be patient and kind and forgiving and the kids are healthy and cute and so funny. And God has taken care of us and blessed us in so many ways.

Still, I'm ready for a new year! So here's to fresh starts and new years.  Happy 2010!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas recap

We had a really nice Christmas this year. Hurray for a nice Christmas!  I told Daniel that I think having my normal hanging-out-with-his-family-and-not-speaking-the-language-and-being-50-pounds-heavier-than-every-other-woman-and-getting-freaked-out-by-too-many-crowds-everywhere freakout two days before our visit really saved time and energy for the weekend. :)  The major drawback to the weekend was actually nothing more major than the fact that his parents have downgraded their cable package and no longer have HGTV. Since we don't have cable, I always look forward to hanging out there and watching cable and now they dont have HGTV or any of the other channels that I love. But I survived :)

Vivian's banquet also went well and she got lots of fun presents and red envelopes. Love the red envelope tradition.

There were a couple of funny things from this weekend that I was mentally blogging about while we were experiencing them.

1. On Saturday, Daniel and I decided to go to a movie while his parents watched the kids. But the local movie theaters are at the shopping malls, and Saturday was Boxing Day, a HUGE shopping day in Canada. Think the day after Thanksgiving. But worse. So instead of us driving and trying to find parking, his dad drove us to the mall and dropped us off and then came back and picked us up several hours later. I kept giggling that I felt like I was 14 and on a date with a high school boyfriend, not a married woman and mom of two in her 30s who was going to a movie with her husband :)

2. Okay, so last week I was reading this post over at Cake Wrecks about Yule Log cakes. Then we got to Canada and ate our Christmas dinner and then Daniel's mom brought dessert out.  And it was a Yule Log cake. A pink one. With Santa hidden on the back, and Hello Kitty and various Easter creatures featured prominently on the front. I made some comment about getting the camera to take pictures of the kids and ran to grab it so that I could document it for you all here :) You can thank me later.


I hope you all had equally entertaining Christmas holidays.  We're home briefly, then off to another trip Tuesday morning. So, Happy New Year to you all! 

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

It's 7 AM on Christmas Eve- probably the last calm moment around here for a while. I'm procrastinating on doing my workout DVD and taking this time to catch up with blogging instead.  Can you believe Christmas is almost here already! Wow, this year went fast!

We're going to spend the morning packing, then Daniel will hopefully be home from work early so we can attend our church's Christmas Eve service. Then tomorrow we're off to Canada to spend time with friends and family.  In addition to all the Christmas festivities, we're also having a (rather belated) Chinese banquet to celebrate Miss Vivian's arrival. 

I hope that all of you have wonderful Christmases, full of much love and happiness and time spent with those dear to you!

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

Monday, December 21, 2009

A much needed pat on the back

I just got my performance review for the year. I've been at the company for a long time now, and I really enjoy my work and my coworkers.  I'm really blessed to have sort of fallen into a field where I am challenged and forced to think, and where my job strengths are well utilized.

That all being said, I have barely done anything this entire year.  I was on bed rest the first time in January and kept working from home, then the pregnancy got more and more complicated and I ended up going on leave a month earlier than expected. So, since the end of April, I've only worked a few hours per week, rarely more than 10 or 15, and lately more like 1 or 2.  Have I mentioned that I pretty much have a dream work situation? The long hours that I put in back when I was single and responsibility-less are paying off!

But my performance review was really good, and people are pleased with my work. This was especially wonderful to hear today, because in my real life as a mommy, I got to reopen the paint can of poop and put in Ethan's second deposit. Go here if you missed this story last week. The first one wasn't bad, but do you know what a can of poop smells like after it's been sitting around for 2 and a half days?  So glad I never had to do this test while I was pregnant with Vivian.

Anyway, the good performance review made up for the poop collecting and I'm a happy camper today. It's awfully nice to get a pat on the back sometimes.  :) I hope there's a good ego boost in all your futures too!

Friday, December 18, 2009

I'm sorry you're sick, but...

So, on Thursday night, Daniel called me to say that he wasn't feeling well and that he was heading home from work.  Then he sat in traffic for an hour and a half, and was totally wiped out when he got home.  And today he woke up feeling even worse, just totally wiped out and exhausted and just not good.

I had plans with my church friends this morning, so Daniel decided to work from home while we went out. And so the kids and I went out and did lots of Christmas activities and had a nice time, and Daniel worked. Then we got home and I fed the kids and then Daniel said the magic words "why don't I put the kids down for their naps and you go out for a while." Seriously, are those not the words that make the angels sing? 

I hopped in my car and went out and got a present for my best friend and her new cat and got baby food for Vivian and jeans for me and groceries for us from the discount store and all was well. AND- we still have two whole weekend days to go! I wish every weekend was at least three days.

I hope Daniel feels better soon, but boy, it was nice to have him home sick today!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

In which God shows mercy to me

Sorry, your break from my random ramblings is over. :) Hope you've all been having a good week and getting lots of holiday-type activities done.  We're pretty much ready for Christmas here. Daniel's present is coming in the mail next week, and he still has to buy something for me. We are sticking to a $30 per person limit, so no coffeemaker for me this year, but I'm keeping it on my wish list and will end up with one eventually!

Holiday things aside, this has been a hard week. Ethan has been difficult, Vivian's fine but clingy and the days have just been really long and really rainy and really lonely.  Just not a week that needs to be remembered. But even in those hard days, there have been some moments of joy. Such as discovering that Ethan LOVES the Tony Bennett Christmas CD that I got in the mail. We had a ton of fun dancing around the living room, dipping and swaying and laughing hysterically.  To add to the amusement factor, our neighbors at the house across the street were sitting on their porch smoking the whole time, and they had a lovely front-row view to the dancing going on in my living room. 

Anyway, God showed mercy on me today in a small, but oh-so-appreciated way. The kids actually took a nap at the same time. Ethan hasn't napped all week, so him napping at all was a major victory. And Vivian rarely naps in the early afternoon, so it was an unexpected blessing.  And one I really needed really badly. That hour of downtime made all the difference in the rest of the day. Especially since, after a long week, we had to take Ethan in for another weight check this morning, and I came home with this.

I know. You're thinking I uploaded the wrong picture. Because that's just a metal paint can. Why would that be upsetting?  Because I am supposed to collect Ethan's stools for 72 hours and store them in this can. In my refrigerator (we have nowhere else cool to keep it, no garage, no porch, no balcony).  IN MY FRIDGE. 72 HOURS OF COLLECTION.

We're still trying to figure out what's up with Ethan's eating and weight. It really probably is nothing.  But the thing is, we just don't know. And, he didn't gain any weight at all between his 18 month and 2 year appointment and also didn't get any taller, and we really don't want that to happen again, so we have to keep going back in for regular checks to make sure that he is growing enough (at $25 copay per visit...), even if he is still on the small end of things. And now the doctor wants to do a test just to rule something out. It's not likely that Ethan has the problem, but if he does, it would be good to know now. And if not, we'll just focus on behavioral things and trying to get him to eat and sneaking in extra calories in lots of ways.

I was looking at the doctor type in information for Ethan today and noticed that his first record of weight and eating problems was when he was 7 days old. He is now 870 days old. That's 863 days of fighting over his eating and trying to do anything to get him to gain weight. I am so tired of this.

I don't know how moms with kids with serious health problems do it. You are amazing, and I'm sending up a prayer for strength for all of you today. 

Oh, and to close on a smile- even though Ethan won't eat actual food, he will happily try to eat his utensils. While wearing his pjs and his outdoor hat. Toddlers are so strange sometimes, aren't they :)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Why do I waste my breath

Do you ever have days where the pets in the house are the only ones who seem to ever listen to anything you say? Seriously, today is one of those days. I'm not sure why I bother talking at all. 


Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thoughts on being a grown-up

Before I get all whiny and annoying again (sorry), just wanted to say- Vivian has teeth! Two of them! They have been in the works for a while, but finally popped through a few days ago. Both of them at the same time.  And then she slept all through the night last night for the first time in ages, so we're thinking her teeth were hurting a bit more than she let on.

Okay- so when you were young, how did you picture adulthood? I remember dreaming of being able to eat as much candy as I wanted and staying up as late as I wanted. I'm not sure I really thought it out beyond that.  The candy eating part was pretty accurate- I have the hips to prove that one.  As for the staying up late, occasionally I do that too, but most of the time I'd rather go to sleep early than pretty much anything else :)

I like adulthood- I like my life and my family and the things I get to do. But boy, adulthood is full of far too many situations that require maturity and wisdom in decisions.  So annoying!  I've got a couple of those things going on right now. 

For the first one, I'm trying to decide on whether or not to buy a new coffeemaker. I have a perfectly functional coffeemaker, but it leaks and I hate it with a passion. And so I really want the low-end model of the fancy pod coffeemaker. Which is on sale for a reasonable price... but now that I'm not working and we had the trip to Great Wolf last weekend and have a trip to Portland coming up in a few weeks, so I should be a mature adult and make the responsible decision to not spend the money. Ugh.

And in another, more important decision, I'm trying to decide whether or not to wean Vivian.  I've never been a fan of breastfeeding- it just has never been something that I enjoy in the slightest. But it's been easy for me and I know it's good for the kids, so I never had a reason to quit.  Last night I kind of snapped a bit though- between the pregnancies and breastfeeding, I've either been growing a person in my body or feeding a person from my body for 33 of the last 36 months, and I'm ready to have my body back! And I'm tired of trying to figure out feeding her when we're out, it's hard to be discreet when you're well-endowed and when the baby is a big fan of lifting up the nursing cover :) But again, I know it's good for Vivian, and with cold and flu season in high gear, I feel a little guilty about quitting right now. So I'm not sure what I'm going to end up doing with that situation either.

And on an amusing note- Vivian gave up sucking her thumb today and started sucking her big toe instead. We're so proud.


Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Catching up, again

I'm so lost as to what day it is- I alternate between being pleasantly surprised that it's already Tuesday and a little panicked that it's already Tuesday and I'm further behind on things than I thought I was :)

We had a nice weekend at Great Wolf Lodge.  I reviewed it over on the review blog- go here if you're interested. I didn't get to spend as much time with the other bloggers as I would have liked, since we left our computer at home and I missed all the "let's meet up" emails. But Daniel and I had a nice evening just hanging out and finally started watching the childrearing DVDs that we've had sitting on our shelf all month.

The funniest part of the weekend was definitely Saturday night when I went to change Vivian's diapers and, after looking all through the bag... realized I hadn't brought any for her. And that I had only one left in the diaper bag. And none in the car. I had packed diapers for Ethan, but then got distracted, as so often happens in my life, and never got around to packing any diapers for Vivian. So we had to head to town and buy some diapers for her before returning to playing at the lodge.

Ethan had his first dental appointment yesterday, so Daniel took half of a day sick leave and half vacation time and we went to do holiday stuff downtown after the dentist. The appointment went well and Ethan didn't bite the dentist, so we were all happy.  We ended up using some Space Needle coupons that I had found at Starbucks and going up to the top of the Space Needle, which Ethan loved, since he's totally obsessed with it.  Then we took the monorail to downtown and did our traditional holiday events. Took lots of pictures. It was such a nice day. Really really cold, but nice and sunny and fun to spend more family time together.

So now it's back to regular life.  I'm still trying to sort through a lot of things in my life and am trying to keep on track with praying and figuring out where God is leading me in several areas. I feel a lot like I'm being asked to let go of some things. And I don't want to, so I'm afraid I've been less cooperative in those areas than I should be.  I even spent Sunday evening crying and whining about it. I'm sure I sounded to God just like Ethan does to me.  Thankfully God is more patient with me than I am with my kids. Daniel said that he feels that God is trying to prepare me and my life for Vivian, since she's 6 months old now and will soon be mobile and verbal and all those things. I asked Daniel to please shut up and not say such things, but after further reflection, I realized that he's probably right. Darn it.

Anyway, regardless of where God is leading me in some areas of my life, I should be letting myself led to stop blogging and go vacuum right now.  :)  Pictures of my weekend attached below for your viewing pleasure.


Saturday, December 5, 2009

Ah, the weekend

I made it through yesterday and got our huge pile of stuff all packed and now it's almost time to head out on our trip!  Hurray! Even though they have wifi there, we're not going to take the computer, to try to break our work/email/Facebook addiction a bit :)  So you're just going to have to live without me for a while.

And the weekend is going to extend all the way to Monday- Daniel's taking off half the day to go to Ethan's first dentist appointment with me, then we're heading to do holiday stuff downtown after that. Fun! You are going to be inundated with pictures. I apologize in advance.

So, that's all from here. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Bad day

I'm feeling kind of discouraged today.  Rough morning with Ethan, depressed about how I look in my bathing suit that I have to wear in public tomorrow.  Got lots of rejection letters on the review blog (in fact that's all I've gotten in weeks, not sure the blog is going to make it much longer), which is so frustrating, because I've been working so hard on writing what I thought were good, thoughtful reviews. And now there's some mix-up over payment on a sponsored post. It wasn't a lot of money, but things are tight right now and every bit makes a difference.

And my house is a mess and I just totally overreacted to Ethan shoving a nutrigrain bar into the cracks of the dining room table.  So now he's in his room crying.  I will go apologize as soon as I calm down.

I'm so tired. I know it'll get better, that it's just the end of a long week. Just praying for patience for the next 6 hours.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Hey, Seattle people!

So, I'm working on scheduling December, and I know some people expressed interest in doing downtown holiday stuff with me. If anyone is still thinking they're interested, let me know.  We're going to be going on Monday with Daniel, but I'm always happy to go see these fun holiday sights more than once.

Let me know! Here's the list of things I was thinking of doing.  With a possible stop at Nordstrom Rack to try on shoes added in :)

A great big welcome to my co-workers

So I mentioned a few weeks ago to my coworkers that I was doing some review blogging, and they thought it was interesting. And then my boss visited this week and at the fancy, shmancy dinner (which I realize I have yet to blog about), someone mentioned my review blogging to her and she did exactly what I would have done, which is go back to her computer and google until she found my blog. Which isn't that hard if you know what you're looking for.

And then she forwarded the website address to the rest of my local coworkers :)  I don't know why I don't just come clean about this blogging thing to everyone, it's kind of ridiculous to be keeping it any sort of quiet.

Fortunately I like my job and have been writing fairly nice things about it for the three years I've been blogging. Although there might be some work angst buried in here somewhere. I don't really remember.

Nothing else new and exciting going on here. Still need to pack for our trip to Great Wolf this weekend. Seriously, 30 hours away from home with two little kids requires a ridiculous amount of stuff. How I miss the days of packing light...

Slaves to the growth chart

The appointment today to check Ethan's weight went pretty well. He's weighing in at just under 25 pounds. At 28 months old. I know, he's tiny.  But, the little dot of the graph for today was above the dot for the last time he weighed in, and that's what we're most concerned about.  The doctor has asked me to keep tracking Ethan's food for the next week, but also has asked that Daniel and I not push food for a week and just offer it a few time per day instead. The hope is that he will eventually get hungry and start managing his own food intake.

I know toddlers are notoriously bad eaters and that they have days when they don't eat much and others when they eat a lot.  Ethan rarely has the days of eating a lot under his own volition, hence our ongoing stress. But we're going to not worry about that for a week.

I whine about this being stressful, but in reality, I shouldn't. This is just our challenge to deal with. And in the grand scheme of things, it's a pretty minor issue.  He's not sick or hurt in any way, he's just little and doesn't like things in his mouth.  Including food.

So that's all from me for this morning. Have a great Thursday!

I blame my mother

It's midnight. The kids are asleep (at the same time!), the husband is asleep, I am exhausted, and yet I am online, playing Hatchlings on Facebook. I blame my mother. She kept talking about it and sending me requests (okay, not that often, but I am a fairly easy sell), and I am now hooked.


Like I needed something else to distract me from doing the things I should be doing. Like sleeping and eating healthy meals and whatnot. It's sad how easy I can be drawn off course. I will not bring up the fact that I have failed MULTIPLE versions of the screening tests for "do you have adult ADHD". Seriously, if I was diagnosed with adult ADHD, that would be a surprise to how many of you? Exactly.

On another, completely unrelated note (see above paragraph about my adult ADHD), please come here and remove all the candy cane Hershey Kisses from the advent calendar before I do. Do you know how hard it it is to sleep at night, knowing that some of the little boxes have candy cane Hershey Kisses and mint chocolate Hershey's minatures?  Seriously. Possibly the cause of my ADHD.

And on a more serious note, did I mention that I'm taking Ethan for his umpteenth weight check tomorrow. I can hardly type that without crying. I've been tracking his calorie intake super closely for the past two days. Yesterday he ate 900 calories, with me physically forcing him to eat 2/3 of those. Today I let him wait until he was hungry and he never once asked for food. At 6 PM I broke down and made him eat dinner. He ate 400 calories of food today. I am so tired of this. I don't want him resenting me when he's a 4 foot tall 14 year old and getting beaten up in the hallways of his high school. Seriously, Ethan, we tried to get you to eat. We tried hard. To the point of tears from everyone at every meal. You HATE eating. And Mommy is old and tired. Here's hoping that the doctor will have some answers for us that don't involve going to visit the germfest that is Children's Hospital in the midst of the H1N1 outbreak. 

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A great website for helping strengthen your marriage

I just found this site this week, but have already been so incredibly encouraged by what I've read here. As you all know, Daniel and I have been through a lot in the less than 4 years of our marriage. Not bad things, just a lot of changes and stresses and shifting of lifestyles. And so we're in a season of life where we need to stop and take a look around at where we are and where the strengths and weaknesses are in our marriage and where God is pointing us to work on things. 

That's why I really appreciate websites like this Women's Marriage Ministry site that give me concrete things to do and tools for getting my marriage to the place where God wants it to be. Right now we're on day 2 of a 30 day Husband Encouragement Challenge. It's really making me stop and notice the things I say to Daniel and how I treat him in the everyday things.  Only on day 2 and I am already feeling incredibly blessed by it.

Stop by and take a look.

I'm going to Great Wolf Lodge in 3 days!!!

I know I've mentioned it before, but I'm going to Great Wolf Lodge in three days! We're so excited, especially since the Lodge is all decorated for the holidays and there are going to be fun indoor holiday events to participate in. So exciting! And I get to see a ton of bloggers from the Seattle area.

To the bloggers- If you happen to see me and I'm wearing a bathing suit, please, just pretend I'm invisible :)  Actually, it shouldn't be that bad, as I have a nice Slimperfect suit to wear. Hopefully it'll help. 
Oh, and if I don't know you, please don't feel like I'm being unfriendly if I don't come up and say hi, I'm actually really scared of people at first.  Then I get over it in a big way, but I am not the type to walk up and introduce myself. That's why I have Daniel along in most social situations, the man could make friends with a rock, seriously. He's one of the most outgoing people on the planet. I just lurk in the background until all the getting to know you stuff is done and then I jump in. It works well for us :)

Speaking of Daniel, have I mentioned that the man is a saint? He took care of the kids all day Saturday when I was sick and most of the day Sunday. While working at the same time. Then Monday he left work early to watch the kids while I had dinner out at one of the swankiest restaurants around and he stayed home and ate leftovers and dealt with the toddler. Yesterday, he took Vivian to her 6-month appointment, then when he got home, he sent me out shopping for an hour, since he had taken the whole morning off for the appointments and he didn't need to leave for work yet. I got to go out, alone, on a weekday!  It was AMAZING! He is such a blessing to me and was definitely worth the wait. God knew what He was doing!

Okay, so that's enough rambling on from me.  The sun is shining and I am feeling a bit of energy and should probably channel it into something like dusting, instead of sitting in front of the computer.

Apparently still catching up on my posts

Yesterday was Vivian's 6-month birthday. Can you believe it? Time is going so fast!  As I mentioned in yesterday's post, she did have her 6-month well baby visit yesterday, which Daniel took her to. It was so weird not going along, but apparently she did well and was her typical easy baby self.  By evening she was feeling pretty bad from all the shots. But that did not stop her from staying up all night. When I fell asleep at 11 she was lying next to me looking at her hand, and when I woke up at 3 AM, she was doing the same.  We have a night owl on our hands. :)

6-month stats- she's weighing in just under 15 pounds. Daniel couldn't remember the exact weight and I can't quite tell on the growth charts that he brought home, but it's just under 15.  And she's 25 inches tall now. Pretty average for a 6-month baby! 

Here are her 6-month photos that I took yesterday. Her hair continues to defy gravity!


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The first of several posts today

Thanks to the great sickness, this weekend was pretty much a total loss in terms of getting everything done. Then last night I was busy trying to look like a grown-up at the swanky Seattle restaurant (where I walked across the dining room with my slip showing at one point... you'll have to check back for THAT story).  So I'm massively behind on things like blogging and updating our financial spreadsheet and laundry and all that stuff.  Ethan got up early this morning, as did Vivian, and Vivian is at the doctor for her 6-month-well baby appointment right now with her daddy, so I am counting on an actual naptime this afternoon so that I can get things done.

Keep your fingers crossed.

Until then, here are some pictures of my kids being cute. Because I haven't subjected you to those for a while :)