Friday, January 30, 2009

...and the search for a house to rent continues! we were supposed to view two homes today, but one of the homeowners was having company today and didn't want to worry about getting her home ready for prospective renters to look at, so we're going on monday to see both homes. today the kids and i are going to play at my friend alison's house instead, and hopefully get some playtime outdoors as the afternoon warms up.

the whole house hunt thing is really frustrating, because we don't have a deposit. so, say we find a house we really like and want to rent. we have to hope like crazy that someone else doesn't come along in the next two months who, unlike us, can just write a check for the deposit right then and there to hold the house, and we're back where we started. the chances of that happening are pretty good, i think. it doesn't really make sense to look until we have a deposit. but our lease us up in 60 days, and we have to give our landlord 30 days' notice if we intend to move. so we have to find something pretty soon! argh. josh should have gotten a second job already, and we should have already saved up a deposit. poor planning.

rowan is feeding himself with a fork or spoon very well lately. he just attempted a cup of applesauce, and did fairly well! his favorite toys right now are the squirt bottle we use to spray the spider's terrarium (he likes spraying himself in the face), and micah's fairy wings and doll stroller. twice yesterday, he could be seen pushing a baby around the house in the stroller, wearing a blue beaded necklace and those beautiful fairy wings. if there were ever a time for the camera's memory card to not be full...

micah has fallen asleep the past two nights without nursing (yay!) and is showing some big changes. she's been listening really well, has been in a really happy, playful mood a lot of the time, and has had hardly any major meltdowns these past few weeks. josh also noticed her appetite has been growing! i've been looking at swing sets online, and we plan to surprise her with one for her 4th birthday. : ) we'll have a nice, big backyard by then.

baby lina had a couple of rough days with us, but her dad said she'd been fussy at home, too. they suspect a tooth. yesterday was much better, and today's going good so far, too.

i'm excited about having some family pictures taken next thursday. josh's sisters are coming into town (except for the one who lives in mckinney; she's already in town) and we're all going to a photography studio in plano. we're going to take some sibling pictures (josh and his sisters), and some "frister" pictures (frister: sisters and friends; that's me and my sisters-in-law). it's going to be fun!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

rowan news

rowan said "baby" tonight. : ) we were lying in bed together and i said, "are you my baby boy?" and he repeated "baby" back to me. yay! he also pointed to the door and said what sounded like "go out." but it was a definite motioning towards the door and a question, with the upward lilt in his voice at the end. he knows what shoes are (if i ask him to bring me his shoes, he will) and he knows where the kitchen is, and he knows who all the people in our family are (if i ask him to take something to his daddy, he will). and he dances, very adorably. if there's music playing, he either stomps his feet alternately or wiggles his bum back and forth. he does the hand motions with me when i sing "the itsy bitsy spider." and he does the cutest thing when baby lina is at our house. he walks up to her, and bends his knees to look at her, with his legs together and placing his hands on his thighs - just the way adults do when they're bending down to look at or talk to a cute child! i love it! : )
alison and her family joined the kids and me at church this morning. it was really fun showing them around the church i grew up in, and introducing them to my grandparents and my uncle, and to all the people there who've known my family since before i was born. that place feels so much like home, and it was nice sharing it with one of my best friends. micah stayed in class without me, because she had her buddy isaac there to glean confidence from. works for me. : ) i wish they could come with us every week!

micah told me tonight that, once she doesn't need nursey at night anymore, she wants to spend the night with dada and nana (that's my dad and vesta). after eating breakfast with them the next morning, she wants me to come pick her up and take her home. needless to say, this made my stepmom, who's been campaigning for a sleepover since micah was born, quite excited. i can't imagine the day when my kids sleep away from me, but i know it'll arrive someday...

josh and i have been hunting for a house to rent in april, when our lease here is up. richardson is so far proving to be out of our price range. we're looking at west garland, where the prices are lower and we're still close to my family and all our familiar places. in order to have enough for a security and pet deposit, josh needs to get an evening job, which hasn't happened yet. so we may have to go month-to-month here until we can save up enough money to move. we're soooo ready... this place has been fun, but we've outgrown it, and the quality of the house and the neighborhood is beginning to get to us. tonight at my dad's house, i mentioned that we were going to try to move in april, and he said, "i'd love for you to move, you live in a dump." it made me wince a little. not because i disagree with him, but because i was embarrassed that he thinks we're keeping his grandkids in a dump. i think everyone considers where they live to be reflective of their education, lifestyle, status, etc. i love having friends and family over to my house, but i know how much more i'd love it if i had a nice, pretty house that i was proud of and that i felt reflected my personality. i also think twice before inviting friends over if their houses are much bigger and nicer than mine! isn't that silly?

i know my parents wish i'd gone to college, and i know they wish josh had a higher education too, and a better-paying job, only because they want the very best for us and for micah and rowan. i want the best for us too! but we can be happy with a small house and old cars and hand-me-downs. and i have faith in my husband and in his ability to provide for us; i have never doubted that he would do whatever it took to keep food on the table and the rent and the bills paid, even if that meant working two jobs - and it has, in the past. and now with our economy in the state that it's in, it's becoming even harder to keep our heads above water. but this will pass, and when the kids are grown and josh is making good money at his dream job, designing furniture and residential and commercial interiors, and we live in our dream house, we'll remember this difficult time in our lives and be thankful for all the generous help we received from family members and friends. when the energy that you put into the universe is positive and hopeful, the universe provides positive change and rewards hope with blessings. i believe that.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

the enrichment meeting was fun, but it was a little cramped. : ) i asked a couple of the moms if it was horrible and uncomfortable, and they said it was perfectly fine... but they probably just said that to make me feel good. : ) i can't wait until i have a bigger house and can host more things! it really wasn't all that bad... the couch and dining room chairs provided seating for six, we rolled the computer desk chair in for one more, and the rest sat on the floor. i just felt so bad for the moms sitting on the floor, especially the one who was about nine months pregnant, and actually ended up giving birth the very next morning! i also felt bad about not providing anything yummy to drink. the day before i didn't make it to the store to buy juice and stuff, so all we had was ice water. oh well... i'll do better next time.

after the meeting, two of the moms, alison and miranda and their kids stayed over and we walked down to the park to enjoy the freakishly warm weather. it was fun; we had lots of good conversation while the kids ran and played in the sun. rowan and alison's youngest, marlowe, both ended up falling asleep in the baby swings.

yesterday morning we had more park time at the LLL dallas playgroup. about eight other moms showed up, and the kids all had a blast on the playground together while the moms sat in the covered pavillion and chatted. i am lovin' this warm january weather. : ) plenty of opportunities to get outdoors!

this weekend, we've only got a few fun plans, and the rest of the time will be spent at home relaxing and cleaning up.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

i am a bad american. i didn't watch president obama's inauguration speech yesterday. i still have not heard it in its entirety. i was delivering meals on wheels yesterday while it was being broadcast live, and i caught bits and pieces on the radio, but... i have yet to hear and watch the whole thing.

i feel like my grandparents. when i was in high school and doing a research paper on the vietnam war, i tried interviewing my grandparents as people who'd lived through it, and would undoubtedly have tons of memories to share of watching walter cronkite on the news, and listening to president kennedy and attorney general kennedy's speeches. i was surprised, disappointed, and a little annoyed to hear that they didn't recall too much about it, because they had three young children in the house from 1961 on. their lives revolved around their kids, just as mine does around micah and rowan. but i'm really ashamed that i haven't paid closer attention to this historical election. i'm ashamed, surprised, disappointed, and a little annoyed with myself... a friend of mine wrote a letter to her kids about the events of this january 20th, and it never even occurred to me to do that. but now i'm going to. right after i watch president obama's speech and ceremony.

delivering meals on wheels yesterday was a little nuts with three kids (mine, and baby lina, the baby i take care of during the week). we had 17 hot meals to deliver, at 10 different locations, two of them apartment complexes and the rest houses. my kids actually did really well riding in the car for over 2 hours, but little lina was not pleased for most of the time. i brought one bottle for her and fed her in the car, but i think she got cold with the door opening every few minutes. our stops were all in a geographic cluster, and the paperwork we picked up with the coolers had them mapped out in a logical order (except for one). all in all, it was a really great experience. micah enjoyed helping me deliver the meals at the two apartment complexes, while my dad sat in the car with rowan and lina. once we left the apartments and were delivering to the houses, it was super easy and fast. my notes for next month: only bring micah with me, bring a bag to put the meals in for the apartments so we don't have to run back to the car, and bring a highlighter to mark the houses on the mapsco pages that come attached to the paperwork!

i'm hosting a la leche league enrichment meeting at my house tomorrow morning. i always get really nervous, doing things like this. my house really isn't all that nice, it's tiny, and i never get everything done beforehand that i want to. for example, it's twenty till midnight, and i haven't vacuumed or washed my hair. sigh...

Monday, January 19, 2009

tonight was my second get-away night at my dad's, to eat dinner and watch one of my favorite TV programs with no kids. : ) josh took micah and rowan to visit his mom at the nursing home, while i ate pork chops, mashed potatoes and black-eyed peas and watched 24 with my dad and my stepmom. it was sooooo relaxing and fun! it totally recharges my batteries, getting away like that, once every other week or so.

tomorrow morning, my dad and i (and the kids) deliver meals on wheels for the first time. we pick up the coolers at 9:30 am, and there are 9 stops on the route (give or take, depending on whether any are added or deleted from the paperwork i pick up with the coolers). it should take no more than a couple of hours. i plan to bring drinks, snacks, books and toys for my kids, and a bottle for lina, and that will hopefully keep everyone happy in the car. i went on a dry run today, while micah and rowan were napping in the car, just to make sure i knew where all the stops were. i'm glad i did, because a couple were tricky.

i wish we were having an earlier bedtime tonight, but the kids both fell asleep in the car with josh on the way to the nursing home tonight, so neither of them are ready for bed yet. sigh...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

our friend's birthday party yesterday was really fun. the kids romped and played in the backyard in the sunshine, then we came inside for presents and yummy cheesecake. we got the birthday boy a little baby doll, and micah picked out a little wooden teething toy, and wrapped it herself. : ) well, i helped with the bow. anyway, the party was really fun, but a couple of hours into our stay, rowan walked up to me and held his arms up, and when i picked him up, he was burning hot! i couldn't believe a fever had come on that quickly. he pretty much collapsed on my shoulder, so i rounded up micah, made my apologies for possibly exposing the other guests, and we left. rowan was acting sort of delirious; he could barely hold his head up, and fell asleep in the car seat with his head lolling forward. i was trying not to panic; i get so anxious anytime he gets sick, now. he did/does have a yucky cough and a runny nose. when we got home, i took his temp and it was only 99 degrees. he felt a lot hotter than that. all three of us got into bed and napped until about 6:oo pm. when we woke up, i took rowan's temp again, and he no longer had a fever. he was fine for the rest of the night, fine again this morning. i don't know what that was about; i guess, some sort of little respiratory infection that his little system was fighting off. it was just really weird, how quickly the fever came and went.

in my mind and imagination, i've expanded the time between when rowan's breathing became very labored, and when i took him to the doctor and subsequently, the ER, to three or four days. in reality, his chest started retracting and his breathing became strident sunday night, and i took him monday morning. i can't seem to convince myself that i did not let him struggle and strive for air for days before finally doing something about it. i think it's because that sunday night, i sat up beside him in bed all night long, watching his chest cave in and listening to him gasp and wheeze. the night seemed to go on and on, until finally the doctor's office opened and i could call and make an appointment. had i known what was going on, i would've just driven him straight to the emergency room, in the wee hours of the morning. i guess that's what i can't let go of: that i could've, and should've taken him sooner. he must've been so scared and uncomfortable, that whole time... i can't stand thinking about it. now, whenever he comes down with anything respiratory, i find myself on high alert, taking off his shirt so i can see how his chest is moving, and pressing my face against his every chance i get, listening for that stridor. epiglottitis is extremely rare, and i know he won't get it again... but i think i've condemned myself to consuming worry for a long, long time.

"epiglottitis in the very young (younger than 1 year) is unusual and occurs in only about 4% of cases." -

"since 1985, with the widespread vaccination against Haemophilus influenzae type b (or Hib), which was the most common organism related to epiglottitis, the overall incidence of the disease among children has dropped dramatically." - (rowan had not recieved the Hib vaccine when he got sick)

his experience is the main reason josh and i decided to vaccinate our kids, after all. we decided we would rather face the risk of either of them having a reaction to the shots, or dealing with heavy metal toxicity, then see either of our babies in a hospital bed with a tube down their throats ever, ever again. most people probably think this is a no-brainer, and wonder how in the world we ever came to the conclusion that it was acceptable not to immunize our kids. all i can say is we became deathly afraid of the possible link between vaccines and autism, and were appalled by some of the ingredients in vaccines, like formaldahyde, and viruses grown in monkey or cow cells. we read article after article about the growing movement of parents who were saying no to vaccines, and trusting in the strength and ability of their kids' God-given immune systems. it just all seemed completely unnatural and bizarre, and we didn't want any of that stuff injected into our precious children's bodies. but after having two close-calls (rowan's epiglottitis, and we thought micah had rubella while i was pregnant with rowan), the reward no longer outweighs the risk for us. i know rowan could have gotten epiglottitis even if he'd been properly vaccinated, but still. and micah didn't really have rubella, just a run-of-the-mill rash-causing virus... but still.

Friday, January 16, 2009

josh ran into a burning house today. he was driving back to the paint shop where he works, when he noticed some smoke curling up from the attic of a house on our street. he and another man pulled up to the curb and got out. josh called 911, and started knocking on the door. after a few moments with no reply, the other man kicked down the front door of the house. he and josh both went inside to see if anyone was there and possibly needed help getting out of the house. no one was home, and one of the back bedrooms was on fire, as well as a structure in the backyard (that's where the fire originated, it turns out). after making sure the house was empty, josh and the other man went to the nextdoor neighbors on either side to tell them to get out, because they saw that the fire was spreading to those houses. kids were home at both houses, and they all piled into the front yards. the fire department arrived, and josh headed back to work, after giving his coat and gloves to a young girl who'd evacuated her house in a short-sleeved t-shirt.

so, needless to say, josh had an out-of-the-ordinary afternoon! i did, too, though not nearly as eventful as his. samantha, lina's mom, came to pick lina up early today, because her grandmother had come into town. so the kids and i went grocery shopping, and had a good time getting out of the house, despite the cold. josh was home from work when we got back, so we put away groceries, i fed rowan some supper (tomatoes and cheddar cheese), and got out all the fixings for more homemade pizzas. josh had cheese, pineapple and olives, i had cheese, pineapple and canadian bacon, and micah moon had just sauce and cheese. tonight's pizzas came out way better than the other night. i think because we exercised a little bit more self-control when it came to the cheese. : )

josh will be in galveston this weekend, helping to move some things for his dad's wife's mom and grandmother, whose home was destroyed by hurricane ike in september '08. they now live in rowlett, near josh's dad. so the weekend will be a quiet one for me and the kids. we've got a birthday party to go to tomorrow, then we'll probably spend the evening with my dad and stepmom. sunday morning we'll go to church, then go out to rowlett to visit josh's grandma for a little while. monday night, after josh gets home from work, i've planned another get-away night at my dad's to watch the two 24 episodes he has recorded. i can't wait. : )

Thursday, January 15, 2009

pizza night!

we had homemade pizzas for supper the other night, and micah helped make them all. i must say, they were scrumptious. : ) the girl knows how to pile on the cheese.

more sweet family bed pictures

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

i have a feeling that age 4 for micah is going to be remarkably more laid-back and pleasant than age 3 was/is. every day, it seems, she is more and more able to listen and understand. don't get me wrong, we still have issues, of course, and will continue to until she's out of the house - and i'm sure they won't even stop then! : ) i'm just trying to keep myself out of the frame of mind that something is wrong with micah, or that she is even a particularly challenging child. she is simply spirited, a spitfire of a triple gemini, a sweet little girl. my baby girl. i daydream all the time about how these strong, powerful characteristics will serve her later in life.

rowan has developed some irritating habits lately. he hits everyone - playfully, but it hurts. he scratches and scrapes - again, he's trying to play, but he sliced josh's nipple last night with his little fingernail. he puts things in the toilet - josh's socks, an unopened package of toothbrushes, toys, his hands, etc. he climbs everything - the art table in the playroom, the table by the sofa, the computer desk (where he proceeds to rip the keys off of my laptop). the boy is as sweet as he can be (when he's not hitting or scratching), but at this age, he is a handfull! except for the climbing, josh and i don't remember micah being this way when she was his age. she was also speaking 2-3 word sentences at his age; he says mama, dada, nah-nah (nursey, or "more"), and bye bye. i love how different they are... i can't wait to see their many more unique traits as they grow older.
i tried making pan-fried pork chops for dinner last night, but i ruined them. i think i put too much oil in the pan, and added too many chops at once, lowering the temp of the oil too much. this resulted in tough chops that tasted like raw flour. appetizing! i was really grumpy about it. we ended up having chicken nuggets instead.

on the other hand, i made some rockin' tuna salad for lunch this afternoon. : )

rowan is soooooooo sleepy right now...

Monday, January 12, 2009

with a tiny baby in my care, micah has made leaps and bounds in the things she's able to do for herself - out of necessity, i suppose. such as getting herself dressed and putting on her socks and shoes, using the bathroom, getting a snack out of the fridge, picking up toys and books and putting them where they belong. these are things i mostly did for her, or at least helped her do, before i started caring for baby lina. it's neat to realize she can handle these tasks on her own! she is getting so big. i did not imagine what a huge help she would be to me with lina. she gets lina's bottles out of the fridge for me, she brings me diapers and wipes, and she sits and smiles and talks to lina in her swing while i'm nursing or changing rowan. she's amazing! these are things she couldn't do for me when rowan was born, because she was too young. micah is coming up on 4 years, which is how old i wanted her to be when we had our second child. i realize that would've been easier in many ways... but i still wouldn't change anything about our family. : )

i've been working really hard with micah on not telling us "no!" when we ask her to do something. we ask her to say "okay, mama" or "okay, daddy" instead, and do what we've asked. we tell her, she can always ask us why, and we'll gladly tell her. sometimes this backfires, though; we'll ask her to do something, or to stop doing something, and before actually doing/stopping... she wants us a thorough explanation of why we're asking. we try to be patient and give her the best explanation we can, without ever resorting to "because we said so!" so far, it's working. once she hears our reasons, she complies. a little later, we'll tackle the issue of doing it right then.

the other thing i'm working on really hard with her is not pushing, hurting, or grabbing from rowan. just a little while ago, he started to walk off with her art notebook, and she pinched the skin on his chest so hard that she drew blood! she gets an immediate removal from the room and anything fun for that. i've been making her time-outs super short, about 30 seconds. i pick her up, take her out of the room to a time-out spot, get in her face and talk to her very sternly about what just happened. i ask her to say "okay, mama" if she understands, then we get up. she has even started walking towards me to be picked up as soon as she does something she knows is worthy of time-out. this seems to work for her, right now. for the minor offenses, i just hold her in my lap for a bit and talk to her.

at the grocery store last night, they did not have haagen-dazs dulce de leche ice cream. i almost cried. so i got my second favorite, coffee.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

some hilarious things micah said this evening...

"mama, i don't want to have another baby, because rowan is crazy!"

"i want daddy to sit in the backseat with me, because he's the best, and he can keep me entertained."

to josh: "i want to talk about pregnant, but i wanna whisper because mama will hear, and she'll laugh."

(after a bath) "now i'm as clean as a witch!"
... this is micah's made-up version of "as clean as a whistle" or "as happy as a clam"... she just adds "... as a witch!" to whatever she's saying. i love it.
i'm so tired tonight! my lower back aches, and i don't know why.

i had planned to attend a ladies' night out dinner party at a friend's house, and was really looking forward to the social time... but josh came down with something and didn't feel up to watching the kids, and i wasn't able to find a last-minute babysitter. i'm super disappointed, but i know if i got sick and he had plans for the evening, he'd cancel them to stay home and help me out.

i have several loads of laundry to fold and put away, a few dishes to clean, and lots of odds and ends to pick up and straighten around the house. i love going to sleep with a clean, tidy house, so i think after i get the kids to sleep, i'll do all my chores. i never thought i'd view doing housework as "me" time, but sometimes i really look forward to taking care of all the little things when the house is quiet and still! if i get them to bed early enough, i may even have time to curl up on the couch with a blanket and read my book for a while!

Friday, January 9, 2009

i ended up taking micah and lina to the DHS office with me this morning, and my dad stayed at my house with rowan. micah was extremely helpful and cooperative, and lina slept on me in the sling the entire 2 hours. score! i got our EBT card, and now just have to wait for the benefits to actually be transferred to our account. josh and i sat down this afternoon while he was home on his lunch break and worked out a budget for the next 6 months, that will allow us to move on the first of april, pay off some money we owe relatives, and do some much-needed maintenance on his jeep. that is, provided he can get a part-time job, and lina's parents decide to keep me on part-time. at the end of 6 months, we will see if we still need the assistance from the state with groceries. until then, it sure will help, and i will try not to feel like i'm taking advantage of taxpayers' money. i guess that's what it's there for.

i also took micah, rowan and lina to collin creek mall in plano today, so micah could participate in some market research. she got paid a cool $25 to sit in a room with another little boy her age, and fiddle with an empty lighter to see if she could get past the child-safety mechanism. she couldn't, and i had to giggle at the lady conducting the testing as she made the children promise her that if they ever found a real lighter, that they would take it straight to their parents. micah wasn't too keen on participating when we first got there; as most of you know, she does not react well to being thrust into an unfamiliar situation in a brand new place, with people she's never met, in which she has to take any instructions from any adult who is not me, or josh. but after a few minutes she settled in and did what she was asked. the other little boy micah's age just sauntered right past his mother and into the room, and sat down and began coloring. i could tell he was already in preschool, or something. again, i felt that pang of, "am i making micah this way? should i be pushing her harder to do things like this?"

but, hours later, at a pajama party storytime at legacy books in plano with our friends, i watched rowan zoom away from me without hesitation, and weave his way into a swarm of kids, young and older, pouncing left and right on huge, squishy bean bags, reading books and coloring pictures... and my friend pointed out to me the difference in their approaches (micah had taken one look at the crowd of kids listening to the story, and run in the opposite direction to find her dad). and i realized that that is just micah. it's part of her makeup, it's who she's been from the moment she was born. i am not making her insecure and uncomfortable by mothering her the way i do. i am meeting her needs and loving her for who she is, and making sure she knows she is safe and secure in her world.

as we left the market research office at the mall, i talked to micah about listening to other adults, and about doing things with other kids, and teachers. i told her about preschool, and what kids did there, and asked her if she'd like to go. she sighed and said, "no, i just want to be with my mommy." i think my heart was glowing in my chest, like ET : )

Thursday, January 8, 2009

today was very hectic and busy. i managed to not eat a single bite of food until 6:00 this evening.

the little baby i'm taking care of stayed home sick yesterday and today, which was sort of a blessing today, since i ended up having so much to do. at 10:30 am i had a phone interview with the department of health and human services, to see if we qualify for food benefits (josh hasn't found a part-time job yet, and i don't want to rely on my grandparents for groceries anymore). we did qualify, so after i got off the phone, i spent the next couple of hours turning the house upside down looking for josh's most recent paycheck stubs to take to the office. once i found them, i loaded the kids into the car to go pay our car insurance and be at the pediatricians office for their immunizations by 2:00. well, the insurance office was closed for lunch, so i took the kids to the park to kill time until our dr. appt. my dad and brother were playing tennis at the park, so micah and i sat on the hood of the station wagon and watched them while rowan slept in his car seat. just before 2:00, we left for the dr.'s office, where micah and rowan each got a combo DTaP, Hib, and IPV vaccine. rowan cried pretty hard, but i think it was more out of anxiety and fear than pain from the shot. he calmed down once i picked him up off the exam table. micah did amazingly well; she sat very still on the edge of the table and kept her hands in her lap, and was very calm. she cried when the shot was given. when she got her flu shot, she wouldn't let me touch her leg at all, but this time she allowed me to massage it a bit so it wouldn't be sore. i think that helped a lot. what's funny is, she cried a lot harder over not being able to choose her own sucker out of the basket than she did over the shot. : ) she cracks me up. the nurse did let her choose her own sucker, and her own sticker (she chose dora the explorer, of course).

after the pediatrician's, we went to the health and human services office... and sat there for 2 whole hours, only to find out they were out of EBT cards and needed me to come back in the morning. i could've screamed. the kids were very cooperative there, but i still dreaded trying to go back tomorrow, so my dad's going to come over and watch micah and rowan while i take baby lina with me. one kid's better than three in a government office.

after the 2 hour debacle, i went and paid my car insurance, then went home with a pounding headache and an empty stomach. the kids and i ate dinner, rowan and i took a bath (micah refused to get her band-aid wet), and i nursed the kids to sleep at 8:30. i fell asleep for a little while, too, but my head still hurts. hopefully the advil i just took will kick in and i can get some rest.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

well, the baby girl i'm taking care of seems to have decided she's going to sleep while she's with me, and eat while she's at home with her mama. it's a smart move for her, but her mom is going to faint from exhaustion! here's hoping we can settle her into a better routine by the end of this week. she is happy in the sling, so i spent a good part of today wearing her in front, facing out so she could see.

micah was very helpful today, but i did lose my temper with her a couple of times. i apologized for being too loud and rough, but had a serious talk with her about listening and doing what i ask her to do the first time. this is the fourth or fifth in a series of talks we've had on this subject this week. at times, i understand that this is part of her age, and it will get better, and she is a very young child, and this is completely normal, and she needs my utmost patience and loving guidance... and at times, i am at my wits end and feel like i'm doing something wrong, that she should be behaving better and it's my fault she isn't. i know in my heart that the former is correct, and the latter is the result of the more conventional parenting types in my family.

tomorrow, i think the weather is supposed to be a tad bit warmer. maybe i'll take the kids for a walk around the neighborhood, or even down to the park. right now, i'm off to make some brownies to snack on tomorrow, and then go to sleep. i've been staying up way too late!

Monday, January 5, 2009

today was the first day of my babysitting job, with a beautiful little 3-month-old girl. it went better, and worse than i imagined. better in that micah was a tremendous help to me, and rowan wasn't too distraught at not being able to be held and nursed as often as he's used to. worse in that the baby cried a good bit of the time she was here, and it took some finagling to get her to take her bottle. it's weird, but i kind of forgot how much babies cry. micah was pretty fussy in the evenings when she was an infant... i remember many nights of walking the floor with her downstairs at our townhouse, pacing in the dark kitchen, watching the shadows our plants cast on the walls and singing "my rifle, my pony and me." rowan was not fussy at all as an infant. in fact, i only remember having to walk and bounce him one or two times. i think the baby girl i'm taking care of will get used to me and our house this week. i hope she feels safe here soon! and i hope she likes me. i didn't have to leave the house with all three kids today like i thought i was going to. micah and rowan had a pediatrician appointment, but i called and rescheduled it for thursday, because of the nasty weather. i know the roads were safe today, but i just didn't feel like going out. their shots can wait till thursday. murphy's law says they'll both get polio on wednesday... i shouldn't joke about things like that.

i have the creeps tonight. josh went to a friend's house for a bit, and i keep hearing funny noises, and every little sound around the house is making me jump out of my skin. but i have my big, scary pit bull to keep me safe. yeah, right... if her saliva was venomous, maybe that'd work.

i'm writing a story. that's all i'm telling... i haven't gotten anywhere with it, just a bare-bones outline. i have a feeling i'm actually going to finish this one. it's a collaboration, actually, between josh and me. we tried this once before, writing a story together. i think the idea was good, but then we started some classes at richland and it fell by the wayside. this idea is even better, and we can spend our evenings working on it. josh is great at seeing all the angles, and i'm good at developing characters, so hopefully it'll be interesting. maybe no one will ever read it besides us, but who cares?

i'm excited about tomorrow night. 24 is one of my favorite television shows, and it's been off the air for a year or so, i believe, because the writers were on strike. now it's back on, and the season premiere airs sunday. but first... they made a feature-length season preview episode, which i am going to watch with my dad and stepmom tomorrow night, after a yummy dinner of my dad's out-of-this-world pork chops (at my request). i love doing stuff like this! josh will feed the kids dinner and get them into pajamas, and all i'll have to do when i get home is nurse them to sleep. it'll be so relaxing after a couple of somewhat stressful first days of my new job. : )

sharing a snack on the sofa

time to paint

sharing sleep

Saturday, January 3, 2009

i'm really frustrated with my lack of consistency, about anything. i get all worked up about something, do it for a few days, or weeks, or whatever... then i fizzle out. this is a weird example, but it's what made me think of it just now... i'm looking at our tarantula terrarium. we have a rose-haired tarantula named helga. a few months ago, while at the pet store buying some crickets for her, i found out from the spider expert at my local petsmart that we were adding crickets to the terrarium way too infrequently, and not keeping the habitat moist enough. that was why, spider man said, helga seemed to never move about, or finish off the crickets we were giving her once a month. tarantulas rely on moisture for energy, so by not spraying her habitat with water every day to keep it all rainforestey for her, we were basically starving her! she didn't have the energy to go after the crickets, and they would end up dying in the terrarium. spider man said she should be eating four large crickets a week, not four a month. i felt horrible, and went directly home to spray her little habitat and feed her new prey. so, my point is, i had this revelation months ago, and i have been so bad about keeping her terrarium moist and populated with crickets since then. i was really good about it for a couple of weeks. why can't i maintain any sort of steady rhythm, routine? it's the same with housework, eating healthy, etc. i feel all over the place, not on track. it's disconcerting.

well, i have to share a sweet rowan story now. rowan loves his daddy's belt. josh only has one, a brown leather one with a silver buckle. it is rowan's favorite toy. he plays with the buckle, drags it around behind him like a puppy, wraps it around table legs and his own legs. anytime josh's waist is within reach, like when he's lying on the couch or the bed or the floor, rowan makes a bee line for his belt and tugs at the buckle and fusses until josh takes it off and hands it to him. then he proceeds to play happily with it for hours.

this whole thing makes josh deliriously, almost tearfully happy. growing up, josh had quite a different feeling about his daddy's belt. and to see his son gleefully unafraid of it, not even knowing what it would be like to feel a fear like that about your own father... and to know that rowan will never know that fear... it's really beautiful.

Friday, January 2, 2009

happy new year!!

i know, i'm a day late. but i have a good excuse. i spent new year's day hugging the commode. and now my lower back and abdomen are really sore and achy, but other than that i feel wonderful, by comparison. i hope this nasty bug has rampaged our family enough; we really can't afford for josh to get sick and miss any work! the kids and i are dying for some fresh air, so since it's been 24 hours since i last puked, we're going to venture out to the playground with some friends this afternoon.

two of my la leche league friends were featured in a news piece on CBS last night, about the protest against facebook deleting pictures of mothers nursing their babies. you can check it out here: http://cbs11tv. com/fuel- for-thought/ breastfeeding. Facebook. online.2. 898682.html . it infuriates me that an obscenity policy designed to protect facebook users, many of them children, from illicit content would be applied to a photo of a woman nursing a child. what's even more upsetting is the fact that the deletion of these nursing pictures was a response by facebook to complaints from users, so they say. that means that people saw the nursing pictures on others' profiles and were offended. i can't imagine what is going through these people's heads. "ew, gross, breastfeeding... i don't want my kids seeing this." what is the matter with these people?! i hope they also demanded that facebook delete the hundreds of pictures of half-naked teenagers and underaged smoking and drinking. there is something seriously wrong with our culture when a photo of a mother nursing her baby is viewed as obscene and offensive. i hope 2009 brings with it some sort of miraculous paradigm shift that will allow breastfeeding to return to the cultural norm, the standard to which all other forms of infant feeding are compared.

okay, i'll step off of the soapbox. for now...

rowan is the sweetest, most playful, affectionate, adorable 1-year-old i have ever met. he is such a tremendous joy to be around. his beautiful, little smile makes my heart melt.