Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Coming up for air

It's been a rocky few days around here, but last night was an improvement, thank God! We made it through those first few nights of "nurse briefly, put the baby down awake," and then moved on to the "pick up and comfort the baby, but don't nurse." We were so exhausted by that point that we slowly worked up to doing the "no nursing" for seven hours over a few days. And then we hit the time change. And then Mr. X went out of town.

Mr. X left on his business trip on Sunday. On Sunday night, we had cheese ravioli for dinner. Nick loooves cheese ravioli. He kept asking for more, and since I had taken the kids for a loooong walk before dinner (because it was fun, and also in hopes that the exercise would help them sleep) I thought he had just worked up a really good appetite. I had the kids in bed and asleep by 8:30. Sarah woke up at 10:30 and I got to bed myself around 11:00. I had a really hard time falling asleep, as I always do when Mr. X is gone--I just feel so "on" and worried about taking care of both kids overnight. But I fell asleep, and woke up to Nick crying really hard just before 1:00. I went in the room, and he had thrown up all that cheese ravioli. He wanted out of the crib (no kidding!), and then seemed fine. I asked him if he felt OK, and he said "OK." Evidently, he just ate too much. It took about an hour to get him cleaned up and the sheets changed and room aired and settle him back in to sleep. Thank God, Sarah didn't wake up! But then she woke up at 3:30 and 4:30 and 6:00. On Monday night, I got the kids to bed pretty early, but there were many wakeups, I stayed up late working till after midnight, and they woke up for good at 6:30. So I took them to daily mass with friends, which was great, and then I planned on napping with them in the afternoon. But they didn't nap. I just about lost it! But I got them up and they were good as gold while I finished up the work I had to get done. Then our babysitter came, I went to my spiritual formation class, and she had them asleep by 7:30. And Sarah slept for eight hours! And Nick slept all night! And they both woke up at 7:30 this morning! So life is looking pretty great right now. Just two more nights till Mr. X gets home!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Night Weaning: The Saga Continues

Oh, the drama! So, we've got two nights of night weaning behind us now. It's going OK. I'm so relieved that Sarah seems her usual happy self, so I don't think she's scarred for life yet! The system we're using has three stages. In Stage 1 (the first three nights), when the baby wakes up, you nurse briefly, then put the baby down awake and comfort her till she's asleep. You only do this for a seven-hour block, and outside of those seven hours, you can nurse or do whatever. So, we're working on night weaning from 10:30 to 5:30. Here's how night 1 went:

12:28 Sarah woke up. I nursed her for a couple of minutes, unlatched her, talked to and cuddled her while she cried for--honestly--one minute and then fell asleep. Score! Put her in the crib next to the bed and went back to sleep.
12:40 Sarah woke up. I nursed her for a minute, told her "we nurse in the daytime, we sleep in the nighttime" and that we'd cuddle and sleep. She fell asleep without crying. Yay! Put her in the crib.
12:52 Sarah woke up. Hmm. She said "nurse." I said we'll nurse for a minute and she said "minute" in a sad little voice. After a minute, I said "all done," and she stopped nursing, cried for a minute, and went to sleep.

She woke up four more times before 2am. She never cried for more than a minute, and she talked to me a lot like this:

Sarah: Nurse!
Me: OK, sweetheart, we'll nurse for a minute. [Nursing.] OK, sweetheart, all done, time to cuddle and sleep.
Sarah: Nurse!
Me: No, sweetheart, it's nighttime. It's time to cuddle and sleep. Do you want to cuddle with Daddy?
Sarah: No.
Me: Do you want to cuddle with Mama?
Sarah: No. Yes.

At 2:00, I got up to go to the bathroom and Mr. X walked her around. While I was in the bathroom Nick woke up and started crying. I went back to the bedroom, Mr. X handed Sarah to me, and she quickly fell asleep while he went in to Nick. I put Sarah down in the crib. Mr. X then was in and out of Nick's room for about an hour and a half while he cried. At 4:30, Sarah woke up again, nursed for a minute, then slept, and I put her in the crib. She woke up again at 5:50 and I brought her into bed, and she nursed and slept till the babysitter rang the doorbell at 8:45.

Last night, Mr. X and I were both totally exhausted. Sarah woke up once at about 1:30, we nursed for a minute, she fell asleep, and I put her in the crib. She woke up again about 15 minutes later. I nursed her, then thought it might be good if Mr. X tried cuddling her so she'll get more used to him comforting her at night. I nudged him and asked him if he would cuddle her. Still mostly asleep, he said, "No, I'll do it tomorrow." Huh. I said, "You'll do it tomorrow?" He said, "Later tonight. Later tonight." I debated saying: "Let me rephrase that: Your turn!" but by that point, she was almost asleep, and I figured I'd let him take the next turn 10 minutes later. He said, "It's really hot in here, isn't it?" (We have a terrible time regulating temperature in our house.) He got up and opened the window.

We all fell asleep. Next thing I knew, I woke up at 4:00, with my legs (which were uncovered) freezing and Sarah nursing! I could have sworn I had buttoned my nightgown, but the top couple of buttons were unbuttoned. She definitely didn't make any noise when she woke up, and I have no idea if she had been nursing for 2 minutes or an hour. I unlatched her, she stayed asleep, and I put her in the crib. Mr. X got up and closed the window. Sarah didn't wake up again until 5:44.

So, Mr. X and I are both working at home today, and we've been cracking up at his "I'll do it tomorrow" line (he didn't remember doing it until I reminded him, at which point he apologized profusely and promised to be on duty tonight) and at Sarah's stealth nursing. Maybe she's learning "If I wake mom up, she'll nurse me for a minute, but if I don't wake her up, I can nurse all I want!"

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Anyone still there?

Argh--more than two months since I last posted . . . I've logged on a lot, but was never sure what to say. Not that there's any big news to post! I've been back at work for a couple of months, and that always gets me down. I feel like I should be home with the kids, even though that's not possible for us right now. It makes me kind of feel like a failure. It's probably just trying to keep up with everything (work, kids, house, etc.) that's getting to me, on top of missing the kids. We're taking a spiritual formation class, which is amazing, and we're really working on figuring out where God wants us to go with our lives, so I'm hopeful. Maybe being home full time will never be possible for me, but I hope we'll figure out where God wants me to be and then make that happen.

So, tonight we start night-weaning Sarah. We said a novena to St. Jude a couple of weeks ago, after reading this post. On the fifth night, she slept for eight hours straight--longer than she has slept in her entire life! (She slept for seven hours once when she was about a week old, and since then, the longest stretch has been five hours.) The next day, she developed a fever due to teething (darn eye teeth!), and she's been having a rough time until the last day or so. I go on a business trip in just under two weeks, so we're giving this a shot. It's about the gentlest system I've come across. But I'm worried that she'll be hurt and that our relationship will be changed permanently. Am I nuts? She's 15 months old, and I just really need some sleep.

Anyway. Let's see if I can start posting here again--I think it would probably be good if I put some of my thoughts into words . . .

Saturday, August 21, 2010

One Year Ago Today . . .

. . . we brought Nicholas home. He was 13 days past his first birthday. Because Sarah was only 4 weeks old, he seemed like such a big boy, but when I look at his pictures, I see what a baby he was. Because they are only a year apart in age, I look at Sarah now and think about what it must have been like for Nick. Sure, she can only say a few words, but she understands so much more. She can point to her nose, her toes, and sometimes her ear if we ask her. She can find her doll or her lamb, she can gesture when she hears songs she knows, she can follow a simple instruction. What would it be like if she were suddenly plunged into a world where everyone spoke only Korean to her? And language is just the tip of the iceberg. I can't bear to think about what it would be like if she were to become someone else's daughter.

So, while I'm thrilled that we've had this year with Nicholas, I also think about what he went through when he came to us a year ago. In the last year, he has learned a new language (and seems to be meeting all the linguistic milestones on time, amazingly enough), become part of a new family, been baptized into a new church, and adjusted to a new climate, a new time zone (with days and nights reversed), a new diet . . . and more adjustments than I'll ever know.

Thank God he's such a sweet, happy boy! Today, we went to mass and out to dinner with the priest afterward. He was a riot. He chimed in on the conversation a couple of times when he heard words he likes to say. He waved to other people in the restaurant. When it was time to go, he insisted on giving me, Mr. X, and our priest all high fives and fist bumps (he holds out his fist and says "bump" which cracks me up). We're going to the aquarium tomorrow to celebrate this anniversary.

So, I thank God for Nicholas, for the foster family who raised him for his first year with such great love (we keep in touch and plan to visit), and for the birth parents who must wonder about him. I pray for the grace to be the mother that God would want him to have.

Nicholas' Second Year

12 Months

13 Months

14 Months

15 Months

16 Months

17 Months

18 Months

19 Months

20 Months

21 Months

22 Months

23 Months

2 Years Old!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

New treatment

Just a quick post to say I started taking hydrocortisone for adrenal fatigue today. Dr. H diagnosed me with moderate adrenal fatigue just as I found out I was pregnant with Sarah, so I never started treatment. I've been hounding several of my family members to get tested for it, so, while I was at it, I asked about being treated myself. I've taken two doses so far. For those of you who are on this treatment, did it work for you right away? I feel so much better already. Is that weird?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


So, for . . . oh, I don't know, the last year-ish or so . . . I've been feeling like I'm just barely hanging on by my fingernails. I'm trying to focus on the positive, but between kids, work, finances, the house (oh, the house!), and all the little obligations (don't get me started on thank-you notes), it's really hard to feel even marginally competent.

Summer is rapidly winding down--but there are still a couple of weeks, I tell you!--and I'm trying to at least to where I feel like I've advanced from fingernails to fingertips.

So, as of today, the kids can play downstairs! Oh, you have no idea. We have a bi-level (or a raised ranch, as we called it where I grew up). For the last year, we have lived almost exclusively in the upstairs. The downstairs has been reserved for guests (the guest room), work (on top of piles of paper in the office or on top of piles of junk in the family room), laundry, and late-night Ne.t.f.lix viewing or work on finances. We had one little oasis of a five-foot diameter play yard, which the kids hated unless one of us was in there with them. And as of now, it is babyproofed enough that I can bring the kids down and they can play while I fold laundry, do some work, whatever. Hallelujah!

And another thing! We started R.ams.ey on Christmas Eve this past year. And thank God we did! We started using a budget (we are AWFUL at it, but we're doing our best) just when Mr. X's business started slowing down. We cut back our spending, and we're continuing to try to cut whatever we can. Our intent was to pay off our debts, but between slower work and even slower payment from clients, we haven't made much of a dent. But--and this is important--we're doing fine financially, because we started paying attention. If we hadn't been paying attention, we could have gotten into a bit of a mess here. It's also giving me hope about the whole work situation because, for the first time in a long time, we know how much we're spending on what. Once we figure out how much we can cut our expenses, we'll have a much better idea of how much income we actually need . . . and whether I can cut back on work at all to spend more time with the kids. I feel like I have to say that it's not as though we spent money wantonly in the past. Our big area of frivolous expense was eating out. And now we don't :)

I'm so behind with the blog. Nicholas had a birthday, too, but I was weirdly sick on his birthday (woke up in the middle of the night with severe vertigo that gave me motion sickness), so I still haven't finished the photo post for his birthday. I may end up posting it for his adoption anniversary (Friday! Already!) instead. And now, I'd better get back to the little bit of work I'm trying to finish up during the simultaneous nap so that I can keep what momentum I have going.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Too funny not to share **Edited**

UPDATED TO ADD: Hmm. I just read my own post. I really like the quick takes posts, but all my posts read like quick takes, minus the bullet points. Welcome to my stream of consciousness!

I came across this blog post today, and considering the state of sleep around here and the fact that I threw Nicholas' dirty socks in the kitchen garbage today, I just had to post a link to it here. It made me laugh really hard. Sarah's sleeping is getting better. Under the category of "totally obvious" we have the fact that the swamp cooler (yes, we live in a climate dry enough that we add humidity to the air to cool the house--a totally foreign concept to this girl from the humid Midwest) was (a) making a lot of noise, and (b) blowing right on her when it kicked on at night. By turning off the swamp cooler at night, we've reduced the night wakings significantly, but we've also increased the temperature significantly. We're still working that one out. Last night, she fell asleep at 9:00 and slept until 2:00. When she woke up at 2:00, I thought I'd suffocate in the stuffy warmth of the bedroom. So, once she fell back asleep, I moved her into the crib and turned the darn thing on again. As soon as it kicked on, she pushed up to her hands and knees, crawled over, and snuggled up to me. I can live with that.

Mr. X is on a business trip, and our heaven-sent babysitter came to help me for a few hours today, two of which I spent napping. Oh my goodness. I haven't slept without listening for a baby in sooo long. It was wonderful!

The birthday went well. It was low-key. The kids adored the horse show, and Sarah hated the cupcakes. She thought the whole candle thing was interesting, but to a baby who's never eaten anything sweeter than a banana, that's an awfully overpowering amount of sugar.

We went to mass. Here's the story on that. We've been attending another parish pretty frequently. We went there initially because the mass time (10:30) was long enough after the kids wake up that we don't have to rush, but long enough before naptime that they don't (usually) fall asleep in the car on the way home and ruin their naps.

It turned out to be a small parish with an aging congregation, but a great young couple who are friends of ours often go to the 10:30 mass, we know the deacon, and people are just very friendly. I had taken the year off from our regular parish choir because I just couldn't make the rehearsal commitment. But after we'd been attending for a few weeks, the deacon announced that the music director was inviting anyone who would like to sing to just come up to the choir loft and join the (tiny) choir--no rehearsal required.

So, the next week, I went up and sang, and Mr. X had the kids downstairs. I just ran back and forth, and finally took Sarah up with me during the Liturgy of the Eucharist. There were three little (like ages 7-10) girls up in the choir loft, and they rushed over to ooh and ah over the baby right away.

So, I've been going up to sing, bringing Sarah with me, whenever we make it to that mass. A couple of times, the whole family has gone up there and Mr. X has sung, too.

Then, two weeks ago, we went to the Saturday mass, and we sat in front of a really sweet older couple. Nicholas was having a rough time, so Mr. X was in the back with him for most of the mass, and the couple behind me was very sweet to Sarah, who was squirming a whole lot. We came back the next week, and sat in the same spot, but the kids did great that time. And the music director, who is the only cantor for Saturdays, asked if I'd like to cantor the Saturday mass.

In many ways it would be ideal, since I would only have to come down to the ambo for the psalm and would sing the rest from the choir loft. That way, we can bring the kids up to the loft, Mr. X doesn't have to wrestle them both for the whole mass, and they won't distract the congregation since we're behind them (in our regular parish, the choir and cantor are up next to the altar).

So, we tried it on Saturday. I discovered that it's tough to cantor with a 28-pound toddler on your hip, no matter how well-behaved he is, or with a 21-pound squirmer on your hip, for that matter. But it went OK. At one point, I looked down and caught the eye of the wife in that nice couple who sat behind us for the past two weeks, and she smiled and nudged her husband. After the mass was over, she came up to the choir loft and told me that she and her husband had been praying that I would sing for the Saturday mass--and they offered to come sit with us and help us take care of the kids during mass so I can sing!

How cool is that? I've been feeling bad about not singing, but I was feeling hard-pressed to figure out how to sing for mass, attend mass as a family, but not leave Mr. X to wrestle the kids on his own. I'm going to start singing at our regular parish, too, but we'll probably all go together on Saturday, and then I'll go on my own on Sunday, too. This way, we can all attend together, and I can sing.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sarah's First Year


One Month

Two Months

Three Months

Four Months

Five Months

Six Months

Seven Months

Eight Months

Nine Months

Ten Months

Eleven Months

Happy Birthday!

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Year Ago . . .

One year ago right now, I was in labor, into the fourth hour of pushing. Everyone thought her birthday would be the 23rd--the nurse finally had to call and have her wristbands rewritten just about now. I've frosted the cupcakes, plugged in the camera battery, washed and hung her little birthday outfit to dry, saved a photo post for tomorrow, and it's time for me to get some sleep. Her birthday gift (this doll, but in a red dress) probably won't arrive tomorrow, since I only ordered it on Wednesday night, but that's OK. I just hope her molars give her a break and she has a happy day!

We're going to a horse show in the morning as a surprise for Nick, who is still obsessed with horses. I can't wait to see his face when he sees all those horses in one place! Then I'm going to cantor at a new parish in the afternoon. It will be my first time cantoring since Sarah was born.

My life is so different now than it was a year ago, and I can't imagine a world without my little girl in it!

Monday, July 12, 2010


Oh, holy cow. May 30th? I really haven't posted since May 30th? Sigh.

So, yesterday was the anniversary of Sarah's due date. Her birthday's not till a week from Saturday, but the big due date has me thinking about what last summer was like. That and the fact that I'm finally doing things like getting the maternity clothes out of my dresser.

I think we're finally starting to get our feet back under us. This has been one intense year!

The latest news is that Nicholas is OBSESSED with horses. Seriously. We live in a weird area that is a mix of single-family subdivisions, apartments, and horse properties, so, fortunately, he has many opportunities to see horses. Unfortunately, that also means that every time we get in the car he says "Neigh! Neigh!" It's adorable when he's all excited, but can drive a person crazy once it's been half an hour and it's become a plaintive wail. And seeing horses doesn't seem to diminish his need to see horses. As soon as we drive past some horses, he will immediately say "More! More! Neigh! Neigh!" Mostly, though, it's very cute.

And Sarah, it turns out, is not so much sleeping. She's been cosleeping with us for most of the last year, and for most of that time, she would just wake up, nurse, and fall back asleep. Now, she moves. And she cries. So Mr. X and I both wake up. Since she's almost a year old, we thought we'd start trying the N.o-C.r.y S.leep To start with, you keep a log of the baby's nap(s) (just one nap in our case), pre-bedtime routine, and night wakings. The night we did it, she fell asleep at 8:20, woke up for the day at 7:30, and woke up TEN TIMES in between. I really had no idea she was waking up that often. I'd just try to get her settled as quickly as I could so that both of us could go back to sleep, so I really wasn't keeping track. So, we took one side off her crib and attached it to our bed (to give her more room so that my movements at night won't wake her up). And Mr. X has started putting her to bed--she nurses until she's sleepy, and then he walks her around and sings to her. The first night, it took him 15 minutes to put her to sleep, and she only woke up 4 or 5 times. Unfortunately, the last couple of nights, she's started rolling and crawling in her sleep a lot more. She'll nurse, fall mostly asleep, pull off, roll over, stay there for a minute, then roll again till she's in the middle of her crib. Then she'll sleep for a few minutes. Then she'll roll over, push up on her hands, start to crawl back to the bed, and crash for another minute or two. I woke up last night at one point to find that she had turned around in the crib, crawled back to me, and was sleeping with her feet in the crib and her head on my shin. So, there are still some details to work out.

To deal with the sleep disturbance, we (that is, Mr. X and I) have been napping more than usual. I tried this afternoon, but just couldn't fall asleep. So, right now, everyone but me is napping. Still. It's getting awfully close to dinner time. So, much as I hate to wake sleeping children, I fear a bedtime fiasco if everyone doesn't get up soon!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The great diaper experiment

Well, I made it. I had my last class of the school year this week. The summer is stretching ahead of me (well, once I finish up the end-of-the-year stuff, it is).

The last two weeks were tough. Mr. X was out of town for the second-to-last week, and for the first time I had no family in town to help. That Wednesday, I went in to the office and was rushed from one thing to another all day, and finally had to rush home to relieve the babysitter without having a chance to pump all day. I wound up with an excruciatingly painful plugged duct that took until Sunday to fully resolve.

But, on the good side, we took that week as the opportunity to see if Nicholas could fall asleep by himself . . . and he did it! It's been two weeks, and he's fallen asleep on his own every night. We had been gradually preparing him for the transition, because we weren't going to let him cry it out. Especially with all that he's gone through being adopted at 1 year old, we wanted to make sure he feels secure and knows that we'll come to him if he needs us. We do go back in if he cries for more than a minute or two. Tonight, I was putting both kids to sleep (Mr. X is working for a client in Asia this week, so he's home but online all night long. Weird, but better than having to travel!), and Nick fussed for 30 seconds, then played in his crib for a while, and then, half an hour later and just as Sarah fell asleep, he started wailing again. I went in, and he had thrown everything out of his crib and unzipped his pjs. I got his pillow, blanket, and tiger, zipped him up and tucked him in, and he went right to sleep.

So . . . to get to the whole diaper thing . . . at long last, I tried cloth diapering the kids today. I have two dozen (I think . . . maybe it's three) full-size prefolds and four 15-to-30 pound diaper covers, so I figured we'd give it a shot for one day to see what it's like. I think it will be good! Of course, Sarah had an amazing blowout on the way to church. The church we've been attending has better mass times than our parish, but absolutely nowhere to change a baby. So, I changed her on the front seat of the car. Thank God, there was just a tiny bit of poop on the little pants under her skirt. I made a rookie mistake and got poop on the new diaper and cover, so we shot two of the diaper covers right away. But I got the clean one on, and we did fine for the rest of the day. We went through 13 diapers and all four covers, but we're using disposables at night and for Nick's nap. I've put everything through the washer once on cold, and I'm about to throw it all in on hot before I go to bed. But Mr. X is on his lunch break, so I'm going to go talk to him before I sleep :-)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Congratulations are in order!

Seriously, I'm away from blogs for a couple of days and miss announcements of two pregnancies and an adoption. God is so good!

This is a quick one. I'm already running late. I had to take the kids in for Sarah's follow-up follow-up appointment. Praise be to God, it looks like her tongue has healed! I thought the mass was back, but the doctor said it's just the scar from her incision. (No, I'm not as dumb as that makes me sound :-> It's just really hard to get a good look under a nine-month-old's tongue!) I had both kids with me, and the doctor was running an hour and a half late! I'm so thankful that I have sweet kids who were angels that whole time. I'm also thankful to the staff who provided animal crackers and juice boxes to the kids in the waiting room, since that helped with the angelic behavior. And I'm thankful that I didn't get trapped in the elevator today like I did after Sarah's first follow-up appointment.

I'm about to leave the office so I can make a couple of the dishes we're cooking for friends who just had a new baby. We're supposed to bring the food to their house (5 minutes away from our house) about 15 minutes after Mr. X usually arrives home from work. And he's the one grilling the steaks. We'll see how this works out!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Thinking of you . . .

Just a quick post for Mother's Day. On my way to mass this morning, I was thinking about my friends through blogging and in real life. I was so happy thinking of those of you who are celebrating Mother's Day as mothers for the first time, and my heart ached for those of you who are still waiting or missing the babies you've lost. I want you all to know you're in my thoughts and prayers today!

Friday, April 30, 2010

Has it been a week already?

1. So, you know the crazy week I mentioned last week? I think I doomed myself, because the craziness really began last Thursday morning. It continued unabated until midnight this Wednesday. Remind me not to exaggerate next time by calling a couple of crazy days a "crazy week."

2. Unfortunately, the craziness continued on Monday with Sarah falling down the stairs and hitting her head on the ceramic tile at the bottom. I'll pass on that kind of excitement in the future, thankyouverymuch. Thank God, she is fine--a little bruised, but fine. My heartrate is almost back to normal, too. Mr. X was working from home, and the babysitter was here. She thought the gate at the top of the stairs was closed, but it had bounced instead of latching shut, and Sarah pulled it open and rolled (thank God she rolled) all the way down. She cried for about 15 seconds, and that was it. We grownups, meanwhile, freaked out. Mr. X kept trying to call me at work, where I had my ringer turned off. I had to sneak out of class multiple times to try to call him back, and when I finally got through, he had already talked to the doctor (Have I mentioned that I love our doctor? Only a million times? Ok, then.) and concluded she was all right. I still left work early to come home and wake her up from her nap. Even though Mr. X and the babysitter had already woken her up once.

3. About two hours after I got home on Monday, I was chasing Nicholas in the living room when I heard Sarah whimper in the babies' room next door. She had managed to collapse the wooden folding chair in there, and it was lying on the floor next to her.

4. So, I took the kids outside. The doctor called me back (I had called to ask if we needed to monitor Sarah while she slept that night. I love our doctor. One million and one.), and while I was talking to him, I saw Nicholas putting something in his mouth. It turned out to be the cap from the propane tank for our gas grill. I didn't even mention it to the doctor. I just picked Nick up, carried him back inside, washed his hands, and called poison control. Of course, it was fine. So, I owe my kids' guardian angels some big thank-yous for Monday. And it only took me four hours after they fell asleep to relax.

5. Tuesday was pretty calm. Then, on Wednesday, I got a ticket on the way to work. Argh! It was for not stopping when I turned right on red at a stoplight. I'm pretty sure I stopped. But, anyway, then I was running late for work. So, instead of parking at my assigned lot four blocks away from my building, I parked in the pay lot across the street. The wind was gusting so hard that it threw me off-balance while I was standing in line for the meter. I finally got to the front of the line, started to pay, and a gust of wind picked up the traffic ticket in my purse and blew it a block away. Seriously--a block away and into a parking garage in five seconds! At that point, I was late and I had to drag all my junk a block away to the parking garage and start looking under cars for my stupid ticket. I didn't find it. Since I couldn't go back home and crawl into bed, I figured I would entertain people at work with the story for the rest of the day.

6. Then, Wednesday night, Sarah, who is usually sound asleep by 8:00 (though she does wake up to nurse several times, of course), turned into All Night Party Girl and stayed up till midnight. And thus ended my crazy week.

7. And, by popular demand, here are a few baby pictures:

Nicholas thoughtfully arranges books on the floor:

Sarah does not much enjoy her first taste of applesauce:

And the best shot in my attempt at a nice picture of the two kids on Easter Sunday ends up looking reminiscent of the Wanted poster for a gang of Wild-West outlaws:

More quick takes are here.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Seven Quick Takes

1. I've been meaning to join in the 7 quick takes for ages. I've also been meaning to blog regularly for ages . . .

2. It's been a crazy week. Exhibit A: Took Sarah to the ENT for a follow-up appointment yesterday. To make a looong story short, she had a sore under her tongue (that we think was caused by her tongue rubbing against her bottom teeth while nursing) that grew a benign (thank God!!) mass. The mass was removed and biopsied on Good Friday. She handled the general anesthesia and hospital stay better than I did. It turned out to be just granulation tissue. But when I took her in for her follow-up yesterday, it seems to be returning. Argh! Any insights would be welcome! So far, we've seen our family doctor, two ENTs, a dentist (who ground the sharp edges of her bottom teeth so they're not quite so sharp). We've contacted La Leche League and a lactation consultant, who's also going to contact a naturopath.

3. Exhibit B: Arrived home from the doctor yesterday, and Mr. X and I got ready to go to work when we discovered that a clog in the waste pipe leading from the kitchen sink was causing the water to back up through the waste pipe vent. So dirty water was pouring through the family room ceiling below. Great.

4. Exhibit C: Woke up this morning to discover that Wonderdog had pooped on rugs in the living room, kitchen, and dining room and tracked it all over. The rugs are in the garage while we decide whether we'll take them to be cleaned or throw them away. On the up side, our wood floors are REALLY clean now.

5. We had a great weekend last weekend. We got lots done around the house, had a lot of fun with the kids, and got together with friends. We had dinner with a family who has a daughter exactly the same age as Nicholas. She's a very sweet little girl, and she loves her baby dolls. She was a bit concerned that Nicholas might try to take them. By the time we had been there five minutes, however, Nick walked past the doll highchair where the favored doll was sitting, gave the doll a look of mild interest, said "woof-woof," and continuted on his way. Sarah only discovered the baby dolls about five minutes before we left, and she reports that a nice baby doll head makes an excellent teether.

6. Five more weeks till summer! I can't wait to be home with the kids all summer long. It will be a good test to see if I would love being a stay-at-home-mom as much as I think. (This is not to say that I think in any way that it would be easy, but it just feels so much more important than anything else I could be doing right now.) Right now, we can't swing it financially for me to be at home all the time, but I think this summer will be a time for us to figure out a lot of things. We've realized that we really need to set goals for our family. For so long, we were really focused on having kids. Now that we have them, our perspectives on a lot of things have changed. I'm hoping the summer will be a time of discernment for us.

7. It's snowing!

More quick takes are here!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Wow, I can't believe it's been almost three months since I've updated. Things are generally good. The kids are great. I'm really struggling with what I should be doing. I absolutely hate leaving the kids to go to work. Hate it. This morning, I left while Mr. X was still home. As I tried to make my lunch (Mr. X was in the bathroom), both kids grabbed my legs and cried. I just lost it. I want to be home with them so much. Right now, we can't make it work financially. But it's just so much harder than I thought it would be. I don't even work that many hours, and we do some tag-teaming, and I do some work at night when the kids are sleeping, but still. I feel like I'm running constantly to get half of what I'd like to do done. Anyway. I have a lot to think through, but nothing's going to change immediately.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Checking in

Well, it seems like forever since I've posted. Things have been really busy around here. I went back to work on January 4th. The first several times I was in my office, I was really shaky and thought I just might burst into tears if anyone looked at me funny. I really wish that I didn't have to work, but I do. Fortunately, we have schedules flexible enough that we can get by with part-time babysitters. I can work from home a fair amount even when the babysitters are here, so I can nurse Sarah while I type and take a break to put Nicholas down for his nap and things like that. I'm starting to get more comfortable with that, and I'm counting the days till summer when I can be with them all the time.

The kids are doing great. Sarah's six months old as of Sunday. She has one tooth and is working on a second. She seems to be bypassing sitting up in favor of crawling, and is far more mobile than I thought she would by at this age! She's sleeping about 12-13 hours at night (waking up several times to nurse, of course) and really doesn't like to nap during the day. At six months, she's doubled her birth weight, so she's now 16 lbs. 10 oz. and 26.5 inches long. My family is stunned, since that's what I weighed at 11 months. It's so much fun to make her laugh, and she's started patting me on the back when I pick her up.

Nicholas is almost 18 months, and we'll finalize his adoption in a month. He's starting to learn more English words. We're working on parts of the body, and he can reliably identify his belly button and usually his nose, ears, toes, thumb, and knees. What really cracks me up right now is that Mr. X "beeps" his nose, but he says "a-00-gah" when he does it. So, now Nicholas can't actually say "nose," but he points to his nose and says "a-oo-gah" all the time. He also loves to say "dog" and "woof-woof." But right now, everything says "woof-woof" . . . including the babies in his favorite book. Yesterday, I had to go in to the office, and he actually grabbed my legs, looked up at me, and shouted "mama!" I hate to leave when he's unhappy, but it seems like a good thing (attachment-wise) that he doesn't want me to go.

So, anyway, I've been a basket case since my last post about leaving them and going to work. I've been dreading it for a long time, and I've gone through such a jumble of emotions. I'm sad and worried about leaving them, guilty when I sit and enjoy a few minutes alone, embarrassed and overwhelmed with all of the tasks that don't get done, thrilled with the kids and how much I love them . . . it's been a lot to sort through.

Well, that's all for now. Time to hang up some laundry and figure out what else needs to be done before bed!

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