Saturday, November 27, 2010

My son ate SIX chicken nuggets today

So, last week Ethan caught the stomach flu that was going around our house. Daniel and I were terrified. The kid is in the 2nd percentile for weight, so vomiting profusely brought on visions of G tubes and hospitals and doctors' visits and all sorts of intense things.  Much to our surprise, on Saturday, after several days of being ill, Ethan walked up to the table and asked for food.

Since then, he's still not eaten anything in the neighborhood of what a normal kid eats, but HE IS EATING. On his own free will, most of the time.  Since the great stomach flu of 2009, our average day consisted of several hours of persuasion to get him to eat a bite or two of food. All day. Since early 2010, 95% of his daily calories have come from his nutritional drinks.

This morning I took him to therapy at Children's for the first time since the stomach flu of 2010. After he had done the motor therapy and such, it came time for eating therapy. And he sat in his chair, stuck his spoon in the yogurt and started eating. And he ate it all. And part of the pudding that the therapist had to go get because she and I both were utterly unprepared.  Then we came home and two hours later he told me he was hungry and ate six chicken nuggets.

People, I know 3 year olds are not good eaters, but seriously. Two bites per day is his average.  And he sat and willingly ate SIX nuggets today. I almost cried.

His therapist made a comment today about how calm I was about everything- and I think that I'm just feeling like I live in a tornado of uncertainty, having a child with a vaguely-defined, serious-but-not-actually-recognized-by-the-official-diagnostic-manuals disease.  Everything about kids with Sensory Perception Disorder is so "they might do this, or they might do that, or who knows" that I just can't get too into one expectation or another. And in a lot of ways that's worked against me, because, since I don't really understand what's going on, I don't know what to pray or hope for.

This week has been such an encouragement.  And you cannot remotely understand how much Daniel and I needed it.  We're hanging on by the slimmest of margins these days. So to have our son, who hasn't eaten in 19 months suddenly ask for food and eat it... miracle.  God is good, all the time.  All the time (even when I can't see it as much as I do right now), God is good.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Snow!

It's snowing here in Seattle. In November. This is not a normal thing for Seattle.  I was teaching the 3-year-olds in Sunday School yesterday and when it started snowing, all the kids started saying "snow! Christmas!" Which cracked me up, because Ethan does exactly the same thing.  And I think all the retailers think the same- it's cold and snowy, so it's time to get ready for Christmas, even though it's still pre-Thanksgiving!

Anyway, I let the kids go out very briefly in the snow this afternoon. Vivian saw snow last winter, but this was her first real experience with playing in it, so that was fun to see! The kids loved being out in the snow- which is good, since supposedly there is much more snow to come this week and later this winter!



Yes, schools in the area were closed for the snow. There is slightly more accumulation in some areas though :)

I was trying to explain to them how to catch snowflakes on their tongues
In other news, would appreciate continuing prayer for the situation with our renter. Unbelievably, it got much more complicated and much more expensive over the weekend.  We're just trying to hang on and remember to trust God and His control. 

Saturday, November 20, 2010

This week needs to END already

I knew that a week that started out with a bad phone call to our insurance company couldn't end well. I just didn't expect it to go so far downhill. This week we got bad news from our old insurance company and our new one. All four of us had stomach flu.  Two of us had a cold on top of that. Two are growing molars and are very grouchy.

And tonight we rounded it out with yet another failed promise from our renter to actually pay her rent. For the second month in a row.  And she doesn't seem to get why we're upset that it's the end of the month and she hasn't paid.  It's not even that she hasn't paid, it's that every 3 or 4 days, she promises payment and then "shockingly" the wire transfer doesn't come in or the check doesn't clear or whatever.

I hate being lied to.  Pretty much anything in life is preferable to me to being lied to.  Just tell me the truth, give me the bad news, let me deal with it. Don't lie to me. 

So I'm incredibly upset tonight. We're still in a waiting game with her, trying to do what's right legally. All the while, I want to scream at her and ask how I'm supposed to cover my son's medical bills while also covering the mortgage on this property because she hasn't paid the rent.

Have I mentioned how much I never, ever, ever wanted to own property? It was actually a life goal of mine. To NEVER own property. And here I am, stuck with multiple properties that are causing an inordinate amount of stress on my marriage.

This is probably going to be a post that I regret by morning time, but right now I am feeling so helpless and so angry that I can hardly stand it. Blogging seems preferable to screaming and waking up the kids, who just fell asleep a few minutes ago (it's midnight now). 

I need to get away from all of this for a while. Too much.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Poor hubbie

I swear, my husband is a saint.  Yesterday he started coughing and feeling sick, and today he was feeling bad enough to stay home. Then I started throwing up and then Ethan started throwing up and Vivian's teething on top of recovering from her bout with the stomach bug. So Daniel's not been able to rest, he's been going to the store and taking care of us.  Saint!

I'm getting increasingly nervous about this winter. It's only mid-November and already the cold and drizzle and constant germ-passing-around is getting very old.  Maybe the meteorologists that are predicting a cold, snowy winter will be wrong and we won't be stuck inside sneezing on each other from now until July. A girl can dream, right?

In other news, we currently have nothing on the calendar for this weekend and I'm so confused by that.  As I've mentioned before, our weekends are usually insanely crammed full of activities. So a free day on Saturday is kind of messing with my mind. I'm going to have to go find something to do! Relaxing around the house stresses me out too much!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Yes, this is my honest opinion of my blog lately

Okay, seriously, every time I see that I have a new blog follower, my initial reaction is the same. It's always to think "What is wrong with you people?" :)  I feel like the last several years have been one long whinefest here at the blog and I never cease to be amazed that anyone is still reading.

But thanks to those of you who do read and comment and send emails. My family has been going through some challenging times lately and being able to write here has really helped.

So, big Tuesday hugs to all of you!

Tuesday again!

Yep, it's Tuesday.  We had semi-plans to meet up with a friend at the Children's Museum this morning, but Vivian pulled the plug on that by somehow catching stomach flu.  People, I win the award for worst mom/wife EVER with this- I slept through her vomiting 4 times last night and through Daniel giving her baths each time! I only woke up the 5th time because she threw up on my pillow.

How awful am I? In my defense, I'd taken Benadryl. I don't sleep well when I get stressed, so took some Benadryl to help me get a bit of sleep and it apparently put me out. Very very out.  I still feel guilty.  Vivian did give me a chance to do a cleanup this morning though, so it's not like I totally missed the sickness. Poor Daniel though, he had to work this morning after a night of baby vomit.

So we're home again today instead of being out and about.  Feeding Vivian crackers and watching nervously for signs of imminent sickness. And praying that Ethan will not catch this bug. The stomach flu a year and a half ago is what tipped the balance for him into full-fledged not eating, so we'd really like to avoid that again, given how much effort has gone into getting him to take a bite or two per day.

Sounds like another load of laundry is done (I am never more thankful for a washer and dryer than in the midst of a stomach flu bout), so I better head off to take care of that. 

Monday, November 15, 2010

Christmas card photos

As soon as the calendar gets to October, I start getting nervous. Because I know that, at some point in the next month or so, I need to get a perfect not horrible photo of our family.  My kids do an okay job with pictures, but I take a lot of them for my own obsessive reasons and for the review blog. So they do get a little annoyed with being photographed sometimes. And right now Vivian's in a stage where she's obsessed about looking at the pictures on the camera screen, so she and I are always in a race. Me trying to get a picture of her before she moves, and her trying to get up from wherever I've put her so that she can get to me and look at the back of the camera.

Never a dull moment :)

But I think I finally did get a few pictures of the kids that will work for the Christmas card. I'm going the separate good photos rather than one less good photo route this year. 


I was tempted to use these early morning photos. Vivian has the craziest hair in the mornings. It's mostly your typical Asian-person hair, but she has the teeny tinest bit of a wave, so it gets all matted and nuts when she is sleeping or sitting in her carseat.  This same morning Ethan woke up with weird hair too. 
Can you see how it's sticking STRAIGHT up in front and back? Craziness :)

A little less dramatic. But still funny.

Anyone else working on Christmas card pictures these days?

Not a good way to start the week

I started out my week on the phone with the health insurance company.  Not a good way to start Monday morning.  Turns out that Ethan's very expensive supplement drink, the one that is keeping him ALIVE, is not covered by the insurance. We thought it was for a while, the hospital had checked and for the first two months it was partially covered. Then we got a letter from the insurance saying "whoops, it's not covered!" This past week we got that letter.  And then we discovered that they were denying the claims for July onwards. That's 5 months that we had huge medical bills that we didn't know about. On top of the large therapy and other medical bills that we DID know about.

I'm trying desperately to keep perspective on things, but it's challenging this dreary morning.  Very challenging. This is the latest in a series of not-life-threatening things that has hit our family.  There's been a ridiculous amount of bad news lately in various parts of our lives.  We're reeling. And, even though nothing is what I would consider to be a major crisis, in total it's starting to add up and swamp our boat.

Thankfully our pastor preached last week on Matthew 14- the passage of the Bible where Jesus walks on water and calms the storm. So I'm trying to not put my eyes on the waves too much.  I know God has control of this situation and maybe we're just at the beginning of the story where we are rowing into the storm and not understanding why things are taking so long.  It's getting pretty wet here in my boat though.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Oh, thank goodness this page finally loaded

I was getting on the computer just now to blog and couldn't get my blog to load! That's a scary feeling. I was sitting here pressing refresh and thinking "but I have things that I need to say!"  Thankfully the computer finally cooperated and so now here I am.

Daniel was off yesterday for Veteran's Day (thanks nice boss!) and so I had a longer run than usual in the morning (not liking the darkness at 4:30 PM, but definitely enjoying not running in the dark at 8 AM!), then we headed off to Everett to visit a different children's museum. Typically we just stick with our own, since we paid for it already, but I'd gotten discounted tickets and so we wanted to visit.  Local people- the children's museum in Everett is fabulous! Tons to do and everything looks all new and clean and works well. Don't get me wrong, I love the Seattle Children's Museum and think it is responsible for me not going completely insane, but I do wish we lived closer to the one in Everett. It's pretty fabulous. 

Now I'm sitting around not folding the laundry and not unloading the dishwasher because, let's be honest, I'm just going to have to turn around and immediately reload the dishwasher and start another load of laundry. I'm having one of those weeks when I agonize and whine about the endless Groundhog Day nature of my life.  I just want things to stay clean and checked off my to-do list for 30 seconds!

I'm also sitting around and thinking that I need to come up with a nice dinner or something for Daniel. We've both been under a ridiculous amount of low-level, ongoing, never-improving stress about a bunch of situations. Nothing too major, but just enough things getting to us that we both just want to go hide somewhere.  Unfortunately we've (mostly I've) been taking a lot of the stress out on each other lately, so that's not good. I need to stop being stressed and try being nice for a while. You'd think it wouldn't be so much work to remember to be nice to the person that you love more than anyone else in the world.  :)

In running news, I'm up to week 4 of the Ease into 10K training. And my goodness am I slow.  I regularly get passed by senior citizens on the running trails.  My shin splints are still lurking, but they don't seem to be hurting any worse after I run (and no better after I rest for a few days) and so I'm not going to worry about those for a while. 

I think maybe the internet was blocking me getting to my blog so that you all wouldn't be subjected to this long, boring post. I have no idea what I even came online to say. :)  Happy Friday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The horror!

Okay, so you all know by know that I live on the edge of the city. City enough that we have closely monitored 1-2 hour parking out front and homeless people and such. And industrial buildings nearby. Including one that was recently sold. It's an interesting building. If you walk by, down in the basement is a vast layout of sewing machines and busy workers.  Upstairs was an art gallery and out back is an auto detailing firm and a frame shop, but the art gallery didn't work out so much and I think that is now the part of the building that was sold.  They painted the outside of the building a dark grey/light black (which I, incidentally DO NOT LIKE!) but we didn't know what was going in there until this past week.

People, this building is a concrete block. No windows, just concrete walls and a few garage doors. And I drove by one day and noticed that the garage door was open. And when I looked in, I was horrified to see that the space was now full of cubicles and computer monitors. Cubicles! Inside a window-less concrete block!  I almost broke out in hives, just looking at it. Could you imagine working in a cubicle inside a windowless building?

This weekend when we drove by the other side of the building, where the office is, we saw that they had the company name up in the window. This space is now occupied by Tippr, one of the more interesting of the deal-a-day sites that have popped up. 

I have absolutely no affiliation with this site, whatsoever. I'm not even enrolled as a customer. But I felt the urge to write and let you know that the employees are working in a cubicle inside a windowless concrete building. I'm claustrophobic and can barely breathe at the mere thought of working in that sort of environment. And for that reason, with NOTHING to gain for myself, I urge you to check out the site and what they have to offer.

In other news- Ethan woke up with a cold this morning, so we stayed close to home, except to rent Toy Story 3 from my beloved Redbox. Great movie! I'd heard that it could get a little scary for kids, and I believe that at some parts, particularly at the end. Vivian lost interest and wasn't paying attention to the end, and Ethan did fine, since he was at home in a familiar environment with his stuffed animals. So if you are renting it with little ones, I think you'll be okay, but maybe be prepared and have distractions on hand for the last bit . But for yourself, if you're a mom, have many tissues on hand. Far too much kids growing up and outgrowing beloved toys and rooms and moms to be able to handle without crying :)

Monday, November 8, 2010

My children are clearly trying to make me insane

You know how I posted this morning that I was really tired from the weekend? The kids clearly understood that, and took advantage of it. It was not a stellar day in my mommy world. I am ashamed of how many times I snapped at them to just "OH MY GOODNESS STOP FIGHTING ALREADY!!!!".  And Vivian is at that awful stage where she has opinions but not always the worlds to express her opinions, so she just whiiiiiinnneessss.  She can say "no". And "THIS!" and "again!" and "pleeezz" and other useful words like "elefnnt" and "kitty", but not necessarily the words to express what she really needs.  So she just whines.  And it is so annoying. Today was the kind of day where I actually looked up at the ceiling more than once and said "God, are you sure that me being a stay-at-home mom is a good idea?"

But we made it. We made it through the long day and through an outing to the science museum and the grocery store. And through our walk home at 4:15 when it was already getting dark.  Oh yes, it is winter in Seattle. And then we had a fight over dinner and Ethan threw up the 3 bites that he had eaten, which necessitated a bath.  And post-bath, they got out and we had about 10 minutes left until Daniel got home, and I asked them to go play for a few minutes while I finished dinner.

5 minutes later I realized that they had been quiet for a while, and I looked into their room to see this:

Seriously. They were happily sitting next to each other on Ethan's bed, reading books. Not fighting over the books, not hitting each other, doing none of the things that they had been doing all day. And when Daniel walked in the door, I was looking frazzled and tired and the kids were being all cute and getting along and reading books quietly in the bedroom.  I am not exaggerating. 

Thankfully, a bit later when I went into the bathroom to have a brief break, I heard distinct sounds of disagreement and Daddy having to referee :)  So their facade of cuteness and getting-alongness didn't hold too long :) 

It's funny though. Even in the midst of days like today, I can already feel them growing up and slipping away.  I look at Ethan and he's no longer any bit a baby. He's tiny and skinny, but he's getting tall enough that I (at 5 feet tall) already have trouble carrying him when I'm walking.  And Vivian is scarily grown up at 17 months old.  I don't have babies anymore. I have little people in my life. And they're precious, even on the days that they drive me utterly insane.  It's all going by so very, very quickly.

Monday morning exhaustion

We live a funny life around here. It's Monday morning and there is NOTHING on my calendar of any sort until Friday morning, when Ethan has therapy over at Children's. So we'll spend our week wandering around. Going to the grocery store, visiting the dinosaurs at the science museum, seeing Clifford at the children's museum. The usual activities that make up our life. Daniel is off work on Thursday, which will be nice. Confusing to have Daddy home on a Thursday, but we'll take it.

This week is like all of our weeks. We just don't ever have anything going on.  But come the weekend, the story really changes. For the past two months or so, we've not only had things going on, we've had an average of 4-5 things going on. We've been so busy that our weekend schedule has had to be broken down into two hour increments.  Daniel and I tag-team running errands and keeping the kids fed and watered and getting them ready for the NEXT FUN OUTING!  This weekend it was going to see a play and shopping and haircuts for all and church and a pre-Thanksgiving turkey dinner and then attending the Harvest Crusade. Oh and cleaning and laundry and picking small pieces of glass out of my feet, since Daniel accidentally knocked over wine bottle on Saturday night (a full, closed one) and it shattered into about 1 million tiny pieces, which apparently can only be found with the bottom of my feet.

I love our busy weekends and getting to see people and do things. But my goodness, they make for tired Monday mornings.  Daniel always looks secretly relieved to be going off to his job on Monday morning, and I always have to resist the urge to block the door or make him take the kids with him. And now TV time is over, so I have to get the kids dressed and out to one of the museums.  I think more coffee is in order!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Conversations with a 3-year-old

Ethan is a talker. He pretty much talks all the time, whether we understand him or not.  And he gets fixated on certain conversations and we have them, over and over. On Tuesday night (election night), before bed, we were praying and I said something like "help us to remember that, even when things seem like a mess, you are God and you are in control." Ethan woke up the next morning and his first phrase was "messGodcontrol". And that's been his favorite topic of conversation since then.  It sparked an entertaining conversation in the car on Friday night.

E: Monsters at the door.
Me: There aren't monsters at the door.
E: Boy scared.
Me: There aren't monsters and you don't have to be scared. God's with you and you can ask him for help if you're scared.
E: MessGodcontrol.
Me: That's right, God's in control.
E: Where'sGod.
Me: He's everywhere and he can hear you when you talk to him.
E: Hi God!
Me: That's right. Okay, let's try being quiet for a few minutes while we drive home.
(Repeat pretty much this identical conversation several more times)
Daniel: Ethan, I think Baby is bored. You should try talking to Baby for a while. Tell her what you see. Do you see other cars and trucks?
E: Baby! 
V: (Giggling)
E: Baby! Monster at the door!
V: (Giggling)
Me and Daniel: Sigh.

:) Ethan's pretty severely speech delayed, but he's finally getting to the point where we can have semi-conversations with him. And we're getting to the point where we have to be SO careful about what we say, since he repeats everything.  I often use the phrase "that kicked my butt", but now I have to watch that, since it results in me being followed around by a little boy saying "buttbuttbutt".  I do love watching the kids grow up though- they're both such real little people now, with so many opinions and thoughts and activities.  It's scary to be trusted with these two little lives!  Thankfully I have a fabulous husband, and even more thankfully, God is in control!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Out and about

We've been out and about a lot lately. It's been in the high 60s/low 70s and sunny and the leaves are changing. And when we have weather like this in Seattle, it's pretty much understood that it's borderline illegal to be inside.  Fortunately it gets dark around 5:30, so I don't have to be outdoors too late in the day :)

I took my camera along yesterday and today and thought I'd post some random pictures of recent life around here.
Vivian's ultra-fabulous morning hairdo

Ethan with his great bedhead hair

Pretty Seattle Center campus!

Space Needle and the top of the historic mural

Finding leaves

Ethan crunching leaves with his bike in our courtyard

The view of the Space Needle from our courtyard

Christmas is coming! It's one of my favorite things to see out my window- the giant Nutcracker banner. One of the first signs that the holidays are on their way.

Strategizing on how to maximally crunch leaves   
Happy Thursday everyone!

Another prayer request

Ethan's friend from PEPS, Addie, had her kidney transplant yesterday and things looked like they were going well. Then in the middle of the night she had skyrocketing blood pressure and cerebral edema.  They ended up having to drill a small hole in her head to put in a pressure monitor.  Please keep Addie and her parents and her new kidney and everything in your prayers. Her blog is located here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A minor rant

First of all- Ethan's friend's surgery went well today and she's in recovery now.  Please pray for a full recovery and for everything to go well post-op!

This is probably going to be most random rant ever. Bear with me. :)

Do you all know about Chinese desserts?  The actual Chinese ones are fine, but when they get into the desserts that are more typically Western, everything falls apart. Have you ever been to a Chinese bakery? Walk in- admire the rows and rows of gorgeous looking cakes.  Drool over how much sweetness is in front of you. Buy a piece of cake. Take a bite. And prepare for the disappointment. If you have a sweet tooth, Chinese cakes are the biggest letdown in the dessert world. Because they essentially taste like sugarless air. It's like bread with unsweet frosting. SUCH a deception!  I've tried multiple cakes from bakeries all over Seattle, Vancouver and other locations. 100% LIES!!!

But then, tonight, I was warming up a chicken potpie type pastry that my mother-in-law brought this weekend. It's chicken and carrots and peas and gravy in a pastry.  A bite fell off of Vivian's piece, and I put it in my mouth, and the pastry was sweet!  Seriously?  I love my Chinese husband and Chinese people and their culture in general, but we definitely have a different perspective on appropriate use of sugar in foods. Unsweet cakes and sugary chicken pot pies and sweet bean soup (I actually like the red bean soup though...). It's very confusing to my Western palate. 

So, if you've not experienced this for yourself, you've been warned.  My public service for the week.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Prayer request for a friend of Ethan's

I was telling my friend Liz today that I have had a huge reality check lately as I have caught up on the story of one of Ethan's friends from his baby PEPS class. Long story short, she has a disease that destroyed her kidneys and she will be having a transplant tomorrow. She's 3 years olds. Go here to read the full story. And please, if you're a praying person, be praying for Addie and her family tomorrow and through the days to come. This family has been through SO much over the last year and a half and they need some good news for once!