Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I'm positively sick with grief for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Its been too much... I've had to stop watching tv and reading news. I can't deal with the enormity of such loss.

Pretty much packed up for Chelan. I haven' t done my clothes yet, but everyone else is set.

Oh yeah, today is my birthday :)

We leave early tomorrow and will be back Tues, so obviously, no blogging till at least then.

Pray for us. I'm so stressed out about how the kids will do. We all need this vacation, and we all need it to be fun and relaxing.

Monday, August 29, 2005

This will be short as I'm very worn out!

The kids (yep, both of 'em) have not been sleeping through the night consistently. In fact, Gwen is up to something like 3 wakings a night now. It has to be a growing spurt or something. Ethan is waking up about 1 time a night, every other night or so. Its very draining for me if both kids are up during the night, especially when my insomnia kicks in.

I ended up getting up at 5 thanks to multiple wakings (after the last one, I was like...why bother going back to sleep) and stayed glued to the TV and computer for hurricane coverage. My cousin Josh, his wife Amber and their son Kadin (3) were in Biloxi at Keesler AFB. We just got word tonight that they made it through all right, but won't be able to leave base until probably Thursday. They are worried about their apartment and their belongings. I hope all is ok at their place :(

Gwen, my dear little Gwennie Pooh, is soooo Mommy-centric lately. She won't even let Daddy hold her in the evenings. She doesn't want to be put down either. I don't know if this is part of her growing spurt or what. It is positively draining. She's sleeping very little during the days, then I end up tending to her all night because she's not happy for more than 5 min with Daddy. We went through a similar thing with Ethan... poor Jason! I keep telling him tho, eventually she'll be a Daddy's girl (just like Ethans a Daddy's boy now) and you'll get your turn :)

So all this Mommy-neediness and sleeplessness is making me so stressed about Chelan. Mom says that the kids will be so worn out every day they'll sleep like rocks. I hope that's true. Its really crummy to not get sleep and feel crappy when you're there because its such a waste of good vacation time.

I finally have my shopping list and food/assorted items packing list done. I'm gonna wing it on the clothes. I can't bear to write another list.

Finally got my butt in gear and cleaned a little. Unfortunately, its all mussed up already, but it was nice seeing it clean for like 2 hours.

Off to bed.

Oh, it rained yesterday, and today we had thunderstorms and more rain. 'Twas lovely.

Saturday, August 27, 2005

Finally, the house is quiet. The children are all asleep and in bed. We had a full day.

Jason left early this morning because he had to work a little bit. Gwen and I woke up when he left, and spent the next 1 1/2 hours trying to get combo and go back to sleep. Little Gwen didn't want to, and I very much wanted to. For all that, we probably only got another 30 min of sleep :)

Jason came home and mowed the back yard, I did the front. Dad stopped by to pick up Grandma Betsy computer and he played with the kids for awhile.

After Dad left, Jason said he was going to go to Lowes and pick up some wire for the weed eater. Well, I thought this just a wee bit strange as he's not the type to run out and get something like that when we don't need it right away. He also offered to take Ethan. I thought perhaps he just wanted to get out of the house. They took off, and about an hour later returned with an ice cream cake, balloon, two cards and a gift :) It was for my birthday! Even though the big day isn't until the 31st, it falls on a Wednesday and we leave the next day for Chelan. Not the best day for celebration. So he decided to get me stuff today...

My gift was something I had mentioned yesterday actually. When he was at the store he saw it and bought it spur of the moment. Its a new griddle. We've had this teeny-weeny one forever, which was fine for us two. But with Ethan starting to eat more and more, and Gwen coming up soon, I needed a bigger one. And this one is HUGE... 10in x 20in! I love it!

Jason also told me about my other gift... which is a mini-shopping spree wherever I want! Yeeha! I'm going to save it and use it when I've lost a good amount of weight (hopefully by the end of the year).

Here's a pic of my cake and one of Ethan eating it... On the other side of the cake it said, "Happy Birthday"

After all this excitement, we laid Ethan down for nap. He didn't sleep much. We put him down at 4 and finally at about 5 (after I went in there again to give him his bink and restart his music) he finally went to sleep. But he was back up at 6. J went in there to get him and Ethan came out the most cranky I've seen him in a LONG time. First, he didn't want to come out of the crib when Jason came in, even though he was crying. Jason got him out, but then Ethan tried to get back in. I went in there to help and picked him up and he just went limp in my arms. He was obviously still exhausted. We went out to the living room and I tried to put him down on Jasons lap while I got him a snack. Hoooo boy, he did not like that. Anyway, he was just really sensitive and whiny and fussy and man... that will just take it right out of you after awhile. Add on top of that, Gwen didn't sleep for more than 1 hour today. She was very tired... and would sleep if I held her, but would wake as soon as I put her down.

Truthfully, this day made me really worry about Chelan. Imagine if the kids didn't sleep the whole time we were there! The horror!

I finally made my menu, food shopping and packing lists for Chelan, but nothing for clothes or general items. I keep putting it off. We leave in 4 days!

Oh, here's an adorable pic we took last night. Ethan climbed into the recliner, asked for his blanket and book, and made himself comfy. Hmmm... do you think all the reading Jason and I do is rubbing off on him a bit? :D

And here's just one more... We tried on his Polywog suit (a wetsuit like thing, with flotation pads sewn in) the other day and he really liked it! The padding makes him look really muscular on top, with little chicken legs sticking out the bottom, too cute!

Friday, August 26, 2005

Ahhh... I just finished eating my new favorite treat... Snickers McFlurry. They are most delicious. No, this doesn't fit into my diet plan, and no, I don't care :)

Ethan had been itching to go outside and really get his play on, so we went out to Mom's today. I dropped off 12 books and 1 DVD back at the library. When you have to carry your books in two loads, you know you're maybe checking out too many :)

Ethan played his heart out. Him and I rolled down the grassy hill (well, I had to roll him down as he didn't quite have the hang of it), he played in the dirt, in the gravel, threw rocks for Kai, wrestled with the dogs, picked and ate berries with Nana, explored the newly cleared pathway to Aunt Deanne's house, and pretty much exhausted himself. Even after all of that, he threw a huge fit this evening when it was too hot to take him into the backyard. That kid is gonna be in heaven at Chelan.

We had Cincinatti Chilli for dinner. It makes a lot, so the extra was frozen up for use at Chelan. That's my new favorite way to cook while camping or at Chelan. Make ahead, freeze, then reheat there. It keeps you from needing to pack the 'little' things, but you still eat very well. It works best with stews, soups, chili type things.

This weekend we're going to try and get a lot done. Find/clean all the supplies we need for Chelan, mow, clean the house, laundry. By Monday, all I want to worry about is grocery shopping, food packing and clothes packing.

So, I have baby fever... can you believe that? I wouldn't mind having another baby. I must be MAD! Hearing about my old boss having her twins, and seeing the women on my message board going through their pregnancies makes me kinda miss the whole thing. For my own health, I'm going to try and wait until Gwen is at least a year. While my head and heart may be open to another child, my body would be not so forgiving to try for three kids in three years.

Well, off to bed. My head is starting to ache and I'm sleeeepy.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Today I tortured my son

I was longing to do girly hair things, but my girl doesn't have long enough hair... hence mean Mommy had to use Ethans hair :)

Ack, I just realized that Chelan is in 1 week. I have no list, no menu, nothing. Generally a trip of this proportion would be planned out at least 3 weeks in advance. I just can't get the enthusiasm yet to plan. But I better get some soon.

The one thing I DID do in preparation for Chelan was reserve some books from the library. I was only gonna spend a few minutes and get a few books, but I ended up spending an hour and got 16 books. They won't all arrive before Chelan, but at least 3-4 will. I've been reading a book every 1-2 days, depending on how much the kids sleep and how long I'm willing to stay up at night :)

So, I, uh, found a boy for Becki! Well, a potential boy. I, without Becki's permission, put up a personal ad with pic for her. I put it up as a girl looking for a good man for her sister. I got many responses! Some were questionable... promises of a Starbucks gift card if I could hook him up with a date, a guy who claims to look like Cuba Gooding Jr. but he didn't have a pic... so I can tell you that this pretty much means he does not look like him :)

The guy I was most gung ho about is 28, has a Masters in Public Administration, works for the government investigating illegal labor practices and is pretty good looking. He was very easy to chat with, and seemed really nice. His name is also Tim... we just can't get enough of those, huh? Kinda like in Jason's family, some form of the name 'Christi' shows up everywhere :)

Ah, I've not told you about the movies I've seen recently. I just finished watching 'Bride and Prejudice', an Indian Bollywood (like our Hollywood) musical based loosely on 'Pride and Prejudice'. Its campy and corny. I loved it! The women are phenomenally gorgeous. I would say watch it just for the camp factor.

The other one was a French film called, 'A Very Long Engagement'. The lead is the same girl who was in that great French movie, 'Amelie'. Its a quirky, violent, dark, lighthearted, innocent, mysterious, sweet film. Yep, all those in one. I really liked it. There are moments of shocking violence and sex, but then not a few minutes later you are surprised by how touching the film becomes. Really good.

Jason went to a vendor thingy tonight so I had full responsibility for both the little ones all night. Whew. Tiring. I tried something new and bathed both of them together. It was... interesting. Ethan was not happy at first. He saw Gwens little tub in the big tub and her in it and started his whole 'ahhhh' and pointing thing. You could totally tell he was saying, "What is she doing here, she's in my spot, get her out get her out!". I told him he'd have to deal with it and eventually he found it funny to throw the rubber ducky on to Gwen. I gave them a shower instead of bath (detachable shower heads are so handy). Ethan first, then Gwen. It worked out ok, but was a lot of work!

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Sooooo... here's my new hair

This isn't the best pic and my hair hadn't even been brushed yet but its really much shorter than I asked the lady to cut it. About 3 inches shorter. However, my hair feels so light and healthy right now that I can't be too upset. Jason on the other hand is quite miffed and is going out of his way to make me feel bad for having it done (even though I told the girl not to cut it too short!).

Mom came over and watched the kids, Shelly and I went out. We went to Target and got the various things I needed and some things I didn't need but bought anyway, including a Polywog suit for Ethan, an adorable sunhat for Gwen and a mirror that Gwen is positively CRAZY about.

We weren't able to find any water shoes, or even cheap sandals to wear in the water at Chelan, so I ended up getting some $5 mesh ballet slippers to wear. Better than my feet being poked by sharp rocks I guess :)

Tonight we had a tasty and easy Oven BBQ Chicken recipe with mashed potatoes and green beans.

Monday, August 22, 2005

So today Gwen had her 4 mo checkup. She weighs 11lbs, 7.5 oz (10%), and is 24 1/2 in long (50%). The doctor is not worried about her being in the 10% because its clear she's active and intelligent. Ethan was always behind on the weight too... Its just how my babies are. She got 4 shots, but was very brave and only cried a little.

Ugh, I had so many things that I wanted to put in the blog tonight, but my brain is so fried I can't remember them. I woke up with a headache and its stayed all day. Very painful.

Tomorrow Mom is coming over to watch the kids while I run to Target in hopes of finding water shoes or at least sandals that we can wear in the water in Chelan. I was foolish and waited until the last minute to find these. Hard to do when nearly everything is switched over to Fall clothing. I'm also going to get my hair cut. It will be a significant cut... about 6 inches off. Two pregnancies has thinned out my hair at the bottom and it looks straggly. I need to clean it up.

I also need to get something done for ME. I have been feeling so... well, I don't know the word. It feels like I'm very one-dimensional I guess. That right now I'm solely defined by my children. Some have said to me that I shouldn't be concerned about how my house looks, or about loosing weight or any of that because all that is important is raising my children. While that is correct in one respect, I don't want to be a MOM only. I want to be KRISTI too. I need a definition beyond the caretaker role. Doing things outside my children gives me a feeling of success and accomplishment that is sometimes lacking in my day to day duties.

I feel a great sense of accomplishment in my children, but I want to feel that way about ME too. That I'm proud of what I'm doing and how I'm looking, outside of my family. I hope that makes sense. Looking down the road 10 years from now, when I'm only defined by my kids is tiring. It makes me weary to think that all I'll be doing or thinking about for a long period of time is housework and kids. That's why I feel like I need to do some stuff for me. Go back to school, loose the weight, cut the hair. My treadmill is coming back into the house (ugly as it is) so I can use it, since I won't be having any big events any time soon at my house. Based on these feelings, I can understand why some women WANT to go back to work after having kids. I still think its best if a parent is home with the kids all the time, but I can understand that desire to have goals outside family, even if they are as simple as getting filing done or something.

Tonight I made steak and spinach. The steak was a flank steak, which I seasoned very heavily with salt and pepper (since most comes off in the pan). I heated up my big cast-iron skillet till it was extremely hot, added some oil, then plopped that steak in there. Didn't touch it or move it for 5 min. It smoked like the dickens, but when I did turn it, it had this beautiful crust on it. I let it sit for another 8 min on the other side (where it smoked even worse) and then let it rest for 10 min. Crusty on the outside, perfectly medium on the inside and very juicy. Its amazing how delicious salt and pepper on meat can taste. Served it with garlicky spinach on the side. My new favorite thing is frozen spinach. So easy to use since there is no washing and drying and chopping. I pressed two large garlic cloves into a pan with oil, heated till hot and garlic slightly brown and then threw in the bag of spinach. Easy, and oh so good.

After dinner, I felt that I needed some chocolate. I'm not huge on chocolate, so when I feel like I need some, I think I have to obey. I made this very simple pudding. Its practically good for you at only 200 cals per serving :) Amazingly, this chocolate pudding seemed to help my headache a wee bit.

If you could, please say a prayer for my old bosses, Rosemary and Ted. They just had their twins on the 20th, at 31 weeks old. The twins, Finn and Catherine, are only 3lbs, 4oz each, and will have a 5-6 week stay in NICU. Please pray that the babies will be ok, and for strength for the parents, and their 2 year old, Ciaran.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Whew, are we tired. We went to a Likkel family reunion today. Was really great to see everyone and Ethan had an AWESOME time. The reunion was at a park with cool toys and he played on those, and with the other little kids that were there. Here are some pics of him playing:

In all truth tho, this kid would have been happy to throw bark all day. Seriously. We had to place him on the toys, and he wouldn't even smile! Maybe Ethan will be a landscaper :)

We got a great pic of Gwennie with her Poppa (great-grandfather):

We got home at about 5. We put Ethan down to finish his nap and before we knew it, it was 6:30 and Ethan was still sleeping and no dinner had been started. Oops! I ended up making Mom's Tortilla Light Soup, and Ethan had leftover lasagna, cuz he couldn't wait to eat :)

It was hot in the house, and it just drained all energy from us. Doesn't help that somehow, the house I had managed to keep fairly clean all week (using my new chore chart!) got completely trashed and cluttered and so every other step you're tripping over kitchen utensils (thanks to Ethan), stepping on blocks, and constantly knocking stuff off counters and tables.

Sometimes, it seems like everything goes to heck when Jason is home. I don't know why this is. Is it because I feel like since he's here I can be more relaxed and not stay on top of things? Is it the extra body generating mess? I don't know, but I do know that on Monday, I'm sad that J has to go to work and sadder that I have to spend the entire day making the house usable again.

Speaking of houses... OY. I'm in serious depression about our house situation. I want a new house so badly. We were talking today about me entering this cooking contest... the grand prize is $100,000. I said to J, "Wow, if I won, we could buy that house in the Pilchuck Highlands that we want". There was a pause, then we both were like, "Nope, even with $100,000 we couldn't buy it". Since the house/property is like $489,000, $100,000 wouldn't bring it down enough for us to afford the monthly payments on Jasons salary. How freaking depressing is it that even if you won a great deal of money and you make a good salary, you still could not afford your dream house? It was then that I realized I have to give up my desire for this house or it would drive me to insanity. Truth is, I don't need 5 acres and a luxury mansion type house to be happy. But it is so frustrating when you look down the road and realize that there is nothing better than what you have that you'll be able to afford in the next 5 years. I'd just like a kitchen that has usable cabinets and some room to it. An extra bedroom. Neighbors that are more than 5 feet away. Our needs are simple, and yet they seem to cost in the $300,00 and up range (or, require you to move at least 2 hours away from where the good jobs are). We so hate our neighborhood. Its gone into a serious decline, people-wise, even as the house value has risen. I can't even talk about it any more. So depressing.

So, on a lighter note, I was trying to take a pic of Gwen tonight playing with her toes. Well, the first pic came out too dark, so I turned on the flash. I accidentally turned on the red-eye flash, which flashes like a strobe light right before the picture is taken. Um, I scared poor Gwendolyn! A moment before, she'd been holding her toes and cooing... then I took the pic and this is what I got

Poor little thing... but she sure gave her Mom and Dad a good laugh!

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Kinda funny. Today I happened to mention on a breastfeeding board I visit (which uses an Infopop, my former employer, message board) that I used to work for Infopop and a certain feature they were discussing was available. Nearly immediately a moderator contacted me privately with questions... and then shortly after that the owner of the site started asking questions too. All evening I've been doing support :) I'm rusty, for sure. And its hard when I don't have a board to look at to refresh my memory. In any case, they are hugely grateful and I like helping.

We had a good lasagna for dinner tonight. Had with salad and toasted bread. Good eats.

Ethan, out of the blue, has been saying words very clearly lately. Like today, as I usually do, I'm babbling away at him... talking and asking questions, I say, 'Are you eating broccoli?' and he said, 'broccoli'. Clear as day! My jaw fell wide open! He's also saying 'Mommy' and 'Daddy' very distinctly and he also said, 'Thank You' quite well. 'Tilli' of course is no problem :) He also had this little conversation with me that was quite charming. We were both on the floor and he was looking directly at me and said, 'blah blah blah' (well, he didn't say that, but it was that talk that toddlers do). I said, 'Oh really, how so?' and he kinda shrugged his shoulders and said some more. I was like, 'tell me more' and he held out his hands in a 'what are ya gonna do' type way and said more stuff. It was so.... REAL. Like a real conversation, but without discernible words.

Well, it appears that our hot weather is back :( We had a lovely two days of coolness and rain and fog, but alas. Oh well, summer is nearly over and soon we will have as much rain as we want.

Lake Chelan. Two weeks. Will I regret going with two little munchkins? This thought plagues me constantly!

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Ethan has now gone potty in his potty chair 4 times! We put him on the chair after bath and say, 'Go potty!', and he does it! I'm going to try having him go during the day and see if he can get more into the habit.

Tonight we had Shepherds Pie for dinner. Its a mixture of ground beef, carmelized onions, allspice topped with mashed potatoes, then baked. We had glazed carrots as the side. Ethan loved it.

Right before Jason got home, we had a little accident. Ethans ball was by Gwennies head, and Tilli, attempting to be playful, accidentally stepped on Gwens cheek. I saw no injury, but she cried really hard. It took a while to calm her down, and just when I did, Ethan accidentally hit her with my swiffer duster. Sigh. Poor Gwen... just not her night.

Here are some pics taken over the last few days.

A brief moment of getting along

Something seems to have scared her!

I didn't take this picture, but I really like it!

Gwennie blowing bubbles...

I had more, but my camera is dead so maybe tomorrow :)

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Howdy folks!

Whew, seems like things haven't really slowed down enough lately for me to get any blogging time in. I also have like 12 books checked out right now and am using every scrap of free time to read :)

Not much has been going on... I finally made that appointment with the Neurologist to get my head checked out, but between her vacation and mine, I won't see her till 9/8. Good to have it taken care of tho.

It has been hot hot hot. Unbearably hot. And yet we can't seem to make ourselves buy an AC unit. Its like, you just KNOW that as soon as you buy it and set it up, the weather will stay at 70, or summer will just end. Luckily, today was cloudy and cool and very nice. Nice break.

Due to all the weird police stuff around our neighborhood lately (btw, those peeps that were arrested are both now back at home...?), Jason and I once again looked for houses and tried our best to see if we could make something work. We have very little wiggle room right now. More and more, we think that a modular (not manufactured or mobile) is the way to go. They retain all the value of a traditional house, but are cheaper and faster to build. Of course, that means you have to find land, which is just about as difficult as finding a house! We found lots of good houses... in Arlington! Even one with a pool. But an Arlington-Bellevue commute is a hellish, nearly impossible one.

Today we went over to Mom's and, along with Becki, Mom and Michelle, made refrigerator pickles. They are dill and oh so very very delicious. I can eat tons of them. They are very crunchy and garlicky. Its sad that I have to wait at least 2 weeks, preferably 1 month, to eat them! I was exempt from the picking... but they picked 26 lbs, which made 5 gallons of pickles, which, for a total cost of $24, is pretty darn cheap and they are in every way superior to regular pickles. Ah... pickles. I will stop drooling now.

K, off to read some more :) Maybe tomorrow I'll get my bootie in gear and upload some pics for ya'll!

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Haven't posted in a while. It was hard to do at my Mom's cuz it took so long! I have a lot to catch you up on!

Well, Gwen, Ethan and I all came down with a cold, thanks to Shelly :) It was really bad for poor little Gwennie last night. She projectile vomited 4 feedings in a row and just was most uncomfortable. We gave her some baby tylenol since if her cold was anything like mine, she was having a sore throat and aches and pains. That seemed to help her and she finally went to sleep and fed twice during the night.

Today, both the kids were a lot better, though runny noses still were present.

The absolute BEST thing that happened today was that we saw Grammy and Grandpa! They are home! This trip, although not their longest, was by far the hardest for me. I missed them constantly. They both looked wonderful and it was so good to have them here in person.

There is a story I keep forgetting to post. Well, two stories really, which may or may not be related.

The first happened last Saturday night. It was about 11pm and the dogs started barking. They rarely do that at night. Jason was still up, and I was woken up by their barking. Jason put them out and BOTH of them ran to the fence and started barking madly. Typically, Toby may do this, but you know if Tilli does it, something is up. Jason went out and tried to call them in, but they wouldn't come off the fence. He saw some flashlights on the easement behind the house and then heard a voice saying, 'This is the police, get your dogs inside and keep them quiet'. This, of course, shocked Jason and he hurriedly brought them in. I had not heard this voice and Jason didn't tell me about it... but then he calls me in a somewhat panicked tone, 'Kristi, get out here now'. All I'm thinking is, 'oh my lord, there is someone trying to break in' (<- biggest fear). Well, I peek out the door and Jason is like, 'There are cops swarming all over our yard!'. They were looking under our cars, in our bushes, everywhere. They even had a k-9 unit out. Then they went up and down our street, then back AGAIN. Obviously they were looking for someone. Well, after about an hour, they went away and didn't come back.

Ok, part two. This morning I'm making breakfast and look out my window. Much to my surprise, I see a plainclothes officer and county sheriff, guns drawn, peeking around my neighbors garage. This is the house directly in front of us, and they were looking to the house next door to that one. I call Jason to lookand then also see another gentleman in a flack jacket with a big-ass shotgun. Jason had me move the kids to a safer location just in case. Well, long story short, they busted the people in the house. Arrested the lady and the guy. The kids that live there weren't there apparently. It had to have been drug related. The people in this house have had a couple domestic violence issues in the past. The lady caught my dogs one time they got out and kept them until I got home. She was really nice. Just strange.

So, Jason and I are like, totally wierded out by two major police activities in the last week, when we've barely seen a cop on our street in all the other years we've lived here! Sheesh!

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

I'm putting up some pics... The first two are from our trip to the church campout. The one of me is dreadful... something about the angle and my shirt make me look 25 lbs heavier than I am!

The other pic, of Ethan on the couch, was taken Monday. He had found an ungaurded kleenex box and went crazy! He's been so precocious! Yesterday he was obsessed with the bread drawer. He'd pull out loaves and run around the house with them. Once he got them open, he'd dump out the bread and stuff his face with it. Yes, we ARE feeding him :D Last night Dad put baby latches on the drawers and oh boy, was Ethan ever upset about it this morning!

Much to our suprise, it was cloudy and misty this morning, and in fact, there's even been rain. Very nice. The air was getting very heavy and sticky from all the hot days so a cleansing rain is very welcome.

Yesterday I went to Target and bought some clothes. Most everything was on sale or clearance so I got some good deals. I also got some stuff for Jason so it wasn't all just for me :)

I've finished one whole book, and am nearly done with my second. I'm getting so much reading in and being able to leave the house every day, by myself, is a true blessing. I almost dread going back to being by myself!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

I'm at my Mom's now. Haven't blogged since 1) hands have been full trying to keep Ethan from smashing everything in the house and 2) it takes so darn long to get anywhere on their painfully slow dial-up (current connection speed, 26.4k).

Ethan has been having the time of his life tho. He runs around constantly... getting into everything, tumbling with the dogs, playing outside. I fear that when we get back home he's gonna have a hard time adjusting to our normal boring life!

Gwennie hasn't been doing so well. She's going through another bout of colic and is very fussy, particularly in the evenings. I feel for everyone as they get home from work, and then have to listen to her cry and cry :(

Both the kids and I are in the spare bedroom. Surprisingly, this hasn't been a problem at all. Ethan goes to bed first, then we come in about an hour later. I can move around, read, etc and he won't wake. Both of them are sleeping deeply through the night, probably because they're being so stimulated through the day!

Shortly, we'll be going walking on the driveway. We tried to go yesterday, but Mom and I were just too pooped.

I've been thinking that I may become a certified lactation consultant. It would allow me to get a job in a hospital/doc office/clinic if I wanted, but also give me the flexibility to work from home as well, doing home visits, giving classes, etc. I'm going to look into the requirements... There is no 'official' schooling required, but there are tests and basic knowledge that I'd have to pick up on.

The very sad truth is that with the hugely inflated home costs in this area, if we want our 'dream' house (or, really, anything better than what we have now) anytime in the next 10 years, Jason either needs a large salary increase (not likely, since he's close to the top of his payscale), or I need to bring in a little bit of money. Obviously, me working outside the home full, or even part time is not feasible. I don't want my kids in daycare. And working from home right now is a near impossibility. But, if I can get the training and such now, perhaps in a year I would be able to manage something.

Grammy and Grandpa will be home soon... maybe even this weekend or early next week! Please let us know guys cuz we're dying to know!

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Maaann... I lost these 7lbs while sick, but despite still eating like a bird, its coming back! Stupid water weight! I think it also proves that my food intake isn't my main issue... its exercise. I'm gonna force my Mom to make me walk her driveway every day. Its super hilly and about 1 mile roundtrip (hills make it twice as hard tho).

Had a rough morning. Ethan would not take his morning nap. He just screamed and screamed and screamed. I pretty much lost it completely. Jason took over and ended up getting him up, feeding him an early lunch, then laying him back down. He still screamed some, but then eventually went down.

About 2 we left to go to the campground where the church was having their campout. It was cool there, though the mosquitoes were bad. We went down to the river and Ethan played in the water. He really became a little social butterfly and went around 'talking' and interacting with all the folks there. We BBQ'd some steaks and veggies for dinner and talked with everyone. A nice time was had.

I dread Jason's departure tomorrow. The thought of dealing with the kids alone for a week is just so overwhelming to me. Keep me in your prayers. Pray that they will sleep normally and make it easy for me?

Friday, August 05, 2005

I hope I did not offend anyone with my Dr. Phil letter thingy. It really sounded quite opinionated and harsh (as things usually do when I write while tired and cranky).

So, yesterday the funniest thing happened. I didn't think it was funny then, but now I do... Ethan has started counter clearing. He can get a whole hand up there and he just puts it up there and waves it back and forth, hoping to come up with something good. We've had many close calls (knives, pans, etc) and some broken items (espresso carafe, glasses). I had my cup of milk and vanilla flavor on the counter awaiting some espresso. I turned for a moment and heard a great splash. I turn back and Ethan is standing there, dumbstruck, hands out from his sides, milk flowing down over his head. Tee hee... Very funny. He just stood there in shock! There was sticky milk all over him, the floor, the cabinets. Irritating then, pretty funny now.

Today Jason didn't go to work, so we spent most the day out. By about 1 it was already very hot and the air in the house was heavy. We just needed to get out. So we went to ToysRUs. We wanted to find him one of those punching bag things (now called, 'bop bags', presumably because 'punch' is too violent) as well as a play broom (hoping he'd leave mine alone) and one of those workbench toys where you can hammer pegs through. Well, we found the punching thing, and a broom, but no luck on the workbench! They had complex ones with lights, sounds and pop-up characters, but I just wanted one of those plain old wood ones. No luck! The best we could find was this. He does love it! Jason and I lamented tho that we couldn't find the good old fashioned one we'd wanted. Why does everything need 100 batteries and flashing lights and sounds? Sheesh, do we sound old or what! :)

On our way home, Gwen and I went to Central Market, and Jason and Ethan went to the new Coldstone Creamery. Supposedly, Ethan really dug the ice cream. Big surprise!

I went to CM because I wanted to make sushi for dinner. Ok, before you get all, "Ick!" and, "Eeew!" on me, I made California rolls, which only have rice, the seaweed wrapper (which hardly has any taste), sesame seeds, cucumber, avocado and crab (cooked). I was inspired by a Good Eats episode. The recipe was easy and pretty good. I even got a super cool bamboo sushi roller. Fun stuff!

While we were at ToysRUs, they had a whole bunch of stuff on clearance. I picked up a swimsuit and outfit for Gwen. Alas, my little G is too skinny, even for a 0-3 month swimsuit! It falls right off! I am so bummed, because its really cute :( Its so big that its doubtful she'll fit it before summer is over. Sigh. Me and my skinny babies!

So, tomorrow we dash off to the church campout to visit and BBQ some dinner. Sunday, we all pack up and go our separate ways. Jason to San Fran, and me to Mom's. I suspect I'll sneak back here a few times to get my fast internet fix and do yardwork at least once, maybe twice. I am looking forward to the built in babysitting.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

I'm back.

Got Ethans flu and am just now starting to feel human again, though I'm still having some aches from it. On the upside, not being able to eat or drink for a day or two, and then having limited appetite at best after that DOES help in the weight department. Lost nearly 7lbs!

Have lots of pics from Mom's house on Saturday and various others. Here ya go.

One of the few pics of me with Gwen!

Kinda mean, but Grandpa
sure loved to turn down the sprinkler so that Ethan would get close, then turn it on high and watch the reaction!

Ethan is bright white, just like me :D

Ethan loves rocks

Is Gwendolyn a gamer in the making?

Just playing around...

Oh, I may be on the Dr. Phil show! I had heard that they were looking for people to be on their show about 'breastfeeding in public' and so I sent in a quick note with my opinion on the matter, thinking nothing of it, other than I'd just get my opinion in there. Well, much to my total shock (and somewhat horror now), they responded and want me to send in some pics, and see if the taping date would fit my schedule. Obviously, they'll do pre-interviews and such to see if they even want me, but even this little bit of interest has terrified me! I guess my little note (ok, rant) was a little TOO eye catching. Yikes. Well, if they really want me, I'll go. Eek.

For your reading pleasure, I will include my note below. Now that I've read over it a few times, I see where I could have done better, but again, I wasn't really trying to impress... just get my opinion out there so they would know that there are people who feel strongly on the issue.

I feel that nursing in public is not only a woman’s right, but a child’s right. With so many health benefits to the mother and child, a true disservice is done when a child is not breastfed.

In nearly every culture other than ours, breastfeeding in public (even with the breasts fully exposed) is barely given a second look. It’s a true shame that the American culture and media has so jaded the minds of its citizens that we're unable to grasp and appreciate the non-sexual use of breasts.

Without a doubt, breastfeeding is the absolute healthiest thing you can do for your baby, and yet we terrify mothers into doing it in private, or make them go through complicated rituals of covering up, pumping, making excuses or, because it’s so much work, just staying home.

No one seems to have a problem with teenagers running around in skimpy clothing, leaving nothing to the imagination, but heaven forbid you see a bit of breast when a mother is nourishing her child! Why is it appropriate to accept the revealed flesh of a young woman (displaying it for sexual purposes) and not the flesh of a mother, who is displaying it (or rather it happens to be displayed... I've yet to know a mother to just throw it all out there) for a completely logical and useful reason?

Society, with some help from your friendly formula makers, has made breastfeeding outside the home (or even inside the home) seem complicated and arduous, when the exact opposite is true! I have two children under 2. I carry a small handbag, which, along with my normal purse items, holds two diapers, wipes, pacifier and snack. 99% of the time that is all I carry. I need no bibs, no bottles, no formula, no cold packs to keep the formula chilled, and no access to water. My daughter can be fed at a moments notice, anywhere, anytime.

It’s absolutely infuriating to listen to these prudish, uptight, uninformed, ignorant types talk about 'doing it in private', or 'just use the bathroom'. Well, when I see mothers feeding their children formula (which truly does belong in the bathroom, and down the toilet) in a filthy restroom, then I will be happy to reconsider. Until then, I will feed my child publicly and proudly. If a wee bit of breast is exposed in the process, people can look away, or look all they want. Breastfeeding is not about their comfort. It’s about the bonding and nourishment of my child, which they deserve even if we are outside the home.