Monday, December 31, 2007
Something on your desk/work area: crumbs
Your New Year's Eve plans: friends
The smallest gift you received this year: giftcard
The largest gift you received this year: money
Something you wish you hadn't eaten so much of during the holidays: nothing.
On your feet: toes
Your hair: messy
How many other countries you've traveled to: one
One country you dream of visiting: India
A hobby you'd like to take up/revisit this year: scrapbooking
A hobby of yours that died (aww, buh-bye) this past year: none
A publication you subscribe to (print): O
The most embarrassing subscription in your feed reader (if you have one): famecrawler
One of your favorite stores to window shop dreamily in: Target
One of your favorite online stores to window shop dreamily on: amazon
A color you love to wear: black
Your bed pillow: mmmmmmmmmmm
The color of your kitchen counter: spotted
What you plan to do when you get up from the computer: drink coffee
Saturday, December 29, 2007
Mike has WONDERFULLY agreed to take them all out to play in the snow, after which we will eat Kaia's choice for lunch, sandwiches and nacho cheese Doritos. Then cupcakes, then some in the house playing if there's still time. I'm hoping there's not, isn't that selfish of me? ;-)
This time next week I will be in my new house!! I am so excited to unpack and put everything in it's new place, to show my family the apartment I chose, and to put my clothes in my new walk-in closet! Then on the 7th, Mike starts work, and Kaia starts at her new school. She is getting more and more excited about it. We looked at the class list and learned the names of her new classmates. She has her apron for cooking, her slippers for wearing indoors, her raincoat for going outside for recess, her lunch box and basket for...well, lunch, of course.
My dad will be bringing up the crib, so Ben will have a new place to sleep. Kaia will have a new bed, too, as well as a new dresser. We'll have another bookshelf and a coffee table!
I think the cupcakes might be cool enough. So I will stop this incessant babbling and let you get back to more interesting things!
Thursday, December 27, 2007
I've created a one-year budget for us after we move. We will finally have some money to do some things, but first up is paying off debt. Thanks to my mom, we have NO school loans, but we do have other bills. We owe my mom a fair amount, but that will be the last chunk of debt paid off, as she would prefer we pay off interest debt first.
My Uncle Chris lent us another fair amount (though less) to move with, and that repayment will be started in May 2008 and paid off sometime the following year, 2009. The first bills we will pay off will be from Ben's birth, about $2000 total (after insurance paid 80%!). Then the MasterCard will be sent serious payments ($200-$400 per month) until paid off, probably by the first few months of 2009. Then we will start paying my mom back.
Rounding up, (possibly by a few thousand, not totally sure) we have a total of about 16 grand to pay off, and how awesome is it that ALL of it will be done by the end of 2009?
Plans for right after we move include making wills and getting life insurance for both of us. We will be immediately contributing to Mike's 401-k so we don't get used to that money, so our retirement plans can get back on track. The kids' college funds will have to wait until after debt is paid off, but then we can start putting several hundred a year into each of those.
We may, I'm not sure, have the Toyota paid off by the end of 2009 too, but at some point during that year I'm hoping to get a different car (Mike might keep the Toyota, he's not sure). Not a new one, but hopefully one that only 1-3 years old.
For the next year, we will each have a small monthly allowance so we can have some fun :-)! I will be taking that out in cash at the beginning of each month, and not carrying my debit card or checkbook around with me, to curb spending. I will be paying for groceries with cash too, and sticking to a set amount each month. Right now that amount is $400, but that may have to change.
One thing we are considering to reward ourselves for the hard work we've done these past three years, is getting iPods with one of his first checks. Not the most expensive ones by a long shot, but just something that says "We DID IT!!!" Then the budget can be followed from then on.
I'm trying to think of something I can do, that doesn't cost money obviously, for following the budget each month. I know it's going to be hard for me, but I really want to reach that zero debt mark. Mike really wants to be out of renting in a couple years, and I don't want to buy until we are in a really good place, financially, for that. Any extra money at the end of each month is going to be rolled over into a savings account, and I need something to motivate me not to touch it! ANY IDEAS?!?!
To keep from getting bored, I am already putting plans into place for activities the kids and I can do while Mike is at work. Kaia will be getting out of school at 12:30 each day. I have found some moms' groups I am going to try out.
On Saturdays, there is a Zen meditation group I am hoping will be really cool. I asked Mike about it and he is happy to give me those mornings if it turns out to be something I enjoy.
Wednesdays I am going to take the kids to the library, and Mondays will will go grocery shopping.
Mike will have every other Friday off, and we have already decided to see if we like the zoo and the aquarium enough to get year long memberships to them. (with each of those, 3 visits per year will make a membership worth the cost)
During the summer, I am going to sign Kaia up for swimming lessons, and since Ben will be over six months old, he and I can do a babies and mom's swimming time.
I am going to ask Mike's step mom to show me the ropes for ebay-ing. She and Mike's father were really good at it, and made quite a bit of money. She stopped after Bill's death, but she is getting back into it now, and Mike and I think that would be something fun I could start doing, to make money (hopefully!) and to occupy my time. So during the summer we'll be going to a lot of yard sales!
I'm excited to show Kaia the space needle, and I know I'll find lots of other fun stuff (like Pike Place Market!) in Seattle, as well as the town we'll live in, to do. My aunt and uncle live only 30 minutes away from us, so we'll be spending lots of time with them too!
wow. okay, that's enough babbling for now.
Friday, December 21, 2007
First, Ben only woke up ONCE last night!! That means he slept 6 hours, then 4 hours! Too cool....
Kaia headed out the door for her last day at this school, and I started coffee. Mike sat down at his computer to mess around for a bit and I checked email. Just a nice relaxing morning.
Mike went on a box hunt and was successful! He came back with several good ones, including 3 perfect book packing boxes. Together we taped them closed on the bottom and emptied almost one full bookcase! It was awesome to just spend time with my husband.
Then we made Harvest Muffins (at some point will post recipe) together, while sharing a leftover burrito. Again, just spending the time leisurely with my man was just too cool. There was no homework sitting in the background calling him, no other work that we HAD to do. Ben snoozed in his swing behind us as we stirred and chopped and Mike fed me bites of burrito goodness.
Then Andrea called and asked if I wanted to join her for some last minute Christmas shopping. Of course, there is only one answer to that, so she picked me up and we headed out, leaving Ben in his daddy's capable hands. We fortified ourselves with a couple of Baskin Robbins coffee drinks (and I picked up a small container of bubble gum ice cream (can you say oh my god, yuck?!) for Kaia and Mike (yes, my husband likes pink bubblegum ice cream. crazy, I know).
We headed to the store and wandered happily about. I picked up a set of reindeer antlers for Kaia, which was meant to be a Christmas gift, but turned into a feel-better gift (more on that later), and found 3 books for Ben's Santa gift. One of the books Andrea found and was extremely generous in letting me have it, as it was the only one left--it has black and white pictures of animals that look like they are moving when you move the page. Much cooler than it sounds, trust me.
I came home to my family-Kaia had a half day today-and discovered Kaia had fell at school and skinned up her nose and mouth. She was okay, but I gave her the antler-headband to help her feel better. Ate a Harvest Muffin, then sat on the couch and listened to her read a book she got in class today. Ben is now sleeping on me, sweet sweet boy, and Kaia and Mike came in from playing outside for a bit.
excellent day, don't you agree?
Thursday, December 20, 2007
My husband, rockin' smart guy that he is, has graduated! and managed, even with two kids and a wife, to graduate magna cum laude!! He has a cumulative GPA of 3.75 and in his department (computer science) a GPA of 3.85! My man is awesome, isn't he? He was really worried about this semester since he was taking some hard classes and Ben came right at the beginning of it, but he did really well, two A's and two A-'s, which raised his GPA!
He is SO HAPPY to be DONE DONE DONE. I am SO HAPPY he is done too!! When we told Kaia she no longer had to hear the words "Sweet, I have homework to do right now", she practically cried she was so excited.
So yeah. He's graduated, has a job, and we are moving to begin anew in three weeks.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
Tuesday, December 18, 2007
so of course I didn't get around to it, and suddenly I realized he's reached the ripe old age of almost-three-months and he has stopped making faces while sleeping. I am disappointed in myself! One of the cutest things about newborn-hood and I slacked it.
In other news, we are taking Kaia to the doctor today because she has an ongoing cramp in her leg where her thigh meets her inner hip. ( I really hate the word groin, so wasn't going to use it, but I don't want people to think I don't know the word for that area....sigh....so my pride is forcing me to tell you I DO know the word, just don't want to use it! but using it in telling you, so might as well have used it in telling you about her cramp, and I'm going to go now...)
Friday, December 14, 2007
Kaia walked to the bus stop by herself this morning. Exciting as all get out for her, stressful and worry-making for me. After being instructed about the level of screaming that needs to be done if someone tries to take her, and after she made a promise not to take her usual sweet time to get somewhere, she headed out the back door. I watched her until she went around a building....then went inside. I did hear the other kids from the preschool coming, so even if no one else is there the second she gets there, they'll be along shortly. So a milestone has been reached. She walked by herself somewhere for the first time. Why is this making me more weepy than her first day of school?!
We found an apartment! I went out a few days ago and drove with my mother and aunt (had so much fun!!!) to look at the ONE place I could find in my price range with a three bedroom 2 bathroom unit available....and it's PERFECT. I absolutely LOVE it. Pictures to follow as soon as I figure out what's wrong with my damn computer making it refuse to take pictures off of my memory card. We move in on the 5th.....wish us luck!
*til Mike is DONE DONE DONE!!!
Saturday, December 08, 2007
One thing that bothered me was that a lot (not all by any means) of the mothers who wrote about homeschooling, seemed to exude a holier-than-thou attitude about it. Even those that claimed to be non-judgmental about it would say things like "we love our kids enough to make sure they get a GOOD education" as if sending your kids to a public school meant you didn't love them enough, but hey! they aren't judging you for it!
So for about 2.5 seconds, I considered it. I mean, I'm an intelligent, creative person. I could do the research, and get the materials....there's lots about it on the Internet. Then I almost fell over laughing (internally) over the idea. I just couldn't do it. For a bit I felt a little guilty about that. Shouldn't I want to spend that quality time with my kids? Shouldn't I care that much about their education that I take it upon myself, now that I don't have to work, to give them the best chance in life that I can?
To answer the second question first, yes, I should. and DO. And the way I can do that is not by homeschooling. Because while I am an intelligent, creative person, being the sole teacher of my children would NOT be beneficial to them or me. Now, before you get all indignant, I am not saying it's not beneficial to OTHER peoples' kids who are home schooled.
However, as many strengths as I have, being a good mother doesn't include being around my kids 24 hours a day. I have to have time to myself to be able to give them my best. Also, having finally figured out what I want to be when I grow up, I am looking forward to going back to school, then work. I know that I would lose my patience, lose my ability to be the best mom I can be.
And that kind of answers the first question. I love spending time with my kids. But I know that I am more fun, and more able to enjoy that time when it's not ALL THE TIME. And I have decided not to feel guilty about that fact.
So I went with a third option. I found a school that agreed with what I, in a more perfect and patient world, would teach my kids. They will learn multiple languages, they will study music and the playing of instruments. They will draw and paint on a daily basis, even in the higher grades. They will dance, and be in plays, and garden, and cook, and enjoy learning (hopefully!)
It's hard for parents to figure out the best for our kids. For some, homeschooling is the only decision. For others, public schools are a wonderful choice. For me, the Waldorf system is what I like best. It's another one of those things that we need to stand together as parents rather than judging, like the whole SAHM vs. working mom (can't remember the acronym for that, oh well.) Being a parent is hard enough without having someone look down on you for your choices.
Thursday, December 06, 2007
Wednesday, December 05, 2007
But I've actually followed through on some things for this goal, so thought it was time to talk a bit about it. Also, Ben is asleep and I want a reason not to have to get up and do dishes....
First--Andrea and I found these bags for $1 each, and I bought five to use instead of grocery bags.
Second, I used money sent by my grandmother -she wanted me to get a diaper service. While I appreciate the gesture, I am not a cloth diaper sort of person. However, I do care that (did you know this?!) diapers take 500 years to decompose. This means every diaper EVER made is still in existence, and will be for hundreds of years more. I thought about going cloth for about 2.5 seconds, but sadly, it is not for me. However! I discovered g diapers ! So I used the money to buy the initial supplies and a bunch of liners for those. The liners break down completely in very little time, OR, you can flush them! Right now I am still using disposable diapers when I go out, but after I am used to using the g diapers, will exclusively use those.
Third, I am switching over to using natural products for household cleaning. After I move, I plan to use vinegar, baking soda and lemon for most of my cleaning needs. (does Costco sell those things in bulk? anyone know?) I will be taking my chemical cleansers to the waste disposal at the dump so they can dispose of them safely and NOT buying any more!
I am also trying to use more natural products for everything else...food, shampoo, etc. many natural products still have things that aren't good, such as parabens, but I'm doing my best to pay attention to what I put on or in my body!
There will be other ways I go more environmentally safe, will go into details later! Ben's awake....
Saturday, December 01, 2007
Looking around I found pictures like this and I was a goner. THIS I HAVE TO DO!!!
So I found this and some other accessories and I am so excited to move and start experimenting!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Here we come to the view he has while in his swing. The fish spin, and there are lights. This pleases him, sometimes. At other times, it enrages him.
And here is his view when he is eating, which is often. I actually am usually looking down at him, but that picture did unflattering things to my chin. I don't mind if he sees that, but you don't need to! He most likely sees a bit more boob, as well. That is also unnecessary for your viewage.
Ben was fussy until after midnight last night. He's not quite colicky, but close. I am looking forward to be done with that particular phase.
A few "snapshots" of what's around me:
My hair is quite wild and in my face.
My coffee is cold.
Ben is smiling up at the fish on his swing--wait, no, he's fussing...oh! he's better now.
Mike has just went up to the bathroom.
It is FREAKIN' COLD outside. 34 degrees according to iGoogle.
It has become almost impossible for me to go bra-less and not end up with milk stains on my shirt.
Ben's eyes are opening and closing in time with his swing.
I really REALLY want to go back to bed.
This post is going nowhere.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
I DON'T usually get up early. I LOVE TO SLEEP IN TOO. If I don't have an early morning commitment-that I can't get out of-then it's next to impossible to get up early, if I don't choose to.
What I love are those mornings when I wake up early and just....want to get up. It was 7 am this morning when that happened, and I have had breakfast, drank some coffee, and read my favorite blogs.
I have also cuddled a bit with my daughter, but that has turned into her complaining about me being on the computer and begging to be fed. Sheesh, kids these days! Sometimes she even asks more than once a day for food!
Plans for this day include shopping for Thanksgiving pie and veggies with Andrea, doing dishes and laundry (though what day doesn't include those two!?), buying snow boots for my daughter, and sledding down our back hill with Kaia. All in all, a good plan, don't you think?
Monday, November 19, 2007
"You mean like 'Do you love your goat?'"
Now that would be an interesting interrogation.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
So! To begin! In a large bowl, mix TWO boxes of devil's food cake mix, 4 eggs, and 2/3 cup of oil. As you can see, I don't use oil, I use melted butter. Again, up to you.
Mix on low, then medium until thoroughly blended.
The batter will be THICK.
Either roll into one inch balls, or cheat like I do and use a cookie scoop!
Flatten with something...I used a measuring cup.
Add 4 cups of SIFTED powdered sugar. Sifting removes lumps. If you don't have a sifter, or don't want to sift, that's your choice. :-)
Should have consistency of frosting...cause that's basically what it is...cream cheese frosting...we are just going to use it as filling....
place about this much filling on the bottom of one cookie...you may want to put more, I had left over filling, but what I used was a good ratio, in MY opinion, of cookie-to-filling.so, yes, about so much....
Place second cookie on top and while pressing down, spin the cookies a bit...will help spread filling.
Feed to hungry beasts of all ages.....
Here is the finished product!
...don't worry, the recipe made more than this - about 20 or 30 sandwiches (so 40-60 cookies, sorry, didn't count)
The original recipe called for coloring the filling red and green...looked very pretty, but I try not to use artificial colors like that when I have the choice....once again, up to you!
Friday, November 16, 2007
So, something I didn't know, is that when you change the name of a photo, something still keeps track of when it was taken (!!!!!!)
On Flickr, it will tell you when each photo was taken even if the title of the photo has been changed! What a wonderful thing to include!
I absolutely adore Flickr.
Want to see my pictures?
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
I'm still tired, but I feel more awake at this time than I have in a long time.
Oh! AND though he still was in bed with us, he was sleeping without me holding his hands!
independent sleeping here we come!! slowly....
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
He has not smiled at me. What am I? Chopped liver?
Oh...no....I am just the Milk Dispenser. :-)
Sunday, November 11, 2007
I really mean to follow through on things. I have gads of enthusiasm for everything I start. then....
It's not that I am flaky. Well, obviously I am, but not deep down. I am actually quite a reliable person when it's important.
I don't lose interest....I don't get frustrated. I FORGET. out and out, complete amnesia. someone will bring up a goal..."so, how're the simplicity lessons going?" and I will look at them, blankly at first. then it will hit me what the hell they are talking about. "OH!!! RIGHT!!!" I will shriek, making them regret mentioning anything. "umm...yeah....well....I forgot...."
"Oh..." they will say. "You seemed so enthusiastic about it."
"Yeah....I was....I mean am....well...yeah...." I will lamely mutter.
I would prefer to think of it as an endearing quirk than a horribly annoying fault. I guess that depends on how much you love me, eh?
*can't you just smell the sarcasm?!
Friday, November 09, 2007
was a fun day today though. will (probably) write about it tomorrow.
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
West Side of Washington, HERE WE COME!!!!! I am so excited, and relieved, that he got the offer. It's at one of his first choices too! Now the Moving Planning can officially begin...
DA DA DUUUUUUMMMMM.
I have a list of 5 possible apartment complexes I am most interested in. I figure I'll go over at the beginning of December to look at them and see which will be available. At that time I'll also get a local phone book so I can start to research everything else...Internet, phone, electric, etc. We already have Kaia signed up for school, and I've located the local Whole Foods Market. When we get there, the first couple months will be hectic, finding a doctor, dentist, chiropractor, and getting caught up on all those things for all of us. Unpacking....ugh, I hate packing....I love unpacking though...putting everything away in it's place, pretending to myself and anyone who'll listen that THIS time things will STAY there!
The only downer, and it's a big one, is how much I will miss Andrea, John, Katia, and Liam. Living in the same area as they do has been awesome. It's not often you meet people who you know are going to be friends for life. I've already known Andrea for 21 years, and John for over 11. We will definitely be visiting as often as we can (Silverwood, guys?!) But not living close to them anymore is going to be very sad.
wow...my head is just whirling with things I need to do...most of which aren't practical to start until December at least....
Yay, Mike!! Honey, you ROCK.
Monday, November 05, 2007
"Mom!! I want Ben to come watch me play!"
"You know he can't play WITH you, right?"
"Yeah, mom, I KNOW"
"All right, I set him up in his buzzy chair in here. Call me when he gets fussy."
about 10 minutes later-
"You two okay up there?"
she yells down, "WHAT?"
"I said, are you doing okay with Ben?"
"YES! HE'S ASLEEP!!! SO BE QUIET!!"
But isn't cool?! My kids are having fun together! sort of...kinda....
Sunday, November 04, 2007
First, here's Kaia, as the Little Bad Wolf...my mom made the costume, isn't it awesome! Kaia had a blast wearing it, the growling almost got out of hand.... :-)
And here is Ben....you can't see the full effect of his cow costume, because the other pictures of him aren't the most appealing, and you must only see him at his cutest! So here he is, half of a cow, with a bit of a horn problem.... And here are Batman and his Pirate companion. Not my boys, but so cute I had to add them...would have added the Pirate's older sister, also a Pirate, but there weren't any pictures of her in full regalia....both of us moms weren't the best this year at picture taking, the evening was a bit hectic.
It wasn't even close to as cold as it has been, which meant Ben and I could go with everyone! Strangely enough, this year was also the shortest time we've spent out too....but all the kids got plenty of candy, and the stew dinner before heading out was sublime! Rolls with butter are also one of life's wonderful things......
Saturday, November 03, 2007
here are a few random thoughts, however, for your perusal.
--Today we went to Andrea's. Mike went too!
--I am not sure I can nurse for a full year, unless he stops the daily frenzy in which he eats CONSTANTLY for varied lengths of time.
--I want to get rid of my chemical cleansers-how the hell do you dispose of them?!
--we might know soon where Mike will be working.
--Symphony chocolate bars are the way to my heart.
--Kaia has a Strawberry Shortcake game. We are all flummoxed on how to get them back to the damn cookie party. It's very very annoying.
--I want to go take a bath, and this isn't very interesting anyway...so....good night!
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
made an egg and toast sandwich.
cut a slice of cheese to grate onto it. grated about 3/4 of it, put the rest on the counter.
looked at cheese while assembling sandwich.
came back later, realized I had purposely walked away from cheese in order for it to harden, thereby making it inedible, so I would have an excuse to throw it away and not eat it.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Kaia got out of school early - will all this week- because of parent-teacher conferences. So she came home and made the living room even more of a mess than it was....and yes, the rest of the mess was mine. Hard to bend down when your baby uses you as a bed ALL FREAKIN' DAY AND NIGHT.
Anyway, Kaia spent the time I was at the conference with John at work. She loves hanging out with him, they get along awesomely. Conference went well, Kaia's doing fine in all areas (no big surprise to me) One thing that was a bit surprising is her reading level. She is a MARVELOUS reader at home, and though she is in one of the higher levels, on the assessment she missed several words that I KNOW she has down pat. Ah well....not going to stress about it or anything, I just wish she'd apply what she knows.
Did a small grocery shopping afterwards, not much since I'll be getting more on my food stamp card in a few days. I made hamburger strogonoff for dinner, and Kaia loudly voiced her dislike of the mushrooms. She is currently trying to out-wait me in the how-much-dinner-must-be-consumed-to-get-dessert. Little does she know that I am about to take her bowl, heave it into the sink, and send her to bed. patience...I must....find...patience.....
I also have a headache, though that's going away since I took something for it.
Oh! another thing to bitch about....I had forgotten that Mike had a meeting tonight, so wouldn't be home for dinner tonight and I was really looking forward to spending some time with him, he's so busy with school right now.
okay, bitching done. I am thankful for my husband and my children. I am thankful Kaia is doing well in school. I am thankful we can be here for Mike to be able to go to school. I am thankful Ben is gaining weight so well.
I may be a bit grumpy, but I AM aware of how lucky I continue to be.....
Sunday, October 28, 2007
case in point:
FRIDAY, (writing this on Sunday) Mike went to an event put on by the Electronic Music Association at the University. He is the president, so spent a lot of energy making sure it all went well....that's his only excuse...well, and that it ended at 2 am.
Wait! He has one more excuse...he RARELY drives anywhere...he walks to work, and school.
SO. He drives the car to the event. Gets home around 2:30-3 am. Comes to bed.
Saturday, we spent at home...
This evening, Kaia, Ben and I had a Halloween party to go to, so we got ready and headed out the door....
Two minutes later, I call Mike... "Honey, where is the car?"
"The car?" he answers.
"Yes, THE CAR. Where IS IT?!"
"Oh........... shit." He says. "I forgot it."
He had gotten a ride home.
Saturday, October 27, 2007
I'm going to sign up for NaBloPoMo....National Blog Posting Month...which is November. All I have to agree to do is post every day for November! Gonna be difficult, but for some reason sounds right. Will readdress some old goals, and possibly make some new ones.
Ben was restless last night..didn't sleep until around 1:30-ugh! We fed him his first bottle of formula mixed with breast milk in the late afternoon. He took right to the bottle, and didn't seem at all confused when I fed him again later. We will probably feed him by bottle once a day, just to make sure he stays okay with it. In a few days, we'll let Kaia feed him it! She pretty excited about that. Oh, and I don't think the formula was what made him restless...he slept well after drinking it, and he gets restless in the early part of the night often. Not enough to really call it colic, but enough to be a bit stressful for all involved. Got some gas pills by Hyland's, and they seem to work.
Was going to post a picture Kaia drew of our new four-member family, but Blogger still won't let me....
Saturday, October 20, 2007
When my grandfather died, I was really upset. He was the most marvelous man, and though I didn't see him often, I felt very close to him. He is the reason that I made sure to find a man with a sense of humor, knowing that it is one of the most important things in this world.
It's a bit different with my grandmother. I do love her, but she has never been the type of grandmother that inspires closeness, or hugs, or even talking more than politeness requires. That seems very harsh, and please know that I know she loves me, and would do anything for me if I needed her to. But her life growing up wasn't pleasant (she's Jewish and had to flee Hitler-run Germany as a child), and she was very cold in her day to day interactions with even her family. My feelings toward her weren't helped by my mother's stories of life growing up with her as a step-mother, and my own time with her didn't dispel the feeling of distance and reserve.
As an adult, I am always uncomfortable when visiting her, and haven't seen her in a couple of years.
So now that she is at the end of her life, my feelings are mixed. Yes, I will be sad. But I have very few soft and fuzzy memories of her. I know that all she wants is to be with her husband again, and I know she is very unhappy here on earth. I feel bad about not feeling more upset, but that can't be helped, and I'm not going to demean the feelings I DO have by pretending to be more sad than I am.
Gammer, my Gammer. Whatever there is after death, I know you will be there with my Gaffer, and that that is what you want. Give each other hugs from me.
I love you, and I hope you find your peace.
How often, you ask? well, I am typing one-handed....and don't really remember what it's like to use two hands to write a post, which is why I haven't updated again, this takes forever.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
First things first--
A HUGE THANK YOU to Kathy, Tania, and Andrea for their help these past two weeks. Kathy, playing with Kaia was awesome, and really helped her feel special and loved. Tania, you went above and beyond what was necessary, and I owe you big time for it. Andrea, knowing you are there to call helped me not go totally bonkers, and coming to help made all the difference. I am so lucky to have all of you women as friends, I couldn't ask for better friends. Thank you, from deep in my soul.
Ben is eating extremely well....at birth, he was in the 13th percentile for weight, he is now near the 50th, and weighs almost NINE POUNDS!! (up from 7 lbs, 9 oz. 8 days ago) He is starting to be awake a little more, but still sleeping for the most part. We are working on getting him used to sleeping in the co-sleeper at night, which for the most part is failing, but we have a successful night, or couple of hours, every once in a while. He is the biggest cuddle-bug and loves nothing more than to sleep on someone, belly down. (yes, I know, back is best, he doesn't sleep on his stomach on someone unless that someone is awake.)
Kaia is doing well, and was able to sing Ben to sleep in the car when he was upset, a feat she is very proud of. He knows his sister's voice, and it does calm him. Tania also noticed that when Mike sings, he becomes very peaceful and calm.
I am doing well, though still tired (of course). Tania told me she feels I am handling everything excellently, and who am I to argue? :-) I only hope I can keep on top of things after she leaves, as it is easy to handle everything when someone else is doing your dishes, and laundry, and is currently upstairs vacuuming and has threatened you if you try to help!!
I filled out a survey this morning, and for the first time, checked the "stay at home mom" part instead of the "work full time away from home mom" part. hee hee....can't help it, it made me giggle. I am loving not working! I do miss the interaction with people a bit though...but can do that in other ways, especially after we move and I can join mommy groups and such.
All right, that is enough droning on for now....how are alla YOU doing?!
Monday, October 08, 2007
But still! I choose to be the biased parent and say he's just a happy little boy! Even when he cried, such as today when I put him in his car seat to head to swimming, he only seems to remember he's upset for a few minutes, then he stops and apparently adjusts to the new situation and finds it acceptable. At the doctor today, he only fussed for about 30 seconds after his heel got poked again for a blood test (required, not a big deal). The lab guy said he is the most calm baby he's seen in a long time.
Speaking of Dr. appointments, Ben has gained mucho weight! (relatively!)
Birth: 6 lbs, 14 ounces
4 days later: 6 lbs, 2 ounces (lost more than average, but not enough to really worry yet)
at his one week appt: 6 lbs, 13 ounces! (they like to see them back at birth weight by TWO weeks)
at his two week appt: Seven pounds nine ounces!!
he jumped from the 13th percentile in weight to the 18th! Way to go Boyo! He's still pretty skinny, since that's still low, and he's in the 50th percentile for height, so he's tall for his weight. But the Dr. was very pleased with his weight gain, and so am I! he does love to eat......and sleep....and poop. my gosh, he likes to poop.
he also likes to pee on his daddy. Although I change more diapers than Michael, I have yet to be peed on, but Mike has had the honor NUMEROUS times. Hee hee.
Kaia is still loving being a big sister...her only complaints center around not being able to do MORE with Ben!
"If I did it summer AFTER this one, then I'd swim out even before the teacher told me to! It'd be ROCK AND ROLL!"
"Rock and roll, huh?"
"Yep! It'd be ROCKIN'!"
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
Doing it while sick, of course!
Let the good times roll.
A big thank you to my mom, who left today, for all the NUMEROUS things she did to help us out. I could NOT have done it without her, and that's the truth!
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Friday, September 28, 2007
Anyway, I'm sure (mostly, kinda) that I will get around to posting about the birth and all that, but since that's too long to think about right now, I'll just move on temporarily (hopefully, maybe)
Ben is sleeping. FINALLY. sheesh. He's been eating for almost 4 hours. straight. I mean, he'll take a break between boobs, for five minutes or so, but then he once looks at me as if he's about to expire from lack of nourishment. His eating schedule (though I guess "schedule" is way to technical of a term for something not even a week into) has been erratic. On the first day, Monday, he wouldn't eat at all until about 8 at night.
It stressed me out, even though the nurses said it was fine, because Kaia was so EASY to feed. After I came out of the recovery room, I went down to the nursery, met my daughter, and she latched on. And her schedule didn't change much after that. 5 minutes, one side, every few hours (the time in between changed of course, as she got older).
After he finally ate Monday, he didn't figure it out again very easily either. It took until sometime Tuesday for him to finally get it mostly down. and sometimes he'll go 3 hours before being hungry again, sometimes 2 minutes. Last night he was up almost continuously until about 3, then he was up 3 times after that before we got up at 7. And again, this morning it's been almost continuous. Now, that's not to say he's been actually GETTING anything the whole time. Takes a bit to recover! But what's scary is that this is the time where he is supposedly getting my supply up to his needs, so that when my milk comes FULLY in (it's slowly getting there), he'll have the right amount for HIM. Which is apparently going to be about a gallon a day.
He is SO FREAKIN' SWEET though. He lifts his head, looking like a little turtle, and looks right at me. and he's such a cuddle bug!! I love it. I might not so much in a few months, but right now I do.
I got all teary and emotional last night. from hormones, I'm sure, but again different from Kaia (and no, I didn't expect it to be the same, but I didn't have anything else to compare to!) It's a harder recovery from the c-section this time too, for some reason. Still glad I did it, and SO glad I was awake, but I feel like such an invalid!
Kaia is thrilled Ben is home. She's being a HUGE help, and staying so positive and cheerful. I love my girl, so much!
Ben is zonked out on my chest, so I think I will try to sleep too, before he decides he's hungry again!
Mike found out he did not get the job he had interviewed for, but the company wants to bring him back for an interview with another team. I understand this happens, but we will both feel SO much better once he has a job lined up. Send happy positive thoughts his way!
Friday, September 21, 2007
Thanks to my mother, my house is looking pretty damn good. We have to set up the play yard for downstairs and the co-sleeper for upstairs, but other than that, we're set.
Tomorrow I am going to my pre-op appointment. Kaia will either go next door or stay here wit her granny.
Sunday night, she'll head over to John and Andrea's to spend the night.
Monday morning, I go in EARLY for the c-section. Mike is coming in with me, and Andrea is driving down to join mom in the waiting room. After putting both kids on the bus, John will bring Kaia down to see us!
Many pictures of Boyo and our family to follow!
Thursday, September 20, 2007
good-it's nice to be able to take it easy, and have the excuse to do so.
bad-I've been taking it easy, which means my house is not in a good place...and I didn't have an excuse then.
bad-I was supposed to help out Andrea today so she could work, and wasn't able to.
bad-I was also going to go to the mustang adoption with her tomorrow, which I was really looking forward to, even though I don't own horses, and probably never will. It was going to be so nice to spend a day with her, doing something fun, without kids, before baby comes, before we move. I think this is the most irritating part of this.
good-my mother is coming early, which will be nice for both Kaia and I.
bad-I was very much hoping to have the house nice for her, so she didn't immediately feel the need to straighten it. I did get some things done, but trying not to over do it.
good-I am ready for baby, supplies-wise, even though right now not everything is set up. Even if baby had come last night, the only things that would have had to be done would be that set up, and since I am having a c-section, we'd (meaning everyone but me) would have had a few days to do so.
good-I found out that my secret dread-that if I went into labor before Monday, I'd be forced to try a vaginal birth-is unfounded. Even if I go back into labor, I can still have a c-section. (I know that probably sounds very odd to most people, but having a vaginal birth scares me horribly, whereas a c-section is familiar and I know I will recover just fine.
good-Not having the baby meant that Michael can still go for his interview, which I would have tried to insist he do anyway, but not sure if he'd have listened to me.
and for something neither good nor bad, and sounding completely silly, it's kind of just hitting me that VERY SOON there's going to be a baby in the house, and once again, I am in charge of it's safety and happiness...as well as Kaia's. Mike mentioned it too, we talked of when we left the hospital with Kaia 6 years ago, and after we were in the car, ready to go, all the hospital staff walked back into the hospital, and we looked at each other like "where are they GOING?!! They are just leaving us with this brand new human?! They are trusting us with her LIFE?!" Seemed insane that they would do that! And here we are again, about to bring life into the world, where we are his only chance of thriving....and HELLO!?! it's been SIX YEARS since we've had a baby! How are we to be trusted?!
But then we grin at each other....and oh, isn't this AWESOME?!! yes, yes, it is.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
Gonna take a bath (HATE the smell of hospital soap!) and head to bed!
oh!! and sending out a BIG HAPPY BIRTHDAY KATIE!!! to my baby sister.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
So, anyway, back to car ride before swimming. Katia mentions that it's Monday. There is a pause, then Kaia beings to almost convulse in the back seat. She looks at me with a half desperately terrified, half desperately excited expression.
"Mom!! MOM! It's Monday! MONDAY!!!! IT'S MONDAY! The BABY IS COMING, THE BABY IS COMING TODAY!!!!!!"
I think she was terrified we'd miss the event. It actually took awhile for her to believe me that I knew better, and the baby was NOT coming. She seems to have a blurred notion of how involved I will be for said arrival. :-)
Monday, September 17, 2007
Here's to you, Lifeguard Guy. You ROCKED today!
Sunday, September 16, 2007
"Of course, hon, you can ask me anything."
"Is 'shit' a bad word?"
"Yes, it is...."
"Am I in trouble for saying it to ask you?"
"Of course not, you can ask Daddy and me anything, and we won't get mad when you are just asking for information."
"Alright, sweetie, here's your cereal...I'm going to try to sleep for a bit more, ok?"
"Okay! Want me to sing you a sleep song?"
"Go to sleep...go to sleep....good night...sleep well...go to sleep....go to sleep..." (repeat about 30 more times)
"thank you dear...that was nice...."
"I love you, mom"
"and I love you, dear one."
"Did you know that at the end of rainbows, there's a pot of gold?"
"That's just a story, sweetie, it's not real"
"The gold is fake?!"
"No......there is no pot of gold. It's actually impossible to FIND the end of the rainbow, it's an optical illusion."
"No, 'cause Brooklyn, at school, said SHE found a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow once!"
"Well, it was either a pretty special rainbow, or she was making it up."
"No, she really did. She promised!"
In the bath together:
"I am going to wash baby brother, okay mom?"
"oh yes? how?"
she starts splashing my stomach.
"See? I want to wash his face, but don't know where it is, so I have to get your whole tummy wet."
"This bracelet baby brother can't play with cause he might choke...this (she holds up a plastic purse) he can't have because he might hide things in it so I can't find them....and this he can't have (she holds up another bracelet) because....can you guess why?"
"He would choke on it?"
"No!! He would....." and she sticks it up her nose.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
So, every morning, at about 3:45 am, he wakes me up demanding cereal. no matter that he's STILL IN MY BELLY, and can get nourishment whenever he wants it, oh no, he must HAVE CEREAL NOW!
actually, he'd probably be happy with any sort of food, but cereal is all I'm up for preparing at 3:45 am.
Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Secondly, we have finally decided on a name!!!! Mike and I sat down last night and talked about it, and narrowed it down to three names. One of them was Ben, the name I've been liking the best, but Mike has been hesitant, though he likes it too. He finally told me why he's been hesitant-when we mention it to Kaia, she's never liked it. I've tried several times, some nonchalantly, some excitedly, both Ben and Benjamin, but I always get a "no!" .....
Today, I told her we had three names, and we wanted to know which she liked best...I listed them, and she said, as if she'd NEVER heard of it before, "I like Benjamin! Can I call him Ben?"
sheesh, girl! Not about to give up this opportunity, however, I told Michael her thoughts, and he asked her again if she was sure that was the name she liked best. She nodded vigorously, and grinned at him. So I asked Mike if he had any other doubts about the name, and he said no, he's quite happy with it!
YAY!!!!! so, to introduce the newest member-to-be of our family, in a little less than two weeks,
Benjamin William Lyle
shall make his appearance!
(and what do you want to bet Kaia will claim all credit for naming him!?)
Sunday, September 09, 2007
Be sure to tell our kids that if I could choose, I’d be there holding them tight, every day.
Tell them that they can talk to me, and though I can’t answer in words, my love answers them every time.
Print out my blog for them to read when they are older. In my Documents are older pages from my last blog.
Let them make their own decisions about who they want to be, and help their dreams come true, even if you don’t agree with those decisions.
Hug them EVERY DAY.
Keep laughter in their lives.
Teach them respect and love for all people, white, black, gay, straight, male, female, and all the others I don’t have room to write down.
Don’t let them put up with people who disrespect them.
Make sure they understand life isn’t fair, and it’s how we deal with that unfairness that counts.
Allow them time to cry.
Teach them that cash is a much smarter option than credit.
Tell them that they were my world, and I would have walked through fire to save them.
Don’t force them to read, instead help them discover a love of reading.
Always answer questions honestly, though geared toward their age.
Teach our son to put the toilet seat down.
Teach our daughter never to kick a boy in the balls-unless he’s being violent himself.
Print out doubles of all our photos and give each child a full set.
Saturday, September 08, 2007
I, of course, couldn't go on ANY rides, because of Boy-o. I tried to sneak on to the carousel, but apparently they feel even that is to wild and crazy for us gestating ones. drat. I contemplated claiming I had a stomach tumor, and how dare they bring attention to it, and John recommended claiming I was stealing a basketball, but in the end I meekly admitted to being With Child, and was sternly turned away from the dangerous labor-inducing up and down motion of the pretend ponies.
Kaia and Liam took their first solo ferris wheel ride, and laughed the whole time. They continued to laugh uproariously on every ride they went on, except the little-kid whale ride, which they found too tame at their advanced ages of 6 and 5.
One of the favorite attractions was the saloon fun house, which featured large paintings of lewd women and foolishly grinning cowboys. Each time we walked by, the kids would take 3-4 tours, leaving us outside to listen to the loud BANG BANG BANG of the metal sidewalk part of it.
We did no games, usually I let Kaia do one, but I really didn't want to bring home any junk, and the expense was unnecessary, to say the least. I got her a bracelet for unlimited rides, and we ate "dinner" there. I swear, it's ridiculous that I'm allowed to eat carnie food, but the carousel is labelled "too risky". My favorite thing was the caramel apple slices, and I plan to make those frequently, now that I realize you can cut the apple up before covering in caramel, an ingenious idea!
We also watched a very small part of the rodeo, but the announcer and the clown were idiots and took up too much time gabbing, so we left soon, and went to the animal barns.
oh my!!! my wonderful man has just made us breakfast!! Going to enjoy it....talk more later!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
- We are going to a fair tomorrow! Kaia loves fairs, should be a blast. I will bring my camera, as I will sadly be unable to partake in the rides.
- Kaia has a sibling education class at the hospital on Saturday! Should be a lot of fun for her, she gets to learn all about how to be a big sister.
- On Saturday night, she'll be spending the night at Andrea's, and Mike and I will be having a wonderful time watching some more Buffy!
- Sunday I plan to dedicate to getting my house in better shape. It's seriously stressing me out.
-Wish Michael mucho luck at the career fair he is attending tomorrow!!!!
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
one-during the times she would normally be in tap class, for the one months we paid for and can't get back, Kaia will be doing chores.
"some rules are just there, we may not understand them, but we have to follow them, just like people have to follow our rules in our house, even if they don't understand them."
is sometimes the only answer.
oh, and on that note, I have established a new house rule. there are NO blue pig socks allowed in my house. please note, and remove any such offending socks from thy luggage. NO BLUE PIG SOCKS! I find them inappropriate.
Today, I went to pick up Kaia from after school care. She goes there right after first grade, which ends at 3, and stays until I pick her up at around 5:15. It's at the same place she went to preschool, and care before and after kindergarten. She loves the teachers, and knows a LOT of the kids. She has always played "house" and "marriage" with whomever, male or female, her friends at the time are.
Her current best friend is Ashley, she of the "shared germs." She has previously told me about plans she and Ashley have to marry a boy in their school (he goes to kindergarten, so they see him on the bus and at after school care). I really haven't seen a problem with it, seems like normal behaviour to me, to pretend to be mommies and daddies and families. And, I admit, when she told me about kissing Ashley on the bus yesterday, I really didn't think anything of it. (must be the slut coming out in me?!)
Anyway. Today, when I picked her up, her name was highlighted on the sign-out sheet, which means "see the teacher". I dutifully waited while he spoke to another parents, then smiled when he turned to me.
"Okay, " he said. "Here's the situation."
uh oh, I thought. There's a situation!?
"I had to talk to Kaia and one other girl today." He says this as if I can't deduce from the one other highlighted name, Ashley's, who this other girl might be.
"There's been a problem with kissing between these two and a boy they ride the bus with." At this point, it occurs to me that I really should have talked with Kaia about no kissing yesterday.
"I've talked to the three of them before about what's appropriate behaviour and what isn't. They know that at school and here, kissing is not allowed." (makes sense when he says it. I nod vigorously.)
"But today, they got off the bus and were laughing and talking about kissing each other on the bus." uh oh....leave it to my daughter to try to get around the rules....sigh....
"I told them that this time, I would have to talk to their parents." I nod again, of course I will talk to her about this. Kissing at school OR on the bus-bad. got it.
"Kaia loves to play house quite a bit." He goes on. I nod again, slowly. I know this....they have a set up there specifically FOR this purpose...so I'm a bit lost as to where this is now going.
"They have been playing mom and daddy and baby." Again, I slowly nod. She's been playing house for all three years she's been going to this school.....
"They asked if it was okay to hold hands, since they can't kiss." I start to nod...holding hands as an alternative makes sense to me...no germs are passed, no diseases....very good altern-
"I told them that holding hands is not appropriate behaviour either." I continue to nod, out of habit, but wait! Holding hands is NOT an appropriate alternative? WHY THE HELL NOT!?! Now, I don't say this, I just nod and say I will talk to her about what's okay at school and what's not. Then I go and get Kaia, and a whole 'nother problem with fits and whining occurs, but that's another story.
Holding hands is not okay when you are 6 years old and playing house? Am I just morally loose? Well, I am, but I had thought I knew where my personal boundaries exceeded society's. Apparently I was wrong.
So later, I am trying to talk to Kaia about this. I do fine with the no kissing rule (sort of).
Kissing at her age, I tell her, is only for mommy and daddy. oh, and granny...grumpy...family...wait, and Andrea...and Tania and Kathy...so other adults that we know..wait...I mean...people who we consider family because we love them...but not ones at school, even if we love them...sigh....moving on...
Also, I tell her, her teacher has said no holding hands while playing house. What!?! She responds. WHY NOT!?!
umm.... I say....well.....umm....I'm not really....because that's the rule at school. I finish with lamely.
She looks up at me, a combination of confusion and disbelief and disgust.
But WHY? she repeats.
Because holding hands is touching, and touching is...I start....then stop....I don't WANT my daughter to feel that touching, and holding hands, and even, yes, kissing, is wrong. I want her to feel comfortable in her body, a body that likes to be touched and held and cuddled. Before you get up in arms, of COURSE I know there are appropriate ages and places for different sorts of touching.
But HOLDING HANDS?!? Why is this wrong? How do I explain to my daughter that something that she's been doing her whole life, something that I MAKE her do for safety quite OFTEN is apparently inappropriate behaviour? Especially when I don't agree?!
Sometimes, I'm just lost.
Tuesday, September 04, 2007
when I picked her up from school---
"Mom, guess what? Ashley and I have the same germs now!"
"Yes, so even though we aren't family, it's okay! 'Cause she had a drink, juice, cranberry juice, and she took a drink, and didn't even wipe the top, and then I took a drink, AND we kissed on the bus on the way back, so now we have the same germs!"
She was so excited. It cracks me up sometimes, the things she comes up with.
and now, the reason that sometimes, only sometimes, I want to, almost, slap her.
For MONTHS she has been excited about tap class. She decided on her own that she wanted to do tap instead of ballet, or gymnastics, or anything else. We signed her up, bought tap shoes and the required shirt with the studio logo, and waited. She went to dance camp, where she had fun, and she was looking forward to September, when tap class started.
Then today. We go into class. She puts on her shoes. They line up. The teacher starts going over basic steps. Kaia lasts about 2 minutes, then comes over to me. "I don't want to do tap, it's boring."
WTF!?!?! She was mad in dance camp when they only did tap for part of the class. She's been putting her tap shoes on and "practicing" for WEEKS. and now it's BORING!?! $30 tuition for a month, $15 tap shoes, $5 shirt, for TWO FUCKING MINUTES OF CLASS. She flat out refused to finish even one lesson.
Now, I'm all for making her follow through. But there's only so much I can do without disrupting the class, which is extremely rude, and always pisses me off when other parents do it. So after about 5 minutes of whispered argument, we left. In the car, I assured her that she has used up her allotted money for fun classes for a good while. When we got home, Mike brought out the Daddy Voice and let her know in no uncertain terms that her behaviour is unacceptable, then sent her up to clean her room.
She has just come down to tell me she's finished. I plan on taking a bag up, and anything not done- "it's ALL done, mama! I PROMISE!"- will go in the bag, never to be seen again.
I want her to be able to do fun things. I want her to have opportunities and learn talents and have good childhood memories. I want to be able to let her choose fun things to go do. It's not that I am forcing her to sign up for these things! I am not one of those parents who makes their child take all sorts of classes.
now I am babbling. I'm done.