Monday, January 31, 2011

School!

I was supposed to have Ethan's IEP meeting this morning, but then the school's printer broke (random!), so we had to reschedule for tomorrow.  But when the teacher called this morning, she gave me the surprising news that Ethan will be starting preschool. THIS WEEK.  I guess school is out on Wednesday for some reason, but he'll be going Thursday. And starting next Monday, he'll be riding the bus.

Thankfully I have chatted with another mom blogger about the bus riding and her son loves it, so I feel better about it.  It's still all a little overwhelming. Ethan's so little and it's hard to wrap my brain around this.  After I talked to the teacher this morning, I got back in bed and was crying to Daniel saying things like "He's growing up so fast and I didn't appreciate it enough! I get tired of being with them all day and now he's going to be gone all the time!"

We're going from a massively unstructured life to a very scheduled one. Ethan's going to be getting up hours earlier than usual and riding the bus and carrying a backpack and doing big kid things. I'm planning to buy a single jogging stroller so that I can take Vivian out running when Ethan's gone.  Put that free time to good use!

A childless friend annoyed me this morning when I made a comment on Facebook about all this. I said that it was a big change and that he's super excited, but that I'm not entirely ready for it.  She said something about moms complaining about their kids all the time and then being sad when the kids are ready to go it alone.  That annoyed me and made me sad. I hate the fact that it seems like I complain about the kids all the time. I'm not a very good mom in that area, I know.  And it's annoying because yes, it's hard to let kids grow up and go to school and things like that, but he's 3. It's all happening a bit earlier than I imagined it would.  Most 3 year olds don't go off on the school bus four mornings per week.

Anyway, I need to stop being annoyed and get off of the computer and go figure out what I need to do to get my baby ready for preschool! Ahh!!!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Readjusting my way of looking at things

On a totally random note, has anyone watched figure skating recently? It's changed a lot from what I remember as a kid. Wild costumes, crazy music- lots more fun to watch! Which is good because 1) figure skating is on CBC pretty much all the time and 2) my kids are obsessed with it and demand to watch whenever we go past on the TV. Then they "skate" around our living room, which is very cute.
"Skating" with shoe boxes for skates

Anyway. Not the point of this post.  I've been thinking a lot about a few things this weekend. First off, I've been thinking about my life and how I view my current place in life. There are one or two things that always make me start to doubt myself and where I am, and both occurred this weekend, in an unfortunate coincidence. But this time I tried not not let it get me down. Yes, maybe the path not traveled would have been more fun and more exciting, but this path is pretty darned good too. Yes, we're really tired right now and fairly stressed, but we have been blessed with so much.  

I need to keep working on this attitude adjustment, big time.  I'm not good at this stay-at-home mom thing, but I need to stop moping about it and appreciate it and be more present in this time of life and less wishing away the long days.  I also need to start exercising again so that I have more energy and am in a better mood, but one thing at at time. 

The other thing I've trying to really watch is my perspective on romance and stuff like that. It's inevitable at this time of year- Valentine's Day is everywhere and our wedding anniversary is close too.  And I kept finding myself moping and wondering why Daniel didn't do certain romantic things that I'd hear about other husbands doing (I know! Worst thing for a wife to do ever!). And then this weekend, I stopped to really watch him and all the ways that he does show love. The man gets up with the kids in the middle of the night almost every night, without ever ONCE complaining. In fact, he never complains about anything, ever. He never voices that he misses his bachelor days, when he had a fancy car and motorcycle and slept lots and had disposable income. He's happy with how things are now- even though it's so different.

And last night I was on the phone with my grandmother while he gave the kids a bath (something else he does without ever complaining)- and when I came back into the living room, he'd started a load of laundry! Granted, it was an "everything in the hampers" load (he just stared at me blankly when I asked if he was washing whites or darks...), but he just did it. Because he knows how tired I get of laundry.  Today he folded the laundry and put away his stuff and Ethan's stuff too. Which is impressive on so many levels- he knew that I would want the laundry folded, but he also knew that I have a system for my clothes and Vivian's, and that I wouldn't want him trying to figure out where to put things!


Seriously, doing the laundry, even an "everything" load, and getting up with sick kids in the middle of the night- now that's romantic.

Friday, January 28, 2011

At least the long day means I get takeout sushi for dinner

Friday evening. Daniel's still at work.  Kids are watching Angelina Ballerina (another new discovery on Netflix).  Floors are vacuumed, laundry is more or less done (when is it ever REALLY done?). Weekend getting closer.  Unfortunately the kids are both sick again, so we may have to cancel our weekend outing plans or take turns attending them while the other adult stays home with the sickies.

The worst part of being home with sick kids on a rainy day? I ran out of diet coke and there was no way I could take two runny nosed, loudly coughing kids out in the cold and rain to make an emergency walk to the store for more.  Must plan better in the future!

But whatever, I convinced Daniel that we need sushi tonight for the sake of the kids who haven't eaten much in several days.  They love sushi, and it's usually a sure thing that they'll eat it.  Hurray for not having to make dinner!

Guess who's still living in our rental condo?  Have I mentioned how uber pro-renter the laws are around here? It's like a nightmare that we can't wake up from.  If you're a praying person, we'd love prayers that she'll be out soon and that we can find a good new renter very, very quickly!

All this rain is making me want to bake something. Off to see what I have on hand in the cupboards! Happy Friday!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ah, the irony of it all

Daniel's been saying for months now "if we could just get Vivian to sleep the entire night in her own bed, I wouldn't be so tired all the time." He's right, she's a terrible bed hog and some nights she's restless and kicks and pokes her tiny little toes in my side and edges him out of bed entirely.

But she's also so cute and snuggly and I love waking up looking at her sweet face.

Last night we got home late from home fellowship, so by the time the kids had a snack and did the bedtime routine, it was well over two hours past their bedtime. Also known as the time that Vivian thinks she actually should go to bed. So she went down in her toddler bed just fine, and stayed there. All night. When she goes to bed at normal time, she'll go down well, but generally wakes up several hours later and gets in our bed.

But not last night. She stayed put like a good girl. And I totally didn't sleep, because 1) every time she made a noise from the other room, I wondered if she was going to need me to get her and 2) I missed my snuggle bug.  I think Mommy is the one with the co-sleeping dependence, not Vivian :)

She's growing up so fast. SO fast.  She actually makes her grandmother sad with how fast she went from baby to small child. Vivian's doing everything that her big brother does and then some. She's not even 20 months old and she's in a toddler bed and now is trying to boycott her booster chair at the dining room table. She's got opinions about her clothes and hairstyles.  Last weekend when we went to the shoe store, she made another customer laugh by rejecting several shoes that we suggested, before finally picking a pair out that she liked (fortunately the $3 shoes!).

I know that it's best for her to sleep in her own bed and I'll get used to her not being next to me, but it's hard too. It's all just going by so very quickly.

Monday, January 24, 2011

6592.5

6592.5. That's the number of extra calories (according to the memory on Ethan's pump), that he's taken in since January 14th.  Of course we had a leak one night, so a good bit of his formula leaked all over his bed instead of going into his stomach, but still. That's a boatload of calories. He's gained several pounds- it's actually getting hard for Daniel and I to carry him now, since we're fairly short people.  But that's a problem that I'll take any day!

Yesterday we spent the majority of the day in the ER at Children's. Ethan's tube had been clogging on and off for several days, then Saturday night it clogged completely.  We just shut off the pump around 3 AM and figured we'd deal with it later. But then Ethan woke up with a massive nosebleed, and we were concerned that we'd somehow hurt him while trying to get the tube unclogged.  So instead of church, Ethan and I headed to the ER. He was fine, but attempting to unclog the tube and ultimately replacing it (which was horrible! and I almost cried watching it, and I DO NOT CRY!!!), took 4 hours. Which meant that we not only missed church, but also the baby shower that I'd been looking forward to attending.

It's always disappointing for me to miss social events, since I just don't have many on my calendar. It's hard to make plans these days- many of my friends have new babies and it seems like someone's kid is always sick.  Right now we're just looking forward to Ethan starting preschool (whenever that happens) and Daniel's office moving to Seattle (in May)- and the opportunities for socializing that will come from those things. 

Drat, I've squandered all of TV time again and must get off the computer now.  The kids have been watching so much TV lately and eating so much junk food- I decided that today is detox day for both of those things. It's so bad that Ethan threw a fit when we LEFT the ER yesterday, since he just sat and watched movies for hours while we were there. At least he's thinking that the hospital is a fun place, but it was embarrassing to carry a screaming 3-year-old through the halls of the crowded hospital :) Today Mommy's going to play tough and try to get these kids back on track. Should be interesting...

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Trying out a new hairstyle

I finally remembered to get ponytail holders at the store today- I've been wanting to put pigtails in Vivian's hair for a while, but never remember. Today we tried them out!

Pigtails for everyone!

We've been inside a lot this week. May be going a little nuts :)
I love these hairstyles :)

Cutie pie!

Practice fighting

My kids have started a new thing, which I can only assume is geared toward finally pushing me completely over the edge. They will sit on opposite sides of the room, playing with different toys, and start yelling "my turn", "no! my turn!" at each other.  All while not actually knowing or caring what the other one is playing with!

They also have been getting into squabbles when Ethan will say something, and Vivian will copy him or say something back, none of which is actually understandable on either side (to me at least), then they'll start screaming and crying at each other. 

One of my friends just found out that she's pregnant- and her first child turns one this weekend.  Another member of the kids-close-together club.  I just smiled when she told me and promised to give her advice if she needs and wants it. Not that I have a clue what I'm doing, obviously.

And it's not like we did this by accident- having the kids close together was a deliberate decision.  And overall it's a good thing- the kids love each other and sometimes entertain each other and I know they'll grow up to be close. Vivian adores her big brother and follows him around and he's never more confused and bored than during her nap time.

That being said, they're kind of driving me insane this week. Mostly because we've all got colds and we've been stuck inside a lot with not much going on.  I finally had to send the sugar cookies to work with Daniel today, so that I would stop turning to them for comfort.  :)  But the end of the week is getting closer, so I have hope. 

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A sisterhood that I never expected to be a part of

I've been having lots of deep thoughts lately. Of course, I've also been taking a lot of cold medicine, so the deep thoughts might not be as deep as they seem to be to me :)  Thoughts that are triggered by a couple of things- mainly the whole "Tiger Mother" controversy and also by Ethan's recent medical stuff.

Thoughts triggered by the whole Tiger Mother thing: My first reaction to the essay (which the author said was kind of taken out of context and the entire book should be read to really understand her mothering style) was amusement. My husband is the Chinese person in our family, but I am the one who had a strict upbringing with much higher expectations than what he grew up with.  That's partially due to the fact that Daniel's family immigrated to Canada when he was 7 and he was dumped in a normal classroom- no ESL classes, nothing. He had to learn English and keep up in classes all at the same time, which, understandably put him at a disadvantage.  But I'm pretty sure that he's said before that part of the reason his parents wanted to leave Hong Kong was that they didn't want their kids to grow up in the high pressure school system there.

I was raised to always be the best. I needed to be in gifted classes and advanced programs.  If I got a B on a report card, there was a discussion.  Music lessons were a must and my friendships were closely monitored.  And, honestly, it was probably a good way to raise me. I tend toward laziness and not living up to my full potential, so I did need to be pushed.

That being said, Daniel turned out well too. He doesn't have the advanced degree that I had, and he didn't get the grades that I did, but he's extremely successful at his career and he's a fabulous person.  So, when thinking about child-rearing styles, my thoughts were always along the lines of "average is fine and not the end of the world!"  Because in the end, it's who my kids are as people that really matters. Way more than grades on a report card. Sure, we'll encourage and suggest things and will have rules and expectations.  But I don't want to ever hear myself questioning a grade on a test or report card if my kid has tried and done his/her best. 

Anyway, this whole Tiger Mother thing has brought all these thoughts back into my mind and I've been reflecting on what I imagined, versus my reality. What I never expected or thought through was special education.  I never expected to be discussing IEPs and special classes for my kid.  Don't get me wrong, I am in NO way upset by this, it just isn't a situation that ever crossed my mind pre-kids or in the early days of parenthood. I'm so glad that Ethan is going to get the help he needs and that resources exist to help him deal with his issues and be the best that he can be.  It's just a world that I didn't imagine living in.  More proof that life is never what you expect it's going to be.

Thoughts triggered by Ethan's medical stuff: As I mentioned, yesterday at the museum, a lady struck up a conversation with me about Ethan's NG tube.  And I realized that again, I'm in a world that I never pictured living in. I didn't think I'd be the one discussing things like this with strangers.  I didn't imagine learning a whole new vocabulary. Or having a house filled with syringes and tubes and pumps and medical supplies.

And the point of this whole post: This is where I am. This is my reality. We are the family dealing with special education and medical needs.  But we're not alone here. I'm not alone in this path- there are women like the lady that I talked to yesterday- sisters in these challenges- people who have the same vocabulary and similar experiences.  There are other bloggers and people on message boards and people who have been there and who understand.  People who can offer reassurance and suggestions.  I'm so grateful for this.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Cookie deliveries should not arrive on Tuesday

I actually had plans with a friend this morning! Hurray! Which is good, because it's a really quiet and really slow week and we have only one other thing on our calendar.  That makes for a long week and a slightly grouchy Mommy. But this morning we were out and about and it was fun and we socialized and rejoiced in having someone other than ourselves to talk to.  I even got into a conversation at the Children's Museum with a stranger about Ethan's NG tube- apparently this lady's son had had one as well, so we chatted about that for a bit.

Then we came home to an afternoon with no real plans and nothing to do, and there was a box of cookies waiting at our door.  I do love getting food for the blog, but getting a box of frosted sugar cookies on a long Tuesday afternoon... dangerous!  I'm hoping that things I have to eat for the sake of the review blog don't have calories. Right?

On the Ethan front- things are going really well. He's gaining weight and tolerating the pump well and not messing with his tube. Such an answer to prayers!  He did have a bit of a nervous breakdown yesterday, begging for the pacis to come back from the airplane (a year ago, when we took away his pacis, we told him they left on an airplane).  We're not about to say no to comfort things for him with all that he's going through, so went and bought a package of pacifiers last night. You would not believe the bliss on his face when he got that first hit of pacifier after a year of nothing.

Would you believe the renter situation is still going on? As in she's still living there? And we're still out a staggering amount of money?  If you own property- SCREEN CAREFULLY.  People are going to have to do everything short of give a blood sample to pass our screening process in the future. If we ever get this renter out. Which I am starting to think is never going to happen.  We're trying to stay patient and focused on the big picture here and not lose track of the fact that God is in control, even of this mess.  But boy, do we wish God would deal with this soon!

I really want another cookie.  

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Thoughts from the weekend

First off, I have a comment to make. One that some of you heard in person and some saw on Facebook. But after this evening, it's worth repeating.  A 3-year-old who suddenly is getting 700 calories/day more than he is used to?  SO LOUD and SO HYPER!!!  I'm pretty sure Daniel is counting the seconds until he gets to leave for work tomorrow.  It is utter insanity around here the last few days.  Because Ethan being loud means Vivian has to be loud and Ethan running around and throwing things means Vivian has to do it... and so on.

That being said, boy, is it ever a relief to see the "volume delivered" screen on his pump and realize how many calories entered our little boy, without major effort on our part.

Ethan wears the NG tube all the time, for the simple reason that it's difficult/impossible to get a 3-year-old to sit still while someone sticks a tube down his nose to his stomach.  So even though it's not in use all day, it's in him all the time.  Then at night he's hooked up to more tubes which are connected to a small pump, which delivers his formula overnight.

Friday night sucked, to say the least.  He wasn't used to the tubes and being tangled up, and he caught a cold and couldn't breathe well, so he was very restless. In the end, Vivian went to our room and I slept on the floor next to his bed. Between him being restless and needing to adjust the pump volume in the middle of the night, it was just easier. Not so comfortable, but easier.

I was pretty tired on Saturday, and kind of discouraged, but Saturday night went much better, with just a few times up in the middle of the night to detangle or comfort. And Ethan hasn't looked at me in over 48 hours and said "Mommy, tube out, please?", which is good, because that was the hardest thing to deal with.

The tube will have to be replaced every 2-3 weeks (sooner if it comes out on its own) and I'm going to give it a shot at replacing, since I've actually done similar things on animals (in my previous life as a scientist); but if it doesn't happen, then we'll go to the emergency room and make them do it.

Honestly, Ethan is doing great with this whole thing. After the first night in the hospital when he accidentally pulled out some of the tube, he's not messed with it or even seemed to notice it. And we were able to be out and about yesterday and go to church today and everything seemed normal.

I told a friend at church today that we're just viewing this as something similar to a broken bone in a cast. Annoying and uncomfortable and difficult, but temporary and necessary.  The number on the scale is already creeping up a bit, which is amazing to see, and so far not nearly as bad as we thought it would be.

God is so good and so faithful. We've had so many wonderful people praying for us and sending us sweet messages and I know we wouldn't be in nearly as good of a place without all of them and God watching over us and Ethan.  

Now I need to go get some rest- tomorrow is a day home alone with SUPER HYPER boy and his sidekick WAY TOO SMART FOR HER OWN GOOD girl :)  Send chocolate.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Long nights

I'm pretty sure that nights spent in the hospital are the longest kind.  By my count, this is my 11th night spent in the hospital in my life.  The most amusing night ever spent in the hospital was when I had my appendix out- I remember the nurses walking into my room to check on me and being shocked by the volume of snoring coming from my mom over in the corner. 

Most of the other nights in the hospital were when the kids were born.  Long nights when we were trying to get Ethan to come out, long nights recovering from c-sections, one long night when I was admitted at 34 weeks with Vivian for steroid shots and possible early delivery. 

Tonight was tough. Ethan pulled his tube halfway out once and had to go through having it put back in. We've had nurses in and out and now a new roommate- one who is much sicker than Ethan and one who is breaking my heart as I hear his mom filling the nurse in on all the details of his illness.

There've been many moments of doubt tonight. Wondering if we did the right thing, wondering how on earth I'm going to handle this. Not looking forward to Ethan waking up and realizing that he still has a tube in his nose.

But daylight will be here soon and the time for doubting and worrying will be done, and it'll be time to pull up my big girl pants, trust that Ethan is in God's hands, and get on with what needs to be done. Because I'm a mom, and that's what we do.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

At the hospital

Ethan is loving one part of today- all the TV! I think he's been watching since 9 this morning, although I did get him to take a brief book-reading break :)

We got up very early this morning and headed over here to Children's.  Unfortunately, Vivian woke up before we left, so we departed to the sounds of her screaming.  She did go back to sleep later, thankfully.  I think it's still going to be a long day for Daniel's mom!

Ethan was a pretty unhappy camper most of the morning. Everything, from the identification bracelet to the taking of his temperature to our attempts to dress him in a hospital gown were kind of a disaster. Fortunately they're the experts here at Children's and they know what is essential and what's optional- we snuck the identification bracelet on his ankle when he was watching TV and they did the procedure with him in his regular pjs. 

Now we're in our hospital room, and Ethan's surrounded by a big pile of books and puzzles and his new teddy bear.  He's unhooked from everything except the IV and the feeding tube, so he's happy about that.  The feeding tube really bugged him at first- they had him in arm restraints when we got to his room, but he did eventually calm down. Every hour or so he looks at me and says "all done with the tube, Mommy," but he's at least not actively trying to pull it out.

Daniel's gone to get Vivian and his mom and bring them here for a visit.  I'm not used to being away from Vivian for so long- I'm already missing her!


They're going to teach us how to feed him with the tube tomorrow morning, and we'll get to head home after that.  Thanks all for your prayers- we've really felt them today and over the past few weeks.  You are appreciated.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Idiosyncracies

I'm going to divulge all sorts of deep, dark secrets here about my family.  Or maybe shallow, light grey secrets. We're really not that interesting.

1. Daniel. He's watching "Bizarre Foods" right now and keeps saying how hungry he is getting. Because all the organ meats and creepy animals do not freak him out. He is a true Chinese person, there is no such thing as a scary food.  Annoyingly, he also weighs around 120 pounds, because he lives in the US and is honestly not that interested in American food. Intestines yes, potatoes no.  Last month I picked him up and twirled him around. Easily. Because he's THAT skinny.  And he has a desk job.  When I think about things like this, I have to immediately mentally list the reasons why I do love him more than anyone else on the planet.  Seriously, now they're talking about cheeks and eyeballs and gelatinous head fat on "Bizarre Foods" and he's practically drooling

2. Me.  I eat everything. Except pork or seafood (other than salmon). Yes, this is why I lose weight only 1 week out of the year- when we're visiting his parents and eating Chinese food. I pretty much starve that week, since authentic Chinese food is 99% pork and seafood.
Other weirdness from me- I don't believe in reading sad books or watching sad movies. To make sure that I never break this rule, I read the first 10 pages of books and then the last chapter. If it seems depressing, it goes back to the library. For movies, I read full spoilers online before I see them, just so I know.  My mom makes fun of this habit, but my mom doesn't believe in the news. She doesn't watch it on TV or read it online. She has no clue what's going on in the world unless someone tells her, and we know better than telling her anything sad, unless it's really important. I am impressed by this avoidance skill on her part, given that she's a head librarian, and is faced by incoming information all the time.

3. Ethan.  Honestly, he doesn't have any truly weird habits these days. Just some funny little things that he does. Like his new phase of saying "where'd that come from?" about one thousand times per day.  Any little thing that he doesn't recognize in our house or anything out of place on our walk to Seattle Center, it's all "Mommy, where'd that come from!?" I do get tired of figuring out what question I'm answering, but I love his curiosity.

4. Vivian.  She's still young, so it's hard to tell for sure about her, but she has one habit that I find hysterical.  She loves bananas but 1) insists on holding the banana for herself and 2) only eats banana that is still inside the skin. We went through 4 bananas today because she would scream at me to open it, I would do so, she'd insist on running off with it, would take a few bites and then it would break off, then she'd come back and say "fix it" and have a nervous breakdown when I couldn't put it all back together.  Seriously, FOUR times today we did this. And Mommy ate all the extra bananas. Thank goodness they no longer have points on the WW plan :)

They're on to raw pig's brain on TV now. And uterus. And udder. And my husband is still not freaked out. I think he officially wins the "craziest family member" award.  Ugh.

Monday night

Can I just say again- being a stay-at-home mom is SO much more fun when one doesn't actually stay at home all day?  We had a great day today- got up early thanks to Vivian's attempts (successful, in this case) to kick Daniel and I out of bed, so I had time to make yogurt and soup and get some laundry done before the kids got up. Followed by a trip to the store, a drive to therapy for Ethan, an outing to the Children's Museum with a church friend, and our church home fellowship meeting at our place tonight.

The home fellowship meeting here means that the house is basically clean, so now I can spend my time trying to see what my mother-in-law might see.  Things like dirt on the drawer of my oven and cat hair on the computer bench. It all must GO before Wednesday night! (I realize I'm sounding insane...)

Now it's late and I should go to bed but 1) Vivian's still in her own bed and waking up every 15 minutes or so, and I'm trying to get her to stay there, so it's easier to sit in the living room and just go from here to pat her back and get her back to sleep. And 2) tomorrow is the only day this week that I don't have to get up at 5 AM, so I am taking advantage by staying up late.

Ethan's stuff is scheduled for 7:30 AM on Thursday. The nurses called today to do the prep info talk- with information like "be sure to not let him eat after 7 PM the day before".  Which kind of made me laugh, since NOT making Ethan eat for 12 whole hours is pretty much a vacation for all of us. Ethan will be thrilled.

On another note- one of my blog friends wrote a post yesterday that I LOVE! I know a lot of people are into couponing, and I'm all for saving money (seriously, there are few people on the planet cheaper than my husband and myself), but I also struggle with the stockpiling/losing track of what I have and wasting money idea (granted, maybe if I lived in a home larger than a closet, my perspective would be different).  So this post really struck home. I love her perspective on things.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Updates

We had our courtdate on Friday regarding the rental issue. Things are still not 100% done, since local laws lean heavily towards the renter's rights, but the judgment was completely on our side, so we're happy.  Now it's just a waiting game and then collections, but at least we're not in limbo any more. Such an answer to prayers! 

Ethan's had two therapy sessions now with his new therapist, and we all like her. Vivian went along on Friday and was very helpful for showing Ethan how to do the motor skills stuff. She's a one baby motivation crew.  We're still in the honeymoon period where Ethan will do whatever his new therapist wants, so she's taking advantage of that by seeing us often.  Kind of strange to go from our "at home all the time" life to suddenly "very busy with multiple plans in one day" life, but I'll take it.

And we're still on schedule for Ethan's tests and feeding tube on Thursday.  There is a giant storm heading this way, which will supposedly dump a bunch of snow on the area (we shut down for an inch, so a bunch will paralyze the city) on Wednesday night/Thursday, but hopefully it'll go somewhere else.  :)

Church today was a very emotional experience- SO many people stopped us to say they were praying for Ethan.  I know that's the reason that Daniel and I both feel so much peace about this whole thing- we know Ethan's in God's hands, and there's no better place.  After all those people letting us know about their prayers, one of the first songs we sang today in worship was an old hymn (which our church doesn't usually sing), and one of my favorites- Be Still My Soul. Even though I love it, I was so overcome with emotion during the first few verses and couldn't sing for a long time. So many reminders today of God's care for us and for Ethan.

And on a completely different note- did you all see the Seahawks game yesterday! Wow!  I'm totally saying that Seattle, with its losing season and making it into the playoffs only by being less bad than other teams, is going all the way. I think this is our year to win the Super Bowl! :)  And you have not seen sadness like the sadness of the men in my church when they realized that the game next week starts at the exact same time as church. I predict much checking of scores on iPhones.

Happy Monday, everyone!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The conformist and the opinionated one

It's fascinating watching the kids grow up.  It seems like their personalities grow stronger with every passing hour.  Which is exciting and terrifying all at once. And I never cease to be amazed at how two kids in the same home with the same genetics can be SO very different.

Ethan is my rule-follower and people-pleaser. In a big way. He wants to follow procedures and do things in the same order and have things just so.  All the time.  A few minutes ago he freaked out because he looked in the kitchen and two of the knives were missing out of the knife block. I had to fish them out of the dishwasher and wash them off and replace them before he was happy. I didn't even know he knew about the existence of our knife block.

And when Ethan's playing, he wants things done just so.  He just decided to play "baseball", which of course means he has to wear a hat.  And if he's wearing a hat, then Baby needs to be wearing a hat. That's pretty much how it always works- whatever Ethan wants to do, he's desperate for Vivian to do as well. Everything.

Which is where their personality differences make things complicated. Because Baby does not like to conform or follow the rules. She has opinions about what she should be doing and what she should be wearing or reading or looking at. And she makes herself heard. Very loudly. I'm thrilled that I'm raising a brave, outspoken daughter, but it does raise a few challenges in her relationship with her brother.

So right now, Ethan's chasing Vivian around the house with her pink Mariner's cap, saying "Baby! Wear hat!" and begging her to please put it on. She's having none of it. She's shrieking and running away and shaking her head and acting like the hat is radioactive.  Poor Ethan.

I have so many friends pregnant right now with their second children, and I just laugh. They have a whole new (mostly fun and very enlightening!) road ahead of them. :)

Honesty

Honestly- things are not okay here. There is an enormous amount of stress and lots of hurt going on.  We're cracking a bit under the strain of too many changes and too much "stuff" in too short a period of time. 

I'm not entirely sure how to keep things together anymore. Or who to talk to (other than the MANY prayers for help).

This adulthood thing. HARD.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday stuff

1. The weather here this week is conspiring against me.  We went from gorgeous (really cold) sunny weather last week. And Daniel was home, so it was a week of activities! And outings! And free time! And dancing with joy in the bright rays of sunshine. Then the sunshine turned off abruptly and it warmed up and turned utterly gray and Daniel went back to work. So we're back to sitting like lumps in the living room and desperately trying to find the motivation or a reason to head out into the gray drizzle. Bad timing, Seattle winter, bad timing.

2. Ethan had his first appointment with his new sensory therapist today, and he was his usual charming self. And he happily ate for her, because that's how he rolls. We were joking that he just needs to switch therapists every month when the honeymoon period of cooperation and pleasing wears off.

3. Daniel's mom is coming next Wednesday to stay with us until Saturday, so that she can watch Vivian during the day on Thursday and Friday while we're at the hospital for Ethan.  Which means I have to do some serious cleaning. I'm a very neat and tidy person in general, but nothing like my mother-in-law.  And she's going to be alone here with Vivian for days, and I know she won't be able to handle doing nothing, so she will find things to clean and organize. And no, I can't just leave things messy and disorganized for her to deal with.

4.  We started using Netflix on our Wii last week and now I'm catching up on all the random shows on there. I've watched over 20 episodes of "Say Yes to the Dress" this week and cried at almost every one. Which is weird because 1) I don't really like weddings, even my own, and cared so little about the dress that I bought the first one I tried on. Used. On Ebay for $100. And gave it away to a stranger after the wedding.  and 2) I don't cry at much of anything, so I have no idea why wedding dresses are choking me up all of a sudden.  I am hoping that my best friend's boyfriend proposes to her soon though, while I'm in this embracing-wedding-dresses mode so that I can use all that I have learned this week.

5. I took 75% of the stuffed animals out of my kids' room last week, as well as a number of their other toys and books. I'm donating them to a family homeless shelter, so have been ruthlessly collecting all the things the kids don't play with.  And the kids haven't even remotely noticed the absence of anything.  The diaper box that I put in the recycling this morning- that they cried over.  This is why I don't buy them much for Christmas or birthdays, they just really don't care, other than for a few special toys.

6.  Ethan and I were gone for 2 hours today. When we came home, Vivian was napping and Ethan could hardly stand it. He kept begging Daniel and I to wake Baby up.  When she finally did get up about 30 minutes later, they couldn't stop hugging and giving each other kisses. SO CUTE.  Then they started fighting over the nearest toy, but whatever. They do love each other!
Reunited!!

Monday, January 3, 2011

And back to reality

The kids are sitting on the couch, watching Kipper (our newest obsession that we recently discovered on while streaming Netflix to our Wii- don't we sound so high tech!), and I'm supposed to be using my downtime to address the small mountain of laundry that has accumulated on the couch.  Obviously, I am not on task.

Wow- what a week and a half! We've traveled to Canada, seen lots of family, got tons done around the house, went to the aquarium, the zoo, rode the monorail, went to IKEA and Target and the grocery store, stopped by the library, went to church... you name it, we did it during this holiday week.

Not surprisingly, Ethan got sick last night, so I ended canceling our first long-awaited sensory therapy appointment. Then he seemed better this morning, so I called to see if the spot was still free, but they'd filled it (between 6 PM on Sunday night and 8 AM Monday morning!), and originally told them that we couldn't do Wednesday at noon (Wednesday is Daniel's big meeting day at work), then Daniel rearranged his schedule and called them back to rebook that appointment... all to say, we haven't even been in once yet, and I'm pretty sure they think we're insane.

Ethan's endoscopy and placement of the NG tube is scheduled for next Thursday, so we'll be in the hospital Thursday and Friday. I think Daniel's family is coming down to watch Vivian, if we can get things together that quickly.  It's been a crazy week on that front too- last Monday when it first came up in conversation, I couldn't even think of the tube without crying, but now we really have peace about it and know that it's what needs to happen. Thanks to lots of prayers from lots of loved ones, I'm sure.

And on the other stressful front, Daniel's got a court appointment for Friday. We're praying so hard that this whole rental situation will be resolved soon.  We need to focus our time and money on Ethan and not on this. It's turn is over soon, I hope!

Anyway, just enjoying the beautiful sunshine coming in through our windows and trying to remember what we do to entertain ourselves around here without Daddy around to help. It's amazing how quickly we got used to having him around. It was hard to let him out the door this morning! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas/New Years' Day as well- happy Monday!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy 2011!

Hurray! 2011 is here! A little early here in Seattle- the fireworks on the Needle went off a bit before midnight. But that means that 2010 went away a bit early, so I'm all for that. Vivian was awake at midnight, thanks to the drunken crowds in the street outside and the fact that she's getting FIVE teeth in right now.  So she got to see her first Space Needle fireworks show! (We were in Portland for NYE last year). She was unimpressed and cried.

I loved it, as always, and made it my 2011 New Year's resolution to stay in this condo, no matter what we need to do or what we need to get rid of to fit. I love this city and this neighborhood and I want my kids to grow up here as long as possible.

Happy 2011!!!
Vivian and Daniel watching the fireworks off the Space Needle

Happy 2011!