Monday, August 29, 2011

Bandaids

First off, I'd like to admit to how utterly pathetic we are on Mondays. Every week, when Daniel leaves for work, we all just sort of look at each other and begin randomly wandering around the condo looking for things to do. It's like all of our usual structure and ability to entertain ourselves gets lost somewhere in the weekend rush.  Thankfully we have plans for most of the rest of the week, so I'm hopeful.

Ethan lately has been obsessed with car crashes and things falling over and such.  I know he's only 4 and there's only so much he can understand, but I've been trying to introduce him to the idea that sometimes people get hurt in these situations and they aren't something we should laugh at. My cause is not helped by his obsession with the show Wipeout, in which people fall and run into things and get hit and are seemingly undamaged. But I digress. Whenever I tell him that people can get hurt, he generally responds with "I'll give them a bandaid".  Because that's the extent of his understanding of being hurt. Since he's uber-cautious, he's only even had a handful of scrapes and bumps. 

Then on Saturday we went to a screening of Lion King 3D. And when we got to the scene of the wildebeest stampede where the Daddy lion gets killed, I looked over to see Ethan wiping his eyes and sniffing and saying "I'm not crying, Mommy", even though he clearly was. And a bit of my heart broke as I realized that he understood a bit more than before.  I know kids grow up and eventually they understand hard and sad things, but it's still tough to see them lose that innocence and start to realize that in their world, bandaids and hugs from Mommies can't actually fix everything.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

"Need to hurry!"

I only move at two speeds- reallyreallyreallyfast and not at all.  Most of the time I'm moving at reallyreallyreallyfast speed with either my mind or body. It's really hard for me to slow down- relaxing stresses me out, I've probably only taken a handful of naps this decade, and sleeping at night is always challenging.

This need to move move move fast fast fast has helped me throughout life- I was known at my job for my efficiency and speed in getting work done.  But now I'm not spending my day writing technical papers, I'm spending my day with a 4-year-old and a 2-year-old. And they do not move fast.  Particularly when we're out and about.  Until recently, I managed this slowness by taking the kids out in the double stroller whenever we went out.  And then I started training for the 10K (coming up way too soon) and have been fighting with nasty shin splints and pushing around 75 pounds of kids and stroller is just no longer an option. 

So now when we go places, we go at Ethan speed (Vivian still prefers the stroller most of the time). And when I stop and listen to myself, I'm appalled at just how often I hear myself telling Ethan to speed up or hurry up or keep moving.  He's 4, he's discovering the world and I am NOT helping.  And the thing is- most of the time there is no good reason for me to be telling the kids to hurry.  We generally have nothing on the schedule for the day and there's no reason to make our walk home from the museum take only 15 minutes instead of 30. There is usually nothing at home except laundry.

This tendency of mine has been really made real to me lately by the fact that both kids will randomly say "Mama, we need to hurry!".  It kind of hurts to hear that- I've turned my kids into worriers who feel the need (randomly, never when I want them to hurry) to move fast. 

I'm trying to work on this- today when I was walking Ethan over to his day camp at the Children's Museum, I was careful about my words and let him go as slowly as he wanted. And it hurt me a little.  But I don't want my kids to grow up with the internal and external frenzy that has consumed my life. I need to learn from them and move at preschooler speed once in a while.

On a totally different note, about 3 weeks ago Vivian got up one night from our bed, walked into her room and got in her bed and has been sleeping there through the night ever since.  This, my friends, is why I'm not potty training the child. When she doesn't want to do something, no power on earth can move her. And when she makes up her mind, there's no effort at all.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The problem with my new t-shirt

Last week I ventured over to Etsy to look at running stuff, and ended up buying a t-shirt with the phrase "running sucks" across the front. Which, if you run and are not completely weird, you will realize is true. Running is hard and it hurts and (worst of all, in my opinion), you get all sweaty and yucky. I really enjoy running only when I've just finished a run and I'm all busy being proud of myself and happy that I don't have to run anymore that day. 

Suckiness aside, I still do it and I know it's good for me.

So, this morning, I set out around the lake, wearing my pretty new purple shirt, with the bright lettering that read "running sucks" on it.  And about 10 feet into my run, I realized that there is a serious problem with wearing a shirt that makes a statement like that. In order for me to be making a funny jokey statement with the shirt, I actually had to be running. All the time. Or at least whenever anyone would run past, which is pretty much all of the time. No more lazy fat girl breaks. If I'm wearing a shirt that says "running sucks" out at a busy running area and NOT running, then I'm just pathetic and maybe even a little judgmental.  

On a good note, I ran the 6K this morning several minutes faster than on any other run in the recent past. So perhaps it was a good motivation.  :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Lather, rinse, repeat

Before I get into the main point of this post, I'd like to record for posterity the details of the cartoon that my kids are watching right now. It's their newest obsession and it's called Fishtronaut. The main characters are a girl, a talking monkey, and a fish who flies around in a space suit. And the three of them help solve environmental problems. WHO THINKS UP THESE SHOWS?

Anyway. We're just back from Ethan's 4-year well child appointment and post-appointment trip to the Science Museum. Not a good combo for promotion of maternal mental stability.  Ethan's healthy as always, tolerated his multitude of shots well and everything looks good. Except his weight. I feel like we're in this endless loop. Every well child appointment comes around, we're all concerned about his weight, we go to Children's and they run tests or have a suggestion, we try it, it fails, we're back at his regular doctor for another appointment, we're all concerned, she refers us to Children's....

After the NG tube and the beginning of therapy and school, we were all really hopeful and he did seem to make a bit of progress. But not enough.  Our primary care doctor got detailed info from several people at Children's so that we know when to be a lot concerned versus in a "wait and see" level of concerned.  In Ethan's particular case, the recommendation was that he gain a certain amount of weight every month, in order to start catching up on the curve and maintain what he needs for proper physical and mental development.  Instead of gaining this amount of weight EACH month, he gained that amount of weight total. 

I was so hopeful that we'd be able to get some weight on him this summer while he's home four extra hours per day. I thought that with those extra four hours I could stuff him full of ice cream and nutritional supplement. But it didn't happen.

Back last December when we were trying to make a decision about the NG tube, Ethan once asked me to sing "Jesus Loves Me" to him.  Ever since then, I've had the line in the song "little ones to Him belong- they are weak, but He is strong." stuck in my head. I KNOW that's true. And it helps immensely. I'm a big believer in prayer and healing and guidance. But it's still hard being the one who's on the front lines with this and who has to make the big decisions that are going to affect my son forever.

In other, much fluffier news, I went to a fancy haircut place this weekend with one of those deal of the day coupons and got a great cut and color. And I finally got some backup on the evils of my hair- after cutting it, the stylish said "yeah, you have some really interesting growth patterns going on here." She also affirmed me in my resolution to never, ever, ever again get bangs.  She said that she's recommended bangs for every client who has ever asked for them, but that my hair's growth pattern is going to make sure that it's always a wrong choice for me. I love fancy hair stylists!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Four

Somehow, without me really noticing, four years have passed.  And in the blink of an eye, we've gone from this:
To this:
Four is a little hard for me to wrap my brain around, but I'm not too freaked out by it. I think I did all my "he's growing up so fast!" freaking out back in February when I put him on a school bus and sent him off to school.  But now his crazy grownupness seems normal. Or at least normalish :)

We celebrated last night since today's a busy day and we'll be out tonight at Bible study. I made Ethan a yellow dinosaur cake for his birthday, at his request. It was insanely easy, thanks to some great Betty Crocker instructions online.  I didn't spend a whole lot of time on it, since we were celebrating at home with just the four of us, but I was happy with the results and Ethan was thrilled.




It'll be interesting to see how four goes for us.  Because of his sensory/development issues, Ethan hasn't really gone through the terrible twos or threes. We had a tough time with him back around 14 months, but since then he's been pretty low key. He is a pleaser and likes following the rules (most of the time), so we've not gone through the rebelliousness and pushing the limits too much. Before you get annoyed by how easy we've had it, let me assure you that Vivian is making sure to make up for it :)

So- Ethan at four.  He's still tiny, but is speaking well now and is learning to jump and run. He is obsessed with all things sports- curling, hockey, football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, basketball... you name it, he loves to watch it and pretend to play it.  He's definitely still a ladies' man- if there's a woman in the room, chances are pretty good that he'll be trying to sit on her lap or hug her or hold her hand.  Ethan's favorite color is yellow, his favorite book is his Children's Bible, and he's inseparable from his stuffed Monkey and Froggie.  He just discovered Star Wars, and loves that. And he thinks he's Harry Potter :)

I said on Facebook this morning that four years ago was one of the most stressful and crazy days of my life, but with the biggest reward.  We are truly blessed to have Ethan in our lives, he's an amazing and fun and loving little boy. Happy birthday, Ethan!


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Tuesday, part 2

One of my bloggy friends left a comment on my last post about being ready to run away from home and wanting to come here. No, you may not come here, because I'm ready to run as well.

Two years and two months. That's how long this non-eating, weight-worry has been going on with Ethan. He made it up to the 5th percentile at one point in time, and we rejoiced. I think I can count on one hand how many days out of the 2 years and 2 months he's eaten more than a couple hundred calories worth of solid food.

And now he's sick again. Which I feel badly about on so many levels, because he was sick Saturday morning once and Sunday morning, once, but seemed fine on Monday, so we went to a friend's house. And then he got sick Monday night on our way to the baseball game, but we figured he was just overexcited, so we went anyway... and then he spent the entire day today on the couch or in bed (of his own volition), then he got up tonight, asked for a snack and promptly threw up all over the table and floor.

I. Am. Tired. I am tired of keeping track of his intake and pushing the supplement and worrying. I'm tired of this horrible stress when he does get sick and loses a few pounds, because those pounds are SO hard fought. I hate the fact that he turns 4 next week and is in 18-24 month clothes.  I am tired of worrying about the double standard for food that we have in our house for him and for his sister.  And I'm sad that so much of my mental energy is tied up in Ethan's stuff that some days I don't even think to check in with my husband, who has a serious degenerative autoimmune disease of his own, but doesn't complain, so his problems take second place because I just don't have the mental energy left.

My therapist keeps getting annoyed with me because whenever this stuff comes up in our meetings, I brush it off. Because I am insanely blessed to have good doctors and therapist and the finances to pay for them and the ability to stay home and make sure Ethan's eating and drinking and whatnot.  But it's true. This is hard. And it's wearing me out. 

Tuesday

It's Tuesday here, and so far my kids have gotten out of bed only to then immediately lie on the floor or the couch.  Ethan's back in bed again now. Not sleeping, just hanging out.  I think a weekend of being sick, followed by a super-fun, but very busy day yesterday did them in.  So now here we are.  Hanging out in the house, while I wonder how on earth it's messy again, when I spent pretty much all of my time Thursday-Sunday here at home, cleaning.  Seriously, I don't think I can handle ever living anywhere that's bigger than 900 square feet, since I can barely keep up with this.

Although, my husband is looking at slightly bigger condos in the city, and if we want to stay in an urban environment, this is the time to move.  After we change the carpet here and repaint and empty our closets into a storage unit and wait for winter so that it isn't always 80 degrees in here.  Other than all that stuff. Which I have told Daniel I will support him with and help out with, but if he's serious about moving, he has to get the ball rolling.  So we'll see if that ever happens.

On an unrelated note- my baby is going to be FOUR next week! How did that happen? He has new glasses now and looks all grown up with his wire frames.  And he's gotten a bit taller, so he's looking so totally un-baby and un-preschooler these days. And Vivian's certainly no longer a baby, as she will inform you if you ask.  I don't even really like babies or enjoy that stage, but the further I get away from it, the weirder it gets.  I keep having these weird spells where I'll just start crying to Daniel about the kids growing up and being teenagers and hating us. Then Daniel tries to be all logical and rational and also tries to pretend that he's not totally concerned for my sanity.

And on another unrelated note, we're at 5 weeks and 5 days until my 10K.  And my shin splints SUCK, but I am going to run it even if I can't walk without pain for the next few months. After September it gets hard to run much anyway, since it starts getting light later, and I have to run early in the morning before Daniel goes to work.  So I just need to be able to keep going until mid-September and then slowly not die while I run two laps around Green Lake.  I can do this. I NEED to do this, for my own sanity.