Tuesday, March 31, 2009

rowan and sweepie

i've been meaning to post these pictures of rowan gathering up leaves with my grandfather last fall. i can't remember exactly when they were taken, but rowan is 10 or 11 mos. old. my grandfather is named alvis everett (he's my mom's dad), but i call him sweepie. it's pronounced sweep-y. my grandmother, rachel, calls him sweetie; i think i have heard her call him alvis maybe one time. when i was little, i was sitting on her lap in their living room, and she called out, "sweetie! bring hannah a popsicle!" (or something like that, so the story goes)... and when my grandfather rounded the corner, i cried, "sweepie!" the plan was for the grandkids to call him granddaddy, since my grandmother had already been christened "grandmommy" - and since my mom and my aunt still call them mommy and daddy. but, i was the first grandchild on either side, so i made the rules. "sweepie" it was, and still is; everyone at our church calls him that. my cousin emma later changed their names to grams and sweep, but i stick to the originals. ; )

another funny story about my grandparents and me... i was over at their house once, and i caught them smooching in the kitchen. i put my hands on my hips and said, "are y'all married or something?"

okay, one more. i don't actually remember saying any of this stuff, but my grandmother likes to tell these stories at every family gathering. we were on a road trip, in the middle of nowhere, and i had to pee. my mom and grandparents were trying to convince me to just squat on the side of the road instead of waiting for them to locate a rest area. i was getting more and more upset at the idea, and finally i cried, "no, no, mommy, we've got to keep america beautiful!"

Monday, March 30, 2009

a little time to myself...

josh and micah are at the rowlett hospital visiting josh's grandma this evening, and i just tucked rowan into bed - hopefully for the night. i just don't know what to do with myself! whenever i find myself with some free time, i feel like i need to cram in all the leisurely things i used to do before i had kids. but that was pretty limited to reading in the tub, curling up on the sofa for some cable TV and a snack, or meeting friends at J's or denny's for coffee. we don't have cable right now, and i obviously can't meet anyone at J's or denny's... i don't smoke anymore, anyway. so... that leaves reading in the tub. the bathroom's right off our room, and i'm afraid turning on the faucet in the tub might wake rowan. hmmm... so, here i find myself on the computer. : ) this is what i do for fun, now. i might risk a hot bath here in a minute... if he wakes up, i can always bring him in the tub with me.

josh and i shared an interesting conversation the other day. josh was lounging in bed, and i was sitting at the foot of the bed folding clean laundry, most of it rowan's. one of his little t-shirts caught my eye; i held up his brown hot wheels shirt and said to josh, "i won't ever be able to hand this shirt down to anyone; it reminds me too much of when rowan was in the hospital. it's the shirt we brought him home in." josh said, "that's so funny, because his green "recycle" t-shirt is the one that reminds me of rowan's hospitalization. it's the one he was wearing when you took him to the ER." i thought that was so interesting, that the sights and sounds and feelings of the day we got to bring rowan home from the hospital are more emblazoned on my mind, while the first horrible day in the ER is what josh can't get out of his mind. i think this is due in part to the fact that josh was the one in the little cordoned ER holding room with rowan when he was turning blue and the doctors were doing the endoscopy and frantically trying to figure out what the hell was happening to him before his airway closed completely. i was outside in the hallway with micah, trying not to throw up. and, conversely, i was the one staying with rowan in his room on the pediatric floor, when he was healing and getting ready to be discharged. so it makes sense that we would have those two different associations with what he wore during that week.

i wonder sometimes if i make too big of a deal about rowan's experience. a dear friend of mine has a son who was born with a congenital heart defect, and he had heart surgery days after he was born. he was in the hospital for weeks, maybe months (i can't remember). now, by the grace of god in heaven, he's a handsome, strong, healthy 6-month-old boy. but my point is, rowan's bout of epiglottitis utterly pales by comparison. and other families deal with medical conditions and emergencies on such a greater scale that what happened to rowan; long-term illness, conditions from which there's no recovery, etc. sometimes i feel silly and dramatic, bringing rowan's epiglottitis up all the time. but... rowan's mine. and i had never experienced any sort of medical emergency before that, nothing even remotely close to one. i have never broken any bones nor had to be hospitalized for anything, and neither has anyone in my immediate family. and while epiglottitis doesn't leave any lasting effects, it is very life threatening. immediate treatment is crucial, and for rowan that was made possible by our family doctor and wesley, guiding me in the right directions. i hope that i never offend anyone by dramatizing what we went through with rowan. i know how blessed we were to bring him home; i know so many families don't get to do that, whatever medical situation they're dealing with.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

our trip to orange beach, AL!!

here's micah laying in the warm sand

and here she is building her first sand castle!

classic micah-pose

my handsome boy strolling on the beach

writing in the sand
(that's our friend isaac wielding the rake behind rowan, and micah's in the background too)

rowie and me

gorgeous sunset, gorgeous ocean, gorgeous babies
i have been completely neglecting my blog for facebook lately. i ignored the facebook phenomenon for as long as i could, and it has finally sucked me into to its black hole. but now that the novelty has worn off somewhat, i can do both at the same time, facebook and my blog. my boring, tedious blog which i cannot for the life of me imagine why someone else would read!

our trip to alabama last weekend was a total blast. we - alison and her four boys, and micah and rowan and myself - drove 13 hours last thursday in alison's minivan to the condo in orange beach that her mom and stepdad own. we spent friday and saturday playing on the beach, in the ocean, and nextdoor in the lazy river and indoor swimming pool, from sun-up to sundown. sunday we drove home, another 13 hours in the van. for such a long road trip, all the kids did amazingly well. alison's mom and stepdad had given her a DVD player with two screens that velcro to the back of the driver's and front passenger's headrests. that was a lifesaver! the movies kept everyone happy most of the trip.

i thought i would be super nervous and paranoid the whole time about the kids getting swept under by the undertow in the ocean. but i didn't realize how far out the shallow area is before it really gets deep. there was plenty of room for the kids to play and splash in ankle-deep water, and i was able to completely relax and let them enjoy their first time in the ocean. it was so much fun to watch micah wade into the water, watch for a wave, then squeal and laugh and run up the beach to get away from it. rowan had a hard time adjusting to the sound and sight of the waves, and the first several times i waded out into the water holding him, he had a death grip on my neck and buried his head into my shoulder. after a while, he got used to it, but he never did walk out into the water on his own. he preferred to sit in the warm sand away from the water and scoop sand from one bucket to another.

we got home late sunday night, and then woke up early monday for lina. back to normal! : )

today we were supposed to go to story time at the garland library, but yesterday all four of us - me, micah, rowan and lina - took an unplanned two-and-a-half hour nap, so micah was up past midnight last night. so she slept in till about 10:30 this morning. i didn't feel like waking her up any earlier to get ready for story time, so we just skipped. it was cold and wet today, anyway.

i have reconnected with a dear, dear friend from my childhood, and i'm so excited! courtney was my first best friend, and naomi and i basically grew up with courtney and her two sisters. our mom and their mom were best friends as well. we did lots of homeschooling activities together, and spent the night at each other's houses constantly. courtney and i sort of went our separate ways when i went to high school... or maybe before, i can't really remember. we haven't kept up with each other's lives at all for many years. she's only seen micah once, i believe, and she's never met rowan. so, yesterday afternoon i got a voice mail from her saying she had gotten my phone number from my mom and she wanted to catch up with me. i immediately thought, "she's pregnant." growing up, courtney always said she did not want kids. and i never really pictured her with a family. but something about her voice in the message made me think that was the reason she was calling. and sure enough, i called my mom, and she told me courtney is expecting a baby in mid-september!! i called courtney myself this evening, and chatted with her for a while. she sounds so thrilled and excited about her baby, and is feeling fantastic. she and her partner live in asheville, NC now, and they're having a baby shower in june; my family's all going to try to go. i'm so excited for her!!

one of my old friends from whole foods is also coming to town this weekend, and i'm excited to see her. the last time she visited, rowan was an infant, so i can't wait for her to see how much he's grown.

we had a really funny kid moment earlier this evening. josh had this rolled-up newspaper and he was playing around with micah, bending her over his knee and swatting her on the bum with it while she laughed hysterically and tried to get away. well, rowan wanted in on the fun, so he grabbed another section of the paper off of the coffee table, rolled it up in his hand, and proceeded to stick his little bum out and swat himself with it. josh and i almost died laughing. then he handed josh the paper, and turned around and stuck his bum out for josh to hit it. gawww!!!! : ) we could not get control of ourselves, it was so funny.

and now for my food moment: last night we made the yummiest soft tacos for dinner, with beans, ground beef, spanish rice, sour cream, grilled chicken, lettuce and cheese. yum!! and tonight we had pizza, and micah helped me make a carrot cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert.

tonight i got both kids asleep by 8:30 pm. wooo!! : )

Saturday, March 14, 2009

today's my day for free food. this morning before heading to a friend's son's birthday party, we stopped at chick-fil-a and got some free chicken minis. then, just a little while ago, i stopped at jack-in-the-box (or jack-in-the-crack, as my sister-in-law calls it) for a snack and got a free strawberry milkshake! sweet! except that now i have revealed just how often i eat fast-food... ugh. don't judge me.

our off-season gingerbread house

today is cold and wet, for the i-don't-know-how-many'th day in a row. micah spied the gingerbread house kit that we bought last year before christmas, with the intention of getting together with friends and making it... which we never got around to doing, so there it sat in the pantry. so we decided to do it today, for something new and fun to do indoors. micah and rowan helped me decorate it. : )

Friday, March 13, 2009

yay, i found my nose stud! i thought for sure the hole had closed up. it took a little work, but i got the stud back in. i've missed it. : )

this cold, rainy weather is driving me nuts-o. i can't get the kids outdoors, i have to walk mia out front on the leash to pee (our "backyard" is actually a dirt pit that turns into a mud pit when it rains), and going out anywhere is such a hassle. i can't wait for warm spring weather!

today at 1:00 i'm taking the kids to the mall so micah can participate in another survey for $25, then we have a pediatrician's appt at 3:30. i hope it's a little warmer later in the day... it is bitterly cold and windy right now.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

i've been thinking a lot today about the differences between micah and rowan. just for fun, i'm going to list them... because there's nothing more fun than listing all the neat, unique characteristics of one's children. : ) that's my opinion, anyway.

  • as an infant, micah required swaddling, walking, bouncing, humming or singing - sometimes all at once - to calm down and/or fall asleep.
  • by the age of 12 mos, josh and i could have full conversations with micah, and she showed signs of having a strong personality and many independent thoughts and intentions.
  • by the time she was around 12 mos old, micah would cooperate when we asked her not to do something, or needed to redirect her to something else. her persistence didn't show up until she was older.
  • during her toddlerhood, micah pretty much played only with her books and toys - she wasn't that interested in remote controls, cell phones, pens, electrical sockets, fireplace tools, etc., so we didn't have to watch her like a hawk at other people's houses where those things could be found lying around.
  • up until very recently, micah almost always woke up unhappy, whether from a nap or in the morning. she would also, until recently, lie in bed and cry until i came to get her. now she wakes up peacefully (notice, not "happily") and comes to me, but still needs to cuddle and nurse for quite a while before she's ready to face the day.
  • until recently, micah was never that keen on giving or receiving lots of hugs and kisses - especially if it wasn't on her terms.

  • as an infant, rowan never needed to be swaddled or bounced - he rarely fussed, and fell asleep easily whenever he got tired.
  • at the age of 17 mos, he is only saying "da-da" and "bye-bye" but obviously understands most of what we are saying to him - we can tell because he will follow directions, go where and do what we ask him to, etc.
  • rowan has always spontaneously hugged and kissed us, and kisses are a great source of comfort for him - if he's hurt or scared, the first thing he does is grab mine or josh's face and pull us in for a kiss.
  • rowan has always woken up cheerful, ready to play from the get-go. he doesn't cry upon waking; he just climbs down from the bed and comes and finds me. if he gets woken up from his nap or in the morning before he's ready, sometimes he's a little cranky and needs to be nursed and held for a while.
  • when we visit other people's homes, rowan will ignore all the cool toys and head straight for the remotes, lamps, appliances, bookshelves, potted plants, anything breakable, and everything that's plugged into a wall socket.

that's all i can come up with for now...

Sunday, March 8, 2009

yesterday was the la leche league education day in bedford, tx. rowan and i rode with alison and her three boys in their minivan. we had a little trouble finding the place and arrived 30 mins late, but they had just started when we got to the room, so we didn't miss a thing! anything involving a group of moms, you know there are bound to be stragglers.

the first half of the day was really great and informative, and i really enjoyed it. rowan was having fun, and i wasn't feeling too distracted and scattered by having him there; i was getting everything out of the presentations. in fact, i was really glad he was with me. then, right before we broke for lunch, i got this little, dull headache, and was really bummed because i was having such a good time and didn't want a headache to ruin the rest of the day. i thought maybe i just needed to eat (even though i'd made sure i'd eaten breakfast - vanilla soy milk, wheat thins and peanut butter). well, after lunch (vitamin water, chicken nuggets, a roll, and a brownie), the headache escalated into more than a dull headache, accompanied by really bad nausea. i do not know what causes these nausea/headache episodes, but they happen to me every so often. i want to say they're brought on by getting motion sick, because the last time i had one, i had gotten lost on the way to a movie theater and had to do a lot of u-turns and snaking around, all while looking at the car windows a lot to see where i needed to go. wow, just typing that made me motion sick... ugh. anyway, i knew that was why i got sick then. but yesterday, by the time i started feeling yucky, it had been hours since i'd been in alison's van while we were doing u-turns and trying to find our way. so that doesn't really explain why i got sick. anyway, we left around 3:30pm, and i had to ask alison to pull over on the side of the road so i could throw up. i didn't actually throw up, but man, i thought i was going to...

at home, i took two excedrine migraines, got in the tub and laid down in bed, but it was another couple of hours before i felt all right. i cannot describe how much i hate it when that happens; that headache and nausea. it makes me want to cry. it's not that the headache hurts that badly... it's just that i feel so GROSS and the feeling will not go away. it puts me in the most awful mood. i bet everyone to whom i spoke at the end of the education day yesterday thought i was a rude and unpleasant person, because i didn't want to talk to anyone. i just wanted to cry, and be home.

i actually called my dad last night and asked him if these headache and nausea episodes could be symptoms of high blood pressure, since he has high blood pressure and takes medication for it. he said his symptoms were always dizziness, tunnel vision, and the feeling that he was about to pass out. he never had headaches or felt nauseated. so i guess it's not that... i know it's related to motion sickness. i just wonder why, yesterday, it took so long after riding in a car for me to start feeling so terrible. who knows.

enough about that. today is going to be a fun day. here in a couple of hours, we're going to a birthday party for one of our friends at a really neat park in dallas. after that, we're going over to alison's house to play with the kids while she and her husband sneak out for an anniversary dinner-and-movie date. when we get home, it will be time to clean the house like crazy, because it definitely cannot look the way it does now tomorrow, when christian drops lina off for the day. no way, jose.

micah is so awesome lately. she's been in a wonderful mood, playful, and very, very loving. she hugs and kisses me all the time, and tells me she loves me "the best in the whole world." ah, it melts my heart!! i have been really working on not getting angry and loud with her. her behavior is very challenging, and it angers and frustrates me often, but i've committed myself to not yelling and being mean about it. i know it hurts her little feelings, and i can address the behavior itself (which does have to be addressed) without hurting her. i can, and i must. how can i teach her to be loving and caring and respectful of other people and their feelings, if i don't treat her that way?

oh, a couple of micah-isms... she's taken to calling josh and me "darling." it's hilarious. and she's been asking me all sorts of funny questions, like:

"if a cow were a car, what would it do?"
"how does milk get inside your nursey?"
"how does a baby get inside a mommy's tummy?" (oh, yeah...)

i love, love, love this age. while i think 4 will present its own set of challenges, of course, i think it's going to be a really delicious age for us.

rowan is presenting his own challenges at age 17 months. he loves to wrestle and tickle and play with us, but he is still learning the difference between playing and smacking you upside the head with a remote control. he also loves to climb on anything and everything, press buttons everywhere he can find them, crawl into the dishwasher and the dryer while i'm trying to load it, and drag his little arm across any table or shelf to knock everything on that surface down onto the floor. wooo, fun! on the other hand, he and micah sometimes will sit and quietly play and pretend together for a while, and i love watching those moments. rowan is still only saying "da-da" and "bye bye." i know he'll talk when he's ready, it's just hard not to compare him to micah, who was speaking in 3-4 word sentences by the time she was 18 mos.

time to go wake my babies so we can go buy a birthday present and get ready for the day. : )

Friday, March 6, 2009

my kitchen is a messsssss!!!! my friends jessica and temple visited me today, and my dirty dishes were a source of great embarrassment. luckily, i know that these two particular friends will love me no matter what. how nice to have friends like that... and i have many. : )

we went to the DMA last night, and had so much fun! micah was enthralled with all the sculptures ("why is that one missing a penis?") and paintings, especially one that featured a woman surrounded by gorgeous, blooming flowers and gorgeous, blonde cherub-like children, one of which is leaning in to her breast for some "milky milky", as micah has taken to calling it lately. we'll definitely be going back soon. general admission is free every thursday night after 5pm (which works well for us because our kids are such night owls), and every first tuesday of the month. there are lots of activities and exhibits geared towards kids micah's age. i'm looking forward to many more visits there! i remember loving the museum as a child.

tomorrow i wake up bright and early to go to a la leche league education day. i'm taking rowan with me because he isn't separating from me very happily right now. i'm worried about this, only because i've been thinking about working on the weekends, and i don't want him to be sad the whole time we're apart. i know he would get used to it, but... the thought of him being sad without me just bums me out. i remember it was hard with micah too, but on the weekends when i was working at whole foods, she would sleep until 10am or 11am and i'd be home by 3pm. so she didn't have to spend all that much awake time without me. rowan is a little bit more of an early riser. i don't know, i'm sure it would be fine; there would just be a short adjustment period, as there is with any change. i don't know why, but i'm a little more sensitive about rowan than i was/am with micah. i don't know if it has to do with his brief hospitalization (maybe because micah has never had any medical emergency or anything remotely like one) and rowan feels more fragile somehow to me, or if it's because he's a bit more sensitive himself. whatever the cause of it, it makes me feel a little guilty, like i love him more or something. which is ridiculous. : )

my knees have been hurting lately. i wonder if i'm going to have arthritic knees, like my grandmother, and have to have knee replacement surgery.

we went to playgroup this morning. it was such a warm, windy, lovely day to be outside. afterwards we played out front with the hose and the ride-on toys and micah's tricycle, with our neighbors. and this evening, after dinner (fast food - been having way too much of that lately) we went for a walk in the neighborhood. we stopped at the park for a little while and pushed the kids in the swings, and let them run around. rowan is fearless on the playground equipment; if we don't help him sit on his bum at the tops of slides, he'll just take a running leap off of them. i have a feeling more trips to the hospital are in his future...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

my computer's been out of commission for the past few days, because rowan broke the wall charger, and the battery won't hold a charge on its own. and before that, i was feeling lazy and didn't blog much. : ) my sweet grandfather fixed the charger for me and brought it over today.

today is my mama's birthday (and my aunt's, and my sister-in-law melanie's!) and we're going to lunch at one of our favorite places to celebrate! kalachandji's hare krishna temple & restaurant, off abrams rd. in dallas. we've been eating at this restaurant since my siblings and i were little kids. they have incredible vegetarian indian fare, and the most delicious tamarind tea ever! i could drink gallons of it. my mom's getting a double-dose of her most favorite food on her birthday, because tonight she and my stepdad and sister are going to cosmic cup in oak lawn! i know it's the cosmic cafe now, but i'm a taurus.

happy birthday, mama!!! i love you sooooo much!!!! : )

rowan is napping happily on josh right now, who's home for lunch. happy lina is squirming and cooing in my lap, and micah is on the floor nearby, quietly pretending with a few of her favorite dolls. she has been losing herself in imaginary worlds so much lately. her little routine these days is to wake up around 8:15 or 8:30, nurse a bunch, have a little snack like string cheese or some crackers, then she sets herself up in the playroom, usually over by the dollhouse, with some dolls and things, where she'll stay for an hour or more, whispering and giggling and playing. it is soooo heart-warming to observe her quiet play like this. rowan usually spends this time playing with me, or having some nursey milk or a snack of his own.

i took a break during this post to go eat lunch and play at the park. now we're back home, and the kids are sweaty and tired. so am i. i wish i could take a looooong nap now!