Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wine and math study guides by my side

It's Tuesday night, and I'm supposed to be at home fellowship tonight. But it's also t-4 days (whimper) until the GRE, so I sent my wonderful husband and the kids off and am home trying to cram a few more math facts into my brain. Overall I'm feeling pretty good about the test. I've worked really hard, I'm praying even harder and I know I'm ready to do my best.  I just want it to be DONE already.

Vivian's been refusing her naps lately (boo), which is stressing me out because she'll be 8 months older when I start school this fall and when am I going to study if she doesn't nap?  I'm planning on shutting down my review blog before grad school, which will save a lot of time, but I can blog with kids running around, and reading law and history texts with little ones underfoot may be more challenging.

In other news, Ethan's stomach flu and little infection of his feeding tube actually turned out to be a nasty strep infection. (He responded quickly to antibiotics and was actually on the mend by the time the lab results came back). It's always something within a few days of letting him play at the fancy playarea of a international furniture/everything store.  I know they do their best, but germs are inevitable. Unfortunatly, he's now used to going to the playarea, so I don't know what we're going to do next time. Possibly wrap his midsection with duct tape first or make him wear a hazmat suit.  :)

Okay, geometry calls.  If you're a praying person, my test is Saturday at 12:30 PM Seattle time. I could use some prayers for the afternoon! 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wednesday ups and downs

This morning I rolled over in bed, after many kicks in the face from Vivian (who actually didn't get into our bed until 7:30 AM, hurray!), picked up my iPod (yes, I'm that addicted to email and Facebook) and checked my messages. And popped out of bed in happiness, when I saw a message from the grad school that I applied to, letting me know I've been accepted for Fall 2012.

I think I made it about 20 minutes before I started freaking out a little. Then I went to overwhelmed with love for my husband.  This program is going to take 1) my time and 2) his money.  And he is nothing but 100% supportive. I can guarantee he will never complain about watching the kids or cost of tuition or things not getting done at home. I am so blessed.

And then the morning continued, and I realized that Ethan's "cold symptoms" weren't actually cold symptoms. And that they were actually infection of his g-tube (feeding tube) symptoms.  So I spent the next while on Skype with Daniel and calling Children's and his primary care doctor.  And everyone agreed that he needed to be seen.

Then I had to break the news to Ethan that, instead of going to school, he had to go to the doctor. Again. Poor kid has been through so much these past two years and justifiably is nervous about doctors and nurses. Fortunately, everyone pretty much knew what was going on based on his symptoms and his appointment was really minor, and we were soon on our way home with an antibiotic prescription.

Tonight I asked Daniel what we would do, if a day like today had happened while I was on a deadline for classwork or a test or paper, and he immediately said "I would just take a day off work, of course." Seriously, how did I end up married to someone like that? I do NOT deserve him. 

This has been a tough month so far, with lots of germs and disruptions of our routines, but also with SO many reminders of how much I'm blessed. I have an amazing husband. And I have kids who remind me to stop and pray when things are hard.  On three different occasions today, Ethan and Vivian were the ones who said "Mommy, can we say a prayer now?"  I was ashamed that it didn't occur to me, but blessed to have kids who knew that was the right choice.

Now seriously, everyone needs to get well and go to school/work tomorrow.  SERIOUSLY.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

"Why is there a bicycle in your shower?"

"Why is there a bicycle in the shower?"  This question was posed to me last Sunday, by my best friend's fiance.  He's been to our condo before, but apparently not to the guest bathroom.  Or he just didn't notice the bicycle in the shower on that occasion.  Yes, we store the bicycle in the shower, along with the steam mops, Vivian's stroller, and the outflow piping for our portable air conditioner.  As we assured him, we do actually have another shower, so it's not like it's a major thing. 

We had to explain that 1) we have no storage and 2) in the city, you just have to make things work.  Even if it means using unconventional areas for storage.

This weekend we made great strides to improving storage here by rearranging the weird space in our guest bathroom. It's a long (almost 4 feet), narrow (14 inches or so), alcove right next to the toilet in the guest bathroom. We've been here almost 6 years (wow!) and for most of that time, we had a shelving unit that fit the width, but didn't go very deep. So we had three feet of wasted and inaccessible space behind the shelving unit. And anything we stored on the shelving unit got dirty, because it was near the cats' litter boxes.

Last week, while trapped at home, I made Daniel help me pull out the shelving unit, which we then cleaned and moved to our bedroom closet. And yesterday we bought shelves at IKEA and a panel to cover the opening to the space. So now we have what's essentially a new closet! I can store things! And get to them! And they won't get all dirty!

Things that make a city girl happy, right?

Other things making me happy today- the fact that Ethan is going to school tomorrow and Daniel is going to work.  Of course Ethan has an inservice day on Tuesday (weeping), which is too soon after his surprise 10 days at home. But after this we have a whole three weeks or something until mid-winter break. Seriously, we never can get into a routine and stay there around here....

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Snow Day Whatever

I'm over this whole snow thing.  That's how we work here. We get all excited and hope for actual snow. Then it arrives and we play in it and then we sit around and wish for it to go away.

There has been much mocking of Seattle on the news for our reaction to snow. Again, Seattle is as hilly (or hillier can't remember which) than San Francisco.  And most of us don't own snow tires or chains, because it only snows on one or two days per year and we just stay home. And, since it's such a technology-centered city, most people can work from home, so they do.  And it wasn't a "dusting", as some news sites apparently reported. We have 4 inches in the city (which is really unusual, thanks to the water being close, which warms up the city) and apparently 20+ inches in areas south of here. Yes, we do all go a little crazy and act like kids and squeal about the snow and all, but it's semi-justified :)

Off my soap box now.

So, Ethan's home from school today and Daniel's working from home. I just kicked him off the computer to write some review blog posts and now am refusing to relinquish it until I get to whine here on this blog.  Ethan's always off school on Fridays, so his three-day weekend turned into a 10-day weekend.  I keep mentioning on Facebook that I'm running out of ways to stay entertained, and people keep sending ideas for the kids.

The kids are not the problem. I am the problem. I don't do "relaxation" or down time. I am in constant motion, almost all the time. So when I'm homebound and our one computer is being hogged by my beloved (who keeps mentioning his "job" and the "mortgage" and my "Target credit card bill" as excuses for why he gets the computer and not me), then I need SOMETHING TO DO. The kids are fine. The kids have lots of toys. They have lots of books.  Yes, they want my attention all the time, but I've discovered that, if I ignore them for 20 minutes or so, they eventually come up with some sort of imaginary play together.   No, I'm the one who needs ideas.  And I've been home a lot lately, so I've gone through most of my projects. And we need to get out to IKEA to get supplies for the big project I'm planning next.

So now I need to give up the computer (weep) and go find a cupboard somewhere to reorganize.  Excitement in the snow!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Snow Day 2

Tomorrow is snow day #2 for us. Which is sad, because we have NO SNOW. Nothing remaining from this weekend, no newly fallen snow, nothing. Outlying areas have snow and all, and I get it. We are not people who can drive in snow and our cars are not equipped.  But let's have some actual snow fall before we are all stuck in home because of the winter weather.

We made it out today to the Children's Museum, thank goodness. And Daniel made it home pretty early. But still. I am not a good stay-at-home parent. I have never pretended to be otherwise. I love my kids, but I do not love playing their games for hours on end. And I have kids who don't believe in playing on their own. They are so good at outsourcing, that they expect people to do things for them, even coloring. We were out for dinner Sunday night with my best friend and her fiance and he asked why the kids weren't coloring for themselves, but instead directing the adults where and how to color. Because that's how my kids work. And it wears me out!

Tomorrow will be day 6 of Ethan being home and I am running out of ways to stay occupied. Especially since there IS NO SNOW to play in on this snow day. 


Monday, January 16, 2012

Our first official snow day

It snowed this weekend in Seattle. We have MAJOR hills and cars and buses that are not equipped, so this means, as always, that we all freaked out.  I offer you photographic proof:

At church, playing in the snow

A little surprised by the 10 mile drive from church to home

Normally, this would be a great view of the Seattle skyline

View from our home

The snow was, of course, gone by about two hours later. My best friend and I attended a local bridal show, and then we all went out to dinner at the fabulous new pizza restaurant that has happily shown up a block away and which I kind of want to marry. 

Today Daniel claimed he was going to work from home, but then the weather was fine and the roads were fine and the long-range forecast was bad, so he went to work.  And I entertained the kids for the first half of the day and then started thinking re-organization thoughts and poor Daniel came home to lots of mess. But then he again proved himself to be amazing and sorted out old clothes and helped me move shelving and I now, once again and as always, think he is beyond amazing. 

Ethan is off school tomorrow, and the big storm isn't even due until Wednesday, which means I possibly have AN ENTIRE WEEK!!!! with these little people and perhaps even my husband, Mr. Annoyingly Perfect! underfoot. If you live nearby, let's make a plan to meet up at the local coffee/bar/mall/liquor store soon. I might not survive otherwise.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Dieting and feeding tubes

I went back on Weight Watchers last week (hurray!) and rocked it last week, but have been doing dreadfully this week.  I tend to stress eat, and getting ready for Ethan's surgery today and studying for the GRE every opportunity has been causing me a lot of stress.  So I keep migrating to the snack pantry. Which doesn't even really have anything interesting in it, but that hasn't stopped me.

I need a new way of coping with stress, stat.

In other news, Ethan's procedure went well this morning. His new feeding tube is much more manageable and discreet and we are all happy. And Vivian's allergy test turned up negative, which is odd since she's been breaking out in hives after eating eggs. But I'm fine with that, since I had no desire to have more food complications in our house.

Now we're just sitting around, trying to figure out how to entertain ourselves today while Ethan is home from school.  The sun is shining!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Night Before Children's Hospital

I have blogged this exact same thing on several occasions now- so you are all free to roll your eyes and think "of course you're stressed and unhappy!".  But I always, always forget.  Daniel and I feel so enormously blessed to live here in Seattle and to be within driving distance of Seattle Children's Hospital. There Ethan has gotten great care, great therapy, and great love.  His Occupational Therapist at Seattle Children's was the first one to put things together and do the tests that diagnosed him with his condition. There he has gotten great care through the therapy, the NG tube, other tests and his G tubes.

But it is still so hard to drive there and go in and see all the other families. We spend all our time being grateful for the relative non-severity of Ethan's issues. Yes, our kid has a feeding tube and is developmentally delayed and doesn't eat, but compared to what we see around us- NO BIG DEAL.

Tomorrow I'm actually checking Ethan in and then am leaving Daniel to deal with Ethan's recovery while I take Vivian 2 blocks away to have her tested for food allergies. She's been showing alarming signs of food allergies lately, but if the tests come up positive, I may lose my mind. One kid per family with food issues, please!

Apparently I need to lose the bad attitude

This morning my therapist told me that there have been studies showing that a negative attitude about something affects us more than we know. And that my bad attitude about math is probably actually preventing me from learning it well.  When I mentioned this to Daniel, he said that he's been telling me the same thing for weeks. I informed him that I really only pay attention to people that I pay to give me advice, not the unsolicited opinions of those around me :)

I didn't study today (have been studying most days lately) and am feeling better now.  I need to get back into it on Thursday and will be praying for a better attitude. And to remember that God seems to be leading me strongly in this direction and that He will provide.  Hopefully He'll provide the mind of a math genius.

Ethan's having another surgery tomorrow to replace his feeding tube. Hopefully this will be the last one, as the first tube made space (as it should) for this simpler version of the tube.  If he ever gets off of the feeding tube completely, we can simply remove it at home and the space will close up on its own.  He's still eating just a microscopic amount of solid food per day, so I don't see that happening soon, but it's nice to know that it is in our future.

In other news, I discovered that I own hiking boots. In case you don't know me in real life, I don't wear boots. Or other sensible shoes. Most days I wear heels. So owning boots is very out of character. I think they might be from 2004, when I visited a friend in Alaska and also went on a camping/hiking trip with Daniel later that year.  I was thinking about it last night and realized that I do one thing WAY outside of my comfort zone and normal range of behavior about every 7-8 years. In 1997, I went on a mission trip to Ecuador and went swimming in a river in the middle of a rainforest with some people from the local native tribe.  Did I mention that my strongest phobias are about dirt, dark water and snakes? Yeah. 

Then in 2004 I went to Alaska, randomly, to visit a friend.  And hiked and camped with Daniel.  He married me anyway, bless his heart. Apparently it takes me 8 years to build up a level of randomness, bravery and tolerance for the outdoors, then I use it all up on one adventure.  Iceland has a lot of pressure on it!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

I think I may be having a mid-life crisis...

So, my 35th birthday is coming up in slightly under three months. And I've been telling Daniel that I wanted to do something special for it. We discussed having a party and I thought about going on a trip with girlfriends, but nothing really appealed. And then I got an email yesterday, advertising a really good deal for a trip to Reykjavik.  Including a Northern Lights hunt (not a guaranteed viewing, but a much better chance than here in the city lights of Seattle!) And one of the sets of dates was while my parents will be visiting next month. And they were planning on taking the kids to visit my grandmother for a few days anyway.

Daniel and I talked about it, and we decided that now is the perfect time to do something like a trip to Iceland-it's not a trip we can take with the kids, and it's time to get out of our (read- Carrie's) comfort zone.  So this morning we booked our vacation to Iceland!  Me! The girl who doesn't even like to go outside in Seattle when it's 45 degrees or below!

I can't believe we're really doing this- but I am so excited!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

In which I realize that I am going to have to learn to adjust my priorities

I have spent the past week holed up in my house, either doing laundry or studying for the GRE. I'm taking it on 2/4, and suddenly it all has gotten very real. And I'm frustrated, because my brain is completely refusing to remember what I study every day, and I don't feel like I'm making any progress. Not to mention that my study time is limited to the time when Vivian is napping (hopefully), and I am nevesure exactly how long I'm going to have to study. Which usually means I'm in the middle of something when she wakes up and then I get snappy and stressed because I just want to finish what I'm in the middle of. 

Yeah, not the mother of the year here.  This is actually why I had to quit work in the first place, because I don't know how to leave things to deal with them later. I'm very much a "don't relax until everything is done" person. As is Daniel. Not a good thing for our marriage sometimes.

On top of the needing to study, there's the fact that it means that review posts aren't getting written and my house is not completely clean.  Which makes me nuts.

I should explain my craziness about the house being clean.  Another insanity that my husband shares. Both Daniel and I are children of people who grew up really, really, really poor.  Not just "watching their pennies" poor, but living in a condemned house poor and such.  Which in both our cases translated to a parent who really cared about keeping things nice and neat, because they had to work so hard for what they had.  And in both our cases, it also translated into two people who are unable to function if things are not put away.  And Daniel by no means expects me to do all this cleaning and is always happy to help, but as the stay-at-home parent I've gotten used to it being my job, because I am home and he works really long hours, and it just makes sense for me to take care of things here.

So suddenly I'm trying to study, clean, organize and blog, all in a brief period of time. 

Daniel and I have been talking a lot about this, and we know we both need to make some adjustments, because, although the GRE will be done soon (thank goodness), starting this fall I will hopefully be in school again and that's going to require lots of time on my part. I'm so blessed to have a husband who is supportive in this, but I need to figure out what this is going to mean for the cleanliness of our house and such. 

Now, does anyone have a brain that remembers all the silly algebra and geometry rules that they can loan me for the next month? Am dying here...