Tuesday, July 24, 2012

My archnemesis

I'd like you all to meet my archnemesis.

Her name is Yellow Kitty, but we pretty much just call her Wo-Kitty.  She has a sister cat, named Purple Kitty.  Ethan's "babies" are Monkey and Froggie.  We clearly excel at naming things.  Our real cats only have names because they came with them.  Really, it's a miracle that Ethan and Vivian have real names.

But I digress.  I HATE Wo-Kitty.  Wo-Kitty is the bane of my existence. Because Vivian cannot function without her.  She believes that sans-Wo-Kitty, she cannot suck her thumb. And if she can't suck her thumb, she is a very unhappy person. As are all the people around her.  One of the few instructions I gave my parents before we went to Iceland in February was to not lose Wo-Kitty under any circumstances. And if they did, to know that their lives were over.

Here's the thing. Vivian loves Wo-Kitty and wants her constantly, but she also loses her. CONSTANTLY.  If Wo-Kitty goes on a walk with us, I have to spend the whole time checking for her, because Vivian will just be walking along and see a flower or a dog or something and drop her on the sidewalk.  I've had to backtrack so many times to find Wo-Kitty.

It's even worse at home. Vivian will be having a quiet time and then will pop up and run off to do something and Wo-Kitty will get lost somewhere along the way.  And even though my condo is microscopic, we never seem to be able to find her quickly.  Particularly interesting spots where she has been found include behind the picture frame on my nightstand, behind the bathroom door and in the snack cupboard. I have lost DAYS of my life looking for this thing.  Yet I keep doing it, because Vivian adores her.  The life of a mom.

In other news, I decided to try swimming as exercise, since I keep injuring myself with all other forms of exercise.  Which meant I needed a different suit, as the one I have is more of a lounging suit. Which meant the kids and I had to go shopping yesterday.  And let me tell you, shopping for a bathing suit with a 3 year old and a 4 year old in the changing room with you... quite the experience. 

And in other, other news, we found a park close to our home! Still up the hill a bit, but not as far as the other one and it is fabulous and has great play equipment. Oh, and this view.
Not too shabby, eh?

Monday, July 23, 2012

I don't know how to take care of you

This is definitely one of those blog posts that I desperately need to write and might hit the publish button but might take back in the light of day tomorrow.(Note, I've been sitting on this one for 4 months now, and things haven't gotten any less confusing)

I remember being pregnant with Ethan, sitting in a borrowed office at my company's headquarters in Boston, while you worked from our hotel room. And I remember you calling me to say that you'd just had a phone call from your doctor, saying she thought you had Rheumatoid Arthritis, based on some test results and symptoms. But it is a hard thing to diagnose, so she wasn't completely sure. I remember sitting and giving up on my work and researching RA (easy for a Toxicologist with lots of access to medical databases to do) and feeling overwhelmed.

And then we weren't sure again for a while, but two years ago it became abundantly clear to your new doctor and your specialist that you had RA. And slowly our cabinet began filling up with more and more drugs as you tried to manage the pain.

God, Daniel- I cannot live without you.  You are my best friend and the hands-down best thing that ever happened to me.  You ground me, you support me, you make it possible for me to simultaneously be a stay-at-home mom and chase my dreams of standing up for other kids. You are the best thing that ever happened to me.

You are an amazing dad and are possibly the most amazing husband ever. But you SUCK at telling me what you need. You hurt all the time and never complain, which is tough for a vocal/diva/my needs rule the universe woman to deal with. When I have problems, the whole world knows. When you hurt, it takes an act of God to drag it out of you.

You scared me tonight by suddenly turning grey and hurting while we walked around Target. And asking me to drive home and then willingly going to bed before the kids did... I don't know what to think. When a strong person admits to hurting- that is scary.

Taking care of you involves lots of stepping outside of myself and pushing you for answers and information and I do NOT excel at these things.  I'm not your mother, I'm your wife, but I apparently need to find some middle ground between those roles in order to take care of things now.

I've never loved anyone as much as I love you.  God brought us together and I believe He's in control, but sometimes your RA plus Ethan's feeding tube and other issues just wear me out.  Lifting our family up in prayer tonight.

Friday, July 20, 2012


I was randomly awake for a long time in the middle of the night, then overslept this morning and we missed the kids' dance/music class. Drat. And this makes me feel bad, because Daniel took the bus to work so that we could have the car for the class. And taking the bus to work is a 90 minute endeavour and it was pouring rain this morning (hurray for summer!).

I feel like I've been barely accomplishing anything lately. The kids just have SO much energy and just never stop moving or talking or yelling or whatever.  When evening rolls around and Daniel gets home from work, I generally barricade myself in our bedroom. 

And grad school starts a month from today.  I have no clue how I'm going to manage that, when I'm barely getting the basic stuff done around the house.  I'm going to have to be intelligent and put thought into things and since I'm pretty sure I currently have the IQ and attention span of a hamster, I'm terrified.  God better have this one figured out, because I haven't got a clue.

Did I mention that it's raining today?  Not helping with the energy/motivation stuff. Ugh.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Week 2- Operation "Largely ignore my children"

We're on week 2, day 2 of my summer project. And as I type this, the kids are sitting and playing with play dough together. And they have been for 45 minutes, without fighting, which is some sort of record for them.  Yesterday was tough, since they'd had mommy and daddy-attention pretty much non-stop from Friday morning to Sunday evening. So transitioning back to life where Mommy expected them to entertain themselves was rough on all of us. But today is going much better.

While they've been playing, I've been secretly going through their room and getting rid of stuff that they've outgrown or that they never play with. I generally remove the toys in question, stick them in the hall closet for a few weeks and wait to see if anyone notices. No one ever does. Then it's off to Goodwill or to the church nursery or on to friends with the toys in question. I'm being especially ruthless this week because Ethan's turning 5 this year and that means a birthday party (we only do them for 1st and 5th birthdays) and that means new toys. So I need to make space.

In other news, there is absolutely no other news. We have stuff going on the last part of the week (hurray!) but not the first part. And I'm feeling restless.  I need to find more stuff to clean and organize.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

My goals for the summer

Now that summer has finally started, I've been thinking a lot about what I want to accomplish in the next two months (whoo hoo! 2 months until Vivian starts school!). 

It's a given that I'm going to continue reading with them and working on them learning their alphabet (identifying letters, not reciting the alphabet). Because for some incomprehensible reason, Ethan still can't identify letters. Even though he's had tons of books and apps and games and TV shows and two years of preschool, he claims not to know any letters.  I started reading when I was 3 and I know that reading quickly and having good comprehension have been the basis of most of my successes in school and jobs, so literacy is extremely important to me.  Still, I'm not beating myself up over this. They'll both be in the hands of professionals again this fall, so I'm just trying to naturally include lots of books and reading in our lives.

My main goals have more to do with independence and learning to entertain themselves.  Both kids are totally capable of doing  most everything for themselves, but at least every other day someone is lying at my feet, sobbing that he/she doesn't know how to take off his/her shirt/nightgown/socks.  Which is a load of baloney and if ignored, somehow the clothing magically manages to get on aforementioned kid.  My goal for the summer is to continue working on confidence and developing skills and reducing the "youuuuuuuuu dooooo itttttttttttttttttttttttttttt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" drama fits.

My other major goal is for these kids to learn to entertain themselves, without TV, for more than 2 minutes.  I don't even are if they're fighting while they play, as long as they're doing it in their room and not at my feet.  They're developmentally the same age and actually do like to play together, they have a room full of toys and games that they know how to use, and they do not need Mommy to play with them every single second.  They tend to not believe me when I tell them this, but it's true. Yes, I'm still going to spend time with them and play and read with them as much as possible, but there are times when Mommy has to get things done.  Like check Facebook or blog :)  Oh, and then there's the whole grad school that Mommy starts in 6 weeks... 

Keeping my fingers crossed for the summer...

Monday, July 9, 2012

Playing catch up

The last wedding-related activity for me was dropping a friend off at the airport this morning, so now all the festivities are done and it's time for catching up with real life. I'm currently doing laundry and torturing my kids by not letting them watch another movie (I'm so mean- I'm forcing them to play with toys! In their toy-stuffed bedroom!)

The wedding yesterday was amazing and as close to perfect as you could get. My best friend was gorgeous, the groom was adoring and sweet and everyone had a blast.  I'm uploading photos and wishing my arms didn't look quite so large and pale, but otherwise everything was perfect :) As expected, Vivian did melt down several minutes into the ceremony, when Daniel wouldn't let her come up to me, but he had planned ahead and sat at the back of the room, so was able to make a getaway and the cries of "I want my Mommmmmmmmyyyyyyyyy!!" disappeared quickly..

And now it's time for summer! All of our classes and activities start this week, and I have several people that I need to schedule playdates with. The sun is shining- let's get moving!

Friday, July 6, 2012

I am apparently the least social person ever

We're in the midst of a super-happy week here- my best friend/aunt (don't ask, my family is super-complicated with the relationships, and no, she's not old even though she's my aunt, she's only 3 years older than me and there is also an aunt 9 months older than me). And I am exhausted.  Because I apparently am incapable of being around people. Even ones I have known my entire life. And tomorrow a friend arrives for the wedding who is staying with us until Monday! And the festivities are JUST BEGINNING!

Yesterday we had a fun 4th of July party at my aunt's fiance's house, which is in a town that I never go to (except for the big fair, every 5 years or so) and I don't know how to drive to, so therefore it doesn't really exist.  Even our GPS had no idea where we were going. Which affirms my opinion that it doesn't exist. And there were an insane amount of fireworks. Seriously, we're talking professional quality fireworks, but set off in the street! Next to houses! Are these people insane?! And it all was have been great and beautiful, but I'm a mom and spent my entire time huddling over my kids and hoping not to become newspaper article feature. And then we escaped from the suburbs and went back to the city and I was eventually okay. I should note, everything else about the gathering was fun.

And today we had the bachelorette brunch and I ate so much great food that I am terrified about zipping into my bridesmaid's dress on Sunday. Thank goodness for shapewear.

Speaking of shapewear, this is another thing that my husband is unable to understand. "What is that?" "What does it do?" "Where does the stuff go?"  It's seriously hard being fat and married to a skinny person.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day! And belated Happy Canada Day!

Summer is here! Summer is here! We're finally in the great part of the year in Seattle- the part of the year where the forecast (right on schedule!) contains sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. Love!

We're enjoying a lazy 4th of July morning- then off to the first of many days of pre-wedding and wedding festivities this evening. (My best friend is getting married on Sunday). 

I hope everyone is having a great Independence Day! Here are my annual dress-my-kids-up-in-patriotic-clothing photos!

Happy Canada Day!

And Happy 4th of July!

In typical fashion, a hug turned into a tackle