Friday, September 30, 2011

Friday! Hurray!

Hurray! It's Friday! And we're off to Target soon.  And it's 65 degrees and sunny here, again. Perfection!

Glad to be done with this week. Can't really remember what went on, but it was not impressive, for sure. Ethan was off school on Wednesday for inservice, and might I say- the second week of school? TOO SOON for the kids to be home for a day. 

Yesterday I had dental surgery and it was done under sedation, so I couldn't eat or drink for 8 hours before. Honestly, the food I could live without, but getting through the morning with the kids sans coffee was very difficult. I felt like I was half sedated already by the time my appointment rolled around. Fortunately the morning without coffee was the worst of the whole thing. After that, I showed up at the oral surgeon, they gave me an IV, I went to sleep, woke up a bit to go home with Daniel, then napped the rest of the day.  And I think that any mom could tell you that a day off is a good thing, however it comes about.  I have no idea what Daniel and the kids did- when I was semi-awake, there seemed to be a lot of watching of Wonder Pets, but whatever.

Speaking of Wonder Pets, my kids seem to have a true gift for becoming obsessed with the worst kids' shows.  Our Netflix queue has so many cute options, but they pick the most annoying. Which is why Barney is not allowed to be played in our home under any circumstances. I suffered through that back when I was a teenager and was babysitting. It will never be allowed in my home. 

Okay, being dragged off the computer to play hockey with the kids. Hope everyone has a good weekend! 


Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bravery

Ethan's first surgery is finally scheduled- the first feeding tube will be placed on October 10th.  Then he'll have a follow-up surgery in three months to replace it with another type of tube.  Not looking forward to dealing with the pump all night again, but glad that there's a solution to his weight loss coming soon.

It's a glorious, quiet afternoon here in my condo. All the bus drama of last week is finally dealt with and Ethan was whisked off to school on time this afternoon. Vivian has happily started napping again now that there's nothing more exciting going on, so that's pretty terrific.  I'm cleaning and trying to catch up on blog posts, as I'm having dental surgery on Thursday and will be out of commission for that day. 

I've also been thinking a lot today, after some interesting conversations with my therapist this morning.  Having thoughts about courage and bravery. That's a topic that's been on my mind a lot lately, thanks to a couple of books that I read.  Thinking about the person I used to be- the EMT who worked on an ambulance, the 23-year-old who moved to Ukraine for a year, not knowing a soul there.  I've never been a live-on-the edge type, but I lived a pretty big life.  I've been feeling lately like I sort of lost that bravery and sense of wondering what's out there to experience. I'm controlled by silly things, like my phobia of making phone calls. And I avoid books or movies or TV shows that aren't almost entirely positive and happy and fluffy. 

I want my old courage back- I want to start experiencing new things again, and I want Ethan and Vivian to grow up thinking of life as a great adventure. 

Just not sure how to go about it yet. 

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Carrie and the no-good day

Today was a Children's Hospital day. I've yet to experience one of those that didn't leave me feeling emotionally drained and exhausted.  Today the emotional tiredness started as soon as I woke up. I was confused, but then remembered what was on our morning schedule.

Don't get me wrong, I love Children's Hospital and the amazing staff there. Everyone we've ever interacted with has been friendly and welcoming and supportive.  But it's hard to go there with a sick kid. And it's even harder to see how many other families are there and see kids that are obviously not doing well. Every parent in the building has the same look- hopeful about a solution, but also a look of tiredness.

Finally, after months and months and years of Ethan not eating and trying every therapy available and attempts at high-calorie foods and supplement drinks and even months of Vivian sitting next to him and showing him how a "normal" kid eats, Ethan has actually lost weight since his 4 year well-child appointment. My 4 year old weighs in at 27 pounds. So today we made the decision to go ahead and have a gastric tube placed. This is going to mean surgery in the next few weeks, then another in three months.  I'm overwhelmed and sad, but also know that we have done EVERYTHING in our human power and we've all prayed our hearts out, but the solution was not what we hoped.  I'm so grateful to have a solution at all though, that I'm okay with this.

After Ethan's appointment, we came home to wait for his school bus.  Yesterday it was about 30 minutes late, but it was the first day and the driver assured me that it was a fluke. Today the bus was 90 minutes late. It finally showed up 10 minutes after we'd given up and gone in (since Vivian was having a total nap-needing toddler melt-down outside).  25 minutes after the actual start of school.  I momentarily thought about running Ethan back downstairs, but two hours on the bus for 90 minutes of school just didn't work for me. So I unexpectedly had a preschooler home all day, and a very disappointed one at that.

I reassured him that tonight would be fun, that we were going to enjoy a gorgeous Seattle night and have dinner on the beach with our church friends. Our gathering with them started an hour ago.  I'm sitting in my pjs on the couch, and the kids are in bed. Daniel's still at work, so that outing got canceled at the last minute too.

I think the kids are dealing with all of today's stresses and disappointments better than I am.  However, Glee is on tonight, and that almost never disappoints :) Bring on the wine and the great television!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Taking a deep breath

My parents left yesterday morning. Then we had our usual crazy Friday before meeting up with my brother and his wife for dinner. They flew out early this morning. And at 7:30 this morning, Daniel headed to the mountains for our church's mens' retreat.  The kids and I are sitting around the house in our pjs, confused by the concept of free time and also by the fact that there are no other adults around. I'm really hoping that I remember how to actually take care of my kids by myself :)

Ethan starts school on Monday, so we're trying to have a quiet weekend between the insanity of the past two weeks and the upcoming crowded calendar.  This year he's in afternoon preschool, which makes me beyond happy.  Last year he got home at the same time that Vivian sometimes naps, so she didn't nap for most of the school year.  This year he'll be leaving at the same time that she goes down, so there's hope for quiet and free time for me.  I'm also happy because I'm great at entertaining the kids in the morning, but not in the afternoon, so this solves a big part of that problem.

I do worry about his teachers though, because the PM preschool class is currently made up of 10 boys. No girls. And remember that these are all special needs kids.  Those are going to be some tired teachers by 3:30 every day.

In other good news, it's cooled off here in Seattle, and the coolness has finally found its way into my home.  We're down to 75 in the living room, so I've been able to put away the fans and what not. And I can dry my hair and put on my makeup without sweating. Score!


Monday, September 12, 2011

Yesterday, I ran a 10K. And did not come in last.

Yesterday morning, entirely too early, my sister-in-law and I laced up our shoes and headed to join the 3000+ other women lined up to run at the Iron Girl race going on at Green Lake. My poor sister-in-law got dragged into the race by virtue of planning a visit on the weekend when I was going to be running.  And I'm so glad she was here- she ran with me, no matter how slow I went, also hated all the crazy fast people who were finishing the 10K at the same time we passed the 5K/halfway point, was willing to walk with me when I needed a break, and actually tried to finish behind me when we crossed the finish line. In the end, we crossed at the same time, and she is now alphabetically ahead of me, so she placed first.  I'm so grateful for her support that I don't even mind.
Us, pre-race. My family was forbidden from taking photos during or post-race. I love them so much for complying. :)
It's still a little mind-boggling that I actually ran and completed a 6.2 mile race.  Me, the person who never ran a step until last spring.

Now I'm going to rest up my achy legs and try to decide what to shoot for next. I don't think I have the attention span for a longer distance, which means I probably need to work on refining my running and maybe actually doing it in a way that I don't injure myself and end up fatter than I was before I started running. Just a thought.

Still, I'm awfully happy and proud of the 6.2 miles that I logged in public this weekend. Especially given that only 525 of the 3000+ people participating even attempted the 10K distance.  It's nice to know that I am capable of something physical like this. I'm terribly uncoordinated and am chubby, but I can accomplish things that I set my mind to.  It's good to know.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

In which I confess to not really missing my children

I admit it, I haven't really missed the kids these past two days. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to be absolutely thrilled to see them and hear about their trip and get hugs and snuggles and kisses tonight.  But I've REALLY enjoyed my three days of freedom.  I expected to miss the kids more- especially Vivian, since I normally spend almost 24 hours a day with her. She sleeps next to us, wants to be held all the time and is rarely more than a few feet away from me. So I thought I would feel her absence especially strongly.


But I haven't. 

I was talking about this last night with Daniel (since I feel a little guilty about it), and noted that I think it's because they've just been SO MUCH lately.  They're always around, always talking, always bickering.  I'm constantly stressed about Ethan's food and supplement intake and weight and worried about his upcoming appointment. It's just all-consuming sometimes.

And it's been pretty terrific to be able to clean the house and have it stay cleaned. And to be able to get some things checked off my long-term to-do list.  I'm definitely more efficient without little ones underfoot.  And today I'm going off alone downtown to a blogger luncheon and to do some shopping and to the library, and I'm entirely too excited about it :)

But it will be good to have them home tonight. Daniel's just not as snuggly as the kids. :)

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Absent

Thinking about absences today.  Probably because there are some noticeable absences in my life right now.

1) The kids! They went to Portland this morning with my parents to visit my grandmother. They're not coming home until Thursday afternoon/evening.  Fortunately they were in rare form this morning, so I was not too sad to send them off. Am already missing them a bit though.

2) All kid furniture in the living room. That's right, we've completely gotten anything kid-related out of our living room and safely tucked into their bedroom.  That's thanks to the absence of another thing...

3) Vivian's toddler bed/crib. We've had the big crib in the kids' room since Ethan was a baby, and had converted it to a toddler bed last year for Vivian.  Ethan had a smaller toddler bed on his side of the room. But look what we got this weekend!


Ethan doesn't do change very well, so thoroughly rejected the idea of a new bed last time we were at IKEA. This Saturday we went and expected the same result when we casually suggested the bed to Ethan, only to be met with acceptance from him. Because he's recently started climbing everything and was thrilled by the idea of a ladder.

We actually bought the bed on Sunday, and Daniel and I put it together that afternoon/evening, with help from his brother and his dad, and thanks to the fact that all four grandparents and an uncle and aunt were around to distract the kids.  Yes, eight adults is the right number for keeping two small kids entertained and under control.

The new bed necessitated some redecoration, since it went up on Vivian's side of the room, but I dusted off my crafting skills and made this for Ethan.
 So simple and cheap!

We also moved over his rocket decal, although he was insistent that we leave the yellow flowers. 


Vivian's got her little space too, with her dollhouse tucked in a corner. We're calling her space the Panda Cave, since she's currently in a panda phase. And the other side of the room is great for all their toys.
The best news though, is that we can now use our Murphy bed again (it's behind the table and easel there).  Since Ethan's bed has been in front of it, we haven't been able to use that since Vivian was born.  We rarely have overnight guests, but it's nice to have somewhere to stay if we do need to have someone sleep over in our room, rather than us sleeping in the living room.

Other absences
4) Mess in the house
5) Noise in the house
6) Snuggles and hugs :(


So far I've spent my day of freedom doing laundry, going to the dentist and walking to the post office.  I told my dentist this and he gave me a look of total disapproval.  The hygienist suggested that I should take a nap and seemed very disappointed in me when I said that I don't nap. I did assure them that Daniel and I were going out for dinner tonight and he's taking tomorrow off work, so my patheticness wouldn't last long.  The people at the grocery store also had suggestions for my free time and I walked away from the checkout line to the sounds of the checker and bagger saying "have a great time while they're gone!"  I love my neighborhood- everyone knows us and cares. It's a good feeling. 


Friday, September 2, 2011

The last day of summer vacation

Summer vacation sort of ends for us today. This is the last of the long, relatively unstructured days for the kids and I.  Tomorrow night my parents arrive. Then Daniel's parents and his brother and sister-in-law are coming down for the day on Sunday.  And my brother and sister-in-law arrive next week. And the kids are going to Portland with my parents to see my grandmother.  Do you have any idea how horribly spoiled these kids are going to be by the time my parents go home in two weeks? They're the only grandkids on both sides.  So they are adored and spoiled by everyone, and they're seeing pretty much everyone in the next week or so.

I told Daniel that he should go to our church's men's retreat the weekend between my family leaving and schools starting, because I was just going to need to spend the weekend reprogramming the kids anyway.

We're all excited, because we love seeing my parents and Daniel's parents and everyone.  And I always like having extra adults around.  And don't even get me started on the fact that my parents are taking the kids away for two days. Alone time in my own house! That never happens.  I have big plans to rent a carpet cleaner and clean the carpets.  Yes, I am wild and crazy.  Daniel is going to take one day off work, and we're going to try to remember what life was like pre-kids.  I'm pretty sure that we'll just talk about the kids non-stop and I'll whine about missing them :)

And then everyone will be gone again and Ethan will be off to preschool and we'll have to learn a new routine. I can't believe September is here and school is on its way back.  Hopefully it'll be a good year for all of us!